Solar Farm Converted To A Coal Mine -Yah, I know, that is never going to happen

Sorry I was trying to be funny. This is actually really good news that should have happened a long time ago. You know, like when Global Warming could have been prevented. Reluctantly getting it right when it is too late is like the orchestra on the top deck of the Titanic. Ahh but that’s the cynic in me. Put on a happy face and believe.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/02/climate/coal-mines-solar-climate.html

Coming Soon to This Coal County: Solar, in a Big Way

In Martin County, Ky., where coal production has flatlined, entrepreneurs are promising that a new solar farm atop a shuttered mine will bring green energy jobs.

Credit…Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. — For a mountain that’s had its top blown off, the old Martiki coal mine is looking especially winsome these days. With its vast stretches of emerald grass dotted with hay bales and ringed with blue-tinged peaks, and the wild horses and cattle that roam there, it looks less like a shuttered strip mine and more like an ad for organic milk.

The mountain is poised for another transformation. Hundreds of acres are set to be blanketed with solar panels in the coming year, installed by locals, many of them former miners. The $231 million project, which recently cleared its last regulatory hurdle, may well be the biggest utility-scale coal to solar project in the country.

It would be a desperately needed economic boost drenched in symbolism: Renewable energy generated from a shuttered mine in the heart of Appalachia, where poverty grinds on in the aftermath of the coal industry’s demise.

In many ways, the project is a test case for whether a region once completely dependent on digging fossil fuels from the ground can be revived by creating clean energy from the sun. As coal continues to decline — the number of jobs nationwide fell to about 40,000 last year from 175,000 in the mid 1980s — supporting former coal communities is seen as vital for what has been termed a “just transition,” in part to ward off backlash against attempts to decarbonize.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Trouble With Wind Turbines – Everything that is not true of turbines

Let me say from the get go, that i support Wind Turbines one hundred percent. I have friends that hate them. Mainly because they consider them BIG eye sores. They bother me because they kill a lot of birds, thought the manufacturers are trying to do something about that.

The thing that really bothers me, and you see can it in the article, is that the Republicants make it a cause celeb with false claims about the Turbines, mostly human health related – likes Trump’s – they cause cancer comment. They get everybody riled up and angry because they think it will get people to vote for their candidates in elections and in the end it just screws things up for everyone involved. On top of that the wind farms get built (usually) and nobody is happy.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/josephbernstein/facebook-groups-wind-turbine-construction?utm_source=digg

“Corrosive Communities”: How A Facebook Fight Over Wind Power Predicts the Future of Local Politics in America

In small towns around the country, wind turbines are doing something to the locals.

Posted on December 17, 2021, at 11:35 a.m. ET

Bad vibrations abound. Many of them are obvious: We can sense them, measure the damage they do, try to counteract or avoid them. Others exist in a range outside the limit of normal human perception. Most of us go about our lives oblivious to these. But sometimes a person gains a new kind of awareness, one that gives form and name to the hidden forces in the air, in this country, at this moment. Such a person may become obsessed, tormented, desperate. Such a person may feel obligated to act.

Erik and Chantelle Benko live in rural Sidney Township, Michigan, about 45 minutes northeast of Grand Rapids. They moved there in 2016, to a ramshackle ranch on 40 rolling acres, where they planned to breed American quarter horses and set up an equine-assisted psychotherapy practice. Getting the place in shape took several hundred thousand dollars, they said. But it was worth it to raise their two boys in a place where people knew each other and treated each other with respect, where kids got the first day of hunting season off from school, where you couldn’t pump gas without making friends with the clerk. The first night in his new home, the sky was so clear, Erik Benko said, “you felt like you could reach out and grab a handful of stars.”

One day in October 2020, a post on the Facebook page for the Sidney Township Neighborhood Watch seized the Benkos’ attention. Jeffrey Lodholtz, a member of the township planning commission, had published a screenshot of a text message from Jed Welder, a local farmer and township trustee. Like hundreds of rural and agricultural communities across the country, Sidney Township, open, gusty, and short on cash, was receiving interest from a wind energy company. Wind farms can bring municipal tax benefits, construction jobs, and payments for fallow or devalued cropland. The planning commission was considering a new law to set standards to encourage developmen

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Go there and read. It is a very long article. More next week.

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Screw Batteries – Alternative energy doesn’t need them

That’s right. Batteries are great for houses and cars, but that’s about it. For every other purpose there are better alternatives and for large scale reproduction of power. This is the newest and the best.

https://www.wired.com/story/energy-vault-gravity-storage/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Gravity Could Solve Clean Energy’s One Major Drawback

Finding green energy when the winds are calm and the skies are cloudy has been a challenge. Storing it in giant concrete blocks could be the answer.

In a Swiss valley, an unusual multi-armed crane lifts two 35-ton concrete blocks high into the air. The blocks delicately inch their way up the blue steel frame of the crane, where they hang suspended from either side of a 66-meter-wide horizontal arm. There are three arms in total, each one housing the cables, winches, and grabbing hooks needed to hoist another pair of blocks into the sky, giving the apparatus the appearance of a giant metallic insect lifting and stacking bricks with steel webs. Although the tower is 75 meters tall, it is easily dwarfed by the forested flanks of southern Switzerland’s Lepontine Alps, which rise from the valley floor in all directions.

Thirty meters. Thirty-five. Forty. The concrete blocks are slowly hoisted upwards by motors powered with electricity from the Swiss power grid. For a few seconds they hang in the warm September air, then the steel cables holding the blocks start to unspool and they begin their slow descent to join the few dozen similar blocks stacked at the foot of the tower. This is the moment that this elaborate dance of steel and concrete has been designed for. As each block descends, the motors that lift the blocks start spinning in reverse, generating electricity that courses through the thick cables running down the side of the crane and onto the power grid. In the 30 seconds during which the blocks are descending, each one generates about one megawatt of electricity: enough to power roughly 1,000 homes.

This tower is a prototype from Switzerland-based Energy Vault, one of a number of startups finding new ways to use gravity to generate electricity. A fully-sized version of the tower might contain 7,000 bricks and provide enough electricity to power several thousand homes for eight hours. Storing energy in this way could help solve the biggest problem facing the transition to renewable electricity: finding a zero-carbon way to keep the lights on when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. “The greatest hurdle we have is getting low-cost storage,” says Robert Piconi, CEO and cofounder of Energy Vault.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Upheavals Caused By Clean Energy – All the tree huggers make it look like pixie dust

By “pixie dust” I mean that a lot of environmentalists make it sound like there will be no chaos from fossil fuel use to renewal energy systems and that is not true. Dislodging fossil fuel will result in job loses, factories closing and possibly the lack of transportation (for example) for chunks of the population. Especially those not preparing for it now. Lives will be lost. This is the fault of capitalism but it is what we have. Also the reverse is true, as demand for clean energy grows, whole resources will be created from scratch (rare earths for instance). The earth will be scarred, employment will be created with much wrenching and tearing. Lives will be lost. Capitalism will prevail. Just think of what happened when oil and gas took over and from the Luddites. This is a Really Long article about all of that and it only scratches the surface.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2021-11-30/geopolitics-energy-green-upheaval?utm_source=pocket-newtab

It is not hard to understand why people dream of a future defined by clean energy. As greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow and as extreme weather events become more frequent and harmful, the current efforts to move beyond fossil fuels appear woefully inadequate. Adding to the frustration, the geopolitics of oil and gas are alive and well—and as fraught as ever. Europe is in the throes of a full-fledged energy crisis, with staggering electricity prices forcing businesses across the continent to shutter and energy firms to declare bankruptcy, positioning Russian President Vladimir Putin to take advantage of his neighbors’ struggles by leveraging his country’s natural gas reserves. In September, blackouts reportedly led Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng to instruct his country’s state-owned energy companies to secure supplies for winter at any cost. And as oil prices surge above $80 per barrel, the United States and other energy-hungry countries are pleading with major producers, including Saudi Arabia, to ramp up their output, giving Riyadh more clout in a newly tense relationship and suggesting the limits of Washington’s energy “independence.”

Proponents of clean energy hope (and sometimes promise) that in addition to mitigating climate change, the energy transition will help make tensions over energy resources a thing of the past. It is true that clean energy will transform geopolitics—just not necessarily in the ways many of its champions expect. The transition will reconfigure many elements of international politics that have shaped the global system since at least World War II, significantly affecting the sources of national power, the process of globalization, relations among the great powers, and the ongoing economic convergence of developed countries and developing ones. The process will be messy at best. And far from fostering comity and cooperation, it will likely produce new forms of competition and confrontation long before a new, more copacetic geopolitics takes shape.

Talk of a smooth transition to clean energy is fanciful: there is no way that the world can avoid major upheavals as it remakes the entire energy system, which is the lifeblood of the global economy and underpins the geopolitical order. Moreover, the conventional wisdom about who will gain and who will lose is frequently off base.

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Go there and reeeeaaad. More next week.

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Grid Regulation With Alternative Power – Its almost as important how you turn alternative power off as how you turn it on

Can the Grid run only on Alternative Power? Yes. Can we store enough Alternative Energy to run the Grid smoothly (night and day, whenever)? Yes. Can we turn Alternative Power off if we need to? This video argues, Yes. Again, I do not normally do videos because this is a print based blog. But this video says it better than any article I have ever seen. So:

https://digg.com/video/what-happens-when-islands-makes-way-more-power-than-neededs

 

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Go there and watch. Its only 6 minutes. More next week.

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When There Is Too Much Electricity – Yah gotta let it out baby

Any Electrical Generation System can generate too much energy in a system where output is unknown. To put it another way where consumption is unknown. And this is just my opinion but I am betting any system would rather have too much than too little product or produce to sell. If the system is really large a little bit too much is way better then a little bit less. But what to do with the excess?  By the way. contrary to this article, you can turn energy generation off, so long as you know when you have to turn it back on.

https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/what-do-we-do-too-much-renewable-energy

Photo by tuomas tifonimages/iStock

What Do We Do With Too Much Renewable Energy?

It’s not easy to turn off a wind turbine, but the electricity has to go somewhere

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We know that green energy is good, but can there be too much of a good thing?

For instance, with unusually low demand during the COVID-19 lockdown, the United Kingdom’s power consumption fell by nearly 20 percent this summer. That caused a surge in unused green energy. In May, the National Grid asked for emergency powers to switch off solar and wind farms and warned of blackouts and a “significant risk of disruption to security of supply.”

Britain is certainly not alone. As the transition to renewable energy gathers pace, early adopter regions like Germany, Denmark, and California are finding that, counterintuitively, too much green power poses problems for their energy supply. Electricity, when generated, must be used instantaneously, and therefore the amount of generation and the amount of demand must be balanced perfectly at all times. This can cause surges in the grid unless there are means of storing or diverting this excess.

Finding that perfect balance is complicated at the best of times, says Cisco DeVries, an energy expert and the CEO of OhmConnect as well as a former aide to the secretary of energy during the Clinton administration. It’s far worse when you throw in sudden surprises such as a global pandemic. Suddenly, people are consuming more power at home, but factories are standing empty. “We’re changing when and where we’re using [energy], and we’re doing it in a way that’s never been done before,” he says. Add the challenges of disconnecting solar power plants and wind farms to changing use patterns, he notes, and you’ve “exponentially complicated the balancing of supply and demand.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Joe Biden Is Turning Out To Be My Kind Of President

Do I need to say more?

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/08/business/energy-environment/biden-solar-energy-climate-change.html

From 4% to 45%: Biden Offers Ambitious Blueprint for Solar Energy

The Energy Department analysis provides only a broad outline, and many of the details will be decided by congressional lawmakers.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Energy Web Site Home Builders And Owners Will Love

Every once in awhile I return to CES’ residential roots. So, here is another pass. You know what I say in these situations – Buyer Beware. This site looks really really good. I think it is sexy that it is a nonprofit organization. But I have never used this organization. I am a homeowner who has made very little in the way of energy IMPROVEments – insulation, metal roof and efficient air conditioner but the furnace in my house is 20 years old. Nonetheless these people look cool.

Our Mission

The Zero Energy Project is a non-profit educational organization whose goal is to help home buyers, builders, designers, and real estate professionals take meaningful steps towards radically reducing carbon emissions and energy bills by building zero net energy homes and near zero energy homes. We envision the day when positive energy homes, which produce more energy than they consume, will power electric vehicles as well as homes, so that everyone can live well with less expense and without fear of energy price spikes, while greatly reducing our carbon emissions.

The mission of the Zero Energy Project is to provide information and education to prospective home buyers, builders, designers, real estate professionals and advocates about zero net energy homes and to advance the prevalence of these homes in the mainstream housing market. We seek to facilitate connections between industry professionals and buyers, remove perceived barriers to entry, and provide resources to people from all walks of life, empowering action towards a robust zero energy built environment.

 

We aim to provide all stakeholders with the necessary resources for understanding, designing, constructing, and selling affordable zero energy homes. We are committed to providing homebuilders, designers, and realtors with the marketing tools they need to convince their clients of the benefits of zero net energy homes.

This mission takes on new urgency in light of “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math.”

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Go there and fool around. More next week.

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Dangerous Oklahoma Wind Farm – That was gonna be the piece that I ran

But the Oklahoma Newspaper put up a stinking pay wall that pissed me off. So here is the reference to that:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwj48LDDxanyAhUXH80KHXvuBXcQFnoECAwQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.oklahoman.com%2Fstory%2Fbusiness%2Fenergy-resource%2F2021%2F06%2F19%2Foklahoma-corporation-commission-concerned-panhandle-wind-farm-broken-turbines-poses-safety-threat%2F7523260002%2F&usg=AOvVaw0wKqcZIkbgqgNvTZ3jJOTR

Here is a video peek:

 

So now I will have to post a more desultory post about how to properly maintain a wind farm and what that costs. But they had some cool pictures of things like a Turbine House destroyed at 300 feet. Turbine blades dangling and swinging in the wind. Everyone called it DANGERous. But here is the more mundane side of things. What the bad boys should have been doing.

https://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1010136/breaking-down-cost-wind-turbine-maintenance

Breaking down the cost of wind turbine maintenance

Cutting costs by preventing failure instead of running wind turbines until they break lies at the heart of a new approach to operations and maintenance.

OR

http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/21860/the-challenge-of-wind-turbine-blade-repair/

The challenge of wind turbine blade repair

07 November 2011
George Marsh

 

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Go there and yawn. More next week

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People Don’t Think NonCarbon Fuels Can Power The World – Well they can

Again, I rarely publish Videos. Because this is a print blog. But this is a good one and it makes the point, that if you structure the infrastructure right you can power the world with Solar and Wind.

https://digg.com/video/heres-what-would-happen-if-you-covered-the-entire-sahara-desert-with-solar-panels

Trending

HERE COMES THE SUN

Here’s What Would Happen If You Covered The Entire Sahara Desert With Solar Panels

With our climate crisis and other problems with fossil fuels, what if we attempted to cover the Sahara Desert with solar panels? Could we power the entire planet?