Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Archive for the tag “cost comparison”

More articles on the downside of intermittent power

The heat on that rooftop during a hot day degrades performance.   “Solar Panel” by Marufish is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

A few articles over the last month on the substantial problems from trying to rely on intermittent power sources.

  • Heavy use of wind and solar in Germany is also destabilizing the grid in Poland and Czech Republic
  • New words to use when discussing intermittent energy:  energy from weather; wind plants (not farms); corporate welfare recipients
  • Effective capacity from energy sources in US (actual output compared to theoretical nameplate rating):  wind 13%, solar 38%, natural gas 87%
  • Solar panels lose output when it is really hot on the roof

2/16/17 – Wall Street Journal – In Central Europe, Germany’s Renewable Revolution Causes Friction / The country’s surplus power, a byproduct of its shift to green energy, is spilling over into Poland and Czech Republic, straining their electrical grids – Germany’s grand plan of Energiewende (meaning energy revolution) involves generating massive amounts of unreliable and unpredictable power from solar and wind sources in the northern part of the country for use in the industry intensive southern region. An additional problem (beyond massive surge and drops in production) is the country does not have enough power lines to transmit the electricity from the north to the south. As a result the power is transferred into Poland and Czech Republic and then in turn transmitted to southern Germany. Essentially the electricity is rerouted a couple hundred miles east before it is routed 400 or 500 miles south.

The complication is that on those days with lots of sunlight and those hours when there happens to strong wind (but not too much) the Polish and Czech energy markets are overwhelmed with surplus energy.

Read more…

A glimpse at the pricing of new jets

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Hey, I’m interested in the oddest things. Saw an article saying Boeing completed a deal for 80 aircraft at a list price approaching $17 billion.

I wondered, just what is the sticker price for a brand new jet?

If you are also curious, follow along with me as I take a quick look at the details.

12/12 – Wall Street Journal – Boeing Seals Nearly $17 Billion Iran Deal – The deal could get sidetracked by a change in administration, but they have a deal, subject to approval of a wide range of federal agencies.

The deal with Iran includes:

  • 15 – 777-300ER wide bodies
  • 15 – 777X, wide bodies, under development
  • 50 – 737 Max, single aisle obviously
  • 80 – total deal

Read more…

2013 construction costs for different energy sources

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Construction of the above is four times as expensive as natural gas, but at least this won’t incinerate birds. Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Million Dollar Way pointed me to EIA data for 2013 on the costs for construction and amount of new capacity for wind, solar, natural gas, hydro and biomass. As expected, the non-reliables have extremely high construction costs.

The data can be found here

Since the graph is public information, I will post it below:

Source: Energy Information Administration

Source: Energy Information Administration

Read more…

Data points for building solar farms at airports

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Have mentioned some of this before, but will post again to keep track of it.

12/3 – The Million Dollar Way – Minneapolis Airport Solar Project Twice The Quoted Rate for Solar Energy Projects at $7 Million / MW; No Problem – Increased Landing Fees – No One Will Notice

Two Minnie solar projects on top of parking garages at the airport.

Read more…

Official estimates of capital costs for electricity sources

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

I’ve been tracking the actual costs of various electricity projects as I come across them in my reading. Came across a superb source for future reference.

The Energy Information Administration calculates the costs to build a wide variety of generating plants. The 2014 data is here: Table 8.2 Cost and performance characteristics of new central station electricity generating technologies

I’m probably in over my head with this table, but here is what I’ve learned. The total overnight cost is the estimated amount if the project were to be built instantly. I think that represents what most people would consider to be the cost of construction.

Read more…

Swapping new solar farms for existing coal & nuclear plants will increase cost of electricity

Wind farm at a moment when the backup gas turbines can sit idle. Picture courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Wind farm at a moment during the day when the backup gas turbines can sit idle. Picture courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

The forced push to replace coal and nuclear power with wind will cost consumers dearly.

8/9 – Wall Street Journal – The Price Tag For Uprooting America’s Electric Grid – A new study from the Institute for Energy Research (IER) looks at the cost of constructing new energy sources with the cost from existing sources.

This is a big deal because the EPA’s goal of transforming the power grid will require shutting down a tremendous amount of already-operating plants and replacing that power with brand-new, intermittent, renewable power. That means shutting down existing coal plants and building new wind farms.

Bottom line is we will be shutting down conventional coal that produces electricity at $38.40 per megawatt-hour (mWh) in exchange for new wind farms at an all-in cost of $112.80/mWh.

Here are the costs calculated in the study, in dollars per mWh: Read more…

Resale price of a wind farm, almost new, barely any miles, just off the dealer’s lot

Per megawatt:

  • $2.5M – construction cost
  • $0.5M – resale price

As I notice articles describing the construction cost to build wind and solar facilities, I’m accumulating the information. A while back there was a discussion on the resale price. Compared to slice-and-dicers, a brand new car holds its value incredibly well.

Depreciation from driving a car off the dealer’s lot is nothin’ compared to a wind turbine.

4/17 – Million Dollar Way- Let’s Do The Math — April 17, 2015; Original Price: $2.6 Million / MW — Sold For $500K / MW Read more…

Two more data points on cost to build renewable energy sources

I’m accumulating data points on the construction cost to build energy facilities. Two articles give info on three projects:

  • $2.5M / mW – solar
  • $1.6M / mW – wind
  • $1.6M / mW – wind

Read more…

Extremely costly offshore wind farm will start producing expensive electricity late in 2016

The Wall Street Journal reports First Offshore Wind Farm in U.S. Powers Ahead – The first offshore wind turbines in the US will start construction soon and is expected to produce electricity late next year. Located a few miles off Block Island, Rhode Island, the turbines will replace diesel as source of electricity for the 1,000 residents.

The electricity has been purchased under a contract with National Grid with starting prices above market and rates to increase 3.5% each year for the 20 year life of the contract. Cost for the residents of the island will go down because this is replacing expensive diesel that is shipped to the island.

After some background, let’s look at the construction costs per megawatt of theoretical capacity.

Read more…

Operating costs per hour for USAF planes

To support a side comment in previous article, I did a quick search on operating costs of fighters. For future reference in other articles, I’ll list some of the info here.

4/2/13 – Time magazine – Costly Flight Hours – This is the longest list I could quickly find. Author cites a researcher who volunteered the info he had gathered from official sources, so take it for what its worth. Cool official pictures for the planes, too. A few highlights:

Bombers: Read more…

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