Welcome

Welcome. I am the author of Universal Time, a sci-fi urban comedy;
Beaufort 1849, an historical novel set in antebellum South Carolina;
and Pearl City Control Theory, a comedy of manners set in present-day San Francisco.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Building Community, One Bench at a Time


Cora Flora
My grandfather was a barber. He grew up in West Texas, his family tenant farmers that got kicked off the land after his father died during an emergency gall bladder operation. His eight older siblings, who had skedaddled as fast as they could out of West Texas, couldn’t (or wouldn’t) offer much support to him, his mother, and his little brother. My grandfather had an athletic scholarship to college, but it was not to be. Instead he went to a Civilian Conservation Corps camp (part of Roosevelt’s New Deal) to earn money to send home to provide for his mother and brother. Later in life he would always say that without that money, he didn’t know what would’ve become of them. No safety net back then except family.

Jack Allen, bench believer
From 1964 on my grandparents lived in Lodi, California, a Central Valley farm town once known for its watermelons, now known for its zinfandels, in a house not far from the train tracks. My grandmother was an Okie farm girl. She loved animals and always had a strange assortment of pets—a large white dog named Red, an ornery pet blue jay that lived in the house (seriously), and a turtle who lived nearly forever named Slow Motion. For a while beautifully plumed feral chickens hung out around her house because she wouldn't let animal control come in the yard to get them. (Oh, how they wanted to nab that handsome rooster and his harem.)

Yes, this is going somewhere. After my grandfather retired from barbering (he had trouble with his hands shaking), he spent a lot of time in his yard. At some point, he put in a bench close to the sidewalk. On it this veteran of the hell known during WWII as Okinawa put a note in tremulous handwriting: “Set a spell and rest.”

Okinawans not killed by GIs
My grandfather, a severely taciturn man, got more talkative in his later years. He told me the first dead people he ever saw were a mother and baby in an Okinawan ditch, killed by nervous American soldiers shooting into the dark. (The native Okinawans, frightened, tried to move around at night.) He told me during his time on Okinawa over one stretch he didn’t take off his boots for 28 days straight. During the Lodi bench era, I was a young mother living in San Francisco. I thought the bench and his note were both sweet and pretty much crazy. To this day, I have no idea if anyone took him up on his offer to set a spell. My grandfather died in 2002.

Up, up, up
My husband and I have raised three children in San Francisco. We live at the top of a big hill, one that goes half a mile straight up at a ten percent grade. Big even by San Francisco standards, it’s a hill I walk or ride/push my bike up a dozen times a week, so I know its impact intimately. San Francisco is a fabulous city for walking. Since the act of walking provides huge benefits (see The Brilliance of Walking) not only to the walker but also to society at large, pedestrians ought to be encouraged and rewarded at every turn is my motto. Our street is often used to connect from one neighborhood to another, and I’ve sometimes seen elderly walkers sitting on our neighbor’s stairs for a rest. So I started thinking about community. I started thinking about my grandfather’s “set a spell.” I started thinking it might be nice to have a bench for those hardy souls cresting our hill to catch their breath. But when I researched the cost of a bench sturdy enough to stand up to street life, I couldn’t quite justify to my husband springing $300 out of sheer friendliness.

Chris, with all-pink Cora Flora
Then I stumbled across a blog that told me about the Public Bench Project, a labor of love by Chris Duderstadt, bench builder extraordinaire. Chris was looking for stewards of public benches in San Francisco neighborhoods. If you had a place for a bench and could commit to caring for it in the public realm, he would build you one for the cost of materials ($50). He would paint it any color desired, and we could customize it further with artistic enhancements of our choice. He'd already installed 65 benches in San Francisco.

I was thrilled. I’d asked the Universe for a bench, and it had delivered. Perhaps my grandfather had whispered in its ear.

Some of Cora Flora's siblings
The first step, Chris told me, was a trial bench, to see if the proposed spot was a bench-happy place. Most places were, he assured me, but it was best to try it out, see if the neighbors were chill, see if it created problems. Since this was San Francisco, sometimes neighbors, he said, were concerned a bench might attract homeless sitters, homeless sleepers, or just general anti-social badness. Putting the bench out as a trial let everyone observe just what the impacts might be.

Milky Way with note
Our bench spot is sunny in the morning and shaded in the afternoon, not a bad combination. It has a nice view of a row of picturesque Victorians across the street. But it’s a little narrower than the standard space, so we would get a five-foot bench rather than a six-foot one. The trial bench he delivered was The Milky Way, a bench that had already seen service in a number of locations across San Francisco. Built solidly out of wood, it was sturdy and comfortable. Since we were on a slight slant, Chris bolstered one leg to make it even and then chained the bench to a grate so that it wouldn’t be randomly moved by mischievous teens. I attached a note to it, letting our neighbors know that this was a trial and to tell us what they thought about a bench in this spot.

Over the next few weeks, the Milky Way sat placidly in front of our house with people indeed sitting on it from time to time. All responses from neighbors were positive. Chris’s design, refined over many iterations, included a slight curve to the back. The bench was low enough to be comfortable, but not too low to be difficult to stand up from.

After six weeks passed and the bench induced no major calamities, Chris and I agreed to the creation of a permanent bench. I enlisted the aid of my artistically inclined middle daughter as to color and design. I said I’d like something with vines and flowers. She said to paint it coral. Flowers and greenery would pop nicely on that background.

Electric motor = easy cargo transport
It turns out coral looks pretty much like pink. Chris warned me by email the bench was very pink, and indeed, when he delivered it, it looked very pink. My neighbors were surprised. Pink? My daughter said don’t worry, it’ll be great. After conferring with her on other colors she would need (six!), I went to the paint store on my trusty electric bike to pick them up. The paint and the urethane coating to protect it cost double the bench, but so it goes. (There are lots of leftovers, so if anyone in San Francisco wants water-based semi-gloss enamel house paints to decorate their own bench, if you come to pick them up, they’re yours.)

Sidewalk workshop
After my daughter and a friend spent a pleasant afternoon painting grasses and flowers on the bench in greens, yellow, blue, purple and red, it indeed looked less pink. I’ve named the bench Cora Flora, in honor of her coral genesis.

The bench is not in full view of our front window, so I can’t really see all who sit on it, though every once in a while I notice someone stop and set for a spell. Once as I came home, I talked with a young couple from Germany who were happily seated while eating their frozen yogurt, bought at least half a mile away. There’s someone who sits on it while smoking Marlboros, because I’ve found three cigarette butts. (Hey Mr./Ms. Marlboro Man, try carrying a pocket ashtray rather than littering. Though I have to say, my grandfather was a chain smoker until emphysema forced him to go on oxygen.) One morning there was a pizza box and beer cans near the bench. Evidently someone had a party. Does anyone sleep on it? My husband, an early riser who often goes for walks at 6 am, has never seen anyone on the bench at that hour.

While my daughter and her friend were painting the bench, many passers-by were interested and asked questions about where they’d gotten the bench and why they were doing it. While we know most of our neighbors, one neighbor I’ve never spoken to crossed the street and told me how much he likes the bench. In the past, my husband and I have hosted a pop up happy hour in front of our house with lawn chairs, and we’ll try it again with the bench.

We like the city the way it was in 1972.
San Franciscans are like cats: they hate change. Any alteration of the city, no matter how small, arouses the same disdain and suspicion that a new chair incites in your domestic feline. (Your cat, however, will get a lot of pleasure out of the empty cardboard shipping box in a way your average San Franciscan will not.) As a result, some San Franciscans make a near career out of speaking out in public meetings against any and all forms of change, including any new form of seating. Real San Franciscans prefer the city to remain exactly like it was the year they moved here, whenever that was, but certainly before the tech hipsters and their barista friends showed up. Sitting is political, sitting is controversial, sitting is up to no good. Not only are there the homeless and teenagers to worry about (restless groups with no place to call their own who might call your space their own), there are those naked guys and their bare bottoms. (San Francisco actually had to pass an ordinance requiring naked guys to place cloths under their butts if they sit anywhere.) Standing is okay. Passing through is okay. Setting a spell--to watch the play of light and color, observe one’s fellow citizens, or eat some frozen yogurt--is not.

This is not to say offering a place to sit has no negative consequences. I’ve got pizza boxes and cigarette butts to deal with now. But should fear of dysfunction by a few preclude making a hospitable environment for all? We need our streets walkable and pedestrian-friendly. We need genuine community and social cohesion in our neighborhoods. We need to be able to set a spell. Sterile streets devoid of humaneness solve some problems but they cause others: isolation, hostility, apathy. Alienation. Lack of connection. People driving half a mile for errands they could easily walk. A world without public sitting is simpler, less messy, less scary, but offers a much poorer form of existence. This my grandfather knew.

Cora Flora raises some questions. Where can teenagers go to eat pizza and drink beer? (Answer: nowhere.) Can providing frequent resting places make it easier for all sorts of people, including seniors, to walk their errands? (Answer: yes.) Are free, welcoming places to sit a fundamental element of a healthy democracy? (Answer: Jane Jacobs would say yes.) Can putting a bench on the sidewalk create community? Can it change the world?

Answer: I suggest try it and see.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Monster Day for Renewables in California

Yesterday, May 14th, was a windy, sunny, fairly cool day in California. As a result, records were set for the proportion of California electricity produced by renewables. For the day: 34%!  From 3 - 4 pm: 54%! And the grid didn't explode, black out, or do any number of other terrible things. Congratulations to the California ISO, the entity that manages and balances California's electric grid, for coping with its highest proportion of renewable electricity so far. Here are the graphics from the ISO for yesterday.



This is great news, and you will no doubt hear more about it in the media. Of course, remember, journalists often conflate electricity with energy. Until we go all electric, electricity is a small subset of energy used. For example, Californians consume the energy equivalent of 161 kwhs per person per day, but only 18 kwhs of that comes from electricity. However, roughly 30 kwhs per person each day is wasted creating that electricity (waste heat from burning fossil fuels), so as California increases its renewables, its total per person energy consumption will decrease. Next up--hot water and space heating via heat pumps and solar!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

An Energy Diet for a Healthy Planet--Part II


How do we get to 100 kwh/person/day, and where are we now?

Global energy losses in electricity generation (twh, yr 2000)
I’ve written before about how efficiency is not the enemy of resiliency and the benefits of going all-electric. In Part I, I mentioned a few ways to cut our energy diet from 230 kwh /person/day to 100 kwh/person/day. I also pointed out that 56 kwh/person/day of our energy consumption is lost as waste heat in thermal generation of electricity. (One of the reasons Denmark is so energy-efficient is that they use cogeneration and district energy systems to turn this waste heat into heat for homes and commercial buildings.) 

This means just converting our electrical generation to solar, wind and hydro, which have no heat losses, will give us a big jump in reducing our energy consumption. Solar and wind are also not 100% efficient in turning potential energy into electricity, but the sun shines and the wind blows whether we turn it into kilowatt-hours or not, so there's no waste. Whereas the coal, natural gas, oil and uranium that turn into unused heat are gone forever, not to mention all the polluting by-products.

More attractive than a wind turbine?
These thermal energy losses in electricity generation are part of the reason Wyoming and Montana are such energy guzzlers. Both states burn coal to create electricity, far more than their state consumes. They then export this electricity to other states. However, the heat losses (2/3rds!) involved in this electricity generation are still part of their state's consumption. This is also a factor in why energy consumption in California, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island is as low as it is. These states import a lot of their electricity but aren't apportioned the associated waste heat losses because the fuel wasn't burned in their state. (Note: there's no point saying you're importing "green" energy if the state you're importing it from is burning coal or natural gas to provide for their own electricity needs.)

Now one might think with all these heat losses that going all-electric isn't a good idea until all our electricity is produced by hydro and renewables. One would be wrong. Amazingly, even with the huge losses our current electricity generation entails, it is still more efficient to use heat pumps than natural gas for space heating. (Yes, sunlight beats both.) The same is true for an electric car compared to a 22 mpg gasoline-powered car. Of course, as your state's energy mix takes on more wind, solar and hydro, the total system efficiency of both heat pumps and electric transportation zooms up.

Back to a 100 kwh/person/day energy budget. "Come on," I hear you say. "Sealing and insulating homes is all well and good, and maybe heat pumps are snazzy, but how could the United States possibly cut its energy use by more than half and still have a decent way of life?" It does seem daunting. Let’s look at it by sector. Industrial is longest because it's the toughest nut to crack due to high heat process needs. Just scroll through it if you're not interested.

Residential massive insulating and sealing of existing housing stock; super-insulated walls and ceilings; tight building envelopes; insulated crawl spaces, foundation walls, and slab foundations; higher percentage of multifamily housing; LED lighting; air source and ground source heat pumps for space and hot water heating; insulated hot water tanks; desuperheaters; district energy systems; radiant hydronic heating; high-efficiency fireplace inserts; high-efficiency woodstoves; masonry heaters; solar hot water; passive solar gain; low-flow showerheads; clothes lines; electric induction/convection cooking; electric chainsaws and lawn mowers; lawns converted to vegetable gardens; ceiling fans; whole house fans; heat/energy exchange ventilators; waste water heat recovery; front load washers; awnings; shade trees; street trees to reduce urban heat island effect; green roofs; white roofs; double and triple glazed fiberglass windows; thermal mass; timed thermostats; ultra-efficient appliances; replace or eliminate old refrigerators; no second refrigerators in garages; all new residential buildings net-zero-energy capable; deep energy retrofits for multifamily housing; timely energy use feedback to residents; rebates for low energy use in multi-family buildings; structured insulated panels; build without thermal bridging; duct sealing; fewer housing square feet per person; eliminate vampire electric draw from gadgets/cable boxes; sharply tiered electric rates for high energy slurpers; housing stock 100% all electric.


Bring the daylight in

Commercial massive insulating and sealing of buildings; whole building envelope upgrades; radiant hydronic heat; LED lighting; LED streetlights; air source and ground source heat pumps; solar hot water; heat pump hot water; wastewater heat recovery; seal ducts; retrofit windows; district energy systems; make use of industrial waste heat via district energy systems; replace steam heat in district energy systems with hot water; ceiling fans; heat/energy exchange ventilators; chilled beams/chilled sails for cooling; revolving doors; vestibules; operable windows; natural ventilation; night flush; low-E high-efficiency high-thermal-performance glazing; automated sunshades; dynamic glazing; green roofs; white roofs; living walls; thermal mass; zone heating; proper equipment maintenance; don’t overcool; don’t chill the outdoors; don’t heat the outdoors; plug load management; no under-the-desk space heaters or refrigerators; waste heat recovery (especially from computer server rooms); daylighting; solar tubes; skylights; light shelves; building automation systems with zones, daylight harvesting, occupancy sensors and optimum warm up and cool down cycles; grocery store refrigerators and freezers again behind glass; all new buildings under 4 stories zero-net-energy capable; buildings that encourage stair use; recycled building materials; multistory mixed-use infill developments in towns and cities that replace parking lots, garages, auto dealerships, auto repair shops, gas stations, and other auto infrastructure; end minimum parking requirements; less floorspace per office worker; sharing economy allow efficient use of resources; reduced medical kwhs through better food and exercise; sharply tiered electric rates for energy slurpers; commercial buildings 100% all electric. 

 

Industrial, including farming —ubiquitous waste heat recovery; daylighting; solar tubes; solar hot water preheat for industrial processes; solar boilers; boiler insulation; boiler blowdown heat exchangers; boiler condensate return systems; minimize energy draw during idle process conditions; some use of combined industrial heat and power; energy management systems; benchmark energy efficiency; advanced controls and operations for optimized energy draw; reduce gas flaring; renewable raw materials; improved reverse osmosis water purification technology; improve yields of raw materials to desired products; manufacturing engineers prioritize energy and water-efficienct processes; recycle manufacturing and process waste streams; optimize supply chain energy consumption; product life cycle management; community recycling to reduce energy to produce aluminum, copper, steel, glass and paper; improved fiber recycling; next generation mill processes; eliminate junk mail; cloth napkins; reusable water bottles, bags, sandwich containers, growlers; buy in bulk and refill own containers to reduce packaging; home and community composting; slash use of energy-intensive chemical fertilizer via compost and crop rotation to fix nitrogen; slash use of energy-intensive chlorine through reduced use of bleached paper, PVC, vinyl flooring, pharmaceuticals, insecticides, chlorine-based cleaning products; reduce use of energy-intensive ethylene through slashed use of plastic bags, plastic wrap, bubble warp, plastic toys, plastic milk jugs, polystyrene packaging; stop buying endless amounts of plastic junk that just gets thrown away; high-yield, bio-intensive, compost-intensive home and community vegetable gardens; eliminate most petroleum refining; phase out coal mining; eliminate ethanol mandate and ethanol production; eliminate high fructose corn syrup from American diet; eat fewer highly-processed foods; reduce food waste; reduce/eliminate chemical fertilizer and pesticide use; end most crop subsidies (corn most importantly); grow cotton, rice and alfalfa in places with ample water; end most water subsidies; solar drying of crops; green manures; towns and cities develop 100 mile foodsheds; reduce food imports; reduce consumption of all forms of sugar; small biointensive, high-yield, compost-intensive, no-till family farms growing fruits and vegetables on outskirts of cities; hedgerows and other beneficial crop insect habitat; no-till organic grain farms with crimping and careful crop rotation; energy-efficient indoor cannabis growing; grow cannabis outdoors; fruit walls; unheated greenhouses with thermal mass; most food packaging compostable; hoop houses for year-round growing; row covers; eat less meat and more vegetables; eat fewer processed grains and more vegetables; eat less food that's been frozen or dehydrated; eat only meat/dairy from local range-fed animals; mobile abattoirs; farmers' and crafters' markets; buy fewer industrially-produced items; buy products built to last; buy products possible to repair; reduce consumption and reuse stuff; buy used; prevent need for desalination in dry places by eliminating lawns and water waste and adding water collection and storage; electrified industrial-scale compost systems for towns and cities for nutrient cycling; asphalt solar collectors; interseasonal heat transfer and borehole thermal energy storage for snowmelt and district heating systems; electricity prices for industry 2/3rds of residential price instead of half; energy use (beyond solar thermal) in US industry 95% all electric.


Energy efficient

Transportation electrified passenger rail for distances under 400 miles; regional passenger rail hubs (Atlanta, Washington DC, Chicago, New York); improved rail tracks; passenger rail 100% double-tracked; eliminate passenger rail at-grade crossings; straighten/eliminate rail track curves; 125 mph average passenger rail speed; electrified doublestack rail freight; 50 mph freight rail speed; advanced train scheduling, trip optimization and control systems; electric shared-use autonomous vehicles; electric shared autonomous shuttles; regenerative breaking on trains; Electric Multiple Unit trains; electric buses; electric trams; electric garbage and fire trucks; economic incentives to live car-free; majority of population lives within 15 miles of job; work at home; good local schools; electric bicycles; regular bicycles; bikeshare systems; lower speed limits in populated areas; walk or bike most trips under a mile; under-used roads return to gravel; pedestrian-only boulevards, commercial streets, promenades, main streets and market streets; network of protected bicycle infrastructure within cities/towns and between them; Vehicle Mile Travel charge based on road repair costs and vehicle weight; dramatically reduce private car vehicle miles traveled; local streets safe enough for children to walk and bike to school and activities; walkable neighborhoods; walkable shopping districts; multifamily residential over ground floor retail; live within a ten minute bike ride of a grocery store/pharmacy/medical clinic/library/park/playing field/elementary school; buy local; buy used from local sources; drink filtered tap water instead of bottled water/soda pop/fruit juice; drink local beer, wine and spirits; eat local fruits and vegetables in season; electric dry box trucks for farmers to take produce to cities; electric trucks for delivery last one to ten miles of goods from rail freight terminals; fewer goods deliveries to homes; package locker pick ups in towns and cities; biofuels for aviation; hydrogen fuel cells for ships; transportation in the US 95% all electric.


 So good. So cheap.
Whew! Amazingly, all this stuff is not only cheaper than building out solar and wind, it’s cheaper than continuing to drill and refine oil and build natural gas plants. Even better, many of these measures reinforce others in a virtuous circle. For instance, more walking means not only fewer transportation kwhs but also reduced cancer, high blood pressure and depression. This in turn means fewer kwhs used up by doctors’ offices and hospitals as well as fewer kwhs used in the manufacture of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals such as blood pressure meds and anti-depressants. So just by walking, we reduce commercial, industrial and transportation energy demand, and we increase our standard of living (healthier citizenry), all for very little cost. Yes, as we transition, jobs will inevitably be lost in some areas, but they will be gained in others, such as in biointensive farming, compost facilities, wetlands restoration, deep building energy retrofits, train yards, and manufacturing solar PV, batteries, and wind turbines. After all, just as it’s poor policy to encourage to smoking in order to provide tobacco and medical jobs, it’s also unwise to encourage sedentary lifestyles in order to provide auto and medical jobs.

Aging
So where are we at now at producing 100 kwh/person/day of electricity? As you might suspect, it varies widely by state. Some produce quite a bit of electricity per person, but when we add up electricity from renewables (including rooftop solar) + hydro and divide it by population, it often doesn’t amount to much. We could add in nuclear, but because the US still doesn’t have any safe, long-term storage yet for nuclear waste, and no state wants to host such storage, I’m not optimistic that in 20 years we’ll still have much nuclear around. Since the average age of American nuclear plants is 35 years old and they were only built to operate for 40 years, I’m guessing we’ll eke out some extensions on aging plants, retire most others, and not create many new ones. The fact that solar and wind are already cheaper than new nuclear plants pretty much spells their doom. Plus nuclear plants waste two-thirds of their energy as heat just as almost all US thermal electricity generation does.

So let’s examine 2015 renewables + hydro generation kwh/person/day by state, grouped by region. (The US EIA includes as renewables electricity produced by geothermal and biomass.) Remember, each state needs 100 kwh/person/day, or another state will have to generate more than that and send the extra to them. Also remember that the further electricity is transmitted, the higher the losses along the way, although underground DC cables could cut transmission losses in half. (The US currently loses 6% of its electricity in transmission.) Rooftop solar PV avoids almost all transmission loss.

New England and Mid-Atlantic     Renewable+ Hydro kwh/capita/day generation
Not with the program
Working on it
Serious Progress
Connecticut (1.2)
Vermont (9.3)
Maine (16.7)
Massachusetts (1.5)
New Hampshire (7.2)

Rhode Island (.7)
New York (4.8)

New Jersey (.9)


Pennsylvania (1.9)



North Central         Renewables + Hydro kwh/capita/day generation
Lacking
Snail Pace
Solid Progress
Very Good
Smoking hot
Ohio (.6)
Illinois (2.3)
Minnesota (6.1)
Kansas (10.4)
South Dakota (23.4)
Missouri (1.2)
Indiana (2.3)
Nebraska (6.3)
Iowa (16.6)
North Dakota
(31.3)

Michigan (2.4)




Wisconsin (2.7)




South           Renewables + Hydro kwh/capita/day generation
Feeble
Some progress
Making headway
Good work
Delaware (.6)
Georgia (2)
West Virginia (5)
Oklahoma (11.8)
District of Columbia (.1)
North Carolina (2.5)
Tennessee (4.6)

Florida (.7)
South Carolina (2.9)
Alabama (7.6)

Maryland (1.3)
West Virginia (5)
Arkansas (4.8)

Mississippi (1.3)
Tennessee (4.6)
Texas (4.8)

Virginia (1.6)
Alabama (7.6)




Mountain             Renewables + Hydro kwh/capita/day generation
Not trying
Progress
Advancing
Great Work
Best in Show!
Utah (1.7)
Arizona (4.7)
Nevada (7.5)
Idaho (18.7)
Montana (30.8)

Colorado (4.9)

Wyoming (23.6)


New Mexico (4)




Pacific                 Renewables + Hydro kwh/capita/day generation
Making an effort
Some hydro
Oodles of hydro!
Hawaii (3.8)
Alaska (6.5)
Oregon (27.5)
California (4.6)

Washington (31.9)

Adapted to wind
It’s ironic that two states with some of the best wind resources in the country are North Dakota and Wyoming, giants of coal-mining, fracking and burning coal for electricity to export to other states. If these states stopped mining, drilling and burning coal, and focused instead on wind energy production, the carbon-free electricity they could export (at a premium!) would pay better, provide more jobs, and would destroy their states a great deal less than the mining and fracking they’re so fond of. Yet another irony is that if utilities stopped fighting rooftop solar, which will only push customers off-grid as solar and battery prices fall, and instead embraced electrification of heating and transportation, they’d have more business and profits than they’d know what to do with. As it stands, their intransigence means they are likely to share the fate of big oil/big coal and disappear altogether as cities and towns defect and create their own municipal utilities, or businesses and homes decide to adapt the sharing economy to local power generation and storage networks.

Future US energy production in a 100 kwh/person/day world might look something like:

Residential and commercial rooftop PV and building-integrated PV
15 kwh
Biomass/biofuels/ geothermal/tidal
5 kwh
Large-scale solar
32 kwh
Nuclear
2 kwh
On shore wind
28 kwh
Hydro
2 kwh
Off shore wind
12 kwh
Wood heat
1kwh
Fossil fuels for high heat industrial processes
2 kwh



May be necessary
Because of the intermittent nature of solar and wind, our national energy system will require batteries, pumped hydro storage, short term thermal storage, interseasonal thermal storage, microgrids, sophisticated and reliable grid operation, effective electricity markets, and long distance high voltage DC lines to transmit electricity from windy places. Much of our industrial production will need to go into building out the infrastructures necessary for renewable energy generation, for energy storage and transmission, and for electrified rail and other transit. But this infrastructure creation, combined with localized, small-scale, biointensive farming, will create tens of millions of jobs.

Mr. Anti-Efficiency
As we’ve seen, some states need to roll up their sleeves and get to work on energy efficiency, some have a lot of renewables to build out, and most need to do both. Hawaii, New York and California are low on renewable production per capita but they also don’t use that much energy. It’s possible each could get by with 70 or 80 KWH/person/day. Cold windy states may need 110 kwh/person/day, and humid southern states or sparsely populated Midwest ones may find that 120 kwh is the best they can do. But achieving an average of 100 kwh/person/day in the US is completely within our reach. To get the ball rolling, rather than continue to subsidize various forms of energy (the US subsidizes fossil fuels more than renewables), we should stop all energy subsidies, implement a briskly rising carbon tax, and invest the proceeds in energy efficiency, especially electrified rail/transit and zero-net-energy multifamily housing for low/moderate income households in walkable neighborhoods. Higher energy costs (the antidote to Jevons Paradox, for those who worry about that) will drive energy efficiency in spades, and we will be stunned (stunned!) at how quickly and innovatively the US economy adapts. If other countries don't follow our lead, we can impose greenhouse gas tariffs on their goods proportionate to their per capita emissions. (As might be expected, at present US per capita CO2 emissions are among the highest in the world.) We will find we can reach 100 kwh/person/day with technology that already exists while leading a pleasant, comfortable way of life, albeit one a bit different than the one we lead now.

A lower decibel life
Our streets and neighborhoods will be far quieter, for one thing. Our air and water will be cleaner, our bodies will absorb fewer toxins, and our citizenry will be healthier mentally and physically. Local businesses and high-yield small farms will flourish, and the United States will finally be energy independent. We human beings alive over the next twenty years have the power to make this planet a paradise or a living hell. We can sabotage and delay the necessary changes out of fear or greed, or we can face our predicament and do what needs to be done. Entirely our choice.