Fossil fuels versus renewables as global temperatures plummet

Posted: February 19, 2021 by oldbrew in climate, Energy, opinion, Temperature, weather
Tags: , , ,

The ‘climate change is your fault’ crowd have gone into damage limitation mode as temperatures sink to unexpected (by them) lows. This ‘op-ed’ does a fair job of summarising the cold weather, but then drifts off into a woolly propaganda-based ‘discussion’.
– – –
This week debates have heated up about the world’s shift away from fossil fuels, as frigid temperatures have wreaked havoc from Turkey to Texas, says PEI.

Let’s start in the USA. It’s the first time in 17 years that such a large portion of the US has been covered with snow and rolling blackouts have meant many have been without power, exposed to freezing temperatures.

Utilities are struggling to keep the power on as wind turbines have frozen and natural gas flow was impeded from frozen pipes.

According to USA Today: “In Texas, more than 1.6 million homes and businesses remained without power late Wednesday night, and some also lost water service”.

As is the case in many emergency situations, folks are looking for someone or something to blame. This time, the focus is on failing renewables – like the frozen turbines – with people questioning the shift from coal and natural gas, viewing it as unwise and risking baseload reliability.

The blame has fueled an energy debate that has quickly turned political with some highlighting the left’s war on fossil fuels and renewable energy mandates that require 20-30% of a state’s power supply to come from wind and solar power, as pushing the grid to the brink.

Adding fuel to the controversial fire is that during this cold period, coal was producing roughly 41,000MW of electricity; natural gas provided 22,000MW; and wind and solar roughly 3,000MW — or about 4% of the power, according to The Hill.

Meanwhile in Europe

According to Sky News, this month has been the coldest February in Germany since 2012. France saw blowtorches applied to the Eiffel Tower to melt the ice, while icicles covered a jetty on the frozen IJsselmeer Sea north of Amsterdam. And in Greece, temperatures reached as low as -19 degrees Celsius (-2.2 F) with parts of Athens left without electricity as fallen trees cut power supplies.

Germany experienced freezing temperatures caused by Storm Darcy this past week, which saw the German Weather Service issue an extreme weather warning, saying emergency crews needed to be on standby due to the “extraordinary onset of winter.”

Millions of solar panels were blanketed with snow and 30,000+ wind turbines stood idle due to a lack of wind in Germany. The intermittency of renewable supply had the locals looking for coal power like there was no tomorrow.

In response to the situation, European wholesale electricity prices have risen sharply due to forecasts of relatively weak German wind power supply, and lower nuclear availability in France due to unplanned maintenance caused by the weather.

Europe’s chilly start to winter has left many asking the same question that is being asked in the US; have we moved too quickly to weather-dependent renewable energy, shutting down grid stabilising coal and nuclear plants?

Full article here.

  1. ivan says:

    A lot of the problems stem from the ‘information age’ – anything that isn’t on the internet hasn’t happened even though it did a few years before the internet started.

    I see many of the technical papers produced today claiming something new are, in fact, regurgitating something that was found years before the internet became the supposed information standard. Cold weather isn’t new it has happened before. I remember walking the 3 miles to school on top of the hedges because the roads and fields were filled with snow in the 1950s and we thought nothing of it.

    Today we have wackademics pontificating from their ivory towers about the weather mainly because they can’t find out how bad it was in their search on their computers – maybe they should leave the computer alone and go to the library and do a search in the ‘stack’, the old book storage area. The problem with them doing that is they wouldn’t believe what they found since it isn’t on the internet.

    The other problem is the eco-loons are trying to emulate the luddites and move technology into some mythical past age where fairies sprinkle pixie dust and unicorn farts provide the energy to run the technology. The fact they don’t know how the technology works doesn’t deter them from their impractical idealised vision.

    The problem is that we all have to live with their vision that does not work in the real world

  2. Gamecock says:

    “The problem is that we all have to live with their vision that does not work in the real world”

    The Left has been killing joy for 50 years. Imagine what an amazing world we would have if it hadn’t been for the Left.

  3. cognog2 says:

    We should standby for a raft of ‘Group Cognitive Dissonance’ papers purporting to claim that it is all due to CO2 emissions etc.
    It will be interesting to see how the Warmumists deal with this.

  4. saighdear says:

    ‘…. have we moved too quickly…’ eh? In my book, you’d have been better staying PUT – let the clowns jump in the river of fire. Leave the rest of us in peace. with our wisdom.

  5. Gamecock says:

    “We should standby for a raft of ‘Group Cognitive Dissonance’”

    10-4, cognog2. It has started.

    The legacy press meme in the US is “historic cold!” It is repeated in all reports, as if reporters have all been told, “Be sure to say ‘historic cold.”

    Just saw report on The Weather Channel. They showed the low temperatures this week for 3 states, and commented on how close they were to the states’ record lows.

    Hold on a minute! These were NOT record lows? Then WTF is ‘historic’ about them ?!?!

    Is this journalistic flair? No. It is too widespread/coordinated. It is clearly propaganda. On The Climate Channel. And everywhere.

    “Never let a crisis go to waste.”

  6. oldbrew says:

    ‘If you can’t blind them with science, baffle them with BS.’
    – – –
    people questioning the shift from coal and natural gas, viewing it as unwise and risking baseload reliability

    But not the people running the show.
    – – –
    Profit warning as Texas freeze halts wind farms
    Date: 19/02/21

    Reuters – Freezing temperatures hitting Texas have put onshore wind farms out of service and forced operator RWE to buy electricity at sky-rocketing prices, it said on Friday, warning of a knock on earnings this year.

    Germany’s largest power producer said the crisis would mean a low- to mid-triple-digit million euro hit to core earnings from onshore wind/solar this year.

    Hold on to your wallets!

  7. oldbrew says:

    Here we go again: Climate activists blame record cold/snow on warming! – ‘How global warming also brings colder weather’ – Climate Depot Rebuttal

    “Predictions of less snow were ubiquitous by global warming scientists. But once that prediction failed to come true, the opposite of what they predicted instead became—what they expected. How did global warming scientists explain record snow after prediction less snow? Easy. More snow is now caused by global warming. ‘Snow is consistent with global warming, say scientists’ blared a UK Telegraph headline in 2009. The Financial Times tried to explain “Why global warming means…more snow” in 2012…

    So no matter what happens, the activists can claim with confidence the event was a predicted consequence of global warming. There is now no way to ever falsify global warming claims.”
    – – –
    ‘No way to falsify’ = not science

  8. JB says:

    Never attempt to extricate the fool from their folly (debate and absurdumb). It’s in the natural order of things they too, reap their reward. The dilemma of our time is the concentration of fools within the populous is closing in on critical mass. The perspicacious man is too busy preparing against the day of want.

  9. Coeur de Lion says:

    Looking forward to UAH for February

  10. Are they moving snow and ice to the equator yet. Chuckle😜

    So is this cold outbreak a post polar vortex split event?

  11. Hasbeen says:

    Bet it’s still the hottest February Ever.

  12. oldbrew says:

    Texas Winter Storm Highlights The Importance Of Fossil Fuels

    This is telling us—in no uncertain terms—that the lack of diversification is the opposite of wise. It is as true of electricity supply as it is of economies and businesses. Total electrification and the shutting out of fossil fuels completely will mean blackouts. It’s as simple as that.

    Because while the energy generated by the Sun and the wind comes free, it cannot be summoned when you need it, and even combined with energy storage, it will be insufficient. That’s what fossil fuels are for.
    – – –
    This should be obvious of course, but propaganda has replaced commonsense in the corridors of power.

  13. oldbrew says:

    have we moved too quickly to weather-dependent renewable energy?

    What difference does the speed of ‘movement’ make? You still arrive at the same untenable position.
    = = =
    Calves’ ears falling off due to frostbite amid freezing temperatures in US

    Farmers have had to use unprecedented measures to protect their cattle from the extreme weather.

    In Montana ranchers are “duct-taping calves’ ears” to their necks to stop them from falling off and in Arkansas, ranchers are fitting tights over the heads of their animals, reports Bloomberg news.
    . . .
    On Tuesday, the National Weather Service reported that more than 73 per cent of the US is currently covered by snow.

  14. JohnM de France says:

    Last Thursday the French government published its defense in the court case brought by several environmental groups claiming that the French government is not keeping its commitments to the 2015 Paris agreement.

    It’s official: the Minister for the Ecological and Solidarity Transition declared (according to the Paris Administrative Court on February 3, 2021) that renewable energies do not contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases, in a “defense” recorded on June 23, 2020… and that the State has not made public.


    The French therefore have official confirmation that the transition from nuclear to intermittent electric energies (wind power, photovoltaic) has no impact on the reduction of CO2 emissions and therefore does not make it possible to fight against global warming, and even less to achieve the objectives defined by the Paris climate agreements in 2015.

    Wind turbines are even likely to increase greenhouse gas emissions in France!

    For 15 years there have been many ministers for the energy transition (Corinne Lepage, Dominique Voynet, Yves Cochet, Delphine Bato, Nicolas Hulot, François de Rugy, Barbara Pompili), from political ecology. They are responsible for this dismal result and for appointing the still-active architects of this fiasco to key positions.

    Rather than suing the French state, the Hulot Foundation should ask for the sanctioning of the promoters of the inefficient energy model based on wind and sun, in particular Mr. Hulot, Minister of the Environment for the period 2017-2018.

    Because the real scandal of the Affair of the Century is to de-industrialise France in favor of countries increasing their consumption of coal (China) or gas (Germany), and to destroy the nuclear industry (Fessenheim) to replace it with recoverable energy and intermittent renewables from wind and sun emitting more carbon. All of this for the benefit of mostly foreign investors and at the expense of taxpayers.

  15. tom0mason says:

    Meanwhile in the oil rich Saudi Arabia it too has been snowing

    Global warming? I think not!

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