inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #251 of 317: windblowne (satyr) Tue 17 Apr 01 09:25
    
Given that time is as short as it is, there's another approach that should
be considered...

>news.2672: News about Energy
>news.2672.946: settled dogma (satyr)  Mon 16 Apr 01 13:33
>
> Want people to keep their air-conditioners off this summer, put tents
> (tops only) up in public places and make sure that kids are free to run
> lemonade stands and frolic in the spray from an occasional fire hydrant.  
> Encourage employers to institute dress codes that allow shorts and
> short-sleeve shirts.  Make sure all beaches are well staffed and open.  
> Encourage churches and other community organizations to sponsor outdoor
> acitivities one evening per week.  Set up lounges in the basements of
> public buildings and keep them open until 10:00pm or so.
> 
> Just setting up televisions in shady spots, close enough together so they
> could switch channels by walking down the block or across the park, so
> people could stay out of the heat without missing their favorite shows
> would help some, partly by keeping some sets at home off.
> 
> The way to beat the power shortage is to treat it as an opportunity to
> get people out of their holes and interacting with each other.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #252 of 317: windblowne (satyr) Wed 18 Apr 01 06:22
    
That, to my mind, would be a REAL rebellion - people getting together to
reduce their consumption of something that gets radically more expensive
as the supply gets short.  At least they could make the generating
companies strain a little to dummy up a shortage.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #253 of 317: bumpersticker madness (satyr) Wed 18 Apr 01 07:30
    

        The weasels want
         ALL your money!
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #254 of 317: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 18 Apr 01 10:46
    

I saw <spacedebris> on TV last night, billed as a Common Cause
Researcher...
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #255 of 317: Peter H. Asmus (spacedebris) Fri 20 Apr 01 09:24
    
Yes, I guess I was on TV. I headed to Yosemite after a Sacto press
conference.

What did I say?

The report will soon be up on the Common Cause website. It
essentiually makes the argument that because the private utilities and
big fossil generators give so much campaign money, their concerns are
attended to in the political process, while low-income folks and solar
energy get the shaft. 

The 10,000 word plus report may be the beginning of my next energy
book.

By the way, I'm speaking at a "Sustainble Fairfax" energy forum this
Sunday. I may play my "Clean Power" song, but that depends upon wha the
scene is like.

Happy Earth Day everybody!
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #256 of 317: David Gans (tnf) Fri 20 Apr 01 10:14
    
Happy earth day to you, Peter!
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #257 of 317: Gail Williams (gail) Fri 20 Apr 01 10:45
    
Yeah!  Happy earth day to all of us.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #258 of 317: windblowne (satyr) Fri 27 Apr 01 10:21
    
Concerning errata in <132>, <136>, <180>, <185>, and <188>...

> energy.178.79: settled dogma (satyr)  Fri 27 Apr 01 09:15
> 
>  My apologies to any I've mislead in this.
> 
>  To recapitulate, (karish) is right that air cannot be liquified at
>  ordinary temperatures, no matter what pressure is applied, and my
>  repeated assertion that 3000psi is sufficient to maintain it in
>  liquid form at room temperature has been ignorant drivel.
> 
>  (Sometimes I do tend to get an idea in my head, and, if the
>  implications are exceptionally advantageous, fail to double check
>  whether I've gotten it straight in the first place.)
> 
>  It's still true that it would be easier to produce liquid air in 
>  Antarctica than just about anywhere else, but it's not true that
>  pressurized storage can be substituted for cryogenic storage.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #259 of 317: Peter H. Asmus (spacedebris) Thu 3 May 01 10:34
    
Given Bush's idiotic energy strategy, I have to admit CA's Gray Davis
doesn't look so bad. STILL, let's see how we consumers feel when the
rolling blackouts start this month.

Perhaps the most disturbing news is the following. This is something I
put together for Home Power magazine: 

Too Much Solar?
        From Clint Eastwood, who installed 242 solar PV panels on his Tehama
Gold and Country Club near Monterey, to Pulitzer Price winning
non-fiction writer Dale Maharidge of Etrolia, who lives off the grid,
growing numbers of Californians are turning to the sun to power their
homes and businesses. 
        Eastwood, whose support of solar is motivated in large part by his
disdain for PG&E, even lobbied Gov. Gray Davis to expand eligibility
for net metering to larger system such as his. Doubt if Dirty Harry
pulled a gun, but Eastwood’s wishes were granted with the signing into
law of AB 29X, which makes solar PV systems as large as 1 MW eligible
for net metering credits that paid off so well for Olsen. 
        Maharidge in a story published in the New York Times advocated
investing $30 billion into solar PV; an amount of money he calculated
would add 3,000 MW to California’s grid. If coupled with aggressive
energy efficiency measures, he reasoned there would be no blackouts
this summer.    
        Folks like Eastwood, Maharidge and Olsen have all helped contribute
to a recent boom in solar sales thanks to state financial incentives.
Last year, sales of solar PV systems jumped 44 percent; the year before
that, the increase was 30 percent. It is expected this level of growth
will continue in 2001. In fact, demand for solar PV is so high today
that prices are beginning to go up – not down. And this could become a
public relations problem for the solar PV industry. 
        I attended a meeting of the International Energy Agency in Sacramento
in April and heard some disturbing news. The aggressive solar PV
promotion campaigns underway in Germany and Japan are sucking up too
much of the world’s solar PV production. Since 1994, Japan has
installed just over 209 MW of solar PV. Germany has installed 48 MW
last year and expects to install another 65 MW this year. All told,
Germany expects to have 350 MW of solar PV on-line by 2002. Given that
total solar PV installations totaled roughly 200 MW in 1999, it is
clear where most of the world’s PV panels are going. 
        A quick look at the total PV panel output of the US’s three largest
manufacturers (Siemens, 29 MW; BP Solarex, 20 MW; Astrpower, 18 MW) and
one can see why the solar shortage is real. A general rule of thumb
has been that a doubling of installed capacity results in a 20 percent
drop in price. While temporary, the jumps in demand in for solar PV
translate into price increases. Hopefully, they will not mirror what
has happened in wholesale fossil markets. 
        Some of the rhetoric of representatives from 21 different nations at
the IEA gathering had a familiar ring. A representative from Mexico
complained that developing nations, up until recently the primary solar
PV market, cannot buy any solar panels today. “I think we are now
witnessing the greed of the solar PV manufacturers,” commented another
representative of a large municipal utility in California. He
complained that a project that was designed by architects to
incorporate blue solar panels was suddenly told that only black panels
were available. “Trying to get anybody to donate a solar PV panels for
demonstration purposes is impossible these days,” he added. 
        According to IEG, the current shortage is a temporary phenomenon and
is really a result of the boom-and-bust nature of the solar and other
renewable energy markets over the past decades in the US. The lack of
clear, consistent long-term market for these renewable technologies has
these small companies struggling to keep up with sudden explosion in
demand for these products.
        The building blocks for a stable long-term market for solar PV and
other emerging renewable resources are starting to fall together in
California. Legislation passed last year extends the California Energy
Commission buy-down funds ($3 per watt for systems below 10 kW; $2.50
for systems above) at the rate of $62 million annually for another ten
years. Given that the original budget augmentation for this fund was
$54 million over four years (and there were few takers during the first
two years), this represents a major coup for the industry. A new solar
tax credit of up to 50 percent is moving through the California
Legislature, too. 
        Ironically enough, there is an even more important legislation on the
horizon in that doesn’t include any direct subsidies but would give a
greater boost to the industry. This legislation would nearly double the
amount of renewable energy in California’s mix by 2010. Given the
current political climate, chances of passage are high. 
        With a policy like that in place, international investors could once
again look upon California as the world’s premier market for renewable
energy technologies. Given the siting constraints that still face large
bulk renewable energy facilities, distributed generation such as solar
PV would have to be at the center of near-term implementation
strategies. 
        A large, stable market in California (some German and Japanese
subsidies could end in a couple of years) would make solar a prime
investment option choice among the masses. This would drive costs down
and build-up manufacturing capacity to meet the demand in developing
nations that most need low-cost, renewable energy systems. 
        Passing a 20 percent by 2010 renewable portfolio standard in
California would sustain the global market for solar PV. Investments in
additional manufacturing capacity, and sales and service jobs, would
reflect a long-term market that finally lives up to its promise. The
fossil fuel generators have been painted as the bad guys in this energy
mess in the West. Let’s not let the solar industry slip into bad
habits that sabotage its place in the sun. 
        Let’s hope buzzwords such as “solar bandits” never see the light of
day. 
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #260 of 317: Paul Bissex (biscuit) Thu 3 May 01 14:35
    
Thanks for posting that. Reminds me that I should renew my subscription.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #261 of 317: John Payne (satyr) Sun 6 May 01 10:09
    <scribbled by satyr Sun 6 May 01 10:16>
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #262 of 317: Deus Kapital (satyr) Sun 6 May 01 10:16
    
According to Bottomquark...

   <http://www.bottomquark.com/article.php?sid=1532>,

New Scientist is reporting "German researchers have developed a
photovoltaic fiber" that can be woven into fabric and even used in
clothing.  The URL is...

   <http://www.newscientist.com/dailynews/news.jsp?id=ns9999618>

however New Scientist's server isn't responding at the moment.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #263 of 317: Alpha 10 (rmt) Thu 17 May 01 10:45
    
        Lost in the debate over the idiocy of the Cheney "plan" is the fact
that the voice of the american populace was heard loud and clear.  The
huge tax breaks for solar/wind/efficiency and hybrid vehicles,
including hydrogen fuel-cells, remained as strong as proposed, against
serious opposition from the "administration," is because of the
overwhelming support from polls.  CNN-Gallup last week reported 91% of
americans want an emphasis on solar and wind, forcing Bush's hand.
        What an encouraging sign.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #264 of 317: Deus Kapital (satyr) Fri 18 May 01 08:52
    
Conservation of energy: it isn't just a good idea, it's the LAW.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #265 of 317: Deus Kapital (satyr) Fri 18 May 01 09:05
    
I hope to hear Jimmy Carter weigh in on the revitalization of nuclear
power.

Having been trained as a nuclear engineer, he's uniquely well qualified
among ex-presidents...and most other politicians...
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #266 of 317: Peter H. Asmus (spacedebris) Sat 19 May 01 08:47
    
Yes, there are a few good things in the Bush plan. I read an article
how the stocks of fuel cell and solar companies are going up again.

But the emphasis on nuclear and fossil fuels is so primitive! I think
this plan falls so short of what could be done that it is embarassing.
Luckily, it is mobilizing the troops. Bush/Cheney may have done the
renewable energy community a favor. There is a growing movement to
support public power, on-site renewables, for people and communities to
take more control and responsibility for their energy future.

I have a new story in The Electricity Journal entitled: "California
Crisis: The Best Argument Yet For Wind Power." I'll track down the
URL...

Whatever happend to Phred? Wondering how this whole fiasco looks to
the guy from Oregon?

One final question: Will we see any new nukes in the US in the next
five years? Does anyone want to wager?
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #267 of 317: Gail Williams (gail) Sat 19 May 01 10:06
    

Phred may drop back by here, but one place he has offered a great deal of
interesting ongoing commentary is in a topic in <news.>  about energy, one
of the continually active topics there in that busy "Town Square" of The WELL.
It's a high-traffic area, so if you wanted to just follow energy discussions
you'd probably want to add news to your list at the end, so you coudl break
out of a "see new" tour there without any impact on the rest of your
conference rounds.  That and use the "forget" option ruthlessly within that
conference.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #268 of 317: Deus Kapital (satyr) Sat 19 May 01 14:09
    
Or just head for <energy.>, where that topic is linked as <energy.207>.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #269 of 317: Fuzzy Logic (phred) Sat 19 May 01 14:27
    
I'm still around, but this topic seemed kind of dormant, like maybe
Randy was off putting up new windmills and Peter was tilting at 'em :)

Actually we are involved in a truly ridiculous fight to save the Oregon
conservation/renewable/low income fund we passed in the 1999 sessions
from a misguided attack by our Democratic friends who think the bill
is all about "deregulation" (they like the conservation/renewable
money, of course, but they have this primal political need to kill
"deregulation", and it has led to an immense amount of totally unnecessary
political grief).
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #270 of 317: Gail Williams (gail) Sun 20 May 01 12:18
    

The last two days the SF Chronicle has had eye-opening (for me anyway)
reports of how spot power demand is manipulated.  I'm wondering how this
story can get more national awareness and discussion...

>According to the accounts of three plant operators, Reliant's
>operations schedulers on the energy trading floor ordered them to
>repeatedly decrease, then increase output at the 1,046-megawatt
>Etiwanda plant. This happened as many as four or five times an
>hour. Each time the units were ramped down and electricity
>production fell, plant employees watched on a control room
>computer screen as spot market energy prices rose.  Then came
>the phone call to ramp the units back up.

<http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2001/05/20/MN121438.DTL>

It's not an energy crisis, it's a greed crisis.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #271 of 317: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Sun 20 May 01 13:36
    
I'd say it's good reporting, except that this new evidence seems to be
reported now because that's when the state and federal investigations
are finishing up.  It doesn't take too much effort to report what other
people have figured out for you, six months late.

And in the meantime hundreds of thousands of well-meaning consumers'
conservation efforts are being undermined by a phone call at some power
company when the price gets too low.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #272 of 317: Deus Kapital (satyr) Sun 20 May 01 16:59
    
I just wanted to say that I saw SNOW blowing almost horizontally this
afternoon...  ;-)
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #273 of 317: Fuzzy Logic (phred) Mon 21 May 01 04:22
    
Those are excellent stories in the Chron; they finally are waking up
after months of slumbering on this.  Of course, the Chron has been
a PG&E mouthpiece for the better part of a century and it was hard for
them to shake that role.

The evidence isn't lying on the ground all around, bslesins.  Most of itr
is in confidential files at the dearly departed PX, the ISO, the PUC and
the DWR.  Thanks to Governor Davis' policy of preventing the public from
getting access to public data, the whole environment around this is
infused with self-righteous bleating about proprietary data that has made
it doubly hard to get at what there is.  We're starting to see various
companies involved resisting lawful discovery requests and even subpoenas.

On the other hand, as Severin Borenstein helpfully reminds every few
days, there is a lot of murk out there and it is hard to *prove*, just
from the data, that market manipulation and collusion have been going on.
That will take corroboration and supporting documents (some of which have
already surfaced in the El Paso Merchant matter).  This is going to be
in the courts for years.

Meanwhile, someone has to figure out how to stop the runaway train of
gas and electric prices before it sinks the west coast economy this fall.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #274 of 317: Gail Williams (gail) Mon 21 May 01 11:02
    

Whether or not the chron's reporting is innovative, the question is how
to get reporters from national media and east coast city newspapers 
poking after those allegations, so Bush knows everyone's heard them and is
investigating them.

That would be strategically valuable to all of us.
  
inkwell.vue.105 : Peter Asmus - Reaping the Wind, and special guest Randy Tinkerman
permalink #275 of 317: Fuzzy Logic (phred) Mon 21 May 01 13:10
    
It's starting to happen, but FERC has been playing cat and mouse with this
stuff for two years now and until their hand is forced, nothing short of
a 60 Minutes story is going to break it open in the public view.

btw, this stuff is what our own <leftjab> is working on in his day job,
which is assisting PUC lead counsel Harvey Morris on the gas market 
manipulation track.  The PUC is also working on the electric side where
there is emerging evidence of "market power," "gaming" and "strategic
bidding."  Get used to those terms because you're going to be hearing
a lot more about them.  And for you California ratepayers, just remember
that when your next electric bill show up with that rate increase, the
first of many.
  

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