energy education


This is what happens in a transitional economy. All the big brave tough bullies, Captains of Industry, turn into silly whiny little sissies begging for handouts. Isn’t life interesting. And no, this is not an April Fools Joke.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/coal-nuclear-plant-operator-files-for-bankruptcy-asks-trump-for-a-bailout/

business cycles —

Coal, nuclear plant operator files for bankruptcy, asks Trump for a bailout

FirstEnergy’s request comes after regulator struck down an industry-wide bailout plan.

On Saturday, power corporation FirstEnergy placed its coal and nuclear generation units under chapter 11 bankruptcy. Although coal and nuclear plants across the country have struggled to compete with the low prices of natural gas, FirstEnergy’s filing is unique because it stands to take on a political dimension. Just two days before FirstEnergy’s bankruptcy filing, the company petitioned the Department of Energy (DOE) for an emergency bailout, citing concerns about reliability.

The petition could reinvigorate a debate started by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who proposed a rule last year to change how coal and nuclear plants are compensated for their power. The rule was denied by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which said that there was not enough evidence to justify changing how coal and nuclear are compensated.

FirstEnergy disparaged FERC’s decision in its Thursday petition (PDF), claiming that “as a result of FERC’s and the RTO’s [Regional Transmission Organization’s] failure to address this crisis, swift and decisive action is needed now to address this imminent loss of nuclear and coal-fired baseload generation and the threat to the electric grid that this loss poses” (emphasis FirstEnergy’s).

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Go there and laugh your asses off. More next week.

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Solar and Wind Power are on a huge tear. This is both in price, where coal is dead and natural gas is getting iffy. But in terms of availability and cutting edge technology. I see a future where generating electricity through renewables may be a same day thing and cheap as dirt. I know I am a dreamer but I am not the only one.

By the way, some people say that size doesn’t matter. I ain’t one of those.

SOLAR BLANKET

What Saudi Arabia’s 200 GW solar power plant would look like—if placed in your neighborhood

Obsession

Energy Shocks

April 01, 2018

Saudi Arabia has a plan to wean its economy off oil. In the biggest sign of what the future of the Gulf state would look like, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese multinational Softbank to build 200 GW of solar power by 2030 at a cost of $200 billion.

These are eye-popping numbers. If built, that solar-power plant will be about 200 times the size of the biggest solar plant operating today. It would more than triple Saudi Arabia’s capacity to produce electricity, from about 77 GW today.

With current technology, solar panels capable of generating 200 GW would likely cover 5,000 sq km—an area larger than the the world’s largest cities.

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No it is not an April’s Joke. Go there and read. More next week.

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I have said for 30 years, storing nuclear waste onsite is dumb and dangerous. Especially at nuclear power plants. Yes the waste is dangerous and proper precautions must be taken. YES accidents will happen. But how many Fukushimas do you want to see. Melt downs and other disasters are really really bad, but how much worse are they with 1000s of tons of radioactive waste present. Yes, I think they should open Yucca Mountain as well.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2018/03/06/will-we-actually-get-a-place-to-store-our-nuclear-waste/#283213a023a0

 

Will We Actually Get A Place To Store Our Nuclear Waste?

, I write about nuclear, energy and the environment

It certainly looks like it. At the end of February, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepted Holtec International’s license application for its proposed consolidated interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel, called HI-STORE CIS.

To be located in southeastern New Mexico near Carlsbad, the facility would store spent nuclear fuel, which is better referred to as slightly used nuclear fuel, until a final disposal facility is built or until we build our new fast reactors that will burn it, or we recycle it into new fuel.

Reactor fuel usually spends five years in the reactor, after which about 5% of the energy in the fuel is used, but fission products of the reactions have built-up to the point where the fuel must be replaced. After leaving the reactor, the spent fuel usually spends about 5 years in spent fuel pools of water, until heat and radiation have decreased sufficiently to allow the fuel to be passively cooled in a dry cask (see 1,2,3).

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I am so amazed by this, that I do not know what to say. I wish these type projects had started 30 years ago. You would say, impossible. I would say the technology would have been different and the work harder, but it could have been done. Still I am so proud of Renault and I hope more companies try this out. GO Renault!

https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/21/renault-ev-second-life-batteries-smart-island/

Renault’s ‘smart island’ runs on wind power and recycled batteries

The experiment in Portugal aims to prove you can live without fossil fuels.

Renault has launched a “smart island” in Portugal that uses its Zoe electric vehicle, home batteries, smart charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2E) energy storage to run without fossil fuels. The idea is to make the Madeira island of Porto Santo energy independent and stimulate renewable energy production. “[We want] to build a model that can be carried over to other islands and cities,” Renault Electric Vehicle Director Eric Feunteun told Engadget.

Unlike Tesla’s massive Powerpack installation, the Renault project is more of a community endeavor on the small (16 square mile) and sparsely populated (5,483 inhabitants), tourism-oriented island. It will unroll in three phases: In the first, 20 fortunate Porto Santo volunteers will get 14 Zoes and six Kango Z.E. utility vans to use every day. They’ll benefit from 40 new connected public and private charging stations set up by Renault and local utility Empresa de Electricitade da Madeira (EEM).

“Let’s say you come home from work at 7 PM with a decent charge left, and only need two to three hours of charging,” said Feunteun. “The smart charging system we’re testing will decide when the best time to do that is, based on usage, energy availability and other factors. Then, it can charge up to eight times a day in chunks as small as 15 minutes.”

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Go there and read every glorious word. More next week.

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I do not believe in always presenting “bad news” about any given subject. Do I post happy news about coal? Not very often. Do I post good things about oil drilling? Not much. How about great stories about Nukes? No. But when a bad situation gets better, especially of the scope of what has gone on in Japan. Hell goods is hard not to report. Few people realize that removing the spent fuel rods from all three reactors is at least half the job.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/world/worst-hit-reactor-at-fukushima-may-be-easiest-to-clean/article_e1bd8254-2e1c-5345-80e3-70b298e6ad86.amp.html

Worst-hit reactor at Fukushima may be easiest to clean up

By MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press

OKUMA, Japan (AP) — High atop Fukushima’s most damaged nuclear reactor, the final pieces of a jelly-roll shaped cover are being put in place to seal in highly radioactive dust.

Blown apart by a hydrogen explosion in 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, reactor Unit 3 is undergoing painstaking construction ahead of a milestone that is the first step toward dismantling the plant.

The operating floor — from where new fuel rods used to be lowered into the core — has been rebuilt and if all goes as planned, huge cranes will begin removing 566 sets of still-radioactive fuel rods from a storage pool just below it later this year.

It has taken seven years just to get this far, but now the real work of cleaning up the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant can begin.

“If you compare it with mountain climbing, we’ve only been preparing to climb. Now, we finally get to actually start climbing,” said Daisuke Hirose, an official at the plant’s decommissioning and decontamination unit.

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Go there and read the good news. More next week.

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I am a graduate of Sangamon State University. What is now University of Illinois Springfield. They just build a Student Union and I am so proud of it. It could be LEED certified and it is student centered. Our Student Union was in a temporary building 0n the temporary campus “down the hill”. This is just so cool.

Strategic Design of the UIS Student Union

This is the part I like:

Environmentally Excellent

UIS is seeking a LEED Gold certificate (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council), both for the sake of the environment and in order to take advantage of energy saving measures. For this reason, the building will have a green, or “living,” roof with vegetation and a growing medium over a sloped membrane. This roof will provide insulation, help to lower air temperatures, and last much longer than other roofs—50 to 60 years rather than the 20 to 30 years most roofs last. The vegetation will most likely include wildflowers that will change throughout the growing season, adding to the building’s beauty.

To reduce storm runoff and eliminate water irrigation, the Student Union will have a rainwater reclamation system that takes advantage of the roof’s slope. Also in consideration of LEED approvals, lighting will be designed to meet the USGBC’s very stringent requirements.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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In other words they try to get out of their obligations by appearing to be generous. No Nuke has been built in the U.S. in 40 years because they are financial death traps. It takes a “modernizing” economy to support such a massive waste of time and money. And of course ignore safety concerns when regulation is lax. Now they want to give away a partially built plant. What the hell is North Carolina gonna do with that?

https://www.postandcourier.com/business/utility-offers-abandoned-s-c-nuclear-site-to-santee-cooper/article_ac93346a-de86-11e7-9805-33c5e015ebec.html

top story

Utility offers abandoned S.C. nuclear site to Santee Cooper

  • Associated Press

COLUMBIA — The parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. is offering the site of a failed nuclear reactor project to the state-owned utility Santee Cooper.

SCANA has proposed giving the Fairfield County site to Santee Cooper so the project could be preserved and perhaps finished at some point in the future, The State newspaper reported.

SCE&G and Santee Cooper abandoned their joint effort July 31 after spending more than $9 billion, both blaming the failure on the bankruptcy by principal contractor Westinghouse. SCE&G customers have been charged nearly $2 billion toward interest on the company’s debt, via a series of rate hikes since 2009, without any power being generated.

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Go there and read the scam. More next week.

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On this cold early winter day, I would like to return to our residential roots with a discussion of water heaters. After your furnace and air conditioner , the largest user of energy in your house. Yes this is a guest post. No I can not swear by everything she says or thinks. But she does a pretty good job.

https://www.jenreviews.com/water-heater/

Jen Reviews – only the best reviews

How to Choose a Water Heater, According to Science

There are many who want to buy an efficient and stable water heater for their homes. But do they? Water heaters do the difficult job of heating the water supply of your home. Providing you with immediate hot water when needed through various fixtures and knobs.

Like many other appliances, a water heater is more convenient than manually heating up the water whenever needed. It cuts back time and effort, for most homeowners, while making life simpler. So why do most people hurry when choosing the right water heater? Something this important needs careful consideration of features and functions.

The best part about using the best water heater is that it lasts for years. It requires minimal maintenance and even if you hire a professional to maintain one, it doesn’t cost you big bucks. That said, finding a dependable water heater isn’t easy.

Because water is being constantly heated inside the tank, it needs to be energy efficient and spacious enough to accommodate the entire house. Anything that takes up more energy is a waste, costing you a hefty power bill.

So how do water heaters work?

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Go there and read pages. More next week.

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I think this report says it all. There is 15 pages here, but it is a good read.

https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/energy-environment-report-2017.pdf

 

OCTOBER 2017
R-17-09-A
NRDC’s Fifth Annual Energy Report
AMERICA’S CLEAN
ENERGY REVOLUTION
NRDC Senior Editor, Policy Publications: Mary Annaïse Heglar
NRDC Policy Publications Editor: Tim Lau
Design and Production: www.suerossi.com
Pipeline cover image: © Rick Wilking/Reuters/Newscom
© Natural Resources Defense Council 2017
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The NRDC Annual Energy Reports were conceived by Pat Remick, and like its predecessors, this fifth edition reflects her extensive editorial supervision. The authors gratefully acknowledge the invaluable contributions of a number of people: Michelle Bright, Lara Ettenson, Mary Heglar, Roland Hwang, Katherine Kennedy, Lissa Lynch, Matthew McKinzie, John Moore, Briana Mordick, and John Walke.
Fifth Annual Energy Report
Dozens of clean energy records have been shattered across the
United States in the last year and a half. Solar energy is growing at an
unprecedented rate and the first U.S. offshore wind farm now provides
clean electricity off the coast of Rhode Island. Grid operators and utilities
are implementing new techniques and grid improvements that allow us
to integrate more clean energy into America’s electricity system without
compromising reliability. At the same time, states and utilities have
increased their energy efficiency investments, reducing energy waste and
energy costs across the U.S. economy. Taken together, the United States is
slashing climate-changing and other harmful pollutant seven as national
energy spending hits record lows. Cities, states, and businesses recognize
the economic advantages of clean energy and have taken the lead on U.S.
climate action and must continue to do so. It is clear that a low-carbon
future is more affordable and achievable than ever. The last year and a half
has proved that, despite some new political headwinds, ever-improving
economics can propel the clean energy transition in the years to come.
The good news is we don’t have to choose between the
environment and a booming economy. Clean energy
not only reduces pollution harmful to public health
and our environment, it is also one of the fast-growing
areas for U.S. jobs and contributes billions to the U.S.
economy annually.
1   Energy efficiency and renewable energy are already
the cheapest sources of new energy
in the United States over the life of the investment.
2   Building new wind and solar farms is even expected to be
cheaper than running existing coal and gas plants within
the next decade.
3   Clean energy (from energy efficiency
improvements and renewable resource additions) already
employs almost 3 million Americans.
4,5   That is more than
twice the number of jobs in the U.S. fossil extraction and
production industries.
6   Energy efficiency supports the bulk of clean energy
employment in America today, providing permanent, well-
paying jobs in the design, manufacturing, construction, and
installation of energy-efficient buildings and appliances. In
addition, energy efficiency plays a crucial role in keeping
U.S. manufacturing and other industries competitive in a
global market—reducing energy waste, lowering the costs
of domestic production, and making our facilities some
of the most efficient in the world. The U.S. Department of
Energy (DOE) estimated in 2016 that with more aggressive,
but feasible, investments in energy efficiency, industry
could save up to an additional 7.5 quads of energy annually
by 2030—about 35 percent of all power used by industry
in 2016, or about the total amount of energy used by 50
million Americans in a year.
7, 8   These electricity savings
would be worth almost $30 billion annually (using 2016
average electric prices for industry).
9   The energy intensity of the U.S. economy (energ

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Yes, Utility Companies are down on renewables as they see thier lives coming to an end. But this headline’s really about grid storage which I support. Still it is an informative article. I would be more interested in an article about how well, if at all, solar panels survive wind storms like hurricanes.

http://www.iflscience.com/policy/illegal-power-home-solar-panels-florida/

Thanks To Lobbying, It’s Illegal To Power Your Home With Solar Panels In Florida

It may have ravaged much of the Caribbean, but Hurricane Irma weakened mercifully quickly as it passed over Florida. That’s not to say that it didn’t cause significant infrastructural damage, of course, and soon after the storm had passed, 40 percent of Florida lacked electricity, something that ended up killing several people who relied on it.

At the time of writing, 1.5 million Floridians are still without power, and the issue of solar power has come up. This is the Sunshine State we’re talking about – so why is it so difficult to get a solar panel for your house there?

As pointed out by the Miami New Times, Florida Power and Light (FPL) – a major supplier of electricity to the state – has invested heavily in lobbying state lawmakers to disallow residents from powering their own homes with rooftop solar power panels. In fact, thanks to the current laws, it is essentially illegal to do so; you have to connect any solar panels to your local electric grid, provided by a state utility. Seriously. We aren’t kidding. You cannot get off-grid solar panels from a third party.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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