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Texas Blackouts–Critical New Data Revealed

February 24, 2021
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

This is the best analysis I have seen yet regarding the Texas blackouts. Yes Energy are a professional outfit of energy analysts, so have no axe to grind whatsoever.

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By now most of the world knows about the cold snap in ERCOT the week of 2/15/21 (if not, check out our blog post here), but do you know the generation side of the story? You may know some of the story from watching the news, like we have – including claims that it was a wind issue or a natural gas supply issue.

History tells us that it will take months to determine the root causes of this event, but what was the data telling us in real-time during the crucial hours and minutes leading up to the event? Traders with access to market data in Yes Energy alongside real-time generation data from Live Power had critical insight into the generation side of this story. What happened and what role did generation play in this historic week in ERCOT?

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Latest Climate Models Still Running Far Too Hot

February 24, 2021
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By Paul Homewood

 

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The narrative that global warming is largely human-caused and that we need to take drastic action to control it hinges entirely on computer climate models. It’s the models that forecast an unbearably hot future unless we rein in our emissions of CO2.

But the models have a dismal track record. Apart from failing to predict a recent slowdown in global warming in the early 2000s, climate models are known even by modelers to consistently run hot. The previous generation of models, known in the jargon as CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5), overestimated short-term warming by more than 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) above observed temperatures. That’s 50% of all the global warming since preindustrial times.

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High electricity cost drives German high-tech industry to Asia

February 24, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

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Siltronic boss Christoph von Plotho blames Germany’s high energy costs for the decision: “The high electricity price makes the location unattractive,” he said in an interview with the Handelsblatt. His company pays “less than half the electricity price” in Singapore.

The main cost driver in Germany is the green energy levy under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) which has cost energy consumers more than 30 billion euros last year.

Germany’s largest semiconductor producer Infineon told Handelsblatt that insecure power supply was also a major factor in reconsidering industrial production in Germany and Europe.

Chipmakers lament high taxes and levies on electricity in Germany

Several chip and semiconductor manufacturers have criticised high taxes and levies on electricity as a disadvantage for Germany as an industry location in global competition, reports business daily Handelsblatt. “The high electricity price makes the location unattractive,” Christoph von Plotho, head of chip supplier Siltronic, told Handelsblatt. Another main reason were high personnel costs in Germany.

At the same time, a spokesperson of Germany’s largest semiconductor producer Infineon told Handelsblatt that a secure power supply without fluctuations was also a major factor in keeping production in Germany and Europe.

The comments showed that the issue of high power costs extended beyond the traditional industry companies like chemical factories, to high tech sectors, writes Handelsblatt.

The reason for high power prices are taxes and levies on electricity, such as the renewables levy to finance the expansion of wind and solar energy. Many companies are partly or fully exempt from certain levies. In addition, the government has started to use state budget funds, such as revenues from the new CO2 price for transport and heating fuels, to help cap the levy and it plans to further decrease it over coming years.

Full story

Pressure Grows For Meaningful US Emission Cuts

February 23, 2021
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By Paul Homewood

h/t Robin Guenier

 As Joe Biden rejoins Paris, the pressure grows for meaningful US cuts:

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Thirty days after Joe Biden entered the White House, the US is officially back in the Paris Agreement.

On his first day in office, Biden signed an executive order notifying the UN that the US was rejoining the Paris Agreement. Now that order has taken effect, the US is expected to submit a new national contribution to the agreement, setting out an emissions target for 2030.

“It’s good to have the US back in the Paris Agreement, but sadly we have no time to celebrate. The climate crisis is deepening and this is the year we need all major polluters to step up and deliver stronger plans to deliver a safe, clean and prosperous future for everyone,” said Laurence Tubiana, head of the European Climate Foundation.

“The US needs to come to Cop26 [climate talks] with a strong commitment: the urgency of the crisis is clear, and this means a new US target of at least 50% GHG cuts on 2005 levels by 2030, ideally more,” Tubiana said.

A series of net zero pledges and upgraded 2030 emissions targets from major polluters – including China, Japan and the EU – last year has put pressure on the US to catch up.

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The Good News On Climate

February 23, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

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As I watch the snow blow past my window, it’s hard not to scoff at the idea of a ‘climate emergency’. However, I’m probably in a minority. The idea that we are currently experiencing a dangerous deterioration in our weather has been pushed so hard, and for so long, that the man in the Clapham Uber is now thoroughly convinced.

Those of us who have the time and inclination to look at the evidence for such claims, on the other hand, realise that they are largely overblown. The Global Warming Policy Foundation, where I work, has just published a review of the impacts of climate change and it’s a valuable antidote to the relentless alarmism pushed by some academics. The paper is written by Indur Goklany, an American whose involvement in the climate field goes back 30 years when he was involved in the first United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) review of the world’s climate. So he knows what he is talking about, and the story he tells is one of almost unmitigated good news. There is a great deal of evidence that mankind is able to take the effects of climate change in its stride.

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Belgium To Shut All Nuclear Plants

February 23, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

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BELGIUM’s decision to shut down several of its nuclear power plants has been branded "delusional" and pinned on the EU’s plot to annihilate member states’ independence.

Belgium will shut seven nuclear power plants between 2022 and 2025. The decision was confirmed at the end of 2020 by Alexander De Croo’s coalition government. But the plan would see the country reliant on its neighbours for the supply of electricity – something that was blamed on the increasing integration of the European Union.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1401127/Eu-news-Belgium-nuclear-power-plants-closure-France-energy-frexit-florian-Philippot

 

Belgium has 5.7 GW of nuclear power, which supplies nearly half of its electricity.

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http://energodock.com/belgium/electricity-shares

 

As reliable generation declines in Europe, it seems as if every country is planning to import power from everybody else!

Public Chargers Will Increase Driving Costs

February 22, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

The Mail seems surprised you will pay a lot more to charge your car at a public site than at home!

 

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/cars/article-9269563/The-electric-car-public-charging-lottery-revealed.html

 

It does not seem to have occurred to the journalist that operators need to recoup the cost of the charger as well as the electricity used.

The table rather bears out my quick survey the other month, that suggested rates would be around 35p/KWh.

The only outliers are the two London sites at the top, no doubt reflecting higher costs there, and Ionity’s 350 KW charger. (We know that these superchargers are much more expensive to install, pro rata; so it is not surprising that drivers are expected to pay for the benefit of a quick charge).

At the bottom, BP Pulse charges 18p/KWh if you have a subscription (£7.85/month), or 25p otherwise. So there appear to be no offers under 25p/KWh without a sub.

 

A Nissan Leaf will do about 100 miles for a 40 KWh charge, so at 35p, this would cost £14, or 14p per mile. A petrol alternative would do about 50 mpg; excluding fuel duties, this works out at around £5, or 5p per mile.

In their Net Zero Plan, the Committee on Climate Change claimed that savings from buying and running electric cars would go part way to offsetting extra costs of decarbonisation elsewhere.

Clearly for anybody who regularly needs to use public chargers, this is adding insult to injury.

Oprah Jets In To See Harry!

February 22, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

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 As we know, Prince Harry wants us all to wake up to the challenge of global warming, and give up all of our little luxuries.

Apparently though this does not extend to his newly found showbiz friends in California!

 

 

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/14111930/prince-harry-meghan-markle-oprah-jet-interview/

Wind Power Did Cause The Texas Blackouts!

February 22, 2021
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By Paul Homewood

 

 See the source image

 

There has been a marked lack of data made public about last week’s blackouts in Texas, which has allowed all sorts of misinformation to fly around. I suspect this is quite deliberate.

I have however found hourly data on the US EIA website. This is what happened on those crucial couple of days:

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Hugo v Laura

February 21, 2021

By Paul Homewood

I have been comparing the cost of recent weather disasters with the 1980s.

One example stands out like a sore thumb – Hurricanes Laura and Hugo, both supposedly costing $19bn at today’s prices:

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https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/events/US/1980-2020

Laura which hit Louisiana last August was a Cat 4 storm. There have been 30 hurricanes which have hit the US at Cat 4 strength and over since 1851, so Cat 4s are a regular occurrence.

As would be expected, Laura’s winds left a lot of damage in and around Lake Charles where it made landfall, leaving thousands homeless. The city however escaped the worst effects of the storm surge, which was much less than originally thought, and damage inland was not excessive.

All in all, the damage from Laura was no worse than many other major hurricanes.

Now contrast with Hugo, which hit the Carolinas in 1989. Hugo was also a Cat 4, but there the similarity ends.

This is how NOAA summarise the hurricane, but it does not even begin to describe the full devastation:

Hurricane Hugo is remembered as one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in history. The storm’s violent winds and strong storm surges destroyed thousands of buildings and caused power outages from the Caribbean, through South Carolina, and all the way into Canada. An estimated 49 fatalities were directly-related to Hugo. Total damages from the storm were estimated to be $10 billion. Because of Hugo’s extreme devastation, the name Hugo was retired and will never again be used for an Atlantic hurricane.

https://noaa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/:~:text=Hurricane%20Hugo%20is%20remembered%20as%20one%20of%20the,An%20estimated%2049%20fatalities%20were%20directly-related%20to%20Hugo.

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