What a desperate article, all the way to the final paragraph of scaremongering. It's almost comical.
92 posts • joined 29 May 2009
Re: How many errors can you fit in one paragraph?
"But for the amount of money and environmental impact that has been put into Wind power, you could be seeing many times that amount of electricity from other sources."
What environmental impact are you referring to exactly? Wind turbines pay back their energy investment very rapidly.
"The article is stating that actual bills have risen. So if you're stating that usage is actually down then that makes the situation worse, not better. And what are the reasons for electricity usage being down? If it's better insulation or similar, then that's no credit to wind power, it's something that is independent of energy source. If it's down to rising energy costs however (which surely is a factor), well then that's not a good thing, it means people are being driven to use less by the increased costs of which renewables are a very large part."
But they're not a large part! Their impact is quite small (see next comment).
Reductions in demand are down to a combination of energy efficiency measures (mostly driven by legislation and energy efficiency programmes) and behaviour change (mostly driven by prices).
Historically energy bills have risen overwhelmingly because of non-environmental reasons. But the thrust of the paragraph is actually looking forwards as Lewis states "even the paltry amounts of renewable energy now generated and to be generated in Britain are having very severe effects on household and business utility bills, to the tune of 60, 70 or even 100+ per cent increases in the near future". He's probably basing it on a recent REF-sourced Telegraph article "Green policies to add up to 40pc to cost of household electricity" but that's refering to prices not bills. If your prices go up (say) 40% and your consumption goes down (say) 20% then your bills go up by 12%. Of course as the source of that article was REF they assumed energy consumption would stay constant so that they could make the numbers look scary.
"Those are actually pretty big sums of money. You got angry at 15% being called "paltry" despite the huge cost of that 15%, but you want to dismiss 5% surcharge on energy bills. And in reality, the cost is much higher because investment and development of the renewables has taken the place of other more economic means of energy production. It has displaced better technologies."
I didn't get angry. I'm just calling out Lewis's usual flawed propaganda. And yes I consider the 5% of energy price rises attributable to renewables to be small beer up against the remaining 95% which is attributable to everything else. Don't you? Saying that "renewables policies have already caused very severe price rises" is completely unsupportable however desperate you are to spin it.
My view is that energy prices are going up whatever route we take and that steadily increasing energy prices are ultimately a good thing. The low prices we've enjoyed historically thanks to the fossil fuel bonanza have been the anomaly and we've built this hugely inefficient society around those low prices. Now we're moving to a new state where energy prices will remain high for the forseeable. It undoubtedly presents challenges for the less affluent and for businesses, but the fact is that it also drives down energy demand across the board. We need to be much more aggressive in enabling those reductions in demand: product standards should be ratcheted up as a matter of urgency, far better support for the fuel poor should be deployed and businesses need to start investing in energy efficiency now because they are very late to the party. Even if we go down a high nuclear route, getting demand as low as possible is a really good idea because we'll need to build fewer powerplants.
How many errors can you fit in one paragraph?
"An illustration of this fact was given last week, when UK government figures (which the Department for Energy and Climate Change had endeavoured to keep secret) revealed that even the paltry amounts of renewable energy now generated and to be generated in Britain...."
In 2014 renewables are going to have contributed somewhere in the region of 15% of UK electricity supply. How is this paltry?
"...are having very severe effects on household and business utility bills, to the tune of 60, 70 or even 100+ per cent increases in the near future."
As you well know, energy price increases <> energy bill increases because energy consumption is not static. Average household electricity demand is down about 15% since 2005 and average gas demand is down more than a quarter. I'd like to see electricity demand coming down faster but the government has not grabbed the energy efficiency nettle to a sufficient degree so we'll have to make do with 2% reductions per annum for now. Undoubtedly higher electricity prices will drive further reductions.
"British renewables policies have already caused very severe price rises..."
Costs of support for renewable energy amounts to 5% of energy bills and about 5% of the increase in bills since 2010.
"...for very little carbon reduction."
15% of electricity supply isn't far behind nuclear. So do you believe that nuclear is also giving us very little in the way of carbon reductions?
Re: So they didn't include every community near.....
As it's a Health Canada study I would assume it was funded by the Canadian taxpayer.
Re: @ scatter
@ Squander Two... Well it results in the same illumination levels for longer periods of time. The thrust of the article was that there would suddenly be a big increase in illumination levels (i.e. lots more lights or the same number of much brighter lights) which is what I was pushing back on because there is no evidence for it but it's always rolled out by people trying to diss energy efficiency in lighting.
Re: @Scatter - look at the numbers, not the technology
Am I missing something? I just checked those out and they seem to be for theatres, not residential lamps.
It's undoubtedly a mixed bag with a lot of cheap shite out there but the good quality ones are definitely there for the buying and getting cheaper all the time. And the existence of crap products is no reason not to tighten the legislation, just a reason for good quality information for consumers, choice editing from retailers or, even better, additional parameters to the labelling requirements such as CRI or PF (there is precedence for that as washing machines are rated for spin and wash performance as well as energy).
I would argue that LED halogen replacements are in a better place now than CFLs were at the same point in their deployment cycle and we want to avoid making the same mistakes that were made with the GLS phase out.
Re: @Scatter - look at the numbers, not the technology
"And if they do that then they are the most stupid idiots in the history of bloody fools, and the entire lighting industry will fight them to the death. Just because something is LED does not mean it's efficacious. Lots of them are utter shite, consuming more electricity to make less light than a halogen."
Yer wot? Please point out an LED lamp with lower lumens per watt than the equivalent halogen lamp. 30W of LED lighting would be immensely bright and way too big for a standard fitting - you can get LED security floodlights that consume 30W but I wouldn't want one in my living room.
"The last round of proposals set a Lumens/Watt minimum and said nothing whatsoever about the technology. This is the only sane thing to do - defining a particular technology is the act of a moron."
I couldn't agree more! It's far and away the best metric and I don't care what technology achieves it. But it will have exactly the same effect - it'll phase out the halogens and replace them with LEDs.
Re: @ scatter
"Disingenuous toad"? It sounds like you're straight out of the 1920s you insufferable cur.
I wasn't being in the slightest bit disingenuous. I merely provided some numbers to show that your claim that it had flattened out wasn't quite correct. It's still trending down, albeit a lot slower than previously. The reason for this is entirely clear when you look at the evolution of demand from the different lighting technologies:
Unsurprisingly the rate of reduction decreases as the incandescent GLS lamps fall out of the lighting stock very quickly. It only takes a few years to get rid of the vast majority of incandescents so their contribution to lighting demand has effectively dropped off to zero.
Now the focus will shift to the 50% of lighting demand that is consumed by halogen lamps. That tiny blue strip in the above graph represents LEDs and that strip will rapidly expand as the halogen strip disappears. How soon that starts is down to the European Union (or electricity price rises). The EU has already made a start, phasing out the most inefficient halogens but it's the directional halogens that need to go as they form the bulk of that demand. Thankfully halogens only last 1,000 hours also so they'll disappear just as quickly as GLS lamps once the transition starts.
It'll do wonders for reigning in the winter peak in electricity demand too so initiating the phase out of halogens really should be a top priority.
"Between 2010 and 2012 the decline you note flattened out"
Not according to the numbers in Table 3.10 (units are ttoe):
2010 - 1,212
2011 - 1,179
2012 - 1,181
2013 - 1,145
We'll just have to wait and see what the Commission does regarding a halogen lighting phase out. My money is on them going for it (it's a no-brainer now with halogen replacements now being at the right quality and price point) so my money's on the Gone Green trend for lighting.
Re: @ scatter
Oh I'm sure there'll be some rebound through people leaving lights on longer (another factor that should be, and is included in any forecasting of benefits from energy efficiency) but that's quite a different thing to adding lots more lighting to increase illumination levels within the home, something which that policy blog seems to imply is inevitable.
"But when is the inflexion point? When will we be satiated with light and thus energy efficiency, in its provision, will lead to less energy use? As this climate change policy blog puts it:..."
I'm afraid that climate change policy blog is simply wrong. We've already reached saturation of interior lighting levels in our homes (at least in the UK) and I'm sure there are very very good psycho/physiological reasons why we aren't going to have daylight levels of illumination indoors (does he really consider that to be a likely scenario??)
This is quite clearly demonstrated by looking at the trend in lighting demand over the past 40 years. UK residential lighting demand peaked in 2002, trended down slowly til 2007 when it fell off a cliff and in 2012 was now back to the level that we last saw in 1978 (see DECC publication Energy Consumption in the UK for the numbers). And over that period the number of households in the UK has increased by a third.
In spite of replacing the vast majority of our incandescent GLS bulbs with CFLs (which have a much lower total cost of ownership) we haven't seen a major uptick in demand for lighting services. And we won't see a major uptick when we replace those CFLs and, much more importantly, all of our halogens (which really are a phenomenal waste of money and energy and now account for half of residential lighting demand) with LEDs which will be well underway before the decade is out.
No, in the UK residential (and indeed all) lighting demand is going to continue to fall off a cliff thanks to LEDs and this is going to make a big impact on our electricity demand.
In the developing world we will see an increase in demand for lighting services which is great because LEDs are enabling the rapid growth of off grid, renewably sourced lighting which is to be welcomed.
Re: Let there be light!
"Admittedly using electric bulbs is an expensive way of heating your home compared to gas, but the planet-savers didn't factor in the lost benefits of incandescent filaments, that on a fully adjusted basis were probably around 15% of their energy use. "
Afraid that's simply not true. As a 'planet-saver' who's worked on the nuts and bolts of energy efficiency for nearly a decade, the heat replacement effect has been well understood and factored in to efficiency savings calculations from lighting to appliances and ITC for at least as long. It doesn't make a big difference but it's big enough to be worth factoring in to any saving calculation.
**Of course the confusion here may be worsened by the fact that we aren't "currently seeing" any climate change by the headline measure: there has been no global warming for perhaps 15 years.**
Oh dear, Lewis yet again betrays his profound ignorance of the issue. What he's trying to say is that there has been no surface air temperature warming for perhaps 15 years, completely neglecting the fact that only 2% of warming goes into the atmosphere with more than 90% going into the ocean.
Incidentally it's factually incorrect to say that there has been no surface air temperature warming for the last 15 years but it's a convenient fiction to maintain.
Re: IPCC blaming heretics again?
No heat since 1995? What planet are you on? The data simply does not agree with that statement:
If we get to the stage that we're sapping that amount of energy out of the wind then I'll be pretty happy, but in the meantime wind generation will have been lifted well out of the boundary layer and will be quite happily generating far more than its ground based cousins.
For a more balanced view
I'd recommend reading the Skeptical Science piece on this research for a bit of balance to LP's breathless 'reporting':
One thing to note is that this research has not yet been peer reviewed or published or even accepted by a journal yet and the results should be treated as preliminary (this is not mentioned in Page's article, surprise surprise). Also the SS article rightly flags the fact that the model returns completely different climate sensitivities depending on the years you include in the analysis (3.7 degrees for the period from to 1750 to 2000 and 1.9 degrees when looking to 2010) which sounds odd to say the least.
"something almost equally unusual"
Only Lewis Page could spin this story to suggest that the two ends of the earth are equally unusual.
Compare and contrast the two graphs:
One is about 2 standard deviations away from the mean and the other is more like 5 or 6.
Standfirst: "And winter’s not yet over"
Why hasn't a correction or clarification been published on this article? One of the authors of the research has commented above to point out the error in the story and yet nothing has appeared on the article itself.
Re: Nails in the coffin?
The earth is absorbing more CO2 (thankfully) and yet atmospheric CO2 continues its inexorable rise...
Re: Standby is most definitely significant...
In what way has he demonstrated that it's bad science or that the standby conclusion is incorrect? Lewis has pointed out some inconsistencies but that's hardly surprising in a 600 page report that deals with many millions of data points and consequentially a need to resort to software to pick through this data. But to suggest that this invalidates the standby findings is plainly incorrect but typical of his agenda-driven reportage.
Naturally the figures I gave were anecdotal but of course we have the real data in our hands, so let's take a look at the main report and compare it with my 'anecdata'. Sky box consumption varies between 15W and 20W over a 24 hr period so let's call standby 15W. The average router was 6.3W, LCD TVs are a couple of watts on average, which already brings us to over 20W and half way to the 47W figure.
I find it bizarre that there is such denial of this real data. Standby is an issue, however much people want to wish it away. Some of it is being dealt with (TVs are a prime example) but it will take quite a while for the impacts to filter through. Other product types have most definitely not been dealt with and legislation should be brought to bear on manufacturers who are foisting shoddy products that cost us a lot of money each year.
The same goes for in use consumption which is of course much bigger than standby consumption. But to suggest, as Lewis does, that we should ignore standby because other issues are bigger (and he does this all the time) is plainly nonsense. It's an easy, highly cost effective win and we'll need these simple and small wins every bit as much as the big wins.
Standby is most definitely significant...
...and something can be done about it. so it's very good that this report is highlighting it. Some of the responsibility falls on the person operating the equipment but most of it falls on the equipment manufacturers. I don't see what's outrageous about an organisation such as the energy saving trust promoting action on this matter.
And after consistent pressure at a European level via the Energy Using Product Directive the manufacturers of many product sectors have made great strides in reducing standby. Lewis notes that modern TVs have very low standby consumption which is absolutely correct but he needs to remember that not everyone has modern TVs. In fact the old ones are no doubt happily sitting in bedrooms or kitchens in standby ticking away.
47W or more of standby is very achievable. I just tested the kit in the corner of my living room (TV, Virgin box, cable modem and wifi router) and it came to 20W. And that's just three things, all of which can be switched off when not in use and by switching them off I'm getting a very welcome saving of about £15 per year on my electricity bill. I can easily see that a small family with multiple TVs, computers and assorted other devices could have standby consumption well in excess of 47W.
I find it strange that Lewis disses actual monitored data that takes our understanding of household electricity consumption much further on but holds up McKay's work as being correct when McKay was working with the much more limited data that existed back then leading him to underestimate the impact of standby. OK it's a small sample size but then I imagine monitoring every electricity using device in a house can't be cheap.
Yet again Lewis confirms my general rule of thumb that if he gets in a tizzy about something he doesn't like then it usually has merit, while if he promotes something as The Solution it usually doesn't.
Also this reduction is achieved through a really quite modest cut in meat consumption:
"To make a really significant difference, however, we will need to bring down the average global meat consumption from 16.6 per cent to 15 per cent of average daily calorie intake – about half that of the average western diet."
But Lewis makes it sound like the evil commie scientists want everyone to go vegan.
You do know that oxygen and nitrogen (comprising about 99% of the atmosphere) are not greenhouse gases and so do nothing to trap heat so this talking point is one of the lamest ever put out there?
Re: What's so damn bloody annoying
Oh sure we can increase GDP more efficiently but there are thermodynamic limits to the gains which can be made from efficiency (although we've barely made a start on that path). The example of your worker making wooden objects needs to buy tools, light his or her workspace, get the finished objects to market etc etc. Those will have non-zero energy inputs.
So the only conclusion that I can draw is that energy growth is inextricably linked to GDP growth (however you define it) and therefore indefinite GDP growth is impossible because we'll eventually cook ourselves with waste heat as Tom Murphy points out. That applies to fusion power as well by the way.
Re: What's so damn bloody annoying
Except that value added is surely associated with an energy input so physical limits do come into play.
Unless you're proposing that you can get growth without any energy input at all? I'd be interested to know how that is possible.
Re: Got a reference for this?
Interesting, ta. I believe the UK smart meter spec defines a 5s resolution and I imagine it's substantially harder to identify these kinds of things at these lower resolutions.
Got a reference for this?
"That might sound fanciful, but researchers have already demonstrated that the pattern of energy consumed by a decent flat-screen TV can be used to work out what programme is being watched..."
This is the second time this has been suggested here in the last week or so but I'm sceptical about the ability to do this via smart meters which give an overall power consumption for a house every five seconds.
I can see you could probably do it in a lab with sensitive power meters but at a resolution of 5 seconds and with all the other noise you get from other devices...?
Re: How the hell do they work that out?
Yeah I reckon that's tosh as well. I reckon you could make a reasonable guess when someone turned a TV on that it is a TV from the change in electricity consumption and time of use, but not what make or model it is with any degree of certainty. It's hardly sensitive data anyway so it's irrelevant. The other bits about occupancy are much more significant.
Re: "What is the cost of keeping this plant operating under capacity?"
Well it doesn't actually tell us anything about the costs of undercapacity... and the costs of having 15 plants which are almost never operating? Who is going to finance that?
Emisisons & Cost
Ah another 'Analysis' from Lewis. Some crude back of the envelope calculations:
Greenhouse gas emissions from desalination are by no means trivial. Assuming that the 7kWh per tonne figure is correct then this equates to greenhouse gas emissions of 3.4kgCO2 per tonne (based on 0.48644kgCO2e/kWh). Current ghg intensity of water supply in the UK is 0.34kgCO2e per tonne so we're talking about supplying water with 10 times the GHG emissions as is done currently.
http://archive.defra.gov.uk/environment/business/reporting/pdf/110819-guidelines-ghg-conversion-factors.pdf for the factors
And people who hate on renewables (i.e. The Register) are always telling us how having backup plant is wasteful and expensive. But here Lewis is proposing constructing a load of desalination plants for the occasional drought. What is the cost of keeping this plant operating under capacity?
They're also telling us how renewables are putting intolerable burdens on our energy bills but here Lewis is suggesting adding £22 of OPEX (being kind and ignoring the suggestions in comments above that this is an underestimate) and £25 of CAPEX (assuming it's paid off over 20 years and I can't be bothered to calculate the NPV) per *person*.
That's an increase in water bills of over £100 per household per year which represents an increase of nearly 30% in the average water and sewage bill (£350). But that's the cost of water AND sewage so the cost of the water component of your bill would likely increase by well over 50%.
What a great suggestion this is!
Re: Spot the difference:
Indeed the researchers have released the following statement
<<"It is unfortunate that my research, "An ikaite record of late Holocene climate at the Antarctic Peninsula," recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, has been misrepresented by a number of media outlets.
Several of these media articles assert that our study claims the entire Earth heated up during medieval times without human CO2 emissions. We clearly state in our paper that we studied one site at the Antarctic Peninsula. The results should not be extrapolated to make assumptions about climate conditions across the entire globe. Other statements, such as the study "throws doubt on orthodoxies around global warming," completely misrepresent our conclusions. Our study does not question the well-established anthropogenic warming trend.">>
Spot the difference:
Scientist says: “We showed that the Northern European climate events influenced climate conditions in Antarctica,”
Lewis says: "Medieval warming WAS global – new science contradicts IPCC"
Just to put that amazing 500% well count increase in context...
Let's take a look at US oil production trends since 1860:
link to the analysis?
Big numbers. What does it work out as per kWh?
Taking the worst case additional costs as £286m + £945m gives you £1.231bn
(and I imagine that operating reserve requirement isn't the marginal cost so it's probably going to be less than this).
According to DUKES, in 2009 we consumed 322,417GWh in the UK.
I make that 0.38p/kWh or about 3% of current retail prices.
I hope you'll understand if I don't worry too much about this.
Can't spot it in the report
In fact I can't reconstruct his calculations at all. The 'will need' link to wolfram alpha suggests that average European consumption is 46MWh per capita. IEA puts total primary energy supply at 1,816,247ktoe
which is 21,123TWh. There are about 850m people in Europe so I make that 25MWh per capita.
Ah I see...
the population figure I was using was for continental Europe rather than EU-27. 46MWh per capita does make sense. But that's including all the thermal plant that throws away half the primary energy as heat. Would be interesting to see how the numbers come out in the main report when electricity is produced with non-thermal sources.
2/3 of European Energy Consumption?
"All in all, it seems fair to say that human beings deserve to use, say, two-thirds as much energy as an average European of today does."
What's this based on? Is this number, say, plucked out of thin air?
"Targeting the pot industry appeals to environmentalists in a number of ways. It allows several new bureaucracies to sprout forth, and more importantly, it also plays to "the haunting fear" (in Mencken's description of Puritanism) that "someone, somewhere, may be happy"."
Excuse me? I think you're confusing environmentalists with the Christian right or something.
Looking at the FAQs on his website and scanning the report, I would also suggest that calling the author a "policy analyst with a Puritanical streak" is quite wide of the mark (but par for the course).
This research is just one more reason why the criminalisation of marijuana is utterly wrong. The fact that in 2006 a third of the US's *total* weed crop was grown indoors in California (you really should pay more attention to your source material), a climate so perfectly suited for outdoor growing, is staggering and predominantly down to criminalisation.
Therefore I would expect the vast majority of environmentalists to lean towards decriminilsation rather than increased control.
The nuclear spin machine cranks into action...
But no one, even people living in an area that's tectonically inactive, is going to want one in their neighbourhood now.
What an absurd comment
Highly amusing that drivel like that is being uprated. Truly lame.
If we continue on this trajectory...
of inexorable increases in greenhouse gas emissions, we know that the future is going to be a very dark world indeed. If we do nothing to change direction, that future is guaranteed. if we do something about it now we have a small chance of avoiding it.
Time of use best for plug ins
Plug in owners should be on time of use tariffs to push them towards off-peak. I wonder if California will introduce these if plug ins take off? Would make sense given their aims for high penetration renewables over the coming decade.
Cabs are ideally suited to being pure EVs
Daily mileage of a central London cab is unlikely to exceed 150 miles (9 hours is the maximum you can drive for in a day and average traffic speed in London is about 15mph if I remember right) which is an eminently achievable range. And it's a very stop start drive cycle - perfect for EVs.
Steady though Lewis! Bit early to call the current state of climate science wrong, but this is encouraging.
Lame Lame Lame
What a non-story and what a non-report (not surprising given where it comes from).
For example, it takes Global Action Plan to task for errr... having a view on climate change and taking money from Hackney Council to errr...hit the streets of one of the poorest wards in one of the poorest of London's boroughs, delivering advice and support for households living in fuel poverty during the coldest November in decades. Nice to see that the TPA view that as a waste of public money, what a delightful bunch they are..
I can't wait for the outcome of the charity commission investigation.
They have windows!
And you can open them! It's not that they're sealed boxes, instead the ventilation is precisely controlled so as to minimise heat loss. Ventilation is very important but is largely ignored, in the UK at least.