And it’s only June.

Associated Press:

DALLAS (AP) — On the cusp of summer, the electric power grid manager for most of Texas on Monday issued its second conservation alert since the deadly February blackout, calling on users to dial back energy consumption through Friday to avert an emergency.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said many forced generation outages and record June demand has squeezed the power supply. It appeals to users to lower thermostats to 78 degrees and avoid using large electric appliances until demand decreased late in the day.

ERCOT predicted a peak demand load on its system of 73,000 megawatts, far above the June record of 69,123 megawatts set between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on June 27, 2018. However, as of 2:30 p.m. Monday, 12,178 megawatts of the grid’s 86,862 megawatts of generating capacity was offline, ERCOT said, leaving a razor-thin margin of reserve capacity of about 2,000 megawatts.

“We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of grid planning and operations, said in a statement. “This is unusual for this early in the summer season.” 

ERCOT spokeswoman Leslie Sopko said 9,066 megawatts of the idled capacity were from steam-powered generator units fueled by gas, coal or nuclear fission.

“We’re currently seeing three to four times the number of forced thermal (steam-powered) generation outages on our system than we would typically expect to see this time of year,” Sopko said in an afternoon telephone conference.

Read the rest of this entry »

Above, Village manager of Breckenridge, Michigan, Fire Chief Jeff Westall, and township Supervisor Jerry Rohde talk about how local wind development has shored up revenues for community fire and rescue – a bedrock of health, safety, and welfare in rural communities.

Below, full interview with Chief Westall.

Read the rest of this entry »

I started mining this 2020 interview with Josh Pearce for the next Yale Climate Connections This is Not Cool video and quickly remembered it’s full of gems that I meant to use eventually.

Grid Engineering state of the art discussed in plain language.

The tensions are rising between the Fishing industry, Farmers, and residential consumers of water.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mother Jones:

In hindsight, the Climategate hack, clearly timed to disrupt the Copenhagen negotiations, looks like a precursor to the hack that helped shape the outcome of the 2016 election. That’s how John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman whose stolen emails were posted on WikiLeaks in the final weeks of the campaign, sees it. The parallels go beyond the hacks themselves. “I think it was the intentionality of influencing the public debate,” he says.

“Climategate”, the 2009 email hack, to me, and a lot of other well placed observers, appears to have been a warm up for the e-mail fiasco perpetrated by Russia in the 2016 election attack.

It’s part of history now, and with the sad benefit of hindsight, we can see that it worked to prevent meaningful climate action for a decade.
BBC may now make it a drama – the villains now crystal clear, suspect this won’t be the last cinema take we’ll see.

Eastern Daily Press (UK):

The UEA ‘Climategate’ computer hacking scandal is set to be made into a BBC thriller partly filmed in Norfolk. 

The Trick will tell the story of how Professor Philip Jones, director of climate research at the University of East Anglia, found himself at the eye of an international media storm after leaked emails which suggested climate change researchers had exaggerated claims about the severity of global warming.

Hackers stole thousands of emails and documents in 2009 putting Norfolk at the heart of a global scientific scandal.

It led to Norwich scientists receiving death threats and one of the most rigorous scrutiny processes in UK academic history that ultimately found the research to be watertight.

The new film will chart the unjustified persecution of Prof Jones, to be played by Line of Duty and The Crown star Jason Watkins, and the fierce support as he fights to exonerate himself of his wife Ruth, to be played by Victoria Hamilton.

The cast also includes George MacKay, Jerome Flynn, Adrian Edmondson, Aneirin Hughes, Tara Divina and David Calder.

Read the rest of this entry »

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made. – Jean Giraudoux

A GOP pollster has found that when candidates talk about climate change, they can create the illusion that they are a “decent human being”. Important metric for some demographics, he says.


A Republican pollster at a secretive meeting with roughly 20 lawmakers in February offered the party a plan to win control of Congress.

He urged them to talk about climate change.

The pollster, Greg Strimple, presented research suggesting that pro-climate messaging could turn the tide in enough close races to offer the tantalizing prospects of controlling the House. He told the lawmakers that 69% of Republican voters use terms like “climate change” and “global warming” to describe what’s happening to the planet.

“At one point global warming was just the language of John Kerry and Al Gore. Right now, Republicans and conservatives, large majorities of them, think something in that vein is happening,” Strimple said in an interview.

Outlines of the Utah meeting were reported shortly after lawmakers quietly attended it last winter to discuss how the party could improve its approach to climate change (E&E Daily, Feb. 25). This is the first time details of those conversations have been revealed.

Not long after the gathering, organized by Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah), House Republicans rolled out a package of bills that would increase investments in carbon capture research, plant billions of trees and boost nuclear power. Lawmakers touted them as a first step in building a new GOP climate platform — one that accepts the basic tenets of climate science but doesn’t restrict the use of fossil fuels.

“I don’t think Republicans are right now in the position of losing an election on the environment, but I do think Republicans are right now in a position to win an election on the environment if they address it and talk about it,” Strimple said.

There is a growing sense that the GOP needs to compete in districts where the Trump base is not solid enough to win elections.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is targeting about 50 vulnerable Democrats in suburban and rural districts where energy and climate messages could motivate moderate Republican voters. They include Democratic Reps. Charlie Crist of Florida, Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Lucy McBath of Georgia.

Strimple told the lawmakers that they need a “confidence boost” in talking about climate and the environment. Social media platforms, where users are more likely to take extreme positions, don’t reflect reality, he told them.

On Twitter, Republicans are often portrayed as climate deniers. But many of those voters are open to environmental policy, especially if it’s bipartisan, he said. Women with college degrees, in particular, want candidates to talk about addressing climate change, Strimple’s research shows. But other voters, including those not closely engaged in politics, also want to hear climate messaging from their candidate.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON—The biggest American-owned solar-panel maker is set to announce plans Wednesday to invest $680 million in a new Ohio factory, in one of the largest bets on domestic solar manufacturing since China began dominating the industry a decade ago.

First Solar Inc., FSLR 1.27% based in Tempe, Ariz., said it plans to begin construction after necessary permits and local incentives have been secured and is aiming to open the plant early in 2023.

The factory, which would be the company’s third in Ohio, is expected to initially produce enough solar panels to produce 3 gigawatts of power annually, or enough to power about 570,000 homes.

Combined, the three plants by 2025 would produce panels that could generate 6 gigawatts of power annually, or a little more than half of all solar panels the company estimates will be produced annually in the U.S. by then, company chief executive Mark Widmar said.

Mr. Widmar said the investment reflected the growth of the American market and what he viewed as bipartisan government commitment to encourage domestic manufacturing in alternative energy.

But, Ohio Republicans have other ideas…

Ohio Capital Journal:

The Ohio Senate passed legislation Wednesday granting new powers to county commissions to scuttle wind and solar development projects.

Senate Bill 52 would require the green energy developers — before filing a separate application with the state Power Siting Board that currently exists in law — to hold a public hearing with advance notice to local officials.

County commissions could then pass resolutions to ban wind or solar projects outright or limit them to certain “energy development districts” in the county.

The bill passed on a 20-13 vote, with five Republicans joining all eight members of the Democratic caucus in opposition.

A fellowship of unlikely allies opposed the bill, including the green energy industry and its advocates, utility companies like American Electric Power, oil drillers like BP, the Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Farm Bureau, and the Ohio Manufacturing Association.

The bill’s critics argued the Ohio Power Siting Board already imposes a rigorous application process that spans pricey submissions, environmental reviews, public hearings, staff investigations and a decision from seven voting board members (comprised mostly of the governor’s cabinet heads).

To be completely fair, a number of soft-headed lefties have been sucked in to the anti-solar rhetoric, much of which is knowingly crafted to pull them in.

Read the rest of this entry »