renewable energy

Rodney Hide on the Greens’ peak oil conundrum

Rodney Hide gives James Shaw a good shellacking over his ‘peak oil’ craziness.

Let’s start the New Year on a happy, glorious note. That means Green co-leader James Shaw. He is the best thing to have happened to Parliament in years.

I could not make him up. No one would believe me. But there he is, a walking, talking political leader.

He is the best of fun but, sadly, too often his best gems disappear into the internet unreported.

I fear you missed his delightful 14 January press release headed, “Cheap oil gives the opportunity to start exiting from it.”

That’s right. Oil’s cheap. So now’s the time to swap it for more expensive alternatives. Genius. That’s the power of corporate green speak. Complete bollocks can be headlined by a political leader and go completely unremarked.

Imagine if oil right now was expensive. Would Mr Shaw declare that now is not the time to be swapping to alternatives?  I don’t think so.

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Is our Crown-owned electricity market regulator scared of private solar proliferation?

This is odd:

At present, 67,000 homes generate electricity from solar panels on their roof – a tiny percentage of the two million homes connected to the national grid.

But those 67,000 are a forceful minority, who argue they are producing clean energy from sunshine.

However, Electricity Authority chief executive Carl Hansen told Nine to Noon that going solar could hurt people in the pocket while doing nothing for the environment.

“It is scarce money that people are spending on installing their own renewable generation that is already in their system,” he said. “The environment is not any better off.”

Unless all of the electricity generated in New Zealand is from renewables, and unless the dams are going to never run low, I think that’s a bit of a rich statement.   Read more »

Hey Helen! How about you STFU and piss off?

Helen Clark wants the top UN job

In 2008 New Zealand had finally had enough of Helen Clark’s doctrinaire and stifling government. We gave them the arse card and as she cried her way home to the lonely Mt Albert house she came up with a plan to bolt to the UN.

John Key in his wisdom assisted that process…and it is widely known he did it so she wouldn’t be second guessing anything in the media.

But now, 7 years later she has piped up and told us we must do more on climate change…despite the fact we emit bugger all greenhouse gasses compared with India, China, Japan and the US. No we must do more.

Global commitments to greenhouse gas reductions ahead of a world summit in Paris are not enough to tackle climate change – and developed countries, including New Zealand, need “to do more”, United Nations Development Programme administrator Helen Clark says.

The former Prime Minister was in New Zealand this week giving a lecture on the challenges the world faces in 2015, including climate change.

In it she said the commitments made ahead of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris in November would not add up to what’s really needed to tackle the problem.

Speaking on TV3’s The Nation this morning, Ms Clark repeated that sentiment, saying those commitments “are not enough”.

“They’re not enough to stop that tip-over point of global warming going above 2C above the pre-industrial levels,” she said.   Read more »

Eh wot? Greenpeace lobbies for coal mine to stay open?

I know…hard to believe…but its true.

Greenpeace appears to be lobbying for a coal mine to stay open.

They are criticising Genesis for ceasing coal usage to generate electricity because it jeopardises coal miners livelihoods.

Last week, Genesis, the company that runs Huntly Power Station, announced it was shutting down its smoke-belching, coal-fired boilers as competition from cheaper power like wind and solar is making it too expensive to run.

This is good news for our health and the future of our children, and an important step towards taking the pollution out of our economy.

But while we herald this as a victory for common sense and necessary to safeguard our planet, we must not forget that this decision will affect people’s livelihoods and families.

Small communities up and down the country have long mined for coal, and the industry has played an important part in the survival of these local economies.    Read more »

Oh look, the Green Taliban are allowing Gareth Hughes back out to play

Shocking stuff.  3.8% rise in power costs, and the government must step in?

If that’s the threshold, can Aucklanders please have first dibs on someone “in the government” sorting out the 9.9% rates rises?

Household electricity prices have increased nearly 4 per cent in the past year, Government figures show.

Opposition parties said the rise beyond inflation showed shareholders in the privatised energy companies were cashing in at the expense of bill payers.

According to the Energy in New Zealand 2015 report, residential prices rose significantly more than the 0.1 per cent inflation incurred in the past year.

“The sales-based residential electricity cost for the March year 2015 rose 3.8 per cent in nominal terms on the March year 2014.”

Increased transmission and distribution charges was one of the main reasons for the increase, the report said.    Read more »

Hang on a minute I thought it was fracking that polluted water

windturbine

Oh my word, I can’t wait to hear the child MP Gareth Hughes ask questions in parliament about how the government will guarantee water supplies to be free from pollution….from wind farms.

Campaigners in Scotland are calling for a full, independent investigation into allegations that wind farms are contaminating water supplies across large areas of Scotland.

They have written to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Energy Secretary Amber Rudd calling for an immediate halt on all wind farm development north of the border until the government can guarantee safe drinking water for everyone.

The problem first came to light when residents living near Europe’s largest wind farm, the 215 turbine Whitelee farm in Ayrshire, began to suffer from diarrhoea and severe vomiting. Tipped off by an NHS report which mentioned that difficulties in treating the water supply may pose health risks, local resident Dr Rachel Connor, a retired clinical radiologist, started digging into the council’s water testing results.

She found that, between May 2010 and April 2013, high readings of E.coli and other coliform bacteria had been recorded. In addition, readings of the chemical trihalomethane (THM), linked to various cancers, still births and miscarriages, were way beyond safe limits.   Read more »

What would you say if I told you each wind turbine needs 225 tonnes of coal to produce?

The Green taliban love to promote wind power.

Apparently it is clean and green.

But like most things these hypocrites tout they don’t tell you the full story of them.

Like how they use rare earth metals, mining of which is creating highly toxic sites around the world.

But perhaps the most interesting salient fact that the green taliban forget to tell you is that all of those wind turbines are sitting on top of steel towers…each of which needs 225 tonnes of coal to manufacture.

Now unless they are proposing to find a replacement for steel sometime soon they have a little bit of a problem with their claims, considering they constantly promote campaigns against “dirty coal”.

[C]ampaigners claim that coal has no future in a low emissions world. Not true. New generation technologies are slashing CO2 emissions from coal fired plants by as much as 40 per cent. These high efficiency low emissions plants are being rolled out in China, Japan and elsewhere in Asia. And the first large scale carbon capture and storage coal plant in Canada has slashed its CO2 emissions by 90 per cent. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated the cost of meeting global reduction targets will be 138 per cent higher without the deployment of carbon capture and storage.   Read more »

So there is someone with brains in Labour

Stuart Nash has got some brains, and he is challenging the Labour party to ditch their stupid power policy.

Labour’s controversial power-pricing plan is in the firing line, with energy spokesman Stuart Nash urging the party to dump the “questionable” policy.

The party is reviewing its manifesto after last year’s crushing election defeat. Nash is working on a discussion paper which proposes that NZ Power be dropped in favour of promoting cheaper solar power.

The brainchild of ex-finance spokesman David Parker, NZ Power would see the creation of a new state agency to buy electricity wholesale and bring down prices. It was announced in tandem with the Greens two years ago.

But critics said it would damage the renewable energy sector – and Nash, who took on the energy portfolio in November, agrees. He also believes the market is competitive.

“It will be my very strong recommendation that we drop NZ Power,” he said. “There are very few people that think it is a policy that’s needed in 2015. Maybe 10 years ago there was a strong argument for it, but not now.

“We have got a regulatory framework – the Commerce Commission and the Electricity Authority – which is out there looking at predatory behaviour, and also with a strong mandate to foster competition . . . you could argue that the level of competition necessary to drive prices down is coming in.”    Read more »

Is the case for wind power running out of puff?

As regular readers will know I abhor wind power.

It is for a number of reasons…visual pollution, noise pollution, their bird and bat destroying un-green-ness and the fact that wind power doesn’t work unless it is subsidised.

The UK more than most countries has ‘invested’ billions in wind technology, which has proved spectacularly useless at producing power.

UK electricity demand hit its highest level this winter on Monday – while wind turbines generated their lowest output, official figures show.

Cold weather saw UK demand hit 52.54 gigawatts (GW) between 5pm and 5.30pm, according to National Grid.

At the same time, low wind speeds meant the UK’s wind turbines were producing just 573 megawatts of power, enough to meet only one per cent of demand – the lowest of any peak period this winter, Telegraph analysis of official data shows.

Earlier on Monday wind output had dropped even lower, generating just 354 megawatts at 2pm, or 0.75 per cent of Britain’s needs – the lowest seen during any period this winter.

The analysis will fuel concerns that despite receiving billions of pounds in subsidies, Britain’s wind farms cannot be relied upon to keep the lights on when they are needed the most.

Britain now has about 12 GW of wind capacity installed on and offshore – meaning during Monday’s peak demand period, wind farms were generating less than five per cent of their theoretical maximum output.

Gas, coal and nuclear power plants instead provided the vast majority of the UK’s electricity needs.

A spokesman for National Grid said that Britain’s spare margins – the safety buffer between supply and demand – had remained “adequate”.

On average, UK wind farms produce about 28 per cent of their theoretical maximum power output.

But critics warn that cold snaps when demand soars can often coincide with periods when the wind doesn’t blow.

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Even Google Engineers now say Renewable Energy ‘Simply won’t work’

windturbine

Google is one of the biggest investors in renewable technology. They have poured billions into research and now their top engineers say that renewable energy is hopelessly flawed.

Eric Worrell at WUWT explains:

A research effort by Google corporation to make renewable energy viable has been a complete failure, according to the scientists who led the programme. After 4 years of effort, their conclusion is that renewable energy “simply won’t work”.

According to an interview with the engineers, published in IEEE;

“At the start of RE<C, we had shared the attitude of many stalwart environmentalists: We felt that with steady improvements to today’s renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change. We now know that to be a false hope …
Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.”
http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/what-it-would-really-take-to-reverse-climate-change Read more »