AuthorTopic: The Dimming Bulb  (Read 14426 times)

Offline RE

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The Dimming Bulb: FL now up to 10M without Juice!
« Reply #60 on: September 11, 2017, 05:26:52 PM »

More Than 10 Million People Lost Power in Florida

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, the southwest of the state’s electrical grid will need a “wholesale rebuild.”

A few hours after losing all power, a Florida woman keeps tabs on news while riding out the worst part of Hurricane Irma in Kissimmee, Florida. Reuters / Gregg Newton

    Alexis C. Madrigal 10:52 AM ET Technology

Hurricane Irma slammed the west coast of Florida on Sunday, making landfall first in the Keys and then at Marco Island, 15 miles south of Naples. Since then, it’s been making its way northward, visiting destruction on the state as it weakens.

As the storm progressed through Florida, it knocked out the lights all over the state. In a press conference Monday morning, Eric Silagy, the president of the state’s largest electric utility, Florida Power and Light, estimated that more than half the state is without power. That’s more than 10 million people, which dwarfs the number who lost electricity during Hurricane Sandy, which had been the record holder for hurricane-related power problems with 6.2 million affected.

Florida Power and Light is the nation’s third-largest utility and provides power to 4.9 million homes and businesses. Early Monday morning, 4.4 million of those customers had lost power, some multiple times, as the utility restored service and then it was knocked out again. “We’ve had over 5 million outages across our territory. That is unprecedented,” Silagy said. “We’ve never had that many outages. I don’t think any utility across the country has. It is, by far, the largest in the history of our company.”

Already, the company has restored 1 million connections, though some only temporarily.

On Sunday, the utility’s VP of communications, Rob Gould, told ABC that residents on the east coast could expect a standard post-storm restoration timeline, but that the west coast’s electrical grid would need a “wholesale rebuild.”

“This is going to be a very, very lengthy restoration, arguably the longest and most complex in U.S. history,” Gould said.

That task will begin very soon. The company plans to have 16,000 people, including thousands from other utilities, working out on the lines.

The restoration of power to western Florida will be a test of the resilience of Florida Light and Power’s vaunted smart-grid infrastructure. The utility says it has invested over $3 billion in making its grid “stronger, smarter, and more storm-resilient.”

It was standing with FPL’s CEO that President Obama announced $3.4 billion in smart-grid grants through the Department of Energy as part of the stimulus package, and when the utility finished its smart-grid installation in 2013, it was lauded as smart-grid technology’s coming-of-age moment.
FPL’s grid was about the best the country could have brought to the table.
All the investment appeared to pay off last year during hurricanes Hermine and Matthew. All the fancy new gear prevented some outages and helped the utility get things back running quickly.The Edison Electric Institute, a utility-industry trade group, gave FPL two awards earlier this year for "Emergency Recovery" and "Emergency Assistance" because of its performance during the 2016 hurricanes.

In other words, FPL’s grid was about the best the country could have brought to the table. And now, apparently, Irma has laid waste to at least a large chunk of that system.

What could a “wholesale rebuild” mean?

An electric grid is a complex technical system. There are power plants that feed electricity onto the grid and there are consumer loads that take the power. In between, there is connective tissue that allows for long-distance transmission of power as well as for the local distribution of that electricity: high-voltage transmission lines, substations, transformers, and regular local power lines.

Generally speaking, power outages usually happen toward the edges of the network, when local power lines get snapped or their poles are felled.

FPL’s statement indicates that the west-coast grid has sustained damage beyond the standard downed power lines. Pieces of the system’s core have been compromised. However, given how early they are in the effort to bring power back, they haven’t had a chance to inspect all their facilities.

“We haven’t seen structural damage,” the utility’s president Silagy said Monday morning, “but I am sure we will see some.”

This happened to several utilities during Hurricane Sandy in 2013—which, until today, had caused more people to lose power than any other in history. In a deep postmortem, Greentech Media detailed some of the carnage inflicted on one utility, Public Service Enterprise Group. Sandy had damaged 16 substations, one-third of its transmission circuits, multiple power plants, and thousands of distribution lines and poles. Two million of their 2.2 million customers lost service.
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Offline RE

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🛢️ We Can No Longer Afford a Fossil Fuel Economy
« Reply #61 on: September 13, 2018, 01:10:48 AM »

We Can No Longer Afford a Fossil Fuel Economy
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Global Research, September 10, 2018
Region: USA
Theme: Environment, Law and Justice, Oil and Energy
In-depth Report: Climate Change

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above 

Featured image: #WeRiseForClimate protest in San Francisco, September 8, 2018 from flickr.

The Global #RiseForClimate actions are just one example of many that the climate justice movement is building the power needed to transform the economy and put in place policies to confront climate change.  The ingredients exist for the climate justice movement to rapidly succeed. A challenge is not knowing how much time we have. Scientists have been conservative in their estimates, and feedback loops could rapidly increase the impacts of climate change.

The costs of not acting are high. The benefits of investing in a clean energy economy would be widespread. We need to keep building the movement.

Source: New Climate Economy

The Climate Crisis Is Already Devastating

The urgency of the climate crisis is obvious and cannot be reasonably denied. ABC News reported about the horrific California wildfires, saying there is an “undeniable link to climate change.” They wrote,

    “Experts have said that rising temperatures linked to climate change are making the fires larger, more dangerous and more expensive to fight.”

This year’s fires broke records set by last year’s fires, leading Governor Jerry Brown to describe them as the “new normal” caused by years of drought and rising temperatures.

Researchers at Columbia University and the University of Idaho reported in 2017 that human-caused warming was drying out forests, causing peak fire seasons across the West to expand every year by an average of nine days since 2000. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the 2017 fire season cost more than $2 billion, making it the most expensive fire season on record.

Extreme heat is becoming more common because of climate change. Since 2001, 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have occurred. Records were broken all over the world this year. Record heat is also contributing to more ferocious storms. Storms with heavy rain and high winds are increasing, as the Union of Concerned Scientists warns.

Michael Mann, an atmospheric science professor at Penn State University, clarifies the science:

    “What we can conclude with a great deal of confidence now is that climate change is making these events more extreme. And its not rocket science, you warm the atmosphere it’s going to hold more moisture, you get larger flooding events, you get more rainfall. You warm the planet, you’re going to get more frequent and intense heat waves. You warm the soils, you dry them out, you get worse drought. You bring all that together and those are all the ingredients for unprecedented wildfires.”

    Our Lives Matter from #RiseOnClimate Flickr.

Economic Cost of Climate Impacts Is Rising

Global warming will hit the US economy hard, particularly in the South. The Richmond branch of the Federal Reserve Bank cites a study that finds refusing to combat climate change could utterly devastate the South’s entire economy. The Fed notes, “higher summer temperatures could reduce overall U.S. economic growth by as much as one-third over the next century, with Southern states accounting for a disproportionate share of that potential reduction.”

There is a correlation between higher temperatures and lower factory production, lower worker productivity and lower economic growth. An August 2018 report found:

    “The occurrence of six or more days with temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit reduces the weekly production of U.S. automobile manufacturing plants by an average of 8 percent.”

Ironically, the oil and gas industry, which is accused of undermining climate science, is now asking government to protect it from the impacts of climate change. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, swamping Houston, it caused an immediate 28 cents per gallon increase in the price of oil. After Harvey a Texas commission report sought $61 billion from Congress to protect Texas from future storms. Joel N. Myers, of AccuWeather, predicted in 2017 that the total losses from Harvey “would reach $190 billion or one percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.” The cost of a 60 mile seawall along the Texas coast is initially projected to be $12 billion.
People Act Where US Fails on Mitigating the Climate Crisis

Harvey broke the record set by Hurricane Katrina, which cost $160 billion.  The 10 most destructive hurricanes caused an estimated $442 billion in losses. Out of 27 extreme weather events in 2016, researchers for the American Meteorological Society have correlated 21 of them to human-caused climate change.

A 2018 Climate Change Assessment report for  California estimated climate change:

    “could soon cost us $200 million a year in increased energy bills to keep homes air conditioned, $3 billion from the effects of a long drought and $18 billion to replace buildings inundated by rising seas, just to cite a few projections. Not to mention the loss of life from killer heat waves, which could add more than 11,000 heat-related deaths a year by 2050 in California, and carry an estimated $50 billion annual price tag.”

Impacts are seen throughout the United States. A report found that “since 2005, Virginia has lost $280 million in home values because of sea-level rise.” A 2018 study found coastal properties in five Southeastern states have lost $7.4 billion in potential value since 2005. The 2017 Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report estimates the lost value of flooded structures and land at over $19 billion. Additionally, Hawaii’s roadways, bridges and infrastructure will cost $15 billion to repair and replace. The National Flood Insurance Program is losing $1.4 billion annually largely due to claims in 284 coastal counties. The Congressional Budget Office  finds the program is already $20.5 billion in the red even after the government forgave $16 billion in debt last fall.

These are just some of the many costs — food, agriculture, fishing, oceans, storms, fires, droughts, heat, flooding and more are going to worsen significantly.

Climate change could be the cause of the next economic collapse due to the cost of climate damage, an insurance industry crisis, or stranded assets, as over-investing in carbon energy has caused a fragile carbon bubble.

The US Can Transform To A Climate Justice Economy Now

While there has been progress on clean energy, it is inadequate and sporadic compared to the urgent needs. We need dramatic escalation with clear goals — keep fossil fuels in the ground, use agriculture and wetlands to sequester carbon, deploy renewable energy, build climate justice infrastructure and transition to a new economy based on sustainability, democracy and equity.

This week, the world’s largest wind farm opened. It can power 590,000 homes in the UK. Another planned wind farm could provide the power for 2 million homes. The world is only scratching the surface of the potential of wind and solar.

We can no longer afford the old carbon energy economy. A new climate economy would add $26 trillion to the global economy by 2030, a conservative estimate. It will create 65 million new jobs and prevent 700,000 premature deaths. This transformation provides an opportunity to create the future we want based on economic, racial and environmental justice.

Just as we are underestimating the high costs of climate change, we have also “grossly underestimated the benefits and opportunities unlocked by smart, connected, distributed energy technologies,” David Roberts writes in Vox. We will look back after the transition and wonder why we waited as we will see “the benefit of quieter, safer, more livable cities and better respiratory health, we’ll wonder why we ever put up with anything else — why we nickel-and-dimed the transition to electric buses, long-haul trucks, and passenger vehicles; why we fought over every bike lane and rail line.” We can also implement Solutionary Rail – a network of electrified railroads that also serves as an energy grid serving rural areas and relieving roads of trucks.

The 2018 New Climate Economy Report reports time is running out; extreme damage from climate change is being locked in. We need a sustainable trajectory by 2030. The developing world needs infrastructure and much of the developed world’s infrastructure is failing. The report finds, “The world is expected to spend about US$90 trillion on infrastructure in the period up to 2030, more than the entire current stock today. Much of this investment will be programmed in the next few years.” We need to spend this on creating a new sustainable economy.

Adele Peters quotes Helen Mountford, lead author of the Global Commission project,

    “If we get that infrastructure right, we’re going to put ourselves on the right path. If we get it wrong, we’ll be very much stuck on that wrong pathway.”

The report examined five areas: cities, energy, food and land use, water, and industry. Building sustainable, efficient, clean energy infrastructure will reduce health costs, and increase productivity and innovation. This requires policy based on equity, cutting fossil fuel subsidies while increasing the price of carbon, and investing in sustainable infrastructure.

The good news is we have the ability and technology to make the transition. We know what works. We lack the leadership, but this leadership void can be filled by the people. When we lead, the leaders will follow.

As the crisis hits and national consensus solidifies, people will need to demand a new economy based on equity, fairness, democratized energy and serving the necessities of the people and planet. This new democratized economy could include a federal buyout of the top US-based, publicly-traded fossil fuel companies. It could include the reversal of disastrous privatization with nationalization of key industries and public ownership of energy utilities to serve the public interest, rather than private interests.

Polling on risks of climate change. Yale Program on Climate Communication, 2018.

National Consensus Is Solidifying For Climate Action

Despite mis-leadership by power holders and lack of commercial media coverage, people know climate change is having major negative impacts and want to action taken to confront it. Yale reports that polls show 83% want research funded on alternative energy, 77% want CO2 regulated as a pollutant, 70% want strict limits on CO2 from coal-fired power plants, and 68% even favor a carbon tax on polluters.

Obama’s policies on climate were inadequate, and he led massive building of oil and gas infrastructure. The current administration denies climate change exists, hides research on climate, is reversing Obama’s positive steps and opposes the national consensus. This is going to lead to a climate justice boomerang. More storms and the cost of climate change will cause people to rebel and demand the transformation political elites have refused.

There is an impressive mobilized movement; not just the Global #RiseForClimate, but people putting their bodies on the line and risking arrestto stop carbon infrastructure. Activists are successfully delaying the approval of pipelines, often with Indigenous leadership as their rights are crucial for climate justice. Activists are arguing their resistance against polluters is being done out of climate necessity and are sometimes succeeding.

Oil companies are being sued for hiding the truth about climate change – former scientists are exposing them – and are now being forced to disclose climate change risks to shareholders. Activists are confronting investors of carbon infrastructure and insurance companies on coal. Workers are confronting unions on the issue. Youth are suing for a livable climate future.

The movement is building power. The path needed is clear, but escalation is urgent.


Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, co-directors of Popular Resistance where this article was originally published.
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💡 The Dimming Bulb: Power outages hit parts of Manhattan
« Reply #62 on: July 13, 2019, 06:03:12 PM »

Power outages hit parts of Manhattan sending subway stations, stores into darkness

By Stephanie Pagones

July 13, 2019 | 7:26pm | Updated

Times Square goes dark amid widespread power outage. Christopher Sadowski

A manhole fire caused extensive power outages across Manhattan’s West Side early Saturday evening, plunging subway stations, Broadway theaters and department stores in the heart of the Big Apple into darkness on the 42nd anniversary — nearly to the hour–of the 1977 blackout.

Officials said some 42,000 residents were without power.

Traffic lights were out up and down the avenues, and apartment residents wound up trapped in their elevators. Many of Times Square’s storied sky-scraping billboards also blinked out.

The blackout hit just before 7 p.m. as the temperature hovered around 86 degrees, crippling a broad stretch of Manhattan west of 5th Avenue, from W. 42nd Street to W. 72nd, Con Edison’s outage map shows.
Enlarge Image
outage map
This maps shows where New York was affected by the power outage on Saturday.ConEd

The outage slowed or stopped subways throughout Manhattan.

“Disruption is significant,” Mayor de Blasio tweeted at 8:22 from Iowa, where he is campaigning.

City officials were working with the NYPD, FDNY and other city agencies to respond to the emergency, he tweeted.

Fire officials confirmed a  transformer fire at 64th Street and West End Ave., but couldn’t immediately say if that was the source of the outage.

“#FDNY is on scene of a transformer fire at W 64th St and West End Ave.” the department tweeted at 5 p.m.

“Members are responding to reports of numerous stuck elevators that are occupied, but there are currently no patients reported,” the tweet said.

Smoke was reported in numerous locations on the West Side, including at the Port Authority and Rockefeller Center.

“There’s a power outage at the subway station on 59th, anyone else having this problem? #MTA,” tweeted user Elizabeth Brennan, along with a picture.

Straphangers said the 7th Avenue station, too, was pitch black.

Twitter user @SouthPawSweet posted a photograph of Times Square, which showed the lights that usually covered the Crossroads of the World Square had gone out.

An FDNY spokesman said the department had received several reports of stuck elevators and stopped subways through Midtown as a result of the outage, though it was still working to pinpoint the cause.

Shortly after 9:30 p.m. on July 13, 1977, power went out throughout the city after a severe thunderstorm destroyed power lines critical for delivering electricity to the five boroughs. The power was gradually restored throughout the next day.
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💡 Tropical Storm Barry leaves tens of thousands without electricity
« Reply #63 on: July 15, 2019, 12:33:14 AM »
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