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Showing posts from July 10, 2011

Energy, Ignorance, Lies and Bullshit

By reading some of my posts on energy, you now understand that a modern society cannot exist without huge amounts of energy flowing through it day and night.  In fact, I have argued, the modern society fails if these energy flows diminish, just like a starved mammal becomes sick and eventually dies from lack of food.

Further, I have explained that almost all of your electricity and transportation fuels comes from fossil fuels, uranium, and water behind dams.  I showed graphically that renewables are but a small addition to our daily energy portfolio.

Finally, I compared the energy sources and energy use in two important U.S. states, Texas and California.  These states are perceived quite differently.  California's image is synonymous with progress and clean energy, while Texas is regarded as overly conservative, and prone to using fossil fuels.  Yet, as I demonstrated, electricity sources in these two states are not that much different, and Texas produces 1/3 more renewable electr…

California versus Texas - Fuel Consumption

In the previous post I compared electricity production and imports in California and Texas. I told you that renewables generate about the same fraction of electricity in both states. Texas produces all of its electricity, while California imports coal and gas - as electricity and for electricity generation - almost five days a week.

It is important for you to understand that California will need to import a lot of carbon as natural gas to continue "decarbonizing" its economy by, for example, switching to plug-in vehicles. Without all that extra carbon, California's economy will undergo a miracle slimming diet. Such are the laws of physics.

What I didn't tell you in the previous post is that roughly half of all natural gas in California is used to generate electricity. The residential sector uses 22 percent of the other half. Of that amount, 88 percent is used by space and water heating.  So, if there are problems with imports of natural gas to California, not only th…