Archives par mot-clé : Green Energy

NuScale SMR receives US design certification approval

by World Nuclear News, September 1, 2020


The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a final safety evaluation report (FSER) for NuScale’s small modular reactor. This is the first-ever FSER to be issued by the NRC for an SMR, and represents the completion of the technical review and approval of the design.

NuScale’s application for certification of its SMR design for use in the USA was submitted on 31 December, 2016 and was accepted by the NRC the following March. NRC said its completion of the technical review within its original 42-month schedule demonstrates its commitment to “timely” licensing of new, advanced reactor technology.

“This is a significant milestone not only for NuScale, but also for the entire US nuclear sector and the other advanced nuclear technologies that will follow. This clearly establishes the leadership of NuScale and the US in the race to bring SMRs to market,” said NuScale Chairman and CEO John Hopkins. He also credited strong bipartisan support from US Congress for the project, which received cost-shared federal funding as it advanced through the NRC Design Certification process.

NuScale said it had spent over USD500 million, with the backing of its majority investor Fluor, and over 2 million labour hours to develop the information needed to prepare its design certification application. The company also submitted 14 separate Topical Reports in addition to the application – itself over 12,000 pages long – and provided more than 2 million pages of supporting information for NRC audits.

The NuScale design uses passive processes such as convection and gravity in its operating systems and safety features to produce about 600 MW of electricity. Twelve modules, each producing 50 MW, are submerged in a safety-related pool built below ground level. The NRC has concluded the design’s passive features “will ensure the nuclear power plant would shut down safely and remain safe under emergency conditions, if necessary”, it said. NuScale has also indicated to NRC it will apply for standard design approval of a version using 60 MW modules, the regulator said. This would require additional NRC review.

 

Continuer la lecture de NuScale SMR receives US design certification approval

Mining For Green-Energy Materials Threatens Biodiversity, Study Shows

by O. Rudgard, September 3, 2020 in ClimateChaneDispatch


Mining for renewable energy materials could threaten biodiversity, researchers have found.

Scientists at the University of Queensland, Brisbane found a high degree of overlap between areas used for mining essential minerals like lithium, which is used for car batteries, and areas with high levels of biodiversity as yet untouched by industry.

Conservationists are “often naive to the threats posed by significant growth in renewable energies”, the researchers said in the study published in the journal Nature Communications, pointing out that 14 percent of protected areas contain metal mines or have them nearby.

Overall, the researchers found that eight percent of mining areas were within the range of areas designated as protected by national governments, and seven percent were within the same range of key biodiversity areas.

Using this metric, 50 million square kilometers of the earth’s land surface is influenced by mining, with 82 percent of mining areas focused on elements needed for renewable energy production.

Elements including lithium, cobalt, and nickel are essential for rechargeable batteries, which are used for power storage in wind and solar projects, as well as in electric cars.

New mines are planned to target these substances, adding to the global surface area covered by mining activities.

A Hydrogen Future? Some Basic Facts

by P. Homewood, July 5, 2020 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat


There has been a wide ranging debate about hydrogen in the last couple of days, so I thought it worthwhile to recap some of the basic facts. Most of these are from the Committee on Climate Change’s Net Zero report last year, otherwise I will provide links.

I have referred to many of these facts before, but they sometimes get lost in the fog of technical debate. If anybody disagrees with these facts, please explain where the CCC went wrong.

Production

There are essentially two methods of producing hydrogen:

1) Steam reforming

This process typically usually uses natural gas as the feedstock, but produces CO2 as a by-product. Therefore, for the process to be “low carbon”, carbon capture and storage would be necessary. Unfortunately even then not all of the CO2 is captured. Allowing for upstream emissions as well, the CCC estimate that the process will only reduce emissions by 60 to 85%, compared to burning natural gas instead.

The cost of producing hydrogen via steam reforming with CCS is estimated to be triple the current wholesale price of natural gas (ie before adding distribution costs).

2) Electrolysis

The CCC explain why electrolysis can only offer a limited contribution:

Renewable energy development threatens many globally important biodiversity areas

by Rehbein J.A. et al., March 2020, in GlobalChangeBiology


Transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy is fundamental for halting anthropogenic climate change. However, renewable energy facilities can be land‐use intensive and impact conservation areas, and little attention has been given to whether the aggregated effect of energy transitions poses a substantial threat to global biodiversity. Here, we assess the extent of current and likely future renewable energy infrastructure associated with onshore wind, hydropower and solar photovoltaic generation, within three important conservation areas: protected areas, Key Biodiversity Areas and Earth’s remaining wilderness. We identified 2,206 fully operational renewable energy facilities within the boundaries of these conservation areas, with another 922 facilities under development. Combined, these facilities span and are degrading 886 protected areas, 749 Key Biodiversity Areas, and 40 distinct wilderness areas. Two trends are particularly concerning. First, while the majority of historical overlap occurs in Western Europe, the renewable electricity facilities under development increasingly overlap with conservation areas in South East Asia, a globally important region for biodiversity. Second, this next wave of renewable energy infrastructure represents a ~30% increase in the number of protected areas and Key Biodiversity Areas impacted and could increase the number of compromised wilderness areas by ~60%. If the world continues to rapidly transition towards renewable energy these areas will face increasing pressure to allow infrastructure expansion. Coordinated planning of renewable energy expansion and biodiversity conservation is essential to avoid conflicts that compromise their r​e​s​p​e​c​t​

Fantasy Wish List Masquerades as Climate Poll

by Donna Laframboise, June1, 2020 in BigPicturesNews


Green lobby group invites public to endorse green fantasies.

Last week, a raft of newspaper headlines declared “Canadians still support climate action: poll.” We are intended to believe that “COVID-19’s economic and health challenges haven’t diminished” ordinary people’s enthusiasm for green policies. But this poll has oodles of problems.

First, it was sponsored by Clean Energy Canada. Embedded within the term clean energy is the philosophical argument/political statement/moral judgment that our current, dominant forms of fossil fuel-based energy are dirty.

A ‘clean energy’ outfit isn’t neutral. Its entire purpose is to promote some ideas and to disparage others. What actually happened here is an organization with an agenda drew up a fantastical wish list, and then invited Canadians to agree that the items on that wish list are awesome.

Big surprise that lots of people think upgrading broadband Internet service and public transit are a good idea – especially when the pollster, Abacus Data, declares them “part of an effort to attract companies to invest and grow businesses in Canada.”

Big surprise that lots of people like the idea of “Creating more spaces in towns and cities where people can walk and cycle without fear of vehicles.” But the realistic questions, surely, are:

Destroying the environment to save it

by Ch. Rotter, May 31, 2020 in WUWT


Pseudo-green energy will wreak devastation, pretending to prevent exaggerated climate harm

Paul Driessen

“We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” The infamous Vietnam era quotation may or may not have been uttered by an anonymous US Army major. It may have been misquoted, revised, apocryphal or invented. But it quickly morphed into an anti-war mantra that reflected attitudes of the time.

For Virginians and others forced to travel the path of “clean, green, renewable, sustainable” energy, it will redound in modern politics as “We had to destroy the environment in order to save it.”

Weeks after Governor Ralph Northam signed Virginia’s “Clean Economy Act,” which had been rushed through a partisan Democrat legislature, Dominion Energy Virginia announced it would reach “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To do so, the utility company will raise family, business, hospital and school electricity bills by 3% every year for the next ten years – as these customers and state and local governments struggle to climb out of the financial holes created by the ongoing Coronavirus lockdown.

Just as bad, renewable energy mandates and commitments from the new law and Dominion’s “integrated resource plan” will have major adverse impacts on Virginia and world environmental values. In reality, Virginia’s new “clean” economy exists only in fantasy land – and only if we ignore “clean” energy CO2 emissions, air and water pollution, and other environmental degradation around the world.

Dominion Energy plans to expand the state’s offshore wind, onshore solar and battery storage capacity by some 24,000 megawatts of new “renewable” energy by 2035, and far more after that. It will retain just 9,700 MW of existing natural gas generation, and only through 2045, build no new gas-fired units, and retire 6,200 megawatts of coal-fired generation. This will reduce in-state carbon dioxide emissions, but certainly won’t do so globally. The company intends to keep its four existing nuclear units operating.

To “replace” some of its abundant, reliable, affordable fossil fuel electricity, Dominion intends to build at least 31,400 megawatts of expensive, unreliable solar capacity by 2045. The company estimates that will require a land area some 25% larger than 250,000-acre Fairfax County, west of Washington, DC. That means Dominion Energy’s new solar facilities will blanket 490 square miles (313,000 acres) of beautiful croplands, scenic areas and habitats that now teem with wildlife.

Michael Moore film Planet of the Humans removed from YouTube

by P. Homewood, May 27, 2020 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat


YouTube has taken down the controversial Michael Moore-produced documentary, Planet of the Humans in response to a copyright infringement claim by a British environmental photographer.

The movie, which has been condemned as inaccurate and misleading by climate scientists and activists, allegedly includes a clip used without the permission of the owner Toby Smith, who does not approve of the context in which his material is being used.

In response, the filmmakers denied violating fair usage rules and accused their critics of politically motivated censorship.

Smith filed the complaint to YouTube on 23 May after discovering Planet of the Humans used several seconds of footage from his Rare Earthenware project detailing the journey of rare earth minerals from Inner Mongolia.

Smith, who has previously worked on energy and environmental issues, said he did not want his work associated with something he disagreed with. “I went directly to YouTube rather than approaching the filmmakers because I wasn’t interested in negotiation. I don’t support the documentary, I don’t agree with its message and I don’t like the misleading use of facts in its narrative.”

Planet of the Humans director Jeff Gibbs said he was working with YouTube to resolve the issue and have the film back up as soon as possible.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/entertainment/movies/michael-moore-film-planet-of-the-humans-removed-from-youtube/ar-BB14zOSN

Climate Scientists Try to Rescue Renewable Energies from ‘Planet of the Humans’

by A. Watts, May 14, 2020 in WUWT


“The cause” of climate alarmism and forced energy transformation has been pushed backward by a very long overdue hard look at renewable energy as a mass substitute for mineral energies. Being dilute and intermittent, renewables have more bad secrets than any closet could hold. Small wonder; renewable energies chew up the earth’s surface and creatures in a way that leads to the joke:

Q. “When is an environmentalist not an environmentalist?” A. “When it comes to industrial wind turbines and solar farms.”

Moore’s Planet of the Humans all but ensures that DC-based Big Environmentalism will frontally reject biomass/biofuels, their loss-leader to try to prop up wind and solar as viable. Remove biomass from “green” portfolios and it gets a little skinnier for the business cronies.

And if Big Environmentalism loses wind, the supply-side ruse is over, and people will reconsider climate science given that the ‘cure’ is gone. Hence Michael Mann versus Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans, the gist of Maxime Joselow’s “Michael Moore’s documentary irks climate scientists” (May 5, 2020).

Michael Moore Ditches Green Movement For Climate Commies

by C. Toto, May 8, 2020 in ClimateChangeDispatch


Michael Moore has had enough of the modern green movement.

The Oscar-winning director made it official late last month by unleashing his new project, for free, on YouTube.

“The Planet of the Humans,” which Moore executive produced and shared via his Rumble Media platform, excoriates some of the green movement’s sacred cows:

  • Wind Energy
  • Solar Power
  • Electric Cars
  • Al Gore

The documentary shreds all of the above, albeit from a decidedly progressive perspective. Solar and wind, no matter how well-intentioned those who support them, can’t power the planet. Electric cars require fossil fuels, a non-starter for saving the world.

 …
SEE THE VIDEO HERE (in text)

How exactly do they plan to replace fossil fuels?

by P. Driessen, March 16, 2020 in WUWT


They want to ban coal, oil and gas. Exactly how will they replace them? Who wins? Who loses?

Berkeley, CA, Takoma Park, MD and other cities; California, Connecticut, New York, Virginiaand other states; Germany, England and other countries; the European Union – all plan to banish oil, natural gas and coal within 10, 20 or 30 years. A number of US states have joined Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives and proudly say We Are Still Inthe Paris climate treaty, no matter what President Trump says or does.

Forget the headlines and models, and look at hurricane, tornado, sea level and other historic records. There is no crisis, no unprecedented warming or weather events, certainly nothing that proves humans have replaced the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate changes and weather events.

But for now, let’s just examine their zero-carbon plans. How exactly will they make this happen? Where do they plan to get the turbines, panels and batteries? the raw materials to manufacture them? How do they plan to function as modern societies with pricey, erratic energy and frequent power disruptions?

 

Continuer la lecture de How exactly do they plan to replace fossil fuels?

Transition énergétique : une régression sans précédent ?

par J.P. Bardinet, 16 janvier 2020 in Contrepoints


L ’éolien ne sert à rien et la politique gouvernementale, voulue par l’Union européenne, Emmanuel Macron et ses deux prédécesseurs, est néfaste pour notre pays.

Lors de son évolution, l’humanité a utilisé des énergies primaires avec des densités énergétiques de plus en plus fortes : bois, charbon, gaz, pétrole, uranium. La densité énergétique des énergies renouvelables (EnR), éolien et solaire, est très faible, ce qui est une régression sans précédent dans l’histoire de l’humanité.

Chiffres de production totale RTE 2018 : 548,6 TWh dont

  • nucléaire 71,7 %
  • thermique à combustible fossile 7,2 %
  • hydraulique 12,5 %
  • éolien 5,1 %
  • solaire 1,9 %
  • agroénergies 1,8 %

Le facteur de charge de l’éolien est de 21 % et celui du solaire de 13,6 %.

Ces EnR intermittentes ont de faibles facteurs de charge, ce sont donc des moyens de production peu efficaces, mais particulièrement onéreux.
L’Espagne et l’Allemagne en ont fait la douloureuse expérience.

Avant le développement des EnR intermittentes, nous exportions environ 10 % de notre production d’électricité. Nous pouvons donc nous demander pourquoi nos gouvernants, à la suite des Directives de la Commission européenne, ont imposé  manu militari ces EnR intermittentes alors qu’une politique de prolongation de la durée de vie des centrales nucléaires, un programme de construction de plusieurs EPR, et un financement approprié de la R&D sur la surgénération à uranium appauvri auraient été les meilleures options.

La filière des SMR (small size reactors) qui utilise la technologie des sous-marins nucléaires, serait également une piste à développer, car elle permettrait de produire de l’électricité à proximité des centres de consommation, rendant ainsi les pertes lors du transport quasiment nulles.

LE CO2 LOURDEMENT TAXÉ

Les politiques climat-énergie de notre pays et de la plupart de pays de l’UE sont basées sur l’hypothèse non prouvée que nos émissions de CO2 ont une action mesurable sur la température moyenne annuelle globale (TMAG) et sur le climat de notre planète.

 

Energies du monde et perspectives d’un MIX 2050?

by E. Simon, 27 décembre 2019 in ScienceClimatEnergie


1/ Introduction

Face aux gesticulations de masses organisées contre les énergies fossiles et le CO2, dits nuisibles, nos amis logiciens examineront utilement la situation à l’échelle planétaire. Une situation où nos 500 millions d’habitants d’UE ne pèsent finalement que 1/15e de l’actuelle population mondiale !

Tâchons d’identifier des faits chiffrés, ils reflètent la vie réelle sur notre globe. Leurs ‘tendances lourdes’ y échappent à l’emprise des idéologues ! Si nos besoins capacitaires belges post-2025 provoquent déjà l’entrechoc d’avis entre la CREG (régulateur belge) et l’administration SPF (Energie, plus experts), il sera plus éclairant de raisonner dans une atmosphère sans frontières, à l’échelle planétaire. Là s’ajoutent les dimensions géopolitiques et divers facteurs de sensibilités culturelles. Les joutes de pouvoirs institutionnels y deviennent alors titanesques ! L’Union Européenne en restera-t-elle subordonnée aux thèses du GIEC et aux manoeuvres aux COP21 (… COP25) onusiennes ? Une thèse vaut ici : les 5 pays dits BRICS (ou Brésil/Russie/Inde/Chine/Afrique du Sud) et d’autres Etats ne suivront pas les dogmes prônés par l’ONU. Sa démonstration par l’absurde en est perceptible dans les faits. Explorons-la davantage ?

Cette note consacrée au MIX mondial passe en revue les points suivants :

• Où en sommes-nous (UE, monde) actuellement ?
• Vers où le reste du monde se dirige-t-il, à l’horizon planifié de 2040/2050 ?
• Trancher le noeud gordien des perspectives exige de chiffrer les + et les – !
• Combien cela coûtera-t-il à l’humanité (celle apte à le payer) ?
• En guise de conclusion, à ce stade …

Child miners aged four living a hell on Earth so YOU can drive an electric car

by Barbara Jones, August 5, 2017 in MailOnline


  • Sky News investigated the Katanga mines and found Dorsen, 8, and Monica, 4
  • The pair were working in the vast mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • They are two of the 40,000 children working daily in the mines, checking rocks for cobalt

 

Eight-year-old Dorsen is pictured cowering beneath the raised hand of an overseer who warns him not to spill a rock

China has slashed clean energy funding by 39%, leading a global decline

by From MIT Technology review, July 12, 2019 in WUWT


The big picture: The new report suggests last year’s slowdown in renewable-energy construction has extended into 2019, taking the world in exactly the wrong direction at a critical time (see “Global renewables growth has stalled—and that’s terrible news”). Every major report finds that the world needs to radically accelerate the shift to clean energy to have any hope of not blowing past dangerous warming thresholds (see “At this rate, it’s going to take 400 years to transform the energy system”).

GLOBAL INVESTMENT IN GREEN ENERGY DROPS SHARPLY

by GWPF, July 12, 2019 in FinacialTimes


Investment in clean energy slipped to $117.6bn, a decline of 14 per cent compared with the same period last year, according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

A sudden change in China’s renewable energy policies last year — when it curbed solar and wind subsidies — has dramatically reduced the number of new projects in the world’s largest market.

Clean energy investment in China was down 39 per cent during the first half of this year, compared with the same period last year.

However, those figures could improve later this year, suggested Justin Wu, BNEF’s head of Asia-Pacific.

Source: BloombergNEF.

Weaning US power sector off fossil fuels would cost between $4.7tn and $10tn

by Reuters News Service, June 27, 2019 in CyprusMail


Eliminating fossil fuels from the U.S. power sector, a key goal of the “Green New Deal” backed by many Democratic presidential candidates, would cost $4.7 trillion and pose massive economic and social challenges, according to a report released on Thursday by energy research firm Wood Mackenzie.

That would amount to $35,000 per household, or nearly $2,000 a year for a 20-year plan, according to the study, which called the price tag for such a project “staggering.”

The report is one of the first independent cost estimates for what has become a key issue in the 2020 presidential election, with most Democrats proposing multi-trillion-dollar plans to eliminate U.S. carbon emissions economy-wide.

Front-runner Joe Biden’s plan to get to zero emissions, for example, carries a $1.7 trillion price tag, while Beto O’Rourke’s proposal comes in at $5 trillion. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the authors of the “Green New Deal,” a non-binding Congressional resolution, put the cost of a comprehensive climate solution at around $10 trillion.

Such ideas aim to tap into a growing sense of urgency about global warming on both sides of the political divide, but have been panned by President Donald Trump and many Republicans as being unfeasible, costly, and a threat to the economy.

A power-generating wind turbine is seen in Saint-Laurent-Des-Eaux near Orleans, France

Without Mining, There Is No ‘Green Revolution’

by S. Moore A. & Bridges, June17, 2019 in ClimateChangeDispatch


The recent threats by Beijing to cut off American access to critical mineral imports has many Americans wondering why our politicians have allowed the United States to become so overly-dependent on China for these valued resources in the first place.

Today, the United States is 90 percent dependent on China and Russia for many vital “rare earth minerals.”

The main reason for our over-reliance on nations like China for these minerals is not that we are running out of these resources here at home. The U.S. Mining Association estimates that we have at least $5 trillion of recoverable mineral resources.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that we still have up to 86 percent or more of key mineral resources like copper and zinc remaining in the ground, waiting to be mined.

These resources aren’t on environmentally sensitive lands, like national parks, but on the millions of acres of federal, state and private lands.

The mining isn’t happening because of extremely prohibitive environmental rules and a permitting process that can take 5-10 years to open a new mine. Green groups simply resist almost all new drilling.

What they may not realize is that the de facto mining prohibitions jeopardize the “Green Energy Revolution” that liberals so desperately are seeking.

How is this for rich irony: To make renewable energy at all technologically plausible, will require massive increases in the supply of rare earth and critical minerals.

Wind Energy Woes: German Expansion “Collapses To Near Zero” …”2019 Threatens To Be A Disaster”

by P. Gosselin, June 11, 2019 in NoTricksZone


Despite all the talk about the need to transition over to green energies, Germany’s progress — in especially wind energy — has ground to a complete halt.

German news site iwr.de here reports that the expansion of wind energy in Germany has “come the a stop” as the government has scaled back subsidies and enacted stricter permitting laws.

“As in April 2019, only nine new wind turbines went into operation nationwide in May,” IWR reported. “The year 2019 threatens to be a disaster for the wind industry in Germany.”

The IWR reported further: “In the first five months of 2019, only around 60 new onshore wind turbines went into operation nationwide. This is the result of an IWR evaluation of data from the market master data register of the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA).”

“A catastrophe” for wind power

At Twitter green energy activist Prof. Volker Quaschning called the collapse a “catastrophe”, tweeting that the expansion of wind power “collapsed completely”. He added that “it will be impossible to meet the CO2 reduction targets” and that 40,000 jobs in the wind industry are “on the brink”.

Statistical Review of World Energy

by BP, June 15, 2019


Global primary energy consumption grew rapidly in 2018, led by natural gas and renewables. Nevertheless, carbon emissions rose at their highest rate for seven years

Energy developments

  • Primary energy consumption grew at a rate of 2.9% last year, almost double its 10-year average of 1.5% per year, and the fastest since 2010.
  • By fuel, energy consumption growth was driven by natural gas, which contributed more than 40% of the increase. All fuels grew faster than their 10-year averages, apart from renewables, although renewables still accounted for the second largest increment to energy growth.
  • China, the US and India together accounted for more than two thirds of the global increase in energy demand, with US consumption expanding at its fastest rate for 30 years.

 

Carbon emissions

  • Carbon emissions grew by 2.0%, the fastest growth for seven years.

Ending Fossil Fuels Would Bring The World Back To The Dark Ages

by Washington Times, June11, 2019 in ClimateChange Dispatch


German engineering, as good as it is, has not been able to eliminate the effect of “green” politics, which would replace fossil and nuclear power with renewables. The result is 172,000 localized blackouts in Germany in 2017.

Poverty was a constant companion of humanity until modern times. The proportion of people worldwide living in poverty was cut in half between 1990 and 2010, according to the World Bank, an achievement unprecedented in human history.

It was the result of a rapid boost in global energy production — up 43 percent during that period, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Nearly 81 percent of that power was generated by fossil fuels, such as oil and gas.

A billion people around the globe still suffer extreme energy poverty, with no access to electricity. Everyone gets a hint of what that means when storms knock out the power, and everything in the house stops.

Fumbling occasionally for candles is a mere inconvenience, but life beyond carbon — entirely dependent on sunshine and a breeze — would be insanity.

German Employer’s Association Op Ed: “No Expert Politician In Berlin Believes In Switch To Green Energies Any More”

by P. Gosselin, May 14, 2019 in NoTricksZone


As the pressure mounts in Germany to switch off coal power plants and to rapidly transition over to green energies, one gets the feeling that it all has more to do with a desperate, last-ditch effort by the green energy proponents to rescue their pet green project.

Behind closed doors, no one in Berlin believes in it

Now, just days ago, energy expert Dr. Björn Peters wrote at the German Association of Employers site that the Energiewende has deteriorated to the point that: “No specialist politician in Berlin believes in the success of the Energiewende any more. Whoever you ask, everyone says this only behind closed doors and thinks that if you go to the press with it you can only lose against the ‘green’ media mainstream.”

Peters warns that what is needed in Germany is a good dose of reality and “a fresh start on energy policy.”

Advantages of fossil fuels “too great”

The German expert writes that despite the hundreds of billions of euros committed to green energies, “chemical energy from coal, oil and gas supplies about four fifths of primary energy worldwide and also in Germany and thus represents the present energy supply”.

Global Energy & CO2 Status Report

by IEA, March 2019 (.pdf)


Key Findings 2018

Global energy consumption in 2018 increased at nearly twice the average rate of growth since 2010, driven by a robust global economy and higher heating and cooling needs in some parts of the world. Demand for all fuels increased, led by natural gas, even as solar and wind posted double-digit growth. Higher electricity demand was responsible for over half of the growth in energy needs. Energy efficiency saw lacklustre improvement.

Energy-related CO2 emissions rose 1.7% to a historic high of 33.1 Gt CO2. While emissions from all fossil fuels increased, the power sector accounted for nearly two-thirds of emissions growth. Coal use in power alone surpassed 10 Gt CO2, mostly in Asia. China, India, and the United States accounted for 85% of the net increase in emissions, while emissions declined for Germany, Japan, Mexico, France and the United Kingdom.

Oil demand rose by 1.3% in 2018, led by strong growth in the United States. The start-up of large petrochemical projects drove product demand, which partially offset a slowdown in growth in gasoline demand. The United States and China showed the largest overall growth, while demand fell in Japan and Korea and was stagnant in Europe.

Natural gas consumption grew by an estimated 4.6%, its largest increase since 2010 when gas demand bounced back from the global financial crisis. This second consecutive year of strong growth, following a 3% rise in 2017, was driven by growing energy demand and substitution from coal. The switch from coal to gas accounted for over one-fifth of the rise in gas demand. The United States led the growth followed by China.

Coal demand grew for a second year, but its role in the global mix continued to decline. Last year’s 0.7% increase was significantly slower than the 4.5% annual growth rate seen in the period 2000- 10. But while the share of coal in primary energy demand and in electricity generation slowly continues to decrease, it still remains the largest source of electricity and the second-largest source of primary energy.

La transition électrique européenne, une impasse?

by J.P. Schaeken Willemaers, 29 mars 2019 in ScienceClimatEnergie


La transition énergétique est abondamment traitée dans les médias, souvent de manière univoque (ce que d’aucuns appellent le débat confisqué) en ignorant les conséquences socio-économiques. Dans ce papier, nous nous limiterons à sa composante électrique.
Rappelons tout d’abord que la finalité première d’un système électrique est d’assurer l’adéquation entre la production et la consommation d’électricité.


Il va de soi, quoique ce ne soit pas évident pour tout le monde, qu’il faut anticiper les adaptations nécessaires du système avant de procéder à la mise en œuvre du changement. Dans ce processus, l’analyse de l’impact sur la transmission et la distribution d’électricité et sur la continuité des services ainsi que la réalisation des travaux correspondants requis, sont prioritaires. Or aucun gouvernement ayant décidé de réduire drastiquement les émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES), ne s’est soucié des conséquences de leurs décisions. Ceci explique les déboires des pays qui se sont précipités dans une stratégie de pénétration accélérée de production d’électricité renouvelable intermittente.

Report : The “New Energy Economy”: An Exercise in Magical Thinking

by Mark P. Mills, March 26, 2019 in ManhattanInstitute


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A movement has been growing for decades to replace hydrocarbons, which collectively supply 84% of the world’s energy. It began with the fear that we were running out of oil. That fear has since migrated to the belief that, because of climate change and other environmental concerns, society can no longer tolerate burning oil, natural gas, and coal—all of which have turned out to be abundant.

So far, wind, solar, and batteries—the favored alternatives to hydrocarbons—provide about 2% of the world’s energy and 3% of America’s. Nonetheless, a bold new claim has gained popularity: that we’re on the cusp of a tech-driven energy revolution that not only can, but inevitably will, rapidly replace all hydrocarbons.

This “new energy economy” rests on the belief—a centerpiece of the Green New Deal and other similar proposals both here and in Europe—that the technologies of wind and solar power and battery storage are undergoing the kind of disruption experienced in computing and communications, dramatically lowering costs and increasing efficiency. But this core analogy glosses over profound differences, grounded in physics, between systems that produce energy and those that produce information.

In the world of people, cars, planes, and factories, increases in consumption, speed, or carrying capacity cause hardware to expand, not shrink. The energy needed to move a ton of people, heat a ton of steel or silicon, or grow a ton of food is determined by properties of nature whose boundaries are set by laws of gravity, inertia, friction, mass, and thermodynamics—not clever software.

This paper highlights the physics of energy to illustrate why there is no possibility that the world is undergoing—or can undergo—a near-term transition to a “new energy economy.”

Among the reasons:

Global CO2 Emissions Rose By 1.7% Last Year, As Energy Demand Climbs

by P. Homewood, March 26, 2019 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat


Energy demand worldwide grew by 2.3% last year, its fastest pace this decade, an exceptional performance driven by a robust global economy and stronger heating and cooling needs in some regions. Natural gas emerged as the fuel of choice, posting the biggest gains and accounting for 45% of the rise in energy consumption. Gas demand growth was especially strong in the United States and China.

Demand for all fuels increased, with fossil fuels meeting nearly 70% of the growth for the second year running. Solar and wind generation grew at double-digit pace, with solar alone increasing by 31%. Still, that was not fast enough to meet higher electricity demand around the world that also drove up coal use.

As a result, global energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 1.7% to 33 Gigatonnes (Gt) in 2018. Coal use in power generation alone surpassed 10 Gt, accounting for a third of the total increase. Most of that came from a young fleet of coal power plants in developing Asia. The majority of coal-fired generation capacity today is found in Asia, with 12-year-old plants on average, decades short of average lifetimes of around 50 years.