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Forced responses: Jun 2020

Filed under: — group @ 11 June 2020

Open thread on climate solutions. Please try and stay within a mile or two of the overall topic.

223 Responses to “Forced responses: Jun 2020”

  1. 51
    Mr. Know It All says:

    25 – BPL

    From your linked article:

    “Disclaimer: None of the sites discussed in this study have been the subject of geological, hydrological, environmental, heritage and other studies, and it is not known whether any particular site would be suitable. The commercial feasibility of developing these sites is unknown.”

    Here is the math on why hydro isn’t going to save us:

    https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/11/pump-up-the-storage/

    Maybe if we pave our roads with solar panels they can help? More math:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=51&v=H901KdXgHs4

  2. 52

    E-P 37: But our civilization requires reliable power, so the “renewables” require backup.

    BPL: Pumped hydro. Batteries. Wide-area smart grids. Flywheels. Trains run up hillsides. Capacitors. Compressed air. Molten salts (solar thermal plants in California have achieved better on-line time than neighboring coal plants that way). You know who thought these all up? ENGINEERS.

  3. 53

    BPL: https://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/anu-finds-530000-potential-pumped-hydro-sites-worldwide

    E-P: Practically unusable at an acceptable ecological cost. Those are almost all oceanside locations. They would be forced to use saltwater, pumped up high onto land. If you think saline infiltration due to groundwater consumption is bad in Florida, just think what the devastation would be from the wholesale dieoff of vegetation where seawater replaced fresh groundwater on high ground and everywhere below.

    BPL: And yet none of these problems have been reported for the existing 100 GWe or so of pumped hydro…

  4. 54

    E-P quotes Brett Kugelmass: Zero emissions globally in every single sector: electricity, transportation, agriculture, industry, heat, and you would not even notice a difference.

    BPL: Then nuclear wouldn’t help either.

  5. 55

    E-P 44: So instead of covering 5 km² with PV at 20% best-day CF to average 1 GW, you propose to cover 15 km² instead? Where are you going to get this 15 km² to put so much PV?

    BPL: http://bartonlevenson.com/IsSolarEnough.html

  6. 56
    jgnfld says:

    “It’s enough to serve the locals, but Newfoundland and Labrador have a combined population of only 536,000. The total N. American population is almost 1000x that. Even if there was enough water, who’d tolerate a thousand HVDC lines fanning out from Newfoundland and Quebec all over the continent?”

    Muskrat Falls is not a good poster boy for anything. It was politically-controlled (somewhat like corn ethanol in Iowa, but also to pwn Quebec for its past quite real sins in this area) much more that economically-controlled. Worse legislation underlying it has made (further) development of any other source of RE in the province–one of the richest potential wind areas in the world–nearly impossible.

    The cost overruns have made the power quite expensive for baseload and could well bankrupt the province and consumers by doubling rates in an already expensive area. The environmental assessments were botched/politically smoothed over on many issues that will come home to roost–particularly mercury. The main substation near St. John’s has severe engineering problems with the inverters. The list goes on.

    Two things that are NOT problems are described in EP’s idiocy above. A single line connects Muskrat Falls to the island. My son helped to build it. However the province doesn’t need the near gigawatt of power as there actually aren’t 10^6 homes in a province containing (10^6)/2 people. So, a second line connects with the NA grid at Cape Breton (to pwn Quebec–understandable, given their history of “deals”, but expensive). NO other lines are being built.) From there, there’s already this thing called a grid “fanning” across the continent. Trouble is, given the high cost, it may not be very sellable.

    Two small demo wind farms were built some years ago before the legislation banned further utility-grade RE development of any kind and even much private development. Last I heard they have been producing in excess of 100% designed power output for years now.

    It may be a good deal for the climatic environment over the very long term–other gigawatt sites are available and the lines can handle them–but in the short to medium terms it has amounted to a boondoggle much like many nuclear plants.

  7. 57

    #37, E-P–

    E-P again claims that in some ill-defined hypothetical scenario, 30% RE would somehow necessitate using only peakers for backup.

    It’s not true today, and he fails to advance a reason why it would be true in his hypothetical, either.

    He also fails to consider the fact that increasingly storage is displacing precisely the fast-responding peaker plants that he wishes to make the only possible backup.

    Then there’s this:

    Kevin: …that’s the only case in which you’d have nothing else but RE and SCGTs.

    E-P: Wrong. You could have a strong nuclear base-load component, but because it really works best at constant power it puts GREATER emphasis on the fossil-fired ramping capabilities.

    I have no idea what “GREATER emphasis” means in this context. (Though I have to confess to some bemusement, given how many times nuclear enthusiasts have assured me that “nuclear reactors can TOO load-follow.” However, I digress.)

    But it looks like we have to go back to the beginning. The original quote from E-P was:

    Typical capacity factors for wind are 30-40%; PV is much lower. If you’re getting 30% of your juice from “renewables”, and you’re burning at least 38% more fuel per kWh to get the rest, you’re saving less than 3.3% from the CCGT emissions figure.

    I called it “unclear,” and I think E-P’s present response validates that. But it’s clear that the “38% more” referred to is the difference between CCGT fuel consumed per hour and SCGT fuel so consumed. “The rest” would seem to refer to the “70% of energy generation not supplied by RE.”

    The unavoidable conclusion would thus seem to be that all generation not supplied by RE is supplied by SCGTs in E-P’s scenario.

    Now he says that you could have lots of nuclear, but it wouldn’t matter because nuclear doesn’t like to load-follow after all. This is confusing because the scenario seemed to exclude everything except RE and SCGTs. (If that was not intended, then a much better explanation of the scenario is warranted–and nobody here needs an explanation of the basic idea of backup power. We need a clear specification of what the scenario actually is supposed to be.)

    But the basic problem is the abuse, intentional or otherwise, of the concept of ‘capacity factor.’ E-P seems to be using it as a proxy for the intermittency of RE, and it’s not. It’s related, to be sure, but not the same thing. The definition of capacity factor is the proportion of power output over some representative timespan to the potential power produced had the unit run at nameplate capacity for the same period of time. So for example, if a wind turbine produces 12 MW running flat out, and you find that it has, over a month, averaged 4 MW, you would say its capacity factor was 33%. (Yeah, I know, we’d really be talking MWh, not MW–that’s why I said ‘averaged’–but let’s keep it simple for everyone.)

    However, that says *nothing* about how that capacity factor was actually achieved. At one side of the distribution, it theoretically might have ramped up to full output for a couple of hours every morning and evening, and sat idle for the rest of the day. (In that case, you’d think it was a strange month, or else they picked a very poor site for a turbine.) At the other, it might have run at a near-constant 3 MW for the entire month. Either way, the capacity factor is the same; but the first scenario has 120 or so ramping events to manage, the second precisely zero.

    So, no, you simply can’t try to diagnose intermittency as a linear function of capacity factor. It just doesn’t work, not even on the back of an envelope.

    #38, E-P–

    Once again–because all this was said before–no, it is simply untrue that, as E-P claims, “Those [53,000 potential pumped hydro sites] are almost all oceanside locations.” The merest momentary glimpse at the map heading the story shows that a great many, perhaps the majority, of those sites are hundreds or thousands of miles from the ocean.

    I can only presume that last time we had this conversation, E-P either couldn’t be bothered to look, or somehow missed the response.

    And that’s even if you stipulate to E-P’s allegation that engineering storage tanks for saltwater is a hideously dangerous task for the environment, which I wouldn’t do without some critical evaluation. (I know that the authors of the original paper cited considered the issue, and didn’t find it to be all that problematic.) Makes you wonder, if that really were the case, how safe our low-level nuclear waste would actually be.

    Reposting BPL’s link, so anyone who wishes can take a look at that map:

    https://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/anu-finds-530000-potential-pumped-hydro-sites-worldwide

  8. 58

    Oops! “53,000 potential pumped hydro sites” should have read “530,000 (!)” instead. The authors of the paper note that a 100% RE economy would only require 1% of them, so I guess my numerical decimation wasn’t too consequential anyway.

  9. 59

    E-P, #41–

    Bret Kugelmass said it better than I could…

    Really? Because what I heard was completely unsupported assertion, without even a hint of the “mathematics” promised.

    Zero emissions globally in every single sector: electricity, transportation, agriculture, industry, heat, and you would not even notice a difference.

    Oh, yeah? That’s not what it says here:

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-009-0727-0

    Or here:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306261915015275

    Or here:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1424

  10. 60

    Wrote nigelj @46:

    Hmmm EP might need new glasses, because the map in the link shows the majority or the potential pumped hydro sites being inland, sited in what looks like hilly and mountainous areas, and the text mentions they were “off river sites”.

    There are scads of them along the shoreline of the Red Sea, a notoriously dry place.  There are even more in inland Australia and east of the Rocky mountains in the USA.  There are a bunch in the middle of the Sahara desert!  WHERE would you get freshwater to fill reservoirs there?  I suppose you could use the Great Salt Lake in Utah as a lower reservoir, but what you’d do to the ecology around and below the upper reservoirs is something I don’t want to think about.

    Just because a river runs near something doesn’t mean you can tap lots of water from it for your own purposes; for one thing, you’ve got minimum and maximum flows and any evaporation from your upper reservoir is water lost to users downstream.  The list of acceptable sites is far smaller than the list of possible sites.

    The PHS station most familiar to me is the one in Ludington, MI.  The reservoir covers 1.3 square miles and the facility has an energy capacity OTOO 40 GWh.  Its total reservoir capacity is 102,210,000 m³.  That much aqueous sulfur-air flow battery storing 30 Wh/liter would have a capacity of over 3000 GWh.  There is no comparison.

  11. 61
    Mal Adapted says:

    How’s this for a forced response? Gavin Schmidt is quoted in the New York Times:

    “There is a long-term trend in temperatures driven by human activity that is going to lead to more and more records being broken,” he said. “Not every month, not every year — but this will keep happening as long as we continue to emit carbon dioxide.”

    Thank you, Gavin. The NYT claims 3.9 million paid digital news subscribers. Whatever else is required to tip the US toward collective climate action, the more public plain-speaking by unassailable experts, the better.

  12. 62

    KIA and E-P try to defend the indefensible WRT pumped storage at #52 and #61, respectively.

    KIA quotes a disclaimer to the effect that the sites have only been examined from the topographical point of view, and that other limitations will surely apply to some proportion of them. However, he conspicuously fails to acknowledge the bit that points out that only 1% of those sites are needed to accomplish the goal of providing the needed backup.

    He then cites a Tom Murphy piece from 2011 as refutation–or should I say “pre-refutation.” Now, while I’m as big a fan of Murphy’s “Do The Math” as anyone, that piece is very much a “spherical cow in a vacuum.” Its assumptions are no match for the empirically-based investigation which KIA tries to pre-refute.

    E-P, on the other hand, answers the objection that many if not most of the potential pumped hydro sites are not, as he had stated, on the ocean with the assertion that “There are scads of them along the shoreline of the Red Sea…” So, yeah, some are on coasts. No-one said they weren’t–though again, is using seawater really all that intractable an issue?

    But then there’s this curious pivot, as he continues:

    “…a notoriously dry place. There are even more in inland Australia and east of the Rocky mountains in the USA. There are a bunch in the middle of the Sahara desert! WHERE would you get freshwater to fill reservoirs there?”

    Ah! How exquisite the horns of this dilemma! Either these sites have a saline water supply, or else they are too arid!

    Except it’s pure handwaving. Again, of the 530k sites, the authors assert that 1% would suffice. Surely the rational response would not be “It can’t possibly work because of this objection I just thought up,” but rather “Interesting. I guess the next step would be to assess the proportion of sites that might survive a rigorous screening for other relevant criteria!”

    But of course, it’s not the real object to discover possible solutions here–not if they don’t support pre-determined conclusions.

    One last note. E-P now seems to be determined to defend the aqueous sulfur-air flow battery, which as far as I know is not under attack from anyone present.

    The PHS station most familiar to me is the one in Ludington, MI. The reservoir covers 1.3 square miles and the facility has an energy capacity OTOO 40 GWh. Its total reservoir capacity is 102,210,000 m³. That much aqueous sulfur-air flow battery storing 30 Wh/liter would have a capacity of over 3000 GWh. There is no comparison.

    Well, technically, that WAS a comparison. But can we have another? I know the electrolyte is relatively cheap as flow battery chemicals go, but what would the cost be for 102 million cubic meters of what is essentially photocopy/printer toner? I seem to get stuck paying tens of dollars for a few grams.

    Then there’s the environmental issue. The safety data sheet says:

    EMERGENCY OVERVIEW * ** * DANGER! Corrosive; Color: Red to brown; Form: Liquid; * * Odor: Smell of hydrogen sulfide (foul smelling); May cause * * eye, skin, and respiratory tract burns; Causes digestive * * tract burns; Irritating gases/fumes may be given off during * * burning or thermal decomposition.

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

    So it seems to me that any visions of an open-air reservoir of sodium polysulfide is very much a “spherical cow.”

    The point being here that there are, as BPL so succinctly pointed out, numerous potential modes of electric storage. It’s not a silver bullet situation. I unreservedly wish the nascent deployment of aqueous sulfur-air flow batteries well–may it do much better than E-P dreams!

    But I really expect that we are going to see a diversity of solutions. One size does not fit all.

  13. 63
    David B. Benson says:

    Pumped hydro schemes using sea water are feasible. The lower reservoir is the ocean; the upper reservoir is first lined with a geomembrane.

    I am under the impression that Hawaii has one. This has been studied for a natural site in northern Chile.

    As always, the difficulty is cost. A pumped hydro scheme has to pay its way by the difference between buying electricity for pumping and selling electricity at times of high demand. Before solar PV this was buy at night and sell during the day. This is viable no longer.

    One considers buying excess power from solar panels mid-day to sell into the evening market. But the price of
    https://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/thread/386/utility-scale-batteries?page=6
    is now so low, and projected to become lower, that pumped hydro schemes cannot compete.

    The one existing pumped hydro scheme, in California, that I follow is clearly going to cease operations as soon as major repairs are required; obsolescent.

  14. 64

    Speaking, as we were, of energy storage, how about this?

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/18/worlds-biggest-liquid-air-battery-starts-construction-in-uk

    This technology was new to me, so I’m a bit surprised to find a full-scale commercial deployment under construction now. (Going back, there were stories–but apparently I missed them, or perhaps they slipped through the interstices of my porous memory.)

    The Highview battery will store 250MWh of energy, almost double the amount stored by the biggest chemical battery, built by Tesla in South Australia. The new project is sited at the Trafford Energy Park, also home to the Carrington gas-powered energy plant and a closed coal power station.

    The project will cost £85m, and Highview received £35m of investment from the Japanese machinery giant Sumitomo in February. The liquid air battery is creating 200 jobs, mainly in construction, and employing former oil and gas engineers, with a few dozen in the continuing operation. The plant’s lifetime is expected to be 30-40 years. “It will pass to the next generation,” said Cavada.

    So, 250/85 (x 10e5 for unit conversion) = 340£/kWH, or $420 at today’s exchange.

    I wasn’t sure how that compared with current tech, so of course I went searching, and found this:

    …How cheap is cheap enough?

    That question is the subject of a fascinating recent bit of research out of an MIT lab run by researcher Jessika Trancik (I’ve written about Trancik’s work before), just released in the journal Joule.

    To spoil the ending: The answer is $20 per kilowatt hour in energy capacity costs. That’s how cheap storage would have to get for renewables to get to 100 percent. That’s around a 90 percent drop from today’s costs. While that is entirely within the realm of the possible, there is wide disagreement over when it might happen; few expect it by 2030.

    So that’s a factor of 20 away from the exacting standard Trancik et al.–or rather, Ziegler et al.–found necessary. Daunting, but likely possible, given the precedents in the modern energy business space.

    Ziegler et al.:

    https://www.cell.com/joule/fulltext/S2542-4351(19)30300-9

  15. 65
    Piotr says:

    Engineer – Poet (42): “ Methane has some serious downsides. First, it is an extraordinarily stable molecule; its heat of formation is quite high, so the losses in its synthesis are high.”

    Ehem, “high heat of formation” implies also high heat of the reverse reaction. That’s elementary thermodynamics. Or in the words even a Poet should understand – if it takes a lot of energy to make X, then the reverse reaction will also release a lot of energy. Which is _not_ a “serious downside” for the energy storage, quite the opposite – you WANT to have a medium that can accumulate (and then release) as much energy per unit weight as possible.
    Where did you say you got your engineering credentials^*?

    —-
    ^*E-P (35), defending his calculations and based on them conclusions: “Then there’s the little matter of my sheepskin”

  16. 66
    Piotr says:

    Engineer – Poet (42): “ Methane has some serious downsides. First, it is an extraordinarily stable molecule; its heat of formation is quite high, so the losses in its synthesis are high.”

    Ehem, “high heat of formation” implies also high heat of the reverse reaction. That’s elementary thermodynamics. Or in the words even a Poet should understand – if it takes a lot of energy to make X, then the reverse reaction will also release a lot of energy.
    Which is _not_ a “serious downside” for the energy storage, quite the opposite – you WANT to have a medium that can accumulate (and then release) as much energy per unit weight as possible.

    Where did you say you got your engineering credentials^*?

    —-
    ^*E-P (35), defending the correctness of his calculations: “Then there’s the little matter of my sheepskin”

  17. 67

    Wrote Mr. Know It All @52:

    Maybe if we pave our roads with solar panels they can help?

    That’s been tried, on a bike path.  It turns out that PV panels make lousy pavement, and vice versa.  And good catch on Do The Math, Murphy is a great resource.

  18. 68

    Hand-waved BPL @53:

    Pumped hydro. Batteries. Wide-area smart grids. Flywheels. Trains run up hillsides. Capacitors. Compressed air. Molten salts

    Pumped hydro:  if you can’t Do The Math yourself, at least read and understand where it’s been done for you.

    Ditto on batteries.  Flywheels, capacitors and and trains are orders of magnitude smaller.

    Compressed air:  The Iowa Stored Energy Park CAES demo merited no follow-on effort.

    Molten salt:  “lead to heat storage costs ranging from 15 to 25 EUR/kWhth.”  Non-starter.

    You know who thought these all up? ENGINEERS.

    You know who isn’t proposing to run the country on these things because they know they’re barely at the demonstration stage?  ENGINEERS.  To be one, you’d have to be able to Do The Math.  You can’t.

    Wrote BPL @54:

    And yet none of these problems have been reported for the existing 100 GWe or so of pumped hydro…

    Because they use fresh water, of which there is not enough to scale to 2 TW even for the USA alone.

    Then nuclear wouldn’t help either.

    On the contrary.  Solving the problem requires going to high NEGATIVE emissions, and nuclear is the ONLY energy source sufficiently abundant to power the necessary CO2-removal efforts.

  19. 69

    BPL proved “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” @56:

    So instead of covering 5 km² with PV at 20% best-day CF to average 1 GW, you propose to cover 15 km² instead? Where are you going to get this 15 km² to put so much PV?

    BPL: http://bartonlevenson.com/IsSolarEnough.html

    Wherein he concludes that 1.7% of land area is enough.

    But he forgot that he prescribed a 3x overbuild to deal with weather and seasonal deficits, so that has become 5.1%.  Is it really acceptable to devote 5.1% of Earth’s total land area to human energy demands, exclusive of housing, food, industry, forestry, wilderness, etc.?

    And it’s not land area in general, it’s very SPECIFIC land area:  “It’s a combination solar gas plant because we what we do—it’s not like solar voltaic.  It’s a turbine that we just take from a gas plant and suspend it from a big scaffolding—a tower and surrounded by giant mirrors in the desert that are manipulated by computers to always shine the sunlight so that that, you know, a half hour after the Sun gets up in the morning we’re at—we can get that turbine to 750 degrees Fahrenheit, but if a cloud passes over or during the evening the utility wants a base load and the way that we’re gonna deliver that base load is by powering it with gas.  We’re building these all over the country and one of the questions we asked, we need about 3000 foot in altitude, we need flat land, we need 300 days of sunlight and we need to be near a gas pipe.  Because you know for all of these big utilities scale power plants, whether it’s wind or solar everybody is looking at gas as the bast supplementary full fuel.  The plants that we’re building, the wind plants and the solar plants, are gas plants.

    When you get specific about land area like that, you have issues to deal with.  Issues like who has (or is sufficiently close to) land which meets those specific requirements.  Issues like who has first dibs on the energy from it.  Issues like what the have-nots have to do to meet their needs.

    One of the reasons I favor nuclear power is that it requires minuscule bits of land, and in principle it can be sited almost anywhere.

  20. 70
    Anonymouse says:

    Ticks getting bad here. Anyone else notice?

  21. 71
  22. 72

    Lies Kevin McKinney @58:

    E-P again claims that in some ill-defined hypothetical scenario, 30% RE would somehow necessitate using only peakers for backup.

    My specific example, the Mitsubishi-Hitachi M501JAC gas turbine, is not a “peaker”.  It is a high-power, mid-efficiency, open-cycle unit which ramps quickly enough to follow the varagies of unreliable “renewables”.  Peakers are plants specced to run for mere hours per year which meet their fixed costs from capacity payments; the M501JAC isn’t in that class.

    He also fails to consider the fact that increasingly storage is displacing precisely the fast-responding peaker plants that he wishes to make the only possible backup.

    FFS, for YEARS I have postulated the PEV vehicle fleet as the storage of FIRST resort for grid regulation, because a decarbonized energy system would have one heaping shitload of PEVs.  But that’s demand-side.

    I have no idea what “GREATER emphasis” means in this context.

    It means that if there’s supply-side ramping to be done, those are the plants which are going to do most of it.  And the smaller the fraction of total capacity they comprise, the more heavily they’ll be worked.

    Though I have to confess to some bemusement, given how many times nuclear enthusiasts have assured me that “nuclear reactors can TOO load-follow.”

    Supposedly, one very high priority is cutting GHG emissions.  Supposedly.  If that’s truly the case, it makes more sense to run nuclear plants flat-out and use electric heaters in combustion-reliant systems as dump loads than to cut nuclear output.  For instance, auxiliary electric elements in gas-fired water heaters.  You can buy replacement dip tubes for gas-fired heaters which have extra plumbing for auxiliary solar-thermal heating.  It would be a cinch to do the same with an electric element.

    The unavoidable conclusion would thus seem to be that all generation not supplied by RE is supplied by SCGTs in E-P’s scenario.

    That’s pretty much what California is doing.  The CCGTs are being closed because they use seawater in their condensers, and “open-loop cooling” was banned supposedly to save sea life (a few hundred tons of mostly eggs and fry per year).

    But the basic problem is the abuse, intentional or otherwise, of the concept of ‘capacity factor.’

    It’s a proxy, I admit.  If you want to get into the ratio of the standard deviation to the mean and correlation coefficient with demand, that’s doable.  It’s also utterly incomprehensible to the public.

    you simply can’t try to diagnose intermittency as a linear function of capacity factor.

    It’s a pretty good proxy.  If a WT would never reach rated power at a given site, it would either be replaced with a lower-rated model or the site not used at all.  It’s standard practice to down-rate generators below what the turbine itself can support because lower winds make achieving the peak turbine power very unlikely.  This cuts other costs including transmission.

    The merest momentary glimpse at the map heading the story shows that a great many, perhaps the majority, of those sites are hundreds or thousands of miles from the ocean.

    I was recalling a previous discussion where the sites in question were in SE Europe, mostly in the Balkans.  Those WERE practically oceanside and not near major rivers.  And then there’s Strath Dearn, which is a hypothetical exercise in Doing The Math.  But even for that… well, I’ll let Euan speak for himself:

    Catch 1 As described above, storage of the order 472 GWh would be required to span both April lulls for the wind system as it is currently configured with a median output of 3 GW. Scaling this to a 100% wind-pumped-storage system would increase that requirement so that median output from a gigantic wind carpet would be of the order 50 GW. The storage requirement for the 100% renewables system therefore grows to 50/3*472GWh = 7867 GWh. Strath Dearn is not large enough to guarantee supply.

    I strongly suggest that you RTWT, because it’ll help you appreciate the STAGGERING scale of what your notions would require.  Not even you can wave your hands vigorously enough to create the necessary wind.  Well… maybe you can.

  23. 73

    Wrote Kevin McKinney @60:

    Oh, yeah? That’s not what it says here:

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-009-0727-0

    Or here:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306261915015275

    Or here:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1424

    2010, 2012 and 2017.  In the mean time, we’ve got tipping points happening NOW.  We’ve got the incipient collapse of major Antarctic glaciers including a lot of the WAIS.  We’ve got arctic permafrost thawing and explosively releasing methane, leaving huge holes in the earth.  And even if we shut off our carbon emissions today, there’s quite a bit of warming “baked in”.  Do you think those tipping points aren’t going to continue to tip regardless, absent immediate action to stop them?

    I did the Coursera class on climate change.  A large part of current anthropogenic CO2 emissions will still be in the atmosphere 1000 years from now… absent geoengineering such as enhanced weathering.  And the tipping points we’re crossing aren’t going to make things any better.  If we’re going to have a recognizeable planet 100 or even 50 years from now, we’re going to have to work HARD at getting all those excess GHGs out of the atmosphere.  As in WORK, rather than taper down to zero and then hope.  Remember, hope is not a plan.

  24. 74
    Al Bundy says:

    Kevin,

    Yeah, EP says that ya need bazillions of batteries for backup, NONE of which can be used to flatten the curve when ramping a combined cycle power plant up or down. Strange, eh?

    Naw. The issue is that CH4 is dirt cheap, so cheap that stupid choices, like using a 40% efficient power plant, become financially brilliant.

    And groundwater flows towards the ocean,so pumping saltwater to the top of a seaside cliff seems unlikely to cause EP’s predicted environmental catastrophe. And at least the lower section of a seaside cliff gets saturated with saltwater on a regular basis anyway, eh?

  25. 75

    Wrote Kevin McKinney @62:

    E-P now seems to be determined to defend the aqueous sulfur-air flow battery

    I’m not defending it.  I’m using it as an example of something with practical energy density AND cost for industrial-economy-scale storage.  PHS isn’t dense enough.

    I know the electrolyte is relatively cheap as flow battery chemicals go, but what would the cost be for 102 million cubic meters of what is essentially photocopy/printer toner?

    The abstract gave the chemical cost as $1/kWh, so at 30 Wh/liter (30 kWh/m³) 102 million m³ would cost $3.06 billion and store 3.06 TWh, about 6.8 hours of average US electric demand.  That’s getting downright reasonable.

    it seems to me that any visions of an open-air reservoir of sodium polysulfide is very much a “spherical cow.”

    Who said it would be open-air?  I specifically proposed flexible bladders, as the spent and charged liquids must be stored separately.

    I unreservedly wish the nascent deployment of aqueous sulfur-air flow batteries well

    Especially if you can generate the active solutions from waste products such as acid mine drainage.

    I really expect that we are going to see a diversity of solutions.

    I don’t.  We’re seeing “utility-scale” battery storage systems going in now, and they are ALL lithium-ion as it’s the best available technology.  If flow batteries reduce the active material cost from $70/kWh to $1/kWh with no real restrictions on siting, there will be a stampede to them.  This goes double if the worst-case accident in a flow battery yields some hot liquid.  S. Korean battery installations dropped 80% in 2019 vs. 2018 after a series of battery fires.

  26. 76

    Piotr gets it backwards AGAIN @65:

    Or in the words even a Poet should understand – if it takes a lot of energy to make X, then the reverse reaction will also release a lot of energy.

    ΔHf of Al2O3 is −1675.5 kJ/mol.  Do you think you can get energy OUT of it?

    ΔHf of CH4 is -74.533 kJ/mol.  Its heat of combustion is 891 kJ/mol, so you lose about 8% over the elemental constituents.  You lose even more when you make it from syngas; 1 mol CO (283 kJ/mol) + 3 mols H2 (286 kJ/mol) yields a whopping 1141 kJ, 28% more than the 1 mol of CH4 you can make from it.

    And this ends the chemistry lesson.

  27. 77

    Al Bundy loses the thread @74:

    EP says that ya need bazillions of batteries for backup, NONE of which can be used to flatten the curve when ramping a combined cycle power plant up or down.

    Batteries have losses in both conversion and storage.  If those losses are greater than the efficiency hit from throttling down, they’re a net loss even before counting their cost.  Natural gas is the energy storage for CCGTs, and it’s essentially lossless on human timescales.

    Batteries are essential for “renewables”… but they’re practically made for nuclear.  A fat battery system can take the night and weekend surpluses of a nuclear plant and feed the grid with them during peak hours.  Since nuclear fuel is changed on a schedule rather than when expended, the marginal kWh is essentially free both in dollars and in emissions.

    The issue is that CH4 is dirt cheap

    Not really, not if the round-trip losses to electric storage are above the threshold.  However, that’s a factor in the desire to use the atmosphere as an open sewer instead of truly cleaning up our power.

    pumping saltwater to the top of a seaside cliff seems unlikely to cause EP’s predicted environmental catastrophe.

    That might not, so long as there’s enough seaward groundwater flow to prevent infiltration.  The problem is where you pump seawater to high reservoirs and it wipes out everything between there and the ocean.

  28. 78
    Piotr says:

    Al Bundy &4): “EP says that ya need bazillions of batteries for backup”

    Don’t be too hard on our Poet, for he knows not what he does:

    – he thinks that having “high heat of formation” (and therefore a lot energy that can be releases by the reverse reaction) .. is a BAD for energy STORAGE (“serious downside”- see my (65))

    – _repeatedly_ mistakes the energy available for BACKUP with the amount of energy available to provide BASELOAD.

    – ignored reducing the need for storage by using renewables in one place with renewables in another places, by backing-up one renewable with other renewables, or by adjusting the energy demand to the timing of the supply (thus reducing the NEED for the stored energy) etc.

    But then again, in another thread, our Poet threw under the bus … the energy storage skeptics – by drawing attention to the extremely cost-effective sulfur-based flow battery, which he called “game changer” for the industrial energy storage ((Unforced variations, 49). With enemies like this – who needs friends?

  29. 79
    Killian says:

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/small-modular-reactor-rhetoric-hits-a-hurdle-62196/

    To the best of my knowledge, no other figures on SMR construction costs are publicly available. So the figures are:

    A$15,200 per kW for Russia’s light-water floating SMR

    A$8,600 per kW for China’s HTGR

    A$31,500 per kW for Argentina’s light-water SMR

    The average of those figures is A$18,400 per kW, which is higher than the CSIRO/AEMO figure of A$16,304 per kW and double BNW’s estimate of A$9,132 per kW.

  30. 80
    nigelj says:

    The link originally posted by engineer poet below shows pumped hydro in the middle of the Sahara desert.

    https://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/anu-finds-530000-potential-pumped-hydro-sites-worldwide

    This did mystify me, although it seemed unlikely that it would be a simple mistake so I looked for a rationale. The Sahara desert region does include the nile and niger rivers, and some pumped hydro appears related to this. There are also 20 small lakes with many associated with the higher ground and its valleys in the central region of the Sahara, towards southern Algeria and Libya, and most of the proposed pumped hydro appears related to this area. So presumably they are small scale proposals.

    The Sahara also has huge aquifers quite close to the surface in the Saharas basin areas. This is despite yearly rainfall being only a couple of inches so some of it probably comes from other regions or perhaps from when when the climate of the Sahara was quite different.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-17775211

    Perhaps they were also considering using small scale pumped hydro using the aquifers. This sort of mini pumped hydro scheme is explained here:

    https://www.waterworld.com/water-utility-management/energy-management/article/16192848/pumped-storage-using-water-towers-aquifer-well-pumps-to-generate-energy-during-peak-demand-periods

    Im not proposing this is some magic answer to everything, just mentioning that it exists. Clearly pumped hydro is not inexpensive, you dont need to do the maths in detail to figure that out, but pumped hydro at small or larger scale probably suits some places quite well.

  31. 81
  32. 82

    E-P 68: Compressed air: The Iowa Stored Energy Park CAES demo merited no follow-on effort.

    BPL: Look again.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/18/worlds-biggest-liquid-air-battery-starts-construction-in-uk

    https://cleantechnica.com/2020/06/19/air-powered-energy-storage-knocks-out-coal-gas-wait-what/

    Note the hard task ahead of poor E-P. In order to prove that nuclear is the only solution, he has to prove that NONE OF THESE WILL WORK: Solar power, wind power, geothermal power, wave power, tidal power, biomass power, pumped hydroelectric energy storage, compressed air energy storage, molten salt energy storage, flywheel energy storage, moving trains up hillsides, beam stacking, batteries… the list goes on. He has to kind of prove a universal negative: NOTHING will ever work except his darling nuclear. An engineer declaring that engineering is useless. E-P is Sisyphus.

  33. 83

    E-P 69: Is it really acceptable to devote 5.1% of Earth’s total land area to human energy demands, exclusive of housing, food, industry, forestry, wilderness, etc.?

    BPL: E-P apparently doesn’t know that we’re already using more than half of Earth’s land surface for agriculture, rangeland, and forestry combined, plus a few percent more for cities and roads.

  34. 84
    Al Bundy says:

    BPL,
    Liquid air storage?
    Hmm, a 2-stroke engine with no induction system and a normal exhaust stroke…

    EP quoted: Scaling this to a 100% wind-pumped-storage system would

    AL: be something that only a moron or an amazingly unethical person would do. Renewables require diversity of generation and storage. Though you know that you lauded. Why?

  35. 85
  36. 86
    Steven Emmerson says:

    I do not know if this is true or not, but it seems relevant, especially because of the previous article about YouTube:

    Facebook creates fact-checking exemption for climate deniers

  37. 87
    Piotr says:

    Engineer Poet (76):

    Poet(42) “Methane has some serious downsides. First, it is an extraordinarily stable molecule; its heat of formation is quite high so the losses in its synthesis are high. “

    Piotr: 1. CH4 is NOT “extraordinarily stable”. Thermodynamic stability occurs when a system is in its lowest energy state (wikipedia). CH4 is not – in reaction with O2 drops energy drops by >800 kJ/mol CH4. That’s why we GET energy in gas turbines you we lecturing before.

    2.“quite high heat of formation [is] “a serious drawback” [for energy storage]
    WRONG – if anything – the OPPOSITE: the higher (i.e. the less negative) is the enthalpy of formation ΔH⦵ – the better chance for the more negative enthalpy of combustion (ΔcombH⦵), i.e. for MORE energy to be released when you burn CH4 with O2. Here some numbers and the reaction, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_enthalpy_of_formation
    Enthalpy of formation (for gas phase) ΔH⦵: CO2: −393.5, H20 = −241.8, CH4 =-74.5, O2 =0 [kJ/mol]
    Reaction: CH4 + 2O2 -> CO2 + 2H20
    Enthalpy of combustion ΔcombH⦵: (-393.5) +2*(−241.8) – (-74.5) – 2*0= – 802.6 [kJ/mol]

    3. Enthalpy of formation of ONLY ONE substance is USELESS/MISLEADING in thermodynamics. Knowing perfectly well that CH4 can easily burn with O2, giving off >800 kJ/mol, our Poet … dismisses it because … according to the definition of ΔHf a hypothetical reaction of elemental C and H2 to make CH4 … would have required 74.5 kJ/mol

    4. Poet: “ ΔHf of CH4 is -74.533 kJ/mol. Its heat of combustion is 891 kJ/mol, so you lose about 8% over the elemental constituents.”
    How to use 3 decimal points and still not understanding a thing. The “heat of combustion”, genius, IS NOT the difference in the standard enthalpy between CH4 and elemental constituents (C and H), it is = the enthalpy of formation of products (here CO2 and H20) minus enthalpy of formation of reactants (here: CH4 and O2). See p.2

    5.Poet: “ You lose even more when you make it from syngas; 1 mol CO (283 kJ/mol) + 3 mols H2 (286 kJ/mol) yields a whopping 1141 kJ, 28% more than the 1 mol of CH4 you can make from it.”

    Your “whoops” are kind of aspirational, aren’t they?

    a) Requiring a lot of energy for a reaction is GOOD, not bad, for a storage device – it means that when you have a surplus of energy you can “pack” a lot of energy in, and when you have energy deficit – you can release a lot of this stored energy in the _reverse_ reaction (from right to left). That’s the definition of a good storage.

    b) where do you get your whooping kJ from? According to the table in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_enthalpy_of_formation
    ΔH⦵(CO) = -110.5 kJ/mol, NOT “283 kJ/mol”

    c) More importantly – “H2” is the elemental hydrogen, hence _from definition_ has ΔH⦵ =0, NOT “286 kJ/mol”

    So take your b and c together and the enthalpy of reaction:
    CO + 3H2 => CH4 + H20 is = (-74.5 – 241.8) – (-110.5 CO +3*0) = -205.8

    That’s “-206 kJ” instead of … “whooping +1141kJ”

    And after _all these_ you are so self-confident that _you_ lecture others:
    “Piotr gets it backwards AGAIN”, “And this ends the chemistry lesson”
    Engineer Poet (76)

    Your Engineering Alma Mater (“Then there’s the little matter of my sheepskin” E-P(35)) must be really proud of you.

  38. 88
    nigelj says:

    A new maths based critique of the controversial and heavily criticised movie ‘Planet of the Humans’

    https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2020/06/what-planet-of-the-humans-gets-wrong-about-renewable-energy/

    “Both those factions agree that, as the IPCC has concluded, human civilization must cut its carbon emissions to zero within a few decades to avert a climate crisis. Is there a scientific way to determine which group is right about the best way to achieve that goal? As a matter of fact, there is…….In 1990, Japanese energy economist Yoichi Kaya developed a simple and elegant formula called the Kaya Identity that can help answer the question: F is human carbon emissions, P is human population, G is economic activity as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), and E is energy consumption….”

  39. 89

    #68 (E-P) and 83 (BPL)–

    Two things:

    1) The Iowa project that didn’t pan out failed not because the technology “didn’t merit” follow-on, as E-P alleged, but because the site geology was found unsuitable:

    https://energynews.us/2012/01/19/midwest/scrapped-iowa-project-leaves-energy-storage-lessons/

    “A big part of the story is that the economics look good,” says Schulte. “This dog can hunt.”

    2) I’m pretty sure the 2012 was a lot simpler, not involving phase changes, as do the projects BPL cited (and which I’d pointed to, as well).

    More on the technology–or rather, technologies:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed-air_energy_storage

  40. 90
    john rattray says:

    As an ex network planning engineer I would like to make some observations from my experience in Australia:

    1. Utility scale PV without substantial battery backup will soon be heading for the exit as solar noon wholesale prices rapidly head negative;

    2. Roof top PV will continue to rapidly expand as behind the meter generation does not currently pay a distribution contribution (DUOS and TUOS) on the energy charge. This amounts to somewhere in the order of 30c per kWh as compared to 6c per kWh wholesale market price. As roof top and utility have more or less the same diversity roof top will always out compete utility, even given the higher roof top installation costs.

    3. Roof top PV is currently uncontrolled and in SA is forecast to drive the local grid to negative load during Spring and Autumn next year. This implies that under those conditions, loss of the transmission connection to Victoria will cause either widespread load shedding or more likely a system black event.

    4. WA is in a similar situation except that they are a couple of years behind SA in terms of penetration and have no transmission connection to anywhere.

    5. Overbuild on PV panels compared to invertor size is common for utility installations, typically up to 150% as stated above. This gives a flatter curve daily curve that starts earlier and ends later. It also allows a degree of short term firming (< 5 mins) due to cloud impact.

    6. The regulator, AEMO, is starting to panic over the impact of semi-scheduled (Utility PV and wind) and unregulated (roof top PV) on the electrical grid. Witness the number of rule and standard changes being made and proposed to be made over the last few months.

    7. The quality of invertors is poor with most commercial units not meeting the current Australian standard for fault ride through. Witness UNSW testing of units. This in turn is imposing significant limits on non roof top invertors at low load times due to the risk of a syncrhonised failure of roof top units following a system fault. The problem is that following roof top units turning themselves off, local load will reappear as a step change which will overpower the ability of the network to respond. System black occurring due to ROCOF.

    8. There is a widespread "head in the sand" refusal to understand the issues, let alone consider possible solutions due to the political pressure to do something about CAGW.

    Its going to be an interesting time in SA and WA over the next two or three years.

  41. 91

    BPL proves illiterate @82:

    E-P 68: Compressed air: The Iowa Stored Energy Park CAES demo merited no follow-on effort.

    BPL: Look again.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/18/worlds-biggest-liquid-air-battery-starts-construction-in-uk

    Highview Power is not a CAES effort.  Highview Power uses liquid air.  And the little detail that it costs 14¢/kWh ($140/MWh) just to STORE power was news a year ago.

    Note the hard task ahead of poor E-P. In order to prove that nuclear is the only solution, he has to prove that NONE OF THESE WILL WORK: Solar power, wind power, geothermal power, wave power, tidal power, biomass power, pumped hydroelectric energy storage, compressed air energy storage, molten salt energy storage, flywheel energy storage, moving trains up hillsides, beam stacking, batteries… the list goes on.

    Doing the Gish gallop isn’t an argument.  It’s up to you to support your assertion.

    He has to kind of prove a universal negative: NOTHING will ever work except his darling nuclear.

    Highview Power’s $140/MWh cost of storage is comparable to the Hinkley Point C’s CFD of £92.50/MWh to GENERATE power… and your “renewables” still have to be compensated for generating the power in the first place.

    E-P apparently doesn’t know that we’re already using more than half of Earth’s land surface for agriculture, rangeland, and forestry combined, plus a few percent more for cities and roads.

    So you want to take 10% of what’s left away from natural areas?  Why not pare back our energy footprint by a factor of 10 instead?

    Re @85:  DAMN is that an ugly link, with at least TWO levels of tracking redirects.  Try this:
    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Three-Companies-That-Are-Bigger-Than-The-Entire-Oil-Gas-Industry.html

  42. 92

    Piotr tries to argue with the ex-vehicle-emissions-control guy:

    CH4 is NOT “extraordinarily stable”.

    Wrong.  It is SO stable that it is a major waste product of anaerobic bacteria (they can generate energy from the energy difference between e.g. carbs and fats and methane).  It is SO stable that it is not a factor in the production of photochemical smog (“criteria emissions” list NMOG, non-methane organic gases).

    Since you have chosen to conflate heat released in formation with heat absorbed in formation, I’m just going to ignore the rest of your rant.

    Knowing perfectly well that CH4 can easily burn with O2, giving off >800 kJ/mol

    As further proof of my claim, the autoignition temperature of methane is a whopping 580°C.  Magnesium gets going at just 473, and kerosene at 210.

    a) Requiring a lot of energy for a reaction is GOOD, not bad, for a storage device

    Then you’d turn methane into syngas and store the syngas, not the reverse.  Turning syngas into methanol for storage has much lower losses than methanation.

    where do you get your whooping kJ from?

    283 kJ/mol is the heat of COMBUSTION of CO.

    has ΔH⦵ =0, NOT “286 kJ/mol”

    Also heat of COMBUSTION.

    @89:  You beg the question of why a follow-up was not begun on a site with different geology, and why the entire web site vanished and now only exists in archives.

  43. 93

    Writes john rattray @90:

    8. There is a widespread “head in the sand” refusal to understand the issues, let alone consider possible solutions due to the political pressure to do something about CAGW.

    I’ve been observing this for years now.  “Renewables” advocates keep touting the growth of “renewable” energy… and ignoring the fact that fossil carbon emissions keep GROWING even where they are allegedly triumphant, not shrinking.  They use fraud including the claim that “biomass” is zero-carbon, when biomass from wood dumps more immediate CO2 into the atmosphere than the same energy from coal.

    Its going to be an interesting time in SA and WA over the next two or three years.

    At least some of the technical issues are easily solved, but those solutions require thinking well outside the box established by “green” ideology.  That makes it far less likely that anyone will be able to implement them.

  44. 94
    zebra says:

    #90 John Rattray,

    John, I have made the observation in the past that the overuse of jargon results in obfuscation (whether intentionally or not) of the actual process/phenomenon we are trying to understand.

    I tend to evaluate whether someone really understands what they are saying by whether they can communicate in physics language and plain English rather than industry-talk.

    It sounds like you are making a claim that has been made here before…“if you install rooftop solar, the grid will explode!!”

    But we have learned that there is ample technology to deal with the new paradigm; it is simply a matter of economics and who ends up winning and losing on that.

    The grid will not explode as a result of the physics.

    If you disagree, perhaps you could give examples of your list items as a plain-language narrative… “rooftop systems will turn themselves off and cause problems”… because??

  45. 95
    nigelj says:

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11027-020-09920-7

    A small thing, but such things add up. “Biochar from cookstoves reduces greenhouse gas emissions from smallholder farms in Africa”

  46. 96
    David B. Benson says:

    This is a reminder that in #63 I pointed out that salt water upper reservoirs for sea water pumped hydro schemes can be lined with geomembranes, avoided the intrusion of salt into the underlying strata.

  47. 97
    nigelj says:

    My original comment about the benefits of electromethane was based on the technology of firstly producing hydrogen from electrolysis using surplus electricity from renewables, and from there into electromethane by combining the hydrogen with CO2 to produce methane which is carbon neutral, and also easy to store and transport, and can be used in existing heating systems and as a storage medium for gas fired generating plant. The process also has good economics and efficiency. All as below:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power-to-gas

    This seems to have some advantages over syngas, but I stand to be corrected.

    Methane is actually a stable molecule, according to its entry in Britannica below, but ok so that means it requires a high temperature for ignition. I’m not sure why that is a huge problem. Surely it releases plenty of energy, and has other infrastructure benefits as already mentioned?

    https://www.britannica.com/science/methane

  48. 98

    E-P: Highview Power is not a CAES effort. Highview Power uses liquid air.

    BPL: Who the hell cares? It’s yet another way to store power to back up renewables.

  49. 99

    E-P 93: They use fraud including the claim that “biomass” is zero-carbon, when biomass from wood dumps more immediate CO2 into the atmosphere than the same energy from coal.

    BPL: Note the non sequitur. This is like saying, “They lie saying methane burns, when actually paper also burns.”

  50. 100
    Piotr says:

    Engineer Poet (92): “ Piotr tries to argue with the ex-vehicle-emissions-control guy:”
    Piotr: For Volkswagen, by any chance ? ;-) Anyway, by the quality of their arguments, not their ex-work you shall know them. In this case our “Engineer”:

    a) has no idea that in discussion about ENERGY STORAGE of CH4, it is the “enthalpies of reaction” that matter, not “heat of formation” of ONLY one of the four substances involved (““quite high heat of formation [is] “a serious drawback” [for energy storage]” E-P]

    b) is unable to understand a simple Wikipedia definition “Thermodynamic stability occurs when a system is in its lowest energy state”. Hint: CH4 ISN’T in “its lowest energy state” – because if we burn it – then “the system energy” would be lower by a “whooping” 802.6 [kJ/mol]. So much for methane being “extraordinarily stable” E-P

    c) unable to understand b) – our Poet … redirects the discussion from “lowest energy state” to a “self-ignition temperature”:
    “further proof of my claim, the autoignition temperature of methane is a whopping 580°C” E-P
    … as if thermodynamic stability wasn’t uniquely determined by the difference in the energy levels after and before, but instead by … the autoignition temperature.

    By this logic the German engineers designing “Hinderburg” should have slept well at night knowing how “extraordinality stable” hydrogen is – autoignition temperature is: 536 °C ;-)

    d) “whoopingly high” self-ignition temperature is not a problem for the industrial energy generation – they burn methane every day – our Engineer ever heard about gas-turbines? Heck, even a Poet could overcome his problem simply by … striking a match. (Warning – if he tries it on his flatus – there may be some “whooping” after all…)

    e) to further claim how difficult it is to burn methane in power plants, our Poet talks about …anaerobic bacteria,
    “Wrong. [Methane] is SO stable that it is a major waste product of anaerobic bacteria” © Poet
    as if we discussed bacterial processes and not power generation in industrial plants

    f) that bacteria argument only shows that our Poet knows about biology as much as he knows about chemistry – yes, anerobic bacteria dump CH4 as waste, but NOT because they can’t reach your whooping ignition temperature, but because they don’t have O2 to do so (“anaerobic”!). Without O2, they can’t burn CH4, but they can get some energy by reacting one CH20 with another CH2O, producing CO2 and CH4 as the waste products.
    Once the methane escapes the anaerobic zone, aerobic bacteria are happy to use it as their source of energy, apparently not needing any “whopping 580°C” to do so.

    g) E. Poet: “Since you have chosen to conflate heat released in formation with heat absorbed in formation, I’m just going to ignore the rest of your rant.”

    “conflate” ??? These are the two sides OF THE SAME COIN! Think of this: during energy surplus, you use reaction A->B to store energy in B (=”heat absorbed ”), then during energy demand – you release that energy from B (by reverse reaction B->A) (=”heat released”). To STORE energy you need BOTH!

    h) To cap it off, our “extra-ordinarily stable” genius thinks that having high “heat absorbed” is … “a serious downside” for energy storage. The OPPOSITE is true – the more energy you “absorb” per mole the more energy you can later “release”. High heat absorbed and high heat released => means that CH4 is very good for STORAGE: it has HIGH ENERGY DENSITY (large kJ stored/mol, and with low mol. weight of CH4- even better: kJ stored/kg).

    But don’t let all those specific falsifiable arguments stop you from your high opinion about yourself:
    (“Engineer Poet”, “Piotr tries to argue with the ex-vehicle-emissions-control guy”, “Then there’s the little matter of my sheepskin”)
    and contempt to others: “Piotr amuses me greatly @8”, Piotr gets cranky @13”, ““Piotr gets it backwards AGAIN @65”, “Al Bundy loses the thread @74”, “BPL misses the point @25”, “Hand-waved BPL @53”, “BPL proved “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing @65””, “BPL proves illiterate @82”, “Lies Kevin McKinney @58”. etc.

    And if editorializing the hyperlinks to opponents posts won’t do the trick – there is always the old good “GFY” [“Go fuck yourself”, right?] (c) Engineer Poet @23

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