Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #365

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by Swww.SEPP.org

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

Number of the Week: 2.34 mmb/d

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

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Russia Will Be Ruined by the Clean Energy Transition

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

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

Will Russia Survive The Coming Energy Transition?

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

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

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

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Battery Storage—An Infinitesimal Part of Electrical Power

By Steve Goreham – Re-Blogged From Energy Central

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Why Germany’s Green Party Is So Strong: A Wake-Up Call

By Rainer Zitelmann & Tichys Einblick – Re-B;ogged From GWPF

The Greens have long been defining the cultural and political agenda in Germany. The more the other parties have been currying favour with them, the stronger the Green Party has become: voters now choose the original, not the imitators.

“On many issues today, the Greens are setting the direction, then the SPD follows and finally the Christian Democrats follow, lagging behind with a clear delaying effect … The Green Party’s impact goes far beyond their involvement at state government level and their successes documented in elections. More importantly, the Green Party succeeds time and time again in determining the political agenda and assuming opinion leadership in public debate. This can only happen, however, because they have an above-average number of sympathizers in the media and because the ranks of their natural challengers, i.e. the Christian Democrats (CDU), have softened and leading CDU politicians have adopted key positions of the Greens.”

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #361

The Week That Was: By Ken Haapala, President, SEPP

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

Quote of the Week: “It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tost [sic] upon the sea: a pleasure to stand in the window of the castle and to see the battle and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth ( a hill not to be commanded and where the air is always clear and serene), and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below. – From Of Truth, Francis Bacon [H/t Numberwatch, hopefully returning]

Number of the Week: 5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG, which is equal to about 0.7 billion [standard, normal temperature and pressure] cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas

The Greenhouse Effect –Atmospheric Layers: The atmosphere is divided into distinct layers and the altitude of the layers depends on the latitude, the distance from the equator. One could think of an oval shape with the thickest (elongated) part being above the equator. (Seasonal variation will be ignored in this section.)

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Climate Politics Abroad Are Turning Decidedly Skeptical

By H. Sterling Burnett – ReBlogged From WUWT

From Alberta to Australia, from Finland to France and beyond, voters are increasingly showing their displeasure with expensive energy policies imposed by politicians in an inane effort to fight purported human-caused climate change.

Skepticism about whether humans are causing dangerous climate change has always been higher in the United States than in most industrialized countries. As a result, governments in Europe, Canada, and in other developed countries are much farther along the energy-rationing path that cutting carbon dioxide emissions requires than the United States is. Residents in these countries have begun to revolt against the higher energy costs they suffer under as a result of ever-increasing taxes on fossil fuels and government mandates to use expensive renewable energy.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #357

The Week That Was: April 20, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intend us to forgo their use.” – Galileo

Number of the Week: 4,300 premature deaths annually in the United States from maize (corn)

Clash of Ideas: The Great Barrier Reef is a cultural icon for Australia. The world’s largest coral reef system stretches over 2300 km (1400 mi) and is home to a great diversity of sea life. Academics and scientific organizations have claimed that the reef is dying from global warming / climate change and ocean acidification (lowering of pH).

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