CA Going Carbon Negative – Costs Don’t Matter

Posted by Jack

Nobody knows the costs or the impact on California taxpayers and businesses, but never mind that, the goal is to produce more clean air than dirty air so its worth it.

Senate Bill 100, signed yesterday by Governor Edmund Brown, increases the amount of electricity to be supplied by renewables to 60% by 2030 – up from the current target of 50% by 2030 – with all of its retail electricity supply to come from renewable energy and zero-carbon resources by 2045.

The bill also requires the state’s Public Utilities Commission and its Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to take steps to ensure that a transition to a zero-carbon electric system for California does not cause or contribute to greenhouse gas emission increases elsewhere in the western grid.

The executive order reaches beyond the electricity sector, which represents 16% of California’s GHG emissions, directing the state to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and net negative GHG emissions after that. This will require large investments across all sectors – energy, transportation, industrial, commercial and residential buildings, agriculture, and various forms of sequestration including natural and working lands, Brown said.

“This bill and the executive order put California on a path to meet the goals of Paris and beyond. It will not be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done,” Brown said. He did not mention costs or who was going to pay for it and what its overall impact would be on the State’s economy.

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13 Responses to CA Going Carbon Negative – Costs Don’t Matter

  1. Cherokee Jack says:

    It’s a good thing our environmentalists weren’t around to prevent climate change a few thousand years ago. A big part of North America would still be under a few hundred feet of ice, and we’d have to watch for saber-tooth tigers while barbecuing in the back yard.

    Isn’t it great that we’ve evolved to the point that we can now control the natural processes of change?

    • Tina says:

      A perfect picture of the idiocy…Democrats never think things through. The fantasies in their lives take up all of their meager brain cells.

      Added to the energy costs noted in the poster are ongoing maintenance and repair fees, which are too costly…the investment becomes a money sink.

  2. Tina says:

    An article in Forbes from 2010, before the latest insanity, includes expert opinions that apply, “Green Power Gridlock: Why Renewable Energy Is No Alternative”

    Subsidies obviously influence markets. Writing in the LA Times, Evan Halper quotes Neil Fromer, the executive director of Caltech’s Resnic Sustainability Institute, observing that: “One of the biggest challenges is you can’t create a market for the resources without solving the demands of moving electricity from one physical place to another. But you can’t solve that problem until you understand what the market structure will look like.”

    Adding greatly to that uncertainty, Trieu Mai, a senior analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory laments, “The grid was not built for renewables.” Accordingly, as Halper notes, “Planners are struggling to plot where and when to deploy solar panels, wind turbines and hydrogen fuel cells without knowing whether regulators will approve the transmission lines to support them.”

    Nevertheless, the problems can only get worse as California leads other states in a rush to bring more and more wind and solar power onto grids that weren’t planned to accommodate it. A report by a group of Caltech scholars projects that the necessary upgrades to make a green future work will be “one of the greatest technological challenges industrialized societies have undertaken”. They project this can be expected to cost about $1 trillion nationwide by 2030.

    And what is likely to occur if that additional taxpayer and ratepayer subsidized cost burden isn’t covered? Jan Smuthy-Jones, executive director of Sacramento’s Independent Producers Assn. which represents owners of renewable and gas power plants, presents an ugly scenario. He warns that current proposals to move California to as much as 80 percent renewable energy within the next two decades are bumping up against prospects of another San Diego-type blackout which occurred in 2011.

    If the insanity stands expect your energy costs to skyrocket and taxes too. There will be people who cannot afford to remain in their homes anymore. there will be elderly people that die because they can’t afford to pay heating and cooling costs.

    My family has already begun the exit process.

    Jerry Brown and his friends in the gated communities that can afford fantasy living can have it.

  3. Libby says:

    I swear, I don’t know how we ever made it to the moon! And, let’s be real … as an objective, that was one frivolous enterprise. However, the Teflon and Velcro and other stuff that was developed in consequence have been very useful … haven’t they?

    The only reason you can’t take the same attitude toward this endeavor is plain paranoid partisanism.


    • Tina says:

      Not true Libby. This isn’t the same as Kennedy saying we would get to the moon in ten years and we didn’t know how. This is like the Brown bullet train fantasy. Brown and company are willing to spend big money on technology that would be sustaining…as long as we all went back to living in grass huts and hunting for food. They will invest in wind and solar projects that aren’t reliable 24/7/365 and can’t possibly fuel the grid or fill the demand. In the meantime our energy costs will begin to go through the roof.

      It’s good to dream big but at some point you also have to tell the truth about what is actually possible. We have some control when developing new plastics or Velcro. We can’t control sunlight or the wind according to demand.

      It isn’t politics; it’s science and business sense.

      The second reality, as opposed to fantasy, is that the hype about the dangers we face is very high and based on politics, not science.

      • Libby says:

        “This isn’t the same as Kennedy saying we would get to the moon in ten years and we didn’t know how ….”

        It is too. We have know idea how we are going to get willful ignoramuses like yourself to recognize the threat to humanity in global warming and mend your selfish and wasteful lifestyles. But we will figure it out.

        I’m not even going to address your bullet train delusions. They’re nonsense.

        “We can’t control sunlight or the wind according to demand.”

        Wrong again. There’s been something invented some time ago, and being improved upon as we speak: the battery. Now tell me what the difference is between innovative battery tech and the development of Velcro? There is no difference … except of course for the partisan political one tearing around in your head.

        • Tina says:

          “We have know (sic) idea how we are going to get willful ignoramuses like yourself to recognize the threat…”

          Because you can’t overcome the mounds of scientific evidence that refutes the lies, much less the willful ignorance that refuses to get the scam perpetrated by the greedy opportunists that continue to sell it.

          “…mend your selfish and wasteful lifestyles…”

          Spare me the arrogant judgemental accusations. Conservatives are conservationists…and lovers of accuracy and truthfulness.

          Take ye to thy goddess and repent your slandrous ways.

          “There’s been something invented some time ago, and being improved upon as we speak: the battery.”

          Oh…you love the new batteries! They are useful in some applications but will not alter the reality about windmills and solar.

          March 2013, Stanford, “Stanford scientists calculate the carbon footprint of grid-scale battery technologies”

          To provide more flexibility in managing the grid, researchers have begun developing new batteries and other large-scale storage devices. But the fossil fuel required to build these technologies could negate some of the environmental benefits of installing new solar and wind farms, according to Stanford University scientists.

          “We calculated how much energy it will cost society to build storage on future power grids that are heavily supplied by renewable resources,” said Charles Barnhart, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) and lead author of the study. “It turns out that that grid storage is energetically expensive, and some technologies, like lead-acid batteries, will require more energy to build and maintain than others.”

          We’ve been working on a solution for a longer life batteries since the late seventies…40 years! My father-in-law worked on it. We have yet to produce battery arrays with the capacity to store enough energy to meet your unrealistic goals.

          And you’ll love this:

          Wired Magazine, “The spiralling environmental cost of our lithium battery addiction – As the world scrambles to replace fossil fuels with clean energy, the environmental impact of finding all the lithium required could become a major issue in its own right”

          In May 2016, hundreds of protestors threw dead fish onto the streets of Tagong, a town on the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. They had plucked them from the waters of the Liqi river, where a toxic chemical leak from the Ganzizhou Rongda Lithium mine had wreaked havoc with the local ecosystem.

          There are pictures of masses of dead fish on the surface of the stream. Some eyewitnesses reported seeing cow and yak carcasses floating downstream, dead from drinking contaminated water. It was the third such incident in the space of seven years in an area which has seen a sharp rise in mining activity, including operations run by BYD, the world’ biggest supplier of lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and electric cars. After the second incident, in 2013, officials closed the mine, but when it reopened in April 2016, the fish started dying again.

          That’s right, CA will likely depend on dirty Chinese producers for their batteries, thus hiding the actual environmental impact and placing it in someone else’s backyard.

          Climate Central addresses the issue in terms of what it would take to reach 80% renewable energy, at the national level:

          We could build 243 hydroelectric dams that have Hoover Dam’s generating capacity (that’s 10 new dams a year, on average). Mind you, that means we would also need 243 mighty rivers like the Colorado that don’t already have dams on them. There aren’t enough rivers left in the U.S. to support that number of large dams, and smaller dams alone can’t generate enough electricity to replace coal power plants.

          We could build 194,900 wind turbines, each having 2 megawatts (MW) of capacity (a typical size). That would mean building more than 8,000 new turbines each year, or 22 turbines a day, every day, for 24 years. Even if this is doable, we’d also have to overhaul the U.S. electrical grid, and add a way to store electricity, in order to safely and reliably use the intermittent flow of electricity that comes from wind turbines.

          We could build 64 new nuclear power plants the size of New York’s Indian Point power station. Since the Fukushima disaster in Japan last spring, however, that kind of construction rate, with nearly four nuclear plants being built each year, no longer seems realistic. And keep in mind, the U.S. hasn’t built a new nuclear plant in over 20 years.

          We could build 10,200 solar energy farms — but each one would have to be the size of Nevada’s Copper Mountain solar array, which is currently the country’s largest. The amount of space needed for this number of solar panels: an area about three times the size of Delaware.

          Land use restrictions are also considerations. Thousands of acres will be required to reach Brown’s lofty goals…windy acres…sunny acres.

          SD Union Tribune, “Wind energy in California: The good news and bad news”

          California’s desert areas are considered prime spots for wind farms and in the finals months of the Obama administration, a plan was finalized that set aside more than 10 million acres for conservation and recreation and designated 388,000 acres for clean energy development, such as solar and wind projects.

          Rader said that number is too small, saying about 80 percent of federal land in the desert is off-limits to wind farms.

          At the same time, a number of counties across the state have issued their own restrictions.

          San Diego County in 2013 adopted rule changes for wind projects, with Rader complaining that an inclusion of a noise restriction is too strict.

          Los Angeles County recently passed a renewable energy ordinance that bans large-scale wind turbines in unincorporated areas. Inyo and Solano counties have also put in place restrictions for wind projects.

          “We’re facing restrictions like that all around the state,” said Rader. “You can’t put a wind project anywhere. You have to go where there’s good wind and that’s in really limited areas.” …

          … Resistance also comes from some residents in rural areas who say wind farms mar views and raise general quality of life issues.

          “You want to go with renewables but then you get down to the county level and people say it’s a disturbance, it lowers our land value and we don’t want to see it,” said Gary Ackerman, executive director of the Western Power Trading Forum, an organization based in Sacramento whose 90 members in the West buy and sell power. …

          … POC executive director April Rose Sommer said her group likes clean energy but believes the Tule project poses a significant danger to birds, golden eagles in particular.

          “In this case the damage done to the environment, the damage it does to birds … is not worth what you get out of wind power,” Sommer said.

          April 2014, Forbes:

          …is the solar revolution finally here? Not quite. Even after a decade of rampant growth solar energy still barely moves the needle in the U.S. energy mix. In fact, solar merely equals the amount of electricity that the nation generates by burning natural gas captured from landfills. And it’s only slightly more meaningful than the 7.3 million Mwh we get from burning human waste strained out of municipal sewer systems.

          Indeed, when you factor in all the sources of energy consumed in this country, captured solar power amounts to well less than 1 quadrillion Btu out of an annual total of 96.5 quadrillion.

          The biggest sources are the old standbys. Oil still reigns supreme at 36 quadrillion Btu, natural gas at 26 quads, nuclear 8. Hydropower and biomass bring up the rear at 2.6 and 2.7 quads. Wind is just 1.5 quads. And coal — the great carbon-belching demon of the global energy mix — its contribution is 19 quads. That’s nearly 8 times all the nation’s wind and solar generation combined.

          We already have technology to produce clean coal, it’s just a matter of implementation, which will happen since the industry wants to compete.

          Solar and wind projects also require large government subsidies to make them cost effective. That’s an ongoing expense that will require higher tax rates for consumers in addition to the higher costs they’ll have to pay for personal energy use.

          These are realities that ignorant lawmakers refuse to consider when they pass such laws. The best hope for improvement is technology but not by force.

          You zealots on the left have no faith in those who actually create solutions or the companies that compete to produce them. We all want a clean world. Politicians are hardly in a place to determine how and when improvements can happen. The government has no business creating law, with deadlines and penalties for noncompliance, when we are not even as yet in the ballpark per their expectations.

  4. J. Soden says:

    Those folks still in Taxifornia are taking another look at leaving the Demwit-run “paradise.”
    The sooner the better for your wallet – and peace of mind!

  5. More Common Sense says:

    Say goodbye to retail in small town California!

    Have you noticed that large stores in small towns like Chico are closing? If they aren’t closing they have turned off so many lights it’s hard to see the products.

    Two years ago PG&E converted all commercial electrical accounts to time of day use. I went to one of the information meetings that PG&E held to try and understand what was going on. PG&E was doing this to decrease power usage so they could comply with the regulations that had been passed in Sacramento at that time. We were told that we could expect a 10% to 20% increase in the cost of power if we held our usage constant. So basically they just jacked the price up.

    The room was full of business people from the community. The farmers said their biggest cost was pumping water. They would just convert to pumping at night. The manufacturers in the room said they could switch to swing and grave shift so they were out of the high cost time. The retail people in the room were just shaking their heads. What do we do, tell the customers to come back at 9:00 pm.

    This is insanity!

    • Tina says:

      The nuts and flakes that are making the rules never met a payroll and never had to worry about the bottom line. Their overpaid cushy jobs with benefits give them zero ability to know what they are doing to those who create the wealth and make the whole thing possible.

      I feel for the retailers and not all manufacturers can work night shifts either. We didn’t have enough employees to make that work for us. The burden of taxes, compliance, and high energy costs are enough without asking people to work odd hours.

      There’s absolutely no good reason that Californians have to pay more for their energy that other people across the nation. We have the technology and know how to produce clean energy at lower costs. The only reason we pay more is because the big government lefties invest so much in useless regulation, stupid costly ideas, and pie in the sky dreams. They are very poor managers of the people’s money.

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