We Waste 2/3rds Of The Energy We Generate – This is Tragic

America is in a double bind. We have some of the best energy research and technology in the world. But when we try to talk to the rest of the world about Climate Change. We look like FOOLS.

 

 

Op-Ed Contributors

Why Is America Wasting So Much Energy?

By Terry Sobolewski and Ralph Cavanagh

Partisan fights in Washington can leave the impression that we’re hopelessly divided. The truth is there are plenty of bipartisan solutions to the energy and environmental challenges we face, and energy efficiency is near the top of the list.

America fails to capture some two-thirds of the power it generates, much of it through simple waste, according to federal data. In a recent survey, the United States was ranked eighth among 23 of the world’s top energy-consuming countries in efficiency, behind several European nations, China and Japan.

We shouldn’t accept that.

Energy efficiency is one of the most powerful resources we have for meeting our energy and environmental goals. It is also an enormous economic opportunity.

Setting aside the significant environmental impact, this energy waste costs American businesses and households billions of dollars every year. In commercial buildings alone, where annual electricity costs are roughly $190 billion, about 30 percent of this energy goes to waste.

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So SAD. Go there and read. More next week.

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Carbon Tax – The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board thinks it is a really good idea

The Carbon Tax is long overdue nationally, though California’s seems to be chugging right along. But think how far we have come – worse yet, think how far down the tubes we must be that the Chicago Tribune, as an entity, is advocating for it. Read it and weep, either for joy or sadness.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-carbon-tax-epa-climate-20180702-story.html

Editorial:

A carbon tax that could put money in your pocket

Editorial Board  Editorials reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board, as determined by the members of the board, the editorial page editor and the publisher.

The indications of a warming world are numerous and hard to miss. Last year was the third-warmest year on record for both the planet and the United States — exceeded only by 2015 and 2016. In June, scientists reported that Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tons of ice since 1992 — yielding “enough water to cover Texas to a depth of nearly 13 feet,” the Associated Press reported.

The indications of inaction on the subject are also abundant and visible. Last year, Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris agreement on greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency has moved to ease regulations on power plants and motor vehicles that were integral to the Obama administration’s efforts to slow climate change.

Bipartisan action – once a normal response to environmental harms – is not on the agenda for Congress or the White House. But a growing group of farsighted pragmatists are nonetheless trying to find a middle ground between the entrenched adversaries.

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Go there and read. Google much more. More next week

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Small Houses For Vets – Why not small houses for all the homeless

Don’t get me wrong. I think this is really good and really good work as well. But housing as seems obvious is the solution to homelessness. So why not house all the homeless in small houses. Hell for that matter house all the poor people that want them in small houses.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article197241499.html

Thirteen homeless veterans got a look Monday at the furnished tiny houses they will call home for the next six to 12 months. The Veterans Community Project also got a chance to show the public the first phase of the “Veterans Village” taking shape. – Shelly Yang, The Kansas City Star
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‘Housing with dignity’: First 13 homeless veterans to move into tiny houses in KC

January 29, 2018 02:12 PM

Updated January 29, 2018 03:12 PM

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Native Americans Give Up On Coal – That is if Peabody will let them

This is what it is like at the end of a power source. People can hardly wait to get away from coal and on to something else. I say, GOOD FOR THEM. Coal is no longer competitive. No matter how they try to stand in the way coal supporters, including Dotard in Chief, will always lose. Can you say, dust bin of history.

  • 7:30 am

Solar is starting to replace the largest coal plant in the western U.S.

On Navajo land in Arizona, a coal plant and coal mine that have devastated the environment are being replaced by solar–with both enormous benefits and local drawbacks that can serve as a lesson for how the rest of the country will need to manage the transition to renewables.

In the desert near Arizona’s border with Utah on the Navajo Nation, a massive solar array built in 2017 now provides power for around 18,000 Navajo homes. Nearby, construction will begin later this year on a second solar plant. And on another corner of Navajo land, the largest coal plant west of the Mississippi River is preparing to close 25 years ahead of schedule, despite some last-minute attempts to save it.

“Those two [solar] plants really are the beginning of an economic transition,” says Amanda Ormond, managing director of the Western Grid Group, an organization that promotes clean energy.

The coal plant, called the Navajo Generating Station, was built in the 1970s to provide power to growing populations in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada. A nearby coal mine supplies the power plant with coal. As recently as 2014, the coal plant wasn’t expected to close until 2044–a date negotiated with the EPA to reduce air pollution. But reduced demand for coal, driven both by economics and climate action, means that the plant is scheduled to close in 2019 instead. The coal mine, run by Peabody Energy, will be forced to follow.

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Go there and celebrate. I mean read. More next week.

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This Year Will Be Good For Offshore Wind Farms – In 2018 offshore wind farms will take off

This method of generation will only go up from here. But here is something most people don’t consider, at sea drilling for oil and wind farms are incompatible. You can not drill anywhere near wind turbines because of the possibility of oil spills. There is a good chance those spills would ignite. That is not the case with other spills or even explosions and fires. Because they are easily put out. But when you have an electrical source, those fires are guaranteed and would be difficult to extinguish. So all you have to do to stop off shore drilling is build wind farms. Mark my words, when some hotshot wind person builds a wind farm over a proven oil deposit, oil is dead.

https://e360.yale.edu/features/after-an-uncertain-start-u-s-offshore-wind-is-powering-up

After an Uncertain Start, U.S. Offshore Wind Is Powering Up

After years of delays, the U.S. offshore wind industry is finally gaining momentum, with new projects being planned along the Atlantic coast. So far, the Trump administration seems to be regarding offshore wind as one form of renewable energy it can support.

This summer, the Norwegian energy company, Statoil, will send a vessel to survey a triangular slice of federal waters about 15 miles south of Long Island, where the company is planning to construct a wind farm that could generate up to 1.5 gigawatts of electricity for New York City and Long Island — enough to power roughly 1 million homes. Construction on the “Empire Wind” project, with scores of wind turbines generating electricity across 79,000 acres of leased federal waters, is scheduled to begin in 2023, with construction completed in 2025.

Farther south, 27 miles off the coast of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Avangrid Renewables, an Oregon-based company, has already begun planning for a major wind energy farm on 122,000 acres of federal waters, a project that could eventually generate 1.5 gigawatts of electricity.

And about 10 miles off the New Jersey coast, between Atlantic City and Cape May, Danish clean-energy giant Ørsted, which has a large portfolio of offshore wind farms across Europe, is talking with local officials, securing state permits, and doing seafloor surveys on a 160,000-acre site, where it plans to build its 1–gigawatt Ocean Wind project. Company officials say they are hopeful that the wind farm will come online between 2020 and 2025.

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Go there and read. (Cheer too) More next week.

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Replacement Batteries For EV – The Secondary Markets are developing

I haven’t written or posted about environmentally sound cars, but this article caught my eye. Having robust Secondary and Tertiary markets means that EVs are here to stay and will eventually conquer the market.

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1116722_nissan-begins-offering-rebuilt-leaf-battery-packs

Nissan begins offering rebuilt Leaf battery packs

Starting this month, Nissan has begun offering rebuilt battery packs for the older Leafs, filling a gap for drivers of older cars whose packs have begun to run down.

The company built a new facility in Japan to rebuild the packs, and will sell them for about $2,850 (based on the price in Japan), according to Inside EVs. A Nissan spokesman told Green Car Reports that the company is investigating offering the program in the United States, but has not yet made a decision.

Electric car repair trainer Craig Van Batenburg, of the Automotive Career Development Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, said the refurbished battery packs are new among electric carmakers. Previously, older battery packs had to be replaced with new ones, which cost more than $6,500 (minus a $1,000 trade-in, or core charge, on the old battery pack.)

The cost covers the 24-kwh battery pack in the original Leaf, which was rated at only 73 miles of range when new.

Owners of early Leafs had problems with the cars losing range after only a year or two in hot climates such as Phoenix, Arizona.

READ THIS: Nissan Buys Back Leaf Electric Cars Under Arizona Lemon Law [2012]

 

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Go there and read. More next week.

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California Demands Solar In New Housing – Only 49 to go

I have been at a loss for words for the last month. Things are going so well. I know Dotard is still President and many things are seriously messed up. But on the alternative energy front things just keep getting better and better. Don Blankenship actually made a fool out of himself and lost a primary vote for the Senate in West Virginia. Next week I may even get to report that Yucca Mountain is open for business. But for now, California hits one out of the park.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-solar-panels-20180509-story.html

 

California regulators approve mandate for solar panels on new houses

California regulators on Wednesday mandated that all newly built single family houses have solar panels, part of the state’s aggressive push to combat climate change.

The California Energy Commission voted 5-0 to approve the measure, which also applies to multifamily buildings of three stories or fewer. The mandate is set to take effect in 2020 and does not need the approval of the Legislature.

The requirement is expected to save consumers money in the long run through reduced utility bills, but also make a new house more expensive to purchase at a time many families already struggle to afford a mortgage.

In addition to the solar mandate, the commission approved new insulation and air filter requirements for newly built homes. In all, the new residential requirements are expected to make a single-family house $9,500 more expensive to build on average, but save $19,000 in reduced utility bills over a 30-year period, according to the Energy Commission.

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Go there and do a happy dance – I mean read. More next week

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FirstEnergy Cries For Help – Oh Daddy big government please help little me

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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Saudis Plan 200 GW Solar Power Plant – Twice as big as Chicago

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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Life Without Fossil Fuels – This is what it looks like

In Florida no less. I could hype this piece up, but why? They do such a good job. The place even has its own website.

Home

So here is one version of the story.

https://www.planetizen.com/news/2018/01/96772-residents-move-americas-first-solar-powered-town

Residents Move Into America’s First Solar Powered Town

Residents will live in solar powered homes and ride around the community in self-driving, solar-powered shuttles. Babcock Ranch outside of Fort Myers, Florida, has been in the making since 2005. A city of 50,000 is forecast.
January 18, 2018, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid

“Families are starting to move into what is being called America’s first solar-powered town,” announces John Dickerson for CBS This Morning on Jan. 16. “Babcock Ranch, about half an hour northeast of Fort Myers, Florida, is supposed to produce more energy than it consumes once it’s finished.”

Developer Syd Kitson is building 20,000 homes for a projected 50,000 people, states Dickerson in the newscast video accompanying the article.

There are more than 300,000 solar panels spread across 440 acres there, producing enough electricity not only for the town, but also the surrounding areas, reports CBS News’ Manuel Bojorquez.

One critical energy element lacking in the solar-powered community will be adequate energy storage to allow the city to be truly self-powered:

The town doesn’t run on solar power all the time. At night, when the sun is down, it has to draw from the traditional electrical grid. Kitson says the technology for storing all that surplus energy the solar cells generate during the day is still too costly.

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Go There. I mean literally go there if you can. If not go there and read. More next week.

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