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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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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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
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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.

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Clean Coal: the Commonsense Answer to Africa’s Energy Crisis

A CENTURY from now, maybe sooner, it’s unlikely we’ll be using coal to make electricity. Or not much of it.

Wind and solar are getting cheaper and they are easier to set up than building a power station that runs on heat, be it from coal, wood, rubbish or anything else.

The problem is that we’re not there yet. Solar doesn’t work at night, the output slips in cloudy weather, and turbines stand idle when the wind doesn’t blow. Even hydro has its limits when rainfall is low and dams don’t fill high enough to drive the turbines. Batteries are getting better at storing energy, but we need baseload power – and lots of it – to run a city such as Chicago or Cape Town.

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Why Don’t These Lives Matter?

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Child labor, human rights abuses and deaths are routinely ignored by Greens and Democrats

Marathon Petroleum recently announced it will “indefinitely idle” its Martinez Refinery. The decision will remove hundreds of jobs, billions of dollars, and nearly 7 million gallons of gasoline, diesel and other petroleum liquids per day from the energy-hungry California economy. It will also send fuel prices even higher for minority and other poor families that already pay by far the highest gasoline prices in the continental United States: $1.32 more per gallon of regular than in Louisiana and Texas.

California’s green and political interests don’t want drilling or fracking, pipelines, or nuclear, coal or hydroelectric power plants – or mining for the materials needed to manufacture electric cars. They prefer to have that work done somewhere else, and just import the energy, cars and consumer goods.

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The Battle Over US Energy Policy and Its Consequences

By Tilak Doshi – Re3-Blogged From WUWT

With the US presidential elections less than 90 days away, US energy policy – which includes government regulations dealing with climate change – has emerged as one of the core issues. This is not only because the Democratic Party, in seeking to unseat incumbent President Trump, has itself elevated energy and climate change policies to its highest priority. Energy is the lifeblood of the modern economy – the “master resource” that affects the production and use of all other resources – and hence US energy policy will affect the livelihood of all Americans. And as the US has emerged as the world’s leading oil and gas producer over the past decade, the energy and climate policies adopted by the next US administration will also profoundly influence global economic and geopolitical affairs.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #418

The Week That Was: August 1, 2020

By Ken Haapala, President, www.SEPP.org

Quote of the Week: The right to search for the truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.” – Albert Einstein. [H/t Michael Dourson]

Number of the Week: 33 to 1

July Summary Part IV; Changing Ocean Chemistry and Sea Levels: Three weeks ago TWTW reviewed Richard Lindzen’s new paper summarizing what we know with reasonable certainty, what we suspect, and what we know is incorrect about climate change, the greenhouse effect, temperature trends, climate modeling, ocean chemistry, and sea level rise. Key parts included:

1) The climate system is never in equilibrium.

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Democrats Climate Policy Follows Germany’s Failed Plan

By Ronald Stein – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure, Irvine, California

Higher energy costs for Americans are eminent along with worldwide ecological degradation and human right abuses from mining for wind, solar, and EV materials

The social changes with COVID-19 may have been prelude to life with less fossil fuels. With COVID-19 we have seen extensive self-imposed social adjustments to transportation that are very similar to what will be required to live with less fossil fuels in the future, i.e., with virtually no airlines, cruise ships, or automobiles.

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A Look At China

By Mark J Lundeen – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Since June 11th (the past month) the Dow Jones continues struggling with what it’s to do next; break above and stay above its BEV -10% line, or break below and stay below its BEV -15% line.

What’s the Dow Jones waiting for?  As seen in my next chart showing the weekly changes in the Federal Reserve’s holding of US Treasury Debt, the Dow Jones is waiting for another “injection” of “liquidity.”

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Excess Costs of Weather Dependent Renewable

By edmdotme – 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 present fleet of EU(28) Weather Dependent Renewables, using conventional generation technologies, (Nuclear or Gas-firing) ? 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 EU(28) Weather Dependent Renewables as installed at the end of 2019.  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 EU(28) Weather Dependent Renewable installations and their actual productive power output as of 2019.  This data on Renewables performance at end 2019 is accessed from EurObserv’ER.

Screenshot 2020-07-07 at 13.36.26.png

Summary

Screenshot 2020-07-06 at 10.13.35.png

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Weaknesses of Solar and Wind

By Rob Jeffrey – Re-Blogged From WUWT

It is claimed that wind and solar are the cheapest sources of electricity and these sources should dominate future electricity supply.  This paper focuses on known additional costs and subsidies which are not taken into account in the costs of wind and solar put forward by their advocates.

Advocates of wind and solar claim a cost of 0.62 rand (about 3.6 US cents) /kWh.  This is, however, the price at the gate of the supplier.  It does not include all the costs of supply necessary to convert this electricity from non-dispatchable electricity supply at the gate to dispatchable electricity supply at the point of supply to the customer.  These are in effect direct subsidies to solar and wind suppliers, whereas they should be added as a cost to the renewable energy suppliers.

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GWPF Launches “Energy For Africa” Week

Re-Blogged From GWPF

Today the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is launching its Energy Justice project, seeking to highlight how reliable energy access is central to the problems of people and businesses in the developing world, and showing how it must be central to any attempts to change things for the better.

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Australian Climate Policy Changes

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

h/t JoNova – as Aussie greens panic about expiring climate policy targets, an effort by Australia’s opposition politicians to appease angry coal union supporters by offering to include a place for coal in a future bipartisan climate deal has upset radical greens.

Labor offers to deal with terrorists in climate wars

In offering bipartisanship on energy, Labor is offering to do a deal with the ‘terrorists’ who have thwarted all forms of climate action for years.

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Greens Promote Child Slave Labor and Ecological Destruction

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Why don’t African black lives and ecological values matter? or impacts in and beyond Virginia?

The US Supreme Court recently ruled 7-2 to reverse a lower court ruling that had invalidated a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will bring West Virginia natural gas to Virginia and North Carolina, for home heating, factory power, electricity generation and manufacturing petrochemical feedstocks.

Environmentalists had claimed the US Forest Service had no authority to issue the permit, because a 0.1-mile (530-foot) segment would cross 600 feet below the 2,200-mile-long Appalachian Trail, which is administered by the National Park Service. Justice Thomas’s majority opinion scuttled that assertion.

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Wind Energy in Scotland

By David Redfern – Re-Blogged From WUWT

I was invited by Charles the Moderator to write an essay with the emphasis on Scottish wind derived electricity.

I’m not a scientist, nor an engineer, in fact barely educated beyond high school, so, whilst you won’t get ‘shorthand’ scientific terms here, you will get something laymen can grasp, hopefully.

And that’s important as, whilst there are a small number of scientists/engineers etc. in the world, the majority of voters are like me, just plain old laymen and the subject of climate change is now political so every voter is vital.

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Remaking Post-Covid-19 Capitalism in the West: Lessons for the East

By Tilak Doshi – Re-Blogged From WUWT

As the world emerges painfully from  the lockdown cure that is likely to be far worse than the disease of Covid-19, we are now being sold yet another bill of goods. We are told from almost every quarter that the economic recovery from the pandemic-panic induced lockdowns has to be “green”. Political leaders and mass media editors hitched to the climate change bandwagon cite the well-known if cynical slogan “never let a crisis go to waste” – commonly attributed to former President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel.  Politicians and “thought leaders” ceaselessly claim that massive sums of money need to be spent on economic stimulus plans to recover from the self-induced economic coma and that the spending has to  be “sustainable” (aka “green”). Not only will this save us from the “crisis of capitalism” but it is deemed vital for the future of human civilization itself.

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The Green New Deal Dress Rehearsal

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The Covid-19 lockdown as a blueprint for a permanent economic shutdown to ‘save the Earth’

More than 1.4 million cases of Wuhan Coronavirus and 106,000 deaths in the United States alone have accompanied stay-home lockdowns, businesses bankruptcies, over 40 million unemployed workers, plummeting tax revenues and unprecedented debt. Ongoing rioting, vandalism, arson and looting are compounding problems for many cities and minority communities.

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Aussie Federal Senator Defends Call to Leave the Paris Agreement

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

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Destroying the Environment to Save It

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Pseudo-green energy will wreak devastation, pretending to prevent exaggerated climate harm

“We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” The infamous Vietnam era quotation may or may not have been uttered by an anonymous US Army major. It may have been misquoted, revised, apocryphal or invented. But it quickly morphed into an anti-war mantra that reflected attitudes of the time.

For Virginians and others forced to travel the path of “clean, green, renewable, sustainable” energy, it will redound in modern politics as “We had to destroy the environment in order to save it.”

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #410

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Re-Blogged From WUWT

Quote of the Week: “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” – Voltaire

Number of the Week: 25 to 100 times greater

Disruptive Wind: The electrical grid operators provide reliable electricity with narrow tolerances. Generally, grid operators plan that power sources can be shut down for maintenance, usually in the spring and the fall. To keep costs down, grid operators desire to have maximum operating capacity in the summer (cooling) and in the winter (heating). According to the EIA’s description of electricity generating capacity:

To ensure a steady supply of electricity to consumers, operators of the electric power system, or grid, call on electric power plants to produce and place the right amount of electricity on the grid at every moment to instantaneously meet and balance electricity demand.

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The Looming Failure of Wind Energy

By Mike O’Ceirin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Summary

This is not about “Climate Change.” It addresses the issue of whether wind as implemented is an effective replacement for fossil driven power stations. This is about Australia where we are according to the mainstream media in a transition to renewable energy even though after many years, we are far from it. We are closing coal-fired power stations, but the expansion of renewable energy is slow. We are approaching a crisis point. The reality of the Australian situation can be applied worldwide, and this report draws on data and nothing else. This

There are many offhand comments that we should just replace fossil as a source of electricity with renewables. What is the detail and how successful has it been? That is exceedingly difficult information to come by. This so-called transition started in 2000 with the implementation of the Renewable Energy Target.

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Australian Energy Security on the Brink

By Rafe Champion – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The Australian electric power supply is on the edge of a cliff because one more substantial coal-fired power station is scheduled to close in 2023. Then for the first time we will need  input from the wind at the evening peak, certainly in very hot and cold weather. If this input is not available there will be blackouts of greater or lesser extent.

The bottom line of this argument is that RE cannot replace conventional power in Australia because at the lowest level of supply of sun and wind they deliver no power. That is the choke point for the grid, like the point where the air supply to our lungs is cut off by choking or drowning. To keep the lights on there must be enough conventional power available to meet 100% of the demand, 24 hours a day/365 days a year.

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Green New Deal Goes Viral, and Fails

By Gregory Wrightstone – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Proponents of the Green New Deal (GND) tell us that increasing human carbon dioxide emissions are fueling a dangerous rise in worldwide temperature. This temperature rise is then linked to a laundry list of climate-related catastrophes like droughts, floods and fires that are ongoing and only going to get worse unless drastic measures are taken.

Their solution? Force consumers and industries away from the consumption of the fossil fuels and toward carbon-free energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal. Glaringly missing from most of these green proposals is an embrace of the only non-fossil fuels that could provide abundant and reliable energy – nuclear and hydro-electric projects (but that is a story for a different day).

A broken down wind turbine has a massive birds nest built into the top.

Reposted with permission from Bizpacreview

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #403

The Week That Was: March 21, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Quote of the Week: “There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry… There is no place for dogma in science… And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress.” – J. Robert Oppenheimer [H/t Paul Redfern]

Number of the Week: 365.2422 days.

Fiasco in the Making? Writing in Stat, epidemiologist John Ioannidis of Stanford University emphasizes the need for solid data to address the coronavirus disease, Covid-19. Ioannidis is co-director of Stanford’s Meta-Research Innovation Center, which is dedicated to improving the quality of scientific studies in biomedicine. He writes:

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How Exactly do they Plan to Replace Fossil Fuels?

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

They want to ban coal, oil and gas. Exactly how will they replace them? Who wins? Who loses?

Berkeley, CA, Takoma Park, MD and other cities; California, Connecticut, New York, Virginia and other states; Germany, England and other countries; the European Union – all plan to banish oil, natural gas and coal within 10, 20 or 30 years. A number of US states have joined Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives and proudly say We Are Still Inthe Paris climate treaty, no matter what President Trump says or does.

Forget the headlines and models, and look at hurricane, tornado, sea level and other historic records. There is no crisis, no unprecedented warming or weather events, certainly nothing that proves humans have replaced the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate changes and weather events.

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Growth Will Be A Thing Of The Past If Businesses Choose ‘Net Zero’

By Rupert Darwall – Re4-Blogged From GWPF

Investors more obsessed with climate than investor returns, who bully corporations into adopting net-zero business strategies, are doing more than destroying shareholder value. They are destroying the capitalist growth machine.

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Virginia Passes Bill to Achieve 100% Carbon-Free Power by 2045

Re-Blogged From Reuters

The Virginia Legislature passed a bill on Friday that puts the state on a path to 100% clean energy by 2045 as part of the commonwealth’s effort to reduce its impact on climate change.

Virginia Senate Bill 851 requires the state to get all its electricity from carbon free sources like renewables and nuclear. It still requires a signature from the governor, who has advanced a similar plan through executive order.

The legislation would also allow fossil plants to operate if they install carbon capture and storage technologies.

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The Unholy Crusade Against Gas Appliances

By Duggan Flanakin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Eco darling natural gas gives way to wind, solar and battery electricity – and slave labor

When Berkeley, California last year became the first U.S. city to ban the installation of natural gas lines to new homes, Mayor Jesse Arreguín proudly stated, “We are committed to the Paris Agreement and must take immediate action in order to reach our climate action goals. It’s not radical. It’s necessary.”

Phasing out natural gas-fired electric power generation by 2030 is bedrock dogma in the Green New Deal. In fact, it’s become an unholy crusade. So it should be no surprise that climate alarmists would jump at the chance to ban new natural gas lines. Many other cities in California have already followed Berkeley’s lead, as has Bellingham, Washington. More gas bans are in the offing nationwide. Connecticut lawmakers actually want a law that would pressure insurers to stop insuring homes that have gas appliances or heating systems!!

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #400

The Week That Was: February 22, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. [H/t Eric Wagner]

Number of the Week: £108.5 million (about $140 million) in 2018

The Scientific Method: There appears to be no clear, widely accepted definition of science or the scientific method. Professor of Applied Mathematics and philosopher Christopher Essex considers science to be an adventure. A long game of generations and part of the ascent of Man. Not just a fad invented in the 17th century. In an unpublished paper, “The Scientific Adventure,” he wrote for the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s 1905 discoveries, he stated:

“Others try to embrace it as a recipe. They say, to be scientific, do this, then do that, but not the other way around. They talk of the scientific method as if there is just one; as if scientific discovery were clean, orderly and uncontroversial, supervised by grizzled elders of authority. But the search for scientific discovery is anything but. It is messy, contentious, factional, but also wondrous, inspired, and above all serendipitous. It is human.”

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The Mad Rush To Electric Vehicles

By Duggan Flanakin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Tesla’s stock market value is already bigger than Ford and General Motors combined, says a report in Forbes magazine. Elon Musk’s company had already received nearly $5 billion in federal subsidies by 2015, helping him amass a net worth of $31 billion. Who says government cannot make anyone rich?

But hold on. An ascendant Bernie Sanders has called for a massive expansion of government-run electricity production. He claims to be no friend of billionaires and is running against multiple billionaires, including two Democrat candidates and 23 contributors to Mayor Pete’s campaign.

But he sure is helping the rich. Sanders and many other politicos have championed a multi-state effort to end the sale of vehicles with internal combustion (IC) engines. So have several European nations. Related goals include phasing out coal, oil and natural gas for heating, electric power generation and other uses.

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China and India Rejecting Renewables for Coal-Fired Futures

clip_image001[4]   By Ronald Stein – Re-Blogged From WUWT

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

China and India are NOT buying into the global alarm movement. Never in human history have we seen two countries (China and India), each with over a billion people, in need of such gargantuan amounts of energy to keep their economies accelerating and their citizens alive.

China and India are the two most populous countries in the world. As of 2018, China had almost 1.4 billion people, a figure that is projected to grow to 1.5 billion by 2045. India accounted for approximately 1.3 billion people in 2018 and is expected to grow to almost 1.7 billion by 2045.

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Michael Shellenberger’s Smack-Down of Alarmism

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Why Climate Alarmism Hurts Us All

Michael Shellenberger

I write about energy and the environment.

In July of this year, one of Lauren Jeffrey’s science teachers made an off-hand comment about how climate change could be apocalyptic. Jeffrey is 17 years old and attends high school in Milton Keynes, a city of 230,000 people about 50 miles northwest of London.

“I did research on it and spent two months feeling quite anxious,” she told me. “I would hear young people around me talk about it and they were convinced that the world was going to end and they were going to die.”

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Sins of Emission

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley – Re-Blogged FRrom WUWT

Much has been made of the alleged standstill in global CO2 emissions, which are asserted to have been about the same in 2019 as in 2018, at 33.3 gigatonnes of CO2:

Obsession over transient phenomena such as this is commonplace among the climate genociders, whose cruel, dangerous and expensive global-warming abatement policies are killing tens of millions annually through the coordinated refusal of most of the world’s leading merchant, central and intergovernmental banks to lend to developing countries to install the one kind of electricity they can afford and can maintain and are desperate for – coal-fired generation.

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Economic Impact Sweeps Down on Global Economy Like a Fat Black Swan

It is the senseless things of this world that sometimes knock sense into the high and mighty whose hubris causes them to believe they cannot fall. In this case, the tiny COVID-19 virus (coronavirus) is bringing down a global house of cards long perched to fall — locks, stocks, and barrels of oil.

Stock investors thought the over-Fed market’s bull run would prove immortal, but all the overripe market needed was for a fat, black swan to drop down on the market’s head and knock some sense into it. Economic damage worldwide, however, is far from limited to stocks. Some of it seems almost silly or bizarre, but such is the case when the entire global economy is already in ill health, having survived on Fedmed for a decade.

Deceptive Rhetoric at Davos Could Bring Disaster

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

There is nothing ‘cohesive’ or ‘sustainable’ about ‘solutions’ demanded by WEF ‘stakeholders’

The World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland is billed as the globe’s most prestigious annual gathering of movers and shakers. Its mission is to “improve the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”

This year’s theme was “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” Unfortunately, the lofty rhetoric belies the misleading, potentially disastrous realities of agendas supported by many participants.

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Reversal of Obama Administration’s Land Grabs in Utah

Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines

‘Any suggestion that these lands and resources will be adversely impacted…is simply not true…’

The U.S. government implemented final management plans Thursday for two national monuments in Utah that President Donald Trump restored to their original size more than two years ago, that ensure lands previously off-limits to energy development will be open to mining and drilling despite pending lawsuits.

The lands have generated little interest from energy companies in the two years since President Donald Trump cut the size of Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly half, said Casey Hammond, acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management with the U. S. Department of the Interior.

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AP Photo: “Moonhouse” in McLoyd Canyon.

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Weekly Energy and Climate News Roundup

The Week That Was: February 8, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: Judges ought to be more leaned than witty, more reverent than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue.” – Francis Bacon

Number of the Week: Exceeds in Six of Seven Categories.

Expanding the Orthodoxy: Writing a post on Project Syndicate, Johan Rockström, Lars Heikensten, and Marcia McNutt announced:

“…the Nobel Foundation is hosting its first-ever Nobel Prize Summit, with the theme ‘Our Planet, Our Future,’ in Washington, DC, from April 29 to May 1. The summit – supported by the US National Academy of Sciences, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and the Stockholm Resilience Centre/Beijer Institute – will bring together more than 20 Nobel laureates and other experts from around the world to explore the question: What can be achieved in this decade to put the world on a path to a more sustainable, more prosperous future for all of humanity?”

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U.S. Government Continues to Dump Funds Into an Electrical Sinkhole

By Ronald Stein – Re-Blogged From WUWT

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

When I read the WSJ article “The Best-Laid Energy Plans” about the Government planning and subsidies that were supposedly intended to make America the world’s green-electricity superpower, create millions of jobs, and supercharge the economy, it brings to mind the most terrifying nine words in the English language: ” I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

In pursuit of a way to store the daytime intermittent electricity from solar panels, for use when the sun is not shining, the reality is closer to the financial failure at Crescent Dunes, a Nevada solar-energy plant that went gone bust after receiving a $737 million federal loan guarantee. No worries. It’s only taxpayer money,

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #394

The Week That Was: January 11, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance.” – Albert Einstein

Number of the Week: 79% up 16% in two years

Green Arrogance: Regardless of the political system, or ideology, arrogance can lead to destructive actions contrary to the interests of the public. History produces many examples, including major wars. We are seeing examples of arrogance in so called “green” laws and regulations which are actually contrary to nature. Humans can modify and use nature for their benefit but cannot regulate it. Unfortunately, politicians frequently ignore limits of power when passing sweeping laws and regulations. This week, three examples of arrogance, or hubris, are evident: 1) bushfires in Australia; 2) closing the Crescent Dunes power plant in Nevada; and 3) the continuation of a 2.5 gigawatt (GW) off-shore wind project off the coast of Virginia Beach ordered by the governor of Virginia.

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US Set Record for Energy Consumption in 2018

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Every now and then, Real Clear Energy carries a story relevant to energy…

DECEMBER 23, 2019
In 2018, the United States consumed more energy than ever before

Primary energy consumption in the United States reached a record high of 101.3 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2018, up 4% from 2017 and 0.3% above the previous record set in 2007. The increase in 2018 was the largest increase in energy consumption, in both absolute and percentage terms, since 2010.

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Reform USAID Energy Aid Policies Now!

By Paul Driessen & David Wojick – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Apparently unable to grasp the cruel irony, USAID Commissioner Mark Green boasts that “electricity enables access to refrigeration to store fish, milk and vaccines. Electricity brightens the night and helps schoolchildren study. Electricity allows businesses to stay open later and makes communities safer.”

Abundant, reliable, affordable electricity absolutely does all of this, as developed countries prove daily. Expensive, intermittent power does none of these things. Unpredictable, on-and-off power cruelly promises refrigeration, heat, light, factories, businesses, jobs, modern schools and hospitals, better living standards, longer and healthier lives – then takes them all away, for hours, days or weeks at a time.

President Trump should direct USAID to support coal and gas, not just wind and solar

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Subsidizing The Epocalypse

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From WUWT

I take as my subject for this post a claim made over at Forbes Magazine, viz:

I saw that and said “Whaaaa”? My urban legend detector light started flashing bright red at that claim that we’re on the primrose path to the epocalypse.

Me, I always want to go the actual study instead of the media interpretation. In this case, the underlying study is by the IMF, the International Monetary Fund. It uses a most unusual definition of “subsidy”. Normally, subsidies are divided into direct and indirect subsidies.

A direct subsidy is money given to a producer or consumer. It’s actual cash.

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Climate Alarmist Banks Go Carbon-Colonialist

By Paul Driessen and David Wojick – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Africa must move forward without them, using fossil and nuclear energy to build prosperity

Africa has the world’s lowest electrification rate. Its power consumption per capita is just 613 kilowatt-hours per year, compared to 6,500 kWh in Europe and 13,000 in the United States, African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina observed in July 2017. That’s 9.4% of EU and 4.7% of US electricity consumption. It’s equivalent to Americans having electricity only 1 hour a day, 8 hours a week, 411 hours per year – at totally unpredictable times, for a few minutes, hours or days at a stretch.

It’s actually even worse than that. Excluding significantly electrified South Africa, sub-Sahara Africans consume an almost irrelevant 181 kWh of electricity per capita – 1.4% of the average American’s!

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Bloomberg: RCP8.5 Climate Catastrophe is Unlikely – Because of Cheap Renewables

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Heatwaves will become a daily occurrence over summer in some regions even if global warming is kept to 2°C. CREDIT Anna Jiménez Calaf on Unsplash

According to Bloomberg columnist Noah Smith, untold suffering is pretty much locked in, but we won’t have to dismantle Capitalism, because cheap solar energy will soon eliminate the need for fossil fuel.

Worst Case for Climate Change Doesn’t Look Realistic

A major overhaul of energy production is still needed, but not a dismantling of capitalism. By Noah Smith

But a growing chorus of climate scientists and energy policy analysts has begun to question whether the dreaded RCP8.5 scenario should be taken seriously. The scenario assumes that after a brief flirtation with natural gas and renewable energy, the world returns to fueling industrialization primarily with coal. But it seems vanishingly unlikely that the global coal industry will increase sevenfold, as RCP8.5 envisions, even if natural gas proves to be a temporary phenomenon.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #390

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

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Quote of the Week: “In general, we look for a new law by the following process. First, we guess it (audience laughter), no, don’t laugh, that’s really true. Then we compute the consequences of the guess, to see what, if this is right, if this law we guess is right, to see what it would imply and then we compare the computation results to nature, or we say compare to experiment or experience, compare it directly with observations to see if it works. [Boldface added.]

“If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.” Richard Feynman on the Scientific Method

Number of the Week: 20 to 30º C (35 to 55º F) warmer

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US Becomes A Net Fossil Fuel Exporter

By Chris White , From The Daily Caller– Re-Blogged From WUWT

The United States notched the country’s first month of exporting more petroleum products than it imported, according to newly released federal data. The news comes as Democratic presidential candidates campaign on nixing fossil fuels.

The U.S. exported roughly 89,000 barrels of fossil fuels per day during September, according to data the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released Nov. 29. That’s the first full month the U.S. has exported more than it imported since the U.S. began tracking such data in 1949.

A decade-long increase in fracked gas production is fueling the numbers. Former presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, among others, spent years promising to make the U.S. energy independent. Presidential candidates from both parties made similar pitches throughout the years.

“This is a very big deal, not just rich in symbolism but marking a major and tangible benefit to the U.S. economy,” Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit, told reporters Tuesday. He authored a book “The Prize” in 2008 that fleshed out how big oil became a dominant form of energy.

He added: “It’s the end of an era that began with the oil crises of the 1970s.” Yergin was referring to the decade when Middle Eastern countries and giant oil cartels used their oil reserves as a weapon against Western nations.

The recent uptick in exports came as fracking of shale deposits stretching from Texas to New Mexico exploded over the last decade.

“Shale completely turned it around,” Yergin said. “The world has never seen growth at this scale this fast. It’s almost as though, in number of barrels, that the United States added a second Saudi Arabia within its own borders.” Obama can also claim some responsibility for the export uptick as well.

The former president signed legislation in late 2015 ending the decades-old ban on crude oil exports. U.S. oil production doubled between 2009, when Obama took office, to 2016, while natural gas production shot up 50 percent in that time. The boom took place on state and private lands.

Imports from OPEC fell to 1.5 million barrels per day in March, which is the lowest level since March 1986, the EIA reported in June. EIA said at the time that OPEC imports fell “as domestic crude oil production has increased.”

The U.S. became the world’s largest producer of fracked natural gas in 2012, surpassing Russia. Natural gas also passed coal as the country’s leading source of electricity in July 2017.

Meanwhile, many of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning on bludgeoning the oil industry.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, for instance, introduced a bill in October that would, if passed, block construction on ports that export natural gas.

The Massachusetts Democrat pegged her 2020 presidential campaign on holding oil companies responsible for supposedly contributing to global warming. Warren has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment on her campaign’s anti-oil positions.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is also campaigning against the oil industry.  “What we have to do is tell the fossil fuel industry that their short-term profits are not more important than the future of this planet,” he said during the fifth Democratic debate.

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Some Facts About Energy

By Wallace Manheimer – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The industrial age, namely using coal, oil and gas to generate power instead of human and animal muscle, and wind and solar have lifted billions out of poverty. Before the industrial age, civilization was a thin veneer on top of a vast mound of human misery, that civilization maintained by such things as slavery, colonies, and tyranny. The recent calls to reject fossil fuel and go back to the former ways motivates one to see in a quantitative way just how important fossil fuel is and how we rely on it. It takes some numbers, which generally bore people as compared to generalities and preposterous claims, but numbers are important, and in fact are simpler to understand than the vague generalities.

First let us look at the power that the world uses. BP is one of many organizations that publishes this data. Below is their graph of the power used by different parts of the world at various years and with projections for the future. The unit on the vertical axis is billions of tons per year of oil equivalent. Since this is not the usual units we think of, just think of a billion tons of oil per year as approximately equal to a trillion Watts, or a terawatt (TW). These Watts are the same units we are all use to, for instance we know what a 100-Watt light bulb is. Keep it on for 10 hours and you have used a kilowatt hour of energy and added about a dime to your electric bill. Here we will reduce all units of power to Watts, so everything will be in the same units and we can compare the power usage of one aspect of our lives to another.

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Note that now the world uses ~14 (TW). Also note that it is the less developed parts of the world that is increasing power use. However, power use is very unequal. The billion or so people in the developed part of the world use about 6 TW, or about 6 kilowatts (KW) per capita. In the United States we use about 8 KW per capita. The billion or so people in China are greatly increasing their power use. At a science meeting in 2009, a high-ranking member of the Chinese Academy of Science said that in 2000, the average Chinese used about 10% of the power of the average American, and they would not rest until the power use is about the same. The 1.2 billion Chinese now use about 2.5 KW per capita, or about 30% of what the Average American uses. Regarding the rest of the world, the other 5 billion people use ~ 1 KW per capita.

Let’s see what these power number means. Take a typical American family with two parents and two children in the household. Say both parents work in different places so they have 2 cars and drive each one the average of 12,000 miles per year. If their cars get 30 miles per gallon (most cars average less), they use together 800 gallons of gas per year. A gallon of gas (or heating oil) has the energy equivalent of about 40 KW hours, and there are about 30 million seconds in a year, so the family’s cars use about 5 kW. Now say they use the average of 500 gallons of heating oil to heat their house; this is about 3 KW. Then say that their home electrical use is the average of about 1.3 KW. However, electricity is produced with an efficiency of, of about 1/3, so their electrical use claims another 4 KW total (of say coal, gas or nuclear fuel). Hence their total power use is ~ 12 KW, or about 3 KW per person for the 4 of them.

But where does the other 5 KW’s come from? Obviously the home is not the only source of power; there are offices and other public buildings, factories, the military, public transportation, airplanes, ships, railraoad,s etc, which use the other 5 KW per capita.

Now think of what the lifestyle in the rest of the world where the average power use is only 1 KW. These countries also have factories, a military, airlines…. The average power these citizens use in the home is probably more like 0.5 KW per capita. These people live on a much, much lower standard than we do in the United States. Is this what we want either for us or for them? Of Course not, not only is it immoral, the citizens of these poorer countries will not stand for it much longer, just like the Chinese do not stand for it now. The world needs more power, not less.

Let’s see what the sources of power are. Here again we turn to BP. Below is their graph year by year of past and predicted world power by source.

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Clearly fossil fuels count for ~80% of world power, and at least currently, renewables ~1%. While BP predicts it will go up to ~10-15% in 20 years, this is speculative and depends on strong subsidies for renewables, dependent on the changeable political will of the nations. There are all sorts of speculations of

what the consequences of climate change might be in a worst-case scenario, which everyone seems to assume. However, we should also consider the consequences of ending the use of fossil fuel before a substitute becomes available at about the same quantity and price. The unquestionable consequence of greatly reducing fossil fuel any time in the next 20 or more years will mean the end of the industrial age, and the impoverishment of billions of people worldwide. Furthermore, it would mean nearly continuous war, as different countries scramble for the diminishing resources. No, more than that, there is no doubt that it would it would mean the end of civilization as we know it.

Reference:

The graphs can be found on page 14 of the 2018 edition of the BP Energy Outlook: https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/business-sites/en/global/corporate/pdfs/energy-economics/energy-outlook/bp-energy-outlook-2018.pdf

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Carbon Intensity of Power Sector Down in 2019

By EurekAlert – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Engineers from Carnegie Mellon University’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation have compiled carbon emissions for the U.S. electric power sector for the second quarter (Q2) of 2019 as part of the CMU Power Sector Carbon Index. The index tracks carbon emissions and electricity generation over time and by energy source. Compared to Q2 of 2018, total U.S. power generation fell by 4% in Q2 of 2019, and the carbon intensity of the sector, measured in pounds of CO2 emissions per megawatt-hour, dropped by 9%.

“The U.S. electricity sector is continuing to get cleaner, and both carbon intensity and overall emissions are dropping,” said Costa Samaras assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Power Sector Carbon Index co-director.

Carbon intensity (lb CO2/MWh) for US power sector, 2001-2019. Credit Power Sector Carbon Index, Scott Institute for Energy Innovation

Carbon intensity (lb CO2/MWh) for US power sector, 2001-2019. Credit Power Sector Carbon Index, Scott Institute for Energy Innovation

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