Author Archives: energyskeptic

Rare: The High-Stakes Race to Satisfy Our Need for the Scarcest Metals on Earth by Keith Veronese

[Someday I will boil this down, meanwhile my notes are here if you’re interested, but it’s a small subset of the book that particularly interests me] Rare: The High-Stakes Race to Satisfy Our Need for the Scarcest Metals on Earth … Continue reading

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Smart Grid Challenges

Meier, A. May 2014. Challenges to the integration of renewable resources at high system penetration. California Energy Commission. A challenge to “smart grid” coordination is managing unprecedented amounts of data associated with an unprecedented number of decisions and control actions … Continue reading

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Spain Wind Integration

2 articles below: [energyresources] Digest Number 8957 [altered slightly] Jan 14, 2015   papp20032000  Pedro Prieto In Spain we have this mix, as of the end of 2014: INSTALLED POWER MW     %         GWH     % 19893 18.4    43191   16.7     … Continue reading

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German wind integration

NREL. 2012. Integrating Variable Renewable Energy in Electric Power Markets: Best Practices from International Experience. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Germany has developed a fund to encourage new fossil-fired power plants to use the most flexible technology available to maximize their … Continue reading

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Electric grid large power transformers take up to 2 years to build

[Large power transformers are essential critical infrastructure to the electric grid, and are huge, weighing up to 820,000 pounds.  If large power transformers are destroyed by a geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) electromagnetic pulse (EMP), cyber-attack, sabotage, severe weather, floods, or simply … Continue reading

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Homeland Security and Dept of Energy: Dams and Energy Sectors Interdependency Study

[Below are excerpts from this 45 page document. Dams not only provide power but also water for agriculture, drinking water, cooling water for thermal power plants, ecosystem health, fisheries, and so on.  All dams have a finite lifespan of 50 … Continue reading

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Solar Thermal ESOI (Energy Stored on Invested)

Barton, N. April 17, 2013. ESOI for solar thermal. Published information is available to evaluate the ESOI score for the most common solar thermal storage technology – a molten 60-40 mixture of sodium and potassium nitrates, commonly known as … Continue reading

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Generating electricity with biomass at utility-scale in California limited to direct combustion in small 50 MW plants

CEC. 2014. Estimated cost of new renewable and fossil generation in California. California Energy Commission. CEC-200-2014-003-SD. 254 pages. CHAPTER 8: Biomass Technology Biomass technologies are plants that use biological resources, such as forestry waste or farming by-products, to produce electricity … Continue reading

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Integrating renewable power research

Below are intermittent energy integration posts, workshops, and other research on this topic that aren’t integrated and summarized into a post yet. Savage, W. 2012. The Full Cost of Renewables: Managing Wind Integration Costs in California. Pomona Senior Theses. Paper … Continue reading

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Over 21 essential resources have peaked: Fish, milk, eggs, wheat, corn, rice, soy

Nature summary of this article: “The rates at which humans consume multiple resources such as food and wood peaked at roughly the same time, around 2006. This means that resources could be simultaneously depleted, so achieving sustainability might be more … Continue reading

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