Despite a flurry of headline-jerking agreements at Dubai’s COP28 a UN Report suggests that global warming will reach 3 degrees. This conclusion, issued by the UN Environment Programme’s ‘Emissions Gap Report’, is based on the continuation of current policies. This assumes, for instance that in the UK and the USA, the targets for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 not achieved. This, by the way, is by no means an unreasonable assumption. In fact, as things stand at the moment, it’s dead right!
The news that around the world offshore wind prices have gone up after several years of decline is disconcerting. But don’t worry too much folks, because history says the prices will come down again.
Here below is a chart from a paper of mine published in 2015 which shows how offshore wind prices (set by the Danish Energy Agency) rose and then fell in the earlier years of offshore wind. There are some good stats on this simply because the Danes were ( to a large extent still are) streets ahead of everyone else in the green energy, especially wind power, stakes.
The Government are deceiving us about the effectiveness of their new funding mechanism for nuclear power
Consumers face a double whammy of bills to pay for the planned nuclear power plant, Sizewell C, due to be given a go-ahead soon. According to a ‘worst case scenario,’ consumers are likely to (collectively) pay around £34 billion in today’s prices before any electricity is generated from Sizewell C at all. But, in addition, according to my calculations, under this (quite likely) worst-case scenario consumers will then also pay around £160 per MWh in today’s prices for electricity produced by Sizewell C. This works out as £117 per MWh in 2012 prices (ie the base year for setting the cost of Hinkley C). The Government appears to be doing little or nothing to prevent this scenario from occurring.
There’s been a lot of talk about how offshore wind has ‘increased’ its costs since the last Government contract auction – but that’s not a patch on nuclear power a la Hinkley C, courtesy of EDF. Capital costs for the project have increased in real (not just inflation) terms by around 50 percent since 2012, and there’s probably a lot worse to come.
Electric car revolution: Polestar experience to date
08/09/2023/in Translation / taken from website; go to hetranslations
With 230,000 miles on the clock my 20-year-old Volvo V70 was still going strong, but in early 2022 the time had come to think of a replacement. My mind was made up that the next car had to be electric, and preferably one that was designed from scratch for the purpose, rather than based on an existing internal combustion model.
There’s unlikely to be any extra windfarms approved in England as a result of the recent changes announced by the Government.
Despite headlines to the contrary, the ban on onshore wind turbines has not been removed. All that has happened is that a few words have been changed in the planning guidance that mean much the same as before.
Modeling work led by an academic at the University of Central Lancashire (Fragaki et al) suggests that a 100 percent renewable energy system could be delivered indefinitely in the UK with just 30 days’ worth of storage. However, the trick is that there would need to be a significant overbuild – about 115 percent – of renewable energy capacity in order to achieve this. Lower levels of overbuilding would necessitate much larger amounts of storage.
A revolutionary project aiming to fund a portfolio of community solar initiatives has been launched. Community Energy Together (CET) has launched a series of share offers involving five community solar projects around England and Wales. The share offers will allow the community to own solar farms.
On the surface the announcement that there are ”BP Plans for subsidy free offshore windfarms‘ sounds like great news. But in practice it could herald a future where instead of making ginormous profits out of selling us oil and gas the oil companies will be controlling wind power licenses for their benefit rather than that of the consumers or the planet.
Anti-green Conservatives are wringing their hands about cutting back on ‘net zero’ commitments after the so-called ULEZ election in Uxbridge. This by-election produced a swing of nearly 7 per cent to Labour – which at a General Election all over the country would put Labour in Government. And the brown Tories think they are on to a winner attacking green policies! In reality, there are a lot of measures that are really cheap and won’t make anybody out of pocket but which the Government aren’t doing.
What is really most significant about the Government’s new announcement for £137 million funding for research into so-called small modular reactors (SMRs), is the failure to move forward with plans to finance Sizewell C. This latest nonsense about SMRs can best be seen as a cover for this lack of movement.
At a recent Conference on nature and solar farms Jonathon Scurlock from the NFU called for agrivoltaic systems to be treated as a standard farming practice that does not need planning consent. In planning language this means that agrivoltaics – that means combining agriculture with solar pv farms – would be a ‘permitted’ development’ ie would not need planning consent. This could be most easily applied to smaller and medium-sized solar farms under 50 MW (where local authorities are the principal planning authority).
In an answer to a Parliamentary Question posed by Caroline Lucas MP the Government has said that the reason it has not modeled a ‘renewable only scenario (e.g. wind, solar, and tidal) as this cannot ensure security of supply’.
This arrogant dismissal of the possibilities for 100 percent renewables is contrary to an increasing number of studies, including our own, published earlier this year. In fact, our own study, prepared for us by modelers from LUT University in Finland, said that a renewables-only pathway for the UK will save over £100 billion compared to the Government’s own preferred pathway.
The Government’s targets for solar pv and wind power need to be dramatically increased if net zero targets (by 2050) are to be reached. We need at least 100 GW of wind power by 2035 and 180 GW of solar pv, also by 2035, to stay on track with the 2050 target.
The Government has no clear plans to phase out gas in favour of electricity. That is what the Government is effectively saying in its declaration that there will be no bias towards electricity in its energy security bill proposals. Rather, it seems, the UK will waste years trying to protect the fossil fuel industry with failing initiatives to promote hydrogen for heating and power stations with carbon capture and storage.