Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Renewable Energy's big secret.

Image: Heartland Institute.
Steve Goreham is a speaker, author, and researcher on environmental issues as well as an engineer and business executive. He is the Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America (CSCA), a non-political association of scientists, engineers, and citizens dedicated to informing Americans about the realities of climate science and energy economics.

Steve is the author of two books on climate change:   Climatism! Science, Common Sense, and the 21st Century’s Hottest Topic and  The Mad, Mad, Mad, World of Climatism.

Steve in a piece written for The Heartland Institute's Somewhat Reasonable exposes (link)

Renewable Energy’s Big Secret

Steve starts off by describing how climate change (nee Anthopogenic Global Warming) has moved to centre stage after POTUS Obama's State of the Union Address.

He then continues:
Renewable energy remains a tiny part of our (USA) energy picture. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, by the end of 2011, 39,000 wind turbine towers were operating in the United States, but provided only 2.9% of our electricity, compared to 42% from coal, 25% from natural gas, 20% from nuclear, and 6% from hydroelectric sources. After twenty years of subsidies and mandates, solar energy remained absolutely trivial, contributing a miniscule 0.04% of our electricity. Ethanol and biodiesel provided about 11% of U.S. vehicle fuel at the heavy cost of using 40% of the corn crop. 
Renewable energy’s big secret is that the two biggest renewable sources, wind and biofuels, don’t reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Wind energy is highly variable. Wind output can ramp from negligible output to 100% of rated output to zero again over just a few hours. On average, wind systems provide rated output only about 30% of the time, so they can’t replace hydrocarbon or nuclear electricity sources. Coal or natural gas plants must be used as backup to the wind system, ramping up and down inefficiently to mirror changes in wind velocity.
Steve describes how analysis of utilities in Netherlands and Colorado
show that combined wind-hydrocarbon systems use more fuel, produce more nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide pollutants, and emit more carbon dioxide than coal or natural gas systems alone. Despite claims to the contrary, addition of wind farms to our electrical grid does not reduce emissions.
On biofuels, Steve points out that advocates have long maintained that use of biofuels is carbon neutral.

But a 2011 opinion by the European Environment Agency pointed to a “serious error” in greenhouse gas accounting. The carbon neutral concept does not take into account the CO2 that would be absorbed by the natural vegetation that grows on land not used for biofuel production. A 2011 study by the National Academy of Sciences found that, after considering land use effects, production of ethanol as replacement fuel for gasoline was likely to “increase such air pollutants as particulate matter, ozone, and sulfur oxides.”  The study also found that greenhouse gas emissions from ethanol fuel were likely to be higher than gasoline. 
So, even if you ascribe to the theory of man-made climate change, it’s unlikely that deployment of renewable energy will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (my emphasis)
We should start thinking about alternate energy sources as "Unreliables" instead of "Renewables."

German Meteorologists turn their backs on Global Warming catastrophism.

Fritz Vahrenholt
Following Chemist and Environmentalist  Fritz Vahrenholt's about face, we have had a string of German Meteorlogists turning: Dr Karsten Brandt; Prof.Dr. Horst Marlberg; Dominik Jung.

Now, Pierre Gossilin's NoTricksZone reports on:

Collapsing "Consensus" – Another German Meteorology Site Wonders About The Global Temperature Stagnation in a piece titled: “Global Warming Stagnates – Guessing The Causes“.

 The report begins:

Since 1998 the global mean temperature has not risen significantly. While the global temperature rose by about 0.5°C from the 1970s until the end of the 1990s, it has stagnated for the last 15 years, though at a high level. [...] The stagnation surprised a lot of experts, who are now searching for possible causes for this development.”

Pierre writes:
Wetteronline.de then explains the various theories, writing that the stagnation may be due to weakened solar activity, or because of huge emissions of aerosols over Asia – global dimming – or perhaps because of ocean currents.
Wetteronline.de ends its report with:
The climate system of the Earth is very complex. There are still many interrelationships, factors, and feedbacks affecting the climate that are not known or still not adequately researched. Thus a combination of the above factors is possible for explaining the stagnation in worldwide temperature. But also a completely unknown phenomenon that climate science knows nothing about is possible. Even a natural variation of the climate cannot be excluded.” 
Pierre concludes:
One thing is sure: the science of climate change is no longer an open and shut case – not by any means. The consensus that humans are driving the climate is more shattered than ever in Germany, and is crumbling at an increasing velocity. 
Read more HERE