Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Messages

Deep Creek Hot Springs

The Moon is Waxing Crescent (17% of Full)


Advanced

Re: SC60

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

January 22, 2008 10:17PM
http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/clusterfuck_nation/2008/01/fullblown-panic.html?commenter=Wizard

A post at the Kunstler Blog:

...........Last week I got this report from Nick, who works as an engineer at a coal power plant:

I am seeing first hand an electrical grid that is going to be tattering pretty hard the next few years. I see three big issues coming up fast.

1. Close to 70% of the utility workforce is set for retirement within five years. So much plant knowledge is internalized by the workforce and many changes to the systems have been made without proper records of it. Just like anything else the plants are suffering an entropic decay. The engineers that designed and understood all the various little systems of these places are gone.

2. 2009 EPA Clean Air Interstate Regulations have forced nearly all of the coal power plants to install scrubbers, baghouses and low Nox burners. This has been a massive investment roughly a quarter of a trillion dollars. 60% of our electric power comes from these aging 1970's vintage coal power plants. These retrofits increase auxillary power consumption by up to 10%, increase plant cycle complexity, increase maintenance costs and labor requirements, and perhaps most significantly they impact the the plants in unpredictable ways. For example our plant just installed low Nox burners. These burners changed our combustion process in ways the boiler was not designed for. As a result we will see reduced boiler tube lifespans. Boiler tubes are the arteries of the electrical system and they are already quite old since virtually no new plants have been built in the last 40 years. When I add it all up I expect to see increased unit failures.

3. In most areas demand is set to outstrip production by 2009-2012. Currently it is difficult to get a new coal plant licensed, and pretty much impossible to get a new nuclear plant licensed. So to meet this demand all the utilities are gambling with more natural gas turbines. Natural gas prices though are volatile and total natural gas supplies are are questionable.

When I add up the lack of utility labor, the cost and loss of reliability from emission equipment investment, and the dependency on natural gas I suspect two things: massive rate increases, and forced reduction in electrical consumption and perhaps rolling blackouts. If peak oil hits and we expect to shift to electric transportation it simply can't happen without a major reinvestment in generation plants and transmission systems.

One thing I know for certain is I want the heck out of this buisness before I am expected to fix the problems that are looming very close on the horizon................
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

SC60

Wizard 1727January 22, 2008 09:23PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 543January 22, 2008 09:44PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 567January 22, 2008 10:17PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 527January 29, 2008 05:32PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 1206January 29, 2008 05:54PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 615January 29, 2008 06:48PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 500January 29, 2008 10:40PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 513February 03, 2008 03:55PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 539February 03, 2008 04:50PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 622February 03, 2008 05:34PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 624February 03, 2008 06:37PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 581February 03, 2008 06:46PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 573February 03, 2008 09:38PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 552February 05, 2008 09:48PM

Re: SC60

Wizard 990February 05, 2008 10:06PM



Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login