Wind power is very much in the news again from flaming turbines to loss making wind investments. I kick off with the half yearly report from Prof Bruno Burger at the Frauhhofer Institue. Germany’s electricity exports are growing, a clear sign that they cannot consume all they produce. What will happen if this is replicated throughout Europe?
FRAUNHOFER INSTITUTE FOR SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS ISE: Half-year report for 2014
The electricity exports increased in 2014. In the first half of the record year 2013, the export surplus to the neighboring European countries was 14.4 TWh. During the same period in 2014 already approx. 18 TWh were reached. If this trend continues until the end of the year, Germany will achieve a third record in a row in electricity exports. The bulk of the exports are sent to the Netherlands, followed by Austria, Switzerland and Poland. Some of these countries transmit the electricity directly to third party countries. For example, the Netherlands acts as a transit country for Belgium and the UK, Switzerland transmits electricity mainly to Italy.
Hat tip A. C. Osborne; sizeable pdf. The EM news gathering staff are on unpaid leave, but there is still an eclectic mix of 18 links + below the fold.
Pierre L. Gosselin (No Tricks): German Wind Turbine Investors Dissolve Operating Company After 13 Years Of Poor Returns, Technical Failures
Unfortunately outputs promised by wind turbine manufacturers and proponents have fallen short of expectations. Moreover, high maintenance costs have in many cases eliminated profits and resulted in losses for investors. As generous as the subsidies may be, profit from wind can be elusive.
Hat tip A. C. Osborne
Over the last decade, well-intentioned policymakers in Germany and other European countries created renewable energy policies with generous subsidies that have slowly revealed themselves to be unsustainable, resulting in profound, unintended consequences for all industry stakeholders. While these policies have created an impressive roll-out of renewable energy resources, they have also clearly generated disequilibrium in the power markets, resulting in significant increases in energy prices to most users, as well as value destruction for all stakeholders: consumers, renewable companies, electric utilities, financial institutions, and investors.
Study backed by Imperial College finds wind turbines prone to “catastrophic” fires but the true scale of the problem is unknown
Over the next four years, visitors to Brighton and the Sussex coast are in for a shock. Visible all the way from Beachy Head to the Isle of Wight, they will see 100 or more colossal wind turbines rising up to 700ft into the sky, nearly 200ft higher than Blackpool Tower. These will form one of the world’s largest wind farms, covering more than 60sq miles of the English Channel.
Clive Best: Oxygen – provider of life
Current levels of photosynthesis on earth would deplete all CO2 in the atmosphere in just 9 years
The Economist: A costly solitude
IF SCOTLAND becomes independent the early going will be good. The new country will be a wealthy one: at over £20,000 ($33,000), within Britain its output per person was only behind London and the South East in 2012 (see chart 1). Edinburgh, the new capital, and its oil hub, Aberdeen, are both cities where wages are growing fast, a rarity in Britain. But trouble would soon strike. Scotland’s long-term economic prospects are dire: it would be a rich country, set to get poorer quickly.
Paul Holmwood: 90 Degrees? Take Off That Jumper!
Public Health England, yet another Quango, issued its “Heatwave Plan 2014″ earlier in the year, for which I am sure we are all very grateful.
If anyone has not read it, and is worried they might melt or something, here is a list of their main tips:
Two allies of George Osborne have been appointed as ministers in the Department of Energy and Climate Change, prompting suggestions the Treasury is seeking to tighten its grip on green energy spending.
Politicians everywhere have to decide between satisfying long-term national needs and achieving short-term electoral rewards. It is hard to imagine a more worrying sign of this conflict – as a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) last month helped highlight – than the present policy confusion in the UK over renewable energy.
Greg Barker has quit his position as Energy Minister as the Prime Minister completes the reshuffle of his Government Cabinet, which includes the sacking of Environment Secretary Owen Paterson.
Mr Barker is understood to have informed PM David Cameron of his surprise decision to resign over the weekend. He will also stand down as an MP at next year’s general election.
People who say they are concerned about climate change use more electricity than those who say the issue is ‘too far away to worry about’, government-commissioned study finds.
MIT Technology Review: How to Clean the Gas and Oil Industries’ Most Contaminated Water
In a nondescript site in Midland, Texas, an inexpensive new process is cleaning up some of the most contaminated water around—the extremely salty stuff that comes up with oil at wells. By the end of next month the technology is expected to be chugging 500,000 gallons per day, furnishing water that’s sufficiently clean to use in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and natural gas production.
If there’s one thing that everyone involved in the debate over the UK’s energy needs can agree on, it’s that we need to move faster towards a low carbon future. Not only are there challenging climate change targets to hit, there is also worrying lack of certainty over investment in low carbon technology which could deter investment and hit economic growth.
Britain risks widespread electricity blackouts unless it improves the network’s ability to balance intermittent supply from renewable energy sources, a leading engineer has warned.
Coverage of Hugh Sharman’s recent guest post on Energy Matters
Herald Scotland: Energy crisis warning after power imported from England
In a departure from historical trends, Scotland imported power from down south on 162 days over the past three years.
On 10 occasions, Scotland imported English power constantly throughout the day to meet its needs.
The previously unreported National Grid figures show Scotland continues to export far more power to England than it imports from south of the Border.
My selection of stories posted by Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time. Luis writes:
There are moments like this, when war seems to burst everywhere at the same time. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Libya, Ukraine, all filled up front pages throughout the week; and these are just the conflicts the media picks up, there is plenty of other gory stuff going on in Africa, for instance. Tension mounts in a world that is definitely going through a period of re-distribution of power and influence.
In Ukraine the conflict deepened significantly with the killing of hundreds of foreign civilians. The western media blames it on the russophone separatists, while the Russian media blames it on the Ukrainian army. As Aeschylus long ago wrote, “truth is the first casualty of war”. Along the way, adequate supplies of gas to Europe the coming winter seem ever more menaced.
Apart from Ukraine, Iraq remains the most threatening case to our energy predicament. The picture is starting to look really bleak for the Baghdad government. Lacking foreign intervention a victory in this war seems a remote possibility.
Luis has many links to reports on conflicts that may impact energy supplies around the world. This one caught my eye.
Saudi Arabia is deploying men and high-tech machinery to boost vigilance along its 800 kilometer (500-mile) northern border with Iraq, where it faces security threats from both sides in a deepening sectarian conflict.
The last week on Master Resource:
1] U.S. EPA’s Futile, Costly Crusade Against CO2 (Part 1)
2] Asthma Reduction: The Joker Card of EPA’s CO2 Power Grab (Part 2)
3] EPA’s CO2 Power Grab: Economic Consequences (Part 3)
4] Julian Simon on the ‘Ultimate Resource’ (human ingenuity, the cascading resource)
5] The Liberating Theory of Resourceship
6] Wind Power Slaughter: ex-USFWS Agent Speaks Out on Shiloh IV (California)
7] USFWS Special Agents: Speaking Truth to Wind Power re Shiloh IV (Part II)
8] The Voice of Dead Eagles at Shiloh IV (Part III)