Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid [image credit: greencarreports.com]


We already knew the subsidies for these types of vehicle were a waste of money, but this makes it look even worse. Another case of climate ideology derailing sanity.
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New testing commissioned by clean transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) shows that plug-in hybrids (PHEV) emit considerably more CO2 than advertised, and the problem could be even worse as drivers charge up before entering low emissions zones, says The Driven.

The results of testing has led the influential European NGO to label plug-in hybrids as “fake electric cars” designed solely by car makers to pass lab tests and achieve more sales via tax breaks.

The Emissions Analytics research, which included PHEV versions of the BMW X5, Volvo XC60 and Mitsubishi Outlander, found that even when driving on a full battery, emissions were 28-89% higher than advertised by the car makers.

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Solar power stations in space – part 2

Posted: November 19, 2020 by oldbrew in Energy, ideology, innovation
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Credit: NASA


Re our recent article on the idea of space-based solar power stations, a new article at The Conversation tells us the European Space Agency is also looking at this. Another day, another distant green dream, as these extracts from the article suggest. But at least they’re openly admitting renewables alone will never cut the mustard, either in scale or reliability of supply.
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How solar power stations in orbit could become a reality in the coming decades.

Solar power stations in space could be the answer to our energy needs.
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Renewable energy technologies have developed drastically in recent years, with improved efficiency and lower cost. But one major barrier to their uptake is the fact that they don’t provide a constant supply of energy.

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Credit: IEEE Spectrum


Does this by any chance suggest that wind and solar power may not quite be the wondrous energy future our leaders keep trying to hoodwink the public with? No word on costs so far.
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It is thought that energy could be beamed anywhere on the planet, save for the poles, according to the UK Space Agency.

From an idea first mooted in 1941, the UK has launched research into whether solar power in space could be beamed back to Earth as a sustainable energy source, reports Sky News.

The concept was first thought up by science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov; now the UK Space Agency and UK government are aiming to make the idea a reality.

Space-based solar power (SBSP) stations would capture the solar energy emitted by the sun that never makes it to Earth, and beam it back down using lasers to meet energy demands.

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Not the latest model


They may imagine this will have some sort of effect on the global climate in the long run, but even if it does it will be too small to be worth mentioning. But so-called green ideology must prevail, in the minds of most of today’s political leaders.
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to announce next week a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, five years earlier than previously planned, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

Britain had originally planned to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered cars from 2040, as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and in February Johnson brought this forward to 2035, reports Car and Bike.

Citing unidentified industry and government figures, the FT said Johnson now intended to move the date forward again to 2030 in a speech on environmental policy he is expected to give next week.

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Bardsey island


Cost per head: over £100,000. Four of the eleven (2019 data) even reside there in winter, when they should be able to enjoy the output of a turbine each with one to spare, in theory. The island is only one mile long.
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The Welsh island of Ynys Enlli could ditch its dependency on diesel to become the world’s first ‘blue energy island’ thanks to a new tidal energy project, reports the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

Nova Innovation has secured an investment of £1.2m from the Welsh government through the European Regional Development Fund for its Enlli project in north Wales.

The installation will generate electricity from the natural ebb and flow of the tide between Ynys Enlli – also known as Bardsey Island – and the mainland of the Llŷn Peninsula.

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Image credit: thecount.com


May – or may not? Electricity users will need to be re-educated to show ‘responsibility’, it seems, and to submit to ‘demand side control’ in future. So the power provider may decide when, or which, items of plug-in electrical equipment can or cannot be used in your local area at any given time, or vary its charges, as already happens in some contracts. The idea of having adequate resources of electricity generation is no longer put forward as the desired standard. Into this new set-up they want to bring millions of electric vehicles and abolish domestic gas heating systems, straining credibility.
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Power plants generate electricity and send it into power lines that distribute energy to nodes, or sites, where it can be used, says TechXplore.

But if the electricity load is more than the system’s capacity, transmission can fail, leading to a cascade of failures throughout the electric grid.

This domino effect was responsible for the largest blackout in U.S. history in 2003, which left 55 million Americans and Canadians without power at an estimated cost of $6 billion.

An even larger blackout in 2015 affected 57 million people in Italy.

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Windfarm objection in Galloway


The suspicion may exist that the ruling Scottish Nationalist Party never seems to win in this sparsely populated region, so is not inclined to much sympathy for its residents when making decisions on the many windfarm applications.
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Residents are moving away from parts of south-west Scotland because they are losing much of the local landscape to wind farm developments, it has been claimed.

Now Trevor and Elaine Procter, who live at Knockvennie, near Dumfries, are urging people to contact local councillors to object to the “tsunami” of planning applications for such developments, reports The National (via Wind Watch).

They have lived in their current home for 12-years, and Trevor said the effect on locals was comparable to the Highland Clearances.

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SMR transporter


RR has also linked up with American and Czech nuclear firms with a view to developing the international market. Hard to see how the government can get anywhere near its ‘net zero’ electricity targets without this technology. They keep saying ‘build back better’ so here’s an obvious chance to do that, as existing UK nuclear is being retired.
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A consortium led by the engine maker is hoping to secure a further £217m of funding from the government for the project, says Sky News.

A group led by Rolls-Royce has pledged to create 6,000 regional UK jobs within the next five years under plans to build 16 mini nuclear power stations.

The consortium said the jobs would help support the government’s “levelling up” agenda, with up to 80% of the power station components set to be made in factories across the Midlands and the north of England.

These components would then be sent on to existing nuclear sites around the country for rapid assembly.

The plans come at a crucial time for the UK amid rising unemployment caused by the pandemic.

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Power lines in Victoria, Australia [credit: Wikipedia]


Come the next potential blackout situation, the battery could give Victorians up to an hour to find a way out of trouble. But making the wind blow harder or the sun shine more won’t be among their options, of course.
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Australia is poised to construct one of the world’s largest batteries, using Tesla’s technology for lithium-ion batteries, reports TechXplore.

The football-field sized battery will provide up to 300 megawatts of power output and 450 megawatts-hours of storage in a country that has been struggling to meet energy demands during skyrocketing power usage triggered by record-breaking temperatures.

Last year, Australia suffered its hottest and driest year ever, with temperatures topping 121 degrees Fahrenheit last December.

The battery, known as the Victorian Big Battery Megapack, will be located in the state of Victoria, Australia’s second most populous region.

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UK energy plant to use liquid air

Posted: November 7, 2020 by oldbrew in Energy, innovation
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Liquid air energy storage: Highview’s 5 MW pre-commercial demonstrator [credit: ModernPowerSystems]


Under the heading ‘Cool air technology for a cooler planet’, the firm behind the scheme says:
‘Our CRYOBattery can deliver anywhere from 20 MW/80 MWh to more than 200 MW/1.2 GWh of energy and can power up to 200,000 homes for a whole day. We do this at half the cost of lithium-ion batteries and release zero emissions in the process.’
The system is intended to run on surplus night-time output from wind farms, but as ever, converting electricity to some form of storage and then back to electricity again is adding yet more costs and complexity to the system.

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Work is beginning on what is thought to be the world’s first major plant to store energy in the form of liquid air, reports BBC News.

It will use surplus electricity from wind farms at night to compress air so hard that it becomes a liquid at -196 Celsius.

Then when there is a peak in demand in a day or a month, the liquid air will be warmed so it expands.

The resulting rush of air will drive a turbine to make electricity, which can be sold back to the grid.

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Some extraordinary claims are being made, or at least suggested, here. The idea of charging a battery in a few seconds, especially a lithium one, using microwaves (not the kitchen version) sounds a bit hairy to say the least.
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A team of researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has discovered a new method that makes it possible to transform electricity into hydrogen or chemical products solely using microwaves — without cables and without any type of contact with electrodes, reports TechXplore.

This represents a revolution in the field of energy research and a key development for the process of industrial decarbonisation, as well as for the future of the automotive sector and the chemical industry, among many others.

The study has been published in the latest edition of Nature Energy, where the discovery is explained.

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China has invested heavily in pumped storage in recent decades. But the worldwide difficulty is clear: ‘Outside China, the world’s largest pumped storage producer, year-on-year installed capacity growth has been just 1.5% since 2014.’ Developed countries have usually already taken advantage of many of their best locations for such projects, so rapidly increasing existing capacity is highly problematic for them. Once again we see the folly of aiming to rely heavily on intermittent and/or weather-dependent renewables for power generation. Brace for power outages.
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The International Hydropower Association (IHA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) are leading the International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower this week, reports PEI.

The forum is a global, multi-stakeholder initiative of 11 governments and more than 60 organisations aimed at addressing the urgent need for clean and reliable energy storage.

Premiered on 3 November 2020, the week-long forum brings together the governments of the USA, Austria, Brazil, Estonia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Morocco, Norway and Switzerland, as well as international financial institutions, non-profit organisations and leading energy companies such as EDF, GE Renewable Energy, Voith and Hydro Tasmania.

Keynote speaker and former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urged governments and industry to move quickly to develop projects at the scale needed to support the rapid roll-out of variable renewables.

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It’s much cheaper to cut off your electricity supply for a while than it is to provide adequate backup from supposedly ‘green’ sources like batteries. Who knew?

STOP THESE THINGS

Cough up, or the kid gets it!

So-called smart meters are a very dumb response to intermittent wind and solar, even dumber energy sources. Wherever governments attempt to run on sunshine and breezes, the push to control and micromanage household power use, quickly follows.

Over the last few Australian summers, we’ve been treated to power rationing on a grand scale – which the Market Operator euphemistically tags “demand management”.

‘Demand management’ is not about supplying power consumers with what they need, it simply means shutting off power to industry, businesses and households – and even forcing hospitals to switch their lights and air conditioners off – among other indignities, whenever the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in. That’s what our ‘inevitable transition’ looks like at the macro level.

At the micro level, there’s the push to have smart meters installed in every home or business premise, in order that…

View original post 960 more words

Reliable Electricity? Bah Humbug!

Posted: November 2, 2020 by oldbrew in Big Green, Energy, opinion
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Green energy means: pay more, get less. But you already knew that, or if not, where have you been?

PA Pundits - International

By Kenneth Green~

In a refreshingly honest article in the Boston Review, David McDermott Hughes confirms something that we energy evangelists have been saying for some time: Environmentalists do not simply want people to transition to “green energy,” they want humanity put on energy rationing, for the good of the planet. Now, apparently, they’ve also decided that we need to add intermittent fasting to our energy diet because, gosh darnit, electricity in developed countries like the United States is just too darn reliable for our own good! It needs to go out once in a while, or, well, the planet is doomed.

According to Hughes, “For those seriously concerned about climate change, the inverse—the demand for electrical continuity—may be the real problem.” Yes, you read that right, the desire to have electricity available 24/7 is the cause of our global climate catastrophe, and we need to learn to live…

View original post 588 more words


The UK intends to have many more expensive wind turbines scattered all over the place, often in remote areas or offshore. How best to prevent, or deal with, fires is a question that can’t be swept under the carpet to maintain a false image.
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Why the wind industry cannot afford the financial and reputational damage that even a single turbine fire can bring.

The wind industry has underestimated fire risk for decades, says Angela Krcmar @ Power Engineering International.

Even now, statistics around fire losses are based on estimates and incomplete datasets.

For a time, the industry could get away with not fully managing fire risk, as the size and number of assets per owner were low enough for many to not experience a fire in their portfolio.

However, as turbines begin to scale up and wind takes on a greater share of national energy mixes across Europe and North America, the industry cannot afford the financial and reputational damage that even a single turbine fire can bring.

Wind turbines catch fire primarily due to electrical or mechanical faults leading to ignition which spreads to the surrounding plastics and fibreglass nacelle.

Turbine fires tend to originate in the nacelle at one of three points of ignition – converter and capacitor cabinets, transformer or the brake.

Converter and capacitor cabinets are necessary for the wind turbine to translate the variable frequency and amplitude of generated energy into a constant frequency and voltage that can be fed into the grid.

However, an electrical fault at these components can produce arc flashes or sparks, which can surround plastics in the cabinet and result in a fire. Transformers, which similarly convert energy into an appropriate voltage for the grid, can also be a point of ignition due to electrical faults.

Nacelle brakes are utilised in an emergency along with blades pitching to stop the turbine blades from spinning in seconds. This generates an enormous amount of friction and heat, and a mechanical fault at the nacelle brake can easily result in a fire.

Financial risk of fire

The rate of fires has remained consistent over the past decade according to available data – typically one in every 2000 turbines will burn down every year.

While technologies which are less susceptible to fire such as electric braking systems have been developed, many of the key ignition points are necessary for electricity generation and as such, cannot be designed out of the turbine.

While the frequency of fires has remained constant over the years, the financial risk of fire has increased with the size and complexity of turbines.

As turbines are getting increasingly bigger and therefore more expensive, a single fire can have a much greater impact.

Full article here.

Existing Sizewell B nuclear power station


The cost would be a drop in the bucket compared to proposed spending on non-nuclear ‘green’ energy, in futile attempts to influence the weather.
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The government is close to giving the green light to a new nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk, says BBC News (via The GWPF).

The BBC has learned that talks with the Sizewell contractor, EDF, have intensified in recent weeks.

This comes after the collapse of projects in Anglesey and Cumbria when Japanese firms Hitachi and Toshiba pulled out.

Government officials are insisting that it “remains committed to new nuclear”.

This commitment to new nuclear may be included as part of a 10-point government plan to be published in early November.

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[credit: green lantern electric]


Would it be churlish to ask what is powering this contraption? ‘Hunting for clean energy’ implies you want to use it exclusively. Now they try to justify the thing as potentially ‘tackling the climate crisis’, which looks like two illusions rolled into one. It took seven years just to build it.
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A pioneering nuclear fusion experiment based in Oxfordshire has been switched on for the first time, reports BBC News.

Mast Upgrade could clear some of the hurdles to delivering clean, limitless energy for the grid.

Fusion differs from fission, the technology used by existing nuclear power plants, because it could release vast amounts of energy with little associated radioactivity.

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Typical electric car set-up


There may be trouble ahead, as the song goes. But are we ready to face the music of industrial-scale lithium battery volatility, brought to us by government edict? Below we look at the second part of a BBC News story.
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Batteries that power mobile phones and other devices are causing fires because they are not disposed of properly, says BBC News.

Lithium-ion batteries, which power mobile phones, tablets and toothbrushes, can be extremely volatile if damaged.

CCTV footage taken at several recycling centres shows explosions sending flames and debris shooting across sorting areas.

And those sorts of batteries are a growing menace.

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


It’s the climate propaganda that’s mounting, not the concern about it, judging by opinion polls that put climate change last as an issue. But recycling of lithium batteries is considered to be uneconomic and can be dangerous.
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As concern mounts over the impacts of climate change, many experts are calling for greater use of electricity as a substitute for fossil fuels, asserts The Conversation (via TechXplore).

Powered by advancements in battery technology, the number of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on U.S. roads is increasing.

And utilities are generating a growing share of their power from renewable fuels, supported by large-scale battery storage systems.

These trends, coupled with a growing volume of battery-powered phones, watches, laptops, wearable devices and other consumer technologies, leave us wondering: What will happen to all these batteries once they wear out?

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BMW plug-in hybrid


German car buyers soon worked out that a heavily subsidised hybrid could often be bought for less than the non-hybrid version of the same model – but could then be run on fuel as much as they liked, making a mockery of so-called climate policies.
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Germany’s EV boom is partly thanks to generous government incentives, but these are also helping to boost sales of big SUVs, reports The Driven.

Government subsidies for electric vehicles are also given to plug-in hybrids which run both on battery power and a combustion engine.

Their sales have picked up by 463 percent compared to September 2019, and it is large SUVs such as the BMW X5 plug-in-hybrid that are profiting from the government premium, Georg Meck writes in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

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