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energy consumption

battery

Maximize Grid Battery Value with Smart Deployment

By Energy Rant No Comments
Time flies even during pandemics. Two years ago, I found the quote, “Casual observers are often wrong” by Charles Bayless with Public Utilities Fortnightly. Back then, the Rant topic was that battery storage increases carbon emissions – because “Batteries, or any storage, only swap dispatchable, conventional resources; never renewable resources. Result: increased emissions.” Whenever energy is converted from electricity to battery and back to electricity, the nasty second law of thermodynamics intervenes to steal some energy. The result is more source energy consumption and more GHG emissions. That introduction leads to today’s edition of “casual observers are often wrong.” This...
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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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energy management - Jeff's team

The Sport of Energy Management

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week I proved that energy management is too much work and hassle for the average schmo, unless… That is the subject of this week’s post. I am the youngest of four kids who lived on a farm, so walking or even riding a bike to Jimmy’s or John’s house was not a viable option. Play with the siblings? Pffft. We competed in everything from board and ancient-video games to table tennis. I was damn good at that, by the way. We Want to Destroy You We didn’t have soccer at all, but thankfully, one parent/organizer in a nearby town...
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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. There was no air conditioning or power anything, including no power steering....
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NMEC and Routine Monkey Wrenches

By Energy Rant 2 Comments

Normalized metered energy consumption, or NMEC, is another name for the nerdy term, EM&V 2.0[1]. Why the switch? Maybe en-meck spills out of the mouth a little easier. Maybe EM&V 2.0 got the bad rap it deserved as I explained a couple years ago in Whale Bus or Airbus and Automated M&V in Your Dreams. We need not only the user’s manuals for how to deploy NMEC; we need protocols for how to apply NMEC, where it works well, and where it doesn’t. NMEC Explained The following would never happen, but I need a way to explain how NMEC works…

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Unmasking the Randomized Control Trial

By Energy Rant One Comment
This week, we are continuing our dive into attribution, which is the impact an intervention or program has on a population – in our case, efficiency programs in a service territory or state. Last week, I used the term comparison group rather than control group. They can be used interchangeably and sometimes erroneously. A comparison group is a baseline to observe what happens in absence of intervention. It avoids guessing counterfactuals and unobservables altogether. The Unobservable My example of a comparison group was Fox Cities, WI to observe the impacts of a pizza-promotion intervention in La Crosse, WI. For purposes...
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Tooling Pay for Performance

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
A blog post from OpenEE with a title M&V Adjustments Create a Bias Towards Savings Inflation[1] is a good troll for a guy like me – a cynic who can’t stop writing the Rant even when I tried to quit a dozen times. Anyone with a pulse needs a relief valve, and the Rant does the job for me. Products designed to reduce stress, like stress balls or foam bricks, would never work. For instance, if I want to get even with a computer, do I want to grab one of these things and start squeezing? No. I want to...
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Excess Power

Electricity Storage by the Other NWA; Chum v Beluga

By Energy Rant No Comments
Energy storage is easy and cheap. Grid-grade electricity storage is complex and expensive. Definitions of energy storage vary. Some consider hot water, chilled water, or ice to be stored energy. It’s really storing the benefits of energy consumption. For phenomenal refreshers and mental strolls down memory lane, see Storing Energy v Storing Benefits and Something Old, Something Old. Why is grid-scale electricity storage so expensive? To answer this question, let’s consider the forms of storage and the hurdles that must be overcome to make it cost effective. Electricity Storage Challenge #1 = Inefficiency First, we have the storage of potential...
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