Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point


Another headache to add to the list for the UK’s struggling nuclear power ambitions, at a time when its coal-fired plants are closing fast.

China General Nuclear Power partnered with EDF to help fund a third of the £20bn cost of the nuclear power plant being built in Somerset, says Energy Live News.

A state-owned Chinese company which is funding part of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the UK has been placed on a US export blacklist.

The US Department of Commerce has placed China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) to its “entity list”, which effectively blocks US companies from selling products and services to the firm without written approval.

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Solar panel road [image credit: Wattway]


The rotting leaves didn’t help, says ScienceAlert. Neither did the local tractors. Solar panels should be angled towards the Sun anyway, but that kills the whole road idea.

In July, the French daily newspaper Le Monde reported that the 0.6-mile (1 kilometre) solar road was a fiasco.

In December 2016, when the trial road was unveiled, the French Ministry of the Environment called it “unprecedented”. French officials said the road, made of photovoltaic panels, would generate electricity to power streetlights in Tourouvre, a local town.

But less than three years later, a report published by Global Construction Review says France’s road dream may be over.

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Energy firm Cuadrilla resumes fracking

Posted: August 15, 2019 by oldbrew in Energy, fracking, News, Shale gas
Tags:

Note the deep shaft


Another attempt to convince a so-far reluctant UK government that shale gas work is far from being the pantomime villain that protesters want them to imagine it is. Insisting that ‘tremors’ far smaller than allowed in other comparable UK industries merit stoppages is unreasonable to say the least.

Energy firm Cuadrilla has resumed fracking at its site in Lancashire, it has confirmed.

Drilling began at the Preston New Road site in October but operations were halted on a number of occasions due to underground tremors, reports BBC News.

No fracking has taken place on the site since December.

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Map of the Manchester Ship Canal (= blue line)
[click on map to enlarge]


H/T TechXplore

Sounds expensive. But as Liverpool is near the start of the Manchester Ship Canal any barrage should have low impact on shipping, in theory at least. As far as a ‘climate emergency’ is concerned, I’ve lived near the Mersey for a long time and haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary with the weather – so far at least 😐

Liverpool has declared a climate emergency, says The Conversation.

The mayors of both the city itself and the surrounding “city region” have recognised the emergency, and both have suggested that a tidal barrage on the River Mersey could form part of the solution.

And on a recent visit to the city, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party would support the £3.5 billion project.

Two years ago, I teamed up with colleagues at the National Oceanography Centre and University of Liverpool to look at how to realise the River Mersey’s energy potential: we concluded that a tidal power station could be part of the solution.

So what actually is a “tidal barrage”, and why do we think the Mersey is so suitable?

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H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

Well, possibly but it involves carbon capture. The costs and practicality have to be demonstrated first, and that tends to undermine most of such claims. Worth a try though.

If the Net Zero power plant performs as expected this is a real game changer for natural gas, says Forbes.

Since the United States is sitting on more natural gas than any country in the world, and it’s getting cheaper to get it out of the ground, this is no small game to change.

An actual game changing technology is being demonstrated as we sit in our air-conditioned abodes reading this. And it is being demonstrated by North Carolina–based Net Power at a new plant in La Porte, Texas.

The process involves burning fossil fuel with oxygen instead of air to generate electricity without emitting any carbon dioxide (CO2). Not using air also avoids generating NOx, the main atmospheric and health contaminant emitted from gas plants.

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Biomass on the move [image credit: Drax]


Classic 😂

Climate change activists brought traffic to a standstill in the City of London today after mistakenly targeting a building which contains the offices of a leading renewable energy company, reports London’s Evening Standard.

Members of protest group Reclaim the Power dressed in white boiler suits and swarmed Moorgate during rush hour, unfurling a banner reading: “No Borders, No Nations, No Gas Power stations.”

The group was protesting against energy company Drax over plans to build a new power station in north Yorkshire.

However, although formerly based in Moorgate, Drax has had its London headquarters in nearby Noble Street since last year.

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New Prime Minister Boris Johnson hasn’t had to wait long for critics of his approach to energy and climate to open fire.

In his first session as PM in the House of Commons, Boris Johnson made two notable statements yesterday, writes Ben Pile @ The Conservative Woman.

First, he declared that the Conservative Party is the party of democracy, and that as such it will defend the result of the referendum.

Second, he reaffirmed his commitment to the Net Zero 2050 target – the policy that Theresa May had stolen from his leadership campaign to secure her own ‘legacy’. Only one of those statements can be correct.

Many believe that the Net Zero 2050 (NZ2050) target lacks a democratic mandate.

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While many richer countries play fake climate games with their so-called ‘virtue signalling’ energy policies, the not-so-well-off majority try to get more access to those same power sources which are so necessary for better living conditions, e.g. air conditioning in hotter countries, and for general prosperity and health: more schools, hospitals, roads and all the rest.

Global power consumption will more than double over the next 30 years, says The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

Global oil and gas demand will respectively surge 22% and 66% from 2020 to 2050. There’s an unimaginable urbanization boom occurring around the world that means more energy use.

We, of course, don’t see much of it here in the West, but global cities swell in population by some 80 million people every year: e.g., the rise of the “megacity” with 10 million residents.

Basically all population growth in the decades ahead will take place in urban areas, all of which will be in the still developing nations (non-OECD), where poverty and insufficient access to energy is far more rampant than our worst nightmares could ever imagine.

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Artist’s impression of Dogger Bank island [credit: The Independent]


For some on-and-off hours per day, perhaps they could. We’ve heard this one before but it’s being talked up again, as they start to run out of good offshore sites nearer to the coasts of power-hungry and fuel-averse north European countries. But an artificial island plus long-distance undersea power cables won’t come cheap, and that’s without the vast cost of all the wind turbines.

Wind farms that are built more than 30km off the coast can yield more energy but are costly – at least for now, says WIRED.

Dogger Bank, a windy and shallow stretch of sea 125 kilometers (km) off the East Yorkshire coast isn’t an awful lot to look at, unless you’re an energy firm looking for the perfect place to drop a huge new wind farm.

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Residential solar panels in Germany.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Sideka Solartechnik


The German energy crunch looms in the next few years, not unlike some other over-committed renewables enthusiasts, for example Britain. European countries don’t seem to see or admit the potential problem of relying on each other for imports. Somebody has to have an excess of power for that to work, but as more countries favour renewables over power stations the availability of on-demand electricity must inevitably decline.

H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany, a poster child for renewable energy, is renouncing nuclear and coal.

The problem is, say many power producers and grid operators, it may struggle to keep the lights on.

The country, the biggest electricity market in the European Union, is abandoning nuclear power by 2022 due to safety concerns compounded by the Fukushima disaster and phasing out coal plants over the next 19 years to combat climate change.

In the next three years alone conventional energy capacity is expected to fall by a fifth, leaving it short of the country’s peak power demand.

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Credit: chicagotribune.com


As the energy policies of various countries sink ever further into the realms of fantasy over the imagined role of minor trace gases in the atmosphere, what will the US do – or not do?

The current unilateral US decarbonization proposals by various Democrats promoting the Green New Deal (GND) climate schemes suffer from two particularly crucial assumptions that they have made, says Alan Carlin.

One is the extremely doubtful assumption that CO2 levels determine temperatures as opposed to temperatures determining CO2 levels. The assumption being made is that it is the atmospheric CO2 level that is the critical determinant of temperatures.

If this is wrong, as I believe it is, any dollar spent on decarbonization will provide no benefits in terms of global temperatures.

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How feeble are wind and solar power in the big energy picture i.e. not just electricity production? It could be much worse than we/you thought, but many policymakers don’t seem to know – or don’t want to know – about such realities.

PA Pundits - International

By Larry Bell ~

Those who believe in the existence of adequate non-fossil alternatives essential to achieve a “carbon-neutral” U.S. — much less global — energy balance anytime soon, or at any cost, are dreadfully misguided.

Nevertheless, there are very understandable reasons why such delusions continue to persist.

One reason behind this facetious fantasy has resulted from massively funded “renewable energy” industry subsidy-seeking propaganda campaigns.

Another is due to great successes of ideological anti-fossil activists in conflating carbon dioxide emissions with “climate pollution,” polar bear perils, and virtually any other “crisis” de jour.

A third, and one that I find particularly disturbing, is because even information sources we should expect to trust, continue to perpetuate a disingenuous and dangerous myth that non-fossil “alternatives” can meet any truly significant U.S. energy needs.

In preparing for this article, I checked data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) with a very…

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Another risible example of the climate ‘crusade’ to nowhere. Good luck to NY State’s energy guinea pigs in trying to keep the lights on without bankrupting themselves, all for no useful result.

PA Pundits - International

By Craig Rucker ~

The New York State Legislature just passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law. This measure contains new mandates for the state to eliminate net carbon emissions in the next thirty years, by 2050, equal to just 15 percent of the 1990 levels. By 2040, just two decades from now, 100 percent of the state’s electricity generation is supposed to come from “renewable” resources, such solar and wind power.

The new law also authorizes numerous state agencies to issue regulations to achieve greenhouse gas emission limits that govern nearly every aspect of the private economy, including energy, health, housing, transportation, agriculture, economic development, and utilities. And, the new climate law also must be considered when agencies issue any permits, contracts, licenses “and other administrative approvals and decisions.”

Climate change policy now governs everything in…

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Porto Santo airport


This tiny island near Madeira has an area of 16.28 square miles but gets a flying visit from the BBC’s leading climate alarm advocate Roger Harrabin, no doubt in a fuel-burning aeroplane or two. Has he checked his ‘carbon footprint’ lately? 😎
The idea was to give a plug (sorry) to an electric car experiment, but with such a tiny surface area it all looked like much ado about next to nothing. Not exactly a gamechanger, but he’s probably boosted their tourism – meaning more of those naughty flights.

Surprised this morning to find that the island of Porto Santo was featuring on BBC Breakfast, where it was described as “aspiring to become the first energy independent island by eliminating the use of fossil fuels altogether”, reports Madeira Island News.

The report started by showing diesel generators fuelling pollution, and moved on the detail the efforts being made to use reversible car batteries to recharge the electric grid.

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They will just rattle the begging bowl in front of gullible leaders even more frantically.
H/T Climate Change Dispatch

In recent weeks, observers of the energy scene have been wondering if the long honeymoon of the renewables industry might finally be over.

They’re right, says Andrew Montford.

EU renewables capacity additions have been falling for years, and have now declined to less than half of their 2010 peak.

Meanwhile, a wave of insolvencies is sweeping the wind industry as a result of the sharp scaling back of subsidies.

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Dutch coal power plant


So Britain’s recent ‘coal free’ spell of electricity generation turns out to be somewhat fake news. The exaggerated claims made for renewables – mostly wind power – in this period are therefore largely undermined.

Between May 17-31, Britain saw its first two-week period without domestic coal-fired power stations generating electricity since the 1880s, says PEI.

However, modelling carried out by energy market data analyst EnAppSys shows that power generated from coal has been imported from abroad over the same period – with the most coming from the Netherlands.

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Sounds like the politics of the lunatic asylum, but here we are staring down the barrel of this nonsense on stilts. At the risk of endless repetition, we have to keep pointing out that most so-called greenhouse gas is not CO2 but water vapour, which can’t be made to vanish by government policies no matter how much ridiculous expense they try to insist on.

Britain’s chancellor Philip Hammond has warned Theresa May that her plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 will cost the UK over £1tn, reports The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

In a letter to the prime minister seen by the Financial Times, the chancellor said the cost meant that less money would be available for schools, police, hospitals and other areas of public spending.

He also warned that the target would render some industries “economically uncompetitive” without huge government subsidies.

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‘The coronal heating problem in solar physics relates to the question of why the temperature of the Sun’s corona is millions of kelvins higher than that of the surface. Several theories have been proposed to explain this phenomenon but it is still challenging to determine which of these is correct’ — Wikipedia.

It’s one of the greatest and longest-running mysteries surrounding, quite literally, our sun—why is its outer atmosphere hotter than its fiery surface?

University of Michigan researchers believe they have the answer, and hope to prove it with help from NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, says Phys.org.

In roughly two years, the probe will be the first manmade craft to enter the zone surrounding the sun where heating looks fundamentally different than what has previously been seen in space.

This will allow them to test their theory that the heating is due to small magnetic waves travelling back and forth within the zone.

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Expensive, unreliable, ineffective, hard or impossible to recycle – what was the point of large-scale renewables again?

STOP THESE THINGS

Australia’s Renewable Energy Target reads like a National suicide note, but the land of Oz is no orphan in that regard. If the enemies of state were looking for insidious, all-pervasive policy perfectly designed to wreck an economy from within (while barely raising a murmur amongst the proles), they need look no further than ratcheting up subsidies, mandates and targets for intermittent and unreliable wind and solar.

Australia’s wind and solar capital, South Australia set and met its very own 50% RET: it pays the world’s highest power prices, as a result; little wonder it’s an economic backwater, critically dependent upon make-work schemes funded by Commonwealth taxpayers. Once upon a time, it enjoyed the cheapest power prices in Australia and was a manufacturing powerhouse.

Places like South Australia, Denmark and Germany put paid to the lie that wind and solar are both cheap and reliable.

But, as Michael Shellenberger…

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


Too much coal = severe EU emissions penalties. Too much gas = high dependency on Russian supply. Too much renewable power = grid instability and exorbitant costs. Nuclear is being phased out. The conundrums are mounting for German energy policymakers trying to satisfy the demands of industry, the general public and the eco/climate lobby.

Germany has in recent years polished its “green” image abroad, but the country was only recently forced to admit it will miss a self-imposed 2020 climate target, reports Phys.org.

With Berlin set to miss the next decade’s goals too unless lawmakers take bold action, here are some reasons why carbon reduction has proved tricky even for a wealthy country with an environmentally conscious electorate.

Car-land

The car industry is a pillar of German economic prosperity, juicing export profits and employing 800,000 people.

After a long rearguard action in Brussels against tougher emissions limits on Volkswagen, Daimler or BMW’s fleets, Berlin remains reluctant to follow Britain and France in setting a cutoff date for new combustion engines.

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