Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

The European Union’s proposals for revising its renewable energy policies are greenwashing and don’t solve the serious flaws, say environmental groups.

The EU gets 65 per cent of its renewable energy from biofuels – mainly wood – but it is failing to ensure this bioenergy comes from sustainable sources, and results in less emissions than burning fossil fuels. Its policies in some cases are leading to deforestation, biodiversity loss and putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than burning coal.

“Burning forest biomass on an industrial scale for power and heating has proved disastrous,” says Linde Zuidema, bioenergy campaigner for forest protection group Fern. “The evidence that its growing use will increase emissions and destroy forests in Europe and elsewhere is overwhelming.”

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Credit: atlanticsuperconnection.com

Credit: atlanticsuperconnection.com

The proposed route in to the UK is via Scotland. Could be interesting with Scottish leaders keen on leaving the UK.

A multibillion pound project aimed at using the power generated by Icelandic volcanoes to fuel British households has lined up a major French infrastructure investor to back its development.

Sky News has learnt that Meridiam, a global asset manager…has agreed to finance part of the development cost of a new 1,000-mile-long pipeline between Iceland and the UK.

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Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Emilia-Romagna, Italy


‘European bioenergy plants do not have to produce evidence that their wood products have been sustainably sourced’ – Guardian reporter. Looks like an open invitation to unscrupulous operators to cheat for profit.
H/T GWPF

Protected forests are being indiscriminately felled across Europe to meet the EU’s renewable energy targets, according to an investigation by the conservation group Birdlife.

Up to 65% of Europe’s renewable output currently comes from bioenergy, involving fuels such as wood pellets and chips, rather than wind and solar power.

Bioenergy fuel is supposed to be harvested from residue such as forest waste but, under current legislation, European bioenergy plants do not have to produce evidence that their wood products have been sustainably sourced.

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Facts and Fallacies on World Fossil Fuel Use vs Renewables

Posted: November 18, 2016 by oldbrew in Energy
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Robert Lyman dips into the published data and finds that ‘In spite of trillions of dollars spent subsidizing wind and solar generation around the world, it barely registers as a supply source.’

Friends of Science Calgary

INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY 2016 REPORT ON KEY ENERGY STATISTICS

IMPORTANT POINTS FOR THE CLIMATE DEBATE

Contributed by Robert Lyman © 2016

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is perhaps the premier international authority in terms of collecting data on world energy supply and demand and producing analysis for policy makers. It posts its data online, and each year publishes a report on “key energy statistics”. The following, from the 2016 IEA report, are some notable statistics that call into question the theses that the countries of the world are dedicated to reducing fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions and that wind and solar energy sources will soon replace coal, oil and natural gas.

  • The world total primary energy supply by fuel rose steadily from about 6,100 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 1971 to about 13,700 Mtoe by 2014.

  • In 2014, the shares of primary energy supply by energy source were:…

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Familiar sight in Texas [image credit: StateImpact Texas]

Familiar sight in Texas [image credit: StateImpact Texas]


Close to a trillion dollars worth of oil at today’s prices – this should be music to the ears of the incoming Trump administration. Anti-fossil fuel groups not so much.
H/T GWPF

The US Geological Survey said Tuesday that it found what could be the largest deposit of untapped oil ever discovered in America, reports Business Insider.

An estimated average of 20 billion barrels of oil and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids are available for the taking in the Wolfcamp shale, which is in the Midland Basin portion of Texas’ Permian Basin. Based on a West Texas Intermediate crude oil price of $45 per barrel, those deposits are worth about $900 billion.

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  • smart-meterDr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor

The UK’s new secretary of state for Business, Greg Clark, has just given his first public speech on energy. It suggests, unfortunately, that he is not yet sufficiently confident of his brief to resist the views of his civil servants. Indeed, this speech could easily have been written for Ed Miliband, or Chris Huhne, or Ed Davey, and suggests that the rent-seeking green interests in the electricity sector are re-injecting themselves into the national bloodstream through an interventionist industrial strategy. This will result in overcapitalisation and reductions in productivity.

It is now a year since Amber Rudd, then Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate  (DECC) gave her “reset” speech. I was in Japan at the time, and showed the text to an impressed but disbelieving colleague from the University of Tokyo. “This is an ENERGY policy”, he said, as if anything from a British politician would obviously focus on climate change and little else besides.

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Massive costs, high prices, loss of industrial competitiveness and built-in unreliability – welcome to the ‘energy transition’.

STOP THESE THINGS

europe power prices 2

STT has a ‘thing’ for the English language.

In the hands of adept practitioners, our mother tongue is capable of conveying all manner of complex concepts and ideas, and doing so with verve and wit.  However, in the hands of the well-paid spin doctors and useful political idiots that run with, and run cover for, the wind industry, the English lexicon has been forced to suffer all manner of outrageous torments and abuses.

One such victim is the word “transition” and its derivatives.  Politicians of all hues appear to throw that word around with gay abandon, whenever talking about their efforts to foist a heavily subsidised wind powered ‘future’ on their hapless constituents.

As South Australia’s power pricing and supply calamity unfolds, we are repeatedly told by State and Federal politicians alike that this is all part and parcel of “transitioning” to an all renewable powered future.

However, the question…

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US energy sources in 2015 [credit: EIA]

US energy sources in 2015 [credit: EIA]


A ‘$676 billion drag on the economy’ by going down the EU path, or ‘nearly half a trillion dollars’ from fracking? The U.S. chose fracking, as The Daily Caller points out.

The U.S. would lose more than 7 million jobs if it adopted the kind of energy policies popular in many European countries, according to a report published Friday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The European energy policies would impose a $676 billion drag on the U.S. economy, the report states, and result in Americans paying an extra $4,800 per year to heat their homes.

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Small modular reactor [credit: ANS Nuclear Cafe]

Small modular reactor [credit: ANS Nuclear Cafe]


With enough government backing SMRs could be a competitive alternative to unreliable renewables in the long term. PoliticsHome reporting.

Small modular reactors (SMRs) could be operating in the UK by 2030 and the Government has a crucial role to play in encouraging early investor confidence, according to a new report by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). 

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As the article below says:
‘The tiny contribution of wind and solar to grid electricity cannot make up for the loss of more traditional electricity sources due to low prices.’

One of many problems with renewables unfortunately. And its even more unfortunate when those problems seem to be getting ignored by those in charge of our electricity supplies.

STOP THESE THINGS

kites Wind can be a whole lot of fun – while it lasts …

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Intermittent Renewables Can’t Favorably Transform Grid Electricity
Our Finite World
Gail Tverberg
31 August 2016

Many people are hoping for wind and solar PV to transform grid electricity in a favorable way. Is this really possible? Is it really feasible for intermittent renewables to generate a large share of grid electricity? The answer increasingly looks as if it is, “No, the costs are too great, and the return on investment would be way too low.” We are already encountering major grid problems, even with low penetrations of intermittent renewable electricity: US, 5.4% of 2015 electricity consumption; China, 3.9%; Germany, 19.5%; Australia, 6.6%.

In fact, I have come to the rather astounding conclusion that even if wind turbines and solar PV could be built at zero cost, it would not make sense to continue to add them to…

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Electricity prices going way up and security of supply heading down – is this really what people want, or do they just not yet realize where this is going?

STOP THESE THINGS

warning_health-hazard-405x300

America has some perfect examples of what not to do, if it wants to remain an industrial and manufacturing power-house, with a standard of living that much of the World can only envy.

South Australia has set the pace with spot prices that rocket in minutes from $70 per MWh to $2,000 to $4,000 and all the way to the regulated market price cap of $14,000 per MWh, every time wind power output collapses on a total and totally unpredictable basis.

And much of Europe is in the same boat: think Spain, Germany, Denmark and the UK.

From what’s coming out of the USA, Americans don’t seem that keen to follow the path set by countries facing social and economic disaster, thanks to their ludicrous attempts to run on sunshine and breezes.

Donn Dears LLC is among them.

Europe’s High Cost of Renewables
Power for USA
Donn Dears
19 July…

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Tidal energy project launches in Scotland 

Posted: September 13, 2016 by oldbrew in Energy, Tides, turbines
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Credit: Atlantis Resources

Credit: Atlantis Resources

Heard it before? Questions to be addressed include the economics of this type of project and the long-term reliability of the technology in corrosive seawater. Similar previous attempts have not got very far.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today launched a 398 MW tidal stream energy project, reports PEI. The MeyGen scheme is owned by Atlantis Resources, backed by £23m of Scottish government investment, and located in Scotland’s Pentland Firth.

A fully assembled 1.5 MW Atlantis tidal power turbine with foundations was unveiled today at a ceremony is Nigg before being loaded onto a jack-up vessel and transported to the MeyGen for installation.

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UK electricity supply - approaching the cliff edge? [image credit: Wikipedia]

UK electricity supply – approaching the cliff edge? [image credit: Wikipedia]


Utility Week highlights an expert’s view of the dire state of the UK’s electricity network, largely driven by the climate dogmatism of government policies. Urgent action is advised, with Brexit in mind.

UK Business and Energy secretary Greg Clark needs to “reset the balance between the market and the state” and avoid “more patching up of what he has inherited”, [Professor] Dieter Helm has said.

The energy sector is “not in good shape,” and is unable to fulfil the needs of a major industrial economy, “especially for one doing Brexit”.

Growing electricity demand, as heat and energy are electrified, will make the “current capacity margin of roughly zero even more alarming than it is now”, the Oxford economist said in a paper.

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Hinkley Point, Somerset [image credit: conservativehome.com]

Hinkley Point, Somerset
[image credit: conservativehome.com]


Seconds out, round 10 – or so it might seem in the Hinkley nuclear struggle. Who kept who in the dark [pun intended]? PEI’s Diarmaid Williams takes a ringside seat.

Five of the 17 board members who voted to approve a decision by EDF to press ahead with the development of Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in England are now seeking a court annulment of that decision.

The board members, all union representatives, say they were not provided with information that was crucial to their decision on the day.

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Credit: telegraph.co.uk

Credit: telegraph.co.uk


Note: for ‘energy’ read ‘electricity supply’ in this report from Utility Week on the UK’s crumbling National Grid.

The UK will need to invest an “eye-watering” £215 billion in its energy system by 2030 in order to replace ageing assets and decarbonise, analysis by Barclays Research has found.

As the country undergoes an “energy revolution” nearly half – £95 billion – will need to be spent on disruptive technologies such as renewables, battery storage and distributed generation.

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Solar-Loaf-600-AEAEd Hoskins has sent me a summary of his latest post on ‘green energy’ profligacy, which well worth a click and read.

It seems that the UK with the least performant solar energy environment  in Europe has allowed to be invested about £30 billion with an output of less than 1 GW as and when the sun shines.

This amounted to a total of about   9.6GW nameplate solar installations yielding the equivalent of about 0.9GW of power, but only when the sun shines.  The capacity factor for Solar energy in the UK is only ~9%.  This is the least performant solar power in the whole of Europe.

Even though according to David Mackay DECC well understood that solar energy should never have been considered viable in the UK, the department still oversaw these huge continued expenditures and dispensed with about £19,000,000,000 in 2014 and 2015.  That amounted to more than the full cost of Hinckley Point C:  the wasted expenditure seems never to have been questioned or discussed.

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gwpf-energy-industry

A new paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)  confirms suspicions that previous governments have misled the public about the impact of climate policies on businesses such as Tata Steel.

There are three main faults in government analysis:

 

  1. Instead of showing the impact of climate policies on profitability (Gross Operating Surplus), the government has compared policy costs to the total expenditure of a business, which is misleading. In 2014, for example, the sector had an operating surplus of £169m, yet energy costs were equal to 330% of that sum.

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Credit: impactlab.net

Credit: impactlab.net


Is the world ready for organic flow batteries using extracts from rhubarb? PEI reports on some new electricity storage ideas hoping to save renewable energy from ultimate failure. ‘Holy Grail’ or wild goose chase – time will tell.

The US energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, believes the advances being made in storage technology means that the country will be completely decarbonised by the 2050s.

A global race, seen initially in Europe and the US is leading to a rapid acceleration in innovation that may dispense with the need for nuclear and thermal power by that time according to the technology’s backers, as the Achilles heel of intermittency will no longer impact on the overall effectiveness of renewables.

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uk-piggy-bankResidents affected by fracking could be paid a proportion of the proceeds of shale gas projects, the government has suggested.

A shale wealth fund was unveiled in 2014 to set aside up to 10% of the tax proceeds from fracking to benefit communities in the UK hosting wells.

The PM is now considering paying the money directly to individual households instead of councils and local trusts.

The plan is one option due to be outlined in a consultation on Monday.

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nuke-powerIn a surprise move, the UK govt has put the brakes on the Hinkley Point nuclear power contract. Yesterday, there was anticipation in the media that the directorate of EDF would approve the scheme. In the event, the vote was 10 to 7 in favour, though one director resigned beforehand.

Maybe the depth of the split on the EDF board has given the new UK government the jitters. In a brief two line statement this morning, the business secretary, Greg Clark, said the government would now examine all components of the deal and decide in the Autumn whether to go ahead, or not.

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