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carbon Archives - Michaels Energy

civic lesson

Civics Lesson in Federal Carbon Policymaking

By Energy Rant No Comments
As the weeks, webinars, conferences, and workshops click by, I contemplate the barriers to decarbonization policy. Next week in our decarbonization course through AESP (register while there is still time) we will discuss policy on the state and regional levels. This post describes federal policy. This next chapter of the discussion comes via the EE Global Forum, an online conference presented by the Alliance to Save Energy last week. That provided more fertile soil to consider issues and barriers with decarbonization policy. The Alliance is rooted in the Washington area and is committed to efficiency at the national level. The...
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china

China Holds the Climate Cards

By Energy Rant No Comments
This week’s post is prompted by further research developing my decarbonization course scheduled for May 19, 2021, via AESP, and information provided by the American Energy Society. Would you believe the course is filling up? Just asking. I like and respect the American Energy Society for its no-spin reporting. Again, this week we are looking at carbon emissions. Last week I reported that the carbon intensity of US-generated electricity fell by 40% from 1.45 lb/kWh to 0.89 lb/kWh. This week, via Energy Society’s newsletter, Energy Matters[1], the Lawrence Berkeley Lab reported that carbon emissions are down 40% in absolute tonnage...
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avoided costs

Answer: Avoided Cost – What’s the Question?

By Energy Rant No Comments
“Can I ask a question?” My response to that, in good company, is, “You just did. Would you like another chance?” Now that, my friends, is a paradox. As you ought to know, I’m preparing a mind-blowing three-hour course on decarbonization for AESP’s Spring Training. One conclusion: 100% decarb is going to take decades and it will be expensive and disruptive. A lot of progress has been made, but it has been easy for reasons I will explain next following this chart, which shows how decarb cost will soar as the percent reduction increases. Average CO2 emissions per kWh produced...
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US Energy Consumption

Combined Heat and Power – a Serious Decarb Weapon

By Energy Rant No Comments
A few weeks ago, we reviewed electricity storage technologies, barriers, and issues. One storage technology is the lowly lead-acid battery, which forms the backbone of uninterruptible power supplies for data centers. They are inexpensive with readily available materials, are 100% recyclable, and therefore, they get no attention. Why? Elon Musk, the ultimate hype provocateur. What happened to the PowerWall, by the way? Disruption of rational thought? A web search of “annual Powerwall sales” results in nothing but distantly tangential content. Similarly, the utility industry, our industry, other companies, and people chase the flashy objects (squirrel!) to obtain decarbonization targets. Flash...
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decarbonization

Net Zero: An Unserious Weapon Against Decarbonization

By Energy Rant No Comments
You all know people who are always going to do something great but never make it happen. Consider the hapless New Year’s resolution for which someone plans to lose weight. They successfully diet between a cheeseburger and fries for lunch and a mound of pasta with rich sauce for dinner: the “diet” lasted a few hours and accomplished nothing. The empty New Year’s resolution de jure for decarbonization is net zero, where similarly, there is excess at times and shortages at other times. Whether it’s net-zero-energy building design or net-zero-carbon electricity production, the achievement is easy and similarly not helpful....
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zero net energy

Zero Net Cost for Zero Net Energy – Melt the Calf

By Energy Rant No Comments
Have you ever thrown a cat into the deep end of a swimming pool? Neither have I, but I bet they wouldn’t like it. Likewise, status-quo program evaluators will not like what’s coming down the pike for several reasons, starting with one in this post for residential and commercial new construction programs. A few weeks ago, I read a post from fellow small-time blogger (speak for yourself, Jeff) Joel Gilbert. His topic was low carbon foods. He wrote, “But, I offer this observation [about the food craze]:  I have never seen such a groundswell of enthusiasm around these ideas.  Perhaps...
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Baker’s Dozen Energy and Carbon Saving Tricks

By Energy Rant No Comments
Do squeaky wheels get the grease? No. They get replaced (Peter’s principle). Adulators get dessert. That is the case this week as I had considerable positive feedback from last week’s post: 12 schemes for waste and carbon-reduction. I will move one step upstream of that pie chart that showed shares of carbon emissions by household. That was a page by globalstewards.org, featuring 20 ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Here are some of Global Steward’s recommendations. 1. Walk when your destination is within a two-mile radius. This is great, except it comes with a big non-energy penalty: time. This is...
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bathe less

12 Schemes to Reduce Carbon Emissions

By Energy Rant No Comments
Back in the day, when I was interviewing college kids for full-time employment with us, I would ask them to tell me about things they have done in their personal experiences to save energy. The purpose was twofold, 1) do you dig efficiency, or are you just looking for employment – any employment, and 2) creativity. I thought I had everything covered, but some real zingers gave me a chuckle. It’s too bad I cannot recall them at this time. Nevertheless, I came across an old paper that appears to have been published for an ACEEE Summer Study in 1994,...
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Freeloaders and Geniuses from the Universe Next Door

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Renewable Energy, Sustainability No Comments
You know what torques me off, or make that torques us off more than anything else?  I’m saving it for a future rant.  Stay tuned. No really, it’s “prospective” clients, many times end users that have screwed up buildings beyond reproach or wasting energy as though they just want to release all the carbon locked up in fossil fuels and get it over with.  They ask for help but in no way intend to pay for it or take action for anything substantial.  We may have even demonstrated, clearly by benchmarking or other means with specific measures that they could...
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This is not Tee-ball

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Sustainability 2 Comments
Carbon taxes or cap and trade seem to have been a foregone conclusion in our industry of energy efficiency.  I’m not so sure.  I, like many other engineers in the energy efficiency business have always been cynical about global warming, which for some reason is now known as climate change.  I would argue that a relatively small portion of anti-carbon people are true believers, that carbon is having or will have a significant effect on the climate and I have no problem with that.  What I do have a problem with is the vast majority of people and organizations who...
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