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Renewables TCASE

TCASE 7: Scaling up Andasol 1 to baseload

Andasol 1 is Europe’s first parabolic trough solar thermal power station, which went online in Nov 2008. It is located on a high desert site in Granada, Spain, which enjoys a high level of direct insolation – an average of 2,136 kWh / m2 / year. The mirror field — turbine infrastructure can yield a […]

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Nuclear Renewables TCASE

TCASE 6: Cooling water and thermal power plants

Heat engines require cooling, to turn heat energy into mechanical energy (and then, via a turbine-connected generator, to electrical energy). This is an unavoidable physical principle, and is typically exploited via the Carnot cycle. Usually, this cooling requirement uses water. Why do I raise this point? Because it seems to be a source of much confusion (innocent […]

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Renewables TCASE

TCASE 5: Ocean power I – Pelamis

The first four posts of the TCASE series were logically sequential — each post built on the conclusions of the previous one. Overall, I hope the TCASE will retain a sense of coherency, but at the same time, I don’t want to get too constrained in following a rigid structure. To be frank, I can’t […]

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Nuclear Renewables TCASE

TCASE 4: Energy system build rates and material inputs

In TCASE 3 – The energy demand equation to 2050, I concluded the following: The world in 2050 will demand ~700 EJ of thermal energy, or roughly 300 EJ of electrical energy. This will require ~10,000 GWe (10 TWe) of generating capacity, which is a 5-fold increase in electricity generating capacity, or 680 MWe, every […]

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Nuclear Renewables TCASE

TCASE 3: The energy demand equation to 2050

Updated 13/10/2009, based on post comments. Bottom line: 2050 power demand will be ~10 TWe of electrical generating power — a 5-fold increase on today’s levels, requiring the construction of ~680 MWe per day from 2010 to 2050. Before we look in detail at the various low-carbon energy technologies that may provide the means to […]