JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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The Green Agenda meets The Energy Crisis (just in time for COP 26)

Some great Green plans are starting to come undone and it’s not even winter yet

But it is just in time for a reality check on COP26.

Europe’s energy crunch is continuing, as gas storage volumes have shrunk to 10-year lows. In the UK 12 energy companies have collapsed this year leaving 2.2 million customers stranded without an electricity provider. Things are so bad the Dutch government is thinking of reopening the Groningen gas field, Europe’s largest onshore gas field. This is a big backward step for the transition to magical energy. “Until recently, the plan was that Groningen would be closed completely by 2023, ending the large-scale gas production and export by the Netherlands with a bang.”

There are even thoughts of switching back to coal. Drax is suddenly talking about keeping some coal plants running a bit longer, something that would have been blasphemy a few months ago.

Across Europe and Asia — the energy crisis runs amok

No one can blame Brexit for food shortages in Brussels:

https://twitter.com/hermannkelly/status/1442901773958582274

But people can blame Green policies for energy pain

Kate Andrews: Britain’s weak energy security puts net zero in doubt The Daily Telegraph, 29 […]

Texas was prepared for global warming but not the return of the cold

If only climate modelers had warned us that children would know what Frozen Fish Tanks were?

Instead Texas spent most of the last decade and billions of dollars trying to cool the world by changing its electricity grid.

Thanks to market-distorting policies that favor and subsidize wind and solar energy, Texas has added more than 20,000 megawatts (MW) of those intermittent resources since 2015 while barely adding any natural gas and retiring significant coal generation. — Jason Issac

Indeed Texas has the fifth largest windpower fleet in the world — bigger than everyone except China, the USA, Germany and India. But having that industrial fleet of free clean energy didn’t save Texas this week. What happened appears to have been a systemic wide failure on so many levels. But one of those levels surely, is the failure to winterize the grid. There are plenty of gas and wind plants in colder places like Canada and they run through winter just fine.

But the awful truth is, that it costs more to add these “heat and de-icing” features and with everyone planning for Global Warming, well, who needs ’em? It’s almost like ERCOT in Texas assumed the […]

Solar Power at $70 is still twice the price of brown coal

More fake news: Miners are only switching to solar because they can’t get access to cheap coal fired power.

“Miners switch on to renewables”

A better headline would be: Renewable targets make electricity so expensive miners are forced to switch to renewables.

The money quote:

Emily Alford is a principal consultant at Oakley Greenwood … [she] told The Weekend Australian that solar generation cost about $200 a megawatt hour five years ago, and had dropped to about $70-$80 now.

Compare that to 53 year old Hazelwood coal power which was selling electricity for $30/MWh in it’s last month of operation. When brown coal stations set the price in Victoria they were winning bids at prices like $13/MWh.The cheapest electricity in the world comes from 30 year old brown coal plants.

The $70-$80 estimate is artificially low. Unreliable power makes the other baseload generators more expensive, adding $30/MWh to gas generators for example. Because the back up generators have to be there, not earning money while solar feeds in, they have to charge more to recoup those costs in a shorter working period. Doh. So add that cost to solar, not the gas.

Compare the real costs and weep: […]

Gates on renewables: How would Tokyo survive a 3 day typhoon with unreliable energy?

Make no mistake, Bill Gates totally believes the climate change scare story but even he can see that renewables are not the answer, it’s not about the cost, it’s the reliability.

He quotes Vaslav (possibly Vaclav Smil?):

Here’s Toyko, 27 million people, you have three days of a cyclone every year. It’s 23GW of electricity for three days. Tell me what battery solution is going sit there and provide that power.

As Gates says: Let’s not jerk around. You’re multiple orders of magnitude — … — That’s nothing, that doesn’t solve the reliability problem.

Bill Gates on renewables (part 1). I’ve never seen him so animated. His Tokyo in a cyclone scenario is interesting. pic.twitter.com/N2nhl2u9Ut

— David Michie (@dmichie66) December 9, 2018

h/t Craig KellyMP

During storms clouds cut solar panel productivity (unless hail destroys it) and wind turbines have to shut down in high winds.

The whole interview was part of a presentation at Stanford late last year:

Cheap renewables won’t stop global warming, says Bill Gates

The interview by Arun Majumdar, co-director of Stanford Energy’s Precourt Institute for Energy, which organized the conference, can be watched here.

9.3 […]

The South Australian black out — A grid on the edge. There were warnings that renewables made it vulnerable

Australians are going to be talking about this for weeks. Indeed, the SA Blackout is the stuff of legend.

The Greens are blaming coal (what else?) for causing bad storms and blackouts. Forget that Queensland gets hit with cyclones all the time and the whole state grid doesn’t break. Some greenies are also raging against “the politicization” of the storms. Yes, Indeedy. Go tell that to Will Steffen.

We are not being told the whole story. We do know that South Australia has the highest emphasis on renewables in the world. It also has a fragile electricity network, and wild price spikes to boot. (Coincidence?) The death of a few transmission towers should not knock out a whole state, nor should it take so long to recover from. The storm struck worst north of Adelaide near Port Augusta but the juicy interconnector from Victoria runs in from the south, and goes right up past Adelaide and most of the population. Why couldn’t the broken parts of the system be isolated?

Digging around I find ominous warnings that while the lightning and winds probably caused the blackout, the state of the South Australian grid appeared to be teetering on the brink, […]

Australia can meet it’s 2020 targets with just 35 nuclear power plants or 8000 solar ones!

Roger Pielke, Jr. has looked closely at Australia’s ETS targets and helpfully put some numbers into the hypotheticals.

With all their subsidies, goodwill and fervent wishes, solar, wind, and geothermal produce just 3% of our energy needs. Fossil fuels produce a whopper 94%. And “energy” on these grand continental scales is measured in quadrillion BTUs which is known as “one quad”. Australians use about 5 quads / year, and to make that we pump out about 400 Mt of carbon dioxide per year. (These kind of big-picture numbers are often hard to find, so I wanted to capture that to keep things in perspective.)

Population growth is a big factor in Australia 7.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings […]