PHOENIX (AP) — A freight train derailed Wednesday as it traveled on a bridge that spans a man-made lake in a Phoenix suburb, setting the bridge ablaze and partially collapsing the structure,…
— Read on apnews.com/5999bc22afb37853dd39dd12fa2c02fe
At a time when water use is being challenged due to limits in water availability, conservation in the power industry is the next step in creating better long term water use. Agricultural solution are beginning got be implemented. They has been extensive in the utility industry, but yet to be pursued in the power industry.
Power uses about 40% of water in the us – primarily for cooling. The use includes evaporation and increased temperature given the cooling is designed to increase water temperatures up to 10F. Water cooling is more efficient than air cooling which costs about 25-30% of total efficiency. But such plants still use 60+% of their efficiency to cooling losses. Recycled water is an option but there are limited to temperatures, so even with full recycling getting to zero water use is hard, and only achievable with new power plants.
THe power industry continues to evolve and increasing efficiency is a prime goal – if yu can increase efficicency from 30 to 50% that is a huge amount of power without a huge added investment. Let’s watch the progress.
There is a huge move toward electric vehicles. GM is going full electric on its passenger cars. There is a huge push to get electric long haul tricks on the roads asap. Florida has legislation permitting is in 2020. 1.3 million Americans without a high school diploma will be displace by this move. Bad for them, bad for people, good for those looking to make money. They represent 1/3 of transportation costs, which is 10% of the US economy. But a bigger question is whether all the electric vehicles, which will permit better tracking, speed control and in theory efficiency, can be supported by the electric grid. The change to electric vehicles will create hot spots where concentrated truck usage will occur. Given that e-commerce has upended the retail world, the potential for electric vehicles to upset the grid is a consideration. How and when they recharge, realizing that delivery vehicles in urban areas and taxis are targets for conversion to electric fleets in addition to long haul trucks.
For more folks, note that Ford will introduce both an all-new F-150 and an F-150 hybrid version in 2020, Ford said. “The fully electric Ford F-150 is coming soon after,” it confirmed, adding that the vehicle is part of an investment of more than $11.5 billion toward global electrified vehicle investment. Keep in mind the Ford F150 pickup is the biggest selling vehicle by far in the US. This is potentially huge.
However before we jump too fast in the conversion to electric, consider that the lack of natural gas and hydrogen fueling stations limit the potential for vehicles powered by natural gas or fuel cells, so access to the grid will limit the potential for electric vehicles. Expect that unless plans are made, the conversion to electric vehicles will stress the grid. Not that grid issues should change our desire to move off gasoline, despite what Koch Enterprises wants.
Does it sound right that methane pops up in your backyard? Some folks in northeast Ohio don’t think so after a 2018 explosion on an XTO energy gas well exploded. It released a lot of methane to the atmosphere, and may have been the largest methane leak in many years. This was one of Ohio’s wells (Ohio has over 100,000 gas facilities). It is a poster child for what is wrong with the oil and gas industry. Today a number of non-profit organizations are trying to monitor methane releases because it contributes over 25% of greenhouse gas emissions.
At the same time, a recent study found that hydropower, a supposedly clean power sources, creates carbon dioxide and methane releases from decaying vegetation in the water (it volatizes as water flows through the dam). EDF scientist Dr. Ilissa Ocko found 200 facilities that competed with coal power/MW over a 10 years period. Who would have thought?