Perils of Everything Electrified

Mark Krebs exposes the unreality of the current drive to electrify everything, including vehicles and home heating. His Master Resource article is All-Electric Forcing in the “Inflation Reduction Act” (up to $14,000 per home).  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Basics of Peak Demand: Electric vs. Gas

Traditionally, both electric utilities and gas utilities designed peak capacity for worst-case scenarios plus a safety margin of around 10 percent. Electric utilities were summer-peaking due to cooling demand, while gas utilities were winter peaking due to heating demand.

In terms of maximum Btu demand, winter peaks tend to be much higher than summer peaks. The reason is largely a matter of inside to outside temperature differences between summer peaks and winter peaks. For example, assuming a winter design temperature of -10 deg F. and an interior thermostat setpoint of 75 deg. F, the difference is 85 deg. F. Assuming a summer design temperature of 110 deg. F. and the same interior thermostat setpoint of 75 deg. F, the difference is less than half the winter difference.

Without gas utilities to serve heating demand,
electric utilities will become winter peaking,
requiring massive investments of generating capacity and/or battery storage.

The worst-case scenario would then be a prolonged “polar vortex” with no wind (a.k.a., “wind drought”) coupled with snow covered photovoltaics. During such periods, all the heat from a typical electric heat pump will be in the form of electric resistance that is built into it; that’s just how typical heat pumps work.

If your local electric utility has “transitioned’ to all renewables, they will need several days’ worth of battery storage. Also, battery capacity drops sharply in extreme cold. That’s just how batteries work. Altogether, this equates to astronomical costs that get passed on to consumers. In short, if you are “all-electric,” you will need to fend for yourself and should at least consider investing in your own emergency generator system, assuming you can afford it.

Shame on Electric Utility Industry Who Know Better

The electric utility industry deserves much of the blame for these travesties. Leading electric utility industry trade associations support HR 5376. This was documented by an S&P Capital IQ on July 28th in an article (behind a paywall) titled “US climate package contains ‘robust’ clean energy tax incentives.”

What the article inadvertently documented is that the electric utility industry doesn’t like how they too may see income tax increases, and they aren’t holding back their disapproval of such provisions. But, on the other hand, the Federal government is essentially transferring the energy delivered by gas utilities over to electric utilities, and they will be collecting more revenue from increasingly captive consumers as their size at least doubles.

The electric utilities are not complaining about that. Maybe that will change in time as electric utilities realize their product is no longer reliable or affordable. But that may not matter since they became “the only game in town.”

Some of us saw this coming. Electric utility interests have been aligned with those of “all renewables all the time” advocates for several years. This alliance was announced in 2018 at a national conference of utility regulators, which I wrote about: Warring Against Natural Gas: Joint EEI/NRDC Statement to NARUC (crony environmentalism at work). Their efforts are largely being augmented by the Federal government subsidies and DOE’s “national labs,” since the Biden (mis)Administration took control or the lack thereof).

Let Consumers Freeze in the Dark

Politicians and pundits from both parties appear reluctant to question obvious restraint of trade issues and reduced consumer choice impacts. Why?

♦  For politicians, it’s because their interests lie elsewhere, like using “other peoples money” to trade with vested interests in return for campaign donations and insider information. It’s also because they don’t want to risk a reduction in generous campaign contributions from electric utility interests. [1]

♦  For pundits, it’s because most of them cater to environmental interests that are “in on it.” They even have their own trade association: The Society of Environmental Journalism. The one thing they do best is to “stick to the script.”

But who wrote the script? Globalists and global warming activists along with electric utility-oriented organizations like the “nonprofit” Rewiring America boast about their role in drafting these provisions. This is further evidenced by the following yahoo finance article: Inflation Reduction Act would lead to $1,800 in savings for average household, analysis finds.

We have recently begun to witness how Green New Deal variants are failing within the EU. We are also witnessing how the inherent intermittency of renewables put lives at risk. Now “reimagine” the combination of “all renewables all the time” and a major cold weather emergency event (a.k.a., “polar vortex”) like what happened in Texas last year. Further “reimagine” being without coal or natural gas for electric generation as well as natural gas and propane for home heating.

People will die at a far great pace than the 247 that died in Texas last year from Winter Storm Uri. This vicious cycle will just get worse the more reliant our society becomes upon on supposedly “clean” (but unreliable) energy sources. And yet, most politicians are reluctant allow for an opportunity for healthy/democratic debate. Instead, most House and Senate hearings have become infomercials for monied interests.

Renewables Forcing: How Much, How Far

The following EIA based graphic from a recent Washington Post article portrays the magnitude of transforming (perhaps unwittingly) the present energy generation mix to renewables. But be reminded, they are also planning to transfer the energy requirements presently served by the direct use of natural gas over to electricity. This could easily double or triple electric generation requirements. That effect isn’t shown in the following chart.

Another observation to be made from the above chart is that there is still a lot of black (coal) and orange (natural gas) in them. Basically, this means that switching to all-electric may have little if any carbon reduction benefits in such states. It is likely that in at least some states, fuel switching to electricity will increase carbon emissions. So “buyer beware” (in terms of both carbon savings and utility bill savings).

Clearly, the electric utility industry stands to profit from doubling (or more) in size and rate-basing much more expensive renewable technologies, all with the increased cost of “monopoly rents.” The environmentalists also get what they’ve craved: economic control.

Together, they can achieve social control; awarding energy compliance and
punishing energy disobedience; like how the system presently works in China.

Summary & Conclusions

For whatever reason, the gas utility industry has not been very effective in countering these threats. I really don’t have an explanation why, but most gas utilities are owned by electric utilities. This fact is also reflected within gas utility trade associations.

All I know for sure is complacency kills and gas utilities will either capitulate or litigate. I also know that the “Inflation Reduction Act” will cause $billions in stranded gas utility assets.

My advice to gas utilities:

♦  Assuming there is still “fight in the dog,” it’s time to start fighting like your livelihoods (and those of your customers) depend on it, because they do.

♦  Also study up on the takings clause in the constitution and find a way to live with the long-term liability of safeguarding our country’s abandoned gas pipes.

My advice to consumers:

♦  Be prepared to fend for yourself by investing in a natural gas or propane-fueled emergency generator system (if you can afford one). But note that if you have an electric heat pump, you’re going to need a much larger generator than if you didn’t.

I also have some closing advice to regulators: Do your job. Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) should not be Institutionalized Revenue Plundering and Demand-Side Management (DSM) should not be Deceptive/Strategic Marketing. Instead, reconsider Least-Cost Planning that was the standard before it was hijacked by corrupted IRP and DSM.

 

via Science Matters

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August 17, 2022 at 09:28AM

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