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

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  •  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

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    •  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

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      •  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

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        •  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

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          •  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

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            •  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

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            •  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

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              •  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

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                •  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

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                  •  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

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      •  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

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