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):
Nick has a great show and is an important source of information for the folks in Topeka!
My new article on the importance of coal for grid resiliency appears today in Lifezette.
Here is the link to the article:
The Houston Chronicle reports that Republican opposition is rising against Energy Secretary Perry’s plans to slash his department’s research budget for energy. During a hearing before the Senate Tuesday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Perry and the Trump administration had gone too far in their bid to cut the federal budget.
The Wall Street Journal reports that coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania cut smog-forming emissions by more than half last year, in a rare regulatory effort that has won support from both industry officials and environmentalists.
In relation to my earlier post on the plethora of environmental lawsuits launched by blue states, the Washington Times reports that to consumers and taxpayers, this money grab is nothing short of a massive assault on our pocketbooks. Should these lawsuits succeed even in part, Americans will witness higher prices for energy, food, travel, medicine, and every product that requires petroleum to make, package or ship, which is to say, everything. This will hit the poor, those who the liberals claim to champion, the hardest.
Enjoy reading the entire article here: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/feb/26/how-the-lefts-deranged-climate-change-lawsuits-wil/
The Washington Post carries a piece stating that the power of the Democratic Party is at or near an all-time nadir, despite rumblings of a blue-wave election in November. In Washington, the GOP controls the White House and both chambers of Congress. Across the country, Republicans sit in two-thirds of all governors’ mansions.Democrats, however, are exercising what little clout they possess to fight back against the Trump administration on energy and environmental issues.Through the first 13 months of the Trump administration, state attorneys general from a slew of mostly blue states took at least 80 legal actions against the Trump agenda.
Over at Time, the magazine is reporting that U.S. oil and natural gas is on the verge of transforming the world’s energy markets for a second time, further undercutting Saudi Arabia and Russia. The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a new forecast his week that growth in U.S. oil production will cover 80% of new global demand for oil in the next three years. U.S. oil production is expected to increase nearly 30% to 17 million barrels a day by 2023 with much of that growth coming from oil produced through fracking in West Texas.
Read the article here: http://time.com/5187074/fracking-energy-oil-natural-gas/
The New York Times carries a piece on meeting of Students for Carbon Dividends at Yale University. The group pulls together millennial-aged conservatives to promote acceptance of climate change and propose conservative solutions. Under a plan the students are proposing, an initial tax of $40 per ton of carbon would be levied at the point where fossil fuels enter the economy, for instance a mine or port. The tax would increase over time.
Here is a link to the article: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/climate/college-republicans-carbon-tax.html
Utility Dive reports that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed carbon tax has stalled again, this time because the measure lacked enough votes in the state Senate, where Democrats hold an advantage. Proposed in January, the tax would have been set initially at $20/ton, rising annually by an inflation-adjusted 3.5%. The tax would have brought in more than $3 billion over the next four years, bill supporters estimated. While Inslee and supporters of the tax are confident there will eventually be a cost on carbon, so far the ideas has been met with a lukewarm response in the state. Voters rejected a carbon tax at the polls in 2016.
Here is the link to the entire article:
Here’s Tim Pearce’s take on the news that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to transfer some responsibility in regulating coal ash disposal from the federal government to the states.
The proposal could save the coal-fired power plants and utilities between $31 million and $100 million in compliance costs, according to the EPA.
From the Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com/2018/03/02/scott-pruitt-reconsiders-coal-ash-regulation/
Utility Dive reports that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of Texas expects to break peak demand records this summer. Though sufficient generation will be on hand, demand response and distributed generation will still play a key role on the hottest days, particularly following the retirement of older, and mostly coal-fired, generation.
Without a capacity market, some generators rely on critical peak pricing spikes to cover their costs. An unexpected spike in January demand, for instance, sent prices above $2,200/MWh for a brief period. The Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT) noted that the coal retirements dented “excess” electricity supply. The PUCT said that with the supply-demand balance this summer tighter than in the recent past, demand reduction man also play a role in tackling demand this summer.
Here is a link to the article:
Also at the Daily Caller, Michael Bastasch writes that the “bomb cyclone” slamming the northeastern U.S. has left more than 1.2 million people without power and, so far, been blamed for at least seven deaths. Yet another example of why grid resilience is such a hot topic in energy circles.
Here is a link to the article:
Over at the Daily Caller, Michael Bastasch writes that a group of prominent scientists are calling for a global network of advanced weather stations that don’t need to go through controversial data adjustments, and it’s vindication for global warming skeptics.
Here is the link to the full article:
Greentech Media reports research shows that batteries aren’t necessarily helping to decarbonize the grid. In many cases, according to a team from the Rochester Institute of Technology, batteries are making it more carbon intensive. The team found batteries installed on the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) grid led to a net increase in carbon emissions, by increasing coal consumption.