Posts Tagged ‘renewables’

[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]


By lurching from feast to famine and back, surplus to deficit — depending on weather, time of day and variations in demand. Cue calls for yet more expense to fix this entirely predictable but looming problem.
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The huge growth of the UK’s solar and wind could lead to an excess amount of electricity by 2030, says Energy Live News.

That’s according to a new study that suggests a huge amount of energy could go to waste if this expansion of renewable energy sources is not paired with a similar rise in the installation of energy storage technologies.

Consultancy LCP justified its forecast on the basis that Britain’s grid operates on a supply and demand process.

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That’s what it amounts to, even if the phrasing is different. Scenarios based on theories of climate that aren’t borne out by reality are the curse of modelling. All they seem to come up with is impossible demand reduction i.e. much less of everything – except renewables of course. It can’t get any better while their built-in CO2 obsession persists.
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Renewable energy transition won’t come fast enough to solve the climate crisis—we also need to reduce global energy consumption, according to new research from UNSW Sydney.

The research, published recently in Climate Policy, models different energy-use scenarios for reducing global energy-related CO2 emissions to zero by 2050, says Phys.org.

It found that simply substituting fossil fuels with renewable energy at current energy usage levels is no longer enough.

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The affordable part’s already on the way out, or gone for some.

STOP THESE THINGS

Once upon a time, governments strived to ensure their citizens had access to reliable and affordable electricity. That was then. This is now.

A cabal of wind and solar rent-seekers and their political enablers are determined to control every aspect of your daily life, by preventing you from having electricity, as and when you need it.

If you think that the Great Green Reset is not a work in progress, we suggest you read on.

Examining California’s Renewable Energy Plan
California Globe
Edward Ring
8 March 2022

If you live in California, by now you’ve probably seen the ads, either on prime time television or online, exhorting you to “Power Down 4 to 9PM.” These ads are produced by “Energy Upgrade California,” paid for by “investor-owned energy utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission.”

According to the mission of Energy Upgrade…

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Our Boris misleading? Where have we heard that one before? The government likes to pretend ‘green’ subsidies are doing people a favour and somehow saving the climate, but they aren’t.
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Net Zero Watch has accused the Prime Minister of being economical with the truth about the cost of renewable energy levies.

Speaking during his visit to India, Mr Johnson rejected growing calls for scrapping green levies on energy bills, claiming that renewable energy “has helped to reduce bills”.

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Offshore wind project in North Wales [image credit: northwales.com]


Even more expensive electricity, in pursuit of mythical net zero targets. The planned 25% contribution of nuclear power doesn’t give much confidence about where the other 75% should come from when it’s dark and not windy. Why the claimed ‘cheap renewables’ need not-cheap subsidies is not explained, and hydrogen isn’t cheap either.
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The Energy Security Strategy announced by government just under a fortnight ago “provides a clear, long-term plan to accelerate [the UK’s] transition away from expensive fossil fuel prices set by global markets [it] cannot control.”

That’s according to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who delivered a speech explaining his views on the new strategy and how he believes it can help shift the British energy market, reports Energy Live News.

“More wind, more solar, more nuclear – while also using North Sea gas to transition to cheaper and cleaner power,” was his succinct summary of the new strategy.

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Lord Frost was unimpressed by the UK’s newly announced energy plan. Government bluster about hydrogen and biomass has minimal credibility. They believe the climate guff and all decisions flow from that. Expensive and risky.
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A former Cabinet Minister has warned people could face the rationing of energy as a result of the implementation of the recent Energy Security Strategy, reports Energy Live News.

Lord Frost said: “I was not massively convinced that the energy security paper really changed anything much. I think it does not deal with the problem that it’s all very well to build a lot of wind power but it needs a backup by other power for when the wind does not blow and I did not see that problem really addressed in the security paper.”

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Image credit: researchgate.net


The report says ‘Water is still leaching from the tailings pond towards the nearby Yellow River – China’s “mother river”, its basin home to 160 million people’. Are climate obsessives and those in renewables-hungry governments content to look the other way?
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There is an open wound in Baotou, says Sky News.

This city in Inner Mongolia, northern China, is home to more than two million people.

A lake lies on the west of the city, one filled with a black grey sludge of toxic and radioactive material.

This is a tailings pond, a quaint name for what is really a dumping ground.

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Image credit: MIT


The unhealthy obsession with weather-dependent electricity generation is to be cranked up to new levels of absurdity if the climate-obsessed minister gets his way. The Telegraph says ‘England faces being carpeted with solar panels in net zero push’. No use on short grey winter days, but maybe OK on a fine day in summer when electricity demand is low anyway.
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Press release – Net Zero Watch

While the government is struggling to agree a new energy security strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng is reported to be proposing a tenfold expansion of solar power, a fivefold increase in offshore wind, and a threefold increase in onshore wind, as well as a small increase in the nuclear fleet.

Net Zero Watch’s deputy director, Andrew Montford said:

The capital cost alone would run to £10,000 per household. This is an insane proposal at a time when households are already struggling with a doubling of the cost of their energy bills.”

And Dr John Constable, Net Zero Watch’s director of energy said:

On top of the capital cost, Mr Kwarteng’s plan would cost billions of pounds of operating costs, and billions more to keep the grid functioning. This is not the kind of proposal a serious politician would put forward”.

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See also: UK minister aims to triple solar power capacity by 2030.

Offshore wind farm [image credit: Wikipedia]


Will Brexit bitterness ever die? Renewables are now mired in international politics.
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Brussels has launched a legal challenge over the use of British parts in the UK’s offshore wind farms, reports the Telegraph.

The European Commission submitted its complaint to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the first such move it has made since Brexit.

The UK Government asks offshore wind farm developers to say how many of the parts they are using are from Britain.

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Do Wind Farms Change The Weather?

Posted: March 10, 2022 by oldbrew in research, turbines, weather, wind
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More research needed it seems, but it hasn’t been ruled out.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

The effect of lots of wind turbines on weather and climate is a small but active research area. Wind power converts wind energy into electricity, thereby removing that energy from the air.

The research issue of how taking a lot of energy out might affect weather or climate seems to have emerged as early as 2004. Studies range from the global climate impact down to the local effects of a single large wind facility.

Here is a nontechnical article on a key global climate scale paper in 2011: “Wind and wave farms could affect Earth’s energy balance“in New Scientist magazine, March 30, 2011. Must register to read here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028063-300-wind-and-wave-farms-could-affect-earths-energy-balance/

Here is the seminal technical paper: “Estimating maximum global land surface wind power extractability and associated climatic consequences” by L. M. Miller, F. Gans, and A. Kleidon; Earth System Dynamics…

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Where are existing climate-obsessed energy policies taking us? The drive toward renewable energy production in new building developments can make microgrids susceptible to outages, this research article suggests. Batteries are not a solution, they say.
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The abstract of the article says:

Contemporary proliferation of renewable power generation is causing an overhaul in the topology, composition, and dynamics of electrical grids. These low-output, intermittent generators are widely distributed throughout the grid, including at the household level. It is critical for the function of modern power infrastructure to understand how this increasingly distributed layout affects network stability and resilience. This paper uses dynamical models, household power consumption, and photovoltaic generation data to show how these characteristics vary with the level of distribution. It is shown that resilience exhibits daily oscillations as the grid’s effective structure and the power demand fluctuate. This can lead to a substantial decrease in grid resilience, explained by periods of highly clustered generator output. Moreover, the addition of batteries, while enabling consumer self-sufficiency, fails to ameliorate these problems. The methodology identifies a grid’s susceptibility to disruption resulting from its network structure and modes of operation.’

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Full research article here: Science Advances, March 2022


Who is this supposedly green all-renewable energy virtue signalling mega-project actually for, some are asking. The BBC attempts to look behind the curtain, while the Saudis confirm they want to keep selling oil until there either isn’t any more to sell or there are no buyers.
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Glow-in-the dark beaches. Billions of trees planted in a country dominated by the desert. Levitating trains. A fake moon. A car-free, carbon-free city built in a straight line over 100 miles long in the desert.

These are some of the plans for Neom – a futuristic eco-city that is part of Saudi Arabia’s pivot to go green. But is it all too good to be true?

Neom claims to be a “blueprint for tomorrow in which humanity progresses without compromise to the health of the planet”.

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Wyoming coal trains [image credit: energycatalyzer3.com/


A cold blast of reality is upsetting the fragile dreams of climate obsessives, who like to think humans can make the weather cooler by spending fortunes on expensive and often inefficient technologies. Renewables will never get anywhere near meeting global energy demand, which always rises.
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At the conclusion of the UN climate summit in November, COP26 President Alok Sharma praised the “heroic efforts” of nations showing that they could rise above their differences and unite to tackle climate change, an outcome that “the world had come to doubt.”

It turns out that the world was right to be skeptical, says the Taipei Times / Bloomberg.

Three months later, political intransigence, an energy crisis and economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic have cast doubt on the progress made in Glasgow, Scotland.

If last year was marked by optimism that the biggest polluters were finally willing to set ambitious net-zero targets, this year threatens to be the year of global backsliding.

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Energy costs on the rise


Entirely foreseeable. When renewables are under-performing, the National Grid is under pressure to keep the electricity supply system afloat, giving fringe providers an obvious earning opportunity as there are only a limited number of them able to offer such a service, and time is short. As long as renewables are given priority and are increasing their share of the market, everything else has to cover its fixed costs with a shrinking share, forcing prices up. It’s an inevitable result of the UK government’s climate-obsessed policies on power generation.
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The power industry is concerned some companies could be making massive profits on the occasional days when renewable electricity generation slumps, says Sky News.

Generators which step up to fill those gaps are charging record prices to “balance” the supply of electricity as our power grid rapidly shifts towards net-zero.

The costs are paid by the industry, but are ultimately passed on to bill payers.

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The Era of Cheap Renewables Grinds To A Halt 

Posted: January 26, 2022 by oldbrew in Batteries, Energy, opinion
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Digging for cobalt [image credit: mining.com]


When was that, you may ask. Anyway, whoever thinks there was such a time is about to find out it’s becoming a memory only, according to this article. For one thing, the required mining has been exposed as lacking investor appeal due to its environmental footprint, so to speak. Also, demand is likely to accelerate and the mining industry could well struggle to keep pace.
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Supply chain disruptions, rising raw materials costs, and geopolitical tensions have jolted the price of solar panels, wind turbines, and EV batteries, and some analysts now think that the era of cheap renewable energy is over, says OilPrice.com.

The continual decline in production cost for wind, solar, and EV batteries was touted as the driver of their growing adoption and ultimate takeover of the global grid.

Up until two years ago, there was no other scenario on the table—even though inflation was as much a reality then as it is now.

Only now, it has become a lot more pronounced.

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Image credit: thecount.com


‘Four storage solutions to help Britain keep the lights on deep into the future’ says the paper’s sub-heading. But given the puny nature of their suggestions, that looks to be about all they could hope to do. What about actual reliable power for heating, transport, industry, commerce, hospitals, shops, services etc.?
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Soaring energy bills rooted in a global gas supply crunch have focused minds on the age-old problem: how can we better store power? says The Guardian.

Attention has turned to the closure of the Rough gas storage facility in the North Sea in 2017, which left the UK with only enough storage to meet the demand of four to five winter days.

But while gas is being phased out, Britain’s growing reliance on renewables, such as offshore wind and solar, does not solve the problem of intermittency – what happens when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine.

The key to securing enough affordable, low-carbon energy is more storage to make the most of the renewable energy available. A storage boom has been forecast over the coming decade as governments race to meet their climate targets.
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Their four suggestions:
— ‘Gravity’ storage
— Concentrated solar power storage [see below]
— Green hydrogen
— ‘Cryogenic’ batteries

Full article here.
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If anyone finds any or all of these a convincing and/or ‘affordable’ alternative to existing fuels as a storage medium, please explain why.

UPDATE 10/1/22, 7PM (UK)
The Concentrated solar power storage project cited by the Guardian (Crescent Dunes) as an example to follow has already been wound up!

U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey:
‘As a result of alleged misfeasance, nonfeasance, and malfeasance, the project failed, and the plant is now nonoperational.’
[Report dated December 09, 2021]

Environmentalism Has Lost Its Way

Posted: January 5, 2022 by oldbrew in Batteries, Critique, Energy, opinion
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Funny how all the intensive mining for battery, solar panel and wind turbine components, and all the resulting toxic and other waste, gets billed as clean energy by climate obsessives.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

Driven by climate madness, the environmental movement has become the greatest advocate of destructive industrial development in history.

As Kant said: “To will the end is to will the means”. In this case the means to the phantom end of climate control have led environmentalists to abandon all of their principles. Solar and wind require environmental destruction on an unprecedented scale. Electrification requires the use of toxic chemicals on a similar scale. The hazardous waste stream is enormous.

Solar is the worst because the destruction of forests and open land is complete. Perhaps something lives under these vast solar slabs but not much and certainly nothing like what they destroy and displace.

As I pointed out in my recent article on Virginia’s ill-named Clean Economy Act, we are talking about hundreds of square miles of solar devastation today, for just one state. See my https://www.cfact.org/2021/12/27/paving-virginia-with-solar-slabs-is-a-bad-law/

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Overcharged and overtaxed. UK energy customers are getting clobbered from all directions: the markets, the so-called climate levies, and taxes. The government is in disarray as its renewables-based policies force the pace of cost increases.
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Energy bills have soared as global wholesale prices have risen rapidly – but some Tory MPs and peers say they have increased more in the UK because of taxes the government has the power to remove.

Twenty Conservative politicians have urged Boris Johnson to scrap energy taxes as bills continue to rocket, reports Sky News.

The MPs and peers have written a letter in the Sunday Telegraph to ask the prime minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help consumers facing “fuel poverty”.

Energy prices in the UK are being forced up faster than any other comparable country due to “taxation and environmental levies”, they wrote.

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Biomass on the move [image credit: Drax]


The whole ‘net zero’ thing is a scandal in many ways, but at least some MPs are noticing one of the issues, even if partly for the wrong reason. Burning trees isn’t a solution to anything apart from papering over a few of the cracks in electricity supply caused by intermittent renewables.
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Burning wood to create power is a ‘scandal’, 50 MPs warn the energy minister in a letter today.

The letter – which has cross-party support – marks a major shift in political opinion over the burning of biomass, which is currently classed by the Government as a green form of energy, says the Daily Mail.

The letter says the extra emissions produced by biomass ‘are the equivalent of three million Ford Fiestas on our roads’.

Organised by Peter Bottomley, Father of the House of Commons, the letter calls for a meeting with Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to discuss ending subsidies to the Drax power plant in Yorkshire.

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Of course if the UK was willing to tap its own coal and onshore gas and had enough places to burn them, which could have been the case but isn’t, much of this eye-watering expense wouldn’t be needed. But foolish climate obsessions like costly so-called renewables and ‘net zero’ have dulled the minds of too many politicians so here we are. Expect more of the same.
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From September to November, the BM cost reached £967m, compared to £337m the same period last year, reports Energy Live News.

The crisis in the energy market has so far had many collateral damages – one of them, the cost of the Balancing Mechanism (BM) that soared by 234% during the three-month period, from September to November.

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