How solar pV performed around the world on march equinox (+/- a couple of days in order have results from a sunny day)
How a hypothetical 100% renewable energy system (wind and solar) would have turned out for Germany in 2018 expressed as percent of average weekly generation (annual generation divided by 52).
This is how much a 6MW Hywind turbine installation weighs:
Siemens 6MW turbine: 360.000kg (mostly steel)
Substructure: 3.500.000kg (steel)
Suction anchors: 333.000kg (steel)
Chains: 1.200.000kg (steel)
Ballast: 5.000.000kg (iron ore)
Total weight: 10.393.000kg
Totalt weight, steel equivalent: 7.893.000kg
Totalt weight, iron ore equivalent: 15.786.000kg
Fun fact: A total 2.280.000.000.000kg of iron ore was mined globally in 2015 according to wikipedia.
Fun fact 2: In order to produce 100% of the worlds electricity (20.261TWh) you will ned 770.000 turibines a 6MW (given a capacity factor of 50%)
Fun fact 3: In order to produce 770.000 floating wind turbines you will need about 6 years worth of iron ore production
Fun fact 4: The cost of iron ore is about 70$/ton which gives you a minimum cost of 184$ per kW installed
Fun fact 5: The cost of steel is about 700$/ton which gives you a minimum cost of 920$ per kW installed
Fun fact 6: The final cost for the 30MW Hywind Scotland was about 200 millon dollar which gives you a cost of 6666$ per kW installed
Fun Fact 7: Each 6MW turbine can generate enough energy for 3000 people given a per capita electricity consumption of 8760kWh anually and a capacityfactor of 50%.
Per capita steelconsumption is 1797kg + 1666kg of iron ore.
Thoughts: A cost of 6$ per watt installed is actually not to bad considering wind having superior capacity factor compared to solar (in europe). Also the fact that energy production troughout the year is more equal compared to solar is a BIG advantage which is worth paying for. In terms of steel consumption, a equal sized bottom fixed turbine require about 3 times less steel (not counting the iron ore ballast) which is unfortunate but within what is acceptable.
Say hello to the Australian gigagrid. The HVDC lines illustrated one the map (see below) are pretty random, but the idea is to make a bunch of easth to west HVDC power lines with solar and wind parks spread out along the way.
Advantages of such a giga grid is:
- More constant and longer power production due to a 3 hour time diffrence
(western australia get solar energy earlier in the morning and the eastern states get to enjoy solar energy later in the afternoon well after sunset.
- Less daily generation variations (cloudy in the easth, sunny in the west and vice versa)
- Less seasonal variations if most of the power lines / solar parks are located further north than the major cities.
Undocumented fun fact: Solar rooftop is more expensive than solar parks? The money saved will pay for the HVDC lines?
Undocumented fun fact 2: The transmission losses are less than the energy gained by installing the solar panels in more sunny locations and with optimum tilt/tracking?
Good bye microgrid!
What`s the optimum wind to solar ratio for Germany in order to generate equal ammounts of electricity on a weekly basis troughout the year? Let us see how thing turns out based on how wind and solar performed in 2017. The table below express wind and solar generation as a percentage releative to average weekly electricity generation (EWF = weekly energy factor).
A 75/25 ratio seems to be a good fit. This is also close to the current wind to solar ratio which is and have been around 70/30 for serval years. Under is a graphic representation on the wind and solar generation from 2011 to 2018.
1. As more households install solar, the utility companies makes less money, but the cost of maintinging the grid is fixed. This means they have to increase the cost of electricity for those without solar panels.
2. Less utilization of fossil power plants leads to higher cost per kWh generated.
3. If to many households install solar panels, overgeneration will become an issue. When the sun is shining, a solar rooftop system might produce 10 times as much power than the house itself consume.
In short, net metering is totaly unsustainable, and so is most other solar policies. For solar energy to become a viable solution, the cost pr kWh electricty will have to vary based on time of day, current weather, weather forecast, time of year and much more. Renewable energy will never work with a fixed price!
If you are one of those who think the utility companies is greedy, you are probably right. But if you are defending the net metering policy, I would advise you to educate yourself!
Fun Fact(s): Worlds lithium reserves/resource are estimated to be about 53.000.000.000 kg (53 billion kg). In order to produce 1 kWh battery you need approximately 0,15kg lithium. Thats enough lithium to make 353.333.333.333 kWh = 353 TWh of batteries.
What can you do with 353 TWh worth of energy storage?
- Make 3,5 billion Tesla Model S with a 100kWh battery
- Power the worlds electricity grid to for 6 days.
Do we have enough? Well…………..
If a Tesla last for 300.000km and have an average consumption of 0,2kWh/km, you will need 60.000kWh in total. Let us also assume you keep the car for 25 years which is also how long most solar panels is expected to last.
In sunny California (capacity factor of 25%) you will need 4 solar panels a 270Watt to produce 60.000kWh over the solar panels 25 year life span! The catch is that you will be limited to 12.000km a year and a maximum daily range of 50km. Great if you like to park the car in the garage during day, and enjoy a joyride in the evening!
In a less sunny place such as Germany you will need 8 solar panels. On the bright side, this result in twice as much energy on a sunny day meaning a daily range of up to 100km.
To be noted: Having solar panels exclusive for car charging is a stupid. All solar panels should be connected to the electricity grid so that electric cars can be charged up to 100% on sunny days. #loadshifting
How much energy storage would Germany need if one hundred percent of the electricity was to be generated by only solar or wind? And how do solar and wind generation numbers compare at different times of year? Is there a chance they do “cancel each other out” in a way which could reduce the need for storage? Well, let`s see how it turns out based on the generation numbers from 2015 collected by strom-report.de!
Wind capacity: 38.000.000kW = 38.000MW = 38GW = 0,038TW
Wind peak: 32.600.000kW = 32.600MW = 32,6GW = 0,0326TW
Wind energy: 85.600.000.000kWh = 85.600.000MWh = 85.600GWh = 85,6*TWh
Wind capacity factor: 30% (based on national maximum peak generation)
Solar capacity: +39.000MW = 39GW = 0,039TW
Solar peak: 25.800.000kW = 25.800MW = 25,8GW = 0,0258TW
Solar energy: 36.800.000.000kWh = 36.800.000MWh = 36.800GWh = 36,8TWh
Solar capacity factor: 16,28% (based on national maximum peak generation)
- The annual energy generation for wind and solar is equal. Ewind = Esolar
- Energy consumption is equal every month
- No losses during charging/discharging
Table explained: The table is based on the solar and wind electricity generation data from Germany 2015 in order to figure out how much energy storage would be required. B3 = 43,7 = wind generation capacity factor in January 2015. C3 = Emf = monthly energy factor = 1,46 = energy produced compared to the average monthly production. A number above 1 means to much energy is generated and a number below 1 means to little energy have been generated. C15 = 1,96 = months of energy storage which is required if 100% of Germanys electricity consumption was to be generated from wind turbines. Column F, G shows how things turn out in a scenario where the annual generation is a 50/50 split between solar and wind.
As we can see the solar and wind production cancel each other out quite nicely and the energy storage requirement is reduced from 2/3 months to less than 1 month!
Now, let`s see how many GW of solar and wind Germany need to install if they were to be sole producers of electricity and annual electricity consumption is 576TWh. With a 50/50 split between solar and wind, both producing 288TWh a year we will need X terawatt of wind installed and Y terawatt solar installed:
Since the capacity factor is calculated based on the nationwide maximum peak, the actual capacity installed need to be somewhat higher, about 128GW of wind and 300GW of solar.
Fun fact: On a day which is both sunny and windy, only 65GW out of 310GW can be used directly, a little more if electricity consumption in general is less during night. The rest need to be stored in some kind of battery or be wasted!