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Electrification at Scale

By Energy Rant No Comments
Two weeks ago, I wrote the “electric storage industry that is grabbing all they can before someone figures out that will never be the answer to bridging gaps of intermittent renewables.” Time’s up. Utility Dive last week quoted a North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) spokesman: “Batteries aren’t going to do it, and we’re going to need a backup fuel for wind and solar. So this [natural gas] is important to invest in.” The rest of this post includes a dive into consumer choice and what things might look like at scale. Consumer News In fresh news from Holman Jenkins...
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What's in your name?

What’s in Your (Org’s) Name?

By Energy Rant No Comments
After several weeks of hardcore grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs) discussion and brutal challenges, I’m giving your brains a break this week – kind of like a shot of whiskey after weeks of drinking green protein smoothies in preparation for that marathon you always wanted to do. Pronunciations Speaking of GEBs – how do you say GEBs? Gebs, right? What about SEM. No. SEM aficionados are a highfalutin crowd. It’s es ee em. So dudes, if you don’t like the way people pronounce your organization or activity, name it something simple or deal with the consequences of busy people. What about...
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Years of Dominos Fall in Texas

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week when the Rant “went to press,” which is to say, when I wrote it Saturday, the arctic blast was merely a cold shot of weather like I have experienced dozens of times. I didn’t start seeing the chaos in the south until Monday. It was an avoidable tragedy caused by many things over many years. Some places lost water supply and wastewater treatment. A colleague sent me the first picture below from a friend in the Dallas area. Here in the Midwest, we might think that’s an innovative way to keep beer cold at a house party. In...
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Wind Production Tax Credit

Capacity Market v Energy Market – What’s the Diff?

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
We are taking a break from exergy this week, and we are going to examine what is happening in distorted electricity markets around the country. This will be somewhat of a sequel to Regulating Deregulation and Wind's Other Big Subsidy. Too much of a good thing, or as they say, unintended consequences, is pushing the grid in some places toward instability. By the way, I scoff at the term “unintended consequences.” There are only two types of consequences: intended and ignorant ones. Utility Dive notes that Texas (Electricity Reliability Council of Texas – ERCOT) and the Southwest Power Pool are...
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Clean Power Plan Arms Race

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government No Comments
I imagine the EPA is working feverishly on their final ruling for the Clean Power Plan (proposed under the Clean Air Act), due this June.  Meanwhile, many states and one prominent company, Murray Energy, are digging in to do legal battle for decades to come, possibly.  The “possibly” part of that would occur if the Clean Power Plan is upheld by the courts.  That will result in endless litigation.  If it is thrown out, the federal government may have to actually pass laws for once – you know, the political process. Here is the problem with the Clean Air Act:...
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Blackouts for a Rounding Error

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Renewable Energy, Utility Stuff One Comment
This week features an overload of potential topics but let’s start with this one: Can we put some adults in charge in certain seats of power in Washington.  I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the EPA is running wild when it comes to mandating emissions requirements from power plants.  Lisa Jackson, head of the EPA and her cronies make policy in a vacuum sometimes with no regard to implications, at all. People can govern with the carrot – providing incentives to do the right thing; sugar – handouts to politically favored, typically dead end technologies or businesses (see tidbits below); and...
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