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Power Businesses Software

The Road to Deep Decarbonization (bnef.com) 160

Michael Liebreich, writing for Bloomberg New Energy Finance: In the past fifteen years we have witnessed several pivotal points along the route towards clean energy and transport. In 2004, renewables were poised for explosive growth; in 2008, the world's power system started to go digital; in 2012, it became clear that EVs would take over light ground transportation. Today I believe it is the turn of sectors that have resisted change so far -- heavy ground transportation, industry, chemicals, heat, aviation and shipping, agriculture. One after the other, or more likely as a tightly-coupled system, they are all going to go clean during the coming decades.

Astonishing progress is being made on super-efficient industrial processes, connected and shared vehicles, electrification of air transport, precision agriculture, food science, synthetic fuels, industrial biochemistry, new materials like graphene and aerogels, energy and infrastructure blockchain, additive manufacturing, zero-carbon building materials, small nuclear fusion, and so many other areas. These technologies may not be cost-competitive today, but they all benefit from the same fearsome learning curves as we have seen in wind, solar and batteries. In addition, in the same way that ubiquitous sensors, cloud and edge-of-grid computing, big data and machine learning have enabled the transformation of our electrical system, they will unlock sweeping changes to the rest of our energy, transportation and industrial sectors.

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The Road to Deep Decarbonization

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  • by bluegutang ( 2814641 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @02:02PM (#56280281)

    That's when I knew he was full of hot air.

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @03:21PM (#56280589)

      Indeed. Anyone that mentions "blockchain" and "small nuclear fusion" in the same sentence is a certified kook. Even more so when he mentions fusion and "astonishing progress" together.

    • by sabri ( 584428 )
      Funny, I only clicked "comment" to post the exact same. What a load of horseshit.
    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      You know, I still grind my teeth when people use "broadband" to mean "high bandwidth". But that's the way with words that are new to people; they inflate them with hot air until they're just a pretentious way of saying something simple.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      The use of superlatives was a pretty clear indicator before that. Somebody trying to get rich on feel-good cheerleading.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @02:07PM (#56280301) Journal
    Already greatly underway in many factories.

    They are firing carbon based life form workers and are installing silicon based robots.

  • We should terraform Earth making it a little warmer to stay away from Little Ice Ages anyway, which will make much more growable land in Canada, Asia, and Alaska.

    This would have seemed reasonable in the 1960s or 1970s.

  • When did it become clear EVs would take over light ground transportation? Do they mean golf carts? I see some convincing use cases for EV (basically to get around a city) but prices have not come down enough for the mainstream to buy them 'just to get around a city' .Even if you have a Tesla and Supercharger stations, you're going to have to do a lot of planning and your road trip vacation will likely be governed in some respect to where the stations are. A lot of problems to be solved first. They're going
    • by mspohr ( 589790 )

      Total cost of ownership of an EV over 5 years is less than an ICE car. Primarily because the fuel (electricity) is much cheaper (and getting cheaper each year due to wind and solar. Just like fossil fuel plants today are more expensive to run due to fuel cost than solar and wind (free "fuel"), ICE cars and trucks will be abandoned because of high cost.

      • So you're paying almost as much for a car that can only take you around a city. A car that does half as much should cost half as much, barring all the other inconveniences.
        • The car takes you anywhere you want to go and you never have to go to a gas station or get the oil changed or fix the thousands of parts in the engine and transmission.

          • Sure but if you go too far from home, what are the chances there will be an electrical charging station nearby at a place you can afford to (and want to) hang around for 1/2 hour?
            • Lots of charging everywhere. Check out Plug share.com
              I've been all over the Western US and Canada. There are a lot more electricity outlets than gas stations.

              • The point is about whether these places are anywhere where you would want to spend at least 1/2 hour of your time. I've checked the ones in the places I know and I can say that there is nothing around them that I would want to do for that time. I'm assuming you're going to need 1/2 hour there at least.
                • by mspohr ( 589790 )

                  All of the places I have charged are near shopping and restaurants. We usually schedule charging around meals. You can also just take a walk.
                  When we travel, we usually spend the time looking around and learning about places. Charging en route is an opportunity to spend a short time somewhere.
                  We usually charge overnight (destination charging at hotels, etc.) so drive until lunch and charge again. That's usually all we need for the days travel.
                  Not sure what you have in mind.

                  • I just like to stop at a gas station for 10 minutes and go and not break up my day to stop somewhere I don't know. We don't use restaurants when we travel, we pack food and eat on the road.
    • by gilgongo ( 57446 )

      You also need off-street parking to charge the car, and relying solely on public charge points is very inconvenient. This is a serious practical limitation to the use of EVs in many European cities like London right now, where off-street parking is rare.

      • Quite. As if apartment landlords are going to add dozens or hundreds of $2,000.00 charge points to their parking lots?
      • by shilly ( 142940 )

        London? You mean the city where three boroughs are trialling lamp-post charging to address on-street charging?

        • by q_e_t ( 5104099 )
          There isn't a lamp post per address, so it's only sufficient if there are few EVs. A different solution will be required long term.
          • Re:EVs (Score:4, Interesting)

            by shilly ( 142940 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @06:38AM (#56282637)

            You would only need a lamp post per address, if the *average* requirement was that every address needs to charge an EV every night. That is just nowhere near the truth:
            1. Only about 50% of London households have a car
            2. About 25% of London households have off-street parking
            3. Given average British mileage of 150 miles per week, most EVs will only need recharging once per week (today, a Zoe, Leaf, Tesla can all manage that). That's a substantial over-estimate, given London driving distances are much shorter than average British which includes rural drivers covering much longer distances

            So the average percentage of EVs that would need charging overnight on any one night is: 50% * 75% * 14% = about 5%. If you could get 1 lamp post per 10 households done with Ubitricity, you'd be more than fine with a hefty margin of error built in.

            • Uh, no. If that car is my only means to getting around a city in the case of emergency and my way of making it to my job it's getting charged every night.
              • by shilly ( 142940 )

                1. You seem not to be familiar with the idea of averages. It's a shame, because it would be very helpful to you. Your approach to charging an EV is not the average approach.
                2. You seem not to be familiar with London. The notion that a car is anyone's "only means to getting around a city in the case of an emergency" is ludicrous to a Londoner. We have the tube, the bus, AddLee, Uber, black cabs, etc.
                3. You seem to be *really* unfamiliar with London. Only 20% of London car journeys are to do with work. Commut

            • by q_e_t ( 5104099 )

              It would take negotiation such that the lamp post outside of person A's house (person A has a car) can be used by person B seven doors down. That's where it potentially fails.

              And if it's the night you need to charge your car, and the lamp post is busy? You'd need to double your figure to make that part work too.

              And I say this as someone in favour of EVs

              • by shilly ( 142940 )

                No, the lamp-posts are public chargers available on a first-come, first-served basis. Same as street parking -- and like street parking, no-one in London has an expectation of being able to park outside their house. You often have to park a few minutes walk away. So no negotiation required.

                My calculations already included a 100% over-capacity margin. I said demand would be about 5% of households per night (actually, it would be lower as London average mileage won't be as high as 150 miles per week, and EV r

                • by q_e_t ( 5104099 )

                  No, the lamp-posts are public chargers available on a first-come, first-served basis. Same as street parking -- and like street parking, no-one in London has an expectation of being able to park outside their house.

                  The person who threatened me with physical harm when I parked outside their house in London must have been an illusion, then.

    • by sjbe ( 173966 )

      When did it become clear EVs would take over light ground transportation?

      When Tesla started outselling BMW and Mercedes in the luxury sedan market. There is a lot of demand for EVs and they have some pretty compelling advantages. Lower fuel costs, (potentially) greater reliability, fewer moving parts, diversity of energy sources, existing infrastructure, falling battery prices, superior torque characteristics, efficiency, etc. While there are some issues to work out, many of the biggest hurdles are already behind us.

      I see some convincing use cases for EV (basically to get around a city) but prices have not come down enough for the mainstream to buy them 'just to get around a city'

      So your argument is that because EVs haven't yet become chea

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @02:42PM (#56280435)

    I got buzzword bingo everyone. Seriously was the article written by an AI fed only buzzwords?

  • In the past fifteen years we have witnessed several pivotal points along the route towards clean energy and transport. In 2004, renewables were poised for explosive growth; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...> in 2008, the world's power system started to go digital ; in 2012, it became clear that EVs would take over light ground transportation https://www.businessinsider.co... .>

    So out of his three main points one is irrelevant, one is misleading at best, and one is basing an awful lot on a very small s

    • sorry about the links, why is that happening?

      • Ah, no in fact the entire post got mungled up, probably becasue I used GE and LE brackets.

        "In the past fifteen years we have witnessed several pivotal points along the route towards clean energy and transport. In 2004, renewables were poised for explosive growth; in 2008, the world's power system started to go digital; in 2012, it became clear that EVs would take over light ground transportation"

        Point 1, in fact renewables have scarecely increased as a %age of total energy usage eg

        https://en.wikipedia.org/w [wikipedia.org]

        • Point 1, in fact renewables have scarecely increased as a %age of total energy usage eg

          And what about the second derivative?

          • I'm sure that with your extensive experience in analysing real world data (it's my day job) you'd agree that extrapolating the second derivative from noisy data is a bit silly. As soon as the idiotic subsidies for regen disappear, so will the growth in regen installations, or at least their second derivative. Bear in mind in that graph I posted the %age of regen was actually falling, since it had the same slope as oil and coal.

            I'm not putting any time into actually doing the numbers but if I get any interes

            • It would be silly if we didn't know it's actually rather large and still increasing, since the smoothed-out curve of at least solar installations is basically exponential. So far, that is - obviously it's not exponential on an unbounded interval, and can't possibly be, but this trend is quite likely to continue for about a decade. And considering that the "idiotic subsidies" have nothing to do with it at this point in time (as opposed to bringing us to the current situation sooner), they're rather irrelevan
  • Yeah good luck with that.

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @03:20PM (#56280583) Homepage Journal

    Sorry, they still make up a tiny percentage of total renewable energy.

    And the capacity to build the quantities we need for utility-grade applications would basically hijack the markets for an entire year.

    You want to decarbonize NUCLEAR POWER. End of discussion. Stable baseline power. Zero carbon emissions.
    Add in remaining utility-grade large hydro, geothermal and augment with small hydro to bring up baseline to today's PEAK demand.

    You can offset peaks in demand with renewables then.

    But the real gains have NOTHING to do with power generation.

    40-something percent of all power consumption in this country is from BUILDINGS.

    Build better insulated, more efficient buildings, and watch demand on the grid plummet.
    Build for longevity and sustainability.
    Retrofit less efficient buildings.
    HVAC being offset with BTU batteries and careful timing of power use.

    Then use any power excesses in the system to do things like desalinate water and carbon capture into hydrocarbon fuels which can be used to stay carbon-neutral or stored to be carbon positive.

    Because if you think coating the planet in solar panels and wind turbines is going to fix everything, you're delusional.

  • "....several pivotal points along the route towards clean energy and transport. In 2004, renewables were poised for explosive growth; in 2008, the world's power system started to go digital; in 2012, it became clear that EVs would take over light ground transportation. "
    No they didn't, mostly no, and absolutely no.

    Ergo, no.

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