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On Why China's Energy Consumption Will Keep Rising


Here is what China's soot does to snow and ice surfaces ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Remember, China's burning of one ton of coal is equivalent to the US and Europe burning 50 to 100 tons.

China, etc., are the culprits.

People did not become pollution conscious until the late 60s, which resulted in the Clean Air Act of 1970.

The US was in the lead and Europe followed quickly, but China DID NOTHING until 2012. It just built dirty coal plants for 42 years, just as the US and Europe had done in the first 60 years of the 20th century.

China does not just burn an ittybitty amount of coal, but it burns a lot of coal IN A DIRTY manner, hence it has a special responsibility regarding this aspect of pollution.

As China, Russia, India, Brazil, and others, mostly continue BAU, no amount of RE spending by the rest of the world will make much difference regarding CO2 and GW. 

Maybe the world should set up an environmental defense fund to help underdeveloed and developing nations clean up their act. That spending would be at least $200 billion per year in addition to current spending on RE.

Here are the numbers for the worldwide RE (excluding hydro) for 2002, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. Total genration was 22,613 TWh in 2012., RE was 4.6%, hydro was 16.2%




254.2, 612.2,742.6,892.2,1035.8


July 14, 2014    View Comment    

On Why China's Energy Consumption Will Keep Rising


Adding high efficiency fabric filter systems to catch almost all particulates greater then 0.5 micron and adding SOX scrubbing systems is the least China should do regarding its ENORMOUS coal consumption, which is unique in the world, and unique in its damage to its own people and its own environment.

The US started that process under the Clean Air Act of 1970 under Nixon.

The Chinese rulers finally recognized and admitted they had a major problem by passing their own clean air act (modeled after US and EU acts) regarding coal plants, effective the end of 2012.

That means, for 42 years, THEY were bad actors and did not want to spend the money to clean up THEIR mess regarding coal burning, which they knew, and most of the rest of the world knew, to be an upcoming problem AT THAT TIME.

Comparing pollution per capita is absurd regarding this aspect of emissions.

"Massive abdication of responsibility" are words used by people who make poor arguments.

I made nothing "prerequisite". Those are your words.

Regarding other issues, no  one is "copping out".

July 12, 2014    View Comment    

On Why China's Energy Consumption Will Keep Rising


See my above comment to Bob.

July 12, 2014    View Comment    

On Why China's Energy Consumption Will Keep Rising

China's coal consumption was about 4 billion metric ton in 2013, about 50% of the world's coal production.

China's CO2 emissions were about 10 billion metric ton in 2013; the whole world about 35 billion.

China built a lot of dirty coal plants in the past 25 years with minimal air pollution control systems, i.e., average efficiency of 90% or less. About 100 of 1000 lbs of flyash, or more, enters the atmosphere.

In Europe and the US, typical efficiencies are 99.5% or greater. About 5 of 1000 lbs of flyash, or less, enters the atmosphere. 

That means every ton China burns is 20 to 50 times dirtier than in the US and Europe, the reason China's air is so polluted. India is similarly afflicted.

NOTHING can be done regarding reducing CO2/GW, until bad actors, such as China, India, etc., clean up their acts, which will take many decades.

July 10, 2014    View Comment    

On Seeking Consensus on the Internalized Costs of Mature Energy Storage Technologies


If you use 20 years for the levelized costing for wind turbines, and 100 years for hydro plants, 5 wind turbines are used over 100 years. Not taking into account replacements leads to a significant error.

Also one needs to factor in integration costs ( "grid adequacy" to gather, transmit and distribute energy and "generating capacity adequacy" to balance RE and supply energy not supplied by RE), both of which are significant at greater RE penetrations.

Germany is seriously short of both, made inadequate investments, has to increasingly use foreign grids for balancing and getting rid of excess energy (the transmission capacity, MW, available for that purpose will become inadequate in 2015), at minimal or zero wholesale prices, especially on windy and sunny days.

System LCOE: What are the Costs of Variable Renewables?
Falko Ueckerdt 
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Lion Hirth 
Vattenfall Europe AG

Gunnar Luderer 
Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK)

Ottmar Edenhofer 
Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK)

January 14, 2013


Levelized costs of electricity (LCOE) are a common metric for comparing power generating technologies. However, there is qualified criticism particularly towards evaluating variable renewables like wind and solar power based on LCOE because it ignores integration costs that occur at the system level. In this paper we propose a new measure System LCOE as the sum of generation and integration costs per unit of VRE. For this purpose we develop a conclusive definition of integration costs. Furthermore we decompose integration costs into different cost components and draw conclusions for integration options like transmission grids and energy storage. System LCOE are quantified from a power system model and a literature review. We find that at moderate wind shares (~20%) integration costs can be in the same range as generation costs of wind power and conventional plants. Integration costs further increase with growing wind shares. We conclude that integration costs can become an economic barrier to deploying VRE at high shares. This implies that an economic evaluation of VRE must not neglect integration costs. A pure LCOE comparison would significantly underestimate the costs of VRE at high shares. System LCOE give a framework of how to consistently account for integration costs and thus guide policy makers and system planers in designing a cost-efficient power system.


June 29, 2014    View Comment    

On Seeking Consensus on the Internalized Costs of Mature Energy Storage Technologies


Financing costs should be excluded from the cost of production as well as depreciation, subsidies, taxes, tax credits, etc., as they distort perceptions of real costs.

The cost of production should include the cost of replacements over time.

Replacements would be more frequent for wind turbines, solar panels than hydro plants.

The analysis should be physical and financial, with "crutches" and without!!

June 28, 2014    View Comment    

On Much Talked About Myths about Renewable Energy


Did not the Vice Chancellor hold a speech at a PV solar conventions that indicated the ENERGIEWENDE was much more expensive and much more complicated than envisioned? Here are some facts:

Even Germany has misgivings about its ENERGIEWENDE. Worldwide spending on/subsidizing off renewables is DECREASING already for 3 years, especially in Spain, Italy and Germany.

Spending on renewables is in decline. From a record $318 billion in 2011, world renewable energy spending fell to $280 billion in 2012 and then fell again to $254 billion in 2013, according to Bloomberg. The biggest drop occurred in Europe, where investment plummeted 41 percent last year. The 2013 expiration of the US Production Tax Credit for wind energy will continue the downward momentum.

Here is a speech to a PV solar stakeholder convention in Germany by Sigmar Gabriel, Vice Chancellor, and Economics and Energy Minister, regarding the Germany’s Renewable Energy project, ENERGIEWENDE, verging on failure. His speech was likely approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel,

The audience was stunned to hear the unvarnished truth regarding RE.

“The truth is that in all fields we under-estimated the complexity [and cost] of the Energiewende.” [ Just as in Vermont].

If it such a challenge for Germany, it would be even a greater challenge for less capable/less rich countries/states, including Vermont.

“The complete exemption from paying feed-in tariffs is a model that is wonderful for you (PV stake holders and PV system owners) as a business model, but is one that is a problem for everyone else.”

Well-off households with PV systems, and in-state and out-of-state multi-millionaires with risk-free tax shelters owning SPEED PV solar projects receive subsidies, generous feed-in tariffs, and other benefits, whereas other households, 97+%, pay the costs; a gross societal inequity, including in Vermont.

In February, a group of scientists and economists told the German parliament that the green energy laws were a dismal failure. Not only were they making energy more expensive, they also had no measurable impact on “climate protection.”

In a damning verdict, they said: “The Renewable Energy Sources Act does not produce any additional climate protection but it makes [energy] much more expensive.”

The report came as new figures revealed that Germany had spent €100 billion on green energy since 2005, and yet carbon emissions in the country had actually risen during that period.

June 26, 2014    View Comment    

On Much Talked About Myths about Renewable Energy


My advice is to get less of your information from RE sites.

Here is a URL with government data on ACTUAL CAPACITY FACTORS by state. They are nowhere near your fancyful number of 0.50. 

BTW, factors are expressed as fractions, not percent.

Normal 0 0 1 15 91 1 1 111 11.0 0 0 0


June 25, 2014    View Comment    

On Much Talked About Myths about Renewable Energy

Normal 0 0 1 170 969 8 1 1190 11.0 0 0 0

Realities about renewable energy.

About 65% of the hours of the year, solar energy is minimal or zero.

About 30% of the hours of the year, wind energy is minimal or zero.

Many of these hours overlap and occur AT RANDOM.

That means, absent economically-viable, utility-scale energy storage (not yet invented, except impounded hydro), almost ALL conventional generating units are required almost ALL hours of the year to provide energy when solar and wind energy are insufficient.

It is called having “capacity adequacy” and it is NOT free, because all these generators would need to be:

- Staffed

- Fueled

- Kept in good working order

- Replaced on a scheduled basis with new ones,

to be ready to serve on a moment’s notice.

Capacity adequacy, and its operation, adds at least 5 c/kWh to the cost of:

- Delivering the sum of “fill-in” conventional energy + balancing the variable wind and solar energy, a significant “externality”, plus

- Extensive redesign and augmentation of existing grids to connect the distributed energy sources and control their variable, intermittent energy with the less-efficiently-operated conventional generators operating in inefficient, part-load-balancing mode.

If wind and solar energy require super grids, should not their cost be added to the cost of wind and solar?

Because Germany lacks grid adequacy to deal with increasing variable RE generation during an increasing number of hours of the year, Germany's answer has been, is, and will be, to increasingly use foreign grids to balance its variable RE energy, but Germany ends up selling this excess energy at near zero prices after subsidizing it at about 20 eurocent/kWh.

RE aficionados crowing about Germany exporting energy sounds rather hollow, especially when increased coal use causes Germany's annual CO2 emissions to INCREASE,

They are not crowing about:

- The adverse impact wind energy has on the traditional generators (without them, wind energy would be dead in the water)

- The extra transmission and the extra balancing capacity investments

- The high German household electric rates which are second highest in Europe at 29.5 eurocent/kWh, incl. fees, EEG, VAT and other taxes, right after Denmark.

No wonder, Germany and its ENERGIEWENDE has become the laughing stock of Europe.

However, because of increasing expensive RE generation from its too expensive ENERGIEWENDE, it is starting to bump up against the capacity, MW, of transmission connections with foreign grids (congestion and curtailments?), which will require Germany to finally make many billions of dollars of investments in grid expansions that should have been made at least 10 years ago.

The excuse for not doing it was the fable, it would not be necessary, because of smart grid, supply and demand management, electric cars acting as storage, economically-viable, utility-scale storage being just around the corner, etc., all of which turned out to be much slower and more expensive to implement, even by rich Germany, never mind by poor states, such as Vermont.

Basically, Germany rushed out the door to fight global warming, without being fully equipped for the battle, and deluding itself regarding the cost, etc. Somewhat similar to the way it rushed into Russia during WW II.


June 23, 2014    View Comment    

On Russian Gas Exports and Western Encroachments on Russia


Thank you for your comment.

I added some paragraphs at the beginning of the article.

Russia had the Crimea as a navy base since 1783. If Ukraine joins NATO, Russia would have to vacate that base.

Read my article again from A to Z.

June 13, 2014    View Comment    

On Russian Gas Exports and Western Encroachments on Russia


Claiming there is unity in Europe regarding responding to Russia is part of the jingoistic pap.

Europeans are aware of the US, UK, NATO, EU trying to keep Russia in a policy box (a Cold War leftover), where it is allowed to deliver resources to the world (a la the Middle East, etc.), mostly on EU terms, and pay for them with industrial goods and services made in the EU.

Russia has made huge investments in gas field development, and processing, storage and pipeline infrastructures to deliver these resources and does not want the EU/Brussels to write onerous rules about how they can be delivered, making these investments less efficient, which lowers their value, which affects the GDP and well-being of Russia.

Russia wants to bypass deadbeat Ukraine ASAP, and stop gas deliveries to Ukraine unless paid in advance, and Europe should help Russia do so.

Instead, Europe is throwing up regulatory barriers regarding completing Nord-stream from 2 to 4 lines and starting South-stream.

June 13, 2014    View Comment    

On Krugman: Climate Action Is 'Remarkably Cheap,' New EPA Rules Would Give 'U.S. Economy A Boost'


Thank you.

Wind < 3%, Nuclear < 3% Hydro 17%, Coal 75%, according to the article.

China is building ultra-super-critical coal plants with EU/US state of the art pollution control systems. As that capacity, GW, increases, air pollution will be less in China.

June 4, 2014    View Comment