Posts by: Dave Elliott

More green jobs – or better jobs?

By Dave Elliott

Green sector employment accounts for as many as 3.4 million jobs in the EU, or 1.7% of all paid employment, more than car manufacturing or pharmaceuticals. Will that expand?

A new UKERC report, ‘Low Carbon Jobs’, has looked at the field, asking if policy-driven expansion of green energy actually creates jobs, taking account of both jobs created and jobs displaced, particularly when the policies in question require subsidies that are paid for through consumer bills or taxes. www.ukerc.ac.uk/support/Low+Carbon+Jobs

(more…)

Posted in Renew your energy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment | Permalink
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Power out: keeping the lights on

By Dave Elliott

There is still large reserve capacity, but with some large old plants closing, like the Didcot ‘A’ coal plant, the UK has found it a bit more challenging to meet demand when there are unexpected plant outages and cold weather. So will we make it through this winter? (more…)

Posted in Renew your energy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment | Permalink
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Green jobs 2

By Dave Elliott

It is claimed that a transition to green energy would create a lot of employment. As I noted in my previous post, there are methodological difficulties facing those trying to make realistic estimates, but economists do produce estimates of employment creation for various investments and the net job impacts. (more…)

Posted in Renew your energy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment | Permalink
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Green Jobs 1

By Dave Elliott

It is claimed that a transition to a green energy system would create a lot of employment, and possibly better employment and job security – sustainable green jobs. If true, that claim offers a powerful political argument for the change at a time when employment is threatened by recession and by new patterns of global economic competition. But is that really what is on offer? (more…)

Posted in Renew your energy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment | Permalink
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Vehicle to grid balancing

By Dave Elliott

The vehicle to grid (V2G) debate continues, offering a way to balance variable renewables and also demand peaks, by using the batteries of electric vehicles, linked to the grid when parked at home, to store excess power during low demand periods, ready to export when demand is high and renewables low. It sounds a clever idea but in addition to economic issues (e.g. the extra costs of the home-based power uploading system) it opens up some interesting logistical issues. (more…)

Posted in Renew your energy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment | Permalink
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Water, energy and other resources

By Dave Elliott

Energy resources aren’t the only thing we are running short of. Water resources could be the next big issue. And conventional energy systems have a big impact on that and will be affected by water scarcity. All thermal/steam raising energy systems need cooling, and maintaining access to water is likely to become a major problem for fossil and nuclear plants as climate change impacts: http://www.worldenergy.org/news-and-media/news/climate-change-implications-for-the-energy-sector-key-findings-from-the-ipcc-ar5/ (more…)

Posted in Renew your energy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment | Permalink
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Land use and energy

By Dave Elliott

By their nature, renewable energy flows are diffuse and the technology for capturing energy from the flows has to cover relatively large areas. It is instructive, and sobering, to revisit Professor David MacKay’s calculations about the areas required to match the energy needed per person from renewable sources: http://www.withouthotair.com/.

However, as I noted in an earlier post (on his comparisons between wind/solar and shale gas), some of his analysis is a little limited, and the general conclusions have to be put in perspective. (more…)

Posted in Renew your energy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment | Permalink
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Green energy transformations

By Dave Elliott

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a new report “the Power of Transformation”, which concludes that the integration of large amounts of renewable energy can be achieved by any country at only a small increase on whole system costs, compared with the current fossil-fuel-heavy electricity systems. The IEA used present-day costs for solar PV and wind, which are likely to continue to fall, with wind and PV being set to provide the bulk of the generating capacity in transformed electricity systems. (more…)

Posted in Renew your energy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment | Permalink
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

PV solar – is that all we need?

By Dave Elliott

PV solar is booming, as I noted in my last post, with over 130 GW in place globally and some see it as overtaking all other renewables, with prices falling dramatically. Indeed a new study “The Economics of Grid Defection” by the US Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) says that PV solar and new cheap battery technology will soon mean that we won’t need power grids. (more…)

Posted in Renew your energy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment | Permalink
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

PV solar versus wind

By Dave Elliott

With costs falling rapidly, PV solar is moving ahead fast and some see it as likely to become a major renewable source in the future, if not the dominant one. The World Energy Council notes that in its new Symphony global energy scenario, “by 2050, globally, almost as much electricity is produced from solar PV as from coal,” and Shell’s recent “Oceans” scenario saw solar as being the largest single energy source globally by 2060. (more…)

Posted in Renew your energy | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments | Permalink
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile