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Amid Pandemic, Renewables Now Supply More Energy than Coal in the U.S.

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Sources:

https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/hydroelectric-power-industry/

Scientists set new solar power efficiency record at almost 50 per cent

https://ieefa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/US-Coal-Outlook-2020_March-2020.pdf

https://www.wired.com/story/next-gen-nuclear/

https://leaderpost.com/opinion/columnists/mandryk-perhaps-the-time-has-come-to-revisit-nuclear-options/

https://www.usenergyjobs.org/

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a98cf80ec4eb7c5cd928c61/t/5e78b3c756e8367abbd47ab0/1584968660321/USEER+2020+0323.pdf

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a98cf80ec4eb7c5cd928c61/t/5e78b363087a892473ac6cdf/1584968554743/2020+USEER+EXEC+0323.pdf

https://ieefa.org/category/subject/reports/

IEEFA Coal Outlook 2020: Market trends are pushing U.S. industry to a reckoning

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100 Comments

  1. Japan has something like 50 nuclear plants. Japan is a super intelligent nation….why not take the lead from them?

  2. This channel is dump… It's not that renewals has incredible production.. its coal that is america burning less

  3. I make tombstones every day out of stone. We are still very much still using stone and coal is vital in the production of solar panels. Your solar crystal wafers would not be possible without burning coal to get a very specific carbon and silica. Coal is not going anywhere anytime soon and it's the same with oil. You need lubricants right? That oil will be used to grease those electric car bearings and in those motors at least once before being sold. Please dont throw the baby out with the bath water. I believe that change is needed but measured change that allows for acceptance through logic, reasoning and debate. Force feeding climate change like a religion is making Americans resistant as it should. Science is always about questioning and is never settled in any way. So when I hear someone say the science is settled then I know they are working an agenda. I support science in the classical form not in a fascist form promoting agendas. We use solar power at our house every day.

  4. I used to work in wind turbine production and I can tell you those blades produce a crapload of landfill.

  5. I have been working on Renewable Energy in my university. The large solar and wind-powered grid will have to supported by micro-grids of Roof-top solar panels and micro-wind turbines.

    Fuel cells or phase-change material batteries will have to come up instead of Li-ion for quick charges and discharges required and factoring in the amount of storage required.

  6. Decentralization of energy production is important. Why can't I have an energy tree with parts that utilize both wind and solar, stores excess for peak demand for lower cost.

  7. While solar and wind are compromised by government subsidies, so too are fossil fuels. Most if not all fossil fuel power, nuclear power and even garbage incineration have been dependent on subsides, yet this video does not mention this fact. Take away the subsidies to the oil/gas and nuclear industries and they will be utterly uncompetitive. This video is also misleading in saying that nuclear power plants are highly energy efficient. It all depends on how we define "energy efficient." What we know is that nuclear plants do not last very long, they are extremely expensive to build, and the land around them cannot be used once the plant is decommissioned. And on top of that, the electricity they generate is the most expensive of all the sources in the energy sector.

    For these reasons solar and wind energy are increasing in popularity: they do not come with the high price tag and risks of nuclear energy and fossil fuels. They are relatively simple, rapidly evolving, and increasingly inexpensive while becoming ever more efficient and powerful. Even with their current reliance on manufacturing processes dependent on fossil fuels, they reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. And bear in mind this is only a transitional problem, because as solar and wind become dominant they replace fossil fuels in their own manufacturing process to close the loop.

  8. When you compare the 2 battery the first one is 14.4 V and the second 3.8V.. it's a completly different type of battery..

  9. When introducing people to EVs, I wouldn't display a Porsche for the following reason, people who don't know any better would mistake electric vehicles for luxury vehicles, and think that electric isn't for the everyday family sedan driver. You don't need to be rich to drive an EV, if you can afford a Camry, you can afford a Tesla or comparably priced/featured competitor should one emerge. Electric is for everyone.

  10. Nuclear energy in any flavour has a massive downside in that it produces toxic waste that lasts in most cases for millennia. If you factor the cost of storing and maintaining your waste, nuclear makes no sense. The sun is a pretty good nuclear reactor that we don't have to deal with the waste from. At least not for millions of years. Long after the Human race has irrevocably messed up this planet we ALL live on.

  11. High voltage DC cables offer a green solution to the need for energy storage. It's sunny and windy somewhere in the world ALL the time. With high voltage DC cables we could have a world grid with minimal loss in transmission. A consortium in Australia is gearing up to sell power to Singapore from Solar arrays in the Northern territory (that's the top middle bit of Australia). It's current technology. No 'in the future…' required. This alone would render coal and gas and nuclear redundant overnight. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/14/just-a-matter-of-when-the-20bn-plan-to-power-singapore-with-australian-solar Also, remember that with renewables your investment dollars go into infrastructure, not raw materials to be burnt. Renewables expand effortlessly, whereas burning dinosaurs requires a lot more risk assessment. This added to the divestment of polluting technologies by huge investment groups like Rockefeller and just about every bank you can name equal a no-brainer. Why are we still burning dinosaurs to make electricity? Politicians are given huge amounts of money from big oil (& coal, gas) to perpetuate the status quo for as long as possible. They are all in it for the profit.

  12. Your video states several times that renewables are subsidised by governments. (actually, you just talked about the USA) Big oil, coal, gas, and nuclear are also subsidised by governments. It's outrageous! If no-one had any subsidies renewables would still be WAY cheaper, especially in light of the environmental damage the old-school methods cause and that needs to be corrected if our children are to have a future.

  13. Fossil fuels account for about 60% of the electricity produced in the U.S. WIND accounts for about 6%. Yet, WIND receives the bulk of the tax credits/subsidies———–and have done so or at least 10 years. Now, if you want to go back to 1945 like one pro-wind FB admin to compare subsidies, that's a different story. I admit, fossil fuels received more. However, this pro-wind "expert" doesn't mention that there weren't any industrial wind turbines in the 40's or 50's or 60's or 70's …………

    So, with wind turbines basically paid for by the gov't, it's no surprise that WIND has outpaced coal. I'd try to gradually close coal plants, too. But, I'd certainly not replace coal with wind. It's not fossil fuels or WIND as a choice anyway. It's WIND AND fossil fuels. Without Fossil Fuels there wouldn't be any WIND developments. Without wind developments we'd still have Fossil Fuels.

  14. I’m glad you touched on nuclear energy, it is the superior choice from pretty much any perspective. Even the earlier reactors are not actually unsafe as compared to fossil fuel power generation. Nuclear is also the best option for the environment (yes, better than solar and wind).

  15. Trump spend trillions on solar and wind and other renewable sources and America would pass China by about 50 per cent more

  16. 5:15 Btw, the symbol for milliampere-hours is mA⋅h, not "MAH" (which, though still incorrect, could mean "megaampere-henries"). SI symbols are case-sensitive (because they're symbols, not abbreviations). You need the space between the number and the symbol, the dot between A and h for compound units, and the proper case.

    8:03 Also, nuclear, not "nucular".

  17. Great. So when the world economy is 90% shutdown because of a pandemic then renewables can actually pull their weight. Just great. So aside from a move back to an 18th century lifestyle, have you got anything useful to suggest because otherwise you really seem to have been making the point that we are screwed. Some of us refuse to adopt that prognostication, thankfully.

    I agree with others that some discussion on nuclear energy, whether current tech such as pebble bed reactors, thorium, or even advances in fusion would have given much more credence to what turned out to be a very weak video. Sure, battery solutions are advancing and frankly are needed if renewables are ever going to become a meaningful contributor; but it seems doubtful the eventual solution will be based on lithium due to not only technical factors, but also the economic and ethical concerns surrounding the supply of such materials as cobalt.

    Make this video again when renewables are able to contribute more than coal for 40 days straight despite the economy chugging away full blast. Then you will have reason to celebrate. All you’ve done here is the equivalent of telling me that you can outplay a professional athlete when they are sick and debilitated from chemo and radiation therapy to destroy a tumor they have been diagnosed with. Who cares? You might feel some accomplishment, but no rational person will.

  18. I've been watching your videos for years. I love them. More than most other YouTube videos. I don't watch normal tv, but your videos are a worthy substitute. Keep up the great work my friend.

  19. I think we should be mindful of those who are being made unemployed by technology, it's all well and good having a bright future, but it seems not everyone is along for the ride.

  20. In the end they mentioned burning waste instead of putting it in landfills. I thought pretty much all developed countries are doing this. I guess in US, they are still using landfills. Here in Finland we haven't dumped waste in landfills for years. I don't think it has been even allowed for years. All waste is burned. I think we even have started burning waste and look for precious materials in old landfill sites.

  21. My dream of a coal-fired car grows further and further away. [*sobs*] [*binge-eats chicken-friend shrimp*]

  22. Literally the most unappealing thing about nuclear power is the people who argue in favor of it.
    Even though I agree with you, you folks are so deeply unpleasant, you make me hate nuclear.

  23. Good day, Can you please make a video about Religion and why it's a big player in the human race. Positive and Negative

  24. You cannot compare battery mAH without comparing their respective voltage. The laptop and phone have diferent voltage. You need to come them in terms of kW*H. your 5000 and 1700 comparison is not fair

  25. I've been following this a while, and this isn't how I have read it. Coal, nuclear, and hydro are dropping, natural gas is taking most of that difference, and solar and wind are only tanking a fraction of it. Overall we are burning more fossil fuels instead of less, and it is frustrating to watch. Cleaner than coal… But still the wrong direction.
    Batteries are key to making this transition really happen, and there are some neat things coming… But building a battery plant is like playing hot potato right now. If you build and gear up now, the person who starts building 6 months or a year from now is going to have such an advantage that they will put you under just as you are ramping up production. The tech is improving quickly, which makes today's assets tomorrow's liability very quickly.
    I think what we are about to see will be a lot like Moores law, where things improve quickly, and there will be a few companies with rapid turnover of equipment until it finally hits a "good enough" to level and everyone starts to buy in and the equipment can last longer. For Intel this was the core 2 through Sandy Bridge generations, and all the sudden after that, a 10 year old computer is still usable with a few minor upgrades rather than needing to be replaced every 2 years.
    I think we have already hit that point with solar and wind, and storage will be the key to get everyone on board.

    Another trend that I think is being under played is how electrification is growing. The real broad success is not in cars, planes, and power plants. It is in small engines. Weed wackers, chainsaws, lawn mowers, small water craft, etc. The amount of power, ease of use and maintenance, less noise, safer to use, lighter weight… I'll be amazed if there are many home owners still using gas engines 5 years from now. Batteries have hit the good enough point for small engines, and as they improve they will take over larger and larger devices.
    But large scale grid battery backups? We will see that market grow, but that real revolution is still a ways off. However, when we hit the knee of the curve, it will look more like a wall than a line.

  26. their is mechanical battery like fill up a lake up hill when you have spare power then letting the water back down when low though hydro generator

  27. why are you talking about US? what about your own country Australia? They are far ahead than US when it comes to solar!

  28. of course lets not mention all the tree fired power plants that have been built, oops, bio mass power plants.

  29. Something that should also be asked is whats the additional carbon cost to establish coal infrastructure as well extarct and supply the coal

  30. LOL that is because the US Buys a lot of electricity from Ontario for pennies. So it just SEEMS like the solar and wind turbines are producing more than coal.

  31. Yeah but how much of renewable energy being used is biomass? Our use of fossil fuels has actually gone up in recent years despite "renewable energy" doing so well

  32. I'm very surprised you didn't mention pumped hydro for large scale energy storage of wind and solar power. Batteries are very small scale in comparison and will not be practically useful for the amount of energy required for the foreseeable future . Pumped hydro can store vast amounts of energy for weeks on end, and releases it in the same manner as a ff power station.

  33. The energy payback times for solar cells are pretty well known, so you could have mentioned them. Obviously it depends dramatically on the amount of sun and the cell type.
    It usually takes a solar panel + inverter installation between 1 and 2.5 years to generate more power than was consumed in manufacturing the equipment. Expected lifetime of the panels is 25 to 30 years, inverters 10 to 15. In sunny areas like much of the US, southern europe or africa the energy payback time is usually close to 1 year, so it's a total no-brainer.

  34. Batteries are nice for storage, especially if you have them sitting around anyway (think cars), but there are other techs available.
    Pumped storage is superior if you have mountains to build dams in. Flywheel systems are interesting contenders, too.

  35. One important aspect in transitioning the grid that's usually overlooked (because it's hard to grasp and most technically educated people are not electrical engineers) in these videos is reactive power. A grid needs to match the generated power to the momentary load at all times, but it also needs to be supplied reactive power on demand. Reactive power doesn't do any actual work, but it must be balanced to keep grids stable and is used to control power flows, which increases a grid's transission capability using the same power lines. It is easily produced (or absorbed) by synchronous generators (huge spinning machines) that are used in traditional and hydro power plants. If you don't have enough of these left in your fleet, you need to do something else. Solar and wind installations could produce reactive power via electronics, but they don't currently do. It could turn out to be easier to use big flywheels and synchronous generators. If you build a clever flywheel with a non-constant moment of inertia it could store energy at the same time.

  36. part of the equation for natural gas getting cheaper is fracking, so its not all sunshine and rainbows…

  37. In late 2019 four, 4.2 MW wind turbines were erected in Hirtshals, Denmark, with no government backing. They compete freely with coal, gas, and other renewables. For grid size storage, I think we need to look beyond lithium-ion batteries, and think more about power-to-x technology.

  38. Nice objective view of the current energy supply market. Unfortunately there is a pervasive ignorance towards the problems hindering renewables in Australia. The idea that all other states should run on wind like SA being the one that comes to mind. People don't seem to understand how the NEM works and how investment towards new production facilities on the NEM is fielded.

  39. don't forget molten salt heat storage for solar thermal plants, they can keep the plants operating for 6-8 hours after the sun goes down. Molten salt heat storage is already in use at solar thermal plants in Spain, California and Morocco. BTW, hats off to Ethiopia for their waste to energy plant.

  40. But problem is that petroleum industry is also responsible for the alternative energy supply options, which means we can't trust anything

  41. Wind turbines are state-funded landscape-destroying bird blenders. Coal use is only diminishing because of government mandates, not because alternative energy is better.

  42. I find this very interesting. While the coal industry is kicking and screaming because of the loss of jobs and trump not wanting to get rid of coal (probably because he's making money off of it), coal is still in a steep decline. This is good news.

    As solar and battery technology gets better I think we'll be able to get rid of cars. If we can get good solid state batteries that can take a car 800 or 1000 miles on a charge and charge in half the time that would be great and if we can get solar efficiency over 70% then I think we can put smaller batteries in cars and have solar charge the batteries as we drive and get almost unlimited range (and won't need a charger because the sun will do it). This would be great for phones too, not having to charge your phone for a couple days even if you use it heavily would be great!

    I also hear companies are trying to come up with a way to power a phone (and small appliances) just by the waves that are around us. Waves from TV, radio, WiFi…etc. This is also exciting if they can make this happen. I don't know if this would work for cars, but maybe with a combination of solar and this technology it could work (but could be expensive)?

    I heard there was someone who wanted to get off the grid. He wanted to put a battery bank in his garage and solar all over the roof of his house but where he is in Northern California, they wouldn't let him because you have to be connected to the grid. This is a problem; it would be nice if in the future everyone that wants to could get off the grid and make their own power. Where I live in Antelope Valley, CA there are huge solar farms and a wind farm not far but if you use the local electric company you still have to pay Edison and the bill is still quite high. My father got solar and thought he was getting a good deal but it ended up not being a very good deal. His bill is low, but the price that gets tacked on to his property tax is quite high. So another thing is these scam companies who pretend to care about the environment need to be taken out.

    I can see in the future power being really cheap, but the government and companies have to want this too and as we know most companies are greedy and want higher profits which usually isn't good for the consumer. Not many companies are consumer centric even though they pretend to be, this will have to change if we want a major shift in electrical power because even if the technology changes companies will always try and take advantage of the consumer to gauge them.

    Maybe that can be a new video?

  43. That nuclear thing, Terrapower, the Gates Foundation is working on. That seems promising. Burning garbage is an awesome idea as well as long as the waste is truly inert.

  44. Absolutely love the research, time and effort you put on every single video and quite frankly I get a lots to run from every single one of these,
    Keep up and yea that voice is damn smooth. Cheers

  45. I think it should be noted that a large contributer of the fall of coal is the use of natural gas

  46. 5:20 You got something wrong. That laptop battery is a 14.8V battery whereas the phone battery is 3.7V. It's not THAT drastic of a difference just yet. Try multiplying the current and the voltage. Thats how you get the total power the battery stores, in watts.

  47. Lithium batteries are too expensive for utility level grid power storage, because cheaper technologies exist .. for grid storage, it does not need to be power dense, it just need to be VERY cheap.

  48. Naturally things will change as efficiency goes up and prices come down. I used to live out in farm land Minnesota and when I go visit my parents I see more and more solar farms popping up. These little solar farms can help small towns achieve easy energy. We don't need to run out of fossil fuels to switch, fossil fuels just need to become less efficient for it to switch. This will happen eventually and we are clearly seeing that.

  49. In October, 2019 in the UK, renewables overtook all fossil fuels for power generation. It's a wave and the US politicians who try to stand against it are like the legislators demanding a man with a red flag walk in front of cars to warn people to get out of the way.

  50. As long as photovoltaic cells do not have at least an 80% efficiency it's all just child's play.

    The only valid parts regarding electrical systems are transmission and motors – which already are close to optimum efficiency. Batteries and "X to electricity" transformators are not.

  51. Covid-19 is Herr to stay. We humans just will work our lives around it. Because if we attack it it will mutate to even more resistant forms – and kill more people.

  52. The battery comparison at 5:10 is bullshit as hell. mAh isn't a unit of energy capacity, even if it's frequently used as such. The laptop battery is rated at 14.4v, which means it's actually 14.4×1.7=24.5Wh capacity, whereas the phone battery is rated at 3.8v, which means its 3.8×5=19Wh capacity.
    Also you can't store excess power production in batteries that's just ridicules. That would require multiple orders of magnitude technological advancement in battery capacity. Currently physical energy storage is used (pumping water to a high reservoir, see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66YRCjkxIcg )

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