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  1. I don’t understand the economic metric: “Mitigates an additional $75 billion per hour cost associated with more frequent power supply outages”

    1. @Don

      I’d have to review the original study again, but I believe it’s referring to the estimated hourly cost of a complete blackout in U.S. Regional or local blackouts would have a lower cost per hour.

      1. I reviewed the original study. It is neither defined, nor derived. The value just appears as a summary bullet. $75 billion per hour for a complete U.S. blackout is a meaningless metric. It would only make sense at a regional level such as New England or PJM where there are real possibilities of seasonal spot shortages from natural or man-made hazards. It would seem that the metric should be benchmarked against, say, the 2003 Northeast Blackout.

  2. This was no surprise at all.  The really interesting thing is the ruinables explicitly getting into bed with the natural gas interests.  They’re now completely exposed as greenwashers.

  3. No one is making any money at today’s electricity prices, but wind, solar and natural gas …

    It all depends on what you mean by “no one” or “making any money,” but this reader has a difficult time getting past this kind of unsupported statement, which looks blatantly false. Google finance sorts of energy sector by Annual Net Income gives about 12 pages with negative results, and about 10 pages with positive Annual Net Income. Sorts for Electric Utilities gives 3 pages in the black, and only a half page in the red. Companies are making money, especially electric utilities.

    > methane … is almost as difficult to store as electricity
    > Here is a graph of the monthly variation in natural gas prices for the past 20 years at the most commonly cited trading point in the U.S.[showing large gas, not electricity, price variations]

    Am I the only one who sees these natural (gas, and oil, coal, and uranium) supply/demand price variations as being similar to the natural variations in wind and solar supply (at earth surface)? Natural phenomena we should be adapting to by now.

    > It appears that consumers should align with those who are attempting to maintain numerous supply options in the electricity market.

    Real flex-fuel options would be a great start, but how do we push a transition from the fake flex-fuels we have now, to something more similar to those seen in Pump (2014)? How about a system to allow easy hookup and credit for PV at homes, without expensive paperwork designed to delay and add cost? Yes, we should align, but in more ways than you would probably like.

  4. Does someone here have some history of how prices rose during the 2014 Polar Vortex ? Wasn’t there also some peaks in price more recently ? I would like to have some specific reference to point people who claims this is unneeded and will just increase prices to. I know I saw some of that at the price, but it’s not really easy to find back.

  5. It appears that Southeast Asia is doubling their use and dependency on coal. http://www.powermag.com/iea-says-southeast-asia-will-keep-coal-demand-high/

    Strange that I keep hearing that Renewables are cheaper.

    Also, “Fuel cost can represent 75-90% of the total cost of operating a natural gas power plant.” Forgotten in the description of the “Cost” of generating and delivering power is TAXES!

    Look at your local electric utility Annual Report. Look at the percentage of taxes, federal, state, city, local, etc that they are paying. And those taxes are reflected in the number given as the value used for determining how much the power you are buying is. below that value on every energy bill I have ever gotten in 7 different states is a line for state taxes on the amount purchased. Typically about 7%. I have calculated the amount of taxes I pay by using the percentage of taxes paid in the annual Report for the taxes hidden in the cost of power/delivery and then adding the extra 7% taxes added on top of that number. both times it worked out that over 50% of what I am paying for electricity goes to Federal, state and local taxes. Even if the utilities came up with a super computer “smart” grid of solar/wind and hydro such that the cost of fuel was FREE, your electric bill will be larger than it is now.

  6. I keep asking the following question, in dozens of article comments I’ve made:

    How can it be that these coal and nuclear subsidies constitute an “unacceptable”, perhaps even illegal, intervention in the market, that will “destroy competition”, or “blow up” or “unravel” the wholesale power markets, whereas the heavy subsidies and outright mandates for the use of intermittent renewable sources are not an unacceptable market intervention?

    I have yet to receive an answer.

    California has a 50% mandate for renewables, and is considering 100%!! Such policies don’t merely affect competition, they call the competition off entirely and declare renewables the winner. Also, due to intermittency, CA’s renewables mandates are having and will have an enormous impact on the electricity markets in neighboring states.

    Clearly those policies are much larger market interventions, and yet all these “experts” (PJM, etc..) seem to have no problems with them. Not a peep. Given this, I find it impossible to believe that their arguments are objective or genuine. Until and unless I get an answer, I will have to conclude that all of these people had certain outcomes (gas and renewables) in mind, and are throwing a tantrum at the notion of having policies change direction. They’ve spent a decade or more rigging the market to favor those outcomes, and now their work may be undone.

    If this idea goes down, the nuclear industry should seriously consider a legal challenge to state renewables mandates, especially if legal arguments or challenges are used to bring it (Perry’s policy) down. Who knows, could be a good thing. It could set a legal precedent against large market interventions solely intended to ensure the use of politically-chosen pet energy sources. Ideally, the legal precedent would only allow the application of genuine, tangible external costs, e.g., a carbon tax, which then let the market decide how to respond.

  7. “Energy business observers” claim to be surprised that gas and renewables interests are joining to oppose this policy? They can’t be serious.

    Even if someone doesn’t grasp how the forced addition of intermittent renewables actually helps gas generation (as it causes “inflexible” coal and nuclear generation to be replaced by “flexible” gas generation), they should still be able to understand why both gas and renewables interests oppose this. It’s simple. These policies would help coal and nuclear, i.e., sources other than gas and other than renewables. Nobody supports subsidies for different sources, i.e., competitors. Gas and renewables don’t have to like each other for both of them to oppose subsidies for coal and nuclear. (Of course, we know that they DO like each other!)

    No, they’re smarter than that. They’re not surprised at all. They are engaging in propaganda techniques. It’s all part of a narrative, that this policy is so bad that a diverse array of interests, including two industries that are “enemies”, are joining together in opposition. Makes for a compelling story……

  8. “If this idea goes down, the nuclear industry should seriously consider a legal challenge to state renewables mandates, especially if legal arguments or challenges are used to bring it (Perry’s policy) down”

    Maybe it is time it is challenged,…period. Would you buy a car that doesn’t run when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining? How about a computer? Would you go to the doctor to be made intermittently well?

    A great fuss is being made by FERC about the security of our power system. It seems like these giant spinning windmills and the solar panels make a pretty easy target for even a World War 1 airplane.

    Let the buyer beware and these days with a surplus of information, it is very difficult for common sense to shine through. I could continue on this topic with single payer health care, but that doesn’t belong here.

  9. Any moment now in the ‘news’: the proposed 90-day ruling is ‘nothing’ but Trump’s ‘fat cat payback of his campaign promise to coal’. It will be structured in the same way as the Russia collusion juggernaut, a relentless barrage with allegations of cheap political graft by a thuggish corrupt politician. Some will toss their heads to add, ‘nuclear’ but not so often.

    The faux-environmentalist narrative requires that base load nuclear be scarcely ever mentioned. Too many people are starting to consider and admire it earnestly. The press must be proactive in disenfranchising nuclear even if it takes them off-topic, which means for example to have a handy segue or sidebar ready to conflate it with some past disaster, leak or cost overrun.

    What if during a routine newscast delivering market stats on oil and gas, the announcer would stop suddenly — and serve up vignettes with dramatic footage of past refinery explosions, fiery train derailments and well blowouts? The same clips and graphics day after day? The audience would become irritated, easily perceiving that a ruse was in play. Yet it happens with nuclear.

    This is war. What Trump clumsily calls “fake news” I call “news with claws out”. The battle lines are just as I predicted in previous posts. Ironically coal will survive, it isn’t at risk because there will be no irrevocable shutdowns or greenfield decommissioning imposed. For nuclear this is your last battle. What people mistake for blustery bravado in Trump is the only effective way to stand up to bullies. Time to get mad.

    I lost my temper awhile back.

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