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Pitch

AC power transmission is HUGELY inefficient and should be replaced by HVDC; Direct Current! HVDC is at some 100 times more efficiënt!


Description

Summary

Roughly 50 to 75% of all generated electricity is lost in transmission by AC powerlines.

For mode of transmission AC is HUGELY inefficient and should be replaced by HVDC; Direct Current!

Loss in HVDC is roughly 0,5% so at least 100 times more efficiënt!

(There's gaines in the powerplants as well: no more need to convert into AC power first!)


Category of the action

Reducing emissions from electric power sector.


What actions do you propose?

No new HVAC powerlines any more, just HVDC.

Start replacing the existing HVAC powerlines by HVDC, the longest first, as most energy is lost there.

Consider that HVAC - suspended - is FAR more vulnerable to the ravages of our worsening climate than HVDC! (Wind, Ice, etc)

Any new (fields of) windmills - especially at sea - should be connected to the grid via HVDC

In certain locations - the North Sea f.i. - a HVDC "grid" should be installed so new Windmills can simply be "plugged in", making it a more simple and attractive option to build.


Who will take these actions?

Governments, Power Companies, possibly Investment Funds (?)

Maybe we need "P-Bills" next to the existing "T-Bills": a low but steady ROI is attractive.


Where will these actions be taken?

Could be throughout the Industrialized Countries and emerging economies as well.

China and India seem like PRIME places as they are constructing new PP at a feverish pace and most are Coal-Fired


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

Where existing HVAC is replaced at best some 99% versus BAU. When Coal-fired PP are involved this will be a major improvement. Even if saving "only" 50% we're talking big numbers. @ 90% capacity, 40% efficiency and 0,8 kg CO2 per KWh that's 6300 TON CO2 per 1MW installed capacity.

Potentially 1 PP connected via HVDC thus could replace 50 or more, saving > 0.3 GTon (300 million) of CO2 On a worldwide scale there's 


What are other key benefits?

By improving efficiëncy we can stop building new PP especially the Coal-fired or Nuclear varieties!

It will enable the use of "low-carbon" powergeneration for a longer time at present supply levels, giving us potentially some extra time to transform our society

It IS existing technology, ready for implementation!


What are the proposal’s costs?

Honestly? Havn't a clue, but it IS existing technology, ready for implementation!

Connect the base-load PP via HVDC grid; result = there will be overproduction and no more need for NEW PP construction, so the Billions of $ earmarked for Coal- & Nuclear PP can and should be diverted into HVDC roll-out.


Time line

For New transmission lines: immediate

The rest depends on production capacity & price: at the moment the "break-even" point for a HVDC line is, what, 50 miles or so..? That will improve of course as the prices come down.


Related proposals

Most notably: a HVDC grid between Africa & Europe, to connect Solar Power, generated in the Sahara, to the power hungry Europeans


References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current

http://www.desertec.org/

http://www.abb.com/industries/ap/db0003db004333/a34c41e0fe23b18cc125774a0033abbe.aspx