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Energy and Society (ER100/PP184/ER200/PP284) Fall 2013 Topics: PV, Wind, environmental justice Problem Set #6 Due Nov.

21, in class, or before 5pm outside 310 Total Points: 102 [ER100/PP184], 113 [ER200/PP284] Barrows 1. Comparing PV costs across the US [24 points] In this question we are going to compare the costs of generating electricity using solar energy in different parts of the United States. a. Let us consider a simple 10m2 rooftop installation of crystalline-silicon (c-Si) PV modules. Now remember that PV modules are rated to receive 1.000 kW/m2 of solar radiation. Assuming peak solar irradiation of 1.00 kW/m2, what would the peak output of this system be (in kW) if the modules are 20.% efficient? [2 points] b. Compute the annualized cost for this type of PV module (in $/year), assuming for simplicity that operating costs can be ignored. Assume a 7.0% discount rate and 25 year lifetime. [3 points]

Initial Cost Module Cost Permitting and Inspection Cost Installation Labor Cost

Unit ($/Watt-peak) ($/Watt-peak) ($/Watt-peak)

Value ($USD) 2.00 0.15 1.00

c. Now, let us consider how much electricity our PV system will actually be able to generate in different cities based on variation in insolation levels. Calculate the annual electricity generated by our PV system in San Francisco, CA; New York City, NY; Detroit, MI; and Flagstaff, AZ. [4 points]

City Average Insolation (kWh/m2-year)

San Francisco 2,450

New York City 1,631

Detroit 1,478

Flagstaff 3,184

d. Now that we know the annualized costs and the annual electricity that can be generated by these systems, calculate the levelized cost of PV electricity in $/kWh for each city. [4 points]

e. Next, compare your results above to the average residential electricity rates in each of these cities. i. In which cities is electricity from PV equal to or cheaper than retail rates? [2 points] ii. [ER200/PP286 only] Relative to using average utility rates, how could time-of-use (TOU) and tiered pricing regimes change the economic analysis of PV? [3 points]

City Avg Residential Rate (/kWh)

San Francisco 16.5

New York City 19.2

Detroit 10.30

Flagstaff 12.3

f. Calculate the simple payback period for your solar system in San Francisco. Assume that your household consumes 12,000kWh/year. [4 points]

g. How might our results for the levelized cost of PV electricity differ if we were considering utility-scale installations instead of residential-scale rooftop installations? List and explain three other factors we would have to consider AND discuss three limitations to the model that we devised for calculating the levelized cost of electricity. [5 points]


Energy and Society (ER100/PP184/ER200/PP284) Fall 2013 Topics: PV, Wind, environmental justice Problem Set #6 Due Nov. 21, in class, or before 5pm outside 310 Total Points: 102 [ER100/PP184], 113 [ER200/PP284] Barrows 2. Wind Power Analysis [18 points grad, 10 points undergrad] In this problem, you will perform a few calculations that will help you understand and evaluate the performance of a small wind farm in Texas. Here is a wind speed frequency distribution at 80m (the hub height) for an average day on our wind farm. Assume the density of air is 1.255kg/m3 at 15oC and 1.0 atm.

Wind Speed (m/s) 0.0 2.9 3.0 5.9 6.0 9.9 10.0 13.9 14.0 18.0

Frequency (%) 10. 30. 40. 15. 5.0

Cumulative Frequency (%) 10 40 80 95 100

a. Calculate the total energy available per square meter of swept area over 24 hours (kWh/m2). What is the average power in the wind per square meter at our wind farm location (kW/m2)? Use the middle value of each wind speed class to determine the power in the wind of that class. [4 points] b. The wind farm is comprised of ten 3-MW Vestas Turbines with 90m rotor diameter. What is the average power output of our wind farm (MW)? What is the total electricity output of the wind farm per day (kWh/day)? As a grave simplification, assume that our turbines have an average conversion efficiency of 35.% [4 points] c. Lets dissect the data a little. The wind at our location blows at less than 6.0 m/s for 40% of the day. What percentage of total electricity production do we get during these hours (when the wind is blowing at less than 6.0 m/s)? What percentage of electricity production do we get during the hours that wind speed is equal to or greater than 14.0 m/s? [2 points] Parts d-f for GRADUATE STUDENTS (PP284/ER200) ONLY d. If we had used the weighted average wind speed of 10. m/s to calculate the average power per square meter on our wind farm in part (a) what would the answer have been? What percentage of the actual average power (your answer to part (b)) does this represent? [2 points] e. In two to three sentences explain what this exercise tells you about the relationship between wind speed and power. [3 points] f. Now assume that this wind speed frequency distribution can also apply to an entire year at our location. What is the capacity factor of the wind farm? [3 points]

3. Utility-scale Renewable Energy Technologies [30 points] The California renewable portfolio standard (RPS) calls for the renewable fraction of retail electricity sold in CA to increase by 1.0 percentage point per year until it reaches 33% by 2020. In 2011, the state used 272,645 GWh of electricity, roughly 10.0% of which came from renewable sources. For details on the states RPS see Note that the California RPS mandates minimum amount of renewable energy to be sold, not a minimum amount of renewable energy capacity installed. a. To begin, lets try to figure out how much renewables capacity the state RPS might require if load growth through 2020 increases at a rate of 0.8%/year. Assume that the average capacity


Energy and Society (ER100/PP184/ER200/PP284) Fall 2013 Topics: PV, Wind, environmental justice Problem Set #6 Due Nov. 21, in class, or before 5pm outside 310 Total Points: 102 [ER100/PP184], 113 [ER200/PP284] Barrows factor for wind is 0.40 and for solar is 0.20, and that half of new renewables GWh come from wind and half come from solar PV. What is the total amount of additional wind and solar energy capacity (in GW) that would need to be installed to meet the 33% RPS in 2020. [10 points] b. How much total land area (in km2) would be required to satisfy this installed capacity using equal quantities of each of the following technologies (i.e., half of the new renewable energy comes from each source)? Start with the assumptions given below and state clearly any additional assumptions you make. [20 points: 10 for each estimate] Wind: Turbine rotor diameters are 70. meters, their hub height is 60. meters, and they are 45.% efficient in converting the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity at 10.0 m/s. The turbines are placed in rows, with a spacing of 5-rotor-diameters between turbines within each row and 8-rotor diameters between rows. (Assume that all turbines require the same physical footprint even if they are at the edge of the wind farm.) Assume a turbines rating is based on a wind speed of 10.0 m/s, and air density is 1.2 kg/m3. Solar PV: Assume the rate of solar insolation is 5 kWh/m2/day, and that PV panels convert sunlight to electricity with an efficiency of 12.0%. c. A feed-in-tariff (FIT), like an RPS, is a widely adopted policy to promote renewable energy. As of last year, FIT policies have been enacted in over 70 countries, according to Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Centurys Renewables Global Status Report 2013. In one paragraph, describe the features of a FIT and explain one advantage and one disadvantage of using a FIT rather than an RPS to promote renewable energy. (Of course, FIT and RPS are not mutually exclusive policies.) [5 points]

4. Environmental Justice [28 points] In this question we will review some of the information on toxics releases that is available to the public. Go to the EPAs Toxics Release Inventory website ( ) and read about the program via the Learn About link. Then go to the TRI Explorer program ( ), which provides access to the TRI database. Answer the following questions: a. Who were the three heaviest toxic polluters in Contra Costa County (long been sites for heavy industry) in 2012? How many of the top-20 polluters are energy-related? Hint: Click on the Facility tab on the top of the TRI Explorer page, and complete the relevant information. After you generate the report, sort the list of companies by Total On-Site and Off-Site Disposal or Other Releases by clicking on the appropriate triangle. [4 points] b. Examine the data provided for the top energy-related polluter, and perhaps visit their website, to get more information about them: i. In a sentence, what does this company do and how does it relate to energy production? [1 point] ii. List the top three pollutants being emitted by this facility, by weight, into the air and into water. Click on the compound and scroll to Stack or Point Air Emissions and Discharges to Receiving Streams or Water Bodies. Which other pollutants on the list concern you and why, even though the magnitude of their emissions is not as great? [4 points]


Energy and Society (ER100/PP184/ER200/PP284) Fall 2013 Topics: PV, Wind, environmental justice Problem Set #6 Due Nov. 21, in class, or before 5pm outside 310 Total Points: 102 [ER100/PP184], 113 [ER200/PP284] Barrows iii. Have the companys emissions gotten better or worse over time? (You can answer this question in words and/or graphically.) How would you explain the trend in emissions over time, if any? To answer this question click on the company name and scroll down to TRI Facility Trend Graphs or you may want to visit Scorecard (, which provides the historical data for these companies in a format that is easier to analyze. [4 points] c. Go to the Scorecard website ( and view the Environmental Justice report for Contra Costa County. Enter zip code 94801. Then scroll down and select Environmental Justice Report for Contra Costa County. Then select, Distribution of Environmental Burdens. i. For each bar graph showing the demographic allotment of pollution, a ratio is given. What is this ratio? What is the meaning of a value greater than one? [2 points] ii. Describe the trends you see, if any. In general, does it look as though low income and minority residents are being disproportionately impacted by pollution in Contra Costa County? Do any of the demographic or pollution categories show particularly large inequity? Do any show a counterintuitive trend? Discuss in one or two brief paragraphs. [6 points] iii. Are these data misleading or oversimplified in any way? conclusions above? [2 points] If so, how might that affect your

5. Policy Memo (continued) [10 points] Continuing from our last problem set, develop two pieces of evidence you could use to support the policy recommendation youll be making in your memo. (Your topic for this exercise need not be the same as you gave in your memo bumper sticker on Problem Set 5.) Your evidence might consist of publically available data, a graph, a chart, or your own calculation. For instance, if you were advocating incentives for increasing distributed combined heat and power in California, find out/calculate how much energy is currently used for heating commercial buildings in a major city like San Francisco. With each piece of evidence, provide a 1-2 sentence description of how the information could be used to make your case. Be sure to include citations for your evidence.