Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

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"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

For "a human being, the question 'to be or not to be,' is the question 'to think or not to think.'" Ayn Rand

15 January 2024

The Manhattan Contrarian Notes the Insanity of New York Electric Power Mandates

The Manhattan Contrarian provides a rational evaluation of the mandates of New York on carbon-based fuel power inputs to its electric grid.

The state of New York mandated in 2018 that 70% of the electricity used in the state must come from renewables by 2030.  How is the progress going on that?  Based on data presented in the article, in 2023 the total renewable electricity output grew from 24.1% in 2019 to 25.8% in 2023.  At this rate of annual increase, by 2030 the renewable share will be 37.7%.  Nuclear power output shrank because the state forced the closure of two nuclear power plants.  Nuclear power is not renewable, but it is non-carbon fuel.  Carbon-based fuel conversion to electric power grew from 33.1% to 41.6% from 2019 to 2023.  Yes, far from being reduced, carbon-based fuel increased its share by 8.5%, while renewables increased by only 1.7%!  These percentages ignore the source of imported electricity, which was 14.4% in 2019 and 14.5% in 2023.

Francis Menton notes that the only way to make wind, solar, and other non-hydro renewable energy increase to the mandated 70% level is to use these intermittent sources to create hydrogen gas.  There is no reasonable possibility that battery storage will be feasible at the required power levels.  What might it cost to convert renewable electricity into hydrogen gas?  The United Kingdom just started a large-scale program to produce hydrogen gas, whose combustion creates dihydrogen monoxide.  For $306, hydrogen gas with the ability to produce 1 MWh of electricity will be provided to the United Kingdom.  Natural gas that produces 1 MWh of electricity is available in NYC at a cost of $11.32.  As the Manhattan Contrarian notes, this implies a greater base electric energy cost of a factor of 27.  That factor of 27 does not even include the cost of storing vast amounts of hydrogen gas, pipelines to transport it, and power plants to burn it.

Rational people cannot help but declare the New York state 70% electricity from renewables mandate absurdly impractical.  As I have pointed out numerous times, there is no problem with continuing to use inexpensive and reliable carbon-based fuels.  Nonetheless, environmental fanatics with their baseless fear-driven fantasies, continue to demand the destruction of our civilization as a small price for their "saving" the planet.  We should just recognize them as Nihilists. 

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