Category Archives: Electric Grid

Can the lights be kept on with distributed generation? 2015 U.S. House hearing on a reliable electric system

[ Corporate speakers testify – could they have any self-interest, hope for government grants?  Since Congress often asks the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to write unbiased papers on topics,  why didn’t NAS and National Laboratory scientists speak? Corporations are … Continue reading

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The Lights are going out in the Middle East (New Yorker)

Robin Wright. May 20, 2017. The lights are going out in the Middle East.  New Yorker. Six months ago, I was in the National Museum in Beirut, marvelling at two Phoenician sarcophagi among the treasures from ancient Middle Eastern civilizations, … Continue reading

Posted in Blackouts, Blackouts | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Underground pumped hydro storage is the only technology capable of massive storage for renewable electricity

[ Picard concludes that “None of the candidate technologies for massive-scale renewable and sustainable generation of ‘‘green’’ electricity deliver it in a form suitable for high-efficiency storage. None of the prospectively-massive storage modes for transformed electricity is at present well … Continue reading

Posted in Electric Grid, Energy Storage, Grid instability, Hydropower, Renewable Integration | Tagged , | 4 Comments

The electromagnetic pulse EMP Threat: House of Representatives hearing 2005

[ Related articles: Russian hackers suspected in attack that blacked out parts of Ukraine How the weapon works (pdf): CRASHOVERRIDE Analyzing the Threat to Electric Grid Operations The EMP Commission estimates a nationwide blackout lasting one year could kill up … Continue reading

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Coal power plants depend on railroads to deliver coal

[ The extract of a Senate hearing below is mostly spent on testimony by utilities bashing the railroads for not delivering enough coal due to a disaster in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming area, where coal dust infiltrated the stone … Continue reading

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Why Nuclear Power is not an alternative to fossil fuels

[ Economic reasons are the main hurdle to new nuclear plants now, with capital costs so high it’s almost impossible to get a loan, especially when natural gas is so much cheaper and less risky. But there are other reasons … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Energy, Nuclear Power, Renewable Integration | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Electrifying freight trains in the U.S. is a really bad idea

[ Diesel-electric locomotives are ALREADY electric, and overall more energy efficient than electric freight trains.  Only passenger rail ought to be electrified, though since buses are far more energy efficient, this is arguable (Why is passenger rail so damned inefficient, … Continue reading

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Can the lights be kept on with distributed generation? 2015 U.S. House hearing on a reliable electric system.

This is entirely testimony from corporate speakers.  Congress often asks the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to write unbiased papers on topics, so why don’t they invite NAS and National Laboratory scientists to speak? Corporations are selling a product, and … Continue reading

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Germany’s “Energiewende” may need to be rescued with nonrenewable coal power

[ Below is my summary of The Energiewende is Running Up Against Its Limits (October 24, 2016) by Jeffrey Michel at the Energy Collective. Wealthy, well-educated Germany has tried harder and longer than most nations to make a transition to renewables. … Continue reading

Posted in National Super Grid, Renewable Integration | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

California could hit the solar wall

[ According to a Stanford University article below this introduction (followed by excerpts from two California Energy Commission reports), if California uses mainly solar power to meet a 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), on sunny days, for most of the … Continue reading

Posted in Photovoltaic Solar, Renewable Integration | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments