Don’t think this works

But I’m not sure why:

As the world hits ever-increasing records for heat and CO2 concentrations, sometimes it’s good to look at the bright side.
In May, for the first time ever, solar produced more electricity than coal in the United Kingdom.

28 thoughts on “Don’t think this works”

  1. Sam Adams the Dog

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Solar is getting cheaper because of technological innovation . There’s a sociological effect of global warming, in that there’s a movement toward solar because of concern about global warming. But there’s also less coal burned because of a switch to natural gas. The fact that it’s getting hotter down here doesn’t itself allow more solar energy to be captured at the earth’s surface. To a first approximation, that is unaltered. Greenhouse gases, such as CO2, prevent more of the heat-producing infrared radiation from escaping (it absorbs it and reradiates it), and in addition, burning fossil fuel produces additional heat. But it’s the UV and visible light from incoming sunlight that runs solar cells, and greenhouse gases are for the most part transparent to these wavelengths.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    I don’t believe it but if it is true, it ought to be an epitaph carved on the grave stone of Cameron’s political career.

  3. Eco-freak deception.

    Run down real power–boost bullshit subsidies–Hey Presto–ecotopia.

    The left –in all its CM manifestations–must be smashed flat enough to slide under a door. Or we can all kiss any worthwhile future bye-bye.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    I still don’t believe it but renewables as a whole have been rising and coal has been declining for some time. The Guardian pointed out that renewables as a whole over took coal in September of last year.

    Speaking of the Guardian has published the unthinkable – a story praising McDonald’s.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/08/mcdonalds-community-centers-us-physical-social-networks

    Did I fall asleep and wake up in an episode of the Twilight Zone?

  5. They’ve built a hell of a lot of “solar farms” down here in Dorset over the last couple of years. And coal use, as Sam Adams said, has been declined, mostly in favour of gas.

    Also it says “in May”; does that mean for the month of May (which seems unlikely), or “at one point during May”? Might the latter be possible?

  6. Ah, there’s been a spate of shutdowns of coal plants in the last few weeks:

    Longannet, 2.4GW, shut in March
    Ferrybridge, 2GW, also shut in March
    Flddlers Ferry shut down 3 of its 4 plants in March (it was 2GW, so if they were equal sizes that’s 1.5GW lost)
    Rugeley, 1GW, shut on Monday but was probably winding down in May

    That’s almost 7GW, about a fifth of the UK’s average electricity generation (if I’ve pulled the right figures of Wikipedia), so not surprising that coal generation has dropped proportionately to other sources.

    http://www.platts.com/latest-news/coal/london/scheduled-closure-of-uk-coal-fired-power-stations-26404735

    Fine in June of course, but I think I’ll be buying a backup oil generator ready for the autumn.

  7. That’s a beautiful graph in the article. It shows solar rising strongly at each step.

    Oh, the steps are just months since January. Not surprising to see solar increasing. Will they run the inverse story in December when solar output will have been falling for six straight months?

  8. Actually, ignoring their slant, it’s possible.

    http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

    I can’t see solar in there, but the point is that, with gas and nuclear holding the fort, coal simply hasn’t been needed as we’ve moved into summer.

    Look at “Nuclear/Coal/CCGT/Wind (GW)” – that’s where the action is. Yearly shows the recent coal drop (ie not required following the usual summer trend for reduced demand).

  9. Haven’t got time now, but reading Richard’s post, if that’s supposed to be permanent, then it risks getting interesting come winter!

  10. Coal use generally falls in the summer plus the government is engaged in a program to wind down coal capacity completely. Add to that a series of planned and unplanned shutdowns of coal fired units and it’s perfectly feasible. What solar obviously won’t be able to do it provide anything like enough next winter so the coal fired plants will be brought back on

  11. One day there will be two articles side by side – one celebrating the decline of coal, the other attacking Fatcher for closing the mines. No-one will notice.

  12. Rob, the lefty ideal would be for an army of peasants to dig up the coal and for another army to bury it. Overseen by a Coal Tsar and 100,000 health and safety experts.

  13. John miller,
    The peasants would all be paid a “Living Wage” of at least £9/hour, so we’d soon see all the jobs taken over by Poles.

  14. Solar electricity can’t be monitored in real time like the others, because there are a lot of rooftop installations reporting only quarterly. This site gives estimates generated by projecting over the whole installed capacity what’s being generated at a few hundred monitored sites. Which seems to me to be a reasonable method.

  15. The great thing about solar is that the only time it ever produces a lot of energy is during summer days, when UK energy demand is at its lowest. Oh wait, that isn’t a great thing.

  16. Don’t worry about it Tim! Just slap your favourite carbon tax an it! That’l make it right.

  17. Except the World is not hitting ever increasing records for heat.

    All weather offices around the World report no trend in meterological measurements which indicate any change in climate outside natural variability.

    The 300 year recent global warming is not accelerating in rate.

    The rate of global warming has not increased, and lately gone into reverse for almost the last 19 years.

    ‘Record’ temperatures are one or two tenths of a degree greater than last ‘record’ and are rounding errors.

    The temperature record which is used to produce these hilariously precise temperatures is based on thermometers over the years some of which hardly accurate to 1C, conversions from °F to °C with all the built in rounding errors that brings… and the best part – a large number of the temperature ‘readings’ are from places, notable Arctic and Antarctic, but also large parts of sea and land, where there are none, and never have been any temperature measuring istruments and so are ”projections’ aka guesses.

    But amid all this error and guesswork, month X can be ‘hottest on record’ to a few tenths of a degree.

    Fact: there has been no correlation between temperture record and CO2 emissions for nearly 20 years. Whilst correlation does not prove causality, if there is a causal link there MUST be correlation.

  18. I have to get back to work so I’ll return with a link, assuming I can find it.

    The key point is that there is now a ‘duck graph’ going around that accurately depicts the problem. Solar is great when most of us are at work but it won’t run the kettle without storage.

  19. Coal is dirty; coalmining kills people – more coalminers have been killed in China (just China) since the communists seized power than have been killed by nuclear energy since the dawn of time – and cripples even more people (silicosis is the biggest cause of industrial injury in the UK miles ahead of asbestosis).
    I think this is good news – solar energy only costs money, not people.

  20. the World is not hitting ever increasing records for heat

    The last seven months have seen seven successive record highs.

    there has been no correlation between temperture record and CO2 emissions for nearly 20 years

    They’ve both gone up a lot. What do you mean by ‘correlation’?

  21. So Much For Subtlety

    Social Justice Warrior – “The last seven months have seen seven successive record highs. … They’ve both gone up a lot. What do you mean by ‘correlation’?”

    If you massage the data you can prove a lot of things. And no, the last year has not been unusually hot nor have any records been set. Temperatures have not gone up by much if anything over the past 20 years. But CO2 has. A lot.

    The world is not warming. There is no scientific case for AGW.

  22. @ Liberal Yank
    A decade ago I was saying that all new Air Conditioning systems should be required to have their own solar panels (preferably taking them off-grid). Solar water-heating is actually economic without subsidies in the UK so must be a no-brainer in California. Forty years ago hydropower storage was the “new big thing” for balancing supply and demand.
    So the question is “why haven’t they done this already?”

  23. The Met reports that the last 8 months (9/15-4/16) have been the 8 warmest on record.

    NASA reports that the last 7 months (10/15-4/16) have been the 7 warmest on record.

    NOAA reports that the last 8 months (9/15-4/16) have been the 8 warmest on record.

    Berkeley Earth (set up by climate sceptic Richard Muller because he didn’t believe anyone else’s temperature data) reports that the last 7 months (10/15 -4/16) have been the 7 warmest on record (monthly reports eg April) .

    On the other hand,. John B (proof by assertion) and SMFS (proof by assertion) say that it isn’t so. And monoi rightly points out that it’s not been particularly warm lately in England.

    Give it up guys. We’re just through an El Nino peak and we’re hit record highs, exactly as predicted back when you were mithering about a “pause” because we were between peaks. Temperatures will be off the latest peak for a few years, then will hit another record high. Physics is physics.

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