Washington Utility: “No more wind” or solar!

Guest “Ha Ha!” by David Middleton

‘No more wind.’ WA state utility questions efficacy of wind farms for power generation
BY BILL VIRGIN CONTRIBUTING WRITER
SEPTEMBER 19, 2020

[…]

Renewables, a category that also can include solar and more exotic forms like geothermal or tidal, will, so the theory goes, help “de-carbonize” the region’s generating portfolio of coal and natural gas, leading eventually to an “all-green” electric grid.

Achieving that goal will require a whole lot more solar and a whole lot more wind, which makes it all the more interesting that one utility is breaking with energy orthodoxy by saying, “No more wind.”

[…]

[I]n a recently released report, “Wind Power and Clean Energy Policy Perspectives,” the utility’s commissioners say they “do not support further wind power development in the Northwest.”

More large-scale wind farms they say, will “contribute very little to keeping the regional power grid reliable and will not help Benton PUD solve our seasonal energy deficit problems” (when it needs to purchase additional power for winter and summer peaks), will drive up customer rates, won’t make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, will hurt revenues that utilities like Benton receive from the sale of surplus hydropower and will needlessly clutter up the “scenic hillsides, canyons and desert vistas in our region for little if any net environmental benefit.”

“We are continuing to sound the alarm regarding the unacceptably high risk of power grid blackouts in the Pacific Northwest being precipitated by overly aggressive clean energy policies and deepening dependence on wind power to replace retiring coal plants,” the commissioners say in a news release. “Benton PUD is calling on Governor Inslee and our state legislators to learn from California’s experience and to believe what utilities in Washington State are telling them. Rolling blackouts jeopardize the health, safety and well-being of all citizens and cannot be accepted in a region that, thanks to hydropower, is the envy of the nation when it comes to clean and low-cost electricity …

“While development of wind farms may be politically fashionable and appeal to many in the general public as a harmonization of nature with electricity production, the science and economics indicate powering modern civilization with intermittent generation resources like wind and solar power comes at a high financial and environmental cost.”

[…]

But as the Benton PUD report illustrates, just because those wind-turbine farms are self-proclaimed “green” resources doesn’t mean they are exempt from pointed questioning as to just how much the regional grid, consumers and businesses that are being asked to rely on wind really ought to.

The News Tribune

“No more wind.”

Residential electricity rates in Washington average 9.85¢/kWh, second lowest in the nation.

The state of Washington’s wind resource is rather lacking…

Washington wind resource map. NREL

For comparison, here’s Texas’ wind resource map…

Texas wind resource map. NREL

Even with its world class wind resource, Texas only generates an average of 20% of its electricity from wind power.

Texas 2019 electricity generation by source. ERCOT

With minimal onshore wind resource, abundant hydroelectric resource and one of the lowest electricity rates in the nation, the Benton Public Utility District is demonstrating wisdom by saying “No more wind.”

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September 29, 2020 at 04:31AM

Data Show Canadian Wildfires At Lowest Level In Decades

Here’s something surprising from Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That. While USA wildfires are running higher the last couple of years, according to Canada’s National Forestry Database, the number of forest fires in Canada has been at the lowest since 1990. Of course, Canada takes a management approach to forests compared to the USA’s “let it be or litigation” mess.

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According to the Met Office, global warming is leading to record breaking fires in North America.

Canada, of course, is a large part of North America, so surely fires should be getting worse there too.

In fact wildfires this year are running at just 8% of the 10-year average:

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All provinces are well below average:

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This suggests that meteorological conditions have been responsible for both the glut of fires in the US west and the dearth in Canada.

More significant though is the long term trend in Canada:

1994, 1995 and 1998 recorded the biggest wildfire acreages. But over the full period, there is no obvious trend at all.

Full story here

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September 29, 2020 at 04:31AM

New study shows converting to electric vehicles alone won’t meet climate targets

Teslas in Norway [image credit: Norsk Elbilforening (Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association)]

Delete ‘alone’. The study is essentially redundant, as a reduction from 0.04% of carbon dioxide’s very small share of the atmosphere won’t do anything noticeable to the climate anyway. However it does highlight some difficulties with the current policies pretending to ‘tackle the climate crisis’, such as the massive increase in electricity generation needed to power hundreds of millions of electric vehicles. Closing down all thermal power plants is not compatible with such a policy, as the researchers admit, but climate obsessives may not want to face up to that.
– – –
Today there are more than 7 million electric vehicles (EVs) in operation around the world, compared with only about 20,000 a decade ago, says Phys.org.

It’s a massive change—but according to a group of University of Toronto Engineering researchers, it won’t be nearly enough to address the global climate crisis.

“A lot of people think that a large-scale shift to EVs will mostly solve our climate problems in the passenger vehicle sector” says Alexandre Milovanoff, lead author of a new paper published today in Nature Climate Change.

“I think a better way to look at it is this: EVs are necessary, but on their own, they are not sufficient.”

Around the world, many governments are already going all-in on EVs. In Norway, for example, where EVs already account for half of new vehicle sales, the government has said it plans to eliminate sales of new internal combustion vehicles altogether by 2025. The Netherlands aims to follow suit by 2030, with France and Canada to follow by 2040.

Milovanoff and his supervisors, Professors Daniel Posen and Heather MacLean are experts in life cycle assessment—modelling the impacts of technological changes across a range of environmental factors.

They decided to run a detailed analysis of what a large-scale shift to EVs would mean in terms of emissions and related impacts. As a test market, they chose the United States, which is second only to China in terms of passenger vehicle sales.

“We picked the U.S. because they have large, heavy vehicles, as well as high vehicle ownership per capita and high rate of travel per capita,” says Milovanoff. “There is also lots of high-quality data available, so we felt it would give us the clearest answers.”

The team built computer models to estimate how many electric vehicles would be needed to keep the increase in global average temperatures to less than 2 C above pre-industrial levels by the year 2100, a target often cited by climate researchers.

“We came up with a novel method to convert this target into a carbon budget for U.S. passenger vehicles, and then determined how many EVs would be needed to stay within that budget,” says Posen. “It turns out to be a lot.”

Based on the scenarios modelled by the team, the U.S. would need to have about 350 million EVs on the road by 2050 in order to meet the target emissions reductions. That works out to about 90% of the total vehicles estimated to be in operation at that time.

“To put that in perspective, right now the total proportion of EVs on the road in the U.S. is about 0.3%,” says Milovanoff.

Full article here.

Study: Electrification of light-duty vehicle fleet alone will not meet mitigation targets

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September 29, 2020 at 04:03AM

Prince Charles Wants Military-Style Response To Climate Change

By Paul Homewood

 

Meanwhile potty Prince Charles wants us to go on a warlike footing!!

 

 

It was the US that paid for the Marshall Plan. Maybe Charlie would like to tell us who will pay for this one?

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September 29, 2020 at 04:00AM