Battery Storage Fallacy Exposed…Entire Annual Global Production Would Power Germany For Only 30 Minutes!

Frank at his German-language blog here makes a good point on the potential and feasibility of renewable electricity storage using lithium batteries, which is supposed to be key to successfully using wind and solar energy.

lithium-mine-nasa

Satellite images of the Salar del Hombre Muerto, Argentina (left), and Uyuni, Bolivia (right), salt flats that are rich in lithium. The lithium-rich brine is concentrated by pumping it into solar evaporation ponds (visible in the left image). Photo: NASA (public domain).

Often proponents of renewable energies such as wind and sun like to claim that the problem can be solved simply by using the common lithium battery packs, similar to those that for example power your electric drill or notebook. They insist that today it’s no problem to install largescale battery storage units for powering homes and businesses whenever wind and solar energy stall, as they often do.

But is it really possible?

Frank asks how many battery powerpacks would be needed to bridge Germany’s entire power supply if the country indeed were running 100% on renewable energy.

In general one has to expect that to bridge over periods with little sun and wind, there would need to be at least three weeks worth of storage capacity to be on the safe side. But to make the calculation simpler, he calculates using the energy storage capacity to bridge over just a single week.

He found that Germany needs about 11.5 TWh (11,500 gigawatt-hours) of electricty each week. Would the current worldwide lithium battery production capacity be able to cover this?

According to Tesla here, total battery capacity production in 2013 was only 34 gigawatt-hours. Rounding the figure up to 35 giganwatt-hours, you would need to increase the global annual production of lithium-ion batteries by some 300-fold just to cover Germany’s power supply for a single week. Or in other words, the current global annual production capacity would be enough to cover Germany’s power demand for a whole 30 minutes!

Globally, an entire year’s production of lithium batteries would supply the global demand for about a single minute. And this is without taking losses from factors such as efficiency and age into account.

Of course today’s global production of storage batteries is higher than it was in 2013, and their efficiencies are probably higher as well. But the difference amounts only to a few extra seconds or minutes.

Powering the entire globe for any significant time with batteries would require boosting current production capacity by far over a thousand-fold. Mining the lithium needed to produce such a massive amount would pose major challenges. Time to sober up, people.

Naturally there are applications where using wind and sun makes perfectly good sense. But trying to power the entire global economy with them is lunacy. Why dig up the planet to extract lithium for inefficient, indirect energy production when you can just dig coal and get great quantities of energy quickly and directly?

 

92 responses to “Battery Storage Fallacy Exposed…Entire Annual Global Production Would Power Germany For Only 30 Minutes!”

  1. DirkH

    Getting the Li from brine is simple but only possible at that Bolivian salt lake.
    The alternative is huge open pit mines, processing gargantuan amounts of granites, crushing it and extracting the Li.
    The Greens demand large scale destruction of pristine landscapes on a scale unimaginable. As Green technologies are all subsidized and all money losers and all energy losers and all pure waste, this should drive up demand for energy that ultimately comes from proven technology.

    Thought experiment: Run that huge mining operation on solar power and wind turbines alone. Imagine the mining trucks as electric vehicles. Would the mine even produce enough Lithium to replace the batteries of its trucks?

  2. sod

    Would anyone mind to point out the week in the last year, that had zero wind, zero solar, zero water and zero biofuel electricity production?

    https://www.agora-energiewende.de/de/themen/-agothem-/Produkt/produkt/76/Agorameter/

    who wants to power the world for weeks with batteries?

    Do people here understand, what a week with no wind and no sun anywhere on the world means?

    PS: Relax, that backup gas and diesel engines will be around for a couple of more years.

    1. Graeme No.3

      And your link to a graph for 1 day is sufficient for you to dismiss the idea that solar and wind are variable.
      And I note that at times the combination of water and fuel** supplies more than the renewables.

      ** Said fuel being the special non CO2 emitting type, no doubt blessed by the Pope.

      1. sod

        I actually expect you to be able to push the “letztes Jahr” (last year) button.

        1. Sunsettommy

          Sod,

          Many expect you to be rational on this,but alas.

          Solar doesn’t work well on cloudy days,when the sun is down and in the early and late parts of the day. Never meets the posted nameplate capacity.

          Wind is erratic and can vanish for days at a time,another unreliable power source.

          You admit this by accident,when you write;

          “PS: Relax, that backup gas and diesel engines will be around for a couple of more years.”

          Why did you slip,Sod?

    2. Paul Aubrin

      There are indeed whole weeks when wind and solar production in Germany are almost negligible.

      Due to some sort of temporary problem, the web site where this information is published seems to be down. When it is up again, look at what happens in winter when days are short, clouds are low and winds don’t blow.

      https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm

      By the way, batteries wear out in a few years and lose their capacity to store electricity. They must be replaced every five years. The whole production of all the world factories for five years could power Germany for less than three hours, only a small fraction of a winter night.

      1. sod

        “There are indeed whole weeks when wind and solar production in Germany are almost negligible. ”

        no, there are not.

        https://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/de/downloads/pdf-files/data-nivc-/stromproduktion-aus-solar-und-windenergie-2014.pdf

        page 32 has the graph with weekly wind+solar for the whole year. 0.8 TWh in week 4 is the minimum that is over 50% of the average wind+solar output per week.

        “By the way, batteries wear out in a few years and lose their capacity to store electricity. They must be replaced every five years.”

        no. Those batteries that never get used (because your “week without sun and wind” is not happening would not wear out.

        This post is becoming more bogus with every comment.
        To list the problematic assumptions: 3 weeks without wind and solar, ignoring water and biofuel, assuming 100% battery backup and now you are factoring “wear and tear” of a use that is not happening. This is bogus calculations at its best. A thing that is not planned and that never would be used is not wearing out!

        1. AndyG55

          Remind me again, sopping nappy

          What percentage of nameplate can wind guarantee to deliver 95% of the time?

          That is THE BIG ISSUE..

          WIND CAN NEVER GUARANTEE TO DELIVER.

          In a free market, it would disappear down the porcelain.

          You know that. but still you advocate.

          If you really thought it had any future , you would be asking for a level playing field.

          But you will never do that, because you KNOW that wind and solar can only ever exist if governments FORCE it on the people, WASTING valuable tax money that would be far better used for hospitals, schools and sensible infrastructure.

          You don’t care about the manic WASTE of money, do you, sop.

          1. tom0mason

            https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm is back online so now you can see just at unreliable solar and wind output.
            Look, with ‘solar, wind’ button pushed, for May, June, July… of 2016. Huge peaks between very deep valley’s of dearth.

        2. Anders Valland

          sod at sod 16. November 2016 at 11:53 PM says:”Those batteries that never get used (because your “week without sun and wind” is not happening would not wear out. ”

          I beg to differ. All Lithium battery systems suffer from the same fundamental issues, one of them being a process that can best be described as ageing. You may affect the process, but not halt it. An idle cell will still lose capacity (both for energy storage and power delivery capability). The chemistry is sensitive to temperature and temperature rate of change. The chemistry is sensitive to rate of charge and rate of discharge, it is sensitive to the rate of charge/discharge cycling. In general, it is sensitive. Compared to a Pb- or Ni-based chemistry it has very little robustness. The good thing is that it has one of the highest energy storage capacities available and is fairly decent in power delivery capability – but not in combination. If you need it to be idle it should stay at about 50% state-of-charge (SOC), which means in periods of ample wind and solar the capacity available will only be 50% of rated capacity.

          You try to make the point that wind and sun is available *somewhere* at any given time. What you skip is the fact that consumption is present everywhere, always. If Germany for some reason experiences no sun and no wind, or a drop in production below demand, it needs energy storage as back-up. Your argument that this can be met by production anywhere else in the system is silly, even if you would factor in all the future thought of control systems and strategies. A 100% renewable system is only viable with energy storage, and the storage facilities must be very large. The excercise done here is to give an indication of how large.

          No-one has ever built an electrical storage this large. Ever. Keep that in mind. This is no trivial task.

          The best energy storage systems we know are hydropower systems. That is the most efficient way of storing electrical energy, from any source. Unfortunately, few European countries have that capability, as do very few countries on a global scale.

          1. AndyG55

            Anders, you have to remember that sop really doesn’t know much about anything.

            He doesn’t understand electricity production and distribution.

            He doesn’t understand the need for solid continuous base load power, which wind and solar can NEVER provide.

            He doesn’t understand the economics behind the fact that subsidising and mandating the use of an unreliable, irregular power source will eventually lead to there being no power at all. !

            He lives his life in a fantasy bubble, and no amount of scientific explanation will ever be allowed to interfere with his child-like fairy tales.

        3. Sunsettommy

          Sod,stupidly writes:

          “By the way, batteries wear out in a few years and lose their capacity to store electricity. They must be replaced every five years.”

          no. Those batteries that never get used (because your “week without sun and wind” is not happening would not wear out.”

          Batteries that cyclic are ALWAYS degrading from the day it is made,that is why it has to be regularly charged,to maintain a full charge.

          You are really dumb when you say;

          “no. Those batteries that never get used (because your “week without sun and wind” is not happening would not wear out.”

          Where I live,it is dense clouds and occasional fog for weeks at a time from Mid November to March,every year. Sometimes it last for over a month without ANY sunshine coming in.

          You are truly an ignorant person.

        4. oeman50

          BTW, you cannot determine the impact of renewables by weekly production factors. You need to meet the power draw 100% of the time or the grid will sag and possible black out. So if you have 5 sunny, windy days and then two days of cloudy, windless days, the 5 days will not make up for the cloudy days without lots of storage, which we do not have.

      2. yonason

        currently getting a “502 Bad Gateway” error on that link.

        1. tom0mason

          It’s up now.

    3. AndyG55

      Sop, remind us again what the capacity factor is for wind providing power with 95% surety of supply?

      3-4% wasn’t it.. any that was in a good month

      Your moronic support and advocacy for this irregular avian destructive non-energy source is really quite BIZARRE !!

      Its as if you didn’t have one single rational pathway in that whole addled brain-washed skull of your.

    4. DirkH

      “Do people here understand, what a week with no wind and no sun anywhere on the world means?”

      An anticyclonic high in Winter with low wind speeds due to a weak pressure gradient and stable conditions with no clouds?

      That was easy. Next question.

      1. DirkH

        And as to the sun: Notice the word WINTER.
        I know what the anwer of the Greens is: Just build 10fold overcapacity of solar cells.
        Which of course confirms my first comment: Green solutions are wasteful (and BTW, that is why they harm the environment so much.)

      2. sod

        “Do people here understand, what a week with no wind and no sun anywhere on the world means?”

        An anticyclonic high in Winter with low wind speeds due to a weak pressure gradient and stable conditions with no clouds?

        That was easy. Next question.

        Your answer is wrong. you missed the part about the world. There is no global winter.

        People here are extremely bad at using data. There are days with little wind and days with little sun. So they assume that there are relevant time spans with little of both.

        The same error on region: there are times with little renewables in country A and times with little renewables in country B; so there must be times with little renewables in both.

        This type of “arguments” forgets, that the expansions over time, technology or location significantly decrease the chance for low outputs.

        1. DirkH

          So you suggest total dependency on say the instable MENA countries? Hey, GREAT solution! Why are you Greens trying to destroy everything you touch? Is it self-hatred?

          1. Analitik

            No, he is push for the global grid fantasy that is so beloved of renewables proponents. The wind is always blowing “somewhere” and the sun is always shining “somewhere” so there will alwasys be renewables generation “somewhere”.

            Let’s cut out the need for a global grid and just relocate all worldwide population and industry to “somewhere” – problem solved.

          2. Kurt in Switzerland

            Analytik:

            Love your comment: “Just relocate the world population / industry to ‘somewhere’.”

            Brilliant.

    5. Paul Aubrin

      There are whole weeks when wind+solar production is too low to power Germany.
      For some unknown reason the web site energy-charts.de where actual production data is generally available is failing. But, for example, in April this year, despite wind generating capacity being 50% of needs, the production of renewable, over the whole month was dismal.

      Hydro: 2.2 TWh (5.5%)
      Biomass: 3.45 TWh (6.9%)
      Uranium: 4.64 TWh (9.3%)
      Brown coal: 9.80TWh (19.7%)
      Hard coal: 7.80TWh (15.7%)
      Gas: 2TWh (4%)
      Wind: 5.96TWh (12%)
      Solar: 3.82TWh (7.7%)
      Total:39.67TWh

      That is: wind 12%, solar 7.7%.
      Some days (April 13th, for example), wind almost failed 0.053/1.230=4.3%.

      All the world production of batteries couldn’t provide the missing 95.7% for more than an hour or two.

      1. sod

        “That is: wind 12%, solar 7.7%.”

        Renewables are about 30% of German electricity production and about 1/3 of those are biofuels and hydro power.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Germany#Statistics

        so your 20% wind + solar sounds pretty normal!

        1. DirkH

          And electricity comprises one seventh of our primary energy consumption.

          Also, renewables electricity production varies so violently that the ENTIRE existing base load infrastructure needs to be maintained at all times – explaining the ridiculous waste of 35 billion Euro a year – a number only topped by the cost for the constant maintenance of millions of imported Muslim men by the CDU.

          1. sod

            “And electricity comprises one seventh of our primary energy consumption.”

            always the same argument. There has to be a start, and the start is electricity.

            But you do understand, that we will have only electric cars long before we have a week of battery storage for an entire nation?

        2. tom0mason

          Sod,

          “That is: wind 12%, solar 7.7%.” is an average figure.

          Take any one day and output from renewables is bouncing between far too much output to next to nothing. E.g 19 August-2016 at 0400 total solar 0, total wind 0.74 GWatts.By 0700 solar has woken up and supplies 5.1 GW, wind still around 0.7 GW, now by 12:00 solar is over 20GW and wind about 0.75GW but all these are averaged figures. The minute to minute, hour to hour huge fluctuation have been averaged away.

    6. David Johnson

      So tell me, how many interconnectors are there from South America to Europe?

  3. John F. Hultquist

    In the USA about 17 Million vehicles are being produced this year. Worldwide the number is 93 M. Next year, 98 Million. Then 102 M, 105 Million, with the year 2020 still higher. The average age of all light vehicles on the road (USA) now stands at a record high of 11.4 years. (Your reference may have different numbers.)
    Most of the above use internal combustion engines.

    Incremental changes will happen in developed societies, including the cities and modes of transport. Big changes, not so much. In 5 years or 10 years expect places to look and feel much like they do today.

    Landscapes are in place — hardened by concrete, pipelines, electrical grids, sewers, and legal agreements. Change is legally, physically, and financially difficult.

    Many people do not understand the concept of scale. Arithmetic is not difficult, but does require a little more work than many are willing to do. One can easily show that many proposed schemes will not work.

    One may argue about the actual numbers, but the world is not going to run on lithium-ion batteries — as this post shows.

    1. Dave Ward

      “Arithmetic is not difficult, but does require a little more work than many are willing to do”

      Which, of course, applies to sod….

    2. sod

      “Incremental changes will happen in developed societies, including the cities and modes of transport. Big changes, not so much. In 5 years or 10 years expect places to look and feel much like they do today.”

      sorry, but you are using a totally false example. Buildings will look mostly the same in 10 years, but cars might not.

      Have you been to China and have you seen electrification of traffic there?

      cars might turn out to be more than phones than buildings. and 20 years from now, a non-electric car might be the same as a telephone with Rotary dial.

      1. DirkH

        Well if we steal enough billions from productive people to pay for the electric cars for the unproductive, that is no problem at all.

        The PROBLEM lies in the stability of the regime.

      2. Kurt in Switzerland

        sod,

        Put your money where your mouth is: invest all your earnings in one of Elon Musk’s companies.

        Cars, trucks planes, and ships — moving from A to B, actually require a considerable amount of power, and actually consume a massive amount of energy year on year. And that amount is increasing year on year.

        What percentage of that transportation demand is being delivered by electricity from the sun and the wind, stored in batteries? (I honestly don’t know the answer, but I’d be surprised if it exceeded a one tenth of one percent, or one pro mille). In any case it is 0.0 pro mille for airplanes, ships and truck freight.

        “Eco” city buses generally run on so-called ‘biofuels’ (not typically produced using solar or wind) and since most of the electricity in the grid at any given time comes from fossil fuels (supplemented by hydro and/or nuclear power in some distinct regions), e-cars are actually still typically running on fossil fuels.

        Please advise if you disagree and provide some data to back up your assertions.

  4. edmh

    A further useful reference for this battery powered absurdity from Clive Best

    http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=7243

    It takes pretty well all the car batteries in the world to power Germany for half a day.

    Never Forget David Mackay thought the same way when he called used weather dependent renewable energy an “appalling delusion”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCyidsxIDtQ

    Arithmetic trumps green conjecture and wishful every time.

  5. yonason

    Using the numbers Pierre gave in the article, it looks like those 35 GWh of batteries would be able to keep Germany running for 1/2 an hour.

    Or, as Pierre wrote, to power Germany for a week would require over 300 times the 2013 battery capacity.

    Then there is the matter of producing the energy needed to recharge them, which would require vastly increased capacity. So, in order to ensure near continuous energy production, you would need enough windmills to produce all the power needed, plus enough batteries to do the same when power is down, plus a near doubling again of the number of windmills to recharge the batteries.

    I fold. This game’s too rich for my blood.

    1. yonason

      …Yes, I know that is what Pierre said in the title…

      “Battery Storage Fallacy Exposed…Entire Annual Global Production Would Power Germany For Only 30 Minutes!”

      …and in the article…

      “…you would need to increase the global annual production of lithium-ion batteries by some 300-fold just to cover Germany’s power supply for a single week.”

      (my number was 329 fold higher).

      But I had to do the arithmetic myself.

      And since I love arithmetic so much…,

      A Li-ion car battery apparently costs $145/kWh, so since a TWh is 9 orders of magnitude greater than a kWh, that’s $145 Billion per TWh capacity, which give $1.6675e+12 for a one week backup. Assuming a lifetime of 2 to 3 years, that means you would have to spend $5.6 TRILLION per decade to replace (not including recycling costs). How “renewable” is THAT?!

      Bright future you have ahead of you, sod.
      http://www.myartprints.co.uk/kunst/noartist/galley_slaves_of_the_barbary_c_hi.jpg

      (It’s why they call them “useful idiots).

  6. Paul Homewood

    For solar, you’d need much more then a week’s worth of storage.

    In winter in the UK, solar output is next to nothing (which is also when demand is highest)

    You would need enough storage to last for three months at least

  7. Mike Gilding

    Just thought I would remind people that South Australia lost all electricity for several days recently, and in some areas for a week. This was caused, I understand, by the difficulty of integrating wind with other energy sources during a ‘moderate’ storm.

    The other relevant and interesting paper highlighted on this site recently claimed that the total energy costs of creating and maintaining a wind farm were of the same order as the total energy generated throughout its life. That has some profound implications. Scrap steel anyone?

    1. Dave Ward

      “Scrap steel anyone?”

      At least steel can be easily recycled. The same can’t be said about fibre reinforced plastics which the blades are made from…

  8. Bitter&twisted

    The words “Cloud Cuckoo land” are a good description of the possibility of using batteries to back up “unreliables”

  9. Paul Aubrin

    The web site energy-charts.de is up again.
    Winter weeks with very small electricity generation from renewable are easy to spot, for example Jan. 17-23 2015.
    http://www.cjoint.com/data/FKrmWsHVMzr_RenewableGermanyJan2015.png

    1. sod

      “The web site energy-charts.de is up again.”

      i gave the relevant link above.

      https://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/de/downloads/pdf-files/data-nivc-/stromproduktion-aus-solar-und-windenergie-2014.pdf

      page 32 clearly shows, that weeks with little or no solar do not happen.

      the lowest week has 0.8 TWh, which is about half of the average week.

      The original claim in the article was even about 3 week periods. That is nearly a month, so you should check page 16.

      there you see that the lowest month (November, about 5 TWh) is not really different from the average month (6.5 TWh?)

      and this is 1 country and it includes other renewable sources, which are much more stable.

      1. sod

        “and this is 1 country and it includes other renewable sources, which are much more stable.”

        and this is 1 country and it EXCLUDES other renewable sources, which are much more stable.

        1. DirkH

          And all at a ridiculous cost, enacted by the Green CDU which self-immolates by populating the country with millions of Muslim men: The CDU is on a total socialist rampage.

      2. tom0mason

        Sod,

        I know it is not your strong point but elementary arithmetic says otherwise. Your figures are averages. You may wish to consume electricity ‘on average’ go ahead, but most people would rather have electricity continuously available when they want it. That is what they are paying for!
        So please explain how a distributed system of generation is more efficient (€/W) when 1000s of unreliable power sources, with all their cost of installation and maintenance and relatively short lives, is better than a few high power fossil fueled or nuclear power plant. Remember that a lack of output is a negative cost to the system.
        On cost alone it is a nonsense idea.

        1. sod

          “I know it is not your strong point but elementary arithmetic says otherwise. Your figures are averages. You may wish to consume electricity ‘on average’ go ahead, but most people would rather have electricity continuously available when they want it.”

          my math is fine, yours is not.

          the article claims the need for a full week of back up, assuming ZERO renewable output for a full week.

          The real data of a full year shows, that the worst week gives about 50% of the weekly average output of wind and solar (and rather normal levels of biofuels and hydro, which the article ignores).

          so you need much less batteries, basically only half (if only looking at wind or solar).

          the averages are real data and they matter. The fantasy numbers presented in the article and the comments do not matter at all. They are wrong, specifically produced to mislead people.

          1. AndyG55

            “my math is fine”

            ROFLMAO

            There’s that FANTASY LAND that sop lives in, again !!

          2. AndyG55

            Yet the whole world’s production of batteries would only last 30 minutes..

            so we are not talking about days, or even hours

            Face it, sop, this intermittent renewable crap is a waste of time and effort, and can only ever be a burden on any real system, or a niche system for minimal supply at the very best.

            The fact that you “believe” otherwise shows that you truly are a base-level, brain-washed fool.

          3. tom0mason

            I beg to differ — the evidence of your contribution to this blog show you are arithmetically challenged, especially in understanding what an average means (what the consequences of using it are).

            By your method averaged generated power is OK to supply all the customer needs. No it is not! Continuous stable supply is what is needed.
            For instance lets just look at this statement:
            “The real data of a full year shows, that the worst week gives about 50% of the weekly average output of wind and solar (and rather normal levels of biofuels and hydro, which the article ignores).”

            1. “data of a full year shows” — this data is smoothed average data and can’t show the wild variation in the supply because it is not designed to show this, it is by design hiding those fluctuations.

            2. “that the worst week gives about 50% of the weekly average output of wind and solar”
            But within that weekly average there are wild fluctuations in the generated power from these sources. Fluctuation which, on there own, could not be tolerated by the customers.
            As I said, you may wish to be powered by supply of variable power that averages to the wanted amount (over the week, say) but I doubt anyone else does.
            Average power generated over an hour, day, week, month, year is a meaningless metric when deciding on how to fill the customer demand. What you require is availability figures, something unreliables can not provide. When 10million customers switch on the TV for that important football match, you can not say with certainty if the windmills or sun detectors can supply. Or would you tell those 10 million that on average they are getting what they demanded?

            So what is really done —
            In order to keep the grid stable a large amount of non unreliable power must be available for fast dispatch at all times to cover when the unreliables are on-grid. That means fuel is still being burned and CO2 generated but not truly purposefully, not to supply electricity direct to the customer. It there just to cover over the holes in the unreliables output. Coupled to this there must be either wasteful loads available throughout the grid, or measures to export energy quickly when there is oversupply.
            All of this has brought us the new reactive grid, all tied together and governed by many digital communication interfaces and methods, trying to keep it stable.
            Has this move made electrical energy more reliable? — No.
            Has this new technology made the grid system more secure? — No.
            Has it made supplies more stable? — N0.
            Has it made the supply better able to react to customer demand — No.

            So, tell me again sod, what, on average, is so good about ‘green’ energy apart from fulfilling a political pledge honoring the myth of CO2 causing global warming?

          4. sod

            “By your method averaged generated power is OK to supply all the customer needs. No it is not!”

            yes it is.

            In the context of this article, it obviously is possible to simply look at averages.

            The article claims, that we need a week of battery storage.

            But in the real world, we need a week of battery storage MINUS the amount of solar/wind (and actually biofuels and hydro) generated in that week.

            That is all that i have said. Your long writing simply does not address the point made in this article. please start looking at these facts!

          5. DirkH

            “The fantasy numbers presented in the article and the comments do not matter at all. ”

            I slowly get the hunch that you are a journalist.

          6. tom0mason

            sod,
            ““By your method averaged generated power is OK to supply all the customer needs. No it is not!”

            yes it is.”

            By that very statement you reveal that you can not understand what this whole subject is about, and all you are doing is mindlessly trotting out the green advocates line.
            You may think that a society can live by averaged power generation, those that work on power generation know that is not possible. Also the very requirement to build more coal fired plant to stabilize the system is yet more evidence (as if more were needed) that you are in error and do not comprehend.
            I thought that only people who thought like you lived in South Australia.

          7. bobl

            But this is not true.

            The way solar systems are designed one must allow for a range of production outputs, when its cloudy Solar generates around 5-20% of normal output. So you either overbuild by 20 times or you allow 20 days of storage that can be charged by one day of production. Either way you are forced to overbuild. Not to mention when your solar system is working you have to be able to supply the load AND charge the storage. The Storage is not to handle outages but also must bridge the difference between low output and the demand.

            Taking this into account reliable Solar could be done but for every 200W solar panel you install you could only rely on around 3 Watts of output at 99.95% availability on a 24 x 7 basis. This means that to power Singapore you will need a solar farm at least 3-6 times the size of Singapore. This is the problem you get for a part-time power source.

            Grid performance is typically around 4-8 hours downtime a year or around 99.95% reliability not 95%

          8. sod

            “You may think that a society can live by averaged power generation, those that work on power generation know that is not possible. Also the very requirement to build more coal fired plant to stabilize the system is yet more evidence (as if more were needed) that you are in error and do not comprehend.”

            nobody is building coal plants to stabilise anything.

            again: we are talking about a system that has one week battery backup. so the average of electricity produced during that week will help the batteries to (close to) 100%.

        2. tom0mason

          So sod say “nobody is building coal plants to stabilise anything. ”

          Yes they are!

          1. tom0mason

            So sod, a quote from before the announcement to fund 8 to 12 new coal power plants to be built in Germany —
            “German Energy Commissioner Gunter Oettinger has declared that “the deindustrialization has already begun.” To ensure grid stability, electric grid operators have had to pay electric utilities to provide flexible power resulting in investments to convert coal-fired power plants that were originally built to operate 24 hours a day to flexible plants that can power up or down with little notice. But, it is becoming more and more difficult for traditional plants to survive in this environment, causing some to close. The outcome for Germans will be a higher potential for black-outs and increased energy costs to pay for an expansion and upgrade to its electricity grid and the conversion of its coal plants to be as flexible as needed. Whether it will further deindustrialize Germany remains a significant question for its leaders and the people of Germany.”

            Translated by google and edited.

            In other (easy words for you sod) without new coal the grid would be unstable!

          2. sod
          3. AndyG55

            UK is turning to gas and nuclear.

            France has only a couple of very old coal power station. Already nuclear for most energy.. that is what neighbouring countries rely on.

            Canada is also planning to use gas instead of coal.

            No room for unreliables.

            In Canada, the dopey decision will push up electricity prices.

            Industries that actually make things will go elsewhere.. from Canada , probably to the USA where coal will make a comeback.

            The utterly piddling amounts these countries are planning to reduce by will be massively overwhelmed by increases in the developing countries, and China and India.

            So I’m not the least bit worried that GLOBAL CO2 emissions with decrease by even the tiniest fraction. There will still be plenty of CO2 for feeding the world.

  10. rednose

    So does this mean you would only require half the entire world yearly production of batteries to power Germany for half an hour, or would the entire production power it for 15 minutes.

    1. sod

      “So does this mean you would only require half the entire world yearly production of batteries to power Germany for half an hour, or would the entire production power it for 15 minutes.”

      yes. and it also means, that the majority of claims made in these sort of articles are utterly false.

      France is closing all coal power, by the way:

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/france-close-coal-plants-shut-down-2023-global-warming-climate-change-a7422966.html

      1. AndyG55

        LOL, France has very little coal-fired power, and its old.

        As usual, you are so dumb that you can’t see its just a propaganda stunt… DOH !!

    2. yonason

      You have it backwards.

      Entire 2013 production of Li-Ion bats for 1/2 hr, not 15 mins.
      Half that for 15 minutes, not 1/2 hr.

      You aren’t related to sod by any chance, are you?

      1. sod

        You have it backwards.

        Entire 2013 production of Li-Ion bats for 1/2 hr, not 15 mins.
        Half that for 15 minutes, not 1/2 hr.

        You aren’t related to sod by any chance, are you?

        you did not understand his argument. He has factored in my claim, that the original post is false by at least a factor of 2.

        1. yonason

          “He has factored in my claim, that the original post is false by at least a factor of 2.”

          Two geniuses. My goodness, aren’t we the lucky ones.

          1. AndyG55

            Hey those two guys ARE geniuses.. of comedy acting.

            sop is not acting… he really is that stupid !

      2. rednose

        “You have it backwards”

        Agreed, but perhaps I should have made the irony a little clearer. Whether the articles figures or sods are correct, it is still a feck of a lot of batteries to back up a national grid. Arguing over a factor of 2 or 1/2 is pointless when increases of several orders of magnitude are needed to be of any practical use.

        1. AndyG55

          And of course, sop will totally ignore the fact that the innards of those batteries have to be mined and manufactured, releasing copious amounts CO2.

          And then you have to get the energy from somewhere to charge them.

          And that is where coal and nuclear come in.

          What sop seems to forget is that you cannot charge batteries until you have an over-supply of electricity, you are either using the electricity or you are charging batteries.. not both.

          This means that his childish attempts to talk up the usage of batteries is really quite funny and very un-scientific..

          His assumptions are wrong, as usual.

        2. yonason

          “increases of several orders of magnitude are needed to be of any practical use.”

          More than 2 orders if magnitude to be precise.

          But while sod may be technically “correct” that wind and solar aren’t always zero, and usually not for a week at a time, the problem is that he(?) wants everyone to rely ONLY on “renewables.” That means that MOST of the time some alternative energy would be required, but batteries alone can’t be it. For a battery to be useful, it must be charged. Unfortunately, there would never be enough “renewable” energy to supply the demand AND keep them charged for when they are needed.

          There are a number or good arguments why storage is a pipe dream. Here’s a relatively recent one from Bill Gates.
          https://www.gatesnotes.com/Energy/It-Is-Surprisingly-Hard-to-Store-Energy

          And he’s pro “renewables” which in Germany are about 3x the cost of conventional. As that article points out the $.30 per KWh is just the battery cost, before adding in the cost of charging, which needs to include loss of efficiency in charging and discharging. So in Germany that would probably bring it closer to $1.00/KWh.

          sod is, as always, pushing a lose-lose proposition.

          1. sod

            “the problem is that he(?) wants everyone to rely ONLY on “renewables.””

            no, i do not.

            Nobody is talking about 100% wind and solar for 100% of the time at the moment. Please stop making up things.

          2. sod

            “And he’s pro “renewables” which in Germany are about 3x the cost of conventional.”

            that is utterly false. Wind onshore is cheaper than new coal, for example.

          3. DirkH

            “that is utterly false. Wind onshore is cheaper than new coal, for example.”

            The subsidies are a cost.
            Wind is so cheap that it ruins us: Wind and solar cost 35 billion EUR a year.

            You can build plenty of coal power plants for 35 billion.

            The strategy of the Greens is the Big Lie – and full scale price fixing.

            It seems the market distortions have confused you so much that your rabbit brain cannot even understand reality anymore.

          4. yonason

            “Nobody is talking about 100% wind and solar for 100% of the time AT THE MOMENT.” – sod

            So, yes, you admit you do want it, which is all I was saying.

            And I tried to deal with that, but it wasn’t posted, so I’ll just refer you to bobl’s comment. He does a better job of it than I did, anyway
            http://notrickszone.com/2016/11/16/battery-storage-fallacy-exposed-entire-annual-global-production-would-power-germany-for-only-30-minutes/comment-page-1/#comment-1148966

            “Wind onshore is cheaper than new coal, for example.” – sod

            As so many of us have pointed out to you, that is BY GOVT DESIGN, not free market dynamics.

            Germans and Danes pay the most out of pocket for electricity, not including the hidden cost of the taxes they pay that are used to subsidize the (un)renewable madness.

  11. John

    Conventional grid power does not depend on coal alone, but often, uranium, hydro, gas, oil and the like.
    An argument that looks at battery storage for just solar and wind and assumes that there is no production of solar and wind in that week and no other renewable is intentionally miss leading.

    For me I use 2kw hours a day of grid electricity, I export 10 kwh a day to the grid, I have solar hot water, and live in a relatively sunny place. There is not one day that I do not export electricity, though it has been as low as 2kwh. so in fact a 2 kwh battery would be enough for my house, lets factor it up by 3 as a safety margin and I have 6 kwh. My bill is near zero at the moment so I cant see why I would do it but would not be that expensive if I did. solar has made my life extremely cheep and. The hot water paid for it self years ago and the solar will in a few years.

    I also have LED lighting, the house is well insulated and solar passively designed.

    1. sod

      “An argument that looks at battery storage for just solar and wind and assumes that there is no production of solar and wind in that week and no other renewable is intentionally miss leading.”

      this is the truth. Expect to be attacked for writing this!

    2. Analitik

      Given how little electricity you use, what is the payback period for your solar PV if you were to ignore your exports? I assume you are net metered but utilities the world over are abandoning that practice.

    3. DirkH

      And now let’s talk about the truck that brings the groceries to the supermarket where you drive with your car to buy them.

      1. sod

        “And now let’s talk about the truck that brings the groceries to the supermarket where you drive with your car to buy them.”

        light groceries (like salad and Co) have a high probability of being delivered by electric vehicle in the really near future.

        https://www.welt.de/regionales/rheinland-pfalz-saarland/article159111673/Elektroautos-der-Post-rollen-jetzt-auch-in-Rheinland-Pfalz.html

        1. AndyG55

          oh dear, such a NAIVE brain-washed little sop.

          Nuclear or Coal powered electric cars?

    4. tom0mason

      @John 19. November 2016 at 3:51 AM

      Well done John, you are rich enough, and have the space to have done this.

      Unfortunately the majority of current housing stock can not do this, certainly not in most of Europe.
      If you live in the usual city type dwelling and earn average or below wages then this technology is not possible.

      1. sod

        “Well done John, you are rich enough, and have the space to have done this. ”

        the claims being made here are simply false.

        Both solar PV and LED lights will SAVE you money in the long run.

        the new power wall comes at $5500, which is not a huge sum, when talking about buying or building houses.

        1. AndyG55

          Did you get a subsidy for one?

        2. tom0mason

          Sod,

          Which part of “Unfortunately the majority of current housing stock can not do this, certainly not in most of Europe.”
          Did you not get?

          PV is NOT A VIABLE OPTION for many city dwellers. LED lamps are expensive.

          Sod, you’re obviously rich or well subsidized by others. For the rest of us to tout such BS is just insulting.

        3. bobl

          Have you ever seen a lithium fire?

          1. yonason

            Yes. Mg is also fun, and Al but you have to powder it.

            I wonder if sod has ever seen a wasteful unprofitable company taken off life support (subsidies).
            http://dailysignal.com/2016/11/13/its-time-to-stop-spending-taxpayer-dollars-on-elon-musk-and-cronyism/

            Won’t be pretty, especially for those who have bought products for which there is no longer any tech support, but for which the finance agreements will be in effect for another decade or two. Maybe they can burn the warranty papers to briefly keep warm.

  12. sod

    “Nuclear or Coal powered electric cars?”

    coal and nuclear are both being phased out. and electric cars will make the transformation eassier.

    I find it absurd, that this whole discussion does not even mention the Tesla power wall 2.0

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/4019651-teslas-powerwall-2-right-product-right-time

    basically double the storage for a similar price. (and it is utterly absurd that the article is based on 2013 production by Tesla).

    and 10 years guarantee, while people here are trying to tell me that unused batteries must be thrown away after 5 years.

    the “believes” that are forming the base of “arguments” made here, is moving further and further away from the facts.
    The believes

    1. DirkH

      “I find it absurd, that this whole discussion does not even mention the Tesla power wall 2.0”

      Such a device MIGHT be profitable under the absurd mandated electricity prices dictated by the German ultragreen SPD-CDU government. In other words: By forcing customers to pay 6 times the price for energy it MIGHT become profitable to invest even more money into battery boxes to circumvent the artificial shortage: A sign of the collapse of the economy into a socialist resource-wasting collective capital misallocation.

  13. AndyG55

    “coal and nuclear are both being phased out”

    roflmao..

    Poor sop, you truly live in a fantasy world.

    1. sod

      “coal and nuclear are both being phased out”

      roflmao..

      Poor sop, you truly live in a fantasy world.

      you can call it like that, but i live in Germany and here both my claims are true. You are fighting the facts again!

      1. AndyG55

        A more REALISTIC look at the crazy, stupid renewable situation in Germany.. as opposed to the fantasy propaganda pap that sop soaks up from the renewable scammers.

        Germany avoiding power outages by using coal.

        https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/green-energy-bust-in-germany

        1. DirkH

          Well Andy that is from 2013.
          “The spiraling cost of the renewables surge has sparked a backlash, including government proposals to slash subsidies and deployment rates.”

          All true yet the SPD-CDU government has managed to uphold the 15% growth per year rate of Green subsidies, we are now at 35 bn EUR a year. As usual, we are left to guess whether they are incompetent or evil. Just to be safe I say both.

        2. yonason

          But Andy, LOOK, the prices are FALLING. Why can’t you see it?!
          https://cdn.vectorstock.com/i/composite/32,76/boy-standing-on-head-vector-803276.jpg

      2. AndyG55

        Despite the harm it will cause .. I really hope that the COLD blob moves further west and envelopes Germany.

        Wind and solar will come to a complete halt, and you will be left with a broken debilitated power system.

        The reality of the renewable farce will bite you very hard.!

        Good luck Germany. Its coming your way !!!