The Second Power Energy Link Archipelago
Emergent technologies, energy/war, nihilism, Texas, and California
Good afternoon. Here are some things going on in the Second Power energy neighborhood (or archipelago, as I’m going to call it from here on out).
Among the latest batch of his suggested reads:
Bloomberg NEF offers 10 solar predictions for 2022. Bloomberg sees installed utility-scale solar-and-storage doubling in 2022 and a greater penetration of agrivoltaics, which entails the design of solar technologies so crops can be grown under them.
Swedish-based OKG AB is set to become the first nuclear plant to produce clean hydrogen from water.
An update from Power Magazine on Oregon-based wave energy projects: “PacWave South is one of two test areas located off the Pacific Coast near Newport, Oregon. PacWave North, already an established site for small-scale prototype and maritime market technologies, is sited two miles off the coast in shallower waters and closer to port than PacWave South.”
A Yale Environment 360 overview of green ammonia, which some researchers believe can become a clean fuel source for generating electricity and powering ships.
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Energy and War
Last night on his TV show, in a segment on wartime propaganda, Tucker Carlson quoted the following Twitter reaction of Radiant Energy Fund’s Mark Nelson to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s claim that Russian artillery fire at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant could cause a nuclear catastrophe:
(At the 16:22 mark.)
Nelson’s Twitter feed is a must-read — it’s available here.
Emmet Penney at Grid Brief cautions:
Yes, today the fuel crisis is worrying. But don't forget, our fertilizers are made with hydrocarbons. Things looked tight in the agriculture sector before the invasion of Ukraine, but now it looks worse.
Also from Grid Brief — a piece on the Biden administration’s energy nihilism:
Major energy policy decisions are often made crisis-to-crisis after which a period of muddling-through follows. That's normal. But that also implies direction. Energy nihilism has no direction. One decision is as good as another. It's a posture that cleaves to no first principles and compounds the pain of any crisis. A pain those with the fewest resources and the most to lose bear the brunt of.
Grant Dever at Freopp discusses how Texas’s reliable nuclear power generation has been overshadowed by partisan feuds about natural gas and wind.
Also from Grant: an informative piece on the experience of Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators during a supply shock.
Looming PGE& Rate Increases: PG&E recently held a public participation hearing to discuss the potential rate hikes associated with its latest General Rate Case application. Under PG&E’s proposal, residential customers would see an 18% rate increase in 2023 (about $25 per bill), followed by additional increases in 2024-2026. A final decision on PG&E’s request is expected sometime in 2023.
Affordability: Earlier this month, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) hosted a two-day en banc to discuss ways to mitigate the continuing rise of electric and natural gas rates. One proposal was to use the state’s revenue surplus to cover certain costs that would normally be incorporated into ratepayers’ bills.
Biomethane/Renewable Natural Gas: California has established renewable natural gas (RNG) procurement targets for its major natural gas utilities (SoCalGas, PG&E, SDG&E, and Southwest Gas). In voting to approve the targets, Commissioner Cliff Rechtschaffen at the CPUC argued that in-state RNG procurement provides a hedge against volatile natural gas prices.
Green Hydrogen: SoCalGas has unveiled preliminary plans for its “Angeles Link” project, which would involve the development of a hydrogen pipeline system. The company says this would be the biggest green hydrogen infrastructure system in America.