Category Archives: Energy, Politics and Economic Prosperity

Balanced Portfolio of Generation, Here is an Example

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

Introduction

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

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

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

Santee-Cooper also known as South Carolina Public Service Authority

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From EIA website

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

From Nuclear Energy Institute web site(15)

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

The Myth of Green Power

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

Conclusions

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

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

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

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

From EIA website

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

EIA data on the Canary Media website

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

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

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

Recommendations

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

Respectfully submitted,

Dick Storm, June 8, 2022

References for further research and reading:

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

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

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:

What Is Endangered, Climate or Freedom? This is the sub-title of the book “BLUE PLANET IN GREEN SHACKLES”

Vaclav Klaus is a past President of the Czech Republic. Klaus wrote the book, “Blue Planet in Green Shackles” in 2007, published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The sub-title reminds me of the current crisis in the Ukraine. With Russia’s economy being fortified by PetroDollars and the CCP working in earnest to Dominate the World with their influence. I re-ask the question What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?”

Vaclav Klaus, A Smart and Courageous Man, Also A Great Thinker and Writer!

Václav Klaus, (born June 19, 1941, Prague, Czechoslovakia [now in Czech Republic]), Czech economist and politician who served as Prime Minister (1993–97) and President (2003–13) of the Czech Republic. 

Klaus graduated from the University of Economics in Prague in 1963. He was a research worker at the Institute of Economics of the Czech Academy of Sciences in 1968 when he completed his Ph.D. in economics. After working for several years at the Czechoslovak State Bank, he joined the Forecasting Institute of the Czech Academy in 1987. At the beginning of the 1989 Velvet Revolution which brought about the peaceful end of Communism in Czechoslovakia, Klaus entered politics. This Bio from the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Another quote attributed to Klaus: “The climate change debate is basically not about science; it is about ideology. It is not about global temperature; it is about the concept of human society. It is not about nature or scientific ecology; it is about environmentalism, about one – recently born – dirigistic and collectivistic ideology, which goes against freedom and free markets”

Prescient Words from Klaus in 2007

“As someone who lived under Communism for most of my life, I feel obliged to say that the biggest threat to freedom, democracy,the market economy and prosperity at the beginning of the 21st Century is not Communism or its various softer versions. Communism was replaced by the threat of ambitious environmentalism. This ideology preaches Earth and nature, and under the slogans of their protection-similarly to the old Marxists-wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning of the whole world.”

“The environmentalists consider their ideas and arguments to be an indisputable truth and use sophisticated methods of media manipulation and (Public relations) campaigns to exert pressure on policymakers to achieve their goals. Their argumentation is based on the spreading of fear and panic by declaring teh future of the world to be under serious threat. In such an atmosphere, they continue pushing policymakers to adopt illiberal measures; imposearbitrary limits, regulations, prohibitions, and restrictions on everyday human activities; and make people subject to omnipotent bureaucratic decision making. To use the words of Friedrich Hayek, they try to stop free, spontaneous human action and replace it by their own, very doubtful human design….”

The above is an excerpt from page 76 of the book’s appendix. This book is only about 100 pages long including the four appendices, the last one being Klaus’ speech to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2007. The U.N. should have paid more attention and acted as Dr. Klaus recommended.

Where is the Czech Republic?

The Czech Republic began its exit from Communism in 1989. The map below shows its position to the south of Germany and Poland.

Czech Republic Map from Encyclopedia Brittanica, 2010

So What Does The United Nations do for World Peace?

Since about 2007 or so, the Main Stream Media would have us believe the top priority with the U.N. is to save the planet from global warming and climate change. I have written on another post my thoughts on the U.N. Agenda 21 and the IPCC.

The News from the last week or so in Europe is troubling as Russia launches attacks on the Ukraine. The pain, suffering and deaths of the people of the Ukraine is horrible to watch on TV.

So, where is the U.N.? Now a sovereign country has a genuine and true crisis for humanity in Europe. Russia has invaded, waged war and is attempting to take over the sovereign country of the Ukraine, a country of 44 million freedom loving people and a land area about the size of our state of Texas. The U.N. apparently agrees with John Kerry, policies that are related to Climate Change are more important than world peace.

To me this confirms the belief that the U.N. is more interested in a new world government than in promoting peace between nations, promoting freedom, Democracy and improving living conditions for the people of the world. (11)

Fossil Fuels Have Served Russia and China Well

China’s has used coal power to build the largest manufacturing economy in the world. Yes, they lifted millions out of poverty as they did so, but could they have a hidden agenda for world domination? Read about their “Belt and Roads Initiative” and you may find the answer.(9,10,12)

From IEA Total Energy Supply for China 1990-2019

Another country that is fueling their economy on petro-dollars is Russia.

My point: The Peaceful Nations of the World have been duped into signing the Paris Climate Change Agreement while China and Russia appear to be working together on dominating the world with their influence and in the case of the Ukraine, war and atrocities on the citizens only because Putin wants the Ukraine to be within the control of Moscow. As regards Peace in the World, the United Nations has been AWOL, ( like John Kerry), more interested in the war on carbon(11) than a real unprovoked war that has created death and destruction.

Vaclav Klaus writes much in his book of 15 years ago, on the manipulation of science and use of public relations to spread false information. What a genius Klaus is! He saw this a long time ago and tried to warn the people of the world.

Fossil Fuels & Nuclear, The Energy The Developed and Developing World Depends On….or Should Be Depending on!

The Developed Countries of the world depend on abundant, reliable energy to fuel their economies. I have written on China and how they have lifted millions of people from poverty in just twenty years. Amazing progress from a human development standpoint. China did this using fossil fuels, as America did over the last 150 years. As you can see on the chart above, mostly coal.

Fossil Fuels still provide over 80% of the world’s energy. Let’s take a look at the U.S.A. energy supply. We have used right at 100 Quadrillion Btu’s annually for decades. The breakdown by fuel sources is shown below. The Fossil Fuels portion is 80.2%, comprised of 36.7% Oil, 32.1% Natural Gas and 11.4% Coal. Add in nuclear and then the total “Conventional Energy” sources are 88.56%. Solar and Wind even after decades of government subsidies total only 3.78%. A shift to Net Zero Carbon Fuels without a massive expansion of nuclear plants will be incredibly disruptive. In fact, impossible. (13)

U.S. Department of Energy, EIA Total U.S. Energy Consumption 2019

Klaus Recommendations in his 2007 Book

Klaus understood the foolishness of net zero carbon and the fact that Climate Policy by world governments is NOT about saving the Planet, it is about government power over the citizens. His recommendations in 2007 were:

  1. The UN should organize two parallel IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panels on Climate Change) and publish two competing reports. To get rid of the one-sided monopoly is a sine qua non for an efficient and rational debate. Providing the same or comparable financial backing to both groups of scientists is a necessary starting point.
  2. The countries should listen to one another (and) learn from (the) mistakes and successes of others, but any country should be left alone to prepare its own plan to tackle this problem and decide what priority to assign to its other competing goals.

These two recommendations, offered by Klaus to the U.N. were not considered and certainly not followed.

Net-Zero Carbon, The Climate Policy Destroying America, by Donn Dears

Donn Dears book covers much of what is wrong with current Climate Change Policies. His book is available on Amazon.com or you can write him by email or LinkedIn message. I have purchased copies to provide to friends and educators. Unfortunately, Dears subtitle, “The Climate Policy Destroying America” also seems prescient.

Conclusions

I have written dozens of posts on my Blog which you can easily access. Including a four part series on the history of energy and electricity generation. Part 4 covers China’s Rise over the last twenty years. My conclusions are:

  1. If the current “Green New Deal” policies continue, we will weaken America’s productive capacity.
  2. China is the world’s largest manufacturer and will continue to grow in International influence.(9)
  3. Russia and China seem aligned now and their cooperation together is not likely to favor U.S. interests in the world.
  4. Rejecting the Keystone Pipeline and President Trump’s policies on oil and gas drilling on public lands was a serious mistake by the Biden Administration…
  5. Germany is a couple years ahead of the U.S. on stopping the use of coal and nuclear plants. We should learn from their experiences. (7,8)
  6. The United Kingdom also is struggling with shortages and high costs of energy. Like mentioned for Germany, the U.S. should learn from the experiences in the UK.(14)
  7. America’s current Energy and Environmental Policies are wrong for the best interests of America and the Free World.

I started this post with reference to Vaclave Klaus. Today I have great respect for the man who stood up to the bullying and railroading of poor science to thrust ridiculous energy policies on the free world. Sadly, we of the free world are in a position of weakness compared to where we were when President Trump left office. I am familiar with the famous quote from Ronald Reagan, which goes something like….”Freedom can be lost in one Generation” Many people of the world are losing their freedom only one year after the 2020 U.S. Election.

Dick Storm, February 27, 2022

References for Further Reading:

  1. “Blue Planet in Green Shackles” by Vaclav Klaus and published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, 2007
  2. Purchase of “Blue Planet in Green Shackles” from Google search. Note, I tried Amazon and another book showed up in place of Klaus original: https://www.conservativebookclub.com/book/blue-planet-green-shackles-what-endangered-climate-freedom
  3. Net-Zero Carbon, The Policy Destroying America” By Donn Dears, available: https://www.amazon.com/Net-zero-Carbon-Climate-Destroying-America/dp/0981511953
  4. Vaclav Klaus Quotes in quotetab.com: https://www.quotetab.com/quotes/by-vaclav-klaus
  5. Dick Storm Blog, “Are You Worried About the Future of America”: https://dickstormprobizblog.org/2021/01/21/are-you-worried-about-the-future-of-america/
  6. Dick Storm Blog, Facts Matter: Even Trade Journals Publish a Woke Spin on Energy Information”: https://dickstormprobizblog.org/2021/12/
  7. WSJ, World’s Dumbest Energy Policy Jan. 29. 2019: https://www.wsj.com/articles/worlds-dumbest-energy-policy-11548807424
  8. WSJ, Germany’s Energy Surrender, Dec. 22, 2021: https://www.wsj.com/articles/germanys-energy-surrender-nuclear-power-angela-merkel-russia-vladimir-putin-11640207188
  9. The History of Energy and Electricity Generation, Four Part Series on Dick Storm’s Blog. Part 4 covers the rise of China’s Energy and Economic Prosperity 2000-2022: https://dickstormprobizblog.org
  10. China’s Belt and Road Initiative explained by Mercator Institute of China Studies: https://merics.org/en/tracker/powering-belt-and-road
  11. A short summary of How the “War on Carbon Began”, Dick Storm’s Blog: https://wordpress.com/post/dickstormprobizblog.org/888
  12. The Hundred Year Marathon, by Michael Pillsbury. China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global SuperPower.
  13. The Stupidity of Net-Zero Carbon, Oct 2021, Dick Storm’s Blog: https://dickstormprobizblog.org/2021/10/13/the-stupidity-of-net-zero-carbon/
  14. Net Zero Watch, UK Organization reporting on Climate and Energy Policies: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=wm&ogbl#search/Net+Zero+Watch/FMfcgzGllVqqTLhmMFlKlNHfQNWFhGzm

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

History of Energy and Electricity

Part 3, 2010-2022, by Dick Storm

AMERICA BUILDS THE CLEANEST, MOST EFFICIENT COAL PLANTS IN THE WORLD, ACHIEVES ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, BEGINS RESHORING AMERICAN MANUFACTURING, CLEANS OUR AIR AND THEN….

COMMITS SELF INFLICTED ENERGY EUTHANASIA

My intention for the first two parts of the “History of Energy and Electricity Generation” was to outline the importance that energy and electricity played in improving our quality of living & growing our economy to become the largest in the world. America is still the world’s largest economy, but if we continue on the Net Zero Carbon Path of the “Green New Deal” then America will become weaker and China’s influence in the world will exceed America’s. Perhaps not a problem if China was run by Boy Scouts with high morals. But, the CCP does not share our values.

At current trends of economic growth, China’s GDP is likely to surpass the U.S.A.’s before 2030. The Sub-Title of this post is a reminder that during the Obama Presidency America’s Energy Policy was essentially committed to a Self-Inflicted path of energy euthanasia for our great country.  Meanwhile, China ramped up energy production from All Fuel sources. I have written before on the relationship of energy and economic prosperity. That was the theme of parts 1 & 2 of this series. Abundant, reasonable cost energy fueled America’s economy for all of the 20th Century as America became the most productive country in the world with the world’s largest economy.

TWO MAGNIFICENT POWER PLANTS MADE IN THE U.S.A

On a positive note, let’s start with a description of two magnificent Ultra-supercritical clean coal plants. Made in the U.S.A. and amongst the best coal plants ever built. We should have more like these being built now!

AEP Company’s John Turk Ultra-Supercritical Power Plant
Turk Plant Boiler Island and Some of the Air Emissions Control Equipment

The Best Clean Coal Plants Ever Built, Sadly amongst the last ones Built in the U.S.A.

In December 2012 one of the finest examples of American Clean Coal Plants started up. The 600 MW John W. Turk Plant in Arkansas. Power Magazine(3) awarded the plant the highest honor in 2013 for clean, reliable and efficient power generation. Here below is an excerpt of the article in POWER Magazine.

AEP’s SWEPCO requested proposals in December 2005 for new generation to meet long-term capacity needs, and by August 2006 the company settled on coal-fired technology for a new plant site in Arkansas. Construction began in early 2008, and the new plant entered commercial service in December 2012. For overcoming numerous legal and regulatory obstacles and for building the first ultrasupercritical plant in the U.S., the John W. Turk, Jr. plant is awarded POWER’s 2013 Plant of the Year Award. 

The new 600-MW John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant owned by American Electric Power’s (AEP) Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) is located on a 2,800-acre tract near Fulton, in Hempstead Country, Arkansas, about 20 miles northeast of Texarkana. The Turk Plant, the first modern plant in the U.S. to commercialize ultrasupercritical (USC) boiler technology, was officially declared commercial on Dec. 20, 2012.”

The specifications are impressive. The steam generator is rated at 650 MW power generation capacity. The steam generator evaporates 4,420,000 pounds per hour of water to superheat to 1,100 degrees F. Think about what that means. Four million pounds per hour, if it is expressed as gallons per minute, the evaporation rate is the equivalent flow in GPM of about 8,800 gallons per minute.  This quantity of water is pumped at a pressure of over 4,400 pounds per square inch and then super-heated to over 1,100 degrees F. every minute. That still impresses me to think about it. Thanks to the American metallurgical and welding technology, the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code and over 150 years of experience, that is one of the American Power Industry’s most magnificent accomplishments, in my opinion.

Plants such as Turk can do this 24/7 constantly and at a high-capacity factor. Unlike Wind or Solar Power, the Turk Plant is fully Dispatchable too.  That is why I describe plants such as Turk and Longview as magnificent! They are truly engineering marvels.

Another example of a modern, efficient supercritical coal plant is the Longview Power Plant near Morgantown, West Virginia. Longview has also attained the accomplishment of becoming the most efficient coal plant in America (different years for Turk and Longview)

Longview Power Plant Located in WVA, Award for Most Efficient Power Plant in U.S. in 2016 by POWER Magazine

Both Turk and Longview are clean coal plants equipped with Flue Gas Desulfurization equipment, Baghouses for particulate collection and Selective Catalytic Reactors for Oxides of Nitrogen correction. Called “Clean Coal because the truly harmful pollutants have been removed.

These two highly efficient HELE Plants, (HELE=High Efficiency Low Emissions) are amongst the last several major coal generating plants built in America. That’s right, about 2012 marked the end of new coal plant design and construction of coal plants in America. Few people outside the power industry understand the implications of what this means for our future. 

Let me state here that I worked my entire career in the pursuit of excellence in coal power generation. Including efficiency and emissions improvements. I believe in clean air and clean water. The EPA was needed in 1970 because acid rain, fine particulates and ground level ozone were problems which large coal fired power plants contributed to. The success of the efforts of the EPA to clean the air is best described on the chart below which is prepared by the EPA(11)

EPA Comparison of Economic Growth and Air Quality 1970-2018

From my viewpoint, cleaning the air of harmful emissions was accomplished by the time that Obama became President. From that point on, the EPA was weaponized against the best interests of America. Weaponzizing the EPA to create what I call, Energy Euthanasia. It continues today with the Climate Policies that are Destroying America. Check reference # 15 below, Donn Dears Book entitled, “NET-ZERO CARBON, THE CLIMATE POLICY DESTROYING AMERICA”

Weaponizing the EPA:

Commiting to the Present Path of Climate Policy has Seriously Wounded America’s Supply Chain for Power Generation Equipment

The Obama years 2008-2016 set a course for American Energy that were very difficult. Especially for coal power. During Obama’s Presidency, he led the EPA to declare that Carbon Dioxide should be regulated. This was later, upheld by the Supreme Court, the COregulations, right or wrong, became the law of the land. Here is a short summary of how the “War on Coal” during the Clinton administration ratchetted up to becoming “The War on Carbon” and becoming lethal for American Energy Independence, the Fossil Power Plant Equipment Supply Chain & the Economic growth and prosperity that Energy Independence provides.

According the WSJ April 18, 2009, “In 1998, the Clinton administration EPA studied the question and determined that the Clean Air Act was “potentially applicable” to CO2 and other greenhouse gases. But despite continued pressure from environmental groups, the Clinton administration never moved to regulate the gases.

The EPA lumped carbon dioxide with five other gases — methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride — into a single class for regulatory purposes. That’s because they share similar properties: All are long-lived and well-mixed in the atmosphere; all trap heat that otherwise would leave the earth and go into outer space; and all are “directly emitted as greenhouse gases” rather than forming later in the atmosphere.”

According to the bulk of somewhat biased scientific research, such as that assembled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the more greenhouse gases there are in the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide, the more heat is trapped. That leads to rising temperatures. The EPA endorsed the (Politically Biased) IPCC research and specifically said that “natural variations” in climate, such as solar activity, couldn’t explain rising temperatures. For the record, I believe that global rising temperatures have mostly been from natural forces for thousands of years, even before the Ice Age. I am not a Climate Scientist, but there are many highly qualified well credentialed Climate Scientists that I agree with. Such as Professor Richard Lindzen, Judith Curry, Roy Spencer, John Christy, Steven Koonin and many more. Here below is an excerpt from Koonin’s book, “Unsettled, What Climate Science Tells Us and What it Doesn’t and Why it Matters”(18) His closing thoughts are in green font below:

Dr. Steven E. Koonin is a leader in science policy in the U.S. He served as Undersecretary for Science in the Dept. of Energy under President Obama.

“What we think we should do, in short, is begin by restoring integrity to the way science informs society’s decisions on climate and energy-we need to move from The Science back to science. And then take the steps most likely to result in positive outcomes for society, whatever the future might hold for our planet. As President Biden exhorted in his inaugural address, “We must reject the culture which facts themselves are manipulated, or even manufactured”

In my opinion, Dr. Koonin is correct, we should let science get back to science and that much of the huge volumes of research on manmade climate change has been politically inspired, not science inspired.

The current policy of “Net Zero Carbon” has been based on politically biased science and is driven by special interests, but not in the best interests of America.

Further, the Chinese for one country outside the U.S. have worked to  influence alarm with American University students to go green. See reference below (10) where Professor Lindzen of MIT writes on China’s recent actions.

China is Fortifying Their Supply Chain, While We are Self-Inflicting Harm on Ours

The Weaponization of carbon became very effective during the Obama Administration. Interrupted by President Trump and then intensified under the Biden Administration. The path to harm the Fossil Power Systems and Fossil Power Production was ratcheting up to becoming more and more lethal. (Lethal to the Made in U.S.A. supply chain) Electricity prices were kept reasonable and the Greenhouse Gas emissions reduced during this time, thanks to the Shale Gas Revolution.

The Shale Gas Revolution Aids the War on Coal

As the War on Coal progressed, the public was insulated from electricity price rises due to enormous natural gas productivity and falling natural gas prices. The graph below shows the path of natural gas prices/million BTU’s from 2006-2012. Ultimately, gas prices dropped to levels below coal prices on a $/million Btu basis. This illustration was used for a training class I was involved with in 2012 to a coal plant staff to emphasize why excellence in O & M and best Heat-Rate operations were important for competitive power generation from coal. At the time, natural gas fueled power generation had suddenly became less expensive than coal. This is because in a Thermal-Power Plant, most of the electricity generation cost is for fuel. In GTCC (Gas Turbine Combined Cycle) plants the fuel cost component is about 90% of the production cost of electricity. Thus, doubling fuel cost/million Btu’s by itself nearly doubles the production cost of electricity. Conversely, halving the fuel cost nearly halves the production cost for electricity generation.

Also during this time Gas Turbine Combined Cycle Plant technology had improved to approach 65% Thermal Efficiency. The most efficient Heat-Engines in History. Thus, it appeared between 2010 and 2020 that America could wage war on carbon and enjoy economic prosperity including the lowest electricity costs in the world.  We also had the largest drop in Carbon Dioxide emissions in the world. A 52% drop.

The following charts will illustrate the path from 2005 forward of reducing carbon emissions and keeping electricity prices reasonable.

First, fuel changes from coal to natural gas created drastic COemissions, because natural gas generated electricity produces about 50% of the COthat coal fueled plants do. 

Because electricity produced by natural gas creates about half the carbon dioxide as coal generated electricity, the first 50% reduction in Greenhouse Gases was painless. Low natural gas cost (Thanks to the Shale Gas Revolution) plus high efficiency GTCC plants provided this huge first step.

The increase in natural gas power production replaced coal power production. Together, coal, gas and nuclear still provide over 80% of our electricity. The chart above is 2004-2019. The one below is the actual (Dispatchable too!) generation across the U.S.A. in September-October of 2021:

The two pie charts of generation by Fuel (below) are from the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISOEnergy.com) and the PJM Interconnection (PJM.com) for January 26, 2022. Note the importance of coal power generation. Again, coal, nuclear and natural gas are providing over 80% of our nation’s electricity generation when it is most needed. Many of the coal plants providing this power are planed to be shut down in the next few years. They will be missed. Note reference(17) below, list of coal plants to be retired in the next few years.

AMERICA ACHIEVES ENERGY INDEPENDENCE IN 2019

US Department of Energy, EIA

The U.S. Supply Chain for Manufacturing Fossil Power Systems Equipment

Besides the importance of reliable, reasonable cost electricity, there is the Supply-Chain which we should all be concerned about.

The Supply Chain of Coal Plant Components includes thousands of tons of components. Once manufactured solely in the U.S.A., these components provided hundreds of thousands of jobs. For example, when I worked for B&W in 1969, B&W employed over 35,000 employees. Combustion-Engineering also employed over 35,000 employees. General Electric and Westinghouse Electric back then employed hundreds of thousands of employees. America was the world’s #1 manufacturer and this served our country very well. Take a look at the illustrations below of major coal plant components during construction.

A large clean coal plant involves tens of thousands of tons of steel manufacturing, seamless high alloy tubing, high pressure piping, hundreds of miles of copper wire, transformers, steam turbines, large pressure vessel manufacturing, pumps, heat exchangers, motors, generators and many other components. Manufacturing of these components involves hundreds of thousands of jobs for skilled engineers, technicians and craftsmen. The Supply-Chain is very large and spreads all across the U.S.A. Here below is a list of the suppliers to the Turk Plant. This is from the POWER Magazine article.

We stopped building large coal plants about 2014. With that comes a withering and loss of our productive manufacturing capacity. Recently, our Supply-Chain woes have been in the news. My friends ask me, How could we invent computer chips and then lose the capability to produce them here in the U.S.? How about steel tubing, steel shapes, aluminum, Rare Earth minerals and EV components? Pharmaceuticals? Where do most of these come from now? Most, come from China. China is the World’s largest manufacturer, so it seems reasonable to accept the published data that shows China using more energy than any other country.

China Energy Consumption, compared to the Rest of the World

From BP Statistical Review

Meanwhile, China is Getting a Lot of Practice in Building Large Coal Power Plants, All of the Equipment Involved and Many Other Products…..

Pakistan Power Plant, Financed and Built by China
From LinkedIn Post by Mike Caravaggio

Boston University has a web site that tracks China Coal Plants:

Closing Summary

In my life-time I saw America as the top Industrialized Country of the world. We shared our wealth and technologies with other countries in good faith. Then for whatever reasons, the people of great influence, mostly from the American Democrat Party, sought to weaken our productive capacity and to cede that capacity to the Chinese Communist Party. The Mainstream News, Entertainment and most Democrats have all been part of this transfer of productive capacity and with that productive capacity comes influence in the world.

It is my hope that sometime soon, our President and Congress will wake up and see the importance of energy to power our economy. The U.S. Senate Report, “Europe’s Energy Crisis, A Warning to America” should be read by all elected officials.(15) The other references below are also informative.

Dick Storm, January 30, 2022

References:

  1. How Carbon Dioxide Became a Pollutant, April 18, 2009, WSJ : https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB124001537515830975
  2. COP-26 Climate Conference article, Oct. 30, 2021, WSJ : https://www.wsj.com/articles/cop26-climate-summit-consensus-is-sought-after-decades-of-false-starts-11635598801?cx_testId=3&cx_testVariant=cx_2&cx_artPos=5&mod=WTRN#cxrecs_s
  3. John W. Turk Power Plant wins POWER Magazines highest honor for clean coal: https://www.powermag.com/aeps-john-w-turk-jr-power-plant-earns-powers-highest-honor/
  4. Longview, Rehabilitated Coal Power Plant Most Efficient in U.S. POWER Magazine, August 2016: https://www.powermag.com/longview-power-plant-rehabilitation-results-efficient-u-s-coal-plant/ https://www.powermag.com/longview-power-plant-rehabilitation-results-efficient-u-s-coal-plant/   
  5. China to Build 43 new coal plants, “Time” August 2021: https://time.com/6090732/china-coal-power-plants-emissions/
  6. China could build more coal plants even after Xi promises not to, Bloomberg Oct 2021: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-27/climate-cop26-china-could-build-new-coal-plants-overseas-even-after-xi-pledge  
  7. China’s Coal Plant Capacity More than 3 X the Rest of the World’s, Reuters, Feb 2021China’s new coal power plant capacity in 2020 more than three times rest of world’s: study:https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-coal/chinas-new-coal-power-plant-capacity-in-2020-more-than-three-times-rest-of-worlds-study-idUSKBN2A308U
  8. Hassyan Power Plant in Dubai: https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/projects/hassyan-coal-fired-power-plant-dubai/
  9. Hassyan Power Plant ACWA Power web page: https://acwapower.com/en/projects/hassyan-ipp/
  10. China Warming, Tablet Magazine by Richard Lindzen, October 19, 2021: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/science/articles/china-warming-richard-lindzen
  11. EPA Progress in Cleaning our Air: https://gispub.epa.gov/air/trendsreport/2019/#growth_w_cleaner_air
  12. Mid America Independent System Operations, MISO Energy: https://www.misoenergy.org
  13. PJM Interconnection, Independent System Dispatch of Electric Power for much of the Northeast and west to Chicago: https://www.pjm.com
  14. Boston University Global Development Policy Center: https://www.bu.edu/cgp/
  15. U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Report; “Europe’s Energy Crisis, A Warning to America”: https://www.energy.senate.gov/services/files/2D862C16-4157-4A39-9CCE-098B5C818C01?mc_cid=d94787db9d&mc_eid=9e46528ac6
  16. Donn Dears Book, “NET-ZERO CARBON, The CLIMATE POLICY DESTROYING” AMERICA:  https://amzn.to/31j7vMh  
  17. Reuters, List of Coal Plants Scheduled to be shut down: https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/us-coal-fired-power-plants-scheduled-shut-2021-10-28/
  18. Steven E. Koonin, “Unsettled, WHAT CLIMATE SCIENCE TELLS US,WHAT IT DOESN’T, ANDWHY IT MATTERS” 2021, BenBella Books, Inc.

ENERGY AND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

A few weeks ago, I commented on a post on LinkedIn by Donna Castro. My question was, “I wonder what the correlation is between Economic Prosperity and Energy Use”. So, to answer my own question I did a little research and here is the result of that search.

The “Visual Capitalist”(1) published the graphic above Dec. 21, 2021. I have been interested in the relationship of energy use to fuel Economic Prosperity for many years and liked this graphic.

The total world GDP is projected to be 94 Trillion Dollars. Only 18 countries have greater than a 1% share of the total world economy. The U.S.A. and China comprise about 42%. The ten largest economies are:

So, back to my curiosity of relating energy use to economic output, I thought it would be useful to show the top ten countries ranked by total energy use. Statista and other organizations list these. I used the chart from Statista. Not surprisingly, the data from all sources show the largest economies use the greatest quantity of primary energy. China is the world’s largest manufacturer and they produce over 50% of the world’s steel and aluminum. Primary metals production is very energy intensive, thus, it is expected that China will use the greatest amount of primary energy and they do.

Chart by Statista.com

The Net-Zero Carbon Emissions Policies of America brings to mind the threat to our economic prosperity and our comfortable life styles. I have written my thoughts on Net-Zero Carbon, the War on Coal, War on Carbon and my opinion of Net-Zero Carbon, in other posts on my Blog.

A new book by Donn Dears is available which has lots of background and details with fresh information of why the Net-Zero Carbon policies of the Biden Administration are harmful to the U.S.A. I recommend his book for anyone who is interested in the relationship of Economic Prosperity and Reasonable and well thought out Energy Policy. Net-Zero Carbon and the current “Green” initiatives in Congress are not reasonable and not well thought out by people who understand energy and electricity generation.

The Net-Zero Carbon Emissions Policies of America brings to mind the threat to our economic prosperity and our comfortable life styles. How can we reshore more manufacturing and become energy independent again by following anti-American energy policies as laid out in the path to Net-Zero Carbon? I have written my thoughts on Net-Zero Carbon, the War on Carbon and my opinion of this policy on this Blog and other publications. However, Mr. Dears has done a very nice job of condensing many issues of Net-Zero Carbon into about 100 pages.

Donn Dears.org

Note the Sub-Title: Which correctly states, “The Climate Policy Destroying America”

The theme and title of this post is “Energy and Economic Prosperity” the current U.S. Climate Policy is weakening America and Mr. Dears is correct with his choice of sub-title.

I recommend his book and the information available on his web page for reference on Energy Policies that affect our Economy and our life styles:  https://ddears.com

I have been concerned about the war on coal and now the war on carbon for many years. Not only is Net-Zero carbon harmful to the U.S.A. but it is also slowing down Human Development of countries in the Developing World. Going back to the first illustration above, note that the U.S.A. and China comprise 42% of the World’s GDP and that only 18 countries exceed 1% of the total 94 Trillion Dollars of World GDP. 

Energy and Human Development Index

The Illustration below is available on the ExxonMobil(3) website and is based on U.N. data.  Note that 50% of the world’s countries and 20% of the world population do not have fuel for cooking. I personally have experienced walking down the streets of cities in numerous Developing countries. I have witnessed heavy pollution which stings the eyes. Such pollution is not found in the U.S. Many Asian countries still use cow dung for indoor cooking.

My point: The Net-Zero Carbon Path that the U.N. has adopted does not serve the Developing countries very well either.

Let me show another of my favorite illustrations of Energy Poverty in the world. This is the NASA Composite Photo, “The Earth at Night”. These night time photos show the differences of energy and electricity abundance or shortages by the illumination that is visible from space. First let’s look at Africa and Europe: 

NASA, Earth at Night Composite Photo

NASA, Satellight Photo at night showing Europe and the continent of Africa. Also apparent in the Human Development Chart above showing Yemen and Nigeria as two Developing countries that have a low HMI (Human Development Index) with a corresponding low energy consumption.

Compare this to the United States at night below:

Conclusions:

  1. The U.S. President & Congress’ quest to enact Net-Zero Carbon into law will weaken America’s capability to sustain our economy and our life styles.
  2. Energy and Economic Prosperity are inextricably linked and restricting energy production and development weakens our country. Don’t forget the Fossil fuels needed for our Nations Defense. F-22’s and F-35’s require high quality Jet fuel.
  3. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) both of which are worldwide, are harmful to Developing Countries as well as OECD countries.
  4. The only winners in the UNFCC and IPCC agreements (if they are fully implemented) is China and Russia.

For more details, I suggest reading Mr. Dears books on the subject. He has written several excellent texts.

Dick Storm, January 3, 2022

References:

  1. Visual Capitalist:  https://www.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-the-94-trillion-world-economy-in-one-chart/
  2. Statista.com for ranking of energy use by country: https://www.statista.com/statistics/263455/primary-energy-consumption-of-selected-countries/
  3. ExxonMobil Outlook for Energy 2021: https://corporate.exxonmobil.com/-/media/Global/Files/outlook-for-energy/2021/2021-Outlook-for-Energy-fundamentals-infographic.pdf
  4. NASA, “The Earth at Night” composite photo: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/ContentFeature/NightLights/images/media/BlackMarble_2016_EuroAfrica_composite.png
  5. https://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/79000/79800/dnb_united_states_lrg.jpg
  6. NASA Earth Explorer: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/map#6/40.000/-100.000

World of Hurt from Climate Policies-Part 4

This is an excellent review of the relationship of energy and prosperity. Especially in Africa where reasonable cost coal plants could lift millions from poverty.

Science Matters

CO2 and COPs

This is a fourth post toward infographics exposing the damaging effects of Climate Policies upon the lives of ordinary people.  (See World of Hurt Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 )  And all of the pain is for naught in fighting against global warming/climate change, as shown clearly in the image above.  This post presents graphics to illustrate the fourth of four themes:

  • Zero Carbon Means Killing Real Jobs with Promises of Green Jobs
  • Reducing Carbon Emissions Means High Cost Energy Imports and Social Degradation
  • 100% Renewable Energy Means Sourcing Rare Metals Off-Planet
  • Leave it in the Ground Means Perpetual Poverty
The War Against Carbon Emissions Diminishes Efforts to Lift People Out of Poverty

world-population-in-extreme-poverty-absolute
The OurWorldinData graph shows how half a billion people have risen out of extreme poverty in recent decades.  While much needs to be done, it is clear that the world knows the poverty…

View original post 584 more words

King Coal is Dead. Long Live the King!

Coal has been important to lift people from poverty to good lives for about 150 years. The Developed world made great progress from 1900 to present day thanks to reasonable cost coal power. The Electric Utilities once educated the public on power generation and “Living Better Electrically” Any of us born before 1950 can remember the Edison Electric Institute Mascot, “REDDY KILOWATT”. What a wonderful benefit that was for Humankind. As a high school student I actually knew where electric power came from and the basics of Thermal Power Plants.

Then ironically, about the time of the 1973-74 Arab Oil Embargo, I was working for Carolina Power and Light Company. A responsible and efficient Electric Utility headquartered in Raleigh, NC. I remember as a fact, CP&L cut the Public Relations Budget which included killing programs in schools to teach Home Economic Students the benefits of “Living Better Electrically”. Also, TV and Newspaper articles to explain the importance of electricity. So, what filled the void? The Environemntal Extremists filled the void. Then in the 1990’s Bill Clinton’s Presidency began the “War on Coal”. Later the war on coal morphed into the war on carbon.

Thank you Ron Clutz for writing your article. I will post a couple pictures of life without Fossil Fuels. As John Kerry flies around the world professing to save the Planet, I suppose this is what he and the Biden Administration wish for us to do, return to muscle power. This is preposterous considering we are well into the Digital and Space Age!

An Amish Teenage Girl with Team of Horses Plowing circa 1960

Without new thinking on nuclear power, (anti Carbon) climate policy can’t succeed

This is copied from the Tennessee Star Tribue Newspaper Opinion page, Nov. 11 2021. Full credit is given to the author, Mr. John Windschill. Thanks also is given to my friend Don Spellman for forwarding to me. I thought this is well researched and well written. As for myself, I believe Climate Change is mostly from natural forces, but if a reduced carbon society is desired and our quality of life and freedom is to be continued, then nuclear power must be included along with all other fuels.

The perceived dangers are overestimated. 

By John Windschill

From Dick Storm course at USCB-OLLI on the Future of Energy and Electricity Generation

A summer of destructive flooding, fires and drought across the planet, coupled with a sobering update from the United Nations climate panel, indicates that we are likely not making adequate progress addressing climate change. And our climate change ambivalence is especially obvious when it comes to nuclear power.

Despite nuclear power having potential to greatly reduce the fossil-fuel emissions that are responsible for about 70% of U.S. transportation- and electricity-related carbon emissions, and despite nuclear power being among the safest means of electricity production we have (as reported in Forbes, the Lancet and the Journal of Cleaner Production), many well-run nuclear plants are being retired.

In the last eight years, 11 nuclear reactors were retired in the U.S. This year four more are scheduled for permanent closure. These plants collectively represent 14,700 megawatts of electrical supply — enough electricity for 10 million people.

Consider the experiences of Germany, France and Sweden. Germany’s decision to forgo nuclear power has resulted in its falling far short of its carbon emission goal. France, which receives 72% of its electricity from nuclear, has less than half the carbon emissions of Germany, and electricity prices that are 40% lower. Sweden’s electricity is 40% nuclear, with prices 35% below Germany’s and per capita carbon emissions that are 57% lower.

Critics of nuclear power identify fear of accidents and a belief that a solution for waste disposal does not exist as reasons to oppose nuclear power. Neither of these is valid. People are afraid of nuclear power because it pushes all the wrong emotional buttons. As a result, the very low risk that nuclear power entails is not appreciated.

At the core of the fear of nuclear power is a fear of ionizing radiation (hereafter simply referred to as radiation). Radiation is extremely common in our environment. It is a straightforward substance to monitor and control, and its impact on public health is well understood. Each second natural background radiation interacts with our bodies more than 10,000 times. These natural sources account for about half of the radiation dose the average American receives, with the remaining half coming from medical procedures. The 60 operating nuclear power plants in the U.S. contribute less than 0.01% from routine operations.

The two basic ways a nuclear power plant can increase public radiation doses are accidents and waste disposal. Three accidents have occurred that affected the public. These, in increasing order of severity, were Three Mile Island in 1979 in Pennsylvania, Fukushima in 2011 in Japan, and Chernobyl in 1986 in Ukraine. This history of nuclear power over 42 years proves how safe nuclear power is.

At the Three Mile Island accident there were no health effects. Nuclear Regulatory Commission reports indicate the average radiation dose received by members of the public living near the plant was far below natural background radiation levels.

Fukushima released more radioactive materials than Three Mile Island, but because of effective emergency response efforts, public radiation doses were low. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that there would be no observable health effects in the public from the accident.

The Chernobyl accident was basically the most severe nuclear power plant accident that is possible. International Atomic Energy Agency and WHO reports indicate that the only cancer that has been detected from the accident is thyroid cancer, which has led to 15 related fatalities. Among initial responders, 28 tragically died of acute radiation poisoning at the time of the accident.

Based on conservative estimates, it is possible that a few thousand might die within 50 years of cancers not epidemiologically detectable among the background cancer rate. This puts a cap on the worst-case result. A few thousand people die each day in the world due to air pollution from fossil fuels and also from auto accidents. With more than 37,000 fatalities worldwide since the Three Mile Island accident, commercial air travel has about a 10 times larger impact on public health and safety.

For comparison among electrical generating sources, the fatality rate per billion kilowatt-hours generated is: coal, 25; natural gas, 2.8; global nuclear, 0.074 (includes an assumed 4,000 future deaths from Chernobyl); wind, 0.035; hydro, 0.024; solar, 0.019; and U.S. nuclear, 0.0001.

And the lessons learned from the three accidents described above have been effectively applied to make safe nuclear power even safer.

Regarding high-level nuclear waste, James Conca (who has Ph.D. in geochemistry from California Institute of Technology) says, “We know where to put nuclear waste, how to put it there, how much it will cost, and how well it will work.” An oft-repeated phrase is that high-level waste is dangerous for tens of thousands of years, but the fact is that high-level waste loses 99% of its toxicity within 600 years. And while high-level waste is very toxic material, it is less hazardous than gasoline.

The U.S. produces 50 times more lethal doses of gasoline each year than lethal doses of high-level waste; we carry our gasoline with us pretty much everywhere we travel, and it is stored much less carefully than nuclear waste.

The very small volume of high-level waste allows meticulous control to be achieved. Each U.S. resident’s lifetime share of high-level waste would fit in a single can of Coke. Kilowatt for kilowatt, solar power waste has 10,000 times greater volume than nuclear waste, and wind’s total is 500 times larger, each involving large amounts of toxic metals in panels and batteries. Also, nuclear waste is an inert solid within a metal casing (i.e., spent nuclear fuel), not green, oozing goo.

And yet, wind and solar get an environmental hall pass, but nuclear power is labeled as exceedingly dangerous.

The current concept is to secure the solid waste in highly robust steel containers, and to store the containers in an accessible manner that allows routine monitoring and inspection in a deep underground repository free of groundwater that has been geologically stable for millions of years. Yucca Mountain north of Las Vegas was selected for study.

Prof. Bernard Cohen of the University of Pittsburgh calculated that if all the electricity in the U.S. were provided by nuclear power, it would result in 0.3 deaths per year in the U.S. due to waste storage. Should we be concerned with tiny quantities of nuclear waste migrating from a very remote, highly engineered and easily monitored facility sometime in the far distant future, or with the millions of tons of carbon dioxide and harmful particulates we currently pump into the air to breathe and cause our planet to heat up?

Yet in 2011 President Barack Obama defunded the Yucca Mountain project. Again, faulty risk assessment and politics won out over science and sound public policy.

We should be insisting that our government more vigorously pursue this valuable technology that could be a difference maker for addressing climate change. Bill Gates has helped form a new company, TerraPower, whose mission is to bring nuclear power plant design forward to the next level of safety and economic performance. In a recent quote from Forbes, he said “there are only three ways to solve the electric grid problem: one is a miracle in [energy-battery] storage, the second is nuclear fission, and the third is nuclear fusion.”

Wind and solar have a vital role to play, but we should not be putting total reliance on a miracle.