Solar Power Plant vs. A Natural Gas Power Plant: Capital Cost – Apples to Apples

By Philip Dowd – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Here is a simple example that illustrates why current solar technology will be hard-pressed to replace existing carbon-fired power plants.

Let’s suppose that a power company is planning to scrap a coal-fired power plant and wants to replace it with a new plant. Furthermore, let’s assume that the old plant to be scrapped is in Arizona. The options for the new plant are natural gas and solar. The company wants a simple, ball-park analysis of the front-end cost to build each of these options.

The requirements:

1. Electricity demand on this facility is 4,800 MWh/day, about the demand for a community of 160,000 average households[i]

2. The “up time” of both plants must be equal. That is, both must be equally reliable and produce the demand for the same fraction of time over the course of one year.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #213

The Week That Was: January 23, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala – The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Robert M. Carter, RIP: A splendid fellow and a great friend of scientific integrity passed this week. He inspired and encouraged many scientists to question the unsubstantiated claims that atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2), are the dominant cause of climate change. As a geologist he knew better. He demonstrated that the CO2 hypothesis does not stand up to rigorous testing, thus needs to be discarded or changed.

Lesser characters have labeled this testing as “cherry-picking”; confusing the use of selected data to advocate a particular hypothesis (guess) with testing a hypothesis against all relevant data. If a hypothesis fails one dataset, then it cannot be a generally acceptable scientific hypothesis.

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Thirty-Eight Years Of Subsidies

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWiththat.com

On April 18, 1977, President Jimmy Carter announced his new energy policy. His speech included the following predictions of a dire future unless we repented of our evil ways:

I know that some of you may doubt that we face real energy shortages. The 1973 gasoline lines are gone, and our homes are warm again. But our energy problem is worse tonight than it was in 1973 or a few weeks ago in the dead of winter. It is worse because more waste has occurred, and more time has passed by without our planning for the future. And it will get worse every day until we act.

The oil and natural gas we rely on for 75 percent of our energy are running out. In spite of increased effort, domestic production has been dropping steadily at about six percent a year. Imports have doubled in the last five years. Our nation’s independence of economic and political action is becoming increasingly constrained. Unless profound changes are made to lower oil consumption, we now believe that early in the 1980s the world will be demanding more oil that it can produce.

The world now uses about 60 million barrels of oil a day and demand increases each year about five percent. This means that just to stay even we need the production of a new Texas every year, an Alaskan North Slope every nine months, or a new Saudi Arabia every three years. Obviously, this cannot continue.

Now we have a choice. But if we wait, we will live in fear of embargoes. We could endanger our freedom as a sovereign nation to act in foreign affairs. Within ten years we would not be able to import enough oil — from any country, at any acceptable price.

If we wait, and do not act, then our factories will not be able to keep our people on the job with reduced supplies of fuel. Too few of our utilities will have switched to coal, our most abundant energy source.

Inflation will soar, production will go down, people will lose their jobs. Intense competition will build up among nations and among the different regions within our own country.

If we fail to act soon, we will face an economic, social and political crisis that will threaten our free institutions.

SOURCE Carter’s Speech

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #199

The Week That Was: October 3, 2015- Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

More IPCC Challenges: The US administration is attempting to establish an agreement to be reached at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11. Meanwhile, more challenges to the findings of the UN Intergovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) continue to emerge. Many of the challenges do not question the basic science or logic found in the climate models, but do question the use to which they are put. This questioning especially applies to the 95% certainty expressed in the Summary for Policymakers of IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR-5).

In a recent paper, distinguished physicist Wallace Manheimer expressed it well: “This paper reviews a great deal of worldwide data, some of which confirms, some of which disputes the global warming hypothesis. While increasing CO2in the atmosphere is a concern, it is hardly a planetary emergency.” Perhaps these sentences summarize the views of the global warming skeptics: carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are not causing a planetary emergency, only the politically motivated advocates and politicians are. This political motivation extends to the IPCC and its work based on the assumption it can predict (project), with great certainty, global warming from human causes without thoroughly understanding the natural influences on climate.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #196

The Week That Was: September 12, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Model Validation: The past two TWTWs focused on major issues regarding the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2) in particular, endanger human health and welfare, — the Endangerment Finding. These issues included the divergence between atmospheric measurements and surface measurements and the absence of the so-called “hot spot,” which the EPA erroneously claimed was the distinct human fingerprint of global warming. This TWTW will address the failure of the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) to validate a global climate model. Future TWTWs will discuss other major issues such as measurement issues and explanations for so-called “missing heat,” which may not be missing at all. All these issues are fundamental to the EPA’s endangerment finding.

Probably the most persistent critic of the failure of the IPCC, and its supporters, the Climate Establishment, to validate a global climate model is Vincent Gray of The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, who has been an expert reviewer of the scientific basis for all five IPCC Assessment Reports, from 1990 to 2013. In the process, he has submitted thousands of comments, and, according to reports, was influential having the IPCC change its terminology about the results of the global climate models, now calling the results “projections” rather “predictions.” Gray’s latest book and excerpts can be found in the links below.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #194

The Week That Was: August 29, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org
THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Divergence: It is summertime in the US, and temperatures are warmer. Several readers have asked TWTW for comments on the recent claims that July 2015 was the hottest month ever and similar announcements by certain US government entities, including branches of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). These entities are making strong public statements that the globe continues to warm, and the future is dire. A humorist could comment that the closer we are to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11, the hotter the globe becomes.

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The Hood Robin Syndrome

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

There’s a new study out, under the imprimatur of the Energy Institute of the Haas School of Business in Berkeley, California, entitled The Distributional Effects of U.S. Clean Energy Tax Credits.  As the title implies, it looks at who actually profited from the various “green energy” tax credits across the United States. SPOILER ALERT! It wasn’t the poor folks.

How much money are we talking about? Well, the paper says that from 2006 to 2012, the taxpayers have been on the hook for $18 BILLION DOLLARS to fund these subsidies, money that would have otherwise gone into the General Fund.

And just how much money is eighteen billion dollars? Here’s one way to think about eighteen gigabucks, regarding safe, clean drinking water.

Water Wells for Africa reports from their ongoing projects that on average it has cost them about $3.50 per person ($7,000 per well serving 2,000 people) to provide people with clean safe well water. So eighteen billion dollars is enough money to drill drinking water wells for three-quarters of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants. (Yes, I know that’s a gross simplification, some folks don’t live over a subterranean water table, and so on, but it is still enough money to drill the two and a half million wells that would be needed.)

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