Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

AGW in general => Policy and solutions => Topic started by: rboyd on April 07, 2017, 08:01:54 PM

Title: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on April 07, 2017, 08:01:54 PM
Given the move of the United States into a position of climate hooliganism and outright pandering to the fossil fuel industry, I feel that its appropriate to have a topic specifically for that country. There are a number of areas that the U.S. is relatively unique in:

1. The large-scale of the privately owned fossil fuel organizations, with their related oligarch owners (e.g. Koch Industries) that are very directly involved in all aspects of societal and political opinion forming and decision making. Together with the huge corporations, such as Exxon Mobil. No other advanced industrialized country has such as scale of fossil fuel interests. The value of their assets is directly threatened by substantive action to reduce fossil-fuel usage.

2. The complete lack of any control over the ability of the rich and corporations to use money as a political tool.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/books/review/dark-money-by-jane-mayer.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/books/review/dark-money-by-jane-mayer.html)

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/donald-trump-american-oligarch (http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/donald-trump-american-oligarch)

3. Major increases in indigenous fossil fuel production due to the fracking revolution. Falls in U.S. electricity-related CO2 emissions have mainly come from a switch from coal to fracked gas, when not accounting for fugitive CH4 emissions.

http://fortune.com/2017/03/17/world-co2-emissions-stalled-last-year-thanks-to-the-u-s/ (http://fortune.com/2017/03/17/world-co2-emissions-stalled-last-year-thanks-to-the-u-s/)

4. A world leader in industrial innovation, and a growing economic sector dependent upon the success of the energy transition.

5. The diplomatic, economic and military ability to make or break any global climate initiative.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on April 07, 2017, 08:34:19 PM
A large increase in U.S. methane emissions over the past decade inferred from satellite data and surface observations - 2016 scientific paper.

Abstract

The global burden of atmospheric methane has been increasing over the past decade, but
the causes are not well understood. National inventory estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicate no significant trend in U.S. anthropogenic methane emissions from 2002 to present. Here we use satellite retrievals and surface observations of atmospheric methane to suggest that U.S. methane emissions have increased by more than 30% over the 2002–2014 period. The trend is largest in the central part of the country, but we cannot readily attribute it to any specific source type. This large increase in U.S. methane emissions could account for 30–60% of the global growth of atmospheric methane seen in the past decade.

The U.S. may have reduced emissions of CO2 over this period, but perhaps not CO2 equivalents? The Trump administration has removed the Obama-administrations attempts to reduce CH4 emissions at fracking sites.

http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/publications/2016/Turner_GRL_2016_Methane.pdf (http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/publications/2016/Turner_GRL_2016_Methane.pdf)

This work was supported by NASA, will such work survive the Trump cuts? The fate of organizations that provide inconvenient facts perhaps.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on April 07, 2017, 08:48:53 PM
Switching from coal to natural gas does not curb global warming effectively, due to CH4 fugitive emissions. Review of academic literature by Skeptical Science.

"it can be concluded from these papers that EPA is very likely underestimating fossil fuel related methane emissions in its greenhouse gas inventory, anywhere between 30% and 100%, possibly even more. Meaning, in order for the US to effectively lower its greenhouse gas emissions, it also needs to get fugitive methane emissions under control."

"best case scenario assumes that relative leak rates, globally, are about 50% higher than what EPA currently estimates (based on Brandt et al., 2014). Since we know by now that even that could be too optimistic, it becomes more and more obvious that a switch from coal to natural gas for electricity production is not likely to curb global warming effectively, but rather delay effective measures further"

https://www.skepticalscience.com/frackingupdate2016.html (https://www.skepticalscience.com/frackingupdate2016.html)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 07, 2017, 10:27:02 PM
Solar breaks 50% of California electricity for first time – driving negative wholesale rates
Quote
According to the EIA, California solar power has been driving wholesale electricity rates towards – and sometimes below – $0/MWh – and on March 11th total solar power production broke 50% of demand. The increase in utility-scale solar power , which grew 50% in the state in 2016, is quickly changing the landscape. Recently we saw California solar + wind hit a record high at 49.2%, with all renewable energy above 56%.

In March, during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., system average hourly prices were frequently at or below $0 per megawatthour (MWh). In contrast, average hourly prices in March 2013–15 during this time of day ranged from $14/MWh to $45/MWh.
...
Per the EIA, there are multiple reasons why March is the season most probable for negative wholesale rates, including one unique to this year – heavy amounts of hydroelectric power due to flooding this winter. The other major reason is that spring and fall are low demand seasons due to the temperate climate not needing as much heating or cooling. Solar will produce more electricity in the summer – but the high demand of summer means the solar is a lower overall percentage.
...
Battery investors will build to have access to $0/MWh solar power – so they can later sell it from 4-8 PM as the duck curve grows and dies.
https://electrek.co/2017/04/07/solar-power-breaks-50-of-california-demand-for-first-time-driving-negative-wholesale-electricity-rates/
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 11, 2017, 03:32:08 AM
U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell 1.7% in 2016
https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=30712&utm_content=buffer5a524 (https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=30712&utm_content=buffer5a524)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on April 11, 2017, 04:25:34 AM
U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell 1.7% in 2016 - but on a CO2 equivalent basis, counting the methane emissions, US GHG emissions may not have fallen at all over the past decade.

A large increase in U.S. methane emissions over the past decade inferred from satellite data and surface observations:

http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/publications/2016/Turner_GRL_2016_Methane.pdf (http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/publications/2016/Turner_GRL_2016_Methane.pdf)

The U.S. has been emitting a lot more methane than we thought, says EPA:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/04/15/epa-issues-large-upward-revision-to-u-s-methane-emissions/?utm_term=.00e412add0a7 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/04/15/epa-issues-large-upward-revision-to-u-s-methane-emissions/?utm_term=.00e412add0a7)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on April 11, 2017, 07:43:41 PM
Interesting report on Minnesota's 2025 Energy Plan, and the way that "energy independence" can be reframed to support renewables and keeping the states energy dollars within the state. Also very independent of federal actions, and therefore intervention from the Denier In Chief.

http://www.lec.leg.mn/projects/2025/MN_E2025_final.pdf (http://www.lec.leg.mn/projects/2025/MN_E2025_final.pdf)

Now if the U.S. northern states and Canada could get together on a renewable energy superpower plan ...
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on April 14, 2017, 10:30:01 PM
EPA halts inquiry into oil and gas industry emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas

The Ostrich approach to climate change issues, remove the ability to see the problem. If you can't see it, then it doesn't exist. See no methane, hear no methane, speak no methane ...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/03/02/epa-halts-inquiry-into-oil-and-gas-industry-emissions-of-methane-a-powerful-greenhouse-gas/?utm_term=.363448c75519 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/03/02/epa-halts-inquiry-into-oil-and-gas-industry-emissions-of-methane-a-powerful-greenhouse-gas/?utm_term=.363448c75519)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 17, 2017, 10:51:02 PM
Quote
Switching from coal to natural gas does not curb global warming effectively, due to CH4 fugitive emissions.

That would hold if 1) we were doing a 1:1 exchange of coal for NG and 2) if we do nothing to curtail emissions.

1) Wind and solar are now cheaper than buying fuel for gas plants.  That means when the wind blows or Sun shines CCNG plants will shut down.  Assume no new storage, we'd be likely to end up with about 30% solar, 40% wind and 30% NG. 

That's a move from 100% coal to 30% NG.  A 70% CO2 savings.  Storage will take NG's contribution lower. 

2) There's at least one study that demonstrates that methane leaks at the well site and in distribution can be held at very low levels.  The cost would apparently be low due to the gas saved and sold on to offset the cost. 

It's a matter of adequate regulation (and enforcement) which was beginning to happen under PBO.  We may suffer a four year interruption with the current White House part time occupant.

Furthermore, there is a very large amount of methane released in coal extraction and processing.  Those coal mines that blow up?  Gas seepages were not being vented out rapidly enough.  I've been trying to nail down some numbers but it looks like we produce about the same amount of NG emissions per MWh with coal as with NG.  And the NG emissions are largely controllable.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on April 18, 2017, 07:09:35 AM
With a lot of spare natural gas generation capacity, the marginal cost of the fuel is the driving factor. For NG, that cost could easily fall. There could also be a limit on renewables share, as reduced demand for NG could drive its price down - making it more competitive at the margin (and reducing the build out of new renewable capacity). A meaningful carbon tax would stop such a scenario from happening - much higher than Obama or the current Canadian government are considering. The IEA deals with this through multiple price options.

https://www.eia.gov/pressroom/presentations/sieminski_01052017.pdf (https://www.eia.gov/pressroom/presentations/sieminski_01052017.pdf)

Up to now gas has been increasing pretty much in lockstep with coal being reduced. Renewables increases have been matched by demand growth. Renewables have to grow a lot faster than currently estimated by the wind and solar industry associations.

As the methane leakage is at the well-head and throughout the distribution network, would seem to be relatively hard to limit it. A carbon tax that included methane leakages would help do the job. Havn't seen any studies comparing coal methane leakages and NG leakages, would very interesting to see some.

Let's hope that it only four years of Trump!
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 18, 2017, 09:33:05 AM
I'm not so sure about falling NG prices.  Much of our supply now comes from oil wells, does it not?  If oil prices stay low we won't be drilling any new oil wells in the US.  Our production prices are too high.

The NG fracking wells have turned out to not be a source of cheap gas.  In most fields they have a year or so of high production and then output falls to a small fraction of the initial year's output.  That means the need to constantly drill, and spend money to drill.

We're likely to keep increasing our NG usage for a few more years until we get a lot more wind and solar online.  That demand may use up what oil well NG we have.  Return on fracked NG wells may be low enough to make it hard to get financing for many replacement wells.

I think most of the methane distribution leaking comes from our old urban distribution system.  Not the main pipes that carry from well to generation plant.  Fixing leaks in those limited, large diameter pipes should be easy to detect and repair.  Some of our cities leak methane like a sieve.

Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on April 18, 2017, 05:37:07 PM
There have been some real breakthroughs in the costs of fracking (pressurizing suppliers as well as some real technical improvements), so break-even costs have been falling. At $50 per barrel the rig count in the US is going up, and current break-evens may be as low as $37/barrel and $2.50/MMbtu. In addition, there is a global glut of natural gas so hopes of shipping US NG around the world probably wont pan out - keeping the supply within the U.S.

"Mexico has become such a critical release valve for U.S. production that, without exports to Mexico, our gas prices would be 30-35% lower."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/judeclemente/2017/01/08/u-s-natural-gas-production-in-2017/#67a1b0c0683b (https://www.forbes.com/sites/judeclemente/2017/01/08/u-s-natural-gas-production-in-2017/#67a1b0c0683b)

"Now, with shipping and regasification amounting to $1/MMBtu, U.S. exporters will be under serious pressure"

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellynch/2017/03/16/the-glutted-world-gas-market/3/#eea9b1359eaf (https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellynch/2017/03/16/the-glutted-world-gas-market/3/#eea9b1359eaf)

"The number of working [oil] rigs has more than doubled from a 2016 low of 316 in May."

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-17/crude-slips-near-53-a-barrel-as-u-s-adds-rigs-for-13th-week (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-17/crude-slips-near-53-a-barrel-as-u-s-adds-rigs-for-13th-week)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 18, 2017, 10:28:22 PM
Revisit that post in five years.  After EVs, battery power buses and battery powered trucks have started biting into oil demand.

It won't take much demand erosion to drop prices closer to $30.  The lower cost producers (Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia) are likely to be pumping out as much as they can while there is a market and selling for as much as  they can while still undercutting the countries with $30+ production costs.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on April 18, 2017, 10:37:38 PM
Natural Gas fracking is relatively independent of oil fracking, not that much overlap. So its the MMbtu price that matters more than the oil price.

As per my comments on the car thread, a drop in oil demand will drop the oil price which will make ICE's more competitive. I see a "stair-step" process where at each point a lower oil price slows down electric-car adoption growth until costs of the latter can come down far enough to overcome the low price. Could get harder and harder though as we travel toward the sub-$10 prices that the Middle East producers can live with.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 19, 2017, 02:36:09 AM
In 2015 we sourced our domestic natural gas -

Oil wells = 6,452,680 million cu ft
Shale gas wells = 15,475,887 million cu ft
Coal bed wells  = 1,181,320 million cu ft

28% of our NG from oil wells.  If the price of oil goes up we drill fewer oil wells and produce less NG as a secondary product.  If the price of oil goes down then we drill more oil wells.

Quote
As per my comments on the car thread, a drop in oil demand will drop the oil price which will make ICE's more competitive.

True.  But in short years a new car buyer should be looking at two identical cars, other than the propulsion system.  One will cost less, be less onerous to power, require less maintenance, and offer a better ride.

Will most buyers purchase the more expensive, larger hassle vehicle or the less/less?

$5/gallon fuel certainly would drive EV sales faster.  But I can't see a route for ICEVs to undercut the purchase and operating cost of EVs.

Then, not too far out, car companies will simply start cutting their ICEV offerings.  We saw that happen with film cameras as digital took over.   The lower featured models disappeared first, and rapidly.    The top of the line fSLRs hung on longer but it wasn't long until companies quit spending money on development of new models.  All the research/development money went into digital.

(Disposable cameras held on for a while.  Cell phones with cameras quickly killed them.)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on April 19, 2017, 05:20:53 AM
Looks like it will take significantly lower oil prices to drive down the fracking brigade, Wall Street is pouring money into the sector again at $50/barrel.
http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Wall-Street-Is-Pouring-Money-Back-Into-Shale.html (http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Wall-Street-Is-Pouring-Money-Back-Into-Shale.html)

Elon Musk even says that cheap oil will hurt electric car sales
http://fortune.com/2016/01/25/elon-musk-oil-prices-electric-cars/ (http://fortune.com/2016/01/25/elon-musk-oil-prices-electric-cars/)

As electric car sakes move beyond the expensive models and the early-adopter types, the effect of very low gas prices will have an impact. Right now EV sales are still a tiny niche within the overall market: 159,000 out of 17.5 million in 2016. California was over 50%, with the biggest incentives.

http://www.fleetcarma.com/ev-sales-usa-2016-final/ (http://www.fleetcarma.com/ev-sales-usa-2016-final/)


Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 19, 2017, 05:26:43 AM
At about $100/kWh for cells EVs hit production cost parity with ICEVs.  We're probably going to see $100 cells by 2020.

Obviously more expensive oil will push people to EVs.  But if EVs are cheaper to purchase and at least a little cheaper to operate they will take over the market.

Think about all the people who are concerned about climate change and are willing to do something if it doesn't cost them a lot.  Now think about the choice they'll make if they can do something about climate change if it saves them some money.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on May 03, 2017, 06:56:41 PM
The Growth Rate Of The Installed Base of Wind And Solar Is Decelerating

Data from the American Wind Energy Association (in MW)           
Year  Total    Growth   Percentage   
2001   4147     n/a             n/a   
2002   4557     410             9.89%   
2003   6222     1665           36.54%   
2004   6619     397             6.38%   
2005   8993     2374           35.87%   
2006   11450   2457           27.32%   
2007   16702   5252           45.87%   
2008   25065   8363           50.07%   
2009   35068   10003         39.91%   
2010   40283   5215           14.87%   
2011   46930   6647           16.50%   
2012   60012   13082         27.88%   
2013   61110   1098           1.83%   
2014   65877   4767           7.80%   
2015   73992   8115           12.32%   
2016   82183   8191           11.07%   
2017-2020 forecast addition of 35GW (35,000MW), approx. 10% yearly growth rate.

At 10% annual rate, doubling is approx. every 7 years

Data From GTM Research US Solar Market Insight (MW)         
Year   Total   Growth   Percentage
2000   0            4       n/a
2001   4           11       n/a
2002   15         23       575.00%
2003   38         45       300.00%
2004   83         58       152.63%
2005   141       79        95.18%
2006   220       105      74.47%
2007   325       160      72.73%
2008   485       298      91.69%
2009   783       385      79.38%
2010   1168     852      108.81%
2011   2020     1926    164.90%
2012   3946     3373    166.98%
2013   7319     4783    121.21%
2014   12102   6239     85.24%
2015   18341   7501     61.98%
2016   25842   14762   80.49%
2017-2022 Installed base triples, with growth rate falling to 24% in 2022 (18GW incremental capacity)

At 24% growth rate, doubling is approximately every 3 years       
         
As the installed base increases, greater and greater annual additions are required to keep up the growth rate. Therefore natural for the growth rate to fall, unless a radical change in pricing and/or government support.

http://www.awea.org/wind-energy-facts-at-a-glance (http://www.awea.org/wind-energy-facts-at-a-glance)

http://www.awea.org/MediaCenter/pressrelease.aspx?ItemNumber=10025 (http://www.awea.org/MediaCenter/pressrelease.aspx?ItemNumber=10025)

Summary of GTM Research report can be downloaded from https://www.greentechmedia.com/research/subscription/u.s.-solar-market-insight (https://www.greentechmedia.com/research/subscription/u.s.-solar-market-insight)




Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 03, 2017, 07:13:47 PM
Solar growth rates should stay high for a while as prices continue to fall.

Tesla's solar tiles should be on the market in a few weeks.  That may cause some increase as well.

Wind prices are already low (under 3 cents/kWh, unsubsidized) so there's less room to fall.  But with offshore wind (including floating) becoming inexpensive in Europe we may see a big spurt in US installation in a couple of years.

The other thing that could kick rates up is affordable storage.  The second largest solar farm builder in the US is now talking about installing storage in solar farms so that they can sell their generation as dispatchable electricity and getting a much better per MWh rate. 

www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/cypress-creek-ceo-well-be-sub-75-cents-per-watt-by-2020 (http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/cypress-creek-ceo-well-be-sub-75-cents-per-watt-by-2020)

That's likely to work even better for wind farms as they have a lot of production during off peak when wholesale prices tend to be low.  I can see wind and solar farms installing a lot of storage once they reach the end of their 20 year power purchase agreements (PPA) that lock them into a fixed selling price and market.  For one or several decades wind and solar farms that produce electricity for almost nothing (capex and finex paid off) could take the market away from gas plants.

Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on May 03, 2017, 07:29:55 PM
In 2016, wind provided 5.6% of U.S. electricity generation. At a 10% yearly capacity growth rate, output doubles every 7 years (may be less if capacity utilization improves). To keep up the growth rate new installs would have to double by 2023 and quadruple by 2030.

Wind. Assuming no growth in electricity demand : 2023 = 11.2%; 2030 = 22.4%

In 2016, solar provided 0.9% of U.S. electricity generation. Forecast is that it will treble by 2022, with a growth rate of 24% in 2022. To keep up this growth rate, new installs would have to double every three years from 2022 onwards, so the growth rate will most probably continue to decrease.

Solar. Assuming no growth in electricity demand : 2022 = 2.7%; 2025 = 5.4%; 2030 = 10.8% (assume a bit of further deceleration)

If we assume a 1% growth rate in electricity demand, then wind+solar will start to displace fossil fuel generation in about 2024. Any reductions in nuclear generation would delay this further. The scale of infrastructure upgrades would also escalate as the scale of wind+solar continued to grow exponentially.

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3 (https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 03, 2017, 07:50:47 PM
Quote
If we assume a 1% growth rate in electricity demand, then wind+solar will start to displace fossil fuel generation in about 2024.


Wind and solar are already displacing fossil fuel generation in the US.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FUS%2FFossil%2520Fuels%2F01%2520Market%2520Share%2520Change%2520thru%25202016.png&hash=af48a2bac7d415f8b6743183e480752b) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/US/Fossil%20Fuels/01%20Market%20Share%20Change%20thru%202016.png.html)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on May 03, 2017, 09:31:19 PM
Bob, during that time period you use U.S. electricity generation pretty much remained flat. So any increases in renewable generation cut directly into fossil fuel generation (nuclear staying pretty flat). If overall generation remains flat, then renewables will keep reducing fossil fuel usage.

If electricity consumption grows by 1% per year, as forecast, it will use up the renewables growth until that growth gets big enough to offset it. The problem with having to overcome a growing economy while reducing fossil fuel usage ... U.S. GDP growth has been historically low since 2009, so who knows what the future holds.

(https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/images/2016.03.14/main.png)

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25352 (https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25352)



Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 03, 2017, 10:38:56 PM
The only electricity use that should increase going forward would be electrification of transportation.

US population growth isn't likely to grow much.  We only grow due to first generation immigrants having more than two children, our birthrate is below replacement rate, and we're slowing immigration.  Then we're cutting electricity usage via efficiency.  A lot.

As cars and trucks move off petroleum they will need electricity but some portion of that needed electricity will be freed up by pumping, refining and distributing less petroleum fuel.*

In 2015 the US got 13.7% of its electricity from renewables.  In 2016 that percentage jumped to 15.4%, an increase of 1.7%.  That's more than a 1% annual 'takeover'.  Wind has started off at crackerjack rates this year.  Excellent first quarter. Solar is going great.  A 2+% increase in 2017?

The US may install some more NG capacity but wind and solar are in their ascendancy.  NG, being a more expensive producer of electricity, will only be installed if necessary to keep the grid on.
--

*Quite a bit of petroleum is burned in refineries for heat/steam generation.  That energy doesn't show up in our electricity numbers but does show up in primary energy use and CO2 emissions.  As cars and trucks move to electricity we might see some of the annual percentage growth in renewable electricity impacted but the larger primary/CO2 will be getting a lot brighter.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 09, 2017, 05:49:37 AM
Progress made.  The Republican climate change denial wall seems to be crumbling a bit...


Quote
The US Congress has a number of caucus groups — loose affiliations of representatives and senators who have similar views on important issues. One of the newest is called the Climate Solutions Caucus, a place where those concerned about climate change can meet to exchange ideas about how the federal government should respond to environmental challenges.

...half of the Climate Solutions Caucus members are Republicans. How can that be? “If you want to join as a Democrat, you have to bring along a Republican,” says co-chair Ted Deutch, a Democrat from Florida, as reported by The Guardian. “It’s a Noah’s Ark sort of approach, which is appropriate given the subject matter. We don’t argue about the science. It’s all very respectful.”

The other co-chair is Florida Republican Carlos Curbelo, whose district includes the Florida Keys, an area that will be heavily affected by rising sea levels. “There are a lot of Republicans who understand this is a real challenge, and the caucus is giving them a place where they can explore ideas,” Curbelo says. “It was assumed that Republicans would take a position of denial, but that’s not the case. One of our main goals is to depoliticize environmental policy in the US.”

Curbelo acknowledges that getting other Republicans to join the caucus takes a lot of effort, but he says the idea is “spreading like wildfire,” with many colleagues “now contacting us and wanting to learn more.”

The Climate Solutions Caucus is gathering support from business groups, religious organizations, and younger Republicans demanding the GOP drop its long-held climate science denial.



https://cleantechnica.com/2017/05/07/climate-solutions-caucus-brings-republicans-democrats-together-climate-change/ (https://cleantechnica.com/2017/05/07/climate-solutions-caucus-brings-republicans-democrats-together-climate-change/)

We've know for a while that there are several Republicans in Congress who present themselves as climate change deniers publicly because they feared losing their seats in the primary if they openly admitted that they understand and accept the science behind global warming.  Looks like a few are now feeling that it's safe to come out of the closet.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: TerryM on May 09, 2017, 06:23:05 AM
Bob
Is this good news for everyone, or wiggle room for Republicans who see the writing on the wall?


Up here we've had same sex marriage for a while. When Harper got in, with the help of the Born Again vote, he simply never allowed the subject to come up in Parliament. I think it will be the same here when recreational marijuana is legalized next year. The Conservatives will run away from it in their traditional rural regions, ignore it in the urban centers, and never allow another vote on the subject when they're in power.


The Republican's will always have the denier vote. If they don't run on the subject they may pick up some of the climate change vote - then ignore it when they're in the cat bird seat.


Terry
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 09, 2017, 06:45:46 AM
It's a sign that the fossil fuel industries have lost much of their political power and the majority of Americans have become concerned about climate change and want something done.

A lot of the initial attack on the wall came from onshore wind which was mostly installed in Republican dominated Midwestern states.  The money to be made opened eyes and very soon Republican legislators from those states found that they needed to support the wind industry.  Many of their small towns and counties were surviving, even thriving, thanks to wind farms.

Eastern coal is finished.  The coal that is still being burned is largely coming from western open pit mines.  Low oil prices have pulled the rug out from under pumpers.

Solar is now employing over a quarter of a million workers.

Overall political power is swinging to renewables and away from the folks who put up the big denial fight.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on May 09, 2017, 06:45:24 PM
U.S. 1st Quarter GDP growth was a very slow 0.7% (at an annualized rate) and estimates for the second quarter are already being revised downwards. For example, the NY Fed has cut their estimate to 1.8% and the economic data keeps coming in lower than expected. Loan demand is also decelerating very fast.

So probably another year of little or no change in electricity demand, and therefore additional renewables will reduce fossil fuel generation.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-nyfed-idUSKBN1811R5 (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-nyfed-idUSKBN1811R5)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 09, 2017, 07:01:10 PM
Quote
Wind and solar power provided more than half of the new electrical generating capacity added to the U.S. grid during the first quarter of the year, says a new report from the SUN DAY Campaign, citing statistics from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

According to the nonprofit’s analysis of FERC’s latest Energy Infrastructure Update, which offers data through March 31, wind and solar provided a total of 50.84% of the new electrical generating capacity during the quarter.

The organization says 13 units of wind, totaling 1,479 MW, combined with 62 units of solar, totaling 939 MW, exceeded the 2,235 MW provided by 21 units of natural gas and 102 MW provided by one unit of nuclear power. There was also 1 MW of capacity from other sources, such as fuel cells.

Notably,  SUN DAY says that in the first three months of the year, no new generating capacity was provided by coal, oil, hydropower, biomass or geothermal.

Moreover, the pace of growth of new solar and wind capacity is accelerating, according to the report. For the first quarter of 2017, new capacity from those sources was 18.07% greater than that added during the same three-month period in 2016 (2,418 MW vs. 2048 MW).

Renewable sources (biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind) now account for almost one-fifth (19.51%) of the nation’s total available installed generating capacity: hydropower at 8.48%, wind at 7.12%, solar at 2.17%, biomass at 1.41% and geothermal at 0.33%, the report says.

By comparison, at the end of 2016, renewables provided 19.17% of the total generating capacity. If current growth rates continue, renewables should top 20% before the end of this year, according to SUN DAY.

Further, generating capacity by renewable sources is now more than double that of nuclear power (9.10%) and is rapidly approaching that of coal (24.25%), the analysis adds.

“The Trump administration’s efforts to reboot coal and expand oil drilling continue to be proven wrong-headed in light of the latest FERC data,” comments Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “Once more, renewables – led by wind and solar – have proven themselves to be the energy sources making America great again.”

In another recent report citing FERC data, the nonprofit said newly installed capacity from renewable sources totaled 61.5% of all new U.S. capacity added in 2016.


http://solarindustrymag.com/solar-wind-provided-majority-new-u-s-capacity-first-quarter (http://solarindustrymag.com/solar-wind-provided-majority-new-u-s-capacity-first-quarter)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on May 09, 2017, 07:46:53 PM
Agree with the general direction of the Sun Day report, but it does irk me that such groups still use misleading comparisons of capacity between wind, solar, nuclear and coal/gas. Leads people to have too rosy a picture of what is going on. Yes progress is being made, but not near what would be assumed from reading the article.

Saying "generating capacity by renewable sources is now more than double that of nuclear power (9.10%) and is rapidly approaching that of coal (24.25%)" is incredibly misleading. Generating capacity is not actual generation.

US Nuclear provides about 20% of electricity generation, from that 9% of installed capacity, as it has a very high capacity utilization at 92.5%. US Wind (35%) and Solar PV (27.2%) and Solar Thermal (22%) have much lower capacity utilizations. US Coal and natural gas is at about 55%.

Its actual electricity production that counts, not capacity.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/uhenergy/2017/03/14/u-s-nuclear-energy-transform-or-become-irrelevant/#5459d41d6c3b (https://www.forbes.com/sites/uhenergy/2017/03/14/u-s-nuclear-energy-transform-or-become-irrelevant/#5459d41d6c3b)

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25652 (https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25652)

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_6_07_b (https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_6_07_b)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: be cause on May 09, 2017, 08:26:30 PM
good reality check rb .. here in sunny norn Ireland the windmills are all still again as solar fills the demand . Absurd subsidies pay the windmills not to turn when the sun shines .. money not sourced in the green economy .. bc
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 09, 2017, 09:23:41 PM
Agree with the general direction of the Sun Day report, but it does irk me that such groups still use misleading comparisons of capacity between wind, solar, nuclear and coal/gas. Leads people to have too rosy a picture of what is going on. Yes progress is being made, but not near what would be assumed from reading the article.

Saying "generating capacity by renewable sources is now more than double that of nuclear power (9.10%) and is rapidly approaching that of coal (24.25%)" is incredibly misleading. Generating capacity is not actual generation.

US Nuclear provides about 20% of electricity generation, from that 9% of installed capacity, as it has a very high capacity utilization at 92.5%. US Wind (35%) and Solar PV (27.2%) and Solar Thermal (22%) have much lower capacity utilizations. US Coal and natural gas is at about 55%.

Its actual electricity production that counts, not capacity.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/uhenergy/2017/03/14/u-s-nuclear-energy-transform-or-become-irrelevant/#5459d41d6c3b (https://www.forbes.com/sites/uhenergy/2017/03/14/u-s-nuclear-energy-transform-or-become-irrelevant/#5459d41d6c3b)

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25652 (https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25652)

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_6_07_b (https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_6_07_b)

The article goes on to point out the difference between nameplate capacity and production. 

What was interesting, to me, is where investment money is going - largely to renewables.

Your Forbes article is a pile of typical pro-nuclear caca. 

Quote
A strong case for nuclear was recently presented at a symposium hosted by UH Energy, especially if we are looking for a rapidly scalable solution

Nuclear is unaffordable and takes far too long to bring online.  That "strong case" was made by a gathering of nuclear fans, including the Breakthrough Institute.  The BI, IMO, is a site that publishes "alternative facts" when it comes to nuclear and renewables.

We've been installing nuclear for over a half century and it only made it to 20% of total electricity generation.  Both groups attempting to build new reactors in the US are seriously over timeline and in deep financial trouble.  Discussions are being held as to whether it makes more sense to abandon the builds now and not throw more money into the pits.

When the companies set out to build Vogtle and Summer the cost of wind and solar was much higher.  While some of us saw the likelihood of price decreases I don't think anyone was predicting how far and how fast prices would drop.  It will be years before those reactors could be completed.  By then wind and solar should both be under $0.03/kWh.  Unsubsidized.

Wind has only been seriously installed for a handful of years and should produce well over 6% this year.  Wind reached the 1% milestone in 2008.  Less than ten years ago.  And since then the cost has fallen significantly.

Solar passed the 1% milestone in 2015.  And this year the US should get over 2% of its electricity from solar.  I expect wind and solar will produce more US electricity in ten years or less than does nuclear now.  And nuclear is highly likely to be a lower percentage producer as more aged out reactors leave the game.

Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on May 09, 2017, 11:51:46 PM
Was not using the Forbes article to argue for nuclear, in the US the only way is down by the looks of it. Little or no new installs and an ageing fleet.

The interesting tests will be France (which did successfully got predominantly nuclear for electricity generation and now has a replacement issue) and China (which is building out nuclear as part of its "all of the above" low carbon strategy). To be followed on the nuclear topic!

Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 10, 2017, 05:04:21 AM
The newly elected French president has stated that he intends to close a third of France's reactors, take nuclear from 75% of generation to 50%, and replace them with renewables.

My personal guess is that we'll see China tapering off on nuclear builds starting in less than five years.  The price of wind and solar have become so much lower that I don't think the central government will justify spending more for reactor power.

Germany is looking at offshore wind dropping to around $0.04/kWh by 2025.  If they can hit that mark, so can the US.  We've got tremendous amounts of wind resources off both coasts and some decent wind in the Gulf of Mexico.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 10, 2017, 07:25:47 PM
Electrek says:
"A million people in LA County might ditch their utility and investors are scared – They’re not going off grid, but instead are joining a CCA. California Assembly Bill 117 of 2002 established CCAs, allowing “customers to aggregate their electrical loads as members of their local community.” California CCAs have eight operational members/1.25 million customers/projected 2017 load of 13,750 GWh. This is a complex thing – multiple power utilities within the same area, neighbors even. Electricity pumped over shared power lines using various sources for generation. ..."
https://electrek.co/2017/05/10/egeb-la-county-cca-edison-institute-tesla/ (https://electrek.co/2017/05/10/egeb-la-county-cca-edison-institute-tesla/)


Choice in La La Land: LA County community aggregation has California utilities on full alert
Quote
...
“The CCA rate tends to be lower because none of the money goes to shareholders. CCAs focus on buying power at prices that make them competitive,” she said. “That conservative mentality has resulted in lower costs for customers.”

EES also found LACCE can deliver more renewables sooner. California’s mandate requires SCE to be at 33% renewables by 2020. LACEE intends to open its 50% renewables offering this year. It also plans a package of incentives to grow distributed energy resources (DER).
...
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/choice-in-la-la-land-la-county-community-aggregation-has-california-utilit/442131/ (http://www.utilitydive.com/news/choice-in-la-la-land-la-county-community-aggregation-has-california-utilit/442131/)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 10, 2017, 08:48:44 PM
Some portions of California have already implemented Community Choice Aggregation programs...


Quote
Beginning May 1, Redwood Coast Energy Authority will be the default electricity provider for Humboldt County with the launch of its Community Choice Energy program. The program will provide lower electric rates, increased local control, and the same reliable utility service.

Community Choice Energy (also known as Community Choice Aggregation) is an alternative means of procuring electricity through local governments. Its goal is to offer electricity consumers a choice in their service, with the option to purchase cleaner electricity at competitive prices. The program is under local control, and revenues remain within the county.

Several such programs are operating successfully in Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, and in the city of Lancaster in southern California. Mendocino County recently elected to join Sonoma County’s existing program.

Each Community Choice Energy program is designed by its local governing body, comprised of representatives from participating jurisdictions—in this case, the county of Humboldt and cities of Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, Blue Lake, Trinidad, and Rio Dell. Ferndale has not elected to participate in the program at this time. Humboldt’s CCE program will support local renewable energy generation and the economic development associated with that, while customers will have greater control over their electricity options.

Because PG&E will be collaborating with RCEA to deliver electricity, maintain lines, manage billing and administer customer programs, energy supply will be as reliable as it’s always been. In fact, the transition to RCEA’s CCE program will be seamless; the only thing customers will notice might be a slight reduction in price.

Energy users will automatically receive service with higher renewable energy content and lower emissions than the electricity they’re currently buying. Those who wish to will be able to upgrade to 100% renewable energy for a small price premium.

https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2017/mar/1/community-choice-energy-just-two-months-away-humbo/

Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: gerontocrat on May 10, 2017, 08:52:52 PM
Good article in bloomberg view about california leads us economy away from Trump. Shows how dumb Trump and his acolytes really are. (On my cell-phone and do not know how to copy url from another window into this post. But well worthwhile giving it a read)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 10, 2017, 09:17:31 PM
Good article in bloomberg view about california leads us economy away from Trump. Shows how dumb Trump and his acolytes really are. (On my cell-phone and do not know how to copy url from another window into this post. But well worthwhile giving it a read)

Here it is:
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-10/california-leads-u-s-economy-away-from-trump (https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-10/california-leads-u-s-economy-away-from-trump)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: TerryM on May 10, 2017, 09:41:08 PM
Riverside ca. has been providing power, water & waste as a municipal utility for a very long time, Not having to pay stockholders is good, as is the single meter reader.


Terry
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on June 02, 2017, 05:46:38 PM
US Has Forgotten How To Do Infrastructure

Very interesting piece from Bloomberg about how building infrastructure always seems to be more expensive in the U.S., even when compared to Europe. A huge issue if the US gets real on rebuilding its transport, building and energy infrastructures to reduce emissions. Bloomberg states that its not the unions (Europe has them too, in spades!), its not salaries as they are equal/higher in other countries. Its not land acquisition costs (they are way higher in Japan for example). They see a deeper problem of a general lack of productivity and efficiency that has crept in over the years.

"For some mysterious reason, the same mile of road or train track costs a lot more to build in the U.S. than in other rich countries like France or Japan. When it comes to trains, the disparity is particularly egregious. During the past few years, people who pay attention to this problem have catalogued a list of potential culprits. But none of these is really satisfying."

"There is reason to suspect that high U.S. costs are part of a deeper problem. For example, construction seems to take a lot longer in the U.S. than in other countries. In China, a 30-story building can be completed in only 15 days. In Japan, giant sinkholes get fully repaired in one week. Even in the U.S. of a century ago, construction was pretty fast -- the Empire State Building went up in 410 days."

"general inefficiency - inefficient project management, an inefficient government contracting process, and inefficient regulation."

A lot like US healthcare, education, defence spending, asset management etc. Other countries do much more for much less. Add these up and you get a big share of the US economy, and a great area for reducing economic rents and inefficiency to pay for the transition to a sustainable economy.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-31/the-u-s-has-forgotten-how-to-do-infrastructure (https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-31/the-u-s-has-forgotten-how-to-do-infrastructure)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: TerryM on June 02, 2017, 06:52:11 PM
Good article in bloomberg view about california leads us economy away from Trump. Shows how dumb Trump and his acolytes really are. (On my cell-phone and do not know how to copy url from another window into this post. But well worthwhile giving it a read)

Here it is:
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-10/california-leads-u-s-economy-away-from-trump (https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-10/california-leads-u-s-economy-away-from-trump)


I wonder if the sudden downturn in both German and UK GDP at the end of 2014 is related to their sanctioning of Russia. Sanctions "encouraged" by, the non-participating US of A?


Terry
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on June 02, 2017, 07:00:15 PM
Trump seems to be falling over himself to help EurAsia come together independent of US influence, the very thing that the US has been working against for many decades. Four more years of this and the average European will view China in a much better light than the US.

At some point countries will start to erect trade barriers against those countries that do not comply with the need to reduce emissions. It seems like the US may be on the wrong end of such barriers if it keeps Trump for too long.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: TerryM on June 02, 2017, 07:05:20 PM
Trump seems to be falling over himself to help EurAsia come together independent of US influence, the very thing that the US has been working against for many decades. Four more years of this and the average European will view China in a much better light than the US.

At some point countries will start to erect trade barriers against those countries that do not comply with the need to reduce emissions. It seems like the US may be on the wrong end of such barriers if it keeps Trump for too long.


Ramen!
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 02, 2017, 09:02:06 PM
California Senate Passes Major Clean Energy Bills
Quote
Wow! In a single day, the California State Senate passed three major clean energy bills, including one that would establish a 100% renewable portfolio standard (RPS), one that would mandate solar on most new buildings in the state, and one that would create an energy storage rebate program. All three measures now go to the California Assembly for consideration.

In a 25-13 vote on Wednesday, the Senate passed S.B.100, which aims to both accelerate and expand the state’s current 50% by 2030 RPS. The bill, sponsored by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, would speed up the renewables mandate to 50% by 2026 and establish an ultimate goal of 100% by 2045.

If it becomes a law, the legislation would put California on par with Hawaii, the only other state with a 100% RPS.

In a press release, de León calls the California measure “the most ambitious target in the world to expand clean energy and put Californians to work” and says it is “critical that we double down” amid climate policy shifts by the Trump administration.

“Regardless of what Washington does, California will show the way forward,” he says. “We are sending a clear message to the rest of the world that no president, no matter how desperately the try to ignore reality, can halt our progress.”
...
http://solarindustrymag.com/california-senate-passes-major-clean-energy-bills (http://solarindustrymag.com/california-senate-passes-major-clean-energy-bills)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: numerobis on June 04, 2017, 06:47:53 PM
Data From GTM Research US Solar Market Insight (MW)         
Year   Total   Growth   Percentage
2000   0            4       n/a
2001   4           11       n/a
2002   15         23       575.00%
2003   38         45       300.00%
2004   83         58       152.63%
2005   141       79        95.18%
2006   220       105      74.47%
2007   325       160      72.73%
2008   485       298      91.69%
2009   783       385      79.38%
2010   1168     852      108.81%
2011   2020     1926    164.90%
2012   3946     3373    166.98%
2013   7319     4783    121.21%
2014   12102   6239     85.24%
2015   18341   7501     61.98%
2016   25842   14762   80.49%
2017-2022 Installed base triples, with growth rate falling to 24% in 2022 (18GW incremental capacity)

At 24% growth rate, doubling is approximately every 3 years

This forecast is ridiculously pessimistic.

If we assume that Trump really pinches the solar industry's growth rate and the installers only achieve 10% growth YoY -- half the minimum annual growth seen in the data so far -- we fill in the following data:
2017 42080 16238 62.84%
2018 59942 17862 42.45%
2019 79590 19648 32.78%
2020 101203 21613 27.16%
2021 124978 23774 23.49%
2022 151130 26152 20.93%

That's nearly a 6-fold increase, not just 3-fold, over the forecast period. Take the EIA data of actual generation for 2016, multiply by 6, and we have solar (utility + distributed) producing more than hydro in 2021. If solar can maintain its growth rate at 20%, we hit that milestone a year earlier. At 25% annual growth, which the industry has exceeded all but one year in your survey, solar is producing almost twice as much as hydro in 2022.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on June 04, 2017, 09:26:45 PM
Numerobis - there was a mad rush to install solar capacity in the U.S. prior to the expected expiry of the solar investment tax credit. The tax credit was extended, but a significant amount of build had been pulled forward to 2016 (the amount of newly installed capacity doubled in a single year). The bankruptcy of SunEdison, the world's largest renewable power developer, will also restrict demand in the short term and drive up the required rate of return for projects. Anything that Trump does will just add to the bad news.

The GTM numbers for 2017 should be pretty accurate, as they have knowledge of what is in the construction pipeline. It will also take time to get new projects started now that the tax credit has been extended. So, it makes sense for a delay before the rapid growth if 2016 is equalled again.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2016/12/07/what-to-expect-from-the-solar-industry-in-2017/#599d01f43745 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2016/12/07/what-to-expect-from-the-solar-industry-in-2017/#599d01f43745)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: numerobis on June 04, 2017, 11:13:08 PM
The mad rush last year mirrors the rush in 2012 to get in before the expiry of tax credits. They were only extended *after* they expired, unlike now where the industry got a whole year of warning.

2013 still ended up with 40% growth YoY in capacity additions.

GTM is predicting installation numbers going down 7% next year. Implicitly that's predicting something like a 20%-35% reduction in dollar sales year over year, since the price went down (by "over 30%" for panels, I don't know for the other components). That's a huge shrinkage.

Then it predicts 9% growth from then on, half as fast as solar has ever grown.

This is why I don't believe the forecast at all.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on June 04, 2017, 11:56:06 PM
Only time will tell. GTM are also predicting a possible 40% drop in Chinese new installs.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: TerryM on June 05, 2017, 12:04:17 AM
Are the large punitive tariffs on panels having an effect?
Terry
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on June 05, 2017, 12:06:18 AM
Seems to be more with reductions in incentives, and possibly also the simple need to catch breath after an incredibly rapid period of acceleration.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: numerobis on June 05, 2017, 01:27:04 AM
Only time will tell.

Agreed.

Meanwhile, I'll do what I can to make the prediction fail ;)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on June 05, 2017, 08:53:01 PM
The sad story of the lack of proper investment in the New York subway - Who’s Killing the MTA?

This story could be written about so many mass transit systems in North America, such a contrast to Europe, China, Japan ....

"As of 2014, of the 468 subway stations, only 51 were not in need of fixes and repairs. A report from the Citizens Budget Commission estimated that at the current pace, the MTA would finish these repairs in 50 years — by which point, of course, hundreds more staircases, platforms, and ceilings will be broken."

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/06/nyc-subways-mta-cuomo-de-blasio-debt (https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/06/nyc-subways-mta-cuomo-de-blasio-debt)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 06, 2017, 09:32:34 PM
Governor Sandoval says he will sign bill to bring rooftop solar back to Nevada
Quote
A statement from Tesla said the bill will not only bring back solar energy to Nevada and enable the industry to innovate and grow sustainably, it will create thousands of jobs and bring millions of dollars in economic benefits to the state.

“Tesla will begin selling rooftop solar and residential storage products in Nevada, and we look forward to bringing even more jobs to the state in the years ahead to help provide residents with affordable rooftop solar and energy storage choices,” the statement said.

The rooftop solar industry ground to a halt in Nevada when new, lower rates for net metering took effect in 2016. The new measure is expected to reverse that decision.
https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/2017-legislature/sandoval-says-he-will-sign-bill-to-bring-rooftop-solar-back-to-nevada/ (https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/2017-legislature/sandoval-says-he-will-sign-bill-to-bring-rooftop-solar-back-to-nevada/)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 06, 2017, 09:37:30 PM
New York State:

Governor Cuomo Announces Major Climate and Jobs Initiative in Partnership with the Worker Institute at Cornell University ILR's School and Climate Jobs NY to Help Create 40,000 Clean Energy Jobs by 2020
Quote
As part of the first phase of the Clean Climate Careers initiative, New York State will make an unprecedented investment of up to $1.5 billion in major renewable energy projects, including wind and solar, and significantly expand energy efficiency and solar installations at public buildings. The investment will result in an additional 2.5 million megawatt-hours of electricity a year, representing the largest clean energy procurement by a state in U.S. history.
https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-major-climate-and-jobs-initiative-partnership-worker-institute-cornell (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-major-climate-and-jobs-initiative-partnership-worker-institute-cornell)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on June 08, 2017, 09:50:15 PM
Trump Infrastructure: Public/Private Partnership Giveaway To The Rich & Wall Street

Government handouts are only bad if they are not going to the rich. Public/Private partnership tends to be a case of socialize the risks and privatize the profits, or just give assets away for cheap. Just like Chicago with their parking meters.

"Donald Trump’s so-called infrastructure plan is a huge giveaway to Wall Street that fails to create the millions of jobs we need to modernize our roads, bridges, water systems, rail, airports, levees and dams. At a time when the American Society of Civil Engineers says we need to spend $2 trillion above current spending levels just to get our infrastructure back to a state of good repair, Trump actually cuts direct federal spending on our crumbling infrastructure by nearly $145 billion over the next decade. This would force state and local governments to shoulder more of the financial burden for our infrastructure needs at a time when they can least afford it.

Just like Trump’s “health care” bill is actually a $231 billion tax cut for the top 2 percent, his infrastructure plan would create $200 billion in new tax loopholes and other giveaways for wealthy investors, and it would reward corporations that have stashed their profits overseas with huge tax cuts.

Under Trump’s proposal, billionaires on Wall Street, wealthy campaign contributors and even foreign governments would receive hundreds of billions in tax breaks to purchase our highways, airports, and water treatment plants. They would then be allowed to impose huge new tolls and fees on the backs of American commuters and homeowners. The reality is that Trump’s plan to sell off our nation’s highways, bridges, and other vital infrastructure to Wall Street, private investors, and foreign governments is an old idea that does not work."

https://medium.com/senator-bernie-sanders/why-trumps-infrastructure-plan-is-good-for-wall-street-but-bad-for-america-7ff353db42af (https://medium.com/senator-bernie-sanders/why-trumps-infrastructure-plan-is-good-for-wall-street-but-bad-for-america-7ff353db42af)

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/parking-meters-garages-took-in-156m-but-city-wont-see-a-cent/ (http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/parking-meters-garages-took-in-156m-but-city-wont-see-a-cent/)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: TerryM on June 08, 2017, 11:52:05 PM
rboyd


The Highway 407 fiasco comes immediately to mind. Big government working with Big Business may have been Mussolini's definition of Fascism, but it's also increasingly the way things work in North America whenever a Corporate dominated party takes control.


Unfortunately in the States both parties have been rushing in that direction.


Ontario Liberals seem to have avoided the worst of it & I continue to hold out hopes for Trudeau's Federal Liberals. Trump's example makes an easy target for Left & Center Left politicians & I think it will take a generation before Canadians forget Harper.


The only way Democrats can lose is if they hitch all of their horses to Russiagate, and it blows up in their faces. Trump is such a poor excuse for a politician that all that's necessary to beat him is factual reporting about his running series of gaffes.
The only way he can win is if he's seen as the peace candidate running against a belligerent Democrat perceived as a warmonger. Instead he seems to be testing the waters of portraying himself as a warrior chieftain.


MSM is encouraging his violent outbursts & should he take the bait he's finished. Getting rid of Trump is a very good thing. If the price is a major war, not so good.
I'm for a Saunders Democrat & apparently most Americans are in agreement. The problem will be getting one on the ballot - hopefully running against Trump.


If Pence is thrust into the Presidency and runs as an incumbent in 2020 he'll have a lot of things in his favor. The man who brought down Trump. A man who can run as a Centrist Icon, if he can keep his mouth shut for a few years, and someone with the full backing to every Republican donor from the Brothers Koch to Adelson to Rupert Murdoch. What a machine!


Getting Trump off the stage early may feel good, but if ending the Corporate takeover of America, particularly Republican flavored Corporatism is the goal, leaving The Donald in place to showcase just how bad the Republicans can be is a better long term strategy.


Remember how effective the Harper Conservatives were as the Opposition Party? It was only after seeing them in power as the majority party that the populace recognized just how poor a choice they had made. Americans finally saw through the Bush Republicans. Let them squirm for 4 years under Trump Republicans and they may see the light. Republicans are bad for the country and bad for the world.
If Trump becomes the martyred hero who would have saved the day if only he hadn't been hounded from office, Trump supporters, and many others will flock to the next, possibly even worse, ideologue that promises what he can't possibly deliver.


Keep Trump prominently in the spotlight, don't allow him to escape, then take pot shots from the sidelines. We need Trump going into the 2018 and 2020 elections. If we can't field a candidate that can beat an incumbent Trump, we need to find a new hobby.


Terry
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on June 10, 2017, 10:03:40 PM
GTM Research forecasts that 12.6 GWdc of new PV installations will come on-line in 2017, down 16% from a record-breaking 2016

First quarter US Solar PV numbers are out, and they show a 2% decline from the first quarter of 2016. As shown in the graph below, installations ramped up massively as 2016 progressed - to beat the incentive cut off (which was later extended). So the GTM forecast for 2017 is looking pretty good.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.seia.org%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2F1-1-USQuarterlyPVInstallationsQ12012-Q12017.jpg&hash=ea94fac07a48e96c573be1552005127a)

The procurement cycle is now picking up again, with the incentives extended to the end of 2019. The inherent delays in the procurement cycle will delay a pickup in new installs, as assumed by GTM. 2017 is benefitting from some projects in the pipeline flowing through from 2016 to 2017, after it became apparent that the incentives would be extended. Hence the assumed drop off in 2018 as projects get through the procurement cycle and no flow-through projects.

"“Utility solar is on the cusp of another boom in procurement,” said Cory Honeyman, GTM Research’s associate director of U.S. solar. “The majority of utility solicitations are focused on maximizing the number of projects that can come on-line with the 30 percent federal Investment Tax Credit in 2019, or later by leveraging commence-construction rules.”

(https://dqbasmyouzti2.cloudfront.net/content/images/articles/pv-install-q1-2017-new.png)

There is a trade dispute that could significantly raise solar PV prices in the US, and cause a significant reduction in the GTM forecast:

"However, downside risk looms over the long-term outlook for U.S. solar, due to a new trade dispute initiated by Suniva. According to the report, if Suniva’s petition for a minimum silicon PV module price of 78 cents per watt is successful, it could raise system costs between 13 percent and 35 percent, depending on the segment. While it remains unclear how the International Trade Commission will ultimately rule on this petition by Suniva, the approval of the petition as initially filed would result in substantial downside revisions to the GTM Research forecast across all three segments."

http://www.seia.org/research-resources/solar-market-insight-report-2017-q2 (http://www.seia.org/research-resources/solar-market-insight-report-2017-q2)

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/us-solar-market-adds-2-gw-of-pv-in-q1-2017 (https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/us-solar-market-adds-2-gw-of-pv-in-q1-2017)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on June 10, 2017, 10:37:18 PM
American Wind Energy Association and Navigant Forecast 35GW Net New Wind Capacity 2017-2020 - Largely Due to the Production Tax Credit

"Navigant interviewed 12 leading U.S. wind developers and manufacturers to develop a consensus forecast"

Bloomberg New Energy Finance Forecast That Installs Could Drop Off Sharply If the PTC expires in 2020

"We are in a PTC bubble now between 2017 and 2020," said Alex Morgan, a wind energy analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which recently forecast wind energy developments in the U.S. through 2030. "Our build is really front-loaded in those first four years. We expect that wind drops off in early 2020s to mid-2020s, and then we expect it to come back up in the late 2020s."

http://awea.files.cms-plus.com/Economic%20Development%20Impacts%20of%20Wind%20Projects%202017%20FINAL.pdf (http://awea.files.cms-plus.com/Economic%20Development%20Impacts%20of%20Wind%20Projects%202017%20FINAL.pdf)

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/03052017/wind-power-rising-clean-energy-jobs (https://insideclimatenews.org/news/03052017/wind-power-rising-clean-energy-jobs)


Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 10, 2017, 11:15:24 PM
Quote
"We are in a PTC bubble now between 2017 and 2020,"

The unsubsidized cost of wind is now less than $0.03/kWh.  By 2020 it should be below $0.02/kWh.

In 2015 the fuel price for CCNG plants was $0.028. 

The <$0.02/kWh price for wind in a PPA is locked down for 20 years.  What utility is going to turn down an opportunity to buy 'less than two cents' wind and instead pay three cents for gas plant fuel?  Three cents that will increase with inflation, if for no other reason.

I expect the wind bubble will pop when there's no more gas to turn off while the wind is blowing.  Then add in the need for more late night generation as EVs come online in number.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 15, 2017, 01:52:13 AM
San Diego, California, commits to 100% clean electricity
The proposal won support from both Republicans and Democrats.
https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2017/06/san-diego-commits-to-100-percent-clean-electricity/ (https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2017/06/san-diego-commits-to-100-percent-clean-electricity/)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 16, 2017, 04:20:49 AM
Renewable Energy Record Set in U.S.
Quote
The U.S. set a new renewable energy milestone in March, in data released Wednesday. For the first time, wind and solar accounted for 10 percent of all electricity generation, with wind comprising 8 percent and solar coming in at 2 percent.

The report was published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which collects and disseminates environmental data that is used to inform policymakers.

Wind and solar generation typically peaks in the spring and fall when there is less energy demand, and the EIA expects April to continue the record-setting 10 percent trend. That 10 percent mark is expected to slip in summer months, but 2016 saw an overall growth in renewables.
...
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/06/solar-wind-renewable-energy-record/ (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/06/solar-wind-renewable-energy-record/)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 16, 2017, 04:23:20 AM
Half the US Population Lives in Cities or States That Are Working Towards the Paris Agreement Climate Goals
Quote
We estimate that approximately 53% of residents in the US live either in a state that has adopted goals in line with Paris Climate Agreement or in a city that has. Together these cities and states generate about 40% of US CO2 emissions.
...
https://www.climateinteractive.org/analysis/half-the-us-population-lives-in-cities-or-states-that-are-working-towards-the-paris-agreement-climate-goals/ (https://www.climateinteractive.org/analysis/half-the-us-population-lives-in-cities-or-states-that-are-working-towards-the-paris-agreement-climate-goals/)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on June 16, 2017, 04:50:28 PM
GenOn (NRG Energy) files for bankruptcy (US)

"US power company GenOn (part of the NRG Energy group) has filed for bankruptcy, following a debt restructuring agreement reached in may 2017 with bondholders and aimed at cutting US$1.75bn of its debts. The company, which has been struggling with low electricity prices on the wholesale markets, will be restructured as a standalone company. The bankruptcy process will transfer the ownership of GenOn and of its 32 power plants (around 15.4 GW, 2/3 of which from gas) in eight states to senior noteholders.

NRG Energy acquired GenOn in December 2012 for US$1.7bn, creating the largest independent US power producer, with about 47 GW of both conventional and renewable generation capacities, that could power about 37 million American homes.

US wholesale power generation companies have suffered from reduced margins as electricity prices have sunk over the last few years. Exelon plans to close its Three Mile Island nuclear power plant and to restructure its debt, while FirstEnergy plans to exit its merchant business by mid-2018. Other companies, such as Energy Future Holdings or Panda Temple Power, have also filed for bankruptcy."

https://www.enerdata.net/publications/daily-energy-news/genon-nrg-energy-files-bankruptcy-us.html (https://www.enerdata.net/publications/daily-energy-news/genon-nrg-energy-files-bankruptcy-us.html)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 20, 2017, 07:08:13 AM
While messing around with the 2017 BP database I decided to see if the US was "doing enough" so I drew a 'keep on keeping on' line to 2050....

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FUS%2FCO2%25201965%2520thru%25202016%2520with%2520Projection.png&hash=7b5ae5fc23a971e8126927590dce3bcd) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/US/CO2%201965%20thru%202016%20with%20Projection.png.html)

BP reports only CO2 from energy use, not ag, cement, etc.  But looking at only energy it looks like zero by 2050 will be easy.  Especially when one considers that we'll probably using almost no petroleum and the cost of wind, solar and storage should continue to decline.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: wili on June 20, 2017, 07:19:11 AM
" zero by 2050"

That's not what your projection shows.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 20, 2017, 07:52:02 AM
" zero by 2050"

That's not what your projection shows.

Oops!!!!

Mistake made.  Largely.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 20, 2017, 07:59:30 AM
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FUS%2F1965%2520thru%25202020%2520with%2520Projections.png&hash=71d4e672d6bcdde726380b972568565e) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/US/1965%20thru%202020%20with%20Projections.png.html)

I call this version "Work to be Done"....
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on June 20, 2017, 06:13:20 PM
Your graph now looks like some of those UN IPCC scenarios where history is magically rewritten and emissions started falling in 2010 rather than rising.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 20, 2017, 09:04:00 PM
Your graph now looks like some of those UN IPCC scenarios where history is magically rewritten and emissions started falling in 2010 rather than rising.

I don't understand.  I've seen no graphs showing a drop in global CO2 emission starting in 2010.  Since 2010 global CO2 emissions from energy have risen, on average, 1% per year.  But most of that increase was between 2010 and 2013.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on June 20, 2017, 10:58:07 PM
The UN IPCC uses hundreds of different scenarios to work out the probability of staying within 2 degrees. The vast majority either assume extensive use of BECCS and/or "back-date" the time when carbon emissions started to fall. Kevin Anderson covers this very well, he sarcastically refers to this as the "assumption of time travel". The virtual reality of climate modelling.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on August 27, 2017, 08:50:31 PM
Analysis: Why US carbon emissions have fallen 14% since 2005

Good report by Carbon Brief on the reasons for the fall on US emissions since 2005:

33% coal to gas; 19% wind; 18% reduced electricity use; solar 3%; industrial emissions 7%; other 20%

"Increases in gas electricity generation is the largest driver, accounting for 33% of the total emissions reduction in 2016. Gas is far from zero-carbon, but reduces CO2 in the US because it mostly displaces high-carbon coal.

Wind generation was responsible for 19% of emissions reduction, while reduced electricity use – mostly in the industrial sector – was responsible for 18%. Reduced industrial CO2 emissions from non-electric sources, such as on-site burning of oil or natural gas, accounted for an additional 7%

Other important factors include reduced miles driven, increased vehicle fuel economy and lower emissions from air travel via reductions in CO2 per passenger mile. Solar power accounts for a small, but growing part of emissions reductions, representing 3% of the reduction in 2016.

https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-why-us-carbon-emissions-have-fallen-14-since-2005 (https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-why-us-carbon-emissions-have-fallen-14-since-2005)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on September 02, 2017, 01:35:40 AM
Market Dynamics Are Complicated as Coal Battles Natural Gas

The move from coal to gas could be reversed if natural gas prices go up. The previous move from coal to gas resulted in the closing of the most inefficient coal plants, leaving more efficient ones that can compete better with gas. Such plants still have a lot of spare capacity, operating at about 50% - could easily increase output by 40% and still be only at 70% utilization. The price move required to drive a move back to coal may be as little as $0.75/mmbtu.

The see-saw from coal to gas may last for a while until renewables can get enough capacity in place to kill them both off.

"Coal- and natural gas-fired resources are continually competing against one another in day-ahead and real-time wholesale power markets. While unit operational constraints have some effect, these economic tradeoffs primarily distill down to relative fuel costs and operating efficiencies of these respective resources. So, holding relative operating efficiencies constant, as relative coal and natural gas fuel prices change, plant operations will shift."

"During 2016 the Henry Hub natural gas price averaged about $2.50/MMBtu, low enough that a natural gas-fired combined cycle unit would have been cheaper to operate than almost all U.S. coal-fired units. However, an increase in the delivered gas price of $0.75/MMBtu would make the natural gas-fired combined cycle plant costlier and reverse this short-term decision-making.

This relatively small band of potential natural gas price movement is important if we remember that the system has already “wrung out” less-efficient coal-fired resources due to combined regulatory and commodity pricing pressures. The remaining coal-fired fleet can operate at capacity factors of 70% and higher, as it did in 2008. However, as of 2015, the bulk of the U.S. coal-fired fleet was operating at about a 50% capacity factor. Therefore, assuming relatively small movements in natural gas commodity pricing, there is the potential for these plants to burn about 40% to 50% more coal than they did in 2015."

http://www.powermag.com/market-dynamics-are-complicated-as-coal-battles-natural-gas/?printmode=1. (http://www.powermag.com/market-dynamics-are-complicated-as-coal-battles-natural-gas/?printmode=1.)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 13, 2017, 01:54:53 AM
This is a draft.  The readers here can be the editors and find my (probable) mistakes.

The US, how do we get from where we are to 0% fossil fuel use? 

Where are we now?

Let’s start with US primary energy consumption in 2016.  All the energy we used. I’ll show a cut down version of the 2016 NREL Energy Flow chart.  I’m leaving out the middle stuff (where the energy gets used) and showing only the inputs - Primary Energy (left) and the amount we use (Energy Services)  and the amount we discard - Rejected (right)

(https://vgy.me/5SSOku.png)

Above the green/black line are renewable energy sources and nuclear - the low carbon, non-fossil fuel sources.  We need to move Biomass up with them because while burning biomass does release carbon it is carbon that was already in the above-surface CO2 cycle.  It’s not carbon we extract from under the surface.

The numbers in the boxes are in Quads of energy.  A quad equals a bit over  293 TWh.  From here down I’ll uses TWh as more people are familiar with watts than quads (10^15 BTU). 

Here’s our non-fossil fuel generation totals for 2016.  I’m listing them with and without nuclear which I will explain later.


(https://vgy.me/5pvDh3.png)

Now the right side of the graphic.  That shows us how much energy we actually used (Energy Services)  and how much we lost in waste heat (Rejected).

Coal plants are about 35% to 40% efficient.  That means that if we put 100 kWh of coal energy in the furnace we get about 35 kWh to 40 kWh of electricity from the plant.

ICEVs are about 20% efficient.  Put 100 kWh of gasoline energy into the tank and only 20 kWh turns into kinetic energy moving us down the road.

Coal wastes about 60% to 65% of the primary energy we feed into a coal plant.  ICEVs waste about 80% of the energy we put in their gas tanks.  We have no need to replace that energy as it serves no purpose.  It’s the very thick wrapper on our burrito which we toss in the garbage.

In 2016 we used 30.8 quads of energy.  9,027 TWh.  We generated ~60% of that amount with non-FF sources, ~33% excluding nuclear.  To be fossil fuel free the US would need to generate an additional 3,582 TWh (or 6,050 TWh without nuclear) from non-fossil fuel sources.
 

(https://vgy.me/0bMX6d.png)

In 2016 the US generated ~53 TWh more electricity with non-fossil fuel sources than in 2015. 

If we want to arrive at ~0% fossil fuel by 2050 then we need to install non-fossil fuel generation 1.8x as fast as we did to create that 53 TWh (3.1x w/o nuclear).

If we want to arrive at ~0% fossil fuel by 2040 then we need to install non-fossil fuel generation 2.5x as fast as we did to create that 53 TWh  (4.2x w/o nuclear).

1.8x ?  Very doable.  2.5?  Shouldn't be hard.

Can the US double the rate of installing renewable generation?  Sure, a piece of cake.  Large portions of the US (the Southeast, in particular) are just now starting to install.  We, just now, are hooking up our first offshore turbines and have yet to launch our first floating turbine.  Prices for wind and solar continue to drop.  And the realization that single-axis tracking not only greatly increases solar farm output but also lengthens the solar day should mean major increases in utility solar installation.

But we should be aiming for 4.2x.  Doable

Why without nuclear? 

First, our nuclear plants are old and many will probably die a natural death well before 2050.  Over half of our reactors are losing money and will require subsidies to keep from going bankrupt.  Some of our reactors are already scheduled to be closed by 2025. 

And if there happens to be a major nuclear disaster in the US, probably anywhere in the western hemisphere, there would likely be immense pressure to close all US reactors rapidly like we saw happen in Japan.  A low probability event, but one we can’t ignore.

.



Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: oren on September 13, 2017, 01:34:49 PM
In 2016 the US generated ~53 TWh more electricity with non-fossil fuel sources than in 2015. 
Bob, interesting analysis. Two comments off the cuff:
A. It seems there is some confusion between utilized energy and generated electricity. Electricity also gets wasted, in transmission and in storage and when used. It's not 80% or 65% but still not negligible. So replacing utilized energy with generated electricity doesn't seem like it's apples to apples. I may have missed the linkage somewhere in your post.
B. Is the energy consumption totally flat? If not, how much more energy was utilized in 2016 compared to 2015 in the US?
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 13, 2017, 04:59:52 PM
Good point on the transmission/distribution loss.  According to the EIA combined losses in 2015 were just under 5%.  Apparently most of the loss is during distribution and that is improving as the grid is modernized, but there will be some amount of energy lost even with a 100% RE grid.

In 2016 12.6 quads of the total 30.8 quads of energy used were in the form of electricity.  So 59% more electricity at a 5% loss would mean a need to generate 3% more than the number I used.

At this point there's very little storage used in the US.  As that grows approximately 10% of the amount stored may be lost.  It's hard to estimate how much storage will be needed but some estimates run as low as 20%.  That means the floor could be as low as 2%.

Combined, somewhere between 5% and 10% more electricity might be needed.

Future demand growth?  That's a hard one.  The US total fertility rate is about 1.9, well below replacement rate.  Any population growth is due to immigration and that rate may slow to the point at which there is little increase in number of people in the country. 

At the same time I expect we will see more efficiency.  As our crummiest buildings are torn down they will be replaced with new buildings which current building codes will require to be much better insulated.  Lower AC and heating demand.  As battery capacity improves it will take less energy to power vehicles.  With all the effort going into efficiency I'm not sure that we'll see much, if any, increase in demand over the long term.

(Hyperloop works?  Major decrease in energy used for long distance travel and shipping.)

Good points.  Keep thinking critically and see if there are other holes.

I have a question about "biomass".  I wonder  how much of that is ethanol that goes into gasoline.  I haven't dug into that.  And I wonder how much energy would be saved if we quit 'growing' ethanol.  It takes a lot of energy to grow, produce and distribute corn-ethanol.

And I wonder how much energy we'd save by not extracting, transporting, and processing/refining coal/oil.  That's energy we wouldn't need to replace.



Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 13, 2017, 05:11:18 PM
US energy use per year...

2010  98.0 quads
2011  97.3
2012  95.0
2013  97.4
2014  98.3
2015  97.5
2016  97.3

There seems to be no change in demand.  2012 shows a drop due to the Great Recession but that impact washed out by the following year.

US population in 2010 was 310.599 million, 324.304 million in 2016.  A 4% increase.  So more people using about the same amount of energy.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: numerobis on September 13, 2017, 05:23:12 PM
Primary energy consumption in the US is almost flat, has been for about 10 years, stuck at just under 100 quads a year per the EIA. On top of that, IIRC electricity use itself hasn't been growing over the past 15 years (takes a bit more digging to find that number).

Use of primary energy to generate electricity is down a decent amount, due to the switch from old coal plants (around 30-40% efficiency) to natural gas (often 50-60% efficiency) and to wind and solar (accounted as if they were 100% efficient).

Transportation energy use has unfortunately wiped out the savings. EVs should help, and if the US ever builds a high speed train line anywhere, or gets serious about mass transit, that should help too.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on September 13, 2017, 06:05:54 PM
As long as we are replacing previously fossil-fuel generated electricity production and usage, the issue is a "back end" production one. How to get the renewables built out and how to integrate them into the grid effectively. This is the (not so) easy part of the equation.

Once we move on to replace others uses with electricity, the issues get much greater as we have to replace the usage infrastructure (e.g. EV's vs ICEV's for cars and trucks, industrial uses, planes vs electrical mass transit, ships, etc..), the level of possible social and economic disruption, and resistance, becomes a major issue. The amount of assets that will be devalued may be large enough to cause an economic and financial shock - everything from oil reserves, to industrial plant, to car servicing facilities to internal combustion engine intellectual property. Self-driving cars would just add to the mayhem.

There may need to be significant government intervention to stop a Schumpeterian style creative destruction from crashing the economy through asset destruction and structural unemployment.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: TerryM on September 13, 2017, 06:36:26 PM
Are the Northern European community heating and generating facilities making a more efficient use of fossil fuels than the more common practice of separating electrical generation from hot water production?
Are the combined facilities utilizing otherwise wasted heat to provide hot water and building heating, or are they simply increasing their fossil fuel usage to provide this additional heat?


If this does equate to greater efficiencies, is there any way that we could emulate this in future bio-mass generators?


Terry
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 13, 2017, 07:36:39 PM
US electricity generation...

2010  40.0 quads
2011  39.2
2012  38.0
2013  38.2
2014  38.4
2015  38.0
2016  37.5

If anything, down a bit recently.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 13, 2017, 07:55:45 PM
As long as we are replacing previously fossil-fuel generated electricity production and usage, the issue is a "back end" production one. How to get the renewables built out and how to integrate them into the grid effectively. This is the (not so) easy part of the equation.

Once we move on to replace others uses with electricity, the issues get much greater as we have to replace the usage infrastructure (e.g. EV's vs ICEV's for cars and trucks, industrial uses, planes vs electrical mass transit, ships, etc..), the level of possible social and economic disruption, and resistance, becomes a major issue. The amount of assets that will be devalued may be large enough to cause an economic and financial shock - everything from oil reserves, to industrial plant, to car servicing facilities to internal combustion engine intellectual property. Self-driving cars would just add to the mayhem.

There may need to be significant government intervention to stop a Schumpeterian style creative destruction from crashing the economy through asset destruction and structural unemployment.

As far as I can tell we have two or three fossil fuel functions for which we have not yet found complete solutions.

1)  Flight.  Partial solutions are high speed rail, possibly the Hyperloop, and biofuel.  If battery capacity increases from the current ~250 watts/kg to ~400 watts/kg then we might be able to eliminate fossil fuel use for flight.

2)  Ocean shipping.  One partial solution is to greatly decrease ocean shipping and move more manufacturing to 'on continent'.  As labor costs rise in developing countries and manufacturing becomes more automated there will be less reason to ship manufactured good by water.  Move them by electrified rail and trucks.

Ship only necessary raw/processed materials.  Cut ship speeds in order to decrease fuel use.  Use biofuels as possible.

3)  Large equipment working away from the grid.  Battery swapping and biofuels.

Overall, worry not about the cost of changing over to renewable energy and the cost of energy after the transition.  The cost will be low and the cost of energy post transition will be lower than what we now spend.

The US has spent a total of about $50 billion to subsidize wind and solar.  We have already gotten that much and up to 2x more back in coal external cost savings.  New wind is now cheaper than electricity from many paid off coal plants and CCNG plants.  Solar should be there very quickly.  The cost of driving a mile will drop to less than 50% of what it now is, cars should be less to purchase.

The only economic pain will be to those who are invested in fossil fuels.  Coal stocks are already in the crapper and several coal mines have gone bankrupt and closed. 

At the same time we now have hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the wind and solar industry.  Far more than will be lost as oil and coal go away. 

And new fortunes will be made by those investing in renewable energy and storage.  Some shifting in the ranks of the top 1% as some who made fossil fuel bets drop out and are replaced by people who invest in new energy.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 13, 2017, 08:05:59 PM
Looks like US electricity consumption has been flat for several years.

(https://vgy.me/8RqdGc.png)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: numerobis on September 14, 2017, 04:46:01 AM
US electricity generation...

2010  40.0 quads
2011  39.2
2012  38.0
2013  38.2
2014  38.4
2015  38.0
2016  37.5

If anything, down a bit recently.

That must be primary energy used for electricity generation, not electricity generation itself.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 14, 2017, 05:13:30 AM
US electricity generation...

2010  40.0 quads
2011  39.2
2012  38.0
2013  38.2
2014  38.4
2015  38.0
2016  37.5

If anything, down a bit recently.

That must be primary energy used for electricity generation, not electricity generation itself.

Correct.  Actual electricity use ...

2010  13.0
2011  12.6
2012  13.0
2013  12.4
2014  12.4
2015  12.6
2016  12.6

First set of numbers includes waste heat (rejected energy).
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 14, 2017, 03:55:24 PM
There was a discussion on the Batteries thread about How much energy do we use producing and refining fossil fuels?

To the degree we no longer need to produce fossil fuels, that is less electricity we need to generate!

Discussion in the Batteries thread:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1150.msg112408.html#msg112408 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1150.msg112408.html#msg112408)

Numbers from a DOE rep:
http://gatewayev.org/how-much-electricity-is-used-refine-a-gallon-of-gasoline (http://gatewayev.org/how-much-electricity-is-used-refine-a-gallon-of-gasoline)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 14, 2017, 04:29:43 PM
On the electricity needed to refine a gallon of gas - notice that the topic is electricity used but the DOE responds back with the energy used.

I ran the math for California refineries and very little electricity per gallon is purchased from the grid.  Only 0.16 kWh/gallon.  The rest of the energy used is from coal, coke, natural gas, propane, and petroleum.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: rboyd on September 14, 2017, 05:54:09 PM
As far as I can tell we have two or three fossil fuel functions for which we have not yet found complete solutions.

We need to cut emissions drastically by 2030, more in the richer countries to give some space to the poorer ones. That challenge gets worse once we have an ice-free Arctic and other feedbacks etc. With CO2e at 520+ there is already no carbon budget and therefore we need to be carbon neutral very fast (not in 2040 etc.) This is the sad reality that we face.

No matter how this is done, eco-modernist or rationing, there are huge amounts of infrastructure that will be invalidated before they are depreciated. That leads to large-scale financial losses. The real economy does not work with no friction (as the economic models assume), and the sheer scale of the infrastructure buildout will be overwhelming.

Show me the actual proven solutions (not theoretical ones) for going carbon neutral by 2030? How fast can they be built out, how will they be funded, who will eat the losses of the losers? This is the messy reality of transition. If this were 1990 or 2000 I would agree with you, but its not and we already blew through the 450ppm limit a good while ago.

Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 14, 2017, 08:00:31 PM
Quote
huge amounts of infrastructure that will be invalidated before they are depreciated. That leads to large-scale financial losses.


Those are losses to investors, basically losses on paper.  They are not new spending.  Fossil fuel investors went to the track and put money on the horses they thought would win, but those horses will not win.

We're arriving at the point at which is is becoming cheaper to install wind and solar than to fuel CCNG plants.  The decreased use or even closure of CCNG plants will mean savings to the economy.

As we close coal plants we save vast amounts in external costs which we almost never price into our calculations but nevertheless these are costs we pay year after year after year.

The bottom line is that some investors, those who have capital in fossil fuels and fossil fuel plants, will lose money.  People who invest in RE will make money.  The average person will benefit from lower electricity and health costs.  The overall economy will benefit from less 'wasted' spending and lower cost energy.

Quote
Show me the actual proven solutions (not theoretical ones) for going carbon neutral by 2030?

I have none. 

First, I think it practically impossible to eliminate all fossil fuel use in only 17 years. 

Second, I see no signs of a global desire to quit fossil fuels that rapidly.  People, overall, are not concerned enough about climate change at this point in time.



Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 14, 2017, 09:24:05 PM
Data on U.S. Wind development in Q2 2017:

Despite Minimal Installations, US Wind Development Surges Second Quarter (Up 40% YoY)
https://cleantechnica.com/2017/07/28/us-wind-development-surges-second-quarter-despite-minimal-installations/ (https://cleantechnica.com/2017/07/28/us-wind-development-surges-second-quarter-despite-minimal-installations/)



And a new interactive map of U.S. wind installations:

AWEA releases map of every wind farm and factory in America
http://www.awea.org/AWEAWindFarmandFactoryMap (http://www.awea.org/AWEAWindFarmandFactoryMap)

Map is here:  http://gis.awea.org/arcgisportal/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eed1ec3b624742f8b18280e6aa73e8ec (http://gis.awea.org/arcgisportal/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eed1ec3b624742f8b18280e6aa73e8ec)
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 14, 2017, 09:49:58 PM
On the electricity needed to refine a gallon of gas - notice that the topic is electricity used but the DOE responds back with the energy used.

I ran the math for California refineries and very little electricity per gallon is purchased from the grid.  Only 0.16 kWh/gallon.  The rest of the energy used is from coal, coke, natural gas, propane, and petroleum.

Yes, but...  if we were not manufacturing fossil fuels, all the electricity needed to make the equipment, and extract and transport all that "coal, coke, natural gas, propane, and petroleum" to the refinery would no longer be needed.  I'll not belabor the point further. :) But if the petroleum extraction and refining industry were minimized, that's a fair chunk of electricity (and energy, and manufacturing) requirement that's just gone -- we don't need to directly replace it.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 14, 2017, 10:33:22 PM
Quote
all the electricity needed to make the equipment, and extract and transport all that "coal, coke, natural gas, propane, and petroleum" to the refinery would no longer be needed.

True, but there seems to be a lot of electricity/energy confusion in the oil for vehicle discussions.

If <0.2kWh of grid electricity is used for refining it's hard to imagine that a huge amount of electricity is being used for all other purposes.  Some for extracting (running pumps).  Some for building equipment.  A little bit for pumping from storage tanks to vehicle tanks.

Every little bit helps but we need to be reasonable.  There are people claiming that if we quit gasoline we could drive EVs "30 miles per gallon" on the electricity saved.  That would probably require more like 10 kWh of electricity when the actual grid electricity saved might be closer to 1 kWh.
Title: Re: But, but, but, the United States
Post by: gerontocrat on March 19, 2018, 07:31:13 PM
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-19/storm-prone-states-ease-off-building-codes-as-climate-risk-grows

As Storms Get Stronger, Building Codes Are Getting Weaker
19 March 2018, 08:00 GMT

Officials ignore warnings from insurers, federal government
Home builders push state officials to change the rules


Quote

The showdown in the Florida statehouse last year had all the drama of a knock-down political brawl: Powerful industries clashing. Warnings of death and destruction. And a surprise last-minute vote, delivering a sweeping reform bill to the governor’s desk.

The battle wasn’t about gun control, immigration or healthcare, but about making it easier to ignore national guidelines on building codes. To the surprise of the insurers, engineers and safety advocates who opposed the change, the home builders won -- in a state that gets hit by more hurricanes than any other.

Three months later, Hurricane Irma smashed into Florida.

A report being released on Monday shows Florida isn’t alone in easing up on building regulations even as the effects of global warming escalate. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety examined building policies in 18 Atlantic and Gulf Coast states and found that despite the increasing severity of natural disasters, many of those states have relaxed their approach to codes -- or have yet to impose any whatsoever.

"There’s no longer the automatic assumption that codes are good," Julie Rochman, the head of the institute, said in an interview. "We just have an incredible capacity for amnesia and denial in this country."