Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Burning hydrate [image credit: US Office of Naval Research]


H/T The GWPF

The main obstacle to the massive but untapped energy resource of gas hydrate is cost of extraction, once technical problems are mastered.

We might be sitting on enough gas to power the world for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, says OilPrice.com.

In a world awash in oil and gas, you’d think it couldn’t get any worse. Well, it can: China just announced that it had extracted a record amount of what has been poetically called fire ice. It is, however, a form of natural gas trapped in frozen water.

At 861,400 cubic meters, this record might not be a whole lot of gas, but it may well be the start of something new, and gas producers may not like this ‘something’.

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Schemes to ramp up climate alarm propaganda with ‘warming’ [sic] labels are already in the pipeline e.g. in Sweden. They try to claim a health risk from the warmer weather they feel sure lies ahead, while pointing the finger at humans for this supposed problem and equating it to tobacco smoking. If the pollution doesn’t get you, the climate emergency will…type of thing. Crude stuff loosely based on dodgy climate models.
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Mike Gill and colleagues explain how the implementation of of fossil fuel labelling could have a significant impact on the awareness of climate change, says The British Medical Journal blog. This article is part of The BMJ’s Health in the Anthropocene collection.

The use of fossil fuels should be rapidly reduced to keep the global mean temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels—a core goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Emphasising the risks to health of fossil fuel use, now and in the future, could motivate action.

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Well, yes and no. The agave plant produces less fuel per hectare than sugar cane, but needs less water and has other claimed advantages. But the current low oil price is making all biofuel options look even more expensive than before, plus they are all land-hungry.
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The agave plant used to make tequila could be established in semi-arid Australia as an environmentally friendly solution to Australia’s transport fuel shortage, a team of researchers at the University of Sydney, University of Exeter and University of Adelaide has found.

The efficient, low-water process could also help produce ethanol for hand sanitiser, which is in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, notes TechXplore.

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More pie in the sky from the green lobby. No sign here of how the hydrogen would be produced in sufficient quantities to replace all the world’s fuels. A bunch of wind turbines and solar installations would barely begin to do it, given they’re already fully occupied with ever-increasing electricity demand. If ‘infrastructure investment in storage might cost around $637 billion by 2050’, who would be willing to pay such eye-watering sums?
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Carbon-free hydrogen production could significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions in power generation and manufacturing, but it will require a mammoth and long-term financial commitment to become cost competitive, says Power Engineering.

This is according to a new report by BloombergNEF. The research wing of media giant Bloomberg is focused on next-generation energy technologies which also reduce carbon emissions.

Hydrogen can be a zero-carbon substitute for fossil fuels. Companies such as Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), GE, Siemens and Ansaldo Energia already are working on programs to blend hydrogen into their turbine fuel mixes.

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An end to this?


The researchers also imagine devices that would wirelessly power implants in a patient’s body without any surgery to change batteries.

Any device that sends out a Wi-Fi signal also emits terahertz waves —electromagnetic waves with a frequency somewhere between microwaves and infrared light, says Technology.org.

These high-frequency radiation waves, known as “T-rays,” are also produced by almost anything that registers a temperature, including our own bodies and the inanimate objects around us.

Terahertz waves are pervasive in our daily lives, and if harnessed, their concentrated power could potentially serve as an alternate energy source. Imagine, for instance, a cellphone add-on that passively soaks up ambient T-rays and uses their energy to charge your phone.

However, to date, terahertz waves are wasted energy, as there has been no practical way to capture and convert them into any usable form.

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The most optimistic estimate of the advocates is 14% of total US energy supply from (manufactured) hydrogen by 2050. But why would it be worth the cost and effort, even if it could be done? Claims it would ‘strengthen the economy’ seem hard to justify, as hydrogen production is more expensive than that of fuels in use now.

A coalition of major oil & gas, power, automotive, fuel cell, and hydrogen companies have developed and released the full new report, a “Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy”, reports Green Car Congress.

The Road Map stresses the versatility of hydrogen as an enabler of the renewable energy system; an energy vector that can be transported and stored; and a fuel for the transportation sector, heating of buildings and providing heat and feedstock to industry.

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Making electricity unreliable and expensive when it used not be — sounds idiotic, but seems to be the norm with climate-obsessed governments these days.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

I recently got an intriguing email from Professor Guus Berkhout, president of the Climate Intelligence Foundation or CLINTEL. It contained this striking paragraph and the last sentence really got me thinking:

“The past 150 years show that affordable and reliable energy is the key to prosperity. The past 150 years also show that more CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth and increasing the yields of crops. Why do governments ignore these hard facts? Why do they do the opposite and lower the quality of life by forcing high-cost, dubious low-carbon energy technologies upon their citizens? The zero-emission act is a crime against humanity.” (Emphasis added.)

So I looked into the law on crimes against humanity and Professor Berkhout may have a strong case. At its simplest, a crime against humanity is a government policy that systematically and knowingly harms a specific group…

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Typical electric car set-up


The battle of the chargers is underway. Too much home charging could overload the local electricity network, but nobody wants to sit around in public areas every day or two waiting for a more expensive power-up. At present this is of little interest to much of the population anyway, judging by the very low sales of EVs.

“Less-than-ideal” electric vehicle (EV) chargers were backed in last week’s Budget, which ring fenced £500M over five years to implement rapid charging hubs in public places, says New Civil Engineer.

Instead, policymakers should shift their focus away from costly public rapid chargers to investing in the scaled deployment of smaller, slower chargers on residential streets, says the report.

‘Electric Vehicles: Moving from early adopters to mainstream buyers’, by EV infrastructure company Connected Kerb, says that many potential EV buyers have no access to the convenience of chargers at home or nearby, and this is hindering EV take-up.

The report found that 67% of current EV drivers would not have bought an EV if they did not have access to overnight charging.

Connected Kerb chief executive Chris Pateman-Jones said: “That is a massive red flag when you look at the existing infrastructure deployment strategies.

“Rapid chargers are more expensive and less convenient – inconvenience deters uptake. Focus must be redirected to on-street residential and workplace charging that reflects existing charging behaviours and incentivises more people to transition to EVs.”

Existing charging behaviours indicate that 80% of charging is done at home, with 64% of this being overnight.

“This is where drivers want to charge,” Pateman Jones said. “They use costly public chargers only when their preferred option is not available. They do not think like petrol vehicle owners, going to a fixed location to ‘fill it up’.”

Full article here.


A senior academic reckons the 20 year design life of wind turbines is too short – “we should be doing better” – and means they don’t even qualify as infrastructure, and that offshore wind power is “ferociously costly and has a big carbon footprint”. He didn’t mention the intermittency and weather dependence, as they’re not fixable by humans.
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True carbon costs of offshore wind are not being declared in order to make the solution seem more environmentally acceptable than it actually is, according to a leading academic.

Cambridge University senior teaching associate Jim Platts is a former partner at Gifford [now Ramboll] and has focused his academic career on manufacturing issues.

He told New Civil Engineer: “The concept of offshore wind is being sold as being environmentally friendly but the reality is that it is ferociously costly and has a big carbon footprint.”

Platts believes that the energy companies developing offshore wind farms are hiding full details about their carbon footprints and is calling on the sector to be more transparent about them.

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That’s easy – there is no plan. Plenty of bluster, arm-waving and rash promises though. But the realities of engineering, economics, logistics and so on can’t be wished away.
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Berkeley, CA, Takoma Park, MD and other cities; California, Connecticut, New York, Virginia and other states; Germany, England and other countries; the European Union – all plan to banish oil, natural gas and coal within 10, 20 or 30 years, writes Paul Driessen @ Eurasia Review.

A number of US states have joined Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives and proudly say We Are Still In … the Paris climate treaty, no matter what President Trump says or does.

Forget the headlines and models, and look at hurricane, tornado, sea level and other historic records. There is no crisis, no unprecedented warming or weather events, certainly nothing that proves humans have replaced the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate changes and weather events.

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National energy supplies will be manipulated by the government long into the future, under the dubious banner of climate concerns. Providers will have to go along with whatever the latest prescriptive policies are, including forcing up the price of gas. Forget market forces and open competition. What could possibly go wrong?

In his Budget announcement [this week], chancellor Rishi Sunak said the CCS Infrastructure Fund would be worth “at least £800M”, with the first site to be established by the mid-2020s, reports New Civil Engineer.

The initiatives will create up to 6,000 jobs in Teesside, Humberside, Merseyside and St Fergus in Scotland – in a move described by Sunak as “levelling up in action”.

CCS can provide flexible low carbon power and decarbonise many industrial processes. It is important for the UK since other key sources of low carbon electricity – such as offshore and onshore wind and solar – are weather dependent.

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Message to climate obsessives – be careful what you wish for…

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

While the world is feverishly trying to reduce emissions from fossil fuel usage, we get hit with the horrific contagious Coronavirus COVID-19. We’ve seen extensive self-imposed social adjustments to transportation that are very similar to what will be required to live with less fossil fuels in the future.

We’ve seen a serious reduction in the usage of the transportation infrastructures of airlines, cruise ships, as well as automobiles, trucks and their impact on the leisure and entertainment industries, all to avoid crowds.

Before fossil fuels and the thousands of products made from petroleum derivatives, and electricity that followed, the world was a zero-sum snake pit. One that was at war against one another scrounging for food, water, and shelter. In the 1800’s most people never traveled 100-200 miles from where they were born. Life expectancy throughout Europe hovered between 20 and 30 years of age.

The social lifestyles…

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It could cost over £100,000 per household, leading to zero measureable effect on the climate. Going down this rabbit hole looks like a diabolically bad idea, but it’s official UK government policy regardless of expense.
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The cost of reaching the government’s “Net Zero” target will be astronomical for the UK economy.

That’s according to analysis by two new reports published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

The reports find that decarbonising the electricity system and domestic housing in the next three decades will cost over £2.3 trillion pounds.

The final bill will surpass £3 trillion, or £100,000 per household, once the cost of decarbonising major emitting sectors like manufacturing, transport and agriculture are included.

This is the equivalent of a £100 billion HS2 project every single year.

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Now the nuclear industry is holding out the begging bowl.
https://nzenews.com/2020/03/05/nuclear-industry-says-uk-climate-goal-at-risk/

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

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Just when we thought the war was over, it is starting to dawn on some London hacks that it has only just begun. Beyond the Red Wall are rumblings of a new revolt, utterly unanticipated by No 10 and overlooked by a liberal media still shell-shocked by the election. With its drive to “green” the economy at any cost, the Tory party has seemingly decided to celebrate its populist landslide by bogging down the country in zero-carbon paternalism. And so we career towards another People vs Establishment conflict that could be more explosive even than that sparked by the referendum.

A savvy politician like Boris Johnson can still reverse No 10’s green strategy, which moved on this week from banning petrol and diesel cars to the revival of onshore wind farms. He must – all the ingredients for another seismic uprising are already simmering.

First is…

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They are up against it. Governments are now finding themselves increasingly boxed in by their own climate ideology. From the report below:
Richard Tol, professor of the economics of climate change at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said it is “highly unlikely” that the Netherlands will rise to the challenge, saying a [extra] 10% emissions reduction by the end of 2020 would “require shutting down a substantial part of the economy”.

But what options are there? Nuclear power is unpopular and can’t be built quickly anyway, while wind and solar power are part-time, intermittent, and relatively expensive. No viable ‘off-the-shelf’ way exists to store electricity on a massive scale. Awkward.
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The Netherlands is under pressure to slash emissions in sectors such as power generation and agriculture in 2020 after a ruling by a top court made the government a reluctant ‘test case’ for tougher global climate policies, says Climate Home News.

The government of conservative Prime Minister Mark Rutte is working out new measures after the Dutch Supreme Court in December ordered it to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by the end of 2020, compared with 1990 levels, as its fair share to combat climate change.

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That’s how the BBC sees it, based on a belief that trace amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are somehow a major problem. Fuel-burning power plants are clearly less costly and more productive than wind and solar options, but there’s a lot of pressure from climate obsessives not to build them, despite the obvious benefits.

The continent desperately needs more power but it also wants to avoid damaging the environment, says BBC News.

Africa is both the world’s least electrified continent and the most vulnerable to climate change.

And as the continent with the world’s fastest growing population, the decisions that African politicians make to boost power supplies could have an impact both locally and globally.

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Typical electric car set-up


Expensive energy-intensive processes are needed to make a key battery ingredient for electric vehicles. How does this make any sense at all? They talk about the factories needed ‘to meet homegrown demand’ – but where is it?

As Europe looks to declare its tech independence by becoming a leader in next-generation batteries, it will have to start by making its own graphite, says TechXplore.

The problem is, nearly all of it now comes from Asia, mainly China.

So France’s Carbone Savoie and Germany’s SGL Carbon, the only European firms deemed capable of taking up the challenge, have been corralled into an ambitious battery alliance launched by Brussels last year.

“Thank you for bringing us on board this ‘Airbus for batteries,’ though to be honest, we weren’t even on the passenger list,” Carbone Savoie’s chairman Bruno Gastinne told France’s deputy finance minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher on Thursday.

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Bulk carrier


Here comes the latest ‘green’ pipedream that won’t work, as the report almost admits. Another thin excuse to bang the tedious climate change propaganda drum.

Ocean-going ships could be powered by ammonia within the decade as the shipping industry takes action to curb carbon emissions, says BBC News.

The chemical – the key ingredient of fertilisers – can be burned in ships’ engines in place of polluting diesel.

The industry hopes ammonia will help it tackle climate change, because it burns without CO2 emissions.

The creation of the ammonia itself creates substantial CO2, but a report says technology can solve this problem.

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Climate obsessives need to admit that ‘jerking around with renewables’, as Bill Gates put it, is never going to work in the modern world – whether they like it or not.

PA Pundits - International

By Larry Bell ~

As we all recognize, access to clean and reliable energy is fundamentally important to countless aspects of our lives, our social and economic communities, and our long-term abilities to live in healthy balance with natural ecosystems.

So, this being the case, can we expect a new so-called “clean energy revolution” — primarily referring to wind and solar — to replace the “dirty old” hydrocarbon industries?

For example, like what happened when hydrocarbon-fueled internal combustion horsepower disrupted buggy whip businesses of the early 1900s — and when flip-phone makers lost out at the dawn of Apple’s iPhone?

Don’t count on such reality-challenged notions regarding hydrocarbon obsolescence occurring anytime soon.

No current energy technology on the immediate horizon has a game-changing potential anywhere nearly analogous to the truly revolutionary invention of the transistor or internet.

Nor, for that matter, has any so-called “alternative” energy source or invention supplanted…

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SMR transporter


The project aims to have the first power generated within 8 to 10 years, and more ex-nuclear sites are being considered. R-R already powers the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet.
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There is a “pretty high probability” that Trawsfynydd could be the site of the UK’s first small nuclear power station, says the company hoping to build it.

Engineering giant Rolls-Royce wants to build a network of mini-reactors, a third of the size of current stations, says BBC Wales.

It hopes to strike a deal with the UK government within the next year.

But it says the site of the old Gwynedd reactor ticks all the boxes to pioneer the technology.

If it goes ahead it would also be one of the first small modular reactors (SMRs) in the world.

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