Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

Electric SUV concept car [image credit: motorauthority.com]


The report headline also claims this ‘is terrible news for the planet’, because they are obsessing about harmless trace gases in the atmosphere. But the motoring public don’t seem to share their misplaced concerns, as ever-popular SUVs outnumber electric vehicles by about 40 to 1 worldwide.

Sales of hefty and heavily-polluting SUVs have doubled in the last decade – outweighing the progress made from electric vehicles, says WIRED. Can cleaner SUVs offer a way out?

The phenomenal rise of the SUV all started with a squabble over chicken.

It was 1963 – the height of the Cold War – and US president Lyndon Johnson was fuming over a tax that France and West Germany had imposed on cheap, intensively-farmed US chicken flooding European supermarkets.

In December 1963, after months of failed negotiations, Johnson retaliated.

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


EVs are looking like yet another ‘save the planet’ fiasco in the making. Some of the points made here were already known, but these studies reinforce them. As many EVs on the road are still relatively new, the full extent of any problems may not yet be clear. With the help of large subsidies and other incentives they sell well in Norway despite the cold winters there.

According to recent studies, cold temperatures significantly reduce the performance of electric cars, especially when it comes to battery life.

One study by AAA suggested that cold temperatures can reduce the range of the batteries in most electric cars by over 40 percent, reports Anonymous News.

It was also noted that the performance can be even worse when the interior heaters are used.

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Solar train – OK for millionaires?

Posted: December 1, 2019 by oldbrew in innovation, Travel
Tags: ,

A bit of fun for tourists, but an electric bus would have been a lot cheaper.

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The greenblob will have to conjure up some other magic solution to their chronic power intermittency problems, if they hope to keep their ‘zero carbon’ myth going for a bit longer.

STOP THESE THINGS

Almost as soon as Joe Public worked out that wind and solar can never work, RE rent seekers started babbling about giant batteries saving the day.

STT will keep smashing the line about giant batteries overcoming the chaotic delivery of wind and solar, while RE zealots keep pushing it.

The pitch from RE zealots is that the solution to the chaos delivered by wind and solar is giant lithium-ion batteries, of the kind peddled by Elon Musk.

The reefer-smoking, Californian carpetbagger managed to offload one unit in wind power obsessed, South Australia, collecting $150 million for a battery that would power SA for all of 4 minutes.

Bill Gates has called the idea complete and utter nonsense: Bill Gates Slams Unreliable Wind & Solar: ‘Let’s Quit Jerking Around With Renewables & Batteries’

Apply a little maths, physics and economics and it’s pretty clear that the mega-battery myth is just…

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Upper reservoir (Llyn Stwlan) and dam of the Ffestiniog Pumped Storage Scheme in north Wales
[credit: Arpingstone/English Wikipedia]


Of course this all depends on what is being claimed to be ‘climate impact’. If certain trace gases (note the word: ‘trace’) are not the unlikely mega-force that they are claimed to be by climate alarmists, this Green Car Congress article is more or less redundant.
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Although hydropower is broadly considered to be much more environmentally friendly than electricity generated from fossil fuels, a new study by a team at Environmental Defense Fund finds that the climate impact of hydropower facilities varies widely throughout the world and over time, with some facilities emitting more greenhouse gases than those burning fossil fuels.

The researchers report their results in an open-access paper in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Currently, hydropower contributes two-thirds of the electricity generated from renewable sources worldwide, according to the International Energy Association, with thousands of new hydroelectric facilities either planned or under construction across the globe.

This popularity stems partly from the perception that hydropower is an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels.

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A detailed look at why running countries on renewables is a dangerous delusion for practical reasons of economics and engineering. If short of time at least read the main headings. Add in the fact that people don’t want to live near wind turbines or give up land to accommodate them.

STOP THESE THINGS

Three decades, massive subsidies and yet intermittent wind power’s contribution to world energy needs remains little more than a rounding error.

Electricity that can’t be delivered as and when it’s needed has no commercial value; massive subsidies are the only ‘value’ that attracts investors to wind and solar. Cut the subsidies and wind and solar investment would evaporate, overnight.

As Gail Tverberg explains below, chaotically delivered wind and solar have never worked in the past. So, there’s no reason to expect that they’ll ever work in future. In a sane and rational world, we’d call it a ‘failed experiment’, clean up the mess and move on.

How Renewable Energy Models Can Produce Misleading Indications
Our Finite World
Gail Tverberg
24 October 2019

The energy needs of the world’s economy seem to be easy to model. Energy consumption is measured in a variety of different ways including kilowatt hours, barrels of…

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Typical electric car set-up


Critics of fuel power speak of the finite nature of oil and natural gas discoveries. A reminder here that resources are far from unlimited for EVs, in the short term at least. No sign of much appetite for switching to smaller cars either, with SUV demand rising fast.

The current production of a number of critical metals is insufficient for the large-scale transition to electric vehicles.

This is the conclusion of a report by environmental scientists Benjamin Sprecher and organisations Copper8 and Metabolic, reports TechXplore.

As a solution, they advocate more electric car-sharing, cars with a smaller battery and improved recycling.

Small country, big impact

The Dutch Climate Policy aims for 1.9 million electric cars in the Netherlands by 2030, compared to 171,000 at this moment—a growth of more than 1000 percent in less than 11 years.

But according to the report “Critical Metals Demand for Electric Vehicles’ – which looks at critical metals needed for this growth—it would be better to limit this growth, so that there will be a maximum of 1 million electric cars in 2030.

The authors assume a fair distribution: each country is entitled to a certain share of the global production of important critical metals, such as lithium and cobalt, in proportion to its population.

With the current plans for electric cars, the Netherlands would need up to 4 percent of the global annual production, while the Netherlands only has 0.2 percent of the world’s population—an ‘unfair distribution,” according to the report.

Less is more

“Let me start by saying that we are definitely not against the introduction of electric cars,” says Benjamin Sprecher, researcher at the Centre for Environmental Sciences Leiden.

The transition to electric transport is important,” says Benjamin Sprecher, a researcher at the Institute of Environmental Sciences. “However, we must be aware that this policy is not without consequences.”

He explains, for example, that a greater demand for critical metals—which are also needed for solar panels and wind turbines—can be disastrous to nature. “Increased demand inevitably leads to the construction of new mines. In order to prevent inconvenience to humans, these will be located in remote areas, at the expense of already scarce nature reserves. We must be aware of this and ensure more sustainable mining.”

But that’s not enough, says Sprecher. “We consume an awful lot, so much so that it is no longer enough for us to have just one Earth. In the case of electric cars too, it is important that we look at ways to reduce the number of cars. For example, shared cars and improved public transport.”

Other solutions, such as new technologies that are less dependent on critical metals or the use of smaller batteries, are less effective (see figure 2) but also easier to implement.

Finally, the report recommends the development of a stronger European critical metals recycling industry.

Full article here.

Credit: Railfuture


Well, 10% solar-powered – that’s the target. Of course solar has its variables, mainly weather conditions and hours of daylight. So is this ‘solution’ worth the bother and cost, or not? The era of batteries on train locomotives has also arrived – see ‘Adding a third dimension – battery power’ here.

How many times have we looked at clever innovation and wondered why on earth no one thought of doing it before?

Often the simplest of ideas seem to lead to the most elegant of engineering solutions, says RailEngineer.

The truth is, of course, that invention is only half of the story. Sometimes the right meeting of minds must happen before a bright idea can become a reality.

To the best of our knowledge, the direct supply of solar power to rail traction systems has never been done, anywhere in the world.

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Taking the expensive and unreliable route to power generation regardless of economics is not likely to end well.

STOP THESE THINGS

Back in August, Brits had their first taste of the kind of grid chaos inevitably delivered when you pin your hopes on the weather. Mass blackouts are the inevitable consequence of the notion that a modern economy can power itself on sunshine and breezes.

As Brits are learning to their cost and consternation, electricity generation and distribution is a finely balanced proposition. The product of considered engineering and careful design, the electricity grid was never designed for the massive surges and collapses in wind and solar output, delivered on a daily basis.

As Dr John Constable outlines below, thanks to chaotically intermittent wind and solar, the expectation Brits once held of having reliable and/or affordable power has gone the way of the dodo.

The fading dream of reliable power
The Global Warming Policy Forum
John Constable
21 October 2019

Back in August, a major power cut blacked out something like…

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Global EV sales in September 2019 drop down 8%

Posted: November 1, 2019 by oldbrew in News, Travel
Tags:

Chinese electric car [image credit: scmp.com]


Sales of expensive electric vehicles predictably misfire as short-term subsidies inevitably slip. No signs of mass take-up despite endless climate hype.

Global sales are lower than a year ago because China lost incentives, while the U.S. is trying to overcome high Model 3 sales in 2018, reports Inside EVs.

The global plug-in passenger car sales were affected in September by a decrease in sales in China and in the U.S. Only the European market brings significant growth among the three biggest markets.

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‘Climate friendly’?


More farce from the climate killjoys posing as experts. The flow of alarmist scare stories never ends, vying for the absurdity prize.

Movie nights once required driving to the local video store to rent, rewind and return the latest blockbuster says Phys.org.

Now on-demand video content providers offer countless binge-worthy options at the touch of a finger.

But experts say the ease of streaming services comes with a hefty environmental price tag.

Watching a half-hour show would lead to emissions of 1.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent, said Maxime Efoui-Hess of French think tank the Shift Project. That’s equivalent to driving 3.9 miles (6.28 kilometres).

Last year, online video streaming produced emissions equivalent to Spain and that amount may double in the next six years, according to the Shift Project.

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Close Encounter with a Gigantic Jet

Posted: October 27, 2019 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Travel
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One jet meets another 😎

Spaceweather.com

Oct. 25, 2019: When you see lightning, run! So NOAA advises in lightning safety brochures. On Oct. 15th, however, pilot Chris Holmes had no place to go when lightning started to crackle in thunderstorms around his aircraft. Like it or not, he was in position for a close encounter … with a Gigantic Jet.

“I was flying 35,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico near the Yucatan Peninsula when a super cell started pulsing with light,” he says. “It wasn’t just ordinary lightning, though. The cell was also creating lots of sprites and jets. They were leaping up from the thunderhead.”

At a distance of only 35 miles, he video-recorded a towering Gigantic Jet:

gj_crop

“It was the most amazing thing I’ve seen in my aviation career,” he says.

Sometimes called “Earth’s tallest lightning,” Gigantic Jets were discovered in 2001-2002 shooting out of thunderstorms near Taiwan and Puerto Rico. Since then…

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Image credit: steelguru.com

Already having to find ways to try and patch up the rickety electricity supply system being developed in the UK to take over from the previously reliable one, in the name of theoretical man-made climate change. Dozens more of these ‘back-up’ gas engines would seem advisable if current renewables-obsessed energy policies continue as planned.

Statera Energy has signed an agreement with MAN Energy Solutions for the supply of ultra-efficient natural gas reciprocating engines, reports Energy Live News.

The flexible energy company says the 24 engines, which it claims are the first of their kind to be deployed in Britain, will deliver 300MW of highly efficient back-up power to the UK’s grid.

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Another hybrid ferry


Anyone fancy a hybrid-electric cruise after reading this?

Norwegian authorities are warning shipowners and operators about the dangers associated with lithium-ion battery systems after a fire and subsequent gas explosion on board a diesel-electric ferry in Norway.

The small fire was reported October 10 in the battery room of the Norled passenger ferry MF Ytterøyningen, reports gcaptain.com.

The ferry returned to harbor under its own power where passengers and crew were evacuated to land.

Overnight, however, a serious gas explosion rocked the battery room causing significant damage.

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All Electric?

Posted: October 24, 2019 by oldbrew in Critique, Emissions, Energy
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Another green climate fantasy gets the cold shower treatment.

PA Pundits - International

From the team at CFACT ~

By Mark Mathis of The Clear Energy Alliance ~

Does it make sense for our homes and businesses to be all electric? Absolutely not! But that’s where many communities in America are headed. In Berkeley California, the City Council has voted to ban natural gas in all new low-rise residential buildings. This bad idea is spreading to other parts of the country. If it accelerates, the all electric contagion will have serious negative consequences for us all.

The Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) defends the environment and human welfare through facts, news, and analysis.

Read more excellent articles at CFACT  http://www.cfact.org/

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CRYOBattery plant (model) [credit: Highview Power]


The fact that this kind of thing gets touted at all says a lot about the state of electricity generation in today’s trace-gas-fearing climate obsessed world. They talk of a ‘carbon free future’, but ignore the reality that world demand for oil, coal and gas is rising year on year as prosperity spreads around the globe and populations continue to increase.

It sounds like magic but it is real – a plan to store cheap night-time wind energy in the form of liquid air, reports BBC News.

Here is how: you use the off-peak electricity to compress and cool air in a tank, so it becomes a freezing liquid.

When demand peaks, you warm the liquid back into a gas, and as that expands it drives a turbine to create more electricity.

The technology, created by a backyard inventor, is about to hit the big time.

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Looking past the smoke and mirrors game, we find the true financial pain being inflicted on UK electricity customers in the name of climate ideology aka the Climate Change Act.

The total annual renewables subsidy impact on UK household cost of living is £9 billion — which comes to £340 per year per household, says The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

The low and much-publicised offshore wind bids for Feed-in Tariffs with Contracts for Difference (FiTs CfDs) continue to confuse many analysts, even those from whom one might expect clear-eyed caution.

A writer for CapX (“What is the point of Corbyn’s nationalised wind farms?”), to select an example almost at random, quite correctly takes issue with the Labour Party’s reckless plans for major public investment in further offshore wind, but does so on the mistaken ground that “offshore wind is a big success story […] delivering ever more clean energy, at ever lower prices, for a fraction of the price of Labour’s plan”.

However, and as a matter of fact, none of the low-bidding wind farms have actually been built, and the 8.5 GW of operational offshore wind capacity which is “delivering” is without exception very heavily subsidised.

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Smoke from a California wildfire [image credit: BBC]


Drastic loss of mobility. Recharging directly from solar panels is not an option either.

Tesla’s Elon Musk promises battery and solar solutions for the many EV owners who can’t charge their cars, reports Yahoo News.
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From Car and Driver

— Nearly a million Californians are now without power as the electric company deliberately shut it off this week, fearing high winds would spark wildfire.

— The affected area in Northern California surrounds Fremont, home of Tesla, and a great many electric-car owners who can’t charge their vehicles as usual.

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Another cold shower of reality for misguided climate zealots.

Thirty-seven globally prominent scientists representing the International Journal of Engine Research have published an open-access editorial addressing the future of the Internal Combustion Engine, and stressing the importance for continued development of more efficient and even lower-emitting technologies.

The article provides an assessment of the state of power generation in the world today, and provides analyses of productive directions for the future, says Green Car Congress.

The editorial addresses important issues in the current politically charged discussions of global warming and climate-change alarm.

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Electric car charging station [credit: Wikipedia]


The advice is to act soon, before too many EV owners get used to the idea that their road journeys should always be much cheaper than those made in fuel-burners.

Britain should move to a system of road pricing to combat congestion and compensate for the £28bn loss of revenue from fuel duty as the country makes the transition to electric vehicles, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said.

The thinktank said the government’s pledge that the UK would reach zero net emissions by 2050 meant the tax take from petrol and diesel would shrink to nothing over the coming decades and a new way to raise money from drivers was needed, reports edie.net.

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