Donn’s Articles

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…Natural Gas Is Next Target… For those in the oil and gas industry, including the American Petroleum Institute, who are objecting to efforts to keep nuclear power plants in operation, you have a problem. Natural gas is the next target for those who want to cut CO2 emissions.  The war
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…DC Transmission for Cutting CO2 Emissions… The previous article ended with the comment, “There have been at least two proposals to rebuild the US grid using DC transmission so as to cut CO2 emissions. The most recent proposal was by the Climate Institute in a Wall Street Journal article.” Is
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…AC and DC Transmission Lines… After every hurricane, there is a hue and cry to put transmission lines underground. Some people merely want less cluttered views, especially in scenic areas. Interestingly, an AGW group, the Climate Institute, wants to convert AC transmission to DC transmission and put it underground to
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…From the Horse’s Mouth… When analyzing comments made by people, it’s very important to go to the source document to be certain the person is being quoted accurately. In my view, and that of others, several RTO/ISOs have created an auction system for wholesale markets that, by their design, excludes
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…Americans Are Being Badly Served… Activists who support radical action to combat climate change will not listen to opposing views, and will, in fact, attack anyone who tries to bring forth facts that undermine their beliefs. For example, Senator Whitehouse from Rhode Island wants to use the RICO laws to
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…Why HELE Matters… There is a constant drumbeat of anti-coal news in the media. Some of the anti-coal news is fostered by AGW environmentalists who claim the world needs to cut CO2 emissions, while the most recent science points to the sun as being the primary cause of global warming.
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…Another Utility Voices Reliability Concerns… In comments addressed to the California Energy Commission on May 22, Senior Vice President Gas Transmission, Storage, and Engineering of SoCalGas, said: “Without sufficient [gas] storage inventory … energy reliability is hinging on the vagaries of the weather.” So, we now have another voice raising
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...The Validity of Grid Access Fees… After every major storm, there is a hue and cry in the media about how the utility company didn’t do enough to protect its customers from outages and get them back online more quickly. The vast majority of power interruptions are caused by the
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…Effects of Mandating PV Rooftop Solar… California, with great fanfare and huge media accolades, announced it will mandate the use of PV rooftop solar on all new homes, including any building of three stories or less, beginning in 2020. But, does anyone see a problem with this fanfare when viewing this
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…Picking and Choosing… It’s been interesting to read all the glowing stories about how renewables are competitive with coal and natural gas power plants.  Here is a headline from Forbes: “Production Cost Of Renewable Energy Now ‘Lower’ Than Fossil Fuels” The stories piqued my curiosity so I finally obtained a
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…Endangering American Lives… ISO-NE has analyzed the potential for blackouts in New England and has requested a waiver from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to keep a natural gas plant online due to fuel security risks. This quote is the preamble to the ISO-NE petition: “PETITION OF ISO NEW
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…Renewables Increase Costs… There has been a running debate about whether the special advantages given to renewables, such as renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and net metering, add to the price consumers pay for electricity. Net metering was introduced to encourage the use of solar generation, initially for PV rooftop installations,
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…Fusion Power… Generating electricity from fusion rather than fission of atoms has been a dream ever since the first hydrogen bomb was exploded. What was originally seen as an easily solvable scientific problem, i.e., how to control the plasma, has turned out to be far more difficult than originally envisioned.
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…Can Nuclear Power be Saved?… The immediate threat to nuclear power is the use of auctions by various RTO/ISOs. The longer-term threat to nuclear power in the United States is the high cost of construction and the public’s irrational fear of radiation. Even before RTO/ISO auctions began forcing nuclear power
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…Amazing Sunspots… Why would a blemish on the sun, that could barely be seen with the naked eye, be of interest to us on Earth? The first person who identified a linkage between sunspots and the earth was an astronomer, William Herschel (1738-1822). Herschel had previously shown that invisible rays from
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…Installed Wind Capacity Braggadocio… The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is constantly bragging about increases in installed wind capacity. AWEA has made statements such as the following from its 2016 annual report: “Wind power delivered 30% of all new capacity installed over the past five years.” Accompanied by this chart:
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…Pending Disaster… The PJM independent system operator (ISO) said there is no imminent danger to the grid when it was asked about the First Energy bankruptcy filing and First Energy’s request of FERC for cost recovery for its nuclear and coal-fired power plants. While there is no immediate threat caused
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…Electric Vehicle Report Card 1Q 2018… The status of electric vehicles remains substantially unchanged from last year. For the first quarter, the sale of plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) increased by 29% YOY, while battery-powered vehicles (BEV) increased by 35% YOY. PHEV and BEV sales remain at only 1.3% of total
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…DOE Confirms Threat to Grid Reliability… Several previous articles explored whether grid reliability was being endangered when RTO/ISOs used auctions to select which generation source to use. The initial article described how oil saved New England from blackouts this past winter. See, How oil saved New England Successive articles delved
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…Who’s Responsible for Keeping the Lights On?… Who is responsible for keeping the lights on? Is it the state, e.g., Massachusetts, or is it an RTO/ISO? Or is it the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)? And what about the utility company? In previous articles, problems with the auction system have
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…More on the Auction Fiasco… There appears to be general agreement that the auctions used by RTO/ISOs are rigged in favor of wind and solar. This past Saturday’s bankruptcy filing by a First Energy unit is largely the result of these auctions. RTO/ISOs use both real-time and forward capacity market
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…It’s Time to End the Auction Fiasco… It’s time to end the fiasco of wholesale electricity markets, that rely on auctions to determine which source of electricity to use on the grid. These wholesale markets are rigged in favor of wind and solar and they are forcing baseload power generation,
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…Obfuscation… Obfuscation can be defined as: “When someone presents an argument containing unnecessarily complex language that confuses or deceives.” We are now confronting obfuscation when it comes to understanding or evaluating the generation and use of electricity. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is a prime example of an organization guilty
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…Dumping Is Bad… Considerable media attention has been given to tariffs, and the dumping of steel at below cost. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published the accompanying chart showing steel production and steel imports by country. In its article, the WSJ focused on the righthand chart, pointing out that only
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…Announcing, Crisis in the Mideast, a novel… Crisis in the Mideast is a novel. It’s fiction that uses facts for the basis of actions and settings to create a sense of realism. Short Description An Iranian sponsored terrorist attack kills thousands of innocent people and results in UN sanctions against
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…The Truth About Coal, China, and Smog… Environmental extremists, especially those wedded to the CO2 hypothesis for global warming, have repeatedly reported on China’s smog and how coal-fired power plants were to blame. An expert on China, Xizhou Zhou, at the IHS Market CERAWeek, painted a completely different picture, which
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…EIA Distorts Energy Forecasts, Part 2… The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is providing misinformation to Americans in support of cutting CO2 emissions and promoting renewables. The following is another example of how the EIA is making unsubstantiated, misleading claims. In this chart, EIA forecasts that PV solar, rooftop installations, will
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…EIA Distorts Energy Forecasts, Part 1… What’s happening at the Energy Information Administration (EIA)? Are holdovers from the last administration producing reports that undermine this administration’s energy policies? The EIA has just issued its latest Annual Energy Outlook, AEO 2018, and it contains a plethora of misinformation. This and the
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…Living on the Edge… With all the media attention given to the benefits of wind and solar and the negative aspects of fossil fuels, it’s worth examining what’s happening in countries that have invested heavily in wind and solar. There are, for example, (1) the extra costs in Germany, see
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…Blackouts Are Coming to New England… According to a study done by the New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE), there is a virtual certainty New England will experience blackouts over the next few years. The ISO-NE, Fuel Security Analysis ran 23 scenarios for the winter 2024/2025 and in all but
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..China Moves Ahead, While US Falls Behind… China has consolidated its nuclear power industry by combining two major Chinese nuclear companies, CNEC and CNNC, into a single powerhouse. The new company will have 150,000 employees. For comparison, Google has 72,000. Costco has 143,000. GE has 305,000. The company is marketing
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…Clean is Cool, But is it Good?… How can clean not be good? No one wants dirty. Yet, that is how an important argument, affecting everyone, everywhere has been framed. A scientific issue has been wrapped in a mantle of clean, cloaking, or at least obscuring, two underlying issues. One
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…New England Solar Madness… A previous article praised the ISO-NE for pre-planning the use of oil to save the grid from blackouts during this January’s freeze. Data from ISO-NE can also demonstrate the madness of trying to rely on solar energy at any time of the year in the northern
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…Oil Saves New England… During the coldest days this past January, the New England grid was on the brink of disaster, and only pre-planning by ISO-NE, with emergency actions by the Coast Guard and luck kept the lights on. The pre-planning by the New England Independent System Operator consisted of
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…Carbon Capture Nirvana… McKinsey & Company has been supporting the AGW position that CO2 is the cause of climate change, and has recently touted carbon capture and usage as a means for cutting CO2 emissions in a “carbon constrained world.” It should be noted that carbon is a black solid,
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…Growth in Electricity Consumption – Part 2… Perhaps a better title would have been, Effects of the LED Revolution. In Part 1 we saw that if LEDs had replaced virtually all incandescent bulbs and fluorescent lamps in 2017, total consumption in 2017 would have been 3,500 TWh rather than 3,913
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…Growth in Electricity Consumption – Part 1… The media has been vocal about the recent lack of growth in the use of electricity. The immediate assumption has been that efforts to save on using electricity, such as with the internet of things, has caused nearly zero growth in consumption over
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…Electric Vehicle Report Card… At the end of 2017 the status of electric vehicles hasn’t changed significantly. For the year, the sale of plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) increased by 24% YOY, while battery powered vehicles (BEV) had increased by 22% YOY. PHEV and BEV sales remain at only 1.1% of
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…FERC Ruling and German Grid Stability… The recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decision disallowing the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) request for RTO/ISOs to require a 90-day on-site fuel supply, dismissed the notion that wind and solar, and other so-called competitive elements, such as demand response, were disrupting the resiliency
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…Twisting Facts to Favor Wind and Solar… The president and CEO of an organization supporting wind and solar, i.e., American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), has said that proposals by the Department of Energy and PJM are: “A brazen effort to help economically uncompetitive participants in the energy market.” The
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…Microgrids: All that Glitters is not Gold… Organizations and people who are promoting a product or idea, frequently overstate and embellish the benefits of what they are promoting. There are many examples of this, from the snake-oil salesman of yesteryear to today’s promoter of microgrids. A related recent example is
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…Grid Reliability and Resilience… Reliability is well defined and understood. Basically, it measures how often, and how long electricity is unavailable for users. (This assumes that the quality of electricity meets established criteria, e.g., Voltage that is within prescribed limits and at a prescribed frequency.) But how is resiliency defined?
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…Herschel Recognized it First… An early proponent of the Sun’s effect on the Earth, its temperature and climate, was the astronomer Herschel, 1738 – 1822. Among his many achievements, Herschel discovered infrared radiation from the sun. Now, with the CERN experiments and the paper published in December on the theory
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…A Modern Story of Hope… In 1948, after enduring years of war, people prayed for peace ever after, as expressed by this popular wartime song: There’ll be bluebirds over The white cliffs of Dover Tomorrow Just you wait and see There’ll be love and laughter And peace ever after Tomorrow
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…Storage with Baseload Power… Howard Hayden, Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Connecticut, recently published an article in The Energy Advocate analyzing the use of storage with various power generation alternatives, i.e., wind, solar, nuclear, coal and natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants. The primary conclusion from the article
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…Lawsuits to Force Climate Regulations on US… New York State’s Attorney General has generated headlines with his lawsuit against Exxon-Mobile. But the real action is now just emerging as environmental extremists begin to use the courts to force their view of global warming on all Americans. Recently, a U.S. economist,
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…German GHG and Renewables Update… Germany’s energiewende program has been touted as an example for all to follow in efforts to cut CO2 emissions. This begs the question: What have been the results of energiewende in the power sector? Specifically, to reduce CO2 emissions by promoting the use of wind
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…A Glimpse at Fake Energy News… The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) represented the gold standard for truth and accuracy. Unfortunately, it has joined the many publications that have allowed journalistic standards to erode. Twice over the past three months, the WSJ published articles that were misleading. In early September, it
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…Understanding Microgrids… Hurricanes have severely damaged transmission and distribution lines and caused millions of people to go without electricity for days. Hurricane Maria wiped out the transmission and distribution lines in Puerto Rico. Superstorm Sandy did the same in New Jersey and New York states. Proponents of wind and solar
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…Why Are We Destroying Our Grid?… Or, asked differently: Why are we destroying the most efficient, reliable and least costly system ever devised for generating and distributing electricity? Here are some facts: Electricity generated by wind and solar is more expensive than electricity generated using traditional methods, e.g., coal-fired, natural