This group is the default community for every Energy Central registered member. We discuss and share a variety of topics related to the global power industry. 


New Renewable Energy Technologies: Status and Prospects - Part 5 - The Achilles Heel: Long Term Storage

Men Working at a Substation
Bryan Leyland's picture
Consulting Engineer, LCL Ltd

Bryan Leyland MSc, DistFEngNZ, FIMechE, FIEE(rtd), MRSNZ.  is a New Zealand-based electrical power engineer with world wide experience In power generation, power systems and electricity markets....

  • Member since 2007
  • 70 items added with 10,045 views
  • May 30, 2014

The technologies described in this series generate electricity when their resource is available not when it is needed. In any power system, the generation must match the demand on a second by second basis. So, to go large-scale, renewable energy needs to find a technology that will store energy efficiently and at a low cost.

For periods of a few hours the most effective form of energy storage is hydro pumped storage. It stores energy by pumping water into an upper basin when the power price is low and generates when the price is high or there is a need to manage frequency.

Is also claimed that batteries - even the batteries of electric cars - can be used to support intermittent energy technologies. But they can only do so for a few hours and the cost is high because a single charge/discharge cycle on an electric car battery could easily cost more than 50 cents/kWh.[17]

All the technologies now being promoted provide backup for a few hours and at a very high price. But renewable energy generation is often seasonal and, even if it is not, calm or cloudy periods can last for many days. So the need is for a storage technology that can store electricity economically and efficiently for days, weeks, and maybe, months. No such technology is available and none is on the horizon. Until this problem is solved - and some doubt that it ever will be - new energy technologies can play no more than a bit part in the electricity generation scene.

Alternative technologies

If the objective is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, and if (against all the evidence) it is decided that massive subsidies are an effective way of doing it, then all the subsidies should be the same. If we lived in a rational world they would be the same for any technology that will reduce carbon dioxide. Obvious options are improving the efficiency of coal-fired power generation, converting from coal to gas and nuclear power.

All these technologies provide substantial reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and cost much less than renewables. At the moment, nuclear energy is quite expensive in most countries but, to a large extent, this is due to the fact that no modern nuclear power station has reached the stage of serial production. When this happens, substantial reductions in cost and construction time can be expected. Because it is widely - and wrongly - believed that nuclear power is dangerous, the very strict rules on safety and radiation also increase the cost.[18] Radiation limits are based on an arbitrary rule that predicts a linear death rate from radiation exposure as radiation increases. Research into actual mortalities has demonstrated that this is far from the truth and that radiation levels more than 200 times the level allowed for nuclear power stations are quite harmless.[19]

Is it an Exercise in Futility?

If the objective is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide because they are believed to cause dangerous global warming it follows that if man-made global warming is not happening then there is no point in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

We now know that the world has not warmed for the last 15 to 17 years and, according to the British Met office, it will not warm this side of 2018. This demonstrates that the climate models - that are the basis of the belief in dangerous global warming - are worthless. There is a vast amount of evidence based on sunspots, past climate cycles and the like that demonstrate that the current situation is simply natural climate change. This evidence is strongly opposed by those make money from renewable energy, carbon trading and research into various aspects of man-made global warming. It is also resisted by those who are committed to the concept for one reason or other and cannot afford to admit that they were wrong.

It can also be argued that renewable energy should be pursued because the world is running out of energy resources. The problem is that this is simply not true. For nuclear power, uranium reserves will last much more than 100 years - and much longer if breeder type reactors are used. Thorium can also be used as nuclear fuel and there is sufficient to supply all the energy the world needs for hundreds of years.

For fossil fuels, recent technological advances mean that enormous amounts of gas and oil that was previously locked up in shale deposits is now accessible. As a result, the fossil fuel energy resource can last for more than 100 years. But the largest fossil fuel resource is in clathrates - methane ice that has accumulated in deep water off many coastlines. The quantity available is mind-boggling.[20] The Americans and the Japanese have run successful pilot plants that can recover this resource.


1. New renewable energy technologies provide electricity that is expensive and intermittent and imposes many additional costs on the power system. Because they are intermittent, they can never play more than a bit part in electricity generation.

2. Nuclear power and fossil fuels can provide a reliable and economic supply of all the electricity we need for the foreseeable future

3. There is increasing evidence that man-made carbon dioxide does not cause dangerous global warming. This being the case, there is no need to promote expensive renewable energy to reduce emissions of a harmless gas that promotes the growth of plants.

[17] If the battery costs $20,000 and lasts for 2,000 cycles, the cost is $10 per 10 kWh cycle.

[18] In fact, it is, by a long chalk, the safest of all major forms of power generation. For instance, Chernobyl (a reactor that could not have been built in the Western world) killed less than 100 people. A single dam failure in China killed more than 25,000 people.

[19] This has now been confirmed by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation



Ferdinand E. Banks's picture
Ferdinand E. Banks on Jun 1, 2014
An optimal energy system for most industrial countries is one containing a big slice of nuclear energy, where that slice probably increases over the years. Probably ALL industrial countries.

Take the situation here in Sweden. Nuclear and hydro gave Sweden some of the cheapest electricity in the World (Before the curse of Electric deregulation), and maybe the cheapest, but this was an insult - an abomination - to certain people, who just a few Days ago - at a party Congress - declared that Sweden's nuclear inventory should be closed down at a faster rate.

At a faster rate, mind you! Many of those ignoranuses Believe that globally nuclear is being dumped. That forces me to say that if folks don't like nuclear well and good, but to Believe that it can be abolished and they can maintain their standard of living is...for the birds.

Malcolm Rawlingson's picture
Malcolm Rawlingson on Jun 7, 2014
Yes Fred and Bill - there are many like our Indian friend on the other thread who truly believe nuclear is on the way out and solar is on the way in. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view or level of rhetoric, nuclear is most definitely expanding rapidly. The evidence is the 71 new nuclear power plants that are under construction around the world. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are interesting case studies as to why that is. These are very dry countries with no rainfall to speak of, lots of sunshine and and lots of oil. So why nuclear? Here is their overpowering logic. The Sun does not shine at night. While it is true that solar installations are ALSO being built together with the nuclear plants it is obvious to even the most junior engineer on the planet that without Sun solar panel output is nil...even in Saudi Arabia.

So, since these countries ALSO need water (which is obtained from sea water using reverse osmosis and other heavily energy intensive methods) solar power cannot provide enough electricity to operate large desalination plants. Since they do not want to shutdown their water plants at night the solution is to pair highly reliable nuclear power plants with 98% capacity factors with solar power.

However, once operating experience with large solar installations reveals their serious shortcomings, Saudi Arabia will have also gained the necessary operating experience with nuclear to rapidly expand that program.

Of course I hear you say why not burn oil? Even the most Junior economist on the planet can answer that. They would rather sell it than burn it themselves. They will make all the money required to build the solar and nuclear installations from the sale of the oil they would otherwise have turned into Carbon Dioxide.

To me this is a brilliant strategy. If the solar does not pan out as expected, and based on the 18% capacity factor it will not, the Saudis will simply build more nuclear plants. It will be financed by those countries still hooked on oil.

Similar well thought out strategies exist in China, South Korea, Vietnam, France, Armenia, Belarus and dozens of other nations who are turning to nuclear....a far cry from the nonsense I have seen posted here several times that boldly (and very wrongly) states that nuclear power is on the way out.

It is very much on a huge growth curve and will be the dominant means of generating electricity. It already provides 16% of the worlds electrical power.

With 71 nuclear power plants under construction and hundreds more planned, the future of nuclear power is very bright indeed.

If you remain a sceptic - and I can forgive you for that if you listen to the nitwits on the media who rarely have any facts correct about anything, and do not believe what I say I will direct you the the World Nuclear Association website that lists all currently operating power plants and all those under construction. By 2020 there will be about 500 operating plants and by 2030 about double that......including the closure of older less efficient plants.

Those nations, like Sweden, that have convinced themselves that wind and solar can power an industrial economy are destined for the backwaters of economic development....along with their standard of living.

That is very sad but the people will get the fruits of the Governments they elect - good or bad.

Suggest the anti-nuclear lobby looks at the facts rather than spout the usual tired old rhetoric.


Malcolm Rawlingson's picture
Malcolm Rawlingson on Jun 8, 2014
Brian, As an adjunct to your very objective article here, if indeed the goal was to reduce carbon dioxide emissions then the best way to do that would be to build nuclear power stations which would eliminate CO2 production for electrical generation. Also if a battery or other storage system was developed by far the best way to use it would be to run nuclear power plants at base load and use the battery storage for the peaks. But none of those options are preferred by the nut bars that think the world can be powered by intermittent sources. It seems that every single weather event is now blamed on carbon dioxide. I read just this week that a high tide in the Marshall islands unearthed some WWII graves. While it a sad and disturbing event it has nothing whatever to do with rising sea levels since the level of the sea has not risen appreciably. The real cause was the variability in high tides caused by the variable gravitational pull of the Moon. Not at all related to CO2. High tides ARE cyclical they always have been and always will be until someone changes the orbit of the Moon. But somehow without a single shred of evidence Carbon Dioxide is tagged as the culprit. Even on this forum I have heard sensible people say that the Hurricane that struck NYC was a result of global warming. It was only a category 2 hurricane - mild and quite routine. The fact that human beings have placed more buildings and infrastructure in the pathway of hurricanes such that the costs to repair the damage are far higher has nothing whatever to do with global warming or the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. It did occur coincidentally with a high tide but what that has to do with global warming I fail to see.

On the matter of the amount of energy available to us, the only possible way to know how long something will last is to know exactly how much of any commodity there is in the earth's crust. That is the very information we do not know.

For example there is around 300 - 400 ppm of U3O8 in seawater enough to last hundreds of years. Fast breeder reactors can extend that about 100 times since the bulk of U3O8 is U-238 which can be used to make plutonium in such a power plant.

In short - there is no shortage of Uranium. It may get more expensive to access it but we are not and will not run out of uranium any time soon.

I also take your point that Thorium is an even more abundant fuel and can also be converted into U-233 the other fissile isotope of Uranium. Thorium is also very plentiful. So we already have the technology to make nuclear fuel and that is without the ability to reuse existing fuel that has been in reactors.

But the solar power enthusiasts like to promote disinformation so as to bolster the subsidies for their own technologies which simply cannot ever meet the need.

It is alarming to note that a solar farm in Arizona recently published data on the capacity factor of its installation. At 18% in the sunniest part of the world one can only imagine what it would be in less sunny climates like Canada or Europe. Also notable was the rapid decrease in output as a result of clouds passing overhead. Grid systems simply cannot ever respond that fast and therefore only small token amounts will be permitted on the worlds grids or blackouts will be the normal order of the day.

Good article Bryan.


Ferdinand E. Banks's picture
Ferdinand E. Banks on Jun 9, 2014
No, no Malcolm. The Swedes are not going to dump more nuclear. The presentt government wont, and if the Social Democrats win the next election, their candidate has made it clear that he wont.

Of couse, he might have to appease the crazies where energy is concerned, but I' optimistic.

Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Jun 10, 2014
woah, Woah WOAH Mr. Malcom - geez

300-400 ppm U3O8???????????

Better do some more research. I find U at 3.3 parts per billion in seawater... But, what's a factor of 10^5

Here's one of any number of sources on this value:

A five part article on the fallacies of renewable energy and the hoax of climate change. hmmmph

My new term is "climate disruption", because that's what it's going to be clearly seen as in the second half of this century. But, too late to stop the runaway train at that point...


Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Jun 10, 2014
For your consideration - a moderate size modern industrial economy, in a non-ideal location, setting records for % of net generation:

All things are possible, when people MAKE the commitment to make them possible.

Practically speaking, this won't work for everyone everywhere, but it is far more "doable" than many wish to think or say.

Malcolm Rawlingson's picture
Malcolm Rawlingson on Jun 10, 2014
Quite correct Richard, It is indeed about 3 parts per billion. However while I will agree with you on the number it has not much to do with the intent of what I was saying. The irrefutable fact (which I note you took no issue with) is that because nuclear power plants are relatively insensitive to the price of fuel even in the most dire predictions of Uranium supply and demand the vast amount of Uranium dissolved in seawater could power the electricity consumption of the earth for centuries. Surely that is worth mentioning. The process of extraction was developed by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority in the 50's. It was not worth pursuing at the time (or now) since in-situ leaching and regular hard rock mining are able to produce all the Uranium we need for many decades to come.

Regarding our age old debate over the state of the Earth's climate I can only say that the expectation of a constant climate is an adorably foolish notion. There should be every expectation that the climate of the planet will change since it always has and it always will.

Whether it is due to changes in Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere or methane or any gas or whether it is due to interactions of solar particle streams with the atmosphere has no relevance.

Personally in my many years of experiencing weather on this planet in many countries I do not see any dramatic changes in climate or the severity of floods or hurricanes or other weather events. What I do observe more DAMAGE from these events and wider reporting from every corner of the earth.But that is largely a result of better coverage of world events and the penchant of human beings to build houses in the flood plains of rivers or in the pathways of hurricanes....which of course results in more catastrophe but not because the weather event was any more severe.

I have not yet heard any media reports of the extraordinarily mild Atlantic hurricane season last year because the media does not report non events.

As I have stated many times it is unlikely that the dire predictions if the IPCC will come to fruition. Not one of them has so far, therefore one could be forgiven for not believing the rest.

Unfortunately - and there are dozens of examples throughout history - science is not infallible and the theories that we once thought were unassailable have given way to a deeper understanding of physics and natural processes. To believe that the IPCC understands fully every process involved in setting the earth's climate is about as ridiculous an assumption as assuming that the atom was the smallest part of matter and was indestructible. How wrong we were about that. Or the assumption that sea life could not survive in the deepest oceans of the earth when it appears to be quite abundant. Or the assumption that earth was flat and the dire prediction that Mr. Christopher Columbus would fall off the edge. Or the widely held belief that the Sun revolved around the Earth. History has a really bad (or good) habit of making fools out of the most learned scientists and the IPCC reports are going to go down in history as one of the greatest packages of nonsense ever written.

My physics teacher taught me a very important lesson when I managed to get an unusual zero on an exam question by making a totally erroneous assumption and wrote a great answer to the wrong question. He said and I quote. Never Assume. It makes an ASS out of U and ME.


Malcolm Rawlingson's picture
Malcolm Rawlingson on Jun 10, 2014
Richard - you don't understand the electricity business when you say "For your consideration - a moderate size modern industrial economy, in a non-ideal location, setting records for % of net generation"

If the power is produced at the wrong time - as it mostly is with renewable plants the total % of net production is irrelevant. The whole point of the article above is that energy storage is the ONLY way wind and solar can be of any value. We don't yet have an effective way of doing that.

As I have repeated many times here since the Sun does not shine at night therefore any sort of solar power production MUST be supported by reliable forms of power or some type of energy storage. The only reason any current solar installation is useful is that it has a grid powered by coal oil, natural gas and nuclear to support it. Without that you will be burning candles or whale oil at night.

Saudi Arabia - one of the sunniest places on earth is building the COMBINATION or solar plants AND 16 nuclear power plants to provide water and electricity. It also has lots of desert to locate them in. That makes perfect sense to me. But to argue that renewables can produce enough reliable power to run an industrial economy is just not feasible.

The much touted German "investment" in solar power is supported by the much less touted introduction of large lignite burning coal fired power plants in Eastern Germany. Much hype about the former no hype about the latter - strange that isn't it. Electricity has increased by over 300% and large industrial conglomerates are moving their plants out of Germany to low cost energy jurisdictions such as the USA. Sooner or later when the demand is destroyed Germany will be able to power its economy on a couple of windmills and you can then tout the fact that 100% of net energy production is renewable. No jobs, no economy but otherwise all is fine and dandy.


Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Jun 11, 2014
Climate "change": naturally occurring processes, which, over the course of thousands to millions of years, gradually alter the conditions of the atmosphere, land and oceans. These processes are slow enough for most of life to adapt to such changes over the course of hundreds/thousands of generations

Climate "disruption": cataclysmic step changes, induced in the short term by natural or man-made events, with immediate affects upon the atmosphere, land and oceans. A process fast enough to disrupt most of life over the course of a handful of generations, forcing unadapting creatures into extinction, and the adaptable species into mass migrations and other disruptive adjustments to combat hostile environmental changes.

The trivializers of the problem do not comprehend the difference between these two situations. Step changes in the human-time frame of reference are what happens when a hurricane rolls through, or a volcano erupts, or a nuclear war is prosecuted. In a nature-time frame of reference, a step change can occur over a few decades or just a couple of centuries.

WE are inducing a huge change over the course of less than two centuries. The early warning system has gone off: the Titanic has just hit the iceberg a few minutes ago, in the wee hours of the morning. Now, a few people are willing to put on their life vests, but the rest want to stay in their cozy bunks, or party on in the ballrooms because they think the ship is not taking on any water.

We all know how that story ends...

Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Jun 11, 2014
I suggest you revisit more current information on the German situation, paying particularly close attention to the Energy Plan adopted in 2010, and on the contents of Table 2 contained here:

Also, in Germany, it is the residential/commercial rates which have gone up. The price of power for industrial users has returned to about the "old" levels:

I am NOT claiming that online renewables will be 100%, or even 90% of the solution. I am claiming that they NEED to be, and CAN be at least 50% of the solution, with the rest being nuclear, reductions in total per capita energy consumption, gas combined cycle plants (eventually to be fired with bio-methane), and so forth. Coal-fired boilers need to be forced into retirement by 2035.

Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Jun 12, 2014
Let's see - more debunking is in order, apparently.

The graph of the Arizona solar plant output:

Claim: Output was a miserable 18% average of nameplate rating on a "scattered cloudy day"

Facts: - NOBODY rates a solar plant on a 24 hour basis, which is what this claim did. - Based on the multiple low-output excursions lasting from 15 minutes to over one hour, the weather conditions varied from "mostly sunny" to "mostly cloudy", and are NOT typical of Arizona Tucson or Phoenix weather, but more typical of Winslow in "northeast" AZ, in the general vicinity of this SMALL solar station. - See weather charts in middle of this very long page: - Nominal output during the relevant daytime hours (about minutes 510 = 8:30AM thru 1020 = 5PM) or 8.5 hours out of 24. The 18% now becomes 40-50% of "expectations" for a cloudless sunny day. - Early cutoff of output curve at 5PM indicates this is not a tracking array, but fixed orientation, not an optimal installation

People who cherry-pick BAD data to prove a point make very BAD arguments.


Malcolm Rawlingson's picture
Malcolm Rawlingson on Jun 12, 2014
Well Richard if, as you say the Titanic has already hit the iceberg then what is the point of any reduction in CO2 emissions now? If you are right there is already sufficient CO2 in the atmosphere and we are all toast so you can put as many solar panels in Germany as you want - too late - your words.

Which makes me wonder why you would promote solar panels since they will have zero effect on the outcome. Your philosophy is deeply flawed.

However I want to draw your attention to a philosopher who is worth reading - Bertrand Russel.

This is a passage out of a book by Cox and Foreshaw called "Why E=MC2". An excellent book for many reasons and I suggest you read it to enlighten yourself on the true application of the scientific method to understand why the IPCC methodology is more flawed than you think.

"In his China teapot analogy, the philosopher Bertrand Russel illustrates the futility of holding on to concepts that have no observable consequences. Russel asserts that he believes there is a small china teapot orbiting between the Earth and Mars which is too small to be discovered by the most powerful telescopes in existence. If a larger telescope is constructed and, after exhaustive and time-consuming survey of the entire sky finds no evidence of the teapot, Russel will claim that the teapot is slightly smaller than expected but still there. This is commonly known as "moving the goalposts". Although the teapot may never be observed it is an "intolerable assumption" says Russel on the part of the human race to doubt its existence. Indeed the rest of the human race should respect his position, no matter how preposterous it appears.

Russel's point is not to assert his right to be left alone to his personal delusions, but that devising a theory that cannot be proved or disproved by observation is pointless in the sense that it teaches you nothing, irrespective of how passionately you may believe in it.

The theory of CO2 induced global warming cannot be proved or disproved which is why it remains theory. There are many other theories which are a better fit to the observed data but the UN chooses to pick CO2 for political reasons that have nothing whatever to do with the Earth's climate.

You should really look yourself in the eye Richard and ask yourself why none of the predictions from this model have actually occurred. Could it be - God forbid - that the model is wrong. The IPCC believe there is a small china pot orbiting between the Earth and Mars and the human race cannot prove them right or wrong. Therefore it is a belief NOT scientific fact.


Malcolm Rawlingson's picture
Malcolm Rawlingson on Jun 12, 2014
Regarding your post of pure jibberish above.

Here is what you said.

Facts: - NOBODY rates a solar plant on a 24 hour basis, which is what this claim did. - Based on the multiple low-output excursions lasting from 15 minutes to over one hour, the weather conditions varied from "mostly sunny" to "mostly cloudy", and are NOT typical of Arizona Tucson or Phoenix weather, but more typical of Winslow in "northeast" AZ, in the general vicinity of this SMALL solar station. - See weather charts in middle of this very long page: - Nominal output during the relevant daytime hours (about minutes 510 = 8:30AM thru 1020 = 5PM) or 8.5 hours out of 24. The 18% now becomes 40-50% of "expectations" for a cloudless sunny day. - Early cutoff of output curve at 5PM indicates this is not a tracking array, but fixed orientation, not an optimal installation

Absolute NONSENSE from start to finish.

The ACTUAL FACTS: EVERYBODY in the entire power industry rates the effectiveness of every power generation method by capacity factor. That is the amount of power it COULD have produced over the amount of power it ACTUALLY produced over a given time period IRRESPECTIVE OF THE TYPE OF FUEL. Unfortunately for wind and solar their output is at the mercy of the weather. But that is no excuse for changing the yardstick. This is the type of nonsense arithmetic that the IPCC is full of. No wonder you believe it.

By that token I could argue that nuclear power plants have a capacity factor of 300% since if it was not for the steam cycle all of the nuclear energy release could be converted to electricity.

You arguments are pure bunk. The FACTS are the capacity factor of the Arizona plant IS 18% which makes it an extraordinarily poor producer of electricity. It seems you don't want to deal with the hard truth so come up with some nefarious number crunching to make bad look good.


Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Jun 13, 2014
Sorry, but when MY customers evaluate a solar power installation, they look at an average daily production curve, determine how much power they can sell to the grid at what time of day, then size their installation according to their calculations, they ARE NOT looking at 24/7 ratings. They are looking at overall "nameplate" capacity times the diurnal curve in order to plan production, and MWHr of net generation. It is all and economic calculation, which both the engineers and accountants associated with a solar project understand. The income to the utility or IPP building the facility v. its cost determines the ROI, and THAT is what determines whether a facility is a good or poor producer of electricity.

Using an 8-hour power output curve and averaging it over 24 hours, and comparing that to the nameplate rating for a wind turbine or a fossil powered boiler or combustion turbine is comparing apples to oranges to cumquats to avocados. Discussing it in the same manner without the underlying economic analysis (ROI) is a disservice to your readers - you are bamboozling them by gross oversimplification of the situation.

In summary, as far as nameplate ratings are concerned: 1MW gas turbine capacity does not equal 1MW nuclear power plant capacity does not equal 1MW wind-turbine "capacity" does not equal 1MW solar array "capacity"

Capacity factors of each of these technologies ARE calculated according to when each technology can potentially produce power, v. how much they ARE delivering during those time periods. Our projects are scored/evaluated based on that, for each different technology. "Civilian" or blog-described KPI's are meaningless during contract evaluation.


Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Jun 13, 2014
Regarding the denialist claims of the atmospheric CO2 being wholly disconnected from climate. Aaaaaargh (sigh)

3 deg-C per doubling from the initial 270ppm, without any other positive feedback mechanisms.

Population growth and per capita energy consumption are relentless forces ...

We are going to hit 600ppm by 2100 even with drastic per capita CO2 footprint reductions of 95% over that time period.

If we go about business as usual, we will push well past the second doubling, into the 1200-1500 ppm region.

Last year we had days tipping past 400ppm, this year the entire month of April averaged over 400ppm. My models say that we are going to average an entire year over 400ppm by the end of 2017. Still going up unabated after that, as far as we can tell right now.

Malcolm Rawlingson's picture
Malcolm Rawlingson on Jun 13, 2014
Richard - smoke and mirrors to make solar installations look better than they actually are. Using THAt nutbar basis for economic performance makes nuclear power plants ten times better than solar.

The purpose of the capacity factor - the very reason why it is used universally throughout the power industry is to create a level playing field for ALL generation types.

You have explained PERFECTLY why solar power requires subsidies (feed-in-tariffs as they are now disguised) are required since no other economic model has a chance of being profitable.

Solar power will never be able to have more than a token effect on the worlds electricity production (<5%) and an overall negative effect on CO2 production - if you are concerned about that which you claim to be. If you REALLY want to reduce CO2 emissions then nuclear power plants on a large scale are the only answer. If you want to sell solar panels then you use artificial and useless calculations to determine their fake viability and bolster it with scaremongering about the state of the worlds climate.

Please state to me one single prediction of the IPCC that has come to fruition.

Fortunately there are people like Bryan here who are prepared to sit down and spend the time to debunk the theories of CO2 induced climate change and expose it for what it really is - political maneuvering and to promote the sales of useless technologies. Meanwhile vast swathes of our current 7 billion people have no electricity and live in poverty. Apparently you are happy with that.


Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Jun 16, 2014
Well, for one, see the chart in the middle of this page, where modeled predictions and measurements from the PAST century have been overlaid, up to date, and note that the modeled averages do not diverge from reality, except during WW2 era.

Renewable energy production is not useless technology - you are too funny.

I wonder how many people called the telephone a useless technology in the first couple of decades of its existence. Same with the automobile. History typically proves such parochial and visionless opinions as useless and laughable.


Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Jun 23, 2014
Oh - and the origins of the CO2 warnings were sounded in the late 1950's, well before any of these so-called "useless technologies" were even beginning to be deployed.

Arrhenius predicted warming as a consequence of CO2 doubling in the 1890's - that name should be familiar to you.

"Better spectrography in the 1950s showed that CO2 and water vapor absorption lines did not overlap completely. Climatologists also realized that little water vapor was present in the upper atmosphere. Both developments showed that the CO2 greenhouse effect would not be overwhelmed by water vapor.[14]

In 1955 Hans Suess's carbon-14 isotope analysis showed that CO2 released from fossil fuels was not immediately absorbed by the ocean. In 1957, better understanding of ocean chemistry led Roger Revelle to a realization that the ocean surface layer had limited ability to absorb carbon dioxide.[21] By the late 1950s, more scientists were arguing that carbon dioxide emissions could be a problem, with some projecting in 1959 that CO2 would rise 25% by the year 2000, with potentially "radical" effects on climate.[14] In 1960 Charles David Keeling demonstrated that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere was in fact rising, as Revelle had predicted. Concern mounted year by year along with the rise of the "Keeling Curve" of atmospheric CO2."

People benefit a lot more by learning a little accurate science and history, and not just blathering baseless opinion founded on conservative political viewpoints and ax-grinding.

Bryan Leyland's picture
Thank Bryan for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network® is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »