Blue State versus Wind State

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How predictable is wind power?

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I have sometimes heard people say wind power is reliably predictable, but have never looked into the issue before, mainly because some of the people I have heard make the claim are not likely to be stupid enough to have this wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

“70-85% of the time”

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During the recent storm over UK Energy Minister John Hayes’ rather silly comments about onshore wind farms, the Green Party leader Natalie Bennett made a quite curious intervention to the debate. Most curious was the following challenge, a taunt if you will, to those who say the intermittency of wind is a problem:

No energy source functions 100% of the time – but still as Green Party leader I still get the truly clueless question from media sources that really should know better, variations of: “But the wind doesn’t blow all of the time so wind power can’t work, can it?” In fact, wind turbines produce electricity 70-85% of the time and last year generated enough electricity for more than 3.5 million homes. Read the rest of this entry »

Carbon Tax Chatter

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After Obama’s re-election there appeared to be a significant amount of talk of a US carbon tax, and very little about cap and trade. As a supporter of a carbon tax over cap and trade (see the book The Case For A Carbon Tax for a good outline of the reasons for choosing one over the other) I suspected my Twitter feed may be slightly biased on the issue. So, I decided to do a little data mining of what has gone down on Twitter since the election (using the R package “twitteR” for anyone with those inclinations.)

So, are people now talking more about carbon taxes than cap and trade? Read the rest of this entry »

A dash for coal

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Bloomberg recently posted a rather alarming story into the sharp increase in EU coal use in recent periods. The key and most worrying sentence was:

Burning coal has contributed to a 10 percent increase in EU carbon-dioxide output this year through September

A single year increase of 10% in EU carbon emissions would be a massive setback to the EU’s 2020 emissions, but is it actually true? Read the rest of this entry »