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View Diary: Utilities on Solar & Distributed Power "€œIt's a potential threat to us over the long term" (307 comments)

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  •  Um (0+ / 0-)

    What do you think base load is?  So after the semantic switch, what do you do for backup?  Natural gas?  Coal? Lead batteries?  

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:49:03 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  "Baseload" (0+ / 0-)

      is a constant power source running 24/7

      "Backup" is a power source that just comes online only when needed.

      Big difference.

      For the forseeable future, gas turbines can provide backup duties.

      Pumped storage can also work.

      Batteries, flywheels, and hydrogen fuel cells might be viable in the future. Millions of electric cars can be a distributed storage base if connected to a smart grid.

      •  gas turbines? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        offgrid

        whether baseload or backup power, it doesn't avoid the main problem of how to provide power consistently.  You realize that natural gas is very dangerous and releases significant quantities of greenhouse gases?

        Pumped storage capacity might work, but is remarkably inefficient and, well, we'd have to build that, although it sure is a good plan.

        Of course, that only works with an extensive grid and at large scales (given the physics of hydro power), which again gets you back to this notion that there will continue to be a need for utility scale facilities and likely, therefore, utilities and transmission.  IN fact, the same problem applies with natural gas turbines, since you can't exactly run those efficiently in your basement either.

        Even if you dispense with nuclear for more environmentally damaging and dealier alternatives like natural gas, you are still not going to get away from the very practical reasons why an extensive grid is a smart idea when trying to use renewables.

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 02:43:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely (0+ / 0-)

          I never said that we won't need an extensive grid infrastructure, or utility-scale power. In fact, without the grid, and a "smart" one at that, it won't be possible to switch to renewables.

          Just that the power can be from renewables like wind, PV, solar-thermal, geothermal, hydroelectric, wave and tidal energy, with natural gas, methane from digesters, pumped storage, flywheels, batteries, and hydrogen fuel cells providing the backup power.

          Gas turbines in your basement is a lousy idea, unless you are actually off-grid, and even there it can easily be reduced to a very small fraction of usage.

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