"Scottish Government has ‘no plan B’ and reliant on ‘unproven technology’ to hit climate targets
All these political climate fantasies will get rumbled in the end. The cracks between the ‘ambitions’ and reality just keep getting wider, and that’s not just the SNP in Scotland, it’s everywhere you look. – – – EXPERTS have warned the Scottish Government’s strategy for hitting ambitious climate targets by 2030 is based on “wishful thinking” amid fears there is no plan B in the event untested technology cannot be scaled up, says The Herald (via Latest News Post).
Scottish Government ministers have published their climate change update after MSPs pledged to reduce 1990 levels of carbon emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 on the way to becoming carbon neutral by 2045.
But experts have raised concerns that using carbon capture and storage (CCS) and negative emissions technology (NET) to decarbonise heavy industry such as the oil and gas sector are not based on evidence it can be done in time."
BY TYLER DURDEN TUESDAY, FEB 02, 2021 - 5:00 Authored by Irina Slav via OilPrice.com,
Earlier this month, something happened in Europe.
It didn’t get as much media attention as the EU’s massive funding plans for its energy transition, but it was arguably as important, if not more. A fault occurred at a substation in Croatia and caused an overload in parts of the grid, which spread beyond the country’s borders. This created a domino effect that caused a blackout and prompted electricity supply reductions as far as France and Italy. The problem was dealt with, but it’s only a matter of time before more problems like this occur—the reason: the rise of renewables in the energy mix. Bloomberg reported on the incident citing several sources from Europe’s utility sector. While no one would directly blame the blackout and the increased risk of more blackouts on renewables, it is evident that Europe’s change in the energy mix is raising this risk.
The problem has to do with grid frequency. Normally, it is 50 hertz, Bloomberg’s Jesper Starn, Brian Parkin, and Irina Vilcu explain. If the frequency deviates from this level, connected equipment gets damaged, and power outages follow. The frequency is normally maintained by the inertia created by the spinning turbines of fossil fuel—or nuclear, or hydro—power plants. With Europe cutting its coal and nuclear capacity, this inertia declines as well, exposing the grid to frequency deviations.
“The problem isn’t posed by growing green electricity directly but by shrinking conventional capacity,” the chief electricity system modeler at Cologne University’s EWI Institute of Energy Economics told Bloomberg.
This is pretty much the same as saying it is not the pandemic that is wreaking havoc on the global economy, but the lack of enough healthy people to keep it going. Wind and solar power, for all their benefits, such as a much lower emissions footprint, do have drawbacks, as does every source of energy. In this case, the drawback is the intermittency of generation. This intermittency cannot maintain the inertia necessary to keep the grid at 50 hertz."
"Blackouts Cascade Beyond Texas in Deepening Power Crisis
Blackouts triggered by frigid weather have spread to more than four million homes and businesses across the central U.S. and extended into Mexico in a deepening energy crisis that’s already crippled the Texas power grid.
After millions in Texas lost electricity, the operator of the grid spanning 14 states from North Dakota to Oklahoma ordered utilities to start rotating outages to protect the system from failing amid surging demand for electricity."
Germany’s millions of solar panels are blanketed in snow and ice and its 30,000 wind turbines are doing nothing as the freezing weather has no wind resource to keep the turbines operating. Instead, the solar and wind units are drawing power from the grid powered mainly by coal to keep their internal workings from freezing up. Despite Germany being the poster child of Europe’s renewable future, the country’s Energiewende—transition to wind and solar power—is not working. The Germans have found that dependable, dispatchable coal can work in any weather and is the savior during these cold months. The plan is that Germany will have to rely more on natural gas from Russia, coal power from Poland and nuclear power from France, importing power along huge cables, instead of building a huge fleet of batteries to back up its intermittent renewable power.
However, for this unreliability of wind and solar power during this year’s snowy and icy winter, German consumers paid $38 billion ($30.9 billion euros) in subsidies for its renewable energy growth in 2020, despite the financial needs of other sectors of its economy afflicted by the coronavirus pandemic. The renewable energy subsidy is paid directly by consumers in their electricity bills, helping make German residential retail power costs the highest across the European continent and 3 times higher than those of the United States. Americans need only triple their utility bills to get a sense of the burden Germany’s system places on its citizens. The U.S. economy is about 5 times the size of Germany’s, to compare relative expenditures for similar practices. The subsidy only raised renewable energy’s share of Germany’s electricity mix by 3 percentage points—from 43 percent in 2019 to 46 percent last year."
"Why Renewable Energy Cannot Replace Fossil Fuels By 2050
This popular 2016 report is being reissued to correct typos related to MW and GW – megawatts and gigawatts – in one section of the previous report. Though the statistics are somewhat dated, the principles still hold true. Renewables cannot replace fossil fuels by 2050. A series of shorter updated reports on renewables costs and grid implications by Robert Lyman are referenced at the end of this document.
Introduction Several prominent environmental groups in Canada and the federal New Democratic Party have endorsed the view that Canada should adopt the goal of “100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water and Sunlight (WWS) by 2050”. This view is shared by several environmental groups in other countries.
Is this goal feasible? Studies by academics and think tanks in the United States and elsewhere have examined the potential for and costs of replacing fossil fuels. The most widely cited of these, and the probable bases for the view that 100% renewables is possible, are the reports done by Mark Jacobsen, Mark Delucci and others at Stanford University. Their studies examine both the United States and the global situation, using similar models and methodologies. Jacobson and Delucci also published a series of “all-sector energy roadmaps” that purport to show how each of 139 countries in the world could attain the WWS goal.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the likely implication of the 100% renewables goal for countries like the United States and Canada.
The WWS Vision The WWS vision calls for converting all energy use for electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, industry, and agriculture/forestry/fishing, to be powered by wind, water and sunlight. It further seeks the closing of all energy production and consumption associated with fossil fuels (i.e. coal, oil and natural gas) and nuclear energy. Jacobson and Delucci propose several measures that governments could take to begin the process of converting the world energy system to WWS starting immediately. As of the end of 2014, they estimate that 3.6% of the WWS energy generation needed for a 100% world has already been installed. Constructing the remaining 96.4% would be an immense task. Their breakdown of the additional global generation capacity needed, in terms of gigawatts (GW), is shown in Table 1. For clarity, “Solar PV” refers to photovoltaic panels, often installed on rooftops or in open areas. “Solar CSP” refers to large concentrated solar power plan"
"Far from Texas energy crisis, battle over solar energy in Montana raises similar concerns
A years-long legal battle over solar energy in Montana is raising concerns about consumer pricing and grid reliability in the shadows of the unexpected winter energy crisis in Texas.
As Texas has experienced significant power loss over the past week with record-low temperatures and wind turbines freezing up, the struggle between green energy and fossil fuels has never been more apparent.
On Sharyl Attkisson's "Full Measure After Hours," she examined this power struggle in Montana, where the state Supreme Court made the final decision regarding NorthWestern Energy and solar companies.
In 2017, the Public Service Commission, Montana's utility regulator, decided to slash the rates that the utility monopoly NorthWestern Energy would have to pay solar companies by 40%. This decision benefited NorthWestern Energy while harming the solar companies.
Anne Hedges, from the nonprofit Montana Environmental Information Center, addressed the Public Service Commission's decision. "They made a rule or decision that disadvantaged, really grossly disadvantaged, these solar energy developers," Hedges said. "But we thought that that was wrong. We thought it was not in line with what federal law required, and it certainly wasn't in line with the spirit of the law, which is intended to encourage these small businesses to really be able to thrive."
The federal law mentioned was created as a result of the 1970s energy crisis. Because of the gas shortage, skyrocketing oil prices, fuel rations, and long gas station lines, Congress passed "The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act" in 1978. The purpose of this law was to encourage energy conservation and make electric monopolies buy some of their power from alternative energy projects. "