Blowout Week 143

This week’s Blowout features the UK government’s plan to install 53 million smart meters in UK households and businesses by 2020. The government believes that this will lead to a net saving of £17bn, but others remain unconvinced and are calling for an urgent review of the plan:

Energy Live News:  Business group urges UK government to review smart meter programme

A UK business group has called on the government for an “urgent review” of its £11 billion smart meter programme. The Institute of Directors (IoD) believe the scheme is expensive as the technology is “unnecessarily complex”.

The government aims to install around 53 million smart meters across households and businesses in the UK by 2020. The IoD added while the devices are being offered at no extra cost, the rollout effectively could cost up to £400 per household through energy bills. Its latest survey, which asked 998 members of the group, revealed less than 1% of customers would willingly cover the full cost of smart meters if they had a choice. Nine in 10 said they would pay no more than half the cost of the technology (£200), while half would refuse to pay anything if they had the choice. Dan Lewis, Senior Energy Adviser at the IoD said: “Now is the right time to review the smart meter programme, which is an overly complex scheme for which the benefits are far from clear. There are much cheaper ways of automating meter readings, increasing switching and monitoring energy use but instead we are pushing ahead with costly technology without consumers having all the facts.”

In this week’s blowout we revisit the issue of £billion dumb meters, weak oil prices, Libya ramping oil production a lot, Donald Trump wooing the oil industry, Australia’s stranded coal reserves, wind frenzy in China, US wave power takes off, blackouts in Puerto Rico, the Nordlink inter-connector, Holland to close coal fired power generation, Tesla to power Europe.

Engerati:  More reasons to halt UK smart meters

According to an article from the Financial Times, thousands of consumers have been overcharged or undercharged because energy suppliers have failed to work out whether their meters were reading in cubic feet or cubic metres. More recent coverage suggests this could affect up to a hundred thousand customers, with some being incorrectly billed for up to fifteen years. These energy companies, who can’t work out the difference between metric and imperial units, are the same companies who have been responsible for designing the most complicated smart metering system in the world. When it emerges that they don’t even know how long their ruler is, you have to conclude that they are woefully incompetent to do that design. My personal experience, sitting in technical meetings, is that they are totally out of their depth and the SMETS2 specification is a farce.

Businessgreen:  Government defends smart meter programme

Responding to the IoD’s call for a review, a spokeswoman for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the government has ensured the smart meters programme results in no upfront costs for households and businesses, and criticised the IoD research for failing to recognise the wider benefits of the programme, adding there is no other technology on the market that helps to deliver these benefits for consumers. “Smart meters put households and businesses in control of their energy, allowing bill payers to see exactly how much their energy use costs,” she said in a statement. “This will end estimated billing and deliver £17bn in savings.” Smart Energy GB, the national public engagement body charged with helping consumers make the most out of their new smart meters, also criticised the research and said Britain’s smart meter programme is putting power back in the hands of consumers. “The IoD’s latest statement, which contains inaccuracies and misrepresentation of facts, shows them once again attacking the rollout on ideological grounds,” said Sacha Deshmukh, chief executive of Smart Energy GB. He argued the IoD poll sought its negative findings by failing to inform survey participants that “many billions more in savings” will be made via the programme, which government has said will be passed back to consumers.

Wall Street Journal:  Oil prices slip as OPEC meeting looms

Oil futures fell sharply Friday, posting their biggest daily loss in two months on skepticism that the world’s largest exporters can cooperate and ease a supply glut that has dragged down prices for two years. Crude dropped just before noon after Bloomberg News reported Saudi Arabia doesn’t expect the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to reach an agreement when it meets Wednesday in Algeria’s capital. The comments echo those made last weekend by the group’s secretary-general to Algeria’s state news agency APS that the meeting is informal and not for decision-making. Traders “are reacting with disappointment and disgust,” said Donald Morton, senior vice president at Herbert J. Sims Co., who runs an energy-trading desk. Short bursts of optimism have often been broken by news of internal disputes and by widespread skepticism from analysts and traders about OPEC’s ability to strike a deal. Heavyweights including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq have longstanding political rivalries and have been in a fierce competition to undercut each other and sell more oil. Analysts at Macquarie Group issued a note Friday advising traders to sell on almost any outcome from OPEC’s talks.

Oil Price:  Libya ups oil output

Libya has done the unthinkable: oil production in the war-torn country is actually up substantially in recent weeks, as some idled oil fields came back into operation. Libya’s oil production jumped by more than 70 percent this month, from roughly 260,000 barrels per day in August to 450,000 barrels per day in September, according to Bloomberg. Libya hopes to build on that momentum with the return of some major export terminals that have been sidelined for nearly two years. Libya has set a target of nearly 1 million barrels per day by the end of the year, a hugely ambitious objective that will be difficult to meet. The country still is hoping to boost its fledgling unity government, but violence and political strife is still widespread. But the latest increase is an encouraging sign that progress can be made. That may be good news for Libya, but the North African OPEC member will be dumping additional barrels onto an oversupplied market. And since oil traders have largely forgotten about Libya, which hasn’t been able to boost production beyond the roughly 300,000 barrels per day since 2014, the new supply comes as a bit of a surprise. The oil market is now seeing an extra 200,000 barrels per day, supplies that have not been incorporated into many oil price forecasts. With the global surplus standing at about 1.6 million barrels per day in the first half of 2016, the additional barrels from Libya will have worldwide implications. The IEA already pushed back its timeframe for when it believes the market will balance until the middle of next year. If Libya continues to ramp up production, even the IEA’s dour assessment could prove to be too optimistic.

Time:  Donald Trump Promises Oil and Gas Industry Big But Skepticism Remains

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continued his effort to woo the oil and gas industry in a speech Thursday with a promise to slash regulations and cut taxes. Trump has promised the upper management of energy companies essentially everything they could want. He said Thursday that he would repeal a slew of regulations including the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the ban on new coal mining leases on federal land and other regulations. “It will be a future of conservation, prosperity and great success, for all the people in this room and all the people you employ,” he said Thursday. Some energy executives have supported Trump enthusiastically, including businessman Harold Hamm, who is thought to be Trump’s chief advisor on energy matters. But, for a Republican, the lack of widespread support has been visible. A recent Wall Street Journal report found that oil and gas employees have donated significantly more to Hillary Clinton than Trump. That’s a remarkable turnaround after years of staunch support for Republicans in the industry. There are a number of reasons why they may remain skeptical of Trump’s promises. For one, he has bungled the fundamentals in public settings. Trump suggested this past summer that he believes local communities can decide whether they want to ban fracking on their own, an idea anathema to the industry. He backtracked, but the damage was done.

Seeking Alpha:  Oil industry unconcerned about electric vehicles

Sales of electric vehicles will fall far short of past projections. Paris agreement sounds good, but isn’t based in reality – last internal combustion engine-powered car would have to be sold in 2035 to reach targets. Major markets U.S., China, Germany, and Japan: less than 1 percent of all new vehicles sold are electric. It’ll be a long time before electric vehicles make a major impact on oil. According to the Climate Action Tracker, a group of four research organizations that track the actions being taken by 32 countries which represent 80 percent of emissions, the last vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine would have be sold in 2035 to reach the goals set forth in the Paris agreement. Assuming that’s an accurate conclusion, it shows how unrealistic the idea is, and why oil companies of all sort are very safe in regard to this part of the market.

Science Magazine:  Texas quakes likely triggered by oil and gas activity

The 2012 quakes shook the small town of Timpson, Texas, which lies northeast of Houston near the Louisiana state line. The largest, a 4.8-magnitude quake, and three more magnitude-4 or higher that followed, all originated in a suspicious spot: directly beneath two wells where wastewater generated during oil and gas production in the region is pumped into porous sandstone layers about 1.8 kilometers underground. Oil and gas producers dispose of their wastewater deep underground for a variety of reasons; sometimes pumping fluid into the reservoir helps boost production, and in other cases it’s a convenient method of getting polluted water out of retention ponds on the surface so that it doesn’t inadvertently spill to pollute rivers, streams, or other sources of drinking water. According to data provided by the companies that owned the wells, between 2007 and mid-2012 the two injection wells nearest the quakes and another two wells fewer than 10 kilometers away pumped, on average, about 890,000 cubic meters of water into the ground each year. Many studies have already noted the link between wastewater injection wells and swarms of nearby tremors, says Manoochehr Shirzaei, a geophysicist at Arizona State University, Tempe. Few doubt that injection wells are the chief reason that Oklahoma has overtaken California as the earthquake capital of the United States’s lower 48.

Bloomberg:  Uranium price sinks amid oversupply

Uranium prices have gone from bad to worse, slumping to an 11-year low as brimming global inventories weigh on a market that hasn’t recovered from the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Spot uranium declined 1.4 percent to $24.40 a pound on Thursday, the lowest since April 2005, according to data from Ux Consulting Co. Prices have slumped 29 percent this year, making it the worst performing energy commodity in 2016. The fuel has more than halved since hitting $73 the month before the Fukushima meltdown in 2011. Uranium is heading for a second annual decline, even as producers cut output and Japanese utilities attempt to restart atomic plants. Prices are unlikely to rebound until at least 2019 as a market rebalancing may take another three years, Kirill Komarov, first deputy head of Rosatom Corp., said last month. The Russian company is the world’s fourth-largest producer of the nuclear fuel. “The market is oversupplied and there is a lack of significant demand for spot material,” Jonathan Hinze, executive vice president at Ux Consulting, said by e-mail. “Some producers and other sellers need to move material for cash flow purposes, and thus, we have seen some pretty aggressive selling in the past few weeks. These market conditions are unlikely to change in the near future.”

Guardian:  Australian coal must be left in the ground

Miners seeking the green light to dig up Queensland’s Galilee basin should be stopped as a priority, according to a new report showing existing fossil fuels projects worldwide are enough to push global warming beyond 2C. The report by the research and advocacy group Oil Change International argues there is a compelling case for the six Galilee coalmining proposals in the hands of Australian regulators to be axed in line with a “managed decline” of global coal, oil and gas supplies already on tap. It shows the embedded carbon emissions from operating fields and mines worldwide, if run to the end of their projected lifetimes, would drive warming beyond the 2C limit laid down by last year’s Paris agreement. Developed oil and gas reserves alone would take warming beyond the aspirational 1.5C target. The report shows that if Australia fully exploited its untapped coal reserves – the third largest in the world behind the US and Russia – the resulting emissions would blow almost a third of the world’s carbon budget for 1.5C. About a fifth of these emissions (24 gigatonnes) would come from the six Galilee mining hopefuls who have applied for permits.

BBC:  China embarked on wind power frenzy

China has been building two wind turbines every hour, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has told BBC News. This is the world’s biggest programme of turbine installation, double that of its nearest rival, the US. The nation’s entire annual increase in energy demand has been fulfilled from the wind. But the IEA warns China has built so much coal-fired generating capacity that it is turning off wind turbines for 15% of the time. The problem is that coal-fired power stations are given priority access to the grid. An IEA spokesman told BBC News: “The rather rosy statement on wind energy hides the issue that 2015 and the first half of 2016 also saw record new installations of coal.” China has now a clear over-supply. In the province of Gansu, 39% of wind energy had to be curtailed (turned off because there is not enough capacity on the grid). The average European wind farm is forced to stop generating between 1-2% of the year. He said: “China’s position is clearly unsustainable. It will need strong policy decisions, including the construction of many more grid lines and a phase-out policy for older, more inefficient coal power plants.” State media has reported China’s plans to impose a moratorium on all new coal-fired plants until 2018.

Mail:  First US wave-produced electricity goes on line in Hawaii

Off the coast of Hawaii, a tall buoy bobs and sways in the water, using the rise and fall of the waves to generate electricity. The current travels through an undersea cable for a mile to a military base, where it feeds into Oahu’s power grid — the first wave-produced electricity to go online in the U.S. By some estimates, the ocean’s endless motion packs enough power to meet a quarter of America’s energy needs and dramatically reduce the nation’s reliance on oil, gas and coal. But wave energy technology lags well behind wind and solar power, with important technical hurdles still to be overcome. To that end, the Navy has established a test site in Hawaii, with hopes the technology can someday be used to produce clean, renewable power for offshore fueling stations for the fleet and provide electricity to coastal communities in fuel-starved places around the world. “More power from more places translates to a more agile, more flexible, more capable force,” Joseph Bryan, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy, said during an event at the site. “So we’re always looking for new ways to power the mission.” Hawaii would seem a natural site for such technology. As any surfer can tell you, it is blessed with powerful waves. The island state also has the nation’s highest electricity costs — largely because of its heavy reliance on oil delivered by sea — and has a legislative mandate to get 100 percent of its energy from renewables by 2045. Still, it could be five to 10 years before wave energy technology can provide an affordable alternative to fossil fuels, experts say.

Waste Dive:  New legislation to boost California biomass industry

A bill passed by the California State Legislature in August is expected to help the state’s struggling biomass facilities and has been warmly received by industry representatives, as reported by Construction & Demolition Recycling. The bill would require the state’s largest utilities to get 125 megawatts (MW) of biomass power from dead trees in high hazard forested zones. The California Public Utilities Commission has also placed a 50 MW requirement on the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities. Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign the bill into law by a Sept. 30 deadline. Utilities would have to meet the requirement by Dec. 1. Six biomass plants have closed in the state over the past two years at the same time as tens of millions dead trees need to be disposed after wildfires. Mobile incinerators were seen as one solution to the problem, but much of the material is still being sent to landfills. Biomass industry representatives say incentives for wind and solar have hurt business. While they applauded this new bill, they also said more incentives were needed for agricultural and organic waste.

Bloomberg:  Widespread blackouts in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico declared a state of emergency Thursday as authorities worked to restore electricity to almost 1.5 million utility customers a day after a power-plant fire caused widespread blackouts. Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla, who announced the state of emergency on his Twitter account, said about half of the island’s main utility clients should have electricity by Thursday afternoon. Power to some 130,000 users had been restored by early morning. “The expectation is that by tomorrow service will be restored,” he said during a press briefing in San Juan. “Because the system is so old, setbacks could occur.” The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority said on Wednesday that a blaze at a substation of the Aguirre power plant in the southeast of the island triggered the outage. The fire at the power plant, which generates about 30 percent of the island’s electricity, tripped a safety mechanism that automatically shut down the system, bringing down two 230,000-volt transmission lines, Garcia Padilla said. The outage forced the government to close schools and cancel classes at public universities. It also knocked out water service for 340,000 customers of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority. The blackout comes as the utility known as Prepa, its bondholders, insurance companies and fuel-line lenders are working on a deal that would reduce the utility’s $9 billion debt load through a bond exchange. The Aguirre power plant faced the risk of fines and closure earlier this year after it failed to install scrubbers needed to meet federal standards for toxic emissions.

Eubusiness:  EU faces credibility test on climate action

The European Union is showing up empty-handed as dozens of countries gather today in New York to formally ratify the Paris climate agreement. Quick ratification and higher ambition at home are key if the EU wants to remain a climate champion. So far only three out of 28 EU member states have ratified the Paris Agreement. After months dozing at the back of the class while more alert countries ratified, EU leaders appear to have woken up, and are now pledging quick ratification. “Unless ratification is fast-tracked now, Europe will show up empty-handed once again at the November’s UN climate summit in Marrakech and this would be very embarrassing indeed. We simply cannot afford to stay on the sidelines here”, said Genevieve Pons, Director of the WWF European Policy Office. “Only by ratifying the Paris Agreement quickly can the EU show that it is serious about climate action.” “But faster, more ambitious European and national climate action is also needed. The EU’s current policy proposals do not reflect the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to well under 2 degrees and pursuing efforts to stay below 1.5 degrees,” added Imke Luebbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office. “This year, nearly 90% of all EU climate and energy legislation for 2030 is being proposed, reviewed or reformed. Europe’s ability to seize these opportunities to make legislation more robust and ambitious will be the ultimate climate credibility test.”

Euractiv:  Financiers want climate risk integrated into EU capital markets

Investors managing over €13 trillion in assets have called on EU regulators to foster a financial system that better takes climate risk into account when the European Commission reviews its Capital Markets Union next year. The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), a powerful coalition of green investors and pension funds, has called on EU regulators to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy by profoundly reforming financial markets across Europe. “IIGCC has continuously called for European leadership on climate change – something Europe rightly prides itself for. However, this leadership must be reinforced by enabling the financial system to fully support action against climate change,” the group said in a policy paper published on Tuesday (20 September). “Financial regulation needs to enable and facilitate the changes occurring in the real economy,” it said, calling for an orderly transition to a low-carbon economy. “Climate risk needs to be better reflected in the price of risk so that a shift in capital can be encouraged,” the IIGCC wrote. This includes fostering “a financial system that encompasses time horizons capable of dealing with the challenge of climate change” and steer investments into clean technologies, it said. “We call on EU institutions to develop an action plan to make the capital markets union more sustainable,” the IIGCC said in reference to a flagship initiative by the European Commission to build a single market for capital across the 28-member bloc.

Quartz:  France bans plastic cups, plates and cutlery in a bid to save the planet

Investors managing over €13 trillion in assets have called on EU regulators to foster a financial system that better takes climate risk into account when the European Commission reviews its Capital Markets Union next year. The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), a powerful coalition of green investors and pension funds, has called on EU regulators to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy by profoundly reforming financial markets across Europe. “IIGCC has continuously called for European leadership on climate change – something Europe rightly prides itself for. However, this leadership must be reinforced by enabling the financial system to fully support action against climate change,” the group said in a policy paper published on Tuesday (20 September). “Financial regulation needs to enable and facilitate the changes occurring in the real economy,” it said, calling for an orderly transition to a low-carbon economy. “Climate risk needs to be better reflected in the price of risk so that a shift in capital can be encouraged,” the IIGCC wrote. This includes fostering “a financial system that encompasses time horizons capable of dealing with the challenge of climate change” and steer investments into clean technologies, it said.“We call on EU institutions to develop an action plan to make the capital markets union more sustainable,” the IIGCC said in reference to a flagship initiative by the European Commission to build a single market for capital across the 28-member bloc.

See News:  Germany and Norway break ground on Nordlink interconnector

TenneT Holding BV, Statnett SF and KfW on Friday held a ground-breaking ceremony for the 1.4-GW NordLink subsea cable project, the first direct link between the Norwegian and German energy markets. “NordLink connects two perfectly complementary systems for the exchange of renewable energy: German wind and solar power, on the one side, and Norwegian hydropower, on the other,” Lex Hartman, member of the TenneT executive board, said in a statement. The 623-km (387-mile) NordLink will be built by Norwegian transmission system operator (TSO) Statnett and DC Nordseekabel GmbH & Co KG. The latter is equally owned by Netherlands-based TSO TenneT and German development bank KfW and is responsible for the German part of the project. On Friday, the partners broke ground on the German converter station for the link. NordLink has been awarded Project of Common Interest status by the EU as it is important for the integration of European energy markets. It is expected to be in operation in 2020.

Guardian:  Dutch parliament votes to close down country’s coal industry

The Dutch parliament has voted for a 55% cut in CO2 emissions by 2030, which would require the closure of all the country’s coal-fired power plants. The unexpected vote on Thursday night by 77 to 72 would bring the Netherlands clearly into line with the Paris climate agreement, with some of the most ambitious climate policies in Europe. It is not binding on the government, but the Liberal and Labour parties say they will now push for speedy implementation of the motion. Five Dutch coal-fired power stations were closed last year but the country still has another five plants in operation. Three of these came online in 2015, and have been blamed for a 5% rise in the country’s emissions last year. The Dutch Liberal MP and vice president of the parliament, Stientje van Veldhoven, told the Guardian: “Closing down big coal plants – even if they were recently opened – is by far the most cost effective way to achieve the goals of the Paris agreement, and all countries will need to take such far-reaching measures. We cannot continue to use coal as the cheapest source of energy when it is the most expensive from a climate perspective.” A court in the Netherlands last year ordered prime minister Mark Rutte’s government to cut its emissions by a quarter by 2020, citing the severity of the global warming threat which the Netherlands has recognised in international treaties.

Mail:  Risks of a nuclear disaster at Hinkley Point “seriously underestimated”

Risks of a nuclear disaster have been significantly underestimated, scientists have warned just days after the Government approved plans for the £18billion Hinkley Point C reactor. Experts from the UK and Switzerland said that the true cost of the project could be much higher because of the underestimated risks. They blamed the miscalculation on a conflict of interest of industry bodies who have a stake in the major investment going ahead. Their estimations were based on ‘flawed and woefully incomplete data,’ scientists wrote in the journal Risk Analysis as they called for more transparency in the nuclear industry. And according to the largest analysis conducted on the risks of nuclear accidents a disaster on the scale of Fukushima is ‘more probable than not’ in the next 100 years. The worrying warnings come just days after Theresa May gave the final go ahead for work to begin on Britain’s biggest nuclear investment project in a generation at the Hinkley site in Somerset. A University of Sussex report warned that the global nuclear watchdog – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – lacks sufficient transparency.

Solar Power Portal:  Europe’s first Tesla grid-scale powerpack installed in UK

The first grid scale installation of the Tesla Powerpack system in Europe has been completed in the UK by Camborne Energy Storage and is set to provide ancillary services to the National Grid. The first grid scale installation of the Tesla Powerpack system in Europe has been completed in the UK by Camborne Energy Storage and is set to provide ancillary services to the National Grid. The 500kWh capacity system, has been co-located with a 500kWp solar farm in Somerset to demonstrate the potential to provide a balanced grid.Dan Taylor, managing director of Camborne, said: “The development of Tesla’s first European grid-tied system is an exciting step forward for Camborne and Tesla in terms of our respective storage strategies. This project is another success for storage development in the UK and being co-located with a renewable generation site, should offer significant benefits to all stakeholders.” According to Poweri Services, which was the EPC for the project, it is a commercially viable project and not a demonstration. The system was able to share the existing grid connection used by the solar farm which helped to keep the costs low.

Wind Power Engineering:  World’s first offshore wind power radar delivering data

DONG Energy and SmartWind Technologies have installed an advanced radar system collecting three-dimensional data on the wind flow in the Westermost Rough Offshore Wind Farm off England’s east coast. The project, the first of its kind in the world, represents a paradigm shift in wind measurements. DONG Energy recently started receiving three-dimensional data from the advanced BEACon radar located at the Westermost Rough Wind Farm on England’s east coast. “This is a huge step forward for wind insights,” explains Nicolai Gayle Nygaard, BEACon Technical Manager at DONG Energy. “We’re getting minute-by-minute 3D images of the wind flow through the wind-power plant. This is a game changer for the industry. We’re no longer limited to measuring the wind at just one point, now we can document the wind field across the entire wind-power plant and coastal domain.” Whereas conventional measurement technologies are like using a torch in a dark room – you have a limited view – the entire room is flooded with light with the new radars. “We get new insights that provide valuable information for the design and operation of future wind-power plants,” adds Nygaard.

Irish Times:  ESB opens the UK’s first new large gas plant in three years

The ESB has opened the UK’s first new large gas plant in three years. The plant near Manchester began electricity generation this week. The plant, with a capacity of 880 megawatts, can generate enough electricity to power around 1 million homes. “Carrington Power Station is the first large-scale gas-fired power plant to come online in Great Britain since 2013,” the ESB said, adding that first commercial operations began on Monday. “As well as providing 880MW of reliable baseload electricity, Carrington Power Station will be one of the most flexible plants providing fast back-up to intermittent wind and solar generation when it is needed most,” it said. The plant has already secured a contract for the winter of 2019/20 under the government’s new capacity market scheme, which pays owners of power plants to provide back-up electricity at short notice. The scheme will kick in when supply is too low to meet demand, for instance when renewable energy sources fail to produce enough power or when thermal power plants close or have failures.
Britain, which last week gave the go-ahead for EDF to build its £18 billion Hinkley C nuclear project, needs several new power plants to be built over the next decade to replace its ageing power fleet. All but one of Britain’s existing nuclear plants, which produce around a fifth of the country’s electricity, are set to close by 2030 as the plants come to the end of their operational lifespan.

This Is Money:  Seven million UK households face energy bill shock

Seven million energy customers are submitting meter readings less than once a quarter to their provider and risk being landed with an unexpected bill. By not giving regular meter readings and paying estimated bills, customers could be paying too much to their supplier or may end up in debt to it. Those paying too little owe an average of £125 to their energy provider, according to new research. Those who are paying for more energy than they use are owed an average of £137 by their supplier, data from the comparison site uSwitch has found. Of the 2,026 asked by the website, 49 per cent had found themselves suddenly in credit or owing money to their supplier following a prolonged period of paying estimated rather than bills based on their actual usage. Five per cent of those asked who ended up in debt to their provider after submitting a meter reading and three per cent who were in credit faced a change in the balance of their account by £500 or more. Ofgem says consumers should give readings to their provider on a quarterly basis and suppliers are required to do so at least once a year. But a quarter said they didn’t know they should read their meters once a quarter and a fifth said they thought it should be up to the provider not the consumer to do so. Less than half said they had given readings after being prompted by their energy provider and 16 per cent said they didn’t think giving the meter reading would make any difference to their energy bills. When smart meters are installed into homes by 2020 there will no longer be a need to give energy meter readings and estimated bills will be scrapped.

Evening Standard:  World-famous conservationist on trial for ecoprojects tax scam

Professor Ian Swingland, who was given an OBE in 2007, allegedly helped investors avoid tax on £170 million of income during the three-year scam. Swingland, 69, founded the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology in 1989 at the University of Kent, which is now a world-leading research facility into biodiversity, communities and sustainable development. He is on trial at Southwark crown court with Anthony Blakey, 65, John Banyard, 67, Martin King, 54, and Andrew Bascombe, 58, accused of operating “a series of dishonest tax schemes” between 2005 and 2008. Prosecutor Julian Christopher QC said: “They were opportunities to invest in research designed to counteract the effects of climate change and to find a cure for HIV. They were designed to be attractive to people who had a large amount of income that they would rather not pay tax on.” It is alleged they ran the scam by trading carbon credits, so the “money would be invested in research into reforestation”, said Mr Christopher. But “nothing like” the amount said to be going into research was spent. Bascombe, of East Putney, Banyard, of Horsham, Blakey, of Littlehampton, and King, of Beckenham, each deny two counts of cheating the public revenue. Blakey and King also deny one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. Swingland, of Canterbury, Kent, denies one count of each charge. The trial continues.

Reuters:  First U.S. shale gas shipment to arrive in Britain, serenaded by a Scots piper

The first shipment of gas fracked from U.S. shale will arrive in Britain next week, upping pressure on Scotland to reassess its opposition to fracking. Chemicals giant Ineos will be importing ethane, obtained from rocks fractured at high pressure, in a foretaste of larger deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from shale set to reach Europe in 2018. The shipment of ethane, used to make plastics, anti-freeze and detergents, will arrive in Scotland’s Firth of Forth on Tuesday, accompanied by a lone Scots piper at sunrise, the company said. The Zurich-headquartered group is against a Scottish moratorium on fracking. It is Britain’s biggest shale gas company in terms of acreage and it has promised to share six percent of future shale gas revenue with local residents. Chairman Jim Ratcliffe, one of Britain’s wealthiest men, argues he is offering the potential from shale fracking to create tens of thousands of jobs, putting pressure on the Scottish government grappling with an economy expected to be weakened by Britain’s decision to leave the EU. While the British government backs shale gas extraction, Scotland, under its devolved powers, imposed a moratorium on fracking in early 2015. It said more research was needed before a final decision.

Guardian:  Paris climate agreement poised to come into force

The Paris climate agreement is on the brink of coming into force after 31 nations officially joined the landmark accord, with the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, predicting it will be fully ratified by the end of the year. On Wednesday, 31 countries formally signed up to the Paris deal at the UN general assembly in New York. They include Brazil, the world’s seventh largest emitter of greenhouse gases, Mexico, Argentina and Sri Lanka. Oil-rich United Arab Emirates also ratified the deal, as did nations considered particularly vulnerable to sea level rise, such as Kiribati and Bangladesh.nThe pledges mean that a total of 60 countries, representing 47.7% of global emissions, have now formally joined the Paris agreement. The deal aims to limit the global temperature rise to 2C above pre-industrial levels, with an aspiration of keeping it to 1.5C. A total of 55 nations representing at least 55% of global emissions need to sign up for the deal to come into force. The first of these thresholds has now been reached, with Ban and the US secretary of state, John Kerry, both predicting that the agreement will be fully implemented within months.

Business Insider:  Obama calls for a new global business model to fight climate change

Obama gave his final address to the United Nations on Tuesday, where he discussed how investing in new technologies can help combat climate change, among other issues. He highlighted the need for a “new model” for the global marketplace, one that’s both environmentally sustainable and inclusive of rich and poor countries. The address came just a day before Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum requiring the federal government to consider climate change when setting national security policies. In the address, Obama said that “investing in research” and providing “market incentives” to develop new technologies is critical to fighting climate change and greenhouse gases. He also discussed the landmark Paris climate deal, signed in December 2015, giving it another boost in front of world leaders. Obama said that the agreement — which was ratified by both the US and China when Obama visited Hangzhou for the G20 conference earlier in September — gives the global community a “framework to act,” but only if we “scale up our ambition.”

Scientific American:  Kerry calls for phase-out of refrigerants

The United States and other countries proclaimed yesterday that an upcoming effort to amend an international ozone treaty to curb refrigerants that contribute to global warming would be a test of the post-Paris Agreement era. Speaking in a posh Midtown hotel conference room blocks away from the United Nations, where the landmark global warming deal struck in the French capital sailed past its first ratification hurdle Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said a hydrofluorocarbon phasedown under the Montreal Protocol would be a “huge step” toward making good on the promise of Paris. “We know that the Paris Agreement itself won’t, in and of itself, get the job done,” said Kerry, who spent much of that summit in the suburb of Le Bourget working to deliver the deal. “So we need to do more,” he said. “And one of the single most important actions that the global community can take is to amend the Montreal Protocol to include an ambitious amendment that phases down the use of hydrofluorocarbons, HFCs.”

Guardian:  Global trade agreement threatens climate goals

A far-reaching global trade deal being negotiated in secret could threaten the goals of the Paris climate deal by making it harder for governments to favour clean energy over fossil fuels, a leak of the latest negotiating text shows. The controversial Trade in Services Agreement (Tisa) aims to liberalise trade between the EU and 22 countries across the global services sector, which employs tens of millions in Europe alone. But a new EU text seen by the Guardian would oblige signatories to work towards “energy neutrality” between renewable energy and fossil fuel power, although amendments proposed by the EU would exempt nuclear power from this rule. The document, marked “limited distribution – for Tisa participants only”, would also force member states to legislate against “anti-competitive conduct” and “market distortions” in energy-related services. This is viewed by campaigners as code for state support for clean power sectors, such as wind and solar. A right to regulate is explicitly mentioned in the paper, but governments would first have to prove the necessity for regulations that legally constrain multinationals. The same clause was used in the World Trade Organisation’s Gatt and Gats treaties which entered into force in 1995, and led to 44 complaints by multinationals via their governments. Susan Cohen Jehoram, a spokeswoman for Greenpeace, told the Guardian: “We fear the same thing will happen with Tisa but on a much larger scale, when legislation is proposed to keep temperature rises to 1.5C [above pre-industrial levels, as agreed at the Paris climate summit].

Common Dreams:  How nuclear power causes global warming

Nuclear fission is the most water intensive method of the principal thermoelectric generation options in terms of the amount of water withdrawn from sources. In 2008, nuclear power plants withdrew eight times as much freshwater as natural gas plants per unit of energy produced, and up to 11 percent more than the average coal plant. Every day, large reactors like the two at Diablo Canyon, California, individually dump about 1.25 billion gallons of water into the ocean at temperatures up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the natural environment. Diablo’s “once-through cooling system” takes water out of the ocean and dumps it back superheated, irradiated and laden with toxic chemicals. Many U.S. reactors use cooling towers which emit huge quantities of steam and water vapor that also directly warm the atmosphere. And that’s not all. All nuclear reactors emit Carbon 14, a radioactive isotope, invalidating the industry’s claim that reactors are “carbon free.” And the fuel that reactors burn is carbon-intensive. The mining, milling, and enrichment processes needed to produce the pellets that fill the fuel rods inside the reactor cores all involve major energy expenditures, nearly all of it based on coal, oil, or gas.

Forbes:  We could power the entire world from 1% of the Sahara Desert

The total world energy usage (coal +oil +hydroelectric +nuclear +renewable) in 2015 was 13,000 Million Ton Oil Equivalent (13,000 MTOE). This translates to 17.3 Terawatts continuous power during the year. Now, if we cover an area of the Earth 335 kilometers by 335 kilometers with solar panels, even with moderate efficiencies achievable easily today, it will provide more than 17,4 TW power. This area is 43,000 square miles. The Great Saharan Desert in Africa is 3.6 million square miles and is prime for solar power (more than twelve hours per day). That means 1.2% of the Sahara desert is sufficient to cover all of the energy needs of the world in solar energy. There is no way coal, oil, wind, geothermal or nuclear can compete with this. The cost of the project will be about five trillion dollars, one time cost at today’s prices without any economy of scale savings. That is less than the bail out cost of banks by Obama in the last recession. Easier to imagine the cost is 1/4 of US national debt, and equal to 10% of world one year GDP. So this cost is rather small compared to other spending in the world. There is no future in other energy forms. In twenty to thirty years solar will replace everything. There will still be need for liquid fuels but likely it will be hydrogen produced by the electrolysis of water and that powered by solar. Then tankers and pipelines will haul that hydrogen around the world. One can also envision zirconium or titanium batteries that store large quantities of hydrogen.

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71 Responses to Blowout Week 143

  1. PhilH says:

    One story omitted from the above selection:

    Government-owned Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority received a record-low bid of 2.42 [US] cents a kilowatt-hour for power from a planned facility in the Persian Gulf sheikhdom.

    The bid marks another record for solar technology prices, which have fallen almost 70 percent in the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

    Adwea, as the utility is known, plans to start operations at the facility in the first quarter of 2019.

    The Abu Dhabi bid beat previous records, of 2.91 cents in Chile last month, and 2.99 cents in neighboring Dubai in May.

  2. Roberto says:

    Hi roger, nice collection of news, as usual.

    The most bullshitting one is without any doubt this one:

    ‘Common Dreams: How nuclear power causes global warming’

    In particular this statement…
    ‘All nuclear reactors emit Carbon 14, a radioactive isotope, invalidating the industry’s claim that reactors are “carbon free.”’

    ..should warrant a laugh to is author… How stupid is it?

    • Alex says:

      The whole article is a load of nonsense. I wonder if the author actually believes it.

      Common Dreams seems to be purely an anti nuclear site appealing to the uneducated.

    • Stuart Brown says:

      Agreed, the sentence makes no sense. Also, here in the UK, because it is now burning ‘biofuel’ aka American forest, Drax IS now emitting C14 though it wasn’t when it was burning coal. Which I’m sure invalidates all sorts of anti-nuclear, pro biofuel claims 🙂

    • Stuart Brown says:

      Just to add – I thought I’d better read the article before commenting. I wish I hadn’t!

      ‘It’s possible some of this “MOX” fuel containing plutonium, actually fissioned at Fukushima Unit Three, raising terrifying questions about the dangers of its use.’

      That’s kind of the point of MOX fuel, isn’t it?

    • Euan Mearns says:

      It actually strikes a chord with me. I have wondered to what extent warmed fresh water from rivers causes warming of the N Sea and Mediterranean? And I have wondered about Man expelling water vapour may actually warms thermometers, and that includes irrigation. Irrigate dry desert and raise humidity and you are bound to raise night time temperature.

      Just speculation. But I agree it is otherwise BS.

      • John F. Hultquist says:

        Regarding irrigation and night time temp:
        Roy Spencer did such a report, maybe 5 years ago.
        Sorry I do not have a link.

        BTY, Our rural utility uses an airplane to read meters. Link

      • Roberto says:

        Man-made power is 16 TW, I.e. a bit more than 0.03 W/m2, while the power received from the sun, taking into account days and nights and albedo is 292 W/m2.
        The former is negligible, as you can see.

        • Euan Mearns says:

          Thanks Roberto, I’ll take your word for it. I was just wondering if you took one of those TW and dumped it in the Rhine, that you may get a concentration of man made heat in low density warm fresh water that would float out to sea. But it seems like the gulf is too large.

          • David McCrindle says:

            With rivers it matters. This is why most ‘river’ cooled power stations use cooling towers (the TW goes into the atmosphere) rather than cooling the condensers directly with river water. One exception was the Phenix reactor on the Rhone – however it had to reduce power sometimes in hot summers as, for environmental reasons (fish etc in the river itself), there was an upper temperature limit on its condenser discharge temperature. Doesn’t matter much for coastal locations though.

          • robertok06 says:

            @David mcCrindle

            The 4x 920 MWe reactors of the Tricastin power station, along the Rhone river, do not have any cooling towers, they discharge ~ 2/3 of their heat into the Rhone.

            The occasional reduction in power due to ecological constraints are very occasional, most notably during the long hot spell of 2003, which killed in excess of 15 thousand French people (if my memory is good).

  3. Alex says:

    The 1.4-GW NordLink @ 623km.
    “Total project investment is estimated at €1.5bn to €2bn”

    So the bench mark for underwater HVDC is now €1.5-2 billion per 1000km GW.

    That roughly ties in with Ice Link costs.

    Worth noting.

  4. The oil industry is funny.
    They should be very concerned about electric cars. Much more about autonomous EVs.
    I won’t own a car in 2025 onward when I can have an EV pick me up for cheap any time.
    Even privately owned EVs will eventually beat ICE cars economically. Way before 2035.

    • A C Osborn says:

      How anyone can be OK with putting millions of people out of work, just to make life a little more convinient for them, is very worrying about their moral compass.
      Also perhaps you would like to explain where Governments are going to replace the current Billions in taxes they get and desperately need from Transportation Fossil Fuels.
      They should of course put it on the Electricity that replaces it. That would increase the costs of running an EV by about 150%.
      That doesn’t sound quite such a good deal does it?
      Add to that the cost of building all that new plant to produce the new Electriciyy required as well I am afraid it just does not add up.

      • Keeping a dying industry alive for the sake of jobs… interesting.
        Well…the coal Kumpels also like to have some workso let’s keep digging up the rest of the dirt until it is over.
        We could go back to horses. We’d need millions of horsebreeders, carriage builders, blacksmiths, stables, ….

        Or we could just go for almost no car accidents, no tailpipe emissions,…
        Hell you could just take the money saved in healthcare to compensate for lost tax revenue.
        OK…let’s stop technological changes because that could affect the tax income.
        If you like road carnage and million of dead motorists I believe something is wrong with your moral compass.

        • A C Osborn says:

          Sorry, you have no clue about what you are saying.
          For example the
          The total no of road Deaths per year are approximately 1700.
          So your “Millions of deaths” represents some 600 years of road deaths and of course a lot of those are Caused by the Transport Industry and also involve a lot of Cyclists and Motor Cyclists.
          How does that equate to “road carnage and million of dead motorists”

          The total UK National Health Costs are Approximately £120Billion for all health issues and treating 100Million Patients.

          The loss of Taxation by 2029 is reckoned to be £12.9Billion

          So one tenth of the cost of treating 100Million patients = the cost of treating 10Million patients per year.

          Remind me again about the how that equates to “Hell you could just take the money saved in healthcare to compensate for lost tax revenue.”

          As to Technology, there is a big difference in New Technology and “improving technology”, Electric Vehicles have been around about 100 years and have not improved very much in that time.

          As to supporting Industries, yes I do believe we should, because for every million people in that industry there are probably 500,000 Families. So you want to put those 1,000,000 people on the dole and the 500,000 families on Benifits, or do you think like Maggie that they can just “get on their bikes and find jobs”

          Please provide less “emotion” and a bit more data when you discuss topics on here, or you will lose all credibility, assuming that you haven’t already.

          • Sure Diesel smoke does not affect your health…

          • According to the World Health Organization, road traffic injuries caused an estimated 1.25 million deaths worldwide in the year 2010. That is, one person is killed every 25 seconds.

          • A C Osborn says:

            OK so you have gone from the UK to the World.

            And you actually think having Autonomous Electric Vehicles is going to stop that?

            Did you look at the breakdown of where those deaths occur?
            Europe & America (North & South) account for less than a quarter of a million & Europe only 84,589
            Have you any idea howthe 3rd world counties, where the other Million+ accidents occur could possibly afford them?
            How much infrastructure is required to provide the Eelctricity to charge them, most of which does not currently exist at all?

            Have you any idea just how many vehicles there are in the world that would need to be replaced?
            It is over 1 BILLION.

            You think an autonomous vehicle will stop any quicker than one driven by a person when some kid steps out from between 2 cars 10 feet in front of it when Cars take 30 feet to stop at 30 Mph.

            They will probably substantially reduce the number of accidents, but can’t possibly eradicate them all and it will take many decades to replace all the current cars in the world and the costs involved will be astronomical.
            Now look up how many Taxi Drivers there are world wide that they will make redundant and Uber drivers will be the first to go. Who bears the Financial cost of their Unemployment.

            I have absolutley no doubt that those vehciles are coming and that lives will be saved, but the cost is going to be very high both financially and socially.
            And not everyone will want to be driven, some actually like the experience of driving a Car.

          • A C Osborn says:

            Apparently according to Quora there are appriximately 32 Million taxi drivers world wide.

          • heavyweather says:

            I don’t believe autonomous EVs will be available before 2025-2030. But when those services get available and are cheaper than owning your own old car the 1b cars of today will vanish within 10-20 years.
            Those fleets will be maintained by the car companies which are eyeing this market today already.
            The loss of jobs is inadvertable but spread out over the next 20-30 years.
            You are killing the messenger here. Jenny didn’t say that the loss of jobs was a good think but rather that the oil industry will fell that shift by 2035 if it happens.

          • heavyweather says:

            I have no doubt that autonomous vehicles will stop quicker than poorly maintained cars in developing countries.
            They might even know that there are kids between the cars bound to step out any moment because they are maybe connected to other cars on the road in front of them.

      • Alex says:

        Once EVs hit fuel excise duty revenue, Governments will have to introduce road pricing.

        EVs and petrol cars will pay the same, but petrol cars will also pay a lot extra for petrol. The drivers will complain, but since they could buy an EV, I don’t think anyone will listen.

        Add to that, petrol is based on imported oil, whereas EVs will run on home produced electricity, so there’ll be a trade advantage to EVs.

        • RDG says:

          “whereas EVs will run on home produced electricity”

          You mean like Hinkley Point C that you support. Where do you suppose all those dollars are going?

          • More like home produced like in PV. Prices will keep dropping both on PV and battery storage.
            People will just deflect from the grid when the tipping point is reached.
            People stopped going to wash salons when washing machines became affordable.

          • robertok06 says:


            “People will just deflect from the grid when the tipping point is reached.”

            Not in your lifetime, especially in “sunny” UK, the land of tan.

            What sillier statement can you write?

          • A C Osborn says:

            Wash Salons, hell what world do you live in?

      • PhilH says:

        How anyone can be OK with putting millions of people out of work, just to make life a little more convinient for them, is very worrying about their moral compass.

        How OK are you with dialling your phone calls direct, rather than using the labour of an operator every time?

        Or using motorised road transport instead of rail?

        Or rail instead of stage-coach?

        Or stage-coach instead of foot leather?

        • A C Osborn says:

          I am fine with some technological advances, one I am not from your list is using Road instead of rail for transportation.
          It increases road congestion, Uses more fuel and causes more pollution and kills more people.
          How many phone operators lost their jobs, compared to all the full and part time taxi drivers thatw ould lose theirs.
          See my response to JS about putting people out of work and the financial and social costs involved.

          • A C Osborn says:

            Just to make it clear how I feel about putting people out of work.
            I shop locally about 3 or 4 times a week, but I PAY a MILKMAN to deliver my milk at much elevated cost compared to my local supermarket to help keep him in a Job.
            Because I can afford to.
            I am sure you think me foolish or deranged.

        • robertok06 says:

          … or dispatchable nuclear instead of intermittent and seasonal wind/PV?

    • David McCrindle says:

      The main reason is that if we all convert to EVs (given the expected worldwide increase in vehicles) then we will be burning lots of oil and gas to make the electricity. Never mind the ships and planes.

    • Cloud cuckoo land. I will bet you £1000 that there will not be an EV to just pick you up in 2025. I will also bet you another £1000 that unless the government rigs the market EVs will not be more economical by 2035

  5. Greg Kaan says:

    Don’t believe everything (anything?) that Elon tweets

    • If that was an answer to my comment…
      That’s not coming from Musk but Lyft.
      …and any other in the car industry. Autonomous cars will be reality by 2025. I am not expecting to drive a petrol car past 2035. You?
      It will be so much cheaper to drive electric.

      • JerryC says:

        It will be so much cheaper to drive electric.

        Maybe…if you only use the car for short trips and don’t need to use heat or AC much. A lot of UK drivers probably fit those criteria. But very few do in places like North America and Australia. So mass market ICE cars are going to be around for a while.

        • For people that drive more EVs will be even cheaper.

          Predictions till 2035 are ridiculous. We can’t know how fast you will be able to recharge your batteries in 2025-2035.
          Today you can fill up a 100kWh batterie in under 30 minutes. Kreisel is aiming for charge times under 8 Minutes.

          If some ICE vehicles will be around for some time it doesn’t mean that there will be a substantial market for them in 2035.

          There are patterns that technologies follow. Why would it be different with electric cars?

          • Beamspot says:

            Tecnology follows patterns, but green dreamers not only follow patterns, but also reapeat the same mistakes over and over.

            There are no batteries that charge >80% in less than one hour, and in that case, always at the cost of (greatly) reduced life.

            Lithium batteries had been with us for more than 40 years, and hit the diminishing returns wall by 2010 to 2012. Price bottomed by the end of 2015, and now cells are being more expensive than before, a trend that I doubt that mass producing packs coudln’t offset, even with the lowered quality implemented at the gigafactory.

            And back, regarding the fast charge issues, It is simple math. Charging 100KWh in 5 minutes mean 1.2MW of power, at 44€/KW as fix term in Spain, that means 53.000€/year just to have it sitting there, plus taxes. Add more than 5Kg/meter of cable, the beast plug required, the cooling required, the reduced efficency, the engineering effort with overweight to hande such power into the car (thick cables the size of my wrist), the reduced energy density, the cost of such amount of technology….

            Nice try. Keep dreaming.

            There is nothing like EV+PV in the Dunning Krüger show.

          • “There are no batteries that charge >80% in less than one hour.”

            They charge in less than 30minutes already.
            Yes that comes with a penalty.

            Then again you won’t fast charge on a daily basis.
            If you are driving more than 500km a day – every day and you are not a professional chauffeur you are doing something wrong.

          • Thinkstoomuch says:

            “Then again you won’t fast charge on a daily basis.
            If you are driving more than 500km a day – every day and you are not a professional chauffeur you are doing something wrong.”

            Wonderful analysis and condemnation of other people’s lifestyles and choices. Thank you for telling me you don’t like mine.

            Of course I haven’t owned a vehicle that got less than 40 MPG in the last, oh, 30 odd years, either. That none of the current or projected battery packs would support my chosen vehicle either.


          • Nobody cares what you choose. Yes, your driving lifestyle is an outlier and won’t have any effects on the market we are talking about. And yes, to me hours if driving on a daily basis sounds like a lot of wasted lifetime.

            Here’s your 80%SOC/18min battery.

            I am the one being rational here. No green dreams but hard reality for the oil industry.
            If they are right, fine for them but I won’t invest on that kind of wishful thinking.

          • robertok06 says:

            “Today you can fill up a 100kWh batterie in under 30 minutes. ”

            A 100 kWh battery in less than 30′ doesn’t change a thing, because it would mean that a “gas” station for electric cars would need tens of expensive charging stations in order to be economically viable… how can anyone survive if during a 12 hour/day working day it can “refill the tank” of only 24 cars/charging station?
            You, green cheerleaders, lack all a minimum of math skills, and let’s not talk about common sense, to understand the issues at hand.
            Ask your professor/teacher for help.

          • robertok06 says:

            @rational cheerleadeer

            “I am the one being rational here.”

            I read about your wonderful battery…

            “Super-fast charging within 18 minutes for up to 80 % state of charge (SOC) with the battery temperature held constantly between 25 and 29 °C. ”

            .. and I’m glad to know that you live in a Caribbean country… constantly between 25 and 29 C… must be nice, it also explains why you don’t need to drive a lot, it’s small island, for sure.

            Have a nice continuation of trolling, I’m done with you.

          • A C Osborn says:

            Can’t even get that right.
            From Kreisel It is a “Capacity: 46 kWh battery pack.”

          • Yes, tens of charging stations it will be for fast charging along the Autobahn. Only that they are not that expensive any more and far less problematic than gas stations.
            Have you seen the parking lot full of super chargers?
            Roberto…how often are you driving 300km+ a day anyways?
            Strange thing this love for those toxic ICEVs.

          • robertok06 says:


            “Have you seen the parking lot full of super chargers?”

            “Full”? There are 25 million cars around in Italy alone… “full” gets a different meaning, doesn’t it?

            “Roberto…how often are you driving 300km+ a day anyways?”
            3 weekends out of 4 (on average) I commute 400-450 km each way (Friday out, Sunday in).
            If I owned a 80~100+ kEuroTesla, with the supercharger station it would take me 6 hours instead of 4, provided when I arrive at the charging station it is not “full” of others like me.

            “Strange thing this love for those toxic ICEVs.”

            My “toxic” Euro5 diesel, with particulate filter, is less toxic than a Tesla charged with the German electricity mix at 600 gCO2/kWh electric (not to mention the 30 deaths/TWh from lignite/coal)!… what the hell are you talking about Jenny?

            … educate yourself a bit, pleased, before posting such nonsense, OK?

            Start with this:


            … or this one:

            … which concludes that…

            “Locationand timing of charging are important GHG determinants, but temperature effects on EV performance can be equally important.
            On average, EVs slightly reduce GHGs relative to ICEs, but there are many regions where EVs provide a decisive benefit and others where EVs are significantly worse”

      • Greg Kaan says:

        My apologies for the mis-reply. Yours was the last post at the time and I thought I clicked the reply link but did not.

        I will not apologies for my actual reply, though. The autonomous car concept will be like the 1950’s popular mechanics flying cars.

        As for electric cars, I believe low performance (no ludicrous mode) small, short range ones to become affordable in the next 5 years but not real petrol/diesel replacements (which won’t be as affordable as today’s equivalents) until the BIG oil crunch. And I don’t know enough to forecast when that will be but it will be so disruptive that it will be far more transforming than autonomous electric cars.

        • The whole auto industry is gravitating toward autonomous driving. The comparison with the flying car seems odd given the current development.

          • A C Osborn says:

            “The whole auto industry is gravitating toward” EVs as well and that is going well isn’t it?
            Just because they are going for it doesn’t mean that Car owners will.

            The trouble with people like JS is they have no concept of Efficiency or Power Density. They are unable to grasp that nothing is currently as efficient as the IC engine for transport.
            As soon as you move the Power Generation “up stream” you immediately introduce more system losses due to conversion, cable lengths, charging etc.
            They seem to think these things happen for no losses, they just don’t get it.

  6. A C Osborn says:

    The more these headlines come out the more I beleive the world is suffering from mass insanity.

    But then I remember The Club of Rome, UN Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development, then it all makes sense.
    The only problem is, it doesn’t make sense for 95% of the world’s population, just the 5% of the richest, controlling class.

  7. Greg Kaan says:

    Does anyone here know anything about the author of the Forbes solar Sahara article?

    His name is Mehran Moalem and the only nuclear reference I can find for him is participating in a presentation on “Preliminary Assessment of Possibilities for Improving the Performance of LWRs Using Hydride Fuel” at the 2003 ANS/ENS International Winter Meeting.

    His stated qualification as an “Expert on Nuclear Materials and Nuclear Fuel Cycle” amongst a bunch of other fields seems fanciful (just like his vision of the Sahara powering the world).

  8. Dave Ward says:

    “There’s no way to store enough H2 to fly a commercial airplane”

    Indeed, and even if there was you will never see H2 powered commercial planes. I’m afraid our cycling troll knows diddly squat about aviation. She appears to forget that you can’t just pull over to the kerb if something goes wrong at 40,000ft. It’s taken two decades for the “Big Twins” like the Boeing 777 to get ETOPS certification to fly more than 3 hours from a suitable diversion on one engine. Previously they were restricted on the routes they could fly, compared to 3 or 4 engined planes. And that is using the same technology which jets have been powered by since the Comet and Boeing 707 in the 1950’s.

    There are some trials using “Bio Fuels”, but the CAA / FAA et all will require proof that these alternatives will cope with the extremes of temperature involved, and not attack fuel system components, before there is any chance of approval. Airports will also have to provide separate distribution networks, so that any subsequent problems can be traced back to source, just as they do now. That won’t be cheap.

    As for suggesting battery power – as I said earlier this is just laughable. There are some experimental light aircraft and motor gliders with electric power, but the regulations they have to comply with are vastly less onerous than required for fare paying commercial operations. Many comments here and elsewhere have pointed to the huge amounts of power involved with fast charging a car – a Boeing 777 has a maximum fuel capacity of around 150 tonnes of Jet A1, and present battery technology would have to improve by a factor approaching 50 to match that. What about the heat generated “Fast Charging” such batteries, even if they existed, or the impossibly large leads and plugs which would be required to pass the power to the planes, even if the grid could provide it? The General Electric GE90 which powers the Boeing 777-300ER produces 100,000lbs of thrust which equates to 185,000hp – perhaps Ms Sommer would like to point me towards a manufacturer of an equivalent electric motor with suitable control gear and cabling which weighs less than 8 tons? Oh, and what about the magnetic fields that would be part and parcel of such a power plant? Good luck trying to make any navigation equipment work when the “throttles” are pushed fully forward!

    Electric commercial airliners – dream on….

    • robertok06 says:

      “Indeed, and even if there was you will never see H2 powered commercial planes. I’m afraid our cycling troll knows diddly squat about aviation. ”

      She probably believes that the recent PV plane circling the world will become a common thing soon… 🙂

      • A C Osborn says:

        It was a massive achievement, it only took it 35 times longer than a Hot Air Balloon did it in 2002.
        It only cost around 150 million Euros to develop.
        To carry one man.
        Needed a complete set of Batteries after they were destroyed by overheating.
        Couldn’t fly against bad weather.
        Needs it’s own Inflatable Hanger.
        A 28 man Engineering team.
        And last but least an Ilyushin IL-76 strategic airlifter to carry everything and everyone it needed for support.

        What could possibly wrong with any of that?

  9. Kreisel also builts 100kWh packs. Their electric Panamera uses one.

    Minimum charge time is primarily determined by thermal control and cell chemistry.
    Lower ambient temperature helps Roberto but they are talking about cell temperature. No clue what you are talking about the Caribbean.
    When the cell has the ability to charge at 5C you can charge a bigger pack in the same time as a smaller pack- given the charger can provide the necessary capacity.

    • robertok06 says:

      “Kreisel also builts 100kWh packs. Their electric Panamera uses one.”

      100 kWh???

      On their site, linked by you, they have only a 46 kWh… the 100 is probably a 2x 46 rounded up for the gullible.

      … and the (not so)fast charging time is 4.5 hours!

      The battery capacity is…

      “Battery packs with a total capacity of 85 kWh T-shaped positioned in the center tunnel and former tank area.”

      … nowhere is 100 kWh mentioned!

      “8,160 pieces 18650 cells provide a total capacity of 85 kWh and a guaranteed range of 450 kilometers.”

      … but they don’t tell you that the 450 km range comes only if you drive the 150+ kEuro car at 80 km/h!… I’ve overtaken 3 Dutch-plated Teslas last weekend, driving north from the French riviera towards Geneva… they were all crawling at snail pace, slowing down the traffic.

      “A 22 kW quick charger for efficient loading in about 4.5 hours. The vehicle is already prepared also for a DC-fast charging, so that in the future a charge of 80% within an hour possible.”

      “IN THE FUTURE”??? How gullible can you be, Jenny?

      P.S.: “strangely”, I can’t find the price of this EV Panamera… can you?

  10. Dutch drivers are slow… really!
    A P90D will get you around 260km@130kmh with heating. You only have to ask al the Norwegian Tesla drivers to get an idea of consumption under certain conditions.
    Most people simply don’t need the full range. You will buy your first electric car when you realize how much cheaper it is.
    It also saves you a lot of time when you can refuel at home or on a puplic street charger.

    People don’t empty a tank a day anyways. the average European is driving around 13.000km/a.
    Don’t get frustrated when people around you are converting to EVs, they will never go back.

    Kreisel also did a 4×4 Yeti for VW.
    The Panamera did cost around 300k€ and is not for sale.
    Kreisel packs are produced under licensing agreement and they are also building their own new factory right now.
    The new packs can be charged in 18minutes (80%SOC) and faster charging will be available. CCS standard goes to 300kW.

    Back to the starting point.
    The oil industry will get hurt by EVs way before 2035.

    • A C Osborn says:

      Tesla, 4 to 6 times the price of the average family saloon and Musk is loosing money on every single one of them.
      His whole empire is built on loans & government money, what is the bet it crashes & burns within 3 years.

      I am afraid JS has allowed her love of all things electric to cloud her judgement.

      • Graeme No.3 says:

        What judgement?
        She cannot discriminate between wishful thinking and absolute impossibilities. Charging batteries faster at 5℃????? At least she seems to have grasped that they are based on chemistry, although she doesn’t seem to have attended those classes in high school.

        • David McCrindle says:

          Maybe we should stop ganging up on JS. Electric cars are a good idea in densely populated areas. In ex-third world cities like Bangkok the air quality improved immensely when they got rid of two stroke engines but it still has some way to go. Electric vehicles would help with this – and it would help with air quality in our cities too. It is quite possible that regulatory pressure will force them on city dwellers (it would be stupid to do this to non-city dwellers, of course).

          However I disagree with her that this would be a problem for the oil/gas industry unless we were also to decarbonise the grid (millions of EVs need a grid not just a few PVs on roofs). It is clear from Roger’s post of a couple of weeks ago (Electricity and energy in the G20) that this just isn’t going to happen any time soon.

          • Thinkstoomuch says:

            For the most part I agree with your post.

            I will start believing the “autonomous EV automobile story” when taxicabs and rental car agencies are switching on a mass basis. Not some “elite” getting a feel good ego massage.

            Though the first people that will probably get put out of work are cabbies, urban transport bus drivers and light rail workers.

            I saw a recent story on the electricity requirements for cargo by EV. Rrealized why they are talking so much about cantilever electric trucks. (I can’t remember where though :_( )

            I was really offended by the thought that anyone not like her was “wrong”. Normally the first step in anyone not like them needs to be institutionalized. Laws need to be enacted to make it so.

            My apologies for the initial rant, one of many pet peeves.

            Have a good weekend,

          • Stuart Brown says:

            ‘Maybe we should stop ganging up on’… anyone with a tinge of green. Absolutely agree with you, David, well done.

            I come on here to learn for fun. I’ve no academic or ‘real world’ experience in power generation, other than a father who spent a career running Magnox nuclear stations, and can still lecture for England on the subject in his mid-80s. I’m a graduate engineer in telecomms, I like numbers and most of what I read here proves Dad right! So most of this site gels with me, but I backed off a lot on making comments when I realised I was following the emotion not the logic.

            No-one can truly say they are free of bias, and we all had to learn to add up. And to learn to ditch the ‘lies for children’ that cease to be helpful at some point. And, sadly, that some people are real liars with an agenda – they are the ones who deserve to be ganged up on.

            Eaun and Roger write good stuff (thank you both) but seem willing to allow comments from some people that, for me, verge on ad homs. Fair enough, it’s their site, and, of course, I don’t get to see whatever they do mod out. But for me the fun and learning stops when people do a lot of shouting without much supporting evidence to back up their point of view. If you shout enough all you hear are echoes.

          • Greg Kaan says:

            There is no “ganging up” going on.

            JC simply states her hopes as if they are facts and there is a common thread to the replies because they state current reality and what is likely.

        • Dave Ward says:

          “Charging batteries faster at 5℃?????”

          I dread to think what will happen when trying to “Fast Charge” an electric Jumbo sitting on the tarmac at a typical Middle Eastern airport during the midday sun…

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