Posts Tagged ‘renewables’


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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US wind farm [image credit: Steve Wilson @ Wikipedia]


Some resistance is inevitable but the policy is clear: let the renewables industries pay more for their own research.
H/T Phys.org

The Trump administration will ask Congress to cut funding for clean energy and energy efficiency programs by 72 percent in this year’s budget, according to a report in the Washington Post, underscoring its preference for fossil fuels.

The Post said it had obtained draft documents that outlined the administration’s starting point for negotiations for the 2018 budget, set to be unveiled in February.

Congress, which is ultimately tasked with deciding appropriations, could push back—but the documents signal the White House’s policy priorities, the newspaper said.

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France’s President Macron at Davos


France’s virtue-signalling anti-coal pledge may sound grand, but as the report points out it ‘only has three power plants that burn coal’, providing 1% of its electricity. Another potential problem for France is the inflexibility of nuclear power, which is not suitable for rapid ramping up and down in response to changes in demand and/or short-term fluctuations in renewable energy. In February 2017 the German nuclear plant at Brokdorf was taken offline after the operation of the plant in “load-following” mode had contributed to unexpected oxidation of its fuel rods.

France failed to meet its global warming target, as The Daily Caller reports.

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We don’t normally do press releases at the Talkshop, but this one might be interesting if we can work out what it really means. The fact that they refer to grid stability implies it’s an issue in Germany at least.

Automobile, home and power supply combined to form an intelligent energy network: In a pilot project the Audi Smart Energy Network for the first time interacts with the power grid.

This marks a major advance for grid stability, claims Audi’s press release.

As part of a research project, Audi is running a pilot project with households in the Ingolstadt area and the Zurich region in conjunction with other partners.

This involves combining various sizes of photovoltaic systems with stationary storage batteries. The control software by the Zurich start-up company Ampard distributes the solar power intelligently based on the current or plannable demand from car, household and heating system.

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Who knew? Apart from nearly everyone who ever gave it any thought, that is. But if confirmation and analysis from published research is needed, PEI reports it here. It seems to be worse than they thought.

Grid stability is likely to be increasingly challenged as power distribution moves from a centralized to a more decentralized model, new research has found.

According to a paper published this week in the journal Nature Energy by researchers from Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization and the UK’s Queen Mary University of London, integrating growing numbers of renewable power installations and microgrids onto the grid can result in larger-than-expected fluctuations in grid frequency.

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Hazelwood power station, Australia – closed in 2017 [image credit: Simpsons fan 66 at English Wikipedia]


How much enforced variability in electricity generation can a country’s power system tolerate? A close look at the numbers for Australia is not encouraging, to say the least.

How often have you heard that Wind power is intermittent, but has anyone ever explained that to you, or shown just how it actually is intermittent, and what it means, asks TonyfromOz.

What if you need a dedicated amount of power all the time? Can wind power be relied on to generate that dedicated amount of power?

Over the last Month, I have been detailing the closure of the 53 year old Hazelwood brown coal fired power plant in the State of Victoria here in Australia, and comparing that plant’s power generation with wind power across the whole of Australia, and that Post is at this link.

The main comparison was with all the wind plants across the whole of Australia, but I was also including the data for just the wind plants in the same State that the Hazelwood plant was in, Victoria.

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Greens playing propaganda tricks on the public? Probably not their first ‘offence’ of this kind…
H/T The GWPF

Environmental activists have withdrawn an advertising campaign after being accused of making false claims about the price of wind energy, says the Daily Mail.

The poster, launched in September by Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi and plastered around Westminster Tube station and across London’s transport network, claimed the price had fallen by 50 per cent over the past two years.

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They are probably muddling through thanks to interconnectors to countries with more reliable electricity generation like France (nuclear) and Poland (coal), but with existing policies things are bound to get even worse.

STOP THESE THINGS

If you’re looking for examples on how to deliberately destroy an economy, look no further than renewables obsessed Germany and its equally deranged doppelgänger Downunder, South Australia: both are attempting to run on sunshine and breezes; both suffer rocketing power prices; and both now have grids on the brink of collapse.

South Australia has become the butt of international jokes as a result of routine mass load-shedding and repeated Statewide blackouts caused by sudden, total and totally unpredictable collapses in wind power output.

Now, Germany is headed in the same disastrous direction. Whenever the Sun disappears (Sunset will do it every time) and/or the wind stops blowing, Germany’s grid managers have to pull out all stops to prevent Deutschland returning to the Dark Ages.

German Media Report: Power Grids In Distress…Highly Unstable Due To Wind And Solar Power!
No Tricks Zone
Pierre Gosselin
11 November 2017

Recently German SAT1 television…

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A fine day in Antarctica [image credit: BBC]


We’re told: ‘Environmental champion, who was first person to walk to both poles, uses Antarctic trek as green wake-up call.’ But who really needs to be woken up? The polar night means Antarctica is a dead zone for solar power for six months of every year, highlighting the fact that part-time sources of electricity can never be relied upon.

“Thirty years ago, I was the first person in history perhaps stupid enough to walk to the North and South Poles,” renowned British explorer Robert Swan, 61, tells IBTimes UK.

“I had no intention ever in my life of ever walking anywhere cold again – this was definite.”

But that is exactly what he is going to do.

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Lerwick’s diesel power station [image credit: BBC]


The plan was to link a power cable to the UK mainland and have new diesel generators as back-up. But now they will rely on imported diesel and medium fuel oil as before, and wait to see if wind power appears on the scene.

Diesel plant will remain open until 2025 after EU emissions limits relaxed, reports Utility Week.

Ofgem has rejected plans to install a 60MW power line between the Shetland Islands and mainland Britain.

The regulator said the subsea cable is no longer needed as the loosening of emissions limits means the islands’ ageing diesel power plant can remain open for longer than previously anticipated.

SSE’s 67MW Lerwick Power Station was due to close by 2021 due to tougher emissions limits introduced under the EU’s Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).

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


No mention here of the huge cost of putting yet more hundreds or thousands of wind turbines miles offshore, or of what is supposed to happen when it’s not windy enough to generate any, or much of, the required electricity – other than vague reference to ‘storage and demand response’, and interconnectivity.

EUROPE: A total offshore wind capacity of at least 230GW is needed in northern Europe by 2045 to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement, according to newly published research, writes Craig Richard at Windpower Offshore.

This increased capacity in the North Sea, Irish Sea, Channel, Baltic Sea, and Atlantic Ocean would require between 50GW and 80GW of new interconnectivity to ensure reliable operation, energy and climate consultancy Ecofys found.

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Wind turbines towering over the landscape


When they say ‘flexible power sources’ they mean the ones that are needed when unreliable renewables have largely gone to sleep, for example at night or when it’s not windy. The costs of running such a dual system or the consequences of power shortages, especially in winter, are not mentioned, although they admit that there will be “entire weeks and months” where solar and wind will produce “little energy”. It all sounds unreal.

Renewable energy will account for more than half of the UK’s power supply by 2026, according to a new study, reports Utility Week.

The report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and commissioned by Eaton and the Renewable Energy Association, claims there will be a “significant acceleration” in the shift to renewable sources over the next 20 years and that this move will create new opportunities for new flexible power sources.

By 2040, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of power will be generated from renewable sources, according to the report and at “certain times” wind and solar energy along could meet total power demand in both the UK and Germany.

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You couldn’t make it up. Welcome to the crazy world of climate recriminations.

Judith Curry writes: Well I am just speechless.

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

Mannian litigation gone wild. — Steve McIntyre

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The short working life of wind turbines compared to power stations, plus their lack of commercial viability, will likely put the brakes on German renewables expansion according to this GWPF report. Where do used wind farms go to die?

Wind power is the most important component of Germany’s green energy transition.

The end of subsidies for older turbines, however, threatens countless wind farms. By 2023, more than a quarter of Germany’s onshore wind farms may be gone.

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Credit: ITER


A rosy picture of cheap renewables is put forward by Bloomberg, but they rely on ‘promises’ and ignore the true logistics of plastering the world with their Hollywood-style vision of wind turbines, solar panels and industrial-scale batteries. The extravagant claim is made that ‘the concept of the need for baseload generation is fading away’. How’s that going in Australia for example?
H/T The GWPF

The world’s biggest scientific experiment is on course to become the most expensive source of surplus power. 

With wind-farm campaigners starting to promise subsidy-free power by 2025 and electricity demand in Europe stagnating, the future of fusion research looks bleak.

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Image credit: Statoil


They’re only tethered to the sea floor, but you still wouldn’t want to bump into one. The five turbines are 253 metres tall (of which 78m. submerged) and 720-1,600 metres apart, about 25 km.(15 miles) offshore. Will they throw the towel in if one floats away – or sinks?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened the 30 MW Hywind Scotland windfarm today (18 October), which is situated 25 kilometres off the coast of Aberdeenshire, and being operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar reports Utility Week.

“This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland,” said Sturgeon. “Our support for floating offshore wind is testament to this government’s commitment to the development of this technology and, coupled with Statoil’s Battery Storage Project, Batwind, puts us at the forefront of this global race and positions Scotland as a world centre for energy innovation.”

Statoil’s executive vice president of new energy solutions, Irene Rummelhoff, said Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 metres and will be able to open areas “that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind”.

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Power lines in Victoria, Australia [credit: Wikipedia]


Still trying to square the circle of unreliable, expensive renewables and reliable, affordable electricity supplies. At least one backbencher is starting to get it: “The problem with solar and wind … you’ve got to have them backed up in some way, and that’s either got to be a coal-fired power station, a gas generator or some form of battery.” And making batteries to the scale of power stations is neither practical nor affordable.

The details have not officially been released, but the ABC understands Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will argue his policy will lower electricity bills more than a Clean Energy Target (CET), while meeting Australia’s Paris climate change commitments, as the GWPF reports.

It is understood Cabinet last night also agreed to force retailers to guarantee a certain amount of so-called dispatchable power that can be switched on and off on demand, to avoid outages.

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