Month: August 2019

India’s Monsoon On Track

By Paul Homewood


From the Guardian:




Unfortunately, as the Guardian states at the end of the article:

The monsoon rains are crucial to replenishing water supplies in drought-stricken India, but they kill hundreds of people across the country every year.

In fact the monsoon so far this is just around the average across India:






Inevitably there are regional variations. This summer, it is the south west, around Maharashta, which has borne the brunt of the heaviest rain. At the other end of the scale, Bengal has been relatively dry:





But back in 1911, nobody worried that there might be too much rain. Quite the contrary:




The Lithgow Mercury – September 15th, 1911


August 16, 2019 at 08:45AM

Second-highest volcano in North America erupts multiple times in 24-hour span

Video – Popocatépetl Volcano, located just 43 miles (70 km) from Mexico City, Mexico,”erupted over seven times in 24 hours.” This is according to

I assume that “over seven times” means at least eight times.

According to, explosive activity continues. The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Washington warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 21000 ft (6400 m) altitude.

The post Second-highest volcano in North America erupts multiple times in 24-hour span appeared first on Ice Age Now.

via Ice Age Now

August 16, 2019 at 07:50AM

Onshore Wind Company’s Legal Challenge Against CfD Auction

By Paul Homewood



A story emerged the other day that a judicial review application had been made against the government’s latest Contracts for Difference auction, due to be completed next month.

Business Green now reveal that it has come from an onshore wind company:



Banks Renewables, a subsidiary of energy infrastructure business Banks Group, has confirmed it is the firm behind the legal challenge that threatens to stall an auction for a fresh round of government clean energy contracts .

Banks Renewables revealed today it is the company that has lodged an application for a Judicial Review against the government’s flagship Contracts for Difference scheme (CfD), under which renewables developments such as offshore wind, wave and tidal power, and certain biomass energy projects can compete for price support contracts.

The firm is claiming the scheme’s exclusion of onshore wind and other renewables such as solar is unfair and does not comply with UK or EU law.

While onshore wind and solar have previously been allowed to compete in CfD auctions as ‘Pot 1’ technologies indicating their status as ‘mature’ renewables, the current auction is only open to so-called ‘Pot 2’ technologies which cover ‘less mature’ renewables such as offshore wind and tidal stream. The previous 2017 auction was also only open to Pot 2 technologies.

The challenge builds on long-standing accusations from across the onshore renewables industry that the most cost effective forms of clean energy were being ‘locked out’ of the auctions, ultimately leading to higher costs for billpayers.

Banks Renewables said it believes the current exclusion of fully consented onshore wind farms from the CfD process is "against the public interest, prevents consumers from benefiting from the lower energy prices that would result from inclusion and, from a legal perspective, does not comply with either EU or UK law".

The company boasts three operational onshore wind farms backed by CfDs won in the first auction in 2015. But the failure to stage subsequent auctions for mature renewable technologies means the firm also has two consented but unbuilt onshore projects in Scotland with a combined capacity of 150MW, "which were not permitted to compete in the recent Round 3 CfD auctions".


We have known for a while that new investment in onshore wind farms has dried up to a trickle, since subsidies via ROCs and CfDs were removed from them, even though the wind lobby keeps insisting that onshore wind is the cheapest form of new electricity generation.

The three operational wind farms, Kype Muir, Middle Muir and Moor House,  bragged about by Banks all earn a guaranteed, index linked price, currently of £93.92/MWh, nearly twice the market rate.

It is easy to see why Banks cannot afford to build their two outstanding projects without a massive subsidy.




Annual power prices are currently £53/MWh, having ranged between £49 and £61 in the past 12 months.



The wind industry claims it can get close to these costs, but this misses the point. Intermittent wind farms cannot guarantee power a year, or even a month, ahead. Consequently they have to compete in the spot market, ie Day-ahead.

As such, their product is intrinsically worth much less most of the time.

As at 31st July for instance, Day-ahead prices were down to £41.75/MWh, and have been even lower at times this year:



Sometimes, of course, Day-ahead prices peak much higher, for instance at times of high demand in winter.

But as Catalyst comment, “Day-ahead power rose for the first time since December 2018, growing by 6.2% to average £41.9/MWh in July. The contract also peaked on 15 July, hitting £48.8/MWh, the highest since 22 February as wind output was forecast below 1.0GW the following day”.

In other words, spot prices to tend to be highest when wind output is low, and vice versa. Which would be extremely bad news for wind farms, if they did not have guaranteed prices to fall back on, courtesy of CfDs.


August 16, 2019 at 07:45AM

Britain’s New Government Authorises Resumption Of Fracking In Lancashire

The UK government under recently-appointed Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out its position on hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, and allowed Cuadrilla Resources to resume fracking at its site in Preston New Road, Lancashire, where it has been operating tentatively since 2011.

A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson said: “Shale gas could be an important new domestic energy source reducing the level of gas imports while delivering broad economic benefits, including through the creation of well-paid, quality jobs. It could also support our transition to net zero emissions by 2050.

“We have world-leading regulations that ensure shale gas exploration happens in a safe and environmentally responsible way. The Oil and Gas Authority is currently undertaking a scientific assessment of recent industry data which we will consider once completed.”

Cuadrilla has obtained all the necessary environmental permits and permissions in order to begin fracturing at its second horizontal well at the site. The company expects this to be completed by November 2019, with gas flow results to follow in early 2020.

Full story

The post Britain’s New Government Authorises Resumption Of Fracking In Lancashire appeared first on The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

via The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

August 16, 2019 at 07:37AM