Here is the actual Bulk Power Generation by fuel for Christmas week 2022. Note that at the peak on Christmas eve, 80% of the total electricity generation was from conventional generation using natural gas, coal and nuclear fueled generation. Sixty five percent was from natural gas and coal, this does not fit well for Net-Zero Carbon and abolishing fossil fuels. This is reality. The Clean Energy Crisis is a manufactured crisis that should not have gone this far. Donn Dears has much to offer in his new book
Donn Dears is a genuine energy expert having a long career working on design, manufacturing, maintenance and use of major equipment used in energy production. Donn has studied, worked and witnessed for himself energy production from all areas of the world including Asia and the Mideast. He understands the importance of energy to sustain a high quality of life and he understands the importance of protection of the environment. Like many of us, Donn cares about the planet and the well-being of his children and grandchildren. Clean Energy Crisis distills Donn’s career experiences plus considerable additional research to provide the reader with energy savvy. Facts that, if used can formulate a rational energy policy for the future. Every elected official must read this book and keep it for reference! Here is an outline of the contents.
Part 1 Energy Fundamentals
Fossil Fuels (Overview of oil, NG, & coal. US has largest reserves in the world.)
The grid ( Grid is mismanaged. Reliability is in danger. Baseload power essential.)
Importance of coal (HELE plants essential for poor countries.)
The promise of nuclear power ( SMRs hold promise for revival. Cost and fear stand in their way.)
Demand for Materials (Mining and shortages, environmental issues & China.)
Comparing BEVs and ICEs (Electricity demand, cost and safety issues.)
Environmental Blackhole (NEPA’s need for reform to prevent interminable legal challenges.)
Part 2 Impossible Dreams
Impossibility of Net-zero Carbon (Wind, PV solar, & nuclear: impossible to build enough capacity to meet demand.)
Creating Fear to Sell Climate Change (Show that fear of sea-level rise, hurricanes, etc., is unfounded.)
Appendix A How the grid works
Appendix B Dangerous ESG Mandates
Appendix C Battery-Powered Bucket Trucks
Appendix D Climate Science (Happer, Wijngaarden paper)
Currently over 87% of the U.S. Primary Energy is provided by natural gas, nuclear, coal and old hydroelectric plants. It is engineering fiction to believe that wind and solar can replace these forms of affordable, reliable, dispatchable and high energy density fuels. Clean Energy Crisis explains the roots of the myths of green energy and provides a realistic path forward for U.S. Energy Policy……
Recently I was interviewed by Peter Perri for his Podcast on “Energy Media”. We talked for about an hour and I expressed my opinion on America’s dismal… “Lack of a Rational Energy Transition Policy”. It is just a Decarbonization Policy without provisions for providing power generation until technology and build out of new nuclear catches up. However, Mr. Perri got me thinking and he offered some information regarding the IRA Act 45Q, Provisions for Tax Credits for coal plants that capture and store carbon dioxide (CCUS). That was new to me. I consider myself well read on energy news, but I sure missed 45Q. The CO2 credit is up to $85/ton of carbon dioxide captured and sequestered or utilized. Not that I agree with the legislation or the practicality of CCUS, but it shows some sanity of the policymakers, that they understand America may get around to using its vast, God given Treasure of coal.
Energy=Life as we know it and it takes about 100 Quadrillion BTUs of Primary Energy to fuel our economy and our way of life. As a review of previous posts I have made, here is a summary of approx. how the U.S. uses about 100 Quads/year of Primary Energy. Many folks (those who are not technically trained) do not appreciate or understand the concepts of Primary and Secondary energy. An example is a video on hydrogen that I recently watched discussed hydrogen as a form of primary energy. Hydrogen is secondary energy and does not exist naturally in nature, it must be produced from primary energy.
37% Electricity Generation
26% Industrial Production
10% Commercial and Residential
My point is it takes about 100 Quadrillion Btus to energize and make it possible for us to sustain our high quality of life, including keeping warm in the winter. Right here within our borders is the richest source of primary energy on earth. America’s Treasure of Coal. Why not use it to keep America Prosperous & Energy Independent? By the way, America and Canada have plenty of Uranium deposits in North America and few of the U.S. deposits are being used, but that is a topic for another day.
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Sankey Diagram (below) shows the energy flows for 2021. Total energy use that year was only 97.3 Quadrillion Btus because of a slower economy. In 2019 energy use was over 100 Quads.
The “Leftists” and power hungry government Bureaucrats have done an effective job of Demonizing carbon dioxide. Their Rationale; By demonizing carbon, then we won’t use it. The demonization of carbon restricts use of a valuable natural resource. This combined with the fact that we now enjoy a high standard of living which coal continues to provide a significant part of our energy when it is needed makes one wonder; “What are the Policymakers thinking?” Coal is one of the most readily available, usable & affordable forms of energy that America is Blessed with. It is my prediction that coal will be more appreciated after a cold winter of 2013, including some Blackouts. With winter approaching and expected scarce reserves of electricity generation capacity, coal plants may achieve new acceptance by society. They did in Germany. My November 25th Blog post discussed coal as America’s Treasure. Let me start with a bullet list of the facts and statements, as I understand them. These points are the premise for my suggestion that coal fuel will (and should!) look good again. So will all conventional fuels, including coal, oil, gas and nuclear. Kindly take a glance at the LLNL chart above, note that less than 5% of America’s Primary Energy was provided by wind and solar in 2021. This after decades of tax incentives. It is unreasonable to expect that we can “Electrify Everything” and power “Everything” with electricity generated from wind and solar.
Energy Realism Facts
Everyone, including me desires clean air, clean water and a healthy environment
Sustainable Life, as we enjoy it, requires a lot of energy about 860,000-1,000,000 Btus of per capita energy each day
America uses and depends on about 100 Quadrillion Btus of primary energy each year.
Fossil Fuels provide about 79%-80% of the primary energy America depends on
Wind and Solar provided less than 5% of America’s total Primary Energy in 2021
New HELE Coal plants can provide reliable, Dispatchable and affordable electricity. HELE = High Efficiency Low Emissions. Replacing many of the retired coal plants with new HELE plants should be part of the transition to our reduced carbon future.
Reshoring of American Manufacturing to recover lost Market share will require more use of Energy for reshoring of Industrial production. Opposite of German recent experience of lost Industry due to energy shortfalls
Currently in the U.S. , the largest carbon-free electricity generation is from nuclear power plants. Most over 40 years old.
Electricity generation uses about 37% of the U.S. Primary Energy
Transportation uses about 27% of the U.S. Primary Energy
The major forms of Energy within the U.S. Borders that can provide the equivalent of 100-150 Quadrillion Btu’s of energy supply for U.S. Energy Independence are: Uranium, Coal, Oil and Natural Gas.
Coal Power Potential to Provide 20+ Quadrillion Btus of Primary Energy
The total Primary Energy Flow chart shown below is from 2009. Back then, coal was the primary fuel for about 50% of America’s electricity generation. The U.S. used right at a Billion tons of coal/year and America’s Total Primary Energy Use was 102.75 Quadrillion Btus. The technology and Infrastructure remains to return to this coal generation capacity and to do it cleanly. We should be building new HELE Coal plants with future provisions for CCUS. This would be a Rational Energy Plan to embark on, (a transition plan) until new nuclear, hydrogen, storage and renewables technologies can advance to meet energy needs.
Reasonable Cost, Abundant Power and Clean Air Too!
The EPA has prepared a graphic below, this illustration shows the Results of cleaning the air in the U.S. Between 1970 and 2019, the combined emissions of the six common pollutants (PM2.5 and PM10, SO2, NOx, VOCs, CO and Pb) dropped by 77 percent. This progress occurred while the U.S. economy continued to grow, Americans drove more miles and population and energy use increased. The point is, the six public health related & objectional pollutants have been corrected. Further restrictions, rules and Regulations on coal power plants since 2019 are not for cleaning the air, they are for politically biased reasons.
Since 2010 over 102,000 MW’s of reliable, reasonable production cost, Dispatchable coal and nuclear plants have been shut down. Worse yet, another 14.9 MW’s of the remaining 200 GW coal plants are planned to be shut down in the next few years. The “War on Carbon”although misguided and anti-American, has been very effective. It is not possible to replace the approximatley 117,000 MW’s of Dispatchable, reasonable production cost coal and nuclear plants with wind and solar. For folks that do not work in the electric generating field, let me digress and compare what 117 GW of reliable power generation looks like. Almost everyone has visited Niagara Falls and are aware that most of the water runoff from all of the Great Lakes drains through the Niagara River and through the Robert Moses Hydroelectric Generating Station. The American share of that water flow generates about 2,500 MW’s of electricity. Therefore replacing the 117,000 MW’s of coal and nuclear plants shut down since 2010 would require almost 50 generating plants the size of Niagara Falls.
Replacing existing or recently shut down coal plants with carbon-free nuclear is technically possible. However, the supply chain for new nuclear plant design, permitting, construction and talent development will take years, maybe decades. I submit that for the near term of the next ten-twenty years, a Rational Energy Policy would be to build technically proven HELE coal plants. Yes, planning for CCUS and using the IRA 45Q provision may help? I know what will not. That is… Continuing the Mythical Net-Zero Carbon path of depence on wind and solar. All this will do is weaken America. America’s Treasure of Coal may be tapped, thanks to the provisions in the so called, Inflation Reduction Act, 45Q provision for CCUS.
America and the World are in an Energy Crisis, and all of the energy savvy professionals who work now or have worked in energy production, know that we have an energy crisis and that wind and solar cannot replace fossil fuels. The “War on Coal and War on Carbon” continues by an out of control EPA which has about 18,742 Bureaucrats fighting the best interests of the American people. Myself, Capital Research and others have written numerous reports and posts on the “War on Carbon” and the incestuos nature of EPA employees with Leftist Extremist organizations which is the root cause of America’s lack of a Rational Energy Policy.
There are 435 Congressional Representatives and 100 Senators plus the President and VP this totals only 537 elected officials that can (and is controlling) control U.S. Energy Policy. As mentioned above, the protection of the environment is controlled by over 18,742 unelected Bureaucrats in the EPA and over 15,826 Bureaucrats in the Department of Energy. Check the Biden Administration Cabinet Members Bio’s here. Few if any ever worked in the energy production. All are political appointees and do not require expertise in energy to be the head of the Department of Energy such as, Jennifer Granholm.
So…..What can we do? About the only path we can take is to use the mechanisms included in our Constitutional Republic and write to all 435 Congressman and 100 Senators to try to educate them on what needs to be done to use America’s Treasure of Energy.
Dick Storm Suggestion of Emergency Actions:
Roll back all Federal Regulations by the EPA that have been implemented after December 2020. America had clean air and clean water in 2020 and any Regulations implemented since then have been Ideological, “War on Carbon or Politically inspired. The Executive Branch Regulations that have been forced on the American people since january 2021 have not been in the Best Interests of America, especially regarding electric power generation and the 80% energy from fossil fuels that America depends on.
Write Government Officials
Here below, is the letter I sent to both Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham of SC:
Dear Senator Scott,
I am writing you today because I would like to provide my insight into the importance of reliable, affordable energy and Dispatchable electricity to keep America strong.
The EPA is simply out of control and ruining America right before our eyes. Leftists that hate America are in charge of the EPA and the Biden Administration is chock full of Leftists that are working in earnest to weaken America. My suggestion is: Roll back all EPA Regulations to those in effect in December 2020. Our air and water was clean then, all Regulations added or modified since then are part of the War on Carbon and the War on the American people.
I have written my views and included extensive references on harmful Energy and Environmental policies on my Blog. The link is here: America’s Treasure of Coal: https://wp.me/p5DzAo-Bn
One of the most concise presentations I have presented was to the Sunset Rotary Club on HHI. The presentation is on my Blog if you have time to review it.
If you would like to discuss in more detail, I am interested in discussing with you or meeting in person. I truly understand the time pressures you have and would respect any of your time which you may provide.
Thank you for your service to save America. May God Bless you and your Family!
Richard F. Storm
Two Letters to Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC District #1)
July 15, 2022
Dear Congresswoman Mace,
I am writing you today because I do not feel that you and your Republican colleagues are pushing back on President Biden’s un-American policies. Specifically on energy and environmental issues. I saw on LinkedIn yesterday that 14 Texas Congressman met to sign a letter pushing back on unnecessary rules on the EPA attack on the Texas Permian Basin oil and gas production. You and all members of Congress, both (D) and (R) should be creating more resistance to the foolish energy and environmental policies that the Biden Administration are implementing.
I am interested in meeting with you to discuss, if you ever have time when you are near Hilton Head.
Richard F. Storm
Congresswoman Mace did visit my town for an open meeting. I was given an opportunity to ask her about pushing back on Biden’s Green Energy policies. Ms. Mace told me, “When we get into the majority I can do something” So, after the November election, I wrote her again:
November 19, 2022
Dear Congresswoman Mace,
Congratulations on your reelection! I am very pleased that you have kept this important District a Red one!
I met you when you visited Hilton Head last summer and asked you about the insanely anti-American Energy Policies that the EPA and the Biden Administration are forcing on our country. You answered, “I can do something when we get a majority”. Thankfully, you are now with the majority.
I am writing you today because I would like to meet with you to provide my insight into the importance of energy and electricity to keep America strong.
I have written my views and included some extensive references on harmful Energy and Environmental policies. One of the most concise presentations I have presented was to the Sunset Rotary Club on HHI. The presentation is on my Blog if you have time to review it.
If you would like to discuss in more detail, I am interested in meeting with you. I truly understand the time pressures you have and would respect your time you may provide.
Richard F. Storm
Letter to Governor Henry McMaster, regarding the Regional Utility, Santee-Cooper
I wrote to Governor McMaster in the summer and sent him a large package of my concerns for the shutting down of the Santee-Cooper Winyah Coal Power Plant before Dispatchable, replacement Bulk Power generation can be built. The Nov. 19 letter was after the election.
Nov. 19, 2022
Dear Governor McMaster,
Congratulations on your reelection!
I am a retired engineer living in HHI. I worked for over 50 years in the electric power industry and have a good working knowledge of electric power generation. I have followed and participated in the Santee-Cooper IRP Stakeholder presentations. I have submitted my recommendations to Santee-Cooper on their portal but feel the Legislature has them on a flawed and mythical “Green Path” I have worked with/for (as a contractor/consultant) Santee-Cooper and SCE&G since 1970. I know SC Power plants well and have worked at most of them over the last 50 years. My recommendation is to keep the Winyah and Cross Coal Plants in top condition and on coal fuel for at least the next ten years. These units will be needed for load growth and for Dispatchable, affordable electricity generation to supply the Demand of industries such as Century Aluminum and NUCOR Steel, as well as providing reliable power to their service territory. Non-Dispatchable solar and wind cannot satisfy the load growth of the coastal SC service territory of Santee-Cooper.
Also, speaking of service territory, Santee-Cooper should keep their independence from neighboring Utilities and plan to install needed new generation capacity to provide 15% reserves based on being an “Energy Island” to separate from neighboring utilities should there be an energy crisis of insufficient capacity to meet demand.
Thank you for taking time to read my letter and thank you for your service to the great state of South Carolina. I sincerely appreciate all that you have done to keep South Carolina strong and free.
Yours very truly,
For Reference, Here is the April 2022 letter I sent to the Governor
April 30, 2021
Governor Henry McMaster
PO Box 2459
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465
Dear Governor McMaster,
I am a proud American that is pleased to be a resident of the Great State of South Carolina. Thank you for your leadership and businesslike governing of this state.
Just a short note to let you know, I am an experienced power engineer (Registered PE in state of NC) and have over 50 years experience in power generation. Over the years, I have worked on coal plants at Wateree, Cope, Williams, Jefferies, Cross, Winyah and more. I have also been a supporter of nuclear power and am aware that over 50% of SC’s electricity is generated by the seven old nuclear units (four plants). (Oconee, Robinson, Summer, Catawba). I actually worked on Oconee when employed by Babcock & Wilcox in the 1960’s.
I am not sure what the status is with Santee-Cooper but thought I would write to tell you, I strongly believe that keeping the State Electricity Generation Authority of Santee-Cooper is the right thing to do for the residents of SC. In my view the large Utilities such as Duke, Dominion and Southern are simply politically correctness driven and prone to making decisions based on keeping their safe 4% dividend. Yes, I am retired and yes, I too have Duke and Dominion stocks in my investment/retirement portfolio. But, I think keeping SCPSA strong is important for our state.
Having said that, I also wish to state that the advertising, indoctrination and hype of Renewable Power is not good for our state. Solar and wind are only reliable during times of sunshine and favorable winds and should always (until storage technology catches up) be less than 25% of the total generation and NEVER included in generation reserve margins. Margins are the extra generation expected during electricity Demand Peaks. In my view, that is the problem Texas had in February with over 25% of their generation capacity provided by unreliable, intermittent wind and solar. Same for California last August 2020 when the sun went down and there was insufficient Fossil fuel backup available.
I did prepare and teach a course at USCB-OLLI and although retired, I have kept up with energy and electricity generation trends. The trends are troubling, thus the reason for this letter.
My motto is, “All Fuels are Important” and for SC, I believe the coal plants should be properly maintained and cared for, kept going well beyond 2030, especially Cross Plant.
The current nuclear plant licensing expire beginning in 2030 and 2033 for Oconee and Robinson. I believe a balanced portfolio of new nuclear and coal plants are needed to keep industry powered with reasonable cost electricity. NUCOR and Century Aluminum are two large SC Industries that depend on reasonable cost power. I think steps now to keep a balanced portfolio and not “New Green Deal” renewables, is important.
Thank you for taking time to read this and let me provide my best wishes for success in your re-election. A small check is enclosed to show my support.
My letters did not have any affect. The only politician that acknowledged he read the letters sent was Senator Tim Scott.
If we are to get Politicians attention, then it will take many of us writing letters, calling, visiting and discussing the true facts.
We who understand Energy and Electricity Generation are a minority. I think it is safe to assume that for every letter an elected official gets such as I have written, there are multiple letters from either Green Leaning citizens (that do not understand Dispatchable Generation) and Business interests that are interested in Green tax incentives.
If we the “Energy Savvy Members of Society” do not speak up and get the attention of government, then the Energy Crisis will get worse, likely resulting in economic decline and even more deaths, as happened during the Feb 2021 winter storm in Texas and of course, as is occurring in Europe now.
Professor Vaclav Smil quote: (Smil is a prolific author on energy issues and lives in Canada)I absolutely hate the word sustainability because there is no such thing. Sustainability cannot be defined. Sustainable for what? Over next year? Over 10 years? Over a millennium? On a local basis, on a planetary basis? I mean, there are so many time and space dimensions to it you cannot define what is sustainable. If somebody is boasting what they are doing is sustainable, it’s a total laugh. There is no sustainable thing.