Archive for the ‘wind’ Category

Blackout_britain

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From RT.com

The UK risks sweeping electricity blackouts unless it increases the state’s capacity to balance infrequent supply from renewable energy sources, a prominent engineer who carried out government-funded research has warned.

While British authorities are under legal obligation to source almost a third of their electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2020, they require immediately deployable gas-fuelled power stations to cater for inevitable lulls in sun and wind energy output.

Hugh Sharman, a British engineering consultant, was commissioned to work on a government-sanctioned report examining how UK authorities could sustain the nation’s energy demands in an era of mandatory renewable energy use.

Tendered to the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) last year, the research went unpublished.

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From New Scientist:

As sanctions deepen, just how crucial is Russian gas?
17:00 24 July 2014 by Jon Excell

Russian-bear-cartoonEurope gets around 30 per cent of its gas from Russia, but some countries are more dependent on it than others: the Czech Republic and Finland, for example, import at least 80 per cent of their gas from the country, while Germany, which has been treading particularly carefully in its dealings with Putin, imports around 36 per cent of its natural gas and 39 per cent of its oil from Russian suppliers.

The situation in the UK is less clear. Gas imports account for around 70 per cent of supply, but because of the complex European network of pipelines and interconnectors that we rely on, it’s difficult to say exactly how much of that imported gas is Russian. Some reports claim that Russia supplies around 15 per cent of that total and others put this figure much lower. Russian energy giant Gazprom estimates that it sends 11 to 12 billion cubic metres to the UK each year, out of an overall UK consumption of around 84 billion cubic metres.

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Matt Ridley article for the Times, reposted from the GWPF, because as many people as possible need to read it and think. Then act by using your vote sensibly.

ANOTHER RENEWABLE MYTH GOES UP IN SMOKE
Date: 28/07/14 Matt Ridley, The Times

wind-costsIf wood-burning power stations are less eco-friendly than coal, we are getting the search for clean energy all wrong
On Saturday my train was diverted by engineering works near Doncaster. We trundled past some shiny new freight wagons decorated with a slogan: “Drax — powering tomorrow: carrying sustainable biomass for cost-effective renewable power”. Serendipitously, I was at that moment reading a report by the chief scientist at the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the burning of wood in Yorkshire power stations such as Drax. And I was feeling vindicated.

A year ago I wrote in these pages that it made no sense for the consumer to subsidise the burning of American wood in place of coal, since wood produces more carbon dioxide for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. The forests being harvested would take four to ten decades to regrow, and this is the precise period over which we are supposed to expect dangerous global warming to emerge. It makes no sense to steal beetles’ lunch, transport it halfway round the world, burning diesel as you do so, and charge hard-pressed consumers double the price for the power it generates.

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Reblogged from Euan’s excellent site, Energy Matters.

“The Scottish Government’s targets are for renewable sources to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s gross annual electricity consumption by 2020.” What will the consequences be for the Scottish People?

This post models Scottish electricity production and consumption in 2020 and compares this with 2012. It is assumed that Scotland’s two nuclear power stations remain operational in 2020. The reader is asked to always recall that the numbers are based on models and the conclusions therefore carry uncertainty. The consequences of this energy policy may be:

  • A large electricity surplus of about 15 TWh may be produced in 2020, worth about £2.5 billion at 17p / KWh.
  • There are currently many ideas but no certainty about where this surplus might go. It seems possible that a large part may simply be wasted.
  • Assuming that marine renewables remain negligible and hydro output remains unchanged in 2020 then the bulk of the expansion in renewables to meet the target will most likely be met by wind that will require a 5 fold increase relative to 2012.
  • In an independent Scotland the subsidy payments currently made to renewables companies by 63 million UK citizens would fall pro rata on the shoulders of 5.3 million Scottish citizens. This, combined with the 5 fold increase in wind capacity may mean a 25 fold increase in the level of renewable subsidy born by Scottish electricity consumers. Electricity bills may double.

In summary, the Scottish Government energy plan may result in a large electricity surplus that at present has nowhere to go, the number of wind turbines may increase 5 fold and electricity bills may double.

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turbine-failH/T to Glenties WiG for this Yachting Monthly report:

Wind turbine blaze scandal

Up to 120 wind turbines catch fire annually, according to the journal of Fire Safety Science. This is 10 times the number reported by the industry, The figures, compiled by engineers at Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh, make fire the second-largest cause of accidents after blade failure.

The researchers claim that out of 200,000 turbines around the world, 117 fires take place annually, many more than the 12 reported by wind farm companies.

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Greenhouse effectsFollowing on from our recent debate on the likely extent of the greenhouse effect on Earth, this post will broaden the scope of discussion by allowing consideration of planetary surface temperatures on imaginary worlds. Tim Folkerts proposes a world at the distance from the Sun of our moon (i.e. the same average distance as Earth), with a twist on surface composition:

Konrad,

Just out of curiosity, if I put a ball of water — say a few km in diameter — in some sort of clear plastic baggie to keep it together and prevent evaporation in orbit around the sun @ 1 AU, are you claiming the water inside the baggie will be at least 80 C everywhere?

Or if I put a series of such plastic baggies on the moon to cover the entire surface with water 1 km deep that cannot evaporate, that the surface of the moon would be at or above 80 C everywhere (lets even limit the question to the “tropics” out to ~ 30 degrees N & S to avoid question about what happens at the poles)?

(We could even make the baggie slightly elastic to apply 1 Atm of pressure inward on the ball of water).

____________________________

Tim appears to have misunderstood what Konrad and I are telling him about the atmosphere being a cooling agent rather than a warming agent, and how pressure acts to slow the loss of energy from the oceans via the atmospheric suppression of evaporation and the increased density of a near surface atmosphere, which is not present on his toy planet.

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H/T to talkshop contributor Wayne for this short piece from the physics of sailing blog which tells us that near surface windspeeds have fallen over the last 30 years. However, the evidence in a presentation by Hartwig Volz on seawater emissivity I came across yesterday apparently contradicts this. I’ve becalmed-yachtadded a couple of the relevant plot’s from that below the short article, but do take a look at the whole pdf slideshow. The discussion of wind speed is highly relevant to the whole climate debate, including the fundamentals of ocean-atmosphere interaction, energy balance and surface warming. Recall that Hans Jelbring’s thesis was entitled ‘Wind Controlled Climate‘ . 

The Wind is Dying

Wind speed has significantly decreased in the 29 years from 1979 to 2008. In extreme cases, the wind decrease was a significant 15%. More specifically, the wind decreased at 73% of measuring stations which were 10 meters above the surface (about mast height for many smaller sailboats). The measurements were mostly from Europe, but also from the United States, China and Russia.

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Oh noes! H/T to Oldbrew for spotting this GWPF story culled from the Times:

josh-hammer-of-the-scots

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EU COURT ENDS SALMOND’S HOPES FOR GREEN SUBSIDIES
Date: 04/07/14 Peter Jones, The Times

Alex Salmond’s hopes that the economy of an independent Scotland could rely on expanding renewable energy generation have been crippled by a European Court of Justice ruling.

The court has said that no government must pay subsidies to renewable generators in another country. The ruling removes any legal foundation for the first minister’s claim that the rest of Britain would continue to pay a subsidy — more than £500 million a year — to Scottish renewable generators for their green energy.

Pro-Union sources said that the ruling could mean higher energy bills after a “yes” vote. It also leaves the future of the industry, if there is a “yes” vote, resting on the hope of a negotiated agreement between the Scottish and British governments, which Westminster has said is unlikely.

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Thanks to commenter ‘psc3113′ for finding the concluding part of HC Russells’ paper on a lunar 19 year cycle in drought records, taken from The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 – 1939)  Saturday 4 July 1896. At the conclusion of the article, the probably cause of the 19 year cycle identified is elucidated.

Periodicity of Good and Bad Seasons
MR. H. C. RUSSELL’S THEORY.
(Continued from last Week.)

Hurricanes Come in Droughts.
I should like it to be clearly understood that I do not mean ordinary hurricanes, which are as much parts of ordinary weather conditions in some parts of the world as our southerly winds are here. What I mean are extraordinary hurricanes, those that come at long intervals to terrify mankind by their power for destruction. These are connected with droughts, and, therefore should be discussed here. I had long since observed that the connection between the two was obvious enough sometimes, and during the past year I was reminded of it very often by the frequent reports of heavy gales met with by ships coming to this port, indicating great atmospheric energy. Then on the 3rd January, 1803, came the hurricane over the Tongan group of islands, and not one of the vessels in the harbour rode out the storm; every one of them was wrecked in the harbour before morning, and the wind was of such exceptional violence that after it was over the islands looked as if they had been bombarded.

Then I turned to storms on this coast, some of which were of terrible violence. And as I write, the 28th ‘May, we have the report of a terrible cyclone in America, by which three of the States, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana were damaged and the city of St. Louis wrecked. and 1300 people killed by falling buildings, and damage to property caused to the extent, estimated, of twenty million dollars; another fragment of the present D drought.

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H/T to Phill for this paper by H.C. Russell reproduced in The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 – 1939) Saturday 27 June 1896

Periodicity of Good and Bad Seasons.
MR. H. C. RUSSELL’S THEORY.

hcrussell

The Nineteen Year Weather Cycle—Diagram Illustrating Mr. H. C. Russells Paper on ” The Periodicity of Seasons”

The paper lately read before the Royal Society of New South Wales by Mr. H.C. Russell, the Government Astronomer, a condensation of which has already appeared in the ” Queens lander,” has excited so much interest and so much discussion that no apology is needed for returning to the subject. With the view of affording our readers as full an insight as possible into the grounds upon which Mr. Russell has based his conversion to the theory of the nineteen-year cycle we reproduce the complete paper, as published in the ” Sydney Mail,” with the accompanying diagrams.

Mr. Russell said :— I feel some reluctance in coming for ward to-night with the result of my investigations into the periodicity of good and bad seasons—floods and droughts if you will—because they must come to you as a surprise, and they will make a claim on your confidence which at first sight you will probably not be disposed to grant. For myself, I know that some years ago, if anyone had come to me, stating that it was possible to forecast the seasons many years in advance, I should have received the statement with incredulity, and an inclination to think lightly of the man who advanced such views.’

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I’m of the opinion that before getting into the complexity of numerical modelling, it’s wise to put considerable effort into trying to understand the physical processes at work in the climate system, and the origins of the energy flows that drive them. David Evans’ recent series of posts over at Jo Nova’s site have generated a lot of interesting discussion (despite being roundly ignored by Anthony Watts at WUWT), and I think we can shed some light on the ‘mysterious 11yr lag’ between solar input and climate response.

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: BBC/Getty Images]

Arctic sea ice [image credit: BBC/Getty Images]

The dynamics of ocean waves in polar regions give us important clues about the behaviour of sea ice in those areas, according to researchers.

“The ice floes bend with the waves, and over time you can imagine that this creates fatigue and eventually the ice will fracture. Interestingly, the fractures tend to be perpendicular to the direction of the waves, and to be of even widths.”

Re the Arctic, a related BBC report notes ‘that wave heights are going to change with increasing distance from the ice edge to the land, and that could have more of an impact on ice break-up.’

Could that suggest a ‘feedback effect': greater distance to land = more ice break-up etc.?

BBC report: Ocean waves influence polar ice extent

Research letter:
Storm-induced sea-ice breakup and the implications for ice extent

Pierre L. Gosselin reports on a Spiegel Online article

Models Wrong Again…Sea Ice Break-Up Caused In Large Part By Storm-Generated Oceanic Wave And Wind Dynamics!

By P Gosselin on 31. Mai 2014

Spiegel science journalist Axel Bojanowski has a fascinating piece on what likely causes most of the sea ice to break up. The Spiegel introduction:

Sea ice is disappearing in the Arctic, around the Antarctic it is growing – today’s conventional climate models are unable to explain this contradiction. One effect has just been measured by sensors: wave motion is able to crack ice, hundreds of kilometers away.”

Link to NoTricksZone article Follow his link to the Spiegel photos, magnificent.

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Tropical Storm Beryl 2012 [image credit: US Govt.]

Tropical Storm Beryl 2012
[image credit: US Govt.]


The BBC reports – laced with the inevitable ‘warmist catchphrases’ – a trend in weather phenomena described in a recent research paper.

No surprise to find this:
‘The researchers believe humans are influencing the changes’
(but they haven’t found the mechanism)

or this:
‘There is compelling evidence that the expansion of the tropics is attributable to a combination of human activities, but we don’t know which is the primary factor.’

How compelling is that? It’s hard to keep a straight face.

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National Grid monitor [image credit: gridwatch]

National Grid monitor
[image credit: gridwatch]


The climate alarm-favouring Guardian poses an unlikely question. Advocates for and against are the chief executive of Renewables UK and a Conservative who runs a website called ConservativeHome.

Since it offers a choice of views let’s give it a go, just this once.

Maria McCaffery and Mark Wallace debate the costs, subsidies and future of windfarms

Not-so-sunny Germany

Not-so-sunny Germany

Pierre Gosselin’s ‘NoTricksZone’ reports (link below) how the wheels are coming off Germany’s mega-expensive charge into renewable energy.

The economic and logistical strains of the rush out of nuclear energy, and into wind and solar power, are finally coming to a head.

Even the Vice Chancellor of the country is ready to throw the towel in.

For some at the top of politics, the penny may have finally dropped.
Sanity at last?

More here:

http://notrickszone.com/2014/04/27/angela-merkels-vice-chancellor-stuns-declares-germanys-energiewende-to-be-on-the-verge-of-failure/

Another binge of overpriced, over-hyped and underwhelming power projects is about to be launched on hapless UK energy consumers. Part-time power generation rules.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27121801

offswind

‘The eight projects will all receive one of the government’s Contracts for Difference (CfDs), which effectively guarantee prices for renewable energy suppliers.’

‘These could cost up to £1bn each year in subsidies.’

Somehow these subsidies will cost bill payers ‘only’ 2% extra on their bills, claims Energy Secretary Ed Davey. The only other source of subsidy is the taxpayer, so you lose either way if you’re in the UK.

One small bit of relief though: ‘electricity producer Drax said it had started legal proceedings against the government over a decision not to support the conversion of one of its coal-burning units to biomass under the scheme.’

A chunk of forest somewhere in the States has been spared the axe, for now at least.

http://www.standard.co.uk/business/business-news/diving-drax-to-take-legal-action-after-subsidy-blow-9277732.html

The question is prompted from reading this report on the BBC website:
‘World’s Fair: Isaac Asimov’s predictions 50 years on’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27069716

Tesla’s concept of free wireless electricity never made it to market, but maybe one day…
Tesla_colorado

An obvious one might be the fusion reactor, as Asimov foresaw: “An experimental fusion-power plant or two will already exist.”

Chances must be good (?) if schoolboys can already build their own:
‘All my friends think I’m mad’

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10679744/British-schoolboy-13-becomes-youngest-to-build-nuclear-fusion-reactor.html

More likely is the commercial development of methane hydrates as an abundant energy source, if or when shale gas has run its course or is politically a no-no:
‘Methane hydrate: Dirty fuel or energy saviour?’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27021610

Or we could all be spurning fuel technology, piling on the thermal clothes and going around on bicycles, hoping the sun shines and the wind blows ;-)

The rush to build onshore wind farms is getting too much for some rural councils.

wind_Ard

One spokesman in Scotland says:
Our community council felt overwhelmed by the number of wind farm proposals being planned for our area.’

Official policy seems to be ‘the more the merrier’ –  avoid application backlogs.

So councils are under pressure to say yes and say it soon, squeezing the timetable for due democratic process.

Full story here:
Dumfries and Galloway councils seek wind farm moratorium

‘Fifty community councils from across Dumfries and Galloway have called for a moratorium on planning consent for wind farms in the region.’

From the too not-funny to be as funny as it should be dept:

Thunder-Bay-OPG-Generating-StationOntario is now the first jurisdiction in North America to fully eliminate coal as a source of electricity generation. The Thunder Bay Generating Station, Ontario’s last remaining coal-fired facility, has burned its last supply of coal. Operated by Ontario Power Generation, Thunder Bay Generating Station was the oldest coal-fired station in the province. The plant is scheduled to be converted to burn advanced biomass, a renewable fuel source.

The province has replaced coal generation with a mix of emission-free electricity sources like nuclear, waterpower, wind and solar, along with lower-emission electricity sources like natural gas and biomass. The move to bio-mass rather than to natural gas has raised concerns in Thunder Bay. NOMA and Common Voice Northwest, and the City of Thunder Bay have all expressed concerns.
See more

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