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[Discuss] Eclipses Re: Great talks last night, however...

On 7/21/2017 9:25 AM, Bill Bogstad wrote:
> So lets say that I accept everything you say about both the 
> inefficiency and unclean characteristics of solar PV + battery
> storage.   Are the current incumbent solutions (Oil, Coal, Natural 
> Gas) any better on either characteristic?  When doing your
> efficiency calculations, please don't cheat.

I doubt it. But I'm not asserting that fossil fuels are better. My
assertion is that batteries are the worst thing we've ever invented for
storing electricity, except for all of the others. Regardless of how you
generate power, chemical batteries for long term storage (more than a
few minutes, maybe an hour or two at most) is part of the problem, not
part of the solution.

> From an economic perspective, it is beginning to look like
> residential solar + batteries might be preferable in the near future
> to current fossil fuel based grid power.  Or at least that is the
> argument that many people are starting to make.   Are they wrong?  If
> they aren't wrong, is there some reason other than economics why
> switching from fossil fuels to solar + batteries would be a bad
> idea.

I do maintain that they are wrong. Ground-based solar power can't
provide nearly enough power to run the world. There isn't enough surface
area with sufficient solar exposure. Adding a dependence on chemical
batteries would require on the order of 10 times that power generation
to offset charging waste. GBSP + battery makes sense on the small scale,
like homes and office buildings and the like, to reduce dependence on
fossil fuel power generation but it doesn't, and can't, scale up as a
global replacement for fossil fuels.

> I suspect you have some other energy solution in mind then the ones 
> that have been mentioned so far on this thread.  Care to share?

Space-based solar power. SBSP has its own share of problems but power
generation capacity isn't one of them.

Rich P.

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