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electricity Archives - Michaels Energy

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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electricity storage - climate change

Innovative Electricity Storage Crushes Batteries; Death Sentence for Duck

By Energy Rant One Comment
I’m not in the electricity storage business, but I can recognize lousy ideas when I see them. Grid-scale battery storage is a bad idea. It will never be anything more than a frequency and voltage regulation technology, although I have to say these are critical functions that batteries can provide. Innovation comes out of left field while everyone else is trying to make a pig fly. And when I see it, I think, “Wow, why did I not think of that?” The Roots of Sound Storage Thermal power generation, particularly from coal, and to a lesser extent, nuclear, have enormous...
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electric vehicles

Get People into Electric Vehicles Through the Zone of Acceptance

By Energy Rant No Comments
A few weeks ago, I observed a webinar [1]sponsored by the Advanced Energy Economy to help me triangulate what the next great trend(s) might be. That meshed well with the electric vehicles (EV) post of last week and this week. The webinar featured two electrification apostles and two critics. The apostles led off with the no-brainerisms of the EV. The economics are hysterically bullish. It costs a tiny fraction to power personal transportation with electricity, primarily through cheap renewable energy, versus petroleum-based fuels. Point taken. Technological Determinism Later, when the critics came onto the scene, one of them noted that...
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grid modernization

Grid Modernization Risk and Protest

By Energy Rant No Comments
God, it’s great to be back writing again. On that note, here is a quote, “There’s an old saying: Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.” I’ve been under a rock all my life because I had never heard that one. It’s the opening line to this NIMBYism and grid modernization article. This subject, ironically, is one of the very first ones I wrote about over ten years ago in Renewable NIMBY. According to the article coopted by Energy Central and written by ersi (what it stands for is anyone’s guess), and references the DOE,...
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electric

Electricity – Breakpoints, Tipping Points and Imagination

By Energy Rant One Comment
The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article last week – it would be fascinating if it weren’t sadly true. The title: Everyone Hates Customer Service. It is a perfect addition to my continuation of last week’s post regarding innovation with electric utilities. Are Electric Utilities in for a Taxi Ride? Tales of Customer Service Last week during a raging thunderstorm, I was in the pickup-window line at Walgreens. It’s a pickup window, not a chat room. Every time, the cars ahead of me take at least five minutes each. What are they talking about up there? The baseball trade...
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Before and after wind and deregulation

Wind’s Dramatic Impact on Pricing – In Two Directions – Why?

By Energy Rant One Comment
This is the second in a two-post series on electricity prices as impacted by deregulation and renewable energy penetration. Last week we explored deregulation in Regulation v Deregulation in True Color. This week, we examine the effects of increasing shares of renewable energy (like wind) being added to the grid. Again, the source for all this information is the U.S. Energy Information Administration, so you can fact check away! To recap, we are examining four regional markets as follows: Regulated Midwest states of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa Deregulated Midwest states of Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania Deregulated Texas Deregulated and...
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Regulation v Deregulation in True Color

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
Recent projects have led me to examine how deregulated electricity markets work. Since I am naturally curious, I wanted to investigate differences between electricity price performance of deregulated states versus those of regulated states. This week we examine the impacts of regulation/deregulation on pricing, and next week, we will look at the impacts that renewable energy has on pricing. Data used come from the Energy Information Administration[1]. Figures lie, liars figure, but Jeff merely presents all data available for you to decide, pound your chest, or cry. That is your prerogative. Often data which do not support a narrative is...
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Prestige, Not Pain – Efficiency at Home

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
I call your attention to the brilliant marvel of engineering shown in the image below. This model was developed before most of you were born. It is the little diesel engine that could – get 60 mpg, in my second car – a 1984 Ford Escort Diesel. Most people didn’t even know they existed, but as a college sophomore, when I got tired of my crappy, rattling, vibrating, chintzy Mustang, I snapped up this baby for a deep discount from the Billion auto empire in Sioux Falls, SD. [vc_single_image image="14536" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] There was no air conditioning or power anything,...
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Energy Policy – Stay in Your Lane, Bro

By Energy Rant One Comment
Ohio lawmakers are again at the beck and call of deregulated power producing titans as they pass a nuclear and coal plant bailout at the expense of energy efficiency. They also dumped mandates for renewable resources. Almost simultaneously, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) published this brand new report, which compares levelized cost of electricity from existing nuclear plants to that of new wind and solar generation, transmission, and required backup resources. It may explain why Ohio lawmakers did what they did. The word “may” is used because I am firmly convinced the political class is mostly clueless regarding regulated...
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Why Would Wind Turbines Warm the Planet? Find Out Here

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week we started to learn how wind turbines impact the environment from a global warming perspective. As an engineer, I have to understand the physics behind that, and in the meantime, I chased one rabbit and found that even though the wind dies down at night, more wind energy is generated at night. It’s amazing. It’s cool. Check it out. Let us refer back to the paper that started all this, Climatic Impacts of Wind Power[1]. Results of analysis published in the paper indicate the warming effect is “approximately equivalent to the reduced warming [that would be] achieved by...
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