Posts Tagged ‘renewables’


Classifying this as humour may not be appropriate, but we live in hope.
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IT IS the year 2050 and Britain, relentlessly driven by the governing Labour-Green coalition, has achieved Net Zero, imagines David Wright @ TCW (The Conservative Woman).

The nation is quite unrecognisable from the comfortable, well-fed country it was in the early part of the 21st century.

Massive wind turbines cover the landscape; the old ones built 25 years ago now knocked down and lying next to the new ones because it was uneconomic to remove them.

The whole country is covered in a dense spider’s web of power lines from the multitude of wind and solar farms miles from where the power is needed.

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German forest with wind turbines


The research team ‘concludes that wind power development in forests must be avoided’, if at all possible. Not what climate obsessives want to hear, but hardly surprising news. More scientific evidence of what was already known.
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More than 30,000 turbines have already been installed on the German mainland so far, and the industry is currently scrambling to locate increasingly rare suitable sites.

Thus, forests are coming into focus as potential sites, says Berlin’s FVB research institute.

A scientific team from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) now demonstrated in a new paper published in the scientific journal “Current Biology” that wind turbines in forests impair endangered bat species: Common noctules (Nyctalus noctula), a species with a high risk of colliding with rotor blades, are attracted to forest wind turbines if these are located near their roosts.

Far from roosts, common noctules avoid the turbines, essentially resulting in a loss of foraging space and thus habitat for this species.

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Apart from making everything much more expensive and further jeopardising the stability of the electricity grid, what possible benefits arise from this? Misplaced ‘carbon’ obsession already has a lot to answer for.
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The Government has been urged to go “further and faster” on cutting carbon emissions with the publication of a review of the UK’s net zero plans, says Yahoo News.

The review, carried out by Tory MP Chris Skidmore and published on Friday, described net zero as “the economic opportunity of the 21st century” and said the UK was “well placed” to take advantage of the opportunities presented by decarbonisation.

But it also warned that the UK would have to move “quickly” and “decisively”, and opportunities were already being missed thanks to a lack of skills and “inconsistent policy commitment”.

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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company or ADNOC is the state-owned oil company of the United Arab Emirates


Sounds like a sensible chap, on energy matters, but some ‘campaigners’ are already frothing. Pointing out that oil and gas demand is continuing to rise isn’t a crime, it’s just reality.
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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has appointed Sultan Al-Jaber to be the president of the Cop28 climate talks in November, reports Climate Home News.

Al Jaber heads the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), the twelfth largest oil company in the world, and the emirates’ much smaller renewable energy firm Masdar.

He has been a key figure in national climate and energy policy for over a decade. While Al Jaber has promoted renewable energy, in November 2021 he called for increased global investment in oil and gas.

“The oil and gas industry will have to invest over $600bn every year until 2030 just to keep up with the expected demand,” he told an Abu Dhabi oil conference.

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Heysham power station [image credit: Belfast Telegraph]


The UK government is running short of electricity supply options due to net zero policies based on climate obsessions, as well as years of reluctance to believe that renewable energy is, and will always be, too erratic and unreliable. A power supply crunch is looming.
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The Telegraph reports:
Two nuclear power stations crucial to keeping Britain’s lights on risk being closed next year as a result of Jeremy Hunt’s windfall tax, their French owner warns today.

EDF, which operates all five of the country’s serving nuclear plants, said the Chancellor’s raid on power producers will make it harder to keep the ageing Heysham 1 and Hartlepool stations open as long as hoped.

It would mean the sites close in March 2024, potentially removing the “cushion” of spare capacity used by the National Grid to avoid blackouts and reducing nuclear power generation in Britain to its lowest level since the 1960s.

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LNG vessels [image credit: offshoreenergytoday.com]


Who knew? Just as night follows day, replacing on-demand power generation with intermittent sources can and does cause reliability and other issues of varying severity. Preferring imported gas to domestic sources was another avoidable mistake, leading to far more of the supposedly fearsome CO2 emissions than necessary. The climate excuse is wearing thin.
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The UK will be scrambling for highly expensive gas imports to meet its energy needs this winter to stave off blackouts whenever the wind doesn’t blow, warned a leading energy expert.

Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, told City A.M. that the intermittent performance of domestic renewable power is proving costly for the West.

He argued the country lacks a reliable alternative base-load of power aside from highly expensive natural gas.

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Windfarm in the California desert


They plan to keep increasing electricity demand by (for example) mandating EVs, while reducing reliable supply in pursuit of climate obsessions. How long can US States go on ignoring the obvious?
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California and parts of the Midwest are at a high risk of electricity shortages in the coming years amid the transformation of their grid from one reliant on fossil fuels to one reliant on other sources of energy such as wind and solar, says OilPrice.com.

The warning comes from the latest annual assessment of the grid by the North American Reliability Corporation, as cited by CNBC.

According to the assessment, the Midwest and Ontario in Canada risk power shortages because they are retiring more generation capacity than they are adding.

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Windy enough today?


This recent Yale Environment360 article came into focus today when Sky News headlined with: Future of renewable energy in balance as UK suffers wind drought – with ‘global stilling’ to come. Ironically, climate theory has it that warming will happen and will reduce wind speeds over the decades ahead. According to one expert (says Yale), a 10 percent decline in wind speeds would actually result in “a 30 percent drop [in output], and that would be catastrophic.”
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Last year, from summer into fall, much of Europe experienced what’s known as a “wind drought,” says Yale.

Wind speeds in many places slowed about 15 percent below the annual average, and in other places, the drop was even more pronounced.

It was one of the least windy periods in the United Kingdom in the past 60 years, and the effects on power generation were dramatic.

Wind farms produced 18 percent of the U.K.’s power in September of 2020, but in September of 2021, that percentage plummeted to only 2 percent. To make up the energy gap, the U.K. was forced to restart two mothballed coal plants.

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St. Nazaire wind farm


Move over, carbon credits. Here come ‘statistical megawatts’.

H/T Tallbloke
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France is the only one of the 27 EU member states to have missed its objective for 2020, when renewable energy represented 19.1% of its consumption, below the 23% target, says Le Monde.

For failing to reach its European targets for renewable energy in 2020, which it had set itself a decade earlier, the French state will have to pay out several hundred million euros.

“It will cost France €500 million this year for not having met its target for renewable energy,” the Minister for Energy Transition told MPs on Monday, November 21, as reported by the French daily newspaper Libération.

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Winter isn’t even here yet. But with a colder weather spell plus low wind speeds around the corner, trouble is already brewing for renewables-infested electricity supplies. Somehow it’s linked to problems in France and/or Ukraine, according to this report.
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National Grid opted against implementing emergency measures to stave off blackouts tomorrow, escalating fears of supply shortages this winter, reports City A.M.

The company’s electricity system operator (NGESO) revealed this morning that it was considering activating its Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) for the first time to help reduce the risk of blackouts on Tuesday.

This follows power outages in France and a decline in renewable energy generation over the past week.

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The makers say: ‘To charge the battery, we take CO2 at near atmospheric temperature and pressure and we compress it. The heat that is generated during compression is stored. When we exchange the thermal energy with the atmosphere, the CO2 gas becomes liquid.

To generate and dispatch electricity, the liquid CO2 is heated up and converted back into a gas that powers a turbine, which generates power. The CO2 gas is always contained and the entire system is sealed. We don’t use any exotic materials.’
— Looks like another net user of power.

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Italian startup Energy Dome, maker of the world’s first CO2 battery, is officially entering the US market, says Electrek.

Energy Dome’s battery uses carbon dioxide to store energy from wind and solar on the grid.

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The UK electricity system’s so-called transition to renewables hits yet another bump in the road. The dream of guaranteed income was just an expensive illusion.
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One of the country’s largest solar farm owners has entered administration amid the fallout from a scandal that forced an Essex council leader to resign, reports The Guardian.

Administrators at Interpath Advisory have been appointed to Toucan Energy Holdings, which owns a portfolio of 53 solar parks with a combined capacity of 513 megawatts across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A recent investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that Thurrock council in Essex, Toucan’s main creditor, borrowed hundreds of millions of pounds to invest in the solar farm scheme run by globetrotting financier Liam Kavanagh.

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Credit: cleantechnica.com


This article argues it will never be possible. The killer phrase is ‘energy intensive’.
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Not being a dope, you likely realized a long time ago that it was going to take a lot of energy to manufacture the components of the future green energy utopia, says Francis Menton (via Climate Change Dispatch).

Wind turbines, solar panels, electric cars, and so forth — there is lots of steel, other metals, and silica involved that all need to be melted at high temperatures to get formed into the devices.

How are they going to achieve that at a reasonable cost using just the wind and sun as energy sources?

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[image credit: latinoamericarenovable.com]


They’ve had coal, gas and oil filling that requirement for many decades. But now they scratch their heads and look for viable alternatives, with nothing of note to show for their effort. Climate obsessions like the ‘net zero’ illusion can do strange things to people’s ability to think rationally. Throwing away something vital without a suitable replacement is asking for trouble.
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If the transition to renewables is to succeed, we will need a viable means of storing surplus heat and electricity, says TechXplore.

Globe spoke to experts from ETH Zurich about the promising technologies that could help us reach net zero.

Switzerland aims to transition to a net-zero energy system by 2050. To meet this goal, it will need to replace fossil fuels with renewables.

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Moray East windfarm [image credit: offshorewind.biz]


It turns out that ‘when a windfarm is constrained off or constrained down, it doesn’t actually have to switch off or switch down. It is free to divert power via a private wire to anyone who will pay for it.’ Someone with a big battery, for example.
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I recently noted that Moray East, a very large and very new windfarm situated off the Scottish coast, is spending a remarkable amount of time switched off – something like a quarter of the time, in fact, says Andrew Montford @ NZW.

As is widely known, windfarms can receive so-called constraint payments when the transmission grid doesn’t have the capacity to deliver power from windfarms (typically in the north, and often far offshore) to markets (in the south), so Moray East receiving such payments was not a surprise; only the scale of the payments was.

A constraint payment is worth around £60 per megawatt hour, which is around the fixed price at which Moray East contracted to sell power to the grid.

However, as noted elsewhere, Moray East has failed to take up that contract, and it is therefore able to sell its output into the open market at £200, £300 or even £400 per megawatt hour.

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Image credit: BBC


Some pushback against the excesses of climate obsession.
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Liz Truss is poised to ban solar projects from most farms in England in a move that will dismay climate change campaigners and some Tory backbenchers, says Yahoo News.

The prime minister has long been opposed to solar farms on agricultural land, condemning them as “a blight on the landscape” when she was environment secretary in 2014.

And during the Tory leadership campaign this summer, she said she wanted to see farmers producing food with crops and livestock, “not filling fields with paraphernalia like solar farms”.

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Having tied their own hands with the Climate Change Act, UK politicians are now locked in arguments about how best to implement unworkable energy policies. Intermittency of electricity supply is baked into the legislation.
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A Conservative minister has said “in the short run” the UK cannot afford net zero, reports Sky News.

Speaking at an event run by the Institute of Economic Affairs at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker told a packed room of party members that cutting net zero commitments this year would save households more than £1,500 amid the ongoing energy crisis.

“It’s time to have a sensible conversation about net zero,” Mr Baker urged.

He said that the government remains committed to net zero in the long term, but “the big problem that we’ve got is that renewables are intermittent”.

“The reality is that renewables are great when they are available, but they still require a lot of subsidies going in.

“So what we need is a gas to nuclear strategy. We are going to need gas as a transition fuel.”

But fellow Tory MP and panellist Bim Afolami disagreed with Mr Baker’s remarks, saying “we can afford net zero and we need to”.

He told the audience that “we need more nuclear” and “yes, we need gas as a transitional fuel as well”, adding: “But crucially, we need wind and solar.”

Mr Afolami continued: “We have some of the windiest coastlines in the world. Let’s use it. And most importantly, when there’s a war in Ukraine or anywhere else, we are not dependent on anyone else.”

Full report here.

[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]


Until we hear that wind and solar power to generate electricity will be adequate 24/7 without $trillions spent on unfathomably large quantities of batteries, other cost discussions – while obviously important – are of secondary interest. But big numbers may fool some folk.
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Yesterday, the Green media was getting extremely excited about a new paper, which claimed that renewable energy was going to save society millions and billions and trillions of pounds by 2050 (or something like that), writes Andrew Montford.

Ten trillion pounds by 2050 said the BBC.

As readers here know, I keep a close eye on the cost of renewables, and have published papers on both offshoreand onshorewind, showing that the financial accounts of operators in both sectors show no sign of significant cost reductions.

It’s not just me either: my findings closely match those of the energy economist, Professor Gordon Hughes, the energy analyst Kathryn Porter, and an important paper in the peer reviewed literature.

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Fracking: note the deep shaft


The battle of the crises – energy and climate. One real, one…not so much. Silence continues on the renewables intermittency question.
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The Government’s climate change tsar was told he needs to ‘live in the real world’ after he warned Liz Truss against lifting the fracking moratorium despite the energy crisis, reports the Daily Mail.

Lord Deben said approving fracking would have no impact on energy prices – and urged her to focus on renewables instead.

The Prime Minister is set to end the ban on the gas extraction method today, after pledging to take action during the leadership campaign.

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[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]


This has been the case since the Climate Change Act was passed in 2008 with minimal political debate, even without ‘perverse loopholes’ in contracts. Renewable energy is in effect a licence to print money.
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London, 1 September: Net Zero Watch has condemned the Government’s green energy policies as “a national disaster.”

This follows the announcement that a major offshore windfarm will not activate an agreement to sell power at a much lower cost to the grid.

The Times has reported that the Hornsea 2 windfarm, which had a contract to sell power at £73 per megawatt hour, will instead sell in the open market, where prices have averaged £200 per megawatt hour this year, and reached £508 last week.

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