Category Archives: electricity

Dominion CEO Disconnected from Reality

“Those who seek to demonize coal or eliminate its use are, quite honestly, disconnected from reality.”  Dominion Resources CEO Thomas F Farrell, II 

What is the reality that we are disconnected from?

I’d ask “what planet do you live on, Tom”, but really the question is: 

What planet do you want my and your children to live in?

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Dominion … the truthiness continues … forever?

Coal is a booming business, with price increases even exceeding those seen for oil. Fossil Fuels and the polluting of the atmosphere are, we can hope, burning their last embers of extravagant enthusiasm.

While coal is a booming business, it is also a business under fire, with people like Governor Sibelius standing tall in the fight against coal-plant expansions and plant after plant being canceled as, for example, the financial industry wakes up to the real risk with investing in such polluting infrastructure.  This reality seems to have a difficult time penetrating the dense barriers to reality that seem to exist in the great Commonwealth of Virginia, fostered by heavy investments in truthiness by Dominion Virginia Power.  Bit by bit, it seems, the veil shielding that truthiness is being lifted, for example in this Richmond Times Dispatch story: Utility reaches deal on plant: Dominion Va. Power loses proposed bonus for clean-burning facility.  Dominion had been pursuing a deal to have a proposed plant get a 1 percent bonus for being ready to be ‘clean’ via CCS, the regulatory body rejected that and took away the bonus. Poor Dominion VA Power.  For their aggressive pursuit of a polluting future, they will have to be satisfied with a guaranteed 12.12% profit, rather than a 13.12% profit.  Still my heart as the world’s smallest violin plays a song of mourning for Dominion Virginia Power and their serial polluting practices while the world sheds a tear.

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Energy COOL: SolFocus and Three Critical Rs

Courtesy of SolFocusWhen it comes to the fundamentals of education, there are the “three Rs”:  Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic.

Environmentalism’s Three Rs:  Reduce use; Reuse things; Recycle as much as possible.

And, for energy, there are these Three Rs: Reduce use (via efficiency and conservation); Renewable power as much as possible; Remediate for any use of non-renewable power sources.

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A quick fix to up hydro power globally?

In the United States, traditional hydropower (dams) provides roughly 10% of the electricity.   Traditional hydro plants, in many cases, are century+ old with embedded technology that is far from 21st century in terms of productivity for every gallon that passes by.  Thus, opportunities exist for taking existing hydropower facilities and making them more productive with the existing water resources. And, there are literally 1000s of dams and spillways across the country that do not have existing electricity production.  But, modernization operations can cost millions and take years to go through regulatory processes to seek to minimize environmental impacts (or, in the case of old facilities, perhaps to reduce environmental impact). The hydro industry often comments that the hydro regulatory process is more difficult than nuclear power’s.

Is there, however, an opportunity for getting a quick 3-7% increase at existing hydropower facilities and to put electricity production at some non-power producing dam sites with a far easier regulatory process, low per kilowatt installation costs (with, then, near free fuel), and do so quickly?  Until yesterday, at WIREC, the options didn’t really seem apparent. Now, however, my head is whirling with the possibilities. Continue reading

Eliminating coal from the electricity equation …

This diary will be a relative short and sweet one.

For once, no links.

Apologies, no photographs.

Just a very simply outline of how the United States could, without Heruclean efforts, eliminate coal-fired electricity from the electrical system by 2030.

And, do so while improving the economy.

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Money talks. Coal walks?

It isn’t too often that I turn to the pages of the Wall Street Journal for good news, but let today be a little different.   As per Wall Street Shows Skepticism over Coal, major banks, working with some environmental organizations (including, the much maligned Environmental Defense),

are imposing new environmental standards that will make it harder for companies to get financing to build coal-fired power plants in the U.S.

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ENERGIZE AMERICA via a Stimulus Package

Energize America has joined 29 other organizations in writing to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to call on them to ensure that the stimulus package doesn’t put tax increases on America’s unborn, but

to make smart investments in longer-term, sustained economic prosperity by moving our nation towards a clean energy economy that provides employment opportunities for poor and working-class Americans.

Crisis translates to opportunity.  

The current crisis offers an opportunity to make choices for a more prosperous, climate-friendly America.

ACTION:  It is time to add all of our voices to this call.

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