Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

What The Solar Industry Forgot To Tell You!

Posted: July 24, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy
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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

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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.

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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:

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[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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Ration book [image credit: canadianresource.ca]

Ration book [image credit: canadianresource.ca]


An old political chestnut based on the screw-tightening – or ceiling-lowering – principle is trying to make a comeback, as Energy Daily reports:

To achieve public support for a transformation to a low carbon society, politicians would be advised to implement a quantity-based energy quota system, with a fixed and decreasing cap on total use, rather than relying on carbon pricing and taxation mechanisms, according to a new study.

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oldbrew:

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What's this? [image credit: mendonews]

What’s this? [image credit: mendonews]

What effect does pot-smoking have on green energy fantasies?

Scope for a government-funded survey there perhaps ;-)

Originally posted on American Elephants:

Steven Hayward noted a recent story from the Denver Post at Powerline. It seems that surging electricity consumption by Colorado’s new marijuana industry is sabotaging Denver’s push to use less energy—as urged  by the White House’s Clean Power Plan to shut down coal-fired power plants because carbon pollution.

Citywide electricity use has been rising at the rate of 1.2 percent a year, and 45 percent of that increase comes from marijuana-growing facilities, Denver officials said Wednesday.

Denver has a goal of capping energy use at 2012 levels. Electricity is a big part of that.

The latest Xcel Energy data show cannabis grow facilities statewide, the bulk of which are in Denver, used as much as 200 million kilowatt hours of electricity in 2014, utility officials said. City officials said 354 grow facilities in Denver used about 121 million kwh in 2013, up from 86 million kwh at 351 facilities in…

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Electricity Blackouts Risk Up

Posted: July 15, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, ideology
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oldbrew:

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As Paul Homewood rightly says, this is as predictable as the day is long. Rely on unreliable renewables and end up having trouble generating enough power – who knew?

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

h/t Mark Hodgson

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33527967

From the No S**t Sherlock Dept!

The risk of blackouts this winter has increased compared with a year ago, according to National Grid.

It says the closure of some power stations will have left spare capacity on the system at just 1.2%, the worst for a decade.

It has secured extra supplies by paying tens of millions of pounds to have several plants on standby and by asking some industries to switch off power.

The move means overall spare capacity is now expected to be around 5%.

“It’s clear that electricity margins for that coldest, darkest half hour of winter are currently tighter than they have been, due to power stations closures”, says Cordi O’Hara, National Grid’s Director of Market Operations.

To ensure the lights stay on, for the second year running, National Grid will pay firms like Centrica and SSE to keep power plants in…

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A suitable site for wind turbines? [image credit: Hurriyet News]

A suitable site for wind turbines? [image credit: Hurriyet News]


The Archaeology News Network reports on a startling example of renewables madness:

Turkey’s Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board has refused to declare a plot of land in Istanbul’s Silivri district as a first-degree archaeological site despite the discovery of artifacts from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras. Now, the artefacts face an even greater threat as a wind-power company has indicated that it wants to cover the findings and continue constructing 21 wind turbines.

Historical artefacts were discovered during the construction of Silivri Energy A.Ş.’s wind power plant belonging to businessman Abdullah Tivnikli in the village last February.

Among the artefacts were many Hellenistic- and Roman-era tombs and one-meter walls.

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[credit: green lantern electric]

[credit: green lantern electric]


StollmeyerEU reports on a sighting of the EU’s energy ‘master plan’, due to be unveiled next week (July 15th):

The new framework is to deliver 3 market arrangements:

‘To move towards an interconnected EU-wide electricity market providing clear price signals for new investments and facilitating the further development of renewables;
To promote regional cooperation and coordination on energy policies, new generation, support schemes to renewables and interconnections;
To provide a truly European dimension to security of supply.’

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The list of problems facing the UK’s energy infrastructure has just got even longer as Austria puts a spanner in the works.

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Power to the people? [credit: inhabitat]

Power to the people?
[credit: inhabitat]


Good news for solar panel makers as electricity-starved India starts on a massive expansion plan, reports Reuters (in NewsDaily):

India’s $100 billion push into solar energy over the next decade will be driven by foreign players as uncompetitive local manufacturers fall by the wayside, no longer protected by government restrictions on the sector.

The money pouring into India’s solar industry is likely to be soaked up by foreign-organized projects such as one run by China’s Trina Solar – not the country’s own solar panel manufacturers.

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Death by government diktat

Posted: June 30, 2015 by tchannon in Accountability, Big Brother, Energy, government

Hatfield Colliery closure speeds up UK exit from deep coal mining

Britain’s Hatfield Colliery will stop producing coal with immediate effect after being unable to sell its coal following the sharp rise in the UK’s carbon tax, Prospect union said on Tuesday.

The closure of the employee-owned mine in South Yorkshire is 14 months earlier than expected. Around 500 employees work at the mine.

In April, Britain’s carbon tax, which charges power producers for each tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) they emit, almost doubled to 18.08 pounds per tonne to encourage utilities to switch fuels, as coal-fired power generation produces almost double the amount of CO2 as gas-fired plants.

“Hatfield has been unable to sell its coal because of the government’s refusal to sponsor coal contracts with generators and the doubling of the UK’s carbon tax,” Prospect negotiator Mike Macdonald said.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/06/30/uk-coal-closure-idUKKCN0PA1FU20150630

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oldbrew:

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‘Just too expensive.’ Who knew?

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

H/t David Dohbro

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/high-tech-solar-projects-fail-to-deliver-2015-06-13

Another bright idea bites the dust!!

If you look back at history, you will see that it is littered with ideas that failed. It is of course the successful we are all benefitting from now.

What is different is that in those days it was not governments who picked the winners and losers.

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USnatgas
The manufactured paranoia about threats to public water supplies from ‘fracking’ methods used to extract gas and oil turns out to be mostly hot air. Occasional problems have been due to mistakes basically.

Natural gas companies, people with property and/or mineral rights overlying shale formations containing commercial deposits of natural gas or oil, and American consumers breathed a sigh of relief last week when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its much anticipated report concerning the potential threat fracking poses to water supplies. The EPA found fracking only rarely results in water contamination, and even then it is mainly due to operator error or poor practices not to the method of oil and gas production itself.

According to the four year, multi-million dollar report, 1,399 page report, the EPA, “did not find evidence that these mechanisms [hydraulic fracturing] have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”

Full story: Fracking Poses Minimal Risk to Water Supplies Concludes EPA | Heartlander Magazine.

EU member Poland breaks ground on new coal fired plant

Posted: May 21, 2015 by tallbloke in Energy
Tags:
A groundbreaking ceremony has taken place in Poland on the site of a €800m lignite power plant in Turów.

The ceremony was attended by Poland’s Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and representatives Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe (MHPSE), which will build the plant in co-operation with Polish company Budimex and Técnicas Reunidas from Spain.

MHPSE said that the lignite unit will have a gross capacity of just under 500 MW and an efficiency of more than 43 per cent. It will be operated by PGE, Poland’s largest power supplier.

MHPS Europe will supply the utility steam generator, the entire flue gas cleaning equipment, piping, turbine/generator, instrumentation & control and will also place the power plant into service.

The new unit – which is due to be operational in 2019 – will be built at an existing power plant where there are currently six units with an installed capacity of 1500 MW.

MHPSE chairman Rainer Kiechl said the new plant “will be one of the most modern of its type in the world”.

He added that it would make a “significant contribution to a dependable supply of power in an economy which is continuing to grow strongly”.

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oldbrew:

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It’s more than a rumour that batteries degrade within ten years.

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood

Musk with utility-scale “Powerpack.” (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

You may have heard about Elon Musk’s plans to save us all from climate apocalypse by selling us all Tesla batteries, so that we can store electricity from wonderful solar panels.

A couple of articles which go into the economic detail and find that the idea just does not stack up.

It sounds like an attempt to offset the losses from their core auto business.

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A dying breed?

A dying breed?


A drastic energy policy change by the new UK government as GWPF reports:

Local residents will be able to block all future onshore wind farms under new measures to be fast-tracked into law, the new energy secretary has announced. “It will mean no more onshore wind farm subsidies and no more onshore wind farms without local community support.”

Amber Rudd revealed she had “put a rocket” under her officials to “put the local community back in charge” of their own neighbourhoods.

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UK internet usage per hour (2012) [image credit: ISPreview]

UK internet usage per hour (2012)
[image credit: ISPreview]


The UK Daily Telegraph says the internet is already consuming at least 8 per cent of Britain’s power output and this figure is bound to rise. The Press Association (via Yahoo! News) reports:

Britain’s internet demand is expanding at such a rate that it could consume the nation’s entire power supply by 2035, an expert has warned.

Andrew Ellis, professor of optical communications at Aston University, said the success of video-streaming websites such as YouTube and Netflix along with new innovations meant optical fibres could reach their limit within eight years.

Prof Ellis said rationing internet use or charging more so that more cables can be installed may need to be considered, as experts prepare to meet at London’s Royal Society later this month to discuss what can be done to avert a web crisis.

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oldbrew:

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Meanwhile operators of ultra-modern gas power generation plants like Irsching are planning to shut them down because pro-renewables regulations force them to be unprofitable.

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood

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http://www.wiwo.de/whats-right-wie-gabriel-die-planwirtschaft-voranbringt/11686268.html

There was a time when I regarded Germany as a pragmatic country!

It seems that Germans are becoming increasingly fed up with the mad policies of their rulers.

Wirtschafts Woche have a damning commentary on Sigmar Gabriel’s “Energy Revolution”. Gabriel is Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, as well as chairman of the Socialist Democratic Party, who have been in coalition with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.

Translation from GWPF:

Germany’s energy revolution is getting more and more absurd. After nuclear power and gas, coal power is about to be phased out. The madness is reaching new proportions.

Thirty years ago, he would have certainly been honored as “Master Architect of Socialism” or “Chief Activist of Socialist Labour” – east of the Elbe. Sigmar Gabriel is doing everything possible to re-establish a comprehensive planned economy in Germany: the green energy transition pushes the gates to energy-socialism…

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oldbrew:

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Are the Austrians going to press ahead with this as a favour to anti-nuclear Germany, expecting some reward?

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood

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http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2015/04/countdown-begins-for-hinkley-nuclear-power-challenge-as-decision-published.html

PEI report:

The European Commission’s decision on Hinkley Point was published in the Official Journal on Tuesday, and there now commences a two month period whereby potential objections from Austria, Luxembourg and other entities can be recorded. If the decision is contested it may prove a fatal blow to the UK’s nuclear power ambitions due to the lengthy delays that would entail.
Dr Dorte Fouquet, Partner, BBH Brussels who has been advising Vienna on the matter of their objection to Britain’s flagship nuclear power project on the basis of State Aid contravention, told an audience at Platts Power Summit in central
London today that if Vienna presses on with its challenge it could set back construction of the Hinkley Point C project for around eight years based on average case statistics.
She added that were it to go unchallenged “this decision would be practically the end…

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Texas House votes to ban fracking bans

Posted: April 25, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, government, Politics
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Texas State Capitol building, Austin [credit: Daniel Mayer / Wikipedia]

Texas State Capitol building, Austin [credit: Daniel Mayer/Wikipedia]


From the US State synonymous with oil: legislation to limit the power of ‘nimbyism’ in developing – or not – natural energy resources.

Texas has moved a step closer to pre-empting cities and counties from banning fracking. On April 17, by a vote of 122-18, the Texas House passed House Bill 40 recognizing the Texas Railroad Commission’s long-held authority to regulate oil and gas exploration and production, including hydraulic fracking, in the state.

The bill was a reaction to the Denton, Texas’ fracking ban. Denton’s ban, approved by city voters in November, was the first ever attempt by a Texas city to assert local power to ban oil and gas production. If HB 40 ultimately becomes law, the bill would ban any ordinance that prohibits an oil and gas operation. A companion bill awaits action in the Texas Senate.

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