Category Archives: Fossil fuels

Texas freeze casts renewable energy as next battle line in US culture wars

Conservatives have blamed the state’s power fiasco on solar and wind even though they account for a fraction of supply

The frigid winter storm and power failure that left millions of people in Texas shivering in darkness has been used to stoke what is becoming a growing front in America’s culture wars – renewable energy.

Related: Aggressive push to 100% renewable energy could save Americans billions – study

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Renewable energy could render five of Australia’s remaining coal plants unviable by 2025

A new report suggests previous estimates understated the amount of cheap solar and wind energy entering the national electricity market

Up to five of Australia’s remaining 16 coal power plants could be financially unviable by 2025 due to a flood of cheap solar and wind energy entering the electricity grid, a new report suggests.

An analysis by two groups – the consultants Green Energy Markets and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (Ieefa) – found previous estimates had understated the amount of renewable energy likely to enter the national electricity market in the next five years, and its ramifications for the ageing coal fleet.

Related: Australia needs to cut emissions by at least 50% by 2030 to meet Paris goals, experts say

Related: Recent Australian emissions cuts likely to be reversed in recovery from Covid and drought

Related: Australian farmers call for renewable energy zones as Nationals push coal and nuclear

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Australia was the first casualty of the big blackout lie blaming wind power – the US could be next | Ketan Joshi

As climate impacts intensify, power grids stuffed with ageing fossil fuel infrastructure crumble

Climate change is full of surprises. We were warned about heatwaves, hurricanes and high-intensity firestorms. What we didn’t see coming was a cynical, cyclical economy of blackout bullshit. As climate impacts intensify, power grids stuffed with ageing fossil fuel infrastructure crumble. Those blackouts are usually blamed on wind and solar – and used to extend the lifespan of existing fossil fuel generators. Opportunity costs increase, climate impacts worsen and blackouts intensify. It’s an accelerating death spiral.

Last week Texas suffered an outage likely to be the worst on record in the US. Millions of people were without power for days, initially at a scale roughly equivalent to all of eastern Australia going dark at once. A burst of winter weather froze vital components at power stations, gas supplies were limited by frozen pipelines and, consequently, a third of the state’s thermal power stations were offline (mostly gas). An unspecified proportion of wind turbines were disabled due to icing and low-temperature shutoffs, but “gas and coal were actually the biggest culprits in the crisis”, Eric Fell, director of North America gas at Wood Mackenzie, told Bloomberg.

Related: Why the cold weather caused huge Texas blackouts – a visual explainer

Related: Green giants: the massive projects that could make Australia a clean energy superpower

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Why oil giants are swapping oil rigs for offshore windfarms

The fossil fuel giants need to find new ways to reduce emissions, generate growth and maintain their share price

The world’s biggest oil companies are no stranger to UK waters, but by the end of the decade they will be running more offshore wind turbines than oil rigs.

BP has already made a splash with a record-breaking bid to build two giant windfarms in the Irish Sea. The company beat established renewable energy players by offering to pay the Crown Estate £900m a year to develop the sites, more than 15 times the price paid for similar deals in the past.

Related: Queen’s property manager and Treasury to get windfarm windfall of nearly £9bn

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