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Is Bigger Best in Renewable Energy?

 John Farrell
Description: For nearly a century, it’s been considered conventional wisdom that larger-scale power generation means lower-cost electricity. This wisdom is built on two basic theories of economies of scale. First, there’s the simple fact that larger volume components of power plants provide more usable space than the related the material costs. This simple illustration explains. The box on the left has a volume of 1x1x1 = 1 cubic foot. To assemble the box, you need 6 square pieces of material, each with an area of 1, for a total of 6 square feet. The box on the right has a volume of 2x2x2 = 8 cubic feet. The larger box can be assembled of 6 square pieces, each with an area of 2x2 = 4 square feet, for a total of 24 square feet. We’ve increase the volume of our container 8-fold, with only a 4-fold increase in material costs.
Views: 2869
Domain: Energy
Category: Wind/Water/Geo
Is Bigger Best in Renewable Energy?
Conventional wisdom suggests the biggest wind and solar power
plants will be cheapest, but where they deliver power, and who will
own them, matters more.
John Farrell
September 2016

Institute for Local Self-Reliance, September 2016

Introduction: the Savings of Size?
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