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View Diary: For electric power generation, the end of fossil fuel is in sight (215 comments)

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  •  I like the way you think (45+ / 0-)

    There are three pieces to this:  generation, conservation and efficiency.

    We probably could cover thatn 0.1% simply by making the rest of the US as energy efficient as California.  Just adopt our regulations and invest in some building retrofits and boom, there's massive energy savingss there (for example, California emits on the order of a third the CO2eq per person of the most inefficien states).  

    and of course, switching to uses that don't use electricity (clotheslines) can make a whopping ton more.

    Frankly, the US wouldn't have the carbon and energy problems we do if we didn't waste energy like drunken sailors.

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 10:27:05 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  In my case (52+ / 0-)

      I use a clothesline.  House is passive solar, with a woodstove for supplemental heat.  Part of what the woodstove burns is brush cut from the yard.  Household electric, by paying a very small premium, all comes from wind 100%.  I do use propane very occasionally for heat.  And for cooking - that's the main thing, for cooking with gas.

      The house is planned with good cross ventilation properties.  And trees are planted to shade morning and afternoon in the summer while not blocking the winter sun at all.  That takes only a little planning, looking at sun angles at various times of year.

      Some good progress can be made with building codes.  For one example: Make superstores make covered parking with solar collectors above.  Not a bad investment for the stores, since it'll cut their own utility bills significantly, and looking forward can help with charging for electric cars, too.  Using rooftops of large public facilities for solar, too, makes sense.  It'd save taxpayers money for schools, convention centers, armories and so on.  A dedicated national program for that purpose would make sense.

      "Taxes are for the little people" - Leona Helmsley (before being sent to jail for tax evasion)

      by Land of Enchantment on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 10:46:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's the phrase: The house is planned (15+ / 0-)

        a lot of these efforts take good planning.  A well designed structure can do a lot to cool and heat itself simply by using the environment.  I think we could do with more of that, some by providing resources, some by improving planning and building codes.  I'm drawn to some of the successes with the passivhaus and Zero energy building approaches.

        There's a lot of simple things we could do if we only wanted to.

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 11:10:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  An ancient and simple city planning idea (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          too many people

          that Hot climates tended to gravitate to if not planned is to NOT have north south/East West street grids but have them at 45 degrees from that... SE to NW & SW to NE...

          This automatically adds more shade throughout the day and keeps buildings and streets cooler in the summer in more equatorial regions where the sun is more directly overhead while in the winter more walls are in direct sunlight a bit more to keep the building a little warmer...

          it can be seen in places like downtown LA... the old street pattern is from the Spanish colonial time... the rest of LA in the flat areas switches to a North South/East-West layout A Northern European Legacy... While it is true that the older European street grids are all over the place... when they got organized and did city planning the prime compass point layout just seemed the way to go...

          But East West streets have the northern side bake all day in the Summer... while the southern side freezes all winter... The "Spanish" (& North African, Arab way too) spreads the heat load around better and exposure to direct sun is minimized for most wall surfaces in the summer while a slightly lower sun in Winter (at those latitudes) actually exposes walls to more solar energy overall... and of course all the walls are white anyway so the main point was reduced exposure and reflectivity..

          A bit too late to change existing layouts in the hotter regions... and while in the Northern parts of the US it used to not get as hot as it has been in recent years the northern European style grid

          Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

          by IreGyre on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:25:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I would love to hear (9+ / 0-)

        more about your home.  Did you build the home yourself or buy an already existing passive solar structure.  Have you written diaries on the subject?

      •  A cheaper solution is (10+ / 0-)

        making parking lots and roofs white.  It reduces the heat island effect which reduces cooling costs in the area and reduces cooling costs in the big box.

        •  Building-integrated photovoltaics... (5+ / 0-)

          It is painful to me that what you describe, painting things white, is one of the most effective programs we have.

          Rather than reflecting and scattering with white paint, we need to collect that energy with building-integrated photovoltaics.

          •  Sure but right now it isn't economical (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Don midwest, FarWestGirl, alisonk, BYw

            I'm in the industry and the biggest deterent to sustainable solutions is economics.  So we pick our battles.

            If you can make a solar film that is cheaper than white paint, you'll do really well.  Until then, invest in large scale solar arrays and wind farms (economy of scale), reducing heat island through white roofs and parking lots, and using lots of insulation and insulated low UV glazing.

            •  Large scale solar arrays (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Just Bob

              are not my favorite, for a variety of reasons. Isn't solar better as a distributed power source?

              -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

              by Blueslide on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:33:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Solar film cheaper than white paint (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alisonk, DeminNewJ, ricklewsive

              Might be called grass.  Or moss.  Or, unfortunately, mold.  But you get the idea.  These things already exist, and will do half the work for you if you simply introduce them to appropriate resources and stop actively exterminating them at every opportunity.

              A lot of the creepy sterility of our human world is the direct result of a deliberate aesthetic cultivated during the first half of the 20th century called Modernism, which extolled the perfection of "clean lines" and "uncluttered landscape" and expanses of steel and concrete as expressions of human power.  The Nazis and Communists are famous for it, but they only invested in a movement that was already well underway.  In America, much of this was invested in near-worship of all things related to aviation and space science.  Think about science fiction novel covers.  There are no trees in Outer Space.  And, theoretically, no mold, mildew or insects.  Everything is sanitary.  Perfectly clean and devoid of life.

              Only problem is, we happen to be living beings ourselves.  And new developments in science suggest that we aren't even single organisms, but collections of cohabitating symbiotic life-forms.  We depend on the bacteria in our guts to digest our food, and the mitochondria encased in our cells to process our intracellular energy.  In the larger world, we need plants to produce oxygen, a wide array of foodstuffs, and an even wider array of supporting organisms to keep our foodstuffs and symbionts fed and healthy.

              Solar film on the oceans = algae.  Solar film on the mountains = lichen, alpines.  We don't have to invent any of this stuff.  All we have to do is quit poisoning it.

            •  what costs do you include in your economics? (0+ / 0-)

              How much of our military budget do you include and what kind of set asides for sea level rise, food banking and other remediation needs created by climate instability are in your cost estimates for solar?

              We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

              by Mosquito Pilot on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 04:08:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Renewable Energy is the way (6+ / 0-)

        I have lived off grid for 18 years of my life https://www.facebook.com/...

      •  Many European cities (5+ / 0-)

        have taken this building-code idea in a slightly different direction, by mandating Green Roofs.  Unlike white-painted parking lots, these reduce both cooling and heating costs, assist with managing stormwater runoff, and provide sanctuaries for ecological diversity, as well as, frankly, looking a lot prettier than the vast majority of modern architecture.  They can also be integrated with Solar arrays in a complimentary system where the two techniques actually benefit one another rather than being mutually exclusive.

        Personally, as an ecological gardener, I can't see why we don't mandate this on every flat roof that can support it.  Every bit of green is precious, and helps to mitigate the damage that urbanization has done to our Earth.  We've already established that life will adapt and often thrive, opportunistically, in the artificial niches and habitats we create.  We need to take a more conscious attitude towards guiding and encouraging the right kinds of biological colonization and diversity.  Otherwise, we're stuck with starlings, rats, cockroaches and coyotes.  And wiregrass.

      •  our school district put solar panels (5+ / 0-)

        on school roofs and parking lots, and found that it saved them money. it's a total no brainer.

    •  Actually ... (18+ / 0-)

      note that Univ of Delaware study is 'just' wind and solar.  What about hydro (traditional dams, in stream, tidal, wave, ...)? Biomass? Waste-to-electricity? Geothermal?  Combined Heat & Power?  Etc ...

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 11:29:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or Nuclear. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Recall, alain2112, A Siegel

        As it is, US per/capita emissions are down 5% since 1990.

        Imagine how much lower they would be if the US had 300 functioning nuclear reactors instead of 100?

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 12:59:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Even better (21+ / 0-)

          if we can do it all with renewables, and can sidestep figuring out how to safely store waste for thousands of years and how to prevent engineering errors from small leaks up to Fukushimas.  With renewable technologies progressing in leaps and bounds, my chips are on that.

          •  And it makes most power usage decentralized (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roger Fox, asym, BYw, Just Bob, A Siegel

            In a generation or two, for regular household or light industrial usage, the grid may become a back up electrical source for most Americans instead of the primary one.

            •  Energy like the net becomes resistent (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Noodles

              to interruption, disruption and monopolization... the more local it is and the more "nodes" there are the more it is self correcting and resilient... and economically too... insulating the average person from control and domination by strategically placed corporations that control access and set prices to suit themselves.

              Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

              by IreGyre on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:30:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely unacceptable. (17+ / 0-)

          If you could find anyone to invest in them without the government (taxpayers) and ratepayers. And taking all the health/environmental risks. Both Exelon - the largest nuke conglomerate in the country - and GE - designer/builder of nukes - have taken the position that the costs and headaches are simply not worth the effort. The fuel cycle start to finish (if there were a finish, but there's not) is a significant contributor to global warming and future uncertainties. Nobody in their right mind wants to generate waste deadly to humans for at least a hundred thousand years just to toast their bagels today. There are better ways to toast bagels.

          If we go passive, conservation, smart metering for scheduling usage and generation from solar, wind, hydro, waste gas (methane) and geothermal, with well designed downstream use of waste heat, we'd have no need for nuclear or coal plants. And natural gas plants would be reserved for demand peaks that can't be worked around in other ways. That's the point.

          •  If. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PatriciaVa, A Siegel
            If we go passive, conservation, smart metering for scheduling usage and generation from solar, wind, hydro, waste gas (methane) and geothermal, with well designed downstream use of waste heat, we'd have no need for nuclear or coal plants.
            If we don't, nuclear needs to be an option.
            •  It's already an option. (8+ / 0-)

              What we are NOT doing is building 200 new nukes, and we never will. There's not enough money on the planet, even considering the vast monetary bubble Wall Street recently inflated and then popped (remember when "real money" was measured in billions and there was no such thing as trillions? Ah, Dr. Evil...). We are at the environmental tipping point - we simply do not have 50-100 years to drag our collective feet on doing something about the human causes of climate change.

              So no, nukes will not be playing a considerable role in the future.

              •  Which is fine. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                alain2112, PatriciaVa
                What we are NOT doing is building 200 new nukes, and we never will.
                I just don't think that we shouldn't oppose building nuclear generators while we're still building fossil fuel generation, and we shouldn't shut down nuclear power plants while we're still burning fossil fuels.
                •  We are nearly two years (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Roger Fox, BYw, Just Bob, ozsea1, Sandino

                  behind the curve on shutting down all our GE Mark-I and II reactors. Their continuing existence definitely needs opposing, unless we're willing to risk turning major population centers into dead zones for no good reason. Earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes... these are becoming more common, and the storms more powerful. A consequence of having wasted too much time already making necessary changes in how we use this planet's resources.

                  At the same time we should be shutting down all U.S. PWRs now known to be endangered by earthquakes and more frequent flooding (now evident from climate change). For the same good reason - public health and safety. Sure, the 'Big One' hitting southern California is going to be a huge mess. Lots of people killed and injured, important large cities destroyed. But San Onofre and Diablo Canyon going down at the same time is a real threat to everything east (downwind). Why would we wish that double jeopardy on ourselves?

                  The poor choices of the past all have to be recognized and rectified if we hope to leave a habitable planet to our progeny. The sooner we do what has to be done, the sooner young people will grow up thinking the new ways are normal, and older people will wonder why we waited so long.

                  If Japan can manage to still be a modern industrialized nation with two nukes - down from 30 - we've got no excuse not to close and decommission the most dangerous of our 100+ nukes asap. It's not like we can pretend we don't know the risks anymore. Coal is a filthy fuel. So is uranium. There's no excuse for either at this point in history.

                  •  Wait, you feel threatened by climate change? (0+ / 0-)
                    Earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes... these are becoming more common, and the storms more powerful. A consequence of having wasted too much time already making necessary changes in how we use this planet's resources.

                    At the same time we should be shutting down all U.S. PWRs now known to be endangered by earthquakes and more frequent flooding (now evident from climate change).

                    Progress!
                    •  What in the world (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BYw, Just Bob, Sandino

                      would make you think I'm not? Climate change threatens all of us.

                      •  Prior conversations with you. (0+ / 0-)
                        I have gone to all the "worst case scenario" panic sites per Global Climate Change. There's definitely stuff to be concerned about, and much to do to stop the progress on our end of contributions to it. I do that every day. Have for many years. Do you? I have seen nothing credible to directly threaten my existence. Or my children's existence. Or my grandchildren's existence. Or... well, you get the picture. Do I care beyond that? Why should I? Beyond doing what I can, minimal as that may be, while I'm still here.
                        link
                        •  And? (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          ozsea1, Sandino, flowerfarmer, A Siegel

                          I made choices decades ago that directly impact my family's ability to survive in a warmed climate - confirmed just last year when USDA changed my growing zone to the next warmer one. We'll be okay, at least until the mountains give up their ghosts. Humans will survive climate change, until they can't anymore. The least we can do about our contributions to the process - literally - is to stop treating the planet as our own personal cesspool. Hell, we should stop doing that even if the climate weren't changing and we weren't contributing to it.

                          I'm doing what I can to promote the adaptability we need, to the nation/world at large. We have to change the way we do things, or it will be a lot worse than it needs to be. That would be a shame, but there's really nothing more I can do about it. If everyone were doing what they can it wouldn't be such a hopeless endeavor, would it? Doesn't matter all that much to me in the end, so long as I've done what I can. What more do you expect people to do than that?

                          •  Doing as much as you can. (0+ / 0-)
                            I'm doing what I can to promote the adaptability we need, to the nation/world at large. We have to change the way we do things, or it will be a lot worse than it needs to be. That would be a shame, but there's really nothing more I can do about it. If everyone were doing what they can it wouldn't be such a hopeless endeavor, would it? Doesn't matter all that much to me in the end, so long as I've done what I can. What more do you expect people to do than that?
                            You campaign against nukes while we're still burning coal.
                          •  Because nukes aren't green (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Joieau

                            And building new ones generates huge CO2 that takes years of generation to washout. Meanwhile the energy and CO2 costs of mining increasingly scarce uranium and indefinite safe storage of deadly waste means that building nukes does not help reduce CO2 emissions by offsetting coal burning for at least a generation after their creation, if at all.  The risks are so high, that a crony-captured system cannot be trusted to build or maintain them.

                          •  "As much" being, according to you, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rovertheoctopus

                            supporting nuclear power? Ain't ever going to happen.

                            Surprised as I am that you would bother to keep track of my comments in other diaries so as to introduce here out of the blue for no apparent reason, I think you somehow managed to miss something significant about me in regards to the subject of nuclear power and my hard-earned opinions about it and the people who think they run it and the people who don't think their job is to regulate it.

                            But just so you know, I have way too much real life experience with nukes, the nuclear industry, and the mal-named Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ever fall sway to any anonymous commenter on these here intertoobs' ill-conceived (or utterly deluded) nuclear cheerleading.

                            Nuclear is not a cure for or a defense against climate change. It never will be. It was a terminally dumb idea in the beginning, and it remains terminally dumb at the end. But do carry on as you choose. Just sayin' you may wish to avoid me on the subject...

            •  Nuclear has priced itself out of the market (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BYw, Just Bob, ozsea1, Sandino, Calamity Jean

              FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:20:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  @ 11-15 cents per KWH (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BYw, Just Bob, Calamity Jean

          for new construction, LCOE, cost to generate, I think capital is flowing elsewhere.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:18:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Couple things ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          too many people

          1.  There are so many 'would've, could've, should've ...':  What if we had kept increasing CAFE standards? What if Carter's solar program had been kept at a steady research level of, let's say, $2.5 billion / year for the past 30 years along with a steady state $2.5 billion in Federal acquisition of renewable systems?  What if the construction/nuclear power companies had been more effective in project management and quality control such that power plants didn't have massive (MASSIVE) cost overruns that bankrupted the option of continuing nuclear power builds? What if ...  Yes, if we had a fleet of 300 nuclear power plants, we'd have roughly 60% of US power demand at extremely low carbon and, since the plants would be paid off, at very low price.

          2.  Putting aside pesky little environmental concerns (Fukushima, otherwise ...), the pricing is a key challenge going into the future.  There is not a nuclear power plant in the developed world that is pricing in below $0.15 per kWh (and, well, the bid structures are much higher than that).  Personally, I find SMRs far more interesting than large plants because uncertainties about energy markets/technologies (and climate change and ...) are making it incredibly difficult to commit $10 billion (or so) for a plant that won't generate an electron for perhaps a decade or more.  SMR development would enable 6-12 month decision-making/financial moves for adding power perhaps 25-100 megawatts at a time which is fiscally more palatable to utilities and helps match bump ups in energy production w/electricity demand growth.

          3.  Related to (2), very hard for that decade out purchase when there are quite plausible scenarios (suggested by Chu's targets w/SunShot) that solar will be delivering, to the household, electricity at <$0.05 within a decade (by the end of this decade) with perhaps a $0.01 additional cost for power storage/management to flatten demand curves.  No 'new' fossil fuel energy system can match this (the target of REHere is a path off coal that I originally laid out many years ago.  Nuclear power is part of this discussion -- a piece along with efficiency, solar, wind, CHP, ...  My big 'change' might be to add how we could drive down NG as well, making it truly only a fill-in when storage/renewables/power management aren't able to maintain the system.

          Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

          by A Siegel on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:15:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Biomass should be able to take up a huge part of (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yoshimi, Calamity Jean, IreGyre

        that last 0.1% with all the waste we throw out and generate in the process of cattle feedlots, etc.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 01:06:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Plasma Converters (5+ / 0-)

        I'm intrigued by plasma converters. They heat the garbage to over 6,000 degrees Celsius. Conventional garbage burners can create some really toxic exhaust, but if you ran cyanide through a plasma converter, you would get carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. The plasma converter gets rid of toxic chemicals, and is a net producer of energy.

        The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

        by A Citizen on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 03:19:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cost (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IreGyre

          I've been intrigued with the concept of using plasma waste converters as an alternative to landfills, but it seems the cost of building these sorts of facilities is more than most local or regional governments in the US are willing to bear.  In the article you link to St. Lucie county Florida is cited as an example of a US community that intends to use this technology.  St. Lucie has since decide that it can't afford to build a plasma converter.  If these plants are going to be built in the US the federal government is going to have to first sponsor some demonstration plants to show that the technology is a financially viable alternative for local governments.  

        •  Challenging ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IreGyre

          issues include the large parasitic costs and the other uses of the waste streams -- We should be diverting as much as possible before we need to be considering this. Interestingly, as an indication of the problems that we can create w/paths like this, in some communities, efforts to divert food waste from the trash system into composting are blocked because of the necessity to maintain contracting municipal solid waste streams into incinerators. There has been enough success on other recycling that was being burned that composting projects are being blocked. (Interesting WashPost article on composting nationwide.)

          PS:  I've had, although it is a few years since the last time, the chance to have 'inside briefs' on plasma-torch/such systems. I find them 'energy cool', as well, but am uncertain how to place them against other options.

          Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

          by A Siegel on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:02:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Storage systems, yup. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:15:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  White roofs. n/t (10+ / 0-)

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 12:21:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  MM - according to a friend of mine (0+ / 0-)

      who retired in 2012 from the California Public Utilities Commission, as a commissioner, our usage is lower on a per capita basis because our California environmental laws chased nearly all of our heavy industry out of the state to other states or countries.  

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 01:17:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If accurate, that's a serious problem. I don't (5+ / 0-)

        want to see the US further de-industrialized.  But did California's energy policy really drive them out, or was it simply the standard pattern of multinationals moving jobs to the places with the cheapest and most disimpowered labor pools, even if that means workers getting 50 cents a day?

        --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

        by Fiona West on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 02:40:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  FW - it was our environment policies (0+ / 0-)

          not energy policies, although energy is a big variable cost for heavy manufacturing. Our higher energy costs are a barrier to attracting new manufacturing to California, but it's much more our environmental laws. Now, the good news is that our air and water has dramatically improved over the past 50 years. However, I don't think there is much controversy that one of the costs was that most of our heavy manufacturing moved to other states, Mexico, or offshore. I am sure a part of it was the trend of offshoring jobs, but the exodus out of California started much earlier. Our manufacturing was heavily unionized so we also lost our high paying middle class, union, manufacturing jobs and reduced the role of industrial unions in California.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:32:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We lost manufacturing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1

            because of cheap energy not expensive energy. It was easier to get cheap off shore labor and ship stuff back and forth with cheap (subsidized) energy. Once our economy starts reflecting the true cost of energy in the price of fuel, most manufacturing will return.

            -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

            by Blueslide on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:40:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Blueslide - None of that is happening soon (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nextstep

              and if manufacturing returns, it's not returning to California.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:46:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Diary is a bit misleading (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib, ozsea1, Sandino

                Study

                http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/...

                We modeled wind, solar, and
                storage to meet demand for 1/5 of
                the USA electric grid.
                20% is about 100 gigs. Diary says 99.9% of 500 gigs. Statistically theres little difference, but in practical terms 99% requires a new grid and massive storage build out.

                According to (IIRC) National academy of sciences we dont need storage or grid work to get 20% from renewables. After 20% yes, storage systems and long distance HVDC systems are required, more and more as we pass 50% and then 80%.

                Another quote from study:

                Least-cost combinations have excess
                generation (3x load), thus require
                less storage.
                3x is an old number
                DOE has assumed that 3x number for years, so long in fact we're starting to see efficiency increases that may make the 3x number obsolete.

                And then the diary pushes a link to Nat gas peakers...... Not pumped hydro storage, which we already have 25 somethingish gigs of in this country. And the Hydro Industry says they can reach 25% of national demand, about 125 gigs.... IIRC.

                From the study:

                During times of excess renewable generation, we first
                fill storage, then use remaining excess electricity to displace natural
                gas.
                Seems author would first use Nat gas peakers......

                FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                by Roger Fox on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 06:05:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I didn't read it the same way...I think (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sandino

                  The 1/5 of the national grid referenced might be the 14 state area they modeled and they can meet 99.9% of the needs of that area with wind and solar.

                  That area is densely populated. It may be more difficult in other areas. Perhaps more distributed power (rooftop solar?) would be appropriate in some instances.

                  Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                  by Just Bob on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 09:05:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  That refers to using excess electricity to (0+ / 0-)
                  During times of excess renewable generation, we first fill storage, then use remaining excess electricity to displace natural gas.
                  displace natural gas (and oil) as home heating.  IOW, to pursuade people with gas and oil furnaces to use a super-cheap oversupply of electricity instead of running their furnaces in the wintertime, because the study revealed that there would be a consistent excess of wind energy in winter.  If there happened to be a fluke temporary shortage of wind some cold day, people could run their furnaces just as they do now.  That sentance does not refer to natural gas electrical peaker plants.  

                  Renewable energy brings national global security.     

                  by Calamity Jean on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 12:25:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The dairy refers to nat gas peakers (0+ / 0-)

                    in fact links to it.

                    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                    by Roger Fox on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:38:22 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The diary refers to natgas generators, but (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JeffW

                      that particular sentence refers to gas used for heating.  Here: http://climatecrocks.com/... is an interview with one of the authors of the study, which says:

                      We’re getting lots of excess electricity, especially September, October through May.

                      And lo and behold, that’s when we’re using a lot of fuels for heating. So . . . we asked the question, suppose we displaced natural gas for heating with this excess electricity?

                      Renewable energy brings national global security.     

                      by Calamity Jean on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:32:07 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  While the diary links to this GE puff piece (0+ / 0-)

                        http://www.technologyreview.com/...

                        Look the Del study uses the words "natural gas" 33 times, in the first 2 dozen or so they are referencing displacing nat gas, I quite counting at that point.

                        The quote you just provided is about displacing nat gas.... the diary inserts nat gas plants to generate electricity where renewables cant.

                        Thats simply not the same. And I find no evidence the authors of the Del study support more nat gas peakers.

                        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                        by Roger Fox on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:56:09 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Fuck that and fuck them. When CA starts collecting (0+ / 0-)

            its rightful and fair share of sales taxes corporations like Amazon have been screwing the state out of, we'll see a major improvement in schools and with it the standard of living that will produce new generations of dedicated Californians.

            Since mid-twentieth-century, California's greatest asset has always been its education system and its dedication to creative, unfettered minds.

            Mark my words.

            Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.

            by Pescadero Bill on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 11:30:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Well they needed some excuse. (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cynndara, wu ming, BYw, Just Bob, ozsea1, IreGyre

        Because I've not heard of any state increasing its heavy industry overall in the last decade and longer.

        Maybe near-slave, and literal-slave labor in China and elsewhere is the sort of thing you don't tell people is what motivates you when you leave.

        At the same time, look at what's happening to China, India, Mexico, etc as places with weak environmental laws. Be interesting to see how many industry-moving executives are moving themselves and their families from California to follow the factories.


        Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

        by Jim P on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:31:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Jim - why would the executives of multinationals (0+ / 0-)

          move out of the country? After Prop 30 we may see them moving to Florida or Texas but they aren't moving to China.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:48:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The executives won't. Their companies will. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Just Bob

            That's the record. It would be unlikely that we've had massive industrial-enterprise-exporting but California is the one state where industry didn't do that.

            Apple, for example. Where is Apple's production? Not in <insert name of any of 50 states here>


            Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

            by Jim P on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 06:56:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Apple doesn't manufacture anything (0+ / 0-)

              They decided a long time ago that manufacturing was not a core competence and have not made any of their products for a very long time. They are spending $100 million to bring one line of Mac manufacturing back to the US this year, but it will be with a contract manufacturer, not Apple employees, who will be making the Macs in the US. The one Mac line is a small  fraction of Apples sales, but it's a start.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:32:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  that waste is what gives me hope (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      both american carbon waste, and chinese carbon waste. it is a far, far easier sell to get rid of waste than to tighten one's belt. while both will ultimately be needed, we've got a ton of egregiously wasteful practices that can be ditched relatively painlessly, before we even get to the tough stuff. you don't get any more value from appliances that waste electricity, after all.

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