A Long Shadow Creeps Over The Economy This Summer

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

It’s time to turn around and see the darkness that the Fed sees looming over you. Earnings season is already extending signs of recession with the first corporate reports coming in far darker than expectations that were already twilight dim in FactSet’s estimations, which pegged earnings as likely to show a 2% contraction.

Even the Fed sees problems ahead. Jerome Powell’s speech to congress has been called “one of the most dovish Fed speeches ever!” While that quickened the heart of a sugar-hungry stock market, what does it really tell you about how soon or likely the Fed sees recession looming for the economy or sees trouble for the stock market? Why else would Father Fed suddenly become the “most dovish … ever?” Does the Fed become its “most dovish … ever” when the economy and the stock market are doing great?

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Fed’s Recessionary Indicators

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

How likely is a recession in the United States? Predicting a recession is difficult, but one can make some nice money with a good forecast. So let’s focus on the most important recessionary models developed by the Fed.

The first model is the smoothed recession probabilities for the United States developed by Marcelle Chauvet and Jeremy Piger based on the research published in the International Economic Review and Journal of Business and Economic Statistics. The odds are obtained from a dynamic-factor markov-switching model applied to four monthly coincident variables: non-farm payment enrollment, the index of industrial production, real personal income excluding transfer payments, and real manufacturing and trade sales.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #365

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by Swww.SEPP.org

Quote of the Week:for the purpose of promoting scientific inquiry’ — Cambridge Philosophical Society – See Article # 2

Number of the Week: 2.34 mmb/d

0.04% NOT 0.4%: Last week’s TWTW contained a significant typo, which was caught by a number of readers. The current concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is approximately 0.04%, not 0.4% as erroneously stated. This is based on measurements made at Mauna Loa, an observatory at 3402 m, or 11,200 feet above sea level on the island of Hawaii (the Big Island). The actual average for May was 414.7 parts per million (ppm). It declines as the summer season takes hold in the Northern Hemisphere and plants use photosynthesis to create food and oxygen from CO2 and water. In May 2018, the average was 411.2 ppm. TWTW appreciates those who corrected the typo and regrets any confusion the typo may have caused.

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Russia Will Be Ruined by the Clean Energy Transition

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

According to Forbes, when renewable energy programmes like Germany’s Energiewende mature, demand for Russian fossil fuel will collapse.

Will Russia Survive The Coming Energy Transition?

Jun 27, 2019, 10:35am
Ariel Cohen Contributor

A new global energy reality is emerging. The era of the hydrocarbon – which propelled mankind through the second stage of the industrial revolution, beyond coal and into outer space – is drawing to a close. The stone age ended not because we ran out of stones. The same with oil and gas.

World Energy Consumption
World Energy Consumption. By Con-structBP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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For Bee Alarmists, Groundhog Day Comes in June

Paul Driessen -Re-Blogged From WUWT

Will activists finally admit their sins and break out of their pesticide-blaming time loop?

Did you think Goundhog Day only comes in February?

For anti-insecticide zealots and others in the environmentalist movement who’ve been preoccupied for years with bees and “colony collapse disorder,” it actually comes every June. That’s when the Bee Informed Partnership – a University of Maryland-based project supported by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) – releases the results of its annual survey of honeybee colony losses and health.

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Battery Storage—An Infinitesimal Part of Electrical Power

By Steve Goreham – Re-Blogged From Energy Central

Large-scale storage of electricity is the latest proposed solution to boost the deployment of renewables. Renewable energy advocates, businesses, and state governments plan to use batteries to store electricity to solve the problem of intermittent wind and solar output. But large-scale storage is only an insignificant part of the electrical power industry and doomed to remain so for decades to come.

Last month, Senator Susan Collins of Maine introduced a bi-partisan bill named “The Better Energy Storage Technology Act,” proposing to spend $300 million to promote the development of battery solutions for electrical power. Collins stated, “Next-generation energy storage devices will help enhance the efficiency and reliability of our electric grid, reduce energy costs, and promote the adoption of renewable resources.”

Arizona, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon adopted statutes or goals to develop storage systems for grid power, with New York committing to most ambitious target in the nation. In January, as part of his mandate for “100 percent clean power by 2040,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a target to deploy 3,000 megawatts (MW) of storage by 2030.

Today, 29 states have renewable portfolio standards laws, requiring utilities to purchase increasing amounts of renewable energy. But the electricity output from wind and solar systems is intermittent. On average, wind output is between 25% and 35% of rated output. Solar output is even less, delivering an average of about 15% to 20% percent of rated output.

Mandating the addition of wind and solar to power systems to is like forcing a one-car family to buy a second car that runs only 30% of the time. The family can’t replace the original car with the new intermittent car, but must then maintain two cars.

Renewable advocates now propose electricity storage to solve the intermittency problem and to help renewable energy replace traditional coal, natural gas, and nuclear generators. When wind and solar output is high, excess electricity would be stored in batteries and then delivered when renewable output is low, to try to replace traditional power plants that generate electricity around the clock.

Headlines laud the growth of battery installations for grid storage, growing 80% last year and up 400% from 2014. But the amount of US electricity stored by batteries today is less than miniscule.

Pumped storage, not batteries, provides about 97% of grid power storage in the United States today. Pumped storage uses electricity to pump water into an elevated reservoir to be used to drive a turbine when electricity is needed. But less than one in every 100,000 watts of US electricity comes from pumped storage.

In 2018, US power plants generated 4.2 million GW-hours of electrical power. Pumped storage capacity totaled about 23 GW-hrs. Battery storage provided only about 1 GW-hr of capacity. Less than one-millionth of our electricity is stored in grid-scale batteries.

Electricity storage is expensive. Pumped storage is the least costly form of grid storage at about $2,000 per kilowatt, but requires areas where an elevated reservoir can be used. Battery storage costs about $2,500 per kilowatt for discharge duration of two hours or more. Batteries are more expensive than onshore wind energy, which has an installed market price of under $1,000 per kilowatt. But a key factor in the effectiveness of storage is the length of time that the system can deliver stored electricity.

In the case of New York State, plans call for the installation of 9,000 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2035 and 3,000 MW of battery storage by 2030. The wind system will likely cost in excess of $9 billion, and the battery system will likely cost about $7.5 billion. But this planned battery deployment is wholly inadequate to remove the wind intermittency.

If the wind system has an average output of 33% of its rated output, then the planned 3,000 MW of battery storage would only be able to deliver the average wind output for about two hours. To replace output for a full day when the wind isn’t blowing, 36,000 MW of storage would be needed at a cost of $90 billion, or about ten times as much as the wind system itself. Since several days without wind in most locations is common, even a day of battery backup is inadequate.

In addition, the 10-15 year lifetime of grid-scale batteries is no bargain.  Wind and solar systems are rated for 20-25 years of service life. Traditional coal, natural gas, and nuclear systems last for 35 years or more.

Storage of electricity should be regarded as foolish by anyone in the manufacturing industry. For decades, major companies pursued just-in-time manufacturing, “lot size one,” Kanban, lean manufacturing, and other programs designed to eliminate finished goods inventory to reduce costs. Electricity is delivered immediately upon generation, the ultimate zero-finished-goods-inventory product. But many organizations now clamor for electricity storage to try to fix the intermittency weakness of renewables.

Today, grid storage capacity is less than one millionth of national electricity output. Practical battery storage adds a cost factor of at least ten to the cost of the partner renewable system. It will be decades before grid battery storage plays a significant role in large-scale power systems, if ever.

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Surprising Summer Chill Baffles Global Warming Alarmists

From the “summer colds are the worst” department

Guest essay by Vijay Jayaraj – Re-Blogged From WUWT

A surprising late-June chill broke records for lowest temperatures and made life miserable for many across the world. From Denver, Colorado, in the United States, to Melbourne in Australia, the mercury dropped precipitously.

Many people in Colorado woke up to what would be the state’s coldest first day of summer in 90 years. Up to two feet of snow fell in some places, making authorities issue a winter weather advisory on the first day of summer. Denver especially has been at the center of focus. Record cold caught city dwellers off guard. This year has been the “city’s coldest start to a calendar year since 1983.”

The National Weather Service reported the coldest maximum temperature during the second half of June since 1992 at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, and news outlets reported that it was unusual for the windy city to experience such low temperatures in the beginning of summer.

On the other side of the world, Australia saw many cities record their coldest first few weeks of winter. Melbourne, on June 23, recorded its lowest maximum for the date since 1985.

And back in the Northern Hemisphere, central England experienced similar historic lows in June, although the temperature was forecasted to pick up the following week due to a heatwave.

But the cooling observed is not just limited to the surface temperatures.

There has been a remarkable cooling in the global oceans, especially the Atlantic and the Pacific. This was totally unexpected, as scientists had forecast a strong warming in the oceans for this month, a weather condition called El Niño.

Experts are divided on what this cold phase actually points to. It might be just a one-off, localized, short-term weather phenomenon, or it might reflect a longer, global-scale climate shift.

Either way it contradicts alarmists’ claims of a warming world. If it were a mere weather phenomenon, then it would mean global warming would result in cold phases (like those in June, May, and earlier months this year), not warmer phases, as claimed by the alarmists. That means climate change will result in cold phases like the ones we’ve been observing in the past two years.

In contrast, if these cold phases are an indicator of a longer climatic shift, then there is no drastic warming but a global cooling.

We might be headed to what NASA describes as a period of “solar minimum,” with temperatures akin to the Little Ice Age that froze Northern Europe in the 16th century.

In its official June 12 communication, NASA stated, “The Sun’s activity rises and falls in an 11-year cycle. The forecast for the next solar cycle says it will be the weakest of the last 200 years. The maximum of this next cycle – measured in terms of sunspot number, a standard measure of solar activity level – could be 30 to 50% lower than the most recent one.”

Regardless of whether these cold phases are precursors to a longer cooling period or not, late-June cooling (like similar cooling periods in the past two years) certainly runs contrary to the claim that the world is getting hotter or warmer every year.

After the brief spike in temperatures during the El Niño-driven warmth of 2016, temperatures have fallen globally. This post-2016 two-year cooling resonates and coheres with the overall lull in the warming that scientists have observed during the past two decades, in which spikes in global temperature occurred only when El Niño was active.

It will be interesting to observe how the summer plays out and whether the solar inactivity predicted by NASA will make the 2019–20 winter colder than the ones before.

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