New Year’s Resolution

Some people start the year by resolving to give something up. Sweden’s new year’s resolution, it seems, is to give up oil by 2020.

Breaking dependence on oil brings many opportunities for strengthened competitiveness, technological development and progress. The aim is to break dependence on fossil fuels by 2020. By then no home will need oil for heating. By then no motorist will be obliged to use petrol as the sole option available. By then there will always be better alternatives to oil.

They’re not the only ones. Jacques Chirac’s New Year message included the promise that SNCF and the Paris public transport system would not use a drop of oil in 20 years’ time.

Obviously the French view of this is primarily nuclear. The Swedes, though, seem keener on efficiency’n’renewables; apparently they have increased renewable power production by 4.5 terawatt-hours since 2002 with a target of 15TWh more by 2016. It might be worth pointing out something which got very little blog attention when it appeared last year – the UK wind industry’s capacity is now doubling every other year, which makes the UK government’s targets look anaemic. (10% of electricity generation).

After all, there are 986TWh of wind out there in the UK offshore economic zone. At a capacity factor of 30%, that ought to be enough to do the whole electricity supply (321TWh) – without getting started on the onshore sites.

8 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolution

  1. For the life of me, I cannot understand why her invitation was not withdrawn when she traded the murderer of a US service member for a hostage. No NATO nation has never done this. Not even the french.

  2. Also, for the economists here, some other issue.
    Wind power, above some lower limit, scales negatively. At the beginning mass production of the generators makes them cheaper, but past that point you are out of places with steady and strong wind and forced to worse and worse places.

  3. And additonal fact is that wind power only works under set conditions (turbines don’t generate power when there is no or too much wind – at strong winds they are shut down for safety reasons-). For any windpark you always need to have backup power in the form of a normal powerplant, be that gas, oil, coal or nuclear.

  4. The current UK capfac is 27%, without starting on the offshore resource very much, which is windier than most current sites.

    Re: sites. Stanford University’s latest wind resource study puts the global resource for the class 1 sites only at 72 terawatts – total energy use is about 14, so even a 20% capfac could make the nut.

    Re: intermittency. According to Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, for the UK at least, the period of lowest production in the year is the same as the period of lowest electricity demand (based on real-world figures).

    I don’t see any numbers from you. (PS: when I care enough, I’ll put up some more links.)

  5. lowest production in the year is the same as the period of lowest electricity demand

    I’d be surprised if this holds for the day cycle, too.

    when I care enough, I’ll put up some more links

    Please do so.

  6. Wind is a form of baseload and quite predictable for what it will be in a few hours. It depends on the percise location but my guess is that wind is stronger during the day and evening (which is when most electricity is consumed) because the sun is than up

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