Skip to content

More Wasted Subsidies for Failed Technologies

July 28, 2015

The Department of Energy (DOE) continues to use taxpayer money to support failed technologies.

Finally, however, DOE has suspended funding to the Hydrogen Energy California (HECA) polygeneration clean coal plant. This was an IGCC power plant that was also supposed to produce commercially salable byproducts, such as fertilizer.

DOE committed over $400 million towards the construction of the plant. To date, only $150 million has been spent, but DOE has left the door open to spend the remaining $250 million.

Schematic of HECA Polygeneration plant from DOE

Schematic of HECA Polygeneration plant from DOE

Similar to all IGCC power plants, HECA is failing. It is also having difficulty finding customers for its high-priced byproducts, byproducts that were to make the project profitable.

As described in an earlier article, IGCC power plants are an absolute failure. See, Clean Coal is Dead, Long Live Clean Coal.

DOE continues to fund projects associated with IGCC power plants.

These include the TDA Research Inc. chemical absorbent-based air separation process for low-cost oxygen to be used in IGCC power plants, and a grant, of around $2 million, to Ohio State University for developing a chemical looping gasification technology.

In addition, DOE continues to fund carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies.

These technologies are essential for supporting the EPA’s rules for new coal-fired power plants, and for its clean coal power plan. Lawsuits have been filed, saying CCS is not a proven technology.

The EPA says the best system of emission reduction (BSER) for those sources is partial CCS, saying, “Partial capture is technically feasible and can be implemented at a reasonable cost.”

But thus far, IGCC power plants have failed, and CCS is struggling to be found viable.

These efforts by DOE to fund IGCC and CCS projects are desperate attempts to validate the EPA’s finding that CCS is technically feasible.

At this point in time, no successful large-scale power generation CCS projects exists anywhere in the world. In addition, at least 11 large-scale CCS power generation projects around the world have been scrapped or delayed.

CCS is far from proven technically, and is far from being economic. See, The Why and How of Carbon Capture and Sequestration.

How the courts will rule on the EPA’s plans is an unknown.

As an aside, it’s galling that these grants and subsidies are for fossil fuel technologies, where environmental extremists are bound to claim they support the fossil fuel industry, when, in fact, they are intended to bolster the EPA’s war on fossil fuels.

 

* * * * * *

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 – 2015. 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.

EPA Promotes Worst Case, Scare Scenario

July 24, 2015

The EPA has evolved into this administration’s propaganda machine.

Unfortunately, the media, including industry magazines such as Power Magazine, have been reduced to parroting this administration’s line.

Power Magazine, for example, trumpeted the latest EPA report with an article titled:

“White House Warns Climate Change Inaction Could Result in Higher Power Demand and System Costs.”

However, a closer look at the latest EPA publication demonstrates the extreme bias of the EPA’s report, titled:

“CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE UNITED STATES”
“Benefits of Global of Action”

Power Magazine dutifully reported on the EPA’s claims as follows:

“Among its major findings are that global action now leads to greater benefits over time, that it would avoid costly damages in the U.S., and that in some sectors, adaption can substantially reduce the impacts of climate change.”

Adaptation, in this instance, meaning dramatically cutting CO2 emissions.

But, a cursory review of the EPA’s report establishes that the report parallels the worst case scenario published by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Here is the graph (Figure 1) taken directly from the EPA report attempting to establish the terrible consequences of not dramatically cutting CO2 emissions.

Chart from EPA Report

Chart from EPA Report

Note the red line is what the EPA claims will happen if CO2 emissions are not dramatically cut. The blue line depicts the temperature rise if CO2 emissions are dramatically cut.

These predictions are based on EPA’s computer models.

The EPA claims that temperatures in 2100 will be 10 degrees F higher in 2100 than today.

This is obviously an extreme projection, one even the IPCC doesn’t make.

Here is the IPCC projection for the year 2100. While it’s in centigrade rather than fahrenheit, it’s obvious the IPCC makes no claim that the extreme temperature used by the EPA is at all likely. The EPA’s claim of 10 degree F higher temperatures in 2100 equates to the upper limit of the A1F1 scenario, something the IPCC didn’t even bother to chart.

IPCC Graph of Temperature Rise by Scenario

IPCC Graph of Temperature Rise by Scenario

The EPA is using outlandish projections, unsupported by science, in its attempt to scare people.

Unfortunately, the media, including publications such as Power Magazine, merely regurgitate the propaganda published by the EPA.

Unsurprisingly, the EPA report goes on to claim that there will be terrible consequences to health, water supply, droughts, rainfall, mortality rates and sea level rise if CO2 emissions aren’t dramatically cut.

Even the IPCC doesn’t make all these claims. For example, according to the latest IPCC report, sea level rise will be no greater than it has been over the past 100 years.

But the IPCC’s reports are also based on computer models that suffer from the same affliction as the EPA’s computer model, Garbage In, Garbage Out, (GIGO), the bane of all computer projections.

While the IPCC projects higher temperatures in the future from CO2 emissions, the models haven’t been able to predict reality.

IPCC Temperature Projections Compared with Observed Temperatures

IPCC Temperature Projections Compared with Observed Temperatures

This graph of IPCC model temperature projections through 2020, beginning with 1980, compares its projections with actually observed temperatures.

While all but the most conservative IPCC computer models show ever increasing temperatures, actual temperatures have remained steady and showed no warming over the past 18 years. No matter what caused this hiatus, the models didn’t predict it.

The IPCC models can’t predict reality.

Here is another graph of observed temperatures compared with IPCC temperatures from all 107 IPCC models at 97.5% and 95% confidence levels.

Temperature Charts by Michaels and Knappenberger, 2014

Temperature Charts by Michaels and Knappenberger, 2014

The colored dots are the observed temperatures from around the world from the Hadley temperature records. Virtually all the actual observed temperatures going back 30 years are below the 97.5% confidence level. In other words, the actual temperatures fall outside the range of predicted temperatures.

Going back approximately 60 years, all the observed temperatures are well below the average predicted by the IPCC models.

The only possible conclusion is that IPCC models fail to predict temperature.

The EPA not only uses models that can’t predict reality, they chose the most outlandish possibility on which to base their report that’s designed to scare people.

And the media doesn’t even question it.

The EPA is a propaganda organization par excellence.

* * * * * *

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 – 2015. 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.

New Clean Energy Movement

July 21, 2015

There is a new movement underway, and the countries leading the movement are the ones that have experienced the effects of so-called clean energy.

The UK is coming to grips with energy poverty and the backlash against unsightly and noisy wind turbines.

The UK government is scrapping its Renewables Obligation for onshore wind projects which have been supported with billions of dollars of government money.

The accompanying cartoon is based on the UK’s real experience with wind energy.

UK Wind Cartoon from B Peiser 15-07-12

In addition to the cut in subsidies for wind farms, the UK government has also abandoned its plans for zero carbon homes.

As reported in the Times by its environmental editor, “Builders will no longer be forced to install solar panels, heat pumps and other measures to reduce the need for new homes to use fossil fuels.”

“Zero carbon homes” was the UK equivalent to California’s zero net energy homes program that will cost California taxpayers millions of dollars.

In another country that has had firsthand experience with the Green movement and its push for so-called clean energy, the Australian government has cancelled all wind farm subsidies.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has been instructed to immediately stop any new investments in wind power projects. The CEFC is a $10 billion funding mechanism for clean energy projects.

The ban also includes funding for small solar projects, essentially PV rooftop solar projects.

These examples should be cautionary tales for the United States. These are countries that have had firsthand experience with so-called clean energy programs.

Sooner or later, the average person realizes these programs cost billions of dollars that come out of the pockets of working men and women.

It’s time for U.S. governments, at all levels, to stop subsidizing wind, solar, batteries and storage, and follow the lead of the UK and Australian governments.

 

* * * * * *

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 – 2015. 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.

Welcome to the Age of Natural Gas

July 17, 2015

“The United States possesses a total technically recoverable resource base of 2,515 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas as of year-end 2014.”

This is the highest resource evaluation by the Potential Gas Committee in its 50-year history.

The reserves would last over 100 years if new uses weren’t added to current uses.

An earlier article published the results of my analysis of whether new uses and export of natural gas would significantly diminish these reserves.

Here is the impact of major new uses.

If the U.S.:

  • Converts 50% of its coal power plants to NG it will use an additional 5.3 Tcf
  • Exports LNG from all proposed 19 terminals it will use an additional 10.4 Tcf
  • Converts 100% of long haul trucks to NG it will use an additional 7.3 Tcf

Including these annual additional uses results in the U.S. having a 50+ year supply of natural gas.

But this is a static picture of recoverable natural gas reserves.

It’s merely a snapshot in time.

Historically, recoverable reserves have increased yearly as the result of new technologies being used to extract oil and gas form the ground.

There is no reason to believe that this technological process will change in the future.

In fact, new fracking techniques are already increasing how much oil and natural gas can be extracted from any shale formation.

This will mean that recoverable reserves will increase each year into the future, for an unknown number of years.

It could easily mean we have natural gas reserves that will last beyond this century, probably for an additional one or two hundred years, and possibly for a 1,000 years.

Unquestionably, shale gas will be extracted from shale formations around the world, including Argentina, the UK and China.

And this is before we begin to extract natural gas from methane hydrates, which could provide natural gas for an additional thousand years for countries around the world.

Table 1 depicts the available methane hydrates on the U.S. outer continental shelf (OCS), which is a fraction of methane hydrates available worldwide.

Methane Hydrates on US OCS

Region

In-place Gas Hydrate Resources

Atlantic OCS

21,702 Tcf

Gulf of Mexico OCS

21,444 Tcf

West Coast OCS

  8,192 Tcf

Total

51,338 Tcf

From Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

 

The age of coal will not immediately go away. Huge reserves of cheap coal remain in many countries, including Indonesia, India and China. Worldwide usage of energy sources is forecast in Figure 5 of the EIA International Energy Outlook.

Graph from EIA, 2013

Graph from EIA, 2013

 

On their current trajectories, natural gas will surpass the use of coal this century.

Natural gas is clean, has virtually no negative health effects, and will become cheaper as the shale revolution grows.

Expensive and unreliable wind and solar will be eclipsed by natural gas.

The world will benefit, and the poorest people in the poorest of countries will benefit from the age of natural gas.

 

* * * * * *

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 – 2015. 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.

Battery Car Sales First Half Report

July 14, 2015

The sale of PHEVs and EVs remained a mixed bag in the second quarter of 2015.

US Sales of Electric Vehicles, Including HEVs 2015

Month Hybrid (HEVs) PHEVs & Extended Range Vehicles Battery (BEVs) Total PHEV& EV
January

25,312

2,113

3,977

6,090

February

27,038

2,589

4,435

7,024

March

33,655

3,020

5,715

8,735

Total 1Q

86,005

7,722

14,127

21,849

Total 1Q 2014

101,436

11,249

10,873

22,122

% change

(15.21%)

(31.35%)

29.93%

(1.23%)

April

31,694

3,646

6,037

9,683

May

40,257

4,416

7,057

11,473

June

32,330

3,409

6,975

10,384

Total 2Q 2015

104,281

11,471

20,069

31,540

Total 2Q 2014

130,882

17,880

14,971

32,851

% change

(20.32%)

(35.84%)

34.05%

(3.99%)

6 MOS 2015

190,286

19,193

34,196

6 MOS 2014

232,318

29,129

25,844

% change

(18.09%)

(34.11%)

32.32%

 

The drop in PHEV sales has persisted so far in 2015, with PHEV sales 34% below 2014.

What may be surprising is the drop in HEV sales of 18% year to date, compared with 2014, with sales dropping more in the second quarter than in the first. This may reflect lower gasoline prices, which would prove once again that Americans prefer larger vehicles.

BEV sales have increased 32.32% year to date, compared with 2014.

Percentage wise, the increase in BEV sales is substantial, but the total volume is insignificant when compared with the sale of all light vehicles, with BEVs still below 1/2 of 1% of total light vehicle sales.

As mentioned in previous articles, some commentators attempt to disguise the failure of PHEVs and BEVs by combining HEVs, EVs and PHEVs when describing electric vehicles. (HEVs are hybrids, similar to the Prius, that can’t use battery power for more than a short distance, and do not recharge their batteries from the grid.)

This distorts the actual market penetration of cars that rely on battery power, either exclusively, such as the Tesla, an EV, or PHEVs for commuting distances, such as the GM Volt.

It’s clear, at this point, that EVs are for the rich and famous, and not for ordinary drivers.

Tesla

Tesla

It’s still very much a question whether Tesla, or any other manufacturer, can produce a car for under $35,000 that will appeal to the average driver.

Both GM, with the Bolt, and Tesla with its model 3, indicate they will begin selling EVs at around $35,000 later this year.

It will be interesting to see whether they can achieve significant sales.

Thus far, a great deal of taxpayer money has been spent on subsidies for EVs and PHEVs.

Thus far, the ordinary taxpayer hasn’t reaped any benefits.

 

 

Note: Data from Electric Drive Transportation Association.

* * * * * *

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 – 2015. 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 Grid is Essential for America’s Well Being

July 10, 2015

A number of my articles have pointed out that the grid is essential and worth saving.

For example, wind energy cannot transmit electricity without the grid. There also isn’t enough rooftop space in cities for PV rooftop installations to provide city residents with the electricity they need.

Now, with information from Energy Matters, by Roger Andrews, it’s clear that the U.S. grid is absolutely essential, and everything must be done to save it from the actions of extreme environmentalists.

Mr. Andrews analyses demonstrate that PV rooftop solar will not allow, with any reasonable assumptions regarding cost, homeowners to go off grid, except in the Southern states.

In other words, we MUST keep the grid.

In examining his analyses, I found the logic and assumptions, except as noted, to be sound.

His analyses [See note below for link] examined PV rooftop solar using batteries, and, alternatively, he examined using oversized PV rooftop systems without batteries to allow the homeowners to go off the grid.

Here is how Mr. Andrews describes the oversized system: “Over design the system so that it’s large enough to fill demand in winter when solar output is at a minimum and simply curtail the excess power generated in summer.”

The analyses covered latitudes 20, 40 and 50 degrees north latitude, which includes all of Cuba, all of the United States and Southern Canada. He assumed annual consumption of 5,000 kWh, while actual annual average consumption by homeowners in the United States is 10,908 kWh. or twice the amount used by Mr. Andrews in his analyses.

So as not to distort any of Mr. Andrews’ conclusions or calculations, all of the following data is taken from his analyses. It should be noted, however, that the areas required for installing PV rooftop systems and the weight of batteries has been doubled to reflect the larger average consumption in the United States.

His analysis of an oversized system without battery backup includes a natural gas generator as backup, as there will be times when the rooftop system cannot provide the needed electricity.

U.S. Map with Latitudes Courtesy of Enchanted Learning

U.S. Map with Latitudes Courtesy of Enchanted Learning

Alternative 1: Using Batteries:

It’s immediately clear that installing batteries to achieve grid independence is irrational.

The cost is prohibitive and the weights involved are too great for any normal residential house to accommodate. Even if Powerwall batteries can become twice as efficient, which isn’y likely in the near future, batteries will continue to be unsuitable for allowing homeowners to go off the grid.

Table 1

Battery Backup

Degrees North Latitude

Cost

Battery weight in tons (1)

20

$117,000

6

40

$253,000

14

50

$550,000

30

(1)  Weight adjusted for actual annual usage by average US home

 

Alternative 2: Using oversized installations:

By building oversized PV rooftop installations, it may be possible for homeowners to become grid independent in the Southern states.

It should be noted that above 40 degrees north latitude, the area required for an oversized PV rooftop system may be too great for the average home size. A typical 2,000-sq.-foot ranch style home will only have half the rooftop area available for the PV system, or 1,000-sq.-feet of roof area, with the other half facing in the wrong direction. A large, 3,000-sq.-foot two story home will have a roof area of 750 sq. feet available for installing a PV rooftop system.

Table 2

Oversized system

Degrees North Latitude

Cost

Percentage curtailed

Area required in sq ft (1)

20

$24,000

10%

536

40

$32,000

33%

802

50

$58,000

57%

1,738

(1)  Area adjusted to reflect actual annual usage by average U.S. home

 

Note that the roof must face due south or it will not generate the anticipated amount of electricity. If the PV rooftop system faces east or west, the amount generated can be cut by as much as 25%. (Alternatively, the PV rooftop system size and area must be increased by 25%.)

Table 2 shows that large amounts of electricity are wasted.

  • One-third of the electricity generated in homes located at 40 degrees north latitude will be curtailed, or dumped.

While it may be possible for some people living in the southern tier of states from Florida to Arizona, to install oversized PV rooftop systems to become grid independent, it’s not likely many would spend the money to do so.

There are two, possibly three, conclusions that can be drawn from these analyses:

  1. Only a fraction of the population of the United States can become grid independent, which confirms that the grid is essential to the functioning of the United States. Policies that undermine the grid, such as subsidies for solar installations and renewable portfolio standards, are destructive to the well being of Americans.
  2. The glib pronouncements by EIon Musk that the Powerwall battery can allow people to become grid independent are unrealistic. In essence, he was grandstanding for the sake of publicity.

And possibly a third:

3. Europe, most of which lies above 40 degrees north latitude, is wasting billions of dollars in their efforts to cut CO2 emissions.

 

 

Link to analysis: at http://bit.ly/1T4UGqK

 

* * * * *

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 – 2015. 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.

A California Cancer is Spreading

July 7, 2015

The UNFCCC COP 21 meeting in Paris this coming December is designed to establish an agreement whereby:

(1) Developed nations, including the United States, agree to dramatically cut CO2 emissions, and

(2) An annual $100 billion development fund is established where developed countries, including the United States, pay into the fund, and the fund administrators dispense money from the fund to undeveloped nations, including China and India, so they can mitigate the effects of climate change.

The Obama administration is working hard to convince Americans this is a good idea. It is using the regulations established by the EPA to demonstrate to other countries that the United States is serious about cutting CO2 emissions and is seriously interested in establishing such an agreement.

Since the United States Senate ratified the UNFCCC treaty in 1992, and it was signed into law by President Bush, we are more or less bound to adhere to the outcome of any COP meeting.

COP is the acronym for the Council of Parties, the governing body of the UNFCCC which is comprised of 195 countries who are signatories to the UNFCCC treaty. Each country has one vote, so the United States stands at the mercy of all other countries, including those that are fundamentally opposed to the United States, such as Iran, Venezuela and North Korea.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, made it very clear that any agreement made in Paris is actually an agreement to change the economic system of the world, not merely cut CO2 emissions, when she said:

“This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history.” (Emphasis added.)

The world’s economic model is based on capitalism.

And Naomi Klein said, “Forget everything you think you know about global warming. It’s not about carbon — it’s about capitalism.”

Many believe that as long as the Senate is controlled by Republicans, programs agreed to in Paris by the UNFCCC can’t be implemented.

Unfortunately, that is a naive view contrary to what is already happening in the United States.

First, the president can, and has, issued executive orders, and implemented regulations, primarily through the EPA, requiring the adoption of actions to cut CO2 emissions.

Second, what happens in California doesn’t stay in California. There exists a strategy underway today, an infiltration or co-opting strategy, that bypasses Congress. Its intent is to have other states adopt regulations similar to those adopted by California, such as cap & trade, and renewable portfolio standards mandating the use of wind and solar generated electricity.

There is, therefore, a movement already in place to force Americans to comply with regulations that result in the reduction of CO2 emissions. It’s not necessary for Congress to act.

This point was made clear by Tiffany Roberts, a person who has worked in California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office, where she authored reports on traditional and alternative energy policies and California’s cap-and-trade program, when she spoke at the recent Tenth International Conference on Climate Change in Washington DC.

California Cap & Trade

California Cap & Trade

Ms. Roberts pointed out that most people in California do not know they are subject to a cap & trade program that is increasing their costs for electricity and everything that uses electricity to produce the final product or service.

This picture, and additional comments from Ms. Roberts presentation, shows the pervasiveness of the cap & trade legislation and how it even affects companies outside California. She said there are 650 California companies subject to cap & trade, which covers 85% of California’s economy.

California’s recent eleventh cap & trade auction brought in around $1 billion, all of which had to eventually come out of the pockets of ordinary citizens. It’s estimated that cap & trade revenue will be over $2 billion in 2020, which will also come from ordinary citizens.

Unfortunately, it’s people at the lower end of the economic ladder who will be hurt the most, because they use a disproportionate amount of their income on basics, such as gasoline, electricity and food.

But the California cancer is spreading.

A similar cap & trade program has been established in New England covering 9 states.
Renewable portfolio standards have been established in 30 states.

The intent is to bypass Congress and go from state to state to implement programs that would meet the CO2 reduction objectives to be spelled out in the forthcoming Paris UNFCCC agreement.

* * * * * *

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 – 2015. 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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 375 other followers