Archive for the ‘Big Green’ Category

Guest post from our good friend Andy Shaw; taking a light hearted look at some pretty serious issues around Boris Johnson’s version of the Green New Deal. Andy is also the powerhouse behind London based Comedy Unleashed who are still running, despite the batflu restrictions. Book early and get along there to enjoy a pint, pizza and pisstake if you’re in the area. Give Andy a follow on twitter to keep up with the latest.

A Guide to the Green Industrial Revolution

The government has announced their Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. It will bring electricity to light homes, gas for cooking and cars to drive! You may think that we already have these things, but this is a Green revolution, everything that we have got used to will be re-invented. Boris Johnson’s 10 point plan includes heat pumps, hydrogen gas and batteries, but what is really going on? This is your 6 point guide.

1. Green is popular!

Boris Johnson’s dad and his current girlfriend have a favourite colour and it is .. green! This shows that green policies are popular across generations and that the government is right to revolutionise our entire economy.

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Windfarm objection in Galloway


The suspicion may exist that the ruling Scottish Nationalist Party never seems to win in this sparsely populated region, so is not inclined to much sympathy for its residents when making decisions on the many windfarm applications.
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Residents are moving away from parts of south-west Scotland because they are losing much of the local landscape to wind farm developments, it has been claimed.

Now Trevor and Elaine Procter, who live at Knockvennie, near Dumfries, are urging people to contact local councillors to object to the “tsunami” of planning applications for such developments, reports The National (via Wind Watch).

They have lived in their current home for 12-years, and Trevor said the effect on locals was comparable to the Highland Clearances.

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Reliable Electricity? Bah Humbug!

Posted: November 2, 2020 by oldbrew in Big Green, Energy, opinion
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Green energy means: pay more, get less. But you already knew that, or if not, where have you been?

PA Pundits - International

By Kenneth Green~

In a refreshingly honest article in the Boston Review, David McDermott Hughes confirms something that we energy evangelists have been saying for some time: Environmentalists do not simply want people to transition to “green energy,” they want humanity put on energy rationing, for the good of the planet. Now, apparently, they’ve also decided that we need to add intermittent fasting to our energy diet because, gosh darnit, electricity in developed countries like the United States is just too darn reliable for our own good! It needs to go out once in a while, or, well, the planet is doomed.

According to Hughes, “For those seriously concerned about climate change, the inverse—the demand for electrical continuity—may be the real problem.” Yes, you read that right, the desire to have electricity available 24/7 is the cause of our global climate catastrophe, and we need to learn to live…

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Image credit: Equinor, Via GWPF

Guest reblog of a post written by Andrew Montford at the GWPF

Yesterday, I wrote about the financial travails of the Kincardine Floating Windfarm and the eye watering bill that is going to have to be paid for its construction. The cost of floating offshore wind power is, it seems, going to be high.

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Saudi Arabia exports oil. Who does he plan to export electricity to – Ireland perhaps? The green lobby obviously wrote his script, but nobody told him ‘carbon’ theories of climate don’t cut the mustard. And how does his plan work if Scotland leaves the UK? Something’s blustery other than the weather.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he wants to make a “big bet” on renewables, turning the UK into the “Saudi Arabia” of wind power, reports BBC News.

Speaking via video link to a climate roundtable discussion at the UN in New York, Mr Johnson said the country held “extraordinary potential for wind”.

He said the UK should embrace a range of new technologies to achieve its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

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Scottish offshore wind project [image credit : urbanrealm.com]


Electricity bill payers are in effect subsidising work that’s being exported round the world while promises of so-called green jobs for Scottish workers, and the government’s own ’emissions’ policies, are forgotten or ignored. The irony being that the high cost of UK electricity – and rising due to renewables – is part of the problem.
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A trade union has called for a halt to new offshore wind farms until a local supply chain is established, says The National (via The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

GMB London echoed the growing anger from GMB Scotland after it was announced last week that contracts to supply turbine jackets for SSE’s offshore wind farm, Seagreen, in Angus, were awarded to firms in China and UAE.

The decision meant Scottish firm Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) was left overlooked in favour of companies based thousands of miles away, even though it has engineering sites in the country, in Fife and Stornoway.

Despite BiFab securing backing from the Scottish Government to win the work, SSE Renewables claimed the gap between the submissions of foreign firms and BiFab was “too significant to close”.

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Time for climate obsessives to look the other way — again.

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

The problem of solar panel waste is now becoming evident. As environmental journalist Emily Folk admits in Renewable Energy Magazine, “when talking about renewable energy, the topic of waste does not often appear.” She attributes this to the supposed “pressures of climate change” and alleged “urgency to find alternative energy sources,” saying people may thus be hesitant to discuss “possible negative impacts of renewable energy.”

Ms. Folk admits that sustainability requires proper e-waste management. Yet she laments, “Solar presents a particular problem. There is growing evidence that broken panels release toxic pollutants … [and] increasing concern regarding what happens with these materials when they are no longer viable, especially since they are difficult to recycle.”

This is the likely reason that (except in Washington state), there are no U.S. mandates for solar recycling. A recent article in Grist reports that most used solar panels are…

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We brace ourselves for another visit to green fantasy land (‘according to the study’) where progress to imaginary nirvana is just around the corner, regardless of glaringly obvious realities pointing the other way.
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Transitioning our energy supply from coal, oil and gas to wind and solar power is feasible, claims TechXplore. [Talkshop comment – empty assertion].

However, renewables require more land than conventional forms of energy generation.

The most affordable option for a fully renewable electricity supply in Europe is based on solar parks and onshore windfarms.

However, this solution requires some 97,000 km2 land, or roughly 2% of the total area of the European Union—an area equivalent to the size of Portugal.

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Green blob [credit: storybird.com]


The Manhattan Institute reckons: ‘By 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels—much of it nonrecyclable—will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades. By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries will become garbage.’

Before then, all that future waste has to be manufactured, largely from mined materials. Is the world ready for this?
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You think those baby unicorns grow on trees? Better think again, says Michael Walsh @ The Pipeline.

“Green” energy, in fact, comes with a very high price tag as this report from the Manhattan Institute makes clear.

As policymakers have shifted focus from pandemic challenges to economic recovery, infrastructure plans are once more being actively discussed, including those relating to energy.

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Charlie Chaplin: The Great Dictator

By Robin Horsley

DAVOS, is the small town, nestled high in the Swiss Alps, widely known for hosting the annual conference of global business-people, world leaders, activists, and journalists that takes place every January. The organisation that arranges the event, the World Economic Forum (WEF), and its enigmatic founder Klaus Schwab, are less well-known.

The WEF’s exclusive shindig used to be thought of simply as a grandiose talking-shop. The ultimate annual ‘networking’ event where the wealthy and powerful could grand-stand in front of the world’s media. But in recent years, as the ambitions and agenda of the WEF have become clearer, many people have gradually realised there is far more to Davos and the World Economic Forum than they previously thought. 

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Green blob [credit: storybird.com]

From GreenTech media

The EU is currently working through the details of a €1.85 trillion ($2.08 trillion) recovery package. Before the stimulus was signed, a leaked document by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy (DG Energy) ran through a serious of policy plans to marry the European Green Deal and the COVID-19 recovery effort.

Those plans included a possible 15-gigawatt EU-wide renewable tender designed to help make up for a shortfall in national tenders. Support for green hydrogen was also advanced as a potential item for inclusion.

But the plans have not survived a barrage of lobbying by vested interests and pushback from member states still married to a more traditional energy mix, according to multiple sources following the green recovery’s development.

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From Forbes, by Tilak Doshi H/T to Andrew Gibson

As the world emerges from Covid-19 lockdown we are now being told that the economic recovery from the pandemic-panic needs to be “green.” Political leaders and mass media editors cite the well-known slogan “never let a crisis go to waste,” and claim that massive sums need to be spent on economic recovery plans, and that the spending has to be “sustainable.”

Prince Charles – a prognosticator of apocalyptic climate change – said at the opening of a virtual World Economic Forum event that the global pandemic presented an opportunity to “reset the global economy and prioritize sustainable development.” Using similar language, the founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab calls for a “Great Reset” of capitalism. Seeing a silver lining in the pandemic, he advocates “radical changes” to “create a new economic system” including sustainably green urban infrastructure.

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The non-solution to the non-problem gets another going-over. Anything that gives the lie to ‘clean green’ mythology and gets a few headlines has to be welcomed.
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A newly-released documentary from contrarian filmmaker Michael Moore calls green energy a fraud that is destroying the Earth, says Lorrie Goldstein @ The Toronto Sun.

Planet of the Humans also accuses the environmental movement of selling out to corporate and Wall St. interests, by shilling for these so-called renewable technologies.

The film premiered at the Traverse City Film Festival in July, but Moore released it on YouTube for free for 30 days on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday.

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More pie in the sky from the green lobby. No sign here of how the hydrogen would be produced in sufficient quantities to replace all the world’s fuels. A bunch of wind turbines and solar installations would barely begin to do it, given they’re already fully occupied with ever-increasing electricity demand. If ‘infrastructure investment in storage might cost around $637 billion by 2050’, who would be willing to pay such eye-watering sums?
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Carbon-free hydrogen production could significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions in power generation and manufacturing, but it will require a mammoth and long-term financial commitment to become cost competitive, says Power Engineering.

This is according to a new report by BloombergNEF. The research wing of media giant Bloomberg is focused on next-generation energy technologies which also reduce carbon emissions.

Hydrogen can be a zero-carbon substitute for fossil fuels. Companies such as Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), GE, Siemens and Ansaldo Energia already are working on programs to blend hydrogen into their turbine fuel mixes.

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H/T The GWPF

Less money available to waste on absurd and costly schemes for climate obsessives? What a shame – not. A harsh new reality has arrived.
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Much remains uncertain as the effects of the Coronavirus ravage economies, says Dave Keating @ Forbes.

But what seems clear is that any assumptions made about transitioning to the green economy have now been rendered obsolete.

[…] The EU’s Green Deal, with its target to completely decarbonize by 2050 proposed earlier this month, has not taken the massive economic and social disruption of Coronavirus into account.

Assumptions made just a few weeks ago will now have to be completely revised. There is particular urgency to revise the EU’s medium-term goal of reducing emissions by 40% by 2030, adopted in 2014.

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What happens to all the old wind turbines?

Posted: February 7, 2020 by oldbrew in Big Green, turbines, wind
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Recycled wind turbine tower [image credit: inhabitat.com]


Apart from becoming school playground novelty items, what else is there?
One process requires pyrolysis: ‘After first chopping up the blades, pyrolysis breaks up the composite fibres in ovens with an inert atmosphere, at about 450-700C.’
But: ‘The problem is significant amounts of energy are needed to activate the pyrolysis, which might limit its environmental usefulness.’
Indeed, if you’re obsessed with avoiding burning fuels.
Some newer turbine blades are now nearly 100m. long.

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Welcome to the wind turbine graveyard, says BBC News. It stretches a hundred metres from a bend in the North Platte River in Casper, Wyoming.

Between last September and this March, it will become the final resting place for 1,000 fibreglass turbine blades.

These blades, which have reached the end of their 25-year working lives, come from three wind farms in the north-western US state.

Each is about 90m (300ft) long, and will be cut into three, then the pieces will be stacked and buried.

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Image Credit: freepik.com

Electrek reports:

IONITY, a European EV charging network owned by BMW, Daimler, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, and VW Group (with Audi and Porsche) has announced that prices will be going up over 500% starting January 31 as they transition to a pay-per-kWh system.

Previously, IONITY charged a flat, fixed rate of €8 for a DCFC charging session. This was a good deal if you showed up with an empty battery and filled most of the way. If you arrived with, say, 10% battery remaining, and added 60 kWh during your charging session, then you’d get away with paying about €0.13 per kWh. For context, in France, electricity costs about €0.19 per kWh at home, and €0.24 per kWh at Tesla Superchargers. In Germany, you pay €0.30 per kWh at home, and €0.33 at Tesla Superchargers in Germany.

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[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]


In short, Scottish wind power often produces too much for the electricity system to handle, yet more is planned. Meanwhile the super-expensive Western Link is failing miserably to draw off the excess power. Matt Ridley is trying to blow the whistle on this fiasco in the House of Lords, with some success.

Last weekend the Italian cable manufacturing company, Prysmian, released a statement announcing to the markets that the Western Link High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) interconnector between Hunterston and Deeside had failed again, on the 10th of January, says the Renewable Energy Foundation.

This grid link, which is a joint venture between Scottish Power Transmission (SPT) and National Grid (NG), employs cables manufactured by Prysmian.

This £1 billion project has a peak transit capacity of 2.25 GW and was designed solely to facilitate the export of Scottish wind power to the English and Welsh markets.

In doing so it was expected to reduce constraint payments to wind power, payments which amount to £630m since 2010, with a record £130 million in 2019 alone.

The project was expected to come online at the end of 2015 but in fact did not become fully operational until late 2018 and has been plagued with faults ever since.

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H/T The GWPF
Same old story, but numbers keep getting bigger. This just reinforces the point that large-scale surplus electricity can’t be stored. But nobody pays non-renewable sources for switching off or reducing output when wind and/or solar are operating at or near their capacity.
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Wind farms were paid up to £3 million per day to switch off their turbines and not produce electricity last week, The Telegraph can disclose.

Energy firms were handed more than £12 million in compensation following a fault with a major power line carrying electricity to England from turbines in Scotland.

The payouts, which will ultimately be added onto consumer bills, were between 25 per cent and 80 per cent more than the firms, which own giant wind farms in Scotland, would have received had they been producing electricity, according to an analysis of official figures.

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Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who previously served as Canada’s top central banker, will be taking on a new role as the United Nations’ special envoy on climate action and climate finance.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the announcement while speaking to reporters in Madrid on Sunday, adding the move will take effect next year.

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