Green Electricity Grid Collapses During Aussie Heatwave

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

NPS West Coal Bunker and Tower Demolition

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

South Australia’s green politicians recently demolished their last coal plant.

Record heat blackouts: Tens of thousands without power across South Australia and Victoria

By Gemma Bath
Lexie Jeuniewic
Nick Pearson
2:03am Jan 25, 2019

Tens of thousands were last night sweltering through a blackout on one of the hottest days in history after power was cut across large areas of South Australia and Victoria.

There were 76 outages across Adelaide, affecting more than 28,000 customers during the hottest day in the city’s history.

In Victoria, about 5800 properties were without power on an “oppressive” night of hot and humid weather.

“Crews continue to work through the night – we understand it’s uncomfortable being without power in the heat,” SA Power Networks said on Twitter.

“If your power goes off, turn off all appliances and leave a single switch in the ON position so you know when it’s been restored. Turn appliances on gradually when power is back.”

Australian Energy Market Operator CEO Audrey Zibelman said an extra 400 megawatts had been added to the grid.

“We are going forward and reactivating our reserve power (of) 400MW of additional energy.”

“The system is being utilised to its maximum – what we need everyone to do is just be aware of that and over this peak period make sure that you are not wasting energy.”

Read more: https://www.9news.com.au/national/2019/01/24/05/54/weather-heatwave-south-australia-victoria-thursday

Not much more to say really. Thanks to the renewable supply duck neck (power only arrives when it isn’t needed), even during optimum weather, renewable electricity is useless for supplying households during heatwaves.

You can have reliable electricity or you can have renewable electricity but you can’t have both.

California Renewables to Lose PG&E $$$

Bottom Line Up Front:

Summary

California continues to serve as a learning laboratory for misguided and futile climate policies.  This time the lesson (for those with eyes to see) is to demonstrate that renewable energy programs are parasites who feast on the financial lifeblood of their host utilities until the cash is gone.

Science Matters

The investigation continues into the origin of the Camp fire, which some say started with a faulty PG&E wire in Pulga, California. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times / TNS)

Sammy Roth of LA Times digs deeper than others into the fallout from PG&E’s wildfire-induced bankrupcy. The article published in The Seattle Times is PG&E bankruptcy could undermine utilities’ efforts against climate change. Excerpts below with my bolds.

Solar and wind developers depend on creditworthy utilities to buy electricity from their projects under long-term contracts, but that calculus changes in a world where a 30-year purchase agreement doesn’t guarantee 30 years of payments.

The Golden State has dramatically reduced planet-warming emissions from the electricity sector, largely by requiring utilities to increase their use of solar and wind power and fund energy-efficiency upgrades for homes and businesses. Lawmakers recently set a target of 100 percent climate-friendly electricity by 2045.

But those…

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Isles of Scilly “Smart” Energy Future To Come At Crippling Cost

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t Chris

This was in the Telegraph a couple of months ago:

image

Remoteness need not preclude integration into the 21st century, as a case study at the 2018 Hitachi Social Innovation Forum in London today makes clear. The event, hosted by The Telegraph, brings together 350 global business leaders to explore how IoT (internet of things) technologies can transform communities and corporations.

The Isles of Scilly lie in the Atlantic Ocean about 30 miles off Land’s End in the far south west of mainland Britain. Average domestic electricity consumption in the islands is among the highest in the UK. There is no natural gas supply and locals rely on imported fossil fuels and electricity.

So the Isles of Scilly are fertile ground for Hitachi’s £10.8m Smart Energy Islands project, a scheme that is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and a collaboration with UK smart home…

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Getting Gas (and Electrons) Across America

Reblogged from Musings from the Chiefio:

This is a small photo essay with comments about gasoline and Diesel prices across America, along with one observation on charging your Telsa in California. We’ll start off in Louisiana. I was startled to find that a couple of off ramps in Louisiana have now put Traffic Circles at the end of them. This dumps a constant stream of unsuspecting motorists into a “circle” that has a highway trying to cross it the other way. At busy times this will inevitably result in a circle full of cars from one way or the other blocking the circle and then either the freeway or the highway will end up backing up until “there are issues”.

Sigh.

Traffic circles may be cheap and easy for low use areas (so you avoid the cost of traffic lights and all) but for an intersection of a significant local highway with a major freeway off ramp, it’s just asking for trouble. They have apparently already had trouble as the “on ramp” portion had added a fairly dense set of vertical plastic “bumper” dividers to keep folks tracked into the right lane to right turn to onramp and out of the circle proper.

I wish folks designing roads in the USA would not look to Europe and their traffic circles for guidance… Ever try to take a 5th wheel or 18 wheeler through a traffic circle? Ever try to get into one with one of those guys already in it? Just OMG PITA.

With that out of the way, somewhere off I-12 bypassing New Orleans, I needed gas. This was fairly typical across most of Texas and L.A. along with much of Mississippi, Alabama, and New Mexico. Prices rose a little in Florida and Arizona.

The South & Louisiana

Tesla Anyone?

Louisiana Gas Prices Jan 2019

A couple of things to note about that sign. First off, it is mostly advertising Regular Gas. A H/T to Larry Ledwick on Octane. In another comment thread about why octane was lower in the West than on the East Coast, he reminded me that cold and altitude reduce octane needs. This caused me to experiment a bit. Turns out that Angus (my black Mercedes 190) has a knock sensor, so will run on “less than premium” but with reduced performance at full throttle as “what the added gas giveth, the spark retarding taketh away”.

I did some tests. On Mid Grade it loses a bit of the very full throttle, on regular it becomes doggy at about 1/2 to 3/4 throttle (you give it more gas and nothing much happens) while on Super it stays fast and with full acceleration. But if you are sitting at 1/2 throttle for 6 hours on the freeway why pay extra to have “zoom on tap”?

So after some tests, I started slowly working down the octane. Turns out that I can easily run Regular once out of the desert hill climb of California to Arizona and especially in the cool of the night. So now I fill up with Super in town (need that ‘off the line’ zip and freeway onramp performance!) but then do a tank of mid-grade for the ‘get out of dodge’ and then swap to regular for the Long Steady Cruise. It has saved me buckets of money with almost no impact on drivability. On the return from Florida I do run some mid-grade for the climb up the Rockies or for the climb to the High Desert as that’s fuller throttle use.

So, in fact, about 3/4 of my “run” is on Regular. (Some of the “mid-grade” is ‘mix your own’ where I’ll add 1/4 tank of Super to a residual 3/4 tank of Regular to get it ready for the climb. Octane enhancement is non-linear, so 1 unit of boost (think Ethyl lead) would give mid-grade but then it took 4 to get Super. This means 1/4 tank of Super in 3/4 of regular would give that same 1 unit of booster as mid-grade. I’m assuming non-lead octane boosters work the same as TELead…)

Lowest price I paid was about $1.69 / gallon. Nice.

So, ok, what else? Notice that yellow price of $1.95 ? That’s for “E 20” or 20% ethanol fuel for Flex Fuel cars. It is one octane point higher (88 vs 87) but costs a lot more, and with less fuel value. I have no idea why folks would pay more for less fuel heat content. However, it might let Angus pass California Smog Testing… except they don’t sell it here 😉

Next up, Diesel at $3 / gallon. WT? About a 70% price premium? Just crazy. In a real competitive market the max you would expect is a 30% premium for the added fuel value. For decades it was in fact sold at a discount to gasoline as it was a residual from gasoline manufacture. Yes, in winter the demand for #2 Heating Oil raises Diesel price some (as they are both #2 Oil just different degrees of clean) but usually that was a dime or 20 ¢ / gallon. Not a $buck. All across the nation I saw Diesel running at about $1/gallon MORE than gasoline. Often more than Super by a $buck, and in some places as much as $1.35 to $1.50 a gallon more. Just crazy. Yet mixed in along the way were a few non-brand places with Diesel at about $2.50 / gallon. Still higher than gasoline, but at least quasi sane. If running a trucking fleet, I’d be seriously looking at Gasoline engines or LNG alternatives, despite Diesel being a better engine and much more efficient.

Next we go to Texas:

Texas Gasoline Jan 2019

Now much of Texas was cheaper than this place. This was at a Truck Stop middle of nowhere and without much competition. Texas had some places down in that $1.6x range (but I couldn’t see how to get to a couple of Exxon stations with that price near Houston… Texas has these “frontage roads” next to the freeway and you get on / off on short suicide ramps that cross frontage road traffic at an angle… and then you may get to drive 5 miles to an underpass to get back another 5 miles to that gas station you passed and saw from the freeway… just not worth it.) So I stopped at the easy on / off Truck Stops instead 😉

Now here we see “only” about a dollar spread of Diesel over gasoline. So I’m driving my 25 mpg Gasoline car instead of my 25 mpg Diesel car… I’m sure that’s some Green Nuts idea of a benefit, but one carries a lot more “goods” for the gallon than the other one. We ought to be encouraging Diesel cars, not discouraging them. They are about 30% more efficient and that is the same as finding 30% more oil reserves.

Next note that they sell Propane for $3 / gallon. Propane ought to sell for less than Regular Gasoline on a BTU basis (or thermal energy basis). At one time it did and car conversions to propane were popular. At these prices not so much. Still, it’s about $1 to $2 / gallon cheaper than in California. So folks with RVs planning a cross country trip ought to plan a fill up in Texas and avoid arriving in California needing cooking fuel.

Texas is 1/3 of the cross country trip. On I-10 it is 880 miles. IIRC entry on I-20 is a bit longer at 938 miles. For a 2800 mile trip from SF area to Orlando 1/3 is 933 miles. Essentially the trip is 1/3 “mostly California” with a smidge of Arizona and New Mexico, then 1/3 Texas, then you get the
Ready for California Sticker Shock? 1/3 that’s 200 miles of Louisiana, a tiny bit of Mississippi and Alabama (about 80 miles) and then that long Florida Panhandle and I-75 down the middle. Florida gas used to be about 30 ¢/gallon more expensive but they seem to have gotten closer to their neighbors recently (more likely by others raising taxes on gas rather than Florida backing off…)

So when making that drive, it is optimal to put as much of your drive in Texas and each side of it as possible and have as little as possible in California. Why? Well let’s look at California prices…

And Then There Is California

Ready for California Sticker Shock?

Returning from Florida, California is mostly the drive from Arizona across the Mojave Desert and the L.A. basin, and then a run up I-5 to San Francisco. I always tank up just before leaving Arizona, and then top up about 1000 Palms or Desert Center (so as to avoid the need to stop in the L.A. Jungle.) Prices tend to rise after the desert and while you can find decent prices in the L.A. Metroplex (especially at ARCO stations) it isn’t easy to spot the good ones. Then, on the run up I-5, it can be highly variable. We’re talking $1/2 / gallon in 14 miles from the “one gas station” exit to the “several with competition”. It can be a $5 answer to know where to stop. I try to use Gas Buddy before I go to make sure I have some clue about where to buy.

https://www.gasbuddy.com

So I’d been stopping at a cluster of gas stations at about highway 46. On the way out I stopped there only to find a Holy Hell Traffic Mess. Most of the right side of the west bound road having cement barriers, loads of folks backed up trying to make turns into solid (stuck) traffic to get out of gas stations and back to the freeway. There’s an ARCO station there with good prices for cash (they stick you for an added fee for cards though) but just not worth the pain with all the construction. A few miles down the road I saw an IHOP sign with a price (not in the usual Diesel Green nor in Gasoline Red but in ?? Yellow) that was quite nice. So decided to stop there on the way back. Turns out it’s a “Bait & Switch” gimmick.

IHOP Shell south of Hwy 46  on I-5 California

Yeah, over $4 / gallon. Welcome to California…

The interesting thing for me is that this Diesel Price is rather nice. I’m assuming it is Diesel as it is in green. Why “no brand” is so relatively cheap is an interesting question. Clearly they expect most folks to think it’s a gasoline price, take the exit, and then say “Oh Well” buy gas anyway and then get food at the IHOP. In reality, most folks will do what I did: Note I’d been snookered and vow to Never Ever stop there again. The IHOP was empty as were most all of the gas stalls. Then again, it was late in the evening.

Now of particular interest to me was that those prices were not the end of the gouge. Turns out there was a smaller sign under this that let you know the real gouge amount:

Detailed Gas Cost at Shell / IHOP Jan 2019

You get a 20 ¢ “uplift” if you use your pay-at-the-pump card for convenience. Even a Debit card. I saw this at other Shell stations too (including one in El Paso Texas – so it isn’t just a California thing).

Still, think just a moment. $1.69 was my low end, and this is $4.69 for premium on the card. A full $3 / gallon MORE.

Now just so you don’t think all of California is completely insane, I drove down the road a ways to another gas station and here’s what I payed at the ARCO there (no uplift for the card, BTW):

ARCO California I-5 Jan 2019

So $2.67 / gallon is a heck of a lot better than $4.29 / gallon and even $3.29 / gallon is better than $4.69 (by $1.40 !) so clearly a bit of shopping around is a big win. Furthermore, as I-5 is dead flat and I drive it in the cool evening, my comparison was really $2.67 vs $4.69 by combining modest gas price shopping with some octane management. That’s a cool $2 / gallon saved on about 12 gallons or $24 in ONE gas stop. It really really pays to shop your gas in California.

But then I’m still left wondering what I’m getting for my $1 / gallon MORE paid for regular gas in California over Texas / Louisiana…

Tesla Anyone?

It was interesting to note that the IHOP Shell station had a Tesla charging station installed. I’m sure the Tesla drivers will feel smug about avoiding all that $4+ gasoline (having no reason to shop around and find out it is much cheaper just down the road…). At least they would if there were any of them:

Tesla Charge Station I-5 California at IHOP / Shell Station

This is an 8 stall charging station. It is just as you pull into the property. Behind me are the gasoline islands, the convenience store and the IHOP restaurant. Note the lone Tesla parked at the furthest way stall? I did not see a charging cable attached to it (but didn’t look much) and why would you park as far away as possible at the entrance?

My guess is that this belongs to the owner. Was it given to them as an inducement to have the station installed? Perhaps with the “free” electricity early Tesla buyers got in the package? I note in passing all the other stalls are empty; and parked at the driveway entrance, it acts as an advertisement that this is where to stop.

Now also note that brown box / enclosure behind the charge points. That’s the Semi-truck sized charger that drives those charge points. That’s a massive amount of electricity for 8 stations.

On my drive into LA (headed out to Florida) I noticed that 2 cars / second were going the other way. My side was about as full. That’s 4 cars / second for all of about 6 hours of freeway. 3600 seconds / hour. 21600 seconds. 86,400 cars. Two charges to get to L.A. and a third on arrival so you can get somewhere interesting gives 259,200 charges. Figure about 10 kW-hr / hr for an average eCar at cruise x 3 hours is 30 kW-hr / charge (likely very conservative estimate) or about 7,776,000 k-W hours of charge.7,776 MegaWatt hours. 7.7 GigaWatts. From where would that power come were all those cars electric? Notice this ignores the trucks… That is just to run about 1/2 of ONE of our major interstate highways. There’s also Highway 99 on the other side of the valley and 101 by the coast. Then all the crossing highways. Then the entire SF Bay area and the killer, the LA Metroplex. I’d guess easily it goes over 100 GigaWatts. Where are the 100 new nuclear power stations to make that electricity 24 x 7 x 365? (You can’t expect the freeway to come to a halt on windless nights… we have them most of the time.)

So 8 empty charging stations (not counting the advertising car) when the goal is closer to 1/4 Million full…

By the year 2020 or 2030.

Ain’t gonna happen.

I’m ever more convinced that the world divides into Engineers who can do math (easily and well) and the Green Fools who can’t and just don’t believe that the numbers matter. There is simply no way you will get 100 GW of new power, 24 x 7, for charging eCars and get all those charge points built and get about 40 Million eCars sold in California alone in anything under a couple of decades (and that only with a massive emergency level of pressure). Even then, the only technically practical way to get that power is nuclear generating stations. The size is just too large for anything else.

Then there is that small matter of nobody bothering to drive their Tesla to LA due to “range anxiety” and not wanting to sit at the IHOP At Nowhere for 3 hours while it charges… certainly not when they can stuff gas in their car in a minute and be rolling again.

Now generalize that problem to the 2000 mile runs coast to coast of Interstates: 8, 10, 20, 40, 70, 80, 90 and all the 1000 mile N / S runs that connect them about every 50 to 100 miles… The required electric generation is a full on boggle. I think I’ll need to find other ways to estimate that quantity. Perhaps taking our “Quads” of fuel burn and figuring an eCar kW-hr conversion. Even without that, it’s pretty clear it just isn’t going to be possible to charge a nation of cars & trucks.

In Conclusion

Imagine you want to build something. You get materials and parts shipped in. Product taken away in trucks. Your workers arrive in their cars and expect to make enough money to feed themselves and those commuting costs, as wages.

Where would you put your company? Where Gas is $4+ / gallon, or where it is $1.80 or less / gallon?

I’ve noticed groceries and fast food have similar price “uplift” in California. As a worker, would you chose to work in a place with a $4 fast food lunch available or where it ran you $6 to $8 for lunch? Where you get 50% more groceries for your earned dollar, or where they tax it at 11 % when you earn it and 10 % when you spend it and THEN the stuff you buy costs more too?

Some of the absurdities of manipulated markets can last for a few years (like pricing your Diesel at $3.50 and then giving a $1/gallon ‘discount’ to corporate trucking lines back to the real $2.50 it ought to be; and blowing off the individual trucker and car drivers) but eventually reality bites.

In California, we have a large influx of Hispanic and Asian new arrivals. There is an exodus of the Middle Class. The State is dividing into a Rich Elite and a poor immigrant class. That is not stable and will fail.

With that context, why on Earth would anyone start a business in California, or keep one here if they can move it?

EV Sales Continue To Disappoint

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

image

https://www.smmt.co.uk/vehicle-data/car-registrations/

The SMMT has now published annual data for new car registrations in the UK.

The figures continue the declining trend begun in 2017, though registrations are still higher than in 2013.

Registrations of of diesels have plummeted by 29.6%, but are up for both petrol and AFVs. There is little difference in trends between private and fleet.

Mixed signals from government about future policy towards diesel have definitely had a major impact on sales, and are causing real damage to the industry.

image

However, there is no sign of EVs picking up the slack. Plug in sales (incl plug in hybrids) continue to be largely irrelevant within the overall scene, making up just 2.6% of overall sales. Excluding plug in hybrids, the figure is even worse, at 0.7%.

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Polish government: wind turbines will be scrapped within 17 years

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

From wysokienapiecie.pl

Polish government: wind turbines will be scrapped within 17 years

All wind farms operating today in Poland will be scrapped by 2035, with no new turbines built to replace them, stipulates draft “Energy Policy of Poland until 2040” presented by Ministry of Energy on Friday. This is a political decision, the Minister explained.

On Wednesday the government contracted with investors the construction of several hundred new wind turbines (with a capacity of approximately 1 GW). The average prices offered by investors, at which they committed to sell electricity, barely reached 197 PLN/MWh. This is less than the current market price (250 PLN/MWh) and much less that the total production cost in new coal-fired power plants (350 PLN/MWh).

However, on Friday Ministry of Energy presented the draft Energy Policy of Poland, which reads that all existing wind turbines will be scrapped by 2035, with the ones just contracted by the government a few years later. No new wind farms will be built to replace them.

Interestingly, the Ministry is planning the last auction for wind to be held next year. The Minister’s statements indicate that approximately 1.5 GW of capacity may be contracted. However, when aged, the turbines are to be irrevocably removed from the landscape, and the improved sites are to be used for whatever other purposes.

See also: The last coal power plant in Poland may be only wishful thinking

Where Western Europe invested for years in the technology to drive the costs down and replace the old turbines with state-of-the art next generation machines, Poland is the only country on the continent that announced complete elimination of the technology and scrapping of the entire infrastructure left after the decommissioned turbines.

Governmental disputes over wind

“The decrease in production from wind turbines is forced by our political commitments,” explained Minister for Energy, Krzysztof Tchórzewski, who presented the draft “Energy Policy of Poland until 2040”.

The commitments he mentions are the political promises made by some Law and Justice MPs. In particular, the objection of the Lower Silesian Law and Justice MP and Minster for Education, Anna Zalewska, played an important role. When in opposition, she informally represented the voice of organisations opposing to the construction of wind turbines in the vicinity of their places of residence. A study by the Polish Academy of Sciences demonstrates that although less than 2 percent of all wind turbines in Poland is installed in the Lower Silesia region, 9 out of 102 social conflicts related to the construction of wind farms identified by PAS (which in total covered 4 percent of municipalities in the country) occurred in the region represented by MP Zalewska.

Minister Zalewska also appeared during rallies opposing the investments together with attorney-at-law Marcin Przychodzki, the founder of the “Stop Wiatrakom” (“Stop the Wind Farms”) web portal, currently Director of the Ministry’s of Infrastructure Legal Department, which with good effect requested implementation of regulations applying higher tax to wind farms as compared to, for instance, coal-fired power plants. The portal itself commented the Wednesday’s auction results as “making fool of the people by the Morawiecki’s government”, and is long criticising the Ministry’s of Energy and the Prime Minister’s actions in that area, at the same time calling for PolExit.

Eventually the Parliament, under pressure from the European Commission, withdrawn from the discriminating tax regulations in June; however, the decision left on their own the municipalities which, despite warnings, took advantage of the unclear regulations and imposed higher taxes, and are now obliged to return it.

So far the dispute within the government has been won by Anna Zalewska. This is because another provision she lobbied for remains effective. There is a ban on the construction of wind turbines at a distance less than tenfold their tip height. The “10 H” rule de facto means that only the 1990s-sized turbines may be built in Poland. Modern, tall wind turbines could be built only on farmland with no residential houses within 2 km, which is almost impossible in Poland.

See also: Can capacity market really help Polish coal power plants to survive?

In accordance with Minister Krzysztof Tchórzewski the regulation is to completely eliminate the possibility to build new wind farms when the still-existing building permits expire.

The Ministry of Energy wants to fill the market gap caused by the decommissioned wind farms with more expensive offshore wind farms, which lead to protests only from fishermen.

Ministry missed technological progress?

“The practice demonstrates that onshore wind turbines are available only 20 percent of the time, whereas offshore this is 40-45 percent,” Minster Krzysztof Tchórzewski explained on Friday.

The Minister’s rationale leads to doubts as to the validity of the Ministry’s of Energy knowledge, which prepared the draft Energy Policy of Poland. Capacity factor at the level of 20 percent was typical of wind turbines marketed 15 years ago. Last year wind turbines in Poland operated above 10 percent of their installed capacity for 77 percent of hours during the year. The average capacity factor amounted to 28 percent. The figure was contributed to by the oldest turbines, mentioned by the Minister, as well as the more modern machines, which on average achieve 30-35 of installed capacity.

Can wind and solar replace fossil fuels?

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

By Richard D. Patton

Statements implying that wind and solar can provide 50% of the power to the grid are not difficult to find on the internet. For example, Andrew Cuomo announced that

“The Clean Energy Standard will require 50 percent of New York’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2030…”

Considering that the wind is erratic, and the solar cells only put out full power 6 hours per day, it seems a remarkable statement. Can intermittent energy actually supply that much power?

For some answers, we turn to Germany, which has some of the highest electric bills in the world as well as a high proportion of its electric power produced by wind and solar (19%). Let’s take a look at German consumption and generation.

clip_image002

As you can see, the power generation (black line), especially after 2011, has been rising, but the power consumption (blue line) has been falling slightly. The red line denotes dispatchable generation, i.e. all power generated except wind and solar. This includes nuclear, fossil, biomass, hydro and geothermal power.

The table below shows what happened more clearly.  [units = billion kwh]

2001 2011 2016
Consumption 520.2 546.2 536.5
Dispatchable 539.1 506.4 496.3
wind+solar 10.6 68.3 116.3
losses+export 29.5 28.5 76.1

Between 2001 and 2011, wind and solar generation rose 57.7 billion kwh. The difference of dispatchable minus consumption fell by 58.7 billion kwh. In this period, solar and wind were displacing dispatchable power. Germany chose to reduce its nuclear fleet in this period, so fossil fuel use (mostly coal) remained strong and Germany’s carbon footprint was not significantly reduced.

In the period from 2011-2016, Germany’s wind and solar generation increased by another 48 billion kwh, but the difference between dispatchable generation and consumption was essentially flat at around 40 billion kwh. Losses+export increased by 47.6 billion kwh to 76.1 billion kwh in 2016. This increase is due to exports of 49 billion kwh to other countries in 2016.

While nuclear power fell 20% from 2011 to 2016, the dispatchable non-fossil fuel (nuclear, hydro, biomass and geothermal) portion of power generation remained almost constant, as can be seen on this graph.

clip_image004

This left the German fossil fuel and the intermittent (wind + solar) portion of power generation.

clip_image006

In this period, wind and solar rose from 68 to 116 billion kwh, yet this rise of 48 billion kwh had no effect on the use of fossil fuels to generate power in Germany. During the period of 2011 to 2016, consumption fell by 10 billion kwh. Fossil fuel generation fell by 5 billion kwh, and non-fossil fuel dispatchable generation (nuclear, hydro, biomass and geothermal) also fell by 5 billion kwh. The increase in wind and solar (48 billion kwh) had no effect on fossil fuel use.

 

Stability Problems, an example

To the problems caused by intermittent power, let us examine German power usage on January 7-9, 2016.

 

clip_image008

This graph begins at start of January 7, which is a Thursday. The load line (black) shows low power usage. The spot price (orange, right-hand scale) is 25€/Mwh. The blue line is the sum of wind and solar power, and the red line is how much power is being exported.

The day starts and the load increases as people head to work. The spot price rises to 42 €/Mwh because the load is increasing. The wind picks up and the wind+solar line rises. It keeps rising throughout the day. As people go home and the work day ends, the spot price plummets to 12 €/Mwh because there are too many producers of electricity. To cushion the system, more power is exported.

The next day, the price rises in the morning but is still low (25€/Mwh) during the day due to high wind output. Around noon (hour 37) the wind power plummets. This is in the middle of the work day on Friday, so the load is high. Wind+solar was producing almost one-half of the power, but within four hours, approximately 15,000 Mw of power are taken out of the system while the system is near peak load. The spot price rises quickly to 47€/Mwh as the wind+solar power falls. The exports of power are reduced to cushion the system.

Notice that the exports move with the wind+solar power (positive correlation) and the spot price moves opposite to wind+solar power (negative correlation). The correlation coefficient of Germany’s wind and solar energy output and the exchanges with other countries in 2016 was r=0.503. The correlation between the spot price and the wind and solar generation is -.411.

Wind+solar underwent a nearly 6-fold increase in power over 30 hours, and the system must accommodate that power. Wind+solar then fell by 50% (25% of the load) in 4 hours. Exporting some of that power out of the system helps stabilize it. The spot price movements attract or repel other power producers to balance the system and prevent blackouts.

Despite these efforts, Germany is now plagued by blackouts. According to the (German) Federal Grid Agency (the Bundesnetzagentur), there are 172,000 power outages in Germany annually. This was reported by Hessen Public TV (HR). Previously, the German grid was impeccable.

After all of this effort, including patience are the part of the public in accepting these continual blackouts, Germany’s carbon footprint has barely budged. The CO2 emissions from coal and coke have only fallen 2% between 2011 and 2016, due to decreased consumption of electricity. The extra 48 billion kwh produced from wind and solar plants built between 2011 and 2016 was balanced by exports of 49 billion kwh in 2016. In terms of reducing Germany’s carbon footprint, the entire effort is a failure.

Apparently, there is a limit to how much intermittent power a grid can use before it becomes unstable. German wind and solar use maxed out in 2011 at around 68 billion kwh, or 12.5% of consumption. Back in the 90’s, engineering textbooks on wind were saying that people used to believe that wind could only supply about 10% of the power to the grid due to stability problems, but further studies showed that it could actually supply 30%. The real-life example of Germany shows that the engineers who said wind could only supply 10% of the power had a point.

It has not been proven that the NY Clean Energy Mandate (or similar mandates elsewhere) can be met by relying on wind and solar power. Given the example of Germany, doubts are in order. As advertised by its politicians, Germany gets 19% of its energy from wind and solar. What they do not say is that it also exports 1/3 of that energy out of country, leaving its carbon footprint unchanged since 2011. Some small countries, notably Denmark, have advertised that they get 50% or more of their energy from sun and wind. What they really mean is that they have a large country (in the case of Denmark, Germany) next to them absorbing that power and selling them power when the wind stops blowing and the sun goes down. Because it is a small country selling into a big market, its energy sales do not disturb the grid stability of the bigger market. It is a much different case when the larger country (Germany) tries it. Germany’s attempt, the Energiewende (energy transition), is widely judged to have been a failure. If New York goes down that path, it is not likely to do much better.

Sources

Andrew Cuomo 50% announcement

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-establishment-clean-energy-standard-mandates-50-percent-renewables

 

Data for graphs were sourced from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Unfortunately, this is a beta site, but there was no other link to international data.

The EIA website has generation and consumption figures for every country for the years 1980-2016.

The link for German electricity generation (including different sources – wind, fossil fuel, etc.) is:

https://www.eia.gov/beta/international/data/browser/#/?pa=00000000000000000000000000000fvu&c=ruvvvvvfvtujvv1urvvvvfvvvvvvfvvvou20evvvvvvvvvnvvuvs&ct=0&tl_id=2-A&vs=INTL.2-12-AFG-BKWH.A&ord=CR&vo=0&v=H&end=2016

The link for German electricity consumption is:

https://www.eia.gov/beta/international/data/browser/#/?pa=0000002&c=ruvvvvvfvtujvv1urvvvvfvvvvvvfvvvou20evvvvvvvvvnvvuvs&ct=0&tl_id=2-A&vs=INTL.2-2-AFG-BKWH.A&vo=0&v=H&end=2016

The correlation coefficients were calculated from hourly European data compiled by P. F. Bach. He did those same calculations and sent them to me in a personal communication; the numbers matched. Here is the download link to his website.

http://www.pfbach.dk/firma_pfb/time_series/ts.php

He got the data from Entso-e, a platform showing power genraton, consumption and transmission in Europe. Its website is here, and registration is free:

https://transparency.entsoe.eu/transmission-domain/physicalFlow/show

The power outages data are from no tricks zone. Pierre Gosslin, who runs it, usually has interesting facts about Germany. Here is the link to that:

http://notrickszone.com/2017/12/01/germanys-national-power-grid-mess-country-seeing-whopping-172000-power-outages-annually/

The links to German TV from that article do not work.

Also, from no tricks zone, a report form ARD TV in Germany.

http://notrickszone.com/2018/01/26/unstable-green-power-grids-german-ard-television-tells-citizens-to-start-getting-used-to-blackouts/#sthash.rvUw5X6k.PzjU81fG.dpbs

The link from that article to ARD TV is available below

https://www.ardmediathek.de/ard/player/Y3JpZDovL2Rhc2Vyc3RlLmRlL3BsdXNtaW51cy81MWU3M2MwYy0wYjljLTQ4MTgtYTk0My1lZmJiZGIzMGU5YmI/

My German is very poor, but the show said 473/day or 172,645/year. Also, the show linked the stability problems to storms and wind power. In other words, wind power was specifically called out for Germany’s stability problems.

Renewables Aren’t Making Much Headway

sunshine hours

World consumption of primary energy 2017

And don’t forget: Wood and wood products accounted for almost half (45 %) of the EU’s gross inland energy consumption of renewables in 2016.

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UK: Wind farm turbines last only 12-15 years

sunshine hours

They sell you a dream of wind turbines lasting 25 years and they really last 12. And make you pay and pay and pay for them. What a con.

The analysis of almost 3,000 onshore wind turbines — the biggest study of its kind —warns that they will continue to generate electricity effectively for just 12 to 15 years.
The wind energy industry and the Government base all their calculations on turbines enjoying a lifespan of 20 to 25 years.

The study estimates that routine wear and tear will more than double the cost of electricity being produced by wind farms in the next decade.
Older turbines will need to be replaced more quickly than the industry estimates while many more will need to be built onshore if the Government is to meet renewable energy targets by 2020.

The extra cost is likely to be passed on to households, which…

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Germany’s Green Transition has Hit a Brick Wall

Sierra Foothill Commentary

Guest Blogger at Watts Up With That

Even worse, its growing problems with wind and solar spell trouble all over the globe.

Editor: As the Progressive Democrats force California to depend on Green Power their mistaken environmental dreams will hit the same wall that is described in this post.

Oddvar Lundseng, Hans Johnsen and Stein Bergsmark

More people are finally beginning to realize that supplying the world with sufficient, stable energy solely from sun and wind power will be impossible.

Germany took on that challenge, to show the world how to build a society based entirely on “green, renewable” energy. It has now hit a brick wall. Despite huge investments in wind, solar and biofuel energy production capacity, Germany has not reduced CO2 emissions over the last ten years. However, during the same period, its electricity prices have risen dramatically, significantly impacting factories, employment and poor families.

Germany has installed…

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