Power companies ‘hindering’ move to green energy – or being realistic?

Posted: September 1, 2020 by oldbrew in Energy, research
Tags: , , ,


Customers aren’t going to be impressed if electricity generation becomes as intermittent as the wind, or is limited by the time of day and the weather like solar power. Most want reliable and affordable power, ahead of any theoretical climate obsessions based on misleading computer models.
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New research suggests utilities are dragging their feet when it comes to embracing wind and solar, says BBC News.

Only one in 10 energy suppliers globally has prioritised renewables over fossil fuels, the study finds.

Even those that are spending on greener energy are continuing to invest in carbon heavy coal and natural gas.

The lead researcher says the slow uptake undermines global efforts to tackle climate change.

In countries like the UK and across Europe, renewable energy has taken a significant share of the market, with 40% of Britain’s electricity coming from wind and solar last year.

But while green energy has boomed around the world in recent years, many of the new wind and solar power installations have been built by independent producers.

Large scale utility companies, including many state and city owned enterprises, have been much slower to go green, according to this new study.

The research looked at more than 3,000 electricity companies worldwide and used machine learning techniques to analyse their activities over the past two decades.

The study found that only 10% of the companies had expanded their renewable-based power generation more quickly than their gas or coal fired capacity.

Of this small proportion that spent more on renewables, many continued to invest in fossil fuels, although at a lower rate.

The vast majority of companies, according to the author, have just sat on the fence.

“If you look at all utilities, and what’s the dominant behaviour, it is that they’re not doing much in fossil fuels and renewables,” said Galina Alova, from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford.

Continued here.

Comments
  1. Gamecock says:

    ‘used machine learning techniques to analyse their activities’

    What has this got to do with anything? College boys’ new toys?

  2. Graeme No.3 says:

    “The study found that only 10% of the companies had expanded their renewable-based power generation more quickly than their gas or coal fired capacity”. I am surprised that so many companies want to abandon cheaper, more reliable means of generating income to gambling money on the weather,
    I hope the directors of that minority have a better excuse when the time comes than “it seemed like a good idea at the time”.

  3. Chaswarnertoo says:

    Anybody wanting green power must have a smart meter and agree to be switched off first. Simples.

  4. Curious George says:

    Down with ocean liners. Bring tall ships back.

  5. JB says:

    machine learning: easier to write the code (innumerable unforeseen dead-ends) than it is to look directly at the data and derive some sense of trends by inspection.

    What utility company wants to be caught in possible wide-ranging brown outs due to limited capacity? Like anyone else they’re likely looking at consumption trends upwards, investment vs return and strategizing for what will keep them operational in the future.

  6. Joe Public says:

    “In countries like the UK and across Europe, renewable energy has taken a significant share of the market, with 40% of Britain’s electricity coming from wind and solar last year.”

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/09/01/matt-mcgraths-latest-howler/

    😀

  7. tom0mason says:

    ““If you look at all utilities, and what’s the dominant behaviour, it is that they’re not doing much in fossil fuels and renewables,” said Galina Alova”

    That might be Galina Alova because these utilities have a responsibility to their consumers and shareholders to make reliable products and profits. Without these reliabilities they will go out of business, or become highly dependant on government subsidy and consequential onerous (dead-hand) government regulation. Certainly the UK already fritters away far too much effort and money on such pipe-dreams.
    Remaining relatively free of unreliable generation means that they (the utility companies) are freer to move within (or out of) the changing national energy markets as the business owners/shareholders see fit (and not National Government mandates). All these utility companies are not in the market to just virtue signal with unreliable energy production and state subsidy, and a subsequent reputation for delivering unreliability. They are here to deliver RELIABLE energy and rightfully make profits.
    What you and this study appear to be advocating is the creep of government mandates leading to gradual nationalization (or maybe regionalization — e.g. EU; or even internationalization) of energy generation markets with all the additional costs and lethargy that would involve.
    So no Galina Alova, western industrialized nations have grown wealthier, healthier, and happier through the competition of free and open markets, and no amount of whining from you and your ‘team’ should change that.

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