2022-06-30 We Have To Switch To Electric Cars

We have to switch to electric cars. Can the grid handle it?

From a video on Engineering Explained channel.

EVs – electric vehicles – get about 100 miles per gallon equivalent. One gallon of gasoline is equivalent to 33.7 kWh.

We do some math and come up with about 1 trillion kWh used by the drivers (he’s talking about just drivers in America) if everyone was driving electric vehicles.

The total energy (electricity) used in the US is a bit over 4 trillion kWh, according to the EIA (Energy Information Administration). If we converted all vehicles to electric, that would add about 1 trillion kWh, plus add about 25% for charging and other losses. So changing to all EVs would need about 25 to 30% increase to the existing energy (electricity) production in the US.

For decades, the US grew electricity production by 4% per year. At that rate it would take 6.5 years to add 30% to the electricity production.

We are not going to change to EVs in any amount close to 100% in 6.5 years. We are changing to EVs at about a 2% rate so it will take much longer than 6.5 years.

This 30% increase does not take into consideration population growth or other reason for an increase in demand.

According to the EIA, the electricity consumption of the average house in the US is about 900 kWh per month. Going by the average of driving 13,500 miles per year, the average EV will use about 15.6 kWh per day or about 475 kWh per month.

The 475 kWh per month is equivalent to using a single wall outlet constantly. The houses can handle this easily. Most charging will be done at home during off-peak hours after 12 AM to get the lowest kWh rate and save money. So peak demand will not change, most increase will be during off-peak times. So the peak demand on the infrastructure doesn’t change. Local infrastructure won’t have to change anymore than it would for no EVs.


There was no discussion about level 5 autonomy.


2022-06-27 Red States Have Higher Murder Rates

Red States Have Higher Murder Rates

BTC Shows Gavin Newsom clip on Truth Social.


2022-06-20 living With An Electric Car Has…

Living with an electric car has changed my mind.


2022-06-20 Nuscale SMR – Engineering With Rosie

Nuscale SMR video from engineering with Rosie

Rosie said, “The amount of land needed for nuclear is small compared to wind and solar…”

This is a false and unfair assertion. In the US the nuclear power plants are surrounded by an exclusion zone where there cannot be any population, and this is a large area. Further, due to cooling requirements the thermal power plants must be located near large bodies of water such as rivers or oceans. And due to the NIMBYs, there cannot be any nuclear power plants located near population centers.

Another issue with nuclear power plants being concentrated in a small area is this makes them a prime target for terrorist destruction. And highly concentrated infrastructure is high on the enemy’s list of targets during a war.

But what really dismays me is that she claimed that solar and wind take up square kilometers of area. Offshore wind takes up *zero* land area. Onshore wind is located where it’s windy which is generally not near where any other human activity is located. This is especially true in Australia – Rosie, are you listening? Also, wind turbines are located in the fields of farms where they take up very little space.

Then the solar farms are being integrated with farming in what’s called agrivoltaics. There are benefits for the crops and solar arrays. Solar arrays are being floated on bodies of water in which both benefit. And there are hundreds of millions of roofs where solar panels can be placed, without taking up any room that is useful. I can go on, but the land comparison is an issue that is an unfair and false assertion.

And one other important thing: thermal power plants use up huge amounts of water for cooling. Wind and solar have zero ongoing costs for fuel and don’t use any water (obviously not the case with agrivoltaics). So please stop bringing up land size comparisons.

Another issue is “Death rates from energy production per TWh.”
It’s a fact that Chernobyl and Fukushima both had very few deaths from the accident itself. But the issue isn’t deadliness; the issue is the extremely huge costs of these two accidents – the Soviets we’re secretive about costs but the ongoing costs for Fukushima are hundreds of billions of dollars. These extreme costs cause the country burdened by them to attempt to avoid the costs by letting some of the cleanup ‘fall through the cracks’ and never be completed. The result is a higher rate of cancer for decades after the accident, and those deaths are not counted in the “deaths per TWh.” So I don’t believe that chart tells the whole story.

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2022-06-19 FERC Proposes Interconnect Reforms

The FERC – federal Energy Regulatory Commission has thousands of solar and wind projects that want to interconnect to the grid. But many of them are in development phase.

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2022-06-18 MIT: Storage Can Deliver Carbon-free US Grid

An MIT Technology Energy Initiative study finds that storage can deliver carbon-free US grid.


2022-06-17 SMRs Are Not A Feasible Choice

SMRs Not!

A very detailed assessment of the reasons why SMRs – small modular reactors – are not a feasible choice.


<< Small modular reactors won’t achieve economies of manufacturing scale, won’t be faster to construct, forego efficiency of vertical scaling, won’t be cheaper, aren’t suitable for remote or brownfield coal sites, still face very large security costs, will still be costly and slow to decommission, and still require liability insurance caps. They don’t solve any of the problems that they purport to while intentionally choosing to be less efficient than they could be. They’ve existed since the 1950s and they aren’t any better now than they were then.

Most of the attention and funding is misguided at best, and actively hostile to climate action at worst


Author goes on to explain the following:

<< Advocates for SMRs typically make some subset of the following claims:

  • They are safer
  • They can be manufactured in scaled, centralized manufacturing facilities so they will be cheaper
  • They can provide clean power for remote facilities or communities
  • They can be deployed onto decommissioned coal generation brownfield sites
  • They can be built faster

None of these are actually good arguments. >>


Cleantechnica article with public opinion surveys about nuclear power including public opinion believes renewable energy is better.


NRC fact sheet on nuclear power plant insurance liability caps


Public fear of nuclear power is not why nuclear energy is fading.


2022-06-17 Coal Power Plants Closing Early

Coal power plants that are closing early



Caroline Joy Barnhart
There is not enough tritium in the world to run a single fusion reactor for more than a few months. The energy used for production of tritium (and to a much less extent the supply of deuterium) must also be subtracted from the total output of the fusion reactor. That could reduce the output substantially.
There are some good explanations of this in some YouTube videos. I watched one nuclear physicist – Daniel Jassby – who said that it’s a slim to none chance of it coming to break even by 2060.
Caroline Joy Barnhart
Yes, they bombard lithium 6 with neutrons for making the tritium for nuclear warheads. That’s where most of the tritium is used. The fusion proponents say that the fusion process will self-generate the tritium. That’s all fine. But after the lithium is converted, it must be processed to purify the tritium, and the same for deuterium. This all takes power and equipment. That must be subtracted from the total output of the fusion generator. You can’t expect any fusion generator to require more energy input than it outputs. It’s called LCoE, levelized cost of energy. All the costs of petroleum must be added up, from “well to wheels” to get it’s LCoE. Same for any other form of energy.
There are critics of fusion who say, with much justification that the LCoE for fusion of greater than 1 is a slim to none chance and may take an exceedingly long time.
And we don’t have a long time! Fossil fuels must stop adding CO2 to the atmosphere ASAP!
Caroline Joy Barnhart

Said, “The costs are obfuscated by the extreme resistance put up by the anti-nuclear crowd and the major increase is in legal fees, not engineering.”

I’m not sure what you mean by that. The problem with the new NPPs is multi-billion dollar cost overruns and decade long construction delays. Look at VC Summer and Vogtle 3 and 4, there are the problems. No matter what the anti-nuclear crowd demands, if the utilities see that there is no future in a form of electric generation then they will not contract for it. So far these cost overruns and delay problems have plagued new NPPs in the US, Flamanville in France, Hinkley in the UK and Okiluoto in Finland. The utilities are fed up with the mess that new NPPs are in. China is building new NPPs because they have a government that makes the businesses do what the government demands.
I have nothing against nuclear power. It’s just too little, too late. In eight years the fossil fuels must be replaced with energy that adds no CO2 into the atmosphere.
Quote: “”If the global warming reaches 4 deg. C by the end of the century, most inhabited areas will become unliveable.”” We are *already* more than 1/4 of the way there!
There are thousands of megawatts of wind and solar in the planning or construction phases, and it takes only a few years to complete these projects. There could be a place for new NPPs if they could compete. But that doesn’t seem to be happening.

2022-06-16 China Is The Biggest GHG Producer

Brian Henry
I think you’re implying that China is irresponsible when it comes to ending the burning of fossil fuels.

Let me remind you that many if not most of the devices you use in your life were made in China. People here criticise lithium batteries as violating human rights because the cobalt may have been mined with child and/or slave labor. But these same people still use their mobile devices with that same cobalt.

Likewise, you criticise China for burning coal, oil or gas. Yet you continue to buy goods made in China! That’s hypocritical! I admit I use Chinese goods, but I try to minimize the new Chinese goods I buy. If you want to reduce or end Chinese burning of fossil fuels, it’s up to you to stop buying chinese goods. Otherwise you’re being as hypocritical as everyone else.

BTW China is #1 in population, so it’s no wonder why they have the biggest carbon footprint.

Why is China’s power generation capacity so huge? Go pick up something you own and look at it to find where it was made. Chances are that it was made in China. And you’re holding in your hand the reason why China is the biggest producer of GHGs – you’re just as guilty of putting Greenhouse Gasses into the atmosphere as the Chinese are!

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