Standing on the train platform the other day, after work, a chilling event happened, and I’m not just referring to the weather, although there was that. It was one of those dull but frigid days when standing still, waiting, on concrete, leaves a person daydreaming not of mansions and fast cars and alluring holidays but of crawling under a pile of blankets.
The cheerful Calgary Transit voice comes over the speaker system to tell us the temperature, and that it’s cloudy. Shut up. We know. We’re waiting outside. For YOUR train.
The next message emanating from the loudspeaker shed the cheerfulness for slightly nervous solemnity. Northbound trains were not operating because of an electrical outage. Not ‘running late’ – not running at all. A few hundred red-cheeked and startled faces crammed on the platform turned to each other in search of guidance, of which there was none, then began moving in tiny circles as they weighed the absence of good alternatives with the prospect of freezing their feet to blackened stumps by standing still out there for too long.
You think I’m exaggerating, you try it.
Luckily my train was heading in the other direction and it did show up. I gratefully scampered aboard and nestled amongst the sleeping street people that tour the city in warmth until asked not to. Safe for another journey (street people notwithstanding).
The episode is a (literally) bone-chilling reminder of the horror that is the ‘electrify everything’ movement.
‘Electrify everything’ is a mantra of the crowd that sees a hydrocarbon-free future on the horizon. You know the ones; we’ll be net-zero by 2050 because we ‘have to’ and the government mandated it. What could go wrong?
A quick DuckDuckGo query (Google can go to hell) delivers a seemingly infinite selection of writing on the topic: “How to Electrify Everything, and Why” from progressive.org. Vox throws in: “The key to tackling climate change: electrify everything.”
A website called marketplace.org has a story with the lead in: “The most recent and pressing instance in which electrifying everything could have saved lives is Hurricane Ida.”
An article from Grist sums up the EE thinking. “With global energy demand expected to increase by as much as 58 percent in the next three decades, the urgency to transition away from fossil fuels to power buildings and vehicles is growing. A director from the Sierra Club explains, ‘In order to make buildings carbon neutral by 2050, we need to phase out the sale of gas appliances by 2030…It’s really exciting to watch.’ “
The article goes on to chart the progress in electrifying transport – public, auto, and truck. The article intones, “The changes can’t come soon enough.”
On August 9, 2019, in Britain, at about 4:52 pm, a number of electricity generators tripped off the grid from what is believed to be a lightning strike hitting a high-voltage line. A report by Britain’s Office of Rail and Road indicated that the lightning strike and subsequent generator trips forced the grid’s frequency to drop from 50 HZ to 48.8 HZ for “approximately 33 seconds.”
I can see you yawning already. How many of you would read a story with the headline “British power grid frequency falls by 1.2 HZ for 33 seconds”? I have a good idea how many – zero.
But the repercussions of those 33 seconds…now that was interesting. “Outside Kings Cross Station is absolute mayhem”, said one report. The reason? Electric trains and traffic signals powered down immediately. A BBC story described people stranded on trains in the middle of nowhere for hours and hours, with nowhere to go, no exit from the train, no water, toilets best left to the imagination. “By hour seven things were starting to get pretty tense. We were being held in the middle of nowhere. Food ran out about five hours ago… We quite simply had to sit.”
Away from the stranded trains, with traffic lights out, widespread traffic pandemonium and gridlock were the inevitable result particularly at rush hour.
That was in central Britain, in the middle of summer, when it got kind of stuffy on those trains I am sure but…what if that happened at sub-zero temperatures? Ok, it wouldn’t have been a lightning strike in those conditions, but if we ‘electrify everything’ we can be sure that power outages will only increase. How can they not? Many bad things can happen to power lines, at any time, with widespread consequences.
Ask anyone that lives in a region that gets ice storms – first thing down is power lines. Major transmission lines are, well, you couldn’t build a better target for lightning across the flat bald prairies.
‘Electrify everything’ is far worse than these train stoppages though, because, by definition, everything would rely on electricity. Including heat.
What would electrify everything mean in harsh weather conditions? Well, the pandemonium on the train platform is but a tiny glimpse of the chaos that could unfold. Imagine if everything were electrified, and there was a power outage.
What would work? Virtually nothing. Everything would grind to a halt, and buildings would begin to cool rapidly. Any vehicles that had battery life – because no more internal combustion engines, remember, not in an electrified world – would be a refuge, until those batteries ran out, which would not take very long at all.
Electrify everything means that even rural people are being encouraged to install heat pumps. Some solution, that – those devices are only effective down to a certain not-very-cold temperature anyway, about -5 degrees C. What happens to all the heat pumps if the power goes out?
Now, one would think the Deciding Class would be considering all this, and buttressing the electrical grid/system accordingly. But no, they are going the other way.
The same ‘electrify everything’ crowd wants us to, or rather demands that we, abandon hydrocarbons in favour of intermittent power sources. Their goals are to introduce less reliability into the system.
That same crowd thinks it understands the issue and therefore is pressing for the pairing of batteries with wind and solar. Oh lord save us all. Think about that for a second, in the context of how the world actually works.
First off, the danger from weather is when it is most extreme – either too hot or too cold. Those extremes are when the electrical grid is taxed the most and when power demand is highest. The risk is also most extreme – at -35 degrees C, people will die rapidly without heat. At plus 35 degrees C, people will expire rapidly without air conditioning.
Guess what. At weather extremes, all three – wind, solar, and batteries – perform the absolute worst.
During heat waves, wind speeds tend to be low, and solar panels lose their efficiency. So counting on those two in a heat wave is a non-starter. ‘Electrify everything’ would like to see batteries paired with wind/solar, but the same issue affects lithium-ion (and all batteries) – they don’t like high heat.
According to this research paper, the optimal range for lithium-ion batteries is 15-35 degrees Celsius. Remember too that that is optimal battery temperature and not ambient temperature; batteries can get far warmer than ambient if sitting in the sun, or from operation. Per the paper, operating outside this comfort zone, batteries “will degrade fast with increased risk of facing safety problems that include fire and explosion.”
During extreme cold, solar is obviously not much help, and wind speeds tend to be low as well. And then there’s poor old fair-weather batteries – they hate cold more than heat.
In extreme heat, air-conditioning is essential, particularly in hospitals, seniors centres, office buildings, schools you name it. It is life or death in hospitals and for seniors.
In extreme cold, well, don’t really have to spell that out for you do I.
An all-electric heating and transportation system is a recipe for disaster, and the worse the weather the worse the problems will be.
This isn’t to say natural gas and the rest of our existing system is perfect; however, humanity has developed along with it, and can’t live without it. There is no Edmonton or Winnipeg or Detroit as we know and love them without natural gas.
Furthermore, a truly great thing about the natural gas system, one that reaches a staggering number of places with incredible safety and reliability, is that it operates largely independently of the electrical system. A power outage does not impact gas supplies in the short term, and thus any of us subjected to below-zero temperatures can remain unfrozen thanks to that gas supply. We might not have power, but with natural gas, we can have fire. And heat.
‘Electrify everything’ is a barbaric and stupid concept that, if even partially adopted, will outright kill large swathes of humanity when harsh weather strikes. Imagine being stranded in the dead of winter, unable to travel anywhere except on foot, and even if you could, where would you go?
Buildings would have no heat. Water pipes would freeze. If the harsh weather lasts more than a few days, even mega-banks of batteries could not be recharged in any meaningful way, should they ever rise in prominence as advocates hope.
The move to ‘Electrify everything’ perfectly encapsulates the lazy thinking that is doing so much damage to energy systems. They’re the goofballs that think Net Zero 2050 is happening just because governments said it would. The loudest quackery tends to come from advocates in moderate climates, the zones where climate policy is developed, who think ideas like ‘electrify everything’ are noble targets. They have no clue how quickly -20 closes in on you, with no power, and no heat.
The rest of us, who face challenging weather as a matter of routine, are expected to do our part by just dropping dead in extreme weather, I guess. Hell of a way to run a country.
Energy dialogue should be exciting and positive! Get started by deconstructing the current mess. Pick up “The End of Fossil Fuel Insanity” at Amazon.ca, Indigo.ca, or Amazon.com. Thanks!
Read more insightful analysis from Terry Etam here, or email Terry here.
Hoping for a wave of articles in the mainstream along the same lines.
Current alarmist ambitions are insanely dangerous.
Author refers to the UK situation. I cited this at the tail end of the other thread on the impossibility of net zero:
Chris’ stuff is worth reading carefully. Of course, Nick will reply that no-one seriously advocates getting to net zero with batteries. Not the point, the point is that the size of the problem means you cannot get to net zero at all.
It is impossible to get to net zero with present demand and usage. To try and get there at the same time as doubling demand by moving everyone to EVs and heat pumps is crazy.
But to embark on this without proper feasibility studies, proper costings, proper risk analysis? That’s criminal.
For floating intellectuals who know nothing about running power systems to assure the political class and media, based on no evidence, that of course its possible? Worse than criminal.
Storage for wind droughts has always been an issue as far as I’m concrned.
My ecperience is that two droughts can follow each other within a day or two even in the UK. The storage of 13 million MWh is about two weeks in winter.
What happens during the next fortnight after three days of wind?
Yes. The whole idea, as soon as you examine it, is hare-brained. Which is why in his latest arguments Nick has been reduced to claiming that we should install wind and solar to reduce fuel costs.
Which is a whole different proposition from the net-zero and electrify everything, and requires a proper business case of its own. It actually amounts to abandoning net-zero and making a very modest proposal to supplement a basically fossil fuel system with some wind and solar, how much is not specified.
The only way you get to do this is have enough gas capacity to run the network, and to then add wind and solar to it. The reason being that its only gas that can fluctuate its output fast enough to make wind and solar usable. Its possible to have modest amounts of pumped storage, but again, not on the scale required to make a material difference. Its going to be almost all gas, going up and down as the wind blows and the sun rises and sets.
If you’re going to argue that, its quite straightforward, but no-one has pointed to a case where its been done. You just write down how much capacity of the different technologies you want to install. Then write down how much of the total power use of the area you expect to provide from each. And, if you use batteries to supplement the wind and solar, you have to account for capacity to recharge them once drawn on.
Get the capital and maintenance and fuel costs and do an NPV analysis. Should fit on one page, two columns.
I think its striking that no-one seems to have done it. And, whether that can be done or not, its not at all clear that it would deliver any significant CO2 emission savings versus a system built solely from the most efficient conventional plants.
Real Electrical Engineers, the ones working at a power plant not in a college with a pseudo-PhD teaching the new generation, or the Power company executives getting bonuses from their nonproducing W/S non-generators would have told you that Net Zero would not work 20 years ago.
Here in Southern Vermont we are just recovering from 35+ heavy inches of global warming. The power was lost during the first few hours of the Nor’easter, 5 days ago. This is why they built the ski areas at that part of the state with the highest snow load. If you live near the spine of the Green Mountains you had better be well prepared for some rather extreme weather events as being the norm. In 2011 the rainfall from Hurricane Irene exceeded 6 inches per hour and destroyed over 200 bridges. The worst of the current storm was felt for those living over 1800 feet elevation, which included us… We had plenty of wood and a sparsely used generator for the water well. Buried the food from the fridge/freezer in the global warming. One of our newer neighbors ran out of fuel for their generator, but the roads were impassible for a few days so we had to shelter them until things opened up.
The glorious leaders in Vermont however are actively pushing for EE, damn the cost full speed ahead! Straight to hell in a hand basket…
” If you live …” anywhere ” … you had better be well prepared for some rather extreme weather events as being the norm.”
Explorers who went North and West into the continent were brave? strong? prepared? heroic? They did not have batteries -or- gasoline -or- uranium.
They almost always had plenty of burnable things to choose from during cold weather.
Replace those few old explorers with millions of office workers, commuters and homeowners then tell me how they will do it. Back then they had to carry their hospital on their backs and they were either self-propelled or their transportation ate local grass. Yours is a bad humor fail.
yuh, MA too! at least they let VT have a pellet industry- here, a wood pellet factory cannot be built- the greens have forbidden it- and I’m a forester, so that ticks me off
Yirgach, I absolutely love visiting Vermont (NH and Maine as well) and we have a few times now. My sister lived in South Royalton, VT for about 1.5 years and was the curator at the Marsh, Billing, Rockefeller mansion in the Historical Park. She showed us cool stuff that she knew about the state at the time. Our next time thru was with our two boys and we tent camped with the bears at Smugglers Notch St Park Campground outside of Stowe. We loved it so much that I started looking for real estate to purchase as I can work from home now and my wife is an RN, so as long as there’s a hospital/clinic nearby, we’re fine. But then I started looking into the politics of the state and hooo-boy, there’s some nut jobs with power there. Scared me straight. EE with the snowfall you get is just idiotic assisted suicide!
You had to look? Ever here of Bernie Sanders? First elected to the Senate in 2007.
He is the first Pete Buttigieg, although that dipstick has only been elected mayor. The Dems will appoint him a senator from Texas or some such after they take total control.
Leftists ruin everything they touch.
Advocates think all the world should be a temperate zone
Even in places like South Central Texas, things can sometimes get unreasonably cold.
That’s because they always think in terms of averages. Like the statistician who worked out that the depth of a river averaged 4 feet, tried to wade across it – and drowned!
Actually a CITY in a temperate zone.
Obama era EPA demanded electric compressors on gas pipelines, the downside of which was realized in Texas in February 2021.
They’d have been OK if the pump was driven by a FF generator located beside it
before the valentine day ’21 storm Texas was getting 45% of its electricity from wind & solar -ontheday of the storm that percentage dropped to 8% & millions were without power and heat for a week or more – our future
it operates largely independently of the electrical system
That’s how it used to work. In recent years it’s been decided by those who consider themselves our betters, that the systems that keep the gas lines pressurized should be run off the grid. That why when the grid goes down, so does the natural gas pipelines.
Can’t allow some people to have heat while others don’t. It wouldn’t be fair.
The concepts of ‘Fail Safe’ or backups seem to be foreign to them.
I have no doubt that his has always been the plan.
More of “and hold the rest by the…”. But yeah, if yet another crisis is manufactured out of thin air, there’s still demand.
Do they think electricity just pops up from thin air? Is there a zero-point engine somewhere that I don’t know about?
Electrons travel very slowly back and forth down the wires.
Electric energy that powers appliances is made of electric and magnetic fields generated by the moving electrons, but the fields propagate in the space surrounding the wires, i.e ‘thin air’ at velocity closely related to speed of light.
Some of the readers might be surprised to learn that speed of electrons for current of 10A is somewhere about 3cm (1.5 inch)/minute (depending on diameter of the wire)
“some of the readers might be surprised to learn that speed of electrons”
How appropriate that for the AC current electrons total movement (average if you like) distance is “net zero” .
The measured delay in telegraph response suggests a higher average speed than a few cm/minute. However, you are right that the propagation is much slower than an EM wave in a vacuum. I don’t have a rigorous proof, but I suspect the speed of electrons is affected by the voltage. Also, the dielectric constant of the metal wire controls the speed, as the index of refraction does for light. Part of the issue is that electrons that pop out at the end of the wire in London or Paris aren’t the same ones introduced in New York.
Yeah, but you can “buy” electrons totally made by unreliables.
One more horror.
Headline:“For many electric vehicles, there is no way to repair or assess even slightly damaged battery packs after accidents, forcing insurance companies to write off cars with few miles – leading to higher premiums and undercutting gains from going electric.
The market will extract all possible value from a 25k+ scrapped asset.
Pick-a-part is the worst case scenario.
January 4, 2023
That’ll go up as the claims roll in from spontaneous combustion (including the EV, and anything flammable in close proximity – other EVs, cars, garages, houses, etc.), “total” losses from relatively minor accidents (due to batteries that may “go” (up in flames) at any moment after suffering “damage” (more likely that the existing ‘spontaneous combustion’ will occur)), and other elevated liability claims due to the added weight of EVs and the higher amount of damage caused by “at fault” accidents.
The lawsuits for collections on collision liability will be interesting for a battery that “went up” at some time post-accident. Forensic work on the totaled battery will be next to impossible. Another profit center for ambitious lawyers.
Most of us were very young when we were told:
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
Now the young say “What’s an egg?”
U.N. Secretary General comments regarding Climate Change:
Stokes won’t like this dose of cold, harsh reality.
Which reminds me, where is Nick?
Which reminds me, where is Nick?
Behind your eyeballs, living rent free.
Fun exercise. Search for nick stokes watts up. Over half of the returns are for other intonements and not for any comment by him.
I was not registered years ago when he got banned for his stubborn use of basic math, physics, chemistry. But I’m guessing that he was paroled because of all of the lost clicks…
When you think about it our leaders are either,
1) Monumentally stupid, and actually believe the myth that we can carry on as normal but at net zero emissions without nuclear, or,
2) Genocidally evil and driven by an urge to depopulate the earth, and consider the hoi polloi stupid enough to go along with it.
Unfortunately although there is a lot to be said for the moronic imbecility of the ruing classes, I am inclining to hypothesis 2. Time will tell
Some of them could be evil, but in general, no need to assume evil intentions where stupidity will suffice. The majority of them are just stupid, albeit not momentarily.
However, I think there is another aspect – greed. As they drive an artificial electrification and renewables investment cycle, they think they can profit from it when it lasts. Greed makes them blind and deaf to rational arguments.
“no need to assume evil intentions where stupidity will suffice”
Generally true, but there comes a time where you need to reassess sustained apparent stupidity.
The problem with this is that it’s only good advice when there is no malice afoot.
They’re evil. The consequences of their utopias have been too obvious for too long, yet they howl at the least suggestion that they reconsider their agenda. They’re self-hating, life-hating sociopaths. Data, facts, reason, and real-life evidence mean nothing to people who are driven by malevolence of that enormity.
Then there’s 3, “all of the above.”
I tend to agree with hypothesis 2 also. And they’re assumption about the people is correct.
The talking heads in TV? That’s a puppet show. So it makes sense if the puppets are mostly stupid (whether stupid greedy, stupid self-adoring, or whatever), while the puppeteers are vile.
Government offices should be relocated to extreme weather zones. The policymakers would wake up fast.
Just disconnect them from every mains service one random day a week. No electricity, gas, water etc. naturally working from home will be banned, loss of a days pay
I think that will be California in a couple of years.
Who will tell them they must show up?
Only works if their offices receive power and heat provided strictly by wind and solar – no “grid” connections where “other” sources enter the mix.
Lesson from this post:
If you are on a train that stops when the electrons do,
get food and pee, in the shortest amount of time you can.
All coal, gas and nuclear plants need to be updated in a reasonable time frame. New coal, gas and nuclear plants need to be built starting yesterday. All wind and solar need to be disconnected from the grid in a reasonable time frame. All new plants are to be built using proven technology, you know the stuff we’ve been using. As the new technology proves itself we can add it to the mix. Save petroleum for chemicals, plastics, medicines and what ever but most all make sure we have abundant and affordable fuel for our hot rods.
A lighter writing voice would sell better. Its a choice.
“if we ‘electrify everything’ we can be sure that power outages will only increase. How can they not? Many bad things can happen to power lines, at any time, with widespread consequences.”
If we computerize everything will computer sw crashes only increase? Seems the opposite happens in real mass-market cases. Auto, computer, telecom, clothing not worn by a Jackson sister? What historical thing achieved everything status with poor reliability?
I think this is right in one sense, electrification has generally improved reliability. The problem isn’t so much that, though it does increase exposure when there are blackouts. The problem is that what the political classes in the UK, Australia, NZ. Canada, the US want to do is at the same time as they electrify, they want to make the power system unreliable by moving it to intermittent sources.
That is what will increase unreliability. And at the same time, the fact that everything is electrified will increase the impact of electricity outages.
Depends on what you are electrifying. Heat and cooking get less reliable when you electrify.
Is an electric iron less reliable than one that was heated on the stove? It’s more convenient, but I can’t say it’s more reliable.
The proper analogy would be large computer grids… which are not a thing that’s routinely done at all. Perhaps they are not a thing for good reasons. There are some very big, very crunchy clusters… but they all seem to be local with a private internal network overseen by one team. Well-known examples of distributed computing over internet (CERN, protein puzzles, etc) are all amateur or crowdsourcing work (i.e. no risks attached to failure, no expectation of reliability).
The problem with electrify everything is you enemies. Not weather. Rather those nations that would rather you cease to exist.
The North Koreans most certainly have built EMP weapons based on the Soviet layer cake hydrogen boosted design. While not particularly high yield, this design maximizes the damage to electrical grids from a high altitude air bust.
3 of these weapons, evenly spaced and detonated over Canada at an altitude of 50 to 75 miles would be focused by the Earth’s magnetic field to produce an EMP of some 50K volts per meter over the surface of the continental US.
Like the gent from Vermont I live in a place that regularly gets 30 plus inches of snow in one shot. My street is plowed by a diesel grader. I want to see the size of a battery powered grader or the number of battery graders it will take to replace the diesel.
Battery graders wouldn’t make it to your street before the battery died.
Then they’d have to rescue it with a diesel tow truck – or some farmer’s tractor.
The “Electrify everything” motto resembles Vladimir Lenin quote “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.”
A mere coincidence? I do not think so…
It was also the goal of the U.S. during that period.
Even if you think CO2 is a problem the anti gas movement is stupidity. Using gas to heat at the place where it is needed is the most efficient way to use it. You increase you losses by a huge factor by first using gas to produce electricity and than using electricity for inductive or resistive heating to heat something, is just plain stupid. So you first force people to be all electric using gas as your main short term source for said electricity. Well in the end you dug yourself a larger CO2 hole that you need to. Something you anti fossil fuel people says that hundred of years to clear out and you have add more without think about what you are doing. Then you think that the so called renewable technology will fix the problem which is now larger from your stupidity by a technology that is anything but renewable. Physics is hard, the laws of thermodynamics can’t be legislated away.
wow, THAT’s what gets that person excited? What a pervert.
Otherwise, I’d say be sure to have a wood stove- one that doesn’t need electricity like pellet stoves- as much as Iike pellet stoves- I want to be sure I won’t freeze when the power goes out.
The CO2 police will be paying you a visit.
Despite MA being a net zero state- and not allowing biomass or pellet industries- it promotes the use of wood heat. I got my latest wood stove as a state grant for low income people. It burns very cleanly. MA is a relatively rich state but still has a lot of low income people who’d get out their guns if told they can’t have a wood stove.
Not if they can’t get to him on unplowed roads!
We added a wood-burning stove to the household last fall. The only thing I missed about Illinois was having a cozy fire in the winter, and the stove is a useful substitute with a huge viewing window. Northeast Texas has pretty half-assed winters, but on 45F or colder nights it’s nice to have a fire going. The downside is that it’s dirty, both to drag wood inside and to operate it. The fun of a cozy fire is balanced out by resentment that I have to vacuum four times a day and roam the woods collecting wood and pinecones like a peasant. The eco-fascists should be pleased that they’re regressing people back to fire.
Someday check out pellet stoves. It’s a cleaner way to burn wood. The pellets are bone dry. We can burn them here in MA but it’s verboten for the forest industry to produce them.
Problem being most pellet stoves still use electricity for feeders, etc. Power out =back to square one.
right, that’s why I opted for a basic wood stove- later, someone recommended using a UPS battery system but it wouldn’t last long- I’ve wanted to install a generator for the house but it’ll cost more than I care to spend
in my previous home I had a coal burning stove- I bought the coal in 40 pound bags- they had a name for it but I can’t recall- the coal was in uniform small nuggets- the stove was large and could heat an entire house- the coal was fed into the stove on a chain- and the smoke went out a pipe which had a fan on it- which needed electric power- the smoke was “clean”- you could hardly tell there was any smoke
I think you are missing the point. This is the classic Chicken and Egg scenario. Electrification will work because of global warming. There will be no more freezing temperatures anywhere very soon.
If it is -40 outside you only have a few hours before your pipes start to freeze, even if you have a new Net Zero home you may last a day before severe damage will occur. We had a furnace failure at -20C and within a few hours the temperature inside dropped 15C. Living without heat is a northern climate is simply a death sentence.
On the plus side, living in Canada, I see global warming as only positive, my growing seasons lengthen (costs go down), my energy costs go down and my time in the sun goes up. Electrification of everything is very practical in places that you do not need to heat your home or business reliably.
Small gas heaters can often be started with a match or a piezoelectric crystal sparkler but every gas heating system I’ve experienced in the past 50 years required electricity in order to run, starting with the switch on the thermostat that turns it on to the fan(s) that make the heat available. Are there systems that don’t require electricity?
Many (most) gas tank water heaters operate without electricity. They have a “pilot” light that serves two purposes: 1) heat a thermocouple that provides enough energy to open the gas valve when the thermostat calls for heat and 2) ignite the gas when the valve opens, of course.
In the old days, this was pretty common for home heating and could be usef for steam heating or so-called “gravity” systems used the natural buoyancy of warms air to take it from the basement, through large ducts, to the upper floors.
I think many “wall” furnaces used this as well.
As we all know . . . continuously burning pilot lights are banned from furnaces and ranges as wasteful.
A single point of failure is a part of a system that, if it fails, will stop the entire system from functioning. SPOFs are undesirable in any system with a goal of high availability or reliability, be it at a business practice, software application or other industrial system.
I suggest a gas or gasoline powered backup generator for your home and business. Hospitals have them. Police Stations have them. Your ISP has them. Shouldn’t your family have one?
How long can you live without heat? Does your garage door opener have a battery backup? How long will your phone work without a charger? How long before everything in your refrigerator/freezer goes bad? How about your basement sump pump?
It doesn’t need to be a system meltdown — a bad storm with downed power lines (wind, lightning or ice) can tie repair crews up for days.
Although it has been pushed down by other priorities, a propane fired whole house generator is still on my list, and I intend to push it UP on the list because it is just too important.
Experiencing some extended outages will put in perspective just how dependent we are on RELIABLE electricity.
A storm, especially a winter storm, may take down electric transmission lines
But how often in the past did they take out the source of the electric power?
Ditto for hurricanes or a well-placed tornado. A point I often bring up. With worse-than-useless wind and solar, outages can and likely WILL be greatly extended, because you don’t just lose transmission and distribution lines, you lose the power production infrastructure ITSELF.
“Electrify everything means that even rural people are being encouraged to install heat pumps. Some solution, that – those devices are only effective down to a certain not-very-cold temperature anyway, about -5 degrees C. ”
This is demonstrably not true. Modern air heat pumps operate just fine down to -25C or lower. And a farm has plenty of land for in ground sources for much lower operating temperatures. There are many products that advertise this and my own Mitsubushi air source heat pumps do just fine down to -25C. Making trivial to prove false statements detracts from the rest of a post and makes the author look uninformed. By all means argue cost , installation costs, risk of outage etc but stop with the false “dont work” narative.
I guess the heat pumps people are removing in England must be older types or….
If you have a typical small unit, like a air conditioner type heat pump then you are limited in temperature as the heat pump can only work on limited differential range in temperature between inside and outside.
If you live in a rural areas where you can source your heat/cooling from the ground then it will work to very low temperatures as the temperature differential is between the ground and inside your house.
Most people live in cities where they cannot source the smaller temperature differential from the ground but rather from the air which significantly reduces the effectiveness of a heat pump.
The back-up for all heat pumps is electricity heaters, double the cost unless you live in a temperate zone, always above freezing.
If you live in a apartment building and the owner decides to heat with a heat pump you may be in for miserable winter during cold snaps.
Thermodynamically, when it’s cold out, a heat pump consuming a lot of electricity but not pumping much heat is just producing the same amount of heat as a resistance heater consuming the same KW….so to say it doesn’t work isn’t true, but its certainly not as cost effective as you thought you paid for….not to mention probably undersized for the cold conditions by overzealous sales persons who wanted to show you how economical your heat pump was going to be…..
Do those heat pumps work at -25 if the heating strips are disabled?
Electrify everything’ is a barbaric and stupid concept that, if even partially adopted, will outright kill large swathes of humanity when harsh weather strikes. Imagine being stranded in the dead of winter, unable to travel anywhere except on foot
Nice picture of the Little Ice Age. The Leftists want us to return to those weather patterns. And that mode of transportation. And never traveling far from our place of birth. And …….
wait little ice age?
it it was cooler before it must be warmer now.
but “it” cant be warmer because there is no global average
cooler before? how many thermometers were there in the 1700s?
clearly not enough to say it was colder.
thermometers are not precise or accurate remember?
now you are using uncalibrated paintings to tell temperature?
how do you calibrate a painting?
what you see here boys is the skeptical brain at work
beleiving in paintings as scientific instruments.
you wann know how cold it was in the LIA?
find a painting that confirms your belief. i got drawings of thermometrs
Well, FU2, Mr. Mosher. At no time have I ascribed to anything contained and implied in your smarmy series of pseudo questions and comments. I refer to the existence of the Little Ice Age as described by the UN and Federal agency records and contemporary accounts of the age. I have no knowledge of the specific hourly, daily, monthly or annual temperatures that existed over that general period at any given spot on the planet. So go shove your thermometer drawings.
Notice I said “picture” of the Little Ice Age, not “drawing” of the Little Ice Age. The word “picture” is meant to convey the concept of a colder time than the present to my audience, not that I believe the drawing was meant to convey the existence or severity of the Little Ice Age to the average viewer.
Mr. Mosher, your postings are obviously and rapidly deteriorating. I think that demonstrates something is seriously affecting your mental processes or emotional state. Please seek help.
You mean you actually understood him, Dave?
His intent, if not his words exactly. [That’s why the “FU2.”]
At the same time, people in “paleo-climatology” say something on the subject, and everyone must listen. Huh. Clearly, the dinosaurs had enough of thermometers… 🦕 🦕
“number of electricity generators tripped off the grid from what is believed to be a lightning strike hitting a high-voltage line”
But don’t you understand? Once we get to nut zero, there’ll be no more lightning, or any bad things happening anymore. Also, no jobs, no food and no warmth. But our welfare isn’t anything that the greenies care about.
August 9 2019, remember it well. I had just arrived at City Thameslink station for my train home. Nobody knew what was going on. All trains had stopped with a train stationary on the northbound platform but powered up. After hanging around for a while I went to Blackfriars station which is virtually within sight of City Thameslink to see if a service that terminates there would return via London Bridge. No, they didn’t and still nothing was moving. So I walked to London Bridge where services were disrupted by Thameslink trains not being able to move north of the Thames. But I got a train home and only then found out what was going on. The power had failed north of the river and once it had been restored the big problem for the Thameslink trains is that they would not restart. You might have thought Siemens would have tested this but if they did it hadn’t mirrored the power failure that occurred.
As an aside to the all-electric scenario, where I live there is a second rail line that joins my line. This runs on diesel power and when I commuted to London there were a couple of times I took advantage of this when the traction power had failed on my line. They are also better in the snow since they don’t need the 3rd rail to pick up power.