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On What's the Greenest Car? An Extremely Short Guide to Vehicle Emissions

Thanks for the reply Lindsay.

April 28, 2014    View Comment    

On What's the Greenest Car? An Extremely Short Guide to Vehicle Emissions

Hi Lindsay,

How large is the EV you are comparing to the petrol vehicles? There's of course a range of "fuel" efficiencies for electric vehicles too, having to do with their curb weight, power, and aerodynamics, just like there are for petrol vehicles. So wondering if you're comparing apples to apples here. 

Jesse

April 27, 2014    View Comment    

On Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

We all know those arguments well here. There have been hundreds of posts at this site hashing out those issues. So please, if you don't want to have this particular conversation, then don't. No one is forcing you to.

As I've told other commenters, please stay on topic for this discussion thread, or refrain from commenting. The question here is not do you specifically want nuclear or renewables? Your answer is clear. Others disagree. That's not what were discussing in this specific post. The question is, if a nation decided it wanted both nuclear and renewables, could they work together?

April 23, 2014    View Comment    

On Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

It sounds like you'd like the paper Charles Fosberg references below... 

April 17, 2014    View Comment    

On Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

As I've told a couple other commenters: please keep the discussion focused on the question at hand. This isn't the right forum to air your views on nuclear or renewables. The question is can they work together. Not do you want them to work together. 

To keep things off topic, I'm going to prune this part of the thread of off-topic comments. I mean no disrespect to those posting their strong beliefs about nuclear power (one way or the other), but I don't want this comment thread to devolve into another battle over nuclear. I hope everyone understands. Thanks,

Jesse

April 17, 2014    View Comment    

On Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

Thanks for the comment Charles. I'll add that paper to the resources link above and take a look myself as soon as I get a chance. Cheers,

Jesse

April 17, 2014    View Comment    

On Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

Hey gang: let's try not to question anyone's motives here and give people a respectful benefit of the doubt unless given reason otherwise. Joris, this was a pretty respectful comment, and I appreciate that, but I just wanted to caution on this going forward. Thanks,

Jesse

April 16, 2014    View Comment    

On Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

Hi James, 

Thanks for the comment. I think you're probably right about the spectrum of storage costs and nuclear/renewable hybrids. That's something I hope to explore in future modeling work with a colleague here at MIT. 

Just to be clear: as I noted in the intro sentance, this post is focused on nuclear in combination with variable renewables like wind and solar, not more reliable sources like hydro, geothermal, or biomass.

Also, while solar better aligns with electricity demand than wind, that doesn't solve the integration issues with nuclear. If it reaches a penetration level where at mid-day, solar is producing close to 100% of load, nuclear will have to cycle off. Solar also is closer to peak, but not really on-peak. In nearly all regions, peak demand is experienced in late afternoon or early evening, not midday when solar systems are at 100%. So what we're seeing in some of the modeling around here (MIT) of high-penetration of solar is that the remainder of your system (i.e. excluding solar) becomes a "double peaking" system: you get a peak in late morning, then a big trough as solar ramps up around midday, then another sharper peak in the afternoon/evening as solar falls off and peak demand picks up. That actually increases rather than decreases the need for fast-ramping system capabilities. California regulators have dubbed this the "Duck Curve," while Jeff St. John calls the even more pronounced situation in Hawaii the "Nessy Curve" (both for their shapes). 

Cheers,

Jesse

April 15, 2014    View Comment    

On Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

"...the assertion that "ultra low" carbon emissions are required is of doubtful necessity"

There's no doubt for this column or this website! Climate change is a pressing global imperative. End of discussion on that matter.

Let's keep on topic. 

Jesse

April 15, 2014    View Comment    

On Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

Hi Ben,

Thanks for the comment. I'll look again at the NREL Futures report which I included in the recommended resources at the end of my post. 

RE larger balancing/control areas, you are of course correct. As I noted in another comment, when I said "power system" in the post above, I meant the full interconnected, balanced system (i.e. a closed system). The larger that system, the more renewables you can get in there and the less correlated their output is likely to be. But once you get to an energy share equal to about their capacity factor, you certainly can see ramping from 0 to 100% of demanded energy on a regular basis, necessitating lots of storage/sinks/flexibility. So larger balancing issues helps renewables integration (or renewables-nuclear integration) as you say, but it doesn't really solve the problem.

Cheers,

Jesse

April 15, 2014    View Comment    

On Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

Thanks for the comment Ed! Power to gas is actually what I had in mind when I wrote about "energy sinks" in the post. Desalination maybe also. But the example "energy sink" I linked to was actually Hydrogenics efforts to use excess power production during peak wind output/low demand days in Denmark to produce electroyltic hydrogen used to upgrade sewage gas into pipeline quality natural gas. It's a very interesting example of the kind of use of excess power we'd likely see much more of in a high-renewables or renewables-nuclear hybrid system.

Jesse

April 15, 2014    View Comment