Doomstead Diner Menu => Energy => Topic started by: RE on December 07, 2014, 01:05:20 AM

Title: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: RE on December 07, 2014, 01:05:20 AM

Off the keyboard of RE


Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666

Friend us on Facebook


Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 7, 2014



Discuss this article at the Energy Table inside the Diner


dim-light-bulb



While all eyes are focused right now on the Oil Price Collapse, with it’s numerous implications as far as the Energy Industry, Bankstering and Transportation Industries are concerned, in the background and not well reported on or chronicled statistically is the ever widening problem of Electrical Grid Blackouts & Brownouts.


Even more than liquid fuels for transportation, Electricity DEFINES the Modern Industrial Culture, and is considered an “Essential Service“.


Living without electricity in today’s technological world may be difficult to imagine. Yet the reality of living without computers, mobile phones and entertainment systems, and managing a transport system thrown into chaos by an absence of traffic lights, trains and subways, may become increasingly common, according to an academic study published today.


New research by Hugh Byrd, Professor of Architecture at the University of Lincoln, UK, and Steve Matthewman, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, reveals that today’s occasional blackouts are dress rehearsals for the future, when they will occur with greater frequency and increased severity.


According to the study, power cuts will become more regular around the globe as electrical supply becomes increasingly vulnerable and demand for technology continues to grow at an unprecedented rate.


Professor Byrd said: “Electricity fuels our existence. It powers water purification, waste, food, transportation and communication systems. Modern social life is impossible to imagine without it, and whereas cities of the past relied on man-power, today we are almost completely reliant on a series of interlocking technical systems. Our research therefore explores what happens when the power goes off, and explains why the security of fuel supply is such a pressing social problem.”


Electrical power has been defined as a ‘critical infrastructure’ by the International Risk Governance Council, in that it is a ‘large-scale human-built system that supplies continual services central to society’s functioning’. However, electricity supply is less robust than commonly supposed.


You simply cannot run any modern city without copious amounts of Electricity, most often provided by Coal Plants around the world, but with dependence also on all the forms of Fossil Fuel and Nuclear, as well as Hydro and Wind Power in selected locations.Every one of these forms of Power generations faces issues now, and the grid which distributes the power also is deteriorating and keeping it repaired and functional after every weather related problem from Tornadoes to Ice Storms and just plain old T-Storms costs every community more money they just do not have every day.



Going back to 1989 in Mr. Peabody’s WAYBAC Machine, Richard Duncan developed a metric of PER CAPITA Energy, which is much more important than precisely how much Oil is coming out of the ground at any given point in time, although despite the Hype on Fracking, Oil Production globally has been FLATLINED for near a decade now, and the Fracked stuff just keeps us treading water, at an enormous price.


http://crudeoilpeak.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/World_without_US_shale_oil_Jan2001_Mar2014.jpg


In the intervening time between January of 2005 and January of 2014 though, the Total Global Population of Homo Sapiens has increased by roughly 1 Billion People with a current total population somewhat in excess of 7 Billion, for a roughly 15% Population increase over the time period:


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yS_YzuA20gw/UxfS-fxFD-I/AAAAAAAANPA/t5Zx1VgBlSI/s1600/6.jpg


So, just to stay EVEN in Per Capita Energy Consumption, over this time period Energy Extraction would have needed to increase also by 15%, but obviously it has not.  The amount of AVAILABLE per capita energy has been decreasing for quite some time, due mainly to Population Increase while the extraction rate for energy has remained more or less Flatlined for around a decade now.


At this point however, as credit becomes constricted to access energy in most places of the world (Ugo Bardi for instance noted that Italy has seen a 35% drop in Oil Consumption over the last decade), it’s not just Per Capita energy consumption that is on the downslide, but GROSS TOTAL CONSUMPTION as well.


You can see this in this chart from Doug Short, which shows a 10% drop in Gasoline consumption here in the FSoA over the last 6 years since the end of the Consumption Peak in 2008


Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 11.57.00 AM


So, the Demand Destruction and decreasing consumption of Energy is pretty apparent by the numbers in the Liquid Fuels area, but what about in the even more critical area of Electricity, powering the Lights, the Sewage Treatment Plants, the Elevators and the Subway systems of the major cities that have exploded in population since the Age of Oil began?


Fortunately for us observers of Energy Resource Depletion & Dissipation, we have available the Suomi NPP Visible Infrared Radiometer Suite, which has made some marvelous images of the night time Earth, including the Black Marble Image.


http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/79000/79803/earth_night_rotate_lrg.jpg


Here’s the Flat Map of the Whole Globe, revealing clearly where industrialization has infected over the years:


Night Lights 2012 - Flat map


Remarkable how small a portion of the world really got Wired Up here before burning through the legacy of a few million years of fossil fuel collection


After doing a bit of Googling, I found these two images of North America, one from 2012, the other from 1995.


1995-2012-lights


Now, these two images were captured with different equipment, but you can see unmistakeably how much the Great Plains area has diminished in overall lighting, with one notable exception, that VERY large and bright spot I circled in Yellow.  What do you suppose that is?


That folks is the Bakken Oil Fields around Williston, ND.  It’s partially increased electric lighting, but mostly NG Flaring.  Here’s a Closeup View:


http://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/bakken1.jpg


http://www.catastrophemap.org/oilmap/bakken-flaring-2014.gif


You can see the opposite effect if you look in the Southeast, increasing brightness down there where a lot of development took place through the period.


With the Suomi Instrument now up, detailed analysis of changing amounts of “light pollution” have been undertaken, most notably around Europe in this report published in January of 2014 in the Journal Nature:


Contrasting trends in light pollution across Europe based on satellite observed night time lights


The analysis is very thorough, and generates some very interesting data


We assessed changes in artificial lighting in terms of the extent of the areas decreasing and increasing in brightness over the region. The method was validated by the successful attribution of regions of both increasing and decreasing intensity in a calibration area in South-West England to urban and industrial developments, confirming that the observed direction and timing of change is consistent with known changes in nighttime light intensity on the ground. We then extended the approach to map areas of increasing and decreasing brightness across Europe. While the brightness of nighttime light pollution across Europe is increasing overall, clear regional differences exist, with considerable regions experiencing apparent net dimming over the period.


Here is the area around Southwest England used for calibration purposes.  Blue areas are decreasing light intensity, Red areas increasing:


15-year changes in nighttime brightness in South-West England.


Highlighted regions: (a) Annual trend in brightness for areas associated with the china-clay (kaolin) industry, (blue line); total china clay production (black line). (b) Annual trend in brightness for the urban region of Torbay (blue); total power load on municipal street lighting in Torbay (black). (c) Annual trend in brightness for Wytch Farm onshore oil field (blue); total oil production from the field (black). Map generated using ESRI ArcMap 9.2.


For Europe as a whole, here’s the maps and analysis:



(a) Intercalibrated mean brightness for Europe 2005–2010. (b) 10-year change in brightness, calculated as the difference in mean values for the periods 2005–2010 and 1995–2000. Grey areas are saturated throughout the time period, so trends cannot be detected. (c) Proportions of the total land surface area for which artificial light was detected to increase (orange) and decrease (blue) by more than 3 DN units in constituent countries of Europe. *Data south of 65 degrees latitude only. Map generated using ESRI ArcMap 9.2.



Changes in European light pollution


In common with recent studies in Asia13, 16, 24, Europe has experienced a marked net increase in nighttime light pollution since satellite images first became available (Figure 2). Inferences about heavily urbanised areas must be treated with caution as the DMSP/OLS sensors saturate at high light levels; however, marked regional differences within the unsaturated rural and suburban areas exist. It has been previously noted that large areas of some countries of the former Soviet Union, such as Moldova and Ukraine, experienced a contraction in lighting following independence22; the effects of this change are still evident in this study over a more extended time period. Widespread decreases in brightness also occur in Hungary and Slovakia. Moreover, we find that several economically developed countries, including Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Northern Germany also show areas apparently experiencing detectable localised declines in brightness.


The changes here aren’t uniform, and while some are predictable based on the current economic situation, some others are counter-intuitive.  Here’s a Geographical breakdown of a few selected locations:


Selected areas of maps shown in Figure 2, showing contrasts in trends in detected nighttime light between different countries.


(a) Belgium shows decreases in nighttime brightness along the motorway network, while neighbouring regions of France have increased substantially in brightness. (b) Slovakia shows marked decreases in brightness, with the exception of Bratslava and towns in the west of the country. In contrast, neighbouring regions of Poland have become substantially brighter. Map generated using ESRI ArcMap 9.2.


As you might have expected if you follow collapse dynamics, countries formerly in the orbit of the Former Soviet Union (FSU), which did not glom onto the Western economy after the fall like Slovakia see a marked Dimming of the Bulbs, whereas countries like Poland got Brighter Bulbs in the aftermath of that collapse.  Southern European Nations which saw a lot of investment over the time period got brighter, whereas aging industrial countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have grown dimmer.


Moving around the globe to the East, you can see the close relationship between power consumption and GDP by looking at the graph of Power Output versus GDP for the period from 1998 through 2012:


http://av.r.ftdata.co.uk/files/2012/05/china_power_GDP.png


What can we expect moving forward here into the future?


Well, far as China is concerned, those numbers are going to continue to slide, and in all probability you are going to see the Bulbs go Dimmer in China over the next couple of years.  Even more than China, India is likely to see total lumens decreasing rapidly as time passes.


Unlike the numbers dished out by the Chinese Politburo or Da Fed and the BLS here which can be easily massaged to make it appear as though there is “Growth” where there is no real growth, the image data generated from the Suomi Satellite is harder to disguise, though of course not impossible either since both NASA and NOAA are Goobermint agencies.  At the moment however, there are probably too many scientists with access to the real time data streams to falsify the imagery, and too few people who recognize what is going on for it to matter on a political level if the Globe clearly shows a progressive and increasing Dimming effect.


If you are aware of these things though, this provides one of the BEST METRICS around to observe the collapse of Industrial Civilization.  At the moment I am unable to locate a way to access regular updated satellite imagery on this for the typical web surfer, however I am hopeful that my good friend Ugo Bardi, Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Firenza may have better luck through the university system.


 photo city_black_out_500.jpgBesides watching and cateloging as cities like Detroit and Hoboken grow dimmer, another fascinating Bright Spot to watch over the next year is that Bonfire going on in the Bakken right now, which one of my friends in the industry who flies in there regularly says is simply amazing to see from the air.  With an already 40% decrease in Drilling permits being applied for as the price of Oil drops here, it seems likely that this particular Bright Light will be a lot Dimmer next year, and dimmer still the year after that.


How LONG will it take for the Planet to go COMPLETELY Dark at night?  Probably a relatively long time, but at the same time there will probably be occassions where large regions go dark simultaneously and other occassions where the overall lumens decrease rapidly in a given location as many of the lights are extinguished.  A simple example would be a struggling municipality cutting off half its Streetlights in order to save on the Electric Bill.  Or a Suburb with a lot of foreclosures having a greater number of Dark McMansions.


1995-2012-lightsThe Comparison Photo I put up of North America 1998 vs 2012 probably gives the best indication of how the loss of electric power will go, first disappearing from Low Population Zones and gradually spreading toward the densely populated areas.  It looks as though California is getting close to being Sunffed Out going West from Bakken, and moving Eastward the Mississipi River Population Zone will see more Dimming.  This correlates well with the ongoing Geopolitical problems in places like Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, and of course rust belt cities like Detroit and Gary, Indiana.


In the Final Countdown, probably only a few Major Metros of First World cities like NY Shity, London, Berlin etc will still have so many lights on they resemble Diodes on a circuit board.  How LONG will this process take though?  Absolute Light Intensity Dimming  in North America over the last 15 years is discernable, but it hasn’t totally stopped BAU in the FSoA.  If the regression is a linear function, in another 15 years things would be worse, but not altogether different.


Thing is, this is probably not a linear function, as suggested by Ugo Bardi’s Seneca Cliff.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0DnON_XkgQc/Ts_9icXLfOI/AAAAAAAADuY/SPSgxOXs4W0/s1600/SenecaCliff.jpg


Once the dropoff begins, it tends to accelerate with many positive feedback loops involved.  So in all likelihood we will see acceleration of this phenomenon around the globe over the next 15 years, and a significant portion of the currently Lit Up portions of the Black Marble will have gone dark by then.


Here in the FSoA, probably the most significant one to watch over the next couple of years is the Hoover Dam.  As of Novemeber 2014, the water level is at 1083 feet.  Here’s the last few years of records for Lake Mead:


2007  1129.55  1129.35  1125.79  1120.69  1115.89  1113.50  1111.58  1111.84  1111.06  1110.95  1111.22  1114.81
2008  1116.46  1116.93  1115.65  1110.61  1107.05  1104.98  1104.42  1105.13  1105.76  1107.94  1107.33  1110.97
2009  1111.78  1111.43  1107.40  1101.26  1096.92  1095.26  1094.20  1093.73  1093.68  1093.26  1093.52  1096.30
2010  1100.02  1103.21  1100.66  1098.00  1094.30  1089.30  1086.97  1086.91  1083.81  1082.36  1081.94  1086.30
2011  1091.73  1095.78  1096.39  1095.76  1097.90  1102.38  1107.07  1113.45  1116.04  1121.00  1125.82  1132.83
2012  1134.18  1133.06  1129.41  1123.93  1119.38  1115.84  1115.92  1116.56  1115.16  1116.50  1117.24  1120.36
2013  1122.32  1122.14  1118.59  1112.91  1108.36  1105.98  1105.92  1106.13  1106.92  1104.04  1106.36  1106.73
2014  1108.75  1107.94  1101.71  1094.55  1087.46  1082.66  1080.60  1081.55  1081.33  1082.79  1083.57

Hoover reaches the “Dead Pool” level at 950 feet, still 130 feet away, but relief from the drought affecting the Colorado River watershed is nowhere in sight at the moment.



“The level of Lake Mead is supposed to drop to an elevation of 1081.75 over the next few days, which is the lowest elevation it’s ever been since the lake was filled when Hoover Dam was built,” said Rose Davis, Bureau of Reclamation.


Lake Mead is not only the primary water source for Las Vegas, but it’s also how Hoover Dam produces power. Simply put, the lower the lake, the less electricity.


“Our concern is the ability to generate power. We’ve seen a 23 percent reduction in our capacity to generate power since the lake continues to drop,” Davis said.


The hydroelectric facility is taking steps so its current capacity of 1592 megawatts won’t go down anymore.


“We’ve been proactive over the last five years in putting in new equipment that operates more efficiently at low lake levels,” Davis said.


Three wide head turbines have been installed, and two more are on the way in the next couple years. It’s hoped they will arrive before Lake Mead gets to catastrophic levels that could bring the dam to screeching halt.


“What we call the dead pool, which is the elevation of Lake Mead where Hoover Dam cannot generate any power is about 950 feet,” Davis said.


Even without complete shutdown at Hoover, a 23% Reduction in power output is already hugely significant.  Referencing back to the close connection between GDP and Electric Power however, such a large reduction in Power Output means a similarly large reduction in GDP for the neighborhoods served by Hoover, which are vast going from Vegas to Phoenix to Los Angeles.  To replace that power they have to BUY fossil fuel power off the grid, every Kilowatt Hour Hoover does not produce is more money out of the ever more insolvent coffers of everyone living in this neighborhood.


However, until Hoover shuts down completely, these issues mostly are not recognized, neither by the typical J6P nor the MSM reporting on it and not even by most Economistas.  They don’t tie the ever decreasing Standard of Living to the Falling Water Level in Lake Mead.  These are disparate phenomena to them.  In fact your Standard of Living is ALL about how much Power you consume, and the higher the power consumption, the higher your ‘Standard of Living”, at least by the common metrics of the Industrial Era such as GDP.  The less access you have to energy, either Electricity or Gasoline to power your car, the lower your Standard of Living will be, eventually achieving 3rd World levels where the vast majority of the population has access to neither one.


How fast this will actually spin down still remains an open question, but now we do have Metrics by which to observe it, and to document that in fact there IS a Collapse in Progress, which most of the population remains in Denial about.  The end result is quite clear, it is the End of Industrial Civilization, and this is the FINAL COUNTDOWN.


Prior Collapse Cafes of Interest






Title: Massive Blackout in Turkey
Post by: RE on March 31, 2015, 08:33:20 AM
Lights Out!

RE

Massive Blackout Hits Turkey, Grounding Planes, Stopping Subways; Terror Not Ruled Out

Tyler Durden's picture



 

Ankara, we have a problem. 

At around 10:36 a.m. local time, Turkey suffered a massive power outage that left half of the country’s 81 provinces without electricity in what was the biggest blackout in a decade and a half. The blackout shut down subways in Instanbul and knocked out 11 of 16 air traffic control receivers, grounding flights to and from the capital. Although the cause is not yet known, officials haven’t yet ruled out the possibility that the blackout may be terror-related. Here’s more via Reuters

 
 

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said all possible causes of the outage were being investigated and did not rule out sabotage, but said that trouble with transmission lines was the most likely reason for the problem.

 

"Our main target right now is to restore the network. This is not an incident that we see frequently," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said during a trip to Bratislava, in comments broadcast on Turkish television.

 

"Whether or not terrorism is a high possibility or a low one I can’t say at this stage. I can’t say either whether it is a cyber attack," he said in response to questions from reporters.

...and a bit more via RT:

 
 

The worst power outage in 15 years struck most of Turkey, grounding flights and crippling rail networks. The government scrambled efforts to investigate the power cut, before energy was partially restored in the afternoon.

 

The outage was confirmed in some 23 provinces, including Ankara and Istanbul, by news agency Anadolu. Later information from Broadcaster NTV put the number at 40. 

 

Energy officials did admit that there was no electricity in most of the country for several hours, before electricity was restored by 15 percent.

 

...and here's a BofAML:

 
 

“If the problem cannot be fixed shortly, the wide scale suggests that the cost will be loss of a working day for the GDP.”

*  *  *

We would note that Energy Minister Taner Yildiz is known for getting to the bottom of mass power outages. You’ll recall that last year, when blackouts caused officials to count votes in local elections by candlelight, the minister quickly discovered precisely what went wrong:

 
 

"I am not joking, friends...A cat walked into a transformer unit. That’s why there was a power cut. It’s not the first time this has happened."

Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Eddie on March 31, 2015, 08:41:50 AM
"I am not joking, friends...A cat walked into a transformer unit. That’s why there was a power cut. It’s not the first time this has happened."

Save the kitty-cats. Turn off the Turkish power grid permanently to prevent animal cruelty!
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Palloy on April 01, 2015, 02:53:35 AM
I'm not so sure satellite images of stray light are a very good proxy for what really matters - having enough electricity to keep civilisation functioning. 

I would imagine there are plans for what actually happens when governments realise that there isn't enough coal at the power stations (or water in the hydro dam) to generate all the electricity people would like - some kind of rationing, I suppose, but how? 

Phones, internet, TV, radio, ATMs and EFTPOSs, water and sewerage pumping, street lighting would have a high priority, but that is nowhere near all the essentials.  You would need to keep the police, courts and prisons fully operational, otherwise there would be riots.  The military never sleeps, and border patrol, customs and immigration at airports, air traffic control, traffic lights in the streets, hospitals, old peoples' homes, fire services, funeral services, ...

And if banks, factories, fast food restaurants, bars and shops cannot have electricity, then the economy will stop anyway.

So what percentage of total electricity does that amount to? 50% ? More ? Does anybody know? Is there a plan? Because if not, then when it goes dark it will be quick and permanent.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: RE on April 01, 2015, 03:26:36 AM
I would imagine there are plans for what actually happens when governments realise that there isn't enough coal at the power stations (or water in the hydro dam) to generate all the electricity people would like - some kind of rationing, I suppose, but how? 

Rolling Brownouts & Blackouts.  It's done regularly in areas where they are short on Electricity.  Each area gets some power for a specified period each day.  Hospitals and such can be prioritized to receive power all the time, long as they are on their own circuit.  Rewiring can be done as necessary to triage down the power being issued out.

A full and instantaneous permanent blackout only comes if the whole grid is sabotaged in some way, could be through bombing or computer/software sabotage.  Or of course an EMP or Super Carrington Event.

The greater likelihood is more and more poor neighborhoods will have electricity cut off.  These areas will become like Mumbai Slums over time.  Rural areas will have their electricity cut off, so you definitely need Off Grid alternatives there if you wanna live with some Juice.

RE
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Palloy on April 01, 2015, 07:14:37 AM
Quote
Rolling Brownouts & Blackouts.  It's done regularly in areas where they are short on Electricity.

Yes, but for a modern rich country? Refrigeration can't function with only a few hours per day of power, and air-con is not much better.

After Fukushima and the phase out of nuclear and switch back to fossils, the total generation only dropped 4.5%. In fact there was a bigger drop in 2009 due to the crash, but how about a 10% or 30% cut?

Quote
These areas will become like Mumbai Slums over time.

I doubt it, you can't take a rich, well-armed city and migrate it into a Mumbai slum.  The people would burn the place to the ground in anger and shoot their way out like the Charlton Heston type in "No blade of grass".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7wx4VA7wwqU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7wx4VA7wwqU)
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: RE on April 01, 2015, 01:51:19 PM
Quote
Rolling Brownouts & Blackouts.  It's done regularly in areas where they are short on Electricity.

Yes, but for a modern rich country? Refrigeration can't function with only a few hours per day of power, and air-con is not much better.

After Fukushima and the phase out of nuclear and switch back to fossils, the total generation only dropped 4.5%. In fact there was a bigger drop in 2009 due to the crash, but how about a 10% or 30% cut?

Quote
These areas will become like Mumbai Slums over time.

I doubt it, you can't take a rich, well-armed city and migrate it into a Mumbai slum.  The people would burn the place to the ground in anger and shoot their way out like the Charlton Heston type in "No blade of grass".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7wx4VA7wwqU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7wx4VA7wwqU)

There will be load shedding also, and mandatory restrictions on A/C, like the mandatory Water restrictions now in place in CA.

Refrigeration will be shut down in many stores, and only a few central warehouses will be refrigerated.  Individuals will pick up their food, cook it and eat it, or do some other form of preserving it.  Many types of currently Refrigerated or Frozen Foods will stop being produced.  Freezer depts in stores will gradually shrink in size.

This will happen gradually if we don't have a Sudden Stop of the Monetary System.  The Centers of Power, NY Shity, The Shity of London, Berlin etc will keep full power on the longest.  Smaller Shities and Towns out on the periphery will be triaged off first.

RE
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: g on April 01, 2015, 02:04:12 PM
If and when Vegas is forced to shut the lights, that will assuredly be the end of the resource waste for the Western US population areas.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: RE on April 01, 2015, 02:11:21 PM
If and when Vegas is forced to shut the lights, that will assuredly be the end of the resource waste for the Western US population areas.

That vanishingly small Snowpack in the Rockies is the Death Knell for Lake Mead and Lake Powell and the Hoover Dam.  If they can make it through this next summer with the water level high enough to keep the Turbines from Cavitating I will be surprised.  They only had about 18 feet left of depth last year.

I gotta go over to NOAA and see what the latest hydrology is.

RE
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: RE on April 01, 2015, 02:29:50 PM
If and when Vegas is forced to shut the lights, that will assuredly be the end of the resource waste for the Western US population areas.

That vanishingly small Snowpack in the Rockies is the Death Knell for Lake Mead and Lake Powell and the Hoover Dam.  If they can make it through this next summer with the water level high enough to keep the Turbines from Cavitating I will be surprised.  They only had about 18 feet left of depth last year.

I gotta go over to NOAA and see what the latest hydrology is.

RE

Lake Mead currently @ 1085 ft, projected to fall to 1083 ft by mid-April.  1050 ft is the Cavitation Zone.  Current Slope on the graph indicates about a 1ft drop every 3 days, generous estimate.  So, 35 ft drop takes 105 days at steady state, but going into summer, evaporation rate increases.  Also by mid summer, any snowpack there was is gone.

Now, with radical water restriction usage in CA and in Vegas and everybody else tapped into that reservoir, they may be able to slow the decline rate some, but I doubt by more than 50%.

Without a radical change in the weather patterns the Hoover Dam is finished by 2016, maybe even sooner.

RE
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Surly1 on April 01, 2015, 02:36:59 PM
If and when Vegas is forced to shut the lights, that will assuredly be the end of the resource waste for the Western US population areas.

That vanishingly small Snowpack in the Rockies is the Death Knell for Lake Mead and Lake Powell and the Hoover Dam.  If they can make it through this next summer with the water level high enough to keep the Turbines from Cavitating I will be surprised.  They only had about 18 feet left of depth last year.

I gotta go over to NOAA and see what the latest hydrology is.

RE

Say goodnight, Gracie:

(http://www.abekleinfeld.com/images/Las%20Vegas%201-05/Bellagio-Fountain-Explosion-1-05.jpg)
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Palloy on April 01, 2015, 03:42:16 PM
Wikipedia says some 80% of the water in California is used to irrigate crops.  20% of that is for alfalfa for horse feed, the majority of it being exported to China.  Then there is 55 billion pounds of rice per year - growing rice in a desert when there is a severe drought on!  Of the household use, more than half is used to maintain gardens.  Totally fucking crazy place.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: RE on April 01, 2015, 03:58:45 PM
Wikipedia says some 80% of the water in California is used to irrigate crops.  20% of that is for alfalfa for horse feed, the majority of it being exported to China.  Then there is 55 billion pounds of rice per year - growing rice in a desert when there is a severe drought on!  Of the household use, more than half is used to maintain gardens.  Totally fucking crazy place.

You've hear the term "Pave Paradise, Put Up a Parking Lot" I trust?  From Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi"?

http://www.youtube.com/v/SIytTS1FXUc?feature=player_detailpage

The meme in CA was "Irrigate the Desert, Put Up Industrial Farms"  Besides the many Parking Lots also of course.

The conceit was that Nature could be controlled and the Earth remade to suit the needs and wants of Homo Sap in both cases.

CA is Ground Zero for the End to that Concept.  They are going down BIG TIME.

RE
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: MKing on April 01, 2015, 05:02:17 PM
Wikipedia says some 80% of the water in California is used to irrigate crops.  20% of that is for alfalfa for horse feed, the majority of it being exported to China.  Then there is 55 billion pounds of rice per year - growing rice in a desert when there is a severe drought on!  Of the household use, more than half is used to maintain gardens.  Totally fucking crazy place.

If we all pray together in unison to the big voice from the sky, maybe we can change the path of our country by dumping such deadweight?

(http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Earthquake.jpg)
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Palloy on April 01, 2015, 05:22:39 PM
I hesitate to believe anything on 1st April, but:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-04-01/first-time-history-california-governor-orders-mandatory-water-cuts-amid-unprecedente (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-04-01/first-time-history-california-governor-orders-mandatory-water-cuts-amid-unprecedente)
For First Time In History, California Governor Orders Mandatory Water Cuts Amid "Unprecedented, Dangerous Situation"
Tyler Durden
4/01/2015

Amid the "cruelest winter ever," with the lowest snowpack on record, and with 98.11% of the state currently in drouight conditions, California Governor Jerry Brown orders mandatory water cuts in California for the first time in history.

As ABC reports,

    California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced a set of mandatory water conservation measures today, as the state continues to struggle with a prolonged drought that has lasted for more than four years.

    "Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow," Brown said in a statement after visiting a manual snow survey in the Sierra Nevadas. "This historic drought demands unprecedented action."

    For the first time in the state's history, the governor has directed the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water reductions across California, in an effort to reduce water usage by 25 percent. The measures include replacing 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought-tolerant landscaping, banning the watering of grass on public street medians, requiring agricultural water users to report their water use to state regulators, and requiring large landscapes such as campuses, golf courses and cemeteries to make significant cuts in water use.

    The governor’s announcement comes just a few weeks after NASA’s top water scientist, Jay Famiglietti, declared in a Los Angeles Times op-ed that California only had a year's-worth of water supply left in its reservoirs.

    The last four years have been the driest in California’s recorded history. As of March 24, more than 98 percent of California is suffering from abnormally dry conditions, with 41.1 percent in an exceptional drought, according the U.S. Drought Monitor, which estimates that more than 37 million Californians have been affected by the drought. The state’s snowpack, which is largely responsible for feeding the state’s reservoirs, has been reduced to 8 percent of its historical average, and in some areas in the Central Valley the land is sinking a foot a year because of over-pumping of groundwater for agriculture.

    ...

    “We are in an unprecedented, very serious situation,” the governor said in his January statement. “At some point, we have to learn to live with nature, we have to get on nature’s side and not abuse the resources that we have.”

*  *  *

And as we noted previously, while all eyes are focused on dry river beds and fields of dust, the mountainous ski resort areas are seeing their economies devastated. As Bloomberg reports,
 
    Last year Vail reported a 28 percent drop in skier visits at its California resorts, and the company warned investors that its financial results would be worse than anticipated.

    Those numbers reflect what could be a larger contraction of Tahoe’s ski industry. Seasonal and part-time hiring has slid 27 percent over the last three years, according Patrick Tierney, a professor of recreation, parks, and tourism at San Francisco State University, and spending on ski-related services has decreased from $717 million a year to $428 million. An older analysis by the San Francisco Reserve Bank showed that the value of resort-area homes in places like Tahoe can depend heavily on climate; even a 2-degree increase could cut home values by more than 50 percent.

*  *  *

The drought is getting worse... not better.
Title: As Drought Rages, California Farmers Find ways to Conserve Water
Post by: g on April 02, 2015, 10:33:24 AM

 
As drought rages, California farmers find ways to conserve water

California Governor Jerry Brown has imposed water use restrictions for the first time in the state's history. The drought’s impact on California agriculture has placed a spotlight on the importance of investment in the land-grant universities, which have a tradition as centers agricultural research and knowledge.
By Daniel Bornstein, Food Tank April 2, 2015   

                                      (http://images.csmonitor.com/csm/2015/04/CALIFORNIA_DROUGHT_37268767.JPG?alias=standard_600x400)
     
  Houseboats float in the drought-lowered waters of Oroville Lake near Oroville, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday April 1, 2015 ordered sweeping and unprecedented measures to save water in California.

 

California, spurred by the drought ravaging the state’s agriculture for a third year, is refocusing its water conservation efforts.

“This drought has brought home to more people the truth that California is a dry place and we are not going to have all the water we want,” said Jay Lund, professor of civil and environmental engineering at University of California-Davis and director of its Center for Watershed Sciences.
According to Lund, limiting the use of groundwater (found in aquifers beneath the surface) in wetter years allows replenishment of groundwater basins, so municipalities and farms can later draw upon them during drought conditions.

Agriculture’s unrelenting exploitation of groundwater has diminished its ability to be tapped during dry years and serve as a buffer against drought, said Richard Walker, professor emeritus of geography at UC-Berkeley and author of The Conquest of Bread: 150 Years of Agribusiness in California. Historically, groundwater extraction went unregulated, in large part due to the influence of powerful agribusiness interests.

Even though groundwater extraction rate jumped by 50 percent over the past few years—a typical response to drought—it is still insufficient to meet the demand of the agriculture sector.

In fact, Walker explained, the current adverse impact on agriculture is a manifestation of years of imprudent, unchecked groundwater pumping, and not solely due to the current drought, which, by historical standards, is not the most severe.

“The philosophy for 100 years was, 'Supply engineering to provide water all the time, in all years,'” said Walker. “It’s been ‘pump as you may’—those with more capital to drill deeper will out-pump the little guy whose wells will go dry.”

This exhaustion of aquifers during non-drought years has meant that, under the current circumstances, farmers have had to drill ever-deeper to access water, according to Doug Parker, director of the California Institute for Water Resources. But greater depths mean a more expensive process, leaving lower-income farmers at a disadvantage.

To address the overuse of groundwater, in September 2014 the state passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, mandating that local water agencies in areas with depleted basins develop plans within five years for overcoming this problem. Of California’s 500 groundwater basins, 130 fall into this category warranting urgent action, Lund said.

The drought’s impact on California agriculture has placed a spotlight on the importance of public investment in the land-grant universities, which have a long tradition as centers for dissemination of agricultural research and knowledge. California, as with other states, has an expansive statewide network of experts working on areas ranging from crop management to irrigation technology. Farmers benefit from direct contact with the universities' extension officers, who advise them on best practices.

The University of California’s Cooperative Extension, for example, has hosted over 150 workshops totaling over 10,000 attendees, said Parker, who also noted that the UC system has been addressing water issues since 1880.

“Everyone gets to see the importance of this network during drought conditions,” Lund said. “It gets a little more visibility. [The land-grant system] has a long-term foundational mission for prosperity of agriculture in the state.”

To maximize dollar value per acre during this dry period, farmers have switched to higher-valued crops like tomatoes, which witnessed a record-high production in the state last year, Lund said. Buyers have been adjusting their usual contracts to specifically seek out tomato growers with more water access.

Farmers have been aiming to maintain the same level of production of perennial crops (which grow for more than one year) as in wetter seasons because of their high value—and, in turn, the steep costs of losing them, according to Kurt Schwabe, professor of environmental economics and policy at UC-Riverside. In California, grapes and almonds are the most lucrative perennials, with sales totaling about US$4.4 billion each per year. By contrast, the acreage of most annual crops is typically tied to rainfall conditions, with drought years seeing diminished cropland devoted to them.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Bite/2015/0402/As-drought-rages-California-farmers-find-ways-to-conserve-water (http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Bite/2015/0402/As-drought-rages-California-farmers-find-ways-to-conserve-water)  :icon_study:

Title: Washington DC Blacked Out
Post by: RE on April 07, 2015, 11:23:25 AM
Now if it would just stay that way...

RE

White House In The Dark, On Lockdown Following D.C.-Wide Power Outage

Tyler Durden's picture



 

Update 2:

Update: NO INITIAL INDICATIONS OF TERRORISM IN WASHINGTON, D.C., POWER OUTAGES - U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

Some more from The Hill:

Government buildings throughout Washington, including the White House and State Department, briefly lost power on Tuesday.

 

Electricity provider Pepco said the cause of the outages "is under evaluation."

 

The Department of Homeland Security does not suspect the outages to have anything to do with criminal activity or terrorism, according to CNBC.

 

At the White House, the lights in the lower press area went off for a few seconds before turning on again. Power also went out in other parts of the building, according to White House staff.

 

"Power outage affecting many parts of the city, and it affected the [White House] complex. We were on a backup generator and now we are back on normal power," a White House spokesman said.

 

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf continued speaking with reporters when the power went out during her midday briefing.

*  *  *

The utility firm Pepco is currently investigating a Washington-wide black-out that has plunged The White House, State Department, The US Capitol, D.C. Metro, and even Oprah's TV Stage into darkness...Ironically, the outage occurred minutes after Rand Paul commented that "the time has come to take away the power from Washington D.C..." 

A spokesperson for Pepco, the Washington, D.C.-area provider electricity utility, told Reuters that it experienced scattered outages Tuesday but that they had happened for “unknown reasons.”

Real-time Pepco Outage Map here...

 

Has anyone seen Kim Jong-Un today?

* * *

The blackout as it happened during the State briefing:

*  *  *

As Bloomberg reports,

The U.S. State Department lost electrical power Tuesday during its daily press briefing, and power also was briefly lost in areas of the White House and the Capitol.

 

Pepco Holdings Co. has started work to restore electricity to the State Department and other buildings in the area. It will take one to two hours until power is fully restored, according to an announcement over the State Department emergency broadcast system.

 

Hallways were dark in the State Department, lit only by light filtering in from the windows. Spokeswoman Marie Harf completed her briefing in the dark, reading from her briefing binder by the light of her iPhone as reporters took notes with lighting from their mobile phones.

 

Power briefly flickered off at the White House Tuesday afternoon, affecting the media workspace and at least some staff areas. Aides would not say if the White House was being powered by backup generators, though they planned to issue a statement later. Guests entering the White House were also temporarily delayed because Secret Service screening equipment was briefly knocked offline by the outage.

 

Multiple buildings in the U.S. Capitol complex were experiencing intermittent power outages, Capitol Police spokesman Shennell Antrobus said in an e-mail. The Capitol Police and architect of the Capitol were investigating the cause of the outages, he said.

*  *  *

The State Department currently...

Offices being evacuated...

 

 

Title: The Dimming Bulb 2: Peak Electricity
Post by: RE on October 18, 2015, 02:03:29 AM


City Lights 2012 - Flat mapgc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of RE



Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666

Friend us on Facebook



Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 18, 2015



City Lights 2012 - Flat mapComposite Night Image of the Earth taken by the NASA Suomi NPP Satellite in April-October 2012



Discuss this article at the Energy Table inside the Diner



LAST CHANCE TO TAKE THE ENERGY SURVEY BEFORE THE COUNT!



A few days ago, doing my usual Web Surfing for Collapse articles to link to on the Diner and our new r/globalcollapse Reddit sub, I ran into an article on the Greanville Post titled WHAT IS EUROPE. CONTINENT OR PENINSULA?



europe-map-of-europe-nightlights-satellite-woodleywonderworksThe article featured as its Header Pic a NASA image of Europe taken at night from Space.  The image is actually just a crop of the much larger composite night time map of the world assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite from April through October 2012, which I reduced in size and heads this article.   The full size pic in all its glory can be accessed by hitting the link under the header photo to the NASA website.



What that article was meant to show was how Europe really isn't a "Continent", although it is defined as such in most of your Geography Textbooks, but really just a Peninsula of the much larger Eurasian land mass.  However, that is not what really struck me when I looked at the Header Pic, what struck me was the vast difference between the Brightness of the Eurozone versus the Darkness of the African continent below, at least the portion of it visible in that cropping.  Africa is the "Dark Continent" in more ways than one here.




During the middle of the 19th century, Africa was referred to as the "Dark Continent," because little was known about the mysterious land itself. The term "Dark Continent" was most likely used for the first time by United States explorer and journalist Henry Stanley.




Obviously, with that thin band of lights on the Northern end of Africa, it's pretty obvious they're burning a whole lot less energy there than is going on nightly on the European Peninsula.  Although most often conversation amongst Energy Kollapsniks TM revolves around the availability of Liquid Fossil Fuels for powering the transportation systems we use, in reality it is the Electricity that defines the culture and lifestyle of Homo Industrialis.  When you look at the whole Map of the Globe lit up like a Suburban McMansion at Christmas, you can actually track the progression of Industrialization; you can see why the countries that are in control of Industrial culture are who they are and why everybody else out there is not particularly happy these days.  I have discussed this aspect of Industrial Civilization and Electricity before in The Dimming Bulb, in this installment I want to look at it from the Historical and Geopolitical perspectives.



You can easily tell where the Industrial lifestyle began, and you can trace it's march around the Globe as well.  The Brightness of the lighting tells the whole story if you know just a little history, and it tells you a lot about where things are going in the future too.  Before we go Back to the Future though, let's do a little review of how this all got started.



Practical application of Electricity began in the mid 1800s, and by the late 1800s the frst central power stations came online in Jolly Old England and in the Northeast of the FSoA.




Central power stations and isolated systems



The first central station providing public power is believed to be one at Godalming, Surrey, U.K. autumn 1881. The system was proposed after the town failed to reach an agreement on the rate charged by the gas company, so the town council decided to use electricity. The system lit up arc lamps on the main streets and incandescent lamps on a few side streets with hydroelectric power. By 1882 between 8 and 10 households were connected, with a total of 57 lights. The system was not a commercial success and the town reverted to gas.[16]



The first large scale central distribution supply plant was opened at Holborn Viaduct in London in 1882[17] Equipped with 1000 incandescent lightbulbs that replaced the older gas lighting, the station lit up Holborn Circus including the offices of the General Post Office and the famous City Temple church. The supply was a direct current at 110V; due to power loss in the copper wires, this amounted to 100V for the customer.



Within weeks, a parliamentary committee recommended passage of the landmark 1882 Electric Lighting Act, which allowed the licensing of persons, companies or local authorities to supply electricity for any public or private purposes.



The first large scale central power station in America was Edison's Pearl Street Station in New York, which began operating in September, 1882. The station had six 200 horsepower Edison dynamos, each powered by a separate steam engine. It was located in a business and commercial district and supplied 110 volt direct current to 85 customers with 400 lamps. By 1884 Pearl Street was supplying 508 customers with 10,164 lamps.[18]



By the mid-1880s, other electric companies were establishing central power stations and distributing electricity, including Crompton & Co. and the Swan Electric Light Company in the UK, Thomson-Houston Electric Company and Westinghouse in the US and Siemens in Germany. By 1890 there were 1000 central stations in operation.[7] The 1902 census listed 3,620 central stations. By 1925 half of power was provided by central stations.[19]




City Lights 2012 - Flat map Lights UK April-October 2012



City Lights 2012 - Flat mapLights NE USA April-October 2012





The wiring spread outward from there, and India got wired up pretty well.



City Lights 2012 - Flat mapIndia Lights April-October 2012



South America a bit less wired.



south-america-space-nightLights South America April-October 2012



Africa barely got wired at all.



Africa_Space_NightLights Africa April-October 2012



So how come India got wired up but Africa did not?  Ask yourself who was running the show in India in the 1800s?  It was the main colony of the declining British Empire, the one the Sun Never Set On because they were running all those new Lightbulbs!  LOL.  The Brits were not at the time in charge of Africa, really nobody was far as Westerners were concerned, that's why it got called the Dark Continent, besides the fact it was populated by dark skinned natives.



As time went by into the early 1900s, a couple of other places got decently wired up, Japan & China.



City Lights 2012 - Flat mapLights China & Japan April-October 2012



In the mid to late 1800s, the Anglo-Amerikan Industrial Empire was in an Expansionary Phase, and the Gunboats of Cmdr. Matthew Perry "opened" Japan forcibly in the 1850s to join the expanding Industrial Empire, as I covered some time back in the Mr. Peabody Visits Japan article. Still in the Coal fired period at this time, the Gunboats weren't using Oil yet.  The Brits were bizzy trying to make China the same kind of colony that India was, but unfortunately had some Boxers willing to fight them on this.





By the end of the 19th century, the Western powers and Japan had forced China’s ruling Qing dynasty to accept wide foreign control over the country’s economic affairs. In the Opium Wars (1839-42, 1856-60), popular rebellions and the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95), China had fought to resist the foreigners, but it lacked a modernized military and suffered millions of casualties.




The Chinese weren't happy Kowtowing to the Japanese, and the Japanese weren't happy Kowtowing to the Gaijin Imperialists either, so everybody got in a big ass fight over this eventually.  The fight was called WWII, which got ended with this:



https://awesometalks.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/ng30.jpg



The Nips were outclassed with Industrial Killing and their well wired Island was turned into an Industrial Factory for Carz and Electronic toys, starting with Transistor Radios moving through Walkmans up to the latest in Smartphones, though of course in recent years have had serious competition on this stuff from the other slaves on the Asian Continent from Korea to Thailand to China.



However, at this point in the post-WWII years the further Wiring of the World began to slow, if not come to a complete halt.  With the Victory over Japan and Germany, why was further electrification of Africa and South America not undertaken?  SA is a little more wired than Africa, but not by much.



south-america-space-nightLights South America April-October 2012



As with most places that have been wired up post WWII, it's mostly along the coastline not much going into the interior.  There are a few reasons for this.



First one is that by and large, most population centers and Big Shities lie along the coastlines.  Reasons for this?



1- It's easiest to do trade with many places via boats.  You can put a lot of cargo on a boat and move it around the world over the oceans without using a whole heck of a lot of energy to do it.  In fact in the Sailing Era, that energy was all Renewable.



http://www.portmellon.net/uploads/1/0/0/7/10078822/5846457_orig.jpg



Even in the modern Container Ship era utilizing Fossil Fuels, this is relatively low energy consumption.  The ships can run on "Bunker Fuel", which is basically unrefined Oil.



http://www.transinfo.am/img/services/big/1392130262-7142.jpeg



2- Coastline areas are usually pretty flat land condusive to large scale Agriculture.  The fresh water flows down from higher elevations to these neighborhoods, so you have a continuous source of water if you are at the mouth of a decent size river, long as nobody upstream is using it all or contaminating it.  New York Shity at the terminus of the Hudson River or London at the terminus of the Thames river are typical examples of this.



http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/estuaries/media/est01c_600.jpg



http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/14/78514-004-9E98EDAD.jpg



3- It's relatively EZ to get rid of all your WASTE if you are right on the coast.  The Sewage goes into the Big Sink of the Ocean.



https://www.sydneywater.com.au/Publications/Reports/AnnualReport/2007/images/WollongongSTP_above.jpg



Woolongong Sewage Treatment Plant in Oz



So the vast increase in global population since the Industrial Era began has occurred mostly at the coastlines, which of course is not Good Newz with Sea Level rising.  Just ask Miami.



http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/miami-flooding.jpg



For the most part, the Build Out phase stopped in the early 1970s at the latest, and the last 40 years has been all about continuing to bring in the necessary energy to all the places already built out to keep running them.  In some of the older industrial Big Shities like Detroit, that has already failed/collapsed.



http://opencityprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/7499108236_7fd417857d_c.jpg



So your next question is just how does all the energy flow INTO the places it still goes to?  This is a pipeline and transport question mainly, although there are many geopolitical conseqences of trying to take energy stores from one location and move them to another one.  Let's look at the current pipeline networks for Oil and NG in North Amerika and Eurotrashland.



http://www.refinerlink.com/userfiles/RL%20MAD%20Pipeline%20Map.jpg



http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YDdCkW9AqmY/UT31FYeVCDI/AAAAAAAABdc/1239kdVouUc/s1600/pipeline+accidents+final+animation1-2.gif





As you can see the greatest density of pipeline networks is in the TX/LA/OK neighborhood, and then filtering up from there to the North East and Upper Midwest.  This of course because in the early days, all the BIG FINDS of EZ to extract low EROEI oil in the FSoA came in these locations, and then that oil needed transport to the Industrial centers of the Midwest and to the Northeast trading ports with Europe.



As the amount of oil that could be extracted at a cheap price inside FSoA borders began to decline, those same networks were used to ship around Oil accessed/stolen from other big repositories on earth, most notably Saudi Arabia of course.  The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) was built to be able to offload oil from VLCCs (Very Large Crude Carriers), more commonly referred to as Super Tankers.



http://wwwsp.dotd.la.gov/Inside_LaDOTD/Divisions/Multimodal/LOOP/Loop%20Images/clove.gifhttp://wwwsp.dotd.la.gov/Inside_LaDOTD/Divisions/Multimodal/LOOP/Loop%20Images/loop.gif



A few more large pipelines were built as time went by to move the oil out of the ground to the places that were burning it, most notably the Alaska Pipeline:




The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) includes the trans-Alaska crude-oil pipeline, 12 pump stations, several hundred miles of feeder pipelines, and the Valdez Marine Terminal. TAPS is one of the world's largest pipeline systems. It is commonly called the Alaska pipeline, trans-Alaska pipeline, or Alyeska pipeline, (or the pipeline as referred to in Alaska), but those terms technically apply only to the 800 miles (1,287 km) of the pipeline with the diameter of 48 inches (122 cm) that conveys oil from Prudhoe Bay, to Valdez, Alaska. The crude oil pipeline is privately owned by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.



The pipeline was built between 1974 and 1977 after the 1973 oil crisis caused a sharp rise in oil prices in the United States. This rise made exploration of the Prudhoe Bay oil field economically feasible. Environmental, legal, and political debates followed the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay in 1968, and the pipeline was built only after the oil crisis provoked the passage of legislation designed to remove legal challenges to the project.




https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Trans_alaska_international.jpg



http://assets.enuygun.com/media/lib/750x525/uploads/image/2880.jpeg



As the Wiki article indicates, it only became economical to build this behemoth of a pipeline after the Arab Oil embargo of the 1970s drove up the price of Oil.  Lately there has been talk about building a natural gas (NG) pipeline out of there, either going across into Canada to join up with the current system of NG pipelines down there, or along the same route as the Oil pipeline down through Alaska, to be shipped out by liquifying the gas and dropping it onto specialized Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) ships, for sale then to the Japanese and Chinese slaves.



The problem with either of these pipelines being built is that the price you can get for NG doesn't justify the CapEx for building it.  You'll never even pay off building the pipeline, much less make a profit off of it at the current prices.  You would have to bet the price the consumer will pay for it will rise substantially, but how can that happen with fewer people working all the time at ever downward spiralling wages?  So both projects have stalled, although the Alaska Goobernator is still pushing for it because something is necessary to keep the economy running around here as the Oil in the Prudhoe Bay fields depletes and gets lower prices all the time.  He's got a huge hole in the state budget these days, and things are getting desperate down in Juneau.



Stalling also is the drive for further Oil exploration either in the Arctic Ocean or the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).  Shell Oil recently stopped their exploration there after sinking around $9B into that White Elephant, and this week Da Goobermint decided not to offer up any leases for the oil companies to even bid on.  Why not?  Because they will get the same result that the Brazilians got a couple of weeks ago when they offered up leases for sale in the supposed Giant Oil Reservoirs in Deep Water off their shores.  They got no bidders practically speaking.  Same as the NG pipeline for Alaska, with the price of Oil as low as it is, the CapEx involved in accessing and drilling up this Oil is huge, and you can't pay it off at the prices the consumers of the oil can afford to pay.  Although Environmentalists are gladdened by this decision and hope some Polar Bears will be saved, this decision has nothing to do with Environmental consciousness on the part of Da Goobermint or the Oil Companies.  It's strictly an economic decision.



Now let's move over to Europe, where you see a similar history and similar economic issues as far as continuing to move the Oil from under the ground where it still remains to the places that have been burning it since Oil replaced Coal as the main energy driver for their industrial economy.  First, let's look at the Pipeline Maps for Europe:



http://static1.squarespace.com/static/546f7732e4b095d2722abd0f/t/5499bde8e4b0439c6133934f/1419361773962/?format=750w



http://www.mappery.com/maps/Proposed-European-Crude-Oil-Pipelines-Map.mediumthumb.gif



As you can see, similar to the build out of Oil Pipelines in North America from where the Oil was found down in TX and OK to where it was burned in places like Detroit and Cleveland in the early part of the 20th Century, pipelines were built to take Oil from where it was found in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and bring it to the Industrial Factories  where it was being burned, primarily in Britain and Germany in the early 20th Century.  While the Boxers were fighting in China, you had a similar battle going on in Europe over who would get to control the Oil coming from MENA, and the first big battle was fought for this, that was WWI.



http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/n3mzmahboqu4lhmtgqkp.jpg



The Brits won this war against the Krauts, with the assistance of their then still flush with oil former colony of the Amurkans.  They carved up MENA into a bunch of random countries from the old Ottoman Empire with the Sykes-Picot Agreement to insure the flow of energy would come their way after the war.




The Sykes–Picot Agreement, officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was a secret agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and France,[1] with the assent of Russia, defining their proposed spheres of influence and control in the Middle East should the Triple Entente succeed in defeating the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The negotiation of the treaty occurred between November 1915 and March 1916.[2] The agreement was concluded on 16 May 1916.[3]



The agreement effectively divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire outside the Arabian peninsula into areas of future British and French control or influence.[4] An "international administration" was proposed for Palestine.[5] The terms were negotiated by the French diplomat François Georges-Picot and Briton Sir Mark Sykes. The Russian Tsarist government was a minor party to the Sykes–Picot agreement, and when, following the Russian Revolution of October 1917, the Bolsheviks exposed the agreement, "the British were embarrassed, the Arabs dismayed and the Turks delighted."[6]




As you can see here, even prior to WWII and the Holocaust, there was an "agreement" about Palestine, later to become Israel.  Essentially, Israel was designed to be the Military Base from which to maintain control over all of MENA Oil assets.  Endless Military Aid has been furnished to the Israelis since WWII as a means to maintain this control, and the warfare down there between the Israelis and all the Arab states which surround them has been virtually continuous since WWII.



Despite the ongoing wars down there through the time period, overall the Oil was successfully transported through the pipeline system to the factories in Northern Europe, and even the Krauts who lost both WWI and WWII actually did fine here, since the same banksters financed both sides in the battle and after the war was finished, refinanced rebuilding of all the factories in both Britain and Germany that had been destroyed in the war to begin with!  LOL.



Like North America with the building of the Alaska Pipeline, the Northern Europeans also got a fresh infusion of Juice with the discovery of North Sea Oil, and both Britain and Norway got a big bonus from this over the last 40 years, but this bonanza is starting to run thin now, and there are no new good sources of local Oil to be accessed at anything within a reasonable price range to justify the CapEx.  So the Western European Nations are getting desperate for Oil and NG, and their last, best hope for this is…the RUSKIES!



Mother Russia still has a decent supply of Oil left, not just in the Arctic Ocean but out there in the vast land mass of Siberia too!  What's the problem?  PIPELINES!  Getting the Oil from where it still is in Mother Russia to where the Eurotrash would like to burn it will take extensive construction of new pipelines, which in some cases are even longer than the fucking Alaska Pipeline!  Besides that, the Eurotrash are competing against the Chinese, who would like to have new pipelines for this treasure trove of still remaining Fossil Fuel Energy piped in THEIR direction.  Who if either will the Banksters finance for contstruction of said new pipelines?  Just like Alaska, they won't fund either one of them, because there is no Return on Investment (ROI).  in no place left on Earth is it possible to sell the energy at a price the consumer can afford to pay for it.



Knowing all of this, it is now possible to predict where the Lights will go off first and how the Powerdown off Industrial Civilization will proceed.



You have two Legacy Infrastructure Projects here, built out from the beginning of the 20th Century to move the energy around, the Electrical Grid and the Pipeline Network.  Both systems are decaying, and the ROI for either fixing and maintaining what has already been built or for building new ones simply is not there anymore.  It just costs too much to drag the energy out of the ground and move it over to places where fewer and fewer people all the time can afford to burn it.  The persistent GROWTH necessary to finance such a system has come to a halt now.  The population of Homo Sap across the whole planet has exceeded the capacity of the planet to support that population on an Environmental and Resource level, and so that population must and will contract.  The easily accessed Fossil Fuel Energy that allowed for the exponential growth of this population is now all gone, it exists now as CO2 up in the atmosphere.



The population of Homo Sap will begin its decline first in the Peripheral countries, better known as the "3rd World".  Similarly, the Lights will start going off first in these countries, and the Legacy Pipeline and Electrical Grid systems that deliver the Energy to the 1st World Nations will continue to function a while longer, but become ever more difficult to maintain and to continue to input new Energy to ever more impoverished consumers of the Energy, and they too will then begin to shut down one by one at first perhaps, but at some point the whole system will crash.  This may occur in tandem with or shortly after the crash of the monetary system controlling this distribution of Energy.



The Last Big Shities to still have Lights On from central grid power?  In all probability, Berlin,the City of London and New York Shity on Wall Street, the centers of the Finance that built the whole system to begin with.  When the Lights Go Out on Broadway, you can say that TEOTWAWKI has arrived.  It may take a little while yet, but you can watch the progress inward, you can see it happening in real time.  It's not a conjecture anymore, it's reality.



More Econ & Energy Blogs & Rants off the keyboard & microphone of the Rogue Economist, AKA Reverse Engineer



 photo mr_know-it-all_zpsdea49f76.jpgMoney Valve I, Money Valve II, Money Valve III, Money Valve IV,David Korowicz Podcast:Financial Contagion & Tipping Points,Financial WWIII, Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money,Theory of Everything I, Theory of Everything II, Energy-Money Equilibrium I, Energy-Money Equilibrium II, Energy-Money Equilibrium III,Da Fed: Central Banking According to RE,Kurrency Kollapse,Large Public Works Projects I,Large Public Works Projects II,Large Public Works Projects III,Waste Based Society I, Waste Based Society II, Waste Based Society III,Smokin' Economista Crack,Demand Destruction, Swissie Capitulation,Energy & Banking Criminal Racketeering,Economic Ebola,Competitive Currency Devaluation & Deflation,Inflation, Deflation & FOOD!,Financial WWIII: Secessions, Sanctions & Anti-Dollars, Anti-Dollars III: Fining Putin,Anti-Dollars II,Anti-Dollars,Eurobanksters Pray for Jesus,Wealth Confiscation & Destruction,Monetary Kabuki,Peak Credit,Fictional Wealth & Putin's Billions,Student Loan Forgiveness,Deflation Doom,The Death of Debt,Emerging Markets & Peripheral Currency Collapse,Tower of Babel Moment,Submerging Markets,Musical Dollars,Energy, Money & Gold,History & Future of Coinage & Money,The Future of Money,Whither Gold?,Conduits,The Crucifixion of Money,Banks: Unsafe at Any Speed,More Musings on Money,Liquidity Traps & Asset Class Sinkholes,Small Bizness in the Sea of Irredeemable Debt,Now Why Don't They SHOP?,Debt Monetization Economics,Financing the Industrial Revolution,Manufacturing Money,Capital Controls,F7 Print Button in Lockup,Moving Beyond Capitalism,On Dignity & Comparative Wealth,Avalanche Theory of Debt Cascade Failure,The Concepts of Money & Capital,Dollar-Oil Nexus,Hyperinflation vs. Deflation: Rebutting FFOA,Hyperinflation vs. Deflation Continued,Energy, Money & Oil: Inter-relationships,Banksters go ALL IN,History of Economic Collapse & the End of the Age of Oil,Capital Flight & Unions: 40 years of History in the FSoA,Hyperinflation or Deflation?,In the Debtrix, there is no Red Pill,




Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb 2: Peak Electricity
Post by: endofmore on October 18, 2015, 12:57:18 PM
In a non expansionist society, (such as existed up to the late 1700s) 95% of the able bodied man/woman power provides the actual workforce. They (plus draught animals) supply the necessary muscle effort to keep the monarchy, aristocracy and clergy in idleness. In times of military threat, they might also sustain an army and navy for a short time.
It was an energy system that sustained itself over millennia, one way or another.
The aristocracy held their position usually by force of ancestral arms, from maybe 500 years previously. People ‘’accepted’’ this as divine intention---unchanging and unchangeable. The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate—etc etc. The poor man, slave, serf, peasant, (whatever), converted the energy output of the land into grain, meat, cloth, timber and minerals, and accepted a pittance for the privilege of doing so. It was just enough to keep him alive, Old age and ill health were unsustainable, so if you didn’t work you eventually died. The system didn’t provide enough surplus energy to sustain any other kind of infrastructure. No pensions, no healthcare, no child support. Apart from the odd revolution and head rolling, it was life as it was eternally pre-ordained to be.
Then some idiot went and lit a fire under a viable steam engine.
From that point on, the non-expansionist society changed to an expansionist one. How? Because more and more people could afford more and more of the products resulting from access to increasing volumes of hydrocarbon fuels. Instead of the cost of a bolt of cloth being fixed by the hours needed to make it by one individual on a hand loom, the steam engine powered hundreds of looms and cloth became cheap in real (ie energy defined) terms.
As did everything else.
Over the last 250 years expansionism has kicked off in every direction, and everything has become cheaper in real terms, but only so long as cheap energy has been available to pay for it. Over that period the effective cost of energy was always less than the goods that could be bought with it. Which is the only way an expansionist society can function and sustain itself.
In a non-expansionist society, the cost of energy is in equilibrium with the goods and services it helps to produce.
Which is where we are heading right now.
Our 250 years of expansionism is coming to and end, but few know it, and even fewer accept it. We expect to continue to burn fuel at a rate that buys us cheap goods, (or heat, light and aircon---same thing). We are now regressing back to non-expansion, where actual energy use balances work output.
So this is the ultimate problem with electricity supply: the cost of it is beginning to exceed the benefit we get from it. This is being felt by poorer people first, (as always) and as we regress back from our expansionist system, it will be felt by more and more people further up the ladder of prosperity as the average user gradually becomes aware that its affordability is slipping out of reach.
Our fuel-burning infrastructure has been a hydrocarbon super-nova, a bright flash of light that lit up our world, to be followed by a return to darkness
Which is pretty  much what I've been banging on about in my book , The End of More
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00D0ADPFY (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00D0ADPFY)
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb 2: Peak Electricity
Post by: RE on October 18, 2015, 01:10:10 PM

From that point on, the non-expansionist society changed to an expansionist one....

In a non-expansionist society, the cost of energy is in equilibrium with the goods and services it helps to produce.
Which is where we are heading right now.

Almost EoM, but you are using a euphimism here of "non-expansionary".  That is NOT what we are headed for, we are headed for CONTRACTIONARY.  Before we can achieve some kind of stable equilibrium, the total human biomass on the planet must CONTRACT, not just stop expanding.

This is a tough period to deal with.

RE
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb 2: Peak Electricity
Post by: monsta666 on October 18, 2015, 03:00:43 PM
The big unanswerable question is when? I do see a decline in oil production in this decade and can see a scenario where water problems become more evident in the 2020s and in the 2030s we may have to deal with peak phosphate/potash. Since oil is critical for most transport infrastructure the question I would ask is how long could electricity be maintained for critical city functions such as sanitation, hospitals etc. after oil becomes unaffordable to J6P?

I feel that if things get dicey then electricity will be rationed first by means of economics i.e. large chunks of people no longer being able to afford it. After this it is likely to be rationed either through brown-outs or by only having electricity/water available at certain hours as is already the case in certain countries. How this all pans out will vary from region to region as places that never were used to constant electricity will react differently to cuts both permanent or transient than first world countries that are not only used to electricity being available on demand but to come within a very narrow tolerance to allow complex and sensitive machinery to operate.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb 2: Peak Electricity
Post by: Petty Tyrant on October 19, 2015, 01:03:17 AM
So how come India got wired up but Africa did not?  Ask yourself who was running the show in India in the 1800s?  It was the main colony of the declining British Empire, the one the Sun Never Set On because they were running all those new Lightbulbs!  LOL.  The Brits were not at the time in charge of Africa, really nobody was

Yes india did have electricity in the 19thC, but i think its only in the last few probably 15 yrs its been available to most people. In the 1990s they were running sweatshops off of extension cords,  and in slums DIY electricians would  put ladders up against power poles and steal the electricity from a jumbled mess of wires,  risking and at times losing their life. I believe its been iimproved a lot now including a lot of solar farms because pollution was,  maybe still is shocking smog.

I travelled some in Africa and like to read the historical info at places. i saw in some places like fort jesus,  mombasa on equatorial east coast that  the history  showed colonization by a series of different invaders over thousands of years. Mainly north africa the oldest colonization going back to BC with  greeks alexander, carthage and rome.

 Then the arabs that are a strong racial  influence in eg ethiopians went a lot further south  about 600AD,  they spread their religion and built a lot that is still there. Lots of full black africans dress up in dresses in what they call " the old arab quarter" and theres  mosqs everywhere, its the only free education there is, boys only, out in the countryside.

Much later about every euro country had colonies in africa,  they supplied the slaves to the americas from the 1700s. This was mostly in the coast  but by the early 20thC even the inland was all colonized. Tiny countries like holland and belgium had huge amounts of land in africa.

 The brits fought the dutch settlers in the Boer War of 1900 - 1903 for control of south africa. On the west coast there must be a several times more french speakers than in france. They all took independence in the decades following  ww2,  but big euro companies stayed in control of the resources,  and provided the jobs. The usa also 'encouraged' a lot of independence, pressuring france and uk to live and let live letting us friendly native govts take control,  but now its all about china infrastructure investment  in exchange fir resources. Electricity and water supply is not reliable in africa even in the mansions and gated estates,  so a map of the lights on on any given night isnt going to show all the places that have power. They turn it on and off for different nabes for different times of day.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb 2: Peak Electricity
Post by: JoeD on October 19, 2015, 09:59:21 AM
Really good piece RE.  Thank you! As usual, clear, concise, and well supported - even for the points I don't agree with! :-)

While the following idea is not a solution for 7, 8, or 9 billion people, I think the notion of locally generated, small scale electricity will have a much bigger impact than is being portrayed in the typical "roll back" scenario.  We humans have developed a taste for electricity and will not walk away from it.  Granted, large scale grid systems driven by massive coal, oil, and LNG plants are a dying breed, but small scale generation has been increasing, in some cases dramatically, in recent years.  It is absolutely reasonable to expect this to continue.

I don't think humans will "return" to a per-industrial, non-electric state of existence as the centralized structures decay.  Rather we will develop a hybrid of electricity capture and delivery methods that, while not replacing grid-enabled power, will be a totally new experience.  (For example, we won't be hand pumping water up from 200' wells but using small, solar powered pumps to fill onsite tanks and reservoirs.)

Unfortunately, I don't see either of these two states being THE main drivers of human experience over the next half to full century but just a contributor to the woes.  I believe climate change related crises will kill more people and put even more desperate folks on the move than any other cause.  Heat, floods, droughts, fires, and storms will be the primary and secondary causes of death during the bottleneck that has already started (secondary as a result of violence on or by the hundreds of millions of refugees of the not so distant future).
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb 2: Peak Electricity
Post by: RE on October 19, 2015, 10:17:46 AM
The brits fought the dutch settlers in the Boer War of 1900 - 1903 for control of south africa. On the west coast there must be a several times more french speakers than in france. They all took independence in the decades following  ww2,  but big euro companies stayed in control of the resources,  and provided the jobs. The usa also 'encouraged' a lot of independence, pressuring france and uk to live and let live letting us friendly native govts take control,  but now its all about china infrastructure investment  in exchange fir resources. Electricity and water supply is not reliable in africa even in the mansions and gated estates,  so a map of the lights on on any given night isnt going to show all the places that have power. They turn it on and off for different nabes for different times of day.

About the only place "well lit" in Africa is South Africa where the Dutch created a colony.

The Image from the Suomi NPP satellite is not "any given night".  It is a Composite Image assembled from many photos taken from April 2012 to October 2012.

RE
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb 2: Peak Electricity
Post by: edpell on October 20, 2015, 10:43:12 AM
JoeD clearly you do not live where it gets cold in the winter. At -10F here in New York State I would include cold to heat as a cause of death.
Title: The Dimming Bulb: Low Water Levels Mean Lights May Go Out in Caracas
Post by: RE on April 01, 2016, 06:52:14 PM
Looks like Caracas may be the first major city to go Lights Out.

Not because of lack of Fossil Fuels.  Lack of WATER for "renewable" hydro power.

Vegas take note.

RE

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-31/blackouts-loom-for-venezuela-s-capital-as-water-levels-fall (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-31/blackouts-loom-for-venezuela-s-capital-as-water-levels-fall)

Low Water Levels Mean Lights May Go Out in Caracas

(http://assets.bwbx.io/images/ihv.dPFyWjxk/v1/488x-1.jpg)
Nadia Rodriguez lights candles inside her home while electricity was shut off during state-mandated rationing in the Cana de Azucar neighborhood of Maracay, Venezuela, on March 21, 2016.
Photographer: Meridith Kohut/Bloomberg


    Water levels critical at main dam providing Caracas's power
    Key threshold could be reached as early as end of April



Over the past three years, Venezuelans have seen shortages of food, water, toilet paper and medicine. In some areas of the country, electricity has been curtailed.

Now, the lights may go out in the nation’s capital.

A prolonged drought blamed on the El Nino weather system has dropped water levels to a critical threshold at the Guri Dam, the hydroelectric plant that supplies Caracas with most of its electricity. Without rain, there could be rolling blackouts in Venezuela’s largest city by the end of April, said Cesar Cardozo, a retired engineer who managed turbines at the facility in the 1980s.

If so, it could further erode confidence in the three-year-old government of President Nicolas Maduro, according to the Eurasia Group, a global research and consulting firm. In 2015, the country’s economy -- largely dependent on the sale of oil -- contracted by 10 percent and is expected to shrink by an additional 6 percent this year. The currency has lost 98 percent of its value on the black market since Maduro took office in 2013.
‘Social Discontent’

“Guri dam provides 75% of the power generation for Caracas, so the capital -- previously shielded from issues such as outages and rationing due to its political importance -- is extremely vulnerable,” Eurasia said in a March 21 report. More frequent power outages “will increase already high levels of social discontent.”

Water levels at the dam, located in southern Bolivar state, fell to 244.9 meters above sea level on March 29, according to data from Corpoelec, the state-run power company. Below 240 meters, vortexes can form and damage the turbines, said Miguel Lara, a former director of Venezuela’s power grid.

“At the current rhythm, the minimum level to operate the 8 turbines could be reached by April 30th,” Cardozo said in an interview. “That date could be extended into May if more severe rationing is implemented.”

Victor Poleo, a former vice minister of electricity who has been critical of the government, blamed poor planning by the government and a lack of maintenance by Corpoelec at the hydroelectric plant.

“The government was irresponsible in not bringing online" other methods to generate electricity, Poleo said in an interview. “Now we’ve reached the point where the only option will be more rationing.”
Sabotage Blamed

A Corpoelec spokesperson declined comment, saying no one knowledgeable was available to talk because of the reduced hours put in place at government offices to conserve energy. Maduro’s ruling socialist party has in the past blamed the water and electricity shortages on a combination of El Nino and “sabotage” by political foes.

“Protests started at the same time as the electric system was attacked,” the current electricity minister, Luis Motta Dominguez, said on March 12, referring to protests and power outages that occurred away from the capital. “What ... a coincidence, no? A plan was put in place.”

In March, Maduro extended the Easter holiday to 5 days in an effort to conserve electricity, following a similar action by former President Hugo Chavez in 2010, when the when the country faced a similar time of drought. “We’re hoping, God willing, rains will come,” Maduro said in a national address at the time. “We’re reaching a difficult place that we’re trying to manage.”
Cylindrical Basin

It didn’t help. Earlier this year, levels at the dam, which holds back the largest body of fresh water in the country, had been falling by about 15 centimeters a day, according to Jose Aguilar, an independent electricity analyst who studies Venezuela. The basin, though, is cylindrical, growing smaller as it becomes deeper, and the losses are getting larger.

On March 29 and 30, the water fell by 18 centimeters, Aguilar said in a telephone interview.

“This is the first time that Guri has operated at such a low level,” Aguilar said. “Technical studies developed for the dam recommend not operating if water levels are below 240 meters. The word ‘collapse’ comes up in the actual documentation for the plant.”

Increasing power outages could further complicate Maduro’s hold on power as he battles an opposition-controlled congress that has already vowed to oust him.

“The political crisis in Venezuela has been a slow process of erosion,” said Gerardo Reyes, a political analyst and professor at the Catholic University in Caracas, in an interview. “Anything that brings more popular discontent could activate a governance crisis.”
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb 2: Peak Electricity
Post by: Palloy on April 01, 2016, 11:44:23 PM
I saw a doco on TV recently about keeping the lights on in Juneau.  They admitted right up front that every year snow on the power lines  causes some lines to collapse.  So every year this guy jumps in his helicopter and ferries a team of men out to the towers, and lands then on the top of the towers, and they winch stuff up from the ground to fix it.  Of course the views are fantastic, but when the weather closes in, the helicopter has to whisk them off or they have to stay up there.  While very efficient, the complexity of this "regular maintenance" is staggering.

So while electricity system in Africa is limited and inefficient, it may be still working when Juneau is in the dark.

Tasmania has enough hydroelectric to run itself, but when they put in the Basslink submarine cable to the mainland, and added a tax on burning FFs, the Tasmanians exported their cheaper electricity, at the expense of running down their water storages.  Now, of course, there is a drought, water levels are low, and Basslink is broken, so they can't import electricity - oops.

And you think it will all degrade slowly? - with all those third-worlders first, and the exceptional ones last?
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb 2: Peak Electricity
Post by: Petty Tyrant on April 02, 2016, 05:33:53 AM
So they brought some diesel generators until el nino is over,  just like las vegas didnt die in july. Theres plenty of coal they can use if the nice weather becomes a fixture.
Title: What Will You Do When The Lights Go Out?
Post by: RE on August 15, 2016, 03:59:19 AM
The night the lights went out on Broadway...

http://www.youtube.com/v/MDXLyczUMoE

Nothing new here for Diners, but significant in the fact it was published on OilPrice.com

RE

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/What-Will-You-Do-when-the-Lights-Go-Out-The-Inevitable-Failure-of-the-US-Grid.html (http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/What-Will-You-Do-when-the-Lights-Go-Out-The-Inevitable-Failure-of-the-US-Grid.html)

What Will You Do When The Lights Go Out? The Inevitable Failure Of The US Grid
By Julianne Geiger - Aug 12, 2016, 5:27 PM CDT LNG terminal

(http://cdn.oilprice.com/a/img/content/article/718x300/5d8b08c89d79f4bf6c0e745db26ad118.jpg)

Delta Airlines recently experienced what it called a power outage in its home base of Atlanta, Georgia, causing all the company’s computers to go offline—all of them. This seemingly minor hiccup managed to singlehandedly ground all Delta planes for six hours, stranding passengers for even longer, as Delta scrambled to reshuffle passengers after the Monday debacle.

Where Delta blamed its catastrophic systems-wide computer failure vaguely on a loss of power, Georgia Power, their power provider, placed the ball squarely in Delta’s court, saying that “other Georgia Power customers were not affected”, and that they had staff on site to assist Delta.

Whether it was a true power outage, or an outage unique to Delta is fairly insignificant. The incident was a single company without power for six measly hours, yet it wreaked much havoc. Which brings to mind (or at least it should) what happens when the lights really go out—everywhere? And just how dependent is the U.S. on single-source power?

When you hear about the possible insufficiency, unreliability, or lack of resiliency of the U.S. power grid, your mind might naturally move toward the extreme, perhaps National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers. Talks about what a U.S. power grid failure could really mean are also often likened to survivalist blogs that speak of building faraday cages and hoarding food, or possibly some riveting blockbuster movie about a well-intentioned government-sponsored genetically altered mosquito that leads to some zombie apocalypse.

But in the event of a power grid failure—and we have more than our fair share here in the U.S.—your survivalist savvy may be all for naught.

This horror story doesn’t need zombies or genetically altered mosquitos in order to be scary. Using data from the United States Department of Energy, the International Business Times reported in 2014 that the United States suffers more blackouts than any other developed country in the world.

Unfortunately, not much has been done since then to alleviate the system’s critical vulnerabilities.

In theory, we all understand the wisdom about not putting all our eggs in one basket, as the old-adage goes. Yet the U.S. has done just that with our U.S. power grid. Sadly, this infrastructure is failing, and compared to many other countries, the U.S. is sauntering slowly behind many other more conscientious countries, seemingly unconcerned with its poor showing.

The Grid, by Geography and Geopolitics

According to the United States Department of Energy, the American power grid is made up of three smaller grids, known as interconnections, which transport energy all over the country. The Eastern Interconnection provides electricity to states to the east of the Rocky Mountains, while the Western interconnection serves the Rocky Mountain states and those that border the Pacific Ocean.

The Texas Interconnected System is the smallest grid in the nation, and serves most of Texas, although small portions of the Lone Star state benefit from the other two grids.

And if you’re wondering why Texas gets a grid of its own, according to the Texas Tribune they have their own grid “to avoid dealing with the feds.” Now that’s true survivalist savvy—in theory.

When you look at the layout of the grid above, it’s easy to see that a single grid going offline would disrupt a huge segment of North America.

Wait—make that all of North America.

To give it to you straight, our national electrical grid works as an interdependent network. This means that the failure of any one part would trigger the borrowing of energy from other areas. Whichever grid attempts to carry the extra load would likely be overtaxed, as the grid is already taxed to near max levels during peak hot or cold seasons.

The aftermath of a single grid going down could leave millions of residents without power for days, weeks or longer depending on the scope of the failure.

So although on the surface it looks like the U.S. has wisely put its eggs into three separate baskets for safer keeping, the U.S. has in essence, lined up our baskets so that if one were to drop, or if the bottom were to fall out, the eggs from basket #1 would fall into basket #2. Which would break from the load, falling into basket #3—eventually scrambling all the eggs. Sorry, Texas.
Related: Is Saudi Arabia About To Cry Uncle In The Oil Price War?

When multiple parts of the grid fail at the same time, it’s not necessarily more catastrophic—the catastrophe just happens more quickly.

According to Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in an interview with USA Today, "You have a very vulnerable system that will continue to be vulnerable until we figure out a way to break it out into more distributed systems."

The Grid, by the Numbers

Let’s look at the math behind the power grid, and what the U.S. is doing to improve it.

1. Through the Recovery Act, the DOE invested about $4.5 billion in the power grid since 2010 to modernize it and “increase its reliability”. $4.5 billion seems like a fairly large number, unless you’re talking about a single machine that serves as the lifeblood to nearly every human in North America—a machine that was conceived in 1882 by Thomas Edison—with little changed since then, conceptually speaking. For people who reside in weather-challenged areas, such as my home state of Michigan, a home generator is almost as necessary of an appliance as a microwave, and people are scrambling to go “off-grid” with alternative energy solutions—an act that will not provide them immunity should the lights go out everywhere else. And for what it’s worth, for those of you sporting solar and wind energy, you’re further taxing the grid—the grid just wasn’t designed to accommodate the surges and lulls of such systems, however green you find them.

2. Power outages—just the ones due to severe weather—cost the U.S. economy between $18 and $33 billion annually in spoiled inventory, delayed production, grid damage, lost wages and output. Despite a few billion dollars being thrown at the grid to improve its resiliency or reliability, the number of outages due to weather is expected to increase, assuming that climate change will indeed intensify extreme weather, as some predict.

3. The total annual cost from power outages, per federal data published in The Smart Grid: An Introduction, is a whopping $150 billion.

4. As of 2014, the DOE had generously spent $100 million (million, not billion) into modernizing the grid for the specific purposes of surviving a cyber incident by maintaining critical functions. This would be measures separate from making the grid more reliable.

5. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the electrical grid a grade of D  in early 2014 after evaluating the grid for security and other vulnerabilities.

6. The average age of large power transformers (LPTs) in the US is 40 years, with 70 percent of all large power transformers being 25 years or older. According to the DOE, “aging power transformers are subject to increased risk of failure.”

7. LPTs cannot be easily replaced. They are custom built, have long lead times (even 20 months, in some cases), cost millions of dollars, are usually purchased from foreign entities due to limited U.S. capacity, and weigh up to 400 tons. All this means that patching and fixing is likely to be favored over replacement, despite their age and associated risk.

Working with those figures, most of which are provided by federal sources, this means the U.S. invested, from 2010 to 2014, $4.5 billion to modernize the grid, along with an additional $100 million to stave off cyber threats. That’s $4.6 billion over four years, or $1.15 billion per year in upgrades. Next to the $150 billion lost each year due to outages, it looks like someone has done some subpar calculating.

The security of the power grid, which is a separate issue from the reliability of the power grid, is a whole other issue that concerns itself with hypothetical one-off scenarios—albeit terrible one-off scenarios. But at least there’s a chance that those one-off scenarios, such as a cyber-attack on the grid or some terrorist activity, would not come to fruition. A chance, at least.

What we are certain of, is that severe weather will continue to stress and threaten our power grid. And unless something changes, ultimately, it will fail. So when we talk about reliability, we’re talking about “when” and “for how long” scenarios, not “what if”.

The how-long factor plays a huge role into how bad is “bad”; not because of the events that one knows will follow, which includes mass food spoilage, deaths due to overheating in the hot summer months, deaths due to freezing in the cold regions, and the halting of everything we take for granted these days—airlines, internet and most other forms of communication.

All that sounds pretty bleak, but when you throw into the mix the mania and hysteria that would ensue shortly after such catastrophic events, it will be so much worse. Best-selling author Charles Mackay, in his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, does a pretty good job describing, through example, how crowd decisions and reactions are significantly less sensible than individual decisions—sometimes downright nutty, as evidenced by Tulip Mania, where supply and demand—or in this case scarcity and demand, drove up the prices of tulip bulbs to ridiculous levels.

In the context of blackouts, we saw this in 1977, when a lightning strike in New York on a Hudson River substation tripped two circuit breakers, causing power to be diverted in order to protect the circuit. The chain of events that followed ended in an entire blackout for the area, which led to mass rioting, over 1000 deliberately set fires, the looting of 1600 stores, and the eventual arrest of 4,500 perpetrators and the injury of 550 officers, according to some estimates. The power was only out for 25 hours, and in one area.

In all likelihood, the haves (those who have removed themselves from the grid and prepared accordingly) will soon be overrun by the have-nots in the event of any extended blackout, with heavily populated areas taking the brunt of the chaos—and your solar roof panels or generator will not suffice as your savior.

The U.S. would be wise to follow the lead of some other countries, such as Denmark, which has decentralized its grid, but we doubt the cash exists to fund such an ambitious overhaul of an archaic system that has been left essentially unattended for decades upon decades.

(Click to enlarge)
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb 2: Peak Electricity
Post by: Palloy on August 15, 2016, 07:10:06 AM
Even with brown-outs they had a record 11.7 GW of demand.  With 5% voltage drop you need 5% extra current to make the same power, and another 1% to cover the record demand over the last record, and that's a lot of extra current for the decrepit system to handle.  The mob should start rioting soon. 

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-14/new-york-uses-record-electricity-city-melts-under-unprecedented-heatwave (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-14/new-york-uses-record-electricity-city-melts-under-unprecedented-heatwave)
New York Uses Record Electricity As City Melts Under Unprecedented Heatwave
Tyler Durden
Aug 14, 2016

As New Orleans battles historic floods, the heat wave gripping the Tri-State area continued on Sunday, with the temperature at JFK airport hitting a high of 95F degrees, setting a new daily record and eclipsing the old record high of 93F set in 2003.  When accounting for humidity, the heat index rose to as high as 105 to 110 degrees in some spots.

The unprecedented heatwave meant air conditioners were cranked up to the max, and as a result Con Ed broke a new record for weekend New York City electricity consumption at 1 p.m. Saturday, with a record 11,664 megawatts of electricity usage; the previous weekend record was 11,533 megawatts July 23, 2011. The utility attributed demand to “sweltering heat and humidity that is baking the area.

Con Edison said Saturday it was reducing voltage by 5 percent in certain Brooklyn neighborhoods to protect equipment and maintain service. The area includes: Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Midwood, Flatbush and East Flatbush.

PSEG customers without power on Long Island and in New Jersey totaled 950. Connecticut Eversource customers without power totaled 1,133 in eastern sections of the state.

As the following chart from Reuters show, air conditioning demand has already been well off the long-term average, and is expected to continue at this pace.

It's not just New York and its surroundings: overall US aircondition usage has been some 11% higher than the norm so far in 2016, hinting at some bumper utility earnings results for the third quarter.

 

Sadly for New Yorkers, it will not get colder any time soon: the Tri-State area is not expected to get a break from the heat for a couple of days, as the high is expected to be 95 on Sunday and 90 on Monday, which would continue the heat wave for five days. According to CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock, there may be some relief late Monday into Tuesday.

However, that can’t come soon enough for New Yorkers who lost power, as there are more than 4,000 outages for New York City and Westchester County, according to Con Edison.

Meanwhile, the city is literally melting: on Utica Avenue in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, a melted power line next to a gas station came down sizzling, and without warning. “I was opening the car door to take something out of the car and the wire just fell,” said Christina Morrison of East Flatbush. “It just dropped — just like that.”

Families were struggling to deal with the heat around the corner from the East Flatbush gas station. “There’s no AC for me,” said John Leger. “I fry like a chicken inside a stove.”

The heat is putting a big strain on the power supply. In Jackson Heights, Queens, residents escaped their hot, dark homes and jammed into a city bus that had air conditioning on high, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported. “I felt like as if I was getting suffocated by the heat,” said Joshua Lovato.

Due to the oppressive heat, the city’s public pools are staying open longer and the 500 cooling centers are open through Monday evening.

Continued heating deals mean that the already frail power grid may simply snap. Con Edison isn’t the only power company reporting outages. JCP&L report more than 4,000 customers are without power; Orange and Rockland Counties with about 1,900; and PSEG Long Island said it has about 1,300 without outages.

The NYC mayor urged New Yorkers to stay warm:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio is urging residents to take steps to conserve energy, for example setting air conditioning units higher than normal. "Get those temperatures to 78 degrees. When I go into city hall, I feel it; it's not as nice as when it is cooler. But everyone is going about their work, everyone is fine, and it is going to help us protect ourselves over the next few days," de Blasio said.

While it is hoped the heatwave will fade by the end of the week, Wall Street economists are already preparing notes in which they blame the upcoming (ongoing) weakness in retail spending on the scorching heat.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb 2: Peak Electricity
Post by: Eddie on August 15, 2016, 04:36:03 PM
Texas had a couple of hourly highs of over 70 MW in the past week, the biggest demand ever. No brownouts. We have had them in the past a few times.
Title: The Dimming Bulb: NASA releases new global map of Earth at night
Post by: RE on April 13, 2017, 09:05:47 AM
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/go-for-launch/os-earth-at-night-black-marble-20170413-story.html (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/go-for-launch/os-earth-at-night-black-marble-20170413-story.html)

NASA releases new global map of Earth at night

(http://www.trbimg.com/img-58ef80d4/turbine/os-earth-at-night-pictures-20170413/750/750x422)

NASA scientists have just released the first new global map of Earth at night since 2012. This nighttime look at our home planet, dubbed the Black Marble, provides researchers with a unique perspective of human activities around the globe.

Richard TribouRichard TribouContact ReporterOrlando Sentinel
Privacy Policy

The lights shine bright on Earth at night as evidenced by a new global map of Earth released by NASA.

The composite images have been put together to render what NASA is calling the “Black Marble,” a play on the famous Blue Marble image of the Earth taken by the Apollo 17 crew on Dec. 17, 1972.

This new image, the first of Earth as a whole in five years, was created by putting together images from the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite that was launched in 2011 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on board a Delta II rocket.
Pictures: Earth at night

NASA scientists in 2017 released new global maps of Earth at night.

It’s part of a bigger project in which Earth scientist Miguel Román of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center wants to be able to update nighttime images of the Earth with more frequency, even daily.

His team takes images from the satellite’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), taking into account and eliminating effects that might alter the accurate image of the Earth at night. That includes ways in which light is reflected or scattered by things like the atmosphere, ocean surfaces, phases of the moon, seasonal vegetation, snow and even things like auroras.

The less interference from these the better for a clearer map. So this new composite was taken from images from all of 2016, from all months of the year using the clearest night views.

The 2016 data is being compared to the 2012 data that was released by the NOAA to see changes in the human footprint, but Román’s goal is to be able to use more frequent data to help with more immediate needs.

"Thanks to VIIRS, we can now monitor short-term changes caused by disturbances in power delivery, such as conflict, storms, earthquakes and brownouts," said Román. "We can monitor cyclical changes driven by reoccurring human activities such as holiday lighting and seasonal migrations. We can also monitor gradual changes driven by urbanization, out-migration, economic changes, and electrification. The fact that we can track all these different aspects at the heart of what defines a city is simply mind-boggling."
Earth at night

NASA scientists in 2017 released new global maps of Earth at night. (NASA Goddard)

The satellite's equipment can detect light reflected from Earth in 22 different wavelengths. Its data was used here in Florida in the wake of Hurricane Matthew last September to help in deal with power outage response. NASA’s Disasters Response team provided the data to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The satellite is a public one, so the data collected by NASA's Earth Observing Satellite Data and Information System is available within hours to scientists, and more quickly to the public at the Earth Observatory website at earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/NightLights

Read more information about the project and download a large image of the Black Marble at NASA.gov.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: K-Dog on April 13, 2017, 01:21:24 PM
A thousand words to say we have a new picture.  How exactly does the human footprint comepare to the one five years ago.  That would have been good to know.
Title: San Francisco power outage hits 90,000, business district affected
Post by: RE on April 21, 2017, 12:41:26 PM
No cause explained...hmmm...

RE

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-sanfrancisco-power-idUSKBN17N27T (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-sanfrancisco-power-idUSKBN17N27T)

U.S. | Fri Apr 21, 2017 | 3:22pm EDT
San Francisco power outage hits 90,000, business district affected

(http://s4.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20170421&t=2&i=1181560906&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=780&pl=468&sq=&r=LYNXMPED3K1BU)
A sign on a restaurant informs customers that the facility is closed due to a power cut, in the financial district of San Francisco, California, U.S. April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandria Sage

By Alexandria Sage | SAN FRANCISCO

A power outage hit about 90,000 people on Friday morning in San Francisco, closing shops and snarling traffic in the city's technology and finance center as a large swath of the financial district lost electricity.

Paul Doherty, spokesman for utility PG&E Corp, said there had been an incident at a San Francisco substation and a series of outages began affecting the city shortly after 9 a.m. (Noon ET). The utility said in a Twitter message later that it expected the outage to be fixed for most customers at 1 p.m. (4 p.m. ET).

The power cut did not affect San Francisco International Airport, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said through a spokesperson that the agency had not received any reports indicating that the outage was related to any security or terrorism incident. The spokesperson requested anonymity, citing department policy.

Office workers spilled onto city streets in the heart of the business district, milling about as traffic snarled, since stoplights were not working.

Trains streamed through the Montgomery Street station as the outage prevented them from stopping, Bay Area Rapid Transit said, while shopkeepers in the financial district sat in darkened stores, bereft of customers.

At Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in the Nob Hill neighborhood, all non-essential appointments and procedures had been canceled, spokeswoman Blair Holloway said.

King Lip, chief investment officer at Baker Avenue Asset Management in San Francisco, said his offices had been hit.

"It's pretty big, seems like half the city has no power. It’s a big deal. All our systems went down. We were in the middle of a trade, luckily we have cloud-based software so all the trades are saved and we’re going to have our people in Texas or New York execute it," he said.
Also In U.S.

    Arkansas execution flurry marks early test for new Justice Gorsuch
    Ex-NFL star Hernandez's family wants death scene evidence preserved

The outage affected central and northern parts of the city, according to the city's Department of Emergency Management.

At the salad bar chain MIXT downtown, cashiers took credit card payments using old-fashioned paper imprints, as customers lined up to eat in the dim natural light.

"Old school," commented patron Ben Fackler. "I haven't seen that in forever."

(Writing by Peter Henderson and Sharon Bernstein; Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos in New York, Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, Calif., and Tom James in Seattle; Editing by Andrew Hay, Lisa Shumaker and Frances
Title: Power Outages Coincide in LA, New York, and San Francisco
Post by: RE on April 21, 2017, 01:32:17 PM
Starting to look like a hack!  :o

If there is somebody out there who can take down  3 major grids in different parts of the country at will, that is BIG!  Somebody is sending a message here.

Chinese or Ruskie hackers?  Guesses?

RE

https://www.inverse.com/article/30631-lax-sf-ny-power-outages (https://www.inverse.com/article/30631-lax-sf-ny-power-outages)

Power Outages Coincide in LA, New York, and San Francisco
Commuters' trips to work got a lot longer.

    Cory ScarolaCities April 21, 2017

A series of subsequent power outages in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City left commuters stranded and traffic backed up on Friday morning. Although the outages occurred around the same time, there is as of yet no evidence that they were connected by anything more than coincidence.
Power Outage in New York Friday

The first outage occurred at around 7:20 a.m. in New York, when the power went down at the 7th Avenue and 53rd Street subway station, which sent a shockwave of significant delays out from the hub and into the rest of the subway system. By 11:30 a.m. the city’s MTA confirmed that generators were running again in the station, although the New York subways were set to run delayed into the afternoon.

The MTA and Con Ed are still working to determine the cause of the outage.
Power Outage in Los Angeles Friday

Later in the morning, power outages were reported in Los Angeles International Airport, as well as in several other areas around the city.

The outage sent frustrated fliers onto Twitter to comment.

While the outage was an inconvenience, it does not appear to be as widespread as it’s San Francisco counterpart.
Power Outage in San Francisco Friday

By far the largest outage of the morning happened in San Francisco, where, as of 1 p.m., it appears that the majority of the city is out of commission.

The massive outage is closing BART stations, shutting down traffic signals, and affecting office buildings. Residents and workers in the area are calling it “totally surreal.”
advertisement

Pictures show blocks of stalled traffic as drivers struggle to navigate without stoplights. SF Gate reports that no injuries have been reported yet in connection to the outage.

The San Francisco outage appears to have begun sometime around noon Eastern, 9 a.m. local time, and there is no end presently in sight. Areas confirmed to be even more affected include the entirety of the financial district, parts of SoMa, Richmond, Nob Hill, and Pacific Heights.

Pacific Gas and Electric’s own outage map shows thousands affected and current estimates indicate that the outage is hitting up to 100,000 customers.

The outage came after a substation fire on Larkin Street, but officials have yet to officially cite the cause of the outage. Sources did tell Inverse that PGE is working to restore power to the city by 12:30 p.m. local time at the earliest.

See also:

    The Power Outage in SF, NYC, and LA in 15 Photos

    Is the Power Outage in SF, LA, and NYC Merely a Coincidence?

    People are Blaming Rick Perry for Friday’s Three-City Power Outage
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: azozeo on April 21, 2017, 01:48:35 PM
Well it's not our NK Cabbage Patch psychopath. It may get pinned on him, but he's not that good.


Sidenote here: I found out yesterday than Kim-Jung Rosie O'Donnell is back in the opium patch biz-ness.
That doesn't sit well with The Bush/Clinton cabal. When our Golden Boy met with the Chinese to grease
the wheels of commerce that kind of sent a message to NK that you're being squeezed out of the action.
I'll bet the cabal has their hands in this dim bulb parlor trick.
Title: Re: Power Outages Coincide in LA, New York, and San Francisco
Post by: Surly1 on April 21, 2017, 05:13:35 PM
Starting to look like a hack!  :o

If there is somebody out there who can take down  3 major grids in different parts of the country at will, that is BIG!  Somebody is sending a message here.

Chinese or Ruskie hackers?  Guesses?

RE

https://www.inverse.com/article/30631-lax-sf-ny-power-outages (https://www.inverse.com/article/30631-lax-sf-ny-power-outages)

Power Outages Coincide in LA, New York, and San Francisco
Commuters' trips to work got a lot longer.
    Is the Power Outage in SF, LA, and NYC Merely a Coincidence?

    People are Blaming Rick Perry for Friday’s Three-City Power Outage

ANything new on this? I haven't found anything.
Title: Re: Power Outages Coincide in LA, New York, and San Francisco
Post by: RE on April 21, 2017, 05:57:54 PM
Starting to look like a hack!  :o

If there is somebody out there who can take down  3 major grids in different parts of the country at will, that is BIG!  Somebody is sending a message here.

Chinese or Ruskie hackers?  Guesses?

RE

https://www.inverse.com/article/30631-lax-sf-ny-power-outages (https://www.inverse.com/article/30631-lax-sf-ny-power-outages)

Power Outages Coincide in LA, New York, and San Francisco
Commuters' trips to work got a lot longer.
    Is the Power Outage in SF, LA, and NYC Merely a Coincidence?

    People are Blaming Rick Perry for Friday’s Three-City Power Outage

ANything new on this? I haven't found anything.

ZH has an article up, but nothing new in it.

RE
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: azozeo on April 21, 2017, 06:11:46 PM
Dahboo's spin....

http://www.youtube.com/v/4g0IOI3-OQs&fs=1
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Palloy2 on April 22, 2017, 07:34:37 PM
The figures in the article for the energy mix in the UK are for a whole year, but supply and demand change on a second by second basis, so annual averages are meaningless.  Depending on the time of day, the season of the year, and cloudiness, the solar supply varies.  Depending on the windiness the wind supply will vary.  Depending on the rainfall over the previous months, the hydro power available will vary.  And depending on the flick of a switch anywhere in the UK, demand will vary.

Nuclear and coal are slow to respond to changes in demand, typically they can only manage two changes in a day, high during the day and low at night.  Hydro is quick to respond, but dams usually don't have vast quantities of water available.  And no supplier wants to have their infrastructure standing idle.

So getting the right supply balance between the various fuels, especially when the mix is changing longer-term, is difficult.  When you get the mix wrong, like South Australia did a few months back, and something unusual (but not entirely unexpected) happens, the whole thing can collapse in a heap.  First it was TOO MUCH wind, which caused the wind turbines to shut down, and then too much wind caused the inter-state transmission grid towers from Victoria to fall over.  Then the coal/gas power stations couldn't cope with demand, and shut down to prevent damaging themselves.  Even the people with grid-tied solar went down without the grid (and it was dark).  Result: total blackout across the whole state. 

Then people woke up to the concept of Reliability.  To have a more reliable system, you've got to have more spare capacity, and that is more expensive.  But electricity is expensive enough already!  And really we want to shut down coal-fired generation.  Wind and Solar's reliability is zero (gales at night).  So what to do?

"Go Nuclear !" say the nuclear lobby.  "Batteries !" says Elon Musk.  "More Renewables !" says the Enviro-lobby, despite their Reliability factor being zero.  "More gas !" say the gas lobby.  But all of those options are more expensive than now.  And if renewables are even more common than they are now, we will have an even more expensive problem.  "Use less !" says a lone voice far off in the wilderness, and is totally ignored, because we want more of everything, not less, don't we?

The UK will have its Reliability crisis one day soon.  Don't expect coal to be phased out this century.

https://www.rt.com/uk/385728-britain-coal-energy-free-day/ (https://www.rt.com/uk/385728-britain-coal-energy-free-day/)
Britain cuts coal from energy mix for full 24hrs for 1st time since Industrial Revolution
22 Apr, 2017

For the first time since coal-fired electricity began during the Industrial Revolution, Britain has gone a full working day without needing King Coal to power its electricity grid.

Solid overall wind, nuclear and gas production, in combination with particularly low demand after the Easter holidays were the key factors that led to the “watershed moment.”

“To have the first working day without coal since the start of the industrial revolution is a watershed moment in how our energy system is changing,” said Cordi O’Hara, director of UK system operator at National Grid, as cited by the Financial Times.

Just two years ago, coal accounted for 23 percent of Britain’s electricity mix but that has now dropped to a mere 9 percent. Solar has now overtaken coal, at 10 percent, with biomass energy accounting for six percent of the energy mix.

Overall, gas still provides the lion’s share of Britain’s energy, making up roughly 47 percent of the total power generated. Tied in second place are wind and nuclear energy that each boast 18 percent of the UK’s total power production.

While it may be some time before the feat is replicated, environmentalist groups have welcomed the news saying it shifts the energy mix towards a more sustainable, green energy future.

In 2016, wind eclipsed coal electricity production in Britain according to analysis by Carbon Brief.

The UK is aiming to cut greenhouse gas levels as set in 1990 by 80 percent before the year 2050.

Following the Paris climate talks in 2015, the British government also agreed to phase out coal-fired electricity production altogether by the year 2052.

In the aftermath of two coal plant closures in March of last year, Scotland’s energy grid is already coal free, reports the FT.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: RE on April 22, 2017, 07:42:16 PM
The figures in the article for the energy mix in the UK are for a whole year, but supply and demand change on a second by second basis, so annual averages are meaningless.  Depending on the time of day, the season of the year, and cloudiness, the solar supply varies.  Depending on the windiness the wind supply will vary.  Depending on the rainfall over the previous months, the hydro power available will vary.  And depending on the flick of a switch anywhere in the UK, demand will vary.

Grid renewable continuous power is a non-starter.

12-72V DC intermittently available local power is the solution.

RE
Title: The Lights Are Going Out in the Middle East
Post by: RE on May 21, 2017, 07:35:13 AM
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-lights-are-going-out-in-the-middle-east (http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-lights-are-going-out-in-the-middle-east)

News Desk
The Lights Are Going Out in the Middle East
By Robin Wright   May 20, 2017

(http://www.newyorker.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Wright-The-Lights-Are-Going-Out-in-the-Middle-East-690.jpg)
The world’s most volatile region faces a challenge that doesn’t involve guns, militias, or bloodshed, yet is also destroying societies.PHOTOGRAPH BY MOHAMMED SALEM / REUTERS

Six months ago, I was in the National Museum in Beirut, marvelling at two Phoenician sarcophagi among the treasures from ancient Middle Eastern civilizations, when the lights suddenly went out. A few days later, I was in the Bekaa Valley, whose towns hadn’t had power for half the day, as on many days. More recently, I was in oil-rich Iraq, where electricity was intermittent, at best. “One day we’ll have twelve hours. The next day no power at all,” Aras Maman, a journalist, told me, after the power went off in the restaurant where we were waiting for lunch. In Egypt, the government has appealed to the public to cut back on the use of light bulbs and appliances and to turn off air-conditioning even in sweltering heat to prevent wider outages. Parts of Libya, which has the largest oil reserves in Africa, have gone weeks without power this year. In the Gaza Strip, two million Palestinians get only two to four hours of electricity a day, after yet another cutback in April.

The world’s most volatile region faces a challenge that doesn’t involve guns, militias, warlords, or bloodshed, yet is also destroying societies. The Middle East, though energy-rich, no longer has enough electricity. From Beirut to Baghdad, tens of millions of people now suffer daily outages, with a crippling impact on businesses, schools, health care, and other basic services, including running water and sewerage. Little works without electricity.

“The social, economic and political consequences of this impending energy crisis should not be underestimated,” the U.N. special coördinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, warned last month, about the Gaza crisis. The same applies across the region.

Public fury over rampant outages has sparked protests. In January, in one of the largest demonstrations since Hamas took control in Gaza a decade ago, ten thousand Palestinians, angered by the lack of power during a frigid winter, hurled stones and set tires ablaze outside the electricity company. Iraq has the world’s fifth-largest oil reserves, but, during the past two years, repeated anti-government demonstrations have erupted over blackouts that are rarely announced in advance and are of indefinite duration. It’s one issue that unites fractious Sunnis in the west, Shiites in the arid south, and Kurds in the mountainous north. In the midst of Yemen’s complex war, hundreds dared to take to the streets of Aden in February to protest prolonged outages. In Syria, supporters of President Bashar al-Assad in Latakia, the dynasty’s main stronghold, who had remained loyal for six years of civil war, drew the line over electricity. They staged a protest in January over a cutback to only one hour of power a day.

Over the past eight months, I’ve been struck by people talking less about the prospects of peace, the dangers of ISIS, or President Trump’s intentions in the Middle East than their own exhaustion from the trials of daily life. Families recounted groggily getting up in the middle of the night when power abruptly comes on in order to do laundry, carry out business transactions on computers, charge phones, or just bathe and flush toilets, until electricity, just as unpredictably, goes off again. Some families have stopped taking elevators; their terrified children have been stuck too often between floors. Students complained of freezing classrooms in winter, trying to study or write papers without computers, and reading at night by candlelight. The challenges will soon increase with the demands for power—and air-conditioning—surge, as summer temperatures reach a hundred and twenty-five degrees.

The reasons for these outages vary. With the exception of the Gulf states, infrastructure is old or inadequate in many of the twenty-three Arab countries. The region’s disparate wars, past and present, have damaged or destroyed electrical grids. Some governments, even in Iraq, can’t afford the cost of fuelling plants around the clock. Epic corruption has compounded physical challenges. Politicians have delayed or prevented solutions if their cronies don’t get contracts to fuel, maintain, or build power plants.

The movement of refugees has further strained equipment. Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt, already struggling, have each taken in hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees since 2011. The frazzled governor of Erbil, Nawzad Hadi Mawlood, told me that Iraq’s northern Kurdistan—home to four million Kurds—has taken in almost two million displaced Iraqis who fled the Islamic State since 2014, as well as more than a hundred thousand refugees fleeing the war in neighboring Syria since 2011. Kurdistan no longer has the facilities, fuel, or funds to provide power. It averages between nine and ten hours a day, a senior technician in Kurdistan’s power company told me, although it’s worse in other parts of Iraq.

I called on the technician at his home because electricity is now such a political flashpoint that he didn’t want to be seen hosting a journalist at work. Dusk was settling in so the living room was poorly lit. His house had no electricity, either. The only thing that worked was a wall clock. “It’s battery-operated,” he told me. I asked if he knew when electricity would return. He shrugged. “When you see the lights go on,” he replied. “I only work for the power company. They don’t tell us the hours, either.”

In Erbil, as in cities across the Middle East and North Africa, the only alternatives are noisy and polluting generators that cost three to ten times state rates. “I have no generator,” the technician noted.

In Lebanon, Moustafa Baalbaki, a young software engineer, tried to help people cope with outages by developing the cell-phone app Beirut Electricity, which does what the government doesn’t: it forecasts power cuts in the capital—and sends alerts ten minutes before the power goes out.

“I spent days and nights vainly wishing for the government to fix this problem,” Baalbaki told me. He originally figured out the complicated algorithm to plan his university classes and figure out when his ailing grandmother could visit so she could take the elevator to the family’s ninth-floor apartment. It worked so well that he offered it free to other Lebanese through Apple. It had almost ten thousand downloads the first day.

“The government doesn’t like me much,” Baalbaki told me. “I’m really not in competition. I’m just trying to find solutions that make life tolerable in these conditions. It’s terrible that we live like this in 2017. I’d be happy to kill the app—if we’d just get twenty-four hours of electricity.”
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Palloy2 on May 21, 2017, 05:33:51 PM
Robin Wright is a CIA agent who travels the Middle East stirring up trouble , and coming home and writing about it from her cosy office in Washington's Reagan Building opposite the White House.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: RE on May 21, 2017, 05:47:00 PM
Robin Wright is a CIA agent who travels the Middle East stirring up trouble , and coming home and writing about it from her cosy office in Washington's Reagan Building opposite the White House.

So you think she is lying about the blackouts across the MENA countries?

RE
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Palloy2 on May 22, 2017, 01:11:07 AM
Quote
Families recounted groggily getting up in the middle of the night when power abruptly comes on in order to do laundry, carry out business transactions on computers, charge phones, or just bathe and flush toilets, until electricity, just as unpredictably, goes off again. Some families have stopped taking elevators; their terrified children have been stuck too often between floors. Students complained of freezing classrooms in winter, trying to study or write papers without computers, and reading at night by candlelight.

How dare they switch the power on "abruptly", have they no consideration? All lies. Made up from the very worst of her imagination. The Wilson Centre is part of US's "soft power" strategy - create dissatisfaction in a country (iran and Syria) and handing out login credentials to dissenters so that they can login to the CIA and report what they doing to demonstrate their dissent, so that the CIA can create some fake news items to stir things up more.

Robin Wright is a protege of Haleh Esfandiari, a close friend of the SHah's wife, the Iranian CIA spy who got caught in 2006 "just visiting her dear old mother" and imprisoned until the US got her out.

Beware the Wilson Centre.
Title: Egypt suffers regular blackouts due to worst energy crisis in decades
Post by: RE on May 22, 2017, 01:20:43 AM
Quote
Families recounted groggily getting up in the middle of the night when power abruptly comes on in order to do laundry, carry out business transactions on computers, charge phones, or just bathe and flush toilets, until electricity, just as unpredictably, goes off again. Some families have stopped taking elevators; their terrified children have been stuck too often between floors. Students complained of freezing classrooms in winter, trying to study or write papers without computers, and reading at night by candlelight.

How dare they switch the power on "abruptly", have they no consideration? All lies. Made up from the very worst of her imagination. The Wilson Centre is part of US's "soft power" strategy - create dissatisfaction in a country (iran and Syria) and handing out login credentials to dissenters so that they can login to the CIA and report what they doing to demonstrate their dissent, so that the CIA can create some fake news items to stir things up more.

Robin Wright is a protege of Haleh Esfandiari, a close friend of the SHah's wife, the Iranian CIA spy who got caught in 2006 "just visiting her dear old mother" and imprisoned until the US got her out.

Beware the Wilson Centre.

Somehow, I doubt these are "all lies".

Here's an article from 2014.  You think the situation has improved?  ???  :icon_scratch:

Egypt suffers regular blackouts due to worst energy crisis in decades
Rising population, intense heat and claims of terror attacks on infrastructure means demand is now 20% more than capacity

(https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/8/20/1408542045454/Egypts-Shoubra-el-Kheima--011.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=f5f988f7629b63c22089a0d1cfa36be4)
Egypt's Shoubra el-Kheima power station. Electricity demand hit a record daily high of 27,700 megawatts last week. Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

Patrick Kingsley in Cairo

Wednesday 20 August 2014 09.47 EDT
First published on Wednesday 20 August 2014 09.47 EDT

Egypt is experiencing one of its most serious energy crises for decades, with parts of the country facing around six power cuts a day for up to two hours at a time.

The blackouts have created widespread frustration, with businesses reporting a downturn in production and citizens complaining about the disruption to everyday life.

Earlier this week, electricity demand hit a record daily high of 27,700 megawatts, 20% more than powers stations could provide, state media reported.

"Have mercy on us," read the front page of Wednesday's al-Gomhoria, a state-owned newspaper, above an article about the electricity shortages.

The government claims the problem is caused by a recent series of 300 alleged terrorist attacks on Egypt's energy infrastructure. But energy analysts have predicted the shortage for some time, and blackouts were already an issue well before the rise in militancy over the past year.

A ballooning population – which has increased by an estimated 1 million in the past six months – and the intense August heat, which has caused a surge in air-conditioning usage, means that demand now outstrips the capacity of Egypt's mainly gas-fuelled power stations.

Egypt also faces a problem of supply. Parts of its own natural gas reserves were notoriously exported at marked-down prices under former dictator Hosni Mubarak. It still has untapped gas fields, but these have traditionally been mined by foreign companies. These firms are reluctant to extract more until they are paid overdue debts owed to them by the Egyptian government.

On Wednesday, Egypt's prime minister, Ibrahim Mehleb, promised to halve Egypt's energy deficit by the end of the month; he has already announced plans to open more power stations and diversify away from gas. "We admit we have a problem," Mehleb said in a press conference. "But we are really facing it."

The success of Mehleb and President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's government may partly depend on how well he tackles the situation. Frequent blackouts and fuel shortages were two of the many reasons protesters marched against Sisi's predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, last summer.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Palloy2 on May 22, 2017, 01:48:19 AM
It depends on what you are used to, a power outage in California or New York is a catastrophe, but a power cut in Cairo or Baghdad is not the "most serious energy crises for decades"
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: RE on May 22, 2017, 01:58:45 AM
It depends on what you are used to, a power outage in California or New York is a catastrophe, but a power cut in Cairo or Baghdad is not the "most serious energy crises for decades"

Perhaps it's not the "most serious energy crises for decades", but it's clearly a big problem and getting bigger.  A city like Cairo can probably function OK with 4-6 hour rolling blackouts.  if they are working up to half a day or more, they'll have serious refrigeration issues and it knocks out financial transactions too.  That is not good for bizness.

The CIA is not a terrifically reliable source of course, but it's CFS that a country like Egypt would be having trouble keeping the lights on, and it's in the interest of the CIA to advertize that fact.

Regardless who made the report or what the political agenda is here, it makes CFS that they would be having trouble keeping the lights on.  I am writing a Part 3 to the Dimming Bulb to analyze this in more depth.

RE
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Nearingsfault on May 22, 2017, 05:10:32 AM
Well regardless of motive the story rings true.  Even in rural ontario keeping up with infrastructure replacements is challenging and expensive.  Everything was installed during the age of cheap energy and cheap labour both of which are absent.  I come face to face with it as I transition into solar full time.  The infrastructure bill is often higher then the cost of an off grid system...
Legend has it the Dr series of inverters from trace stood for "Dominican Republic".  Their charger function would charge up a bank when the intermittent grid came back up.  That is really what we are seeing.  Not the end of electric grids just the end of cheap electricity...
Best regards, David B.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Palloy2 on May 22, 2017, 07:02:17 AM
I would put it down to human's irrational exuberence for progress. I bet they never saved up the money to build the power station, just borrowed it, against what they hoped would be better efficiency, without realising the long-term maintenance costs. Then when maintenance costs grew too high, they just put it off till later.  Then the complex system collapses.

This place uses diesel generators, and the transmission grid is very fragile and fails anytime a tree falls on the line, or is hit by lightning. Three times this week it has happened, but nobody bats an eyelid.  Efficincy is not a problem when everything is inefficient and slow-paced.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Nearingsfault on May 22, 2017, 07:28:55 AM
Interesting... My belief is microgrids  are the future.  The large utilities are sclerotic. In an area that relies on diesel there isn't even an efficiency argument to be made for large grids.  Small systems with charger functions, block by block resilient  grids.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: RE on May 22, 2017, 08:19:10 AM
I would put it down to human's irrational exuberence for progress. I bet they never saved up the money to build the power station, just borrowed it, against what they hoped would be better efficiency, without realising the long-term maintenance costs. Then when maintenance costs grew too high, they just put it off till later.  Then the complex system collapses.

I don't think any place, anywhere ever "saved up" to buy a Power Plant.  They're always financed by bond issues, and then theoretically they're supposed to pay themselves off through increased economic activity, but they never do.  The bonds keep getting rolled over and the deferred maintenance keeps piling up.  You see the same thing in just about all countries with old infrastructure, just it's worst in the 3rd World countries.  None of these countries ever had an economic engine which could pay the cost af all the people turning on their lights and air conditioners, so Goobermints subsidized the cost by issuing their own bonds.  Until of course they get rejected by the Bond Vigilantes at the TBTF Banks and their interest rates skyrocket.  Now not only can the Power Company afford the maintenance, they can't afford the fuel either.  They're buying their fuel out of the cash flow from people who actually pay their bills, but there are fewer of them all the time.  So they only have enough fuel to run for 1/2 the day, or less.

Quote
This place uses diesel generators, and the transmission grid is very fragile and fails anytime a tree falls on the line, or is hit by lightning. Three times this week it has happened, but nobody bats an eyelid.  Efficincy is not a problem when everything is inefficient and slow-paced.

Up here in Alaska, all the far flung Native Villages run on diesel generators.  Stringing all the wire necessary to deliver power from the few central power plants around Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley and Fairbanks makes no sense for the small populations that live in these locations.  They are mostly fishing villages on the coast, so their diesel gets barged in.  Could they afford to buy this diesel on the money they make from selling fish?  Of course not, in fact most of them don't sell much if any of the catch, it's just for their own subsistence.  The way they pay for it is all the tribes get paid by Big Oil for leasing rights to drill for Oil.  When they are no longer drilling for oil here, those payments will stop and so will the shipment of diesel to run the generators in those towns.  The people will mostly leave them, because few want to go back to living in Igloos.

The Mat-Su Valley here should be OK with electricity for a few years.  We just built a new power plant that runs on multi-fuels and we have our own supply of natural gas.  Overall though, it will be a nightmare to get any kind of economic system going once Big Oil departs Alaska.

RE
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Palloy2 on May 22, 2017, 03:19:48 PM
I saw a doco about Alaska's grid a while ago,  I think it was part of a series called "The most dangerous jobs in the world". There is a section of the grid which is a critical bottleneck and the engineers have to be flown in by helicopter and off-loaded directly onto the tower top (wearing high voltage and heat insulation suits).  If the weather turns nasty they are stuck there till the weather clears, and if they need a spare part or drop a spanner, they have to wait for replacements to be helicoptered in.
Title: Dimming Bulb 3: Collapse has ARRIVED!
Post by: RE on June 04, 2017, 02:07:36 AM


youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of RE



Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666

Friend us on Facebook



Published on The Doomstead Diner June 4, 2017






Discuss this article at the Energy Table inside the Diner



Read also: The Dimming Bulb, The Dimming Bulb 2



Due to my High & Mighty position as a Global Collapse Pundit, I am often asked the question of when precisely will Collapse arrive?  The people who ask me this question all come from 1st World countries.  They are also all reasonably well off with a computer, an internet connection, running water and enough food to eat.  While a few of us are relatively poor retirees, even none of us wants for the basics as of yet.  The Diner doesn't get many readers from the underclass even here in Amerika, much less from the Global Underclass in places like Nigeria, Somalia,Sudan and Yemen.



The fact is, that for more than half the world population, Collapse is in full swing and well underway.  Two key bellweathers of where collapse is now are the areas of Electricity and Food.



http://dieoff.org/synopsis_files/image002.gif In his seminal 1996 paper The Olduvai Theory: Sliding Towards a Post-Industrial Stone Age, Richard Duncan mapped out the trajectory of where we would be as the years passed and fossil fuels became more difficult and expensive to mine up.  Besides powering all our cars and trucks for Happy Motoring and Just-in-Time delivery, the main thing our 1st World lifestyle requires is Electricity, and lots of it on demand, 24/7.  Although electricity can be produced in some "renewable" ways that don't depend on a lot of fossil fuel energy at least directly, most of the global supply of electric power comes from Coal and Natural Gas.  Of the two, NG is slightly cleaner, but either way when you burn them, CO2 goes up in the atmosphere.  This of course is a problem climatically, but you have an even bigger problem socially and politically if you aren't burning them.  Everything in the society as it has been constructed since Edison invented the Light Bulb in 1879 has depended on electricity to function.



Now, if all the toys like lights, refrigerators big screen TVs etc had been kept to just a few small countries and the rest of the world lived a simple subsistence farming lifestyle, the lucky few with the toys probably could have kept the juice flowing a lot longer.  Unfortunately however, once exposed to all the great toys, EVERYBODY wanted them.  The industrialists also salivated over all the profit to be made selling the toys to everyone.  So, everybody everywhere needed a grid, which the industrialists and their associated banksters extended Credit for "backward" Nation-States all over the globe to build their own power plants and string their own wires.  Now everybody in the country could have a lightbulb to see by and a fridge to keep the food cold.  More than that, the electricity also went to power water pumping stations and sewage treatment plants, so you could pack the Big Shities with even more people who use still more electricity.



This went on all over the globe, until today there isn't a major city or even a medium size town anywhere on the globe that isn't wired for electricity, although many places that are now no longer have enough money to keep the juice flowing.



Where is the electricity going off first?  Obviously, in the poorest and most war torn countries across the Middle East and Africa.  These days, from Egypt to Tunisia, if they get 2 hours of electricity a day they are doing good.



The Lights Are Going Out in the Middle East






The world’s most volatile region faces a challenge that doesn’t involve guns, militias, or bloodshed, yet is also destroying societies. Public fury over rampant outages has sparked protests. In January, in one of the largest demonstrations since Hamas took control in Gaza a decade ago, ten thousand Palestinians, angered by the lack of power during a frigid winter, hurled stones and set tires ablaze outside the electricity company. Iraq has the world’s fifth-largest oil reserves, but, during the past two years, repeated anti-government demonstrations have erupted over blackouts that are rarely announced in advance and are of indefinite duration. It’s one issue that unites fractious Sunnis in the west, Shiites in the arid south, and Kurds in the mountainous north. In the midst of Yemen’s complex war, hundreds dared to take to the streets of Aden in February to protest prolonged outages. In Syria, supporters of President Bashar al-Assad in Latakia, the dynasty’s main stronghold, who had remained loyal for six years of civil war, drew the line over electricity. They staged a protest in January over a cutback to only one hour of power a day.



Over the past eight months, I’ve been struck by people talking less about the prospects of peace, the dangers of ISIS, or President Trump’s intentions in the Middle East than their own exhaustion from the trials of daily life. Families recounted groggily getting up in the middle of the night when power abruptly comes on in order to do laundry, carry out business transactions on computers, charge phones, or just bathe and flush toilets, until electricity, just as unpredictably, goes off again. Some families have stopped taking elevators; their terrified children have been stuck too often between floors. Students complained of freezing classrooms in winter, trying to study or write papers without computers, and reading at night by candlelight. The challenges will soon increase with the demands for power—and air-conditioning—surge, as summer temperatures reach a hundred and twenty-five degrees.



The reasons for these outages vary. With the exception of the Gulf states, infrastructure is old or inadequate in many of the twenty-three Arab countries. The region’s disparate wars, past and present, have damaged or destroyed electrical grids. Some governments, even in Iraq, can’t afford the cost of fuelling plants around the clock. Epic corruption has compounded physical challenges. Politicians have delayed or prevented solutions if their cronies don’t get contracts to fuel, maintain, or build power plants.






Now you'll note that at the end of the third paragraph there, the journalist implies that a big part of the problem is "political corruption", but it's really not.  It's simply a lack of money.  These countries at one time were all Oil Exporters, although not on the scale of Saudi Arabia or Kuwait.  As their own supplies of oil have depleted they have become oil importers, except they neither have a sufficient mercantilist model running to bring in enough FOREX to buy oil, and they can't get credit from the international banking cartel to keep buying.  3rd World countries are being cut off from the Credit Lifeline, unlike the core countries at the center of credit creation like Britain, Germany and the FSoA.  All these 1st World countries are in just as bad fiscal deficit as the MENA countries, the only difference is they still can get credit and run the deficits even higher.  This works until it doesn't anymore.



Beyond the credit issue is the War problem.  As the countries run out of money, more people become unemployed, biznesses go bankrupt, tax collection drops off the map and goobermint employees are laid off too.  It's the classic deflationary spiral which printing more money doesn't solve, since the notes become increasingly worthless.  For them to be worth anything in FOREX, somebody has to buy their Goobermint Bonds, and that is precisely what is not happening.  So as the society becomes increasingly impoverished, it descends into internecine warfare between factions trying to hold on to or increase their share of the ever shrinking pie.



The warfare ongoing in these nations has knock on effects for the 1st World Nations still trying to extract energy from some of these places.  To keep the oil flowing outward, they have to run very expensive military operations to at least maintain enough order that oil pipelines aren't sabotaged on a daily basis.  The cost of the operations keeps going up, but the amount of money they can charge the customers for the oil inside their own countries does not keep going up.  Right now they have hit a ceiling around $50/bbl for what they can charge for the oil, and for the most part this is not a profit making price.  So all the corporations involved in Exploration & Production these days are surviving on further extensions of credit from the TBTF banks while at the same time cutting back on their capital expenditures.  This also is a paradigm that can't last.



The other major problem now surfacing is the Food Distribution problem, and again this is hitting the African countries first and hardest.  It's a combination problem of climate change, population overshoot and the warfare which results from those issues.



Currently, the UN lists 4 countries in extreme danger of famine in the coming year, Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.  They estimate currently there are 20M people at extreme risk, and I would bet the numbers are a good deal higher than that.

 



 




somalia-famine.jpg World faces four famines as Trump administration plans to slash foreign aid budget




'Biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II' about to engulf 20 million people, UN says, as governments only donate 10 per cent of funds needed for essential aid



 



 



 



 




 



The world is facing a humanitarian crisis bigger than any in living memory, the UN has said, as four countries teeter on the brink of famine.



Twenty million people are at risk of starvation and facing water shortages in Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen, while parts of South Sudan are already officially suffering from famine.  



While the UN said in February that at least $4.4 billion (£3.5 bn) was needed by the end of March to avert a hunger catastrophe across the four nations, the end of the month is fast approaching, and only 10 per cent of the necessary funds have been received from donor governments so far.






It doesn't look too promising that the UN will be able to raise the $4B they say is necessary to feed all those hungry mouths, and none of the 1st World countries is too predisposed to handing out food aid when they all currently have problems with their own social welfare programs for food distribution.  Here in the FSoA, there are currently around 45M people on SNAP Cards at a current cost around $71B.  The Repugnants in charge of CONgress will no doubt try to cut this number in order to better fund the Pentagon, but they are not likely to send more money to Somalia.



Far as compassion for all the starving people globally goes in the general population, this also appears to be decreasing, although I don't have statistics to back that up. It is just a general sense I get as I read the collapse blogosphere, in the commentariats generally.  The general attitude is, "It's their own fault for being so stupid and not using Birth Control.  If they were never born, they wouldn't have to die of starvation."  Since they are mostly Black Africans currently starving, this is another reason a large swath of the white population here doesn't care much about the problem.



There are all sorts of social and economic reasons why this problem spiralled out of control, having mainly to do with the production of cheap food through Industrial Agriculture and Endless Greed centered on the idea of Endless Growth, which is not possible on a Finite Planet.



More places on Earth were wired up with each passing year, and more people were bred up with each passing year.  The dependency on fossil fuels to keep this supposedly endless cycle of growth going became ever greater each year, all while this resource was being depleted more each year.  Eventually, an inflexion point had to be hit, and we have hit it.



http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aWWVsOhX9oA/TrxXROe6CEI/AAAAAAAAAN8/fXiBu_jeZvg/s1600/unicorn.jpgThe thing is, for the relatively comfortable readers of the Doomstead Diner in the 1st World BAU seems to be continuing onward, even if you are a bit poorer than you were last year. 24/7 electricity is still available from the grid with only occassional interruptions.  Gas is still available at the pump, and if you are employed you probably can afford to buy it, although you need to be more careful about how much you drive around unless you are a 1%er.  The Rich are still lining up to buy EVs from Elon Musk, even though having a grid to support all electric transportation is out of the question.  The current grid can't be maintained, and upgrading to handle that much throughput would take much thicker cables all across the network.  People carry on though as though this will all go on forever and Scientists & Engineers will solve all the problems with some magical new device.  IOW, they believe in Skittle Shitting Unicorns.



That's not going to happen though, so you're back to the question of how long will it take your neighborhood in the UK or Germany or the FSoA to look like say Egypt does today?  Well, if you go back in time a decade to Egypt in 2007, things were still looking pretty Peachy over there, especially in Tourist Traps like Cairo.  Terrorism wasn't too huge a problem and Da Goobermint of Hoser Mubarak appeared stable.  A decade later today, Egypt is basically a failed state only doing marginally better than places like Somalia and Sudan.  The only reason they're doing as well as they are is because they are in an important strategic location on the Suez Canal and as such get support from the FSoA military.



So a good WAG here for how long it will take for the Collapse Level in 1st World countries to reach the level Egypt is at today is about a decade.  It could be a little shorter, it could be longer.  By then of course, Egypt will be in even WORSE shape, and who might still be left alive in Somalia is an open question.  Highly unlikely to be very many people though.  Over the next decade, the famines will spread and people will die, in numbers far exceeding the 20M to occur over the next year.  After a while, it's unlikely we will get much newz about this, and people here won't care much about what they do hear.  They will have their own problems.


Title: Re: Dimming Bulb 3: Collapse has ARRIVED!
Post by: knarf on June 04, 2017, 04:39:54 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/7BUH3Gd9qAA&fs=1
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: RE on June 05, 2017, 05:41:29 AM
Dimming Bulb 3 now UP and cross posted on SRSRocco Report!  :icon_sunny:

https://srsroccoreport.com/collapse-has-arrivied/

RE
Title: UN warns of Gaza's 'total collapse' amid power crisis
Post by: RE on June 15, 2017, 12:30:07 AM
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/warns-gaza-total-collapse-power-crisis-170614180853307.html (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/warns-gaza-total-collapse-power-crisis-170614180853307.html)

UN warns of Gaza's 'total collapse' amid power crisis
Further cuts to Gaza's already diminished electricity supply has besieged Strip on brink of humanitarian catastrophe.

(http://www.aljazeera.com/mritems/imagecache/mbdxxlarge/mritems/Images/2017/6/14/912707be4b8f40499f3e1d8710ba933b_18.jpg)
Israel reduced the amount of electricity to Gaza by between 45 and 60 minutes a day [Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters]

The United Nations has warned that longer power cuts threaten a "total collapse" of basic services in Gaza, with residents in the beseiged Palestinian territory being held hostage to political infighting.

Gazans currently receive three to four hours of mains electricity a day, delivered from the territory's own power station and others in Israel and Egypt.
Gaza: Power crisis worsens with PA push to reduce electricity supply


Israel decided on Sunday to reduce the amount of electricity it supplies to Gaza by between 45 and 60 minutes a day after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas cut electricity funding by his West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

The move was widely seen as an attempt by Abbas to step up pressure on the rival Hamas movement, which runs Gaza.

The UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied territories, Robert Piper, warned the additional power cuts would have a disastrous effect.

"A further increase in the length of blackouts is likely to lead to a total collapse of basic services, including critical functions in the health, water and sanitation sectors," Piper said in a statement.

"The people in Gaza should not be held hostage to this long-standing internal Palestinian dispute," he said.

Israeli and global NGOs, including Amnesty International, joined the world body in condemning the longer hours of blackout.

A joint statement of 16 groups, among them Israel's B'Tselem, Peace Now and Rabbis for Human Rights, said they have asked Israel's attorney general to intervene.

They said further cuts would contravene a 2008 Israeli supreme court ruling that years of Israeli control over the strip had created near-total dependence on power supply from Israel and it must therefore continue to provide sufficient electricity to meet humanitarian needs.

READ MORE: Gaza power crisis: 'We want to end this nightmare'

Amnesty warned in a separate statement of a "looming humanitarian catastrophe".

It said additional reductions in power "will have a disastrous impact on Gaza's battered infrastructure and cause a public health disaster".

"The move will also endanger thousands of lives including those of hospital patients with chronic conditions or in intensive care, including babies on life support."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israel had "no interest in an escalation," blaming internal Palestinian disputes for the crisis.
Is Palestinian reconciliation possible? – Inside Story

Hamas said the cut was made on Abbas's orders and termed it "a catastrophe".

"This decision aggravates the situation and risks an explosion in the Gaza Strip," it said on Monday.

Hamas has run Gaza since 2007, when it seized the territory from Abbas's Fatah movement in a dispute over parliamentary elections won by Hamas the previous year.

Multiple attempts at reconciliation between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah movement have failed, but the Palestinian Authority has continued to pay Israel for some electricity delivered to Gaza.

The prospect of even lengthier blackouts in Gaza has raised fears of a new upsurge in violence.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.
Title: Power Outage In N.C.'s Outer Banks Could Take Weeks To Fix
Post by: RE on August 02, 2017, 03:28:54 AM
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/01/540853393/power-outage-in-n-c-s-outer-banks-could-take-weeks-to-fix (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/01/540853393/power-outage-in-n-c-s-outer-banks-could-take-weeks-to-fix)

Power Outage In N.C.'s Outer Banks Could Take Weeks To Fix

August 1, 201711:15 AM ET

Scott Neuman

(http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2017/08/01/ap_17209002630656-036a9ee8a102207163c142e6517744d3b2ea32da-s800-c85.jpg)
Vehicles line up at a gas station on Thursday on Ocracoke Island on North Carolina's Outer Banks, as visitors leave the island following a widespread power outage.
C. Leinbach/AP

North Carolina's Outer Banks has been without electricity for days – and that could last for weeks, according to estimates of how long it will take to repair transmission lines that were inadvertently severed by a bridge construction crew.

PCL Construction, which is building a new span to replace the old Bonner Bridge across the Oregon Inlet, has acknowledged that early Thursday its workers drove a steel casing through a major underground transmission cable belonging to the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative. The accident has left thousands of residents without power and forced vacationers to depart.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said "a lot of money" was being lost due to the outages that come at the peak of tourist season when people come from all over the country to relax on the region's sandy beaches.

"You've got waiters and waitresses who are losing tip money. You've got restaurants who aren't selling meals. You've got hotel owners who aren't selling rooms. You've got boat captains who don't have charters," Cooper said.

"I do know we're talking hundreds of millions of dollars for our tourism on these islands every year," the governor said at a news conference on Monday. "And so it is critically important that we get the power back on, to make sure these tourists and visitors can get back on the island as quickly as possible."

Jason deBruyn, a reporter for member station WUNC, spoke with All Things Considered, describing the beaches as a ghost town following a mandatory evacuation that has removed 50,000 visitors from the island. Normally, he says there would be "cars backed up for miles, blanket to blanket on the beach. ... people everywhere" at this time of year.

On Monday, The News & Observer reported that a lawsuit had been filed against PCL Construction on behalf of the affected individuals and businesses.

The construction firm originally said its crew had accidentally cut a single transmission line, but the utility said later that a test of its underground cables showed a total of three had been severed and that it could take up to two weeks to repair the damage or string new overhead lines.

The News & Observer writes:

    "CHEC crews are working toward two solutions for transmission restoration. The first solution is to continue excavating the damaged cables and work to splice them back together; repairs have already begun on the first excavated cable. The second solution is to build a new overhead transmission line ..."

Electricity, supplied by generators, has been restored to some areas, but many others are still in the dark, the newspaper reports.

"As a firm representing clients in the Outer Banks area, we can tell you that this power outage could not have happened at a worse time," Dennis Rose, of Rose Harrison and Gilreath law firm, one of the firms assisting in the lawsuit, was quoted by the News & Observer as saying. "We are getting calls from local residents and business
Title: Re: Power Outage In N.C.'s Outer Banks Could Take Weeks To Fix
Post by: Surly1 on August 02, 2017, 06:36:02 AM
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/01/540853393/power-outage-in-n-c-s-outer-banks-could-take-weeks-to-fix (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/01/540853393/power-outage-in-n-c-s-outer-banks-could-take-weeks-to-fix)

Power Outage In N.C.'s Outer Banks Could Take Weeks To Fix

Big news in this part of the country, as you might imagine. 80,000 evacuees so far. The only way you have electricity is if you have a generator.

PCL Construction, which is building a new span to replace the old Bonner Bridge across the Oregon Inlet, has acknowledged that early Thursday its workers drove a steel casing through a major underground transmission cable belonging to the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative. The accident has left thousands of residents without power and forced vacationers to depart.

Doesn't anyone hire a surveyor anymore? Or read a map? It will be interesting to see whether their surveyors couldn't read, or if the cables were in the wrong place.
Title: The Dimming Bulb: The Night the Lights Went Out in Florida
Post by: RE on September 11, 2017, 01:59:32 PM
FL Before Irma
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DJdTyyIX0AE40pG.jpg)

FL After Irma
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DJdTz-DWAAAkYkR.jpg)

RE
Title: The Dimming Bulb: FL now up to 10M without Juice!
Post by: RE on September 11, 2017, 05:26:52 PM
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/09/floridas-largest-utility-west-floridas-electrical-grid-will-need-a-wholesale-rebuild/539328/ (https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/09/floridas-largest-utility-west-floridas-electrical-grid-will-need-a-wholesale-rebuild/539328/)

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.”

(https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2017/09/RTX3FOH4/lead_960.jpg?1505153809)
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.
Title: 🛢️ We Can No Longer Afford a Fossil Fuel Economy
Post by: RE on September 13, 2018, 01:10:48 AM
https://www.globalresearch.ca/we-can-no-longer-afford-a-fossil-fuel-economy/5653565 (https://www.globalresearch.ca/we-can-no-longer-afford-a-fossil-fuel-economy/5653565)

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 350.org 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.

(https://popularresistance-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2018/09/global-ouccurence-of-exteme-weather-events-from-new-climate-economy-e1536436631606.png)

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.”

(https://popularresistance-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2018/09/our-lives-matter-from-weriseonclimate-flickr-e1536509747391.jpg)

    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.

(https://popularresistance-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2018/09/equity-justice-weriseforclimate-from-flickr-e1536509360121.jpg)

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.

(https://popularresistance-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2018/09/polling-on-risks-of-climate-change.-yale-climate-communication-project.-e1536439353830.png)
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.
Title: 💡 The Dimming Bulb: Power outages hit parts of Manhattan
Post by: RE on July 13, 2019, 06:03:12 PM
https://nypost.com/2019/07/13/power-outages-hit-parts-of-manhattan-sending-subway-stations-stores-into-darkness/

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

By Stephanie Pagones

July 13, 2019 | 7:26pm | Updated

(https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/power-outage-times-square.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=1236&h=820&crop=1)
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.
Title: 💡 Tropical Storm Barry leaves tens of thousands without electricity
Post by: RE on July 15, 2019, 12:33:14 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/diNn8lIt6rA
Title: 💡 Thousands lose power in Washington DC after substation malfunction
Post by: RE on July 28, 2019, 01:02:00 AM
https://www.foxnews.com/us/40000-lose-power-in-washington-dc-after-malfunction-at-substation (https://www.foxnews.com/us/40000-lose-power-in-washington-dc-after-malfunction-at-substation)

Thousands lose power in Washington DC after substation malfunction
By Sam Dorman | Fox News

(https://lumawaresafety.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/6512683_orig.jpg)
DC power outage affecting more than 24k customers

Utility company Pepco reports that the outage is being caused by an issue at a substation in the northwest side of the city.

Thousands of Washington D.C. residents lost power Saturday after a malfunction at a local substation.

The outage began at around 2:30 p.m. ET and affected approximately 40,000 Pepco customers in the District at its peak. A few dozen customers in neighboring Prince George's and Montgomery counties in Maryland were also affected, The Washington Post reported.

REASON FOR MASSIVE NYC BLACKOUT REMAINS A MYSTERY

Police reportedly received a surge of calls from people trapped in elevators as the city sweated out 90-degree temperatures.

The outage affected the neighborhoods of Shaw, Woodley Park, Van Ness, Adams Morgan, DuPont, Logan Circle, U Street, and Mount Pleasant.

"We are working to restore service to customers as quickly and safely as possible and are investigating the cause of this incident,” Pepco tweeted.

Pepco told customers to call the company's outage number at 1-877-737-2662. A website referred by the utility indicated that power would not be restored to all affected residents until early Sunday.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

At approximately 5 p.m. local time, District of Columbia Deputy Mayor Kevin Donahue tweeted that approximately 21,000 people remained without power.

Click for more from Fox5DC.
Sam Dorman is a reporter with Fox News. You can follow him on Facebook here.
Title: 💡 LIST: Counties, cities affected by PG&E power outage in Bay Area, rest of Ca
Post by: RE on October 09, 2019, 02:49:09 AM
https://abc7news.com/society/list-areas-affected-by-pg-e-power-outage-in-ca/5603558/ (https://abc7news.com/society/list-areas-affected-by-pg-e-power-outage-in-ca/5603558/)

PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff
LIST: Counties, cities affected by PG&E power outage in Bay Area, rest of

http://www.youtube.com/v/opyq9_R_sdA

(1 of 8)

This Sunday, Sept. 9, 2019 image shows power lines in San Francisco.
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 6:58PM
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- PG&E has confirmed that it will shut off power to nearly 800,000 customers across Northern and Central California starting just after midnight.

MAPS: PG&E power outage is affecting these Bay Area cities

Here's a list of areas impacted, by county:

ALAMEDA

Albany, Oakland, Castro Valley, Fremont, Union City, Berkeley, Hayward, San Leandro, Sunol, Pleasanton, Livermore

ALPINE

Bear Valley

AMADOR

Pioneer, Jackson, Sutter Creek, Pine Grove, Plymouth, Volcano, Fiddletown, River Pines, Amador City, Drytown, Martell, Ione

BUTTE

Oroville, Chico, Magalia, Paradise, Berry Creek, Forest Ranch, Palermo, Bangor, Cohasset, Butte Meadows, Clipper Mills, Forbestown, Stirling City, Feather Falls, Biggs, Brush Creek, Yankee Hill, Gridley, Rackerby, Butte Valley, Hurleton, Paradise Pines

RELATED: Are you ready for a blackout? Here's how to prepare

CALAVERAS

Arnold, Angels Camp, Copperopolis, Murphys, San Andreas, West Point, Mountain Ranch, Mokelumne Hill, Rail Road Flat, Vallecito, Wilseyville, Hathaway Pines, Avery, Glencoe, Douglas Flat, Sheep Ranch, White Pines, Dorrington, Camp Connell, Tamarack, Altaville, Valley Springs

LIST: Schools impacted by potential PG&E power shutoff

COLUSA

Arbuckle, Stonyford, Williams, Sites, Maxwell

CONTRA COSTA

San Ramon, Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Pinole, Richmond, Kensington, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Canyon, San Pablo, Pittsburg, Rodeo, Concord, Antioch, Martinez

EL DORADO

Placerville, El Dorado Hills, Pollock Pines, Cameron Park, Camino, Rescue, El Dorado, Somerset, Cool, Shingle Springs, Georgetown, Garden Valley, Diamond Springs, Pilot Hill, Grizzly Flats, Twin Bridges, Greenwood, Kyburz, Lotus, Kelsey, Mount Aukum, Coloma, Pacific House, Fair Play, Omo Ranch, Silver Fork, Canyon, Aukum

GLENN

Orland, Willows, Artois, Elk Creek, Glenn

RELATED: PG&E Power Outages: How to find out they are coming and deal when they do

HUMBOLDT

TBA

KERN

TBA

LAKE

Clearlake, Lakeport, Clearlake Oaks, Lucerne, Nice, Upper Lake, Lower Lake, Middletown, Kelseyville, Cobb, Hidden Valley Lake, Glenhaven, Witter Springs, Clearlake Park, Loch Lomond

LIST: Places to go during potential PG&E power shutoff

MARIN

Bolinas (767 Households), Fairfax (11 Households), Mill Valley (4,444 Households), Muir Beach (178 Households), Olema (2 Households), Sausalito (3,515 Households), Stinson Beach (819 Households)

    ** Update on time of impact ** Public Safety Power Shutoff confirmed for parts of Marin County. https://t.co/jQUobpNfTW (https://t.co/jQUobpNfTW)
    — Marin County Sheriff (@MarinSheriff) October 8, 2019



MARIPOSA

Coulterville, La Grange, Greeley Hill, Mariposa

MENDOCINO

Ukiah, Potter Valley, Hopland, Redwood Valley, Willits, Boonville, Calpella, Talmage, Fort Bragg

NAPA

Napa, Saint Helena, Calistoga, Angwin, Pope Valley, Rutherford, Oakville, Deer Park, Lake Berryessa, Yountville, American Canyon

NEVADA

Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, Rough and Ready, Soda Springs, North San Juan, Washington, Norden, Chicago Park, Cedar Ridge, Truckee, Kingvale

RELATED: Why is fire danger increasing if hot temps are decreasing?

PLACER

Auburn, Lincoln, Loomis, Colfax, Newcastle, Foresthill, Granite Bay, Meadow Vista, Penryn, Rocklin, Applegate, Alta, Dutch Flat, Emigrant Gap, Weimar, Gold Run, Baxter, Roseville, Sheridan, Christian Valley

PLUMAS

La Porte, Quincy, Belden, Storrie, Twain, Bucks Lake, Tobin

SAN JOAQUIN

Vernalis, Tracy, Stockton, Farmington

SAN MATEO

Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Woodside, Moss Beach, Montara, Portola Valley, Pescadero, La Honda, Redwood City, San Gregorio, Loma Mar, San Mateo, Menlo Park, Emerald Hills, Pacifica, Princeton

SANTA BARBARA

Santa Maria

SANTA CLARA

San Jose, Morgan Hill, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Redwood Estates, Milpitas, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Coyote, Gilroy, Mount Hamilton, Palo Alto, Holy City, Saratoga,

TIMELINE: Here's when your power could come back after PG&E outage

SANTA CRUZ

Aptos, Boulder Creek, Watsonville, Scotts Valley, Soquel, Ben Lomond, Felton, Santa Cruz, Mount Hermon, Brookdale, Davenport, Capitola, Freedom, La Selva Beach, Corralitos, Bonny Doon

SHASTA

Redding, Anderson, Shingletown, Palo Cedro, Cottonwood, Lakehead, Millville, Bella Vista, Oak Run, Whitmore, Igo, Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek, Big Bend, Shasta Lake, Ono, Shasta, Burney

SIERRA

Sierra City, Downieville, Alleghany, Goodyears Bar, Pike City

SOLANO

Fairfield, Vacaville, Suisun City, Vallejo, Dixon

SONOMA

Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Petaluma, Healdsburg, Cloverdale, Glen Ellen, Penngrove, Geyserville, Kenwood, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Annapolis, Stewarts Point, Cotati, Cazadero, Guerneville, Larkfield, El Verano, Boyes Hot Springs, Fulton, Bodega Bay

RELATED: Pleasanton Police Department's hilarious PG&E power shutdown tips go viral

STANISLAUS

Westley, Grayson, Patterson, Oakdale, Knights Ferry, La Grange, Modesto, Riverbank

TEHAMA

Red Bluff, Los Molinos, Gerber, Corning, Mineral, Paynes Creek, Manton, Vina, Tehama, Mill Creek, Paskenta, Proberta, Flournoy

TRINITY

TBA

TUOLUMNE

Sonora, Groveland, Twain Harte, Jamestown, Tuolumne, Mi Wuk Village, Pinecrest, Columbia, Soulsbyville, Long Barn, Strawberry, Chinese Camp, Cold Springs, Moccasin, Big Oak Flat, Sierra Village

YOLO

Winters, Esparto, Guinda, Capay, Brooks, Madison, Rumsey, Woodland, Davis, Dunnigan, Zamora

YUBA

Marysville, Browns Valley, Oregon House, Brownsville, Wheatland, Dobbins, Camptonville, Smartville, Challenge, Rackerby, Strawberry Valley, Loma Rica

See the list of areas impacted, resources from PG&E here.
**** PG&E's website is experiencing intermittent outages due to a high volume of traffic.
Title: 💡 PG&E’s power shutoff in California shows the inequities of climate risks
Post by: RE on October 09, 2019, 05:39:32 PM
https://www.vox.com/2019/10/9/20906551/pge-power-shutdown-blackout-fire-bankruptcy (https://www.vox.com/2019/10/9/20906551/pge-power-shutdown-blackout-fire-bankruptcy)

PG&E’s power shutoff in California shows the inequities of climate risks

More than 500,000 are without power as California’s largest utility tries to avoid igniting another wildfire.
By Umair Irfan Oct 9, 2019, 7:00pm EDT

(https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/wO2SZykzzJJEekGh3j-crgneeqE=/0x0:5000x3333/920x613/filters:focal(1233x1835:2033x2635):format(webp)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/65438183/GettyImages_1174746699.0.jpg)
PG&E shut off power to 500,000 of its customers in the hope of preventing another fire as high winds pick up. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Pacific Gas & Electric, the utility serving more than 16 million people across California, shut down power to more than 500,000 customers early Wednesday morning with more outages scheduled in the coming days.

It’s a blunt response to the growing risks of disastrous wildfires brought about by a complex combination of suburban sprawl, poor land management practices, and climate change. And the shutoff is a stark example of the trade-offs that come from adapting to a warmer world.

The utility is calling this a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS); the concern is that high winds could knock trees over into power lines, shooting off sparks that hit a stretch of land primed to burn. This week, warm, dry weather, ample vegetation, and strong seasonal Diablo winds that can gust at 70 mph have created the “recipe for explosive fire growth,” according to the National Weather Service.

The number of customers that lose power could increase, topping 800,000, and the shutdown could last for days as red flag warnings remain in effect. (Our sister site Curbed has a list of all the areas affected by the power shutdown). It’s not just lights that are switching off; tunnels are also closing, threatening to snarl traffic.

Deliberately leaving hundreds of thousands of customers in the dark for days is a drastic action, and the shutdown will likely result in huge economic costs as businesses close.

But the highest tolls of this outage will be borne by the most vulnerable: People who depend on medical equipment at home, whose jobs will be closed, and who face food insecurity without refrigeration.

The PSPS is a microcosm of the equity issues that are integral to climate change, that the people who contributed the least to the problem stand to suffer the most. And as average temperatures continue to rise, more difficult choices lie ahead for utilities, their customers, and public officials.
Why wildfire risk in California is so high and why it’s been so hard to reduce it

Though 2019 so far has been a pretty mild year for wildfires in California, the state suffered back-to-back record-breaking fires in 2017 and 2018.

Fires are a natural part of many western ecosystems, but the unusually devastating blazes arose from a number of converging human factors. One is that people — whether through fallen power lines, arson, or unattended campsites — have ignited 84 percent of wildfires in the United States, tripling the length of the fire season.

Another contributor to fire risk is that people are increasingly building closer to fire-prone areas. In California, which is facing a severe housing shortage, homes are going up near wilderness areas full of fuel as people get priced out of big cities. Running power lines to these homes often near forests and shrubland increases the risk of igniting a fire. The resulting blazes near these homes become more destructive with so much property in their paths.
PG&E’s wildfire operations center.
Analysts at the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Wildfire Safety Operations Center monitor a wildfire on August 05, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Some of these risks can be mitigated by thinning vegetation and executing controlled burns. But pruning huge swaths of forest is expensive and dangerous work. Prescribed burns also pose their own costs and hazards, like poor air quality, so some communities are reluctant to use these tactics. Paradoxically, years of suppressing naturally-occurring fires to protect property has led vegetation in wooded areas to accumulate to unnatural levels, leaving a huge amount of fuel that can burn.

People are also changing the climate. Rising average temperatures have led western forests to dry out. This heat on top of years of drought has left forests vulnerable to pests like bark beetles. There are now approximately 149 million dead trees in California that could serve as fuel for a major blaze.

This year, California experienced a wet winter followed by an extremely hot summer, leading to a large crop of vegetation that crisped in the heat and stands ready to burn. So despite fewer fires this year, the risk remains high.
Climate change is clearly a threat to the utility business, but the heaviest costs will fall to those who can least afford it

PG&E filed for bankruptcy earlier this year after the utility was found liable for igniting multiple fires, including the Camp Fire that spread over 150,000 acres, destroyed the town of Paradise, and killed 86 people. In September, PG&E reached an $11 billion settlement to resolve these claims, the second such settlement. A third tranche of claims is still working its way through state and federal courts. (The company also paid a $65 million settlement last week in an unrelated case over allegations that it falsified records.)

The utility may not be the only contributor to wildfire risk in California, but since the company has been found financially liable for fires, it is taking some of the most direct action to avert future events.

However, part of the utility’s decision to conduct a PSPS also stems from policy decisions, explained Travis Kavulla, the former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. He explained that PG&E essentially sells a product, electricity, at a government-set price. “And when that price is not worth the wildfire risk associated with providing service, or when the price does not support the investment necessary to make the service safe, it makes complete sense that they would flip the ‘off’ switch to particular sets of consumers,” Kavulla wrote in an email.

The result is that hundreds of thousands of utility customers will lose power through no fault of their own. The utility is balancing losing revenue against the risk of sparking another fire, but its customers stand to lose wages and face risks to health care.

But other long-term fire risk mitigation efforts have their costs and trade-offs as well. Trimming trees around power lines and removing dead vegetation are costly, especially over PG&E’s 70,000-square-mile service territory. Reporting from the Wall Street Journal showed that PG&E knew about the hazards of its aging infrastructure for years and neglected maintenance. But if the company takes on more aggressive maintenance and prevention work, those costs could end up being passed to their customers. The rising utility costs would again hurt the poorest the most.

Kavulla suggested that California regulators could open the market to more outside competition from other power providers, particularly to serve customers in high-risk areas when PG&E can’t meet their needs.

Relocating people from high fire-risk areas is also difficult because many who live in these regions can’t afford to live elsewhere. The town of Paradise, which was largely destroyed in the Camp Fire, had a median household income of $48,831, below the national median of $61,937.

So reducing overall fire risk while avoiding drastic steps like shutting off power to thousands of people would require years of coordinated work across local, state, private, and federal officials, a politically tedious and expensive endeavor.

Other parts of the country are facing their own difficult decisions as they cope with climate change impacts like extreme weather and flooding, as well as questions of whether to stay in place or leave, and who deserves the most help. Again, the people most vulnerable to these risks are often those with the fewest resources to cope, so as the climate continues to change, the risks will grow.
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: AJ on October 10, 2019, 03:48:53 AM
I am always suspicious when someone in an article says the solution is to open up the "business" to more competition. Yeah, how has that worked out for the last 30 years of this Rethuglican mantra that deregulation and competition solve everything? My suggestion would be to re-regulate PG&E for the benefit of the public rather than the benefit of the bondholders/owners. But then since collapse is happening (maybe more rapidly now?) maybe this is just a wakeup call to all the sheepal in CA?
AJ
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Nearingsfault on October 10, 2019, 04:44:15 AM
Interesting... solar grid tie with battery backup is the fastest growing segment of residential solar. Lots of new gear is coming online to deal with it. Planned outages just make it more desirable...
Title: 💡 PG&E slammed for cutting power to millions of Californians
Post by: RE on October 10, 2019, 05:06:33 AM
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/pg-e-slammed-cutting-power-millions-californians-n1064481 (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/pg-e-slammed-cutting-power-millions-californians-n1064481)

PG&E slammed for cutting power to millions of Californians
The governor called the fire-prevention shutdowns outrageous, but PG&E said this is "the new normal."

(https://media4.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2019_41/3045696/191009-pge-workers-california-ac-1140p_7ee28e21fbd79cfdd949081994ab0ac3.fit-2000w.jpg)
PG&E and CalTrans workers stand at the Caldecott Tunnel in Oakland, California, on Wednesday.Ben Margot / AP

Oct. 9, 2019, 7:57 PM AKDT
By Chiara Sottile, Alex Johnson and Jacob Ward

SONOMA, Calif. — Californians from the governor on down slammed the state's largest utility on Wednesday for rolling blackouts that could plunge up to 2 million people into darkness as it scrambles to keep its power lines from sparking new wildfires.

Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., or PG&E, began shutting off power in phases early Wednesday to about 500,000 customers in northern and central parts of the state, including sections of the San Francisco Bay Area. A second wave, affecting about 250,000 customers, began in the afternoon.

Because customers include businesses in addition to individual homes, PG&E said the shutdown could affect as many as 2 million Californians. And it said customers wouldn't be reimbursed for lost business, housing alternatives or spoiled food and medicines.
California cuts power to hundreds of thousands amid wildfire fears
Oct. 9, 201901:18

"I'm outraged, because it didn't need to happen," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in an appearance Wednesday in San Diego.

Newsom agreed that PG&E likely had no option but to institute the so-called public safety power shutdown as high winds coupled with low humidity created ideal conditions for what PG&E called potentially disastrous wildfires.

But the governor said PG&E never should have gotten to this point.

"They're in bankruptcy because of their terrible management going back decades," Newsom said. "They created these conditions."

PG&E's energy unit declared the largest utility bankruptcy in U.S. history in January as it faced massive liabilities from its role in several highly destructive fires that burned hundreds of thousands of acres of Northern California in 2017 and 2018.

More than 80 people were killed last year in one of the blazes, which was dubbed the Camp Fire. The company could be on the hook for up to $18 billion in financial damages at a scheduled trial over its responsibility in the Camp Fire and other devastating wildfires going back to 2017.

PG&E said Wednesday night that work to restore power can't start until this week's dangerous weather has passed and all of the utility's lines have been inspected for safety. And even then, it can go forward only in daylight.

Citing the large number of outages and the potential unknown damage, "we only know that it could take several days to fully restore power," said Sumeet Singh, PG&E's vice president for community wildfire safety programs.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news

That prospect frightens people like Wanda Stricklin, 84, who has lived at Seven Flags of Sonoma, a mobile home community for senior citizens in Sonoma, southwest of Sacramento, for 24 years.

Stricklin told NBC News that she has diabetes, which she treats with insulin that must be kept refrigerated. But the power went out at Seven Flags overnight, and "they tell me now we may be out five days."

"I have to keep making sure that all my medication for my diabetes is really going to stay put," Stricklin said. "Otherwise, I have to get new diabetic medicine."
Related
News
California utility begins to cut power to 800,000 in face of wildfire risk

If she has to throw out her insulin, there's no guarantee that her health care coverage will provide it at an affordable price. Nor would she likely be able to turn to PG&E for help.

"Because we're shutting off the power for safety reasons, we do not reimburse customers," Ari Vanrenen, a spokeswoman for the utility, told NBC News on Wednesday.

"If a customer would like to submit a claim, we will evaluate on a case-by-case basis," she said.

Jackie Duncan, 79, who's lived at Seven Flags for 2½ years, said her 50-year-old daughter has been diabetic since she was 7 years old and takes four shots of insulin every day.

"The insulin, that's really what my concern is," Duncan said, because ice to stock coolers has been hard to find.
Recommended
California Wildfires
California begins cutting power to more than 1 million people in face of wildfire risk
U.S. news
Power to almost 1 million Californians could be shut off over fire hazard

"And that's another issue, too, for people here in the park who are on oxygen, also," she said. "That's not good, but they don't seem to care about that. They do not care about that, really."

Darryl Blanton, 80, a resident since 1989, said he'd be going to bed afraid he might not wake up. That's because he uses a forced-air apparatus called a C-PAP to regulate his breathing while he's asleep.

"I've used that since 2003, and I can't sleep without that," Blanton said. "And it's bad for my health — I could have a heart attack because of not being able to sleep."

Blanton said the machine's backup battery is good for only day, so he's had to find a friend who has power to recharge every day.

"We're elderly," he said. "I'm 80, and so I'm not a young, spry man anymore."

Other Californians may have taken more extreme measures.

The California Highway Patrol told NBC News it was investigating what appeared to be a drive-by shooting of a marked PG&E truck on Tuesday night.

The truck was on an interstate in Williams, in Colusa County, when its passenger-side window was shattered, the CHP said, and an investigation indicated it was struck by a bullet. The driver wasn't injured, it said.

Singh, the PG&E vice president, said the company understood the stressful impact of its shutdown and was working as fast as it could to restore power.

"This is not a decision that we take lightly," he said. "This is the measure that is needed as a last resort."
Half a million California homes without power over wildfire risk
Oct. 9, 201902:05

Singh acknowledged that PG&E could have taken steps sooner to ensure that its faulty lines wouldn't spark wildfires. But he said that he's "not looking at the past" and that "we are doing everything we can."

"We are where we are at the moment," he said. "We can all Monday-morning quarterback later."

Singh and Vanrenen, the PG&E spokeswoman, blamed climate change for some of the company's problems.

Singh said hardening PGE's infrastructure would be "a multi-year journey."

Vanrenen, meanwhile, said extreme weather was increasing because of climate change, "and we do think that this is the new normal that we need to be prepared for."

That's not good enough for Duncan and her neighbors at Seven Flags.

"They could have done something a long time ago about protecting us and their equipment," Duncan said.

"And it's their problem, not ours," she said. "I feel strong about that."

Sottile and Ward reported from Sonoma; Johnson reported from Los Angeles.
Bita Ryan contributed.
Title: 💡 Can you file a claim if PG&E shuts off your power for safety?
Post by: RE on October 10, 2019, 05:12:21 AM
https://www.sfgate.com/california-wildfires/article/file-a-claim-PG-E-outage-reimbursement-bill-paymen-14504473.php (https://www.sfgate.com/california-wildfires/article/file-a-claim-PG-E-outage-reimbursement-bill-paymen-14504473.php)

Can you file a claim if PG&E shuts off your power for safety?

By Greg Keraghosian Updated 2:09 pm PDT, Wednesday, October 9, 2019

(https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/06/15/46/18405806/3/920x920.jpg)
Bob Kim, the owner of Young’s Market in Kensington makes a insulated cooler to put his frozen groceries in before losing power in preparation for planned PG&E power shutoffs in Oakland, Calif. on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. He said he would lose 1,000s of dollars of frozen goods without the cooler, "PG&E is not going to pay for it," said Kim about why he is making the coolers. Photo: Douglas Zimmerman/SFGate

Photo: Douglas Zimmerman/SFGate
Image 1 of 53

Bob Kim, the owner of Young’s Market in Kensington makes a insulated cooler to put his frozen groceries in before losing power in preparation for planned PG&E power shutoffs in Oakland, Calif. on
... more

    Signup Breaking News
    Breaking News
    Alerts on the biggest stories and critical updates.
    You agree to our Terms of Use. Your information will be used as described in our Privacy Notice.

Going without power for up to five days is hard enough, but the estimated 2.4 million affected by this week’s PG&E power outages also won't be getting any relief for their bank accounts.

Because PG&E’s wildfire-prevention outage — the largest it has ever taken — is for safety reasons, the utility’s terms say its customers cannot file claims for damages. That goes for everything from spoiled salmon fillets in the fridge to lost business income.

"In regards to the impact on customer bills, PG&E does not reimburse customers for losses, as power will be shut off for safety due to extreme fire danger conditions," PG&E spokeswoman Andrea Menniti told SFGATE. "Because a Public Safety Power Shutoff could last for several days, we encourage customers to plan accordingly."

The claim form, which has spread wildly on social media as power shutoffs have commenced, also explicitly states you need to have gone without power due to "severe storm conditions" specifically and doubles down on the site's Safety Net Compensation explainer that your power outage "must be the result of a major weather-related event."
The blue areas on this map show where PG&E has planned outages for Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019.

The best recourse customers have is to check their property insurance policies to see if their insurer compensates for losses from a power outage. However, this requires reading some fine print to see exactly what kinds of power outages are involved.

The homeowners insurance under AAA does include spoiled food, but you’ll need to check your specific policy. The company website says, “Some policies don’t cover widespread power outages, for example, or flooding-related outages.”

USAA’s insurance also offers protection for spoiled food, with a cap of about $500. But once again, it depends on the policy.

Business owners may or may not be able to file insurance claims for loss of income. Once again, it depends on the policy and factors such as whether the insurance covers power outages that originated off the property.

What customers can do, once they get their power back, is prepare for future such outages, either with backup power sources or an insurance policy. With wildfire season an annual reality in California, more precautionary outages seem likely to follow.

And, it seems, most PG&E customers are already getting the hint they won't be able to turn to PG&E for relief. While 146 claims were filed against PG&E after an October 2018 shut-off that lasted two to three days – PG&E rejected all the claims – no one filed a claim after a June shut-off this year that lasted under 24 hours.

FULL PG&E SHUT-OFF COVERAGE:

- Map shows Bay Area neighborhoods that will be without power

- Essentials to buy for PG&E's planned power outage

- Here's what you should (and shouldn't) do during a power outage

- When will my power turn off?

- Cal, Bay Area schools announce canceled classes, closure

Greg Keraghosian is an SFGATE homepage editor. Email: greg.keraghosian@sfgate.com
Title: 💡 The Economics behind the CA Blackouts
Post by: RE on October 10, 2019, 05:35:17 AM
The above two articles demonstrate quite clearly these shutdowns are NOT about "fire prevention", but really about the $MONEY$.

The customers have no recourse, and continue to have to pay their bill from PG&E even when they are NOT getting any power.  What better way for a bankrupt company to make money than by charging people who get nothing in return?

Now, if this only happens once for a few days, maybe you stick with it and suck it up.  After the second or third time though, you will start to think about quitting on your contract with the power company.  But then you have laws which say you HAVE to have electric power in your home.   You also need electric power for your bizness in most cases, particularly in the grocery business with perishable foods that need refrigeration.  You probably CANNOT run banks of refrigerators with some solar PV panels on the roof of your store.  So you buy emergency generators, but they produce even more CO2 per capita than a big electric plant does and also raise your costs significantly.  They also are a fire danger.

So then the cost gets passed on to an Insurance company, if you can afford to pay for insurance on your lost produce.  Those insurance rates though will skyrocket the more often such power outages occur.  It's like Dental Insurance, which is outrageously expensive and doesn't usually cover more than half the cost of any dental proceedure.  That's because EVERYBODY has dental problems at some point and the cost can't be spread over the entire population.

All in all when you look at the Big Picture, you can see this is a part of the Power Down.

For a final question for you to ponder on, how are all the owners of Teslas and other EVs going to charge up their carz during one of these shutdowns? ???  :icon_scratch:

RE
Title: 💡 Millions in California Lose Power on Purpose
Post by: RE on October 10, 2019, 06:53:22 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/wgPAaWQB-Ck
Title: Re: 💡 The Economics behind the CA Blackouts
Post by: Nearingsfault on October 10, 2019, 10:01:08 AM
The above two articles demonstrate quite clearly these shutdowns are NOT about "fire prevention", but really about the $MONEY$.

The customers have no recourse, and continue to have to pay their bill from PG&E even when they are NOT getting any power.  What better way for a bankrupt company to make money than by charging people who get nothing in return?

Now, if this only happens once for a few days, maybe you stick with it and suck it up.  After the second or third time though, you will start to think about quitting on your contract with the power company.  But then you have laws which say you HAVE to have electric power in your home.   You also need electric power for your bizness in most cases, particularly in the grocery business with perishable foods that need refrigeration.  You probably CANNOT run banks of refrigerators with some solar PV panels on the roof of your store.  So you buy emergency generators, but they produce even more CO2 per capita than a big electric plant does and also raise your costs significantly.  They also are a fire danger.

So then the cost gets passed on to an Insurance company, if you can afford to pay for insurance on your lost produce.  Those insurance rates though will skyrocket the more often such power outages occur.  It's like Dental Insurance, which is outrageously expensive and doesn't usually cover more than half the cost of any dental proceedure.  That's because EVERYBODY has dental problems at some point and the cost can't be spread over the entire population.

All in all when you look at the Big Picture, you can see this is a part of the Power Down.

For a final question for you to ponder on, how are all the owners of Teslas and other EVs going to charge up their carz during one of these shutdowns? ???  :icon_scratch:

RE
probably you will see a concerted move to distributed generation in the future. There are a number of natural gas fuel cell companies coming on strong. That and various forms of energy storage solutions such as cold tank reservoirs for ac and refridgeration.... only for those who can pay of course. Grid service to every house is probably going away or at least increasing dramatically in low density areas.
Title: Re: 💡 The Economics behind the CA Blackouts
Post by: RE on October 10, 2019, 01:47:14 PM
probably you will see a concerted move to distributed generation in the future. There are a number of natural gas fuel cell companies coming on strong. That and various forms of energy storage solutions such as cold tank reservoirs for ac and refridgeration.... only for those who can pay of course. Grid service to every house is probably going away or at least increasing dramatically in low density areas.

Those solutions make common sense, but then common sense is not in large supply, and neither is money.  Building a distributed infrastructure takes money, a lot of it.  Who is going to build and maintain the cold storage tanks, and then what will they charge to run refrigeration lines to your store?  What will you then have to charge for the refrigerated produce you sell, and where are they going to get the money to buy it?

There may be some movement in this direction, but on a mass scale it's not going to happen, anymore than there will be a mass movement to buy new EVs.  The general population just doesn't have enough money for those things.  They take a lot of money to build the infrastructure, and that money has to be taken out as debt.  We are already overloaded on debt in every sector of the economy, from consumers to producers.  Who is the credit-worthy customer who a bank will loan to, assuming the bank is even solvent?

RE
Title: 💡 California can expect more blackouts as utilities companies move to stop fire
Post by: RE on October 10, 2019, 02:05:20 PM
More demonstration of the economics behind these blackouts.

RE

https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/10/20908434/california-blackouts-utilities-fires-lawsuits-san-francisco-bay-area-pge-pacific-gas-electric (https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/10/20908434/california-blackouts-utilities-fires-lawsuits-san-francisco-bay-area-pge-pacific-gas-electric)

California can expect more blackouts as utilities companies move to stop fires — and lawsuits

Are preemptive power outages the new normal?
By Justine Calma@justcalma Oct 10, 2019, 3:32pm EDT

(https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/9DeBiEFA63dFTU3VgzYz7auqz7k=/0x0:5000x3541/1075x1075/filters:focal(2100x1371:2900x2171):format(webp)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/65443351/1180254642.jpg.0.jpg)

This week, the lights went out for hundreds of thousands of residents in San Francisco’s Bay Area — the most widespread intentional outages in California history — on the say-so of utility company Pacific Gas & Electric. PG&E, which is facing billions in lawsuits from previous fires, cut the power to avoid another blaze as well as the expensive lawsuits that come with wildfires, some experts say.

These outages are likely to be the new normal for California, at least for the near future. Some critics say the PG&E outages are excessive and that it’s the bankrupt company’s poor maintenance of its equipment and the fear of litigation that’s really behind its decision to power down.
"the new normal for California"

Outages like the one California experienced this week — which threatened as many as 800,000 customers, or at least 2 million people, since a “customer” might be an apartment building — aren’t just an inconvenience. For people who rely on medical equipment that requires power, an outage can be life-threatening. More than 32,000 of PG&E’s customers facing blackouts have special energy needs because of medical conditions. And people with limited incomes may not be able to buy food to replace the stuff that rots in their unpowered fridges.

PG&E’s northern and central California blackout zones stretch across more than half of all the counties in California from Humboldt down to Silicon Valley and Kern County. Santa Clara County, home of Silicon Valley, declared a state of emergency. Silicon Valley has been largely spared from the cutoff, though, as PG&E has targeted the kinds of wires that deliver power to homes, rather than big business complexes. Closer to Los Angeles, Southern California Edison has warned that more than 173,000 customers could also lose power this week.

The cumulative costs of the outages on PG&E’s residential customers could reach $65 million, according to estimates from Michael Wara, director of the energy and climate program at the Stanford Woods Institute. Add in the losses to commercial and industrial customers, and the cost could balloon to $2.5 billion.

“They are relying on the shut off to prevent liability. But why should they then shift all these costs to everybody else?” says Mark Toney, executive director of consumer advocacy group The Utility Reform Network. He says the shutoffs show the company’s lack of confidence in what it’s done to maintain its equipment and trim manage nearby sources of fuel, like dried-out plants that could cause a fire hazard.
"the cost could balloon to $2.5 billion"

In January, PG&E filed for bankruptcy; it faced tens of billions of dollars’ worth of lawsuits from previous fires. California investigators found in May that PG&E power lines were responsible for the 2018 Camp Fire that fire virtually wiped out the town of Paradise, killing 86 people.

“All those factors together mean that PG&E is extremely careful now, to try to take preemptive action,” says Barton Thompson, Jr., a professor of natural resources law at Stanford Law School. “Obviously PG&E is is particularly attuned to the need to take action. Part of that is wildfires, part of it is simply public scrutiny and prior public criticism.”
PG&E Power Shutoff
Tony (center) and Lauren Scherba walk their dog Gandalph minutes after the power went out in the Montclair District of Oakland, California. Photo by Jane Tyska / MediaNews Group / The Mercury News via Getty Images

PG&E’s creaky grid is straining at the same time that climate change is fueling fiercer fires. California is getting hotter and drier, and that means more dead vegetation that turns into fuel for wildfires. The area torched by wildfires in the Golden State each year grew by 500 percent between 1972 and 2018, thanks to climate change. California’s fire season has also gotten longer by more than two months. Between the increased likelihood of fires and PG&E’s new sensitivity to liability, Californians should expect more blackouts, says Thompson. That’s especially true in October, the peak of wildfire season in California.

California has guidelines for companies that use power outages to avoid fires, but blackouts are meant to be “a last resort.” The California Public Utilities Commission will monitor how the situation develops this week and assess how utility companies are conducting shutoffs for public safety, Terrie Prosper, director of news and outreach at the regulatory agency, told The Verge in an email.
"blackouts are meant to be “a last resort”"

With the potential for millions of people to lose power this week, “that sure does not feel like a last resort,” Toney says.

“The huge numbers targeted by PG&E tell us two things. First and foremost: The potential for fire danger is serious and people must be prepared,” State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-CA), whose district faces blackouts, said in an emailed statement to The Verge. “Second: PG&E clearly hasn’t made its system safe.”

PG&E has buried most of its new power lines, but there are still 81,000 miles of overhead lines, according to reporting by local public radio station KQED. Cutting the lights in response to dangerous fire weather isn’t new, but since burying those lines is likely to be expensive, the outages are likely to continue.

PG&E isn’t the only company coming under scrutiny for preemptive power outages. Southern California Edison is noticing the uptick in disastrous fires, and it tells The Verge its customers might need to prepare for preemptive power outages in the future as a result. “The extent to which these fires are destructive and deadly, that’s been a change,” says David Song, a Public Information Officer at the utility company. “So I would imagine that we’re going to have more Santa Ana wind events and so this may be something that we do again.” Song says lawsuits aren’t a factor in Southern California Edison’s blackout decisions.

“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility, which is why PG&E has decided to turn power off to customers,” Michael Lewis, senior vice president of electric operations at PG&E, said in a press statement. The company did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.
Camp Fire Aftermath
A charred vehicle was left on Honey Run Road during the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif., on Nov. 9, 2018. Photo by Ray Chavez / Digital First Media / The Mercury News via Getty Images

As inconvenient as the extensive outages might be, fire management experts say the risk of death and destruction from past blazes in the Bay Area could warrant the action. And weather conditions at the start of the outages looked eerily similar to those that set off 2017 Northern California blazes that killed 44 people. “I don’t think it’s an overreaction. How many more of these [fires] can we afford? They’re absolute tragedies,” says Timothy Ingalsbee, executive director of the advocacy group Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology. He adds that some of the most dangerous places for firefighters to work are under live power lines.
"“will they be doing this in perpetuity?”"

But Ingalsbee and other experts warn that these outages shouldn’t become the new norm. “This is really not a viable, sustainable solution to addressing the wildfire risk from power lines,” he says. Each year, hot, dry winds sweep through the state and stir up firestorms. “Because this is an annual event, will they be doing this in perpetuity?”

What needs to happen, according to Ingalsbee, is more than cleaning up the dry debris around power lines or shutting off the power when the fire outlook is grim. He thinks making the grid more resilient in the future means generating power from more spread out renewable sources so that the state isn’t as reliant on vast stretches of dangerous power lines. “The landscape is basically sliced and diced with these power transmission lines,” Ingalsbee says. “They’re ugly scars. That blight will be eliminated if we disperse and decentralize our energy system.”
Title: 💡 Welcome to California’s new dark age. Get used to it, it is the new ‘new no
Post by: RE on October 10, 2019, 05:21:54 PM
https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/article235966462.html (https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/article235966462.html)

Welcome to California’s new dark age. Get used to it, it is the new ‘new normal’

By Marcos Bretón
October 10, 2019 05:40 AM, Updated 1 hour 35 minutes ago

http://www.youtube.com/v/C6gF0gF6gks

'PG&E is doing what they do I guess:' those affected by power-outages fill up on gas in preparation
Those affected by the PG&E power shutoffs filled up on gas at Express Fuel in Shingle Springs on Oct. 9, 2019. Many gas stations in the foothills were closed due to the power-outages. By Jason Pierce | Alyssa Hodenfield
Up Next
Camp Fire victim pays emotional visit to memorial of crosses in Paradise
Current Time 0:10
/
Duration 0:43
Those affected by the PG&E power shutoffs filled up on gas at Express Fuel in Shingle Springs on Oct. 9, 2019. Many gas stations in the foothills were closed due to the power-outages. By Jason Pierce | Alyssa Hodenfield

Not enough of us have grasped what we are living with now – a new normal that is not normal – as California experiences the largest blackout in its history. PG&E is a convenient target for public scorn as 500,000 people had their electricity turned off because a massive utility dreaded live power lines tumbling in high winds and igniting cataclysmic wild fires more than it did having huge swaths of the north state go dark for days.

And as a result: In Placerville, everything was closed save for a few stores. Intersections lights throughout the foothills were out. Folsom stores were packed with shoppers from El Dorado County who had no place else to buy essentials. People were readily paying $400 to $700 for generators to turn their lights back on. And these details, mirrored in the San Francisco Bay Area, became grist for countless media stories about everyday life disrupted in ways big and small.

But do we fully understand what is amiss here? If your answer stops at PG&E then the answer is “no. “ We don’t get it.
TOP ARTICLES
Sacramento nurse pleads guilty as feds dig into $31
million Medicare kickback scheme

Too many of us –myself included – have viewed climate change as a tomorrow problem. Or as a partisan argument.
Explore where you live.

Subscribe for 12 FREE weeks of unlimited digital access.
SAVE NOW

But that’s where we’ve been wrong – terribly, frighteningly, mortally wrong. Climate change isn’t tomorrow. Climate change is now. This is it. We’re living it now. And if that sounds like stating the obvious, well, then it’s still worth repeating because not enough people believe the obvious.
Opinion

What better metaphor for climate change can there be but California going dark because the weather is dry and the winds are high?

We’ll be consumed with blackouts to prevent wildfires until the rains come. So everyday life now means fearing October and high winds. Mid- to late-fall rains used to be a prelude to winter. Now they save us from destruction?
Fire and darkness

I drove to Paradise last year a week after the town was wiped out and was struck by scenes of people scattered and shaken.

The lucky ones were living in their cars while camped in Chico parking lots. The unlucky ones slept on shelter cots and were restricted by curfews enforced by battalions of cops and rangers. I saw desperate people arrested for trying to return to their property to see if they had anything left.

But then the rains came, the media went home, and life went on until the power was turned off.

These were not disconnected moments. They were part of a continuum, a new normal, a phrase we have used for drought, heat and fires. Now we use it for going dark, to prevent the fires that consume chunks of the state.

Don’t take my word for it: Earlier this year, the journal Earth’s Future laid it out: “Since the early 1970s, California’s annual wildfire extent increased five fold, punctuated by extremely large and destructive wildfires in 2017 and 2018....This trend was mainly due to an eight-fold increase in summertime forest‐fire area and was very likely driven by drying of fuels promoted by human‐induced warming.”

Just weeks ago, the federal government released similar findings that human-caused warming has led to increased wildfires: “Particularly by drying forests and making them more susceptible to burning.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists point to huge jumps in wildfires since 2000. The Environmental Defense Fund has compiled a list of nine ways humans trigger climate change.
Winds of climate change

Now, I live in Sacramento, so therefore my lights have been on because we don’t get our electricity from PG&E. And, as a Sacramento resident, I’m surrounded by political takes centered on what will become of PG&E. It’s not that I don’t care, but that’s just part of the story.

We have a new normal in which our lives are disrupted by climate change. The science is irrefutable and the impacts are being felt by Californians today. They are sitting in darkened houses. They are stuck at intersections where the signal lights are off. They are paying through the nose for generators. They are frightened by high winds, praying for rain.

Wednesday was Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement for Jewish people. But really, it was a day of atonement – and reckoning – for all of us. Climate change is here, even if we still haven’t woken up to it.
Title: Re: 💡 The Economics behind the CA Blackouts
Post by: Nearingsfault on October 10, 2019, 07:06:53 PM
probably you will see a concerted move to distributed generation in the future. There are a number of natural gas fuel cell companies coming on strong. That and various forms of energy storage solutions such as cold tank reservoirs for ac and refridgeration.... only for those who can pay of course. Grid service to every house is probably going away or at least increasing dramatically in low density areas.

Those solutions make common sense, but then common sense is not in large supply, and neither is money.  Building a distributed infrastructure takes money, a lot of it.  Who is going to build and maintain the cold storage tanks, and then what will they charge to run refrigeration lines to your store?  What will you then have to charge for the refrigerated produce you sell, and where are they going to get the money to buy it?

There may be some movement in this direction, but on a mass scale it's not going to happen, anymore than there will be a mass movement to buy new EVs.  The general population just doesn't have enough money for those things.  They take a lot of money to build the infrastructure, and that money has to be taken out as debt.  We are already overloaded on debt in every sector of the economy, from consumers to producers.  Who is the credit-worthy customer who a bank will loan to, assuming the bank is even solvent?

RE
For the Masses?  nope. You will see that kind of infrastructure show up in places with deep pockets and long term thinking. The fuel cells are taylor made for industrial parks, the stored cooling is perfect right now for grocery stores. Distributed generation in gated communities or battery storage systems in affluent neighbourhoods. Part of the collapse narrative is an end to cheap easy egalitarian electricity. The grid is a product of cheap energy. Rural grids have never ever made economic sense. 
Title: Re: 💡 The Economics behind the CA Blackouts
Post by: RE on October 10, 2019, 08:00:38 PM
probably you will see a concerted move to distributed generation in the future. There are a number of natural gas fuel cell companies coming on strong. That and various forms of energy storage solutions such as cold tank reservoirs for ac and refridgeration.... only for those who can pay of course. Grid service to every house is probably going away or at least increasing dramatically in low density areas.

Those solutions make common sense, but then common sense is not in large supply, and neither is money.  Building a distributed infrastructure takes money, a lot of it.  Who is going to build and maintain the cold storage tanks, and then what will they charge to run refrigeration lines to your store?  What will you then have to charge for the refrigerated produce you sell, and where are they going to get the money to buy it?

There may be some movement in this direction, but on a mass scale it's not going to happen, anymore than there will be a mass movement to buy new EVs.  The general population just doesn't have enough money for those things.  They take a lot of money to build the infrastructure, and that money has to be taken out as debt.  We are already overloaded on debt in every sector of the economy, from consumers to producers.  Who is the credit-worthy customer who a bank will loan to, assuming the bank is even solvent?

RE
For the Masses?  nope. You will see that kind of infrastructure show up in places with deep pockets and long term thinking. The fuel cells are taylor made for industrial parks, the stored cooling is perfect right now for grocery stores. Distributed generation in gated communities or battery storage systems in affluent neighbourhoods. Part of the collapse narrative is an end to cheap easy egalitarian electricity. The grid is a product of cheap energy. Rural grids have never ever made economic sense.

None of it ever made sense economically.  It's a debt engine that is constantly running down, the money being used to do that is the debt.  If you haven't read it yet, you need to read the Money Valve series of articles I wrote.

All Industrial Processes are money losers, it's entropy at work.  By distributing out the debt a few people could live "rich", while most got poorer.  It wasn't obvious at the beginning, they SEEMED to be living better.  Lights in the house, central heating, frozen TV Dinners etc.

At a critical point, you can't distribute the debt anymore, and the system collapses.  If you can't distribute the debt, none of these solutions can work, they don't pay for themselves.  There is no Free Lunch, there is no Perpetual Motion machine.  It all comes to a grinding halt.

"Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
Everybody Knows"


http://www.youtube.com/v/T4rf7bAApM4

RE
Title: Re: 💡 The Economics behind the CA Blackouts
Post by: Nearingsfault on October 11, 2019, 05:31:48 AM
probably you will see a concerted move to distributed generation in the future. There are a number of natural gas fuel cell companies coming on strong. That and various forms of energy storage solutions such as cold tank reservoirs for ac and refridgeration.... only for those who can pay of course. Grid service to every house is probably going away or at least increasing dramatically in low density areas.

Those solutions make common sense, but then common sense is not in large supply, and neither is money.  Building a distributed infrastructure takes money, a lot of it.  Who is going to build and maintain the cold storage tanks, and then what will they charge to run refrigeration lines to your store?  What will you then have to charge for the refrigerated produce you sell, and where are they going to get the money to buy it?

There may be some movement in this direction, but on a mass scale it's not going to happen, anymore than there will be a mass movement to buy new EVs.  The general population just doesn't have enough money for those things.  They take a lot of money to build the infrastructure, and that money has to be taken out as debt.  We are already overloaded on debt in every sector of the economy, from consumers to producers.  Who is the credit-worthy customer who a bank will loan to, assuming the bank is even solvent?

RE
For the Masses?  nope. You will see that kind of infrastructure show up in places with deep pockets and long term thinking. The fuel cells are taylor made for industrial parks, the stored cooling is perfect right now for grocery stores. Distributed generation in gated communities or battery storage systems in affluent neighbourhoods. Part of the collapse narrative is an end to cheap easy egalitarian electricity. The grid is a product of cheap energy. Rural grids have never ever made economic sense.

None of it ever made sense economically.  It's a debt engine that is constantly running down, the money being used to do that is the debt.  If you haven't read it yet, you need to read the Money Valve series of articles I wrote.

All Industrial Processes are money losers, it's entropy at work.  By distributing out the debt a few people could live "rich", while most got poorer.  It wasn't obvious at the beginning, they SEEMED to be living better.  Lights in the house, central heating, frozen TV Dinners etc.

At a critical point, you can't distribute the debt anymore, and the system collapses.  If you can't distribute the debt, none of these solutions can work, they don't pay for themselves.  There is no Free Lunch, there is no Perpetual Motion machine.  It all comes to a grinding halt.

"Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
Everybody Knows"


http://www.youtube.com/v/T4rf7bAApM4

RE
I would have called it a nation building exercise myself... My point was that electrical service is no longer a given. All the hang wringing in the world will not make up for 40 years of undercharging for power profit taking and infrastructure under investment. The Ontario grid is in as bad shape once you go north of highway 7. That is the border here between densely populated and rural. Its fluid of course. There has never been water or sewage or gas lines, It was a major nation building endeavour that power lines were strung.  We have wells, septics and propane tanks. Soon to be solar arrays for electricity when the only grid link finally dies.
Title: 💡 Tales of Chaos From the California Blackout
Post by: RE on October 11, 2019, 05:33:43 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/10/us/pge-power-outages-california-sce-sdge-wildfires.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/10/us/pge-power-outages-california-sce-sdge-wildfires.html)

Tales of Chaos From the California Blackout

Thursday: Confusion reigned as PG&E cut power across a broad swath. Also: Katelyn Ohashi, on paying college athletes; and a Dodgers loss.
Jill Cowan

By Jill Cowan

    Oct. 10, 2019
(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/10/10/us/10powercatoday/merlin_162436257_be4b0255-0309-41c5-b5da-5edf0212f20e-superJumbo.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp)
James Quinn, a shift supervisor, walked through a darkened CVS Pharmacy in downtown Sonoma.CreditNoah Berger/Associated Press

Good morning.

(Here's the sign-up, if you don’t already get California Today delivered to your inbox.)

On Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of Pacific Gas & Electric customers across a large swath of Northern California felt the effects of the utility’s biggest ever planned power outage.

The troubled utility — which filed for bankruptcy early this year and whose equipment started the state’s deadliest wildfire last year — has said the shut-offs are necessary to prevent its lines from sparking potentially catastrophic blazes as dangerous dry winds kick up.

The first round of power cuts to 500,000 customers started at midnight on Wednesday. A second round was set for noon, but was delayed until 8 p.m. and then delayed again.

Advertisement

On Thursday, all told, according to one estimate, as many as 2.5 million people could be affected by the outages, which officials have said could last for days.

Although the utility was supposed to give sufficient notice, many residents said they didn’t hear that they could lose power until they were left to scramble to buy batteries, generators and canned foods.

The day, residents told us, was about as chaotic as you would expect.

Schools like U.C. Berkeley and Humboldt State University canceled classes and closed campus, raising concerns that research could be ruined if some buildings don’t have sufficient power.

Advertisement

“Many friends and colleagues barely have enough emergency power to keep freezers cold and incubators running,” Julia Torvi, a graduate student and researcher at Berkeley, said in an email. “These two things hold millions of dollars of research, tens of years of effort, their contents being irreplaceable.”

[In NYT Parenting: Mothers band together to save breast milk during the outage.]

She pointed to a tweet by an associate professor at Berkeley that showed moving trucks outside a building on campus preparing to relocate freezers to U.C. San Francisco because the building doesn’t have a backup power source.

David Lerman, who emailed from Berkeley, said his daughter is a student at Humboldt State.

He said he was frustrated by a lack of information about how students living in dorms would be affected. Eventually he was able to text his daughter, he said, adding that she was fine and planning to hunker down.

More upsetting, he said, was that PG&E had spent decades building a flawed system that residents have no option but to rely on.

“I blame PG&E for causing danger and disruptions because they are too cheap and irresponsible to protect the state,” he said. “The exclusive use of massive and historic poorly maintained transmission lines through vast heavily wooded and dry fueled mountains is absurd.”

[Read about the latest in PG&E’s bankruptcy case.]

His frustration was echoed by residents and elected officials alike.

“Millions without electricity is what a third-world country looks like, not a state that is the fifth-largest economy in the world,” said Jim Nielsen, a state senator who represents the area around Paradise.

Advertisement

By about 6 p.m., The San Francisco Chronicle (whose continuing live updates you can read here) said, power was being restored in some areas. According to The Chronicle, though, the outages could cause $1 billion — or, by some estimates, much more — in economic damages to residents and businesses.

And, as The Press Democrat reported, meteorologists warned that winds were still on their way.

Southern California Edison was considering preemptively cutting power to 173,877 customers in a vast area stretching from Kern County through Orange County, and from San Bernardino County to the coast, the utility said on its website Wednesday evening. San Diego Gas & Electric also warned that it may cut off power to about 29,000 customers in San Diego County, according to KPBS.

Still, Bobbie Hayes, whose power was cut off in Eureka, said she managed to find something of a silver lining in spending time off the grid.

“The lights went out, not at midnight, but at 1:45 a.m. I went outside with my dogs and saw the most amazing sky that was dark and filled with stars,” she said in an email. “The Milky Way was completely visible. It was breathtaking.”

[Here’s how to prepare for a power outage — to the extent possible.]
Here’s what else we’re following

We often link to sites that limit access for nonsubscribers. We appreciate your reading Times coverage, but we also encourage you to support local news if you can.

    Statewide, kids’ test scores inched up. But progress is slow going. [CalMatters]

    In downtown Los Angeles, city employees say an escalating homelessness crisis is making them feel unsafe entering and leaving work. [The Los Angeles Times]

    Fresno County produced almost $7.9 billion in agricultural products last year — from grapes to pistachios to poultry — leading the nation for the first time since 2013. [The Fresno Bee]

    Big tech companies move profits to avoid paying taxes on them. Now, international leaders are considering a plan to allow countries to tax multinational corporations even if they don’t operate there. [The New York Times]

    Facebook has said it will allow political campaigns to publish ads with false and misleading content. This policy is getting an early test with a Trump campaign ad that CNN and others have said makes a false statement about Joe Biden. [The New York Times]

    When asked about the N.B.A.’s clash with the Chinese government, the president instead called out two coaches, Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors and Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, who have criticized him in the past. [The New York Times]

    Katelyn Ohashi, whose perfect gymnastics routine for U.C.L.A. went viral earlier this year, says that everyone was able to make money off her success — except her. The state’s new law allowing student athletes to be paid could make sure that doesn’t happen to anyone else. [New York Times Opinion]

If you missed it, here’s why Gov. Gavin Newsom thinks college athletes should get paid. [The New York Times]

    “They felt I represented a symbolic, ‘loyal’ American.” Here’s an obituary for Mitsuye Endo, a civil servant from Sacramento who was the lead plaintiff in the only successful challenge to Japanese internment to be heard by the Supreme Court. [The New York Times]

    Tiki bars as we know them were born in Hollywood and Oakland at Don’s Beachcomber and Trader Vic’s. But embedded in the idea is a certain amount of cultural appropriation. Is it possible to make a tasty tropical drink without it? [Eater]

Advertisement
And Finally …

Well, they expected it to be a riveting game. But this probably wasn’t what Dodgers fans had in mind.

The Los Angeles Dodgers came heartbreakingly close to besting the Washington Nationals on Wednesday and moving on to the National League Championship Series.

In the 10th inning, with the score tied, the Nationals’ Howie Kendrick hit a stinging grand slam and the team’s season was very, very over.

And so, I’m sorry to have to send you the above photo of Clayton Kershaw looking profoundly, existentially sad.

At least there’s always next year.

California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Were you forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here.

Advertisement

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from U.C. Berkeley and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — but she always wants to see more. Follow along here or on Twitter, @jillcowan.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.

Jill Cowan is the California Today correspondent, keeping tabs on the most important things happening in her home state every day. @jillcowan
Title: Re: 💡 The Economics behind the CA Blackouts
Post by: RE on October 11, 2019, 05:44:16 AM
I would have called it a nation building exercise myself... My point was that electrical service is no longer a given. All the hang wringing in the world will not make up for 40 years of undercharging for power profit taking and infrastructure under investment. The Ontario grid is in as bad shape once you go north of highway 7. That is the border here between densely populated and rural. Its fluid of course. There has never been water or sewage or gas lines, It was a major nation building endeavour that power lines were strung.  We have wells, septics and propane tanks. Soon to be solar arrays for electricity when the only grid link finally dies.

You identify the point exactly, "Nation Building".

To  develop and expand the modern nation state and so expand power, the electrical grid and the communications grid were necessary tools.  None of these organizations could have got so big without that.

You  do misidentify "undercharging".  It wasn't undercharged, had the true cost been charged at the time the material was used, the population could not have afforded it.  So it was paid for in debt into the future.

The future is now.

RE
Title: Re: 💡 The Economics behind the CA Blackouts
Post by: K-Dog on October 11, 2019, 09:47:38 AM
I would have called it a nation building exercise myself... My point was that electrical service is no longer a given. All the hang wringing in the world will not make up for 40 years of undercharging for power profit taking and infrastructure under investment. The Ontario grid is in as bad shape once you go north of highway 7. That is the border here between densely populated and rural. Its fluid of course. There has never been water or sewage or gas lines, It was a major nation building endeavour that power lines were strung.  We have wells, septics and propane tanks. Soon to be solar arrays for electricity when the only grid link finally dies.

You identify the point exactly, "Nation Building".

To  develop and expand the modern nation state and so expand power, the electrical grid and the communications grid were necessary tools.  None of these organizations could have got so big without that.

You  do misidentify "undercharging".  It wasn't undercharged, had the true cost been charged at the time the material was used, the population could not have afforded it.  So it was paid for in debt into the future.

The future is now.

RE

There are solutions.

(https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbenatlas.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2009%2F11%2Fbc035789806ed51c_large.jpg&f=1&nofb=1)
Title: Re: 💡 The Economics behind the CA Blackouts
Post by: Nearingsfault on October 11, 2019, 11:39:08 AM
I would have called it a nation building exercise myself... My point was that electrical service is no longer a given. All the hang wringing in the world will not make up for 40 years of undercharging for power profit taking and infrastructure under investment. The Ontario grid is in as bad shape once you go north of highway 7. That is the border here between densely populated and rural. Its fluid of course. There has never been water or sewage or gas lines, It was a major nation building endeavour that power lines were strung.  We have wells, septics and propane tanks. Soon to be solar arrays for electricity when the only grid link finally dies.

You identify the point exactly, "Nation Building".

To  develop and expand the modern nation state and so expand power, the electrical grid and the communications grid were necessary tools.  None of these organizations could have got so big without that.

You  do misidentify "undercharging".  It wasn't undercharged, had the true cost been charged at the time the material was used, the population could not have afforded it.  So it was paid for in debt into the future.

The future is now.

RE

There are solutions.

(https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbenatlas.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2009%2F11%2Fbc035789806ed51c_large.jpg&f=1&nofb=1)
I dont think revolution solves bad eroei
Title: Re: 💡 The Economics behind the CA Blackouts
Post by: RE on October 11, 2019, 02:58:15 PM
I would have called it a nation building exercise myself... My point was that electrical service is no longer a given. All the hang wringing in the world will not make up for 40 years of undercharging for power profit taking and infrastructure under investment. The Ontario grid is in as bad shape once you go north of highway 7. That is the border here between densely populated and rural. Its fluid of course. There has never been water or sewage or gas lines, It was a major nation building endeavour that power lines were strung.  We have wells, septics and propane tanks. Soon to be solar arrays for electricity when the only grid link finally dies.

You identify the point exactly, "Nation Building".

To  develop and expand the modern nation state and so expand power, the electrical grid and the communications grid were necessary tools.  None of these organizations could have got so big without that.

You  do misidentify "undercharging".  It wasn't undercharged, had the true cost been charged at the time the material was used, the population could not have afforded it.  So it was paid for in debt into the future.

The future is now.

RE

There are solutions.

(https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbenatlas.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2009%2F11%2Fbc035789806ed51c_large.jpg&f=1&nofb=1)
I dont think revolution solves bad eroei

No, it doesn't, but it does get rid of a lot of banksters.

RE
Title: 💡 Californians Learning That Solar Panels Don’t Work in Blackouts
Post by: RE on October 11, 2019, 03:14:03 PM
Betchya Dollars to Doughnuts Batts are selling like Hotcakes amongst the rich in CA right now.  Lotta work for electricians to do rewiring also.

RE

(https://db0ip7zd23b50.cloudfront.net/dims4/default/5e03606/2147483647/crop/3978x1529%2B13%2B360/resize/960x369%3E/quality/90/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbloomberg-bna-brightspot.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fa6%2F5a%2Fffbe0dc54af8a4151b6f4127fb45%2Fgettyimages-959131962.jpg)
Installers add solar panels to a residential roof in Lafayette, Calif.
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Image

Californians Learning That Solar Panels Don’t Work in Blackouts
Oct. 10, 2019, 8:31 AM

    Rooftop systems need batteries to operate when grid is down
    Millions have lost power in outage to prevent more wildfires

Californians have embraced rooftop solar panels more than anyone in the U.S., but many are learning the hard way the systems won’t keep the lights on during blackouts.

That’s because most panels are designed to supply power to the grid -- not directly to houses. During the heat of the day, solar systems can crank out more juice than a home can handle. Conversely, they don’t produce power at all at night.

So systems are tied into the grid, and the vast majority aren’t working this week as PG&E Corp. cuts power to much of Northern California to prevent wildfires.

The only way for most solar panels to work during a blackout is pairing them with batteries. That market is just starting to take off. Sunrun Inc., the largest U.S. rooftop solar company, said hundreds of its customers are making it through the blackouts with batteries.

“It’s the perfect combination for getting through these shutdowns,” Sunrun Chairman Ed Fenster said in an interview. He expects battery sales to boom in the wake of the outages.

And no, trying to run appliances off the power in a Tesla Inc. electric car won’t work, at least without special equipment.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Christopher Martin in New York at cmartin11@bloomberg.net
Title: Re: 💡 Californians Learning That Solar Panels Don’t Work in Blackouts
Post by: Nearingsfault on October 11, 2019, 05:59:46 PM
Betchya Dollars to Doughnuts Batts are selling like Hotcakes amongst the rich in CA right now.  Lotta work for electricians to do rewiring also.

RE

(https://db0ip7zd23b50.cloudfront.net/dims4/default/5e03606/2147483647/crop/3978x1529%2B13%2B360/resize/960x369%3E/quality/90/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbloomberg-bna-brightspot.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fa6%2F5a%2Fffbe0dc54af8a4151b6f4127fb45%2Fgettyimages-959131962.jpg)
Installers add solar panels to a residential roof in Lafayette, Calif.
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Image

Californians Learning That Solar Panels Don’t Work in Blackouts
Oct. 10, 2019, 8:31 AM

    Rooftop systems need batteries to operate when grid is down
    Millions have lost power in outage to prevent more wildfires

Californians have embraced rooftop solar panels more than anyone in the U.S., but many are learning the hard way the systems won’t keep the lights on during blackouts.

That’s because most panels are designed to supply power to the grid -- not directly to houses. During the heat of the day, solar systems can crank out more juice than a home can handle. Conversely, they don’t produce power at all at night.

So systems are tied into the grid, and the vast majority aren’t working this week as PG&E Corp. cuts power to much of Northern California to prevent wildfires.

The only way for most solar panels to work during a blackout is pairing them with batteries. That market is just starting to take off. Sunrun Inc., the largest U.S. rooftop solar company, said hundreds of its customers are making it through the blackouts with batteries.

“It’s the perfect combination for getting through these shutdowns,” Sunrun Chairman Ed Fenster said in an interview. He expects battery sales to boom in the wake of the outages.

And no, trying to run appliances off the power in a Tesla Inc. electric car won’t work, at least without special equipment.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Christopher Martin in New York at cmartin11@bloomberg.net
if you had a tesla with a cheap inverter you can run limited loads through the accessory battery. Roughly 800 watts continuous. The main traction battery will keep it charged up... it's a popular hack. Good for fridges devices and maybe a wall mount air con...
Title: Re: 💡 Californians Learning That Solar Panels Don’t Work in Blackouts
Post by: RE on October 11, 2019, 06:42:24 PM
if you had a tesla with a cheap inverter you can run limited loads through the accessory battery. Roughly 800 watts continuous. The main traction battery will keep it charged up... it's a popular hack. Good for fridges devices and maybe a wall mount air con...

According to Google, Teslas operate on either 350V or 375V batts.  Couldn't you use a step-down transformer to bring it down to 12V and then use say a 2000W Inverter with that?

RE
Title: 💡 Why done't they bury the power lines in CA?
Post by: RE on October 11, 2019, 07:27:35 PM
You guessed it.  Costs too much.

RE

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/11/bury-california-power-lines-wildfire-blackout-fix-unlikely-work/3946935002/ (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/11/bury-california-power-lines-wildfire-blackout-fix-unlikely-work/3946935002/)

California power lines spark wildfires and prompt blackouts. Why not just bury them?
Janet Wilson, Palm Springs Desert Sun Published 5:39 p.m. ET Oct. 11, 2019 | Updated 8:06 p.m. ET Oct. 11, 2019

(https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2018/12/12/PVCS/3620b9a3-7f94-4ec7-bc82-e535f6a8e471-AP18345041190230.jpg?width=540&height=&fit=bounds&auto=webp)

Story Highlights

    Experts say the answer is simple: money.
    It costs about $3 million per mile to convert underground electric distribution lines
    It would take more than 1,000 years to bury all the lines at the current rate

Why can't California's fire-prone power lines be buried underground, out of harm's way?

That was the question many were asking this week as hundreds of thousands of customers lost power in the Sacramento and San Francisco areas in preemptive shutoffs by Pacific Gas & Electric. Further south, another 200,000 customers of other utilities faced warnings that they too could lose power due to high winds.

Experts say the answer is simple: money.

"It's very, very expensive," said Severin Borenstein, a UC Berkeley professor of business administration and public policy who specializes in energy. Borenstein was speaking through the crackly static of a cell phone outside his darkened home in the San Francisco suburb of Orinda on Thursday evening. The Berkeley campus was shut down and his home had lost power too after PG&E instituted a mandatory "de-energization" across nearly 40 counties due to high fire threats.

It costs about $3 million per mile to convert underground electric distribution lines from overhead, while the cost to build a mile of new overhead line is less than a third of that, at approximately $800,000 per mile, according to a section on PG&E's website called Facts About Undergrounding Power Lines.

Photos: California wildfires spark mandatory evacuations in Los Angeles

California has 25,526 miles of higher voltage transmission lines, and 239,557 miles of distribution lines, two-thirds of which are overhead, according to CPUC. Less than 100 miles per year are transitioned underground, meaning it would take more than 1,000 years to underground all the lines at the current rate.
In this Nov. 13 photo, Southern California Edison crews work to replace burned power poles and lines destroyed by the Woolsey Fire on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

In this Nov. 13 photo, Southern California Edison crews work to replace burned power poles and lines destroyed by the Woolsey Fire on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. (Photo: AP PHOTO)
$15,000 for every PG&E customer?

PG&E, the state's largest utility, maintains approximately 81,000 miles of overhead distribution lines and approximately 26,000 miles of underground distribution lines. It also has about 18,000 miles of larger transmission lines, the majority of which are overhead lines.

At a cost of $3 million per mile, undergrounding 81,000 miles of distribution lines would cost $243 billion. PG&E has 16 million customers; distributing that expense equally would amount to a bill of more than $15,000 per account.

"It's very expensive," said Constance Gordon, a public information officer with the California Public Utilities Commission. "The utilities don't want to pay for it out of their pockets, so ratepayers would have to pitch in, and people don't want to pay for that."

PG&E is not flush with cash: The investor-owned utility filed for bankruptcy in January, facing $11 billion in liabilities related to wildfires. This week, the company's shares tumbled after a federal bankruptcy judge ruled that the utility no longer had the sole right to shape the terms of its reorganization.
Story from The Ascent
Wipe out credit card interest until nearly 2021

Background: California power outages aim to reduce risk of wildfires caused by dry and windy weather

Watch: Power cuts affect many across Northern California

Underground costs can vary depending on trenching and paving. If gas and telephone utilities share costs with electric companies, conversion costs can come down, but it all comes out of the customer's pocket eventually.

A report prepared by the Edison Electric Institute, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind, An Updated Study on the Undergrounding of Overhead Power Lines,” found that while most new commercial and residential developments across the United States tuck electrical facilities underground, burying existing above-ground electric distribution systems can cost up to $5 million a mile in urban areas.

Environmental concerns would also be high if thousands of miles of trenches were dug through forests or brushland habitat, Borenstein noted. Opposition could also arise from residents in existing neighborhoods confronted with the prospect of heavy-duty earth-moving projects.
Neighborhoods can tax themselves to bury lines

Since 1967, the California Public Utilities Commission has had a rule requiring utilities to contribute funds to communities for utility conversion projects from overhead to underground infrastructure, paid for partially by ratepayers. 

The CPUC has a longstanding policy that if a neighborhood wants underground power lines, it can have it done if residents pay for it themselves, with some required contributions from utilities. Sometimes developers and cities are willing to pitch in for certain areas, but the process is still labyrinthine.

That program does not prioritize lines in high wildfire hazard risk zones, but some residents in communities that experienced wildfires, including coastal Malibu and Rancho Palo Verde, have pushed for that policy to change to prioritize risky areas.

Sometimes the concerns are more centered on aesthetics than safety, and communities are willing to pay, or to have their local governments work to find funding. In the city of Palm Desert in the Coachella Valley, for example, residents' demands to bury unsightly lines led the city council to approve a $600 million underground utility plan in October 2018. But that's just the beginning of the process. 

If residents want the utility lines moved underground, they have to initiate creating a special district to tax themselves to pay for the project. To create a special district, residents need to collect signatures, and residents within the district's boundaries need to vote on the issue. In Palm Desert, the city hopes to help fund some of these projects, such as by paying for the portion of the move underground that is on public property.

Electric wires are increasingly placed underground in areas of new construction for aesthetic reasons, with developers picking up the cost. And in Paradise, where the devastating 2018 Camp Fire sparked by a power line flattened most of the town and killed 86 people, PG&E is preparing to lay underground lines.

Traffic: Saddleridge Fire shuts down multiple freeways, creating a traffic nightmare in Los Angeles and beyond

"I don't know if I agree with it," said Borenstein of that plan, who thought it could offer a false sense of security. "Though when you are starting from scratch, it is much cheaper if all the houses have burned."

But Borenstein and others noted that problems can occur underground as well. Animals can chew buried lines or lightning can short out ground connections, just as animals can damage lines overhead, or a dry tree branch can drop. The state's extremely varied landscapes are another challenge.

"In some places undergrounding works, and in some places it doesn’t," said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services. "California’s topography is challenging. ... I do know PG&E has taken a concerted effort, as well as all the utilities, to do undergrounding where possible."
Governor signs more than 20 fire-related bills

The solutions for PG&E's fire-prone wires are straightforward, but will take time after years of neglect, said a clearly irritated Gov. Gavin Newsom at a Thursday press conference. PG&E needs to be brought into the 21st century in terms of technology, and the utility's equipment needs to be "hardened" against fire threats and maintained properly, he said.

"But to harden and upgrade 100,000 miles of line, come on, that's not gonna happen in a week or two, or even a month or two, or a year or two," said Newsom.

Earlier this month, Newsom signed into law over 20 wildfire-related bills.

One example: SB 584, introduced by Sen. John Moorlach, would require electrical corporations to invest funds for overhead to underground electrical infrastructure conversion projects by July 2020. The projects would be partially funded by grants from the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. But the bill has languished on the floor.

Borenstein agreed that vegetation management and hardening transmission and distribution lines are better, more easily implemented alternatives than burying 100,000 miles of lines.

"That means mowing, cutting trees, perhaps replacing wooden poles with concrete poles, and all the rusted transmission towers," he said. "They're trying to do these things, but they have a huge backlog of work."

Other possible measures include insulating exposed lines or installing sensors, including cameras or devices that can detect a spark or a short and even shut down a line automatically.
What about solar panels and batteries?

So if you can't bury your power line outside your front door, what about going "off the grid" with batteries in case of power outages?

Borenstein said for most people, it's out of reach.  A Tesla-produced Powerwall — a big battery that can store energy produced by solar power on a home rooftop, or electricity sucked from the conventional grid — starts at $6,000. There are additional expenses for installing a switch to "island" a building's electric system, isolating it from the grid.

Oct. 11: Two dead near Los Angeles as Saddleridge fire forces 100,000 people to evacuate

One thing is for sure: With a warming climate increasing the frequency and ferocity of wildfires, blackouts could become a far more regular occurrence in California, joining New England with its snow-induced outages or the Southeast or Midwest with hurricane and flood-related power losses.

"I think this climate change is a major factor," said Borenstein. "Electric lines have been sparking and starting fires for years. But they're much bigger now, with much more vegetation."

More and more people moving into wildlands only compounds the problem, creating a flammable mix.

His personal solution? Lots of LED battery flashlights, and a large supply of ice to protect food supplies.

Contributing: Gabrielle Paluch and Gabrielle Canon. Follow Janet Wilson on Twitter: @janetwilson66
Title: Re: 💡 Californians Learning That Solar Panels Don’t Work in Blackouts
Post by: Nearingsfault on October 12, 2019, 04:59:19 AM
if you had a tesla with a cheap inverter you can run limited loads through the accessory battery. Roughly 800 watts continuous. The main traction battery will keep it charged up... it's a popular hack. Good for fridges devices and maybe a wall mount air con...

According to Google, Teslas operate on either 350V or 375V batts.  Couldn't you use a step-down transformer to bring it down to 12V and then use say a 2000W Inverter with that?

RE
you dont need a step down transformer the car has it built in. It charges up the 12 volt accessory battery off of the 375v traction battery. Its limited to about 800 watts continuous which sounds low but you can do surges off of the 12 volt for starting things. The leaf, bolt, and volt all do the same thing. If you have a small internal combustion car idling it in the driveway is a perfect standby generator using the same tech. Inverter to the 12 volt, idle the car to keep it topped up. Modern car emissions are much lower then portable generators...cheap and it can keep you going for a few days at least
Title: Re: 💡 Californians Learning That Solar Panels Don’t Work in Blackouts
Post by: RE on October 12, 2019, 07:17:33 AM
if you had a tesla with a cheap inverter you can run limited loads through the accessory battery. Roughly 800 watts continuous. The main traction battery will keep it charged up... it's a popular hack. Good for fridges devices and maybe a wall mount air con...

According to Google, Teslas operate on either 350V or 375V batts.  Couldn't you use a step-down transformer to bring it down to 12V and then use say a 2000W Inverter with that?

RE
you dont need a step down transformer the car has it built in. It charges up the 12 volt accessory battery off of the 375v traction battery. Its limited to about 800 watts continuous which sounds low but you can do surges off of the 12 volt for starting things. The leaf, bolt, and volt all do the same thing. If you have a small internal combustion car idling it in the driveway is a perfect standby generator using the same tech. Inverter to the 12 volt, idle the car to keep it topped up. Modern car emissions are much lower then portable generators...cheap and it can keep you going for a few days at least

I ran a 2000W inverter off my truck batt.  Why are you limited to 800W off the Tesla batt?

RE
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: Nearingsfault on October 12, 2019, 07:46:43 AM
800 watts continuous due to the size of the transformer. Peak power whatever the inverter can handle. For an internal combustion car whatever the alternator is rated for is your continuous...
Title: Re: The Dimming Bulb
Post by: RE on October 12, 2019, 10:20:11 AM
800 watts continuous due to the size of the transformer. Peak power whatever the inverter can handle. For an internal combustion car whatever the alternator is rated for is your continuous...

Couldn't you buy a bigger transformer?

RE
Title: 💡 California’s massive power outages show climate change is coming for everyone
Post by: RE on October 14, 2019, 02:06:42 AM
https://qz.com/1725991/californias-power-outages-show-climate-change-is-coming-for-everyone/

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
California’s massive power outages show climate change is coming for everyone, even the rich
By Michael J. CorenOctober 12, 2019

(https://cms.qz.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Camp-fire-California.jpg?quality=75&strip=all&w=1600&h=873)

Climate-driven disasters are reshaping our world. This week, we’ve seen a preview of what’s coming.

In California, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) cut off power to 500,000 homes in 20 counties (with more to come). More than 2 million people could ultimately be left in the dark. PG&E is testing a new strategy to avoid last year’s killer wildfires, which left 1.8 million acres scorched and more than 100 dead, after its errant power lines touched off massive infernos, the worst toll in state history.

Now, the utility is shutting off the power.

PG&E, accused of neglecting its infrastructure and the flammable vegetation near its power lines, faces forests left tinder-dry by a series of brutal droughts in the past decade. As the climate dries out the West, wildfires are burning hotter, longer, and bigger than before. Overwhelmed, the utility has decided its only strategy is to stop delivery of its essential service to millions.

So far, the urban core of Silicon Valley and San Francisco hasn’t been severely affected (the high-voltage power lines serving tech’s corporate campuses aren’t as likely to start fires), but many areas where the tech elite live—such as Marin, Napa, Sonoma, Santa Clara, and Contra Costa counties—are in the dark.
Screenshot / PG&E / SFGate
PG&E map of expected outage areas (Oct 9).

This week’s move may avoid a fire (and another bankruptcy), but it endangers a huge number of people who will need power to stay cool, preserve medications, refrigerate food, charge phones, or access gas pumps or ATMs, says Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. “If your remedy is cutting off power…you do that at a cost,” he says. “You’re [creating] a significant risk for a large number of people.”

We’re entering a climate era when there are no total solutions. There are only tradeoffs. Disaster relief is becoming less about rebuilding or fixing infrastructure, and more a way to buy time or retreat from the hardest-hit areas. In low-lying and fire-prone areas, communities are already beginning to abandon their homes,  from Alaska to Louisiana. As the cost of defense and rebuilding after climate-driven disasters becomes too costly, exceeding the ability of even insurers and governments to absorb, this will become the new normal. Just defending coastal cities against storm surge with seawalls will cost at least $42 billion by 2040, according to environmental group the Center for Climate Integrity, and as much as $400 billion if including communities with less than 25,000 people.

Poor cities are the most vulnerable to climate change and the least prepared to counter it, according to a climate-impact study of the largest 100 US cities. But the climate crisis won’t spare the wealthy, either, says Redlener. “People with limited means are always going to do worse in initial impacts and also have a much more difficult time in the aftermath,” he notes. “But these [impacts] are essentially inevitable and affect the multimillionaires on Fisher Island [Florida’s richest zip code] and the poor people in Little Havana. There will be some equalization of impact.”

Since 1980, US weather-related disasters have incurred $1.7 trillion in damages. Every year, the average cost has grown. At least 10 weather and climate disaster events costing a billion dollars (or more) have hit the US for five consecutive years, an unprecedented amount. Over this time, the frequency of severe events has nearly tripled, with 3.75 severe events per year on average through the 1980s and 1990s, and rising to 11.6 events annually over the last five years.
NOAA

California is on the front lines. While some people with means will buy batteries and solar panels to endure power outages, or expand the defensive perimeter against fire for their luxury homes, those measures will not stave off what is eventually coming. That story will be repeated across the hardest-hit areas in the West, South Florida, Texas, the mid-Atlantic, New Orleans, or the Mississippi River Valley.
Title: 💡 PG&E faces sanctions, demands for refunds in wake of planned blackouts
Post by: RE on October 15, 2019, 12:48:01 AM
$250 is a joke.  ::)

RE

https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/10/14/pge-must-pay-for-the-intentional-power-blackouts-gov-newsom/ (https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/10/14/pge-must-pay-for-the-intentional-power-blackouts-gov-newsom/)

PG&E faces sanctions, demands for refunds in wake of planned blackouts
Governor rips utility in new letter, says rebates are needed

(https://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/SJM-L-PGEOUTAGE-1011-16.jpg?w=810)

1 of 14

Without electricity the marquee of the Orinda Theatre remains dark as vehicles make their way down Moraga Way in Orinda, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Business continue to be closed due to the recent PG&E shutdown. PG&E began restoring power to Bay Area residents Thursday, taking the first steps in what could be a days-long process to end an outage that left more than 700,000 homes and businesses in the dark. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
By George Avalos | gavalos@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: October 14, 2019 at 2:28 pm | UPDATED: October 14, 2019 at 9:33 pm

Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.

State officials blasted Pacific Gas & Electric on Monday, with regulators suggesting sanctions and Gov. Gavin Newsom demanding that the disgraced utility pay rebates to customers who lost power during last week’s planned shutdowns, which affected more than 700,000 customers across Northern California and the Bay Area.

“Californians should not pay the price for decades of PG&E’s greed and neglect,” Newson said in a letter to PG&E’s chief executive officer Monday. Calling the utility’s handling of last week’s shutdowns “unacceptable,” Newsom said that the company should provide rebates of $100 to residential customers and $250 to business customers affected by the power outages.

Separately, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a harshly worded letter to PG&E and summoned the CEO, Bill Johnson, and other top executives to an emergency meeting of the regulatory panel that is scheduled for Friday.
Top articles
1/5
READ MORE
As Bay Area recovers from PG&E power shutoff, many
ask: ‘Was this necessary’?

“The scope, scale, complexity, and overall impact to people’s lives, businesses, and the economy of this action cannot be understated,” PUC President Marybel Batjer said in a letter sent to Johnson on Monday. “Failures in execution, combined with the magnitude of this power shutoff event, created an unacceptable situation that should never be repeated.”

The agency issued a series of actions for PG&E, including dramatically shortening the amount of time that people are left without electricity during preemptive shutdowns to 12 hours, down from the utility’s current goal of restoring power within 48 hours after a planned outage.

“At a minimum, this should be the goal for utility-caused outages, such as a planned power shutoff,” Batjer wrote.

In addition, the PUC said PG&E must try harder to avoid large-scale outages, improve communication with the public and local officials, develop a better system for distributing outage maps and work with emergency personnel to make sure PG&E staff are adequately trained.

Roughly 738,000 PG&E customers in 34 counties — including every Bay Area county except San Francisco — were forced to endure intentional outages ordered by the utility last week as a precautionary measure aimed at preventing wildfires amid high winds and dry weather conditions. Because a utility “customer” can include multi-unit dwellings and other places where people share power service, the number of people affected is estimated to reach into the millions.

The decision to preemptively cut off power for such a vast swath of the state followed state investigators’ findings that PG&E equipment caused more than a dozen wildfires in California in 2017 and 2018, including the deadly Camp Fire last October that left 85 people and effectively destroyed the town of Paradise. Confronted with wildfire-related claims in the range of $30 billion, along with numerous other debts, PG&E filed for a $51.69 billion bankruptcy in January, seeking to reorganize its shattered finances.

Amid the unprecedented preemptive shutdowns, executives with PG&E last week acknowledged they had not been “adequately prepared” for the power outages and apologized for the company’s failure to communicate information about the shutdown. Faced with an 800% increase in traffic, the utility’s website buckled and crashed as the shutdowns began last Tuesday, leaving customers and others without a means of determining whether their neighborhoods would be plunged into darkness.

“PG&E’s lack of preparation and poor performance is particularly alarming given that, prior to the event, top executives responded to the scrutiny and questioning of state and local agencies that PG&E could handle a public safety shutoff event,” the governor stated in his letter to Johnson.

In a statement Monday, Johnson said that the company had “received the Governor’s letter and appreciate its intent: to help make the state and all of us safer.” He added that PG&E would issue a formal response to the demands outlined by Newsom and the PUC.

The utilities commission had demanded that PG&E file a formal response by the end of the day on Wednesday to the several demands from the state agency.

“It is critical that PG&E, and all the other utilities in the state, learn from this event and take steps now to ensure that mistakes and operational gaps are not repeated,” Batjer wrote Monday.

Michael Dawson, a Lafayette resident and member of a grassroots group opposing PG&E’s tree removal plans in the town, suggested Monday that the governor’s rebate proposal did not go far enough.

“The rebate seems like a clumsy slap on the wrist,” Dawson said. “Would this rebate apply to people who bought generators and extra supplies but weren’t ultimately turned off by PG&E? Does this come close to reimbursing small businesses?”

In the Montclair neighborhood of Oakland, where residents and businesses were without electricity for more than 24 hours, Montclair Sports owner Tom Revelli said he appreciated the governor’s proposal but reckoned the effort will fall far short.

“In my business, $250 barely covers a part-time staffer and three hours of electricity,” Revelli said.

Ann Kakham, manager of Daughter Thai Kitchen, also located in the Montclair neighborhood, estimated that the restaurant lost out on $20,000 in business, in addition to the cost of spoiled perishables, as a result of the 24-hour power outage.

“I would say $250 would be in the spirit of PG&E, and comparing that to what we lost, it’s nothing,” Kakham said.

In an interview recently with this news organization, former PUC Commissioner Catherine Sandoval issued several harsh grades to PG&E for how the utility handled the planned power shutoffs.

“I would give PG&E an F for communication,” said Sandoval, who also assigned the utility a D-minus for planning and a D for how it has carried out its plans so far in 2019 to mitigate wildfire risks.

Staff writers Rex Crum and Jon Kawamoto contributed to this story.
Title: 💡 Power blackouts likely again for hundreds of thousands of Californians this w
Post by: RE on October 22, 2019, 06:57:21 AM
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/power-blackouts-likely-again-hundreds-thousands-californians-week-n1069796 (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/power-blackouts-likely-again-hundreds-thousands-californians-week-n1069796)

Power blackouts likely again for hundreds of thousands of Californians this week
Still reeling from criticism for shutting off power to up to 2 million people this month to prevent fires, PG&E says it could have to do it again.

(https://media2.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2019_43/3062811/191021-pg-e-power-california-ac-846p_f66a44ee62818b002d9273c9a4adbbc0.fit-2000w.jpg)
A gas station was vacant in Santa Rosa, California, after power was shut down as part of a statewide blackout on Oct. 10, 2019.Josh Edelson / AFP - Getty Images file
Oct. 21, 2019, 5:41 PM AKDT
By Alex Johnson

LOS ANGELES — Less than two weeks after it was slammed for cutting off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to prevent wildfires, California's biggest utility said Monday it will likely have to do it again this week.

Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., or PG&E, said at a hastily arranged late afternoon news conference that it was calling, emailing and texting more than 200,000 customers in 15 Northern California counties to alert them that their power could be shut off for as long as 48 hours, starting Wednesday.

A power "customer" can be a single residence or a large business; the standard conversion utilities use assesses 2½ people per customer, meaning as many as a half-million people could be affected Wednesday. Most of the impact will be felt in the Sierra Foothills and the northern part of the San Francisco Bay area, the utility said.
Fast-moving fire threatens homes in Los Angeles
Oct. 21, 201901:26

PG&E said high winds and dry conditions would lead to a critical risk of wildfires sparked by faulty electric lines. Those same conditions plunged as many as 2 million people into darkness two weeks ago in rolling blackouts, which PG&E called a public safety power shutoff.

Californians from Gov. Gavin Newsom on down slammed PG&E for that blackout, especially as PG&E, like other utilities, has a policy of not reimbursing customers for lost business, housing alternatives or spoiled food and medicines.
Related
Business
Oct. 10: PG&E power outage could cost the California economy more than $2 billion

To make matters worse, heavy user volume crashed PG&E's website for long periods, keeping customers from getting critical blackout and safety updates. Newsom said he was "outraged" by PG&E's performance, while state regulators called it "unacceptable."

PG&S said it was setting up a separate dedicated website to handle the extra load this time.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news
Recommended
U.S. news
'Totally avoidable': 3 firms fined in deadly Seattle crane collapse
now
How strong is manufacturing the U.S.?

Blackouts are "certainly not a tool we like to use," PG&E Chief Executive Bill Johnson said Monday. "It runs against the grain of why most of us got in the business."

But PG&E said the blackouts could be necessary because strong, dry offshore wind gusts that could exceed 55 mph were expected Wednesday and Thursday. In a notice to investors Monday, the utility said it found more than 100 "serious hazards" on its transmission lines from wind gusts during the shutdown two weeks ago.
Title: 💡 PG&E Imposes New Power Shutoffs In Parts Of Northern California To Avert Wild
Post by: RE on October 24, 2019, 12:45:05 AM
https://www.npr.org/2019/10/23/772854265/pg-e-imposes-new-power-shutoffs-in-parts-of-northern-california-to-avert-wildfir (https://www.npr.org/2019/10/23/772854265/pg-e-imposes-new-power-shutoffs-in-parts-of-northern-california-to-avert-wildfir)

PG&E Imposes New Power Shutoffs In Parts Of Northern California To Avert Wildfires

October 23, 20197:43 PM ET
Richard Gonzales at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)

(https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2019/10/23/ap_19296822587257-bde2fb7b8aa9c4be8c1f11e83e3aad5731eae9e0-s800-c85.jpg)

Pacific Gas & Electric employees work in the PG&E Emergency Operations Center in San Francisco. Authorities say power outages have started again in parts of Northern California.
Jeff Chiu/AP

Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. has begun to cut power to about 179,000 customers in 17 counties in Northern California.

The utility announced what it calls "Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events" Wednesday morning after warning customers earlier of the likelihood of its actions to reduce the potential for wildfires.

"Based on the latest weather readings, PG&E will be turning off power in portions of our service area as outlined below," read the announcement.

The Wednesday afternoon blackouts involved parts of Alpine, Amado, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sierra, Tehama, Yuba, Lake, Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties.

Portions of San Mateo county, just south of San Francisco, will have power outages early Thursday morning, as will Kern county in the Central Valley.

The power outages could last longer than 48 hours.

"Once the weather subsides and it is safe to do so, PG&E crews will begin patrolling power lines, repairing damaged equipment and restoring customers," the utility's announcement said.

Some customers will experience power outages even though their locality is not experiencing "critical fire weather," in other words, high winds that can damage power lines.
Title: 💡 What would happen in an apocalyptic blackout?
Post by: RE on October 25, 2019, 12:09:08 AM
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20191023-what-would-happen-in-an-apocalyptic-blackout (https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20191023-what-would-happen-in-an-apocalyptic-blackout)

What would happen in an apocalyptic blackout?

(https://cdn.newsday.com/polopoly_fs/1.20432048.1534183902!/httpImage/image.jpeg_gen/derivatives/landscape_768/image.jpeg)

There was nothing the doctors could do. In almost total darkness, broken only by the beam of a couple of torches and the glow from their mobile phones, the hospital staff watched helplessly as their patient died in front of them. The elderly woman was suffering a blood clot in her lungs – a common, but life-threatening problem that can be treated with the right drugs and equipment.

Everything the doctors needed to save the woman – including a mechanical ventilator – was tantalisingly close, in the intensive care unit several floors below. But with no power in the nine-floor hospital in Maracay, they had no way to reach it. Without electricity the lifts did not work.

It was a situation being played out in hospitals dotted all over Venezuela in March this year during a five-day nationwide power black out that accompanied the growing political and economic crisis facing the South American country. Unprepared for the sudden loss of power, back-up generators in some hospitals failed while others only had enough energy to keep a few of the most vital wards functioning.

By the end of the five days an estimated 26 people had died in the country’s hospitals as a result of the power outage, according to figures collated by Doctors for Health, a group of concerned medics that have been monitoring the growing health crisis in Venezuela. Among those who died were kidney failure patients who could not get the vital dialysis treatment they needed, and gunshot victims on whom surgeons could not operate in the near darkness.

You might also like:

    The small Scottish isle leading the world in electricity
    Ten simple ways to act on climate change
    The biggest energy challenges facing humanity

Alongside the deaths were stories of pregnant women giving birth in dark hospital wards, doctors treating patients and surgeons performing operations using their mobile phones as torches, and babies in failing incubators.
Blackout in Venezuela hospital (Credit: Getty Images)

Hospitals over Venezuela lost power during a five-day nationwide black out this year (Credit: Getty Images)

“These babies need special care and without electricity for the incubators staff in neonatal units had to find blankets to keep the babies warm,” says Julio Castro, from the school of medicine at the Central University of Venezuela, who has been compiling the data for Doctors for Health, describing some of the stories that hospital staff had told him about the power outages.

“When the ventilators failed, the nurses and doctors had to do it manually by squeezing a rubber lung,” he says. “They were taking it in turns to keep these patients alive.”

The problems extended beyond the hospitals. Elderly people in high-rise flats had to be carried down stairs. People cooked food with fire and ate by candlelight. Without power, food spoiled in warming refrigerators, traffic lights failed and transport systems ground to a halt. The pumps that drove running water to people’s homes stopped, sending residents on a desperate search for water in nearby rivers, streams and even sewers.

Throughout the year, Venezuela has been plagued with power outages. Some are short and localised, lasting just a few minutes, others take hours for the power to come back, but some go on for days. As they have continued, Castro and his colleagues have recorded more deaths as a result.

“If you have even four hours without electricity in a hospital, it is far from normal,” says Castro. “The situation with the water is even worse. There are some hospitals that are having to ask patients to bring in their own water with them because they simply cannot get enough supply.”
Blackout in Venezuela (Credit: Getty Images)

The blackouts in Venezuela hit people's homes, causing pumps powering running water to stop and food to spoil in fridges. (Credit: Getty Images)

The situation he describes seems almost apocalyptic in a country that until a few years ago was one of the richest in South America and has the largest proven oil reserves in the world. Although the Venezuelan government blames sabotage and terrorists for the blackouts, others have pointed to years of poor investment and neglect of the country’s power grids as the cause.

But such widespread and long lasting power cuts, known as black sky events, are not restricted to countries teetering on the brink of collapse. Each year millions of people in the US and Canada are plunged into darkness by passing storms that bring down power lines.

In June this year, almost all of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay were hit by a power outage that left nearly 40 million people without electricity. In August, almost a million people in the UK were left without power, trapping commuters on busy trains, when lightning strikes caused a gas-fired power plant and an offshore wind farm to shut down simultaneously.

These events, however, are minor in comparison to the kind of power outages that experts fear could be in store in the future. Growing demand on our electricity supplies from rising populations and new technologies like electric cars will face increasing instability as we shift to more renewable, but intermittent energy sources like wind and solar power. Extreme weather events driven by climate change will only heighten the risk to our power supplies further.

    We used to use the phrase ‘When the lights go out’, but the lights not working are the least of our worries now – Juliet Mian

“So much of our lives and almost everything we do is now dependent on energy, and particularly on our electricity supplies,” says Juliet Mian, technical director of the Resilience Shift, an organisation that is working to help organisations and individuals prepare for failures in critical infrastructure. “We used to use the phrase ‘when the lights go out’, but the lights not working are the least of our worries now.”
Traffic lights in power cut, Argentina

Traffic lights are just one of the aspects of transport infrastructure affected in huge power cuts. (Credit: Getty Images)

She is right. While the term “black sky” events illustrates perhaps the most visible impact of widespread power failures, it fails to convey the scale of the impact these can have. In our modern world, almost everything, from our financial systems to our communication networks, are utterly reliant upon electricity. Other critical infrastructure like water supplies and our sewer systems rely upon electric powered pumps to keep them running. With no power, fuel pumps at petrol stations stop working, road signs, traffic lights and train systems go dead. Transport networks grind to a halt.

Our complex food supply chains quickly fall apart without computers to coordinate where produce needs to be, or the fuel to transport it or refrigeration to preserve it. Air conditioning, gas boilers and heating systems also rely upon electricity to work.

A little over 100 years ago, our cities ran on human and animal muscle to ferry goods and waste around. Modern infrastructure is now utterly reliant upon electricity.

“In today’s world, our systems are highly interdependent and it is very hard to find many systems that are not fundamentally reliant upon power,” says Mian. “A black sky scenario will affect everyone.”

The causes of a black sky event are many. They vary from natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes to geomagnetic storms triggered by enormous flares from the Sun, or coronal mass ejections, that send a barrage of electrically charged particles racing across the Solar System and can overload electrical grids. One intense geomagnetic disturbance caused a nine-hour outage across large areas of Canada in 1989.

The Electric Infrastructure Security Council, an international body that reviews threats to power grids, also lists a number of human threats that can trigger a mass black out. These include cyberterrorism attacks or coordinated physical assaults on energy infrastructure such as power stations, and electromagnetic pulses that can disable electricity grids.
Blackout in supermarket, Buenos Aires

People use phones to illuminate goods in a supermarket in Buenos Aires, Argentina during a power cut (Credit: Getty Images)

Putting measures in place to counter all of these potential threats is difficult and expensive. Critical systems can be guarded from human attacks and they can be shielded from electromagnetic pulses. Building new systems for protecting transformers from coronal mass ejections can also help to keep systems safe.

But there are some events that cannot be planned for and the complex, interconnected nature of our electricity grids are remarkably vulnerable. Take what happened in September 2003 when a fallen tree brought down a power line in Switzerland’s Lukmanier Pass over the Alps into Italy and 24 minutes later another tree came down onto a line in the nearby Great St Bernard pass. The sudden failure of these two key lines caused other connections to Europe’s electricity network to trip, which triggered power plants across Italy to shut down. The whole of Italy was left without power because of two fallen trees starting a cascade of events.

Modern electricity grids are increasingly interconnected and complicated, making failures like this difficult to predict. Most of Europe now runs off a massive interconnected power grid – probably the largest in the world – that supplies more than 400 million customers in 24 countries. The USA is made up of five different grids.

But there are some that are seeking ways of anticipating potential power failures and are enlisting the help of artificial intelligence to help them grapple with this highly complex problem.

When a power plant goes down, for example, it causes an abrupt spike in load on others on the network, which in turn slows down the generators at these plants and causes the frequency held on the grid to decrease. This risks destabilising the delicate balance that electricity grids are held in, and operators have to deploy countermeasures rapidly – often within milliseconds – to prevent sections of the grid being cut off.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft research institute in Ilmenau, Germany, recently revealed they are developing an AI system to automatically detect these disturbances and take steps to address them.
NYPD officer during power cut in Manhattan

A major outage left both traffic and and subway users in Manhattan in the dark earlier this year. (Credit: Getty Images)

The US Department of Energy is also funding $7m (£5.4m) of research into using artificial intelligence to not only predict potential outages and spot anomalies that might lead to larger problems, but also to help find ways of keeping supplies constant in the event of a problem.

General Electric is using machine learning to help analyse weather forecasts past outage history and information on the ground from its response crews to predict the impact that impending storms might have on its networks. It is also using it to predict where its repair crews might need to be so that downed lines can be restored more quickly.

Power grids can also help to protect themselves by increasing the amount of energy storage such as large scale batteries they have available so that supplies can be supplemented when generators do go off-line unexpectedly.

But completely protecting our power networks from failures is almost impossible, says Mian.

“We can’t necessarily design our systems so that failures don’t happen,” she says. “There’s so much complexity in our systems these failures can cascade and they can become much more widespread, which means the failure is quite often unavoidable. But what we can do is design our systems so that they can respond and recover quickly.”

This is what the Resilience Shift is now trying to improve. It has been organising exercises in collaboration with the Electric Infrastructure Security Council (EIS) that help large organisations, universities, schools, community groups and even families prepare themselves for an event that might lead to mass power cuts for several days at a time.

The Emergency All-sector Response Transnational Hazard Exercise, or Earth Ex, is an online exercise that allows people to rehearse the decisions they need to make and put in place the plans they need should the worst happen.

    When the electricity grid fails, there is this risk of cascading impacts from what might seem to be a relatively minor event – John Heltzel

“We want people to be thinking about these things long before there is a problem,” says John Heltzel, director of resilience planning at the EIS. “It’s important because when the electricity grid fails, there is this risk of cascading impacts that can occur from what might at first seem to be a relatively minor event.

This cascade effect is where the real damage can be done. As the people of Venezuela have discovered, even basic service like water can stop when the power goes out.

“It’s effectively [like going] back to the dark ages,” says Heltzel.
Sunset during a power cut in Venezuela

People can become trapped in lifts or in high-rise buildings during power outages (Credit: Getty Images)

A report by scientists at University College London mapped out how the loss of power can filter through communities, from the loss of health care provision and sanitation services to citizens trapped in lifts and disruption to transport systems.

Then there are the social consequences that percolate out. Crime rates often go up during blackouts as they provide opportunities for theft and fraud. The supply of cash and credit – particularly in our modern societies so reliant upon electronic and card payments – dry up meaning people have to rely on whatever cash they happen to have squirreled away. Communication networks and the ability to contact loved ones disappear, while vulnerable people like the elderly are often left stranded in their own homes.

Businesses are also left largely unable to operate, resulting in huge economic impacts. In 2004, the Department of Energy estimated the annual cost of power outages in the US to be around $80bn (£62bn) annually. When two million customers in California had their supplies cut for two days in October this year, experts estimated the cost to the economy to be around $2.5bn (£1.9bn).

Heltzel knows first hand the kind of chaos large-scale power outages can cause. He is a retired brigadier general who spent 33 years in the Kentucky National Guard and also served as the deputy commander of the Kentucky Joint Force Headquarters. In 2009, the state was hit by a series of ice storms that brought powerlines tumbling down under the weight of rime ice and snow building up on the wires.

“On one day we got an ice storm, followed by a snow storm, followed by another ice storm,” recalls Heltzel. The build up of ice was so great it even brought down steel utility structures designed to withstand hurricane force winds and snapped wooden power poles “like toothpicks”, according to a later Congressional hearing.

“We lost power in all of western Kentucky,” says Heltzel. “From a state perspective, of 120 counties, we had 114 placed into a state of emergency. It meant that people were stuck in their houses and couldn't get to the stores to buy food. So, we had people that were going hungry and we had people whose wells were frozen over. They could not get water through the normal municipal water systems. At the same time the communications networks weren't working, so they could not call for help.”

The Kentucky National Guard mobilised 12,000 soldiers and airmen to go door-to-door delivering food to people. They also requested emergency generators to get the water supply back up and running. Emergency communication stations were brought in from other states to restore the telephone and radio network.

Even so, the hardest hit areas were without power for weeks.

“We were flying people who managed the electricity grid up and down their power lines in our helicopters so they could assess how many poles and cables they needed,” says Heltzel. “But even with all the resources we brought to bear, it took four and half weeks for the last house to be reconnected.”
Man picking up bottled water in supermarket

The Electric Infrastructure Security Council recommends having a two-week supply of bottled water at home in case of power cuts. (Credit: Getty Images)

Around 35 people in Kentucky and 30 in neighbouring states lost their lives. At least eight of the deaths were due to carbon monoxide poisoning due to diesel generators and kerosene heaters being used indoors without proper ventilation.

This is why Heltzel believes planning for a black sky event before one happens is so important. Organisations like hospitals, water suppliers and large companies can make sure they regularly service their back-up generators, and have a sufficient supply of fuel to keep them running. Churches and schools can make sure they have blankets on hand and other facilities to help those who might become stranded and need shelter.

On an individual level, we can all take steps too. From simple things like having torches with plenty of spare batteries to hand, to ensuring we have adequate supplies of bottled water to fall back on – the EIS recommends having two weeks worth of water with two litres a day per person and one litre for pets. Keeping cupboards stocked with non-perishable foods like rice, pasta and canned vegetables, is also advised.

But the Heltzel and his team also have some more unusual tips for families looking to prepare for a black sky event. Baby formula, for example, is a good source of nutrition even if you don’t have young children. A good supply of rubbish bags is also important – these can be tucked under the toilet seat if the water stops running, allowing you to bury your waste outside.

Keeping a stash of emergency cash could also be a life saver.

    We want people to be part of the solution rather than the problem – John Heltzel

“One of the things we talk about for individuals and families is turning yourself from being a survivor into someone who can help with the restoration,” adds Heltzel. “We want people to be part of the solution rather than the problem. That might be being part of wider community efforts to build resilience or simply helping others who are not as prepared.”

In Venezuela, the medical staff have become a perfect example of this. Following the first nationwide black outs, the number of deaths in hospitals have declined with each subsequent black out. Julio Castro, from Doctors for Health, puts this partly down to the shorter length of the power outages, but also to the preparations that hospital staff put in place.

“Now they are aware of the problem they have put procedures in place,” says Castro. “They have made sure they have fuel and the back up generators are working. They have rotas for when they need to do manual ventilation and manual back ups for their equipment.
Title: 💡 Map: PG&E power outage warnings for Saturday
Post by: RE on October 25, 2019, 07:39:51 PM
That is a REALLY highly populated area!   :o

RE

https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/10/25/map-pge-power-outage-warnings-for-saturday/ (https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/10/25/map-pge-power-outage-warnings-for-saturday/)

Map: PG&E power outage warnings for Saturday

Breaking News
Map: PG&E power outage warnings for Saturday
NewsAccidents and Fires

(https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/06/13/65/18398587/3/rawImage.jpg)

Map: PG&E power outage warnings for Saturday
Potential shutdown on October 26 covers much of the Bay Area

By Bay Area News Group |
PUBLISHED: October 25, 2019 at 7:46 am | UPDATED: October 25, 2019 at 3:57 pm

The planned shutdown is shown in mustard color on the map. Zoom on the map to see your community.

Click here if you can’t see the map above on your mobile device.

Even before electricity was restored for those affected by Wednesday’s power shutoffs, Pacific Gas & Electric was warning of a bigger outage possible over the weekend.

The map of the potentially affected area covers much of the Bay Area, as well as the Sierra foothills, the Redding area and Humboldt County.

Related Articles

    Kincade Fire: Why PG&E is on the hot seat again over latest devastating wildfire
    Why this weekend’s winds could be so dangerous
    Kincade Fire grows as region looks to next possible round of shutoffs
    Map: The six new fires burning in California
    Map: Tick Fire evacuations after flames jump highway

In a 2 p.m. announcement, the company said that 850,000 customers in 36 counties across California may lose power starting at 6 p.m. because of the winds it called “historic.” The shutdowns will continue through 10 p.m. and are expected to last at least 48 hours.

Approximately 57,630 customers in Alameda County; 48,824 in Contra Costa County and 27,093 in Santa Clara County will be affected.

Another 92,877 customers in Sonoma County; 86,813 in Marin County; 64,932 in San Mateo County; 44,945 in Santa Cruz County; 10,232 in Solano County and 993 in Monterey County will be without electricity.
Title: 💡 With new outage announced, Berkeley residents may have no reprieve
Post by: RE on October 28, 2019, 04:59:50 AM
A week without the JUICE in a major metro area is getting into Children of Men territory.  :o

https://www.berkeleyside.com/2019/10/27/with-new-outage-announced-berkeley-residents-may-have-no-reprieve (https://www.berkeleyside.com/2019/10/27/with-new-outage-announced-berkeley-residents-may-have-no-reprieve)

With new outage announced, Berkeley residents may have no reprieve

By Emilie RagusoOct. 27, 2019, 10 p.m.

(https://www.berkeleyside.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Outage-Hills-IMG_3281-800x600.jpg)
A view of the Berkeley Hills from downtown Sunday night. Photo: Emilie Raguso

More than 7,000 PG&E customers in Berkeley remained without power Sunday night and relief may still be days away.

The utility company said a new planned blackout event due to high fire danger will begin Tuesday and that it may not have a chance to get power back to all its customers before the new wave of shutoffs starts. No estimate was available Sunday night as to how many Berkeleyans would be affected in the upcoming outage, but PG&E told city staff it “will follow a similar footprint to the most recent fire-related planned outages.”

Berkeley homes in the hills and down into the Elmwood and Claremont neighborhoods began having their power cut Saturday night. Sunday, the city was busy with reports of dozens of downed trees and branches, some of which took down power lines and caused property damage as winds gusted through town.

PG&E said it plans to issue the “all-clear” for the current outage Monday morning, but restoring power to everyone affected can take another two to five days beyond that due to requisite line inspections and repairs to damage caused by recent extreme weather. The next shutoff is set to begin Tuesday and last until Wednesday — with restoration potentially coming two to five days later.
Fourth Trick19 300x250 10/14 - 10/31

“This nearly weeklong loss of electricity means that many in Berkeley will need to take extra steps to stay without power for up to a week, while also preparing through Wednesday for potential wildfire evacuations,” the city said in a statement Sunday. The city “will continue to keep increased levels of police, fire and civilian staff working 24 hour shifts to respond to any events caused by loss of electricity, heavy winds, and heavy fire danger.”
A massive tree that fell on Miller Avenue near Shasta Path. Photo: Chris Anderson

With all the tree damage in Berkeley on Sunday, city spokesman Matthai Chakko said the city prioritized damage that might affect power lines. The city kept the Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch of the Berkeley Public Library open Sunday for extended hours, while PG&E set up a community resource center with snacks and charging stations near the Clark Kerr Campus. The center at Clark Kerr will be open Monday as well, Chakko said.

“This is going to be a bit of a marathon because it’s so many days,” he told Berkeleyside on Sunday night. The fire danger is real, he added: “That’s what we really need people to be cautious about and plan ahead for and take seriously.”

The city has encouraged community members who need a space to power up to visit the libraries during working hours. After hours, a wifi signal will be available outside those buildings, too.

UC Berkeley has canceled classes Monday so it can conserve power from its generators. East Bay Regional Park District parks and trails have been closed until 9 a.m. Tuesday “due to extreme weather and fire dangers.” Berkeley Unified has said it will be open Monday, but that two schools may not have power.

In addition to responding to weather-related damage around town, the city has been working to be sure its residents who need electricity for medical equipment were informed about PG&E’s plans, Chakko said. PG&E gave the city a list of about 65 people whom it could not contact about this weekend’s outage and, over the past two days, Berkeley staff were able to call or visit with most of them, Chakko said. City staffers have been working to determine what the needs of those individuals are and do what they can to help them plan for outages and evacuations.

In addition to addressing local needs by sending out additional patrols of first responders, the city has also sent some police and firefighters up to Sonoma County to help with firefighting and safety-related efforts there. The Kincade Fire north of Geyserville has burned about 54,000 acres since it began three days ago, according to Cal Fire. It is just 5% contained.
BR White Noise (NP) 300x250 9/26 - 11/8

As of 7 p.m. Sunday, 180,000 people were being evacuated from the region and nearly 80,000 structures were listed as threatened. Nearly 100 structures have already been destroyed. There have been no reported injuries or fatalities.
PG&E: 500,000 have been notified of another outage starting Tuesday

In a media briefing Sunday evening, PG&E’s chief meteorologist, Scott Strenfel, said the very strong “Diablo” windstorm that began overnight Sunday was the “strongest offshore windstorm we’ve seen” since the devastating fires that ripped through wine country in October 2017. By some metrics, he added, this weekend’s weather was even stronger.

Berkeleyside, along with about 50 other members of the media, phoned in to the conference call with PG&E. Other reporters were in the room for the briefing in San Francisco at PG&E Headquarters at 245 Market St.

Some parts of the Bay Area — in the North Bay — saw gusts Sunday at or above 90 mph, Strenfel told them. Sustained winds of 74 mph are considered hurricane force, he said.

In the coming days, PG&E believes its crews will find “significant damage” to its lines as a result of these high winds and nearby vegetation. The last weather event that prompted a shutoff saw damage to more than 120 PG&E “assets,” he said, and this weekend’s weather was even more intense.

Strenfel said the offshore wind event expected to begin Tuesday appears to be weaker than what’s been happening this weekend. He did share what he called a “sliver of good news,” noting that current weather models are not showing anything of concern post-Wednesday.
BerkeleyOptometry Be - January 2017 - 300x250

PG&E’s senior director of Emergency Preparedness and Response Mark Quinlan said about 965,000 customers had been affected by the planned blackout over the weekend, while another 100,000 customers had seen service drop because of “emergent outages” related to weather and equipment issues.

As of Sunday evening, he said, PG&E had begun the power restoration process for eight of the 38 counties affected by the weekend’s planned outage. That was “very, very good news” for the utility, he said, because it had not anticipated being able to begin line inspections and other restoration work until Monday.

Quinlan said PG&E plans to issue “all-clears” for everyone else from the weekend outage between 6-8 a.m. Monday. But that doesn’t mean they’ll get their power back, he cautioned: The agency has already notified 500,000 customers that they may be part of the next planned shutoff, he said.

PG&E field teams include 6,000 people and 44 helicopters, as well as a Cal OES airplane that is able to use a high-resolution camera and infrared technology to assess PG&E equipment overnight.

PG&E says it has another 230 people set to join its field teams this week and has made a mutual aid request for 150 four-person heavy construction crews to help with repairs caused by the high winds.

In addition, he said, PG&E is working with its “contracting partners” to bring another 40 helicopters online to help the restoration effort move faster.

Andy Vesey, CEO and president of PG&E, said the agency has aimed previously to get the power back on for all its customers before a new shutoff event hits.

“We try to get it back on before turning it off again,” he said, pausing. “This one’s gonna be tight.”

He said customers should aim to do whatever they can to charge their devices so they can continue to get updates from PG&E and authorities about plans as they develop.

“I urge all of you to ensure you are prepared for the fact that your power may not come back,” he said.

Vesey said he had visited some PG&E community resource centers over the weekend to hear directly from customers about what they were experiencing.

“What we do is not popular,” he said. “I will not tell you that people congratulated us. People were angry.”

Vesey said he came back from those conversations with ideas about how to improve the public safety power shutoff process going forward. He said he could not share specifics about those ideas — but does want to make some changes.

He told the media, too, that some PG&E workers had been “accosted and threatened” over the weekend, and asked community members not to take out their emotions on the front-line staff.

“I know there is a lot of anger,” he said. “Please do not direct that to our men and women — our employees, our contracted people — who are there to keep you safe and restore your power as quickly as possible.”

Vesey said PG&E has 30,000 miles of conductor — “which is more than can wrap around the earth” — and that it closely monitors the highest-risk wildfire zones to keep debris from contacting its lines, particularly in high-wind zones where the fuel is plentiful.

According to PG&E’s online outage map, there were 37 outages in the city that were affecting 7,080 customers as of publication time. The city has said that translates into approximately three times as many people. The vast majority of the outages, according to the map, were part of the planned shutoff, but a number of other scattered outages had also been reported around town.
PG&E’s outage map for Berkeley as of publication time.
Title: 💡 Bay Area Residents Prepare For Next PG&E Safety Power Shutoff
Post by: RE on November 19, 2019, 07:07:06 PM
http://www.youtube.com/v/CzsOYUsPDZQ
Title: 💡 PG&E to shut off power to at least 150,000 customers Wednesday
Post by: RE on November 20, 2019, 02:53:26 AM
https://www.kcra.com/article/pgande-power-shutoffs-announced-northern-california/29851329 (https://www.kcra.com/article/pgande-power-shutoffs-announced-northern-california/29851329)

PG&E to shut off power to at least 150,000 customers Wednesday
190 Shares

KCRA Updated: 12:15 AM PST Nov 20, 2019
KCRA Staff
Show Transcript
SACRAMENTO, Calif. —

PG&E will begin to shut off power Wednesday to about 150,000 customers across 18 Northern California counties, the utility announced Tuesday evening.

Officials said a forecast of strong offshore wind early Wednesday morning and dry conditions led PG&E to decide to shut off power in the Sierra Foothills, the North Valley and North Bay. Customers who will be impacted in those regions were notified Monday morning.
Advertisement

The shutoffs will begin between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. Wednesday and will continue in phases throughout the day until 4 p.m. PG&E said its goal would be to return power to customers by the end of the day Thursday.

The power shutoffs will include portions of the following counties: Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Yolo and Yuba.

(Can't see the map below? Tap here to see it)

The shutoffs are part of PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff program, which is designed to reduce the threat of wildfires that could be sparked by lines brought down in gusting winds. PG&E's equipment has been blamed for causing a series of destructive wildfires in recent years.

| MORE | Schools announce closures due to power shutoffs

The utility will open 35 community resource centers across impacted counties. You can see the list of centers here.

PG&E's power shutoffs have drawn ire from residents, businesses and local governments. Gov. Gavin Newsom has threatened a possible state takeover of the troubled utility.

Customers can watch for updates here.
Title: 💡 What If There Was No Electricity for a Year?
Post by: RE on November 30, 2019, 11:21:14 AM
An incredibly juvenile video.  A few days without the JUICE and they are going nuts in CA.  Plus it's not EVERYWHERE simultaneously.

The whole scenario is extremely unlikely.  There's going to be an increasing number of power outtages, but it's going to be quite sometime before all electrcity is gone for good.

RE

http://www.youtube.com/v/Qb4iwPr5-EY