Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

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Always remember: “The guaranteed output of wind + sun = 0.”

PA Pundits - International

By Larry Bell ~

Texas just sent a very chilling message to the rest of the nation about what to expect your life to be like with President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan AKA, “Green New Deal,” in order to save the planet from overheating.

It seems he’s already overachieving that goal.

An unusual Arctic blast that spread across the state from the tip of the Panhandle all the way to the Rio Grande Valley has left millions of homes and businesses here without electricity.

A series of forced rolling blackouts were required to prevent power grid collapse as single-digit temperatures froze wind turbines and hobbled dozens of power plant operations.

How could this possibly happen here in Texas?

This isn’t supposed to be California, after all, where over-dependence on wind and solar power destabilized the grid during a record 2020 heat wave.

California already leads the nation with the least…

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Geothermal Power Plant in Iceland [image credit: Wikipedia]


Tapping into geothermal energy always seems like one of those ideas that maybe works in a few local areas, but won’t make a massive difference on the global scale. There’s also its earthquake problem to dent the enthusiasm of climate-obsessed ‘green’ ideologists.
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Drilling holes into an extinct volcano might sound like an unusual start to an energy project, says BBC News.

But that’s what J Michael Palin, a senior lecturer at the University of Otago in New Zealand, is planning to do.

His project involves drilling two boreholes to a depth of 500m (1,600ft) and monitoring the rock to see if it is suitable to provide geothermal energy.

“It has been known for some time that the Dunedin region has surface heat flow about 30% higher than expected based on previous measurements,” says Dr Palin.

It is that free heat that Dr Palin is hoping to tap into.

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The ‘climate change is your fault’ crowd have gone into damage limitation mode as temperatures sink to unexpected (by them) lows. This ‘op-ed’ does a fair job of summarising the cold weather, but then drifts off into a woolly propaganda-based ‘discussion’.
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This week debates have heated up about the world’s shift away from fossil fuels, as frigid temperatures have wreaked havoc from Turkey to Texas, says PEI.

Let’s start in the USA. It’s the first time in 17 years that such a large portion of the US has been covered with snow and rolling blackouts have meant many have been without power, exposed to freezing temperatures.

Utilities are struggling to keep the power on as wind turbines have frozen and natural gas flow was impeded from frozen pipes.

According to USA Today: “In Texas, more than 1.6 million homes and businesses remained without power late Wednesday night, and some also lost water service”.

As is the case in many emergency situations, folks are looking for someone or something to blame. This time, the focus is on failing renewables – like the frozen turbines – with people questioning the shift from coal and natural gas, viewing it as unwise and risking baseload reliability.

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If they need to ask the question, the answer is probably ‘no’.
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Hydrogen has the potential to be a low-carbon alternative to gas in our homes and businesses, but first we need to test this fuel for the future.

That’s where FutureGrid comes in, says the National Grid.

Today most of us are reliant on gas to heat our homes and businesses, with 85% of households using gas central heating.

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Some of the points regularly made by critics of the energy policies of climate obsessed leaders with fixed ideas, get an airing here. If reports like this don’t make it obvious to all that renewables-based policies aren’t working and won’t work, what will? All this is happening when the planned switch to electric-only transport has, fortunately for all, barely started.
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The energy crisis crippling Texas’s power system continued to spread, with nearly 5 million people across the U.S plunged into darkness as authorities fought to avoid a total collapse of the grid, says Bloomberg.

Homes and businesses from North Dakota to Texas are losing power in the middle of an unprecedented deep freeze that has broken daily temperature records in hundreds of places.

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Texan wind project [image credit: Newscom]


What a surprise! Energy demand soars in really cold weather. One researcher served up the bad news: “When wind-turbine blades get covered with ice, they need to be shut down”. This in turn can cause sudden frequency problems on electricity grids. Global warming falls short yet again.
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(Bloomberg) — Millions of households in Texas are suffering rolling power blackouts for the first time in a decade as an unprecedented Arctic freeze wrought chaos in U.S. energy markets, reports Yahoo News.

The largest cities from Houston to San Antonio were without power for spells of up to an hour at a time as supplies in the U.S.’s second largest state fluctuated wildly.

“Every grid operator and every electric company is fighting to restore power right now,” said Bill Magness President and Chief Executive Officer of Ercot, the operator of the state’s power grid.

The extreme cold caught the highly decentralized Texan electricity market by surprise despite a heads up a week ago about the impending frigid temperatures from the U.S. National Weather Service.

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Weather forecasting technology


Of course they wouldn’t want to incur the wrath of climate alarmists who blame humans for the weather, since they’re closely allied with them and believe carbon dioxide, although fine for vegetation and fizzy drinks, is somehow ‘unclean’.
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H/T TheWorldNews.

Bosses at the Met Office are said to want to house half a £1.2 billion new supercomputer system outside the UK, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Well-placed sources say the forecasting set-up will be the most advanced in the world, but there are fears that the huge amount of energy it uses will torpedo the service’s public stance on fighting climate change.

‘The electricity this thing will use will be so massive that they want to house half of the technology somewhere like Norway where they have cleaner energy,’ one insider said.

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The global race to produce hydrogen offshore

Posted: February 13, 2021 by oldbrew in Energy, hydrogen, wind
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Offshore wind farm [image credit: Wikipedia]


Production will obviously be as intermittent and therefore as unreliable as the wind itself. And how does the hydrogen get back onshore? Yet more expense is implied. Or if the plan is to use ‘excess’ energy, that suggests power already being sent to the national grid, so why not produce the hydrogen onshore?
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Last year was a record breaker for the UK’s wind power industry, says BBC News.

Wind generation reached its highest ever level, at 17.2GW on 18 December, while wind power achieved its biggest share of UK energy production, at 60% on 26 August [Talkshop comment: cherrypicking].

Yet occasionally the huge offshore wind farms pump out far more electricity than the country needs – such as during the first Covid-19 lockdown last spring when demand for electricity sagged.

But what if you could use that excess power for something else?

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Upper reservoir (Llyn Stwlan) and dam of the Ffestiniog Pumped Storage Scheme in north Wales
[credit: Arpingstone/English Wikipedia]


The idea would be to have either a smaller site or a lower site, compared to a standard pumped hydro scheme, or a combination of both. Reasonable cost is suggested.
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An energy storage system from RheEnergise could be installed on thousands of hills around the UK, according to the company.

It uses dense liquid, which is two-and-a-half-times denser than water, and could therefore potentially provide two-and-a-half-times the power of equivalent conventional systems, reports Elemental.

As reported by Professional Engineering, the High-Density Hydro systems would be built underground.

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An artist’s impression of the proposed Woodhouse Colliery (Credit: West Cumbria Mining)


Another Green dreamer forgot that producing wind turbines means using lots of steel, forged in fiery furnaces. That won’t change any time soon.
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THE mayor of Copeland has hit out after a former NASA scientist criticised plans to build a new coal mine in West Cumbria, reports the Whitehaven News.

In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leading climate scientist Dr James Hansen said that failure to stop the mine from going ahead at Whitehaven would be in “contemptuous disregard” for the future of young people and nature.

But mayor Mike Starkie called Dr Hansen’s views “completely irrelevant.”

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Did they mention personal energy allowances yet?

PA Pundits - International

By Larry Bell ~

Fully expect your future carbon footprints to be traced to a crime scene subject to “climate and energy justice” violations in the high tribunal of sustainability.

The prospective charges?

Such sins will include ownership and operation of an internal combustion vehicle, tampering with regulated upper or lower thermostat setting limits, and/or excessive electricity consumption based upon your maximum household square foot per occupancy allowances.

Why believe me?

Quite simply, because America’s recently controlling political party has already initiated a fast-track train wreck agenda to shut down and replace 80% of abundant and reliable hydrocarbon energy by growing the 5% currently provided by anemic, intermittent wind and solar electricity.

On top of this, the plan will vastly increase electricity demand and costs by phasing out most petroleum-fueled vehicles in favor of heavily taxpayer- and consumer-subsidized plug-in models.

When inevitable power shortages occur, rationing is most certain to follow.

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Unforeseen? They must be joking. It has been painfully foreseeable for years to many of us, except maybe some of the more blinkered climate obsessives. The trouble is, as the article notes, ‘there is no silver bullet solution’ (except ones they don’t want to hear about).
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As the share of renewables in the EU energy mix increase, so do problems with grid overloads and blackouts, says OilPrice.com.

Earlier this month, something happened in Europe. It didn’t get as much media attention as the EU’s massive funding plans for its energy transition, but it was arguably as important, if not more.

A fault occurred at a substation in Croatia and caused an overload in parts of the grid, which spread beyond the country’s borders. This created a domino effect that caused a blackout and prompted electricity supply reductions as far as France and Italy.

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Another ‘net zero’ stumbling block for climate-obsessed governments is investigated by researchers. This time it’s the question of where and how to keep all the hydrogen – assuming it can be produced from renewables on an industrial scale in the first place.
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Large-scale storage of hydrogen remains largely untested but is essential if hydrogen is to realize its potential to make a significant contribution to achieving net-zero emissions, says TechXplore.

A new perspectives paper sets out the key scientific challenges and knowledge gaps in large scale hydrogen storage in porous geological environments.

These underground hydrogen reservoirs could be used as energy storages to face high demand periods.

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Here come the decrees based on dodgy climate ideology. What could possibly go wrong?

PA Pundits - International

By Craig Rucker ~

The torrent of ruinous policy emanating from the White House continues unabated.

As one internet memester put it, “pace yourself Joe, you have four years.  You don’t have to destroy the country your first week.”

Generations of Americans worked tirelessly to achieve energy independence.  They realized the dream at last, until President Biden rushed not only to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline, but now to block future oil and gas leases on all federal lands.

Energy analyst Ron Stein writes at CFACT.org that “Biden, like his favorite state of California, is doing everything possible to INCREASE the cost of electricity and fuels, that drives up the cost of everything.”

President Biden also ordered the entire federal fleet of over 600,000 cars and trucks be converted to electric vehicles, no matter where they are!  Good luck finding a place to charge those short-range monuments to…

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Green dud [credit: Green Deal guide]


Bureaucracy is often slow and inefficient, maybe even more so where handing out public money – subsidies in this case – is involved. Who knew?
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England’s much-hyped £2bn green homes grant is in chaos, renewable energy installers say, with some owed tens of thousands of pounds and struggling to stay in business, reports The Guardian (via The GWPF).

Members of the public have been left waiting nearly four months, in some cases, to take advantage of the scheme to fit low carbon heating systems.

Some installers say customers are pulling out after losing faith in the green grants.

Boris Johnson touted the grants as one of the key programmes in his ten 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution.

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NuScale reactor (SMR) design [credit:
NuScale / Wikipedia –
click on image to enlarge]

All part of looking to invent a hydrogen power market in the UK, to help solve problems that are only known to exist in failing climate models.
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Combining wind power with a nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) could see energy production re-start at Wylfa in North Wales by late 2027 under plans presented by Shearwater Energy, says New Civil Engineer.

Shearwater has said that the proposal would involve construction of a wind-SMR and hydrogen production hybrid energy project, which it says would be located on a different site to the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station, planned by Horizon, that stalled when Hitachi pulled support last year.

The Shearwater plant could provide 3GW of zero carbon energy and is also expected to produce over 3M.kg of green hydrogen per year for use by the UK’s transport sector.

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Drax power station [credit: drax.com]


Another attempt by climate obsessives to dictate UK energy policy to the government via the courts, bites the dust. Reliability of national electricity supply is not completely dead yet.
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The UK Court of Appeals has rejected a bid from environmental campaigners to prevent Drax from building the biggest gas-fired power plant in Europe, reports NS Energy.

The proposed plant, based next to an existing facility in Selby, North Yorkshire, was given the go-ahead in October 2019.

It was a controversial decision as the UK government, in approving the project, overruled its own planning authority’s recommendation to reject it on climate grounds.

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‘The donkey goes on to the ice until it breaks’ – German proverb [image credit: evwind.es]


European leaders are too fond of their so-called climate policies to take much notice of practicalities like engineering limitations. The fragility of the power supply can only get worse under existing policies, if these warning signals are ignored.
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On 8 January 2021, the European electricity grid only just missed a large-scale collapse, says The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

Around 13:04 p.m. there was a sharp drop in frequency that could have paralysed Europe. The cause was apparently a power failure in Romania.

According to the Austrian blackout expert Herbert Saurugg, it was the second most serious major incident in the European network to date.

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Let’s keep pretending the climate will notice if a few hundred wind turbines are dotted around the seas. Better still, let’s make them even more expensive and unwieldy by adding some new technology that we can’t easily service as it’s miles offshore. It’s claimed that ‘brilliant minds’ will be working on this, but it doesn’t take a genius to see the flaws in the plan.
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Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy have today announced plans to invest €120m ($146m) in a five-year strategy to unlock the potential of harvesting green hydrogen from offshore windpower, reports Power Engineering International.

The companies are collaborating on a solution to integrate an electrolyzer into an offshore wind turbine as a single synchronized system to directly produce green hydrogen.

Over the next five years, Siemens Gamesa will invest €80m and Siemens Energy €40m in the initiative, with a view to unveiling a full-scale offshore demonstration by 2025/26.

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Hornsea wind project


Is anyone in UK government circles going to take this seriously, as compensation (constraint) payments spiral upwards? The perpetual mismatch between supply and demand of wind power can only get worse as more of it is built. Energy storage can’t resolve these problems, only reduce them slightly at best.
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Enough wind power was curtailed in 2020 to power a million homes for a year, reports Energy Live News.

A new report produced by Lane Clark & Peacock LLP (LCP) says primarily as a result of network constraints, last year saw a total of 3.6TWh of wind power shut off and wasted.

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