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In the Wake of the News

The Price of Going Green Is High - Highlighted Article


From: IER

Date: June 7, 2024

The Price of Going Green Is High

Key Takeaways

  1. People around the world are beginning to object to the increasingly expensive costs of the “energy transition” being pushed by their governments and some businesses.
  2. A paper by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) advocates for much heftier expenses for consumers, by recommending a 7-fold increase in money spent on programs to achieve U.N. goals, reaching $9 trillion annually by 2030 and increasing after that.
  3. CPI is an international group with initial funding from George Soros that advocates for aggressive climate actions by central governments.
  4. Europe has already begun to de-industrialize, with Germany leading the way as they begin to retreat from some of their costliest plans under public pressure.
  5. States in the United States such as California, who have led in “green” initiatives, are also beginning to pushback on some “green” policies.

The Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) indicates that climate finance worldwide must increase from $1.3 trillion in 2021/2022 to $9 trillion by 2030 to keep the goals of the Paris Agreement alive. The CPI is an international organization launched with initial funding from George Soros, with offices in the United States, China and other countries. It finds that the annual climate finance needed immediately increases to $8.1 trillion and then steadily increases to $9 trillion by 2030, jumping to over $10 trillion each year from 2031 to 2050. Where is that kind of money going to come from? Countries raised a record $104 billion last year by charging firms for emitting carbon dioxide through carbon pricing and cap and trade systems, but that is a drop in the bucket to what CPI stipulates is needed. Thus, taxes and fees must rise enormously at a time three-quarters of energy consumers say they have already done as much as they can to be sustainable, according to a survey of 100,000 people over 20 countries by the research arm of accounting firm Ernst & Young.

In 2021/2022, average annual climate finance flows reached almost $1.3 trillion, doubling compared to 2019/2020 level of $653 billion driven primarily by a significant acceleration in mitigation finance, particularly in the renewable energy and transport sectors. Mitigation finance was increased by $439 billion from 2019/2020 levels. Despite the increase, current financial flows represent only about one percent of global GDP.  And, those financial flows are already taking a toll on home owners, businesses and consumers via skyrocketing energy costs which flow through the cost of all human endeavors, including agriculture and transportation. (continue reading)


The Price of Going Green Is High


Tags: Highlighted Article

Great Green Challenges - ORIGINAL CONTENT

Many in the climate change alarmist community view green Hydrogen as the Great Green Hope. The previous commentary, Great Green Hope, dealt with the steps necessary to produce green Hydrogen and their current costs. However, that is only part of the process.

Green Hydrogen has multiple potential applications in a Net Zero energy economy. Massive storage in underground caverns could serve as long-duration backup for intermittent renewable generation, used as fuel for Hydrogen fuel cells or combined-cycle and simple-cycle gas turbines. Preparation of these caverns would require testing to determine their volume and safe working pressure, evacuation to remove the air from the caverns and filling the caverns with Hydrogen to the safe working pressure. A portion of the Hydrogen stored in the caverns would remain as “cushion gas”, providing the pressure required to feed gas to the electric generators.

Green Hydrogen could be used as motor fuel for vehicles of all types, including railroad locomotives. This application would require the Hydrogen to be compressed to 5,000 – 10,000 psi and stored in fueling cascades at vehicle fueling stations. The Hydrogen could be delivered to the fueling stations by pipeline and compressed on-site, or as a cryogenic liquid regasified and compressed on-site, or as compressed gas delivered by rail or truck, depending on fueling station access.

Green Hydrogen could also be used as fuel for combustion appliances, such as furnaces, boilers, water heaters, range tops and ovens in residential and commercial structures. This application would require either pipeline delivery or on-site pressurized storage. This application would also require Hydrogen dedicated appliances or refitting of individual appliances to burn Hydrogen safely.

Finally, there are multiple potential applications for green Hydrogen in industrial applications, both as a combustion fuel and as a chemical feedstock. These applications would typically require pipeline delivery.

Hydrogen is currently used as vehicle fuel, on a very limited basis, and as a chemical feedstock. Most of this Hydrogen is “Blue Hydrogen”, produced by steam reforming of natural gas. Blue Hydrogen is relatively inexpensive, but its production results in CO2 emissions, which means it is not suitable for large scale application in a Net Zero energy economy.

Hydrogen is currently delivered by pipeline, or by truck as either a cryogenic liquid or a compressed gas. However, the delivery infrastructure is very limited relative to the infrastructure which would be required to replace natural gas with Hydrogen in a broad range of applications in a Net Zero energy economy. There is a possibility that the existing natural gas transmission and distribution system could be upgraded and adapted to Hydrogen delivery. However, the required technology has not been identified and demonstrated.

There is also the possibility that a Green Hydrogen trade could be developed to replace the current trade in liquified natural gas. Liquid Hydrogen ships could be fueled with boil-off from the cargo, as is the case with LNG tankers. Liquid hydrogen could also be used to fuel other types of ships, again using boil-off from an onboard cryogenic fuel storage vessel.


Tags: Hydrogen, Green Energy Transition, Energy Storage / Batteries

Call that science? - Highlighted Article

From: Climate Discussion Nexus

By: OP ED Watch

Date: June 5, 2024

Call that science?

A correspondent recently sent us a poster “A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science” that we found very interesting because it wasn’t about climate change. When one is engaged in controversy there is a persistent temptation to “cast a covetous eye on the outcome”, in Kierkegaard’s apt and haunting phrase. It is easy to start choosing data and prejudging lines of argument based on whether they seem likely to take us where we want to go. Or rather where we want to go in the heat of the moment. Surely on calm reflection all of us want to go where the truth lies, even if getting there requires us to admit we had been mistaken in some regard. So this post, from a site called “Compound Interest” in 2014, is useful in helping us all pause and reflect calmly. The 12 items listed by Andy Brunning, who runs the site, are “1. Sensationalized headlines 2. Misinterpreted results 3. Conflicts of interest 4. Correlation and causation 5. Unsupported conclusions 6. Problems with sample size 7. Unrepresentative samples used 8. No control group used 9. No blind testing used 10. Selective reporting of data 11. Unreplicable results 12. Non-peer reviewed material”. And note that we present them even though #12 strikes us as itself bad science, given the extraordinary flood of evidence lately that peer review is deeply, even fatally flawed, and because climate alarmists are or were very fond of insisting that it was a silver bullet. As for the rest, well, they seem to us to be very important errors and very common, including among alarmists.

Easy to call, hard to run, we say echoing Oakland Raiders quarterback Kenny “Snake” Stabler. Of course there is no silver bullet in making sense of the world, here or anywhere. And when it comes to items like “Unsupported conclusions” there’s a major risk of an exchange of “I know you are but what am I?” taunts. But we still want to run through the list in order and underline how often they seem to us to crop up on the other side of the climate barricade. And we intend to return to them in future Newsletters to continue the discussion.

Naturally alarmists may say the same of us and we’re happy to debate it. But first let’s think about whether these really are good ground rules. We think they are, other than the last, so let us know if you don’t. And if you do, here’s our summary indictment of the sins against science by those promoting an urgent man-made climate crisis, some of them scientists and others second-hand dealers in scientific ideas.

For starters, how about sensationalized headlines? Oh yeah. They’re a dime a dozen in climate, including such gems as “‘Doomsday glacier,’ which could raise sea level by several feet, is holding on ‘by its fingernails,’ scientists say”. Glaciers got fingernails? Every week brings a crop of them, mostly flawed in ways that fall under subsequent headings here but many also because they predict things that don’t happen.

Misinterpreted results? Look at the stuff on catastrophic sea level rise just for starters. And the way most of these shrieking headlines vastly overstate even what’s in the news story, let alone the study the story is based on.

Conflicts of interest? Alarmists are quick to smear skeptics as in the pay of oil companies. But the real gravy train is tidal waves of government funding for research that confirms the orthodox narrative and almost exclusively that kind. It doesn’t prove they’re wrong, of course, or even that they’re venal. But it is a massive issue and one that they do not disclose or discuss. (continue reading)


Call that science?


Tags: Highlighted Article

Independence Day 2024 - ORIGINAL CONTENT

Independence Day is a celebration of those who take their independence and freedom seriously. It is a day to honor national governments which act in the interest of their citizens rather than globalists. It is a day to honor climate scientists who adhere to the scientific method rather than support the political narrative. It is a day to honor farmers who defend their right to raise their animals and crops. It is a day to honor landowners who resist industrial wind and solar installations. It is a day to honor homeowners who chose not to install heat pumps to replace their gas boilers. It is a day to honor homeowners who refuse to be test subjects for Hydrogen appliances. It is a day to honor vehicle purchasers who buy vehicles they want and need rather than those promoted by governments. It is a day to honor independence.

Globalists actively seek to convince national governments to surrender their independence and freedoms to some form of global governance, though previous experiences with such governments at a smaller scale have not ended well. Fortunately, many nations have won their independence at great cost, some only very recently, and are reluctant to concede it.

The consensed climate science community works aggressively to enforce adherence to the political climate science narrative. Fortunately, there are independent scientists and others who insist on compliance with the scientific method and publicly question those who fail to do so, despite public ridicule and efforts to destroy their careers. Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Roy Spencer, Judith Curry, Nick Lewis, Willie Soon, Roger Pielke, Steve McIntyre, Ross McKittrick and numerous others are in this category.

There are organizations working to improve understanding of climate issues, including the Heartland Institute, Clintel, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Energy Research among others. There are also numerous websites, including Watts Up With That, Real Climate Science and Junk Science.

Farmers in the UK and several countries in the EU are demonstrating against farm closures, land use restrictions, property seizures, requirements to reduce animal herds and limitations on fertilizer use which would destroy their incomes and reduce food availability.

Farmers and other landowners in the US are resisting ceding access to their land for industrial wind and solar, particularly when the energy generated would be used elsewhere.

Homeowners in the UK are resisting installing heat pumps at much higher cost to replace central heating boilers. One UK community successfully resisted acting as a test bed for replacement of natural gas with Hydrogen.

Vehicle purchasers in the UK, the EU and the US are purchasing fewer electric vehicles than their governments expected and vehicle manufacturers are reducing production rates and delaying future plans for electric vehicle expansion and battery plant construction.

As the economic pain inflicted by the transition to an energy economy based on intermittent renewable generation plus electricity storage grows, so does the resistance to the transition. Citizens have been tolerant of the transition while the costs were perceived as minor, but are becoming far less tolerant as the costs and resulting pain increase. Governments are beginning to back away from some of the more restrictive and expensive aspects of the energy transition as their citizens assert their independence.

Altruism dies when it costs.


Tags: Green Energy Transition, Climate Change Debate, Climate Change Economics

When Politics and Physics Collide - Highlighted Article


From: City Journal

By: Mark P. Mills

Date: April 17, 2024

When Politics and Physics Collide

The belief that mandates and massive subsidies can summon a world without fossil fuels is magical thinking.

The idea that the United States can quickly “transition” away from hydrocarbons—the energy sources primarily used today—to a future dominated by so-called green technologies has become one of the central political divides of our time. For progressive politicians here and in Europe, the “energy transition” has achieved totemic status. But it is fundamentally a claim that depends on assessing the future of technology.

While policies can favor one class of technology over another, neither political rhetoric nor financial largesse can make the impossible possible. Start with some basics. It’s not just that currently over 80 percent of our energy needs are met directly by burning oil, natural gas, and coal—a share that has declined by only a few percentage points over the past several decades; the key fact is that 100 percent of everything in civilized society, including the favored “green energy” machines themselves, depends on using hydrocarbons somewhere in the supply chains and systems. The scale of today’s green policy interventions is unprecedented, targeting the fuels that anchor the affordability and availability of everything.

In the U.S., the energy-transition policies center around the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, the most ambitious industrial legislation since World War II. Both critics and enthusiasts note that the budget figure advertised when the legislation was passed—$369 billion—isn’t close to the real cost. A comprehensive Wood MacKenzie analysis shows that the Green New Deal’s price tag is closer to $3 trillion.

And that’s not all. Through regulatory fiat, the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly announced rules effectively mandate that more than half of all cars and trucks sold must be electric vehicles (EVs) by 2032. That will demand, and soon, the complete restructuring of the $100 billion U.S. automobile industry. At the same time, an EV-dominated future will also require hundreds of billions more dollars in utility-sector spending to expand the electric distribution system to fuel EVs. Added to that, among other similar administrative diktats, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s newly released “climate” disclosure rules (temporarily on hold) are intended to induce investors to direct billions of dollars toward energy-transition technologies. This rule will entail tens of billions annually just in compliance costs, never mind the shifts to investments it will create.

The total direct and induced spending on the energy transition could easily exceed $5 trillion before a decade passes, or sooner, if advocates prevail. For context, the entirety of World War II cost the U.S. roughly $4 trillion (in today’s dollars). More relevant in terms of domestic scope, building the entire U.S. interstate highway system cost just $600 billion (also inflation-adjusted).

The transition spending that’s coming will add up to far more money than the amount printed for economic “rescue” during the Covid lockdowns. Since all the Inflation Reduction Act, and related, spending has yet to flow through the economy, it bears asking why economists aren’t alarmed about reigniting inflation. Perhaps, behind closed doors, the Federal Reserve is worried. (continue reading)


When Politics and Physics Collide


Tags: Highlighted Article

The Great Green Hope - ORIGINAL CONTENT

Green Hydrogen has emerged as the great green hope of the climate change alarmist community. It would be produced using emission free, intermittent renewable energy generated by wind and solar generators. It could be used for long-duration energy storage, as motor vehicle fuel and as a replacement for natural gas in residential and commercial space and water heating and in numerous industrial process applications. The quantity of Hydrogen required would depend on the ultimate applications and the percentage of those applications served by the green Hydrogen.

Production of green Hydrogen in the quantities required to make a meaningful contribution to achieving Net Zero in these applications would require that sea water be used as the source., since it is far more abundant than fresh water, which is in limited supply in many parts of the world. The Hydrogen would ultimately be combusted or otherwise reacted, releasing water vapor, approximately 70% of which would return to the oceans directly as rainfall while the remainder would return to the oceans indirectly.

The current industrial approaches to producing Hydrogen by electrolysis require the use of pure water. There are approaches to producing Hydrogen directly from sea water being researched, but none have so far been demonstrated on a commercial scale. The current approaches to purifying sea water for electrolysis consist of filtration and distillation and condensation or reverse osmosis desalination. The “all-in” cost of a 100 million gallon per day sea water desalination plant is approximately $1 billion.

The pure water production of this desalination plant would then be fed to a hydrolyzer, which would be capable of producing approximately 1 kilogram (kg) of Hydrogen per 11 kg of inlet water. (100,000,000 gal * 8 lb. per gal / 2.2 lb. per kg = 364,000,000 kg) water or (364,000,000 kg / 11 kg water per kg Hydrogen = 33,000,000 kg) Hydrogen. The higher heating value of Hydrogen is 39.39 kWh per kg or (39.39 kWh/kg * 3,413 Btu/kwh = 134,438 Btu/kg). Therefore, daily Hydrogen production of (33,000,000 kg * 39.39 kWh/kg = 1,300,000,000 kWh) or (1,300,000,000 kWh * 3,413 Btu/kwh = 4,436,456,000,000 Btu) could be produced from this desalinated water stream. At an electrolyzer cost of approximately $1,000 per kw, the cost of a plant with this capacity would be (1,300,000,000 kWh * $1,000/kW / 24 hrs = $54,167,000,000) and the cost of the Hydrogen produced would be approximately $5-6/kg or approximately ( $5.50/kg / 134,438 Btu/kg = $40.91 per million Btu,) compared with ~$3.00 per million Btu for natural gas. Others have estimated even higher costs.

The resulting Hydrogen must then be transported and stored for later use. Hydrogen can be stored as a high pressure gas, as a cryogenic liquid or with an absorbent or adsorbent, depending on the intended use of the hydrogen. Hydrogen for use as a vehicle fuel would typically be stored as a 5,000 - 10,000 psi gas and delivered to the vehicles from a storage cascade. Hydrogen used as a replacement for natural gas or propane for residential and commercial space and water heating or for process applications would be compressed to approximately 1,000 psi, piped to the point of use and regulated to lower pressure for use.

Hydrogen for electricity production could be stored in underground caverns and fed to either fuel cells or gas turbine generators to generate electricity at an approximate efficiency of 60%.

The US currently consumes approximately 32 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year for all applications. The output of the desalination plus hydrolyzer facilities described above would be approximately 4.4 billion cubic feet per day, or approximately (4.4 bcfd * 365 days per year = 1.6 trillion cubic feet per year), or 0.5% of current annual natural gas consumption.

US DOE is funding significant Hydrogen production and storage research which might reduce the Hydrogen costs calculated here. However, if Hydrogen is to be a major player in long-duration energy storage, or as a transportation fuel, its application cannot wait to begin until the results of this research are commercialized.


Tags: Energy Storage / Batteries, Green Energy Transition, Hydrogen

2024 North American Energy Inventory - Highlighted Article


From: IER

Date: May 14, 2024

2024 North American Energy Inventory

In 2011, IER released the first edition of the North American Energy Inventory. At the time, the U.S. energy situation looked far different than it does today. In 2011, the United States was the third largest oil producer behind Russia and Saudi Arabia and conventional wisdom held that we were running out of oil, natural gas, and even coal.

At the time, then President Obama echoed this sentiment in numerous speeches when he claimed that because the United States only had 2 or 3 percent of the world’s oil reserves we couldn’t “simply drill our way out of our energy problems.” President Obama, it seems, did not understand what is really meant by the term “oil reserves.” In reality, “oil reserves” represent only a fraction of the total oil resources available. Consequently, we successfully addressed many of our energy challenges by tapping into this broader pool of resources. Put another way, we did drill our way to energy security and more stable prices.

The first edition of the Inventory successfully challenged the myth of energy scarcity. We demonstrated that North America has vast energy resources—far more energy resources than people thought or believed at the time.

The Inventory was released when the shale revolution was beginning to pick up steam. Since 2005, oil production in the U.S. has increased by 149 percent and natural gas production has more than doubled. These massive increases, which have catapulted the U.S. to the world’s top producer of both oil and natural gas, were the result of a combination of hydraulic fracturing, precision drilling, and private ownership of the subsurface in key parts of the United States. The hydraulic fracturing revolution has spread to some federal lands, but due to more onerous federal regulations, the benefits of increased production have occurred largely on private lands. (continue reading)


2024 North American Energy Inventory


Tags: Highlighted Article


The two defining characteristics of electric grid-scale storage systems are the amount of power they can deliver continuously (MW, GW, TW) and the total amount of power they can deliver before they are depleted (MWh, GWh, TWh). For example, a storage system used to backup a 10 MW generator system must be able to deliver 10 MW if that generator system is not operating for any reason. If the storage system is required to provide 10 MW backup for up to 4 hours, it must have a capacity of 40 MWh. Such storage systems are typically referred to as 4-hour systems, though they are capable of providing power for a longer period of time if the demand on the system is below its rated capacity.

The most common storage system currently used in grid scale applications is the Tesla Megapack. The Megapack is classed as a short-duration storage system. The Megapack is available in both a 4-hour and a 2-hour configuration. In the 4-hour configuration it has a storage capacity of 19.6 MWh and can deliver power at a rate of up to 4.9 MW. In the 2-hour configuration, the storage capacity decreases to 10.3 MWh and the power delivery rate iincreases to 9.6 MW. The Megapack 4-hour configuration has an estimated installed cost of $8,128,870, while the 2-hour configuration has an estimated installed cost of $9,759,770. This compares with an installed cost of approximately $5,000,000 for a 5 MW utility scale solar photovoltaic array, which the Megapack could backup for 4 hours. The minimum time required to recharge the Megapack is approximately equal to the discharge time, though the recharge time might be much longer, depending on the availability of surplus power. However, the storage system must be recharged before it can be used again.

There is research underway to develop grid-scale storage systems with larger storage capacity relative to their power output, referred to as medium-duration storage systems. However, these systems are not yet defined.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has recently funded a grant to Form Energy for construction of a long-duration storage system  The system is a 5 MW, 500 MWh system, so it could backup a 5 MW utility-scale solar array for up to 100 hours. Form Energy estimates that this storage system can achieve storage capacity of ~3 MW / 300 MWH per acre in utility-scale installations. This storage technology is an iron/air battery system, which functions based on reversible rusting. While the system is capable of delivering power over a longer time than Li-ion battery systems such as the Tesla Megapack, it also takes far longer to recharge.

The largest grid-scale storage system currently operating in the US is the Bath County Pumped Storage Station in Virginia, which has a generating capacity of ~3000 MW from 6 turbines and a storage capacity of 24,000MWh. This system could backup a 5 MW solar array for 4800 hours or a 500 MW generating system for approximately 48 hours. At full generating capacity of 3000 MW, the system could operate for approximately 8 hours.


Tags: Energy Storage / Batteries, Electric Power Dispatchable

How EPA's power plant rule will destroy our grid - Highlighted Article


From: Energy Talking Points by Alex Epstein - Substack

By: Alex Epstein

Date: May 22, 2024

How EPA's power plant rule will destroy our grid

EPA's rule is literally the single greatest threat to our grid in the history of electricity, since it would ban up to 1/6 of our reliable power and prevent replacements amid an electricity crisis

4 reasons EPA’s power plant rule will destroy our grid:

  1. Our grid is in crisis
  2. EV + AI demand will make things far worse
  3. EPA’s rule will shut down almost all our coal plants and prevent new natural gas replacement plants
  4. Unreliable solar and wind can't make up the difference

1. Our grid is in crisis
Premature shutdowns of reliable fossil fuel plants without sufficient reliable replacements have plunged our grid into crisis nationwide.

Most of North America is at elevated/high risk of electricity shortfalls between 2024-2028. (continue reading)


How EPA's power plant rule will destroy our grid


Tags: Highlighted Article

Transition Cause & Effect - ORIGINAL CONTENT

The ongoing transition of the US energy economy to an “all-electric everything” energy economy can be analyzed and understood as a set of causes and effects.

CAUSE: The underlying cause which precipitated the transition is the amplification of the mild global warming currently underway by political opportunists into a “crisis”, “existential threat” or “emergency”.

EFFECT: The resulting effect is the adoption of a “global” effort to achieve anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions of “Net Zero by 2050”, primarily by replacing fossil electricity generation with wind and solar generation and existing fossil fuel applications with electric applications.

CAUSE: Installation of intermittent wind and solar generation increased investment in electricity generation, since these intermittent sources require full backup when they are unavailable.

EFFECT: Wholesale electric prices increase.

CAUSE: Intermittent renewable generation displaces generation from fossil powerplants, reducing fossil powerplant output and increasing fixed powerplant cost recovery per unit of output.

EFFECT: Wholesale electric prices increase.

CAUSE: Renewable generation output price is adjusted up based on price of the last increment of fossil generation output acquired to meet grid demand.

EFFECT: Wholesale electric prices increase.

CAUSE: Electric end use transition increases grid demand, driving increase in intermittent renewable generating capacity and requirement for full backup.

EFFECT: Wholesale electric prices increase.

CAUSE: Electric end use transition increases grid demand, driving increase in grid transmission capacity.

EFFECT: Retail electric prices increase.

CAUSE: Electric end use transition increases end use electric demand, driving increase in grid distribution capacity.

EFFECT: Retail electric prices increase.

CAUSE: Remote location of renewable generation requires grid expansion to connect the larger number of smaller generators.

EFFECT: Retail electric prices increase.

CAUSE: Resistance to increased fossil generation capacity as renewable backup requires addition of electricity storage and generating capacity. Storage cost is 2.5 times the cost of natural gas combined cycle generation per kW and approximately 30 times the cost per kWh.

EFFECT: Wholesale electric prices increase.

CAUSE: Fossil generation capacity is shuttered as the result of government edict or unsustainable economics and is replaced by additional renewable generation plus storage sufficient to render the intermittent generation dispatchable. Undepreciated fossil generation asset value is securitized and recovered through rates.

EFFECT: Wholesale electric prices increase.

CAUSE: Intermittent renewable generation life expectancy is approximately half of fossil generation life expectancy, requiring more rapid depreciation.

EFFECT: Wholesale electric prices increase.

CAUSE: Electricity storage life expectancy is approximately one quarter of fossil generation life expectancy, requiring more rapid depreciation.

EFFECT: Wholesale electricity prices increase.

SUMMARY: Numerous aspects of the transition to an “all-electric everything” energy economy contribute to an increase in wholesale and retail electric rates, rather than to the promised reductions which were supposed to result from the conversion to renewable generation. The magnitude of the increases might be reduced in the future if electricity storage costs can be reduced. However, the proponents of the transition appear unwilling to wait for the evolution of storage technology.


Tags: Green Energy Transition, Net Zero Emissions, Energy Costs

Net Zero CO2 Emissions: A Damaging and Totally Unnecessary Goal - Highlighted Articles


From: Roy Spencer, Ph. D.

By: Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Date: April 18 & 23, 2024


Net Zero CO2 Emissions: A Damaging and Totally Unnecessary Goal

Unnecessary Net Zero, Part II: A Demonstration with Global Carbon Project Data

The goal of reaching “Net Zero” global anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide sounds overwhelmingly difficult. While humanity continues producing CO2 at increasing rates (with a temporary pause during COVID), how can we ever reach the point where these emissions start to fall, let alone reach zero by 2050 or 2060?

What isn’t being discussed (as far as I can tell) is the fact that atmospheric CO2 levels (which we will assume for the sake of discussion causes global warming) will start to fall even while humanity is producing lots of CO2.

Let me repeat that, in case you missed the point:

Atmospheric CO2 levels will start to fall even with modest reductions in anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

Why is that? The reason is due to something called the CO2 “sink rate”. It has been observed that the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere, the more quickly nature removes the excess. The NASA studies showing “global greening” in satellite imagery since the 1980s is evidence of that.

Last year I published a paper showing that the record of atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa, HI suggests that each year nature removes an average of 2% of the atmospheric excess above 295 ppm (parts per million). The purpose of the paper was to not only show how well a simple CO2 budget model fits the Mauna Loa CO2 measurements, but also to demonstrate that the common assumption that nature is becoming less able to remove “excess” CO2 from the atmosphere appears to be an artifact of El Nino and La Nina activity since monitoring began in 1959. As a result, that 2% sink rate has remained remarkably constant over the last 60+ years. (By the way, the previously popular CO2 “airborne fraction” has huge problems as a meaningful statistic, and I wish it had never been invented. If you doubt this, just assume CO2 emissions are cut in half and see what the computed airborne fraction does. It’s meaningless.)

Here’s my latest model fit to the Mauna Loa record through 2023, where I have added a stratospheric aerosol term to account for the fact that major volcanic eruptions actually *reduce* atmospheric CO2 due to increased photosynthesis from diffuse sunlight penetrating deeper into vegetation canopies: (continue reading)


Net Zero CO2 Emissions: A Damaging and Totally Unnecessary Goal

Unnecessary Net Zero, Part II: A Demonstration with Global Carbon Project Data

Tags: Highlighted Article

A Rational Transition - ORIGINAL CONTENT

The Administration has set the nation on a rapid transition to an “all-electric everything” energy economy powered predominantly by intermittent renewable energy. The goal is to complete this transition by 2050. There is significant uncertainty regarding the wisdom and necessity of achieving this goal, the target date for achieving it is arbitrary and the approach currently being pursued to achieve it is irrational.

However, if we stipulate that the transition is necessary, there is a rational path to pursuing it, though it is extremely unlikely that the transition would be complete by 2050. Pursuing this rational path begins with the acknowledgement that a reliable electric grid powered predominantly by intermittent renewable generation would require a combination of short-, medium- and long-duration storage infrastructure capable of storing approximately 25% of annual generation.

The first step in the process would be to terminate all subsidies, incentives and preferences for deployment of renewable generation. Wind and solar are relatively mature technologies. Their costs have been reduced dramatically and their promoters contend that they are already generating the cheapest electricity. There are more critical uses for the funds which are currently dedicated to these subsidies and incentives.

The second step in the process would be to terminate all subsidies, incentives and preferences for deployment of short-duration storage. Lithium-ion short-duration storage systems are commercially available and are being installed worldwide. The funds currently dedicated to these subsidies would be redirected to research, development, demonstration and deployment of medium- and long-duration storage technology.

The next step in the process would be to eliminate the current storage deficit which resulted from the installation of intermittent renewable generation without the storage required to render this generation dispatchable. The required storage capacity is approximately 115,000 GWH.

The next step in the process would be a requirement that all new intermittent renewable generation connected to the grid include sufficient storage capacity to render the generation dispatchable.

The next step in the process would be to delay any forced closures of coal generation facilities until sufficient dispatchable renewable generating capacity is installed and operating within the region currently served by those plants.

The next step in the process would be to delay any forced closures of natural gas generation facilities until sufficient dispatchable renewable generating capacity had been installed to meet the anticipated load growth in the region as well as replacing the existing natural gas generating capacity.

The funds currently used to subsidize and incentivize wind and solar generation should be redirected to research, development, demonstration and deployment of Dispatchable Emission Free Resources (DEFRs) for connection to the grid and for use as standby power systems for uninterruptible loads.

The time required for this transition is difficult to estimate because medium- and long-duration storage systems and DEFRs do not currently exist commercially and the time required for their RDD&D is uncertain. The time required for installation of the required generation and storage infrastructure is also uncertain because of the numerous delays encountered in infrastructure development projects. The time required for conversion of numerous industrial processes to electric power is uncertain because the required technology does not exist or is in its infancy.

Finally, completion of the project might well be delayed by the ability of the economy to fund the required new generation, storage, transmission and distribution infrastructure, including “last mile” upgrades to residential and commercial service transformers, service lines, and power panels..


Tags: Electric Power Dispatchable, Energy Storage / Batteries, Green Energy Transition

The Climate Industry’s Misdirection Campaign - Highlighted Article


From: Breakthrough Institute - Substack

By: Jessica Weinkle

Date: May 3, 2024

The Climate Industry’s Misdirection Campaign

“If you could control someone’s attention,” asked the famous pick-pocket Apollo Robbins in a 2013 TED talk, “what would you do with it?”

Well, you may use it for misdirection — or the ability, as Robbins described it, to hold an audience’s attention intensely on one thing to distract them from some other thing. It is how a thief, as he demonstrated, can remove a watch from your wrist even as you focus on your hand.

Misdirection is as much a skill of the gentleman thief as it is of politicians and the media, which, in our era of short attention spans and constant flow of information, collude to create what journalist Mark Leibovich once called a “culture of distraction-mongering.” Our individual and collective attention has been artfully focused away from what is going on right in front of us.

We watch a constant flow of reporting on climate change: elite research publications drive media storms — and careers; the IPCC puts out reports with easily downloadable images and flashy movie trailers; weather-tainment channels offer a constant play-by-play on temperature stats; public tensions rise over insurance affordability; anxious youth plaintiffs take to the courtrooms; and the seasoned American political leader, John Kerry, decries the “demagoguery” that impedes progress towards net zero emissions and puts “the whole world at risk” of planetary destruction.

But what we don’t see — what most simply cannot see because it is too deep in the weeds of footnotes, methodological assumptions, and researcher professional networks — is how, behind all this noise, the climate industry is quietly pilfering the legitimacy of our institutions of knowledge and democratic governance. (continue reading)


The Climate Industry’s Misdirection Campaign


Tags: Highlighted Article

Irrational Transition - ORIGINAL CONTENT

The United Nations and the leaders of the developed nations have declared that the continued anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere represent an existential threat to humanity and must cease. They have established a goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and have initiated a variety of actions intended to achieve that goal. They contemplate a transition to “all-electric everything”.

The apparent enthusiasm of the UN and the governments of the developed nations for Net Zero by 2050 is not shared by the developing and not-yet-developing nations, which place higher priority on economic development, with little regard for the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. That assures that, even if the developed nations achieved their net zero goals, the globe would not reach net zero by 2050.

However, it appears extremely unlikely that the developed nations would achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The transition could only be achieved with a combination of massive expenditures, successful commercialization and implementation of currently non-existent technology and processes, elimination of the government-imposed “red tape” which delays project approvals and construction schedules, societal acceptance of the resulting upheaval and an enormous amount of good luck. Expecting to achieve this transition by 2050 is not rational. It is also not necessary.

The transition has begun by providing extremely generous government subsidies and incentives to encourage the installation of intermittent renewable wind and solar electric generation and the sale and use of electric vehicles. However, there has been very little attention paid to the electricity storage infrastructure necessary to allow smooth integration of the intermittent renewable generation into a reliable grid. There has been no effort to demonstrate that an intermittent renewable plus storage supplied grid could be reliable. There has been limited attention paid to the utility and reliability of electric vehicles, or to the development of the fueling infrastructure necessary to adequately support them.

There is growing attention being paid to various societal sacrifices which would be a necessary part of the transition, including personal and business travel restrictions, personal consumption of goods and services restrictions and dietary changes. There is also active promotion of the concept of “15-Minute” cities and discussion of population control, though there is very little discussion of how it would be accomplished.

A rational approach to a transition of this magnitude would be based on technologies and processes which have been thoroughly tested and demonstrated and have shown that they can be implemented economically while improving quality of life. This is clearly not the case today. Rather, the controlling bureaucracies: HOPE that sufficient renewable generating capacity can be manufactured and installed timely; HOPE that economical short-term, medium-term and long-term storage technology can be developed, manufactured and installed timely; HOPE that the combination of renewable generation plus storage can successfully replace coal and natural gas generation; HOPE that the new electric equipment and processes required to replace existing fossil fueled equipment and processes can be developed and installed timely; HOPE that the required expansion of the grid, including the “last mile” can be completed timely; HOPE that the issues of electric vehicle utility and charging can be resolved timely; and HOPE that the national economies survive the process.

Regrettably, HOPE is not a strategy and relying on HOPE is not rational.


Tags: Green Energy Transition, Net Zero Emissions
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