Category Archives: Coal Power

Comparison of China Energy & Electricity Generation with U.S.A.

Energy = Life

It is well documented that China is the world’s largest manufacturer of just about everything. This manufacturing might requires a lot of energy and electricity generation to power it. I first became concerned about the loss of American manufacturing (and jobs) with NAFTA in the 1990’s when my state of North Carolina lost most of the furniture and textile manufacturing. Then, after China entered the WTO (about 2001), the loss of American aluminum (and other industries) became very personal with me. I had worked as a Field Service engineer/Consultant on coal and oil power generation all around the world for ALCOA for 35 years (1977-2012). ALCOA during the 1980’s was the world’s largest alumina and aluminum manufacturer. After China was admitted to the WTO (World Trade Organization) the CCP promptly ramped up their aluminum production from insignificant production in the year 2000 to over 50% of world capacity by 2012. They produced aluminum at very low cost and then sold aluminum ingot (some would say, Dumped) on the London Metal Exchange. The figure below is from a Dick Storm presentation in 2016. The production data is from the International Aluminum Association and the WSJ. My Blog post in Feb. 2021 outlined some of my personal experiences in working for the power plant which powered the massive ALCOA Rockdale Smelting Works in Rockdale, TX.

At about this time, Alcoa was reducing capacity & shutting down refining and smelting capacity. (including the Rockdale Works). I gave a presentation to the (PA) Delaware County Bar Association in 2016 wherin I used my experiences of working with ALCOA to make my point on the importance of reasonable cost, abundant and reliable energy to create jobs and economic prosperity. Local manufacturing and providing high paying jobs ultimately leads to improving Real-Estate markets. Perhaps this is abtract, but that is how I saw it from 1990- 2016.

Then in 2020 I wrote on my Blog regarding the Rise of China and my concerns for American competitiveness. The Blog in 2020 combined my personal experiences of working several decades for ALCOA plus two OLLI courses given at USCB. One course on the “Rise of China” was presented by retired U.S. Army General Craig Whelden and the other on the “Rise, Fall and Rise again of Nations” of the world, presented by Retired Navy Intelligence Officer, Captain Greg Blackburn. So, after thinking about my personal past experiences and then combining the information provided in the OLLI courses, I thought it would be timely to update the energy and electricity generation capacities of China as compared to the U.S.A. I chose to focus on the extreme increase of aluminum production in China (at the expense of U.S. production) because huge amounts of electricity are needed to produce aluminum. Aluminum, of the commonly used metals, requires the greatest amount of electricity to produce. Aluminum smelting requires about 5 kWh per pound of smelted aluminum ingot from alumina powder. Note on the chart below, the growth in electricity generation capacity of China since 2010. This growth was used to increase manufacturing capacity including aluminum production, as noted above.

Most of the electricity generation is from coal as shown on the EIA chart above.

Comparing China’s fuel use for electricity production (above) to the U.S.A. (below). This is an overview of energy and electricity generation capacity in the U.S.A. in 2021 with natural gas being the largest fuel source.

U.S. Has Shut Down Over 102,000 MW of Coal Plants Since 2010

The U.S. has aggressively shut down hundreds of coal power plants and replaced most of the lost generating capacity with natural gas fuel. This was possible as a result of the “Shale Gas Revolution” which produced enormous amounts of natural gas after the perfection of Directional Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing which became commercial about 2010. The two graphs of fuels used for U.S. electric power production are shown below.

China Uses More Than 50% of the World’s Coal Fuel

Comparing China’s coal consumption to the world, we have the graph below. In actuality, China consumes more than 50% of the world’s coal production. This chart is provided by the IEA.

You may say, “So What?” Well, China, Russia and the United Nations are all in agreement that the U.S. and the rest of the western world, the Free World, should stop using Fossil Fuels. Meanwhile, Russia and China are profiting and expanding their influence by using the very fuels that the U.N. and the MSM, WEF and others have decided are harmful for the planet. I will just leave it there for you to decide the U.N. and Environmental Extremists motives for Demonizing Carbon use by the Western World. The top sixteen “Influencers” are identified on my Blog of January 4th. A good friend commented that I forgot to list Al Gore as one of the primary influencers, so perhaps the number should be 17 for top ranked individuals and organizational influencers. No matter the number, they have harmed America’s competitiveness and productive manufacturing capacity.

World CO2 Emissions by Country

Carbon Footprint by Country

According to the European Union‘s Joint Research Centre, total global CO2 emissions increased from 34.1 GT in 2010 to 37.9 GT—an all-time high—in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic and its related restrictions on travel and transportation triggered a decrease to 35.962 GT in 2020, but emissions are expected to resume increasing once 2021 totals become available. China is the largest emitter of CO2 in the world, with 11680 Mt (11.680 GT) of carbon dioxide emissions in 2020. This is just over 32% of the world’s total 2020 emissions. The United States released the second-highest amount of carbon emissions at 4.535 GT, or roughly 12.6% of the total global emissions.

Top 10 CO2-emitting countries in the world (Total CO2 in Mt) – EU JRC 2020

  1. China — 11680.42
  2. United States — 4535.30
  3. India — 2411.73
  4. Russia — 1674.23
  5. Japan — 1061.77
  6. Iran — 690.24
  7. Germany — 636.88
  8. South Korea — 621.47
  9. Saudi Arabia — 588.81
  10. Indonesia — 568.27

Total emissions, however, fall short of telling the full story. For example, sharp-eyed observers may notice that the top three emitters are also three of the most populous countries on Earth that also have the largest manufacturing capacity. So it stands to reason that their emissions would be higher than that of countries with a fraction as many residents and less manufacturing.

China’s Planned Future Electricity Generation

To China’s credit, unlike the U.S. they have a rational path forward to transition toward a reduced carbon energy future. However, until the 150 new nuclear plants are completed and increased renewables are installed, China is forging ahead with plenty of conventional generation capacity. As you can see from the aforementioned information, China currently has 2,390 GW of electric generating capacity and the U.S. about 1,200 GW.

China’s Most Recent Announcement of A Major Power Plant Expansion, A 16 GW Wind-Solar and Coal Plant

This was reported in this month’s (Jan. 2023) edition of POWER Magazine: China talks a good game on being “Green” and promoting renewables. The facts are that China’s leaders clearly believe in “A Balanced Generation Portfolio”. Not a bad approach for any country. Let’s get back to China’s latest Press Release:

“A massive, multibillion-dollar renewable and fossil-fuel energy project is underway in China. The installation, being built by China Three Gorges (CTG), includes wind, solar, energy storage and coal-fired power generation.

Ground was broken for the first pilot of the Kubuqi Base project in Dalate Banner, Ordos, Inner Mongolia on Dec. 28, 2022, according to Chinese media. Kubuqi represents an investment of 80 billion yuan ($11.6 billion). Reports said the installation will eventually have 8 GW of solar power capacity, along with 4 GW of wind power, and 4 GW of coal-fired generation, in addition to energy storage.

“The Kubuqi Base project is the world’s largest wind [and] photovoltaic base project developed and constructed in … desert areas,” CTG said in a statement. The company said it wants to build “the Three Gorges on the Great Wall,” which is apparently a reference to CTG’s major 22.5-GW hydropower project on the Yangtze River, the world’s largest hydro installation and largest power plant of any kind by power generation capacity.”

The capacity of 16,000 MW’s is huge. However, to put it into Reality and perspective, China currently has about 2,390 GW’s of installed electricity generation capacity.

In February 2022, China had 2,390 GW of installed capacity. This is comprised of 17% Hydroelectric, 14 % Wind, 14% Solar and 5% Natural Gas and 2% nuclear, Coal Power generates over 2/3 of China’s electricity. Keeping in mind that Nameplate capacity is not the same as actual generation through the year. China plans to install over 3,000 GW of total generation capacity by 2025. The U.S. by comparison is about 1,200 GW.

The total electricity generation (for China) by fuel from 1990 to 2020 is shown below. This is from the IEA statistics:

China uses about 50% of the world’s coal consumption to power it’s economy, it’s large population and massive manufacturing operations.

According to Carbon Brief.org, China is the world’s largest consumerproducer and importer of coal, with its consumption and production each accounting for around half of the global totals. 

Coal is widely used in China for generating electricity, despite the country’s rapid growth of renewable energy in recent years. 

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, coal accounted for 56% of the country’s total energy consumption in 2021. The ratio signifies a continuous decline from more than 70% in the mid-2000s. Nevertheless, the absolute level of China’s coal use has continued to rise.

Two important metals are steel and aluminum. The best data available shows that China produces more than 50% of both the steel and aluminum needed by the people of the world. This production requires large amounts of primary energy, which for China means, mostly coal fuel.

Conclusions:

  1. China’s carbon dioxide emissions are the largest in the world, about 33% of the world total in 2022.
  2. China has a Rational Energy Policy to increase conventional generation as they move toward reduced carbon production of electricity, including 150 planned new nuclear power plants. China is not sacrificing manufacturing capacity or competitiveness like the U.S. and the rest of the Free World.
  3. China is likely to remain the world’s largest manufacturer of aluminum and steel for the foreseeable future.
  4. American leaders seem to be tone death on the importance of energy to keep America strong.

I thought the summary above would be useful for anyone interested is comparing the energy policies of the U.S. to those in China. In addition to the information provided above, some additional references are provided below for further reading and research.

Yours very truly,

Dick Storm, January 18, 2023

References and links for additional reading and research

  1. Bloomberg, China to Build 150 new nuclear plants, valued about $440 Billion. November 2021: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-11-02/china-climate-goals-hinge-on-440-billion-nuclear-power-plan-to-rival-u-s#xj4y7vzkg
  2. POWER Magazine, 1,000 MW Chinese Coal Plant starts up in Mongolia, Dec 2021: https://www.powermag.com/first-1-gw-unit-of-major-china-coal-fired-plant-comes-online/
  3. U.S.- ASME- Nuclear Status Report July 2022: https://www.asme.org/topics-resources/content/infographic-nuclear-s-aging-issue
  4. U.S. IRA Funds Given to China for Green Power, Cowboy News Jan. 2023: https://cowboystatedaily.com/2022/12/31/energy-dept-gives-more-taxpayer-money-to-chinese-companies-barrasso-demands-answers/
  5. 14.9 GW of Coal Generating Capacity to be shut down in 2022, WUWT January 2022, David Middleton: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/01/12/us-to-shutter-14-9-gw-of-coal-fired-and-add-46-1-gw-of-utility-scale-solar-pv-in-2022/
  6. The Magic Washing Machine, Hans Rosling, TED Talk. Very informative on the importance of energy to improve the quality of life for millions of people living in poverty:  https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_the_magic_washing_machine
  7. World Nuclear Organization. China continues to dominate the market for new nuclear build, with 21 reactors under construction at the end of July 2022. In 2018 China became the first country to commission two new designs – the AP1000 and the EPR. China is marketing the Hualong One for export, a largely indigenous reactor design.:  https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/nuclear-power-in-the-world-today.aspx
  8. Jan 4th Blog, Dick Storm’s Nominations of top 16 Energy Policy Influencers: https://dickstormprobizblog.org/2023/01/04/influencers-of-american-energy-policy/(opens in a new tab)
  9. Rise of China and Need to Reshore American Manufacturing: https://wp.me/p5DzAo-57
  10. IEA China Energy Feb 2022: https://www.iea.org/countries/china
  11. Forbes on China Generating Capacity, about 2,390 GW, Feb 2022: https://www.forbes.com/sites/thebakersinstitute/2022/04/26/coal-to-power-chinas-energy-transition/?sh=7437abc81b9e
  12. EIA China Energy Facts, 2021 : https://www.eia.gov/international/overview/country/CHN
  13. Carbon Brief.org: https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-what-does-chinas-coal-push-mean-for-its-climate-goals/
  14. World of CO2 new website, Jan. 2023: https://www.the-world-of-co2.org
  15. Carbon Footprint by country, World Population Review : https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/carbon-footprint-by-country
  16. World Nuclear Association Info on Nuclear Power Contribution to Reducing Manmade Carbon Dioxide Emissions:  https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/energy-and-the-environment/nuclear-energy-and-sustainable-development.aspx
  17. BP Statistical Review 2021 (released (July 2022): https://www.bp.com
  18. POWER Magazine, Sonal Patel, Sept 9, 2022, EPA Rules likely to shut down about 86 GW of coal generation in next few years: https://www.powermag.com/group-epas-coordinated-regulatory-assault-on-coal-power-could-push-retirements-beyond-86-gw-by-2030/?oly_enc_id=3247D5884312C9W
  19. China and World Carbon Dioxide emitters Columbia Univ.: https://www.energypolicy.columbia.edu/research/report/getting-30-60-how-china-s-biggest-coal-power-cement-and-steel-corporations-are-responding-national
  20. Davos 2023, China to Boost Oil Demand by at least 500,000 BBL’s/day: https://energynow.com/2023/01/davos-2023-china-to-boost-oil-demand-by-up-to-500000-bpd/
  21. WSJ, July 19, 2022, Climate Policy Causes Power Shortages : https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-wests-climate-policy-debacle-global-warming-energy-putin-russia-fossil-fuel-power-summer-heat-11658084481
  22. WSJ July 19, 2022, Importance of Nuclear: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-global-nuclear-comeback-green-energy-fossil-fuels-supply-climate-mandates-power-generation-11658170860?cx_testId=3&cx_testVariant=cx_4&cx_artPos=1&mod=WTRN#cxrecs_s
  23. Canary Media, “China Owns the Solar Supply Chain, Jeopardizing the Energy Transition”, July 23, 2022: https://www.canarymedia.com/articles/solar/china-owns-the-solar-supply-chain-jeopardizing-the-energy-transition?utm_campaign=canary&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=220673447&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9qdplyTWSJwNbSUcaZsyQqMfEGosX_vUIpTFtv0RmnmBdVZVFKyZrThPLeb_nvaJ635TpzDjz8qaeF7K3f2mujCqjbtm3ezmo3tQu9mry8L1boHrk&utm_source=newsletter
  24. IEA Solar Supply Chain Report, July 2022: https://www.iea.org/reports/solar-pv-global-supply-chains?utm_content=buffer2109b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
  25. IEA Energy and Food Production: https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-the-energy-crisis-is-exacerbating-the-food-crisis
  26. Liberty Energy, “Bettering Human Lives Report” An excellent resource to show the importance of energy to living a High Quality of Life: https://www.libertyenergy.com/betteringhumanlivesv2/
  27. WNA Uranium Suppliers: https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/mining-of-uranium/world-uranium-mining-production.aspx
  28. POWER Magazine, August 1, 2022, OSAKI-CoolGen Plant J-Power, Japan: https://www.powermag.com/a-japanese-project-demonstrates-a-carbon-neutrality-pathway-for-coal-power/
  29. Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage, Global CCS: https://www.globalccsinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/State-of-the-Art-CCS-Technologies-2022.pdf
  30. Global CCS Institute Library:  https://www.globalccsinstitute.com/resources/multimedia-library/
  31. What are SMR’s? By International Atomic Energy Agency: https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/what-are-small-modular-reactors-smrs
  32. Dr. Nicolas Kokel Report on the importance of conventional forms of energy, August 2022: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/energy-transitions-reboot-dr-nicolas-kokel/
  33. Andy May, Petro-Physicist, Report on increased energy use in the world 2020-2021: https://andymaypetrophysicist.com/2023/01/05/energy-use-2020-to-2021/
  34. CLINTEL Scientists on Climate Change info, website: https://clintel.org
  35. World of CO2 new website, Jan. 2023:  https://www.the-world-of-co2.org
  36. Tim Ball, Corruption of Science, 2014: https://www.alachuacounty.us/Depts/epd/EPAC/BOOK%20REVIEW%20-%20‘THE%20DELIBERATE%20CORRUPTION%20OF%20CLIMATE%20SCIENCE%20by%20TIM%20BALL.pdf
  37. Donn Dears New Book, “Clean Energy Crisis”: https://wp.me/p5DzAo-Fg
  38. Bjorn Lomborg Science Direct, Energy and Social Changes, Jan. 2023: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162520304157
  39. CO2 Facts on Climate Change and Science Based Information: https://co2coalition.org
  40. WUWT Weaponizing Alarmism on Climate, Steven Koonin and Jordan Peterson: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2023/01/17/unsettled-climate-and-science-dr-steven-koonin/
  41. State of American Energy Report by API, The Solution is Here!:  https://events.api.org/reports/soae-2023/

Clean Energy Crisis

The title of Donn Dears new book

Introduction

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 

Chapter 1 

Fossil Fuels (Overview of oil, NG, & coal. US has largest reserves in the world.) 

Chapter 2 

The grid ( Grid is mismanaged. Reliability is in danger. Baseload power essential.) 

Chapter 3 

Importance of coal (HELE plants essential for poor countries.) 

Chapter 4 

The promise of nuclear power ( SMRs hold promise for revival. Cost and fear stand in their way.) 

Chapter 5  

Demand for Materials (Mining and shortages, environmental issues & China.)  

Chapter 6  

Comparing BEVs and ICEs (Electricity demand, cost and safety issues.) 

Chapter 7 

Environmental Blackhole (NEPA’s need for reform to prevent interminable legal challenges.) 

Part 2 Impossible Dreams 

Chapter 8 

Impossibility of Net-zero Carbon (Wind, PV solar, & nuclear: impossible to build enough capacity to meet demand.) 

Chapter 9  

Creating Fear to Sell Climate Change (Show that fear of sea-level rise, hurricanes, etc., is unfounded.) 

Conclusion  

Appendix A How the grid works

Appendix B Dangerous ESG Mandates 

Appendix C Battery-Powered Bucket Trucks

Appendix D Climate Science (Happer, Wijngaarden paper)

Learn more about how to order Clean Energy Crisis here: : https://bit.ly/3QuEuRs

Closing

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……

Dick Storm, December 30, 2022

Keeping America Energized, Maybe 45Q will Help?

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
  • 27% Transportation
    • 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.
  • According to the “Coalition for a Prosperous America” America’s Domestic Market Share of “Made in U.S.A.” products has declined from 77% in 2002 to below 67% in 2022
  • 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.

Summary

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.

Dick Storm, December 20, 2022

References for further reading and research:

  1. 14.9 GW of Coal Generating Capacity to be shut down in 2022, WUWT January 2022, David Middleton: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/01/12/us-to-shutter-14-9-gw-of-coal-fired-and-add-46-1-gw-of-utility-scale-solar-pv-in-2022/
  2. Nuclear Plant Shut Downs in the U.S. https://www.eia.gov/nuclear/reactors/shutdown/
  3. NERC 2022 State of Reliability Report, July 6, 2022: https://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/PA/Performance%20Analysis%20DL/NERC_SOR_2022.pdf
  4. The State of Carbon Capture and Storage, 2022: https://www.globalccsinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/State-of-the-Art-CCS-Technologies-2022.pdf
  5. WESCOM Podcast and links to Dick Storm presentations on their web site, Oct. 2022: https://linktr.ee/wescominc
  6. Donn Dears article on U.S. Energy Resources, July 2022: https://bit.ly/3J5OnTc
  7. Liberty Energy, “Bettering Human Lives Report” An excellent report that shows the relationship of energy to living a high quality of sustainable life: https://www.libertyenergy.com/betteringhumanlivesv2/
  8. Terry Etam article, “Attention Poor People, Step Away from Using Fossil Fuels, it is not for you, Stop Using it Anyway!” December 12, 2022, Excellent read with good references:  https://boereport-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/boereport.com/2022/12/12/column-attention-poor-people-step-away-from-the-fuel-its-not-for-you-and-stop-using-it-anyway-thank-you/amp/
  9. Donn Dears New Book, “Clean Energy Crisis” Available in January from Amazo, Here is an introduction: bit.ly/3HgryNU 
  10. Solar Superstars, WUWT April 2022, A review of how the “Energy Island” of Hawaii has changed with their version of Net-Zero Carbon, by David Middleton : https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/04/26/honolulu-hawaii-top-solar-superstar-in-the-usa/
  11. Hans Rosling TED Talk, “The Magic Washing Machine”: https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_the_magic_washing_machine
  12. Daily Signal article on Energy Policies and Consumer Energy bills:https://www.dailysignal.com/2022/12/01/a-hard-winter-looms-for-americans-energy-bills-and-wallets-blame-biden
  13. MSN article on the war on coal: /https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/why-the-war-on-fossil-fuels-is-causing-chaos/ar-AA14W2mb?cvid=4c345b4dc1084311a2da3833dc753e88
  14. NMA (National Mining Assoc) Website: https://mineralsmakelife.org/blog/
  15. Wind Turbines lasting half expected life, 12 years UK Daily Mail: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2254901/Wind-turbines-half-long-previously-thought-study-shows-signs-wearing-just-12-years.html
  16. Mountaineer CCUS Project, Business Case, AEP: https://www.globalccsinstitute.com/resources/publications-reports-research/aep-mountaineer-ccs-business-case-report/
  17. Electricity Map of power production and CO2 in world: https://www.electricitymaps.com
  18. IEA Coal 2022 Report, Dec. 16, 2022: https://www.iea.org/news/the-world-s-coal-consumption-is-set-to-reach-a-new-high-in-2022-as-the-energy-crisis-shakes-markets
  19. World Report on Environment Dec. 11, 2022, by John Shanahan and others: https://issuu.com/johna.shanahan/docs/221029a_world_report_card_on_climate_energy_and_
  20. Chart of the Week, Majority Electricity Fuel, by State: https://www.canarymedia.com/articles/clean-energy/chart-whats-the-top-source-of-electricity-in-your-state?amp%3Butm_medium=email&amp%3Butm_campaign=canary&_hsmi=238458171&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9ZKMG7ftPsfldZhrW5x6MtMJkzGjNxD4L-AXAo4Gd_mepiPb8KHeqRQ7rVU-RrodbYNhOJ8MQbriwy3qgoTARkx9fDM9JRGgQCMVuYjG6ofYWbI9o&utm_source=newsletter
  21. Forbes: We Have Plenty of Nuclear Fuel, 2017: : https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2017/05/04/we-have-plenty-of-uranium-in-north-america/?sh=367854ef67ce
  22. Uranium deposits within the U.S.A. USGS : https://www.usgs.gov/centers/central-energy-resources-science-center/science/uranium-mineral-systems
  23. CO2 Coalition, Excellent facts and information on the facts regarding carbon dioxide in the environment: https://co2coalition.org

America’s Treasure of Fossil Fuels

I presented my views on the importance of coal to the ASME Annual Meeting in Dallas at the Plenary Session in the summer of 2011. Back then, over 50% of America’s electricity was generated by coal power and hundreds of new coal plants were in the planning stages to modernize the coal fleet. Electricity costs in the U.S. were amongst the lowest in the world. The map with electricity costs is from 2010 data and from Dick Storm presentation to the ASME Annual Meeting.

During last Thanksgiving week I was thinking of the many Blessings I have had over my life-time and it occurred to me that not only me but all other Americans are Blessed with an enormous treasure of energy (and many minerals we need too) right within our borders. It has been said before, “America is the Saudi Arabia of Coal”. What follows are some slide excerpts from my 2011 talk to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) where my main point was, “Coal is Important”. It was then and remains important in 2022.

Back in 2008-2011 there were hundreds of new coal plants in the planning or construction stages. Many of these were cancelled. At the end of this post, in the Conclusions, I have added a dozen or so references of some of the organizations and individuals that contributed to the stopping new construction or the shutting down of over 200 coal plants. Because the ASME meeting in 2011 was at the beginning of “Wokeness” by the ASME, not all organizers were pleased with what I had to say. However, thanks to a friend who was an ASME official at the time, I was given my full allotted time in the Plenary Session for my presentation. My compliments and appreciation to my career-long friend Sam Korellis, now retired from EPRI. Time flies, that was 11 years ago and since then over 102,000 MW’s of coal generation capacity has been shut down without being replaced in kind. This is a mistake that much of America will realize in a couple months when the 2023 winter begins. Here are my views, as presented 11 years ago on the importance of coal and I believe, still are applicable today.

Economic prosperity and coal consumption grew as America prospered 1970-2010. This in spite of the 1973-74 Arab Oil Embargo.

I have used the U.S. Department of Energy Sankey Diagram of “Total Primary Energy” for many years and have discussed the fact that America typically requires 100 Quadrillion Btus of energy each year to power our high quality of life. Here below is the Sankey Diagram showing the Total Primary Energy used in 2008. Note it is 102.75 Quadrillion Btus. What has changed as the years (and War on Coal) have gone by, is the source of the fuels. In 2008 coal was 19.76 Quadrillion Btus. In 2021 coal was about half that at 10.5 Quadrillion Btus as natural gas fuel was more widely used for power generation 2008 to 2021. However, the total primary energy for normal economic activity remains right at 100 Quadrillion Btus. In 2019 before Covid, it was 101 Quads.

Four Facts that I opened my talk with: In 2011 about 82% of the world’s energy was fossil fuels. Today, fossil fuels continue to provide about the same percentage but actually, a greater quantity than in 2011 because more energy is used today than in 2011. My last of the four points is the most important. That is, Much damage to the American people and all of the people of the world has been inflicted by Green policies that are based on political wealth distribution purposes plus the myth that solar and wind can replace fossil fuels.

Summary of Where the U.S. Has Progressed in Energy Policy Since 2011

The presentation to the ASME was in the summer of 2011, 11 years ago. Since then over 102,000 MW of reliable, Dispatchable Coal plants have been shut down and only three new coal plants that I know of were started up in the U.S. (AEP-John Turk Station in Arkansas, Duke-Cliffside #6 and Longview in WVA). For a reliable grid there should be a Rational Energy Policy that would have provided incentives for continuing a Balanced electric generation portfolio. Including All Fuels and All Forms of Clean Energy, including Clean Coal, Nuclear, Gas Turbine Combined Cycle, wind and solar.

As if to highlight the irrational Energy Policy today, my friend Thomas sent me a news clip on the Pirky Plant in Texas being forced to shut down(1) just this week. His appropriate description of the news item is: “Losing the War against Stupidity”. So it seems.

There has been no planning of a so called “Energy Transition to wind and solar, only shut downs of reliable, Dispatchable coal and nuclear plants.

These coal and nuclear plant shut downs have been driven by environmental zealots funded by non energy savvy Billionaires. To be fair, they may have good intentions on contributing to a cleaner and better world. However, Net-Zero Carbon by 2035 or even 2050 will not be possible without sacrificing our quality of life. The folks that contribute to the environmental extremists and the organizations have indoctrinated many of the people of the world by demonizing the very fuels that have lifted billions from poverty. Amongst them are the Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Council and many more. Many of the executives from the environmental extremist groups have served both the EPA and government agencies. This is well documented by a 2015 report by Congress . Numerous references below document the revolving door of extremists being placed in high government positions. Background and expertise in electric power production or any proficiency in energy production or engineering is not a requiremment for these individuals that are now in powerful government positions. The lack of an energy policy is partially explained by the lack of proficiency or understanding by people in high office. The organizations that set U.S. Energy (Non) Policy are depicted in the illustration below which I have used in recent presentations.

So, What Went Wrong?

The root cause of our foolish and anti-American energy policy in my opinion, is due to many years of mis-education and indoctrination of the public on the Myth that Solar and Wind can replace coal, natural gas and nuclear generation. Also, replace Fossil Fuels for transportation, plastics, Fertilizer, concrete and steel production. The indoctrination of the public on the myth that wind and solar can provide all of America’s energy has been well orchestrated, but it is wrong for America and wrong for the Free World.

The organizations shown in the above illustration have done much to misguide the public. In addition to the organizations above, there are many “Woke” corporations and organizations that may have “good intentions” to promote “Electrifying Everything” but…. it is simply not possible to do so. So here we are at the end of a Decade of misinformation and Indoctrination and the result is a worldwide Energy Crisis. According to the head of the IEA, Dr. Faith Birol, yes it is a world energy crisis, worse than the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo. Similar dire warnings from energy experts, such as Daniel Yergin of Cambridge Energy Experts.

Conclusions

  1. I still believe the 2011 ASME presentation on the Importance of Coal, to be valid and a valid component of a Rational Energy Policy. America should use our enormous treasure of nuclear, coal, oil and gas minerals that lie within our borders.
  2. Net Zero Carbon by 2050, Using All Renewables is Not Practical or Attainable
  3. Energy Policy in the U.S. is determined by Environmental Extremists and Politicians that do not have training or proficiency in engineering and energy production.
  4. There is No U.S. Policy for an Orderly Transition to Carbon-Free Energy
  5. Energy Independence should be a central component of any U.S. Energy Policy.
  6. .An Energy Crisis including Blackouts is Likely in Winter 2023. Energy Policy is Set by Politicians, Un-Elected Bureaucrats and Lobbyists, Driven by Green $ Incentives to Utilities and Independent Power Generation Developers
  7. Hydrogen as Stored Energy, Has Technical Merit, But does not yet make Economic good sense. It still takes about 3-4 units of electricity kWh to make one useable kWh
  8. .Producing Hydrogen from Nuclear Energy is Practical and Proven and may lead to affordable hydrogen….But it will take years
  9. A “Rational Energy Policy” to Transition to Future Energy supply, should include All Fuels, including Dispatchable Natural Gas, Coal, Nuclear.  Renewables where practical. 
  10. We should not Shut Down and Demolish Existing Generation until new HELE Coal Plants for Bulk Power Generation is assured in order to maintain a Balanced Generation Portfolio.
  11. A partial list of key players that are setting U.S. Energy Policy. (Hint, These are not people trained in engineering & planning Electricity Generation Capacity):
  12. The preceding list of organizations and individuals are some of the anti conventional fuels Zealots that have molded the United States Energy Policies, which are in fact, Not Energy Policies at all, just a continuing “War on Coal and Conventional Fuels” This my friends is how America the greatest country in the world, is self inflicting harm on our economy, national security and against the best interests of the American people. One would think that the Bureaucrats in Washington do not read the news of the energy problems and causes in Europe? We should know by now, the importance of true Energy Independence.

Respectfully and yours truly,

Dick Storm, November 25, 2022

References and for further reading:

  1. Eco regulations force massive coal plant to shut down, sparking community uproar | Fox Business. Typical news of the harm done to citizens by out of control Bureaucrats: https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/eco-regulations-force-massive-coal-plant-shut-down-sparking-community-uproar
  2. Gina McCarthy, Climate Czar, IRS 990 form when she worked at NRDC between Obama and Biden Administrations: Click to access nrdc-actionfund-990-2020.pdf
  3. Big Green Radicals, 2014  : https://freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/epa-report.pdf
  4. Business Insider, Links of Russian Funds to NRDC Funding to fight Fracking: https://www.businessinsider.com/a-russian-linked-company-in-bermuda-is-funneling-millions-to-us-anti-fracking-groups-2015-1
  5. 2011 American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Plenary Meeting presentation, Why Coal is Important: https://www.stormeng.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2011-Why-Coal-is-Important-for-America-ASME-Annual-Meeting-2011.pdf
  6. Joe Gothman Atty in EPA Revolving Door of well funded non-Profits and EPA: http://www.scientificintegrityinstitute.org/USSEWP080415.pdf
  7. Donn Dears article on U.S. Energy Resources, July 2022https://bit.ly/3J5OnTc
  8. What is Endangered, Freedom or Climate: https://dickstormprobizblog.org/2022/02/27/what-is-endangered-climate-or-freedom-this-is-the-sub-title-of-the-book-blue-planet-in-green-shackles/
  9. Is Manmade Global Warming causing more hurricanes? https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/10/16/is-global-warming-responsible-for-hurricane-ian-the-evidence-says-no/
  10. On Arctic Ice: :  https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/no-melting-greenland-ice-is-not-about-to-swamp-coastal-areas
  11. On Tidal Rise: https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/no-melting-greenland-ice-is-not-about-to-swamp-coastal-areas
  12. Benefits of CO2 to the planet:  http://sepp.org/twtwfiles/2022/TWTW%2011-05-22.pdf
  13. Urban Heat Island science: http://sepp.org/twtwfiles/2022/TWTW%2011-05-22.pdf
  14. On Scientific Consensus of Anthropogenic Global Warminghttps://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/97-consensus-on-climate-change-survey-shows-only-59-of-scientists-expect-significant-harm
  15. Monuments to Poor Planning, What Do you Think they will be in 2024:  https://dickstormprobizblog.org/
  16. Donn Dears, Blackouts Threaten New England Again?:  https://ddears.com/2022/10/25/blackouts-threaten-new-england-again/
  17. If the Climate Zealots Really Cared about CO2 Then, they would embrace Nuclear Power: WSJ, Opinion, May 27, 2022, Jason Hayes, “Why Blackouts are Coming to Michigan” Regarding shutdown of Palisades Nuclear Generating Plant: https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-electricity-blackouts-are-coming-to-michigan-nuclear-power-plant-green-energy-renewable-climate-11653685521?cx_testId=3&cx_testVariant=cx_2&cx_artPos=5&mod=WTRN#cxrecs_s
  18. World Nuclear Organizationhttps://world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/nuclear-power-in-the-world-today.aspx
  19. U.S. Grid Monitor, Real Time Bulk Power across U.S. https://www.eia.gov/electricity/gridmonitor/dashboard/electric_overview/US48/US48
  20. Liberty Energy, “Bettering Human Lives Report”: https://www.libertyenergy.com/betteringhumanlivesv2/
  21. Capital Research Center, Nov. Dec. 2021 Issue: https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/Capital-Research-2021-8.pdf
  22. WUWT Blog on Global Fuels Use, July 11, 2021: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/07/11/2020-global-energy-data-shows-fossil-fuels-completely-dominate-world-energy-use/
  23. IEA Energy and Food Production: https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-the-energy-crisis-is-exacerbating-the-food-crisis
  24. Activist Facts,  Environmental Report (Follow the Money): https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/19-natural-resources-defense-council/
  25. China and World Carbon Dioxide emitters Columbia Univ.: https://www.energypolicy.columbia.edu/research/report/getting-30-60-how-china-s-biggest-coal-power-cement-and-steel-corporations-are-responding-national
  26. Capital Research Center, The Left’s War on Coal: https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-lefts-war-on-coal-part-3/
  27. There is No Climate Emergency, Dr. Judith Curry: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YBdmppcfixM&feature=emb_logo
  28. Dr. Steve Koonin, Is There Really a Climate Emergency?: https://www.prageru.com/video/is-there-really-a-climate-emergency?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaign_5331670

American Energy Independence With a Rational Energy Policy is Needed Now!

America and all Developed countries require Energy to power our lives and our economy. It is time (for the government, energy savvy citizens already know this) to face the facts and reality that nearly 90% of the energy America depends on, including for our Defense of National Security, is sourced from conventional fuels or sources of natural gas, nuclear, oil, coal and old hydropower generation. Wind and Solar cannot replace these forms of energy and the path to Net-Zero Carbon will weaken our country. A Rational Energy Transition is needed over the next few decades. As a reminder, the Sankey Diagram below shows the total primary energy flows by sources and flow for all of 2021 forms of energy . Note that less than 5% of the primary energy provided to the U.S. was from wind and solar.

The two key words are PRIMARY ENERGY! As a couple people have asked me on EV’s…..”You mean the electricity has to be generated somewhere else to charge an electric vehicle?”

Yes, over 89% of the PRIMARY ENERGY we use is from conventional sources of Petroleum, Coal, Natural Gas, Nuclear and Hydroelectric and yes, electricity to charge an EV likely came from conventional sources.

I have met with numerous groups to discuss our energy future and every time I outline the current government path to Net-Zero Carbon the people I talk with are shocked that there is not a planned transition to reduced carbon emissions and sustaining a reliable, affordable energy supply. Why? I believe it is because those that are knowledgeable in all forms of primary energy production are a small minority. Similar for secondary energy production, such as for producing electricity and hydrogen. I estimate that the people who thoroughly understand energy production is less than 5% of American (and the world) citizens. Smooth talking non-energy savvy politicians, the United Nations, the Main Stream Media, World Economic Forum and Public Education have Hoodwinked the Public into Demonizing carbon and preaching and legislating Green Power incentives. These powerful innfluencers have forced wind and solar Green Energy Religion on Americans. It is not possible to switch all of America or the rest of the Free World to Renewable wind and solar energy. It is possible to have a smooth transition to increase carbon free nuclear power and nuclear power produced hydrogen over the next three decades, but not by 2030 or 2035 as is proclaimed by the Biden Administration. America has no energy policy, only a policy of demonizing carbon and forcing the citizens to depend on unreliable, intermittent wind and solar.

Energy Misinformation is World-Wide

My friend Vincent who lives in France has sent me dozens of informative documents on energy. One document he sent yesterday caught my attention. It is the opening introduction of Professor Samuel Furfari’s article published on the Friends of Science Blog of Calgary University. I will quote Professor Furfari as he captures what I believe to be true as well. Furfari is referring to Europe, but much of what he states is applicable all over the Free World:

Energy is life. Without energy, we could not live. That is why our distant ancestors adopted, then invented ways to create fire. The use of energy is essential for life: animals and human beings eat because their bodies need energy. Moreover, energy is also the blood that runs through the veins of the economic system. In recent years, instead of seeing energy as a vital commodity, environmental activists have succeeded in reversing the logic by blaming energy for all the planet’s ills, to the point where energy is no longer spoken of in negative terms. Energy has become the symbol of pollution and climate catastrophe. A few days ago, at the end of a lecture, a student confessed to me that he had been shaken because I had shown, with data, that the quality of life measured by the UN HDI index and life expectancy at birth depended on per capita energy consumption. This correlation is also valid with CO2 emissions since 82% of the energy used in the world is fossil fuel. He had never thought about it. No one had ever told him that.” Furfari continues….

“Will the current crisis be enough to bring us back to the common sense of the absolute priority of having abundant and cheap energy, as the founders of the EU said in the past? This is not certain, as the population has been so indoctrinated with negative and even catastrophic messages. But if the current crisis was to last and worsen, climate policies could face fierce opposition from the population, since it is true that the population cannot do without abundant and cheap energy, as the current panic demonstrates. Thanks to the development of technology and our energy resources (North Sea hydrocarbons and nuclear energy), the EU was able to escape the oil crises of the 1970s. The energy terrorism that may develop in the near future will have much more far-reaching consequences, as the EU is now much more dependent on energy consumption than it was fifty years ago.”

The foregoing is from a European viewpoint. My opinion/commentary now continues:

We Cannot Electrify Everything!

It is not even possible to install enough wind turbines and solar collectors across the U.S. to “Electrify Everything”. Further, we cannot electricfy everything and still sustain our high quality of living. For such products/materials as fertilizer, ammonia, food production energy, plastics, cement manufacture and steel manufacture. So what would a Rational Energy Policy look like? Here is my shot at offering one:

A RATIONAL ENERGY PLAN

Here is what a Rational Energy Plan would look like:

  1. Maintain Existing Coal & Nuclear Plants as If they will Run for 20 more years….because… we will likely need them.
  2. Reduce Federal Regulations on Oil, Gas, Coal production and all hard rock Mining within the U.S.A.
  3. Reduce Regulations and build more Refinery Capacity
  4. Approve Keystone and other Pipelines for Construction
  5. Reduce Federal Regulations on Coal Plant Emissions to levels in effect in 2020 (except CO2 restrictions that were later vacated by SCOTUS)
  6. Build New HELE Coal Plants, Equipped with Provisions for Future CCUS     (HELE=High Efficiency Low Emissions)
  7. Continue R & D for Energy Storage and Hydrogen Production
  8. Increase Hydrogen Distribution Infrastructure
  9. Keep Options of Continuing Internal Combustion Engines Beyond 2035 for those citizens that prefer Internal Combustion Engines
  10. Expand Oil & Gas Infrastructure to meet next 30 year Demand
  11. Increase the pace for designing, NRC Approvals, manufacturing and construction of new Small Modular Nuclear Reactors to be built all across the U.S.A. to replace the 102,000 MW’s of reliable, Dispatchable electric power production capacity that has been shut down since 2010.

Summary and Conclusions

When America’s economy and our productive capacity are restored, it will be with the result of reduced Federal Regulations and increased Domestic Energy production. To sustain life as we know it, each American on average needs about one million BTUs of energy equivalence each day. This includes energy for electricity generation, transportation, Industrial production, National Defense, commercial and residential uses. Over 90% of that energy is sourced from conventional sources of natural gas, oil, coal and nuclear. These numbers are substantiated by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Sankey Diagram I placed as the first illustration. Yes, it shows 95% of the primary energy America runs on is from conventional forms of energy. It is Energy Fiction to believe that the conventional forms we use and depend on now can be provided by wind and solar as the Biden Administration and Congress have advocated. (I suppose we could add to this list of indoctrinators: the United Nations, World Economic Forum, Environmental Extremist groups, the MSM, U.S. Public Education and Woke corporations)

If the Biden Administration and Congress do not create a Rational Energy Policy as I have outlined above, then America’s Infuence in the World and our Economy will go into an ever increasing decline. As outlined by Professor Samuel Furfari, the same is true for Europe. “Energy is Life, Without Energy we cannot live”.

The Developed World runs on energy and America has the natural resources to regain Energy Independence.

Dick Storm, October 12, 2022

Quote of the Week: 
“Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression.” —James Madison (1788)
Ken Haapala President of SEPP

References and Additional Reading materials:

  1. Energy is Life by Samuel Furfari, Oct 17, 2022: https://blog-friendsofscience-org.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/blog.friendsofscience.org/2022/10/17/energy-in-addition-to-the-security-challenge-now-the-safety-challenge/amp/
  2. The changing world of energy and the geopolitical challenges”. Samuele Furfari’s latest book is “The hydrogen illusion”.
  3. Europe’s Energy Crisis Was Created by Politics: https://mises.org/wire/europes-energy-crisis-was-created-political-intervention
  4. WSJ-Nord Stream Blasts Likely Sabotage, German Probe Finds, October 17, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/nord-stream-blasts-were-likely-result-of-sabotage-german-probe-finds-11666016047?mod=mhp
  5. WSJ-Winter’s Approach Raises Stakes in European Energy Crisis, Oct 16, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/winters-approach-raises-stakes-in-european-energy-crisis-11665926245?mod=djem_EnergyJournal
  6. Alex Epstein substack, October 2022, How a Fake Climate Emergency Created a True Energy Crisis: https://alexepstein.substack.com/p/how-a-fake-climate-emergency-created?utm_source=email
  7. No, Melting Greenland Ice is Not About to Swamp Coastal Areas, H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute: : https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/no-melting-greenland-ice-is-not-about-to-swamp-coastal-areas
  8. Is Global Warming the Cause of Ian? The evidence says NO! Watts UpWith That: October 16, 2022: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/10/16/is-global-warming-responsible-for-hurricane-ian-the-evidence-says-no/ For references use this link.
  9. States to Ban Gas Cars Despite the Human and Environmental Cost, Epoch Times, September 26, 2022:   https://link.theepochtimes.com/mkt_app/states-to-ban-gas-powered-cars-despite-human-and-environmental-cost-of-electric-vehicles_4726635.html?utm_campaign=app-cc&utm_source=ref_share
  10. Sea Level Rise Jumpy After Last Ice Age, WUWT:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/01/sea-level-rise-jumpy-after-last-ice-age/
  11. The Week that Was by the Science and Environmental Policy Project, Edited by Ken Haapala, President: http://www.sepp.org/the-week-that-was.cfm
  12. Net Zero=Pro China, Pro Russia, Science Matters, Ron Clutz, October 2022: https://rclutz.com/2022/10/13/net-zero-pro-china-pro-russia/#like-27736
  13. Net Zero Watch, October 2022: https://mailchi.mp/dca1b92c985c/us-banks-threaten-to-withdraw-from-net-zero-alliance-191791?e=9e46528ac6
  14. Liberty Energy, Bettering Human Lives Report August 2022: https://www.libertyenergy.com/betteringhumanlivesv2/
  15. Donn Dears Politics of Energy Part 1 (Largest energy reserves): https://bit.ly/3J5OnTc 
  16. Donn Dears, Politics of Energy Part 2 :  https://bit.ly/3QuEuRs
  17. Donn Dears Politics of Energy Part 3: 
  18. Donn Dears, Destroying Energy Security Part 1 (SEC and ESG reporting):  https://bit.ly/3C1a5Xd 
  19. Donn Dears, Destroying Energy Security Part 2: https://bit.ly/3JVGWyD
  20. Donn Dears, Destroying Energy Security, Part 3: https://bit.ly/3A8cvRl
  21.  Donn Dears, China’s Coal-Fired Plants Dominate:  http://bit.ly/3RL6PEJ
  22. Donn Dears, Europe’s Rendezvous with Destiny: https://bit.ly/3caBprb 
  23. Donn Dears, IPCC Report, Part 1: https://bit.ly/3Aeruea
  24. Donn Dears, IPCC Report, Part 2: https://bit.ly/3AqFm53 
  25. CO2 Coalition Facts: https://co2coalition.org/facts/
  26. Competitive Enterprise Institute, Cooler Heads Website: https://go.cei.org/webmail/287682/949316776/68e507be334cf34c7d54b4b2a348b50f1d373ec69c94d0d629001f91129chttps://www.wsj.com/articles/the-coming-global-crisis-of-climate-policy-europe-germany-energy-prices-bankruptcy-winter-subsidies-borrowing-green-nuclear-116626510701e7d

Energy =Life, That is, Life as We Enjoy it

On a pro-rated basis, each American uses about 300 million Btus per year of primary energy. This has been steady for decades. 79% of the energy we depend on each day is from fossil fuels and another 8% from nuclear, thus if we include nuclear as conventional, then 87% of the energy we depend on is from Conventional fuels.

300 million Btu/year/Person

I have written before about the energy use per person for U.S. citizens being between 300 and 330 million Btus per year. The latest EIA Monthly Energy Report shows 293 million Btus per capita. I rounded up to 300 million Btus /Capita/year. When the recession is over, we will again exceed 300.

https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/mer.pdf

Most of this energy which we depend on for everything we do, is provided by conventional energy. The latest pie chart of primary energy sources from the EIA is shown below.

Many government officials contend that the best path to energy independence is through the use of renewable energy and in particular, they specify wind and solar. As has been reported before, wind and solar after many years of subsidies have produced less than 5% of America’s total primary energy. All energy use considered the per Capita use comes out to about 300 million Btus per person, per year. This is about 822,000 Btu’s per day, per person. Last spring I gave a presentation to our local Hilton Head Island Middle School students. One example I showed was how each of us in the room could use 822,000 Btu’s each day. I prepared the graphic below, which I attempted to make understandable for 8th Graders. Perhaps it is simple and easy to understand that even a Washington bureaucrat could understand? The folks making energy policy in Washington, in my opinion, do not understand how important conventional energy is to our way of life? Here below is my attempt to explain how using a million Btus/day is very reasonable for the average citizen.

Dick Storm Middle School Presentation on Energy & Electricity Generation, March 2022

For those of us middle class folks that have lived the American Dream to enjoy a very comfortable life, it is not hard to imagine using a million Btus each day with the various forms of energy depicted above. Energy used on our behalf goes beyond what we personally use. The pro-rated energy use per Capita (as recorded by the DOE) includes Industrial manufacturing, Military Defense, government, commercial, fertilizer production, food production and shipping transportation uses. Energy does in fact provide for our high quality of life. Perhaps it would be helpful to compare our energy use to the people of other countries. Here below is such a comparison.

Sources: Dick Storm Middle School Energy Presentation, BP, ExxonMobil, World Bank, Our World in Data
Dick Storm Middle School Presentation on Energy & Electricity, March 2022

Flows of Total U.S. Primary Energy

For anyone who has seen my posts before you will know that I am very enamored with the simple yet clear illustration of U.S. Energy Sources and flows provided by the Department of Energy’s LLNL. This chart shows all major sources of energy which includes renewables and illustrates the quantities of each produced and used by the thickness of the flow lines.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Energy Flows, 2021: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov

Conclusions

Yours very truly,

Dick Storm, August 21, 2022

Excellent references for further research and information:

  1. Donn Dears, The Politics of Energy, Part 1: https://bit.ly/3J5OnTc 
  2. Donn Dears, The Politics of Energy, Part 2: :  https://bit.ly/3QuEuRs
  3. IEA Energy and Food Production: https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-the-energy-crisis-is-exacerbating-the-food-crisis
  4. Russia overtakes Saudi Arabia as World’s largest oil supplier, June 20, 2022 Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-20/china-buys-7-5-billion-of-russian-energy-with-oil-at-record
  5. China-Russian Energy Deal, February 2022: https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/russia-china-may-sign-energy-other-deals-amid-moscow-tension-with-west-2022-02-03/
  6. International Energy Association, Energy Report, Exec. Summary 2021:  https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-outlook-2021/executive-summary
  7. NERC Warning of Blackout Risk: https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/news/north-american-electric-reliability-corp-warns-of-increased-risk-of-grid-blackouts-this-summer/
  8. NERC 2022 State of Reliability Report, July 6, 2022: https://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/PA/Performance%20Analysis%20DL/NERC_SOR_2022.pdf
  9. North American Electric Reliability Corporation December 2021 Report: https://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/ra/Reliability%20Assessments%20DL/NERC_LTRA_2021.pdf
  10. U.S. Grid Monitor, Real Time Bulk Power across U.S. : https://www.eia.gov/electricity/gridmonitor/dashboard/electric_overview/US48/US48
  11. WSJ June 18, 2022, West Risks Blackouts From Drought and loss of Hydroelectric Capacity: https://www.wsj.com/articles/west-risks-blackouts-as-hydroelectric-power-dries-up-11624008601?mod=article_inline
  12. Reuters, China Buying Russian Fuel: The Guardian (UK) China’s Premier Calls For More Coal Plants, June 24, 2022: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/24/chinese-premier-calls-for-more-coal-production-as-electricity-demand-soars 
  13. China buying Russian oil, gas and coal, Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/asian-buyers-russian-oil-gas-coal-2022-02-22/
  14. China Coal Consumption is higher than all the rest of the world together, NS Energy Feb. 2020: https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/features/electricity-consuming-countries/
  15. BP Statistical Review 2021 (Report released July 2022): https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/business-sites/en/global/corporate/pdfs/energy-economics/statistical-review/bp-stats-review-2022-full-report.pdf
  16. The United Nations and Policies of Decarbonization are a higher priority than Feeding the World’s poor and World Peace: https://dickstormprobizblog.org/2022/04/05/energy-world-peace/
  17. POWER Mag, Article on HELE Plants 2018: https://www.powermag.com/could-high-efficiency-low-emissions-hele-technology-revive-u-s-coal-power/
  18. World Nuclear Assoc. Small Modular Reactors: https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/nuclear-power-reactors/small-nuclear-power-reactors.aspx
  19. Liberty Energy, Bettering Human Lives, ESG Report 2022: https://www.libertyenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Bettering-Human-Lives-Liberty-Energy-ESG-Report-2021-Spreads-Web-2.pdf
  20. World Coal Assoc. : https://www.worldcoal.org/clean-coal-technologies/clean-coal-2/ The next four articles are from Dr. George Holliday and son Bill Holliday’s Environmental Newsletter August 21, 2022:
  21. Welfare in the 21st century: Increasing development, reducing inequality, the impact of climate change, and the cost of climate policies Bjorn Lomborg August 2022: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162520304157?fbclid=IwAR1dowZRH8xZ8MRC_G7S1iw2diUkcsI2LCoqry2q-CP-BZqLPHHFnqMJKy
  22. Continental Resources Chairman and founder Harold Hamm detailed on Monday (Mayc2022) what he believes is behind the record prices Americans are facing at the pump, arguing that the Biden administration’s “failed policies on energy are not working. https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/6306265270112#sp=show-clips
  23. Heating the Oceans: By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)An issue with addressing how the earth cools is the mental concept of time. According to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, the earth is continuously emitting infrared energy depending on temperature. Some atmospheric gases, greenhouse gases, continuously interfere with the release of this energy to space in specific wavenumbers (number of wavelengths per centimeter, sometimes called frequency). In clear skies near the surface, most of the gases are well mixed except for water vapor, which varies significantly by region. : http://sepp.org/twtwfiles/2022/TWTW%208-6-2022.pdf
  24. The Modern World Can’t Exist Without These Four Ingredients,  They All Require Fossil Fuels, Vaclav Smil

https://time.com/6175734/reliance-on-fossil-fuels/

Pillars of Modern Civilization: All Dependent on Energy

 Energy=Life    

Food Supply, Ammonia, Steel, Plastics and Concrete

This is my personal opinion. My attempt to show how the policies of environmental extremists, some who hold elected office & some who have high Bureaucratic offices have placed America on a perilous path of energy insecurity. These are my personal opinions and they are not related with any other company or organization with which I am a part of or have ever been a part of. I have used references that I have checked and believe to be totally accurate. Many of the references used are listed at the end of this post for further substantiation of my opinions.

Introduction

The importance of energy is well known by engineers involved in the energy production and electric generation industries. Energy is essential to power our economy, high quality of life, freedom of travel, comforts and conveniences.  Also, food production and distribution are impacted by rising energy costs. The MSM has not reported much on the impact of the rising cost of energy to food price excalations. I will here.

Energy engineers know the importance of energy. The general public, not so much, they have been indoctrinated into hating carbon by effective scare tactics of the U.N., misguided Politicians, the WEF, Entertainment personalities, Environmental Extremists and the MSM. 

According to the EIA, 79% of our total primary energy in 2021 was provided by fossil fuels. When nuclear power is included as a form of conventional energy, then over 87% of the energy we depend on is from conventional fuels. So, let’s think about important materials and crops that support our high quality of life, including more than adequate food. Energy is essential to produce the materials we need as well as the abundance of food that Americans are Blessed with.

Affordable, Abundant, Reliable Energy is Essential to Power Life as We Know It

Meanwhile, policy makers in Washington and all across the U.S. are changing energy policies to fit a green agenda of attempting to abolish fossil fuels. As with the general public, the politicians do not understand the importance of conventional, affordable energy. If fossil fuels were eliminated our society would literally return to life as it was in the 19th century. Drake’s first oil well in 1859 saved the whales by beginning the use of kerosene to replace whale oil for illumination. Then in the 1880’s came the “end of night” with light bulbs and the introduction of central station power generation with  Edison’s Pearl Street Power Generation Station as one of the first in the world. Fossil fuels built the American way of life and our economy since then and we continue to be dependent on them. No amount of environmental or engineering fiction is going to change the needed sources of energy for the next few decades.

A Reminder of Energy History

I would like to focus this post on the importance of energy and especially fossil fuels to provide essential materials and food for people of the world. Oil did save the whales (true) with Drake’s first oil well and Standard Oil’s kerosene production. Then Edison, Tesla and Westinghouse’s successes in developing electricity, motors and illumination by about 1898. Now, let’s switch from energy to food production concerns in 1898.

The Relationship of Energy and Food

Interestingly, the Head of the British Scientific Society, William Crookes, gave a sobering talk in 1898 to state that the planet can only support a total population of about two billion people. Why? Because there was not enough guano (sea bird droppings deposits on islands) and imported Chilean nitrate fertilizer to grow crops to support a growing world population over about 2 billion.  This is well documented in the book, “The Alchemy of Air” as well as books by Vaclav Smil. 

Vaclav Smil is a well-respected energy expert and he has written dozens of books centered on the topic of energy. His latest book is, “How the World Really Works”. I borrowed part of the title of this post from his chapter #4 “Understanding Our Material World”.

Vaclav Smil Book Cover 2022, Viking

The four materials that Smil has selected are Ammonia, Plastics, Steel and Concrete. These are all dependent on vast quantities of energy to produce and yes, we all depend on them for our everyday lives. Let’s start with Ammonia.

Ammonia, A Pre-Requisite to Feeding the World

An interesting book by Thomas Hager, “The Alchemy of Air” chronicles the development of the Haber-Bosch process. The story of how Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch invented and developed the process for producing synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. The book starts out by reminding us of the concern by the head of the British Academy of Sciences, William Crookes in 1898 that the earth will not be able to support a population growing above about 2 billion people, because there simply is not enough fertilizer from natural sources such as guano, manure or Chilean Nitrate to fertilize the world’s crops in sufficient quantity to feed a growing world population. Thus, the prospect of famine was real. That was 1898 and within ten years Fritz Haber a Jewish chemist, living in Germany, invented the process to create ammonia from natural gas and air. Later, Haber teamed up with Carl Bosch then a senior manager at BASF and together the developed and commercialized the Haber-Bosch process for creating ammonia. Fast forward to 1972 and President Nixon’s first trip to China to open doors for trade. What did China want first? They wanted ammonia plants to produce fertilizer after millions(1) of Chinese had died of starvation during Mao Tse Tung’s “Great Leap Forward” of failed central control. According to Smil, China’s first trade deal after Nixon’s visit was to purchase 13 ammonia plants from M.W. Kellogg of Texas. That was the only way that China could produce sufficient food to feed their growing population. Today, as with many other products, China produces more ammonia than any other country.

50% of the World’s People Could Not Exist Without Ammonia

(Smil states on page 83)  “I hasten to add that 50% of humanity dependent on ammonia is not an immutable approximation. Given prevailing diets and farming practices, synthetic nitrogen feeds half of humanity—-or, everything else being equal, half of the world’s population could not be sustained without synthetic nitrogenous fertilizers”. 

Energy=Life

Of course, the point is, food production is related to fertilizer production and fertilizer production depends on natural gas  as a feedstock. About 1.2% of the world’s total primary energy is used for fertilizer and about 3-5% of food production depends on fossil fuels. Thus, Vaclav Smil picked energy intensive Ammonia as the number one material of the four materials that are (his ranking) pillars of modern civilization. 

The Cost of Energy for Food Production & Distribution is About 50%

The IEA published a chart to show the cost components of energy for nine selected crops. The chart is copied below.  Note that total energy cost for the nine selected crops range from a low of about 40% for cotton to almost 60% for wheat and sorghum, over 50% for corn. The cost of production for all food crops in the U.S. is about 50%. Most of this fuel is from fossil fuels. Energy is important for all of the people of the world and reasonable cost, abundant energy is crucially important for crop production and processing. Escalating energy costs will increase the costs of food and in some cases, reduce the quantity of food production due to limited fertilizer (ammonia based) availability. The fuel for Diesel tractors and food processing is significant. The final point: Solar and Wind cannot create fertilizer and both are impossible in the near term to power tractors and intercity or Global transportation.

IEA Report https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-the-energy-crisis-is-exacerbating-the-food-crisis

Sources of World Energy about 86.25% Conventional Fuels, oil, gas, coal and nuclear

From BP-Statistical Review of World Energy Consumption:

Oil                                184.21 EJ        31%

Natural Gas                  145.35 EJ 24%

Coal                             160.10 EJ 27%

Nuclear                        25.31 EJ 4%

Hydro-Electricity         40.26 EJ  7%

Renewables                  39.91 EJ 7%

Total Primary Energy  595.15 Exajoules 

World Consumption of Primary Energy-BP Statistical Review-2022

BP 2022 Statistical Energy Review: https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/business-sites/en/global/corporate/pdfs/energy-economics/statistical-review/bp-stats-review-2022-full-report.pdf

The world’s energy consumption does inrease year after year, except during the Pandemic of 2020 as can be seen on BP’s graph above. If we extrapolate and expand the forecast to 2050, then increased energy will be required for the estimated 9 Billion world population that is expected in 2050. For now, 86% of the world’s energy and 87.4% of the United States Energy is provided by conventional fuels of oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear fuels. Solar and wind provide only about 7% of the world’s primary energy and less than 5% of the United States Energy for 2021. The U.S. energy flow chart is shown below:

Energy Flow Chart for United States, 2021

   Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: TOTAL PRIMARY ENERGY FLOW CHART 2021: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov

No! We Cannot Electrify Everything!

Government officials for the last 18 months have been scolding and attempting to scare the general public into getting rid of our internal combustion engines and buy EV’s. Claiming we need to “Decarbonize our society”. In essence, they are literally saying, “Electrify Everything”. In fact, I did see at least one article on electrify everything. The two charts above which show  the reality of the energy needs of the United States and the world, should help explain: NO, We Cannot Electrify Everything! For sure, plastics, concrete, steel, air transportation, aluminum and fertilizer cannot be produced from windmills and solar panels. I contributed to an article by Hayden Ludwig of the Capital Research Center in December 2021. Our goal was to try to set the record straight on “No, We Cannot Electrify Everything”.

Let’s get back to the relationship of energy and food production. Fertilizer production for a start, uses about 1.2% of the world’s total primary energy. As mentioned above, literally half the world’s population would suffer famine if ammonia fertilizer production was stopped. 

Fertilizer and Food

The IEA chart above showed the energy cost component for food production. Much of the energy used is natural gas for fertilizer production. Here below are some fertilizer facts to consider. This reference is for the year 2010 and this is the most recent document I could find. I think it is reasonable to estimate that the 1.2% energy use for fertilizer production has tracked about the same trend for the last twelve years as the world population has grown and the nutrition for the people of the world has generally improved.

From Fertilizer Facts. https://www.fertilizer.org/images/Library_Downloads/2014_ifa_ff_ammonia_emissions_july.pdf. About 1.2% of the World’s Total Primary Energy is Used to Produce Ammonia: 

Fertilizer Facts, Ammonia and Energy use, 2010: https://www.fertilizer.org/images/Library_Downloads/2014_ifa_ff_ammonia_emissions_july.pdf

Energy, The Pre-Requisite for a High HDI (Human Development Index)

Here are three illustrations to show the importance of energy for both improved HMI (Human Development Index) and Economic Prosperity: 

The first chart below is from a Power-Point presentation I prepared in 2016 for a course on energy and power generation at Williamson College of the Trades. This clearly shows the relationship of energy and economic prosperity as well as the relationship of energy to HMI.

Williamson College of The Trades-Energy and Electricity Generation Short Course 2017, by author; Charts from ExxonMobil, World Bank, United Nations and Our World in Data websites

Another chart by ExxonMobil’s Energy Outlook in 2017, also captures the relationship of energy, HMI and economic prosperity. As quality of life (including adequate nutrition) goes up, so does the demand for energy.

ExxonMobil-Energy Outlook, 2016

The final chart is the NASA composite photo entitled, “The Earth at Night”. This shows the earth’s illumination from space and the photo clearly identifies the countries that have a higher standard of living (HMI) and that tend to use more energy to provide their higher quality of life. 

 NASA EARTH AT NIGHT: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/event/79869/earth-at-night  

Conclusions

The modern world’s people need food, transportation, indoor cooking, refrigeration, materials for manufacturing and construction, manufactured products and much more. Over 86% of the world’s energy to provide crucially important materials, travel, shipping, industrial output, heating and airconditioning comes from conventional fuels. This includes fossil fuels of oil, natural gas & coal. When nuclear is included as a conventional fuel, then the total primary energy from conventional fuels is about 87% for the U.S.A. 

  • The abolishment of fossil fuels may be possible someday, but in my opinion and observations, not until far beyond 2050. 
  • Fertilizer and food production use between 3 and 5% of the world’s total primary energy. Much of this is required to come from fossil fuels.
  • Aircraft with batteries or hydrogen fuel may in fact be possible, someday. However, replacing the fleet presently flying of jet fuel powered Boeing and Airbus planes is not possible by 2050 and there are many of us that would prefer the proven safety of flying jets powered by jet fuel.
  • Steel made from hydrogen is possible, but not at a competitive cost with coke. China produces over 50% of the world’s steel now and they will continue to use the lowest cost production methods.
  • Aluminum is a very important metal for aircraft, automobiles and many other utilitarian uses. Aluminum uses the most electricity of all metals for production.  Smelting alone uses about 5 kWh per pound and this is in addition to Bauxite refining, transportation, rolling and forming. Reasonable cost, reliable and abundant electricity is required to produce aluminum. China produces over 50% of the world’s aluminum also.
  • Plastics and synthetic fibers are used in everything we depend on through the day. Auto parts are largely plastic, so are many utility pipes. Many textiles are based on fibers from oil or natural gas.
  • The government “War on Carbon” is destroying America. It is contributing to inflation and shortages of critical materials that we depend on.
  • The United Nations, the World Economic Forum, The Main Stream Press, Entertainment is interested in power and influence over the citizens of the U.S. It is not about climate
  • Environmental Extremist organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund (and many more) have extensive funding of Billions of dollars obtained from Bloomberg, Bezos and others that is tax exempt and used against the best interests of American citizens. 
  • The overall “War on Carbon” is making energy and electricity prices higher in the U.S. This makes America less competitive with China and it increases the job losses here and increased off-shoring of manufacturing
  • America does not have an “Energy Policy” per se’. America has an a “Hate Carbon Policy” that has progressed far enough to create an energy crisis, possible Rolling Blackouts, Brownouts and excalating food prices.

I personally do not understand why many otherwise Patriotic & respected American supporters of Free Markets and Capitalism would support and contribute to extremist organizations that are determined to weaken our country and world food supply.

Respectfully,

Dick Storm, July 22, 2022

References and for further reading on the topics of Energy and Food Production:

  1. Heritage Foundation, Mao Zedong’s Mass Murder, through his Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward: https://www.heritage.org/asia/commentary/the-legacy-mao-zedong-mass-murder
  2. “How the World Really Works”, by Vaclav Smil, Viking, 2022
  3. “How the Energy Crisis is Exacerbating the Food Crisis”, IEA June 2022: https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-the-energy-crisis-is-exacerbating-the-food-crisis
  4. Rising Fertilizer Cost Impact on Food Prices, June 2022 FAS/USDA: https://www.fas.usda.gov/data/impacts-and-repercussions-price-increases-global-fertilizer-market
  5. Fertilizer Facts, Ammonia and Energy use, 2010: https://www.fertilizer.org/images/Library_Downloads/2014_ifa_ff_ammonia_emissions_july.pdf
  6. BP 2022 Statistical Energy Review: https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/business-sites/en/global/corporate/pdfs/energy-economics/statistical-review/bp-stats-review-2022-full-report.pdf
  7. NASA EARTH AT NIGHT: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/event/79869/earth-at-night   
  8. 8.  S&P Global Natural Gas Use for Fertilizer production, surging natural gas prices, cause fertilizer costs to soar, Jan 19, 2022: https://www.spglobal.com/commodityinsights/en/market-insights/blogs/agriculture/011922-fertilizer-costs-natural-gas-prices   
  9.  Improving Lives with Fertilizer: https://www.tfi.org/our-industry/intro-to-fertilizer/improving-lives
  10. LLNL TOTAL PRIMARY ENERGY FLOW CHART 2021: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov
  11. Paul Driessen list of Billionaire Climate Activists: https://climatechangedispatch.com/billionaire-climate-elites-have-their-own-rules-and-agenda/
  12. Bloomberg Beyond Carbon: https://www.beyondcarbon.org
  13. Sierra Club, Beyond Coal website: https://coal.sierraclub.org
  14. Sierra Club Success stories: https://coal.sierraclub.org/the-campaign/success-stories
  15. Influence watch, Sierra Club: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/sierra-club/
  16. WSJ Article on Sri Lanka “Green Revolution” July 14, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/sri-lankas-green-new-deal-was-a-human-disaster-gotabaya-rajapaksa-borlaug-synthetic-fertilizers-hunger-organic-agriculture-11657832186?mod=MorningEditorialReport&mod=djemMER_h
  17. The Intercept, Green Terrorism: https://theintercept.com/2019/03/23/ecoterrorism-fbi-animal-rights/
  18. Germany’s Nuclear Power Implosion July 2022:  https://www.wsj.com/articles/germanys-nuclear-implosion-bundestag-robert-habeck-energy-europe-russia-11657572926?st=i8v3nn5fczebec0&reflink=share_mobilewebshare
  19. EIA Graph of 79% Fossil Fuels in 2021, JULY 7, 2022:  https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=52959
  20. IEA Energy Exacerbating Food Crisis, June 14, 2022: https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-the-energy-crisis-is-exacerbating-the-food-crisis  
  21. NASA EARTH AT NIGHT: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/event/79869/earth-at-night  
  22. CRC-Green Watch, “Creatures from the Green Lagoon”: https://capitalresearch.org/category/green-watch/page/5/
  23. CRC Magazine, December 2021, Featuring Forced Electrification, War on Consumers” starting on page 13: https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/Capital-Research-2021-8.pdf
  24.  CRC-Green Watch, “Creatures from the Green Lagoon”: https://capitalresearch.org/category/green-watch/page/5/
  25. CRC Magazine, December 2021, Featuring Forced Electrification, War on Consumers” starting on page 13: https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/Capital-Research-2021-8.pdf
  26. Australia Energy Crisis July 1, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-warning-from-australias-power-crisis-green-energy-anthony-albanese-11655659465?mod=Searchresults_pos5&page=1
  27. Professor Judith Curry July 15, 2022: https://judithcurry.com/2022/07/16/week-in-review-climate-edition-4/
  28. Cooler Heads, July 15, 2022: Excellent References of Gina McCarthy and other EPA “War on Coal” personalities: https://go.cei.org/webmail/287682/912292506/68e507be334cf34c7d54b4b2a348b50f1d373ec69c94d0d629001f91129c1e7d
  29. Shelly Moore Capito Opinion in WVA “Intelligencer” Newspaper, July 2022: https://www.theintelligencer.net/opinion/local-columns/2022/07/joe-goffman-the-wrong-choice-to-help-lead-epa/
  30. EIA U.S. Oil & Gas Energy Reserves Y/E 2020: https://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/crudeoilreserves/
  31. World Nuclear Organization: https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/nuclear-power-in-the-world-today.aspx
  32. Biden, U.S. asks for 4.3 Billion to wean off Russian Nuclear Fuel :https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-07/us-seeks-4-3-billion-for-nuclear-fuel-to-wean-off-russia-supply#xj4y7vzkg
  33. High Natural Gas Prices Cause Rise in Fertilizer and Food Prices, Dec. 16, 2021: https://www.wsj.com/articles/surging-fertilizer-costs-push-farmers-to-shift-planting-plans-raise-prices-11639580768?mod=itp_wsj&mod=djemITP_h
  34. ETHANOL AND GASOLINE: https://www.wsj.com/articles/ethanol-gasoline-price-gas-heating-btu-11638310535
  35. EPA allows more ethanol in gasoline April 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/epa-will-allow-more-ethanol-in-gas-this-summer-in-bid-to-tame-prices-11649754000?mod=hp_lead_pos1
  36. Ukraine war puts pressure on Global Food Supply, WSJ April 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukraine-war-farming-food-supplies-grain-russia-11647796055?mod=article_inline
  37. Ukraine-Russia War and Food Supplies, WSJ,June 28, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/war-weather-endanger-global-food-supplies-farm-leaders-say-11656430431?mod=Searchresults_pos8&page=1
  38. Peace Through Strength & Free Markets are what built America, Phil Gramm and Mike Solon, March 2, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/peace-through-strength-economic-freedom-open-trade-china-ccp-economy-america-competes-act-antitrust-biden-11646154226?cx_testId=3&cx_testVariant=cx_130&cx_artPos=7&mod=WTRN#cxrecs_s

American Dream = 100 Quadrillion Btus 

Introduction

The recent Supreme Court ruling which  trimmed the power of the EPA is important to provide for less government restrictions and for the freedom of future Americans to enjoy the “American Dream”. This post is based on the importance of energy to power our way of life. Each American uses about a million Btus of energy each day. Energy fuels our way of life. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has kept track of the total primary energy use of America for many years. Total primary energy use has held steady at about 100 quads (+/-10) per year for the last 23 years. Total Primary Energy includes all forms of energy. The Energy Flow Chart for 2021 is copied below:

Total Energy Flow Chart for the U.S. in 2021
LLNL TOTAL PRIMARY ENERGY FLOW CHART 2021: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov

Total Primary Energy Supply 1999-2021 about 100 Quadrillion Btu’s

A fair question is, what does the Supreme Court ruling on the EPA’s right to regulate carbon have to do with living the American Dream? Here is my answer. If we accept that the U.S. requires 100 quadrillion Btus of energy to power our high quality of living, then how can we continue living our good lives if over 80% of the fuel we depend on is considered unavailable by the government? Yes, from the LLNL figure above, (in Quads) 35.1 Petroleum + 10.5 Coal +31.3 Natural Gas +8.13 nuclear power   = 85.03 quadrillion Btus which is 87.4 % of the 97.3 Quads of Total Primary Energy.

Thermal energy is important for every American. The 87.4% includes nuclear. Therefore, the total primary energy provided from conventional forms of energy is 87.4%.

The government, “Woke” Business leaders, celebrities and many in the media have pushed the fantasy of achieving American energy needs from 100% solar and wind by 2030 or 2050.  To attempt to be polite, thinking we can replace conventional forms of energy within a few years is being detached from reality and delusional. Let me explain why I believe this to be so by looking at the last 23 years of energy use to show where we came from in two decades and to then look into the future to see the next two decades:

EIA Annual Energy Outlook 1999

The 1999 Sankey diagram (above) shows total energy use in the U.S. of 96.6  quadrillion Btus. I stated above that America’s total primary energy has held pretty steady for decades. So, here is the factual data of energy flows from 1999. Over the years, the fuel sources have changed but the total primary energy required to power our lives and economy has remained fairly constant, right at 100 quadrillion Btus.  In 1999 coal was 23.3 quadrillion Btus and natural gas 19.29. The “Shale Gas Revolution” which began about 2010 created production of low cost natural gas which displaced much of the coal used for power generation. This fuel substitution of natural gas for coal was mostly for economic dispatch reasons of a more economical fuel for power generation. By the way, if you compare the natural gas prices/million Btus to coal today, coal looks far more reasonable in cost.

EIA Data and authors notes

Total Primary Energy is Needed for Electricity Generation Plus… Industry, Transportation, Commercial and Residential

The graph below was prepared by the EIA to illustrate the production and use of total energy in the U.S.A. from 1950 to 2020. This also supports the statement that America has used right at 100 Quadrillion Btus for the last 23 years. This includes all forms of energy and including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, solar, wind, Biomass, geothermal. As can be seen from the graph, energy independence was achieved in 2020. This was largely as the result of increased oil and natural gas production within the U.S.A.

Total primary energy production and consumption 1950-2020

The Fantasy of Wind and Solar Replacing Conventional Energy and Achieving Net-Zero Carbon by 2050

Fossil fuels plus nuclear energy provided over 87% of America’s total primary energy for the year 2021. This is a fact. (as shown on the first chart above from LLNL) It is also a fact that wind and solar together provided about 5% of our total primary energy. The question needs to be asked, Is it reasonable to expect solar and wind to replace the energy currently provided by petroleum, natural gas, coal and nuclear? I say NO it is not reasonable to expect solar and wind to replace coal, oil, gas and nuclear any time soon. Yes, wind and solar are being forced on America by the energy policies and incentives of government, but it is implausible to expect the total of 100 Quadrillion Btu’s equivalent of energy to come from wind and solar. In my opinion, impossible until there are major technological advancements.

Here are eleven reasons why Net-Zero Carbon is Not Practical within the next 28 years:

  • The land area of 100% renewables required is enormous. The energy density of solar and wind is far too low(1)
  • Electricity storage is not yet technologically advanced for commercial applications at Utility scale for long time periods
  • If all Internal Combustion Engines for ground transportation are electrified, then it exacerbates the first two points. It still takes about the same primary energy content to move vehicles no matter what fuel or energy source is used. Example, EV’s need charging to provide motive force
  • Solar and Wind are not Dispatchable. They provide maximum output as nature provides when the wind blows and the sun shines, not as Citizen electricity demand requires
  • About 8-10% of petroleum is refined into Jet Fuel. Hydrogen fueled aircraft may be safe & practical some day, but that someday is decades away.
  • Fertilizer and food production uses between 2 and 5% of total primary energy. This cannot be replaced with wind and solar
  • The Transmission and Distribution network of the electric Grid is not setup for solar and wind systems. It takes time to permit, design and construct T&D systems
  • Oil, coal and natural gas provide raw materials for textiles, rubber, plastics and many other products that the world depends on
  • Coking coal is required to produce the best quality steel from iron ore
  • Cement production requires fuel for production
  • Nuclear power is the largest provider of carbon free energy, yet there is only one new nuclear plant under construction in the U.S. The Georgia Power Plant Vogtle Units 2 &3

All Fuels are Important and a Balanced Energy Portfolio is Preferred

America has been depending on coal power for many years. Although not appreciated by the media and even some Utility Exec’s, coal remains important. I will cite three examples below: First the U.S. Grid Electric Generation by fuel type for the weeks of September 25 -October 2, 2021 and from June 10- 16, 2022. Note the Dispatchable power of over 80% in both cases, with coal providing a significant portion of the generation. Also shown below are screen shots of actual generation by fuel for both the MISO and PJM RTO’s (Regional Transmission Operators)

From EIA U.S. Grid Monitor website
MISO Energy Generation by Fuel: https://www.misoenergy.org
PJM Interconnection: https://www.pjm.com/markets-and-operations

The four illustrations above show examples of the importance of coal fuel to electric power generation for the lower 48 states, for the Midcontenent Independent System Operator and for the PJM Interconnection. All four examples show significant generation by Dispatchable power: coal, gas and nuclear. These four charts could be considered “A Balanced Generation Portfolio” By balanced, I mean fuel diversity of nuclear, gas, coal and renewables. This is good, however, the current U.S. Path is to shutdown many of the coal plants that were participating in the above “examples. Take a look at the EIA report that states 12.6 GW of coal plants to retire by 2022. (4)

Also, the recent closures of Palisades Nuclear Plant in Michigan and the William Zimmer 1300 MW coal plant near Cincinnati.

Coal, The American Treasure of Energy

When I was active in the American Coal Council we had an interesting speaker from the National Coal Council, on the coal, oil and gas reserves within the borders of the U.S. The speaker (Robert Beck) presented a study of using captured CO2 to force oil still trapped beneath Ohio’s old oil fields. As I recall, the presentation summary was that any place that coal is found, so is oil and gas. Thus, if you look at a map of U.S. coal deposits, sure enough, gas and oil has also been produced. Getting back to the National Coal Council presentation, the statement was made that about 3 million barrels a day of oil could be recovered from the “Old abandoned” Ohio Oil fields of decades ago, by using enhanced oil recovery of pressurizing the oil deposits with CO2 captured from the many coal plants in Ohio.(5) Here below is an illustration of world coal reserves. It could be said, the U.S. likely has the largest fossil fuel reserves in the world. The statement made by a coal expert that I heard ten years ago seems true, “Wherever there is coal, so is there oil and gas”. Texas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Dakota all have coal and all have had significant oil and gas production since Hydraulic Fracturing combined with directional drilling has been utilized.

Why should our politicians cripple our economy over the politically inspired (not Environmental protection driven) U.N. -IPCC, Paris agreement?(56,57,58,59) America can be Energy Independent. We were in 2020 and we can do it again!

From EIA and American Geosciences sources

Meanwhile in China

China is the world’s largest producer of aluminum and steel. They also are the largest manufacturing nation on the planet. This manufacturing might is powered mostly by coal power. China gets it and they are diligently working toward a “Balanced Generation Portfolio” of coal, nuclear, wind, solar and gas.(51, 52, 53) Russia is conveniently in an excellent geographic and economic position to supply coal, oil, nuclear and gas to China to power their industrial output.

BP Statistical Review
World Nuclear Association website(10)

China is a large country that is committed to increasing the size of their economy. Powering manufacturing requires large amounts of reliable, reasonable cost electricity generation. China has a truly “Balanced Portfolio of Generation Capacity”, including nuclear as shown above and also enormous amounts of renewable power from the Three Gorges Hydroelectric plant which is over 22 GW in capacity, as well as wind, solar and coal. I thought I should interject the energy facts regarding China’s Bulk Power Generation, because competing with them will require reasonable cost Bulk Power here. Especially for energy intensive manufacturing such as aluminum smelting and other primary metals production.

Conclusions from Excerpts of Vaclav Smil book, “Power Density” on the Use of Wind, Water and Solar to Generate most of Our Electricity

Vaclav Smil has written many books on Energy, Power and Electricity generation. His book “POWER DENSITY” for this discussion is particularly relevant. Copied below are excerpts from the final chapter of “POWER DENSITY”:

“What Would it Take”

“If you are willing to engage in unbounded science and engineering fiction, then acccording to Jacobson and Delucchi (2011), this is what it would take to supply the world with 100% renewable energy in 2030 by using electricity (generated by wind, water and solar PV installations) and electrolytic hydrogen for all purposes: 3.8 million 5-MW wind turbines, 49,000 300-MW central solar plants, 1.7 billion 3-kW rooftop PV installations, 5,350 100-MW geothermal plants, 270 new 1.3 GW hydro stations, 720,000 0.75-MW wave devices and 490,000 1-MW tidal turbines. All of that will require only about 0.4% of the world’s land for its footprint and 0.6% for spacing, and we are assured that the barriers to the plan are primarily social and political, not technological or economic as the energy cost in a new wind-water-solar world should be similar to that today” (The above is quoting from Jacobson and Delucchi)

Smil continues (from pg 244, Power Density)

“These assurances asides, the simplest reality check shows the fictional nature of these assumptions. In 2013 the worldwide capacity in wind turbines reached 330 GW, while 13 TW (40 times as much) would be needed by 2030. Total rooftop and large plant PV capacity reached about 100 GW, but 17.1 TW of these installations would be required (170 times as much); moreover, there was not a single 300-MW solar PV plant (five plants rated between 200-250 MW), whereas 40,000 would be needed by 2030. In 2013 there was only one central solar power facility rated at more than 300 MW, Ivanpah, at 392 MW, but nearly 5,000 such facilities would be needed by 2030 (an increase of four orders of magnitude). There were fewer than 50 geothermal stations rated at more than 100 MW, but 5,350 would be needed (a 100-fold increase). Pelamis (2014, the world’s most advanced wave energy company, produced six 0.75 MW devices by the beginning of 2014, but 720,000 would need to be operating by 2030 (an increase of five orders of magnitude). Finally, by 2013 there were fewer than ten small tidal stations with aggregate installed power of much less than 1 GW, while 490 GW would have to generate by 2030 (two orders of magnitude more).

Such ramping-up of all kinds of capacities-design, permitting, financing, engineering, construction, all going up between one and five orders of magnitude in less than two decades-is far, far beyond anything that has been witnessed in less than two decades-is far, far beyond anything that has been witnessed in more than a century of developing modern energy systems. And that still leaves out two other key facts, namely, that such a gargantuan renewable energy system would need an enormous expansion of high-voltage transmission and would require the creation of an entirely new, hydrogen-based society. I am still not sure how we would fly with hydrogen (or electricity) or smelt pig iron. In any case the chances of a 100% water-wind-solar world to be ready by 2030 are nil, but it is worth while exploring what it would (realistically) take to create an increasingly nonfossil global energy system.” The preceding “What Would it Take” is a direct quotation from Smil’s book, pages 243-245.

Summary & Conclusions:

In my opinion, Vaclav Smil in the preceding paragraphs captured the essence of the fictional engineering that can create a path to Net-Zero Carbon by 2050. In the references that follow, Donn Dears and others have come to similar conclusions on the futility of achieving Net-Zero Carbon.

With regard to Anthropogenic Climate Change, I have included some references from expert Climate and Atmospheric Scientists that know the topic well.(2,7,8,9,10,12,13,15,16,56,58,59)

Climate Policies and the UN-IPCC are driven by politics and not by science or a sincere interest in saving the planet. Some references which support this claim are also included for further reading.(56,58,59)

I will close with seven conclusions, which are:

  • The Economic Harm to the U.S. if the Path to Net-Zero Carbon with solar and wind and without nuclear power as a major component, will weaken the U.S.A. and harm our capability to compete in world markets. Especially competing with China and the rest of the world in manufacturing.(2, 3, 4, 7, 8 & 9)
  • Dispatchable Coal Plants should not be shut down until they are replaced by proven and commissioned “Dispatchable” generating capacity. Shutting down 12.6MW of coal plants as planned, will lead to Blackouts and Brownouts(4,22,25, 26, 27)
  • Depending on wind and solar to replace the existing 2022 still operational coal and nuclear plants will lead to increased electricity costs as well as reduced reliability(14, 36)
  • China is the world’s largest manufacturer and will remain ahead of the U.S. and gain further if the U.S. continues down the Net-Zero Carbon Path(17, 18, 19, 28)
  • America invented nuclear power (Rickover) for peaceful purposes and was the world leader in developing nuclear power for peaceful purposes. We have lost that lead and China and Russia are building more nuclear power plants in the world than the U.S. Most of our problems are unessessary Federal Regulations(11, 51,53,57)
  • Energy Independence plus reasonable cost, abundant and Dispatchable Electricity are pre-requisites for a strong economy and a strong National Defense. America should expand and increase our treasures of nuclear, coal, oil and gas forms of energy to reachieve Energy Independence.(5)
  • The U.S. should use all of the energy resources within our borders to be 100% Energy Independent. This includes the Treasure of Coal Energy which we know how to burn cleanly.(30, 31, 32)

Respectfully submitted,

Dick Storm, July 4th, 2022

References for Further Reading:

  1. Vaclav Smil Book, “POWER DENSITY” The MIT Press 2015
  2. Donn Dears Book, Net-Zero Carbon, The Climate Policy Destroying America” 2022
  3. Donn Dears website, numerous article on the foolishness of Zero Carbon policies, EV’s and Power Generation: https://ddears.com/donns-articles/
  4. EIA Report on 12.6 GW of Coal Plants to Close in 2022, January 2022: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=50838
  5. National Coal Council, Carbon Collection and use for Enhanced Oil Recovery, 2012: http://www.nationalcoalcouncil.org/reports/07-10-12-NCC_Harnessing_Coals_Carbon_Content_to_Advance_Economy_Environment_EnergySecurity.pdf
  6. Capital Research Center, Nov. Dec. 2021 Issue article on the impossibility of replacing conventional energy with solar and wind: https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/Capital-Research-2021-8.pdf
  7. The Right Stuff Climate Team (Retired NASA Engineers): https://www.therightclimatestuff.com
  8. CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH CENTER REPORT, PRIMER ON ENERGY (GOOD REFERENCE WITH EXCELLENT FIGURES) https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R46723
  9. Dr. Judith Curry, 15 slides to summarize Climate Change website: https://judithcurry.com/2021/09/03/15-minutes/#more-27827
  10. Science and Environment Policy Project  Website: http://www.sepp.org
  11. World Nuclear Association, Status of Nuclear Power in China: https://www.world-nuclear.org/country/default.aspx/China
  12. Global Warming Policy Foundation: https://www.thegwpf.org
  13. Mark Mills, The Myth of Renewable Energy: https://www.manhattan-institute.org/the-myth-of-the-great-energy-transition
  14. WSJ, Wind Stops in Europe: https://www.wsj.com/articles/energy-prices-in-europe-hit-records-after-wind-stops-blowing-11631528258?mod=djem_EnergyJournal
  15. A key segment begins at minute 24 where the effects of CO2 are discussed by Professor Happer. https://bit.ly/3zsXcS6
  16. SKY NEWS SUN ACTIVITY AFFECTS EARTH TEMPERATURE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViY2J3LPgN4
  17. China buying Russian oil, gas and coal, Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/asian-buyers-russian-oil-gas-coal-2022-02-22/
  18. China-Russian Energy Deal, February 2022: https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/russia-china-may-sign-energy-other-deals-amid-moscow-tension-with-west-2022-02-03/
  19. Russia overtakes Saudi Arabia as World’s largest oil supplier, June 20, 2022 Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-20/china-buys-7-5-billion-of-russian-energy-with-oil-at-record
  20. Korea Times, China depends on Sanctioned Russian Fuel, June 20, 2022: https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/world/2022/06/501_331352.html
  21. Utility Dive, Capacity Auction Prices, June 25,2022: https://www.utilitydive.com/news/pjm-capacity-auction-nuclear-solar-coal-prices/625861/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202022-06-22%20Utility%20Dive%20Newsletter%20%5Bissue:42604%5D&utm_term=Utility%20Dive
  22. Detroit News, Consumers Energy to End Coal Use in 2025: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/2022/06/23/michigan-panel-approves-consumers-energy-plan-end-coal-use-2025/7716918001/
  23. Alliant and WEC Change Plans to Retire Coal to Meet Demand, June 22, 2022: https://www.utilitydive.com/news/wisconsin-utilities-coal-retirement-miso-delay/626005/
  24. WSJ Report on Ameren Keeping Rush Island Operating to Satisfy Demand June 10, 2022:https://www.wsj.com/articles/old-coal-plant-neared-retirement-but-now-its-needed-to-keep-the-lights-on-11654858801?mod=djem_EnergyJournal
  25. WSJ May 8, 2022, Power Plants Struggling With Electricity Shortages to Keep Power on: https://www.wsj.com/articles/electricity-shortage-warnings-grow-across-u-s-11652002380?cx_testId=3&cx_testVariant=cx_2&cx_artPos=0&mod=WTRN#cxrecs_s 
  26. WSJ June 18, 2022, West Risks Blackouts From Drought and loss of Hydroelectric Capacity: https://www.wsj.com/articles/west-risks-blackouts-as-hydroelectric-power-dries-up-11624008601?mod=article_inline  
  27. WSJ, Opinion, May 27, 2022, Jason Hayes, “Why Blackouts are Coming to Michigan” Regarding shutdown of Palisades Nuclear Generating Plant: https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-electricity-blackouts-are-coming-to-michigan-nuclear-power-plant-green-energy-renewable-climate-11653685521?cx_testId=3&cx_testVariant=cx_2&cx_artPos=5&mod=WTRN#cxrecs_s
  28. The Guradian (UK) China’s Premier Calls For More Coal Plants, June 24, 2022: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/24/chinese-premier-calls-for-more-coal-production-as-electricity-demand-soars 
  29. Global Food Supply at Risk Due to High Energy Prices, The Guardian, June 25, 2022: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jun/25/our-global-food-supply-is-at-risk-when-high-gas-prices-limit-the-creation-of-fertiliser
  30. US and World Coal Reserves Map: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Coal-reserves-volumes-by-countries-of-the-world-3_fig1_328037099
  31. EIA 2nd reference on World Coal Reserves, EIA 2011: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=2930
  32. American Geosciences institute, World Coal Reserves: https://www.americangeosciences.org/critical-issues/maps/interactive-map-coal-resources-united-states
  33. EIA Total Energy Use 1950-2020: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=43515
  34. St. Louis Fed. Renewable Power Increases have reduced Conventional Power Generation Capacity Factors, thus weakening cash flow for O&M and improvements: https://fredblog.stlouisfed.org/2020/10/renewables-have-increased-the-capacity-for-electricity-production/?utm_source=series_page&utm_medium=related_content&utm_term=related_resources&utm_campaign=fredblog
  35. Fact Check on Wind Power Cost: https://www.factcheck.org/2019/07/does-wind-work-without-subsidies/
  36. Forbes, Michael Schellenberger article on True Cost of Wind Power: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2021/04/20/why-renewables-cause-blackouts-and-increase-vulnerability-to-extreme-weather/?sh=6400daf54e75 
  37. EPA Retains Tools to Harm Coal Power Production, Utility Dive, July 1, 2022: https://www.utilitydive.com/news/supreme-court-epa-GHG-carbon-power-plant/626456/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202022-07-01%20Utility%20Dive%20Newsletter%20%5Bissue:42837%5D&utm_term=Utility%20Dive
  38. VOX, Electrify Everything! : https://www.vox.com/2016/9/19/12938086/electrify-everything
  39. Stanford, Mark Jacobson, Net Zero Carbon by 2050 : https://news.stanford.edu/2015/06/08/50states-renewable-energy-060815/
  40. Jacobson’s website: https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/WWS-50-USState-plans.html
  41. UN Net Zero Carbon website: https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/net-zero-coalition  
  42.  Princeton University Net Zero Carbon Plan: Net Zero Carbon Project Princeton University Researchers, Jenkins et al: https://cmi.princeton.edu/annual-meetings/annual-reports/year-2019/the-net-zero-america-project-finding-pathways-to-a-carbon-neutral-future/
  43. Princeton University, additional presentations on reduced carbon emissions: https://cmi.princeton.edu/presentations/year-2022/
  44. Cornell Daily Sun, Speaker discusses Coal Plants in a Death Spiral: https://cornellsun.com/2016/10/03/keynote-speaker-investigates-recent-transformations-in-the-energy-grid/
  45. WSJ Australia Warning on Green Energy Risks:  https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-warning-from-australias-power-crisis-green-energy-anthony-albanese-11655659465?cx_testId=3&cx_testVariant=cx_2&cx_artPos=3&mod=WTRN#cxrecs_s
  46. National News on Nuclear Power needed for the future carbon free generation January 23, 2022: https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2022/01/18/race-to-cut-carbon-emissions-splits-u-s-states-on-nuclear-b/#.Ye2BWS-B2J9
  47. Reuters, List of Coal Plants Scheduled to be shut down: https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/us-coal-fired-power-plants-scheduled-shut-2021-10-28/
  48. S&P Global Natural Gas Use for Fertilizer production, surging natural gas prices, cause fertilizer costs to soar Jan 19, 2022: https://www.spglobal.com/commodityinsights/en/market-insights/blogs/agriculture/011922-fertilizer-costs-natural-gas-prices
  49. Michael Schellenberger article on German experience of “Green Power”: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/05/06/the-reason-renewables-cant-power-modern-civilization-is-because-they-were-never-meant-to/?sh=6da16be6ea2b
  50. NERC Long Term Reliability study: https://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/ra/Reliability%20Assessments%20DL/NERC_LTRA_2021.pdf
  51. MSNBC China and Russian Reactor Designs Dominate New Construction, Warns IEA Chief,  July 2022: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/01/russian-and-chinese-designs-in-87percent-of-new-nuclear-reactors-iea-chief.html
  52. Bloomberg, China’s Climate Goals Depend on 440 Billion Nuclear Power Plant Buildout: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-11-02/china-climate-goals-hinge-on-440-billion-nuclear-power-plan-to-rival-u-s
  53. IEA Global Energy Outlook, April 2022: https://www.rff.org/publications/reports/global-energy-outlook-2022/
  54. IEA Publications Available: https://www.rff.org/publications/reports/
  55. Three Gorges Dam, 22.5 MW : https://www.britannica.com/topic/Three-Gorges-Dam
  56. Climate Sensitivity is Likely Low Enough to be of Little Concernhttps://everythingclimate.wpcomstaging.com/emissions-climate-models/
  57. Nuclear Power Is Poised for a Comeback. (In U.S.) The Problem Is Building the Reactors, WSJ July 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/nuclear-power-climate-change-russia-energy-11655995024?mod=Searchresults_pos2&page=1
  58. United Nations-IPCC Reports Are Not Science: http://sepp.org/twtwfiles/2022/TWTW%206-25-2022.pdf
  59. Donn Dears, IPCC Report, Part 1: https://bit.ly/3Aeruea

Balanced Portfolio of Generation, Here is an Example

Santee-Cooper is a state owned Utility in the Great State of South Carolina. The Total Generation Capacity is about 6,000 MW, though a small Utility it is, I think, a great example of one which currently has a well balanced generation portfolio and it should stay that way.

Introduction

Myself and others have commented on the importance of a Balanced Energy Portfolio on LinkedIn, other Social Media, in technical presentations, papers and short courses that we have presented. The Wall Street Journal, NERC, MISO, Utility Dive, Power Magazine, Forbes and other respected Technical Journals and magazines have reported that America may in fact, experience Blackouts during the summer of 2022(1,2,3,4,5) This is serious and it shows the poor planning or absence of any planning at all for the future sustainable energy needs of America.

So, If I am so Critical, Shouldn’t I provide My Suggestions? Here they are.

I thought it would be appropriate to take a 6,000 MW Electric Utility as an example and show in detail what I recommend for a Balanced Generation Portfolio should look like for the next 10-20 years. I selected Santee-Cooper as the example because I am very familiar with their coal plants having worked as a field service engineer, a contractor, course instructor and consultant since 1970. I have personally worked at all of the coal plants that they have owned and operated, including two that have been since shut down. Also, Santee-Cooper asked for public involvement in updating their IRP (Integrated Resources Plan), which I volunteered to participate in and was accepted as a member of their SC citizen/customer Stakeholder participants. So, what follows are my suggestions of what a Balanced Generation Portfolio could look like to keep the fine record of reasonable cost & reliable electricity for the territory served by Santee-Cooper and the Co-operatives that are major customers.

Santee-Cooper also known as South Carolina Public Service Authority

The Figure below lists the generating assets that Santee-Cooper currently owns and are operable. The generation assets total are 5,801 MW. Coal plants are 3,530 or 61% of the total generation capacity. Natural gas fueled units at Rainey are the next largest at 1,150 MW and Nuclear capacity of Summer is 322 MW.  Solar as of winter 2021-2022 is planned to be 82 MW. Therefore, of the 5,801 total generation capacity over 86% is Dispatchable and of proven reasonable cost and reliable generation.

From Presentation to IRP Stakeholders by Santee-Cooper Management
From Santee-Cooper Engineering Report

Load Growth Projections by Santee-Cooper, Supply/Demand Balance 2022-2040

Supply/Demand Projections, 2022-2040 by Santee-Cooper in IRP Presentation to Stakeholders

Electricity demand expectations are by 2040 to grow above 6,000 MW. Currently there are plans to shut down the 1,150 MW Winyah coal fueled power station. This, I believe, if carried out will be a mistake. The world situation with energy and power should show us the importance of Domestic energy supply and Santee-Cooper has, up to this point, had a balanced energy portfolio to meet the Demand of the customers with affordable, reliable electricity supply. I have included references below of reasons why coal power is important.

The table below (labeled 2-2) is another listing of Santee-Cooper generating assets. This one is from a publicly available Black and Veatch report dated 2019.

From Black & Veatch Engineering Report on Santee-Cooper, 2019

South Carolina is #3 in Nuclear Generation in the U.S.A.

Nuclear Power is Most Dominant in South Carolina but, Many Nuclear Plants are Old and Some Could Shut Down by 2040? Licenses Need to Be Renewed by the NRC to Depend on these for backup.

From EIA website

In my view, Santee-Cooper is a state treasure and that the low cost, reliable generation capacity should be planned to maintain that excellent record using the proven fuels that have served our state so well (My adopted state since moving here full time). Much of the benefits of low cost electricity have come from being interconnected on the Grid with Duke and Dominion Power. They are great neighbors and also have excellent records. However, in my view and based on my experience, I think Santee-Cooper should plan future generation with a balanced portfolio with at least a 15% margin of reserve capacity for winter and summer peak loads. The current stated license expirations for the neighboring utilities and including the Summer Unit #1 which Santee-Cooper owns a portion are:

From Nuclear Energy Institute web site(15)

Duke and Dominion are likely to and in fact, I think they have already proceeded to extend the operating licenses of these nuclear plants. However, the reality is that several sister nuclear units of Duke’s nuclear fleet have already been shut down. The Crystal River nuclear unit and one of the Three Mile Island nuclear units designed and built by Babcock & Wilcox and very similar. ( I know that to be a fact, because I worked at B&W in the 1960’s) These two units performed well for many years, but are now shut down. The age of these wonderful assets must be taken into consideration when depending on the stability and reasonable cost of being dependent on the Grid connection. I feel strongly that the state power generation capacity should be capable of complete independence from neighboring Utility reserve capacity.

The Myth of Green Power

I became interested in participating as a stakeholder in the IRP process as a result of receiving the flier copied below which came with my electric bill from Palmetto Electric. It inferred that the electricity supplied to Hilton Head Island during the Heritage Golf Tournament in April was being provided by “Green Power”. Most of the power that Palmetto Electric distributes to members is provided by Santee-Cooper or from the Grid. It is my understanding that Hilton Head Island uses over 180 MW on a hot summer day. The renewable power generation assets are listed above. The renewables assets are far from adequate to meet the demand of Hilton Head Island during a normal summer day. I have shown above the facts on generating assets and electric power generation statistics for previous years. The load growth projections to 2040 were provided in the Santee-Cooper IRP Presentation. Santee-Cooper and Palmetto Electric have done a wonderful job in providing reliable, affordable electricity to Hilton Head Island. Green power if expanded at the extreme risk and expense of decommissioning Winyah and even one or more of the Cross Units will cause economic harm to our citizens and to this up to now, great state with reliable and reasonable cost power, in my opinion.

Conclusions

Coal and nuclear power have served the great state of South Carolina very well for many years. Coal, Gas and Nuclear power generation are all Dispatchable and with a balanced portfolio economic dispatch can continue to sustain reasonable cost Bulk Power delivery.

Fuel prices fluctuate widely due to world supply and Demand events. Before I retired in 2012, I participated in delivering courses on power generation and power generation economics. My specialty was coal firing and heat rate improvements. The graph below was prepared to present to the O & M Team of a Florida Utility to show the importance of efficient coal plant operation to compete with the then low cost natural gas fuel. In 2012 the Shale Gas Revolution was going strong and over-supply of natural gas drove natural gas prices down to levels below coal fuel cost for equivalent energy. Of course now (June 2022) natural gas prices at the Henry Hub exceed $9.00/million Btu. Thus, coal fuel, if it can be delivered, is much lower in cost. This is my basis for stating that a Balanced Portfolio of generation assets is important.

2012 Short Course Presentation by Dick Storm and Shawn Cochran to a Florida Utility

The majority of generation must be Dispatchable for voltage and frequency stability. Here below is a chart of real time power generation for a typical week in 2021. This is from the EIA website. Note that the majority (80%) of the power generation is from coal, nuclear and gas fuels. All dispatchable forms of electricity generation.

From EIA website

The above is real time generation. Below is the installed capacity by fuel type. Conventional generation is the majority and if this reliable generation is compromised then the entire US and the state of SC capability to deliver reasonable cost, reliable power will be harmed.

EIA data on the Canary Media website

Solar power is useful for shaving day time peak load and I support the use of solar for purposes of taking advantage of daytime solar power. In fact, I was part of a team at a College in Pennsylvania where I agreed with the use of roof solar panels on the sports center for purposes of reducing August peak load demand from the local Utility. So, I agree that sometimes solar is practical, but not to replace reliable Base load Bulk Power Capacity such as the Winyah Coal plant generating capacity.

Solar and Wind power is more expensive than coal, nuclear and gas power generation. The chart below is one reference to show that. Below I will offer the example of Hawaii. Texas also should be considered from recent experiences of over building non-Dispatchable renewables.(2,11)

The chart below is Retail Electricity Costs as published on the EIA website(16) . Note the cost of Hawaii Electric which is about three times the cost of South Carolina. Hawaii of course, is an island and therefore they have no interconnections with neighboring Utilities such as Santee-Cooper does with Dominion and Duke. Therefore, the Bulk Power production costs are higher because when wind and solar is not available, Diesel Fuel is used for power generation. In large steam plants the fuel cost component of electricity generation is between 75 and 95% of the production cost at the Bus Bars. Check the Island Pulse website to see real time power generation by fuel.(14)

Recommendations

The continued good economic prosperity of South Carolina depends on a future of reasonable cost electric power. That future, in my strong opinion, should be provided by keeping the existing coal plants and including the coal transportation and supply chain infrastructure. Further, the existing coal plants should be operated, periodically tested and maintained. They should be protected from deterioration from corrosion and other forms of deterioration by operating them at a significant load factor and keeping them in top condition.

Respectfully submitted,

Dick Storm, June 8, 2022

References for further research and reading:

  1. NERC (North American Reliability Council) Warns of Blackouts this summer: https://en.as.com/latest_news/energy-crisis-blackouts-expected-this-summer-across-the-us-due-to-extreme-temperatures-and-drought-n/
  2. Wall Street Journal, “Summer of Rolling Blackouts” May 27, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/americas-summer-of-rolling-blackouts-green-energy-grid-north-american-electric-reliability-corporation-11653683348
  3. American Public Power, MISO warns of Summer Blackouts (Midcontinent Independent System Operator) May 10, 2022: https://www.publicpower.org/periodical/article/miso-warns-it-could-face-supply-shortfalls-summerb
  4. Power Magazine warns of summer 2022 power shortfalls, May 2022: https://www.powermag.com/nerc-warns-energy-shortfalls-almost-inevitable-this-summer/
  5. FEE Story, May 10, 2022, Limits of Green Energy: https://fee.org/articles/us-faces-electricity-shortages-heading-into-summer-as-grid-operators-warn-of-limits-of-green-energy/
  6. Real Time US Power Grid link to EIA: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/gridmonitor/dashboard/electric_overview/US48/US48
  7. CA Grid Real Time Demand: https://www.caiso.com/TodaysOutlook/Pages/default.aspx
  8. PJM Operations: https://www.pjm.com
  9. MISO Operations: https://www.misoenergy.org/markets-and-operations/real-time–market-data/real-time-displays/
  10. SPP (SW Power Pool) Market Generation by Fuel: https://marketplace.spp.org/pages/generation-mix
  11. ERCOT Grid: https://mis.ercot.com/public/dashboards
  12. Science and Environment Policy Project  Website: http://www.sepp.org
  13. Judith Curry, 15 slides to summarize Climate Change website: https://judithcurry.com/2021/09/03/15-minutes/#more-27827
  14.  Hawaii Power, Island Pulse, Real Time Dashboard of Power Generation, Hawaii Electric has embraced renewable power generation. Check real time fuel sources: https://www.islandpulse.org
  15. Nuclear Energy Institute Nuclear Plant Operating License Renewals & Expirations: https://www.nei.org/resources/statistics/us-nuclear-license-renewal-filings
  16. EIA (U.S. Department of Energy) Listing of Electricity Costs in 50 States: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/
  17. Why your Electric Costs are Surging and likely to go higher, WSJ, March 15, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-your-electric-bill-is-soaringand-likely-to-go-higher-11647250380?mod=hp_featst_pos4
  18. Germany is trying to be less Dependent on Russian Energy, WSJ May 18, 2022: https://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wsj.com%2Farticles%2Fhow-germany-is-curing-its-dependence-on-russian-energy-11652801958
  19. WSJ VIDEO of summer Blackouts likely June 5, 2022:https://m.wsj.net/video/20220528/adc6b4aa-84cd-4086-ad24-4cfee6df1a9c/1/hls/manifest-hd-wifi.m3u8#t=0
  20. What is Behind the Energy Crisis, WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/energy-crisis-fossil-fuel-investment-renewables-gas-oil-prices-coal-wind-solar-hydro-power-grid-11634497531?mod=series_climatefinancemarkets
  21. Santee-Cooper Flip Facts Sept 2021: https://www.flipsnack.com/santeecooper/2020-santee-cooper-fingertip-facts/full-view.html
  22. Santee-Cooper IRP, Dec 2020: https://www.santeecooper.com/About/Increasing-Value/ORS-Reports/_pdfs/Dec-23-Signed-Filed-IRP.pdf
  23. SC Dept of Energy :  http://www.energy.sc.gov/irp
  24. Dominion Energy SC IRP update, Feb 2021: https://dms.psc.sc.gov/Attachments/Matter/531e91d9-05ff-48e2-938f-adccf3548768
  25. Central Co-Op of SC IRP: https://www.cepci.org/sites/cepci/files/Documents/Central%202020%20IRP.pdf
  26. FERC Website References: https://elibrary.ferc.gov/eLibrary/search
  27. WSJ article on CA Blackouts, Aug 2020: https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-california-keeps-having-blackouts-11598198401?mod=article_inline
  28. Texas Power Failure, Feb 17, 2021, wsj: https://www.wsj.com/articles/dont-blame-wind-for-texas-electricity-woes-11613500788?cx_testId=3&cx_testVariant=cx_2&cx_artPos=3#cxrecs_s
  29. POWER Magazine article on Feb. 15, 2021 Texas Winter Storm Blackouts: https://www.powermag.com/ercot-sheds-load-as-extreme-cold-forces-generators-offline-miso-spp-brace-for-worsening-system-conditions/
  30.  Oklaunion Coal Plant Closure: https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/408369-texas-based-coal-fired-plant-announces-retirement
  31.  Luminent Coal Plant Closures: https://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/2017/10/13/texas-largest-power-generator-speeds-up-coal-s-decline-with-closure-of-two-more-plants/
  32. Dick Storm, Texas Power Plant Experiences and thoughts on loss of reliable coal plant generation: https://dickstormprobizblog.wordpress.com/2021/02/19/texas-and-coal-power-6000-mws-of-coal-plant-capacity-is-missed/
  33. POWER Mag. Commentary March 17, 2021: https://www.powermag.com/blog/all-fuels-are-important-but-thermal-power-generation-is-still-number-1/
  34. Donn Dears Book, “Net-Zero Carbon, The Climate Policy Destroying America” An excellent reference for planners and policy makers.
  35. Donn Dears website with much information on Power for the U.S.A. https://ddears.com/donns-articles/
  36. German failure of Renewables, der Spiegel, May 2019: https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-failure-on-the-road-to-a-renewable-future-a-1266586.html
  37. Dr. George Holliday and Bill Holliday Environmental Newsletters: Some selected links from recent publications follow: :  https://thestarnewsnetwork.com/2022/05/23/over-half-the-country-at-risk-of-energy-emergencies-this-summer-electric-grid-analysis-shows/
  38. Science and Environmental Policy Project, edited by Ken Haapala and passed on to me by the Holliday Environmental Newsletters: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGI_TS.pdf

http://www.sepp.org/science_papers/Climate%20Physics%202.pdf

Energy=Sustainable, High Quality of Life What do the Politicians Think We are Willing to Do Without? Energy=High Quality of Life, Strong Economy and Freedom

Each American that lives an above average life-style in our country uses about a million Btu’s per day. So, if the government wishes to outlaw fossil fuels through ever increasing regulations, then what are we prepared to give up? Politicians are continuing the war on carbon which began under the Clinton Administration in 1993. What freedoms are you and I willing to give up? As for me, and my family, I say none! As this is written, it is Memorial Day weekend and many fine Americans gave all so that we can enjoy our lives. The 2020 election created serious consequences for Americans to continue to live the American Dream.

Freedom & Sustainability

Joe Biden and the Democrats are doing their best to outlaw fossil fuels. This is un-American and in fact, anti-American sustainability. Sustainability to me, means to sustain our high quality of life and for our children and grandchildren to have an ever increasing quality of life. That is the way my God gifted life has gone, each year in general, became better with more manual work performed by energy. Some examples, modern electric appliances, power tools and yard tools. We depend on energy to replace muscle more than any time in history. Our quality of life is a result of using more energy and less muscle power. About a million Btus per day, per person. So, if Fossil Fuels are providing the majority of the energy we depend on (see 2021 LLNL chart below), then the Democrats must want us to scale back our quality of life? Because abundant, reasonable cost and reliable Energy is required to power our good lives. This includes the supply chain, fertilizer and food production, manufacturing, jobs, transportation and just about everything that makes living the American Dream possible. Fossil Fuels currently provide about 79% of our energy.

From Dick Storm ASME Presentation, “The Importance of Coal” 2011 Summer Annual Meeting

The illustrations above and below are copied from a presentation I gave to the Annual Meeting of the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) in 2011. This was following the Financial crisis of 2008. Remember that? The energy consumption of the U.S. in 2009 actually dropped from about 100 Quadrillion Btu’s per year to about 94.6 Quadrillion Btu’s/year. The point is, that energy does in fact provide for economic prosperity and our high quality of life.  Freedom too!

Dick Storm, 2011 ASME presentation, Chart & data from EIA

In 2009 about 50% of America’s electricity was being generated by coal. That was before the Shale Gas Revolution. After the recovery from the 2008 Financial crisis, life became very good again. Actually, we Americans have been Blessed with very good lives for many decades. I have had the gift of living for seven decades of a wonderful life reaching all the goals I could have wished for as a child. Energy has played a big part of America’s rise during the last 100 years. Now each of us uses about a million Btu’s of energy each day.

A Million Btu’s per Day per Person

I would like to show the progression of America’s energy mix from 2008 to the present. A steady 94-102 Quadrillion Btu’s of “Total Primary Energy” have been used. This is important. Our lives (and the American Economy) have been powered by about the same quantity of energy at a fairly flat level since 2001. I will confine this discussion to energy use since 2008.

From Dick Storm Presentation 2011 to ASME Annual Meeting, The Importance of Coal

Coal fuel produced about 50% of America’s electric power up to about 2012 when the Shale Gas Revolution took over and natural gas became so abundant that fuel prices for gas dropped below coal. The graph below shows the trend of natural gas prices from 2006-2012. When natural gas dropped to about $2.00/million Btu it became very competitive with coal and in fact in certain areas of the U.S., a less expensive fuel than coal for power generation.

From Storm Technologies, Inc. Seminar Presentation, 2016

Economic Dispatch of Generating Units

The lower cost gas became the preferred fuel of choice for most electric utilities. The fuel mix change from 2004 to 2019 is illustrated below. Keep in mind, the Total Primary Energy use of the US remained fairly steady at 100 Quadrillion Btu’s (+/- 6 quads). By the way, Electricity production currently uses about 37% of the primary energy consumed in the U.S. Switching transportation to EV’s or Hydrogen is not practical in the near term, however, if it was, then I suggest that America will continue to annually require at least 100 Quadrillion Btu’s of energy.

One more point. The sub heading above uses the word “Dispatch” Yes, about 90% of America’s Power was from Dispatchable Fuels. Solar and Wind are not Dispatchable. Renewable power comes onto the Grid as nature provides. Government subsidies and regulations allow it to be forced onto the Grid making it tough for Thermal power plants to back down or pick up load as fickle nature varies the output of wind and solar.

From Dick Storm OLLI Course , Energy Production Part 1, January 2021

Total Primary Energy Flows

Shown above is the Sankey Energy Flow Diagram for the year 2009. Below is the latest version of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Energy Flow Diagram for the year 2021. If you compare 2009 with 2021 Total Energy Flows, they are very close at 94.58 and 97.3 Quadrillion Btu’s. In 2019 America used right at 100.2 Quadrillion Btus. The economy was improving and 2019 was the year before the Covid Pandemic. So, as the economy improves, more energy is used. When the economy shrinks, less energy is used. This is TOTAL ENERGY which includes energy from all sources, including renewables. It also included electricity generation (about 37%) and Transportation (about 27%). Keep in mind that if we maintain or sustain our current freedoms of travel and lifestyles, likely the total energy use will remain rght at 100 Quadrillion Btus. Population increase and reshoring manufacturing will increase energy use above 100 Quad’s.

From Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory web-site

Can EV’s for Transportation Substitute Electricity for Petroleum?

There are about 280 million light trucks and cars on our highways today. All but about 11 million of these vehicles are fueled with gasoline and Diesel fuel. Heavy trucks for commerce are mostly Diesel powered and of course, airlines are fueled with Jet Fuel. These comprise fuel for transportation, which is about 28% of the Total Primary Energy used in the U.S. If these were all electrified then the electric power generation would need to vastly increase to use about 65% of the total primary energy. Of course, the about 8-10% of petroleum that is used for Jet Fuel will still be needed even if all other vehicles were replaced with EV’s. This is not practical any time soon. Check the excellent research that Donn Dears has done on this.(3)

Hydrogen as Fuel

Replacing petroleum with hydrogen fuel has been talked about for decades. Yes, it is feasible to use Electrolyzers to separate hydrogen and oxygen molecules from water and thus produce “GreenHydrogen”. However, it takes about 2.5 to 3 times more electricity to produce a unit of hydrogen than what that unit of energy will produce in electric power.

Conclusions

  1. America uses about 100 Quadrillion btus each year. Over 79% of these energy units are provided by Fossil Fuels. Replacing them with renewables in the near term is at the very least, impractical. In my view it is impossible during my lifetime or the lifetime of my children.
  2. Net Zero Carbon Policies are not driven by science or protection of the planet. They are politically driven for the benefit of politicians to wield power over the people.
  3. Climate Policies are being formulated by politicians and non-science trained individuals.
  4. Energy and Economic Prosperity are linked together. As shown in the Energy Flow diagrams above, when there was a recession in 2008-2009 America’s energy use declined. Likelwise during the 2020 Pandemic. As the Economy thrives, we use more energy. Energy is vital for a thriving economy.
  5. America will continue to use 100 Quadrillion Btu’s per year and more when our economy is performing at it’s best. As population grows and hopefully, more manufacturing is reshored, energy use will rise. Solar and wind power cannot meet this increase.
  6. America should keep the Dispatchable and Balanced Generation Portfolio of Coal, Nuclear and Natural Gas plants. Older coal units in my view, should be replaced with new modern, clean and efficient coal plants.(6)
  7. New Nuclear plants are needed to keep a Balanced Electric Generation Portfolio(7,8,9)
  8. By not keeping a Balanced Electric Generation Portfolio, America risks energy shortages and Blackouts(10)
  9. All Developed Countries depend on reliable, affordable energy. In my opinion, a significant portion of the 100 Quadrillion Btu’s America has been using for decades, should continue to be supplied by coal fuel.(6, 22)
  10. The Transportation fuels of gasoline and Diesel cannot be replaced in the short term with EV’s or Hydrogen.
  11. If America continues on the Net-Zero Carbon Path, then it will lead to a reduction in our freedoms to live sustainable lives as we have been accustomed to. (11)
  12. Energy is important not only to power our high quality of lives, but reasonable cost, abundant energy is also important to the supply chain and food production(17)

Respectfully submitted,

Dick Storm, May 30, 2022

References for Further Reading and Research

  1. Donn Dears Five Part Series, “Net Zero Reality Check” https://ddears.com/donns-articles/
  2. Dr. Judith Curry Slides and Presentation to IPCC and New Jersey Group, 2021: https://judithcurry.com/2021/10/22/challenges-of-the-clean-energy-transition/
  3. Donn Dears Blog article on EV’s: https://ddears.com/2022/01/06/achilles-heal-of-battery-powered-vehicles-part-1/
  4. Dr. Richard Lindzen articles: https://www.heartland.org/about-us/who-we-are/richard-lindzen
  5. Wijngaarden & William Happer, WUWT Latest on GHE Effect, Sept. 2021, Science, Wijngaarden & Happer: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/09/21/the-greenhouse-effect-a-summary-of-wijngaarden-and happer/ 
  6. Dick Storm Presentation to the 2011 ASME Annual Meeting “The Importance of Coal Plants” https://www.linkedin.com/posts/richard-storm-00557810_why-coal-is-important-circa-2011-activity-6934545548276363264-W_S_/?utm_source=linkedin_share&utm_medium=member_desktop_web
  7. World Nuclear Organization. June 2021: https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/world-energy-needs-and-nuclear-power.aspx
  8. Nuclear Power Future for Sustainable Living and improved “Human Development Index” for the world: https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/energy-and-the-environment/nuclear-energy-and-sustainable-development.aspx
  9. Energy Dept. Nuclear Research into SMR’s: https://www.energy.gov/ne/advanced-small-modular-reactors-smrs
  10. WSJ article, May 27, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/americas-summer-of-rolling-blackouts-green-energy-grid-north-american-electric-reliability-corporation-11653683348
  11. Donn Dears book, “Net-Zero Carbon, The Climate Policy Destroying America” Available on Amazon or Donn Dears website.
  12. 100 Ways Biden is Making Energy Crisis worse: https://www.americanenergyalliance.org/2022/05/100-ways-biden-and-the-democrats-have-made-it-harder-to-produce-oil-gas/
  13. CEI Cooler Heads publication May 24, 2022: https://go.cei.org/webmail/287682/872576332/68e507be334cf34c7d54b4b2a348b50f1d373ec69c94d0d629001f91129c1e7d
  14. FT Presentation on Moral Investing by Kirk Stuart of HSBC May 2022: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfNamRmje-s
  15. More Green Energy Planned than Grid can handle, Canary Media April 2022: https://www.canarymedia.com/articles/transmission/the-us-has-more-clean-energy-projects-planned-than-the-grid-can-handle?utm_medium=email
  16. Summer Blackouts by Failed US Energy policy Manhatten Institute: https://www.city-journal.org/energy-policy-failures-may-lead-to-summer-blackouts
  17. H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Policies put Policy before Food and lifting people from poverty: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/04/25/climate-misanthropes-say-fighting-climate-change-is-more-important-than-food-reliable-energy-and-peace/
  18. IEA Coal Forecast to 2024 April 2022: https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/f1d724d4-a753-4336-9f6e-64679fa23bbf/Coal2021.pdf
  19. Dick Storm Blog, History of Energy Pt 4, China goes All In for All Fuels are Important: https://wordpress.com/post/dickstormprobizblog.org/1430
  20. Dick Storm Newsletter of 2012, “Yes, There is a War on Coal, But Somebody needs to keep the Lights on”: https://www.stormeng.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2012.06-Yes-There-is-a-War-on-Coal.pdf
  21. Four Fears by Ken Haapala, SEPP (Science and Environmental Policy Project):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_famines

22. 93.5% of our energy is used in heat engines and 80% is from Fossil Fuels by Dick Storm:

https://bit.ly/3zsXcS6