Skip to content

Fortune Magazine’s Priorities

March 25, 2017

This month, Fortune magazine published its listing of the 100 best American companies to work for.

Unless you count a supplier of medical equipment, Gore-Tex products and two pharmaceutical companies, there were no manufacturing companies on the list.

The likes of GM, GE, Boeing and United Technologies were absent from the list of best American companies to work for.

The list seemed to infer that Americans wanted the softest, least demanding jobs where the personal perks were best.

Is this really what Americans want in their work place? Soft, cushy jobs with nice personal perks?

What about attributes such as challenging jobs with challenging goals? And difficult work environments that are rewarded when goals are met?

Cover of Fortune Magazine

Cover of Fortune Magazine

Is Fortune’s list merely what elites think?

Fortune used Great Place to Work to compile the survey.

But who is Great Place to Work? And what do they believe?

Their web site says a company’s culture is critical to its success. But that’s merely a view from HR.

From the Great Place to Work web site:

“Companies’ results on the Trust Index© survey are compared to peer organizations of like size and complexity. The Culture Audit© includes detailed questions about benefits, programs, and practices.”

And in addition, companies weren’t considered if they weren’t certified by Great Place to Work:

“To be considered for our Best Workplaces lists, companies must be Great Place to Work-Certified™.”

A soft culture, with cushy jobs is critical to success?

That’s not how to define success in manufacturing, where there are few cushy jobs, the work place may be somewhat dirty and demanding, and the demands for meeting cost and other objectives are hard to achieve.

Fortune’s “100 best American companies to work for” listing seems to be self serving, especially for their partner, Great Place to Work.

Fortune’s priorities don’t match what American manufacturing companies need to do, to compete in the world market.

Perhaps, a little old-fashioned roll-up-our-sleeves and meet the challenge is in order.

Manufacturing jobs may not be cushy, but they afford a real challenge for real Americans.

With a little less soft, HR elite thinking, maybe we can meet the challenge.

* * * * * *

Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a treaty most Americans don’t know was ratified by the Senate.

Link to Amazon http://amzn.to/2m8S14B

The article Another CO2 Sequestration Proposal should be considered a part of this book.

Clexit is really an appendage to Nothing To Fear.

A coupon in Clexit allows the purchaser to also buy Nothing to Fear for $8.00. Clip the coupon and follow the mailing instructions to take advantage of this offer.

Clexit cover

Clexit cover

* * * * * *

NOTE:

It’s easy to subscribe to articles by Donn Dears.

Go to the photo on the right side of the article where it says email subscription. Click and enter your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you know people who would be interested in these articles please send them a link to the article and suggest they also subscribe.

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Australia Demands More Gas

March 21, 2017
Graphic showing South Australian blackout, courtesy of GWPF

Two years ago, The New South Wales government shutdown drilling for natural gas because people protested against drilling for natural gas.

Similarly, local governments elsewhere in Australia have acquiesced to demands made by people protesting against natural gas and coal because of climate change.

Graphic showing South Australian blackout, courtesy of GWPF

Graphic showing South Australian blackout, courtesy of GWPF

Meanwhile, Australia has abundant natural gas resources in northern and western Australia, and has begun exporting natural gas to Asian countries.

Infrastructure is lacking to bring natural gas from western and northern Australia to where it’s needed in the South, primarily South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, though portions of Queensland also lack adequate supplies of natural gas.

The blackouts in South Australia have brought the lack of natural gas for power generation to the forefront, with the untenable situation of Australia exporting natural gas while not having enough to meet its needs for power generation.

There is now the absurd situation where the Liberal government is threatening natural gas companies that their exports will be curtailed if they don’t supply Australia with natural gas for power generation.

Liberal Prime Minister, Turnbull, said:

“We [Federal Government] have the ability to control exports … we have that power.”

This is a situation brought about by protests against drilling for natural gas, labor governments who have invested in wind and solar to the detriment of baseload power from coal and natural gas, and a Liberal, i.e., conservative government that has waffled in the past, but now demands that industry solve the problem.

At this late date, the Liberal party in New South Wales is now considering whether to permit drilling.

The Labor party’s infatuation with cutting CO2 emissions is at the crux of the problem, even though, as mentioned in Blackout Race Underway 45% of Australians won’t pay one extra cent for electricity from wind and solar.

Industry has not said how it will solve the problem, but the most likely measure will be to transport LNG from the North to ports in the South. It’s likely that drilling for natural gas will again be given the go-ahead, though it will require time to produce natural gas from wells in New South Wales and South Australia.

As elsewhere, attempts to cut CO2 emissions are proving to be very expensive and ultimately, unworkable.

* * * * * *

Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a treaty most Americans don’t know was ratified by the Senate.

Link to Amazon http://amzn.to/2m8S14B

A coupon in Clexit allows the purchaser to also buy Nothing to Fear for $8.00. Clip the coupon and follow the mailing instructions to take advantage of this offer.

Clexit cover

Clexit cover

* * * * * *

NOTE:

It’s easy to subscribe to articles by Donn Dears.

Go to the photo on the right side of the article where it says email subscription. Click and enter your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you know people who would be interested in these articles please send them a link to the article and suggest they also subscribe.

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tea Party Interview

March 17, 2017

Periodically, I do radio and other interviews.

While radio interviews are not easy to reproduce on the internet, my recent interview with the president of The Villages Tea Party is a video with an easy to access link.

The purpose of the interview was to discuss my new book, Clexit For a Brighter Future, and why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty.

Most Americans don’t realize that the Senate ratified this treaty in 1992, and that it obligates the United States to participate in reducing CO2 emissions.

On Saturday, March 11, the Wall Street Journal said the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty. Clexit explains why it’s the right thing to do.

The video of the interview can be seen using this link http://bit.ly/2nq79dh

Click on the start > button to start the video.

Clexit cover

Clexit cover

* * * * * *

Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a treaty most Americans don’t know was ratified by the Senate.

Link to Amazon http://amzn.to/2m8S14B

The article Another CO2 Sequestration Proposal  should be considered a part of this book.

A coupon in Clexit allows the purchaser to also buy Nothing to Fear for $8.00. Clip the coupon and follow the mailing instructions to take advantage of this offer.

 

* * * * * *

NOTE:

It’s easy to subscribe to articles by Donn Dears.

Go to the photo on the right side of the article where it says email subscription. Click and enter your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you know people who would be interested in these articles please send them a link to the article and suggest they also subscribe.

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blackout Race Underway

March 14, 2017

Prior to my trip to Australia, I believed Germany would be the first country to succumb to severe blackouts as the result of its drive to use renewables in preference to fossil fuels so as to cut CO2 emissions.

It now looks as though Australia could win this dubious honor, as Australia has actually removed coal-fired power plants from service while Germany has added them.

The three contestants for this dubious blackout honor are:

  1. Australia
  2. Germany
  3. California

California is a distant third possibility, primarily because it can draw power from surrounding states when its renewables fail to deliver. California’s actual reductions in CO2 emissions are very small when compared with its stated objectives of a 40% cut by 2030 and an 80% cut by 2050.

Australia is rich in both coal and natural gas resources, but has imposed impediments on developing new natural gas resources, while also having inadequate infrastructure for delivering natural gas across the country from where abundant supplies exist in northern and western Australia.

The Australian government has adopted a renewable energy target (RET) of 23% by 2020, with the Labor party indicating it desires an RET of 50%.

A backlash is developing against Australia’s RET goals, with the One Nation party and leading conservatives, such as former prime minister Tony Abbott, joining forces in efforts to repeal the RET.

Disputing the need for the RET is a recent poll among Australians which showed that 45% of Australians “balk at paying one cent more for electricity from renewables.” (The Australian, February 28, 2017)

Meanwhile, businesses are complaining about rising energy costs that are endangering manufacturing jobs. (The Australian, February 24, 2017)

So far this year, the entire state of South Australia has suffered through a day-long blackout, while, subsequently, 40,000 homes in the city of Adelaide endured a second blackout. These blackouts have been attributed to the inability of wind to provide adequate power during peak periods.

Graphic showing South Australian blackout, courtesy of GWPF

Graphic showing South Australian blackout, courtesy of GWPF

What’s most disturbing about the current situation is that none of the three blackout contestants have cut CO2 emissions by any meaningful amount, while still endangering their citizens to dangerous blackouts.

Cuts in CO2 emissions as of 2016:

  • Australia, less than 20%
  • Germany, 27%
  • California, less than 12%

If blackouts are already occurring when cuts in CO2 emissions are far below ultimate targets, how soon will larger cuts in CO2 emissions result in more damaging blackouts?

It’s impossible to cut CO2 emissions enough to have any effect on climate, even if atmospheric CO2 has an effect, without destroying living standards and endangering the lives of billions of people in developing countries.

Cutting CO2 emissions is a fool’s errand.

 

* * * * * *

Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a treaty most Americans don’t know was ratified by the Senate.

Link to Amazon http://amzn.to/2m8S14B

The article Another CO2 Sequestration Proposal should be considered a part of this book.
A coupon in Clexit allows the purchaser to also buy Nothing to Fear for $8.00. Clip the coupon and follow the mailing instructions to take advantage of this offer.

Clexit cover

Clexit cover

* * * * * *

NOTE:

It’s easy to subscribe to articles by Donn Dears.

Go to the photo on the right side of the article where it says email subscription. Click and enter your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you know people who would be interested in these articles please send them a link to the article and suggest they also subscribe.

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Modular Nuclear Reactors

March 10, 2017

Proposed small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) could revitalize the nuclear industry in the United States, assuming their costs can be substantially below the $6,000 per KW cost of traditional nuclear power plants, such as those being built in Georgia and South Carolina.

NuScale is the first SMR to file a design certification application for any SMR with the NRC. This puts NuScale ahead of other SMR proposals. The B&W mPower SMR proposal seems to be languishing.

From NuScale, Depicting Relative Reactor Size

From NuScale, Depicting Relative Reactor Size

As announced by NuScale, “[its] SMR is economic, factory built and shippable. It’s flexible enough to desalinate seawater, refine oil, load-follow wind, produce hydrogen, flexible to grow to any size, and that provides a reactor that cannot meltdown.”

The potential for lowering cost by constructing modules in a factory setting, and the ability to size completed installations to any requirement by constructing additional modules, makes the SMR concept very attractive.

Each NuScale module would be rated 50 MW, with the ability to group several modules together to form units as large as 600 MW.

Whether the public will accept SMRs and whether their cost can be kept well below the cost of constructing traditional reactors are critical to the SMRs’ future.

Another type of SMR was recently promoted by ThorCon. Its reactor is a molten salt reactor based on the molten salt reactor experiment (MSRE). These modules would also be located underground.

The ThorCon proposal is also flexible, with the potential to construct a 1,000 MW unit using multiple modules.

ThorCon made no mention of NRC approvals, so, while intriguing, more must be known about the status of the design before commenting further.

In summary:

  • The NuScale design appears to be farthest along in obtaining NRC approvals, though several years work remains before units can be built.
  • The SMR concept holds promise for a revitalized nuclear power industry, but only if construction costs can be kept well below $6,000 per KW.

* * * * * *

Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a treaty most Americans don’t know was ratified by the Senate.

Link to Amazon http://amzn.to/2m8S14B

The article Another CO2 Sequestration Proposal should be considered a part of this book.

A coupon in Clexit allows the purchaser to also buy Nothing to Fear for $8.00. Clip the coupon and follow the mailing instructions to take advantage of this offer.

Clexit cover

Clexit cover

* * * * * *

NOTE:

It’s easy to subscribe to articles by Donn Dears.

Go to the photo on the right side of the article where it says email subscription. Click and enter your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you know people who would be interested in these articles please send them a link to the article and suggest they also subscribe.

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Another CO2 Sequestration Proposal

March 7, 2017

Over the past few months there has been a steady stream of announcements intended to show that CO2 could be sequestered, thereby eliminating the threat of climate change from using fossil fuels.

Clexit For a Brighter Future addressed announcements that had been made prior to its publication, but a new method for using CO2 in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) was announced after the publication of Clexit, and this article addresses this latest effort to claim that CO2 can be sequestered.

Net Power LLC announced an “energy revolution” and its Allam cycle, that, “creates low-cost, clean energy.”

However, as explained below, the announcement overstates the potential for sequestering CO2.

Briefly, the Allam cycle burns natural gas and pure oxygen in a gas turbine, and then uses the CO2 that’s produced in the combustion reaction as the working fluid, under high temperatures and pressure, to drive the turbine, with spent, excess liquid CO2 diverted from the system and used for EOR to sequester CO2.

Diagram from Net Power LLC Website

Diagram from Net Power LLC Website

If successful, the Allam cycle would produce low cost CO2 for use in EOR, and eliminate NOx emissions due to not using air, which is mostly nitrogen, in the combustion cycle.

It would not, however, result in resolving the problem of sequestering CO2 in underground geologic formations, primarily because the amount that can be sequestered using EOR is a tiny portion of the total CO2 produced by coal-fired and traditional natural gas power plants.

Currently, as explained in Clexit, the cost of adding equipment to existing coal-fired and natural gas power plants to capture CO2 is prohibitively expensive.

While the Allam cycle produces CO2, in effect capturing it, nearly all existing power plants would have to be replaced with Allam cycle units to eliminate CO2 emissions form power generation.

As established in Clexit:

  • It would require around 440,000 MW of new Allam units to replace the current installed capacity of coal-fired and NG power plants that must be closed to cut CO2 emissions 80% in the US.
  • If each Allam unit is rated 300 MW, it will require building around 1,500 units to replace the existing power plants that must be shutdown. Total cost is at least $480 billion, not counting the cost of pipelines.
  • It doesn’t eliminate CO2 from gasoline usage, which would require building additional power plants if electric vehicles are used to replace gasoline-powered cars.

While the problem of capturing CO2 can be accomplished at very high cost with Allam units, perhaps better than with established CO2 capture methods, the CO2 not used for EOR must still be sequestered in underground geologic formations which, as explained in Clexit, cannot be done with any assurance the CO2 won’t leak into the atmosphere, thereby negating the purpose of sequestration.

A 2012 study by L. Stephen Melzer, Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO2 EOR), established that approximately 3% of total CO2 emissions from power plants is being used for EOR. According to a NETL.DOE, 2012 report, usage of CO2 in EOR amounted to 1.45% of total CO2 emissions from power plants, with the potential for an additional 0.5% CO2 usage.

Given that the Allam method results in a potentially lower cost for CO2, and that most EOR is currently restricted to the Permian basin, there is a possibility that the amount of CO2 used for EOR could increase.

Even if CO2 usage doubled, EOR would only use 6% of all CO2 emissions from power plants, so that 94% would still have to be sequestered in underground geologic formations with no assurance it would remain sequestered for thousands of years.

As in all other cases described in Clexit, the hype surrounding the announcement by Net Power LLC about the Allam cycle, grossly overstates the potential for achieving CO2 sequestration.

In summary:

The Allam cycle, assuming it works as proposed, has the benefit of producing low cost CO2 for EOR, and for generating electricity at low cost without NOx emissions.

The Allam cycle does not resolve:

  1. The high cost of carbon capture, or
  2. Permanently sequestering millions of tons of CO2 in underground formations every year, with any assurance the CO2 will not leak into the atmosphere.

* * * * * *

Clexit For a Brighter Future establishes why the United States should withdraw from the UNFCCC treaty, a treaty most Americans don’t know was ratified by the Senate.

Link to Amazon http://amzn.to/2m8S14B

This article should be considered a part of this book.

A coupon in Clexit allows the purchaser to also buy Nothing to Fear for $8.00. Clip the coupon and follow the mailing instructions to take advantage of this offer.

Clexit cover

Clexit cover

* * * * * *

NOTE:

It’s easy to subscribe to articles by Donn Dears.

Go to the photo on the right side of the article where it says email subscription. Click and enter your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you know people who would be interested in these articles please send them a link to the article and suggest they also subscribe.

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The CHP Shibboleth

March 3, 2017

(This is the last article to be published during the trip to Australia.)

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is dragged out periodically by supporters of the AGW CO2 global warming hypothesis, to promote distributed power and the use of wind and solar for generating electricity.

Power Magazine recently devoted a substantial part of its monthly magazine to CHP, with a section, “Global Developments Giving CHP a Much Needed Boost” and two articles devoted to CHP installations.

The magazine proclaimed the UNFCCC COP 21 Paris agreement to cut CO2 emissions could provide the needed boost to CHP growth.

Typically, promoters of CHP start by saying that CHP improves efficiency. They even promote the idea that CHP can achieve efficiencies of 90%. Greenpeace made this claim in its plan, the “Energy [R]evolution” which is riddled with hype and misinformation.

CHP uses exhaust gasses or steam from power plants that generate electricity, to provide heat to buildings or industrial processes. This results in more energy being used for work, but it doesn’t dramatically improve efficiency.

The mistake arises when people assign the same value to the heat extracted from exhaust gasses with the electricity produced by the power plant. The exhaust gasses have low heat (i.e., energy) content and therefore less value than the electricity (i.e., energy) produced by the power plant.

A good analogy is one suggested by the former editor of Power Magazine:

An automobile’s engine using gasoline has considerable horsepower and also heats water in the engine’s cooling system. The hot water is then used to heat passengers during the winter. While this takes advantage of the heat in the water, the water doesn’t have the power to drive the automobile. Gasoline has high energy density, while hot water has a low energy density.

Figure Depicting Heat Value and Uses

Figure Depicting Heat Value and Uses

The Obama administration promoted CHP with an executive order. The EPA, under the Obama administration, issued a 22 page report touting the benefits of CHP as a “clean energy solution”. It has also maintained a database (http://bit.ly/2jACeNT) to provide information supporting CHP. For example, CHP qualified for a 10% investment tax credit in 2016.

Historically, there has been a role for CHP in industrial complexes and refineries since the steam, or exhaust heat, could be used to heat buildings or be used in industrial processes.

Europe has used exhaust steam to heat residential buildings. Consolidated Edison used CHP to heat buildings in New York City.

In cities, where buildings are closely packed, piping exhaust stem to these buildings can make sense.

But trying to impose CHP in areas where there are no industrial uses, or where buildings are widely spaced, such as in typical American suburbs, is irrational.

(Suburbs with free-standing residential buildings are an anathema to city planners and to those promoting CO2 induced climate change, so CHP fits a strategy that promotes mixed use development.)

Europe’s energy efficiency directive (http://bit.ly/2jZQ0FL) requires member states to promote CHP and remove barriers to its deployment. In addition, European countries have used policy tools such as feed-in tariffs to support CHP.

CHP has become a political football, where it’s being used to promote cutting CO2 emissions. CHP can be used effectively in specific applications where it can be justified economically, but it shouldn’t be forced on Americans by an executive order or the EPA, or radical environmental groups, such as Greenpeace, to cut CO2 emissions.

* * * * * *

Nothing to Fear, Chapter 12, explains why carbon capture and sequestration will not work.

Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.

Link to Amazon: http://amzn.to/1miBhXy

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

* * * * * *

NOTE:

It’s easy to subscribe to articles by Donn Dears.

Go to the photo on the right side of the article where it says email subscription. Click and enter your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you know people who would be interested in these articles please send them a link to the article and suggest they also subscribe.

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.