Thursday, July 26, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: UK Government Finally Gives Green Light To Fracking Shale Gas








UK Government Axes Subsidies For Solar Panels 

In this newsletter:

1) British Government Finally Gives Green Light To Fracking Shale Gas
Reuters, 24 July 2018 
 
2) It’s All Over: UK Government Axes Subsidies For Solar Panels 
The Guardian, 20 July 2018


 
3) Can China Replicate The U.S. Shale Boom?
Oil Price, 24 July 2018
 
4) India’s Coal Shortage Is U.S. Miners’ Gain
Metal Miner, 23 July 2018
 
5) The Inhumanity Of The Guardian
Andrew Montford, GWPF, 24 July 2018  
 
6) E-Cars Will Not Close Germany’s CO2 Emissions Gap
Clean Energy Wire, 25 July 2018 
 
7) And Finally: Climate Panic Puzzle Partly Pinned Down
Climate Lessons, 23 July 2018 


Full details:

1) British Government Finally Gives Green Light To Fracking Shale Gas
Reuters, 24 July 2018 

LONDON (Reuters) – Shale gas developer Cuadrilla on Tuesday became the first operator in Britain to receive final consent from the government to frack an onshore horizontal exploration well.











The government said it had granted approval for so-called hydraulic fracturing to take place at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site in northwest England.

“I have carefully considered Cuadrilla’s application and I am content that hydraulic fracturing consent should be granted in this instance,” Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said in a statement.

Cuadrilla submitted its application for consent in May.

Hydraulic fracturing consent was introduced in 2015 as an additional step to the government’s regulatory and permitting regime and ensures all necessary environmental, health and safety permits have been obtained.

Fracking involves perforating wells and fracturing rocks by injecting liquids, sands and chemicals to suck in oil and gas. It has transformed the U.S. energy industry but has not taken off across Europe, where some countries have banned it.

In Britain, there have been protests by environmentalists and local residents against fracking amid concerns it could contaminate underground water reservoirs and harm the environment above ground.

Cuadrilla welcomed the government’s decision.

“We now look forward to submitting a fracture consent application to (the government) for our second exploration well and moving on to fracture the shale rock and flow the natural gas which we believe will make a major contribution to reducing the UK’s gas imports and improving our environment and economy,” Cuadrilla Chief Executive Francis Egan said in a statement.

Full story
 

See also GWPF Calls On Government To Speed Up UK Shale Development




2) It’s All Over: UK Government Axes Subsidies For Solar Panels 
The Guardian, 20 July 2018


The renewables industry and green groups have accused ministers of striking a major blow against household solar power after the government said a green energy subsidy scheme would end next year without a replacement.



The closure of the feed-in tariff (FIT) to new applicants from next April marks the final chapter for the scheme, which has encouraged more than 800,000 households to install solar panels since it was launched in 2010.

Solar installations had already largely dried up after the incentives were cut drastically in 2016, but renewables advocates had hoped a replacement would take its place. On Thursday, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy made clear there would be no extension or new alternative.

“Today’s confirmation that there will be no replacement for the feed-in tariff is a major blow to small-scale renewables in the UK,” said Emma Pinchbeck, executive director at RenewableUK.

Full story
 

3) Can China Replicate The U.S. Shale Boom?
Oil Price, 24 July 2018

Irina Slav

The world’s largest gas importer is also home to the world’s largest reserves of shale gas — gas that is just sitting there, at least for now. China has been struggling to repeat the U.S. shale revolution for a number of reasons, chief of them geology, but now it may have the chance to advance its shale gas agenda.



Technology is what will make all the difference.

China has recoverable shale gas reserves of 1,115 trillion cu ft, the latest estimate of the Energy Information Administration from 2015 shows. This makes the country the biggest reservoir of shale gas, with Argentina a distant second with a little over 800 trillion cu ft. Yet most of these 1,115 trillion cu ft of gas are in geologically challenging formations.

“U.S. shale reserves are like a plate, in relatively good shape and buried evenly close to the surface. For China’s shale reserves, it’s more like a plate that was smashed on the ground, and then stomped on. We’re trying to identify those scattered reserves and trying our best to get to the bigger ones.” That’s what a Sinopec chief engineer told Bloomberg, explaining the challenges that the state energy giant has encountered in its attempts to tap the country’s enormous shale reserves.

In addition to the geological problems, there is also the issue of technology exchange. U.S. fracking tech developers are wary of exporting to China on intellectual property concerns so Chinese companies are having to develop their own technology and equipment. Which is actually fine, since U.S. equipment was made for the U.S. “plate” rather than the Chinese one.

It’s this equipment and these technologies that could help Sinopec and CNPC boost their currently modest shale gas production. Last year, China produced a total 9 billion cubic meters and Sinopec and CNPC expect shale gas production to rise to 10 and 12 billion cubic meters by 2020, respectively.

This compares with plans for annual national shale gas production of 100 billion cu m made back in 2012. It also compares to estimated total annual gas demand of 325 billion cubic meters in 2020, according to Sanford C. Bernstein. Since 2012, the government has revised down its shale gas expectations substantially but still eyes 2020 shale gas production of 30 billion cubic meters. Compared with Sinopec’s and CNPC’s plans, Beijing is still being overoptimistic.

Meanwhile, drilling and production equipment is being adjusted to the peculiarities of the Chinese shale patch. And costs are being lowered. One example is the bridge plug, Bloomberg reports, which is used to plug wells during drilling to prevent loss of gas. Chinese drillers originally bought bridge plugs for US$30,000 (200,000 yuan) apiece. Now, they are producing them for US$2,680 (18,000 yuan) and exporting them to the company that supplied them with bridge plugs originally.

Full post

4) India’s Coal Shortage Is U.S. Miners’ Gain
Metal Miner, 23 July 2018

What is one man’s meat is another’s poison. The proverb seems to be true for India’s coal supply woes.

The country’s power ministry has advised all provinces to start importing coal for the next three years in order to operate their power plants … which, in turn, is music to the ears of coal miners in the United States.

According to a report by the Energy Information Administration, U.S. miners, otherwise struggling to find buyers, may end up exporting 104 million tons of coal in 2018 — up 7.2% from a year ago.

In April alone, India purchased almost 7 million tons, which was one-fifth of all U.S. coal exports.

For the last few years, power plants in India have cut back on coal imports because of the fall in the value of the rupee, the rise in global prices, and increasing reliance of consumers on green energy.

Facing a major coal crunch, Indian coal ministry officials feel there’s no way out but to go ahead with larger imports.

Full post
 

5) The Inhumanity Of The Guardian
Andrew Montford, GWPF, 24 July 2018  


A few days ago, Bjorn Lomborg pointed out that the way to provide energy to the destitute in the developing world remains, just it always has been, through the spread of fossil fuels:

Over the past 16 years, nearly every person who gained access to electricity did so through a grid connection, mostly powered by fossil fuels. And yet donors say that many of the 1.1 billion people who are still without electricity should instead try solar panels.

And make no mistake, there is an ongoing campaign to prevent poor people in Africa and elsewhere from enjoying the benefits of fossil fuels. Take yesterday’s article in the Guardian (sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation no less).

Wealthy governments have been accused of promoting fossil fuel development in Africa at the expense of clean energy.

Analysis showed 60% of public aid for energy projects was spent on fossil fuels, compared with just 18% on renewables.

Oil Change International, a clean energy advocacy group that conducted the study, estimated aid to Africa’s energy sector was $59.5bn (£45.3bn) between 2014 and 2016.

In view of Lomborg’s observations on how fossil fuels continue to alleviate poverty across the face of the Earth, and what we know about quality of life in these countries, the Guardian’s campaign can only be described as entirely inhuman.
 

6) E-Cars Will Not Close Germany’s CO2 Emissions Gap
Clean Energy Wire, 25 July 2018 


Environment minister Svenja Schulze’s push for e-mobility will not allow Germany to meet its 2030 emissions reduction target, Dieter Seifried writes in a commentary for Frankfurter Rundschau. That's because the electricity needed to power electric vehicles would come from coal- or gas-fired power plants, according to Seifried. “In the end, the additional electricity demand for charging e-vehicles will lead to additional power generation in fossil-fuelled power plants,” he writes. Other measures to reduce transport emissions, such as speed limits and driving restrictions, have not been considered because of stiff opposition from the transport minister, he writes.

Read the commentary in German here.
 

7) And Finally: Climate Panic Puzzle Partly Pinned Down
Climate Lessons, 23 July 2018 

John Shade

The astonishing, and depressing, success of the climate alarmism 'movement' has long been a puzzle to me. The explanation of it may well take decades to settle down on a widely agreed version, not least since so many academic disciplines are involved, and many not so academic drives to gain power and wealth are there too.

But a puzzle well-described is a puzzle more likely to be solved.  On the science sides of the puzzle, the role of the so-called climate scientists has been evocatively captured by a chap called Smolin looking at another field that shares with climate studies a severe shortage of good or adequate data.  Here are his observations as presented by the oceanographer Carl Munsch (hat-tip Judith Curry):

From one point of view, scientific communities without adequate data have a distinct advantage: one can construct interesting and exciting stories and rationalizations with little or no risk of observational refutation. Colorful, sometimes charismatic, characters come to dominate the field, constructing their interpretations of a few intriguing, but indefinite observations that appeal to their followers, and which eventually emerge as “textbook truths.”

Consider the following characteristics ascribed to one particular, notoriously data-poor, field (Smolin, 2006), as having:

1. Tremendous self confidence, leading to a sense of entitlement and of belonging to an elite community of experts.

2. An unusually monolithic community, with a strong sense of consensus, whether driven by the evidence or not, and an unusual uniformity of views on open questions. These views seem related to the existence of a hierarchical structure in which the ideas of a few leaders dictate the viewpoint, strategy, and direction of the field.

3. In some cases a sense of identification with the group, akin to identification with a religious faith or political platform.

4. A strong sense of the boundary between the group and other experts.

5. A disregard for and disinterest in the ideas, opinions, and work of experts who are not part of the group, and a preference for talking only with other members of the community.

6. A tendency to interpret evidence optimistically, to believe exaggerated or incorrect statements of results and to disregard the possibility that the theory might be wrong. This is coupled with a tendency to believe results are true because they are ’widely believed,’ even if one has not checked (or even seen) the proof oneself.

7. A lack of appreciation for the extent to which a research program ought to involve risk.

Smolin (2006) was writing about string theory in physics. Nonetheless, observers of the paleoclimate scene might recognize some common characteristics. 

Note that string-theory is part of theoretical physics, a field noted for having a high proportion of very bright scientists.  Contrast that with the field of climate science, noted for being a somewhat ramshackle collection of often self-identified 'experts' from fields not known for high intellectual challenges such as geography, computer coding, weather forecasting, and planetary science.

The task of helping those who have been through the school system over the last 30 years, and those entering it soon, will be made easier the more insight we have into the causes of the Climate Panic.  Helping with what?  With the dismal, destructive, degrading, distorting world view that mankind is doomed thanks to industrial progress and the associated production of carbon dioxide.  There is not a shred of convincing evidence or argument for that view, but it seems widely adopted in political, media, and academic circles.


The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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