electricity

The Future of Energy:Renewable energy subsidies & Reducing Emissions

US-Energy-Subsidies

GUEST POST

Today’s guest post by Whaleoil reader Bruce Alan Forbes is part of an article he wrote called The Future of Energy with predictions for 2040. As it is an in-depth analysis I divided it into six posts so that we could discuss each part separately.

Current Subsidies

Worldwide, hundreds of billions of dollars per year are spent on subsidising wind and solar electricity generation, and on pursuing the development of marine power technologies based on waves, tidal currents and tidal barrages. In most countries, renewable energy is subsidised by the taxpayer and/or electricity consumer. “Feed-in tariffs”, “Production Tax Credits”, “Renewable Portfolio Standards” and “Renewables Obligation Certificates” are all forms of subsidy. The developers or investors benefit from subsidies and tax breaks that, in some cases, result in them getting their money back in very short periods. In nearly all cases, the cost of paying these subsidies is either added to the cost of electricity paid for by all consumers, or is derived from governments’ other tax revenues or increased government debt. It is these subsidies, not economic merit, that have produced the explosion in renewable energy projects over the past decade. Without subsidies, constructing wind and solar farms for connection to the grid would be a hugely loss-making business.

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The Future of Energy: The history of human energy use

GUEST POST

Today’s guest post by Whaleoil reader Bruce Alan Forbes is part of an article he wrote called The Future of Energy with predictions for 2040. As it is an in-depth analysis I have divided it into six posts so that we can discuss each part separately. Subjects to be covered are:

  1. The history of human energy use
  2. Wind power
  3. Solar power
  4. Renewable energy subsidies & Options for Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions
  5. Nuclear, Gas and Coal-based Generation
  6. Man-made Global Warming and the Great Policy Error

http://www.aboutbritain.com/images/articles/big/watermills-abandoned-mill-34763674.jpg

The History of Human Energy Use – from Roman Times to the Present

For thousands of years, human economic and social development proceeded slowly, primarily owing to the lack of an adequate, low-cost supply of energy. In Roman times, the primary sources of energy were manpower and animals. There were some water mills and windmills, but only one known example of a power-driven mass production factory. This lack of large-scale, low-cost energy meant that anything that needed a large power output was extremely expensive and this in turn limited economic and social development.

This situation remained more or less unchanged until Thomas Newcomen built the first practical steam engine in 1712. This was used to pump out the Conygree mine in the United Kingdom. This engine, with an efficiency of less than 0.5%, started the Industrial Revolution. Ever since that year, engineers have strived to improve efficiency. Today’s steam turbine power stations, with up to 100 times better efficiency, supply low-cost electricity to people all over the world.

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Turns out we never needed NZ Power: power prices drop

At the last election Labour and the Greens proposed nationalising our power markets.

Their plan was utterly crazy and based on lies and false promises. Fortunately it isn’t really needed, as the market has taken care of it.

The latest New Zealand Energy Quarterly, released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), shows the average cost of electricity paid by residential consumers has fallen for the first time in 15 years.

Average sales-based electricity cost data for the year ended March 2016 indicates the average residential cost per unit of electricity used over the period was 1.7 per cent lower than in the previous year.

“The decrease in residential electricity costs was driven by increased discounting activity and incentive credits, which rose 10 per cent compared to the previous year,” says James Hogan, MBIE’s Manager of Energy and Building Trends.

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Has Andrew Little not heard of power sockets?

Andrew Little wants to force all landlords to provide a heat source for rental properties.

He strangely thinks landlords will, out of the goodness in their hearts, not pass on the costs of providing said heat source.

Andrew Little says it’ll only be “greedy landlords” who hike rents on the back of his proposed Bill to insulate and warm homes.

The Labour leader’s Healthy Homes Guarantees Bill is set to be introduced to the House tomorrow which would make sure all rental homes in New Zealand are warm and dry, including a requirement for a heating source in every property.

A heating source? Does he specify what kind of heating source? A coal range? A fireplace? a two bar electric heater? A heat pump?   Read more »

In the interest of “Public Safety”…

Been a while since I’ve shared something from the mailbag

Nothing like 220v ac to warm things up
http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2016/01/nothing-like-220v-ac-to-warm-things-up/

Hi Cam,

In the interest of “Public Safety”…

(OMG! That sounds UnPC, Nanny state-ness! – Pffttt !) – please read on…
but, is there any chance of getting that video removed from your site?

Playing with electricity is definetly NOT something to be encouraged,
and that’s why in NZ it is a regulated industry. It can KILL people ! Read more »

There is more to cheese than surrender monkeys eating it

Those cunning Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys, otherwise known as the French, have found another use for cheese, other than easing the hunger pangs after a long day marching backwards.

Generating electricity from cheese could be the plot of an Asterix comic book, but that is exactly what is happening at a new power plant in the French Alps.

A by-product of Beaufort cheese, skimmed whey, is converted into biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, at the plant in Albertville, in Savoie.

Bacteria are added to the whey to produce the gas, which is then used to generate electricity that is sold to the energy company EDF.

“Whey is our fuel,” said François Decker of Valbio, the company that designed and built the power station, which opened in October. “It’s quite simply the same as the ingredient in natural yoghurt.”

After full-fat milk is used to make Beaufort cheese, whey and cream are left over. The cream is taken to make ricotta cheese, butter and protein powder, which is used as a food supplement.    Read more »

Where did all that green energy go?

The UK is facing power blackouts this coming winter…and all because of their much vaunted green energy solutions…which don’t work.

Britain’s electricity supplies will be at their tightest level in a decade this winter, forcing the country to rely on emergency measures to ensure the lights stay on, according to official forecasts.

The closure of three power stations has increased the risk of blackouts since last winter, new analysis by National Grid shows.

The ‘safety buffer’ margin between peak winter electricity demand in and the output from Britain’s ageing power stations is likely to fall to just 1.2 per cent – down from 4.1 per cent last year, it finds.

But an emergency system of backup power plants, first introduced last winter, will be in place again this year to help prevent blackouts, the company said.

Even with the backup plants in place, the effective spare margin last winter was 6 per cent and this year will fall to 5.1 per cent – the lowest since 2007-08, Grid data shows.

The backup power plant operators will be paid £37 million to guarantee they can fire up if needed in an emergency, and more if they are actually called upon.  Read more »

Guest Post – My route to a lower power bill – Part 1

isometric-house-solar-panel

I purchased a 3KW Micro Inverter Solar system from the sponsor of Map of the Day, What Power Crisis, back in March and now it’s been running for a while I thought I’d share my experiences over a few articles. Although What Power Crisis did me a decent deal on the system, I’m not being paid to write this.

I bought the system with 3 aims:

1) Cut my power bill which was heading towards $2800pa

2) Get payback on my investment within 10 years

3) Not make life miserable by compromising on comfort and convenience.

I’m not a believer in the great man-made global warming/climate change conspiracy so changes in CO2 emissions didn’t factor into my decisions. Even if this was a concern, much more than half of New Zealand’s generation already comes from renewable sources, so replacing one renewable source with another, especially as it has to be manufactured in the first place, no doubt using fossil fuels, won’t make that much of a difference in my book.

Having run the system since 25th March with an extra couple of panels added recently I’m on track to achieve my targets.

I never measured the power use before I embarked upon renovations so the $2800 is the before-solar cost of a renovated 60’s house, with a DIY solar-heated pool setup and a new well insulated small spa. I can’t quantify how much cheaper the house is to run per month due to the renovations, but it is much more comfortable than before with no mould or damp. We usually wear T-shirts all year round, and the lowest recorded temperature without heating in the living area is 16 degrees.

Cutting power use is the cheapest way to shrink a bill!    Read more »

After years of opposing nuclear power the Green taliban Australia are coming around to it

After decades of telling us nuclear power is evil, despite more people dying in Ted Kennedy’s car than in US nuclear accidents, the green taliban have now worked out that nuclear power is the only truly green power solution.

Now in Australia the green taliban are realising that they really need to embrace nuclear power if they are to come even close to maintaining our lifestyle and reduce emissions.

ALARMISTS like Jay Weatherill now finally admit nuclear power isn’t actually a terrifying mass-killing menace.

Now they say we need nuclear to stop their latest terrifying mass-killing menace — global warming.

Can you believe these guys? Nuclear power has switched from our greatest threat to greatest saviour. Yet none of these hypesters has said sorry for having peddled such baseless scares.

Take Weatherill, South Australia’s Labor Premier. As a budding politician he was “­opposed to nuclear power, all elements of it”, but this week said he’d changed his mind.

Now he was calling a royal commission to “consider what role our state can potentially play in the fuel cycle for the peaceful use of nuclear energy”. See, Weatherill reckons a nuclear industry might help save his struggling state.

The most obvious money-spinner would be a nuclear waste facility, like one Pangea tried to sell in 1999 that would have earned us $2 billion a year.

It makes sense. We have the stable geology and stable government to store the world’s nuclear waste, safe from earthquakes and terrorists.

But such facts never used to count with the likes of the unapologetic Weatherill. Such alarmists instead mounted the usual scare against Pangea and ran it out of town. Pangea couldn’t even get interviews with the young Howard government.   Read more »

I complain, therefore I am

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No wonder the Tiwai Point smelter is still going – we have a large proportion of the population in constant need of aluminium head wear.

They know when you’re out and when you go to bed.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner yesterday fired a warning shot at power companies over the huge amounts of private details that smart meters collect every day.

In a memo, the office said such meters, which are now installed in more than a million New Zealand homes and businesses, could take electricity readings detailed enough to determine whether customers were using high-energy appliances, such as ovens or heaters, and when they had left the house. Read more »