Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Wyoming coal trains [image credit: energycatalyzer3.com/

Welcome to the real world. The UN loves to tell the world to wind down its fuel-burning ways in a hurry to satisfy the atmospheric trace gas theories of certain ‘climate experts’, but equally viable and affordable alternatives on the scale required are proving hard to find. Energy being ‘clean’ or not is a different issue, but a useful prop when your main argument is floundering.
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The world needs to cut by more than half its production of coal, oil and gas in the coming decade to maintain a chance of keeping global warming from reaching dangerous levels, according to a U.N.-backed study released Wednesday, says Phys.org.

The report published by the U.N. Environment Program found that while governments have made ambitious pledges to curb greenhouse gas emissions, they are still planning to extract double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than what would be consistent with the 2015 Paris climate accord’s goal of keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

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When the energy going gets tough…coal, gas and oil get going.

PA Pundits - International

By Vijay Raj Jayaraj~

Coal is no longer the king. Era of Oil is over. Our economies will be Carbon neutral.

These are some of the common claims that you might have heard or read in the mainstream media.

Many people truly believe that our economies are being decarbonized and getting rid of the dirty coal and evil oil. This is because they have been informed so.

However, the ground reality is strikingly different. Not only are fossil fuels still leading the energy mix, their prospects are stronger than ever.

The post-pandemic economic recovery has sent the fuel demand skyrocketing across the globe. Coal and Oil–the two most used energy resources are in high demand and their prices have touched record highs.

Unfortunately, many nations were caught off-guard, partly because of the unexpected pace of economic recovery and partly due to misleading projections about coal and oil demand.

Early…

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Nyngan solar plant, Australia [image credit: Wikipedia]

They’re going to have to do a lot of digging for all those solar panel ingredients. Try not to make too much mess chaps, and let’s keep quiet about all the ‘carbon’ emitted in the process. Climate fantasies rumble on.
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NEW DELHI: India and the United Kingdom will jointly launch the Green Grids Initiative-One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG) — a trans-national grid to transport solar power to different countries — during world leaders’ summit at the beginning of the 26th session of the UN climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK in the first week of November, says the Times of India.

The initiative, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi three years ago, will be endorsed in the form of a political declaration by the fourth general assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) during October 18-21.

Sources said Modi would attend the world leaders’ summit on November 1-2 at COP26 and launch it with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in presence of other heads of state/government. An official confirmation to this effect would be conveyed to the UK soon, they added.

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Drax power station, generating 7% of Britain’s needs, is partly converted to burning imported woodchips.

Biomass has been rumbled in the City. Unlucky! But what took them so long to see through the climate hype?
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The City of London feeds off rumours and yesterday Drax was the name on the tip of every trader’s tongue, says the Daily Mail (via Thisismoney).

The energy company saw its shares tumble 5.3 per cent, or 27p, to 483p amid talk in the market that one of the world’s most powerful money managers had blacklisted the stock.

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Attempts to turn ‘net zero’ fantasies into reality are going to hit the public even harder than they already do, financially and in practical ways too. And all for what?
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As the energy crisis in Britain and Europe worsens, it is becoming ever more evident that current climate and energy policies are failing, and the public is paying the price, says Dr Benny Peiser of The GWPF (Global Warming Policy Forum).

Net Zero Watch is here to provide serious analysis of naïve and un-costed decarbonisation policies.

Our new campaign and website will shake the tree; scrutinising policies, establishing what they really cost, determining who will be forced to pay, and exploring affordable alternatives.

At Net Zero Watch, readers (and subscribers to our newsletter) will be able to examine the full spectrum of views and critical analysis, enabling our readers to access a credible reality check of official and alternative climate and energy policy research.

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Image credit: BBC

Imagine having a car with a small petrol tank, and it’s slowly shrinking after each fill-up. That’s how EV users must feel, if they know how their batteries behave. A new study analyses the processes.
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When lithium ions are forced rapidly through a battery, they might get stuck and turn into lithium metal, no longer able to move through the battery, says TechXplore.

Imagine being able to refuel your electric car while stopping for a quick snack or refill your phone while brushing your teeth.

“Fast charging is kind of the Holy Grail. It is what everyone who owns a lithium ion battery based device wants to be able to do,” says Senior Engineer David Wragg from Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology at the University of Oslo.

Inside the battery, however, there is a lot of complicated chemistry that can be sensitive to how fast it is charged. Things can go wrong.

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Some world leaders just can’t get it into their heads that the wind doesn’t blow on demand, and the sun by definition is daytime only and subject to cloud cover. This has all been said frequently enough, but never seems to hit home in terms of credible energy policies. Ignoring the obvious, they insist that removing reliable power generation is the only way to go, in pursuit of their absurd ‘net zero’ climate targets. An energy crisis in early October doesn’t bode well for the approaching northern hemisphere winter.
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Energy is so hard to come by right now that some provinces in China are rationing electricity, Europeans are paying sky-high prices for liquefied natural gas, power plants in India are on the verge of running out of coal, and the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States stood at $3.25 on Friday — up from $1.72 in April, says the Washington Post (via MSN).

As the global economy recovers and global leaders prepare to gather for a landmark conference on climate change, the sudden energy crunch hitting the world is threatening already stressed supply chains, stirring geopolitical tensions and raising questions about whether the world is ready for the green energy revolution when it’s having trouble powering itself right now.

The economic recovery from the pandemic recession lies behind the crisis, coming after a year of retrenchment in coal, oil and gas extraction.

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Yes, that is the BBC reporter’s name

Sounds credible, despite Government assertions to the contrary. Another example of unintended consequences of interfering in the markets, in the obsessive and fruitless pursuit of so-called climate targets?
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According to the Telegraph, retailers say the Government’s switch to greener fuel played a significant role in September’s petrol crisis (via WorldNewsEra).

The chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, Brian Madderson, said fuel shortages came as an “unintended consequence” of the Government’s decision to switch to E10 petrol.

“For weeks, we had been emptying our tanks of E5, the old fuel, as fast as we could to get ready for E10,” he said.

“We had all run our petrol stocks down. So, when the panic buying started, many of our members ran out pretty quickly.

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North Sea oil platform [image credit: matchtech.com]

Shouting ‘climate’ in court doesn’t guarantee legal victories. Appeal to the Supreme Court pending.
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Environmental group Greenpeace has lost its case against the UK government over a North Sea oil field permit, reports BBC News.

Permission to drill the Vorlich site off Aberdeen was given to BP in 2018.

Greenpeace argued in Scotland’s highest civil court there had been “a myriad of failures in the public consultation” and the permit did not consider the climate impacts of burning fossil fuel.

The Court of Session ruling means operations will continue at the field. Greenpeace plans to appeal.

The UK government welcomed the outcome.

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Eco house with hydrogen heating technology. [Image credit: emergingrisks.co.uk]

Another green energy pipe dream bites the dust, before trials have even started? Massive cost compared to other options is just one of the stumbling blocks. Anything more expensive than electricity seems pointless anyway.
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Lord Callanan’s comments come as the British government continues to invest millions of pounds in H2 heating trials, says the Telegraph (via Recharge News).

“If I’m being honest, the idea that we could produce enough hydrogen at reasonable cost to displace mains gas is pretty much impossible,” said Lord Callanan, parliamentary under-secretary of state for climate change & corporate responsibility at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The UK government is currently investing millions of pounds in studies on hydrogen heating, with £25m ($34m) ploughed into the Hy4Heat programme; a pilot scheme in Scotland to heat 300 homes with 100% hydrogen via the existing gas grid due to take place in 2023, backed by up to £18m of grants from the industry regulator Ofgem; and plans to heat a whole town with H2 by 2030.

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Coal-hungry China [image credit: democraticunderground.com]

Progress? There isn’t any worth mentioning, and that will continue. Meanwhile ‘net zero’ fantasies are served up daily to obscure the reality and make believe that politicians can be managers of the climate.
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The bureaucrats of the world, particularly in the UN and developed countries, have the idea that they are going to eliminate all use of fossil fuels by somewhere around 2040-50, says Francis Menton at the Manhattan Contrarian (via Climate Change Dispatch).

They have no conception how to accomplish that, other than to order from on high that it shall occur and assume that somebody else will figure out the details.

This gives the rest of us the opportunity to sit on the sidelines and observe how bureaucratic fantasy gradually runs into the brick wall of physical reality.

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Eco house with hydrogen heating technology. [Image credit: emergingrisks.co.uk]

At three times the price of natural gas, being cut off from hydrogen sounds like an option worth considering for householders. Electric heat pumps are promoted as an expensive alternative, as so-called climate policies continue to be bulldozed through regardless of affordability.
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Homeowners who refuse to take part in a hydrogen energy trial will be forcibly cut off by gas network operators, under Government plans to test green heating alternatives, says The Telegraph (via VNExplorer).

Residents in one village will begin the pilot scheme by 2025 to help the Government assess whether hydrogen gas can be used as a low-carbon alternative for heating homes across the country.

Ministers insisted the powers to enter people’s homes and switch off their gas would only be used as a “last resort” if the homeowners had refused to engage with any other options.

A consultation, which ended this week, suggests the Government will seek powers to allow gas distribution networks to enter homes if their owners do not wish to take part in the trial, in order to safely switch them off from the gas grid.

Current powers enable network operators to enter premises for a variety of purposes, including for suspected gas leaks or inspecting pipes and fittings.

Hydrogen, which is lighter and more flammable than natural gas, requires homeowners to replace their hobs, ovens, gas fires and pipes to ensure they operate safely.

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Windy Standard wind farm, Scotland [credit: RWE.com]

Ideas, opinions, feedback etc. are invited here. It could be said they’ve already had decades to think about this, but any negativity will no doubt be ignored. Existing uses include children’s play areas and bike sheds, but there’s only so many of those that would find a place.
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One wind farm company is looking for imaginative ways to repurpose turbines at the end of their lives, says BBC News.

When Windy Standard was built in Dumfries and Galloway in the mid-1990s, it was Scotland’s second largest wind farm.

Now it is coming to the end of its functional life and the old turbines are set to be replaced by more powerful machines.

But what happens to the original turbines? Owner Fred Olsen Renewables wants to find creative and sustainable ways to ensure they do not end up in landfill.

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Norwegian hydro-electric site

The suspicion has to be that Britain’s ‘excess’ wind power, if any, would sell for a low price as Norway doesn’t need it, whereas a shortage of power in Britain would allow Norway to sell for a high price, assuming availability at request time. Water can be stored but wind can’t. Some reports are calling this ‘cheap hydro’, but at £1.4 billion just for the cable system such claims appear unconvincing.
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Norwegian reservoirs will begin powering homes in Great Britain today as the world’s longest subsea power cable was switched on, in a boost to renewables and tight energy supplies this winter, says New Scientist.

The 724-kilometre North Sea Link is the sixth of a growing network of electricity interconnectors between Great Britain and its European neighbours, to trade energy and adapt to grids increasingly reliant on the variable output of wind, solar and hydro.

First tested in June, the copper cable along the seabed of the North Sea will operate at half its potential for three months before reaching its 1400 megawatt capacity, enough to power 1.4 million homes.

Power is expected to initially mostly flow from Norway, which generates almost all its electricity from hydro, to Great Britain, where electricity prices are higher.

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German coal: back to the future
[image credit: BBC]

What to do when you need reliable electricity generation *now*? Pay up, look big and burn fuel – if you can get it, and have something to burn it in. Renewables-obsessed governments are struggling to justify their blinkered ‘net zero’ policies now the energy chips are really down. All this with the COP26 climate talks looming.
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It’s not just extra natural gas that Europe’s struggling energy markets are finding tough to get from Russia, says Bloomberg (via MiningWeekly.com).

Power producers in the continent are being forced to ask Russia for more coal to ease an energy crunch with winter approaching and record-high gas prices denting profitability, according to officials at two Russian coal companies.

But they may be left stranded as any increase in exports from the country won’t be substantial, they said.

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North Wales coast wind turbines

Windy enough today?

Weather conditions can vary year on year, but ‘some of the poorest wind conditions in the North Sea for more than two decades’ probably wasn’t on anyone’s list of scenarios. As a result the not-so wondrous wind turbines are under-performing, and with less electricity to sell comes less profit so shareholders won’t be impressed either. What will next year bring? Place bets now!
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SSE’s renewable energy output over spring and summer was almost a third lower than planned, as low winds and dry weather combined with high gas prices to push up energy prices, reports the Financial Times (via Swiftheadline).

The FTSE 100 energy supplier said on Wednesday its wind and hydro output between April 1 and September 22 was 32 per cent beneath its target — equivalent to an 11 per cent hit to its full-year production forecast.

The summer was “one of the least windy across most of the UK and Ireland and one of the driest in SSE’s hydro catchment areas in the last 70 years”, the company said in a statement.

SSE’s update is the latest sign of how unfavourable weather conditions are hitting the renewables sector.

It comes as a global gas shortage, a rebound in energy demand after coronavirus lockdown restrictions and some of the poorest wind conditions in the North Sea for more than two decades have propelled UK and continental European energy prices this month to their highest ever levels.

Full report here.

modnuke

Small modular reactor [credit: ANS Nuclear Cafe]

Plan or knee-jerk reaction to current events? At least it sounds better than the usual vacuous cries of ‘build more renewables’ as a viable route to future electricity supplies.
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The Government is considering ploughing more cash into mini nuclear reactors in an attempt to prevent further energy crises as Britain transitions to net-zero carbon emissions, reports the Telegraph (via VNExplorer).

Rolls-Royce could be in line for extra support for its small modular reactors as the current energy price crunch heightens the political focus on bolstering the security of the nation’s long-term electricity supply.

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Prepare for more unrest if/when energy prices accelerate even more due to unworkable so-called climate policies, and what used to be reliable supply becomes problematic.

PA Pundits - International

By Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. ~

As if the continuing spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant and fears of being flooded by waves of Afghan refugees weren’t enough, Europe is facing another crisis: The wind isn’t blowing.

Steady, reliable northwesterly winds blowing in from the North Atlantic and the North Sea were supposed to be a key component of Europe’s low-carbon future. Private investment capital and lavish taxpayer subsidies poured into the wind energy industry. By the thousands, gigantic wind turbines – offshore and onshore – mushroomed into the skies. Western Europe’s picturesque coasts and charming countryside have been defaced by these monstrosities, but everyone was assured it’s for a good cause. Nothing less than the planet’s future is at stake. And besides, wind power, along with solar power, will produce reliable affordable electricity.

Or maybe not.

For weeks, the wind from the North Atlantic and the North Sea has been…

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Drax

Drax power station, generating 7% of Britain’s needs, is partly converted to burning imported woodchips.

UK energy policy, based on hypothetical climate theories, is unravelling just as PM Boris Johnson is claiming at the UN that going green is easy. Alternatives to coal are proving to be a lot more problemmatical than expected. Running short of affordable power is an avoidable outcome of supposed climate strategy, and makes governments look incompetent.
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Britain, which faces soaring natural gas prices, has been forced to run coal-fired power stations in order to secure energy supplies, electricity generation company Drax said on Thursday.

The country is particularly exposed to Europe’s ongoing energy crisis due to its reliance on natural gas to generate electricity, says TechXplore.

The price of European gas futures has more than doubled since May.

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Having an energy ‘safety net’ may sound like a plausible idea but suggestions tend to run up against the laws of physics and other practical roadblocks, such as cost and sheer inadequacy.

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

The world, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are proposing banishment of fossil fuels and are focused on reducing emissions from fossil fuels at any costs, but a safety net of having a viable replacement should be in place before we jump off that cliff.

Banning oil imports, fracking, and ceasing oil production to focus on the symbolic renewable energy as the fossil fuels replacement is fooling ourselves as that “clean energy” is only electricity generated from breezes and sunshine.

Before the healthy and wealthy countries abandon all crude oil fracking and exploration that will eliminate the supply chain to refineries and put an end to that manufacturing sector, we should have a safety net to live without the crude oil fuels and derivatives that are manufactured from that energy source. Without any clones to access everything we get from crude oil; the termination…

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