JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Climate fears stop new gas plants in Europe, then cold hits and they go back to coal

God’s joke on governments that try to control the climate with their electricity grid:

Europe talks itself out of building gas plants in order to stop global warming, then after an extra cold winter, they also run out of gas, and now they have to go back to burning coal.

Spooked investors weren’t funding many gas plants now that the glorious renewable era was here and policy makers were all wearing their Hydrogen badges, and waving their carbon capture wands. In the last year all the geniuses of the European Investment Bank, the IEA, the European Commission were saying “gas is over” and it would be a stranded asset.

One month ago, Nina Chestney was predicting a gas supply crunch:

Gas faces existential crisis in climate wary Europe

May 14, 2021, , Reuters

Europe faces the prospect of higher electricity bills and a supply crunch, as utilities struggle to finance new gas-fired power plants unless they meet tougher emissions criteria imposed by banks pressured to stop financing fossil-fuel projects.

…Gas projects worth some 30 billion euros were cancelled, delayed or indefinitely postponed last year as they struggled to find funding.

The […]

Russia bets big on coal, gas, fossil fuels, and not on renewables

Росгвардия

The West is switching to trendy unreliable energy while Russia is ramping up coal and gas production.

Russia is building a ten billion dollar railroad to sell coal to Asia, but Australia is building a ten billion dollar hydro bandaid “battery” just to make unreliable energy slightly less useless.

Russia is being left behind on renewables, and they’re probably delighted. The more the West cripples itself in a quest to make sparkly green-electrons that stop the storms, the richer the Russians will get.

With the second largest coal reserves in the world, they’re well positioned to meet the growing demand from India and China. Indeed, if Russia could just think of a way to stop the USA and Australia from producing coal, they could corner the market.

If Russian Intel isn’t paying climate activists and child-complainers a retainer, they must have rocks for brains. But since they are apparently paying French and German bloggers to discredit the Pfizer vaccine perhaps they already are some of the great minds behind Greenpeace?

And if they were funding climate disinformation campaigns, which media outlet would tell us?

h.t GWPF

Source EIA 2021

Give me one reason Russia […]

A Dutch Court says Shell is causing storms and floods. And Exxon shareholders vote to lose money

Who knew?

It doesn’t matter how much a company panders to the Religion.

The Pagan Chieftan hath spoken and decided that Shell not only has to cut its own emissions nearly in half, it improbably, somehow, is responsible for its customers emissions too. Will Shell put photos of heatwave casualties with warning labels on oil cans: “This product may cause Tornadoes”?

Shell is reaping the rewards of playing the “climate” game. They didn’t stand up against the climate witchery when it came for the coal industry, and now its come for them.

Oil Giants Are Dealt Major Defeats on Climate Change as Pressures Intensify

By Sarah McFarlane and Christopher M. Matthews, Wall Street Journal

In a first-of-its-kind ruling, a Dutch court found that Shell is partially responsible for climate change, and ordered the company to sharply reduce its carbon emissions. Hours later in the U.S., an activist investor won at least two seats on Exxon’s board, a historic defeat for the oil giant that will likely require it to alter its fossil-fuel focused strategy.

The Shell ruling, issued by the district court in The Hague, found that Shell must curb its carbon […]

Queensland’s Near Miss: hydrogen may have exploded at a coal plant (and renewables don’t save the day)

Tuesday was a wild day for Queensland Electricity. An explosion struck the Callide C Power Plant triggering a cascade of other plants to switch off within seconds. The massive 2.5GW fall in supply took the grid frequency in Brisbane to a hair raising 49.55Hz. How close did it come to falling over? Half a million people lost power for a couple of hours but a Statewide blackout was averted. Luckily no one was hurt.

Meanwhile the people in power were not saying “Hydrogen”, or “explosion” but the Supercritical Units at Callide are cooled with hydrogen, and there was an explosion. The owner CS Energy called it just “a fire”. But in other news reports people in the nearest town said it was “the loudest explosion they have ever heard”.

Hydrogen, it seems, is used in some coal plants as a coolant, but Holy Hindenberg, it is known to explode. (See Ohio in 2007, Pittsburg in 2017 and India, 2019) . A Union official said it appeared the hydrogen filled generator of the main turbine had suffered a catastrophic failure. And it’s all exquisitely awkward, as David Archibald points out, happening while a two day Hydrogen Conference is on — as […]

Be gone all you gas cookers and heaters in Victoria! We need colder weather. Seriously?

Evil weather-destroying equipment will be banished:

Photo Kwon Junho

Victorians building new homes will be denied the choice to pick their preferred heating and cooking appliances in the hope that this will stop storms and droughts for their great grandchildren.

As household prices rise, the money that could have been used for holidays, health, or education will be used to enrich a few corporations and make a small percentage of the population feel important and calmer.

If only the low carbon revolution was clean, green and cheap, no one would have to ban anything.

Suffer the children:

Push to turn off gas to help reach state’s climate goal

Tom Cowie and Nick O’Malley, The Age

Gas appliances including heaters, hot water services and cooktops would be phased out under a proposed moratorium on new gas connections to Victorian households to help the state achieve its 2030 target to cut carbon emissions by up to 50 per cent.

Victorians are the nation’s biggest users of natural gas for heating, hot water and cooking due to the state’s historically cheap and plentiful supply piped in from Bass Strait since the 1970s.

But […]

Chinese official says solar and wind are too intermittent and unstable. They must use coal.

China seems to operate in its own bubble of rules

Image by Chris Feser

Imagine the apoplexy if our ecology minister said we’d fund coal power in the third world? Why is it only China that gets to build coal at home and abroad? What kind of developing nation can’t afford to run on “solar and wind” but is rich enough to be helping build coal plants in other nations too?

China has ‘no other choice’ but to rely on coal power for now, official says

Evelyn Cheng. CNBC

“China’s energy structure is dominated by coal power. This is an objective reality,” said Su Wei, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission. CNBC translated his Mandarin-language comments, which he made late last week following Xi’s separate remarks at a U.S.-led global leaders climate summit.

“Because renewable energy (sources such as) wind and solar power are intermittent and unstable, we must rely on a stable power source,” Su said. “We have no other choice. For a period of time, we may need to use coal power as a point of flexible adjustment.”

He added that […]

Germany shuts too much coal, lasted 8 days without them, now admits they can’t close them

Emden, Germany by Gritte

On January 1st, Germany shut 11 coal fired plants with about 4.7GW of generating power — supposedly as a part of the Big Phaseout. But eight days later the wind wasn’t blowing and according to Pierre Goslin the system got so unstable that the managers had to turn back on some of the coal power.This on-off-cycle repeated so many times that one large plant — Heyden –was restarted six times in the next eight weeks.

The Federal Network Agency have reclassified the four of the big plants as “system relevant” which means they have to hang around on standby ready to rescue the grid at any time. So the largest efficient and cheap generators on the grid will be paid to sit around waiting for the unreliable expensive energy to fail.

2021 German Coal Plant “Phaseout” Lasted Only 8 Days…Put Back Online To Stabilize Shaky Grid

The Federal Network Agency has now confirmed that it has reclassified the Heyden, Datteln, Walsum 9 and Westfalen power plants, which had already been shut down, as system-relevant and that they now must remain […]

Forget “implicit” subsidies: Fossil fuels subsidize the whole world: feeding people and forests for free

The latest academic voodoo doll tossed at Fossil Fuels is a study claiming that the industry gets $65 billion in “implicit” subsidies in the US.

The authors of the latest paper assume the broken climate models work, and then guesstimate what the cost of all that theoretical warming would be with economic models that aren’t much better. It’s a paywalled paper, but they don’t appear to account for all the net benefits of coal, oil and gas which include, keeping people alive and fertilizing forests and fields around the world for free. These aren’t guesstimates from the future but known good and great gifts from the last century or two.

Greening the Earth. Zaichun Zhu, (2016)

Send them the bill: the fossil fuel companies are subsidizing taxpayers

How much is a hundred years of free fertilizer worth?

If only academic institutions were more than Big Gov advertising agencies they might also have considered that fossil fuel companies are never paid for their part in boosting agricultural yields, nor in greening the forests. Some 18 million square kilometers of Earths surface has more biomass. Arid regions of the world are 11% greener, mostly thanks to CO2 and deserts are […]

In a fluke moment SA and Vic have got cheap electricity (but only thanks to Black coal, and a screwed market)

Yesterdays free advertisement for the Renewables Industry comes from Peter Martin, ANU, and was swallowed whole by The Conversation, and then repeated by The ABC. (If only the ABC had three million dollars a day to spend on checking things before it published them, they might have warned the economist that he doesn’t understand much about the grid or even the energy market.) This kind of anti-coal PsyOps might work on teenagers: Electricity has become a jigsaw. Coal is unable to provide the missing pieces

March 16, 2021 1.46pm AEDT

Yallourn, in the Latrobe Valley, provides up to 20 per cent of Victoria’s power. It has been operating for 47 years. Since late 2017 at least one of its four units has broken down 50 times. Its workforce doubles for three to four months most years to deal with the breakdowns. It pumps out 3 per cent of Australia’s carbon emissions.

And here’s Macarthur Wind Power plant, Victoria’s largest at 420-never-attained-MW. It breaks down nearly every single day:

Fig 1: Anero.id Macarthur Wind output

Martin goes on in a non-stop infomercial for wind and solar He must be aiming for 12 year old voters, or perhaps […]

Texas dodged a bullet: Would you like explosions with your blackouts?

Houston Texas, Feb 2021. Image by Fish & Trips

Texas toyed with cascading crises

The Green Experiment could have gone so much worse. Here’s a man who was a gas industry executive involved in a near miss in New England in 1989. The four day blackout sounds bad, but it was a lottery win compared to the worst case scenarios. Not only was a full state-wide blackout possible, which may take months to correct, but the gas system is a bomb waiting to go off too.

ERCOT officials admit they only just averted a blackstart:

Texas was “seconds and minutes” away Texas’ power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, officials with the entity that operates the grid said Thursday.

— by Erin Douglas, Texas Tribune

The Blackstart in Venezuela took weeks to restart — rebooting an induction motor takes six times the normal current. Energizing a substation can cause explosions. It’s much easier to add load to an operating grid than to rebuild one from scratch. Surges on start up can break things, that fail. It can take rolling rounds […]