NPR Math

NPR ran this story about California energy, under the heading of “CLIMATE”

California just ran on 100% renewable energy

“Around 3 p.m., renewables briefly produced enough energy to supply California’s energy”

“The state is rapidly building huge battery projects for that purpose, so power generated during the day can be stored for use at sunset. But so far, it’s still a small fraction of what’s needed.”

California is breaking renewable energy records, but fossil fuels aren’t fading : NPR

California uses about 65 million gallons of liquid fuels per day for transportation.  NPR somehow missed that.


California’s battery storage can provide about 2% of their electricity needs for four hours – until the batteries go dead.

‘Brand new problem’: California grid operator considers ways to integrate long-duration storage | Utility Dive

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13 Responses to NPR Math

  1. Conrad Ziefle says:

    I’m sure they are referring to the electric power grid, and not to the many other power needs in the state. The CEC is kind of an alternative energy promoter in California. The CPUC is the one that regulates public utilities, and is also somewhat of a political, therefore nonsensical, body.
    Mathematically, they might be able to squeeze out the idea that alternative energy carried the load for 1 second in an 8760-hour year, but I have to ask: Were any gas-fired plants, coal-fired plants, nuclear plants operating during that 1 second? Were the four giant interties from Canada bringing in any power to California? If either is yes, then the alternative energy plants did not meet the load requirements. Also, more probably, the alternative power plants were measured at their locations and not at the customer city gates, hence there are line loses that have to be considered. Furthermore , there are many local generation facilities, which produce heat and power. Stanford campus is supplied by such a plant. These facilities are not drawing from the Cal ISO grid, although they probably feed the grid from time to time. Did they take all of that into account? The answer is no; this was a dog and pony show, and they weren’t going to be exacting accountants if it interfered with a feel good meeting. And finally, at what cost? These alternative energy freaks seem to think that all of these duplicate plants ( they have to be backed up by reliable plants-indeed the very batteries they brag about) are free, and do not reduce funding that could go to more useful, more socially valuable projects.

  2. John Sutcliffe says:

    I do not see any discussion on Synchronization, perhaps 100’s of thousands of renewable power AC generators will need to be synchronized otherwise chaos will rule with blackouts etc. Renewables and batteries are fine and may have the capacity to run the system 24/7 but they must all run together and be exactly synchronized to the national grid, how is this going to occur? Maybe my electrical training was irrelevant and the arts degrees have the answers.

  3. Works4Me says:

    We’ll need a lot more energy to charge battery while suppling demand. Today was cool in Los Angeles, didn’t need air conditioning, businesses closed for holiday, many left for vacation. Demand most likely less then usual.
    Next we’ll add in all-electric homes, buildings and electric car charging.

  4. I don’t see any account of the amortisation of the plant, which may be expressed as the energy required to replace and maintain it. The ‘economic’ argument against nuclear has been the cost of de-commissioning, yet ‘renewables’ get a free pass. Similar gaping holes are to be seen in the fundamental theory on which this nonsense is based; it is only credible if we ignore the Laws of Thermodynamics.

  5. Max says:

    Something wrong with those energy units. Do they mean 3,100 MWhr? That would mean 3.1 GWh to provide a typical electricity demand of about 20GW according to the first graph which is compatible with their stated “around 4 hr.

  6. Graeme No.3 says:

    Same in South Australia – home of the highest level of “renewables” in the nation, and to the first State-wide blackout (in 2016) which resulted in a Black Start with some customers without electricity for over 5 days. Then installed the “world’s biggest battery”.

    Heralded as “running on renewables” for nearly one hour in the middle of the day thanks to rooftop solar panels cutting demand from the grid. In practice the gas-fired generators running at that time (as ordered by A.E.M.O.) as stabilisers – there excess electricity was exported to Victoria at a low price.
    Situation at present: Wind farms are selectively shut down when the wind blows, so their (State- wide) Capacity Factor has dropped. Gas (and diesel) is essential for SA to avoid another blackout/black start. Electricity prices are the highest of every State in Australia, and imports from brown coal-fired Victoria are essential at times..

  7. Gamecock says:

    A rational person looks at solar generation and figures it’s not suitable for grid level production. It only works a few hours a day. Add batteries at great expense, and it’s still not suitable for grid level production, as it only works for a few hours a day.

    ‘on May 8th, the state produced enough renewable electricity to meet 103% of consumer demand. That broke a record set a week earlier of 99.9%.’

    One time, they momentarily exceeded 100%. And, now, with that vast excess, they are going to charge up mega batteries.

    ‘[Unnamed] Energy experts say the falling records are a sign of the remarkable progress that renewable energy has made.’

    In what units of measure is ‘remarkable?’

    Additionally, the thumb is on the scale for renewables, as they are perforce given favorable treatment by the grid operator.

    ‘But that doesn’t mean fossil fuels were out of the picture.’

    Actually, yes it does. It means they are on their way out. See, big announcements like this trigger fossil fuel generators to STOP CAPITAL INVESTMENT. What California has is it. There will be no more. As physical plant ages, it will be shut down, not replaced.

    Fossil fuel generators have to have a business case to exist. Virtue signaling, “Yeah, we made a 103%,” signals business cases are fading.

    California government is having big fun with vanity projects using other people’s money. It is obvious to the rest of the world that their path is suicidal. NPR is complicit in their demise, as they cheer them on.

  8. richard c merrill says:

    Where is coal on their graph. I guess they are trying to pretend the grid has no coal “contamination” in it!

  9. GreyGeek says:

    China and Brazil (and China is working hard to control Brazil) leads the world in Lithium production. There isn’t enough Lithium in the world to supply every state in the US with Li-ion storage batteries sufficient to store enough energy for use when the Sun doesn’t shine and/or the wind doesn’t blow. Other European countries will need Lithium to create their storage batteries as well. Add to that the Lithium demand for electric vehicles and an impossible situation is created. Increasing the storage capacity and recharge speed of Lithium batteries by 10x won’t be enough.

    China’s leaders are not stupid. This year alone they are building 72 COAL-FIRED power plants and are probably laughing at the Western corporations and governments who are cutting back on the use of Coal and sending “Carbon Credits” to them. Gore made millions buying and selling Carbon Credits using his China connections.

    I have little doubt that the Marxists are behind the West’s push to switch to “alternative” fuels, since Marxists have infiltrated our society from head to toe. My uncle earned a PhD from Yale, worked for FDR for a time trying to create “corporate social justice”, a term he made up, and then spent from 1932 to 1968 teaching economics at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business in order to train future CEO’s about “corporate social justice”, i.e., Marxism. Yale and the other Ivy League schools have been churning out indoctrinated Marxists every since. Now you know why most corporations today are WOKE.

  10. Lynne Balzer says:

    I shudder to think of what’s going to happen when they try to run all the electric cars on the grid.

  11. David March says:

    For most of ten years I drove through the Wind farms located astride the Altamont Pass, near Lawrence Livermore Lab and occasionally took a more scenic route Vasco Road to route 4 past Discovery Bay… Both routes took me past scores of Wind turbines. Driving past these twice a week over a decade, I began to notice that at ALL times, at least one THIRD of the wind mills were out of service. Dead. Not turning.
    You might want to do a search on the number of birds of all sorts Killed annually by the turning blades of Wind Turbines, or on the environmental cost of installation, maintenance, and dismantling of non-functioning turbines.
    That’s a real education.
    Every choice has its costs, as well as perceived and real benefits.

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