A recent post recommended this article: https://cleantechnica.com/2016/12/25/co ... tural-gas/
. That article restates a point I've been making:
cleantechnica.com wrote:On the renewable front, costs to overcome intermittency of renewable energy sources (basically, presuming a very high penetration of renewables on the grid) are also not included. Once that is a significant issue (at which point solar and wind will be even cheaper), low-cost demand response solutions, greater grid integration, and storage will be key solutions to integrating these lower-cost renewable sources to a high degree.
Thus as the percentage (penetration) of intermittent energy sources increases the differences between intermittent and non-intermittent / dispatchable energy sources become more pronounced. Even if intermittent renewables were free they would be of little value during the times when they produce little to no power; which is the majority of the time for solar PV and wind in most regions. They are, at best, only a partial solution. And no technology is close to being CO2 emission free, free of environmental consequences or %100 renewable.
The phrase "greater grid integration" is not explained but it probably refers to the challenges I've discussed in this thread. The increased
costs of grid stabilization (which are already a significant cost of maintaining the current electrical grid) and increases with the addition of inconsistent and intermittent solar and wind are also not included in the cost estimates quoted.
The article is based upon a financial study by lazard.com. That study confirms what I have written:
Although alternative energy is increasingly cost-competitive and storage technology holds great promise, alternative energy systems alone will not be capable of meeting the base-load generation needs of a developed economy for the foreseeable future.
Therefore, the optimal solution for many regions of the world is to use complementary conventional and alternative energy resources in a diversified generation fleet.
-- https://www.lazard.com/perspective/leve ... ergy-2017/
LCOE = Levelized Cost Of Energy
The only proven CO2 emission free complementary source that developed countries can clearly scale up in large amounts is nuclear. (In developed countries hydro and geothermal sources have largely been exploited already). Once again the idea is to avoid reliance on a single technology but rather seek safety in diversity.
Dispatchable Nuclear technology has more value to a system.
US Energy Information Administration (EIA) wrote:Since load must be balanced on a continuous basis, units whose output can be varied to follow demand (dispatchable technologies) generally have more value to a system than less flexible units (non-dispatchable technologies), or those whose operation is tied to the availability of an intermittent resource. ... caution should be used when comparing them to one another.
Quote by Kim Ohara wrote:A study led by the former head of the Harvard Medical School found that coal cost the US $500 billion per year in extra health and environmental costs — approximately 9¢/kWh ($90/MWh) to 27¢/kWh ($270/MWh) more than the price we pay directly. To fool yourself into thinking these are not real costs is to assume that cancer, heart disease, asthma, and early death are not real.
The air, water, and climate effects of natural gas are not pretty either. On the nuclear front, the decommissioning and insurance costs of nuclear power — unaccounted for above — would also put nuclear off the chart.
The last sentence uses two tricks of influence.
1) The last sentence properly belongs in it's own paragraph because it changes the subject from health and environment to costs. It's like a game of 3 card monty.
2) The phrase "would also put nuclear off the chart." This plants an impression not supported by facts. It's innuendo instead of "I know" or "I don't know" -- the reverse of the teachings on right speech. It doesn't say that the cost of decommissioning were not included in the costs shown on the chart or in what way those costs would or could be "off the chart".
3) The quote says nothing of the sometimes dramatic differential in the environmental impacts and CO2 emmissions of building and recycling solar PV and wind.
----------- Chucky Does "Math"
A recent post shows a chart of of one estimate of levelized costs and concludes:
Solar and wind now cost one half to one third as much as nuclear in $/MWh.
Game over - really! - even if you have to chuck in a few batteries or pumped hydro dams.
It takes more than a 'few batteries' to sustain a grid even for a few hours. How many hours of storage would you "chuck in"?
I think 'Chucky' is throwing ideas around and hoping something will stick.
How much does this storage cost?
How many hydro dams sites are reasonably available?
Have you considered the anti-hydro opposition? It seems to be as strong as the anti-nuke crowd.
So I think Chucky is throwing ideas around and hoping something will stick.
I love solar PV because I've lived off-grid and want to do it again ... but my batteries cost more than my solar panels. And they still would even with the latest tech batteries. It's not that different in utility scale.
The chart shows utility scale solar PV as $46 to $92 and nuclear as $97 to $136. So it depends a lot on what numbers you chose. The difference being that solar PV only generates anything near it's rated output for about 6 to 8 hours a day on average on a good day. Wereas nuclear plants can produce power 24/7 even on overcast days. Admit it Chucky, you are comparing apples and oranges. In reality, in most countries it's mostly down to coal and gas to fill in for what the other sources don't provide.
--------- Levelized Cost Estimates Vary
US Energy Information Administration (EIA) Levelized Cost and Levelized Avoided Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2017
See table 1b on page 8.
Total System Cost (LCOE)
| Capacity Factor
Advanced Nuclear . . . 99 | .90
Wind - Onshore . . . . .64 | .39
Wind - Offshore . . . . .157 | .45