Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

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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Randomly selected wind-up or hand-crank radio


The Talkshop doesn’t normally do product promotions, but bearing in mind the recent traumatic (for some) power failures in England, and just for fun – don’t call it a wind-up – let’s take a look at this from Best Radios UK:
Best Wind-Up Hand Crank Radios (UK 2019)

Surely it’s good to know these subsidy-free items are, among their many virtues, described as ‘a good way to reduce your carbon footprint’? ‘Climate emergency’ miserablists would approve anyway.
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Roundup of the Best Wind-Up Radios in the UK in 2019. See the top AM/FM hand crank radios with additional features such as torches, solar and phone charging.

A wind-up radio is a handy gadget to have when you’re a long way from a power socket.

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Tesla model X [image credit: IB Times]


In a world where car makers can remotely change the characteristics of a vehicle after selling it, obviously nobody wants the result to make the car less attractive to own than before. Did that happen here?

A Tesla owner has filed a suit against the carmaker claiming the company used a software update to deliberately reduce the battery range of his vehicle in an attempt to avoid a recall due to faults in these batteries, reports OilPrice.com.

Reuters reports the suit was filed earlier this week, with the plaintiff seeking class action status on the grounds that “thousands” of other owners of older Model S and X cars could have been affected.

In some cases, according to the allegations, the range reduction came in at as much as 40 miles.

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Image credit: thecount.com


H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

Some stories of Londoners stumbling around in the gloom or stranded on non-moving trains here. Obviously any emergency back-up either wasn’t there or proved ineffective.

Enappsys, an energy consultancy, said the blackout may have been caused by the unexpected shutdowns of the Hornsea offshore wind farm and the Little Barford gas-fired power plant, reports The Guardian.

Large parts of England and Wales have been left without electricity following a major power cut, electricity network operators have said, with a serious impact reported on rail and road services, including city traffic lights.

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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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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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It seems switching to an EV can only scratch the surface of the clean air problems due to motor transport. Since their batteries make them heavier than fuel-burning cars they should have greater tyre wear, creating more road debris. Of course the parallel claim is that there will/would be some noticeable (presumed beneficial) effect on the climate in the long term due to lower CO2 emissions, but as we’re also told there’s little time left and sales of EVs are minimal, that doesn’t look good for climate alarmists either.

A new report released by the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) in the UK recommends as an immediate priority that non-exhaust emissions (NEE) are recognized as a source of ambient concentrations of airborne PM, even for vehicles with zero exhaust emissions of particles, reports Green Car Congress.

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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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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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Teslas in Norway [image credit: Norsk Elbilforening (Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association)]


Norway is one of the world’s largest exporters of oil, also of natural gas. Loss of revenue from fuel taxes seems not to be a problem for them, but high demand by car users for electricity at certain times of the day could be. Are other countries ready for such issues?

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s power grid is likely to need an 11 billion crown ($1.27 billion) upgrade over the next 20 years to meet demand from the country’s growing fleet of electric cars, with consumers likely to have to foot the bill, a study has shown.

Electric car (EV) sales in Norway reached a record-high in March, with almost 60% of new cars sold fully electric, a result of state policy to exclude such vehicles from certain taxes and offer free or cheaper road tolls, parking and charging points.

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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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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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Tesla model X [image credit: IB Times]


Can electric car companies ever be financially viable? The Tesla example isn’t looking too good since government subsidies were withdrawn, pushing up prices. This article asks if Tesla is running out of buyers for its vehicles.

Late last year, Tesla Inc. was fully charged and cruising down the highway on Autopilot, says Phys.org.

Shares were trading above $370 each, sales of the Model 3 small electric car were strong and the company had appointed a new board chair to rein in the antics of sometimes impulsive CEO Elon Musk.

But around the middle of December, investors started having doubts about the former Wall Street darling’s prospects for continued growth, and the stock started a gyrating fall that was among the worst in company history.

For the year, the share price is down around 40%, largely on concerns Tesla is running out of buyers for its vehicles, which range in price from a base $35,400 Model 3 to a larger Model X SUV that can run well over $130,000.

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Dead in the water: the original Swansea tidal lagoon plan [image credit: BBC]


At a mere(?) one billion pounds it would be 30% cheaper than the original proposal, or so the claim goes. The sales pitch mentions some of the usual suspects like sustainability and climate change. But somebody still has to pay for the expensive power it might generate.

The Dragon Energy Island project would generate a combination of marine, solar and hydrogen energy, says EnergyLiveNews.

A floating island of up to 1,000 homes and shops is part of a new proposal to revive the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project in Wales.

Called Dragon Energy Island , the project would consist of giant underwater turbines that would power thousands of homes across Swansea and beyond, a floating modular homes development, underwater data centre, a solar farm and the production of hydrogen.

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We already knew this, but UK public policy in energy matters tends to prefer ideology to reality.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

A lot of countries (as well as many U.S. states and utilities) are announcing so-called zero-carbon plans, typically with a target year around 2050. These are often reported as calling for 100% renewable energy, which is wrong.

There is a difference between zero-carbon and 100% renewables, but this is often hidden and unclear. In the new UK plan it is still hidden, but once found it is very clear. Renewables provide just 57% of the energy, which is a lot less than 100%. Perhaps most surprising is that nuclear might provide as much as 38% of the energy!

By way of introduction, the plan comes from the government’s own Committee on Climate Change (CCC), in a report titled “Net-Zero: The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming.” The CCC is the UK’s top climate action planning group.

The surprising numbers occur in…

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