Why renewables get all the publicity for reducing CO2 emissions while nuclear gets hardly any but does the most by far!

Blowout Week 178

Posted on May 27, 2017 by Roger Andrews



This week’s Blowout features a story that questions why renewables get all the publicity when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions while nuclear gets hardly any (inset), citing an article from the New York Times as an example. Then it’s back to our usual mix of stories, including OPEC’s production cut extension, Trump, climate change and the Pope, Switzerland to phase out nuclear, India to cancel 14GW of coal, Ontario’s hydro plan, natural gas without the CO2 emissions, long-term hydrogen storage,  giant wind kites in the UK and how offshore wind turbines cause beached whales.

Federalist: Why Are Global Warming Alarmists Afraid Of Nuclear Power?

When The New York Times mentions China and India, it mentions solar and wind power, but not a word about nuclear.

It’s almost as if they’re afraid to mention it, as if they are—what’s the phrase I’m looking for?—climate cowards. If we were actually to emulate the example of India and China, the federal government would encourage a massive campaign of building nuclear power plants. But it’s not, and The New York Times, I feel pretty safe in predicting, would be the first to oppose it. This is one of the reasons I’m deeply skeptical of claims about catastrophic human-caused global warming: because hardly anybody behaves as if they really believe it. If people really thought carbon dioxide emissions are the major threat to the planet, a crisis that threatens the very habitability of our planet, we would have gone all-in on nuclear energy 30 years ago. Even the safety concerns about nuclear power would be regarded as a reasonable risk to take to avoid flooding and baking the entire globe.

New York Times: China and India Make Big Strides on Climate Change

Until recently, China and India have been cast as obstacles, at the very least reluctant conscripts, in the battle against climate change. That reputation looks very much out-of-date now that both countries have greatly accelerated their investments in cost-effective renewable energy sources — and reduced their reliance on fossil fuels. According to research released last week at a United Nations climate meeting in Germany, China and India should easily exceed the targets they set for themselves in the 2015 Paris Agreement signed by more than 190 countries. China’s emissions of carbon dioxide appear to have peaked more than 10 years sooner than its government had said they would. And India is now expected to obtain 40 percent of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2022, eight years ahead of schedule.

Reuters: OPEC extends oil output cut by nine months

OPEC and non-members led by Russia decided on Thursday to extend cuts in oil output by nine months to March 2018 as they battle a global glut of crude after seeing prices halve and revenues drop sharply in the past three years. Oil prices dropped more than 4 percent as the market had been hoping oil producers could reach a last-minute deal to deepen the cuts or extend them further, until mid-2018. “We considered various scenarios, from six to nine to 12 months, and we even considered options for a higher cut. But all indications discovered that a nine-month extension is the optimum,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said. He told a news conference he was not worried by what he called Thursday’s “technical” oil price drop and was confident prices would recover as global inventories shrink, including because of declining Saudi exports to the United States.

Bloomberg: Trump Proposes Selling Off Half U.S. Strategic Oil Reserve

The White House plan to trim the national debt includes selling off half of the nation’s emergency oil stockpile and the entire backup gasoline supply, part of a broad series of changes proposed by President Donald Trump to the federal government’s role in energy markets. Trump’s first complete budget proposal, released Tuesday, would raise $500 million in fiscal year 2018 — and as much $16.6 billion over the next decade — by drawing down the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. “We think it’s a responsible thing to do,” Mick Mulvaney, head of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told reporters. The “risk goes down dramatically when we have increased domestic production like we have today.”

Washington Post: Trump told he risks ‘lasting damage’ to ties between U.S. and Europe

The Trump administrations risks causing “lasting damage” to relations with key European allies if the the United States abandons the Paris climate agreement, a key German official has warned. Shortly before Trump is due to join G-7 leaders for a summit in Sicily, Germany’s environment minister, Barbara Hendricks, said in a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that the U.S. would face serious repercussions if it chooses to leave the landmark deal. “I am very concerned that a U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement would cause lasting damage to the long-standing mutual trust and close cooperation between our two countries and between the U.S. and other countries in Europe and elsewhere,” Hendricks wrote in the May 5 letter.

New York Times: Vatican Presses Trump on Climate Change

Pope Francis put climate change on the agenda of his first meeting with President Trump on Wednesday, and the subject is likely to come up again and again in the president’s encounters with other world leaders in the coming days. That could put Mr. Trump on the back foot after what had been an energetic swing through the Middle East. The pope presented the president with a copy of his influential encyclical on preserving the environment, while in a broader meeting, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, urged Mr. Trump not to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord. Mr. Trump told his Vatican hosts that he would not make a final decision until after he returned to the United States, despite some expectations that he could announce a decision at the Group of 7 summit meeting in Italy this weekend.

PhysOrg: Paris climate commitment ‘crippling’ to US growth: White House

During his election campaign, avowed climate sceptic Donald Trump promised to exit the 2015 UN pact on limiting global warming. But Trump has now said he will make a decision after returning to Washington following the G7 summit in Sicily which starts Friday, at the end of his international tour. “We know that the levels that were agreed to by the prior administration would be highly crippling to the US economic growth,” Trump’s economic advisor Gary Cohn said. “The president has told you that he’s going to ultimately make a decision on Paris and climate when he gets back. He’s interested to hear what the G7 leaders have to say about climate,” said Cohn, speaking aboard the presidential Air Force One.”It will be a fairly robust discussion on that. We know that because we had it today with the French president, we had it with the Belgians, we had it with all the bilaterals we’ve had,” he added.

North Country Public Radio: Trudeau claims climate champion role while embracing Big Oil

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has offered himself as a global leader on climate change, unveiling an ambitious new environmental plan that includes phasing out coal-fired power plants, a tax on carbon, and big investments in renewable energy. But at the same time, Trudeau has promised to help expand Canada’s role as an energy exporter. He’s backed controversial pipeline projects including Keystone XL that would cross into the United States and is pushing for big new investments in the tar sands oil fields of northern Alberta. Trudeau insists that he’s striving for a kind of third way, embracing big oil while also acknowledging the imminent threat of climate change and respecting aboriginal sovereignty. Critics say he’s making promises that contradict each other and risks alienating the progressive voters who elected him in 2015.

Nasdaq: Shell to Divest Canadian Natural Stake Worth $3 Billion

According to a recent report on Reuters , integrated oil company Royal Dutch Shell plc intends to sell roughly $3 billion worth stakes of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. in order to withdraw its focus from the oil sand business in Canada. The decision by the company complements its strategy to divert its attention towards renewable energy. Shell will use the proceeds from the transaction to reduce its debt burden, which was incurred during previous year’s acquisition of British oil and gas company, BG Group plc. The $54 billion buyout was a part of the company’s strategy to focus on cleaner fossil fuel. Shell sold assets worth $20 billion over the last two years for financing the transaction. Also, Shell is likely to dispose more properties valued almost $10 billion by next year.

CBC: Ontario hydro plan to cost $45B but will only save electricity ratepayers $24B, says watchdog

Ontario’s budget watchdog says the Liberal government will spend $45 billion over the life of its hydro plan to save people $24 billion on their electricity bills. The $45 billion is mostly the cost of funding an eight-per-cent rebate that took effect on bills in January, but that assumes balanced budgets for the next 30 years. The FAO says if the government has to fund that rebate through debt, the cost to the province could balloon up to $93 billion. Premier Kathleen Wynne promised to cut hydro bills after widespread anger over rising costs helped send her approval ratings to record lows. Electricity bills in the province have roughly doubled in the last decade, due in part to green energy initiatives, and the government has said the goal of its hydro plan is to better spread out those costs.

The Hill: Canada proposes methane pollution standards for oil and gas drilling

Canadian regulators are formally proposing rules to reduce methane pollution from the oil and natural gas sector. The Thursday announcement from Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna came despite the Trump administration’s actions in the United States to reverse course on methane regulations written by former President Barack Obama. In proposing the rules, McKenna specifically cited the examples of California, Colorado and North Dakota as jurisdictions that Canada wants to emulate on methane regulation. “By better detecting and patching leaks, companies will be able to save and sell that natural gas and do their part to fight climate change. And this will support more modern technology and good new jobs in the oil and gas sector,” McKenna said in a statement.

Oil & Gas 360: U.S. is now a net exporter of energy to Mexico

Mexico is now the U.S.’s primary oil and gas export destination, outpacing Canada, according to the EIA. The U.S. has exported a larger amount of crude and petroleum products to Mexico than Canada since August 2016, and averaged a total of 950 MMBOPD in February. Exports to Mexico have been rising gradually over the last few years, and the U.S. has been a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products to the country since 2015. The country is in the process of deregulating its fuels market, most recently by phasing out mandated gasoline prices. Demand in Mexico is growing by 3% per year, outpacing growth in supply. Gasoline prices rose by 20% in the country in January as the government raised maximum rates. The Mexican supply imbalance has made it an attractive destination for refined products, a situation companies are looking to take advantage of.

Technology Review: Switzerland Votes to Phase Out Nuclear Power

On Sunday, a little over 58 percent of voters in Switzerland gave the government a thumbs up to ban new reactors. The country’s five plants make up about 35 percent of the country’s power supply, and the law will allow current reactors to stay in service as long as they can operate safely. The law, Energy Strategy 2050, calls for large-scale investment in renewable sources of energy like wind and solar—both of which Switzerland notably lacks at the moment. It also calls for subsidies to bolster the country’s hydroelectric sector. Switzerland currently gets about 60 percent of its energy from hydro, but it is unsubsidized, making it expensive compared to wind and solar energy generated across the border in Germany, which is.

LiveMint: Kazakhstan to produce nuclear fuel for China

Kazakhstan, the world’s biggest uranium producer, will start producing nuclear fuel for Chinese power plants in 2019 through a joint venture set up by the two countries, a senior official at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant told Reuters. the joint venture between Kazakh state nuclear company Kazatomprom and China’s China General Nuclear Power Group aims to produce ready-to-use fuel assemblies. It will procure enriched uranium either in China or Russia, the Ulba plant’s head of sales Alexander Khodanov said on Friday. The first stage of the joint venture will produce about 200 tonnes of nuclear fuel a year using technologies and equipment supplied by France’s Areva. Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic that borders China, has no nuclear power plants of its own.

Nuclear Street: Japanese Regulators Approve Two Reactors For Restart

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority cleared two more nuclear reactors for restart on Wednesday. Both reactors in the Fukui Prefecture could be restarted as early as this fall, if the restarts meet with local approval, according to Japanese media reports. The regulator approved restarts of Oi nuclear power plant Units 3 and 4 operated by the Kansai Electric Power Company.The reactors have been deemed ready for operations based on upgraded, post-Fukushima Daiichi safety standards. However, they still will be subjected to a local review conducted by the Fukui government. Local courts are also involved. A lawsuit intending to block the restarts at the Oi plant is pending and the company has filed an appeal on the matter.

American Interest: Macron’s Nuclear Mistake

The newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron is busy assembling his cabinet these days, but it looks like he made a misstep in his choice for the country’s new energy minister. Macron tapped the nature documentary filmmaker and prominent green Nicolas Hulot for the position, and overnight shares in the French nuclear company EDF fell by 7 percent. That’s because Hulot is a staunch opponent of nuclear power, the zero-emissions energy source on which France relies for roughly three-quarters of its power. Hulot’s opposition to nuclear comes out of an emerging trend of thinking in France—and in Europe more generally—that holds that nuclear power ought to be phased out as soon as possible and replaced by renewables. Germany, motivated by an irrational fear of the energy source following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, is leading this charge to its own detriment. Berlin hasn’t been able to replace its shuttered nuclear plants with wind and solar, but has instead been forced to increase its reliance on lignite coal, one of the dirtiest fossil fuels around.

Reuters: France’s EDF denies report of ‘secret plan’ to delay scaling back nuclear power

French state-controlled utility EDF on Monday denied a media report that it had a secret plan to push back by 25 years a target to reduce the share of nuclear power generation within France’s overall electricity mix. French television station BFM TV had earlier reported that according to a secret internal EDF plan, the share of nuclear generation in that mix will only be reduced to 50 percent by 2050, instead of 2025 as stipulated in a French law. EDF said on its official Twitter account that it formally denied the “malicious rumors about the existence of a secret plan which sets back the 50 percent nuclear target to 2050.” It added it was working within the general framework of France’s 2015 energy law, and would work on France’s energy transition plans with the new government. France’s 2015 energy transition law outlined the country’s ambition to curb its dependence on atomic power by cutting the share of nuclear in its electricity mix to 50 percent from over 75 percent currently, while developing more renewable power.

Reuters: Poland will rely on coal for next 15 years

Poland will remain dependent on coal for the next 15 years due to a lack of alternative energy sources and as trade unions retain their grip on the industry, the head of the country’s biggest private miner, said. Poland currently generates more than 80 percent of its electricity from burning coal produced by its state-owned mines – a level miner PG Silesia doesn’t see changing any time soon. “Focusing on coal is the only model in Poland. There is no other way, unless you want to close the economy,” Michal Herman, the head of PG Silesia, said in an interview at the Reuters Central & Eastern Europe Investment Summit.

Reuters: Adani defers Australian coal project investment decision

India’s Adani Enterprises on Monday deferred a final investment decision on its long-delayed Australian Carmichael coal project as the Queensland state government has yet to sign off on a royalty deal for the mine. The company had been planning to make a final investment decision (FID) on the 25 million tonnes a year coal mine and rail project by the end of May. “Adani is advised that the Queensland cabinet did not consider any submission or make a decision on royalties for the Adani project today,” said the firm’s spokesman in Australia, Ron Watson. “In light of that, Adani has today deferred a decision by the board on FID until the government makes a decision.” The Queensland government is considering ways to extend royalty payments to promote jobs and investment in a state that has been hammered by the commodities slump over the past five years. However, the Labor government is running into opposition within its own ranks, after having promised that no taxpayer money would be used to subsidize the project.

Independent: India cancels plans for huge coal power stations as solar energy prices hit record low

India has cancelled plans to build nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations – about the same as the total amount in the UK – with the price for solar electricity “free falling” to levels once considered impossible. In January last year, Finnish company Fortum agreed to generate electricity in Rajasthan with a record low tariff, or guaranteed price, of 4.34 rupees per kilowatt-hour (about 5p). Mr Buckley, director of energy finance studies at the IEEFA, said that at the time analysts said this price was so low would never be repeated. But, 16 months later, an auction for a 500-megawatt solar facility resulted in a tariff of just 2.44 rupees – compared to the wholesale price charged by a major coal-power utility of 3.2 rupees (about 31 per cent higher). “For the first time solar is cheaper than coal in India and the implications this has for transforming global energy markets is profound,” Mr Buckley said.

Deseret News: Intermountain Power Project will shutter coal-fired power plant

Utah’s largest coal-fired power plant — the Intermountain Power Project outside Delta — will cease operations by 2025 due to losing its Southern California customer base and a weak market for coal-fueled electricity.”We are saddened to announce this decision, but factors beyond our control make continued operation of the coal units unfeasible after their current power purchase agreements expire,” said Ted Olson, chairman of the board of directors for the Intermountain Power Agency. The decision was anticipated, with its Southern California municipality customer base being prohibited from purchasing coal-fueled electricity when the contracts are up.

New Europe: Report calls upon the EU to raise 2030 renewable energy target to at least 35%

The report by Spanish MEP José Blanco López forms the basis of the European Parliament’s position on the new Renewable Energy Directive, which will determine the future of the renewable energy deployment in the EU, according to Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe. López calls upon the EU to raise the 2030 renewable energy target to “at least 35%”, arguing that “the Commission proposal and the European Council endorsement of the 27% target occurred before the signature of the Paris Agreement and were based on technology cost estimates which have already proven to be overly pessimistic and are now outdated”. He also calls for re-introducing binding national targets for 2030, arguing, “national binding targets have been the most important driver for renewable energy policies and investments in many Member States”.

Business Insider: Forecast for EU carbon prices puts Paris target in doubt

Participants in Europe’s carbon market, including utilities, trading houses and banks expect EU carbon prices to be lower than predicted in the next decade, making it less attractive to invest in the technology needed to help hit emissions targets. Average carbon prices are likely to be almost 9 percent lower than forecast last year, a survey of 135 companies published by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) on Wednesday showed. “Once again IETA members have highlighted the yawning gap between current prices and what’s needed to achieve the Paris objectives,” Jonathan Grant, a director at PwC which carried out the survey, said in a statement. Respondents anticipate an average EU carbon price of 16.28 euros ($18.31) per tonne in the fourth phase of the ETS, which runs from 2021 to 2030. This is less than half the 40 euros per tonne that respondents said last year is needed to help incentivise investments to help the bloc meet goals set under the Paris Agreement.

PV Magazine: Spain to launch another 3 GW renewable energy auction

Spain’s Ministry of Industry has announced that it will hold another 3 GW renewable energy auction on an unspecified date “before the summer”. The Spanish government said that a significant amount of wind and PV power projects did not qualify for the 3 GW auction it held two weeks ago, and in which only a 1.5 MW solar project was ultimately selected, that will likely compete in the upcoming auction. More details about the upcoming auction were not given. The auction resulted in contracts for €43/MWh, the lowest price ever registered for on-shore wind in Europe to date. At the time, Spanish solar association Unión Española Fotovoltaica (UNEF) said in a press release that the result of the auction showed that PV was discriminated against, and that PV projects were not given the opportunity to prove their competitiveness.

Greentechmedia: Dong Energy Divests Its Oil and Gas Business to Focus on Renewables

Denmark’s largest power producer, Dong Energy, agreed to sell its complete upstream oil and gas interests to global petrochemical manufacturer INEOS for $1.05 billion plus contingent payments, concluding an effort announced in October. This marks an existential reversal for Dong, whose very name abbreviates Danish Oil and Natural Gas. The Danish state created the company in 1972 to extract fuels from the North Sea. A few decades down the road, Dong moved into electricity production, and renewable generation in particular. Meanwhile, oil and gas drilling in the North Sea became relatively expensive due to the basin’s maturity. “The transaction completes the transformation of Dong Energy into a leading, pure play renewables company,” CEO Henrik Poulsen said in a statement this week.

Wales Online: Tories come under fire for failing to promise to deliver on Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

The lack of any mention of the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon in the Conservative manifesto has set alarm bells ringing. In January the independent Hendry Review gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up, with the proposed Swansea development described as a “no regrets option”. However, there is no mention of the renewable energy project in the Conservative manifesto. The Liberal Democrats said this was a sign the Conservatives had abandoned the “husky-hugging days of David Cameron” and Britain risked becoming the “dirty man of Europe”. A Welsh Labour spokesman said: “The complete absence of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon from the UK Tory manifesto beggars belief, and gives terrible signals about this most crucial of projects. In contrast, the UK Labour manifesto makes clear that Labour ‘are committed to renewable energy projects, including tidal lagoons’”.

Military Technologies: How Renewables Will Power the UK

With the cost of renewable energy falling, and advances in grid management and storage technology, the UK can reliably be supplied with the clean, affordable energy it needs, says a report from Friends of the Earth. The report draws together evidence which shows that wind and solar may be variable, but they are increasingly predictable, and combined with flexible backup, energy storage and smarter grids should be able to form the basis of a clean and affordable energy system. Integrating variable renewables like wind and solar will help reduce costs. Based on recent government figures by 2025, generating 50TWh of electricity from new wind or solar should be around £500m a year cheaper than from new gas generation, including balancing costs. Renewables can be the foundation of a secure energy system. The biggest risks to our energy supply are currently disruption at ageing fossil fuel and nuclear plants, and extreme weather events affecting the grid. “By 2030 renewables should be able to produce at least 75% of our electricity while maintaining system reliability”.

Register: Britain on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution

As coal-fired power plants wind down and with talk of blackouts in the air, nuclear is back on the table after the government gave the go-ahead last year for a third reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Hinkley Point C is an £18bn, 35-year scheme that’ll be operated by EDF. It took financial backing from the Chinese government to land. However, a cheaper and smaller alternative is emerging – the small “modular” nuclear reactor, or SMR. An SMR is defined as producing 300MWe – just 10 per cent of what Hinkley Point C should provide. The SMR has some notable advantages – at least on paper. Perhaps the biggest is that SMRs can be sited in energy consumption “hotspots” around the UK, such as cities, and tap into using existing electricity transmission cables. They’re also much cheaper than a Hinkley. No nuclear industry programme has yet produced a series of reactors along factory production lines, but a large order for SMRs could change all that.

Proactive Investors: Will UK Oil & Gas Investments emulate the success of the Gatwick Gusher with Horse Hill lookalike?

UK Oil & Gas Investments, which led the consortium that gave us the Horse Hill discovery, is preparing to drill a well that could help turn the southern Home Counties into a new hotspot for hydrocarbons. Broadford Bridge-1 (BB-1) will test a geological look-alike to the so-called Gatwick Gusher, located on the southern flank of the Weald Basin. It is designed to test both the southerly extension of the Kimmeridge Limestone oil play across the Weald Basin and its development within the licence. Conventional drill techniques will test four Kimmeridge Limestone reservoir horizons, the uppermost two of which were successfully flow tested at Horse Hill in 2016.

Scotland Government: Scotland’s onshore wind policy

Onshore wind development is essential to Scotland’s transformation to a fully decarbonised energy system by 2050. Although electricity generation energy policy is largely reserved to the UK Government, the Scottish Government wishes to make full use of its devolved powers to promote investment in appropriately sited onshore wind. A number of recent changes at both a UK and Scottish level have highlighted the need to reassess the role of onshore wind to ensure it continues to deliver maximum value for Scotland in terms of economic, social and environmental benefits. The Scottish Government will continue to support further development of onshore wind in order to achieve the targets set by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act at the lowest cost. Onshore wind offers low carbon renewable electricity at scale and sustains growth and employment in the Scottish supply chain.

GWPF: The Rising Trend of UK Industrial Electricity Prices

The emerging trend in UK electricity prices to industry confirms civil service advice to Mr Blair, which he ignored, that the EU Renewables Directive (2009) would disadvantage the UK relative to other members of the European Union. If the Industrial Strategy is to succeed, the Renewables Directive will have to be repealed, post-Brexit, and immediate steps should be taken to resile from its commitments. The UK imposes electricity policy costs through levies prior to taxation, so it is unsurprising that it has the highest prices without taxes, but it is still in joint third position when those taxes are included. Bad though that position is, it is the trend over the last decade that gives the most cause for anxiety. Only the UK in this group (and indeed in the EU 15) has a consistent rising trend in electricity prices, and all the other countries have a falling trend. There are doubtless a number of causes behind this fact, but what BERR identified in 2007 as the disproportionate burden placed on the United Kingdom by the Renewables Directive target is a substantial part of the explanation.

Utility Week: UK breaks solar power record

Solar power output in Britain set a new record at lunchtime today (26 May), as the country enjoys the hottest day of the year. According to the National Grid, solar generation accounted for 8.7 GW (24.3 per cent of demand) around noon. This tops the previous record, which was set on 10 May, when 8.48GW of solar was recorded. Duncan Burt, who is responsible for control room operations said: “We now have significant volumes of renewable energy on the system and as this trend continues, our ability to forecast these patterns is becoming more and more important. We have planned for these changes to the energy landscape and have the tools available to ensure we can balance supply and demand. It really is the beginning of a new era, which we are prepared for and excited to play our part,” he added.

Mail: Giant Kites flying 300 metres in the air will power more than 5,000 British homes by 2020

The world’s first wind farm powered by giant kites will power more than 5,000 British homes by 2020. Twenty of the enormous kites, which will work in pairs, will fly in 100mph (160km/h) circles at heights reaching more than 300 metres (1,000 ft) – around the same height as the Shard. Their cyclic movement will pull a tether attached to a rotating drum on the ground that is linked to a generator, which will spin to produce electricity. Plans for the farm’s location will be announced in September as power company Kite Power Systems (KPS) bids to provide wind energy to 5,500 British homes.

Sydney Morning Herald: France’s Engie says hydrogen has ‘massive long-term potential’ for power storage

Engie is helping build a small, self-contained power grid on Semakau Island to demonstrate the usefulness of hydrogen gas in converting intermittent power from solar panels and wind turbines into stored fuel that can generate electricity days or even months later. While battery storage has received most of the attention so far, hydrogen has “massive long-term potential,” said Didier Holleaux, executive vice president at Engie.”Batteries are fine for intraday, or a few hours. But if you produce energy in summer and need it in winter, or need it to last during a few cloudy days, then hydrogen would be the obvious solution.” To be a solution, though, hydrogen storage costs would have to come down dramatically. A hydrogen-based energy storage system costs about 10 times more than a diesel back-up generator with similar power output, according to a Toshiba presentation at the World Smart Energy Week in Tokyo in March.

Science Daily: Natural gas plants without the carbon dioxide emissions

How can we burn natural gas without releasing CO2 into the air? This feat is achieved using a special combustion method that TU Wien has been researching for years: chemical looping combustion (CLC). In this process, CO2 can be isolated during combustion without having to use any additional energy, which means it can then go on to be stored. This prevents it from being released into the atmosphere. The method had already been applied successfully in a test facility with 100 kW fuel power. An international research project has now managed to increase the scale of the technology significantly, thus creating all the necessary conditions to enable a fully functional demonstration facility to be built in the 10 MW range.

Daily Caller: Offshore Wind Turbines Blamed For Killing Family Of Whales

Marine environmental experts blame offshore wind turbines for the deaths of three minke whales that washed up on British beaches, The Times reported Monday. Wildlife experts claim that the noise generated by wind turbines affected the sonar that whales use to navigate, causing them to beach themselves. There are several commercial offshore wind farms close to where the whales beached themselves. “There are studies that show that the sounds created by the operational noise of the turbines create vibrations under that may in fact disorient marine mammals like whales,” Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association who regularly discusses the impacts of noise on marine mammals, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “In the case of what looks like this mother and calf, they go on the wrong path and end up disoriented then beaching themselves. The sound kills.”




About prosperitysaskatchewan

Consultant on Saskatchewan's natural resources.

Posted on May 29, 2017, in economic impact, miscellaneous, political, uranium and nuclear. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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