Category Archives: Energy and Power

Solar Power Snow Job, United Kingdom

“The renewable lobby would like you to believe that solar power is an important part of our future energy strategy. But they don’t tell you just how little power is produced during winter months, at the time when demand is at its peak.” click here

Solar Powered NF/RO Systems, Tanzania

Owusu-Agyeman I, Shen J, Schäfer AI. Renewable energy powered membrane technology: Impact of pH and ionic strength on fluoride and natural organic matter removal. The Science of the total environment. 2017 Nov 23;621:138-147. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.111.

Real water pH and ionic strength vary greatly, which influences the performance of membrane processes such as nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO). Systematic variation of pH (3-12) and ionic strength (2-10g/L as total dissolved solids (TDS)) was undertaken with a real Tanzanian water to investigate how water quality affects retention mechanisms of fluoride (F) and natural organic matter (NOM). An autonomous solar powered NF/RO system driven by a solar array simulator was supplied with constant power from a generator. An open NF (NF270) and a brackish water RO (BW30) membrane were used. A surface water with a very high F (59.7mg/L) and NOM (110mgC/L) was used. Retention of F by NF270 was <20% at pH<6, increased to 40% at pH6, and 60-70% at pH7-12, indicating a dominance of charge repulsion while being ineffective in meeting the guideline of 1.5mg/L. Increase in ionic strength led to a significant decline in retention of F (from 70 to 50%) and electrical conductivity (from 60 to 10%) by NF270, presumably due to charge screening. In contrast, BW30 retained about 50% of F at pH3, >80% at pH4, and about 99% at pH >5, due to the smaller pore size and hence a more dominant size exclusion. In consequence, only little impact of ionic strength increase was observed for BW30. The concentration of NOM in permeates of both NF270 and BW30 were typically >2mg/L. This was not affected by pH or ionic strength due to the fact that the bulk of NOM was rejected by both membranes through size exclusion. The research is carried out in the context of providing safe drinking water for rural and remote communities where infrastructure is lacking, and water quality varies significantly. While other studies focus on energy fluctuations, this research emphasises on feed water quality that affects system performance and may alter due to a number of environmental factors.

Another “Green Energy” Company Closes Doors

In the 1980’s I purchase a solar system to provide heat to my home. It worked somewhat but not to the level as was advertised. Even back then with government subsidies great claims were made about what solar power could achieve if there was just more government money invested in it. (Have we heard that recently?) And now just like back then companies took the money, made a few shrewd business people rich (?), but failed to produce the promised results. Technology has advanced since then for sure.

I like solar energy. But it must stand on its own in the market place to succeed. Clearly, at this point in time it has not.

“A green energy company heavily incentivized by Mississippi is shutting down, raising questions about whether the state will get repaid.

Solar panel maker Stion notified the state Tuesday that it would close its Hattiesburg plant Dec. 13, laying off 137 employees.click here

How Mr. Al Gore Distorts Climate Science and Energy Policy

“Updated 2nd Edition: Al Gore’s new movie An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is reviewed for its accuracy in climate science and energy policy. As was the case with Gore’s first movie (An Inconvenient Truth), the movie is bursting with bad science, bad policy and some outright falsehoods. The storm events Gore addresses occur naturally, and there is little or no evidence they are being made worse from human activities: sea level is rising at the same rate it was before humans started burning fossil fuels; in Miami Beach the natural rise is magnified because buildings and streets were constructed on reclaimed swampland that has been sinking; the 9/11 memorial was not flooded by sea level rise from melting ice sheets, but a storm surge at high tide, which would have happened anyway and was not predicted by Gore in his first movie, as he claims; the Greenland ice sheet undergoes melt every summer, which was large in 2012 but then unusually weak in 2017; glaciers advance and retreat naturally, as evidenced by 1,000 to 2,000 year old tree stumps being uncovered in Alaska; rain gauge measurements reveal the conflict in Syria was not caused by reduced rainfall hurting farming there, and in fact the Middle East is greening from increasing CO2 in the atmosphere; agricultural yields in China have been rising, not falling as claimed by Gore. The renewable energy sources touted by Gore (wind and solar), while a laudable goal for our future, are currently very expensive: their federal subsidies per kilowatt-hour of energy produced are huge compared to coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. These costs are hidden from the public in increased federal and state tax rates. Gore is correct that “it is right to save humanity”, but what we might need saving from the most are bad decisions that reduce prosperity and hurt the poor.”

Basic Economic Facts About Wind Power

“I have concentrated on the UK, but let me finish with a couple of statistics for worldwide wind power, from the BP Energy Review.

  • At 959 TWh, wind power accounted for 3.9% of world electricity generation last year.
  • In terms of overall energy consumption, the share of wind was 1.6%.

Every year we hear how wind power is going up by leaps and bounds. It is wise though to bear in mind just what a low base it is starting from.” click here

Mr. Al Gore: Do as I say, not as I do?

Anyone arguing public policy in the public square as Mr. Al Gore does must be prepared to be scrutinized for evidence of hypocrisy. 

“In February 2007, the day after his panicky global warming film “An Inconvenient Truth” won an Academy Award for best documentary, a shocking report based on public records revealed that Al Gore’s Nashville home consumed 20 times more electricity than the average American household.1click here

Accept the reality of new coal-fired power stations worldwide

I’m not sure this is necessarily good, but it is reality. 

“These Chinese corporations are building or planning to build more than 700 new coal plants at home and around the world, some in countries that today burn little or no coal, according to tallies compiled by Urgewald, an environmental group based in Berlin. Many of the plants are in China, but by capacity, roughly a fifth of these new coal power stations are in other countries.” click here