Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Green Britain faces winter power crunch

Posted: July 23, 2021 by oldbrew in Energy
Tags: ,

Electricity1

[credit: green lantern electric]

Electricity suppliers are already licking their lips at the prospect of inflated prices if or when the UK struggles to meet winter demand due to ongoing power station closures. How this plays out with millions of electric cars and electric home heating in the glorious ‘clean, green’ future (?) is a mystery, but doesn’t look good.
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Britain must prepare for low energy supplies this winter as two nuclear plants shut down and workers return to the office, the business behind the power network has warned. The Times reporting (via The GWPF).

Low wind speeds and surging demand in Europe may also squeeze the amount of electricity available as the months get colder, according to National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO).

The Hunterston B and Dungeness B nuclear stations are both due to shut within months, taking away a stable energy source at a time when unpredictable wind and solar generation is an increasingly part of the country’s power mix.

There is also uncertainty over how much energy will come from remaining coal-fired power stations as they start to shut down.

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golden-eagle

Golden eagle in Scotland [image credit: argyllholidays.com]

Hardly surprising, but the destruction of the countryside will continue regardless.

H/T Windwatch UK
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Wind farms are shrinking golden eagles habitats as they are afraid of the blades, a study has found.

The birds of prey are eight times less likely to fly near turbines when they are rotating compared with when they are switched off, scientists from the ecological company Natural Research Projects have found.

It is thought the birds are avoiding areas where turbines are situated because the noise and movement makes them feel threatened.

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Amsterdam

Cooling off in Amsterdam [image credit: Amsterdamian]

Once you start believing that a change to 0.01% of the atmosphere of the Earth is a big issue, all sorts of climate hobgoblins appear on the horizon. The example here is the increasing use of air conditioners in Europe, which gets blown up out of all proportion to its importance. Enjoy the fine weather when you get it.
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“Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,” Noel Coward famously sang in 1931, mocking British colonials who ventured out into the scorching midday sun at the hottest time of day.

“The Dutch also still think the sun is their friend,” says researcher Lenneke Kuijer. During the August 2020 heat wave she investigated how Dutch households deal with hot weather, reports TechXplore.

“It’s time for change while it’s still possible,” she believes. “Less air conditioning, more outdoor shading and a different way of dealing with heat.”

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Kvanefjeld

Kvanefjeld, Greenland [image credit: polarconnection.org]

Not too hard to give up what you haven’t got anyway? Its leaders now favour renewables, but with up to twenty hours of darkness in December they won’t get much winter help from solar power. At a guess they won’t be dispensing with their diesel generators any time soon.
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Greenland is abandoning its ambition of 50 years of becoming an oil-producing nation, suspending its oil exploration strategy because of environmental and climate concerns, reports OilPrice.com.

Greenland, an autonomous territory part of Denmark, has been trying to find oil reserves for 50 years, without success, and it now considers that the climate concerns are far greater than the potential benefits of becoming an oil producer, the government of Greenland says.

According to one estimate from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Greenland’s offshore area, East Greenland Rift Basins Province, likely contains a mean estimate of 31.4 billion of barrels equivalent of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids.

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energy1The amount of additional electricity required worldwide is more than any existing increase in output from renewables. As value-for-money fossil fuels – coal and gas mostly – fill the breach as it were, ‘decarbonisation’ is in effect going negative (if it was ever doing anything else). Let COP26 delegates chew on such ‘challenges’ as they’re called, in Glasgow later this year.
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The planet’s electricity demand is expected to rebound strongly this year and next after falling by around 1% in 2020, according to a new publication from the International Energy Agency.

Released on Thursday, the IEA’s electricity market report predicts that global demand for electricity will increase by nearly 5% in 2021 and 4% in 2022 as economies around the world seek to recover from effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, says France24.

The report from the Paris-based organization notes that although electricity production from renewable energies “continues to grow strongly” – it is expected to increase by 8% this year and more than 6% in 2022 – it does not, cannot meet the growing demand.

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Dutch_bikes

Cycling is popular in the Netherlands [image credit: expatica.com]

There’s a reason why fixed solar panels should be, and usually are, angled at about 35-40 degrees in northern Europe. It’s called the optimal tilt angle. This cycle path with panels flat on the ground is so simple-minded it’s embarrassing, or ought to be.
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Authorities in a central Dutch province opened what they are billing as the world’s longest solar bicycle path Wednesday, mixing sustainable energy with emission-free travel, says TechXplore. (more…)

containbatts

Image credit: energy-storage.news

The report says these batteries are not covered by the Control of Major Accident Hazards regulations, meaning they’re now popping up all over the place, sometimes near people’s homes. Any problems however serious have to be faced by the local fire services. Lithium-ion storage battery fires are far from rare, as well as notoriously violent, fiercely hot and difficult to deal with.
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The first thing you notice is the noise – a strange, low-octave hum growing louder as you approach across the fields, says the Mail on Sunday (via The GWPF).

It’s coming from a group of bland metal cabins sitting on land that was once used to grow wheat and barley.

Yet these new agricultural buildings are nothing to do with food production. Instead, they contain huge batteries storing electricity for the National Grid – a new form of crop for farmers scrambling to cash in on the ‘green’ energy revolution.

And, according to a troubling new report from leading physicists, these vast batteries amount to electrical bombs with the force of many hundreds of tons of TNT.

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gas_boiler

Domestic gas central heating boiler

Government getting cold feet? Looks like it, after MP Steve Baker warned ‘if ministers don’t obtain the consent of the public for Net Zero’ the result could be a public revolt leading to ‘utter political fiasco’. Climate fear isn’t the weapon they seem to think it is.
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The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) has welcomed the decision by Boris Johnson to delay the planned gas boiler ban which the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) planned to announce next week.

According to a report in today’s Times, BEIS had been due to publish its heat and building strategy next week “but this is now understood to have been delayed, possibly until the autumn. At a meeting last week Boris Johnson was said to be concerned that it did not do enough to protect consumers and wanted further safeguards….”

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Featured Image -- 40520

Feldheim village near Berlin, Germany.

Subsidies drying up. Public resistance to wind turbines in the neighbourhood. Is the climate steamroller running out of puff in Germany?
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The German wind power industry is suffering setback after setback, says The GWPF.

Hardly any new turbines are being built, and more and more old wind turbines are being phased out. Now wind industry lobbyists are calling for new subsidies and construction rules to be relaxed.

In the Free State of Bavaria there is almost nothing going on when it comes to wind power.

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euro1Pointless EU climate ideology is going in the opposite direction to its economic success. Protectionist barriers tend to annoy the victims, with unknown but likely repercussions. Any idea that harmless carbon dioxide is ‘dirty’ is a bad joke, but makes endless work for meddling bureaucrats.
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The EU wants to impose a carbon border tax on Europe’s borders and thus protect domestic producers from dirtier (sic) producers from abroad, says Die Welt (via The GWPF).

Experts warn of a loophole that could hit German exporters seriously.

Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier met two Vice-Presidents of the European Commission when he visited Brussels on Friday: Margrethe Vestager, who is responsible for digital, and Valdis Dombrovskis, who is responsible for economic issues.

The CDU politician wanted to talk to both of them about the steel industry – and about how European steel producers can economically survive the tightening of EU climate targets.

The plans for a CO2 border adjustment tax are also likely to have been an issue. Because the work of the Commission on legislative proposals for such a CO2 surcharge at the borders of the EU are ready to go.

The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, which in Brussels is affectionately known as CBAM for short, aims to make imported products that are produced less climate-friendly overseas than in Europe more expensive at the borders of the EU.

This climate protection wall around the continent is intended to ensure that European producers with their higher energy costs and stricter environmental regulations remain competitive on their home market.

Full article here.

iso-tech2

Credit: Infinite Power

Are power companies and solar panel producers getting nervous yet? If not, they may see difficulties ahead for this idea.
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Infinite Power’s breakthrough is a semiconductor that can convert high energy beta particles, X-rays, and gamma rays into electricity.

The Infinite Power cells function similarly to a photovoltaic solar cell, with two critical differences: The precise materials and design of the cells allows us to replace solar radiation with high energy releases from natural decay of radioisotopes.

Critically, our proprietary semiconductor can withstand higher energy releases associated with radioisotope decay over a long period of time.

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chinacoal

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

Prosperity before flaky climate theories for Asia’s present and future industrial powerhouse economies. Once again we’re sold the myth of ‘cheaper renewables’, which always need subsidies — even for being turned off.
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Five Asian countries are responsible for 80 percent of new coal power stations planned worldwide, says Phys.org, with the projects threatening goals to fight the climate crisis, a report warned Wednesday.

China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam are planning to build more than 600 coal plants, think-tank Carbon Tracker said.

The stations will be able to generate a total of 300 gigawatts of energy—equivalent to around the entire electricity generating capacity of Japan.

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nuclear_battery

Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

‘Plug and play’ nuclear power in a box, or container, is the basic idea.
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We may be on the brink of a new paradigm for nuclear power, a group of nuclear specialists suggested recently in The Bridge, the journal of the National Academy of Engineering. TechXplore reporting.

Much as large, expensive, and centralized computers gave way to the widely distributed PCs of today, a new generation of relatively tiny and inexpensive factory-built reactors, designed for autonomous plug-and-play operation similar to plugging in an oversized battery, is on the horizon, they say.

These proposed systems could provide heat for industrial processes or electricity for a military base or a neighborhood, run unattended for five to 10 years, and then be trucked back to the factory for refurbishment.

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Belo_Monte_Dam

Impression of Belo Monte dam

A case of nature not conforming to expectations. This could apply to numerous such schemes, giving climate alarmists yet another conundrum to wrestle with.
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When climate researcher Dailson Bertassoli went to measure greenhouse gas emissions at the Belo Monte hydropower plant in Brazil, the first thing he noticed was the bubbles, says Phys.org.

Developers have built hundreds of hydroelectric plants in the Amazon basin to take advantage of the allegedly “green” energy generated by its complex of rivers.

But climate researchers now know hydropower is not as good for the environment as once assumed. Though no fossil fuels are burned, the reservoirs release millions of tons of methane and carbon dioxide as vegetation decays underwater.

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buoyant-energy

Image credit: buoyant-energy.com

That’s the headline, but is ‘novel’ its only merit? Buoyant Energy is described as promising but then, aren’t they all? Energy storage on a meaningful scale seems as far away as ever, having rejected the obvious ones: coal, oil, gas and sometimes even nuclear.
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What do pipes and anchors have to do with storing energy? More than you might think, suggests TechXplore.

A new IIASA-led study explored the potential of a lesser known, but promising sustainable energy storage system called Buoyancy Energy Storage.

There is general consensus that renewable energy sources will play an important role in ensuring a healthier and more sustainable future for the planet and its people, and many countries are indeed already seeing such technologies displacing “dirty” fossil fuels in the power sector in an effort to lower emissions. [Talkshop comment – CO2 emissions have absolutely nothing to do with dirt].

The biggest problem with renewable energy sources, however, is that power supply is intermittent, meaning that the energy output at any given time does not necessarily meet the demand at that time.

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Electricity1

[credit: green lantern electric]

‘What a surprise’, said no-one. Cue vague waffle about facing the issues, mainly caused by ditching reliable (compared to renewables) on-demand electricity generation from coal and gas.
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Britain faces catastrophic power cuts because of an increasing reliance on electricity to run everything from cars to home boilers, the Committee on Climate Change has warned. The Telegraph reporting.

Decarbonisation plans, which involve switching transport and heating away from petrol and gas, will mean outages in the future have a greater impact, the Government’s independent advisory committee on climate change has said, as it urged the Government to make sure the system could withstand extreme weather.

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By the Ageing Tiger

The International Energy Agency was set up in 1974 to ensure the security of oil supplies, if you are old enough, like me, you might remember the Arab oil embargo, queues at petrol stations and rocketing oil prices. So, if the IEA come out and say “that no new oil and natural gas fields are needed in the net zero pathway”, then that must be true and all of us oil and gas professionals can hang up our boots and head to the scrapheap.

When the IEA was formed, it was in response to the emergence of OPEC. When OPEC flexed its muscles in the early 1970’s the cartel supplied over 50% of the world’s oil, they had massive market power.

By the time I was moving to Aberdeen to work offshore on Forties, you see for a brief period I was a genuine North Sea Tiger, OPEC supplied less than 30% of the world’s oil. Oil prices which had been over $100/bbl in 2021 money, duly collapsed and it wasn’t until US shale oil started to chip away at OPEC’s market share that anyone really paid attention to OPEC again.

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heatpump

Domestic Air Source Heat Pump [image credit: UK Alternative Energy]

Forcing householders to replace gas boilers that release the harmless and vital trace gas CO2 with expensive heat pumps, to conform to curious and unproven climate-related ideas, may be an even worse plan than originally thought.
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Heat pumps are widely regarded as a silver bullet to the problem of decarbonising heating systems, but a new report from the German government suggests the refrigerants used in many units may have serious environmental impacts, particularly on water, says Renew Economy.

The findings do not spell doom for the heat pump revolution many climate activists want to see, but they would require a significant overhaul in the way many air conditioner and heat pump manufacturers build their systems.

The report, the result of a two year study by the German Environment Agency, concerns the use of halogenated refrigerants – known in the English speaking world as hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) – in air conditioners and heat pumps.

It concludes that their use is already adding significant amounts trifluoroacetate acid (TFA) to the atmosphere, contaminating rain and water supplies, and potentially causing health problems such as liver and kidney damage.

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A hoot, yes – but so far the laughs are on us if we’re in a country pushing the far-fetched nonsense of fearsome human-caused warming.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

Looking for laughs? The International Energy Agency has produced a laugh filled report, grandly titled: “Net Zero by 2050: A roadmap for the global energy system“. Redesigning the global energy system. My, oh my. Below are a few highlights, out of many.

To begin with it is not a roadmap, as it does not tell us how to get there. In fact you cannot get there from here, which makes their there very amusing. This is perhaps the most elaborate net zero fantasy concocted so far.

IEA Executive Director Faith Birol explains where the fantasy comes from: “…combining for the first time the complex models of our two flagship series, the World Energy Outlook and Energy Technology Perspectives.”

So two, not just one, complex computer models, that have never before been combined. I feel better already. Instead of the world energy outlook, it is IEA’s…

View original post 544 more words

windger

German Chancellor Merkel surveys an offshore wind site [image credit: evwind.es]

Wind ‘farms’ are allergic to each other it seems, sometimes leading to sizable drops in output. Awkward when space isn’t unlimited, some of the best sites are already taken, and the plan is to multiply the existing fleets. Weather dependency is even greater than expected.
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The expansion of wind energy in the German Bight and the Baltic Sea has accelerated enormously in recent years, TechXplore.

The first systems went into operation in 2008. Today, wind turbines with an output of around 8,000 megawatts operate in German waters, which corresponds to around eight nuclear power plants.

But space is limited. For this reason, wind farms are sometimes built very close to one another.

A team led by Dr. Naveed Akhtar from Helmholtz Zentrum Hereon has found that wind speeds at the downstream windfarm are significantly slowed down.

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