Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

Hyperscale data center in Dublin developed by EdgeConneX. (Image credit: EdgeConneX)


The BBC thinks we should agonise over our ‘carbon footprint’ in relation to computer data centres, due to their massive use of electricity (and water). It’s supposed to be a ‘crisis for which we are all to blame’. Another question then: how is this not also a problem for advocates of expanding electric power into transport and other areas of energy usage with lithium batteries, which are produced with huge volumes of water in the mining process and soak up vast amounts of electricity when collectively recharged?
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Today Monday 6 February 2023, there is a new episode of Panorama. Is the Cloud Damaging the Planet?

The Cloud is fantastic, and we all have come to rely on it, says Memorable TV.

It’s where all of our memories and correspondence live, the engine behind all of our web searches, and the conduit for all of our television binges.

Cloud computing, however, requires massive data centres that consume tremendous quantities of both water and electricity behind the scenes.

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Classifying this as humour may not be appropriate, but we live in hope.
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IT IS the year 2050 and Britain, relentlessly driven by the governing Labour-Green coalition, has achieved Net Zero, imagines David Wright @ TCW (The Conservative Woman).

The nation is quite unrecognisable from the comfortable, well-fed country it was in the early part of the 21st century.

Massive wind turbines cover the landscape; the old ones built 25 years ago now knocked down and lying next to the new ones because it was uneconomic to remove them.

The whole country is covered in a dense spider’s web of power lines from the multitude of wind and solar farms miles from where the power is needed.

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Isar nuclear power site, Bavaria


Replacing what worked with what sounded good is finally running up against reality. The days of indulging in fantasy energy futures are fading. There’s so-called climate policy, and then there’s the need to survive the winters and keep the lights on. Back to the future.
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Russia’s war in Ukraine is forcing a rethink of energy security not only in Germany but also by the entire continent, and nuclear power is one of the winners, says OilPrice.com.

For decades, Germany has maintained a love-hate relationship with nuclear power. Currently, Germany has three existing nuclear reactors that produce ~6% of the country’s power supply, a far cry from the 1990s when 19 nuclear power plants produced about a third of the country’s electricity supply.

The genesis of the current state of affairs can be traced back to 1998 when a new center-left government consisting of the Greens party and Social Democrats started demanding that the country moves away from nuclear power, a long-held objective of the Greens.

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Risky business [image credit: safetysource.co.nz]


York is a notoriously flood-prone place and these wagons under-performed in a big way, restricting themselves to cricketing weather. The costly attempt to help save the planet by adopting net-zero climate dogma thus faltered. The ‘wrong type of weather’ excuse used to refer to UK trains, but now it’s moved on.
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Two electric bin lorries bought by City of York Council in a bid to cut carbon emissions were unable to operate when it rained, it has emerged.

Rain caused the wagons to be taken off the city’s roads for up to 26 days a month several times last year, reports BBC News.

The vehicles stopped working for a combined total of 481 days between January 2021 and November 2022.

The council bought the vehicles in 2020 as part of its drive to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.

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Where’s The Electricity?

Posted: January 21, 2023 by oldbrew in Batteries, Energy
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Electricity: before you can use it you have to generate it, and the worldwide demand only ever goes up.
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PA Pundits International

By Ronald Stein ~

One of the best-known quotes was where’s the beef?from Clara Peller who was a manicurist and American character actress who, at the age of 81, starred in the 1984  advertising campaign for the Wendy’s fast food restaurant chain.

Today, the huge dark cloud over EV projected sales, is the availability of electricity to charge batteries which leads us to the quote for the foreseeable future, Where’s the electricity?

The Elephant in the EV sales room that no one wants to talk about is the limited amount of electricity available to charge the EV batteries.

The global fleet of road vehicles in 2022 numbered about 1.446 billion, that’s with a “B”.

Of this huge global fleet, only 12 million were electric vehicles (EV) in 2021. Thus, less than one percent of the worldwide road vehicle fleet were EVs, and more than 99-percent…

View original post 548 more words

Heysham power station [image credit: Belfast Telegraph]


The UK government is running short of electricity supply options due to net zero policies based on climate obsessions, as well as years of reluctance to believe that renewable energy is, and will always be, too erratic and unreliable. A power supply crunch is looming.
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The Telegraph reports:
Two nuclear power stations crucial to keeping Britain’s lights on risk being closed next year as a result of Jeremy Hunt’s windfall tax, their French owner warns today.

EDF, which operates all five of the country’s serving nuclear plants, said the Chancellor’s raid on power producers will make it harder to keep the ageing Heysham 1 and Hartlepool stations open as long as hoped.

It would mean the sites close in March 2024, potentially removing the “cushion” of spare capacity used by the National Grid to avoid blackouts and reducing nuclear power generation in Britain to its lowest level since the 1960s.

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[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]


Looks a tad optimistic. Nobody forced wind farm developers to bump up their prices to match the massive increases in gas and electricity charges. Invoking ‘net zero’ seems a bit of a cheek when they’re blatantly chasing maximum profits.
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A Cheshire wind farm developer has threatened to sue the UK government over its plans to impose a ‘windfall tax’ on renewables companies, reports OilPrice.com.

Community Windpower – which owns 1.5 GW of UK wind generation capacity – has said it will take legal action to block the UK’s Electricity Generator Levy.

The temporary tax imposes a 45 percent levy on “exceptional receipts” of more than £10m generated by selling wholesale electricity at average prices exceeding £75 per MWh.

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LNG vessels [image credit: offshoreenergytoday.com]


Who knew? Just as night follows day, replacing on-demand power generation with intermittent sources can and does cause reliability and other issues of varying severity. Preferring imported gas to domestic sources was another avoidable mistake, leading to far more of the supposedly fearsome CO2 emissions than necessary. The climate excuse is wearing thin.
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The UK will be scrambling for highly expensive gas imports to meet its energy needs this winter to stave off blackouts whenever the wind doesn’t blow, warned a leading energy expert.

Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, told City A.M. that the intermittent performance of domestic renewable power is proving costly for the West.

He argued the country lacks a reliable alternative base-load of power aside from highly expensive natural gas.

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


Who wants a lack-of-heat pump now?
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A man claims he is facing a £7,000 energy bill after replacing his heating system with a £25,000 Government-backed ‘green’ heat pump, says The Independent (via Yahoo News).

Officials are currently providing grants for up to £5,000 to home owners who remove a gas central heating and hot water system and replace it with a heat pump.

But the new system, backed by many in the green lobby, has apparently left many UK homeowners in the cold.

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Windfarm in the California desert


They plan to keep increasing electricity demand by (for example) mandating EVs, while reducing reliable supply in pursuit of climate obsessions. How long can US States go on ignoring the obvious?
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California and parts of the Midwest are at a high risk of electricity shortages in the coming years amid the transformation of their grid from one reliant on fossil fuels to one reliant on other sources of energy such as wind and solar, says OilPrice.com.

The warning comes from the latest annual assessment of the grid by the North American Reliability Corporation, as cited by CNBC.

According to the assessment, the Midwest and Ontario in Canada risk power shortages because they are retiring more generation capacity than they are adding.

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Windy enough today?


This recent Yale Environment360 article came into focus today when Sky News headlined with: Future of renewable energy in balance as UK suffers wind drought – with ‘global stilling’ to come. Ironically, climate theory has it that warming will happen and will reduce wind speeds over the decades ahead. According to one expert (says Yale), a 10 percent decline in wind speeds would actually result in “a 30 percent drop [in output], and that would be catastrophic.”
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Last year, from summer into fall, much of Europe experienced what’s known as a “wind drought,” says Yale.

Wind speeds in many places slowed about 15 percent below the annual average, and in other places, the drop was even more pronounced.

It was one of the least windy periods in the United Kingdom in the past 60 years, and the effects on power generation were dramatic.

Wind farms produced 18 percent of the U.K.’s power in September of 2020, but in September of 2021, that percentage plummeted to only 2 percent. To make up the energy gap, the U.K. was forced to restart two mothballed coal plants.

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Drax power station, generating 7% of Britain’s needs, is partly converted to burning imported woodchips.


Staying warm, or even alive, takes priority over tedious climate dogma. Energy policy related to electricity generation is exposed as pitifully inadequate when the wind dies down and the days are short. The demise of cold spells in winter has been greatly exaggerated.
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Emergency plans to fire up old coal plants have been triggered by National Grid as cold weather sparked fears of a supply shortage, says Energy Live News.

Two coal-fired generation units at Drax power station in Yorkshire have been instructed to be warmed up and ready for potential usage today.

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Credit: TLP


Unreliable, ‘poor value for money’ electricity project bites the dust. For now, anyway.
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Plans for the £1.3bn Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon have been dealt a blow by the Court of Appeal, which has ruled that work on the project did not commence within five years of receiving planning approval and therefore the development consent order (DCO) is no longer valid, says New Civil Engineer.

The project, put together by developer Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay), was to build the world’s first tidal lagoon power plant. This would span Swansea Bay to form a lagoon between the River Tawe and the River Neath.

The structure would have had 16 turbines producing a up to 320MW per day.

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Political climate obsession has gone way too far with EV ‘mandates’, as the Italian minister implies. Today’s EVs are too expensive and impractical to be a suitable future for private transport.
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Italy’s Transport Minister Matteo Salvini has asked the EU Commission’s Transport Commissioner and his French and German counterparts to review the ban on ICE vehicle sales that is set to go into effect in 2035, reports OilPrice.com.

Salvini told Italian news outlet Ultimore that the proposed ban on the sale of fossil fuel-burning vehicles “makes no economic, environmental or social sense.”

Salvini’s stance on the ICE vehicle sales ban echoes that of carmakers and the European car industry association, ACEA, in the summer of 2021.

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St. Nazaire wind farm


Move over, carbon credits. Here come ‘statistical megawatts’.

H/T Tallbloke
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France is the only one of the 27 EU member states to have missed its objective for 2020, when renewable energy represented 19.1% of its consumption, below the 23% target, says Le Monde.

For failing to reach its European targets for renewable energy in 2020, which it had set itself a decade earlier, the French state will have to pay out several hundred million euros.

“It will cost France €500 million this year for not having met its target for renewable energy,” the Minister for Energy Transition told MPs on Monday, November 21, as reported by the French daily newspaper Libération.

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Winter isn’t even here yet. But with a colder weather spell plus low wind speeds around the corner, trouble is already brewing for renewables-infested electricity supplies. Somehow it’s linked to problems in France and/or Ukraine, according to this report.
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National Grid opted against implementing emergency measures to stave off blackouts tomorrow, escalating fears of supply shortages this winter, reports City A.M.

The company’s electricity system operator (NGESO) revealed this morning that it was considering activating its Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) for the first time to help reduce the risk of blackouts on Tuesday.

This follows power outages in France and a decline in renewable energy generation over the past week.

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The makers say: ‘To charge the battery, we take CO2 at near atmospheric temperature and pressure and we compress it. The heat that is generated during compression is stored. When we exchange the thermal energy with the atmosphere, the CO2 gas becomes liquid.

To generate and dispatch electricity, the liquid CO2 is heated up and converted back into a gas that powers a turbine, which generates power. The CO2 gas is always contained and the entire system is sealed. We don’t use any exotic materials.’
— Looks like another net user of power.

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Italian startup Energy Dome, maker of the world’s first CO2 battery, is officially entering the US market, says Electrek.

Energy Dome’s battery uses carbon dioxide to store energy from wind and solar on the grid.

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The ‘geothermal moonshot’

Posted: November 7, 2022 by oldbrew in Energy, fracking, geothermal, research
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Geothermal is just as likely to run into legal challenges as other forms of underground energy recovery. The article below is part of ‘a special feature on the hazards and potential of geothermal energy’, featuring the habitat of Nevada’s tiny and endangered Dixie Valley toad.
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From his home office in Carson City, Nevada, Paul Schwering monitors an old gold mine in the Black Hills of South Dakota, approximately 1,000 miles away and a mile underground.

What was once the Homestake Gold Mine has been repurposed as a research station for enhanced geothermal systems, also known as engineered geothermal systems, a technology that could increase the United States’ geothermal power generating capacity 40-fold, says the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Energy experts estimate that geothermal energy could contribute up to 10 percent of US electricity generation, but only if researchers can figure out how to make enhanced geothermal systems work on a large scale.

Enhanced geothermal systems have been called the “geothermal moonshot.”

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CO2 is not pollution


Without sufficient dispatchable electricity generation the UK could become a low-energy power on windless nights. Alarmist talk of ‘worst droughts in 500/1000 years’ begs the question: what caused those historical events? Demonising a vital atmospheric trace gas makes no sense.
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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is to call on global leaders to speed up the transition to renewable energy when he addresses the UN COP27 climate summit today, says Energy Live News.

He travelled to Egypt yesterday after a U-turn on his earlier decision to not attend the event, attracting much criticism from environmental activists and political opponents.

Mr Sunak will also tell politicians and business leaders that Britain will work with international allies and be at the “forefront of this global movement” towards clean energy.

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Image credit: beeculture.com


Even a world-famous naturalist was baffled by the ‘aeronaut spiders’ appearing from nowhere on his ocean-going ship. Does this solve Darwin’s puzzle?
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By measuring the electrical fields near swarming honeybees, researchers have discovered that insects can produce as much atmospheric electric charge as a thunderstorm cloud, says ScienceDaily.

This type of electricity helps shape weather events, aids insects in finding food, and lifts spiders up in the air to migrate over large distances.

The research, appearing on October 24 in the journal iScience, demonstrates that living things can have an impact on atmospheric electricity.

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