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by Julian Spector
August 23, 2018

The air really does smell nice in places that burn no fossil fuels for electricity.

I recently went on vacation to give my mind a break from fiending on this energy transition thing, and ended up on a remote sub-Arctic island powered almost entirely by geothermal and hydropower.

I couldn't find a clean energy tour of Iceland, but any number of firms will take you to all the Game of Thrones filming locations.

In any case, I’d recommend sipping some lungfuls of air that hasn’t seen a coal plant for several hundred miles. It provides a literal taste of the distant end point of this decarbonization trend that we talk about all the time.

Then I got home and saw the Environmental Protection Agency advocating a policy of higher premature mortality from power plant air pollution. One must always consider both sides of a matter.

Of interest amid the coverage of the Trump administration’s replacement for the stillborn Clean Power Plan was this tripartite factoid from Brad Plumer at The New York Times:

  • By the government’s accounting, Obama's CPP would have reduced coal generation 29 percent by 2030.
  • With no climate regulations, market forces alone would drive coal generation down 23 percent in that time.
  • The administration plan would save some of that coal, but its production would still fall 20 percent.

Left to its own devices, the power sector is weaning itself off coal already. As we mentioned in the last Storage Plus, all those retired coal plants could be delightful locations for the battery storage mega-plants of the near future.