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posted by martyb on Saturday March 20 2021, @07:16PM   Printer-friendly

Over-valued fossil fuel assets creating trillion-dollar bubble about to burst:

A major new report has warned that conventional energy assets including coal, gas, nuclear and hydro power plants have been consistently and "severely" over-valued, creating a massive bubble that could exceed $US1 trillion by 2030.

The report is the latest from Rethinx, an independent think-tank that was co-founded by Stanford University futurist Tony Seba, who is regarded as one of few global analysts to correctly forecast the plunging cost of solar over the last decade.

According to the new report, co-authored by Rethinx research fellow Adam Dorr, analysts and the broader market are still getting energy valuation badly wrong, not just on the falling costs of solar, wind and batteries, or "SWB," but on the true value, or levelised cost of energy, of conventional energy assets.

"Since 2010, conventional LCOE[*] analyses have consistently overestimated future cash flows from coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro power assets by ignoring the impacts of SWB disruption and assuming a high and constant capacity factor," the report says.

Where the analysts are going wrong, according to Seba and co, is in their assumptions that conventional energy plants will be able to successfully sell the same quantity of electricity each year from today through to 2040 and beyond.

[...] This assumption, says the report, has been false for at least 10 years. Rather, the productivity of conventional power plants will continue to decrease as competitive pressure from near-zero marginal cost solar PV, onshore wind, and battery storage continue to grow exponentially worldwide.

"Mainstream LCOE analyses thus artificially understate the cost of electricity of prospective coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro power plants based on false assumptions about their potential to continue selling a fixed and high percentage of their electricity output in the decades ahead," the report says.

[...] "In doing so, they have inflated the value of those cash flows and reported far lower LCOE than is actually justified ... and helped create a bubble in conventional energy assets worldwide that could exceed $1 trillion by 2030."

[*] LCOE: Levelized Cost Of Energy.


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  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday March 21 2021, @03:20PM (4 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 21 2021, @03:20PM (#1127129) Journal

    Thermal runaway will kill them, but otherwise a pretty solid chemistry.

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  • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Sunday March 21 2021, @04:38PM (3 children)

    by deimtee (3272) on Sunday March 21 2021, @04:38PM (#1127159) Journal

    Easy to avoid with a properly set up system. If you are using a grid charger just go constant current, and if you are charging from solar or domestic windmill, put enough batteries in parallel that they can't supply enough current to damage them. I think you can also resurrect them from thermal runaway unless they get hot enough to actually melt something. Simply losing all the electrolyte as H2 gas won't permanently kill them.

    --
    No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday March 21 2021, @10:47PM (2 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 21 2021, @10:47PM (#1127250) Journal

      Easy to avoid with a properly set up system.

      Not when the ambient temperature goes 40C+. It rarely does, but it all it takes is once.
      And no, I'm not giving up habitable space. The problem is of course still solvable, but it's no longer "easy to void".

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday March 22 2021, @07:22AM (1 child)

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday March 22 2021, @07:22AM (#1127387) Journal

        Not when the ambient temperature goes 40C+. It rarely does, but it all it takes is once.

        What if you just put it underground?

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday March 22 2021, @09:01AM

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 22 2021, @09:01AM (#1127394) Journal

          What if you just put it underground?

          The problem is solvable, just not trivially easy.
          E.g. underground, waterproof, breathable, still easy to access to fill in extra water from time to time.
          Size may start to matter too, just a fancy hole is something (scale horizontally for accessibility), a "basement" build on purpose is something else (as also something else is a wine cellar)

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0