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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
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    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 4th 2016
     
    The problem in the US is the rules about wayleaves. Basically, the feds can claim wayleaves for some things (roads, railways?) but not for others, specifically including electricity transmission. So there are a number of planned wind farms that are several states away from their target markets that are having trouble buying rights to build a transmission line. All sorts of pork barrels being traded.

    I agree that the plans to ban new IC cars by 2025 could be derailed but I think it is interesting that they are even on the table now. And Austria is special because it's only four years away, not a decade.
  1.  
    It was published in the journal Nature Climate Change which is paywalled, but there's a summary here: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2016/012516-rapid-affordable-energy-transformation-possible.html

    I like the comparison with the interstate highway system and doubt it would be a bigger challenge than the construction of the interstate network was.

    Ed
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2016
     
    Interesting paper, thanks. I was struck by this quote from it:
    The very small amount of offshore wind (22MW) demonstrates the cost efficiency of HVDC transmission to be able to transmit the power from the high plains to the coast rather than building wind turbines offshore.

    And this one from the Supplementary Information:
    Even though storage was never selected by the optimization, because it was too expensive, there is significant opportunity for storage if it becomes cheaper or the societal benefits are high enough.

    It would be great if the US could actually build something like this. At the moment they don't seem to be able to get their act together to even build links for windfarms but I suppose all things take time.
  2.  
    Well they are building the Plains and Eastern Clean Line, a 4GW HVDC link from wind farms in the Oklahoma panhandle to the Mid South and South East, which is a start. As with most such infrastructure China is well ahead with many schemes already. Apparently they're working on a major Irkutsk (Russia) - Beijing link.

    The advantage of economic storage though would be that placing the responsibility in hands of consumers or utilities, all the government and planning hold ups to long distance transmission can be avoided.

    Ed
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2016
     
    Posted By: atomicbisfThe advantage of economic storage though would be that placing the responsibility in hands of consumers or utilities, all the government and planning hold ups to long distance transmission can be avoided.


    I think in the USA the areas with lots of wind are not where the power is needed, so the HVDC links are still needed even if you have economic storage.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2016
     
    Indeed and the same is true even somewhere as small as the UK. It would help us if the cost of the converters came down.

    I'm glad the Murricans seem to be getting on with at least one of the HVDC lines.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2016 edited
     
    The Keystone XL pipeline can shift 700,000 barrels of oil a day, that is 1,139,740 MWh/day, which is 1.14 PWh/day, an amount of energy I cannot imagine.
    The best estimate of the cost I can quickly find is $8bn, so assuming it can last 40 years, that is about $0.5/MWh.
    I have no idea how much they pay in the USA to transmit electricity, and I know that comparing oil from a few sources to even fewer refineries is not the same as transmitting power from a few windfarms to many homes, but I suspect that the economics of DC transmission do not stack up too well at the moment (this does not take into account external costs), but it is food for thought.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2016
     
    Posted By: SteamyTeaI suspect that the economics of DC transmission do not stack up too well

    Don't stack up too well as opposed to what? AC transmission? Vans full of batteries? Wind farms in low-wind areas?
  3.  
    Posted By: SteamyTeaThe Keystone XL pipeline

    Which has an impressively long 'controversies' section at:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_Pipeline#Keystone_XL_controversies
    • CommentAuthorwookey
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2016 edited
     
    Posted By: SteamyTeawhich is 1.14 PWh/day


    You added 3 zeros I think. Should be TWh. (Still a lot, but 1000 times less a lot)
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2016 edited
     
    Posted By: wookeyYou added 3 zeros I think. Should be TWh. (Still a lot, but 1000 times less a lot)
    Well spotted, still an unimaginable amount.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2016
     
    1.14 TWh/day = 47.5 GW. Similar to UK winter electricity peaks.

    Your homework is to calculate the number of watts delivered by a normal car filling station petrol or diesel nozzle.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2016 edited
     
    Ten gallons in 3 minutes, so that will be 100 kWh/0.05h
    2000kW

    edit:
    After going to bed when it is still light, I think I made a mistake.
    10 gallons is 45.4 lt, or about 450 kWh.
    So that should be a power of 9080 kW.
    I hate doing exhibitions, it is so tiring just standing around.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2016
     
    Yes, though been meaning to time fuelling - I guessed 70 litres in 2 minutes so got a slightly higher number. Whatever, 2 MW is not a small amount of power. A decent size onshore wind turbine (though there are quite a few bigger ones now). Hinckley C could only fuel 1600 cars simultaneously at that rate.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2016
     
    Sounds like the future will be without cars eventually.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2016 edited
     
    tony opined: "Sounds like the future will be without cars eventually."

    I liked Tom F's post about bicycles and efficiency.

    edit: here: http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=14281&page=3#Item_7
    • CommentAuthoratomicbisf
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2016 edited
     
    Posted By: SteamyTeaThe Keystone XL pipeline can shift 700,000 barrels of oil a day, that is 1,139,740 MWh/day, which is 1.14 PWh/day, an amount of energy I cannot imagine.
    The best estimate of the cost I can quickly find is $8bn, so assuming it can last 40 years, that is about $0.5/MWh.
    I have no idea how much they pay in the USA to transmit electricity, and I know that comparing oil from a few sources to even fewer refineries is not the same as transmitting power from a few windfarms to many homes, but I suspect that the economics of DC transmission do not stack up too well at the moment (this does not take into account external costs), but it is food for thought.


    The paper shows that the costs of HVDC transmission are low enough that electricity prices can be reduced by transmitting the cheapest types of power (Eg onshore wind in the US) long distances rather than relying on closer but more expensive ones. Which is why the model they produced had hardly any offshore wind.

    It's also worth noting that the longest current HVDC project is 2375 km long (Brazil's Rio Madeira link) which is more than the distance from the UK to southern Spain, Sicily or the Black Sea coast.

    The authors argue that the obstacles are not economic but to do with planning and government. Just as say the US interstate system might be a highly economic means of transport but would not have been built without a lot of government intervention.

    Ed
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2016
     
    The first response from a Google search for “hvdc transmission cost” is:

    http://electrical-engineering-portal.com/analysing-the-costs-of-high-voltage-direct-current-hvdc-transmission

    which says, for a 2 GW line:

    “For the HVDC transmission a bipolar OH line was assumed with a price per km of 250 kUSD/km, converter stations are estimated to 250 MUSD.”

    The existing Keystone (not Keystone XL) pipeline phases I, II and III are 3456. 468 and 784 km respectively.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_Pipeline

    So the cost of one the same length as the Keystone pipeline would be:

    >>> cost = ((3456+468+784) * 250e3 + 250e6)
    >>> cost
    1427000000.0

    I.e., 1.427 billion US dollars.

    Assuming it, too, lasts 40 years then it would transmit:

    >>> energy = 2e9 * 24 * 365.25 * 40 / 1e6
    >>> energy
    701280000.0

    Megawatt-hours.

    So cost per megawatt-hour is:

    >>> cost/energy
    2.034850558977869

    Just over four times Steamy's calculated cost of energy transmission for Keystone XL.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2016
     
    I suppose one difference is that pumped crude is not very useful, whereas HV electricity is.
    I know that they can convert about 50 to 55% of a barrel to diesel or gasoline, then aviation and bunker fuel and some very high value plastics/pharmaceuticals.
    So in a way it may well be comparable in price once transport from the refinery to the final distribution hub has taken place (this is often piped as well).

    Don't get me wrong, I am all for electrification, especially if it is transmitting power from renewable sources.

    Anyone fancy looking at the cost of piping natural gas?
    (I am still exhibiting and working evenings this week and suffered from a touch of heat fatigue tonight)
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2016
     
    Posted By: SteamyTeaI suppose one difference is that pumped crude is not very useful, whereas HV electricity is.

    It's also quite difficult to make the crude in a renewable, sustainable way in the first place! :devil:

    There's no point comparing apples and hammers.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2016
     
    Posted By: SteamyTeaI suppose one difference is that pumped crude is not very useful, whereas HV electricity is.
    I don't think there is a difference, really. $0.50 or $2.03 are both a tiny percentage of the value of the MWh - something like $50.

    Also, 4700 km is a bit extreme. From Tunisia (Casablanca - which might have some sun) to Glasgow (which might have a bit less) is 2830 km following a plausible route via Gibraltar, Madrid, the western end of the Pyrenees, Paris, Dover, London giving a cost per MWh of $1.37 or about £0.01/kWh. Could easily see that allowing PV in southern Europe be cheaper than coal, or even gas, in Scotland.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2016
     
    We have to forget about PV and think about wind,wave,tide as we need power over night. PV is great for reducing the usage of quick response gas generators, but will never provide the base load without a lot of storage.

    The HVDC links may work well in the USA, as the wind is always blowing in some part of the USA.

    A HVDC link from Norway to the south of England would make good sense, as it would allow usage of their hydro power, then add PV, so we are not using up the hydro water on bright summer days. But even then, it may be cheaper to put more hydro in Norway, then to put the PV in England.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2016
     
    Do they like electric cars in Norway because they will quickly automatically defrost all the windows and warm up the car before the driver even gets into the car?

    (Their tax policies that make electric cars as cheap to buy as a IC, may also be helping…, e.g bribe people to have them. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36402942)
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2016 edited
     
    Posted By: ringiWe have to forget about PV and think about wind,wave,tide as we need power over night. PV is great for reducing the usage of quick response gas generators, but will never provide the base load without a lot of storage.
    Posted By: fostertomThe size of always-on national (or worldwide) battery bank that EVs will v soon represent, will make peaky renewable dispersed generation a complete non-problem v soon
    Also an end to mega-project interconnectors as 'there's always wind somewhere' substitute for local storage.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2016
     
    Posted By: fostertomAlso an end to mega-project interconnectors as 'there's always wind somewhere' substitute for local storage.

    Mega HVDC interconnectors are an essential part of the future, so better get used to them. Local storage may or may not be, I don't think we know yet.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2016
     
    Posted By: djhThere's no point comparing apples and hammers.
    Energy is energy to a certain extent. As I mentioned earlier, it does not take into account external costs.

    The planet is quite capable of producing new crude (doing it now) without our help, it is just the timescale and the rate we withdraw from storage it that we think is a bit strange. But all that is a diversion.

    As Ed quite rightly points out, as a fraction of the total value, transport is very low.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2016
     
    Posted By: SteamyTea
    Posted By: djhThere's no point comparing apples and hammers.
    Energy is energy to a certain extent. As I mentioned earlier, it does not take into account external costs.

    Yes, energy is energy. But we're not talking about energy, we're talking about, in your words, "the economics of DC transmission" and you have to compare it against something comparable to be able to say whether it is expensive. Transporting oil is not comparable - you just get a large puddle of oil at the end.

    The planet is quite capable of producing new crude (doing it now) without our help, it is just the timescale and the rate we withdraw from storage it that we think is a bit strange. But all that is a diversion.

    No, the rate that we withdraw it from storage is not a diversion, it's the main event.
    • CommentAuthoratomicbisf
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2016
     
    I think the point of the study was to show that using today's technologies (wind, solar, Hvdc transmission) it is already possible to mostly decarbonise the electricity supply affordably. It doesn't depend on any future technological breakthroughs, which is important given the urgency of the problem. Also they point out that abundant and affordable electricity could help drive the decarbonisation of other sectors of the economy such as transport.

    Ed

    Btw am I the only one who can't use the quote function at the moment?
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2016
     
    Posted By: SteamyTeaThe planet is quite capable of producing new crude (doing it now)
    Interesting you subscribe to that theory - or is it proven? I hope so. Does it knock out the idea that oil is compressed vegetation, like coal?
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2016
     
    Posted By: atomicbisfI think the point of the study was to show that using today's technologies (wind, solar, Hvdc transmission) it is already possible to mostly decarbonise the electricity supply affordably.
    That was the same point that was made at the end of 'An Inconvenient Truth'.
    It just comes down to price and will.

    Posted By: fostertomInteresting you subscribe to that theory - or is it proven? I hope so. Does it knock out the idea that oil is compressed vegetation, like coal?
    Oil is just compressed and heated vegetation with homoepathic quantities of animal. So some those bits floating in the Pacific and Atlantic that get subducted down into the Earth's crust may turn into new crude oil. Take a while mind. This can be thought of as a natural sequestration.

    Posted By: djhwe're talking about, in your words, "the economics of DC transmission" and you have to compare it against something comparable to be able to say whether it is expensive. Transporting oil is not comparable
    You really will have to explain that a bit more as to my mind I am happy to stick the laws of energy conservation.
    As for the economics, or the management of scarcity, you have to compare it against all possible energy technologies, not just say AC transmission or local chemical storage.
   
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