Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Guest post from Ed Hoskins
A comparison of both the Capital Cost and Energy Production Effectiveness of the Renewable Energy in Europe.

The diagrams and table below collate the cost and capacity factors of Renewable Energy power sources, Onshore and Off-shore Wind Farms and Large scale Photovoltaic Solar generation, compared to the cost and output capacity of conventional Gas Fired Electricity generation.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 08.16.07

The associated base data is shown below:

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Reposted from Energy in Depth

by Dave Quast  

The Sierra Club, founded in San Francisco in 1892 by legendary conservationist John Muir, was once a clarion voice for the preservation of public lands and environmental stewardship. To note that the group has grown increasingly distant from its roots is an understatement. Its decline, which we have covered previously, unfortunately moves on apace with the release of its latest video: “Fracking 101.”

Following in the “ban fracking” activist tradition of believing that actors (and whatever Yoko Ono is) somehow confer scientific legitimacy to anti-scientific polemics, the video features a voice-over by Edward James Olmos, who we will assume was unaware that the scripted words he was paid to read are the opposite of the truth.

Introducing the animated video in the Huffington Post, current Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune wrote:

“…fracking and other dirty fuel development is bad for public health, bad for the climate, and bad for the economy.”

While this is likely all you need to know about the seriousness of today’s Sierra Club, let’s examine the claims made in the video.
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From the Yorkshire Post, UKIP MP Doug Carswell on the reasons behind big fuel bike price hikes:

energybillGOVERNMENT energy policy, put in place by Ministers of all three established parties, is pricing people out of being able to heat their own homes.

The cosy consensus over energy policy here in Westminster is squeezing living standards across the country. According to the index of domestic fuel and light prices, helpfully reproduced by the House of Commons Library, prices have changed fairly dramatically over the past 40 years.

From the early 1980s through to the early noughties, there was a slow, gradual fall in prices; it was a 20-year period of customers getting what they tend to get in a free market, capitalist economy – more for less.

Suddenly and dramatically, that picture changed in the early noughties. Since then we have seen a rapid rise in prices – sharper, indeed, than that experienced during either of the two oil shocks of the 1970s.

Dual-fuel household energy bills in 2014 for the average home are forecast to be almost £1,400. That represents a real-terms price increase of over 50 per cent in a decade during which average household incomes stagnated.

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Back before he took office, Obama set out his stall for his pogrom against affordable energy. The mail has breaking new of a report the government has tried to suppress:

Family electricity bills are set to soar by almost £350 within 15 years – to pay for the Government subsidies for green energy.

Official figures — initially withheld by ministers — reveal the price of electricity will rocket by 60 per cent as wind farms and other green projects take over traditional coal-burning power stations.

The cost of electricity will jump from £131 per megawatt hour to some £206 by 2030, the Government estimates. It means that the average household bill will rise from £589.50 to £927.

Homes which only use electricity could see their bills rise by as much as £440 a year.

elec-price-2030

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Anyone for dates?

Image

Image

Photo left credit Smudge 9000. Photo right, can’t read it [1].

Ofgem approves power link with Belgium

LONDON Tue Dec 2, 2014 11:14am GMT

(Reuters) – Ofgem has approved plans for a 1 gigawatt electricity interconnector link with Belgium, it said on Tuesday.

The Nemo interconnector would run from Zeebrugge, Belgium, to Kent in southern England, facilitating the flow of enough electricity to power up to 3 million homes, Britain’s Energy Secretary Ed Davey said in the Ofgem statement.

It is due to open in 2019, Ofgem said.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/12/02/uk-britain-electricity-links-idUKKCN0JG0ZS20141202

Hmm… Aug. 21, 2014

Nuclear Shutdowns Leave Belgium Looking for Power Closure of Three Nuclear Power Plants Leaves Government Fearing Winter Energy Crunch

http://online.wsj.com/articles/nuclear-shutdowns-leave-belgium-looking-for-power-1408632643

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Reposted from Reform.co.uk

Energy policy and the return of the State
Rupert Darwall

RupertDarwallEnergy policy represents the biggest expansion of state power since the nationalisations of the 1940s and 1950s and is on course to becoming the most costly domestic policy disaster in modern British history. By committing the nation to high cost, unreliable renewable energy, its consequences will be felt for decades to come. Energy is an iceberg policy: its implications for the demise of a competitive market in electricity – the final achievement of the Thatcher years – are poorly understood and tend to be consigned to footnotes and annexes of policy documents.

Like its predecessor, the Coalition Government has three policy objectives:

Keeping the lights on;
Keeping energy bills affordable; and
Decarbonising energy generation.

These do not require the policies the Government is implementing. Indeed, energy policy militates against having cheap, reliable energy. Worries about the lights going out have intensified as the country becomes more dependent on the weather for its electricity. The market is the best way of providing reliable and affordable electricity. Converting the electricity system to wind and solar power does neither. Even on favourable assumptions, these are inefficient ways of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

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H/T to @IntrepidWanders for this paper, which lays out in clear terms the argument for abiotic oil/gas. I’ll post the second half next.

Saturn seen across a sea of methane on Titan by Huygens probe 2005

Saturn seen across a sea of methane on Titan. Artists impression. Credit: NASA/JPL Gregor Kervina

Evgeny Yantovski
Independent researcher
Elsass str. 58, D-52068 Aachen, Germany

Abstract
Thomas Gold was a main participant and contributor in the controversy between the biogenic
and abiogenic theories of the origin of hydrocarbons, a controversy launched by the abiogenic
views of Mendeleev and supported by other Russian and Ukrainian authors. The great success
of Gold’s forecasts is illustrated by a photo of the methane seas on the cold planetary body
Titan. Recently Scott et al.’s experiment on methane formation at high pressure suggests a
possibility of methane formation in the mantle. Some thermodynamic equilibrium
calculations suggest a possible exothermic reaction of carbon dioxide with fayalite producing
methane. In this view, carbon could play the role of an energy carrier from fayalite to
methane and then to a power plant and in a closed cycle be reinjected in Earth. Fayalite
becomes a fuel, with methane the energy carrier. Methane is then a renewable energy source.
The search for methane in Earth and resoluton of its origins deserve more efforts than ever
before.

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Willow Tit - RSPB

Willow Tit – RSPB

Sensible stuff from Better by Nature

Woodland wildlife under threat:

But perhaps not a lot of people know that the picture for our woodland wildlife isn’t looking very rosy. Birds like the willow tit, a woodland specialist, have declined by over 80%, making it our fastest declining resident bird. The State of Nature report showed that of the 1256 woodland species we have data for, 60% have declined over the past 50 years, 35% strongly. Some of our woodland birds migrate, so the problems might lie elsewhere, but equally we know that some of the causes of these declines are right here, in UK woodlands.

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Coal: back to the future [image credit: BBC]

Coal: back to the future
[image credit: BBC]


The penny has finally dropped at the top political level in Germany that abandoning nuclear power and setting stiff carbon dioxide reduction targets is impossible, without severely damaging the economy and risking mass power shortages.

Of course the usual fanatics continue to insist that such a price has to be paid, seemingly oblivious to the long-term standstill in global temperatures that suggests so-called climate policy is largely irrelevant anyway.

Breitbart London reports: Germany’s Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, has indicated that the country will abandon its commitment to reducing CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2020, from a 1990 base level.

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I hope this does not come true.

A cliff hanger descended over the Rosetta space mission as fate casts a shadow when an attempt at landing went fatally awry.

It turns out that fragile and complex technology was used instead of robust tried and tested nuclear plant. Fault intolerance.

The solar cells in Rosetta’s solar panels are based on a completely new technology, so-called Low-intensity Low Temperature Cells. Thanks to them, Rosetta is the first space mission to journey beyond the main asteroid belt relying solely on solar cells for power generation. Previous deep-space missions used nuclear RTGs (Radio isotope thermal generators). The new solar cells allow Rosetta to operate over 800 million kilometres from the Sun, where levels of sunlight are only 4% those on Earth.
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Frequently_asked_questions

But they forgot the possibility of or ignored an unknown environment might have cliffhangers waiting. It has landed in shadow.

Philae is receiving about 1.5 hours of illumination during every 12-hour rotation of the comet. [so? not designed for this then?]

This will be insufficient to top up its battery system once the primary charge it had on leaving Rosetta runs out. That was some 60-plus hours.

It means Philae is unlikely to be operating in its present state beyond Saturday. [go into low power mode, what the EU insist the prolls do]

BBC

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Energy made in Germany

Energy made in Germany

The already high cost of Germany’s ‘energy transition’, which includes a lot of new coal power stations as well as vast expense on renewables, looks about to get even higher. Nuclear power station operators want some of their money back.
***
Nuclear Power Daily reports: Germany’s phase-out of nuclear energy has triggered over 20 lawsuits by big power companies who have demanded billions of euros in damages, said a government paper released Tuesday.

Berlin after Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster moved to immediately shutter the country’s eight oldest reactors and close all others by 2022 while boosting renewable energy such as wind, solar and biomass.

Three large electricity companies — EON, RWE and Vattenfall — have responded with a spate of court challenges, which the environment ministry has listed for the first time in response to a request by the Greens party.

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The Catch-22 of Energy Storage

Posted: November 1, 2014 by tallbloke in Analysis, Energy, Maths, wind
Tags:

tallbloke:

.

H/T @hockeyschtick1 for this great article on the non-viability of wind/solar as large-scale replacement for fossil/nuclear. Now can we scrap the CCA please?

 

Originally posted on Brave New Climate:

Pick up a research paper on battery technology, fuel cells, energy storage technologies or any of the advanced materials science used in these fields, and you will likely find somewhere in the introductory paragraphs a throwaway line about its application to the storage of renewable energy.  Energy storage makes sense for enabling a transition away from fossil fuels to more intermittent sources like wind and solar, and the storage problem presents a meaningful challenge for chemists and materials scientists… Or does it?


Guest Post by John Morgan. John is Chief Scientist at a Sydney startup developing smart grid and grid scale energy storage technologies.  He is Adjunct Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at RMIT, holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry, and is an experienced industrial R&D leader.  You can follow John on twitter at @JohnDPMorgan First published in Chemistry in Australia .

Several recent analyses of the…

View original 1,723 more words

hamster-powerRemember this stuff when casting your vote next May. UKIP is the only party with a sensible energy policy. Roundup of (lack of) energy: news by Benny Peiser at GWPF:

Written by Dr. Benny Peiser, GWPF on 28 October 2014

Emergency measures to prevent blackouts this winter have been unveiled by National Grid after Britain’s spare power capacity fell to just 4 per cent. –Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2014

The capacity crunch has been predicted for about seven years. Everyone seems to have seen this coming – except the people in charge.  –Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 10 June 2014

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Cameron-stinkyThis article is by Tim Channon[1], not Tallbloke.

Cameron is complaining about a small surcharge after he agrees to the far larger EU Climate agenda including EU ETS.

Media buy the smokescreen.

Dates are important

From gov.uk web site

Speech
European Council October 2014: David Cameron’s speech
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street and The Rt Hon David Cameron MP
Delivered on: 24 October 2014 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

Good afternoon and welcome. It has been 24 hours in Brussels with some notable and important successes, but also with some deep frustrations and frankly quite a bit of anger about the way we have been treated.

…  [Ebola]

The second issue has been climate change, where I want to make sure Europe is playing its part in delivering a global deal that can prevent dangerous climate change. I think it was very important that Europe stepped up to the plate, and we have done that, with committing ourselves to more than 40% reductions of greenhouse gases by 2030.
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/european-council-october-2014-david-camerons-speech

Who got the headlines and brickbats over an announced EU climate intent? Not Cameron, the outgoing Rompuy.

Cameron has gone very loudly ballistic over money, hiding the climate issue completely. Looks like the media bought this.

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Reposted from Clive Best’s excellent blog 
Posted on October 23, 2014 by Clive Best
I have noticed that wind power delivered to the Grid is always less than 6 GW, no matter how windy it gets. This was clearly demonstrated on October 21st when wind speeds across the country reached around 50 mph for most of the day. The wind output was simply bumping along continuously below 6 GW. Something fishy is going on – What is it?

winds


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[edit: I have made the serious mistake of not checking the date of the news story, is actually 2013 although the page is (c) 2014, tweet items there mention 2013 and I did spot the 99mph gust which I knew from last year,  ought to have twigged. Sorry folks. Tim.]

The Dungeness B nuclear power station in Kent is using diesel generators to power its site after both reactors shut down automatically due to a power cut

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24700611

Logical, no ‘leccy so you can’t have any.

That’s six UK power stations now offline with unplanned stoppages.

A non story other than a defective infrastructure, presumably power lines were out. Is there no end to silly cockups?

Wrong kind of leaves on the line?

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Remember this in May when you cast your vote. In order to get past the real threat of blackouts as our generation capacity teeters close to the brink, our government now wants old people to eke out their pensions heating a single room and to merge with the Green party in telling the rest of us to jump up and down to keep warm while forking out to subsidise rich landowners to host corporate sized wind farms. They’ve got to go.

heat-one-room

 

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After the Ferrybridge fire and Hunstanton nuclear power station, more bad news for the hard pressed National Grid.

didcotgeorginemilesZainab Mirmalek, who lives opposite the power station, said: “There’s lots of water gushing down on it, lots of smoke and steam but the fire is definitely under control now.”

Fellow Didcot resident Leila Qureshi said: “We got quite near before the road was shut.

“The fire was ferocious. You could feel the heat and smell it.”

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Ex-Environment minister Owen Paterson is tonight delivering the annual GWPF lecture. In it he will say the climate change act should be scrapped. UKIP has been saying this for years and has had a detailed energy policy document out for years detailing better alternatives for a viable mixed energy policy. The full text of his speech has been published at the Spectator. Here’s an except:

The vital importance of affordable energy

owen-patersonBut first, let us consider what is at stake. We now live in an almost totally computer-dependent world. Without secure power the whole of our modern civilisation collapses: banking, air traffic control, smart phones, refrigerated food, life-saving surgery, entertainment, education, industry and transport.

We are lucky to live in a country where energy has been affordable and reliable.

Yet we cannot take this for granted.

While most public discussion is driven by the immediacy of the looming 2020 EU renewables target; policy is actually dominated by the EU’s long-term 2050 target.

The 2050 target is for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent relative to 1990 levels. The target has been outlined by the European Commission. But it is only the UK that has made it legally binding through the Climate Change Act – a piece of legislation that I and virtually every other MP voted for.

The 2050 target of cutting emissions by 80 percent, requires the almost complete decarbonisation of the electricity supply in 36 years.

In the short and medium term, costs to consumers will rise dramatically, and the lights would eventually go out. Not because of a temporary shortfall, but because of structural failures, from which we will find it extremely difficult and expensive to recover.

We must act now.

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Cambridge University punting - Mathematicians' bridge  [credit: Wikipedia]

Cambridge University punting – Mathematicians’ bridge
[credit: Wikipedia]


The UK is playing a key role in an international project to develop a radical new type of nuclear power station that is safer, more cost-effective, compact, quicker and less disruptive to build than any previously constructed, phys.org reports

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), as part of the RCUK Energy Programme, a team at the University of Cambridge is exploring whether the element thorium could help to meet the new design’s fuel needs. As well as being three to four times more abundant than uranium, thorium could potentially produce electricity more fuel efficiently and therefore more cheaply.

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