[ RadSafe ] Another recent article

ROY HERREN royherren2005 at yahoo.com
Sun Jun 3 19:36:19 CDT 2012

The following non-copy right protected article further explains the Achilles 
heel of wind power's effect on carbon savings.

Grid realities cancel out some of wind power’s carbon savingsBy Louise Lerner • 
May 29, 2012 

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ARGONNE, Ill. — Wind energy lowers carbon emissions, but adding turbines to the 
current grid system does not eliminate emissions proportionally, according to a 
report by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National 
To test how wind energy affects carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, Argonne 
scientists modeled the Illinois electric grid—power plants, production and 
demand—and tested how more wind power would affect the system. They found that 
adjusting for wind power adds inefficiencies that cancel out some of the CO2 
It’s actually the older technology in the background that hampers wind. Because 
the wind doesn’t blow all the time, operators occasionally have to turn on extra 
fossil-burning plants to keep up with demand.
“Turning these large plants on and off is inefficient,” explained study author 
Lauren Valentino. “A certain percentage of the energy goes into just heating up 
the boilers again.” Power plants are also less efficient when they’re not 
operating at full capacity.
Like many states, Illinois has pledged to get 25 percent of its energy from 
clean sources by 2025. But it still has a long way to go; in 2010, the state got 
2.2 percent of its energy from wind.
“Illinois gets its strongest winds at night, when demand is low,” said co-author 
Audun Botterud, an Argonne energy systems engineer. "At the same time, we have a 
high fraction of very large, inflexible power plants in the system." This is a 
problem because it’s inefficient to turn larger plants off and on to accommodate 
sudden influxes of wind power.
The best solution, he said, would be a way to store unused energy when the wind 
is blowing. But we don’t have a good way to store large amounts of electricity, 
a problem Argonne battery scientists are tackling elsewhere at the lab. In the 
meantime, smarter electric grids can help by leveling out demand.
The study, “Systems-Wide Emissions Implications of Increased Wind Power 
Penetration”, a collaboration between researchers at Argonne and summer interns 
Valentino (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Viviana Valenzuela 
(Georgia Institute of Technology), was published in Environmental Science & 
Technology. Other Argonne co-authors are Zhi Zhou and Guenter Conzelmann.
In a related study published in Wind Energy, researchers investigated the use of 
advanced forecasting and operational strategies to accommodate more wind energy 
in the power grid.
The research was funded by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable 
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in 
science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts 
leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific 
discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of 
companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them 
solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and 
prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 
nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of 
Energy's Office of Science.
DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the 
physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the 
most pressing challenges of our time.  For more information, please visit 

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: ROY HERREN <royherren2005 at yahoo.com>
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List 
<radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
Sent: Sun, June 3, 2012 5:32:21 PM
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Another recent article

It appears that the peak energy storage conundrum isn't unique to Solar 
photovoltaic energy production.

5/30/2012 @ 2:07PM |2,515 views 
Wind Power May Not Reduce Carbon Emissions As Expected: Argonne
"Argonne researchers are working on one possible solution to this problem: 
batteries that can store wind power for use when the wind stops blowing—as well 
as store solar energy for use at night". Roy Herren 

From: Jeff Terry <terryj at iit.edu>
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List 
<radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
Sent: Sat, June 2, 2012 4:10:53 PM
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Another recent article

Solar thermal at least has some built-in storage capacity. One would think that 
that would play some role. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 2, 2012, at 5:57 PM, ROY HERREN <royherren2005 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/40460/?p1=A3
> I think it's interesting that China's "investment" into solar electricity 
> generation has had such a disruptive effect in the market place.  "Even as the 

> project nears completion, the future of solar thermal power plants is in doubt. 
> That’s in large part because prices for solar panels—which convert sunlight to 

> electricity directly—have dropped quickly in the last few years, causing at 
> least one company to abandon plans to build solar thermal plants in favor of 
> making ones that use solar panels".  I think that it's important to remember 
> that Solyndra didn't go bankrupt because of a technology failure in their 
> or product, but rather they went bankrupt because they couldn't compete on a 
> financial basis with the downward spiral in the price of solar panels being 
> shipped to the US from China.  Only time will tell which technology will win 
> in the long run.  I am forever reminded of the battle between and Sony and the 

> other electronic manufactures over Beta vs. VHS video tape decks.  The 
> "so-called" better technology lost out to the power of the majority of the 
> market place.  The amusing thing is that today the consumer market for video 
> tape decks is all but dead.  My but the market and the technology hawked there 

> is a fickle place.  How will Nuclear Power, fission, fare in the long run?  Is 

> there any chance the Chinese government can be talked into investing billions 
> dollars into Nuclear Power and thereby reducing the price of global Nuclear 
> Power?  If so, would we trust the reliability of Chinese manufactured 
> Nuclear Power plants?  If there is a question of trustworthiness, why are 
> consumers trusting the reliability of Chinese manufactured photovoltaic solar 
> panels? 
> Roy Herren 
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