Homepage Forums General Transition Issues Repowering the electric utility industry

This topic contains 55 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Brian H 9 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #4141
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    Brian H
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    Aeronaut wrote:

    ANYWHERE that money is allocated but not spent, or about to be budgetted, for power generation, the choice will suddenly be: put up an FF factory and start cranking out generators and deploying them, or throw 10s or 100s of million$ into obsolete technology. Of course, regulations and vested interests will be all in favor of option #2, but I think a sh**-storm would hit if they tried it.

    Gotta love it! My local utility’s CEO was on the evening news around a month ago, floating a trial balloon about building another coal-fired plant. The tricky part with the timing is that the plant would go online around the time that FF units start rolling off the production lines. So they’re damned either way. No way can they tell us they’re going to strain capacity or make it up by running the gas-fired plants more of the day (raising our bills) to wait several years to see if a currently unproven technology pans out.

    “The fish that got away” could really raise public interest. That’s why I intend to approach the pols before the media. Nobody likes being surprised, especially those in high-profile leadership positions. I’m sure this pico-drama is being played out in dozens of other regions as well, lol.

    Jeez, he’s in a no-win situation! Even if he (mirabile dictu) was fully on-board re FF, he’d be unable to halt his push for the coal plant, since there’s no proven FF alternative yet. I think he’s in for a big dose of “stranded assets”!

    #4144
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    Aeronaut
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    Figuring that FF will cost 200M$/GW of capacity installed, I’d guesstimate that only the plants built in the last twenty years would tend toward becoming white elephants. Anyway you slice it, a GW of new capacity is a fairly big bond to float in today’s market conditions. I’m sure that it will be an Easy Button purchase within 20 years, though.

    #4148
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    Brian H
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    Aeronaut wrote: Figuring that FF will cost 200M$/GW of capacity installed, I’d guesstimate that only the plants built in the last twenty years would tend toward becoming white elephants. Anyway you slice it, a GW of new capacity is a fairly big bond to float in today’s market conditions. I’m sure that it will be an Easy Button purchase within 20 years, though.

    Their output still has to be sold at $50,000/GWh or more, while FF plants would sell at perhaps $3,000/GWh. That’s a difference of $1,128,000/day, or about $412,000,000/year. Enough difference to install over 2GW of FF capacity.

    White elephants, one and all. AKA economic road-kill.

    #4151
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    Aeronaut
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    That binary progression was the missing link, Brian. Each GW produces enough annual profit to install 2GW the next year. :coolsmile:

    Any ideas how to gracefully bury the roadkill? Or would this kind of “unfair advantage” make the point moot? Since nothing succeeds like success, I imagine the originator has at most a two year head start before any competition can begin appearing online.

    #4152
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    Rezwan
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    Brian H wrote:

    Hi, moved Phil’s Dad’s post in reply to above over here: https://focusfusion.org/index.php/forums/viewthread/308

    Actually, Rezwan [ed], you moved my post in reply to Phil’s Dad. 😉 >:-( :cheese:

    My bad!

    #4153
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    Brian H
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    Aeronaut wrote: That binary progression was the missing link, Brian. Each GW produces enough annual profit to install 2GW the next year. :coolsmile:

    Any ideas how to gracefully bury the roadkill? Or would this kind of “unfair advantage” make the point moot? Since nothing succeeds like success, I imagine the originator has at most a two year head start before any competition can begin appearing online.

    It’s not exactly profit, just “saving”, comparing the two. If you billed for the FF output at current rates, that would be cash in hand. Billed at FF rates, it then represents money left in the hands of users/consumers. Which is arguably the best place for it!

    Maybe the generating plants could be gutted and re-stocked with stacked FF units? Make use of the grid connections, etc.

    #4154
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    Aeronaut
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    Seems I’m paying 9.3 cents/kwh, making your numbers verry conservative, Brian. But even at 50k$/GWh, doubling the new capacity every year triples the installed capacity every year. YEE HAW!

    Another thought is that only the late adopters will be left “holding the bag” of stranded assets. With that kind of snowball effect, the early adopters could make a solid case to their Utilities Commissions to use the windfall to amortize ‘assets’ across 5 years instead of 30. Then the floor could drop out of the pricing without hurting investors.

    Yes, we’d want to recycle as much of the buildings and transmission system as practical.

    #4156
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    Brian H
    Member

    Aeronaut wrote: Seems I’m paying 9.3 cents/kwh, making your numbers verry conservative, Brian. But even at 50k$/GWh, doubling the new capacity every year triples the installed capacity every year. YEE HAW!

    Another thought is that only the late adopters will be left “holding the bag” of stranded assets. With that kind of snowball effect, the early adopters could make a solid case to their Utilities Commissions to use the windfall to amortize ‘assets’ across 5 years instead of 30. Then the floor could drop out of the pricing without hurting investors.

    Yes, we’d want to recycle as much of the buildings and transmission system as practical.

    Yeah; here we pay 6.5¢, California/LA rates are all over the place, starting at ~11¢ going up to 25¢; Europe is in the 15¢ to 30¢ range, etc.

    But my point is that the money isn’t “in hand” to install FF unless the rates are kept high. Perhaps a compromise at around $20/GWh would be good, enough to pay off existing FF plant in one year and fully fund another set. That, of course, is unheard-of speed. One-year amortization or prepaid is not the usual!

    #4157
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    Aeronaut
    Member

    Brian H wrote:

    Seems I’m paying 9.3 cents/kwh, making your numbers verry conservative, Brian. But even at 50k$/GWh, doubling the new capacity every year triples the installed capacity every year. YEE HAW!

    Another thought is that only the late adopters will be left “holding the bag” of stranded assets. With that kind of snowball effect, the early adopters could make a solid case to their Utilities Commissions to use the windfall to amortize ‘assets’ across 5 years instead of 30. Then the floor could drop out of the pricing without hurting investors.

    Yes, we’d want to recycle as much of the buildings and transmission system as practical.

    Yeah; here we pay 6.5¢, California/LA rates are all over the place, starting at ~11¢ going up to 25¢; Europe is in the 15¢ to 30¢ range, etc.

    But my point is that the money isn’t “in hand” to install FF unless the rates are kept high. Perhaps a compromise at around $20/GWh would be good, enough to pay off existing FF plant in one year and fully fund another set. That, of course, is unheard-of speed. One-year amortization or prepaid is not the usual!
    Don’t forget the ability to add one or more GW/yr. 😉 The sheer audacity may turn out to be the strongest selling point.

    #4182
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    Rezwan
    Member

    Hi Folks,

    Just moved the INL/ Next Generation Nuclear Plant, (High Temperature Gas Cooled), to its own topic thread. Seemed like it was taking on a direction of its own.

    #4183
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    Brian H
    Member

    Rezwan wrote: Hi Folks,

    Just moved the INL/ Next Generation Nuclear Plant, (High Temperature Gas Cooled), to its own topic thread. Seemed like it was taking on a direction of its own.

    If you do that every time the topic shifts somewhat, you’ll shatter the threads into untraceable furballs. This is not a committee composing a text book.

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