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View Diary: This graph shows why solar power will take over the world (377 comments)

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  •  The need for storage is was overestimated (14+ / 0-)

    The experience in Europe shows that using a smart grid largely mitigates the perceived need for storage.

    “The country’s phaseout of coal power is based not on an official policy, but rather on a general understanding among experts in the power sector that the switch to renewables will gradually obliterate the need for baseload power.”
    And here's a writeup of a separate study (worth reading the study itself) here in the US:
    "Aiming for 90 percent or more renewable energy in 2030, in order to achieve climate change targets of 80-90 percent reduction of CO2 from the power sector, leads to economic savings, not costs," the researchers find. They suggest the sensible approach is to strive for a minimum target of 30 percent now, rising to 90 percent by 2030. Remember, that's not meeting 30 percent of your energy demand with renewables—it's meeting 100 percent of the demand with renewables for 30 percent of the time.
    •  rs, we don't have a smart grid, except small ones (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      patbahn, jobobo, nzanne, annan

      and they are very expensive to build in any large scale. It's very difficult to find good, unbiased, data in this entire alternative energy space, except for actual historical facts. Everyone is an advocate and cherry picks the data to try and prove their forecasts. I don't trust forecasts published by the right or left.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 07:23:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  what did you think of Leiblich from BNEF? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indie17, caul

        He's talking about how Conventional energy will be dead
        by 2020, and it's headed into it's death throes right now.

        •  It's preposterous (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jobobo, beemerr90s, nzanne, annan

          A good friend of mine just rotated off the California Public Utilities Commission as a commissioner in 2012. He said for CA to meet its 2020 mandate of 33% renewable energy the PUC will have to approve projects that make no economic sense whatsoever and they still won't hit it.

          You can't will science or technology. Fossil fuels will be the primary source of energy in the US for another generation.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 01:18:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There will be more innovations (0+ / 0-)

            in efficiency and storage. The fossil fuel industry will shrink a lot, but its hard to tell how long it will take. I'm guessing that by 2025 the writing will be on the wall.

            A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

            by onionjim on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 02:50:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's really interesting. I am (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radical simplicity

            getting a totally different sense from the major utilities like PGE and SCE, who are looking at filling their requirements early. Especially with ANM (variously know as NEMA and VNM) - but all meaning virtual net metering - there's going to be a lot of capacity put in place in the next few years.

            The number of children and teens killed by guns in one year would fill 134 classrooms of 20 students each. (Chlldren's Defense Fund, 2013)

            by nzanne on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 07:30:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  "economic sense" How do you define this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radical simplicity

            while tumbling head-long into a destabilized climate future where economies will be chaotic?

            Economic sense is whatever it takes to stabilize the climate.

            "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

            by Pescadero Bill on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 09:21:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Economic sense as defined as projects that (0+ / 0-)

              significantly increase the cost of power to the rate payers, including residential, commercial and industrial users, and negatively impacting the California economy. That's the way the CA PUC should be viewing projects.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:09:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  but that's not what we are seeing? (0+ / 0-)


                We were told there was no way we could get to 1%
                Renewables, it would be insanely expensive,
                costs would go out of control and the grid would be set
                on fire.

                Then we were told that no way we could get to 10%,
                because it would be insanely expensive,
                costs would get out of control and the grid would
                catch on fire.

                Now people are saying no way we can go to 20%
                because (Rinse lather repeat).

                well as i check Caliso


                notice the numbers?  Total demand 23 GW,
                and total Peak renewables? 4 GW.

                that's 17%.

                If we take the growth rate we saw over the last 2 years,
                we will be at 25% next year.

                Sure there is a stagnation point, but, where?

              •  I don't buy it... (0+ / 0-)

                A slight increase in costs is justifiable if it helps prevent more damage from climate change down the road.  

          •  I don't know what your base assumptions are. (0+ / 0-)

            I figure you know more about financial analysis in your little
            finger then in my whole body, so I won't argue that,
            but what's the predicate assumptions going in?

            What's the estimated cost/MBtu?, $/W for solar,

            Also realize that Solar PV is now becoming a "Fashion"
            statement, people are putting them on the roof of their
            homes even in shaded areas or poor orientations.

            Me, I think the cost is dropping fast as the scale increases
            and it's much like a lot of other electronic tech,
            once a tidal wave builds up, it starts roaring.

            If you see people with plug in cars, and pouring money
            into an extra 2KW to charge their cars,  

            I think it's just going to move more non-linearly and
            faster then people imagine.

      •  We are going to shift to a smart grid (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Not just because we need to shift to renewables, but because the current grid is antiquated and failing, and utilities are already in the process of installing smart meters around the country.

        The studies I posted are (a) in Europe - from actual experience, not forecasts and (b) forecasts by the main grid operator in Delaware/NJ. They're about as unbiased as you can get.

    •  i'd argue for a RPS of 20% in 2020. (0+ / 0-)

      it's an easy goal to hit, and even for areas with
      zero, it's a simple 3%/year.

      once you hit that, argue for 30 in 2030,
      trust me, if there are no barriers it will go to 50%
      long before that.

      The cost numbers are enough that the
      systems will just continue to expand.

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