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This Week at Physics

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Events on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Wisconsin State Energy Office – Forecasting, monitoring, and responding to energy crises
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall (Refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Jim Mapp, Dark Energy Associates
Abstract: Since the 1970s Wisconsin has experienced several petroleum crises, natural gas supply limitations, coal shortages, and electric power brownouts, blackouts and supply uncertainty. There have been crises related to propane shortages, extremes in cold weather, hot weather, rain events, and floods. We will discuss the role of the Wisconsin State Energy Office in forecasting, preparing for, monitoring and responding to these various energy related crises and the often chaotic conditions surrounding these events. This past winter’s propane shortage provided an example of a recent energy crisis. Propane as a liquid fuel is used for crop drying, home heating in rural areas, and as a supplemental fuel in areas where natural gas is not available. The coming fall and winter heating season may provide an example of the various factors that combine to generate chaos in the supply and demand of propane and steps that can be taken to respond to a possible crisis. Possible supply constraints may include; propane pipeline supply limitations, expanded propane export market, limitations on rail car availability, wet harvest conditions and record corn harvest leading to increased demand for propane for crop drying. Early onset of cold weather could increase the demand for heating fuels such as propane. Possible responses may include coordinating efforts with other Wisconsin agencies, other states, various federal authorities, or various national organizations.
Host: Clint Sprott
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