Weekly Energy and Climate News Roundup #428

The Week That Was: October 24, 2020)
Brought to You by www.SEPP.org
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Holmes: I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1891 A Scandal in Bohemia, [H/t James Randi]

Number of the Week: 251.9 million years ago

Atmospheric Measurements? The generally accepted standard for atmospheric carbon dioxide measurements are the ones from Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii run by NOAA. Writing in No Tricks Zone, Kenneth Richard asks: “Is this the best location to measure global CO2 levels?”

It may be a reasonable location, provided the MPAA carefully maintains the records. Alas, NOAA has not carefully maintained the US surface temperatures, once the gold standard.

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French President Macron Threatens a Devastating Electricity Embargo against Renewables Obsessed Britain

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

h/t JoNova; Britain may be about to pay a heavy price for their mad dash for renewables, and neglect of energy self sufficiency. As Brexit negotiations enter a standoff, France is threatening to embargo desperately needed British imports of dispatchable electricity generated by French nuclear reactors, unless Britain permanently cedes fishing rights in British territorial waters to the EU.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Round Up #427

The Week That Was: October 17, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “It is well known that [scientific] reputation is hard to build and easy to lose; however, it is even harder to rebuild.”-– Professor Leonid Tsybeskov, New Jersey Institute of Technology (Physics Today, October 2020, page 10) [H/t George Hacken]

Number of the Week: 99%

Nobel Prize: Last week TWTW reviewed The Looming Energy Crisis: Are Blackouts Inevitable? by Donn Dears. Dears discussed how day-before auctions for electricity generation are distorting the market for electricity, in that the auctions favor non-dispatchable, unreliable, subsidized forms of energy generation over dispatchable, reliable forms. The primary forms of unreliable, subsidized forms emphasized are wind and solar (for brevity, wind will be used here). In the US, when daily weather forecasts show winds will be favorable industrial wind can bid as low as they wish, but they will be paid the highest successful bid amount – the market clearing price.

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The Truth Behind Renewable Energy

By Dr. Lars Schernikau – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Can renewable energy sources supply the world with a large share of the energy it requires? While some environmentalists advocate the total replacement of fossil fuels by solar, wind and battery power, Dr Lars Schernikau explains why this is impossible.

Today we hear and read about the climate crisis every day, driven by well-funded campaigns. But we hear little of the perils of switching from conventional energy to wind, solar and battery-powered vehicles. It appears that every second person has become an atmospheric physicist understanding that carbon dioxide is the main driver of global warming and switching to renewables will save us from devastating hurricanes and floods reaching the ceilings of our dream seaside properties. Every other person appears to be an energy specialist being certain that wind, solar and battery-powered vehicles will be a happy, safe and environmentally friendly way to power our everyday electricity and transportation needs. However, little could be farther from the truth.

 

Photo: A young man burning electrical wires to recover copper at Agbogbloshie, September 2019; Wikipedia Free License

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Countries Must End Harmful Allegiance to Paris Agreement

By Vijay Jayaraj – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Countries across the globe are at a crossroads. They must choose between competing energy sources.

On the one hand, there are fossil fuels, the long-proven, relatively simple technologies of which provide abundant, affordable, reliable, instant-on-demand conventional energy. Indeed, they provide over 80 percent of all energy used in the world today.

On the other hand, there are “renewable energy sources.” Don’t think of the old reliable ones like hydro, wood, and dung, but of what Bjørn Lomborg, in his new book False Alarm, calls “new renewables,” mainly wind turbines and solar panels. Unlike fossil fuels, wind and solar are diffuse, providing less energy per area of land, and intermittent. Consequently, they are less abundant, more expensive, unreliable, and—when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine—often completely unavailable.

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Solar Power Costs 2-3 Times As Much

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Power Operations Report

Why? Because California…

OCTOBER 9, 2020
Solar photovoltaic generators receive higher electricity prices than other technologies

In 2019, the average U.S. wholesale price for electricity generated by solar photovoltaic (PV) technology was significantly higher than average wholesale prices for electricity from other technologies. The weighted average wholesale price for solar PV-generated electricity was $83 per megawatthour (MWh) in 2019, more than double the price paid to producers for electricity generated by wind, fossil fuels, or nuclear. The higher average wholesale price for solar PV relative to other technologies is partly driven by geography and timing.

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Washington State Blows Away Wind Fantasies

By Ronald Stein – Re4-Blogged From WUWT

The Northwest has spoken loudly as the Benton Public Utility District (BPUD) has documented their actual battleground experiences with intermittent electricity from wind farms that should be a wake-up call to our policy makers. Their message is “no more wind”.

The Washington state utility 16-page report titled “Wind Power and Clean Energy Policy Perspectives” of July 14, 2020 provides a devastating counter attack to the wind lobbyists that they question the efficacy of wind farms for power generation and resulted in the utility’s commissioners saying they “do not support further wind power development in the Northwest.”

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Weekly Energy and Climate News Roundup #426

The Week That Was: October 10, 2020

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Quote of the Week: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”— Richard Feynman, Theoretical physicist, co-recipient Nobel Prize in Physics.

Number of the Week: US$3,660 billion [$3.66 Trillion]

Guess and Test – and Re-Test: Writing in the Wall Street Journal, journalist Matt Ridley, author of books such as How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom (2020) and The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (2010), had an outstanding, long essay titled:

“What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Science

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West Intends Energy Suicide

By Tilak Doshi – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Suicide is viewed as a crime in many countries. In a court of law, it is a serious charge and the evidence needs to be conclusive for such an accusation to stand (e.g., did you actually see him attempt to jump off the bridge?). But when societies (or at least their leaders) attempt it, one can say that it safely falls under the rubric of the sovereign right to misrule oneself. In the hallowed tradition of Western liberal democracy, so long as its political leaders are elected in free and fair elections, misrule leading to societal death by suicide is merely an unfortunate outcome of either gross negligence or culpable intention led by, say, a death-cult ideology. Nevertheless, let us proceed with the case for the prosecution.

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Peak Oil Demand and the Middle East

By Tilak Doshi – Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore

Re-Blogged From WUWT

It would seem that the Middle East oil producers cannot get enough of bad news these days. The coronavirus pandemic and the collapse in global energy demand in the first quarter of 2020 led to oil prices plunging into the mid-teens as Saudi Arabia launched the oil price war against Russia in early March.

Despite the subsequent historic OPEC+ deal in April to slash output by an unprecedented 9.7 million barrels per day (Mbd), oil prices have been stuck around $40/barrel since June. Prospects for an economic recovery for the Middle East – which already looked precarious after the steep fall in oil prices since mid-2014 as the US “shale revolution” took hold in global oil markets — now look significantly worse than that of other emerging market regions.

Oil pumps silhouette at sunset

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Mandating Devastation for California’s Economy

Ramifications of California Governor Newsom’s ban on sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035

Before sky diving, you need to plan ahead by having a parachute before you jump. California Governor Newsom’s recent suicidal jump onto the EV train has a minimum of eight (8) lack-of-a-plan ramifications from his recent Executive order to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035 that will be devastating to the state’s economy and environment:

Gov. Gavin Newsom at Sep 23 press conference announcing “no new gasoline vehicles to be sold in California by 2035”

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Climate Litigators are Riding a Dead Horse

By The Gelbspan Files – Re-Blogged From WUWT

City of Charleston v Brabham Oil Company, et al.

In just the span of barely the first three weeks of September, four lawsuits suing energy companies for the costs of man-caused global warming were filed, City of Hoboken v. ExxonMobil, et al. (9/2/20), City of Charleston v Brabham Oil Company, et al. (9/9/20), Delaware v. BP America Inc, et al. (9/10/20), and Connecticut v. ExxonMobil Corp. (9/14/20). These allege the companies knew their products caused harm from global warming while orchestrating disinformation campaigns with ‘shill’ experts to deceive the public about the harm.

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Wind Turbines Generate Mountains of Waste

By Duggan Flanakin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Blade waste, other factors prove wind is no more green than solar

Environmentalists and wind energy opportunists (entrepreneurs who take advantage of overly generous tax credits and multiple other subsidies) want you to believe wind energy is as pure “green” as newly driven snow is white, and as cheap as Taco Bell.

They never tell you about the costs – or the environmental destruction – that they have hidden from you for decades. But neither do most governments, news media or social media.

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Green Paranoia

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Renewable energy does not deliver a useful product, but some greens appear to be having trouble accepting this simple simple explanation for why the green revolution is faltering.

Climate change action stymied by Australian business lobby, UK think tank finds

By The Business host Elysse Morgan
Posted Yesterday at 9:01pm, updated Yesterday at 10:14pm

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California Governor Gavin Newsom Bans Sales of Gas Cars by 2035

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

According to Governor Newsom, “we no longer need to drill things or extract things to advance our economic goals”.

Gavin Newsom signs order banning sales of gas-powered cars in California by 2035

BY LARA KORTE SEPTEMBER 23, 2020 10:32 AM

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday issued an executive order requiring the sale of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035, a move the governor says would achieve a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and move the state further away from relying on climate change-causing fossil fuels.

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A Tale of Two Renewable Energy Blackouts: California vs Texas

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Energy
California Blackouts Highlight Contrast with Texas Energy, Provide Forewarning
Last summer, Texans nearly experienced similar rolling blackouts to what Californians faced just a few weeks ago.

BRAD JOHNSON SEPTEMBER 7, 2020

Driving north from San Antonio to Austin on I-35, a billboard towers over passing traffic broadcasting a simple message: “Don’t California our Texas.” In California’s recent rolling energy grid blackouts, Texans might recognize a warning for its own power supply.

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Solar Panels Generate Mountains of Waste

By Duggan Flanakin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Solar panels generate mountains of waste

They also heat the planet, blanket wildlife habitats and cause other ecological damage

The problem of solar panel waste is now becoming evident. As environmental journalist Emily Folk admits in Renewable Energy Magazine, “when talking about renewable energy, the topic of waste does not often appear.” She attributes this to the supposed “pressures of climate change” and alleged “urgency to find alternative energy sources,” saying people may thus be hesitant to discuss “possible negative impacts of renewable energy.”

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CNN: “The pandemic didn’t solve climate change. This week’s disasters are proof”

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

CNN laments that Covid-19 didn’t mess up the economy or frighten people enough to bring lasting change. But some see the Coronavirus lockdowns as a “test run”, which may help shape future climate policies.

The pandemic didn’t solve climate change. This week’s disasters are proof

By Eliza Mackintosh, CNN

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #425

The Week That Was: September 19, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “It is one thing to impose drastic measures and harsh economic penalties when an environmental problem is clear-cut and severe. It is quite another to do so when the environmental problem is largely hypothetical and not substantiated by careful observations. This is definitely the case with global warming.” – Frederick Seitz, Introduction to Fred Singer’s Hot Talk, Cold Science (1999)

Number of the Week: 64%

NO TWTW NEXT WEEK: There will be no TWTW the week of September 26. TWTW will resume the weekend of October 3.

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Greenhouse Effect – Critical for Life: Last week, TWTW discussed that in 1859, physicist John Tyndall began experiments on gases that interfere with the loss of electromagnetic energy (heat) from the surface of the earth to space. These gases, known as greenhouse gases, keep the earth warmer than it would be otherwise, particularly at night. Tyndall recognized that water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas, and without it land masses would freeze at night, making vegetative growth virtually impossible.

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In Defence of Plug-in Hybrids

By Mike Jonas, – Re-Blogged From WUWT

There is an article today from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation)

Plug-in hybrids are a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’

that attacks plug-in hybrid vehicles because

Carbon dioxide emissions from plug-in hybrid cars are as much as two-and-a-half times higher than official tests suggest, according to new research.

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Connecticut Strives for Highest Electricity Rates in the USA

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

I was born in Connecticut. I was educated in Connecticut. I have never regretted emigrating to Texas nearly 40 years ago…

Connecticut’s offshore wind deals may drive up electricity costs for consumers
ENERGY
MARC E. FITCH SEPTEMBER 14, 2020

As Connecticut lawmakers and Eversource executives battle back and forth over rate increases and Eversource’s response to storm Isaias, offshore wind agreements set in place by Connecticut could potentially drive electricity rates even higher in the future.

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German Electricity Imports Hit New Record

By P Gosselin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

You would think that with all the added wind and solar energy in Germany, along with all the conventional power plants on standby, all totaling up to huge unneeded capacity, there would be no need to import any power at all. Well, think again.

Photo: P. Gosselin

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California Moves to BAN Gasoline Vehicles

By Associated Press – Re34-Blogged From Headline Wealth

California will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks in 15 years, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday, establishing a timeline in the nation’s most populous state that could force U.S. automakers to shift their zero-emission efforts into overdrive.

The plan won’t stop people from owning gas-powered cars or selling them on the used car market. But in 2035 it would end the sale of all new such vehicles in the state of nearly 40 million people that accounts for more than one out of every 10 new cars sold in the U.S.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #424

The Week That Was: September 12, 2020
Brought to You by www.SEPP.org
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature’s answer.” – Max Planck

Number of the Week: 10%

Review of the Greenhouse Effect: For the past few weeks TWTW used presentations by William Happer to discuss the greenhouse effect, which is how certain gases interfere with the loss of electromagnetic energy, particularly in the infrared frequencies, from the surface of the earth into space. The gases that slow the loss of energy (heat), keeping the earth warmer at night than it would be otherwise, are known as greenhouse gases. Starting in 1859, physicist John Tyndall described their influence through a set of experiments. Tyndall recognized that water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas, and without it land masses would freeze at night, making vegetative growth virtually impossible.

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German Wind Power Output In August, Plagued By Wild Volatility

By P Gosselin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Here’s another example illustrating just how volatile and unreliable wind energy really is.

Wind energy proponents like to claim that although turbines installed on land don’t produce so optimally, the ones at sea are wonderful because the wind there is always blowing and so it all kind of evens out.

The chart below shows the output of all wind turbines installed in Germany, both on land and offshore, from the five major German grid operators:

The dark horizontal line denoting 60,000 MW represents the so-called installed total capacity. Readers will note that less than 10% of rated capacity often gets produced. Only rarely does an output of 33% (20 MW) ever get reached.

CONTINUE READING –>

What’s Wrong with Wind and Solar?

By Mark Mills
Are wind, solar, and batteries the magical solutions to all our energy needs? Or do they come with too high a price? Mark Mills, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, analyzes the true cost — both economic and environmental — of so-called green energy.

Please watch the VIDEO

CONTINUE READING –>

Northern Europe Deforestation Up 49% Due To Effort To Meet “CO2 Targets”

By P Gosselin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Wood pellets.

Swiss meteorologist Jörg Kachelmann calls it “the dumbest energy and environmental policy ever”. Now, finally, after years of being warned, Germany’s mainstream media are finally showing signs of waking up to it.

Idiots and energy policy: Burning of “CO2-friendly” wood pellets driving mass European deforestation. Illustrative photo by P. Gosselin

Germany’s flagship ARD public broadcasting recently presented a report earlier today about how “CO2 neutral” wood burning is leading to widespread deforestation across northern Europe – a rather embarrassing development for the Europeans, who  recently expressed their condemnation over Brazilian forest policy.

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US Approves First Small-Scale Nuclear Reactors

Neighborhood Reactor

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the regulatory body that governs nuclear energy, just approved designs for the country’s first scaled-down, low-cost fission reactor.

The small modular reactor (SMR) build by NuScale Power is the first of its kind in the U.S., Scientific American reports, and experts suggest it could revitalize the country’s dormant nuclear energy industry by providing cleaner energy at a more local scale. But there’s a long way to go before any of these reactors can actually be built.

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UK Covid-19 Tax Rises Considered, While the UK Squanders Billions on Renewable Energy

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The British Government is reportedly considering tax rises of £30 billion+ to plug the hole in the government budget created by the Covid-19 lockdown.

My question – instead of punishing ordinary people by raising £30 billion of new taxes, why doesn’t the British Government plug their budget shortfall by cutting £30 billion of useless expenditure, by cancelling all subsidies for renewable energy, the foreign aid guarantee, and other assorted big government boondoggles?

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NC Attorney General Files Lawsuit to Block Marine Seismic Surveys

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Hat tip to Willie Soon…

NC attorney general files federal lawsuit to block offshore drilling

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) – Attorney General Josh Stein on Wednesday announced he has filed a lawsuit that seeks to block the Trump Administration from allowing seismic exploration for oil and gas off the North Carolina coast.

The Trump administration overruled North Carolina’s objections to offshore drilling, opening the way for WesternGeco, one of five companies seeking to conduct seismic exploration, to move one step closer to receiving necessary permits.

Seismic testing uses powerful airguns that blast sounds at the ocean floor repeatedly for long periods of time. Marine experts say these sounds can harm sea life and coastal resources – and could have significant impacts on North Carolina’s fishing and tourism industries.

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Potentially Powerful Pipeline Precedents

By Craig Rucker – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Radical Greens have given citizens the tools to stop destructive wind and solar projects

Fracking (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) has unleashed bounties of US oil and natural gas, dramatically reduced energy prices from their historic 2008 peak, saved families and industries billions of dollars annually, helped create and sustain millions of American jobs, made the United States stronger militarily and turned it into a net energy exporter.

Red faucet with steel pipe in natural gas treatment plant in bright sunny summer day

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Alberta Oil Shipped Through Panama Canal to Atlantic Canada

By Larry Hughes – Re-Blogged From WUWT

On July 20, the tanker Cabo de Hornos delivered an estimated 450,000 barrels of crude oil to the Irving Oil refinery’s Canaport storage facilities in Saint John, N.B.

What made Cabo de Hornos’s delivery different was that it was the first time crude oil had arrived in Saint John by ship from Alberta. It came via the Trans Mountain pipeline to the Westbridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C., and then through the Panama Canal.

An oil tanker passes fishermen as it moves through a channel in Port Aransas, Texas, in May 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #421

The Week That Was: August 29, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable: and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.” – Karl Popper

Number of the Week: 50%

Popular Delusions: Last week, TWTW discussed the problem of the California Blackouts (also called greenouts) and the failure of California politicians to properly prepare for the simple fact that as the sun goes down Photoelectric Power declines and other means of electric power generation must be increased significantly (ramped-up). The state constitution places the ultimate responsibility on the legislature.

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The “Racism” of Climate Change Alarmists

By Duggan Flanakin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

It’s not climate change that’s racist, but those who use it to block energy development

Climate alarmists now proclaim that climate change is racist, that it affects minorities more than others. What hypocrisy. By this theory, the Sun, our galaxy and their Creator are racist, since they have driven climate change throughout history.

business, globalization and future technology concept – close up of businessman hands with transparent smartphone and earth hologram over black
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Smoking Out the Golden State’s Green Utopia

By Clarice Feldman – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Into the grandest of fantasies, reality intrudes. And so, it may be that Mother Nature in the form of annual forest fires, will force a key California agency to face reality and modify the overly ambitious and unrealistic renewable energy  fantasy that has characterized the state’s energy planning for  a decade.

On Sept. 1, the California State Water Board will have to decide whether the four natural gas plants that provide desperately needed power in energy-short California must be shuttered or whether to grant them an extension in the midst of devastating state electricity blackouts by amending the policy use of on coastal waters for power plant cooling. .

San Onofre nuclear plant: lights out in California.

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Blackouts Expose Perils And Costs Of California’s ‘Electrify Everything’ Push

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

 h/t The White House; Even Forbes, whose deep green editors recently censored Michael Shellenberger for criticising the climate movement, has sharply criticised California’s headlong rush into a new dark age of unreliable electricity.

Blackouts Expose Perils And Costs Of California’s ‘Electrify Everything’ Push

Robert Bryce Contributor Energy
I write about energy, power, innovation, and politics.
Aug 18, 2020, 08:26pm EDT

The blackouts that hit California over the past few days exposed the fragility of one of the most-expensive and least-reliable electric grids in North America. They also show that California’s grid can’t handle the load it has now, much less accommodate the enormous amount of new demand that would have to be met if the state attempts to “electrify everything.”

20487672 – wind turbines and power lines against sunset

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Study Calls for Ban on Gas Appliances, Misleads Californians

By Steve Goreham – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Originally published in the August edition of The American Oil & Gas Reporter.

A study published in April by the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California Los Angeles claims residential natural gas causes dangerous indoor and outdoor air pollution, and proposes to eliminate gas from California homes. But the study, Effects of Residential Gas Appliances on Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality and Public Health in California, lacks accuracy and perspective, as discussed in my paper criticizing the study that was published in June. Natural gas is a low-cost, nonpolluting fuel for heating, cooking, industrial use, and generating electricity.

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Californian Blackout Fury

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The utter failure of renewables to deliver during the Californian heatwave appears to be creating a surge of interest in reliable energy.

California Blackouts: It’s Not Just the Heat, It’s Also the Anti-Nuclear Power Stupidity

Activists oppose a huge source of reliable, climate-friendly electricity that could have prevented the rolling blackouts in the Golden State.

RONALD BAILEY | 8.19.2020 12:31 PM

Rolling electric power blackouts afflicted as many as 2 million California residents last week as a heat wave gripped the Golden State. (It’s apparently eased up for now.) At the center of the problem is that power demand peaks as overheated people turn up their air conditioning in the late afternoon just as solar power supplies cut off as the sun goes down.

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant
Scheduled for Shutdown. Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant. By marya from San Luis Obispo, USAFlickr, CC BY 2.0, Link

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #420

The Week That Was: August 22, 2020

By Ken Haapala, President,SEPP,Brought to You by http://www.SEPP.org

Quote of the Week: “Private corporations and persons that own, operate, control, or manage a line, plant, or system for … the production, generation, transmission, or furnishing of heat, light, water, power, … directly or indirectly to or for the public, and common carriers, are public utilities subject to control by the Legislature.” – Section 3, Article XII Public Utilities, California Constitution, added Nov 5, 1974

Number of the Week: 10% of 27,695 MW Equals Zero

I’m shocked! Shocked! To protect the energy system which provides electric power for most of the state, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) was forced to create rolling blackouts during unusually hot days this past week. Immediately the chief executive of the state, Governor Gavin Newsom began blaming others for these needed actions, sending a letter to CAISO and the Public Utility Commission. According to the state constitution, the Commission “consists of 5 members appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate, a majority of the membership concurring, for staggered 6-year terms.” CAISO has no authority over the Commission.

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Trump EPA Rescinds Burdensome Obama Methane Leak Regulations

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Much wailing from greens and big business, as President Trump’s EPA prioritises the economy, cutting red tape for small businesses and boosting US jobs over Obama era methane climate scares.

News Releases from Headquarters›Air and Radiation (OAR)

In Pittsburgh, Administrator Wheeler Announces Final Air Regulations for Oil and Gas Removing Redundant Requirements, Streamlining Implementation, and Reducing Burdens 

08/13/2020Contact Information: EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

PITTSBURGH (August 13, 2020) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced two final rules for the oil and natural gas industry that removes ineffective and duplicative requirements while streamlining others. He made this announcement at the Energy Innovation Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Mark W. Menezes, U.S. Congressman Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), and EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio.

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Green California Has the Nation’s Worst Power Grid

By Steve Goreham – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Originally published in Washington Examiner.

More than a million Californians suffered power blackouts last Friday evening. When high temperatures caused customer demand to exceed the power available, California electrical utilities used rotating outages to force a reduction in demand. The California grid is the worst in the nation, with green energy policies pursued by the state likely furthering reduced grid reliability.

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Chevron’s Answer to Climate Change: Drill, Baby, Drill!

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Chevron’s Answer to Climate Change Is to Keep Drilling for Oil
The energy giant believes it can still wring years of profits from fossil fuels while its European rivals embrace renewables.

By Kevin Crowley and Bryan Gruley for Bloomberg Green

Speaking to the Texas Oil & Gas Association in July, Chevron Corp. Chief Executive Officer Mike Wirth assured his audience that the global clamor for clean energy “doesn’t mean the end of oil and gas.” On the contrary, Wirth said, the energy business is simply undergoing another of its natural transitions. “We’ll find ways to make oil and gas more efficient, more environmentally benign,” he said. “And it will be a part of the mix, just as biomass and coal are still enormous parts of the mix today.”

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The Excess Costs of Weather Dependent Renewable Power Generation in the USA

By edmhdotme – Re-Blogged From WUWT

These straightforward calculations are intended to answer the simple question:

“roughly how much would it cost to generate the same amount of power as is produced by the 2016 fleet of United States Weather Dependent Renewables, using conventional generation technologies, (Gas-firing or Nuclear) ? and how do those figures compare ?”.

Accordingly, the post quantifies the scale of the fiscal waste and the burdens on utility bills attributable to the use of USA Weather Dependent Renewables as installed at the end of 2016.  It combines the comparative costs of generation technologies, published by the US Energy Information Administration in 2020 with information on the Nameplate rating of installed USA Weather Dependent Renewable installations and their actual productive power output as of 2016.  This data on Renewables performance at end 2016 is accessed from USA  Energy Information Administration, US  EIA.

Screenshot 2020-08-09 at 12.05.54.png
Screenshot 2020-08-09 at 15.22.00.png

Summary

Screenshot 2020-08-09 at 12.38.48.png

These straightforward calculations are intended to answer the simple question:

“roughly how much would it cost to generate the same amount of power as is produced by the 2016 fleet of United States Weather Dependent Renewables, using conventional generation technologies, (Gas-firing or Nuclear) ? and how do those figures compare ?”.

Accordingly, the post quantifies the scale of the fiscal waste and the burdens on utility bills attributable to the use of USA Weather Dependent Renewables as installed at the end of 2016.  It combines the comparative costs of generation technologies, published by the US Energy Information Administration in 2020 with information on the Nameplate rating of installed USA Weather Dependent Renewable installations and their actual productive power output as of 2016.  This data on Renewables performance at end 2016 is accessed from USA  Energy Information Administration, US  EIA.

The name plate value of installed Weather Dependent Renewables in the USA amounted to ~118 Gigawatts producing the equivalent of ~30 Gigawatts in 2016.

Screenshot 2020-08-17 at 13.48.55.png

According to this costing model, the approximate USA:

  • capital cost commitment to the current USA Renewables installed is ~210 $billion:  of which the excess costs over Gas-firing is ~175$billion and ~30$billion over the costs of Nuclear.
  • long-term cost commitment of the current USA Renewables generation of ~30Gigawatts installed is ~890$billion: of which the excess costs over Gas-firing is ~750$billion and ~490$billion over the costs of Nuclear power.

These estimates show that using Weather Dependent Renewables in the USA costs ~6 times as much as using Natural Gas for electricity generation and about 1.2 – 2 times as much as Nuclear power.

The benefit of these expenditures for Weather Dependent Renewables is the replacement of about 9% of USA power gross output capacity by “nominally” CO2 neutral technologies.  Electrical power generation results in about 1/4 of the total CO2 emissions output from USA.

In 2016 the USA in total emitted ~5,000million tonnes of CO2, ~14.5% of the Global CO2 emissions.  Accordingly at ~9% of ~25% of 5,000 million tonnes, the current Renewable expenditures are being made to avert an absolute maximum of ~112 million tonnes of CO2 emissions averted across the USA.  This maximum value entirely ignores all the CO2 emissions and energy costs of Weather Dependent Renewables manufacture, installation, etc.  Thus the maximum averted CO2 emissions from USA Weather Dependent Renewables are as follows:

  • of the 2016 USA CO2 emissions ~4,950 million tonnes     ~2.2%
  • of the 2019 Global CO2 emissions  ~34,000 million tonnes     ~0.3 %
  • of the 2017 CO2 emissions growth from developing world 446 million tonnes    ~25%.

The impact of the poor productivity of Weather Dependent Renewables is shown in these two pie charts, where 29% of the Weather dependent Renewables are ~29% of installed generation but produce ~9% of the power output produced:

Screenshot 2020-08-15 at 08.00.00.png

So, the question should be asked “does the capital commitment of ~200 billion$ and the probable future expenditures of ~890 billion$ to unreliably replace ~9% of USA power output and to avert ~2.2% of USA CO2 emissions make economic good sense ?”

Comparative Costing Model for Electricity Generation Technologies

The comparative costings are derived from US  EIA data released in January 2020.

Screenshot 2020-07-18 at 07.40.41.png

The values used in this model ignore the “EIA Technological optimism factor” above, which would adversely affect the comparative costs of Offshore wind, (by about 9$billion/Gigawatt: long-term) and to a much less extent Nuclear power.  These costs are summarised and translated into $billion/Gigawatt in the table below.

The US EIA table quotes the overnight capital costs of each technology and the above table condenses the total costs of the technology when maintained in operation for 60 years expressed as $billion/Gigawatt.  A service period of 60 years is used for these comparisons as it should be close the service life of current generation of Nuclear installations.

Hopefully the comparative data above should realistically avoid the distorting effects of any Government fiscal and subsidy policies supporting Weather Dependent Renewable Energy, whereby it might be claimed that Weather Dependent Renewables can reach cost parity with conventional generation technologies.  The promoters of Weather Dependent Renewables always seem to conveniently forget their productivity differentials with conventional dispatchable power generation.

The service life allocated for Renewables used above may well be generous, particularly for Solar Photovoltaics.  The production capability of all Renewable technologies has been shown to progressively deteriorate significantly over their service life.

Recent 2020 EIA updates fully account for any cost reductions or underbids for Renewable technology, particularly those for Solar panels.  The costs of solar panels themselves may be reducing but this price reduction can only affect about 1/4 of the installation costs, these are mainly made up of the other costs of Solar installations, those ancillary costs remain immutable.

It is hoped therefore that these results give a valid comparative analysis of the true cost effectiveness of Weather Dependent Renewables.  It should be noted that unlike microprocessor technologies “Moore’s Law” cannot be applied to Solar Panels.  As the Solar energy they collect is dilute and diffuse, in order to be effective, they have to be of large scale, so the progressive miniaturisation of “Moores Law” is irrelevant to Solar PV technology.

https://www.manhattan-institute.org/green-energy-revolution-near-impossible

Notes:
    • These calculations are based on the USA installed Renewables base as of the end of 2016
    • The cost data used was published by US  EIA in January 2020 and should allow for the recent price reductions particularly for Solar PV generation
    • The US  EIA data makes the assumption that universally Solar PV productivity is 11.4% for its entire 2016 data set.
    • For the time being these calculations ignore all Offshore Wind power which is currently only a minor part of US Weather Dependent Renewable installations

The true costs associated with Weather Dependent Renewables

Only when the costings estimated from the EIA data above are combined with the actual productivity of Weather Dependent Renewables can a true comparative cost be assessed as below.  Thus these figures represent the true comparative cost / Gigawatt of the power produced by Weather Dependent Renewables installations.

Screenshot 2020-08-11 at 15.25.13.png

In addition, even these comparative figures are underestimates of the true costs of using Weather Dependent Renewables.  These results above only account for the cost comparisons for capital and running costs of the generation installations themselves and the actual electrical power generated accounting for the assessed productivity capability of each generating technology.

The costs projected here ignore the ancillary costs inevitably associated with Wind power and Solar Renewables resulting from:

  • unreliability in terms of both power intermittency and power variability
  • the non-dispatchablity of Renewables:  the wind will not blow and clouds will not clear away to order whenever needed
  • the poor timing of power generation by Renewables is often unlikely to be coordinated with demand:  for example Solar energy is virtually absent in winter even in the Southern USA, 1/9th of the output than in the summer period of lower demand
  • the long transmission lines from remote, dispersed generators, incurs both power losses in transmission and costly increased maintenance
  • much additional infrastructure is needed for access
  • the costs of back up generation is essential but is only used on occasions but has to be wastefully running in spinning reserve nonetheless
  • any consideration of electrical storage using batteries, which would impose very significant additional costs, were long-term, (only a few days), battery storage even economically feasible
  • unsynchronised generation with lack of inherent inertia to maintain grid frequency
  • Weather Dependent Renewables cannot provide a “black start” recovery from a major grid outage

Importantly in addition these cost analyses do not account for:

  • the inevitable environmental damage and wildlife destruction resulting from Weather Dependent Renewables
  • the “Carbon footprint” of Weather Dependent Renewable technologies:  they may never save as much CO2 during their service life as they are likely to require for their materials sourcing, manufacture, installation, maintenance and eventual demolition.  When viewed in the round, all these installation activities are entirely dependent on the use of substantial amounts of fossil fuels both as feedstocks for materials and  as fuels.
  • the Energy Return on Energy Invested:  Weather Dependent Renewables may well produce only a minimal excess of Energy during their service life as was needed for their original manufacture and installation.  They certainly do not provide the regular massive excess power sufficient to support the multiple needs of a developed society.  Accordingly they are parasitic on the use of fossil fuels for their existence.

Renewables K.O.-ed by EROI?

Comparative Costings for Renewable Generation technologies in USA

The table above gave a capital valuation of the current 2016 USA Weather Dependent Renewables fleet at ~200 $billion with probable ongoing costs of ~890 $billion.  Overall in USA this Renewables investment accounts for ~29% of the nameplate generation capacity but only provides ~9% of the actual power contribution.  This is approximately twice the cost of providing the same power output with Nuclear power stations and more than 11 times the cost of using Gas-firing for equivalent power generation.

Screenshot 2020-08-11 at 15.47.35

The three tables above show how the different Renewable technologies contribute to the Government mandated excess costs overall in the USA.

US Wind power is the most cost effective Weather Dependent Renewable technology.  In general it is just 10% cheaper than Nuclear power in capital spend and is only about 1.6 times as expensive in the long-term.  Onshore wind power is only about ~4.5 times more costly in capital and long-term spend than Gas-firing.  Solar PV is the least cost effective US Renewable ~3 – ~6 times more costly than Nuclear to install and 16 times more costly than Gas-firing in the long-term.  However this cost differential does not account for the problem of Weather Dependent irregular intermittency and non-dipatachability.

These significant excess costs represent the wastage imposed on the American population both via direct taxation by supporting subsidies to Weather Dependent Renewables and then also added to utility bills America wide by the Government mandates imposing Renewables on electricity generation.  That wastage amounts to a very regressive tax burden imposed on the poorest in American society.  It is leading to ever increasing US-wide “Energy Poverty”.

Comparative Participation of Individual American States

Screenshot 2020-08-11 at 16.12.25

The name plate value of  the 2016 USA Weather Dependent Renewable installations reported by EIA  is shown below.  The principle states involved with Weather Dependent Renewables in the USA (49) and their local commitments amounting in total to ~118GW installed are shown graphically below.

Screenshot 2020-08-11 at 16.23.07

The scale of the commitment to Weather Dependent Renewables by State is shown below:

Screenshot 2020-08-11 at 16.25.14

The comparative take-up of USA Weather Dependent Renewables by individual States in 2020 as measured by Gigawatts of nameplate capacity per million head of population is shown below.

The comparative productivity performance achieved by these principle US States is shown below.  It is notable how poor the productivity achieved is even for those Southern states with major commitments to solar power

Screenshot 2020-08-11 at 07.04.53

Cost comparisons to Gas-firing

At ~1.1bn$/ Gigawatt in capital costs and ~3.5bn$/ Gigawatt for the 60-year long-term, the use of natural gas is the most cost effective and efficient means of power generation currently available.  It should be noted that Gas-firing produces ~1/2 the CO2 emissions of Coal-firing and ~1/3 the CO2 emissions of Biomass.

These excess costs calculations indicate of the scale additional costs that burden the economies of individual US States according to the US  EIA 2020 data and recorded Weather Dependent Renewable productivity figures shown above, these total ~175 bn$ in capital costs.

Screenshot 2020-08-12 at 10.35.23.png

The long-term excess costs in comparison to the use of Gas-firing amount to ~750 bn$.

Cost comparisons to Nuclear power

At ~7 bn$/ Gigawatt in capital costs and ~16 bn$/ Gigawatt for the 60-year long-term, Nuclear power is an effective and efficient means of consistent power generation with nil CO2 emissions and low land take.  In capital cost terms for Name plate value Onshore wind power can be nominally cost competitive, however that comparison is just for total power output which does account the intermittent and variable performance of Renewable Wind power, which make real difficulties for Grid reliability.

These excess costs calculations indicate of the scale additional costs that burden the economies of individual US States according to the US  EIA 2020 data and recorded Weather Dependent Renewable productivity figures shown above, overall these total net sum of ~30 bn$ in capital costs.  However Solar photovoltaics impose significant capital cost burdens when compared with Nuclear power.

Screenshot 2020-08-12 at 10.41.00.png

The long-term excess costs in comparison to the use of Nuclear power amount to ~490 bn$.

.

Conclusions

These straightforward calculations show the scale of immediate and long-term costs associated with Weather Dependent Renewables across the USA.  They amount to a capital sum in excess of 210 billion$ and a sum approaching ~900 billion$ were they to be maintained for the long-term.  This sum achieves about ~9% of the USA gross power production.

The capital costs of replacing the full 30GW of American  Renewable generation output with reliable, dispatchable Gas-fired generation would be ~33 billion$ and the whole 600GW USA Generation capability could be replaced by Gas-firing for ~660 billion$.  CO2 emissions from Gas-firing are 1/2 those from coal-firing and about 1/3 of those from the burning of Biomass.

The benefit of these expenditures on Weather Dependent Renewables is the replacement of about 9% of USA power output capacity by “nominally” CO2 neutral technologies.  Electrical power generation results in about 1/4 of the total CO2 emissions output from the USA.

In 2019 the USA emitted ~4,950 million tonnes of CO2, ~14.5% of the Global CO2 emissions.  Accordingly, at ~9% of ~25% of 4,950 million tonnes, the current Renewable expenditures are being made to avert an absolute maximum of ~111 million tonnes of CO2 emissions averted across America.  This maximum value ignores all the CO2 and energy costs of Renewables manufacture, installation, etc.  Therefore, the maximum averted emissions from USA Weather Dependent Renewables are as follows:

  • of the 2016 USA CO2 emissions ~4,950 million tonnes     ~2.2%
  • of the 2019 Global CO2 emissions  ~34,000 million tonnes     ~0.3 %
  • of the 2017 CO2 emissions growth from developing world 446 million tonnes    ~25%

So the question should be asked “does the capital commitment of ~0.2 trillion$ and the probable future expenditures of ~0.9 trillion$ to unreliably replace ~9% of USA power output and to avert ~2.2% of USA CO2 emissions make economic good sense ?”

If the objectives of using Weather Dependent Renewables were not confused with possibly “saving the planet” from the output of the diminishing USA proportion of CO2 emissions, their actual cost, their in-effectiveness and their inherent unreliability, Weather Dependent Renewables would have always been ruled them out of any engineering consideration as means of National scale electricity generation.

The whole annual USA CO2 emissions output will eventually be far surpassed just by the annual growth of CO2 emissions across China and the Developing world.

It is essential to ask the question what is the actual value of these USA government mandated excess expenditures in the Western world to the improvement of the Global environment and for the value of perhaps preventing undetectable temperature increases by the end of the century, especially in a context where the Developing world will be increasing its CO2 emissions to attain it’s further enhancement of living standards over the coming decades.

https://www.lomborg.com/press-release-research-reveals-negligible-impact-of-paris-climate-promises

Trying to reduce CO2 emissions, in the Western world alone, as a means to control a “warming” climate seems even less relevant when the long-term global temperature trend has been downwards for last 3 millennia, as the coming end of our current warm and benign Holocene interglacial epoch approaches.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-67281-2

The whole Weather Dependent Renewable commitment in the USA is an exercise is attempting to control Global temperature by the reduction of Man-made CO2 emissions in a major sector of the Western world.  These simple calculations show just how costly effecting even a marginal reduction of Man-made CO2 is bound to be.

However, as opposed to being a dangerous pollutant, by every measure, more atmospheric CO2 is benefitting life on earth by substantially increasing plant growth through fertilisation and increasing drought tolerance.  Any fraction of the minor warming we have experienced since the little ice age that is due to Man-made CO2 has also clearly been a direct benefit to agriculture and human comfort.

For additional tables and graphics detailing State by State excess cost calculations and the growth of Weather Dependent Renewables:  see

The Context in 2020

In spite of all the noisy Climate Propaganda of the past 30 years, in Spring 2020 the world was faced with a different but very real economic emergency arising from the political reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That emergency, with the world facing global economic breakdown as well as the death of many elder citizens, should put the futile, self-harming and costly Government mandated attempts to control future climate into stark perspective.  This real pandemic emergency and the self-harming reactions to it clearly shows how irrelevant concerns over probably inconsequential “Climate Change” in a distant future truly are.

CONTINUE READING –>

MIT: Five Grand Thermal Challenges to Decarbonise the Global Economy

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

What would it take to make renewable energy viable, and reduce emissions from industrial processes?

MIT professors Asegun HenryRavi Prasher & Arun Majumdar had a series of meetings with Bill Gates in 2018. The result of those meetings is a recently published paper which describes five thermal challenges which must be overcome, to curb industrial CO2 emissions and make renewable energy a viable solution to the world’s energy needs.

MIT’s Asegun Henry on “Grand Thermal Challenges” to Save Humanity From Extinction Due to Climate Change 

TOPICS:Climate ChangeEnergyGlobal WarmingMIT

By JENNIFER CHU, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY AUGUST 16, 2020

Q: What are the five thermal energy challenges you outline in your paper?

A: The first challenge is developing thermal storage systems for the power grid, electric vehicles, and buildings. Take the power grid: There is an international race going on to develop a grid storage system to store excess electricity from renewables so you can use it at a later time. …

The second challenge is decarbonizing industrial processes, which contribute 15 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. The big actors here are cement, steel, aluminum, and hydrogen. …

The third challenge is solving the cooling problem. Air conditioners and refrigerators have chemicals in them that are very harmful to the environment, 2,000 times more harmful than carbon dioxide on a molar basis. …

The fourth challenge is long-distance transmission of heat. We transmit electricity because it can be transmitted with low loss, and it’s cheap. The question is, can we transmit heat like we transmit electricity? …

The last challenge is variable conductance building envelopes. There are some demonstrations that show it is physically possible to create a thermal material, or a device that will change its conductance, so that when it’s hot, it can block heat from getting through a wall, but when you want it to, you could change its conductance to let the heat in or out. …

Read more: https://scitechdaily.com/mits-asegun-henry-on-grand-thermal-challenges-to-save-humanity-from-extinction-due-to-climate-change/

The abstract of the paper;

Five thermal energy grand challenges for decarbonization

Asegun HenryRavi Prasher & Arun Majumdar

Nature Energy (2020)

Roughly 90% of the world’s energy use today involves generation or manipulation of heat over a wide range of temperatures. Here, we note five key applications of research in thermal energy that could help make significant progress towards mitigating climate change at the necessary scale and urgency.

Read more (paywalled): https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-020-0675-9

Sadly the MIT paper is paywalled, but in my opinion this pretty much seems to confirm the findings of a team of Google engineers in 2016, and pretty much everyone else who genuinely attempts to calculate the exact cost of our glorious green revolution, rather than simply cheerleading punishing carbon taxes and leaving the implementation details to the engineers.

Deployment of current generation green technology is a waste of money.

CONTINUE READING –>

In CAISO Emergency Break Glass

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Here in the United California Socialist Republic, we have an insane bunch of laws about electricity. Number one among them is a “Renewables Mandate” that requires the local utility, Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE) to purchase a huge amount of expensive, unreliable solar, wind, and other renewable energy. So of course, our electricity price increases have far outstripped those of our more sane neighboring states.

(As a side note, under California law large hydroelectric dams are NOT counted as “renewable” under the Mandate … why not? Because if they counted hydro we’d already have met the Mandate … but I digress …)

Continue reading

Residents Asked to Reduce Power During the California Heat Wave

A blistering heat wave over the next several days is prompting the California Independent System Operator to issue a Flex Alert for Friday, which means residents are being asked to reduce power usage from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

California is expected to have record-breaking heat, up to 10-20 degrees above normal in some areas.

Joe Biden To Shut Down US Offshore Oil Production if Elected?

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

What would a Joe Biden win mean for oil and gas?
As Biden nudges ahead in the polls, the US oil and gas industry should prepare for far-reaching potential changes

Justin Rostant
Principal Analyst – US Gulf of Mexico Upstream

With analysis from Julie Wilson, Research Director Global Exploration, Ed Crooks, Vice-chair, Americas and Rowena Gunn, Research Analyst

[…]

The most eye-catching of Biden’s proposals for the offshore industry is a promise to ban “new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters.”

He also plans new protections for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other areas President Trump has sought to open up for oil and gas development, including the eastern Gulf of Mexico (GoM).

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The Climate Left Attacks Nobel Laureate William D. Nordhaus

By Benjamin Zycher, AEI – Re-Blogged From GWPF

Having received the 2018 Nobel Prize in economics largely in recognition of his economic analysis of climate policy—in particular the development and application of the Dynamic Integrated Climate-Economy (DICE) model—William D. Nordhaus now is under attack from the environmental left.

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