Banishing our good friends, logic and reason is essential to the notion of an ‘inevitable transition’ to an all wind and sun powered future. Ignorance of simple maths, the laws of physics, economics and meteorology helps, too.
Which explains why the naïve and gullible are merrily swallowing the story that we’re just a few mega-batteries away from our wind and solar powered Nirvana.
The ‘storage is a costless cinch’ is yet another myth peddled by those profiting handsomely from the greatest economic and environmental fraud, in history. And the need to spin the ‘batteries will save us’ story arises from the total and totally unpredictable collapses in wind power output and/or the inevitable daily solar power output collapse (aka ‘sunset’).
However, when we reengage our critical faculties, it’s pretty easy to see just how ludicrous the proposition being advanced is. To that end, here’s Willem Post attempting to bring us all back to earth.
Reality Check Regarding Utility-Scale Battery Systems During a One-Day Wind/Solar Lull
Wind Task Force
26 December 2020
Environmental sciences professor, Jacobsen, at Stamford University, CA, claimed in 2015, almost all US energy requirements, for all uses, could be supplied by wind, solar and hydro. He excluded energy from bio sources, mainly because of excessive cropland area requirements, and because forests are a major absorber and storer of CO2.
This article deals with wind, solar and hydro for only the electricity part of all US energy.
The below analysis shows the cost of the battery systems, if the US would have a major wind/solar lull covering 25% of the land area.
Electricity Short-Falls During Heat Waves with Wind/Solar Lulls California
Hopefully, California learned an expensive lesson, due to relying on weather-dependent, season-dependent, wind and solar electricity to such an extent, it decided to close down power plants, that produce reliable, not variable, not intermittent, low-CO2, low-cost electricity, 24/7/365, regardless of weather or season.
Typically, California imports electricity from nearby states to cover any wind/solar electricity short-falls. This was not possible, because the US Southwest had a major, multi-day, heat wave. As a result, electricity imports to California were curtailed by the exporting states.
Prior to the heat wave, as a part of climate change fighting, California had unwisely closed down 15 of its 19 high-efficiency, low-CO2, gas power plants, on the Pacific coast. Those plants had not been kept in reserve, i.e., staffed, fueled and kept in good working order to immediately provide electricity, just in case of a major heat wave.
The result was, California had multiple days with rolling black-outs, i.e., no air-conditioning during periods with temperatures up to 115F. Living conditions were made even worse by the smoke of large-scale forest fires.
Electricity Short-Falls During a One-Day Wind/Solar Lulls
According to weather data, the US has multi-day, wind/solar lulls covering at least 25% of the land area. They occur at random times throughout the year.
A lull is defined at 15% of normal electricity output for that time of year.
US generators feed about 4000 billion kWh/y into the US grid, which would become at least 6000 TWh/y, after widespread use of EVs and heat pumps.
A TWh = one billion kWh
About 6000 x 0.25 = 1500 TWh/y would be used by 25% of the land area
Assume, for calculation purposes, the US has 80% of its electricity from wind and solar, and 20% from hydro and other sources.
The short-fall would be about 1500 x 0.8 x (1.0, no lull – 0.15, lull) = 1020 TWh/y, or about 1020/365 = 2.79 TWh/d
The capacity of any storage systems would need to be much greater than the discharge, because when a one-day lull would occur, the systems likely would not be fully charged, plus another one-day event might occur. In the real world, such events usually involve more than one day.
Battery Reserve Capacity for Utility Service and Electric Vehicles
Utilities: Typically, the capacity of large-scale battery systems would be specified as 100 MW/150 MWh, i.e., capable of delivering 100 MW of power for 1.5 hour to the grid, as AC. However, they would need to deliver only about 80% of that, or 100 MW for 1.2 hour, to achieve their 15-y battery life, i.e., an initial reserve of 20%. The reserve decreases as battery systems age.
EVs: EPA determines driving range under laboratory conditions, i.e., level, dry road; no wind; about 65F
Tesla Model S has available for driving all of the charge; no initial reserve, because Tesla has detailed, vertical quality control over battery manufacturing.
Tesla Model S uses 29 kWh AC/100 miles, drawn via a wall plug, or 116.58 kWh AC/402 miles, per EPA
Tesla model S battery charge available capacity ranges from 100 to 105 kWh, on average, about 102.5 kWh DC.
Audie E-tron makes available for driving 86.5 kWh of the 95.3 kWh charge; an initial reserve of 9% for a battery that likely would be used about 10 years.
Audie E-tron uses 78 kWh AC/100 miles, or 173.16 kWh AC/222 miles, per EPA
Audie E-tron battery charge available capacity is about 86.5 kWh DC.
Table 1 shows the Tesla Model 3 is much more efficient than the energy-hog Audie E-tron, (heavy, poor aerodynamics, inefficient drive train, etc.), because it uses only 0.252 kWh AC/mile, whereas the E-tron uses 0.742.
It was assumed 13% of the kWh AC, drawn via a wall plug, was used for charging the Tesla 102.5 kWh battery, or 0.038 kWh AC/mile.
It was assumed the E-tron would also use 0.038 kWh AC/mile to charge its 95.3 kWh battery, i.e., the same as Tesla.
Model 3 vs. E-tron
|Tesla Model S||Audie E-tron|
|EPA combined, kWh AC/100 miles||29||78|
|Total consumption kWh AC/mile||0.290||0.780|
|Charging loss, assumed, %||13|
|Charging loss, kWh AC/mile||0.038||0.038|
|Driving, kWh AC/mile||0.252||0.742|
Comments on Tesla Model S Battery Degradation Graph
The graph shows the percent aging of Tesla Model S batteries versus distance driven.
Ten years of driving results in 8.5% of capacity loss/range loss after 250,000 km
Fifteen years of driving results in at least 10% of capacity loss/range loss after 375,000 km
Utility Service versus Car Service: Much greater reserves would be needed, if utility-scale battery systems were used during utility service, i.e., 24/7/365 for 15 years.
Such service is much more demanding than the service of a car for a few hours per day for 10 years.
This article assumes a 20% reserve for utility service.
Cost of Midday DUCK-curve Absorption by Batteries
It is assumed net-metered electricity causes the midday DUCK-curve
The initial 1000 kWh AC of net-metered electricity becomes about 802.8 kWh AC, after it has passed through a battery system, and fed into the grid system.
Its cost increased from 21.5 c/kWh to about 26.8 c/kWh.
Our battery system would use 1000 kWh of net-metered electricity, and deliver 810.9 kWh, an electricity loss of 19.7%, or 0.197 X 1000 kWh x 0.215 c/kWh = $42.36/day.
That loss is in addition to the daily cost of owning and operating the battery system.
Energy Cost of DUCK-curve
|Net-metered paid to owner, c/kWh||18.0|
|Net-metered paid to utility, c/kWh||3.5|
|Charged to utility rate base, c/kWh||21.5|
|Net-metered electricity, kWh||1000.0|
|Step-up transformer loss, %||1.0||990.0|
|Transmission to battery system loss, %||1.5||975.2|
|Step-down transformer loss||1.0||965.4|
|AC to DC conversion loss, %||2.5||941.3|
|Battery charging loss, %||6.0||884.8|
|Battery discharging loss, %||6.0||831.7|
|DC to AC conversion loss||2.5||810.9|
|Step-up transformer loss, %||1.0||802.8|
|Efficiency, A-to-Z, %; 810.9/1000||19.7|
|Electricity cost, c/kWh||26.8|
US and New England Turnkey Capital Cost
Assume battery design capacity is 16.25 TWh, in battery
Discharge loss, A-to-Z basis is 10%. See URL
Battery deliverable electricity is 16.25 x 0.9 = 14.625 TWh, as AC to HV grid
The capital cost will be based on deliverable electricity, per standard industrial practice.
Battery reserve is 20%
Available operating charge is 16.25 x (1 – 0.2) = 13 TWh, in battery
Assume battery is partially charged, at start of lull, is 50%
Available operating charge is 13/2 = 6.5 TWh, in battery
Charge required for one-day lull is 6/2 = 3.25 TWh/d, in battery
Charge remaining for subsequent one-day lull, or another event, is 3.25 TWh/d
Discharge loss, A-to-Z basis is 10%. See URL
Electricity for one-day lull is 3.25 x 0.9 = 2.93 TWh/d, as AC to HV grid, which is sufficient to serve the above 2.79 TWh/d short-fall
Battery turnkey unit cost is $500/kWh, delivered as AC. See URL
Turnkey CAPEX would be about 500 x 14.625 billion = $7.313 TRILLION
Battery life is about 15 years
New England Turnkey Capital Cost
Turnkey CAPEX for New England would be $21.0 billion, based on a similar analysis.
However, a major NE wind/solar lull could cover all of New England, i.e., the CAPEX would be $84.1 billion
CAPEX for custom-designed, utility-scale, site-specific, battery systems would still be unaffordable, even if $/kWh, delivered as AC, were to decrease in the future. See URL
One-day Wind/Solar Lull
|Electricity fed to US grid, at present||4000||115||115|
|EVs and heat pumps||2000||57.5||57.5|
|Electricity fed to grid, future||6000||172.5||172.5|
|US area covered by wind/solar lull, %||25||25||100|
|Electricity from wind/solar, %||80||80||80|
|Electricity from wind/solar = 6000 x 0.25 x 0.8||1200||34.5||138|
|Wind/solar electricity during lull, % of normal||15||15||15|
|Electricity short-fall during one-day wind/solar lull||1020||29||117|
|Electricity short-fall during one-day wind/solar lull||2.79||0.080||0.321|
|Assume battery available charge, as AC to HV grid||13.0||0.37||1.50|
|Assume partially charged, at start of lull, %||50||50||50|
|Charge required for one-day lull||3.25||0.09||0.37|
|Charge remaining for another one-day event||3.25||0.09||0.37|
|Discharge loss, A-to-Z basis, %||10||10||10|
|Electricity for one-day event, as AC to HV grid||2.93||0.084||0.336|
|Battery turnkey unit cost, $/kWh, as AC||500||500||500|
|Battery charge available, TWh, as AC = 16.25 x 0.9||14.625||0.420||1.682|
|CAPEX @ $500/kWh, $TRILLION||7.313||0.210||0.841|
|Battery life, years||15||15||15|
via STOP THESE THINGS
January 29, 2021 at 12:31AM