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Journal Archives

Busbar Electricity Prices at the Tehachapi Wind Farm This Evening.

The "Busbar" price of electricity is the price paid more or less at the generation source where it connects to the grid. It is more or less equivalent to the Incoterm FOB.

The California ISO website has a map based report of pricing at all California Power plants. It is here: Real Time Electricity Pricing.

The Tehachapi "wind resources area" has a Wikipedia page, describing its size and capacity: Tehachapi Wind Resource Area

Here is some interesting text from that Wikipedia page:

It is the largest wind resource area in California, encompassing an area of approximately 800 sq mi (2,100 km2) and producing a combined 3,507 MW of renewable electricity between its 5 independent wind farms.

800 square miles...2,100 sq km, 3,507 MW. I accept these as "facts," but if someone would like to suggest, "alternate facts," feel free to do so.

On the pricing page linked, you have to move the cursor over the plant, whereupon pricing will pop-up at that plant. The five Tehachapi wind plants are located pretty much due East of Pismo Beach, near the town of Mohave. You can zoom in and out to isolate it using the + and - keys at the bottom of the map. The prices at power plants change with market flows and are tied to the load of the State of California. As of this writing, 19:30 PDT, 6:30 PM, the State of California is consuming 37,449 MW of electricity, down from the peak demand at 18:00 PDT (6:00 PM PDT) of 38,709 MW. As of 19:30 PDT, all of the wind facilities in the entire State of California, including but not limited to the Tehachapi wind resources area were producing 4,678 MW of power. At the low point today, which occurred at 12:10 PDT, (12:10 PM PDT), at which all of the wind facilities in the entire State of California, including but not limited to the Tehachapi wind resources area were producing 1,319 MW of power, or roughly 0.5 MW per square mile if we, without real justification, imagine that all of California's wind turbines were in the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area Industrial Park. Actually this stuff is spread over a much larger area of the State of California.

Here, by the way, is an aerial view of part of the marvelous wind plant:

Notice all those delicious service roads for diesel trucks. Delicious...

Some prices at the plants as of 17:40 PDT (6:40 PM):

ENCWND: $77.49/MWh.
North Wind $77.09/MWh
TOT162W4_7_N001 $77.51/MWh.
ALTAD2_7_N006 $77.94/MWh.
ARBWIND_6_N001 $77.73/MWh

The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant operates as a physical plant, on 12 acres, (0.018 sq miles or 0.049 sq km) on a plot of around 700 acres (1.1 sq miles or 2.2 sq km), most of which is undisturbed marine chaparral. The plant has been producing between 2261 MW (low) and 2267 MW (high) consistently and reliably all day long, as of 18:30 PDT, July 12, 2021. In other words, the land footprint of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant is 0.1% that of the Tehachapi Wind Resources Area.

The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant is located on the California coast, just north of Pismo Beach, and South of Morro Bay.

As of 20:05, the plant's busbar operating cost was:

DIABLOCN_2_N001: $82.68/MWh

This by the way is a lower price than is being observed at the nearby Dangerous Natural gas plants nearby in Pismo Beach

CALLENDR_1_N001 $85.06/MWh.

OCEANO_1_N004 $85.04

...and slightly higher than the price at the Morro Bay dangerous natural gas plant, $82.45/MWh.

At 18:30 PDT (6:30 PM PDT), dangerous natural gas plants in California were producing 21,133 MW of power.

Note that electricity prices swing wildly during the day, depending on load and supply for all power plants. These prices apply to an early evening on a hot day.

Note that the prices observed at Diablo Canyon do not include, as the wind plants should but don't, the costs associated with the necessary back up plants. It doesn't matter at Diablo Canyon if the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. The Diablo Canyon, unlike the gas plants, is able to contain all of its by products, the very valuable used nuclear fuel, on site, in contrast to the dangerous natural gas plants, which are allowed to dump the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide directly into the planetary atmosphere at no cost, except for the cost to all future generations and all living things as a result of extreme climate change.

The State of California is now tragically experiencing more wild fires, as it has done in several recent years with increasing regularity. To my mind this is a function of the fact that the half of century of jaw boning about how wind and solar energy would save the world didn't work, isn't working and won't work, if the goal is to address climate change.

If, on the other hand, the goal is to lace the desert with access roads, the "renewable energy" industry in California is doing just great.

Because of appeals to fear and ignorance and wishful thinking, the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant will begin closing in 2024, and will stop producing climate change gas free electricity for the California grid.

Have a nice day tomorrow.

My Funny Valentine


Raging Bootleg Fire in Oregon threatens vital Northern California power grid lines

I noticed on the Supply Page for the CAISO , which reports real time data on the status of the power grid in California, that Northern California, Southern California and the VEA (part of the Nevada grid) are all under warning status for the grids.

Here is the text of one of the warning notices:

Current Active Notice(s)


The California ISO hereby issues a CAISO Grid WARNING Notice,
effective 07/10/2021 17:00 through 07/10/2021 21:00.

CAISO has lost resources due to fire and is anticipating hig|h loads.

CAISO is forecasting a resources deficiency with all available resources in use or forecasted to be in
use for the specified time period. If not already declared, CAISO may request the Reliability
Coordinator to declare an EEA-1.

If the Emergency Demand Response Programs are dispatched, then CAISO may request the
Reliability Coordinator to declare an EEA-2.

Conservation efforts are encouraged for the time period specified in this notice. Energy Market
Participants are encouraged to offer additional Supplemental Energy and Ancillary Service bids.

Refer to the CAISO System Emergency Fact Sheet
(http://www.caiso.com/Documents/SystemAlertsWarningsandEmergenciesFactSheet.pdf) for
additional detail.

Monitor system conditions on Today's Outlook
(http://www.caiso.com/TodaysOutlook/Pages/default.aspx) and check with local electric utilities for
additional information.

Notice issued at: 07/10/2021 12:33

Famously the West Coast is and has been experiencing extreme temperatures, and the notice refers to fires.

The fires are described in this news item:

Raging Bootleg Fire in Oregon threatens vital Northern California power grid lines

The text of the CBS News item:

With soaring temperatures already pushing California's power grid to the limit, utility officials were keeping a weary eye on the Bootleg Fire that is raging out of control in southern Oregon and threatening Path 66 — a vital electric line corridor linking the state with the Oregon power grid.

The fast-growing wildfire has prompted mandatory evacuations, threatening about 3,000 homes. Pushed by strong winds, the fire's burn zone in Klamath County has grown to more than 61 square miles. There was no containment, CBS SF Bay Area reports.

"The fire will continue to move unchecked in all direction with unstable air conditions and extremely dry fuels," the National Forest Service said...

...CAISO and other grid operators were monitoring the fire as it was burning in the proximity of the California Oregon Intertie — also known as Path 66. It's a corridor of three parallel 500kV power lines that connects the power grids of Oregon and California.

The three lines are owned by PG&E, PacifiCorp, the Western Area Power Administration and the Transmission Agency of Northern California. PG&E officials on Friday activated the utility's Emergency Operations Center to monitor the situation and manage any eventualities...

...and so on...

Some people, I would be one of them, believe that the extreme temperatures which have been causing extreme droughts and extreme fires are extremely tied to the complete and total failure of humanity to address climate change.

It's now 109°F, (43°C) in Bakersfield, CA, with highs predicted to exceed 110°F through Wednesday of this week.

As of 18:10 PDT (6:10 PM PDT), the California Grid is reporting the following status, with extra special note of all that so called "renewable energy:"

40,427 MW
Current demand

12,497 MW
Current renewables

6,340 MW
Current solar

4,297 MW
Current wind

Interestingly, the supply page makes no note in these prominently displayed headlines of the power source that is currently dominating the power supply in California, easily outstripping both magical solar and wind combined. That would be dangerous natural gas. Dangerous natural gas is providing 21,430 MW of power. You have to look at the fine print.

Why speak of unpleasant things? Sweep 'em under the rug...we're "green."

Dangerous natural gas is composed largely of the powerful climate forcing gas methane, which is combusted to drive turbines whereupon the powerful climate forcing gas methane is converted to the less powerful climate forcing gas, the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide. Although molecule for molecule, methane is a more powerful climate forcing gas, some people, I would be one of them, believe that the extreme West Coast temperatures are driven more by carbon dioxide than methane, since there is far more carbon dioxide in our international fossil fuel waste dump, the planetary atmosphere, than methane.

The removal of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide from the waste dump, the planetary atmosphere, will require producing all of the energy now being generated to keep the air conditioners in California running, plus the energy to reverse the entropy that burning the dangerous natural gas produced. The energy to do this will be required to be generated by future generations who will be living in a burned out wasteland, in which all of the world's best ores have been mined and dumped, much of it in connection with "renewable energy."

Good luck kids...we have been so sure you could do it "by 2050" or "by 2045" or "by whatever year it is when we'll be dead and won't be concerned with our failure to care about you" that we didn't bother to do it ourselves.

Speaking "by 'such and such'" a year, "by 2024" the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant, which is not driving climate change but is, as of this writing producing 2,266 MW of climate change gas free power, will be shutting down because of appeals to fear and ignorance, coupled to extreme wishful thinking and a healthy dollop of denial, a situation that if it had prevailed today would mean that California would be providing 21,430 + 2,266 MW = 23,596 MW of electricity by burning dangerous natural gas and dumping the dangerous natural gas waste carbon dioxide directly into the atmosphere.

In two small buildings, the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant is producing more energy that can be provided by three truck lines from burning Oregon. It operates on 12 acres of land as a physical plant, situated on a 700 acre plot of largely undisturbed marine chaparral.

As of 18:25 PDT (6:25 PM PDT), today California has dumped 1,738,530 metric tons of the dangerous fossil fuel carbon dioxide into the planetary atmosphere to power its grid, which unsurprisingly in the age of celebration of lies, is described as "green." It dumped 10,892 tons in the last five minutes.

The state is laced with ton upon ton upon ton upon ton of copper wires to hook all this "green" stuff together. One hopes they don't melt.

History will not forgive us, nor should it.

Graphic Update On How We're Doing With Carbon Dioxide.

My working number for the amount of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide we dump each year, carbon dioxide being only one component for such waste, not quite the deadliest yet, but getting there, has been 35 billion metric tons per year. Being a lazy sort of person, I just let that number, gleaned from general reading, gel in my head for a number of years, without searching out a formal reference to support that number. I kept muttering to myself that I really should update that number, but I didn't do it.

I had an inkling that I might be out of date - old people get used to being "out of date," - when I attended a lecture by Dr. Robert Kopp of Rutgers University a few years ago, this one: Science on Saturday: Managing Coastal Risk in an Age of Sea-level Rise. Dr. Kopp gave a higher figure in his lecture, and in the QA, I questioned him on it and he pointed to the issue of land use. Later, I see in my notes, I emailed him for a reference, and he graciously responded the reference which provides the graphic below, but somehow I forgot about it -

This morning, going through a journal I read regularly, Environmental Science and Technology, and came across this paper, which posits that we could do better than capturing 90% of the carbon dioxide we release, and find some place to dump it eternally, although there is zero evidence that we have ever come remotely close to doing so, and zero evidence that we could find a place to dump hundreds of billions of tons of this waste, permanently, ultimately trillions of tons in such a way that no one on Earth, irrespective of their level of education, could ever imagine it ever escaping and injuring anyone at any time in the future stretching for the entire tenure of the human race on this planet. The paper's first reference is the one that Dr. Kopp shared with me some time ago while I continued to lazily mutter, "35 billion tons a year." I'll produce the nice graphic from that reference shortly.

That paper is here: Deep CCS: Moving Beyond 90% Carbon Dioxide Capture (Matthew N. Dods, Eugene J. Kim, Jeffrey R. Long, and Simon C. Weston, Environmental Science & Technology 2021 55 (13), 8524-8534)) Three of the authors are from UC Berkeley, one, Dr. Weston, is from, unsurprisingly, Exxon.

The financial disclosure statement in the paper reads as follows:

The authors declare the following competing financial interest(s): J.R.L. has a financial interest in and serves on the board of directors of Mosaic Materials, a start-up company working to commercialize metal-organic frameworks for gas separations.

Exxon, which funded this work, apparently claims it has no financial interest in this paper, since it has been able, for free, at no cost, to dump vast quantities of dangerous fossil fuel waste into the planetary atmosphere, where such waste from Exxon and other companies, kills millions of people per year, and is completely destroying the planetary atmosphere, although Exxon has spent huge amounts of money claiming, weakly and transparently, that this is no big deal.

Note that this standard I applied above to the capture and storage of dangerous fossil fuel waste above, is the standard that people apply to so called "nuclear waste." People who have no idea about the nature and composition of used nuclear fuels, which in the United States, after more than half a century of operation, amounts to around 80 thousand metric tons. To repeat, that standard is:

...in such a way that no one on Earth, irrespective of their level of education, could ever imagine it ever escaping and injuring anyone at any time in the future, stretching for the entire tenure of the human race on this planet.

People who complain loudly about so called "nuclear waste," never apply this standard and ask this question about dangerous fossil fuel waste when they start their cars in the morning. I am acutely aware of this.

Eighty thousands is written in scientific format 8 X 10^(4). The rate at which used nuclear fuel is becoming available to future generations increased for many years, and has regrettably leveled off but the average accumulation per year, over say, 64 years, beginning with the Shippenport Nuclear Power Plant - which was located on ground that is now a public park - in 1957, up to the present day, amounts to about 1200 tons per year, in scientific notation, 1.2 X 10^(3). By the way, in scientific notation, 35 billion tons, my lazy figure, is 3.5 X 10^(10). The ratio of 10^(10) and 10^(3) is 10^(7), or ten million. Each year, according to my lazy figure, we dump, at no charge to the dumper, ten million times as much dangerous fossil fuel waste on the planet as a whole, than the United States has been accumulating, on average - although the current rate is much higher than the average rate - of used nuclear fuel, so called "nuclear waste."

There is about 4000 tons of used nuclear fuel at the idle San Onofre Nuclear Plant in California. It has killed none of the surfers who routinely surf just beyond the plants borders. The composition of this used fuel is roughly between 95% and 96% actinide elements, chiefly uranium, with about 1% being plutonium, and smaller amounts of the valuable elements neptunium, americium, and perhaps trace amounts of curium. If one assumes a working figure of 200 Mev/fission for these actinides, which works out to 80 trillion joules per kg, one can calculate that the energy value of the actinides available at this single shut plant is on the order of 300 exajoules, the energy consumption very roughly of the entire United States for just under 3 years.

Yet people who know very little about what so called "nuclear waste" is and who couldn't care less about its spectacular record of over more than half a century of killing very few people, in any, and also couldn't care less about what to do with the dangerous fossil fuel waste released when they start their engines, dangerous fossil fuel waste having killed hundreds of millions of people since 1957 when the Shippenport reactor came on line, claim "nobody knows what to do with nuclear waste."

They could disabuse themselves of this notion by opening science books and scientific papers, but that's too much to ask.

I have no room to talk: I lazily use the figure of "35 billion tons" for the amount of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide dumped each year, for free albeit at the expense of every living thing, including human beings, forever, by humanity.

The figure in Weston et al, Weston of Exxon, is 40 billion tons per year, not 35 billion tons. What's 5 billion tons between friends?

I'm such a lazy person.

The reference in Weston et al, which Dr. Kopp shared with my lazy ass two years ago, albeit probably to an earlier version of this series is this one: Global Carbon Budget 2019 (Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 11, 1783–1838, 2019) This paper is open sourced, and the list of authors and their institutions is too long to repeat, which is understandable, given the magnitude of the task of figuring this matter out.

The promised graphic is this one:

The caption:

Figure 3Combined components of the global carbon budget illustrated in Fig. 2 as a function of time, for fossil CO2 emissions (EFF, grey) and emissions from land use change (ELUC, brown), as well as their partitioning among the atmosphere (GATM, blue), ocean (SOCEAN, turquoise), and land (SLAND, green). The partitioning is based on nearly independent estimates from observations (for GATM) and from process model ensembles constrained by data (for SOCEAN and SLAND), and it does not exactly add up to the sum of the emissions, resulting in a budget imbalance, which is represented by the difference between the bottom pink line (reflecting total emissions) and the sum of the ocean, land, and atmosphere. All time series are in gigatonnes of carbon per year. GATM and SOCEAN prior to 1959 are based on different methods. EFF is primarily from Gilfillan et al. (2019), with uncertainty of about ±5 % (±1σ ); ELUC is from two bookkeeping models (Table 2) with uncertainties of about ±50 %; GATM prior to 1959 is from Joos and Spahni (2008) with uncertainties equivalent to about ±0.1–0.15 GtC yr−1 and from Dlugokencky and Tans (2019) from 1959 with uncertainties of about ±0.2 GtC yr−1; SOCEAN prior to 1959 is averaged from Khatiwala et al. (2013) and DeVries (2014) with uncertainty of about ±30 % and from a multi-model mean (Table 4) from 1959 with uncertainties of about ±0.5 GtC yr−1; SLAND is a multi-model mean (Table 4) with uncertainties of about ±0.9 GtC yr−1. See the text for more details of each component and their uncertainties.

Note that this figure gives the values in elemental carbon, not carbon dioxide. The atomic weight of carbon is roughly 12, the molecular weight of carbon dioxide is roughly 44. This translates 12 billion tons of carbon to 43 billion tons of carbon dioxide.

I started paying some small attention to environmental issues when I read the very stupid paper by the very stupid anti-nuke Amory Lovins in 1976: Energy Strategy, the Road Less Traveled. Of course that the time I read it, I was a very stupid young man, as opposed to the very lazy, hopefully less stupid, old man I am now. Being credulous in my youth, I bought into the notion that the very stupid anti-nuke Amory Lovins was in fact, a "genius," a status applied by the media to him as a result of him being awarded the "MacAuthur Prize," the so called "Genius" award. Amory Lovins contention was that we could save the world with so called "renewable energy" and energy conservation, the latter claim expressing contempt for the billions of people who lacked any access to industrial energy then and now.

Of course, as a believer in the rhetoric of the very stupid anti-nuke Amory Lovins, I was anti-nuclear. I changed my view of nuclear energy to "not so bad," around 1988, after analyzing the scientific data available in the literature to which I had access, coming out of the Chernobyl disaster, which established the previously unknown, yet often evoked, "worst case."

I still believed that so called "renewable energy" was a good thing, probably for another decade or so.

I changed my mind about that as well, since this affectation has soaked up trillions of dollars, requiring vast amounts of dangerous fossil fuels to be burned to support it, vast wildernesses rendered into industrial parks, and huge mining operations to embrace it, all for no other result than making the situation get worse faster.

I think the case that this effort has been a failure is graphically indicated in the graphic above, which I have been too lazy to access.

Go figure.

But then again, this is the age of the celebration of the lie. After all, a cheap lying carney barker completely devoid of a trace of ethics and disinterested in matters of faith, was elected to the office once held by Abraham Lincoln, and celebrated by people who consider themselves "faithful" arbiters of morality, morality apparently consisting of vast faith in White Supremacy.

Of course, people have vast faith that so called "renewable energy" will save the world, a reactionary premise equivalent in my mind to the reactionary 19th century premise that White People, a vast cabal of murderers and imperialists, were morally superior to other people as they waited for Jesus to be resurrected. Now we are resurrecting the idea that by returning to the practices of the 18th century, when pretty much everyone lived on whatever "renewable energy" could provide, most people living short miserable lives of dire poverty, we will save the world.

So called "renewable energy" has not saved the world. It is, again, graphically as graphically shown above, not saving the world. My personal, albeit lazy, analysis suggests it will not save the world.

History will not forgive us; nor should it.

Have a nice weekend.

Reliability-Wary California Will Procure More Energy Resources to Get It Through Summer

This news item comes from a Trade Journal, Power to which I subscribe, even though I'm not in the power industry.

Stricken by repeated extreme heat events, the prospect of a worsening drought, incremental resource delays, and the “unforeseen” loss of 300 MW in thermal resources, California has set out to secure additional energy resources to ensure reliability this summer.

Responding to a June 29 letter from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Energy Commission (CEC), the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) on July 1 declared a “significant event” and used its backstop capacity procurement mechanism (CPM) authority to issue a solicitation for additional capacity during the months of July, August, and September. However, CAISO officials in a July 2 call suggested the significant event may last through October.

CAISO’s declaration of a CPM significant event is notable because it means the grid operator has determined that current conditions are “materially different” from assumptions it used to determine resource adequacy capacity requirements—and that those conditions threaten the grid’s reliability. While CAISO uses the authority sparingly, it declared a similar event last summer during an intense heatwave when it was forced to implement periods of rotating blackouts in various places throughout the state on Aug. 14 and 15...

...Among the state’s recent efforts to address summer reliability is a Feb. 11–issued decision (D.21-02-028) by the CPUC that directed the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities (IOUs)—Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric—to contract for additional capacity to serve peak and net peak demand this summer. That decision, pivotally, allowed the utilities to source incremental capacity from existing power plant efficiency upgrades; revised power purchase agreements; contracts for generation that is at risk of retirement; incremental energy storage capacity; and “firm” forward imported energy. And while that order did not specify a megawatt procurement target, the CEC said it has “expeditiously reviewed and approved incremental capacity at jurisdictional gas plants to support this procurement...”

...Of most concern is that the West is facing a severe drought that has reduced hydro capacity by about 1 GW, they said. While CAISO in its May-issued 2021 Summer Loads and Resources Assessment (SLRA) warned that hydro conditions would be “below normal,” resource conditions have quickly deteriorated. At Lake Oroville, for example, the state’s second-largest reservoir, water levels have fallen to 30% of capacity, and the California Department of Water Resources warned the water could be so low in a few months that the Butte County reservoir’s hydroelectric generating plant may be forced to shut down for the first time.

The CEC and CPUC also said natural gas power resources have declined. “Due to unforeseen circumstances, at least 300 MW of thermal capacity will not be available this summer,” it noted. At the same time, the state is facing critical incremental resource delays. “The CPUC recently received notice that several will be delayed by one to several months, and in some cases will push online dates past the summer window,” it noted...

Then there's this delicious bit of fantasy:

...The CPUC’s measure last month is partly rooted in the state regulator’s 2020-initiated effort to ensure enough capacity to replace 3,700 MW from natural gas generators, which are expected to retire owing to California’s once-through-cooling rules, and 2,700 MW from PG&E’s two Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors, which are slated to go offline in 2024 and 2025. The CPUC specifically ordered 2.5 GW of zero-emitting resources to replace Diablo Canyon’s generation, along with generation paired with storage, or demand response resources, but it said that all resources that LSEs can procure “will be zero-emitting, unless they otherwise qualify under the renewables portfolio standard eligibility requirements.” That may include 1 GW of new geothermal resources, as well as 1 GW of long-duration (8 hours or more) storage resources, which the CPUC envisioned should come online by 2025. It may also include some biomass...

"Some" biomass. Even if all the forests in California burn outside of a power plant?

The solution: A pile of batteries the size of Mt. Whitney, which should keep our cobalt digging slaves in the "Democratic" "Republic" of Congo, happily employed.

California's energy supply increasingly depends on the weather and lacing the state with copper wires while jaw boning about batteries laced with lithium obtained by mining, cobalt, nickel and/or manganese, obtained by mining, filled with ketones made from pentanone from petroleum or natural gas, and, "imports" of, gas power.

The performance of the CAISO grid is available in real time here: CAISO Today's Outlook

The data is shown graphically, but can also be obtained by clicking on the "download" buttons next to each graphic in the supply, demand, and other headings. This downloads a CSV file (spreadsheet, Excel compatible) showing values in 5 minute intervals beginning at midnight.

I have taken the liberty of doing this as of 17:30 California time for supply, and 17:40 for demand.

Some data, as of 2021, in a year where a town in British Columbia, Canada, caught fire in extreme heat, which is hardly the only disaster connected with this heat wave, where temperatures routinely climbed well above 40C.

The peak demand, recorded at 17:40 PDT (5:40 PM) in California, (the last time point as of my download, which should be very near the predicted peak) was 40,684 MW. At that time so called "renewable energy" was producing, as of 17:30 PDT, (5:30 PM PDT), was producing 11,240 MW of power, dominated by the falling output of solar energy, as the sun falls toward the horizon, which at 17:35, was producing 7697 MW.

The minimum demand for the grid 23,591 MW, recorded at 4:00 PDT (4:00 AM). At that time, so called "renewable energy" in the entire State of California was producing 4,571 MW, dominated by wind power, which at that time was producing, 2,933 MW, assisted by a fairly consistent (throughout the day) 937 MW of geothermal power.

The average power demand up to 17:40 PDT on July 8, 2021 was 30,140 MW

The highest output of all so called "renewable energy" facilities in the State of California was observed at 14,774 MW, observed at 11:55, when the demand in the entire State of California was 32,118 MW. The lowest output for so called "renewable energy" for the entire State of California was observed at 6:00 PDT (6:00 AM PDT), was 3,210 MW, when the demand was 25,202 MW. The continuous average for so called "renewable energy" in California 9,532.6 MW.

The differences in these cases, except for nuclear power and small amounts of (threatened) large hydro, was made up by burning dangerous natural gas, obtained partly by fracking, with the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide being dumped directly into the planetary atmosphere, this after half a century of cheering wildly for so called "renewable energy" in California, this at a time where for a long stretch of time, temperatures greater than 43C were observed in the State.

The peak production of all the dangerous natural gas powered generators in the State of California, was 20,421 MW, observed at 17:30 PDT (5:30 PM PDT). The minimum power production from California's dangerous natural gas plants was 9,177 MW, at 4:10 PDT (4:10 AM PDT). The average power output of the dangerous natural gas plants in the State of California was 12,455 MW. As of 18:55 PDT (6:55) the amount of dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide dumped by the State of California into the planetary atmosphere was 1,952,238 metric tons. Considering entropy, more energy than was produced by burning this dangerous fuel will be required to remove this dangerous waste from the atmosphere. This is a consequence of the laws of thermodynamics, which no one seems to know, at least if you read the crap written by journalists about energy.

Batteries, batteries, hydrogen, hydrogen...Jesus Christ!

The Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, the last nuclear plant in California, due to shut because of appeals to fear and ignorance produced at it's peak today, 2,273 MW. It's minimum was 2,268 MW and its average was 2270 MW. It is connected to the grid with just a few high tension wires, and all of the copper in its turbines, and all of the metals in its magnets was in continuous use, requiring no redundant systems. The physical plant is situated on 12 acres, but the property, mostly untouched marine chaparral, is 750 acres.

In the period between 0:00 PDT and 17:35, a period of 17 hours and 35 minutes, the two small buildings at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant were producing more power than all of the wind turbines, spread over god knows how much former wilderness in the entire State of California, for 12 hours and 40 minutes of that period.

The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant has a thermal efficiency of about 33%. I have convinced myself that nuclear power plants can be designed to equal or exceed the efficiency of combined cycle dangerous natural gas plants, which can run at 60% or higher. Thus a nuclear plant with the same land footprint as Diablo Canyon might be capable of producing 4,500 MW of power, perhaps higher.

This suggests that two such footprints for two such plants could reliably and continuously, without fluctuation, produce as much as the average power produced by all the so called "renewable energy" in California, and that 10 such plants could reliably produce the power peak demand experienced by California on July 8, 2021, without burning a single molecule of dangerous natural gas.

The same media that told you Donald Trump was Presidential material, also reports that anti-nukes are "environmentalists."

We live in the age of the celebration of the lie.

Have a nice day tomorrow.

Scientists quit journal board protesting 'grossly irresponsible' study claiming COVID-19 vaccines...


I almost hesitate to post reference to this article, since I attended a lecture by neural biologists Sam Wang in which he suggested that repeating a lie, even noting that it is just that, a lie, gives it some level of credence.

(To wit: Our media and Trump's lies going back to before he was allowed to destroy American intellectual and moral infrastructure.)

This is a news item in the prestigious scientific journal Science (it's probably open sourced), shades of the ignorant Jenny McCarthy/Robert F. Kennedy Jr lie about autism and vaccines:

Scientists quit journal board, protesting ‘grossly irresponsible’ study claiming COVID-19 vaccines kill Science News, By Meredith Wadman Jul. 1, 2021):

Some excerpts of the news item:

Several reputed virologists and vaccinologists have resigned as editors of the journal Vaccines to protest its 24 June publication of a peer-reviewed article that misuses data to conclude that “for three deaths prevented by [COVID-19] vaccination, we have to accept two inflicted by vaccination.”

Since Friday, at least six scientists have resigned positions as associate or section editors with Vaccines, including Florian Krammer, a virologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Katie Ewer, an immunologist at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford who was on the team that developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Their resignations were first reported by Retraction Watch.

“The data has been misused because it makes the (incorrect) assumption that all deaths occurring post vaccination are caused by vaccination,” Ewer wrote in an email. “[And] it is now being used by anti-vaxxers and COVID-19-deniers as evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are not safe. [This] is grossly irresponsible, particularly for a journal specialising in vaccines.”

The paper is a case of “garbage in, garbage out,” says Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccinologist who directs the Vaccine Datalink and Research Group at the University of Auckland and who also resigned as a Vaccines editor after reading the paper. Diane Harper, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who was founding editor-in-chief of Vaccines, also resigned, as did Paul Licciardi, an immunologist at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Parkville, Australia, and Andrew Pekosz, a respiratory virologist at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The resignations began Friday, the day after the paper was published. By early Monday, Fanny Fang, the journal’s managing editor, wrote to the editorial board members that Vaccines—a reputable open-access journal launched in 2013 by Basel, Switzerland–based publisher MDPI—had opened an investigation into the paper. “We are treating this case with the utmost seriousness and are committed to swiftly correcting the scientific record,” she wrote...

...The paper has drawn nearly 350,000 readers as of 1 July and has been tweeted by antivaccination activists with hundreds of thousands of followers.

None of the paper’s authors is trained in vaccinology, virology, or epidemiology. They are: Harald Walach, a clinical psychologist and science historian by training who describes himself as a health researcher at Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland; Rainer Klement, a physicist who studies ketogenic diets in cancer treatment at the Leopoldina Hospital in Schweinfurt, Germany; and Wouter Aukema, an independent data scientist in Hoenderloo, Netherlands.

The three peer reviewers on the paper, two of them anonymous, did not offer any substantial criticism of the authors’ methodology in these brief reviews. One of them, Anne Ulrich, a chemist who directs the Institute of Biological Interfaces and is chair of biochemistry at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, wrote that the authors’ analysis “is performed responsibly … and without methodological flaws … and the results were interpreted with the necessary caveats.”

I have added the bold.

Most scientists know from experience that "peer reviewed" does not necessarily mean "correct," and even less, "infallible." Over the years here, and elsewhere, I've had people challenge things I know to be true by pointing to a "peer reviewed" paper with more than a little credulity.

It is very clear that as we live in the age of the celebration of the lie, that we should not rely on any one person or group in drawing on very complex issues, including, but hardly limited to issues in Vaccination, Covid, etc. I note that our media is doing a very poor job on covering these issues well, just as they did a terrible job with repeating Trump's outrageous lies, going back to the time Obama was President.

I've written on my own historical credulity in this space: 828 Underground Nuclear Tests, Plutonium Migration in Nevada, Dunning, Kruger, Strawmen, and Tunnels

This case is clearly over the top however; the journal has lost a lot of credibility by publishing such garbage. I almost feel as if the journal should fold.


One Kind Favor I'll Ask of You,.

After this Thursday afternoon, I have no worries about my own death.

My son, who recently graduated with high honors as a Materials Science Engineer, came home for a dental appointment.

I left work a little early to be sure to make dinner with him, and we had about an hour to chat alone.

He's in the process of thinking about what institution to which he'd like to apply to Graduate School and he indicated strongly that he would like one with a nuclear engineering capability, because in that area materials science is the thing. (I'm pushing him to try for MIT; most of his professors think it likely he'll get in.)

Then he asked, chip off the old block - about molten salt reactors, for which I've lost enthusiasm - and I sketched out, a completely different idea on which I've been working for maybe ten years or so. In about an hour, we discussed the properties of liquid metals, boiling metals, boiling salts, the Brayton cycle, the Rankin cycle, the sulfur iodine cycle, the problem of low level climate forcing gases; all this we discussed in one hour.

He got it.

I've been wanting to do this for a long time; on the other hand, he has his own life to live, and he's very busy and works very hard, but he got it. But I scribbled a bit on waste paper, drew some crude diagrams, talked a bit about radiation chemistry, and really, he took it all in and got it.

I explained where the files are when I'm gone, where he needs to look beyond those files to learn more, and he got it all.

If one has an idea that one may think is original, it often turns out that it isn't; if one looks, one will see others working along the same lines. Even if one does have an original idea that has occurred to no one else, one should expect that someone else will come to it eventually. Still I wondered if all this work I did in an area not connected with my professional life, would die with me, consoling myself that probably someone else would get around to it eventually.

My kid got it; clearly he got it.

Life is beautiful and then you die. When you die, I think it a marvelous luxury if one can believe that one did something to make the world a little better. What I did was to guide my sons, and for one of them, I inspired an idea that may live after me when I expected otherwise.

I am at peace.

Coming Back to Me.

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