Tag Archives: eia

Solar faster, cheaper, no cooling water, no leaks, no explosions

Way back in 2014 I calculated that half the right of way acreage of the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline could produce just as much electricity, cheaper, faster, taking no land, using no cooling water, risking no leaks or explosions. Solar is even cheaper now, doubling deployed capacity every two years, and even Duke, FPL, and Georgia Power are building solar farms everywhere. So why do utilities persist in building more pipelines?

Net generation, United State, all sectors, monthly, Chart
Net generation, United States, all sectors, monthly, U.S. EIA.

Every electric utility can read that chart from the U.S. Energy Information Agency, which shows wind (the middle orange line) and solar (the green line coming up from the bottom) adding up to almost all of “other renewables” (the top blue line), with nothing else growing like that. All the pipelines rammed through regulatorially captured agencies don’t come close Continue reading

U.S. electric demand still going down, while solar goes up like a rocket

If we need less electricity and we already getting almost all new energy from solar power, why not shut down some more coal, oil, and nuclear plants, and not build any destructive, hazardous, and unnecessary natural gas pipelines?

See U.S. Electricity Use is Declining and Energy Efficiency May be a Significant Factor by American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, February 25, 2014. See also Changes in Electric Power Annual (EPA) 2012 by the U.S. Energy Information Association (eia), especially Table 1.1. Total electric power industry summary statistics, which says U.S. electric power net generation from all sources went down by 1.3% from 2011 to 2012. The biggest declines were in Petroleum Coke (30.6%), Hydroelectric Pumped Storage (22.9%), Petroleum Liquids (16.7%), Coal (12.7%), and Nuclear (2.6%). The biggest increases in generation were from Wind (17.2%), Natural Gas (20.9%), and Solar (138%). Continue reading

As predicted U.S. solar capacity grew more than 400% in 4 years

This month’s eia report confirms that solar did exactly what former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff predicted: “That’s what is happening in solar. It could double every two years.” Wellinghoff’s further prediction remains on the money: “…at its present growth rate, solar will overtake wind in about ten years. It is going to be the dominant player.” Because of exponential growth like compound interest caused by ever-falling solar PV costs, solar will win like the Internet did.

U.S. Energy Information Administration (eia) wrote 22 April 2014, Solar-electric Generating Capacity Increases Drastically in the Last Four Years,

U.S. solar capacity increased significantly in the last 4 years. In 2010, the total solar capacity was 2,326 MW which accounted for a comparatively small fraction (0.22%) of the total U.S. electric generating. capacity. By February 2014, this capacity increased 418% to 12,057 MW, a 9,731 MW gain, and now accounts for almost 1.13% of total U.S. capacity. Reported planned solar capacity additions indicate continued growth

12,057 / 2,326 = 5.18 times, which is more than 2 * 2 = 4, ergo Wellinghoff was right. Continue reading