WORLD AND US TOTAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION

World energy consumption is projected to increase to 736 quads in 2040 from 575 quads in 2015, an increase of 28%, according to the latest International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017) from the US Energy Information Administration.

 

Most of this growth is expected to come from countries that are not in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, and especially from countries where demand is driven by strong economic growth, particularly in Asia.

 

Non-OECD Asia, which includes China and India, accounted for more than 60% of the world’s total increase in energy consumption from 2015 through 2040.

 

PARIS AGREEMENTS

 

China, India, and other developing Asian countries, and Africa, and Middle and South America need to use low-cost energy, such as coal, to be competitive.

 

They would not have signed up for “Paris”, if they had not been allowed to be more or less EXEMPT from the Paris agreements

 

NOTE: Obama agreed to commit the US to the Paris agreements, i.e., be subject to its financial and other obligations for decades.

However, he never submitted the commitment to the US Senate for ratification, as required by the US Constitution. Trump rescinded the commitment. It became effective 3 years later, one day after the US presidential elections on November 3, 2020.

 

NOTE: A UN Council would have determined a level of spending, say $500 billion/y, to be allocated by UN bureaucrats, to save the world from climate change. It would have assessed all members, likely in proportion to their GDPs. The non-OECD countries would continue to be more or less exempt from the Paris agreements. The US would have been assessed for more than $150 billion/y!

 

WORLD POPULATION AND PROSPERITY

 

It is very difficult, and expensive, to reduce world energy consumption, and associated CO2, with a growing world population, that requires a growing world economy to spread increased prosperity to more and more people.

   

It took 28 years to increase renewables from 7.0% in 1990 to 10.7% in 2018, requiring about $5.6 TRILLION, at an average investment of about $200 billion per year.

 

It would take 32 years to increase renewables from 10.7% in 2018 to 50% in 2050, requiring at least $49.5 TRILLION, at an average investment of at least $1.5 TRILLION per year.

CO2 REDUCTIONS OF WIND AND SOLAR ARE MUCH LESS THAN CLAIMED

 

Whereas world and US renewables goals may be partially achieved by 2050, CO2 reductions would be significantly less than claimed by wind proponents.

 

If gas turbine power plants perform the peaking, filling-in and balancing, to counteract variable, intermittent wind and solar on the grid, they would operate at varying outputs (less efficient), and lower-than-normal outputs (less efficient), and have more frequent start/stops (less efficient).

 

Less efficient means: 1) more Btu/kWh, 2) more CO2/kWh, and 3) more wear and tear, and 4) more grid augmentation/expansion/storage.

 

The more wind and solar on the grid, the more extreme the output variations, and the more frequent the start/stops.

Ireland Wind System CO2 Reduction

Increasing wind and solar does not reduce CO2 as much as proponents are claiming.

The EPA, EIA and wind proponents use the one-to-one principle.

If one MWh of wind is added, they claim the US grid CO2 of one MWh is reduced, i.e., a net reduction of 449 kg/MWh, grid - 40 kg/MWh, wind = 409 kg/MWh.
https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=74&t=11

However, that MWh of wind causes disturbances, which the OTHER generators have to deal with 24/7/365.

Those generators have more CO2/MWh, because they:

1) Have to operate at part load, say 75%, to be able to ramp up 25% and ramp down 25%, in case of gas-fired CCGT plants to counteract the variations of wind and solar.
2) Have more frequent start/stops.
3) Have more MW of plant in synchronous mode, i.e., hot standby.
4) Have more wear and tear.
5) And wind requires more grid augmentation/expansion, which releases CO2 to implement and operate.

6) And wind requires detailed weather and wind forecasting, which releases CO2 to implement and operate.

On the Irish grid:

With 17% wind, CO2 was reduced not 17%, but only 0.526 x 17% = 8.94%, per Dr. Wheatley
With 22% wind, CO2 was reduced not 22%, but only 0.320 x 22% = 7.04%, per Dr. Mearns

The more wind electricity trying to disturb the grid, the less efficient the other generators that have to counteract the variations of wind electricity.

Gas Imports Consumed by Ireland Power Sector: When imported gas consumption by the Ireland power sector was not sufficiently reduced with increased wind, the Irish government held an inquiry.

Eirgrid, the grid operator for all of Ireland, under oath, finally had to admit, what had been obvious from its own 15-minute, real-time grid operating data.

In the appendix are three articles that explain in detail the less-than-claimed CO2 reduction of wind electricity on the electric grid.

 

NOTE: US CO2 emissions from electricity generation are down to 1980 levels, mostly due to fracked gas, and wind and solar, replacing coal. It is likely the CO2 reductions are overstated by the EPA and the EIA.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/11/11/eia-us-co2-emissions-from-el...

 

NOTE: Some people claim utility-scale battery systems could take the place of combined-cycle, gas-turbine, CCGT, plants.

However, the batteries would add a significant cost to the cost of any electricity passing through the batteries, as explained in this article.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/economics-of-tesla-powe...

WORLD TOTAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION

 

The below graph, in exajoules, shows world total energy consumption from 1850, with about 1.26 billion people, to 2018, with about 7.63 billion people. The more people and economic growth, the more energy is required.

https://ourworldindata.org/world-population-growth#how-is-the-globa...

 

1 exajoule = 0.9478 quad

1 quad = 1.055 exajoules =10^15 Btu

World total energy consumption in 1990 (Kyoto): coal, 96,6 quads; gas, 75.1 quads; oil, 136.5 quads; nuclear, 21.4 quads; renewables, 24.8 quads, a total of 354.5 quads.

 

Renewables were: hydro; wind/solar, other renewables, biomass, mostly wood

 

Renewables were 24.8/354.6 = 7.0% of the total world energy

 

World total energy consumption in 2018: coal, 163.8 quads; gas, 136.7 quads; oil, 194.8 quads; nuclear 24.2 quads; renewables, 62.4 quads, a total of 581.9 quads.

 

Renewables were 62.4/581.9 = 10.7% of total world energy in 2018. See table 1

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

 

https://www.eia.gov/international/data/world/total-energy/total-ene...

 

Table 1/World total energy consumption

 Coal

Gas

Oil

Nuclear

Renewables

Total

1990

96.6

75.1

136.5

21.4

24.8

354.5

2018

163.8

136.7

194.8

24.2

62.4

581.9

Renewables Growth Rate for 1990 – 2018, and 2018 - 2050

 

There were 24.8 quads of RE in 1990, which became 62.4 quads in 2018, due to growing at 3.35%/y, compounded.

 

EIA projected 736 quads of total world energy in 2040.

I assumed it would be 800 quads in 2050, based on extrapolation.

 

If renewables would become 400 quads in 2050, 50% of total world energy, the compound growth rate would have to be 6.0%/y from 2018 to 2050, 32 years.

 

Most of the world population of the world has contributed, and likely would continue to contribute, very little to that growth rate, i.e., most of the burden would be on a small part of the world population, including the US people.

 

Old Burden

The burden was minimal in 1990, but grew to about $282.2 billion in 2018. See note.

The old burden required increasing RE from 24.8 quads in 1990 to 62.4 quads in 2018, an increase of 37.6 quads over 28 years, or an average of 1.34 quads/y.

 

New Burden

The new burden would require increasing RE from 62.4 quads in 2018 to 400 quads in 2050, an increase of 337.6 quads over 32 years, or an average of 10.55 quads/y.

The ratio of new burden/old burden would be 7.87, which would require a much greater level of annual capital cost

In addition, capital cost would be required to replace short-life systems, such as heat pumps, EVs, batteries, etc.

Also, as more and more quads are added to prior levels, adding quads becomes more difficult, and expensive.

NOTE: The advantage on net-zero buildings and energy-surplus buildings is their long-term, reduced use of energy, during the life of the buildings.

The mantra should be: “Build energy-efficient and build to last a long time”.

 

NOTE: Presently there exists no standard way to verify the CO2 emissions and RE build-out claims of various countries! The opportunities for cheating/fudging are endless.

 

NOTE: World renewable energy spending was more than $2.5 TRILLION for 2010-2019, an average of $250 billion/y

World RE spending was about $282.2 billion in 2019.

I assumed it was 280 billion in 2020, i.e., less, due to COVID

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/global-clean-energy-investme...

Table 2

World Total Energy

 Fossil

Nuclear

 Renewables

 Renewables

Old Burden

quad

quad

quad

quad

%

1990

354.5

308.2

21.4

24.8

7.0

2018

581.9

495.3

24.2

62.4

10.7

Growth, %

64

61

13

152

Growth rate

3.35%/y

New Burden

2018

581.9

495.3

24.2

62.4

10.7

2050

800.0

370.0

30.0

400.0

50.0

Growth, %

37.5

-25.3

24.0

541.0

Growth rate

6.0%/y

 

US TOTAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION

 

The below graph, in quads, shows US total energy consumption was 100.2 quads in 2019.

Coal, oil and gas were 11 + 37 + 32 = 80% of total energy consumption

RE was 11.4/100.2 = 11.4% of total energy consumption, of which wind and solar were (9 + 24) x 0.11 = 3.63% of the total

Biofuels is mostly ethanol from corn.

US total energy consumption in 1990 (Kyoto): fossil (coal, oil, gas) 72.3 quads; nuclear 6.1 quads; renewables 6.0 quads, a total of 84.4 quads

 

Renewables were: hydro; wind/solar, other renewables, biomass, mostly wood

 

Renewables were 6.0/84.4 = 6.0% of the total world energy in 1990.

 

US total energy consumption in 2018: fossil (coal, oil, gas) 81.3 quads; nuclear 8.4 quads; renewables 11.4 quads, a total of 101.1 quads

 

Renewables were 11.4/101.2 = 11.2% of the total world energy in 2018. See table 1A.

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

https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/fossil-fuel...

https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/browser/index.php?tbl=T01.03#/...

Table 1A/US total energy consumption

 Fossils

Nuclear

Renewables

Total

1990

72.3

6.1

6.0

84.4

2018

81.3

8.4

11.4

101.1

Renewables Growth Rate for 1990 – 2018, and 2018 - 2050

 

There were 6.0 quads of RE in 1990, which became 11.4 quads in 2018, due to growing at 2.32%/y, compounded.

 

I assumed US total energy would be 120 quads in 2050, based on increased use of EVs and heat pumps

 

If renewables would become 60 quads in 2050, 50% of total US energy, the compound growth would have to be 5.33%/y from 2018 to 2050, 32 years.

 

Old Burden

The burden was minimal in 1990, but grew to about $55 billion in 2018.

The old burden required increasing RE from 6.0 quads in 1990 to 11.4 quads in 2018, an increase of 5.4 quads over 28 years, or an average of 0.193 quads/y.

 

New Burden

The new burden would require increasing RE from 11.4 quads in 2018 to 60 quads in 2050, an increase of 49.6 quads over 32 years, or an average of 1.55 quads/y.

 

The ratio of new burden/old burden would be 8.03, which would require a much greater level of annual capital cost

In addition, capital cost would be required to replace short-life systems, such as heat pumps, EVs, batteries, etc.

Also, as more and more quads are added to prior levels, adding quads becomes more difficult, and expensive.

 

NOTE: The advantage on net-zero buildings and energy-surplus buildings is their long-term, reduced use of energy, during the life of the buildings.

The mantra should be: “Build energy-efficient and build to last a long time”.

Table 2A

US Total Energy

 Fossil

Nuclear

 Renewables

 Renewables

Old Burden

quad

quad

quad

quad

%

1990

84.4

72.3

6.1

6.0

7..1

2018

101.1

81.3

8.4

11.4

11.2

Growth, %

16.5

11.1

27.4

47.4

Growth rate

2.32%/y

New Burden

2018

101.1

81.3

8.4

11.4

11.2

2050

120.0

48.0

12.0

60.0

50.0

Growth, %

15.8

-69.4

30.0

81.0

Growth rate

 

 

5.33%/y

 

Here is a graph of US primary energy consumption from 1949 to 2019

 

Download Table 1.1 Primary energy overview. It tabulates monthly and annual US primary energy production and consumption from 1949 to 2019

https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/

Here is a graph using the same data, but as percentages of US total primary energy consumption from 1949 - 2019.

 

Fossil fuels were 91% in 1949, 80% in 2019, SEVENTY YEARS LATER

Renewables were 9% in 1949, 11% in 2019, SEVENTY YEARS LATER

 

The graph shows fossils started to decrease in 1970, as nuclear increased.

After 2000, nuclear remained nearly unchanged, but RE (mostly heavily-subsidized wind and solar) increased, which further decreased fossils.

 

Despite an “investment” of about $380 billion from 2004 – 2015, renewables energy consumption increased by only 3.6 quads.

That is equivalent to 380 x 10^9/(3.6 x 10^15) =  $105.56 per million Btu

 

https://acore.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Increasing-Investment-...

https://ourworldindata.org/renewable-energy

 

If it were possible to instantaneously replace fossil fuels with renewables, at $105.56/million Btu, it would cost just under $8.5 TRILLION to replace 80.4 quads of fossil fuels.

 

Replacing US Fossil Fuels

 

Biden, et al, want to replace US fossils with renewables by 2035, or 2050, “at the latest”

Spending would have to instantaneously increase from:

 

- About $55 billion in 2020 to $8500/15 = $567 BILLION on January 20, 2021, and continue at that level for 15 years, if 2035

- About $55 billion in 2020 to $8500/30 = $283 BILLION on January 20, 2021, and continue at that level for 30 years, if 2050

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/us-hit-record-555b-renewables-inve...

 

Replacing World Fossil Fuels

 

The US primary energy consumption in 2019 was 100.4 quads, which was only 17% of world total primary energy.

Worldwide spending to replace fossil fuels would be at least 5 times greater than the US.

Spending would have to instantaneously increase from:

 

- About $280 billion in 2020 to 5 x 0.567 = $2.835 TRILLION on January 20 2021, and continue at that level for 15 years, if 2035

- About $280 billion in 2020 to 5 x 0.283 = $1.415 TRILLION* on January 20, 2021, and continue at that level for 30 years, if 2050

* Similar to my above estimate of $1.5 TRILLION/y.

Battery Capacity, MWh, for Wind and Solar Systems

Each wind turbine system and solar system would require a battery installation, because of a lack of sufficient gas-fired power plant capacity for peaking, filling-in and balancing.

 

Battery capacity to serve the US and world electric grids would be hundreds of TWh, as delivered to the HV grid.

Elon Musk would supply those batteries?

 

NOTE: In the real world, US and world spending would be ramping up for 5 to 10 years, to reach the necessary levels.

Also, as more and more quads are added to prior levels, adding quads becomes more difficult, and expensive.

 

NOTE: The above US and world capital costs do not include:

 

1) The cost of financing

2) The capital cost to replace short-life systems, such as heat pumps, EVs, batteries, etc., prior to 2050

3) Recycling the wind turbines, and solar panels and EV batteries

4) The cost to the earth’s surface covered by all these things to provide 50% of world total energy consumption by renewables, for 10 billion people, in 2050.

 

NOTE: World renewable energy spending was more than $2.5 TRILLION for 2010-2019, an average of $250 billion/y

World RE spending was about $282.2 billion in 2019.

I assumed it was 280 billion in 2020, i.e., less due to COVID

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/global-clean-energy-investme...

SOURCE ENERGY AND UPSTREAM ENERGY

 

Source energy: Taken from coal and uranium mines, oil and gas wells, forests, corn-for-ethanol farms, etc.

 

Primary energy: About 10% of primary energy (US average) is consumed for extraction, cropping, processing, transport and distribution to end users, such as electric power plants, transportation, industrial, residential and commercial.

The 10% is usually called upstream energy.

 

Upstream energy: Measured as a percent of primary energy, because it takes primary energy to obtain the source energy.

 

Some energy sources require very high upstream energy and have high upstream CO2.

Almost all energy and CO2 analyses ignore upstream energy.

As a result, they understate CO2 emissions.

Here are some high upstream energy sources with high upstream CO2:

 

- Natural gas, primarily from fracking, about 17% of the combustion CO2 needs to be added

- Pure gasoline from petroleum about 25% of the combustion CO2 needs to be added

- Pure diesel from petroleum about 27% of the combustion CO2 needs to be added 

- Pure biodiesel from soy oil about 43% of the combustion CO2 needs to be added

- Pure ethanol-from-corn about 106.6% of the combustion CO2 needs to be added

 

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=41093

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/us-energy-facts/

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/source-energy-and-prim...

NEW ENGLAND WIND/SOLAR POLICIES ARE UNSUSTAINABLE

 

New England has:

 

- The highest electric rates in the US

- Mediocre wind and solar conditions.

- Wind and solar simultaneously near zero almost every morning and evening

- Wind/solar lulls throughout the year. Some of these lulls last up to 7 days. See URL

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-vagaries-of-solar-...

 

Based on the above, it is beyond rational for New England to have any carbon taxes, and solar panels, and wind turbines, because they produce expensive electricity, which would act as an additional brake on NE economic growth.

See URL for more information.

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-global-warming-sol...

 

Real Costs of Solar in Vermont

 

Vermont has three major categories of solar

 

NET-METERED solar is charged to the utility rate base at about 21 c/kWh

 

SPECIAL OFFER solar (new, large-scale, field-mounted systems) are charged to the utility rate base at about 11 c/kWh.

SPECIAL OFFER solar (legacy systems) are charged to the utility rate base at about 20 c/kWh; that price is very slowly decreasing, as more 11 c/kWh systems are added to the mix.

 

UTILITY solar (new, large-scale, field-mounted systems) are charged to utility rate base at about 11 c/kWh

UTILITY solar (legacy systems) are charged to the utility rate base at 11 to 20 c/kWh; whatever price is negotiated.

 

Those costs do not include grid augmentation/expansion to connect the solar systems and dealing with the output variations of solar systems, such as daily DUCK-curves.

 

Table 3 shows the prices of solar, before and after subsidies, and before and after cost shifting, in sun-starved New England.

 

Table 3/Vermont & NE sources

Total

Grid support*

Subsidies

Paid to

GMP

 Cost added to

 

Economic Cost

Shifted

Shifted

Owner

Costs

rate base

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered, new

24.7

2.1

5.2

17.4

3.7

20.8

Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered, legacy

25.5

2.1

5.4

18.0

3.7

21.7

Solar, com’l/ind’l, standard offer, new*

22.7

2.1

9.6

11.0

?

11.0

Solar, com’l/ind’l, standard offer, legacy

32.1

2.1

9.3

20.7

?

20.7

Wind, ridge line, new*

18.8

2.4

7.4

9.0

?

9.0

 

* Grid support includes: 1) FORTRESS VERMONT grid extension/augmentation, 2) storage to deal with DUCK-curves, 3) curtailment payments to solar system owners, and 4) traditional generators (mostly gas turbines) counteracting solar output variations, etc.

* Competitive bidding reduced prices paid to owner from 24 – 30 c/kWh to about 11.0 c/kWh

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fortress-vermont-a-mul...

Real Cost of Solar with Battery Systems in Vermont

 

Assume $625/kWh (delivered as AC to the grid) is the turnkey capacity cost of a utility-scale battery storage system, per EIA

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=45596

 

Annual payments would be $53.62/y, or $0.147/kWh per cycle, per day, if amortized at 3.5%/y over the 15-year life of the system.

This is only the cost of the battery system.

There are many other costs, such as for annual operations and maintenance, service contracts, etc.

 

- If DC solar electricity were charged into the battery system, at about 20 c/kWh, the cost at which Vermont net-metered solar is added to the utility rate base (see table 3 in URL), there would be a system loss of about 15%.

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/world-total-energy-con...

 

As a result, the price would become 20/0.85 = 23.5 c/kWh (delivered as AC to the grid), plus at least 14.7 c/kWh for amortizing the battery system, a total of 38.2 c/kWh, charged to the utility rate base.

 

- If AC from the grid were charged into the battery system, at about 5 c/kWh, the NE average wholesale price starting in 2009, courtesy of low-cost nuclear and low-cost natural gas, there would be a system loss of about 20%. See note.

 

As a result, the price would become 5/0.8 = 6.25 c/kWh (delivered as AC to the grid), plus at least 14.7 c/kWh for amortizing the battery system, a total of 20.95 c/kWh, charged to the utility rate base.

 

This compares with a utility buying electricity from owners of existing gas-fired, combined cycle, gas turbine plants, for about 4 to 5 c/kWh, based on current gas prices.

https://www.myamortizationchart.com

 

NOTE: The system loss is measured from grid AC voltage, through the battery, to grid AC voltage.

EAN Solar Build-Out to “Meet Paris”

 

The EAN solar build-out, to “meet Paris” would be from 438.84 MW dc, at end 2019 to at least 1000 MW dc, at end 2025

 

Cost Shifting to Ratepayers: Current cost shifting to ratepayers for solar production of 473,686 MWh, at end 2019, was about $64 million.

The cost shifting would become about $130 million, if solar production were increased by 700,000 MWh during the 2020 – 2025 period, per EAN plan. See table 4 in URL and Appendix

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-global-warming-sol...

 

The increased solar would cause much larger, grid-disturbing, midday DUCK-curves.

See VELCO graph in URL

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-vagaries-of-solar-...

 

Managing DUCK-curves costs money. The costs, about 1.1 c/kWh, are charged to ratepayers

The costs would be much higher, 15 to 20 c/kWh, if battery systems, with about 15-y lives, were involved.

Batteries have a loss of 15 – 20% of any electricity passing through them, on a high-voltage to high-voltage basis.

 

Solar requires significant grid extension/augmentation. The costs, about 1.0 c/kWh, are charged to ratepayers

 

Solar Requires Large Land Areas: A 2.2 MW system requires about 10 acres

It would have an output of about 2.2 x 8766 x 0.145 = 2,796 MWh of weather-dependent, season-dependent, variable electricity, with daily DUCK-curves.

 

The EAN solar build-out would require 700000/2796 = 250 of such systems on 2,500 acres spread-out all over Vermont, at end 2025.

The turnkey capital cost would be 250 x 2.2 x 3.5 million/MW = $1.928 BILLION.

The systems would last about 25 years.

 

Solar is the most expensive electricity on the Vermont grid.

Build-outs of solar benefit mostly Chinese companies.

It would not be smart policy to have more of it.

 

Solar Compared with a Gas-Turbine Power Plant

 

- A 500-MW, combined-cycle, 60%-efficient, gas plant would require only 10 acres

- It would have an output of about 500 x 8766 x 0.80 = 3,506,400 MWh of steady electricity, 24/7/365, that is not weather-dependent, not season-dependent.

- The capital cost would be about $500 million.

- The plant would last about 40 years.

- The output would be about 1,254 times greater from the same land area, i.e., about 12,540 acres of solar panels, located all over Vermont, would be required to equal the electricity production of one 500 MW CCGT plant.

- The CO2 related to: 1) making the solar systems and installing them, 2) disturbing the ground, 3) augmenting/extending the grid, and 4) dealing with DUCK-curves, would be enormous.

 

NOTE: NE grid wholesale prices have been about 5 c/kWh starting in 2009, courtesy of low-cost, clean-burning, low-CO2 gas, and near-CO2-free nuclear.

 

NOTE: GMP buys nuclear from the Seabrook Nuclear plant to artificially/politically lower its CO2, on “paper”, without spending a dime to really reduce CO2.

 

Real Costs of Wind in Vermont

 

Wind produces expensive, weather-dependent, season-dependent, variable, grid disturbing electricity.

Ridgeline wind electricity is charged to the utility rate base at about 9.0 c/kWh, fixed price for 20 years.

 

Wind requires significant grid extension/augmentation. The costs, about 1.5 c/kWh, are charged to ratepayers

 

Wind requires the traditional generators to vary their outputs to counteract the variations of wind, 24/7/365. The costs, about 0.9 c/kWh, are charged to ratepayers.

 

Build-outs of wind turbines, onshore and offshore, benefit mostly European companies.

 

A MORE RATIONAL ENERGY POLICY FOR NEW ENGLAND

 

New England should focus on:

 

1) Energy efficiency,

2) Net-zero energy buildings and energy-surplus buildings, and

3) High-mileage vehicles.

That would greatly decrease costs and CO2 of households and businesses, and make the New England economy much more competitive.

 

PROGNOSIS

 

The fact remains, the WORLD is not making sufficient RE efforts.

It would take at least a decade to set that in motion on a world-wide basis.

At present, about 70% of the world population make minimal CO2 reduction efforts, per Paris Agreements

Global warming is a WORLD problem, with a growing population that is aiming to have more prosperity.

 

Vermont, New England and the US could make major RE efforts, a la AOC, Bernie, Biden, etc., but they would not make one iota of difference.

APPENDIX 1

HEAT PUMP FANTASY

I have three 24,000 Btu heat pumps in my well-insulated/well-sealed, 34-y-old, 3500 sq ft house, which I designed and built. 

Turnkey capital cost was $24,000, less $2,400 rebate from GMP. 

 

My numbers show, there is absolutely no way the system will EVER pay compared to my propane system, unless a very high tax/gallon of propane were applied.

 

About 85% of Vermont households live in energy-hog houses/apartments/condos.

Heat pumps would be totally unsuited/uneconomical for such houses, even after they were “weatherized” at about $10,000 each.

They would be money losers for the owners, as shown by my various articles, based on actual operating data.

It would require a “deep” retrofit, at least $30,000 each, to make them suitable/economical for heat pumps. See URLs

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-global-warming-sol....

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-co2-reduction-o...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-co2-reduction-o...

APPENDIX 2

The Irish Power System is very similar to the New England Power System.

Both have a major component of gas power plants. 

Ireland has a major component of wind turbines, because it has very good winds.

New England has a minor component of wind turbines, largely because it has mediocre winds.

New England is planning to have a major component of offshore wind turbines. Almost nothing has been built

 

The below article shows, if New England had a major component of wind turbines, and if gas turbines were used for peaking, filling-in and balancing, the efficiency of the gas turbines would deteriorate, i.e., more fuel/kWh, more CO2/kWh, to result in only a few percent of CO2 reduction of the entire New England power system

Read the article to learn the details.

 

ISO-NE should take note, because the CO2 reduction, due to adding wind electricity to the grid, is not nearly as much as wind proponents have been proclaiming, especially at higher wind energy percentages planned for the future by Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

WIND TURBINES REDUCING VERY LITTLE CO2 IN THE ENTIRE IRISH POWER SYSTEM

https://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wind-energy-in-the-irish-power...

 

This article describes the influence of wind energy on the CO₂ output of the fossil-fired generation of electricity in Ireland. Where most available publications on this subject are based on models, the study makes use of real-time production data. It is shown that in absence of hydro energy, the CO₂ production of the conventional generators increases with wind energy penetration. The data show the reduction of CO₂ emissions is, at most, a few percent, if gas fired generation is used for balancing a 30% share of wind energy.

 

That study is quite revealing.

 

Regarding electricity, the wind proponents say, one kWh of wind displaces one kWh of traditional, which is true.

 

But regarding CO2, the story is quite different. In the Irish power system, the CO2 reduction due to wind, based on 15-minute, real-time grid operating data, showed:

 

12% wind decreased CO2/kWh by 4% for the ENTIRE IRISH SYSTEM

28% wind decreased CO2/kWh by 1%

30% wind decreased CO2/kWh by 3%

34% wind decreased CO2/kWh by 6%

 

The percentage depends on which gas plants are performing the filling-in, peaking and balancing; some are more efficient than others.   

 

Since the date of the study, based on 2011 data, several similar studies, by prominent scientists in the Netherlands and Ireland, were presented to EirGrid and the EU in Brussels, Belgium.

 

Initially, the EirGrid and EU reactions (as part of a united front) was silence, then denial.

Eirgrid claimed the CO2 reduction was not that little.

 

After the Irish government gas import statistics showed gas consumption by the Irish power system had not sufficiently decreased with increased wind, there was a government inquiry.

Eirgrid, under oath, had to admit the truth. Brussels, true to form, never admitted anything.

 

As a “remedy”, Ireland has installed increased-capacity connections with the much larger UK grid and French grid, thanks to generous EU subsidies.

 

The Irish wind energy disturbances would be buried in the noise of the three power systems; no one would be able to analyze anything.

That is similar to the mantra: “Dilution is the solution for pollution”.

 

NOTE: France, which has been providing the UK with electricity when winds in the UK are insufficient, just threatened the UK, no more electricity from France, unless the UK yields fishing rights. A French welcome to BREXIT.

APPENDIX 3

FUEL AND CO2 REDUCTIONS DUE TO WIND ENERGY LESS THAN CLAIMED    

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fuel-and-co2-reduction...

Ireland’s Power System: Eirgrid, the operator of the grid, publishes ¼-hour data regarding CO2 emissions, wind electricity production, fuel consumption and total electricity generation. Drs. Udo and Wheatley made several analyses, based on operating data of the Irish grid in 2012 and earlier, that show the effectiveness of CO2 emission reduction is decreasing with increasing annual wind electricity percentages on the grid.

 

Wheatley Study of the Irish Power System

http://docs.wind-watch.org/Wheatley-Ireland-CO2.pdf

According to Wheatley, the CO2 reduction efficacy of wind energy = (CO2 intensity, metric ton/MWh, with wind)/(CO2 intensity with no wind) = (0.279, @ 17% wind)/(0.530, @ no wind) = 0.526, based on ¼-hour, operating data of each generator connected to the Irish grid, as collected by SEMO.

 

Wind proponents claim: If 17% wind, the CO2 reduction is 17%, i.e., efficacy is 100%, or at most slightly less than 100%.

However, real-time gas turbine plant operating data, and grid operating data, showed:

If 17% wind, the CO2 reduction is 0.526 x 17% = 8.94%, i.e., a little better than 50%

 

Ireland had an island grid with a minor connection with the UK grid until October 2012. All the wind energy disturbances have to be dealt within Ireland. As a result, Ireland provides an ideal case for demonstrating the lack of CO2 reduction due to wind energy.

 

Providing the Irish grid with additional connections to the much larger UK and French grids (which have much lower percent wind on their grids) merely makes Irish wind energy variations disappear in the noise of the data.

 

- What applied to the Irish grid would apply to the New England grid as well; it also has minor connections to nearby grids.

- Europe is stuck with mostly gas turbine balancing, as it does not have nearly enough hydro plant capacity with storage.

http://www.theenergycollective.com/willem-post/2389832/german-renew...

 

Natural Gas and CO2 Reductions Less Than Claimed, per Wheatley's study

 

No Wind; Turbine efficiency = 50%; Production = 100 kWh

Required gas = 100 x 3413/0.5 = 682,600 Btu

Emitted CO2 = 682600 x 117/1000000 = 79.864 lb.

 

If 17% wind, wind proponents claim:

Required gas = (100 – 17) x 3413/0.50 = 566,558 Btu

Emitted CO2 = 566558 x 117/1000000 = 66.287 lb

CO2 reduction = 79.864 - 66.287 = 13.577 lb

 

If 17% wind, real-time grid operating data shows:

CO2 reduction = 13.577 x 0.526 (see Wheatley URL) = 7.142 lb

Remaining CO2 = 79.864 – 7.142 = 72.722 lb CO2.

Required gas = 72.722/(117/1000000) = 621560 Btu

Turbine efficiency = (100 – 17) x 3413/621560 = 0.4558, if producing 83 kWh with 621,560Btu of gas,

Turbine efficiency reduction = 100 x (1 – 0.4558/0.50) = 8.85%.

 

NOTE: The above calculations are for generating 100 kWh, for demonstration purposes.

Ireland’s turbines produce much more than 100 kWh in a year, but whatever they produce would be at a reduced efficiency. See next section.

 

This means the wind turbines have to operate less efficiently to deal with the variable wind energy.

That leads to a lesser gas and CO2 reductions than claimed by wind proponents.

 

The above bold numbers are summarized in the below table.

 

Ideal World

Gas, Btu

CO2, lb

Turbine Eff., %

No Wind generation

682,600

79.864

0.5000

17% Wind generation

566,558

66.287

0.5000

Claimed Reduction

116,042

13.577

 

Real World

 

 

 

17% Wind generation

621,560

72.722

0.4558

Actual Reduction

61,040

7.142

 

Turbine efficiency reduction

 

 

8.85

 

Lack of CO2 Reduction in 2013

 

The above example was for 100 kWh. However, in 2013, natural gas consumption was 2098 ktoe*/4382 ktoe = 48% of the energy for electricity generation; see SEIA report.

 

This included 2098 x (1 - 1/1.0855) = 171 ktoe for balancing wind, which had a CO2 emission of about 171 x 39653 million Btu/ktoe x 117/million Btu = 791.4 million lb.

 

This was at least 791.4 million lb of CO2 emission reduction that did not take place, because of less efficient operation of the gas turbines.

 

*ktoe means kilo ton oil equivalent

 

Lack of Gas Cost Reduction in 2013:

 

The cost of the gas was about 171 x 39653 million Btu/ktoe x $10/million Btu (2013 price) = $67.6 million.

 

This was at least $67.6 million of gas cost reduction that did not take place, because of less efficient operation of the gas turbines.

 

Cost of Wind Balancing/kWh

 

In 2013, the fuel cost of wind energy balancing was 5,872,100,000 kWh of wind/$67.6 million = 1.152 c/kWh, which would become greater as more wind is added. It is likely there were other costs, such as increased wear and tear.

 

Natural Gas Imports Greater Than Expected

 

Ireland imports its gas. The Irish people had been told building wind would reduce gas imports. When the gas imports were much less reduced than promised, the government made an investigation, which proved the efficiency degradation of the gas turbines.

 

A similar outcome is in store for New England, if it builds out wind on ridgelines and offshore. The laws of physics apply on both sides of the Atlantic. 

 

Irish People Disappointed

 

It must be a real downer for the Irish people, after making the investments to build out wind and despoiling the visuals of much of their beautiful country, to find out the reductions of CO2 emissions and the cost of imported gas, at 17% wind energy, are only about 52.6% of what was promised*, and, as more wind is added, that percentage would decrease even more!!

 

*Not included are the embodied CO2 emissions for build-outs of:

 

1) Flexible generation system adequacy

2) Grid system adequacy

3) Storage system adequacy to accommodate variable wind (and solar)

High percentages of wind (and solar) on a grid could not exist without storage system adequacy. See URL.

http://www.theenergycollective.com/willem-post/2396941/wind-and-sol...

Gas-Turbine Power Plants Support of Wind and Solar Systems 

 

If gas turbine power plants perform the peaking, filling-in and balancing, to counteract variable, intermittent wind and solar on the grid, they would operate at varying outputs (less efficient), and lower-than-normal outputs (less efficient), and have more frequent start/stops (less efficient). Less efficient means: 1) more Btu/kWh, 2) more CO2/kWh, and 3) more wear and tear, and 4) more grid augmentation/expansion/storage.

The more wind and solar on the grid, the more extreme the output variations, and the more frequent the start/stops.

 

Operation becomes unstable below 40%.

Hence, the practical operating limit is about 50%, which limits the ramping range from 50% to 100%.

 

Here is an example showing efficiencies at low outputs.

 

Output

 Efficiency

 

 Output

Efficiency

Simple Cycle

100%

38%

 

40%

26%

Combined Cycle

100%

55%

 

40%

47%

 

http://www.wartsila.com/energy/learning-center/technical-comparison...

http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/89476/wind-energy-co2-em...

http://www.seai.ie/Publications/Statistics_Publications/Energy_in_I...

http://www.clepair.net/Udo20150831-e.html

http://fredudo.home.xs4all.nl/Zwaaipalen/17E_Wind_in_the_Irish_grid...

SUMMARY OF THREE STUDIES

 

Wheatley Study

The Wheatley study showed the efficacy of wind energy regarding CO2 reduction was 52.6%, at 17% wind penetration

 

Wind turbine proponents claim: If 17% wind, the CO2 reduction is 17%, i.e., the efficacy is 100%, or slightly less than 100%.

However, Wheatley’s study, based on EirGrid real-time grid operating data, shows: If 17% wind, the CO2 reduction is 0.526 x 17% = 8.94%, i.e., a little better than 50%.

 

My calculations yielded a combined-cycle, gas-turbine, CCGT, plant annual average fuel efficiency of 45.58%, at 17% wind penetration.

My assumed efficiency was 50%, at zero wind penetration.

The loss of efficiency was 100 x (1 – 0.4558/0.50) = 8.85%, at 17% wind penetration

 

The Wheatley value of wind efficacy percent regarding CO2 reduction likely is optimistic. See Mearns and Udo studies

http://docs.wind-watch.org/Wheatley-Ireland-CO2.pdf

Euan Mearns study

The 2016 study by Euan Mearns corroborated the loss of CCGT plant efficiency due to increased wind penetration.

 

During 2014 and 2015, average wind penetration was 22%.

The CCGTs produced 575 kg of CO2 per MWh.

The average operating efficiency was 32%, compared with a design specification of 55%.

The CCGT plant average operating efficiency could be 50%, or less.

The loss of efficiency was 100 x (1 – 0.32/0.50) = 36%, at 17% wind penetration

 

The Mearns study showed the efficacy of wind energy regarding CO2 reduction was much less than Wheatley’s 52.6%

http://euanmearns.com/co2-emissions-variations-in-ccgts-used-to-bal...

 

Fred Udo study

The Udo study was for 17% wind penetration.

 

12% wind decreased CO2/kWh by 4% for the ENTIRE IRISH SYSTEM

28% wind decreased CO2/kWh by 1%

30% wind decreased CO2/kWh by 3%

34% wind decreased CO2/kWh by 6%

 

The Udo study showed the efficacy of wind energy regarding CO2 reduction is much less than Wheatley’s 52.6%

 

The Udo study has greater detail regarding gas turbine efficiency during the year

The combustion efficiency of the gas turbines varies at zero wind, depending on which gas turbine plants are in operation; some are more efficient than others.

https://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wind-energy-in-the-irish-power...

 

 

 

 

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Comment by Willem Post on October 27, 2020 at 4:20pm

Eric Tuttle,

You should post this article on Facebook

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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