Posts Tagged ‘renewables’

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


A few political home truths get attacked by climate obsessives, but will voters see to it that some semblance of reality takes over from unrealistic ideologically motivated targets?
H/T The GWPF

Voters across Europe have lost faith in politics partly because of “unachievable targets” on renewable energy, said German Energy Minister Peter Altmaier, rejecting calls from a group of other EU countries to boost the share of renewables to 33-35% of the bloc’s energy mix by 2030.

Altmaier made the comments during an on-the-record exchange between the 28 EU energy ministers, who are gathered in Luxembourg today (11 June) for a meeting of the Energy Council.

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Proposed new nuclear plant, Anglesey [image credit: walesonline]


They jokingly claim this will help to ‘supplement’ renewables which sometimes provide close to zero input to the electricity grid system. The reverse is much closer to the truth – renewables supplementing nearly everything else, but only when the weather and/or time of day allow it.
H/T AC Osborn

Ministers will this week reverse decades of opposition to investing taxpayer money in nuclear energy by agreeing to bankroll a £15bn-plus power station in Wales, says The Times @ the GWPF.

The government will commit to taking a direct stake in the Wylfa plant on Anglesey, planned by the Japanese industrial giant Hitachi, after more than two years of negotiations.

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Electric car charging station [credit: Wikipedia]


Somebody has to pay for all this, and if the firm behind it goes bust who picks up the financial reins to keep the project going?

Plans were unveiled today to build a world-first 2GW network of grid-scale batteries and rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the UK, reports PEI.

Pivot Power is behind the £1.6bn programme, which will provide infrastructure to support the rapid adoption of EVs and underpin clean air policies, while introducing valuable flexibility into the energy system to accommodate the demands of mass EV charging and higher levels of intermittent renewable generation.

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Governments often waste, but rarely run out of, other people’s money. Take renewables for example – the UK is already committed to vastly excessive payments until 2030 in the hope of possibly reducing a trace gas in the atmosphere.

Why has the Government still not formally responded to the independent review that it commissioned into the cost of energy?

Perhaps its findings are too damning, says Harry Wilkinson at The Conservative Woman.

Staggeringly, the review found that the government has wasted the best part of £100billion on the decarbonisation of the power sector.

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German wind farm


Good luck dismantling and trying to recycle redundant end-of-life wind turbines and their massive concrete bases.

New academic research on whether to repower or extend the lifetime of an obsolescent wind farm in Europe reveals that without new subsidies for repowered sites, low cost lifetime extensions focused on maximising return before decommissioning are more probable, with a potential to affect about half the wind turbine fleet in Germany, Spain and Denmark.

In the absence of new subsidies, we could be looking at the beginning of the end for the wind industry in Europe, says The GWPF’s energy editor.

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The EU demands that Ireland disfigures its coasts with wind turbines, or pay extortionate fines for failing to do so.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

More lunacy from the EU:

From the Independent:

Ireland faces annual EU energy fines of €600m

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Ireland faces fines of €600m a year from the EU for failing to meet renewable energy targets and cutting carbon emissions by 2020.

New, more ambitious targets for 2030 do not let Ireland off the hook for the 2020 measures, it has emerged.

A report for the Dáil Public Accounts Committee, which calculated the potential fines within two years, said they will be a matter for the European Court of Justice to impose.

Irish EU Commissioner Phil Hogan said there was confusion in some quarters that the 2020 targets under the EU Renewable Energy Directive would be merged into the more ambitious targets for 2030. This would give the Government some breathing space and lessen the risk of punitive fines.

“But that is not the case. The 2020 target must be adhered…

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Irsching 4 gas power plant, Bavaria [image credit: E.ON]


Billed as ‘the world’s most eco-friendly fossil fuelled power plant’ when it opened in 2011, the owners say Irsching is not commercially viable due to the built-in advantages handed to part-time subsidised renewables. Meanwhile Germany continues building cheaper-to-run coal-fired power stations to help replace its nuclear fleet. A strange situation to be in.

German utility Uniper announced on Thursday that it had applied to extend the closure of its loss-making Irsching 4 and 5 gas-fired power generation plants with a capacity of 1400 MW for a third year beyond April 2019, reports PEI.

Uniper and the other owners of unit 5, N-Ergie, Mainova MNVG.DE and HSE, see no way to ensure the Bavarian plant’s commercial viability, it said in a statement.

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Cornish tin mine [image credit: IB Times]


Back to the future?
H/T Yahoo News

Britain is banking on a series of ancient mines on its southwestern tip to secure a slice of the global electric car revolution, reports Reuters.

Now however a rise in demand for tin, along with other metals that can be used in electric vehicles, electronics and renewable energy, has helped create a global deficit and quadruple prices.

British officials are supporting reopening of the mines and seeking investment, leading to a mini-rush of mining companies into the area.

Adding to the potential, new research shows the extent to which mines also contain deposits of lithium, the so-called metal of the future.

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So it’s the usual smoke-and-mirrors nonsense from the climate-obsessive crowd. Is anyone surprised?

Trust, yet verify

Solar PV and wind are getting so cheap and more abundant that they are on track to entirely displace fossil fuels worldwide by 2032. This remarkable claim is made in The Conversation article titled Solar PV and wind are on track to replace all coal, oil and gas within two decades.

It is a remarkable claim because the last figures that I found show that solar PV plus wind generated only a tiny fraction of total energy compared to fossil fuels. So I would doubt that solar PV and wind suddenly could replace all coal, oil and gas in just a couple decades. Two decades seems like an awfully short time to go from (almost) zero to hero.

That made me really curious about the principle behind this claim. To clarify their case, the authors showed two graphs. This is the first one:

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Hydro power lines in Ontario


Once again the high cost of so-called ‘green’ policies turns out to be politically embarrassing, and attempts to hide the true facts seem to have made things much worse.

As Ontarians head to the polls in June, voters have to make sense of two competing versions of their province’s bottom line: The Auditor-General’s and the Kathleen Wynne government’s, reports Toronto’s Globe and Mail.

Matthew McClearn investigates how creative accounting in hydro revenue made their math so different.

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The incorrect demonising of carbon dioxide has poisoned the minds of many political leaders. Painful reality is bound to catch up with them and their misguided energy polices sooner or later.

STOP THESE THINGS

It takes a special brand of ignorance to still believe that the world can run on sunshine and breezes. Whether you blame a breakdown in the education system or a Trotskyite takeover of the mainstream media, the results are the same: there’s a stubborn rump who continue to turn fantasy into ‘fact’; who are incapable of distinguishing the former from the latter; and who are by far the most rabid and shrill when it comes to the topic of the generation of electricity.

Our good friends logic and reason were sacrificed on the altar of ideology, a generation ago.

Defending those critical attributes of an ordered and civil society is what STT is all about. Of course, the wind and sun cult hate us for that.

You can’t blame them; when you have a child-like belief in something you deeply love (think Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny, talking unicorns) and…

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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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