Thursday, October 04, 2018

Australia: September was the second driest month in more than 100 YEARS – and Summer is set to be even worse

Notice the dog that didn't bark?  For once there is no tie to global warming given.  But EVERYTHING is due to global warming!  How come this bout of difficult weather is not attributed to global warming?  I have repeatedly noted that with Leftists, what the leave out is as significant as what they say -- and this is an example of it

What they are not facing up to is that drought is a sign of COOLING!  If the weather really had been hot, more water would have evaporated off the oceans and come down as rain, giving FLOODS, if anything.  It may happen yet but it has not happened so far.  Their cockeyed theory doesn't fit the present observed facts.  The globe is NOT warming.  A big drought contradicts warming

Drought-stricken farmers are expected to get a much-needed break from September's record dry spell over the next few weeks.

But Aussies shouldn't breath a sigh of relief too soon - weather experts believe that the dip in temperature won't last long.

Bureau of Meteorology expert Tom Hough warned that the months leading up to summer will see above-average heat and summer is set to be a scorcher.

Above-average temperatures will grace the country in the months leading up to summer, Mr Hough said.

Temperatures will soar above the norm for the month of October across the country, with the exception of far-east and north Queensland and northeast NSW.

Sydney's average temperatures for October usually sit between 24-27 degrees.

November temperatures will also be above average with the exception of Western Australia's southeast coast. 

Similarly December will see scorching temperatures above the norm in most of the country.   

However there is no need to crack out the sunscreen just yet. Temperatures are expected to cool towards the end of the week and much-needed rain will sweep the country.

A BOM expert told Daily Mail Australia that rain will be widespread across the southern half of the nation over the next two weeks.

At least 25-50mm of rain is expected to fall in Sydney alone, following the country's record dry September. An average of just 5.2mm of rainfall was recorded last month. 


'Green' folly

Stephen Moore paints a grim picture of the costs to the poor and middle class of wind and solar energy (“How solar and wind mandates tax the poor and middle class,” Web, Sept. 16). But the hidden cost multipliers for solar and wind (so-called “renewables”) are many, many times worse than what he describes.

U.S. electricity demand is today almost 500,000 megawatts. A megawatt (MW) is 1 million watts, equivalent to 1,340 horsepower. Coal and natural gas each delivers about one-third of U.S. electricity and can generate full-time, for a total of about 300,000 MW. Total wind and solar generation is growing, but as Mr. Moore writes, they deliver only about 30,000 MW total — and only part-time.

Anyone who has ever looked out their windows knows that wind and solar only deliver about half the time each day, on good days. Therefore it’s not enough for wind and solar to produce 300,000 megawatts of electricity for consumption during half a day. They must produce more than 600,000 megawatts each day so the renewables can store what is not consumed. The first cost multiplier for renewables is that storage capable of handling more than 300,000 megawatts does not yet exist.

The second cost multiplier is to achieve 100-percent replacement of fossil fuels by increasing wind and solar generation to more than 600,000 MW. This is to store enough energy for several bad days when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow (or blows too hard).

The third cost multiplier is land use. Increasing wind and solar generation to more than 600,000 megawatts will take about 60,000 square miles (square miles, not acres), or the equivalent total land area of Indiana and Kentucky. Still more land area will be needed for storage.

Some experts estimate that widespread adoption of electric cars, especially cars that can’t charge their own batteries, will double these numbers. With the cost multipliers, that would be a quadruple whammy on the poor and middle classes.


China to speed up efforts to cut solar, wind subsidies

China will speed up efforts to ensure its wind and solar power sectors can compete without subsidies and achieve “grid price parity” with traditional energy sources like coal, according to new draft guidelines issued by the energy regulator.

As it tries to ease its dependence on polluting fossil fuels, China has encouraged renewable manufacturers and developers to drive down costs through technological innovations and economies of scale.

The country aims to phase out power generation subsidies, which have become an increasing burden on the state.

China’s regions will make an extra push to provide technological and policy support to the renewables sector in order to ensure they can operate subsidy-free, according to draft guidelines issued by the National Energy Administration (NEA) dated Sept. 13 to the industry and reviewed by Reuters.

The guidelines said some regions with cost and market advantages had already “basically achieved price parity” with clean coal-fired power and no longer required subsidies, and others should learn from their experiences.

They also urged local transmission grid companies to provide more support for subsidy-free projects and ensure they have the capacity to distribute all the power generated by wind and solar plants.

The draft guidelines were issued for feedback from the industry and it is unclear when they will come into effect.

Solar power generation costs fell 90 percent from 2007 to 2017, and GCL New Energy Holdings, one of China’s biggest clean energy developers, said in late August that grid price parity could happen within a year.

“Parity is here already for high price markets,” said Thomas Lapham, chief executive of Asia Clean Capital, which builds rooftop solar projects for major corporations in China.

“I don’t think there will be a specific magical date when (parity) is here for all locations,” he said. “It will gradually spread over time as efficiencies continue to improve and prices become more competitive.”

China’s solar sector is still reeling from a decision to cut subsidies and cap new capacity at 30 gigawatts (GW) this year, down from a record 53 GW in 2017, with the government concerned about overcapacity and a growing subsidy backlog.

According to the NEA, the government owed around 120 billion yuan ($17.46 billion) in subsidies to solar plants by the middle of this year.

Lapham said the cap on new projects has hurt the industry in the short term, but by making a component supply glut even worse, it has also reduced prices and brought China even closer to grid price parity.

“The silver lining may be that we are on more stable ground for 2019 and beyond, even without subsidies,” he said.


Had They Bet On Nuclear, Not Renewables, Germany & California Would Already Have 100% "Clean" Power

Had California and Germany invested $680 billion into new nuclear power plants instead of renewables like solar and wind farms, the two would already be generating 100% or more of their electricity from clean (low-emissions) energy sources, according to a new analysis by Environmental Progress.

The analysis comes the day before California plays host to a “Global Climate Action Summit,” which makes no mention of nuclear, despite it being the largest source of clean energy in the U.S. and Europe.

Here are the two main findings from EP's analysis:

Had Germany spent $580 billion on nuclear instead of renewables, and the fossil plant upgrades and grid expansions they require, it would have had enough energy to both replace all fossil fuels and biomass in its electricity sector and replace all of the petroleum it uses for cars and light trucks.

Had California spent an estimated $100 billion on nuclear instead of on wind and solar, it would have had enough energy to replace all fossil fuels in its in-state electricity mix.
The finding that Germany could have entirely decarbonized its transportation sector with nuclear is a significant one. That’s because decarbonizing transportation is considered a major challenge by most climate policy experts.

Electricity consumed by electric cars will grow 300-fold between 2016 and 2040, analysts predict. That electricity must come from clean energy sources, not fossil fuels, for the transition to electric cars to mitigate climate change.

As a result of their renewables-only policies, California and Germany are climate laggards compared to nuclear-heavy places like France, whose electricity is 12 times less carbon intensive than Germany’s, and 4 times less carbon intensive than California’s.

France's nuclear-heavy electricity is 12 times less carbon intensive than Germany’s, and 4 times less than California’s.EP

Thanks to its deployment of nuclear power, the Canadian province of Ontario’s electricity is nearly 90% cleaner than California’s, according to a recent analysis by Scott Luft, an energy analyst who tracks decarbonization and the power sector.

California’s power sector emissions are over twice as high today as they would have been had the state kept open and built planned nuclear plants.

California’s political establishment pushed hard to close San Onofre nuclear plant in 2013 — triggering an on-going federal criminal investigation — and later to close Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, which generates 15% of all in-state clean electricity, by 2025.

The political leadership of California and Germany have encouraged other nations to follow their example, and the results have been — consistently, following the new EP analysis — counter to the ostensible goal of climate protection.

Over the last 20 years the share of electricity from clean energy globally has declined because the increase in electricity coming from solar and wind wasn’t enough to offset the decline of nuclear.

Carbon emissions rose 3.2% in California between 2011 and 2015, even as they declined 3.7% in the average over the remaining 49 states.

In 2016, emissions from electricity produced within California decreased by 19%, but 2/3 of that decline came from increased production from the state’s hydro-electric dams, due to it being a rainier year, and thus had nothing to do with the state’s energy policies, while just 1/3 of the decline came from increased solar and wind.

In the 1960s and 1970s, California’s electric utilities had planned to build a string of new reactors and new plants that were ultimately killed by anti-nuclear leaders and groups, including Governor Jerry Brown, the Sierra Club, and Natural Resources Defense Fund (NRDC).

Other nuclear plants were forced to close prematurely, including Rancho Seco and San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, while Diablo Canyon is being forced to close by California's Renewable Portfolio Standard, which excludes nuclear.

It remains to be seen if recently-passed SB100, which allows 40% of electricity to be produced from any non-emitting energy source alongside the remaining 60% exclusively from renewables, will motivate the state to save its last nuclear plant.

Had those plants been constructed and stayed open, 73% of power produced in California would be from clean (very low-carbon) energy sources as opposed to just 34%. Of that clean power, 48% would have been from nuclear rather than 9%.

In 2016, renewables received 94 times more in U.S. federal subsidies than nuclear and 46 times more than fossil fuels per unit of energy generated. Meanwhile, a growing number of analysts are admitting that an electricity grid that relies on nuclear power has no need for solar and wind. More troubling, adding solar and wind to a nuclear-heavy grid would require burning more fossil fuels, usually natural gas, as back-up power

As it’s become increasingly clear that Germany would not meet its climate targets, it is coming under criticism from leading renewable energy advocates, who may fear that Germany’s poor record on climate change discredits renewable energy as a solution for climate change.

“If I were a citizen of Germany, I would be concerned about Germany being left behind,” said Al Gore, who is a major renewable energy investor in addition to being a climate policy advocate, last June. “The leadership provided in years past created a reality that now no longer exists.”

“If the world is serious about climate change, we should be keeping existing, safe nuclear power stations open, not shutting them prematurely,” noted Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Michael Liebreich.

But the new EP analysis underscores that the problem is not just closing plants but also choosing to build solar and wind farms instead of new nuclear power stations.


The war on coal is a winner for China

We’ve just entered the 21st month of Donald Trump’s presidency. While the president is ending his predecessor’s war on coal at home, American taxpayers are still funding Barack Obama’s war on coal abroad.

That’s bad news for US taxpayers, trade — and national security.

In 2013, President Obama ordered the Treasury Department to use its representation on the World Bank, where the US is the largest funder, and other multilateral development banks to veto funding for coal-fired power stations. That year, the World Bank formalized a near blanket ban on coal. Last year, it extended the ban to the funding of oil and gas projects as well.

China is the big winner here. It dominates the solar-power industry. Nine out of the world’s top 10 solar companies are Chinese-controlled.

Just as important, access to cheap electricity is the single best way of boosting economic development in poor countries. Developing nations’ need for coal generation doesn’t go away simply because the World Bank refuses to fund it. Instead, they turn to — guess who? — China.

Indeed, across the board, the West is in danger of ceding development and influence to China: China is spending $1.3 trillion to build transportation and energy projects from the Indo-Pacific through east Africa and Eastern Europe.

Yet the US has one hand tied behind its back. Already China is financing coal-fired power stations in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kenya. Although the Trump White House rescinded Obama’s anti-coal financing directive last July, it has made only halfhearted efforts to overturn the World Bank’s financing bans. Forming an alliance of like-minded countries to promote the responsible use of fossil fuels has been in the works for some months and would help force a change of policy.

But a major stumbling block appears to be the Treasury, which has day-to-day responsibility for safeguarding American interests at the World Bank and other international-aid banks. What explains the foot-dragging on a policy so obviously harmful to the United States?

The likely answer is: Much of its key leadership is drawn from Wall Street, including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin — meaning they probably share Wall Street’s cultural assumptions that coal is the past and wind and solar the future, even if it’s Chinese.

There’s a revealing passage in Bob Woodward’s “Fear” on life inside the Trump White House. The president and his top economic advisers were having an argument on trade and the loss of blue-collar jobs. People didn’t really want manufacturing jobs, argued Gary Cohn, who was serving as director of the National Economic Council.

“I can sit in a nice office with air conditioning and a desk,” the ex-Goldman Sachs president continued. “People don’t want to go into coal mines and get black lung.”

“Trump wasn’t buying it,” Woodward says. The president is right and Cohn badly out of date. Surface mining overtook underground mining some time in the early 1970s. And Wall Streeters continue to ignore renewable energy’s biggest drawback: It doesn’t keep the lights on.

Meanwhile, falling natural-gas prices should be pushing Americans’ energy bills lower, but high-cost renewable energy is pushing them up. In California, which is gearing up for a 100 percent renewable-energy mandate, electric rates are already 60 percent higher than in the rest of the country. A recent survey by the Energy Information Administration found that one in five households reported reducing or forgoing necessities such as food and medicine to pay an energy bill.

It’s even worse for the world’s poor. According to a UN report, providing universal energy access could be done for less than $50 billion a year, but doubling the share of renewable energy could cost $500 billion a year.

There’s no other word for it: Foisting high-cost energy on those who can least afford it is immoral. It’s the poor who bear the heaviest burden of renewable energy.

The next World Bank meeting convenes Oct. 8. Let’s hope Mnuchin and the Treasury Department have what it takes to end Obama’s war on coal and on developing nations around the world. It’s time to lift the ban.




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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