Green the grid and electrify everything

On January 14, 2020, a highly confidential JP Morgan report said, “human life as we know it could be threatened by climate change.” Carbon emissions in the coming decades “will continue to affect the climate for centuries to come in a way that is likely to be irreversible.” The urgent call to action “by the likelihood of extreme events,” did not remain secret.

Climate scientists have found a cause and effect relationship between carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere warming the planet and creating extreme weather events. Carbon emissions are the root cause of the climate emergency.

Behavioral scientists say, “no one wants to hear bad news.” As the evidence accumulates, the denial increases dividing the people and creating stress. Systems thinkers see the future wondering why would people today ignore looming risks and make wrong choices?

If you smell smoke, don’t waste time trying to get your laptop or wedding pictures. Find your pets and spouse and get out of the house. If your home is burning and the firefighters arrive with hoses, helmets, boots, and axes, your home may be saved before the flames get out of control. You can always find another home. Our planet is burning, but we don’t have another place to go.

Heatwaves across the U.S., Arctic temperatures last week of 100.4 °F, and human suffering are ringing alarms around the clock. What are we waiting for?

$100 test

Here is a way to observe human behavior. Find a group of strangers wearing face masks and walk by pretending to cough. Pull a tissue from your pocket and “accidentally” drop a roll of dollar bills as you walk away. Would anyone risk a possibly deadly infection for $100? The lure of money is like catnip and some pretend to have too much and never enough!

Living in the past

In 1973 for a few months people waited in long lines to buy gas when the Saudis and others opposed a military invasion. The U.S. oil companies had built-up their inventory and took advantage of a windfall. Today, oil and gas companies are bailed out by the people donating millions to stay in office.

A sunny future

Solar and wind energy plus grid storage and microgrids can green the grid eliminating carbon emissions. Electric utilities profit with utility-scale solar-farms and wind farms. American Electric Power used to build coal-fired power plants but today plans a 3,000-megawatt wind farm in Oklahoma.

Electrify everything

Electric Vehicles sell because they are the best on the road. Nothing comes close to a high-torque electric motor with a regenerative braking system, low center of gravity, and 250-mile plus range. Tesla and other manufacturers are creating jobs, preventing the stock market from dropping like a rock.


Thomas Edison fought for direct current and batteries to build EVs. Even back in the early 1900s, he knew fossil fuels were polluting our environment. He said, “Electricity is the thing. There are no whirring and grinding gears with their numerous levers to confuse. There is not that almost terrifying uncertain throb and whirr of the powerful combustion engine. There is no water circulating system to get out of order. No dangerous and evil-smelling gasoline and no noise.”

Ban fracking

“Natural gas” is a low-value fuel coming out of the ground when drilling for oil. Fracking had a boom when weaning the U.S. from its reliance on oil imports. With massive subsidies and the removal of environmental protection for methane leaks, the American Petroleum Institute and Koch Industries have sold methane as a “clean” fuel. With a glut of “natural” gas, the next step was to liquify it for exports with massive investments. Exporting methane increases greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The source of emissions is irrelevant.


Burning wood pellets and natural gas, fake forest carbon offsets, carbon capture and sequestration systems, and forestry economy are false energy solutions. Next week, the American Forestry Conference will discuss deforestation with Bruce Westerman and Ivanka Trump. Please don’t go.

Dr. Luis Contreras


  1. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is exploring creative and efficient ways to store and deliver energy to enable a cleaner, more resilient and more sustainable electric grid.

    One technology with the potential to deliver grid and customer benefits is known as Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G).

    Based on EPRI research, V2G technologies in California have the potential to provide:

    $671 million in annual grid benefits, based on 3.3 million EVs in 2030, with half of those EVs V2G-enabled;

    $1 billion in annual grid benefits, given 5 million EVs in 2030; and

    If half of California’s 600,000 EVs today were V2G-enabled, they could provide $39 million in annual net value from peak shaving and ramping support.


  2. Potomac Edison Installs First Public Charging Stations as Part of EV Driven Program

    The utility’s first three recently installed public charging stations are available for public use to benefit Maryland’s environment by reducing auto emissions.

    One technology with the potential to deliver grid and customer benefits is known as Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G).

    The International Energy Agency is projecting more than 130 million EVs will be on the road by 2030. If a large majority of vehicles are parked at any given time, and an increased percentage of those will soon be EVs, there will be a significant number of available EVs connected to the electric grid.

    With hundreds of thousands of vehicles in an energy market “plugged in” with available battery stored energy, this offers an opportunity for a low-cost energy storage solution using V2G capabilities that provide energy back to the grid when not being used for mobility.


  3. Electric buses

    Hawaiian Electric has proposed electric buses in public, private, and school bus fleets on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii islands.

    The company is asking the Public Utilities Commission to approve an eBus Make-Ready Infrastructure Pilot Project. ‘Make-ready’ means Hawaiian Electric would be allowed to install, own, and maintain electric equipment and wiring to support eBus charging beyond the fleet operator’s meter to the point where the eBus chargers would be installed.

    The chargers would be installed, owned, and maintained by the bus fleet operator who would pay for electricity used. Hawaiian Electric estimates as many as 10 sites could be included across the three islands.


Leave a Comment