The performance of UK Weather Dependent Renewables: 2002 – 2020

An excellent way to undermine Western economies is to render their power generation unreliable and expensive.  That objective of Green thinking is progressively being achieved by Government policies throughout the Western world, but without popular mandate.

Screenshot 2021-04-28 at 16.02.59.png

The graphic below shows the progress that has been made in installing Weather Dependent Renewables in the UK to reach the status shown above according two the Renewable Energy foundation data.

Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 14.17.33.png

Summary

This post uses installation and generated power output data from the UK Renewable Energy Foundation 2020 to track the progress of the UK Weather Dependent Renewables, (Wind and Solar), fleet of generators since 2002.  The use of that data to results in the following:

  • an assessment of  the Productivity / Capacity percentage, of the UK Renewable generation fleet since 2002, which has achieved an overall productivity of ~22%.  That productivity percentage may vary marginally on an annual basis as a result of Weather conditions.
  • in combination with summary comparative cost data from the US Energy Information Administration, (EIA), on different power generation technologies, (capital and long-term), it compares the bare capital costs and long-term probable future monetary commitments that are incurred by the 2020 UK fleet of Weather Dependent Renewables.
  • overall combined Weather Dependent Renewables are roughly 10 times the cost of using Gas-firing and about 1.5 times the capital cost and 2.5 times the long-term cost of Nuclear power for same nominal electrical power production.
  • as of end 2020 it assesses the estimated capital cost of the UK Weather Dependent Renewables fleet to be about 65£billion.
  • the UK 2020 Weather Dependent Renewables fleet would incur an estimated long-term cost commitment of about 274£billion.
  • the extreme costs of Solar Power in the UK when accounting for it’s low productivity / capacity percentage.
  • the high future cost commitments that are entailed in the mandating of Offshore power even when accounting for their better productivity / capacity percentage.
  • it estimates the maximum CO2 emissions savings achieved by the present UK Renewables fleet to be ~22 million tonnes.  This amounts to less than 6% of UK CO2 emissions, about 0.06% of 2019 Global CO2 emissions and about 4% of the 2020 growth of CO2 emissions from the developing world:

but, this averted emissions value does not account for the CO2 emissions and energy requirements involved in sourcing, manufacture and installation of the physical elements of Weather Dependent Renewable generators.

  • the additional CO2 emissions over Gas-firing for the same power output resulting from the use of overseas sourced Biomass, (nominally Carbon neutral, by policy), at the UK Drax power stations can be estimated to exceed the maximum potential 22 million tonnes of CO2 savings achieved by installing the UK fleet of Weather Dependent Renewables.

https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/the-inconsistencies-in-green-policies-to-limit-co2-emissions/embed/#?secret=v7h94Insp8

  • extreme financial damage and loss of Grid reliability is arising by the effective and politically pressurised elimination of UK and European Fracking technologies.  These have stopped access to indigenous Natural Gas for electricity generation both in the UK and throughout Europe.  These policies are only to the benefit of the sales of Russian controlled gas exports.

The progress of UK Weather Dependent Renewables since 2002

Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 14.34.53.png

The Renewable Energy Foundation reports on Weather Dependent Renewables and Green energy in the UK.  It provides annual installation and output data from 2002 up to the end of 2020.  The time series Renewable Energy Foundation data of installations and power output is shown above.

https://ref.org.uk/energy-data

And the growth in installations achieved for each technology year by year:

The progress of Weather Dependent power produced compared to their installed installations is shown below.

Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 14.33.40.png

The three graphs above show the progress of Renewable installations in the UK since 2002 noting:

  • a massive commitment to poor productivity Solar PV Power 2012-2016, mainly induced by the influence of Liberal Democrats in government during that period.
  • Solar PV installations had virtually ceased in 2019.
  • Onshore Wind power installations were radically reduced in 2020
  • output from Offshore Wind farms overtook the output of UK Onshore Wind in 2020
  • a remarkable reduction from the previously enthusiastically deployed Weather Dependent Renewable installations by 2020.
  • the gross variation of the annual commitments to Offshore wind power
  • however recent announcements by the UK government that they intend the UK is to become “the Saudi of Wind power”, particularly by increasing Offshore Wind  installations, would seem to presage an escalation of UK Renewables growth and further massive expenditures.

UK Renewable Energy productivity:  2020

The time series data from Renewable Energy Foundation enables the reporting of the annual productivity of Weather Dependent Renewables in the UK.  Productivity / Capacity, expressed as a percentage load factor, (actual power produced / nameplate value), is crucial to evaluating the true comparative value of the total power produced.

In the simplest terms the country has to pay for the full Name plate price of  Weather Dependent Renewable installations but they only produces a much smaller percentage of their installed Name plate value, and that power production is not dispatchable and cannot be called upon when required by the the electricity supply system.  On the other hand a Gas-fired plant can be called upon to provide power 90% of the time.

The productivity progress since 2002 of Weather Dependent Renewables in the UK is shown below.

Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 14.54.46.png

2020 was a good year for UK Weather Dependent Renewables productivity.  Overall, the UK Weather Dependent Renewables have generally exceeded ~25% productivity level, a quarter of its nominal nameplate value.  Onshore Wind power, with installation substantially curtailed by 2020, has achieved productivity around ~26%.  Offshore Wind power is much more variable but rose to the high productivity figure of ~41% in 2020.  The productivity of Solar Power in the UK is consistently low and stays at or around ~10% level.

Screenshot 2021-04-30 at 08.31.32.png

Expenditures by 2020 on UK Weather Dependent Renewables

The graphic below gives an idea of the level of the net annual capital expenditures to install the UK Wind Power and Solar technologies as at the end of 2020, using the US  EIA comparative data as a basis.  They take no account of any of the ancillary expenditures outlined below.  The US EIA data on comparative costs of all common Generation technologies is covered in the post below.

Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 17.29.21.png

The estimated annual expenditures on UK Weather Dependent Renewables according to the 2020 US  EIA estimated costings are as follows:

Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 17.26.32.png

This assessment of current capital costs, according to the model, referenced above, amounts to about 65£billion.

The comparable capital costs for the same 9.1 Gigawatts of power production using Gas-firing would cost about 7.3£billion and about 45£billion for Nuclear power generation.

It is costly to maintain the current Renewables installations for the long-term.  The comparable long-term commitment for the present fleet of Weather Dependent Renewables producing ~9.1 Gigawatts of power is ~275£billion.  The same ~9.1 Gigawatts of power output would be produced long-term using Gas-firing for about 25£billion or for about 110£billion for Nuclear installations.

Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 17.49.00.png
Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 17.27.55.png

The annual commitments already made to long-term costs for Renewables is shown below, noting the massive future commitments largely for Offshore power in 2010-11 and 2016-17.  The excessive forward commitments made for Offshore Wind can be seen particularly in in 2010-11 and 2016-17.

The table below shows that the excess costs of the current fleet of 36 Gigawatts of installed UK Weather Dependent Renewables could have been substituted by Gas-fired generation for about 60€billion less in capital costs and about 240£bn less in 60 year long-term costs.  Nuclear generation would have been about 20£bn cheaper in capital costs and about 160£bn cheaper in the longterm.

Screenshot 2021-04-26 at 16.12.21.png

Note:  these capital and long-term cost estimates do not account for any ancillary costs associated with UK Weather Dependent Renewables that are outlined below:

Conclusions

  • these Renewable Energy Foundation data show how fundamentally unproductive Weather Dependent Renewables in the UK are, just because they are inherently Weather Dependent:  on average over the years since  they achieved no more than 22% productivity / capacity percentage since 2002.
  • up until 2019 there was a remarkable fall off of UK Weather Dependent Renewable installations
  • Solar power development in the UK had been all but terminated by 2019
  • Onshore Wind power is meeting with substantial local opposition and it is now increasingly difficult to promote in the UK on local environmental grounds.
  • recent announcements by the UK government that they intend the UK to become “the Saudi of Wind power”, particularly by increasing Offshore Wind  installations, would seem to presage an escalation of growth particularly of Offshore wind power with its excessive concomitant costs.
  • the use of Weather Dependent Renewables will inevitably involve very substantial forward costs for their ongoing Operation and Maintenance.   These costs amount to about 3 times in addition to their original capital expenditure.
  • when combined with the actual recorded productivity Offshore wind power is the most expensive means of producing electrical power:  ~17.9 times more than Gas-firing long-term and ~3.9 times the cost of Nuclear power in the long-term.
  • the reliability of the electrical grid is already questionable.  It will become increasingly fragile as:
    • as more unreliable Renewables are mandated onto the system by politicians
    • conventional 24/7 generation technologies are shut down and not replaced.  This effect is already well in evidence in Germany, California, Texas and South Australia, with continuing rolling power outages.

And it is already happening in the UK:  the “trip” of an Offshore wind farm on a breezy summer afternoon contributed to the major UK power outage of 9/8/2019.  As UK Renewable penetration increases similar power outages will be all the more severe and probably longer lasting one calm foggy winter week sometime soon.  In early November 2020 the UK Grid was close to failure when an anticyclone established itself  across the whole of Northern Europe.

  • it is only when the costs of generation are combined with the reported productivity they achieve that a true cost comparison can be made between different Generation technologies.  Then it can be seen that Weather Dependent Renewables represent an excessively costly alternative for power generation.
  • the productivity deficiency of Weather Dependent Renewables, as well as the subsidy and policy advantages they have been awarded are always ignored by their promoters, when they assert that they might reach cost parity with conventional Generation technologies.
  • the maximum CO2 reduction achievable by the present fleet of Weather Dependent Renewables is estimated at about 22million tonnes per year:  it can be estimated that the extra CO2 emissions arising from the major use of the overseas sourced Biomass at the Drax site ef festively eliminates all the CO2 emissions savings that might have been achieved by Wind and Solar power.
  • in addition to these bare costs there are a range of alternative disadvantages that render them truly unsuitable for providing power to a developed Nation.
  • even when only counting the bare costs of power generation according to these simple calculations Weather Dependent Renewables can never be represented as reaching cost parity with conventional generation technologies and their eventual CO2 emissions savings are only minimal.

The failure of UK energy policy, closing base load 24/7 power producers and mandating added Weather Dependent Renewables will give rise to a catastrophic failure of the increasingly fragile UK power distribution Grid as well as massively increasing costs to UK consumers and Tax payers.

This failure will occur in spite of the herculean and increasingly stressful efforts of Grid managers to “keep the lights on”.

An excellent way to undermine Western economies is to render their power generation unreliable and expensive.  That objective of Green thinking is progressively being achieved by government policy throughout the Western world, without popular mandate.

https://wp.me/P269pJ-2uV

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Vuk
May 10, 2021 6:31 am

The 95 year old prophet of doom David Attenborough has warned earlier today all of the known universe of the “crippling problems” it faces because of climate change.
“The epidemic has shown us how crucial it is to find agreement among nations. But the problems that await us within the next five to 10 years are even greater.”
His fees for talking-up the nonsense may be renewable but thanks goodness he is not.

Last edited 2 months ago by Vuk
Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Vuk
May 10, 2021 11:16 am

In the same News and Weather broadcast the weather part said that last night was the first frost free night in the UK since March. Which means for the last 6 weeks there has been very little wind to turn the windmills.

During that time upto 80% of UK electricity was generated by Gas+Nuclear+Biomas (American wood). Should these conditions ever happen when we’re 100% renewable there’s no way the lights would stay on.

It’s terrifying

Rich Davis
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
May 10, 2021 3:34 pm

It will certainly happen so you better prepare. The question is can we hope that the dear school of experience will educate the fools in government, or awaken the zombie population that swallows the promises of cheap and reliable Green energy? Since the government imbeciles are incapable of learning, we can only hope that the somnambulating public will turn on them when they are seriously inconvenienced.

Given that the public has gone like a lamb to the slaughter on Covid lockdowns, I don’t give us much hope.

Geb
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
May 10, 2021 11:26 pm

They have their excuses prepared. We can’t win.

Barnes Moore
May 10, 2021 6:32 am

Excellent follow-up post! Great that it now also includes a summary of the costs involved. Too bad the indoctrinated left is impervious to the fact that unreliables present a serious threat to grid reliability, national security, individual freedoms, and economic viability. It will likely take some massive grid failure affecting millions of families with a lot of people suffering significantly and/or loss of life where the cause is undeniably due to the over-reliance on unreliable energy before enough people wake up to this sad charade.

David Bunney
Reply to  Barnes Moore
May 10, 2021 7:56 am

@Barnes Moore – “It will likely take some massive grid failure affecting millions of families with a lot of people suffering significantly and/or loss of life where the cause is undeniably due to the over-reliance on unreliable energy before enough people wake up to this sad charade.” — no, I don’t think even then anything would change. You only have to look at recent events in Texas this Spring when ice-cold and snow froze up everything… only gas power stations were working at their maximum capacity but the gas infrastructure couldn’t hold up… Texas has run their reliable generation margin down to the skin and bone… but when it all goes wrong they say that the problem was due to having too much gas and what they need is more wind and solar and less gas! When it was pointed out that wind and solar were generating nothing, they said all that they need to do is weatherize them for cold… the fact that the wind was not blowing and solar panels were covered in snow didn’t seem to affect their reasoning at all!

Alan the Brit
Reply to  David Bunney
May 10, 2021 9:59 am

My serious concern, is that, if hospitals become eco-bunny friendly & being run by eco-bunny bureaucrats, that they & many other public buildings, rely upon diesel powered back-up generators which cut-in automatically,……..in the new world of eco-bunny-ism, what the hell will these essential buildings rely upon during open heart-surgery when the lights go out???? Answers on a post card no pre-paid envelope required ;-))

Bob Hunter
Reply to  David Bunney
May 10, 2021 1:36 pm

”… gas infrastructure couldn’t hold up”

Because several power plants were undergoing routine maintenance and the complete failure of solar and wind required 4 hr rolling blackouts. Many of the gas facilities had electric heaters
The blackouts were of sufficient length that liquids in the system froze. Had the compress stations continued to operate the liquids produced along with natural gas would not have frozen

Richard S
Reply to  David Bunney
May 10, 2021 3:42 pm

The gas infrastructure couldn’t hold up because eco-bunny policy had replaced gas-fired pipeline compression drives with electric drives to reduce emissions. This guaranteed cascading failures once the electric system ran short of capacity.

mikee
Reply to  Barnes Moore
May 10, 2021 11:41 pm

Its a good time to be a diesel generator salesperson.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  mikee
May 12, 2021 6:18 pm

Or better yet propane.

Solomon Green
Reply to  Barnes Moore
May 15, 2021 6:38 am

It is not just the indoctrinated left. It is a “Conservative” Prime Minister, whose 32 year-old blonde mother of his sixth official child still believes that “fossil fuel” is damaging the earth.

StephenP
May 10, 2021 6:34 am

The UK newspapers are at last beginning to wise up to the problems with renewables.

Meanwhile we are watching with interest the problem with the pipeline between Houston and the NE US states.
It would seem to be a good rehearsal for Net Zero if it goes on for more than a few days, and at the same time we will be able to see how the renewables stack up.

H.R.
Reply to  StephenP
May 10, 2021 8:34 am

Yeah, all the truckers in that corridor are installing wind turbines on their trucks in anticipation of a shortage of diesel fuel. 😜
.
.
Seriously, if the closures go more than a few days, a lot of people are going to find out that the Green Raw Deal (h/t to someone here; can’t recall who) will wreck their lives and livelihoods

Of course the pain will be blamed on the lack of renewables and electric vehicles. You can bank on that.

On the bright side, maybe it will finally produce enough push to get those off shore windmills installed off of Martha’s Vineyard. I love the sound of wealthy NIMBY’s teeth gnashing in the morning. It sounds like…. karma.

dk_
May 10, 2021 6:39 am

“emissions value does not account for the CO2 emissions and energy requirements involved in sourcing, manufacture and installation of the physical elements of Weather Dependent Renewable generators.”

Thank you for adding this paragraph. There is extreme waste in production and development of wind and pv power that is not accounted for in any carbon footprint analysis — all part of the con. I would also add maintenance as a source of carbon emissions, as well as end-of-life costs also seldom detailed.
Operations costs don’t include wasted energy “spin up/down” costs for conventional generation as wind and pv fail or fall below expectations.

tonyb
Editor
Reply to  dk_
May 10, 2021 6:53 am

Should we also not take into account the human costs involved in the sourcing and manufacture in the form of huge environmental damage caused by virtual child slave labour?

It seems its OK for the woke to topple statues commemorating those involved in the slave trade hundreds of years ago but much less interest in how the materials for their smart phone, electric cars, solar panels or wind turbines are obtained

tonyb

dk_
Reply to  tonyb
May 10, 2021 7:16 am

Yes, but with different sources and implementations, that change and evolve over the time of a project, it would be a bear to get it right for something over the size of just a state or country. Not being in the business, I’d have to tackle that as a per-site accounting, tracing all the materials back to sources. An investigative reporter (a figure of myth) would be traveling a lot to document just one site, and then have to be working for a sensible publisher and editor.
Statues are easy targets for groups wanting to get negative attention and pump up their own outrage. Every once in a while, as happened in Virginia on camera, a wrecker/saboteur gets a concussion from a chunk falling off. Almost makes it seem worthwhile.
If you can avoid being manipulated into the sense of outrage that they are trying to create, you can realize that 1) you probably need to find the politician that the fools are supporting and give money to and vote for their opponent and 2) save up for the statue to the woman, man, or group who eventually puts the protestors down.
But it doesn’t hurt to get a little satisfaction from the occasional self inflicted concussion.
Remember that the Revolutionaries in New York got a lot of bullets from melting down the statue to King George. Maybe we should be picking up the pieces.

Last edited 2 months ago by dk_
MarkW
Reply to  dk_
May 10, 2021 7:38 am

save up for the statue to the woman, man, or group who eventually puts the protestors down

I had to help put down a rabid dog once. The dog was friendlier than many of these so called protestors.
Smelled better to boot.

Abolition Man
Reply to  dk_
May 10, 2021 8:07 am

Statues don’t make good bullets anymore! It’s better to take the ammo off the Pantifa and BuyLargeMansion rioters! They bought lots of expensive weapons and ammo using mommie’s credit cards, but when they’re not traveling in large packs they tend to fold up like a cheap suit!
I’ve got to make the 150 mile, one way trip to a medium sized city today for essentials; building materials, ammo and brisket! Too bad the cowards won’t try to block the streets in our neck of the woods; my big SUV would look good with a new hood ornament!

Richard S
Reply to  dk_
May 10, 2021 10:56 am

Nor does the claimed reduction in CO2 emissions take into account the incremental emissions caused by the constant re-dispatch of other grid connected generation (mostly gas-fired) and incremental system losses that must occur on an hour to hour basis to maintain a stable grid even as the wind-turbine output changes (proportional to wind-speed cubed). This includes the generation that must be run partially loaded at lower efficiencies (therefore burning more fuel than necessary, even when wind output is at a maximum).

If these incremental operational CO2 emissions weren’t accounted for, along with the emissions from manufacture, I would be surprised if there is any net saving of CO2 emissions. All that wind-turbines achieve is a degradation of grid reliability and a large increase in electricity bills.

Last edited 2 months ago by Richard S
David A
Reply to  Richard S
May 11, 2021 3:44 am

Yes, the renewable use mandates greatly raise the cost of fossil fuel generation.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Richard S
May 12, 2021 6:24 pm

All that wind-turbines achieve is a degradation of grid reliability and a large increase in electricity bills.

I think that sums it up nicely. AND since CO2 emissions are meaningless anyway…

Daniel Koch
May 10, 2021 6:48 am

From this you would think the real intention is to waste as much money as possible to bankrupt the country.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Daniel Koch
May 10, 2021 8:18 am

Chaos, riot and ruin! The Progressive agenda is to make things as bad as possible to justify their seizing power; it’s for your own good, you know!
The Green energy scam helps with two, by making the grid unstable and energy costs prohibitive! I wonder when the useful idiots fresh out of college will awaken to the realization that THEY are the target of the leftists; just as much as the nuclear family, the middle class and organized religion!

David A
Reply to  Daniel Koch
May 11, 2021 3:45 am

President Trump was correct.

tonyb
Editor
May 10, 2021 6:49 am

There is little sun here in the UK today to power solar panels. I will therefore go and sacrifice huge sums of money in order to placate the weather gods who we are determined to become wholly dependent on for our energy.

We are well into the 21st century, who would have thought the weather gods would become so essential to humanity in what is supposed to be an enlightened age?

philincalifornia
Reply to  tonyb
May 10, 2021 7:31 am

Liberal democrats? Who are not liberal, and hate democracy for good reason.

Think about the children and the children’s children. Avoid these dangerous nincompoops, particularly where voting is involved.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  philincalifornia
May 10, 2021 10:07 am

I’ve said it all before, the true route to global domination, as Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, & Pol-Pot. all knew from their Socialist indoctrination, get to the children first, their minds are so easily corrupted & manipulated, they are the path to global domination!!!! Just don’t let them become too educated, they may start to ask awkward questions!!!!!

ResourceGuy
May 10, 2021 6:59 am

Meanwhile Drax Group is everywhere with global shipping, loading, and other handling.

Pellet production group to invest $40 million in three Arkansas plants – Talk Business & Politics

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  ResourceGuy
May 10, 2021 9:59 am

Pellets are wonderful. Anyone not understanding this is as naive as those who worship the wind and sun. Pellets are just a by-product of good forestry and if you like your wood home, wood furniture and paper products- give some respect to pellets which helps foresters manage forester better.

Dave Yaussy
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 10, 2021 10:28 am

Yes. Here in West Virginia we have lots of residual forest products that could be pelletized, and we would still (continue to) experience net growth in forest biomass.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
May 10, 2021 12:40 pm

I have a consulting forester friend in WV who says the forestry situation there is very poor. Not much of a logging/sawmill industry left- though lots of good timber land. I think he said there is no biomass industry in the state. Nothing smart about having millions of acres of productive forest and no forest industry- in a state that is losing its coal jobs. You could have a very large timber industry producing sawtimber, pulp, wood chips, etc. and still have net growth in forest biomass- that’s how productive forests are or can be.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 10, 2021 11:03 am

Wrong. Pellets are no more “wonderful” than coal is, and are less energy dense, so, because of the higher shipping costs are less wonderful, except for that mythological “green” feel-good, virtue-signaling factor.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 10, 2021 12:46 pm

I never said wood is better than coal. Of course coal is superior pound for pound- er, uh… kilogram for kilogram. Everything has a shipping cost- so that’s not relevent. I’m all for the Brits burning their own coal- but since the they shut down coal to destroy the unions- unless they can rebuilt without unions that’s not an option. And if burning some American wood means less acreage converted to solar “farms”- isn’t that a good thing? As for being a “green” renewable fuel- you don’t know just how much American enviros HATE woody biomass. To understand this, read: http://www.pfpi.net/. The biomass industry in North America is severely restricted due to those lunatic biomass haters- who also don’t like any kind of forestry. The new mantra here is to lock up all the forests so they serve only one purpose- sequester carbon- the hell with future generations who want to live in wood homes with wood furniture- they can build with cement and plastic. Not smart.

AlexBerlin
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 10, 2021 4:11 pm

Then why not rebuild without unions? The only requirement is a law making any attempt at organizing a union a capital offence, to be executed on the spot by the mine owners. Would reduce the number of useless freeloaders as well. The “working class” movement has been a misnomer since it first started: Invented by the arrogant workshy with no intention to stay in their proper place in the class hierarchy of society, to make a living by working LESS and infesting politics.

Last edited 2 months ago by AlexBerlin
AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 12, 2021 6:33 pm

Actually building with [excuse me] concrete IS smart, especially when we insist on building in “high weather hazard” areas like coastlines and flood plains and in “wild land interfaces” in the path of [annual] fire seasons.

Of course, locking up forests is dumb too, as is “keeping fossil fuels in the ground.”

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
May 13, 2021 1:42 am

Cross laminated timbers can replace some cement- but probably not in the areas you mention: https://www.apawood.org/cross-laminated-timber

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 10, 2021 11:05 am

It’s naive not to understand the tax incentives to produce and ship a low value product half way or all the way around the world even from inland sources for special interest feel good labels. That naiveite would also miss shipping pellets to Mars under the right list of tax credits–see Elon Musk.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  ResourceGuy
May 10, 2021 12:55 pm

What tax incentives? Criticizing any industry over incentives and subsidies can backfire because virtually everybody benefits in one way or the other by these re-distributions of wealth. Chips might be a low value product but when you load a big ship with them- what’s the cost per ton? I bet it’s very low. How about shipping ores and other raw materials? Aren’t they often moved by ship? It’s pretty cheap moving stuff over the water when the boat is big enough.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 10, 2021 1:23 pm

As long as the ship doesn’t need to go via the Suez Canal!

Ron Long
May 10, 2021 7:03 am

The issues identified in the UK for weather dependent are similar around the world, which is to say: it is expensive, you need conventional back-up, it is unreliable, and it slaughters our flying friends (even endangered species and raptors). Clearly there is some ulterior motive behind this Green Nonsense.

philincalifornia
Reply to  Ron Long
May 10, 2021 7:32 am

Yep, greenbacks.

May 10, 2021 7:28 am

OT, but somewhat relevant:

Germany’s Coldest April since 1977 (Solar Minimum of Cycle 20), as even NASA researchers note a Cooling Planet
Europe is the region documented to have suffered most-greatly during previous Grand Solar Minimums (Dalton/Maunder), which makes sense given its close(ish) proximity to the pole along with its populous.
The onset of this next GSM is proving no different, even at this early stage…

David Bunney
Reply to  Krishna Gans
May 10, 2021 7:59 am

Buy a pile of coal whilst you still can… you’ll need it to heat your home when everything else fails!

Graemethecat
Reply to  Krishna Gans
May 11, 2021 5:53 am

At some point even the most ardent proponents of CAGW are going to have to bow to physical reality and accept that the World has entered a cooling phase. I’m looking forward to that day.

philincalifornia
May 10, 2021 7:35 am

griff, before you post something stupid, please answer or refute, with the maths, what I asked you on the last thread on this subject, which was:

So what anyway griff? Why don’t you explain to us how the destruction of the planet’s environment with these other-agenda climate-criminal bullshit “projects” is going to have any effect on the Keeling curve. What have these theft-machines done in the past for reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? What are they doing in the present? What will they do in the future?
Since you have demonstrated your inability to do maths already, and I don’t want you to get a paper cut from using complex mathematical equipment like a pencil and a piece of paper, let me do it for you. It’s quite easy actually, in round numbers:
1) The past: Indistinguishable from zero
2) The present: Indistinguishable from zero
3) The future: Indistinguishable from zero

——–

Why am I expecting something stupid or denial ??

Climate believer
Reply to  philincalifornia
May 10, 2021 8:19 am

The Grifter is more predictable than the wind. I bet that he/she will denounce the messenger, UK Renewable Energy Foundation, as some far-right outfit with an agenda.

The Socialists don’t like them because they deal in facts, and as we all know that’s like garlic to a vampire for the loony left.

Doesn’t matter that all these facts are transparently verifiable elsewhere at source.

https://www.ref.org.uk

In pursuit of its principal goals REF highlights the need for an overall energy policy that is balanced, ecologically sensitive, and effective.”

….total f@scists

Ferdinand Engelbeen
May 10, 2021 7:44 am

Similar figures from Belgium:

Installed sun and wind: 8.5 GW, costs around 30 billion euros (and counting), yield: 14% of all power in 2019.
Installed nuclear: 5.9 GW, costs (if renewed today with South Korean reactors) around 20 billion euros, yield (of the old reactors): 46% of all power in 2019. Newer reactors would get an even higher yield over at least 40 years and longer…
https://www.febeg.be/statistieken-elektriciteit
The graphs are in English

BordersJohn
May 10, 2021 7:57 am

An excellent post, highly informative on detail.
I would just point out that the implied slowdown in onshore wind installations is a temporary lull. Here in Scotland there are applications being made everywhere, and in the south of Scotland some of them are for wind farms with up to 70 turbines, all of them now at offshore heights of 180m up to 250m. There are so many applications it is difficult to keep track of them all, and there are constant complaints by local communities which are mostly ignored by the Scottish Government. SG controls the planning process for large scale applications (above 50MW plated capacity) and civil servants ( Reporters) hear the appeals. They nearly always ignore environmental concerns and grant consent. There are political reasons why the current government (Scottish Nationalists) think ever more renewables is a way to extract funds from the rest of the UK. As this post states, the end result will be catastrophic, but there is zero acceptance of this. Objectors are labelled as “deniers” of course.

Smart Rock
May 10, 2021 8:02 am

They have won. We have lost. We better get over it.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Smart Rock
May 10, 2021 10:29 am

I do hope you are wrong! But, remember that it isn’t over until the weight-challenged being sings.

MarkW
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 10, 2021 2:59 pm

But is she a birth parent?

May 10, 2021 8:03 am

Our 2002 predictions – #1 and 2 were easy – slam dunks. #3 was difficult – also correct.

Anyone who supported grid-connected wind and solar generation was delusional, or on the take. It’s all a mandate-and-subsidy game that makes no sense at all.
 
In 2002, co-authors Dr Sallie Baliunas, Astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian, Dr Tim Patterson, Paleoclimatologist, Carleton U, Ottawa and Allan MacRae, P.Eng. (now retired), McGill, Queens, U of Alberta, published:
 
1. “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”
 
2. “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”
 
Allan MacRae published in the Calgary Herald on September 1, 2002, based on communication with Dr Tim Patterson:
 
3. “If [as we believe] solar activity is the main driver of surface temperature rather than CO2, we should begin the next cooling period by 2020 to 2030.”
 
MacRae updated his global cooling prediction in 2013, based on cold events that occurred starting circa 2008 near the end of Solar Cycle 23:
 
3a. “I suggest global cooling starts by 2020 or sooner. Bundle up.”

Reply to  ALLAN MACRAE
May 10, 2021 8:10 am

My post from 2013, warning of our current problems – to deaf ears.
 
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/31/blind-faith-in-climate-models/#comment-1130954
 
An Open Letter to Baroness Verma
Baroness Verma was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change from 2012 to 2015.
 
“All of the climate models and policy-relevant pathways of future greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions considered in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent Fifth Assessment Report show a long-term global increase in temperature during the 21st century is expected. In all cases, the warming from increasing greenhouse gases significantly exceeds any cooling from atmospheric aerosols. Other effects such as solar changes and volcanic activity are likely to have only a minor impact over this timescale”.
– Baroness Verma
…..
[excerpt]
So here is my real concern:
 
IF the Sun does indeed drive temperature, as I suspect, Baroness Verma, then you and your colleagues on both sides of the House may have brewed the perfect storm.
 
You are claiming that global cooling will NOT happen, AND you have crippled your energy systems with excessive reliance on ineffective grid-connected “green energy” schemes.
 
I suggest that global cooling probably WILL happen within the next decade or sooner, and Britain will get colder.
 
I also suggest that the IPCC and the Met Office have NO track record of successful prediction (or “projection”) of global temperature and thus have no scientific credibility.
 
I suggest that Winter deaths will increase in the UK as cooling progresses. 
 
I suggest that Excess Winter Mortality, the British rate of which is about double the rate in the Scandinavian countries, should provide an estimate of this unfolding tragedy.
 
As always in these matters, I hope to be wrong. These are not numbers, they are real people, who “loved and were loved”.
 
Best regards to all, Allan MacRae

griff
May 10, 2021 8:05 am

The usual nonsense…

There has only been one UK grid outage in a decade: nothing to do with renewable energy.

There is already a confirmed building, approved, planning permission in progress pipeline of UK offshore wind sufficient to meet the UK govt target. which is why, frankly, I think they announced that figure.

The current overall pipeline for renewables and energy storage projects stands at 86GW of viable projects

coal has contributed 2% of electricity in each of the last 2 years: we have but 3 coal plants left, one by the end of 2022 and do not in any way need it.

Redge
Reply to  griff
May 10, 2021 9:58 am

Remember when you see unreliable wind and solar hit a record high, it’s for a brief moment in time, whereas reliable energy can hit that record and more each and every moment of the day or night

Capture.JPG
Reply to  Redge
May 10, 2021 10:42 am

These Greens like griff and his accomplices never learn, the day has 24h, around a half in summer and around a quarter in winter sunshinne is possible, if there are no clouds, rain, snow, what ever. How long and often wind is blowing in times electricity is needed they may read in the stars.
Usually these Greens never live the asked paradigms in their own life, only based on wind and solar, happy, that there are coal and nuclear plants, if not in the UK, than elsewhere in Europe. That’s wrong Greeny griff, try living from and with only wind and solar, and we here may be happy not to be obliged to read your daily dumb curd !

Last edited 2 months ago by Krishna Gans
Climate believer
Reply to  griff
May 10, 2021 10:03 am

….”and do not in any way need it.”

No, because the UK is a net importer of energy from the continent (35%). That is a weak position to be in, as was made evident last week when the French threatened to flick the switch on Jersey.

Demand for electricity net imports is also forecasted to grow in the United Kingdom.

Recent polls show 60% of the public are worried about becoming too dependent on other countries for their energy supply.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  griff
May 10, 2021 10:06 am
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  griff
May 10, 2021 10:33 am

There is an old saying that “It takes a thief to know one.” If anyone can recognize nonsense, you have demonstrated that it should be you.

Dave Yaussy
Reply to  griff
May 10, 2021 10:40 am

Griff, one point you’ve never been able to explain to my satisfaction is that of reliable back up. Places like California and elsewhere can hit short periods where renewables provide all electric power, but back up is needed for those times like windless nights when 100% of the power has to come from nonrenewables. It doesn’t matter if it happens once a week, once a month or once a year, the back up for an entire grid must be available. The capital cost for that backup is incurred regardless of how frequently it is called upon, and fuel costs to keep some of that capacity spinning in reserve is a cost as well.

Batteries don’t exist on the needed scale, and likely never will. Interconnections are not going to be enough to provide power when other countries are experiencing the same weather. From a practicality perspective, additional renewable capacity at some point becomes simply unusable and useless.

Bill Toland
Reply to  griff
May 10, 2021 10:43 am

Griff, why do you keep going on about coal fired power stations? Coal has been displaced by gas fired power stations, not renewables as you imply. How can an intermittent power source possibly replace a reliable power source?

Lrp
Reply to  Bill Toland
May 10, 2021 11:47 am

You’re trying to wrestle with a pig

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
May 10, 2021 12:23 pm

Griff,
You cannot really be that naive/stupid.

Go here
https://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/download.php
Download the data from 1st March 2021 until today , 10th May 2021 then match your next 10 weeks electricity usage to the wind. Let’s say when when wind output is over 10GW (out of over 24GW) you can use 100% of your average electricity, 5GW 50%, 1GW 10%. and so on.

Gridwatch gives data in 5 minute intervls so starting at 08:00 tomorrow, you’re on 14.39% of average usage and you don’t get to 50% until Day 4 at 15:50. You don’t get to 100% until Day 9 at 22:45. Don’t celebrate too much on Day 9, for 75% of the time you’re going to be on 50% or less of average.

If you choose to take up this challenge and I were you I’d invest in a one bar electric fire and a toasting fork; that way you can get a bit of warmth and get a hot meal ~ well toast anyway.

MarkW
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
May 10, 2021 3:02 pm

Griff,

You cannot really be that naive/stupid.

You haven’t been around here very long, have you?

MarkW
Reply to  griff
May 10, 2021 3:01 pm

In griff’s world, because something hasn’t happened is proof that it will never happen.

Unless you can blame it on CO2, in which case the fact that something has never happened is proof that it is about to happen.

josh scandlen
Reply to  griff
May 11, 2021 4:18 am

I always love when Greenies cite “electricity” instead of total energy. Good luck flying on a PV or Wind powered jet, guy.

Graemethecat
Reply to  griff
May 11, 2021 5:59 am

Griffiepoo,

Explain how you propose to power the UK with PV and Wind when the Sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. We’re all ears.

Reply to  griff
May 12, 2021 3:54 pm

Griff – to be clear, I do not predict the past – that is way too easy.
 
I predict the future – to date, I’m 3 for 3. See
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/05/10/the-performance-of-uk-weather-dependent-renewables-2002-2020/#comment-3243629
 
Bundle up – it’s getting colder out there, even as atmospheric CO2 increases – another
disproof of the CAGW nonsense hypothesis.
 
My concern is that idiot European politicians have sabotaged energy systems with
intermittent green energy schemes just as global cooling approached.
 
Watch as European Excess Winter Deaths increase.
 
Hope to be wrong – rarely am.

Iain Reid
May 10, 2021 8:13 am

I think if you asked the average man or woman in the street if they think renewable generation is good or bad you’d get a near 100% good response

All the public hear or see is in the media and even now there is little critisism of renewables, and the media consistently state how cheap they are and getting cheaper. Intermittency does get a mention but never the technical deficiencies, presumably as the media do not know about them.

There is little hope of a reversal of policy until there is a significant power cut that lasts for days.

From correspondence with the U.K. department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy they are full of their plans for Net Zero with no sense of what is really involved in acheiving it?

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Iain Reid
May 10, 2021 10:02 am

“I think if you asked the average man or woman in the street if they think renewable generation is good or bad you’d get a near 100% good response”

Yes, but they’ll change their minds as soon as a huge wind or solar project is planned next to THEIR home. This is already happening here in MA- which recently passed a net zero bill- and now they public is hearing about all the renewable projects and how some are next to THEIR house and NOW they’re starting to complain. A few of us have been saying this for years and nobody was listening- now I laugh at hearing about some ugly solar farm across the street from the home of one of these sun/wind loving pagans.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 12, 2021 7:05 pm

The bad news being the few intelligent souls who didn’t vote for the Climate Fascists will have to suffer with the presence of these stupid things near them as well as the loons who think they are a “solution” to an actual “problem.”

Tom Abbott
May 10, 2021 8:35 am

From the article: “The comparable capital costs for the same 9.1 Gigawatts of power production using Gas-firing would cost about 7.3£billion and about 45£billion for Nuclear power generation.”

That’s quite a difference!

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 10, 2021 10:21 am

It seems to me that the cost of a nuclear plant is far too high for at least 40 years of high (over 90%) yield.

South Korea has build 4 new reactors in the UAE, 5.6 GW together for 20 billion euros or for 9.1 GW would be 32.5 billion euros or 28 billion pounds.
Besides that the gas price needs to be added, now and in the future, while the price of uranium hardly plays a role (on can have 400.000 kWh from one kg uranium).

AlexBerlin
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
May 10, 2021 4:23 pm

If the grotesque security concerns were cut out, the price would plummet to under 10% of these figures. The money should rather go into shutting up the anti-nuclear liars. With bazookas if necessary.

Last edited 2 months ago by AlexBerlin
griff
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
May 11, 2021 1:22 am

and yet the Koreans pulled out of building a new UK reactor, because no formula for producing a return on investment/reasonable cost to consumers could be found

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  griff
May 12, 2021 7:08 pm

Which is what happens when the useless renewables are crammed down the throats of utilities that wouldn’t pay a nickel for them without the gun to their head – building REAL, reliable power sources becomes uneconomic.

Steve Z
May 10, 2021 8:45 am

From the top graph, the productivity (power generated / installed capacity) was 90% for nuclear and natural gas, 41% for offshore wind, 22% for onshore wind, and 12% for solar. The productivity for hydro and biomass couldn’t be calculated due to missing generation data, although they look higher than those for wind power from the graph.

The title of the article includes “weather-dependent renewables”, but did any of the investors in these projects consider the weather in the United Kingdom? Most of its land area is north of 50 degrees latitude, and the weather is cloudy most of the time, so what did they really expect from solar power? A few megawatts from May through August around noontime, and very little else? Why even bother with solar power in such a climate?

The United Kingdom does have a windy climate, especially along the west coast, so it’s not surprising that “offshore wind” has over 3 times the productivity of solar power. But wind turbines have to be designed to resist the strongest storms without being torn apart, so that their production in light winds tends to suffer. There is also the problem of transmission of the power from offshore wind farms, usually through cables buried under the sea floor.

Yet the UK has shunned the 90% reliable natural gas, which produces more electricity than all renewables combined with barely a third of the installed capacity. Why not build more gas-fired power plants (more bang for the buck, or quid), or if the UK doesn’t want to be dependent on Russian gas, build more 90% reliable nuclear power plants, like France did?

Besides, what does the UK have to fear from a slight warming of the climate? They might be able to start growing wine again, as they did during the Roman Warm period.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Steve Z
May 10, 2021 9:46 am

Steve,
You have not been following the rules of engagement have you?. The energy decisions are not factored on what is the best or the cheapest or the most reliable. Energy decisions here in the UK are factored on what is the worst, what is the least reliable, and what is the most expensive.
The cover for the destruction of efficient least cost reliable power provision, is given as the need to reduce CO2.
Those of us (like yourself) who know how pointless that excuse actually is, and in fact how counterproductive to the wellbeing of the world that attempt to reduce CO2 is., know we are being manipulated into the arms of poverty and early demise.
If we could only nail the reason why these brainwashed energy decisionmakers are doing these dangerous and damaging things, we would all be able to stop them
It is going cold as Alan M has said many times already. We will need all the energy sources we can muster over the coming decades, to survive, yet our government has done all in its power to destroy our reliable energy generation plants?
I wish I understood why.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 10, 2021 10:04 am

“The energy decisions are not factored on what is the best or the cheapest or the most reliable.”

Woody biomass is reliable and provides base load power. It should not be mixed in with wind and solar.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 10, 2021 10:21 am

Woody power as you call it, is responsible for more CO2 production than all the savings from the UK “renewables” combined, That single decision to grant aid a coal fired power plant (Drax) that decided to cut down forests in North America, to feed its boilers, rather than coal from underneath its foundations negated the whole of the Green energy principle/reason to exist.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 10, 2021 12:37 pm

WRONG
They don’t cut down forests to produce chips. The chips are a by-product of good forestry. If you don’t convert the “junk trees”, that is the weed trees, to chips- what they do is just cut them down and burn them on the spot- releasing far more real pollution than a modern biomass facility and without any benefit in energy production. And, the intelligent way to view carbon tracking for wood is the landscape level- the forests- not the chimney- but some people just can’t grasp this. The problem with local coal is- as I recall- is that the government wanted to break the unions- that was Thatcher’s objective. But sure, if that coal can be produced economically, it ought to be used rather than wood chips from America. I’m all for fossil fuels! And wood energy too.

Andrew Dickens
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 10, 2021 1:49 pm

The 1980s dispute between the Thatcher Government and the coal miners’ union arose because of the low productivity of many UK coal mines, and the refusal of the miners unions to negotiate over closing unproductive mines. By 1988, when the dispute was over and the unions defeated, many loss-making pits were closed, and the UK was producing almost as much coal as before the dispute, with only one-third the workforce.

Subsequently Mrs Thatcher had a “green” phase, and closed down mines for this reason. She later changed her mind on this issue.

There was nothing to stop the Labour Government of 1997-2010 re-opening mines, but they didn’t.

griff
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 11, 2021 1:20 am

They do: the problem with Drax is it isn’t burning waste wood or the wood you describe

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  griff
May 11, 2021 3:28 am

Of course it’s waste wood. Depends on how you define it. You see- you know the meaning of agriculture- well, there is silviculture. Good silviculture requires that once you’ve harvested the sawtimber- there will be many trees that must be removed because they are defective in some way or are species you don’t want on the site. So in addition to some of the slash being harvested- you also harvest these unwanted trees which can be chipped for pellets- so they are “waste wood”. Do you think they’ll chip up a log that could be sawn into timber? Such a log is worth hundreds of times a log that has no timber value but is only good for chipping- or pulp. Now, in the American south- they practice “even age” silvicultue. They plant the trees- thin the forest once or twice, then clearcut. That’s just the way it is. In the north, we mostly practice uneven age silviculture. We just thin every 15-20 years removing some of the mature timber and much of the “junk wood” while leaving small and medium size trees of the species we want and which are healthy, straight and spaced nicely. Some trees go to sawmills, some to pulp mills, some to firewood, and what’s left is chipped for biomass- if we have a biomass facility close enough due to the expense of trucking. If here is no biomass facility close enough- these “junk trees” are just cut down and left to rot in the forest, emitting both CO2 and methane. Better to use that wood for pellets.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Steve Z
May 10, 2021 10:23 am

There’s actually a lot more gas fired capacity than the article reports. Actual CCGT generation can run as high as 25GW, and there is a chunk of OCGT on top of that. However, gas is mostly given a grid balancing role, which means it gives way to renewables as well as being turned down when demand falls. That means it operates inefficiently- on average at about 48% conversion efficiency, instead of close to 60% it would be capable of run in continuous operation.

The market is so rigged that some capacity has been mothballed, and no new capacity is being built. The assumption had been that more interconnectors would make up the difference, but frankly that is looking highly dubious given the Continental lemmings also rushing for net zero.

pigs_in_space
Reply to  Steve Z
May 10, 2021 12:23 pm

“Most of its land area is north of 50 degrees latitude, and the weather is cloudy most of the time, so what did they really expect from solar power? A few megawatts from May through August around noontime, and very little else? Why even bother with solar power in such a climate?”

Even more so in sunny Ass-tonia.
The latest fad is to build solar farms…which I view with complete EST-tonishment!

Most of that country is between 57-60N, with near zero sun for 4 months a year, and often no wind either.

I have to work out why this is happening and who is making a fortune from it, but I haven’t failed to notice my electricity bill has doubled in about 2 years, and they are getting really agressive & threatening about paying even 1-2 months arrears…(when I’m not actually there!)

H.R.
May 10, 2021 8:57 am

In the Conclusion section of this article, the excellent bulleted points will be totally ignored by the politicians. Why? £££££

With billions passing through their control to reward cronies and backers, and take a bit of a rake for their own pockets, why would any politician pay attention to the facts?

May 10, 2021 9:34 am

be aware that since solar power is not metered and much of wind output is modelled, the Renewable Energy figures are only optimistic estimates.
comarison with actual meted wind outpit shows hopelessly optimistic capacity factors

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Leo Smith
May 10, 2021 10:31 am

I am still trying to get to the bottom of the real figures. There are some for embedded wind and solar (excluding the small unmetered installations under 30kW) on a settlement basis available via NGESO. They run a long way behind real time. Everything over 30kW is supposed to be metered, if not in real time visible to the grid controllers. How much overlap there is with reported metered onshore generation is unclear.

The Grid doesn’t seem to care beyond transmission network demand. At least until it makes a mess of their network.

Joseph Zorzin
May 10, 2021 9:55 am

“the additional CO2 emissions over Gas-firing for the same power output resulting from the use of overseas sourced Biomass, (nominally Carbon neutral, by policy), at the UK Drax power stations can be estimated to exceed the maximum potential 22 million tonnes of CO2 savings achieved by installing the UK fleet of Weather Dependent Renewables.”

FALSE

That’s just the propaganda of people who hate forestry. If you look only at what ‘s going up the chimney, yes, lots of carbon- but if you look at the landscape level- that is, look at the forests as the source or sink of carbon- you’ll see that burning wood in efficient, modern furnaces, if the wood comes from well managed forests- that there is no net carbon addition to the environment. Also, biomass from well managed forests helps us grow better forests that are economically superior. Then compare this with the vast destruction of forests in north America to install solar “farms”! The irony is that much of the wood coming from these destroyed forests will go to biomas burners because either that or you bury it- and it’s cheaper to send to a biomass burner. Now, I don’t say this to defend Weather Dependent Renewables- but to inform people that great forestry is a great thing. Everyone loves wood products. You can’t have them without well managed forests. When done right- forestry and biomass are sustainable and dependable. Anyone who likes fossil fuels should love biomass- especially if you don’t believe the bullshit about “carbon pollution” going to cause an “emergency”.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 10, 2021 10:29 am

Joseph.
I completely agree burning wood is a good thing in the round. Burning thinning’s and fallen limbs from well managed forests is the right thing to do. It should be done locally where its advantage can be fully appreciated. Drax has over fifty years of coal under its foundations, it does not need to ship in wood pellets from the USA it can serve the world well, by burning its local coal and releasing its post filters CO2 into the atmosphere where it is needed.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 10, 2021 12:51 pm

Sounds good so what’s stopping it? Isn’t it the hatred of the British government for the labor unions? Isn’t that why the coal mines were closed? It wasn’t about climate. I like coal. In my last house I had a pellet stove that burned coal pellets. That was it- I had no furnace. I later installed a nice oil furnace but I still burned the coal pellets in very cold weather. Just showing that because I like wood products and wood energy- I have nothing to do with the *&^%$ wind and solar people. The forestry and wood industries are allies of the fossil fuel people. We burn lots of fuel to run logging machines, trucks, mills, etc. And we know that more carbon in the air means the trees grow faster and have a longer growing season.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 10, 2021 1:45 pm

Joseph,
The closing of the coal mines was not about hatred of labour unions by government. It was due to a nationalised industry not being able to compete with a none nationalised gas industry. It was a classic example of public sector inefficiency versus private sector efficiency.
.
. .

pigs_in_space
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 10, 2021 5:25 pm

sorry that’s nonsense.
The mines were paid for, well financed and during the dreaded Scargill period and strike, the notts miners carried on working in modern and profitable mines.

it was THATCHER that decided to act the way she did, by eg. buying in coal from uneconomic, unsafe mines in Ukraine that have a safety record so bad, miners there are still routinely killed with serious accidents today in war destroyed Donbass.

In fact it was by all accounts that UKRAINE subsidised their outdated and unsafe mines, in all likelihood because of their belief that nuclear power was their own route to energy independence, with the consequences we all now know..

yes indeed Ukraine had a similar safety culture in mining as they had in running NPPs. (!)

Rod Evans
Reply to  pigs_in_space
May 10, 2021 10:58 pm

PIS,
I do not argue there were not pockets of efficiency within a nationalised coal business. I know the history of the industry, having come from Welsh miner stock myself. The closures of coal was not due to Thatcher standing firm against the last charge from Arthur Scargill to dominate the miners unions. Interestingly, the number of mines closed under Tony Benn’s era I.e. a Labour administration, was greater than those closed under Thatcher’s Tories.
The UK pit closures was always baked into the political decision to champion natural gas. That decision was taken during the sixties and seventies a period dominated by Labour government. Gas was more flexible cheaper to distribute, plentiful coming in from North Sea fields and much cleaner for the environment.
Coal wasn’t a bad fuel for power generation but gas was simply better.
The power of the market will always win in the end.

Andrew Dickens
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 10, 2021 1:55 pm

What I object to is using wood sourced in the USA for producing electricity in the UK. Fossil fuels are used at every stage in the process – cutting down the trees, taking them to the pelleting plant, the pelletinng process, transport to the ports, transhipment (and the ships go back empty), and transport to Drax.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Andrew Dickens
May 10, 2021 2:17 pm

So, you have a problem with fossil fuels? I think most people here don’t have that problem. Just don’t think that the pellet producers are selling chips based on being carbon free- maybe a few do- claiming wood is carbon neutral, but most of us know that’s not true- at least when it comes to producing and shipping the wood- but the growing of new wood at the same time some wood is burned- if we’re producing more wood than the wood being cut for all purposes- it could be argued that the industry as a whole is carbon negative even factoring in the fossil fuels for production and shipping. Wood going to construction and furniture and other wood products is carbon sequestered.

But if we get over the idea that there is a climate emergency- then none of this matters. As for Britain- you should definitely get back to burning your coal. Didn’t it used to be thought that the “continentals” were the idealists while British intellectuals were more common sense and realistic? It’s from that source that New Englanders developed a reputation for “Yankee common sense”- which by now is lost, unfortunately.

griff
Reply to  Andrew Dickens
May 11, 2021 1:19 am

and all UK green groups would agree with you

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
May 12, 2021 6:59 am

which just goes to prove that they haven’t a clue what they are talking about.

It doesn't add up...
May 10, 2021 10:03 am

Why are you using entirely wrong numbers for gas fired generation capacity?

It undermines the whole post when you use wrong data. Also, interconnectors is wrong. IFA1 2GW, BritNed 1GW, NEMO 1GW, plus arguably 1GW to Ireland (although Moyle is strictlyto Northern Ireland). On a good date we now get 1GW from IFA2 as well.

griff
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
May 11, 2021 1:17 am

And you need to look at the building and approved connectors and those planned… massive expansion on this front

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  griff
May 12, 2021 7:30 pm

Needed because of reliance upon worse than useless wind turbines and solar panels for power!

michel
May 10, 2021 10:06 am

The problem is that in addition, not only is what they produce prohibitively expensive and a small fraction of the installed value, they also have no way of producing it when you need it, so a huge amount of what they produce is totally useless.

Like when the wind blows up a storm in the North Sea in the middle of the night when no-one wants the power. Or when its 6pm on a calm cold dark winter evening and then they produce nothing. For a few days, until one Sunday midday all of a sudden there is more than you can use.

griff
Reply to  michel
May 11, 2021 1:18 am

which is why storage and pumped storage and green hydrogen and interconnectors are there… plus intelligent EV charging

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
May 12, 2021 7:04 am

What storage and hydrogen are you talking about? Where is it except in your fevered mind?

Joseph Zorzin
May 10, 2021 1:42 pm

Meanwhile:
******************************************************************************
Columbia Global Energy Summit The Path to Net-Zero: Outlook to a Decarbonized Energy Future”
https://mailchi.mp/columbia/webinar-invite-power-after-carbon-transitioning-to-low-carbon-power-in-the-united-states-july-654373?e=91d769f42e

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 | 11:00-11:45 a.m. EDT

Zoom Webinar

To meet the goals stated in the Paris climate agreement, the pace of change in the energy sector must accelerate markedly, and decarbonization must take on a greater sense of urgency. In this context, for the first time in its nearly 50-year history, the International Energy Agency is releasing (on May 18) an analysis exploring options to create a global net-zero energy economy by 2050.

The Center on Global Energy Policy will welcome Dr. Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director, to present key findings from the Agency’s groundbreaking report. Following his presentation, Dr. Birol will join Jason Bordoff, Co-Founding Dean, Climate School, Columbia University; Founding Director, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia SIPA; and Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, for a moderated conversation as part of the 7th Annual Columbia Global Energy Summit.”
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Global net zero by 2050? Not even if you don’t count China, India, Africa- impossible, IMHO.

Macha
May 10, 2021 4:00 pm

The same in South Australia.
https://www.riteon.org.au/netzero-casualties/

Phil T
May 11, 2021 11:19 am

The first chart looks in line with the actual national grid output for total wind for 2020 at 6.23GW average, and the capacity for 2020 of 24GW gives an efficiency of c. 25%. I don’t understand why the charts further down vary from this e.g. one chart gives 7.8GW output for total wind instead of 6.2GW

bigoilbob
May 14, 2021 6:11 am

No mention of fuel costs in this “complete” evaluation, nor of the relative asset retirement obligations for coal, oil, gas, wind, nuc. And only one of these sources has their sites offering a source of energy that those sites can be reequipped to exploit over and over, with ever more modern turbines and associated facilities.

FYI, UK has the US problem of lock boxing only a tiny fraction of the required cash in fist for the P&A/restoration of their severely depleting oil and gas assets. And of course, like us, they are still hunting that Big Foot site for permanent nuc fuel storage.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-nuclearpower-waste-idUKKBN1FE1OM

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