BP’s ‘Green’ Hypocrisy: Why Big Oil Promotes Chaotically Intermittent Wind & Solar

Remember all that talk a few years back about wind and solar replacing fossil fuels, forever? No? That’s because they can’t, and never will.

Sunset and calm weather mean wind and solar can and will never replace conventional power generators. By ‘conventional’ we mean coal, gas, nuclear and, where geography and geology permit, stored hydro and geothermal power.

Show a picture like the one above – the entire output of every wind turbine connected to Australia’s Eastern Grid during December 2018, care of Aneroid Energy – to a five-year-old and they’ll soon get it: the idea that a modern, civil society can operate without reliable and affordable electricity supply is ridiculous; that it can do so around the Sun’s daily passage from horizon to horizon and the vagaries of the weather, is childish nonsense.

None of the above is lost on the purveyors of oil and gas.

Recently, the Sage of Omaha, Warren Buffett placed a $10 billion bet on oil and gas: Long Way to Run: Warren Buffet Rejects All-Renewable Future With $10 Billion Bet on Oil & Gas

Which is a fair indicator of the future demand for fossil fuels.

The likes of BP talk a big game when it comes to promoting renewables. And there’s a very sound reason for doing so: profits, very substantial profits.

Whenever the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in, there’s an insatiable need for diesel – to run piston-engined generators – or gas – to run highly inefficient Open Cycle Gas Turbines. Although, in Australia’s wind and solar capital, South Australia they pour 80,000L of diesel an hour through 276MW worth of dual-fuel OCGT’s when wind and solar output collapses. Now, how green’s that!?!

Little wonder that BP & Co are keen to push chaotically intermittent wind and solar.

‘Big Oil’ Now Promotes Renewable Energy – Wind & Solar Spur GROWTH In Fossil Fuel Energy Generation
No Tricks Zone
Kenneth Richard
30 May 2019

While it may seem counterintuitive, the expansion of wind and solar energy necessarily leads to the preservation and eventual growth in fossil fuel energy generation. This “paradox” hasn’t gone unnoticed. As good business practice, fossil fuel companies are now actively advocating for and investing in wind and solar technologies.

In an analysis of energy return on investment , the installation of solar photovoltaics (PV) ultimately results in a net energy loss (Ferroni and Hopkirk, 2016). This is significantly due to the associated intermittent (and thus unreliable) availability, requiring backup from sources that provide continuous, all-day-long energy (gas, coal, nuclear, etc.). Solar energy investment therefore leads to a greater dependence on fossil fuel energies.

Likewise, as more wind parks are installed across the Earth’s pristine landscapes, more fossil fuel energy sources are needed to back them up (Marques et al., 2018).

In order for solar and wind technologies to grow their market share, fossil fuel technologies will necessarily be needed to grow alongside them. This is referred to as the “renewable energy policy Paradox” (Blazquez et al., 2018).

Image Sources: Ferroni and Hopkirk, 2016,
Marques et al., 2018, Blazquez et al., 2018

 

Fossil fuel companies have certainly recognized the capacity for wind and solar energy to benefit them financially.

BP, for example, proudly acknowledges they are “partnering” their gas with solar and wind, or “using gas to complement the intermittency of renewables”.

Simply put, wind and solar energies are helpful to fossil fuel companies both for public relations purposes and for growing their bottom line.

Exxon is now investing in wind and solar too.
No Tricks Zone

Off to power RE capital SA for a couple of hours…

 

The next time you hear BP mouthing off about its ‘green’ credentials, just remember the words of former NSW Premier, Jack Lang when he advised: ‘Always back the horse named self-interest, son. It’ll be the only one trying’.

It’s almost painful to listen to the same class of clowns who, only yesterday, were telling us that wind and solar would pretty soon relegate fossil fuels to the dusty pages of history. Now it seems that reality is shaking the foundations of the fossil fuels are dead myth. Much to the delight (or design) of BP, Exxon and others.

Here are the abstracts of the articles cited above.

Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) for photovoltaic solar systems in regions of moderate insolation
Energy Policy, Volume 94, Pages 336-344
Ferruccio Ferroni, Robert J.Hopkirk
July 2016

Abstract
Many people believe renewable energy sources to be capable of substituting fossil or nuclear energy. However there exist very few scientifically sound studies, which apply due diligence to substantiating this impression. In the present paper, the case of photovoltaic power sources in regions of moderate insolation is analysed critically by using the concept of Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI, also called EROI). But the methodology for calculating the ERoEI differs greatly from author-to-author. The main differences between solar PV Systems are between the current ERoEI and what is called the extended ERoEI (ERoEI EXT). The current methodology recommended by the International Energy Agency is not strictly applicable for comparing photovoltaic (PV) power generation with other systems. The main reasons are due to the fact that on one hand, solar electricity is very material-intensive, labour-intensive and capital-intensive and on the other hand the solar radiation exhibits a rather low power density.
Energy Policy

Have fossil fuels been substituted by renewables? An empirical assessment for 10 European countries
Energy Policy, Volume 116, Pages 257-265
António Cardoso Marques, José Alberto Fuinhas, Diogo André Pereira

Abstract
The electricity mix worldwide has become diversified mainly by exploiting endogenous and green resources. This trend has been spurred on so as to reduce both carbon dioxide emissions and external energy dependency. One would expect the larger penetration of renewable energies to provoke a substitution effect of fossil fuels by renewable sources, in the electricity generation mix. However, this effect is far from evident in the literature. This paper thus contributes to clarifying whether the effect exists and, if so, the characteristics of the effect by source. Three approaches, generation, capacity and demand, were analysed jointly to accomplish the main aim of this study. An autoregressive distributed lag model was estimated using the Driscoll and Kraay estimator with fixed effects, to analyse ten European countries in a time-span from 1990 until 2014. The paper provides evidence for the substitution effect in solar PV and hydropower, but not in wind power sources. Indeed, the generation approach highlights the necessity for flexible and controllable electricity production from natural gas and hydropower to back up renewable sources. Moreover, the results prove that peaks of electricity have been an obstacle to the accommodation of intermittent renewable sources.
Energy Policy

The renewable energy policy Paradox
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 82, Part 1, Pages 1-5
Jorge Blazquez, Rolando Fuentes-Bracamontes, Carlo Andrea Bollino, Nora Nezamuddina
February 2018

Abstract
One major avenue for policymakers to meet climate targets is by decarbonizing the power sector, one component of which is raising the share of renewable energy sources (renewables) in electricity generation.

However, promoting renewables –in liberalized power markets– creates a paradox in that successful penetration of renewables could fall victim to its own success. With the current market architecture, future deployment of renewable energy will necessarily be more costly and less scalable. Moreover, transition towards a full 100% renewable electricity sector is unattainable. Paradoxically, in order for renewable technologies to continue growing their market share, they need to co-exist with fossil fuel technologies. Ignoring these findings can slow adoption and increase the costs of deploying new renewable technologies.

This paper spots the incompatibility between electricity liberalization and renewable policy, regardless of the country, location or renewable technologies. The Paradox holds as long as market clear prices with short term marginal costs, and renewable technology’s marginal cost is close to zero and not dispatchable.
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

Claims fossil fuels are dead go up in smoke.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Crispin says:

    Hypocrisy is a word that comes through loud and clear where the Greens and the wind industry are concerned.

    Apologies for any duplication STT.

    Quote…

    The AUSTRALIAN

    MATTHEW DENHOLM
    TASMANIA CORRESPONDENT

    12:00AM JUNE 15
    Rainforest trees 200 years old have been cleared to make way for a wind farm transmission line in Tasmania’s Tarkine, prompting claims of green “hypocrisy”.

    Myrtle and sassafras trees were among those felled along a 10.5km corridor widened for transmission lines associated with the $280 million, 112 megawatt wind farm at Granville Harbour, in Tasmania’s remote northwest.

    Special species timber advocate Andrew Denman, who discovered the felled trees, said it raised concerns about environmental impacts, wastage of high-value timber and wind power’s “green” credentials.

    He estimated that some of the felled trees, highly valued in specialty timber production, were 200 years old, given they typically grow at 0.3cm a year and were 60cm in diameter.

    With more wind farms planned for Tasmania, including ­another in the northwest requiring a 170km transmission line, he believed any further clearing, if it must occur, should be co-ordinated to ensure timber was not wasted. “With much of the special timbers in short supply … there could have been a more co-ordinated effort in utilising it to make sure that timber was going to a sawmiller in a timely manner so it could be processed and not wasted,” said Mr Denman, a boatbuilder.

    While not critical of the wind farm proponent, whom he did not doubt had complied with regulatory requirements, he understood clearing for electricity infrastructure was exempt from the Forest Practices Code, which seeks to mitigate impacts on keys species.

    He believed it was hypocritical of the Greens to oppose “sustainable” harvesting of rainforest timbers while backing the Granville Harbour wind farm and, by implication, associated logging of such trees. “An old-growth tree is an old-growth tree,” Mr Denman said. “Why is it acceptable to cut it down for a transmission line but not acceptable to cut it down sustainably and regenerate that area and put it to good use?”

    A Greens spokeswoman said while the party was a “strong supporter of renewable energy”, it “consistently opposed logging or clearing within reserves”.

    The wind farm’s website says the transmission line, providing power to the grid at the Reece Dam, was being handled by state-owned TasNetworks.

    A spokeswoman for project developer Granville Harbour Operations said it required all works to comply with ­ approvals. “These impose clear procedures and ­requirements on us and our contractors to mitigate and manage environmental impacts, including impacts to native vegetation,” she said.

    TasNetworks said its widening of an existing transmission corridor was “considered optimal”. “It reduced the extent of clearing required to connect the wind farm to the electricity distribution network,” a spokesman said.

    Matthew Denholm

    End quote.

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/oldgrowth-trees-cut-down-for-windfarm-transmission-corridor/news-story/5b5971dad67ca6086cd7501259b3528f

  2. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  3. Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

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