Tag Archives: energy conservation

China can go 80% sun, wind, water power by 2050 –WWF

300x424 Cover, in China's Future Generation, by WWF, February 2014 If the most populous country in the world can do it, even the Sunshine State and the rest of the world can do it. With no new nuclear, depending heavily on on energy efficiency and conservation, using China’s huge number of rooftops for solar power, with almost as much wind power, plus a bit more hydropower, China can go 80% renewable energy by 2050. While reducing energy use per capita and increasing GDP per capita. So this path will not only improve Chinese quality of life by getting rid of massive pollution by reducing emissions 90% from otherwise-projected levels; it will also give Chinese citizens more money in their pockets. China has no more sunshine than the U.S. or much of Canada does, so there’s no reason the Canada, U.S., and pretty much every country can’t do this, too. Continue reading

Slight changes at Southern Company @ SO 2014-05-28

Solar car charging station at the Southern Company Stockholder Meeting: that’s new. Other solar changes were detectable, if you knew what to look for, and with hints from SO CEO Tom Fanning and new R&D VP Larry Monroe here are some, while we’re waiting on SO for video and transcript.

Two demonstration solar charging cars were on the lawn outside the breakfast tent: Continue reading

Southern Company Stockholder Meeting @ SO 2014-05-28

If you owned Southern Company stock on 31 March 2014 (I did), you should have gotten a letter to Stockholders from SO CEO Tom Fanning:

The board of Southern Company You are invited to attend the 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, at The Lodge Conference Center at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia.

Tom Fanning is a most congenial host, always ready with an answer to any question, as you can see in these videos from the Continue reading

The fragility of centralized energy systems

All thermal power generation requires water for cooling, with nukes so vulnerable no private insurer will cover them anyway and failing frequently in recent heat waves. “Natural” gas is no better than coal or oil for water use; maybe worse because all those pipelines vulnerable to backhoes or corrosion or attack. Even hydro is vulnerable to lack of rainfall. Carbon sequestration doesn’t get good marks, while conservation and efficiency get rave reviews from a study of insurance perspectives on power generation. What’s the one power source this article about insurance risks does not say is fragile in the face of climate change? Hint: look up.

Limiting Liability in the Greenhouse: Insurance Risk-Management Strategies in the Context of Global Climate Change, by Christina Ross, Evan Mills, and Sean B. Hecht, Stanford Environmental Law Journal and the Stanford Journal of International Law, Symposium: on Climate Change Risk, Vol. 26A/43A:251, 2007.

Supply-side energy choices that may be made to reduce the carbon-intensity of energy services have their own distinctive liability characteristics. For example, switching to lower-carbon electricity generation technology based on thermal power plant technology (e.g., by substituting natural gas for coal) results in systems that are still heavily dependent on water resources for cooling. The Electric Power Research Institute has documented considerable risks to traditionally cooled power generation systems as a result of climate change-induced droughts.242 Similarly, “zero-emissions” hydroelectric generating systems are also sensitive to rainfall patterns.

242 Denis Albrecht, Electric Power Research Institute, Presentation: Climate Impact on Water Availability for Electricity Generation (April 11, 2006) (presentation slides associated with the Electric Power Research Institute).

Centralization considered harmful

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

100% sun, wind, and water can power each U.S. state and the world –Stanford study

We have all the technology right now that we need to power the U.S. state by state and the world with solar, wind, and water power. No burning coal or oil or fracked natural gas and no nukes. No need for any new destructive and hazardous methane pipelines. No waiting for batteries. All we have to do is get on with it.


Stanford University researchers led by civil engineer Mark Jacobson have developed detailed plans for each state in the union that to move to 100 percent wind, water and solar power by 2050 using only technology that’s already available. The plan, presented recently at the AAAS conference in Chicago, also forms the basis for The Solutions Project nonprofit.

“The conclusion is that it’s technically and economically feasible,” Jacobson told Singularity Hub.

The plan doesn’t rely, like many others, on dramatic energy efficiency regimes. Nor does it include biofuels or nuclear power, whose green credentials are the source of much debate.

The proposal is straightforward: eliminate combustion as a source of energy, because it’s dirty and inefficient. All vehicles would be powered by electric batteries or by hydrogen, where the hydrogen is produced through electrolysis rather than natural gas. High-temperature industrial processes would also use electricity or hydrogen combustion.

The rest would simply be a question of allowing existing fossil-fuel plants to age out and using renewable sources to power any new plants that come online….

“The greatest barriers to a conversion are neither technical nor economic. They are social and political,” the AAAS paper concludes.

For Georgia, that’s 40% solar PV plants, 35% offshore wind, 13% rooftop PV (6% residential and 7% commercial), 5% concentrating solar plants, 5% onshore wind, and 1% each wind, tide, and conventional hydro power. Plus 210,200 construction jobs and 101,000 operation jobs. And saving $14.3 billion per year Continue reading

EU could cut 40% emissions with little cost: and we can, too

If Europe can do it, the U.S. can do it. And we know Georgia can get a third of its power from wind, and even Spain is north of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, which have a lot more sun for solar power than anywhere in Europe. Solar power is already winning, even in Georgia. Let’s help it win even faster, plus wind.

PR from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) 16 January 2014, EU could cut emissions by 40 percent at moderate cost,

The costs of achieving a more ambitious EU climate target are estimated to be moderate. Upscaling greenhouse-gas emissions reduction from the current 20 percent by 2020 to 40 percent by 2030 would be likely to cost less than an additional 0.7 percent of economic activity.

And that apparently doesn’t count the additional economic activity that would be produced by all those wind and solar deployments, not to mention related activities like electric cars. This is actually a pessimistic study, because it doesn’t account for such likely positive corollaries.

Many options to choose from—wind power could expand sevenfold

Continue reading

Two more nukes cancelled: Darlington in Ontario

Two cancelled, excuse me, “defer construction”, two others may not be refurbished, and six more may get shut down soon. Yay Ontario!

Jim Ostroff wrote for Platts today, Ontario to indefinitely defer new Darlington nuclear reactors: energy plan,

Ontario will indefinitely defer construction of two new nuclear power reactors at Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington site; back away from firm plans to refurbish operating units at Darlington and Bruce Power’s Bruce A site; and may order the shutdown of OPG’s six-unit Pickering plant prior to the units’ scheduled 2020 closing date, the provincial government said in a long-term energy plan issued late Monday.

The province, which owns OPG, said that advances in energy conservation, enhanced efficiency and a slowdown in electricity demand growth have prompted it to revise a 2010 long-term energy plan that called for building two new reactors at Darlington, as well as refurbishment of 10 units combined at that station and at Bruce A.

Hm, conservation and efficiency. Not even shale gas.

We already know Georgia could get on with efficiency and conservation if Southern Company and Georgia Power would get out of the way. Which they will once they admit Plant Vogtle (new and old) has always been a boondoggle.


Southern Company missed earnings: weather and Kemper Coal and nuclear Plant Vogtle

SO CEO Tom Fanning continued to blame slow sales and earnings on mild weather (air conditioners running less), but the big boondoggle going bad is Kemper Coal, which has slipped six months from May 2014 to Q4 2014, and even the Wall Street Journal calls it “possibly the most expensive fossil-fuel power plant ever built in the U.S”. How bad will SO’s stock tank when SO’s even more expensive nuclear Plant Vogtle slips even more? Dividends can’t prop up SO’s share price forever, not when PSCs are revolting against the rate hikes and guaranteed profit hikes that prop up those dividends. When will Southern Company and Georgia Power get out front and lead in solar and wind power? Before or after the public, state public service commissions, and investors make them do it?

Justin Loiseau wrote for DailyFinance 4 November 2013, Southern Company Earnings: A $5 Billion Blunder? Continue reading

China $375 billion conservation and pollution investment

Fayen Wong and Ruby Lian wrote for Reuters 30 July 2013, China to invest $375 billion on energy conservation, pollution: paper,

China plans to invest 2.3 trillion yuan ($375 billion) in energy saving and emission-reduction projects in the five years through 2015 to clean up its environment, the China Daily newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a senior government official.

The plan, which has been approved by the State Council, is on top of a 1.85 trillion yuan investment in the renewable energy sector, underscoring the government’s concerns about addressing a key source of social discontent.

China has set a target of reducing its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level, and raising non-fossil energy consumption to 15 percent of its energy mix, Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), was quoted as saying.

The article continues about tiered power pricing for energy intensive industries and carbon trading markets.

Given that most of the world’s increase in energy usage comes from one country, China, according to OECD figures, anything China can do to slow that increase is good.