Tag Archives: Sweden

European utilities scared of renewable energy

Another reason Southern Company needs to get on with a smart grid, using its biggest private R&D outfit in the U.S. Now that solar has reached grid parity with everything including natural gas (and years since it passed nuclear), if the utilities don’t get out in front, they’re going to be left behind.

Derek Mead wrote for Motherboard yesterday, European Utilities Say They Can’t Make Money Because There’s Too Much Renewable Energy,

Renewable energy has been on a tear the past few years, with growth in many countries spurred by subsidies for wind and solar power. Now the heads of 10 European utility companies say EU subsidies should end, because they've got more renewable energy than they know what to do with.

The 10 CEOs in question, who refer to themselves as the Magritte group because they first met in an art gallery, represent companies that control about half the power capacity of Europe. The group gave a press conference today— Reuters says that 10 such executives giving a joint public statement is “unprecedented”—to hammer home a message they’ve been trumpeting ahead of an EU energy summit in 2014: There’s too much energy capacity, which has driven prices down so far that they can’t make any money.

As long as there are nukes or coal plants, there’s too much capacity. European utilities need to get on with things like Continue reading

Jellyfish 1 Nuke 0

One of the world’s largest nuclear reactors was shut down Sunday by jellyfish. Not a tsunami, not an earthquake, not a blizzard, not even hot water: jellyfish. And it’s not the first time or the first reactor. Tell me again how reliable centralized baseload power is?

AP reported yesterday, Jellyfish force nuclear plant shutdown in Sweden: Tonnes of jellyfish clog pipes that bring in cool water to the plant’s turbines

Operators of the Oskarshamn nuclear plant in southeastern Sweden had to scramble reactor number three on Sunday after tonnes of jellyfish clogged the pipes that bring in cool water to the plant’s turbines.

By Tuesday, the pipes had been cleaned of the jellyfish and engineers were preparing to restart the reactor, which at 1,400 megawatts of output is the largest boiling-water reactor in the world, said Anders Osterberg, a spokesman for OKG, the plant operator.

All three Continue reading

Fighting gangs by legalizing pot

Just like alcohol prohibition produced gansters such as Al Capone, drug prohibition doesn’t prevent crime: it causes it. Legalize, tax, and regulate, end that crime, reduce drug use, and fund government services. While massively reducing the prison population and removing any excuse for private prisons. Sweden is pioneering the way.

Richard Orange wrote for GlobalPost yesterday, A win-win on drugs? Fighting gangs by legalizing pot,

Copenhagen’s city municipality voted in recent weeks, 39 votes to 9, to empower its social affairs committee to draw up a detailed plan to legalize cannabis.

If that plan is approved by Denmark’s new left-of-centre parliament next year, the city could become the first to legalize marijuana, rather than simply tolerate it, as police do in the Netherlands.

“We are thinking of perhaps 30 to 40 public sales houses, where the people aren’t interested in selling you more, they’re interested in you,” Mikkel Warming, the mayor in charge of social affairs at Copenhagen City Council told GlobalPost. “Who is it better for youngsters to buy marijuana from? A drug pusher, who wants them to use more, who wants them to buy hard drugs, or a civil servant?”

Not just drug toleration. Legalization: Continue reading

Stockholm Fossil Fuel Free City 2050

If a cold Nordic city at the latitude of Anchorage can do this, sunny Valdosta can do this:
The City of Stockholm’s “Action Programme on Climate Change” involves the participation of several groups: the City of Stockholm’s own departments, local businesses and those who live and work in the city. The work has been successful so far and the emission of greenhouse gases has been reduced. In 1990, emissions of 5.3 tons of CO2e* per person were registered compared with 4.0 tons CO2e per person in 2005.

The long-term target is for Stockholm to continue to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases at the same rate as between 1990 and 2005. In theory, this means that Stockholm will become a fossil fuel free city by 2050.

Greenhouse gas targets for the period of 2005-2050 compared with the base year of 1990.

* CO2e = means of specifying the effect of a gas on the emission of greenhouse gases compared to carbon dioxide.


PS: This post owed to Tim Carroll, who saw it in Time Magazine.