Feb 06 2017
Sunday Train: The Steel Interstate & Sustainable Transport in the Age of Trump
So, we are two weeks into the Trump administration, and we see a runaway rush to promote economic suicide through pandering to oil and coal companies. Because, it would seem, the slogan was really “Make America Great At Propping Up Dead End Industries Again”, but #MAGAPUDEIA” had to be edited down, both for length and …
Jan 29 2017
Sunday Train: Is Cuomo Dragging His Feet on the Empire Rapid Rail Corridor?
It’s been two and a half years since I started working full time for my University here in Beijing, and in that time, the frequency of the Sunday Train dropped from once a week a week with only the occasional missed week, to a few scattered runs during Semester breaks. Back in January 2014, more …
Jan 22 2017
Sunday Train: An Ohio Universities Rail System, Part 1 (Southern & Central Ohio)
Well, the 2016 High Speed Rail unlock has been postponed to 2018 or 2020. When transportation policy at the Federal level is grabbed with both hands by the Oil and Gas death lobby, we have to turn to the state level. Now, in Ohio, it might not look like that offers a prospect any better …
Oct 09 2016
Sunday Train: Going to Tianjin by Subway and High Speed Rail
OK, so after years of (off and on) writing about High Speed Rail, I’ve finally been on a High Speed Rail train … on the Beijing – Tianjin Intercity Railway. Though I have to say that I went to Tianjin by Subway and High Speed Rail, given that substantially more time was spent en-route on …
Sep 20 2016
Sunday Train: Sleeping On A Trip, In Transit
Well, as they say, the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay … and so when you consider the posting plans for The Sunday Train, which quite often fail to qualify among the best laid plans, disruptions should not be a surprise. Last y’all heard from me, I was posting from Northeast …
Aug 21 2016
Sunday Train: A Cycle Track In Downtown Akron
This past Thursday, thanks to twitter, I learned that just one county to my west, a Cycle Track was being opened: Akron opens new bike trail through downtown: The path is part of the city’s effort to become more bicycle friendly and to encourage people to leave the Towpath Trail and experience downtown. “Downtowns that …
Aug 15 2016
Sunday Train: Rapid Passenger Rail moving ahead
As you are probably well aware, the US Government is gridlocked, which means that for years and years, nothing has been getting done. However, because of the appropriations for “High Speed Rail” in 2009 and 2010, things are being done right now. “Bullet train” High Speed Passenger Rail services often grab the headlines (and you …
Aug 07 2016
Sunday Train: Adventures on the Beijing Subway
I have ridden the Beijing Subway and lived to tell the tale! Click through for scary youtube clip of the Beijing Subway Of course, the youtube clips you might be able to find about incredible overcrowding on the Beijing subway is just part of the story. Indeed, when riding on my “home” subway line, I …
Jul 31 2016
Sunday Train: Washington State Labor Council support Steel Interstate Feasibility Study
Sunday Train has long supported the Steel Interstate concept … but Sunday Train is “merely” an online activity composed of my online blogging in various forums and your discussion in various forums. However, since 2013, I have also been involved in the advocacy of the Steel Interstate concept in a more direct collaboration organized by …
Sep 08 2015
Sunday Train: Hobbling & Liberating Renewables with Markets
A concept that has been percolating into debates over the feasibility or desirability of moving to an all-renewables, no/low carbon energy supply system is the ceiling on what percentage share of our total energy supply we can take from variable renewables. At The Energy Collective, in the second of a two part May 2015 series on Wind and Solar energy, Jesse Jenkins looked at the question of Is There An Upper Limit To Variable Renewables?. Now, as the Sunday Train has covered many times, there is an upper limit, and so an all-renewable no/low carbon energy system requires dispatchable renewables as well as variable renewables … and all cost-optimizing models of all-renewable energy systems that I have seen confirm this.
However, Jesse Jenkins proceeded to mis-characterize the policy question at hand, when he wrote:
First, as a growing body of scholarship concludes, the marginal value of variable renewable energy to the grid declines as the penetration rises.
Indeed, where renewable energy earns its keep in the energy market – and is not supported outside the market by feed-in tariffs – the revenues wind or solar earn in electricity markets decline steadily as their market share grows.
Well, not so fast. There is a fundamental flaw in the assumptions behind this claim. It turns out that kind of market situations that allow market prices to measure a resource’s “ability to earn its keep” quite clearly exclude this particular situation he is talking about.
So it makes a difference how markets are put together, which is what this week’s Sunday Train takes a look at.