Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wind Energy CO2 Emissions Reductions are Overstated

Governments have passed laws that provide various subsidies to promote build-outs of wind and solar power systems to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil-fueled energy generators; CO2 is one of many contributors to global warming.

If CO2 is so important, why are real-time, 1/4-hr grid operations data not reported by grid operators to determine just how effective wind and solar energy is for reducing CO2 emissions and how effective one balancing generator is versus another? If Ireland and Texas can do it, so can Germany and every other nation with wind energy on their grids.

Instead, elaborate systems of emission factors are applied to fuel consumption data or energy production data for a week, or a month, or a year to calculate CO2 emission reductions, i.e., nothing is measured, monitored and reported on a real-time, 1/4-hr basis.

Government statistics end up showing their CO2 emissions are declining month-to-month or year-to-year, i.e., our RE subsidizing policies are working, let’s charge ahead and tell everyone to do the same.

Various power systems engineers, with decades of experience designing and operating power plants and grids, some retired and finally free to speak their minds, have doubts whether the CO2 emissions reductions claimed by government officials and wind energy promoters are actually true.

The purpose of this article is to examine the issue in some detail.

Dispatch Value, Variability and Intermittency of Wind Energy: Wind energy is different from conventional gas, coal, nuclear and hydro energy. The latter are controllable and dispatchable, whereas wind energy is a product of variable wind speeds, i.e., its supply is unpredictable and uncontrollable, and therefore, it has zero-dispatch value to a grid operator.

A grid operator needs to have available an adequate capacity mix of generators to serve peak demands for long-term planning purposes. The mix varies from grid to grid. Wind turbine systems have a capacity value in this mix.

Example: For summer peak capacity planning, ERCOT counts 8.7 percent of wind turbine rated capacity as dependable capacity at peak demand, in accordance with ERCOT’s stakeholder-adopted methodology. According to ERCOT, the capacity value is a statistical concept created for generator planning purposes. It is based on multi-year averages of wind energy generation at key peak demand periods.

ERCOT's capacity planning value of 8.7% does not assure that the ENERGY of 8.7% of wind turbine rated capacity would be available at any specified “time-ahead” period. Because of the randomness of wind speeds, no one can accurately predict available wind energy at any future time. Hence, it's not available “on-demand”, i.e., not dispatchable.

Because wind energy increases by the cube of the wind speed, any change in wind speed creates significant surges and ebbs of wind energy. If such energy were fed in larger quantities into the grid, it would create chaos, unless the grid had enough quick-ramping generators to compensate for the wind energy surges and ebbs.

Wind energy generation usually it is minimal during summer, moderate during spring and fall, and maximal during winter. Almost all the time it is maximal at night.

Example: German wind power output peaked at about 12,000 MW on July 24, 2011, four days later the peak was 315 MW.

About 10-15 percent of the hours of a year wind energy is near zero, because wind speeds are too low (less than 7.5 mph) to turn the rotors, or too high for safety. During these hours wind turbines draw energy FROM the grid, and also during hours with slowly turning rotors when parasitic energy exceeds the generated energy.

Parasitic Energy Demand: Wind turbines need energy for their own operation 24/7/365. The parasitic energy demand can be 10%-15% of rated output on cold winter days, whether operating or not.

Example: The average Danish Vestas-V82 wind turbine produces about 1,650 kW x 0.228 (2007 CF) = 376 kW. The AVERAGE power draw from the grid to keep itself running is about 50 kW and at times up to 80 kW. A V82 operating in Denmark has an ADVERTISED output of about 376 kW +50 kW = 426 kW, but an actual output of about 376 kW, about 13% less than advertised in Vendor brochures. No wonder Vendors keep quiet about parasitic energy; at 426 kW, the CF would have been 426/1,650 = 0.258.


The bully tactics of the Warmists

Matt Neal tries the same old tired bully tactics that have become so familiar to warmists over the years. First, the doctor analogy that has never been used ever.
Of the 100 doctors you see, 97 tell you that you have cancer. Three say you don’t.

Only a fool would take the opinion of three trained professionals over 97 trained professionals.

Hmmm. Where have I heard that number before?
Let’s go back to the cancer analogy — are you going to believe the 97 trained doctors, or the untrained man with the megaphone shouting that your cancer is “a hoax”?

Hang on. That’s not what he said before. He has just demoted three trained doctors to one guy with a megaphone. Surely, if you are going to make an analogy, you should stick to that analogy and not change it to exaggerate your point.
As someone working in the media, I would love to see my fellow journalists and reporters put a ban on covering the views of climate change deniers.

[...]“What about freedom of speech?”, someone will cry. I respectfully submit that freedom of speech should only cover the truth. After all, we have laws to stop people from spreading lies about other people or other races or religions.

And although the truth can often be subjective, I would suggest things move onto the objective side of the chart when you have 97 per cent of scientists backing the truth.

What an anti-scientific nonsense. Science evolves through the challenging of pre-conceived ideas, not strict adherence to the dogma of consensus. If throughout scientific history, no one had dared to step outside the groupthink, we would still be in the dark ages.

I wonder why he fears free speech. If his side is right, that all the reason and evidence supports his view, then surely he would welcome the opportunity to take advantage of that and show the “deniers” up. I can only conclude that either he isn’t that confident in his own position, or he believes most people to be too stupid to weigh up both sides of the debate.

Neal consistently repeats Al Gore’s famous line; “the debate is over”. In a previous post, I characterised some of this non-existent debate.

* the role of clouds in the climate system: are they a forcing factor in their own right or merely feedbacks? What direction is the feedback even in?

* how cosmic rays influence clouds. Recent experiments have indicated this plays a major role in the working of the climate.

* the lack of warming as climate models have predicted. This is something prominent warmists have as good as admitted to in their attempts to explain it away. Kevin “Travesty” Trenberth suggests the heat is hiding in the oceans while Kaufmann thinks aerosols have countered the influence of carbon dioxide. Even the warmists can’t agree on where the heat has gone.

* the models also fail to predict other notable observations; the lack of ocean warming, the lack of a hotspot and the increase in infrared radiation escaping to space.

* not to mention there is no empirical evidence to substantiate the large and counterintuitive positive feedback the IPCC factors into their climate models.

Neal’s entire argument is based on the tactics of a bully. Claiming that no legitimate doubt exists (“consensus”, “debate is over”) is equivalent to saying ‘you have no friends’. It is intended to isolate his opponents and undermine the confidence they have in their position. Of course, we do have friends. There is also the childish name-calling. Only “deniers” are so stupid as to doubt consensus. He then seeks to forcibly have his will imposed, to shut down debate by proposing media censorship. ‘If you talk back again, me and my friends will hit you’.


The Mother of All Hoaxes

By Alan Caruba

There was a brief flurry of stories in the media at the beginning of what has become a historic summer of hot weather across the U.S. that global warming was to blame. They faded swiftly because the public has concluded that global warming is the mother of all hoaxes, because we are in the midst of a failing economy and the political campaigns that will decide if the nation literally lives or dies.

This has not stopped the Public Broadcast System’s News Hour from airing a new series “on how climate change in the Pacific Northwest is affecting the region’s Native American Indian tribes—flooding their reservations and threatening the region’s salmon fisheries.” Climate change is shorthand for global warming.

While the nation’s media continues to propagate the hoax, what hope is there for the TRUTH?

Significantly “the NewsHour’s year-long Coping with Climate Change series is funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.” The nation’s leading foundations have been funding the global warming hoax for decades and continue to do so.

So one more article about the deception and duplicity of global warming may seem superfluous and it would be if the U.S. Air Force wasn’t spending $59 per gallon of “green biofuel” and the U.S. Navy wasn’t doing the same for its Great Green Fleet. The justification for this is the utterly false assertion that “alternatives” are needed in the event we can’t produce or import petroleum.

The U.S. is floating on an ocean of oil, but for now it can only be extracted from lands owned privately because the Obama administration has done everything in its power to restrict access to it on federally owned lands and, of course, the billions of barrels locked up off-shore.

In exactly the same way that the Obama administration has presided over the loss of billions in subsidies and loan guarantees for the solar panel companies or the ridiculous costs of wind power industry compared to a single coal-burning plant, at the heart of it all has been the claim the global warming is caused by “greenhouse gas” emissions, carbon dioxide, that imperil the Earth.

Recently, my friend Joseph L. Bast, the president of The Heartland Institute, wrote an article, “IPCC Admits Its Past Reports Were Junk”, posted on

It struck me that very few people even know that IPCC is the acronym for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Few people know that the entire global warming hoax was generated by the IPCC, let alone know what it is.

Most people associate global warming with Al Gore who has been among its most prominent advocates, warning that “the Earth has a fever” and that we were doomed if we didn’t stop generating carbon dioxide. Gore and his collaborators wanted to sell “carbon credits” in exchanges around the world and for a while he greatly enriched himself.

In Australia, the government has imposed a tax on carbon dioxide which it likely to destroy its manufacturing base along with the extraction of coal and other minerals.

Here in the U.S. the Environmental Protection Agency continues to assert that carbon dioxide must be regulated as a “pollutant” under the Clean Air Act and, if successful, will likewise destroy what is left of our manufacturing base and all other industries that generate or use energy to function.

And the man in the street remains completely clueless about the impending ruin of the nation based on the reports of the IPCC which the Inter-Academy Council (IAC), a group created by the world’s science academies to provide advice to international bodies, has long since concluded were utterly false and baseless.

On June 27, the IPCC issued a statement saying it had completed the process of implementation of the recommendations that an August 2010 IAC analysis had made after examining who was contributing to their reports, who was reviewing their content (the same people!), and the astonishing, utterly false, claim of “a consensus” that global warming was happening.

As Bast points out, “It means that all of the ‘endorsements’ of the climate consensus made by the world’s national academies of science—which invariably refer to the reports of the IPCC as their scientific basis—were based on false or unreliable data and therefore should be disregarded or revised.”

“It means that the EPA’s ‘endangerment finding’—with its claim that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and threat to human health—was wrong and should be overturned.”

It is a terrible thing to live in a nation governed by falsehoods, spending the public wealth on useless technologies, living under the tyranny of government departments and agencies pursuing those lies for their own agendas and political masters.

Unless the harm perpetrated in the name of global warming is reversed, we shall all remain the victims of the United Nations IPCC, the EPA, and all other entities seeking to control every aspect of our lives.

The poles are not melting, the glaciers are growing, the oceans rise mere millimeters over centuries, and right now planet Earth is cooling.


Time for an Energy Debate

Before we begin, let me remind you that I have worked for T. Boone Pickens on the Pickens Plan since 2008, so filter everything that follows through that lens.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the Department of Energy produces a monthly report of how much money we import, how much we've paid for it, and what percentage of our total oil use it represents.

In June, 2012, for instance, we produced about 6.2 million barrels of crude oil per day. That is third most in the world behind Saudi Arabia (10.04 million barrels) and Russia (just behind at 9.89 million barrels).

That's pretty good; six million barrels a day, right?

Problem is, the United States still has the largest economy on the planet - about a third larger than China's which is in second place - and it takes a lot of fuel to … fuel that economy and so we imported 338 million barrels of oil, averaging 10.27 million barrels a day - something in the vicinity of 60 percent of our daily oil use.

There is a common misconception about how much oil it takes to make electricity in the U.S. You hear it on cable chat shows all the time when the conversation turns to solar, wind, or some other form of alternative energy source.

The EPA which knows about these things, has estimated that coal accounts for nearly half our electricity, nuclear is in second with about 19 percent, natural gas is a close third at 18.8 percent; and oil is at three percent - about half the electricity produced by hydro in the U.S.

So, what do we need all that oil for?

Your car. Well, your car and the rest of the 250 million cars and light trucks on American roads burning gasoline that take us and our families to work, to soccer practice, and to the Safeway. Also the more than eight million heavy-duty trucks, running on largely imported diesel, that bring the food to the Safeway, the soccer shoes to the sports store, and take the stuff we make from our work and deliver it all over the country.

You know that the Pickens Plan is all about using natural gas as a transportation fuel. You also know there are precious few natural gas refueling stations in your neighborhood so unless you install one of those devices that allows your natural gas vehicle (NGV) to refuel overnight in your garage, the kids are going to be late for vacation bible school.

Using natural gas as a fuel for 18-wheelers is a different issue. Over the road trucks tend to ru the same routes on a regular schedule and their drivers tend to pull into the same truck stops to eat, rest and refuel so the random nature of refueling passenger vehicles doesn't exist for heavy-duty trucks.

The Strait of Hormuz is the bottleneck at the southern end of the Persian Gulf through which, in 2011, some 17 million barrels of oil (about 35 percent of the world's seaborne traded oil) flows every day, according to the EIA.

The Strait divides Oman and Iran. Iran has been threatening to close down the Strait of Hormuz in the face of increased pressure to stop its development of nuclear weapons. In April, the U.S. Navy deployed a second Carrier Strike Group to protect the oil coming through the Strait.

A Carrier Strike Group typically consists of one Aircraft Carrier, two Guided Missile Cruisers, two Anti-Aircraft Warships, and one or two Anti-Submarine Destroyers or Frigates. So, this is a little bigger deal than loading up the SUV to go tubing on a summer Sunday afternoon.

Halfway through 2012 we have spent about $223 billion on imported oil. But, that's just the cost of the oil. When you add the amount we are spending every day for things like two Carrier Strike Groups, that cost increases dramatically.

We are producing more oil than at any time in our history and we're still on track to ship about a half trillion dollars off shore in 2012.

We have enough natural gas to last more than 100 years and changing over our national fleet of heavy trucks from diesel to that domestic resource would not only help clean up the air (natural gas produces about a third less greenhouse gasses as diesel or gasoline) but would reduce our need for OPEC oil by about half.

As of last night West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, which is the benchmark, was selling for $86.90 per barrel. That is down from the nearly $110 of a few months ago, and so energy has fallen off the table as an election issue.

It shouldn't. We're spending too much in treasure and blood to protect oil we don't need to import.


Official Probe Shows Climategate Whitewash Link to Sandusky Child Sex Case

Legal investigation into Penn State University exposes institutional cover up of the Jerry Sandusky pedophile scandal. Judge’s findings also throw new light on “whitewash” investigation of Climategate suspect, Michael Mann.

Former FBI Director Judge Louis Freeh and his law firm have now published their independent report (July 12, 2012) that “assessed the facts and circumstances of the actions of Pennsylvania State University surrounding the child abuse crimes of former employee, Gerald A. Sandusky.” The shocking story made international headlines. Lawyers for the child sex victims say Judge Freeh’s Report affirms that the university hierarchy “chose to protect themselves, Penn State’s brand and image.”

Sandusky was jailed on June 22, 2012 after being found guilty of 45 out of 48 counts of sexual abuse of young boys while employed as football coach at Pennsylvania State University (PSU). The Freeh Report adjudged that PSU administration and Board of Trustees fostered lying, cover-ups of wrongdoing, ignored the effects of staff misdeeds and condoned obfuscation of investigations of wrongdoing by Sandusky.

In this article we show how PSU’s cover up for Sandusky is eerily similar to the university’s “whitewash” investigation of discredited climatologist, Michael Mann after the “Climategate” scandal. A key suspect in the scandal, Mann is implicated for allegedly fraudulent research activities, before, during and outside of his employment at PSU. The university received a cool $2 million in climate research funding. Professor Fred Singer covers the essential details here.

But while arguments over PSU’s hidden “Climategate” emails will rage anew in the U.S., across the Canadian border in the Supreme Court of British Columbia Mann is close to losing another legal battle on this issue. Mann is yet again stonewalling a court over showing his hidden “dirty laundry” of dodgy data.

But such incessant secrecy won’t save Mann. Judge Freeh’s damning report may persuade his Canadian counterpart that Mann’s libel suit against Canadian climatologist, Dr. Tim Ball is likely vexatious and premised on a cover up. Freeh’s findings will thus make it harder for Mann to dodge a Canadian Supreme Court requirement to hand over all his disputed “dirty laundry”. If Mann won’t comply he faces punitive legal sanctions. Leaked emails proved Mann was an influential figure among climatologists accused of fixing global warming records to win lucrative government research grants worth millions. In particular, evidence reveals a statistical “trick…to hide the decline”in reliability of proxy data in Mann’s research. And Mann certainly ahead of his peers in arrogance because he’s the only climate scientist to boast on Facebook that he “shared the Nobel Peace Prize with other IPCC authors in 2007.”

As Dr. Klaus L. E. Kaiser says: “I would like to have him answer the following: (1) Name (all) the other IPCC authors he shared the prize with; (2.) How much of the money coming with the prize did he declare in his tax return for that year?”

Apart from Tim Ball’s legal team the wider scientific community is also poring over the Freeh report. What they are finding is disturbing similarities in the way PSU handled Sandusky compared with the Michael Mann “whitewash” probe of 2010.

One British climate co-conspirator of Mann, Professor Phil Jones, escaped criminal prosecution only by a legal loophole. While the Freeh Report does not use those words, its recommendations imply that PSU actively covered-up such crimes and created a culture of silence in the face of wrongdoing by the university’s media stars and idols.

Spanier and Schultz Led Sandusky and Mann Cover Ups

The stunning report, that took eight months to compile with over 400 interviews and which cost in excess of $4 million, pointed to the university’s overriding motive: money and prestige. It names PSU President Graham B. Spanier and Senior Vice President-Finance and Business Gary C. Shultz for failing to do their duty during the cover up of Sandusky’s crimes. PSU President Spanier was fired from his $813,000/year job for failing to hold a proper investigation into Sandusky. Schultz is charged with perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury and failing to report suspected child abuse. Both men were likewise instrumental in getting Mann cleared in the PSU “Climategate” probe.

Last year this author first highlighted startling similarities in the self-serving way PSU handled both the Mann and Sandusky controversies. Despite Michael Mann being the most likely fraudster in “Climategate” PSU exonerated him with a one-sided investigation. The university conceded it only interviewed two witnesses – both ardent supporters of Mann – Jerry North and Donald Kennedy. Mann, once cleared by PSU of any wrongdoing then launched a libel case in Canada against climatologist, Dr. Tim Ball who criticized Mann’s mendacious methods. Ball, a leading skeptic, opined that Mann belongs “in the State pen, not Penn. State.”

Criminal Cover Up Taints University at “Highest Level”

Today, the Sandusky victims’ lawyers, Andrew Shubin and Justine Andronici, declare that the Freeh report exposes corruption in Penn State “at the highest level.” They are satisfied that Judge Freeh’s Report focused on the inaction of these administrators who failed to create an environment that held senior officials accountable.

“From 1998-2011, Penn State’s “Tone at the Top” for transparency, compliance, police reporting and child protection was completely wrong, as shown by the inaction and concealment on the part of its most senior leaders, and followed by those at the bottom of the University’s pyramid of power,” Judge Freeh said.

The Freeh Report outlines hard-hitting recommendations in its 267-pages. His final statement: “It is critical that Old Main, the Board and the Penn State community never forget these failures and commit themselves to strengthening an open, compliant and victim sensitive environment — where everyone has the duty to ‘blow the whistle’ on anyone who breaks this trust, no matter how powerful or prominent they may appear to be.”

Spanier’s Bold-faced Lies to Save Michael Mann

Pointedly, Spanier and Schultz had falsely claimed that PSU’s self-serving investigation into Mann had “spent hundreds of hours studying documents and interviewing people and looking at issues from all sides.”

But this was a bold-faced lie. Incredibly, Spanier saw to it that his “investigation committee” did not investigate three of the four charges against Mann – especially not the “trick…to hide the decline.” But PSU never sought any examination of his calculations and the term “hide the decline” doesn’t even feature in their report. Thus PSU may be adjudged to have willfully failed to investigate whether Mann was in breach of PSU’s Research Administration Policy No. 10.

Further examination of PSU’s “investigation” shows the investigators wanted to keep hidden Mann’s climate data processes. As PSU admits, “enormous confusion has been caused by interpretations of the e-mails and their content.”


Scientists agree the Great Barrier Reef is fast deteriorating

I have been hearing this claim every year for at least the last 50 years, long before global warming was thought of

A diving expedition to the Great Barrier Reef towards the end of this century is likely to be a weird and disappointing experience, for anyone who had seen footage of the reef thriving in our time.

It will be paler, smaller and emptier. Many of the thousands of species of fish, turtles, dolphins and sea birds will have dispersed, and everywhere the crumbling bones of dead coral will be peeking through.

"It's going to be very boring out there," a James Cook University scientist, Janice Lough, told reporters in Queensland this week, at the world's largest gathering of coral researchers.

The bleak vision isn't an exaggeration designed to shock, but the logical consequence of processes that are unfolding now, scientists explained in their daily briefings.

This edition of the four-yearly conference was remarkable for the unified message presented by the 2500 researchers. A statement, said to represent the participants, called for action on pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, which are making the world's oceans more acidic as they absorb extra carbon dioxide from the air.

"This combined change in temperature and ocean chemistry has not occurred since the last reef crisis 55 million years ago," it said. "A concerted effort to preserve reefs for the future demands action at global levels, but also will benefit hugely from continued local protection."

Reefs are caught in a pincer between local pollution and overfishing on the one hand, and rising temperatures and ocean acidification on the other. Dealing with the local threats would put corals in a stronger position to stave off the global problems of heat and acidifcation, which are expected to intensity later this century, said Jeremy Jackson, a senior scientist emeritus at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

"Of course, how long this will work, we don't really know," Professor Jackson said. "Climate change is inexorable and we're seeing progressive effects. So, how long local protection will serve to increase resilience is anybody's guess."

Reef decline is worldwide, though some reefs are adapting better than others and those remote from human activity are holding up the best, he said. "If you think about this, the Great Barrier Reef is the best-protected reef system in the world, and still we're seeing these aggressive declines."

Dr Lough, who studies the massive coral skeletons beneath reefs, said warming of the water was contributing to a huge stunting of coral growth in many reefs.

Although corals thrive in tropical waters, their level of tolerance for temperature change can be very small. As global air temperatures have crept up about 0.7 degrees over the past 100 years, water temperatures near the surface have also risen by half a degree, on average. This has driven a global epidemic of coral bleaching and coral diseases, while the higher carbonic acid content of the water means coral structures are often weaker.

"Tropical coral reef waters are already significantly warmer than they were and the rate of warming is accelerating," Dr Lough said. "With or without drastic curtailment of greenhouse gas emissions we are facing, for the foreseeable future, changes in the physical environment of present-day coral reefs."

The change in reef habitat is likely to have a corresponding effect on fish. A coral expert from James Cook University, Philip Munday, described a recent experiment where fish in tanks were exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide. Of the exposed fish, some adjusted to the changes over time, but others showed neurological changes that made them less effective at escaping predators.

"Like coral, there will be winners and losers and the communities of fish we see on reefs in the future are likely to be different to those of today," he said.

The research director of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Peter Doherty, said Australia appeared to be "losing the war" to save the Great Barrier Reef.

It remains to be seen whether the statement endorsed by the reef research community has any lasting effect, but at least policy makers cannot be accused of having unambiguous advice before them, researchers said.

"The reef consensus statement is just the beginning," said Steve Palumbi, a professor of biological sciences at Stanford University.

"With only the consensus statement there will be no change - it's political leaders that change the world, it's people that change the world. The turning of the corner from science to policy is really difficult to do. That's where we are right now, and that's why we're reaching out to the political leaders of the world."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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