Posts Tagged ‘renewables’


They call it ‘the world’s most ambitious project‘. Mind-boggling expenditure if it ever gets built. The solar city aspect of the plan gets panned here.

The riches of Silicon Valley have enabled some extravagant and quixotic projects, but they’ve got nothing on what oil money can do, says MNNOFA News.

A new report from The Wall Street Journal shares some of the proposals for Saudi Arabia’s biggest megaproject yet: a city built in the desert named Neom, where robots will outnumber humans and hologram teachers will educate genetically-enhanced students.

The details are stunning. It’s a mixture of dystopian fiction (AI surveillance cameras everywhere!) and childish imaginings (let’s build a robot dinosaur park!). Taken together, the plans remind of you what a dedicated nine-year-old can achieve in Minecraft. Yes, the scale and ambition are impressive, but it’s not like you could do this in real life, right?

Cloud seeding? Robot servants? A fake moon!? Sure, why not.

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H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

Well, possibly but it involves carbon capture. The costs and practicality have to be demonstrated first, and that tends to undermine most of such claims. Worth a try though.

If the Net Zero power plant performs as expected this is a real game changer for natural gas, says Forbes.

Since the United States is sitting on more natural gas than any country in the world, and it’s getting cheaper to get it out of the ground, this is no small game to change.

An actual game changing technology is being demonstrated as we sit in our air-conditioned abodes reading this. And it is being demonstrated by North Carolina–based Net Power at a new plant in La Porte, Texas.

The process involves burning fossil fuel with oxygen instead of air to generate electricity without emitting any carbon dioxide (CO2). Not using air also avoids generating NOx, the main atmospheric and health contaminant emitted from gas plants.

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Artist’s impression of Dogger Bank island [credit: The Independent]


For some on-and-off hours per day, perhaps they could. We’ve heard this one before but it’s being talked up again, as they start to run out of good offshore sites nearer to the coasts of power-hungry and fuel-averse north European countries. But an artificial island plus long-distance undersea power cables won’t come cheap, and that’s without the vast cost of all the wind turbines.

Wind farms that are built more than 30km off the coast can yield more energy but are costly – at least for now, says WIRED.

Dogger Bank, a windy and shallow stretch of sea 125 kilometers (km) off the East Yorkshire coast isn’t an awful lot to look at, unless you’re an energy firm looking for the perfect place to drop a huge new wind farm.

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Residential solar panels in Germany.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Sideka Solartechnik


The German energy crunch looms in the next few years, not unlike some other over-committed renewables enthusiasts, for example Britain. European countries don’t seem to see or admit the potential problem of relying on each other for imports. Somebody has to have an excess of power for that to work, but as more countries favour renewables over power stations the availability of on-demand electricity must inevitably decline.

H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany, a poster child for renewable energy, is renouncing nuclear and coal.

The problem is, say many power producers and grid operators, it may struggle to keep the lights on.

The country, the biggest electricity market in the European Union, is abandoning nuclear power by 2022 due to safety concerns compounded by the Fukushima disaster and phasing out coal plants over the next 19 years to combat climate change.

In the next three years alone conventional energy capacity is expected to fall by a fifth, leaving it short of the country’s peak power demand.

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How feeble are wind and solar power in the big energy picture i.e. not just electricity production? It could be much worse than we/you thought, but many policymakers don’t seem to know – or don’t want to know – about such realities.

PA Pundits - International

By Larry Bell ~

Those who believe in the existence of adequate non-fossil alternatives essential to achieve a “carbon-neutral” U.S. — much less global — energy balance anytime soon, or at any cost, are dreadfully misguided.

Nevertheless, there are very understandable reasons why such delusions continue to persist.

One reason behind this facetious fantasy has resulted from massively funded “renewable energy” industry subsidy-seeking propaganda campaigns.

Another is due to great successes of ideological anti-fossil activists in conflating carbon dioxide emissions with “climate pollution,” polar bear perils, and virtually any other “crisis” de jour.

A third, and one that I find particularly disturbing, is because even information sources we should expect to trust, continue to perpetuate a disingenuous and dangerous myth that non-fossil “alternatives” can meet any truly significant U.S. energy needs.

In preparing for this article, I checked data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) with a very…

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Porto Santo airport


This tiny island near Madeira has an area of 16.28 square miles but gets a flying visit from the BBC’s leading climate alarm advocate Roger Harrabin, no doubt in a fuel-burning aeroplane or two. Has he checked his ‘carbon footprint’ lately? 😎
The idea was to give a plug (sorry) to an electric car experiment, but with such a tiny surface area it all looked like much ado about next to nothing. Not exactly a gamechanger, but he’s probably boosted their tourism – meaning more of those naughty flights.

Surprised this morning to find that the island of Porto Santo was featuring on BBC Breakfast, where it was described as “aspiring to become the first energy independent island by eliminating the use of fossil fuels altogether”, reports Madeira Island News.

The report started by showing diesel generators fuelling pollution, and moved on the detail the efforts being made to use reversible car batteries to recharge the electric grid.

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They will just rattle the begging bowl in front of gullible leaders even more frantically.
H/T Climate Change Dispatch

In recent weeks, observers of the energy scene have been wondering if the long honeymoon of the renewables industry might finally be over.

They’re right, says Andrew Montford.

EU renewables capacity additions have been falling for years, and have now declined to less than half of their 2010 peak.

Meanwhile, a wave of insolvencies is sweeping the wind industry as a result of the sharp scaling back of subsidies.

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Dutch coal power plant


So Britain’s recent ‘coal free’ spell of electricity generation turns out to be somewhat fake news. The exaggerated claims made for renewables – mostly wind power – in this period are therefore largely undermined.

Between May 17-31, Britain saw its first two-week period without domestic coal-fired power stations generating electricity since the 1880s, says PEI.

However, modelling carried out by energy market data analyst EnAppSys shows that power generated from coal has been imported from abroad over the same period – with the most coming from the Netherlands.

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Expensive, unreliable, ineffective, hard or impossible to recycle – what was the point of large-scale renewables again?

STOP THESE THINGS

Australia’s Renewable Energy Target reads like a National suicide note, but the land of Oz is no orphan in that regard. If the enemies of state were looking for insidious, all-pervasive policy perfectly designed to wreck an economy from within (while barely raising a murmur amongst the proles), they need look no further than ratcheting up subsidies, mandates and targets for intermittent and unreliable wind and solar.

Australia’s wind and solar capital, South Australia set and met its very own 50% RET: it pays the world’s highest power prices, as a result; little wonder it’s an economic backwater, critically dependent upon make-work schemes funded by Commonwealth taxpayers. Once upon a time, it enjoyed the cheapest power prices in Australia and was a manufacturing powerhouse.

Places like South Australia, Denmark and Germany put paid to the lie that wind and solar are both cheap and reliable.

But, as Michael Shellenberger…

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We already knew this, but UK public policy in energy matters tends to prefer ideology to reality.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

A lot of countries (as well as many U.S. states and utilities) are announcing so-called zero-carbon plans, typically with a target year around 2050. These are often reported as calling for 100% renewable energy, which is wrong.

There is a difference between zero-carbon and 100% renewables, but this is often hidden and unclear. In the new UK plan it is still hidden, but once found it is very clear. Renewables provide just 57% of the energy, which is a lot less than 100%. Perhaps most surprising is that nuclear might provide as much as 38% of the energy!

By way of introduction, the plan comes from the government’s own Committee on Climate Change (CCC), in a report titled “Net-Zero: The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming.” The CCC is the UK’s top climate action planning group.

The surprising numbers occur in…

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H/T The GWPF

Unchecked climate dogma is leading to policies and costs that many people are unwilling to tolerate any more. As the reality fails to live up to the greenwash and fear of a harmless trace gas starts to wear off, how far will the pushback go?
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From Alberta to Australia, from Finland to France and beyond, voters are increasingly showing their displeasure with expensive energy policies imposed by politicians in an inane effort to fight purported climate catastrophe, says H. Sterling Burnett.

Skepticism about whether humans are causing dangerous climate change has always been higher in the United States than in most industrialized countries.

As a result, governments in Europe, Canada, and in other developed countries are much farther along the energy-rationing path that cutting carbon dioxide emissions requires than the United States is.

Residents in these countries have begun to revolt against the higher energy costs they suffer under as a result of ever-increasing taxes on fossil fuels and government mandates to use expensive renewable energy.

For instance, in France in late 2018, protesters donning yellow vests took to the streets—and have stayed there ever since—in large part to protest scheduled increases in fuel taxes, electricity prices, and stricter vehicle emissions controls, which French President Emmanuel Macron claimed were necessary to meet the country’s greenhouse gas reduction commitments under the Paris climate agreement.

After the first four weeks of protest, Macron’s government cancelled his climate action plan.

Also in 2018, in part as a backlash against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s climate policies, global warming skeptic Doug Ford was elected as premier of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. Ford announced he would end energy taxes imposed by Ontario’s previous premier and would join Saskatchewan’s premier in a legal fight against Trudeau’s federal carbon dioxide tax.

In August 2018, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was forced to resign over carbon dioxide restrictions he’d planned to impose to meet the country’s Paris climate commitments. His successor, Scott Morrison, announced reducing energy prices and improving reliability, not fighting climate change, would be the government’s primary energy goals going forward.

Subsequently, Australia’s deputy prime minister and its environment minister announced the country would continue using coal for electricity and expand coal mining and exports.

The changes in 2018 were just a prelude for the political climate revolt of 2019.

In mid-March, the Forum for Democracy (FvD), a fledgling political party just three years old, tied for the largest number of seats, 12, in the divided Dutch Senate in the 2019 elections. FvD takes a decidedly skeptical stance on climate change.

On the campaign trail, Thierry Baudet, FvD’s leader, said the government should stop funding programs to meet the country’s commitments to international climate change agreements, saying such efforts are driven by “climate-change hysteria.”

Continued here.

Swiss Alps near Davos


No doubt the Swiss have already taken the best sites for hydro-electricity for themselves. How many of the ones left would they be willing to drown, to benefit outsiders? This smacks of desperation as pumped hydro is usually only a short-term fix when peak loads need to be met. Several days of low wind for turbines can’t be compensated by using energy to pump water up mountainsides, and then letting it drop down again to create near-instant electricity.

Germany is interested in finding an agreement with neighbouring Switzerland on how the Alpine country could contribute to German and European power supply security, the German government says in an answer to a parliamentary inquiry.

Thanks to its mountainous terrain and ample potential for pumped-hydro storage, Switzerland could provide “flexibility options” for European power markets and help balance supply and demand during times “in which there’s no wind or sunshine”, reports Clean Energy Wire.

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Expensive batteries were never an issue for electricity grids before renewables came along, for obvious reasons. Now that a fog of misleading climate propaganda has descended, too many leaders can’t seem to think straight any more.

STOP THESE THINGS

Almost as soon as Joe Public worked out that wind and solar can never work, RE rent seekers started babbling about giant batteries saving the day.

STT will keep smashing the line about giant batteries overcoming the chaotic delivery of wind and solar, while RE zealots keep pushing it.

The pitch from RE zealots is that solution to the chaos delivered by wind and solar is giant lithium-ion batteries, of the kind peddled by Elon Musk. The reefer-smoking, Californian carpetbagger managed to offload one unit in wind power obsessed, South Australia, collected $150 million, and was never seen again.

Bill Gates has called the idea complete and utter nonsense: Bill Gates Slams Unreliable Wind & Solar: ‘Let’s Quit Jerking Around With Renewables & Batteries’

Apply a little maths, physics and economics and it’s pretty clear that the mega-battery myth is just that. Norman Rogers picks up the thread below.

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Image credit: MIT


If the global warming nightmare was to happen, solar and wind systems simply don’t work in high-heat environments. So why are activists pushing them, asks Climate Change Dispatch?

Everything, and I mean everything about the man-made global warming movement is rotten to the core, says Dr. Joel Adams.

Tens of thousands of our own brave and brilliant scientists, as well as websites such as Climate Change Dispatch, are fighting the good fight against the climate change fraud every day. It’s a fight we are working hard to win.

I just completed a 435-page book on the subject of climate change fraud and the people and motivations behind it.

I discovered that as bad as the scientific fraud is, the motivations behind it turned out to be worse. These motivations are to put it in a few words: money and a political totalitarian power grab by the political Left.

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In terms of original power sources (i.e. not electricity), the runaway leaders were petroleum and natural gas which between them took over two-thirds of the total share. Coal and nuclear were a distant third and fourth. Best of the rest was biomass at just over 5% of the total, easily more than wind and solar combined.

Americans used more energy in 2018 than in any other year, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

Overall total energy consumption rose to 101.2 quadrillion BTU (or “quads”), reports TechXplore. The prior record, set in 2007, was 101.0 quads.

Energy use went up by 3.6 percent from 2017, which also is the largest annual increase since 2010.

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Fine summer weather [image credit: BBC]


Plenty of assertions, but we’re still no nearer to knowing ‘what fraction of the observed rise in global surface temperature over the last thirty or so years…is attributable to the human-induced increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide’. It could be anything, including nothing. We don’t even have a CO2 number to work with, as any natural increases are hard to quantify. But in many countries national energy policy ploughs on regardless of the huge uncertainties.

The bottom line of politically correct thought on climate alarm is so full of holes that it brings the overall sanity of mankind into question, argues Garth Paltridge.

That is, we need to put a dollar number to the cost of doing something now, a dollar number to the benefit thus obtained by the future generations, and a number to a thing called “discount for the future”—this last being the rate at which our concern for the welfare of future generations falls away as we look further and further ahead.

Only the first of these numbers can be estimated with any degree of reliability.

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Credit: telegraph.co.uk


It was always obvious that replacing on-demand power generation, like coal and gas power stations, with mainly intermittent power from weather-dependent renewables, was going to make reliability of the system an issue sooner rather than later. And here we are.

The UK’s electricity network is likely to become significantly weaker within five years, due to falling Short Circuit Levels that reduce the reliability of protection systems designed to limit the geographical extent of supply loss during a fault, and also make it more likely that asynchronous sources of electricity such as wind, solar and High Voltage Direct Current interconnectors will disconnect during a fault.

Ironically, Short Circuit Levels are falling because of a rising input from asynchronous sources, says The GWPF.

A remedy for this problem is unlikely to be cheap. Who will pay?

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Maybe there’s some military angle to this. As the report says, it ‘will be difficult and costly’. Capturing the sun’s power will be cloud-free, but when transmitting to the ground the clouds are still there.

China wants to put a solar power station in orbit by 2050 and is building a test facility to find the best way to send power to the ground, reports MACH (NBC News).

As the green energy revolution accelerates, solar farms have become a familiar sight across the nation and around the world.

But China is taking solar power to a whole new level. The nation has announced plans to put a solar power station in orbit by 2050, a feat that would make it the first nation to harness the sun’s energy in space and beam it to Earth.

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These types of tech ‘breakthroughs’ tend to have a low survival rate in the real world, so we await any developments – or not.

Bioscience engineers at KU Leuven have created a solar panel that produces hydrogen gas from moisture in the air, reports Science Business.

After ten years of development, the panel can now produce 250 litres per day – a world record, according to the researchers.

Twenty of these solar panels could provide electricity and heat for one family for an entire winter. 

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Virtual power plant concept


In a nutshell: when part-time renewables aren’t producing, something else – which has to be paid for and is likely to be expensive – must take over, because virtual electricity doesn’t work.

Norwegian energy group Statkraft has unveiled a virtual power plant in the UK which connects wind, solar and gas engines with battery storage and can respond to market demands in seconds, reports PEI.

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