Electric cars not the best option, page-457

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    Janti

    The wind energy crisis you describe is one of your own making or more precisely - of your own imagination.

    A wind generator - just like an ICE car - requires maintenance and every now and then a gasket blows and needs to be replaced - perhaps even a gear box needs replacing. When I replace my windscreen wipers, I do not say: " oh no, that my car only lasted 3 years".

    Wind energy has been a stunning success in terms of becoming cheaper and cheaper over time. Hence the rapid growth in cumulative wind power capacity. The following chart is for the USA - many countries would show similar graphs over time. In many instances, wind and solar are now cheaper than coal.

    https://hotcopper.com.au/data/attachments/1507/1507603-2d5249ba715d4add86f5a5162ab0af56.jpg
    Source: US Department of Energy

    Wind is an intermittent energy source - perfectly complemented by storage - such as EV batteries. Just so happens, that our very own CSIRO forecasts storage costs to continue to come down:



    https://hotcopper.com.au/data/attachments/1507/1507611-dd2777bc57658d4ede16a6755e27ee8d.jpg

    Source: CSIRO - Electricity generation technology cost projections 2017 - 2050

    It seems to me that your starting point is - like that of many disenchanted with our democracy - that you do not trust the major parties and hence anything they do or say must be viewed with skepticism. People like that make the same mistake that you make. You read opinion pieces from media sources with vested interests that cherry pick "research" form some "eminent" scientist which supposedly validates the position pushed by the vested interests. It gets worse, when anecdotal evidence appears to support your case. Rather than recognizing it for what it is - i.e. a one-off observation - too often it is taken as final proof of a preexisting belief (e.g. my solar panels have faded - hence all PV modules do not last as long as claimed by the lefty greenies - just like wind generators - hence all renewable energy is rubbish).

    At the same time you ignore what the vast majority of research from independent sources - including government agencies - is telling you.

    The reality is that PV, wind, and battery technology has come down faster than almost anyone would have predicted 10 years ago. To quote from the above CSIRO report:

    "....The updated projections indicate the trend we have seen in the last few years whereby solarphotovoltaics, wind and battery storage technologies reduce their costs at a faster rate than mostother technologies continues."

    The reason I am confident that battery costs will come down further - notwithstanding your strong conviction in the limitation of the laws of physics - is to look at what happened with PV silicon solar cells. In 1998, one might have expected that PV had reached its limit as far as cost reductions are concerned. After all, the law of physics is even more rigid for a solid state device of fixed chemistry such as silicon PV cells compared to batteries that can be made of vastly different material composition (as hinted at in the following chart, but even within the Lithium cells, there are different material compositions):

    https://hotcopper.com.au/data/attachments/1507/1507655-e669c907f8e7756b90440c3c4f8538d8.jpg

    However, as the following chart shows, once the GFC hit and interest rates came down, up-front financing of large scale silicon PV manufacturing saw massive price reductions of PV modules between 2008 and 2012. The "economies of scales" effect.

    https://hotcopper.com.au/data/attachments/1507/1507629-af3fe9a2619c4ecc14cfa6d0e00524fa.jpg
    I believe batteries and EV cars are today where solar cells were in between 1998 and 2008 - i.e. becoming price competitive with ICE vehicles, but still pre the mass production phase, when prices drop dramatically, as technology moves out of the lab and into the factories. Indeed, by buying an EV today, you are accelerating the future cost reductions in battery technology, which in turn will make wind and solar even more cost competitive with coal. With lower storage costs the entire "intermittent issue" of renewable energy sources will be null and void.

    Also, janti, all this will transpire - as you correctly point out - because of cost. If wind, solar and battery technology do not become cheaper, they will not be able to compete with fossil fuels.

    It will not matter what you or I believe, but I bet my money [literally] on EVs and battery technology. Given that we are posting on an investor forum, perhaps you ought to do research on whether or not there are any wind/battery short funds, where you can bet against their success. The way you write, it almost feels as if you are already doing so...
 
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