Month: July 2018

Smart Meters Will Allow Peak Pricing Admits Scottish Power

Gradually the real truth about smart meters is starting to emerge.


From the Telegraph:

Smart meters will let companies change cost of electricity every 30 minutes under ‘surge pricing’

Smart meters will allow energy firms to introduce “surge pricing”, one of Britain’s biggest gas and electric providers has admitted for the first time.

New deals which will mean the price of energy fluctuates every half an hour will be introduced as soon the energy regulator has given them the green light, Scottish Power told the Telegraph.

The controversial tariffs rely on smart meters and will radically change the way households consume energy, leading to them paying more for watching television, charging gadgets and running the washing machine during popular times such as in the mornings and evenings.

Energy prices for customers on such tariffs will peak on special events like Christmas Day and Easter, when millions of households are all using ovens at the same time



Let us all be totally clear – nobody will save money, as the total cost of producing electricity will keep on increasing as more and more subsidised low carbon generation is added.


Any savings from night time usage will be more than offset by higher daytime charges.


The govt claims we will save money, but its obsession with renewables is massively increasing energy bills. Part of this extra cost funds payments to proper power suppliers to provide standby for when wind and solar farms cannot supply. By shifting demand to nighttime,  it hopes to marginally reduce these  extra costs, but in reality it will make little difference at all.


If we all cook our tea, do our washing and watch TV in the middle of the night, we will still be no better off.


Put another way, for everyone who gains, someone else will lose.


As for having Xmas dinner at 4am, I think I’ll pass!


So let’s get to the nitty gritty. What smart meters are really about is rationing power when intermittent renewables fail to supply.

There will be times when wind and solar are producing little. When that happens, power goes to the highest bidder, and sod the rest.


There is the naive assumption that in our glorious renewable future, we will be able to get by without wind and solar power simply by switching consumption to night. Unfortunately the wind does not always blow at night, and the sun definitely does not shine.

Which raises the question-how will we charge our wonderful EVs?


Finally, let me leave you with this conundrum.

It has been suggested by supporters of smart meters that they “optimise” electricity generation. ie there is unused generation idle at night, which is a waste of money.

So let’s use the same arguments with supermarkets. Would it not be logical for Tesco, Asda and the rest to shut down half of their shops, as half the time they are not full?

Of course, if they did that, there would be times when they had more customers than they could cope with.

Using the smart meter logic though the solution would be easy-double your prices during busy periods, so as to encourage customers to shop at night.

Somehow though, I doubt Tesco’s customers would be too happy!!!


Finally, one further thought.

One of the big factors behind smart meters is to direct EV charging towards nightime. Assuming this provides cheaper electricity rates, what about those poor saps, who make up half the population that have no offstreet parking? They will have no alternative but to pay daytime rates to queue up at public outlets.

Somehow I can’t see them being too happy!!





July 31, 2018 at 04:54PM

All on the Road to China

The Green-ants said “You can’t burn coal” – so we sent our coal to China. Then our factories and our smelters closed and followed the coal to China.

All on the Road to China

By Viv Forbes

The Green-ants said “You can’t burn coal” – so we sent our coal to China. Then our factories and our smelters closed and followed the coal to China.

The Green-ants said “You can’t eat beef” – so we sent our beef to China. Then burger chains and canneries closed and followed the beef to China.

The Green-ants said “Protect the trees” – so our grasslands went to weeds. Then China’s wool cheques disappeared and graziers went on welfare.

The Green-ants said “Don’t mention nukes” – so we shipped those fuels to China. Then Chinese power costs fell while ours just kept on soaring.

The Green-ants said “You can’t frack gas” – so we sent our drills to China. Then geologists and engineers were fired and followed the rigs to China.

Then blackouts came and jobs got scarce, so our kids chased jobs in China.

Today we import what we need and our cash is shipped to China.

And now we sit in flickering light, dreaming of times when factories and smelters flourished, work was honoured, explorers and builders were heroes, miners and farmers paid the nation’s bills, electricity was cheap and reliable, and to produce things was no crime.

It’s time we sent all of our Green-ants to China – there should be lots of work for them there.

Cartoon courtesy of Steve Hunter

Viv Forbes
Washpool   Qld Australia

The post All on the Road to China appeared first on Ice Age Now.

via Ice Age Now

July 31, 2018 at 04:20PM

Heat Wave Good Vibrations

Enjoy this wonderful hot summertime while it lasts.  Don’t let the climate grinches get you down with their doomsday pronouncements.  Chill out with Sunshine Reggae and let the good vibes get a lot stronger.

via Science Matters

July 31, 2018 at 04:08PM

USA Today Editorial Board: Climate Change Forecasts Validated… Because… “Hellish July”

Guest ridicule by David Middleton

A hellish July validates climate change forecasts

The Editorial Board, USA TODAY,  July 30, 2018

With the cost of climate change to the U.S. economy averaging $240 billion a year, America can’t afford not to act: Our view

This month’s weather has been downright hellish in parts of the United States and across the globe, providing further evidence that the impact of climate change is no longer relegated to starving polar bears and shrinking ice caps.

In the USA, Americans awoke Monday to images of deadly wildfires scorching California and other Western states. July’s extreme weather stretched from an all-time high of 111 degrees recorded at UCLA to a record 16.4 inches of rain in Baltimore.

The pattern of misery spread across the globe:


►Africa recorded its highest reliably recorded temperature in modern history: 124.3 degrees in Algeria.

►Torrential rains flooded Japan and collapsed a dam in Laos, killing hundreds.

While no single event can be attributed to human-induced climate change, these are precisely the types of extreme weather that become significantly more likely because of it. “We’re now seeing decades-old scientific predictions being validated in the real world, right before our eyes,” UCLA climate researcher Daniel Swain told Axios.


The reason for all of this is uncomplicated. Greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere, largely from the burning of fossil fuels, continue to rise. Carbon dioxide levels reached 400 parts per million in 2016, likely higher than the Earth has experienced in millions of years. It exceeded 410 parts per million in April. The atmosphere is operating on steroids.

This can actually provide a few benefits in the United States, as crop yields increase in a handful of northern states and cold-related deaths decline.

Such gains are easily overtaken by downsides: frequent and destructive wildfires, more heat-related deaths in many Sunbelt states, excessive rainfall and rising sea levels along the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf Coast, and crop declines across the South and Midwest. It’s costing Americans money, both broadly across the national economy and in terms of household expenses.

A Universal Ecological Fund study last year priced the cost of climate change to the U.S. economy at an average of $240 billion a year.


USA Today

Basically, blame everything on climate change and then cite a “study” from an obscure environment terrorist activist group claiming that it’s costing the U.S. economy a YUGE amount of money.

Before I get to the Universal Ecological Fund study, let’s look at Africa’s new record temperature and the Laotian dam collapse.

Africa recorded its highest reliably recorded temperature in modern history: 124.3 degrees in Algeria…

Africa may have witnessed its all-time hottest temperature Thursday: 124 degrees in Algeria

By Jason Samenow
July 6


The blistering-hot temperature reading, observed in Ouargla, is probably the highest temperature ever reliably measured both in Algeria and in all of Africa. The record was first identified by weather records expert Maximiliano Herrera.

Ouargla, with a population of nearly half a million, is located in north central Algeria, roughly midway between Morocco and Tunisia.

Its 124.3-degree temperature surpassed Africa’s previous highest reliable temperature measurement of 123.3 degrees (50.7 Celsius) set July 13, 1961, in Morocco.

Higher temperatures previously measured in Africa have either been invalidated or climate experts find them dubious:

  • The hottest temperature ever measured in Africa and on the planet was once thought to be 136.4 degrees (58 Celsius) observed in El Azizia, Libya, but that record was rejected by the World Meteorological Organization after a committee identified five concerns with its collection.
  • A temperature of 131 degrees (55 Celsius) observed in Kebili, Tunisia, on July 7, 1931. is officially considered Africa’s (and the eastern hemisphere’s) hottest measurement. But extreme weather expert Christopher Burt, who has studied the record, calls it “suspicious” because of lack of comparable temperatures in modern times and assigned it a validity score of one out of 10. Etienne Kapikian, a French meteorologist, called the record “a big joke.”
  • In his blog post on this latest Africa temperature reading, Jeff Masters includes a run-down of other questionable temperature readings from Africa logged during the colonial period.

In order for Thursday’s temperature in Ouargla to be considered official and a record for Africa, it would need to be certified by the World Meteorological Organization while the previous record from Tunisia would also have to be invalidated.


WaPo Capital Weather Gang

I literally couldn’t make this sort of stuff up, if I was trying.

On to the Laotian dam collapse.

Torrential rains flooded Japan and collapsed a dam in Laos, killing hundreds…

A Day Before Laos Dam Failed, Builders Saw Trouble

By Mike Ives
July 26, 2018

ATTAPEU TOWN, Laos — The day before this week’s catastrophic dam failure in Laos, the companies building the dam knew that it was deteriorating, and one of them saw a potential trouble sign three days in advance. Yet many people living downstream received no warning of the deadly flood that was about to sweep away villages, farms, livestock and people.

The companies said they had warned Laotian officials of the danger, and some villages were evacuated, but the dam’s collapse killed at least 27 people — many more are still missing — and displaced at least 6,600 others in Laos. On Thursday, state media in Cambodia reported that as many as 25,000 more people in that country were being evacuated from the northern border province of Stung Treng, as the flood surge made its way south.

Now, as rescue workers scramble to find missing villagers and care for others in makeshift shelters, questions are mounting about the speed of the one-party state’s response, the quality of the companies’ work, and whether they could have done more to prevent the accident or alert people to the peril.


Accounts given by the two South Korean companies differ in several details, and do not answer the crucial question: When did they know, or should they have known, that the dam might be headed toward collapse?

On Friday, engineers noticed a depression, or “settlement,” about four inches deep in the center of the dam, Korea Western Power, one of the companies, said in a report to South Korea’s Parliament.

A company official told lawmakers — one of whom released the report on Thursday — that such sinking was common with the kind of heavy rainfall the region was experiencing, so the engineers decided to monitor it rather than take action.

On Sunday, engineers found 10 “fractured settlements” on the top of the dam and set out to repair them, but they could not get the necessary repair equipment to the scene until Monday afternoon, when it was too late, the company’s report said.

SK Engineering & Construction of South Korea, the main builder of the project, said on Thursday that it had discovered at 9 p.m. on Sunday that part of the dam’s top was missing.

In a statement, the company said it had “immediately” reported the damage to the local authorities and evacuations of the nearest villages began, but it did not alert the provincial government until noon the next day that the dam might deteriorate further.

By 11 a.m. on Monday, Korea Western Power said, there was a depression more than three feet deep in the top of the dam.


Both South Korean companies mentioned heavy rains in their descriptions of the disaster. But Ian Baird, a geography professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who specializes in Laos and has studied the hydropower project, said he believed the problem was either faulty construction or a decision to store too much water in the dam’s reservoir at a time when heavy rain should have been expected.

“When at the end of July do we not get rain in this part of the world?” he asked.

The companies are “trying to play this out as a natural disaster that wasn’t their fault,” he said. “I don’t believe that for a second.”


New York Times

The fact that I could refute two of the more idiotic USA Today assertions by citing The Washington Post and The New York Times, speaks volumes to the idiocy of the USA Today Editorial Board.

On to the Universal Ecological Fund study…

$188 billion of the fictitious $240 billion is listed as “health costs due to air pollution caused by fossil fuel energy production.”   In 2017, the total cost to treat respiratory diseases in the US was estimated to be $161 billion… So, it’s kind of hard to believe that “health costs due to air pollution caused by fossil fuel energy production” could have been $188 billion,  Even if that number was valid… So what?

Value Added by Industry
[Billions of dollars]
Bureau of Economic Analysis
Release Date: April 19, 2018

2017 Fossil Fuels Minimum
Gross domestic product  $19,390.60
Fossil Fuel-related GDP
Farms  $     131.40
Oil and gas extraction  $     209.20  $ 209.20
Mining, except oil and gas  $      72.50
Support activities for mining  $      48.30
Utilities  $     295.00
Petroleum and coal products  $     139.30  $ 139.30
Chemical products  $     397.10
Plastics and rubber products  $      84.10  $1,376.90  $ 348.50
Health Care
Ambulatory health care services  $     692.70
Hospitals  $     440.40  Claimed Fossil Fuels Cost
Nursing and residential care facilities  $     150.10  $1,283.20  $ 188.00 15%

Just using the direct added value of Oil and gas extraction and Petroleum and coal products, I get $348.5 billion.  The value added by coal extraction would be part of Mining, except oil and gas and Support activities for mining.  Fossil fuel production also contributes to the value added by utilities, chemical products and plastics and rubber products.  And, since about .25% of US natural gas production is used as a feedstock for fertilizer production, fossil fuels contribute to the value added to our economy by farming.  The Haber-Bosch process feeds nearly half of the world population.

Figure 1 Trends in human population and nitrogen use throughout the twentieth century. Of the total world population (solid line), an estimate is made of the number of people that could be sustained without reactive nitrogen from the Haber–Bosch process (long dashed line), also expressed as a percentage of the global population (short dashed line). The recorded increase in average fertilizer use per hectare of agricultural land (blue symbols) and the increase in per capita meat production (green symbols) is also shown. Erisman et al., 2008




Erisman, J. W., Sutton, M. A., Galloway, J., Klimont, Z. & Winiwarter, W. How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world. Nat. Geosci.1,636–639 (2008)


via Watts Up With That?

July 31, 2018 at 03:49PM