Tuesday, January 09, 2018

UK to end 140 years of coal power by 2025

This is amusing. The article below skates over what they use to replace coal when the sun isn't shining (normal in Britain) and the wind isn't blowing.  They use gas mostly but also have a great fleet of diesel generators and also burn wood.  And both those latter emit MORE CO2 than coal. Another example of the Green/Left being borderline insane

Britain will end its use of coal in power plants by 2025 after more than 140 years burning the fossil fuel.

The Government confirmed that its 2015 pledge to phase out coal-fired power within a decade would move ahead under a new rule that limits the ‘carbon-intensity’ of power plants.

The limit will allow thermal power plants that use lower-carbon gas to act as back-up generation, but coal plants will be forced to close unless they are fitted with carbon capture technology.

Coal-fired power has dwindled in recent years due to the rising tax on carbon emissions to curb greenhouse gases and the boom in renewable energy.

In 2017 coal-fired power made up just 2pc of the UK’s electricity mix, down from 9pc in 2016 and 22pc in 2015. Meanwhile, low-carbon options such as renewable energy and nuclear power make up more than half of the electricity system.

Last year was also the first time Britain used no coal-fired power at all over a 24-hour period, according to National Grid data.

In order to meet the UK’s legally binding climate change targets Government has set an emission limit of up to 450 grammes of CO2 for each kilowatt hour of electricity produced to squeeze out the remaining coal plants.

However, experts have warned that despite the 2025 cut-off Britain’s six remaining coal plants could still enjoy an 11th-hour revival by scooping up contracts to generate power during the winter.

Hannah Martin, from Greenpeace UK, warned that the carbon-heavy fossil fuel should be replaced with clean technologies “well before the 2025 deadline” if the UK hopes to remain a global leader in tackling climate change.

Sam Bright, an energy lawyer at ClientEarth, said Government’s efforts should go well beyond coal plants and include polluting gas-fired power plants too.

“The Government has kept to its commitment to phase out unabated coal generation by 2025, but we aren't convinced that this alone merits its claims to global leadership. Not only are other countries imposing more ambitious sunset dates, we are concerned that the door is left wide open for investments in new, long-term gas capacity, locking us into another generation of fossil fuel power,” he said.

“We need to see the clearest possible messages from Government on what the clean energy future will look like - beyond coal has to mean beyond gas too,” he added.


Histrionics are what the Green/Left do,/b>

The effusions below are about Britain's National Health Service but are just as absurd as the various Greenie panics

The biofuel crony capitalist revolving door

Ex-Grassley aide will now help Big Corn and Big Biodiesel retain their mandates and subsidies

Paul Driessen

Yet another congressional aide is about to pass through Washington’s infamous revolving door to a lucrative private sector position. Kurt Kovarik, legislative director for Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), will become vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board.

To grow and prosper, this industry relies on subsidies and mandates that require steadily increasing volumes of diesel fuel from crops and other sources. As the NBB said in a press release, Kovarik’s “decades of experience in the Senate will serve us well, as we navigate federal policy issues that most affect our industry.” His work on energy and tax legislation, familiarity with the key players in Washington and knowledge of biofuels “are all reasons we are so happy to have him on our team.”

Translated into common English, Kovarik will help keep mandates in place and revenues flowing into biodiesel coffers – even as justifications for its special treatment become less persuasive, claims about its supposed benefits are found wanting, and harmful effects on taxpayers and consumers become obvious.

Indeed, like corn ethanol, biodiesel is just one more federal program that has become a perpetual fixture, all but immune from any revisions or reductions. That’s because powerful special interests band together to block any such attempts – and make major campaign contributions to friendly legislators.

Meanwhile, consumer interests adversely affected by the rules are too diverse, poorly organized and ill-funded to mount an effective campaign against the “renewable fuels” industry.

Thus, when the Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed a minuscule reduction in the total volume of corn ethanol required for blending into gasoline, the biodiesel lobby rose up united in righteous indignation against the idea – even though biodiesel was not being affected.

The legislatively created industries always take Ben Franklin’s warning to heart: “We must indeed all hang together,” Franklin said just before signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776, “or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Billions of dollars are at stake for biofuel industries, and they will not fail to aid one another. Nor will they deviate from the narrative that plant-based fuels will somehow save Earth and humanity from the alleged ravages of planet-warming fossil fuels, even as developing nations burn more oil, natural gas and coal every year – and the Northern Hemisphere suffers through another nasty, frigid winter.

Biofuels from corn, oil palm, soybean or algae require vast expanses of land – dozens or hundreds of times more land than is needed to produce equivalent amounts of energy from coal, oil or natural gas. That land once was or could now be wildlife habitat – and the direct and indirect effects on wildlife populations are often profound, especially when Indonesian and other forests are sacrificed on Gaia’s altar to establish oil palm plantations for illusory “sustainable, renewable” energy.

The same widespread land and wildlife impacts result from erecting wind turbine and solar panel facilities – to generate expensive, unreliable, weather-dependent electricity … and build (coal or gas-fueled) backup generators, to provide electricity the 75% of the time when there is insufficient sun or wind.

Biofuels also require prodigious volumes of water, and in most cases huge amounts of fertilizers, pesticides and fossil fuel energy. And when biofuels are burned in vehicles or fuel cells for electricity generation, they emit enormous quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2). In fact, across their full planting, harvesting, conversion and use cycle, biofuels emit just as much carbon dioxide as fossil fuels.

All that extra CO2 is good for forest, grassland, crop and other plants – and recent studies confirm that CO2 is greening our planet, by helping plants grow faster and better. That this CO2 is also causing “dangerous manmade climate change” is increasingly in doubt, despite what climate doomsayers continue to claim). The assertion that crop-based biofuels are “sustainable” is not supported by evidence.

In reality – as scientist, engineer, former MIT professor and energy analyst Peter Huber observes in his book, Hard Green: Saving the environment from the environmentalists: A conservative manifesto – the best, greenest, most ecologically sound, most sustainable fuels are those that get the most energy per pound of material that must be mined, trucked, pumped, pipelined and burned.

Supposedly “renewable” energy sources do not pass this simple test. But in liberal policy, media and regulatory circles, they are routinely exempt from the criticism, calumny and punishment so regularly meted out to fossil fuels and companies that produce them.

For poor developing countries, renewable-only energy policies demanded or imposed by World Bank, EU, environmentalist and other interests perpetuate poverty, joblessness, disease and malnutrition, ensuring nasty, brutish and short lives. Such policies are immoral, genocidal, and properly detested by nations determined to bring health and prosperity to their people.

Thanks to fracking and modern exploration and production technologies, the world still has decades or even centuries of natural gas, oil and coal. For a world that still depends on these fuels for 85% of its total energy, that is good news. It’s even better news for the future, when humanity will still need fossil fuels for over 75% of a 28% larger total energy supply in 2040, according to the Energy Information Agency.

Fossil fuels (as well as nuclear and hydroelectric power) should be embraced, not excoriated, and used with pride until energy sources just as reliable and affordable are discovered someday in the future.

It likewise makes little sense to promote biodiesel and corn ethanol while also advocating electric cars. That approach not only increases the demand for reliable, affordable electricity generation – an increasingly impossible dream if we are supposed to rely more and more on wind and solar electricity.

It exacerbates problems resulting from mandates that require blending ever more ethanol into decreasing supplies of gasoline for fewer internal combustion engines: eg, having so much ethanol in gasoline for those engines that gaskets are damaged and warrantees are voided, and fraud problems associated with RINs (Renewable Identification Numbers) used to ensure compliance with renewable fuel standards.

Plant-based fuels that enrich regional biofuel interests increasingly cause multiple other problems for refiners that provide nearly 90% of vehicle fuels: gasoline and conventional diesel. Under pressure from Big Biofuel and corn-state senators, EPA raised its 2018 biofuel requirement to 19.3 billion gallons, a huge increase from its 16.3 billion gallon mandate in 2014. That means smaller, independent refiners will be unable to blend enough ethanol into their gasoline to meet the mandate – and will have to buy RINs, at inflated and unpredictable prices, to comply artificially with the impossible blending requirement.

As the Wall Street Journal notes, Dallas-based HollyFrontier Corp. must spend over $300 million per year on RINs, forcing it freeze hiring, defer capital expenditures and investment, penalize its blue-collar workers, and transfer massive wealth from refiners to ethanol producers, who still demand more.

The absurd situation caused Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to copy corn-state senators on hostage taking. (They held up EPA nominees until the agency caved in on ethanol.) Mr. Cruz is preventing action on the Agriculture Department nominee who would control a lot of biofuel money, until a compromise can be worked out between biofuel and conventional petroleum fuels. He secured a meeting but so far no deal.

Under fascist-style socialism, the government doesn’t own companies outright; it merely decrees how they must operate, what they must produce, who pays and who benefits. That’s where U.S. biofuel policies have taken America’s energy sector. It’s time to reform these policies – to reflect today’s economic, climate, oil depletion and oil import realities – and set a time certain for ethanol and biofuel mandates to expire. Let real free enterprise operate, instead of crony-corporatist government decrees.

Via email

Trump proposes massive expansion of oil drilling

The Trump administration wants to open up nearly all the country’s offshore areas for oil drilling, leasing areas off places like Florida and California for the first time in decades, and reversing an Obama-era policy.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that his department is planning the largest number of oil-lease sales in US history starting next year. It would open up 90 per cent of offshore land for drilling as part of a five-year plan. It reverses an Obama-era plan that would have kept only 6 per cent of the same acres available for drilling.

“We’re going to become the strongest energy superpower,” Mr Zinke said in a call with reporters. “We certainly have the assets to do that.”

Oil-industry groups and their supporters who want more access to domestic oil lands are cheering the move.

“Expanding access to additional offshore reserves allows the United States to better understand where production potential exists and where capital should be invested,” Dan Naatz, senior vice president of government relations and political affairs at the independent Petroleum Association of America said in a statement.

“Although this is just the first step in a long process, today’s proposal is exactly the signal industry needs to drive this work forward.”

But the proposal is already meeting broad opposition including from some Republicans. Florida Governor Rick Scott said ahead of Interior’s announcement that he opposes opening drilling off of Florida, and he has support from environmental groups and the tourism industry.

“It’s absolutely radical,” said Diane Hoskins, climate and energy campaign director at Oceana, an environmental group focusing on the world’s oceans and an opponent of expanded coastal drilling. “Expanding offshore drilling threatens the livelihood and the coastal economies that rely on a healthy ocean.”

Mr Zinke pledged to work with states and other stakeholders, emphasising in his announcement that the plan isn’t final. The department is planning public meetings around the country starting in less than two weeks, with the intent of taking public comments and finalising new rules by the autumn of 2019. The plan would be in effect for five years, into 2024.

The effort to open up more drilling areas comes in part from President Donald Trump’s order in the (northern) spring to overhaul rules and encourage more domestic energy production. While oil and fuel prices, and exploration have fallen dramatically from a few years ago, the administration’s philosophy is to lower costs for domestic drillers to help them compete against global rivals.


Piers Akerman: Australia’s energy security is the greatest threat to our survival

THE greatest threat to our ­security is not Islamic State, it’s not African gangs, it’s not even the drug-addled Islamist idiots targeting pedestrians.

No, the clear and present danger to the nation comes from the failure to ensure our own energy security.

Australia is the ninth-­largest energy producer in the world with massive renewable and non-renewable energy ­resources yet it can’t guarantee energy supply to its industries and domestic users.

This is a failure of policy at both state and federal levels caused by supine subservience to the faddish global warmers.

Forget renewables and batteries, like South Australia, which relies on huge diesel back-up or the pie-in-the-sky pumped hydro that requires more power than it produces to keep its reserves ready.

We just aren’t tapping our reliable coal or uranium ­reserves as we should be.

That’s why we must rely on imported fuel to exist as a nation and why we are hostage to others.

Not only are we heavily dependent on imported refined petroleum products and crude oil to meet day-to-day demands, we rely on foreign ships to deliver this economy-sustaining energy and we aren’t meeting our international obligation to hold a 90-day supply in reserve.

We are the only nation that doesn’t meet this International Energy Agency reserve threshold and we hold less than half the required fuel volumes.

We invest around $30 billion a year in defence but that’s meaningless if we can’t provide necessary energy security.

A recent study estimated that the less than 45-day ­reserve of fuel would mean that food supply transport would run for about nine days, pharmaceutical supplies would be hit in three and the military might have fuel for 17.

One of the legends of the Australian maritime industry, Captain Harry Mansson, pointed out even the name Australian National Line — ANL — has been sold to French interests and is headquartered in Marseilles.

Captain Mansson has suggested that Australia move ­towards becoming independent of foreign transporters by purchasing four second-hand Very Large Crude Carriers of about 300,000 DWT each, about five years old and with European-standard accommodation for our Australian crews, with the promised union acceptances before anything is finalised.

He said such ships average about 15 years of unrestricted trade, so the five-year age would give us 10 years with the four ships alone. Allowing one month for a round trip they would make 48 trips annually between them, carrying some 14 million tonnes of fuel, which is about 41 per cent of the total.

Unfortunately, his attempts to communicate with the government have been frustrated whereas Opposition leader Bill Shorten has opened a dialogue.

This is interesting but don’t expect too much from Shorten who is reliant for survival on the votes of the militant Maritime Union of Australia, whose totally unrealistic demands on wages and conditions for its members were instrumental in killing Australian commercial shipping.

Captain Mansson said that as we are an island nation it is critical that Australia has its own flagged fleet in times of crisis, on which we can rely to handle our crucial imports.

Notwithstanding the history of the bloody-minded maritime unions, Shorten is determined to make political capital with his calls for a new Australian shipping industry.

“It was for these economic, national security and environmental reasons that the former federal Labor government was so determined to rebuild Australia’s shipping industry following years of neglect,” he told Mansson.

“For Australian shipping companies the package included a zero tax rate, more generous accelerated depreciation arrangements, rollover relief for selected capital assets, new tax incentives to employ Australian seafarers and an exemption from the Royalty Withholding Tax for ‘bareboat’ leased vessels.

“To further strengthen the local industry, an International Shipping Register was created, allowing operators of Australian-flagged vessels to employ mixed Australian and foreign crews on internationally agreed rates and conditions.

“These measures were based on the extensive reform programs that had already been implemented by other maritime nations including the United Kingdom, Japan, China and Denmark.

“Importantly, Labor’s changes did not preclude the use of foreign vessels. They simply required firms needing to move freight between Australian ports to first seek out an Australian operator. When none were available, foreign vessels could be used so long as they paid Australian-level wages on domestic sectors.

“However, for Labor’s suite of reforms to work, they needed time. Unfortunately, even before they took effect the ­Coalition sought to undermine them. Their attacks were calculated to create uncertainty and doubt in the minds of those considering investing in the Australian industry as to the durability of the regulatory changes and the new tax ­incentives.

All of us want to ­reduce the cost of doing business in Australia — but not at any cost. Particularly if that cost is the destruction of a strategically significant industry and the loss of a highly skilled workforce — and that’s precisely what the Coalition’s 2015 legislation would have done. The legislation put ideology ahead of the national interest.”

National interest was never foremost in the minds of those running the union movement however, as the sabotage of war matériel and undermining of the war effort during WWII demonstrated.

Unless we act to provide ­security for fuel we will be ­unable to access the resources the health industry relies on; food production and distribution would halt, few businesses could operate.

Personal and public transport wouldn’t function, defence force operations would be severely restricted. Our society would be paralysed.

We cannot afford to be held hostage by the union movement as we have been in the past or by foreign interests.

The Coalition must demonstrate leadership now and present a realistic strategy for energy independence.




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


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