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pumped hydro Archives - Michaels Energy

MISO Graph

Good, Perfect, and Real Carbon Targets – Finale

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In this week's Energy Rant, we're covering the final segment of good, perfect, and real carbon targets. There are two sources of carbon-free energy. First, we have the category of renewable with wind, solar, hydro, and some geothermal. Second, we have nuclear. Oops – third, we have efficiency and demand management. The electricity market is bizarre to me. Last week I crudely explained how the regional transmission authorities (RTO) and their twins, independent system operators (ISO), balance the grid in real-time. Power supplied must match demand with very tight tolerances of voltage and frequency at all times. The chart below...
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construction cost

Good, Perfect, and Real Carbon Targets – Part 2

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In this week's Energy Rant, we're covering part two of good, perfect, and real carbon targets. Last week we looked at grid-scale energy storage options for a couple of them, namely hydrogen and flywheels; I asked, “What could go wrong?” To be fair, my comment on hydrogen was its use as a buoyant gas to float the Hindenburg. Hydrogen, while very light, is explosively combustible, so putting it in a blimp was crazy. I always like to throw factoids in for budding STEM enthusiasts. Take a helium (non-combustible) balloon on a string, hold it by the string in a moving...
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Gas Turbine Generator

Good, Perfect, and Real Carbon Targets

By Energy Rant No Comments
I recently delivered an electrification presentation for Wisconsin Public Utility Institute’s Energy Utility Basics course. While introducing myself, I said, "I’m an engineer, and I can’t help it." I also said the answer to the question, “Can we ___?” is always, “Yes, it’s just a matter of money.” That led me to briefly discuss politicians, with no background in the subject, declare that “we” (state, city, etc.) will be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2050. The universe is between here and there. When I hear that renewable electricity is cost-competitive with conventional sources like combined-cycle natural gas or even...
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Maxed Out Renewable Energy

By Energy Rant One Comment
We’re leading off with Texas once again – the petri dish mixing massive shares of wind energy, the nation’s largest free-market for electricity, and commensurate spikes in cost. See the $900 per gallon kWh. Fatefully, on July 27, 2018, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) rejected a proposal for 2 GW of new wind generation proposed by American Electric Power. For perspective, that would be about 700 giant turbines, although I’m not sure of the exact capacity of these behemoths today. Wind’s Speed Limit Possibly, the PUCT realizes there is something a little weird with a market providing long...
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