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New Analysis Details How Electrifying the US Economy by 2035 Could Create 25 Million Green Jobs

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/29/new-analysis-details-how-electrifying-us-economy-2035-could-create-25-million-green

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I hate to be a damp cloth, but articles such as this simply must discuss the storage of electricity, or is nighttime supply to be derived from the existing grid? Reality is reality. What are the life cycle assessments for green energy production and storage? How far into the future can it be sustained for how many people? I am all for the transition, but prefer to go into it eyes wide open.

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“Hate to be a damp cloth”, we don’t have till 2035, we just don’t, sorry bout that, don’t tell your grandkids . .

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Since when did anybody have to “create jobs”?

Share the wealth and we will create our own fucking jobs.

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“When a natural gas plant is retired, it is replaced with nuclear or renewables.” - from that report.

Red flag on the “nuclear”. Your government just spent $25 billion on a new Vogtle (in Georgia) nuclear power plant. A more-or-less properly built nuclear power reactor uses up more fossil fuel in its life cycle than it creates in electricity. A slapdash job will more than break even in terms of energy, except if a lid pops off as happened in Fukushima. It’s a matter of playing the odds with nuclear.

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The way I read the report, they propose a greatly increased reliance on nuclear in order to eliminate fossil power plants. Coupled with electric vehicles, the result is the virtual elimination of fossil fuels, except maybe for airplanes

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I regularly discuss the storage of electricity. I’m an adult about having a 99.9999% reliable renewable electricity system ASAP.

Iceland has natural geothermal sources, rather fresh lava flows, that it taps for reliable electricity. The Drake’s Landing housing development in Alberta, Canada, puts solar heat into the ground in summer and heats its houses/water all winter with that. I expect that somebody is going to take a hill, cover it with insulation (sand and metal foil is an affordable insulation), load the hill with vast amounts of solar heat and generate electricity all winter and summer.

We need a small team of engineers to sketch this out and think about it. Write me at ~paul (at) ~klinkmansolar .com

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Poor Japan. They just barely get Tokyo and adjacent Fukushima prefecture cleaned up enough (after that four-reactor pop-band) to maybe stage an Olympics without too much legal exposure, and along comes SARS2 to ruin the party. Their next impossible test will be the postponed 2021 Summer Olympics: fending off radiation and viral contagion at the same time.

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I certainly hope the US can produce these renewable power sources domestically. Because the possibility that our currency is going to take a serious hit, seriously soon, is seriously looming. And buying foreign-made solar panels and wind turbines and big battery storage will suddenly get real pricey. I love it:

~https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-banks-usa-sanctions/chinese-banks-urged-to-switch-away-from-swift-as-u-s-sanctions-loom-idUSKCN24U0SN

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Anytime we rely on a foreign power to produce essential equipment just to save a few dollars, we endanger our sovereignty.

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The best way to start is to take that gargantuan amount of money wasted on the miIitary and begin creating those GREEN JOBS. There is that od saying that"the journey of a lifetime begins with a singe step. Besides what good are soldiers besides murder and mayhem and and and resource theft?
Instead of giving huge amounts to corporations, find out what different cities need and start there. AII kinds of jobs can be created as jobs were during FDR’s time. It’s only impossible if the government refuses to fund change. And if that happens-------then perhaps it’s best if states devoIve into city states and then make changes from there. Besides has America ever reaIIy been a bunch of UNITED States in its existence?

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This point is ignored to the point of self delusion, pretty much every time the subject arises, which is far far too seldom. We must acknowledge today the fact that it has been known to some for over 50 years that climate change was a serious crisis, and it has been known to a vast number of scientists for around 30 years. In all that time, not one realistic act on our part has been done to resolve it, and current knowledge of the crisis is updated almost monthly with increasingly alarming hints of exponentially heightening urgency, and unexpected rapidness of the crisis’ advancement.

It is already almost common knowledge among the most informed that even if all carbon emissions fully ceased worldwide, immediately, without a minutes delay, that the problem of the so called “tipping point”, may already have been exceeded. In short what is needed due to decades of catastrophic inaction, mind numbing ignorance, and political corruption, requires only the most radical and immediate measures; if such measures are to have any chance of being effective at avoiding certain peril, and even then success being highly uncertain. Deliberately aiming for thirty five years to phase out fossil fuel emissions is little more than a carved-in-stone guarantee of human extinction.

The author of this comment, (bbsing), is correct, we have ignored this issue to the point where it would require a miracle for dramatic enough action to occur that would have any chance of saving the human race.

Some articles among innumerable scientific articles that scarcely touch on the dire urgency for decisive and immediate action:
~https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0
~https://www.wired.com/story/abrupt-permafrost-thaw/
~https://e360.yale.edu/digest/climate-models-underestimate-co2-emissions-from-permafrost-by-14-percent-study-finds

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My worry here is that once again the objectives here will be to privatize for profit these clean energy systems. Obama pulled that BS! Instead of creating low interest rate loans on top of tax deductions to encourage home ownership, he pushed the rise of solar rooftop leasing, aka as a permanent rooftop mortgage.

Home ownership would still require installation, maintenance and replacement, which would create plenty of permanent jobs. And with the potential of solar on every rooftop, R&D would expand and skyrocket.

Plus, imagine hydrogen fueled cars, where solar could be used to produce the hydrogen from the water coming out of your faucet. Goodbye fossil fuel industry.

'It’s thinking like this that the establishment is really worried about and why they want a corporate Joe to oversee the transition.

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The ruling class does not want to create jobs. The ruling class does not want to protect Mother Earth. The ruling class wants to make jobs scarce, and it wants to permanently ruin Mother Earth. Doing these things will ensure permanent monopoly control of wealth and politics for the ruling class.

There is research being done but it is underfunded and little talked about. The billions being dumped into Bill Gates’ push for “safe” nuclear power could be better spent on research into sodium-ion and K-ion (potassium) storage. Unlike rare lithium, the CIA used it as their excuse to destroy the government of Bolivia, sodium and potassium are available anywhere there are salts. The K-ion process is how plants store and use power. Cheap storage is anathema to huge corporate profits so receives little or no attention nor money from the corporate back university research or the government.

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Thanks for your awareness on this. I have been working on development projects in South America for quite some time now. Two villages in Bolivia. Saw Evo do good things for the People. Criminal things being done in our name…

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Hi bbsing. Your concern is extremely important. But, as we address the crisis, it is important to consider who the “We” is in your statement.

I went into sustainable energy engineering several decades ago, in the hope of contributing to a move towards sustainability. I soon found that the field is heavily dominated with White Supremacist mindset and practice. To quote Rewiring America:

This pathway is technology-agnostic; we have used the test “is it ready and does it work?’’ to understand the ideal way forward. - ://www.rewiringamerica.org/handbook

With respect to my esteemed MIT colleagues, their model focuses on an transition to electric generation within the present private for-profit corporate model of the energy industry with “Near total electrification of transportation.”(://static1.squarespace.com/static/5e540e7fb9d1816038da0314/t/5f209173294b6f5ee41ea278/1595969952405/Jobs_White_Paper_Compressed_Release.pdf)

Rewiring America and Griffith, Calisch, et al make a good case for the notion that a transition to largely electric energy generation by non-fossil fuels, can lead to large numbers of relatively low tier jobs can be created in the present corporate capitalist economic structure that exists today. The problem with the approach of Rewiring America and Griffith, Calisch, et al, is that their work is predicated on the extraction and development of natural resources which have disproportionately negative impacts imposed, by force, upon vulnerable communities of color - particularly indigenous communities. I would argue that, we should push for alternative economic models - such as solidarity economics - with energy conservation and sustainable generation programs developed through networks of local community based decision making bodies that ensure vulnerable communities, particular indigenous communities, have a leadership role in planning.

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Haven’t we the people been saying this for the past 20 or 30 years?
I’m losing hope.

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Do you have reference for this, or is this based on your own calculations? Either way, please provide the details.

Doing some very back of the envelope calculations, I see if you try to book all outlay cost in oil, you aren’t that far off. But if you had buy renewable electricity to build the nuclear plant and you had to pay all the other costs (engineers, CEOs, bankers, concrete companies - you can book some but not all of the concrete cost as energy), I think energy wouldn’t be more than 10% of the cost (but I need @Trog to chime in here as I’m just guessing).

For the thought experiment where all outlay cost is ultimately oil, I did:

~https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/how-much-does-nuclear-cost-6000-a-megawatt-at-least gives an upper estimate of $10/watt. Now I will use this figure but I absolutely do not support building any more Gen III nuclear plants for which this number applies. Cost per watt projections for Gen IV have uncertainty of course but Trog has given his numbers before I think around 1/2 this or a bit less. (I can’t find his post - I really need to learn how to search posts from the past better). I see ~https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2019/06/c10-million-to-develop-first-molten-salt-molten-reactor.html where Moltex claims as low as $2/watt but Trog included regulatory costs and I think was more like $3-4.

For comparison solar cells cost around $3/watt installed (~https://www.solarreviews.com/solar-panels/solar-panel-cost/), BUT the solar cell though it will last a long time currently (comments made during “Planet of the Humans” were way outdated) does not generate power 24/7. Capacity factors for solar seem to top out at 25% so you can multiply that solar cost by 4 to compare. So we can conclude that solar is about the same or a bit more than old gen nuclear (again, which we should never build now) and perhaps a factor of 2 more expensive than new gen nuclear.

So what does $10/watt mean? Let’s assume that not that much energy (in oil) is used during operation of the nuclear plant, but lets make the assumption that all $10 of the install cost was oil cost (at $50/barrel which can generate 1.7 MWh of electricity with 100% efficiency. Let’s call it 1 MWh from a 60% efficient conversion for this back of the envelope calculation).

So for that 1 W, 40 yr (more or less full time) capacity, I had to spend 1/5 a barrel of oil or 0.2 MWh. This can be compared to 40 years at 1 watt or 1 * 40 * 365 * 24 = 0.35 MHh.

So if you are pessimistic and say - I don’t think that plant will really last 40 years or make some other assumptions, perhaps you can get your numbers to have the right inequality. But I think it is the assumption that a significant cost at install is energy is the part where it breaks. If you did the calculation yourself, please tell us your fractions for outlay (unit of oil/watt) and operational costs (unit of oil/kWh).

Nuclear shills are the worst.