Reduced air emissions due to wind power: More

Michael Giberson

Kent Hawkins has a further post at Master Resource examining the effects of wind power on overall emissions produced in a power system.

In the post Hawkins examines the Michael Milligan et al, article, “Wind Power Myths Debunked,” appearing in the most recent IEEE Power and Energy Magazine (an article mentioned in comments I made here pointing out Hawkins’s earlier post). The “debunking” of Milligan et al seeks to portray many issues raised with respect to wind power as less important than wind power critics assert.

Hawkins’s response aims to debunk the debunking.  If you are inclined to rely on the Milligan et al article, you ought to consider the objections raised by Hawkins seriously.

Thankful for lax security at Turkey Point?

Michael Giberson

The Miami Herald reports that early Thanksgiving morning smugglers dropped 30-plus Cuban migrants off on the property of the Turkey Point nuclear power plant, 25 miles south of Miami.  Apparently the group remained undetected on the property for about 8 hours, at which time the group called the plant’s control room seeking a second helping of mashed potatoes and gravy help. (The plant has call boxes on the property for the use of maintenance workers.)

The Herald said:

A spokesman for Florida Power & Light said Friday that the group was six miles from the reactors, and the power plant in southern Miami-Dade County “was not affected in any way.”

But the utility, which boasts of tight security in the area, did not address why its security personnel apparently did not become aware of the Cubans’ presence on Turkey Point for up to eight hours.

Power market design example

Michael Giberson

Ever wonder what a RTO power market design looks like?  Here is one view, in the form of the 106-page “Mid Level Description” of the Southwest Power Pool market currently under development.  (Note that the link is to a 1.4 MB zip file which contains the “SPP Future Markets Design/Energy and Operating Reserve Markets and Transmission Congestion Rights Markets/Mid-Level Description,” and an accompanying memo from the SPP Market Working Group which describes a bit of the process that went into producing the document.)

For a taste of the document, here’s a paragraph on “Block Demand Response Resources” (BDR) from page 3.9:

In the RTBM, if the BDR is committed and dispatched in the DA Market or RUC, the BDR Minimum Economic Capacity Operating Limit will be increased to match the dispatched amount and only Spinning Reserve will be allowed to clear above minimum output if the BDR is a Spin Qualified Resource.  Spinning Reserve clearing will be based upon submitted Ramp-Rate Up curve for BDR, the submitted Spinning Reserve Offer and the BDR’s Maximum Economic Capacity Operating Limit.

Based on a quick, haphazard scan through the document, the paragraph is of approximately median readability compared to the rest of the text.  Note: RTBM = Real Time Balancing Market, RUC = Reliability Unit Commitment, and DA = Day Ahead.

Easterly on the civil war in development economics

Michael Giberson

William Easterly writes, “Few people outside academia realize how badly Randomized Evaluation has polarized academic development economists for and against.”

That claim seems reasonable enough. I’d bet few people outside academia know what randomized evaluation is. Frankly, I’d bet you could survey economists on the floor of the upcoming American Economic Association meetings in Atlanta and, for non-development specialist, find that fewer than 50 percent “realize how badly Randomized Evaluation has polarized academic development economists.”

Easterly raises the point as a way to introduce a conference and now edited book volume — he helped organize the conference and edit the book — which brought together the fors and againsts for dialog.