# Iceland, the powerhouse of the world?

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by ULTRA, Dec 6, 2011.

1. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

Messages:
7,829
Nope.
The point is that Geo generation on Iceland remains cheap while the cost of other forms goes up and so it's worth the cost to transport it long distances.
But the cost of transmission can't be an order of magnitude greater than it is today (your assertion) or it wouldn't be cost effective to do so.

So NO, I don't agree with you.

No, they are more expensive, maybe twice as expensive.
Not ten times as expensive.
That was the issue.

Yeah.
Not at all related to the issues of laying a cable.

All that means is you don't make the cable outer layer out of steel.
So since they weren't planning on doing so it's not an issue.

Actually no.
The technology changed.
But even still, 25 years is a far longer time than one needs to recoup your investment, and when you pull up the cable it is recyclable.

Last edited: Dec 14, 2011

3. ### quadraphonicsBloodthirsty BarbarianValued Senior Member

Messages:
9,391
Yeah, we just covered that.

Doesn't follow - first of all, it has not been established that such a project is cost-effective. There is nobody building, much less profitably operating, such a cable at present. So you can't draw any conclusions from the premise that it is cost-effective. Second of all, I see no reason why the cost differential between Icelandic geothermal and the relevant market competitors can't absorb a transmission cost on the order specified. You haven't presented any argument there - that's just bare assertion.

That quote doesn't say that the transmission costs are similar to land. It just says that the final output is competitive - which includes the lower cost of Icelandic geothermal energy compared to new coal and nuclear plants. Make that latter differential big enough, and you can absorb very high transmission costs and arrive at a competitive final price.

So you're just quibbling about the exact numbers?

I already gave you the exact numbers, and they were 10 times what you cited for land transmission. If you've got some numbers that say otherwise, now would be the time to present them. If you don't, now would be the time to stop talking out of your ass. You've done nothing but hand-wave and traffic in irrelevancies here. If you don't have actual data, then where is this surety in the exact number coming from? Some ironclad conviction that you just must be right any time I disagree with anything you say?

Then why did you bring it up?

So the upshot is that your statements about the Titanic's condition are false, and the Titanic wreck is irrelevant to the topic. Thanks for the derail.

And long-distance undersea power transmission technology - something that is still in initial development right now - will likewise change over the coming decades. So your whole sidetrack about how things can be securely left on the ocean floor for decades was another irrelevant derail, with no bearing on the transmission costs associated with such.

It's kind of amazing how much trouble you'll go to in order to avoid dealing directly with the issue, but continue arguing.

Or rather, it would have to be, in order to get anyone to invest in it. But you haven't actually established that such would happen, because you haven't accounted for what the size of the relevant investment is, nor what the maintenance costs are. And meanwhile, we don't actually have anybody investing in such.

How about you just go ahead and look up transmission costs for the longer submarine power cables already in operation, and we can use that as a baseline to infer from? Because your hand-waving is going nowhere fast.

5. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

Messages:
7,829
That's pretty much all I have been quibbling with.

And it clearly isn't 10 times more expensive or they wouldn't be going down the Hudson underwater and this statement wouldn't be true:
My figures showed that the cost of long distance transmission ranged from a low of .005 to as much as .02 per kWh.

Since clearly the cost goes up as the length goes up, then considering the length of this cable we would be comparing costs at the high end of spectrum, but if we even consider at a low cost of $.01 per kWh, X 10 = ~$.10 per kWh.

BUT

You can't both pay for the plant to extract the geothermal energy (costs a lot to build) and then add an additional 10c to the cost of a kWh of electricity just to get it to the UK and make it competitive with the cost of new generation (UK power company would still have to add it's overhead and distribution costs).

If you can't understand that from this data then I can't make it any simpler for you:

http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2009/05/12/levelized-cost-of-new-generating-technologies/

7. ### ULTRARealistically SurrealRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,555
I think a lot of the opposition here simply doesn't stand up. Undersea cabling is perfectly possible and once in place has proven to be very reliable. There is no risk to the environment from the plants that even compares to current heavy industry That i know of. The world needs a rapid and effective reduction in CO2 or the climate is f****d. Existing sites have been shown to be safe and efficient, especially incomparison to coal, gas and nuclear which all exact a heavy ecological burden on the environment.
If heat fields are managed correctly, there is no reason to suspect they will be permanently depleted or will cause any significant ecological problems.
The waste heat can be shifted off-world and substantially reduce energy input into the atmosphere by infra red and microwave emmission.
Clean, safe, reliable and economically viable with a low environmental impact. What more do people want?

Edit: Basically a typical plant consists of two boreholes, a steam turbine, a control unit, wire and atmospheric condensers. I don't see where the threat is - maybe someone could enlighten me?

Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
8. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

Messages:
7,829
There is no threat.
Where it makes sense to build, power companies will build it.
But the geothermal plants actually are quite expensive to build and operate (you get heat, but you still have to turn it into electricity), so even though the "fuel" is essentially free, the plant is not and the cost per kWh is comparable to many other generation sources (and higher than some of them)
But to send it long distances requires converting to DC and back, and that's damn expensive to do and there are also 3% losses per 1,000 km when you transmit it, so there are limits to how far you can economically send it.
There are also limits on how much energy one can get from one location per day because heat moves slowly through rock and so to get a lot of energy on a daily basis requires a lot of deep wells and piping spread out over a wide area.

Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
9. ### ULTRARealistically SurrealRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,555
Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
10. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

Messages:
7,829
You act like the engineers of the world don't know how to build Geothermal energy plants.

They do.

In 1999, geothermal energy in the US provided 14.3 million Megawatts hours (MWhr), enough electricity to service 1,400,000 average households.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_electricity

11. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

Messages:
10,890
The 'threats' are as I outlined in one of my previous posts.

Removing steam and heat from the system can impact other natural resources, which can have flow on adverse effects on a range of things such as the local economy, and private home owners.

12. ### GravageRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,241
Than how much energy US consumes?
However, it's impossible to get the energy from Yellowstone.