Tag Archives: Solar

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

LNG export through Georgia and Florida presented to PHMSA 2018-05-16

PHMSA doesn’t have a public map of the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline, but it does have a map of U.S. LNG Facilities, including many in Georgia and Florida. The source slides include many assertions about safety of LNG trucks and trains, but why should we take any risk for fossil fuel export profit to a few company executives and investors we solar power has no risk of leaks or explosions?

[Detail: U.S. Southeast LNG Facilities]
Detail: U.S. Southeast LNG Facilities

I’ve pulled out this detail of the U.S. Southeast, in which you can clearly see Pivotal LNG’s Alabama, Tennessee, and three Georgia plants marked with green circles as “Peakshavers with Liquefaction”, as well as Elba Island LNG at Savannah marked with a big red box. In Florida, Eagle (Maxville?) LNG at Jacksonville and Hialeah LNG at Miami are marked with stars as “Emerging LNG facilities”.

Here’s the bigger map: Continue reading

Videos: Val Del subdivision tabled second time @ LCC 2018-11-13

The same Val Del Road subdivision on today’s agenda for the third time was tabled at the applicant’s request the second time it came up, a month ago.

The longest item was 6 h/i/j Tyler Technology Repository/Processing/E-filing, in which Georgia is catching up to Florida.

Below are links to each LAKE video of the 13 November 2018 Regular Session, with a few comments. See also the agenda, the LAKE videos of the 12 November 2018 Work Session, and the LAKE blog of the county’s own videos of its 9 October 2018 Regular Session.

Videos: Subdivisions, solar, and alcohol @ LCC 2018-11-12

The same Val Del Road subdivision on today’s agenda for the third time was tabled the second time it came up, a month ago. Here it is in the LAKE videos in the Work Session of November 12, 2018, when the applicant hadn’t even responded to the Commissioners’ previous request to consider 1.5 acre lots.

By far the longest thing that day, at half an hour, was 7. Reports – Special Presentation ABM Industries Inc..

Below are links to each LAKE video of the 12 November 2018 Work Session, with a few comments. See also Continue reading

Subdivisions, solar, and alcohol @ LCC 2018-11-12

Back on the agenda for Monday morning is the subdivision that does not match any of the criteria the Lowndes County Commission is supposed to consider, so will they approve REZ-2018-17 The Settlement North, 5999 Val Del Road?

The Planning Commission recommended denying that one, but has since recommended approving this one: REZ-2018-18 Knights Landing, Phase III, 3982 Bemiss Knights Academy Road.

County staff want ABM to help reduce energy costs. How about add some solar panels to the roof of the county palace and over its parking lot, while you’re at it?

On the roof, A Year of Firsts, ABM

As ABM says:

With the cost of solar installations rapidly declining, and the number of government and utility incentives increasing, solar has undergone a radical evolution from a feel good environmental story to a source for businesses to gain a financial advantage over their competitors.

See ABM Energy Vice President Ted O’Shea, Leveraging Solar to Gain a Competitive Financial Advantage: Why go Solar at Your Facility: White Paper.

The rest of the agenda is Continue reading

Southern Company sells off gas assets second time this year 2018-11-07

For the second time this year, Southern Company sells off gas-fired assets. Could it be to service debt for those way-late and over-budget Plant Vogtle nukes?

Southern Company, PR, 7 November 2018, Southern Power Reaches Agreement to Sell the Mankato Energy Center,

Southern Power, a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider and subsidiary of Southern Company, today announced that it has entered an agreement to sell the Mankato Energy Center to Xcel Energy for $650 million.

Mankato, a natural gas combined-cycle generation facility, will have a maximum capacity of approximately 760 megawatts upon completion of an ongoing expansion project. The completion of the sale, subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, is expected to be mid-2019.

“The Mankato Energy Center is a valuable part of the local community and the regional energy infrastructure,” said Southern Power President and CEO Mark Lantrip. “This transaction is a great opportunity to deliver value for the benefit of Southern Company shareholders.”

Proceeds from this transaction will be used to strengthen the balance sheet of Southern Company and position Southern Power to continue providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable wholesale energy to its customers across the U.S, including the expansion of one of the nation’s largest carbon-free renewable energy portfolios.

What does “strengthen the balance sheet” mean? Continue reading

Solar and wind can power Georgia

Solar power is here right now. Georgia is #10 in the nation (up from #22 in 2017) by solar deployed (1,552.98 MW) and #7 in projected growth, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). That’s ahead of Florida, but still behind much farther north New Jersey and Massachusetts, which have less sun.

Graph: Top 10 Solar Power States, SEIA, Paul Horn, Inside Climate News
Graph: Top 10 Solar Power States, SEIA, Paul Horn, Inside Climate News

This Georgia solar improvement is despite Southern Company and Georgia Power cutting back on renewable energy investment last year and a hostile federal administration.

Graph: Georgia's Solar Boom, SEIA and Paul Horn, InsideClimateNews
Graph: Georgia’s Solar Boom, SEIA and Paul Horn, InsideClimateNews

Sheer economies of scale continue decreasing solar prices and driving more solar installations, with more jobs. Continue reading

Why Bezos started Amazon

Jeff Bezos sent his biographer to find the graphs; that’s when I learned about this. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Paperback, August 12, 2014, by Brad Stone (PDF, google book)

Intrigued by Shaw’s conviction about the inevitable importance of the Internet, Bezos started researching its growth. A Texas-based author and publisher named John Quarterman had recently started the Matrix News, a monthly newsletter extolling the Internet and discussing its commercial possibilities. One set of numbers in particular in the February 1994 edition of the newsletter was startling. For the first time, Quarterman broke down the growth of the year-old World Wide Web and pointed out that its simple, friendly interface appealed to a far broader audience than other Internet technologies. In one chart, he showed that the number of bytes—a set of binary digits —transmitted over the Web had increased by a factor of 2,057 between January 1993 and January 1994.

Internet Resource Discovery Services by Bytes
Internet Resource Discovery Services by Bytes, John S. Quarterman, Matrix News 4.2, MIDS, February 1994.

Another graphic showed Continue reading

A Naive Projection of the Growth of the Internet

Just as four years ago I projected solar growth ten years ahead, a quarter century ago I projected Internet growth ten years into the future:

A Naive Projection of the Growth of the Internet
Graph: A Naive Projection of the Growth of the Internet, John S. Quarterman, Matrix News 2.2, MIDS, February 1992.

From 7.7 million Internet users in 1992, I projected the exponential growth of the previous few years ahead a decade, to about 3.8 billion people in 2002.

How close was that estimate? Continue reading

Rep. Lamar Smith thinks Russians are behind opposition to pipelines and fracking

Years ago I met Rep. Lamar Smith at the Texas State Capitol. He studiously avoided my attempts to talk to him about solar power. And is House Committee report on energy markets does not mention solar power even once, and wind only to sneer at it. The report does spend quite a bit of space promoting fracking.

Oh, it’s supposed to be about those horrid Russians. It builds its case otherwise around 4% of 9,097 social media posts over two years, which is about one every other day. I personally post more than that. Not a very impressive report.

Sabine Pass LNG Export
Justin Mikulka, Desmog, February 18, 2018, Safety Officials Order Partial Shutdown of Sabine Pass LNG Export Facility After Discovering 10-Year History of Leaks.

Here’s a sample from the Majority Staff Report, Continue reading