Wind Turbines

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Witness
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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by Witness »

Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas

In the US, it's cheaper to build and operate wind farms than buy fossil fuels.

This week, the US Department of Energy released a report that looks back on the state of wind power in the US by running the numbers on 2018. The analysis shows that wind hardware prices are dropping, even as new turbine designs are increasing the typical power generated by each turbine. As a result, recent wind farms have gotten so cheap that you can build and operate them for less than the expected cost of buying fuel for an equivalent natural gas plant.

Wind is even cheaper at the moment because of a tax credit given to renewable energy generation. But that credit is in the process of fading out, leading to long term uncertainty in a power market where demand is generally stable or dropping.

2018 saw about 7.6 GigaWatts of new wind capacity added to the grid, accounting for just over 20 percent of the US' capacity additions. This puts it in third place behind natural gas and solar power. That's less impressive than it might sound, however, given that things like coal and nuclear are essentially at a standstill. Because the best winds aren't evenly distributed in the US, there are areas, like parts of the Great Plains, where wind installations were more than half of the new power capacity installed.

Overall, that brings the US' installed capacity up to nearly 100GW. That leaves only China ahead of the US, although the gap is substantial with China having more than double the US' installed capacity. It still leaves wind supplying only 6.5 percent of the US' total electricity in 2018, though, which places it behind a dozen other countries. Four of them—Denmark, Germany, Ireland, and Portugal—get over 20 percent of their total electric needs supplied by wind, with Denmark at over 40 percent.

That figure is notable, as having over 30 percent of your power supplied by an intermittent source is a challenge for many existing grids. But there are a number of states that have now cleared the 30 percent threshold: Kansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma, with the two Dakotas not far behind. The Southwest Power Pool, which serves two of those states plus wind giant Texas, is currently getting a quarter of its electricity from wind. (Texas leads the US with 25GW of installed wind capacity.)
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/08 ... tural-gas/

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robinson
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Re: Wind Turbines

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ed wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:13 am
Not a mention of impact on wildlife or what impact low frequency thrumming might have on humans.
Killing millions of birds and bats is a small price to pay for saving the world.
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Bananas?-Yes
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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by Bananas?-Yes »

I assume that vocabulary "thrumming" is something to do with vibrations and that is an area where a lot of folks don't pay a whole heck of heed to. In choppers we are always paying attention to whether it is a high or low frequency vibration, because high frequency means get on the ground immediately. And I mean that 'immediately' as in no matter who owns the ground below. In fact, immediately is not soon enough.

But I seem to remember in the O'Club that a flight surgeon once went on and on about how they knew so little about the possible problems with low frequency vibrations. That was over thirty years ago, so I suspect they have more information now. I hope they do.

And that business of natural flight creatures giving up their lives for us nonflying animals seems a tough one to make conclusions about. It ain't no small price for the flying creature who has that midair collision.
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ed
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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by ed »

Remember the VLA(that was a radio telescope thingie I mean VLF? It have off low frequencies to help track subs (do I have that right?). Problem was that it fucked up the navigation of porpoises and whales. Then again, sea mammals are so yesterday ...


eta
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communica ... submarines

Here we go:
If you were a blue whale, the water in most of the world’s oceans would be so murky that you wouldn’t be able to see your own flukes. Which is why most marine species use sound to navigate, feed, find mates, and communica—BLUURRRRGGGGHHHH AAAARRROOOOOO WAA WAA WAA—oh, sorry, pardon the interruption.

That’s just the noise of whales cheering. See, they just won a major noise pollution battle against the US Navy. For over a decade, the Navy has been trying to convince the courts that they can use an ultra-loud sonar array in a way that is safe for marine life. But on July 15, the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said that no, actually it’s not safe at all.

The Epic Fight to Protect Whales From the U.S. Navy
The ruling came down to a Navy-friendly interpretation of the National Marine Protection Act, which prohibits any US citizen, agency, or organization from harming creatures like whales, dolphins, and seals. That ruling was made by NOAA’s Fisheries Service, putting them in cahoots with the Navy. However, NRDC and several co-defendants took NOAA Fisheries to court, and eventually won the case. As a result, the Navy will be barred from using its deep submarine hunting sonar in much of the world’s oceans during peacetime.

Sonar Subwoofers
The US hasn’t faced any real naval threat in decades. During the 1970s, however, the Soviet Union was developing quieter submarines. At the same time, the ocean itself was getting noisier from activities like oil drilling and marine shipping. The US Navy wasn’t just worried about a sneak attack from the deep: Submarines that creep close to an enemy’s ships or shore are capable of all sorts of clandestine shenanigans, like eavesdropping on short range communications.

So the Navy started working on a special long-range sonar tool. They called it Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active, or SURTASS/LFA. One quick aside: That is a monstrous acronym with three S’s, none of which stands for sonar! But sonar it is. The system deploys from the aft ends of special sub-hunting surface ships. Once lowered from the massive reel, the system’s 18 source projectors—basically huge, aquatic subwoofers—emit loud, low-frequency tones.
https://www.wired.com/2016/07/sea-will- ... ing-sonar/
About that stereo

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Re: Wind Turbines

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Wyoming wind farm making same power with 80% fewer turbines

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Bigger, more efficient equipment will allow an electric utility to redevelop Wyoming's first commercial wind farm so it produces the same amount of power with far fewer turbines, an example of the growing feasibility of renewable energy in the top U.S. coal-mining state.

Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp plans to replace 68 wind turbines at the Foote Creek I wind farm with 13 turbines. The wind farm atop the barren and blustery ridge called Foote Creek Rim west of Cheyenne will continue to generate about 41 megawatts, or enough electricity to power nearly 20,000 homes.

[…]

Increasingly efficient renewables and inexpensive gas-fired electricity are bad news for Wyoming's coal mining industry, which employs about 4,700 miners and supplies over 40 percent of U.S. coal. Several bankruptcies, including one that shut down two of the top-producing U.S. coal mines in the state's northeastern Powder River Basin area of rolling grasslands, have hit the industry in recent years.

At Foote Creek Rim, PacifiCorp plans to replace its 600-kilowatt Mitsubishi wind turbines with 2- and 4-megawatt Vestas turbines. The Vestas turbines will have larger blades spanning 120 yards (110 meters) and 149 yards (136 meters).

As the new turbines go up, the existing ones will be decommissioned next April.
https://kutv.com/news/nation-world/wyom ... g%20state.

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Re: Wind Turbines

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Climate change: Offshore wind expands at record low price

Friday's announcement offers a guaranteed price to firms willing to take the risk of installing costly offshore wind turbines in projects set to be delivered by 2025.

The cheapest operator will provide power for as low as £40 per megawatt hour.

By comparison, power from Hinkley Point C - the new nuclear power station in Somerset also due to open in 2025 - is expected to cost £92.50 per megawatt hour.

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, said: "Today's news makes arguing for the massive public subsidies nuclear power requires a much harder task."

The government anticipates the overall wholesale electricity price will range between £48.95 in 2023-24 to £52.36 per megawatt hour in 2026-27.

The cost of offshore wind has plummeted about 30% in the last two years.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-49769259

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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by Surprise »

robinson wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:47 am
ed wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:13 am
Not a mention of impact on wildlife or what impact low frequency thrumming might have on humans.
Killing millions of birds and bats is a small price to pay for saving the world.
Climate change and habitat destruction are causing far more damange.
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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by Anaxagoras »

Supposedly a lot of birds get killed simply from glass windows.
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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by gnome »

As much as I find heartening the remarkable appreciation that oil and coal industry leaders have discovered for the plight of animals, it is true that any impact description should really be comparative--I don't think the math works even if you discount the potential of climate change to harm wildlife.
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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

When the Empire State Building was first built, the plan was to light up the spire every night.
But when bird migration season came around, they realized they had to stop during certain times of year.
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Re: Wind Turbines

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Solar and Wind Power So Cheap They’re Outgrowing Subsidies

The government aid renewable energy developers once relied on is fading away

For years, wind and solar power were derided as boondoggles. They were too expensive, the argument went, to build without government handouts.

Today, renewable energy is so cheap that the handouts they once needed are disappearing.

On sun-drenched fields across Spain and Italy, developers are building solar farms without subsidies or tax-breaks, betting they can profit without them. In China, the government plans to stop financially supporting new wind farms. And in the U.S., developers are signing shorter sales contracts, opting to depend on competitive markets for revenue once the agreements expire.

[…]

The reason, in short, is the subsidies worked. After decades of quotas, tax breaks and feed-in-tariffs, wind and solar have been deployed widely enough for manufacturers and developers to become increasingly efficient and drive down costs. The cost of wind power has fallen about 50% since 2010. Solar has dropped 85%. That makes them cheaper than new coal and gas plants in two-thirds of the world, according to BloombergNEF.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features ... -subsidies

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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by gnome »

But Soylandra, amirite? We should never even have tried.
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

Think of wind turbines as a strategy to make the coal last longer. :BigGrin3:
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Re: Wind Turbines

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UK Renewables Outperform Gas For First Quarter Ever

New figures from the UK Government published just before Christmas showed that renewable energy generation across the country generated a record quarterly amount of electricity between July and September, outperforming natural gas for the first time ever.

The UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published its latest “Energy Trends” report just before Christmas which showed that in the third quarter of 2019 renewable energy sources provided a record 38.9% of the country’s electricity — exceeding natural gas for the first time ever, which provided 38.8%.

This new quarterly record for renewable energy generation beat out the previous quarterly record of 36.8% set in the fourth quarter of 2018, highlighting the potential for a new record to be set again as we come to the end of the fourth quarter of 2019. This is particularly important as the report highlighted that the third quarter’s new record was caused by a combination of favorable weather conditions and increased renewable energy generation sources, with combined renewable electricity capacity increasing to 46.9 GW at the end of the third quarter — a 7.2% year-over-year increase.

This was unsurprisingly led by offshore wind — given the country’s current dominance in offshore wind deployment — which for the first time ever exceeded onshore wind generation.
https://cleantechnica.com/2019/12/27/uk ... rter-ever/

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Re: Wind Turbines

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They include in the category 'renewable' the huge, previously coal-fired, power stations such as Drax, which have now been converted to mostly burn wood pellets, The pellets are made from trees felled in North America, and then transported about a quarter of the way around the world to be burned.

These biomass power stations create more CO2 per unit of electricity burned than the coal-fired ones do. They're not really renewable either: even when one ignores all the fossil fuel burned producing and transporting the pellets (which the politicians do, of course), the biomass itself is only neutral once the saplings they plant grow to the same size as the trees that were cut down - and that will likely be after the forthcoming climate disaster, according to climate scientists.

Article about Biomass industry greenwashing

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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

We've been over this before.
Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:16 pm
ceptimus wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:03 am
I worked on the conversion of Lynemouth power station from burning coal into burning wood pellets. The wood pellets are officially classified as green, so the station now runs flat out 24/7 supplying base load, even at times of low demand when wind turbines are parked because their energy is not needed.

The tragedy is that the wood pellets are imported from North America's west coast. The carbon burned harvesting, processing, and transporting the fuel isn't taken into account when calculating the carbon footprint. Also there are big questions about the sustainability of cutting down mature trees and burning them to make electricity - no matter where in the world, and under what regulatory system those trees are felled.

The Czech company that owns and operates the power station doesn't care - targets are officially being met and the company is able to claim a £1m per day government subsidy for producing all that lovely "clean" energy.
Quincy Illinois until recently had a power plant that generated electricity by burning old tires. Finally local protests got it shut down.

You might think that even by greedy capitalist pig despoil the planet standards, it would be unprofitable to generate electricity that way.

However, they got a state subsidy because old tires were classified as "renewable". Remove the subsidy, close the plant.

There was probably some hanky-panky involved in getting the subsidy in the first place, but nobody pursued that.
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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

Did somebody say renewable energy? :)

https://www.amusingplanet.com/2019/12/t ... ed-by.html

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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by ceptimus »

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:56 pm
We've been over this before.
Yes, but this time I concentrated on Drax instead of the much smaller Lynemouth. Drax is the largest power station in the UK - nearly 4 GW. At the moment, 2.6GW is biomass, and 1.3 GW coal. The government has imposed a deadline of 2025 after which, no UK power station will be allowed to burn coal. Drax expects to comfortably beat that deadline, and by switching over entirely to "renewable" fuel will soon be emitting more Carbon Dioxide than ever before, while still meeting (and getting government grants for meeting) renewable energy targets.

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Re: Wind Turbines

Post by gnome »

More than they would using coal at the same output level, or exceeding it because of higher output?

Another question I have is if the CO2 levels are comparable to the alternative, are there other environmental benefits to the switch?

I consider, for example, how coal creates heavy metal pollution.
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
--Soldier, TF2