Denmark & Wind Power

Denmark & Wind Power

We have had some discussion about the amount of wind power being generated in Denmark, which hit 41% of total electricity in 2014. Denmark is often held up by proponents of wind power to prove that large amounts are both feasible and can be easily integrated into national grid systems.

It is therefore worth putting the figures into perspective.

The first thing to notice is just how small the Danish generation figures actually are, in comparison with the UK and Germany. For instance, output from wind in Denmark was 13.2 TWh, compared to 31.6 TWh in the UK



It is immediately apparent from these figures that Danish wind output can easily be absorbed into the German grid. In addition, a lot of Denmark’s electricity is exported to Scandinavia, where it can be used for pump storage.

And on the reverse side, it is not a problem for Denmark to import the small amounts of power it needs from Germany and Scandinavia, when the wind stops blowing.


The Danish example is in fact comparable to the situation in Scotland, where wind power accounts for 24%. Again we see that the amount of wind power generated in Scotland is dwarfed by total demand in the rest of the UK, where any surplus can easily be sent.





Just because a high proportion of wind power can be managed on a small scale, and as part of a much bigger grid system, does not mean it could be at the UK level.

Full article

Transfat scare debunked (again)

Transfat scare debunked (again)

Trans fatty acids and mortality in patients referred for coronary angiography: the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health Study


In contrast to previous findings, the low concentrations of total TFAs found in LURIC were inversely associated with adverse cardiac outcomes. While the naturally occurring TFA C16:1n-7t was associated with reduced risk, no increased risk was found for industrially produced TFAs.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.

European Heart Journal

No relation between saturated fat in diet and blood levels

Thinking about logical consequences

Thinking about logical consequences

Thinking About the Unthinkable: An Israel-Iran Nuclear War

The signing of a Munich-class agreement with Iran that hands it more than it ever hoped to pull off represents a shocking, craven American capitulation to an apocalyptic crazy state: a North Korea with oil. Nothing in Western history remotely approaches it, not even Neville Chamberlain’s storied appeasement of another antisemitic negotiating partner.

But it also augurs the possibility of a nuclear war coming far sooner than one could have imagined under conventional wisdom worst-case scenarios. Following the US’s betrayal of Israel and its de facto detente with Iran, we cannot expect Israel to copy longstanding US doctrines of no-first-nuclear-use and preferences for conventional-weapons-only war plans. After all, both were premised (especially after the USSR’s 1991 collapse) on decades of US nuclear and conventional supremacy. If there ever were an unassailable case for a small, frighteningly vulnerable nation to pre-emptively use nuclear weapons to shock, economically paralyze, and decapitate am enemy sworn to its destruction, Israel has arrived at that circumstance.

Why? Because Israel has no choice, given the radical new alignment against it that now includes the US, given reported Obama threats in 2014 to shoot down Israeli attack planes, his disclosure of Israel’s nuclear secrets and its Central Asian strike-force recovery bases, and above all his agreement to help Iran protect its enrichment facilities from terrorists and cyberwarfare – i.e., from the very special-operations and cyber forces that Israel would use in desperate attempts to halt Iran’s bomb. Thus Israel is being forced, more rapidly and irreversibly than we appreciate, into a bet-the-nation decision where it has only one forceful, game-changing choice — early nuclear pre-emption – to wrest back control of its survival and to dictate the aftermath of such a survival strike.

Would this involve many nuclear weapons? No – probably fewer than 10-15, although their yields must be sufficiently large to maximize ground shock. Would it produce Iranian civilian casualties? Yes but not as many as one might suppose, as it would avoid cities. Most casualties would be radiological, like Chernobyl, rather than thermal and blast casualties. Would it spur a larger catalytic nuclear war? No. Would it subsequently impel Russia, China and new proliferators to normalize nuclear weapons in their own war planning? Or would the massive global panic over the first nuclear use in anger in 70 years, one that would draw saturation media coverage, panic their publics into urgent demands for ballistic missile self-defense systems? Probably the latter.
More depressing insights

European Renewable Energy performance for 2014 falls far short of claims

The appeal of something for nothing still is the same as the times when people bought snake oil as a cure all. Indeed a sucker is born every 10 seconds (compensating for birthrate since David Hannum was alive) so the perpetuum mobile sales pitch of wind/solar/tide energy is very popular. Never mind that all energy subtracted from the environment causes greater harm than energy produced by matter/energy conversion or even burning fossil fuels. As soon as enough windfarms are installed to alter windpatterns , enough solar panels have been installed to intercept the natural warming which actually causes winds the blow then the shortsighted will realize too late it was not such a good idea. Luckily i’m of an age i won’t suffer the consequences.

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Ed Hoskins

Summary: By 2014 European Union countries had invested approximately €1 trillion, €1000,000,000,000, in large scale Renewable Energy installations.

This has provided a nameplate electrical generating capacity of about 216 Gigawatts, nominally about ~22% of the total European generation needs of about 1000 Gigawatts.

The actual measured output by 2014 from data supplied by the Renewables Industry has been 38 Gigawatts or 3.8% of Europe’s electricity requirement, at a capacity factor of ~18% overall.

However Renewable Energy production is dependent on the seasons, local weather conditions and the rotation of the earth, day and night.

So the Renewable Energy contribution to the electricity supply grid is inevitably erratic, intermittent and non-dispatchable.  It is therefore much less useful than dispatchable sources of electricity, which can be engaged whenever necessary to match demand and maintain grid stability.  That 3.8% Renewable Energy contribution to the grid is often not available when needed and obversely its…

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Does certified organic farming reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production?

Does certified organic farming reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production?

No, quite the opposite actually 


The increasing prevalence of ecologically sustainable products in consumer markets, such as organic produce, are generally assumed to curtail anthropogenic impacts on the environment. Here I intend to present an alternative perspective on sustainable production by interpreting the relationship between recent rises in organic agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production. I construct two time series fixed-effects panel regressions to estimate how increases in organic farmland impact greenhouse gas emissions derived from agricultural production. My analysis finds that the rise of certified organic production in the United States is not correlated with declines in greenhouse gas emissions derived specifically from agricultural production, and on the contrary is associated positively overall agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. To make sense of this finding, I embed my research within the conventionalization thesis. As a result I argue that the recent USDA certification of organic farming has generated a bifurcated organic market, where one form of organic farming works as a sustainable counterforce to conventional agriculture and the other works to increase the economic accessibility of organic farming through weakening practice standards most conducive to reducing agricultural greenhouse gas output. Additionally, I construct my own theoretical framework known as the displacement paradox to further interpret my findings


The nuclear NORM

The nuclear NORM

For those hysterical ‘oh no not nuclear energy’ fanatics:

Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM)(Updated May 2015)

Radioactive materials which occur naturally and where human activities increase the exposure of people to ionising radiation are known by the acronym ‘NORM’.

NORM results from activities such as burning coal, making and using fertilisers, oil and gas production.

Uranium mining exposes those involved to NORM in the uranium orebody.

Radon in homes is one occurrence of NORM which may give rise to concern and action to control it, by ventilation.

Natural Ionising Radiation

In other words, if you’re afraid of radioactive materials just move to another planet.