Green energy in Britain

See if you can find the wind and solar. Source.

Jo Nova’s report on the return to coal yesterday when the temperature was up and the wind was down. Read all about it!

Kevin Rudd tweeted: “For anyone who thinks it cannot be done: the UK has not produced any electricity from coal for the last two months — the longest period since the Industrial Revolution. Let that sink in,” he concluded with all the deadening portentousness he could muster.

But then it got warm, calm, and everyone wanted to use the air con:

At its peak this week, the UK was getting nearly 3000MW from coal, well more than three times the 800MW or so coming from all the wind turbines, both those that despoil the British landscape and those parked equally hideously offshore.

And in Australia this morning, how many people outside Tasmania would get a hot breakfast and morning coffee if it was up to the wind to provide the power?

This entry was posted in Electric Power and Energy, Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Green energy in Britain

  1. Bronson

    but….but…. but renewables are cheaper, they’re…they’re…. they’re renewable. Awh fu*k it they don’t work when you need them most.
    When that dickhead rudd said that the UK were still generating over 40% of their needs from gas. Some how gas suddenly became a renewable in his tiny mind.

  2. pat

    11 Sept: China Dialogue: What are the prospects of an EU–China climate deal?
    Ahead of the EU–China leaders’ call on 14 September, the EU is looking to China for strong climate targets
    by Byford Tsang, Jennifer Tollmann
    Although trade will be the focus of the EU–China leaders’ call on 14 September, it would be a mistake to think climate is off the summit’s agenda or unimportant in the broader relationship…

    ***Unspoken, but not forgotten in the European debate is growing concern over China’s reawakening coal habit. If China completes all the coal power plants it is currently building and plans to build, the lifetime emissions from these projects would be equal to nearly seven times the EU’s annual emissions…

    15 Sept: The Diplomat: China, EU Leaders Hold ‘Intense’ Virtual Meeting
    by Shannon Tiezzi
    On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping held a virtual meeting with European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel…
    According to Michel, the meeting addressed “four key topics”: climate change, economic and trade issues, “international affairs and human rights,” and “COVID-19 and economic recovery.”

    The video call was a sharply downgraded version of what was once planned as a massive in-person summit to be held in Leipzig, Germany this September, bringing together Xi and the heads of state of all 27 EU member countries. The summit – and a long-dreamed-of bilateral investment treaty between China and the EU, known as the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) — was to be the crowning achievement of Germany’s rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. But the in-person summit was cancelled months ago, officially due to the coronavirus pandemic…

    The two sides also agreed to set up “high level dialogues” on the environment and climate as well as digital issues. The environment is an issue of much friction between Europe and the United States, as the Trump administration has withdrawn the country from the Paris climate agreement and consistently downplays the threat of climate change. Thus seeking cooperation on climate action is one of Germany’s key priorities for relations with China, according to a top German diplomat for the Asia-Pacific…

    In another topic Beijing would be keen to downplay, Michel and von der Leyen also stressed the need for China to provide full cooperation for an international investigation of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic – a sensitive topic for China, given the virus’ initial emergence in Wuhan…

    1 Nov 2019: Time: China Is Bankrolling Green Energy Projects Around the World
    By Charlie Campbell/Shanghai
    The vast majority of the more than $244 billion that China has spent on energy projects worldwide since 2000 have been on fossil fuels, according to data from the Global Development Policy Center, a policy-oriented research body affiliated with Boston University. Despite Xi telling journalists at April’s second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing that he embraces “open, clean and green development,” China has financed more than 300 foreign coal plants from Egypt to the Philippines…

    According to Nicholas, the analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Beijing’s vociferous championing of renewables is “partly an attempt to position itself globally regarding climate issues, but also to distract from the fact that it’s also heavily pushing coal-fired technology to developing countries.” For as long as the Chinese Communist Party’s legitimacy relies on the prosperity of the Chinese people, green intentions will always be sacrificed on the altar of economic expediency, both at home and abroad.

  3. It’s blowing a gale here in South Gippsland at the moment, so I assume that all the windmills have been turned off.

  4. Tony Taylor

    What’s the split for solar, wind and hydro? Or is that a closely guarded secret?

  5. Ben

    I can picture that EU pandemic recovery will rely heavily on China, which will see China owning the EU.

    Interesting strategies from China in a world struggling with terrorism, globalism and left-wing puritanism:
    – lock up Muslims and clamp down on free speech and religion
    – Belt and Road initiative to lock countries (and Victoria) into debt using WTO rules against them
    – promote climate change catastrophe, pandemic catastrophe, undermine social institutions and elections, the media and political systems in the west

    Seems to be all coming together nicely for them.

    God help us if Trump loses the election.

  6. Gerard

    Much of the reduction in the use of coal came during Thatcher’s time as a way of fighting the mining unions. As a result there is little coal generating capacity left. Note that the biomass is mainly pelletised trees imported from the USA and considered ‘carbon neutral’.

  7. RobK

    What’s the split for solar, wind and hydro? Or is that a closely guarded secret?
    It’s a moving feast.

  8. Fair Shake

    Yes Kruddy coal contribution to power gen has dropped. But it was Replaced by oil and gas you dingbat.

  9. Rafe Champion

    The split for wind, sun and hydro in SE Australia can be traced over the 24 hour cycle, and for whole months, on the Aneroid site.

    As RobK said it is moving feast. The main features in a nutshell: Hydro ramps up and down along with gas and black coal to match the supply to the utterly predictable daily cycle of demand that is screwed up by the random injection of wind and the fairly predictable dump of solar that gets serious about 10 am, plateaus in the early afternoon and fades rapidly after 3pm.

    We still have just enough conventional power to get along without wind and solar but there is no reserve to cover any breakdowns at the very peak of demand in high summer.

    The addition of solar and wind has doubled the retail price of power (at least) and created problems of grid stability that are critical in small grids like Alice Springs, Darwin, Perth and Adelaide. Grid stability issues are surfacing elsewhere, especially in the Deep North that Cardimona calls the thin whippy end of the lines. Seriously interesting times coming!

  10. H B Bear

    Rather than looking in the rear view mirror, why not turn off the coal and gas plants for a couple of weeks and unplug the extension cord to the French nuclear reactors? Nah, I thought not.

  11. Nob

    Tony Taylor
    #3589195, posted on September 18, 2020 at 10:48 am
    What’s the split for solar, wind and hydro? Or is that a closely guarded secret?

    As others have pointed out, it’s unpredictable, because wind and solar are always favoured (by law) – otherwise they would have no place on the grid at all. (they might be OK in off-grid applications)

    So reliable sources are a smaller proportion than they would be otherwise, because of the forced promotion of W&S, but still have to step up to the plate to when W&S can’t perform or are erratic, which is most of the time.

    It’s like you don’t have to go to work if you’re not feeling particularly energetic that day.
    But no matter because the other workers will pick up the slack and do your job better anyway.

    Nevertheless, they are stood down every time you feel like going to work.
    But no matter because you can just charge the customers for all this extra expense.

  12. Nob

    The other notable thing about hydro is that greens and their client/compliant media will usually include it in totals of “renewable” energy when it suits them (e.g. NZ & Norway), but strenuously oppose attempts to build new dams.

    Having said all that, in the UK mix, on days when wind and solar is performing, hydro proportion is small. By design.

    Live meters here:

  13. Tony Taylor

    That live meter wasn’t very live. It was in the Norwegian Blue realms of live.

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