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PostPosted: February 7 19, 11:19 am 
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Good rundown on Vox that touches on some of the issues people here have brought up

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environm ... resolution

Worth reading the whole thing, but this stuck out relative to some discussions we've had here

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2) Clean versus renewable energy

Many, probably most climate hawks would prefer a future in which all electricity is provided by renewable energy. (I am among them.) But there is good-faith disagreement about whether 100 percent renewables is realistic or economical in the 10-year time frame.

Many, probably most energy analysts believe that renewables will need to be supplemented with nuclear power or fossil fuels with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), but some lefty environmental groups pushed for the GND to explicitly prohibit them.

As I argued earlier, that would have caused a completely unnecessary fight. The resolution wisely avoids taking that route.

Instead, it calls for the US to “meet 100 percent of our power demand through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”

Easy. Now renewables advocates can go right on advocating for renewables, nuclear fans can go right on advocating for nuclear, and they can continue fighting it out on Twitter. But their fight doesn’t need to muck up the GND. The GND targets carbon emissions, which is the right target for a broad programmatic outline.


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PostPosted: February 25 19, 8:09 am 
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Interesting takes from the New Yorker and the Atlantic.

The Hard Lessons of Dianne Feinstein’s Encounter with the Young Green New Deal Activists

Dianne Feinstein Doesn’t Need a Do-Over


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PostPosted: February 25 19, 9:41 am 
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The Green New Deal is probably the best piece of legislation introduced in our country in 20 years.


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PostPosted: February 25 19, 11:27 am 
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33anda3rd wrote:
The Green New Deal is probably the best piece of legislation introduced in our country in 20 years.


I think it is in the Top 5 most transformative bills since 1900:

(In no particular order):

The New Deal
Creation of Social Security
Women's/Minority voting rights
Creation of Medicare/Medicaid
Green New Deal


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PostPosted: February 25 19, 12:54 pm 
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I'm happy with the truce that was made in the legislation in terms of renewable vs clean energy. Overall, the problem that I still see is the same problem that I see with every proposed energy fix that relies on renewable only while phasing out/retiring fossil and nuclear.

None of it is base load. You can't reliably power a massive electrical grid using peak production facilities. They're fine for supplementing it, but the grid simply can't support the use of them as primary production facilities. Large-scale long-term storage (i.e. batteries) aren't feasible yet, which means that for the other half of the day when it is dark outside, those solar panels aren't producing squat; during a breezeless hot summer afternoon when you wish the wind was blowing, that wind farm isn't producing [expletive].

Those dog days of summer or cold as [expletive] winter nights are not when you want to find out your heat and AC aren't working because the power went out due to the grid relying solely on peak power plants. But hey, you're producing energy carbon free! Yes, I realize a lot of AC and furnaces are powered by natural gas, but you get my point - although window units and space heaters are both electric only.

You'll get base load power from a hydro-electric station, which is fine as a renewable source of energy. But solar and wind are not the long-term solution. I'm not even saying that as nuclear worker that would end up having to find a new career 10 years from now - I'm saying it as someone who doesn't like it when their power goes out at their house and they have no control over it.


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PostPosted: February 25 19, 1:13 pm 
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I don’t see the significance of that concern in the present really at all when wind and solar are around 5% of total production. In any world, the clear and unambiguous path is to raise that number massively.

At very high levels (like 60%+), there are questions about whether it is possible to maintain reliability, but we are many many years away from that. And we may be able to go to 80% with just the existing nuclear fleet.

There is no technical obstacle anytime soon. It’s a fear being used as an excuse to do nothing and drive ourselves into an abyss.

Edit: I’ll also add that in the do nothing world, the prospects for nuclear power are poor. It’s too expensive to build and not competitive with alternatives. A renewable future is one where it becomes MORE viable as the costs offset against its continuous production reliability in a world of variable production.


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PostPosted: February 25 19, 1:36 pm 
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Arthur Dent wrote:
I don’t see the significance of that concern in the present really at all when wind and solar are around 5% of total production. In any world, the clear and unambiguous path is to raise that number massively.

At very high levels (like 60%+), there are questions about whether it is possible to maintain reliability, but we are many many years away from that. And we may be able to go to 80% with just the existing nuclear fleet.

There is no technical obstacle anytime soon. It’s a fear being used as an excuse to do nothing and drive ourselves into an abyss.

Edit: I’ll also add that in the do nothing world, the prospects for nuclear power are poor. It’s too expensive to build and not competitive with alternatives. A renewable future is one where it becomes MORE viable as the costs offset against its continuous production reliability in a world of variable production.


I agree it is too expensive to build nuclear plants right now. And it's not really feasible in today's market with other base load options being so cheap and affordable - the ROI is just not there like it was 10-15 years ago. My company's goal right now is to get nuclear down to about $0.027-0.028ish per kilowatt-hour, which puts it equal for the most part with current natural gas rates. Long term our CEO wants to get it down to $0.021 or so by 2030. I don't think that's possible without some major overhauling.

I'll admit my company is all for carbon free electricity - they are far and away the #1 producer of clean energy in the US, and they're adding another 1500 MW or something this year in wind farms in Iowa and South Dakota. Our CEO's goal is 80% carbon free by 2030 (we're already like 50%), but no other electric company is publishing such lofty goals. Most are just trying to comply with the current Clean Air Act and get to like 30-40% carbon free by 2030.

AOC's GND calls for all these changes by 2030, right? Even 10 years from now I don't see it being achievable (even taking nuclear into consideration). So even though we're many many years away from it, if her plan went through we would have to start developing some pretty friggin badass gigantic batteries capable of storing several megawatts each within the next few years.

As much as I want it to be, I don't have a ton of optimism for nuclear power beyond what is currently installed. Too much bad PR historically and the young progressives are as staunchly anti-nuclear as the tree-hugging hippies are. Hopefully no more will be foolishly decommissioned early and perhaps the NRC will grant another round of license extensions - our sites are currently licensed through 2031, 2034, and 2035.


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PostPosted: February 25 19, 1:45 pm 
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Radbird wrote:



From that second article:
Quote:
A group of jackbooted tots and aggrieved teenagers showed up at the local office of Dianne Feinstein—85 years old and holding—with the intention of teaching her about climate change and demanding that she vote for the Green New Deal.


WTF????

The kids looked like they were mostly 10 year old girls


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PostPosted: February 25 19, 1:48 pm 
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AOC has so much star power, charisma, beauty, and political chutzpah that even older people are moved by her. To the young, she approaches the status of Barack Obama himself; soon, she will probably exceed it. She is perfectly attuned to them, and they respond to her in the deeply emotional way that signals something important is happening. Fools dismiss her; when a natural shows up, things happen that are beyond the control of the powerful systems that normally dominate Washington.


Holy [expletive] they are comparing AOC to Barack Obama, the Deity Himself???


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PostPosted: February 25 19, 1:53 pm 
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That entire article is complete trash. It's trying to say "the kids were taught a lesson". The only lessons they were taught is that they need to ramp up their organizing and protesting even more if they want to get what they want, and that Democrats are not their friends.


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