A concept that has been percolating into debates over the feasibility or desirability of moving to an all-renewables, no/low carbon energy supply system is the ceiling on what percentage share of our total energy supply we can take from variable renewables. At The Energy Collective, in the second of a two part May 2015 series on Wind and Solar energy, Jesse Jenkins looked at the question of Is There An Upper Limit To Variable Renewables?. Now, as the Sunday Train has covered many times, there is an upper limit, and so an all-renewable no/low carbon energy system requires dispatchable renewables as well as variable renewables ... and all cost-optimizing models of all-renewable energy systems that I have seen confirm this.
However, Jesse Jenkins proceeded to mis-characterize the policy question at hand, when he wrote:
First, as a growing body of scholarship concludes, the marginal value of variable renewable energy to the grid declines as the penetration rises.
Indeed, where renewable energy earns its keep in the energy market — and is not supported outside the market by feed-in tariffs — the revenues wind or solar earn in electricity markets decline steadily as their market share grows.
Well, not so fast. There is a fundamental flaw in the assumptions behind this claim. It turns out that kind of market situations that allow market prices to measure a resource's "ability to earn its keep" quite clearly exclude this particular situation he is talking about.
So it makes a difference how markets are put together, which is what this week's Sunday Train takes a look at. Read more about Sunday Train: Hobbling & Liberating Renewables with Markets
And so our first season as professional bee wranglers comes to a close. Actually, we now wrangle bees and farm our small holding in Western Washington full time. I believe technically we are now officially bumpkins. Read more about Bee wrangling and so on
On reading this bit
But in setting up non-nationals as parasites, as a burden, as usurpers of national resources, and so on, European governments and their loyal media are generating a dangerous political fantasy.
from Jacobin's piece on Europe's migrant crisis, my reaction was "well, yes, but they also treat their own nationals as 'parasites and a burden' if they happen to be on welfare," and then it hit me. Read more about A Modest Proposal, 2015
1) Kim Davis was well aware that her job might require her to issue marriage licenses to gay people before she was elected and took her oath of office Read more about Two Notes on the Rowan County Marriage Controversy
There is an ongoing general discussion in the field of sustainable energy that does not carry the risk of the destruction of our current industrial society and economy about variable renewable energy.
Renewable energy includes a range of low or no carbon sources of energy - but not all renewable energy is sustainable, and not all is low or no carbon. And not all low or no carbon energy sources are from renewable energy resources.
Among the sustainable, no/low carbon renewable energy resources, the most abundant involve the harvest of variable renewable energy, with windpower and solar PV being the most notable. So one obvious strategy for a no-carbon-emitting energy system is to base it on collecting as much of these affordable variable renewables as practicable, and then use other no/low carbon sources to fill in the gaps.
However, in some quarters, this elicits a counter-argument. The most "successfully de-carbonized" economies of the world today are either those with a very high reliance on reservoir hydropower ... which while very useful in the United States offers nowhere near a large enough economic resource to meet any large fraction of our current consumption ... or those with a very high reliance on nuclear power.
Indeed, near the beginning of this month, Stephen Lacy briefly reported on a report from the Breakthrough Institute that raised an alarm that the new Clean Power Plan may in fact oversee a net increase in GHG emissions. The final plan does not include measures to avoid the decommissioning of substantial numbers of nuclear power plants. And the numbers are stark:
- The 30 nuclear plants at risk by 2030 avoid over 100 MMT of CO2 emissions
- New non-hydropower renewables are expected to avoid 60 MMT of CO2 emissions by 2030
- New nuclear plants under construction are expected to avoid under 30 MMT of CO2 by 2030
So where retention of those 30 nuclear power plants would find us over 80 MMT of avoided CO2 ahead, and in a position to accelerate that in the following decade ... their closure could leave us over 10 MMT below where we are now. Read more about Sunday Train: Can Nuclear and Renewable Energy Be Friends?
In an interview on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Sanders indicated that he would limit the use of drones so that they do not end up killing innocent people abroad, but declined to say that he would end the targeted killing campaign completely.
“I think we have to use drones very, very selectively and effectively. That has not always been the case,” Sanders said.
A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Hillary Clinton coasting to a crushing victory in a three-way race against Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, winning 45 percent of the vote, compared with 22 for Sanders and 18 for Biden.
And the good news for Clinton doesn't stop there.
Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) will hold a press conference Thursday morning to outline her new agenda to reduce crime in the city — and Black Lives Matter organizers will be there to say her approach is wrong.
The senior US Senator from Illinois privately emailed University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Phyllis Wise to offer his backing as she faced a storm of protest over the firing of Steven Salaita.