TheDDC wrote: ↑Wed Jun 02, 2021 5:00 pm
Blueskies123 wrote: ↑Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:46 pm
Generation of electricity using natural gas with highly efficient $100 million turbines and delivering it through a smart gride to a house and then a new electric car is much more efficient than delivering gasoline to gas stations and then burning gasoline in internal combustion cars, many of them often very old, leaking and smoking cars and trucks.
Soon, in my opinion, you will see oil demand start to slump, (but not natural gas).
I would tend to agree. Natural gas is also far superior when it comes to heating things as a whole in an efficient, reliable manner. I use natural gas to heat my home, heat water, and for drying clothes. In terms of raw energy production, natural gas is the biggest game in town besides nuclear (to a lesser extent), wind, and solar. In some areas, hydro power could be a factor as well. I will say that I am surprised at the low cost of wind/solar as I recently switched my energy supplier to a 100% renewable company. In our state we are able to choose our supplier. That said, I do not know how well wind and solar can scale. I do hold a few shares of Williams (WMB), though nothing significant.
In the end it will all come down to price and the market. People won't give up ICEs until it is a cheaper option that the market sorts out (without duress from government). Here's the one question I have about EVs: What does one do in a multi-day power outage where we are expected to drive/evacuate? Storing energy via cells for long term use is not efficient, nor practical. Storing it in gas cans is.
Wind and solar are actually about the easiest technologies to scale -- add another turbine (they keep getting bigger, so the spacing is important) or lay out another row of solar panets. The main problem is local opposition to windfarms or giant solar farms and the bolstered connections to the grid (ie high voltage transmission towers & substations) that are sometimes required. But the growth in wind capacity in Europe is now offshore, which attracts relatively little opposition. Both the Baltic Sea and the North Sea have large shallow continental shelfs, and thus offshore wind is basically a re-use of the technology & services the offshore oil & gas industry has been providing for 50 years.
Southern Europe the wind is generally not as reliable (although it is so in Spain) but you have perfect conditions for solar. Main challenge then is what do you do at night?
US has some of the best onshore and offshore resources (wind and sun) in the world. However the Continental Shelf is much more limited so new technologies are required in some cases for offshore wind (floating & moored rather than fixed turbines).
- yes there are issues if there's a multi day outage. However, most people don't keep gasoline at home, I don't think? And petrol pumps don't work if there is no electricity.
Severe weather events are perhaps more common in USA than most of Europe and the grid is probably somewhat less reliable. Nonetheless for most people, most of the time, even in the USA, it's not going to be a big issue? One has a charged up car, and the Governor tells you to bug out, you drive to some place safe, recharge there?
In principle a 10kw PV home solar system could charge a 35kwhr car battery in about a day (assuming 50% of peak capacity x10kw x 8 hours). So too could a backup generator.
- agree re cost. It's hard to buy something with a lower Total Cost of Ownership/ Lifecycle cost if it is more expensive up front. But people will over time come to make that calculation.
Parenthetically there is a huge amount of work going on ($1bn+ trials) for using hydrogen in place of natural gas-- in Europe, for domestic or for industrial purposes. The pipes can be modified to take that, and in fact hydrogen was a constituent of the old "town gas" system of making gas for municipal use from coal-- systems which were later converted to the cleaner & more efficient natural gas.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_o ... th_America
Hydrogen should be a safer fuel than natural gas (methane) in that it's less likely that a slow leak will lead to buildup (H2 molecules just disperse themselves) and it's less of an explosive when ignited.
The decarbonisation of home heating is not a simple problem but there's a lot of money at stake so solutions will be found. Well insulated homes can switch to heat pumps - the latest Japanese ones cope well with temperatures down to c 10 degrees F (at which point your HP has an efficiency of 1.0 as basically an electric bar heater (at more common air temperatures, HPs can achieve efficiencies of over 4.0 ie 1kwhr electricity gives you 4 kwhr of heat). However homes which are less well insulated that won't work (HPs run best "low and slow" whereas gas furnaces run "high and fast"). Hydrogen may well be an important solution to the conundrum.
The theory is that at times of excess generation, renewables can be used to create hydrogen (or ammonia) via electrolysis of water. Then that can be fed into the gas system, to be burned either by households or by gas turbines that act as peak power providers. There are a number of cost and scale challenges to get there, but it's certainly technically possible.
Hydrogen is also likely to be an important fuel for large vehicles (via fuel cells). Japan and South Korean car makers have done a lot of work on this.
** the deserts in western China might have a higher wind resource. I'd have to look at a map. The Chinese are building High Voltage DC lines to bring that power to the eastern states where all the industry & people are. The US has fewer HV DC lines (they have lower visual impact than AC lines) but they are common in other large countries with big distances to cover (e.g. Russia, Brasil, China, Quebec).