Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Headlong Into The Third World

There was a time not too long ago that California was the diadem in the crown of the greatest nation the world had ever seen.

State officials have just called a "Flex Alert." For those of you still living in democratic capitalist societies this might be a bit confusing. Despite among the highest rates in the nation there isn't enough power to meet demand. Demand created by insane development policies that built two story 3600sf energy inefficient McMansions dense packed in the desert. 108º in Palmdale so I'm suppose to cut back in 70º Ventura. You know California. The place that wants electric cars and hasn't approved a new generating plant for decades.


segfault said...

Time to build some nuclear power plants. To heck with the NIMBYs!


Rob Dawg said...

Damn straight and i think we should build them on military bases; China Lake, Lemmore, etc.

MaxedOutMama said...

Rob - but this is Dem energy policy in a nutshell. Needless to say it is an economic disaster. The falling home prices in CA could be good for the state's economy over a few years, because it would tend to make it much cheaper for businesses to expand. But businesses do need energy, even if they are just thinktanks.

Rob Dawg said...

It isn't enough to call California unfriendly to business. It is downright hostile. Wicked taxes, socialist encumbrances, regulation, failing infrastructure, on and on. Worse they don't even realize it. Something like 18% of the economy. How many Fortune 500s? Get a clue Sacramento.

Bill in NC said...

Wait until there's a natural gas shortage again and California is hit with the reality that natural gas for heating homes claims a higher priority over feeding gas turbines.

Rolling blackouts in the summer _and_ winter, anyone?

Better use those hefty California photovoltaic subsidies! (make sure your inverter can "island," and add some battery storage)

Rob Dawg said...

BNP offered to install an LNG to CNG offshore dock and pipeline in the Channel Islands Channel. The city of Oxnard screamed about toxic clouds smothering their children and pets. Besides the very idea of natural gas in pipes in the ground was too dangerous. Idjits.

My timeline for PV is when the Chicomm capacity in the next 14 months more than doubles world mfg capacity.

Property Flopper said...

I have a friend who is highly involved in the policy making for a major energy co. They are watching this closely and all their calcs show 2012 as the date when PV becomes viable.

Price / efficiency are converging nicely right there.

Just a random comment on an anonymous board.

Rob Dawg said...

2012 would be about right for the tipping point in general. For those of us in very sunny clear sight exurban areas PV for local use is already close. I keep looking at the pallet prices for 165W panels. $4.80 per watt up a bit last two months. Looking for a drop below $3.30. Could use some cheaper inverters as well. Between the expected credits and tax breaks the net out of pocket financing would be the same as our electric bill reduction. Any bets as to which way electric rates in California are going?

Jean ValJean said...

Um... where are you seeing those pallet prices, Dawg? Any way those of us in Tx can partake in this?

Rob Dawg said...

This is typical:

$4.34/watt because it is on sale. Was $4.61/watt.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Some of the sentiment here I think applies to a problem facing the enviros in the near future. They will do such a good legal job strangling new coal/nuclear power plants from being built and preventing for years any domestic oil exploration offshore, that when the middle does flip, it's going to be an ugly backlash against their goals of hairshirts and clean tech. Look at opinion polls on offshore drilling and even nuclear now compared to 10 years ago. Everything will be on the table, wind, solar, nuclear, offshore drilling, anwr, oil shale, etc. The middle matters in so many political issues, and economics has a way of shifting middle attitudes, and the enviros have turned energy generation into a political issue, and we know how entwined politics is with economics. All because the hairshirt crowd would not bend for wind mills that might kill some migrating birds, nuclear plants that have a great safety record, and offshore drilling that withstood the Gulf huricanes of 2005.

I am a big fan of PV and thin film. I hope it reaches parity soon with coal, but Mr. Dawg, solar is not a great fit for all of America. Think the boys and girls of New England are going to load up on PV?

Bilgeman said...

Rob Dawg;

Enjoy yourself at the Coal Riots.

Too bad about all the oil and natural gas just off your coast, but no-one will let us drill for it.

Just finished a natural gas well about 40 miles south of Morgan City LA.

With new seismic 3D imaging, it seems that the wells drilled over the last 50 years managed to miss the really large deposits.

(Rather embarrassing for someone, that)

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, Bilgeman, I'm glad SOMEONE is doing something about it.

Rob, for big swathes of the upper reaches of the USA, PV is not going to be much good. Too many cloudy days and lower sun intensity.

Mind you, I'm greatly in favor of it when it's possible.

Rob Dawg said...

The thing is when PV stretches across the Sun Belt it will have a massive cascade effect on energy prices in the US. West Coast and Mountain peak generating power is used for air conditioning in SoCal, NV, AZ.
Lots if not more than all is generated by NatGas. We'll use the same PVs to assist hybrids thus reliving gas and as a consequence diesel aka home heating oil.

so in my admitedly twisted worldview I see some interesting nationwide impacts from just a little PV.

w said...

OT - Who would have guessed we could solve the CA budget problem so quickly.


Bilgeman said...


Hey, I know you are familiar with turbines...and you DO live in a seismically active area...

Geothermal, anyone?

Lost Cause said...

You are so wrong about generating plants, Rob. The state has managed through conservation.

It was simply a case of theft by the top levels of federal government that was the problem, Rob.

The_Scum said...

"The place that wants electric cars and hasn't approved a new generating plant for decades."

Wrong. Mountainview combined cycle by SCE. How many did Calpine build? Metcalf, Pastoria and maybe more? Mirant/PG&E Gateway.

Lots more here Mr. Dawg that have been licensed since 1999:


What coal fired plants generate for California? Four Corners in New Mexico, Navajo in Arizona, Intermountain Power in Utah, Reid Gardner in Nevada, and more are proposed.


I have no pity for Californian's 'flex days' for they are hypocritical to the extreme regarding electricity.

No offense to you personally but you did have at least one blatantly false statement.

Akubi said...

Sorry Dawg, but I'm with Lost Cause and The_Scum on this one.

Akubi said...

Geothermal, anyone?

Yes, particularly when it involves pools! I like the mineral baths at Sonoma Mission Inn where I plan to vacation.

Bill in NC said...

I've known people who left my state to get away from our 8% maximum income tax rate.

California is already over 10%, and they want to raise it higher?

Don't miss the last sentence in that story.

It is very easy to move from a high income tax state to a no income tax state in this country.

Dimes said...

Why would you want nuclear plants on military bases? To keep the state out of their business? To increase the magnitude of any possible disaster? To keep terrorists off the premises?