Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Credit: ktuu.com


Holding vast stockpiles does seem outdated when you can produce your own at an increasingly rapid rate, thanks to new discoveries and modern techniques like fracking.

US President Donald Trump’s 2018 budgetary proposals, currently before Congress, have irked many and tucked in the fine print is an outrageous (says the IB Times) plan to sell over 50% or 687m barrels of the country’s government-owned strategic petroleum reserves (SPR), stockpiled in the states of Texas and Louisiana as an emergency measure.

The SPR was created by the US government following the 1973 oil crisis, which saw several Middle Eastern Opec members impose an oil embargo following Washington’s backing of Israel in the Yom Kippur War.

Unconcerned by current geopolitics, the Trump administration says the sale could generate $16bn for US taxpayers over the next 10 years.

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Yes folks, they’re going to burn wood on an industrial scale and call it ‘climate-friendly’. You couldn’t make it up.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

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By Fred Pearce

It looks like greenwash. European nations publicly keen to boost their climate credentials by switching to “green” biomass are accused of working behind the scenes to expunge their carbon emissions from burning wood in power stations from national emissions statistics.

“If we don’t measure emissions when trees are cut, we won’t measure them at all,” says Hannah Mowat of FERN, a European NGO working to save the continent’s forests, who has followed the EU negotiations on the issue.

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Some experts call it ‘unprecedented’. But as the Tyler Morning Telegraph reports: ‘there’s a caveat. Technically recoverable doesn’t mean profitable – yet.’

As far back as 1911, geologists predicted that significant mineral wealth lay below East Texas, in what was then called the Woodbine Stratum – a formation above the Haynesville Shale.

And Columbus Marion “Dad” Joiner proved them right in 1930, when the Daisy Bradford No. 3 well struck oil just outside Henderson in western Rusk County.

It was really just a drill stem test – they weren’t expecting to hit anything. But at 3,592 feet, Joiner tapped into what was for years thought to be the largest oil and gas reserves in the world. But no-one predicted the vastness of the energy wealth available here.

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Credit: phys.org


Methane hydrates have been known about for years, but cost and technical difficulties have so far been barriers to exploiting them on any kind of scale. Claims that they could ‘flood the atmosphere with climate-changing greenhouse gases’ are the usual over-the-top propaganda.

Commercial development of the globe’s huge reserves of a frozen fossil fuel known as “combustible ice” has moved closer to reality after Japan and China successfully extracted the material from the seafloor off their coastlines, says Phys.org.

But experts said Friday that large-scale production remains many years away—and if not done properly could flood the atmosphere with climate-changing greenhouse gases.

Combustible ice is a frozen mixture of water and concentrated natural gas. Technically known as methane hydrate, it can be lit on fire in its frozen state and is believed to comprise one of the world’s most abundant fossil fuels.

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Credit: fuelfix.com


Thanks to ever-improving technology, one shale CEO said earlier this year about U.S. oil production: “We’ve doubled it. We can double it again.”

So far it has cost Saudi Arabia something like $200 billion to undertake one of the most expensive experiments of all time, says the GWPF.

The Saudi government has been draining its massive $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund to cover revenues lost from the petroleum price collapse over the past couple of years.

What we’re witnessing is a two-part test. The first question is how much damage have low oil prices caused America’s shale industry. Then the second and far more critical part of the test: As oil prices rise, will the shale industry limp or roar back? If it roars back, high oil prices are history.

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How Moorside might look [credit: in-cumbria.com]

Moorside no more? The UK doesn’t seem to be making much, if any, progress with its plans for new nuclear power plants, as the old ones head for retirement.

The GMB union has once again demanded that the government “stop faffing” and step in to save the Moorside nuclear development from falling apart, reports Utility Week.

The union made the comments after Utility Week reported yesterday that National Grid has shelved a multi-billion project to connect the proposed plant to the transmission network.

GMB slammed the government for “continued dithering” following the latest in a series of setbacks.

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energy-polIn the Telegraph, Christopher Booker writes

“I would defy anyone unfortunate enough to hear the Today programme at 8.10 last Tuesday morning to have made head or tail of an interview in which our Business Secretary, Greg Clark, droned on for 10 minutes with Justin Webb about the Tories’ promise of a “cap” on energy bills. The essence of this flood of deathly jargon was that, thanks to something called the Competition and Markets Authority, this could save 17 million households a total of £1.4 billion a year.

“What Clark and Webb never mentioned, of course, were the figures recently published by the Office for Budget Responsibility, showing the soaring cost of those green subsidies and taxes we all pay for through our energy bills. These are officially projected to more than double by the end of this Parliament, from £7.3 billion last year to £14.7 billion, or from £292 a year for each household to £565.”

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Credit: Wave Swell Energy


It’s essentially an artificial blowhole according to the company CEO. They say the device uses resonance to make the most energy out of the water that washes into it, by operating at the natural frequency of the waves, and claim it’s ‘120% more efficient than a conventional device’.

Wave Swell Energy plans to install a commercial scale wave energy plant in the Bass Strait, off King Island in Tasmania, reports Tidal Energy Today.

Wave Swell’s series of one-megawatt generators will cost up to $7 million to build, and at peak times will provide up to half the power for King Island’s 1,600 residents, according to the Australian Maritime College (AMC).

The Australian-based wave energy developer said it expects the cost of wave power to be less than 10 cents per kilowatt hour when built at scale.

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Cartoon of the day: Josh on Wind energy

Posted: May 12, 2017 by tallbloke in Big Green, Energy, humour, wind

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Can natural gas for cars be marketed as sustainable?

Posted: May 8, 2017 by oldbrew in Energy, Travel
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Credit: zebgas.com


That’s the plan of car makers such as VW. The claim derives mainly from biogas and manufacture of methane using surplus electricity from renewables like wind and solar power. Their aim is for a million CNG vehicles in Germany by 2025.

Volkswagen Group, operators of compressed natural gas filling stations and gas networks have signed a joint declaration of intent, committing themselves to the extension of CNG mobility, reports NGT News.

As reported, the signers corroborate the objectives of the “Round Table for Natural Gas Mobility” initiated by the Federal Ministry of Economy in 2016, where representatives of vehicle manufacturers, the gas industry and filling stations operators, as well as representatives of important retail customers, fleet operators and the public sector, came together to promote the fuel.

With their contributions, the signers, together with other vehicle manufacturers, will work toward multiplying the CNG vehicle fleet in Germany 10-fold to 1 million vehicles by 2025.

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World’s hottest borehole, Iceland [credit: BBC]


Not much oil or gas, but plenty of steam available for use in Iceland as Phys.org reports.

It’s named after a Nordic god and drills deep into the heart of a volcano: “Thor” is a rig that symbolises Iceland’s leading-edge efforts to produce powerful clean energy.

If successful, the experimental project could produce up to 10 times more energy than an existing conventional gas or oil well, by generating electricity from the heat stored inside the earth: in this case, volcanic areas.

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H/T Power Engineering International

Reports of the death of coal-fired electricity power plants have been greatly exaggerated, in Asia at least. Maybe they noticed that wind turbines need wind and solar power is a daytime only option, neither offering reliability of supply.

Officials at the Pakistani water and power ministry have said Chinese companies are expected to spend around $15bn over the next 15 years to build close to a dozen coal-fired power plants of varying sizes around the country.

Reuters reports that Mohammed Younus Dagha, the former federal secretary for water and power, who became commerce secretary at the end of March, is emphasising that the coal plants are part of a larger plan.

That is the $54bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which includes spending of about $33bn on a total of 19 energy projects, including coal-fired and renewable power plants, transmission lines, and other infrastructure.

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‘Smart’ meter [image credit: heartland.org]


H/T GWPF

Existing not-so-smart meters could be a big problem in the UK when a new system is introduced later this year, since they can’t handle a change of supplier.

Six million smart electricity and gas meters installed in homes since 2012 may have to be replaced to make them work with a new communications network which was switched on in November but is still not being used, Paul Lewis Money reports.

Despite that, energy companies are busy installing more of them to try to meet a government target to get one in every home by the end of 2020.
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Credit: dragonproductsltd.com


H/T GWPF / RealClearEnergy

The author notes that ‘the rigs are getting roughly twice as productive every three years. No other energy technology is improving that quickly.’

Wind and solar are now experiencing a declining rate of improvement as those technologies start to approach their limits in terms of what physics permits. Shale technology is a long way from its physics limits. In fact, the shale industry is at the beginning of what I’ve earlier termed Shale 2.0.

The Promethean task of supplying energy to the U.S. economy and the rest of the world involves scales that are truly difficult to visualize. Many options appear to make sense until you crunch the numbers. That’s why Bill Gates said that people need to bring “math skills to the problem.”

Consider petroleum alone, which accounts for about one-third of global energy use.
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Credit: globalccsinstitute.com


There goes another £2 billion or so. The long-term aim is ‘de-carbonising the UK gas networks through conversion to 100 per cent hydrogen’ – just as UK shale gas drilling is about to start.

Plans to convert the gas grid in Leeds to run entirely on hydrogen have moved a step closer to becoming reality says Utility Week, after Northern Gas Networks opened an office in the city dedicated to the endeavour.

The office has been tasked with delivering innovative projects which prove the case for conversion to hydrogen, not just for Leeds but for the whole of the UK.

Northern Gas Networks (NGN) opened the site with the help of Leeds City Council to further examine, and build the foundations to deliver, the conversion strategy outlined in its H21 Leeds City Gate study.  

The research project, which was funded through the Network Innovation Allowance and conducted alongside Wales and West Utilities, concluded last year that substituting natural gas with hydrogen in UK networks would be “technically possible and economically viable”.
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windset

Future UK energy policy under the green tories

As a followup to the commonsense stuff UKIP’s Roger Helmer suggested yesterday, here’s James Delingpole’s take on what is likely to happen. Reposted from Breitbart

Suppose you were a Conservative leader hoping to win a stonking majority in your general election campaign, which of these two manifesto propositions do you think would win the most votes?
a) Our energy policy will remain in the clutches of a cabal of vested interests – rent-seeking, crony capitalist shysters; green ideologues with junk-science degrees in Gaia Studies from the University of East Anglia; eco-fascist lobby groups and NGOs; compromised scientists with their snouts in the trough; goose-stepping technocrats; really, really, really dim MPs – ensuring that the landscape continues to be blighted by an ever-greater-proliferation of shimmery solar panels and ginormous bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes.

We remain committed to the Climate Change Act which will cost the UK economy over £300 billion by 2030, costing each household £875 per annum; and also to the Levy Control Framework (LCF) which, combined with carbon taxes, cost the UK £9 billion in 2016 alone. Then we’ll pretend it’s the fault of the greedy energy companies by hammering them with a price cap – thus driving their share prices down (bad luck pensions and investors!), reducing competition and innovation, and signalling that we intend to be a meddling, interventionist government which has no truck with free market principles.

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H/T GWPF

It’s been a bumpy road so far for UK shale gas and there could be more of the same ahead, but for now it’s progress. The US has shown that big economic benefits to the nation are there for the taking if the drilling is as successful as predicted.

British unconventional exploration company Cuadrilla plans to start the drilling stage of its shale gas exploratory plans in northwest England within the next “couple of months,” company CEO Francis Egan said this week.

Egan welcomed the UK’s High Court decision dismissing two claims made against Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid’s approval of planning for Cuadrillla’s Preston New Road site.

Last year, the company had its planning application denied by the local Lancashire councillors, but that was overruled by Javid, following a recommendation to approve from the council’s planning officers.
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Knottingley is next door to the recently closed Ferrybridge C coal-fired power station [credit: Google maps]


If (as stated below) the UK’s electricity reserve margin fell to a feeble 0.1% this winter, now seems like a good time to get some new reliable power generation organised.

The ESB is planning a $1bn (€1bn) power plant in the UK and seeking an equity partner to help build the huge 1,600 megawatt facility, reports PEI.

The plant earmarked for Knottingley in Yorkshire would be one of Britain’s biggest, if it goes ahead. The company has already secured planning permission on the 50-acre site.

The Irish Independent reports that investment bank Nomura has been hired by the ESB to find a partner for the new gas-fired power station development, code-named Project Knight Rider.
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You couldn’t make it up. Insisting on spending a fortune when much cheaper and better options are available makes no sense, but climate obsessives plough on regardless.

STOP THESE THINGS

If what Australia’s political brains trust has done to its once reliable and affordable power supply had been done by external agents, it would have been branded an act of terrorism.

The so-called ‘wind power capital’ of Australia, South Australia has become an international laughing stock: statewide blackouts, routine load shedding and rocketing power prices might be enough, you would think, to make its Labor government see sense.

Far from it, it is now looking to spend $150 million on a giant battery that will return power to the grid and ‘power’ SA for all of four minutes and to set up somewhere between 200 and 250 MW of diesel generation capacity to keep the lights on, whenever the wind stops blowing.

The absurdity of throwing $550 million at a perfectly avoidable problem, when Jay Weatherill had the option of paying a mere $30 million to Alinta to keep its…

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energy -prices-EU

The institute for Economic Affairs has published a report calling for a reduction in electricity bills.

Brexit provides real opportunity to bring down electricity bills for low-income households

Executive Summary:

  • Electricity charges for households in England and Wales have risen by 50 per cent in real terms since 2001, partly as a result of policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The decarbonisation policies adopted have been complex and inefficient, and have also been contradicted by other measures such as the reduced rate of VAT imposed on domestic fuel. Emissions reduction objectives could be achieved at much lower cost.
  • The government should phase out the Climate Change Levy, the Energy Company Obligation, the Warm Homes Discount and the Carbon Price Floor.
  • Utility bills should be taxable at the full VAT rate (20 per cent) rather than the reduced rate (5 per cent). Any help to vulnerable households should be in the form of electricity vouchers.
  • If the goal is to reduce emissions, decarbonisation should be undertaken under a single market-based mechanism such as a cap-and-trade scheme or a carbon tax, which would apply to all CO2 emissions.
  • Climate-change policy should be technology-neutral. The government should establish a decarbonisation target and allow energy markets to adjust to it in the most efficient way.

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