Friday, June 28, 2013

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Energy Crisis - London Could Face Rolling Blackouts By 2015!

June 28, 2013 - ENGLAND - Britain’s risk of electricity blackouts by 2015 is more serious than previously thought, regulator Ofgem warned on Thursday. The country’s spare electricity supply margin could fall as low as 2 percent in 2015/16, down from around 14 percent currently. Last year Ofgem gave an estimate of 4 percent.




“Electricity supplies are set to tighten faster than previously expected in the middle of this decade,” Ofgem said in a report, adding that the chance of supply disruptions would rise to one in 12 years in 2015/16 from one in 47 years now. Britain has seen a vast number of power plants close and being mothballed due to emissions-reduction policies and the loss-making economics of gas-fired power plants.

Ofgem said it had lowered its estimate of the amount of conventional power capacity expected for 2015/16 by more than 2,000 megawatts due plant closures and delays in building new ones. Energy Secretary Ed Davey admitted, “Without timely action, there would be risks to security of supply.” While it played down the actual likelihood of blackouts, saying the market managed the problem effectively; the regulator said its findings showed that urgent action is needed.

Britain’s network operator National Grid and the government on Thursday outlined proposals to better manage electricity demand to balance the market at times of tight supply. They include payments to energy users for reducing their demand when necessary. At the same time, the government on Thursday published details of its proposed capacity market, a mechanism that will pay certain power plants to be on standby to produce additional electricity when supply is tight.

The government next year will hold the first auction for power plants to participate in the capacity market for delivery of electricity in 2018/19. The costs of the capacity agreements will be borne by energy users, but the government said that lower wholesale prices and protection against costly blackouts will offset the payments. RWE npower, one of Britain’s biggest power producers, said it was concerned the capacity mechanism favoured certain power plants, such as gas-fired ones that can respond at short notice.

“Government’s proposal for a capacity mechanism must pass the simple test of whether it keeps the lights on at the lowest cost to consumers,” RWE npower chief executive Paul Massara said in a statement. “A mechanism that treats all power plants in the same way will do that, but the current proposals do not suggest this non-discriminatory approach.” - Reuters.





GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For June 28, 2013 - Updates On Popocatépetl, Shiveluch, Pavlof, Cleveland, Taal And Telica!

June 28, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.



Telica, Nicaragua - A new earthquake swarm started this morning, visible on INETER’s seismograms.

Telica has six cones, the tallest of which is 1061 meters high. There is a double crater at the top, 700 meters wide and 120 meters deep.

Telica has erupted frequently since the Spanish Era.

The most recent eruption was in 2011. In terms of explosive force, Telica’s largest eruption has been rated with a VEI of 4. That eruption occurred in 1529.

One of Nicaragua’s most active volcanoes, Telica has erupted frequently, and ash from those frequent eruptions keeps the slopes of its cone bare of vegetation. 





Popocatépetl, Mexico - Seismic activity has picked up, suggesting that the volcano could be headed for more vigorous activity soon. SO2 emissions on NOAA recent satellite data have been relatively high as well. A magnitude 3.6 volcanic quake occurred on Tuesday night 23:57 local time and was located SE of the crater at 2 km depth.

Over 3 hours of low frequency and short amplitude tremor were recorded. An earthquake swarms occurred yesterday as well and another one seems to have started an hour ago. The rate of small to moderate steam and ash explosions was reported to about 2 per hour during yesterday, with ash plumes reaching up to 1-2 km height above the crater. Ashfall has been reported at Tepetlixpa and Ecatzingo.

On 25 June, with the support of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Navy of México, a reconnaissance flight over Popocatepetl´s crater was carried out. It could be observed that the inner crater has grown to 250 m in diameter and 60 m depth, as a result of the explosions of recent days. No other changes could be seen. (CENAPRED).



Taal, Philippines - Growing unrest is being reported at Taal Volcano in Batangas. The volcano appears to becoming more agitated. It has been shaken by 15 volcanic earthquakes in the past 24 hours. According to the Philippine Volcanic and Seismology (Phivolcs), there was also a slight increase of water level in the crater of the volcano. Ground deformation is also being reported on one flank of the volcano. A 6 km exclusion zone has been set up around the volcano to protect locals from any sudden, unexpected eruptions from the volcano.





Pavlof and Cleveland, Alaska -  Alaska volcano eruptions are entering a more powerful phase. After six weeks of Alaska volcano eruptions reaching five miles into the sky, covering nearby communities with ash and shutting down air flights, there looks to be no end. Alaska volcano eruptions 2013 started in May at the Pavlof Volcano, which is located about 590 miles southwest of the major city Anchorage, in the Alaska Peninsula. The most powerful phase of Alaska volcano eruptions started with low-level rumblings.

According to scientists at the federal-state Alaska Volcano Observatory, the latest phase of Alaska volcano eruptions started late on Monday and continued through the night into Tuesday. The blasts emanate from the crater of a 8,261 foot volcano. Tina Neal, an geologist at the observatory said, “For some reason we can’t explain, it picked up in intensity and vigor.’ In May, Alaska volcano eruptions sent a smaller ash cloud 15,000 feet into the air. The ash was visible for miles. Residents were worried that it would damage power generators. The ash plume has so far topped of at an altitude of 28,000 feet, which is too low in the air to affect major air traffic, but high enough that small planes have to fly around it.

Missy Roberts, the vice president of PenAir, which is based in Anchorage, said the airline cancelled one flight and had to re-route other flights. Air traffic controller John Maxwell said, “Everybody is thinking about it. Not that anybody is afraid they’re going to be like Mount Vesuvius and turn into little mummies.” The whole region is under an ash advisory. The National Weather Service warned that people with respiratory ailments in the area could experience breathing problems. They also warned about potential damage to exposed electronic equipment.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory reported that King Cove, which is located 30 miles southwest of Pavlof and has a population of about 900 people, has been dusted with ash. The observatory said that a second Alaska Peninsula volcano also continues to experience a low-intensity eruption. The observatory said that ash from Veniaminof Volcano, which is located 485 miles southwest of Anchorage, has been contained to the area around its 8,225-foot summit.

The scientists say the eruptions at Pavlof and Veniaminof are unrelated. According to the observatory, there is a third Alaska volcano that is restless is in a more remote area, but that has not started spouting lava or ash. The Cleveland Volcano began its eruptive phase in the middle of 2011 and has been erupting on and off. It has not produced an explosive eruption since May 6. The Cleveland Volcano is located 940 miles southwest of Anchorage.





Shiveluch, Kamchatka, Russia - Russia’s northernmost active volcano churned out ash to a height of up to 7,000 meters (almost 23,000 feet) in the country’s Far East, local Emergencies Ministry’s department reported on Friday. The 3,283-meter (10,771 feet) Shiveluch volcano increased activity in May 2009 and has been periodically spewing ash from three to ten kilometers. “Considering the direction and the force of wind, the cloud of ash moved to the southwest and dissipated without having reached residential areas,” the department said in a statement. Although the current eruption poses no immediate threat to nearby settlements, the ensuing ash fallouts could be hazardous to health and the environment. The clouds of volcanic ash could also pose threat to air traffic because the tiny particles cause problems with aircraft engine turbines. There are more than 150 volcanoes on Kamchatka and up to 30 of them are active.


SOURCES: Volcano Discovery | PHIL Star | Kpopstarz | RIA Novosti.