“I Feel Good”

November 19, 2010

Rupert Soames, CEO of Aggreko — a world leader in temporary energy supply — delivers some straight talk at the Scottish Parliament.  Watch for the “I Feel Good” quote. Priceless.


Interim Report on Deepwater Horizon Incident

November 18, 2010

The US National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council has issued their “Interim Report on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Blowout an ways to Prevent Such Events”, available at  http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/spillreport20101116.pdf

Costs of Renewable Energy and How the Oil Industry Experience Can Help to Reduce Them

November 12, 2010

John Aldersey-Williams was the speaker at the 11 November 2010 meeting of the Scottish Oil Club and gave a well-received presentation on the the renewable energy scene, focusing on costs and how the experience of the oil industry can help reduce them.  I was also impressed and intrigued about the vast improvements of HSE that experience can bring to this new industry.

See http://www.scottishoilclub.org.uk/101111.htm for information and a link to the presentation.

The best shot? | The Rational Optimist…

November 8, 2010

The best shot? | The Rational Optimist…. by Matt Ridley.

He eloquently puts forward his case for why he has doubts about the IPPC case for AGW.  He says what I truly think; and am unable to so so as as eloquently and clearly as Ridley does in this blog article.  I guess that’s why he’s a wealthy best-selling author (his most recent book is terrific, I’m reading it now) and I’m not!

Now, if for the past 20 years we had been told that there is a probability of some change in the climate due to CO2, and a very small possibility that it is likely to lead to a drastic lurch, then I could join with you and the consensus. Instead of which I have been repeatedly told that trillions must be spent urgently because there are only a few months to save the world and it is the most urgent problem, more urgent than hunger, malaria and indoor air pollution, likely to lead to the collapse of the entire economy and moreover that the science is settled and to question it is to be equivalent to a criminal. So, apologies if I sound a little exercised on this, but as a huge champion of science I feel very, very let down by the science establishment, especially the laughably poor enquiries on the emails published this year. Ask yourself if these emails had been within a drug company about a drug trial, whether the establishment would have been so determined to excuse them.

Wind Power UK Probability Distribution by Hour Nov 2008 to Sep 2010

November 3, 2010

The following two figures show the hourly probability distributions (and min, max, and mean) for Wind Power Production for 23 months from November 2008 to September 2010 (see source of data document in posts over the last couple of days).  These statistics were computed from the 5-minute source power data for each hour of the day.  Each hour group had approximately 8,388 data points.  Showing the data this way demonstrates how the production of data is massively skewed to low power and are not uniformly distributed around the mean (which some may assume is the case).

Mean Wind Power in UK Nov 2008 to Sep 2009

November 3, 2010

The following graph, based on data provided by Elexeon (National Grid, UK) is based on the average of the 30-minute reported numbers (average of 2 numbers) for the period November 2008 through September 2009. See data references on previous postings. The graph doesn’t tell the whole store about the quality/security of the power as it is only a mean across this 23 month period. What we are also interested how often is there little to now power being produced. This is reflected in the histograms and fitted probably distribution functions will be next to compute.

Differences in DECC and National Grid Power for 2009?

November 1, 2010

With some help of a reader from Bishop-Hill’s web site, some discrepancies have been noted.

Appears that the number used by DECC and National Grid for mean wind power/energy for the full year 2009 are different by almost three times.

As explained below, the difference could be related to DECC using a combination of actual and estimate (based on “typical load factor or the design”) generation numbers. I do not have, and probably can not get the source data from DECC (per their email this morning).

I therefore conclude, pending errors in my thinking, so far with the data I have that the National Grid numbers, which appear to be “actual” are more accurate than DECC’s actual/estimated generation numbers.  Further, DECC’s computed load factors may have some issues with circular logic.

Would welcome some “peer review” here to spot any errors.

JK on 1 November 2010 at 1:44 p.m. said at Bishop-Hill:

The energy statistics section on the Decc web site publishes the information on installed capacity and actual generation from renewable sources, which suggest that for onshore wind the generation is in the range 20-25% of installed capacity.

table DUKES 7.4 on http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/statistics/source/renewables/renewables.aspx

This DECC table is reproduced here and I’ve highlighted the two areas of interest.  I’ve looked at nothing else so far.

For the only year where DECC data and the source 30-minute interval power generation data from National Grid is 2009.  The National Grid data is presented in GW as power. Comparing the two for the full year 2009:

The GWh (Gigawatt Hours) column above is from the DECC data in DUKES&-4-1.xls.  Assuming (24 h/day x 365 days/year) 8,760 hours per year this means an average power output of 9,304 GWh / 8760 h=1.06 GW.

The mean annual power from the National Grid data is obtained by averaging the 17,520 30-minute interval data points for power produced 2009. This worked out to be 0.379 GW.  The histogram of the data along with a fitted probability distribution is as shown below:

Digging further into the DECC data see Note 7 (highlighted above) where they say for the wind data:

(7)    Actual generation figures are given where available, but otherwise are estimated using a typical load factor or the design load factor, where known.

Since I don’t have access to the source data I don’t (yet) know how much of their data is actual and how much is estimated for 2009.  Further, if they are using “typical” and/or “design” load factors to estimate actuals, then this will certainly impact their computation of “actual” load factor.  Seem like a bit of circular logic here.

Would welcome any thoughts here in comments about what else could be wrong here.

Wind Power Generated by Quarter in UK

November 1, 2010

In follow-up to a couple of previous postings today and yesterday, someone expressed interest in the patter of Wind power generated in other units of time.  I chose to do the same analysis but breaking it into quarterly statistics from January 2009 to September 2010.  The following graph shows the trend in quarterly average power generated by wind.  Given the emphasis on growing wind power in the UK, I was surprised to see a lack of growth in recent quarters.

The histograms and fitted probability distribution curves follow pretty much the same pattern as the overall pattern, but are shown here for completeness:

Other Energy Fuels Used in UK Nov 2008 through Sep 2010

November 1, 2010

In follow-up to my posting yesterday on Wind energy production, we have generated similar histograms and (first-pass and to be improved) fitted probability distributions for the other fuel-types as published.  This is all part of a step-by-step plan to do some looking into the future of future changes in fuel type mixes.

Here is the overall summary of means, and the figures below show the histograms and fitted probability distributions.

The first is Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGT), producing on average 17 GW, as shown below.

Coal is another “biggie” , producing on average 11.6 GW.  It has an intersting “double peak” centered around 3 GW and another  around 14 GW.

Nuclear energy produced on average 6.9 GW, and again there is an interesting double peak, one centred between 5-6 GT, and another between 7 and 8 GW.

Electricit from hydroelectric sources relatively small (about the same as current Wind production) at 0.3 GW:

The numbers for pumped storage are interesting as they show both positive and negative numbers.  I’m presuming that positive are output generation and negative is the power to pump the water into the reservoirs since this signage would be the same as other other data.  The mean is a negative -0.1 GW which presumably is an indicator of the next cost of pump storage and how it is not a power source as sometimes suggested:

The other fuel sources for which there is data are relatively insignificant and are included here for completeness

  • Oil 0.06 GW
  • Open Cycle Gas Turbine 0.004 GW

Another two interesting graphs show the pattern of power in/out of Ireland (-0.2 GT) and France (next):

Here is France (0.4 GW)

Finally, for completeness, here is the results for Wind as reported yesterday (0.4 GW):