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About George Harvey

George Harvey A retired computer engineer, George Harvey researches and writes on energy and climate change, maintains a daily blog (geoharvey.com), and has a weekly hour-long TV show, Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell. In addition to those found at CleanTechnica, many of his articles can be found at greenenergytimes.org.



Author Archives: George Harvey

Refurbishing Baseload Power Stations To Backup Renewables

September 4th, 2018 | by George Harvey

A number of stories have popped up in the news recently about turning traditional hydroelectric stations, which generate power by using water captured from a flowing river, into pumped storage facilities, which cycle the water using more energy to do so than they produce


Where Are New Grid Tech Investments Going?

July 25th, 2018 | by George Harvey

On July 24, Mercom Capital Group (MCG) released its “Q2 2018 Battery Storage, Smart Grid and Efficiency Funding and M&A Report.” The report is available online, though it is a bit pricey at $299 to $499. Mercom Capital Group is a highly regarded clean energy consulting firm with worldwide influence. Its new report provides a picture of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and other funding that took place during the second quarter in the fields of battery storage, smart grid, and energy efficiency


Trump Fiddles As Fossil Fuels Burn

June 4th, 2018 | by George Harvey

Coal and nuclear power are both dying, falling victim to natural gas and renewable energy. Trump used to blame the Democrats, and especially “Obama’s war on coal.” He used to take the position that removing subsidies for renewable power would be sufficient to bring a renaissance to the coal industry. But despite his efforts, coal plants have just kept closing


Elon Musk Harpooned Baseload Power

May 15th, 2018 | by George Harvey

With batteries like the Hornsdale Power Reserve, power from solar and wind power will be more valuable, because with battery backup their power can be used to supply an increasing share of baseload power. And that increase in value, which might not necessarily be reflected by an increase in price, makes their power all the more attractive


Power To Methane

May 14th, 2018 | by George Harvey

The idea behind power-to-gas has been around for a while. It uses electric power to produce gaseous fuel, usually hydrogen. The advantages are that it can be used to take up excess electric energy from renewable generation in a chemical form. Later, the fuel can be used as needed.


How Long Will PV Prices Continue To Fall?

April 30th, 2018 | by George Harvey

Prices of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems follow economic laws just like other things, such as computers and cars. That does not mean that the precipitous drop in prices will slow, however.


A Trade War With China Will Be A Tough Ballgame

April 3rd, 2018 | by George Harvey

Donald Trump, and those who support him, have good reason to be afraid of China in this tough game of hardball. China is in the ball park, ready to play. But the President of the United States, who issued the challenge, is in a sandbox holding a small bag of marbles


Trump Is Already Losing The Trade War

March 28th, 2018 | by George Harvey

Donald Trump has failed to understand one essential point about a trade war. To win it, you need friends. In that ignorance, he is antagonizing customers at the very time his competition is courting them.


Don’t Bet On A Decline In Chinese Solar PV Production

March 19th, 2018 | by George Harvey

Chinese domestic demand for solar cells and modules is projected to decline. Combined with the growing protectionism, this is expected to produce a difficult period for the Chinese solar industry, according to reports. They say it looks like gloomy times are coming for the Chinese solar industry. My advice is, “Don’t bet on it.”


The Community Microgrid As A Virtual Power Plant

January 24th, 2018 | by George Harvey

The design for a community microgrid project that is forming in Warner, New Hampshire, seems rather prosaic at first glance. It is simple, with a few buildings, some solar panels, batteries, inverters, and all the regular gear. It seems an appropriately small start for a town with only 444 people in its center and a total population well below 3,


Renewable Energy Grid Parity Confusion, Old Data, & Media Errors

January 15th, 2018 | by George Harvey

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has been much in the news since it released its report Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017. Article after article has told us that it said we could see the costs of renewable energy drop to meet those of fossil fuels by


A Hand Writing on the Wall for Natural Gas

December 12th, 2017 | by George Harvey

We have seen the fall of coal. The Dow Jones Coal Index, which stood at over 723 at its high in 2008, was down over 94% to 41.36 on December 8. Just as telling, all of the companies that were its components in 2008 have disappeared. There is now only one company in the index, and it is new, cobbled together out of the wreckage of those that once were


Tesla Helps Restore Power For Island Communities In Puerto Rico

December 7th, 2017 | by George Harvey

Off the east coast of Puerto Rico, there are two island municipalities. One, Isla de Vieques, has an area of about 134 square miles and a population of 8,825. The other island is Isla Culebra, which has an area of 11 square miles and a population of just under 1,800. Both islands were hit badly by Hurricane Maria, and now both have been given substantial aid by Tesla


sonnen Works With Local Leadership In Puerto Rico

December 1st, 2017 | by George Harvey

Puerto Rico has been devastated. Yesterday, I spent about an hour watching a video that was taken from the dashboard of a car driving through the Puerto Rican countryside. My friend Joseph Mangum had driven for miles through the mountains, over roads with piles of wreckage on the sides that seemed endless. Beyond the wreckage was a countryside populated by trees that had been stripped bare


On The Ground In Puerto Rico — Part 2

November 13th, 2017 | by George Harvey

Joseph has installed all five PV systems, though not always as he had planned. He has also distributed food, water purification systems, and seeds. He started in the San Juan area, in a place called San José. The first of the 1-kilowatt (kW) systems was installed in a bicycle shop. Local people can gather there and get hit by a breeze from a fan as they charge their cell phones.


Lazard’s Latest Levelized Cost Of Energy Analysis — Good, But A Bit Off?

November 9th, 2017 | by George Harvey

... And What it Might Have Missed ... Lazard has produced its latest analysis of energy production costs in Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis – Version 11.0. Lazard is one of a small group of organizations whose incomes are dependent on customers who are investors and need the most accurate information possible. If Lazard makes a statement that is widely off the mark, it means that investors will not make the money they feel they should, and in fact they may even lose money. So Lazard has a powerful vested interest in being right. This is what makes its Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) information so important


On The Ground In Puerto Rico

October 31st, 2017 | by George Harvey

Joseph has used the first $5,000 raised by the campaign to build five solar systems, each complete with inverter, battery, and charge controller. And he has taken those systems to Puerto Rico to set them up himself


A Case Study In Grid Resilience — Dominican Republic

October 30th, 2017 | by George Harvey

Puerto Rico, as most of us know, was hit by two hurricanes in as many weeks. Irma and Maria made a mess of the island, and it will take months to get things back to normal. When the island does get its electric system back to normal, however, it will not be as things were. It will be new, and hopefully better


A Response To “A Call For Help For Puerto Rico”

October 8th, 2017 | by George Harvey

I should start this off with a disclosure. I know Joseph Mangum personally. However, I am not profiting in any way from this message, aside from the feeling I get from being able to spread it here. I can say I believe that Joseph's message is true, precisely as he presents it


The Political Storm About To Hit US

October 6th, 2017 | by George Harvey

Looking out my window here in Vermont, I can see the storm clouds are gathering, and they are not pretty. There are two storms that I see, but they are are not weather. I hope they will not hit here too badly. I expect one will hit Washington D.C. pretty hard. And with it, I expect the Republican Party will be hurting


A Call For Help For Puerto Rico

September 29th, 2017 | by George Harvey

I was delighted to discover, shortly after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, that Donald Trump understood that the island commonwealth is part of the United States. Perhaps he knew that all along, or perhaps someone told him. Either way, the island is entirely without grid power and has the prospect of remaining without grid power for months. It is appalling that citizens of the United States are so exposed to hardship.


A New Metaphor

September 3rd, 2017 | by George Harvey

Imagine being at a really great indoor rock concert. You got a really good seat, about 5 rows back from the stage and right in the center of the theater. Exiting out will be a chore, because there are 10 or 15 seats between you and either aisle, but the seat is so good that you are willing to take a few minutes longer getting out


Royal Dutch Shell Has A New Mindset

July 28th, 2017 | by George Harvey

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Ben Van Beurden, the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, said his company had changed its mindset to a “lower forever” price of oil. Perhaps the most significant thing about his new position is that it refers to a change in “mindset,” rather than mere adoption of a new business plan


Getting The Last 20% Of Our Energy From Renewables

July 10th, 2017 | by George Harvey

A number of people made some really interesting comments on my recent CleanTechnica article, “Mark Z. Jacobson & The 100% Renewable Energy Naysayers.” Some of these had to do with the problem of getting the last 20% of our energy from renewable sources, after we got to the 80% mark


Mark Z. Jacobson & The 100% Renewable Energy Naysayers

July 8th, 2017 | by George Harvey

A study by Prof. Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford and 9 others, 100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States (Roadmap), has been very much in the news over the past few weeks. It was published just over two years ago, but a controversial article in response appeared only in the past few weeks. It is clear to me that much reported in the wider media on these two articles has been wrong


Switching To Solar From Coal Would Save 52,000 Lives A Year In USA (+ How To Save The Coal Miners)

June 21st, 2017 | by George Harvey

Researchers from Michigan Technological University (MTU) recently published a study, “Potential Lives Saved by Replacing Coal with Solar Photovoltaic Electricity Production in the U.S.” According to the study, ditching coal in favor of solar power would save nearly 52,000 lives in the United States each year. The deaths arise from such medical conditions as asthma, lung cancer, other pulmonary diseases, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, and strokes


One View of the Fall of Oil & Gas

June 19th, 2017 | by George Harvey

A small loss of revenue can sometimes produce large financial losses, putting profits into negative territory. In a stressed company, this can end in complete collapse



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