Imagine a giant wood stove at the top of Burnaby Mountain (where my alma mater SFU is situated).
Imagine all the CO2. Imagine all the smoke.
It appears the idiots running SFU hate air quality in Vancouver and the lower mainland.
“The district energy system will produce energy using locally sourced biomass that would otherwise be destined for local landfills. It could include urban wood waste (from tree cuttings and trimmings), uncontaminated wood waste (such as wood chips from sawmills and shavings), and clean construction wood waste.”
If we know anything about wood waste we know:
- They will run out of wood waste and start burning whole trees
- There will be more CO2 produced than if they were burning coal (let alone natural gas)
- There will be more particulate matter than if they are burning clean natural gas.
The UK is in a bad way for this coming winters electricity supplies.
Britain may have to rely on costly emergency measures to keep the lights on this winter after spare capacity in the power market fell to the lowest level on record.
Power stations operating under normal market conditions will produce barely enough electricity to meet peak demand following a series of coal plant closures, National Grid analysis shows.
The “spare margin” between peak electricity demand and the supplies likely to be available in the market has fallen to just 0.1pc, the lowest on record.
As a result, National Grid has been forced to intervene and bolster supplies by paying 10 power plants £123m to stay open through an emergency scheme, the costs of which will be passed on to consumers through their energy bills.
It will then make additional payments to these back-up power plants to fire up, if they are needed as a “last resort” to prevent blackouts. These costs, which could easily run to tens of millions of pounds in a cold snap, will also be passed on to consumers.
The emergency scheme will bring the UK’s overall spare power margin up to 5.5pc, a “manageable” level to keep the lights on, the company said.
Doom for the UK
In view of the shambles engulfing our politics in all directions, it might seem appropriate that last Thursday MPs should blithely have accepted that, within a few years, our lights will go out and our economy will grind to a halt. What they allowed to be nodded through was something called the “Fifth Carbon Budget”, committing us to an energy policy so insanely unworkable that it can only result in Britain committing economic suicide.
As I predicted and explained in more detail on May 14, what the MPs tacitly agreed to was that, between 2028 and 2033, we should cut our emissions of CO2 by a far greater amount than any other country in the world. We will put an end to any use of gas for cooking and heating. Sixty per cent of all our transport will be powered not by fossil fuels but by electricity. And to achieve this, we will double the amount of electricity we need (two thirds of which still comes from those same hated “carbon emitting” fossil fuels).
Much of this electricity, the Government fondly imagines (on advice from the fantasists on Lord Deben’s Climate Change Committee), will come from tens of thousands more lavishly subsidised wind turbines, solar farms, new nuclear power stations unlikely ever to be built and woodchips imported at vast expense from forests in North America.
Not one of the MPs who accepted this could plausibly explain what is to happen to all those electric cookers, heating systems, cars, cashpoints etc, when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. Furthermore, none seemed to notice that key ingredients in that make-believe scenario dreamt up months ago by the Climate Change Committee are based on assuming that by 2030 we shall still be in the EU, whose own energy policy is now falling apart in all directions, as Germany, Poland and other countries rush to build new coal-fired power stations.
Britain should brace itself for a winter of tight electricity supplies that will force National Grid to use its last-resort measures and push wholesale prices up, according to a new analysis.
Figures from Enappsys, which monitors wholesale electricity market data, show the grid will have an even more difficult job keeping the lights on than last year, when it took new emergency measures for the first time.
Fracking has really dropped the price of natural gas in the USA leading to major switch from coal to natural gas in power plants.
But China is resisting this change because of costs.
China’s effort to promote natural gas over coal to cut pollution is facing resistance from buyers who prefer cheaper to cleaner. The world’s largest energy consumer seeks to raise the share of less-polluting natural gas to 10 percent of its energy mix by 2020 from 6 percent last year. Yet even with the government cutting the cost of gas, it remains almost three times more expensive than coal when used to generate electricity. That’s putting a damper on the switch from a fuel that now accounts for more than 60 percent of demand.
Electricity generated from gas costs almost three times that from coal — about 0.6 yuan a kilowatt-hour in eastern China, while coal-fired output costs 0.22 yuan.
The Shanghai city-gate price — a wholesale cost of gas delivered to distributors — was cut in November to 2.18 yuan a cubic meter. That’s about $9 per million British thermal units, compared with $2.039 for U.S. benchmark prices and $4.24 in the U.K. as of Thursday.
Fracking is amazing.
A new report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) found hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has pushed carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity generation to the lowest levels since 1993.
Fracking created immense amounts of natural gas, lowering the price and causing the amount of electricity generated from natural gas to pass the amount of electricity generated from coal for seven of the months in 2015, according to the new EIA report. The report specifies that natural gas power plants produce about 40 percent of the CO2 emitted from a coal plant creating the same amount of electricity. This caused U.S. CO2 from the electricity sector to fall by 21 percent since their high in 2005.
“[T]he drop in natural gas prices, coupled with highly efficient natural gas-fired combined-cycle technology, made natural gas an attractive choice to serve baseload demand previously met by coal-fired generation,” read the report. “Coal-fired generation has decreased because of both the economics driven by cost per kilowatthour compared to that of natural gas and because of the effects of increased regulation on air emissions.”
It appears that fracking is causing a split in the green movement. Its about time.
If you are sane and you read the studies you know that fracking and cheap natural gas has actually lowered CO2 emissions in the USA by a significant amount by replacing coal.
“In 2015, U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were 12% below the 2005 levels, mostly because of changes in the electric power sector.
Energy-related CO2 emissions can be reduced by consuming less petroleum, coal, and natural gas, or by switching from more carbon-intensive fuels to less carbon-intensive fuels. Many of the changes in energy-related CO2 emissions in recent history have occurred in the electric power sector because of the decreased use of coal and the increased use of natural gas for electricity generation.”
Back to the green war …
Anti-fracking environmentalists, led by 350.org, Greenpeace and The Sierra Club, claim that natural gas is actually accelerating global warming more than coal due to methane emissions, even if it does cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. These activists heavily doubt the official Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) figures on methane leaks, largely because of an article published by Bill McKibben, the leader of 350.org.
Pro-fracking environmentalists, led by The Breakthrough Institute, point out that McKibben misrepresented the scientific research on methane emissions to attack fracking. These environmentalists point out that a study published in the journal Science in March blames agricultural practices, not oil and natural gas, for increasing methane emissions. The same study points out that the American greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming are declining largely due to fracking.
The split in the environmental movement has led to a green civil war over proposed EPA regulations intended to lower methane emissions from fracking. These regulations, however, would only lower the temperature by 0.0047 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, according to the EPA’s own data.
The anti-fracking zealots have done so much harm in most of Europe. In Canada and the USA fracking took off before the anti-frackers could get organized. The UK may (if it is lucky) win its fracking war (many years late).