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The Energy Transition

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Why Wind Farms Can Be Relied On For Almost Zero Power

November 17, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Wind Farms and Back Up

A common claim about wind farms is that every unit of installed wind capacity needs to be backed up by one unit of fossil fuel capacity. Some claim that wind farms do not reduce carbon emissions; while others tell us that wind farms do not need much back up in the first place. Both assertions are demonstrably false.[read more]

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The "Historic" US-China Climate Change Deal Confirms that We are Failing in the Fight Against Climate Change

November 13, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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US-China Climate Agreement

Optimism has broken out among those concerned about climate change. Secret negotiations between America and China have given us a "game changing" deal, one that gives us a "fighting chance" to limit global warming. But like it or not, this deal does not appear to give us a chance to win this particular fight.[read more]

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It is Time to Stop Measuring Fuel Efficiency in Miles Per Gallon

November 3, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Fuel Efficiency and Measurement

Due to the absurdities of history, America uses what is essentially a medieval unit system that appears completely untouched by the scientific revolution. Why such units have not been recognised as a menace to public understanding - and hence abandoned - is a mystery.[read more]

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A Case Study in how Junk Science is Used by Anti-Nuclear Environmentalists

October 27, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Science, Nuclear Risk, and Public Perception

In opposing nuclear energy environmental groups draw on a wealth of imagery and deeply ingrained fears. Rigorous scientific analysis may show that the dangers from burning coal are vastly greater than those of nuclear energy; but can you can name a single coal power plant?[read more]

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Britain's First Nuclear Power Plant In A Generation Isn't A Great Deal, But Neither Are The Alternatives

October 9, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Britain and Nuclear Energy Options

 

The European Commission announced that Britain's first new nuclear power plant for over twenty years does not violate state aid laws, and it now appears certain that it will be built. Hinkley C has been described as the "most expensive power plant ever built" by the usual assortment of green voices.[read more]

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Climate Change: Is Failure Now Inevitable?

September 22, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Climate Change and Inevitability

If Copenhagen was the last chance to save the climate, as we were then told, then the climate has clearly not been saved. The burning of fossil fuels goes on, largely unabated. Yet, efforts to save the climate also continue unabated. Have we not failed already? Failure, of course, is one of degree.[read more]

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Reality Check: Germany Does Not Get Half of its Energy from Solar Panels

August 18, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Germany and its Energy Sources

The rise of the Internet means that simple factual issues can be checked quicker than would have been believed possible a generation ago. The rise of social media means that facts are not checked, they are retweeted. Such is the case with renewable energy in Germany, where anything is to be believed.[read more]

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Which Countries Produce The Most Fossil Fuels?

July 30, 2014 by Robert Wilson

Countries and Fossil Fuels

Which country takes the most fossil fuels out of the ground? The answer to this question is relatively predictable: China. Today China is the world's biggest consumer of energy and the vast majority of that comes from burning coal mined in China itself.[read more]

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Why China's Energy Consumption Will Keep Rising

July 9, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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China Energy Consumption

 

In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was signed. This was to usher in an era where the planet was to tackle climate change, and we were to see an energy transition from dirty, polluting fossil fuels to their low-carbon alternatives. Instead, here is what happened.[read more]

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America Versus China: The New Reality Of Global Energy

May 12, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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China and America and Global Energy

In 1999 the IEA predicted China's annual carbon dioxide emissions in the year 2020 would be 7,081 million tonnes. In the real world, i.e. not the one that exists in the spreadsheets of the IEA, China's carbon dioxide emissions had already reached 8,271 million tonnes by the year 2010.[read more]

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Biomass: The World's Biggest Provider Of Renewable Energy

April 23, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Biomass and Renewables

If I asked you to think of renewable energy what comes to mind? I imagine it is skyscraper-sized wind turbines, solar panels on suburban roofs or massive hydro-electric dams. You probably do not think of burning wood or converting crops to liquid fuel to be used in cars.[read more]

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How Big Is The World's Biggest Solar Farm?

April 8, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Solar Energy Farms and Space Needs

In the last few months we have seen both the world's largest solar bridge and the world's largest solar farm open. The bridge was opened in London, a city so famous for its fog that they named a fashion label after it. The farm was built in the middle of the Californian desert.[read more]

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Flying Without Fossil Fuels: The Need For High Energy Density

March 11, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Energy Density and Fossil Fuels

There are few more remarkable machines than a Boeing 747. Four hundred people can be hurled half way across the planet with levels of comfort, efficiency and reliability that would have been deemed miraculous by those living a few centuries ago.[read more]

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Building China: The Role Of Cement In China's Rapid Development

March 5, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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China and Cement

China produced more cement in the last three years than was produced in the last one hundred years by the United States of America.[read more]

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Can You Make a Wind Turbine Without Fossil Fuels?

February 25, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Wind Turbine Energy Cost

Various scenarios have been put forward showing that 100% renewable energy is achievable. Some of them even claim that it is achievable within two decades. The validity of these claim are easily tested by asking a simple question. Can you build a wind turbine without fossil fuels?[read more]