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I hope I get the names right. The crack that grows toward the haloween crack alternately looks to have cracked and not cracked several times. The issue is even if a new burg forms from the ice shelf it is grounded near the shelf edge and can not move anywhere even if the crack finishes. The only real hope of that ice floating free is if it eventually grinds off a few houndred meters elevation of rock. While the forces involved are probably sufficient I would not even venture a guess what the time would be other than not in the next few years. The pressure release when the new iceburg formed may result in some redirection of ice flow as the shelf is probably still under tension.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: April 11, 2021, 02:04:32 PM »
so many new 2020 chevy bolts for sale msrp 40 k. on sale for 13 k off. New for 27 k and they still have not cleared 2020 inventory. Yeah GM needs to get their act together. I suspect dealers are still pushing gas cars. If new incentives pass that might end up being 17 k.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Casual 2021 melting season predictions
« on: April 10, 2021, 05:14:55 PM »
Look what abnormal cold weather is in Europe. Don't they warn of the coming 30 years of ice growth? I think the 2012 record will not be broken until at least 2050.

Many areas in Slovenia reached their coldest April morning over the last 100 years! The official meteorological station Nova vas na Blokah peaked at -20.6 °C which has set a new all-time national record for the month of April since the records began.
Climate change plus increased extremes. a week ago temperatures were 25C

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 10, 2021, 05:10:14 PM »
I am seeing renewed calls by utilities to restructure their net metering programs. In many US markets this is just an excuse to discourage customers from adding solar but at least in California a change is needed. The problem in short is best explained with prices. Typical prices in California run around $11 a mwh during the day and $53 a mwh at night. While it may not seem fair that a daytime mwh be traded for less than a full night time mwh given the price disparity a change is justified. Allowing this to continue causes those without solar to pay $53 a mwh for all their daytime mwh. IMO the most equitable solution would apply a time of day factor to the credits. This would allow the true value to go to the solar owner without punishing others. In markets with little solar this could actually give a premium to solar as daytime usage is greater than night time usage. A flat fee favors larger systems. This allows greater benefits for early adopters. It also provides a mechanism to encourage the addition of batteries as well.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 10, 2021, 02:48:11 PM »
I tried to do the same thing for EU as US but there are some differences. In the US I ignored nuclear and hydro mostly because the were essentially unchanged from 2000. EU hydro is about the same but nuclear has declined. In the US oil for electricity generation is hard to distinguish from the zero line. In the US other renewables are above zero line but flat and essentially unchanged were in EU they grew. In the EU I think this is mostly biomass which is renewable but not really carbon neutral in my opinion. EU plot is yearly data so I made yearly US plot.

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: April 10, 2021, 04:13:11 AM »
The road to commercialization is long and full of mostly failures. While many ideas just are not feasible some better ideas die just because they do not have an aggressive advocate or enough seed money or just poor timing. These types of announcements usually only focus on the positive and not the negative. Statistically Lab announcements are bound to fail. When I read them it is interesting to learn about the new approach but I do not expect to see a successful product on the market. Announcements of pilot/low volume production are usually failures when not backed by an experienced industry player. Even from experienced industry players new product failures are common.

Such a small fraction of Lab successes lead to products that failure  :'( should be assumed and to me speculation of real world impacts sound terribly naïve and criticisms sound true but are stating the obvious. ::)  I still like to learn about them.  ;D

The politics / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: April 10, 2021, 03:13:45 AM »
Extremes are not healthy. We have gotten to a point where the wealthy pay too small of a percentage of their income. While some want extreme change most would be content with a restoration of historical norms. Tax rates on wealthy individuals should be double what the middle class pay. That should be based on what they pay not before deductions.

The politics / Re: Supreme Court
« on: April 10, 2021, 02:54:31 AM »
I doubt that there is enough support to make any changes here but I have been wrong before.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: April 10, 2021, 02:48:51 AM »
or maybe the headline should be
When will traditional car manufacturers try to sell electric cars? 3800 units a month is not competitive.

Or even a comment on the fact that when it dawns on traditional car manufacturers that they need to sell electric cars, it will be far too late.

Simply looking at the Model S Plaid+ economy stats tells the story.  0-60mph 2.1 seconds, 1100bhp and a wltp figure of over 180MPGe (imperial), should be enough to show the writing on the wall.
Traditional automakers could wait to long but that would probably be a much slower transistion if we have to wait for startups to grow volumes enough to displace them.   For all of the hype Tesla is currently the only startup producing significant volumes outside of China that I am aware of.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 08, 2021, 03:25:54 PM »
Probably overly optimistic but the rate of change suggests Wind and Solar could overtake Coal and Gas in some months within 5 years.
yes  it depends on how fast things move forward. probably in april it seams to be the lowest month for coal and gas. If I added hydro  it looks better but hydro is not really changing in the US so it made sense to drop it. Bidens plan calls for 50 gw a year for ten years. 2020 was a record year for renewables at 29 gw. If we achieve those levels it could happen sooner.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: April 08, 2021, 07:46:51 AM »
US drilling has been increasing in the last few months as noted by the doubling of active rigs since 2020 lows. If this drilling activity continues natural gas prices may fall back down to early 2020 levels. If natural gas prices remain near $2.50 coal may stabilize around 2020 consumption levels but if it returns closer to the $2 level I expect coal to fall even faster. In January and February coal consumption was higher in 2021 than 2020.Given coal capacity factor is near 45% around December of 2020 I expect coal closures to continue this year unless natural gas climbs above $2.70.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 08, 2021, 07:12:06 AM »
This helps to show how often different plant types are used. Coal has fallen from around 70% before this chart to about 45-50%. That despite all the closures so far. The natural gas combine plant is the most efficient and used the most often. Capacity factors are near maximum for this type of plant. The last three types of natural gas plants are used for peaking services. Notice the capacity factor of these plants is about the same as 4 to 6 hours of battery storage. They can all run much longer of course. When a coal plant is converted it becomes a natural gas steam turbine. The combustion turbine is the typical type of peaker plant because it can start and stop quickly.
Most new natural gas plants are combined cycle or combustion engines. combustion engines are built now instead of combustion turbines. Combustion turbines are slightly more efficient at full loads than combustion engines but the efficiency of the turbine falls off quickly at smaller loads. The engine remains relatively efficient across most loads above 40%. Only the engines are run at less than full load. About 1/3 of new natural gas plants built in 2020 were engines that can smoothly match the load transitions of solar and wind.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 08, 2021, 06:29:04 AM »
April 2021 estimated based on first 6 days

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 08, 2021, 06:08:17 AM »
A small request, as I find these charts useful and informative and often want to share them, could you modify their titles to something like "US Monthly Electricity Generation"? And label "Natural Gas" instead of NG. This will make it more self-explanatory.

The rest / Re: Peak Oil and Climate Change
« on: April 08, 2021, 05:58:34 AM »
renewable energy does not compete directly with oil until a significant portion of the population drive electric vehicles.
Mostly renewable energy competes for electricity production. In the US in 2020 solar added 15 gw wind added 14 gw NG added 6 gw and coal closed 11 gw. This growth in renewables occurred under a president who was pro coal and anti wind. Utilities bought 83% renewable generation and only 17% natural gas. So clearly renewable generation is competitive. The only reason any natural gas is built is batteries are too expensive right now. Battery prices are falling as utilities start to build gw sized battery projects.

As you can see from generation wind barely registered before 2005 and solar barely registered before 2014. Before that were only token projects. Solar is the cheapest form of energy out there. DOE has launched a program to decrease solar costs an additional 60% in ten years. DOE has been successful with similar programs in the past.

The rest / Re: Peak Oil and Climate Change
« on: April 08, 2021, 05:21:20 AM »
us electricity - petroleum is about 2 twh a month not really significant here.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: April 08, 2021, 04:57:41 AM »
or maybe the headline should be
When will traditional car manufacturers try to sell electric cars? 3800 units a month is not competitive.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 08, 2021, 04:32:58 AM »
I think this is a good way to depict where US is on electric generation. The other two major sources of generation are nuclear and hydro which have been stable for decades. All other sources, like geothermal and petroleum, are relatively insignificant. April 2021 numbers are an estimate. Presenting it this way makes the switch from coal to NG not evident so the focus is on fossil fuels and renewables which will replace them.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 07, 2021, 02:57:26 AM »

good info thanks.
There are only two operating coal plants in western coastal states that I am aware of. Transalta in Centralia Washington which is scheduled to close in 2025 has a 670 MW unit and Argus a 63 MW unit in California. Transalta is not close to the coast or at a particularly heavy load center. The currently operating Argus California coal plant is close to neveda and not the ocean. The three other closed California units are two 35 mw units and one 60 mw unit are relatively small and inconvenient to the ocean. Connecting to closer load centers would be easier. The closed Boardman coal plant is on the wrong side of the state to be useful. LA does have a large stake in a Utah coal plant. But it will be converted to run on hydrogen and is located in a different state. I do not think the author looked before suggesting locating wind near recently closed or soon to be closed coal plants.

Antarctica / Re: Pine Island Glacier (PIG) Calving and Discussion
« on: April 06, 2021, 03:28:39 AM »
Glacier speed is at highest / still increasing at approximately 14 m/day. The exact number is hard to tell from the graph.

Policy and solutions / Re: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
« on: April 05, 2021, 03:59:32 PM »
A single-component water-lean post-combustion CO2 capture solvent

"Notably, it is projected that this solvent can operate at a regeneration heat rate of 2.0 GJ per tonne CO2 for post-combustion capture, and at a total cost of capture of $50.6/tonne CO2. With further process optimization significant reductions in the capture cost are predicted."!divAbstract

Things to note
this is a lab experiment and cost projections from these are notoriously bad at missing costs.
A mwh produced from coal results in a ton of CO2 which requires 1/2 of mwh to sequester. The net result is a mwh of usable energy from coal would require the production of 2 mwh of energy and add $101 dollars to the cost of 1 mwh of usable energy. A mwh produced from solar and stored on lithium ion battery would be cheaper.
This process only removes 97% of the CO2.
A mwh produced from natural gas results in 0.45 tons of CO2 which requires 0.225 mwh to sequester. One mwh of usable energy would require 1.29 mwh of energy and add $65.29 to the cost of 1 mwh of usable energy. The cos is  $109.81. With battery storage at $121.84(probably high eia numbers they have used 2017 cost estimates in 2021 analysis) and dropping.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: April 04, 2021, 05:32:23 AM »
Polyethylene (PE) makes better shielding for space craft then aluminum. If I remember correctly it takes 1 m of H2O to shield. I have no idea how much PE that would be.
For a mars mission: Radiation is highly variable in space and randomly astronauts would need to enter a shielded chamber for anywhere  from a few minutes to a few weeks with little warning. The psychological stress from not just spending time in a confined space for several years but then randomly being confined to an even smaller space, probably a bunk, with little room to move around in is no small factor. Their are few analogues. A nuclear submarine with tours of less than a year come to mind. A nuclear submarine would be palatial in comparison with recreation spaces and multiple decks. All the plans I have seen appear to be about the size of a normal apartment. All of that space would be communal. For 6-8 people. For 5-6 years. While there would be no shortage of volunteers I don't think I have met anyone who would survive that trip sane. I know I would not.

Science / Re: 2021 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: April 04, 2021, 04:40:59 AM »
interesting Tor thanks

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 04, 2021, 02:33:30 AM »
I have read about a number of storage projects where Tesla was selected as the battery supplier but most of these were only reported in media focused on renewable energy. The battery market is exploding from essentially zero right now. California are adding 1.7 gw up from 1.5 gw of battery by summer(in time for July August peak this year but it may be close). Tesla was selected for many of those projects. For perspective battery capacity for the entire US was 1.059 gw at the end of June 2020. US batteries were 1.64 gw at the end of 2020 and grew 0.52 gw in 2020. California alone will more than double US battery market for 2021 before August.  Large battery additions were announced in Texas and other US markets. Some announcements mentioned suppliers some didn't. I only recall one supplier mentioned besides Tesla. A leak identified that Tesla was building a good sized battery for themselves in Texas. I do not mean for their operations which they may also do but for them to enter the wholesale market.
I do not know how profitable energy is for Tesla or how much of the US market they will have but expect year over year growth in tesla energy greater than 2x last years numbers and probably higher multiples of last years numbers. This may or may not show up in the first quarter but in the second and third quarter Tesla energy will be explosive. IMO. Thinking about it they are probably dissing Tesla energy now because it is there last chance.

Arctic background / Re: Baltic Images
« on: April 04, 2021, 01:29:39 AM »
Baltic sea ice from NSIDC data analysed by Wipneus,

If anything, 2020 amd 2021 pointing to earlier melt.
With masking affects evident up to 0.02 km^2 of area and 0.03 km^2 of extent commenting on more than near the peak is not evidence based. With the higher noise level in a single years data then a decade average comparing them is tenuous at best.  I am always looking for trends that may not be evident yet. Considering the data I do not believe one can conclude more than area and extent in the 1980's were significantly higher than the following decades.

Having said all that the trend is probably there its just the evidence is not. I feel somewhat hypocritical writing this post as I have spent significant effort trying to say renewable growth is or is about to dramatically increase with even less evidence.

Science / Re: 2021 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: April 04, 2021, 12:49:13 AM »
Mauna Loa was selected back in 1958, I understand, because the 4,170 m (13,680 ft) peak's air is dominated by pretty well mixed air flowing over half the Pacific.  Hawaii's (the Big Island's) volcanoes spew lots of gas, including CO2; when the daily readings are contaminated by this local source, they are purged.  Auto emissions in Honolulu, Oahu, 300 km (200 mi) away, or the towns which are all near Hawaii's (the Big Island's) coasts, will 'never' affect Mauna Loa readings.
I assumed Hawaii was selected for its remoteness from man made sources of co2. I have no reason to fault their site selection. I just wondered because some days measurements are all over the place and others are more stable. I assume that most of the time these instabilities have more to do with atmospheric conditions than instrument problems. If humanity stopped emitting co2 would the variability shrink or is it just the nature of atmospheric mixing? I was just curious.

Science / Re: 2021 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: April 03, 2021, 04:20:07 AM »
looking at the chart one of the daily averages is around 419 ppm and one of the hourly averages is 422 ppm.
My guess is "officially crossed over" means the "monthly average is over" but I am guessing.
Another thought I wonder if decarbonizing the Hawaii electric grid and replacing fossil fuel vehicles with electric will significantly reduce the Mona Loa CO2 numbers variations.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 03, 2021, 01:11:45 AM »
Xcel proposes 85% cut in carbon dioxide emissions at its Colorado utility by 2030
2.3gw of wind, 2.8 gw of solar 0.4 gw battery, 560 miles of 345 kva of transmission lines connecting plains to city. This seems like a serious plan they will actually achieve. They have specific details of what is needed to get most of the way in 9 years. It would be better if they did it by a few years earlier but this seems more aggressive and honest then most.
Germany to shut down 1.5 GW of coal generation by December
California aiming to install 1,700MW of new battery storage by summer
this is up from 1.5 gw anounced earlier.

I fully agree that more should talk about what they plan to accomplish in the next five years. It quickly becomes obvious if they any intention of achieving there goals.
The other deceptive practice I see is assuming reaching a carbon reduction goal is a linear or nearly linear endeavor. Reducing the first 10% is far cheaper and easier than the last 10% will be. The first 10% reduction in emissions is easily done by adding solar and wind to the electric grid. Their is very little increase in variability for the load to meet demand.  All of the renewable energy can be used without storage. Doing this is cheaper than not doing it without even considering environmental costs. Eliminating the last 10% from the electric grid will require large amounts of storage. It will require a large excess in renewable energy production. The electric grid is not the hardest thing to decarbonize. The hardest thing will probably some industrial process. It will require research to create a non polluting process but will not have the volume steel or cement do to spread the costs over. Or it will be having the political will to fund carbon removal from the atmosphere to mitigate the emissions. Achieving a goal of 100% by 2035 probably means 70% by 2025 and 90% by 2030.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 365 day average extent poll
« on: April 02, 2021, 12:17:52 AM »
How likely is a "strong melting season"? I have this perception that the difference between min and max is increasing, with weather variations, because the ice is thinning but that may not be true.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 01, 2021, 11:41:04 PM »
Its may be to early to call it a trend but US electricity generation from natural gas was lowest in March at 62 TWH since April of 2017 (April typically is the lowest demand month of the year. It was also the lowest March since 2014. The narrative being pushed by some is that this represents some rebound in coal. That narrative is not really supported by the numbers. After early 1900's the earliest a lower amount of electricity was produced by coal was April 2019. Of the 22 months since that time only 6 months were lower 4 of which were the first most extreme covid-19 lockdown. At best(for coal advocates) I would say coal has stabilized but more likely it will continue to fall.

Wind set another all time high record in March with 40 TWH . The next highest number was set in November with 34 TWH. Solar set a March record high at 11 TWH. Solar is growing fast enough to set a new monthly record every month.

The rest / Re: The off topic off topic thread
« on: April 01, 2021, 03:22:01 AM »
generally I support the policy of avoiding mentioning religion you do not really convince someone else. About once a month freegrass makes a really derogatory comment about religion and I choose to respond. His comments unfairly makes the forum a hostile place for people like me who have religious beliefs. I have made no effort to convert anyone and have avoided sharing my beliefs with others with the exception that I respond when he makes false pronouncements about what all religious people think. Intolerance of others for their religious beliefs is no less ugly than intolerance of people for their race, sexuality, gender identification or any other of a long list of excuses people use to treat others poorly.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 01, 2021, 02:58:01 AM »
well that sounds like it would take some getting used to.

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: April 01, 2021, 02:55:01 AM »
Well 1 C of warming was the original goal before they were forced to compromise to 1.5 C and eventually 2 C.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: March 31, 2021, 10:15:01 PM »
If you are talking about only moving to the left lane to pass others the US teaches it and posts signs about but it is only rarely enforced when you intentionally hold up a large number of vehicles.

The rest / Re: The off topic off topic thread
« on: March 30, 2021, 09:41:13 PM »
These extreme American white supremist religious nutcases believe that the world was created by God some 6000 years ago. They don't believe in evolution, nor climate change, or that the actions of people have an impact on the planet... Because God is in control!
There are unfortunately many religious people who fit your description.

I am religious and far from perfect.
I do not believe in or support white supremacy. I have on occasion said or acted in a racist manner but I am trying to learn the lessons of my religion and treating everyone like God's children. I am improving on this. I believe in evolution as the physical mechanism God used to create life on earth. The notion that evolution was directed by a supreme being has no impact on the science in my eyes. Science just furthers are understanding of what God did. I believe in climate change the evidence is too overwhelming to dismiss. I am not aware of most religions commenting on this issue. I believe God gave people stewardship over the planet and we will be held accountable for that stewardship. I believe God gave us agency to choose right from wrong and unfortunately we frequently make the wrong choice. I believe God gave us a home of great beauty and we have done much to desecrate that home. These views are not the same as all religions. The diversity in beliefs is as diverse as any large group of people. All All African-Americans do not believe X or do Y. Neither do all religious people believe X or do Y. Many who believe in God share my beliefs and many do not. Vilifying a group is the first step in dehumanizing them. If left unchecked it eventually leads to violence against that group whether they deserve it or not. That is why I respond to your comments on religion.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: March 30, 2021, 08:21:08 PM »
US offshore wind is focused on the east coast but I am not sure why. It may be higher population density? Maybe it is just trying to get started somewhere in the US? Maybe the continental shelf makes the pacific too deep?

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: March 30, 2021, 07:50:23 PM »

Volkswagen is really rebranding as ‘Voltswagen’ in the US
Mar 30, 2021

”It’s not clear how the new name will be incorporated into the company’s upcoming slate of electric and gas-powered vehicles. For example, will it appear in any of the branding for the VW Atlas SUV, which typically gets 24 miles per gallon of gas? It seems doubtful.”
Seems like the sort of news story you see on April first.

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: March 30, 2021, 07:46:06 PM »
I still hold out hope he gets thrown in jail. A large number of investigations are pending but some are more likely to result in fines than jail. Georgia officially set up a unit to investigate his election tampering this week.

The rest / Re: The off topic off topic thread
« on: March 30, 2021, 07:38:44 PM »
Their is great variability in peoples beliefs. A recent poll suggest trump did more to drive church goers away from republicans rather than away from church. Many church goers spend far more time trying to help people than finding fault in others.
It looks like some people have been talking behind my back again about my Big Brother tweets I presume? Sad...

That some people here (a moderator with a pick on me I presume) would use my social media posts to turn people against me on this forum, is truly pathetic...
I have not been saying anything behind your back nor have I heard anyone else doing so. I have no knowledge about any tweets you have made. My comment is in direct response to yours to you directly. I do not have the time nor inclination to waste to be that focused on you specifically. When you make a hate filled comment about religion I usually respond. I do not appreciate the hostile environment you create with your attacks on religion in general. Vilifying such a diverse group of people is not a good look on anyone.

The rest / Re: The off topic off topic thread
« on: March 30, 2021, 03:35:03 AM »
From time to time someone shares on the ASIF their dismissive opinion about Americans because Americans are church-goers and that church-going is anathema to science thinking.  These 'someones' may be cheered by this news:

Americans’ membership in houses of worship continued to decline last year, dropping below 50% for the first time in Gallup’s eight-decade trend.

In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.

The graph looks like it has an exponential drop.  Excel suggests not, but a 2nd-order polynomial projected into the future suggests there will be no church-going by 2070.  (I certainly will not be attending 'church' [in my case 'meeting'] then.)  Reminds me of the graph I crafted in 2013 suggesting an ice-free Arctic by 2019.

Who would want to be associated with a church that supports Trump and white supremacy?
This is probably one of the better things he destroyed; The credibility of the church.
Their is great variability in peoples beliefs. A recent poll suggest trump did more to drive church goers away from republicans rather than away from church. Many church goers spend far more time trying to help people than finding fault in others.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: March 30, 2021, 01:07:59 AM »
while it is better to capture and burn this gas it is not carbon negative.

Antarctica / Re: Larsen D and more
« on: March 29, 2021, 02:38:56 AM »
Is this March 24 calving of Larsen F significant? It's very far south (74º 08'), right at the SE corner of the peninsula.

I think so but maybe move it to the Antarctic iceberg thread. Maybe group the Larsen  threads together? IDK
It is not a huge calving. It shows a progression of calving's southward on all of the Larsen ice shelfs.

do we know how thick it is?

Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: March 27, 2021, 01:28:34 PM »
global trade is way too sensitive to minor disruptions. Just in time manufacturing has become we have to shut down car production due to a lack of computer chips. All of a product should not be made in the same region of the world. Multiple suppliers is better. Some stock on hand is a good thing. Two or three major competitors is not enough. Basically reverse most business trends of the last 30 years to fix things.

Policy and solutions / Re: The hydrogen economy
« on: March 27, 2021, 12:27:27 AM »
Few people do blacksmithing any more. Proportionally I am guessing it is a rounding error. Once we make substantial progress with the larger polluters we can revisit some of the insignificant ones.

Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: March 26, 2021, 09:17:04 AM »
Iran has threatened to close the canal for years. Any chatter on if they might of bribed the captain.

The politics / Re: The Collapse Of America
« on: March 26, 2021, 09:14:18 AM »
operation warp speed a successful trump effort to stall state efforts to distribute the vaccine. Mostly I think trump did it to make President Biden look inept. It was pretty obvious when trump left that their was no plan to distribute it. The only part the government played in the actual development was making a large order of doses an implementing an emergency approval protocol developed when government pandemic program was funded the rest was done by a private company. (hint trump fired all of the pandemic experts that were prepared to effectively manage this at the beginning of his presidency).  trump also likes to make the government look incompetent to support the privatize everything his cronies support. Mostly trump spent his time in office making government entities that did things he does not like dysfunctional. He is a monkey with only one tool he knows how to use which is too destroy things.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: March 26, 2021, 08:50:23 AM »

Energy use has not fully recovered from Covid 19. Seasonally this winter was mild in the us until Februarys Arctic blast. In the northwest US winter is over. I mowed my lawn today for the first time this year. Without another cold snap natural gas prices will fall as drilling has picked up and the weather warms. This will probably lead to increased use again but only at the expense of coal. Capacity factors and overall generation capacity for natural gas continue to increase. Lately construction of not just baseload NG assets but assets designed to fill in gaps for renewables are being built. Two of approximately six GW of natural gas assets expected this year are flexible load combustion engines or fast acting peaker turbines. I think this is significant as electricity growth is fairly flat there should be little need to increase the amount of flexible assets. These flexible assets have always been natural gas so it is not fuel switching. If the only story was switching between coal and natural gas there would be no need. About 4 GW of coal baseload switching to combined natural gas combined cycle plants is the result of fuel switching. Batteries are said to be cheaper than peaker turbines so why are these new natural gas assets being built? As with everything else the real truth is in the details.
Flexible NG assets are more expensive than batteries at their traditional utilization rate of around 10%. As capacity factor for NG assets increase the fixed costs can spread over more hours. For batteries increasing the capacity factor requires increasing the battery size. Meaning battery costs drop very little with increasing size. The problem is solar produces power for 1/3rd of the day and power is needed all day. While some load shifting can and does occur most of the load needs shifted to use solar efficiently all day. While solar provides less than 100% of peak power the cheapest way is to use flexible NG assets. Once solar provides more than 100% of peak power the only way to increase solar is by adding some form of energy storage. So far in the US no major power provider is limited by having too much solar at peak to add more. So far the only grid who has any likely hood of reaching that are Californias Independent System Operators (Caiso). They have a ways to go but solar is required on all new homes and new utilitiy sized solar projects are being added regularly. To deal with this CAISO is part of the Western Energy Imbalance Market (WEIM). This market includes a spectrum of states with energy mixes which are largely coal to more moderate mixes with natural gas to mostly renewable energy. Most of the other grid operators have already joined and very few will not be a part of the market after Mar 2 2022 when Boneville Power Administration (BPA) joins more hydropower than any other US entity. With this and flexible NG assets more coal will be driven offline.
For these reasons I think increases in flexible NG assets despite their eventually becoming stranded assets are pushing the transition forward in the western US.

Policy and solutions / Re: The hydrogen economy
« on: March 26, 2021, 06:52:00 AM »
It's the seasonal increase in demand which is the issue, esp. if we move to Heat Pumps for space heating
The increase in demand from a heat pump is much smaller than the increase from other sources. a heat pump only needs a small fraction of the energy any other heat source needs. When using an electric heat pump my electricity use is about 20% of what it was with resistance electric heat. All other sources of heating have to  create heat from the energy a heat pump uses a fraction of that energy to move heat around. I also had natural gas when I originally moved in natural gas used more energy than resistance heat as no furnace is 100% efficient. As I understand it the UK is a fairly wet but not extreme climate similar to the north western US. An air sourced heat pump is the cheapest way to heat in this climate and is the best environmentally no matter how your electricity is made. If you live in an area with cold enough weather that an air sourced heat pump is not the cheapest heating source compared to fossil fuels than you spend enough on heating to make a ground source heat pump the cheapest option.  The newer models especially the ones with a continuously variable speed compressors are amazing for someone who is used to other heat sources. Its a smart move even if all you care about is money.

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