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Climate and Climate Change

Climate and Climate Change

Climate Change

Two days before Halloween, 2011, New England was struck by a freak winter storm. Heavy snow descended onto trees covered with leaves.  Overloaded branches fell on power lines.  Blue flashes of light in the sky indicated exploding transformers.  Electricity was out for days in some areas and for weeks in others. Damage to property and disruption of lives was widespread.

That disastrous restriction on human energy supplies was produced by Nature.  However, current and future energy curtailments are being forced on the populace by Federal policies in the name of dangerous “climate change/global warming”.  Yet, despite the contradictions between what people are being told and what people have seen and can see about the weather and about the climate, they continue to be effectively steered away from the knowledge of such contradictions to focus on the claimed disaster effects of  “climate change/global warming” (AGW, “Anthropogenic Global Warming”). 

People are seldom told HOW MUCH is the increase of temperatures or that there has been no increase in globally averaged temperature for over 18 years.  They are seldom told how miniscule is that increase compared to swings in daily temperatures. They are seldom told about the dangerous effects of government policies on their supply of “base load” energy — the uninterrupted energy that citizens depend on 24/7 — or about the consequences of forced curtailment of industry-wide energy production with its hindrance of production of their and their family’s food, shelter, and clothing. People are, in essence, kept mostly ignorant about the OTHER SIDE of the AGW debate.

Major scientific organizations — once devoted to the consistent pursuit of understanding the natural world — have compromised their integrity and diverted membership dues in support of some administrators’ AGW agenda.   Schools throughout the United States continue to engage in relentless AGW indoctrination of  students, from kindergarten through university.  Governments worldwide have been appropriating vast sums for “scientific” research, attempting to convince the populace that the use of fossil fuels must be severely curtailed to “save the planet.”  Prominent businesses — in league with various politicians who pour ever more citizen earnings into schemes such as ethanol in gasoline, solar panels, and wind turbines — continue to tilt against imaginary threats of AGW.  And even religious leaders and organizations have joined in to proclaim such threats.   As a consequence, AGW propaganda is proving to be an extraordinary vehicle for the exponential expansion of government power over the lives of its citizens. 

Reasoning is hindered by minds frequently in a state of alarm.  The object of this website is an attempt to promote a reasoned approach; to let people know of issues pertaining to the other side of the AGW issue and the ways in which it conflicts with the widespread side of AGW alarm (AGWA, for short).  In that way it is hoped that all members of society can make informed decisions.

Transparency - ORIGINAL CONTENT

I believe that the demonstration project described in the previous commentary should be conducted rigorously and transparently, with broad website access to hourly, daily, monthly and annual data.

The first step in this process would be detailed documentation of the generation resources serving the demonstration zone by type, capacity and capacity utilization over a historical reference period. This information would provide the basis for the design of the renewable plus storage system.

The next step in the process would be the initial design of the renewable plus storage system to replace the existing conventional, dispatchable fossil generation resources. This would include designation of the types and capacities of the wind and solar generators, plus designation of the capacities and delivery rates of short, intermediate and long duration storage to be installed or simulated by pseudo-storage.

The demonstration would commence once the solar and wind generators and any actual storage capacity had been installed and tested. The new wind and solar generators plus the existing non-fossil generation would be used to meet the contemporaneous demand of the grid and to charge both actual and pseudo-storage.

The demonstration website would report the quantity of electricity generated by each type of generation both in absolute terms and as a percentage of rated capacity, as well as the electricity in both actual and pseudo-storage and its deliverability.

Failure to satisfy contemporaneous grid demand with the demonstration zone resources would be compensated for by measured deliveries from conventional fossil resources, but would require immediate determination of the renewable generation resources and/or storage resources required to avoid such emergencies in the future, and the costs of acquisition and installation of those resources.

Transparency would also require that all renewable generation and storage resources installed in the demonstration zone be capitalized at their full cost, with no federal or state incentives of any kind. The full costs of land acquisition, site preparation and facilities installation would also be included. Actual storage facility costs would be documented and pseudo-storage costs would be set equal to wind and solar generator costs for systems with equivalent delivery capacity times the number of days of capacity stored. Such calculated costs would be replaced with real facility costs when real storage equipment becomes commercially available. This approach would assure that customers in the demonstration zone pay the real costs of the electricity they consume.

All emergency generation and pseudo-storage electricity deliveries would be priced at the full cost of providing the service on an emergency basis. This pricing could be negotiated between the demonstration zone management and the utilities positioned to provide the service. These costs should be based on the cost of the next increment(s) of generation for the supplying utilities, since this is the electricity which would have to be generated over and above the supplying utility’s contemporaneous grid demand.

These approaches to the demonstration should assure that the demonstration zone facilities would be designed to be a reliable and flexible renewable electric system and that the electricity costs in the demonstration zone would representative of a renewable plus storage grid on a national scale.

 

Tags: Energy Storage / Batteries, Renewable Energy, Backup Power

Renewable Demonstration - ORIGINAL CONTENT

I believe it is essential that at least one large scale demonstration of a completely freestanding renewable plus storage powered grid be conducted under carefully controlled conditions. This demonstration should begin as soon as possible to gather the information necessary to assure that a national renewable grid is reliable. Regrettably, such a demonstration would require installation of long duration storage, which is not currently available commercially.

However, the demonstration could begin by requiring that the renewable generation in the demonstration zone be isolated from eternal sources of backup power and required to deliver surplus electricity to external grids which would function as pseudo-storage. The electricity delivered to pseudo-storage could be returned to the renewable demonstration zone in quantities equal to the quantity of electricity “stored”. The management of the renewable demonstration would be required to specify the storage capacity they required to achieve renewable grid reliability and could deliver only that quantity of electricity to pseudo-storage and draw only that quantity from pseudo-storage.

The demonstration could permit the demonstration zone managers to “install” additional generating capacity and pseudo-storage as required to compensate for lessons learned during the demonstration. The reasons for addition of additional generation and storage, as well as for the selection of particular generator and storage types should be carefully documented.

The demonstration managers would be able to import electricity from external sources if required to avoid demonstration grid failure, but would then be required to install additional generation capacity or contract for more pseudo-storage to avoid a repeat of the imminent grid failure condition. The demonstration managers should not be permitted to deliver electricity outside the demonstration zone, other than to pseudo-storage.

The demonstration zone should not include hydro generation capacity, since it is not broadly available. Nuclear generation capacity in the demonstration zone should approximate the 20% share of generation nationally, if necessary by limiting electricity delivery from nuclear generators to the demonstration zone. The demonstration zone should be located near the coast, so that offshore wind generation could be included in the generation mix as it becomes available.

A demonstration of this type would rapidly identify essential design characteristics and illustrate design flaws in a way that current attempts at demonstration and deployment have failed to do. Actual electricity storage should replace pseudo-storage as it becomes available.

No special provisions for environmental impact statements or siting approvals should be permitted, so that the establishment and development of the demonstration zone mirrors the actual experiences expected during the national transition to a renewable plus storage grid. Again, this approach would quickly identify issues which would affect the national transition. Issue resolutions implemented to facilitate the timely rollout of the demonstration should be available for all future environmental and siting issues, not limited only to the demonstration.

It might be ideal to site the demonstration zone in the metropolitan Washington, DC area to assist agencies of the federal government and federal legislators to understand the various issues with a renewable plus storage grid in real time and work to resolve them in a timely fashion.

 

Tags: Backup Power, Renewable Energy, Energy Storage / Batteries

Turning Down the Climate-Change Heat - Highlighted Article

  • 3/19/22 at 07:00 AM

 

From: National Review

By: Bjorn Lomborg

Date: March 3, 2022

 

Turning Down the Climate-Change Heat


The fixation on warming is harming the planet

We live in an age of fear — particularly, a fear of climate change. One picture summarizes this age for me. It is of a girl holding a sign say­­ing “You’ll die of old age. I’ll die of climate change.”

This is the message that the media are drilling into our heads: Climate change is destroying our planet and threatens to kill us all. The language is of apocalypse. News outlets refer to the “planet’s imminent incineration,” and analysts suggest that global warming could make humanity extinct in a few decades. Recently, the media have informed us that humanity has just a decade left to rescue the planet, that 2030 is the deadline to save civilization, and that we must radically transform every major economy to end fossil-fuel use, reduce carbon emissions to zero, and establish a totally renewable basis for all economic activity.

The rhetoric on climate change has become ever more extreme and less moored to the actual science. Over the past 20 years, climate scientists have painstakingly increased knowledge about climate change, and we have more — and more-reliable — data than ever before. But at the same time, the rhetoric that comes from commentators and the media has become increasingly irrational. (continue reading)

 

Turning Down the Climate-Change Heat

 

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Achieving Net Zero: A report from a putative delivery agency - Highlighted Article

  • 3/17/22 at 07:00 AM

 

From: The Global Warming Policy Forum

By: Michael Kelly

Date: March 2022

 

Achieving Net Zero: A report from a putative delivery agency

 

Preface

I imagine that I have been appointed the first CEO of a new agency set up by Her Majesty’s Government with the explicit goal of actually delivering Net Zero by 2050. I asked for a few months to be able to scope the project and to estimate the assets required to succeed. This is the result of that exercise, and the consequences that flow from the scale and timescale for meeting the target.

 

Executive summary

The cost to 2050 will comfortably exceed £3 trillion, a workforce comparable in size to the NHS will be required for 30 years, including a doubling of the present number of electrical engineers, and the bill of specialist materials is of a size that for the UK alone is comparable to the global annual production of many key minerals. On the manpower front we will have to rely on the domestic workforce, as everywhere else in the world is working towards the same target. If they were not so working, the value of the UK-specific target is moot. The scale of this project suggests that a war footing and a command economy will be essential, as major cuts to other favoured forms of expenditure, such as health, education and defence, will be needed. Without a detailed roadmap, as exemplified by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors that drove the electronics revolution after 1980, the target is simply unattainable. (continue reading)

 

Achieving Net Zero: A report from a putative delivery agency

 

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Storage by the Numbers - ORIGINAL CONTENT

A reliable electric grid supplied predominantly or exclusively by intermittent renewable generators such as wind turbines and solar arrays would require massive energy storage to provide continuous power to the grid when the output of the wind turbines and solar arrays was fluctuating, inadequate or unavailable.

Some renewable electricity providers have installed batteries capable of compensating for output fluctuations of several minutes duration. More recently, some renewable electricity providers are planning installation of battery storage systems capable of delivering power to the grid for up to 4 hours.

NREL estimates that the current cost of such 4-hour storage systems is approximately $350 per kWh and that it is expected to decrease to approximately $150 per kWh by 2050. Based on these estimates, 4-hour storage for a 2.5 MW wind turbine or solar array would cost approximately $3,500,000 and that cost would be expected to decrease to approximately $1,500,000 by 2050. This compares with the estimated installed cost of a 2.5 MW wind turbine or solar array of approximately $3,200,000.

It is important to remember that the 10 MWH available from the storage system must first be provided by the wind turbine or solar array. US EIA Electric Power Monthly reports that a 2.5 MW wind turbine would have produced an average of 21.2 MWh per day in 2020, while a 2.5 MW solar array would have produced an average of 14.5 MWh per day. Therefore, the electricity stored in the batteries would constitute half to two-thirds of the total electricity output of the generators on an average day. In this example, the storage system would be capable of providing more electricity to the grid in 4 hours than the renewable generators did in the remaining 20 hours of the average day.

While these 4-hour storage systems would provide some ability to tailor electricity supply to demand load shape, they would add little to electricity supply reliability during periods of low/no wind and solar availability. Storage systems designed to provide continuous electricity delivery to the grid during multiple hours or days of low/no wind and solar generation are referred to as long-duration energy storage. California has recently solicited bids for such systems with a capacity of 50 MWh or greater and a delivery time of 8 hours or greater. While such systems would represent a significant advancement of the state of the art, they fall far short of the requirements for a storage system which could continue to supply electricity to the grid through a “wind drought” such as the recent ten-day event experienced in the UK.

Form Energy claims to have developed an iron/air storage battery capable of continuously delivering electricity to the grid for up to 150 hours, or about 60% of the duration of the UK wind drought. Such a storage system for a 2.5 MW wind turbine would require a storage capacity of approximately 130 MWh, which would first have to be provided by the wind turbine. Initial estimates place the cost of such a system at approximately $20 per kWh, or approximately $2,600,000, not including installation and land costs.

 

Tags: Energy Storage / Batteries

Climate Change, an Emergency, or Not? - Highlighted Article

  • 3/10/22 at 07:00 AM

 

From: Watts Up With That

By: David Coe

Date: February 26, 2022

 

Climate Change, an Emergency, or Not?


The Impact of CO2, H2O and Other “Greenhouse Gases” on Equilibrium Earth Temperatures

"The cries of Climate Emergency are becoming ever more strident. We are bombarded on a daily basis from almost every section of the media with stories of impending doom unless we take immediate and decisive action to prevent a climate catastrophe. This action includes the rapid adoption of a “zero carbon economy”. But what does this actually mean?

Carbon is the atom which, above all others, is the basis of life on this planet. Its unique atomic structure enables it to combine with other atoms to produce the amazing variety of complex molecules necessary for all forms of life.

Of course ,what is meant by “zero carbon” is actually zero carbon dioxide, the molecule which has been “fingered” as the demonic source of global warming, now known as climate change, climate emergency, climate catastrophe or whatever the next superlative tag can be attached to the word climate.

Just how does carbon dioxide come to be the instigator and chief cause of global warming? I say chief cause, because other gases are also in the frame as contributors, namely methane and nitrous oxide, for which the global agricultural sector is shouldering the blame, because of methane liberated by cattle and nitrous oxide from fertilisers. The story goes like this." (continue reading)

 

Climate Change, an Emergency, or Not?

 

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Solar by the Numbers - ORIGINAL CONTENT

The Administration goal of a fossil free grid by 2035 would require that the renewable portion of grid energy supply be supported by additional renewable generation plus electricity storage. The hourly, daily, monthly and seasonal variability of renewable generator output would no longer be supported by conventional fossil generation.

The US Energy Information Administration (US EIA) Electric Power Monthly reports an average solar photovoltaic capacity factor for calendar year 2020 at 24.2%, with a monthly average range from 7.1 – 33.3%. Monthly average capacity factors for 2021 through October range from 6.3 – 30.2%. Capacity factors are highest in the Summer and lowest in the Winter.

A 2.5 Megawatt (MW) solar collector array would have produced at an average rate of 0.605 MW (2.5 * 0.242) per hour, or 14.52 MWH per day in 2020, with a monthly average rate ranging from 0.1775 – 0.8325 MW, or 4.26 – 19.98 MWH per day. These averages mask the fact that solar output could range from 0 – 2.5 MW uncontrollably throughout the day and from day to day and would be zero at night. Therefore, on an annual basis and applying a typical utility capacity reserve margin of approximately 20%, a 2.5 MW solar array could be relied upon to provide approximately 0.15 MW (0.1775/1.2) if combined with storage capacity capable of storing electricity at a rate of up to 2.5 MW and discharging electricity at a rate of approximately 0.15 MW during a typical day.

A 2.5 MW solar array would also require storage capacity of approximately 15 MWH for each low/no solar day which might be experienced at the solar array location. The recent “solar drought” in the UK and parts of the EU lasted for approximately 10 days. Using this experience as guide, a 2.5 MW solar array would require storage of approximately 150 MWH capable of continuous discharge at a rate of 15 MWH per day. This storage would have to be recharged at the end of the period of low/no solar. However, the output of the solar array would be required to meet contemporaneous grid demand, so additional generating capacity would be required to recharge storage. Assuming that recharging the storage over the same number of days over which it was discharged would be acceptable, another 2.5 MW solar array would be required. More rapid recharging would require additional solar array capacity.

The availability of long-term, low-loss storage would permit the reliable capacity of the solar array and storage system to be increased from the 0.15 MW calculated above to approximately 0.51 MW [(0.605/0.1775) * 0.15)]. However, such long-term, low-loss storage is not currently commercially available and its likely cost, based on current technology, would exceed the cost of the additional solar array capacity required to increase output in the lowest output month of the year to the average annual output of the 2.5 MW solar array.

 

Tags: Solar Energy, Energy Storage / Batteries

Epstein on Energy: ‘Fossil Future’ on Deck - Highlighted Article

  • 3/5/22 at 07:00 AM

 

From: Master Resource

By: Robert Bradley Jr.

Date: February 21, 2022

 

Epstein on Energy: ‘Fossil Future’ on Deck


"History might well record Alex Epstein as the First Philosopher of Energy. How to think correctly amid the politicization of all-things-climate is a quest that only one person has really tried to master. And it starts not with deep ecology notions but on the premise of human betterment, now and over time.

With the remake of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels (2014) on deck (mid-April release scheduled), Fossil Future will join Steven Koonin’s Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters (2021) as a best seller on the reality of energy and climate. And it could not come at a better time given the energy crises from anti-fossil fuel policies leaving consumers at the mercy of the momentary output of the wind and sun.

Neo-Malthusians, the case is joined!

Recently, Epstein teased his audience with “33 controversial conclusions I have come to, explained thoroughly in Fossil Future, based on full context, pro-human thinking.” He is putting his ideas front and center and wants everyone from newspaper editorial boards to public forums to social media to colleges and universities to debate his ideas. No intellectual hiding from this fellow…" (continue reading)

 

Epstein on Energy: ‘Fossil Future’ on Deck

 

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How we have mischaracterized climate risk - Highlighted Article

  • 3/3/22 at 07:00 AM

 

From: Climate Etc.

By: Judith Curry

Date: February 19, 2022

 

How we have mischaracterized climate risk


“The current thinking and approaches guiding this conceptualization and description have been shown to lack scientific rigour, the consequence being that climate change risk and uncertainties are poorly presented. The climate change field needs to strengthen its risk science basis, to improve the current situation.” – Norwegian risk scientist Terje Aven

For decision-makers, climate change is a problem in risk assessment and management.  Climate change is a risk because it may affect prosperity and security in a negative way, and because its consequences are uncertain.

Global climate change policy has been dominated by a specific strategy of risk management – the Precautionary Principle as a justification for setting specific targets for the elimination of manmade emissions of carbon dioxide.  In the early 1980s, the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) became bullish on the idea that fossil fuels would produce dangerous climate change. The prospect of eliminating fossil fuels was congruent with UNEP’s broader interests in environmental quality and world governance. At Villach in 1985 at the beginning of the climate treaty movement, the policy movement to eliminate fossil fuels became detached from any moorings in the science – the rhetoric of precaution argued that we should act anyway to eliminate fossil fuels, just in case. This perspective became codified by the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Treaty in 1992, the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement." (continue reading)

 

How we have mischaracterized climate risk

 

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Wind by the Numbers - ORIGINAL CONTENT

The Administration goal of a fossil free grid by 2035 would require that the renewable portion of grid energy supply be supported by additional renewable generation plus electricity storage. The hourly, daily, monthly and seasonal variability of renewable generator output would no longer be supported by conventional fossil generation.

The US Energy Information Administration (US EIA) Electric Power Monthly reports an average wind capacity factor for calendar year 2020 at 35.3%, with a monthly average range from 28.2 – 41.1%. Monthly average capacity factors for 2021 through October range from 22.9 – 44.0%. Capacity factors are highest in the Spring and lowest in the Summer.

A 2.5 Megawatt (MW) wind turbine would have produced at an average rate of 0.8825 MW (2.5 * 0.353) per hour, or 21.2 MWH per day in 2020, with a monthly average rate ranging from 0.705 – 1.02 MW, or 16.92– 24.48 MWH per day. These averages mask the fact that wind turbine output could range from 0 – 2.5 MW uncontrollably throughout the day and from day to day. Therefore, on an annual basis and applying a typical utility capacity reserve margin of approximately 20%, a 2.5 MW wind turbine could be relied upon to provide approximately 0.5875 MW (0.705/1.2) if combined with storage capacity capable of storing electricity at a rate of up to 2.5 MW and discharging electricity at a rate of approximately 0.60 MW during a typical day.

A 2.5 MW wind turbine would also require storage capacity of approximately 20 MWH for each low/no wind day which might be experienced at the wind turbine location. The recent “wind drought” in the UK and parts of the EU lasted for approximately 10 days. Using this experience as guide, a 2.5 MW wind turbine would require storage of approximately 200 MWH capable of continuous discharge at a rate of 20 MWH per day. This storage would have to be recharged at the end of the period of low/no wind. However, the output of the wind turbine would be required to meet contemporaneous grid demand, so additional generating capacity would be required to recharge storage. Assuming that recharging the storage over the same number of days over which it was discharged would be acceptable, another 2.5 MW wind turbine would be required. More rapid recharging would require additional wind turbine capacity.

The availability of long-term, low-loss storage would permit the reliable capacity of the wind turbine and storage system to be increased from the approximately 0.6 MW calculated above to approximately 0.75 MW [(0.8825/0.705) * 0.6)]. However, such long-term, low-loss storage is not currently commercially available and its likely cost, based on current technology, would exceed the cost of the additional wind turbine capacity required to increase output in the lowest output month of the year to the average annual output of the 2.5 MW wind turbine.

 

Tags: Energy Storage / Batteries, Wind Energy

IPCC AR6 SPM Credibility Destroyed by “Disappearing” Medieval Warming Period. - Highlighted Article

  • 2/26/22 at 07:00 AM

 

From: Watts Up With That

By: Larry Hamlin

Date: February 15, 2022

 

IPCC AR6 SPM Credibility Destroyed by “Disappearing” Medieval Warming Period.


The Climate Intelligence Foundation (CLINTEL) has cataloged significant errors in the UN IPCC AR6 Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) and distributed this error listing and analysis to the IPCC Chair and other world leaders to inform them of these errors.

The identified errors result in the SPM failing to meet standards of objective scientific integrity and therefore misleads world leaders regarding appropriate climate policy by erroneously pointing to a “climate crisis” that does not exist in reality. The seriously flawed SPM is “inappropriately being used to justify drastic social, economic and human changes through severe mitigation, while prudent adaptation” would be much more appropriate.

 

(continue reading)

 

IPCC AR6 SPM Credibility Destroyed by “Disappearing” Medieval Warming Period.

 

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REALISM OR UTOPIANISM? A proposal for reform of Net Zero policy - Highlighted Article

  • 2/24/22 at 07:00 AM

 

From: The Global Warming Policy Forum

By: John Constable and Capell Aris

Date: May 2021

 

REALISM OR UTOPIANISM? A proposal for reform of Net Zero policy

 

Summary

"This paper calls for root and branch reform of the UK’s Net Zero pathway to avoid intolerable cost and societal disruption. The alternative route proposed is a Gas to Gas-Nuclear programme.

As a matter of urgency, electricity generation policy must refocus on dispatchable low-emissions plant, which can deliver a secure and competitive electricity system as an enabler for the UK’s manufacturing industries.

The resulting lower electricity prices will facilitate some limited electrification of domestic and commercial heating and mobility, with potential for longer-term decarbonisation in transport and heating to be investigated via a medium-term nuclear programme, including the generation of hydrogen from high temperature reactors via the thermal decomposition of water.

The action points for reform are:

  • Remove market distortions and reduce consumer cost without delay, by buying back all subsidy contracts to renewables at a discount, compelling them to operate as pure merchant plant, and institute a rolling program for closure of the wind and solar fleets to reduce system operation costs.
  • License rapid construction of high-efficiency combined cycle gas turbines, perhaps fitted with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) if this proves economic. A variety of new approaches to gas turbines – for example Allam cycle turbines, may soon deliver zero-carbon electricity much less expensively.
  • Use low-cost government debt to finance a new generation of nuclear plant, ideally of smaller scale than those currently envisaged.
  • While reduced electricity costs will encourage adoption of heat pumps and electric vehicles where economic, the government should investigate the use of high-temperature nuclear reactors to generate hydrogen to provide an alternative option, seeking close co-operation with the Government of Japan, which is already steering in this direction.

Current UK policies will struggle to deliver Net Zero by 2050, or ever, and run a high risk of deep and irreversible societal damage. Because of the harms already inflicted, the programme outlined here cannot meet the government’s timetable either, but it will reduce emissions rapidly and sustainably without destabilising British society, leaving the option for further emissions reductions as technological development makes this feasible and economically attractive. It therefore represents a realistic rather than a utopian decarbonisation model.

On the other hand, failure to reform along these lines will result in extreme costs, painful reductions in living standards for all but the richest, national weakness, societal instability and the eventual failure of the decarbonisation effort. The UK’s hoped for climate leadership will become only a stern deterrent." (continue reading)

 

REALISM OR UTOPIANISM? A proposal for reform of Net Zero policy

 

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RDD&D - ORIGINAL CONTENT

The path to new technology consists of research, development, demonstration and finally deployment. Research and development frequently continue in an effort to improve the technology. However, at some point, the technology is determined to be far enough advanced to proceed to demonstration; and, upon successful demonstration, to deployment.

Wind and solar technology have advanced through demonstration to deployment. However, it is important to understand what has been demonstrated and what is being deployed. Wind and solar have demonstrated that they are capable of generating electricity when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining. They have also demonstrated that they cannot generate electricity in the absence of wind and/or sun.

Both technologies are being deployed as “source of opportunity” generators and are provided with conventional generation backup for periods when they cannot generate.

Several jurisdictions in the US and Europe have also attempted to demonstrate that wind and solar could replace conventional generation. These attempts have been unsuccessful. They have clearly demonstrated that wind and solar, as intermittent generators, require full capacity backup to maintain a stable and reliable electric grid.

California and several European countries have decommissioned conventional  generation as wind and solar capacity were installed. During periods of low/no wind and solar availability, they have resorted to importing electricity from nearby states or nations. California has also resorted to rolling blackouts during periods when adequate imported electricity was unavailable.
 
The UK and Germany have also shut down conventional generation as wind and solar were installed and have relied on imported electricity during periods of low/no wind and solar availability. However, a recent fire disabled one of two undersea cables carrying electricity from France to the UK and one French nuclear generator experienced an issue and was shut down, thus limiting the ability of the UK to import electricity.

Texas decided not to decommission conventional capacity, but also not to keep some of the capacity operating at idle, ready to increase output as required. The recent polar vortex disabled so much wind and solar generation that the conventional generators operating at idle did not have sufficient capacity to supply the contemporaneous demand of the grid; and, the conventional plants which were not operating at idle were unable to come on line quickly enough to prevent grid failure for a variety of reasons.

These experiences were a clear demonstration that wind and solar cannot replace conventional generation, though they can displace its output when wind and solar conditions allow them to operate.

It remains to be demonstrated that wind and solar, combined with electricity storage, can replace conventional generation. This demonstration cannot begin until battery R&D produces battery technology that can demonstrate the ability to efficiently store and redeliver electricity over multi-day periods of low/no solar availability. The number of days of battery operation required for this demonstration to be successful would be a function of the maximum number of days of “wind drought” or “solar drought” which might occur at the generating sites. The excess wind and/or solar capacity required to recharge storage after depletion would be a function of the frequency of occurrence of low/no wind and solar days.

Until this demonstration has been completed successfully it would be irresponsible to decommission the conventional generating capacity required to supply the grid when wind and solar are unavailable. However, there will likely continue to be political and regulatory pressure to do so to limit electric rate increases resulting from maintaining redundant generating capacity.

 

Tags: Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Energy Storage / Batteries

Highlighted Article: Is the World Ready for Good News on Climate?

  • 2/19/22 at 07:00 AM

 

From: The Honest Broker Newsletter

By: Roger Pielke Jr.

Date: January 26, 2022

 

Is the World Ready for Good News on Climate?


"Come on a time travel trip with me and our new paper just out (me along with Matt Burgess and Justin Ritchie). Let’s go back to 2005 and take a look at how the world’s top energy and climate experts envisioned the range of plausible futures for climate change to 2100, and explore how they might react to our new analysis. The future is always an unknown place, but if we are going to create desirable futures, then we need to have some way of reliably projecting where were are headed and how we might alter course if we decide that we are headed in a wrong direction.

In climate policy, expectations for the future have long been characterized as scenarios, which according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change allow us to assess “a range of plausible futures, because human development is determined by a myriad of factors including human decision making.” There are of course a very wide range of plausible scenarios for the future, defined as “a variety of future states that are considered ‘occurrable’ (could happen).”

The figure below illustrates the future as an expanding cone of possibilities — of which some are possible, plausible and probable, with some futures more preferrable than others. The notion of “business as usual” has long been considered to be where we are currently headed if we don’t change course. We implement policy to try to shape the cone of future possibilities toward more preferred outcomes." (continue reading)

 

Is the World Ready for Good News on Climate?

 

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