Thursday, November 20, 2008

Energy Equals Me, See, Squared

OK ... this entry started out as a sober one written after a late (820PM) night at work, such as it is, but now it is a drunken finished up one (1AM, the day after the date atop this entry). I went to Cobalt where my favorite bartender was working and I got drunk. But I'm home now and need to go to bed.

Today I did what I usually do at work: write about energy-related issues.

All I seem to write about are utility industry and energy issues.

All kinds of energy issues ... today, renewable energy. Indeed, I stayed until 820PM -- naturally, given the weird place I worked, people were still there, while I typically get out by 630PM -- and wrote a 12-page paper (in one day, a lot even for me) on the principal Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) tracking systems in place in the United States, with a focus on the Texas Renewable Energy Credit (REC) Tracking System.

(Certificate and credit are used interchangeably and represent 1 Megawatt-hour of power from renewable / green sources.)

The Texas system is the oldest and a bit unusual. Ironically, it was then-Gov. and future catastrophic Pres. George W. Bush who signed the program into law in 1999 but as part of energy market deregulation, not for carbon emissions reductions reasons.

Here is a map of the five principal REC tracking systems in place.

I love the weird names: NEPOOL GIS, PJM EIS GATS, M-RETS, WREGIS, and Texas REC.

These are the REC tracking systems that are administered distinctly but in association with either regional transmission organizations (RTOs) or independent system operators (ISOs) that manage the sprawling and strangely run U.S. power grid (99 percent of whose electricity generation capacity does NOT come from renewables but almost entirely from coal, natural gas, and nuclear, with a bit of petroleum thrown in.).

Here is a map of the ISOs/RTOs put out by the aptly named ISO/RTO Council

Got it?

As for me, I'm exhausted and feel like I'm running out of energy. I haven't been this busy in a long time, and, quite frankly, I don't particularly like it.

The full-time work and school (two graduate classes) is too much. As I have mentioned, I am planning on returning to four days beginning in late Dec. or early Jan. ahead of the spring semester final one whereupon I will have completed my THIRD masters degree ...

Below: Geothermal energy. Yay! Maybe Iceland should figure out a way to pipe this to Europe as electricity rather than bank scams at the end of the Bush Reign of T/Error.

I am, however, going to an "inform- ational interview" tomorrow and will next week be applying via the USAJobs Web site for a position at the Federal agency here in D.C. where I interned in the summer of 2006.

I have to go to campus tomorrow by 4PM -- not easy from Bethesda without a car and before the evening J4 express buses start running. I need to leave by 245PM. But considering I stayed until 820PM tonight finishing up a 12-page paper, I don't care, even if I've exhausted my PTO. (I did get a reluctant OK to do this since I said I'd work remotely from campus.)

On an unrelated note, except I found it today on YouTube at work when I wasn't writing about energy issues and RECs, back when -- speaking of unlimited sources of energy -- I used to go to a Stellar Somebody's bar (pre-May 2004) for Monday night show tunes, there used to be a funny clip.

It's a funny version of Kylie Minogue's "I Should Be So Lucky" and I dedicate this version (and ONLY this version) to that far away stellar somebody.

This is from a skit that aired on the French and Saunders comedy show in Britain in April 1990 and it features the British comic duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders and the actual mezzo-soprano singer Sarah Walker, CBE, doing a "dueling divas" rendition of the song. (Is it me or does the conductor looks like Grandpa Munster from The Munsters??)

That show was on for 20 years (though there weren't that many episodes) and it starred Dawn French (who I recall from 'The Vicar of Dibley' show that is still aired on PBS, and I didn't realize she had so much comedic actor talents) and Jennifer Saunders (from the 'Absolutely Fabulous' duo).

I have two big things to do before a 10AM Sunday meeting in College Park (ugh) on campus for that damn course project about New Jersey's budget and then two small things to do by Monday.

Also, I hope to have posted soon the second round of last Friday night's Buca di Beppo restaurant temporary-goodbye goodbye dinner for Kristof, but that requires the pictures be sent to me (ahem).

This is a solar THERMAL array, not a solar PHOTO - VOLTAIC array.

If we could harness a billionth of the Sun's power -- all 386 billion BILLION Megawatts of its generation capacity -- we could power human civilization as we know it for a hundred thousand years.

Anyway, NEXT WEEK, Thanksgiving week, things should slow up dramatically and, Dear Jesus, I can / may rest a bit.

I also turn 39 yrs old next week. Boo.



krzysztof said...

You would love it here. It rains on and off all the time. High winds etc. To sum it up, there's no shortage of WEATHER

Regulus said...

Mix in some snow and make it a nice, white Christmas, and I'm ALL about that.

How is Poland these days? The Land of the Po? Ha ha

Miss you, Kristof.

krzysztof said...

It actually did snow a little a few hours after I wrote that.

Miss you too. Will email you later. I'm busy working and drinking with all kinds of people.

Have yet to find a gay bar though

Regulus said...

I wonder if Gdansk has the equivalent of a 17th Street gayborhood (doubt it) and a Mr. Sirius (impossible since there is only one per Bubble Universe). I'm sure you'll make do, though, sugarplum.

handmaiden said...

Believe it or not, renewable energy, getting off the grid & REC's are subjects of interest to me. So I did find your post interesting. It sounds like you are working really hard. Be sure to give yourself credit for that.

I remember "Absolutely Fabulous" although I can't remember which network it was on. It was really different then anything else, that's for sure! :)