Without gas, wind generation would not be feasible

Toronto Star

The chair of the so-called Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) supports the proposal for the combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Scarborough, which will burn non-renewable and GHG-emitting natural gas. The Ontario grid already has far too much inflexible base load like CHP.  The OCAA also supports wind and solar generation knowing that in reality it is the flexible gas-fired generating stations that are keeping the lights on and not the meager and intermittent supply from the wind generators.

Without gas, wind generation would not be feasible. The OCAA would like to see all our coal and nuclear stations (nuclear provides over 50 per cent of our needs) shut down and be replaced by gas. Such a move would be a disaster for Ontario.

Donald Jones, Retired nuclear industry engineer, Mississauga

4 thoughts on “Without gas, wind generation would not be feasible

  1. Warning to the OPA:
    Clue word: disaster
    Without gas, wind generation would not be feasible. The OCAA would like to see all our coal and nuclear stations (nuclear provides over 50 per cent of our needs) shut down and be replaced by gas. Such a move would be a disaster for Ontario.[excerpt from article]

    ……….OPA – obviously knows this!
    But, moves forward – and nobody can stop them [emphasis added] -?-

    Get Rid of the OPA!

    • Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) supports ‘gas’ – Why? I’m glad you asked,
      – gas companies support OCAA –
      cheque is in the mail!

      Love affair –
      And, it’s no secret!

    • Well – that’s a loaded opinion –
      especially –
      when all the evidence points in the other direction.

  2. I have heard from some people that “Battery Technology” could provide storage and “make renewables work”. It would eliminate the need for gas backup — or so goes the argument…

    Perhaps anyone of that mind could consider the following article…
    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8237

    How do we put this into more familiar terms? A 12 V battery rated at 200 A-h (amp-hours) of charge capacity stores 2400 W-h (watt-hours: just multiply voltage and charge capacity), or 2.4 kWh. 200 A-h means that the battery could discharge a 10 amp current (120 watts) for 20 hours, or a one amp current (12 watts) for 200 hours—though in actual practice the capacity is lower at higher currents.

    I can’t resist the temptation to ask: what is the minimum amount of lead that is theoretically needed to build the battery? The chemical reaction for a lead-acid battery is such that each interaction involving the transformation of one lead atom to PbSO4 liberates one electron at a 2.1-volt potential. This electron then is bestowed 2.1 electron-volts (eV) of energy, amounting to 3.4×10−19 J (see page on energy relations). One kilowatt-hour is 3.6 million Joules (1000 W times 3600 seconds), so that it takes 1025 lead atoms (where every one participates). If you remember that Avogadro’s number is 6×1023, we need about 20 moles of lead atoms. At 207 g/mol, this comes out to about 4 kg per kWh of energy, which is a factor of four less than the realized value above. Real implementations always fall short of theoretical ideals, so this isn’t new. We would do well to push for future improvements on this score, although we should bear in mind that lead-acid has had 150 years of development before we get carried away by dreams of perfection.
    The National Battery

    Putting the pieces together, our national battery occupies a volume of 4.4 billion cubic meters, equivalent to a cube 1.6 km (one mile) on a side. The size in itself is not a problem: we’d naturally break up the battery and distribute it around the country. This battery would demand 5 trillion kg (5 billion tons) of lead.

    This was for the USA — but the calculations can be scaled for Ontario…. or Canada… we should only need about a tenth of that…

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