Friday, February 10, 2017

Welcome to "green" electricity.  South Australia shows the way

It's high summer in Australia.  S.A. turned off its last coal-fired station in the middle of last year.  This is the fourth time since then that there has been a power outage.  On this occasion the atmospheric high pressure cell that brought the heat wave also caused the wind to stop blowing, bringing the output from all the wind farms to almost nothing.  So green power makes it likely that you will lose power just when you most need it. No AC!

The small gas-powered Pelican point generator is privately owned and usually runs well below capacity for cost reasons.

SA POWER Networks was ordered on Wednesday night to restore electricity to about 40,000 households and businesses after supplies were deliberately cut amid soaring temperatures.

Power to customers across the state was switched off from 6.33pm under “rotational load shedding’’ orders from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) “due to lack of available generation supply in SA”, SA Power Networks said. About 45 minutes later electricity was restored after SA Power Networks announced that AEMO had ordered it to return supply.

“AEMO has called an end to load shedding, we are restoring power,’’ the supplier said.

As customers reacted with outrage, the blame game immediately began.

State Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said: “Every South Australian has a right to be angry. We had spare capacity in the SA generation market and the market didn’t turn that generation on.”

“The second unit at Pelican Point (power station) could’ve been turned on last night, it had gas, was ready to go and it wasn’t turned on. The national market isn’t working,” he said.

“We (the State Government) have been taking advice from the market operator and others but after last night we have to reassess. We will do what’s necessary to make sure SA has sufficient generation,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“It’s my understanding that AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) was made aware more generation was available and chose not to turn that generation on. Serious questions have to be asked about why we had generation available that wasn’t used.”

The temperature was still above 40C when the rolling blackouts began at 6.33pm to conserve power supplies as homeowners used airconditioners for relief from the heat.

SA’s power reliability will again be under scrutiny given a series of major blackouts, including a statewide failure in September.

An SA Power Networks spokesman said they were acting on instructions from AEMO in response to insufficient generation supply in SA. “We don’t generate,” he said. “This is not an SA Power Networks issue — we are the muggins in the middle between the customer and generation supply.”

SA Liberal frontbencher Simon Birmingham said it was “yet another example that the South Australian Government can’t keep the lights on”. “It’s a chronic failing that can only hurt investment confidence in the state,” Mr Birmingham said.

“It’s a demonstration that ad hoc state-based renewable energy targets have gone too far — when reliability can’t be maintained on a day the likes of which SA faces numerous times every single summer.”

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the blackout “is yet another example of Jay Weatherill’s failed experiment”. “Because of the lack of base load generation there literally wasn’t enough electricity being produced to power the state,” he said.

“It’s time Labor both federally and at a state level recognised its high renewable energy targets are putting at risk energy security and affordability.”

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) issued a statement, saying at 6.33pm on Wednesday “approximately 100 megawatts (MW) of local load shedding was instructed in South Australia to maintain the security of the power system.”

It said “load shedding” — affecting about 40,000 homes and businesses — was “instructed by AEMO to avoid damage to network equipment due to potential overloading.”

At 7pm AEMO gave permission to restore the 100 MW of load, and at about 7.10pm electricity supply had been restored.

Angry customers who lost power on dinner time took to social media to express their outrage with the electricity system. They also noted that, yet again, businesses were losing money due to uncertain electricity supplies.

The public also took full advantage of Premier Jay Weatherill’s “Q & Jay” life Facebook session on Wednesday night, with critical comments pouring in.

Among them Anthony Hunter wrote: “Here’s a question, why are we having load-shedding power cuts right at this moment, when it’s only one day of hot weather. “Surely the hottest state in Australia can handle one day of heat?”


The Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance has risen +100 billion tons above the 1990-2013 average

Jan 20-Feb 7,2017


Bill Nye wants to ‘save the world’ by explaining to your kids how science works, despite not being an actual scientist

Netflix is launching a new show confidently titled “#bill nye Saves the World” where Nye will explain complicated topics like global warming to kids as he understands it. The show wants to illustrate how #Climate Change impacts everything from politics to pop culture, but from his “special blend of lab procedure” and quirky guests.

He also wants to refute what he considers are non-scientific claims by industry leaders, politicians, and religious leaders. By doing that, he’ll be "saving the world." There’s just one problem: Nye is a not a scientist and his track record is dreadful.

Since ending his first show in the early 2000s, Nye has been on a quest to convince as many people as he can that climate change is the world’s greatest threat. But schoolchildren aren’t interested in demagoguery, but rather “how and why” things tick. And parents may be wondering if a climate activist should be spreading his gospel to their children. He also brings with him over a decade of controversial assertions that may prove daunting to overcome.

Epic fail

In a heavily publicized experiment, Nye tried to demonstrate how carbon dioxide (CO2) warmed up the atmosphere. He put a thermometer in a sealed container filled with excess amounts of CO2. He then used a heat lamp to warm up the container and watched as the temperature rose. That, he said, was proof that CO2 is overheating the planet. But what Nye proved wasn’t CO2’s response to radiation like the sun, but rather the "convective" properties of any gas.

Genuine scientists who replicated his experiment used Argon as an experimental control gas (a staple in #Science) and just like the CO2, it heated up as well. The problem was that Argon has no infrared properties; Nye’s experiment only proved the “processes related to convective heat transfer,” which play no role in global warming. That didn’t stop Al Gore from incorporating the debunked experiment into his Climate Un-Reality Project to train his climate warriors.

Climate doubters un-American

He also said that politicians who doubt global warming were unpatriotic in order to shame them. In a well-publicized interview, Nye said Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution proved his point. He said this section alone should compel lawmakers to “promote the progress of science and useful arts.” Not quite.

The constitution actually reads, “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” It has nothing to do with science and everything to do with patents and copyrights.

Skeptics should be jailed

Nye even said the energy revolution of the early 1900s was “akin to human slavery” and climate skeptics should be jailed for ruining his quality of life. He said doubts about global warming affected his existence as a public citizen.

And when Sarah Palin said Bill Nye was not a scientist, the liberal media leapt to his defense proclaiming her remarks were untrue. But Bill Nye was what one journalist described as a “professional lab-coat wearer.”  He has never published a single peer-reviewed paper and has spent most of his time talking about how great science is instead of doing it.

Not surprisingly, he graduated from college as a mechanical engineer. He makes science look and feel good, which allows others to call him “the Science Guy.” In other fields, Nye would be known as a science presenter.

He’s tweeted that there’s been more severe weather despite that being statistically untrue and said climate deniers were responsible for keeping global warming out of the last election. But he has admitted that skeptics have been surprisingly successful even if he thinks the "science" is on his side. Which he’ll be teaching to your children starting on April 21.


The Purpose Of The Military Is To Defend The Homeland, Not Promote Wind Turbines

Gore's malign influence, which consistently reflected the views of the most radical environmentalists, was manifest repeatedly in foreign policy issues that had scientific, technological or environmental elements.

“The business of America is business,” President Calvin Coolidge famously said. He might have added that the business of the nation’s military is to defend America—not the promotion of radical environmentalism. (Duh.) An editorial in Monday’s Wall Street Journal offers an example of how that simple axiom was pushed aside  by the Obama administration, which over the objections of the military gave the green light to a huge wind farm in North Carolina that will interfere with the functioning of a sophisticated U.S. Navy radar surveillance system.

The radar installation, Relocatable Over-the-Horizon Radar (ROTHR), monitors over two million square miles and is an integral part of our homeland security. It can detect and track criminal operations, terrorist threats, and menacing activity of unfriendly nations throughout the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico and in northern South America.

The North Carolina ROTHR, one of the nation’s two sites, uses high-frequency radar waves bounced off a layer of the atmosphere (the ionosphere) to provide long-range over-the-horizon radar coverage. The system is difficult to operate reliably because high-frequency waves are susceptible to interference from lightning almost anywhere in the world, and the reception of signals changes throughout the course of the day and the seasons.

The last thing such a system needs is another interfering variable, but as described in the Wall Street Journal:

The Navy—informed by MIT and government studies—has long held that wind farms within a 28-mile radius of a ROTHR site interfere with its ability to function. In 2011 the Spanish wind-turbine manufacturer Iberdrola nonetheless applied to build a giant wind farm in North Carolina near the Virginia border. The farm’s more than 100 turbines, some more than 500 feet tall, would fall within 28 miles of the ROTHR site, some as near as 14 miles.

Not surprisingly, U.S. military officials opposed a massive wind turbine project in such close proximity to their sensitive radar installation, but they were overruled by the Obama White House. What could have been the countervailing factor? Well, the preamble in the agreement with Iberdrola reads, in part, “it is an objective of the DoD to ensure that the robust development of renewable energy resources . . . may move forward in the United States.”

The Department of Defense is supposed to be a cheerleader for “renewable energy resources," at the cost of compromising national security? At least Obama advisors Valerie Jarrett and John Holdren didn’t substitute Priuses for Humvees in Iraq and Afghanistan, although I wouldn’t have put it past them.

This was not the first time that Democrats in power have indulged in irresponsible eco-babble and nonsense that endangered the nation. In April 1996, Secretary of State Warren Christopher announced that thereafter, environmental concerns would become coequal with national security and economic issues in U.S. foreign relations. Several major initiatives were part of this policy, including international agreements and conventions, strategically distributed largess from the State Department and Agency for International Development and new "environmental hubs" at selected U.S. embassies, which would promulgate the environmental gospel according to Vice-President Al Gore.

Secretary Christopher singled out the Biodiversity Treaty, which then-Undersecretary of State Tim Wirth characterized as having "top priority among all treaties" and agreements awaiting confirmation. Never ratified by the U.S. Senate, that international agreement--largely a product of the corrupt United Nations Environment Program and various European Union puppets in developing countries--was a concoction that only a science-challenged radical like Gore could love: a volatile combination of ignorance of science and ideological, heavy-handed environmental and foreign policy that, had it been implemented by the United States, would have been detrimental to our economy and to scientific and technological innovation.

The treaty’s Cartagena Biosafety Protocol, which incorporates the bogus “precautionary principle,” governs R&D and commerce in genetically engineered organisms used in agriculture. It has inhibited advances in crop genetics worldwide in the nations that signed it, especially in poorer countries. (Unnecessary case-by-case regulation, poverty and government corruption are an inauspicious combination.)

scientific, technological or environmental elements.
To create and sustain the base of information necessary to justify his views, Gore enlisted the resources of the intelligence community. John Deutch, coordinator of all U.S. intelligence activities (and consummate yes-man), signed on: "I intend to make sure that environmental intelligence remains in the mainstream of U.S. intelligence activities," he said. "Even in times of declining budgets, we will support policymakers."

Gore's malign influence, which consistently reflected the views of the most radical environmentalists, was manifest repeatedly in foreign policy issues that had scientific, technological or environmental elements. He directed his minions in various government departments to pursue an international agreement that would have delegated to various "green" international organizations authority to regulate "hazardous chemicals." The new system would have lumped together chemicals of low intrinsic toxicity with pesticides, industrial lubricants and other more toxic substances--and thereby made the former guilty by association.

Many federal agencies joined in this Clinton Administration environmental shell game. The Agency for International Development provided a kind of "slush fund" for the schemes of radical environmentalists. The agency's foreign aid funds were used to undermine market economies abroad and put American businesses at a competitive disadvantage. In Indonesia, for example, AID gave more than $1.3 million to the local chapter of Friends of the Earth (virtually its entire operating budget) for its campaign against New Orleans-based Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold. The environmental organization accused the mining company of polluting an Indonesian river, destroying crops and inciting military attacks on civilians. None of these accusations was substantiated. In addition, through U.S. environmental activists, Friends of the Earth successfully lobbied the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a federal agency that promotes business abroad by insuring companies against the risk of nationalization, to cancel Freeport's $100-million policy.

We have likely seen the last of such irresponsible, dangerous policies in the name of environmentalism. The influence of Generals Kelly and Mattis in the Trump cabinet (secretaries of Homeland Security and Defense, respectively) should ensure that.


Solar Inconvenient Truth: Ivanpah Plant a Big Fossil Fuel User

The BrightSource Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Facility, which uses 320,000 mirrors to create thermal energy, still qualifies under state rules as an alternative energy source, despite using about 1.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas a year, according to a report by the Press Telegram.

The California Air Resources Board’s most recent analysis reportedly found that during Ivanpah’s second year of operation, carbon emissions from gas, used to focus Ivanpah’s mirrors at night, jumped by 48.4 percent, to 68,676 metric tons.

The joint venture between BrightSource Energy, NRG, Google and Bechtel was approved by the Obama administration as its biggest alternative-energy project on public lands. The project also received $1.6 billion in taxpayer loan guarantees, and $600 million in federal tax credits, to reduce carbon emissions by 400,000 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions per year.

NRG operators also assured California that the project would create 2,636 jobs during the project’s construction, and pay $300 million in state and local tax revenues over the life of the project.

But carbon emissions data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration demonstrats that natural gas consumption at Ivanpah increased by about 7 percent in the first three quarters of 2016, compared to the prior year.

The 450 California power plants, manufacturing facilities and other operations in the state facilities that produce 25,000 or more metric tons of carbon dioxide per year are required to slash carbon dioxide emissions, or buy pollution credits, either from those that shut down activities, or from designated alternative energy producers.

Southern California Edison, PG&E, and other utilities are under a state mandate to acquire 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and 50 percent by 2030.

Ivanpah is designated as a renewable source because it uses 352,000 mirrors to reflect sunlight onto three thermal boilers at the top of large towers. That, in turn, creates steam power that causes huge electric turbines to spin to generate electricity.

But Ivanpah claims that natural gas must be burned at night and during overcast days as a maintenance requirement to heat the towers and keep the turbines online. It also claims this hybrid solution improves the length of time and the amount of solar electricity generated each day. Critics now refer to the hybrid plant as another fossil fuel scam.

David Knox, spokesman for the plant’s operator, Houston-based NRG Energy, told Riverside Press-Enterprise reporter Daniel Danelski that the reason for natural gas use increase was Ivanpah’s increasing its electrical generation: “The reason for this is that the more the units run, the more we use the auxiliary boilers to support that increased operation.”

David Lamfrom, California desert manager for the National Parks Conservation Association, warned Solar Industry magazine: “We obviously made a mistake here.” Not only does the project consume 5.6 square miles of undisturbed public land that is home to the endangered desert tortoise, but Ivanpah has also become one of the larger burners of fossil fuel in California.

Tensions between solar generators and NPCA environmentalists have grown since former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, based on the supposed success of Ivanpah, announced the approval of the 350 megawatt Midland Solar Energy Project in Nevada, and the 100 megawatt Quartzsite Solar Energy Project in Arizona.

Ivanpah has an exemption from state rules to qualify as an alternative energy source, because only 5 percent or less of its electrical generation is due to daylight burning of natural gas, according to the California Energy Commission.

Earlier, Breitbart News noted that Ivanpah fell 55 percent short of its 2014 electrical generation goal of 940,000 megawatt hours, but it did incinerate about 28,000 wild birds. Both issues have improved, but the use of natural gas is far higher than the original business plan.



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1 comment:

Kenn Daily said...

Former Obama EPA Chief concedes: 'Climate change has become a religion'