Sunday, June 8, 2014

Part 1 Study: Green power worst way to cut CO2 goes through the numbers and CA is found wanting.
As Frank summarizes:

“The emission benefits of four of the five low-carbon alternatives per kilowatt-hour are roughly the same, about five cents per kilowatt-hour (see line 3). The benefits of wind and solar, minus their additional costs, are negative (line 5, columns a, b). The net benefits of the other three alternatives are positive and substantially higher (line 5, columns c, d, e). Gas combined cycle ranks number one in terms of net benefits while hydro and nuclear rank two and three.”

Here’s how Frank explains why wind and solar are losers:

“A wind or solar plant operates at full capacity only a fraction of the time, when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. For example, a typical solar plant in the United States operates at only about 15 percent of full capacity and a wind plant only about 25 percent of full capacity, while a coal plant can operate 90 percent of full capacity on a year-round basis. Thus it takes six solar plants and almost four wind plants to produce the same amount of electricity as a single coal-fired plant.”

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