The Dutch import story behind Britain’s no-coal record

No coal UK …. except for the coal powered electricity imported from the Netherlands. And of course the wood powered electricity from DRAW.

Between May 17-31, Britain saw its first two-week period without domestic coal-fired power stations generating electricity since the 1880s.

However, modelling carried out by energy market data analyst EnAppSys shows that power generated from coal has been imported from abroad over the same period – with the most coming from the Netherlands.

EnAppSys says that high carbon taxes in Britain were the key reason why the UK’s electricity system has run without coal for the last two weeks – and it adds that further no-coal records could be broken should these taxes remain at current levels.

These higher carbon taxes do not, however, apply in neighbouring regions and over the initial two-week period of zero coal, Britain imported 50.9 GWh of power from coal-fired plants operating abroad.

Of this power, only a relatively low share of the modelled coal-originating imports came from France and Ireland (0.1 GWh and 0.9 GWh respectively), with France seeing a high share of power from nuclear plants and with Ireland seeing high levels of wind generation over the noted period.

Instead, the largest share of the modelled total was from the Netherlands, where coal-fired power stations continue to operate at a high level of activity as a result of only paying around half the carbon taxes paid within the UK.

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UHI in the UK raises Tmin by 1.7C

UHI causes Tmin go  up by 1.7C in UK

The observed increase in T min can be attributed to an increased intensity of the UHI during the hours after sunset and into the night. Many studies have previously shown that UHII is maximised during the night (Arifwidodo and Tanaka, 2015; Montávez et al.2000; Ripley et al.1996). The intensity is maximised during these hours, as heat absorbed by urban structures will be re‐radiated back into the atmosphere at a slower rate, due to smaller sky views, than natural structures. Further, the increase in impervious surface in an urban area causes a reduction of the latent heat flux and a rise in the sensible heat flux (Zhou et al.,2014). This leads to a difference between the rates at which the urban and natural area will cool during the night, with urban areas sustaining a higher temperature into the night. With minimum temperatures often occurring at night, the slowed rate of cooling in urban areas results in an increase of the observed minimum temperature.

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EU Commission accused of £4.8bn miscalculation over renewable energy subsidies bill

Missed it by just a little

John Constable of the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) claims the EU Commission climate policy report contains a “substantive error”, miscalculating the cost of annual levies on UK consumers by £4.8 billion.

He said the initial bill claimed subsidies would be £1.3bn, when the correct figure is closer to £6.1bn.

Mr Constable also received a confirmation from the commission that the error would be rectified.

A spokesman for the EU Commission said: “You are correct that the largest part of the other subsidies was from the Renewables Obligation and that these were not allocated to ‘financed by end users’ as they should have been.

“Thank you for spotting this error, we are correcting the figures and expect a revised report to be online soon.”

Mr Constable said the miscalculation will have “consequences for all sections” of the report’s overall findings and estimates.

He said: “The study is an important and major statement on the economic consequences of the EU’s energy and climate policies, and it is crucial that such work is as accurate as possible.”

UK: Maybe Some Sanity on the Wood Pellet Issue?

1,000,000,000£ subsidy for burning wood pellets might be scrapped?

Controversial subsidies for burning wood in power stations could be scrapped in the drive to clean up Britain’s air.

Firms that burn wood pellets currently receive about £1billion a year because, unlike coal, these are considered renewable sources of energy.

But critics say burning wood produces similar amounts of carbon dioxide to coal, contributing to air pollution.

It also increases the logging of forests in the US, while shipping them to Britain in vast quantities has a further negative effect on the environment.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove yesterday revealed subsidies for burning wood could be scrapped as he unveiled the Government’s clean air strategy.

The U-turn comes after years of state support for ‘biomass’ such as wood pellets, in schemes pioneered by disgraced former Liberal Democrat energy secretary Chris Huhne. 

He was hired by US firm Zilkha Biomass, which makes wood pellets, after serving a prison sentence in 2013 for perverting the course of justice.

The clean air strategy includes proposals to scrap some subsidies paid under so-called ‘contracts for difference’.

The contracts, which last until 2027, offer payments of about £100 per megawatt hour for burning imported wood – more than double the wholesale energy price.

Britain’s biggest power station, Drax, near Selby, North Yorkshire, burns about 7million tons a year of compressed wood pellets imported from the US and Canada.

UK: Wind farm turbines last only 12-15 years

They sell you a dream of wind turbines lasting 25 years and they really last 12. And make you pay and pay and pay for them. What a con.

The analysis of almost 3,000 onshore wind turbines — the biggest study of its kind —warns that they will continue to generate electricity effectively for just 12 to 15 years.
The wind energy industry and the Government base all their calculations on turbines enjoying a lifespan of 20 to 25 years.

The study estimates that routine wear and tear will more than double the cost of electricity being produced by wind farms in the next decade.
Older turbines will need to be replaced more quickly than the industry estimates while many more will need to be built onshore if the Government is to meet renewable energy targets by 2020.

The extra cost is likely to be passed on to households, which already pay about £1 billion a year in a consumer subsidy that is added to electricity bills.

Wind turbines. Who exactly does Mr Barker think he is calling swivel-eyed?