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Author Topic: But, but, but, the United States  (Read 4867 times)

rboyd

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #50 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

Sigmetnow

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #51 on: June 06, 2017, 09:32:34 PM »
Governor Sandoval says he will sign bill to bring rooftop solar back to Nevada
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/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #52 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
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
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rboyd

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #53 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

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/parking-meters-garages-took-in-156m-but-city-wont-see-a-cent/

TerryM

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #54 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

rboyd

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #55 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.



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.”



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

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/us-solar-market-adds-2-gw-of-pv-in-q1-2017
« Last Edit: June 10, 2017, 10:21:40 PM by rboyd »

rboyd

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #56 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

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



Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #57 on: June 10, 2017, 11:15:24 PM »
"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.

Sigmetnow

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #58 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/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #59 on: June 16, 2017, 04:20:49 AM »
Renewable Energy Record Set in U.S.
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/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #60 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
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/
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rboyd

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #61 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

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #62 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....



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.

wili

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #63 on: June 20, 2017, 07:19:11 AM »
" zero by 2050"

That's not what your projection shows.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #64 on: June 20, 2017, 07:52:02 AM »
" zero by 2050"

That's not what your projection shows.

Oops!!!!

Mistake made.  Largely.

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #65 on: June 20, 2017, 07:59:30 AM »


I call this version "Work to be Done"....

rboyd

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #66 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.

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #67 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.

rboyd

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #68 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.

rboyd

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #69 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

rboyd

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #70 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.

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #71 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)



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.




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.
 



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.

.




oren

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #72 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?

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #73 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.




Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #74 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.

numerobis

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #75 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.

rboyd

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #76 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.

TerryM

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #77 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

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #78 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.

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #79 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.

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #80 on: September 13, 2017, 08:05:59 PM »
Looks like US electricity consumption has been flat for several years.


numerobis

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #81 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.

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #82 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).

Sigmetnow

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #83 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

Numbers from a DOE rep:
http://gatewayev.org/how-much-electricity-is-used-refine-a-gallon-of-gasoline
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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #84 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.

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #85 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.


Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #86 on: September 14, 2017, 08:00:31 PM »
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.

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.




Sigmetnow

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #87 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/



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

Map is here:  http://gis.awea.org/arcgisportal/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eed1ec3b624742f8b18280e6aa73e8ec
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #88 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.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, the United States
« Reply #89 on: September 14, 2017, 10:33:22 PM »
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.