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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

Chevron Going Down

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Last year I wrote that the Supreme Court of the United States, SCOTUS, ruling in the West Virginia case, is a sign of things to come. That case buried a fork in the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. The legislative and executive branches would have to modify the Clean Air Act to pass such limits. In response to the ruling, Politico quoted SCOTUS Chief Justice Roberts: “Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day. But...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

If We Are Serious About Environmental Justice

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This week’s Energy Rant was guest written by Teri Lutz, Director of Sales & Marketing at Michaels Energy. Teri believes in a fair and just energy economy and hopes this Rant edition will inspire our readers to get involved and advocate for environmental justice here and abroad. Please do not be silent in the face of injustice and inequity. Make your voice heard and your actions matter. If we are serious about environmental justice – and the very survival of Earth - the supply chain matters. "We shouldn't be transitioning to the use of electric vehicles at the cost of...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Electric Vehicle Plans With the End in Mind

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This week I’m repackaging recent news on electric vehicle (EV) developments – market, technical, and utility impacts. I like to look at scale (macro) rather than ubiquitous siloed micro thinking. Is it realistic to scale rare earth mineral mining, battery manufacturing, and battery disposal? What about charging logistics, third-world labor, and grid impacts? Breaking the Grid? Let’s start with the revelation that force, in the form of mandates, will break things. An aeronautical engineer’s piece in Energy Central, says EVs, at scale, will break the grid. He notes that the Biden regime is developing restrictions requiring the market share of...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Giant Killing Customer Experience

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The snow has melted for now, although a foot of snow is forecasted overnight as I draft this. The lake ice is gone, and folks are Jonesing for open water fishing. Back in the day, when my father was still with us, we fished to eat because he said so. In our home state of Minnesota, that meant we fished walleyes, which are attractive fish (there are ugly fish – catfish, carp, believe me) but boring. My mission was to fill the live well with the limit and get on to some real fishing for pike and muskies. They are...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Electric Utility 2050

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As we prepare to take our energy storage solutions to market, I gathered recent news reports, analyzed them all, and came to some conclusions. I concluded that utilities, and especially regulators, need to think differently. What got us here – constant load growth and earning returns on conventional rate base by building power plants, transmission, and distribution systems – will not get us there (the energy transition) without turmoil and upheaval. [Ad] Sign up for AESP’s decarb course to learn more details. Public service commissions get 50% off. Why? Because they must know this stuff. Nothing Lasts Forever Like everything,...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Smart Renewables Cool the Climate Apocalypse

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My passion is applying the right technology in the right place and at the right time for maximum effectiveness. Not coincidently, that is precisely Michaels Energy’s purpose for existence: minimizing waste and maximizing value. Last week I wrote about the gargantuan resource requirement for solar and batteries to displace a single nuclear power plant, including 40,000 acres for the panels, which, in Iowa, is worth $600 million in farmland alone. This is a D- for minimizing waste and maximizing value. Offshore Wind This week, we’re turning our attention to wind generation. Renewable enthusiasts need to get behind offshore wind for...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Are You Serious About the Climate Apocalypse?

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Washington Post headline last week: “World is on brink of catastrophic warming, U.N. climate change report says.” Wolf! Wolf! People aren’t serious about decarb, and this post will prove it, but I provide ways to get it done. Is Solar Plus Storage Competitive? Solar is nice, but the numbers are ugly. If solar and storage with batteries were a serious contender for a clean energy grid, electric utilities would be soiling themselves because solar and batteries would put them out of business as customers would install their own and cut the cord. Let’s look at some basic arithmetic. Lazard pegs...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

The Book on Energy Program Evaluation – Tssssss

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Although, or maybe because Michaels Energy has provided research and evaluation services for about 25 years, I’ve been a consistent critic of evaluation, measurement, and verification (EMV), and I’ll tell you why in several chapters. Chapter 1 Resource Acquisition Evaluation methodologies are predominately based on widget programs, also known as resource acquisition programs. The hypothesis is this: efficient equipment costs more, and that extra cost is the barrier. How to mitigate or remove the barrier? Pay down the incremental cost with a rebate after the purchase or incentive before the purchase. It’s that simple and dumb. The simpleton approach to...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

The Anxious Leader and Li-Ion Batteries

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One of the nasty results of the Covid lockdowns was the meteoric growth of electric bikes. I thought, great. Let’s take the only means of exercise for some people and power it with a battery and motor to take away physical propulsion via the human body. Would you like to see a graphical representation of exponential growth? The following chart satisfies your craving to show e-bike fires in New York City alone. In an article published by The Wall Street Journal last week, New York Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh is quoted, “These are incredibly dangerous devices if they are unregulated...
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Energy Rant, Michaels Energy

Eyes Open for Food and Energy Waste

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General Russel Honoré delivered the closing plenary from last week’s AESP Annual Conference. He humorously but effectively preached to the choir about climate change mitigation. I will take one sub-topic he mentioned, food waste, and run with that this week. I may even expand it to the grocery store. General Honoré was the Commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, the hurricane. This is an excellent opportunity to pull out an article I read a few weeks ago, Dear Consumers, Please Consume Less, posted on Energy Central. Americans consume an average of 3,600 calories daily, while the recommended ration is 2,000...
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