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Justtryme90 t1_je33m03 wrote

That's because the US makes its energy via burning natural gas. Better than coal but still not good.


Badfickle t1_je4y6fu wrote

This is true but depends on the time scale you are looking at. Prior to 2019 gas dominated new capacity additions. The last 5 years solar and wind took over and are growing rapidly. The IRA will accelerate that trend.


Justtryme90 t1_je50y3k wrote

Doesn't mean we shouldn't be honest about the current reality.


confusedapegenius t1_je53lba wrote

True, but the headline is also honest.


Justtryme90 t1_jecb4la wrote

It's implying surpassing coal is significant, it's not really. We need to do more, we will, but still.


confusedapegenius t1_jef9mre wrote

I’d say it’s significant, as a milestone. These things can have psychological importance that are independent of engineering. But I agree that’s no reason to stop accelerating the renewables transition.


krisp9751 t1_je5odvb wrote

Which itself is a fairly new development. Natural gas passed coal in total electricity generation in USA just 8 years ago.

Renewable energy production is increasing rapidly. In 2022 over 80% of new installation for electricity generation was renewable source with nearly 50% of new installation being solar. This is a massive change from the 2010s.


OriginalCompetitive t1_je59bnu wrote

Gas is a lot better than coal. Only half the CO2 and almost no other pollutants.


beamdriver t1_je6a0ay wrote

Everything is better than coal. Coal is the dirtiest, most polluting way to generate energy that exists.


Ancient_Persimmon t1_je6ahf6 wrote

That wasn't the case not long ago. Coal was as much as 50% of the total 15 years ago and it's now completely crashed.


Wwize t1_je3bcp0 wrote

>"Renewable energy is now the most affordable source of new electricity in much of the country," added Wetstone.

The market has spoken and it's saying renewable energy is the future. There's no way any other energy source can compete. With renewable energy, we don't pay for the cost of the energy itself, just for the equipment and maintenance. With all other forms of power generation, we pay for the energy in addition to the equipment and maintenance.


AssortedInterests t1_je4gsd4 wrote

Power systems engineer here. The renewable energy source may be cheaper, but there's a hidden (for now) cost in the intermittent nature of them. Right now we still burn enough fossil fuels that we can dispatch them up and down to balance the system without huge quantities of energy storage, but those days are numbered if we're serious about de-carbonization. Between large scale and long-term energy storage and the transmission reinforcement that will be required to de-carbonize building heat especially in northern climates, there is some serious sticker shock brewing to get us to our 2050 goals.


Badfickle t1_je4yu04 wrote

eh. Grid scale battery factories are being built quite rapidly and prices are dropping. There's good reason for optimism.


omar_strollin t1_je52cc4 wrote

And old EV batteries can be used for home storage as they phase out


trevize1138 t1_je56y5f wrote

I've been told that "dead" EV batteries go to landfills where they leak lead into groundwater. Are you saying that's BS? /s


omar_strollin t1_je5uw98 wrote

:) for anyone who has been misled, EV batteries are very valuable and often repurposed and, if not, recycled.

Just kidding, they’re thrown into day care center and spontaneously combust, killing all inside.


trevize1138 t1_je6dlfb wrote

Dead batteries will de-magnetize your credit cards and give your psycho ex your current phone number.


AntifaDoesntExist t1_je5br3y wrote

these same pricks would be the ones who would thump their chest about nuclear and how "safe" waste storage is.


trevize1138 t1_je5d3zx wrote

Right? Even if the storage issue were solved and nuclear was somehow safe it's also losing out to solar/wind/batteries now strictly on economics. It's becoming a whole new market where power generation and storage can be done very small scale with home solar being so cheap. Nuclear is old fashioned because it's still just massive grid generation. Power is getting democratized beyond that now.


altmorty OP t1_je5ydpw wrote

It's so funny watching conservatives bash renewables and storage, and then quietly install it for themselves. This is while they campaign for more nuclear, while blocking its development anywhere near them.


danielravennest t1_je6nyub wrote

Texas has the most wind and solar of any state in the US. One reason is they have been set up to lease property for oil and gas for a long time. Switching to leasing for wind and solar is straightforward. The land-owners only care that their lease checks clear.


Layer_4_Solutions t1_je6zxjk wrote

They are being built, but they are not being built rapidly.

Price drops have also slowed significantly the last few years.


Badfickle t1_je7iwhg wrote

Well we had a huge spike in lithium prices the last two years which has since dropped as new sources have come on line. Lithium is now 50% the price it has been the past 2 years.


Wwize t1_je52nzn wrote

Renewable energy is cheaper EVEN WITH BATTERIES. So even that "hidden cost" that you mention isn't enough to make it more expensive than coal.

Clean energy is cheaper than coal across the whole US, study finds

>Almost every coal-fired power plant in the country could be cost-effectively replaced by local solar or wind and batteries, according to a groundbreaking new analysis.


SalsaBueno t1_je4x6mi wrote

So we encourage solar and wind generation on the home scale. Smaller scale battery storage will be easier to attain, and that should fill most of the gap.

Of course there will always be a need for backup power for sensitive locations, so we may or may not ever completely do away with fossil fuels, I feel like we might at least bankrupt OPEC.


Markavian t1_je4nzqp wrote

Is that fixable with sufficient energy storage and overproduction (spare renewable capacity)? Similar to maintaining a gas fired peaker that you only need once a day?


ACCount82 t1_je56unt wrote

Yes. But electricity is notoriously hard to store. Building enough storage gets really expensive really quick - preventing it from being competitive with natural gas.

It's not an impossible challenge to solve though.

First, the larger a grid is, the more resilient it is to the intermittent nature of renewables, and the less storage it needs. Being able to shift electricity around at great distances is great for grid stability, and a hypothetical planet-scale grid could go full renewable with impressively little storage. A large and robust joint grid, like that of EU or US-Canada, offers a lot of benefits still. Which is why a lot of industry voices are calling for more grid integration, both within the countries and between the countries - like between US and Mexico.

Second, "smart grid" tech can be used to balance the grid on the demand side instead of the supply side. If electricity prices are allowed to change during the day in small intervals, and consumers, ranging from industries and to home appliances, are designed to take that into account, you can get a lot of flexibility by soft-controlling demand. Raise power prices for 19:00 to 19:30, and watch all the ACs pre-heat or pre-cool beforehand to sit the "expensive" interval out, all the parked EVs suspend their charging process, all the washing machines shift their cycle around, all the home-scale batteries shift to using internal power, all the datacenters undervolt their servers, and so it goes. Thus, you get to "eat" a part of the peak on the demand side, and you need less storage capacity to cover what remains.

Third, "full renewable" is not a good goal to strive towards. Fission or possibly even fusion (not yet, but maybe in 20 years?) could make for "green" baseline generation that can be controlled to cover for deficiencies of renewables.


Layer_4_Solutions t1_je702fb wrote

Sure, but large scale storage and overproduction significantly increase the cost.


danielravennest t1_je6n788 wrote

"Other Energy Storage" i.e not pumped hydro, which has been around for decades, reached nearly 9 GW this January. That's nearly double what it was 12 months earlier. To the extent regular hydro is available, it can act as storage by saving the water behind the dam when other renewables are running. The US also has nuclear supplying around 19% of utility power.

The first iron-air (reversible rust) battery plant has started construction in West Virginia. I ron is much cheaper than lithium, but also much heavier. So these will be stationary batteries. The first version is designed for 100 hour run time, vs. about 4 hours for Lithium-ion.

It will still take work to break our fossil fuel addiction, but there are solutions coming along in the near future.


GrowFreeFood t1_je51z5t wrote

Yeah except for the super obvious solution that no one has thought of but me. And if you want to know the solution. Just figure out how to pay me.


tjcanno t1_je4dn7u wrote

We need to add batteries. Lots of batteries to store power when generation exceeds demand, to draw from when demand exceeds supply. Need batteries to really make system as available as coal.


londons_explorer t1_je4l8q4 wrote

Batteries... or transmission (get power from another place 1000 miles away where it is windy right now) or hydro (store up water and use it only when other sources fail), or smart EV's (which charge only when there is spare power in the grid, and perhaps put some power into the grid at times of peak demand), or Heat reservoirs (heat peoples homes with heat pumps when there is spare power, and have big tanks full of a liquid that can store hotness or coolness for release into the home later when desired.

We can use one or all these solutions. We'll probably end up using a mix, decided by market forces.


mrpenchant t1_je4y5m5 wrote

>We can use one or all these solutions.

Wrong on saying we can use only one of them. Batteries and transmission are both a must. Because of the intermittent nature if we want to continue increasing renewable production we must have batteries. And if we want to do this in a remotely sensible way, we need transmission to move electricity from where it is most efficiently and economically generated to the cities where people are.

By the way, your hydro and heat reservoirs both are just non-traditional batteries.

And only charging EVs when there is excess power is a good way to kill off EVs. I know I would never buy one if that was the case because I don't plan on getting stuck somewhere because no charging was considered a valid option. Economic incentives about when to charge are already being done and are perfectly valid on the other hand.


danielravennest t1_je6p5er wrote

> We need to add batteries.

Funny thing, that. New US storage increased from 4.9 to 8.9 GW over the past 12 months. Old storage is pumped hydro, which stayed the same at 23 GW


WeimarRepublic t1_je5ax6i wrote

>The market has spoken and it's saying renewable energy is the future. There's no way any other energy source can compete.

Cool, can we end the subsidies then


AntifaDoesntExist t1_je5cua8 wrote

If we also end the subsidies on gas and oil? Sure. Renewables is actually cheaper than those as well if we do so.


Wwize t1_je5cgin wrote

Why? Fossil fuels and nuclear get subsidies too. They get much bigger subsidies. You also seem to be unaware that we have a major crisis with climate change and we need to build renewable energy as fast as possible, so even though it is cheaper, it is in our best interest to subsidize it anyway so we can build it faster. We should stop subsidizing fossil fuels though.


Diknak t1_je5cnfi wrote

if you want to remove coal and gas subsidies's not like renewables are the only energy subsidies. Hell, the oil industry is the most subsidized industry on the planet.


SloeMoe t1_je516rs wrote

> With renewable energy, we don't pay for the cost of the energy itself, just for the equipment and maintenance.

We don't "pay" for fossil fuels either. We take advantage of vast geological forces and time that have done the work for us.


Wwize t1_je52bqf wrote

Mining coal and extracting oil costs money and destroys the environment. It's insane that you didn't know that. The sun and the wind are free, on the other hand.


Kaschenko t1_je3t6ui wrote

> With renewable energy, we don't pay for the cost of the energy itself, just for the equipment and maintenance. With all other forms of power generation, we pay for the energy in addition to the equipment and maintenance.

What does it even mean?


GetsBetterAfterAFew t1_je3umqr wrote

Gas needs gas to get to the gas station. Build wires to gas stations once and get electricity for years without gas or semis or trains or refineries that all cost money to run. Its simple really, fewer moving parts, less cost.


listur65 t1_je4y4cq wrote

Not to mention all of the cost in gathering the coal/natural gas itself.


UrbanGhost114 t1_je40w25 wrote

The logistics of moving fuel is massive, ongoing, and increasing.

Source:. Deliver fuel to gas stations.


DMoney159 t1_je3z663 wrote

We don't have to burn stuff to make renewable electricity. That means no constant paying for the coal or gas or other burnable thing, just equipment


420ciskey420 t1_je3zda7 wrote

It means that the gas (energy) costs money to acquire and consume to generate power.. you don’t have to pay for sun light, or a breeze, or the tide of the ocean.


everybodylovesraymon t1_je41whb wrote

In Canada we use a lot of hydroelectric for our power. Dams set up on fast moving rivers generate all our power. Only cost is the setup and maintenance of the dams, the source (water) is free. Unlike coal.


omar_strollin t1_je52jnw wrote

There is some acute local ecological damage as well, but all options have their faults


Riaayo t1_je4b648 wrote

For gas, coal, or fossil fuels you have to pay to extract, refine, and transport the fuels - then also have to build and run the infrastructure to burn it for energy.

Solar and wind you generate and "extract" in one go. The solar panels/plant is collecting and generating power at once. The wind turbine is collecting and generating power at once. There's no shipping or pipelining sunlight and wind.

The "cost" of mining/extraction is basically non-existent. You've gotta buy fuel to burn it. You don't have to buy sunlight or wind to generate power of fit.

That on top of it being cheaper and easier to roll out solar panels and wind farms than it is these other power plants, and the lower cost is clear.


Wwize t1_je53t6e wrote

It costs money to mine coal and extract oil. It costs nothing for the sun to get to the solar panel or the wind to get to the wind turbine.


TheLostcause t1_je452j3 wrote

Everything will have wear and tear as a substantial cost at a large scale.


Law_Student t1_je3d2o9 wrote

Renewables get more expensive the more of them you use, because you need to start investing seriously in storage if you actually rely on them to keep the lights and heat on as opposed to just using them to replace some natural gas use, and storage is ruinously expensive. Even four hours of storage puts renewables above the cost of nuclear.


Badfickle t1_je3hnwy wrote

That's old data. Battery prices are dropping and will continue to drop.


autotldr t1_je1x8nz wrote

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 85%. (I'm a bot)

> Electricity generated from renewables surpassed coal in the United States for the first time in 2022, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced Monday.

> Growth in wind and solar significantly drove the increase in renewable energy and contributed 14% of the electricity produced domestically in 2022.

> The Energy Information Administration projected that the wind share of the U.S. electricity generation mix will increase from 11% to 12% from 2022 to 2023 and that solar will grow from 4% to 5% during the period.

Extended Summary | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: Energy^#1 renewable^#2 Electricity^#3 solar^#4 wind^#5


Tearakan t1_je35xhs wrote

This is great but humanity literally had revord CO2 emissions in 2022 as well. Renewable energy being used in greater numbers only helps if CO2 emissions start to decrease.

Right now it looks like it's just adding more power on top of traditional carbon emitting sources.


luckyscars t1_je3xu5h wrote

It’s a huge, long term investment. We’ve only seriously been doing this shit for about a decade.

Carbon emissions being high currently is obviously concerning, but it really doesn’t belong in a conversation about renewable power and I caution you against the conflation since deniers are liable to use it in bad faith. “Look! See! Doesn’t work! No better!”


Tearakan t1_je3y63j wrote

That's not my argument. Mine is clearly our current economic and government systems are failing to slow climate change. Technology wont save us from civilization collapse alone.

It will require drastic changes now. WW2 levels of international effort in a very short amount of time.

We already had issues with farming in a huge number of significant regions last year. If that continues we will end up seeing the largest famine in human history in a decade or two.

El nino is coming this summer and it'll supercharge the warming we already see.


luckyscars t1_je3ynfv wrote

Well yeah and I am pretty sure 99.99% of the people on this subreddit know all that.

Nevertheless there is no need to counter every utterance of positive news, which this is, with a “it’s not good enough”.

Like, nobody here is saying it is good enough, but by constantly hammering home the point that it’s not good enough you aren’t going to encourage investment in solutions but give rise to arguments like “there’s no point in bankrupting ourselves for something that is out of our control”, which is the current position of most right wingers.

What I think would really help is for people to see the encouraging signs for what they are, become positively engaged with increasing those successes (by better insulating their houses, investing in solar stocks, etc) and just generally not being so fucking negative. If nothing else, it’s terrible for mental health.


Tearakan t1_je3yzfp wrote

Yes there is. Far too many people don't seem to understand what happens during massive famines. They forget the war and horror that quickly follows regardless of how "civilized" a country used to be.

People need to be scared and frightened. Or they won't change.

That "investment" thought is part of the problem. There won't be any worthwhile investments if countries end up tearing each other apart for food and water.

As for mental health yep I agree it sucks. But that's pretty much an expected symptom of our fucked up civilization at this point.


luckyscars t1_je3z692 wrote

Okay, well best of luck converting them through Reddit posts and downvoting immediately any dissent.


CMDRStodgy t1_je4ckqe wrote

> People need to be scared and frightened. Or they won't change.

People who are scared and frightened don't tend to change. They horde, they embrace authoritarians, they try to go back to the good old times, they fight - mostly with each other. The one thing they do not do is fix the problem.

People who are hopeful and optimistic tend to embrace change. They work with others for a better future instead of fighting over what ever is left.


Tearakan t1_je5jh3d wrote

Lol. No they aren't. The people who are currently hopeful and optimistic are okay with slow progress, which isn't nearly fast enough anymore.

The people who started the french revolution vs their king were scared and had hatred for their rule, MLK and his followers were scared and hated the oppression.

Hopeful and optimistic people don't want change because the status quo is working great for them.

There is the threat of falling into authoritarianism. But that's always a threat as the US government is showing now with our shitty recent Supreme Court decisions.


_WardenoftheWest_ t1_je42e2s wrote

You’re really trying hard to be edgy aren’t you.


trevize1138 t1_je598jt wrote

It's easy to feel all wise-to-the-game having your "wake up, sheeple!" moment when you're only arguing against the strawmen you created.


haraldkl t1_je3y9jp wrote

> Right now it looks like it's just adding more power on top of traditional carbon emitting sources.

Here is what the IEA observes on 2022:

>In a year marked by energy price shocks, rising inflation, and disruptions to traditional fuel trade flows, global growth in emissions was lower than feared, despite gas-to-coal switching in many countries. Increased deployment of clean energy technologies such as renewables, electric vehicles, and heat pumps helped prevent an additional 550 Mt in CO2 emissions. Industrial production curtailment, particularly in China and Europe, also averted additional emissions.

Or in other words: we are not "just" adding power on top of traditional carbon emitting sources. Rather, the deployment of low-carbon sources has reached a point, where we are very close to a balancing point at which those low-carbon additions cover the increment in global energy consumption completely.

More observations from the IEA:

>A strong expansion of renewables limited the rebound in coal power emissions. Renewables met 90% of last year’s global growth in electricity generation. Solar PV and wind generation each increased by around 275 TWh, a new annual record.

>China’s emissions were relatively flat in 2022, declining by 23 Mt or 0.2%.

>The European Union saw a 2.5% or 70 Mt reduction in CO2 emissions despite oil and gas market disruptions, hydro shortfalls due to drought, and numerous nuclear plants going offline.

>US emissions grew by 0.8% or 36 Mt. The buildings sector saw the highest emissions growth, driven by extreme temperatures. The main emissions reductions came from electricity and heat generation, thanks to unprecedented increases in solar PV and wind, as well as coal-to-gas switching. While many other countries reduced their natural gas use, the United States saw an increase of 89 Mt in CO2 emissions from gas, as it was called upon to meet peak electricity demand during summer heat waves.

>Emissions from Asia’s emerging market and developing economies, excluding China, grew more than those from any other region in 2022, increasing by 4.2% or 206 Mt CO2.


Tearakan t1_je3yefr wrote

None of that matters since emmisions literally hit record highs last year. So clearly we are failing.

The time for incremental changes was 2 decades ago. We can't afford to do this slowly anymore.


Caleth t1_je54o8f wrote

It does matter and you're sea lioning. We don't turn the global economy on a dime it takes years. We've spend literally decades digging this hole we're in and we've spent maybe one trying to dig out, not even a whole decade really as for example in America we just got over Trump who was working on bringing back clean glorious beautiful coal.

Remember that? Now we're all in on IRA and cars are electrifying, solar and wind are starting to make up nearly all of our new installed production. We don't scream at the baby when it starts crawling demanding it be an Olympic level athlete the next day.

We had shit like like Russia act up so the gas they were burning got down converted to coal by many EU countries. Even with that we've seen a near tipping over to emmison reductions.

So be gone shill we're moving forward and as things get worse the urge to improve will become stronger. But as it stands right now you're in the way of saving the species. Spreading FUD to act against this creates despair and harms all our futures. So stop.


Tearakan t1_je5ijqu wrote

My argument is the whole idea of "take it slow" would've been fine 2 decades ago. We past that point. We need drastic changes on the level of WW2 now.

Not this slow plodding shit.

Yep the economy would be drastically changed and frankly that needs to happen.

The US just authorized even more oil drilling in alaska and the gulf of Mexico.

I'm a pessimist now though. I don't think we get our shit together until a majority of humanity dies due to starvation and war.


Caleth t1_je5yei1 wrote

Again see my point about truning the world economy around we are moving at a rapid pace for a world of 8 billion with all that commercial and political inertia.

Now you're right we're not moving fast enough, but as I pointed out as things worsen our inertia will change.

There's a strong likelyhood we'll see a wet bulb event. Probably somewhere like India millions will die and people will be shocked enough to effect real change. It's an ugly thought but it's a reality I've resigned myself to we as a species don't do forward planning well.

But after that things will shift into high gear it'll be the economic and political equivalent of the climate dropping a nuke on us.


Tearakan t1_je6rvvx wrote

I hope it's only that small. I figure we will see large scale modern war with small and medium size nations fighting for what's left of arable land and water resources in their territory within 5 years.

A big one would be Ethiopia vs Egypt. Both rely heavily on the nile and have issues with food already stoking conflict.

I just hope it wont spread like wildfire across the planet.


haraldkl t1_je678v7 wrote

> My argument is the whole idea of "take it slow" would've been fine 2 decades ago. We past that point. We need drastic changes on the level of WW2 now.

I think you are mistaking my comment. It wasn't meant as we are doing enough. Only that we are not "just" adding more energy ontop of old fossil fuel burning. There is change going on and denying that won't help you to figure out, what needs to be done, and what has to be sped up to help the transitioning effectively.


danielravennest t1_je6t0ji wrote

> Not this slow plodding shit.

You are not describing reality. Solar energy doubled from 2016 to 2019, and doubled again by 2022. That's not plodding, it is exponential growth.

Since 1992 solar increased by a factor of 10,000. It just took time to get the prices down and production up. Right now, solar manufacturers are building up their supply chain for another doubling of production rate.


Tearakan t1_je6tnil wrote

That would've been good 2 decades ago. We can't wait for that now.

Realistically we should be nationalizing most industries, completely shutting down useless ones, removing all non essential travel, ripping up roads and putting in massive rail networks in place with massive increases in nuclear plant construction.

Moving people from suburbs into either high density cities or rural areas used to support said cities, like we had before cheap oil.

And also providing people with the essentials to prevent mass civil unrest.

This is similar levels of effort that WW2 required.

Anything less at this point is just inviting disasters on a scale our species has never seen.

Edit: having renewables are great but they have a limit. They are good auxiliary power but cost compared to battery plants vs nulcear power favors nuclear fission. We can even add in further breeder reactors to get more energy out of previously spent fuel.


Rentun t1_je78ujq wrote

Lol ok well good luck with that.

Where are you going to get the political capital to do that?

Close to half this county doesn’t even think climate change is real. The other half mostly will not be willing to significantly disrupt their lives for any reason, climate change or not.

Forcibly relocating people from suburbs? What planet are you living on?

The stuff you’re proposing wouldn’t even fly in China. There’d be a revolution before people accept their lives being so radically altered. How in the hell would that work in any democratic country?


Tearakan t1_je8e639 wrote

Yeah we won't. I honestly think most countries will fall to chaos 1st sadly.

Maybe a few billion dying will wake up the remaining people in time.


danielravennest t1_je6zdaf wrote

None of that is going to happen. Renewables will take over because the profit motive is the most powerful force in our modern world.

And you are wrong about battery plants. Look up the Moss Landing plant in California. They replaced 5 of 7 natural gas units with two battery farms (one in the turbine hall, and the other in what was the parking lot). The two most efficient NG units were kept as backup/peaker units.


haraldkl t1_je5zgqp wrote

>We can't afford to do this slowly anymore.

I agree with that, and I certainly didn't want to imply otherwise.

>None of that matters since emmisions literally hit record highs last year.

Yet, this is a kind of bad conclusion from that urgency. Exactly because of this urgency it is important to register the changes we do make, and observe what works. It most certainly does matter what progress we make. This is not changed by the fact that it took us too long, or that it is a only a slow turning around so far. I think there is a good chance that we do peak emissions this year, and we need to speed up the efforts to reduce them quicker.


Tearakan t1_je6rltg wrote

I hope you're right. But I'm afraid I am. With el nino coming this summer it'll wreak another toll on our agricultural regions across the globe. We already had issues last year.

Just one more year of that and wars will start popping up in poorer nations across the planet. Lack of food creates insane amounts of political instability.


moofunk t1_je4mybp wrote

Carbon capture using renewable energy should be a factor too.

There are some projects coming along here, for example the Danish Greensand project, but it needs to scale up.


Tearakan t1_je5j0cz wrote

Only works when we are actively lower emmisions period. Otherwise we hit basic thermodynamic limits.


danielravennest t1_je6qkp0 wrote

We are close to the turning point. In a few years, new fossil-powered vehicle production will fall below old fossil vehicle retirement. That means the total fossil fleet will start shrinking.

It takes a while to ramp up production of new technology, but we are getting there.


Tearakan t1_je6r7lg wrote

Which would've worked had this happened a decade or two ago.

It's too late for this slow shit now. El nino is coming and it'll supercharge the warming in key agricultural regions. We already had issues with farming yields last year. Another bad year or worse and we will see wars popping up all across the planet. Especially in poorer nations.


danielravennest t1_je6z17u wrote

> Which would've worked had this happened a decade or two ago.

Imagining an alternate past is a waste of time, unless you have a time machine. The future is all we can affect.


OriginalCompetitive t1_je58whu wrote

By humanity, you mean China. Emissions have been dropping for years in the U.S. and EU.


Boreras t1_je63ltx wrote

Chinese and EU emissions fell in 2022, American emissions rose. This is despite the US dwarfing the others in per capita emission especially if you account for scope 3 which is a logical necessity.


OriginalCompetitive t1_je65ryi wrote

That’s because the US recovered from abnormally now emissions due to COVID, whereas China spent 2022 still trapped in a massive COVID downturn. Year over year trends can sometimes be misleading, but the big picture is clear as day. Chinese emissions are now higher than all other developed countries combined.


milery t1_je3elou wrote

How is it 2023, and this only just happened?


Internal-Test-8015 t1_je3mux2 wrote

Because the people in charge of coal, gas, and oil companies don't want this type of stuff to take over because then they'll all be out of lots money.


trevize1138 t1_je58eal wrote

I know people like to say "EVs won't do much to curb climate change" but the rise of renewables owes a lot to the rise of EVs. Tech advances in batteries and a major ramp up in battery production and supply is a major ripple effect. It's like how oil's dominance as an energy source helped create products like polymers and all variety of synthetic products.

I dare say we would not have such a dramatic rise in renewable energy without the corresponding rise in EVs. That put it over the top from "I guess this is what we have to do but we won't like it" to "holy crap! I gotta get in on the ground floor of this renewable gold rush."


downonthesecond t1_je5r9f5 wrote

You think they would have enough knowledge and money to invest in renewable energy and compete with other companies.


Internal-Test-8015 t1_je6308s wrote

I'm sure they do but their idea is to milk what money they can make from those resources until there's very little or none left.


danielravennest t1_je6u3o2 wrote

Because these things take time. For example, over the last 12 years, solar and wind have been squeezing out coal and gas as far as new power plants. But there were already a lot of old power plants, and not all of them have been shut down yet.


digital148 t1_je3h1gn wrote

solid achievement, keep going usa, you fucking rock.


downonthesecond t1_je5qryf wrote

So the War on Coal was a success.

Though Germany and other countries have resorted to burning coal over the last year after cutting off Russia's supplies.


Boreras t1_je63vt7 wrote

There was no war on coal, there has been an insane campaign to keep coal relevant. Remember clean coal twenty years ago? Complete propaganda.


griftertm t1_je4a72g wrote

But Donald Trump said he could bring coal back? Was he lying? /s


547610831 t1_je2ym29 wrote

That's not saying nearly as much as it used to since most coal plants have been closed down over the last 15 years.


plokman t1_je3caly wrote

That's what a transition is...


547610831 t1_je3e3dw wrote

The point is we haven't transitioned from coal to renewables, we've transitioned from coal to natural gas. Renewables are still a small percentage of the overall market.


Badfickle t1_je3gkpp wrote

eh. In terms of added capacity since 2019 wind and solar has greatly outstripped natural gas. As batteries get cheaper and cheaper that trend will only accelerate.


luckyscars t1_je3xww2 wrote

They’re a massive portion compare to a few years ago. What do you expect?


cr0ft t1_je4163m wrote

Last I checked, and it wasn't that long ago, we were still adding fossil fuel burning over and above what we were burning before.

Renewables just get layered on top and do help lower how much we add fossil fuel, but... we need to be crash weaning ourselves off fossil fuels, not just adding less but still adding.

Coal should be gone by now. It kills thousands in the US alone from the pollution, god knows how many worldwide.


danielravennest t1_je6xyj5 wrote

> Last I checked, and it wasn't that long ago, we were still adding fossil fuel burning over and above what we were burning before.

Coal, oil, and natural gas were about level between 2018 and 2021. Solar and wind increased about 50% in those years, but they are still relatively small (4.3% of global energy in '21)


Deutchpleuw t1_je5yr9l wrote

I love solar and wind on a smaller scale, seems perfect for running a homestead, an apartment, a home, but from what I’ve seen and gathered online it seems like it’s very impractical for mass reliance for a nation the size of the US. Not breaking any new ground but it still seems to be new nuclear options are the way to go for large scale (cities like chicago and New York). Course, there needs to be serious guidelines and penalties for failing to follow them if we do that, can’t have another Chernobyl negligence incident


danielravennest t1_je6yhct wrote

The Vogtle plant expansion in Georgia (from 2 to 4 reactors), is costing three times as much per delivered kWh as solar. That's why there's no new nuclear planned in the US.

New nuclear, like small modular reactors, will have to prove they are cheaper, not promise it, because nuclear promises have all failed to come in at budget.


Deutchpleuw t1_je6z3ka wrote

Well that’s for sure. The over head for building a plant isn’t just money expensive, it’s a massive time investment too because of inspection regulations prior to activation. But in terms of power out compared to impact to environment seems to be the current best option (damaged solar components cannot in most cases be recycled or repaired, at least based on what they told us in school and the fins on a wind turbine are very similar causing them to be a potentially big garbage issue) so I wish we could look past that investment overhead and focus on the output :( I know very idealistic and naive I just wish


Deutchpleuw t1_je6zgan wrote

You know what though, I feel like I heard there may some serious advancements in the recycling of those parts so who knows, maybe we’ll see that totally change


loggic t1_je3ahrm wrote

Sweet. I'll celebrate the symbolic victory.


Vizslaraptor t1_je3kxep wrote

Do we have an understanding of what happens to the solar panels when they become end-of-life waste? Genuinely curious about this but too lazy to search. (typical American cir. 2023?)


Internal-Test-8015 t1_je3n4pj wrote

I'm fairly certain they van be recycled or at keadt most of the parts from them can and I'm sure that'll get better Over the years as more a d more research is done and further improvements are made.


SandAndAlum t1_je3vxz7 wrote

It hasn't happened to any significant degree yet. The tiny fraction that do exist have historically been recycled for metals and low grade glass at a loss or landfilled.

Recycling supply chains are being built and most of the world now has recycling mandates where manufacturers or importers need to have a plan in place before sale. The glass can be used circularly, silver and bismuth/lead are reusable. The silicon is downcycled to steel alloying or similar industrial use. There has been lab scale amorphous PV built from only decomissioned monocrystalline PV -- it worked but has not been commercialised.


danielravennest t1_je6w862 wrote

> The silicon is downcycled to steel alloying or similar industrial use.

There is no need to do that. Used solar cells are purer silicon than what comes out of carbothermal reduction of quartz sand to 98.5% pure silicon metal. So you can throw them into the process at that point. The reduction to metal is very energy intensive, so recycling will reduce the energy to make new panels.

They probably are not doing it yet because the volume is so low. Silicon steel is used in transformers and motors, and is even less picky about impurities. So they would just throw the old cells in.


Si_shadeofblue t1_je3v9xw wrote

Yes they can be recycled but it isn't done on a large scale yet because arent may panels that have reached end of life yet.


danielravennest t1_je6uwqm wrote

Nearly all of silicon solar panels can be recycled. The main materials are aluminum, glass, sometimes plastic, silicon metal, and copper. The effective life of a panel is 100 years, but none of them are that old yet. 99.9% are less than 22 years old, and 50% are less than 3 years old. So few are being recycled because they aren't old enough yet.


So_spoke_the_wizard t1_je3f667 wrote

That's why we need to reelect Trump in 2024. Make coal great again!



Dollar_Bills t1_je1v9zu wrote

Costs to consumers have gone up by double and they're doing it with free fuel and a quarter of the workforce.

Regulators are great and they care about us.


gurenkagurenda t1_je376xl wrote

To find a point where nominal electricity prices were half their current price, you have to go back to the year 2000. Adjusted for inflation, those year 2000 prices were about 14% lower than today's prices. If you want to go all the way back to 1980 and adjust for inflation, the price was almost exactly what it is today.

So no, they absolutely haven't.


trogdor1234 t1_je3e6d2 wrote

The other commenter is a little bit on to something but they don’t really know what it is. Transmission investment has increased to handle all the renewables and so 100% of the benefits of going fuel free aren’t showing up in the bills.


Dollar_Bills t1_je38jr9 wrote

Sorry I exaggerated, but if you cut out the fuel prices and employees required to run traditional power sources, it's probably about double what it should be costing us.

They used to say, "solar will only make sense if we can get the efficiency to 7%" and we are currently doubling that or better. Every component is cheaper than it was in 2000, too.

If you want to milk the balls of the oligarchy, you can. I won't stop you.

So yes, they absolutely have doubled.


gurenkagurenda t1_je3jeck wrote

How are you going to start a comment by admitting that you exaggerated, and then reassert the conclusively false thing that you claimed?

And no, you didn't just exaggerate. There literally isn't a trend. Electricity prices have risen and fallen over the years, and it's at a fairly middling point right now.


Dollar_Bills t1_je4bdx7 wrote

Cheaper, cleaner, less labor intensive=higher bills to consumer. There's no trend at all, got it.

You're possibly a regulator, a dolt, or both. If you work for a power company, I'd argue both


gurenkagurenda t1_je4uofw wrote

The bills to the consumer, adjusted for inflation, aren’t higher. You’re literally just looking at the effects of across the board inflation and saying “look at how much more expensive it got!”


Dollar_Bills t1_je5090m wrote

You're literally ignoring the costs to produce energy going down every year. The cost to produce energy with a free fuel is pretty cheap, if you didn't know that. From an article "Berkeley Labs reports a nationwide average levelized PPP of $24 per MWh in 2019, or 2.4 cents per kWh. This represented a decrease of 17% over the year before (2018) and a 80% decline since 2010. "

So yeah, at least double what it should cost us and we are being charged more than ever for cheaper power.

Look at how much you love protecting regulators and big business!


gurenkagurenda t1_je50jp7 wrote

Ladies and gentlemen, witness the wonder of the amazing moving goalpost! Watch in awe as it skips across the stage! How does it do it? What arcane forces have animated this humble object?


erosram t1_je2tag5 wrote

Token disillusioned comment that resonates with the median Redditor.