Posts Tagged ‘renewables’

Green blob [credit: storybird.com]


The Manhattan Institute reckons: ‘By 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels—much of it nonrecyclable—will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades. By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries will become garbage.’

Before then, all that future waste has to be manufactured, largely from mined materials. Is the world ready for this?
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You think those baby unicorns grow on trees? Better think again, says Michael Walsh @ The Pipeline.

“Green” energy, in fact, comes with a very high price tag as this report from the Manhattan Institute makes clear.

As policymakers have shifted focus from pandemic challenges to economic recovery, infrastructure plans are once more being actively discussed, including those relating to energy.

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*Missing* being the operative word. Any article such as this one, showing power station cooling towers appearing to emit black steam – by careful use of dusk shadowing – instantly announces itself as human-accusing climate propaganda, like all the others before it using the same camera trick. But as Star Trek’s Scotty used to say: ‘Ye canna change the laws of physics’, which climate dreamers tend to forget. Outlandish costs and highly inefficient methods are not going to work on an industrial scale either. In short, there’s a massive hole in their renewables-based bucket.
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Governments and electric utilities are rapidly embracing the imperative to decarbonize energy use, says the Atlantic Council.

In the context of this effort, they have made substantial commitments to renewable energy generation and battery-based electricity storage through renewable portfolio standards and contractual commitments.

But while the costs of renewable energy generation have rapidly decreased, and their performance has improved, renewable generation is intermittent, and electric-system operators continue to rely on existing thermal resources, particularly natural gas generation, to fill in the gaps when renewable generation is not available.

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Petroleum-based products cannot be ‘electrified’.

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

The rage these days from the Green New Deal, the Paris Accord, and the recent Democrats Clean Energy Climate Policy are all focused on renewable energy to replace our demands from fossil fuels. But wait – renewable energy from wind and solar is only renewable ELECTRICITY! At best, that renewable electricity is intermittent as it depends on wind and sunshine to produce any electricity.

Before 1900 the world had no medications, electronics, cosmetics, plastics, fertilizers, and transportation infrastructures. Looking back just a few short centuries, we’ve come a long way since the pioneer days.

Also, before 1900, the world had very little commerce and without transportation there is no commerce. The two prime movers that have done more for the cause of globalization than any other: the diesel engine and the jet turbine, both get their fuels from oil. Road and air travel now dominate most…

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Wind, solar and a few batteries are not going to propel less developed countries to any sort of prosperity.

PA Pundits - International

By Dr. Jay Lehr and Tom Harris~

It should be no surprise to our readers that socialists across the world would recognize an opportunity in the china-virus pandemic to further handicap the use of inexpensive dependable fossil fuels to raise the standard of living of the poorest of the world by forcing them to use only undependable expensive wind and solar energy. The pandemic has allowed a world wide experiment in socialism where governments have been able to exercise tyrannical power over their citizens.

On Thursday, July 9, the International Energy Agency (IEA) convened a huge on-line event, pictured above, misleadingly titled the Clean Energy Transitions Summit. It brought together government representatives of 40 of the worlds largest economies as well as developing nations, accounting for 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Although IEA executive director Dr. Fatih Birol called the summit the most important…

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This states the obvious of course. More carbon dioxide is emitted per unit of energy from biomass than from coal, undermining claims of ‘climate benefits’, and wood pellet production is energy-intensive. But ‘carbon targets’ mean the biomass obsession goes on due to lack of alternatives, given general dislike of nuclear power.
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Leading industry figures acknowledge that not all biomass brings benefits to the climate, insisting that only low-value wood and forest residues should make the cut under EU law, says Euractiv.

“Not all biomass is good biomass,” says Jennifer Jenkins, chief sustainability officer at Enviva, a US-based company which is the world’s largest producer of industrial wood pellets used for electricity and heat production.

“We agree that not all biomass should automatically be categorised as carbon neutral,” Jenkins told an online debate organised on 29 June during EU sustainable energy week.

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Price gouging on the grand scale to keep the ruinables show on the road, regardless of electricity grid stability. But our leaders love this fiasco and label it as climate policy, so that’s OK? No, but they seem to face few obstacles to their blinkered obsession, even though the problems look bound to get worse.
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Lockdown reveals the UK’s power grid is fragile, costly, and failing – because of renewables, says Dr. Benny Peiser @ Climate Change Dispatch.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is today publishing a collection of papers by energy expert Dr. John Constable, documenting the rapid decay of the UK electricity system, with system balancing costs spiraling out of control over the last few weeks.

The cost of balancing the grid over the Bank Holiday weekend amounted to £50m, and National Grid has predicted additional costs of £700m from May to August alone.

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The demonisation of carbon dioxide is essentially a marketing tactic masquerading as science, to fool the gullible.

PA Pundits - International

By Dr. Jay Lehr and Terigi Ciccone~

In Parts One and Two of this Series, we established the Ciccone/Lehr Rule of Thumb which states that All Wind and Solar Power must be backed up with an equal or greater amount of Fossil Fuel Power running on standby 100% of the time.

In this concluding segment, we summarize the critical climate change facts that you need to be optimistic for a better future and do so with confidence, tolerance, and good humor. The facts are fully substantiated in the book A HITCHHIKERS JOURNEY THROUGH CLIMATE CHANGE, now on Amazon.

The climate change industry is enormous. Untold hundreds of $billions are in play each year, and charlatans are fiercely competing for the biggest bites. An editorial in the May 27 Wall Street Journal by Steve Milloy described how many Fortune 500 companies brag about what they are doing…

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Electric car charging station [credit: Wikipedia]


Of course somebody has to pay these costs in the end, i.e. all the other electricity customers.
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“Curtailment” is a word utility companies don’t like to hear. It means they have more electricity available than they need to meet demand, says CleanTechnica.

In the absence of some sort of storage medium, whether is is pumped hydro, a lithium-ion battery, or a trainload of concrete blocks going up and down a mountain, the excess electricity is wasted.

In the UK last weekend, a combination of a bank holiday, reduced demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, and sunny skies left Octopus Energy, a UK utility that uses only renewable energy, with an oversupply of electricity.

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Typical electric car set-up


For the vast majority of today’s car buyers it’s welcome to stay there, judging by the puny sales figures.

Materials required for the emerging global electric vehicle industry can be found in abundance on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and Mexico, says DW.com.

In a region called the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ), on the seafloor at depths between 4 and 5.5 kilometers, an estimated 21 billion metric tons of “polymetallic nodules” wait to be picked up by mining robots.

The nodules have been estimated to contain 6 billion tons of manganese, 270 million tons of nickel, 230 million tons of copper and 50 million tons of cobalt.

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If you’re in a country spending fortunes on erratic renewables you won’t enjoy these engineering-based conclusions about them.

PA Pundits - International

By Dr. Jay Lehr and Terigi Ciccone~

In Part One we established a Rule of Thumb for electrical engineering which states: All Solar and Wind Power on an Electric Grid Must Be Backed Up With an Equal or Greater Amount of Fossil Fuel Power Running on Standby 100% OF The Time.

There are those who claim that one day these intermittent sources will be backed up by batteries, which is the claim of the solar plant to be built in the Mohave Desert 30 miles NE of Las Vegas. In a future article we will explain with simple arithmetic why this can never happen at any affordable costs based on the laws of physics. For now we want to address the claims that have lead to the distorted interest in solar and wind power.

Daily academia, the press/media, the CO2 industry, and politicians sound the alarms with headlines screeching:

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Image credit: MIT


Who wants to buy a secondhand EV after reading this? Maybe sellers should have to get a test certificate stating how much life there is left in the battery.
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Modeling study shows battery reuse systems could be profitable for both electric vehicle companies and grid-scale solar operations. — Technology.org reporting.

As electric vehicles rapidly grow in popularity worldwide [Talkshop comment – do they?], there will soon be a wave of used batteries whose performance is no longer sufficient for vehicles that need reliable acceleration and range.

But a new study shows that these batteries could still have a useful and profitable second life as backup storage for grid-scale solar photovoltaic installations, where they could perform for more than a decade in this less demanding role.

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Borrowed from ratepayers, strictly speaking. But there seems to be something rotten here anyway. Are solar farms an ‘investment’ of public money? Even if they are, they have an unfortunate reputation for going bust in some cases.
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A major investigation has revealed how Thurrock Council got into more than £1billion in debt, borrowing the money from around 150 local authorities across the UK, reports The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

But instead of funding council services, the council gambled at least £604million in solar farms located outside of the borough.

Among Thurrock’s rundown council estates and neglected public parks, typical of many towns after a decade of austerity, there is nothing to suggest that over the past three years the local council has borrowed and then invested hundreds of millions of pounds of other councils’ money.

Under the direction of a senior council officer Thurrock borrowed from about 150 local authorities across the UK with little public scrutiny. These loans were not for direct funding of council services, or investing in infrastructure – instead they financed solar farms more than a hundred miles away.

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[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]


Postponed might be a better word than stops in this case. But maybe not so surprising in a country where the President has called wind turbines “fans”. So he’s definitely not a fan.

It sounds like a news report out of yet another dystopian novel: Mexico is halting grid connection for new solar and wind power projects, says Oilprice.com (via The GWPF).

In a world rushing to produce clean energy, Mexico has suddenly stood out like a sore thumb.

But, as usual, there’s more to the story.

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Straight choice: ideology versus reliability.

STOP THESE THINGS

If you’re looking for the reason why wind power has never worked and never will? Here it is: THE WEATHER.

If you’re looking to wreck a grid and send power prices into orbit, then pin your power hopes to mother nature’s whims. South Australia did; it suffers the world’s highest retail power prices and became the butt of international jokes for a series of weather-related mass blackouts.

Looking for an example? Take a scan of what’s depicted above.

That’s the ‘performance’ of Australia’s wind power fleet during April – courtesy of Aneroid Energy

Spread from Far North Queensland, across the ranges of NSW, all over Victoria, Northern Tasmania and across South Australia its 6,960 MW of capacity routinely delivers just a trickle of that.

Collapses of over 3,000 MW or more that occur over the space of a couple of hours are routine, as are rapid surges of equal magnitude…

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Another rose-tinted glasses prediction from the climate alarm club. Wind and solar power are used to declining to zero output on a regular – or irregular – basis, unlike fuel sources of energy.

“Only renewables are holding up during the previously unheard-of slump in electricity use” – quotes news website Common Dreams.

A new report Thursday from the International Energy Agency projects a bleak year for fossil fuels but a banner 2020 for renewables as the coronavirus pandemic triggers “the biggest shock to the global energy system in more than seven decades.”

“This is a historic shock to the entire energy world,” Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, said in a statement. “Amid today’s unparalleled health and economic crises, the plunge in demand for nearly all major fuels is staggering, especially for coal, oil, and gas. Only renewables are holding up during the previously unheard-of slump in electricity use.”

“It is still too early to determine the longer-term impacts,” he said, “but the energy industry that emerges from this crisis will be significantly different from the one that came before.”

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Image credit: MIT


At least they don’t need any help predicting hours of darkness.
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The output of solar energy systems is highly dependent on cloud cover, says Science Daily.

While weather forecasting can be used to predict the amount of sunlight reaching ground-based solar collectors, cloud cover is often characterized in simple terms, such as cloudy, partly cloudy or clear.

This does not provide accurate information for estimating the amount of sunlight available for solar power plants.

In this week’s Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, from AIP Publishing, a new method is reported for estimating cloud optical properties using data from recently launched satellites.

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Renewables have many issues. Time to stop ‘jerking around’ with them and with batteries, as Bill Gates colourfully stated, and get real instead.

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

Electricity has become a human right.” – Robert Bryce

In chapter 16 of his seminal book, A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations, Austin-based futurist Robert Bryce speaks of “the Terawatt Challenge” – a term coined by the late Nobel laureate Richard Smalley.

Smalley posited that if we can provide sufficient electricity to all the peoples of the world, we can eliminate the massive problems of food security, water quality, poverty, and a clean environment. And Bryce solemnly points out that as a world, we are far from that goal.

But we can get there.

Bryce, whose first book, Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron, was named one of the best nonfiction books of 2002, traces the history of harnessed electricity from Benjamin Franklin through Tesla, Edison, and Westinghouse – and the much less well known but equally…

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Geothermal Power Plant in Iceland [image credit: Wikipedia]


Geothermal energy is expensive even compared to renewables, but are the economics about to change? Maybe not, as the Russians and Saudis seem to have called off their oil production war, so sudden availability of lots of experienced but out-of-work shale drillers may not happen, although the virus factor continues. Also subsidy rates are biased towards intermittent wind and solar, compared to more reliable geothermal power sources.

The coronavirus oil crash could be good news for this renewable energy underdog, says Grist.

Disruptions to supply chains and slowdowns in permitting and construction have delayed solar and wind projects, endangering their eligibility for the soon-to-expire investment tax credits they rely on.

There’s another form of renewable energy, however, that might see a benefit from the recent global economic upheaval and emerge in a better position to help the United States decarbonize its electricity system: geothermal.

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More pie in the sky from the green lobby. No sign here of how the hydrogen would be produced in sufficient quantities to replace all the world’s fuels. A bunch of wind turbines and solar installations would barely begin to do it, given they’re already fully occupied with ever-increasing electricity demand. If ‘infrastructure investment in storage might cost around $637 billion by 2050’, who would be willing to pay such eye-watering sums?
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Carbon-free hydrogen production could significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions in power generation and manufacturing, but it will require a mammoth and long-term financial commitment to become cost competitive, says Power Engineering.

This is according to a new report by BloombergNEF. The research wing of media giant Bloomberg is focused on next-generation energy technologies which also reduce carbon emissions.

Hydrogen can be a zero-carbon substitute for fossil fuels. Companies such as Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), GE, Siemens and Ansaldo Energia already are working on programs to blend hydrogen into their turbine fuel mixes.

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The most optimistic estimate of the advocates is 14% of total US energy supply from (manufactured) hydrogen by 2050. But why would it be worth the cost and effort, even if it could be done? Claims it would ‘strengthen the economy’ seem hard to justify, as hydrogen production is more expensive than that of fuels in use now.

A coalition of major oil & gas, power, automotive, fuel cell, and hydrogen companies have developed and released the full new report, a “Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy”, reports Green Car Congress.

The Road Map stresses the versatility of hydrogen as an enabler of the renewable energy system; an energy vector that can be transported and stored; and a fuel for the transportation sector, heating of buildings and providing heat and feedstock to industry.

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