Wind Power : Material Fatigues

Image Credit : Cape Cod Living

James Delingpole follows in a long line of commentators with zero engineering experience in pouring scorn on a technology that could quite possibly save our skins :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100056158/wind-farms-yet-another-brewing-disaster/

I don’t know what he harbours in his heart against wonderful wind turbines, but he seems to be part of a movement who delight in their failure. Just ask the Internet to show you “exploding wind turbines”.

For example :-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKkTUY2slYQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nSB1SdVHqQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkGXoE3RFZ8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOfHxINzGeo

Clearly, you need to be in full protective fatigues when battling this kind of bad press…in fact “fatigue” is exactly the right word to come back at Mr Delingpole’s cracked warning (of cracks in wind turbine bases).

Continue reading Wind Power : Material Fatigues

What Germany Says, Germany Means

Unlike the United Kingdom, where political sensibility can quash the most logical enactment of energy policy, plans for progress voiced so tentatively you can bearly feel a ripple, or hear it over the whispering swoosh of a new wind turbine blade, over in Deutschland, what they say, they intend to happen, and they’re making serious proposals about how that’s going to be done :-

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,716221,00.html

“09/07/2010 : Green Visions : Merkel’s Masterplan for a German Energy Revolution : By Stefan Schultz : Giant windparks, insulated buildings, electric cars and a European supergrid: the German government on Monday unveiled an ambitious but vague blueprint to launch a new era of green energy for Europe’s largest economy. SPIEGEL ONLINE has analyzed the plans…”

It appears to be time to wave bye-bye to German coal, incidentally, even as a strong commitment to renewable, sustainable energy is put on the table.

I wish the British Government could take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror of the future and realise what a bunch of dithering duffers they appear to be.

What we need is a proper Energy Policy, chaps, and since you’re in the hot seat you better come up with it. Elected or not, our ministers and officials need to get up out of their deep leather chairs, extinguish their pipes, don their working breeches and get digging for Britain, and I don’t mean Shale Gas or Old Coal.

Continue reading What Germany Says, Germany Means

Climate Union : Sharing Principles

Image Credit : Gilbert & George, “Nettle Dance”, White Cube

I’m in the Climate Union. Are You ?

Soon we could all be, if the expansionist plans of a group of social campaigners come to fruition.

Taking in the unions, faith communities and the usual rag-tag bunch of issues activists, the Climate Union aims to establish itself as a political force for Low Carbon.

First of all, however, it has to tackle the uneasy and prickly problem of the exact name of the movement, and the principles under which it will operate.

The flag has been flown : a set of principles has been circulated for discussion amongst the “Climate Forum”. I cannot show you the finalised document yet, but I can offer you my comments (see below).

If you want to comment on the development of this emerging entity, please contact : Peter Robinson, Campaign against Climate Change, mobile/cell telephone in the UK : 07876595993.


Comments on the Climate Forum Principles
Jo Abbess
28 June 2010

I am aware that my comments are going to be a little challenging. I made similar comments during the review of the ClimateSafety briefing, which were highly criticised.

I expect you to be negative in response to what I say, but I think it is necessary to make sure the Climate Forum does not become watered-down, sectorally imprisoned and politically neutered, like so many other campaigns.

Continue reading Climate Union : Sharing Principles

Windlings

Methods of electricity storage are considered essential in grids that have large proportions of wind capacity. This is because, surprisingly, winds have been known to quieten down a bit from time to time.

Some people take this fact too far. For example, there is the “Northern European Winter High Pressure” lobby, who continue to insist, in a number of forums, that low aerial flow entirely compromises wind energy expansion, just because there are several days in December or January that might be a little flat.

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Renewable Synergy

The news is that there is continuing progress towards a fully Renewable Europe. It is, after all, the only means to ensure a sustainable Economy into the future, given the twin blended threats of Climate Change Carbon Mitigation and Peak Fossil Fuels.

Dr Gregor Czisch’s meisterwerk is being translated into English for publication this Summer :-

Scenarios for a Future Electricity Supply: Cost-Optimised Variations on Supplying Europe and Its Neighbours with Electricity from Renewable Energies

You would never know from the plainspeaking title just how exciting this is : seriously cheap Energy and peacemaking collaboration all in one shot !

The management consultants PriceWaterhouseCooper (couldn’t they think of a more speakable name ?), have just published their own view on Europe and North Africa combining to provide a one hundred percent renewable Energy solution :-

http://www.pwc.co.uk/sustainability/

http://www.pwc.co.uk/eng/publications/100_percent_renewable_electricity.html

Continue reading Renewable Synergy

Do Hold Your Breath

If I had a eurocent for every time a Climate Change denier-sceptic told me that if I really, truly believe that Carbon Dioxide causes Global Warming I should just stop breathing…well, I’d be rich enough now to afford to buy the whole of Belgium, or at least most of economically-depressed Wallonia. Mmm…Waffles.

But seriously, holding your breath in the form of Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) is one of the big flashing signs for the future of ReSmoothing, smoothing Renewable Energy supply, that is.

Continue reading Do Hold Your Breath

If It’s That Good, Why Aren’t They Doing It Already ?

When discussing Renewable Energy technologies with associates, acquaintances and relatives, I often hear tones of scorn and the invariable question : “If it’s that good, why aren’t they doing it already ?”

This anti-sense meme from Classical (Neoliberal, Chicago School) Economics boils down to a perception problem. The obvious reason why Renewable Energy technologies are not already widely in use is due to the first-mover problem – it takes time to establish and roll out new technologies. People just don’t like change. And they have to get over the “investment bump” – spending the money to install new technologies.

Continue reading If It’s That Good, Why Aren’t They Doing It Already ?

Ed Miliband : Lost in TV

It’s a huge shame that the person charged with decisions about Energy in the UK doesn’t have a science or engineering background.

He can’t determine truth from fiction, that’s why.

We can produce report after report and datasheet after datasheet showing how ridiculous it will be to continue with Coal and Nuclear, and he won’t be able to see the wood for the trees.

This is yet again proof of why it is pointless trying to engage with the decison-makers. They don’t have the mental framework to be able to deal with the facts and figures.
Continue reading Ed Miliband : Lost in TV

Climate Change and Social Justice

Britain is not Fair. The division between rich and poor is getting wider, and the number of those at the bottom of the stack is rising. This is going to have a significant impact on the ability of people in Great Britain to adapt to Climate Change policy.

Social measures must surely include public investment in de-Carbonising each home. At costs 100 times less than the announced new Nuclear Power programme, and an order of magnitude cheaper than the Carbon Capture and Storage demonstration projects, I think this shows excellent value for money as well as ethical rectitude.
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Retooling, Retreat and Retrenchment

The green figleaf is well and truly fluttering off into the windy landscape for Royal Dutch Shell. They’re an oil and gas company, with some petrochemistry on the side, and to prove it, they announced on 17th March 2009 that they were pulling their last tiny percentage points out of Renewables :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/26/fred-pearce-greenwash-shell-exxon
“Greenwash: Shell betrays ‘new energy future’ promises”

Continue reading Retooling, Retreat and Retrenchment