Toward an Anti-fragile Electric Grid: Reassessing Environmental Policy

I had a revelation last night about the electrical grid. I was responding to an old friend’s comment where he stated that we needed distributed generation. I could have used the example of Mao’s Great Leap Forward with the blast furnaces in everyone’s yard, but I wanted to maintain our friendship, and stuck to Riccardo’s comparative advantage argument instead.

Then it hit me. Prior to 1970, electric generators were located very close to the point of consumption (I am talking US here). This minimized the line losses. Interconnects were put in to allow for some power sharing especially in the event of a forced outage. In general, the system was stable and one outage in one location would not necessarily affect another.  It was also characterized by a larger number of smaller generators, this applied to every thermal generator. Continue reading

Thermodynamic Wind Energy Analysis: Bonneville Power Administration

A thermodynamic paper on a renewable energy source on an economics blog? Seriously?  Yes seriously.

The paper is my first attempt at applying the principles of statistical economics into other fields. I model the consumption and production of various sources of electricity.  Electricity is a pure human creation for human use and is the defining characteristic of modern life.  So yes, it is all connected.

The results shocked me when I saw them. The power of the method is readily apparent and starts to lay bare our understanding or lack thereof of energy production and consumption.

Thermodynamic Wind Energy Analysis: Bonneville Power Administration

I look forward to your comments.