Monthly Archives: January 2015

NASA Satellite Climatology Data

The data from the Vostok ice core shows clearly that temperature controls atmospheric CO2 levels. That is not to say that CO2 has no impact on temperature, but its impact is modest. NASA satellite derived measurements of troposphere temperatures shows a slowly warming trend of about 1.4˚C per century. A significant part of that will be down to natural warming, some of it down to elevated CO2. The satellite data are consistent with a transient climate response less than 1.5˚C. Satellite data on global cloud cover are inversely correlated with surface temperature, no big surprise. The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project provides unique insight to global climate change, that is mainly natural, but the data are to large extent ignored. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

How To Mitigate Climate Change

An R squared value of 0.89 means in broad terms that about 90% of a country’s exposure to climate change is governed by its per-capita GDP and only 10% by actual changes in climate.

Which in its turn means that we are going about climate change mitigation entirely the wrong way. Instead of spending trillions of dollars building wind farms and rooftop solar installations in futile attempts to cut CO2 emissions we should be sending money to the poor countries to beef up their per-capita GDP. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , | 73 Comments

CO2 – the View from Space

NASA has a new satellite called the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) that is measuring CO2 levels in the atmosphere from space and the first results are in for October 1 to November 11 2014. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

Blowout week 56

This week we condense OPEC, oil prices, Ukraine, Russia, energy shortages, climate change, terrorism, the European Union, Fukushima, Ed Davey and everything else that ails the world into one featured article: Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , | 60 Comments

Wind Blowing Nowhere

In much of Europe energy policy is being formulated by policymakers who assume that combining wind generation over large areas will flatten out the spikes and fill in the troughs and thereby allow wind to be “harnessed to provide reliable electricity” as the European Wind Energy Association tells them it will: Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , | 86 Comments

Market Mayhem

Most readers of this blog should be aware that the price of oil has more than halved in the last 6 months rendering much of the global oil industry unprofitable which is an unprecedented disaster for all of those dependent upon oil in their daily lives. But what is the underlying cause of all this market mayhem and does it really matter? The S&P 500 is after all riding high and the US$ keeps marching towards new highs against the € and other currencies. This post takes a look at a number of indicators searching for answers which are elusive. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , | 34 Comments

UK hits minus 13˚C and wind hits “zero” output

At 14:05 on 19th January the output from the UK’s 11.99 GW fleet of wind turbines dropped to 0.191 GW. This is effectively zero and it’s hard to believe it could get so low given that 4 GW are off shore. This translates to a wind load factor of 0.016 – effectively zero. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , | 44 Comments

The Keystone XL Pipeline

Lobbyists are mobilizing to advance it. Environmentalists are mobilizing to stop it. The newly-elected Republican House has already voted to approve it. So has the newly elected Republican Senate. Obama has threatened a veto. The media are having a field day. What’s so important about Keystone XL? Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , | 46 Comments

Blowout Week 55

The verdict is in. 2014 was the warmest year on record: Or was it?

Stories on oil prices, OPEC, layoffs in the petroleum industry, Russia losing its natural gas clout in Europe, France wanting more nuclear plants, blades falling off wind turbines in Scotland, the US Senate voting on whether climate change is real, energy storage using methane and a hybrid wind/solar generator below the fold: Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Gridwatch UK December 2014

This is the first in what I hope will become a monthly series chronicling the UK generation statistics from BM reports and Gridwatch that will be archived on the main menu bar above. As the database grows it will become possible to identify seasonal and temporal, policy driven, changes to the UK grid. But for now I will let the charts speak for themselves. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Gridwatch France

Engineer Leo Smith developed the Gridwatch web resource to record UK power generation from various sources as reported by Balancing Mechanism (BM) reports. Power generation data for the UK are now available since 2009. Since November 2014, Gridwatch has also been recording generation data in France (thank you Leo) and this post is a first look at these data. The data cover only the period since November 20th, 2014 and are not always of top quality, but there’s enough information to provide some interesting insights. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , | 49 Comments

Scotland Gagging on Wind Power

I last looked into the details and consequences of Scottish energy policy in the pre-referendum post Scotch on the ROCs. The expansion of Scottish renewables is progressing at breakneck speed and the purpose of this post is to update on … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , | 62 Comments

Blowout Week 54

Below the fold: more on OPEC, grid batteries for solar & wind, a new Integral Molten Salt Reactor, climate change displacing millions of people, threatening mass extinctions and forcing us to leave 80% of coal, 50% of gas and 30% of oil reserves in the ground, the Earth’s flipping magnetic field, coal strike in India threatens blackouts, market traders say UK has plenty of spare capacity, outrage in West Virginia that climate change will no longer be taught as a “foregone conclusion” in schools and the National Grid under constant cyberattack. Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

WWF Spins Again

On January 3rd WWF issued a press release purporting to show how 2014 was a “massive year” for wind power in Scotland. Euan Mearns put this claim firmly into perspective. Then two days later, on January 5th, WWF issued another press release summarizing the results of a consultant report which purports to show how Scotland could generate 92% of its electricity requirements from renewables by 2030 without the need for any fossil fuel or nuclear backup. Here we will look briefly into the question of whether this proposal is in any way feasible. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , | 68 Comments

Oil Production Vital Statistics – January 2015

This is the first in a monthly series of posts chronicling the action in the global oil market in 11 key charts.

The oil price crash of 2014 / 15 is following the same pace of the 2008 crash. The 2008 crash was demand driven and began 2 months ahead of the broader market crash.

The US oil rig count peaked in October 2014, is down 127 rigs from peak and is falling fast.

Production in OPEC, Russia and FSU, China and SE Asia and in the North Sea are all stable to falling slowly. The bogey in the pack is the USA where a production rise of 4 Mbpd in 4 years has upset the global supply dynamic.

It is unreasonable for the OECD IEA to expect Saudi Arabia to cut production of cheap oil in order to create market capacity for expensive US oil.

There are likely both over supply and weak demand factors at play, weighted towards the latter. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

WWF – Masters of Spin

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued a press release on 3rd January detailing Scottish renewable energy production for 2014. The press release is based on data provided by WeatherEnergy, an organisation whose business I have yet to establish*. Here’s how … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , | 80 Comments

Blowout Week 53

A lot of Americans living here in Mexico – including my neighbors – are climate refugees from the Pacific Northwest.

More stories below the fold, including the requisite dose of oil and OPEC, oil exports from the US, natural gas from Australia, US fuel in Ukranian nuclear plants, trees absorbing more CO2 than expected, tidal power in Canada and Scotland, carbon-free cities, EON spins off fossil fuels, decorator wind turbines and a new low point for climate change attribution – the crash of AirAsia flight MZ8501. Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

UK Electricity Interconnectors – a Double-Edged Sword

The UK’s energy plan assumes that more interconnectors will contribute to future energy security by allowing power surpluses on the Continent to be delivered to UK when power is in short supply. And the more interconnectors the better, hence additional interconnectors with France and Ireland plus new interconnectors linking the UK with Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Iceland are now in various stages of planning or construction. If all of them are completed on schedule the UK will have somewhere around 12GW of interconnector capacity – three times the current amount – by 2020. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , | 67 Comments