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.

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UN Warns Electric Automobile Rush is Causing Human Rights Abuses

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

h/t JoNova, MaxD – The United Nations has issued a belated warning that soaring demand for raw materials for the electric vehicle revolution is creating dangerous conditions for children working in toxic mines.

UN highlights urgent need to tackle impact of likely electric car battery production boom

Electric cars are rapidly becoming more popular amongst consumers, and UNCTAD predicts that some 23 million will be sold over the coming decade: the market for rechargeable car batteries, currently estimated at $7 billion, is forecast to rise to $58 billion by 2024 .

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Do ‘Green’ Buses Pass the Performance Test?

By Duggan Flanakin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Do they even pass basic energy, environmental, economic and human rights tests?

Should Americans follow China in a massive commitment to supposedly eco-friendly battery-electric buses (BEBs)? California has mandated a “carbon-free” bus system by 2040 and will buy only battery or fuel cell-powered buses after 2029. Other states and cities are following suit.

Vehicle decisions are typically based on cost and performance. Cost includes selling price plus maintenance, while performance now includes perceived environmental impacts – which for some is the only issue that matters. But that perception ignores some huge ecological (and human rights) issues.

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Americans Reluctant to Join the EV Train

By Ronald Stein – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California

We’re constantly being bombarded with the EV movement, but Americans must have a multitude of subconscious reasons for not buying into one of the major movements to save the world from itself as they are showing their lack of enthusiasm by avoiding the dealerships.

In a recent Los Angeles Times article, citing Edmunds data, The number of battery-electric models available more than doubled from 2018 to 2019, but EV sales budged in the wrong direction. In response to the major efforts by manufacturers, the horrific EV sales data shows that only 325,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2019, down from 349,000 in 2018.

Those dismal numbers represent an embarrassing dismal 2% of the 17 million vehicles of all types sold in the United States in 2019. Are EV carmakers driving off a cliff?”

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #393

The Week That Was: January 4, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “And that is what science is: the result of the discovery that it is worthwhile rechecking by new direct experience, and not necessarily trusting the [human] race[’s] experience from the past. I see it that way. – Richard Feynman (1966)

Number of the Week: 14°F – 28°F (8°C – 16°C) Change

Science Is Dynamic, Not Static: As articulated by Richard Feynman, the scientific method is an on-going process of trial and error correction. It is not imposed by any organization or political power. It is a process of evaluating various concepts, ideas, guesses. If the guesses agree with physical evidence, obtained by experiments and / or observations, then they are tentatively accepted. If the guesses do not agree with the physical evidence, then they are changed or discarded. Failure to do so leads to poor science.

Elaborate models always include many assumptions, and computational models produce sets of numerical calculations. For elaborate models, it can be impossible for third parties to evaluate the internal logic, including the validity of the assumptions. Thus, the ability to describe and predict is usually the key for evaluating complex models, such as climate models. For several decades, the US climate models have not been able to correctly describe the atmospheric temperature trends. Thus, there is no logical reason to assume these models can predict changes in trends far into the future. In the formation of government policies, they should be dismissed as having no importance.

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No Plan B for Planet A

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Replacing fossil fuels with “renewable” energy would devastate the only planet we’ve got

Environmentalists and Green New Deal proponents like to say we must take care of the Earth, because “There is no Planet B.” Above all, they insist, we must eliminate fossil fuels, which they say are causing climate change worse than the all-natural ice ages, Medieval Warm Period or anything else in history.

Their Plan A is simple: No fossil fuels. Keep them in the ground. More than a few Democrat presidential aspirants have said they would begin implementing that diktat their very first day in the White House.

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Climate Socialism – or Eco-Fascism?

Green New Deal climate alarm socialism is really intolerant, totalitarian eco-fascism

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Green New Dealers have convinced themselves that our planet faces an imminent, existential, manmade climate cataclysm – that can be prevented solely and simply by government edicts replacing fossil fuels with biofuel, wind, solar and battery energy. They achieve this state of absolute certainty largely by propagating constant scare stories, while ignoring and suppressing contradictory evidence and viewpoints.

They deliberately and deceptively talk about “carbon pollution.” Carbon is soot – what our cars, factories and power plants now emit in very small quantities. The honest, accurate term is carbon dioxide: the colorless, odorless, invisible gas that we exhale and plants need to grow, by using the tiny but growing 0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere that is CO2 to grow faster, better and with greater resistance to droughts.

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More Buckets of Icy Cold Energy Reality

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Democrats, Green New Dealers and UN gabfest attendees need to get ‘woke’ on eco-energy

The full-court press is on for climate chaos disaster and renewable energy salvation. CNN recently hosted a seven-hour climate event for Democrat presidential aspirants. Every day brings more gloom-and-doom stories about absurd, often taxpayer-funded pseudo-scientific reports on yet another natural event or supposed calamity that alarmists insist is due to fossil fuels that provide 80% of US and global energy.

MSNBC just hosted another two-day Democrat presidential candidates climate forum at Georgetown University – where I spoke at a contrarian program. Meanwhile, a big Climate March took place in New York City, while protesters tried to block Washington, DC streets. They were all kicking off the UN’s “Global Climate Week” in NYC, featuring a Youth Climate Summit and UN General Assembly event where world leaders will demand “global action” to supposedly stop the supposed climate crisis.

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Why Today’s Renewables Cannot Power Modern Civilization

By Dr. Lars Schernikau – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Dr. Lars Schernikau has founded, worked, and advised many organizations in the energy, raw material, and coal sectors in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. Lars finished his PhD on the economics of energy, commodities, and the global coal business and published two industry trade books (Springer, available on Amazon) in 2010 and 2017.

Summary

· Costs for renewable power generation have dropped fast, but they will not improve 10-fold anymore… physical limits will be reached

· Common comparisons of renewables vs. conventional power generation are misleading. One cannot compare marginal costs for intermittent power with costs for base power

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Energy Storage System Cost Benchmark

By Roger Caiazza – Re-Blogged From WUWT

One of the biggest issues with plans to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy is intermittency. At some point that can only be addressed by energy storage but tracking down those costs is difficult. I recently found a recently released report from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL): “2018 U.S. Utility-Scale Photovoltaics-Plus-Energy Storage System Cost Benchmark” that provides information that can be used to estimate the costs of the energy storage option.

According to the NREL summary, authors Fu and Margolis, along with fellow NREL researcher Timothy Remo, provide NREL’s first cost benchmarking of energy storage and PV-plus-storage systems. The abstract for the report states:

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Tesla Factory Store Uses Diesel Generators to Recharge Slow-moving Model 3 Inventory

By – Re-Blogged From TTAC

Let’s say you manage one of the soon-to-be-closed Tesla factory-owned stores and, for whatever reason, you have dozens of brand new Model 3 EVs sitting unsold on your lot. What are you going to do if one of them has a discharged battery? As car dealers learned a long time ago in the gasoline era, batteries won’t keep a charge forever and cars sitting for a long time sometimes need a boost to their batteries.

That’s true whether it’s a conventional 12 volt lead-acid battery for an ICE-powered vehicle’s electrical system or it’s the lithium-ion battery pack that powers a EV. That’s why car dealerships for conventional vehicles have battery tenders, heavy duty chargers that can be wheeled around the lot to whichever car might have a dead starter battery.

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Stacking Concrete Blocks is a Surprisingly Efficient Way to Store Energy

By Akshat Rathi – Re-Blogged From Quartz

Thanks to the modern electric grid, you have access to electricity whenever you want. But the grid only works when electricity is generated in the same amounts as it is consumed. That said, it’s impossible to get the balance right all the time. So operators make grids more flexible by adding ways to store excess electricity for when production drops or consumption rises.

About 96% of the world’s energy-storage capacity comes in the form of one technology: pumped hydro. Whenever generation exceeds demand, the excess electricity is used to pump water up a dam. When demand exceeds generation, that water is allowed to fall—thanks to gravity—and the potential energy turns turbines to produce electricity.

100 Percent Renewables—Poor Policy for Ratepayers

By Steve Goreham – Re-Blogged From Master Resource

Two states and more than 80 cities and counties have now announced a goal of receiving 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. Wind, solar, and biofuels are proposed to replace electricity from coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants. But evidence is mounting that 100 percent renewables is poor policy for US households and businesses.

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How China Is Muscling In on Lithium-Ion Batteries

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • In spite of potential global pushback against Beijing’s investments, Chinese companies will acquire control of a majority of the lithium-ion battery market, giving the country a significant advantage in a sector of growing geopolitical importance.
  • The United States will exploit economies of scale and focus on finding domestic sources of materials as it attempts to carve out a market share amid China’s growing dominance.
  • Japan and Korea will have the most success penetrating markets in which there is significant pushback against Chinese investment, such as in North America, Australia and parts of Europe.
  • Europe will likely fall behind because its battery manufacturing capacity does not have the ability to meet its demand.
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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #320

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org The Science and Environmental Policy Project

By Ken Haapala, President

Sea Level Rise – What is Measured? Last week’s TWTW had an interview with Richard Lindzen a with statement questioned by some readers. The paragraph with the statement is:

“Since 1979 we have been able to measure sea level itself with satellites. However, the accuracy of such measurements depends critically on such factors as the precise shape of the earth. While the satellites show slightly greater rates of sea level rise, the inaccuracy of the measurement renders the difference uncertain. What the proponents of alarm have done is to accept the tide gauge data until 1979, but assume that the satellite data is correct after that date, and that the difference in rates constitutes ‘acceleration.’ They then assume acceleration will continue leading to large sea level rises by the end of this century. It is hard to imagine that such illogical arguments would be tolerated in other fields.” [Boldface added]

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New Batteries Use “Rust” for Power Storage

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Renaissance of the Iron–Air Battery

Jülich researchers show charging and discharging reactions during operation with nanometre precision

Jülich, 3 November 2017 – Iron–air batteries promise a considerably higher energy density than present-day lithium-ion batteries. In addition, their main constituent – iron – is an abundant and therefore cheap material. Scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich are among the driving forces in the renewed research into this concept, which was discovered in the 1970s. Together with American Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), they successfully observed with nanometre precision how deposits form at the iron electrode during operation. A deeper understanding of the charging and discharging reactions is viewed as the key for the further development of this type of rechargeable battery to market maturity. The results were published in the renowned journal Nano Energy.

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Electric Cars Could ‘Power Our Lives’

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Energy from electric cars could power our lives — but only if we improve the system
Two apparently contradictory studies come together with recommendations

Oxford, November 22, 2017 – Power stored in electric cars could be sent back to the grid – thereby supporting the grid and acting as a potential storage for clean energy – but it will only be economically viable if we upgrade the system first. In a new paper in Energy Policy, two scientists show how their seemingly contradictory findings actually point to the same outcome and recommendations: that pumping energy back into the grid using today’s technology can damage car batteries, but with improvements in the system it has the potential to provide valuable clean energy – and improve battery life in the process.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #293

By Ken Haapala, President,Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Hypothesis Testing: Following up on work by the late Bob Carter, retired Australian chemist Ian Flanigan tests the hypothesis that the observed warming since the onset of industrialization is entirely natural against the alternative that it is due to anthropogenic carbon-dioxide emissions. Note, that due to differences in training, there are differences in terminology used between the Australians and Americans, but not in procedure. The testing of hypotheses is critical if one is to assert, as the leaders of NASA-GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) asserted: CO2 is the control knob of the earth’s temperatures.

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In Defense of the Electric Car – part 3

By John Hardy  – Re-Bloged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Full disclosure: I own an electric car, and I think they are useful for city transportation. However, having owned one for a decade, I can say that it hasn’t been practical or cost-effective. John Hardy believes they are the future, I’ll let you, the reader, decide. – Anthony Watts


Part 1 of this series expressed the view that regardless of “the environment”, EVs are poised to inflict a massive disruption on the automotive industry, and outlined the strengths of the technology and some of the reasons that it is happening now.

Part 2 discussed the main issues for Western automakers in handling this disruption

Part 3 below is devoted to common misconceptions which cause some to mistakenly conclude that EVs will not be practicable in the foreseeable future.

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California Rejects Gas Plant Refurbishment, Embraces Solar + Storage

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

California has finally rejected a 2014 proposal to refurbish an ageing Edison Gas Plant used for grid stabilisation during peak power loads.

California rejects gas peaker plant, seeks clean energy alternatives

The California Public Utilities Commission rejected a refurbishment of the Southern California Edison’s Ellwood Peaker Plant, paving the way for a solar+storage solution instead.

OCTOBER 4, 2017

Critics of Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Ellwood Peaker Plant are hailing the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) decision to reject unanimously a taxpayer-funded refurbishment of the plant, saying it affords the utility an opportunity to put more solar+storage into operation.

The CPUC also indicated that they would like to re-evaluate its approval of another gas peaker plant that has yet to be built.

“At this time, absent very compelling circumstances, we should be directing all of our investments in infrastructure and energy to clean energy resources,” said Clifford Rechtschaffen, one of the commissioners. “The proposed refurbishment is not a good use of ratepayer dollars.”

During the CPUC’s deliberations, the Clean Coalition, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and a modern grid through technical, policy, and project development expertise, submitted its own analysis that it says proves solar+storage could replace the Ellwood gas plant at a far lower cost than refurbishing the older plant.

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China to Ban Gasoline Powered Passenger Cars (Maybe)

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

The purveyors of greenschist (a geologically inspired euphemism for green sh!t) seem to have an obsession with a phrase that they clearly do not comprehend: Tipping point.

Electric Cars Reach a Tipping Point

David Fickling

Sep 10, 2017

Say goodbye to gasoline. The world’s slow drift toward electric cars is about to enter full flood.

China, one-third of the world’s car market, is working on a timetable to end sales of fossil-fuel-based vehicles, the country’s vice minister of industry and information technology, Xin Guobin, told an industry forum in Tianjin on Saturday. That would probably see the country join Norway, France and the U.K. in switching to a wholly electric fleet within the lifetime of most current drivers.

[…]

Bloomberg Gadfly

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Tesla Battery, Subsidy and Sustainability Fantasies

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

More subsidies from exhausted California taxpayers cannot compensate for hard realities

The first justification was that internal combustion engines polluted too much. But emissions steadily declined, and today’s cars emit about 3% of what their predecessors did. Then it was oil imports: electric vehicles (EVs) would reduce foreign dependency and balance of trade deficits. Bountiful oil and natural gas supplies from America’s hydraulic fracturing revolution finally eliminated that as an argument.

Now the focus is on climate change. Every EV sale will help prevent assumed and asserted manmade temperature, climate and weather disasters, we’re told – even if their total sales represented less than 1% of all U.S. car and light truck sales in 2016 (Tesla sold 47,184 of the 17,557,955 vehicles sold nationwide last year), and plug-in EVs account for barely 0.15% of 1.4 billion vehicles on the road worldwide.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #271

By Ken Haapala, President,The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

What Did Trump Learn? President Trump just returned from a meeting with the G-7, a group of industrialized nations. According to reports, some of the leaders of the G-7 countries tried to convince Trump of the need to commit to the Paris Agreement limiting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and he did not do so. Speculation abounds on what he will do in the coming weeks regarding the Agreement. He had stated he would announce a decision after the G-7 meeting.

Those advocating the Paris Agreement have never offered physical evidence that CO2 emissions are the primary cause of global warming / climate change. They just assumed it. So did the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and other political bodies such as the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), with a budget of about $2.5 billion per year. It will be interesting to see if mere assumptions, accompanied by great publicity, will be good enough for President Trump to commit to a program that may cause massive damage to the US economy.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #263

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President,The Science and Environmental Policy Project

False Precision: In their early education, many students of science faced the problem of significant numbers (digits). A useful rule of thumb was that the chain was only as strong as its weakest link. In measurement, the less precise instrument making the measurements determines precision of any dataset representing the measurements. A mathematical operation does not add precision to the instruments, or the dataset. For example, as discussed in the January 21 TWTW, the widely used Automatic Surface Observing System (ASOS) instruments at airports have a precision of plus or minus 1 degree C (1.8 F, correctly, 2 F). Surface datasets using these measurements cannot be more precise than these instruments. Yet, routinely, some government agencies report data, after mathematical manipulation, with far greater precision – to one-hundredths of a degree C. Such precision is false.

Writing in the non-conservative Boston Globe, columnist Jeff Jacoby gives a simple illustration on how small errors in measurement can compound in a computer model with many small errors. Any assumption that the errors will cancel each other out needs to be demonstrated. However, in the reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers, such cancellation of errors is not demonstrated.

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Lithium Suppliers Can’t Keep Up with Skyrocketing Demand

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From http://usfunds.com

Near the extinct volcano known as Monte Pissis, high in the Andes on the Chile-Argentina border, the air is thin and animal life scarce. It’s also a prime location for lithium, the silvery-white metal used in the production of lithium-ion batteries.

Next year, Tesla plans to make 500,000 electric cars all of which will require lithium-ion-batteries

According to Sam Pelaez, an analyst on our team who recently visited the deposit, the seasonal meltdown of the snowy peaks collects lithium, sodium and other minerals from the soil and underwater hot springs, all of which flows down to the flats and settles—hence the name salt flats or, in Spanish, salares. Over long periods of time, with seasonal temperature variations, the salt builds a crust on top of the “lake,” making for a stunning landscape. Under the crust are high concentrations of lithium.

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New Battery is a Game Changer

By Roger E. Sowell – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Lighter Cheaper More Powerful Battery Changes Renewable Economics
It is not often on SLB that I use the phrase “game-changer.”  Most things progress, if they progress at all, in small increments.  This time, though, is one of those that deserves the phrase game-changer.

The innovation is the low-cost, light-weight but powerful battery developed by Nobel prize-winner Alan Heeger, PhD of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB).  The company is Biosolar .  see link to http://www.biosolar.com

The battery is suitable for mobile and stationary applications such as cars, trucks, grid stabilization, home power storage, and others.   The innovation is the use of the Nobel prize-winning plastic-that-acts-like-a-metal, haologenated polyacetylene.

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Advances in Research of Electric Car Batteries Presented at AAAS

Electricity, whether through the power grid or through rechargeable battery technology, is NOT a power source. Electricity is a means of power transmission. The actual source has to be something else – fossil fuels, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, or geothermal.

Each source has merit – and drawbacks – depending on the niche where it is to be used. Improvements in the transmission system, regardless of where the power actually comes from, are a good thing.

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