The Second Power Energy Egregore
California, Bitcoin, and lemurian time sorcery
I haven’t gotten around to writing a “mission statement” for this Substack yet so that’s what this post will handle.
My main interest with this blog is energy, of course. Concepts that interest me most are emergent/distributed technologies, exit technologies, decentralization, enhanced customer choice, affordability, the energy/Bitcoin nexus, and “unique” markets e.g., California and Texas.
Where possible and pragmatic, I support the removal of gatekeepers and the proliferation of energy autonomy/energy sovereignty (which has potential to be realized via microgrids, direct access, behind-the-meter technologies/systems, etc).
Over the years, I’ve noticed a lot of online energy discussion tends to get siloed into boring ruts -- much of it is either sneering, Reddit-style advocacy of renewables or stodgy, Cato Institute-type screeds that come across as antiquated and unadventurous. One of my goals here is to throw something new into the mix.
I don’t want to telegraph my own ideological leanings too much because that would make things predictable. However, after seeing firsthand what goes on in California for the last decade or so, I’m drawn to certain shades of “energy realism.” In many instances, I’m resource-agnostic (“what’s the best tool for a given job?” might be a general guiding principle).
I also love experimental, “fringe” innovations, especially those with comically narrow applicability; I think they’re necessary for the healthy development of new ideas. I greatly appreciate fossil fuels’ importance but I also have an interest in renewables despite the fact that their most dogmatic proponents tend to treat them as unassailable and sacred technologies. I learn a lot from various nuclear advocates online; many of them have an impressive engineering acumen.
On the subject of California, my blunt opinion is that some highly unimpressive people there are tasked with regulating energy, and the situation is only getting worse. I don’t mean to be unkind, but many of the brighter minds (or at least fairly competent minds) in those realms have exited in recent years, and at least one major regulatory institution is experiencing severe knowledge attrition. What’s left is lots of happy talk about net-zero emissions targets, building decarbonization, and EV infrastructure.
Meanwhile, dubious policy choices create a never-ending loop of dire affordability and reliability problems that pummel the low-income communities that regulators claim to care about so much. Compounding the problem is that the state’s investor-owned utilities are deeply flawed entities and Diablo Canyon’s status remains unclear despite some recent good news. Additionally, California forests are mismanaged, thus “wildfire season” is omnipresent. But don’t worry, all problems can be blamed on climate change, so the state’s leaders needn’t fret about being held accountable for driving people into poverty and perhaps killing them.
However, I’m still a quasi-optimist with regard to the Golden State and I hope disaster can be averted there (I’m among those who think Michael Shellenberger might solve some major problems). Maybe Bitcoin mining can gain a significant foothold in Cali and become a valuable niche asset for the grid (and mitigate the “Duck Curve” conundrum.)1 Certain U.S. states that seek an insanely high penetration of renewables (e.g., California) could perhaps maximize their renewables buildout by selling electricity generated by wind or solar to Bitcoin miners who act as demand response participants or “buyers of last resort.”
TEXAS & the BITCOIN-ENERGY NEXUS
I’m a newbie on the frontier of Bitcoin mining and energy, but I find that nexus interesting enough that my wife and I traveled to Texas last fall to discuss the topic with several entrepreneurs in an Austin mansion.
So Texas is the other “unique” energy market that interests me. Texas is a laboratory for the emergence of Bitcoin as a grid-stabilization tool. Perhaps in Texas Bitcoin mining as a grid asset can move beyond niche status and become more ubiquitous. Or perhaps it will fail. Either way, I’m interested in what happens.
A E S T H E T I C S
I’ve written about my interest in the potential transformation of energy aesthetics here. In short, there’s no reason why energy, the most important thing in the world, should be reduced to boring aesthetics.
Important things should be beautiful and/or visually arresting.
Energy should also hold appeal for weirdoes, iconoclasts, oddball visionaries, and the entrepreneurial fringe. Weirdness is another way in which cryptocurrency, for example, can interface with energy. (And WRT to iconoclasts and visionaries —it’s worth asking: did Henry Ford presage the idea of an energy-backed currency long ago?)
More info on the CCRU (plus lemurian time sorcery) is available here.
I suspect that profound (and strange) discoveries are due with regard to energy, and I invite people to explore this potential.
EARLY EXCAVATION & CREATING an ENERGY EGREGORE
My ultimate goal here is to establish an online network of friends and fellow travelers who all learn from each another. I claim no ironclad expertise and I want to deepen my understanding of this material, so I invite readers to correct me when I’m wrong,2 help me attain a greater understanding of complex concepts, and submit guest posts.
Guest posts interest me because I don’t consider myself a “writer,” per se. I’m more of an editor, aggregator, and talent scout (or “early excavator”). So if you’re interested in helping make this a group Substack, feel free to DM me on Twitter. There’s no budget here (yet), so I can’t pay anyone. But maybe over time that can (and will) change.
This white paper makes a compelling case for Bitcoin mining as a grid-stabilization tool in light of the Duck Curve and other problems. The Duck Curve is a visual articulation of the imbalance between peak demand in a given day and renewables production. It looks like a duck.