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California – so advanced they can keep the lights on quite a lot of the time

California Map.In LA temperatures are forecast to reach as high as 32C (90F) on Monday and 36C (97F) on Wednesday. (They call this a heatwave?) But gas is running so short that Californians are being asked to turn off non-essential lights and not use their biggest appliances from 5pm to 9pm.

Welcome to the future, where you need to plan ahead to run your washing machine or oven.

Back in the dark ages when we had coal plants, we just switched these things on hither, thither…

California power grid urges consumers to conserve energy in heat wave

(Reuters) – California’s power grid operator on Monday issued an alert to homes and businesses to conserve electricity on Tuesday and Wednesday when a heat wave is expected to blanket the state.

SoCalGas issued a gas curtailment watch on Monday, notifying customers to be prepared to reduce gas use if needed…  the watch would remain in effect until further notice.

The ISO said consumers “can help avoid power interruptions” by turning off all unnecessary lights, using major appliances before 5 p.m. and after 9 p.m., and setting air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher.

By 2020 California may get as much as 33% of its energy from renewables (they are not far behind South Australia). Indeed, the solar sector is on “fire” producing as much as 50% of total demand on at least one day at 1pm last year. Luckily, to get solar to peak at 7pm when it would be useful, they just need to legislate a plus-six-hour daylight savings plan, or keep the same time-zone and move California 90 degrees West.

If they adopt UTC-2 (instead of UTC-8) Californians will be three hours ahead of New York and share time zones with the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and pretty much no one else.) It’s a small price to pay to save the planet.

h/t Drudge Report

Wikimedia: Map adapted from USA Geographic. US Department of Interior

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75 comments to California – so advanced they can keep the lights on quite a lot of the time

  • #
    ivan

    Oh dear, it sounds as if sales of diesel and petrol generators will rise in proportion to peoples needs. At least that would solve the lack of power due to unreliables.

    210

    • #
      Peter C

      I have been thinking about it. Go off grid and generate my own power, possibly using a gas fired turbine generator.

      Unfortunately gas prices are rising so the plan has been suspended.

      120

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Better idea would be to buy a wood fired BBQ and a kerosene powered fridge.

        Hot meat. Cold beer.

        Just like the “50s.

        250

        • #

          Thanks to our last experience with Democrat controlled power follies (Gov. Gray “out” Davis who was recalled…), I already have a nice Honda Generator. I also have a very good propane BBQ / oven, a Kerosene stove & oven (camp style), unleaded and kerosene lighting (Coleman lanterns and wick lamps), and a few camping stoves that run on just about any fuel available (butane, propane, alcohols, gasoline…)

          I’m pretty much prepared for whatever comes these days.

          Now the interesting thing is I’d thought of getting a Diesel generator. There’s an odd metric that works in US units. The price of Diesel fuel in US Gallons, with the decimal point moved one to the left, is roughly the cost per kW-hr of electricity it makes. With Diesel presently at about $3.87 / gallon, that’s 38 ¢ / kW-hr. Present PG&E (electric company – Pacific Gas & Electric) tariff is 19 ¢/kW-hr for “lifeline” but when you go over that trivial amount, it is 39 ¢/kW-hr. So it is just about break even on fuel costs. That is retail price with road tax included.

          The PUC (Public Utility Commission) is working on a new 50 ¢ tariff …

          Lsst time I installed a computer center for a company they also installed large natural gas co-generation facilities. Essentially they have a giant gas heater that also makes electricity. They can choose to use PG&E power, or not. Our local school installed a Capstone Micro-turbine of 30 kW size for similar reasons. It’s the “swimming pool heater” but also supplies electrons…

          So yes, we Californians are adapting to the stupidity of our “leaders” with increasing levels of DIY power: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/diy-power-and-load-leveling/

          I carry one of these at all times: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/minimalist-emergency-power/

          I also have a lot of stove links. Bottom line is that butane / propane / LPG work best in general and don’t cost that much. For minimal cost, gasoline stoves are better (given US gas prices) but are more fussy to operate and have a ‘smell’ after shutdown (not much but a bit of un-burned gas odor). Kerosene is a good 1/2 way between them. I use a Trangia camp stove for my morning coffee running on alcohol as it is clean, easy, cheap, and convenient.

          https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2018/04/24/gallon-of-electricity/

          Yeah, Welcome to California – Land of Fruits & Nuts. (Unfortunately, too many of them in politics and screwing around with the electric supply).

          330

          • #
            Leonard Lane

            E.M. Smith. This is so sad. I remember in the 50s-70s California led the nation in value of agriculture, the best schools, colleges, and universities. They were also known to have the best water supply system, best roads and highways,
            best Highway Patrol, best police, most advanced science, aircraft development and manufacturing, best navy , army, and air force facilities, best zoo, and Disneyland, Hollywood, etc.. Other states saw California and tried to follow them to improve their states.
            Then the leftists took over political power, the school and university systems started to drastically decline, as did everything else. As we consider these things, we wonder if California can ever return to its previous levels of greatness. It will be impossible unless they elect conservative Republicans to make California great again. As of now, things look bleak.

            240

            • #
              Greg Cavanagh

              Ah yes, the California Bearing Ratio, or CBR. The soil test for compaction developed by the California Highway Authority now being used around the world. I didn’t know about the rest, but it does follow that Disney would be developed in the best place possible.

              30

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              I’ve always considered Leftists as seagulls – they squark and shriek, tear things apart in search of an easy meal, and leave the remains of anything good stripped to its bones everything and covered in guano….

              If you’ve ever left a bag of chips on a beach unattended, you have the image….

              My mother in law call Leftists “cockraoches”…her words not mine…

              90

          • #
            John Trigge

            Sounds like the ratings for ‘Doomsday Preppers’ should be improving?

            10

          • #

            If you can get red diesel, there’s no road tax.

            00

        • #
          Hivemind

          “…and a kerosene powered fridge.”

          My grandfather had a kerosene powered fridge. This is just like all “green” policies. Their real purpose is to push everyone back into the dark ages.

          30

      • #
        nc

        How does one go off grid when everything they posses was produced on grid?

        50

        • #
          yarpos

          just dont connect to the grid, doesnt mean it ceases to exist or cant keep producing things you may selectively want. Its a personal choice not an all or nothing global choice.

          21

      • #
        Roger

        Keep a lot of chickens and generate your own methane !!

        That was one of the ways people kept vehicles running in England during WW2. So why not revert to it as World War Green intensifies

        60

  • #
    NB

    Hilarious.
    Great to see the Californian electorate making other US states look so attractive.

    270

  • #

    If the gas runs out, California pension funds burn very well. And fast.

    150

  • #
    mmxx

    Could CA state governor “Moonbeam” Brown be following a dreamy plan to save the planet by legalising moonshine along with other substances already OKed to keep voters minds in a mist?

    90

  • #
    Robber

    They voted for these pathetic pollie policies – let them eat their cake with the lights out. But I’m sure Elon Musk will come to the rescue. “Tesla’s project has a capacity of 20 megawatts and is designed to discharge 80-megawatt hours of electricity in four-hour periods. It contains enough batteries to run about 1,000 Tesla cars, and the equivalent energy to supply power to 15,000 homes for four hours. The company declined to disclose the project’s cost.” Tesla has also announced a proposal for its largest energy storage project date, a power plant in California that will be capable of producing “up to 1.1 GWh” in the California desert.
    As coal has dropped, natural gas has risen. It’s the largest single source of power generation in California. In 2005, natural gas made up 48 percent of in-state electric generation.
    In the most recent figures from the California Energy Commission, or CEC, the number has jumped to 61 percent.
    California leads the nation in electricity generation from non-hydroelectric renewable energy sources, including geothermal power, wind power, and solar power. Geothermal provides 6%, hydro 3%, solar 12% and wind 6%.
    California imports about a quarter of its electricity on average. As much as half of Southern California’s electric generation comes from coal-fired generating plants in Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona.
    Average Retail Price of Electricity to Residential Sector, March 2018 (US cents/kWh)
    Hawaii 31.21 (ranked #1)
    Massachusetts 22.34
    Alaska 21.61
    Connecticut 21.44
    New York 18.00
    California 16.08 (ranked #9)
    Arizona 13.09
    Texas 11.65
    Idaho 10.13
    Washington 9.74 (ranked #51)

    40

  • #
    Serge Wright

    “they just need to legislate a plus-six-hour daylight savings plan…”

    Jo, think before you write !!!
    Putting such ideas in the heads of the green zealots running the asylum, will result in policy reality.
    I enjoy going to sleep in the dark ;)

    130

  • #
    yarpos

    32-36C in summer,in LA should be business as usual. Hardly emergency measures material.

    111

  • #
    ROM

    The killer re high temperatures in California is the humidity.

    Just looking at the Darkskynet forecasts as well as their past temperatures in Pasadena and today [ conversions to "C" & KPH top right ] Tuesday 24th California time see that at around 2pm , the temp will be around 34C and a relative humidity of 65%.
    2 pm Wind is forecast @ 12- 13 kph.

    All in all a moderately uncomfortable day with that 65% relative humidity and 34C and not much wind which drops off later.
    .

    Wednesday 25 th in Pasadena is forecast to reach 37C at 2 pm with a relative humidity of 28% and a wind speed of about 12 KPH
    .

    Pasadena is ten miles [ 16 kms ] NE of down town LA.
    .

    I have noted here and elsewhere that comments on high temperatures elsewhere in the world rarely give any reference to the relative humidty data that is current at the same time period that the comments refer to.

    A dry low humidity heat, below 20% RH in the latter part of the 30C’s can be quite acceptable.

    Once we get into the 40C’s and a RH down close to the 10% or below and I have seen that, we really are living in really dangerous times fire wise down here in the SE of Oz as any wild fire breaking out can and usually does become rather catastrophic.

    And it is bloody hot for both man and dog in such temperatures and with such low RH’s to go with those 40C plus temperatures.

    Darwin currently has a temperature of 23.8C RH of 78% which makes for a relatively comfortable night , it being the dry season up there. [ per Weatherzone ]

    80

  • #
    pat

    Robber might be right – Elon to the rescue:

    23 Jul: ClimateChangeNews: Elon Musk’s disaster capitalism
    By Soila Apparicio
    Following the devastation of October 2017’s Hurricane Maria, Musk responded by sending Tesla power battery packs to help resolve national power outages across Puerto Rico…
    He helped restore power in Alabama, USA in 2010 after Hurricane Katrina by donating a 25-kilowatt solar power system to the relief efforts, and similarly in Fukushima, Japan a year later following the tsunami…

    Perhaps his boldest and most audacious crisis intervention came after power was knocked out by a storm across the entire state of South Australia in 2016. As Australia’s right-wing commentariat blamed the government’s pro-renewable stance for the blackouts, Musk threw himself into the political fight, tweeting that Tesla would build the world’s biggest battery in 100 days “or it is free”…

    South Australia’s government took the bet and Musk came through. Tesla’s 100MW battery system brought power to more than 30,000 homes and has kept the South Australian power grid online when coal stations have crashed…
    These high tech airdrops demonstrate the success of renewable power technology in crisis relief efforts…

    Among his fans, Musk’s reputation is that of a ubiquitous global saviour. His offers of help (see above) are often prompted by admirers on social media calling on him to turn his hand to the crisis of the day…
    But Unsworth’s comments, which named up the more self-serving aspects of Musk’s Thai offer, evidently stung the billionaire. His mixture of business strategy, viral marketing and idealism is a high wire act. When it goes wrong, it can look cynical and the social media tools Musk uses to such advantage can quickly turn against him…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/07/23/elon-musks-disaster-capitalism/

    110

    • #
      snedly arkus

      Musk is no savior as he uses these money losing, for Musk, projects to enhance his undeserved reputation as a genius. In the Australia project Musk made his it’s done on time or it’s free PR splash after the project was mostly finished and the outcome was not in doubt. Musk was only a part of the project but as usual his words made it sound like he did the whole thing. Also that battery would supply SA with electricity for around 1 minute which the article does not mention as it cherry picks to make Musk a genius and savior. The article quoted is full of half truths as a glowing Musk tribute. Like the reference to the saviors Puerto Rico adventure where it plays up Musk made a huge contribution but it wasn’t. Musk played it for huge PR though. All of the companies under Musk’s umbrella are having severe financial and operational problems and yet this “genius” is wasting his time on money losing stunts for the PR, to enhance his reputation as a genius, as his charges are headed toward bankruptcy.

      110

    • #
      yarpos

      “Tesla’s 100MW battery system brought power to more than 30,000 homes and has kept the South Australian power grid online when coal stations have crashed…”

      Wow! they really are in an alternate universe arent they??

      Powered 30,000 homes
      Keeping the grid online….. and only needed because they destroyed their stable supply and created the problem in the first place
      Crashing power plant, well yes they are only machines but they dont go away on a daily or weekly basis or fail to produce at all

      00

  • #
    Mark M

    Wait.

    Isn’t the renewable energy supposed to prevent the heat waves?

    For decades it has been clear that a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is critical to protecting Australia from worsening extreme weather.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/28/from-angry-summer-to-weird-winter-2017-was-riddled-with-extreme-weather

    81

  • #
    pat

    behind paywall:

    24 Jul: UK Times: Emily Gosden: Charge cars off peak for lower bills, says Ofgem
    People will have to pay higher energy bills if they insist on charging their electric vehicles at peak times such as early evening, the regulator has said.
    Ofgem said that it would introduce reforms so that by 2022-23 households that placed greater demands on electricity networks had to foot more of the bill for the upgrades that were needed as a result.

    The government wants to encourage the switch to electric vehicles and has set out plans to phase out the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars to cut carbon emissions and pollution.
    However, Ofgem is concerned that if too many drivers charge their electric vehicles at the same time, it will significantly increase electricity demand, resulting in the need for more power plants and costly upgrades to cabling infrastructure. Ofgem wants to encourage “flexible charging”, so that cars can be programmed to charge up when there is excess wind or solar power being generated, such as on sunny afternoons.
    Drivers would avoid placing extra strain on the grid “by shifting charging to times when there is also sufficient network capacity”. This is likely to mean not charging during the “teatime peak” between 5pm and 7pm…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/charge-cars-off-peak-for-lower-bills-says-ofgem-fb6797000

    and if there are more weird wind droughts!

    24 Jul: UK Times: Emily Gosden: Wind power set to double by 2030 under new plans
    Claire Perry, the energy minister, yesterday committed the government to holding competitions to award subsidy contracts to new offshore wind projects every two years from 2019.
    She reiterated a previous commitment that the subsidy payments, funded through charges on consumer energy bills, would total up to £557 million a year to the wind farm owners.

    This could result in “one to two gigawatts of new offshore wind every year in the 2020s, powering millions more homes a year”, she said.
    The government has backed offshore wind to help to meet climate change targets by cutting carbon emissions. Offshore turbines capable of generating up to 7GW of electricity have been built in British waters. Last year, offshore wind generated 6.2 per cent of UK electricity needs.

    Projects capable of generating a further 7GW of power are either under construction or have won contracts to start generating by 2022-23…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/wind-power-set-to-double-by-2030-under-new-plans-2jsh9589r

    30

  • #
    PeterS

    Just as we are closing down our coal fired pwoer stations CA has been closing down their nuclear power stations. I think they only have one plant left and it’s scheduled to be shut down eventually as well. It looks like too much sun has fried the brains of Californians, just like some parts of Australia.

    180

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      When the San Andreas Fault slips again you can bet the Californian lefties will make a claim they possess the ability to see the future.

      50

      • #
        GD

        When the San Andreas Fault slips again

        Californian lefties will blame it on climate change, fossil fuels or Donald Trump.

        90

        • #
          Allen Ford

          … or all three!

          30

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          I’m confused by the touchy feely Lefties…..they talk about climate chnage like its a given….to paraphrase an old joke about social workers at the Lefts expense….

          “…but the climate has to *want* to change…”

          30

          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            Or…

            “nothing will change until such time as the climate admits it has a problem”.

            30

            • #
              Chad

              OR..
              “How many greenies does it take to change a climate ?”
              Answr…None. It will do it all by itself. !

              30

  • #
    pat

    great joy at Financial Times, UK Telegraph, Scotsman and more over the planned doubling of offshore wind capacity? BBC too, but the reporters seem to suffer from selective short-term memory loss, because none mention -

    17 Jul: Weird ‘wind drought’ means Britain’s turbines are at a standstill | New Scientist

    18 Jul: Daily Mail: UK’s turbines producing 40% less electricity as winds ‘disappear’ for six weeks across the UK causing record low electricity production

    18 Jul: UK Express: WEATHER WARNING: Weeks of WIND DROUGHT to come as Britain swelters in July HEATWAVE
    By Ciaran McGrath
    AS Britain continues to swelter in the heat, the blades of country’s wind turbines are turning incredibly slowly in the face of a nationwide “wind drought” which has seen a dramatic drop in the amount of energy produced…
    Ireland is also facing similar problems with a lack of wind, and falling water levels have restricted hydroelectric power generation in July…

    A study published in the Nature Geoscience journal in December suggested climate change might mean less wind being available for energy production in decades to come.
    The report suggested wind power would decrease in the northern hemisphere but increase in the southern hemisphere.
    This could mean the loss of as much as 18 per cent of wind over the central US by the year 2100…
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/weather/990616/weather-latest-britain-drought-wind-drought-heat-wave-energy-met-office

    23 Jul: BBC: Roger Harrabin: UK wind power capacity to nearly double by 2030, industry says
    The UK’s offshore wind power capacity is set to nearly double over the next decade, as a result of a new government initiative, according to the industry.
    It said that by 2030, between a fifth and a third of the UK’s electricity could come from offshore wind power.
    Thanks to plummeting costs, offshore wind has become an increasingly affordable source of clean energy.
    The UK has cut costs for consumers with a system which forces firms to bid for financial support in auctions…

    RenewableUK’s chief executive, Hugh McNeal, said: “This sets us on the path to deliver the tens of billions of pounds of investment that will be needed to meet our ambition of at least 30GW by 2030.
    “We can look forward to a pipeline of new offshore wind projects that will support tens of thousands of jobs across the UK.”…

    Kate Blagojevic from Greenpeace said: “Onshore wind is also getting cheaper all the time, and is now the UK’s cheapest electricity source…
    “This makes the government’s huge financial support for nuclear, the one low carbon source which keeps going up and up in price, all the more confusing and irrational.”
    The government insists it needs a diversity of power supply.

    from COMMENTS:
    DRS: Last I checked, it reported that wind was delivering just under 9%. Even if it doubles, that’s under 18%.

    Keith: So in a decade the percentage of electricity generated by wind power in the UK will double? So the minimum will go from the 1.1% in 2018 to reach the dizzying heights of 2.2% by 2028?
    What a reliable source wind power is!!
    The claims of doubling the output to deliver between a fifth (20%) and a third (33%) don’t add up…
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44926442

    40

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      Methinks Keith (above) should consider the proposition that the minimum will still tend to zero.
      Cheers,
      Dave B

      00

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        I integrated along the line of collective Leftist intelligence, and it quickly tended to zero….

        10

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    California to the other Western States:
    “Please sir, may I have some more?”.

    “More? More?” They Bellow. “There is no more”. It is hot here too. We need to take care of our
    local customers first.”

    Charles Dickens would have gone on for hundreds of pages.

    So will California. They will be called legal briefs. California will sue; having declined to foul its own nest by outsourcing power generation and its imaginary pollution to other states they will now try to claim a bounty of virtue by forcing those states to share a scarce resource, because of “need”.

    Say, that sounds a lot like socialism. Atlas shrugs.

    Under Obama, the FERC became a gangster forcing such sharing. In a totally under the radar deregulation, they have become a technical manager again rather than a political power center and ‘clean’ energy enthusiast. “Grid neutrality” a lib concept you’ve never heard of but understand instantly, is now, thankfully, dying in the dust.

    So California will sue. Your state government in action. Building energy infrastructure is so twentieth century. Lawsuits are government in action! Turn out the lights, suffer in the heat, and support you local lawyer; we’ll force those bas***ds in Texas to send us the energy we need and deserve because we are virtuous & clean.

    It was the best of times, It was the worst of times………

    80

  • #
    Troybeam

    Left California many years ago, remember a time where people in Marin County could not flush the toilet except once a day, the state has gone literally to crap. I sincerely hope the Walk Away movement becomes a state movement as the democrats in office as all but destroyed the state, lets hope Pelosi, Fienstien, Waters and others are voted out of office or asked to resign. the poor and middle class will have had enough from the theft the democrats have brought upon them and truly change the state back to Republican, hope maybe…reality not a chance.

    80

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Temperatures in the high 90s (F) aren’t even a heat wave. Try 105-110 in the west end of the San Fernando Valley. That is a heat wave. And yes, this year is above average but it’s not outside of my personal memory of hot spells in the summer. Neither is it at a record level anywhere except possibly downtown Los Angeles.

    Perhaps that’s balanced out a little bit by the fact that in that same San Fernando Valley in 1949, average elevation about 800 feet, latitude 34 north, it snowed 4 inches on each of 2 consecutive nights. I wonder who complained about not being able to supply enough gas for heating. I also have to wonder how we escaped plunging into that prophesied ice age, naver to recover.

    The only really funny thing is that we were all being told less than 2 years ago that natural gas was in abundant supply. What happened? Here’s one source of data, a .gov site no less. At the rate I’ve been told for the last 50 years that we will be out of gas, etc. in 10 to 20 years or less, a reserve of 90 years hardly scares me at all. What scares me is that we think we should sell it to the whole world for political reasons. Maybe that’s a good idea…and maybe not. No one cared when we were sucking hot air at the pump instead of gas.

    From here I’ll just let Jo say it. I’ve spent too much time on the State of Califusion-ia. They know not even the history of high temperatures, much less do they know about providing electricity. Once upon a time, maybe. But not anymore. And they are history cherrypickers to the last one.

    121

  • #
    pat

    behind paywall. only “onshore”?

    21 Jul: UK Times: Heatwave knocks wind out of onshore turbines
    by Rosemary Gallagher
    The unusually good weather in Scotland has led to a drop in the electricity being generated by onshore wind farms because turbines have ground to a halt.
    Power generation is down about 15 per cent in the period from late May until mid-July on what would be expected during a normal Scottish summer, according to industry sources.

    It has added to criticism about the unreliability of wind power as Scotland tries to move to a low-carbon economy. Turbines have also been forced to shut during storms, when there is too much wind, to avoid damage.
    Concerns have been raised that this intermittent supply could have an impact on the Scottish government’s target for renewable energy sources to be able to generate 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity by…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/heatwave-knocks-wind-out-of-onshore-turbines-szshw0dvp

    how sad:

    20 Jul: Oil Price: Lack Of Wind Leaves UK Turbine Investors Short-Changed
    By Damir Kaletovic
    It’s been a stifling summer of disappointment for investors in the UK’s wind farms, which a heatwave has put at a standstill that’s seen a major drop in power generation eat away at millions of pounds in profits…

    SEE also said that electricity output from hydropower stations was 20 percent lower than expected…
    The dismal numbers from the company’s first fiscal quarter indicated to investors that the full-year results may also take a hit, prompting share prices to plunge more than percent to £13.50 on Thursday…

    While the SSE financials and the stifling, windless weeks that have highlighted the intermittent nature of generating electricity by wind have revived criticism in the UK of subsidies for these projects, ***recent surveys still show that a majority of Britons support the renewables push…

    Onshore wind farms have been a cause of debate, with government policies rendering the construction of onshore turbines highly bureaucratic, with reports saying that new applications for wind farms have dropped by 94 percent since new rules were introduced in 2015.

    But offshore, things are booming. So much so that the UK offshore wind energy industry is expected to see total investment between 2017 and 2021 hit £18.9 billion (about $24.6 billion), according to RenewableUK. That would place the country ahead of Germany, China, and the United States for offshore wind.
    https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Lack-Of-Wind-Leaves-UK-Turbine-Investors-Short-Changed.html

    20 Feb: WindPowerEngineering: Risky Business: Mitigating threats to onshore wind projects & portfolios
    By Michelle Froese
    For example, low-wind regions are providing new opportunities for wind-farm developers but they must be willing to invest in a less established location and marketplace. A few of the challenges of charting new wind regions may include longer project lead times, less policy or political certainty, and a lack of supply chain expertise. An investor may label the challenges as too risky, particularly when compared to regions with a foundation in wind development.

    Climate change, extreme weather, and Natural Catastrophe (Nat Cat) events also jeopardize project performance and pose risks to an investor’s profile. Fortunately, the industry is evolving to cope with challenging and changing risk profiles, and the insurance market is developing new products to protect wind-farm developers and operators. Here are a few risks typical of onshore wind projects with tips on how to protect wind portfolios…

    Underperformance
    The U.S. “wind drought” of 2015, in which some of the lowest wind speeds in history were recorded in key markets such as California and Texas, alerted the industry to the necessity of protecting project revenue against underperformance…

    Although inaccuracies in the data used to project asset outputs are partly to blame for financial vulnerability, wind-farm underperformance is typically the result of ***unpredictable climate phenomena…

    Tip: Unforeseen lulls in wind speeds are covered by the insurance market, but it is important to find a flexible product…READ ON
    https://www.windpowerengineering.com/business-news-projects/risky-business-mitigating-threats-onshore-wind-projects-portfolios/

    30

    • #
      yarpos

      interesting focus in the second article on insurance and preserving cash flows, not so much in generating reliable power. I guess they know they cant do that.

      10

  • #
    pat

    blame game begins. forget Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, here comes Energetic Bear:

    23 Jul: CNET: Russian hackers reportedly accessed US electric utilities’ control rooms
    Hackers could have caused blackouts, federal officials tell the Wall Street Journal
    by Steven Musil
    The hackers — working for a state-sponsored group previously identified as Dragonfly or Energetic Bear — broke into utilities’ isolated networks by hacking networks belonging to third-party vendors that had relationships with the power companies, the Department of Homeland Security said in a press briefing on Monday.

    Officials said the campaign had claimed “hundreds of victims” and is likely continuing, the Journal reported.
    “They got to the point where they could have thrown switches” to disrupt the flow power, Jonathan Homer, chief of industrial-control-system analysis for DHS, told the Journal…
    These systems are often vulnerable because of antiquated software and the ***high costs of upgrading infrastructure…

    Hackers compromised US power utility companies’ corporate networks with conventional approaches, such as spear-phishing emails and watering-hole attacks, which target a specific group of users by infecting websites they’re known to visit, the newspaper reported. After gaining access to vendor networks, hackers turned their attention to stealing credentials for access to the utility networks and familiarizing themselves with facility operations, officials said, according to the Journal.

    Homeland Security didn’t identify the victims, the newspaper reports, adding that some companies may not know they had been compromised because the attacks used legitimate credentials to gain access to the networks…
    https://www.cnet.com/news/russian-hackers-reportedly-gained-access-to-us-utility-control-rooms/

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      pat

      ***high costs of upgrading infrastructure? here’s a solution. note: it’s apparently talking about US$3tn:

      23 Jul: BusinessDay Nigeria: NSE tasks Nigerians on Green Bond to tackle $3trn infrastructure deficit
      Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) said on Friday that the $3 trillion required to provide infrastructure for the next 25 years could be addressed with Green Bond issuance.
      Oscar Onyema, NSE CEO, stated this at the Federal Government Green Bond pre-listing conference organised by the exchange in Lagos.
      Onyema said Green Bonds present a unique opportunity for financing the country’s climate change objectives, delivering on critical infrastructure gaps to unlock economic growth potential.

      He described green bonds as a turning point and a new paradigm for Nigeria and urged listed companies and other corporate organisations in Nigeria to use globally recognised platforms at the NSE to raise green capital.
      “Green bonds also provide a way for issuers to diversify their capital structures and attract a wider base of investors from both domestic and international markets.

      “As you are all aware, Nigeria – as a party to the Paris Climate Agreement – has committed to achieving specific climate change objectives embedded in her Nationally Determined Contributions.
      “These objectives require huge capital investments, and particularly so for Nigeria – given the huge infrastructural deficit which is estimated at $3 trillion over the next 25 years,” he said.

      He commended the Debt Management Office, the Ministry of Environment, the Securities and Exchange Commission and all the members of the Green Bond Advisory Working Group for the actualisation of the initiative.
      He said the nation’s Green Bond was the first to be issued by an African country, noting that Nigeria was the fourth nation in the world to issue Green bonds – after Poland, France, and Fiji.

      He added that the growth of the global Green Bonds industry in the past 10 years had been unprecedented commencing with the $800 million with pioneer issuance by the European Investment Bank in 2007.
      He added the annual issuance of Green Bonds grew by almost 200 times to $160 billion in 2017, with issuance for 2018 currently projected to grow to $250 billion…

      Samuel Agbevem, partner and West Africa Sector Leader for Climate and Sustainability Services, Ernest and Young, said climate change had become a reality in Nigeria and needed to be tackled…
      Agbevem, however, stressed the need for an establishment of green bond framework that would attract the private sector.
      He said the framework must align with global principles and best practices, and that integrity and transparency must be inherent in the private sector framework…
      https://www.businessdayonline.com/news/article/nse-tasks-nigerians-on-green-bond-to-tackle-3trn-infrastructure-deficit/

      irrelevant video but the terms of the green bonds – 13.48%, 5-year – show up on the screen behind the speaker:

      VIDEO: 3mins13secs: 23 Jul: CNBC Africa: Nigeria should expect more green bonds – Minister
      Nigeria’s Minister of State for Environment Ibrahim Usman Jibril says the listing of the 10.69 billion naira, 5-year Sovereign green bond is the first of many to come, as the ministry aims to return to the market before the end of the year. CNBC Africa caught up with him from the floor of the NSE for more details.
      https://www.cnbcafrica.com/videos/2018/07/23/nigeria-should-expect-more-green-bonds-minister/

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    Richard Baguley

    Wind: 1.72% in U.K. right now:-

    http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

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      ivan

      It has been like that for the past few weeks, just showing just how unreliable the unreliables are.

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    pat

    23 Jul: Houston Public Media: Texas Grid’s Big ‘Test’ Could Last Beyond The Heat Wave
    The state is breaking records for electricity use at a time when power reserves have dropped.
    by Travis Bubenik
    With Texans blasting the air conditioning in recent days to get through the heat wave, the state’s electric grid has been feeling some pressure. How it handles that pressure is something grid managers, experts, and power companies are watching closely.

    The strain stems from the fact that Texas currently has low power reserves, ***mostly thanks to three coal plants shutting down this year (LINK)…

    Charles McConnell, head of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative, worries the state has gotten “dangerously close” to brownouts…

    In Texas, wholesale electric prices spike when reserves are low, which is supposed to spur investment in new power supplies. Joshua Rhodes, a researcher at the University of Texas’ Energy Institute, says this summer will ultimately show how well that’s working.
    “If the lights go out because we run out of power plants, then that will be a pretty clear signal that we need some more generation,” he said. “But that’s what these high prices are designed to do.”…

    The test is probably not finished, with Texas expected to continue breaking power use records in the weeks ahead.
    https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2018/07/23/296631/texas-grids-big-test-could-last-beyond-the-heat-wave/

    20 Jul: Houston Public Media:Texas Is Using A Record Amount Of Electricity; Could Demand Outpace Supply?
    The state’s grid operator set a new all-time systemwide peak demand record on two consecutive days this week, prompting reassurances that the electricity sector “is doing what they can to keep the power on for consumers.”
    by Kiah Collier
    Until Wednesday, the highest demand had ever gotten was 71,110 megawatts in August 2016 — 48.6 percent of which was residential usage. That was topped on Wednesday and again on Thursday when it reached an all-time-high of 73,259 megawatts between 4 and 5 p.m., according to ERCOT, which delivers power to some 24 million Texans.

    “We fully expect to keep hitting new demand records as summer 2018 continues,” ERCOT said in a statement on Wednesday. It predicted as much in March, when it warned that delayed power supply projects and the closure of three major coal-fired power plants would contribute to “tight operating reserves” and sky-high power prices at times…

    Webber said the public is generally bad at heeding the calls from grid operators and utilities to turn up(?) the temperature on their thermostats, flick off unnecessary lights in the middle of the day and wait until the evening to run dishwashers and clothes dryers…
    If everyone in the state took those measures, Webber said, it would make a big difference — especially with continued population and economic growth…

    In its statement Friday, ERCOT noted that it “has not issued any appeals for conservation, but we will notify the media and stakeholders if system conditions change.”
    https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2018/07/20/296618/texas-is-using-a-record-amount-of-electricity-could-demand-outpace-supply/

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    Planning Engineer

    It’s not the first time California has suffered from being at the bleeding age of energy innovation. Back around the turn of the century during the “Enron” days it was beleived that deregulation would provide consumers lower cost power through the benefits of market competition. It did for some time during normal loading periods. But under extreme weather conditions when loads were high and there were not enough resources available, prices skyrocketed as they do in markets where value and scarcity coincied. The high outlay during those brief peak times more than offset any savings the markets provided at other times.

    Now some may (and did) argue that the market was a succesful just unfortunatly sunk by extreme market conditions. It’s not a credible arguement, as traditional utility planning provided margin to meet such conditions. That was one of the main reasons market power costs could for a while beat traditional rates – because they were leaving out the “insurance” cost of building to meet peak extremes.

    The case that the weather was not so extreme as to be an abberation could be shown by what happened with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. They were not subject to deregulation and continued to do traditional utility planning during that time period. When the “extreme” weather hit they had sufficient capacity becasue they planned with margin. In fact they made a lot of money by selling power to the other entitites at that time. It further reduced the costs for the LADWP and is alosprotected the others a bit from what the full on exposure to the marked would have been without their margin supporting others as well.

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    • #

      In a truly free market buyer and seller negotiate “terms” like duration of contract or supply.

      The political idiots wanted a “managed market” so forbid long term contracts and required all power be bought on the spot market.

      The result of this was best described by the comedian Dennis Miller as “buying power at mini-bar prices”.

      Same basic market. Tiny buys moment by moment from the only supplier available at that moment.

      The result was completely predictable to anyone who was NOT in government…

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      Roy Hogue

      May I ask politely, since when has the left side of politics wanted anything even close to a free market? The objective is always control from the top micromanagement of everything to benefit whatever oppressed class is in favor at the moment. My representative in the state assembly, Ms. Jacqui Irwin sent me email yesterday with an invitation to, “Join us for a conversation about Digital Literacy and Inclusion.” Note the word, “inclusion,” a euphemism for, “We (meaning me) have not given the poor downtrodden who don’t know how to use computers, smart phones and the like, something they needed in order to be, “included.” Of course, what they need is not something you can give them but something they must find within themselves, the drive to find out what they don’t know.

      Let’s never mind that the streets of what was once the jewel above all jewel cities in California, San Francisco, are now nothing but a public crap house in many places. Now which should the legislature be giving its attention to, inclusion in the digital age or the condition of the City of San Francisco?

      I vote for the latter. I’m afraid I cannot muster up enough mental energy to care if someone is not “included” in the digital age when there are the problems we have in just San Francisco alone, not even mentioning anywhere else.

      Markets? No they don’t want free markets. They never have. They want a favored group to get attention while those who pay the bills languish in hell. I’m afraid I sent her back a scathing reply. And since it wasn’t bounced back as undeliverable I know someone saw it, probably a staffer with the understanding of a fencepost who will never pass it along to Ms. Irwin.

      What we need is a free market in politicians, one in which the voters are paying attention to what government is and is not doing. Then maybe a free market in electricity could happen along with the old City of San Francisco again, a place always a pleasure to visit, ride the cable cars (while feeling like you’re taking your life in your hands) and enjoy one of the most colorful cities anywhere on Earth.

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      Planning Engineer

      I am a strong beleiver in free markets and certainly didn’t intend this post to be an indictment of free markets in any general sense. The previous replies rightly point out that the imposed market mechanisms were not free markets (an oversight on my part because this case was too close and too obvious to me). Please take it not as an indictment to free markets, but rather a recognition that tinkering with well establishe planning processes based upon unproven theories is dangerous.

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    toorightmate

    Surely a few of Elon’s big batteries could fix this issue?
    Few dozen?
    Few hundred?
    Few thousand?
    Few million?
    Obviously battery cost is not a problem when the power is sooooo cheap.
    Heh, heh, heeh.
    The sooner this stupidity bites, and bites hard, the better.

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    truth

    California’s a state running precariously on demand response…interruptible loads …rotating outages …lots of gas and a coming mandate for all Californian residences to have rooftop solar….wanted or not.

    This is Australia’s future except with none of the fallbacks in the way of geothermal..nuclear …huge hydro or connectors to those sources in other states.

    The way our system is heading is towards total central control and coercion…compulsory rooftop solar…households herded into remotely-orchestrated VPP collectives.. with chaos and disruption even then .

    It’s hard to see any other possibility.

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    ZZMike

    Sceptical Sam: “wood fired BBQ…” Sorry, mate, no BBQs – smoke and pollution and all that.

    But – it’s so hot here (89 deg!!!) that we just hold up the hot dogs and steaks to the Sun and they get cooked.

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    John F. Hultquist

    Readers might be interested in this.
    The Pacific DC Intertie (also called Path 65) is an electric power transmission line that transmits electricity from the Pacific Northwest to the Los Angeles area using high voltage direct current (HVDC).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_DC_Intertie

    You can see the start of this puppy, here:
    45.596501°, -121.117367°

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    GD

    Back in the dark ages when we had coal plants, we just switched these things on hither, thither…

    I was talking to Mum yesterday about the increasing electricity prices. She’s eighty-eight and lives alone. She bemoaned the fact that for the first time since her childhood in the 1930s she now, once again, has to ‘be frugal’ with her electricity usage, only turning the heating on at 5pm instead of when it’s needed.

    Indeed, she remembers her father lighting a kerosene heater to keep the family warm.

    She is, however, one of the fortunate pensioners who can actually afford to turn the heating on unlike many who are forced to go to bed at sundown to avoid the cold.

    Mum grew up in the austere 30s and wartime 40s, she married and started a family in the 50s, and as she says, ‘from then on I no longer had to be frugal with the basic necessities of life’.

    ‘Now it seems we’re back to the way we lived in the 30s.’

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    Dave in the States

    The Democratic Republic of Kalifornia has had plenty of time to prepare. It has been almost two decades since the days of Grey Out Davis and the rolling blackouts. But they have done nothing of significance. Still relying on power generated out of state. No new nukes. No clean coal. No new hydro. Only new gas across the border in other places. Instead charlatans and school teachers have been pushing the lies of “yes we can” replace fossil fuels with wind and solar, and the people have believed it.

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    David Maddison

    Perhaps this is the future of the California (and Australian) electricity supply.

    https://youtu.be/KUzLcbiImWY

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    David Maddison

    San Francisco is a classic example of what happens when you let Left wing social policies dominate your city. There is public drug taking, discarded syringes, defecation on the streets, homelessness and crime.

    Paul Joseph Watson talks about it. (Warning, some disgusting images if you are about to eat).

    https://youtu.be/ld6qYJe4pRs

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    David Maddison

    I remember seeing the Altamont Pass wind farm in the 1980′s. It was and still is a huge bird killing eyesore. The only reason it was built was to harvest tax credits. Like all wind energy, it is otherwise useless.

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    Geoffrey Williams

    Serves them right.
    GeoffW

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    [...] reported yesterday (working late in the west where the sun almost never sets) that California is a bit short of power. How surprising! South Australia would be in the same situation if they did not have access to [...]

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    Allen Ford

    What I find incredible is that the present crop of pollies and bureaucrats seem to be completely bereft of basic penny dropping and dot joining skills.

    With country after country, finding out the hard way, that certain flavours of power generating devices have inherent problems, supply and relability wise.

    The rot started after the introduction of cents, replacing pennies!

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    Ian of Brisbane

    Palm Springs was forecast to be 122 degrees F today (50 C). Cooler tomorrow, only 119 F.

    Nothing new here, except that our state government does not like reliable electricity.

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    Bruce

    Thank you Jo, wicked me is going to have a little enjoyable laugh, and feel no shame at all.

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    observa

    We’ll huff and and we’ll puff and we’ll blow your power prices sky high

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    Bachy

    Still waiting for California to secede…

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      yarpos

      No State is an island. Except Hawaii and Tasmania of course, but at least Tasmania has an extension cord.

      20