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wind turbines

Wild Energy Ride

Next Up: A Wild Energy Ride

By Energy Rant One Comment
It has been a frothy year for the energy industry, and it will continue well into next year and beyond. How far? Heh heh. Let’s start with coal. After plummeting 30% in 2020, consumption bounced back, gaining 35% in 2021. Doing the math, that doesn’t quite get coal back to 2019 consumption. Coal plants are still closing at a breakneck pace, so consumption in the United States is bound to decline in the long haul, but will load balancers and utilities be able to keep the lights on in 2030? This is a concern to me because no source of...
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grid modernization

Grid Modernization Risk and Protest

By Energy Rant No Comments
God, it’s great to be back writing again. On that note, here is a quote, “There’s an old saying: Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.” I’ve been under a rock all my life because I had never heard that one. It’s the opening line to this NIMBYism and grid modernization article. This subject, ironically, is one of the very first ones I wrote about over ten years ago in Renewable NIMBY. According to the article coopted by Energy Central and written by ersi (what it stands for is anyone’s guess), and references the DOE,...
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climate

Little People Take on the Climate Industrial Complex

By Energy Rant No Comments
My undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum at South Dakota State University included requirements for six credits of humanities and nine credits of social sciences. What is this? Who needs this stuff? Walk on the Slippery Rocks I actually enjoyed most of these courses, one of which was philosophy. What a flaky class. There was no work. There were no exams. The goofball professor spewed philosophy and moderated discussions of paradoxes and whatnot. One of those discussions was whether South Dakota should be America’s garbage dump, for princely fees of course. Essentially, should we trade self-induced exploitation for money so we can...
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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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Wind Energy – Finally Going Somewhere

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 2 Comments
This week’s post features a strong shot of irony.  South Dakota ranks 49th of 51 jurisdictions (50 states plus the District of Columbia) in ACEEE’s 2014 Energy Efficiency Scorecard report, yet its citizens overwhelmingly support wind power.  And when I say they support wind power, they act on it – not “yes, I love it [just put it somewhere else]”.  This isn’t a “do you support renewable energy” question – which, as discussed in last week’s post about freeridership, is a question loaded with social pressure.  No.  South Dakotan’s aren’t slaves to political correctness; nor are they complainers.  I know...
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Wind Power Wind Bags

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
Politics exert major forces on energy policies and fortunately, few oppose energy efficiency.  Therefore, I strongly suggest our industry build high walls around energy efficiency and not let controversial things like climate change and even in some cases, renewable energy, into our sandbox.  Case in point: this recent opinion piece by a guy from the Heartland Institute regarding wind power and corresponding rebuttal letters published in The Wall Street Journal. You may recall that about a year ago, I wrote about a scandal contrived by Peter Gleick, outspoken global warming PhD guy, where he impersonated insiders from the Heartland Institute,...
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Soothsayer: Analyze This

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Renewable Energy, Sustainability No Comments
How many times have you read "we can create 40 million jobs and reduce our energy consumption by 90% if only we did x, y, and z."  Lester in this article says by 2035 we can double our fuel economy.  Well I should hope so!  Lester is actually one guy that is conservative in his estimates/goals.  David Goldstein in the same article says we can decrease our energy consumption by 88% by 2050.  Now where does he or any other egghead come up with these numbers? I had to laugh out loud regarding the results of an energy efficiency potential...
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Get a Grip

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Renewable Energy, Sustainability One Comment
As you may have heard, this year China powered past (cheesy pun warning) the United States in total energy consumption.  Apparently, back in 2007, they surpassed the US in carbon emissions.  This makes sense as almost 70% of China’s electricity is derived from coal as compared to just under 50% in the United States.  In the U.S., nuclear and natural gas make up most of the other 50%, roughly split evenly with renewable energy rounding out the 100%. In recent years, or especially since President Obama moved into the White House, there have been multiple verbose incomprehensible cap and trade...
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