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Posts from December 0

Properly Representing Wind and Solar in Electricity Systems: Electricity Generated (Part II)

By Kent Hawkins -- April 12, 2017

“If the purpose is to show fuel consumption by various fuels in electricity generation, the correct measure is not the electricity produced but the fuel consumed with the impact of erratic and unreliable wind and solar generation accounted for.”

This is the second post in a series reviewing Power magazine’s article on the International Energy Agency (IEA) paper, the recent World Energy Outlook. Part I yesterday dealt with installed capacity projections to 2040 and showed that this was a misleading measure. This post will show that in understanding fuel consumption, simply reporting the electricity produced is also misleading.

To illustrate the trends in fuels for electricity generation, the Power magazine article shows a more complex chart of electricity generation flows (compared to the installed capacity in Part I), reflecting such things as the net effect of plant closures and new plant construction to arrive at a result for 2040.…

Properly Representing Wind and Solar in Electric Systems: Generation Capacity (Part I)

By Kent Hawkins -- April 11, 2017

“The reality is that non-dispatchable generation technologies, (wind and solar) cannot be directly compared with dispatchable generation technologies (coal, natural gas, nuclear, biomass, and generally speaking, hydro). This is a common mistake.”

Unfortunately, unrealistic representations of wind and solar are alive and well in many publications. Even if mathematically correct, their ability to reflect reality should always be carefully assessed.

These are like maps that show only a few major features, such as coastlines, mountains, large rivers, and major roads, leaving out the likes of non-fordable smaller rivers, marshes, ravines, and steep slopes or cliffs.

Signs to watch out for:

  • Wind and solar are included in graphs comparing capacities or capital investments.
  • Representing that capacities, electricity production, and costs per watt-hour of electricity produced can be used to directly compare non-dispatchable wind and solar with reliable, controllable generation plants.

Modelling Global Warming Policy Decisions: Mitigation Fails

By Kent Hawkins -- December 13, 2016

“The diversion of the associated massive investment of national wealth away from mitigation to adaption policies is most likely our best chance of meeting all the other major threats to humanity, many of which are more ‘clear and present’ than global warming.”

How are the vast majority of us to assess the claims of problematic global warming and mandated responses? At present, we are simply being told by ‘experts’ what is happening, and what we must do about it. The task of properly assessing climate issues is very complex, and individually we do not have the time to devote to the immense task of properly doing this.

One helpful approach is a simple decision tree model to evaluate policy options for global warming that has been published by Michael Cochrane, whose background includes a Ph.D.…

‘Where Wind Studies Go Wrong’: Response to Michael Goggin (AWEA)

By Kent Hawkins -- August 29, 2016

Evaluating Wind Impact (Part III — Fuel Consumption and Emissions Evaluation)

By Kent Hawkins -- August 11, 2016

Evaluating Wind Impact (Part II — Ramping)

By Kent Hawkins -- August 10, 2016

Evaluating Wind Impact (Part I — Basics)

By Kent Hawkins -- August 9, 2016

Offshore Wind Decommissioning: The Bad End of a Bad Technology

By Kent Hawkins -- April 21, 2016

Science, Advocacy, and Public Policy (MIT’s ‘The Future of Solar Energy’ revisited)

By Kent Hawkins -- February 23, 2016

Primary Energy Consumption (Part III—Emissions)

By Kent Hawkins -- October 14, 2015