14/06/2024
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Multi-Million Dollar Betting in Low-Carbon Grid Transformation Tech.

Virtually all of these technologies are mature and sturdy today.  Every year there is a lot of new technology, and the current technology is going to be the next 5 decades, so we need to deploy existing technology.

Michael Barnard, cleantechnica.com

Michael Barnard with Bill Nussey, CEO of Freeing Energy

A couple of months ago, Bill Nussey, CEO of Solar Innovations and Freeing Energy, called Michael Barnard on his Freeing Energy Podcast.  He reached out to Michael Barnard on the basis of stumbling upon something or other that Michael Barnard wrote in early 2021, and after hundreds of interviews and travelling around the world, He thought it might provide some useful input on the closing book The Freeing Energy.   One thing led to another, Michael Barnard provided 27 pages of notes in a late draft of his book, which he rewrote the Hydrogen section, Michael Barnard chatted with the Cleantech Talks Podcast at the end of 2021, and he later hosted Michael Barnard on Freeing Energy.

Nasi and their partner in green, Sam Easterby, like to provide more personal hooks in their podcast and therefore they research less direct aspects of their guests.  In the case of Michael Barnard, this led to his April Fool’s Day 2001 Vegas Drive-Through Wedding, and then the Texas Hold’em Ring game at Bellagio, but Julia Roberts filmed the 11th scene of Ocean beside the Poker Pit.  Michael Barnard claims that the real story is still married.

Bill Nussey, CEO of Solar Innovations and Freeing Energy

The Texas Holdem game was not a random event.  Michael Barnard went through the Holdem stage, played thousands of hours in casinos in North America and online and became the 93rd percentile player, meaning Michael Barnard lost no money, but did nothing.

And so Nassi and Easterby decided to use betting as a hook and asked Michael Barnard to place one billion USD in bets on various low-carbon grid technologies.  “So, I threw the list into Google Sheets, put the bets first, made a couple of pivot tables, then adjusted and then adjusted again before going to the podcast with Nassi.  Michael Barnard asked to turn the concept into a key to the conference.

Nassi and Easterby have provided Barnard with a list of 13 major components, to which Barnard has added a couple, and others adjusted for this article, which I would like to begin with and carve out below.  And while I’m not a fan of pie charts, this is a reasonable case, especially when percentages are called.  To continue the holdem metaphor, let’s call it flap.

Not surprising to anyone who has seen our climate action shortlist, the generation is a big hitter, as the overbuilt renewable generation ranks second on that list.  Next up is the collection, which, as expressed last year, is less of a problem than most people think, and Michael Barnard is fourth on the short list.  Finally, the circulation is being expanded below the collection, which is # 3 on the short list.  This makes Michael Barnard think that the list should be reordered somewhat.

Bernard Onwind (Wayback Machine Link to Full Site) or anyone who remembers my time as a Senior Fellow – might be surprised to see Wind (about air power and health court cases) with the Washington-based Think Tank Energy and Policy Institute

Solar will agree to more global investment.  Back in 2014, Michael Barnard had predicted that wind and solar would be roughly the same, with wind probably in the forefront, but the cost of solar’s decline and metre and community solar power qualifications eventually led to claims.  Solar power has more power than wind.

Hydroelectricity is the subject of Nassi’s original list.  Surprisingly, given the need for sufficient new, low-carbon production, hydroelectric dams are seeing a resurgence globally, with new capacity gigawatts moving around the world.  China’s Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam, is at the forefront of this space.  Of course, hydroelectric dams may have serious drawbacks, including anaerobic decomposition of biomass, so it can be said to be mixed growth.  Based on reports that although it is larger than geothermal, it won’t be much.

Nuclear appears, but this is a small bet.  China alone is building enough nuclear plants and its construction is dwarfed by wind and solar development in that country.  More about that later.

When talking to storage developers and operators across five continents, Mariko McDonagh Mayer, chief strategist of Convergent Energy + Power in the USA, behind metre versus grid storage, and, as noted earlier, potential grid-scale storage winners.  The grid-scale is the largest class, and the grid-scale generation is a larger portion of the pie than the previous generation of metres.

This is not to dismiss the metre’s past production and storage value, but to change global energy flows with smaller systems, while utilities and bulk systems do weightlifting.  The metre’s past production and storage value proposition is a jurisdictional patchwork by jurisdiction, for example, with Ontario, over-reliance on flexible nuclear production sees strong value in the metre’s previous collection.  Many US analysts and observers think that this will be the largest segment globally since the US has an unreliable grid by the standards of developed countries.  Germany and Denmark have an average of 15 minutes of parking per customer per year, while the US has about four hours.  Reliable and well-structured grids reduce the value of the metre’s previous storage and grids are developing rapidly.

And then, of course, there is diffusion.  Lots and lots of extra transmission.  HVDC SuperGrid is taking place in Asia, and China is expanding its huge HVDC transmission lines to neighbouring countries and spending billions on its Belt and Road initiative.  There are proposals for Moroccan wind and solar power to flow to the UK through underwater HVDC cables with up to 20 hours of certified power per day.  Once again, Michael Skelly’s book on failing to build HVDC that connects Texas to the East Coast’s population centres – as documented in superpower, as well as the challenges of building local US utilities and circulation in that country – is based on many US.  Analysts think transmission is harder than that.

Utility-scale solar – on the beach, with all its failure conditions, the distraction of the floating solar’s rounding fault – is the single biggest bet, but the wind’s energy divides between offshore and offshore wind.

We feel that solar power is slightly larger than community solar in metres residential and commercial and industrial.  Second, when looking at large solar farms, there are awful roofs all over the world, ranging from small utility-scale solar farms.

As noted, only China is now building enough new gigawatt-scale nuclear power.  In the 30 or so countries that have nuclear-powered fleets, many are expecting the current trend to continue to decline.  France is moving back and forth on how big its fleet is, Ontario is not building new GW-scale reactors, the US expects to leave dozens of reactors off the grid over the next 20 years, and both South Korea and Germany will completely shut down their fleets.  This bet is based on things like subsidies in the USA to retire existing reactors and build in China, and is not big.

But this is much bigger than the bets I place on small modular reactors (SMRs) or fusion production.  SMRs, as I described in the article, Just Have a Think is Incompletely Viral with a YouTube Explorer, De Gruyter Peer-Reviewed Journal Article, forthcoming De Gruyter Green Chemistry Textbook, TFIE Reprint  Translated to Japanese by Bank Presentation and Renewable Energy Agency of that country.  As I said in the piece: โ€œSmall modular reactors do not achieve economies of scale, are not fast to build, abandon the efficiency of vertical scaling, are not cheap, are not suitable for remote or brownfield coal sites, still have high security costs, are still expensive and slow to deactivate and are still liable.  If the last 20% demand to supply renewables proves too expensive, they will be a cross-bait for the expensive generation, which I don’t expect will happen.

Likewise, as Michael Barnard explained last year, fusion production continues to regress in the not too distant future.  ITER Tokamak is a candidate for creating better funding and sustainable fusion, and while it is not expected to achieve more than five minutes of power-neutral operation in 2040, it is just research funding – which could be $ 65 billion.  ITER project only – for decades to come.  Every time another title comes up about some amazing fusion breakthroughs, I find by digging a little that it’s not fusion, it’s the creation of a little hot plasma for a while, and journalists who don’t bother to find the real story.  Under a press release.  I think there is only room for fusion in the next 200 years in Jupiter’s frontier spacecraft.

Yes.  Chief Technician and Board Observer with Agora), and then similar form-factor batteries of lithium-ion and various chemistry.  There is also a class of silly things like hydrogen, liquid air, compressed air, molten salt, energy vault, but this is a 100-GW rounding error, so there is still a lot of money to go around.  .  As a note on the Energy Vault, this is clearly flawed, and I never bothered to criticize it, but apparently it managed to achieve a $ 2.1 billion market cap, so it’s on my list of reasons to be dumb as a broken box.  Rusty hammers.

Finally, diffusion. 

As Michael Barnard wrote several years ago, High-Voltage Direct Current solved its last scaling problem – quite rapid and robust hybrid breakers – about 10 years ago.  It is capable of flooding more than 1,000 kilometres with only 3.5% loss, and does so underground or underwater.  Biden’s original campaign had the HVDC backbone to South America through Central America, then pivoted to get closer to Sander’s domestic HVDC grid project following the federal rights path, and new US financial instruments for dissemination, especially HVDC.  Along with its tens of thousands of kilometres of domestic HVDC, including the Asian Super Grid and the world’s longest HVDC transmission line, China has also proposed the intercontinental HVDC supergrid connecting the North Pole.  Europe and North Africa are already connected with the spread of the Bosphorus Strait from Spain to Morocco and Turkey, and MEDGRID has multiple proposed links, currently built into the brick wall of hydrogen-for-energy hype spreadsheet jockeys.  .

And, therefore, the transmission will grow to allow more renewable electricity to flow much farther with less loss, which will significantly reduce intermediate challenges.

So, those are bets.  Mostly wind and solar power, a lot of grid-scale storage led by pumped hydro, and complete HVDC transmission all tie together.  That is what the future decarbonized grid looks like.

Sources : credited Michael Barnard /

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