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  (Source: worldcorrespondents.com)

  (Source: solarenergyfacts.org)
Integrating Renewable Electricity on the Grid report urges for solutions regarding energy storage, long-distance transmission and forecasting

The American Physical Society's Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) has released a report which offers suggestions on what is needed to both establish a national renewable electricity standard as well as merge the divided U.S. grid system. 

The report, Integrating Renewable Electricity on the Grid, provides several recommendations for setting a national renewable electricity standard and linking the fragmented U.S. grid system in an effort to move forward with a broader use of solar and wind power. 

In the report, the POPA suggested that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) should focus on energy storage, since the wind may not always blow and the sun may not always shine. If there is a shortage of electricity to a household, this could hinder their way of life for an uncertain period of time. The development of a strategy for energy storage in grid-level applications would show regulators the benefits that storing energy brings to generation and transmission services on the grid. The POPA also recommends increasing research and development in basic electrochemistry as a way of choosing materials that could be used in the storage devices. In addition, a review of the technological potential of battery chemistries should be conducted to see if they could be applied to grid storage and energy.

"We need to move faster to have storage ready to accommodate, for example, 20 percent of renewable electricity on the grid by 2020," said George Crabtree, co-chairman of the POPA study panel and a senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. "And, by devoting the necessary resources to the problem, I am confident that we can solve it."

Long-distance transmission is another problem facing the grid. The long-distance transmission of electricity from areas that have plenty of wind and sun to areas that do not is a challenge the DOE must overcome. To do so, the POPA suggests accelerating research and development on wide band gap power electronics as a way of controlling power flow on the grid. Creating semiconductor-based circuit breakers at 200 kilovolts and 50 kilo amperes as well as alternating to direct current conversion options could aid in controlling this power flow. Also, the POPA noted that extending the Office of Electricity program on High Temperature Superconductivity for 10 years while concentrating on the direct current superconducting cables for transmission would assist in insuring long-distance transmission.

What makes this report different from many other grid studies is that its recommendations provide scientific and business perspectives. On the business side of things, the POPA urges the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to first develop an "integrated business case" that covers the value of electricity storage and renewable generation as far as transmission and distribution goes. Then, adopt a "uniform integrated business case" that serves as the final evaluation and regulatory structure along with the state Public Utility Commissions. 

Forecasting is the final category of recommendation the POPA addresses, suggesting that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the National Weather Service and private vendors change time scales from hours to days in order to improve the accuracy of wind and weather forecasts. Also, wind plant operators, regulatory agencies and forecast providers should create uniform standards for both preparing and delivering power and wind generation forecasts. Regulatory agencies and Wind plant operators were also urged to create operating procedures to reply to power generation forecasts, develop criteria for contingencies and response to weather disturbances, and design response other than using conventional reserve, such as electricity storage and distant transmission. 




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Argh
By Anoxanmore on 11/17/2010 11:04:18 AM , Rating: 5
Go nuclear already! Electricity problem solved. Oh, and also update the grid over the next ten years while building said awesome power plants.

Rabble, rabble rabble.




RE: Argh
By rvd2008 on 11/17/2010 11:19:58 AM , Rating: 2
easy to say than to do
who is going to pay for it? china?
we are in debt up to eyeballs and nukes are EXPENSIVE
never-mind NIMBY resistance


RE: Argh
By kattanna on 11/17/2010 11:57:37 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
we are in debt up to eyeballs and nukes are EXPENSIVE


LOL, now thats funny

maybe you should look into just what it costs to build a solar or wind generation site that can actively generate 1 GW consistently day and night, and get back to me.


RE: Argh
By rvd2008 on 11/17/10, Rating: 0
RE: Argh
By rcc on 11/17/2010 3:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Like wind farms along the cost, where the majority of population is concentrated and nuke is a no go.


Next time I drive by the San Onofre Power Plant I'll point out that it's a no go because it's on the coast. Last time I checked the surfers loved it.


RE: Argh
By Jaybus on 11/17/2010 12:44:36 PM , Rating: 2
It is cheaper than an equivalent solar or wind build out. The largest solar power station that I am aware of is the La Florida plant in Spain, that covers a bit more than a half sq km and can produce up to 50 MW. One of the smallest nuclear stations in the US, Watts Bar in Tennessee, has only one reactor operating with a second unit currently scheduled to begin operating in 2013. Watts Bar Unit 1 has a capacity of 1.17 GW. The second unit is a $2.5 billion project that will add an additional 1.18 GW of capacity.

It would take at least 23 La Florida plants to match the capacity of Watts Bar Unit 1 at noon on a bright sunny day. But the nuke runs 24/7, so it would take more like 50 La Florida plants to match the capacity in kw-h. Unless La Florida cost less than $50 million, then I don't see why anyone would think nuclear is expensive.

The resistance is another matter, but certainly can't be due to cost.


RE: Argh
By rvd2008 on 11/17/2010 1:05:17 PM , Rating: 2
You compare building solar farm from scratch with adding a nuke reactor to existing facility. It's not a fair comparison. Do you have apple to apple example? When was the last nuclear plant build from scratch in this country? Including complete fuel cycle: mining, enriching, storage, reprocessing and disposal? How many decades are needed to build one nuclear plant?

In your example, Watts Bar, one of two reactor units whose construction commenced in 1973. Unit 1 was completed in 1996, whooping 23 years later. The second unit, you mentioned, was about 80% complete when its construction was stopped in 1988. So $2.5 bln is just a tiny bit to complete the work started decades (!) ago.


RE: Argh
By Anoxanmore on 11/17/2010 1:30:21 PM , Rating: 3
You forget about all the red tape that is needed which is why it costs so much to build a nuclear plant from the beginning. If the government would not allow the frivolous lawsuits to be filed to begin with you'd have the start up costs be a lot less, and the time it takes to build one drop by at least a decade if not more.

In addition, I can think of at least twenty different government sectors to cut money from to build an entirely new infrastructure for electricity. Bringing in a total of nearly 2T (Trillion) for money. Which would not all of that be needed.

Try it out for yourself:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/week...

It isn't that hard to come up with the funds for it. Not to mention it'd be pretty easy to use the funds to have the government build the nuclear plants themselves, not to mention allow them to actually employ(given to private companies to manage/run) 1000 or more people in a permanent fashion in addition to creating a lot of construction jobs for a temporary time.

After many of the nuclear plants are completed (in say 10 yrs) we can use that extra power (assuming 2GW + plants) to help research fusion, which will be the new energy source and that is literally unlimited. Not to mention this could also effect the inception rate for EV automobiles since our power grid would be up to date, and able to support the plugging in that many would do regardless of time of day. Granted, EV cars & etc are more for urban folk(of temperate climates atm), but the point still stands.

This is also the longest post I've ever posted on here. Well, that was serious anyway.

=^-^=


RE: Argh
By rvd2008 on 11/17/10, Rating: 0
RE: Argh
By Anoxanmore on 11/17/2010 3:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
No it isn't a reality. If you allow people to bring lawsuits that have no merit based on false environmental concerns that only lenghens the time it takes to build said nuclear plants. It is a waste of tax payer money amongst other things.

Nuclear(both fission and fusion) is the answer, and we have the 4th largest deposits of Uranium in the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_mining_in_the...
{5} Warren I Finch (2003) Uranium-fuel for nuclear energy 2002, US Geological Survey, Bulletin 2179-A

890Million tons. We'd be fine on our own.

As for your "smaller government!!!!!111oneoneone", sometimes it takes over-riding things to get stuff done. This is one of those times.


RE: Argh
By rvd2008 on 11/17/2010 6:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
890Million tons. We'd be fine on our own.

jeez, can't you read? your own link says
890 million pounds , not tons. In tons it will be about 400,000.


RE: Argh
By Anoxanmore on 11/17/2010 6:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
Typo, it happens.

It still does not change that we have 400,000 Tons of Uranium which is the 4th largest concentration in the world.

Again, we'd last hundreds of years with that fuel and we'd have fusion mastered before we'd ever run out.


RE: Argh
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/17/2010 6:45:48 PM , Rating: 2
Plutonium, Uranium, and Thorium are all fissile materials that we can use in our nuclear reactors, we aren't going to run out for a VERY long time.


RE: Argh
By rvd2008 on 11/17/2010 7:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
it's all good, but you need to breed. you need fast neutron reactors. totally different beast. more expensive, more challenging to design and build, more difficult to stabilize. not economical now, but could happen in future.


RE: Argh
By rvd2008 on 11/17/2010 2:00:37 PM , Rating: 2
Huh? Do you want more gov control or less? Throwing out "frivolous" suits will be the end of democracy. Who should decide which suit is "frivolous"?


RE: Argh
By Spuke on 11/17/2010 6:12:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who should decide which suit is "frivolous"?
The judge. Which, BTW, is the one that does it now.


RE: Argh
By rvd2008 on 11/17/2010 6:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
Good. No change then? I thought the guy suggested to throw out any lawsuit G-man says is "frivolous". And ride over ("over ride") poor bas-ards who do not understand the common good.


RE: Argh
By kontorotsui on 11/17/2010 12:44:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm positive about nuclear as anyone with a fuctional brain.
But you cannot make power 100% nuclear, only.
Lack of redundancy and alternatives would make a country exposed to fuel availability and price fluctuations... even 3rd generation nuclear power station need breeding reactors, which are less easy to build and manage.
Some sort of backup non-nuclear plants are needed, anyway.


RE: Argh
By Spuke on 11/17/2010 1:00:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Some sort of backup non-nuclear plants are needed, anyway.
I agree and solar and wind aren't the backups either. How do you backup 24 hour power availability with 5.7 hour power availability? Ok, store it. How do you store 1MW (or whatever) of power effectively?


RE: Argh
By rvd2008 on 11/17/2010 2:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
One way to store is EV batteries. They will act as huge capacitors and if deployed with smart grid technologies could take care of energy spikes.


RE: Argh
By Spuke on 11/17/2010 7:26:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
One way to store is EV batteries.
That's not cost effective at all.


RE: Argh
By rvd2008 on 11/17/2010 7:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
you forgot to add "now"
but we are not discussing today, do we?
e.g. building nuclear plant from scratch takes decades
auto battery tech will improve and get cheaper in a few years as well


RE: Argh
By texbrazos on 11/17/2010 2:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
The new Tessera plant in Calif. cost 2 billion and will power around 500,000 homes. The Commanche Peak Nuclear Plant cost 15 Billion and suppies 1.5 million. Do the math.
If you built 10 billion worth of these Tessera Solar plants, you would power 2.5 million people and still be cheaper than a nuke plant, plus it is cleaner than nuke.


RE: Argh
By kattanna on 11/17/2010 3:33:11 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
The new Tessera plant in Calif. cost 2 billion and will power around 500,000 homes


its actually..

quote:
Tessera's Calico plant will cost more than $2 billion and will power 200,000 to 500,000 homes


off course the key caveat is missing here

DURING THE DAY.

you simply cannot compare solar that can only produce power during the peak part of the day to a baseload nuclear plant.

though, i am very glad to see someone start deploying the concentrating solar to sterling engine method on a more massive scale. They actually have a chance of becoming viable peak load generation.

though imagine is this little nugget was applied to nuclear

quote:
If they start construction by December 31, the plants can qualify for a program that provides a 30 percent cash grant from the Treasury Department


RE: Argh
By Spuke on 11/17/2010 6:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The new Tessera plant in Calif. cost 2 billion and will power around 500,000 homes.
How about YOU do the math. 1.5 million homes during the 5.7 hour peak (that's in the southwest) sunlight period or 1.5 million homes 24/7. Are you planning on not using any power in your home when the sun goes down?


RE: Argh
By rvd2008 on 11/17/2010 6:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
Nuclear power has certain advantages, just like wind or solar. Why should it be only one or the other? Why so much radicalism when it comes to renewables? There are plenty of places where renewables just make sense, don't you agree?


RE: Argh
By kattanna on 11/18/2010 10:49:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nuclear power has certain advantages, just like wind or solar


aye, very much so.

quote:
Why should it be only one or the other? Why so much radicalism when it comes to renewables?


its not the average joe that started it. its the ECOnut crowd that did. crying from the rooftops about replacing ALL energy generation with nothing but renewables, else the planet is DOOMED !!!

quote:
There are plenty of places where renewables just make sense, don't you agree?


yep. solar can make a good peak load generation. wind can be a small base load, yet its so variable as to pose issues for use like that.

hydro, geothermal, and wave all make great base load power as they are consistent.


"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson














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