Simon Fraser University Hates Air Quality in Vancouver

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:

  1. They will run out of wood waste and start burning whole trees
  2. There will be more CO2 produced than if they were burning coal (let alone natural gas)
  3. There will be more particulate matter than if they are burning clean natural gas.

SFU

 

 

UK Winter Blackouts Possible – Only 0.1% Spare Capacity

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.

UK Energy Policy = Economic Suicide

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.

China’s Cheap Coal Slows Switch To Natural Gas

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. 

USA: CO2 Down 21% Since 2005 – Thanks Fracked Natural Gas!

Fracking is amazing.

A new report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) found hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has pushed CO2-Cutscarbon 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.”

 

Fracking Causes Green unCivil War

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).

 

 

Green Plans to Burn Wood in Alberta Instead of Coal

The green lobbyists have big plans for some of the coal power plants Rachel Notley and the NDP plant to close down.

The are going to convert them to burn trees. And quadruple the price of electricity.

There is more than enough fibre both in Alberta and Canada to fuel a major expansion in pellet production to feed one or two large Alberta coal-fired plants without much of an impact in overall fibre availability. Presenter Jamie Stephen of Torchlight Bioresources estimates a gap between AAC and actual harvest of over 39 million bone dry tonnes (BDT) across Canada, as well as the availability of residues topping 30 million BDT.

AAC is Annual Allowable Cut.

The technology and processes are proven and expertise widely available to convert coal-fired plants to biomass. Presentations by Bill Strauss of FutureMetrics, Brent Boyko of OPG and Brian Moran of U.K. bioenergy giant Drax made that abundantly clear.

Burning trees instead of coal is the future because government lobbyists can make people do stupid things.

The execution gap is economic, something outlined with some precision all day, but driven home by Mark Mackay of Transalta, Corp. Transalta is one of the three major power generators in Alberta with coal fired assets on hand. “If we say the current power market in Alberta is paying roughly $22/Mwh, and biomass is looking like $85/Mwh, somehow we have to think that equation through. I think government policy will be a big part of getting this started.”

More lobbying to take an abundant resource (coal) and replace it with forests and charge consumers 4 times as much.

The bulk of available biomass in Alberta and neighbouring B.C. is controlled by the major forest tenure holders, and so any solution will have to include them. Several speakers and attendees suggest the provinces could adopt a ‘use it or lose it” approach like Ontario.

Burn trees or else.

The next step is to build off the momentum created by this gathering of varied interests in Edmonton. In the closing chat, both WPAC executive director Gord Murray and Transalta’s Mark Mackay agreed that parties should work together to get this viable peak option in front of policy makers in Alberta. “It’s clear to me from this meeting that biomass is an option worth looking into, and that the will is there in this group to make it work,” Mackay concluded. “But time is of the essence. We have to get in front of government with this, and soon.”

Lobby politicians with huge amounts of money and be quick about it! Or those idiots building windmills will get all the government subsidies.