Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

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:

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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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owen-paterson

From the telegraph ‘Scrap the Climate Change Act to keep the lights on, says Owen Paterson‘, by Christopher Hope.

Britain will struggle to “keep the lights on” unless the Government changes its green energy policies, the former environment secretary will warn this week.

Owen Paterson will say that the Government’s plan to slash carbon emissions and rely more heavily on wind farms and other renewable energy sources is fatally flawed.

He will argue that the 2008 Climate Change Act, which ties Britain into stringent targets to reduce the use of fossil fuels, should be suspended until other countries agree to take similar measures. If they refuse, the legislation should be scrapped altogether, he will say.

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[credit: Electricité de France (EDF)]

[credit: Electricité de France (EDF)]

France seems to be modelling itself largely on the creaking, super-expensive German model of energy supply. In other words, maximum intermittent renewables at whatever it costs.

But unlike Germany they will have 50% nuclear, so half a secure system in theory (excluding fossil fuel input). A side-effect of this policy could well be reduced availability of electricity supply from France to the UK.

Phys.org reports:
Lawmakers in France, the world’s most nuclear-dependent country, on Friday voted to cut reliance on the energy source from more than 75 percent to 50 percent within a decade.

The vote comes as part of an ambitious makeover of France’s energy use promised by President Francois Hollande during his 2012 election campaign.

The measure calls for renewables to increase in the energy mix for electricity production, rising from 23 percent in 2020 to 32 percent in 2030.
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Reposted from John Kay’s website, which is well worth a visit.

Government by announcement undermines UK energy policy
by John Kay – Financial Times columnist 1-10-14

JohnK_3Government by announcement is now characteristic of British politics. The goal is to make statements that will receive favourable media coverage. There is little perception of any need to follow up on these announcements, or consideration of how they might interact with other similar announcements, and no concern for the effects of the uncertainty these initiatives create for people engaged in real business. The style was established under New Labour. After a brief interlude of more thoughtful government, the practice has continued under the coalition.

The panicked announcements on Scottish devolution come to mind. But nowhere has the approach been more damaging than in energy policy. The government has three laudable objectives – low energy bills, supply security, and decarbonisation. There are difficult trade-offs to be made, since these goals are not compatible.

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German power grid at risk of widespread blackouts

Posted: September 25, 2014 by oldbrew in Energy, Uncertainty, wind

[image credit: Wikipedia]

[image credit: Wikipedia]


Pierre Gosselin at Notrickszone reports:

‘There was a time when Germany’s power was mostly generated by the traditional sources of coal, nuclear, oil, natural gas and hydro. These sources were reliable and keeping the power grid under control was a routine matter. Germany’s power grid was among the most stable worldwide. But then came Germany’s renewable energy feed-in act, and with it the very volatile sources of sun and wind.’

‘As a result, today’s German power grid has become a precarious balancing act, and keeping it from collapsing under the load of wild fluctuations has become a real challenge.’

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Coal, There’s Just No Alternative

Posted: September 14, 2014 by tchannon in Analysis, Energy, Incompetence, Politics

Tony Thomas mentions he has an opinion piece up on Quadrant about the reality of electricity and human wealth in all the ways not so obvious, but also right on the past cries of environmentalists deeming the undeveloped world must not get wealth.

Thomas discusses US author and energy specialist Robert Bryce

Bryce didn’t discuss the merits of the catastrophic human-caused global-warming hypothesis. He just delineated the irrationality of draconian global and national targets to cut CO2 emissions, given the developing world’s determination to use electricity to lift its people from poverty:

“I’m a resolute agnostic about the climate issue. Tell me CO2 is good, tell me it’s bad. I’m bored with the nastiness.

“The question that too few people are willing to ask is this one: where, how, will we find the energy equivalent of 27 Saudi Arabias and have it all be carbon-free?”

Oh yes, nastiness, a hallmark of forcing others to do your bidding…

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Given a winter of disconnect is mooted by some, any introduction of a real power station is news but not just yet.

3 The Order, if made, would grant development consent for the construction and operation of a thermal generating station that would operate either as a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plant or as an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant, with a total electrical output of up to 470MWe at North Killingholme, Lincolnshire. The generating station would only be able to burn other types of fuel such as coal and biomass[1]  if the full Carbon Capture Storage chain is in place. A separate Environmental Permit, controlling emissions from the plant, will also be required from the Environment Agency before the generating station can be operated.
http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/yorkshire-and-the-humber/north-killingholme-power-project/

Combined Cycle Gas Turbine is one of those over-egged technologies with party trick claims. As sustained base load the thermal efficiency is good but part load is dreadful, becomes a gas turbine, one of the less bright inventions which has a redeeming feature of great power in a small space. A lot to do with heat engines is counter intuitive. A weakness is always a sharp drop in thermal efficiency with power reduction, how rapidity it drops varies greatly with the technology.

And IGCC? That is where things get bad.

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Ferrybridge Power Station fire [image credit: Sky News]

Ferrybridge Power Station fire [image credit: Sky News]


It’s no secret that UK electricity supplies are likely to be stretched at peak times in the coming winter, and probably a few more winters after that, as some coal generation is phased out to meet EU rules, and most of the existing nuclear reactors become obsolete.

The pressure to ensure adequate service is increasing and in response new schemes are in the pipeline. The great unknown of course is: will it be enough?

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