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The Future Electric Grid
American Magazine, by Mark P. Mills

Original Article

Posted By:EagleBlurst, 6/2/2014 9:39:46 AM

It was only a little more than ten years ago that a National Academy of Engineering report ranked the invention of the electric grid at the top of a list of the 20 greatest inventions of the 20th century. Not just one of the great engineering achievements, but first amongst them. The Academy ranked the Internet 13th. Now we hear increasingly that technology is making today’s electric utility model “obsolete” and will put its companies into a “death spiral.” Is it possible that so much has changed so quickly? Post-utility advocates point to three technologies as disrupters: photovoltaics

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: ColoWapiti, 6/2/2014 10:16:55 AM     (No. 9870057)

I dislike utilitiy bills as much as the next person, but when I got to the part in the article that said "much-reviled coal plants", I knew this was a political piece.

It is intended to justify the wasted billions during the Obama years on the Solyndra´s and windmills of the world.

I have no doubt that power generation will evolve eventually, but it will be because of technological advances and market forces, not because of the Messiah. He is too stupid to even know which way to put a battery in a flashlight.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Coy860, 6/2/2014 10:22:42 AM     (No. 9870062)

Meanwhile, beneath our feet, is 500 years worth of natural gas, clean coal and more oil than Saudi Arabia.
Power plants have improved so much, our air quality is so much better than in the 1950s, water quality is very good.
I will bet dollars to donuts that Ted Cruz already has the master blueprint to turn America around.


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Reply 3 - Posted by: dman, 6/2/2014 10:59:36 AM     (No. 9870100)

My initial reaction was like #1, until I continued reading. This is a "set ´em up and knock ´em down" piece that does a good job of discrediting the alternative energy approaches. A few notable quotes FTA:

"Modern society is in much more urgent need of a harder grid, not so much a greener grid. Demand for reliability is rising faster than demand for kilowatt-hours themselves."

"The difference between the two power levels, controlling traffic on the Internet versus grid-power traffic, is what dictates physical material, and safety challenges. That difference is comparable to going from controlling a toy drone to a Boeing 777."

"Speaking of coal, it’s impossible to talk about the grid and not make note of the carbon and global warming issues. To tilt the field away from hydrocarbon fuels, policymakers and regulators have taken actions that increase their costs, and also subsidize non-hydrocarbon energy. But the laws of physics of energy, and laws of economic reality, cannot be ignored. Politicians face increasing peril if their policies cause something as important as electricity to become increasingly expensive and less reliable."


Mills makes the case well. It´s about cost, reliability, safety (Li-ion batteries are toxic), and scalability.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: craige, 6/2/2014 11:35:48 AM     (No. 9870153)

Did a spread sheet for solar several years ago. Assumed lead acid batteries, and 10KW photovoltaic array. $150 to $250 per month at 6% interest for the loan. Lower interest and cost per watt would lower the cost.

Imagine being able to build a house anywhere the water table is less than 300´. Solar power, satellite internet and TV. Opens up vast tracts of cheap land, in the sun belt.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Nevadadad46, 6/2/2014 12:34:25 PM     (No. 9870230)

This is a cloaked hit piece designed to brain wash more people into believing in global warming and that it is okay to further destroy and hamstring the national energy system. Wind and sunlight are great for small stuff. But, you can see the tiny impact the vast huge sums of cash invested in them have made. Fifty times the energy could have been produced with the same cash investment in natural gas, hydro and/or geothermal plants. Look at the environmental damage done by wind turbines and the unbelievable disaster of ethanol. It just makes you sick to see the crazy thing the enviro-weenies have done to our nation through the liberal fascists regime. And the damage is getting much worse as Øbama´s time runs out.

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Posted By: EagleBlurst- 7/16/2014 9:39:40 AM     Post Reply
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