Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Gateway to the COP24 climate conference in 2018


Poland doesn’t plan to undermine its economy to please the EU or anyone else with an agenda. The report notes: ‘Ironically, next year’s climate conference will be held in the southern Polish city of Katowice – the centre of the coal-producing Silesia region’. Maybe the local miners would like to pay them a visit 😎

Poland is on a collision course with EU chiefs over its continued heavy use of fossil fuels, as the country prepares to receive its first shipment of US coal, reports the GWPF.

Prime Minister Beata Szydło has warned MEPs she will “throw it back at them” if they criticise her nation’s carbon consumption at next month’s EU summit.

And that could set the scene for more stand-offs next year, when Poland hosts the next round of UN climate talks.

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


Debatable claim in the headline, but the German ‘energy transition’ has certainly hurt electricity consumers as prices have shot up in the last decade, with fortunes being wasted on vain attempts to tweak the climate system.

As Bonn this week hosts the COP23 climate talks, a new report claims that Germany’s Energiewende programme “has made things worse for the climate”, reports PEI.

It says it has done this “by shutting down nuclear capacity and locking in dependency on coal for decades, despite hundreds of billions in investments and subsidy-schemes”.

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Wind turbines towering over the landscape


When they say ‘flexible power sources’ they mean the ones that are needed when unreliable renewables have largely gone to sleep, for example at night or when it’s not windy. The costs of running such a dual system or the consequences of power shortages, especially in winter, are not mentioned, although they admit that there will be “entire weeks and months” where solar and wind will produce “little energy”. It all sounds unreal.

Renewable energy will account for more than half of the UK’s power supply by 2026, according to a new study, reports Utility Week.

The report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and commissioned by Eaton and the Renewable Energy Association, claims there will be a “significant acceleration” in the shift to renewable sources over the next 20 years and that this move will create new opportunities for new flexible power sources.

By 2040, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of power will be generated from renewable sources, according to the report and at “certain times” wind and solar energy along could meet total power demand in both the UK and Germany.

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Credit: Entek Corp.


This overlooks the fact that ‘the majority of petroleum is converted to petroleum products, which includes several classes of fuels’. It also includes ‘conventional fertilizers [which] are commonly derived from petroleum. In fact, a single 40-pound bag contains the equivalent of 2.5 gallons of gasoline.’ Electricity is only a manufactured power source, as far as national networks are concerned.

Electricity is “the new oil” and the effect of increasing global electrification is having a “very deep rippling effect for the power sector”.

That was one of the highlights this morning at the launch of the International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook, reports PEI.

Laura Cozzi, head of the IEA’s Energy Demand Outlook Division, said: “We are seeing growing electrification happening throughout the energy sector – electricity going into sectors that were confined to other fuels before: most notably, cars, but also heating and cooling.”

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Needless to say this will go down like a lead balloon with climate obsessives, but that’s their problem. How many of them live in parts of the world where electricity and other types of power are in short supply?

President Donald Trump’s administration has envoys at the UN-sponsored talks in Bonn, Germany, even though the US has derided the Paris Agreement climate accord and has begun a years-long process to withdraw from it, reports the South China Morning Post.

The meeting, the Conference of Parties 23, is intended to hammer out the details of the Paris Agreement’s efforts to try to fight climate change.

While a small State Department team has been on the ground for technical negotiations since the talks opened last week, the administration is sending another delegation for the second week that will include senior White House advisers.

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French nuclear power sites [credit: neimagazine.com]


There are artificial self-imposed targets, plans and even laws – and then there’s reality, if ‘keeping the lights on’ is a priority. Scrapping nuclear capacity implies either having something convincing to replace it with, or risking the wrath of the voters if/when things start to go wrong.

The French environment minister Nicolas Hulot says the government is postponing its move to reduce the share of nuclear energy in the country’s power generation mix, reports PEI.

According to Reuters, Hulot says the grid operator RTE warned it risked supply shortages after 2020 and could miss a goal to curb carbon emissions, if it went ahead with the cull of nuclear right away, reducing the share from 75 per cent to 50 per cent.

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You couldn’t make it up. Welcome to the crazy world of climate recriminations.

Judith Curry writes: Well I am just speechless.

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

Mannian litigation gone wild. — Steve McIntyre

View original post 636 more words


The short working life of wind turbines compared to power stations, plus their lack of commercial viability, will likely put the brakes on German renewables expansion according to this GWPF report. Where do used wind farms go to die?

Wind power is the most important component of Germany’s green energy transition.

The end of subsidies for older turbines, however, threatens countless wind farms. By 2023, more than a quarter of Germany’s onshore wind farms may be gone.

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Image credit: BBC


UK taxpayers are about to face another futile trip into green fantasy land, as top politicians refuse to believe that CCS is not a realistic or affordable technology.

Climate change minister Claire Perry is convening a taskforce next month to deliver carbon capture and storage plants more cost effectively, reorts Utility Week.

Perry told a House of Commons debate on CCS last week that the Cost Challenge Taskforce, which was unveiled in the clean growth strategy, was being constituted ‘rapidly’.

She said that the taskforce aimed to repeat the success of a similar group, which had helped to identify ways of delivering offshore windfarms more cheaply.

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Waiting for a recharge


One day the loss of fuel taxes will have to be addressed if electric cars are to become compulsory (after 2032 in Scotland, 2040 in England). Automatic pay-per-mile road tolls could be an option, probably still a long way off.

All electric vehicle (EV) charge points sold in the UK will have to be ‘smart’ and able to interact with the grid to help manage the increased demand for electricity expected to arrive alongside higher take-up, says Clean Energy News.

The Department for Transport yesterday published its intended Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, setting out broad stroke proposals for how the government will seek to increase the access and availability of charge points for electric cars.

The document also confirmed powers to make it compulsory for motorway services and large petrol retailers to install charge points for electric cars, as well as ensuring access to live data of the location and availability of charge points.

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Image credit: energy-storage.news


As the advance of subsidised renewables makes new gas or coal fired power stations ever less economic to build and operate, one of the supposed answers to the artificially created reliability problem is to add batteries to help ‘balance’ the grid. Of course this will also be expensive, and only marginally useful as batteries don’t generate their own power, but that’s just an issue for bill-paying consumers in the privatised UK energy system.

A battery installation at a UK biomass power plant is making news this month says TechXplore . Supporters call it an important recognition of the “enormous potential for battery solutions” in the UK.

The company is E.ON. The challenge, as they attempt to meet it, is doing their bit to balance the grid.

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Image credit: Statoil


They’re only tethered to the sea floor, but you still wouldn’t want to bump into one. The five turbines are 253 metres tall (of which 78m. submerged) and 720-1,600 metres apart, about 25 km.(15 miles) offshore. Will they throw the towel in if one floats away – or sinks?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened the 30 MW Hywind Scotland windfarm today (18 October), which is situated 25 kilometres off the coast of Aberdeenshire, and being operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar reports Utility Week.

“This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland,” said Sturgeon. “Our support for floating offshore wind is testament to this government’s commitment to the development of this technology and, coupled with Statoil’s Battery Storage Project, Batwind, puts us at the forefront of this global race and positions Scotland as a world centre for energy innovation.”

Statoil’s executive vice president of new energy solutions, Irene Rummelhoff, said Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 metres and will be able to open areas “that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind”.

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Power lines in Victoria, Australia [credit: Wikipedia]


Still trying to square the circle of unreliable, expensive renewables and reliable, affordable electricity supplies. At least one backbencher is starting to get it: “The problem with solar and wind … you’ve got to have them backed up in some way, and that’s either got to be a coal-fired power station, a gas generator or some form of battery.” And making batteries to the scale of power stations is neither practical nor affordable.

The details have not officially been released, but the ABC understands Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will argue his policy will lower electricity bills more than a Clean Energy Target (CET), while meeting Australia’s Paris climate change commitments, as the GWPF reports.

It is understood Cabinet last night also agreed to force retailers to guarantee a certain amount of so-called dispatchable power that can be switched on and off on demand, to avoid outages.

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A computer-generated image of Apple’s first Irish data centre [credit: Apple]


Data centre owners won’t like the idea of being at the mercy of unreliable power sources for their vital electricity. ‘Welcome to the energy crunch’ seems to be the message out of this report from Power Engineering International.

Data centres will consume 20 per cent of Ireland’s power generation capacity by 2025, according to the country’s main grid operator, Eirgrid.

Eirgrid added that the huge increase in data centre activity in the country would eat up to 75 per cent of growth in Irish power demand.

The Irish Independent reports that the amount of power needed to store emails, texts and other online data could rise seven-fold as Ireland chases inward investment from tech giants including Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

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Enough is enough, at least for some Australians who are seeing through the alarmist propaganda smokescreen pushed by many of their recent leaders as an excuse to spend fortunes in the vain pursuit of unrealistic climate targets.

Finally the green madness that’s threatening our ability to turn on the lights and air conditioners is being exposed as a con, writes Julian Tomlinson (via The GWPF).

Global temperatures have risen nowhere near the rate at which even the most conservative models predicted, and finally a group of warmist scientists have admitted same in the Nature Geoscience journal last month.

Bear in mind the current mess Australia finds itself in with regards to power generation and business-killing high prices is a result of blindly following these flawed models.

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US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt


It’s hard to miss an undercurrent of dislike for this new but expected US policy in the report, which will no doubt be amplified in the usual quarters.
H/T WGRZ

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that he will sign a new rule overriding the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, the Associated Press reports.

“The war on coal is over,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt declared in the coal mining state of Kentucky. For Pruitt, getting rid of the Clean Power Plan will mark the culmination of a long fight he began as the elected attorney general of Oklahoma.

Pruitt was among about two-dozen attorney generals who sued to stop President Barack Obama’s push to limit carbon emissions.
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What effect the extra demands of being used for energy storage might have on the long-term efficiency and life of the electric vehicle’s battery is not mentioned. They hope that more EVs on such schemes could reduce the need for new power generation, by allowing smarter management of existing resources.

Ovo, the UK electricity supplier, is to offer a ‘vehicle-to-grid’ service to buyers of the Nissan Leaf from next year, allowing electric car owners’ to drive for free by letting energy firms use their vehicle’s batteries, reports Power Engineering International.

Savings from the scheme will cover the £350-£400 annual cost of charging a Nissan Leaf, the electricity supplier told the Guardian.

The move could mean greater take-up of electric vehicles and help power grids manage the growth in green energy, according to its backers.

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Chances are this will go down like a lead balloon with intermittent renewable energy suppliers, who are used to having electricity supply rules working to their own advantage.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is asking the federal agency that oversees the U.S. grid to issue a new rule to restructure electricity markets to fully compensate power plants for the reliability they provide, writes Michael Bastasch at Climate Change Dispatch.

Perry sent his policy proposal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Friday. The letter asks FERC to create an electricity pricing regime that allows power plants to recover the costs of providing baseload power. It will likely be seen as a lifeline to coal and nuclear power plants.

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Renewable energy wars seem to be getting ever fiercer in Australian political circles.

STOP THESE THINGS

If history offers any lessons to our political masters, it has to include those occasions when a fed up proletariat rose up and overthrew those in charge. Australia may not literally be on the brink of a civil revolt. However, there is most certainly a revolt underway in the Federal Liberal/National Coalition government.

The Nationals have already staked their ground, rejecting the Clean Energy Target proposed by Alan Finkel and resolving to slash all subsidies to wind and solar.

Within the Liberal party, a growing band have recognised that their political futures depend upon what happens next in relation to Australia’s self-inflicted power pricing and supply calamity.

Leading the battle for common sense, and political self-preservation, is former PM, Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott to ‘cross floor on energy’
The Australian
Simon Benson
20 September 2017

Tony Abbott has sent a warning to Malcolm Turnbull that he will cross the…

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Go-ahead for mini reactors as energy crunch looms

Posted: September 10, 2017 by tallbloke in Energy, Nuclear power
nuke-powerFrom the Sunday Times: By Alan Tovey

MINISTERS are ready to approve the swift development of a fleet of “mini” reactors to help guard against electricity shortages, as older nuclear power stations are decommissioned.

The new technology is expected to offer energy a third cheaper than giant conventional reactors such as the ongoing Hinkley Point in Somerset.

Industry players including Rolls-Royce, NuScale, Hitachi and Westinghouse have held meetings in past weeks with civil servants about Britain’s nuclear strategy and development of “small modular reactors” (SMRs).

A report to be published by Rolls-Royce in Westminster this week claims its consortium can generate electricity at a “strike price” – the guaranteed price producers can charge – of £60 per megawatt hour, two thirds that of recent large-scale nuclear plants.

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