UK Says 100% Renewables Won’t Work

Posted: May 23, 2019 by oldbrew in Energy, ideology
Tags: , ,

We already knew this, but UK public policy in energy matters tends to prefer ideology to reality.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

A lot of countries (as well as many U.S. states and utilities) are announcing so-called zero-carbon plans, typically with a target year around 2050. These are often reported as calling for 100% renewable energy, which is wrong.

There is a difference between zero-carbon and 100% renewables, but this is often hidden and unclear. In the new UK plan it is still hidden, but once found it is very clear. Renewables provide just 57% of the energy, which is a lot less than 100%. Perhaps most surprising is that nuclear might provide as much as 38% of the energy!

By way of introduction, the plan comes from the government’s own Committee on Climate Change (CCC), in a report titled “Net-Zero: The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming.” The CCC is the UK’s top climate action planning group.

The surprising numbers occur in…

View original post 574 more words

  1. oldbrew says:

    Industry opinion: Flying a kite – the 100 per cent renewables myth

    Capacity margins are expected to tighten to less than 7 per cent in 2020, with further pressure materializing as the coal, nuclear and aged CCGTs enter retirement. To put this into a global context the average capacity margins in other countries are forecast as follows for 2020: Japan 10 per cent, the US 11 to 16 per cent, Germany 18 per cent, China 27 per cent and Singapore 40 per cent plus.

    Experts predict without any new build development, above those developments already in construction, the UK security of supply could be compromised as early as 2025, at which point we could see negative capacity margins.

    The immediate answer to meet this challenge, but unlikely to be desirable by everyone, is the new build of CCGT plants. [bold added]
    – – –
    Meanwhile UK leaders do the ostrich thing. The author tries to soften the blow for greenies by pretending CCS can be deployed, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon – if ever – due to high costs and tech problems.

  2. Yes, just as 100% non-renewables won’t work. They’re called non-renewable because we consume them faster than they are naturally replenished. Fossil fuels are finite and will become increasingly energy expensive over time, until they cost more energy to acquire that they produce.

    The problem is not renewables vs. non-renewables. The problem is we humans are consuming resources faster than they are naturally replenished. This includes renewables as well, since renewable energy technology requires mining, transportation, maintenance, repair and dismantlement, all of which take their toll on ecosystems, habitats ands species, all of which are finite on human time scales.

    There’s no free lunch, not even a relatively inexpensive snack.

  3. oldbrew says:

    Try making steel and concrete with renewables only. Both needed in large amounts for wind turbines. Nuclear power doesn’t use fossil fuels.
    – – –
    Date: 23/05/19

    Staying true to their promise from the campaign trail, Alberta’s Conservatives have introduced a bill to repeal a carbon tax introduced by their predecessors at the helm of the province, the New Democratic Party.
    . . .
    “The carbon tax has been all economic pain and no environmental gain. If Justin Trudeau’s government then seeks to impose a federal carbon tax in Alberta, we will see him in court,” Alberta’s Premier told media. This will add Alberta to three other provinces that have taken the federal government to court over the carbon tax: Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. The last of these provinces lost its case in a win for the federal government.

  4. stpaulchuck says:

    Michael A. Lewis says:
    May 23, 2019 at 5:42 pm
    Michael, I’ve been hearing doomsday nonsense for decades in regards to energy and resources. It’s all hogwash.

    We’ve got more than 500 years of energy resources and if you add coal it’s more like 1,000 years. Thorium reactors in addition to the uranium plants have the longest lives. Thorium is four times more abundant that uranium. Add in fast neutron reactors to ‘burn up’ all the current and future nuclear waste and you can account for increasing energy needs over time. Fracking and horizontal drilling have opened up HUGE amounts of previously unattainable oil and gas.

    I’m thinking that in something less than 500 years, technology will come up with ever more useful ways to generate cheap, reliable energy that does not rely on stupid windmills and such other intermittent comic sources of unreliable energy.

    I don’t know of any particular resource that will ‘run out’ any time soon (or perhaps ever). once we noticed we were running a bit short of some things the recycling boom started. We used to just toss old computers and appliances, now we part them out and reuse a significant amount of their bits and pieces. The invention of non-lead solders is helping a lot. Eventually we’ll mine old dump sites as well. It’s all down to cost of recovery versus demand.

    The future is bright as long as the Luddites don’t take control.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Over the pond…

    MAY 23, 2019
    100% renewables doesn’t equal zero-carbon energy, and the difference is growing
    by Stanford University

    The problem with investing in more solar panels in California is that the output often will not cause fossil fuel based generators to turn off, because they are already idle at the time of day the solar panels will produce power.
    – – –
    But all the proposed ‘solutions’ are highly expensive compared to efficient power stations, and undeliverable on the scale proposed.

  6. Gamecock says:

    “The problem is we humans are consuming resources faster than they are naturally replenished.”

    False. Reserves are growing.

  7. oldbrew says:

    Germany’s Dangerously Flawed Energy Policies
    May 24, 2019 HANS-WERNER SINN

    Germany has made a noble effort to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and replace conventional energy sources with wind and solar power. But now it is time to face reality: the country cannot possibly play a role in combating climate change until it first reverses its decision to phase out nuclear power.
    . . .
    The main problem is the volatility of wind and solar energy. Sometimes there is too little electricity, and sometimes there is too much. If the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining, conventional power plants must shore up the electricity supply. Hence, no matter how many wind- and solar-powered plants Germany builds, it still cannot dismantle its conventional plants.

    Moreover, when wind and solar generate too much electricity, they regularly drive the price of electricity below zero. These distortions will grow dramatically if the market share of wind and solar power, currently at 25%, increases beyond 30%, because production spikes will then begin to overshoot electricity demand.

    Worse, as the market share of directly usable wind and solar power approaches 100%, so, too, does the proportion of surplus energy.
    – – –
    Bears repeating the obvious, until somebody in power listens.