Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Percentages

If the EPA were to establish a uniform 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour standard, that would eliminate nearly all coal-fired plants in the United States, which generated about 37 percent of the country's electricity last year. In comparison, natural gas plants generated 30 percent, nuclear 19 percent, hydropower 7 percent, wind 3.5 percent, biomass 1.4 percent, petroleum 1 percent, geothermal 0.4 percent, and solar 0.1 percent.

The president's national climate plan also sets "a goal to double renewable electricity generation once again by 2020." That would mean that wind power would produce 7 percent and solar power 0.2 percent of America's energy by then. For what it's worth, the Energy Information Administrtion estimates the levelized costs in 2018 for conventional coal would be $100 per megawatt-hour; conventional natural gas $67; nuclear $108; wind $87; and solar photovoltaic $144.

Well, it's a good thing we have a plan, they work so well for the government.

That would mean double the capacity produced by wind/solar/biomass, or double the percent of production?  You could meet the later by keeping the economy tanked, or by spiking nuclear/coal, in which case the only possible growth would be "renewables."  Whether or not flat growth and spiked nuclear/coal would be good, as we grind into poverty, depends upon how desperately you believe that climate change is driven by human activity, and that the outcomes will be a net negative.

My prediction - easiest prediction ever - the government will follow its track record of doing everything wrong as regards energy policy.

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