Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

Night train to Brussels

Posted: January 20, 2020 by oldbrew in climate, Emissions, Travel
Tags: ,

Austria’s ‘nightjet’ train


All aboard the virtue signallers’ express! In nuclear-free Austria that is – possibly the only country to fully build a nuclear plant and never operate it.
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The first night train to set off for Belgium in 16 years departed from Vienna Sunday, carrying Austrian and European politicians who hope the new route can set an example as the continent tries to meet its climate targets, reports Phys.org.

The carriages of the “OBB Nightjet” pulled out of Vienna’s main station punctually at 8:38 pm to the strains of a live band playing the EU anthem “Ode to Joy”, the slogan #loveyourplanet emblazoned along their sides.

Scheduled to arrive in Brussels at 10:55 am on Monday, the rail journey emits less than a tenth of the CO2 per passenger than the equivalent flight.

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H/T The GWPF
Same old story, but numbers keep getting bigger. This just reinforces the point that large-scale surplus electricity can’t be stored. But nobody pays non-renewable sources for switching off or reducing output when wind and/or solar are operating at or near their capacity.
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Wind farms were paid up to £3 million per day to switch off their turbines and not produce electricity last week, The Telegraph can disclose.

Energy firms were handed more than £12 million in compensation following a fault with a major power line carrying electricity to England from turbines in Scotland.

The payouts, which will ultimately be added onto consumer bills, were between 25 per cent and 80 per cent more than the firms, which own giant wind farms in Scotland, would have received had they been producing electricity, according to an analysis of official figures.

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So what’s new? Nothing really, but these issues show few if any signs of being resolved in the near future. Governments intending to pressure or force people to buy EVs are going to be unpopular with millions of car users, it would seem. Woolly climate propaganda isn’t impressing many buyers.

Ipsos, the global research and insights organization, says it has uncovered the thoughts of consumers regarding BEVs, Green Car Congress reports.

These new findings are released in the second module of the Ipsos Global Mobility Navigator Syndicated Study, in which 20,000 consumers worldwide shared their opinions on alternative engines and what it would take to get them to consider one.

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Cardiff trolleybus, 1969 [image credit: David Stowell @ Wikipedia]


They’re certainly quick off the mark and quiet. As with trams the initial costs would be significant, but they do have their advantages.

They were the original electric buses but 50 years ago today saw the plug pulled on the last trolleybus in Wales, says BBC News.

Environmentally friendly and cheap, they finally succumbed to car ownership and fossil fuel on 11 January 1970.

Yet half a century later – almost to the day – local councils now see electric public transport as an answer to congestion and air pollution.

Some experts and enthusiasts even believe that shift could spark a revival for the forgotten trolleybus.

Known as the “trackless trolleys” when they first appeared on UK streets in 1911, trolleybuses became the workhorses of the public transport network.

Freed from the restrictions of tracks, taking their power from overhead cables, they provided clean, affordable and quick transport for the masses.

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Tesla Model 3 [image credit: Vauxford @ Wikipedia]


Of course he could have removed the heavy battery pack altogether and replaced it with an equivalent car engine, in theory at least. But he didn’t, so on with the report…

An engineer from Austria has recreated an even cheaper Model 3 by converting Tesla’s flagship electric vehicle into a hybrid by adding a two-cylinder gasoline engine and “downgrading” the battery pack, reports OilPrice.com.

Frank Obrist from Lustenau, Austria, founder of engineering company OBRIST Powertrain, wants to make EVs more affordable.

OBRIST Powertrain claims that the hybrid Tesla would have twice the range compared to the fully electric vehicle as designed and manufactured by Tesla.

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This GWPF report paints an uncomfortable picture of increasing instability in the UK electricity supply system, as ever more renewables are injected into it while older but more predictable thermal power plants are retired. The author says bluntly that until recently customers ‘could rely on the system. That is not the case today.’ Come the power cut, you’re on your own.

It has been widely claimed that Distributed (or embedded) Generation, such as solar and wind connected to the low voltage distribution network, reinforces electricity system stability.

The final reports into the widespread blackout of the 9th of August last year by the UK electricity regulator, Ofgem, and the British government’s Energy Emergency Executive Committee, E3C show that this is not the case.

Distributed Generation is now under the spotlight as a leading cause of the severity of the 9 August blackout, and as a hazard increasing future risks to security of supply.

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Solar power complex in California [USA.Gov – BLM – BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT]


This public statement looks long on ambition but short on realistic and/or affordable possibilities. They openly admit that existing ‘green’ tech won’t cut the mustard on its own, as everyone knew – or should have known – all along. In other words their legislated targets can’t be met, as things stand. The same problems will exist everywhere else that tries to enforce similar energy policies in pursuit of a ‘carbon-free’ mirage.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a solicitation (GFO-19-305) to fund innovative, non-Li-ion energy storage research projects, including green electrolytic hydrogen systems, reports Green Car Congress.

The Commission notes that the state’s statutory requirements (SB-350, SB-100) for low-GHG electricity cannot be met with currently fielded technologies alone, because those technologies do not have the energy density, daily cycle capability, longevity, safety, and price to be viable for the diverse set of applications that will be needed in the State.

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Image credit: steelguru.com


Guess who ends up paying that bill? National Grid may yet be broken up as the inquest into the fiasco goes on, and a vague comment says wind power needs to be ‘more secure’.

Three energy firms are to pay a total of £10.5m following August’s power cut that left over a million people without electricity and caused travel chaos, reports BBC News.

Although the power cut lasted for less than an hour, it affected homes, businesses and hospitals, while rail services were disrupted for days.

RWE Generation, Orstead and UK Power Networks will pay into a redress fund run by the UK’s energy watchdog, Ofgem.

Ofgem says it will continue to look into the role National Grid played.

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Typical electric car set-up


Welcome to the EU’s plan to strong-arm its way to victory in the electric car game, in the name of imaginary climate benefits. What happens if the manufacturers all start posting heavy losses due to poor EV sales, as a result of this coercion, is not yet clear. As the article says, tens of billions of euros are at stake.

Long-awaited light-duty vehicle emission rules will hit light-duty vehicle makers working in EU member countries on January 1, and automakers will soon have to deal with the consequences, says OilPrice.com.

Vehicle manufacturers will have to sell many more hybrid and electric vehicles or pay costly fines, a situation similar to China’s rules.

For automakers with product lineups with few EV offerings, they’ll need to sell lots of conventional cars and trucks, and use the profits to pay the fines.

Industry analysts expect plug-in hybrid, battery electric vehicle, and hybrid vehicle sales to soar in the near future.

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The human cost of the EV revolution 

Posted: December 23, 2019 by oldbrew in Legal, News
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Child exploitation claims are casting a large shadow as a new case goes to court. Looking the other way won’t do any more, at least not if these major firms lose the legal argument – which would mean higher product prices. Not what the so-called ‘EV revolution’ needs, with high prices and other issues already deterring buyers.

Cobalt is one of the most important metals in the tech industry, but the use of child labor in cobalt mines in the DRC is a major problem for Big Tech and electric car manufacturers, says OilPrice.com.

There’s a chance that the iPhone you’re about to get for Christmas contains cobalt mined by a six-year-old. There’s also a chance that that six-year-old has been killed or maimed in the processes of mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the lion’s share of the world’s cobalt comes from.

Or, maybe, for those whose Christmas lists are more upscale, you’ll be driving around in a new Tesla next week, with a battery containing cobalt from that same mine.

Our luxuries are necessarily someone else’s sacrifice – and sometimes that sacrifice is the ultimate one.

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Small modular reactor [credit: ANS Nuclear Cafe]


The battle to make nuclear power more practical and affordable steps up a gear.

NuScale Power’s small modular reactor (SMR) design has cleared the latest stage of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)’s review process, reports New Civil Engineer.

The reactor is the world’s first SMR to undergo design certification review by the NRC, after passing phase 4 of the review process. It is on track for approval by September 2020.

SMR supporters see the reactors as a safer, more affordable nuclear power option.

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The article also explains why ‘understanding forced reconnection can help modelers better predict when disruptive high-energy charged particles might come speeding at Earth.’

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has observed a magnetic explosion the likes of which have never been seen before, reports Phys.org.

In the scorching upper reaches of the Sun’s atmosphere, a prominence—a large loop of material launched by an eruption on the solar surface—started falling back to the surface of the Sun.

But before it could make it, the prominence ran into a snarl of magnetic field lines, sparking a magnetic explosion.

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What could possibly go wrong? The German Economy Minister described the 3.2 billion euro handout as “a great success for Germany and Europe”. But what else could he say, as such a vast sum of taxpayer cash disappears in the name of climate ideology?

The EU’s powerful anti-trust authority on Monday approved billions of euros in subsidies from seven member states as Europe seeks to make up lost ground in batteries, reports TechXplore.

The EU’s powerful anti-trust authority on Monday approved billions of euros in subsidies from seven member states as Europe seeks to make up lost ground in batteries.

The move is part of a big push led by Germany and France to prepare Europe for the emergence of electric cars, as gas combustible engines are phased out over climate change concerns.

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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…

View original post 1,311 more words

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…

View original post 3,855 more words

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.