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The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/18/2021 5:46 PM

...."If early replacements occur as predicted by our statistical model, they can produce 50 times more waste in just four years than IRENA anticipates. That figure translates to around 315,000 metric tonnes of waste, based on an estimate of 90 tonnes per MW weight-to-power ratio.

Alarming as they are, these stats may not do full justice to the crisis, as our analysis is restricted to residential installations. With commercial and industrial panels added to the picture, the scale of replacements could be much, much larger.

....With the current capacity, it costs an estimated $20-30 to recycle one panel. Sending that same panel to a landfill would cost a mere $1-2.....

....In addition, some governments may classify solar panels as hazardous waste, due to the small amounts of heavy metals (cadmium, lead, etc.) they contain. This classification carries with it a string of expensive restrictions — hazardous waste can only be transported at designated times and via select routes, etc....

...If we plot future installations according to a logistic growth curve capped at 700 GW by 2050 (NREL’s estimated ceiling for the U.S. residential market) alongside the early replacement curve, we see the volume of waste surpassing that of new installations by the year 2031. By 2035, discarded panels would outweigh new units sold by 2.56 times. In turn, this would catapult the LCOE (levelized cost of energy, a measure of the overall cost of an energy-producing asset over its lifetime) to four times the current projection. "...

Let's add to that the destruction of solar panels by storms....

https://hbr.org/2021/06/the-dark-side-of-solar-power

Now should we add up the total battery costs? How much will that add?

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#1

Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/19/2021 7:42 PM

This "message" was brought to you by Luddite Republicans who regulated Texas' power industry into the ground this winter, killing many innocent people with greed. Now, they can't run their dryers??

Let's keep burning coal and oil and supporting the Big Lie.

Show me how much pollution, waste, deaths and environmental destruction has been caused by fossil fuels, vs renewable energy, then you, may have an argument. But, you're just blowing smoke and your peanut gallery will be right along to cheer you on.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/19/2021 9:20 PM

No this is from the Harvard Business Revue....a liberal institution....don't shoot the messenger....

Harvard Business Review....

You've obviously been driven mad by those wind turbines around your pristine environment...

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#3
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Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/19/2021 9:41 PM

Aren't they beautiful in the setting Sun, with the wafting haze of smoke from nearby wildfires....thousands of squeaking wheels sounding like a chorus of cicada's happily eating everything green in their path....

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#5
In reply to #1

Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/20/2021 2:03 AM

Let's talk about Texas then....

"Blackouts? Because Big Wind and Big Solar Got $22 Billion in Subsidies

By Robert Bryce
June 17, 2021

The oldest maxim in politics is “follow the money.” That maxim also applies to electric grids.

Following the billions of dollars that have been spent on the Texas grid explains why the state continues to have electricity shortages. On Monday, ERCOT, the state’s troubled grid operator, asked Texans to reduce their electricity use. That request came exactly four months after Texas residents were asked to conserve electricity due to a massive winter storm.

Before going further, I’ll give you the punchline: As I explained in these pages in April, about $66 billion was spent on wind and solar in Texas in the years before the deadly February storm that left millions of Texans without electricity. In return for that $66 billion, the wind and solar sectors collected about $21.7 billion in local, state, and federal subsidies and incentives. That first figure comes from the wind energy and solar energy lobbies. The latter number comes from a report published last week by veteran Texas energy analyst Bill Peacock of The Energy Alliance.

Thus for every dollar spent by the wind and solar sectors in Texas, they got roughly 33 cents from taxpayers. By any measure, this is an outrageous level of subsidization. And Texans are learning that the tens of billions of dollars spent on wind and solar are not translating into reliable electricity. As you can see in the graphic above, when power demand in Texas spikes, as it has this week, large segments of the state’s vast fleet of wind turbines – some 32,000 megawatts – like to head to Cancun with Sen. Ted Cruz for some vacation time.

On the graphic below, which I retrieved from ERCOT’s website on Wednesday, the black line shows electricity demand. The green line is wind output. On Monday, when demand was hitting 70,000 megawatts, wind output dropped to about 3,000 megawatts. On Tuesday, as power demand was again approaching 70,000 megawatts, wind energy production dropped to nearly zero.

Therein lies the biggest challenge facing Texas regulators and policymakers. The tax abatements, subsidies, and tax credits that are being doled out at the local, state, and federal levels favor the deployment of intermittent wind and solar. But during times of high demand, wind and solar often disappear and all of the load is expected to be met with traditional generation plants. But those traditional plants (nuclear, coal, and natural gas) don’t get the lavish subsidies being given to renewables. Further, those plants aren’t as profitable as they used to be because during times of fair weather (good wind and lots of sun) renewables are crowding out the juice that would ordinarily be produced from those traditional plants.

In his analysis, “Subsidies to Nowhere: A Year-By-Year Estimate of Renewable Energy Subsidy Costs for Texas and for the U.S.” Peacock says that Texas is “being overrun by renewable energy generation.” In 2020 alone, he found that Big Wind and Big Solar collected local, state, and federal subsidies worth about $2.3 billion. Further, he found that since 2018, 79% of all the electricity generation capacity built in the state has been from renewables while only 19% has come from “generation that can be dispatched, and all of that comes from one source, natural gas. The lack of diversity that has resulted from this overreliance on renewables has come at a great cost to Texas.” He continued, “Wall Street bankers and investment firms have partnered up with renewable energy companies from all over the world to chase the billions of dollars available if the companies will pick this form of energy favored by politicians and bureaucrats across the globe—including the state of Texas.”

How costly is the state’s lack of generation diversity? As I reported last week in Forbes, Texas ratepayers are being saddled with about $38 billion in excess costs in the wake of the deadly February winter storms that killed at least 200 Texans. Last month, BuzzFeed News reported that the actual death toll, when including the medically vulnerable who perished due to storm-related disruptions, could be as high as 700. The $38 billion in excess costs will increase the energy burden on low- and middle-income Texans, many of whom were already struggling to pay their utility bills. The bonds being issued to cover some of those excess costs will be paid for with fees tacked onto ratepayers’ bills.

On Wednesday, Peacock told me that wind and solar developers in Texas get “a third of their money from the government. That’s a nice deal. I’d like to get some of that.” He then said the reason the state isn’t building more gas-fired power plants is simple: “Wall Street investors aren’t getting a third of the money they need for those plants from taxpayers.”

Furthermore, as Scott Tinker, the head of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas and director of the Switch Energy Alliance, reminded me back in April, the wind and solar sectors are contributing far less in tax revenue to the state than the oil and gas sector. As I showed in my April 26 article for Real Clear Energy, the Texas oil and gas sector pays about 54 times more in taxes per year than the wind and solar sectors. According to the Houston Chronicle, the oil and gas sector paid about $13.4 billion in state taxes and royalties in 2019. By contrast, the wind and solar sectors are paying roughly $250 million per year in state and local taxes.

The bottom line here is obvious: If Texas is serious about increasing electricity reliability and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, it should be building nuclear plants, which proved to be the most reliable generation during the February freeze. For $66 billion, the state could have added another 6,000 megawatts or more, of new nuclear capacity. Alas, that’s not happening. Instead, about 35,000 megawatts of new wind and solar capacity is slated to be added to the ERCOT grid by 2023. Of that new capacity, about 11,000 megawatts will be new wind projects and 24,000 megawatts will be solar. Thus, over the next three years, the amount of renewable capacity in Texas will nearly double.

But if what’s past is prologue, adding more wind capacity to the Texas grid won’t do much to help meet demand during hot summer days. (See the graphic above). And adding more solar won’t help during extreme cold spells like the one that crippled the state back in February because during the blizzard, solar panels were covered with snow.

Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger famously said “Show me the incentive and I'll show you the outcome.” The ERCOT grid shows that tens of billions of dollars in tax incentives have resulted in the addition of tens of thousands of megawatts of generation capacity to the Texas grid that does precious little to provide power during periods of peak electricity demand. That’s a bad outcome."

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/06/17/why_was_66_billion_spent_on_renewables_before_the_texas_blackouts_because_big_wind_and_big_solar_got_22_billion_in_subsidies_781862.html

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#10
In reply to #5

Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/20/2021 4:11 PM

Personally, I've argued for wind and solar to be used to heat water or a salt brine and then use the heat to drive a turbine and thus have some reserve to cover the wind dying down or the sun covered by a cloud or night time arriving. This has an additional benefit of not dealing with issues of these sources coming on/off-line and worrying about synchronization issues. Additionally wind and solar can't absorb power as you can do with generators to compensate for power-factor. I would think these decision-makers would have engineers explain how these sources operate and their pitfalls but they seem to listen to the "white-shoe" salesmen working for the wind turbine and solar panel manufactures. Wind and solar are good for small energy requirements and low demand from batteries in the down-time these sources have.

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#11
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Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/20/2021 5:52 PM

No, it's the government subsidies that are to blame....they are paying companies to install intermittent sources of generation that are undercutting prices from reliable sources of generation, they are in effect driving reliable sources of generation out of business...The subsidies are being paid by the people through taxes, driving the prices of energy higher, so instead of paying for your electricity with your monthly bill, you are paying the increase through taxes....the people are in fact paying to make their own grid electricity more expensive and less reliable....

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#12
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Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/21/2021 10:34 PM

I can't see this as being sustainable in Texas. Texans tend to be independent minded and don't like to be told to do anything. I will be surprised if the politicians who regulate ERCOT don't get an earful from their constituents. The way it is supposed to work, instead of politicians telling the citizens what to do.

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#4

Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/19/2021 11:30 PM

I've argued the point for some time that wind and solar energy cannot replace "fossil fuels" and it is wishful thinking to think they can. Think of the mining to get the rare-earths for the solar panels, the pollution from the mining, and the amount of energy required in the manufacture the solar panels or wind turbines. Add to that the inefficiency of these devices and you get an unrealistic expectation these devices can replace "fossil" fuels. If you want to replace "fossil" fuels you need nuclear sources, light and wind isn't going to come close to generating the energy requirement we need; not to mention the land area required for light and wind. The contrast between refurbishing as opposed to dumping is surprising. I thought it would be necessary, even if expensive, to recycle these devices because of the rareness of some of the materials, but 10 to 1 is sobering.

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#6

Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/20/2021 5:02 AM

All the more reason to mine H3 from the moon.

It is a more efficient energy source for fusion than hydrogen,producing less neutron emissions,thus generating less waste heat and less deterioration of containment vessel.

The incentive is there,and many countries are jumping at the opportunity by getting into the space race.

China in particular,has made great fast strides in their space ventures,having the advantage of piggy-backing on pre-existing technology to boot strap their own.

Look how quickly they put a rover on Mars,and the moon.

IMHO:

Eventually,they will control the H3 market and have the industrial world by the short hairs,unless we kick our technology and mainly,our efforts, in the butt.

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#7
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Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/20/2021 6:06 AM

There are no fusion reactors that produce net energy...other than the Sun....

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#8

Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/20/2021 6:11 AM

All projects must be analyzed from when the materials come out of the earth to when they go back into the earth. This way the total effects on the environment can be noted. Then, if the harm to the environment is at an acceptable level, then proceed with the project or manufacture. It is impossible to build anything without some harm to the environment. The question is, how much harm is acceptable? These limits have yet to be determined when considering the project from out of the earth to back into the earth.

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#9

Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/20/2021 12:13 PM

I came across this gem a while back so I thought I would share it. It has been posted before. Ratch

________________________________________________________________________

GREEN’S DIRTY SECRET

The “renewable” energy crowd has long gotten away with propagating an image of the industry as pristine, clean, and nothing but beneficial for the environment.

Not true.

Take the wind industry, which is dominated by massive, and growing, wind turbines that dot America’s prairie’s and coast lines.

To start, the turbines are an eyesore, which is why so many liberal NIMBY’s don’t want them in their own backyards.

The vista from the veranda of summer homes on Martha’s Vineyard surely can’t be sullied, even if in the name of saving the planet from the ravages of global cooling, er, global warming, er, climate “disruption.”

Moreover, the turbines every year kill and maim increasing numbers of federally protected birds, including the Bald Eagle.

Most importantly, these turbines are filled with a great deal of metals, much of it mined from jurisdictions with appalling environmental records.

While different models require different amounts of these metals, the “ballpark” estimate of one 3 mega-watt turbine is as follows:

335 tons of steel;

4.7 tons of copper;

1,200 tons of concrete;

3 tons of aluminum;

2 tons of rare earth elements, including neodymium and dysprosium.

Much of these elements and their constituent parts must be mined, which is normally anathema to eco-nut crowd, who spend a lot of time opposing mining.

More troubling, the necessary rare earth metals are mined and processed in China, a country both hostile to American national security and a country sporting a reprehensible environmental record.

It is estimated that China controls over 95% of the world’s rare earth deposits, and has the market cornered in large part because most first world countries won’t issue permits for such mining.

The U.S. wind industry requires between 5 and 6 million pounds of rare earth metals each year.

Note that the mining of neodymium and dysprosium produces radioactive waste on a one to one basis.

For every ton of the mineral mined, it produces a ton of radioactive waste, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Science.

As one can appreciate, China doesn’t have disposal safeguards in place that even come close to protecting people and the environment. Horror stories of Chinese citizens near these mines becoming sick and dying are legion.

Compare that to America, where radioactive waste storage is so thick with standards and safeguards, we can’t even get a permanent storage site in desolate Nevada approved.

Solar panels aren’t a whole lot better.

These panels contain materials like cadmium telluride, copper indium selenide, cadmium gallium (di)selenide, copper indium gallium (di)selenide, hexafluoroethane, lead, and polyvinyl fluoride. Additionally, silicon tetrachloride, a byproduct of producing crystalline silicon, is highly toxic.

There are increasing concerns that these chemicals can be washed out of panels by rainwater. Moreover, they certainly get washed into the ground when panels are broken during severe weather outbreaks like thunderstorms and hurricanes.

In any case, despite the presence of these chemicals, solar panels are currently disposed of by chucking them in landfills.

It is estimated that in 2016, 250,000 metric tons of solar panel waste was produced world-wide.

Moreover, the economics of recycling solar panels don’t turn a profit, meaning that there is no market incentive to recycle the panels in the absence of subsidies.

The bottom line is that “clean” energy isn’t so clean and comes with its own trade-offs.

It isn’t just coal, nuclear, and natural gas that comes with a downside.

Copyright © 2019 Harold Hamilton at The Minnesota Watchdog & Anoka County Watchdog, All rights reserved.

The Minnesota Watchdog and the Anoka County Watchdog thanks you for your support. Sincerely, Harold Hamilton.

Our mailing address is:

Harold Hamilton at The Minnesota Watchdog & Anoka County Watchdog

C/O K Solutions LLC

3083 Victoria Street

Roseville, MN 55113

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#14
In reply to #9

Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/23/2021 9:51 AM

Interesting. There is no silver bullet! However, I do wonder what the similar numbers would be for a coal-fired power station, such as what we're stuck with locally - including of course the coal mines & transport and water resources required to feed them. And for all options, the "collateral damage", of birds and bats killed by wind power vs shortened human lifespans due to coal pollution, etc. In the end, you choose what you choose, we all have our biases.

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#13

Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/23/2021 6:05 AM

I really hope that soon everyone will start using such things to protect our nature.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: The Coming Deluge of Waste From Green Generated Energy

06/23/2021 12:11 PM

We all are using them and not by choice, and they're not protecting our nature. Had you read all the posts you would know that.

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