When is a GW not a GW?

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A report in the Guardian today included a rather curious statement. Covering a speech by Labour Party leader Ed Milliband at Whitelee Wind Farm near Glasgow, Damian Carrington claimed the following:

The windfarm, which spreads out across low, heather-clad hills, currently has 140 turbines and will add another 75 turbines soon, giving it a capacity equivalent to more than half a nuclear power station (about 550MW).

Now, it is true that the capacity of most nuclear power plants is somewhere around 1000 MW, however one would expect that a journalist who regularly writes about energy would understand that 550 MW of wind was not equivalent to 550 MW of nuclear. Read the rest of this entry »


Switzerland’s nuclear shutdown

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Switzerland already had plans to close all of its nuclear power plants by 2035. However, a group of environmentalists, including Greenpeace, have succeeded in getting sufficient signatures to force a referendum on bringing the shutdown earlier to 2029. Good sense is clearly now being completely tossed out the window by greens in Switzerland. Read the rest of this entry »

The Zero Emissions Car

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On a recent trip to Paris I discovered that Tesla Motors had created the Holy Grail: the zero emissions car. Let’s extend the carbon accounting methods of Tesla to the entire economy. It will buy us a few much needed years to prevent drastic climate change.

Switzerland’s “Green” anti-immigration referendum

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Immigration and urbanisation are two of the great creative forces of humanity, and the creativity engendered by one is always enhanced by the other. They are to be welcomed, encouraged and defended. Therefore I felt a certain amount of revulsion when a group of Swiss Environmentalists managed to bring about a referendum on limiting immigration levels. Read the rest of this entry »

Brief Notes on “Clean Break”

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A new brief account of Germany’s Energy Revolution has just been published. Written by Osha Grey Davidson it’ll take about an hour of your time. The low price is unfortunate, as I believe they should have increased it just enough so that they could include a complimentary Kool Aid. Read the rest of this entry »

France’s 2025 nuclear target

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The current French government supposedly have plans to go from 75% to 50% nuclear by 2025. The fact that the reduction is 25% should instantly raise a skeptical eyebrow. Such things are almost always driven by politics, and not solid economics (a fine example is the EU’s 2020 target of 20% renewables, 20% emissions cuts, and 20% energy efficiency all by 2020, well pilloried by Dieter Helm in The Carbon Crunch.)

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Is onshore wind unpopular?

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On the Guardian website Damian Carrington claims that the “public overwhelmingly supports” onshore wind power. As evidence he links to a poll comparing public attitudes to wind farms with those to shale, which seems slightly besides the point. So what polling does exist? Read the rest of this entry »