Rapid technological innovation – not harmful renewables policy – key to lighting our energy future

by Judith Curry

Framework for a robust transition of our energy systems.

Here is the text of my latest oped for Australia’s Sky News:

Australia’s rapid transition of electric power systems away from fossil fuels is introducing substantial new risks to their electric power systems.  A transition of the electric power system that produces less reliable and more expensive electricity acts as a tourniquet that restricts the lifeblood of modern society.

Attempts to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels by restricting the production and use of fossil fuels has backfired by making many countries reliant on Russia’s fossil fuels.  The Russian war on Ukraine provides a stark conflict between net-zero emissions goals versus immediate needs for abundant, reliable and secure energy. European and other countries are struggling with inadequate natural gas supplies, after restricting production of fossil fuels in their own countries.

In transitioning to cleaner sources of power, we need to acknowledge that the world will need much more energy than it is currently consuming – not just in developing countries, but also in countries with advanced economies.  Constructing, operating, and maintaining low-carbon energy systems will itself require substantial amounts of energy, with much of it currently derived from fossil fuels.  Increasing adoption of electric vehicles and electric heat pumps will increase electricity demand.  More electricity can help reduce our vulnerability to the weather and climate:  air conditioners, water desalination plants, irrigation, vertical farming operations, water pumps, coastal defenses, and environmental monitoring systems. Further, abundant electricity is key to innovations in advanced materials, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, robotics, photonics, quantum computing and others that are currently unforeseen or unimagined.

In the near term, laying the foundation for new energy systems is substantially more important than trying to stamp out fossil fuel use. This should focus on developing and testing new energy technologies. There will continue to be demand for fossil fuels over the coming decades. Countries that restrict fossil fuel production will not only hurt themselves economically. Paradoxically, restricting fossil fuel production in the near term will actually slow down the energy transition, which itself requires substantial amounts of energy to implement.

The best use of the next three decades is to continue to develop and test a range of options for energy production, storage, transmission and other technologies that support goals of reliable, low-cost energy while lessening environmental impacts and carbon emissions. A more prudent strategy is to use the next two to three decades as a learning period with new technologies, experimentation and intelligent trial and error.

Near-term targets for CO2 emissions, such as 75% renewable energy by 2035, drives the energy transition towards using existing technologies in ways that are counterproductive in the longer term. The perceived urgency of making such a colossal transformation can lead to poor decisions that not only harms the economy and overall human wellbeing, but also slows down progress on reducing carbon emissions.

Rapid technological innovation across all domains of the global energy sector continues to accelerate: long-distance transmission and smart microgrids, energy storage, residential heating, electric vehicles and remarkable progress in advanced nuclear designs.  Different countries and locales will use different combinations of these innovations based upon their location, local resources, power needs, and sociopolitical preferences.

Australia’s innovation in the energy transition is the rapidity of implementing wind and solar energy while displacing fossil fuels. In a country with low population density and abundant wind and solar resources, Australia is acting as a fast follower and contributing to the learning curve for rapid displacement of fossil fuels by renewables.  However, Australia’s contribution to the global learning curve is diminished because few countries have the same geographical resources.  Further, the declining urgency of meeting emissions targets (Part I) devalues the global learning curve associated with the rapid displacement of fossil fuels by renewables.

The challenge is to make Australia’s efforts towards transitioning to a 21st century energy system supportive of its economy and efforts to reduce Australia’s vulnerabilities to weather and climate extremes.

163 responses to “Rapid technological innovation – not harmful renewables policy – key to lighting our energy future

  1. Very sensible and on target points.

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  3. If only government policy makers would read and understand your common sense ideas on transitioning, the world would be much better off.

  4. Thank you for a voice of reason, while pompous fools are congregating in Davos.

  5. I think we should really reconsider whether the production of CO2 is a net negative. CO2 is completely benign to nature at its current concentrations, and in fact promotes plant growth – resulting in planetary greening and increased food production. Not to mention that the greening results in more CO2 absorption – buffering, if you will.

    I have become quite interested in the production of electricity by thorium molten-salt reactors. Their advantages are many, it would seem. In the meantime, I see no purpose in limiting CO2 production or destroying economies to do so. I also see no benefit from purchasing hundreds of billions of dollars of solar cells and windmills from China, which is putting its own efforts into coal-fired powerplants. Pretty is as pretty does, as my father used to say.

    • Jim, do you know of a thorium molten salt reactor prototype or a working plant? Other than the Oak Ridge reactor which was never meant to produce electricity, and never did? I am keeping my fingers crossed..

      • No I surely don’t, and I am genuinely curious as to why. Adm. Hyman Rickover was a Very Strong Personality and decided that light water reactors were the way to go. Since it takes beaucoup(s) of money to do nuclear research and there has been practically none on thorium by the US gub’ment, nobody else has done the work either. At least that’s my take on it. And also since light water reactors require huge concrete domes to contain any superheated steam should the thing go south, light water reactors are so expensive that nobody can challenge the billion-dollar monopoly, which of course they like. Modular molten-salt reactors would gore their ox. Call me a conspiracy theory guy.

        I could be totally wrong. To my eye the answer to “saving the planet” is to make really cheap electricity available everywhere, bringing prosperity to most of the planet. People who don’t have enough to keep body and soul together don’t care about carbon credits; prosperous people do, so I see LFTRs as potentially world-changing. Maybe it’s just me….

      • Bill Fabrizio

        I’m not sure, but one reason at the time could have been plutonium.

      • China has approved commissioning of their 2MWth thorium research reactor. https://www.powermag.com/china-approves-commissioning-of-thorium-powered-reactor/

      • Well they have reduced risk of meltdown, they’re harder to work with. You have to deal with high temperature hazardous materials. The risk to workers is higher.

        Michael Shellenberger did an interview with Scott Adams if you years ago which touches on it.

      • Jim [BELOW] says “ wrong. To my eye the answer to “saving the planet” is to make…” more CO2, as the CO2 Coalition abides. CO2 is not just the gas of life, but the enabler of all known life. More is better. Less is stupid!

      • @Jim Wills
        Peter Thiel believes the failure of nuclear power to proliferate was not so much 3 mile island or Chernobyl, but the fact that owning nuclear power plants = owning nuclear weapons, which in turn guarantee freedom from outside (i.e. US) military dominance.
        The issue has never been the amount of fuel – it has been lawfare and very possibly the above.

    • look at copenhagen atomics , they have build the first prototype thorium molten salt reactor . It can burn atomic waste in a 100 MW reactor with a size of a 40 foot container. plan to be commercial available in 2028 with a production capability of 1 reactor per day. They just openedd the UK office and could turn the 140 tons of plutonium wwhich the UK needs to get rid of into 30 GW of electrical power capacity .

    • I’m for it, but Thorium has its issues too: https://whatisnuclear.com/thorium-myths.html

  6. I am afraid I do not see much sense or intelligence being talked about energy policy and security simply because we actually already know NetZero (at any time in the foreseeable future) is technically impossible. And yet we are not making that clear to citizens. Another example of this lunacy follows.

    The madness of the UK’s energy policy and regulation appears to have no bounds. Economy7 is an electricity tariff going back many generations (pun intended) offering timer regulated off peak cheap overnight electricity for clock regulated heavy duty items like storage heaters for rooms and hot water supply. Our regulator has now determined that Economy7 users should pay a higher tariff for their ordinary day time electricity than others users do. Just why they do not say. Is there any politicians anywhere who actually does know what they are doing?

    • archibaldtuttle

      this kind of rate was historically available in the states in various locales to customers with [tank style] electric water heaters. It was implemented with meters that had analog timers and simple analog switch with a shunt wire that shut down one element (half the heating capacity) in the heater during peak use times, so you still could make hot water but more slowly.

      There was no backup for the timer in the meter so whenever there was a power outage, the analog time of day on the meters would be altered and the system no longer fulfilled its intentions of limiting peak loads–at least with regard to those affected by the power outage. I don’t recall if it was up to the meter reader to set the time straight if it was off or what the method for resetting was.

      This was kind of a precursor to ‘smart’ metering and “demand management” that well preceded the CO2 wars. While in theory we have more technological capability these days, this rate was discontinued I haven’t seen any kind of time of day replacement. This project that never went anywhere in the states: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/vcharge-turning-hot-bricks-into-grid-batteries mirrors technology in the UK where electric resistance heatings is more common, although I’m not sure how it relates to Economy7 vs. larger demand management arrangements mae by private interests aggregating heat storage.

      It does seem counterintuitive that they should load Economy7 day rates although we have no numbers to understand the depth of nighttime discount nor use models to understand whether the present rate differential can be understood to be accomplishing its demand shifting goals and whether the additional rates of some sort are justified in support of the delivery infrastructure, for instance (not that that ever worried the numbskulls that came up with net metering for solar, but i digress).

  7. From the Manhattan Contrarian blog comes this conversation about the Inflation Reduction Act and its Net Zero transition loan guarantees:

    —————————-
    jill said:

    Huge plans for spending 370 billion dollars….they call it “hard work”? Jigar Shah (from the capital venture cartel) is now in charge of giving away 250 billion dollars of government guaranteed loans:

    The make-or-break moment for America’s energy transition

    Getting a climate bill passed was just the start. Jigar Shah and Katherine Hamilton explain the hard work ahead for kick-starting the era of mass deployment.
    —————————-

    My response to Jill was this:

    The entire interview with Jigar Shah and Katherine Hamilton is very informative in revealing the level of delusional thinking which permeates the minds of those in the federal government who are in charge of the Net Zero transition.

    For just one example, Jigar Shah notes that the US mining industry isn’t taking advantage of the loan guarantees being offered under the Inflation Reduction Act to increase the production of critical strategic minerals needed to support the manufacture of green energy technologies.

    Shah attributes this situation to an overly burdensome loan application process and to a lack of trust by the mining industry in the federal government’s commitment to allowing their mineral development projects to go forward unimpeded by overly burdensome regulations.

    Part of Shah’s proposed solution is to eliminate much of the loan application investigation & assessment process which was imposed after the Solyndra collapse. He proposes streamlining the application investigation process not only for the mining companies, but also for every other applicant for a Green New Deal loan.

    Assuming every bad loan will be forgiven, the federal government will be giving away many billions of dollars to any company, corporation, NGO, or local community agency which claims it can assist in the Net Zero transition.

    However, what is not being said is just how other regulatory barriers now being imposed by other agencies of the federal government will be reduced or eliminated in order to facilitate the move into a green energy economy. Does anyone really expect the EPA to approve a mine application permit for extracting a strategic mineral commodity just because Jigar Shah says it is important for the Net Zero transition?

    Jigar Shah and Katherine Hamilton also note that the 370 billion of the IRA is only a down payment on their estimate of ten trillion dollars for the United States to achieve Net Zero. They expect private industry to pony up the bulk of that ten trillion dollars as a matter of making smart investment decisions in the future of clean energy.

    For the last year, I’ve been harping on the fact that the Biden Administration hasn’t offered anything in the way of a credible plan for reaching Net Zero on their highly ambitious schedule.

    Net Zero cannot happen on anyone’s schedule unless unless a carrot and stick approach is being used to enforce a drastic reduction in America’s consumption of energy.

    The carrot would be lucrative government subsidies for green energy projects; the stick would be a highly coercive regulatory framework which severely punishes any private corporation which doesn’t get fully on board with Net Zero.

    In other words, if you aren’t sitting at the table, you will be on the menu.

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  9. ‘…energy-deprived people [in India, Africa and elsewhere around the globe] do not merely suffer abject poverty. They must burn wood and dung for heating and cooking, which results in debilitating lung diseases that kill a million people every year. They lack refrigeration, safe water and decent hospitals, resulting in virulent intestinal diseases that send almost two million people to their graves annually. The vast majority of these victims are women and children.

    ‘The energy deprivation is due in large part to unrelenting, aggressive, deceitful eco-activist campaigns against coal-fired power plants, natural gas-fueled turbines, and nuclear and hydroelectric facilities in India, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and elsewhere. The Obama Administration joined Big Green in refusing to support loans for these critically needed projects, citing climate change and other claims.’ ~Paul Driessen

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  11. Good points Judith. One of my pet peeves is electric cars and other transpiration. Quite a bit of money being spent on electric airplane technology that is really a dead end. There are vastly better alternatives such as hydrogen that are more feasible.

    Electric automobiles will continue to be virtue signaling devices for the wealthy. The energy density is simply quite poor, the raw materials for batteries are limited globally, and the power for these cars is often generated by dirty fuels such as coal.

    If we are looking for a lower carbon alternative, natural gas is a good one. Really good infrastructure, abundant supplies, and much lower carbon emissions. Converting our fleet is cheap and relatively easy. Most large fleet operators such as cities, etc. already use natural gas. Adding this fuel to an existing gas station is relatively if there is a gas main nearby. In most of the midwest and great plains that is the case.

    • Re EVs. The Chief Executive of Kia Motors in the UK, Paul Philpott, told the Times newspaper that a mass market in affordable electric cars will not happen because of the difficulty of producing them on a viable basis and said Kia had no immediate plans for a mass market vehcle.

      Times, London, Jan 23 2023.

  12. As always, Dr Curry provides a common sense analysis of what is needed. But in some ways, it is a compromise, a hedging of one’s bets. We need to reduce CO2 emissions but less urgently seems to be the message. This agrees with the direction of travel of ECS estimates, as reported here a few months ago. The warming threat has greatly reduced but not to zero.
    But there are other views. Our leaders are hell bent on Net Zero and seem to be in a pointless race to decarbonise everything. They will take some convincing and usually still fail to learn even if they have clearly screwed everything up.
    Then there are those who are anxious to settle the scientific questions about the warming. I have to put my hand up and admit to feeling a certain amount of frustration in that regard. During the last twenty years there have been numerous reports that claim an enhanced natural role in the warming since 1850. These include clouds, solar, and ocean currents. There have been many that claim an absence of warming in various locations. Other reports claim a diminished greenhouse effect, for example due to band saturation, the logarithmic relationship with gas concentration, the dominance of water vapour and so on.
    All of these reports appear, raise interest then disappear. The reasons could be due to peer pressure, funding issues, public opinion, or possibly even scientific credibility. Who knows?
    One thing is certain, the political grip on the science squeezes the scientific objectivity out of every aspect. Climate change may not be much to worry about, but the elite in Davos or the decision makes in Washington or Whitehall are certainly to be feared. As we watch, they put in place the destruction of our way of life.
    As I ponder these interlinked issues, it seems that the perfection of Dr Curry’s solution lies in the independence of its bubble. In the wider world, I feel that the solution to everything lies in the scientific proof of the warming and the factors that govern it. A credible narrative is required. I believe we now have the data and the knowledge but do we have the boldness and the will?

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  14. Sorry, Judith, but I do not think that this article of yours is a good analysis.

    Firstly, it accepts the need to transition away from fossil fuels as being the need to reduce CO2 emissions. Any proper look at the threats from CO2 must include analysis of what exactly is going wrong in the climate and what is going right. Study after study has shown that extreme weather events have not been increasing and that the planet’s plants have been growing better. Also that many of the scare stories are not playing out as predicted – thriving polar bears and Great Barrier Reef for example. Any major exercise like ‘net zero’ should be accompanied by proper in-depth cost-benefit analysis, and such an analysis would show surprisingly few benefits. Or rather, astonishingly few benefits.

    Secondly, by concentrating technological advance as a way of making wind and solar systems work, all the ways in which wind and solar can never work are being ignored. There have been studies from very early in this whole schemozzle that showed how impossible it was to power a modern economy from wind and solar, and how impossibly expensive it would be to try. No amount of technology can deal with some of those impossibilities, just like no technology can break the laws of physics.

    A far more useful approach, to my mind, would be a clear-headed look into the future, asking questions like: Can we physically use fossil fuels for ever, or will they one day run out? In addressing this question, bear in mind that (as you say) we do need to quite dramatically increase the amount of energy that we produce, especially electricity. What technologies can we use to improve the outcomes from using fossil fuels? That last question would include any effects on climate. What sources of energy can power the human race in the long term?

    I’ll provide tentative answers to those questions, but they and other questions like them need to be given much more proper attention.

    Will fossil fuels one day run out? If the amount of fossil fuel is finite and not growing as fast as our usage, then mathematically they must one day run out. But on what time-scale? Once we get an idea of the time-scale then we can get an idea of when we have to get new reliable sources of energy. By my back-of-envelope calculation, we have at least a century, but supplies of some particular fossil fuels may run down earlier.

    How can we improve the outcomes from using fossil fuels? Here, I suggest that ‘carbon sequestration’ to cut CO2 emissions would be a non-starter, based on any proper cost-benefit analysis. We have already made huge progress in cutting pollution and improving efficiency, and we no doubt will make some more progress there, but maybe the real issue is how to make sure that everyone who needs the energy has access to it at a fair price.

    What possible sources of energy are there for the long term? The main answers here appear to be nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. Nuclear fission has a time-limit before the fuel runs out, just as fossil fuels have a time-limit. Nuclear fission’s time-limit appears to be much longer. And that is how long we have to get nuclear fusion working. All the sayings about how nuclear fusion has been decades away for a century may be just as legitimate as all the sayings about peak oil never arriving, but the fact is that if we manage our energy production well then we have centuries in which to make nuclear fusion work.

    Take a look at our technological progress over the last century. To my mind, only a brave or foolish person could claim that we won’t be able to develop the technology to power our future. The main obstacle appears to be governments and their ‘net zero’ nonsense.

  15. Deep geothermal would be an excellent long-term solution. https://www.gadrilling.com/geothermal-anywhere/
    Easier and safer than building nuclear plants in Africa or S. America too.

    CO2 is a proxy for accelerating a change in the balance of elemental non-condensing gases. https://www.climatelevels.org/
    Sort of a paradox. If more CO2 means more oxygen producing plants, then why have oxygen levels been dropping? Maybe it’s because we have huge dead zones in the ocean filled with plastic and algae and not oxygen producing plankton.

    • Deep geothermal is less probable and more expensive than fusion reactors. It is very hard to drill wells in volcanics that deep, they have no permeability so need fracking, and you rapidly get thermal breakthrough. The world is littered with previous failures that proponents don’t want to talk about. They know desperate politicians have the memory retention of a bored goldfish.

      • The Vogtle Nuclear Power plant is the most expensive ever built on earth at $34 billion — nearly two-and-a-half times the authorized cost. Georgia should be proud to have the nation’s newest nuclear power plants and I hope they last a 100 years.
        You may have your doubts and I agree the challenge is great but there are several new technologies being deployed that might succeed.
        https://www.quaise.energy/
        https://www.eavor.com/technology/

        Geothermal energy’s primary benefits make it an ideal energy candidate for the world. First, geothermal electricity offers clean firm, reliable, and stable baseload power. As such, it easily complements wind and solar energy, which can fluctuate and produce only intermittent power. Not only does geothermal energy offer more resilient and renewable energy, but––unlike nuclear and biomass energy and battery storage––it does so with no harmful waste by-products. Geothermal energy does not depend on extractive activities.
        https://www.energy.gov/eere/geothermal/enhanced-geothermal-shot

      • jack. Our company runs 6 geothermal stations generating 400MW and it’s where I have spent most of my 40 year career, We have been doing it over 60 years so have a lot of real experience. We even run one on 130°C inlet fluid. A lot of mass flow needed for very little power. The stations have materials like stibnite, hydrogen sulphide, arsenic, radon and mercury there which aren’t contained when they need the regular openings up for maintenance.
        They are very niche and a limited resource, even in countries like Indonesia, New Zealand or the Philippines. From the documentation I have seen, like the earth resistance surveys, there is not enough undeveloped geothermal capacity in the US to replace even one nuke.
        With regards your other statements, you need to actually go to a working one and find out what happens, not read bureaucratic puff pieces. Things aren’t what they make out.

      • “They are very niche and a limited resource, even in countries like Indonesia, New Zealand or the Philippines. From the documentation I have seen, like the earth resistance surveys, there is not enough undeveloped geothermal capacity in the US to replace even one nuke.”

        This statement does not apply to the advanced (deep) geothermal projects now being studied. The resource is ubiquitous, and can be tapped near existing power generators for convenient hook-up to the grid.

        Whether the proposed new drilling technologies work, and whether fears of generating earthquakes can be overcome, are separate issues.

      • SRP Your statements put you in the category of the visionaries that Planning Engineer wrote about – very little grounding in the real world.
        The thermal gradient outside high grade geothermal areas areas is about 30° per km depth. Boiler plant (I gather that is what you mean by existing power generators) have inlet temperatures over 500°. How deep do you think you need to go? You need large diameter wells to get the mass flow. Do you know how big a rig you need to drill holes that size? As far as I’m aware, they don’t exist. What are you going to make the casings of? The fluid down there is very high concentration of minerals, many of them hazardous. At those type of conditions, almost everything dissolves. Even gold does at 400°. The Icelandic well that accidently hit magmatic water was discharging superheated acid vapour – pH <1.
        You don't have well safety equipment like BOPs that can handle that type of temperatures or fluids. As you go down with depth you get large decreases in permeability from the ground pressure. How will you deal with that? Somewhere down there, the combination of temperature and pressure makes the rock quite plastic. That won't help permeability will it? Hot tight wells are useless.
        Solve all those problems with real engineering, not scientists using PowerPoints, before you even think of spudding in.
        The hot dry rock proposals are academics in search of research funding looking for gullible government departments and desperate politicians.

      • Chris,
        You brought up several criticisms of ultra-deep geothermal projects. Here is what I have found out from reviewing several different projects.

        >How deep do you think you need to go?
        Some of the designs are looking at up to 20km

        >You need large diameter wells to get the mass flow.
        Most of these projects are looking at multiple injection/return holes per well pad like current fracking rigs.

        >Do you know how big a rig you need to drill holes that size?
        Hard to compare the size of a gyrotron to a oil/gas rig but I predict the amount of megawatts a gyrotron needs to vaporize a 10″ hole through granite will be huge. Since the well can be drilled almost anywhere they will most likely be drilled near existing transmission lines.

        >What are you going to make the casings of?
        Mostly the same stuff as the O&G guys use down to base of the caprock. Beyond that they hope to use high energy plasma to vitrify (crystalize) the rock bore hole walls.

        >The fluid down there is very high concentration of minerals, many of them hazardous.
        There won’t be water at these depths, just hot dry rock. Ultra deep geothermal wells will use a closed loop system with inert gases as the working fluid for heat exchange. Not sure about how they control for corrosion or other elements like radon leaching into the system.

        At least two of these projects are in the field now and hope to be operational by 2026.

      • Curious George

        Jack, now tell us about Cinderella.

      • Jack. You are confusing my criticisms of SRP which appears to be different concepts with yours. He didn’t provide any links. Yours are just promoter brochures.
        The world is littered with hot dry rock projects which actually drilled holes but that haven’t worked. Cornwall, Meager Creek, Paralana are ones that immediately spring to mind. There have been others. What are the promoters of the unnamed projects you are talking about that is going to be different? Where are they currently drilling with the unconventional technology, I gather with a gyrotron or something similar, you mention?
        Convention geothermal fields have been drilling multiple wells of single pads for years. I think the first ones were at Geysers in the 70s. Even the wells we use have throws of up to 2km.
        Downhole heat exchangers are nothing new. I have one directly heating potable supply for all the hot water in my house.

      • Chris,
        So you have been working around geothermal for 40 years and you didn’t know about any of these projects?

        I still run across people every day that claim Small Modular Reactors are just a fantasy and will never be built. Don’t be one of those people.

        Here is another unicorn to keep an eye on.
        There is a new battery being developed made with carbon & oxygen.

        https://www.energy-storage.news/aramco-ventures-among-investors-in-ex-nasa-scientists-long-duration-carbon-oxygen-battery/
        “Noon Energy uses readily available precursors to deliver more than 100 hours of capacity with the highest energy density among storage technologies today – at one-tenth the cost of lithium-ion batteries for long-duration storage. That uniquely high density means a compact footprint three times smaller than today’s lithium-ion batteries.”

      • Addendum;
        Anyone surprised that as of June 2022 Texas has 163,014 oil wells and 87,497 gas wells? Looks like it’s getting hot in Texas.

        https://electrek.co/2023/01/25/texas-geothermal-energy/
        “There are at least 12 geothermal startups currently headquartered in Texas, with many more maintaining a business presence, employees, or planning projects in the state. Almost 90% of these startups were founded and launched in the last 24 months, and they’re being invested in by oil and gas majors.

        And what makes Texas unique is that geothermal energy can be produced from existing oil and gas wells, as either electricity or direct-use heat.
        Full report here: https://energy.utexas.edu/research/geothermal-texas

      • Jack -I thought you claimed it was new technology.
        The Utah well was drilled with a conventional rig and went to only just over 2.5km TVD. We have been drilling with drag bits driven by dh motors about a decade, though we gave up PDC as too brittle having a lot more success with carbides. The well took about twice as long to drill as we take, especially as no circulation losses to slow things up. Not much fracking fluid used either so they didn’t improve the permeability much at all. Unsustained discharge less than 1000kJ/kg (the heated up fracking fluid), right at the bottom end of what’s considered viable production for steam turbines. And they haven’t drilled the injection well yet, which is where the problems occur with thermal breakthough. Don’t have as much data on the Sage well but as they haven’t released it, most likely a dud – not uncommon. The Saskatchewan wells are only about 120°. Needs very high massflow (pumped as can’t sustain a discharge) through a binary plant. It was supposed to open mid- 21 but still not going – why?
        Where are the downhole heat exchangers with inert gas in? Where are the 20km deep wells? Or are they just more academic dreams?
        With regards Texas, South Australia was also promoted as geothermal in oilfields. There the wells sustained discharge though only just, at least until their scaled casings corroded through.

      • Come on Chris! Drink the Green Koolaide! It’s for your own good!

    • @ jacksmith4tx | January 20, 2023 at 11:11 pm | said

      The Vogtle Nuclear Power plant is the most expensive ever built on earth at $34 billion — nearly two-and-a-half times the authorized cost.

      As others have pointed out, other countries can build these for much less. This is a government problem, not a technical one.

  16. I am recommending everyone to read today’s twitter posting by Geoff Russell. I normally get glassy eyed from technical articles with a swamp of words measuring in inches. But this is different. I kept slogging along, discovering new things, and seeing flashes of humor between the cracks. It was well worth fifteen minutes. There’s a bunch of interesting stuff there.

  17. Technological innovation is not something that can be ordered up.

    • David, I respectfully disagree. I am in manufacturing and have innovated many processes by order in the last 35 years. It can be done. The problem is how does the government order anything that is not an on the shelf commodity without being taken advantage of? See Covid vaccine. The answer is accountability and major government reforms. Start with mass firings before building back better.

      • Great! I will have a double order of fusion, with a side of $10,000 per MWh batteries made from common materials.

  18. Judith is, colloquially, half right. Decarbonising the world, in the sense of ceasing to use fossil fuels, is a technology problem. Part of the solution will be to replace fossil fuels with zero-emission electricity, now called clean or green. We can even figure out the minimum quantity that will require, based on precedents where such substitution has proved feasible.

    Making that clean electricity is not the problem. The solution has been in common use for some 60 years; nuclear energy. Unpopular perhaps, but it does the job. The popular alternatives, solar and wind, will prove unviable once they hit around the 70% mark and lose their fossil fuel backup.

    What we do not know is how to switch every application of fossil fuels to using electrical energy. Transportation is easy, at least for personal vehicles. Heat is easy. But that’s it. Where fossil fuels supply chemicals as much as energy it will be tougher. Fertilisers, explosives, plastics – the list is long. Many of these simply did not exist before oil and gas became common commercial products. Despite the usual optimistic commentary hardly any progress has been made to date in replacing them with electricity. These will be very hard nuts to crack.

    The best news a trusted climate scientist could give us is that we aren’t about to be destroyed by calamitous climate change, that there’s no need to panic, there’s still plenty of time to solve, to adapt, to reconcile ourselves to a different future, maybe even to stop worrying. I guess they don’t give out research grants for that.
    .

    • Replacing Chemicals, using fossil fuels heretofore, are not a problem. The Germans certainly did this in WWII. And using biofuels instead for chemistry like fertilisers is a no brainer — DEFINITELY NOT a non-starter.

      • Replacing one material with another isn’t “a problem” unless you consider the cost of doing so. There is a reason certain materials are favored and that reason is cost!

      • Using non-fossil fuel chemicals is certainly possible. The issue is not the ability to do so, but the cost.
        Do you know how energy intensive it is to create ammonia from non-fossil fuel sources?
        Do you know how much ammonia is used just for growing food?
        I would bet money that you do not, because your statement about “no brainer” clearly does not encompass an understanding of the economic costs associated with non-fossil fuel chemicals.
        Nor is your statement about German chemical work in WW2 accurate. Germany DID NOT replace fossil fuel energy with something else.
        What is more accurate is that Germany created oil from coal when they were cut off from oil supplies, and this was done at enormous CO2 emissions as well as enormous cost.

  19. Michael Cunningham aka Faustino aka Genghis Cunn

    Australia’s emissions-reduction policies will cause great economic harm The recent fuel reservation and price-fixing diktats have already led to the cancellation of several major projects and will make Australia much less attractive to potential investors.

  20. Unfortunately, the key to lighting our energy future is still that famous box labeled “then a miracle happens”.

  21. Fantastic piece. I especially like the focus on the paradox of obsessing about climate impairing carbon reduction.

  22. The need for “laying the foundation for new energy systems” is spot on. In Australia we are just bolting on new unreliable, low inertia generation sources to a system not designed for them. A lot more engineering analysis and design is needed

  23. Sky News is regarded in Australia as “far right” by other MSM outlets, so despite Judith’s sensible comments, penetration of rational analysis will be shallow.

    We (in Aus) now have the spectacle of almost all Govts at both State and Federal level pounding on the coal-fired power stations and associated mine fuel suppliers to close down, to let renewabubbles take over, while simultaneously expropriating segments of mine production to supply the coal-fired stations at a price determined by said Govts.

    To showcase the ludicrousness of this, forward supply contracts of coal that have been destroyed by expropriation are compensated for from tax receipts by a formula that is not transparent. Heavy industrial users such as smelters are paid out of tax receipts to shut down periodically so that domestic lights may stay on. Large numbers of the general population do not yet actually believe this.

    • ianl – Do you i Australia have a vote? I ask in all seriously given the jiggery-pokery going on here in the US.

      If you do have an honest vote, why are so many in Australia not voting for rational people? If there are no rational people running, why isn’t someone forming a serious new party?

      Ultimately, it lies in the hands of the bulk of citizens to change things.

      • Yes, there is indeed voting.

        But no rational policy choice has been offered in opposition to AGW politics since 2013. The constant drip of MSM propaganda (controlled mostly now by the younger generation – most of whom are true believers, augmented by typical rebellion against the “boomer” generation) has been very effective.

        Then – we experienced a very dangerous bushfire season from El Nino drought-enforced tinder, with deaths, many homes lost and Xmas holiday family campers genuinely threatened with immolation. Some camping grounds were even evacuated by sea off beaches as the surrounding bush was on fire.

        Then – we experienced very heavy, widespread flooding, again with deaths and many homes lost.

        That this cycle is from ENSO (and historically repeated dozens of times) made no impact on the fear. Anthropogenic Climate Change it must be, since the fear and guilt must be assuaged; the risk must be expunged. Politicians and cynical academics simply cherry pick the votes from this …

      • ianl – It is my understanding that in Australia, one can’t clear land as a fire break. Here in the US, forests are mismanaged, exacerbating the odds of a fire starting and when started amplifies the damage. Then the Climate Doomers turn around and blame it on “climate change.”

      • jim2

        I managed to watch Sky News last night (Aus time) when Judith was on interview.

        Exactly as I said – in fact so exact I suspect the backroom media bimbos read here. While Judith was on camera, the backroom monkeys that control the video flow over the audio ran a whole series of scary bushfire, flood and cyclone video clips – essentially mocking Judith and the Sky News interviewer with scary apocalyptics. These bimbos do this all the time. It seems that the talking head interviewers (all of them, actually) cannot prevent this mockery as it’s station “balance” policy.

        What hope against that constant barrage of propaganda ?

      • ianl,
        You have been Outfoxxed!
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outfoxed
        All your favorite tricks and tips on how to distort broadcast media were perfected by Mr. Murdoch.
        Includes favorites like:
        “Some people are saying…”
        “Do your own research…”
        “The triple scrolling chon graphics blasting out counterfactuals.”

        They all do it now, except C-SPAN.

      • jacksmith4tx

        Outfoxed ? After *predicting* the exact response ?

        Perhaps you think cause follows effect ?

        Such silly sarcasm.

  24. “Rapid technological innovation”

    Dang, how come none of us practicing real engineering for the last many decades never thought of “rapid” innovation….

    Those of us trained in “Electrical Engineering” have been fettered by Ohm’s Law for decades now….

    If only someone could explain to us how to “rapidly” “innovate” around Ohm’s Law we could easily send “free” electrons everywhere on the planet without any “resistance” to cause them to lose their potential energy,,,,,

    One cannot just conjure up “Innovation” on a whim…

    Perhaps if the gubermint just “Ordered” everyone to “Think More” about “innovation” all the conundrums presented by the real world would just melt away…

    I propose we simply add 20 IQ points to everyone’s IQ score to help us figure out how to fix this “alleged” climate crisis faster…..

    Or, as a equally reasonable proposal let’s just own up to the fact that the “Climate Science Community” (while well intentioned) has made a complete mess of this all and they should just shut up and slink away and leave the rest of us alone…

    • Yep. Most excellent, Kevin.

      “Rapid technological innovation” is a three-word Oxymoron if ever I saw one.

      I’m still waiting on someone to determine the time span of the Supply Curve/Logistic Function for this ongoing analysis-free, FUBB debacle.

  25. Unbelievable.
    Simply unbelievable.
    I have just read a collection of words from numerous unqualified but self-appointed energy experts picking winners from a range of technologies from proven to comic book level unreality.
    It is trendy, fashionable, woke, to express ones cherished beliefs with earnestness designed to attract popularity votes on social media. But …..
    If you like down with dogs, you stand up with fleas. You can hope that by superior personal conduct you will avoid your first flea, while in a critical examination of reality you are already infested – but so numbed by the anaesthesia of approved public opinion that you cannot feel the itch.
    Think of this. Covid 19. Results of past national epidemic managements are becoming available. Hopefully some will be unadulterated by vested interests. The more the data, the more obvious by that the puny remediating Hand of Man was next to useless in death reduction. The pandemic ruled, not Man the Scientist or Man the Curer. A related observation is that some exploiters got filthy rich while innocents died. Is this an outcome that decent people can neglect?
    Same with this climate change madness. Some exploiters are now filthy rich, while whole nations are being pressured to not expand into fossil fuels because they would threaten wealth taking by the exploiters.
    While it has been interesting to follow the social trends in scientific topics like Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, such topics are largely irrelevant. If they had been important, acceptable tight values would be known by now. A big part of climate change discussion is either spreading or denying uncertainty. More fruitful would be to prove it real.
    In summary, there is no credible reason why a country like my Australia should not discard its pretend wisdom leading to seriously destructive (but unsupportable and unjustified) energy policy and do what history has shown to be the best tested path to future energy with constraints peculiar to this country. That is simply to return to pre-2015 designs, dismiss the bulk of falsely-named “renewables” and power ahead with hydrocarbon fuels that for decades gave us the most reliable, lowest cost electricity among nations. This historic, efficient solution came from professional engineers, not from ignorant politicians or disturbed malcontents with minds addled by drugs masquerading as the green way of the future.
    Realism rules, OK. Geoff S

  26. Yes,.without efficient energy , economic stagnation.

    And as Ross Mckitrick argued, calculations behind the social cost of carbon need to reflect empirical evidence about low climate sensitivity . He also observed that social advancement in the 20th century has depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable energy.

  27. Pingback: The Safe Climate Of 1906 – Newsfeed Hasslefree Allsort

  28. Four years later, when the New Yorker profiled Impossible, Pat predicted his company would “take a double-digit portion of the beef market” by 2024 before sending it into a “death spiral.” Next he would target “the pork industry and the chicken industry and say, ‘You’re next!’ and they’ll go bankrupt even faster.”

    But Big Meat is still alive and well. After Beyond went public in 2019—at the time the most successful major initial public offering since the 2008 financial crisis—competitors rushed into the space, followed by a categorywide pandemic surge. Since then the industry has plunged. Supermarket sales of refrigerated plant-based meat plummeted 14% by volume for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 4, according to retail data company IRI. Orders of plant-based burgers at restaurants and other food-service outlets for the 12 months ended in November were down 9% from three years earlier, according to market researcher NPD Group.

    Beyond lost sales in almost every channel last quarter. Over the past year it laid off more than 20% of its workforce, lost more than half of its C-suite and halted projects including vegan hot dogs and the next alt-protein frontier of cell-cultured meat, according to people with knowledge of the matter,

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2023-01-19/beyond-meat-bynd-impossible-foods-burgers-are-just-another-food-fad

  29. We have now had decades of climate alarmism and our politicians have finally got the memo, thanks to a variety of activists with a variety of agendas. We don’t like the direction of travel, which is Net Zero, a.k.a. economic destruction for ordinary people and unbelievable wealth for the manipulators.
    Is that a fair summary of the situation?
    How much of this stuff is justified by the science? We are told that we must endure Net Zero to save the planet and legislation will force through whatever it takes to achieve the required decarbonisation. (a)
    If this stuff is not justified by the science, and we are sure about that, then we need some very convincing proof PDQ. (b)
    If it is justified by the science (a) then we get Net Zero anyway and need to redouble our efforts to find some technology that will keep the lights on. Which is more or less what JC is proposing. To be fair, I think JC would prefer these steps to be sequential, but how can the process be stalled to provide more time? I don’t think that it can.
    In my view, (a) and (b) are crucial. Other than common sense suddenly appearing and governments backing down, we are heading for disaster with trillions being wasted on wind turbines and other unsuitable initiatives. (b) is the only game changer and even that is most unlikely.
    It is possible that (b) could buy some time or slow drastic decisions. It would probably be conditional with absolute proof required very quickly. Perhaps (b) could buy the time that JC needs?
    I think that this is a simplified description of our position. I would welcome being proved wrong. If it is about right, then as a micro sample of the scientific community could we deliver on (b)?

  30. > The Russian war on Ukraine provides a stark conflict between net-zero emissions goals versus immediate needs for abundant, reliable and secure energy.

    Yes, the world indeed needs cheap gas.

    Oh, wait.

  31. UK-Weather Lass

    Perhaps history can also help us …

    An extraordinary coincidence, just the way Nature plays her game, or an inconvenient truth? January 21, 2023 marked the closest New Moon to Earth since the year 1030. As this article from WUWT in October 2012 advises 950 to 1050 was a part of the MWP. Should we be paying more attention to an event which will not occur again until 2368?

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/17/new-paper-confirms-the-climate-was-warmer-1000-years-ago/

    I should add that it has been pretty cold in my part of the world throughout 2023 thus far …

    • WUWT remains as fine a place to observe the interaction of proximity and lunacy as the last time the Year of the Rabbit came round.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/20/on-the-plus-side-theres-no-reason-for-william-m-connolley-to-comment-here-anymore/

    • Q ” Should we be paying more attention–“, yes definitely.
      Q “–an event which will not occur again until 2368?” I would think so….
      Year 1100 – MWP peak = Eddy cycle peak = turning point.
      2368 would be approaching Eddy root, similar to LIA, and earlier Dark Age Cold Period at 890 yrs earlier, and-, and the 4K2 event, and–. That cycle is traceable for the past 8 millennia.
      It is always the New Moon that triggers abrupt change (abrupt-as in just a few hours), but it always had help from mainly Jupiter. Up to a century ago it has always been like that, ie no different from earlier times.
      We are now heading to the next Eddy peak, a turning point, but this time life is highly leveraged, relying heavily on fossil fuels and an equally critical large electrical grid. We need to pay great attention.
      We waste earth’s natural resources as if there is no tomorrow (perhaps there may not be; it seems we/us also have built-in obsolescence, lemmings style) when we may wish to find those resource when we would need them most.

      • “ We waste earth’s natural resources as if there is no tomorrow ” – such pathetic Neo-puritan sophistry! Answer “Compared to what?” Coherently, abd onlupy then dipo I withdraw my counter-charge.

      • Orson: all you have to do is look around you.

        Inbuilt obsolescence in the name of increased productivity:
        a) a change from glass to plastics and back to glass, all require large amount of material and energy; and no proper recycling yet
        b) mountains of scrap white goods that function for only a couple of years. A waste of material, shipping cost, and energy for all. Plus waste of human effort.
        One may argue ‘those are all extra jobs for people’ Yes but that is a pharaonic concept, sacrificing the many for the vanity of the few who cannot mentally get out of the dark ages. Years ago a labour study proposed a three day week and early retirement with no degradation of lifestyle, because quality progress permitted it. We now seem to have the reverse.
        c) personal transport. Forty years ago mine was fast economical affordable and durable. In spite of advances in engine quality and performance controls, in my view (as an engineer who introduced electronic testing with the arrival of the transistor) what I see is gaudy hungry white elephants whose performance in engineering terms is lacking, just a status symbol on wheels, plus the electronic gadgetry and deceptions (in that we are good).
        I won’t discuss other specific fields but the waste is enormous.

  32. I advise those who might be prompted to explore nuclear alternatives to study the promise and progress of Thorium molten salt reactors. Go find the Thorium Energy Alliance. Further, Thorcon and the Indonesian government are in the middle of a cooperative step-by-step implementation of a modular reactor industrial scale construction. The Chinese version is supposedly their own proof-of-concept, based on the Oak Ridge prototype. I suspect the next version will see high production levels.

  33. Well, we need renewables.

    We do not need a 100% renewables though…

  34. Wonderful, Judith, thank you!
    Mind you, these reports are neglecting the impact of the increased burden on the electrical grid supply, already compromised by shutting down fossil fuel generating plants, and already made less reliable by the reliance on wind and solar generation, a grid inherently fragile because of susceptibility to hostile actors, internal and abroad.

    Now I have no objection to EVs per se, so long as they remain expensive and unsubsidized. Pro-choice in everything, don’t you know. And they’re certainly fun to drive, as long as they get charged up at home. But the idea that reducing the human contribution to atmospheric CO2 will do anything at all to alter the choices the earth makes for its climate is preposterous and outrageous, based on the logical fallacy “Argumentum ad ignorantium” – We can’t think of anything else, so it must be…
    The Daily Telegraph (January 18):
    According to data from motoring body the RAC, the price of charging up an electric car at a public point has surged almost 60pc in the last eight months.
    Rapid charging points, often used by motorists who do not want to wait around for a battery top up, are as much as £10 more expensive than filling up a car with petrol.
    The Daily Telegraph (January 19):
    Driving home for Christmas is rarely a pleasant experience but electric car owners had a worse time than most. Some drivers report queues lasting hours, while videos on social media show lines of stationary Teslas waiting in the rain. At peak times, the charging network starts to creak alarmingly . . .
    Even if you count older, accident-prone chargers, the Government has its hands full with installation targets. By 2030, Britain is meant to have 300,000 charge points. This is almost ten times the current number, and would mean creating more than 3,000 chargers a month for seven years. Just 923 were installed last month.
    Barbie says “Central planning is hard.” 😁
    But it should have been easy enough to see that heaping additional pressure on electric grids already under pressure from decarbonization was . . . unwise.
    Net Zero Watch (January 19):
    The [German] Federal Network Agency is planning to ration the power supply to heat pumps and EV charging stations in order to protect the distribution grids from collapse. Charging times of three hours to charge electric cars will be allowed so that they can cover a distance of 50 kilometers.
    Electric cars, heat pumps and private solar systems are booming. This is pushing the power grids in cities and communities to their limits.
    An expert quoted by the “FAZ” warns that the local power grids are in danger of becoming the bottleneck for the energy transition. According to estimates, expanding it would cost a three-digit billion amount.

    Teething troubles, obviously. Nothing to worry about. All is well.😇

    Eventually, this medieval devotion to absurdity must pass and we will – most of us – acknowledge that:
    The questions are:
    1. whether CO2 can initiate temperature reversals
    -Well, it never has yet.
    2. whether we humans are theoretically and, especially, practically capable of modifying the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by any significant amount.
    -Judging by the uninterrupted rise in CO2 during the Great Depression 1929-1931[30% drop in output], that would be no. And of course Arizona State University climate scientist Randall Cerveny, unaware of that, expressed his disappointment that “We had had some hopes that, with last year’s COVID scenario, perhaps the lack of travel and the lack of industry [-10% drop in output] might act as a little bit of a brake. But what we’re seeing is, frankly, it has not.”
    So my tentative answers are no, and no. There is no countervailing evidence, yet. As Klaus-Ekhart Puls said, “Scientifically it is sheer absurdity to think we can get a nice climate by turning a CO2 adjustment knob. Many confuse environmental protection with climate protection. it’s impossible to protect the climate, but we can protect the environment and our drinking water. On the debate concerning alternative energies, which is sensible, it is often driven by the irrational climate debate. One has nothing to do with the other.”

  35. Anonymous Retired Physicist

    It is truly a sad reflection on education in the last few decades that so many politicians, academics and even research scientists have been utterly fooled by what is nothing but fictitious, fiddled physics supposedly proving that water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane can, because of their radiating properties, raise the global mean surface temperature. The late Canadian Professor Tim Ball (whom I met) called it the biggest scam in history in his TV interviews and books on Amazon. A retired physicist became ashamed of himself for having taught such false, unsupported “science” as you can read at the foot of the Home page on my website http://climate-change-theory.com. Why would you continue denying the laws of long-established physics which can be used to explain why these gases cool us, water vapour by a few degrees but carbon dioxide and methane by less than 0.1 degree?

    Surely you don’t believe the climatology claims that water vapour does most of “33 degrees” of warming at average concentration! If it did, then how much warming do you believe it would do in a rain forest where the concentration may well be three times as great? It is water vapour in humid Singapore that caps the maximum daily temperature such that it very rarely exceeds 33°C any day of the year. My study of real-world data confirmed such cooling and the valid physics in my 2013 paper Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures explains how it is the result of well-known laws of physics.

    It is now over a decade since Professor Claes Johnson and I (in my peer-reviewed 2012 paper Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics) explained why radiation from the above gases to a warmer surface does not, and cannot raise the surface temperature. To do so would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics because there is no other process interacting simultaneously with such radiation. Thus climatologists are wrong in excusing the violation based on “net” effects of various processes. They are also wrong in using the Stefan-Boltzmann Law in physics for the sum of solar and atmospheric radiation because that law only ever applies for a single source. As physicists have known since the 1870’s, it is gravity which establishes the observed temperature gradient in all planetary tropospheres, not the so-called “radiative forcing” invented by climatologists.

    I expect physicists in particular to pay due diligence and look into what I have written in several papers linked from the above website, and I may follow up with FOI requests and possible official accusations or court proceedings.

    Neither the IPCC nor the CSIRO can produce correct physics or any evidence supporting their claims. Temperature data (such as on my websites) shows net cooling since the peak in 1998. I predict that the whole scam will be defeated by 2025 and that there will be huge compensation payouts claimed by companies throughout the world. Truth will prevail.

  36. A bad idea, poorly executed …

    The steel tower, which once stood hundreds of feet tall, was buckled in half, and the turbine blades, whose rotation took the machine higher than the Statue of Liberty, were splayed across the wheat field below. The turbine, made by General Electric Co., had been in operation less than a year. “It fell pretty much right on top of itself,” Willey says.

    Another GE turbine of the same model collapsed in Colorado a few days later. That wind farm’s owner-operator, NextEra Energy Inc., later attributed it to a blade flaw and said it and GE had taken steps to prevent future mishaps. A spokesperson for GE declined to say what went wrong in both cases in a statement to Bloomberg.

    The instances are part of a rash of recent wind turbine malfunctions across the US and Europe, ranging from failures of key components to full collapses. Some industry veterans say they’re happening more often, even if the events are occurring at only a small fraction of installed machines. The problems have added hundreds of millions of dollars in costs for the three largest Western turbine makers, GE, Vestas Wind Systems and Siemens Energy’s Siemens Gamesa unit; and they could result in more expensive insurance policies—a potential setback for the push to abandon fossil fuels and fight climate change.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-23/wind-turbine-collapses-punctuate-green-power-growing-pains

  37. Yet another bad idea.

    As California rapidly boosts sales of electric cars and trucks over the next decade, the answer to a critical question remains uncertain: Will there be enough electricity to power them?

    State officials claim that the 12.5 million electric vehicles expected on California’s roads in 2035 will not strain the grid. But their confidence that the state can avoid brownouts relies on a best-case — some say unrealistic — scenario: massive and rapid construction of offshore wind and solar farms, and drivers charging their cars in off-peak hours.

    Under a groundbreaking new state regulation, 35% of new 2026 car models sold in California must be zero-emissions, ramping up to 100% in 2035. Powering the vehicles means the state must triple the amount of electricity produced and deploy new solar and wind energy at almost five times the pace of the past decade. 

    https://calmatters.org/environment/2023/01/california-electric-cars-grid/

    • Yes indeed. And from one Jim to another, you’re not alone, brother:
      “Last month, Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission voted 4-1 to adopt California regulations that will begin restricting the sale of gasoline-powered motor vehicles in Oregon, starting in 2026.

      By the end of that year, automobile manufacturers must deliver and offer for sale electric vehicles (EVs) totaling at least 35% of their overall vehicle sales in Oregon. By 2035, that number will rise to 100%, resulting in a ban on vehicles powered by internal combustion engines (ICE).

      Although several Commissioners admitted that the 100% requirement will be unpopular, DEQ staff reminded them that since Oregon began outsourcing its decision-making on tailpipe standards to California in 2005, Oregon policy makers no longer have any discretion to think for themselves. After a brief discussion, the EQC meekly adopted California regulations exactly as approved in Sacramento.”

      Are we doomed to follow California over the cliff? Because we think they’re so smart?

  38. Oops!

    Amid a series of unexplained whale deaths off the northeastern coast of the U.S., a conservation group quietly alerted Senate Democrats that the development of offshore wind farms might need to “cease” to protect an endangered species of whales, according to a letter exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
    The letter was sent to all 50 Senate Democrats by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), a group that advocates for endangered species, on Dec. 20.
    “Without conservation measures to protect right whales from entanglements … all offshore wind development along the Atlantic seaboard will have to cease operation in order for NOAA Fisheries to meet its obligations … to ensure that the right whale population does not decline even further towards extinction,” the CBD wrote.

    https://dailycaller.com/2023/01/22/whale-deaths-enviros-alarm-offshore-wind/

    • There hasn’t been a single whale death tied to offshore wind farm surveying. The very short sound pulses they use are 1/100 as loud as what the oil and gas industry has been using for decades. I’m not saying there will be zero impact from offshore wind farms but I haven’t heard of any deaths from the hundreds of existing offshore wind farms in Europe, Japan or China.
      But if you are looking for places where humans are really screwing up the ocean environment I think offshore wind is weak tea.
      Just wait till you see the damage being done to vast areas of sea floor by marine mining. (https://www.upi.com/Voices/2023/01/17/seabed-mining-energy-marine-life/6491673969743/) Environmental effects? Who cares.
      How about the thousands of filthy, disease spewing ocean aquafarms that create dead zones and poison and kill dozens of marine species? Where’s the outrage?

      • Marine mining is kind of like a forest fire. The mining occurs, then wildlife repopulates the area. Weak tea there, indeed!

        And what percent of habitat is occupied by aquafarms? Not much at all, I’m guessing.

      • Joe - the non climate scientist

        jacksmith4tx | January 23, 2023 at 11:22 am | Reply

        Jack in response to your comment above – The noise from an oil gas well only occurs during the drilling phase while the noise from wind turbines continues forever, or the life of the wind turbine.

        Not sure the 1/100 noise level is relevent. A) the noise is constant and B) the decible level is far less an issue than the frequency.

        Its the frequency of the noise that is a problem for humans and other animals. One of the claims for windmills is that the land remains fully usable underneath beacuse the windmill only occupies the land on which the tower is build, while disregarding the loss in productivity under the surrounding perimeter.

        As a side note, the noise frequency of the windmill attracts insects whihc then get killed in the wind turbine blades which then attract the insect predator birds which get killed which then attract the larger birds which also get killed.

      • Deep sea mining is just like a forest fire followed by a thick blanket of mud. Some of the first deep sea mining was off the coast of Chile in 1989 and the area still hasn’t recovered but who knows if they had tried to do a little restoration.
        Jan. 18, 2023
        https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/science-environment/2323077-plans-for-deep-seabed-mining-pit-renewable-energy-demand-against-ocean-life-in-a-largely-unexplored-frontier
        Reality: There are billions of dollars of rare metals and minerals mostly in international waters so we are going to do this environmental damage notwithstanding.

      • Joe,
        “high resolution geophysical survey systems used for wind power surveys generate sound in short bursts of milliseconds, at longer intervals around 15 seconds, in narrow beams of sound that affect much smaller areas in the ocean than air guns”
        January 19, 2023
        https://www.nationalfisherman.com/mid-atlantic/federal-regulators-see-no-tie-between-whale-deaths-and-offshore-wind-development

      • Joe - the non climate scientist

        jacksmith4tx | January 23, 2023 at 12:55 pm |
        Joe,
        “high resolution geophysical survey systems used for wind power surveys generate sound in short bursts of milliseconds, at longer intervals around 15 seconds, in narrow beams of sound that affect much smaller areas in the ocean than air guns”
        January 19, 2023
        https://www.nationalfisherman.com/mid-atlantic/federal-regulators-see-no-tie-between-whale-deaths-and-offshore-wind-development

        Jack – you are still trying to compare apples with cheries

        Siesmic studies you describe last for a few hours to days.
        Wind noise from turbines are continuous as long as the wind is blowing

        Secondly you fail to address the wavelength frequency which different animals at different frequencies.

      • Joe,
        Do you have any links to stories documenting actual deaths caused by this low frequency sound? I have been following this for years and I haven’t seen one documented death of any marine life caused by this infrasound (<20 Hz). There are hundreds of stories about how fishing gear and ship strikes have killed whales and how low frequency ship engines can disorient marine life. I have no doubt offshore wind farms cause stress on sea life but on balance probably less than the tens of thousands of offshore drilling and production rigs. Ship strikes and fishing gear are where we need to focus our attention.

        We are the planets Apex Predator so if we screw it up it's on us.

      • Jack, Williard just makes stuff up as he goes along, especially about others. If he makes things up about people he doesn’t know, should we believe anything he says? (No, we shouldn’t.)

        After all, it was he who made up “climate ball.” That in and of itself is just a disingenuous way to denigrate the climate debate. From that “climate ball” zero as his muddy foundation, it’s just propaganda all the way down from there.

      • Jack, scientists haven’t been back to the Chilean site since 2015. Are they experts at mental remote viewing? Why haven’t they be back? Not finding anything more than that. You and I both know it will recover in time. There is no reason it wouldn’t.

      • It’s hard to say how WilLard finds these gems of bias and activism.

        TCD is a community of content, commerce, and climate experts making the cooler future come to life. We’re also real everyday people who care about the planet and who want to make eco-friendly shopping simple and easy for ourselves and for you. Learn more about our product mission here.

        And it features articles such as “MODEL SHARES HACK FOR GETTING THE SAME MAKEUP LOOK WITH WAY LESS CONCEALER: ‘I THINK I NEED TO TRY THIS’”

        No doubt a shoe in for the Pulitzer prize for bias.

  39. Just when you think rational thinking will eventually prevail …

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(23)00090-9/fulltext?dgcid=raven_jbs_etoc_email

    The Lancet says: One Health: a call for ecological equity.

    Equity … meaning humans, animals and plants.

    Now maybe that isn’t such a bad idea. I think we should pay attention to plant life on this planet, and starting today I’m going to advocate for MORE CO2, not LESS.

    • The Lancet is a medical science journal. So I think I’ll write a letter to the boys and girls there and suggest that, in the spirit of ecological equity, we cease all production of medicines: vaccines, treatments, pain killers, etc. And, that we stop all medical research of any sort. After all, Western Medicine (besides being just another symbol of decadent white supremacy) is unfairly used to extend/comfort the life of humans, all at the equitable expense of the animal and plant life forms.

      And … to address the inequities of the past, our last research and development should be to enhance certain viruses to cull the destructive human race. This will be a form of just reparations. Once those viruses are let loose upon humanity, The Lancet may disband itself as it will be of no further use.

      Maybe I can get Greta to co-sign it?

  40. The CO2 content in earth’s atmosphere is very small to consider CO2 as the earth’s climate danger.

    Actually, CO2 does nothing to earth’s climate.

    https://www.cristos-vournas.com

    • Yes indeed, Christos. I wrote a reply to the London Economist Climate issue https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2023/01/23/countries-need-to-pull-more-carbon-dioxide-out-of-the-air which may not see the light of day:

      Addressing the consequences of climate change is laudable and appropriate. We have been doing that for the last 100,000 years, and this is no time to stop. And giving a helping hand to those less fortunate than we is great. But not because we are guilty of being a contributing cause to climate change and they are not.

      Climate change has been going on for 550 million years, in our absence, including 4 Ice Ages, of which our current is still ongoing. None of those Ice Ages, in or out, was preceded by a CO2 change. In the last million years of our current Ice Age, there have been 8 glaciations and 8 interglacials, of which this last is still going on. None of them were preceded by a CO2 change. Indeed, in 550 million years there has never been a temperature reversal preceded by CO2 change.

      Not only did we humans not have a hand in any of those reversals, but neither did CO2. So “climate mitigation” is not a reasonable goal since we have no reason to suppose that warming will continue and we must be prepared to deal with a cooling climate as well as a warming one. Previous interglacials have lasted not a lot more than 10,000 years, so we’re a bit past our due date, and should consider ourselves fortunate. 140,000 years ago, the Eemian, the world was about 2C warmer, the seas at least 6 meters higher, and humans and polar bears and corals were doing quite well.

      Crisis? Retreating a few miles from the seacoast will be annoying, but far preferable to watching New York and London get crushed under mile-thick slabs of ice as in the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) 20,000 years ago. And of course the emergence from the LGM was not preceded by CO2 change.

      Indeed, the natural experiments have been done:
      During the depression years 1929-1931, when human CO2 production declined 30%, CO2 continued its languid rise, with temperatures continuing to rise till 1941 when they began a slight decline to 1972, again with no change in the rate of CO2 rise despite WWII and post-war reconstruction. Thus the “Oncoming Ice Age!” scares in the early 70s (see Time and Newsweek and ScienceNews in the early ’70s).
      More recently, climatologist Randall Cerveny, unaware of the former, expressed disappointment that the 10% decline in 2020 production had no effect on atmospheric CO2. “We had had some hopes that, with last year’s COVID scenario, perhaps the lack of travel [and] the lack of industry might act as a little bit of a brake. But what we’re seeing is, frankly, it has not.”

      There are 9 major forcings for climate change, for which CO2 is, at this time at these levels, not a major factor. Not only is there no historical basis for CO2 control of climate, there is also no theoretical basis at this time. Arrhenius discovered the exponential decline of the GHG effect of CO2, and the calculations are now correct. 50% of the GHG effect of CO2 is in the first 20 ppm, and so the next doubling to 800 ppm will increase its GHG effect by less than 2%, in theory. Meanwhile, its beneficial effect on plant life increases arithmetically, making them grow bigger, and faster and resist drought. And then CO2 is virtually the only GHG in the stratosphere to relay IR out to space. So CO2 warms us and cools us and feeds us. We really should appreciate it more. An excellent review of climate science is by Javier Vinos, here: https://judithcurry.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Vinos-CPPF2022.pdf
      and https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/climate-of-the-past-present-and-future-javier-vin-s/1142044666?ean=9788412586718

      The important conclusions here are:
      1.CO2 at this time at these levels is not in control of climate change and
      2. We are not in control of CO2.

      Wind and solar are intermittent and unreliable and require reliable backup which at the moment means fossil fuel since nuclear is understandably unpopular, and hydrogen should be for much the same reason. Nor should we neglect the impact of the increased burden on the electrical grid supply imposed by Electronic Vehicles, a grid already compromised by shutting down fossil fuel generating plants, already made less reliable by the reliance on wind and solar generation, a grid inherently fragile because of susceptibility to hostile actors, internal and abroad (EMP attack, anyone?). It surely makes no sense to subsidize those vehicles.

      We do not need to replicate Australia’s experiment, although California seems happy to do so. Fossil fuel use is individualized and fungible, unlike the electric grid. We have enough for several hundred years, enough time for good substitutes to be devised. Nuclear power seems like a much more desirable alternative, if indeed one is desired. Or perhaps we could take on a more benign project – like decreasing the amount of water vapor and controlling the formation and distribution of clouds.

  41. The hidden cost of “green” energy.

    Millions of people in the United Kingdom will be offered discounts on bills by the National Grid if they cut back their electricity usage for one hour on Monday (January 23) evening. 

    Reduction in power usage has been asked to prevent blackouts on one of the coldest days of the year. Besides, concerns were also raised over warnings that the energy supplies will be “tighter” in the coming days than usual. 

    A new scheme, called the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS), has been activated by the National Grid, which is a British multinational electricity and gas utility company. The scheme turned out to be one of the strategies to help prevent prolonged power cuts during the winter season. 

    https://www.wionews.com/world/uk-national-grid-offers-to-pay-customers-if-they-use-less-power-to-prevent-blackouts-amid-cold-snap-555157

  42. Technology can have a downside.

    My latest. Happy to discuss:

    Evidence says offshore wind development is killing lots of whales
    By David Wojick
    https://www.cfact.org/2023/01/23/evidence-says-offshore-wind-development-is-killing-lots-of-whales/

    The beginning: “The recent deaths of seven whales off New Jersey, mostly humpbacks, got a lot of attention. The federal NOAA Fisheries agency is responsible for whales. An outrageous statement by their spokesperson got me to do some research on humpback whale deaths.

    The results are appalling. The evidence seems clear that offshore wind development is killing whales by the hundreds.”

    Much more in the article including links to key data.

    • Thanks, David. I lived on Long Beach Island, which is a barrier island off Long Island, NY for about 18 years. We had a whale beached sometime around 2017. A very sad thing to behold. At the time no one mentioned the mapping for the proposed wind farms. I think you may be correct, as the numbers are incredibly high.

      What’s also sad is the hypocrisy of the environmental movement. They’ve actually done a 180 degree turn. Before it was creatures over corporations. Now the opposite. No doubt contributions to their coffers have had an influence.

  43. Progressives want to rule your world. (But the rules probably won’t apply to them)

    “If you have a gas stove (like I do) or don’t, you really shouldn’t get into your feels about it,” Marcotte wrote on Twitter. “Your moral worth as a person has no relation to it. That’s why we need thoughtful regulation, so these questions can be systematic and not about messy individual morality.”

    That’s convenient, given that apparently — and here’s a statistic you never knew you needed — “more than two-thirds” of the nation’s gas-stove-owning households are situated in states that Joe Biden won. But more to the point, this is an amazing thing for Marcotte to come out and admit. To her credit, the Salon writer is being much more open and honest about the point of centralized technocratic governance — one of the core premises of progressivism — than many of her peers. Bureaucratic rule, as envisioned by American progressives, is at odds with individual moral agency; the two are, in important ways, fundamentally opposed to one another. It’s just rare to hear a proponent of that centralized bureaucratic state say so openly.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/amanda-marcotte-says-the-quiet-part-out-loud/

    • BREAKING NEWS: Scientists want to ruin conservatives lives by inventing induction cooking which is non-toxic and 85% more efficient than gas stoves.

      Maybe conservatives should focus on the deadly electromagnetic radiation that can alter their DNA and cause cancer. It must be true because I saw it on the internet.
      https://www.shieldyourbody.com/induction-cooktop-emf/

      • Should the government force people to use more efficient new technologies?

      • Rob,
        Of course not.

        Want to know a little secret? There aren’t enough electricians to install all those heat pumps and convert all those gas stoves to electric anyway.

        “Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that about 21 percent of electricians will hit retirement age in the next 10 years. The agency estimates that demand for electricians will grow by 7 percent over the same span and that between retirements and new demand, there will be nearly 80,000 job openings in the field every year. That estimate doesn’t account for all the incentives — rebates for solar panels, electrical panels, heat pumps, stoves, cars and clothes dryers — contained in the Inflation Reduction Act, nor does it account for the possibility that demand might soar if local governments keep pushing to electrify buildings.”

        https://www.canarymedia.com/articles/clean-energy-jobs/we-need-a-lot-more-electricians-if-were-going-to-electrify-everything

      • Curious George

        THE NEXT GENERATION OF INDUCTION
        Induction stoves with lithium-ion batteries also make it possible to boil water even faster. Impulse, one startup working on a new model, says that it can boil water in 40 seconds, 10 times faster than a high-end gas stove.
        https://www.fastcompany.com/90838269/should-you-replace-your-gas-stove-with-induction-cooktop-heres-what-to-know
        :-)

      • Jack. This whole idea of banning gas stoves is so ridiculous. Anyone who suggests it is a flat-out id EE ot. Yes the gas flame puts out a small amount of pollution. But that pales in comparison to what the cooking food puts out. It doesn’t matter what heat source you use, the cooking food “pollutes” hundreds times more than the flame. This “progressive” bee ess is so hard to believe. How can anyone with an IQ above 70 believe it?

      • I know where I live a KWh of gas is cheaper than a KWh of electricity. Also, when comparing the efficiency of gas vs electric, does it account for the energy spent (and wasted) producing the gas or electricity. I’m thinking it does not.

        As electricity costs are pushed higher and higher by the Climate Doomer “green” energy schemes, gas will become more and more the better deal.

      • Jim2,
        Smart people use hood vents that exhaust outside. Gets rid of most of the problems with open flame cooking. No reason to make everyone retrofit their homes. If you are building new it’s already in the building codes.

        Speaking of food odors, here is something new that is aiming at a major source of emissions, food waste. It’s called Mill (from the same team that developed the Nest smart thermostat.)

        https://www.mill.com/

        https://www.axios.com/2023/01/18/food-waste-mill
        Americans waste about 30% of our food with landfills accounting for nearly 15% of human-related methane emissions. The average American household makes between 500 and 600 pounds of food waste a year. The agriculture industry is one of the major sources of GHG emissions and anything that could reduce emissions by 10%-15% would be huge.
        https://www.mill.com/
        https://www.axios.com/2023/01/18/food-waste-mill

        Great PR marketing, using this ‘residue’ to feed chickens which we in turn eat. How about making one that can make pet food out of my food waste? Have you seen the price of dog food!

      • Jim2,
        Well since I installed solar over ten years ago my cost is fixed. I have generated 105 MWh so far. I currently project a total of 200+ MWh by 2032 for a investment of $24k (not inflation adjusted). Since the central bankers of the world think the ‘natural’ rate of inflation is over 2% it guarantees everything is going to be more expensive in the future.
        PS: I’m not a good example of your ‘typical’ solar consumer since my system ranks in the top 5% of all systems @ http://www.pvoutput.org/

      • You no doubt spent some of MY money on YOUR solar installation.

      • Jim2, It’s worse than that. I didn’t subtract the $8k in tax rebates or the $6,000.00 grand prize I won as the Biggest Energy Saver in Texas contest two years in a roll back in 2013-2014. My electricity is almost free. :)

      • Party on, Jack.

    • Hey Jim2,
      Since you delight in throwing shade on renewable energy I thought you would enjoy this story. Be sure to spread it to all your favorite anti-renewable alt-right buddies.

      “Solar assets are underperforming by 8%, kWh Analytics reports
      The 2022 Solar Generation Index report showed a continued trend of solar asset performance falling below estimates.

      On average, projects constructed after 2015 have generated 7-13% less electricity than P50 production estimates.”

      https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2022/12/06/solar-assets-are-underperforming-by-8-kwh-analytics-reports/

      • My favorite “shade” target is the idea we need “green” energy in the first place. It’s just making everything more expensive. I have better things to do with my money than pay the hidden “green” tax.

  44. “The best use of the next three decades is to continue to develop and test a range of options for energy production, storage, transmission and other technologies that support goals of reliable, low-cost energy while lessening environmental impacts and carbon emissions.”

    Storage is for unreliables, and it raises the energy cost.
    High energy density power generation is fundamental to lowered environmental impacts, from resource use, to waste and pollution, and to land use and wildlife impacts. That can currently only be achieved when completely decoupled from carbon emission reductions.

  45. Let’s have a big round of applause for the NIMBYs, eco not sees, and Climate Doomers.

    Gasoline prices in the US are spiking earlier than usual this year, raising concerns that meager inventories and heavy refinery maintenance will combine to cause another costly summer at the pump.

    Gasoline averaged $3.446 a gallon on Monday, the highest ever for this time of year, according to auto club AAA. The fuel has risen for 13 straight days, the longest streak of gains since prices hit a record in June.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-24/gasoline-prices-are-spiking-early-in-bad-omen-for-driving-season

    Team Biden displayed some rare honesty Thursday, essentially admitting the prez is fine with high gasoline prices — he just doesn’t want them to hurt Democrats in the midterms.

    https://nypost.com/2022/10/16/biden-wants-high-gas-prices-he-just-doesnt-want-voters-to-notice/

  46. Judith,
    Excellent op-ed, but unfortunately it seems clear that the drivers of Net Zero are at least partly selfish economics. In particular: note the prevalence of alternative energy company board seats given to politicians who move the line forward on alternative energy subsidies.
    This is the F35 politico-economic model shifted to alternative energy and is a self-licking ice cream cone with the only loser, the public.

  47. thecliffclavenoffinance

    There is no climate problem
    There is no need for an energy transition
    The author believes there is an energy problem and an energy transition is needed. She never even tries to explain why she holds these beliefs. That means the author’s beliefs are based on feelings, not science or engineering. That’s called jumping to a false conclusion. The electric grids are not broken, so they do not need to be fixed. The money and labor hours wasted on such a project is money and labor hoirs no longer available for projects that actually benefit people.

    https://honestclimatescience.blogspot.com/

    • While the concept of Human Caused climate change and risks are subjective, our energy problem is not! We simply do not have enough naturally stored energy to allow everyone alive to attain
      a first world lifestyle for very long. The added pressure on the supply would quickly push the price of the most basic energy demands our of reach for most people.

  48. Google paying an brilliant profits from home $4500 to $6000 a week, this is amazing a year withinside the beyond I end up unemployed in a z20 terrible economy. Thanks Google every day for blessing the ones instructions and now it’s miles my duty to pay and share it with everyone ..
    proper right here i started … http://goldenworks12.blogspot.com

  49. Your op-ed does not consider the economic impacts of anthropogenic climate change due to GHG emissions. There is a trade-off and the debate has to be about mitigation versus adaption.

  50. One trillion down the green black hole, but that’s nowhere near enough to assuage the Climate Doomers! It’s a tremendous waste of money that could be spent on better, necessary things.

    For the first time, the world invested as much money into replacing fossil fuels as it spent on producing oil, gas and coal, according to an analysis from BloombergNEF.

    Global investments in the clean energy transition hit $1.1 trillion in 2022, roughly equal to the amount invested in fossil fuel production, according to the research firm’s “Energy Transition Investment Trends 2023” report.

    While the amount represents a 31% jump from 2021, it’s still just a fraction of what’s needed to slash greenhouse gas emissions and fight global warming. BNEF estimates annual investments in the transition must triple for the rest of this decade to give the world a shot at reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. 

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-26/global-clean-energy-investments-match-fossil-fuel-for-first-time

    • Michael Cunningham aka Faustino aka Genghis Cunn

      “… to give the world a shot …” The West is doing very well at shooting itself in the foot – or worse – it’s amazing to me as a former economic policy advisor that they can’t see that they are creating a bigger problem than warming could ever be. Here in Australia, the government is pursuing very damaging problems in several fields, to exacerbate the extreme climate policies.

      • Here in the US, I’m sure the 1.9 trillion covid spend contributed to this round of inflation. More generally, we borrow money from people around the world via bond sales. This additional money will create additional demand, thus putting upward pressure on prices. We talk a lot about how shortages of critical materials will thwart Climate Doomer schemes, but there is anther critical resource that will run short: money.

        Governments are trying to bring down inflation by raising interest rates to smother the economy. Spending more money on climate schemes has the opposite effect. There is at least one example of this and even if they don’t say it out loud as in this case, this problem will pop up elsewhere time and time again. The fact is, governments need to stop borrowing so much money and cut spending commensurately.

        Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt dismissed calls for tax cuts and pushed back against green energy subsidies, warning that “sound money must come first” as he argued that Brexit will drive UK economic growth.

        With no money available for giveaways, the chancellor also pushed back against US and European plans to subsidize green industry, which threaten to divert investment from the UK. 

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-27/hunt-claims-brexit-will-drive-growth-as-he-rules-out-uk-tax-cuts

      • Jim2, if Jeremy Hunt is relying on Brexit to bring in lots of money he obviously hasn’t been reading any of the recent reports on the effects of Brexit so far, i.e. everything so far has shown negative effects and losses. Maybe he believes in the tooth fairy in the same way that global warming deniers believe that the earth is cooling or that things won’t be that bad really (fingers crossed)!

  51. US Treasury Secretary Starve Shames Africans by telling them how dare you worry about feeding your kids when you can feed the world and be human sacrifices for the World’s Elite fantasy to feel good about themselves.

    https://images.axios.com/F9zyW13S–bi_aZo-m5wNT0QANw=/0x907:3024×2608/1920×1080/2023/01/25/1674621099508.None?w=1920

  52. NYC was already a crime ridden s-hole, but I guess it isn’t going down hill fast enough. This should do the trick.

    New York City’s largest fossil-fuel plant, which powers 20% of the city, will be replaced with offshore wind power. 

    Ravenswood Generating Station is the New York City fossil fuel plant that will become an offshore wind hub. It’s a 2,480-megawatt (MW) power plant in Long Island City, Queens, across from Roosevelt Island, and it’s the Big Apple’s largest power plant.

    Rise Light & Power, a New York based energy asset manager and developer that holds Ravenswood as its core asset, is submitting a proposal today, with support from community and state leaders, to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in response to the state’s offshore wind solicitation.

    https://electrek.co/2023/01/26/new-york-city-offshore-wind-power-us-first/

  53. The most interesting energy innovation I’ve heard of lately is the steel brick construction method for GE Hitachi’s BWRX-300 SMR. The ‘BWR’ stands for boiling water reactor. The ‘X’ is for tenth generation meaning that they are putting decades of experience to work. The ‘300’ is the mega watts. The steel bricks are supposed to be faster and simpler than using concrete with rebar. They apparently have customers lining up:

    https://www.steelbricks.co.uk/News.aspx

  54. The NuScale modular reactor design has gained final approval.

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its regulations to certify the NuScale standard design for a small modular reactor. Applicants or licensees intending to construct and operate a NuScale standard design may do so by referencing this design certification rule. The applicant for certification of the NuScale standard design is NuScale Power, LLC.

    https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/01/19/2023-00729/nuscale-small-modular-reactor-design-certification

    • The VOYGR-12 SMR plant can generate 924 MWe on just 0.05 square miles, compared to 94 square miles for wind and 17 square miles for solar. This makes it an ideal option for generating carbon-free power in locations with space constraints, such as retired coal plant sites. The VOYGR-12’s always-on capabilities also make it an attractive solution as an emergency power source. Following a catastrophic loss of infrastructure, a VOYGR-12 can power a mission critical facility micro-grid at 154 MWe for 12 years without new fuel.

      https://www.nuscalepower.com/en/products/voygr-smr-plants

    • I’m glad you are happy the government is spending $1.2 billion of your tax dollars on an unproven startup that we hope will be working in 5+ years. You may want to keep this link handy so you can figure out how much this will really cost: https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/calculator-cumulative/

      https://www.utilitydive.com/news/ares-acquisition-x-energy-smr-sec-investor-warning/641337/
      “Ares said it expects X-energy will yield about $2 billion in revenue from 2023 through 2027 under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program, or ARDP. Of that, about $1.2 billion would be from the federal government and the remainder “assumed to come from X-energy’s utility or other designated partner in the ARDP program,” Ares said.

      The Xe-100 will initially be entirely dependent on X-energy’s TRISO-X fuel for operations, Ares said. If it’s unable to access High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium, its ability to manufacture TRISO-X fuel will be adversely affected. Russia has been a significant global supplier of HALEU, but because of its invasion of Ukraine and resulting global sanctions, “we are highly dependent on the U.S. government for access to HALEU,” Ares said.”

      • Better than the 1 TRILLION wasted on wind and solar.

      • NuScale and its partners Fluor, UAMPS, and Energy Northwest are well ahead of its competitors in getting the very first SMR-based utility scale power plant up and running in the United States.

        This is largely because the NuScale team has been working at it longer than anyone else, and because their SMR design is the least technologically and programmatically ambitious among the several oncoming SMR designs.

        The single largest issue facing nuclear is the need to keep upfront capital costs under control. The high inflation our economy is now experiencing is having serious impacts on NuScale and its competitors in keeping their upfront capital costs under control.

        Cost control storm clouds are now on the horizon.

        Prior to 2022, NuScale’s target for nominal upfront capital cost was $5,000 per kw, and for fully burdened operating cost was $55 per megawatt hour.

        Fully-burdened operating cost has now risen to $89 per megawatt hour. I’ll guess that nominal capital cost is now above $6,500 per kw and possibly might be as high as $8,000 per kw.

        A portion of the cost increase for NuScale’s eastern Idaho plant is being attributed to the quickly rising costs of acquiring and installing the power transmission support infrastructure needed to handle the plant’s output.

        The same rising costs which are affecting new-build nuclear power are also affecting new-build wind and solar power, especially for the needed upgrades to the nation’s power transmission and distribution network.

        However, there is a big difference between how rising costs for nuclear are being viewed versus how rising costs for wind and solar are being viewed.

        Public policy decision makers and utility executives don’t particularly care what wind & solar costs. Government subsidies will flow regardless. But they do pay close attention to what nuclear costs, because any subsidies nuclear power gets in the near term will be transitory at best.

  55. Climate change is either catastrophic, mainly beneficial but adaption would be prudent or not a problem, regardless of future emissions. We have scientific evidence to support each scenario.

    Before we commit billions and our future to this lottery, should we not try to sort out which scenario has the highest probability of being realistic?

  56. Good renewables policies look OK:

    Highlights

    • Material production must expand to meet future power generation material needs

    • Geologic reserves of materials are sufficient to meet all projected future demand

    • The magnitude of material needs scales directly with wind and solar deployment

    • Emissions impacts of material production are non-negligible, but limited in magnitude

    https://twitter.com/curryja/status/1619138296361422848

    \o/

  57. I continue to find interest in the science of climate to the extent that it is not politicized, but the issue of mitigation policy concerning climate change has past the stage of seriously looking at the science and the uncertainties presented there.

    I do not find dishonesty to any extent in the climate science papers I read, but I do see incomplete analyses that can lead to weak and/or incorrect conclusions. I do see some promise of perhaps better understanding and deeper analysis regarding climate models with high sensitivities that appear capable of estimating the overall change in temperature during the historical period. There have been a few papers that go against trend and report how the apparent contradiction occurs and points to the inability of those models to correctly estimate the historical temperature record which in turn cast doubts on future temperature estimates.

    While I continue to find interest in what Dr. Curry writes here and judge it could provide valuable advice to policy makers, I feel those making the policy could either not be listening or understanding – or much more likely are of the mind of the current intelligentsia that basically believes that government must solve all problems like climate change has been presented to the public with little or no import of free enterprise and the market place.

    At this point in time policy makers can cherry pick the parts of science that appear to confirm their political agendas. Most often this is part of governments reacting to crises that are real or manufactured. I do continue to have hope for the input of science, ingenuity of humankind and their ability to adapt and what remains of a capitalist spirit to more freely attack problems like climate change as it is presented to the public. I do not, however, see major changes in the current intelligentsia thinking about these problems occurring any time soon.


  58. Financial challenges, including supply chain issues, rising interest rates, and inflation are threatening several East Coast projects seen as critical for wind power projects vital for the Biden administration to reach its near-term targets on clean energy.

    “We’re seeing unexpected and unprecedented macroeconomic challenges,” David Hardy, chief executive of the Americas for Danish power company Ørsted A/S, a company developing offshore wind projects between Rhode Island and Maryland, commented to The Wall Street Journal.

    The Danish company would be responsible for the development of about 5 gigawatts of offshore wind projects, at a time when the administration has set a target to develop 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, which would be enough to supply electricity to some 10 million homes.

    However, analysts are saying that target may be difficult at best to reach if current cost and supply chain issues continue.

    https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/wind-power-biden-administration-clean-energy/2023/01/01/id/1102613/

  59. Another good reason to use SMRs?

    Behind layers of security and a thick concrete wall, a team of welders work in shifts to fix the crippled Penly nuclear plant in northern France. Sweating under protective gear, they’re replacing cracked pipes in the emergency cooling system which protects against a reactor meltdown.

    Each weld takes at least three days to complete, with workers often on their knees or backs to reach for the correct angle. Even in radiation suits, health regulations limit work in that environment to a maximum 40 hours a year.

    The complicated procedures, replicated across sites this winter, have hampered the ability of Electricite de France SA to get its reactors back online after lengthy shutdowns.  

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2023-01-28/inside-edf-s-race-to-fix-france-s-nuclear-reactors

  60. Of course they don’t know how much extra this will cost or if it will actually save money, but it’s an interesting sounding idea …

    In summary, steel production accounts for 9% of global CO2 emissions and must be rapidly decarbonised to limit warming to 1.5 °C. 70% of existing iron and steel facilities rely on the extremely energy-intensive and emission-heavy BF-BOF route. Most of the current methods of decarbonising this sector rely on the phase-out of these BF-BOF plants and the implementation of lower carbon methods such as EAF and DRI plants. This will be extremely costly. This paper proposes another way to decarbonise the sector, namely by coupling a thermochemical carbon monoxide plant with a BF-BOF facility creating a closed carbon loop to produce steel. The existing BF-BOF technology will first be examined to determine the optimal coupling. The first-principal calculations of the sector coupling will then be proposed by exploring the mass and energy implications. Next, the expected emissions reduction and cost estimates of rolling out this coupling to UK BF-BOFs will be performed using techno-economic assessment. Finally, the superiority of this technology compared with existing decarbonisation solutions will be discussed. In conclusion, this paper aims to demonstrate the first principal calculations of coupling a thermochemical carbon dioxide splitting cycle with a steel production facility for cost-effective steel decarbonisation.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095965262300121X?via%3Dihub#bbib13

  61. UK-Weather Lass

    There are two kinds of losses of electric power – the momentary interupption where equipment recovers almost immediately and the loss whereby clocks need to be manually reset unless they are backed up by battery power. The latter can also be accompanied by automatic calls to vulnerable people warning them that there has been a power cut.

    I had a chance to ask my local MP about two outages in my area of the second kind in the last couple of weeks. I was staggered to find that my MP knew nothing abiut them but would get back to me as soon as able. My provider (who seems to know very little about anything apart from how many billions of pounds sterling profit they have made recently) denies the cuts happened but there are dozens of witnesses from multiple other providers to confirm otherwise.

    Who can you trust to tell the truth these days when the provider is not necessarily responsible for generating electricity for the grid ar all? … It is no wonder the UK is in such a mess politically and economically with no idea how to deal with energy policy or anything else for that matter.

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