Friday, 29 March 2013

Renewable Energy Myths

Renewable Myths        by NCTCS Secretary Anthony Cox

Annika Dean’s article (see image) repeats several recurring misrepresentations about renewable energy.

The first is that renewable energy, particularly wind, is cheaper than coal. The 2011 Australian Productivity Commission shows the following cost comparison between the energy sources in Australia:
Coal fired power station $79 per Mw/h (megawatt/hour)
Gas fired power station $97 per Mw/h – or 1.2 times the cost of coal power
Wind power $150-214 per Mw/h
Solar power $400-473 per Mw/h
But even that does not show the true cost of wind and solar. In their paper computer scientist at The Weather Company, Andrew Miskelly and Physicist, Dr Tom Quirk analyse the actual power output of wind farms; their conclusions can also be used with solar power.

Miskelly and Quirk found 3 types of power output; the first is Installed Capacity which is the power which would be produced if the plant were running all the time. The second is Capacity Factor which is what is actually produced averaged over a year; and the third is the Reliability Point which is the probability of the Capacity Factor occurring at any one time.

They found wind’s Capacity Factor is about 30% but wind’s Reliability Point is between 2 and 6% at any wind farm. That means there is only a small chance that a wind farm can be relied upon to be producing power at any time.

This low Reliability Point is because wind power is intermittent. Advocates of renewable energy say this can be overcome by batteries or other storage for when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun not shining. But as professor Gordon Hughes notes if this could be done it would be being done. As well there is the insurmountable problem that you cannot use energy twice; if wind and solar store energy to be used later they cannot use it when they produce it.

The consequence of this is that renewable energy needs reliable fossil energy to be on constant backup. This adds greatly to the overall cost of energy because the expense of building the wind and solar farms and infrastructure does not replace the fossil sources but only adds to the overall cost to the energy grid. Part of that infrastructure expense is the special poles and wires necessary for wind and solar which provide power in surges not as a continuous even stream.

Advocates of renewable energy still maintain that fossil energy can be replaced. In 2010, the Zero Carbon Australia-Stationary Energy Plan was produced under the auspices of Melbourne University. This plan claimed all Australia’s energy could come from renewables by 2020. This plan was critiqued by engineers Martin Nicholson and Peter Lang in collaboration with professor Barry Brooks from the University of Adelaide.

Nicholson and Lang found Australia could in fact convert to renewable by 2020 at a cost of over $4 billion and if Australians were prepared to cut energy consumption by 63%. That’s no electricity for over half the week.

Ms Dean asserts that “disadvantaged countries” can use renewable energy instead of coal. That would be condemning those already “disadvantaged” people to a continuation of disadvantage.

Coal and other fossil fuels have had a history of pollution; but apart from nuclear energy they are the only energy sources which work reliably.

World-wide another 1200 coal-fired power plants are planned, over 75% of them in China and India.

The challenge is to make sure those new plants are not as polluting as the past ones. China is developing a technology called Ultra Supercritical plants; these greatly reduce all pollutants and even non-polluting CO2.

In addition if some of the money going into renewable research was used for developing Thorium energy, a relatively non-radioactive type of uranium, then those “disadvantaged” countries might have a real choice instead of the dream of renewables.

But then the greens were never interested in practical solutions; the reason for that is because their solutions are for imaginary problems.

Is the Global Warming Cooling?

Global Warming or Global Cooling; who's serious? Who's fooling?

Isn't it interesting that when there is a warm climate event, the alarmists cry out:

“The sky is falling.
         The World is warming!
Disaster’s forming!
         The World is warming!”

However when there is a cool/cold climate event, they are mute.

As an example, take March for the last two years in the USA.

March 2012 was a warmer than usual March and we had reports like:

However when the next March, 2013 (See images above), turned out to be very cold, the alarmists dismissed it as a “weather event.”

Accuweather reported: March Then and Now
Much of the northern United States has a blanket of snow on the ground this March, when compared to practically no snow this time last year. 
A series of storms sweeping across the nation from the Northwest to the Northeast and at times dipping into part of the South has delivered near- to above-normal snowfall in many locations this winter and early spring.

Other parts of the Northern Hemisphere have suffered several seasons of snowy shivering:

Farmers in crisis as big freeze worsens and dozens of newborn lambs die

THE big freeze could ­continue until the middle of next month as the relentless winter brings a crisis for farmers. (link)

Big freeze in Europe shows no signs of letting up as Venice's famous waterways ice over
The big freeze shows no sign of letting up in Europe as Venice's famed waterways fell victim to sub zero temperatures this morning. 
Water buses were stranded in some of the Italian city's canals after they froze solid in temperatures as low as -10C. 
More than 60,000 homes were left without power in Milan and officials declared a gas supply emergency as the cold temperatures saw pipes burst. (Link)

MOSCOW, March 25 (RIA Novosti) – 
Cold weather in Russia has delayed the annual northward migration of birds, the Russian Bird Conservation Union said on Monday. (link)

Extreme cold grinds northern France to a halt

Unseasonably severe cold weather paralysed much of northern France on Wednesday, after tens of thousands of homes were left temporarily without electricity, while roads and public transport services were running at reduced service. (link)
Northeast Italy crippled by snow and ice (link)
Trieste, March 26 - Schools in the northeastern city of Trieste and surrounding area remained closed and the local authorities invited residents to stay at home on Tuesday as the latest cold snap continued to bite.

It’s the cold, not global warming, that we  (UK) should be worried about (Link)
No one seems upset that in modern Britain, old people are freezing to death as hidden taxes make fuel more expensive. Each year, an official estimate is made of the “excess winter mortality” – that is, the number of people dying of cold-related illnesses. Last winter was relatively mild, and still 24,000 perished. The indications are that this winter, which has dragged on so long and with such brutality, will claim 30,000 lives, making it one of the biggest killers in the country. And still, no one seems upset. 

Yet the alarmists still maintain their cry:

    “The sky is falling.
            The World is warming!
     Disaster’s forming!
            The World is warming!”

 Take these recent examples:

Sophie Lewis, Post Doctoral Research Fellow at University of Melbourne and Sarah Perkins, Post Doctoral Research Fellow should have known better when they wrote in the Conversation

More angry, more often: March heatwave signals a new normal

March felt a lot like summer. Get used to it: looking ahead, all indications are that future summers could be just like this one, or more extreme.
From the Alarmist Sydney Morning Herald:

Hottest March in 70 years (link)

Melbourne is set for its hottest March since the record year of 1940 with one last day of temperatures in the mid-30s.
That, of course means that there was a hotter March before the post WWII industrialisation.

From the Alarmist ABC (link)
The city's (Sydney) tops of 33.5 at 2.26pm was the hottest March day since 2002 when the temperature reached 36.2 on the 17th.
That means that there was hotter March in 2002. Hasn't the "evil pollutant" (vital-to-life) Carbon Dioxide been constantly rising in that ten year gap? Why wasn't temperature rising in parallel?

So the ABC say it was the hottest March day for 11 years? Trove records (From the Sydney Morning Herald) another hottest March day for 11 years (1951). (link)

After Sydney's hottest March day for 11years, the Weather Bureau last night forecastcooler weather to-day, with clouds and showerslater, mostly fine with west to south winds.
The outlook for to-morrow, the bureau said,was for cooler weather with showers.
Sydney's highest temperature yesterday was100.2 degrees at 3.15 p.m. (32 per cent, humidity).
It was only the sixth March century in the 92years the weather records have been kept.
Sydney's March record is 102.6 degrees-onMarch 3, 1869.

SO we have, according to the ABC, 33.5ºC in March 2013, 36.2ºC in March 2002, and according to the SMH  37.9 (100.2) in March 1951, 38ºC (100.5) in 1927 (link), and don't forget 39.2ºC (102.6) in March 1869. (Curse those 1869 SUV Horse and Buggies!)


Time  for the Alarmists  to stop cherry-picking individual weather events and realise that

 (if there is any) Global Warming, then it should ..Global!

A kind of reverse Bob Geldof