Posts Tagged ‘renewables’

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Would anyone serious bet against it?

PA Pundits - International

By Larry Bell ~

Remember Solyndra?

In case you’ve forgotten, it was a California solar panel developer that defaulted on a $535 million Obama-Biden administration Department of Energy stimulus loan guarantee that, along with four other bankrupted companies, collectively left U.S. taxpayers on the hook for more than $2.2 billion.

According to documents obtained by The Washington Post, the White House had pressed the Office of Management and Budget to greenlight the loan in a hurry.

In response, OMB officials reportedly expressed concern that they were being rushed to approve the company’s project without adequate time to assess the risk to taxpayers.

Energy Department and OMB analysts had reportedly questioned the wisdom of the loan which analysts determined, based upon Solyndra’s own numbers, would rapidly run out of cash.

Another of those bankruptcies involved a 2019 DOE $528.7 million loan it gifted to Fisker Automotive, a start-up company promoted…

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‘The donkey goes on to the ice until it breaks’ – German proverb [image credit: evwind.es]


European leaders are too fond of their so-called climate policies to take much notice of practicalities like engineering limitations. The fragility of the power supply can only get worse under existing policies, if these warning signals are ignored.
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On 8 January 2021, the European electricity grid only just missed a large-scale collapse, says The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

Around 13:04 p.m. there was a sharp drop in frequency that could have paralysed Europe. The cause was apparently a power failure in Romania.

According to the Austrian blackout expert Herbert Saurugg, it was the second most serious major incident in the European network to date.

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As COVID drains the national exchequer, plans to hose a few trillion pounds at the phantom problem of innocuous carbon dioxide molecules go almost unnoticed.

STOP THESE THINGS

As Margaret Thatcher put it: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

That adage, however, doesn’t appear to trouble Britain’s current PM, Boris Johnson, whose plan to squander a further £50,000,000,000 on subsidies and over-the-market contracts for intermittent offshore wind power beggars belief.

But that colossal crony-capitalist boondoggle, is a mere snip by comparison with the £3 trillion that he’s planning to squander on an effort to completely remove carbon dioxide gas from the British atmosphere – well, at least the kind generated by all human activity, that is.

Andrew Montford takes a look at the numbers in order to get a grip on the cost of Boris Johnson’s ‘net zero’ CO2 plan for Britain.

Honesty is needed on the huge costs of attempting “net-zero”
Conservative Home
Andrew Montford
5 December 2020

Politicians can be divided into those who like to spend big…

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Hornsea wind project


Is anyone in UK government circles going to take this seriously, as compensation (constraint) payments spiral upwards? The perpetual mismatch between supply and demand of wind power can only get worse as more of it is built. Energy storage can’t resolve these problems, only reduce them slightly at best.
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Enough wind power was curtailed in 2020 to power a million homes for a year, reports Energy Live News.

A new report produced by Lane Clark & Peacock LLP (LCP) says primarily as a result of network constraints, last year saw a total of 3.6TWh of wind power shut off and wasted.

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Solar power complex in California [USA. Gov – BLM – Bureau of Land Management]


Welcome to the inglorious green revolution, where the lives of ageing gas power plants have to be extended and various other mini ‘solutions’, some relying on equipment owned by individual citizens, have to be adopted in a frantic effort to keep the lights on. Of course none of this was necessary before renewables were deemed to be the future of electricity supply, in the vain hope of altering the climate. What’s next if these measures are not enough?
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Sometime next summer, there’s a decent chance a heat wave will bake the American West, and California’s power grid will again be stretched to its limits, says TechXplore.

As the sun sets, solar panels will start generating less electricity even as temperatures remain high.

Power plants that burn natural gas will fire up as quickly as possible, in a race to keep air conditioners blowing and avert the need for rolling blackouts.

But the fossil fuel won’t be alone in riding to the rescue.

As power supplies tighten, lithium-ion batteries—some connected to sprawling solar farms in the desert and others tucked away in household garages—will dispense electricity produced during the afternoon sunlight.

A small but growing number of household batteries will be part of coordinated networks, discharging in unison as dictated by the needs of the grid.

Meanwhile, millions of people will cut back on electricity use in their homes, in some cases because state officials asked nicely and in others because they’re getting paid to conserve.

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There may be a place for some use of solar panels, but replacing all fuel-burning power stations isn’t it.

PA Pundits - International

By Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. ~

The chief beneficiary of the incoming Biden administration’s climate agenda will be none other than the People’s Republic of China, the same outfit that brought the world COVID-19.

Purveyors of renewable energy are eager to take advantage of Biden’s pledge to move the U.S. from fossil fuels to renewable energy and are already taking legal action to smooth the transition. On December 29, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and solar-power developers, including NextEra Energy Inc. and Invenergy Renewables LLC, asked the U.S. Court of International Trade to issue an injunction prohibiting an October proclamation by President Trump that raised tariffs on imported solar equipment.

The Trump proclamation removed a tariff exemption on two-sided, or bifacial, solar panels, almost all of which are manufactured in China. As reported by Bloomberg (Dec. 29), the lawsuit contends the Trump administration “failed to follow the required procedures” before…

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All these battery systems can do is give power providers a brief window to figure out what they’re really going to do about the imminent blackout situation, due to the latest weather-related dip in renewable power generation.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

New York City will soon be home to the world’s biggest utility-scale battery system, designed to back up its growing reliance on intermittent renewables. At 400 MWh this batch of batteries will be more than triple the 129 MWh world leader in Australia.

The City of New Yorks director of sustainability (I am not making this title up), Mark Chambers, is ecstatic, bragging: Expanding battery storage is a critical part of how we advance momentum to confront the climate emergency while meeting the energy needs of all New Yorkers. Today’s announcement demonstrates how we can deliver this need at significant scale.” (Emphasis added)

In reality the scale here is incredibly insignificant.

In the same nonsensical way, Tim Cawley, the president of Con Edison, New York’s power utility, gushes thus: Utility scale battery storage will play a vital role in…

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‘this is data covering just 800 days, and here we have 265 occasions where the power loss exceeds 500MW.’ = almost one day in every three, on average. [Links to parts 2 and 3 at the end of the post].

PA Pundits - International

By Anton Lang ~

Introduction

We have all heard that wind power generation is intermittent, that it goes up and down on a daily basis. However, is that really all that much of a problem, and if so, how big a problem is it? We have also heard that constructing more wind plants will go towards alleviating this problem. Is that correct? Or will that only make the problem worse?

Well, it is in fact quite a large problem, and constructing more of those wind plants is making the problem worse.

Macarthur Wind Plant In Victoria Australia

For many years now, I have been looking at wind power generation here in Australia, and in fact recording and keeping wind generation data on a daily basis now for more than four years. After looking at this data on a daily basis for so long, I could see that it went up…

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So the greenblob can’t always steamroller local opposition to its land-grabbing subsidy farms. The actual solar panels are not renewable or even recyclable.

PA Pundits - International

By Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. ~

For the second time in 15 months, residents of rural Culpeper County, Virginia have risen up against a proposed massive solar array project, forcing the would-be developers to withdraw their application to put the renewable energy facility in the county’s picturesque rolling farmlands.

North Carolina-based Strata Solar had planned to build the $200 million, 1,700-acre, 149 megawatts project on cleared timberland in southern Culpepper. The land on which the industrial-sized solar array was to be built was zoned agricultural in keeping with the rural character of the area.

Maroon Solar, the name the developer gave to the project, was supposed to be another step on the way to a “carbon-free” energy future, but local officials and nearby residents raised strong objections. The Culpepper County Board of Supervisors (BOS) evaluated the project and, on Nov. 12, held a well-attended, four-hour public hearing on a request by…

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


Billed as ‘A bright future for Levenmouth’, the claim that switching to hydrogen could ‘save energy customers across Britain billions of pounds’ looks rose-tinted to say the least. Maybe it’s easy to get carried away when you imagine you’re going to save the world, or something.
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Fife has leapt closer to launching the world’s first 100% green hydrogen network with the announcement of an £18 million funding boost, reports The Courier.

Three hundred homes across Levenmouth will be connected to the network, with residents becoming the first in the world to use zero carbon hydrogen for heating and cooking.

Householders will be invited to get involved in the four to five year trial from late next year.

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The cracks in renewable energy policies can be papered over for a while, but when power shortages get acute they’re too big to miss. Meanwhile there’s the escalating cost of trying to deal with the built-in problems due to intermittency.

STOP THESE THINGS

You know RE scammers are on the ropes, when they start talking about non-existent grid-scale batteries, pumped hydro and, the latest lunacy, converting chaotically intermittent wind and solar into hydrogen gas.

In the beginning, when the quizzical pressed them about the inherent unreliability of wind and solar, it was brushed off with glib statements such as “the wind is always blowing somewhere” and faint suggestions that if the sun’s down, the wind will be blowing to make up for it.

As soon as the percentage of wind and solar capacity on the grid gets beyond double digits, their sporadic and haphazard delivery becomes evident for all and sundry. South Australians and Californians are now well-familiar with power rationing, when the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in.

As with every marketing pitch, papering over the cracks as they emerge, is all. And nowhere is that phenomena more acute than in…

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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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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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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…

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Investments in what, exactly? Certainly not in reliable electricity supply – quite the opposite in fact. And where will all the retired turbines, solar panels, lithium batteries etc. go after their short lifetimes?
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30% of the EU’s €1.8 trillion budget and recovery plan for 2021-2027 will be made available for the green transition, reports Euractiv.

That amount is no longer up for negotiation and the focus must now shift to spending it well, said Kadri Simson, the EU’s energy commissioner.

“Naturally I understand the wish to have an even greater pool of funds available,” said Simson, who spoke at a EURACTIV event on Thursday (29 October).

“However, I think now it is important to have a rapid agreement on the recovery package and that the money is used well,” she added.

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If the wind turbine noises don’t get you, there are the smoky biomass plants instead — or as well. Welcome to your clean green future?
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AMSTERDAM – The first Dutch climate refugees are a fact, says De Telegraaf (via the GWPF).

Not because of wet feet, but because citizens cannot cope with the noise of wind farms.

Residents close to biomass power stations also complain bitterly.

Are health and the environment in the Netherlands subordinate to our climate goals?

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Nyngan solar plant, Australia [image credit: Wikipedia]


This sounds every bit as inefficient as the UK importing wood pellets from North America on an industrial scale, to generate electricity. How the hydrogen might be sent across the world in a ‘green’ way is not mentioned.
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A bilateral agreement aimed at increasing German imports of hydrogen produced from solar power plants in Australia could set a milestone in efforts to establish a global hydrogen market, says Euractiv.

Australia said it wants to become “a powerhouse in hydrogen production and exports” after signing what it described as “a landmark agreement” with Germany on 11 September.

The agreement initiated a joint feasibility study that will look into establishing a green hydrogen supply chain between the two countries.

Australia’s partnership with Germany came in addition to similar deals on green hydrogen made with other countries like Japan, South Korea and Singapore, the Australian trade minister said in a statement.

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