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Gas Power To Diminish As It Increases!

June 22, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

 

Those contrasting headlines again!

All from PEI:

 

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http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2017/06/starace-says-storage-advances-will-make-gas-power-bridging-role-brief.html

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http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2017/06/ansaldo-opens-genoa-gas-turbine-plant-and-signs-key-china-deals.html

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http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2017/06/nine-new-gas-fired-plants-to-boost-southern-vietnam.html

AEP’s Weekly Electric Car Rant

June 21, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

AEP is on his regular electric car rant today.

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Morgan Stanley is betting that electric cars will corner 70pc of the European vehicle market by the middle of century, leading to a drastic upheaval for the power sector and scramble for dominance of lucrative new technologies.

Read more…

Small power plants clobbered by Ofgem subsidy change

June 21, 2017

By Paul Homewood

h/t Patsy Lacey

As expected, OFGEM has acted to close a loophole, which pays unjustifiably large subsidies to small peak loader power plants, such as diesel generators:

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Energy watchdog Ofgem has decided to slash generous subsidies paid to small power plant owners in a move it says will cut consumers’ energy bills.

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Why Did CPRE Commission Renewable Lobby Outfit, Regen?

June 21, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

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https://www.regensw.co.uk/packages

I posted on the story of Philip Bratby’s report for the CPRE into renewable energy in the South West.

It was covered by Devonlive.com, who quoted critical comments from an outfit called Regen South West:

Regen South West, an independent not-for-profit organisation set up to promote renewable energy in the region, has hit back at the CPRE report.

Regen chief executive Merlin Hyman has pointed out Mr Bratby’s "views on climate change and renewables are somewhat at odds with those of the scientific community and indeed of CPRE nationally who commissioned Regen to look at how we can meet the Paris Climate Change Agreement whilst minimising landscape impacts".

http://www.devonlive.com/is-renewable-energy-in-devon-an-unmitigated-disaster/story-30398142-detail/story.html

So who are Regen? The label “not for profit” is often used to persuade people that such organisations are some sort of goody goody outfits, a bit like a charity, and operating in the public interest rather than chasing a profit.

Unfortunately if you believe that, you are probably being conned.

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Is renewable energy in Devon ‘an unmitigated disaster’?

June 20, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

Congrats to Philip Bratby, who has had a report published by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) into renewable energy in his local county, Devon.

It has unsurprisingly generated a kickback from the renewable lobby:

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Countryside campaigners and renewable energy experts have clashed on how renewable energy has benefited the county, with campaigners calling it "an unmitigated disaster".

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Decarbonization poses risks to Europe’s grid operators says Moody’s

June 20, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

I do like contrasting headlines!

 

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http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2017/06/renewables-to-grab-7-trillion-of-global-power-investment-says-bnef.html

 

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http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2017/06/drax-mulls-coal-to-gas-instead-of-biomass-conversion.html

Bloomberg would of course like you to believe that “investment” is good. In fact much of it will be money wasted, as replacement for perfectly good existing power capacity.

Meanwhile, it takes the credit risk company, Moody’s, to inject a bit of realism:

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Europe’s drive to decarbonize its energy “poses long-term risks to the region’s regulated electricity and gas network operators” according to a new report from credit and risk company Moody’s Investors Service.

 

And the study states that Europe’s continued transition to renewables, particularly wind and solar, is prompting new business models, developing technology and evolving regulation that could all “potentially undermine the credit quality over time” of those network operators.

"The shift to renewables in Europe has thrown up different challenges for the region’s energy network operators, with the huge uptick in renewables-related investment into electricity networks posing execution risks, while the move to decarbonization casts doubt over the long-term use of natural gas and the networks that distribute it," said Stefanie Voelz, vice-president Senior Credit Officer at Moody’s.

Moody’s report also states that large scale energy network operators “may also be slow to adapt to the changing generation and consumption landscape, with electricity users becoming partially independent from the grid as they increasingly operate their own renewable generation and/or storage units. Furthermore, the growing electrification of transport or heating could significantly change network requirements.”

The report warns that these ongoing developments could lead to sector fragmentation, potentially threatening existing network operators. However, it adds that their role as system operators – whereby they coordinate the efficient use of power generated by widely-distributed, independent sources and ensure supply security on a wider level – may become more important.

Voelz said that the regulatory response to the renewables shift “will be key to the future evolution of the energy network sector, as the change in scope of activities in an environment of significant technological shift, may necessitate changes in the way European networks are remunerated and customers’ tariffs are set, if credit quality is to be maintained.”

Moody’s says that affordability will remain a key focus for network operators, as cost pressures increase on consumers. It also finds that with investment requirements remaining high, leading to growth in companies’ asset base beyond 2020, pressure on customer bills will rise. “As renewable subsidies continue to weigh on bills, affordability concerns could lead to deferral of cost and investment recovery for networks, a credit negative,” said Voelz.

http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2017/06/decarbonization-poses-risks-to-europe-s-grid-operators-says-moody-s.html

 

Modern society has been built upon a reliable, secure and affordable energy system.

Obsession with decarbonisation is now putting all of this at risk.

History Channel’s Little Ice Age Documentary

June 20, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

 

 

h/t Gallopingcamel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have not seen this documentary about the Little Ice Age by the History Channel.

It is well worth a look, even if just for the first 20 minutes or so.

All the elements are there that most of us will be familiar with. Not just the cold and expanding glaciers, but the extreme and volatile weather, storms, floods, famine.

A reminder as well about how the MWP that preceded it was a golden period as far as the climate was concerned.

Possible causes of the LIA are discussed, such as solar radiation, volcanic activity and natural oceanic cycles.

I have not watched it through to the end, but gather from the comments that there is the usual plug about global warming at the end.

Nevertheless, whenever you hear anybody talk about the tiny increase in temperatures since the 19thC, show them this video and ask them to explain why it is not part of just a natural cycle.

Or for that matter, which climate they would prefer today.

Well worth a bookmark.

 

 

Also, don’t forget my two posts summarising Brian Fagan’s book on the Little Ice Age:

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/what-was-life-like-in-the-little-ice-age-part-i/

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/what-was-life-like-in-the-little-ice-agepart-ii-2/

Unintended Consequences

June 19, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

Two news reports from the BBC in the last few days, which rather complement each other:

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Leading researchers have condemned attempts to change the way carbon from trees will be counted in Europe.

The scientists fear that millions of tonnes of CO2 from forests will disappear from the books if the changes go ahead.

Trees are important carbon sinks as they soak up about 10% of Europe’s emissions every year.

But some countries want to cut more trees down in future without counting the resulting loss of carbon.

Europe’s forests have been increasing for the last century, and over the last 10 years the equivalent of 1,500 football pitches of trees have been added every day.

However accounting for carbon contained in trees is a fiendishly difficult task. Forests can both soak up and emit carbon depending on how old they are, and how they are managed and harvested.

As the European Union tries to put in place wide-ranging plans to restrict future carbon emissions, officials want to ensure that accounting for the impact of forests on the atmosphere should be based on sound science.

To this end they want to cap the use of forestry at the levels seen between 1990 and 2009. If countries want to harvest more trees in future than they did during this period, the loss of carbon would count towards the country’s overall emissions.

However several countries including Austria, Finland, Poland and Sweden want a change in these rules so that increased harvesting in the future should not be penalised.

The Finnish government says that it plans to increase tree harvesting by almost a quarter before 2030. The Finns argue that they should not have to account for these extra emissions, since the country’s forests will still absorb more carbon dioxide than they release.

Industry supporters argue in favour of a more "flexible" approach. They say that Europe’s forests have increased because of investment from businesses that want to be able to exploit the resource. Putting in place rules that leave trees standing forever won’t benefit anyone, they say.

But researchers in the field are very anxious about the proposed changes. Around 40 forestry experts from across the world have signed a letter arguing that if the rules are amended, it would "hide" roughly 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year – equivalent to two-thirds of France’s annual emissions.

"What the countries are arguing is that they should be able to use the forests in what they call a sustainable way," said Prof Joanna House from the University of Bristol, UK, and a former lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"But it doesn’t account for what’s happening right now. If you are increasing the harvest rate, you will have less of a stock of carbon in the trees and soils."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40301769

The whole system of accounting for carbon dioxide emissions from land use changes and forestation is a notoriously complex one, which is open to abuse.

While the UK will doubtlessly measure religiously every molecule of CO2 emitted, other countries will look after their own interests.

Ironically, of course, much of the forests due to be chopped down will end up being burnt in power stations.

Meanwhile, the BBC also report on how the Amazon Basin could be permanently damaged by the construction of hydro electric dams:

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The Amazon basin could suffer significant and irreversible damage if an extensive dam building programme goes ahead, scientists say.

Currently, 428 hydroelectric dams are planned, with 140 already built or under construction.

Researchers warn that this could affect the dynamics of the complex river system and put thousands of unique species at risk.

The study is published in the journal Nature.

"The world is going to lose the most diverse wetland on the planet," said lead author Prof Edgargo Latrubesse, from the University of Texas at Austin, US.

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40277745

What these two stories have in common is how the obsession with climate change is creating perverse consequences for the environment.

BP Energy Review 2017

June 19, 2017
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

 

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http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

More on the BP Energy Review.

Read more…

The Beginning Of The End For Coal?

June 18, 2017
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood

 

 

 

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http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

 

This year’s BP Energy Review came out while I was away last week.

The general message seems to be little change. These are Spencer Dale’s highlights:

 

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It has been pretty clear for a few years now, indeed arguably since 2008, that both the economic and energy growth rates seen in the early 21st C have long gone.

I’ll be doing some more analysis bit by bit, but one of the items that has attracted most attention has been the slight drop of 1.4% in coal consumption.

Read more…