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energy rant with doug scott

Special Rant Vlog with Performance-Based Ratemaking Guru, Doug Scott

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This week, we’re continuing our discussion on GEBs (Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings) with our special guest Doug Scott. Doug is the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Great Plains Institute and is a great resource for performance-based ratemaking which is a key component of GEBs for both customers and utilities. Check out our fun conversation with Doug!
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climate change

Measuring Climate Change

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The super heatwave of a couple of weeks ago in the northwest got me thinking about weather anomalies and climate change. What is really happening, as if anyone knows. This fits nicely with a paper that was published a month ago by the Institute for Energy Research entitled Climate Policy - The Case for a New Perspective. That provided some interesting data and got me going on more in-depth research. I added to that through a few hours of mining National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data. Whoa, does NOAA have data! Yeow! So let’s look at the data and...
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civic lesson

Civics Lesson in Federal Carbon Policymaking

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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

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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?

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“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

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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

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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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energy storage

Energy Storage with Doug Houseman

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In this week's Energy Rant, Jeff Ihnen (CEO at Michaels Energy) interviews Doug Houseman (Principal Consultant at Burns & McDonnell) about energy storage. Doug is a leader and visionary in grid and utility modernization. You'll quickly get a sense of his wealth of knowledge as we take you through our interview-style conversation.
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