Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

Scottish offshore wind project [image credit : urbanrealm.com]


No mention here of the huge cost of putting yet more hundreds or thousands of wind turbines miles offshore, or of what is supposed to happen when it’s not windy enough to generate any, or much of, the required electricity – other than vague reference to ‘storage and demand response’, and interconnectivity.

EUROPE: A total offshore wind capacity of at least 230GW is needed in northern Europe by 2045 to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement, according to newly published research, writes Craig Richard at Windpower Offshore.

This increased capacity in the North Sea, Irish Sea, Channel, Baltic Sea, and Atlantic Ocean would require between 50GW and 80GW of new interconnectivity to ensure reliable operation, energy and climate consultancy Ecofys found.

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Blackpool, England [image credit: BBC News]


They say ‘these results are important as they demonstrate a previously unknown source of isotopes in the Earth’s atmosphere. These include carbon-13, carbon-14 and nitrogen-15…The findings also have implications for astronomers and planetary scientists.’

Thunder and lightning have sparked awe and fear in humans since time immemorial, says Phys.org. In both modern and ancient cultures, these natural phenomena are often thought to be governed by some of the most important and powerful gods – Indra in Hinduism, Zeus in Greek mythology and Thor in Norse mythology.

We know that thunderstorms can trigger a number of remarkable effects, most commonly power cuts, hailstorms and pets hiding under beds. But it turns out we still have things to learn about them. A new study, published in Nature, has now shown that thunderstorms can also produce radioactivity by triggering nuclear reactions in the atmosphere.

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Electric car charging station [credit: Wikipedia]


Or not – some say it’s too complex and would be too costly to set up. Others claim it could even make car batteries last longer by maintaining optimal charge levels as the ‘borrowed’ power would be returned.

The report below should perhaps start like this: ‘as a small number of people in the world’s richer countries take hefty government subsidies to buy expensive electric cars…’

As the world moves towards low-carbon electric cars, how are we going to power them all? – asks BBC News.

If electric cars really are the future, where is all the electricity to power them going to come from?

There are currently more than a billion vehicles on the road worldwide, 38 million of them registered in the UK. The overwhelming majority run on petrol or diesel.

But the world is changing.
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Planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point


Wasting vast amounts of money and selling consumers short seems to be par for the course in UK electricity generation, as this Phys.org report highlights.

Britain made “grave strategic errors” in its handling of the Franco-Chinese Hinkley Point nuclear project, a critical parliamentary report concluded Wednesday.

The House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee stressed that consumers will pay a high price for construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, which was given the green light by the government in September 2016.

The £19.6-billion ($26-billion, 22-billion-euro) project, which is to be built by French energy giant EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), is highly symbolic of the UK’s nuclear renewal.

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


Debatable claim in the headline, but the German ‘energy transition’ has certainly hurt electricity consumers as prices have shot up in the last decade, with fortunes being wasted on vain attempts to tweak the climate system.

As Bonn this week hosts the COP23 climate talks, a new report claims that Germany’s Energiewende programme “has made things worse for the climate”, reports PEI.

It says it has done this “by shutting down nuclear capacity and locking in dependency on coal for decades, despite hundreds of billions in investments and subsidy-schemes”.

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Wind turbines towering over the landscape


When they say ‘flexible power sources’ they mean the ones that are needed when unreliable renewables have largely gone to sleep, for example at night or when it’s not windy. The costs of running such a dual system or the consequences of power shortages, especially in winter, are not mentioned, although they admit that there will be “entire weeks and months” where solar and wind will produce “little energy”. It all sounds unreal.

Renewable energy will account for more than half of the UK’s power supply by 2026, according to a new study, reports Utility Week.

The report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and commissioned by Eaton and the Renewable Energy Association, claims there will be a “significant acceleration” in the shift to renewable sources over the next 20 years and that this move will create new opportunities for new flexible power sources.

By 2040, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of power will be generated from renewable sources, according to the report and at “certain times” wind and solar energy along could meet total power demand in both the UK and Germany.

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Credit: Entek Corp.


This overlooks the fact that ‘the majority of petroleum is converted to petroleum products, which includes several classes of fuels’. It also includes ‘conventional fertilizers [which] are commonly derived from petroleum. In fact, a single 40-pound bag contains the equivalent of 2.5 gallons of gasoline.’ Electricity is only a manufactured power source, as far as national networks are concerned.

Electricity is “the new oil” and the effect of increasing global electrification is having a “very deep rippling effect for the power sector”.

That was one of the highlights this morning at the launch of the International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook, reports PEI.

Laura Cozzi, head of the IEA’s Energy Demand Outlook Division, said: “We are seeing growing electrification happening throughout the energy sector – electricity going into sectors that were confined to other fuels before: most notably, cars, but also heating and cooling.”

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French nuclear power sites [credit: neimagazine.com]


There are artificial self-imposed targets, plans and even laws – and then there’s reality, if ‘keeping the lights on’ is a priority. Scrapping nuclear capacity implies either having something convincing to replace it with, or risking the wrath of the voters if/when things start to go wrong.

The French environment minister Nicolas Hulot says the government is postponing its move to reduce the share of nuclear energy in the country’s power generation mix, reports PEI.

According to Reuters, Hulot says the grid operator RTE warned it risked supply shortages after 2020 and could miss a goal to curb carbon emissions, if it went ahead with the cull of nuclear right away, reducing the share from 75 per cent to 50 per cent.

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The Murmansk wind park that collapsed

Posted: November 8, 2017 by oldbrew in News, turbines, wind
Tags: , ,

Murmansk harbour [image credit: Martin Lie / Wikipedia]


Too much wind for these wind turbines near the north Russian coast to cope with. The solar panels at the same site also face technical problems. Back to diesel again.

It was an innovative project which was to power several local villages with green energy. Two years after it opened, the strong Arctic winds have knocked down the turbines, says The Barents Observer.

It was cheering and rejoice in Chavanga and Chapoma, the villages on the coast of the White Sea, as a unique small-scale power generating complex was officially opened in late summer 2015.

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The short working life of wind turbines compared to power stations, plus their lack of commercial viability, will likely put the brakes on German renewables expansion according to this GWPF report. Where do used wind farms go to die?

Wind power is the most important component of Germany’s green energy transition.

The end of subsidies for older turbines, however, threatens countless wind farms. By 2023, more than a quarter of Germany’s onshore wind farms may be gone.

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Pipeline corrosion


The technical term for the alleged problem seems to be
stray current corrosion. However in the reported incident the pipeline itself may or may not have been partly to blame, as it was ‘finally damaged by a digger’
.

Scientists say the sun may be corroding New Zealand’s pipelines, and might have played a role in Auckland’s recent fuel crisis – but not in the way we might think,
says the NZ Herald.

Geomagnetic storms are a temporary disturbance of the magnetosphere, which surrounds our planet and is formed by the interaction of the solar wind and Earth’s magnetic field.

When giant explosions on the sun – or solar flares – send energy, light and high-speed particles into space, the solar wind shock waves typically strike Earth’s magnetic field 24 to 36 hours later.

Coronal mass ejections – eruptions of gas and magnetised material from the sun – similarly have the potential to wreak havoc on satellites and Earth-bound technologies, disrupting radio transmissions and causing transformer blowouts and blackouts.

“We’re vulnerable to these as we’ve become more and more technologically dependent,” said Otago University’s Professor Craig Rodger.

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Waiting for a recharge


One day the loss of fuel taxes will have to be addressed if electric cars are to become compulsory (after 2032 in Scotland, 2040 in England). Automatic pay-per-mile road tolls could be an option, probably still a long way off.

All electric vehicle (EV) charge points sold in the UK will have to be ‘smart’ and able to interact with the grid to help manage the increased demand for electricity expected to arrive alongside higher take-up, says Clean Energy News.

The Department for Transport yesterday published its intended Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, setting out broad stroke proposals for how the government will seek to increase the access and availability of charge points for electric cars.

The document also confirmed powers to make it compulsory for motorway services and large petrol retailers to install charge points for electric cars, as well as ensuring access to live data of the location and availability of charge points.

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Credit: ITER


A rosy picture of cheap renewables is put forward by Bloomberg, but they rely on ‘promises’ and ignore the true logistics of plastering the world with their Hollywood-style vision of wind turbines, solar panels and industrial-scale batteries. The extravagant claim is made that ‘the concept of the need for baseload generation is fading away’. How’s that going in Australia for example?
H/T The GWPF

The world’s biggest scientific experiment is on course to become the most expensive source of surplus power. 

With wind-farm campaigners starting to promise subsidy-free power by 2025 and electricity demand in Europe stagnating, the future of fusion research looks bleak.

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Image credit: energy-storage.news


As the advance of subsidised renewables makes new gas or coal fired power stations ever less economic to build and operate, one of the supposed answers to the artificially created reliability problem is to add batteries to help ‘balance’ the grid. Of course this will also be expensive, and only marginally useful as batteries don’t generate their own power, but that’s just an issue for bill-paying consumers in the privatised UK energy system.

A battery installation at a UK biomass power plant is making news this month says TechXplore . Supporters call it an important recognition of the “enormous potential for battery solutions” in the UK.

The company is E.ON. The challenge, as they attempt to meet it, is doing their bit to balance the grid.

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Image credit: Statoil


They’re only tethered to the sea floor, but you still wouldn’t want to bump into one. The five turbines are 253 metres tall (of which 78m. submerged) and 720-1,600 metres apart, about 25 km.(15 miles) offshore. Will they throw the towel in if one floats away – or sinks?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened the 30 MW Hywind Scotland windfarm today (18 October), which is situated 25 kilometres off the coast of Aberdeenshire, and being operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar reports Utility Week.

“This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland,” said Sturgeon. “Our support for floating offshore wind is testament to this government’s commitment to the development of this technology and, coupled with Statoil’s Battery Storage Project, Batwind, puts us at the forefront of this global race and positions Scotland as a world centre for energy innovation.”

Statoil’s executive vice president of new energy solutions, Irene Rummelhoff, said Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 metres and will be able to open areas “that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind”.

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Power lines in Victoria, Australia [credit: Wikipedia]


Still trying to square the circle of unreliable, expensive renewables and reliable, affordable electricity supplies. At least one backbencher is starting to get it: “The problem with solar and wind … you’ve got to have them backed up in some way, and that’s either got to be a coal-fired power station, a gas generator or some form of battery.” And making batteries to the scale of power stations is neither practical nor affordable.

The details have not officially been released, but the ABC understands Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will argue his policy will lower electricity bills more than a Clean Energy Target (CET), while meeting Australia’s Paris climate change commitments, as the GWPF reports.

It is understood Cabinet last night also agreed to force retailers to guarantee a certain amount of so-called dispatchable power that can be switched on and off on demand, to avoid outages.

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A computer-generated image of Apple’s first Irish data centre [credit: Apple]


Data centre owners won’t like the idea of being at the mercy of unreliable power sources for their vital electricity. ‘Welcome to the energy crunch’ seems to be the message out of this report from Power Engineering International.

Data centres will consume 20 per cent of Ireland’s power generation capacity by 2025, according to the country’s main grid operator, Eirgrid.

Eirgrid added that the huge increase in data centre activity in the country would eat up to 75 per cent of growth in Irish power demand.

The Irish Independent reports that the amount of power needed to store emails, texts and other online data could rise seven-fold as Ireland chases inward investment from tech giants including Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

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Anyone who thought switching from diesel to a petrol vehicle would be a good idea might have to think again, if they ever intended to drive into UK city centres. And that’s just the start, if the Oxford plan sets the tone.

Oxford is to become the world’s first zero-emissions zone, as it looks to ban all non-electric vehicles from its city centre by 2020, says the IB Times.

The university town will become the first city in the UK to ban all polluting vehicles from its centre. All petrol and diesel vehicles, including cars, buses and vans, will be barred from six main streets in the centre as of 2020.

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


The electric subsidy party could be winding down for Norwegian car buyers if the government gets its way. It points out that ‘large electric cars wear out the roads just as much as normal cars’.

Norway plans to trim lavish tax breaks for Tesla and other electric cars that have given it the world’s highest rate of battery-vehicle ownership, the right-wing government proposed on Thursday [reports Reuters].

The draft 2018 budget would mainly affect large cars weighing more than two tons, it said. Norwegian media dubbed the changes a “Tesla Tax”, intended to cut down on sales of luxury models such as Tesla’s Model X sport utility vehicle.

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Sounds like required reading for misinformed politicians and other policymakers, not to mention overcharged electricity customers.

STOP THESE THINGS

Ian Plimer is an Australian geologist, professor emeritus of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne, professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide, and the director of multiple mineral exploration and mining companies. He has published numerous scientific papers, 7 books and is one of the co-editors of Encyclopedia of Geology.

Ian also manages to draw plenty heat for his attack on global warming hysteria. What impresses STT is that, unlike his interlocutors, Ian Plimer’s grasp on the facts goes back some 4.6 billion years, as long as this orb has been lapping the Sun, rather than the last Tweet that popped up five minutes ago.

Ian managed to infuriate the wind and sunshine cult with his last book ‘Not for Greens’. And, no doubt, his latest effort will do just the same.

Ian’s latest work, ‘The Climate Change Delusion and The Great Electricity Ripoff’ has just…

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