Electrek:

A 10.5 gigawatt (GW) solar and wind farm will be built in Morocco’s Guelmim-Oued Noun region, and it will supply the UK with clean energy via subsea cables. The twin 1.8 GW high voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cables will be the world’s longest.

UK-based renewables company Xlinks is the project’s developer. The Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project, as it’s known, will cover an area of around 579 square miles (1,500 square kilometers) in Morocco and will be connected exclusively to the UK via 2,361 miles (3,800 km) of HVDC subsea cables. They’ll follow the shallow water route from Morocco to the UK, past Spain, Portugal, and France.

The project will cost $21.9 billion. Xlinks will construct 7 GW of solar and 3.5 GW of wind, along with onsite 20GWh/5GW battery storage, in Morocco. The transmission cable will consist of four cables. The first cable will be active in early 2027, and the other three are slated to launch in 2029. An agreement has been reached with the National Grid for two 1.8GW connections at Alverdiscott in Devon.

Xlinks says that the Morocco-UK Power Project will be capable of powering a whopping 7 million UK homes by 2030. Once complete, the project will be capable of supplying 8% of Britain’s electricity needs.

Why go all the way to North Africa for power in the UK? In a word, resilience. Xlinks explains:

Morocco benefits from ideal solar and wind resources, required to develop renewable projects that could guarantee suitable power production throughout the year. It has the third highest Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) in North Africa, which is 20% greater than Spain’s GHI and over twice that of the UK. Furthermore, the shortest winter day still offers more than 10 hours of sunlight. This helps in providing production profiles that address the needs of the UK power market, especially during periods of low offshore wind production.

Remote generation and interconnection between distant geographic regions with inversely correlated weather systems will be more effective at addressing imbalances of supply and demand over longer time periods.

Xlinks notes that solar panels generate about three times more power in Morocco than they would in the UK. Further, solar panels in Morocco will generate as much as five times more power from January to March than those in the UK.

The project is expected to create nearly 10,000 jobs in Morocco, and 2,000 of those positions will be permanent.

Following Fox’s Info Fails

September 28, 2021

Above, I showed in the first 2 minutes of this video the chasm between Tucker Carlson’s Fox universe and The Universe.

Bill Grueskin of Columbia Journalism School has a hobby. He looks critically at Fox New’s visuals to reveal a spectacular combination of mendacity and stupidity.

Bill Grueskin on Twitter:

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Timely new survey on climate awareness from Tony Leiserowitz and colleagues at Yale. Higher than ever after a shocking global summer.

Yale Program on Climate Change Communication:

We have just completed our latest nationally representative Climate Change in the American Mindsurvey and find that American views about climate change have shifted significantly in the past 6 months.

The results are timely, as members of Congress are currently deciding whether to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a larger reconciliation bill, both of which will make major national investments in climate action. Meanwhile, in 2021 the United States has experienced a brutal year of extreme weather events, including record-setting heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods.

Americans’ belief that global warming is happening has increased six percentage points since March. Americans who think that global warming is happening now outnumber those who think it is not happening by more than 6 to 1.

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NBC Report on Off Shore Wind

September 27, 2021

Ok, good effort, but they’re called “Blades”, not “propellers”.

Becky Bollinger PhD in Washington Post:

For the first time, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued a water shortage for Lake Mead starting in 2022. Located between southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona, Lake Mead provides water and generates electricity for the more than 20 million people in the lower Colorado River Basin.

This shortage isn’t a surprise. Water levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell to the northeast have already reached historic lows amid the summer drought. By January, the bureau projects water levels at Lake Mead to fall to 1,065.85 feet — nine feet below the first shortage trigger elevation. Levels on Lake Powell, which stores water for the Upper Colorado River Basin, are only marginally better, projected to be just 45 feet above the required elevation to produce hydropower.

The overall situation is not good, but why? This whole reservoir system along the Colorado River Basin was designed to get us through the drought years. Why isn’t it working? A glimpse into the history of the system, how it was designed and the impacts of climate change sheds light on why it was destined to fail — and why it may never recover.

As Americans began moving west, they found that Western rivers behaved very differently from those found in the Midwest and East Coast.

Western rivers were fed by snow from the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. During the winter, river flows would decrease, sometimes even freeze over. As spring and summer arrived, the warmer temperatures melted snowpack that accumulated on the mountains over the winter. Then the melt would run off at exactly the perfect time — the beginning of the growing season. Water would be abundant for farming and other needs during the warm season.

But issues arose with this “perfect” system. People learned less snowfall in one winter would result in less water flowing in the spring and summer. Water might not be as abundant as desired.

Then came an issue of who could use the water. Consider a farmer named Joseph. He and his family would settle on their land and pull from the river during the warm season. It had been a good winter so they expected high river flows that spring. Instead, the flows were really low. Where was his water?

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Let’s start this week out right.
Lots of work to do.
Very nice rendition of Peace Train with appearance by Yusuf / Cat Stevens.
This whole video is a prayer.

Sam is a Cat 4 Dynamo

September 26, 2021

Not likely to make landfall but stay tuned.

Loren Steffy in Forbes:

After the Great Texas Freeze-Out of 2021, several state politicians ham-handedly attempted to blame renewables for the power outages that left more than 200 people dead and cost as much as $130 billion in property damage and lost economic activity. 

Now, renewables are getting their revenge. 

No longer able to trust the power grid, and no longer confident that state leaders can keep the lights on, many Texans are taking matters into their own hands, adding on-site generation, solar panels and batteries.

John Berger, the founder and chief executive of Sunnova Energy International, a Houston-based residential solar provider, said his company’s installed customer base jumped 30 percent in the second quarter compared with a year earlier. That corresponds with a 165 percent increase in new orders during the same period.  (The company doesn’t break out origination data by state.) 

“What we saw increasingly is people have changed from ‘it’s nice to have’ to ‘it’s a need to have,’” Berger said. 

Several trends were already driving the demand. Across the country, people are growing weary of extreme weather being characterized as “unprecedented.” As hurricanes, floods and wildfires routinely knock out power, residents are looking for peace of mind, regardless of costs. That mindset, combined with an increase in people working from home because of the pandemic, was already driving demand for on-site residential power across the country, said Berger, whose company has about 162,000 customers in 35 states and U.S. territories. 

In Texas, the February freeze became an added catalyst. 

“The freeze was a bit of a breaking point for folks that had had enough with [Hurricane] Harvey and other events,” Berger said.

With some prognostications of another frigid winter, many are looking to build in the reliability that the state has refused to provide. 

Solar power is “our cheapest and fastest-growing source of clean energy,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said recently. Her department unveiled a studyindicated that solar power has the potential to provide as much has 40 percent of the country’s power needs in 15 years. That would represent a 10-fold increase, but it also would require a significant increase in capacity and billions in federal funding to modernize the electricity grid. 

The increase in residential solar goes hand-in-hand with the need for battery storage. That technology is improving and getting cheaper, Berger said, which has helped support solar installations. 

Battery storage in Texas could top 1,400 megawatts by the end of this month, eight times more than the state had available at the end of September 2020, according to a study by S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

The problems extend beyond Texas. Berger said that while Texas accounts for the biggest increase in new installations, his company has seen a 150 percent increase in demand nationwide in the first and second quarters. 

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Belinda van Heerwaarden and Ary Hoffmann in The Conversation:

Evidence of declining fertility in humans and wildlife is growing. While chemicals in our environment have been identified as a major cause, our new research shows there’s another looming threat to animal fertility: climate change.

We know animals can die when temperatures rise to extremes they cannot endure. However, our research suggests males of some species can become infertile even at less extreme temperatures. 

This means the distribution of species may be limited by the temperatures at which they can reproduce, rather than the temperatures at which they can survive. 

These findings are important, because they mean we may be underestimating the impacts of climate change on animals – and failing to identify the species most likely to become extinct.

Researchers have known for some time that animal fertility is sensitive to heat stress.

For example, research shows a 2℃ temperature rise dramatically reduces the production of sperm bundles and egg size in corals. And in many beetle and bee species, fertilisation success drops sharply at high temperatures. 

High temperatures have also been shown to affect fertilisation or sperm count in cowspigsfish and birds.

However, temperatures that cause infertility have not been incorporated into predictions about how climate change will affect biodiversity. Our research aims to address this.

The paper published today involved researchers from the United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia, including one author of this article. The study examined 43 species of fly to test whether male fertility temperatures were a better predictor of global fly distributions than the temperatures at which the adult fly dies – also known as their “survival limit”.

The researchers exposed flies to four hours of heat stress at temperatures ranging from benign to lethal. From this data they estimated both the temperature that is lethal to 80% of individuals and the temperature at which 80% of surviving males become infertile.

They found 11 of 43 species experienced an 80% loss in fertility at cooler-than-lethal temperatures immediately following heat stress. Rather than fertility recovering over time, the impact of high temperatures was more pronounced seven days after exposure to heat stress. Using this delayed measure, 44% of species (19 out of 43) showed fertility loss at cooler-than-lethal temperatures.

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