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World’s first grid-connected wave energy array switched on in Perth

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Carnegie Wave Energy has officially switched on the onshore power station for its Perth Wave Energy Project, thus launching the world’s first commercial-scale grid connected wave energy array and marking the first time in Australia that wave-generated electricity has been fed into the grid.

The switching on of the plant, attended by federal resources minister Ian Macfarlane, caps off nearly 10 years of work by Carnegie Wave, and extensive testing over 2014 after the successful installation of the Perth company’s CETO 5 wave energy generation units – two installed so far, one more to come – off Garden Island.

The project will sell power to the Australian Department of Defence to supply Australia’s largest naval base, HMAS Stirling, which is located on Garden Island. It will soon also sell fresh water to the base, once Carnegie’s newly commissioned desalination plant is fully integrated into the project.

Carnegie’s unique, Australian-made CETO technology moves with the ocean’s waves to drive tethered seabed pumps and operates under water, providing protection from storms and corrosion.

The submerged pumps feed high pressure water onshore to the hydroelectric power station and desalination plant, supplying renewable energy and fresh water.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 2.45.21 PM

“This is the first array of wave power generators to be connected to an electricity grid in Australia and worldwide,” said Ivor Frischknecht – CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Association, which provided $13 million of the $32 million project.

“During the testing phase, the first 240kW peak capacity CETO 5 wave unit operated successfully for more than 2,000 hours.

Frischknecht noted that Carnegie was already taking the next steps to move its technology towards competitiveness with other sources of power generation.Carnegie ceto 6

“Planning and design work has begun on Carnegie’s next generation CETO 6 technology, supported by $13 million ARENA funding,” he said.

“These larger units are aiming to deliver around four times the capacity of CETO 5 units, improving efficiency and reducing energy generation costs.

“This progress is a clear example that given time, and with the right government support, emerging renewable energy technologies can progress along the innovation chain towards commercialisation,” Frischknecht said.

“The lessons learned through Carnegie’s ARENA supported projects are being shared with the renewable energy industry to help reduce the hurdles facing other wave energy projects.”

Carnegie Wave CEO Michael Ottaviano said that the fact this was the only wave power station operating anywhere in the world was “a testament to the innovation and diligence of the Carnegie team.”

He also thanked the WA and federal governments, which had both supported the project financially, through grants.  

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  • Fantastic news and just the beginning. Gotta say, no small feat getting Ian McFarlane there to open it considering our dear Governments stand on Renewables.
    But cheers to all those involved.

    • Macfarlane is a long-standing fan of wave energy and Carnegie in particular. That’s because its base load-ish, and won’t be ready to compete with coal generators for many years.

  • wideEyedPupil

    Happy news lets have gratitude today 🙂

  • Adam_Antatheist

    How can anyone with a modest understanding of the Laws of Thermodynamics and the economics of energy technologies ever believe that power generated from dilute sources of energy – wind/solar/tidal/wave – can ever make but a tiny, tiny contribution to our energy needs?

    By 2050, when there are 9½ billion of us, we will need to supply 3 to 4 times more energy than we use now, for the peoples of all nations to have equitable shares.

    Renewables can’t do it. Only Gen IV breeder reactors can solve all of the worst problems facing humanity.

    • Roger Brown

      Costs blow outs around the world with the dirty nuclear industry. Solar and wind are cheaper , cleaner and much safer . Who will “Insure them ” The Tax payer, I would rather have solar /wind spill than a nuclear spill that would take thousands of years to recover from . Just sell your shares in nuclear power before they tank any further and invest in solar , wind or Wave power .

      • Adam_Antatheist

        No one, even your head-in-the-clouds gurus tries to pretend that renewables can supply 3 to 4 times more energy than we use now, for the 9½ billion inhabiting the planet in 2050.

        Betting on renewables guarantees a spiral downwards into water wars, food wars and energy-security wars.

        Renewables can’t do it.

        But Gen IV breeder reactors can supply all of the energy humankind can ever use, for all of eternity.

        • wideEyedPupil

          It only takes six more doublings of installed solarPV before it generates 3 to 4 times “projected” (and arguably highly inflated since it doesn’t take account of EE which has help see demand in Australia falling since 2009/10) energy demand. Doubling is occurring at period of around 3-4 years. There’s just one part of your answer, prepare for relatively free energy (since every doubling of solar and wind see price come down ~20%) but not thanks to the ever-empty promises of the nuclear power industry.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            And so good for green jobs too! Think of the multitudes cleaning them – but only allowed a cup of water per day to do it – otherwise we’ll be heading towards water wars faster than ever:
            http://idiocyofrenewables.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/the-green-jobs-rationale-borders-on.html

          • Roger Brown

            I have a 20yr old + Solar Hotwater system and have only cleaned it twice .House on stumps and 26 degree roof , so I let the rain do it for me . Tell me how water does a Nuclear Power plant use and pollute for its life time ?

          • Rob

            “Only Gen IV breeder reactors can solve all of the worst problems facing humanity.”

            I wont discount nuclear energy. Neither will I give it more credit then it deserves. China and India’s massive investment in thorium reactors gives me hope that they wont just be burning coal for the next century.

            Energy needs will increase with population growth, however we are seeing a downturn in consumer consumption in NZ as consumer appliances become more efficient, houses are better insulated and people switch to low energy light bulbs. Home solar and advances in batteries will see further downturn in consumer consumption.

            Solar furnace, geothermal and biofuels are all in their infancy and will see a lot development.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            Nothing wrong at all with solar hot water!

            It’s when there’s no wind Europe-wide and we’re all depending on the Sahara Desert electricity! Then we’ve to think about the odd sand storm and the logistics and infrastructure of getting water there to clean it all.

            Still – you can boast about the green jobs – we’ll need plenty of pairs of hands to make it all work. Third world wages – it shouldn’t be too expensive.

          • Rikaishi Rikashi

            I like the idea of the gen IVs, I really do, but they are still mostly theoretical. There’s no established construction industry, no economy of scale, no prototype plants and the inevitable practical lessons learnt from their construction and operation. The closest we have to any of that is Gen III nuclear construction, which as far as I’m aware has been a nightmare with huge cost and time blowouts.

            Also you can’t argue that Nuclear will ever be safer then renewables. Radioactive materials still need to be transported and stored, presenting the risk of accidents, and there’s still the possibility of a reactor being sabotaged or having a bomb dropped on it in war-time, at which point all bets are of re. safety systems.

            The worst that can happen with renewables is a chemical spill from a compromised battery system. Nasty, but it’s not going to render a chunk of the landscape uninhabitable like Chernobyl and Fukushima.

            Considering all the above, it is highly unconvincing when you tell us to just give up on proven and ever-improving renewables. An industry which is on track to deliver a very significant proportion of our energy needs in 10 years when the first of the Gen IV’s might (optimistically) come on-line.

            Gen IVs may be a great part of the energy mix in the future, and help us deal with our nuclear waste issues, but flogging them now as an alternative to renewables just makes you look like a shill for the incumbents who are fighting tooth and nail to maintain their dominance of the power industry, at the expense of everyone else.

          • Barri Mundee

            Nuclear looks OK if you ignore accidents and what to do with the radioactive waste.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            Only the ridiculous degree of human error at Chernobyl has caused radiation deaths. None at TMI or Fukushima.

            Gen IV breeder reactors are inherently safe – they shut down according to the laws of physics without human intervention, in the absence of all electrics and with safety systems disabled:
            http://prismsuk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/forces-of-nature-shut-reactor-down.html

            Gen IV breeder reactors burn legacy waste as fuel to produce electricity. The minuscule amount of waste produced decays to background radiation levels in only 300 years – easily, cheaply and safely stored. We have enough legacy waste in the UK to provide ALL our energy needs for 500 years – that really is energy security: http://prismsuk.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/prism-lighting-new-era-for-reactor.html

          • Barri Mundee

            So where are all these Gen IV safe reactors? Are any of them actually operating yet?

          • Adam_Antatheist

            There’s a Gen IV reactor, just waiting for the the NDA to get their finger out, which could be up and running in 10 years, burning our plutonium stockpile and converting it to fuel. It will then chug away for a further 50 or 60 years, generating 622 MW of emission-free electricity.

            At 90% capacity factor, it will generate as much as 2 GW of wind turbine capacity at 28.25% capacity factor – that’s 1/6th of what all of our 5,958 wind turbines delivered in 2014. It’s not the size of two penn’orth of copper): http://prismsuk.blogspot.co.uk

            This same reactor can be configured as a breeder, capable of burning all of the UK’s legacy waste – and we have enough of that to provide ALL of our energy needs for 500 years. That’s energy security with knobs on

            And, since the minuscule amount of radioactive waste produced decays to background radiation levels in only 300 years (easily, cheaply and safely stored) – the legacy waste problem is solved to boot!

    • onesecond

      Of course they can, very easily so. Look at the area covered with PV in the Sahara that would be enough for producing all of the worlds energy needs. It is comparably tiny. You can do the math yourself if you can do basic calculations.
      And if that is not enough for you listen to Elon Musk. Only if you can lower yourself to that level of course, Mr. High And Mighty.

      • Adam_Antatheist

        Just carry on figuring out how to plait those spaghetti-like international and inter-continental connectors.

        Then ponder about the random nutter or terrorist group with a few pounds of Semtex and how many regiments you will need to guarantee your energy security.

        • lin

          Of course, these same random nutters would have no interest in turning a nuclear power station or nuclear waste store into a radioactive disaster zone for the next 100K years, right?

          • Adam_Antatheist

            It’ll be a bit easier to secure 3.2 GW of 24/7 base-load electricity at Hinkley Point C, occupying an area equal to 1.7 km x 1.7 km, than thousand of interconnector hubs and tens of thousands of km of spaghetti-like cables.

          • lin

            A single location power generation situation is a lot less robust than a distributed generation network.

          • Barri Mundee

            Distributed generation such as with renewables such as solar and wind is inherently less vulnerable to attack or catastrophic breakdown than a small number of high output nuclear stations.
            And fast breeders are barely controlled bombs. Great power output when all goes to plan, armageddon for the area hosting the nuclear plant if it goes badly wrong.

            An unforgiving technology that can be and should be avoided.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            “…And fast breeders are barely controlled bombs…”

            Gen IV breeder reactors shut down according to the laws of physics, without human intervention.

            Watch nearly 70 nuclear scientists and technologists, just feet away from a working reactor, put their faith in the physics, under accident conditions à la TMI and Fukushima: http://prismsuk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/forces-of-nature-shut-reactor-down.html

        • onesecond

          Omg, of course PV and wind will be installed decentralised all over the world, the little snippet of the Sahara covered with pv was just for visualization purposes. There is sun and wind everywhere and detailed modelling has been made that countries usually can go 100% renewable with their renewable resources very easily. And of course now that sun and wind are cheaper as coal, gas or nuclear or will be getting there shortly, countries will do that. They would be stupid not to.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            For 92 days – that’s 3 whole months – last year, the 11.35 GW of UK wind turbines generated 1.171 GW. That’s a capacity factor of 10.3%.
            http://idiocyofrenewables.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/92-continuous-days-of-lolo-wind-thats.html

            Explain the practical way of going 100% renewables in the UK, along with some estimates of the quantities of renewable energy devices and a rough estimate of costs.

            I, for one, would really appreciate not having to forego heating and lighting in my home, as part of your solution, the next time a 3 month or longer period of near-zero wind occurs.

          • onesecond

            Of course you obviously would’t install only wind because in summer there are typically low wind speeds, that is why PV and wind match perfectly. Look at the renewable energy production in Germany over the year, where you can see that most clearly, a lot of PV in summer and a lot of windpower in winter.
            Right now storage is not really needed even in Germany because of the still existing old infrastructure, but batteries and power-to-gas will be cheaper than new fossil fuel or new nuclear once the old plants get retired in a way that makes storage necessary. There is really no need worrying about foregoing heating and lighting in the future which will even become cheaper because of the abundance of renewable energy and the ever lowering prices of improving mass scale technology.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            Germany’s wind turbine performance for the whole of 2014 was somewhere between dismal and abysmal:
            http://idiocyofrenewables.blogspot.co.uk/

            In a country with the same solar potential as Alaska, a lot of PV in summer is not a lot – and then of course, it gets dark:
            http://idiocyofrenewables.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/we-have-ways-of-keeping-you-warm-even.html

          • onesecond

            You should stop listening to a blog that starts with idiocy. Within a few years we went from just a few percent renewable electricity to almost thirty. I am really sorry but that is just a fact. Reality already proved your weird notion wrong that renewable energy doesn’t work and will continue to do so as it is technically and economically feasible. Just watch the news sometimes, you know these crazy shows about actually happening reality.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            GERMANY’S FLAGSHIP GREEN ENERGY POLICY IN TATTERS!

            This is just one of a thousand articles that tells of the tragic effect that widespread deployment of renewables has on living standards and greenhouse gas emissions.

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11070145/Germanys-flagship-green-energy-policy-in-tatters.html

          • onesecond

            I live in Germany and approval of the Energiewende is consistently above 2/3, often around 90 % at polling. Ghg emissions are down with last year almost rivaling the 2008 recession year, wholesale prices are half of Frances supposedly cheap nuclear and beginning of the year even household electricity prices went down. It is funny that media in other countries cares so much about our wellbeing while we are just fine. In Germany it was mostly only the untiltity influence that was raging against the Energiewende, but that is going away too now they have realized they can’t stop it anymore.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            I’m sure those darned journalist from the Financial Times and the Economist haven’t a clue what they’re talking about!

            Just search for – germany + “energy policy”

          • onesecond

            Man, I am living here, really no need to read what some anglo saxon economists think, they really haven’t done a good job in recent years. We have a budget surplus, low unemployment and the strongest economy in europe.

          • er, no, actually. 2013 was a post fukushima blip. emissions now at second lowest since 1990. all on track, germany still strongest economy. http://www.triplepundit.com/2015/01/germanys-carbon-emissions-fall-renewable-energy-takes-lead/

          • Adam_Antatheist

            There’s at least one man in Germany who has spotted a little bit of a problem with Energiewende:

            “…Sigmar Gabriel, Chancellor Merkel’s Energy minister, claims that more lignite mines are vital: “We need strategic reserves of gas and coal power for the times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine,” he said…”
            http://idiocyofrenewables.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/renewable-turkeys-vote-for-coaly.html

          • Pedro

            Capacity factor of Fukishima and Chenobyl?

            The worst that can happen with RE during a natural disaster is stop producing power.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            Capacity factor of nuclear worldwide over 90%!

          • onesecond

            Where did you get that number? In Wikipedia it says in the US and only in recent years. The historical average is 70%, in the Uk it is 62%. Compare that to 51 % for offshore wind. Funny enough the grid in the UK and Belgium nearly collapsed last year because they had to shut down several nuclear reactors because of material defects. And really hilarious was winter 2012 when France needed to import electricity from Germany to keep the lights on after Germany had just phased out nine nuclear reactors. Nuclear is unrelieable and because of the huge plants backup is really problematic and uneconomical.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            Nuclear looks near enough 90% and wind near enough 30% to me: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=14611

            The new nuclear plant now on line and the plant due to come on line will be over 90%. The historical data includes many Gen I and Gen II plants due for retirement.

          • onesecond

            You claimed worldwide and you have nothing to back that up.
            Ok, let’s speak about new nuclear. Hinkley point is abhorrently expensive using technology that has been attempted in France and Finland before, where it still isn’t working and is delayed even further. How could Gen IV possibly be cheaper when the learning curve with that hasn’t even started? I certainly would’nt want to waste anymore money on that. Nuclear has been subsidized heavily for 60 years and still can’t deliver competitive prices, renewables beat that very easily after only 14 years of subsidies.

          • Denra Proffitt

            Decentralized power is how it will be done

          • Adam_Antatheist

            For 100 years, 24/7 base load electricity supply has done what it says on the tin, giving you the way of life you enjoy now.

            If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

            It’s a fossil fuel (short term) future for the rest of the century, or nuclear for all of eternity – take your pick.

          • Denra Proffitt

            No Nukes are good nukes and are part of the the big problem and will be abolished and new cleaner ways are here and will stay here for infinity ∞ No turning back ~~~ Ever on ~~~

          • onesecond

            Let’s wait and see. 😀

          • wideEyedPupil

            Well Scotland is going 100% by 2020 with wind now out performing hydro. Then they want to go further than 100% after that; by selling into the UK grid they make more money and London gets more RE. Wind peaks in Winter.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            It is renewably weird that you compare hydro and wind.

            It means wind >50%, hydro <50% of all renewables.

            But for a whole continuous 3 months of last year, between May and August, Scotland's renewables output was wind 0%, hydro 100%.
            http://idiocyofrenewables.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/92-continuous-days-of-lolo-wind-thats.html

            So for the many 3 months or longer periods, from 2020 onwards, Scotlands 100% renewables will have to be from hydro – so let's hope you'll have a few thousand more hydro reservoirs up and running in the Highlands by then.

          • John Graham

            wideEyedPupil is well named. Scottish Renewable ambitions are nothing but pipe dreams. We have just been through a prolonged high pressure weather system during which wind renewables produced not even a fraction of the aspirations. Scotland’s Government massages the figures by adding Hydro power which is fifty years old but is only available 35% of the time. At the same time they are closing down Coal and Nuclear capacity. The Economics of the kindergarden!

        • wideEyedPupil

          You’re saying that because widely distributed solarPV is more of a terrorist target than pin-point “dirty bomb ready” nuclear power plants. Okay Einstein I see you point completely! HAHA

          • Adam_Antatheist

            In your 100% renewables UK, you’d learn what chaos was, if the North African interconnector to the UK was knocked out, during one of those 3 month periods when wind output was zero:
            http://idiocyofrenewables.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/92-continuous-days-of-lolo-wind-thats.html

            Don’t try to pretend that 100% renewables does not have energy security issues!

          • onesecond

            For 100% renewables in the Uk you really don’t need a North Afrcian interconnector. You can do it easily decentralised at home. Who cares if terrorist bomb on or two windmills. The UK will have thousands of them.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            We certainly do – 5958 by the end of 2014.

            On average over 2014, they generated about 10% of average demand, so we’d need 59,580 of them to do the job. That means that we will all be within sight and sound of the wind turbines beloved by HippyDippys the world over.

            The comes the snag of when the wind doesn’t blow, as during the 3 continuous months of 2014. Will you be able to manage in your decentralised home for 3 months without electricity?
            http://idiocyofrenewables.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/92-continuous-days-of-lolo-wind-thats.html

          • onesecond

            I really don’t get you. You won’t see the Dogger Bank windpark for example and we already have much more windturbines in Germany so what’s the problem?
            I won’t repeat myself, read my previous comments adressing that.

        • julebykiarr

          Delivery of Fuel cells. Safe Storage over PG. Its just terrorist groups don’t quite fits none of this scenario either ways.

      • John Graham

        Two problems to that. Tropical nights are long and energy losses over even moderate distances make the feasibility of the suggestion suspect. In other words, fine in theory, impractical in operation

        • onesecond

          DC power lines only have comparably little losses over long distances, but that was only an example to visualize the accessible energy anyway. As I have written before, RE installations will be decentralised all over the world. Please read my other comments in this thread.

    • nakedChimp

      How can anyone with a modest understanding of the Laws of Thermodynamics and the economics of energy technologies ever believe that power generated from dilute sources of energy – wind/solar/tidal/wave – can ever make but a tiny, tiny contribution to our energy needs?

      Care to elaborate on that a bit more?

      You put out some kind of fishy-nebulous statement there about energy densities and thermodynamics that is hard to understand..

      By 2050, when there are 9½ billion of us, we will need to supply 3 to 4 times more energy than we use now, for the peoples of all nations to have equitable shares.

      What numbers are you using for that statement?
      What are sources for the 2050s projections?

      • Adam_Antatheist

        Dilute energy sources are specified. Dilute, intermittent energy sources need to be backed up by concentrated 24/7 energy sources – fossil fuels or nuclear – take your pick (assuming new hydro sites are going to create more problems than they solve, for future consideration).

        Total energy use 2012 – 133,371 Mtoe (155,505 TWh) http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/keyworld2014.pdf

        Assuming you have no moral objection to every person on the planet having your level of HDI (Human Development Index) we can reasonably pick out 5000 kgoe for everyone of the 9½ billion of us on the planet by 2050, can’t we?
        http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/368/1923/3343

        This works out at 552,425 TWh – that is – 3.5 times more than we use now.

        • nakedChimp

          Well, I crunched the numbers as well, but approached it differently:

          Total energy use 2012 – 133,371 Mtoe (155,505 TWh) http://www.iea.org/publication

          I go with the 155 PWh as your TPES number of that pdf from page 6 (or 37) reads 13,371 Mtoe.
          That number is skewed as it is for the current whole world and has all the inefficiencies from thermodynamic conversions in there.. you should take one that is per capita of a country/region that is “relatively” energy efficient under current standards to get what you want and even then it is apples to oranges.. how about these 2 numbers here
          a) Total Primary Energy Supply OECD Europe for 2012 – that would be page 9 and come to 32.7% of 5,273 Mtoe, so 1,724 Mtoe.
          b) Total Final Energy Consumption OECD Europe for 2012 – that’s on page 31 and would be 34% of 3,581 Mtoe, so 1,217 Mtoe.
          Population wise we get numbers from page 48 onwards (M = million = x10^6) and need to use page 66 for getting OECD Europe assembled.. (Austria 8.43 M, Belgium 11.05 M, Czech R. 10.51 M, Denmark 5.59 M, Estonia 1.34 M, Finland 5.41 M, France 65.43 M, Germany 81.92 M, Greece 11.09 M, Hungary 9.92 M, Iceland 0.32 M, Ireland 4.59 M, Italy 60.91 M, Luxembourg 0.53 M, Netherlands 16.75 M, Norway 5.02 M, Poland 38.54 M, Portugal 10.58 M, Slovakia 5.41 M, Slovenia 2.06 M, Spain 46.16 M, Sweden 9.52 M, Switzerland 7.93 M, United Kingdom 63.71 M) ..totals to 482.72 million people.

          So for an OECD European person in 2012 we get:
          – supply 41.53 MWh/prs *(3.57 toe = 0.0036 ktoe)
          – consumption 29.33 MWh/prs *(2.52 toe = 0.0025 ktoe)
          *) 1 TWh = 0.086 Mtoe, 1 GWh = 0.086 ktoe, 1 MWh = 0.086 toe .. with T = 10^12, G = 10^9, M = 10^6, k = 10^3

          Which brings me to..

          Assuming you have no moral objection to every person on the planet having your level of HDI (Human Development Index) we can reasonably pick out 5000 kgoe for everyone of the 9½ billion of us on the planet by 2050, can’t we?
          http://rsta.royalsocietypublis

          This works out at 552,425 TWh – that is – 3.5 times more than we use now.

          Nothing against same HDI, but worst case scenario I expect the people of the world to live by OECD European standard by 2050..
          So give or take some, let’s assume 10 billion people at 2050 with a consumption of 30 MWh each I get 300,000 TWh. Current total world energy consumption is 8979 Mtoe (page 28) which converts to 105,000 TWh.

          Conclusion – the world will consume 3 times more energy in 2050 vs. 2012 is we assume the HDI of OECD Europe for everybody and no progress in efficiency.

          Which brings me to this:

          Dilute energy sources are specified. Dilute, intermittent energy sources need to be backed up by concentrated 24/7 energy sources – fossil fuels or nuclear – take your pick (assuming new hydro sites are going to create more problems than they solve, for future consideration).

          1 TWh of electricity from a solar panel is the same as 1 TWh from a nuclear reactor which is the same as 1 TWh from a wave energy harvester.. I don’t understand you here. Can you please elaborate?

          To get 30 MWh electricity for a person a year from PV alone with current tech it needs:
          30 MWh by 365 gives 82 kWh/day, 3 hours sunshine per day takes 27.4 kW nameplate, at 20% efficiency this takes 137 m2 of solar panel surface per person (10 x 13 meters).

          If you consider windpower, a conservative rough number would be a capacity factor of 25% (avg US in 2014 was 30%), so it would need on average a 14 kW turbine delivering power 24/7 (82 kWh/day by 24 hours with CF 25%). By 2050 the projected number for total turbine capacity installed ranges from 1,600 GW to 4,700 GW, which would be enough for 114 to 335 million people..
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GlobalWindPowerCumulativeCapacity-withForcast.png

          It’s also already being elaborated by engineers and scientists that the intermittency is not a problem if you got a grid that interconnects larger regions (talk Europe here).
          And if you don’t have that you will need some storage which is being developed as we speak.. I naturally can’t show you the stats or amount of electricity storage that will be possible by 2050, so have to leave it at that.

          To sum it up, just with current tech and linear projected growth of renewables an HDI of a 2012 OECD European won’t be possible for everybody by 2050. We will see what happens.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t even attempt to grind through this tortuous attempt (I think) to ‘prove’ the world can run on renewables.

            It’s no different to the many ‘academic’ papers that have gone before you – all of them premissed on vast improvements in energy efficiency and energy saving.

            But – Jevon’s Paradox will prevail:
            http://lftrsuk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/energy-efficiency-and-jevons-paradox.html

            It is a fantasy – it is a dream – it will never happen.

            Change horses – get behind Gen IV breeder reactors – give everyone on Earth a chance of a decent future, free of water wars, food wars and energy-security wars.

            You can sense the tendrils of all of these issues in world politics now – we only have a couple of decades to get on the energy road to their solutions.

          • nakedChimp

            I don’t know what you want, my straightforward attempt found that you’re somewhat right.. the world won’t be able to run 100% of RE at current tech levels and installation progress with the wasteful energy usage of an 2012 OECD European.

            As for your proposed horse to safe us all.. we’ll see. RE is already cheaper than most of the FF, especially nuclear – in whatever flavor it comes. And if the day should come that RE is built out to it’s maximum capacity and it’s at the end of it and we still need more energy, then I’m pretty sure mankind will pursue the most economical (well I hope that) way to get more energy. And if the solution to this will be nuclear breeder tech then be it. I’d rather hope for fusion tech to tell you the truth, but I digress.

            Anyhow, in the meantime gen 4 breeder tech isn’t ready nor here and if some parts of the world can’t waste as much energy as a 2012 OECD European by 2050 so be it as in the meantime the spaceship earth (or the lump of dirt how I use to call it) is going to get pretty unihabitable for humans by the end of the century, so we better use whatever RE we can right now.

            If your gen 4 breeder tech can help with that at a reasonable price, why not..

            As for that Jevon’s Paradox.. last sentence of that quote from the header from Wikipedia on that:

            …As the Jevons paradox applies only to technological improvements that increase fuel efficiency, policies that impose conservation standards and increase costs do not display the paradox.

            This tells me, if humankind needs more energy and RE is built out to it’s maximum harvestable the price will raise as much to enable the use of the next best option.
            If that is then called breeder tech gen 23 it will be used.

            But that time is NOT now nor in 2050 honey.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            “…policies that impose conservation standards and increase costs do not display the paradox…”

            A salutary tale:

            Last summer, on a stinking hot day, I parked next to a 4 x 4 tank and wound my windows down to cool off. The tank had its engine running continuously and eventually, the fumes became so offensive, I had to take action.

            Taking my life into my hands, I knocked on the driver’s opaque window which, when opened revealed a young man with a tiny baby strapped in a car seat in the back.

            It transpired that he was running the engine and air conditioning – at full blast – to keep his sleeping baby cool. And, he would continue to do so!

            Good luck with imposing conservation standards! Do you think there will ever be enough politicians, with their 5 year employment horizons, who would pursue such a policy?

          • nakedChimp

            So there have been, are and always will be a–holes out there.. and you’re surprised after having lived among naked chimps for so long?
            Like really?

            The climate is turning bad for everyone on this lump, so sooner or later the costs of that will be in the prices for goods that influence this.. probably later.. anyhow, for joe average it then will be to expensive to act in such a way.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            Not when a technology exists to provide as much energy as we can possibly use, for all of eternity, with an EROI greater than any other technology.

            New must-have technology will always feed increased energy demand. Any plan premissed on imposed conservation standards is doomed to fail – or even be implemented.

          • nakedChimp

            no, you didn’t understand.. it will be priced in, no matter what you think of artificial policies. If there is less inhabitable land it will be worth more to live there or to grow food there.
            Land in down town Manhattan isn’t expensive because someone put up a policy that demanded the price to be high for it..

            And as for EROEI.. the experts using this measure are pretty sure it’s not the ultimate tool yet.

            While we’re at it.. there is a concept for a solar breeder plant – you might want to change horses mate 😉

          • Adam_Antatheist

            I understand that the energy demand per human being will never stop growing – and at a much higher rate in the developing economies.

            Solar breeder plants seem to have a few minor difficulties to overcome – still, you can add that to your dream list. And when it’s up and running, supplying 15% of Europe’s electricity, when there’s no wind blowing across most of Europe and night falls in The Sahara, it will make for interesting (but very turbulent) times: http://phys.org/news/2010-12-sahara-aims-power-world.html

          • onesecond

            The problem is that people like Adam don’t get how incredibly stupid, wasteful and unnecessary current energy consumption is. Just one example: the combustion engine. Around 75% of the energy goes unused out the window. Insane. Battery electric vehicles cut that loss to 10% today. And of course linear growth of renewables from this current low level won’t do the trick but I think it is not unreasonable to expect an exponential growth once everybody got it that they are cheaper. The guy who got PV development right predicted that 2035 PV will be 4 cent/kWh and battery storage 5 cent/kWh. I didn’t come across anything that would invalidate his view yet.

    • Tim Johnston

      I wonder if you’re employed in the nuclear field to be touting the benefits of these reactors so much?

      • Adam_Antatheist

        Look, I’m on the down-slope towards 80 – I’m not putting all of this effort into 3 energy blogs for myself – I’m doing it for my grandkids.

        Gen IV breeder reactors can solve all of the worst problems facing humankind!

        Gen IV breeder reactors can supply ALL of the energy humankind can ever possibly use (in all forms and even when there are 9½ billion of us) for all of eternity – from inexhaustible sources of uranium and thorium fuels!

        No other energy technology has the capability of supplying 3 to 4 times more energy than we currently use, which is the amount needed for everyone on the planet to have an equitable share by 2050.

        It’s either full-bore deployment of Gen IV breeder reactors, or we spiral down into an anarchical world of water wars, food wars and energy security wars.

        The sooner world leaders, who are all blind to this simple truth, get their myopic heads into gear, the more chance there is of it happening!

        http://prismsuk.blogspot.co.uk/
        http://lftrsuk.blogspot.co.uk/
        http://idiocyofrenewables.blogspot.co.uk/

        • skarpa

          Because they are not ready yet? Why do you assume you everyone else is blind? You sound like a crank
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_IV_reactor

          • Adam_Antatheist

            And your constructive comments make you sound like the Crankfinder General.

        • Tim Johnston

          I’ve routinely read articles that show that ocean currents have the potential to provide up to five times the current energy needs. Over the long term, this technology will continue to improve.

          Also, wave power would help address base line power issues, along with improved battery technologies.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            EROI of buffered renewables (with energy storage) falls below the economical threshold and marine technologies don’t even figure, because the EROIs are off the scale (at the bad end):
            http://festkoerper-kernphysik.de/Weissbach_EROI_preprint.pdf

          • nakedChimp

            Adam, you only quote/post what fit’s your agenda.. the paper cited did look at hydro as backup for pv and wind (at current tech levels) and sent it into the race with FF (which is being handled more generously by applying future developments to the numbers..).
            That’s fair.
            Some rebuttal here:
            http://energystoragereport.info/eroi-energy-return-on-investment/

            And it’s doesn’t matter anyway because the price at the tap will count and RE is beating anything FF out there today.
            Again, if the day should come RE is at max and humankind needs more it will find a solution for that and maybe even use your touted breeder nuclear reactor, but this is not happening now nor in the next 20 years.

          • Adam_Antatheist

            Thanks for the nod towards breeder reactors.

            But why not sooner rather than later?

            There’s a Gen IV reactor, just waiting for the the NDA to get their finger out, which could be up and running in 10 years, burning our plutonium stockpile and converting it to fuel. It will then chug away for a further 50 or 60 years, generating 622 MW of emission-free electricity.

            At 90% capacity factor, it will generate as much as 2 GW of wind turbine capacity at 28.25% capacity factor – that’s 1/6th of what all of our 5,958 wind turbines delivered in 2014. It’s not the size of two penn’orth of copper): http://prismsuk.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/prism-lighting-new-era-for-reactor.html

            This same reactor can be configured as a breeder, capable of burning all of the UK’s legacy waste – and we have enough of that to provide ALL of our energy needs for 500 years. That’s energy security with knobs on

            And, since the minuscule amount of radioactive waste produced decays to background radiation levels in only 300 years (easily, cheaply and safely stored) – the legacy waste problem is solved to boot!

          • nakedChimp

            There’s a Gen IV reactor, just waiting for the the NDA to get their finger out, which could be up and running in 10 years, burning our plutonium stockpile and converting it to fuel. It will then chug away for a further 50 or 60 years, generating 622 MW of emission-free electricity.

            Cost?
            I don’t think the US has any ideological problem with nuclear like Germany (I’m from Germany, so can’t blame em really).. anyhow.. if that thing was economical it would be run, wouldn’t it?
            So, what’s the hold up?

          • Adam_Antatheist

            Myopic and timid politicians + bureaucrats at the NDA and NLL – the longer they can delay a decision, the longer they can pay their mortgages. Taxpayers will never know how much can be saved by the decision being made.

            Greatly more preferable to kerosene and candles. Good for lights, radio, TV and for charging your smartphone. Don’t think about a washing machine or fridge.

            Good for some, but I bet the average German wouldn’t be satisfied with this standard of living – hence your love of burning lignite: http://idiocyofrenewables.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/renewable-turkeys-vote-for-coaly.html

          • nakedChimp

            Come on, you’re not believing this yourself.. with all the influence nuclear has they can’t get a reactor approved?
            Sounds fishy..

          • Adam_Antatheist

            What normal person can get inside the minds of politicians or bureaucrats?

            It’s a no-brainer decision and they’re just dragging it out.

        • wideEyedPupil

          Ever heard of a thing called EVIDENCE ol’ timer?

          • Adam_Antatheist

            Have the humility to clear your head of prejudices and watch 3 ol’ timers present some compelling evidence.

            You may not be aware that 20 years ago, HippyDippyTreeHuggingEcoWarriors put an end to a closed-cycle, inherently-safe Breeder Reactor that had been operational for 30 years. It had all of the features prescribed for the Gen IV breeder reactors of the future.

            Consider the premature deaths that have occurred through the continued use of fossil fuels for 2 decades – at 2 million per year – and the CO2 emissions also.

            If you can’t be bothered to spare the whole 20 minutes, just watch from 15:15. In particular, mull over the couple of sentences made for a few seconds from 16:10.

            For your edification, watch nearly 70 nuclear scientists, just feet from an operating nuclear reactor, put their money where their mouths were, as the worst of accident conditions – à la TMI and Fukushima – were reproduced. It starts at 03:10:

        • Philip Mitchell Graham

          No they can’t. The technology is not the problem, its the human element.

          the people running government watchdogs, and those in charge of maintainence budgets for existing nuclear utilities cannot be trusted.

          I would fight tooth and nail to make sure another ‘accident’ was not designed into our future power infrastructure. You cannot eliminate the 3% human error factor, nor can you eliminate human stupidity dressed up as ‘necessary cost cutting’

          • Adam_Antatheist

            Renewables cannot provide all of the energy humanity will need by 2050, when there are 9½ billion of us, at the levels that are only enjoyed by developed nations now. We will need to produce 3 to 4 times more than we currently do.

            So it’s fossil fuels or nuclear for the vast bulk of future energy supplies – take your pick. Nuclear for all of eternity or fossil fuels for a while, until you have to fight to get some (not to mention climate change).

            Gen IV breeder reactors shut down according to the laws of physics, without human intervention.

            Watch nearly 70 nuclear scientists and technologists, just feet away from a working reactor, put their faith in the physics, under accident conditions à la TMI and Fukushima: http://prismsuk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/forces-of-nature-shut-reactor-down.html

    • Denra Proffitt

      I totally disagree with that and know renewables are the only chance for survival and anyone with a once of intelligence can tell you why.

      • Buge Halls

        Why do you dazzle us with your intelligence and explain why yourself?

    • wideEyedPupil

      “Only Gen IV can provide…” was a more ideologically captured comment ever seen on the RenewEconomy boards to date? Where to begin with all the false assumptions laden in so few words?!

      • Adam_Antatheist

        Yes indeed!

        Gen IV breeder reactors can supply all of the energy humanity can ever use, for all of eternity.

        Grab the nearest fag packet and do the calcs. or get Tom Blees’s free download – Prescription for the Planet – he does it for you:
        http://www.thesciencecouncil.com/pdfs/P4TP4U.pdf

        • Roger Brown

          Do you get all your info from the Koch Brothers ?

          • nakedChimp

            I think his sources are from another corner of the energy market.. nuclear and there especially a breeder faction that seems to have done some pretty decent homework on the whole matter.

    • julebykiarr

      What about 3 b. people without electricity needs living in the jungle?

      Oh, there’s no jungle! Problem solved!

    • Barri Mundee

      They might but at vast expense, huge government subsidies/taxpayer support and expensive power. The Gen IV reactors are barely controlled bombs, nothing to go wrong there I suppose? And where are all those Gen IV reactors? Way over budget with massive delays.
      The poor in isolated areas of say India are not likely to benefit as the network is not there and will not be built as they will not be able to afford the electricity produced.

      I think nuclear is great, from the nuclear source above our heads.

      • Adam_Antatheist

        “…The Gen IV reactors are barely controlled bombs, nothing to go wrong there I suppose? …”

        Gen IV breeder reactors shut down according to the laws of physics, without human intervention.

        Watch nearly 70 nuclear scientists and technologists, just feet away from a working reactor, put their faith in the physics, under accident conditions à la TMI and Fukushima: http://prismsuk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/forces-of-nature-shut-reactor-down.html

    • Barri Mundee

      Should have added only one of quite a few sources that summarise the case against nuclear.

      https://newmatilda.com/2015/02/21/nuclear-energy-dirty-unsafe-and-uneconomic-environmental-scientist

      • Adam_Antatheist

        Just one of many derisible statements:

        “…The world has only a few decades of high-grade uranium ore reserves left. As the ore-grade inevitably declines, the fossil fuel used to mine and mill uranium increases and so do the resulting greenhouse gas emissions…”

        Uranium and thorium fuel sources are inexhaustible and can be used in Gen IV breeder reactors to supply all of the energy (electricity, heat, carbon-neutral liquid fuels and carbon-neutral fertilisers) that humanity can ever use, for all of eternity: http://www.thesciencecouncil.com/pdfs/P4TP4U.pdf

    • Barri Mundee

      “By 2050, when there are 9½ billion of us, we will need to supply 3 to 4 times more energy than we use now, for the peoples of all nations to have equitable shares”.

      I doubt if we will use more. Energy efficiency improvements, buildings, appliances and solar panel installs in this country (now 1.3 million) are reducing the amount of electricity used. In Australia this has resulted in a number of coal fired power stations being mothballed and others operating below capacity.

      • nakedChimp

        Barri – a heads up, Adam is talking about the complete energy consumption (transport, thermal processing, etc. pp) not just electricity..
        He’s somewhat right, but argues with current tech and no progress for RE up to 2050, that’s what’s wrong with his point of view.

    • Wiwwy

      I see where you are coming from Adam, but i don’t share the belief that nuclear power is the savior of humanity…

      Recent history has shown us quite clearly that nuclear fission can be very dangerous and destructive, not only to ourselves, but to the planet itself and beyond. The Gen IV breeder reactors may be deemed safe, but they are still susceptible to sabotage and natural disasters that could render them unstable.. which can have catastrophic consequences.
      If there is even the slightest chance of a devastating outcome, resulting from a malfunctioning system, is it really worth pushing for advancement and further implementation of that system?? I don’t think so.. centralized energy production also funnels power and profits into a few hands; which is definitely not a good thing.

      There is an abundance of energy all around us that is %100 clean and safe! (potentially free also) 🙂

      We need to be working together so we can figure out the most efficient ways possible to locally harness this energy, either through renewable or zero-point and overunity technologies.. not branching off on many different paths to ultimately achieve the same outcome.

      This fascination we have with burning finite fuels and splitting the atom needs to drastically reduce and eventually disappear.

      Also, as the population grows, the real struggles will be centered around food supply, waste management and environmental degradation, not energy supply. We survived pretty well for millennia without electricity; we can do it again if it comes to that.

      On a bigger note; here is a line from one of the websites that you linked in other comments.. “For every environmentally-friendly person, there are several
      thousand self-centred energy users who don’t care where it comes from,
      as long as it’s there 24/7.”
      This statement yells loud and clear where the real issue lies.. in the fact that most of the population doesn’t really care where everything they devour comes from (or goes). This mentality needs to change now!

      To truly thrive, we need to reduce consumption and waste, adopt sustainable practices in all aspects of life and spread more unity and compassion amongst ourselves and to nature.. these are the real cures to the big issues that we face, not a nuclear reactor that can supposedly solve everything… “Only Gen IV breeder reactors can solve all of the worst problems facing humanity.”

      This idea that we can constantly grow economically is false, the planet can not support our lavish lifestyles as the population grows.. we all need to change within ourselves and play our part to help create a harmonious world for everyone..

      I think you should focus more of your own energy on promoting change in social attitudes, not promoting nuclear power as the almighty savior..

      • Adam_Antatheist

        There’s a real causation link between energy use and greatly reduced family size.

        The population should peak at 9½ billion in 2050 – the more families that have a decent standard of living (read energy use) the more dramatically the population will reduce.

        Dramatically reducing the population is the key and it will happen in a war torn world, if we don’t improve the lives of those less fortunate than us. Reducing the population = sustainability.

        That can only be done with Gen IV breeder reactor technology.

        • so you are saying reducing the population can only be done with a Gen 1V reactor? Is that it’s main selling point?

          • Adam_Antatheist

            Gen IV reactor technology is the only way peak population can have an equitable share of energy. Population size will reduce massively over a few generations – in a world at peace with itself.

            If sufficient energy is not made available, the world will spiral down into a morass of water wars, food wars and energy security wars. The population will reduce massively over a few generations.

            Unfortunately for all of our offspring – there will be no hiding place for those hoping to avoid partaking in the reduction.

        • So, I use around 4kWh a day, and the idiot neighbour uses about 16kwh a day. same number of people, they just got old fridge and use air con all the time. i reckon i got same standard of living as them – probably higher actually cos i spend less on electricity, and i not breathing reticulated air. Kind of throws your assumptions about consumption and efficiency out the window though.

    • Matt Box

      I will allow you to argue that thorium nuclear power is acceptable and a viable option for the future, any other nuclear power is ridiculous stupid and reckless, an uneducated option. Renewable power – wind/solar/tidal/wave – combined with thorium is the way of the future, without a doubt.

  • Matthew Dawes

    I was wondering how well this technology would work with pumped storage.

  • Rob

    Fantastic news indeed. The first of its kind in the world and it was designed and built in Australia by Australians. Malcolm Turnbull (our next PrimeMinister?) is always banging on about how we have to get involved in high-tech manufacturing, well hello?! This proves yet again that with a bit of support we can do it. Why the hell we aren’t designing and building our own electric car (the OzE) has me baffled.

  • mattb

    Anyone saying fossil fuels will last forever is an idiot.., oil, gas and coal are all finite resources.
    Solar, wind and tidal are infinite resources, and there is technology available to store the energy produced by these resources.

    The reliance upon fossil fuels is ridiculous, and the more we use, the more prices on them drive up, the more we pollute the world (and bear in mind, we only have this world) and the less we have of these resources, and once we run out of them, and we haven’t implemented alternatives, that’s when we fall into discourse as a race.

  • Miles Harding

    Well done for getting this project up and running.

    79 comments, as I post this; We seem to have hooked a couple of trolls on the floats!

  • Gavin Jones

    $32 million and the first of 3 units peaked at 250kw, is there some error in this story?