Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

Green Britain faces winter power crunch

Posted: July 23, 2021 by oldbrew in Energy
Tags: ,

Electricity1

[credit: green lantern electric]

Electricity suppliers are already licking their lips at the prospect of inflated prices if or when the UK struggles to meet winter demand due to ongoing power station closures. How this plays out with millions of electric cars and electric home heating in the glorious ‘clean, green’ future (?) is a mystery, but doesn’t look good.
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Britain must prepare for low energy supplies this winter as two nuclear plants shut down and workers return to the office, the business behind the power network has warned. The Times reporting (via The GWPF).

Low wind speeds and surging demand in Europe may also squeeze the amount of electricity available as the months get colder, according to National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO).

The Hunterston B and Dungeness B nuclear stations are both due to shut within months, taking away a stable energy source at a time when unpredictable wind and solar generation is an increasingly part of the country’s power mix.

There is also uncertainty over how much energy will come from remaining coal-fired power stations as they start to shut down.

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Amsterdam

Cooling off in Amsterdam [image credit: Amsterdamian]

Once you start believing that a change to 0.01% of the atmosphere of the Earth is a big issue, all sorts of climate hobgoblins appear on the horizon. The example here is the increasing use of air conditioners in Europe, which gets blown up out of all proportion to its importance. Enjoy the fine weather when you get it.
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“Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,” Noel Coward famously sang in 1931, mocking British colonials who ventured out into the scorching midday sun at the hottest time of day.

“The Dutch also still think the sun is their friend,” says researcher Lenneke Kuijer. During the August 2020 heat wave she investigated how Dutch households deal with hot weather, reports TechXplore.

“It’s time for change while it’s still possible,” she believes. “Less air conditioning, more outdoor shading and a different way of dealing with heat.”

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Accept EVs, accept anything – forever?

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

If you listen to the “woke” futurists, or even to the majority of auto companies pledging to stop manufacturing gasoline and diesel vehicles, it might be time to sell your auto stocks. Do you really think the U.S. is about to build 280 million electric vehicles to replace the 270 million internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that many states (and many countries, not to mention auto manufacturers) want to ban (from the highway not just from new sales) by 2030, 2040, or maybe 2049?

Forget if you will all the arguments about the massive amount of earth mining using slave labor those 270 million EVs will generate to acquire the cobalt, nickel, lithium, and other metals without which EVs cannot be built, much less operate. Forget the huge costs of expanding the electric grid to account for all of the electricity needed to move those vehicles…

View original post 1,048 more words

energy1The amount of additional electricity required worldwide is more than any existing increase in output from renewables. As value-for-money fossil fuels – coal and gas mostly – fill the breach as it were, ‘decarbonisation’ is in effect going negative (if it was ever doing anything else). Let COP26 delegates chew on such ‘challenges’ as they’re called, in Glasgow later this year.
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The planet’s electricity demand is expected to rebound strongly this year and next after falling by around 1% in 2020, according to a new publication from the International Energy Agency.

Released on Thursday, the IEA’s electricity market report predicts that global demand for electricity will increase by nearly 5% in 2021 and 4% in 2022 as economies around the world seek to recover from effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, says France24.

The report from the Paris-based organization notes that although electricity production from renewable energies “continues to grow strongly” – it is expected to increase by 8% this year and more than 6% in 2022 – it does not, cannot meet the growing demand.

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Featured Image -- 40520

Feldheim village near Berlin, Germany.

Subsidies drying up. Public resistance to wind turbines in the neighbourhood. Is the climate steamroller running out of puff in Germany?
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The German wind power industry is suffering setback after setback, says The GWPF.

Hardly any new turbines are being built, and more and more old wind turbines are being phased out. Now wind industry lobbyists are calling for new subsidies and construction rules to be relaxed.

In the Free State of Bavaria there is almost nothing going on when it comes to wind power.

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iso-tech2

Credit: Infinite Power

Are power companies and solar panel producers getting nervous yet? If not, they may see difficulties ahead for this idea.
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Infinite Power’s breakthrough is a semiconductor that can convert high energy beta particles, X-rays, and gamma rays into electricity.

The Infinite Power cells function similarly to a photovoltaic solar cell, with two critical differences: The precise materials and design of the cells allows us to replace solar radiation with high energy releases from natural decay of radioisotopes.

Critically, our proprietary semiconductor can withstand higher energy releases associated with radioisotope decay over a long period of time.

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chinacoal

Coal-hungry China [image credit: democraticunderground.com]

Prosperity before flaky climate theories for Asia’s present and future industrial powerhouse economies. Once again we’re sold the myth of ‘cheaper renewables’, which always need subsidies — even for being turned off.
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Five Asian countries are responsible for 80 percent of new coal power stations planned worldwide, says Phys.org, with the projects threatening goals to fight the climate crisis, a report warned Wednesday.

China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam are planning to build more than 600 coal plants, think-tank Carbon Tracker said.

The stations will be able to generate a total of 300 gigawatts of energy—equivalent to around the entire electricity generating capacity of Japan.

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nuclear_battery

Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

‘Plug and play’ nuclear power in a box, or container, is the basic idea.
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We may be on the brink of a new paradigm for nuclear power, a group of nuclear specialists suggested recently in The Bridge, the journal of the National Academy of Engineering. TechXplore reporting.

Much as large, expensive, and centralized computers gave way to the widely distributed PCs of today, a new generation of relatively tiny and inexpensive factory-built reactors, designed for autonomous plug-and-play operation similar to plugging in an oversized battery, is on the horizon, they say.

These proposed systems could provide heat for industrial processes or electricity for a military base or a neighborhood, run unattended for five to 10 years, and then be trucked back to the factory for refurbishment.

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Belo_Monte_Dam

Impression of Belo Monte dam

A case of nature not conforming to expectations. This could apply to numerous such schemes, giving climate alarmists yet another conundrum to wrestle with.
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When climate researcher Dailson Bertassoli went to measure greenhouse gas emissions at the Belo Monte hydropower plant in Brazil, the first thing he noticed was the bubbles, says Phys.org.

Developers have built hundreds of hydroelectric plants in the Amazon basin to take advantage of the allegedly “green” energy generated by its complex of rivers.

But climate researchers now know hydropower is not as good for the environment as once assumed. Though no fossil fuels are burned, the reservoirs release millions of tons of methane and carbon dioxide as vegetation decays underwater.

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buoyant-energy

Image credit: buoyant-energy.com

That’s the headline, but is ‘novel’ its only merit? Buoyant Energy is described as promising but then, aren’t they all? Energy storage on a meaningful scale seems as far away as ever, having rejected the obvious ones: coal, oil, gas and sometimes even nuclear.
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What do pipes and anchors have to do with storing energy? More than you might think, suggests TechXplore.

A new IIASA-led study explored the potential of a lesser known, but promising sustainable energy storage system called Buoyancy Energy Storage.

There is general consensus that renewable energy sources will play an important role in ensuring a healthier and more sustainable future for the planet and its people, and many countries are indeed already seeing such technologies displacing “dirty” fossil fuels in the power sector in an effort to lower emissions. [Talkshop comment – CO2 emissions have absolutely nothing to do with dirt].

The biggest problem with renewable energy sources, however, is that power supply is intermittent, meaning that the energy output at any given time does not necessarily meet the demand at that time.

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flyingferry

Image credit: Brittany Ferries

Battery weight is always a problem for electric-powered flight. No reason to think this type of machine would be any different, meaning the economics of the idea remain questionable.
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Ferry operator Brittany Ferries has announced that it will work with US-based start-up Regent Craft to develop sea-skimming “flying ferries” that could reduce sailing times between England and France to as little as 40 minutes, says E&T.

Brittany Ferries described the proposed battery-powered vehicle as combining “the convenience of passenger ferries with the comfort of hydrofoils, the aerodynamic efficiency of hovercraft and the speed of aircraft”.

It resembles a small aircraft which skims the surface of the sea. It uses the wing-in ground effect, which would involve riding on a cushion of air trapped between a wing and the water surface; this is similar to how a hovercraft supports itself as it moves.

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e-bike1

E-bikes

Electric bike, aka ‘active travel’, that is. That’s the proposed option for those who don’t want to walk, don’t have access to an electric car, or do but hit recharge problems, in the wondrous(?) net zero future. The real obsession is that with minor trace gases in the atmosphere, leading to all sorts of improbable and foolish policy ideas and decisions.
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Globally, only one in 50 new cars were fully electric in 2020, and one in 14 in the UK, says TechXplore.

Sounds impressive, but even if all new cars sold were electric, it would still take 15-20 years to replace the world’s fossil fuel car fleet.

The emission savings from replacing all those internal combustion engines with zero-carbon alternatives will not feed in fast enough to make the necessary difference in the time we can spare: the next five years [Talkshop comment – says who?].

Tackling the climate and air pollution requires curbing all motorized transport, particularly private cars, as quickly as possible.

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Electricity1

[credit: green lantern electric]

‘What a surprise’, said no-one. Cue vague waffle about facing the issues, mainly caused by ditching reliable (compared to renewables) on-demand electricity generation from coal and gas.
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Britain faces catastrophic power cuts because of an increasing reliance on electricity to run everything from cars to home boilers, the Committee on Climate Change has warned. The Telegraph reporting.

Decarbonisation plans, which involve switching transport and heating away from petrol and gas, will mean outages in the future have a greater impact, the Government’s independent advisory committee on climate change has said, as it urged the Government to make sure the system could withstand extreme weather.

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windger

German Chancellor Merkel surveys an offshore wind site [image credit: evwind.es]

Wind ‘farms’ are allergic to each other it seems, sometimes leading to sizable drops in output. Awkward when space isn’t unlimited, some of the best sites are already taken, and the plan is to multiply the existing fleets. Weather dependency is even greater than expected.
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The expansion of wind energy in the German Bight and the Baltic Sea has accelerated enormously in recent years, TechXplore.

The first systems went into operation in 2008. Today, wind turbines with an output of around 8,000 megawatts operate in German waters, which corresponds to around eight nuclear power plants.

But space is limited. For this reason, wind farms are sometimes built very close to one another.

A team led by Dr. Naveed Akhtar from Helmholtz Zentrum Hereon has found that wind speeds at the downstream windfarm are significantly slowed down.

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Credit: impactlab.net

Like ‘free beer tomorrow’, projects such as this one may sound good to some, but does the promised tomorrow ever arrive? So far, no. Not even close. And equating so-called ‘clean tech’ with the climate is yet another obviously absurd media fantasy. Solving the issue by 2030 is the target — good luck with that. Of course gas, coal and oil are their own energy storage, but don’t mention those any more.
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A major project aims to overcome a barrier to electricity grids wholly supplied by renewable energy, says BBC News.

Output from wind turbines varies because wind speeds fluctuate; output from solar cells changes according to cloud cover and other factors [Talkshop comment – such as 50% darkness per year].

This is called variability, and overcoming it is crucial for increasing the share of renewables on the grid.

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solar-modulesGWPF: They’re filled with noxious chemicals, many are made by Chinese prisoners… and don’t even work efficiently in gloomy British weather. The Government admits that more than a fifth of our farmland will eventually be lost to solar farms.
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Across Britain, solar farms are on the march, says The Mail on Sunday / GWPF.

Some 1,000 acres of rural land a month are earmarked for ‘photovoltaic’ panels and the miles of cabling that go with them.

The Government admits that more than a fifth of our farmland will eventually be lost to ‘green’ initiatives such as these.

Last week, The Mail on Sunday counted 270 solar farms under construction or waiting for planning permission around the country.

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chinacoal

Coal-hungry China [image credit: democraticunderground.com]

Where’s the evidence that tinkering with carbon dioxide output can control anything? A think-tank chief said: “It puts the burden on any fossil fuel development now to prove that it’s 1.5C compatible”. How anyone is supposed to do that remains a mystery.
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The Group of Seven wealthy nations on Friday agreed to end state financing of coal-fired power plants by the end of this year, and to “mostly decarbonise” electricity supplies in the 2030s, reports France24.

Ahead of a leaders meeting in Britain next month, G7 countries’ climate and environment ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to keep temperature rises below 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, following a two-day virtual meeting.

Scientists say any increases beyond that will trigger uncontrollable climate change. [Talkshop comment: *some* scientists say…].

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RR_SMR2

Rolls-Royce’s revised reactor building design.

As most of the UK’s existing reactors will have closed down by 2030, time for dither and delay is over, or should be. The percentage of reliable electricity on the grid system is already sinking too fast due to climate obsessions.

H/T The GWPF
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The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the UK Small Modular Reactor (SMR) project has revamped the proposed mini reactors to increase their output.

The factory-built reactors will now generate 470 megawatts, enough to provide electricity to a million homes.

The project, launched in 2015, aims to bring ten mini nuclear reactors into use by 2035, with the first due to enter service around 2030.

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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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