Tag Archives: renewable energy

The gulf between the Paris Climate Agreement and energy projections

According to the Paris Climate Agreement a rapid decrease in the world’s consumption of fossil fuels is now mandatory if the Earth is to be saved from climate disaster. Projections of future energy use, however, are unanimous in predicting an increase in the world’s consumption of fossil fuels in coming decades. Either the energy consumption projections are wrong or the Paris goal is unachievable. This post reviews the basic provisions of the Paris Agreement, compares them with six independent estimates of future energy consumption and concludes that while the energy consumption estimates are subject to uncertainty the goals of the Paris Agreement are indeed unachievable. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 158

The signatories to the the Paris Climate Agreement, who include just about every country in the world, agree that the world must cut its fossil fuel emissions drastically if global climate catastrophe is to be avoided. Yet according to Exxon’s just-released Energy Outlook (the IEA and EIA outlooks are similar) the world will be burning more fossil fuels in 2040 than it is now. Does this mean that the world is doomed? Or is somebody missing something?

We continue with stories on the fallout from OPEC’s production cut, followed by nuclear in the US, France, Sweden and China, coal in China and Australia, renewables in China, Europe, and Germany, recent events in UK, roads that recharge EVs in Israel, 2016 ties 1998 for the warmest year on record in the lower troposphere and India solves the carbon capture and storage problem.
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How smart is a smart grid?

A smart grid is a complex computerized management system designed to distribute the power available to the grid in an efficient manner relative to demand while maintaining grid stability. It does not generate any new power except in so far as it saves some energy that would be wasted with a less efficient system. Because of limited storage capacity a smart grid is also capable of maximizing energy use over only short periods; it will not solve the intermittency problem over longer periods. It is also likely to be costly. There are also questions as to whether current designs based on computer simulations will work in practice. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 132

In 2007, Alex Salmond rejected any new nuclear Scottish power stations. Policies based on fear, rather than facts, may feel good, but they increase the overall risk by not educating the public. Successful democracy requires people understand the decisions they make; otherwise it becomes a loose cannon, with decisions based on slogans. Accidents, when amplified by the media, induce fear far beyond realistic risk. At Fukushima none died from radiation exposure. At Chernobyl only 46 died as a result of radiation damage, an accident caused by faulty safety design and irresponsible neglect of safety procedures. In Hamburg in 2011, 54 died from eating organic beansprouts and 3,500 experienced kidney damage. Continue reading

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EU 2020 Renewable Energy Targets: Part I

The progress being made in attaining the 2020 renewable energy (RE) targets is reviewed for 10 EU countries and for the EU as a whole using BP 2015 data. There are two main targets to be met 1) 20% of all primary energy from RE sources and 2) 10% of transport fuel from RE sources. The EU as a whole is projected to narrowly miss the 20% RE target by about 1%. The transport fuel target is less easy to estimate but will likely by missed by a substantial margin. Continue reading

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An Energy Plan for France and the UK

Environmental activist group Bellona report that President Hollande wishes to reduce France’s dependency on nuclear power. It suddenly struck me that France will have nuclear power stations that it no longer needs and the UK needs nuclear power stations that it cannot afford to build. The solution is absurdly simple. The UK can simply contract to buy 20 GW of nuclear power from France while France presses on to modernise its infrastructure by deploying more bio-energy, wind and solar power. Continue reading

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The UK’s Fifth Carbon Budget – Without the Green Crap

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), under the chairmanship of Lord Deben, recently released its report entitled Power sector scenarios for the fifth carbon budget. The CCC report provides three scenarios under which a ~75% reduction in electricity sector emissions can be achieved by 2030 plus four other “alternative” scenarios that either exceed it or fall short. Continue reading

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EU Renewable Energy Targets: The Compliance Statistics are Suspect

This post examines EU renewable energy targets and how the various member states are doing in meeting the targets agreed for 2020. It has been found that the compliance data published by Eurostat does not agree with the raw Eurostat or BP statistics. Continue reading

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El Hierro Revisited

In November last year I wrote a post on the Gorona del Viento plant on the island of El Hierro in the Canaries, an innovative renewable energy project that uses a pumped hydro system to supply dispatchable power to the grid and surplus power from a wind farm to keep the pumped hydro reservoirs topped up. Gorona del Viento was in the news at the time because it had just been commissioned and was being hailed as an example of how renewable energy could be made to supply 100% of energy needs on a remote island. Continue reading

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Renewable Energy: The Most Expensive Policy Disaster in Modern British History

In a new report Central Planning with Market Features: how renewable subsidies destroyed the UK electricity market, published by the Centre for Policy Studies on Wednesday 18 March, Rupert Darwall shows that recent energy policy represents the biggest expansion of state power since the nationalisations of the 1940s and 1950s – and is on course to be the most expensive domestic policy disaster in modern British history. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 63

Expanded coal use in India and Japan, solar eclipse to wreak havoc with the German grid, OPEC’s latest pronouncements, 100% renewables planned for Hawaii, Mitsubishi to commercialize solar power from space, more oil jobs predicted in UK, a California solar farm that floats on sewage and how not even the dead are safe from the ravages of climate change. Continue reading

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Blowout week 45

By Roger Andrews The US is the world’s largest economy, and what happens in the US has a significant impact on what happens in the rest of the world. So this week we lead off with the US mid-term elections … Continue reading

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Blowout week 37

Oil and gas industry expert Sir Ian Wood accuses Scottish nationalists of using overly optimistic figures on North Sea oil reserves which he dismissed as “highly speculative or even fantasy”. (He) warned there are only 15 years of reserves left before the industry’s decline starts wreaking major damage on the Scottish economy. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 35

A Kurdish tanker loaded with $100 million worth of oil vanished off Texas’ coast Thursday. Radar systems showed no signs of the United Kalavrvta cargo ship, which has been at the center of a long legal battle between Iraq’s government and the country’s Kurdish region. Continue reading

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The balancing capacity issue: A ticking time-bomb under the UK’s Energiewende

Since 2006 I have claimed that the perfect dispatchable unit for balancing purposes has not yet been invented. Continue reading

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The New Global Dictator

I wish to make clear at the outset that I am not against renewable energy per se but wish to draw attention to the fact that there is no such thing as a free lunch in the energy world. Renewables are all too often and naively presented as clean, green, free energy. In many cases the exact opposite is true. Continue reading

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Hansen makes the case for nuclear power

And so there you have it, absent cheap, energy efficient grid-scale storage, renewables are locking low carbon nuclear out of the equation whilst locking FF in. Continue reading

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Blowout week 20

Warren Buffet: “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” Continue reading

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Blowout week 17

With European Parliament, Scottish Independence and UK general elections looming, the energy football is in play. 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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