Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category


Some might say the unrest has already started. The futile pursuit of policies that supposedly ‘improve’ the climate somehow, but cost energy consumers a small fortune and make the electricity grid ever more difficult to manage, is bound to end badly sooner or later.
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Carbon emissions targets could be “bigger than Brexit” for the potential of causing unrest, and division in the country, an organising member of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group of MPs has warned.

Serial rebel, Brexiteer and Tory backbencher Steve Baker helped establish the group of around 20 MPs who are concerned about the costs of reaching net zero, says Sky News.

And his warning comes amid an escalating cost of living crisis.

Mr Baker told Sky News: “I genuinely believe that when the full costs of net zero start hitting us, if people have never been given a choice at the ballot box, we could end up with something bigger than the poll tax, certainly bigger than Brexit, because the numbers of people hit by it and their inability to cope will be huge.

“I am sick to death of people talking to me about food and fuel poverty, and then piling costs on the poor.

“This is a fundamental moral issue.”

‘MPs know this is going to hit all voters and hit them hard’

“I’ve started three big projects of MPs on the issue of the day – one on Brexit, one on COVID, which of course affected everybody, and one on net zero.

“Of the three of them, the one that grew fastest by miles was net zero, simply because members of parliament know this is going to hit all voters and hit them hard and hit them fast and they aren’t going to like it.”

Mr Baker’s warning comes as the prime minister is fighting another significant division – battling to regain support from within his party as it responds to the ongoing “partygate” scandal.

The Net Zero Scrutiny Group, which includes former cabinet minister Esther McVey MP, recently signed an open letter demanding the government scrap green levies on energy bills and increase the amount of gas extracted from the North Sea.

But the larger, greener wing of the Conservative party sees things very differently.

Full article here.

Photosynthesis: nature requires carbon dioxide


Which should surprise nobody. Carbon capture is energy-intensive and expensive, and invariably fails to live up to the unrealistic expectations of climate obsessives. In terms of its supposed purpose it just isn’t worth it.
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A new report provides some damning new math on one of the oil giant’s much-hyped CCS projects, says Gizmodo.

Oil companies love to tell the world about the super cool technologies that have that will allow us to keep burning fossil fuels without cooking the climate. But those technologies are largely bullshit.

A new report from Global Witness documents how a much-hyped blue hydrogen plant with carbon capture and storage (CCS) owned by Shell is only capturing a fraction of the greenhouse gas emissions that the company claims.

In fact, it’s created more emissions in its five years of operation than it’s captured.

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Is more of this what the future has in store, as governments enforce their plans to eradicate fuel-burning private cars from public roads in pursuit of nebulous ‘net zero’ goals? As well as wi-fi issues, if there’s a power cut affecting your home for example, an EV in need of a battery charge is rendered useless for the duration.
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How EVs and chargers say no when the internet freezes — reporting by Energy Live News.

So everyone hails the future of interconnected devices and I am all for that. Or so I thought!

But this week I have been unable to charge my EV, why?

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Image credit: thecount.com


‘Four storage solutions to help Britain keep the lights on deep into the future’ says the paper’s sub-heading. But given the puny nature of their suggestions, that looks to be about all they could hope to do. What about actual reliable power for heating, transport, industry, commerce, hospitals, shops, services etc.?
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Soaring energy bills rooted in a global gas supply crunch have focused minds on the age-old problem: how can we better store power? says The Guardian.

Attention has turned to the closure of the Rough gas storage facility in the North Sea in 2017, which left the UK with only enough storage to meet the demand of four to five winter days.

But while gas is being phased out, Britain’s growing reliance on renewables, such as offshore wind and solar, does not solve the problem of intermittency – what happens when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine.

The key to securing enough affordable, low-carbon energy is more storage to make the most of the renewable energy available. A storage boom has been forecast over the coming decade as governments race to meet their climate targets.
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Their four suggestions:
— ‘Gravity’ storage
— Concentrated solar power storage [see below]
— Green hydrogen
— ‘Cryogenic’ batteries

Full article here.
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If anyone finds any or all of these a convincing and/or ‘affordable’ alternative to existing fuels as a storage medium, please explain why.

UPDATE 10/1/22, 7PM (UK)
The Concentrated solar power storage project cited by the Guardian (Crescent Dunes) as an example to follow has already been wound up!

U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey:
‘As a result of alleged misfeasance, nonfeasance, and malfeasance, the project failed, and the plant is now nonoperational.’
[Report dated December 09, 2021]

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Don’t we know it. The pain will appear big-time when the energy price cap gets revised massively upwards from April. Piling on green levies adds insult to injury for bill payers.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

We are just weeks into winter and already an energy crisis is starting to burn in Britain. Part of this anguish is directed at climate policy, especially net zero.

The Brits are way ahead of the US when it comes to threatening people with direct hits, so this is no surprise. We have high natural gas prices, but they are being told they will have to pay huge sums to insulate and convert their gas heated homes to electric heat pumps. We have high gasoline prices while they are threatened with outlawing new fuel-fired cars. The stupidly green government has even suggested that personal car ownership might be ended. No wonder the Brits are running hot.

One aspect of this green shock is that supposedly conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson was elected largely because of his role in Brexit. That he was a roaring green…

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Environmentalism Has Lost Its Way

Posted: January 5, 2022 by oldbrew in Batteries, Critique, Energy, opinion
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Funny how all the intensive mining for battery, solar panel and wind turbine components, and all the resulting toxic and other waste, gets billed as clean energy by climate obsessives.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

Driven by climate madness, the environmental movement has become the greatest advocate of destructive industrial development in history.

As Kant said: “To will the end is to will the means”. In this case the means to the phantom end of climate control have led environmentalists to abandon all of their principles. Solar and wind require environmental destruction on an unprecedented scale. Electrification requires the use of toxic chemicals on a similar scale. The hazardous waste stream is enormous.

Solar is the worst because the destruction of forests and open land is complete. Perhaps something lives under these vast solar slabs but not much and certainly nothing like what they destroy and displace.

As I pointed out in my recent article on Virginia’s ill-named Clean Economy Act, we are talking about hundreds of square miles of solar devastation today, for just one state. See my https://www.cfact.org/2021/12/27/paving-virginia-with-solar-slabs-is-a-bad-law/

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Overcharged and overtaxed. UK energy customers are getting clobbered from all directions: the markets, the so-called climate levies, and taxes. The government is in disarray as its renewables-based policies force the pace of cost increases.
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Energy bills have soared as global wholesale prices have risen rapidly – but some Tory MPs and peers say they have increased more in the UK because of taxes the government has the power to remove.

Twenty Conservative politicians have urged Boris Johnson to scrap energy taxes as bills continue to rocket, reports Sky News.

The MPs and peers have written a letter in the Sunday Telegraph to ask the prime minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help consumers facing “fuel poverty”.

Energy prices in the UK are being forced up faster than any other comparable country due to “taxation and environmental levies”, they wrote.

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Demand for energy on a global scale is set to increase substantially in the coming years, as this article points out. So-called activists need to activate their brains a bit more. Unless they hope to suppress demand permanently in some ultra-draconian manner, the current system has to continue unless or until something better takes its place, which won’t be any time soon as demand now exceeds 100 million barrels per day.
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Europe may be in the grips of an energy shortage and forced to reopen retired coal plants to cope but climate activists insist that it is time to part company with fossil fuels, the sooner, the better says OilPrice.com.

According to them, this is a simple solution to the world’s emission problems. “It is overflowing with too much carbon. The world can’t absorb any more,” said Tom Goldtooth, an activist and the executive director of the North American Indigenous Environmental Network on the sidelines of COP26, as quoted by CNBC. “The simple solution, that we are still demanding, is the world has to turn the valve off.”

Yet the solution of turning off the valve appears to not be as simple as it may sound. Goldtooth is neither the first nor the last activist to call for an immediate end to oil and gas production.

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Fracking: note the deep shaft


The chances of the UK government listening to anybody other than climate obsessives on energy matters are about zero. Most of the opposition parties are even more addicted to the notion of climate being determined by the level of trace gases in the atmosphere, with wildly unrealistic policies to match.
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London, 29 December – Net Zero Watch has called on Boris Johnson to declare an energy emergency and introduce radical policy reforms in order to prevent the energy cost crisis turning into an economic and social disaster.

The call comes as fears grow over a devastating energy cost and energy security crisis, with spiralling prices hitting households and businesses hard, and warnings that energy bills could double or even treble next year.

It is reported that Boris Johnson is considering to hand out £20 billion of taxpayers’ money to energy suppliers who are threatening to double or treble energy costs.

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Having put the climate millstone round its neck, the UK government tries to avoid totally sabotaging a productive industry, partly by pointing to its net importer status.
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The UK government says new oil and gas licensing can fit with its climate commitments. Campaigners, citing the International Energy Agency, disagree says Climate Home News.

The UK government has launched a consultation on “climate compatibility” tests for new rounds of North Sea oil and gas drilling licences, ignoring calls to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

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Domestic gas central heating boiler


Another setback for climate obsessives – their pet heating methods for buildings can be too expensive and impractical even for governments. Going green – as they imagine – means going broke?
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Report reveals that her policy of replacing gas boilers at St Andrew’s House with eco-friendly ones would not provide value for money, says the Telegraph.

Nicola Sturgeon’s demand that Scotland’s homes and offices replace their gas heating systems by 2030 is so difficult to implement in her government’s headquarters that she has been advised to consider moving out and selling it.

The Telegraph has obtained an expert assessment, commissioned by the Scottish Government, of bringing St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh up to the carbon emissions standard required of all buildings by the end of the decade.

The assessment, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, warned ministers that ripping out their headquarters’ gas heating and replacing it with a low emissions system would cost nearly £5.8 million of taxpayers’ money.
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The boilers at St Andrew’s House were last replaced in 2013 and they are expected to last until 2033.

Full article here.


Sawing off the branch of the tree you’re sitting on seems an unlikely sort of energy policy. However, it’s now the approach being pursued in much of Europe and elsewhere due to an obsession with the output of failing climate models.
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London, 22 December – Net Zero Watch has warned EU leaders to reject last ditch attempts by campaigners to prevent the EU’s planned green taxonomy for gas and nuclear energy or face a political and economic disaster.

Despite Europe facing its worst energy crisis since the Second World War, campaigners are trying to prevent the EU from easing and encouraging the investment in desperately needed new natural gas and nuclear power plants and infrastructure, says Net Zero Watch.

Both low-carbon energy sources are included in the EU Commission’s proposed “taxonomy for sustainable activities” which is reported to be tabled at the end of the year.

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Digging for cobalt [image credit: mining.com]


Poverty and grim working conditions — that EV drivers would never tolerate in their own workplaces — don’t sit well under the banner of ‘green’ technology. If it’s like this now, what about the supposedly glorious electric vehicle future if it means ever higher demand for cobalt?
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While driving an electric car has fewer environmental impacts than gasoline-powered cars, the production of the parts necessary for these green technologies can have dire effects on human well-being, says Phys.org.

After studying the impacts of mining cobalt—a common ingredient in lithium-ion batteries—on communities in Africa’s Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), an interdisciplinary team of researchers led by Northwestern University is calling for more data into how emerging technologies affect human health and livelihoods.

Such data can inform policymakers, industry leaders and consumers to make more socially and ethically responsible decisions when developing, funding and using green technologies.

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North Sea oil platform [image credit: matchtech.com]


Getting a reasoned debate out of ‘net-zero’ obsessed political leaders is going to be a tall order, when their entire energy policy is based on extreme climate dogma and decrees of what they intend to do, having taken the ‘advice’ (orders?) of the Climate Change Committee. Asking for energy plans that make sense seems unlikely to strike a chord with those in power.
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Business leaders have written a joint open letter to party leaders calling for a “reasoned debate” over the future of oil and gas in the UK, reports BBC News.

The call comes after plans for the controversial Cambo Oil field off Shetland were put on hold.

The letter says any statements calling for an end to new exploration have shaken investor confidence, placing tens of thousands of jobs at risk.

It warns politicians against creating a “hostile investment environment”.

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Something to ponder as UK wind power splutters along at 6% of electricity generation today, due to the ‘wrong kind’ of weather.

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

As late as the 1800’s, the world was “decarbonized” as there were no coal or natural gas power plants, and what the Beverly Hillbillies situation comedies of the 1960’s theme song called “oil that is, black gold, Texas tea”, had not been discovered as something that could be manufactured into usable products.

Before the 1900’s life was hard and dirty, and most people never traveled 100-200 miles from where they were born, and life expectancy was short. Today, crude oil is manufactured into all the products used in the medical industry, fertilizers, electronics and more than 6,000 other products that are the basis of lifestyles and economies.

Now, worldwide efforts are in place to have electricity generated by breezes and sunshine to decarbonize the electricity being generated by coal and natural gas. The “other” fossil fuel of crude oil is caught on the chopping block efforts to eliminate…

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Credit: Coal India Limited


After COP26 – the real world. In much of the world ‘net zero’ and suchlike so-called climate targets are not a priority, as they strive to increase access to electricity – just like richer countries once did.
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The economic rebound from the pandemic is taking coal power generation to a new record high this year reports OilPrice.com, with global coal demand likely hitting another new high next year, undermining net-zero efforts, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its annual Coal 2021 report released on Friday.

According to the agency, the 2020 collapse in coal demand turned out to be smaller than anticipated, as China’s recovery began sooner than expected and turned out to be stronger than initially forecast.

Based on current trends, global coal demand is set to rise to 8025 Mt in 2022, the highest level ever seen, and to remain there through 2024, the IEA estimates.

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Biomass on the move [image credit: Drax]


The whole ‘net zero’ thing is a scandal in many ways, but at least some MPs are noticing one of the issues, even if partly for the wrong reason. Burning trees isn’t a solution to anything apart from papering over a few of the cracks in electricity supply caused by intermittent renewables.
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Burning wood to create power is a ‘scandal’, 50 MPs warn the energy minister in a letter today.

The letter – which has cross-party support – marks a major shift in political opinion over the burning of biomass, which is currently classed by the Government as a green form of energy, says the Daily Mail.

The letter says the extra emissions produced by biomass ‘are the equivalent of three million Ford Fiestas on our roads’.

Organised by Peter Bottomley, Father of the House of Commons, the letter calls for a meeting with Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to discuss ending subsidies to the Drax power plant in Yorkshire.

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One or both of energy poverty and electricity supply problems will at some point catch up with those hooked on the renewables obsession.

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

How long will it be before the World Economic Forum crowd realizes that Western elites no longer control the world’s future? How long before they lose their anti-growth influence that has brought energy production to a standstill (or worse) in the U.S, and across much of Europe?

The climate crowd (Al Gore, JFK Heinz, and the other green profiteers, buoyed by generations of the indoctrinated) has already lost the 50-year climate crusade to Xi Jinping, Nahrenda Modi, and the African Energy Chamber.

In a carefully worded statement issued just prior to the thankfully failed climate catastrophe party in Glasgow (where activists wine and finely dine unmasked on other people’s money), Premier Li Keqiang announced that China needs to prioritize its economic development. Translation: China will continue to use oil, coal, and natural gas to generate its mammoth energy needs.

At about the same time, R. P…

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[Not to scale]


The complaint now, or one of them, is that geothermal is free to do things the hydraulic fracturers weren’t allowed to do prior to their ban, and which in part led to the ban.
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Fracking companies have threatened to take legal action over the government’s ban on the practice, amid the sector’s growing frustration at being left behind the UK energy revolution, according to reports – City AM.

The sector sent “pre-action correspondence” to the government after fears prompted by earthquakes in 2019 led to a ban on drilling, according to the Telegraph, which first reported the news.

Among the fracking projects that had to be abandoned after the ban, was one financed by billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe whose company Ineos wrote off £63m in 2019.

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Of course if the UK was willing to tap its own coal and onshore gas and had enough places to burn them, which could have been the case but isn’t, much of this eye-watering expense wouldn’t be needed. But foolish climate obsessions like costly so-called renewables and ‘net zero’ have dulled the minds of too many politicians so here we are. Expect more of the same.
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From September to November, the BM cost reached £967m, compared to £337m the same period last year, reports Energy Live News.

The crisis in the energy market has so far had many collateral damages – one of them, the cost of the Balancing Mechanism (BM) that soared by 234% during the three-month period, from September to November.

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