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Ireland faces data centre challenge to power demand

October 21, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

h/t Tallbloke

 

 

 

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Data centres will consume 20 per cent of Ireland’s power generation capacity by 2025, according to the country’s main grid operator, Eirgrid.
Eirgrid added that the huge increase in data centre activity in the country would eat up to 75 per cent of growth in Irish power demand.
The Irish Independent reports that the amount of power needed to store emails, texts and other online data could rise seven-fold as Ireland chases inward investment from tech giants including Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

 

Facebook data center Ireland

 

 

 

“Large industrial connections normally do not dominate a country’s energy demand forecast but this is the case for Ireland at the moment,” the All-Island Generation Capacity Statement 2017-2026 says.
The situation has been further complicated by a fall in older conventional power plants, due to close over the same time frame. While more renewables are being added to the system, the newspaper reports that capacity in Dublin is ‘on a knife edge.’

 

 

Analysis from EirGrid shows that data centres already connected to the grid consume 250 MW of electricity, sufficient to power more than 210,000 homes.
Another 550 MW is due to be connected over the coming years, enough for almost 470,000 houses, while projects under discussion could consume as much as 1,000MW – enough for 850,000 homes.
“If all of these enquiries were to connect, the data centre load could account for 20 per cent of all-island peak demand,” it says in its ten-year transmission forecast statement. “Clearly the potential connection of demand on this scale is equivalent to decades of national demand growth.”
Massive investment in sub-stations and other infrastructure – particularly around Dublin – will be required, sources said.
“If these connections materialise, new large-scale generation, transmission solutions, demand side response and/or storage will be required in the Dublin area to accommodate further demand increases and ensure continued security of supply,” EirGrid says.

http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2017/10/ireland-faces-data-centre-challenge-to-power-demand.html

 

Data centres are big business in Ireland, not simply because of the attractive low tax and business friendly climate there, but because of the cold weather there! In particular they are centred around Dublin, close to the T50 fibre trunking system.

But for a country with about a tenth of the demand in the UK, this sort of electricity consumption is serious stuff.

With inter-connector availability, the Irish grid operator, EirGrid works closely with the Northern Ireland side, run by SONI. They produced a All-Island Capacity Generation Statement earlier this year, which made this forecast:

 

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The Met Office’s Obsession With Gusts

October 20, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

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https://uk.news.yahoo.com/storm-brian-apos-weather-bomb-082924683.html

 

There was a discussion about the merits of using sustained wind speeds rather than gusts on the Ophelia thread the other day.

Doug Holman gave this particularly relevant comment:

 

Some people measure speed (velocity for the purists) in mph while others use kph or knots. What matters is that comparisons are made using the same units. We would rightly object if we were caught doing 48 in a 30 limit and it turned out that the speed camera had been inadvertently set to kilometres instead of miles.

Conventionally, we measure wind in terms of a mean speed but “warmunists” (a term borrowed from Ian Magness, above) seem to think that they can win their battle against capitalism by replacing mean with maximum gust speeds. A gust is (by definition) at least 10 knots (11 mph) more than the mean speed but a maximum gust could be much higher, and depends on numerous factors, such as the local topography and wind direction. That’s why mean speeds are used in overall risk assessment, such as in the shipping forecast.

If we stick to the Beaufort scale, we know that there’s risk of trees falling when the mean speed reaches between 55 and 63 mph, or “force 10”. Of course, the gusts will be higher. But which would you consider more dangerous: a “force 8” gale (between 39 and 46 mph) with a single freak gust of 80mph or a proper “force 10” storm with widespread gusts of the same speed?

Frankly, I blame the car manufacturers for replacing “air conditioning” with “climate control.” It led some of our “professional” politicians to imagine that this could work for the entire world. If their understanding of meteorology is this risible, are we not entitled to know what, if anything, we can safely entrust them to do?

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/ex-hurricane-ophelia/#comment-102231

 

This has been a particular bugbear of mine for some time, and, with Storm Brian heading our way, it is a good time to revisit it.

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How the World Bank keeps poor nations poor

October 19, 2017

By Paul Homewood

An excellent analysis from Dellers:

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What is the point of the World Bank? You probably think of it, if at all, as a benign institution, a kind of giant, multilateral aid agency, whose job it is to bring liquidity to developing nations and help them grow out of poverty.

Until not so long ago, that was indeed its function. Created alongside the International Monetary Fund at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, the bank did sterling work in its early years helping countries like France recover from the war; and later, giving mostly third world countries the vital seed money needed to help attract investors to risky capital projects. Its multiplier effect on investment can be extraordinary. In 2013, the World Bank gave Kosovo $40 million towards building a lignite power station. This sent out the positive signal needed to encourage the private sector to complete the funding with another $1,960 million.

Amazing. Except that’s not what the World Bank does now. It won’t fund any more coal-fired power stations because they are not clean and green. Instead, it wants developing nations to embrace intermittent, unreliable and wildly expensive renewables like wind and solar as part of a mission — outlined by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon — to ‘defeat poverty and save the planet’. In fact, it will achieve neither of those goals. Take Nigeria, whose capital Lagos has overtaken Cairo as Africa’s largest city, but whose electrical grid produces so little power that the economy runs mostly on private (and filthy, polluting) diesel generators. Nigeria’s National Electric Power Authority (NEPA plc) is known as ‘Never Expect Power Always, Please Light a Candle’. Blackouts and brownouts are common, as they are throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and the costs to the economy are enormous. The local mobile phone company MTM, with 62 million subscribers, spends 70 per cent of its operating expenditure on diesel to keep its network powered up.

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The Real Story Behind the California Wildfires

October 19, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

Meteorologist Cliff Mass has the real story behind the recent tragic wildfires in Northern California:

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There has been a huge amount of media coverage regarding the tragic northern California fires, documenting the terrible loss of life and billions of dollars of damage to buildings, infrastructure, and the economy.  As I write this, the death toll has risen to 41, over 5000 buildings have been destroyed or damaged, and the estimates of the financial loss are in the tens of billions of dollars.

 

 

Media stories have blamed the catastrophic fires on many things:  a dry environment after the typical summer drought, unusual warmth the past several months, excessive rainfall producing lots of flammable grass, strong winds, global warming, and  the lack of vegetative maintenance (clearing of the power lineright-of-ways) by the local utility (PG&E).

 


But none of the stories I have read get at what I believe is the real truth behind this unprecedented, severe, and explosively developing wildfire event:
A unique mountain-wave windstorm produced the strongest winds in the historical record at some locations.  An event produced by the unlucky development of just the right flow regime that interacted with regional mountains to produce extreme winds beyond contemporary experience.
In short, this blog will make the case that the extreme nature of the wildfires were the result of a very unusual weather event, one that our weather models had the ability to forecast and warn about, if only their output were applied more effectively.  The blog also suggests that better use of state-of-the-art weather prediction offers the hope of preventing a similar tragedy.

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Africa’s Largest Wind Power Plant Rejected By Kenya

October 18, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

This is a highly relevant story coming out of Kenya this week:

 

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Kenya’s failure to approve the development of a 600MW offshore wind farm in Malindi, south-east of the country, has resulted in the developers considering moving the project to Tanzania.

Swedish firm, VR holding AB, which was set to construct Africa’s largest wind power plant in Malindi, southeastern Kenya at a staggering Kshs. 253 Billion ($2.4 B);making it the most expensive private funded project in east Africa; has since changed it’s plans.

According to Kenya’s Business Daily the firm is moving the project to Tanzania, which shares the coastline with Kenya citing frustration to their efforts by Kenyan authorities. An executive at the company, Victoria Rikede said "We have opted to look for offshore solutions for Tanzania, Kenya is proving to be a very difficult place and besides the grid is too weak to absorb all the power produced and therefore mini-grids is the solution right now."

Kenyan officials are reported to have seen issues with the plants viability. The officials argued that the power plant would leave the country with excess power thus forcing consumers to pay billions annually for under utilized electricity. According to the official, it would defeat the purpose of clean cheap energy.

 

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Wind Power In India

October 18, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

From the “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all like China and India” Dept:

 

 

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India has ranked consistently in the top 5 markets globally in terms of total installed wind capacity for most this decade. During 2016, India set a new national record with 3.6 GW of new installations, 2016’s 4th largest market. Indian wind installations accounted for a 6.6 percent share of the global market in 2016. By the end of August 2017, the installed capacity has crossed 32.6 GW across the country. Among renewables, wind power accounts for almost two-thirds of the installed capacity.

 

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Disastrous fire management wreaks havoc on California

October 18, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

From CFACT:

 

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Like swarms of locusts devouring everything in their path, the wildfires that struck California’s fabled wine country and surrounding areas have left behind death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.

With no warning, the blazes began spreading rapidly on the evening of Sunday, Oct. 8th, and by the end of the week, there had been 31 confirmed deaths, over 400 people still missing, and 3,500 structures destroyed. In Santa Rosa, long considered safe from wildfires, whole neighborhoods went up in flames within minutes. An estimated 60,000 people were forced to flee or were evacuated from the fire-ravaged area.

All told, some 22 separate fires scorched 191,000 acres, or about 300 square miles. It is the second-deadliest wildfire in California since 1923. Adding to the misery were quirks of Mother Nature. The Diablo, a strong gusty wind prevalent in northern California, helped spread the conflagration. And while the arid region has recently recovered from a severe, years-long drought, the grasses that have grown back thanks to the much-needed precipitation enabled the fire to spread more rapidly.

Wildfires and the Environment

In addition to the dreadful loss of life, the wildfires, which are expected to last for several more weeks, have taken their toll on wildlife and air quality. Satellite images show a huge plume of smoke stretching from central California to northwest Nevada and into southern Oregon and Idaho. Sean Reffuse, an air quality analyst with the University of California at Davis, told USA Today that the fires have put 10,000 tons of particulate matter (PM), a leading cause of haze, into the air. He calculates that it would take about 35,000 on-road vehicles a year to produce that much PM pollution. Exposure to higher levels of PM have been associated with respiratory and cardiovascular problems.

At this writing, the cause of the wildfires remains unknown. Wildfires have been a scourge in California and other areas of the arid West for as long as anyone can remember. California’s dry climate and strong winds – Diablo in the north and Santa Anna in the south – are often a wildfire’s best friend.

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Ex Hurricane Ophelia

October 17, 2017

By Paul Homewood

Ex Hurricane Ophelia has now rapidly weakened and is moving away from the UK.

It has been reported as the worst storm in Ireland since Hurricane Debbie in 1961, but there the similarity ends. As we shall see, Debbie was a different beast entirely.

Read more…

Telegraph’s “Sponsored” Articles For Renewables and Electric Cars

October 17, 2017

By Paul Homewood

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/energy-efficiency/who-will-pay-for-electric-car-parks/

 

I have increasingly been aware of sponsored articles in the Telegraph from various renewable interests.

The one above is from e.on, assuring us that there will be millions of charging points for EVs, from which e.on will no doubt benefit hugely.

Does the proliferation of these “sponsored” advertising puffs explain why the Telegraph’s coverage of energy and climate issues has been so dire lately?

Australia Set To Dump Clean Energy Target

October 16, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

h/t HotScot

 

From ABC News:

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A Clean Energy Target recommended by Australia’s chief scientist will not be adopted, with the Federal Government instead proposing a new plan to bring down electricity prices.

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