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Wall Street Journal Archives - Michaels Energy

Baseload Generation Cost

Stage 4 Climate Change and the National Debt

By Energy Rant 4 Comments
You are not reading the Rant for a weekly dose of pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers. You read it for the spicy beef jerky – even vegetarians. I mean, vegetarians can’t resist the beef jerky. Nobody wants to eat a vegetarian. Anyway, the Rant is a dose of what you need to hear and what you want to hear. This week is no exception. Confession But first, I have a confession to make. Exactly one year ago, I wrote about the Paris climate accord in The Abominable Snowman (inferring that it was toothless). I had only...
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The Kilowatt-Hour is Dead, Eh?

By Energy Rant One Comment
The subject line is a response to a recent article in Public Utilities Fortnightly, written by Mark Gabriel, the Administrator and CEO of the Western Area Power Administration. Mr. Gabriel[1] discusses what he sees coming for the utility industry. I am sure he is far more qualified to predict the future than I am, but I can provide my Lilliputian commentary in response to his projections. I may be playing a little loose with Mark’s article, but he seems to indicate the utility industry is on the verge of upheaval. He states the stalwart concerns of utilities, including the strength...
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Climate Change IV – Diverse Thought, Anyone?

By Energy Rant One Comment
Last week, we discussed themes of the 2017 International Energy Program Evaluation Conference, known as IEPEC for short. One of the positive themes included how the industry is beginning to have a constructive approach to fixing climate change, the subject of this post. Liberals have softened their rhetoric on climate change and are moving toward a truce with conservatives, with figurehead Bob Inglis and his founded organization, RepublicEn, making the first move. Free Expression of Thought? Dr. David Barker with American University, stated in the closing plenary that liberals are less tolerant and more hostile toward views of the other...
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Paris: The Bumbling Abominable Snow Monster

By Energy Rant 4 Comments
June 1, 2017.  Does that ring a bell?  To many, it is a day of infamy – the day Trump bid adieu to the Paris climate deal, accord, treaty, or whatever (Paris).  Since then, I have read many an article, LinkedIn posts, and Tweets filled with wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Was Paris that good?  Does anyone reading this know the details?  I decided to dig in and synthesize it to hors devours, which seems kind of French.  Right? The broad objectives of the agreement include three things: Hold temperatures to well within 2 degrees C relative to pre-industrial temperatures....
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Groupthink and the Yes Man

By Energy Rant One Comment
When this post launches, I will be sitting in a critical thinking course as part of AESP’s National Conference. As luck would have it, I also stumbled onto a couple interesting articles while eating my curds and whey last week. The first covers echo chambers from Inc. Magazine, and the second was referenced in that article: How to Defeat Groupthink, from Fortune Magazine. The Fortune article points out instances such as investment clubs, where robust debate leads to better results. In other words, avoiding echo chambers and groupthink is good and results in greater productivity. In case you haven’t noticed,...
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Behavioral Economics, Deep Thoughts of the Irrational Mind

By Energy Rant No Comments
I promised two weeks ago that I would discuss the results of our survey concerning behavioral economics this week. Delivered. Why explain something when you can just find it on the pure, and always correct, internet. Behavioral economics is defined in the graphic below, courtesy Google search. [vc_single_image image="13293" img_size="large" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=behavioral+economics"] It would be wonderful if everyone understood that nothing (nothing) comes without a cost, that the cost may be higher than one thinks, and certainly higher than the value of benefits. The following are two examples. Health Insurance and Care Everyone reading this has complained about...
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Behavioral Economics; A Quiz

By Energy Rant One Comment
Expressions Hair Design versus Schneiderman. That may sound like a softball or bowling league matchup, but it is actually a Supreme Court case that was heard last week. How in the world does this relate to energy efficiency? It is a case of behavioral economics and the Constitution, believe it or not. Energy efficiency has everything to do with behavioral economics, or maybe it’s the other way around. Behavioral Economics Behavioral economics posits that emotional bias leads to poor economic decisions. Did someone say electric car? I couldn’t resist. There is no doubt about it. People make poor economic choices...
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decision

Decision Overload – After 19 Million Decisions, Interrogation

By Energy Rant One Comment
The average American adult faces 35,000 decisions every day[1]. Whoa! It is called decision fatigue, and when people get too much, they default to no, or doing nothing. I would also add, speaking from personal experience, that the older I get the less time and fewer decisions I want to make. Good enough is good enough for my choices. You best believe this topic has a lot to do with business (i.e. efficiency program) success or not success. I’m a late adopter of new software. I was late to Firefox, and then late to Chrome. In fact, the reason I...
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Utility Innovation – Smart Load Building, Yes; Smart Apps, Not so Much

By Energy Rant One Comment
Constant, 60 Hertz, 120/208 Volt, 277/480 Volt power, 99.999% of the time. That’s it. That is all electric utilities need to supply their customers. Like Porsche’s slogan, “There is no substitute,” a utility’s slogan should be, “There is nothing else[1].” This post features examples of what utilities can do, and probably not do, for increasing customer engagement, sales, and services. Smart Load Building - Yes Smart load building fulfills a customer need, and in many cases, produces net benefits to the environment and reduces emissions. Not-smart load building includes selling toaster coils to make hot water or space heat –...
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program

Program Adoption Curves – Telephones and Televisions

By Energy Rant No Comments

There are certain energy efficiency programs that we are never going to pursue – all those that are in the late majority and laggard stages. Those ships left the pier 10-15 years ago, and we are not going to attempt to catch them. In two words, they are widget programs, up, down, mid, over, under-stream programs of all stripes, including direct install. The previous chart[1] shows theoretical adoption and market share curves. Of course, in reality, adoption isn’t nearly as pretty, as shown in the next chart, which is fascinating. You will want to get your own version of that…

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