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View Diary: New German Data Shows No End in Sight for Coal (230 comments)

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  •  The general rule is the greater the grid, (3+ / 0-)
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    BYw, Egalitare, translatorpro

    the higher the virtual baselod.  In Germany I think it is somewhere around 35%.  In a larger grid it can go up to anywhere between 50 and 70%.

    Yep, there's still a big gap right now, but we're also still at the very beginning of implementing the renewable energy revolution, ie. there is still room for improvement and there is still time for cheap, modular, grid-scale battery storage to come online.

    Not sure about the current Netherlands cable, but I know they're doing a major expansion of the North Sea grid with direct current cables(which have very little transmission loss).  I recently read that they're expanding pumped storage in the Alps, as well.

    As for the cost of pumped storage, it's kind of the same as with renewables, ie. large up-front costs and very low operating costs.  I see the weakness of pumped storage more in its limitation to certain geographical areas.  So, as with renewables, the question is whether we want to pay for revamping our electricity system now or pay more for it later.

    Transmission can become more expensive in less densely populated areas, but it is more than made up for by the fact that there's lots of wind, sun and inexpensive land available.  And there's still tons of space in the U.S. for the currently cheapest form of new electricity production, onshore wind.  In Germany, in contrast, most of the prime areas for onshore wind are already taken.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:24:05 PM PST

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