Posts Tagged ‘renewables’

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Promoting public awareness of the high cost and lack of reliability of weather-dependent power generation is important. Once fortunes have been spent and national grid systems are creaking under the strain of on-off power, it’s much harder to change course.

STOP THESE THINGS

Renewables rent seekers keep telling us how cheap wind and solar are, compared to those ‘evil’ fossil fuels, coal and gas.

But ‘price’ and ‘value’ are not the same animals. What we pay for something, and what it’s worth depends entirely upon what we get. And, in relation to the consumption of electricity, whether or not we get it, at all.

Wind power might be ‘free’, but try purchasing it, at any price, when the wind stops blowing.

Comparing weather dependent wind generation with sources available, around-the-clock, irrespective of the weather, is a game played by intellectual pygmies. There is, of course, no comparison.

So when you’re faced with a pile of numbers said to show how wind stacks up against the big boys, the obvious retort is, ‘when’? When I need it, or when the wind is just right?

Donn Dears picks up that thread quite neatly in this…

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Recycling renewables

Posted: April 9, 2018 by oldbrew in Big Green, turbines
Tags: ,

Recycled wind turbine tower [image credit: inhabitat.com]


Like it or not, there are already industrial quantities of renewable installations and their hardware in many places around the world. Sooner or later the problem of what to do with hordes of obsolete wind turbines, solar panels, batteries and suchlike ‘green’ paraphernalia has to be addressed to prevent a massive pile-up of industrial waste.

Renewable energy has been hailed as the great salve for the world’s climate change woes, says Chemical & Engineering News.

Building massive infrastructure for solar and wind energy, and introducing electric vehicles, will help citizens in developing countries live the lifestyles they desire without the need to burn dirty fossil fuels.

But though these technologies have existed for decades, there’s no plan to make sure they remain green to the end.

Experts forecast hundreds of thousands of tons of old wind turbine blades, batteries, and solar modules will need to be disposed of or recycled in the next decade—and millions of tons by 2050.

Read on about the technologies evolving around the world to handle this unusual waste stream – here.

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Fans of expensive, unreliable, part-time electricity that has to be replaced at short (or no) notice by other power sources should look away now.

STOP THESE THINGS

South Australia is renowned as a renewable energy ‘superpower’: by some strange coincidence, it’s also renowned for having the highest retail power prices in the world.

Wind and sun worshippers keep telling us that by plugging into nature’s wonder fuels we’ll soon enjoy power at 1970s prices. Except that that mantra is part myth and part fantasy and, wherever you find endless seas of solar panels and windmills, power prices just keep on rocketing. In SA, wholesale power prices doubled in just 12 months:

Comparing 2016 (red) and 2017 (blue) average
wholesale prices of electricity ($per MWh) by state

For power punters battered with crippling bills, predictions don’t count for much. But still renewables rent seekers keep pumping the line that, one day soon, power prices will plummet. Here’s Donn Dears spelling out precisely why they won’t.

EIA Energy Forecasts Part 1
Power for USA
Dnn Dears
6 March 2018

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Scottish offshore wind project [image credit : urbanrealm.com]


Researchers have discovered what common sense thinking has led many people to believe anyway, namely that sales pitches and reality can be quite far apart when it comes to renewable technologies and reliable electricity supplies.

A variety of models predict the role renewables will play in 2050, but some may be over-optimistic, and should be used with caution, say researchers.

The proportion of UK energy supplied by renewable energies is increasing every year; in 2017 wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectricity produced as much energy as was needed to power the whole of Britain in 1958, says EurekAlert.

However, how much the proportion will rise by 2050 is an area of great debate. Now, researchers at Imperial College London have urged caution when basing future energy decisions on over-optimistic models that predict that the entire system could be run on renewables by the middle of this century.

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Carrington gas power station, Greater Manchester


Britain badly needs new power stations but current national policy is working against that, argues an industry insider. Instead we have a ‘sticking plaster’ strategy.

Great Britain’s energy market, once the envy of free-marketeers after Margaret Thatcher ended decades of nationalisation in the 1980s, is once again under the spotlight – for all the wrong reasons, says businessman Peter Hughes at PEI.

The current Prime Minister Theresa May is fond of referring to the UK’s “broken energy market”. While she may use the phrase to justify a cap on consumer energy bills, she could just as easily apply it to the failure of successive governments to encourage the building of new power plants.

As old coal and aged gas and nuclear power plants head towards decommissioning, the UK faces the possibility of a shortfall in its future electricity supply that cannot be plugged by intermittent renewables alone.

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As the 2008 financial crash fades into history, a sudden lack of availability of cheap money for big industrial projects could undermine some of the newer renewables enterprises, if or when bankers start asking for their ‘umbrellas’ back.

The chief executive of Spanish utility Iberdrola, Ignacio Galan, has warned of the prospect of financial disaster for the global renewable energy sector, reminiscent of the collapse of Enron, reports PEI.

Galan said that the imminent end of cheap finance would have a damaging impact on the new players to the green energy market, adding that these new non-industrial entrants with little experience were making overly aggressive bids on contracts to build renewable energy, thinking it was a financial “El Dorado”.

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Bitcoin [image credit: BBC]


Renewable energy has an unwelcome customer: ‘Bitcoin emits the equivalent of 17.7 million tons of carbon dioxide every year’ according to one recent report. Unless or until its bubble bursts, that figure is expected to rise.

KEFLAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland is expected to use more energy “mining” bitcoins and other virtual currencies this year than it uses to power its homes, says AP News.

With massive amounts of electricity needed to run the computers that create bitcoins, large virtual currency companies have established a base in the North Atlantic island nation blessed with an abundance of renewable energy.

The new industry’s relatively sudden growth prompted lawmaker Smari McCarthy of Iceland’s Pirate Party to suggest taxing the profits of bitcoin mines.

The initiative is likely to be well received by Icelanders, who are skeptical of speculative financial ventures after the country’s catastrophic 2008 banking crash.

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Germans are supposed to understand engineering but that doesn’t seem to apply to their leaders, at least where ideological obsession is a factor.
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Talkshop link: Diesel generators installed in South Australia

STOP THESE THINGS

Mutti Merkel’s suicidal obsession with sun &
wind sends Germans to a New Dark Age.

Renewable energy zealots keep ranting about the ‘inevitable transition’ to wind and solar power. The only thing inevitable about it, is rocketing power prices and routine blackouts.

If you don’t believe us, ask a German, South Australian or a Victorian.

All three have been hijacked by lunatics, obsessed with nature’s wonder fuels, the sun and wind; all three suffer retail power prices which are the highest in the world (or in Victoria’s case, rocketing in that direction); and all three have suffered, and will continue to suffer, mass blackouts and routine load shedding, simply because they’re attempting the impossible.

If the tech-savvy Germans can’t make wind and solar power work (despite trillions of euros in subsidies), it’s a pretty fair bet that this wholly weather-dependent nonsense isn’t going to work anywhere on…

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Credit: energy.gov


California is – somewhat optimistically perhaps – looking to phase out its use of fossil fuels, and equally reliable alternatives need to be found and developed.

Experts say the American West is full of geothermal reservoirs whose energy could power millions of homes. But extracting that energy isn’t easy, as NPR explains.

Three and a half hours east of Los Angeles lies the Salton Sea, a manmade oasis in the heart of the Mojave Desert.

It was created in 1905, when a canal broke and the Colorado River flooded the desert for more than a year. The Sea became a tourist hotspot in the 1950’s, perfect for swimming, boating, and kayaking.

But now, people are coming here looking for something else.

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US wind farm [image credit: Steve Wilson @ Wikipedia]


Some resistance is inevitable but the policy is clear: let the renewables industries pay more for their own research.
H/T Phys.org

The Trump administration will ask Congress to cut funding for clean energy and energy efficiency programs by 72 percent in this year’s budget, according to a report in the Washington Post, underscoring its preference for fossil fuels.

The Post said it had obtained draft documents that outlined the administration’s starting point for negotiations for the 2018 budget, set to be unveiled in February.

Congress, which is ultimately tasked with deciding appropriations, could push back—but the documents signal the White House’s policy priorities, the newspaper said.

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France’s President Macron at Davos


France’s virtue-signalling anti-coal pledge may sound grand, but as the report points out it ‘only has three power plants that burn coal’, providing 1% of its electricity. Another potential problem for France is the inflexibility of nuclear power, which is not suitable for rapid ramping up and down in response to changes in demand and/or short-term fluctuations in renewable energy. In February 2017 the German nuclear plant at Brokdorf was taken offline after the operation of the plant in “load-following” mode had contributed to unexpected oxidation of its fuel rods.

France failed to meet its global warming target, as The Daily Caller reports.

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We don’t normally do press releases at the Talkshop, but this one might be interesting if we can work out what it really means. The fact that they refer to grid stability implies it’s an issue in Germany at least.

Automobile, home and power supply combined to form an intelligent energy network: In a pilot project the Audi Smart Energy Network for the first time interacts with the power grid.

This marks a major advance for grid stability, claims Audi’s press release.

As part of a research project, Audi is running a pilot project with households in the Ingolstadt area and the Zurich region in conjunction with other partners.

This involves combining various sizes of photovoltaic systems with stationary storage batteries. The control software by the Zurich start-up company Ampard distributes the solar power intelligently based on the current or plannable demand from car, household and heating system.

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Who knew? Apart from nearly everyone who ever gave it any thought, that is. But if confirmation and analysis from published research is needed, PEI reports it here. It seems to be worse than they thought.

Grid stability is likely to be increasingly challenged as power distribution moves from a centralized to a more decentralized model, new research has found.

According to a paper published this week in the journal Nature Energy by researchers from Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization and the UK’s Queen Mary University of London, integrating growing numbers of renewable power installations and microgrids onto the grid can result in larger-than-expected fluctuations in grid frequency.

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Hazelwood power station, Australia – closed in 2017 [image credit: Simpsons fan 66 at English Wikipedia]


How much enforced variability in electricity generation can a country’s power system tolerate? A close look at the numbers for Australia is not encouraging, to say the least.

How often have you heard that Wind power is intermittent, but has anyone ever explained that to you, or shown just how it actually is intermittent, and what it means, asks TonyfromOz.

What if you need a dedicated amount of power all the time? Can wind power be relied on to generate that dedicated amount of power?

Over the last Month, I have been detailing the closure of the 53 year old Hazelwood brown coal fired power plant in the State of Victoria here in Australia, and comparing that plant’s power generation with wind power across the whole of Australia, and that Post is at this link.

The main comparison was with all the wind plants across the whole of Australia, but I was also including the data for just the wind plants in the same State that the Hazelwood plant was in, Victoria.

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Greens playing propaganda tricks on the public? Probably not their first ‘offence’ of this kind…
H/T The GWPF

Environmental activists have withdrawn an advertising campaign after being accused of making false claims about the price of wind energy, says the Daily Mail.

The poster, launched in September by Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi and plastered around Westminster Tube station and across London’s transport network, claimed the price had fallen by 50 per cent over the past two years.

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They are probably muddling through thanks to interconnectors to countries with more reliable electricity generation like France (nuclear) and Poland (coal), but with existing policies things are bound to get even worse.

STOP THESE THINGS

If you’re looking for examples on how to deliberately destroy an economy, look no further than renewables obsessed Germany and its equally deranged doppelgänger Downunder, South Australia: both are attempting to run on sunshine and breezes; both suffer rocketing power prices; and both now have grids on the brink of collapse.

South Australia has become the butt of international jokes as a result of routine mass load-shedding and repeated Statewide blackouts caused by sudden, total and totally unpredictable collapses in wind power output.

Now, Germany is headed in the same disastrous direction. Whenever the Sun disappears (Sunset will do it every time) and/or the wind stops blowing, Germany’s grid managers have to pull out all stops to prevent Deutschland returning to the Dark Ages.

German Media Report: Power Grids In Distress…Highly Unstable Due To Wind And Solar Power!
No Tricks Zone
Pierre Gosselin
11 November 2017

Recently German SAT1 television…

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A fine day in Antarctica [image credit: BBC]


We’re told: ‘Environmental champion, who was first person to walk to both poles, uses Antarctic trek as green wake-up call.’ But who really needs to be woken up? The polar night means Antarctica is a dead zone for solar power for six months of every year, highlighting the fact that part-time sources of electricity can never be relied upon.

“Thirty years ago, I was the first person in history perhaps stupid enough to walk to the North and South Poles,” renowned British explorer Robert Swan, 61, tells IBTimes UK.

“I had no intention ever in my life of ever walking anywhere cold again – this was definite.”

But that is exactly what he is going to do.

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Lerwick’s diesel power station [image credit: BBC]


The plan was to link a power cable to the UK mainland and have new diesel generators as back-up. But now they will rely on imported diesel and medium fuel oil as before, and wait to see if wind power appears on the scene.

Diesel plant will remain open until 2025 after EU emissions limits relaxed, reports Utility Week.

Ofgem has rejected plans to install a 60MW power line between the Shetland Islands and mainland Britain.

The regulator said the subsea cable is no longer needed as the loosening of emissions limits means the islands’ ageing diesel power plant can remain open for longer than previously anticipated.

SSE’s 67MW Lerwick Power Station was due to close by 2021 due to tougher emissions limits introduced under the EU’s Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).

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Scottish offshore wind project [image credit : urbanrealm.com]


No mention here of the huge cost of putting yet more hundreds or thousands of wind turbines miles offshore, or of what is supposed to happen when it’s not windy enough to generate any, or much of, the required electricity – other than vague reference to ‘storage and demand response’, and interconnectivity.

EUROPE: A total offshore wind capacity of at least 230GW is needed in northern Europe by 2045 to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement, according to newly published research, writes Craig Richard at Windpower Offshore.

This increased capacity in the North Sea, Irish Sea, Channel, Baltic Sea, and Atlantic Ocean would require between 50GW and 80GW of new interconnectivity to ensure reliable operation, energy and climate consultancy Ecofys found.

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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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