Author: Robert Wilson

A note to my followers on Twitter. Don’t reply to me…..

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Just a quick note to anyone wise enough to follow me on Twitter. I am not logging on to Twitter at the minute or reading direct messages etc. The tweets in my account are automated by WordPress each time a new post is published.

So, if I don’t respond to you it is not because I am being rude, I am just not using Twitter.

This will either be 3 or 4 month break or a permanent one. We will see.

Climate change targets must rhyme, it’s the rules

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It’s very difficult to beat the sheer stupidity of the European Union agreeing to having three climate change and energy targets for 2020 that all included the number 20.

Reduce GHG emissions by 20% from the arbitrary baseline of 1990..

Get 20% of final energy consumption from renewables. Energy consumption, not electricity as Tony Blair supposedly believed at the time.

Have energy consumption 20% lower in 2020 than what a fairy tale computer model tells you will be the energy consumption in 2020, a computer model which failed to predict the collapse of Lehman Brothers a year after the target was agreed.

The 20/20/20 targets are impossible to top. But they have provided a template for fatuous climate change targets.

So, today we have Canada telling us what their 2030 target will be.

Can you guess what it is?

The declining importance of American cement production

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A simple rule of thumb: name a material fundamental to the global economy and China makes or consumes half of it. This dominance by China was made famous last year by Bill Gates, who tweeted the following about cement:

There are even alternative formulations of this that are equally staggering. Consider this: China increased its cement consumption more this century than the rest of the world’s did since the invention of cement. Don’t believe me? Check the data! Read the rest of this entry »

Sorry Thomas Friedman, Germany will not become the world’s first solar powered superpower

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From a recent piece by Thomas Friedman:

Here’s my prediction: Germany will be Europe’s first green, solar-powered superpower.

And here is a plot of the average power output from Germany’s solar panels in each month of 2014:


Read the rest of this entry »

How to use ggplot2 to plot French electricity data

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I’m going to start doing two or more shortish posts per week looking at energy and electricity data. This will involve a couple of things. First, I’ll be posting time series of wind farm output etc. etc, and then talking and venting around them. But, more importantly, I’ll be posting the code and data sources used to generate the figures.

Some of the posts will be short, some will be long.

Here is the first topic.

What does the average day look like on the French electricity grid?

Fortunately, France publishes excellent data, which is available here. So, this question is easy to answer. Half hourly production from each source – nuclear, coal, wind, solar, etc. – are all available historically.

So, what does the average half hourly output look like? Below is the data plotted for 2013, along with the average CO2 intensity of production.

Daily Read the rest of this entry »

Onshore versus offshore wind in Denmark

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Below is a graph of hourly production from Denmark’s onshore versus onshore wind last year.


Read the rest of this entry »

How to install every R package your scripts require using Python

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One of the annoying things many R users probably face is the annoyance of having to re-install all the R packages you use.

This can be necessary for a variety of reasons. You might buy a new computer or upgrade (as I did recently) to a new version of R, or you might want to dual boot your Windows computer with Linux.

Either way, you can be in a situation where you need to re-install all of your packages. This can be a pain.

So, I have written a Python script that does this for you. Read the rest of this entry »