California Electrical Grid Sources

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by iplug, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    Fresh off the presses today, new 2015 California Electrical Grid Source data:

    Total Electricity System Power

    Highlights comparing 2015 to 2014:
    (note units are percent total system power)

    -coal mix continues to fall, now down to 6.0%
    -natural gas did not pick up the slack and is down almost 1/2 percent to 44.0%
    -nuclear inched up to 9.2% from 8.5% (curiously, not only out-of-state sources were up but some how more power was drawn from the same in-state reactors [?less maintenance down time?])
    -renewables continue to climb, up 1.6 percent to now 21.9%
    -virtually all of this came from solar which added 1.7% from last year to this year's amazing 6.0% of the entire system power
     
  2. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    Time for the annual update on the California Electrical grid.

    Another great year for California continuing to lead in greening their grid.

    2016 California Electrical Grid Source data:

    Total System Electric Generation

    Highlights comparing 2016 to 2015:
    (note units are percent total system power)

    -coal mix continues to fall robustly each year, now down to 4.13% (almost all imported)
    -natural gas use decreased and is down for 2 consecutive years, in the last year alone tumbling from 44.0% to 36.48%
    -nuclear remains stable at about 9.2%
    -large hydro followed by non-large hydro renewables are making up the difference
    -non-large hydro renewables are continuing to climb rapidly, even escalating, up 3.55% percent to now 25.45%
    -most of the increase in renewables came from solar and wind which added 2.97% from the previous year
    -wind accounts for 9.06%, soon to be overtaken by solar which now accounts for 8.11% of the entire system power (doesn't include home solar as only units generating 1MW or greater are counted)
    -California’s non CO2 emitting electric generation categories (nuclear, large hydroelectric, and renewable generation) accounted for 50 percent of total in-state generation for 2016, compared to 40 percent in 2015
     
    #2 iplug, Jul 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    nice, the envy of the nation.(y)
     
  4. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    That depends. Compared to Seattle City Light, that is a much better renewable fraction, but a much worse carbon fraction:
    Seattle City Light | Fuel Mix

    Seattle's non CO2 emitting electric generation exceeds 98%. (There is some bookkeeping sleight of hand here. As the oldest public utility in the region, Seattle can push off the regional carbon power onto others lower on the totem pole, namely the private utilities, and take first pick of the most politically palatable clean stuff.)

    I'd think that they could review the net metering and incentive programs to figure out the home solar portion. But Seattle's fuel mix declarations also exclude this.
     
    #4 fuzzy1, Jul 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  5. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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  6. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    We do have figures from last year -
    Total System Electric Generation
    10.2% hydro (18% of that imported)
    25.5% renewable (25% imported)

    From your link
    There is some really poor accounting here. I agree with the governor, that trading on the grid is a good thing, it helps put renewable money where it is most efficient. But california imported 32% of its power in 2016, up from 25% in 2010. Other states on the grid are often simply accounting for more fossil in state so they can sell california the renewables. Not building enough cycling resources in state means rate payers pay more, and generation is less efficient as it is going through a larger grid. This has contributed to California rate payers paying the 6th highest rates in the country. Hawaii and Alaska are easy, they are remote, so energy costs more. Connetocut, Massachussets, and New Hampshire, have high costs because they have in the past regulated against natural gas, so pay much higher prices for the feedstock, something that they are reversing. Its not the renewables that are causing the high prices in california, as texas has built more renewables in the last decade and these are much less expensive than california power. Its underinvestment in the grid, and regulations that favor inefficient utility decisions and under investment.

    Pushing policies that increase the price of electricity is all well and good if you are trying to decrease consumption, but poor if you want to increase consumption for things like plug-in vehicle and reduce oil consumption. There are some easy reforms, but politically the push for 100% renewable, means that california will not invest in more efficient in state fossil generation, and instead will import this power so that it can look like its more virtuous.

    I believe California has now successfully fallen to 5th behind new mexico and alaska. I am not sure how in the world it is a bad thing that california produces much of its own oil instead of importing it. Its low carbon standard on fuel means that it is importing oil from foreign countries. I guess the high regulatory costs of this plan do reduce consumption, but california consumes far more petroleum products than the oil it produces. The problem is consumption and regulation, not production. I have no idea why having a natural resource would lead to california's destruction. Someone should ask the governor.
     
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  7. William Redoubt

    William Redoubt Senior Member

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    It's all accounting. An electron provided to the grid at Washington's Grand Coulee Dam (large hydro) cannot be sorted from the electrons provided by a coal plant in Utah. Therefore, every customer gets electrons from so called "dirty" and "clean" sources. It's just like the farmer who puts his grain in the local grain elevator. It gets mixed with the grain already in the silo. On paper, the amount of the "deposit" is recorded. When a customer buys from the farmer, whatever seeds are at the delivery point in the silo are given to the customer and the paper record is updated. If you are "off-grid" with your own Mr. Fusion, windmill or solar panels, you use your own electrons.
     
  8. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    Time for the annual update on the California Electrical Grid.

    Another great year for California, continuing to lead in grid greening (rain helped out last year too)

    2017 California Electrical Grid Source data:

    Total System Electric Generation

    Highlights comparing 2017 to 2016:
    (note units are percent total system power)

    -coal mix unchanged at 4.13% (vast majority remains imported)
    -natural gas use decreased and is down for 3 consecutive years, now 33.67% of the power mix
    -nuclear remains nearly stable, down a tenth of a percent to 9.1%
    -large hydro increased from 10.2% to 14.7% of the mix due to drought breaking rainfall
    -non-large hydro renewables grew almost as fast and renewables continue to climb rapidly, with another year over year 3.55% power mix gain to the current 29.00%
    -wind continues to grow, but at an ever slowing rate, now 9.4%, up from 9.06%
    -solar outpaced wind for the first time now at 10.2% (8.11% last year)
    -small hydro grew temporarily with large hydro, again with record rainfall that winter/spring
    -still, the impact of solar is underestimated as “behind the meter” home solar is not measured as only units generating 1MW or greater are counted
    -California total system electric generation was up 0.5 percent from 2016 and the first factor sited was growth in the number of light duty electric vehicles registered in the state
    -California’s non CO2 emitting electric generation categories (nuclear, large hydroelectric, and renewable generation) accounted for more than 56 percent of total in-state generation for 2017, compared to 50 percent in 2016 (and 40% in 2015)
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    shame they don't count residential solar, that number would be interesting.
     
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  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I know one household that increased that metric, if counted (y).
     
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  11. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    Indeed.

    Seems like a solvable problem: Residential solar net meter data is captured by utilities, but that doesn’t tell them how much is actually being generated on premises.

    The solar installers usually capture this data and track it for the life of the system. I’m not aware of them being obligated to report that data to the utility or State, so that might be why it is not tracked in this annual report.
     
  12. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    PG&E tracks our usage or “transfers back to the grid” and does a true-up after 12 months. For the last billing period, pg&e recorded 373 kWh being sent back to the grid from our array:).
     
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  13. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    Congrats!

    Yes, but that is your net consumption/production. (Also a PG&E customer here)

    But PG&E doesn’t actually know how much gross generation your solar system produces. You and your installer, however, probably do. That is the data the State needs.
     
  14. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Someone should be able to get a guesstimate but its better from the tax data, since these installs all get registered for federal tax subsidies, the federal government should be able to compile the number of kw installed in each state without giving away any private information. Until recently its been a tiny proportion, but it has grown with low cost solar in the south west (California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico) and yes the western grid operator better know approximately what is going on to manage for different demands.



    We have a non sustainable trend. Nuclear is going to drop to 0 when they properly close the 2 nuclear generators in diablo canyon in 2024 and 2025. Coal will also drop to next to nothing by 2025.
    Regulators vote to shut down Diablo Canyon, California's last nuclear power plant

    Hydro is going to drop again. These rains and imports will not continue.

    The greatest possibility to reduce CO2 in california in the next 7 years (2025) is more wind, local not utility solar, grid improvements, and building some more ccgt natural gas plants which will reduce imported natural gas and less efficient old steam plants.
     
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  15. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Im pretty sure if they did an energy balance they could figure it out;).

    They do come out to perform an “inspection” prior to allowing the system to be turned on. So they are aware of what we have and what it is capable of. There’s just no reason for them to invest any of their energy at this point to know.

    The only wild cards are any devices that are not attached to the grid (like a plug-in vehicles) and take their energy elsewhere. Otherwise a 24 hour snapshot should equal out as I do not have a power wall or other capacity storage, so everything is fed backwards through the meter or the meter spins the correct way when the sun isn’t out. Most customers fall into this transmission category.
     
  16. Starship16

    Starship16 Senior Member

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    :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

    I'll bet you a large pizza that California will raise the electric rates again.
    People conserved water, and the rates went up.
    Hybrid drivers use less gas, so we get hit with a registration fee increase and a new gas tax.

    They keep telling us to conserve electricity. Decrease use. Avoid rolling blackouts in summer. If my power goes off when it's 105 degrees, I'm going to blame Elon Musk! And all you Prime guys that are plugged in. :LOL:
     
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  17. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Get some solar panels and avoid the next price increase from the PUC’s(y).
     
  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    is it higher than 24 cents per kWh?;)
     
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  19. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    Although the California Energy Commission uses the term California "Power" Mix, none of their data is in power (kW/GW), but rather in energy (GWh). So installed (max theoretical) solar panel power (GW) could be determined but then there would have to be a decent amount of guesstimation on actual production power, then a lot more estimation on production energy. But to get to the chart, they need accurate energy numbers, so that may be the problem.

    True for in State generation, although California is currently importing about 2/3 its nuclear energy. Wonder if they will simply import more in the future and "off shore" it.


    Unfortunately (if one is a data junky primarily) or fortunately (if privacy is a big concern) they can't measure the total energy produced by your panels. That would be the data needed to make it into the California Energy Commission table. They can know the rated power of your panels when installed, but actual power production and then actual energy production is not measured by them and can only be poorly guessed.

    If you have a 5kW system, for example, they can guess based on weather and system degradation what you annual power output is. Some things they would have to guess poorly on such as evolving shading and if the panels are cleaned. Not sure they know azimuth or tilt either. Estimates could easily be off 25%+.

    Even so, they need energy output, not power. They could guess at this too, but they need precise figures. Your panels energy generation can not be read off a meter. Unless you send all of your electricity to the grid and use none yourself, there is no way for them to accurately tell.
     
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  20. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Depends on what tier level your in, but some tiers are north of that and in the rise:cool:.
     
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