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OPINION

EV, AI Electric Demands Will Only Power Inflation Shock

electric vehicles as inflation causers

(Andrey Popov/Dreamstime.com)

Larry Bell By Friday, 19 April 2024 10:45 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Don’t believe "your lyin’ eyes" when the White House knows better, informing you that saving the planet from millions of years of climate change with windmills, sunbeams, electric vehicles, and super-smart technology will also reduce inflationary energy costs.

Just be patient, even though it’s not working out quite that way so far.

Following relatively flat electricity prices over the seven years before President Joe Biden took office, they have since increased 13 times faster, soaring by 29.4%. This is about 50% more than the overall inflation they contributed to causing.

And whereas President Biden has claimed "wages are rising faster than prices," average hourly wages since he took office in January of 2021 are instead down 2.54%.

Raise your hand if you’re among the fortunate ones that saw a paycheck benefit.

Expect big inflationary energy price hits on family and business budgets to get worse as growing EV and AI power demands compete with home thermostats and fast-food hamburger grills.

U.S. electricity demand growth projections for over the next five years have already doubled from a year ago.

Adding tens of millions of government-subsidized and mandated EVs and charging stations plus AI data centers and computer chip production to already stressed power grid capacities will demand much more — not less — electricity than green energy pipe dreams replacing real ones carrying oil and gas can supply.

Citing growth in new industries such as EV and battery factories, a recent forecast by Georgia Power projected a 17-fold increase in its winter demand by 2031.

Meanwhile, as New York shuts down nuclear and fossil fuel power in favor of wind and solar, a new upstate Micron chip factory to supply EVs is projected to require as much power by the 2040s as New Hampshire and Vermont combined.

According to estimates in The Wall Street Journal, data centers which accounted for about 2.5% of U.S. electricity in 2022 are projected to consume more than 20% by 2030.

That power is needed around-the-clock 24/7, competing with nighttime EV recharging demands, particularly when there is no sunlight, and the wind isn’t blowing.

AEP Ohio warns that new data centers and Intel’s planned $20 billion chip plant will strain its grid as well because chip factories and data centers can consume 100 times more power than typical businesses.

According to CBRE Group, a commercial real estate firm, a current power supply shortage is already delaying openings of new data centers by two to six years.

This circumstance has prompted Amazon to purchase a data center in Pennsylvania powered by an on-site 2.5- gigawatt nuclear plant.

PJM Interconnection, a utility that operates the wholesale power market across 13 midwestern and mortheastern states, recently doubled its 15-year annual demand growth forecast in its service regions.

The gap between power demand and supply will rapidly expand as existing fossil fuel plants are retired, with PJM’s market monitor warning that they might lose up to 30% of their installed capacity by 2030.

As noted by The Wall Street Journal, about 20 gigawatts of fossil fuel power are scheduled to retire over the next two years — enough to power 15 million homes — including a large natural-gas plant in Massachusetts that serves as a crucial source of electricity in cold snaps.

Don’t thank the ironically misnamed "Inflation Reduction Act" (IRA) for any green taxpayer or energy ratepayer favors.

IRA tax credits can offset up to 50% of a wind or solar project’s cost which increase consumer bills even more, whereby businesses will pass on those added costs to household consumers.

Federal regulations, renewable subsidies and various state green-energy mandates are simultaneously forcing essential fossil-fuel and nuclear plants to retire prematurely.

As a consequence, spot prices for electricity during power outages can hit $10,000 per megawatt hour compared to $30 to $60 on a normal basis.

Add to this, increasing costs for hardening energy grids with new high-voltage transmission lines, power transformers and battery storage to accommodate added and fluctuating wind and solar loads.

The Biden EPA’s new electric truck mandate alone will cost utilities an estimated $370 billion to upgrade their networks, extra expenses utilities will likewise pass on to users.

State net-metering programs can also subsidize people with solar panels for excess power they remit to the grid, causing people without them to pay more for grid upgrades as so-called "renewables" are added.

Average California customers without solar pay 10% to 20% more to subsidize solar.

Special charities to wind and solar are destabilizing free market business incentives for fossil and nuclear energy which provides more than 80% of U.S. and global supply.

This, in turn, further jeopardizes wind and solar power reliability which require "spinning reserves" typically supplied by fossil or nuclear to keep power grids balanced second-by second and to supply extended baseload needs.

If you happen to think inflation is bad now, shudder to imagine when we can no longer depend upon reliable hydrocarbon and nuclear power to keep our lights on, our homes comfortable, and our lives energized in countless ways.

In short, inflationary triple whammy federal policies that shut down energy we depend on in exchange for paltry and non-existent alternatives while adding humungous power-hungry EVs and AI data centers to overstressed grids are shockingly short circuited from reality.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 12 books is "Architectures Beyond Boxes and Boundaries: My Life By Design" (2022). Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


LarryBell
Following relatively flat electricity prices over the seven years before President Biden took office, they have since increased 13 times faster, soaring by 29.4%. This is about 50% more than the overall inflation they contributed to causing.
renewables, sunbeams, windmills
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2024-45-19
Friday, 19 April 2024 10:45 AM
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