Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Green/Left intellect on display

An email to Marc Morano from Bob Judd, a biomass power producer in Sacramento, California. Mr Judd's meditations appear to be based on this Warmist show smearing Morano:

Message: I enjoy your FAKE NEWS site. I saw you lying on Fox News about fossil fuels being 'better for the environment' and it made me laugh so hard I thought I'd see if your site is for real. Did you know you're listed as one of the Premiere Fake News sites of 2019? You're on several lists that present the most PHONY bullshit and your site has been entered in a contest to see who presented the biggest lies to the public.

So my question is:  how do you FUCKING SLEEP AT NIGHT!? Do you realize that you represent TREASON?? What you're doing by lying to American is a form of TREASON. Putting lies in to the MSM is a form of TREASON, and you'll be busted for your lies and I hope to see your asses INDICTED for your nonsense. GO FUCK YOURSELF!"

Europe’s “green” parties are creating political climate change. Is it sustainable?

Long known for its bicycles, Amsterdam is taking recycling to a whole new level. Last year it began extracting used toilet paper from sewage plants and mixing it into asphalt, which helps reduce the noise from cars. The city is cutting down on cars, too: its “auto-avoidant city” strategy will make many streets one-way and raise parking tariffs to €7.50 ($8.25) per hour. Its coal-fired power plant is shutting down, and the city plans to eliminate gas heating in homes by 2040, replacing it with electric heat pumps and centralised neighbourhood hot-water systems. A green-roof subsidy programme encourages owners to cover buildings with turf and moss.

This is what it looks like when a Green party takes power. For decades Amsterdam was a bulwark of the Dutch Labour Party. But the city’s demography long ago shifted away from factory workers and towards multicultural yuppies, and last March the Greenleft party came first in the municipal election. Femke Halsema, the mayor and a former leader of Greenleft, has refused to enforce a national ban on burkas in her city’s public buildings. The city has even removed the giant “i amsterdam” letters on which tourists used to pose: a Greenleft council member had complained that the slogan was too individualistic.

Amsterdam is a harbinger of a wider European trend. Since last April, Greenleft has been the most popular party on the Dutch left. Germany’s Greens reached the same milestone in October, overtaking the once-mighty Social Democrats (SPD). Belgium’s two Green parties (one French-speaking, one Flemish) are polling at high levels. In Luxembourg a coalition including the Greens took power in November and promptly abolished fares on public transport.

Many Greens see this as a historic chance to take over the leadership of the European left, supplanting the social-democratic parties that held that role for a century. “I think they’re gone. They’re parties of the past,” says Jesse Klaver, Green-Left’s leader. The centre-left, he argues, betrayed its ideals by embracing austerity during the financial crisis. The future will be dominated by issues like climate change, migration and inequality, where the Greens represent a clearer alternative to the right.

The German and Dutch Greens owe part of their success to the vicissitudes of politics. In both countries centre-left parties entered grand coalitions with centre-right ones during the financial crisis, making themselves targets for anti-establishment voters. And both countries’ Greens have charismatic young leaders: Mr Klaver in the Netherlands, the duo of Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck in Germany.

But political scientists say there is also a logic to the Greens’ rise, one that mirrors that of right-wing populist groups. “Right now there is a high polarisation around globalisation versus nationality, which favours both the Greens and the radical right,” says Emilie van Haute of the Université Libre in Brussels. Where left and right were once divided along economic lines, she sees a new cleavage over “post-materialist values” such as cultural identity and the environment. That explains results like Bavaria’s regional election in October, where both the Alternative for Germany and the Greens made big gains.

The next big test will come at the European Parliament elections in May. The Green-European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) group is among the smaller groups in the parliament, with just 50 out of 751 seats. But the election looks likely to shrink the overall share of the three largest ones: the centre-right EPP, the centre-left S&D and the liberal ALDE. Greens/EFA might just end up as kingmakers, with far more influence than in the past.

Not always greener on the other side

Still, beyond Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, there is little sign of a Green wave. Green parties in the Nordic countries still lag far behind the established social-democratic ones. In central and eastern Europe, the educated urban voters who might support Greens in the west tend to back other parties. In Poland and Hungary, where populist nationalists are in power, urban liberals generally support the mainstream centrist opposition. In Romania and Bulgaria they can back anti-corruption outfits like the Save Romania Union or the Yes, Bulgaria! party. The Greens/EFA strategy is to recruit such anti-corruption parties, says Bas Eickhout, a Dutch Greenleft MEP and one of the group’s two lead candidates in the election. (Like Germany’s own Greens, the European-level group has two co-leaders, one of each sex.)

In southern Europe economic hardship has made the Greens’ post-materialist values a handicap. In 1989, 11.5% of Italians listed environmental protection as an important issue, nearly as many as in Britain. But by 2008, after two decades of stagnation, that had fallen to 2.4%, well below most of northern Europe. What environmental concern there is in Italy, such as opposition to infrastructure projects, has mostly been captured by the populist Five Star Movement.

Meanwhile, France’s main Green party, Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV), has been hobbled by feuds and by a first-past-the-post electoral system. The EELV had its greatest success at the European election of 2009, winning 16% of the vote. But it was hurt by its collaboration with the unpopular government of François Hollande, and has struggled to find charismatic leaders to replace earlier ones such as Daniel Cohn-Bendit. Over the past two years President Emmanuel Macron’s new party, La République en Marche, has sucked up the energy of the urban, educated voters to whom the Greens might hope to appeal.

It is also in France that the latest challenge to the Greens has emerged: the gilets jaunes (yellow jackets) movement. The protests began in opposition to a fuel tax introduced by Mr Macron’s government to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement. Their explosive spread highlighted the problem that people do not like paying for expensive green policies, as opposed to small-bore ones, out of their own pockets.

Mr Eickhout thinks Mr Macron’s mistake was to introduce a carbon tax without using the revenues to aid those on whom it falls hardest. To tackle such problems, Green parties have broadened their platforms far beyond environmental issues. In Germany Mr Habeck has proposed a social-security guarantee, similar to a basic income, to convince working-class voters that the party is not only for tree-huggers. In the Netherlands Mr Klaver has made tax avoidance by multinational corporations one of his signature issues.

But there is tough competition on many of these issues. Working-class voters may be more attracted to economic hard-left groups such as Unsubmissive France, or to populist-right parties. Tax-justice and rule-of-law enthusiasts may gravitate to liberal parties like the Netherlands’ D66.

Indeed, no Green party has consistently stayed above 20% support in polls. That makes their ambition to lead Europe’s left seem like a long shot. But Mark Blyth, a professor of European politics at Brown University, argues that with social-democratic parties collapsing, European leftists have little choice. “The left is weak or dead, unless they jump on the youth and enthusiasm that the Greens attract,” he says.


New Papers: Intermittent Wind Power PRESERVES & INCREASES Need For Fossil Fuel Energy Generation

In late 2012, a prophetic article appeared in the Los Angeles Times that warned: “As more solar and wind energy generators come online, […] the demand will rise for more backup power from fossil fuel plants.”

Wind turbines cannot produce energy when the wind is not blowing.   Consequently, wind power routinely needs to be backed up by reliable and immediately-available energy sources — which are often fossil fuels-based (gas, oil, coal).

So as wind power installation expands across the world, more fossil fuel plants will need to be built to back them up.

A new observational analysis using data from 10 European Union countries affirms the rather devastating conclusion that wind power installation “preserves fossil fuel dependency” because for every 1% increase in the installed capacity of wind power there is a concomitant ~0.25% increase in the need for more electricity generation from fossil fuels.

And, sure enough, the growth in natural gas production and consumption across the globe is expected to explode in the coming decades (EIA, 2016), nearly doubling in production (from 300 to nearly 600 billion cubic feet per day) between 2010 and 2040.

Currently, 1,600 new coal plants in 62 countries are planned or in the process of being constructed across the world, expanding the world’s coal-fired energy capacity by 43% in the coming years (New York Times, 2017).

There can be no long-term CO2 emissions reduction benefit to installing more and more wind power if the long-term net effect of doing so leads to the requisite construction of more fossil fuel energy plants.

Marques et al., 2018

♦ “The installed capacity of wind power preserves fossil fuel dependency. … Electricity consumption intensity and its peaks have been satisfied by burning fossil fuels. … [A]s RES [renewable energy sources] increases, the expected decreasing tendency in the installed capacity of electricity generation from fossil fuels, has not been found. Despite the high share of RES in the electricity mix, RES, namely wind power and solar PV, are characterised by intermittent electricity generation.  … The inability of RES-I [intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar] to satisfy high fluctuations in electricity consumption on its own constitutes one of the main obstacles to the deployment of renewables. This incapacity is due to both the intermittency of natural resource availability, and the difficulty or even impossibility of storing electricity on a large scale, to defer generation.  As a consequence, RES [renewable energy sources] might not fully replace fossil sources.”

♦ “The literature proves the existence of a unidirectional causality running from RES [renewable energy sources] to NRES [non-renewable energy sources] (Almulali et al., 2014; Dogan, 2015; Salim et al., 2014). This unidirectional causality proves the need for countries to maintain or increase their installed capacity of fossil fuel generation, because of the characteristics of RES [renewable energy sources] production.”

♦ “In fact, the characteristics of electricity consumption reinforce the need to burn fossil fuels to satisfy the demand for electricity. Specifically, the ECA results confirm the substitution effect between the installed capacity of solar PV and fossil fuels. In contrast, installed wind power capacity has required all fossil fuels and hydropower to back up its intermittency in the long-run equilibrium. The EGA outcomes show that hydropower has been substituting electricity generation through NRES [non-renewable energy sources], but that other RES have needed the flexibility of natural gas plants, to back them up.”

♦ “[D]ue to the intermittency phenomenon, the growth of installed capacity of RES-I [intermittent renewable energy sources – wind power] could maintain or increase electricity generation from fossil fuels. …  The electrification of the residential, services and industrial sectors has been continuously pursued to diminish the consumption of fossil sources.  Nevertheless, the increased electricity consumption intensity in the economy has been satisfied by fossil fuel burning, which has cancelled out the advantages of that shift.”

♦ “The installed capacity of wind power preserves fossil fuel generation to back up its electricity generation. In fact, the installed capacity of wind power has been deployed in large amounts to increase the exploitation of natural resources. But, the intermittency phenomenon, more noticeable in wind power, means that, unlike fossil fuels, the installation of this RES capacity does not correspond to growth by the same amount of electricity generation. On the one hand, this can cause a lack of energy in the grid, i.e., the excess of installed capacity does not correspond to the effective generation to satisfy the entire demand. … In short, the results indicate that the EU’s domestic electricity production systems have preserved fossil fuel generation, and include several economic inefficiencies and inefficiencies in resource allocation.”

♦ “[A]n increase of 1% in the installed capacity of wind power provokes an increase of 0.26%, and 0.22% in electricity generation from oil and natural gas, respectively in the long-run…. Natural gas plants are the most commonly used to manage the scarcity of RES electricity supply and the uncertainty of electricity demand. Indeed, the flexibility and storage facilities of natural gas plants allow the electricity production systems to effectively match the electricity demand with the electricity supply.  Hence, this implies that the greater the electricity consumption peaks, the larger the capacity for generation from natural gas plants must be and, consequently, the longer and larger the capacity needed on stand-by status.”


Nuclear activity: UK, Russia, Japan, China and US all increasing capacity

Nuclear accounts for 10,5% (2017) of global power generation and is growing in many countries as demand for electricity increases. From 2012-2017, installed capacity rose to 392GW (an increase of 18GW). According to GlobalData, nuclear will continue to grow steadily over the next decade, reaching an estimated 536GW by 2030. Self-proclaimed “time traveller from the age of steam” Dan Yurman’s NeutronBytes blog keeps tabs on all the latest developments. Here’s his December round-up…

The first Areva/EDF European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), a 1650MW commercial plant, is now in revenue service in Taishan, China, located about 136Km west of Hong Kong.

Power was sent to the grid this week following extensive testing. World Nuclear News (WNN) reported that Taishan 1 completed a full-power continuous demonstration test run of 168 hours.
The Taishan project was launched on November 26, 2007, and was initially expected to generate power by 2013. The cost of the project was not announced via reports published in English language Chinese news media.

Given the five years added to the original schedule, the cost per kilowatt probably came in significantly higher for the more complicated GEN III design than for older Chinese plants such as the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant in Shenzhen which was a legacy Framatome design.

A second EPR reactor is expected to come online at the plant next year. Work began on Unit 2 in 2010. The Taishan power station is a joint venture between China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and Electricité de France (EDF).

Guo Limin, general manager of the joint venture, told the South China Morning Post that the company had learned from the delays and would apply that knowledge to the construction of the second reactor.

“The EPR has increased its safety standards with equipment grades,” Guo said. “Actually, some of the equipment we have used, although it is from the same factory, are not typical parts. The development process for new equipment takes some time, and it takes repeated processes.”

He said delays had also been caused by changes in design of key components and systems.

WNN notes that Taishan 1 and 2 are the first two reactors based on the EPR design to be built in China. They are part of an EUR8 billion (USD9 billion) contract signed by Areva and CGN in November 2007. The Taishan project is owned by the Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited, a joint venture between EDF (30%) and CGN.

These two units are the third and fourth EPR units under construction globally, after the Olkiluoto 3 project in Finland and the Flamanville 3 project in France. The EPR design adopted in Taishan was developed by Framatome.

CGN began loading fuel assemblies into Unit 1’s core last April. The reactor achieved first criticality in June and was connected to the grid by the end of that month. Taishan 2, which is in the equipment installation phase, is scheduled to begin operating next year.

UK: plans for EPRs for UK are underway

EDF is also building two EPRs in the UK. Under a strategic investment agreement signed in October 2016, CGN agreed to take a 33.5% stake in EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C project in Somerset.

A tie-in to that contract is a plan to jointly develop new nuclear power plants at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex.

The Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C plants will be based on France’s EPR reactor technology. The new plant at Bradwell in Essex will feature China’s Hualong One design. That reactor is part way through the UK Generic Design Review which assesses the safety of the design and its environmental risks.

More HERE 

Canada: Another report reluctantly admits that 'green' energy is a disastrous flop

This report should be profoundly embarrassing to the government of Justin Trudeau

Amid hundreds of graphs, charts and tables in the latest World Energy Outlook (WEO) released last week by the International Energy Agency, there is one fundamental piece of information that you have to work out for yourself: the percentage of total global primary energy demand provided by wind and solar. The answer is 1.1 per cent. The policy mountains have laboured and brought forth not just a mouse, but — as the report reluctantly acknowledges — an enormously disruptive mouse.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has in recent years become an increasingly schizophrenic organization. As both a source of energy information and a shill for the UN’s climate-focused sustainable development agenda, it has to talk up the “transition to a low-carbon future” while simultaneously reporting that it’s not happening. But it will!

This report should be profoundly embarrassing to the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau, which has virtue-signalled itself to the front of a parade that is going nowhere, although it can certainly claim genuine leadership in the more forceful route to transition: killing the fossil fuel industry by edict.

The WEO report, yet again, projects that global fossil fuel use — and related emissions — will grow out to 2040, as oil, gas and coal continue to dominate the energy picture. But it also struggles to put a positive spin on wind and solar. Solar had a “record-setting” year in 2017. The Chinese solar business is “booming.” New wind and solar additions “outpaced those of fossil fuels in 2017, driven by policy support and declining costs.

“Policy support” means subsidies worth hundreds of millions of dollars. As for declining costs, solar is at least twice as expensive a generator as coal and almost twice as expensive as gas.

Finally, and most significantly, the report confirms what should have been obvious from the start: the more “variable” wind and solar are introduced into any electricity system, the more they make it both more expensive and less reliable.

The term Variable Renewable Energy, VRE, could more accurately be described as Unreliable Renewable Energy, URE, due to the terribly obvious fact that the sun doesn’t shine at night, and sometimes not during the day either, while the wind doesn’t always blow. Thus the more that wind and solar are part of your system, the more technical contortions they demand from backup power and the structure of the grid. The efficient part of the system has to twist itself into a technical pretzel to accommodate the inefficient part.

Accommodating unreliability has led to outright perversity. The widespread adoption of wind and solar under Germany’s Energiewende (“energy transition”) has resulted in rising overall emissions, mainly from coal-fired backup facilities. Meanwhile the green Godot is battery storage, which is always on the point of turning up, but never quite does. Still, the IEA has a scenario for that: “What if battery storage becomes really cheap?”

Supply isn’t the only area where expensive and unreliable wind and solar need to be accommodated. There is also “demand flexibility.” This includes having solar panels installed on your roof, or adopting — or being forced to adopt — “smart meters,” which can monitor a household’s electricity usage in minute-by-minute detail. According to the report, “The spreading of rooftop solar PV (photovoltaics) and the falling costs of digital technologies, combined with affordable wind and solar power options, are creating a host of new opportunities that enable consumers to take a more active role in meeting their own energy needs.”

But wind and solar are not “affordable,” and few people want to take a “more active role” in meeting their energy needs (That is, unless they are being heavily “policy supported” to stick solar panels on their roofs). They just want to flip a switch.

As for smart meters, the IEA notes that many countries “have successfully rolled out smart meters on a large scale, such as Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden.” Would such success be like the smart meter program in Ontario, which was panned by provincial auditor Bonnie Lysyk for costing an extra billion dollars and not working as advertised, while several thousand meters were found to represent a fire hazard?

Although it mentions nothing of the absurdities attached to Ontario’s Green Energy Act, the WEO report confirms that Canada has the most stringent emissions pricing program in the world, at least out to 2025, at $35 a tonne (in 2017 U.S. dollars), thus cementing its competitive disadvantage. Others, such as the EU and Korea, are prepared to make marginally more self-damaging commitments out to 2040 (at US$43 and US$44 respectively), but these levels nowhere near approach that allegedly required by the beyond-fantasy “Sustainable Development Scenario,” which, for developed countries, is US$63 in 2025 and US$140 in 2040. In fact, those figures, like most of the IEA’s projections, are not worth a solar fig.

The Sustainable Development Scenario not only solves the climate issue, but also takes care of universal access to modern energy and air pollution, too. Even more amazing, it achieves all this via imposing swathes of expensive and unreliable energy, but without the slightest impact on economic growth. How? By simply assuming so.

The report’s solution to policy mayhem is inevitably to call for more — and more complex — policy. “Can an integrated approach spur faster action?” it asks. Since governments have screwed up so badly, might they screw up less if they try to do much more?

At least they are assured of firm support from the IEA.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


1 comment:

Tim Gilley said...

Canada Green Energy story...

Policy support is a euphemism for govt control as opposed to the voluntary market.

Welcome back JR. Stay well!