Category Archives: Energy and Electricity Fundamentals

Demystifying the Importance of Energy and Electric Power

Monday evening I was invited to the Sunset Rotary Club to provide a presentation on energy and electric power generation. I accepted the invitation because I believe it is important for the general public to understand the importance of affordable, reliable energy and electricity generation. Rotary Clubs are comprised of great civic minded people that are involved in the community. Thus, the title of the talk, “Demystifying the Importance of Energy and Electric Power” . My intention was to help the Rotarians understand the differences of Primary and Secondary Energy, Dispatchability of electricity generation and provide an overview of the sources of our energy. Here is the presentation with a short narrative of each of the slides I used to compress a two hour topic into 30 minutes:

The object of the short talk was to cover the importance of energy and to attempt to bring the facts to community leaders that care, but are not experts in or involved in energy engineering or businesses.

Rotary members are very active in the community and the world in helping the less fortunate. The first part of the meeting was members discussing helping students and those people in the community that are living in poverty. (Yes, on Hilton Head Island we have a lot of poverty) In my attempt to pique the attention of members on the plight of people living in Developing countries and the relationship of energy and economic prosperity, I used the cover of the June 2021 Rotary Magazine. This showed an example of indoor cooking of a family in Mongolia. Another photo of a woman cooking over a wood fire in Africa. Lifting people such as these from poverty can be done with the wise and careful use of fossil fuels. Such as propane and natural gas for cooking and coal for electricity generation.

Most of America’s energy is provided by conventional forms of energy; petroleum, natural gas, coal, nuclear, biomass and hydroelectric. These six forms of primary energy provide over 90% of the energy we use, need and depend on to power our high quality of living. I used the John Deere tractor as an image to get attention to the energy component of food production. Rotary is involved in helping the less fortunate all around the world. The Energy cost component of food production is over 50% for most foods when “farm to table” is considered. Costs such as; fertilizer, tractor fuel, grain drying, food processing, refrigeration for dairy and meat products and distribution transportation power and supermarket refrigeration. As energy costs rise, they become one of the root causes of inflation.

The relationship of energy and economic growth is well known by those of us that have worked in the energy business but not so well known by the general public. To illustrate this relationship I used the data compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy back in 2010 to show the correlation of coal consumption and GDP growth from 1970-2010. This GDP growth was steady and in spite of the Arab Oil Embargo’s of 1973 and 1980. Back in the late 1970’s, when Jimmy Carter was President, his Administration promoted a National Energy policy that focused on Domestically produced energy. Because America is the “Saudi Arabia of Coal” over 50% of the U.S. ever growing electricity generation, continued to be from coal fuel.

Moving forward from 2010 to 2021, the Energy Flow Chart shows the sources and uses of each form of energy. Including renewables.

The LLNL Sankey Diagram of total primary energy flows is my favorite illustration. This shows on one diagram the total energy sources and consumption. I think it is an easy to understand graphic that any reasonable person can understand. Thus, it is my favorite energy chart.

Three points are to be made with this chart: 1. America uses about 100 Quadrillion Btus of energy each year and that this has been steady for the last 20+ years. The year 2021 energy use dipped to 97.3 Quads because of Covid and reduced travel and industrial output. 2. The LLNL chart shows PRIMARY Energy Flows. The distiction of Primary and Secondary Energy needs to be understood. For example, electricity and hydrogen are forms of Secondary Energy 3. The most important point emphasized by this chart is that wind and solar only provided 4.96% of the U.S. Primary Energy. This after decades of subsidies and taxpayer funded incentives for wind and solar.

Each South Carolina citizen uses an average of 866,000 Btus per day. Each of us in the room live a slightly above average life style. Thus, I submit that each one of us uses over a million Btus of conventional energy each day. The slide above shows the forms that energy is used by each of us, or on our behalf. I say on our behalf considering for example, the Diesel fuel used to power a truck delivering an Amazon shipment to our home, or Jet Fuel for a Fedex air freight shipment. Also, many of us will travel to see friends and family over the Thanksgiving Holiday and vacations. Travel such as that uses much more than a million Btus/day/person when gasoline and jet fuel are considered. The number is derived from dividing the total primary energy BTUs used in the state by the population then divide by 365 days, to come up with the energy/person/day consumption. The information on the illustration below is compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy for SC residents.

This reminds me of one of the excellent questions asked at the end of my presentation. The question was, “If we each use about a million Btus per day, how much do they cost in dollars?”. Great question and the answer reminds us of how fortunate we are to be Americans! A million Btu’s of natural gas costs about $7.00/million Btu and a million Btus of Diesel fuel costs about $46.00/million Btus. Depending on our personal use of energy it will be somewhere in between. Coal energy is the least costly and before Covid was less than $3.00/million Btus. But, lately due to so many factors resulting from the government’s “War on Carbon”, delivered coal costs are about the same as natural gas. This is what the proponents for renewables want, higher costs of fossil fuels which then makes renewables more competitive by increasing the costs of the once affordable fuels. In my opinion, this is not a good strategy to keep America strong.

The Alaska pipeline was approved by Congress and built after the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo. It presents a vivid image of the amount of oil America depends on each day. The Alaska pipeline is above ground because of the Permafrost Tundra in northern Alaska. The above ground image provides a graphic illustration of a pipeline capable of transporting about two million barrels of oil per day. America uses about twenty million barrels per day of oil, so to illustrate that, imagine ten pipeleines like the one shown above, side by side. Yes, that is a lot of oil to be refined into gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, lubricating oil, grease and many other petroleum products. Not to mention the oil used in making plastics and other materials used for manufactured products of all types.

Total Primary energy production and use 1950-2020. I stated earlier that America has leveled off at about 100 Quadrillion Btus of energy each year. This chart by the EIA shows that from about the year 2000, the U.S. has used right at 100 Quadrillion Btus/year. Another point to make: Note that in 2019 it was the first year since about 1960 where America produced as much Domestic energy as we consumed. In other words, in 2019 America became energy Independent.

The total energy consumption since 1776 is shown on this chart. If you close your eyes and imagine the inventions from 1850 on such as the end of darkness with Edison’s development of the light bulb, the gasoline engine, the Diesel engine, steam turbines, airplanes, air conditioning, refrigeration, synthetic ammonia production from natural gas, plastics, steel, aluminum, airplanes and etc. All of these modern inventions, most developed during the 20th Century have provided a very high quality of life or as the United Nations quantifies it, “HDI” (Human Development Index”). The modern devices, including automobiles, airplanes and home appliances all depend on energy. Substituting muscle power for machines. As recent as 1900 farming was done with muscle power until tractors were invented and mass produced. Perhaps this is a good time to interject the fact that many of the eight billion people now living on this planet do not have the HDI that American’s enjoy.

The data above is a few years old as it shows the world population at 7.2 billion. Just this week the U.N. estimated that the world has now passed 8 billion in total population. It is my opinion that not much has changed in the percentages of people living below the energy and HDI levels of the Developed world. As shown on the chart, about half the world population lives well below our quality of life in energy poverty. The difference? Energy and Liberty. This is the season of Thanksgiving and all Americans have much to be thankful for. I know I am.

While Americans have much to be thankful for……There are some quirky and misguided organizations and people in government that do not understand the importance of conventional forms of energy. Some of these organizations and people are: the Sierra Club, Yale University, Stanford University, Princeton, many members of the Democrat Party, celebrities and the Entertainment Industry, the United Nations, the Main Stream Media, the World Economic Forum, Public Education the EPA and “Woke” corporations . They and others have waged a “War on Carbon” for decades and wealthy Billionaires such as Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg have contributed hundreds of millions (together-Billions) of dollars to shut down coal plants and stop the use of fossil fuels. Their solution is to basically, “Electrify Everything”. The graphic above includes a couple screen prints from the Yale 360 and Sierra Club websites. They are not alone, many organizations and celebrities have taken up the “Green Energy” cause. What I am attempting to show in this presentation is, that everything cannot be electrified! How do you think the people living below the poverty line feel when diplomats and wealthy indivduals like John Kerry, Barack Obama, Gina McCarthy, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Jeff Bezos and others from the government and World Economic Forum, gather together after flying in their private jets half way around the world and then they lecture people living in Africa, Indonesia and India on how they should Decarbonize? One example is the importance of ammonia fertilizer production. This uses about 1.2% of the world’s energy and if ammonia fertilizer production was stopped, Vaclav Smil, an energy expert and author has estimated that half the people on the planet would perish from famine.

The 100 Quadrillion Btus of energy we Americans use each year cannot be replaced by wind and solar. It is impossible to do so and still continue our good quality of lives. Below is another couple figures from the U.S. Dept. of Energy which show where our electricity came from in 2021. Note that it is over 80% conventional. As far as carbon free electricity, the greatest source is nuclear power which provides almost 20% of America’s total electricity.

A reminder that Energy Independence is important not only to power our HDI but also for National Security. Both militarily and for economic security. If one does not believe energy is important for a sustainable and good life, then that person should read up on the current events in Europe and Ukraine with energy shortages. Read the news on BASF downsizing fertilizer production in Germany because of high energy costs and also other German industrial plants are being downsized or shut down. All older Americans should remember the Oil Embargo’s of 1973 and 1980. Taking the U.S. Oil Embargos and Russian war on Ukraine into consideration this should elevate the understanding of the importance of energy independence and affordable production of energy to sustain our lives. Also, those of us living on the coast remember how our lives changed when hurricanes like Mathew in 2016 knocked out electricity and stopped gasoline deliveries.

Electricity generation that is “Dispatchable” is important for reliable electric service. The 24 hour chart above shows typical electric Demand for a Utility. The red lines are summer with higher air conditioning load and the winter in blue. Whether summer or winter, electric load is greatest in the morning and late afternoon. The Demand at 5:00 PM will typically be about 150% to 200% of the Demand at 5:00 AM. This is because of increased commercial lighting, cooking for dinner, folks returning home from work and turning on TV, etc. As my first “Electricity 101” instructor put it in 1959, “Electricity Needs to be Generated the Instant it is Needed”.…This is called Dispatchable electricity generation.

The Current Grid example above shows electricity generation for the 48 states of the U.S.A. This example is from October 2021 but it was similar for 2022. The cycling lines representing natural gas power illustrate the electric load Demand swings from daytime to night-time. The variations are similar but less extreme for coal and hydro. These four sources of electric generation are Dispatchable. Over 80% of the generation for the 48 states up till now, is from Dispatchable generation. Solar and wind are Not Dispatchable. So, as in California a year or two ago, as people came home from work, started cooking dinner, charged their EV’s and turned on TV’s…..the Demand for electricity exceeded the available supply and rolling Blackouts occurred. Texas in the winter of February 2021 had a similar experience. Both Blackout events were the result of too much intermittent power generation from wind and solar with too many Dispatchable coal and nuclear plants having been shut down in the last few years.

The graphic above is from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator known as MISO. Actual data from July 2022. The point is to show the generation by fuels which includes 41.85% coal. Many of these coal plants are planned to be shut down in the coming years, without planning replacement generation fron Dispatchable sources. (This is an absence of a Rational Energy Policy)

The chart above is from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation known in the indstry as NERC. As is shown, about 102,600 MW of Dispatchable, afffordable coal and nuclear electric generating capacity has been shut down since 2011. More shut downs are planned for the next couple of years.

For people like myself that have been involved with energy and electricity generation for decades, it just seems foolish and ill planned. I started digging a year or two ago to attempt to determine why America has no energy policy to replace the coal and nuclear plants that have been shutdown with more to follow? The answer is that America’s energy policy is driven by environmental extremists that know little about energy and electricity generation and seem to not care about the consequences and weakening of America. Some of these organizations are shown below.

The public Indoctrination has been highly successful in indoctrinating the general public believe that green power can replace coal, gas, oil and nuclear energy. It cannot if we are to continue to enjoy our high HDI style of living.

Another RTO (Regional Transmission Operator) is the PJM Interconnection. This RTO serves as the electric power equivalent of an “Air Traffic Controller” to distribute the power genaration to the least cost electric generating plants between NJ and Illinois. A huge portion of the Northeastern states. Like MISO, much of the pwer generation this summer was from coal plants. Like MISO, many of the Dispatchable coal plants are planned for shut down in the near future. Until then neeeded preventive maintenance is not the same as if they were valued assets to be depended on for decades into the future. Also, there are no plans to replace the lost generation with new coal or nuclear units, at least, not yet.

As a side note, when RTO’s were formed, rather than having Regional Utilities plan for future Generation, it relieved the Regional Utilities of responsibility to plan future generation assets. Thus, when we get to Blackouts because of poor planning, no one will be held accountable. It is bizarre for our great country to come to this.

Let’s talk about South Carolina and where we get our electricity.

Over 56% of SC electric generation is from nuclear power generation. SC ranks #3 in the U.S.

Here on Hilton Head Island our electricity is distributed by Palmetto Electric Co-Op. Palmetto Electric receives most of their Bulk Power from Santee-Cooper. The generation assets of Santee-Cooper are shown on the chart above. In the lower right inset, is shown the Summer Nuclear Plant which is operated by Dominion Energy. Santee-Cooper owns 322 MW of the nuclear generation capacity of Summer Unit #1. Two additional nuclear units were planned when SCE&G was the owner but mismanagement resulted in quitting the construction process after spending about nine Billion dollars on the expansion. Had it been successful, it would have been a good plan for carbon free electric generation capacity. Currently, most of Santee-Cooper’s power generation is from the Cross and Winyah coal power plants. As can be seen from the Santee-Cooper table above of electricity generation assets, over 67% of them are coal plants. The Cross Steam plant is about 130 miles north of Hilton Head in Pineville, SC. This plant is rated at 2,350 MW. Just to put that in perspective, the Cross coal plant is close to the same size as the American side Hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls. This is serious Bulk Power generation capacity.

The Santee-Cooper utility also owns the 3.5 MW rated Solar Farm off of I-95 near Walterboro. Again, referring to the generation assets of Santee-Cooper, the solar capacity is about 0.1% of the total.

The solar collectors are not Dispatchable and obviously only can generate power only about 4-8 hours during the sunny portion of a 24 hour period. Also considered “Green Power” and can function 24/7 is the Landfill Gas plants that Santee-Cooper operates. These capture and use the methane gas which is produced from the decomposition of the organic materials in municipal waste.

Santee-Cooper management recognized the electricity Demand growth of the future. As mentioned above, they correctly planned for the needed increase of new generation capacity by a 45% joint ownership of the Summer Units 2 & 3 nuclear units. Also, Santee-Cooper approved the design and construction of a new 600 MW clean coal plant near Florence, SC. The components for this plant were designed and purchased. However, extreme opposition from environmental extremist organizations forced it to be cancelled. As I understand it, The large Central Electric Co-Operative in upstate S.C. negotiated a power purchase agreement with Duke Energy to purchase excess Bulk Power generation from Duke’s nuclear plants. This agreement provided excellent low cost Bulk power up to about 2030. After 2030 the contract will need to be renegotiated. Also, in 2030 the Oconee #1 nuclear power plant operating license will need to be extended by the NRC. (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

The chart below is from the Santee-Cooper projection of electricity growth from 2020 through 2040. As can be seen from the chart, the 1,045 MW Winyah coal plant is planned for shut down in 2028. The difference between the expected growth to over 6,000 MW by about 2035 could have easily been made up for, were the Pee Dee coal plant and one of the planned additional units at Summer been completed. As this is written, Santee-Cooper and their stakeholders are working to figure out where to secure the replacement generation to replace the 1045 MW’s in capacity that will be lost when the Winyah plant is shut down. From what I have read, the most likely approval will be solar, batteries for backup and when all that is inadequate, they will install more Gas Turbine Combined Cycle units. Time will tell.

Based on the foregoing and a lot of additional information, some of which is included in the references at the end, I have formed my conclusions….

Thank you for this opportunity to be part of your program tonight. I sincerely appreciate your interest in energy and electricity. Feel free to contact me should you have any further questions,

Yours very truly,

Dick Storm, Monday November 14, 2022

Energy equivalents and other information relevant to this presentation is copied below. Further references and information for further reading are listed following these conversions:

Energy Units and Conversions The data and information which follows is listed for reference and further reading.

1 Watt is the power from a current of 1 Ampere flowing through 1 Volt 
1 kilowatt (kW) is a thousand Watts

1 kilowatt-hour is the energy of one kilowatt power flowing for one hour. (E = P t)

A BTU (British Thermal Unit) is the amount of heat necessary to raise one pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit (F). 

1 Megawatt (MW) is a thousand kilowatts  (if Dispatchable power, up to 164 homes)

Hilton Head Island uses about 150-200 MW on a hot summer day

1 Gigawatt (GW) is a thousand Megawatts

1 kWh=3,412.6 BTUs (if converted at 100% efficiency)

1 BTU to convert to work at 100% efficiency= 778 Foot Pounds

1 Quadrillion = 1015 BTU  (World energy usage is about 600 Quads/year, US is about 100 Quads/year since 1996) 

Important Points on the use of Hydrogen (Secondary Energy)  as Fuel: 

Conversion by Electrolyzer of water to Hydrogen, takes about 50 kWh/pound of hydrogen (39 kW/pound is at 100% efficiency)

Electrolyzer produced electricity back to electricity = 26-30% round trip

It takes 9 pounds of water to create 1 pound of hydrogen

Hydrogen Energy from 1 cubic foot=325 BTUs, Methane CH= 1,030 BTUs Hydrogen has less Energy Density

Liquified Hydrogen is -423 Degrees F.  (Liquifying is at cost of of about 30% of the energy available from the Liquid Hydrogen Fuel itself)

Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is  -260 Degrees F.

Power Conversion

1 horsepower (hp) = 745.7 watts

I Air Conditioning Ton approx. 1 kWh

Gas Volume to Energy Conversion

One thousand cubic feet of natural gas (Mcf) -> 1.027 million BTU 

Energy Content of Fuels

Coal     (Bituminous)             10,500- 12,500 BTU/pound               (Recent cost $15.00/million BTUs, Cost in 2019 about $2.50/million Btus)

Coal (Wyoming PRB)             8,000-9000 BTU/pound
Natural gas (Methane CH4) 1,030 BTU/cubic foot                        (Recent cost $7.00/million BTUs)
Wood                                       8,200-9,600  Btus/pound

Hydrogen                             51,600 BTUs/pound (LHV)                (Recent cost $17.00+/million BTUs If you can find it)

Approximate Fuel Energy Content/million BTU 

Gasoline                       115,400-125,000 BTU/gallon                 (at $3.50/gallon= $30.00/million BTUs)

Gasoline E10                 114,300 BTU/gallon

Diesel                           128,700-135,000 BTU/gallon                 (at $6.00/gallon= $46.62/million BTUs)

Ethanol (E100)                75,700 BTU/gallon

Propane                          83,500 BTU/gallon

References for further research on Energy and Climate Policies:

  1. Reuters, Oct. 25, 2022, Dr. Faith Birol of IEA states, “This is the World’s First Global Energy Crisis”: https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/global-lng-markets-further-tighten-next-year-ieas-birol-2022-10-25/
  2. Energy is Life by Dr. Samuele 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/
  3. 97% CONSENSUS ON CLIMATE CHANGE? SURVEY SHOWS ONLY 59% OF SCIENTISTS EXPECT SIGNIFICANT HARM:

https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/97-consensus-on-climate-change-survey-shows-only-59-of-scientists-expect-significant-harm

4. Blackouts Threaten New England Again, Donn dears Blog :  https://ddears.com/2022/10/25/blackouts-threaten-new-england-again/

5. Dick Storm Blog, November 2022, “Electric Generation Planning, Then and Now”: https://dickstormprobizblog.org/2022/11/10/electric-generation-planning-then-and-now-what-will-be-the-monuments-to-poor-planning-in-2024/

6. Dr. Steven Koonin on Catastrophic Climate Change:  https://www.prageru.com/video/is-there-really-a-climate-emergency?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaign_5331670

7. Donn Dears Politics of Energy Part 1 (Largest energy reserves): https://bit.ly/3J5OnTc

8. North American Electric Reliability Corp., Long Term Reliability study: https://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/ra/Reliability%20Assessments%20DL/NERC_LTRA_2021.pdf

9. SEPP (Science and Environmental Policy Project): http://www.sepp.org/the-week-that-was.cfm  

10. Mark Mills, Prager University, On Energy: https://www.youtube.com/embed/wDOI-uLvTnY

11. Dick Storm Short Link, Elitists & Special Interests Govern Climate Policies: https://dickstormprobizblog.org/2021/11/03/glasgow-cop-26-elitists-and-special-interests-promote-china-first-america-last-why-because-energy-savvy-engineers-were-not-successful-in-educating-the-public-and-politicians-on-the-true-facts/

12. Americans use about a Million Btu’s per day per person to sustain our economy & quality of life: https://dickstormprobizblog.org/2022/05/17/providing-a-sustainable-million-btus-per-day-per-person-by-fuel-source/

13. Donn Dears Article on Net-Zero Carbon Reality Conclusions:  https://bit.ly/38ZVjDZ

14. The Right Stuff Climate Team (Retired NASA Engineers): https://www.therightclimatestuff.com

15. The Energy Crisis will Worsen, Daniel Yergin, July 11, 2022: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/energy-crisis-will-deepen-no-supply-by-daniel-yergin-2022-07

16. Nuclear Energy Institute, Area required for wind, dwarfs land needed for nuclear power: NEI Land Area Required for Wind and Solar to replace a 1000 MW Nuclear Plant: https://www.nei.org/news/2015/land-needs-for-wind-solar-dwarf-nuclear-plants

17. World Nuclear Organization: https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/nuclear-power-in-the-world-today.aspx

 18. Real Time US Power Grid link to EIA: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/gridmonitor/dashboard/electric_overview/US48/US48

19. No, we cannot electrify everything, Capital Research, December 2021 issue: https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/Capital-Research-2021-8.pdf

20. 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

21. CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH CENTER REPORT, An excellent primer on energy with outstanding illustrations:https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R46723

22. American Public Power Assoc. Electric Generation by Sources, 2022: https://www.publicpower.org/resource/americas-electricity-generating-capacity

23. International Energy Agency, How the Energy Crisis is Exacerbating the Food Crisis, June 2022: https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-the-energy-crisis-is-exacerbating-the-food-crisis

24. Vaclav Smil, Scientist Interview on “How the World Really Works” by New York Times, April 2022: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/04/25/magazine/vaclav-smil-interview.html

25. Vaclav Smil Books: “Power Density”, “How the World Really Works”, “Energy and Civilization”, “Grand Transitions” and more. He has written about 40 books, most based on the importance of energy.

26. 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

27. EIA Coal to Nuclear Report, Sept. 2022: https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/could-nations-coal-plant-sites-help-drive-clean-energy-transition

28. You Tube, “How Much Energy Will the World Need”: https://www.youtube.com/embed/wDOI-uLvTnY

29. Dr. Nicolas Kokell, Sources of Primary Energy :  https://portfolio-pplus.com/Communicator/Details_Article/1023

30. Professor Furfari article Sept. 2022, Hopeless European Green new Deal: https://clintel.org/the-many-hopeless-european-climate-change-laws/

31. 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

32. IEA Energy Costs to Produce Food, June 2022: https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-the-energy-crisis-is-exacerbating-the-food-crisis

33. 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  

34. 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  

35. 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

36. 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/

37. 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  

38. 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

39. US and World Coal Reserves Map: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Coal-reserves-volumes-by-countries-of-the-world-3_fig1_328037099

40. EIA 2nd reference on World Coal Reserves, EIA 2011: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=2930

41. American Geosciences institute, World Coal Reserves: https://www.americangeosciences.org/critical-issues/maps/interactive-map-coal-resources-united-states

42. EIA Total Energy Use 1950-2020: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=43515

43. 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

44. Fact Check on Wind Power Cost: https://www.factcheck.org/2019/07/does-wind-work-without-subsidies/

45. 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  

46. 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

47. VOX, Electrify Everything! : https://www.vox.com/2016/9/19/12938086/electrify-everything

48. Stanford, Mark Jacobson, Net Zero Carbon by 2050 : https://news.stanford.edu/2015/06/08/50states-renewable-energy-060815/

Jacobson’s website: https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/WWS-50-USState-plans.html

49. UN Net Zero Carbon website: https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/net-zero-coalition  

 50. 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/

51. 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/

52. 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

53. National Coal Council, Enhanced Oil Recovery using C02 from Coal Plants, 2012: http://www.nationalcoalcouncil.org/reports/07-10-12-NCC_Harnessing_Coals_Carbon_Content_to_Advance_Economy_Environment_EnergySecurity.pdf

54. 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/

55. 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/

56. The Permian Basin, The Gift of An Almost Permanent Supply of Oil at 2.5 million barrels/day, Sept 2022: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/10/04/the-permian-basin-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving/

57. Liberty Energy, “Bettering Human Lives, ESG Report” August 2022: https://investors.libertyfrac.com/press-releases/2022/08-02-2022-222014779

58. Donn Dears Blog on Electric Vehicles and Lithium Batteries: https://bit.ly/3RDXOfB

59. BP Statistical Review of World Energy 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

60. IEA World Energy Outlook Reports: https://www.iea.org/topics/world-energy-outlook#reports

61. EIA (U.S. Dept. of Energy) Annual Energy Outlook: https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/

62. China, Keeping Coal King, Bloomberg: https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/iBjpZ.bmbits/v0/-1x-1.png

63. Coal is King in China, Bloomberg: https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/i3CKBFPaA7g0/v0/-1x-1.png

64. China Climate Advisers Say More Coal Needed for Energy Security, Bloomberg, Nov. 15, 2022:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-15/china-climate-advisers-say-more-coal-needed-for-energy-security?mc_cid=72c8bf23a3&mc_eid=dddcf9dc32&leadSource=uverify%20wall

65. Facts on EV Charging by EVESCO, Good explanation of electrical Demand for EV Charging: https://www.power-sonic.com/blog/levels-of-ev-charging/

66. EIA Electricity Generation Facts, 2021: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/electricity-in-the-us-generation-capacity-and-sales.php

67. Mark Mills, Prager Univ. Myths of Green Energy, Nov. 2022: https://twitter.com/prageru/status/1589634529253261312

68. Competitive Enterprise Institute, Fifty Years of Wrong Predictions, 2019: https://cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-of-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions/

I hope these references are useful to you to discover facts and information that are not readily discussed by the Main Stream Media.

Yours very truly,

Richard F. (Dick) Storm, PE

Richard.storm@stormeng.com

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

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

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

Providing a Sustainable Million Btu’s per Day, per Person by Fuel Source

Each person that lives in a Developed Country and enjoys our high quality of life uses well over a million Btu’s per day. This post is a reminder of the importance of energy to power our lives and the sources of the energy we depend upon.

Introduction

The war on carbon has been going on for a long time. I have written my thoughts on the start of the war on carbon which has been escalating since the Clinton Presidency and was ramped up during Obama’s. The Biden Administration has further ramped up Climate Policies (aka war on carbon) which encompass the entire government, making the Clinton and Obama attacks on carbon compare as small nuisances. Then the United Nations Secretary General has piled on with his urging to ban investment in any fossil fuel production and to use the world’s financial institutions to cut off investment through ESG policies. The Main Stream Media and Entertainment and many “Woke Banks and large Businesses” have joined in to create a serious indoctrination program for the people of the world and tightened up the available financial investment to expand or modernize energy production facilities of any type. Not only the U.S., but the Climate Policies of the world to attain Net Zero Carbon by 2050 now has much momentum. The purpose of this post is to simply lay out the facts of the energy needs of today for anyone living in the Developed World.

The Importance of Energy

Energy use, economic prosperity and Quality of life go hand in hand. The title of one of Mr. Donn Dears recent books is: “NET-ZERO Carbon, The Climate Policy Destroying America”. 

At first glance, the sub title, “Climate Policy Destroying America” may seem to be an exaggeration. The intention of this short essay is to show that Mr. Dears is correct, if we move toward Net-Zero Carbon too quickly, it will destroy the American way of life and will cripple our economy. The word “Sustainability” means to me, that we sustain our quality of life as Americans have enjoyed for many years. Energy, quality of life and economic prosperity are all related. Kindly stick with me and read to the end to review the importance of conventional energy. 

100 Quadrillion Btu’s Per Year Energy Use

America has used right at 100 Quadrillion Btu’s (+/- 10)  annually of energy for the last twenty years. The EIA and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have calculated and published this data for decades. Here is an excerpt of the LLNL description from their website.

The national economy is reenergizing, quite literally”

“In 2021, Americans used 5% more energy than in 2020, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

Each year, LLNL releases flow charts that illustrate the nation’s consumption and use of energy. In 2021, Americans used 97.3 quads (quadrillion BTU) of energy, which is 4.4 quads more than last year’s 92.9 quads, equivalent to a 5% increase. Both 2020 and 2021 annual energy consumption totals are less than 2018 and 2019, where Americans used more than 100 quads per year. A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a unit of measurement for energy; a BTU is the amount of heat it takes to raise 1 pound (~1 pint) of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. 3,412 BTUs is equivalent to 1 kilowatt-hour, which is the amount of energy it takes to light an efficient LED lightbulb for a week. “ The chart below includes all forms of energy, including wind and solar which are included as the thermal equivalents of the electric power they produced. The chart shows “Total Primary Energy” which includes electricity generation, residential, commercial, industrial and transportation. This is my favorite chart for illustrating energy sources and uses. Suffice it to say, it is a lot of information in one chart.

The best single chart I know of to show Total Energy Flows by Fuel to end use
LLNL Energy Flow Chart for year 2021

Please note the quantities of solar and wind which are 1.5 Quads for solar and 3.33 Quads for wind. Yes, this is an increase from previous years. However, the total wind and solar is 3.85 Quads or right at 4%. 

My point is that Electrifying Everything if it were possible to take a magic wand and change all energy use to electric power, including heating, cooking, transportation and industrial production, then it will take a growth of 25 times what is installed now by nameplate power. When considering capacity factors of wind and solar it will actually be more like 75-100 times current installed capacity plus, technological advancements in energy storage would need to be accomplished. In essence, it is impossible to get there within 8 to 28 years (2030 or 2050) and still sustain our high quality of life and yes, our high standard of living. Not to mention Dispatchability, energy storage limitations and land use requirements. Also, the practical limitations of changing energy use for transportation, the second largest use of total primary energy after electricity generation, to electric or hydrogen power. How many of us would be willing to fly on a hastily developed hydrogen fueled jet aircraft? Change our lives to use EV’s for long distance drives? Give up the plastics, textiles and numerous other products that are created from oil, gas and coal? Let’s get back to what we do and enjoy through the use of today’s forms of energy.

So, How Much Energy, in Btu’s Does Each American Use per day?

The illustration below was prepared to show a Middle School class the equivalent forms of energy they would use in a day. For our high quality of living, it is not hard to see how we depend on an average of about a million Btu’s of energy each day.

From Dick Storm presentation to Middle School Students, March 2022

Not shown in the illustration is the energy that is used on our behalf to provide industrial production, military defense and transportation of food and products to our local stores or even deliveries to our door via Amazon, Walmart, UPS, FedEx or other delivery services. Also, about 1% of America’s energy is used to produce fertilizer for farming, not including the fuel for tractors and processing food. All of these energy uses averaged out come to (in a good year) about 100 Quadrillion Btu’s. Remember, up to now, 4% are from wind and solar.

Does it seem reasonabe to expect that we can electrify everything? Including aircraft propulsion, all light vehicles, trucks, ships, trains, fertilizer and more? I don’t think so.

From Dick Storm Presentation to Middle School Students

Think about your day and both the necessities and the conveniences made available through the use of energy. My heading stated we use an average of about a million Btu’s per person each day. For those that will read this post, I suspect each of you are using far more than a million Btu’s per day. For example if a person takes a two hour flight on a airline, even at 80 miles per gallon per seat mile, the per person fuel for a 1,000 mile flight is about 12.5 gallons of Jet A. The plane trip alone uses about a million five hundred thousand Btu’s. The LLNL and EIA data that show our “average use per citizen” include children and folks that live very modestly and do not travel much. Also, the importance of energy used for Industrial production (including producing products from oil feedstock) which provides jobs and a productive economy cannot be underestimated. Industrial production to compete with China cannot be powered by solar and wind any time soon.

Summary and Conclusions

Where extreme priorities have been imposed to switch to renewables such as in Germany, the UK, Hawaii and Texas, there have been issues of high costs, unreliability and economic impact. Some references for further reading are provided below.

I agree with the Title of Donn Dears book, “NET-ZERO CARBON, THE CLIMATE POLICY DESTROYING AMERICA

Respectfully,

Dick Storm, May 17, 2022

  1. Summer Blackouts by Failed US Energy policy Manhatten Institute: https://www.city-journal.org/energy-policy-failures-may-lead-to-summer-blackouts
  2. 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/
  3. Hawaii, Solar Superstar WUWT April 27, 2022: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/04/26/honolulu-hawaii-top-solar-superstar-in-the-usa/
  4. Texas has Enough Wind and Solar Planned to Phase out Coal: https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2022/03/22/solar-and-wind-projects-could-eliminate-coal-in-texas/
  5. EIA Graph of Electricity Generation May 2022 by Fuel: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6930994374252138496/?commentUrn=urn%3Ali%3Acomment%3A(activity%3A6930994374252138496%2C6931263125946077184)#
  6. Texas Grid Dashboard by ERCOT: https://www.ercot.com/gridmktinfo/dashboards
  7. Brace Yourself for High Electricity Costs this Summer, Forbes May 2022: https://fortune.com/2022/05/11/higher-electric-bills-this-summer/
  8. Lawrence Livermore Lab Energy Flow Chart, 2021 Sankey Diagram of primary energy flows: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov
  9. LLL Discussion of Solar and Wind increases, May 2022: https://www.llnl.gov/news/americans-move-more-solar-and-wind-power-2021
  10. Forced Electrification, The Next Stage of Environmentalists War on Consumers, Capital Research Center, Nov. 2021: https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/Capital-Research-2021-8.pdf
  11. 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  
  12. Donn Dears Blog, access to all articles: https://ddears.com/donns-articles/
  13. The Right Stuff Climate Team (Retired NASA Engineers): https://www.therightclimatestuff.com
  14.  93.5% of our Energy is Used in Heat Engines: https://wordpress.com/post/dickstormprobizblog.wordpress.com/736
  15. Dick Storm USCB-OLLI Courses, Energy and Electricity, History of Energy and Electricity and the Future of Energy and Electricity. The four parts of the “History of Energy and Electricity” are on my website: https://dickstormprobizblog.org
  16. EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42UqxqCCYs
  17.  Real Time US Power Grid link to EIA: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/gridmonitor/dashboard/electric_overview/US48/US48
  18. What is Behind the Energy Crisis: https://www.wsj.com/articles/energy-crisis-fossil-fuel-investment-renewables-gas-oil-prices-coal-wind-solar-hydro-power-grid-11634497531?mod=series_climatefinancemarkets 
  19.   Energy Exec Responds to Elizabeth Warren, Dec 8, 2021: https://www.wsj.com/articles/stupid-inflation-tricks-round-2-elizabeth-warren-toby-rice-eqt-energy-prices-natural-gas-11638990465?mod=MorningEditorialReport&mod=djemMER_h  
  20. . 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
  21. Dick Storm’s views on Electrify Everything, Capital Research Center, Nov. 2021:https://capitalresearch.org/article/forced-electrification-part-4/
  22. Germany’s Nuclear Surrender Opinion, Dec. 24, 2021, WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/germanys-energy-surrender-nuclear-power-angela-merkel-russia-vladimir-putin-11640207188?cx_testId=3&cx_testVariant=cx_2&cx_artPos=0&mod=WTRN#cxrecs_s
  23. 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
  24. Net Zero Carbon, The Climate Policy Destroying America” by Donn Dears. Available on Amazon

Energy & World Peace

The United Nation’s Highest Priority In November 2021 to Save The Planet Was COP-26. Which Is More Important , Peace in the World, The Paris Climate Agreement or Avoiding World Famine and Improving the Quality of Life For All of the People of the World, Including Ukraine?

By Dick Storm

Introduction

Horrible crimes against humanity are being committed in the Russia-Ukraine war. Innocent people are being murdered, homes demolished by military bombardment and artillery, world food production slowed(3,4,5) and what are the leaders of the world concerned about? Manmade Climate Change, the most successful scientific hoax in the history of the world. Three world leaders could improve world peace and start the correction of the mess the world is in today if they would change the priorities of the UN. Who am I referring to: Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau and the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres.

Remember the UN priorities in November 2021? If not, here is a review of what these three leaders considered the most sinister problem the people of the world would face in the future. Flashback to Scotland, November 2021:

Biden arriving in Scotland for COP-26
Guterres Addressing COP-26, Stating the need for “Climate Action”
Justin Trudeau at COP-26 in Scotland

What is The Purpose of the United Nations and The Paris Agreement? World Peace? Protection of the Environment?….or One World Government to Control The People of The World?

As the world is on the threshold of nuclear war with a world food crisis likely next winter from reduced fertilizer availability and massive unproductive farmland in a war zone, these three leaders and many other sycophants have the Paris Agreement for Climate Change Policies as their top agenda, instead of the best interests of their constituents, world peace and improving the human development index of the people of the world.

I feel strongly that the top priority of these leaders and the U.N. is not concern for the planet that drives them. It is politics and control of the world’s citizens. In short, power over people. For example, the UN Secretary General’s background is copied below. This is from his Bio on the UN web page, From Mr. Guterres Curriculum vitae: “For many years Mr. Guterres was active in the Socialist International, a worldwide organization of social democratic political parties.”

Let me digress and quote the past president of the Czech Republic on the “Climate Zealots” such as Guterres, Biden, Kerry, Gore, Trudeau and many more.

Vaclav Klaus is Past President of The Czech Republic and grew up under Communism then had to wrestle with policies by the “Greens” of Europe. An Economist by training. His words, from about 2007…..“Global Warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so. It is not fair to refer to the U.N. panel. The IPCC is not a scientific institution: it’s a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavor. It’s neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are polititicized scientists who have arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided argument”(49)

Justin Trudeau also could help guide the United Nations to a truly serious priority, but according to Peter Schweizer’s recent book, “Red Handed”, Trudeau also ranks political power above world peace. See page 187 describing the Trudeau family and links to China: Justin Trudeau is quoted in 2013: When asked which country he admired the most replied “There is a level of admiration I actually have for China….because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime and say, ‘we need to go greenest, fastest—we need to invest in solar’ I mean, there is flexibility that I know Stephen Harper (the Canadian PM at the time) must dream dream about having a dictatorship that he can do everything he wanted, and I find that quite interesting”      

Avoiding Famine

It should be blatently obvious that ranking peace and the world food supply should be more important than the Paris Climate Agreement which is based on a scientific hoax anyway. Ukraine alone supplied about 12% of the global wheat before the war, and was the biggest producer of sunflower oil. About two-thirds of the country’s wheat exports had already been delivered before the invasion, but the rest is now blocked, and farmers may be unable to continue with spring planting, or take in grain harvests in the summer. A headline in the “Times of Israel” reads, “Israel scrambles for solutions as Ukraine war chokes off egg, wheat imports”Industry figures predict egg shortage and sky-high wheat prices just in time for Passover holiday. The prospect for the world later this year is shortages of food across the globe. (3,4,5, 30) 

Ukraine Grain Field from Times of Israel

Energy impacts Fertilizer too! Ukraine and Russia are also major producers of fertilizer, prices for which had already leapt under high energy prices – and the war is sending energy prices higher still, with further impacts on agricultural production costs.

Fertilizer costs in the U.S. have also tripled this year. Partly because of Biden’s energy policies and exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  The impact of energy on food availability goes beyond higher cost Diesel fuel for shipping transportation fuel in the supply chain. Fertilizer and farmland in areas of conflict are a huge problem. (2,3,4,9,10)

Perhaps better kept as a separate subject to write on, but most people are not aware that between 30 to 40% of the U.S. corn crop is used to produce Ethanol for a gasoline additive that lowers the energy equivalent of gasoline and reduces auto mileage. Suffice it to say, energy and environmental policies that promote burning food for fuel also affects the world food supply.(16,17)

How is Energy Linked to World Peace?

I began this essay on the priorities of the leaders of the world and the priorities they saw as top priority in November 2021. Well, if you think the Mainstream Media has been duped and indoctrinated then you are not alone. While the world’s media attention was on the War on Carbon, very serious problems were brewing and under-reported. Kindly take a look at the six charts below: 1. Total primary energy of the world, 2. Coal Consumption by Region, 3. COEmissions of the World, 4. Total Energy by Source for China and 5. Total End Use of Coal Fuel for Products and 6. China, The World’s Superpower of Manufacturing. 

Over 50% of the world’s Fossil Fuel energy is being used by China to manufacture over 50% of the world’s steel, aluminum and just about every other product needed by the free world. These are easily verifiable facts reported by Our World in Data, IEA.org, the United Nations, EIA  and Statista. Energy and Economic Prosperity are inextricably related.

Energy Use by China, U.S.A., Japan, EU and India By IEA
IEA Graph of Total CO2 Emissions from Combustion Processes 1900 2021

So what is driving the recent rapid increase in world CO2 emissions? According to the IEA, it’s mainly China:

The rebound of global CO2 emissions above pre-pandemic levels has largely been driven by China. . . . China’s CO2 emissions increased by 750 Mt over the two-year period between 2019 and 2021. China was the only major economy to experience economic growth in both 2020 and 2021. The emissions increase in China more than offset the aggregate decline in the rest of the world of 570 Mt between 2019 and 2021. . . . With rapid GDP growth and additional electrification of energy services, electricity demand in China grew by 10% in 2021, faster than economic growth at 8.4%. The increase in demand of almost 700 TWh was the largest ever experienced in China. With demand growth outstripping the increase of low emissions supply, coal was called on to fill 56% of the rise in electricity demand.(47)

Total Energy Supply (TES) By Source, People’s Republic of China, 1990-2019

The South China Morning Post” reported April 1, 2022, quoting “China’s Zhang Jianhua, chief of the National Energy Administration: “It signed an agreement to be supplied with 100 million metric tonnes of Russian crude oil over the next 10 years and a 30-year gas supply contract.

The world’s second largest economy suffered a nationwide energy crunch in September of last year amid local decarbonisation and energy saving campaigns, which has forced policymakers to adjust energy policies.

In the 14th five-year energy plan for 2021-25 released last week, Beijing said it would set annual crude output at around 200 million metric tonnes and lift natural gas output to more than 230 billion cubic metres from 205.3 billion cubic metres.

Coal and thermal power will remain the bedrock of China’s energy security strategy, Zhang wrote in the article.” (31)

The above is a direct quote from the SCMP, except the bold and underlining of the last line which was by me.

A recent post in WUWT stated, “China Continues To Laugh At Western “Green Energy” Foolishness”(47)

Why? The graphs above show China’s energy  sources and growth in consumption. Economic prosperity is powered by Energy and China has used a lot of energy to become the world’s largest manufacturer.

Russia is the World’s Gas Station, China is the World’s Largest Manufacturer, Still think the UN Has it Right with the War on Carbon as their Top Priority?

China continues to power their mammoth manufacturing might with coal plants. We should remember our history, do you remember the term “The Arsenal of Democracy” when America provided the remarkable production of airplanes, tanks, guns, ships, arms and materiel to help the Allies win WWll? Some say “History Repeats”…..and if we switch to current events, Russia and China are very cozy with each other at this horrible time for Ukraine.

My point is that energy is a pre-requisite for economic prosperity. China gets it. China, Environmental Extremists, Socialists and Russia have duped the UN and the world leaders into believing the planet is imperiled by 0.041% carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere. Meanwhile, China burns over half of the world’s coal to power their industries. Russia remains the world’s gas station and holds Europe hostage to Russia’s gas (and more) while the Green’s of Germany shut down safe, proven, reliable and reasonable production cost coal and nuclear power plants, making them beholden to Russian energy. This is nuts.

China has risen from a “Developing Country” in 2000 to the second largest economy in the world. They not only manufacture much of the steel, aluminum, rare earth minerals for batteries, solar panels and wind turbine components, they also manufacture much of the Pharmaceuticals used in the world and in the U.S. Have you tried to purchase a made in U.S.A. Drug lately? This brings me to banking. As a small businessman about thirty years ago, I remember how important banks were to sustain our business. To provide business loans for expansion, cover payroll until the invoice for products or services was paid and for conducting commerce in other countries. Banks and the size of banks is one metric to use to judge a country’s economic prosperity.  China seems to me, to be pretty slick in their approach to dominating the world. They quietly support Russia and other rogue nations while they focus on producing products, acquiring world natural resources and taking over the world by using the weaknesses of Democracy & Capitalism to exploit their Financial muscle. Let’s take a look at China’s financial muscle. To be perfectly honest, the ranking of the world banks surprised me and I thought I kept up with world business news.

China and Banking

China now has five of the world’s ten largest Banks. Yes, being the world’s largest manufacturer has it’s advantages. It creates wealth which can then be converted into International Influence. The China “One Belt, One Road” or “Belt and Roads Initiative” is an example that is playing out around the world. Also, I am told by a financial expert, China holds about 4% of the U.S. Treasury debt.

A lot of people who have not run a business do not understand the need for working Capital. When a company cannot get loans to cover everyday costs or to finance future improvements they go out of business. We might ask some questions regarding the ESG Movement and Regulations that are pending with regard to discouraging or demonizing investments in fossil fuels (and suppliers to fossil fuel producers) by US investors. Is there a sinister, foreign influence side to the ESG movement and Federal Regulations? Here is the list of the top ten banks of the world. Yes, five of the top ten are Chinese.

My point is, manufacturing requires lots of energy. Especially primary metals and heavy manufacturing. As seen from the graphs above, China has grown enormously in manufacturing capacity since they entered the WTO in 2001. To put it in perspective, China built more electric generation capacity in twenty years than the U.S. did since the days of Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse 100+ years ago.

Getting back to finance, did you catch the small news item last week? As it is related to energy, Saudi Arabia is considering acceptance  of the Chinese Yuan for oil and China will be pushing to use other currency than the USD as they continue to grow their economy. (50)

Let’s Review the Sources of the Dependable, Dispatchable and in 2020, Reasonable Cost Energy that We Depend On

If you take what you see in the newspapers and on TV seriously, you would think that we only have a little way to go to convert our economy to zero carbon. This is not true!

I cite the example of a usually conservative Newspaper, the Wall Street Journal. This is a screen shot of a video they had last year which was based on facts, but at the same time misleading the public on the success of “Green Energy”.

WSJ Video, Screen Shot with my Text Added to Be Wary of Headlines such as this

Yes, the 90% of “NEW GENERATION” in 2020 was Renewable, but the true useful energy production was less than 4% of the total energy provided to the U.S.A.

This is a reminder, over 90% of America’s energy is provided by conventional fuels such as oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, waste to energy, biomass and old hydroelectric power stations.  The Lawrence Livermore Labs Sankey Diagram, in my opinion, is the best single illustration to show true energy flows from the sources to end use. It is copied below for the year 2019. This is simply the true facts of where we obtain our energy:

America has been using right at 100 Quadrillion Btu’s of energy for decades. The next chart below, shows the historical energy use from 1950-2019.  This is a useful chart to consider the transfer of energy from fossil fuels to electric vehicles. Notice that only 3.78% of our Total Energy was provided by solar and wind in 2019. Now imagine the futility of replacing the 37% of our Total Energy now provided by petroleum, with EV’s. The Government Net Zero Carbon plans to replace not only the petroleum but also Natural Gas and Nuclear. The Total Energy supplied by Petroleum is about 37%, Gas 32%, Coal 11.4% and Nuclear 8.5%. These “Conventional sources of energy total 88.9%. Replacing this energy with renewables by 2030 or even 2050 will require an enormous technological breakthrough. The government should not promote policies based on miracles.

To keep our same freedom and high quality of life, it requires each of us 331 million Americans to utilize an average of about a million Btu’s in energy each day.  Averages are often misleading, consider the millions of Btu’s used by the world elitists that traveled to Scotland for COP-26. My understanding is that there were over 400 private jets and that the fuel used for these delegates exceeded the total petrol used by Scotland for an entire year. That should provide a clue regarding the sincere interest of the participants in the UN Climate talks to save the planet.   It is reasonable for each of us living in the Developed World to continue using our allotment of about a million Btu’s of energy each day.

America’s Total Energy Use has been steady at about 100 Quadrillion Btu’s each year for the last 20 years, EIA

My Suggestion, On How to Fix this Energy, World Peace and Food Supply Mess

The War of Carbon in my viewpoint is contributing to International conflicts and harming world peace. If Joe Biden would  rescind most of his Executive orders  including drilling on Federal Lands, Building the Keystone Pipeline and scrapping the Paris Climate Agreement, it would, in my opinion, contribute to world peace and much more. (1,2,3,5,13)  

The Biden administration is testing new depths of mind-blowing political dysfunction, by begging OPEC for more oil, while at the same time maintaining their attack on the US domestic oil industry. (28) Speaking of attacks on the energy producers that we depend on…..

ESG, One of America’s Self Inflicted Roadblocks for a Sane Energy Policy

The (ESG) movement is harming U.S. productive capacity of conventional fuels that are needed. (See above Sankey Diagram to show what we need) These actions are pushed by environmental groups, by government and by big business. (33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40)  These ESG punitive actions have been ramped up, such as Biden’s “Whole Government Approach to Climate Control Policies” with involvement of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the EPA, IRS Tax policies and more. 

Meanwhile, NGO’s also are attacking US Energy producers. Does this look to you like it could be coordinated with America’s world competitors or enemies? It does to me. Check reference #44 entitled, “What Divestment From Russia Means for Activism Against Fossil Fuels” then the sub title: “It’s time to scale up fossil fuels divestment”(44). When 80% of the energy we depend on is from oil, gas & coal, does this seem like a Patriotic and good action? Not in my book. Another excellent reference on the good that Fossil Fuels do to keep America strong and to improve the quality of life for all of the people of the world.  The publication by Liberty Oilfield Services is entitled “Bettering Human Lives, 2020 ESG Report”(45)  

It could be argued, that keeping America energy independent and the Free World less dependent on rogue nations is important for national security. Look at the mess Europe is in now with their dependence on Putin’s Russian natural gas. The Greens helped push Europe toward Green Energy and they are working hard here in the US too. The environmental extremists were successful in stopping all major new coal plants from being constructed in the US since about 2012. The last major Utility scale clean coal plants I am aware of are Turk in Arkansas and Longview in West Virginia. Even then to obtain operating permits, the environmental extremists were paid off in settlements. These settlements were millions of dollars.(46)  Quite honestly, it is extortion which was enabled by the US government. How does this make America stronger and more energy independent?

How About Clean Air?

Before Biden’s Executive orders to push America toward intermittent green energy, our air was and remains amongst the cleanest in the world. The EPA Graphic copied below shows the trends of cleaner air from 1970-2020. This is regarding the six major pollutants that are a real threat to health. I just like everyone else enjoy and appreciate clean air and clean water. I also like my freedom and the American life style that I have enjoyed all of my life.

From EPA website

From my personal experiences of traveling around the world, I can honestly say America’s air is as clean or cleaner than most other countries that I have visited either on business or pleasure. Note the EPA chart above does show the increases in population and GDP from 1970 to 2019, as the six aggregate named pollutants were steadily reduced. There does come to be a point of diminishing returns on air pollution controls just like most other problems. That is, unless you are a Bureaucrat and wish to keep making more and more and stricter yet Regulations. That is the case, in my opinion of the restrictions on COand the Net Zero Carbon and Extreme Green policies.  These Regulations and Executive Orders are harmful for American competitiveness and harmful for Peace and Prosperity of the world.

Conclusions

  1. The Net-Zero Carbon Climate Policies are contributing to turmoil in the world by weakening America and NATO Allies. The Paris Agreement for working toward Net Zero Carbon is politically driven, not by concern to save the planet.
  2. The Green Energy Movement in Europe should be an example for the U.S. to learn from. They have had extreme cost escalations and, in some cases, rolling blackouts.
  3. Conventional Fuels of Natural Gas, Coal, Oil, Nuclear, Hydroelectric and Biomass provide over 90% of our energy. Ramping up Renewable solar and wind from about 4% to 100% is unrealistic and impossible to achieve without technological breakthroughs.
  4. The ESG Movement (Environmental Social and Governance) is Discouraging needed investments in oil and gas production as well as harming most all Energy Producers. Check references 33 through 39 for more details.
  5. If Net Zero Carbon was really needed or important, then the Government would encourage the building of more nuclear power plants. Hundreds of them as most of the about 20% of our electricity and over 50% of our carbon free electricity is produced by nuclear now. Most of these nuclear plants were started up in the 1970’s and 1980’s. (41, 42, 43)
  6.  World Peace and Prosperity could be better achieved if the world leaders were to focus on the true problems of the world, rather than a war on carbon.

The foregoing are selected facts and data to support my claim that if President Biden were to rescind his 2021 Executive orders and roll back EPA, Dept of the Interior and other Government Regulations to those in effect when he took office, America could begin a recovery of correcting inflation, supply chain issues, increased food production for the world, improved economic growth & Prosperity and even leading the world to peace.

Respectfully submitted,

Dick Storm, April 5, 2022

References and Resources for Further Reading to Support My Conclusions:

  1. Joe Biden Executive Orders List From January 20, 2021: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/all-of-president-bidens-key-executive-orders-in-one-chart-2021-01-21
  2. 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
  3. World Food Supply Insecurity, WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukraine-war-stokes-insecurity-in-the-worlds-food-supply-11647343035?mod=Searchresults_pos20&page=1
  4. Fertilizer Prices Worldwide are increasing, WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukraine-war-hits-worlds-farmers-as-russia-cuts-fertilizer-supplies-hurting-brazil-11646487815?mod=article_inline
  5. Surging Fertilizer Prices Push Farmers to shift Planting Plans, Raise Prices : https://www.wsj.com/articles/surging-fertilizer-costs-push-farmers-to-shift-planting-plans-raise-prices-11639580768?mod=itp_wsj&mod=djemITP_h
  6. IEA Energy Profile of China: https://www.iea.org/countries/china
  7. Germany’s Energiewiende description by World Nuclear Association. : https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/energy-and-the-environment/energiewende.aspx
  8. German Magazine Der Spiegel article on the importance of coal in Nov. 2021: https://www.spiegel.de/international/business/troubling-addiction-the-world-is-failing-to-phase-out-coal-a-6d2007de-8196-4466-aaca-8b6a2714ec78
  9. World Food Crisis Likely due to Russia-Ukraine War, The Guardian, March 14, 2022: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/14/ukraine-invasion-worldwide-food-crisis-warns-un
  10. Eleven-year-old article on the importance of Ukraine Grain, the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jul/20/ukraine-grain-farming-exports
  11. Top Banks in the world, lexis Nexis: https://risk.lexisnexis.com/insights-resources/article/bank-rankings-top-banks-in-the-world
  12. Saudi Arabia considers payment for oil with Yuan, Bloomberg, March 15, 2022: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-15/yuan-surges-after-report-on-saudis-accepting-currency-for-oil
  13. Biden’s Plan to starve Americans of Fossil Fuels, Paul Driessen, CFACT: https://www.cfact.org/2022/03/27/bidens-plan-to-starve-america-of-fossil-fuels/
  14. “Greenpeace Environmentalism in Europe, Allowed Putin to Invade Ukraine”, CFACT: https://www.cfact.org/2022/03/09/greenpeace-environmentalism-allowed-putin-to-invade-ukraine/
  15. Competitive Enterprise Institute, Background on the Clean Power Plan: https://cei.org/clean-power-plan/
  16. Scientific American, Rethinking our Corn to Ethanol Policy: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/time-to-rethink-corn/
  17. Corn for Ethanol, Univ. of Nebraska: https://cropwatch.unl.edu/bioenergy/corn
  18. Why your Electric Costs are Surging and likely to go higher, March 15, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-your-electric-bill-is-soaringand-likely-to-go-higher-11647250380?mod=hp_featst_pos4
  19. Germany’s Nuclear Surrender Opinion, Dec. 24, 2021: (See last reference #51 below)
  20. Factories close in UK due to High Energy Costs, WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/surging-energy-prices-close-u-k-factories-another-bottleneck-in-a-world-full-of-them-11631792586?mod=Searchresults_pos5&page=1
  21. Behind the rise of U.S. Solar,  Built with a Mountain of Chinese Coal WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/behind-the-rise-of-u-s-solar-power-a-mountain-of-chinese-coal-11627734770?mod=Searchresults_pos18&page=9
  22. If Renewables are so Cheap, then Why is Germany’s Electricity so Expensive? American Experiment : https://www.americanexperiment.org/if-renewables-are-so-cheap-why-is-germanys-electricity-so-expensive/
  23. United Nations News, November 2021, COP-26: https://news.un.org/en/news/topic/climate-change
  24. United Nations, News regarding “World Peace and Sustainability” March 22, 2022: https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/03/1115272
  25. Scottish News, “Private Jets of Climate Elites Blast More CO2 to Travel to COP-26  than 1600 Scots Pump Out in a Year”: https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/private-jets-flying-cop26-blast-25338840
  26. Donn Dears articles on the true facts and Common Sense of the Importance of Energy, including “How Europe Dithers” while the Russians prepared for war: https://ddears.com/donns-articles/
  27. WUWT Blog, “Arab Nations Respond to Global Energy Demand for Energy Security”, April 3, 2022: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/04/02/whos-talking-climate-change-now-arab-states-respond-to-global-demand-for-energy-security/
  28. Biden Suspends Oil and Gas Leases to Protect the World from Climate Change, WUWT January 2021: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/01/21/biden-suspends-federal-oil-and-gas-permits-because-climate-change/
  29. Toronto Sun, “Oh the Hypocrisy of Climate Change”: https://torontosun.com/news/world/oh-the-hypocrisy-private-jets-pack-scotlands-climate-conference
  30. Times of Israel, “Israeli’s Scramble For Food” : https://www.google.com/url?q=https://toi.by/nwkDto&source=gmail&ust=1649072066572000&usg=AOvVaw1zxNxuPXllU7WBiaJoMgyM
  31. South China Morning Post, Energy News regarding Russia-Ukraine War, April1, 2022: https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3172764/china-vows-bolster-energy-security-ukraine-war-stokes-period
  32. IEA, Total Primary Energy Use for World 1971-2017: https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/charts/total-primary-energy-supply-for-the-eu-and-selected-countries-1971-2017 ESG and Climate Related Financial News to Cripple U.S. Conventional Fuels Production:
  33. BANK OF AMERICA CEO, Nov. 9, 2021: https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-financing-the-multi-trillion-dollar-transition-to-net-zero-isnt-that-hard-11636018200
  34. Who is Driving “Climate Funds”: https://www.wsj.com/articles/climate-funds-whos-driving-growing-demand-11637165424?mod=latest_headlines
  35. WSJ Citi Bank to eliminate some Clients that are not “Green” enough, Dec. 7, 2021: 
  36. https://www.wsj.com/articles/citigroups-jane-fraser-expects-to-shed-some-clients-for-climate-purposes-11638912251?mod=business_minor_pos15
  37. WSJ Finance ESG Conflict of Interests, Jan 29, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/wall-streets-green-push-exposes-new-conflicts-of-interest-11643452202?cx_testId=3&cx_testVariant=cx_5&cx_artPos=0&mod=WTRN#cxrecs_s
  38. ESG Investing Nov. 18, 2021: https://www.wsj.com/articles/climate-and-environment-focused-funds-dominate-esg-11637092844
  39. SEC Requirements for Climate Change Disclosure March 21, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/sec-to-float-mandatory-disclosure-of-climate-change-risks-emissions-11647874814?mod=djemalertNEWS
  40. Blackrock Climate Policies to Make Money Jan. 7, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/larry-fink-wants-to-save-the-world-and-make-money-doing-it-11641484864?mod=itp_wsj&mod=djemITP_h
  41.  Small Modular Reactors, WSJ, Aug. 2021 : https://www.wsj.com/articles/utilities-eye-mini-nuclear-reactors-as-climate-concerns-grow-11627905600?mod=article_inline
  42. WSJ Saturday Essay on the Future of Nuclear Power in a Carbon-Free World: https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-nuclear-power-part-of-the-climate-solution-11641571176
  43. World Nuclear Association, Nuclear Power Facts: https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-t-z/usa-nuclear-power-policy.aspx
  44. An interesting post by the Sierra Club, entitled, “What Divestment from Russia Means for Activism Against Fossil Fuels From Russia” March 22, 2022: https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/what-divestment-russia-means-for-activism-against-fossil-fuels
  45. Liberty Oilfield Services, 2020 ESG Report, “Bettering Human Lives”: https://www.libertyfrac.com/bettering-human-lives-2020-esg-report/
  46. Settlement of John Turk Power Plant with Environmental groups, Arkansas Times, 2011: https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2011/12/22/sierra-club-audubon-settle-with-swepco-on-turk-power-plant  and https://www.aep.com/news/releases/read/1235/AEP-
  47.  China Continues To Laugh At Western “Green Energy” Foolishness, April 2, Manhatten Contrarian: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/04/03/china-continues-to-laugh-at-western-green-energy-foolishness/
  48. China’s Energy Dream, Patricia Adams, GWPF: https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2021/12/Adams-Chinas-Energy-Dream.pdf
  49.  Vaclav Klaus Book, “Blue Planet in Green Shackles”, published in English in 2007 by Competitive Enterprise Institute
  50. Saudi Arabia considers acceptance of Yuan for Oil payments, WSJ March 15, 2022: https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-arabia-considers-accepting-yuan-instead-of-dollars-for-chinese-oil-sales-11647351541

51. Germany’s Nuclear Surrender:

Mentoring the Middle School Students

Helping our youth to understand the importance of energy and electricity to energize our good lives

Why Should We Invest Time with the Public School Students?

From a personal viewpoint, I have always considered it a high priority to do my best to support energy education of the public and especially our public school students. A great group to start with if we wish to improve the general public’s understanding of the importance of energy. Perhaps if we start with the youth, they will educate their parents on the facts; That conventional sources comprise about 90% of the total energy that makes our high quality of life possible. By conventional, I mean, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Coal and Hydroelectric.

All of us who have been employed in the supply chain of producing energy understand the rarity of energy savvy people we meet who are not or have not been closely involved with our industry. So, when an opportunity to present a short class on energy and electricity generation came up at our local Middle School, I accepted the invitation. Here are some of the slides I will use for this group of 8th Graders.

The general public’s knowledge of energy and it’s importance seems to be limited to gasoline prices. When in a social setting and I discuss the U.S. need for 100 Quadrillion Btu’s of energy and where it comes from, most people’s eyes glaze over and are not very interested. However, with the Russia-Ukraine war, it seems folks are more interested now than they were a few months ago. Perhaps timely to give a course on energy fundamentals.

Each American uses about 800,000 to 1 million Btu’s every day

Our Lifestyles Depend on Energy

How did I come up with 800,000 – 1,000,000 Btu’s per person, per day? Here is how: America uses right at 100 Quadrillion Btu’s annually. If 100 Quadrillion (15 zeros) is divided by the population of the U.S.A. of about 330 million people, the result is about 303 million Btu’s per person. This is the average energy use for each of us. Then, divide 303 million by 365 days per year and it is 830,000 Btu’s per day. The above illustration shows how we may use our portion of fuels to consume our share of the Nation’s energy. If we are traveling by car for an interstate trip, we can easily use more than a million Btu’s in a day. Likewise, ordering a large shipment of furniture or heavy goods from Amazon or other on-line Retailer will require energy to be used on our behalf to deliver our products to the door. You get the picture.

Another way to illustrate 300-330 million Btu’s is to show the equivalence in barrels of gasoline, Diesel Fuel, propane or coal. Also, nuclear. This is shown below.

Annual Equivalent Per Capita Energy Use of 300-330 Million Btu’s/person

So Where Did You Come up with 100 Quadrillion Btu’s?

The U.S. Department of Energy has been measuring, calculating and reporting total primary energy use for decades. I have been watching this and America’s energy use has held right at 100 Quadrillion Btu’s +/- 10%, for the last twenty years or so. Below is the Sankey diagram which shows 2019 total primary energy flows. The sources are on the left and uses are on the right. This is how the breakdown of uses was established: 37% electricity generation, 28.1% transportation, 26.4% Industrial, 11.4% Residential and 9.41% Commercial.

I stated above that the U.S. has used right at 100 Quadrillion Btu’s for decades. The chart below published by the EIA (Energy Information Administration) shows the total energy used 1950 to 2019. The differences in “Production and Consumption” are imports. As of December 2020, America produced as much energy as we consumed. Again, right at 100 quadrillion Btu’s.

Let’s Drill Down to See Where the Energy Is Used in SC to Generate Electricity

Currently and at least through 2030, over 50% of South Carolina’s electricity will come from nuclear power generation.

S.C. has four large nuclear power plants with a total of seven generating units. Here is a map of where they are located.

The second largest source of our electricity is natural gas fuel. This is burned very efficiently in power plants such as this. The newest natural gas generating plants can obtain thermal efficiencies over 60%.

Coal fuel was over 50% of Santee-Cooper’s electric generation about ten years ago. Since then, natural gas fuel became lower in cost and abundant and has replaced much of the coal power generation. However, today natural gas prices are increasing and it is likely that coal fuel will be more economical to generate our electricity not generated by nuclear and renewables.

The Santee-Cooper coal plants that provide electricity to our local electricity distributor, Palmetto Electric Co-Op are shown below.

Santee-Cooper Coal Plants

Isn’t Most of Our Power Provided by Solar, Wind and Hydro-Electric?

No! That is a popular misconception. Even the Wall Street Journal has misled people into thinking that most of our electricity is generated by renewables (wind, solar and hydro). The data above show the true facts of the sources of our electricity and total energy.

Note that of our total energy in 2019, wind and solar together only provided about 3.8% of America’s total energy. The 96.2% was provided by conventional forms of energy such as nuclear, natural gas, coal and hydro-electric. The WSJ Headline is accurate in stating that 90% of the New Electricity Generation in 2020 came from Renewables. That is because they used “Nameplate Capacity” for the Renewables and the simple fact that the “Old coal, Nuclear, Coal and Hydroelectric” plants are very robust, reliable and have long lives when properly maintained.

The Santee-Cooper Pinnopolis Dam, Hydro-Electric plant is shown above. When I use the term “Old Hydroelectric plants”, this is where I was coming from. If you look at “Total Renewables Energy” on the Sankey diagram above, you will see that most of the renewable generation is from old hydroelectric plants. In 2019 that was about 2.5% of our total primary energy as compared to 1.04% solar.

These are the hydro plants operated by Santee-Cooper. Located about 100 miles north of Hilton Head near Moncks Corner, SC.

Solar

Much is written in the news about solar and many people are of the impression that solar is a major source of Bulk Electric generation. The fact is that yes, much money is being invested in solar but the total generation is very small when compared to nuclear, gas and coal. Here below is a much hyped solar farm on the east side of I-95 about 50 miles north of Hilton Head. It is about 15 acres and during a bright sunny day will produce about 3.5 MW.

By the way, if 3.5 MW seems like a lot of electric power consider that on a hot summer day Hilton Head Island uses about 180 MW during peak Demand.

Palmetto Electric Co-Op distributes electricity on Hilton Head Island. They obtain most of their Bulk Power wholesale from Santee-Cooper which is owned by the state of SC. Generation capacity of Santee-Cooper power plants is listed below. Note, most generation capacity is coal, nuclear and natural gas.

Electricity is Secondary Energy and uses about 37% of America’s total Primary Energy. The other 63% of Energy is Important to Fuel Our High Quality Lives!

The Federal government, at this point in time, is stating and making policies that would “Electrify Everything”. Especially transportation. Most large automobile manufacturers have stated that they plan to phase out the Internal Combustion Engine by 2035. That is only 13 years into the future.

Think about the chart above. Yes, 96% of our Primary Energy comes from conventional sources. (I consider nuclear, coal, gas, biomass and hydroelectric all conventional sources) The highest percentage of primary energy is from petroleum. America uses about 20 million barrels per day of oil. To illustrate what 20 million barrels per day looks like, take a look at the photo below. This is a picture of me standing in front of a portion of the above ground Aleyeska pipeline in Alaska. It is above ground because of passing through frozen tundra and the heated oil must be above ground for environmental and pipeline integrity concerns. This pipeline is capable of moving about 2 million barrels of oil per day. So, to imagine the quantity of oil that America uses, picture 10 of these pipelines side by side. Yes, 10 pipelines like this. At 42 gallons per barrel, that is a lot of oil.(2)

Most rimary energy is used in “Heat Engines” that convert heat energy to motive force. Another point to imagine, is if the about 275 million light trucks and cars registered in the U.S. were converted to EV’s…..This could create Demand for an enormous amount of electricity. However, in some cases the electricity needs to be “Dispatchable” when it is needed, such as in charging EV’s on a road trip. In other cases such as long range aircraft and ship propulsion, electricity is not an option with current technology. Fossil Fuels are important to fuel our lives.

Heat Energy from fuels is enormous. Just a reminder of the definition of a “Horsepower” and a BTU (British Thermal Unit).

A horsepower is equivalent to the work accomplished by lifting a weight of 550 pounds in one second or 33,000 Foot pounds per minute. One BTU converted at 100% thermal efficiency to work is equivalent to 778 Foot pounds. A gallon of gasoline contains between 115,000 and 125,000 Btu’s. So one gallon of gasoline is worth over 90 million foot pounds of work.

Perhaps a reminder of agricultural productivity is timely. At the turn of the 20th Century, about 40% of our population was required to work on the farms to feed our nation. Then, we changed from muscle power of animals to mechanized farming, using tractors. The work of a team of horses could be accomplished with a single gasoline powered tractor.

A reminder from U.S. history…..Our Economy became the largest in the world as America switched from muscle power of draft animals and humans to mechanization powered by fossil fuels.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Energy and Economic Prosperity are inter-related
  • America has used about 100 Quadrillion Btu’s annually for decades and to preserve our high quality of life, will continue to require 100 Quadrillion+ Btu’s each year into the future
  • Fossil fuels provide about 80% of our total primary energy
  • Conventional forms of energy, including Gas, Nuclear, Coal and old Hydroelectric plants, provide over 90% of our primary energy
  • The Mainstream News, Entertainment and Misguided Politicians are wrong to attack fossil fuels. Donn Dears book(4) Net Zero Carbon, Climate Policies Destroying America” lays out facts and policies to support the title

When I am in the classroom, I will not discuss the politics of “Climate Change”, only the facts on energy and electricity. I hope all of my friends employed in energy industries do likewise to attempt to set the record straight on the importance of energy and electricity.

Yours very truly,

Dick Storm, March 9, 2022

References for further reading and research:

  1. Dick Storm USCB-OLLI Courses, Energy and Electricity, History of Energy and Electricity and the Future of Energy and Electricity. The four parts of the “History of Energy and Electricity” are on my website: https://dickstormprobizblog.org
  2. Global Energy Monitor, Alaska Pipeline facts: https://www.gem.wiki/Trans-Alaska_Oil_Pipeline_System
  3. Dick Storm’s views on Electrify Everything, Capital Research Center, Nov. 2021:https://capitalresearch.org/article/forced-electrification-part-4/
  4. Net Zero Carbon, The Climate Policy Destroying America” by Donn Dears. Available on Amazon
  5. Alabama Power, Miller Steam Plant, An intersting video of how a large coal plant works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ftl-WM6wms
  6. A more factual asessment of Sea Level Rise to counter the exaggerations by movies on Climate Catastrophe’s, about 1.36 ft/100 years:  https://www.tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?id=8534720 and WUWT Sea Level Rise: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/06/14/sea-level-rise-fastest-in-2000-years-or-not/
  7. 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  

HISTORY of ENERGY & ELECTRICITY Part 4, China Goes All In for All Fuels are Important, 2000-2022

China entered the WTO in 2001. Since then it has increased in Manufacturing Might to become the World’s Largest Manufacturer and the World’s Largest Economy. To do so, it has built more electric power capacity in 20 years than the U.S. did in the preceding 150 years. China is a perfect example of how Energy and Economic Prosperity are inextricably related. First the U.S. showed the world how to use energy to replace muscle power by building our Industrialized economy using energy. This post, Part 4 shows how China has powered their manufacturing-based economy.

The relationship of energy and economic prosperity has always fascinated me. Parts 1-3 of this series focus on the America’s progress in energy development, electricity generation advances and rise in economic prosperity from 1850-2000. America during that 150 year period became the world’s largest Industrialized economy. Lifting millions of people from living in poverty to becoming the richest nation on earth. 

That to me is impressive, but if we want a more recent example of the inter-relationship of energy and economic prosperity, China provides such an example. China’s climb to lift millions out of living in poverty over a couple decades is an amazing accomplishment. China used an aggressive “All Fuels are Important” policy become the world’s wealthiest country on a PPP basis (Purchasing Power Parity). From last to first in about 20 years.

Like America’s rise a hundred years ago, the best interests of the people and the nation were put first, before restrictive regulations as we Americans (thanks to an out of control Bureaucracy) get hung up on. The following two charts show electricity growth and economic growth of China.

From Our World in Data, China’s Electricity Generation by Fuel Source

China entered the World Trade Organization in 2001 and immediately began ramping up manufacturing facilities for aluminum and steel production. In just fifteen years China went from insignificant steel and aluminum production to becoming the world’s leader and by 2016 was producing more than 50% of the world’s aluminum and steel.(3)

Dick Storm presentation to Delaware County Bar Association, July 2016
World Steel Production, S&P Global, 2022

Leadership in Energy & Manufacturing, Creates Wealth of a Nation

China has become the world’s largest manufacturer. This, unfortunately has been accomplished by many American businesses simply partnering or willingly yielding market share (along with 100 years of technological experience) to the Chinese. According to Statista:

From Statista 2022

China’s Electricity, Energy Sources and Plans for the Future

China has embarked on an aggressive path of “All Fuels are Important”. I have advocated this for many years for the U.S.A. As I covered in History of Energy and Electricity in Part 3, America invented, perfected and produced the first commercial nuclear power plants. We designed and built the best and cleanest coal plants. These U.S. plants were amongst the cleanest and most efficient coal plants in the history of power generation of all the world. Then, we quit. I would like to think “Paused” but with the Bureaucrats in Washington, Pausing means quitting. So, is it any wonder that China has passed us in manufacturing capacity? Worse yet, influence in the world. Getting back to China’s appproach to “All Sources of Energy are Important”.

I personally believe (along with many others(16) that most of Climate Change is from natural forces and that America’s energy security and reliability should be priority #1. Apparently on matters of Climate and Energy, China thinks like I do. Can’t think of much I agree with on China, but on “All Fuels are Important”, China and I do agree. For now, China is using enormous quantities of Fossil Fuels to power their Economy (and wealth, they own about 4% of American Treasury Bonds). Later, more nuclear and renewables will also be applied to their Grid. They already have the largest hydroelectric generation in the world. The Chinese have a good balance of Dispatchable generation and renewables.

Economist Magazine

China’s Coal Plants

Time Magazine’s August 2021 issue(5) states that China plans to build 43 new coal plants. These are planned to be clean and efficient, but in fact, coal fueled.

Not only are 43 coal plants planned to be built in China, but through their Belt and Roads Initiative, China is financing and building coal plants all over the world.(15) Reminescant of the way the U.S.AID did when I started my career in the 1960’s. Now, China is Financing, Manufacturing and Constructing power generation equipment and installing facilities all over the world.(7)

China is Building Coal Plants all over the World, not only in China

Nuclear Power

China does in fact have a forward path of matching electricity Demand with carbon-free nuclear power. Admiral Rickover and the U.S. Navy may have invented and perfected safe nuclear power generation but, China is the largest Benefactor from nuclear power generation. The new Westinghouse AP-1000 Units under construction by South Carolina Electric and Gas were stopped due to mismanagement and nine Billion USD in budget overruns. Southern Company’s Vogtle AP-1000 Units under Construction in Georgia are far over budget and behind schedule. Now planned for startup in 4th Quarter 2022(9)

China, on the other hand, plans 150 new nuclear plants and has already started up their Westinghouse AP-1000 Unit(10) Shandong Nuclear Power Co.’s Haiyang nuclear power plant is pioneering two significant aspects of nuclear diversification in China: district heating and desalination. Some of the other 150 nuclear plants are listed in the World Nuclear Association update of November 2021(11) China is on the way to leading the world in nuclear power generation.

Hydroelectric

China generates more electricity than any other country from hydroelectric power. The “Three Gorges Dam” at 22.5 GW capacity , is the largest power station in the world.(13) Suffice it to say, China, like America has taken advantage of available river flows to install dams and hydroelectric generation. Still, most of the Dispatchable electric power must come from coal, nuclear and gas plants. The chart below was done by the EIA about 2017 to show what the U.S. Dept. of Energy Forecasted for China electric power generation through 2040.

Solar and Wind Generation

Renewables in China are also huge. (6) China is also the world’s largest manufacturer of solar and wind turbine components. The chart below shows the world renewables generation. Keep in mind, renewables are not “Dispatchable”. The variations in Demand must be handled by Dispatchable power generation capacity such as those conventional systems mentioned above. Namely, coal, gas, nuclear, hydro and to a small extent, oil fueled generators. The two blue lines at the lower right of the chart are wind and solar and worldwide total about 10% of generation. The majority of the Bulk Power generated from renewables is from Hydroelectric power.(13) Hydroelectric power, by the way, is Dispatchable.

IEA Global Energy Review
IEA Global Ene rgy Review 2021

Conclusions

China has taken full advantage of All Sources of Energy and especially all forms of energy used to generate electricity. They have used their enormous wealth from exporting manufactured products to provide funding to build more manufacturing capabilities and to expand their influence to other countries of the world. China is a current example of how abundant and reliable energy can be used to accummulate wealth and influence in the world. Another metric of how the rapid build out of manufacturing capacity has increased wealth is to consider that four of the 10 largest banks in the world are Chinese owned.(14)

China understands the importance of “ALL Fuels are Important”. Meanwhile, the U.S. leadership is attempting to crush our major energy producing companies through excessive regulations and restrictions as well as foolish “Woke” social policies.(1) Then there is the foolish ESG Movement favored by the Democrat Party, the World Bank, Blackrock, major U.S. Banks and many U.S. manufacturing and Media corporations. The “Woke” ESG movement is weakening America and strengthening China, Russia, Iran and other countries not aligned with Freedom loving western nations.

It would be wise for our elected officials to wake up. We can only hope and pray that they do so before it is too late.

Dick Storm, Feb. 21, 2022

References:

  1. Daily Signal, Feb. 18, 2022: https://www.dailysignal.com/2022/02/18/biden-administration-adds-climate-roadblocks-to-future-pipelines-energy-projects/
  2. Global Steel Production, S&P Global: https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/topics/energy-price-crisis
  3. Dick Storm presentation on Energy in the U.S.A. to the Delaware County Bar Association, July 2016: https://dickstormprobizblog.org/2016/07/25/energy-and-economic-prosperity-my-thoughts-dick-storm/
  4. China to Build 150 new Nuclear Reactors in next 15 years, Nov. 2021, CNET.com: https://www.cnet.com/news/why-the-us-should-learn-from-chinas-nuclear-power-expansion/
  5. China is Building 43 new coal plants, Time, August 2021: https://time.com/6090732/china-coal-power-plants-emissions/
  6. China, World Leader in Renewables Manufacturing, Center for Strategic & International Studies : https://www.csis.org/east-green-chinas-global-leadership-renewable-energy
  7. China’s Belt and Roads Initiative
  8. China’s Carbon Emissions, The Economist Magazine:
  9. Power Magazine update on Vogtle Nuclear Plant, Dec. 2022: https://www.powermag.com/oft-delayed-vogtle-expansion-on-track-for-2022-start/
  10. Power Magazine, December 2021, China starts up Westinghouse AP-1000 Nuclear Unit: https://www.powermag.com/how-an-ap1000-plant-is-changing-the-nuclear-power-paradigm-through-district-heating-desalination/
  11. World Nuclear Reactors Under Construction, Nov. 2021: https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide.aspx
  12. World’s largest Hydroelectric Generating Plants, Power Technology: https://www.power-technology.com/features/feature-the-10-biggest-hydroelectric-power-plants-in-the-world/
  13. Global Energy Review, IEA December 2021: https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/d0031107-401d-4a2f-a48b-9eed19457335/GlobalEnergyReview2021.pdf
  14. World’s Largest Banks: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_banks
  15. China to build 150 GW of new coal plants by 2025: https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/chinas-zhejiang-approves-new-11-bln-coal-fired-power-plant-2022-02-09/
  16. Donn Dears Book, “Net-Zero Carbon, The Climate Policy that is Destroying America” Order at Amazon.com

A Short History of Energy & Electricity and How Our High Quality of Living Came to Be (High Human Development Index) Part 1, 1850-1955

Energy and electricity have fascinated me ever since I was a teenager. The purpose of this post is to share the progress of energy and electricity from the Industrial Revolution to today. I had the honor of presenting a course at USCB-OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) and much of the information presented in that course is presented here.

After presenting the course on energy and electricity generation in February (2021), it occurred to me that it may be interesting for some OLLI members to review of how energy and electricity came to be so important in the lives of all of us. Especially the aspects of Industrial growth, manufacturing and economic prosperity. As I was preparing for the course, the relationship of energy and economic growth became very clear to me. I always thought the relationship of Energy and economic growth was important. Nearly all of the College Professors of Engineering and History simply cover the History of Electricity production or the History of Energy. Few that I have known connect the inter-relationship of Energy and the growth of the “Human Development Index”. If we couple progress in energy production with economic progress, I think it is worth sharing because the application of energy to food production, transportation and industrial output grew geometrically from 1900 to today. Many factors contributed to the sharp rise of America’s HDI (Human Development Index) and manufacturing capacity after the year 1900, but in my view, the importance of abundant and reasonable cost energy has not been taught in Public Education or appreciated by the News Media. So, here is my shot at connecting the dots of the advances in energy and economic prosperity. 

I have always loved thermal power plants and spent five decades working in the electric power generation business. Mostly as a “Boiler Engineer”. Over my career I have accumulated a library of old books and technical literature on power generation and most of the illustrations used are from my library. 

Let’s start with the importance of “Steam”. We do not hear many references to steam today, but Steam remains important in power generation today and is likely to remain important in the future as well. 

So, let’s start with the first steam engines and take a quick trip through the ages of energy and power generation to see how humans have harnessed energy to do our hard tasks and improve our lives.

James Watt is usually given credit for the first commercially applied steam engine of the Industrial Revolution. But, to be fair, there were at least three before him. Hero’s turbine in the first Century and Thomas Savory in 1698 applied steam as a motive force. Then, Newcomen in 1712.

The Industrial Revolution began with the invention of the steam engine. The first version was invented by Newcomen about 1712. This engine uses water to condense the steam vapor beneath the piston which then provides differential pressure between atmospheric pressure and the partial vacuum created upon the collapse of the vapor. A pound of water will expand about 1500-1700 times when changed to vapor. In Newcomen’s engine, it was the collapse of the steam space that created atmospheric pressure to force the piston down and thus operate the pump.

About 64 years later, James Watt invented his version of the steam engine that could generate more force than atmospheric pressure by using high pressure steam.

James Watt’s engine created the potential for greater engine output and became the basis for the Industrial Revolution.

The first electric generation in the U.S.A. was about 1880 by Thomas Edison using a reciprocating steam engine drive. Before getting into electricity generation, it is timely to remember that illumination before the light bulb was provided by whale oil and then kerosene. Thus, it can truly be stated that the oil industry saved the whales.

As we cover the history of energy, I think it is notable to consider the environmental aspects of energy produced in 1850 for illumination. Before Edwin Drake struck oil and started the American oil industry, whale oil  or candles were used for night-time illumination. It could be said that Drake, Rockefeller and others involved in the production of oil & kerosene helped to save the whales. Next, the advancements of energy were used to provide transportation. Steam boats and Railroads first used wood and then coal fuel to produce steam power for motive force.

Transportation propulsion systems have been the leader for commercial electric power generation since Edison’s day. First, reciprocating steam engines used as prime movers for steamboats and then locomotives were adapted to stationary generators. Then, steam turbine drives for ships were adapted to stationary power generation. Later, aircraft jet engines were adapted for use as stationary generators and finally, nuclear propulsion systems developed by the US Navy were applied to commercial power generation.

Wood was the primary fuel of the 19th Century and it was used for heating, cooking and transportation via railroad locomotives and steam boat propulsion. The steam engines used for railroads, boat and ship propulsion were later adapted for stationary use in power plants to generate electricity. Interestingly, marine propulsion systems were the basis of technology later adapted to use for power generation. Steam engines, steam turbines, the latest advances in coal boiler developments and even nuclear power generation designs all had their roots in marine propulsion.

Memories and photos of Coal Fueled Steam locomotives of the 19th Century do not help the case for use of coal in today’s power generation plants. The enormous potential power of steam was harnessed for transportation as well as to power the Industrial Revolution. Environmental controls of exhaust gases and particulates came much later. 

This is a short course, so there is clearly a compression of a lot of history. It is my hope to take a quick review of the significant inventions of the last 150 years and to show the relationship of energy to the growth of America and our very high quality of living. Until there is a disruption of our energy supply, such as a pipeline shutdown or a hurricane, we tend to take for granted, our place at the top of the “Human Development Index Pyramid”.  Energy is at the heart of our high quality of living.

It is true that through the use of our God given energy resources, our lives have progressed to a higher Human Development Index. More on that later when the HDI of other countries is compared to ours.

American civilization grew from an agriculturally based society to an Industrial production-based country in just a few decades. About 1915 and continuing to today, much of the work that our ancestors were subjected to is now accomplished with energy. Heat-Engines lay at the heart of the rapid progress of the last 100 years for food production, transportation, industrial production and Economic progress. 

Until the Internal Combustion Engine was Applied to Improving Agriculture and Transportation, Horsepower was the Norm

Benz gets credit for the first automobile produced with an Internal Combustion Engine

Looking back to the days of my grandfather (born 1895), about 40% of the American population lived in rural areas on farms and it took 40% of the population to produce food for the other 60%.

1900 was a year to keep in mind for both the astounding progress of energy and electricity generation. Also, in that year, the Father of Nuclear Power Generation was born. Hyman Rickover was born in Makow, Poland. It was during his lifetime that he personally developed nuclear power for ship propulsion systems. First for submarines and later for aircraft carriers and then commercial nuclear power generation plants. Rickover’s life was productive and amazing. Truly, this one individual changed the world of power generation over his life-time.

A classic speech given by Rickover in 1957 starts with how man has used energy to improve quality of life. Rickover gave historical milestones in energy going back to the Egyptians. This was part of President Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” initiative. The genesis of peaceful uses for nuclear power.

Muscle power was being replaced by steam, gasoline and Diesel engines. James Watt created a definition of “Horsepower” by performing various tests. The numbers he settled on to describe a “Horsepower” (still used today) are 550-foot pounds of work in a second or 33,000-foot pounds per minute. This is the definition of one horsepower.

The illustration shows a cartoon of a horse pulling a large bucket of coal vertically upward, representing 1 HP.

The Railroads traversed America in the later part of the 19th Century and provided a platform to further advance the development of boilers and steam engines. It was not long to reach the point that coal fueled locomotives could greatly outrun a team of horses and do so for long duration.

Economic Prosperity parallels the advancements in use of machines powered by steam or internal combustion engines are used to replace muscle power.

Karl Benz is credited with building the first gasoline powered automobile about 1886. Later, Henry Ford invents and develops the assembly line to mass produce automobiles and the demand for petroleum soars. Rockefeller had been producing kerosene for illumination up to about 1900.  Rockefeller was concerned that Edison’s electric light bulb invention would reduce the demand for kerosene and it did. However, with the steady increase of mass-produced gasoline powered automobiles, the demand from Rockefeller’s Refinery’s was steadily increasing.

The right panel (below) shows the sharp increase in GDP at about 1900. America’s GDP and individual family earnings led the world. In my opinion, much of this sharp increase in economic prosperity is due to the reasonable cost, abundant and domestically available energy which was replacing muscle power.

As seen above, the American Economy soared after 1900. By 1903, America’s GDP per person was the greatest of all of the Industrialized Countries of the world. The U.S.A. GDP/person $8,941 with the United Kingdom second at $7,482. Nearly double that of France and Austria. This coincides with the introduction of electricity distribution, the start of gasoline powered tractors, trucks, the beginning of U.S. Steel, Aluminum and automobiles. Energy use was multiplying the production of primary metals and manufactured products. Much previously produced with muscle and some hydropower.

Mechanization of Farming Made Food Producton Much More Productive with Far Less Labor The Fordson Tractor was introduced about 1915

At the same time that Westinghouse, Edison, Tesla and Allis-Chalmers were building power plants in the U.S.A., Parsons, Brush, Thompson, Siemens and others were taking similar steps in Europe.

Edison invented the Incandescent Light Bulb in 1880. However, carbon arc, electric lights were used for street lighting about 1870. (Carbon Arc Lighting was invented by Humphry Davy in early 1800’s using hundreds of batteries to produce the voltage needed for an arc)

Werner Von Siemens invented the Dynamo in 1866. Another European, Nikola Tesla became interested in Alternating Current and invented the Poly Phase Motor. Tesla then found work at an Edison Power Plant in Paris. Tesla was able to work out a transfer to Menlo Park to work directly with Edison. 

Siemens Factory in Germany for producing electric motors, Carbon-Arc Lamps on the streets of Berlin. Inset photo of Charles Parsons Steam Turbine

Edison was convinced that A/C power was not as good as D/C power. Tesla correctly favored A/C because of the ability to transform to higher voltages for long distance transmission and also because the Poly Phase A/C system worked well with his Poly Phase Motor.

Tesla leaves Edison’s employment and struggles in business by himself for a while. Then, Tesla and George Westinghouse team up together. By 1890, Westinghouse had invented the Transformer and this plus Tesla’s inventions of Poly Phase Motors and A/C current create a harmonious and productive team effort of Tesla and Westinghouse. One milestone project that Westinghouse topped Edison on was providing the generators for the first hydro-electric plant at Niagara Falls. The advantages of Alternating Current made longer distance power transmission possible. With Direct Current that Edison favored, the wires could only transmit power about a mile. 

There is much written on the “Current Wars” between Edison and Westinghouse. The American Juris Prudence System does not look so great in retrospect and especially the harsh handling of the engineering excellence that was applied by Tesla and Westinghouse. J.P. Morgan gets involved as a major investor in Edison General Electric which then becomes, “General Electric” and Tesla’s Patents on the Poly Phase Motor and Alternating Current become the basis for the American Electric Grid. From what I have read, it was the deep pockets of J.P. Morgan that held Westinghouse back. 

The disputes between Westinghouse and Edison were not very harmonious to put it mildly.

Edison, Tesla and Westinghouse. Three important people regarding theapplication of electricity for practical purposes

Steam Power requires a steam generator or boiler. As is the case today, Thermal Power Generation provides most of teh world’s electricity. Steam boilers are important and Babcock & Wilcox invents the inherently safe, water-tube boiler in 1867.  I will give a few examples of boiler safety later.

Fire-Tube Boiler (Left) B&W Water-Tube Boiler (Right)

The difference between a “Water-Tube” and a “Fire-Tube” Boiler is the manner in which the heat is transferred from the products of combustion to the water to create high pressure steam. A Fire-Tube Boiler has a large diameter shell (like a Locomotive Boiler) with the hot gases passing through tubes that pass through the large diameter shell. Steam engines are the prime movers for generators of either A/C or D/C and to have steam, so a reliable high-pressure boiler. Is needed to provide the steam supply. There are two types of boilers, Fire-Tube and Water-Tube. The fire tube boiler is a typical design which is similar to steam locomotives of the 19thand 20th Centuries. The  products of combustion leave the fire box and the hot gases of about 2,000-2,500 degrees F. enter tubes which pass through a large pressure vessel. Heat flows from the hot gases through the fire tubes and into the water contained in the large cylindrical pressure vessel. The larger the steaming capacity the larger the boiler cylinder needs to be.

This evolution of boilers is taking place in 1850 to 1900 and steam engines for ships, locomotives and stationary power generation systems are getting larger and larger. Thus, the boiler pressure vessels had to grow in diameter as well. 

The science of Welding and Metallurgy was in its infancy and steel plates were rolled into cylinders to form boiler shells but instead of welding the seams as is done today, they were caulked and riveted. The many riveted joints were an inherent weakness of large pressure vessels.

Fire-Tube Boiler Construction, before welding was developed and applied to pressure vessel fabrication

The inherent safety risk of Fire-Tube Boilers was that the shell diameter for a large capacity boiler must be very large. In the 19th Century and in fact, until about 1930, boilers were constructed using rivets to attach the shell plates together. Welding was not applied to boiler pressure parts till about 1930. Thus, the rivets combined with relatively primitive advances in steel manufacturing and metallurgy, created a high risk for failure of the pressure parts. Between 1895 and about 1910 there was about one major boiler explosion per day. Often each individual boiler explosion would kill dozens of people. Here are a few examples of terrible boiler explosions.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is Founded in about 1880 and one of the main reasons is to work as an organization to improve the safety of the public. The first edition of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code is published about 1915. 

Niagara Falls became the first major Hydro-Electric Plant in the USA and I believe, the largest in the world at the turn of the Century. A beautiful and environmentally friendly way to harness the energy of falling water. 

Niagara Falls was an important milestone for power generation. But the enormous demand that began with the 20th Century was satisfied by heat-engines. Reciprocating Steam engines and steam turbines.

Reciprocating Steam Engine Drive for a D/C Generator about 1890 at the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades

Meanwhile, in England, Charles Parsons is experimenting with steam turbine designs. As with steam engines, the first major applications of steam turbines are for ships. One of the notable steam turbine applications was to the Royal Navy Ship the Turbinia.

The British turbine powered “Turbinia” was built about 1894. This ship was demonstrated by Parsons to the Royal Navy as being twice as fast as reciprocating steam engine powered ships of the time. Marine applications tend to lead stationary power plants into the nuclear age with the first of a kind used for ships and the Navy, both in Europe and the U.S.A.

In America, about 1900 the transition from steam engines to steam turbines began. In this figure below there is one huge steam engine with a large flywheel in the foreground. In the back can be seen three smaller, but larger capacity steam turbines. From 1900-1915 numerous manufacturers of steam turbine drives came to be. Among them: Westinghouse, General-Electric, Allis-Chalmers, Charles Parsons, Brown-Boveri and Siemens.

In London and other large cities, Central Stations were built to generate electricity for the surrounding area. With DC current, it was only practical to extend wires for about a mile square. Later, AC was used which can be transformed to higher voltage and transmitted over longer distances. The slide of the London Power Station shows the typical arrangement of equipment in this time. Note the belt drives to the Dynamos located on a level above the steam engines and the water-tube boilers.

Energy use is not just for electricity. Even today, about 63% of our primary energy is used for transportation, industrial production and heating. About 37% of America’s energy is used to generate electricity. Automobiles become common and at the turn of the Century, the Internal Combustion Engine was welcomed as a great improvement for the environment. Cars and trucks powered by gasoline engines were a lot cleaner than horses. Petroleum became the largest portion of our energy use following WWII and continues to this day to be the major source of primary energy. Increased Industrial production, improved comforts and conveniences, improved quality of life and the resulting economic activity after 1900.  All of these increased demand for most forms of primary energy and electricity.

Both marine uses and stationary power generation prime movers make progress from reciprocating steam engines to turbines and to advanced boiler designs for safety, improved efficiency and reliability.

The illustration below shows a diagram of how using coal as a source of heat energy is converted to steam which is then converted by a steam turbine to shaft “Horsepower”. Keeping in mind the definition of a horsepower is 33,000-foot pounds of work in one minute. In this example, using coal that has 11,500 Btu’s per pound, the potential work equivalent is 11,500 multiplied times 778-foot pounds per Btu. At 100% efficiency, this one pound of coal would produce about 9-million-foot pounds of potential work. The enormity of this heat energy provides insight into the tremendous energy provided by steam and also, the stored energy within the pressure containment of a steam boiler. This brings us to the advancements in safe design and construction of steam boilers over the next few decades.

From Storm Technologies, Inc. Library of Educational Slides on Power Generation

The demand for electricity grew sharply after the inventions of motors, air conditioning and home appliances. Refrigerators became commonly used in homes beginning about 1927. 

Coal fuel was the predominate fuel during this period for electricity generation. Steam turbine drives as prime movers had grown in size and reliability. The steam boilers larger and larger. Welding of boiler pressure parts was advanced after about 1930 and steam boilers became larger and more safe. Overall, the coal plants became quite large. Here is an article that appeared in “Combustion Magazine” during the 1930’s.

At about this same time, pre WWII, Frank Whittle invented the Jet Engine. This basic design was later used after WWII as the besis for stationary Gas Turbine Drives for generators.

Frank Whittle of the UK is generally given credit for design of the jet engine. It is thought that Von Ohain in Germany had access to Whittle’s Patent before his work. 

Only twenty-two years old when he first conceived the idea of a continuous cycle combustion engine in 1933, von Ohain patented a jet propulsion engine design in 1934 that was similar in concept to that of Sir Whittle but different in internal arrangement.

Von Ohain joined Ernst Heinkel in 1936 and continued with the development of his jet propulsion concepts.

He successfully bench tested of one of his engines in September 1937 and a small aircraft was designed and constructed by Ernst Heinkel to serve as a test bed for a new type of propulsion system known as the Heinkel He178. The Heinkel He178 flew for the first time on August 27, 1939. 

G-E progressed using Whittle’s design to develop both aircraft and stationary gas turbines for power generation.

American Bombers being assembled at Ford Motor Company Plant during WWII, Packard Automobile Plant becomes a Manufacturing Plant for Aircraft Engines

Following WWII, America’s Industrial might continued with the rebuilding of Europe and Japan with the Marshall Plan. Energy use increaded as did manufacturing capacity. Along with the energy and manufacturing capacity increases came increased Economic growth.

U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Administration Chart of Total Energy Use of U.S. 1775-2009

The growth of energy consumption is shown above. This growth in energy can be compared to the GDP of Economic growth in the chart below which is copied from “Our World in Data” website.

The chart below was prepared by ExxonMobil for their Energy Outlook publication. The data is from the World Bank and the United Nations. The point is, the Human Development Index is related to energy avalaibility and use. More energy use can be parlayed into a better quality of life. The foregoing text and illustrations show how the U.S.A. progressed from an Agrairian Economy in the 19th Century to become the most productive Industrial Economy of the world by the mid 20th Century. Of course, Economic Freedom had much to do with America’s rise, but so did the availability of abundant and reasonable cost energy. This will conclude Part 1 of this post. Part 2 will show the relationship of energy and economic prosperity from 1950 to the present day.

Conclusions and Summary:

  1. America progressed from wood and whale oil fuels to the more abundant and increased energy density of coal and oil in about 50 years, 1850-1900.
  2. Our economy progressed and quality of life improved as more muscle labor (human and animal muscle) saving machines were invented, produced and utilized.
  3. Steam engines and steam turbines were the prime mover of choice for ships, railroads and agriculture until the various versions of internal combustion engines were invented and manufactured. The gasoline Otto Cycle and the Diesel Cycle engines were invented and began production in the late 19th Century.
  4. The first major oil discovery in Texas is Spindletop, 1901. This begins the long and productive history of oil production in the state of Texas.
  5. Willis Carrier invents modern air conditioning and humidity control 1902.
  6. Henry Ford revolutionized automoble transportation starting about 1903.
  7. Agricultural production is vastly more productive by the replacement of horse muscle power with mechanized tractors powered by gasoline or Diesel internal combustion
  8. Carnegie and United States Steel become the largest steel manufacturers in the world after 1901
  9. Charles Martin Hall invents and perfects the Aluminum Smelting process in 1888. The Pittsburgh Reduction Company produces aluminum used in the Wright Brothers “Flyer” 1903. Later the name is changed to the Aluminum Company of America and the acronym, ALCOA
  10. Production of both Steel and Aluminum are both very energy intensive. Thus, abundant, reasonable cost energy is required for the steel and aluminum industries to grow as they did.
  11. About 1928 General-Electric produces home refrigerators for preservation of food.
  12. Texas begins development of the Permian Basin oil fields, 1928
  13. During WWII America becomes the “Arsenal of Democracy” and along with our Allies save Western Civilization. The Allies “Arsenal” was fueled mostly by American produced energy, mostly coal and oil.
  14. Captain Hyman G. Rickover has a vision for nuclear propulsion system for submarines and nearly singlehandedly, designs and then leads a team to build the first nuclear powered submarine, the Nautilus which puts to sea 1955.
  15. President Eisenhower launches “Atoms for Peace” Initiative for Peaceful uses of atomic energy. Begins at Atoms for Peace Conference in Geneva, 1955

This is Part 1. Part 2 to follow in the near future. The purpose of this post is to show the importance of reliable, reasonable cost and abundant energy. Energy to power our high quality of living. Our energy has been reliable, low cost and abundant for decades. My observation is that people have become accustomed to reasonable cost and reliable energy for so long that we take it for granted. The environmental extremists on the other hand, have attacked all conventional forms of energy including Fossil Fuels and nuclear which together comprise about 90% of the energy that we depend on.

The foregoing list of 15 accomplishments is intended to show the relationship of energy to high quality of life and economic prosperity. If energy availability is reduced, then our quality of life and economic prosperity are harmed. Up to this point in history, we have always increased energy production to meet the demand of our growing population.

Dick Storm, January 13, 2022

Facts Matter: Even Trade Journals Provide a “Woke” Spin on Energy

Yesterday I looked at a recent article in POWER Magazine on power generation capacity additions planned for 2022-2023. I have always respected POWER Magazine and I even give them credit for sparking my interest in electric power generation when I started reading POWER while in college. I have been a contributing editor for POWER and have had numerous articles I wrote published. So, when I see POWER Magazine becoming Politically Correct or “Woke” like many other respected publications, I become concerned.

Here below is the chart they published:

POWER Magazine, December 2021

It looks innocent enough and it is backed up by the EIA as being factual. I think it is more important to lift up what is not said. That is that 78.3 Gigawatts is about 7% of the U.S.A.’s total generation “Capacity” but renewables are not Dispatchable and have low capacity factors when they are producing. For example, let me show a graph (below) from the EIA Real Time Grid in October 2021. Note that of the total generation of about 534,000 MW only about 5% is generated by solar and of course, this was during the daytime. Wind was slightly more but 80% of the generation of Bulk Power was from conventional gas, coal and nuclear. These are all Dispatchable forms of Bulk Power. Conventional, Dispatchable Bulk Power Generation is what powers American Industry and our lives. America depends on reliable power.

Lets go back to last January in the PJM Interconnection (Northeastern U.S.A.) Here is a screen shot of the electric power production during January 31, 2021. Remember January 2021? It was colder than normal and just a few weeks later Texas had their Backouts largely because of dependence on too much wind and solar capacity that was not available (not Dispatchable and not available due to ice and snow). The PJM Interconnection total generation at this moment was 123,512 MW. Renewables were 6,864 MW and most of the renewable power generation was from Hydro.

Getting back to POWER Magazine. They were kind enough to publish my Commentary from March 2021 which is here: https://www.powermag.com/blog/all-fuels-are-important-but-thermal-power-generation-is-still-number-1/ I stand behind these comments.

Also in January of 2021, another publication that I have great respect for, the Wall Street Journal produced a video on energy and electricity generation. I took a screen shot of that video and used it in my course at USCB-OLLI. It is copied below:

Screen shot from WSJ video on EnergyC

Conclusion:

Facts matter and even respected publications seem to have become Politically Correct or as is commonly referred to today as “Woke”. My concern is that irreparable harm has been done to America’s energy infra-structure and planning for the future. Why do I say this? Because if we look back on the past year, and the list of ten items below are from Andy May’s Blog site (11) these are some of the policies that have been thrust on the people:

  1. European wind died, and they had already closed their coal plants, thus forcing natural gas prices to skyrocket.
  2. In Texas, windmills providing 30% of their power froze and the Texas grid came within minutes of total failure. More than 200 people died due to the storm and four million were left without power.
  3. The UK Cop26 president, Alok Sharma, called on the world to “consign coal to history.” Instead, Russia, China, and India put off ending coal until after 2060. Joe Manchin ended Biden’s plan in the U.S.
  4. In one of the worst timed policy moves in history, Biden promised to ban fracking and he canceled the Keystone XL pipeline. He ended up on his knees begging U.S. oil and gas companies, the Saudis, and anyone else he could find to produce more oil and gas.
  5. The U.S.-based Nature Conservancy sold phony carbon offsets to publicly traded companies, like Blackrock, Disney, and JPMorgan.
  6. Joe Manchin vetoed Biden’s plan to federalize the U.S. electricity grid, which would have allowed him to outlaw producing electricity with fossil fuels.
  7. Western wildfires burned up Microsoft’s carbon offsets, which were forests in Oregon.
  8. Blackrock says sustainability (environmental) investing is nonsense.
  9. The Federal Reserve staff says no to Biden’s idea to use the Fed to kill lending to the fossil fuel industry.
  10. An Associated Press poll says the public is not interested in paying more to stop human-caused climate change.

Dick Storm, December 30, 2021

References:

  1. EIA Real Time U.S.A. Grid Electric Production: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/gridmonitor/dashboard/electric_overview/US48/US48
  2.  EIA Short Term Outlook, Oct 2021: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=49976
  3. EIA Electricity Explained, Total U.S.A. Electric Generating Capacity 2020: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/electricity-in-the-us-generation-capacity-and-sales.php
  4. PJM Interconnection Real Time Electricity Production by Fuel: https://www.pjm.com
  5. Dick Storm Short Course at USCB-OLLI Feb 2021, Energy and Electricity Generation
  6. Net Zero Watch Press Release, News of Energy Policy  Failure in UK: https://mailchi.mp/c65f20c55714/declare-an-energy-emergency-or-risk-economic-disaster-boris-johnson-warned-185978?e=9e46528ac6
  7. POWER Magazine Commentary, March 2021: Getting back to POWER Magazine. They were kind enough to publish my Commentary from March 2021 which is here: https://www.powermag.com/blog/all-fuels-are-important-but-thermal-power-generation-is-still-number-1/ I stand behind these comments.
  8. Power Magazine December 2021 Article on Solar, Storage and Renewable Power: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://ai.omeclk.com/portal/wts/ucmcmsbyFjmbbEjs%255EcyzgrmcFjfNqFbdj3jgnzBHFHl&source=gmail&ust=1640952340990000&usg=AOvVaw3mbcbw4_Er9kDluBBUKOwV
  9. Washington Free Beacon article on Solar Loan Guarantees: https://freebeacon.com/biden-administration/biden-megadonor-scores-500-million-federal-loan-for-solar-company/
  10. Junk Science Website on Environmental Policy Failures of 2021: https://junkscience.com/2021/12/unsung-zeroes-the-top-10-under-reported-climate-flops-of-2021/
  11. Andy May Climate Change Blog: https://andymaypetrophysicist.com/2021/12/28/climate-change-2021/amp/