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Bob Meinetz's picture
Nuclear Power Policy Activist Independent

I am a passionate advocate for the environment and nuclear energy. With the threat of climate change, I’ve embarked on a mission to help overcome the fears of nuclear energy. I’ve been active in...

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"We expect 22% more U.S. coal-fired generation in 2021 than in 2020, according to our latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). The U.S. electric power sector has been generating more electricity from coal-fired power plants this year as a result of significantly higher natural gas prices and relatively stable coal prices. This year, 2021, will yield the first year-over-year increase in coal generation in the United States since 2014. 

Coal and natural gas have been the two largest sources of electricity generation in the United States. In many areas of the country, these two fuels compete to supply electricity based on their relative costs. U.S. natural gas prices have been more volatile than coal prices, so the cost of natural gas often determines the relative share of generation provided by natural gas and coal. 

Because natural gas-fired power plants convert fuel to electricity more efficiently than coal-fired plants, natural gas-fired generation can have an economic advantage even if natural gas prices are slightly higher than coal prices. Between 2015 and 2020, the cost of natural gas delivered to electric generators remained relatively low and stable. This year, however, natural gas prices have been much higher than in recent years. The year-to-date delivered cost of natural gas to U.S. power plants has averaged $4.93 per million British thermal units (Btu), more than double last year’s price."

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David Svarrer's picture
David Svarrer on Nov 6, 2021

Well, Bob, 

 

Infinity Point BA (Denmark) announces that they, in support of Danish Energy (Denmark) are coming up with a power system based on a Solar Concentrator solution made by Rational Intuitive (Kenya) and a multinational research team of 18 experts - where the cost of energy goes through the floor with a LCOE of USD 0.80 per MWh, and outcompetes existing Wind, Solar panels, Coal, Firewood, Nuclear power, and anything else known. 

 

It is not for sale yet, but POC was carried out in August 2021, and as the construction is made in 316 stainless steel, has a durability of 50+ years, and following the principles of cradle-to-cradle. 

 

Meanwhile, since last time we communicated, Professor Atsushi of Delft University (Netherlands) published his report on a new method of producing Methanol from Hydrogen and CO2. If you Google, you will find that this method is around 98% efficient, due to certain technologies he invented (well, that's why he is a professor, isn't it?), meaning, that the cost of Green Methanol will come down under the cost of Black Methanol. 

 

The nuclear dream is stone dead. 

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Nov 9, 2021

As usual Bob - fake news. Plus of course, its easily disproved when looking at the data.

 

While it is true that coal consumption is up - solar/wind have not stalled and in fact 2021 could match 2020 as record growth year.

 

Coal's increase in 2021 can mostly be explained by the recovery in demand this year versus last year's Covid decline along with the decline in NG generation due to large increase in NG prices.

 

Here is the actual data so far for 2021 - thru August.

Overall demand: up 78TWh

Coal generation: up 135 TWh

NG generation: down 56 TWh

As I said, solar and wind are actually enjoying record years. However, their rise is offset by a decline in Hydro(West coast drought) as well as another decline in Nuclear generation

Solar/Wind generation: up 43 TWh

Hydro generation: down 27 TWh

Nuclear generation: down 11 TWh

Using the growth rates for solar/wind thru Aug to estimate full year generation here is a chart showing growth of solar/wind in recent years.

Due to the large buildout of solar/wind in 2021 we can expect a similar increase in generation for 2022 as well - possibly another record increase.  The average increase in solar/wind over the last five years has been 50 TWh/year - much better than nuclear accomplished in its heyday.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 9, 2021

Adoption of solar and wind has increased natural gas consumption, Joe, and now coal as well. You never expected renewables would "renew" interest in coal, did you?

I realize it might be hard to accept that progress with wind and solar has stalled, but posting more fake charts and glorious predictions for the future doesn't change that fact.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Nov 10, 2021

No, according to your graph the average increase in solar/wind over the last five years has been 40 GWh/year.

Thanks for pointing out the label error on my chart - should of course be TWh. Sloppy.

Average increase over last five years.

2021 = 531 TWh

2016 = 282 TWh

-------------------------

Diff = 249 TWh /5 = 50 TWh/year

 

I realize it might be hard to accept that progress with wind and solar has stalled, but posting more fake charts and glorious predictions for the future doesn't change that fact.

Would be so easy to disprove my chart by pointing to EIA data that I cite.... Link for YTD wind from EIA is here and link for YTD solar is here. 

 

Repeating it just means you are wrong again. Lazy or you just don't care.

 

2021 will either be a record year for increase in solar/wind generation or will come in second place to the record year in 2020.  More of the same next year.

 

Interesting to compare solar/wind growth to the heyday of nuclear. It took nuclear 23 years(1973-1999) to go from 200 TWh to 700 TWh . It will take solar/wind 12-13 years (2013-2025) to do it ,

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 11, 2021

"Average increase over last five years.
2021 = 531 TWh, 2016 = 282 TWh Diff = 249 TWh /5 = 50 TWh/year"

2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021. Count 'em - six years.
249 TWh / 6 = 41.5 TWh/year. Sloppy.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 11, 2021

From 2016 to 2021 is five years of growth:

  • 2016 to 2017 (his graph shows 50 TWh)
  • 2017 to 2018 (34 TWh)
  • 2018 to 2019 (37 TWh)
  • 2019 to 2020 (66 TWh)
  • 2020 to 2021 (44 TWh  YTD)

 

Average those five y-o-y increases and you get an average y-o-y increase of 46.2 TWh / yr (allowing that the months of September through December of 2021 are not yet included in the data so that number will presumably rise)

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 11, 2021

Matt, Joe is counting six years, including his own exaggerated generation for "2021E".
2016 total generation: 55 + 227 = 282
2021E total generation: 162 + 269 = 531
531 - 282 = 249 increase from beginning of 2016 through 2021E. Joe then takes the total for six years, and divides by 5:

"Diff = 249 TWh /5 = 50 TWh/year"

Whether it was an intentional attempt to hype the value of solar and wind or a simple mistake is not for me to guess; it seems for many renewables advocates exaggeration has become second nature.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Nov 12, 2021

Matt,

This is correct. I do make the assumption that increase will continue thru December and therefore bump that 46.2TWh/yr closer to 50.  As a reference point ERCOT solar numbers were up 100+%  Y-Y in both September and October.

 

Bob thinks there are six years between 2016 and 2021. How can you argue with that?

 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 15, 2021

Nope - you counted calendar-year 2021, too, Joe:

"Average increase over last five years.

2021 = 531 TWh

2016 = 282 TWh"

Now you've made three sloppy mistakes:
 

1) You read "TWh" as "GWh".

2) You subtracted 2016 from 2021, forgetting that including calendar year 2021 makes a total of six years.
 

3) To cover up your mistake, you created an amended version of your first graph showing totals for "2021*", instead of "2021E". Then, caught red-handed, you lied about  it.

Pretty lame, Joe. Everyone makes mistakes, but to lie about it damages your credibility. It makes EC readers wonder, "What else has Joe been lying about?"

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Nov 15, 2021

Bob,

You said:

1) You read "TWh" as "GWh".

2) You subtracted 2016 from 2021, forgetting that including calendar year 2021 makes a total of six years.
 

3) To cover up your mistake, you created an amended version of your first graph showing totals for "2021*", instead of "2021E". Then, caught red-handed, you lied about  it.

1. I mistakenly wrote GWh instead of TWh. Honest mistake which I admitted. What's funny though is that it appears you actually thought GWh was correct when you wrote:

You're overestimating production of solar/wind by a factor of 1,250...maybe that's why you're so impressed by renewables! Just take your enthusiasm and divide by 1,250.

2.  I thought adding the second graph would help you but obviously it didn't.

 (50+34+37+66+44) = 231.    Do you see that there are 5 numbers there? 

 

Curious  - when calculating the increase in solar from 2019 - 2020 should I divide 66 by 2?   As you would say 2019-2020 makes a total of two years. 

 

3. Again Bob - problems with your reading comprehension. This is not an "amended version" of my first graph. The first graph shows annual solar/wind generation and the second graph shows the annual increases in solar/wind generation. Two different things.  

 

 

 

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Feb 27, 2022

The numbers are out for full year 2021. My guesstimate based on Aug 2021 data was too low.

For full year 2021 we had a record 65 TWh increase in Solar/wind and this bumped the average for the last five years up to 52.5 TWh/year !

EIA chart for Bob.

 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 11, 2021

OK, let's talk about a statistic that matters: replacing fossil fuel plants.

Solar has yet to close a single fossil fuel plant. Ever. Italy has the highest penetration of solar in the world, with a pitiful 9.2%. Why does solar hit a brick wall at 10% market penetration? Because the sun doesn't shine at night, and never will. Useless, for slowing climate change.

Compare to nuclear countries that are replacing coal and methane plants:
Slovakia - 82% carbon-free, 24/7/365, nuclear energy
France - 71%
Ukraine, home of Chernobyl - 51%
Hungary - 48%
Bulgaria - 41%
Belgium - 39% etc etc etc...
Eastern Bloc countries are cleaning our cloc, Joe, while we're waiting for the sun to shine. No more time to waste on 17th-century sources of energy.

 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 9, 2021

"The average increase in solar/wind over the last five years has been 50 TWh/year..."

No, according to your graph the average increase in solar/wind over the last five years has been 40 GWh/year. You're overestimating production of solar/wind by a factor of 1,250...maybe that's why you're so impressed by renewables! Just take your enthusiasm and divide by 1,250.
 

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