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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:45 am 
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yoganmahew wrote:
propertyspire wrote:
Why has the price of PV not fallen?
Rip off republic as usual?

It has, it's less than half the price it was 10 years ago.
If that's not fallen, I don't know what is.

See the US for a 6Kw system:
https://news.energysage.com/how-much-do ... n-the-u-s/
Quote:
In 2018, solar panel costs range from $11,380 to $14,990 (after tax credits). Because price paid per watt ranges from $2.71 to $3.57 and the average U.S household system size is 6 kW (6,000 watts), the average gross solar panel cost is $18,840

That compares favourably with what I paid - you'll often see prices quoted net of grants/tax rebates (of 30% in the US!), so the gross price is fairer.

I was kinda wrong about the price drop, at least for Sidewinder:
https://www.mysolarquotes.co.nz/about-s ... stem-cost/
Quote:
In New Zealand, grid-connected solar power systems now cost 1/4 of what the price was ten years ago. This massive drop in solar power system pricing makes systems more affordable than ever; a solar investment is now achievable for many, not just a few. A standard 3kW system in 2008 cost $40,000; in 2018 the same system averages at $9,000 (completely installed).

The prices in NZ are pretty good, though, lower than here and the US.


Ok they have dropped slightly but according to

Quote:
Solar PV electricity costs have fallen 73% since 2010, according to a new cost analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Furthermore, solar PV costs are expected to be cut in half by 2020. The best solar PV projects could be delivering electricity for an equivalent of three cents per kWh or less within the next two years.


https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2 ... half-2020/


Clearly the price drops have not been passed onto the ordinary Josephine soap
I assume part of this is costs of labour for small installations


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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:01 pm 
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propertyspire wrote:
Clearly the price drops have not been passed onto the ordinary Josephine soap
I assume part of this is costs of labour for small installations

Well, as I say, the price I paid is half what I was quoted ten years prior. I'm not sure which of that is not passing on the savings.

I agree with you though, that the labour cost is a significant chunk of a small scale setup. It was a team of 5 including an electrician for a day to do mine. It wouldn't have taken them much less time to do 3kw, though maybe two less chaps.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:08 am 
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A new Fusion Industry Association launched last week. Its initial 16 members and 5 affiliates include most of today's leading private fusion research companies.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:16 am 
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The Chinese have exceeded a plasma temperature of 100 million degrees by combining four different heating modes. Even more importantly:

Quote:
The experiment also provided key data for the validation of heat exhaust, transport and current drive models, all of which will be crucial to the realization of several major fusion projects. These include the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the Chinese Fusion Engineering Test Reactor (CFETR) and the DEMOnstration Power Station (DEMO).

More...


... plus, the ongoing Chinese fusion efforts are open source, which could end up being very good news for the world.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:18 pm 
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Russia is developing an interesting fusion-fission reactor:

https://www.neimagazine.com/news/newsru ... or-6168535

People may have heard of the thorium fuel cycle. Thorium is much more abundant than uranium but is referred to as a "fertile" rather than "fissile" material, as it cannot be directly fissioned. By capturing a neutron and undergoing beta decay, however, 232-Th can be transmuted to fissile 233-U. So thorium can be combined into a mixed oxide (MOX) fuel with other fissile elements. One great upside is that it can burn up existing stockpiles of plutonium and other bomb-grade materials, and the waste is radioactive for only 70 years (instead of millions).

The Russian concept is to forget about other fissile materials altogether and use a tokamak fusion reactor as the neutron source. If it sounds like sci-fi, bear in mind that neutron-producing tokamak fusion is routine nowadays, it is only net energy fusion that is still a challenge. So you pay for the energy to produce your neutrons, and get it back with interest from your thorium reaction.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:16 pm 
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ps200306 wrote:
One great upside is that it can burn up existing stockpiles of plutonium and other bomb-grade materials, and the waste is radioactive for only 70 years (instead of millions).

70 years is the half life, it takes a lot longer to be safe. Several thousand years, I imagine.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:59 pm 
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Eschatologist wrote:
ps200306 wrote:
One great upside is that it can burn up existing stockpiles of plutonium and other bomb-grade materials, and the waste is radioactive for only 70 years (instead of millions).

70 years is the half life, it takes a lot longer to be safe. Several thousand years, I imagine.


Not necessarily. If that's the half life of the first fission products, then after 500 years, they're only emitting less than 1% of their original radioactivity and after 1000 years, about 0.06%. Unless one of the subsequent decay products has a half life of a few centuries to a few millennia, or one with a half life of decades decays to one with a half life of days or months, constantly replenishing it, the waste will probably become safe to handle relatively quickly. Half lives of minutes or aeons are either very short lived problems, because they burn themselves out quickly, or never become problems at all, because something with a half life of a billion years is practically indistinguishable from stable (U-238 is so weakly radioactive that you can use it as ballast).

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:06 am 
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Madness of Crowds wrote:
Eschatologist wrote:
ps200306 wrote:
One great upside is that it can burn up existing stockpiles of plutonium and other bomb-grade materials, and the waste is radioactive for only 70 years (instead of millions).

70 years is the half life, it takes a lot longer to be safe. Several thousand years, I imagine.


Not necessarily. If that's the half life of the first fission products, then after 500 years, they're only emitting less than 1% of their original radioactivity and after 1000 years, about 0.06%.

Right, OK. I guess it depends what you mean by "safe". I wouldn't eat it at 0.06% radioactivity.

Anyway, my main point was that half-life time doesn't equal time to safe handling.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:41 pm 
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It's all relative. The activity after a few hundred years is less than that of uranium ore. Sure, you wouldn't want to spend too much time with it. Apart from anything else it's probably chemically toxic. But people live near uranium mines without noticeable ill effect. Living near any rocks carries some risk. It's why you've got a radon barrier in your house.

For brevity, I skipped the fact that the thorium cycle can burn up actinide wastes as well as fissile uranium and plutonium. And it doesn't produce any trans-uranics itself.So it has the potential to reduce radioactivity from existing waste by orders of magnitude. The remaining low level waste is easily manageable by burial. The main thing is that it dramatically reduces an already existing problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:18 am 
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https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/turbines-at-moneypoint-power-station-out-of-action-due-to-forced-outage-1.3718846

Quote:
All three main coal-fired turbines at the ESB’s Moneypoint power station have been out of action for the past two months due to “a forced outage” at the facility in Co Clare.
Moneypoint is one of Ireland’s largest generating stations with a total generation capacity of 915 megawatts (MW), accounting for more than 20 per cent of the electricity generated in Ireland in a given year.
However, EirGrid data shows that over the past month coal has generated just over 3 per cent of power, with the grid currently running almost exclusively from gas (43 per cent) and renewables (42 per cent).


Interesting, I assumed that we would need to build a large power station before closing Moneypoint or converting it to natural gas and yet since September we have been doing fine with only a tiny amount of coal

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