Tag: Solar

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This is interesting and unexpected. Net Metering is one of two major subsidies to solar energy, the other being the 30% federal tax credit. So why did California end this major subsidy? Perhaps the incumbent politicians feel so secure in their positions that they can do the right thing and ignore the industry lobbyist? https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2022/11/11/california-introduces-rooftop-solar-net-metering-3-0-an-industry-reacts/ […]

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Nuclear Power: Has the Time Finally Come?

 

Commercial nuclear power emerged in the mid-1950s, to great enthusiasm. The Eisenhower administration promoted it as a major part of its Atoms for Peace program.  There was talk about ‘electricity too cheap to meter,’ and about making the world’s deserts bloom via nuclear-powered desalination.

And quite a few commercial nuclear plants were indeed built and put into operation.  In the US, there are presently 93 commercial reactors with aggregate capacity of 95 gigawatts, accounting for about 20% of America’s electricity generation.  But overall, adoption of commercial nuclear power has not met early expectations.  Costs have been much higher than were  expected.  There have been great public concerns about safety, stemming originally from the association of nuclear power and nuclear weapons as well as by practical concerns and then supercharged by the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 and then by Chernobyl (1986) and the Fukushima disaster in 2011.  Permitting and construction times have been long and  unpredictable, driven by the public concerns as well as by the general growth of regulation and litigation in the US and the custom, one-off manner in which these plants have been constructed.

Curt Morgan, the CEO of Vistra Corp., joined “Plugged In” host Neil Chatterjee to talk about the balance between moving quickly to cleaner energy sources — such as battery or solar — and ensuring the displacement of workers and other human capital from closing plants is minimal.

Morgan, who announced he will soon step down from Vistra, said how you treat people matters and it’s important to offer an environment where people feel they can learn and grow. He also outlined techniques for promoting diversity in the industry.

Deep (Freeze) in the Heart of Texas

 

The recent dramatic events in Texas are an early warning sign of the disasters that are likely to occur if the Biden administration continues its relentless effort to demonize the use of fossil fuels in the effort to combat climate change.

Assessing whether the climate is really changing requires looking at two numbers. The first is mean global temperatures across time. While that figure is increasing overall, it shows a complex up-down pattern that cannot be explained solely by the steady increase in carbon dioxide emissions. The higher the mean temperatures, the worse the supposed problem.

The second measure, though often neglected, is every bit as important: the variance in temperatures, whether measured in days, seasons, or years. A lower variance over a relevant time period means less stress on the power grid and other systems, even when the mean temperature increases. The general trend is that the variance in the temperature has gone down over time. Even today, for example, a large fraction of the record high temperatures in the United States took place in the 1930s—when carbon dioxide levels were far lower than they are today—with only three record highs after 2000.

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You may believe that climate change is man made or natural – or maybe a little of both, which is where I fall in. I don’t think 50-50, but it is clear that things are changing. Political entities on both sides have grabbed the concept of climate change and turned it into a heated political […]

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Fun with Bubbles: How Elon Musk and the Government are Recreating the Housing Crisis

 

BubbleFor all the arguments between liberals and conservatives on economic issues, most boil down to one core point of contention: conservatives realize that government doesn’t do a lot of things very well. One of those things government is not very good at, compared to the private sector and free individuals, is learning hard lessons. Case in point: bubbles.

The government loves blowing bubbles more than a small child. The difference is that when a child’s bubbles pop, they don’t erupt with enough force to shake the economic foundations of entire industries, regions, or the planet.

The most famous recent example is the housing crisis and subsequent “Great Recession” of 2008. While the media and Common Core-approved textbooks still blame that crisis on the “greedy bankers,” the reality is that the federal government, with some help from local governments, huffed and puffed and blew up the housing bubble through mortgage guarantees, artificially low interest rates, zoning laws, and pressure on banks to loan to people that could never afford standard 15- or 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.

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I have a proposal for Earth Day.  Electric Utility Companies should offer customers “Green Power”.     Environmentally conscience customers could sign up for this program and would be ensured that they only use renewable energy.  Of course the power company can’t really separate the power from renewable sources from fossil fuel sources, so smart meters will […]

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