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Normal Topic coal pollution is lowering solar production in China... (Read 91 times)
forgotten centrist
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coal pollution is lowering solar production in China...
Jul 11th, 2019 at 10:21am
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The researchers found that, over the entire record between about 1960 and 2015, the average potential solar generation declined by about 13%. Expressed in terms of capacity factor -- the fraction of a solar panel's maximum output that is actually produced on average -- the drop from the start to the lowest point in 2008 was 0.162 to 0.142. The change wasn't the same everywhere, though, as air pollution and local conditions varied. The five worst provinces actually saw potential generation drops of fully 20-28%. These included industrial centers in the east but also some clearer high-elevation areas in the west where a small amount of air pollution can have a big impact.

If China could go back to its 1950s air quality, its existing solar installations in 2016 would have produced an additional 14 terawatt-hours of electricity for free. As more solar panels are built, that number would only grow. By 2030, cleaner air could net an additional 70 terawatt-hours of electricity each year -- about 1% of total projected electricity generation at that point. To put some dollar signs on these numbers, the researchers used the current feed-in tariff of $0.14 per kilowatt-hour and a projected drop to $0.09 per kilowatt-hour in 2030. In 2016, this would mean cleaner air would have brought $1.9 billion worth of electricity. In 2030, the extra 13% or so of solar potential could be worth over $6 billion per year.

https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/19/07/10/2314246/chinese-air-pollution-dimme...

* * *

This is another case where the full costs of fossil energy are externalized, skewing the numbers and distorting markets.  US skies are less polluted than China's, but they are polluted -- without a doubt the same thing is happening here to some extent.
  

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Re: coal pollution is lowering solar production in China...
Reply #1 - Jul 11th, 2019 at 12:30pm
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more on the hidden costs of coal:

Mercury: Coal plants are responsible for 42 percent of US mercury emissions, a toxic heavy metal that can damage the nervous, digestive, and immune systems, and is a serious threat to the child development. Just 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury deposited on a 25-acre lake can make the fish unsafe to eat. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Emissions Inventory, US coal power plants emitted 45,676  pounds of mercury in 2014 (the latest year data is available).

Sulfur dioxide (SO2): Produced when the sulfur in coal reacts with oxygen, SO2 combines with other molecules in the atmosphere to form small, acidic particulates that can penetrate human lungs. It’s linked with asthma, bronchitis, smog, and acid rain, which damages crops and other ecosystems, and acidifies lakes and streams. US coal power plants emitted more than 3.1 million tons of SO2 in 2014.

Nitrogen oxides (NOx): Nitrous oxides are visible as smog and irritate lung tissue, exacerbate asthma, and make people more susceptible to chronic respiratory diseases like pneumonia and influenza. In 2014, US coal power plants emitted more than 1.5 million tons.

Particulate matter: Better known as “soot,” this is the ashy grey substance in coal smoke, and is linked with chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, cardiovascular effects like heart attacks, and premature death. US coal power plants emitted 197,286 tons of small airborne particles (measured as 10 micrometers or less in diameter) in 2014..

Other harmful pollutants emitted in 2014 by the US coal power fleet include:

- 41.2 tons of lead, 9,332 pounds of cadmium, and other toxic heavy metals.
- 576,185 tons of carbon monoxide, which causes headaches and places additional stress on people with heart disease.
- 22,124 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOC), which form ozone.
- 77,108 pounds of arsenic. For scale, arsenic causes cancer in one out of 100 people who drink water containing 50 parts per billion.

https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/coal-and-other-fossil-fuels/coal-air-polluti...
  

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Re: coal pollution is lowering solar production in China...
Reply #2 - Jul 11th, 2019 at 12:32pm
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Solar is cool.... for an MP3 recharger.  Undecided
  

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Re: coal pollution is lowering solar production in China...
Reply #3 - Jul 11th, 2019 at 1:06pm
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14 terra-watt-hours would charge up more than some mp3 players...
  

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Re: coal pollution is lowering solar production in China...
Reply #4 - Jul 11th, 2019 at 5:30pm
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Coal will still have a place, for a long time too, but as a percentage of energy production, it can't drop fast enough. The "Clean Coal", fantasy coming from Appalachia is wishful thinking and little more than a vote getting measure. Most my neighbors still long for the good old days when getting a job right out of high school, at the plant or mine was the norm. I empathize and understand but the past gets better and better with the passage of time. They forget the strikes, the black lung disease and denial, the accidents and the shortened life span.

The conservative culture refuses to adapt to the new reality.

Head up the Ohio river just a bit and there's Pittsburgh, a former steel city powered by coal. The plants are mostly idle or gone, the mines empty or abandoned, yet the city is alive and prospering.

Acknowledge reality and adapt...resistance just drags out the economic pain and demands scapegoats.
  

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Re: coal pollution is lowering solar production in China...
Reply #5 - Jul 12th, 2019 at 12:11pm
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forgotten centrist wrote on Jul 11th, 2019 at 1:06pm:
14 terra-watt-hours would charge up more than some mp3 players...


But could it whip the Ruskies?
  

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Re: coal pollution is lowering solar production in China...
Reply #6 - Jul 12th, 2019 at 12:14pm
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Mojo-Jojo wrote on Jul 11th, 2019 at 5:30pm:
...

The conservative culture refuses to adapt to the new reality...


Your software is obsolete. Upgrade, now!
  

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