UK runs coal free for 3 days

Our collective love for coal is toast.

For three days Britian used no coal fired power stations with power instead comming from wind and gas.

Coal accounted for less than 7% of the power mix last year, according to official figures.

In April, 2017 Britain went its first full day without coal since the 19th century.

Sundry experts warned that power generated by coal was largely being replaced by gas, another fossil fuel, rather than renewable sources.

Andrew Crossland, of the Durham Energy Institute, said gas generated 40% of the UK’s electricity and fuelled the vast majority of domestic heating: “As a country we consume nearly eight times more gas than coal.”

wind trubine in wales

The daily consumption of gas was outstripped by wind on just two days last year, while all sources of renewable energy – including wind, solar, biomass and hydropower – beat fossil fuels for just 23 days of 2017.

A reliance on gas made the UK vulnerable to the whims of international markets and was “nowhere near clean enough” to meet the UK’s legal targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Mr Crossland said.

The 2008 Climate Change Act requires greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by 80% compared with 1990 levels by 2050.

Hannah Martin, from Greenpeace UK, called on the government to provide more support for onshore wind and solar power – the “cleanest and cheapest energy sources”.

“Offshore wind has proven to be popular and able to provide affordable clean energy, as well as skilled jobs and fair bills,” she said.

“As we have more and more days without coal, we need to make sure it is replaced with the renewable technologies of the future.”

Mr Crossland also called for more investment in renewable technologies, such as solar panels and batteries, to store power for homes and businesses, along with better energy efficiency to reduce power use.

Bring on the Smart Grid.

Source BBC

The Oil Wars – Interesting Telegraph article

Good article in todays Daily Telegraph by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard titled: US has won battle on oil and, as we go electric, is poised to win the war.

Read in full at  the Telegraph – Highlights below:

Over the last week the International Energy Agency and Opec have both capitulated on US shale, acknowledging that the US will achieve unparalleled dominance of global oil and gas by the mid-2020s.

What they do not acknowledge – the “déformation professionnelle” of the oil culture – is that this will be followed by a Chinese and Indian switch to post-fossil-fuelled transport in the 2030s. The imperatives of climate policy will force this shift to electrification.

This sequence has grim implications for Russia and the hydrocarbon regimes, and for the oil majors with such a heavy weighting on the London Stock Exchange. It means the cyclical recovery of crude prices may be stunted, and painfully slow, before giving way to “peak oil” and irreversible decline as electric vehicles (EVs) reach critical scale.

oped oil rig

The IEA’s World Energy Outlook forecasts that US shale will account for 80pc of new global supply by 2025, lifting “tight oil” output from 5m to 13m barrels a day (b/d). Total US production will hit 17m b/d.

The Marcellus gas basin in Appalachia – bigger than Qatar’s North Field – will turn the US into the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas in the 2020s. “The US will become the undisputed global oil and gas leader for decades to come,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief. “The growth is unprecedented, exceeding all historical records.”

The US ramp-up vaults past Saudi Arabia’s big moment with the 5.7m b/d Ghawar field in the Seventies, and past the huge gas discoveries of Western Siberia during the Soviet heyday. Combined crude and gas output will plateau “well above” 31m b/d of oil equivalent. The Saudi gamble that sub-$50 oil would wipe out US shale was a misjudgement.

Opec has lost the war of attrition. Venezuela has in the meantime gone bankrupt.

Scott Sheffield, the founder of Pioneer and acclaimed “king of the Permian”, told me earlier this year that break-even costs in his prolific zone of West Texas have dropped to $25. Production from each well has jumped by half with digital technology. “As long as crude prices are around $50 to $55, we’re in the sweet spot,” he said. “It took us 40 days to drill a well in 2014. We’re already down to 20 days.”

One can forget that the US was facing an energy crisis in 2008. Crude imports were soaring. Net energy and petrochemical imports were adding 3.5pc of GDP to the US current account deficit.

This promises to be a 2pc surplus by 2025, transforming the outlook for the US dollar and the global strategic balance. America’s LNG exports have helped to break Russia’s lock hold over pipeline gas contracts in Europe. Set against this is a dysfunctional US president who trashes American leadership and threatens to wreck the global multilateral order. My assumption is that he will be swept away briskly, a historical curiosity. US energy primacy will outlast him. By the early 2020s it will be clear that China’s Xi Jinping has failed to grasp the nettle of reform. Growth will slow towards 2pc, leaving the country with a credit hangover, stuck in the middle-income trap with an ageing population. Will the baton really be passing from Washington to Beijing?

For Opec, the US shale shock is a disaster. Frackers rush to lock in the future delivery contracts as soon as crude hits a band of $50 to $55, guaranteeing a surge of short-cycle supply. It is a permanent headwind. Opec oil revenues have fallen from $1.2 trillion a year in the glory days to $400bn (£300bn).

Saudi Arabia has run its cradle-to-grave welfare complex and military machine on assumptions of $120 oil. It has since embraced austerity and slashed its “fiscal break cost” but it is not enough stop the slide in foreign exchange reserves.

Any illusion that Saudi Arabia is joining the modern world has been shattered by the absolutist purges of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

The IEA thinks there is enough global oil demand to go around for everybody. Prices will rise to the low $80s in the early 2020s, despite extra US shale. This will be followed by one last “Indian summer” for the Gulf states. Peak oil will be deferred until 2040. “It’s too early to write the obituary of oil,” Birol said.

Opec predicts that fossil fuels will continue to meet 75pc of world energy needs in 2040, much as now. This is to treat the Paris climate agreement as a scrap of paper. It puts the world on a frightening path and will not be tolerated by the younger generations. Technology has already moved ahead in any case.

The IEA embraces electric vehicles, but cannot seem to consummate. It thinks the EV share will be no more than 280m of the 2bn passenger fleet by 2040, trimming oil use by just 2.5m b/d. It mysteriously supposes that trucks will stick to diesel, even though eTrucks are about to hit the market. For years the IEA misjudged the trajectory of solar. It is repeating the error with EVs. Whether capital cost parity comes in 2022 or 2024, it is coming and it will have the disruptive force of a tornado.

Great power politics will intrude in any case. China is mandating a zero-emission quota of 10pc by 2019 for new cars, calculating that it can exploit its lead in lithium battery output to dominate the EV era and leapfrog Western carmakers tied to combustion engines. By forcing the electrification of the world’s biggest car market, they can make it happen.

There will be no oil reprieve for Opec when US shale loses its fizzle in the late 2020s. By then it will be too late. The long-term equilibrium demand for crude is under 70m b/d, chiefly for chemicals, a third less than today.

tesla model 3 test car

Energy ascendancy gives the US another quarter of a century of formidable clout. But note, too, that the pioneer of EV disruption is an American company: Tesla. A decade hence EVs will be computers on wheels, a branch of artificial intelligence. The advantage skips to Silicon Valley. It plays into American strength. Never underestimate the ability of the US to endlessly reinvent itself just when you thought decline was setting in.

Harrods goes Green with Nissan e-NV200

Harrods takes delivery of custom EVs.

Harrods EV van old and new

Over 100 years after the legendary London  store first added an electric van to its fleet, Harrods is once again returning to EV technology, with the addition of the 100 percent electric Nissan e-NV200 delivery van.

The British department store is the latest European business to add a zero emission Nissan e-NV200 to its fleet, with more than 27,000 Nissan electric vehicles sold to businesses across Europe so far.

Nissan officially handed over the 100 percent electric van to Harrods outside its luxury Knightsbridge store this week.

The Nissan e-NV200 has been specially adapted to perfectly fit Harrods’ delivery needs. The load space of the van has been fully refrigerated and shelving units added to allow for fresh groceries to be transported in optimum condition. The exterior has also been wrapped in the traditional green and gold Harrods livery to make it recognisable as it travels around the city.

The e-NV200 has a range of up to 106 miles on a single charge, which means it is easily capable of making up to 50 deliveries per week covering an average distance of 150 miles in the London area with Harrods only needing to charge it once a week.

With an average running cost of as little as 2 pence per mile, the e-NV200 offers an alternative practical solution which will have a positive effect on city-centre air quality.

In 1919, the store used solid-tyred American Walker electric vans, later building its own fleet of 60 electric vehicles to deliver goods to local London customers. As petrol engines became more popular, the electric vans were slowly phased out. However with the introduction and development of new infrastructure and technology, Nissan has enabled Harrods to have an all-electric van on its fleet once again.

Guy Cheston, Media Sales Director at Harrods said:

“It’s wonderful to see an electric Harrods van on the roads of London again. As one of Britain’s largest established department stores, we are committed to reducing our carbon emissions and mitigating our environmental footprint. As part of our carbon and energy management policy, we have identified transportation as a key area where we can make a real impact.”

Gareth Dunsmore, Director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe said:

“Businesses across Europe are taking major steps to reduce their impact on the environment and it’s great to see such an iconic British department store embracing zero emission technology and putting the e-NV200 on their fleet. Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, we are working towards a sustainable future and we believe that zero emission vehicles, such as the e-NV200 are vital to tackling air pollution.”

As a pioneer of the EV market since 2010, Nissan has continued to provide Intelligent Mobility solutions for the masses and has sold more than 290,000 EVs globally. Harrods joins more than 900 companies worldwide who have trusted Nissan to help them towards a more sustainable future. Named Europe’s best-selling electric van in 2016, the e-NV200 is part of Nissan’s popular zero emission range, combining the best elements of two multi-award winning vehicles – the Nissan LEAF and Nissan NV200. It provides a zero emission light commercial vehicle solution, offering low vehicle running costs from as little as two pence per mile and a range of up to 106 miles on a single charge. This makes it the perfect transportation option for businesses both big and small, as not only does it contribute to reducing a company’s carbon footprint, it is also practical, reliable and cost-effective.

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Fiat under attack for emissions cheating

A French prosecutor has opened an investigation into FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) over allegations that the carmaker cheated in diesel emissions tests, a judicial source told Reuters on Tuesday. “I can confirm that a judicial investigation has been opened into aggravated cheating,” the source said.

The source said the Paris prosecutor had opened the investigation on March 15, after the finance ministry’s DGCCRF consumer affairs and anti-fraud body had referred the case to the courts.

A Fiat spokesman said the company took note of the investigation and reiterated that its diesel vehicles fully comply with emission regulations, as confirmed by the Italian Transport Ministry.

The spokesman said the company would continue to collaborate with the authorities on all investigations and was confident the matter would be fully resolved.

Following Volkswagen’s admission in 2015 of cheating on U.S. diesel emission tests, several European countries launched their own tests on vehicle emissions.

They found on-road nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions more than 10 times above regulatory limits — for some Opel, Renault and FCA models — and widespread use of devices that reduce exhaust treatment in some conditions.

The French test program has so far led to four carmakers — Volkswagen, Renault, FCA and PSA Group — being referred for possible prosecution by the consumer fraud agency.

FCA vehicles were among those that recorded the highest NOx emissions under non-standard testing regimes designed to detect banned engine software cheats.

Fiat-accused-defeat-device

Full report on Automative News: 

London to add £10 T Charge to dirty cars in October

Drivers of older, more polluting cars and vans will be hit with an extra £10 charge to drive in central London from 23 October 2017, the Mayor of London has confirmed.

The new toxicity charge, known as T-charge, will affect both diesel and petrol cars with pre-Euro 4 engines, broadly those registered before 2005. It is designed to improve London’s air quality, and will work alongside the existing £11.50 congestion charge during the same 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, window. The new levy is expected to affect up to 10,000 vehicles.

Confirming the fee, London Mayor, Sadiq Khan said:

“It’s staggering that we live in a city where the air is so toxic that many of our children are growing up with lung problems. If we don’t make drastic changes now we won’t be protecting the health of our families in the future.

Read TFL release on Transport For London website.

During the 1980s, in a response to the energy crises of the previous decades, the U.K. and Europe began to put into place policies that incentivised the purchase of diesel-powered vehicles.

Five years ago, fully half of the new vehicles sold across the countries of the European Union were powered by small turbodiesel engines. The numbers varied greatly by country, but those diesels—often designed by German engineers and with parts from German suppliers—proliferated throughout the UK and the greater EC.

It wasn’t until 2009 that Euro 5 standards that limited most emissions of soot and particulate matter came into force.

By then, U.S. emission standards had already taken effect in January 2008 that ratcheted down the limits much further—effectively requiring the use of selective catalytic reduction systems, or urea injection, to get any diesel vehicle to meet the standards.

Volkswagen’s desire not to use that system, for reasons of both cost and corporate pride (it has been developed by Daimler), led it to use “defeat device” software in more than half a million diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. from 2009 through 2016.

That scandal has cost the company more than $20 billion thus far, and is far from over.

Meanwhile, European standards that equal the U.S. limits from 2008 have only gone into effect as of January 1 this year.

And now that the EU has the power to fine European cities for violating air-quality limits, those cities have a strong incentive to ban the oldest, dirtiest diesel cars.

The mayors of Athens, Madrid, Mexico City, and Paris plan to ban all diesel cars and trucks by 2025.

And London’s sharp increase in fees on the roughly 10,000 older diesels that enter the city per day may stand as the city’s attempt to cope with the law of unexpected consequences for decisions made three decades ago.

Around 9,000 drivers a day are expected to pay the new £10 levy when it comes into force later this year, costing them an estimated £23 million. They will also pay the £11.50 congestion charge.

London Assembly Conservatives warned that small businesses with older vehicles would be hit hard, facing charges of £2,600 a year or having to fork out thousands to renew their cars or vans.

Tory environment spokesman Shaun Bailey claimed the T-charge was a “pointless pollution tax” that did little to tackle poor air quality and urged Mr Khan to rethink his plans.

He said: “If the Mayor wants to impose a £23 million annual cost to Londoners that disproportionately affects small businesses, he needs a strong justification for doing so.