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A New Shade of Green

By Sherry Listgarten

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About this blog: Climate change, despite its outsized impact on the planet, is still an abstract concept to many of us. That needs to change. My hope is that readers of this blog will develop a better understanding of how our climate is evolving a...  (More)

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Can we build enough clean, affordable power on time?

Uploaded: Dec 5, 2021
Last week’s blog post had an overview of the planning process that the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) used to decide how to replace Diablo Canyon’s nuclear power without increasing emissions. The end result was a request that power providers contract for 2,500 MW of zero-emitting power that will be available in evenings, when clean power is especially scarce relative to demand. (1) That request was part of an unprecedented 11,500 MW ask for the 2024-2026 period. The question I left for this week’s post is whether power providers will be able to comply in a timely fashion at reasonable cost.


Will power providers be able to comply with the CPUC mandates?

To answer this question, and to understand more generally how these procurement mandates are impacting our local communities, I spoke with some of the people who buy power for our homes and businesses: Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) Director of Power Resources Monica Padilla; Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) Director of Power Resources Siobhan Doherty; and City of Palo Alto Utility (CPAU) Senior Resource Planner Jim Stack. There have been several CPUC procurement requests lately, two addressing near-term summer reliability plus the one discussed in last week’s blog, so they had a lot to say. (2)


Monica Padilla (SVCE) and Siobhan Doherty (PCE)

SVCE’s Padilla, who has worked on planning and procurement for 30+ years, was up front about the challenge. “They are asking for so much capacity so fast. On top of that, we need many resources from CAISO (e.g., transmission) to integrate the new supply with the grid. We need so much labor, qualified labor. So much material. We have to get equipment to the US and California. And have it built by 2023-2024.”

The CPUC itself agrees that this is not easy, explaining: “Looking ahead to the summers of 2022 and 2023, there is the real potential for delays associated with procurement already underway …. For example, there are interconnection queue limitations, supply chain issues being faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, high global demand for battery storage, and challenges with skilled labor availability for engineering and construction of new energy resources, all of which will impact LSEs’ ability to bring resources online in the coming two summers.” (3)

Fortunately our local power providers were not surprised by the CPUC requests. Peninsula Clean Energy was already procuring resources that are available during the critical “net peak” period (4-9pm). Doherty explains: “We have a mission to address climate change, and so we have long had a goal to be 100% renewable on a time-coincident basis. As a result, we haven’t had to change our purchasing plans much. In just the last three months we signed three relevant contracts -- two solar + storage, one wind. We are also nearing a contract for long-duration storage (8-hour battery) as part of a joint procurement with other community choice agencies.”


Peninsula Clean Energy plans to match supply to demand each hour. Source

Padilla said Silicon Valley Clean Energy had seen the “obvious” need for net peak capacity as early as 2017-2018, given the decommissioning of Diablo Canyon and several old gas plants. Power providers had been purchasing solar and wind to satisfy the renewable portfolio standards, but those resources weren’t addressing the high demand on hot summer evenings. SVCE began pairing solar with storage almost exclusively in a joint effort with Central Coast Community Energy. They also moved early to acquire some geothermal energy, one of the few “clean, firm” resources that are available at least 80% of the time. Ironically, much of this was acquired too early to count towards the new requirements, so SVCE will be contracting for more. (4)


Silicon Valley Clean Energy has contracted for $1.6 billion in long-term renewable energy projects. Source: SVCE

Jim Stack of City of Palo Alto Utilities clarified that municipal utilities are not subject to these CPUC requests, and moreover have only a five-year planning cycle rather than a two-year one. Palo Alto has no battery storage and in fact its power portfolio has been pretty static for the past five years. CPAU continues to re-evaluate its larger hydropower contract, which expires in 2024. The city’s hydropower dropped by about 50% this past year due to widespread drought, and climate change is generally making hydropower less reliable. Furthermore, Palo Alto’s larger (of two) hydropower resource is technically considered an import (it is not in CAISO), which CAISO does not prefer. Although the utility negotiated a better rate for the next few years, it may end up dropping that hydropower contract altogether for something with a complementary profile, perhaps offshore wind, though that won’t be online until the second half of the decade at the earliest.


Will Palo Alto be powered by offshore wind in 2030? Source (background chart only): CPAU

With the many requests coming in from CPUC, Doherty said that Peninsula Clean Energy has been soliciting offers for more supply. “We belong to a joint procurement agency that recently put out a request for offers for clean firm energy. In addition, just a few days ago we published a request for offers (on our own) pretty much looking for everything.” I asked how all of this procurement was affecting prices. “We’re definitely hearing that prices are going up because everyone is looking for the same resources,” she replied. “Plus there’s inflation, plus there are supply chain issues. It’s hard to separate.” Doherty gave an example of how the fast evolution of the grid also makes it hard to evaluate long-term contracts. The “Effective Load Carrying Capability” factors that quantify how much of a resource’s capacity will count towards the mandate (how much it addresses “net peak” demand) are only fixed for the next two years. Anything beyond that is just guidance. This can make it hard to determine how much a long-term contract will count towards the requirements and whether the contract makes sense.

Padilla was even more blunt about the impact of procurement mandates and related macro-economic issues on energy costs. “Prices are going crazy.” She pointed to challenges with the CPUC processes. “The Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) process (the standard two-year planning cycle) is designed to identify the least-cost paths. But what we are seeing now is some overwrite of that process with these procurement mandates. So maybe now it’s not always cost-effective. At minimum, we are seeing that the long-duration storage component of the request is not cost-effective. Is the IRP process broken? That is my take. Would we have procurement mandates if it were working?” She continued: “At Silicon Valley Clean Energy we care deeply about reliability. And we care deeply about affordability. So how do you price reliability? The consequences of failure are pretty severe. We can’t have rolling blackouts.”

Palo Alto’s Stack wondered if customers understand how expensive it is to make the system ever more reliable. “That was a 1-in-100 event in the summer of 2020. Should we plan for that, or can customers tolerate a few hours of outages? It would save so much money. We see transmission costs going up 5-10% every year because we’re building more of it and hardening it to fire. Soon transmission costs will be on par with the renewable purchases.” To counterbalance those rising costs, Stack is very enthusiastic about the upcoming smart meter rollout. It will help people to use energy at times when it is cheaper and keep down overall prices. He also mentioned the importance of siting new projects in places where adequate transmission is already available, or close by.

I asked the three power leads what they foresaw as the biggest risks to replacing Diablo Canyon with clean energy in the 2024-2026 timeframe, and more generally achieving the CPUC targets. All cited the difficulties of signing contracts and getting energy online in the few years available. Doherty and Padilla echoed Stack’s concern about transmission, not only costs but also delays. “We need to make sure that projects are moving through CAISO’s queue,” warned Doherty.


Data visualization of CAISO’s queue at end of each year. Source: Berkeley Lab

Padilla added that further restricted imports or more old gas plants going offline could also make it difficult to hit the goals. She emphasized that community choice power is a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. “While some people blame the CCAs (community choice agencies like SVCE and PCE) for reliability challenges, it’s just an unfortunate coincidence that we came about at the same time climate change created upheaval on the grid.” At this point, she said, “It’s a transition. Silicon Valley Clean Energy has signed $1.5 billion worth of purchase agreements, and these are real projects, ground has been broken. We aren’t going anywhere. We have huge investments in our community, and the local politicians are heavily invested. We bring a lot to the table. We are willing to negotiate, we have a faster approval process, and we have plenty of projects to choose from.”

A big part of the problem is that we are in uncharted territory when it comes to power planning. I once heard someone reflect that “We haven’t lived on this planet before;” that certainly complicates forecasting! What was a 1-in-100 year heat wave in the past might be a 1-in-30 year event today, and might soon be a 1-in-10 year event. We are planning for severe circumstances that we have never planned for before. Rapid procurement faces its own set of challenges, exacerbated by the pandemic. If you have time, read a few pages of the “Background” section in this recent CPUC document (starting at page 4, which is page 9 of the pdf) to get a sense of the state’s view. Among other things, it says (regarding the summer 2022 request): “Based on these realities, we expect it could be extremely difficult to actually identify and procure sufficient demand- and supply-side resources to reach 2,000 MW of online and available contingency resources for summer 2022, let alone the 3,000 MW target…. It may not be possible to reduce the risk to zero during an extreme weather event given the short timeline we face.” The CPUC’s reliability ask for 2024-2026 is four times larger and contains some particularly limited resource targets (e.g., geothermal). Hitting those clean energy marks will not be easy.

Nevertheless in my opinion it is the right thing to try. California’s ambition is laudable and its success is plausible because of the innovative and economic power of our state. The fast pace of clean energy development around the globe can work in our favor. California has many supply- and demand-side tools at its disposal (6), and the state is putting considerable effort into helping the load-serving entities to reduce power-sector emissions. I am optimistic that we will succeed. I do worry about the costs and wish I better understood the guardrails. That’s a good topic for another post. But there are many ways to limit and allocate costs, and it is past time for us to step up, reduce our emissions in earnest, and stop the damage we are doing to the planet and our future.

I look forward to your comments and questions.

Notes and References
1. Technically reducing demand (demand-response) counts as well, in which power providers ensure that a certain amount of demand shifts away from the peak period to other times.

2. I appreciate the time that Doherty, Padilla, and Stack spent talking with me. One of the many benefits of having local power providers is that they are closer to the community in which they operate, and they actively engage as such.

3. “Interconnection queue limitations” refers to a scarcity of resources for transmission planning. LSE = “Load-Serving Entity”, which refers to a power provider.

4. The CPUC currently allocates the asks based on the share of peak demand that power providers handle. They have also considered doing it based on their contract position, which would generally help the large investor-owned utilities that have been losing customers to the community choice providers.

5. Developer financing depends on customer credit ratings.

6. The state is still debating which resources they will allow to qualify for these mandates (e.g., will they allow some types of gas resources). Recently the state delayed the retirement of some gas plants so they could be available during summer heat waves as needed. It is certainly possible that the state could delay retirement of Diablo Canyon as well, but the economic case needs to be clear as the nuclear power is not flexible. It needs to run all the time and so will push the cheaper renewables offline when they are plentiful. Keeping the plant operating would also preclude offshore wind off the central coast from using Diablo Canyon’s transmission lines. I would anticipate no more than a 3-4 year extension for this nuclear power plant, if that.

7. The state is issuing periodic reports on procurement. A recent one for 2019's 3300 MW order can be found here. It reports that power providers have generally over-procured what is needed, though a few projects meant to come online by August 2021 have been delayed.

8. I appreciate the statement below from one of the CPUC’s 2019 decisions about power planning. The commission is aggravated that the newer/smaller power providers are treating gas plants like a hot potato when in fact they play a critical role providing power when we need it most. (LSE = “Load Serving Entity” = power provider; CCA = “Community Choice Agency”, typically a local power provider; IOU = “Investor-Owned Utility” = one of the three large power providers in the state: PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E).

“We also wish to make clear to all LSEs that there is a shared responsibility among all of them for a reliable electric system that meets the state’s environmental goals at least cost....The current market trends appear to show that a large proportion of the responsibility for operational needs still rests on the large IOUs, despite the fact that resource adequacy requirements apply to all LSEs now serving customers. While the IOU customers have historically shouldered the burden of reliability resources, particularly natural gas, the load is departing rapidly for alternative providers, particularly CCAs, and the responsibility has not appeared to shift proportionately. The IRP filings of the majority of CCAs are focused primarily, if not exclusively, on the acquisition of renewable and storage resources. While that is admirable and necessary, it is also the case that even by 2030, if we meet our GHG emissions goals, the need for natural gas resources to help support system reliability will not be reduced to zero. While we are focused on minimizing the operation of fossil-fueled resources to the extent possible, especially in disadvantaged communities, there will still be the need to contract with existing natural gas resources needed to maintain system reliability as well as affordable electricity in the state while this broader transition is underway. And that responsibility needs to be shared fairly among all of the LSEs serving load within the CAISO. It will not be sufficient or appropriate for new CCAs to lean on these resources procured by IOUs, and provide the public with messages about their cleaner resource mix, while focusing their resource procurement efforts only on renewable and storage resources.”

Current Climate Data (October 2021)
Global impacts, US impacts, CO2 metric, Climate dashboard (updated annually)

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Comments

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Dec 5, 2021 at 7:54 am

Bystander is a registered user.

As a child I grew up with a lamp beside my bed and that was it in my room. The heating in the house was on a timer and the room would be heated for about 30 minutes before it was time for me to get up. I walked to school and when I came home I played outside until dinner was ready and then I came in for the evening. TV was not turned on until after dinner. Heating came on in the house just before dinnertime and remained on until the time my parents went to bed. Laundry was done once a week and dried outside. Vacuuming was probably not a daily chore. I am not sure what other appliances we had that used power on a daily basis.

I say all this because the amount of power we used in the house was tiny compared to what is used in most family homes today. Not only are houses expected to stay warm/cool 24/7, but the demand on power for devices and appliances is huge. We all have devices that need to be charged, we expect to be able to watch tv, use computers, and even charge our cars at home.

Reducing demand may not be realistic for our 21st century lifestyles, but power that is not able to keep up with demand seems to be behind the times.


Posted by Joseph E. Davis, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on Dec 5, 2021 at 7:57 am

Joseph E. Davis is a registered user.

The CPUC states that it is "focused on minimizing the operation of fossil-fueled resources to the extent possible, especially in disadvantaged communities". Why the focus on disadvantaged communities? Isn't it the total amount of fossil fuels used that matters, not who uses them?

Given the subtext of expected large price increases expressed in this article, these "disadvantaged communities" would probably be best served by remaining with natural gas.


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Dec 5, 2021 at 8:53 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

Cut back on use of your heater. This is California, not back East or the mid-west. Put on a sweater or use a blanket. Heat is stifling, and with the exception of getting the chill out of your home, is it really necessary to run the darn thing? Our home is well insulated, and we never turn on the heater. It would be nice if others could conserve as well.


Posted by David+Coale, a resident of Barron Park,
on Dec 5, 2021 at 9:40 am

David+Coale is a registered user.

As a few people have mentioned, conservation has to play a roll in our energy use. While I am sure this was in the calculations of how much additional energy we need, it was not mentioned.

People can use resources like OhmConnect Web Link and Home Energy Analytics Web Link to reduce their energy use. These services are free and Ohm Connect will actually pay you to conserve. You must have a smart meter to make use of these services. Palo Alto residents can use the Palo Alto's Home Efficiency Genie to find out ways to conserve energy Web Link

Also mentioned above, there are many common sense actions that perhaps people have forgotten about or have not paid attention to. My favorite one is the clothes line. This will payback in a few months and I can always find a sunny day to do my laundry or hang it up in the garage.


Posted by [email protected], a resident of Portola Valley,
on Dec 5, 2021 at 3:47 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

One need not put in much effort to read between the lines to see that what is described in the article contains a healthy does of wishful thinking.

First off, these planners need to concede that EVERY source of power has some degree of intermittency. Meaning the source will have some periods of time when it is not available. Some these periods are predicable such as solar which has a daily "OFF" time, wind which is generally available about 50% of the time, hydro which has the nasty habit of not being available during dry years and conflicts with storage for AG and domestic/industrial use. Less frequent but still must be a part of the plans is shut downs for periodic maintenance and system failures. If we are going to have a reliable system that is needed not just to keep us warm and in cooked food but to keep our economy functioning this periodicity needs to be a partt of the plan.

Second is cost. The raw cost of energy from wind and solar is really only realistic when the cost of the need backups in the form of some form of storage is built in to the cost. The same applies to the transmission grid. All parts need to have back up paths that can bypass failed links and parts out of service for maintenance or repair.

Lastly these "Planners" need to be much more pragmatic about construction costs and timing. Most major infrastructure projects in our country run up to 2 to 3 times longer than eternally optimistic planners will admit to. And costs run 4x to 5x the original plans (such as the Bay Bridge rebuild)

Any time I see the words "Hope To" in any of these prognostications I feel certain that the spoken goals will not be achieved at the foretasted performance nor within the expected time or costs.


Posted by Missy Phillips, a resident of another community,
on Dec 5, 2021 at 4:49 pm

Missy Phillips is a registered user.

Bystander & Jennifer brought up some good points. Is our over-reliance on perceived "creature comforts" exacerbating this energy problem?

We wear layers of clothing at home to keep warm minimizing heater use and do not utilize the washer/dryer more than twice a week. The largest portion of our electricity bill probably comes from the refrigerator which is always left on to prevent food spoilage.

Big screen TV viewing is also kept to a minimum as our family members rely on their devices (iPads, iPhones) for entertainment.


Posted by TimR, a resident of Downtown North,
on Dec 6, 2021 at 9:26 am

TimR is a registered user.

As the UK realized last winter, sometimes the wind doesn't blow according to plan. Which illustrates how precarious it is to fight climate change by planning on the climate not changing much. Wind should really be last on the list of potential alternatives here.


Posted by Sherry Listgarten, a PleasantonWeekly.com blogger,
on Dec 6, 2021 at 3:35 pm

Sherry Listgarten is a registered user.

Hey everyone. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts. A couple of responses…

@Joseph, the state wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which means reducing operations of fossil-fuel plants within the constraints of reliability, etc. They are suggesting that they prioritize restricting fossil plant operations in disadvantaged communities. Why? I’d guess that it’s because people with less means are more likely to suffer from the pollution that those plants create. Their houses are leakier, their health plans are weaker, their finances are thinner. The polluting fossil plants in those communities do more damage because the people living there are less able to mitigate the effects of and deal with the repercussions of the pollution.

@Jennifer/David/Missy/Bystander: I am all for energy efficiency, esp things like LED lights, roof/attic insulation, energy star appliances, variable speed motors, and smart thermostats. These few things can have a big impact and generally provide good bang for buck. I talk about them a lot! I get less excited about the zillion smaller optimizations that I worry distract and annoy more than anything else. Vacuuming? TV watching? I don’t want people to think twice about those things. I also worry that it may do more harm than good to suggest to people that they don’t need to turn on the heat or that they should line-dry their clothes. I think those suggestions are unworkable as well as unappealing and even tone-deaf for the vast majority of people here, which can lead to their writing off “environmentalists” more generally. But I’m curious what others think.

@Stan: The variability of different resources as well as things like maintenance are included in the models, as are transmission costs and energy/storage needed to complement renewables. I have tried to share information and visuals that demonstrate this.

@TimR: You may be right that wind is more unpredictable than sun, though cloudy days impact solar, and I don’t know how our forecasting is for clouds vs wind, or the relative frequency and/or duration of each. I do know that there is much more wind than sun during the critical evening hours. (See the ELCC chart in the last blog post.) Taller turbines, off-shore turbines, and increased transmission to access distant wind can all help to reduce the variability of wind. I am very enthusiastic about the potential for offshore wind. (I wrote this post a year or so ago, and since then the Biden administration has taken key steps to enable it off our coasts.) But YMMV.

Thanks for the interesting comments.


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Dec 6, 2021 at 5:12 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Sherry -- I guess we agree to disagree on the heater. IMO, people waste heat the same way they waste A/C. Moderation is the key. Setting the heater at 78 degrees (my credit union, a library in Contra Costa County, a friend of mine, etc.) is as wasteful as setting the A/C at 68 degrees. Just because you can afford to pay the bill doesn't mean you should be wasteful. Our PG&E smart meter is a tremendous help.


Posted by KOhlson, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Dec 7, 2021 at 1:25 pm

KOhlson is a registered user.

Perhaps some of the commenters here can help me understand how turning down a thermostat in the winter can help keep clean electricity available in the evening hours - since the vast majority of homes in CA are heated with gas? Sure, there's a modest effort to move to heat pumps, but for now into the foreseeable fate, setting a heating thermostat to 50 degrees will have little if any effect on evening availability of clean, reliable electricity.

In parts of the state that need AC, price incentives and connected thermostats seem to be working, at least for now.


Posted by Ronen, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle,
on Dec 7, 2021 at 1:29 pm

Ronen is a registered user.

Sherry, as always, a great article.

I again repeat my comment from last week: closing down Diablo Canyon when ANY fossil fuel generation remains on the grid is shortsighted and foolish. Your article also reinforces the notion that in addition, it's also bad economics.

At the very least, we need to keep Diablo Canyon operating through the end of the decade, accelerate our renewable energy portfolio development, and keep all that darn carbon out of the atmosphere.


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Dec 7, 2021 at 4:10 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

I have been noticing lately that there are many tv commercials advertising generators powered by natural clean gas as back ups to the unreliable electrical power from PG&E. From the commercials it seems that as soon as the lights go out, the generators kick in and the lights come back and the family can resume watching tv or playing video games.

The truth is that California is getting a reputation for unreliable electric power. Until or unless something changes, that reputation will stick.


Posted by Janice Selznick, a resident of College Terrace,
on Dec 7, 2021 at 4:23 pm

Janice Selznick is a registered user.

Today's (12/7) WSJ has a front page story stating: “Demand for Fossil Fuels will last for Years." This is from leaders of the world's largest energy companies, and what they're doing to meet the demands of their customers.

If I had my druthers, I'd be investing in a lot of 4th Gen nuclear power plants for the state.


Posted by Citizen, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Dec 7, 2021 at 4:33 pm

Citizen is a registered user.

Hi Sherry,
How feasible is active carbon capture on a large scale, powered by renewables? It just seems like we're out of time. (Good title)

I have a sibling who works in nuclear fusion, and when asked how long until we have working fusion producing power, the answer is $50 billion. (It's not a matter of time, but things have progressed enough that it is a matter of funding to complete concrete steps.) Putting in perspective, if the 10 or 20 wealthiest individuals got together, that would be chump change. And also a game changer.






Posted by Robert Neff, a resident of Midtown,
on Dec 7, 2021 at 11:36 pm

Robert Neff is a registered user.

Exciting times for our grid!

@citizen: I don't think carbon sequestration will come until we get to the carbon tax that makes its cost pencil out. By the time that is imposed, it will be cheaper to stop burning carbon. And air travel will be really expensive.


Posted by Robert Neff, a resident of Midtown,
on Dec 7, 2021 at 11:36 pm

Robert Neff is a registered user.

Exciting times for our grid!

@citizen: I don't think carbon sequestration will come until we get to the carbon tax that makes its cost pencil out. By the time that is imposed, it will be cheaper to stop burning carbon. And air travel will be really expensive.


Posted by William Hitchens, a resident of Mountain View,
on Dec 8, 2021 at 12:58 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

@Janice
I agree your comment about considering Gen 4 nuclear plants. But despite their inherently far greater safety, they will meet huge public resistance. So this will create huge permitting and construction obstacles and delays --- think on the order of 10 years or more while their construction works its way through a liberal legislature, permitting agencies, and State and local courts.

So in the intermediate term, since there is no viable mass storage of energy from solar and wind, and since we need a reliable 24/7 backup for renewable power sources, clean natural gas fired power plants will be the only practical backup sources to renewable resource electrical power sources. Maybe effort should be put into developing and installing carbon capture and sequestration at their stacks. That would probably be far cheaper than construction of huge energy storage facilities all over the State.


Posted by Barron Park Denizen, a resident of Barron Park,
on Dec 8, 2021 at 4:44 pm

Barron Park Denizen is a registered user.

The idea is romantic but naïve that wearing a sweater and being more temperature-tolerant will make up for a huge nuclear plant in a state of 40 million. In those olden days, there wasn't widespread air conditioning resulting from population growth in hot areas, electric Caltrain, electric cars, laptops and home PCs, cell phone towers, and data centers that now use fully 1% of the nation's electricity supply. Our state wasn't using 29% of its power supply to transport and distribute water. There wasn't a (misguided) groundswell of cheering for all-electric homes. Drought is surely not making our hydropower more reliable.

It's a shame that the Altamont wind farms chop up so many beautiful golden eagles, about 60 each year, without incurring fines--here's hoping that wind power is seen for the environmental damage it causes. Sounds like natural gas peaker turbine plants will be coming back into fashion.


Posted by Eeyore (formerly StarSpring), a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Dec 14, 2021 at 8:25 pm

Eeyore (formerly StarSpring) is a registered user.

I have to say that I have come to enjoy the early morning cacophony of two stroke gasoline leaf blowers almost as much as I enjoy basking in the yellow flame of outdoor propane heaters in our parklets.

Either this is an all-hands-on-deck existential emergency, or we can afford to kick the can down the road. I think it is the former, but all evidence shows that most people do not.

I predict that a handful of Palo Altan's will inconvenience themselves (with noisy heat pumps) for a decade or so (and feel good doing it). At that time the world will have a f-all awakening and those alive at the time will be, literally, in a fight for their lives.

I think we need more Greta Thunbergs here. The mainland United States has never been directly touched by global affairs for 200 years. That is about to change.


Posted by Lily Cole, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Jan 1, 2022 at 11:34 am

Lily Cole is a registered user.

Is it truly possible to replace Diablo Canyon with clean energy in the two to four year timeframe? How much extra work is needed to even attempt to get there?

There has been a lot of talk about corporations and governments aiming to have zero carbon emissions or other environmental goals by certain years. Yet, the actions being taken right now to really achieve these goals are often times unclear.


Posted by Paly Grad, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Feb 11, 2022 at 8:07 am

Paly Grad is a registered user.

This was in the international news today:

“France to build up to 14 new nuclear reactors by 2050, says Macron"

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