View Full Version : Renewables Bugs? (w/ proposed fixes)

04-05-2011, 02:34 PM
So, this game is amazing. I am thoroughly thoroughly addicted. However, I'm confused by renewables. They seem to expand at weird rates, and cap well below their listed capacity. Together, this makes them pretty much useless. I used to think this was part of the design that I just wasn't understanding (like so much else), but poking around policies.lua makes me think there are a couple of bugs at play.

First, the "Expand" and "Commit" cards for everything but renewables increase that energy's share in a region by 10% / turn. A big even number. But "Commit to Renewables" increases the overall share at 1.65%, 5.01%, and 9.4% / turn (by tech level).

Now I know it is supposed to be slower, but the different renewables don't even expand at the same rate. Solar expands at the same speed as tidal and wind, until the 3rd tech level where it was 2.5 times as fast, except on the first turn where it is the same as the other two. Hydroelectric and Geothermal expand at 1/10 the rate of others. And why the weird total growth rate?

My theory is that there is an extra 0 in hydroelectric and geothermal's energy_mix growth rates, (.05% instead of .5%, and so on) and solar is set incorrectly in the expansion card (10671) but correctly in the starting card (10672). If you fix these values you get an overall growth of 3%, 6%, and 10%. Even, round, and logical. It also makes renewables expand at an even rate, and keeps you from wasting $50bn growing geothermal by 0.05% when the rest are at capacity.

Speaking of capacity, is there a reason it is capped at 70%? The cards' descriptions explicitly state "Continue to increase frac until generated_over_capacity=1," but the file sets the cutoff at capacity=0.7 (except geothermal, where the final capacity card (tech level 3) is set to 0.95). Seems to, again, hold them back and make everything more confusing.

So am I misinterpreting the model, or are these actual issues? If they are actual problems, could they hopefully get fixed in the coming patch?

And is there anything in heaven or earth that can make North America use some of that sweet, sweet biomass it has sitting around?

04-06-2011, 08:07 AM
If you haven't yet take a look at the thread I started called "What's the deal with renewables?" Someone sums up how they work rather well.

The renewable cards in there have a few bugs that I identified. One of the energy is missing it's tech 2 to tech 3 advance because it was programmed to look and set a different energy instead. Hydroelectric is missing the entire third tier of tech (the only renewable that is), and I believe geothermal_tech_3 wasn't even set anywhere.

Most of this I cleaned up for myself in the process of trying to get a handle on how renewable energy functions. I did find that if I upped all the values of the renewable energy to 10%/20%/30% that there was a significant jump in the speed and usage of renewable energy. My numbers, of course, were far too high but I think a little tweaking could help sort them out.

As for the capacity<=0.7 I have no clue what it's actually doing. I've capped my renewable usage for a region before so I don't know if it's really limiting it or not. You probably noticed in the files that some of the techs reset each tier to 0.15 while other techs/tiers set it to 1. Again, not sure what it's doing.

04-07-2011, 01:31 AM
Is geothermal power even renewable? As far as I'm aware, unless your power plant is sited on a volcano (where the heat is renewed through connection with the mantle) or similar structure you eventually can exhaust the aberrant heat sources that initially make geothermal worthwhile. Some of the oldest geothermal power plants have shut down because of this.

04-07-2011, 02:57 AM
Small scale geothermal is actually stuff like digging a bunch of water pipes a few metres down in your garden and letting the residual heat in the ground heat your shower. It doesn't have to be hot springs and lava.

04-07-2011, 02:58 AM
If there's no volcanism in your region, even those uses will eventually use up the residual heat.

04-07-2011, 04:50 AM
Where I live we use geothermal to cool stuff down.

04-10-2011, 02:30 PM
Where I live we use geothermal to cool stuff down.

You are not using "geothermal", but rather "ground source". Geothermal is free due to volcanic activity. "Ground source" requires electricity to extract cooling or heating, albeit more efficiently then your conventional air-con or heater...