Posts Tagged ‘renewables’

Wind turbines towering over the landscape


When they say ‘flexible power sources’ they mean the ones that are needed when unreliable renewables have largely gone to sleep, for example at night or when it’s not windy. The costs of running such a dual system or the consequences of power shortages, especially in winter, are not mentioned, although they admit that there will be “entire weeks and months” where solar and wind will produce “little energy”. It all sounds unreal.

Renewable energy will account for more than half of the UK’s power supply by 2026, according to a new study, reports Utility Week.

The report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and commissioned by Eaton and the Renewable Energy Association, claims there will be a “significant acceleration” in the shift to renewable sources over the next 20 years and that this move will create new opportunities for new flexible power sources.

By 2040, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of power will be generated from renewable sources, according to the report and at “certain times” wind and solar energy along could meet total power demand in both the UK and Germany.

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You couldn’t make it up. Welcome to the crazy world of climate recriminations.

Judith Curry writes: Well I am just speechless.

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

Mannian litigation gone wild. — Steve McIntyre

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The short working life of wind turbines compared to power stations, plus their lack of commercial viability, will likely put the brakes on German renewables expansion according to this GWPF report. Where do used wind farms go to die?

Wind power is the most important component of Germany’s green energy transition.

The end of subsidies for older turbines, however, threatens countless wind farms. By 2023, more than a quarter of Germany’s onshore wind farms may be gone.

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Credit: ITER


A rosy picture of cheap renewables is put forward by Bloomberg, but they rely on ‘promises’ and ignore the true logistics of plastering the world with their Hollywood-style vision of wind turbines, solar panels and industrial-scale batteries. The extravagant claim is made that ‘the concept of the need for baseload generation is fading away’. How’s that going in Australia for example?
H/T The GWPF

The world’s biggest scientific experiment is on course to become the most expensive source of surplus power. 

With wind-farm campaigners starting to promise subsidy-free power by 2025 and electricity demand in Europe stagnating, the future of fusion research looks bleak.

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Image credit: Statoil


They’re only tethered to the sea floor, but you still wouldn’t want to bump into one. The five turbines are 253 metres tall (of which 78m. submerged) and 720-1,600 metres apart, about 25 km.(15 miles) offshore. Will they throw the towel in if one floats away – or sinks?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened the 30 MW Hywind Scotland windfarm today (18 October), which is situated 25 kilometres off the coast of Aberdeenshire, and being operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar reports Utility Week.

“This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland,” said Sturgeon. “Our support for floating offshore wind is testament to this government’s commitment to the development of this technology and, coupled with Statoil’s Battery Storage Project, Batwind, puts us at the forefront of this global race and positions Scotland as a world centre for energy innovation.”

Statoil’s executive vice president of new energy solutions, Irene Rummelhoff, said Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 metres and will be able to open areas “that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind”.

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Power lines in Victoria, Australia [credit: Wikipedia]


Still trying to square the circle of unreliable, expensive renewables and reliable, affordable electricity supplies. At least one backbencher is starting to get it: “The problem with solar and wind … you’ve got to have them backed up in some way, and that’s either got to be a coal-fired power station, a gas generator or some form of battery.” And making batteries to the scale of power stations is neither practical nor affordable.

The details have not officially been released, but the ABC understands Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will argue his policy will lower electricity bills more than a Clean Energy Target (CET), while meeting Australia’s Paris climate change commitments, as the GWPF reports.

It is understood Cabinet last night also agreed to force retailers to guarantee a certain amount of so-called dispatchable power that can be switched on and off on demand, to avoid outages.

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A computer-generated image of Apple’s first Irish data centre [credit: Apple]


Data centre owners won’t like the idea of being at the mercy of unreliable power sources for their vital electricity. ‘Welcome to the energy crunch’ seems to be the message out of this report from Power Engineering International.

Data centres will consume 20 per cent of Ireland’s power generation capacity by 2025, according to the country’s main grid operator, Eirgrid.

Eirgrid added that the huge increase in data centre activity in the country would eat up to 75 per cent of growth in Irish power demand.

The Irish Independent reports that the amount of power needed to store emails, texts and other online data could rise seven-fold as Ireland chases inward investment from tech giants including Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

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Sounds like required reading for misinformed politicians and other policymakers, not to mention overcharged electricity customers.

STOP THESE THINGS

Ian Plimer is an Australian geologist, professor emeritus of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne, professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide, and the director of multiple mineral exploration and mining companies. He has published numerous scientific papers, 7 books and is one of the co-editors of Encyclopedia of Geology.

Ian also manages to draw plenty heat for his attack on global warming hysteria. What impresses STT is that, unlike his interlocutors, Ian Plimer’s grasp on the facts goes back some 4.6 billion years, as long as this orb has been lapping the Sun, rather than the last Tweet that popped up five minutes ago.

Ian managed to infuriate the wind and sunshine cult with his last book ‘Not for Greens’. And, no doubt, his latest effort will do just the same.

Ian’s latest work, ‘The Climate Change Delusion and The Great Electricity Ripoff’ has just…

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Chances are this will go down like a lead balloon with intermittent renewable energy suppliers, who are used to having electricity supply rules working to their own advantage.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is asking the federal agency that oversees the U.S. grid to issue a new rule to restructure electricity markets to fully compensate power plants for the reliability they provide, writes Michael Bastasch at Climate Change Dispatch.

Perry sent his policy proposal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Friday. The letter asks FERC to create an electricity pricing regime that allows power plants to recover the costs of providing baseload power. It will likely be seen as a lifeline to coal and nuclear power plants.

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Renewable energy wars seem to be getting ever fiercer in Australian political circles.

STOP THESE THINGS

If history offers any lessons to our political masters, it has to include those occasions when a fed up proletariat rose up and overthrew those in charge. Australia may not literally be on the brink of a civil revolt. However, there is most certainly a revolt underway in the Federal Liberal/National Coalition government.

The Nationals have already staked their ground, rejecting the Clean Energy Target proposed by Alan Finkel and resolving to slash all subsidies to wind and solar.

Within the Liberal party, a growing band have recognised that their political futures depend upon what happens next in relation to Australia’s self-inflicted power pricing and supply calamity.

Leading the battle for common sense, and political self-preservation, is former PM, Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott to ‘cross floor on energy’
The Australian
Simon Benson
20 September 2017

Tony Abbott has sent a warning to Malcolm Turnbull that he will cross the…

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Image credit: BBC Scotland


In the world of wishful thinking, everyone will drive wind-powered electric cars and run their homes entirely on electricity. In the real world wind power is variable from hour to hour, right down to near-zero sometimes. Relentless carpeting of the countryside with expensive wind turbines is unpopular with people living near them, but not with profit-chasing power companies.

Britain will need to boost its generation of electricity by about a quarter, Scottish Power has estimated. The energy firm said electric cars and a shift to electric heating could send demand for power soaring, reports BBC News.

Its chief executive also said there would have to be a major investment in the wiring necessary to handle rapid charging of car batteries.

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There are robust and reliable electricity supplies, or the other kind.

STOP THESE THINGS

Texans have been in the news for all the wrong reasons, over the last week or so.

Hurricane Harvey belted the Texan coast with 130 mph (209 kph) winds and delivered a deluge of biblical proportions.

For some time now, Texas has been the pinup girl for American wind worshippers. With some 21,000 MW of nominal capacity spread over 40 projects, like everything in Texas, wind power is ‘big’.

Except, of course, when the weather turns nasty.

Modern industrial wind turbines do not operate when wind speeds hit around 25 m/s (90kph or 55mph) – Hurricane Harvey dished up a gale double that speed, and more.

In order to prevent their catastrophic disintegration (as seen in the video below) Texas’s turbines downed tools, en masse, (as they are deliberately designed to do) leaving the critical work of providing power to storm battered Texans to its fleet of nuclear power plants.

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German wind farm [image credit: Dirk Ingo Franke / Wikipedia]


If the flood of subsidies looks like turning to a trickle, the backers of renewables soon get cold feet – in Germany at least, as Pierre Gosselin explains (via GWPF).

While Germany likes to fancy itself as being among the “global leaders” in tackling climate change by expanding green energies, the country has in fact taken very little action recently to back up the appearances.

If anything, Germany is more in the green energy retreat mode. There are good reasons for this.

German flagship business daily “Handelsblatt” reported yesterday how Germany’s wind energy market is now “threatening to implode” and as a result “thousands of jobs are at risk”.

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As stopthesethings sums it up: ‘Third World outcomes with First World costs’. But will other renewables-mad governments take any notice?

STOP THESE THINGS

Diesel-fuelled jet engines: what promises to power
SA this summer and next summer and ..

If South Australia were a novel, it would find itself a place amongst the classic tragic comedies.

For a while the bromance between its vapid Premier, Jay Weatherill and Californian carpetbagger, Elon Musk might’ve earned a place in the ‘rom/com’ category, as well.

However, now that Jay Weatherill is determined to keep the lights on this Summer and beyond using diesel fuelled jet engines – instead of powering SA with sunshine and breezes captured and stored lovingly in Musk’s mega-batteries – that romance is clearly at an end.

South Australia generating electricity from rubbish and diesel powered jets, if they could only burn government regulations instead
Jo Nova Blog
Jo Nova
9 August 2017

A little update on our favourite green state.

SA tries to fix a Big-Government mess with a Bigger Government: Man-made regulations created…

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Credit: inhabitat.com


Another green dream has crumbled in the face of inconvenient reality, defeated by biology, as Yahoo News reports. Research shows it is neither commercially nor environmentally sustainable, unless the equivalent of three Belgiums and a mountain of fertilizer can be found.

Modern biofuels have been touted as a greener alternative to petrol and diesel since the early 1900s. It seems like a good idea on paper, and they do work – but their use and production doesn’t come without problems.

The first generation of biofuels – mainly ethanol made from plant crops – and second generation, derived from plant and animal waste streams, both had environmentalists and others concerned about the competition for land and nutrients between biofuels production and food production.

It was with a lot of hope, and hype, that production of the third generation of biofuels was started. Unlike their predecessors, these biofuels are derived from algae, and so in theory the food vs fuel dilemma of crop-based biofuels would be solved.

Fossil fuel oil and gas originated from ancient algae in large measure, so the concept here is to replicate the essence of the creation of fossil fuels, albeit accelerated and optimised with modern chemical engineering. It was claimed that using algae would be much more efficient than creating biofuels from terrestrial plants and that the technology would make use of poor quality land not able to grow other crops.

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21st Century Scottish landscape


John Constable and Matt Ridley at Capx deliver the lowdown on how Scotland gets UK taxpayers to pay for its windfarms, even when there’s no wind – or too much wind.

Imagine a sausage factory – the luckiest, most profitable sausage factory in the world. Its machines crank out their sausages, and lorries carry them to supermarkets. So far, so normal.

But this particular factory makes as many sausages as the management and staff choose. If they feel like taking the day off, the lorries and shelves stay empty. If they want to go a bit wild, they sometimes make so many sausages that there aren’t enough lorries to take them away. Or they carry on cranking out sausages even if the shelves are already full.

And here’s the really amazing thing: even when the lorries can’t cope or there is no demand for sausages, the factory gets paid.

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This is a fun spectacle from a distance, but not so much for South Australia’s hard-pressed electricity consumers.

STOP THESE THINGS

What left wing fu%#wits can achieve…

South Australians must wake up each morning in the vain hope that it’s all just a very bad dream.

Alas, their sorry reality is one dictated by wind worshipping lunatics, not least its vapid Premier, Jay Weatherill.

Last week, Weatherill launched an astonishing tirade against Chris Kenny – a columnist with The Australian and The Advertiser – calling him a “right-wing fuckwit” for having the temerity to point out one or two fairly obvious facts about the unfolding disaster caused by Weatherill’s obsession with wind power.

With a grid on the brink of collapse (the coming summer promises more mass blackouts and load shedding, whenever wind power output collapses on a total and totally predictable basis) and the highest power prices in the world by a country mile, you might think that humility would be the order of the day among the leaders responsible…

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What to do with millions of tons of retired solar panels? Answers on a postcard to China.

China will have the world’s worst problem with ageing solar panels in less than two decades, according to a recent industry estimate, as South China Morning Post reports.

Lu Fang, secretary general of the photovoltaics division in the China Renewable Energy Society, wrote in an article circulating on mainland social media this month that the country’s cumulative capacity of retired panels would reach up to 70 gigawatts (GW) by 2034.

That is three times the scale of the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydropower project, by power production.

By 2050 these waste panels would add up to 20 million tonnes, or 2,000 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower, according to Lu.

“In fair weather, prepare for foul,” she warned.

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Bottlenose dolphin [image credit: NASA]


H/T Wind Energy News

Ideally these studies should have been done years ago, but better late than never.

Scottish scientists are set to gain new insights into the lives and habits of the world’s most northerly resident population of bottlenose dolphins and how they are coping with wind turbines in the North Sea, says The Scotsman.

The study is one of four new scientific projects selected as part of a pioneering £2.7 million investigation into the potential impact of offshore wind farms on society and the environment launched by the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC).

The £300 million scheme, Scotland’s largest offshore wind power testing facility, will trial cutting-edge renewables technology in Aberdeen Bay. Experts say the innovative programme, which is jointly funded by EOWDC owner Vattenfall and the European Union, will put Scotland at the forefront of research and development in the sector.

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Whitelee wind farm, Scotland [image credit: Bjmullan / Wikipedia]


Wherever onshore wind turbines are built there will also be networks of electricity pylons to carry the power away. Tourism is big business in windy Scotland.

A survey carried out on behalf of the John Muir Trust (JMT) found that 55% of respondents were “less likely” to venture into areas of the countryside industrialised by giant turbines, electricity pylons and super-quarries, reports The Times (via GWPF).

Just 3% said they were “more likely” to visit such areas, while 26% said such large-scale developments would make “no difference”. The poll has rekindled calls for Scottish ministers to increase protection for wild and scenic areas that, it is argued, will protect rural tourism businesses.

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