Tag Archives: energy efficiency

Blowout Week 120

To provide a little light relief from weightier issues this week’s Blowout features the extraordinary capacity of the human mind to invent new ways of generating low-carbon energy. We already generate biogas from rotting garbage, waste food, vegetable oils and animal manure, and now we generate it from – cheese: Continue reading

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CO2 Emissions Variations in CCGTs Used to Balance Wind in Ireland

The island of Ireland functions as a single electricity grid linked to the British mainland by two interconnectors with a combined capacity of 1 GW. The Republic of Ireland in the south has set a goal to have 40% of electricity generated from renewables, mainly onshore wind, by 2020. Variable intermittency will be balanced using frame type combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs). As the level of wind penetration grows the CCGTs need to work harder ramping up and down to compensate for variable wind. This causes increased wear and tear on the CCGT plant and also significantly reduces the energy efficiency of the CCGTs raising their specific CO2 production. During 2014 and 2015, average wind penetration was 22%, the CCGTs produced 575 Kg of CO2 per MWh and the average fuel efficiency was 32% compared with a design specification of 55%. Continue reading

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CO2 Emissions Reduction, Renewables and Recession

EU CO2 emissions have fallen by 17% since 2008. Does this vindicate the energy policy mandating 20% of total energy from renewables by 2020? For member countries, a comparison of the per capita wind + solar installed capacity in 2014 with the CO2 reduction in each country 2008-2014 has no correlation (R2 = 0.01). At face value, installing wind and solar devices appears to make no difference to CO2 emissions reduction. Continue reading

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Rooftop PV Panels Point Where the Roof Points

On several previous occasions Euan Mearns has fulminated about this photo he took of roof-mounted solar PV panels in Aberdeen. If you’re going to do something as dumb as installing solar panels at latitude 57N, he argues, at least point them south. Don’t point them east.

But few rooftop PV panels in Aberdeen or anywhere else for that matter are optimally aligned. Most are bolted flat onto the roof regardless of which way it points.

In this post we will take a photographic tour of some of the outcomes. Continue reading

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Drilling Deeper – A Reality Check on U.S. Government Forecasts for a Lasting Tight Oil & Shale Gas Boom

There is a lot of red ink, but no problem here that European natural gas prices coming to America cannot solve. The big question is whether or not the US economy is sufficiently robust to withstand sharply higher primary energy costs that Europeans, Japanese and S Koreans have lived with for many years. Continue reading

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China – the coal monster

In 2012 China consumed 50.4% of all coal produced on Earth. Most, but not all of that coal was produced in China, mainly from deep underground mines. Like Europe and the USA before it, China’s industrial revolution has been founded on coal that accounts for 68% of all energy consumed. Continue reading

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Germany: energiewende kaput?

The penetration of wind energy in 2012 was 3.4% and solar 2.1% of total energy consumed and I would judge that this is too low a level of penetration from which to draw any conclusion about the success or failure of the energiewende. This in itself is a problem. Huge investment and publicity so far has produced rather little in return. Continue reading

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Solar Scotland

It seems likely that solar photovoltaics deployed in Scotland will never repay the energy used to manufacture the panels. They will therefore produce more CO2 than if solar was not deployed at all and the emissions are emitted decades in advance of the solar electricity being produced. Continue reading

Posted in Bonkers, Climate change, Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Fuel poverty in the UK

Fuel poverty has got worse in the UK since 2003, in part due to higher international energy prices and in part due to misguided energy policies. A series of cold winters since 2009 has made matters worse offset in part by improved energy efficiency of the housing stock. Continue reading

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Brave Green World and the Cost of Electricity

Approximately 50% of the recent rise in electricity bills may be attributed to the rise in natural gas and coal prices. The rest may be down to the UK government’s Green, CO2 abatement measures. Continue reading

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UK electricity demand, GDP and energy policy

In our industrialised society, energy consumption and gross domestic product (GDP) are correlated. We use energy, large quantities of it, to make stuff and to do things that combined add up to make GDP. A single Man equipped with a … Continue reading

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UK electricity generation statistics 1920 – 2012

With energy prices and energy policy very much in the news, it is timely to take a detailed look at the history of UK electricity production. The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are once again to be … Continue reading

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