Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

Sizewell-B

Existing Sizewell B nuclear power station

Being hooked on ‘carbon intensity’ beliefs can lead to many strange decisions. For example, lack of enthusiasm for nuclear energy sits alongside the boom in biomass burning, churning out vast amounts of supposedly unwanted carbon dioxide.
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If governments around the world continue to shut down nuclear plants, they risk driving the “single greatest loss of clean power in history”.

That’s the warning from industry associations including the Canadian Nuclear Association, FORATOM, the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Nuclear Industry Association and the World Nuclear Association, who have penned a letter calling for world leaders to step up investment in nuclear infrastructure, reports Energy Live News.

The group states that unless policymakers unveil a raft of new spending on nuclear, progress on decarbonisation will ‘backslide’ and the carbon intensity of energy generation will begin to rise.

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offshore1

Offshore wind farm [image credit: Wikipedia]

Please Monsieur, can we have some extra power today? ‘Non! – unless you agree to my latest terms and conditions’. Replacing power stations with intermittent renewables has exposed weaknesses others are already showing a willingness to exploit.
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The fishing row which saw France threaten to cut off Jersey’s power has exposed the ‘very dangerous’ threat of being too reliant on a foreign supplier for electricity, says The GWPF / Daily Mail.

Britain risks becoming an ‘import junkie’ by depending too heavily on the Continent for its electricity needs, it was claimed.

Tony Lodge, a research fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank, said the UK is setting itself up for ‘almighty trouble’ by the end of the decade.

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Calif_Solar

Solar power complex in California [USA. Gov – BLM – Bureau of Land Management]

The Golden State isn’t a good place to be poor, and that’s set to get worse thanks to the ill-founded climate obsessions of its leaders, as this article observes. Others following their model can expect to face similar issues.
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California is known to have the most expensive electricity in the U.S., and the distributed nature of its grid is negatively affecting less-wealthy Californians, says OilPrice.com.

Californians pay for some of the most expensive electricity in the United States. They also live in one of the greenest states, at least from an energy perspective.

California is only going to get greener. Meanwhile, electricity bills are expected to continue their rise. Some deny there is a link between the two.

The facts show otherwise.

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VAWT

One of many vertical axis wind turbine designs

Vertical axis wind turbines aren’t new, but early reliability problems are supposed to have been largely ironed out now. The gearbox and generator are close to the ground, and they require less land per unit, but there’s less wind lower down. Given that we’re stuck with the wind power obsession for now, they may be worth a try if the computer simulations are anything to go by.
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The now-familiar sight of traditional propeller wind turbines could be replaced in the future with wind farms containing more compact and efficient vertical turbines, says TechXplore.

New research from Oxford Brookes University has found that the vertical turbine design is far more efficient than traditional turbines in large scale wind farms, and when set in pairs the vertical turbines increase each other’s performance by up to 15%.

A research team from the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (ECM) at Oxford Brookes led by Professor Iakovos Tzanakis conducted an in-depth study using more than 11,500 hours of computer simulation to show that wind farms can perform more efficiently by substituting the traditional propeller type Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs), for compact Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs).

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Orbital02They keep trying, but tidal turbines have yet to make it to the big league in terms of competing with established alternatives like wind turbines. The report calls it a vessel.
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Scottish floating tidal turbine technology provider Orbital Marine Power has successfully launched its 2MW tidal turbine, the Orbital O2, from the Port of Dundee , reports insider.co.uk.

The operation was managed by Osprey Heavy Lift and saw the 680-tonne tidal turbine transferred from the Forth Ports quayside facility in Dundee into the River Tay using a submersible barge.

The launch marks the completion of the turbine build, managed by TEXO Fabrication, and the O2 will now be towed to the Orkney Islands, where it will undergo commissioning before being connected to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), becoming the world’s most powerful operational tidal turbine.

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Climate dogma and economic reality are not compatible. If one wins, the other loses.

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

As the merger of climate change and COVID panic materializes in front of our eyes, “global leaders” have found plenty developing world voices to join the crusade to “save the planet” from carbon (dioxide) “pollution.” But like their Chinese and Indian counterparts, many Africans, from heads of state to captains of industry and beyond, intend to expand, not shrink, reliance on fossil fuels to build their economies.

According to Oxford University researcher Galina Alova, “Africa’s electricity demand is set to increase significantly as the continent strives to industrialise and improve the well-being of its people,” but those who hope for rapid decarbonization in Africa will likely be disappointed.

Alova’s research found that Africa is likely to double its electricity generation by 2030, with fossil fuels providing two-thirds of the total, hydroelectric another 18 percent, and non-hydro renewables providing less than 10 percent.

Such an energy…

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big-greenSome electricity consumers may feel like muttering obscenities if they see the figures. Meanwhile the BBC insists renewables are now cheaper than coal.
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The Global Warming Policy Forum has condemned what it called the “obscenity” of windfarm subsidies and has called for a complete rethink of energy policy.

GWPF research has shown that just six offshore windfarms are now sharing £1.6 billion pounds in subsidies between them every year.

Three receive annual subsidies of over a quarter of a billion pounds each year.

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The Green Mirage

Posted: April 13, 2021 by oldbrew in Energy, ideology, weather
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Wind is generating a mere 1-2% of UK electricity today, the cause being a high pressure weather system with very low wind speeds, which no amount of subsidy can ever prevent. Discuss.

Science Matters

Mirage (2)

John Constable writes at Civitas The Green Mirage: Why a Low-Carbon Economy May be Further Off Than We Think. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images. h/t Real Clear Public Affairs

Spain renewables

Findings:

  • The prospects for a sustainable, low-carbon economy as the result of current UK national and EU-wide policies are poor.
  • Empirical experience in Spain and Germany shows that the costs of supporting renewable energy generation are too high.
  • Rising employment in the renewable energy sector compared to the wider UK economy stems from unsustainably high subsidies.
  • Renewables are naturally less productive, so as they are relentlessly pursued, a painful rebalancing of the economy will occur, with fewer jobs and less economic growth.

green-and-environment

Bottom Line: The current prospects for a sustainable low-carbon economy are poor in both the UK and across the European Union (EU). Germany and Spain have already clearly shown what happens when state coercion forces…

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ThreeGorges

Three Gorges Dam [image credit: caixinglobal.com]

Nothing if not ambitious. Needless to say it will need a lot of concrete, which will no doubt dismay climate botherers.
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China is planning a mega dam in Tibet able to produce triple the electricity generated by the Three Gorges—the world’s largest power station—stoking fears among environmentalists and in neighbouring India, reports Phys.org.

The structure will span the Brahmaputra River before the waterway leaves the Himalayas and flows into India, straddling the world’s longest and deepest canyon at an altitude of more than 1,500 metres (4,900 feet).

The project in Tibet’s Medog County is expected to dwarf the record-breaking Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in central China, and is billed as able to produce 300 billion kilowatts of electricity each year.

It is mentioned in China’s strategic 14th Five-Year Plan, unveiled in March at an annual rubber-stamp congress of the country’s top lawmakers.

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gas_boiler

Domestic gas central heating boiler

The battle to sell replacements for gas boilers, likely to be unavailable new in the relatively near future (2030?) in the UK, is on. As this microwave option appears we ask what, if anything, is wrong with existing electric boilers? Needless to say, anything electric can’t be more ‘low carbon’ than its electricity source, which is usually 40-60% gas in the UK. But using electricity for heating water instead of making hydrogen has some logic to it.
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A new heating technology has emerged from under the radar as a potential alternative to both heat pumps and gas boilers in the quest for low carbon heating, reports H&V News.

Heat Wayv, a UK energy technology company, has unveiled the world’s first microwave boiler intended as a zero-emissions replacement for gas boilers, with a view to the phase-out of natural gas in new-build homes from 2025.

The company originally developed the microwave technology as a portable cooking device for military use and has now applied it to the heating of water.

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Climate virtue signallers demand belief in their fool’s paradise, regardless of cost.

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

With many still living with little to no access to electricity, American politicians are pursuing the most expensive ways to generate intermittent electricity with offshore wind turbines on the East and West Coasts.

The U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA) has already documented that offshore wind continues to be one of the most expensive forms of electricity generation.

Energy poverty is among the most crippling but least talked-about crises of the 21st century. Electricity is the one of the simplest solutions to improved health, economic opportunity, education, nutrition, and comfort in the developing world, especially for women and girls.

In the world’s poorest countries, there are 11 million children in the world dying every year.

Those fatalities are from the preventable causes of diarrhea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia, preterm delivery, or lack of oxygen at birth as many developing countries have no…

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e-wende

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

H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum & Die Welt.

While the auditors are piling on the criticism, the politicians are toying with the idea of producing hydrogen from solar energy in Morocco. That would surely be good for another upward twist to the already spiralling costs of the ‘green dream’.
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The Federal Audit Office has accused the Federal Ministry of Economics of insufficiently monitoring the energy transition and of poorly managing it.

The auditors have now renewed this criticism of energy policy expressed three years ago in a further special report – and added an explosive analysis of security of supply.

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Just One Number Keeps the Lights On

Posted: March 28, 2021 by oldbrew in Critique, Energy
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There’s going to be a lot more ‘demand management’ aka use of price variation, deals with industrial users, and other tools to lower peak demand when it threatens to get too high for a renewables-oriented system to handle. Whether that will always work is anyone’s guess, but seems unlikely due to cost if nothing else.

Science Matters

windmill20scam

David Wojick explains how maintaining electricity supply is simple in his CFACT article It takes big energy to back up wind and solar.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds. (H/T John Ray)

Power system design can be extremely complex but there is one simple number that is painfully obvious. At least it is painful to the advocates of wind and solar power, which may be why we never hear about it. It is a big, bad number.

To my knowledge this big number has no name, but it should. Let’s call it the “minimum backup requirement” for wind and solar, or MBR. The minimum backup requirement is how much generating capacity a system must have to reliably produce power when wind and solar don’t.

For most places the magnitude of MBR is very simple. It is all of the juice needed on the hottest or coldest low wind…

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Struc_batt

Schematic of a laminated structural battery cell containing carbon fiber electrodes and a structural battery electrolyte [image credit: Quay2021 @ Wikipedia]

Another day, another battery ‘breakthrough’, you may be thinking. The idea being to make the battery part of the device itself, rather than being inserted into it. Tesla has already designed its own version of the idea.
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Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have produced a structural battery that performs ten times better than all previous versions, says TechXplore.

It contains carbon fiber that serves simultaneously as an electrode, conductor, and load-bearing material.

Their latest research breakthrough paves the way for essentially ‘massless’ energy storage in vehicles and other technology.

The batteries in today’s electric cars constitute a large part of the vehicles’ weight, without fulfilling any load-bearing function.

A structural battery, on the other hand, is one that works as both a power source and as part of the structure—for example, in a car body.

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A model for California? [image credit: Hitesh vip @ Wikipedia]


Worth asking what is meant by ‘could be economically feasible’ in this context. Running power stations 24/7 looks a lot simpler than having thousands of miles of solar panels to install and maintain, which sit idle without sunlight.
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UC Santa Cruz researchers published a new study—in collaboration with UC Water and the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC Merced—that suggests covering California’s 6,350 km network of public water delivery canals with solar panels could be an economically feasible means of advancing both renewable energy and water conservation.

The concept of “solar canals” has been gaining momentum around the world as climate change increases the risk of drought in many regions, claims TechXplore.

Solar panels can shade canals to help prevent water loss through evaporation, and some types of solar panels also work better over canals, because the cooler environment keeps them from overheating.

Pilot projects in India have demonstrated the technical feasibility of several designs, but none have yet been deployed at scale.

California’s canal network is the world’s largest water conveyance system, and the state faces both a drought-prone future [Talkshop comment: evidence-free assertion] and a rapid timeline for transitioning to renewable energy.

Solar canals could target both challenges, but making the case for their implementation in California requires first quantifying the potential benefits. So that’s exactly what researchers set out to do in their paper published by Nature Sustainability.

“While it makes sense to cover canals with solar panels because renewable energy and water conservation is a win-win, the devil is in the details,” said Brandi McKuin, lead author of the new study and a UC Santa Cruz postdoctoral researcher in environmental studies. “A critical question was whether the infrastructure to span the canals would be cost-prohibitive.”

Canal-spanning solar panels are often supported either by steel trusses or suspension cables, both of which are more expensive to build than traditional support structures for ground-mounted solar panels.

But McKuin led a techno-economic analysis that showed how the benefits of solar canals combine to outweigh the added costs for cable-supported installations. In fact, cable-supported solar canals showed a 20-50 percent higher net present value, indicating greater financial return on investment.

In addition to benefits like increased solar panel performance and evaporation savings, shade from solar panels could help control the growth of aquatic weeds, which are a costly canal maintenance issue. Placing solar panels over existing canal sites could also avoid costs associated with land use.

Now that the new paper has provided a more concrete assessment of these benefits, members of the research team hope this could lead to future field experiments with solar canals in California.

Full article here.

Credit: Vortex Bladeless


The makers say: ‘Vortex Bladeless is a vortex induced vibration resonant wind generator. It harnesses wind energy from a phenomenon of vorticity called Vortex Shedding. Basically, bladeless technology consists of a cylinder fixed vertically with an elastic rod. The cylinder oscillates on a wind range, which then generates electricity through an alternator system.’
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New tech developments are happening in the wind power sector, says ZME Science.

Wind power is mostly associated with sweeping white blades, taking advantage of the strong gusts that blow over the land or the sea.

But what if we could forget about the blades and even the wind and instead just have a turbine?

That’s the idea of a group of European companies, who have come up with new ways to expand wind energy without the limitations of a conventional turbine.

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Germany’s main gas supplier: Russia


Countries like Germany must know that once all their nuclear and coal plants have been closed (by order), their security of electricity supply would be heading towards zero without gas and imports. Saying it’s just a question of peak demand is nonsense, and they know that as well, but still pursue their delusional energy policies. What happens after 2050 when the gas is turned off is a mystery.
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The European Commission is reconsidering the position of gas in its sustainable finance taxonomy by recognising the fossil fuel’s role in keeping the lights on during peak electricity demand, according to a leaked document seen by EURACTIV.

The EU executive is currently drafting a rulebook for sustainable finance, drawing up a complete set of criteria defining what can be considered as a “green” investment in the European Union.

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The message hasn’t reached South Korea, now proposing a wind ‘farm’ *SEVEN* times bigger than anything yet seen.

STOP THESE THINGS

Oh yes, they’re the great pretenders: useless in calm weather or after the sun goes down, wind and solar can never really compete with coal, nuclear or gas.

And anyone trying to convince you otherwise, ought to be gently encouraged to seek psychiatric help.

Especially after America’s big freeze left millions of wind and solar ‘powered’ Texans freezing in the dark.

Comparing ever-reliable coal, nuclear or gas with never-reliable wind and solar is patent nonsense; and only an eco-loon or renewable energy rent seeker entertains that process.

In the latter case, it’s because the wind and solar rort depends upon the engineered pretence that wind and solar are cheaper than the rest.

Ever insightful, Donn Dears takes a look at the number games played by America’s wind and solar crowd in their efforts to pretend to be playing in the big league.

Distorting the Levelized Cost of Electricity
Power for…

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H/T Climate Change Dispatch
An ‘abuse of power’ challenge. The AGs claim Biden’s climate policies are a costly and ‘massive expansion’ of regulations.
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A group of Republican state attorneys general alleged in a federal lawsuit filed Monday that President Joe Biden’s climate policies are a major overreach and could damage their states’ economies, reports The Daily Caller.

The 12-state coalition said Biden overstepped his constitutional authority by declaring there were “social costs” of continued greenhouse gas emissions in a Jan. 20 executive order.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of Missouri, argued that assigning such costs is a “quintessentially legislative action” that falls within Congress’ authority.

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


Germany wants to have reliable electricity but also pronounce itself to be virtuous and green, according to climate mythology at least. Something has to give. [Extracts only from the following article]
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The Bavarian village of Gundremmingen is so proud of its nuclear power station that its coat of arms is graced with a giant golden atom, says TechXplore.

But change is coming to the village, with the plant facing imminent closure under Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear energy following the 2011 Fukushima meltdown in Japan.
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Gundremmingen is not the only German village facing big changes as the country strives to implement its energy transition strategy.

Renewables have seen a spectacular rise since 2011 and in 2020 made up more than 50 percent of Germany’s energy mix for the first time, according to the Fraunhofer research institute—compared with less than 25 percent 10 years ago.

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