Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Fracking gets planning permission

Posted: May 23, 2016 by Andrew in Energy

frack-section

Councillors have given Third Energy permission to test frack in Kirby Misperton.

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From Gizmodo. H/T Richard Cowley

Misaligned mirrors are being blamed for a fire that broke out yesterday at the world’s largest solar power plant, leaving the high-tech facility crippled for the time being. It sounds like the plant’s workers suffered through a real hellscape, too.

Damaged steam ducts and water pipes. (Image: San Bernardino County Fire Department via AP)

A small fire was reported yesterday morning at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) in California, forcing a temporary shutdown of the facility. It’s now running at a third of its capacity (a second tower is down due to scheduled maintenance), and it’s not immediately clear when the damaged tower will restart. It’s also unclear how the incident will impact California’s electricity supply.

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andrea-leadsom

Andrea Leadsom MP

From the Daily mail:

In March Energy Minister Amber Fudd claimed energy bills would soar by £500 million a year if we left the EU, adding: ‘The thing about the gas market is you don’t know what shocks and what changes there can be to it.’

But in a remarkable rebuttal to her boss’s claims, Ms Leadsom said today that Brexit would threaten ‘absolutely none’ of the three ‘critical considerations’ at the forefront of Britain’s energy policy.

‘Leaving the EU will give us freedom to keep bills down, to meet our climate change targets in the cheapest way possible, and of course, keep the lights on,’ she said in a speech in central London.

Under the European Commission’s ‘Winter Package’ proposals all 28 EU member states would ‘take on legal responsibility for each other’s gas security’.

This would ensure that EU member states that face having their gas supplies cut – due to political disputes with countries such as Russia or contracts expiring, for example, – would see its gas supplies guaranteed by fellow member states.

Setting out the ‘real threat out continued membership of the EU will have on our energy security,’ Ms Leadsom said: ‘The European Commission’s ‘Winter Package’, contains a number of proposals which make painfully clear the direction of travel in EU energy policy.

‘Two of those suggestions pose a potential threat to our continued energy security.

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

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


The project is certainly on the ropes but a knockout punch may not yet have been applied, as the report explains.
H/T Daily Telegraph

A £2 billion offshore wind farm is set to be scrapped after it lost a Government subsidy contract due to an ongoing legal challenge over its impact on birds.

The proposed Neart na Gaoithe wind farm would see 64 turbines built nine miles off the coast of Fife and was one of only two offshore wind projects to win a subsidy contract from the Government last year.

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Image credit: colombogazette.com

Image credit: colombogazette.com


Britain is walking a tightrope with electricity supply as this incident shows. We’re in a minor heatwave at present and daylight hours are long.
H/T Daily Telegraph

A series of power plant breakdowns and the partial failure of a key electricity import cable forced National Grid to issue an urgent call for more power to keep the lights on on Monday night.

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[credit: cityam.com]

[credit: cityam.com]


Certain cake-baking celebrities won’t want to read this.

First supplies of shale gas, extracted using the unconventional fracking process, could enter the British gas market as early as mid-2017, the head of shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources told Reuters on Friday.
H/T GWPF

Britain is estimated to have substantial amounts of shale gas trapped in underground rocks and Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to go all out to extract those reserves to help offset declining North Sea oil and gas output.

But progress has been slow as applications for shale gas projects have been held up at local government level where they have faced vocal opposition from environmental campaigners.

Cuadrilla initially wants to carry out fracking — which injects water, sand and chemicals into rock formations to release shale gas — at two sites in northwest England.

It hopes to get government approval to start operations at the sites before August.

“If we get good results from the wells … gas could go into the system next year,” said Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, 46 percent owned by Australian engineer AJ Lucas.

Gas flows from initial testing would be small but Egan said full production could start in 2018 if necessary permits are obtained.

Lancashire Council last year rejected Cuadrilla applications for fracking at the sites, underscoring local community concerns about the technique.

However, Britain has since changed planning rules to allow government intervention to approve or reject shale gas drilling permits and give priority to appeals involving the projects.

A planning inspector is expected to make recommendations on Cuadrilla’s Lancashire applications to local government minister Greg Clark by July 4 and he will then make the final decision.

Egan said he is confident the project will be approved since the government has voiced strong support for the technology, while the local authority had previously received legal advice to approve one of the applications.

The government hopes a shale gas boom will help generate jobs in the oil and gas industry which has been hard hit by a 60 percent slump in oil and gas prices in the last two years.

Source: First Shale Gas Could Hit UK Market In 2017 – Cuadrilla | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

Blackout_britain

Courtesy of Josh 

From The Telegraph:

Sainsbury’s has cast doubt on the UK’s ability to keep the lights on, revealing it has built a string of new power plants for its supermarkets in part due to fears of a looming energy crunch.

Paul Crewe, a senior executive at the supermarket giant, said he had sleepless nights over energy security and feared UK electricity demand could soon outstrip supply.

The new gas-fired power generators – already supplying electricity for 10 supermarkets, and due to be built at a further six this year – would enable the stores to keep trading even in the event of a blackout, he said.

“It gives us energy security,” Mr Crewe said. “Energy security is extremely important, it keeps me awake at night if I’m honest thinking about it – especially as we use just under one per cent of power in the UK. We know UK grid infrastructure is at an extremely stretching period of time.”

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

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


This could be yet another spanner in the works for the tottering nuclear power project that Britain’s political leaders seem so keen on. On the other hand a negative view from Greenpeace of nuclear power is no surprise.
H/T Power Engineering International

Legal opinion commissioned by Greenpeace suggests that any French government financial support to EDF to enable the company to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the UK would almost certainly be blocked by the European Commission.

The legal viewpoint is that the commission would not agree to government assistance as it would constitute a breach of state aid guidelines.

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Bumpy road ahead?[image credit: RWE]

Bumpy road ahead?[image credit: RWE]


Pursuit of short-sighted energy policies is leading Germany on a dangerous path, as DW.COM reports from the AGM of major company RWE (aka ‘npower’ in the UK). Turning a blind eye to the possibility of future reliance on renewables won’t end well, says the CEO. Will any top politicians listen to the advice?

German power group RWE endures a bruising shareholders’ meeting. Still heavily involved with coal, the energy company has caught the brunt of activists and market changes. But its CEO has fought back, making the case for non-renewable energy sources.

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British shale oil may be ready to boom 

Posted: April 19, 2016 by oldbrew in Energy, Geology, shale oil
Tags:

Shale oil in south-east England [credit: BBC]

Shale oil in south-east England [credit: BBC]


Surely even Britain can’t mess up an economic opportunity like this?
H/T GWPF

LONDON, April 18 (UPI) — The so-called Gatwick Gusher, a shale basin in the United Kingdom, could add as much as $74 billion to the nation’s economy, a study finds.

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credit:TheGuardian

credit:TheGuardian


We’ll no doubt get plenty more of this brainwashing language of climate-speak in the years ahead. How expensive energy is going to help poorer countries is, unsurprisingly, not mentioned.

The World Bank has announced a new plan which it hopes will succeed in keeping up positive momentum towards a clean energy transformation as laid down in COP21.

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New fuel source [image credit: telegraph.co.uk]

New fuel source [image credit: telegraph.co.uk]


Despite appearances this is a Daily Telegraph report, not an April Fool joke.

Hundreds of homes in Cumbria will be heated using cheese from next month, as a new government-backed green energy plant starts producing gas from cheddar production waste.

The anaerobic digestion plant at the Lake District Creamery in Aspatria will receive millions of pounds in subsidies for turning whey and other residues from the cheese production process into “biogas”.

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Decision time? [credit: Bussolati]

Decision time? [credit: Bussolati]


Now EDF has to show it wouldn’t be sidelining renewable energy projects if it committed to building Hinkley nuclear plant, reports the Telegraph. Can it get any more farcical?

Hinkley Point C could still be postponed, French energy minister Ségolène Royal has said, in an apparent sign of division within the French government over the controversial nuclear project.

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We need to keep stressing these important points even if they do start to sound repetitive. Paying more and more for less reliable electricity is simply not going to work.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

image

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2016/04/02/were-following-germany-to-an-energy-disaster/

Booker takes from three of my recent posts in his column today:

A far darker shadow is hanging over Britain than that of the collapse of our steel industry. As she is the sister of a leading figure in the campaign to keep Britain in the EU, we may not be surprised by the warning from Amber Rudd, our Energy and Climate Change Secretary, that “Brexit” would raise our energy bills by £500 million a year. Her brother Roland, as a key behind-the-scenes strategist for Stronger in Europe, might be described as “the Rudd who doesn’t want us to leave the sinking ship”.

But in making that “half a billion a year” claim, Ms Rudd must hope that we don’t recall those recent figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility projecting that within four years – due entirely to her own Government’s policies – we will…

View original post 423 more words

SunEdison on the verge of bankruptcy 

Posted: April 2, 2016 by oldbrew in Energy
Tags: ,

Sun setting on SunEdison? [image credit: sunelec.com]

Sun setting on SunEdison? [image credit: sunelec.com]


Its website says it’s a ‘Global Leader in Renewable Energy Development’. Recently it was said to be ‘the world’s largest renewable energy development company’. Not for much longer it seems.

Investing.com reports — Shares in SunEdison Inc fell as much as 50% in after-hours trading after the Wall Street Journal reported late on Friday that the Missouri-based solar energy company could be on the verge of declaring bankruptcy.

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US shale gas going to Scotland this year

Posted: April 1, 2016 by oldbrew in Energy, Shale gas

Grangemouth plant [credit: Ineos]

Grangemouth plant [credit: Ineos]


Petrochemicals get overlooked sometimes in discussions about so-called fossil fuels, but their importance in modern life is enormous (plastics, man-made fibres etc.).
H/T GWPF

Scotland’s energy sector is in line for a major boost as Ineos announced it will reopen a second production line at Grangemouth. The company has successfully completed operational trials as it prepares to receive shale gas ethane from the USA.

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Ferrybridge 'C' Power Station  [image credit: Lynne Kirton / Wikipedia]

Ferrybridge ‘C’ Power Station
[image credit: Lynne Kirton / Wikipedia]


What exactly is replacing this generating giant? Only a small-scale waste wood burning operation it seems.

One of the UK’s landmark coal-fired power plants will close today after half a century of service. Ferrybridge C in Yorkshire was taken offline last week and will officially shut this afternoon, reports PEI.

Construction of the plant began in 1961 and it started generating electricity on February 27 1966. It became a record-breaking example of coal-fired power.

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Europe’s suicidal green energy policies

Posted: March 30, 2016 by oldbrew in Energy, greenblob, opinion
Tags:

Expensive heating [image credit: the Guardian]

Expensive heating [image credit: the Guardian]


James Delingpole has some typically harsh words for dogma-driven promoters of heavily subsidised renewable energy.

Europe’s suicidal green energy policies are killing at least 40,000 people a year. [H/T Notrickszone]

That’s just the number estimated to have died in the winter of 2014 because they were unable to afford fuel bills driven artificially high by renewable energy tariffs.

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turbine-failRepost from Stop These Things

The Germans went into wind power harder and faster than anyone else – and the cost of doing so is catching up with a vengeance.

The subsidies have been colossal and the impacts on the electricity market chaotic.

Some 800,000 German homes have been disconnected from the grid – victims of what is euphemistically called “fuel poverty”. Power starved Germans, instead of freezing, grabbed their axes and tramped into their forests to improve their sense of energy security – although foresters apparently take the view that this self-help measure is nothing more than blatant timber theft (see our post here).

German manufacturers – and other energy intensive industries – faced with escalating power bills are packing up and heading to the USA – where power prices are 1/3 of Germany’s (see our posts here and hereand here). And the “green” dream of creating thousands of jobs in the wind industry has turned out to be just that: a dream (see our post here).

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Petrochemical industry plant [image credit: Business Korea]

Petrochemical industry plant [image credit: Business Korea]


Green dreams are just that and little more, it seems.

The goals set a few months ago in Paris to prevent further rising of worldwide temperatures are almost sure to fail and will never be achieved, according to a new study.

Last December, officials representing more than 190 countries met in Paris to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

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