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Energy Rant

This is a satirical and at times humorous but critical commentary on energy efficiency issues of the day.

“Keep up the good work! I like the variety of topics; never boring. It's like a Box of Energy Chocolates.... you never know what you're gonna get!”

Mike MernickSenior Vice President, ICF
Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Leveling the Skateboard Curve with a Demand Side Attack

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NERC sounds alarm on solar tripping in sobering summer reliability report, May 19, 2022, UtilityDive.com. This seems like a timely sequel to last week’s Blistering Wind and Solar Energy post, in which I summarized the results of a renewables integration study performed by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator. The blisters represent pockets of excessive renewable energy generation and the “very different reliability risks than are experienced today,” as described in the MISO report. Electronics provide voltage and frequency control from solar panel generation. When the solar tiger grows from a cub that we had a few years ago into the...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Blistering Wind and Solar Energy

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Grid reliability issues are upon us, and they will become more severe and disruptive in the next 10-20 years. But first, why is this happening? If governments mandated things in medicine[1] as they do with the grid, they would declare that chemotherapy will phase out by 2030 and cancer will be cured by 2035. Period. Because they said so. Meantime, we will have to deal with the deleterious effects of forced fantasies, so let’s get to work on that. The transition to high penetrations of renewable energy will increase in cost exponentially, as I wrote a year ago in Answer:...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Abstract Writing with Marvin and The Old 96er

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I love reading and scoring abstracts, so sign me up! This post provides advice for abstract writing to get selected for a paper, award, webinar, or article. But first, a secret: I advise that you pay attention because my scores are heavily weighted. How do you do that, Jeff? Easy. On a scale of one to five, where five is best, I give a few fives, and I assign the rest to purgatory or hell with a two or one, respectively. That gives more muscle to my opinions – like 4x compared to folks who score 4s and 5s on...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Weaponized Energy by Xi and Putin

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This week I’m going to my news stack, starting with an interesting article from Zerohedge - How Far are We from Phasing out Coal. Answer: a long way and getting longer. CCP’s Exploding Coal Fleet Coal-fired power generation jumped 9% in 2021, to an all-time high. That increase is the biggest leap since I was in Ha Skewl and the DeLorean was hot. How is coal consumption growing worldwide today? The Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They continue to build and fire huge coal plants with zero reservation (or pollution control). The difference between governors and the governed in the U.S....
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Importing Illusions & Exporting Pollution

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I had to go to my well of topics and found this interesting article from Clean Technica from last summer, A Realistic US Transport Electrification Plan - The Challenges We Can't Ignore. That is a catchy title because I am the woodchipper of grand ideas. Norway’s EV etc. Policies As Will Ferrell instructed us during last year’s Super Bowl, Norway crushes the United States in electric vehicle adoption. Clean Technica says 85% of new vehicle sales in Norway are electric and then complains about the lack of policy in the United States to support EVs. It makes a difference. For...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Inclusive, Bottom-Up Energy Conversations

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According to elites, we mortals need merely 75 gigajoules of energy, aka 75 million Newton-meters per year, to “have a good and healthy life.” Can you tell us what 75 GJ of energy looks like, Jeff? Well, this is the Energy Rant! Sheeyah! Six hundred gallons of gasoline, or 11.5 gallons per week for a year. 4 MWh or 21,400 kWh – a typical home in Wisconsin uses roughly 12,000 kWh before electrification 16,500 Big Mac combo meals – includes Big Mac, medium Coke, and medium fries. That’s 45 meals per day Calories burned by cyclists for 5 Tours de...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Utility Relationships and Hookup Puns

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I attended Peak Load Management Alliance’s 45th Conference in Baltimore last week, where I captured a quote that went something like this: the difference between energy efficiency and demand response is that demand response is a relationship between utility and customer. In contrast, efficiency is a transaction or two followed by the customer and utility parting ways. I thought, hmm, so it’s like renting an apartment versus a hotel for a night or two – or a long-term relationship where two people actually know each other’s names versus a hookup. Ok. Hookups Most of us reading this cannot relate to...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

A Franchise Organization for Decarb

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About every six months, while participating in a strategic planning, leadership, marketing, or business development meeting, I hear “we should be doing decarb,” or “we’ve been talking about decarb for years, and that’s all we do is talk about it.” “We’ll be right back here talking about it a year from now.” Whoa! First, what is decarb? My guess is most people would say reducing the consumption of hydrocarbons in a catalytic process with airborne oxygen to produce heat which may be used for heating, power generation, or locomotion – while producing coproducts of gaseous water, carbon dioxide, and minuscule...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Learning from Energy Mistakes Past

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There are no such things as unintended consequences. There are consequences and ignorance, and as I’ll show in this post, you really have to ask yourself how some people are promoted to their level of incompetence. First, let’s start with an example fellow blogger Joel Gilbert, aka Captain Obvious, posted, Tone Deaf, Are They? The source of the post is an op-ed from The Wall Street Journal in which they describe John Kerry’s concern for climate change as Vladimir Putin is pummeling Ukraine. Kerry is quoted, “I hope President Putin will help us to stay on track with respect to...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

P4P’s Incompatibility with DEI

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When I first heard the term “value proposition” years ago, I thought, what the heck does this obtuse phrase mean? In this context, value is a measure of desirability, and proposition means proposal. Google tells us that value proposition is “an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers.” Oh, you mean selling point: “a feature of a product for sale that makes it attractive to customers.” Wikipedia adds another term, “In marketing, the unique selling proposition, also called the unique selling point or the unique value proposition in the business model canvas, is...
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