Brexit’s energy lesson for California, et al 

Posted: June 27, 2016 by oldbrew in government, greenblob, Incompetence, Nuclear power
Tags: , , ,

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

Sanity went out of the window some time ago in the Western world’s ideas on electricity supply, and California’s leaders have been keen to lead that type of charge, in league with ‘green’ pressure groups, as Somewhat Reasonable points out.

“California’s largest utility and environmental groups announced a deal Tuesday [June 21] to shutter the last nuclear power plant in the state.” This statement from the Associated Press reporting about the announced closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant should startle you.

The news about shutting down California’s last operating nuclear power plant, especially after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) had sought a 20-year extension of the operating licenses for the two reactors, is disappointing—not startling.

What should pique your ire is that the “negotiated proposal,” as the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) called it, is between the utility company and environmental groups—with no mention of the regulators elected to insure that consumers have efficient, effective and economical electricity.

Who put the environmental groups in charge? Not the California voters. But unelected environmental groups—and their bureaucratic friends in various government agencies—have been dictating energy policy for the most of the past decade.

Regarding the “negotiated proposal,” WSJ points out: “The agreement wades deeply into intricate energy procurement, environmental and rate-setting matters that are normally the exclusive jurisdiction of state agencies.”

California has a goal of generating half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and environmental groups are calling for the state officials to replace Diablo’s generating capacity with “renewable power sources.” Realize that this one nuclear power plant provides twice as much electricity as all of California’s solar panels combined.

Bloomberg Intelligence analysts’ research concluded that PG&E “would need 10,500 megawatts of new solar installations to replace all of Diablo Canyon’s output” and that, without including potential costs of new transmission lines or back-up resources for solar, will cost $15 billion—with totals, including decommissioning, estimated at $20 billion.

Talkshop note: But this is only one part of the story. Another part is energy-saving measures in the form of EU-type regulations.

When the EU’s high-powered toaster/tea-kettle ban was announced, it became “a lightning rod for public anger at perceived meddling by Brussels”—which was seen as “intruding too much into citizens’ daily lives.” When the ban was announced, retailers reported a spike, as high as 95 percent, in toaster and electric tea-kettle sales.

The European overreach became such ammunition in Britain’s Brexit referendum, that Brussels stalled the ban until after the election and engaged in a now-failed public relations exercise with “green campaigners” to speak out in favor of the toaster and tea-kettle regulations that were believed to have “considerable energy saving potential.”

The Brits didn’t buy it. It is reported that top of the list for “leave” voters were “EU Rules and Regulations.” Matthew Elliot, chief executive of the Vote Leave campaign said: “If we vote remain we will be powerless to prevent an avalanche of EU regulations that Brussels is delaying until after the referendum.”

Brussels’ toaster and tea-kettle ban, which were perceived as an assault on the British staples, has been called “bonkers” and “too barmy to be true.” Specifically addressing the ban, Elliot said: “The EU now interferes with so many aspects of our lives, from our breakfast to our borders.”

David Coburn, a UK Independence party MEP from Scotland, who recently bought a new toaster and tea kettle grumbled: “I think I must have bought a euro-toaster, I have to put bread in it five times and it’s still pale and pasty. Perhaps it’s powered by windmills. And the kettle? Watching a kettle boil has never been so boring.”

While energy efficiency directives banning Keurig coffee makers would be more likely to draw similar ridicule from Californians, there is a lesson to be learned from the Brexit decision: too much regulation results in referendums to overturn them. It is widely believed that, with Brexit and new leadership, many of the EU’s environmental regulations, including the Paris Climate Agreement, will be adjusted or abandoned.

More and more Americans are reaching the same conclusion as our British cousins about the overreach of rules and regulations. As Coburn concluded: “What we want is to let the free market reign, not this diktat by bureaucrat.”

Full report: Brexit’s Energy Lesson for California, et al | Somewhat Reasonable

  1. oldbrew says:

    ‘Realize that this one nuclear power plant provides twice as much electricity as all of California’s solar panels combined.’

    Add to that: at any time of the day or night.

    On the one hand they say they can and must reduce electricity demand, on the other they want all cars to be electric-powered. Does not compute.

  2. Graeme No.3 says:

    The low powered kettle hasn’t had much said publicly in Australia but every time I bring it up the reaction is the same; a blank stare then and indignent query “how on earth will that save energy?” Well it wouldn’t as a moment of thought shows. Tripling the time to boil only increases the heat loss.

    It should go down as the definite point where the EU went from stupid to outright insane.

  3. Curious George says:

    Why are sail ships no longer used commercially? Have you ever seen a schedule for a cargo sail ship? How long did it take for a solar plane to circle the world?

    Green brains think that you don’t have to schedule an electricity generation. You just flip the switch up or down, just like that. Especially on a quiet winter night. Think silent night.

  4. oldbrew says:

    Re the kettle, the idea seems to be that if it’s low powered the user will be more likely to put in only the amount of water they need, rather than being careless about it. Whether that works out in reality is anyone’s guess.

  5. catweazle666 says:

    In my experience, the most efficient way to heat a mug of water is to do it in a microwave.

    But beware that this can cause the water to become locally heated well above its boiling point, so when you put the coffee in the results can be – er – interesting!

  6. dp says:

    It is a very good thing for California that we in Washington and Oregon State continue to use the formerly non-renewable energy known as hydropower because without it the Pacific DC Intertie would be impossible as would be life in blissful Lala Land.

    After much debate hydropower was finally deemed renewable in 2012. Because it was not considered renewable we qualified for federal money to build the ugliest windmills the world has ever known.

  7. gallopingcamel says:

    Most of California’s electricity (60%) comes from natural gas. While I am in favor of advanced nuclear reactors, I have no problem with electricity generated using natural gas which we have in abundance.

    Drill baby, drill!

  8. oldbrew says:

    Pretty soon Californians won’t need kettles, they can just put a bowl of water outside and let nature do its thing – according to barmy warmist theory that is 😎

  9. ferdberple says:

    more likely to put in only the amount of water they need
    why not boil one sip at a time? that would eliminate waste surely and save a pile of energy.

  10. […] Brexit’s energy lesson for California, et al […]

  11. tres arboles says:

    gallopingcamel – methane storage is problematic compared to oil, coal and uranium. The switch to gas generated elctricity leaves the grid much more vunerable to outages due to lack of fuel. Cleaner burning, absolutely, but certainly not a robust solution for the grid. Pipelines are not equal to miles of railcars loaded with coal. California will see rolling brown/black outs this summer because of the reliance on gas and so called renewables.

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    California is an interesting place. I am a native Californian, and voluntary Floridian. At the moment, I am “Bi”. (Oh, pardon… bi-coastal).

    We had an energy experiment back in the 80’s? with electricity “priced at minibar prices” per Steve Miller… The result was Enron, rolling blackouts and brownouts, and the only governor recall in California history (Replaced by Aaaanold the RINO republican)

    So Gov. Gray (out) Davis entered history as the first Climate Refugee and political suicide in one.

    But that doesn’t mean the State gained sanity. Only that when things actually hurt, we shoot the usual suspects…

    So Diablo Canyon shuts on schedule in a dacade-ish. Probably more to do with cold fusion now shown to work than much else. PGE got an extension and dodged upgrade costs faced with a change on the horizon. Good for them.

    I still have my Gov. Gray (out) Davis generator. Any dropouts will be filled by gasoline without pollution controls.. Did I mention “California, land of fruits and nuts”?

    Welcome to California… now go home.

  13. p.g.sharrow says:

    I was in on the ecoloon California drive for alternative energy sources back in the 1970s during the first reign of “Moonbeam” and his friends. Solar, Wind, Biomass, small hydro, geothermal, you name it I studied it, did the engineering, Ran the ROI numbers, even built a few. The results were always the same. Maybe ok for special requirements but really a STUPID WASTE of resources for Industrial levels of energy production. Without Government coercion and funding they get scraped.
    Enron was built on the back of this earlier push and then crashed as the Ecoloon manic wave died down as the money dried up. Enron created the next Ecoloon wave to enrich it’s self, specially on Carbon Trading, but collapsed before they could start. That wave went on without Enron, and CalPers, the State Government retirement fund, nearly went broke because they had invested heavily in the scam.

    The University system was infested with Ecoloons that preached how wonderful their new world would be when this “Alternative” energy source had replaced “fossil fuels”. Things kind of died out in the 1980s but these Ecoloons went into teaching, spreading the wonders of their Religion to a new generation of world leaders.

    Mr Smith tells of governor “Greyout” Davis and his attempt to help CalPers recover by helping PG&E Corporation to loot $6 billion from the Pacific Gas and Electric rate payers accounts as well as additional $billions to Enron’s power management players as they manipulated artificial electrical power shortages to gain maximum rates. Crony Capitalism at it’s best.
    note; PG&E Corporation is the controlling owner of Pacific Gas and Electric Company. It was created to facilitate the looting.

    As they have said for 150 years “California has the best government money can buy!” and It is always for sale.

    So you can see that we have played this game before with the same results. IT IS A SCAM! always was. With lots of STUPID but useful people selling their religion.

  14. edmh says:

    It seems to me that a slow boiling kettle must use more juice than a quick one. It is losing heat all the time it is slowly coming up to temperature and so it must use more electricity overall. The quicker it boils the less heat is lost in the process.

    It seems like the people who make these regulations can’t do simple sums.

    Simple sums are all that is needed to make Green thinking look stupid.


  15. oldbrew says:

    Engineering is not a strong point for woolly-minded so-called environmentalists.