Posts Tagged ‘gas’

Image credit: thecount.com


‘Four storage solutions to help Britain keep the lights on deep into the future’ says the paper’s sub-heading. But given the puny nature of their suggestions, that looks to be about all they could hope to do. What about actual reliable power for heating, transport, industry, commerce, hospitals, shops, services etc.?
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Soaring energy bills rooted in a global gas supply crunch have focused minds on the age-old problem: how can we better store power? says The Guardian.

Attention has turned to the closure of the Rough gas storage facility in the North Sea in 2017, which left the UK with only enough storage to meet the demand of four to five winter days.

But while gas is being phased out, Britain’s growing reliance on renewables, such as offshore wind and solar, does not solve the problem of intermittency – what happens when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine.

The key to securing enough affordable, low-carbon energy is more storage to make the most of the renewable energy available. A storage boom has been forecast over the coming decade as governments race to meet their climate targets.
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Their four suggestions:
— ‘Gravity’ storage
— Concentrated solar power storage [see below]
— Green hydrogen
— ‘Cryogenic’ batteries

Full article here.
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If anyone finds any or all of these a convincing and/or ‘affordable’ alternative to existing fuels as a storage medium, please explain why.

UPDATE 10/1/22, 7PM (UK)
The Concentrated solar power storage project cited by the Guardian (Crescent Dunes) as an example to follow has already been wound up!

U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey:
‘As a result of alleged misfeasance, nonfeasance, and malfeasance, the project failed, and the plant is now nonoperational.’
[Report dated December 09, 2021]


Demand for energy on a global scale is set to increase substantially in the coming years, as this article points out. So-called activists need to activate their brains a bit more. Unless they hope to suppress demand permanently in some ultra-draconian manner, the current system has to continue unless or until something better takes its place, which won’t be any time soon as demand now exceeds 100 million barrels per day.
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Europe may be in the grips of an energy shortage and forced to reopen retired coal plants to cope but climate activists insist that it is time to part company with fossil fuels, the sooner, the better says OilPrice.com.

According to them, this is a simple solution to the world’s emission problems. “It is overflowing with too much carbon. The world can’t absorb any more,” said Tom Goldtooth, an activist and the executive director of the North American Indigenous Environmental Network on the sidelines of COP26, as quoted by CNBC. “The simple solution, that we are still demanding, is the world has to turn the valve off.”

Yet the solution of turning off the valve appears to not be as simple as it may sound. Goldtooth is neither the first nor the last activist to call for an immediate end to oil and gas production.

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Fracking: note the deep shaft


The chances of the UK government listening to anybody other than climate obsessives on energy matters are about zero. Most of the opposition parties are even more addicted to the notion of climate being determined by the level of trace gases in the atmosphere, with wildly unrealistic policies to match.
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London, 29 December – Net Zero Watch has called on Boris Johnson to declare an energy emergency and introduce radical policy reforms in order to prevent the energy cost crisis turning into an economic and social disaster.

The call comes as fears grow over a devastating energy cost and energy security crisis, with spiralling prices hitting households and businesses hard, and warnings that energy bills could double or even treble next year.

It is reported that Boris Johnson is considering to hand out £20 billion of taxpayers’ money to energy suppliers who are threatening to double or treble energy costs.

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Having put the climate millstone round its neck, the UK government tries to avoid totally sabotaging a productive industry, partly by pointing to its net importer status.
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The UK government says new oil and gas licensing can fit with its climate commitments. Campaigners, citing the International Energy Agency, disagree says Climate Home News.

The UK government has launched a consultation on “climate compatibility” tests for new rounds of North Sea oil and gas drilling licences, ignoring calls to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

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Sawing off the branch of the tree you’re sitting on seems an unlikely sort of energy policy. However, it’s now the approach being pursued in much of Europe and elsewhere due to an obsession with the output of failing climate models.
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London, 22 December – Net Zero Watch has warned EU leaders to reject last ditch attempts by campaigners to prevent the EU’s planned green taxonomy for gas and nuclear energy or face a political and economic disaster.

Despite Europe facing its worst energy crisis since the Second World War, campaigners are trying to prevent the EU from easing and encouraging the investment in desperately needed new natural gas and nuclear power plants and infrastructure, says Net Zero Watch.

Both low-carbon energy sources are included in the EU Commission’s proposed “taxonomy for sustainable activities” which is reported to be tabled at the end of the year.

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North Sea oil platform [image credit: matchtech.com]


Getting a reasoned debate out of ‘net-zero’ obsessed political leaders is going to be a tall order, when their entire energy policy is based on extreme climate dogma and decrees of what they intend to do, having taken the ‘advice’ (orders?) of the Climate Change Committee. Asking for energy plans that make sense seems unlikely to strike a chord with those in power.
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Business leaders have written a joint open letter to party leaders calling for a “reasoned debate” over the future of oil and gas in the UK, reports BBC News.

The call comes after plans for the controversial Cambo Oil field off Shetland were put on hold.

The letter says any statements calling for an end to new exploration have shaken investor confidence, placing tens of thousands of jobs at risk.

It warns politicians against creating a “hostile investment environment”.

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[Not to scale]


The complaint now, or one of them, is that geothermal is free to do things the hydraulic fracturers weren’t allowed to do prior to their ban, and which in part led to the ban.
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Fracking companies have threatened to take legal action over the government’s ban on the practice, amid the sector’s growing frustration at being left behind the UK energy revolution, according to reports – City AM.

The sector sent “pre-action correspondence” to the government after fears prompted by earthquakes in 2019 led to a ban on drilling, according to the Telegraph, which first reported the news.

Among the fracking projects that had to be abandoned after the ban, was one financed by billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe whose company Ineos wrote off £63m in 2019.

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Of course if the UK was willing to tap its own coal and onshore gas and had enough places to burn them, which could have been the case but isn’t, much of this eye-watering expense wouldn’t be needed. But foolish climate obsessions like costly so-called renewables and ‘net zero’ have dulled the minds of too many politicians so here we are. Expect more of the same.
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From September to November, the BM cost reached £967m, compared to £337m the same period last year, reports Energy Live News.

The crisis in the energy market has so far had many collateral damages – one of them, the cost of the Balancing Mechanism (BM) that soared by 234% during the three-month period, from September to November.

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Amazon Rainforest, near Manaus [image credit: Neil Palmer/CIAT @ Wikipedia]


For climate obsessives and modellers convinced of the claimed effects of ‘important greenhouse gases’ (to quote the reporter), this must be a bit of a setback.
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Most of the methane gas emitted from Amazon wetlands regions is vented into the atmosphere via tree root systems—with significant emissions occurring even when the ground is not flooded, say researchers at the University of Birmingham.

In a study published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, the researchers have found evidence that far more methane is emitted by trees growing on floodplains in the Amazon basin than by soil or surface water and this occurs in both wet and dry conditions, reports Phys.org.

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When the energy going gets tough…coal, gas and oil get going.

PA Pundits - International

By Vijay Raj Jayaraj~

Coal is no longer the king. Era of Oil is over. Our economies will be Carbon neutral.

These are some of the common claims that you might have heard or read in the mainstream media.

Many people truly believe that our economies are being decarbonized and getting rid of the dirty coal and evil oil. This is because they have been informed so.

However, the ground reality is strikingly different. Not only are fossil fuels still leading the energy mix, their prospects are stronger than ever.

The post-pandemic economic recovery has sent the fuel demand skyrocketing across the globe. Coal and Oil–the two most used energy resources are in high demand and their prices have touched record highs.

Unfortunately, many nations were caught off-guard, partly because of the unexpected pace of economic recovery and partly due to misleading projections about coal and oil demand.

Early…

View original post 615 more words

Eco house with hydrogen heating technology. [Image credit: emergingrisks.co.uk]

Another green energy pipe dream bites the dust, before trials have even started? Massive cost compared to other options is just one of the stumbling blocks. Anything more expensive than electricity seems pointless anyway.
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Lord Callanan’s comments come as the British government continues to invest millions of pounds in H2 heating trials, says the Telegraph (via Recharge News).

“If I’m being honest, the idea that we could produce enough hydrogen at reasonable cost to displace mains gas is pretty much impossible,” said Lord Callanan, parliamentary under-secretary of state for climate change & corporate responsibility at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The UK government is currently investing millions of pounds in studies on hydrogen heating, with £25m ($34m) ploughed into the Hy4Heat programme; a pilot scheme in Scotland to heat 300 homes with 100% hydrogen via the existing gas grid due to take place in 2023, backed by up to £18m of grants from the industry regulator Ofgem; and plans to heat a whole town with H2 by 2030.

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Eco house with hydrogen heating technology. [Image credit: emergingrisks.co.uk]

At three times the price of natural gas, being cut off from hydrogen sounds like an option worth considering for householders. Electric heat pumps are promoted as an expensive alternative, as so-called climate policies continue to be bulldozed through regardless of affordability.
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Homeowners who refuse to take part in a hydrogen energy trial will be forcibly cut off by gas network operators, under Government plans to test green heating alternatives, says The Telegraph (via VNExplorer).

Residents in one village will begin the pilot scheme by 2025 to help the Government assess whether hydrogen gas can be used as a low-carbon alternative for heating homes across the country.

Ministers insisted the powers to enter people’s homes and switch off their gas would only be used as a “last resort” if the homeowners had refused to engage with any other options.

A consultation, which ended this week, suggests the Government will seek powers to allow gas distribution networks to enter homes if their owners do not wish to take part in the trial, in order to safely switch them off from the gas grid.

Current powers enable network operators to enter premises for a variety of purposes, including for suspected gas leaks or inspecting pipes and fittings.

Hydrogen, which is lighter and more flammable than natural gas, requires homeowners to replace their hobs, ovens, gas fires and pipes to ensure they operate safely.

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Drax

Drax power station, generating 7% of Britain’s needs, is partly converted to burning imported woodchips.

UK energy policy, based on hypothetical climate theories, is unravelling just as PM Boris Johnson is claiming at the UN that going green is easy. Alternatives to coal are proving to be a lot more problemmatical than expected. Running short of affordable power is an avoidable outcome of supposed climate strategy, and makes governments look incompetent.
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Britain, which faces soaring natural gas prices, has been forced to run coal-fired power stations in order to secure energy supplies, electricity generation company Drax said on Thursday.

The country is particularly exposed to Europe’s ongoing energy crisis due to its reliance on natural gas to generate electricity, says TechXplore.

The price of European gas futures has more than doubled since May.

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energy1The UK shut down cheap coal, refused to drill for its own gas, and failed to replace its old nuclear power stations then, when gas suddenly becomes expensive, is caught with its proverbial trousers down. So much for ‘world leading’ climate policies.
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As energy prices in Europe go through the roof, factories are beginning to shut down and food is disappearing from the shelves, say The Times & The GWPF.

Welcome to green Britain, offering a foretaste of what life will be like under Net Zero conditions – poorer, colder, hungrier – unless Government changes course.

Acute food shortages were feared last night after high gas prices forced most of Britain’s commercial production of carbon dioxide to shut down.

Emergency talks were being held between government officials and food producers, retailers and the energy industry with warnings of a “black swan event”, an extremely rare blow with unpredictable consequences.

The closure of two fertiliser plants in northern England and others in Europe has left the food and drink industry facing a shortage of carbon dioxide, which is a byproduct of fertiliser manufacturing. The gas is critical to the production and transport of a range of products, from meat to bread, beer and fizzy drinks.

The meat industry estimates that businesses can carry on for less than two weeks before carbon dioxide stocks run out….

Full article here.

billpay

Energy costs on the rise

Refusal to exploit their own reserves of coal and gas, strong reluctance to import any more than the bare minimum because of a professed fear of trace gases in the atmosphere, and over-reliance on costly renewables is making the countries in question look more and more foolish. No end in sight to this kind of economic pain.
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Depleted natural gas inventories and low wind speeds have led to a surge in electricity prices across Europe, putting pressure on governments as consumers protest against surging power bills ahead of the winter heating season, says OilPrice.com.

Electricity prices from the UK to Spain have jumped to all-time highs, people in Spain have taken to the streets, while prices across Europe so high could become a drag on the economic recovery from the pandemic.

In Spain, day-ahead electricity prices surged to a fresh record this week, which is “a huge political problem,” says Javier Blas, Chief Energy Correspondent at Bloomberg News.

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cloudcuckooland

[image credit: latinoamericarenovable.com]

HMG pays another visit to climate cloud cuckoo land. Its hydrogen ‘strategy’ turns out to be as full of obvious holes as a string vest. Don’t even ask about safety issues.
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The UK’s long-awaited hydrogen strategy has set out the government’s plans for “a world-leading hydrogen economy” that it says would generate £900 million (US$1.2 million) and create over 9,000 jobs by 2030, “potentially rising to 100,000 jobs and £13 billion by 2050”. From: The Conversation (via Phys.org).

The strategy document argues that hydrogen could be used in place of fossil fuels in homes and industries which are currently responsible for significant CO2 emissions, such as chemical manufacturing and heavy transport, which includes the delivery of goods by shipping, lorries and trains.

The government also envisages that many of the new jobs producing and using “low-carbon hydrogen” will benefit “UK companies and workers across our industrial heartlands.”

On the face of it, this vision of a low-carbon future in some of the most difficult to decarbonise niches of the economy sounds like good news. But is it? And are there other options for delivering net zero that will be better for the public?

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hydrogen-fuel‘Academics warn fugitive emissions from producing hydrogen could be 20% worse for climate than using gas’, reports The Guardian. Climate claims aside, the lack of practicality in the hydrogen plan (is there one?) is becoming ever clearer. Why waste time and effort, and a fortune, for no known benefit to anyone or anything, but plenty of economic pain to citizens?
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The government’s plan to replace fossil gas with “blue” hydrogen to help meet its climate targets could backfire after US academics found that it may lead to more emissions than using gas, says The Guardian.

In some cases blue hydrogen, which is made from fossil gas, could be up to 20% worse for the climate than using gas in homes and heavy industry, owing to the emissions that escape when gas is extracted from the ground and split to produce hydrogen.

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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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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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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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