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electrification

Decarbonization Strategies for Manufacturing

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week a Yahoo News reporter headlined an article, Biden Administration Seeks to Lower Industrial Greenhouse Gas Emissions-and-That-Won't Be Easy. My first reaction: It won’t be easy to decarbonize any sector: residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation, although I did see that, like wind energy, the passenger blimp is making a comeback (say whaaat?). Will it replace passenger jets? I don’t think so. I focus on the above-linked article and industrial electrification and decarbonization in this post. The Yahoo author references the chart below for shares of GHG emissions. I assume that emissions from electricity generation are not double counted into...
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Profiles in Decarb – I Call Ham

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When I started at Michaels millennia ago, we had a brilliant walking encyclopedia of knowledge and engineering know-how. His name was Dave Hamilton, or Ham for short. He was probably 30 years older than me. My boss at the time said Ham knew the answer to any problem. Younger engineers would spend a few weeks to prove he was right. Scaling Electrification A couple of weeks ago, in the final of a series on electrification prompted by the EPRI conference in Charlotte, I wrote in Electrification at Scale that decarb fans need to 1) brace for consequences such as 9,000...
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Rant Revelations Unleashed

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This week in concert with critical thought prompted by the EPRI electrification conference, I introduce Rant Revelations. Some are not new, but it is time to start a list. Profit Rules Decarbonization can only happen if it is profitable. That is how we decarbonized to current levels. Whether it’s production tax credits for wind energy that make coal not competitive or high natural gas prices that make coal competitive, profit wins. In time the piper will be paid as intermittent and subsidized renewable energy will run out its string of lowering energy prices requiring new thermal generation to avoid grid...
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Energy Inflation and Resetting the Dislocated Shoulder

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As of last week, year-to-date energy prices are up 58% for NYMEX crude oil, 91% for NYMEX gasoline, and only 39% for retail gasoline. Retail prices seem to have a long way to climb as the high NYMEX prices make their way to the local gasoline pump. This week we look at how inflation is hitting our industry of efficiency and electrification and what might lie ahead. Let’s start with one-year price changes for a basket of commodities and roll forward with that[1]. Diesel Fuel is Food Diesel fuel is used to transport seed, chemicals, fertilizers, and equipment to the...
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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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A Franchise Organization for Decarb

By Energy Rant No Comments
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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Resilience for a Power Grid Green Swan Event

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Last week’s Reckoning post featured findings from a Wall Street Journal article that demonstrated our power grid is becoming less reliable, and I added that this would accelerate in the wrong direction over the next ten years. Like the Texas fiasco of February 2021, the causes of unreliability are smeared over many stakeholders such as regulatory, state, and federal government agencies, power suppliers, and voters. Utilities can be stuck in the middle, attempting to keep prices low while maintaining profits and keeping the pitchforks and torches at bay. Talk of adding an efficient combined-cycle natural gas plant will draw pitchforks...
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Looking back at 2021 Forecast

Looking Back at the 2021 Forecast

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Predicting the future with infinite degrees of freedom is hard, especially when projected years into the future. A few years ago, Public Utilities Fortnightly posted an article about the accuracy of The Jetsons forecasting the future. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera got about half of it right, which isn’t bad for a 60-year projection. I researched this because I found an error in the PUF article that said there were no area codes in Jetson time (1962-1963). A quick online search indicates area codes started in the 1940s. Technologies from the Jetsons that we have today include moving walkways, treadmills,...
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Fork in the Road

Middle Actors Take the Fork, Customers Take the Change

By Energy Rant No Comments
When I stick my neck out, it’s often nice to discover others are on board to slow down the machete. I stash potential topics in an electronic pile, and when something triggers a need, I’m ready to go. This time, a co-presenter triggered me as I was delivering an electrification presentation for the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute’s Utilities Basics Course. The co-presenter was Erin Monroe-Nye, who discussed and provided the essentials of energy efficiency programs. Erin described a scenario in which she wanted to install a cold-weather heat pump. She got resistance and a runaround from her HVAC contractor. I...
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Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings Part 4: Utilities Ask, Why?

By Energy Rant No Comments
This is the fourth in a series of posts on grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs). Here is a summary of the series: August 23 – Why GEBs? What is it, and why do it? August 31 – GEBs are difficult to achieve, beyond efficiency that should be done regardless. September 7 – What will customers think of this madness? Let’s peek at where we’ve been and where we are going. This series is based on a list of challenges noted in DOE's National Roadmap for Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings: Consumer awareness (Covered 07SEP21) Complexity (Covered 31AUG21) Utility interests (Today) Regulatory models Policymaker...
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