Tag Archives: drought

The Tasmanian “energy crisis”

In August 2012 Australia imposed a carbon tax on fossil fuel generation, and almost immediately Hydro Tasmania took advantage by shipping large quantities of cheap hydropower to the mainland via the 500MW “Basslink” interconnector (image). But the shipments combined with a lack of rainfall in 2015 depleted the volume of water stored behind Tasmania’s dams – and then the Basslink interconnector failed. As a result Tasmania has now had to purchase diesel generators and reactivate its only gas-fired plant to avoid potential power shortages. Tasmania’s case is a classic example of how misguided government attempts to decarbonize electricity generation can seriously distort an electricity market. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , | 101 Comments

More revelations on Venezuela’s “drought” and the Guri Dam

Just when I thought my recent post on the Venezuela drought was dead and buried a comment appeared. It was posted by Miguel Octavio, a physicist by training who lives in Miami but who visits Venezuela frequently, and it linked to a follow-up post on Miguel’s blog that contained a lot of local rainfall and stream flow data that weren’t available to me but which prove beyond any doubt that there is no drought at or around the El Guri dam. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , | 40 Comments

Drought, El Niño, Blackouts and Venezuela

It’s fashionable these days to blame everything that goes wrong with anything on human interference with the climate, and we had yet another example last week when President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela fingered drought, El Niño and global warming as the reasons Venezuela’s lights keep going out. In this post I show that his Excellency has not a leg to stand on when he makes these claims, but that because no one ever looks at the data everyone believes him. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Food, Population, Energy and Climate Change in MENA

According to the UN IPCC AR5 report, climate disasters have not increased in frequency. Food production has kept pace with population growth averting famine thanks mainly to fossil fuels not despite them. And evidence for climate change related drought and food shortages in MENA (Middle East North Africa), the subject of this post, is sparse to absent. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Energy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Drought, Climate, War, Terrorism, and Syria

It’s routinely claimed that climate-change-induced drought in Syria was a major factor in triggering the Syrian civil war, the Syrian refugee crisis and the rise of ISIS. But are these claims supported by the data? This post investigates this question. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , | 87 Comments

UK Electricity Supply, September 2015

According to DECC, the UK had 10.9 GW of installed wind at end May 2015. At 08:35 on 26th September this massive wind park managed to produce 0.134 GW. That works out at 1.2% load. The maximum for the month was 5.3 GW, 48.6% load, at 06:05 on 12th September. The average wind load for the month was 16%. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , , | 31 Comments