Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Yet another coal fired power station forced to close

Posted: September 3, 2015 by Andrew in Energy

imageEggborough is the latest of three coal fired power stations to announce plans to close, DECC insists they have a plan.

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[image credit: newsolarpanels.co.uk]

[image credit: newsolarpanels.co.uk]


Looks like curtains for small-scale solar in the UK if the planned new rate of 1.63 pence per kilowatt hour is approved. Financial reality is starting to catch up with ‘green dreams’ in the UK as BBC News reports.

The UK government says it plans to significantly reduce subsidies paid to small-scale green power installations. Under the proposals, the amount of money paid to home owners and businesses producing electricity from roof-top solar and small wind turbines will be limited from January 2016.
Subsidy schemes could be closed to new entrants from the start of next year.

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UK shale oil - green for go? [image credit: glaconservatives]

UK shale oil – green for go? [image credit: glaconservatives]


The huge reserves at Horse Hill are in shale beds that are fractured naturally, as UPI.com reports.

At least 10 billion barrels of potential oil is thought to lie in the Horse Hill shale licence area in the south of the country, a British group said. U.K. Oil and Gas Ltd. said an independent assessment from oil services company Schlumberger found a mean 10.9 billion barrels of oil in place in a 55 square-mile area of the Horse Hill basin.

U.K. Oil and Gas Chairman Stephen Sanderson said the independent analysis predicts “significant” oil volumes and gives further support for development plans.

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India To Double Coal Production By 2020

Posted: August 25, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, government
Tags:

[image credit: Pakistan Defence]

[image credit: Pakistan Defence]


India has set a coal production target of 1.5 billion metric tons by 2020, twice its current production, reports the GWPF.

No climate paranoia here. Full steam ahead to social and economic progress, just like Europe and the USA used to do before their leaders were distracted by ‘man-made climate’ syndrome.

Coal consumption in India, particularly in the electric power sector, is outpacing India’s domestic production.

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In limbo - Hinkley C [image credit: EDF]

In limbo – Hinkley C [image credit: EDF]


Something is not quite right with the UK’s nuclear power plans, as this Click Green exclusive shows. Anti-nuclear legal action by Austria and reports of serious technical issues can’t be helping the cause.

The UK’s nuclear watchdog has stopped safety inspections at the planned site of the Hinkley C nuclear power station after EDF Energy ordered a stop to all groundwork, ClickGreen can reveal.

Despite recently publishing a list of preferred suppliers for the £24 billion project, the French firm were in behind-the-scenes talks with the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), during which they informed them of their decision to mothball the site.

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Decision time [image credit: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez]

Decision time [image credit: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez]


After all the political argy-bargy, the final decision on the controversial oil pipeline plan is due as The New Republic explains. But the oil producers are already moving their product in other ways. Whether it’s still worth it with oil down near $40 a barrel is another matter.

Environmentalists have been waiting since 2008 for President Barack Obama’s decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. That decision may come any day now. But Canada’s tar sands industry hasn’t been waiting around.

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Risky business [image credit: safetysource.co.nz]

Risky business [image credit: safetysource.co.nz]


Some might query whether 5 megawatts is ‘giant’ in terms of national electricity demand, and the usual claims that battery costs are going to drop like a stone are made, but nevertheless this attempt at an energy storage system is happening, as edie.net reports.

German energy company E.ON has started constructing the world’s first modular large-scale battery in the German town of Aachen.

The modular aspect of the design means that various battery technologies can be ‘plugged in’ to the system – a world-first for a battery of this size.

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An Amber light on chicanery: avoiding EU

Posted: August 20, 2015 by tchannon in Energy, government, Legal, Politics

Centralism is also lunacy when one set of rules are applied to different, a northern Atlantic island is the same as Austria or Italy, bull. nevertheless which fools signed up to broken?

OTOH does this mean paying Germany? If not who?

Here is a report of unknown provenance given Reuters track record

UK may use EU small print to swerve impact of green cuts
LONDON | By Susanna Twidale

Britain is thinking of using an EU loophole to dodge the impact of its own subsidy cuts on renewable energy and escape fines for missing 2020 European renewable targets.

Under EU rules Britain could use the loophole, termed statistical transfer, which would see it pay other, greener, EU countries overshooting their targets, to make up the difference.

“We need to stay open to the fullest possible range of options for meeting the 2020 target, including the use of statistical transfer,” a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said.

Britain’s new Energy and Climate Change secretary Amber Rudd has announced changes to subsides for biomas [sic], solar and onshore wind projects to trim spiraling [sic] costs, which she said in June were likely to result in around 250 projects not being built.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/08/20/uk-britain-renewables-target-idUKKCN0QP17T20150820

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More licences released for fracking in the U.K.

Posted: August 18, 2015 by Andrew in Energy

imageTodays announcement sees 2,700 sq Km, mostly covering Yorkshire and the Midlands, opened up to Fracking as the Government tries to breath new life into a stalling energy sector. (more…)

Bye-bye Longannet [image credit: BBC]

Bye-bye Longannet [image credit: BBC]


It’s only a matter of time before increasing dependency on renewables proves to be a mistake. Details from the BBC: RIP Longannet power station.

Scotland’s last coal-fired power station, Longannet in Fife, is to close on 31 March next year.

Its owner, Scottish Power, said the high cost of connecting to the grid was to blame.

The company has also announced it is abandoning plans to build a new gas-fired power station at Cockenzie in East Lothian.

Longannet, which opened in 1972, is one of the biggest coal-fired power stations in Europe.

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Wind turbines: how big is too big?

Posted: August 13, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, innovation, wind
Tags:

Yes and no [image credit: Clean Technica]

Yes and no [image credit: Clean Technica]


Size matters with wind turbines because, as one developer put it, ‘You have the ability to get all the oink out of the pig’. But too big means difficulties arise, such as means of delivery. Wind Energy News investigates.

From megawatts to the size of rotors, everything about wind turbines has been getting bigger.

But even proponents of wind power say they may be reaching a limit as logistics and a lack of social acceptance over their size start to hinder growth.

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[credit: New York Daily News]

[credit: New York Daily News]


Christopher Booker highlights the obvious key issue facing those who promote renewable energy – intermittency.

Last week in the White House, to a roomful of 150 cheering environmental activists, President Obama unveiled his answer to what he called “the greatest threat facing the world”. Variously billed as a bid “to cement his legacy as a world leader” and an attempt to salvage brownie points from December’s talks on a global climate treaty (which he knows will fail, because India, China and the Republican majority in Congress won’t buy it), Obama’s “Clean Energy Plan” for the US is twofold.

On one hand, to bypass those Republicans in Congress, he wants to use federal regulations to impose crippling new CO2 emissions cuts on the fossil-fuel power plants that still currently supply the US with about 70 per cent of its electricity. This even poses a serious threat to the shale gas industry, which has more than halved US energy costs and played a key part in its economic recovery.

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Windy enough today?

Windy enough today?


There goes another £8 billion pounds or so for unreliable part-time power.

The second half of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, which will be built in the North Sea, has received planning consent from the Government, as E & T Magazine reports.

The Dogger Bank Teesside A and B project proposed by the Forewind consortium of SSE, RWE, Statkraft and Statoil would see as many as 400 turbines built around 100 miles off England’s North East coast, with the potential to power roughly two million homes.

The Government granted a similar sized scheme, also at Dogger Bank, planning consent in February, and combined, the two adjacent projects would be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm.

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Too late for OPEC to stop the shale revolution

Posted: August 6, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, fracking, shale oil
Tags:

[image credit: mining.com]

[image credit: mining.com]


Saudi Arabia may go broke before the US oil industry buckles, reports the Daily Telegraph.

If the oil futures market is correct, Saudi Arabia will start running into trouble within two years. It will be in existential crisis by the end of the decade.

The contract price of US crude oil for delivery in December 2020 is currently $62.05, implying a drastic change in the economic landscape for the Middle East and the petro-rentier states.

The Saudis took a huge gamble last November when they stopped supporting prices and opted instead to flood the market and drive out rivals, boosting their own output to 10.6m barrels a day (b/d) into the teeth of the downturn.

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LNG vessels [image credit: offshoreenergytoday.com]

LNG vessels [image credit: offshoreenergytoday.com]


This is part of the big US push to challenge the world leaders Russia and Qatar in the export of gas, mostly sourced from fracking sites. Expect a price war.

Bechtel announced today it has been selected by Delfin LNG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fairwood Peninsula Energy Corporation, to perform front-end engineering and design for the first U.S.-based floating liquefied natural gas vessel (FLNGV) to go into service at Port Delfin. 

Port Delfin is a proposed deepwater port and floating LNG facility that will be located approximately 50 miles off the coastline of Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Delfin LNG’s project will be the first offshore floating natural gas liquefaction facility in the United States.

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A Westinghouse reactor design proposal (Image Credit: Westinghouse)

A Westinghouse reactor design proposal
(Image Credit: Westinghouse)

Back to the drawing board for nuclear power, reports Nuclear Power Daily. Looks like the replacement for US coal power won’t be ready for a while yet.

The US government is offering millions of dollars for innovative ideas to design new nuclear reactors, the Department of Energy announced in a press release.

“We have been encouraged by recent interest in advanced reactor technology,” Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy John Kotek said on Friday. “The funding opportunity allows for multiple-year funding for up to two awards with a total of $40 million in DOE [Department of Energy] cost share per award.”

The Energy Department noted it was issuing the funding opportunity as an early step in increasing investment in nuclear advanced reactor technologies.

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[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]

[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]


Another no-punches-pulled analysis from StopTheseThings (STT). Is this really what people want?

In yesterday’s post – The Wind Industry: Always and Everywhere the Result of Massive & Endless Subsidies (Part 1) – we covered the fact that the Australian wind industry exists – and ONLY exists – for one single purpose: to wallow in a subsidy stream which will hit A$3 billion annually in 2019; and continue at that colossal rate until 2031.

From hereon, the cost of the greatest subsidy rort in the history of the Commonwealth will exceed A$45 billion – every last cent of which will be recovered from Australian power consumers through retail power bills.

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Wyoming coal trains [image credit: energycatalyzer3.com/

Wyoming coal trains [image credit: energycatalyzer3.com]


The ‘fight against global warming’, as reported by AFP/Fox News below, is more like shadow boxing but the impact on the real US economy from the enforced shutting down of coal-fired power stations could be significant.

President Barack Obama will impose steeper cuts on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants across the country than previously expected, senior administration officials said Sunday, in what the president called the most significant step the U.S. has ever taken to fight global warming.

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What The Solar Industry Forgot To Tell You!

Posted: July 24, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy
Tags: ,

oldbrew:

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It would be a joke if it wasn’t so expensive.

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood

image

http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2015/jul/solar-independence-day.cfm

The solar industry has apparently been bragging about how much power it has been producing recently. Unfortunately, they seem to have forgotten to tell us the full story.

In overall terms, solar only generated 1.2% of UK’s electricity last year.

image

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/electricity-section-5-energy-trends

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-trends-section-6-renewables

But worse still, in Q1, when demand is at its highest, solar only provided 0.51%.

And if that was not bad enough, when solar power does ramp up on sunny days, it simply provides problems for the grid, as this presentation from the National Grid earlier in the year showed:

View original 125 more words

[image credit: BBC]

[image credit: BBC]


The UK government has finally realised that solar power is nearly useless in the winter. Everyone else has known this all along, but better late than never. The BBC reports:

Subsidies for many new solar farms are to end under plans being published by the government.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is consulting on plans that would see subsidies for some new solar farms close by 2016. The government says the move is necessary to protect consumers.

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