Check out my new article in The Hill!
Check out my new article in The Hill!
Over at the Daily Wire, James Barrett reports that a new study by climatologist Judith Curry and mathematician Nick Lewis show that future warming is likely to be substantially lower than the central computer model-simulated level projected by the IPCC. Here is the link to the entire piece:
The State Journal (WV) reports that the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory is pioneering new tools and methods to make the nation’s coal-fired power plants cleaner and more efficient. George “Geo” Richards, Energy Conversion Engineering Senior Fellow at NETL, said today’s coal-fired plants are operating in a very different way than they did 10 or 15 years ago.
My new article is running today in the Huntington, WV, Herald-Dispatch. You can read the entire piece here:
It’s been a rough winter for much of America. As the Department of Energy has reported, a “bomb cyclone” winter storm struck much of the eastern United States in late December and early January. It plunged the region into a deep freeze and sparked a significant rise in demand for additional power. And if that wasn’t enough, winter has also lingered longer than expected, yielding surprise snowstorms in early spring.
Right now, power utilities are busily reviewing the past few months and asking “How did we do?” The surprising answer, according to the Department of Energy, is that they did all right specifically because coal-generated electricity bore the brunt of eastern United States energy demand during the chilliest parts of winter 2018.
According to a new report from the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, in January 2018 “U.S. electricity market experience demonstrated that without the resilience of coal plants the eastern United States would have suffered severe electricity shortages, likely leading to widespread blackouts.”
How is this possible – that coal shouldered most of the burden of keeping America’s lights on? After all, we hear increasing talk about the benefits of wind and solar power, along with more abundant natural gas. The suggestion has been that coal is no longer necessary.
The DOE report found that far from being unnecessary, coal is essential. Coal power plants have the unique ability to store fuel on-site, and they provided 55 percent of incremental daily U.S. power generation this winter. For the largest grid operators, coal provided the “most resilient form of generation due to available reserve capacity and on-site fuel availability, far exceeding all other sources.” Specifically, the data showed that coal provided three times the incremental power generation of natural gas and 12 times that of nuclear units.
The report also noted some interesting limits to nuclear power, natural gas and wind turbines. For example, most nuclear plants were already running at maximum output, and could only provide “negligible additional capacity” during peak conditions. Conversely, a surge in heating demand and pipeline congestion meant that natural gas was limited in adding “resilient capacity” for power plants. Renewable fuels performed even worse. Available wind energy was 12 percent lower during the “bomb cyclone” than for a typical winter day, resulting in a need for “dispatchable” fossil fuel generation to make up the difference.
The bottom line, according to the DOE study, is that coal provided a majority of the daily power generation needed to meet emergency winter conditions. But coal has been on the chopping block for the better part of a decade – which begs the question: What happens if more coal plants are retired? One NETL analyst cautions that “removing coal from the energy mix would worsen threats to the electrical grid’s dependability during future severe weather events.”
America needs a smart energy policy. And that means pursuing an all-of-the-above strategy. For example, there are exciting technologies being developed for wind and solar power. But advanced coal technologies are also emerging, and they can reduce emissions while increasing power generating efficiency. All of this should be pursued since the NETL study worries about the nation’s ability to “respond to weather events if the current rate of coal plant retirements continues.” The answer is to encourage American ingenuity, and include high-tech coal plants in a diverse mix of future power generation sources.
The Daily Caller is reporting that only 28 percent of Canadians are believe that the science supporting man-made climate change is conclusive. Read the entire article here:
Over at Powerline, John Hinderaker writes about the absurdity of blaming global warming for everything, including frozen plumbing!
Yesterday, I appeared on Nick Gosnell’s radio show at WIBW in Topeka, KS. Nick provided a great article about the interview (link provided here):
Department of Energy report highlights need for coal generation in extreme weather, former regulator says
Nick has a great show and is an important source of information for the folks in Topeka!