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wind energy

Decarbonization Strategies for Manufacturing

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week a Yahoo News reporter headlined an article, Biden Administration Seeks to Lower Industrial Greenhouse Gas Emissions-and-That-Won't Be Easy. My first reaction: It won’t be easy to decarbonize any sector: residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation, although I did see that, like wind energy, the passenger blimp is making a comeback (say whaaat?). Will it replace passenger jets? I don’t think so. I focus on the above-linked article and industrial electrification and decarbonization in this post. The Yahoo author references the chart below for shares of GHG emissions. I assume that emissions from electricity generation are not double counted into...
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Before and after wind and deregulation

Wind’s Dramatic Impact on Pricing – In Two Directions – Why?

By Energy Rant One Comment
This is the second in a two-post series on electricity prices as impacted by deregulation and renewable energy penetration. Last week we explored deregulation in Regulation v Deregulation in True Color. This week, we examine the effects of increasing shares of renewable energy (like wind) being added to the grid. Again, the source for all this information is the U.S. Energy Information Administration, so you can fact check away! To recap, we are examining four regional markets as follows: Regulated Midwest states of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa Deregulated Midwest states of Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania Deregulated Texas Deregulated and...
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Why Would Wind Turbines Warm the Planet? Find Out Here

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week we started to learn how wind turbines impact the environment from a global warming perspective. As an engineer, I have to understand the physics behind that, and in the meantime, I chased one rabbit and found that even though the wind dies down at night, more wind energy is generated at night. It’s amazing. It’s cool. Check it out. Let us refer back to the paper that started all this, Climatic Impacts of Wind Power[1]. Results of analysis published in the paper indicate the warming effect is “approximately equivalent to the reduced warming [that would be] achieved by...
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Dig Some Wind – Blown Away by Inversions

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
As children, some engineers liked to take things apart to see how they worked – and maybe even put them back together. That was too much work for me, but I was curious. I would intently watch my Mom as she accelerated the 1970s Ford Galaxy 500[1] down the road. What was she doing to make it shift gears? I had to know! Of course, it was an automatic transmission. Today, I see some scientific claims, and I can’t help myself but to dig in and find the big lie, er, the big why. This week’s adventure started two months...
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Renewables Killed the Nuclear Star, And Other Price Oddities

By Energy Rant One Comment
In April of this year, I commented on the Center of the American Experiment’s report, Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High Cost of Failure. That post is here. As a wee lad, I liked Curious George, so let us dig in and see if we can tweeze the fibers that drive the cost of electricity. Wind and Electricity Prices American Experiment’s claim is that wind energy with near-zero marginal cost of production does not result in lower energy prices for consumers. In fact, they say it increases electricity prices. This is where I began. Data for this post come from...
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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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Question: Carbon and Benefits? Answer: Efficiency

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
“Don’t drink the Kool-Aid” and being as objective as possible are how I roll. If you feel otherwise, by all means, let me know. Driving across Southern Minnesota recently, a billboard like the image nearby caught my eye. I thought this would be worth looking into to see what they have to say. As I expected, the paper it promotes is jaded against wind energy. But what arguments do they make? Are they legitimate? Wind is Fuel When thinking about wind-driven power generation, it has a lot of hurdles to overcome to be cost-effective. One near the top of the...
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Efficiency – Balancing Customer and Shareholder Interests

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
As the name would imply, the Energy Rant bypasses the pompom lines of energy efficiency spirit squads. This week I feel a sudden, robust, burning urge to sway images of efficiency. When I think of the role and reason for efficiency programs, the phrase “obligation to serve” comes to mind. From where did that come? Is it folklore, a slogan as with marketing, or is it rooted in something official or even legal? I investigated and found the roots to be interesting. The End Results Doctrine If I were a betting person, I’d put all chips on a bet that...
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Capacity Factor

Renewable Energy, Bad Parents, and Midwest Strawberries

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
If you enjoyed the greatest modern decade of sports, when MJ went six for six in the NBA finals, you would remember this McDonald’s commercial nearby. In it, Larry challenges Michael to a game of trick shots for Michael’s Big Mac and Fries. (I don’t know why my adolescent idol, MJ, would agree to play for something he already paid for, but…) As you can see, the game quickly progresses into an outlandish game of “first to miss, loses.” It leaves off with a shot from the top of Chicago’s fourth tallest building, the Hancock Tower. Cost of Electricity I...
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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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