Author Topic: US: Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas  (Read 839 times)

rcjordan

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littleman

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rcjordan

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Re: US: Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2019, 09:59:35 PM »
We'll save the world now ...because renewables are cheaper. hhh

ergophobe

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Re: US: Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2019, 03:55:28 AM »
We'll save the world now ...because renewables are cheaper. hhh

Well, that's always been the only viable game plan. Now if they would just price in the externalities of carbon, wind would look really cheap.

But here's the nasty little secret very few people are talking about - saving the world is going to require negative emissions (not necessarily *net* negative, but some carbon capture). In the Paris negotiations, they generated 1,000 scenarios for different levels and schedules for emissions reductions and carbon sequestration. It was something like 16 that actually kept us below 2 degrees and 14 of those require massive carbon capture.

The good news, though, is that carbon capture tech is already invented. The bad news is that it's super expensive right now. About $600/ton. And one of the more promising technologies can't build a full-scale prototype for want of $20,000,000.

Sorry... but I was afraid RC was at risk of becoming optimistic and was afraid his sense of identity was at risk.

rcjordan

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Re: US: Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2019, 11:30:00 PM »
>RC was at risk of becoming optimistic


ergophobe

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Re: US: Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2019, 12:34:11 AM »
Fake news!

littleman

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rcjordan

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Re: US: Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2019, 01:02:13 AM »
So we have earlier articles, but is that particular one proven fake?

littleman

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Re: US: Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2019, 01:12:29 AM »
No, it is referenced in that article I linked to and archived here:
https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ROTWKG19120814.2.56.5

I think the coloring and formatting was a touch up most likely, but the text is legitimately from a New Zealand paper published in 1912.

ergophobe

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Re: US: Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2019, 02:31:51 AM »
So we have earlier articles, but is that particular one proven fake?

No... it is believable, if not verified. Katherine Hayhoe put out a video a few years ago on the "discovery" of climate change due to greenhouse gasses starting with observations by Fourrier in 1820.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpqBto89i38
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katharine_Hayhoe

Katherine Hayhoe first blew me away with her answer (alluded to in this video) to the question: "How much of current warming is due to human activity?" The answer, it turns out, is something *over* 100% because, based on the Milankovitch cycles, we should be in a mild cooling period, but instead we are heating up. Thus we are causing more than 100% of warming.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 02:39:29 AM by ergophobe »


littleman

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ergophobe

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Re: US: Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2019, 06:18:37 PM »
https://thesolutionsproject.org/2018-impact-report/

 I notice the Catholic Reporter mentioned. I've always felt that the pope making climate change a fundamental issue, saying that all Christians need to be concerned about the impacts of climate change on the least fortunate of the world, was a bit of a turning point. I noticed that prior to that my father (a very committed Catholic - daily communicant - 90 years old, surrounded by a lot of old very Catholic men) would often allude to some of the standard denialist tropes and when I would press him, he would admit that he didn't believe it (i.e. didn't believe in the denialism). But they were standard tropes among conservative Catholics. So when the pope said, "No, climate change is a Christian issue," a huge swath of conservative Catholics suddenly had not just license, but encouragement, to talk openly about it and admit that it was a problem.

Before 1992, it was not a conversation that divided sharply along partisan lines. With the 2020 election looming, it is shaping up to be highly partisan in the US for a couple more years, but hopefully we will get past that. The actual solutions will remain partisan, much like any budget discussion, but the fact of the need to do something should not be partisan.

Definitely the conversation is changing. Will it change fast enough? as Bill McKibben says, "This is the first timed exam in the history of humanity."
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 06:22:44 PM by ergophobe »

rcjordan

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Re: US: Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2019, 06:25:19 PM »
> Will it change fast enough?

No.

IMO, yet-to-be invented tech is the only shot we have.  Boundless, nearly-free energy from solar, fusion, or nukes may be the key, 'cause we're going to need a shitload of cheap power to reverse this.

ergophobe

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Re: US: Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2019, 12:33:53 AM »
IMO, yet-to-be invented tech is the only shot we have.  Boundless, nearly-free energy from solar, fusion, or nukes may be the key, 'cause we're going to need a shitload of cheap power to reverse this.

We will need that, but we first need modest amounts of money. There is promising tech, for example, that is basically self-powering. But currently would cost $600/ton to remove carbon from the atmosphere. They need to build a full-size prototype (size of a shipping container), but for lack fo $20,000,000 are unable to do so.

http://www.elephantpodcast.org/episodes/would-you-offset-your-emissions-for-10000-a-year-money-controversy-and-the-many-challenges-of-co2-removal

With existing tech, you could offset your emissions for $10,000/year, except even at that price it's not available, for lack of the $20M.

$10,000 is more than most of us would spend (tragedy of the commons problem). But honestly, if they got this down to $1000, I would sign up tomorrow, tragedy of the commons problem or not. But, in all honesty, $10,000/year would be a really tough nut for me even though I believe that the stakes are high enough to warrant giving up a lot of comfort to make it happen.

Thus far, though almost every scenario deemed possible to succeed in the Paris negotiations runs up against the money obstacle. The Koch brothers lackeys say it's too expensive and won't fund it. The hardline environmentalists say it causes "moral hazard" and won't fund it. The researchers say "Damn your politics, we better get going now or we're screwed." Bill Gates is funding some. But for half the price of a star quarterback, we could make a Rev 1 version of Klaus Lackner's machine.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 12:36:29 AM by ergophobe »