by Viv Forbes & Helpers, 30 January 2012
A print-ready copy of this issue of “Carbon Sense” can be downloaded here.
The Climate Scare/Green Energy Bubble will be the defining feature of our age. Never before have so many people wasted so much money and time on climate fables, alarmist handouts and energy toys.
Already it has spread further, distracted more people and wasted more community resources than the South Sea Bubble, the Tulip Mania or Y2K. Future generations will read in wonder how sensible people like Germans, British, Spanish, Danes, Californians, Australians and Kiwis lost their ability for critical thinking.
The guilty parties will never admit their foolishness, and the vested interests will fight to keep their privileges, so we will have to fight every inch of the way. They will have to be removed.
But reality and public opinion are on our side. We just need to keep illustrating and lampooning the cost of this foolishness. And keep Tony Abbott to his promise to:
AXE THE CARBON TAX.
Please help us by passing this on.
Coal Powered Cars
It is time to end all government promotion and subsidies for electric cars which are just the latest green fad, as costly and impractical as most other green fads.
Electricity is not a primary source of energy – it is a way of transmitting energy from primary sources or storages to electric applications and machines. In Australia, 93% of electricity is generated from carbon fuels, 77% from coal. This will not change dramatically in the near future.
Therefore most electric cars in Australia will run on coal power. Such vehicles will produce more carbon dioxide per kilometre than the petrol/diesel cars they replace. They do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions, even if that mattered. They increase emissions and move them somewhere else.
All vehicles need a method of storing energy while travelling between resupply stations. For cars and trucks, diesel petrol and gas provide highly concentrated energy in a form that can be conveniently stored in simple fuel tanks.
Electric cars need heavy batteries which are costly and have low energy storage capacity. They are so limited in range that most are supplied as petrol/electric hybrids – these are heavier, more costly and more complex than our current car fleet. Hybrids run mainly on petrol power, and they need two energy storage tanks – a petrol tank for the combustion motor, and a big battery for the electric motor.
Electric cars will also need a whole new industry to build and service the cars and supply their power outlets. Add to that the cost of scrapping an enormous industry of assets and skills built up around our current vehicle fleet.
And who is going to build the massive extra generating capacity needed to charge thousands of electric cars at 6pm every night, just as millions of stoves start to cook dinner?
The green fantasy is that electric car batteries can be recharged by solar cells on your house roof. Will this work? Yes, after a just few days plugged into the solar panel, the cute green car may be ready for a trip to the local shops.
Electric cars can have no effect on global climate – they are another example of costly green tokenism. They are rich men’s toys.
Those who want them, not electricity consumers or tax payers, should pay for them.
More reading on Coal Powered Cars:
Electric Cars – technology of the Past?
“In the year 1900, 38% of vehicles in the US were electric, and another 40% were steam powered; only 22% used gasoline. There was even a fleet of electric taxis in New York City.”
“The growing use of the electric automobile, with its many advantages of simplicity, ease of operation and noiselessness, has resulted in a demand for some means of conveniently charging the batteries.”
While that quote sounds like part of a pitch for a modern GE battery charger, in fact it’s taken directly from GE’s Bulletin No. 4772, published 100 years ago in September, 1910.
GE made electric cars from 1904 – 1920’s. An electric car powered with a Bailey electric New Edison battery participated in the 1000 mile endurance run in the early 1900’s.
But they could not compete with Ford’s Model T and all the other internal combustion engines – they were cheaper, more reliable and could go further on a tank of fuel. Consumers deserted the electric cars. The same factors apply today.
Detroit Vintage Electric Car (1917)
Feedback from a Canadian Reader (Reported in Canada Free Press).
A simple comparison demonstrates the point, namely the energy density per weight unit of the energy storage systems. For gasoline or diesel, the energy density is approximately fifty times higher than for any current type of battery.
Posted by: Klaus Kaiser Author of “Convenient Myths” the green revolution – perceptions, politics, and facts.
Electric Cars and City Pollution
Burning large quantities of coal, wood, gas, diesel or petrol in crowded cities is not a good idea – it reduces the oxygen content in congested downtown areas and produces suffocating and sometimes poisonous exhaust fumes. These are all easily dispersed in country areas but do reduce air quality in big cities.
Electricity has a long history of cleaning up city smog. “Clean Coal by Wire” and the banning of open combustion in cities such as London and Pittsburgh removed the smog.
Have a look at this short article: http://carbon-sense.com/2008/08/04/clearing-the-smog/
Modern cars and trucks are continually improving their pollution control equipment. Electric cars may improve air quality in big cities, but with heavy cost and poor performance. Electric cars may make sense in Singapore but not in Alice Springs. Car owners and city authorities should make decisions on the trade-offs and they, not tax payers or other consumers, should pay for the costs of their actions.
The Shocking Truth about Electric Cars
“Consumers simply won’t pay a $20,000 premium for a vehicle that doesn’t go very far, isn’t very convenient, and runs out of juice as soon as you turn on the air conditioner.”
Diesel powers the most economical car in the world.
The most economical car in the world has been developed by Volkswagen. It has a one cylinder diesel engine, one seater, goes 100km on 1 litre of fuel, 650 km on a tank.
Compressed air may rival electric cars.
Tata Motors of India is producing the Mini Cat Air Car, a 6 seat minivan, driven by compressed air at up to 105 kph for 300 km on one tank of air costing about $2. The car is expected to sell for about $13,000 from 2012.
Obama sinks $5 billion of tax payer funds on green cars.
How many people bought a Toyota Prius hybrid car in China last year?
For the answer see: http://www.topgear.com/uk/car-news/toyota-prius-china-sales-2011-08-23
Green Energy Is a Financial Parasite – Casey Research
Any politician who talks of a green, utopian US – where wind and solar produce most of our energy, electric cars put power back into the grid, green fields of corn produce clean fuels, and millions of Americans work in green technology factories – is creating a fanciful vision so far detached from reality it should really be called a lie.
Ban Petrol cars in UK?
UK Minister wants all petrol cars off the road, replaced by electric cars that get charged when/if the wind blows.
Australian Green Dreams
The Greens want:
- Coal-fired power stations phased out as soon as possible.
- All motor vehicles converted to electric power.
- High-speed electric trains replacing diesel power for interstate travel.
- Electric trains replacing domestic air travel
- Nuclear power banned.
- A stop to gas exploration
Where do they think all this electricity is going to come from? No wonder they want Smart Meters in our homes so central control can turn off our air conditioners, manipulate our thermostats and ration our consumption of everything.
Another Green Toy Fails as Solar Bubble Bursts
It is also time to end the mandates, subsidies and feed-in tariffs propping up the failing solar power schemes.
The solar bubble is bursting, and the longer these handouts are continued, the greater the ultimate waste inflicted onto electricity consumers and taxpayers.
It is no surprise that makers of solar panels are going broke all over the world. But the key problem is not just a flood of cheap Chinese panels or the slashing of “feed-in” bribes.
Solar energy is useful for growing crops and timber, evaporating sea water to produce salt, drying clothes, heating domestic water and powering remote locations and portable equipment. Some people may also choose to use solar panels to run their air conditioner on a hot day. Everyone should be free to use solar, but not at the expense of other consumers or taxpayers.
But for generating continuous mains power, solar is a green toy. In clear sunny weather, the electricity generated from solar panels varies from zero at midnight to a modest maximum at midday, providing there is no dust on the panel. On a cloudy/rainy day, output varies from negligible to none. In all cases complete reliable standby/backup generation is required.
Solar power is a high cost way of generating an intermittent and variable supply of electricity from a very dilute source while sterilising a large area of land.
The solar industry is only efficient at one thing – extracting unearned profits from tax payers and other electricity consumers.
As the growing global austerity starts to bite, all such frippery will evaporate.
The sagging market for solar panels is merely heralding that emerging reality.
More Reading on the Bust of the Solar Bubble:
German solar industry horrified as subsidies are questioned.
Dr Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, says the solar bubble has burst and he thinks the wind bubble is about to burst.
Delhi’s rooftop solar power policy a non-starter “not viable” and “not cost effective”.
Solar Doomed: Every Solar Job in Germany Costs €250,000 to electricity consumers, meaning they are doomed.
Spain Stops Green Energy Subsidies
Spain has halted subsidies for renewable energy projects to help curb its budget deficit and rein in power-system borrowings backed by the state that reached 24 billion euros ($31 billion) at the end of 2011.
“What is today an energy problem could become a financial problem,” Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said in Madrid. The government passed a decree today stopping subsidies for new wind, solar, co-generation or waste incineration plants.
Wasteful Wind Power another green toy
Let’s try to understand wind power.
Every wind farm needs backup generators to supply power when the wind fails.
If there is no wind, zero electricity is produced by the turbines and all power comes from the backup generators (mainly coal or gas in Australia).
If wind speed exceeds design capacity, the turbines are shut down to prevent damage, and all power comes from the backup generators.
In freezing still air, the wind turbines take electricity from the backup generators to prevent damage from cold. And they draw power to get reconnected.
When the wind blows strongly all over the wind farm, the grid may not be able to cope with the surge in supply so some turbines may be paid to close down, producing no electricity.
And on those rare occasions when a steady wind in the right place produces just the right amount of power to supply the demand at that time, the backup generators produce no useful power but waste fuel to maintain “spinning reserve” or to ramp up and down when the wind fluctuates.
Now we find that wind power probably increases the production of carbon dioxide (not that this matters).
Why not scrap the wind turbines and produce a steady supply of low cost power from the backup generators?
Wind power is costly and unreliable with no environmental or climate benefits and should not be propped up by tax payers or electricity consumers.
Should you want to read more:
“In a sane world, no one would dream of building power sources whose cost is 22 times greater than that of vastly more efficient competitors. But the Government feels compelled to do just this because it sees it as the only way to meet our commitment to the EU that within nine years Britain must generate nearly a third of its electricity from “renewable” sources, six times more than we do at present. Madness is far too polite a word.”
Wind Power in Netherlands – “Irresponsible”.
The wind projects do not fulfill ‘sustainable’ objectives. They cost more fuel than they save and they cause no CO2 saving, in the contrary they increase our environmental ‘foot print’.
A decision to invest Billions (thousands of millions) of Euros in the construction of wind projects ‘to save fossil fuel and to reduce CO2 emission’ is irresponsible. There are no savings, THERE IS LOSS!
Why Wind Won’t Work
There is no justification for continuing the complex network of subsidies, mandates and tax breaks that currently underpin construction of wind farms in Australia. If wind power is sustainable it will be developed without these financial crutches.
Green Energy in Canada – Auditor General’s Report
“The (Green Energy) Act has been promoted as a mechanism for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, increasing job opportunities, and creating a competitive business environment. However the Auditor General’s investigators found little evidence that these objectives have been or would be realized. Instead it suggests that the escalating electricity costs resulting from the addition of solar and wind power to the grid with their extravagant feed-in-tariffs are having the opposite effect”
For a summary see: http://docs.wind-watch.org/AUDITOR-GENERALs-REPORT.pdf
Can Green Energy be Saved?
Wind power and solar power have two major disadvantages which no amount of research or wistful thinking can fix.
- Firstly, the primary energy is very dilute, so that very large areas of land are required to collect significant amounts of energy. Therefore construction, transmission, monitoring and control need a lot of hardware and cause extensive land sterilisation. The result is an expensive, widespread and fragile infrastructure, liable to damage from storms, and requiring regular maintenance. The crews are often exposed to dangerous work conditions in widely scattered and often remote work locations.
- Secondly, the energy produced from wind and solar is un-predictable and the real capacity is normally less than one third of the nameplate capacity. Moreover green power fails completely just when it is needed most – for warming during blizzards, snowstorms and still winter nights or for cooling on breathlessly hot nights. The generating facilities are also more liable to fail during cyclones and hurricanes.
We are constantly told that brave new high-tech storage systems will solve this unreliability problem. Obviously, if we spent enough money we could build massive warehouses full of lead/nickel/lithium batteries to provide power for the two thirds of the time when wind and solar are not producing. Most people can see this is not economically sensible.
Molten salt storage is claimed to be the great green hope for solar. This is just like a massive hot water system that warms up during the sunny hours and discharges its heat for the other two thirds of each 24 hours. It obviously can be made to work but only at enormous capital cost per unit of reliable electricity that is generated. All this looks ducky to armchair academics, but the engineering and cost hurdles are immense.
Perhaps the most sensible and feasible green energy storage option is to combine wind power and hydro power. Of course this would be far more costly than a simple hydro scheme. It needs two storage dams, one a large elevated main storage and the other, a smaller pump storage. It may also need two lots of pipes, one with generators turned by released water, the other with pumps for returning water. When the wind blows, part of its output is directed to pumping water from the lower storage to the upper one. When the wind drops, the upper storage generates power. It all looks good until engineers start looking closely at the wind performance figures. The hydro storage needs to be large enough to generate all power for days or even weeks when the wind farm is not generating. The system needs two separate generating systems (wind and hydro) which add to complexity, capital cost and maintenance costs.
Moreover, Australia has very few hydro sites left, and the same people so vigorously promoting wind energy will also be found opposing any expansion of hydro power.
In all cases, unless hobbled by green carbon taxes or strangled in green tape, modern coal or gas generating systems can do the same job at a fraction of the capital and operating cost, and have less net impact on the environment.
All we have achieved in a decade of building renewable electricity sources is to double the cost of electricity.
Solar has a place to play, but not on the national grid: it is best used locally to heat domestic water for remote locations, portable equipment or to run the air-con for the house that the cells are mounted on. Windmills are best used for pumping water, again locally, not for generating costly unreliable mains power electricity.
The conclusion is: Green energy is not worth saving.
The Real History of Global Warming
“Global warming happens every year in the spring and continues through summer”
Gemma Freeman on endothermic processes
“Scientists first observed global warming in 1895. Then in 1920 they said it was global cooling. Then in 1935 they said there was global warming, but then in 1975 they said it was the verge of a new Ice Age but then it became global warming again. But that is all old news. Let’s stop talking about discredited work and move on to the real history.
“One summer morning, scientists watching the expansion of mercury in a thermometer all realized: the Earth was getting hotter! If the trend continued unabated, spontaneous fires would start everywhere and entire forests, jungles, and cities would burn down. It was simple arithmetic.
Their eyes met and they knew they were all thinking the same thing: A soft life through endless government research grants. Lifetime sinecures not just for cousins of legislators! This was the first case of scientific consensus. In fact, science previously had not been conducted through votes and consensus at all. These scientists reached an equally unprecedented conclusion that has echoed through legislative hearing rooms ever since: The science is settled!”
Read the full sad/funny story here:
Following the success of the carbon credit entrepreneurs, here is another good idea:
How to Vote
We are not in the election business but we all have a big vested interest in the result of the coming Queensland election. Unfortunately, for many electorates, it is a matter of choosing the least worst candidate and ranking the rest.
Quiz your local hopefuls, rank them, and then number every square on the ballot paper. Vote for those who are committed to support by acting or speaking in favour of as many as possible of the following:
- Abolish the carbon tax.
- Cease demonization of carbon dioxide and carbon fuels.
- Cease mandates and subsidies for green energy toys such as solar and wind energy, electric cars and ethanol.
- Remove all the vegetation bans imposed without warning, consultation or compensation on freehold land.
- Abolish land sterilisation such as Wild Rivers.
- Abolish all state and federal climate change bureaucracies and green taxes.
- Cease funding or attending international bureaucracies such as the IPCC.
- Withdraw from the Kyoto treaty.
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