Archive for the ‘News’ Category

New York’s other Battery: Battery Park in Manhattan (image credit: Gryffindor @ Wikipedia)


New York expects to change its future weather by installing lots of expensive mega-batteries, according to the Governor. But is fear of a harmless trace gas essential to life more like superstition than science?

The state has set a target to install 1.5GW of batteries by 2025, reports Energy Live News.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced an ‘Energy Storage Roadmap’ to guide the state toward its energy storage target of 1.5GW by 2025.

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Thumbs down for Paris e_car scheme [image credit: businessinsider.com]


Another ‘green’ fantasy bites the dust in the face of old-fashioned economic realities. Once again, without massive subsidies of public money the numbers just didn’t add up. Calling a taxi seems to have won the day. Now it’s see-you-in-court time as recriminations kick off.

The city of Paris is pulling the plug on an electric car-sharing system once hailed as the future of urban transport, with officials voting to cancel the contract in the face of mounting losses, as Phys.org reports.

The more than 4,000 silver Autolib hatchbacks had become a fixture on the streets of the French capital, with docking stations for the electric vehicles found every few blocks.

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Borrowing Hollywood titles like ‘a clear and present danger’ isn’t going to overcome the fact that colourful predictions made about the climate by modellers and climate alarmists in general have failed to materialise. BBC – take note.

‘It is propagandizing’ – Daily Caller reporting.

Republican senators asked federal investigators to look into whether or not several National Science Foundation (NSF) grants broke federal law, including funding projects lawmakers sought to “influence political and social debate” on global warming.

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Avinor’s electric plane [image credit: inhabitat.com]


It’s tiny, hard to get into and battery weight is still a major problem, but the latest ‘green’ toy has got off the ground. However, Norway is also one of the world’s leading oil and gas exporters. Crude oil and natural gas accounted for 40% of the country’s total export value in 2015.

OSLO (Reuters) — Norway tested a two-seater electric plane on Monday and predicted a start to passenger flights by 2025 if new aviation technologies match a green shift that has made Norwegians the world’s top buyers of electric cars.

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London’s ‘Gherkin’ [image credit: BBC]


The idea here is that a new type of triple-glazed window would be of identical width and similar weight to an equivalent double-glazed one, thus minimizing compatibility issues.

About $20 billion worth of energy leaks out of windows in the United States each winter—and that’s with double-paned insulating windows installed on a majority of buildings, says TechXplore.

The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is now working with manufacturers to bring to market a “super window” that is at least twice as insulating as 99 percent of the windows for sale today and will be ready to achieve mass-market status.

The “thin triple” super window design doubles the thermal performance of current Energy Star-rated double-glazed windows and is seven times more insulating than a single-glazed window.

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WSJ: The Climate-Change Tort Racket 

Posted: June 9, 2018 by oldbrew in climate, Legal, News
Tags: , ,

Oil extraction [image credit: ewg.org]


The sub-heading to this is: ‘Liberal cities attempt a climate shake down of oil firms’. These cities run fuel-powered vehicles by the hundreds but still want massive compensation from oil companies. Success would likely make fuel prices rise to recover any losses.
H/T Climate Depot

San Francisco, Oakland, New York and Seattle have sued five global oil giants—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell —for billions in future damages from climate change, reports the WSJ.

Brass-knuckled plaintiff firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro has been shopping around the lawsuit to other cities desperate for cash.

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Some of the arm-wrestling will be left to the President’s aides, as he may feel he has better things to do than engage in fruitless arguments about what the weather might be like in several decades’ time.

H/T Climate Depot

(CNN) President Donald Trump plans to depart from this weekend’s Group of 7 summit in Canada several hours early, the White House announced Thursday, punctuating an explosion of acrimony between Trump and his foreign counterparts on the eve of the talks.

The White House said Trump would depart mid-morning on Saturday, skipping sessions on climate change and the environment.

An aide will take his place, the White House said.

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Proposed new nuclear plant, Anglesey [image credit: walesonline]


They jokingly claim this will help to ‘supplement’ renewables which sometimes provide close to zero input to the electricity grid system. The reverse is much closer to the truth – renewables supplementing nearly everything else, but only when the weather and/or time of day allow it.
H/T AC Osborn

Ministers will this week reverse decades of opposition to investing taxpayer money in nuclear energy by agreeing to bankroll a £15bn-plus power station in Wales, says The Times @ the GWPF.

The government will commit to taking a direct stake in the Wylfa plant on Anglesey, planned by the Japanese industrial giant Hitachi, after more than two years of negotiations.

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Image credit: BBC


The report says ‘local media reports suggested the turbine was struck by lightning’. A case of nature’s electricity killing man’s electricity?

A Gamesa G80 wind turbine has caught fire at the 10MW Ransonmoor wind farm in Cambridgeshire in eastern England, reports RE News.

The incident occurred in the early hours of 30 May, with firefighters called to the scene at 7.50am.

Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service said crews arrived to find the 89-metre turbine “well alight, with debris falling to the ground”.

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Credit: mining.com


As with climate, there’s always another Brexit scare story coming off the production line. This one comes via news agency AFP.

Britain risks a shortage of electric cars after Brexit as carmakers will lose an incentive to sell low-emission vehicles there, a Brussels-based think-tank warned.

Because British sales will no longer count towards carmakers’ EU carbon dioxide targets, they may choose to sell to other European countries instead, the Transport and Environment (T&E) group warned.

Britain was the third largest market for zero emission vehicles in the EU last year and the largest for plug-in hybrids, the group said in the report obtained by AFP.

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Electric car charging station [credit: Wikipedia]


Somebody has to pay for all this, and if the firm behind it goes bust who picks up the financial reins to keep the project going?

Plans were unveiled today to build a world-first 2GW network of grid-scale batteries and rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the UK, reports PEI.

Pivot Power is behind the £1.6bn programme, which will provide infrastructure to support the rapid adoption of EVs and underpin clean air policies, while introducing valuable flexibility into the energy system to accommodate the demands of mass EV charging and higher levels of intermittent renewable generation.

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UN climate talks end in stalemate 

Posted: May 10, 2018 by oldbrew in climate, government, News, Politics
Tags:

Yet another climate conference?


So the climate talkshop moves on to Bangkok, by which time it will be nearly three years since the Paris ‘agreement’. But if they still can’t agree on anything after nine days, is waiting another few months going to make much difference? Without the USA the whole process is starting to look a bit forlorn.

H/T The GWPF

UN climate officials add a week-long session in Bangkok in September to the diary, as Bonn talks make insufficient progress on the Paris Agreement rulebook.

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Lava flow in Hawaii

One volcanologist commented: “When a house today might look like it’s perfectly safe, it might get taken out by a lava flow five years from now if the eruption keeps on going.”

So much destruction, as ScienceAlert reports.

For the fleeing residents who had to evacuate the cracked, burning streets of Leilani Estates, Hawaii, last week, it would be natural to hope they could return to their homes shortly once the fury of eruption relents.

But that fury may not quit soon. The truth is this eruption didn’t happen last week.

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Toyota Prius [image credit: BBC]


UK political leaders are hopelessly hooked on climate dogma, leading to various strange decisions and economically damaging policies.

The SMMT trade body hits out after reports the government will target hybrids in a new emissions drive, says BBC News.

The UK’s car industry has hit out at the government over unconfirmed reports ministers will target hybrid vehicles as part of a new emissions crackdown.

New cars unable to do at least 50 miles on electric power may be banned by 2040, a ruling that would hit the UK’s best-selling hybrid, Toyota’s Prius.

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Can CNG trucks go the distance?

Posted: May 3, 2018 by oldbrew in Emissions, innovation, News, Travel
Tags: ,

CNG truck [image credit: Waitrose]


The idea here is that high pressure carbon-fibre fuel tanks should help to demolish the ‘range anxiety’ of truck operators who need to cover big distances daily, by giving a range of upto 500 miles. America already has some, but these are the first in Europe. Lifetime costs should be lower than regular trucks, but the report doesn’t say where the ‘renewable biomethane‘ fuel is coming from.

Delivery trucking is a dirty business, but the companies that rely on it are working to clean things up – and compressed natural gas is emerging as a useful alternative to our reliance on diesel power.

In the UK, Scania has created a fleet of biomethane fueled trucks for Waitrose, which is looking to reap the rewards with lower running costs and less emissions, reports New Atlas.

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Warming up for climate negotiations ?
[image credit: businessnewsdaily.com]


Where have we heard this before? Obviously at every other UN climate meeting that tried to extort vast sums of money from unwilling donor countries, to pay for supposedly climate-related schemes. No wonder the USA walked away from the endless wrangling over a trace gas in the atmosphere.

Old divisions between rich and poor over money and ambition are again threatening to limit progress in UN climate negotiations, says BBC News.

Discussions between negotiators from nearly 200 countries have resumed in Germany, aiming to flesh out the rules on the Paris climate pact.

But developing countries say they are “frustrated” with the lack of leadership from the developed world. Commitments to cut carbon are still “woefully inadequate” they said.
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The edge of the Thwaites glacier [credit: NASA photograph by Jim Yungel]


This BBC report seems unaware that a study in 2014 found that parts of the Thwaites Glacier are subject to melting due to subglacial volcanoes and other geothermal “hotspots”. The existence of this group of volcanoes has long been known.

British and American scientists will assess the stability of one of Antarctica’s biggest ice streams, reports BBC News.

It is going to be one of the biggest projects ever undertaken in Antarctica.

UK and US scientists will lead a five-year effort to examine the stability of the mighty Thwaites Glacier.

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Irsching 4 gas power plant, Bavaria [image credit: E.ON]


Billed as ‘the world’s most eco-friendly fossil fuelled power plant’ when it opened in 2011, the owners say Irsching is not commercially viable due to the built-in advantages handed to part-time subsidised renewables. Meanwhile Germany continues building cheaper-to-run coal-fired power stations to help replace its nuclear fleet. A strange situation to be in.

German utility Uniper announced on Thursday that it had applied to extend the closure of its loss-making Irsching 4 and 5 gas-fired power generation plants with a capacity of 1400 MW for a third year beyond April 2019, reports PEI.

Uniper and the other owners of unit 5, N-Ergie, Mainova MNVG.DE and HSE, see no way to ensure the Bavarian plant’s commercial viability, it said in a statement.

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Cornish tin mine [image credit: IB Times]


Back to the future?
H/T Yahoo News

Britain is banking on a series of ancient mines on its southwestern tip to secure a slice of the global electric car revolution, reports Reuters.

Now however a rise in demand for tin, along with other metals that can be used in electric vehicles, electronics and renewable energy, has helped create a global deficit and quadruple prices.

British officials are supporting reopening of the mines and seeking investment, leading to a mini-rush of mining companies into the area.

Adding to the potential, new research shows the extent to which mines also contain deposits of lithium, the so-called metal of the future.

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Biomass on the move [image credit: Drax]


Converting tree matter to wood pellets and transporting it thousands of miles are also energy-intensive processes. But non-solutions like part-time unpredictable wind turbines can never be an adequate alternative either.

Protestors claim biomass can be as bad as or worse for the environment than coal and say it shouldn’t be classed as renewable energy, reports Energy Live News.

Drax has been hit by a double environmental protest today at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in York and at Peel Port in Liverpool, where it receives its wooden biomass fuel pellets.

The owner of the formerly coal-fired Drax Power Station in Yorkshire, which now runs 70% on imported biomass, was targeted by environmentalists that believe its new fuel source can be as as bad as or worse for the environment than coal and say it shouldn’t be classed as renewable energy.

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