Tag Archives: solar power

Blowout Week 139

Elsewhere in this week’s Blowout: Iran / OPEC deal on the cards; China accused of nuclear espionage; UK government looks for ways to torpedo Hinkley Point; Fessenheim nuclear power plant in France to close; coking coal price on the rise; £200 million pumped storage hydro scheme on Lewis; National grid clutching at straw batteries; Telegraph living in the real world; Tesla cramming in more electrons; Human caused climate change started in 1830; Air Africa to run on Woodbines; France opts for tree wind power over nuclear power. Continue reading

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EU and BP Renewable Electricity Accounting Methodologies

Every EU country has a renewable energy target to be met by 2020 where the target is set as a percentage of total energy consumption. Since most countries are using combinations of hydro, solar and wind electricity (primary electricity) to achieve their targets, one needs a way of comparing primary electricity with energy from coal, oil and gas etc. The standard way adopted by the EU and by BP is to convert all forms of energy to tonnes of oil equivalent (toe). If coal, oil or gas is used to make electricity then there are large thermal losses doing so. BP correctly account for this by grossing up renewable electricity by a factor of 100/38 to account for “thermal gain” when converting from primary electricity to a fossil fuel equivalent. The EU do not appear to do this, thus all of EU renewable electricity statistics appear to be wrong. This is no trivial matter given the many billions being spent by countries trying to achieve their targets. Continue reading

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Red Eléctrica de España

Spanish electricity data with hourly resolution is presented for the months of September and October. Wind in Spain is balanced mainly by varying coal output with a little help from gas and a tiny amount of help from hydro. Imports and exports are not used at all in the gross balancing exercise. Hydro is used to balance solar and to follow diurnal demand. The Green fantasy of using grid interconnectivity and hydro to balance variable wind is not being put into practice in Spain. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 71

This week we give OPEC a rest and focus – inevitably – on the UK election and its potential impacts on UK energy policy:

More post-election predictions and perspectives below the fold, plus German coal causing air pollution in France, US coal is either dead or it isn’t, rationing UK internet use to keep the lights on, Scotland’s green energy vision, a record trade deficit in Canada, Australia squabbles over renewables targets, Iran determined to sell more oil, jet fuel from fungus, CO2 exceeds 400ppm, how Americans can fight global warming by eating insects and the US Army promises not to invade Texas.
Continue reading

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The High Cost of Renewables

In this post I present “back of envelope” style calculations on the capital costs of renewables globally since 1998 and deduce that roughly $1.3 trillion has been spent installing wind turbines and solar panels. Is this a lot of money? Is it a wise investment? What else may we have we got for our money?

One perspective is that the same money would buy 50 Hinkley Point style pressurised water reactors. Continue reading

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Energy and Mankind part 2

In 1911, Winston Churchill famously made the decision to convert the Royal Navy from coal to oil fired steam. He did this because oil offered many advantages over coal. It was more energy dense giving oil fired ships greater range and speed. And it could also be pumped through pipes, dispensing with the need for hundreds of stokers. Continue reading

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Blowout week 24

“The usual western media branding of “terrorism” or “sectarian violence” no longer applies to the actions of ISIL in Iraq. A force capable of withstanding and win an urban battle in a city of over 1 million inhabitants is not a terrorist group, not even a guerilla, it is an army, fighting a conventional war.” Luis de Sousa Continue reading

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Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ as a model for Australian climate policy?

Guest Post by Graham Palmer. Graham recently published the book “Energy in Australia: Peak Oil, Solar Power, and Asia’s Economic Growth” (“Springer Briefs in Energy” series). Cross posted from Bravenewclimate GERMANY’S ENERGIEWENDE AS A MODEL FOR AUSTRALIAN CLIMATE POLICY? A CRITICAL REVIEW. Graham Palmer, June … Continue reading

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