Comments by Robert Hargraves Subscribe

On Corporate Interest In Green Energy Requires New Thinking From Electric Utilities

You wrote "Non-utility purchasers (that is, corporate and institutional customers) signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for more than 1,300 megawatts of windpower". From whom? Who supplies the power? Wind generators only have 30% capacity factor. What is the other party in this transacation?

Do the customers just purchase power from their utility company, but also pledge to buy RECs (renewable energy credits) from the REC pool? Is this a PPA? Is this a contract? With whom?

February 5, 2016    View Comment    

On Economics of Batteries for Stabilizing and Storage on Distribution Grids

Sorry about double posting mistake. I couldn't delete.

January 2, 2016    View Comment    

On Economics of Batteries for Stabilizing and Storage on Distribution Grids

Engineers do run the show, in China. To reach the Politbureau an ambitious Chinese person studies engineering or science or medicine in college. After graduation and work he gains management responsibility in a business. Thereafter he competes for political positions such as mayor of a district or maybe eventually a province. These are the people from whom the Chinese leaderhip is selected. Sununu was the last engineer Senator in the US.

January 2, 2016    View Comment    

On Economics of Batteries for Stabilizing and Storage on Distribution Grids

Engineers do run the show, in China. To reach the Politbureau an ambitious Chinese person studies engineering or science or medicine in college. After graduation and work he gains management responsibility in a business. Thereafter he competes for political positions such as mayor of a district or maybe eventually a province. These are the people from whom the Chinese leaderhip is selected. Sununu was the last engineer Senator in the US.

January 2, 2016    View Comment    

On Economics of Batteries for Stabilizing and Storage on Distribution Grids

A mid size electric arc furnace consumes 100 MW. A solar PV farm delivers about 1 W/square-meter of land area. So a PV powered electric arc furnace requires a solar ranch of 100 mega square meters. That's a square of land 10 kilometers on a side.

January 2, 2016    View Comment    

On Economics of Batteries for Stabilizing and Storage on Distribution Grids

Let's assume PV solar electricity gets so cheap it's free. Use your example of storing 7 kWh of daytime solar energy using a10 kWh Tesla PowerWall that costs $7100 installed with a useful life of 10 years, or 3650 cycles. The cost for storage is $7100/3650 = $1.95 per day, or 27 cents/kWh. That's just about the same number Vermont utility company CEO Halquist came up with. Vermont Yankee used to cost 5 cents/kWh. Natural gas today is even a bit less than that. 

Moral: Free PV solar electricity costs 27 cents/kWh.

January 2, 2016    View Comment    

On Avoiding(?) The Next Fukushima

Agreed. The editor changed it. Here's a pot with the one I submitted.

https://www.facebook.com/ThoriumEnergyCheaperThanCoal/posts/856717477717076

 

September 12, 2015    View Comment    

On Approaches For Addressing and Resolving Advanced Reactor Licensing Challenges

“It is a multi-decade process, with costs up to $1 billion to $2 billion, to design and certify or license the reactor design, … ” reports GAO's audit of NRC.

September 4, 2015    View Comment    

On Hillary Clinton Is Right on Climate Change and the New York Times Is Wrong

Steven,

The Obama/EPA plan is wrong because renewables simply won't work. They are too intermittent. Additionally they are too expensive. Surely the Earth Institute has analysts who can convert the cost of wind and solare generators to kWh costs. Ignore subsidies; society's outcome does not depend on whether the money comes from taxpayers, ratepayers, or defaulted bond-holders.

The EPA plan is a 1500 page document designed to allow negotiation with trade groups and lobbiests -- the lifeblood of campaign finance. The original EPA proposal was simple -- a max of 454 grams-CO2/kWh for electricity generation.

August 9, 2015    View Comment    

On A Carbon Tax is Not Feasible or Practical

Nathan, thank you for supporting the book THORIUM: energy cheaper than coal. I've now joined up with ThorCon Power, an emerging venture that is about to produce new nuclear powre plants that actually deliver energy cheaper than coal.

The idea of more subslidies for wind and solar is economically impractical and is really counter to The Earth Institute goals of human development. Developing nations desparately need plentiful, affordable electricity for their peoples' prosperity. 1400 GW of new, coal fired power plants are already planned. The only practical solution is energy cheaper than coal, providing the economic incentive for both developing and OECD nations to stop burning fossil fuels for energy.

ThorCon Power has a nearly complete design for a hybrid thorium/uranium molten salt reactor power plant than can be mass-produced. We can undercut coal-fired generation by a nearly a factor of two, both in capital investment and electricity cost per kilowatt-hour. Please visit thorconpower.com for proof.

June 12, 2015    View Comment    

On Carbon Prices Around the World are Consistently Too Low

"Carbon Prices Around the World are Consistently Too Low" ...for the purpose of making energy from burning fossil fuels unafordable. The result of such an "unafordability" strategy would be to forever damn people in developing nations from achieving the lifestyle and prosperity we have in the US and EU. It also reduces economic growth in the OECD nations because energy is an important component of all products and services. That's why it's politically immpossible, as we will see again, soon, in Paris.

The proper solution is to provide a safe, clean energy source that is cheaper than coal. Renewables can't do it, as Google found out in its pioneering RE<C program. Advanced nuclear power can drive fossil fuels out of business. That's why forward thinking philanthropists such as Bill Gates are investing in it. Another example is the hybrid thorium/uranium molten salt reactor mentioned in THORIUM: energy cheaper than coal and now described technically at thorconpower.com .

June 3, 2015    View Comment    

On President Obama Approves Drilling in the Arctic: Should We Be Outraged?

The mistake that McKibben, Obama, and most climate environmentalists are making is focusing on what NOT to do, rather than proposing positive, progressive, pro-environmental, pro-prosperity steps TO DO. You correctly describe the current whack-a-mole strategy as unproductive. Alternative, inexpensive, carbon-free, safe energy sources exist. My colleagues and I are working on mass-produced nuclear power plants to deliver electricity at 3 cents/kWh -- cheaper than coal,  at thorconpower.com. The Naval Research Labs has developed a way to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater to make JP-5 jet fuel at $5/gallon -- a bit more than the current petroleum-sourced fuel, and we can cut that cost with cheap nuclear power. There are great, achievable solutions to our climate/energy/prosperity problems, loudly opposed by thoughtless green ideologues and politicians leading from behind.

May 14, 2015    View Comment