Energy and fuel

This page is for discussion of energy supply, electricity generation, fuel sources and related matters not covered by other threads.

330 Thoughts on “Energy and fuel

  1. This wind farm scam reminds me of government IT projects. I have worked on a couple where we have wasted in the order of $50-70 million of taxpayers money on projects that will never work, and you know this from the first day on the jobs.

    There were too many egos, too many stakeholders, too much groupthink, and the developers and engineers just get ignored.

  2. Richard C (NZ) on June 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm said:

    That Australian MP Craig Kelly in the House of Representatives is on to it. Quite a revelation, I hardly ever see OZ MP speeches repeated for the substance they contain (same could be said for NZ).

    I think there’s an error though, “inefficiently” should be replaced by “efficiently” in the following passage:-

    “Overseas studies have suggested that we could actually lower our emissions of carbon dioxide if we did away with wind turbines altogether and just ran gas power stations inefficiently”

  3. Andy on June 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm said:

    Yes, that was an obvious typo. This has been stated repeatedly. Using gas to replace coal will reduce emissions, and shale gas will reduce dependence on imports.

    It seems like a no-brainer to me, but those agendas and that dogma run deep.

  4. I think he meant to say inefficiently. The wind farms cause the on-again, off-again inefficiency of an otherwise efficient energy source. Just removing the wind farms would leave them better off, never mind running the gas generation properly.

  5. Andy on June 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm said:

    There’s a couple of recent posts at BH with regard to costs etc


    This comment from Prof Gordon Hughes was interesting

    The only viable, but politically unrealistic, way of storing intermittent power generation is to build pumped storage schemes in every Highland valley. If onshore wind farms and the associated transmission lines are unpopular, how much more resistance would a commitment to build new pumped storage in every suitable valley generate? Most would have to be in Scotland since locations for large reservoirs with a height difference of 100+ metres are scarce in the rest of the UK.

    Flood every single Highland valley? I can’t see that going down too well.

  6. Richard C (NZ) on June 26, 2012 at 5:56 pm said:

    If wind is removed, that source has to be replaced by another supplier. The “overseas study” Kelly alludes to suggests gas power is the best replacement in terms of CO2 emissions.

    So then gas is supplying more constantly, the intermittent supply having been removed and the on/off gas cycles reduced. Therefore the gas supply is running more “efficiently”. Neglecting CO2 emissions, the same can be said for replacing wind with coal.

    Whatever the interpretation, the more wind added to the grid, the more unstable, inefficient and unpredictable it becomes overall. Germany is learning this the hard way with the added complication that they have not planned transmission expansion to cope with wind energy coming from remote locations not serviced by the existing grid. Even when they do construct the transmission links, the links will be inefficient unless there’s conventional generation on the same line to diversify the load. Wind-only loads would range from 0 to peak power in an erratic way. A single coal or gas plant on the end of a line would also vary the load over a line in the same 0 to peak range but not in the same erratic way. The peak would remain constant the whole time between ramp up and ramp down.

  7. Andy on June 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm said:

    We should give a shout out to another NZ blogger who is doing good work in this area

  8. Richard C (NZ) on July 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm said:

    Fossil Fools: Europe’s Cap-And-Trade Triggers Coal Boom

    Demand for coal grew 3.3 percent last year in Europe while sales of less- polluting natural gas fell 2.1 percent. Gas-fired plants need about half the carbon permits of coal burners. Even so, the 17 percent drop in permit prices to about 8 euros a ton has reduced their competitive advantage. Coal will continue to remain on the money in Europe because it’s more competitive to burn than gas. More and more of the coal to Europe will come from the U.S. where just the opposite is happening.


  9. Andy on July 25, 2012 at 9:19 pm said:

    Offshore Cork oil reserves are now upgraded to between 1 and 1 .6 billion barrels of oil, according to the Irish Press today.

  10. Here’s some great photos from the Mail on the formerly beautiful Scottish Highlands now blighted with wind turbines

  11. Richard C (NZ) on August 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm said:

    I would that a nice shade of green would have been an appropriate turbine colour to alleviate the visual pollutant aspect. Dynamite, Semtex, or C-4 would take care of the other symptoms.

    Those turbines would not get planning approval on the slopes of Mt Pironga next to the tour bus route to Waitomo Caves. Farm buildings have guidelines for colour and form. Neither would the planning process get far around Arrowtown – ask Shania Twain about that.

  12. Richard C (NZ) on August 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm said:

    Andy, were you looking for NZ wind generation data? Weekly here (Live at bottom of comment):-

    Energy Link Market Review
    Issue 795
    Week ending 5 August 2012

    Wind 3%

    Movement in Average Generation: Wind & Thermal down, Hydro up, Total down.

    Free subscription

    Big surprise (for me), E3P about equivalent to TCC and those 2 combined outrank Waikato, Waitaki and Manapouri (and about 4x wind).

    E3P 385MW CCGT at Huntly Unit 5

    TCC 380MW Taranaki – combined cycle

    Also, from the New Zealand Wind Energy Association:-

    Generation capacity

    The combined capacity – or the rated output – of wind farms in New Zealand is 622 megawatts. What this means is that at any given moment, if all wind farms were operating at their full capacity they could produce 622 megawatts of electricity.

    New Zealand wind farms generate at an average of around 40% of their rated output – this figure is also referred as “capacity factor” and is among the highest in the world.

    Hydro generation has an annual average capacity factor of around 50%, gas 65%, geothermal, 80%

    By my estimation from the Energy Link graph for Week ending 5 August 2012, wind at about 150MW was operating at 24% capacity factor.

    Live electricity generation information

    Visit to find out how much electricity is being generated by wind farms right now.

    Current Generation 9/8/12 19:00 (7pm) is about 150 MW (est from graph)

    9pm (8/8/12) maybe 10 MW

    12am 0 MW

    3am 0 MW

  13. Thanks Richard, I was aware of the em6live site but the other links are helpful

  14. Richard C (NZ) on August 9, 2012 at 8:16 pm said:

    Estimated weekly CO2 Emissions at bottom of Energy Link Market Review makes interesting reading.

    Huntly Units 1 – 4 from 0 to about 100,000 tonnes fluctuating (Genesis)

    Huntly e3p is almost constant at 20,000 tonnes.(Genesis)

    Genisis therefore, incurs the bulk of ETS (for elec gen) and would be purchasing most of the units, followed only (significantly) by Contact (OTAB and TCC).

  15. It gets better Richard. Today the Uk output for wind is….. zero

    Here’s the screengrab I took from NETA about 8.30pm NZT 9th August

  16. Richard C (NZ) on August 9, 2012 at 9:29 pm said:

    Ha! 12 MW (Current) and 14 MW (Last Half Hour) is considered to be zero contribution,

    1518 MWH over Last 24 Hours would power about 30,360 homes at 50 kWh per day each. Wiki says there’s 3,506 wind turbines in the UK.

    Works out at 8.66 houses per turbine.

    [Actual range is about 5 – 50 kWh per day]

    I just worked out too that if Genesis were paying the AU$23 carbon tax for just for E3P, they would be paying 20,000 x 365 x 23 = AU$167,900,000 per year. Then they would have to pay for Units 1 – 4 on top of that.

    I’m now wondering how much AU generators are actually paying

  17. Richard C (NZ) on August 9, 2012 at 10:08 pm said:

    My daily average electricity is 8.78 kWh per day for a single person house so at that usage, 1518 MWH would power 172,823 houses and 49 houses per turbine.

    UK installed capacity 6580 MW divided by 3508 gives 1.88 MW per turbine and 45,120 kWh per day which at 40%, that one turbine would power 2056 single person houses.

    So today, just over 2000 people per turbine (on a single person house basis), went without wind power in the UK.

  18. Richard C (NZ) on August 9, 2012 at 10:52 pm said:

    And today, 2007 people x 3506 turbines = 7, 036,542 people in total that went without wind power on a single person house basis.

    Not a good day for wind power in the UK.

  19. Richard C (NZ) on August 10, 2012 at 12:19 am said:

    Good grief, 12 MW from an installed capacity of 6580 MW is a capacity factor (CF) of 0.18 %.

    Wiki cites UK CFs of Winter 38%, Summer 20%


    “Characteristics of the UK wind resource: Long-term patterns and relationship to electricity demand”

    Graham Sinden, 2005

    Figure 1 shows overall reported CFs around 26% 1993 – 2003.

    A more recent paper:-

    ‘Capacity factor of wind power realized values vs.estimates’

    Nicolas Boccard, 2009

    Has UK CF of 26.1 % in Table 2.

    Can’t copy anything but the abstract states that for two decades the European CF was assumed to be 30 – 35 % but the realized value for the last 5 years was 21 % with some financial consequences and a 40 % less than expected carbon emissions reduction.

  20. Apparently the performance of the UK wind fleet has been extremely poor for some time now – this 0% was not an outlier.

  21. em6live showed wind as zero percent of NZ grid at 6am this morning. There was a barely perceptible blip at 9am.

    Wind must be having a go slow at the moment. Anthony Watts also has a piece on WUWT about the Californian supply

  22. Richard C (NZ) on August 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm said:

    “The graph from CAISO tells the story, wind power has tumbled when it is most needed”

    The NZ Electricity Authority’s response to a similar situation but caused by low hydro lake levels in 2008 has been that it will introduce “scarcity pricing” on 1 June 2013.

    “The scarcity pricing Code amendment gazetted by the Authority provides for the introduction of a $10,000/MWh price floor and $20,000/MWh price cap to the spot market when an electricity supply emergency causes forced power cuts (called emergency load shedding) throughout one or both islands.

    Although emergency load shedding is very unlikely to occur, the $10,000/MWh price floor is intended to give investors in last-resort generation plant (and investors in demand response capability) confidence that emergency load shedding will not undermine the business case for investing in those resources. This promotes reliable supply by the electricity industry, which reduces the risk of emergency load shedding occurring.”

    [Normal prices are around $80 per MWh]

    I think load shedding could occur if the wind component became too great in the overall NZ generation makeup as in the US CAISO situation but we’re a long way from that.

    A very influential US Professor Bill Hogan has been touting “better” scarcity pricing all over the world to make a “level playing field” for renewables. See his presentation to the NZ Electricity Authority here (essentially heavy going economics):-

    There’s a perverse situation in electricity where normal supply/demand price determination doesn’t work in tight supply situations. Read about that in Hogan’s papers.

    But what I find interesting is the Authority’s Dispatchable Demand initiative (DD).

    “The DD initiative, in particular, is likely to increase competitive pressure on spot prices during tight supply situations, as providers of last resort plant will be competing with demand-side participants for dispatch.

    When fully introduced the DD regime also has the potential to make greater use of standby generation plants, which should also increase competitive pressure on mainstream generators when supply situations are tight”

    There’s only 1 – 3 major demand side users who will be able to take advantage of this initially but wind being only 3% and already dispatched for supply might be the generation sector to be most at risk because they will be competing smack up against major demand side users willing to be dispatched to shed load (stop taking supply by stopping/re-scheduling operations or starting their backup generators).

    The question is: will wind get preferential treatment by dispatchers in a DD situation?

  23. Richard C (NZ) on August 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm said:

    Just realized my question is moot if there’s zero contribution.from wind – lost the thread of my DD point there in the composing of it unfortunately.

  24. Richard C (NZ) on August 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm said:

    DD would compete against Contact Energy’s 200MW fast-start gas peaker plant at Stratford maybe.

    “The gas peaker plant will help Contact manage the increasing volatility of electricity generation as more renewables mean more capacity that depends on the rain falling (hydro stations), or the wind blowing (wind farms). It will perform the critical task of replacing lost generation capacity through any unexpected shutdowns more efficiently and much more quickly”

  25. Richard C (NZ) on August 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm said:

    Analysis of wind integration

    This page provides historical and forecast information relating to wind integration work.

    In this section you will find:

    * Synthetic wind data

    * Longer-term synthetic wind series

    * Correlation between wind generation output and hydro inflows

    The Electricity Commission made a number of presentation at the New Zealand Wind Energy Conference on Wind Integration. Copies of the presentations are available below.

    Related Documents

    Wind Integration Project (WIP) presentation – 2009

    presentation-Apr09.pdf | pdf | 188 KB | Modified: 13/01/2011 2:46pm

    Transmission to enable renewables update

    presentation-Apr09.pdf | pdf | 1 MB | Modified: 25/10/2010 5:58pm

    Wind Integration – the long view

    presentation-Apr09.pdf | pdf | 237 KB | Modified: 05/10/2010 9:32am

  26. Richard C (NZ) on August 11, 2012 at 6:51 pm said:

    Transmission to enable renewables update

    Generation Expansion Model (GEM) base case inputs

    Main key drivers

    Carbon charge $75/tCO2
    Shortage of gas –import LNG in 2020 at $25/GJ (assumed oil at 100 USD/barrel and exchange rate at 0.65)
    Diesel cost at $33/GJ (~$1.30/litre)
    Coal price at $4/GJ ??

    Wind assumptions

    Capital cost: $2600/kW
    Variable O&M: $15/MWh
    Plant life: 20 years
    Depreciation rate: 19%
    Capacity factor: 0.35-0.45

    LRMC ~$100/MWh

  27. Richard C (NZ) on August 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm said:

    Wind Integration – the long view (NZ)

    Consider the 2 graphs:

    Generation Expansion Model Long Run Marginal Cost – Carbon charge = 0 $/t (page 4 pdf)

    Generation Expansion Model Long Run Marginal Cost – Carbon charge = 100 $/t (page 4 pdf)
    0$ carbon charge ranking as MW increase (rough guessing from stupid colour code):-

    1 CCGT
    2 Geothermal
    3 Either – Hydro Peaking or Minor Coal or IGCC/CCS or Lignite
    4 CCGT/CCS

    5000 MW
    5 Major Coal
    6 Minor Wind, Geothermal, Hydro ROR and one of the 3rd rank

    10,000 MW
    7 Major Wind
    8 Minor Lignite, IGCC/CCS, Coal Dry Years
    9 Either – Hydro Peaking, Minor Coal, IGCC/CCS, Lignite
    10 Fast Start Gas Fired Peaker
    11 Minor Wind
    12 Major Lignite
    13 Diesel Peaker
    14 Minor one of the 3rd rank
    15 Major Hydro Pumped Storage
    100$ carbon charge ranking as MW increase (rough guessing from stupid colour code):-

    1 Minor Geothermal, Either – Hydro Peaking or Minor Coal, IGCC/CCS or Lignite, Hydro ROR

    2000 MW
    2 Major Wind, Geothermal, Either – Hydro Peaking or Minor Coal or IGCC/CCS or Lignite, Gas Peaker
    3 Either – Hydro Peaking or Minor Coal or IGCC/CCS or Lignite, Minor Wind

    25,000 MW
    4 CCGT/CCS, Major Coal, CCGT
    5 Lignite, Either – Hydro Peaking or Minor Coal or IGCC/CCS
    6 CCGT
    7 Either – Hydro Peaking or Minor Coal or IGCC/CCS or Lignite
    8 Diesel Peaker, Hydro Pumped Storage

  28. For some reason all my recent comments have ended up going nowhere (spam filter?)

    My recent “no wind” screenshot made it onto EURef,

    Will the message ever get through to our useless leaders? I doubt it.

  29. My infamous screenshot now gets cited by Booker in his weekly column

  30. Richard C (NZ) on August 12, 2012 at 10:21 am said:

    Andy, it seems to me that the relevant metric is not CF but something that indicates the availability of wind when you need it (US CAISO situation) and when you don’t need it (too much energy available).

    I read in the NZ Electricity Authority reports how they were trying to work out how to dispatch DOWN in an equitable manner when they had too much energy.

    The KPI would be Wind Availability vs Demand Profile perhaps. I can’t recall seeing anything like that anywhere just wind prediction success probabilities in on one of the Electricity Authority reports.

    BTW nice contribution to EU Ref.

  31. Richard C (NZ) on August 12, 2012 at 10:34 am said:


    “As the windless days last week showed, we would have to build dozens of gas-fired power stations just to provide back-up for all the times when the wind is not blowing at the right speed”

    Bob Sykes at BH:-

    “…more correct to say that you are installing a gas-powered system with occasional supplements by wind”

  32. Andy,

    My infamous screenshot now gets cited by Booker in his weekly column

    Well done.

  33. Richard C (NZ) on August 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm said:

    The Transpower grid upgrade is largely the result of a Government Policy Statement. The following is from:-

    Report and Decision of the Board of Inquiry into the Upper North Island Grid Upgrade Project

    [112] By clause 66 of the Government Policy Statement (GPS),21 (as
    described in Chapter 4), the Electricity Commission was also required to take
    into account the Government’s objective to facilitate the potential
    contribution of renewables to the transmission system; and that the approval
    criteria should allow grid upgrade plans to facilitate the efficient and timely
    development of renewable generation resources, taking into account any
    difference in lead times for transmission and generation investment.

    [321] On 25 September 2008, the Electricity Act was amended by the 48th
    Parliament to create a preference for renewable electricity generation by
    restricting new baseload, fossil-fuelled, thermal electricity-generation
    capacity (except where exempted by the Minister of Energy).

    The “potential contribution of renewables to the transmission system” are from south of Whakamaru ([680]) but, here’s the kicker:-

    [28] Up to 30 per cent of the winter peak load in the upper North Island
    can be supplied by local generation in the Auckland area. Of that 30 per cent,
    over half is supplied by a single combined-cycle, gas-fired generator at

    Why then, would anyone restrict “new baseload, fossil-fuelled, thermal electricity-generation capacity” ?

    If you do a Full Reader Search with “renewable” you will see what it’s all about.- 76 instances.

  34. Interesting to see Bishop Hill now picking up on this

    Amazing how much internet traffic you can generate from a simple Crtl-Alt-PrintScreen

  35. Christopher Booker personally thanks me at Bishop Hill
    Nice bloke

  36. Richard C (NZ) on August 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm said:

    Interactive Electricity Generation Cost Model 2011

    This model is an interactive tool designed to provide users with insights into the potential costs of new generation, and the uncertainty surrounding these costs when key assumptions such as fuel prices, emissions price, exchange rates, etc. are changed.

    The projects are ranked from cheapest to most expensive based on their estimated “Long run marginal cost” (LRMC). LRMC is the wholesale price a generator needs to earn, on average, in order to recover capital and operating costs and earn an economic return on investment.

    The model also explores how future demand growth might be met. It assumes the cheapest projects are selected first and that sufficient plant must be available to meet both energy demand and peak demand.

    Note that this model is illustrative only and does not represent a complete list of all possible future generation projects.

    This is a simplified version of the electricity model used in the Energy Outlook 2011. The Energy Outlook uses the Electricity Authority’s “GEM” optimisation model to determine the least cost build of new generation. More information on the GEM model can be found in the Technical Guide for Energy Outlook Modelling or on the Electricity Authority’s website.

    Download the document

    Electricity generation cost model [4.1 MB XLS]

  37. Richard C (NZ) on August 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm said:

    Technical Guide for Energy Outlook Modelling

    Version 2.0 January 2012

    1 Overview
    The Ministry of Economic Development’s (MED) current approach to energy modelling for the Energy Outlook uses five distinct (but interrelated) models:
     Supply and Demand Energy Model (SADEM);
     electricity Grid Expansion Model (GEM);
     electricity price forecast model;
     oil and gas models;
     and the Vehicle Fleet Model (VFM).
    These models are used to produce forecasts of energy supply and demand and energy sector greenhouse gas emissions.

  38. Richard C (NZ) on August 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm said:

    Contrary to the 0$ carbon charge GEM graph in ‘Wind Integration – the long view (NZ)’, wind ranks ahead of gas base load when I enter a 0$ carbon charge and 8$ per GJ wholesale gas price in the “simplified” spreadsheet.

    Not sure what the simplification is yet, I’ll have to read the Technical Guide for GEM.

  39. Richard C (NZ) on August 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm said:

    Wind Power in the Windy City: Not There When Needed

    According to the American Wind Energy Association, Illinois has one of the most aggressive wind energy programs in the country. At the end of 2011, over 2,700 megawatts (MW) of wind generation had been installed, and another 600 MW was under construction. (For comparison, the Braidwood Nuclear Plant southwest of Chicago has a generating capacity of 2,300 MW.) Thus, during the recent heat wave, when temperatures in Chicago soared to 103 degrees, wind turbines stood by to do their part to keep the Windy City cool. And stand they did…still, that is.

    Illinois wind generated less than five percent of its capacity during the record breaking heat last week, producing only an average of 120 MW of electricity from the over 2,700 MW installed. On July 6th, when the demand for electricity in northern Illinois and Chicago averaged 22,000 MW, the average amount of wind power available during the day was a virtually nonexistent four MW, less than the output of two large wind turbines, or about and enough power to operate 4,000 blow dryers. In fact, the most electricity wind produced on any day during last week’s heat wave was an average of 320 MW on July 3rd, or about 10 percent of the capacity of the wind turbines built in Illinois, when temperatures soared to 103 degrees.

    Wind power’s failure during last week’s extended heat wave is no fluke. When I performed a similar analysis last summer, the results were the same: the hotter the weather and greater customers’ demand for electricity, the less electricity produced from wind. Of course, this should not really be surprising. After all, the most miserable summer days are hot, humid, and still.

  40. Richard C (NZ) on August 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm said:

    Wind generation investigation project (WGIP)

    To accommodate the connection of further wind generation while maintaining the integrity of the New Zealand power system, the Electricity Commission initiated a strategic project to assess the likely impact of wind generation development over the next 5 to 10 years. This study was to identify wider power system and electricity market implications of additional wind generation and how these can be best resolved to enable the development of wind generation on a “level playing field” with other generation sources.

    WGIP scope

    The Commission consulted on the scope of work for this project, with the final scope (72 KB) approved by the Board in September 2005.

    The reports are complete and can be downloaded below:

    * Commission summary report (598 KB)

    * Garrad Hassan report on wind power variability and forecast accuracy in New Zealand (791 KB)

    * Investigation 1 (Part A): Effect of unpredictability of wind generation on pre-dispatch processes (369 KB)

    * Investigation 1 (Part B): Effect of unpredictability of wind generation output on scheduling (1.4 MB)

    * Investigation 2: Effect of wind generation on dispatch (396 KB)

    * Investigation 3: Effect of wind generation variability on asset loading (657 KB)

    * Investigation 4: Effect of wind generation on ability to manage system voltages within voltage quality targets (1.4 MB)

    * Investigation 5: Effect of wind generation on management of frequency excursions (616 KB)

    * Investigation 6: Effect of wind generation on small disturbance voltage stability (1.2 MB)

    * Investigation 7 to 9 (Stage 1): Digsilent Report (574 KB)

    * Investigation 7 (Stage 2): Effect of wind generation on transient stability (4.2 MB)

    * Investigation 8 (Stage 2): Effect of wind generation on small signal stability (3.4 MB)

    * Investigation 9 (Stage 2): Effect of wind generation on reactive power contributions and dynamic voltage responses (1.3 MB)

  41. Richard C (NZ) on August 19, 2012 at 7:48 pm said:

    WGIP Objectives (from Intro linked below):-

    “Rules and related arrangements that neither penalise nor favour wind generation, relative to its true system costs & benefits”

    From WGIP ‘Implications analysis’ in the briefing list linked below:-

    “Generators must comply with dispatch instructions”


    “Wind generation is not required to comply with dispatch instructions”

    And (from INVESTIGATION 6),

    “The current electricity market arrangements in New Zealand require wind generators to offer their output at a price of $0 or $0.01 per MWh. This effectively results in wind generation being dispatched ahead of most other forms of generation, such that generation plant providing reactive support is displaced by minimum capability wind generation plant”.

    Also some very telling plots:-

    300 MW wind farm output forecast (23 hours out) and actual (at dispatch) – page 64

    Manawatu wind generation, day – pages 71 – 74

    Manawatu wind generation, week – 79

    [Indication of alt/reserve dispatch would be helpful in the above plots]

    –Wind generation forecast [errors] will exceed load forecast error within a few years
    –A review of SO tools and processes in light of wind forecast errors is required

    Briefing covering investigations 1-6

    * Introduction (Peter Harris) (71 KB)
    * Implications analysis (Graeme Ancell, System Operator) (2.1 MB)
    * Variability and unpredictability analysis (Dougal McQueen, Garrad Hassan) (116 KB)
    * Options framework (Jim Truesdale, Concept Consulting) (39 KB)

  42. Richard C (NZ) on August 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm said:

    Firming capacity wrt the WGIP Objectives:-

    “Rules and related arrangements that neither penalise nor favour wind generation, relative to its true system costs & benefits”

    Deloitte 2012 report ‘Economics of wind development in New Zealand’ states

    The cost of providing this [firming] capacity is generally carried by the operators of controllable generation plant who may be able to use this ability to capture prices greater than the TWAP.

    Various studies have been carried out on the cost of this firming capacity which have estimated the current cost as being in the region of $2/MWh.

    Wiki tells us that In the 2011 calendar year, wind power produced 1,930,000 MWh of electricity so using that year, the wind sector avoids firming costs of $3.86m pa and $386m over 10 years.

    But (from Deloitte 2012):-

    “The cost of firming capacity is expected to rise if wind plant grows to become a larger proportion of the overall generation capacity. As these costs grow there may be increasing pressure to tie them back more directly to the wind, or other non firm plant”

  43. Richard C (NZ) on August 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm said:

    Introducing the Electricity Demand and Generation Scenarios (EDGS)

    Discussion paper July 2012 PDF Document 639kb

    Proposed base capital cost assumptions for the EDGS 2012 Excel spreadsheet 136kb

    Scenario design rationale

    53. By focusing on the mix of renewable technologies (particularly wind and geothermal) and the quantity of thermal generation, the four proposed EDGS scenarios reflect the Ministry’s current understanding about technology costs and trade‐offs.

    54. Last year, in preparation for the EDGS, the Ministry commissioned Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) to update the technical and capital cost assumptions for use in the Generation Expansion Model (GEM). The final report is published on the Ministry’s website at:

    55. Figure 3 shows the Long Run Marginal Cost (LRMC) of new generation projects using the PB report and the Energy Outlook 2011 Reference Scenario assumptions. The LRMC is a common measure used to compare the relative costs of new generation options.

    56. While there is a high level of uncertainty about the relative costs of each technology, Figure 3 indicates that geothermal may be the cheapest new generation option. The quantity of baseload thermal generation will be heavily influenced by gas resource availability and the price of carbon emissions. If there is sufficient affordable gas available, new gas combined cycle turbines (CCGTs) are likely to be built.

    57. The carbon price will also have a big impact on all existing and potential new thermal generation, particularly coal. Although the coal price is important and will be carefully considered, the carbon price will be used by the Ministry as the primary driver for coal investment, since a high carbon price will make new coal investment uneconomic.

    58. The Ministry is currently unaware of any generator proposals to build new coal fired electricity‐only plants in New Zealand; however there is technically a very large fuel resource available. New coal generation will be included in the assumption sets; however, it is unlikely to be built in scenarios with mid–high carbon prices (as shown in Figure 3). Other generation options such as hydro and cogeneration will also be represented in the assumption sets for all

    59. Table 2 summarises the potential new generation capacity (MW) by project stage for each of the dominant technologies currently being proposed by generators (excluding gas and diesel peakers). It is based on the PB report, with some revisions as new information has become available.

    60. Table 2 shows there is a very large quantity of wind projects already fully consented compared with only a handful of geothermal proposals. Nearly two‐thirds of the around 1,600 MW of the geothermal resource available (and included on the previous LRMC chart) are generic plants that have not been publically proposed by generators. As well as this, many of these resources are greenfield or previously undeveloped resources.

    61. If geothermal resources prove to be plentiful (and cheap) then geothermal energy could dominate future baseload build. On the other hand, if the capital cost of wind technology falls (as some commentators expect) and geothermal resources are limited, then wind generation will be more prominent.

    62. While hydro is likely to always remain New Zealand’s dominant source of electricity generation, Figure 3 and Table 2 show it is not likely to dominate new generation development in the short to medium term. Large hydro developments are particularly difficult to consent and recent cost estimates put them as being more expensive than other generation options.
    Also see MED Technical Papers:-

  44. Richard C (NZ) on August 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm said:

    New Zealand’s Energy Outlook

    Download the documents

    * Energy Outlook 2011 [902 KB PDF]
    * Energy Outlook 2011 Technical Guide [985 KB PDF]
    * Electricity generation and build [614 KB XLS]
    * Emissions [1.1 MB XLS]
    * Energy prices [399 KB XLS]
    * Energy supply and demand [1.2 MB XLS]

    From ‘Energy Outlook 2011’ pg 11:-

    Emissions Price Sensitivity Analysis

    The Reference Scenario assumes an emissions price of $25 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) emitted from 2013. Two alternative sensitivities are considered, a no emissions price sensitivity case and a sensitivity case where the emission price rises to reach $100 per tonne by 2020 and remains at that level out to 2030.

    [Reference price is lower than the $50 per tonne assumed in Energy Outlook 2010, reflecting lower carbon prices worldwide (from pg 12)]


    >> In the high emissions price sensitivity case, wind generation increases by 80% while coal reduces by 36% relative to the Reference Scenario. The 250% (average) increase in the emissions price results in a 8% rise in the electricity price relative to the Reference Scenario.
    >> In the no emissions price sensitivity case, coal generation increases by 79% while wind falls by 25% relative to the Reference Scenario. A new 560 MW coal plant is built in 2028 and in the early 2020’s one of the Huntly units is refurbished and remains in operation until 2040 (in the Reference Scenario all the Huntly units are fully decommissioned by 2030).
    >> With no emissions price the electricity price is around 5% lower than in the Reference Scenario.

    So the ETS adds to a nominal no emissions electricity price as follows:

    $100 – no carbon charge

    $105 – $25 carbon charge ($5, 5% rise) [Reference Scenario]

    $113.40 – $100 carbon charge ($13.40, 13.4% rise)

    The ‘Electricity generation and build’ XLS spreadsheet makes it much easier to envisage what generation gets built and when using the emissions price Low/High tabs than do the LRMC graphs that are output from GEM.

    In the “Low” ($0/t) scenario, an 80 MW coal stn gets built in 2023 and a 560 MW coal stn gets built in 2028.

    In the “Ref” ($25/t) scenario, only an 80 MW coal stn gets built in 2021.

    In the “High” ($100/t) scenario, only an 80 MW coal stn gets built in 2020.

    In the “Low” (0$/t) scenario, no new wind plant gets built until 2023.

    In the “Ref” ($25/t) scenario, 284 MW of wind plant gets built before 2023.

    In the “High” ($100/t) scenario, 938 MW of wind plant gets built before 2023.

  45. SNP proposes wind farm ‘propaganda’ for the classroom
    SNP minsters are planning to undermine community opposition to wind farms by having teachers tell schoolchildren that turbines benefit the environment, according to official guidance just published

    Updated advice issued by the Scottish Government stated that councils should include green energy in the school curriculum or after-school activities “to provide a foundation for balanced decision-making in later life”.

    It also recommended that renewable power companies embark on public relations campaigns so that the intermittent power and visual impact of turbines are not “portrayed as show-stoppers or roadblocks”.

    Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Energy Minister, said the guidance would ensure wind farm planning applications “go more smoothly for everyone involved”.

    But opposition parties last night accused the SNP of infecting classrooms with pro-wind farm propaganda in order that they achieve their green energy targets.

    This should come as no surprise to residents of the Stalinist State of New Zealand where public TV propaganda aimed at children is the norm

  46. Germany — Insane Or Just Plain Stupid?

    After the tsunami destroyed the Fukushima plants, Germany moved quickly to shut eight nuclear power plants, and made plans do away completely with their nuclear capability. Despite the best safety record of any industry in the country, and the critical role nuclear plays in fueling German industry, Germany’s past experience with large tsunamis was just too horrific to ignore. And Germany’s strong economy and commitment to protect the environment were small prices to pay for Chancellor Merkel to shore up her weak coalition with the Free Democrats. Maybe she can ask Greece for help later.

  47. Richard C (NZ) on September 4, 2012 at 9:46 am said:

    “German industrial and manufacturing sectors – steel, aluminum, paper, cement, plastics, chemical – are migrating to countries with cheaper electricity as energy and carbon-costs are eating up to 50% of their expenses. Almost one in five German industrial companies plans to, or already has, shifted capacities abroad”

    The euphemism I think, is “carbon leakage”.

  48. Wind turbines noise in Scotland.
    A video showing the high level of noise (measured with a dB meter) from a windfarm in Ayrshire

  49. Toyota drops plan for electric car:

    (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp has scrapped plans for widespread sales of a new all-electric minicar, saying it had misread the market and the ability of still-emerging battery technology to meet consumer demands.

    Toyota, which had already taken a more conservative view of the market for battery-powered cars than rivals General Motors Co and Nissan Motor Co, said it would only sell about 100 battery-powered eQ vehicles in the United States and Japan in an extremely limited release.

    The automaker had announced plans to sell several thousand of the vehicles per year when it unveiled the eQ as an pure-electric variant of its iQ minicar in 2010.

    “Two years later, there are many difficulties,” Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota’s vice chairman and the engineer who oversees vehicle development, told reporters on Monday.

    By dropping plans for a second electric vehicle in its line-up, Toyota cast more doubt on an alternative to the combustion engine that has been both lauded for its oil-saving potential and criticized for its heavy reliance on government subsidies in key markets like the United States.

  50. Richard C (NZ) on October 3, 2012 at 7:59 am said:

    Coal costs force Fonterra’s hand

    Dairy juggernaut Fonterra is planning a major new coal mine in north Waikato, saying that will be cheaper than buying coal from Solid Energy, the state-owned enterprise axing 120 jobs at Huntly, blaming falling prices.

    Fonterra’s coal mining company Glencoal is about to apply for resource consents to develop an open cast coalmine on 30ha of farmland it has owned for 10 years between Mangatawhiri Rd and the new State Highway 2 at Maramarua.

    The proposed mine would replace Glencoal’s 18-year-old Kopako 3 (K3) mine 8km south of Maramarua, which is nearing the end of its working life.


    New Zealand’s biggest company uses coal to power its Hautapu, Te Awamutu and Waitoa plants in Waikato.


    The coal energy utilized by those plants is about equivalent to the electrical energy demand of the City of Hamilton I think (last did that calc years ago).

  51. A video (in German) about wind developments in Germany

    Around 3 min 50, check out the incredible view of massive arrays of turbines right next to houses

  52. Richard C (NZ) on October 15, 2012 at 11:11 am said:

    I watched DW In Focus about CFLs on Central TV last night and it’s damning re mercury (and just about everything else), the chemist and environmental health researchers (German) were scathing. Anyone who promotes CFLs after watching that is out of their minds.

    Can’t find the one I watched but I think this one is similar

    From the blurb “Energy-saving lamps contain toxic mercury and are hazardous. They can be collected and recycled in special boxes. Unfortunately, many people throw energy saving light bulbs in the trash – which is harmful to the environment”

    That’s about the least of the problem

  53. Germany facing power blackouts

    Philipp Rosler said Germany is faced with a repeat of the power shortages experienced last year that threatened to plunge parts of the country into darkness.

    “Last winter we had a pretty tense situation, and this year we could see the same again, and perhaps even next year as well,” he said in an interview with the newspaper Passauer Neue Presse.

    The move away from old forms of energy production has become one of Chancellor Angel Merkel’s key policies, and the government wants four fifths of German energy produced by renewable sources by 2050. To achieve this it has begun to take old fossil fuel power stations offline, and has also committed itself to phasing out nuclear energy by 2022.

    Filling the void left by fossil fuels and nuclear power however has already placed a strain on existing capacity in the national grid. During a cold snap in February last year the pressure on electricity capacity in the Hamburg region pushed the grid to breaking point and forced some heavy industry plants to shut down.

  54. Professor Jim Al-Khalili, thorium to produce nuclear power – University of Huddersfield

    A short YouTube clip from a well known physicist and BBC presenter

  55. Death knell for wind farms: ‘Enough is Enough’ says minister
    Wind farms have been “peppered” across Britain without enough consideration for the countryside and people’s homes, a senior Conservative energy minister admitted last night as he warned “enough is enough”.

  56. and Booker has a piece on this

    Ten years too late, it’s good riddance to wind farms – one of the most dangerous delusions of our age

    The significance of yesterday’s shock announce-ment by our Energy Minister John Hayes that the Government plans to put a firm limit on the building of any more onshore windfarms is hard to exaggerate.

    On the face of it, this promises to be the beginning of an end to one of the greatest and most dangerous political delusions of our time.

    For years now, the plan to cover hundreds of square miles of the British countryside with ever more wind turbines has been the centrepiece of Britain’s energy policy — and one supported by all three major political parties.

    Back in 2008, when Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced his wish to see the country spend £100 billion on windfarms, the only response from the Tory leader David Cameron was to say that he should have done it sooner.

    It was the only way, they all agreed, Britain could meet our commitment to the EU that, by 2020, we must produce nearly a third of our electricity from ‘renewables’ — with the largest part provided by tens of thousands more wind turbines.

    Yet now, out of the blue, has come this announcement by the Coalition Energy Minister that from now on there is to be a moratorium on building onshore turbines other than those for which consent has already been given.–dangerous-delusions-age.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

  57. and Bishop Hill
    ***Did Hayes just kill the wind industry?***

  58. The Environmental Defense Fund Comes Out In Support Of Fracking

    The Environmental Defense Fund’s chief counsel has written a blog post detailing the non-profit’s support for hydraulic fracturing of natural gas.

    The EDF is well known for pouring money into global warming, clean air and oil spill cleanup fights.

    In the case of fracking, Brownstein says, it mainly comes down to eliminating coal.

    “We fear that those who oppose all natural gas production everywhere are, in effect, making it harder for the U.S. economy to wean itself from dirty coal,” he said.

    The fund’s Mark Brownstein lays out three reasons to back natgas:

    Fracking is already a common, widespread practice
    On balance, they’d rather see natural gas-powered electricity plans than coal-powered ones. “We are glad to see these coal plants go,” he says. Plus, natural gas is the feedstock for chemicals, pharmaceuticals and fertilizer, and for direct heating and cooling
    Any potential hazards can be regulated. “Effective oversight and enforcement with the necessary financial and human resources [can] make [regulations] real.

    He closes thusly:

    Natural gas production can never be made entirely safe; like any intensive industrial activity, it involves risks. But having studied the issue closely, we are convinced that if tough rules, oversight and penalties for noncompliance are put in place, these risks become manageable.

  59. Well done, them. Finally, a group of activists sees past its ideology and approves a harmless, practicable technology. Admittedly, it’s for the wrong reason of avoiding clean, cheap, coal-fired generation, but it’s a step forward.

  60. Also, from NZ

    Environment report not likely to seek fracking ban

    New Zealand’s environmental watchdog is unlikely to call for a ban on fracking upon the release of her initial inquiry into the controversial oil and gas industry technique.

    Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright will on Tuesday release her report on fracking, which involves injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals under high pressure into rock masses, from as little as several hundred metres underground, to help release oil and gas.

    The report follows an eight-month investigation instigated after it was revealed fracking was being undertaken without consent, and some operations had polluted the air, groundwater and soil.

    As Wright prepares to table her report in Parliament, the Star-Times has learnt that any suggestions to either ban fracking or allow it to be continued but with stricter guidelines and consent processes, would instead be included in a second, yet-to-be completed report.

    Wright’s investigation comes at a time when a growing number of overseas countries are banning fracking due to environmental disasters and reported links to an increase in seismic activity.

    Fracking has been carried out in New Zealand for more than 20 years, with numerous operations by energy companies without specific consent from local councils.

    Green Party energy spokesman Gareth Hughes said if Wright did not make a binding stand on fracking in her report, he would call on the Government to order a moratorium on fracking until the procedure was proven safe.

    “Until it can be proven we have got a robust regulatory regime to protect our environment, we shouldn’t be undertaking this massive expansion which is currently planned,” Hughes said.


  61. The conversion of a pro wimd lawyer

    A good read about a decent legal chap in Aussie who saw the light.

    Read the final sentence

  62. Richard C (NZ) on January 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm said:

    Welcome To Green Europe

    Tens of thousands of trees have disappeared from parks and woodlands this winter across Greece as the crisis-hit country’s impoverished residents, too broke to pay for electricity or fuel, turn to fireplaces and wood stoves for heat. –Nektaria Stamouli and Stelios Bouras, The Wall Street Journal, 12 January 2013

    When the mercury falls, the theft of wood in the country’s woodlands goes up as people turn to cheaper ways to heat their homes. With energy costs escalating, more Germans are turning to wood burning stoves for heat. That, though, has also led to a rise in tree theft in the country’s forests. The problem has been compounded this winter by rising energy costs. The Germany’s Renters Association estimates the heating costs will go up 22 percent this winter alone.–Spiegel Online, 17 January 2013

  63. Bjorn Lomborg via Facebook

    I was asked what I think of the New York Times claim that we can soon live great without fossil fuels.

    In short, this is simply silly. Today, the world get’s 81% of its energy from fossil fuels, in 2035, even with very generously, green assumptions, we’ll get 79% of our energy from fossil fuels.

    When the article approvingly quote: “It’s absolutely not true that we need natural gas, coal or oil — we think it’s a myth,” it just beggars belief. The claim that renewables could power 100% of our lives at about the same cost as fossil fuels (which is also the claim in the background academic papers) is simply belied by the market — even with high subsidies, we only get very little of our energy from renewables.

    The article amusingly says: When I tell colleagues that Portugal now gets 40 percent of its electricity from renewable power, the standard response is “Portugal is windy.”

    Well, the correct answer would have been “Portugal is almost bankrupt.”

    The article in question is here:

  64. Richard C (NZ) on April 21, 2013 at 11:21 am said:

    The Climate Circus Leaves Town

    As traditional energy sources go from doom and gloom to boom.

    Apr 29, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 31 • By STEVEN F. HAYWARD

    If you had told environmentalists on Election Day 2008 that four years later there’d be no successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol, that a Democratic Congress would not have enacted any meaningful climate legislation, that domestic oil production would be soaring even after a catastrophic offshore oil spill, and that the environmental community would be having a lively internal debate about whether it should support reviving nuclear power, most might have marched into the ocean to drown themselves. Yet that’s the state of play four months into President Obama’s second term.

    Start with climate change.


    After two decades of steady and substantial global temperature increase from 1980 to 1998, the pause in warming is causing a crisis for the climate crusade. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. The recent temperature record is falling distinctly to the very low end of the range predicted by the climate models and may soon fall out of it, which means the models are wrong, or, at the very least, something is going on that supposedly “settled” science hasn’t been able to settle. Equally problematic for the theory, one place where the warmth might be hiding​​—​​the oceans​​—​​is not cooperating with the story line. Recent data show that ocean warming has noticeably slowed, too.

    These inconvenient data are causing the climate science community to reconsider the issue of climate sensitivity​​—​​that is, how much warming greenhouse gases actually cause​​—​​as I predicted would happen in these pages three years ago: “Eventually the climate modeling community is going to have to reconsider the central question: Have the models the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] uses for its predictions of catastrophic warming overestimated the climate’s sensitivity to greenhouse gases?”


    The final unexpected aspect of the global hydrocarbon renaissance is that it is starting to cause a few environmentalists to have second thoughts about .  .  . nuclear power. For nearly 30 years nuclear power was the only form of energy environmentalists despised more than hydrocarbons. But even with Japan’s nuclear power plant disaster of 2011, some environmentalists have come to see a positive tradeoff of nuclear power over coal and natural gas. James Hansen recently co-authored a paper concluding that nuclear power has saved 1.8 million lives over coal and gas-fired alternative electricity sources since 1970, and will prevent 7 million deaths by midcentury if it supplants a significant portion of fossil fuel electricity. In June a new documentary film, Pandora’s Promise, will feature prominent environmentalists, such as Stewart Brand, who have changed their mind on nuclear power. The film was screened to good reviews at the most recent Sundance Film Festival; apparently the resolutely anti-nuke host, Robert Redford, hadn’t noticed it on the program. But there’s a lot the old fossils of environmentalism don’t notice these days, starting with the dead-end road they’ve hit.

    Steven F. Hayward is the Thomas Smith fellow at the Ashbrook Center, and the William Simon distinguished visiting professor at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Public Policy.

  65. “More Hydro is Better than Wind”

    There are 54,000 dams in the United States that are higher than 5 ft., and do not currently have equipment installed for generating electricity.

    An assessment by the Department of Energy (DOE) of all non-powered dams (NPDs) in the United States determined that these dams could provide 12,000 MW of generating capacity.

    A mere 100 of them could provide 8,000 MW of generating capacity.

    The report did not determine the cost of installing generating equipment at these existing dams, but there is little doubt that these dams could generate electricity at a lower cost than wind turbines.

    The cost of building the dams has already been incurred, and since the dams are already built, there would be little environmental impact. For example, they wouldn’t kill birds and bats as do wind turbines.

    The electricity from the NPDs would be dispatchable, and would therefore have greater value to grid operators than electricity generated from wind farms.

    Read more..

  66. Andy on June 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm said:

    “Why Wind Power is a Sham”

    A series of recently released studies make it clear that wind power is not going to save us—not from global warming, not from high extinction rates, and not from the system of high-energy-consumption industrial exploitation that is killing the planet.

    Let’s start with the most damning findings: even the most large-scale shift to wind power cannot slow greenhouse gas emissions enough to have any positive effect on the climate, although it may manage to make things worse. Why?

  67. Wow. Startling turnaround. Two things stand out.

    let’s not forget what environmentalists have been warning about for decades: wind turbines murder birds.

    Climate deniers have been saying the same thing and nobody listened.

    So what’s the solution? Certainly not wind, solar, or any other industrial magic bullet. The solution is to dramatically scale back consumption and shift to local-based economies not dependent upon stealing resources from distant people and lands.

    The solution is to demolish the global economic system.

    Some people will never leave this alone. We must stay on our guard against them.
    I guess the reason is that nobody is truly interested in saving the planet because they just want to crush humanity’s wasteful ways. And they know that the planet is not threatened from within.

    Finally, the Earth First story ends with a link to some truly destructive revolutionary invective.

    Read it. Learn how to couch every human advance, every improvement, every comfort in terms of destruction, exploitation, colonialism, despair and hatred. Learn how nothing good exists, only the evil we must unite to defeat.

    Unity is great, but making the aim destruction gives even unity a very poor image.

  68. Richard C (NZ) on July 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm said:

    ‘Duke’s Edwardsport coal-fired power plant enters service’

    (Reuters) – Duke Energy Corp’s 618-megawatt (MW) Edwardsport coal-fired power plant in Indiana has entered service, the power company said on Monday, one year late and $1.5 billion over budget.

    Edwardsport is the largest U.S. power plant to use an advanced integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology, which strips out pollutants from coal before it is burned.

    The IGCC technology was touted as a way for utilities to continue to take advantage of the nation’s abundant coal supplies despite rising concerns about global warming.

    However, the lack of federal limits on carbon dioxide emissions, high construction costs and new supplies of affordable natural gas have led developers to abandon more than three dozen IGCC projects over the last decade.

    Only Duke, the biggest U.S. power company, and Southern Co have constructed IGCC projects.


  69. Richard C (NZ) on July 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm said:

    ‘FirstEnergy to shut two Pennsylvania coal power plants’

    (Reuters) – FirstEnergy Corp will shut two coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania by Oct. 9 due to weak power prices and the high cost of complying with stricter environmental rules, the company said on Tuesday. […]

    FirstEnergy said it would cost about $275 million to install the equipment at the two plants to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

    Since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, about 15,000 MW of coal-fired power plants have closed as low electricity and natural gas prices have made it uneconomical for generating companies to upgrade those facilities to keep up with the government’s stricter environmental rules. Those generating companies have also announced plans to shut more than 37,000 MW of coal-fired units over the next 10 years or so.

    FirstEnergy said it expected to invest about $650 million in mercury-related control technology to enhance or modify existing air quality equipment or install new equipment on its remaining facilities. After these upgrades, FirstEnergy said it expected to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by 84 percent, sulfur dioxide by 95 percent and mercury by 91 percent below 1990 levels. In addition, the company expects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 20 percent to 30 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. […]

    After those closings, FirstEnergy will still operate a fleet of power plants with combined generating capacity of more than 18,000 MW, it said. Of that, 56 percent will be from coal, 22 percent from nuclear, 13 percent renewable and 9 percent gas and oil.


  70. Richard C (NZ) on July 13, 2013 at 11:47 am said:

    German Resistance: Mutiny In The Land Of Wind Turbines

    * Matthias Schultz, Spiegel Online

    Germany plans to build 60,000 new wind turbines — in forests, in the foothills of the Alps and even in protected environmental areas. But local residents are up in arms, costs are skyrocketing and Germany’s determination to phase out nuclear power is in danger.

  71. Richard C (NZ) on July 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm said:

    Topic – German Energy Revolution

    * Part 1: Mutiny in the Land of Wind Turbines
    * Part 2: Legal Turbulence
    * Part 3: Winners and Losers

    Topic – ‘The myth of Denmark as a corruption-free country’

    “Wind power – … industry that has managed to thoroughly corrupt the political system.”

    The author is a retired High Court judge.

    Related articles:
    ‘Wind turbine compensation stirring discontent’

  72. Richard C (NZ) on July 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm said:

    ‘The Problem with the 10th Circuit’s Ruling in State of Oklahoma et al. v. EPA’

    by William Yeatman on July 26, 2013


    To be precise, EPA disapproved Oklahoma’s estimate of what BART controls would cost. Oklahoma calculated that scrubbers, a retrofit to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, would cost $1.8 billion to install at six power plants. Based in part on this estimate, state officials deemed that scrubbers were too expensive to serve as Regional Haze BART.

    EPA contested this conclusion by hiring an “independent” consultant. According to this “independent” consultant, Oklahoma’s accounting was improper, and the actual cost of installing the six scrubbers was half what the Sooner State claimed it was—about $900 million.


    I followed the case closely, and I thought it would be a slam dunk for Oklahoma. For starters, the State won a stay preventing EPA’s implementation of its Regional Haze rule while the court deliberated the case. This is always a good sign for the petitioners. More importantly, the previous case law made it clear that States get to choose BART. It seemed obvious that EPA had engineered a rationale to impose the controls it preferred. It is, after all, EPA policy under the current administration to see that all coal-fired power plants in the U.S. are retrofitted with scrubbers.

    So I was a bit shocked when the 10th Circuit delivered a ruling last Friday that supported EPA’s takeover of Oklahoma’s Regional Haze authority. My shock turned to dismay after I read the majority (2-1) opinion. Here’s why: The decision’s logic rested on the credibility of EPA’s consultant.

    About that “Independent” Consultant…

  73. Richard C (NZ) on August 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm said:

    “Citizens Rights” Defeats UK Government in Landmark Wind Energy Ruling

    Written by PSI Staff

    This week Christine Metcalfe, 69, a Scottish community councillor, scored a stunning landmark legal victory bringing to a halt the UK government’s unlawful and unpopular wind energy initiative. In effect, all British wind farm development is mothballed until grassroots public consent is granted – if ever.

    Below Christine provides her personal insights on this extraordinary long running battle in which Britain and the EU were ruled to have breached citizens’ rights, protected under the UN’s Aarhus Convention.

    A personal view on the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee’s draft decision on Complaint Ref. ACCC/C/2012/68

    By Christine Metcalfe


  74. Al Gore Invests in Fracking Company

    In a statement to shareholders, Canada-based PetroBakken Resources announced that Gore and his investment partners would be pumping $200 million into the company in return for a 15 percent stake.

    The move comes just weeks after Gore sold his shares in cable broadcaster Current to Al-Jazeera, a Middle Eastern channel backed by oil wealth. Both transactions have raised eyebrows because of the dissonance between Gore’s high-profile environmental activism and his investment strategy.

  75. and is a spoof, although it is fairly believable.

    Being a “liberal” spoof, it is not very funny.

    Besides, even Michael Mann has tweeted that he is in favour of natural gas via fracking because it has reduced CO2 emission in the USA.

    Not that this is of any concern to the environmentalists, who have other agendas

  76. Richard C (NZ) on March 18, 2014 at 8:50 am said:

    Curtailed Hydro from Wanapum Dam Crack: An ‘Unpredicted Change in the Wind’?

    by Wayne Lusvardi, March 17, 2014

    Steve Weiss, an environmental advocate, is quoted: “Hydro sounds like it’s a great fit for wind, but in turns out to be a pretty terrible fit.”

  77. Richard C (NZ) on April 8, 2014 at 12:58 pm said:

    Car Test — Hydrogen On Demand [Petrol + H2 additive]
    (Pure hydrogen, not HHO)
    Can pure hydrogen (H2) replace HHO to increase MPG?
    Updated : 11/2012
    By: Phillips Company


    Problem and solution
    The future increasing need for hydrogen fuel has created a problem: the problem is the
    lack of a hydrogen-supply infrastructure that is necessary for the proliferation of the use
    of hydrogen. The present invention provides a simple solution, in that hydrogen on
    demand (HOD) is available at any desired high production rate. This makes it
    unnecessary to store hydrogen in a pressurized tank for release later at a high rate.
    The present invention makes it possible to control and sustain the continuous production
    of hydrogen with no requirement for any external energy. The controlled, sustained
    production of hydrogen has been achieved in our laboratory so long as water, aluminum
    and Catalytic Carbon (CC) are provided to the hydrogen-production cell.

    The present invention for hydrogen production improves the state of the art
    The common method to recover hydrogen from water is to pass electric current through
    water and to reverse the oxygen-hydrogen combination reaction, i.e. water electrolysis.
    Another method involves extraction of hydrogen from fossil fuels, for example from
    natural gas or methanol. This method is complex and always results in residues, such as
    carbon dioxide. And, there is worldwide limit to the fossil fuel available for use in the
    future. In these reforming methods the resulting hydrogen must be somehow stored and
    delivered to the user, unless the hydrogen generation is performed “on-board,” close to
    the point of use. The safe, reliable, low-cost hydrogen storage and delivery is currently
    one of the bottlenecks of the hydrogen-based economy. The present invention addresses
    this problem through safe, “on-board/on-demand” production of hydrogen close to the
    user systems, using simple, safe and pollution-free metal oxidation reacting with water
    and Catalytic Carbon (CC).


    First test run: 37 MPG
    First test run on 7/29/2011: 37 MPG on a Buick that usually gets a MAXIMUM of 30
    MPG, even on long road trips. Typical highway gas mileage for this car is about 26 to 28

    Analysis: 32% increase in gas mileage (37 – 28) / 28 = 32% increase in gas mileage

    # # #

    I’ve seen testimonials of HHO systems overseas (e.g. Drive-H20 below) where 13% is easily achievable and 30 – 60% in cases from low cost (less than EUR1000) along with increased power. Why this technology has not been taken mass-market before concentrating on stored hydrogen systems refilled from hydrogen fill stations escapes me.

    Drive H20 [Petrol/diesel + HHO additive]:

    Declaration about fuel saving from one of our clients – company ServuS Information & Communication Technologies.

    7.5l/100 km down to 6.5l/100 km, lowest consumption 4.5l/100 km outside city.

  78. Richard C (NZ) on May 15, 2014 at 6:22 pm said:

    ‘Kiwi out to beat rising petrol prices’


    The days of running his car on the smell of an oily rag are over for Vincent Lowe, now that he can do it on the water from a dishcloth instead.

    Mr Lowe, 76, recently bought a hydrogen-on-demand system from the United States, which partly powers his car on a mixture of distilled water and potassium hydroxide, a compound normally used to make soap.

    All he has to do is keep feeding the mixture into an apparatus connected to his engine, which converts it into hydrogen gas, making his car less reliant on fuel.

    “I’m over the moon with it,” he said. “I’m stoked to have found something like this that actually works.”

    He was confident enough in the system’s abilities to invite The Dominion Post along for a test drive between his home in Paraparaumu and Otaki yesterday.

    According to, the average fuel consumption of his 2005 Toyota Corolla GL hatchback is 8.1 litres per 100km.

    Yesterday, he got that down to 7.3 litres, while running the air conditioning and without any obvious sacrifice in power.

    And he is confident he can get the petrol consumption down much further once the system has been running longer.

    He has had the unit installed for only about a week, but once it has been running for about 1500km, enough hydrogen should have built up in the fuel cell to bring his fuel consumption down to between 3 and 6 litres per 100km.

    His son, Dean, had been running a bigger version of the system in his 4.1-litre Ford Falcon for the past 6 to 8 months and it had improved his fuel efficiency by about 30 per cent, Mr Lowe said.

    He first heard of the hydrogen fuel cell idea from an electrical engineer friend 40 years ago. The pair tried to build one, but could not make it work.

    By the time Mr Lowe had paid for shipping and installation, the total cost of the system was about $1100, he said.

    For every 3.7 litres of water the system consumes, it requires a tablespoon of potassium hydroxide, which sells for about $22.50 for 500 grams.

    “I’m not sure how long it will take, but if I keep driving enough then it will pay for itself.”

    The only drawback is that his failing eyesight means he can no longer do the driving himself, and has to rely on wife Shirley, 77.

    “So for me this is just a bit of fun,” he said. “But I thought I’d share it with the world because there’s plenty of people out there who like saving money.”

  79. Richard C (NZ) on August 28, 2014 at 2:06 pm said:

    ‘The crazy world of Renewable Energy Targets’

    JoNova, August 18th, 2014

    […] The RET scheme in Australian pays a subsidy to wind farms and solar installations. Below, Tom Quirk shows that this is effectively a carbon tax (but a lousy one), and it shifts supply — perversely taxing brown coal at $27/ton, black coal at $40/ton and gas at up to $100/ton. Because it’s applied to renewables rather than CO2 directly, it’s effectively a higher tax rate for the non-renewable but lower CO2 emitters. […]

    Renewable energy sources – Complications!

    Guest post by Tom Quirk

  80. Richard C (NZ) on August 28, 2014 at 8:07 pm said:

    RET Review report
    Renewable Energy Target Scheme
    Report of the Expert Panel


  81. Richard C (NZ) on July 25, 2015 at 11:22 am said:

    ‘What The Solar Industry Forgot To Tell You!’

    By Paul Homewood July 24, 2015

    The solar industry has apparently been bragging about how much power it has been producing recently. Unfortunately, they seem to have forgotten to tell us the full story.

    In overall terms, solar only generated 1.2% of UK’s electricity last year.

    But worse still, in Q1, when demand is at its highest, solar only provided 0.51%.

    And if that was not bad enough, when solar power does ramp up on sunny days, it simply provides problems for the grid, as this presentation from the National Grid earlier in the year showed:

    [see graph]

    At its peak around 2.00pm, solar was contributing about 14% of the UK’s total demand on 11th April, which would be around half the peak in winter months. This brought many problems with it, which required these actions from the National Grid:

    [see bullet points]

    So two additional conventional power stations were brought online for voltage management and 2,500 MW of wind ‘bought off’ (i.e. constrained) to make room for solar.

    According to the Renewable Energy Foundation, “constraint payment records show that payments to wind topped £500,000 on that day. Not all of that will have been caused by solar, but NG’s figures suggest that a large part of it was so.”

    Nobody with more than one brain cell would design an electricity network in this way.

  82. Richard C (NZ) on February 8, 2016 at 9:51 am said:

    ‘$100 Trillion Up in Smoke’

    By John Mauldin February 6, 2016

    “Stop for a minute. Let that sink in. The total value of all the world’s oil reserves is over $100 trillion less than it was just a year and a half ago.”

    # # #

    Obama wants a $10 tax per barrel on US oil, doesn’t realize how much value has just been wiped in 18 months – $70 a barrel on 1700 billion barrels reserves worldwide.

  83. Richard C (NZ) on June 12, 2016 at 10:13 am said:

    ‘Tasmania’s Energy Scandal’

    The Marcus Review 16 March 20163 April 2016

    Tasmania has provided yet another example of what happens when you let the lunatics run the asylum for too long. This time, it has run out of electricity to the point of needing 200 temporary diesel generators – at a start up cost of $44 million, plus operating costs of $22 million per month.

    As you’ll soon see, these costs are merely the steam emanating from the hot pile of dung shoveled up in this scandal – whose key players include a greedy government owned hydroelectric operator, an inept State government and Australia’s most socialistic Prime Minister in history.


  84. Richard C (NZ) on July 1, 2016 at 11:00 am said:

    ‘Wind Turbines In China Aren’t Working And It’s Becoming A HUGE Problem’

    Written by Andrew Follett, Daily Caller on June 30, 2016.

    China shut down numerous wind turbines because much of the new electricity was wasted, causing serious damage to the country’s electrical grid.

    China has poured more than $80 billion building new green energy in 2014 alone, while the U.S. spent a “mere” $34 billion. More than one-in-three wind turbines currently installed worldwide are in China. Even with this enormous number of turbines, China still produces less electricity from wind than America, indicating the country is so over-saturated with turbines that it is damaging the power grid, potentially leading to blackouts.


  85. Richard C (NZ) on September 27, 2016 at 9:25 am said:

    Everything You Need To Know Before Obama’s Global Warming Plan Goes To Court

    Kevin Daley,Legal Affairs Reporter 8:05 AM 09/26/2016

  86. Richard C (NZ) on October 6, 2016 at 9:11 am said:

    SA Blackout: Three towers, six windfarms and 12 seconds to disaster

  87. Richard C (NZ) on October 6, 2016 at 9:40 am said:

    Top Environmentalists Aghast As Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ Turns Into A Green Dystopia!

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