JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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How much electricity do solar and wind make on a global scale? Answer: “Not much”

Simple numbers are hard to get, so when Anton Lang pointed me at the EIA site (U.S. Energy Information Administration), I wanted to give everyone the straight answer to the question: just how much electricity do renewables make on a global scale? The EIA has the only database in the world with a this much accuracy.

The answer is that 80% of our electricity comes from the fossil fuels and nuclear that the Greens despise. Hydroelectricity, with all its pluses and minuses, produces a serious 16% of the total. But all the vanity renewables bundled together make about 3.5% of the total.

Wind power is a major global industry but it’s only making in the order of 1.4% of total electricity. And solar is so pathetically low that it needs to be bundled with “tidal and wave” power to even rate 0.1% (after rounding up).

For all the fuss and money, if the world’s solar powered units all broke tonight, it would not dent global electricity production a jot.

No one connected to a grid would notice.

 

Global electricity generation by source 2009, pie graph

These are the total global numbers from the US Energy Information Agency (The  EIA) for 2009.

 

 EIA Global Electricity production 2009 figures

Global Electricity Generation total

19,000TWH

 100%

[link]

     Global Renewables total

  3,760 TWH

 20%

[link]

Hydroelectric Power  3145 TWH 16.5% [Link]
NON hydroelectric:
Biomass and Waste   271 TWH 1.4% [Link]
Global Wind power:   262 TWH 1.4% [Link]
Global Geothermal:    63 TWH 0.3% [Link]
Global Solar, Tide & Wave:    19 TWH 0.1% [Link]
NON hydroelectric total: 615 TWH 3.2% [link]

The figures here are the most recent whole year figures available. Some figures for 2010 are not listed on the EIA site yet. Even though there is more solar and wind power capacity now, China has been adding a 2GW coal fired station every week or two, so I’m led to believe that the latest pie graph would not look altogether different.

 

1,2,3, 100! Welcome to the world of Green accounting

The Australian Greens want to spend $10 billion more on “clean energy” and seriously talk about a “leap” to 100% renewables. “The Greens will also press the Australian Energy Market Operator to deliver a plan on how to provide 100 per cent renewable energy in the electricity system.”

Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, thinks that renewables are making electricity cheaper.

 15th June 2012 10:46 am:

“There are numerous myths around renewable energy pushed by the coal and gas industry and their champions in both of the old parties. One by one, these myths are being busted by reality, such as renewable energy actually putting downward pressure on electricity prices in parts of Europe and America, as well as in South Australia.”

Australian Greens “Energy policy”

Thanks to Anton Lang for the advice and information.

 

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How much electricity do solar and wind make on a global scale? Answer: "Not much", 9.3 out of 10 based on 76 ratings

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119 comments to How much electricity do solar and wind make on a global scale? Answer: “Not much”

  • #
    Phillip Bratby

    I think in your last paragraph that should be “a 2GW coal fired station every week”.

    In summary, the only renewable source of electricity that can make a difference is hydro. At least it is mainly despatchable, even if it can do tremendous environmental damage if in the wrong location.


    REPLY Yes, too right! Jo


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    • #
      Debbie

      Phillip,
      Good point….it seems that Hydro is the one which can make a difference.
      The technology has improved in this area as well and IMHO the real damage is not environmental….it is actually a land footprint.
      If we take a look at established hydro electric systems, what we know as the ‘natural environment’ adapts beautifully to them.
      They add ‘certainty’ for our aquatic flora and fauna and therefore a safe haven in comparison to a more difficult ephemeral existence.
      Technology re dams and hydro has also worked out how to cater for the freer movement of fish and other marine species.
      But there is most certainly a ‘land footprint’ and it can be a large one sometimes.


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      • #

        The main limitation with hydro is a physical one. There are insufficient large sites. In Australia, there is also a lack of rainfall as well.

        The Itaipu dam is the world’s largest (until replaced by one in China). Located on the Brazil/Paraguay border, it was created by submerging the world’s largest waterfall in terms of volume of water. Yet it generates a peak power of just 7 of the 2GW coal-fired power stations that China is completing every other week.
        Peak power is an issue. Where rainfall is seasonal, so is the power output. When there was a drought is Southern Brazil a few years ago, there were power cuts.


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        • #
          Norfolk Dumpling

          Debbie, not only is hydro extremely expensive compared but highly wasteful of land and environment usage and, as with most technologies other than coal, gas or nuclear [transported] very location specific. It is all very well talking about a better environment for fish, what, the ones we eat – I think not. Hydro reservoirs, because of their size cut down the ecological environment required by land creatures. What happens to photosynthesis in those areas?
          Have a look at the methane production of the vegetation detritus which continually finds its way to the head of the dam – I believe anaerobic decomposition increases the methane content of the atmosphere. That is something to look forward to!
          So, I am not really certain that hydro can contribute to a real difference like coal, gas and nuclear except as a backup for “emergency” purposes on the existing systems. Gas and plant margin seem to do that adequately already.


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  • #
    turnrdoutnice

    No-one in the renewables’ industries or politics can be trusted to state the facts about wind power. Windmills cost 10 times as much as CCGTs for a given net output but the windies claim the energy is free, one of the biggest propaganda lies in history.

    1. Including 11% disconnection, estimated by the UK National Grid Company NGC to protect the grid in gales, real average UK windmill capacity factor is ~18% meaning 82% direct gas fuel requirement for that nominal windmill capacity.

    2. With no pump storage to absorb surges and including the CO2 cost of the windmills, the fall in efficiency of the standby system, particularly the need for substantial open cycle plant, means the combined system will emit more CO2 than just CCGTs.

    The latter is something the propagandists are desperate to keep from the public. There is clearly a conflict inside government because the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has been told by its Chief Scientist of the need to construct massive pump storage to save any CO2 with the windmill system. I bet here is the same advice in Australia.

    Reportedly, the UK Minister has refused to accept this advice possibly because instead of 10 times the capital cost, it’ll be ~20 times AND much of the UK would be inundated with hell to pay from environmentalists.

    I’m also beginning to wonder if the refusal to accept engineering facts may be because of other factors than political face, e.g. carbon traders apparently strongly influence the programme.

    Australia is worse off because wind speeds are lower.


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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Ah, but if you don’t count the cost of the turbines, the cost of installation, the cost of pylons, wires, transformers etc. to connect to the grid, and the cost of maintenance, then wind power is almost free.
      And the cost in money and extra CO2 emissions from conventional generation on backup, as you point out. There is the damage to the environment as well but what do the greenies care about that (the highways to carry the turbines into place alone are a disgrace).

      Even though it comes from the National Grid Co. the figure of 18% may still be an overestimate. The capacity factor in the UK has been falling in recent years for 3 reasons.
      1. As turbines age, maintenance becomes more expensive and a delay in repairs helps keep up the flow of dividends. I wonder if those not generating are included in the average.
      2. The best sites were the first taken. Lesser sites now, so the average drops.
      3. Much colder winters since 2007. The 3 months Dec – Feb can see weeks without much generation as the wind is low and the use of iced up blades cannot be risked.

      Thus where the capacity factor for UK turbines was 26.5-27%, it is now 21-24%. But that is ex turbine (if I can put it like that) and doesn’t allow for losses on its way to the grid. The problem of lower kilovolt transmission levels in Scotland (2) must lead to greater losses, especially given the extra distances to the customer.

      I noticed that during the Olympics there were times when the wind turbines were contributing 0 – 0.1% of electricity in the UK. The same in winter, when Britain relies on French nuclear power to the limit the cables can carry.


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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Sorry, the latest figure (early 2011) for capacity factor is 26.3 averaged over 13 years.

        It was 21% in 2010, and that supplied 1.9% of the electricity in the UK.

        By comparison the figure was 16.5% in Germany, boosted by the new offshore farms.

        One matter that may not be obvious is that wind turbines consume power at all times. It comes from the grid. The amount is supposedly negligible, though very rarely mentioned. I did come across one figure of below 1% of that generated. This amount is not deducted from the amount generated, so the real capacity is that much lower.


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    • #

      There is a snag with pump storage schemes. They have limited capacity. Two-thirds of the British capacity comes from Dinorwig. This provides 1700MW for just 5 hours. It has only once been used at full capacity in the last decade.

      You are right about wind power. People ignore the capital cost, and when they do not only account for the cost of the pylons. In Britain the biggest costs on land are building a road to carry the pylons to remote locations and then hooking the generated power up to the National Grid.

      Most expensive are the offshore wind farms. That is why the subsidy in Britain for offshore wind farms is twice the GBP40.17 (A$60.50) per Mwh for onshore.


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  • #
    Sean2829

    Renewables are great. The Germans who have one of the stongest renewable industries in Europe pay 3x the average rate per KWhr in the US. The only US state to push renewables hard is California where power is double the national average. Don’t worry though, our EPA is working hard to raise the cost of electricity nationally.


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  • #
    Richard deSousa

    Without government subsidies renewable energy is a bust! Shame on Gillard to publish lies!


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  • #
    fenbeagleblog

    Is the wind power figure accurate though? Matt Ridley was claiming less than 0.5% for wind globally. 1.4% is a lot higher. Is this graph for installed capacity figures or actual production figures?


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    • #

      The links in the table take you to the EIA – it says “electricity generation” not capacity. But do tell me any details I may have missed.

      Jo


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      • #
        fenbeagleblog

        Yes, I see that Joanne. I guess it must be right. Matt starts a Spectator essay ‘The Beginning Of The End Of Wind’…

        …’To the nearest whole number, the percentage of the world’s energy that comes from wind turbines today is: zero.’

        ..Which is a punchy start. (It’s a shame if it is not correct.) It just occurred to me that the difference could be accounted for by the difference between generation and capacity….. But maybe not.


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        • #

          There is a difference between electricity and energy. Matt is probably right when you consider how much energy wind provides in a field where oil, petrol, natural gas and diesel are also contributing. Not too many wind powered cars, trucks and 747′s. Not so many wind powered hot water heaters.

          Ridley’s number is probably right. “World energy”


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          • #
            cohenite

            Matt Ridley wrote this article on the world electricity sourced from renewables, in response to the IPCC’s 2011 release of their Special Report Renewable Energy Sources (SRREN).

            In the SRREN, at FIGURE SPM.2 the share of renewables’ contribution to the world’s energy supply is showm. The Biomass amount which Ridley comments on is interesting as Ridley explains:

            It turns out that the great majority of this energy, 10.2% out of the 13.8% share, comes from biomass, mainly wood (often transformed into charcoal) and dung.

            One of the greatest threats to rain forests is the cutting of wood for fuel by impoverished people. Haiti meets about 60% of its energy needs with charcoal produced from forests. Even bakeries, laundries, sugar refineries and rum distilleries run on the stuff. Full marks to renewable Haiti, the harbinger of a sustainable future! Or maybe not: Haiti has felled 98% of its tree cover and counting; it’s an ecological disaster compared with its fossil-fuel burning neighbor, the Dominican Republic, whose forest cover is 41% and stable. Haitians are now burning tree roots to make charcoal.

            Regardless of the exact figuress, and there are slight differences between the IPCC’s report and from the EIA, the fact is that not only do renewables not work and cost a lot but they also do a remarkable amount of environmental damage.


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          • #

            cohenite makes a really wonderful point here.

            Note specifically the use of the word Energy here, as opposed to the word Electricity. This is just another of those points where the debate is muddied, because people think one way and associate them both together.

            This is what always niggled away at me, to find a conclusive way to separate the two.

            What made me search, (and search and search) was the figure I used to split up electricity consumption, and note here I use the word electricity.

            The only accurate data I did have was at the EIA site which updates with only a two Month lead time, while nearly everywhere else in the World it is two and three years behind real time.

            That U.S. data showed the Residential electricity split was stable at around 38% of all electricity consumed. It was the same for virtually every First World Country where a constant and reliable source of electricity is available for all the people in those Countries, so I always accepted that the split was the same here in Australia, even though I could find nothing concrete.

            Keeping those two headline words in mind, I was concentrating on electricity. On the off chance, hoping against hope I could decipher it if it did show me anything I stumbled onto an Australian Government site that deals with residential energy consumption. (note energy)

            After much maths conversions etc, it turns out that in the residential sector, only 52% of that energy consumption is electrical power. 35% is Natural Gas, 2% is LPG and the remaining 11% is from the burning of wood for space heating. Australia is a very large consumer of Natural Gas in that residential sector and also a large consumer of wood for that space heating aspect.

            Again, after much maths conversions etc, it turns out that electricity consumption (note electricity) in the residential sector comes in at 26% of overall electricity consumption here in Australia. That extra we use in the form of gas and wood as opposed to other areas of the First World would average out to around that 38% in other areas of the World, given that they also would use some gas (less than us) and some wood. (also less than us)

            So, the point I am getting at here is that wood is classed as a renewable resource for the purposes of the debate, so what they have done is play on the way people perceive things by saying renewable Energy, and people perceive that as being linked to renewable electricity, hence the data for renewables can be inflated to look even better again.

            See the point here.

            As the link cohenite provides mentions wood, dung and biomass are considered renewable, even though the burning of them still cause CO2 emissions, but that CO2 has been sequestered from the atmosphere into the wood etc in the first place, hence releasing it is only a continuation of the cycle.

            This is also indicated at the EIA as well, in their data for all renewable electrical power data shown at this link.

            Tony.

            For links back to this government document and further explanation, see the Comment here at Joanne’s site at this link.


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          • #
            fenbeagleblog

            Ah…..You have it Joanne, (the clue was in the heading :-) ). Thanks, and sorry for the interruption.


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          • #
            cohenite

            Tony, the energy/electricity dichotomy is one of the many deceits of the AGW advocacy; another term is power which confuses the issue of whether the renewables are viable or not.

            A more precise term which goes to the deficiency of the renewables is described in a Tom Quirk paper. At Table 1 of the paper the column 90% reliability point really goes to the heart of the failure of the renewables, in particular wind POWER.

            We have already looked at the obfuscation to do with the difference between the Installed capacity, the 24/7 output, and capacity factor, the actual energy produced as a % of the IC.

            However CF is a figure averaged over a reasonable period, usually at least a 1/4,preferably a year. It does not reflect the moment to moment unreliability of the renewables. The 90% reliability point shows the % of times that the CF is actually achieved for 90% of the time for wind power. It ranges from 3-6%.

            What this means is that the power from wind is essentially unusable.


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          • #
            Mark D.

            But aren’t fossil fuels also carbon neutral? Didn’t they also come from once living plants and animals?


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          • #
            Norfolk Dumpling

            Cohenite, just to attempt to be precise about definitions and with no intent to offend!
            In Europe and countries with Standards derived from or similar to Europe, there is no such thing as “capacity factor”, it is Load Factor, such definition being normal practice in my engineering experience. This may easily be confirmed by searching both quantities in the IEC Technical Vocabulary. 5 or 6 definitions for Load Factor but not 1 for “capacity factor”!
            Similarly, I find as much to disagree with on definition as “wind farms” instead of ‘wind power stations’. The only “farming” a wind farm does is farm money at our expense!
            I think reference to ‘wind power stations’, in the face of the vested interest wind organisations would have directed the publics attention to this scam and its place in our societies and given a technological bent [scientific method] to output figure comparison with our traditional means of electricity generation.


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  • #
    Ed Forbes

    In Calif, hydro is, by law, not “renewable”, and does not count to the required amounts of “renewable” energy CA law now requires.


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    • #

      A substantial amount of California’s total power comes from ‘out of State’. Only three States consume more electrical power than California, (Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania the largest consumers) and California consumes 4.8% of all the power generated in the U.S. However, 16% of California’s total power consumption is delivered by the Hoover Dam Hydro Plant, which is in the next State Nevada.

      Tony.


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    • #
      Marcus B. Goyne

      Some facts about Californian Power Generation.

      http://www.energy.ca.gov/maps/powerplants/


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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      California is screwed any way you look at it. No bad idea has gone unimplemented for so long it’s probably too late to back out gracefully. We’ll have to go bankrupt and simply start over. The fall will be terrible!

      So much for the Golden State! :-(


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  • #

    In the US the military recently installed solar panels and batteries to power up an army base. They were proud of their contribution to the environment.

    Unfortunately, the math does not work out so well for the taxpayer. The equipment will need to be replaced in 15 years. For the same amount of money they could have bought 30 years worth of electricity from the utilities and would have avoided paying for maintenance and upkeep.

    The green math is the “new math” of the 21st century. It just doesn’t add up!


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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Yes Eddy,

      But being the US Military, they will also have logistical plans in place to dismantle and redeploy the power system to another location, should that be required for tactical reasons.

      They probably have a brand new fleet of camouflaged twenty-wheelers just parked up, and gassed up, and waiting to go … :-)


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      • #
        UzUrBrain

        Surely you jest? All of these installations were installed by contractors! All are maintained by contractors. What military person knows how, other than a reserve that works in the industry? Before retiring, I worked at the power utility that provided power to the local Air Force base – at ~ $0.03 per kWh. The cost from wind is over $0.15 just dividing the nameplate capacity into the installed cost (ignores maintenance) for 15 years. And they will never get name plat output over 24 hour period – average is more like $25% per day.


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      • #

        And don’t forget our green navy. They are paying exorbitant prices for biodiesel. The only thing the Navy is torpedoing these days is the taxpayer’s wallet!


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    • #
      MadJak

      What a weird idea,

      Let’s pretend to save the planet and Kill the bad guys at the same time…..

      I guess both goals share the same concept – “Decarbonising” the planet.


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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      You should not blame the military for this. They do what their civilian bosses want because that’s what they take an oath to do. You can bet your last dime that somewhere a Congressman or Senator is behind these boondoggles, if not the White House.

      The worst of this is that it diverts resources from the mission of our military services, which is to be ready to fight at the President’s direction, 24/7. Readiness is everything. Political correctness is nothing. They have no reason for existing but to fight.


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  • #
    Steve C

    We Brits used to be able to go to a webpage – http://www.nationalgrid.com/uk/Electricity/Data/Realtime/ – and view the pathetic performance of our greenie prayer wheels in real time. Strangely, the same page now shows only links to graphs of demand (at three different timescales!) and frequency. No generation figures at all.

    Presumably the sound of all that hollow laughter from people visiting the page proved too distracting for their workers.


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  • #
    Steve B

    @Steve C.
    This site gives a breakdown of eletrickery generation by source.

    http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm

    1916hrs on 17/08/2012 wind is running at 3%.


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    • #
      Steve C

      Thanks, Steve. You don’t expect this sort of thing to move around. A shade over 3% now … wow. Pity we can’t harness politicians’ hot air, the great untapped resource of our age.


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  • #
    FijiDave

    Many years ago, when an American visitor expressed consternation at the lack of hydro dams on our southern rivers; “Why, back home in the States we’d have ‘em dammed up every five miles generatin’ electricity.”, my father, in his inimitable way, observed dryly, “We can’t do that in New Zealand as we have to let the water run at least twenty five miles to get its electricity back!”


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  • #
    Phillip Bratby

    Steve C:

    You now need to go to http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm

    You can see the pathetic performance of UK wind power there.


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  • #
    Skeptikal

    When the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow, solar and wind farms don’t do very much.

    They’re expensive to build for what really is intermittent power generation. Meeting base load requirements is what’s important and these green power farms will never do that. If it wasn’t for Government mandates, incentives and subsidies, nobody would even build them.

    I can’t say that I’m at all surprised that their overall percentage is so low.


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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      And nobody ever mentions, or accounts for, the carbon cost of all of that concrete and energy required for their manufacture and transportation and construction. All the figures I have seen only mention operating costs, not construction costs.


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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        The breakdown is roughly 60% cost of turbine, 30% installation cost and 10% miscellaneous e.g. land rental, submissions to Planning inquiries etc. Count on (roughly) 1,000 tonnes of concrete per MW of capacity if built on soil.

        Figures are only rough, because they are all “commercially confidential”.

        What is also not disclosed is the cost of running the things. Maintenance is estimated as around 10% of the total income over the average life in UK of 7 years.


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        • #
          Bob Malloy

          Ahh, a link i’ve used many times in the past.

          There’s only one thing you and I neglect Andy, Greenies only want it green in their own back yard. they don’t care or even look for pollution in someone else’s (read suppliers) yard as long as they can show off their fuzzy feel good green lifestyle.


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          • #
            AndyG55

            Thing is, that a coal mine can be re-habilitated, has happened many places already.

            The mess at Baotou will NEVER be able to be fixed and will just leach further and further, destoying the landscape for miles and miles and miles..

            But do the greenies care.. NOPE..

            Do wind turbines get the rigorous environmental standards that roads, building etc get… NOPE, because the greenies don’t complain about them.

            even when they munch rare bird species… nah.. that’s ok, because its “green”

            TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL VANDALISM !!!!


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          • #
            Bob Malloy

            The mess at Baotou will NEVER be able to be fixed and will just leach further and further, destoying the landscape for miles and miles and miles..

            But do the greenies care.. NOPE..

            Care!!! most of the green brigade don’t take the time to check out how these wonderful green gadgets are made. They think the just magically appear and supply all this wonderful free energy, gee there so good the Gov even give you money to install them, then they give you other peoples money for the privilege of having them on your roof.

            Solar panels are traditionally thought of as the future of “green” technology–a safe way to produce mass amounts of energy without damaging the environment. This is easy to assume considering solar panels depend on the Sun–a free, unlimited resource. However, solar panels can cause a person injury at home as well as harm to the environment during their production. Solar panels are also potentially hazardous environmental waste when they break down and are discarded

            Read more: Solar Panel Hazards | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_7434540_solar-panel-hazards.html#ixzz23ruPQQKH


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          • #
            Lawrie

            On Tim Blair today news of a march from Port Augusta to Adelaide to demand a solar power plant for the former city as it closes it’s dirty coal fired power station down. The Australian Youth Coalition is seeking funds for food etc so they can march.
            http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/completely_youthless/

            Solar couldn’t get funding in Moree or QLD but the sun is so much brighter in Port Augusta. They want Gillard to fund it of course since they probably realise that solar minus subsidies equals sweet fanny adams.


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  • #
    Betapug

    Thanks to superior German engineering, they are able to achieve output from their machines more than 1000 times the actual capacity;

    Am I missing something here? The efficiency numbers quoted on this site seem far higher than anyone else can get.


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  • #
    Betapug

    Oops, my attachment must have detached:


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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Betapug:

      The installed capacity is in MW X 1,000. That is the last year had 29000 MW (or 29GW) capacity installed.
      The electricity generated is in GWH per year.

      To get the capacity factor, multiply the capacity installed by 8766 (hours in a year) and use this figure to divide the annual output. The capacity factor comes out at 18.2%.

      Germany used to have a capacity factor of 15% for onshore turbines, so this figure is the best yet, and set in a poor year for wind in Europe. That capacity represents about 22% of total installed capacity (ignoring solar panels). But Germany is planning 5 new large brown coal plants. They don’t need that capacity (or didn’t until some fool of a Chancellor banned nuclear (since partly rescinded). They were purely to provide back up for the wind turbines.


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  • #
    u.k.(us)

    GE (General electric ) has all the bases covered, and an inside line to the White House.
    With renewables they make a fortune, without they make a small fortune.

    Those that can least afford the price increases (and are said to be 66% of the economy), the consumer, are supposed to absorb the higher prices and end the recession.

    How’s that working out ?
    ————
    Bloodbaths in every election cycle.
    Don’t know about Hope, but, Change is coming.


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  • #
    ad

    Don’t talk to me about renewables. Our electric hot-water heater just blew and can’t be repaired. Thanks to new laws nationally and at every state level I can’t just get a $900 replacement, no no no, have to install either a $7K solar hot water system or dig up up 40 meters of concrete driveway and put a gas pipe in at gawd knows what cost.

    But hey, that $7K solar system will pay for itself after 9 years they tell me. Just in time for us to move on, probably, and get no benefit.


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    • #
      Myrrh

      Import it.

      Send your local gov. the bill.

      Include compensation for unfair practice and stress.


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      Graham

      Good luck with the 9 year pay back. In the 4 quarters before I had a solar HWS installed I used 3472kWh of off peak electricity. In the most recent 4 quarters I used 571kWh of off peak (plus an unknown amount of peak). So at the current price of 17c/kWh I “saved” $493. The $6k (after rebates) I spent could have been earning me $300 pa in interest so the real saving is $193 pa, ie a payback in 31 years. The unit is guaranteed for 10 years so odds on it won’t last much longer than that. Costly business this “saving the planet”


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  • #

    The only way they can bolster renewable data to make it look like it actually is contributing is to include Hydro, and as shown with Joanne’s text here, you can see the huge amount Hydro does contribute to the overall renewable total.

    What needs to be realised here is that China especially is ramping up Hydro power, and as a startling example, look at like with like.

    Last year, China finally overtook the U.S. as the largest generator of electrical power on Earth and while China powers ahead (sorry) the figures are still relatively close so an almost equal comparison can be made,

    In the U.S. of the total power generated, Hydro delivers 7.3% of that total.

    In China, of the total power generated, Hydro delivers 23% of that total.

    China has not just stopped there though. Of the 24 Large scale (2GW+ Nameplate Capacity) hydro schemes currently in construction on the Planet, 16 of those are just in China, and the total Nameplate addition comes in at 60GW+.

    So, when you see rising renewables expressed as a percentage of the total Worldwide power generation, be very aware that the vast bulk of it is Hydro, and most of that in China alone.

    They can throw as much money as they like at Wind and Solar, but their percentages will stay as low as they currently are.

    Funny, eh, the Greens proudly proclaim renewables are doing great, while in the same breath, they rely on one of the things they most detest, large scale Dams on rivers. Their hypocrisy is only matched by their ignorance.

    Tony.


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      Lawrie

      Tony,

      I think you give the Greens far too much credit. The only way they could possibly arrive at the deductions they make viz a viz solar and wind is to lie. If they can read and I believe most can, they would know that 100% renewable anytime is complete BS. they are counting on us being uninformed and stupid. They are 100% correct so far as the media is concerned, they are uninformed and thus stupid. The rest are far wiser and most are aware the great wind and solar scam is very damaging to their own survival. The greatest recipients of the solar rebate are people who can afford the costly outlay to install a system which is then paid for in the bills of the poorest consumers. Totally immoral but so are the Greens.


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    That link to the EIA is most informative, and you can spend a lot of time there just looking at the data provided. Some might do it in an effort to somehow try and make a ‘case for renewables’, but the actual figures tell an entirely different story altogether.

    Note that total power generated from all the Solar Power plants on the whole of the Planet for 2009.

    To make it actually appear like it was delivering a lot of power, they had to add in Wave and Tidal as well.

    The total came in at just under 19TWH, and note here that there are totals here for 2010 and that shows 28TWH, but here we are only comparing totals from the same year that ALL data is available for, and that is 2009.

    But for the sake of the exercise I’m trying to show here, let’s use that data for 2010 for Solar Wave and Tidal Power, that figure of 28TWH.

    That’s for EVERY solar, wave and tidal power plant on the WHOLE Planet.

    Bayswater Power Station near Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales delivered 17TWH over the same 12 month period, 61% of the total power delivered from every solar, wave, and tidal power plant on the whole of the Earth.

    Now try and imagine what it would take to replace all those coal fired power plants, just here in Australia.

    Tony.


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    Byron

    This is wildly off topic so Mods feel free to remove it but I thought it might be of interest given the hacking trouble Jo`s site has had recently:

    Larry Pickering has had his site come under sustained DDos attack , Coincidence ?
    ( For non-Australian visitors Larry Pickering is a cartoonist who has been very critical of Australia`s left wing government )

    ——————————————————————————————————————-
    “pickeringpost.com has been consistently attacked via a DDoS for the past few days. We are now getting a “suspended” notice.

    Some of “us” don’t respond well to criticism…we are doing all we can to persist with free speech. Those who aren’t on the email list can go to lpickering.net (until they get at that site too)”
    LARRY PICKERING • 19 hours ago”
    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    http://lpickering.net/
    About Larry Pickers cartoons …..”Careful, they`re Starkers”…You`ve been warned


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      I don’t know about a DDoS attack but he needs to add a set of (NEXT) and (BACK) buttons on the cartoons, they are funny as h*ll, but the total number of key strokes needed to navigate through very many of them is excessive and time consuming.


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      Gaz

      Just got a message from CrazyDomains, which hosted Pickeringpost:
      “The hosting account for domain pickeringpost.com has been suspended by our system administrators. We have suspended the hosting account due to the following reason: too many connections made to server. This amount of load on the website, we recommend website http://www.pickeringpost.com to go for VPS because at the moment, this website is causing other sites on the servers to go down, it took down the server several times already.”


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    elva

    Australian energy companies are being abused for spending too much on ‘poles and wires.’ Well, that’s what they are supposed to do.

    However, another big impost on customers is trying to achieve a set target of 20% RET (Renewable Energy Target) by 2020. The government conveniently does not mention this. The target will never be reached.

    The Greens hope 100% of energy will be renewable by 2050.

    Fat chance!

    But suppose a magic wand could provide this. The cost of energy would be prohibitive to the ordinary person let alone the poor. The elite wealthy could not give a damn. Any kind of egalitarian society would be impossible.

    I become angry every time a new large area is locked up for so called heritage or National Park use. Because in them large mineral resources are locked away.

    So much for leaving something for future generations! Gas and coal, even though abundant, will be less and less used. Yet these are not only essential for energy but for plastics and medication manufacturing for starters.

    Thus, once again only the very wealthy will afford such delights that we enjoy. And the developing countries don’t stand a chance if more of their areas are locked away by wealthy Green idealists in wealthy countries.

    Some time something has to give way to return to common sense.


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      Roy Hogue

      Australian energy companies are being abused for spending too much on ‘poles and wires.’ Well, that’s what they are supposed to do.

      Here in the western U.S. power poles are all wood. It’s plentiful and easy to get. The stunning thing about them is the price, creosote treated and ready to plant in the ground (as of 3 years ago) — $800 per pole. I shudder to think of what metal poles and towers cost these days. Just the infrastructure for distribution is a major capital investment. Never mind generation.

      Anyone who thinks power is a trivial thing that can be messed with without causing trouble is a fool.


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    Bob in Castlemaine

    Thanks Joanne helps put into perspective what all the propaganda, lies and wasted money really amounts to.
    BTW in the tabulation for 2009 Global Renewables Generation breakdown the links for Biomass and Waste, Global Wind power and Global Geothermal all seem to link to data for Global Solar, Tide & Wave. The correct links can be found by using the “Product” dialog box at the Global Solar, Tide & Wave link.


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    pat

    a second bloomberg editorial in days on the biofuels’ fiasco!

    17 Aug: Bloomberg: Editorial: Ethanol in Gas Tanks Makes Food on Your Table Cost More
    Based on its energy content, ethanol is roughly 50 percent more expensive than gasoline, and the acreage required to produce it distorts land prices. Farmers this year planted the largest corn crop in 75 years, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. The price of an acre of prime farmland in Iowa — the nation’s biggest corn producer — has more than doubled in the past five years, a time when other real estate prices tumbled.
    Researchers at Texas A&M University have estimated that diverting corn to make ethanol forces Americans to pay $40 billion a year in higher food prices. On top of that, it costs taxpayers $1.78 in subsidies for each gallon of gasoline that corn-based ethanol replaces, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
    As for the environmental virtues of ethanol, those were debunked long ago…
    More than 150 House members and 25 U.S. senators, as well as the director general of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, have asked Obama to temporarily suspend the ethanol mandate in order to check the rise in food prices. He should listen to them, and Congress should permanently roll back the ethanol requirements…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-16/ethanol-in-gas-tanks-makes-food-on-your-table-cost-more.html

    better late than never:

    17 Aug: SMH: Australia joins attack on EU airline carbon tax
    The major parties have come together to attack the European Union’s (EU) controversial carbon tax on international airlines.
    The Labor government on Thursday backed a strongly worded motion by Nationals leader Warren Truss, which noted widespread international opposition to the tax…
    The motion called on Australia to “use all political, diplomatic and legal tools at its disposal” to ensure the EU’s emissions trading scheme is not applied to Australian aircraft.
    This would include backing any World Trade Organisation challenge…
    http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/australia-joins-attack-on-eu-airline-carbon-tax-20120817-24cec.html


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      Regarding the EU’s tax on flights landing in the EU; for long-haul flights which are heavily penalised, it’s taxing activity outside of its “territory”, over which it has no right.


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      Gaz

      It depend what you make the ethanol from. If it is from corn as in the US or sugar as in Brazil, you are using valuable cropland and food crops to make fuel – costly and not a good idea. The Australian ethanol manufacturer makes the ethanol from waste from wheat starch production and from degraded wheat. It actually got started as a way of solving a problem with effluent disposal – turning a environmental issueand a waste into money – there is no such thing as waste, just a product looking for a market.


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  • #

    One of the biggest tricks used by the renewable sector is the misdirection of using Capacity instead of generation to bolster their figures, and I’ll show you just how they do this.

    All along I have said that what is the real indicator is not the Nameplate Capacity of the power plants being discussed, but the actual power that they deliver (generation) for all areas of consumption.

    At that same link Joanne has provided above, (this main link) you can fool around for ages looking at the data, and unless you really understand what you are looking at, it can ‘seem’ meaningless at times, you know, the old adage, lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    The pie chart Joanne has constructed here shows actual generation data, so let’s look at the data for Capacity, and I’ll show you how supporters of renewables make their figures look even better than they might seem here, because, what they are relying upon is the fact that 9 out of 10 people have no true idea of what they are being shown, and then they believe implicitly the people who are spinning up the figures.

    When you click on that second menu line under the top menu line, you see a tab titled Capacity, and you can do the checking for yourself if you think I may have an agenda. After clicking on the Capacity tab, you can navigate using the product tab in the window below that menu bar, and as you click on each title press the now highlighted Update tab at top right.

    I’ll give the relevant points here and in brackets after each of those I’ll give the actual generation percentages.

    CAPACITY DATA (as percentage of Total Capacity)

    Total All Renewables 23.4% (19.4%)

    (made up only using the three main players here)

    Total Hydro 18.5% (16.6%)

    Total Wind 3% (1.4%)

    Total Solar (+Wave and Tidal) 0.4% (0.09%)

    Note how the percentages are larger for Capacity, giving the impression that headway is being made.

    Note here also that using capacity figures downplays hydro to an extent because with respect to just the data for total renewable Capacity, well here Hydro makes up 78% of all the renewables, and yet when it comes to generation (power actually delivered for consumption) Hydro contributes a staggering 85% of all renewable power generated.

    I know statistics can be boring, but explained correctly, the insight they offer is a clue to how data is being manipulated by the renewable supporters to make it seem that they actually are making an impression.

    Tony.


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      AndyG55

      Tony, you seem to be in the energy sector somewhere.. can you answer this, please.

      How close is the NSW electricity grid coming to being unstable because of irregular feed-in from roof-top solar and wind power etc?

      What would happen if we had, say, a lightning strike on a major truck line, how long would it take to re-synchronise all the different feeds?


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        Andy,

        fist, I’m not part of the energy sector. I was an aircraft electrical technician in the RAAF in my earlier days, and that background enabled me to better understand what I started more than 4 years back now.

        I have no idea about the stability of the grid because of rooftop solar, other than anecdotal mention from some insiders who would prefer to remain anonymous that rooftop solar makes it more difficult to operate the grid.

        As to it becoming unstable, you can bet engineers and operators would fight tooth and nail to prevent major problems, hence the incredible juggling act.

        Now having said that, let’s actually look at a major power outage, and I feel sure I can see the eyebrows raising all over, out there, from my room here in Rockhampton.

        Get this.

        In the event of a major outage at the grid, all those houses that do have rooftop solar power are also blacked out ……. and hey, you all say, they have an independent rooftop solar system, so there is always power to the house.

        Wrong.

        In the event of a major outage, then technicians have to work on the grid to fix any problems and then to reset the system. It is imperative that there is no power at the grid while they are working on it, otherwise they as technicians get fried, hence it has to be a no power situation for them to work on it.

        Part of the rooftop solar system is the isolation of the Inverter from the grid in the event of a power outage, so no power is fed back to the grid while they are working on it.

        This is called Islanding, to isolate that rooftop system from the grid in the event of that outage.

        Then once the grid is rectified and the power turned back on, the rooftop solar system automatically comes back on line, starting the Inverter back up, which automatically detects the grid frequency and automatically synchronises the home inverter to the grid frequency, and then it comes up supplying power to the home, and also feeding any excess back to the grid.

        The same happens when the Sun comes up in the morning. During the non daylight period. the residence consumes power FROM the grid, and as soon as the Sun comes up, the rooftop system detects the input from the solar cells on the roof, runs up the inverter, supplies the home, synchronises automatically with the grid frequency, and then feed excess back to the grid.

        However, the problem the grid as a whole now has is that instead of there being ten or so generating entities supplying the grid, there are now literally thousands of them in some cases, and all of them need to be in perfect operating condition all the time.

        The same also applies for Wind Power. Instead of there being four large generators to synchronise with the grid, and they are only ever off one at a time, so it’s just a case of one generator to synch. However, with a Wind Plant, (and how I detest that phrase Wind Farm) it’s now a case of 60 or sometimes more separate generators falling off line every now and again, and then coming back online when the wind picks up, again, all automatic.

        You are right to believe that the grid is fragile, and rooftop solar only makes it that little bit more fragile.

        Tony.


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      elva

      That’s right. CAPACITY is used like an advertisement. Just like a top speed is used for a sports car but can never be legally attained. It was and is still often said that the sun can provide 100% of the electrical and power generation for the entire earth and its population if it were harnessed. Well, it is a true statement if the IF part were possible which it is not.


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    It’s been clear to me for a long time that the Greens have a religious aversion to arithmetic and therefore lack a sense of proportion.

    There comes a point in face to face discussions where such becomes apparent, and one’s time can only be wasted by trying to reason with such individuals. They don’t have a concept of irrational other than it being just another word.

    There is no point in trying to explain energy and power for they lack the will to think in a structured, abstract way, preferring to recline in their “vision”.

    Politics seems to be the peak “profession” where one is given responsibility to run a country without having any demonstrated ability to do simple arithmetic, let alone some basic algebra. The only thing they need to be able to do is to play the politics of inter-human relations to gain office, and then rely on those who they trust for advice; even though they don’t often have the ability to judge the quality of the advice until they’ve squandered many millions of taxpayer’s earnings.


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      StefanL

      He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.

      — John McCarthy, 1995


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      Joe V.

      It’s amazing the amount of power given to those who don’t count.
      Does democracy only work by kicking out the incumbents before they go too far in any particular direction ?


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      Byron

      “Greens have a religious aversion to arithmetic and therefore lack a sense of proportion.”

      The most colourful description of their lack of a sense of proportion I`ve heard is :

      “Greens have the same relationship with unintended consequences that bugs have with windshields , as a result of this they also share the same placement of head to arse that the bug does after it`s hit the windshield”


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    Delory

    Yikes! Wind turbines are sucking 262 Tera-watt-hours of energy out of the climate system each year… that might cause the climate to ‘change’!


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    KeithH

    Re Christine Milne:The outright ironic hypocrisy and stupidity of Christine Milne calling for 100% renewable energy in Australia highlights the fact that if it hadn’t been for the strangling influence of the Greens in her home State, Tasmania could have had not only 100% clean green renewable hydro energy but in the process could have been effectively drought-proofed forever. In a further irony, the “clean green image” of our State Milne constantly lauds was achieved because we once had people of vision who built our great hydro-schemes which enable her to make that claim. Imagine what Tassie would have been like if the likes of Brown, Milne, Gidding, McKim, O’Connor & Co. had then had the disproportionate say they now have!

    On materials for “green” windfarms this is part of what is required for the 56 Musselroe bird slicers now being built in Tasmanaia

    The civil works include:

    construction of the control building
    completion of the 38km road network
    completion of all on site drainage
    construction of 56 hardstands adjacent to the wind turbines
    construction of 56 concrete bases for the wind turbines – about 430m3 of concrete and 40T of reinforcing in each.

    Construction of some 50kms of Transmission Lines from Musselroe to Derby.

    I shamelessly link to my past unsuccessful effort in trying to stop this uneconomic waste of money and resources and please follow the link to the brilliant article by Tonyfromoz which provides the technical detail to show the stupidity of the project.

    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/2012/01/the-musselroe-wind-farm-travesty-keith-h/

    Whilst on Tony’s Pundit Press site, which is an absolute treasure trove of facts, figures and associated helpful links, please follow the link to his own devastating destruction of the folly of Milne’s unachievable 100% renewables pipedream.

    “Senator Christine Milne’s Trnsitition to Renewable – At What Cost”


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      agwnonsense

      Ms milne has been playing with her B.O.B. to much.grin


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      Dave

      .
      Hi KeithH,
      I just viewed the “1st concrete pour” at Musselroe on You Tube!

      At about 1 minute 55 seconds – the guy states that they’re waiting for 100 concrete trucks – which are the large aggitator ones – between 6 and 9 cubic meters. The end result is that at a minimum each base uses over 600 cm to a maximum of 900 cm of concrete!

      Also if the 56 turbines cover some 180 square kilometers – then how much land would be needed to replace all coal/gas generators in Australia! What a waste of beautiful land.

      The other big problem will be after they become operational! Predator birds will be killed or move out of the area, and then foxes, cats & rats plus all other vermin species will decimate the local wildlife! Christine Milne should be proud of her killer windmill farm!

      These monster windmill are criminal in their promised delivery of power, and the massive destruction of local fauna & flora! Local native plant species that require wind dispersion will also be affected! (And the insect & bird pollinators)!


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        KeithH

        Thanks for that Dave. Having spent many wonderful days in the area camped at Stumpy’s Bay enjoying the wedgetail eagles, other birds and animals that call Mt.William National Park home, I haven’t closely followed the desecration being wrought there, I get too upset. It seems for the Green and environmental organisations, their love of wind farms completely obliterates the usual concern they allegedly have for Nature. For information on the bird slaughter they and the carpet-baggers making their fortunes from such taxpayer-subsidised useless schemes don’t want you to see, check out this site:

        http://savetheeaglesinternational.org/


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          Dave

          .
          KeithH,
          The New Green movement couldn’t give a stuff about the environment! Especially at Musselroe WindMKill farm. Why do they call wind turbine areas as farms? Everything around them gets obliterated over time. Unfortunately, we will have to wait for this Green Renewable killer to prove itself for what it is – an environmental graveyard!

          What is disturbing is the lack of research money that is supplied to researchers like Andy Sharp, which since this report – nothing has been done! All environmental impact studies on Musselroe have been approved by the Green Govt science bodies! But the worst is to come – all those beautiful avian raptors, insectivorous bats, and nesting seabirds – all destroyed for Christine Milnes dream! The worst thing is that the whole 180 square kilometers will become a fauna & flora disaster. The website you linked to is so sad, but all the other native lizards, snakes, insects and many native small mammals will cease to exist also!

          They call this the new sustainable future – I call it the New Green Kill Zone!

          Have a look a the link above – it doesn’t paint a great picture of wind kill farms!


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          Dave

          .
          KeithH,

          Forgot to add that the local companies selling insecticides around Windmill Kill Farms in Victoria and SA have increased sales since they have been operating! Great environmental outcome for the Greens!

          This info when released by the MSM will end up the Green Achilles Heel!

          Christine Milne has no love of the environment in the true sense! She is approaching an Environmental Criminal along the lines of Tim Flannery (who can possibly plead stupidity)!


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            Graham

            This is a quote from John Brignell`s essay on Global Warming as a Religion

            Windmills, for example, are the symbols of power, not physical power (of which they are derisorily short) but political and religious power. They are like the great domes of temples, the statues of Saddam or the big “M” arch of MacDonald’s.

            Windmills are ugly: they destroy the visual (and aural) landscape, but that is their purpose. They are part of the sacrifice. It would not be so bad if they were simply useless, but it is worse than that. Conventional generating systems of equivalent power have to operate for 80% of the time, while the wind is blowing too soft or too hard, and then be switched to warm standby when it is just right, an expensive and wasteful process.

            Windmills are there to remind us of our commitment, willing or not, to the cause, both in excessive taxation and loss of visual and aural amenity.


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        Graeme No.3

        Anything like this?


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      Gaz

      Never forget, the Greens and Bob Brown got their tart in Tasmania opposing renewable energy – Hydro, and Christine Milne gotr into it opposing the Wesley Vale pulp mill, a major biomass renewable energy producer.


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        KeithH

        Yes Gaz, but was that a Freudian slip when you said they “got their ‘tart’ in Tasmania”….
        With regard to the Wesley Vale pulp mill therein lies another tale of “sour grapes” when a certain family farm was going to be bought by the operators but the purchase fell through at the last minute and a different farm owner benefited. Of such unlikely events are enmities and “protest” movements born!


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      Debbie

      Tasmania could have sold clean hydro power accross the strait too.


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      rockape

      The Cefn Croes web site is at http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~hills/cc/story.htm and photo’s of the desecration development of the wind “farm” is at http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~hills/cc/gallery/index.htm, well worth a look.

      One thing not mentioned on the site is the increased flooding due to the removal of peat and drainage the upland bog.

      This windfarm (not far from us) caused mayhem on the local roads for months, not to mention the damage to the roads. Our commie Welsh Assembly Government in Cardiff has plans for 800 more turbines in this area of Mid Wales (we have already got 9 wind “farms” in the area, all against thee wishes of the local people :¬(


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        Keith H

        rockape. Sorry I missed your comment. Have been feeling a bit “off” with a bug for a few days. Thank you for the proper links to Cefn Croes which I always try and direct enquirers to. I did so in Tasmania, sadly “home” of the Greens but they and most of the other self-styled concerned environmentalists didn’t want to know. I got the three wise monkeys response i.e., where wind “farms”(?) are concerned, they see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.

        However, your post has given me an idea. Jo’s site is so popular she now has bloggers from all over the world. Jo, if you see this, what about a post asking for “on the spot” contributions about their experience with wind farms, solar plants etc., in their area.

        Imagine a whole dedicated permanent site for posts with links like those of rockape. What a wonderful potential resource!

        Thanks again rockape, and having been to Britain a couple of times I’m extremely saddened that the beautiful country I saw in Wales, England and my heritage “home” Scotland is being devastated by these subsidised useless monstrosities for no valid reason!

        Cheers. K


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    agwnonsense

    Just a thought,if you look at coal,Oil,Gas on a planetary scale they can be classed as renewable.Now let’s look at (so called) sustainable energy coal,oil,gas can produce energy 24/7/365 for the forseeable future the alternatives (solar wind tide biomass et al) can not and never will,which makes them UNSUSTAINABLE.I am not saying I am right,but it’s a thought. Climate Change is Natural and CO2 is Life,Cheers


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    Carbon500

    How much CO2 are wind turbines ‘saving’in the UK? Not a lot, is the answer! One modern wind turbine saves over 2000 tonnes of C02 emissions annually, and there are 3422 operational turbines in the UK (Renewable UK website, http://bwea.com). That’s a total saving of 6,844,000 tonnes of CO2. This sounds very impressive – until you look at the global picture. The current total atmospheric concentration of CO2 is 3042 billion tonnes, based on 1 part per million (ppm) of CO2 being equivalent to 7.8 billion tonnes of CO2, and a current atmospheric concentration of 390ppm.
    Working this out as a percentage, it means that all of the turbines are ‘saving’ 6,844,000 ÷ 3042,000,000,000 x 100 = 0.0002% of all atmospheric CO2. In other words, the thousands of wind turbines erected in the UK make no real difference to global CO2 whatsoever.


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      Graeme No.3

      Actually finding out how much CO2 a wind turbine “saves” is very difficult. The figure you quote is certainly exaggerated, but the actual amount is well hidden.

      The usual claim is based on the electricity generated, and how much CO2 would have been released for the same amount of electricity from a coal fired power station. As the CO2 release from coal fired stations can vary between 760 and 1300 kg per MWh, there is some room for “fiddling”. HINT wind turbine operators never choose the lowest figure.

      The “saved” figure never includes the amount released by the standby generator. Since wind is variable, there has to be backup. Again it is not certain how much; the figure varies between 0 (from the intellectually handicapped) to real world figures of 82 to 98% of installed turbine capacity. (By the way, the highest figure comes from Germany’s largest operator of wind farms, who also have to supply coal fired during shortfalls).

      Some of this backup can come from hydro, and it is the Norwegian hydro capacity which makes Danish wind power possible. That and their interconnections to Europe, so the Danes also buy in nuclear and coal fired electricity during lulls in the wind. Those emissions don’t get a mention either.

      In the absence of much hydro in Australia, most of the backup is and will have to be from OCGT. Some of these have to be kept running at synchronous speed i.e. “ready to roll” when needed. They are releasing some CO2 while generating no power to speak about. When they do run flat out they generate about 700 kg. CO2 per MWh, and at a cost not much less than wind power.

      Since most wind turbines only work 70% of the time, and generate an average 25% of their capacity, you can see that the CO2 from the backup should be counted against the “savings”. On those figures wind should be regarded as responsible for 525 kg CO2 per MWh.

      Contrast that with CCGT (closed cycle gas turbine, which are more efficient) which can produce 1 MWh for 400-460 kg CO2. This is why the USA has recently reduced its emissions by using coal seam gas. But you cannot use these types (or coal or nuclear for rapid changes in output).

      So gas, hydro and nuclear would all reduce CO2 emissions from power stations more than wind turbines. But the greenies are against all of them. So much for their claim that we have to reduce our emissions of CO2 as much as possible.


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    Gaz

    Notice that after hydro, the next largest renewable is biomass. Almost all of this comes from the pulp and paper industry who make power from the non-cellulose part of the wood they pulp as well as from bark and sawdust. This is not new. The pulp and paper industry has been doing this, and using cogeneration for a century or more. In Australia, at least 500,000 MWh comes from this source, whihc supplies energy 24×7, and the Gunns pulp mill, opposed by the Greens would have more than doubled this.

    Once you take out the old traditional renewables which have ‘always’ been used, there is not much left at all. Even wind energy is not new, It just used to be distributed in lots of small wind pumps and generators rather than big industrial scale units and got real returns by serving uses which were nowhere near the grid and were not time-critical on energy supply.


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    janama

    Hey Good old wind comes to it’s forte – with all the driving wind across SA, NSW, Vic and Tassie they’ve reached their peak

    Wow – 1.6GW yet their so-called capacity is 2GW and this is on their best day.


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    KeithH

    I wonder will we see more headlines throughout the world like this one as economic reality takes over from lavish subsidy handouts for useless “feel good” schemes?

    CEO Commits Suicide, China Photovoltaic Industry At Its Limit.

    http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20120816000016&cid=1202&MainCatID=


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    Slabadang

    Hi Jonova!

    Please open up a new thread on Gillard with all new evidence coming upp its time to make a new summary of whats developing.Its gonna shake the foundations of the Australian gouvernment.And hopefully we learn something important and can make something good out of it.

    Whats becoming clear is that Gillard [snip] [No, none of that is becoming clear. These are just allegations thus far and cannot be stated as true. there are laws in this country against making such allegations without evidence. I'm sorry but much of the rest of your comment needs to be snipped. mod oggi]

    In addtion its very very intresting to know how close Gillard came to the money from the scam. Her lover Wilson… did he give Gillard money as a partner in crime?, as a mistress? How did Gillard get her casch to pay the contructors/ builders connected with Wilson and the AWU ? Didnt she recieve any money from Wilson?

    No wonder Slater & Gordon (allegedly) sacked her, and how AWU acted in this affair is probably a even grater scandal with all it tacitics and obvious lack of both transparency and basic morals and disrespect for the AWUs members assets.

    Your primeminister is a simple [snip] and she is gonna fall thats for sure. Dont accept any cower ups or more lies, you have to go to the bottom of this.
    I can tell you one thing for sure. The people pertraying as journalist in The “Abnormously Biased Commies” wont help us.


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      inedible hyperbowl

      Someone always has to pay the piper. The piper is never going to sink the blade into the one that pays him.
      For this reason the story will stay on the media fringe.


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    anticlimactic

    If wind and solar are good at producing free energy why would they require subsidies?

    Seriously!

    If free energy was produced in sufficient quantities there would be vast amounts of investment money ready and waiting with no hint of subsidies. Subsidies simply prove they are failed technologies.

    The best reason to promote wind and solar is as a means to destroy wealth and civilisation. For those who want to stop progress and de-industrialise it is perfect, and it works! Much of Europe’s current woes are due to wealth wasted on fighting climate.

    The EU and the European governments seem perfectly happy to cause financial failure, depression and anarchy to reduce global temperature by an estimated 0.1C! No doubts, no questions asked. In fact the EU commission thinks the targets should be set much higher.

    It seems so truly insane that I can only assume some serious money is being made.

    Hopefully Australia can escape this path to destruction.


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    [...] How much electricity do solar and wind make on a global scale? Answer: ‘Not much’ &#8212… Hydroelectricity produces 16% of the total. But all the vanity renewables bundled together make about 3.5% of total. Wind power is a major global industry but it’s only making 1.4% of total electricity. And solar is so pathetically low that it needs to be bundled with ‘tidal & wave’ power to even rate 0.1% (after rounding up). If world’s solar powered units all broke tonight, it would not dent global electricity production a jot. No one connected to a grid would notice. Rate this:Share this:TwitterFacebookStumbleUponRedditDiggEmailLike this:LikeOne blogger likes this. This entry was posted in energy, natural gas, wind power and tagged Andrew Orlowski, Gas turbine, Global Warming Policy Foundation, Gordon Hughes, Kamaoa Wind Farm, Steve McIntyre, Wind Energy, windmills. Bookmark the permalink. ← Apocalypse Not: I love the smell of skepticism in the morning [...]


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    dave ward

    Great information everybody, and one post I shall be bookmarking (and downloading, just in case!) I do have a small concern regarding solar – here in the UK the BM Reports website doesn’t show it at all, and I understand this is because we have relatively few large installations. But there are increasing numbers of small scale rooftop panels which don’t appear on the figures. Granted, in the grand scheme of things they don’t amount to much, but if this is repeated world wide it could add the odd tenth of a percent or two!


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    ToddNelson

    A study was done by Honeywell back in the 1970′s and it found that “in order to replace one nuclear power plant with photovoltaic cells, it would take a solar panel the size of the state of Utah.” It also concluded a solar panel of that size would lower the ambient temperature of the United States by 3 degrees C. And that is just for 1 nuclear power plant.


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    [...] How much electricity do solar and wind make on a global scale? Answer: “Not much” [...]


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    And even those tiny percentages are misleading! They would not appear at all, if it were not MANDATORY for any wind and pv output to be absorbed, on a priority basis, by the grids. Left to their own choice, no grid would take a random, variable, source of power. Try the reverse: Remove all “renewables” (ex hydro) from a grid: It will not make a darn difference (except that rates will come down).

    All the solar and wind contraptions of a continent CANNOT replace a conventional coal or nuclear plant. 100,000 wind megawatts CANNOT, replace a 500 MW coal plant. Even with free superconducting interconnections. 1,000,000 solar MW, cannot power a single lift after 4-5 p.m., never mind an ER.


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    If anyone is interested in an exceptionally good panel discussion on the subject of carbon tax etc, renewables etc, click the link to the Financial Review here.

    Discussion between Ian Harper of Deloitte Access Economics and Tim Curtin of the ANU


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    Brian Wilshire

    “…if the world’s solar powered units all broke tonight, it would not dent global electricity production a jot.” At night they do no work at all. They’re solar. Perhaps you meant “all broke simultaneously”.


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    Bite Back

    We need a way to get these green/renewable people a job where they pull their own weight. The trouble is, I can’t think of anything in that category they could hope to do.


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    Carbon500

    Thanks ‘Graeme No.3′ and ‘Another Ian’ for your responses to my post on Co2 and wind turbines. I’ve enjoyed reading and following them up.


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    [...] power is a major global industry but it’s only making in the order of 1.4% of total electricity. Often overlooked by their supporters, the emissions to construct a wind turbine are substantial — [...]


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    [...] emissions — which is huge compared to the piddling small, often unmeasureable savings thanks to renewables. Even massive floods that stop industry don’t reduce our emissions as much as this would. Do the [...]


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