Category Archives: Energy

Nuclear power learning rates: policy implications

by Peter Lang

A revolution could be achieved with nuclear power if we remove the factors that caused the large cost increases during and since the 1970’s, i.e. return to the learning rates demonstrated before 1970.

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What is Energy Security? Definitions and Scenarios

by Evan Hillebrand

Energy security is complicated, and multi-dimensional.  It goes beyond over-simplified notions of energy self-sufficiency or energy independence. It’s about where our energy comes from and its the cost, reliability, sustainability, and scale of our energy use. Technical, economic, geopolitical and other factors all play a role, and one needs to understand how they interact. Energy security is not just a matter of energy; it’s about how energy affects national security.

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New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision and Environmental Control Initiatives

.by Roger Caiazza

The excellent series of posts on energy planning by Planning Engineer and Rud Istavan, a similar series at the Science of Doom and a recent post by Peter Lang all outline the difficulties implementing renewable energy and other components of the so-called energy system of the future.

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Some realism about technological fixes

by Judith Curry

Not all problems will yield to technology. Deciding which will and which won’t should be central to setting innovation policy, say Daniel Sarewitz and Richard Nelson.

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Opinion: Don’t go nuclear on climate change just yet

by Yousaf Butt

Current nuclear technology is not a sensible solution to the climate change challenge – but research on “new-nuclear” and renewables infrastructure should be aggressively pursued.

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Is nuclear the cheapest way to decarbonize electricity?

by Peter Lang

The cheapest way to decarbonize the British electricity system is with all or mostly nuclear power.

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The new climate ‘deniers’

by Judith Curry

New members of the climate ‘deniers’ club:  James Hansen, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel, Tom Wigley . . . and Bill Gates.

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Can Coal-Fired Plants be Re-Powered Today with Stored Energy from Wind and Solar?

by Davis Swan

There is a consensus in many countries that burning coal to generate electricity is something that needs to be phased out as quickly as possible. The Clean Power Plan in the U.S. has that as one of its most likely outcomes and there have been explicit commitments to retire coal-fired generation plants by governments all over the world.

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German Energiewende – Modern Miracle or Major Misstep

by Davis Swan

There is an ongoing debate regarding the value and/or wisdom of the German Government’s implementation of an energy transformation – the Energiewende.

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Deep de-carbonisation of electricity grids

by Peter Lang

J. P. Morgan recently published an excellent report Deep de-carbonisation of electricity grids‘. Below are excerpts from the report and some comment added by me.

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Steve Koonin: The tough realities of the Paris climate talks

by Judith Curry

And, overarching all this, the tension between emissions reductions and development is complicated by uncertainties in how the climate will change under human and natural influences and how those changes will impact natural and human systems. – Steve Koonin

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On Trial: Social Cost of Carbon

by Judith Curry

The Social Cost of Carbon is on trial in Minnesota.

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Will the President’s Clean Power Plan save consumers money?

by Dave Rutledge

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On August 3, President Obama declared that “under the Clean Power Plan, by 2030, renewables will account for 28% of our capacity,” and “will save the average American family nearly $85 on their annual energy bill in 2030.”

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President Obama’s Clean Power Plan

by Judith Curry

The effects of climate change are already being felt across the nation. In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting those Americans at greater risk of landing in the hospital.

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Intermittent grid storage

by Rud Istvan

From the utility grid perspective, a fundamental problem with wind and solar is intermittency.

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Driverless cars: the transportation revolution is coming

by Judith Curry

How driverless cars will change our lives.

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Deforestation in the UK

by Judith Curry

More wood being burnt from British woods than since industrial revolution. – David Rose

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Solar grid parity?

by Rud Istvan and Planning Engineer                                                 

There are many journal articles, media stories, NGO papers, and blogs claiming solar already has, or soon will, reach general grid parity. Grid parity  is when the cost of solar equals the cost of conventional electricity alternatives. It should also mean equal without subsidies like feed in tariffs (FiT), net metering, and tax credits.

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True costs of wind electricity

by Planning Engineer and Rud Istvan 

Wind turbines have become a familiar sight in many countries as a favorite CAGW mitigation means. Since at least 2010, the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) has been assuring NGOs and the public that wind would be cost competitive by now, all things considered. Many pro-wind organizations claim wind is cost competitive today.  But is it?

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Transmission planning: wind and solar

by Planning Engineer

Some of the denizens have requested an introduction to transmission planning and a discussion of how the transmission system is impacted by renewable resources.

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Wind turbines’ CO2 savings and abatement cost

by Peter Lang

Wind turbines are less effective and CO2 abatement cost is higher than commonly assumed.

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What should renewables pay for grid service?

by Planning Engineer

There is a lot of public debate around the rates utilities charge solar customers, but very little of it shows an awareness of the embedded technical and philosophical issues.

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Road to Paris: Tracking climate pledges

by Judith Curry

I’m working to wrap my head around the emerging UNFCCC pledges to cut carbon emissions, in preparation for the Paris meeting next December.  Here’s what I’m reading.

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Taxonomy of climate/energy policy perspectives

by Planning Engineer

Debates on policy issues around climate and energy often feature opposing sides talking past each other.

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Towards mass marketed electric vehicles

by Robert Ellison

A look at the Drift EV concept for electric vehicles.

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