Category Archives: Electricity

Lifespan of infrastructure, transportation, and buildings

Preface. What follows is from the International Energy Agency 2020 report “Energy technology perspectives” on how to transition to net zero emissions by 2050. This might require the replacement of just about everything, since power plants, steel blast furnaces, cement … Continue reading

Posted in Airplanes, Automobiles, Concrete, Dams, Electricity, Energy, Limits To Growth, Manufacturing & Industrial Heat, Oil & Gas, Transportation, Trucks | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Building a national super grid in America

Preface. Renewables are not evenly distributed.  Just 10 states have 80% of hydropower (Homeland Security 2011), 10 states produce 75% of wind power (EIA 2017), and 10 states produce 79% of solar power (CE 2020). With a national grid, instead … Continue reading

Posted in Blackouts, Electric Grid, Electric Grid, Electricity, National Super Grid, Solar, Vaclav Smil, Wind | 3 Comments

A nationwide blackout lasting 1 year could kill up to 90% Americans

Preface. What follows is the 30-page testimony of Dr. Pry at a 2015 U.S. House of Representatives session that I’ve summarized. In addition to electromagnetic pulses from a solar event, nuclear weapon, or purpose-built equipment, cyberattacks can also bring down … Continue reading

Posted in Blackouts, Congressional Record U.S., Electricity, EMP Electromagnetic Pulse, Energy Policy, Extreme Weather, Infrastructure, Nuclear, Nuclear Power | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Concentrated Solar Power can only exist in deserts and use too much water

What follows is my summary of: Bracken, N., et al. 2015. Concentrating solar power and water issues in the U.S. Southwest. U.S. department of energy, National renewable energy lab. Alice Friedemann  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, Electricity | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Utility scale energy storage has a long way to go to make renewables possible

What follows comes from my book “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation” , which is also where you’ll find the references backing up what I’ve written below. I often get letters from people about energy breakthroughs … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Batteries, Battery - Utility Scale, Critical Thinking, Electric Grid, Electricity, Renewable Integration | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

The electric grid: fragile, filthy, poorly managed, polluting, inefficient, corrupt

Preface. Most forms of alternative energy depend on the electric grid (nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower). But the Grid is falling apart because of privatization and the splitting of the grid into thousands of competing, uncoordinated entities where there’s no … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Blackouts, Books, Electricity, Energy | 2 Comments

Big Fight: 21 top scientists show why Jacobson and Delucchi’s renewable scheme is a delusional fantasy

[ Seldom have I seen such a vitriolic fight among scientists.  As you’ll see below, I think all of them miss the main problems with trying to create a 100% renewable energy system, though I can only summarize and leave … Continue reading

Posted in ! PEAK EVERYTHING, Alternative Energy, Electric Grid, Electricity, Infrastructure | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

How is California’s AB2514 experiment with utility scale battery storage coming along?

[ This is an excellent article by Tod Kiefer about tests of sodium-sulfur batteries, which are the only kind of battery for which there is enough material on earth to make. Battery electric storage is meant to “replace nimble, fast-ramping … Continue reading

Posted in Batteries, Battery - Utility Scale, Electricity | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

[ This post contains excerpts from the Department of Energy document “Large power transformers and the U.S. electric grid”. Large power transformers are essential critical infrastructure to the electric grid, and are huge, weighing up to 820,000 pounds.  If large … Continue reading

Posted in Electric Grid, Electricity, Infrastructure, Interdependencies | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Electric grid large power transformers take up to 2 years to build

Roger Andrews: California public utilities vote no on energy storage

[My comment: Without energy storage, wind, solar, and other electricity generating alternative resources can’t continue to be added to the electric grid, because they make the grid too unstable and prone to blackouts (which can damage the electric grid). To … Continue reading

Posted in Batteries, Electric Grid, Electric Grid, Electricity | 8 Comments