By Randall Poulton
Last week’s Question:
Based on the numbers from the Maine CDC, how many Mainers will die of COVID this year?
A. Very few, vaccinations have proven effective against serious disease and death.
B. About the same number as 2020 (~350 people will die)
C. About the same number as 2021 (~1,200 people will die)
D. Less than 1,000 people but still concerning.
E. Considerably more than 2021 (~1,400 people will die)
The answer is “E”. Barring a miracle, the number of COVID deaths in Maine for the year 2022 will be ~1,400. So, now that almost 90% of Maine adults are vaccinated, more adults than ever are dying of COVID. I am still awaiting the big explain from Dr. Shah.
This week’s question:
Looking at how much electricity is generated within Maine’s border is an interesting academic exercise. The reality is Maine is part of the New England grid and pretending that what Maine consumes for electricity is different than the mix on the NE grid is like pretending the water at one end of a swimming pool is different than the water at the other end. All Maine’s electricity comes from one power pool. What Maine puts into the New England power pool has little impact on what Maine consumes from that pool.
That said, sometimes answering academic questions can be fun: Maine homes and businesses consume about 11,700 Giga-Watt-hours of electricity each year. How much electricity do generators in Maine produce each year?
A. 11,700 GWh – Any less and the lights would go out!
B. 12,000 GWh – With all the new solar and wind, Maine facilities generate more than enough electricity to keep the lights on.
C. 10,500 GWh – Maine relies on other states and Canada to generate more than 10% of the electricity we consume.
D. 9,000 GWh – But Maine is known for its now “damless” rivers, teaming with Atlantic salmon.