Author Archives: Kennedy Maize

Is Tesla Doomed?

Is high-flying Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and purveyor of electric and self-driving cars (and maybe trucks), battery storage for solar systems, private-sector space ships, and “hyper-loop” transportation, headed for a crash? That’s the case that the investment website Seeking Alpha makes in a devastating analysis of trendy Tesla, where continued losses only seem to pump […]

What’s ‘Resilience’ When it Comes to Power?

The Department of Energy-generated notice of proposed rulemaking at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, aimed at rescuing coal and nuclear power generation from the vagaries of competitive markets by raising the idea of paying out-of-market prices for “resilient” generating technologies, rests on the idea of rewarding power plants that have a 90-day supply of fuel […]

Carbon molecule NCAR/UCAR http://spark.ucar.edu/imagecontent/carbon-dioxide-molecule

CPP Repeal Likely Won’t Help Coal Much, Might Hurt Nukes

The focus of the coverage of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) plan to kill the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) has been on what it will mean for coal. The consensus is that it won’t have much impact, as major consumers of steam coal have already written off the fuel as a result of […]

Two Takes on Comments to FERC-DOE Resilience Proposal

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission got blitzed this week with comments on the Department of Energy’s proposed rule to give nuclear and coal plants a competitive advantage in competitive wholesale markets run by regional transmission organizations (RTOs). Comments came in such volume Monday that it crashed FERC’s “eFiling” system, giving those making comments another day […]

V. C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in Jenkinsville, South Carolina. This picture shows the Unit 1 Reactor Containment Building (Center), along with the Steam Turbine Building (Left). This is a publicity photo from SCE&G.

What Can Save the Staggering U.S. Nuclear Industry?

What to do about the faltering nuclear power industry? Two analysts from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, in a new book, lay out what they believe is a policy agenda that can stem the growing closures of existing nuclear plants. In their book – “Keeping the Lights on at America’s Nuclear Power Plants” – […]

Rick Perry

Rick Perry’s Order to FERC Is Fraudulent

Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s ukase to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week—undo over 20 years of federal policy on national electric markets to aid coal and nuclear generation—is a joke. It is an entirely political screed devoid of intellectual content. That pretty much describes Perry. Rick Perry In an administration that bills itself […]

Is DOE’s Advanced Reactor Program a Bust?

Despite spending more than $2 billion over the past 18 years, the Department of Energy’s advanced nuclear research and development program (NE) is a bust, according to an article in Environmental Research Letters and reported at Phys.Org, the website of the Institute of Physics.  According to lead researcher Ahmed Abdulla of University of California San […]

Former Sen. Pete Domenici, Key Energy Legislator, Dies at 85

Former New Mexico Republican Sen. Pete Domenici died last week in Albuquerque from complications following abdominal surgery. He was 85.   Domenici was a tireless and bipartisan legislator over his career as the longest-serving senator in New Mexico history, from 1973 to 2009. He was also a thoroughly decent man who viewed political compromise as […]

Blackout: A Coming Dystopia?

Dystopian novels are not my normal literary cup of tea (1984 excepted). But I just finished reading Marc Elsberg’s Blackout, originally published in Germany in 2012 and translated into English this year. It’s a bone-chilling thriller about an international Luddite group attempting to destroy modern civilization by bringing down first the European and then the […]

DOE Grid Study: Will it Make a Difference?

The highly-touted Department of Energy’s grid study is anodyne and irrelevant but worthwhile nonetheless. Commissioned by new energy secretary Rick Perry in April, the order for the study charged the Department of Energy staff to examine whether current policy was responsible for base load coal and nuclear plant retirements that jeopardize the reliability of the […]