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joker
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PostTue Jun 04, 2019 1:28 pm 
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Parked Out wrote:
Excellent new video by the youtuber Real Engineering that explains why actually relying on intermittent energy (as opposed to merely adding it, while still relying on traditional sources to meet demand) is projected to be so incredibly expensive.  The video looks at the hypothetical example of replacing the Moss Landing natural gas plant in Monterey Bay, CA with solar power & battery storage.


More or less the same story with simplified back-of-the-envelope calculations, from Roger Andrews on the Energy Matters blog:

http://euanmearns.com/the-cost-of-wind-solar-power-batteries-included/

Same story again, this time from the MIT Technology Review:

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611683/the-25-trillion-reason-we-cant-rely-on-batteries-to-clean-up-the-grid/

Yes, these are important realities with which to grapple. This is why, for instance, I'm willing to swallow increased investment in nuclear power (this plus the fact that there are emerging approaches to nuclear that look likely to reduce its risks). Yes, perhaps eventually we'll see storage tech that's dramatically cheaper than what we have today or can project from current trendlines. That's well worth investing in as part of that "mitigation and adaptation research moonshots" type public investment. But hardly something to build current operational policy upon. As the author of one of your articles put it (an author, btw, who is very interested in seeing a big societal shift toward climate-friendly technology use as far as I can see):

Quote:
But it’s dangerous to bank on those kinds of battery breakthroughs—and even if Form Energy or some other company does pull it off, costs would still rise exponentially beyond the 90 percent threshold, Ferrara says.
“The risk,” Jenkins says, “is we drive up the cost of deep decarbonization in the power sector to the point where the public decides it’s simply unaffordable to continue toward zero carbon.”
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PostTue Jun 04, 2019 6:31 pm 
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joker wrote:
Yes, these are important realities with which to grapple. This is why, for instance, I'm willing to swallow increased investment in nuclear power (this plus the fact that there are emerging approaches to nuclear that look likely to reduce its risks). Yes, perhaps eventually we'll see storage tech that's dramatically cheaper than what we have today or can project from current trendlines. That's well worth investing in as part of that "mitigation and adaptation research moonshots" type public investment. But hardly something to build current operational policy upon.

So what DO we build current operational policy upon?

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joker
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PostTue Jun 04, 2019 6:47 pm 
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Existing tech plus lessons  learned.  Let the private sector bring research breakthroughs to market before counting on them.
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PostTue Jun 04, 2019 6:50 pm 
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drm wrote:
Btw, the flooding on the Mississippi and Missouri this year is constantly described as off the charts. I suppose in some sense that is what records are, but the length of time that these rivers are staying high is apparently baffling people, who expect floods to last days or a week or two. So how does something like this get caught by statistics?  Major floods are extremely rare no matter what and catching trends in extremely rare events takes a very long time. So statistics cannot really have anything to say about whether this event is a one-off or not. But researchers can look at atmospheric moisture content and other factors and come up with a hypothesis, which then cannot really be fully validated for a long time.

A hypothesis is all well and good but to me it seems like the cart has gotten way out ahead of the horse on the supposed link between AGW and extreme weather.

The Wikipedia entry on the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 is entertaining:

The flood began with extremely heavy rains in the central basin of the Mississippi in the summer of 1926. By September, the Mississippi's tributaries in Kansas and Iowa were swollen to capacity. On Christmas Day of 1926, the Cumberland River at Nashville, Tennessee, exceeded 56 ft 2 in (17.1 m), a level that remains a record to this day, higher than the devastating 2010 floods.

Flooding peaked in the Lower Mississippi River near Mound Landing, Mississippi, and Arkansas City, Arkansas, and broke levees along the river in at least 145 places. The water flooded more than 27,000 square miles (70,000 km2) of land, and left more than 700,000 people homeless. Approximately 500 people died as a result of flooding. Monetary damages due to flooding reached approximately $1 billion, which was one-third of the federal budget in 1927. If the event were to have occurred in 2007, the damages would total around $930 billion or $1 trillion (measured in 2007 U.S. dollars).

The flood affected Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Arkansas was hardest hit, with 14% of its territory covered by floodwaters extending from the Mississippi and Arkansas deltas. By May 1927, the Mississippi River below Memphis, Tennessee, reached a width of 60 miles (100 km).

The flood's most dramatic moment occurred on April 29, when authorities—hoping to protect New Orleans—dynamited the levee 13 miles below the Crescent City at Caernarvon in order to flood the relatively less populated Acadian region of St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes. Without trees, grasses, deep roots, and wetlands, the denuded soil of the watershed could not do its ancient work of absorbing floodwater after seasons of intense snow and rain.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mississippi_Flood_of_1927

Didn't realize this event was the genesis of When the Levee Breaks...I learn something new every day.

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PostTue Jun 04, 2019 7:13 pm 
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joker wrote:
Existing tech plus lessons learned.  Let the private sector bring research breakthroughs to market before counting on them.

I wouldn't argue with that.  Michael Shellenberger is not a big enthusiast of next-gen nuclear but nothing would make him happier than to see more AP-1000s coming online or at least to see fewer going offline.  I admit my own enthusiasm is dampened by the price tag of conventional nuclear, but in the 'lessons-learned' department, I don't think carbon emissions have ever been reduced anywhere by the early retirement of a nuclear facility.  Still, if I had $100 billion to spend, I'd put it toward R&D on next-gen rather than ten new AP-1000s.

On intermittents I'm still not convinced that the EROI is high enough to ever make any significant difference in CO2 reduction, especially when batteries are brought into the mix and/or excess solar generation is being routinely dumped even at relatively low penetrations.

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PostTue Jun 04, 2019 7:22 pm 
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Great essay by Mike Hulme of the University of Cambridge:

Am I a denier, a human extinction denier?


There has been a lot of talk recently about climate change and extinction.

It is undoubtedly the case that species go extinct.  And sometimes large numbers of species disappear together in mass events caused by the same physical stresses.  It is also true that at some point in the future the human species will go extinct, or at the least evolve into a new species partly of our own making.

Yet I resist the current mood of ‘extinctionism’ which pervades the new public discourse around climate change.  Talking about the future in this way is counter-productive.  And it does a disservice to development, justice, peace-making and humanitarian projects being undertaken around the world today.


https://mikehulme.org/am-i-a-denier-a-human-extinction-denier/#

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joker
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PostTue Jun 04, 2019 7:29 pm 
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An increase in electric vehicles would potentially change the benefits  of intermittent electricity generation, combined with pricing that rewarded charging when generation is peaking. But I don't think that significantly changes the need for nuclear. The right balance between investing in existing proven designs versus tech that's emerging via current private sector investment is an interesting question.

But my impression is that the government is better at investing in basic research than in making medium term market bets...
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PostTue Jun 04, 2019 7:47 pm 
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joker wrote:
An increase in electric vehicles would potentially change the benefits  of intermittent electricity generation, combined with pricing that rewarded charging when generation is peaking. But I don't think that significantly changes the need for nuclear. The right balance between investing in existing proven designs versus tech that's emerging via current private sector investment is an interesting question.

I think regardless of what else the future brings we'll be seeing huge growth in EVs over the next couple of decades.

joker wrote:
But my impression is that the government is better at investing in basic research than in making medium term market bets...

Agree 100%.

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Doppelganger
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PostWed Jun 05, 2019 7:53 am 
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Parked Out wrote:
A few quotes from the 2017 US National Climate Assessment:

US National Climate Assessment - 2017
US National Climate Assessment - 2017

1. The statement regarding the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report is misleading at best, obfuscating to be more accurate, and dishonest if one tends to be more critical. AR5's conclusion was unequivocal, humans have contributed directly to current changes in climate. You can spend the rest of your days saying "hey the IPCC AR5 didn't say anything about this one thing", the change is going to roll over you regardless.

2. Ask yourselves, who is the Center for Science & Technology Policy Research? Who put this graphic together, and can I trust that they were objective throughout? Perhaps, but they sound like their focus is on how information affects policy on various levels:

CSTPR Site wrote:
CSTPR seeks to improve how science and technology policies address societal needs, through research, education and service.

IPCC Climate Projection GraphThe Center is a response to an increase in problem-focused research at the interfaces of environment, technology, and policy, and to the growing demand by public and private decision makers for “usable” scientific information.

They have more office assistants than any other staff position biggrin.gif You're going to trust these four people (omitting the office managers and assistants, unless you think they are contributing to CSTPR studies...) as your go to source? OK. Give this program (Max Boykoff, that's their director  rolleyes.gif ) a try and let me know how that goes.

Inside the Greenhouse (https://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/about_us/) wrote:

Max Boykoff, Rebecca Safran (Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) and Beth Osnes (Associate Professor, Department of Theater and Dance) at the University of Colorado Boulder are working to deepen our understanding of how issues associated with climate change are/can be communicated, by creating artifacts through interactive theatre, film, fine art, performance art, television programming, and appraising as well as extracting effective methods for multimodal climate communication.

Edit: Bonus points for acknowledging that their previous director was a political scientist.

Edit 2: Holy s***, you actually linked a video *and* a blog post from the Roger Pielke, the former director of CSTPR - and their current director of the Sports Governance Center, a sub department of the Department of Athletics. Some sterling credentials  rolleyes.gif  lol.gif  lol.gif  Get some standards.

Parked Out wrote:
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Doppelganger
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PostWed Jun 05, 2019 8:22 am 
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Parked Out wrote:
Doppelganger wrote:
The reassurance from the EPA (selectively missing a few years) should be comforting to residents of affected towns along the river. Former residents of Paradise should likewise be relieved. My claim stands, these towns and landscapes will not be the same.

You didn't say "these towns and landscapes will not be the same," you said "kiss the world we've known goodbye."

These places were the world to some people. Some people may face this challenge in Beverly and Mattawa this week, I invite you to split these hairs with them.
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Doppelganger
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PostWed Jun 05, 2019 8:31 am 
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thunderhead wrote:
There are how many flood gauges in the US?  1000s.

Kind of right. 9050 according to the USGS.

thunderhead wrote:
How many years have they been around... 75 years?

A good number of records should be set every year.

dizzy.gif Really think about what you are saying here  lol.gif
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PostWed Jun 05, 2019 9:12 am 
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Doppelganger wrote:
...a bunch of confused things.

Your posts make no sense.

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Doppelganger
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PostWed Jun 05, 2019 9:44 am 
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Parked Out wrote:
Doppelganger wrote:
...a bunch of confused things.

Your posts make no sense.

You didn't seem to have any trouble until I called the reliability of your sources into question. Help me understand where your confusion lies, if indeed you are experiencing any confusion regarding the simple points I have put forth maybe we can address that.
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PostWed Jun 05, 2019 12:04 pm 
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Doppelganger, half a continent's worth of stream gauges that have existed for a relatively short amount of time should be setting new records, at least somewhere, frequently.

If there are indeed 9050 guages and the average age is 75 years, approximately 125 gauges should break their previous record in an average year.

That is pretty basic.
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Doppelganger
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PostWed Jun 05, 2019 1:34 pm 
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thunderhead wrote:
If there are indeed 9050 guages and the average age is 75 years, approximately 125 gauges should break their previous record in an average year.

That is pretty basic.

1. Did you just divide 9050 by 75 to get that number?

2. Is there a law of increasing averages in hydrology that would dictate a constant increase in crest levels for a certain number of gauges, regardless of their dispersal across disparate river systems? Why do you propose that each year we should expect to see these records broken, are you basing this on the assumption that gauges are still establishing a base set of data?

My point stands, in fact it sounds even scarier when it's framed within your proposed equation: a 75 year pattern of annual record breaking crests should not be a comforting thought.
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