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Transitioning to a Carbon Neutral Energy Economy in California
|Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant - San Luis Obispo County, California |
by Marcel F. Williams
As California continues its attempt to keep its carbon neutral nuclear power plants operating at Diablo Canyon, its essential that the state prioritize and focus on transitioning from a fossil fuel economy to a-- carbon neutral methanol economy-- using nuclear, solar, wind, hydroelectricity, and bio-waste.
California's natural gas electric power plants (more than 50% of in state electricity production) can be quickly retrofitted to use renewable methanol. Methanol electric power facilities should be coupled with small solar farms to reduce methanol fuel demand during daytime hours. Methanol/solar micro-grids can be quickly deployed practically anywhere in the state without the need for fire hazardous long distance power lines.
Carbon neutral sources of methanol can come from urban sewage and agricultural animal waste. Carbon neutral sources of CO2 can produce substantially more methanol when synthesized with hydrogen.
Carbon neutral sources of CO2 can come from the flu gases of methanol electric power plants and from the flu gases of bio-waste power plants that burn: urban garbage, agricultural crop waste, and the fire hazardous dead trees and fire hazardous foliage from forest.
Carbon neutral sources of hydrogen can come from California's nuclear, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal and wind generation. Electricity production at Diablo Canyon should be-- quadrupled -- using newly licensed passively safe small nuclear reactors to produced hydrogen for methanol production.
Carbon neutral methanol can also be used as a marine fuel for retrofitted sea vessels. Methanol can also be converted into carbon neutral: gasoline, jet fuel, and dimethyl ether (diesel fuel substitute).
Links and References
PG&E can keep operating Diablo Canyon — at least for now, feds say
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
California Energy Commission: 2021 Total System Electric Generation
Methanol Institute: Power Generation
Green methanol key to energy transition net-zero plans
ExxonMobil developing methano-to-jet SAF technology
Utilizing Renewable Methanol to Power Electric Commuter Aircraft
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