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billvon

Coming power shortages

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64% of Texas electrical power comes from fossil fuels, and they have been building more natural gas plants at a rate of about a gigawatt a year, with three more gigawatts planned before 2025.  But it's not going to be enough to keep up with the increasing power demands from global warming.

"The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) over the past week separately expressed concerns about power supply uncertainties in the face of upcoming warmer-than-normal temperatures."  They are planning for "potential emergency resources to meet the 2022 summer peak demand, given that warmer temperatures are forecasted throughout its substantial footprint."  (Ironically, of course, their natural gas power plants cannot handle cold weather either, as they demonstrated last winter.)

https://www.powermag.com/ercot-miso-warn-of-potential-power-supply-shortfalls/?fbclid=IwAR3X3ingFOoJq2Ii3W0XtCkOmsYgphB29l_2GbFPcg9NLeJm2xQmywt4-hk

No doubt this additional will come from more natural gas, which in turn will speed up global warming.  We will see this happening more and more often as the climate warms.  Shortages will multiply and prices will skyrocket as temperatures climb and demand exceeds supply for power. 

We will also see additional problems as higher temperatures cause thermal (i.e. nuclear and fossil fuel) plants to reduce their output:

"During droughts and heat waves, the loss of electricity production may therefore exceed 2% per degree Celsius given that refrigeration systems of power plants are limited by physical laws, regulations and access to cold water."

https://www.powermag.com/intense-summer-heatwaves-rattle-worlds-power-plants/#:~:text=“When the air temperature becomes,degree] C in the temperature.

And problems as droughts curtail hydro power generation:

"When water levels in reservoirs become low, the force of water pressure required to turn hydro turbine blades is reduced, which affects productivity."

https://www.drought.gov/sectors/energy#

So more natural gas, right?  But we get most of our gas now from fracking, and fracking requires (you guessed it) huge amounts of water, which we are running short of.  People might want to consider getting that EV or hybrid now, since both can be sources of power during blackouts.  (Or of course a solar+storage power system.)

It will be interesting to see how the right will try to blame Biden for this.

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2 hours ago, billvon said:

64% of Texas electrical power comes from fossil fuels, and they have been building more natural gas plants at a rate of about a gigawatt a year, with three more gigawatts planned before 2025.  But it's not going to be enough to keep up with the increasing power demands from global warming.

"The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) over the past week separately expressed concerns about power supply uncertainties in the face of upcoming warmer-than-normal temperatures."  They are planning for "potential emergency resources to meet the 2022 summer peak demand, given that warmer temperatures are forecasted throughout its substantial footprint."  (Ironically, of course, their natural gas power plants cannot handle cold weather either, as they demonstrated last winter.)

https://www.powermag.com/ercot-miso-warn-of-potential-power-supply-shortfalls/?fbclid=IwAR3X3ingFOoJq2Ii3W0XtCkOmsYgphB29l_2GbFPcg9NLeJm2xQmywt4-hk

No doubt this additional will come from more natural gas, which in turn will speed up global warming.  We will see this happening more and more often as the climate warms.  Shortages will multiply and prices will skyrocket as temperatures climb and demand exceeds supply for power. 

We will also see additional problems as higher temperatures cause thermal (i.e. nuclear and fossil fuel) plants to reduce their output:

"During droughts and heat waves, the loss of electricity production may therefore exceed 2% per degree Celsius given that refrigeration systems of power plants are limited by physical laws, regulations and access to cold water."

https://www.powermag.com/intense-summer-heatwaves-rattle-worlds-power-plants/#:~:text=“When the air temperature becomes,degree] C in the temperature.

And problems as droughts curtail hydro power generation:

"When water levels in reservoirs become low, the force of water pressure required to turn hydro turbine blades is reduced, which affects productivity."

https://www.drought.gov/sectors/energy#

So more natural gas, right?  But we get most of our gas now from fracking, and fracking requires (you guessed it) huge amounts of water, which we are running short of.  People might want to consider getting that EV or hybrid now, since both can be sources of power during blackouts.  (Or of course a solar+storage power system.)

It will be interesting to see how the right will try to blame Biden for this.

All the shine of a thousand spotlights
All the stars we steal from the night sky
Will never be enough
Never be enough
Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world but it'll
Never be enough
Never be enough

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https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/californias-clean-grid-may-lean-oil-gas-avoid-summer-blackouts-2021-08-11/
“The Golden State, which has among the world's most aggressive environmental policies, faces a potential supply shortfall of up to 3,500 megawatts during peak demand hours in the coming weeks. That is about 2.6 million households worth of electricity supply. Governor Gavin Newsom plans to fill that gap in part by allowing industrial energy users to run on diesel generators and engines

Texas might have a problem, California does have a problem and that problem is an over reliance on renewables.

(Funny how using that “free” energy from the wind and sun results in skyrocketing electricity costs and rolling blackouts)

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8 hours ago, JoeWeber said:

All the shine of a thousand spotlights
All the stars we steal from the night sky
Will never be enough
Never be enough
Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world but it'll
Never be enough
Never be enough

Our one source of energy
The ultimate discovery
Electric for me
Never more to be free
Electricity . . .
 
The alternative, there's only one
The final source of energy
Solar electricity

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This is so simple, I cannot believe no one has thought of it.

  1. Climate change is causing drought
  2. Climate change is causing sea level rise
  3. Climate change is causing an increase use of electricity
  4. We build massive power plants - we will call them Teraplants as a catchy phrase - along the coast line using sea water as a coolant to resolve 2
  5. Use the steam to power turbines to resolve 3
  6. Use "Steam Capture Technology" (SCT - my new coined phrase) to condense the steam into drinkable water
  7. Pipe the water into lakes and aquifers to resolve 1

What could be simpler - even a caveman could do it... 

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4 hours ago, brenthutch said:

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/californias-clean-grid-may-lean-oil-gas-avoid-summer-blackouts-2021-08-11/
“The Golden State, which has among the world's most aggressive environmental policies, faces a potential supply shortfall of up to 3,500 megawatts during peak demand hours in the coming weeks. That is about 2.6 million households worth of electricity supply. Governor Gavin Newsom plans to fill that gap in part by allowing industrial energy users to run on diesel generators and engines

Texas might have a problem, California does have a problem and that problem is an over reliance on renewables.

(Funny how using that “free” energy from the wind and sun results in skyrocketing electricity costs and rolling blackouts)

California has a potential 3.5 gigawatt shortage due to extreme weather conditions and having built out renewable power sources.

Texas has a 5 gigawatt shortage in base forecasted demand and relying mostly on fossil fuels.

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13 minutes ago, CygnusX-1 said:

What could be simpler - even a caveman could do it... 

Nuclear desalinators have a long history in India, Japan and Russia.

But going that route would be expensive, and would force conservatives to admit that they are paying for their earlier mistakes.  Will never happen.

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(edited)
7 minutes ago, billvon said:

But going that route would be expensive, and would force conservatives to admit that they are paying for their earlier mistakes.  Will never happen.

Yes but does India, Japan, & Russia have all the cool snappy phrases to distract the conservatives with shiny new sayings? You just have to sell it as a way of owning the Libs and they will jump on board in no time. Maybe we could claim we are "building a wall" out of nuclear powerplants stacked right next to each other along the coastline. Then cost will not matter to them at all.

Edited by CygnusX-1

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1 minute ago, CygnusX-1 said:

Yes but does India, Japan, & Russia have all the cool snappy phrases to distract the conservatives with shiny new objects? You just have to sell it as a way of owning the Libs and they will jump on board in no time. Maybe we could claim we are "building a wall" out of nuclear powerplants stacked right next to each other along the coastline. Then cost will not matter to them at all.

Sorry, for sure someone like AOC will introduce the "Save Coastlines not the World" bill and that will end it.

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32 minutes ago, billvon said:

Nuclear desalinators have a long history in India, Japan and Russia.

But going that route would be expensive, and would force conservatives to admit that they are paying for their earlier mistakes.  Will never happen.

Earlier mistakes like when liberals torpedoed nuke plants in the 70's?  You mean those mistakes?

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38 minutes ago, SkyDekker said:

California has a potential 3.5 gigawatt shortage due to extreme weather conditions and having built out renewable power sources.

Texas has a 5 gigawatt shortage in base forecasted demand and relying mostly on fossil fuels.

California 19.90 cents per kWh ‘having built out renewable power sources’
Texas 11.36 cents per kWh ‘relying mostly on fossil fuels’

 

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, brenthutch said:

California 19.90 cents per kWh ‘having built out renewable power sources’
Texas 11.36 cents per kWh ‘relying mostly on fossil fuels’

 

 

 

 

 

So more expensive, more reliable and better for the environment.

But you don't get a senator who goes to Mexico when the power goes out.

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43 minutes ago, airdvr said:

Earlier mistakes like when liberals torpedoed nuke plants in the 70's?  You mean those mistakes?

Nope.  You have to purpose-build nuclear desalinators; just having a bunch of nuclear power plants doesn't work to desalinate water.

I am talking about the decades of denial of AGW.

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1 hour ago, SkyDekker said:

So more expensive, more reliable and better for the environment.

But you don't get a senator who goes to Mexico when the power goes out.

Rolling blackouts and dependence on diesel generators to stabilize the grid is not what I would call reliable or environmentally friendly.

I would prefer a Senator in Mexico (reducing demand by one household) over a Governor who shuts down businesses and orders universal mask mandates while partying it up (maskless) at a fancy French restaurant.

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42 minutes ago, brenthutch said:

Rolling blackouts and dependence on diesel generators to stabilize the grid is not what I would call reliable or environmentally friendly.

But that is also happening in Texas....with a larger gap in capacity AND an entire grid already based on fossil fuels.

You are arguing that a fossil fuel based grid that cannot meet demand under normal conditions by 5 gigawatt is superior to a renewable based grid that cannot meet demand under extreme circumstances by 3.5 gigawatt.

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4 minutes ago, SkyDekker said:

But that is also happening in Texas....with a larger gap in capacity AND an entire grid already based on fossil fuels.

Yep.  So much for "fossil fuel reliability."  From Bloomberg:

Texas Calls for Power Conservation After Six Generators Fail

  • Gas-fired plants make up all generation that failed: Ercot
  • West Texas to see extreme heat in some spots next week

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-13/texas-calls-for-energy-conservation-after-six-power-plants-fail

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14 hours ago, SkyDekker said:

But that is also happening in Texas....with a larger gap in capacity AND an entire grid already based on fossil fuels.

You are arguing that a fossil fuel based grid that cannot meet demand under normal conditions by 5 gigawatt is superior to a renewable based grid that cannot meet demand under extreme circumstances by 3.5 gigawatt.

Entire grid based on fossil fuels, with 42% being wind?

 

“The state has spent tens of billions of dollars on wind turbines that don’t work when millions of people desperately need electricity. As the cold weather has gotten worse, half the state’s wind generation has sat frozen and immobile. Where wind provided 42% of the state’s electricity on Feb. 7, it fell to 8% on Feb.11. 
Unsurprisingly, the failure of wind has sparked a competing narrative that fossil fuel plants were the real cause of power outages. This claim can be quickly dispelled with a look at data from ERCOT, the state’s electricity regulator. Even though the extreme cold had frozen cooling systems on coal plants and natural gas pipelines, the state’s coal plants still upped their output by 47% in response to increasing demand. Natural gas plants across the state increased their output by an amazing 450%. Fossil fuels have done yeoman’s work to make up for wind’s reliable unreliability.”

 

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18 hours ago, billvon said:

Nope.  You have to purpose-build nuclear desalinators; just having a bunch of nuclear power plants doesn't work to desalinate water.

I am talking about the decades of denial of AGW.

Nukes are nukes.  Doesn't matter what you're using them for.

Clean energy will need nuclear power.  There's no way around it.

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8 minutes ago, airdvr said:

Nukes are nukes.  Doesn't matter what you're using them for.

Clean energy will need nuclear power.  There's no way around it.

Question -- are you OK with a nuclear power plant in your community? An actual one, designed, built, and run by fallible humans who are constrained by externally applied budgets, politics, and schedules? Because that's the standard you should consider. If not, what would need to change, or who do you think should be willing?

I'm not against nuclear power. But its actual use still has an outsized problem potential, with outsized costs to manage them. Those should be our priorities for now maybe. 

Wendy P. 

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While not in my neighborhood per se there are 2 plants within an hour drive from me.  A Chernobyl like event wouldn't require me to evacuate.

To answer your question I'd be OK with it in my neighborhood.  I'm sure I'd be drowned out by the NIMBY crowd.

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19 hours ago, brenthutch said:

Rolling blackouts and dependence on diesel generators to stabilize the grid is not what I would call reliable or environmentally friendly.

I would prefer a Senator in Mexico (reducing demand by one household) over a Governor who shuts down businesses and orders universal mask mandates while partying it up (maskless) at a fancy French restaurant.

"Even under an independent grid, a Wall Street Journal investigation found that "deregulated Texas residential consumers paid $28 billion more for their power since 2004 than they would have paid at the rates charged to the customers of the state's traditional utilities....Texas' natural gas production was the main source of the recent power failures in the state, according to the Texas Tribune. But at least some of the causes of the state's issues date back about a decade."

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1 hour ago, airdvr said:

While not in my neighborhood per se there are 2 plants within an hour drive from me.  A Chernobyl like event wouldn't require me to evacuate.

To answer your question I'd be OK with it in my neighborhood.  I'm sure I'd be drowned out by the NIMBY crowd.

You're right. They win the battles against clean hydro power with the least environmental impact.

"Hydro-Québec’s plans to ramp up electricity exports keep running up against the NIMBYs.

The provincially owned utility has a $10-billion deal to sell a big chunk of its existing energy surpluses to Massachusetts over 20 years and has its eye on a similar agreement with New York. But Hydro-Québec and its U.S. partners have been stymied in their attempts to gain approval for the transmission lines needed to transport all that additional power across the border.

In July, New England-based Eversource Energy pulled the plug on its proposed Northern Pass transmission line after the New Hampshire Supreme Court rejected the company’s appeal of an earlier regulatory ruling that blocked the project. The U.S. utility, which had partnered with Hydro-Québec on the US$1.6-billion line, had sunk US$318-million into the project before pulling out in the face of relentless regional opposition."

There needs to be a separate section on the bill for electrify showing how much the NIMBYers have cost each consumer. When brownouts, blackouts occur, cell phones get calls and texts from the power companies. "Congratulation the current service interruption is brought to you by the NIMBYers". "Enjoy your quiet time"

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16 minutes ago, Phil1111 said:

"Even under an independent grid, a Wall Street Journal investigation found that "deregulated Texas residential consumers paid $28 billion more for their power since 2004 than they would have paid at the rates charged to the customers of the state's traditional utilities....Texas' natural gas production was the main source of the recent power failures in the state, according to the Texas Tribune. But at least some of the causes of the state's issues date back about a decade."

Unsurprisingly, the failure of wind has sparked a competing narrative that fossil fuel plants were the real cause of power outages. This claim can be quickly dispelled with a look at data from ERCOT, the state’s electricity regulator. Even though the extreme cold had frozen cooling systems on coal plants and natural gas pipelines, the state’s coal plants still upped their output by 47% in response to increasing demand. Natural gas plants across the state increased their output by an amazing 450%. Fossil fuels have done yeoman’s work to make up for wind’s reliable unreliability.”

 

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