JoNova

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Bill McKibben says wind is cheap as coal. Jo Nova says “so who needs a carbon tax then?”

Bill McKibben wants to stop a mine in Australia because it might affect the weather. He says wind power is as affordable as coal.

The Australian, Friday Oct 25:   “… we’ve reached the point where alternatives have become realistic.Wind power is now as affordable as coal-fired power in Australia, not to mention the limitless energy potential of the powerful sun that shines on your continent.”

To which I say, fantastic. If wind power is as cheap as coal, we don’t need a carbon tax, emissions trading schemes, renewable targets, or other subsidies … people will use wind simply because it is cheaper. Alternatively, Bill is talking out of his hat.

Kill the schemes, cut the subsidies. Bring it on. I say!

We can see how many people rely on Windpower in Australia

That’s the yellow part. Coal is the black or brown part.

Source: ESAA

Source: ESAA

All the assertions of “cheap wind power” are only true if we assume our CO2 emissions cause warming, amplified by water vapor and cloud changes, which causes dangerous and expensive outcomes. Furthermore we must assume that it is cheaper to mitigate rather than adapt (which it isn’t), and then assume that taxes, windpower, and carbon trading schemes actually reduce emissions (which they don’t). The long chain of inference falls down at every step, but the nonsense is printed without questioning anyway.

You’d think it would be easy to get estimates of the costs of generating electricity…

You’d think it would be easy to get estimates of the costs of generating electricity, but it’s a quagmire that depends on assumptions about capital costs, maintenance, life of the plant, length of transmission lines, and–for an unreliable source like “wind”–the cost of back up and storage as well. Then levelized cost assessments may slap on the mystery carbon factor too, which means a truckload of climate assumptions stacked on estimates of guesstimates about the cost of the impacts. In the end, the uncertainties go exponential.

The Victorian Auditor General assessed the costs and found wind cost three times as much as brown coal: wind ~ 10c/kWh, brown coal ~ 3.5c/kWh. Taylor and Tanton found wind energy costs were 50% more as expensive at 15c/kWh.  Advanced natural gas-burning plants cost around 6.3 cents per kWh, while coal is much cheaper again. (I’ve heard 3c/kWh for coal, but has that gone up and can anyone find a comparable, respectable value?)

Anton Lang adds: “There are just so many things that are not taken into account … There’s up front grants from Governments, sometimes all three, Federal State and even Local. These grants make wind “seem” cheaper. Then there’s the rebates paid by governments, again sometimes both Federal and State for the actual electricity being generated, (that per kWh rate, again worked out at contract time, and never disclosed). Then they assume the best case maximum Capacity Factor usually between 38.5% and I have even seen it as high as 42%, again effectively “expanding” the amount of electricity actually being generated, when actual CF is closer to 30% at best. Then they expect wind plants have a life span of 25 years but it’s becoming evident that their output drops after 15 years and some after just 10.  When they compare coal fired power and wind, they always quote that LCOE (levelized cost of energy). They estimate the best case scenario for wind that they can possibly find, and then they give coal fired power the worst case scenario. They infer the most expensive constructed coal plants, inflating the cost of the coal that is used, and the cost of the transport. Then they add on the huge cost of the totally unobtainable carbon sequestration technology, almost as if that’s a done deal. But by far the worst thing they do with LCOE, and they have the hide to call it a level playing field, is to give coal fired power the same life span as wind, so best case for everything for wind for 25 years, and only the same 25 years for coal fired power, when coal fired power can easily obtain 50 years and some extended out even beyond that.”

If editors asked correspondents for some evidence to back up their wild claims, we wouldn’t have so much drivel filling up our national conversation, would we?

REFERENCES

  1. Victorian Auditor-General’s Report, Facilitating Renewable Energy Development, April 2011. 2010-11:27. PP No 21, Session 2010–11
  2. Taylor, G., Tanton, T. (2012): The Hidden Costs of Wind Electricity Why the full cost of wind generation is unlikely to match the cost of natural gas, coal or nuclear generation, The American Tradition Institute, Centre for Energy Studies. [Discussion] [PDF]

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114 comments to Bill McKibben says wind is cheap as coal. Jo Nova says “so who needs a carbon tax then?”

  • #
    MemoryVault

    PREDICTION

    Tony from Oz will go ballistic when he reads this.


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    scaper...

    I have intimate knowledge of the Galilee Basin and the high quality of the thermal coal.

    This foreigner would prefer we dig up inferior coal and send it overseas or better still leave it in the ground?

    Getting pretty sick of people budding in our economy and affairs. The idiot does not have a clue!

    Oh, it is not only open cut but a vast section is long wall mining.


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    • #
      ianl8888


      … the Galilee Basin and the high quality of the thermal coal

      Agreed – the export quality is generally high, open cut strip ratios are quite low for vast areas and the structural geology/geotech looks amenable to economic longwalling

      The infrastructure needs are high, though. It is here that the greenies will concentrate their efforts – rail lines and port requirements in particular

      Perhaps somewhat flippantly, I made a comment about 5 years ago that developing mining in the Galilee will see Greenpeace activists parachuting in from ABC-hired choppers. Might still happen :)


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        scaper...

        Over 3,200 environmental approval processes were required for the port, rail and mines.

        What could be the hold up is the water use plan. I am told that this could be a problem that might hold up the final approval.

        Terry Bowring has the solution. Will be an interesting few days ahead.


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    • #
      Alan

      Scaper

      I would be interested to know where you get the info that the Galilee Basin coals are of “high quality”. As a coal geologist of 30 yrs my understanding is that is not the case. Compared to typical Bowen Basin, Hunter Valley or Gunnedah Basin thermal coals they are inferior, relatively anyway – lower rank ie higher moisture and lower energy plus higher ash values.
      The other disadvantage is the transport distance.
      Happy to be corrected though.


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        scaper...

        Alan, I get my info from a mining company that is seeking approvals in the next week, days possibly.

        Seen the assay report on the coal and it fits in with my statement.

        You have a valid point in regards to transport distance but if you own the mine, the railway, the port loading facility, the bulk sea transport and the coal fired power stations (India) that the coal will be utilised then I suppose it is not an issue.

        By the way…I have no involvement in the mining industry but this global warming rubbish has made me interested. My game is construction, albeit micro these days but that can change.

        Then how would I know about an industry I have never been involved with? It’s an ANDEV thing.


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        • #
          Alan

          scaper, thanks and yes most of the time we have to accept the public releases. A big issue with many coal projects is that the moisture content of the shipped coal is under estimated at the feasibility stage, hence lower energy, and the customer gets a little surprise or they reject the coal. In fact with coal you need to watch how a company reports the moisture as there are many traps for the uninitiated. Like you say if you are also the customer you can only blame yourself. Note that there are not too many of the experienced coal players active in the Galilee. Anyway maintain the rage against the BS.


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          • #

            Alan,

            you mention the high moisture content.

            And here’s why the new plants coming into operation in Germany are so exciting, the first of them being the new Neurath F and G units.

            Combined with the new USC technology, these new plants also utilise a coal drying process as well.

            Now, admitted that these plants in Germany are for Lignite (brown coal) burning, I’m sure that this drying technology could quite readily be installed at any new coal fired plant.

            The coal is pulverised to talcum powder consistency and then, using the hot flue gas it is dried to lower the moisture content.

            This full description is on page 3 of the link I have enclosed here at the heading Plant Description.

            For those of you who think coal fired power is a technology from more than 100 years back look at the schematic of the plant at the top of page 4, and just hit the + button in the black bar at the top of the document, and a good working size for best viewing is 170%.

            Neurath F and G (pdf document of 8 pages)

            While this is the early document, be aware that this plant is already up and running with 2 X 1100MW generators, which incidentally is the equivalent of around 80 to a 100 wind towers and will supply three times as much power as all those wind towers, and on top of that, will supply that power for double the life expectancy of those wind towers, at the best hoped for life expectancy for those wind towers.

            Tony.


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            • #
              Alan

              Thanks Tony, more good info. I have a graph somewhere (can’t find right now) that shows just by installing modern technology, CO2 output levels per energy unitproduced could be cut by around 20%. Obviously there is a lag in this process but as you say the technology is here.
              The drying of coal/lignite is best suited to mine-mouth power station like those in Germany and also Victoria. My main interest in the coal moisture is that it is commonly under estimated at the development stage and you end up transporting water as well as potential energy. Also coals at certain, generally high moisture levels (lower rank) can have a propensity to self combust during storage or transport – that is definitely one way of drying your coal.


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              Alan

              The graph I refer to is Fig 4.5 from an IEA free publication “Power Generation from Coal 2011″ downloadable (2Mb pdf)from
              Be interested in any comments Tony as the generation side is not my area.


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    LevelGaze

    Interesting.
    Wind is marginal, at best.
    Solar and biofuels are too small to figure at all.


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      Olaf Koenders

      If CO2 is causing more extreme weather, then wind speeds will go up increasing the efficiency of the turbines. Burn more coal ;)

      McFibben’s not talking out his hat, but pulling rubbish out his A.


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  • #

    Look carefully at that image in Joanne’s Post and notice that yellow part that indicates the TOTAL power supplied to ALL Australian consumers from Wind Power.

    That comes in at 2% of supplied power.

    That’s from around 1100 huge towers coming in at a Nameplate Capacity now of 2260MW.

    Incidentally, that’s now finally reached the same Nameplate Capacity as the Bayswater Plant near Musswellbrook, which has a Nameplate Capacity of 2640MW.

    Now Bayswater actually delivers for consumption an amount of power equal to 2.5 times all that wind power delivered, and keep in mind Bayswater has cut back because of the huge impost of the CO2 tax on them, the largest payer of that tax in Australia.

    So now, just to replace Bayswater alone, we need a further 2800 towers on top of what we already have, and that’s just for the one plant, Bayswater.

    Then a further (around) 20,000 more towers to replace all those other coal fired power plants.

    Then in a further 15 to 25 years, ALL of those towers need to be replicated again, just to equal the power delivered from coal fired power.

    Now note here I just equal the power, because even though this amount of power is equal, it’s virtually useless, because of that Capacity Factor of 30%. So even though you have an equal amount of power spread evenly across the whole Country, you still only get power for (on average) 7 hours a day from all those towers. That’s the yearly 30% CF extrapolated out to an average daily total delivered power versus Nameplate Power.

    As to costs, look at the notorious Cape Wind in Nantucket Sound, which was proposed before the end of last Century, is still not constructed, and the cost has ballooned from $800 Million to $2.6 Billion for a Nameplate Capacity of 450MW.

    Look at the new proposed plant for King Island which is going to cost $2 Billion Plus, a cost expansion of more than double from a similar sized plant a couple of years back, ending forever the meme that ….. “Build more of them and they’ll get cheaper.” Now, using King Island as the guide, and in today’s dollars without them rising, there’s around $100 Billion. Do it by 2020 as some suggest, there’s plans needed to be on the drawing board now, with two years lead time prior to construction and then 5 years for construction, there’s a conservative $20 Billion per annum needing to be found., and around the same every year from then on. (Ridiculous, isn’t it? I don’t know why I even mention it)

    The U.S. currently has 62,000MW of Wind, running at a CF of 27%. That wind equals 32 large scale coal fired power plants. (2000MW+) However, the actual power delivered is only equal to that delivered from 10 of those plants.

    Wind in the U.S. has ramped up considerably in the last 6 years.

    So, even taking into account that wind only supplies the same power as 10 coal fired plants (of the 32 equal to Nameplate) then have a guess how many of those existing large scale (2000MW+) coal fired plants have closed in the U.S.

    NONE. That’s NOT ONE of them.

    How many are mooted to close in the short term, next 4 to 5 years?

    NONE. That’s NOT ONE of them.

    Wind Power is an absolute sheer and utter failure. If anything else was designed with an operating capability of only 30%, it would be laughed out of existence.

    Tony.


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    • #
      Safetyguy66

      Good on ya Tony.

      I was explaining to a cabby this morning who questioned me about my previous work in the wind industry about the very points you made.

      He, like many people had the “oh arnt windfarms great” opening line. When I explained to him the cost of Musselroe (the last project I was on) and the power output (56 x 3mw turbines totalling 168MW) then compared it to a modern gas turbine for instance in terms of cost vs power output and power delivery % of 24/7/365….. his opinion immediately changed to “crap that’s a total waste of money”

      So in exactly the same way as warmbots now argue that their biggest issue is people are either too stupid to understand the energy arguments, or they are not well enough informed (take your pick), this gentleman was right in the mid range of my experience in having the same conversation with many, many folks over the years.

      If you need a math or electrical engineering degree to explain why the windfarm is a better option (and many have tried) then its a lost cause. People arnt stupid, in the main and they do understand a good deal when they hear one.

      I completely agree with you and I am more qualified than most to have an opinion on this one. Windfarms are a complete waste of money. They are a political solution not an economic or developmental solution. They employ ancient technology to under perform at their task for the majority of the time. The amount of money that has gone in to our wind industry in Australia is basically deserving of a Royal Commission in terms of wasted public funds.

      Solar and wind are at best, a partial solution when employed in limited scenarios, almost exclusively at a local generation level. To even dream you could cost effectively employ any other renewable solution other than hydro right now is toking on the peace pipe man, which explains the people who spout the arguments.


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      bobl

      Tony from Oz
      That last sentence isn’t strictly fair in truth there are many fuels that come in at around 30 % efficient. Coal is around 33 % thermal efficiency, Petrol has thermal efficieny around 35% and diesel is 40 %. However the efficiency of wind really isn’t stated properly, really it should be the extraction efficiency multiplied by the capacity factor. I’d estimate that the efficiency of wind is less than 5%, which gives a more reasonable comparison with fossil fuel generation. The problem with wind isn’t so much that it has low capacity factor that can be engineered into the solution but rather the abysmal extraction efficiency and that the output at any given time is governed by pure chance, as is (to a lesser extent) solar. At least solar is somewhat predictable, it picks up as the sun rises and falls as it descends.

      I think you give renewables too much credit in your calculations. When looking at renewables I always look at reliable supply. This is the amount of renewable power that is necessary to continuously supply a given load without backup. So that takes into account that solar doesn’t work at night and works at best to 20% of capacity of when its cloudy and assumes a battery system buffering those discontinuities. For a reliable supply then then actual capacity is less than 1/5 nameplate, plus conversion losses. So for a square meter of say 20 % efficient solar panels we get a reliable energy extraction capacity of about 1000 x 0.2 x 5/24 x 0.2 x 0.85 or about 7 watts per square meter of solar panels if we want 24 hour baseload compatible reliability – this is the true equivalence between renewable and coal power. I think wind is probably practically zero output on this basis because in practise even with buffering you cannot guarantee that your battery bank will never become depleted between wind episodes like you can with solar.

      On this basis replacing just one 2200MW reliable power plant with equally reliable solar requires tiling the planet with 388,007,054 square meters (388 square km or an area 19 km x 19 km ) with solar panels, not to mention inverters and energy storage. Given that wind designs for say 25 kph winds only achieve a power density input of 400 W/ sq meter and the reliable ouput much lower than PV one has to conclude the swept area required for wind is enormous of the order of 700 square km of swept area or more to produce a reliable power supply equivalent to a 2.2 GW generating plant.

      When looking at renewables one cannot prognosticate about 100 percent renewable supplies without accounting for the problem of lack of reliability, and thus comparing one energy source with another should take into account reliability constraints other wise you are not comparing apples with apples. You are comparing a reliable supply with an unreliable one. This is the same mistake the greenies make to naively suggest 100% renewable power is attainable. You can only say that if you ignore relibility.

      PS Tony when making such comparisons you should probably take into account that most fossil plants have an overload factor, that is, in an emergency thay can generate about 30% above their nameplate for a limited time. The overload capacity is more analogous to the peak output of a wind or solar plant I think.


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      • #
        bobl

        Oops, errata, it’s worse that we thought… I really aught to compose these replies offline.

        The calculation should have included storage efficiency. IE

        Insolation 1000 Watts peak

        recovery efficiency an optimistic 0.2
        time of operation 5/ 24 Hours
        reliable operation factor 0.2 assumes no more than 5 cloudy days in a row (peak) usually a pretty good number for the tropics
        Storage efficiency 0.8
        Conversion efficiency, (of inverter ) 0.85

        That gives 1000 x 0.2 x 5/24 x 0.2 x 0.8 x 0.85 or 5.67 Watts per square metre. I think the rest of the calc regarding area required is right based on 5.67 W/m2

        Sorry all, i’ll try to do better next time.

        For those people wanting to install off grid solar, I recommend you work off this number when calculating the solar array, Work off the square meterage. For example if your house uses 24 KWh per day or an average of 1 kW then you need 1000/5.6 square metres of 20 % efficient panels or about 180 square meters per kW average consumption to have a reliable supply in the tropical zone, more for more polar latitudes.


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        • #
          BilB

          Your calculation is ridiculous, Bobl.

          ffective solar delivery for Sydney is 275 days of 5 hurs full solar capacity. 25 kwhrs for 365 = 8760 kw hrs. A 235 watt panel will deliver 323 kwhrs per year requiring 37 solar panels. If any of the 24 kwhrs are for heating water then this would be around 14 kwhrs for 240 ltrs (say 10. As this hot water can be delivered by dual function panels then the number of panels reduces to half or 19 panels. Note we are rounding up to allow for losses, and there are losses. but there are also gains. Solar panels are still putting out up to 30% on cloudy days providing another 600 kwhrs from the 19 panels, or another 50 days worth of power which would be a reasonable buffer aqainst solar fluctuation.

          So that is 19 panels against your 180. Your calculation is out be a factor of 10. Reality / fantasy. 19 panels / 180

          [BilB is a hostile poster. This post was in moderation for quite a while because of his repeated poor behavior. This post is possibly the first one from him that complies with the rules. Lets give him a big round of applause! ] ED


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        cohenite

        Bobl, wind is not 30% efficient. Read Tom Quirk’s paper, especially his definition of the reliability point on pages 1&2. From that I understand the efficiency of wind power is 3% not 30%.


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          Graeme No.3

          cohenite:
          you are arguing about 2 different things.
          Wind turbines are limited to extracting ~59% of the energy in wind (the Betz limit) and with modern computer designed and controlled blades extract about 85-90% of that. This then passes through the mechanical then electrical generating then signal processing systems. The power is then processed to match the grid voltage/amperage AND phase before transmission over the power lines to the end user. At best 30% of the power of the wind gets to the end user. (I would put it slightly lower for losses in the final suburban (low voltage) transformers and house lines).

          The reliability of wind power is, MAYBE, 3%; i.e. that is the percentage of the installed wind capacity that can be counted on to be there when required. This is for the australian conditions; in the UK and Germany the experience of the last few winters is that a figure below 0.1% is more appropriate. Originally the figure was put at 2% by German operators but the last 5 winters have revised their opinions.


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        Bulldust

        And the Climate Change Authority wants Tony to ramp up his targets for CO2 reduction by direct action:

        http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/emissions-target-inadequate-says-climate-change-authority-20131030-2wey1.html

        Never mind the unobtainability of the proposed targets as spruiked by Bernie (the super of the future) Fraser. The CCA board reads like a Who’s Who of CAGW alarmists:

        Apart from Mr Fraser, board members include chief scientist, Ian Chubb; economist Lynne Williams; businessman John Marlay; climate scientist David Karoly; RBA board member Heather Ridout; ethics professor Clive Hamilton; AustralianSuper chair Elana Rubin; economics professor John Quiggan; and authority chief executive Anthea Harris.


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        • #
          Winston

          The fact that they even need an “ethics professor” on their board suggests that what they are proposing to do is actually almost certain to be highly unethical, hence the need for Clive to provide suitable rationalisation for their egregious and rapacious behaviour.

          So as the pensioners freeze, and the unwashed millions starve, Clive can provide tea and sympathy to the poor unfortunates charged with the onerous responsibility of applying the shaft to the rest of us.


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          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            Well, their reign has been shortened: they’ll all be gone come the passing of the Electricity Bill.

            They new they were kangaroo edward and presumably put out their last missive to give the bird to the democratically elected Liberal/National government.

            That’s how the green left and Labor operate.


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            Ian hilliar

            Surely that cannot be Clive “Suspend democracy” Hamilton , that same self appointed ‘public intellectual” has now appointed himself as ethics professor of Australia!. Methinks Winston is totally correct.


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        Backslider

        You can only say that if you ignore reliability.

        No no…. you can say that if you live in a yurt.


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      Boris

      Well said Tony. The UK has hundreds if not thousands of idle wind towers. One major European country is reportedly scrapping their entire wind generation capability (about 18,000 towers) due to total inefficiency. When will the greenies and the like start to realise that well designed coal fired generators emit virtually zero of anything. There was a letter written to the Rockhampton newspaper about 5 years ago (and I saw a reprint of it published recently)by a highly qualified engineer in power production. It makes interesting reading and confirms what Tony says here. It just means that some of our old coal fired generators may need updating or replacing. Unless there is some smartie amongst the greenie geniuses (not) who can come up super efficient solar cells and constant supply of wind instead of covering the whole country with wind and solar farms to generate what a few coal fired stations can produce. If the Chinese are building and commissioning new super efficient coal fired power stations virtually weekly/monthly, what don’t we know that they know. When you have people like Hansen-Young, Bandt and Milne spruiking who needs enemies. When these geniuses speak, the old pictures of cooling towers and steam scream across the media as pollution and evidence of the badness of coal fired power stations. It’s like the old daylight saving argument. Does it save power?? Melbourne has oodles of twilight, Cairns has virtually none. (Closer to equator = less twilight)= more power usage in Cairns? There is no temperate climate area in the world that has daylight saving. You don’t see all of the Middle East covered in solar and wind farms – lots of sun and wind. Why is it so?


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      • #
        Ross

        Boris

        Can you give us the name of the EU country reported to be scrapping its wind generation capacity.
        ( NB I’m not doubting you,just genuinely interested)


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          cohenite

          If Germany is not giving up wind power it should be as this analysis of Germany’s North Sea wind-farm [what a stupid name!] describes.

          The money wasted on renewables is mind-blowing; just think of the real, beneficial projects which could have been up and running with even a small % of the money wasted on wind and solar.


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            Graeme No.3

            cohenite:
            try the Riffgat wind farm. 30 turbines sitting there unconnected to the grid. Why? Well they cleared the explosives left over on the sea floor before installing the turbines but overlooked the rest where the powerline was to go.

            They are using diesel power to turn the blades and avoid salt damage.


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      Bruce

      I think US coal plants ARE scheduled for closure, however, this is in anticipation of the ‘stick’ of new EPA regulations being promoted as opposed to the ‘carrot’ of on-the-ground conditions (well-described in your post).


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      • #

        Bruce,

        yes, coal fired plants are indeed closing down, well some units at those plants anyway. In the main, those closures are all for smaller units, and some smaller plants in total, mainly all smaller than 200MW, and in virtually every case, most of them not only already old, but some in fact quite ancient, 60+ years, and when Wind supporters see this list of dates, they can only dream that wind turbines can even hope to get half as old.

        In five and a half years that I have been watching, not one plant greater than 1500MW has closed, and none are planned. Even some of those large plants have ancient units on site still in operation.

        Look at the list of closures and conversions at this following link, and in particular, note two things, the Year Built and the Retirement Year.

        As you look at this list, be also aware that most of those units have converted across to run now on Natural Gas.

        Plant retirements and conversions

        Tony.


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    pat

    last nite during a break in the ATP Tennis in Paris, i flicked on Sky Business Channel, which was still running this 25 Oct piece as a constant news ticker.

    whoever wrote this (it’s unattributed) certainly wasn’t going to dispute the 4 degrees’ prediction or any other claim. N.B. the reference to thermal coal:

    25 Oct: Sky News Business: BHP boss rejects climate criticism
    BHP Billiton boss Andrew Mackenzie has denied the resources giant is burying its head in the sand regarding the risk climate change poses to its profitability.
    At the company’s AGM in London on Thursday, board candidate Ian Dunlop said climate change had the ability to ‘completely turn the company on its head or indeed destroy it’.
    The former Australian Coal Association chairman turned environmental campaigner argued the current board was ‘ill-equipped to deal with this challenge’…
    After the meeting he told reporters BHP wasn’t investing in thermal coal, even though it stayed in the portfolio, with the focus being to ‘maximise returns with what we’ve got’…
    The current board has urged shareholders to vote against Mr Dunlop and the former Shell executive admits he’ll struggle to get elected.
    But Mr Dunlop is worried BHP isn’t doing enough to prepare for a low-carbon future.
    The world is on track for a 4C temperature rise that would reduce the population from seven billion to just one billion, the 71-year-old told shareholders.
    ‘It’s basically a world where business is not possible in the normal sense.’…
    Mr Dunlop said to meet the UN’s target of a 2C rise companies had to stop investing in fossil fuels and withdraw from existing projects.
    That meant there was indeed a ‘carbon bubble’ of coal which should never be burnt, he said…
    Company chairman Jac Nasser on Thursday insisted BHP fully recognised ***the ‘strategic nature of this issue’.
    But he admitted previously describing climate change as a ‘single issue’ wasn’t a good look and didn’t fully recognise its importance…
    http://www.skynews.com.au/businessnews/article.aspx?id=918533

    ******the ‘strategic nature of this issue’. LOL.

    out of a handful of News Tickers running across the screen, two were about CAGW. from memory, the second one was the “Australia needs carbon price, GE says” one i posted on a previous thread.


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    Graeme No.3

    On another page FijiDave noted:

    “Increasing levels of wind and solar power capacity have been a key factor in driving down wholesale electricity prices in Germany. They fell from over €80 per MWh at peak hours in 2008 to just €38 per MWh today and renewable energy now supplies 22% of Germany’s electricity demand on average”.

    This is where the believers make their mistake on the cheapness of “renewable”. What is happening is a surge of “renewable” power. It has to be used as it is generated, so it is sold at whatever price the wind or solar farms can get. There have been cases of ‘negative’ prices i.e. the wind farms have to pay to have their power used. The price they get isn’t of much interest to them as they get a separate subsidy (which comes from increasing the cost of all non-renewable power to the general public).

    The surge has one undesirable effect, it makes other short term supply methods uncompetitive. Thus in Germany a number of gas turbine plants have been mothballed and several pumped storage operations have gone out of business. This makes the grid system a whole lot less flexible. Antiquated coal fired stations with poor efficiency and higher emissions are being used to supply power when the wind farms aren’t working. THis leads to further periods of oversupply dropping the wholesale prices further (and causing the subsidy for “renewables” to be jacked up). That means MORE emissions because of wind and solar, yet with the subsidies built into the cost, the actual cost to the consumer is rising.


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    Phillip Bratby

    The situation in the UK is that, if wind turbines were paid the wholesale price of electricity, they would not, in their lifetime, be able to repay the capital cost. Dependent on their size, wind turbines are subsidised to the tune of twice to five times the wholesale price of electricity.

    If the subsidies were removed, not one wind turbine would be built. The UK Government’s aim is to tax conventional generators to such an extent (carbon tax etc) that wind turbines will eventually be competitive (except for offshore ones which are phenomenally expensive, but which the idiot politicians think are marvellous).


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    pat

    ***Lord Oxburgh fails:

    29 Oct: Guardian: Rowena Mason: Energy firms raised prices despite drop in wholesale costs
    Energy bill increases are continuing to cause a headache for the coalition, as a new YouGov poll shows 68% of the public believes Labour’s energy price feeze is workable.
    Caroline Flint, shadow energy secretary, called on the companies to “come clean about why they are imposing yet another round of inflation-busting price rises this winter, when they are already making huge profits”…
    Asked about the wholesale power prices, a spokesman for nPower pointed to comments by Paul Massara, its chief executive, who said earlier this year: “The main factor behind rising costs is government policy and regulation to fund this country’s transition to a more efficient economy, with modern infrastructure and warm, insulated homes for all.”…
    ***Another amendment in favour of decarbonising all of Britain’s electricity by 2030, tabled by Lord Oxburgh, a former chairman of Shell, narrowly failed to pass.
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/29/energy-firms-raised-prices-as-wholesale-costs-fall


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    pat

    Greenpeace & Friends of the Earth must be disappointed their elitist buddies, Oxburgh/Stern & Baroness Worthington, couldn’t pull off the decarbonisation bill. anyone still belonging to these orgs needs to understand what their insanity is doing to people’s lives as regards fuel poverty:

    23 Oct: Greenpeace: Five days to win a clean energy future!
    The story of the Energy Bill has been a long uphill struggle, but we’re nearly there! It began with months of delays. Then there was the shock at the draft Bill which lacked any substantial action to address climate change. Eventually hundreds of organisations piled on the pressure that led to the second biggest rebellion this Commons has seen. Now the Bill is at its final stage in House of Lords – and we’re still fighting for a victory that is almost visible on the horizon.
    Persuading just a few more Peers to attend the House of Lords on Monday (28th of October) and vote for Lord Oxburgh’s amendments to implement a target next year to decarbonise our power sector by 2030 could be all we need to secure this massive victory!
    Between now and Monday afternoon it’s really important to keep up the pressure on Peers…
    http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/five-days-win-clean-energy-future-20131022

    9 Oct: Financial Times: Jim Pickard: Coalition mulls retreat from coal to pass energy bill
    Additional reporting by Pilita Clark and Guy Chazan
    Coal-fired power stations would be consigned to the fringes of the energy market under a plan being drawn up by the coalition to head off a potential defeat over its energy bill in the House of Lords.
    Ministers fear a rebellion this month by Liberal Democrat peers demanding a 2030 decarbonisation target for the electricity sector – something the government has rejected…
    Most of Britain’s coal power stations had been expected to close by 2023 because of a European directive imposing limits on the release of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. But some companies are expected to keep their plants open by upgrading them to filter out these gases.
    Paying for upgrades could make financial sense because coal is cheap.
    At present, these old power stations will not need an “emissions performance standard” (EPS) – which restricts carbon dioxide emissions – as this only applies to newly built ones.
    However, the coalition is proposing to extend the EPS to old power stations in a move that would make it impossible for them to keep operating at full throttle.
    As a result, coal-fired power stations which operate 24 hours a day would be confined to generating back-up energy only when supplies run low.
    The idea is being pushed hard by Lord Teverson, the Lib Dem energy spokesman in the Lords.
    “We want to end the loophole whereby the cost of coal is so cheap it may be worthwhile for coal to pay to comply with the European legislation and continue generating [24 hours a day] well into the future,” he said.
    The coalition believes that the move could halt a rebellion on October 28 in support of a 2030 decarbonisation target being led by Lord Oxburgh, former chair of Shell…
    But Donna Hume, a campaigner at Friends of the earth, said old coal-fired power stations had no place in a “21st century energy system”.
    Cracking down on the emissions of existing coal plants – as well as new ones – would make the UK the second western country after the US to adopt such a policy this year. President Obama announced the contentious move in June, infuriating the US coal industry…
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/604cc27c-30fe-11e3-b478-00144feab7de.html#axzz2j5vxxx36

    will they try again?

    25 Oct: Building.co.uk: Vern Pitt: Lords urged to back low carbon energy targets
    A similar amendment to the bill was defeated in a vote by MPs in June this year.
    The letter, sent to all members of the house of Lords, was signed by the heads of seven trade associations including the Renewable Energy Association, the Solar Trade Association and Scottish Renewables…
    http://www.building.co.uk/communities/sustainability/lords-urged-to-back-low-carbon-energy-targets/5062615.article


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    This OECD report http://www.oecd-nea.org/pub/egc/docs/exec-summary-ENG.pdf has Nuclear power stations in Asia as the cheapest source of electricity with coal second (or cheapest in all other areas and countries). The report says both wind and solar are expensive and unreliable sources. Wind &solar energy need 100% back therefore has to be more expensive gas, hydro or coal installed for standby and backup. In addition unreliable sources of energy need large and more expensive gird connections and switching.


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    ROM

    The figures I saw and calculated when running with the Alternative Energy Scam thread on weather zone climate forum backs what Tony is saying above..

    Apart from the fact that coal fired generator plants have a useful economic life of about 45 years and nuclear of about 50 to 60 years there is the severe but mostly unknown and carefully hidden fall off and degradation of wind turbine performance over a very short period of time from the initial Name Plate Capacity of the turbine.
    In fact any investor or industrialist or engineer would wipe such a power generation system as wind turbines and solar in an instant if they were faced with a genuine competitive situation where the generation technology had to stand on it’s own feet and compete on equal terms with the other power generation technologies out there such as coal, gas, nuclear, and the only renewable energy system that actually works and which is a genuine and very cheap power generation source as long as it rains is hydro.
    Even here in the likes of spain the mini and micro hydro generators in the small streams and rivers have created as many problems and introduced extreme variability into Spain’s power supplies along with that created and on top of the unpredictable and highly variable wind and solar power output .
    All screeching to a halt now as Spain is basically removing and even worse for it’s renewable energy industry, reneging on all it’s former subsidies to renewable energy after creating a 26 billion Euro debt in subsidies to the renewable energy industry. alone without all the other debt problems the Spanish are also facing

    A quote from the Executive Summary of a study done on UK and Danish wind turbine performance titled

    The Performance of Wind Farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark
    [quote]

    3. The normalised load factor for UK onshore wind farms declines from a peak of about 24% at age 1 to 15% at age 10 and 11% at age 15. The decline in the normalised load factor for Danish onshore wind farms is slower but still significant with a fall from a peak of 22% to 18% at age 15.
    On the other hand for offshore wind farms in Denmark the normalised load factor falls from 39% at age 0 to 15% at age 10. The reasons for the observed declines in normalised load factors cannot be fully assessed using the data available but outages due to mechanical breakdowns appear to be a contributory factor.

    4. Analysis of site-specific performance reveals that the average normalised load factor of new UK onshore wind farms at age 1 (the peak year of operation) declined significantly from 2000 to 2011. In addition, larger wind farms have systematically worse performance than smaller wind farms.
    Adjusted for age and wind availability the overall performance of wind farms in the UK has deteriorated markedly since the beginning of the century.

    5. These findings have important implications for policy towards wind generation in the UK.
    First, they suggest that the subsidy regime is extremely generous if investment in new wind farms is profitable despite the decline in performance due to age and over time.
    Second, meeting the UK Government’s targets for wind generation will require a much higher level of wind capacity – and, thus, capital investment – than current projections imply.
    Third, the structure of contracts offered to wind generators under the proposed reform of the electricity market should be modified since few wind farms will operate for more than 12–15 years.

    [end of quote]

    From this study it can be seen that not only as Tony continually and quite rightly points out, the capacity factor is only a quarter perhaps of the actual Name Plate Capacity output of the turbine [ Name Plate Capacity = claimed maximum output of the turbine which is always used quite deliberately and completely falsely ie lying , in publicity claiming that the turbines will power so many houses ]

    But as can be seen from this study, output per turbine gets much, much worse much quicker than has ever been revealed by the wind turbine industry. Which effectively means that any calculations on the gross output of a wind turbine farm will have to be heavily discounted within 5 to 8 years after the start of operations and / or more turbines erected to compensate for the rapid drop off in turbine performance as outlined in this report above.

    As an old glider pilot who has been flying fibre glass and carbon fibre gliders for some 4 decades and wooden construction gliders before that I know well the way in which the composite fibre structures which the turbine blades are constructed from will creep and distort and lose their critical to performance aerodynamic profile over only a few years.
    Accelerated greatly in wind turbines case by the centripetal and torquing forces imposed upon the blades by the rotational effects of the blades plus their immense weight which is such that in calm conditions wind farms use a serious amount of power, fossil fueled of course when calm, to keep their systems operating and to regularly turn the blades so as to prevent composite fibre structure creep and subsequent distortion of the blade and it’s aerodynamic profile under the heavy weight of the blades. And to also prevent the destructive brinelling corrosion, the pitting of internal load bearing surfaces of the the main and immense bearings by the internal rollers or balls sitting in the one spot for too long on the main bearings that carry the immense weight of the blades and hub and the rotational forces when the turbine is operating.

    The engineering involved is very advanced so for the techo types here one source to look at for details of the blade structures similar to those glider wings I have spent some two and half to three thousand hours over the last 50 years sitting between some many thousands of feet up and often some tens or occasionally hundreds of kilometres from home can be found here


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      Yes, it’s a good point. I’ve recently hiked a thousand miles through France and Spain, with these whirlygigs and their cabling as my constant companions, mainly in Spain. They are strung out in places like the Massif Central and the Spanish Meseta where everything can and will happen to them from a weather point of view. And they can’t be wheeled into a hangar for maintenance!

      France can muck about a little with wind and solar, play games to further tease the Germans into manipulating the EU carbon price upward – because France has nukes. She has become the world’s biggest nett exporter of electricity after being energy destitute by the 1970s. But Spain has committed its future to wind. Never mind that one day when the wind blew just right and she was able to send a trickle of power back to France. Spain has to buy French electricity and hope that European unity will continue and that European subsidy will be revived. (Now what could go wrong with that plan?)

      Massive coal reserves lie available to Germany and Poland, the new Tiger. East lie Russia and Gazprom. West lies everybody’s trusted buddy, France. Did Merkel really ditch the nukes in favour of solar panels and whirlygigs? Or do the middle Europeans have something else in mind?

      But what to say of energy rich Oz, with superb black coal reserves lying all about the Sydney basin? Are we going to spend billions on Chinese or Danish manufactured gizmos, watching them fall apart while Central Europe quietly stokes its furnaces again? (Of course, in the case of our Asian coal customers, the stoking isn’t even discreet. Hard to be discreet with all those hundreds of millions of tonnes of Aussie coal!)


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    Dave

    Bill McKibben probably also likes Wave Energy:

    Here is the 20 meter X 20 meter X 15 meter high Oceanlinx Greenwave machine that weighs 2,000 tonnes and sits in 10 meters of water 4km off shore in South Australia.

    This new $7.25 million machine (subsidised by Aust Clean Energy Fund) has a nameplate capacity of a huge 1 MW. WOW, this will be economical, and is rated to last 25 years. But what they don’t tell you is that the Mark III BlueWave machine that was launched 150 meters off Port Kembla in February 2010, had sunk by May 2010, the tiny 170 tonne steel monster, had a 3 month lifespan. LOL.

    The new GreenWave machine was launched last friday, and it will be interesting to see how long this monster lasts. It will not be connected to the grid until the end of the year.

    The best part was that The Honourable Peter Garrett, Federal Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts, Commonwealth of Australia, officially unveiled the plaque for the doomed Mark III BlueWave machine in March 2010. ABout 6 weeks later it sank. Funny how Fairfax, The Guardian and ABC never reported it.

    The history of failed Wave Energy Projects in Oz is quite amazing, with hundreds of millions of Australian Taxpayer money wasted.


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    gnome

    McKibben says this, Jo says that-
    Gnome says anyone who suggests wind power ( or solar power) is comparable in price or effectiveness with conventional sources has either taken leave of his or her senses or is sucking at the subsidies and will say anything to keep them flowing.

    Why are we even having this discussion? If the Green party is so convinced that their preferred sources of power are so much better they should leave us alone to sink into a mire of outdated technology and our yearning for our glorious past.

    I can live with their contempt and pity, as long as I don’t have to pay for their advanced lifestyles.


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      ROM

      Gnome @ 6.20 pm.

      Completely agree.
      But there is a solution and it has been suggested many times previously but can now be implemented because of the smart meters.

      The Gaia worshipping greens and watermelons and the rabid environmentalists who demand we all move over to renewable power sources such as wind and solar [ and wave! Please don't make me laugh anymore considering the 30 year history of totally failed wave power ] along with all the rest of the power consumers could be given a choice
      Just remove all subsidies to all power generators of every type and then give consumers the right to take and pay for power from whatever generator they might wish to nominate and negotiate their power costs with .
      Something that should now be possible with smart meters or the next generation of smart meters.

      This of course would allow the assorted watermelon and green castes of the inner cities to assuage their guilt laden consciences completely by allowing them to select and pay for the renewable wind and solar generated power.
      They would also then have a vehicle to demonstrate to the world the efficiency and reliability of those renewable energy generators which would provide an immense propaganda coup in support of renewable energy.
      It would also remove most opposition to renewable energy as those who are contemptuous of renewable energy would not be forced to have to pay for and live with strictures and problems of the renewable energy industry.

      If a consumer’s nominated generator, be it renewable of conventional, can’t supply all the power they have contracted for at any particular time period then it can be drawn from another generator for that consumer with the appropiate cost penalty attached.

      Or alternatively something smart meters have made possible, when their nominated generator can’t supply the amount of power demanded of it then selective or total blackouts to those consumers would be implemented; ie they would be cut off from the grid until their nominated generator could again supply power for their use.

      I’m sure wind an solar would scoop the consumer demand pool with their McKibben levels of costs and their reliable and cheap generation capabilities per Mckibben and etc in this type of consumer oriented and consumer demand driven power supply system [ /sarc ]


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    Safetyguy66

    So at the same time as we are trying to convince ourselves money can change the weather/climate and sucking a billion dollars a day (previous thread) into the black hole of “maybe” land.

    We have this from earlier today:

    http://www.news.com.au/world/united-nations-agrees-to-establish-asteroid-warning-group-to-defend-earth-against-impacts/story-fndir2ev-1226748651440

    I mean seriously ??

    We spend a fortune on fairy stories and yet the chances of the planet being hit by an extinction event level chunk of space rock is 100%, eventually, and we have a committee to form a feasibility study which will examine a business case for a forum to discuss the possibility of stating an objective involving the creation of a resolution to……………………

    There are some days when I cant help feeling we basically deserve to be wiped out as a species, but I enjoy each day certain in the knowledge it wont be CO2 that kills me.


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      Maverick

      The solution: Asteroid Safety System Tax


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      Dave

      LOL,

      They don’t need the UN to do this, WIKIHOW has a 12 point method on “How to Survive a Super Comet” hit on earth. It’s really simple.

      I like item 3.1

      “Stock up your shelter. Bring books to read or crossword or Sudoku puzzles to do so you don’t get very bored during the aftermath.”

      and also item 5.1

      “If you are within about 3000 miles of the impact, you should have taken refuge in a nuclear shelter.”

      See it’s all here, and you have until 2032 to start digging the hole in your backyard. :)


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      gnome

      Do the maths for yourself- if the earth is about 4500 million years old, an object in near earth orbit which comes around every 4500 years has already been around a million times and hasn’t hit yet.

      Even an object which only comes around every million years has been around 4500 times and hasn’t hit yet.

      Both one million, and 4500 are big numbers when they refer to years in human life.

      Most of the big floating bits accumulated on the earth in the first 1500 million years, before the 4500 million year clock started. Everything likely to hit the earth has already hit the earth and isn’t available to do it again, or is so unlikely to hit the earth in anyone’s lifetime as to be not worth the effort of calculating the unlikelihood.

      It’s a bit like global warming, when it comes to alarmism.


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        ROM

        Of course you could build one of those 1950′s and 60′s atom bomb proof above ground or basement or whatever fall out shelters in the case of an imminent major meteor impact on Earth.

        I’m sure [ sarc ] those 1950′s and 60′s atom bomb shelters would protect a family from something about a few thousand times larger, like a major meteor impact, than the derated but still 50 megatonne blast from the Tsar Bomba / Big Ivan test on Nova Zemlya in Oct 1961.
        It blew out windows a thousand kilometres away through atmospheric channelling of the blast and melted the rock for some .

        Wiki quote]
        The fireball reached nearly as high as the altitude of the release plane and was visible at almost 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) away from where it ascended. The subsequent mushroom cloud was about 64 kilometres (40 mi) high (over seven times the height of Mount Everest), which meant that the cloud was above the stratosphere and well inside the mesosphere when it peaked. The base of the cloud was 40 kilometres (25 mi) wide. All buildings in the village of Severny (both wooden and brick), located 55 kilometres (34 mi) from ground zero within the Sukhoy Nos test range, were destroyed. In districts hundreds of kilometers from ground zero wooden houses were destroyed, stone ones lost their roofs, windows and doors; and radio communications were interrupted for almost one hour. One participant in the test saw a bright flash through dark goggles and felt the effects of a thermal pulse even at a distance of 270 kilometres (170 mi). The heat from the explosion could have caused third-degree burns 100 km (62 mi) away from ground zero. A shock wave was observed in the air at Dikson settlement 700 kilometres (430 mi) away; windowpanes were partially broken to distances of 900 kilometres (560 mi).[10] Atmospheric focusing caused blast damage at even greater distances, breaking windows in Norway and Finland. The seismic shock[verification needed] created by the detonation was measurable even on its third passage around the Earth.[11] Its seismic body wave magnitude was about 5 to 5.25.[9] The energy yield was around 8.1 on the Richter scale but, since the bomb was detonated in air rather than underground, most of the energy was not converted to seismic waves.

        It also frightened the crap out of the Politburo and the Russkie military let alone the Americans hence no more Tsar Bomba’s

        And the Tsar Bomba was not much on the scale of a major meteor impact on Earth.
        But there is only a low key program underway to detect meteors that are crossing Earth’s orbital path and money for that is also in short supply compared to the lavishness sprayed on anything that has “climate change” and etc in it’s title.


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        Ian hilliar

        I am not so sure about that,gnommie. Do you remember 1989FC, an apollo asteroid about 1/2 a kilometer in diameter that missed us by six hours–passed straight through our wake, where we had been quietly going about our daily grind six hours previously, and NASA spotted it going away from us about 5 or 6 days later. Spawned US govt and Pentagon enquiries, and a whole bunch of b grade movies….. one minor problem in spotting incomimg asteroids is that Apollo asteroids come from the sun side, so we cant see them till after they have missed us. Hopefully.


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    Stephen Richards

    Alternatively, Bill is talking out of his hat.

    Not possible, You can’t talk out of your hat with your head up your … a$$


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    Joe V.

    Bill is talking out of his hat.

    Hats seem to be back in fashion, since Tony brought them up about UN FCCC Climate Chief Figueres pronouncing on bush fires.
    I think the “.. out of his .. ” form may be a euphemism for another part of the anatomy, beginning with the same letter when the ‘h’ is silent., while the ‘.. through her ..’ form may be more appropriate in diplomatic circles.


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    Here is one of weepy Bills wind turbines.
    I pray one falls on his ugly head.


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    Tel

    Bill McKibben says wind is cheap* as coal.

    * After adjustments.


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      Andrew McRae

      * Seasonally adjusted. Adjusted for the Silly Season of 1988…2018.
      According to WMO definition of climate, that is the time taken to measure one data point.

      One!

      Quick! Let’s measure climate change!
      Blip!
      Game over!


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    PhilJourdan

    McKibben’s whole schtick is that he wants to be a victim. Being he is not a real victim of anything (he is too chicken to walk in Chicago at night), he must feel guilty for burning fossil fuels. So if we were to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, we would be depriving him of his victimhood.

    Do not deprive McKibben of his victimhood. Support the use of Fossil fuels.


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    Mark D.

    Bill McKibben gets away with saying these things unchallenged? He isn’t asked to provide supporting calculations?

    Fools all.

    Besides the obvious, there will be a long term cost increase, that of maintaining these “marvels”. As they age and approach mid life, the costs to keep them running will graph out like a mean hockey stick.


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    hunter

    The lies that McKibben and his ilk shamelessly repeat and profit from is more than annoying.


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    Is McDrivel in Oz then? If so, I assume he rowed there yes?


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    Andrew McRae

    Jo Nova says “so who needs a carbon tax then?”

    Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh says he doesn’t believe the coalition’s direct action policy will work to halt climate change.

    Well, Jo, you have a new recruit. Finally we have a Labor MP who’s become a climate skeptic! ;)
    He chose a funny old time to come out of the closet. Must be all this talk of equal rights in the ACT!
    But equal media rights for skeptics? Not a chance.


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    Brian G Valentine

    Jo Ann there are innumerably many more interesting criminals and frauds to discuss than Bill McKibben.


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    Mark D.

    Am I color blind? I can’t see any solar (the color given to solar) in the graph. Where is it? Or don’t they monitor all those residential roof top systems?

    Where are the raging supporters of that


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    [...] Kill the schemes, cut the subsidies. Bring it on. I say! More at JoNova [...]


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    Steve R W

    Graph is missing solar garbage. (:


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    DayHay

    Here in the USA we don’t need to worry about wind energy cost.
    That is because we legislate at the state level to REQUIRE the local power companies to purchase wind projects without regard to cost.
    Plus, said power company has a guaranteed profit margin, so any costs can simply be transferred to the customers. I wish my economic reality worked like that.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-04/portland-general-electric-to-buy-washington-wind-energy-project.html


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    Col Mosby

    Any cost estimate should divide costs into actual costs and then attempt to determine auxillary costs, such as the cost of using an unreliable generator. For wind, any costs quoted are specific, and not generalizable over time or space. Every wind turbine site has its own unique wind patterns, which not only differ from other sites, but differ over time. Also, wind power costs are critically dependent upon the amount of wind, and as more turbines are added, the likelihood of finding convenient and cost-effective sites has to go down. The more wind turbines, the greater the overall cost per kWhr. The best wind sites are always the first to be selected. There is also the issue of land costs. Wind turbines require lots of space, since placing a turbine behind another greatly reduces that turbine’s available wind. Preliminary studies of sites cannot guarantee that the chosen site will perform well in the future. A 20% reduction in wind during the year increases the cost of wind by roughly 20%. And greater winds cannot always be handled by the turbines and they have to be shut down when the winds are strongest. So any claim about wind costs is specific to the turbines and the time interval in which data is collected. There actually is no such thing as a general statement about the “cost of wind power.” It is far easier and more accurate to calculate the cost of nuclear or coal/natural gas power. Wind power cost estimtes contain too many variables and even unknown costs (lifespan of the turbine, the blade, etc), plus the costs of unreliable power. Nevertheless, we know the costs are far greater than any fossil fuel or nuclear(which I estimate as less than 4 cents per kWhr for Gen 3 reactors , with 60 year plus lifespans).


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    Richard

    Wind as cheap as coal.

    When the turbines are spinning the fossil fuel plants are on spinning power so effectively money is being thrown down the drain by the fossil fuel plants. The grid has to take the wind power if available .

    So in actual fact you could say wind power is doubly expensive.


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    “…not to mention the limitless energy potential of the powerful sun that shines on your continent.”

    The sun? Can’t even cause a decent climate change. A pea shooter, Bill.


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    Rod Stuart

    President Ike said in 1961:
    “In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite. ”


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    pat

    29 Oct: UK Telegraph: Simon Johnson: Lord Stephen attacked over wind farm law change
    A Scottish peer who is a director of a series of wind farm companies is attempting to nullify a ruling by the country’s most senior civil court that threatens to slow the spread of turbines, it was alleged today.
    Lord Stephen of Lower Deeside has been named as tabling an amendment at the House of Lords that would mean most large wind farm developers would not need a licence from the industry regulator before applying for planning permission…
    The former Deputy First Minister and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader last night claimed his name should not be on the amendment and it was a “mistake, pure and simple”.
    But anti-turbine campaigners accused him of “naked self-interest” as he is director of a series of wind farm companies that could potentially profit from the change.
    In August it emerged that he was director of 10 renewable energy firms and this newspaper can today disclose that he has since set up another one…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10410291/Lord-Stephen-attacked-over-wind-farm-law-change.html

    British pension funds at risk from climate change: report
    LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters Point Carbon) – British pension funds should invest more in low-carbon technologies and cut their exposure to fossil fuel-based assets likely to be left “stranded” due to climate change policies, or risk squandering savers’ holdings, a report said Tuesday…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2705828?&ref=searchlist


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    pat

    btw i cannot find any MSM in UK reporting that the Oxburgh/Stern/Worthington decarbonisation amendment failed. only “green” websites. the Guardian article, posted above, which had the briefest comment at the very end of an unrelated article, appears to be the only MSM that has mentioned it at all.


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    If McKibben really believes this, he should be real careful about taking any drug tests in the foreseeable future.

    If Oz has decent quantities of coal, perhaps a Coal to Liquids (CTL) plant may be a possibility. Output can be any hydrocarbon, but synthetic diesel ends up being right in the sweet spot of product for liquid fuels. They are essentially refineries for coal and are sized based on the coal feedstock.

    Synthetic diesel is an interesting liquid. If you properly pick the output molecule you end up with synthetic diesel, kerosine, Jet-A, AvGas, JP-8 and RP-1 rocket fuel.

    The other output you get are lots and lots of CO2, which can be used to goose greenhouses or sequestered or released. The last step if highly exothermic, giving off heat that can be captured and used to generate electricity.

    We are looking at a couple versions of these up here in AK. The backers believe that they make money as long as the per/bbl price of oil remains above $50 US. Problem is that they are expensive, but not so nearly expensive as wind or solar or carbon taxes.

    Best to you guys. Cheers -


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    Don’t you sometimes wonder why some people who comment here don’t come near Threads like this.

    I seems that Britney Spears shows up every time one of these Threads comes along.

    Tony.


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    Sunray

    The warmists know that they control the majority of the free media outlets, so I suspect that they think they can get away with this drivel.


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    pat

    links to the new Guidlines:

    29 Oct: Huffington Post: Jake Schmidt: Treasury Department to Stop Supporting U.S. Funding for Overseas Coal Projects
    The Treasury Department has released revised “coal guidelines” on how they will vote on coal projects brought to them by the development banks. A number of controversial coal projects have been approved by these banks in recent history, including some of the world’s largest coal plants…
    These guidelines mean that the U.S. will have to vote no on using U.S. funding for coal projects that lead to more climate change. With clean energy booming around the world these banks should be focused on how to build more wind, solar, and energy efficiency — not more coal projects.
    In June President Obama directed the U.S. government to stop using public financing for new coal plants overseas that don’t capture their carbon…
    These guidelines (LINK) — Guidance for U.S. Positions on MDBs Engaging with Developing Countries on Coal-Fired Power Generation — are a next step in implementing this commitment to stop using scarce U.S. funding to support coal projects that are driving climate change.
    The Treasury Department represents the U.S. at the World Bank Group (WBG), Asian Development Bank (ADB), African Development Bank (AfDB), and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). So these revised guidelines would shape how the U.S. — the largest shareholder at these institutions — would vote on any coal project proposed by these development banks. Over the past 5 years these banks have invested almost $13 billion in coal projects that are driving climate change (see figure) so this is an important signal…
    I’ll add more details tomorrow as I sort through the specifics, but here are quick reactions. The guidelines:…
    •Don’t require, unfortunately, that these banks stop funding coal mine projects… etc etc
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jake-schmidt/treasury-department-to-st_b_4175872.html


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    ClimateAtheist

    Jo, great analysis. Current generalised cost of brown coal power generation from La Trobe Valley is 4.8c/kWh, but this includes the CT impost.

    Firstly, I was unaware that wind farms could now produce reliable base load power generation… or has this fact just been (conveniently) pushed aside?

    In all of the “comparisons” of traditional v “renewables”, the maintenance costs associated with the so-called renewables is always left off the balance sheet, unfairly skewing the operational costs of traditional base load power generation (for which the maintenance costs are always included and are not insignificant).

    Further, the climatists always choose to put the zero point of the life cycle costs and carbon accounting at the point of construction and commissioning of the “renewable” power generation facility. When the true carbon account is analysed, like for like, the climatists lose out significantly. The pure energy requirements to produce one PV cell are generally accepted to be more than that PV cell will produce over its economic life. Similarly, the huge amount of exotics and composites required for wind farms are incredibly energy intensive to manufacture, not limiting the consideration of the intense power consumption required to fabricate the respective components from these materials.

    Couple all this with the climatitsts desire to drive hybrid car technology which require vast amounts of lithium ion batteries, and the power demand of the globe just to produce all this hair-brained infrastructure, components and equipment increases at such an incredible rate that I doubt any amount of climatism dogma about alternative energy generation sources could attain the wishfull carbon emission reductions.

    Follow the money… this way truth lies…


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    pat

    27 Oct: Guardian: Damian Carrington: UK universities urged to pull cash from fossil fuel giants
    Anti-carbon divestment campaign targets £5bn of British funds
    An international campaign to urge large institutions to dump fossil fuel investments reaches the UK this week, following rapid success in the US.
    The year-old divestment campaign, Fossil Free, has grown even faster than similar efforts that once targeted apartheid, tobacco and arms manufacturers…
    (LOL)The move comes as financial giants such as HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are starting to take seriously the prospect that global action to reduce carbon emissions could leave two-thirds of the world’s proven fossil fuel reserves unburnable and worthless.
    While stock markets, including London which is heavily exposed to coal, have yet to significantly adjust company valuations, big financial players have started analysing the issue with reports in the last six months on the future risks of coal investments from Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Citi Commodities, while Morgan Stanley and Citi GPS have examined the wider energy market.

    McKibben said the divestment campaign was one front in the battle against climate change, but a vital one given the role of similar tactics in previous historic changes, such as ending apartheid in South Africa. The Nobel peace prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu has blessed the movement, stating: “Divestment played a key role in helping liberate South Africa. The corporations understood money even when they weren’t swayed by morality. Climate change is a deeply moral issue, too.”…
    (LOL – CAGW hotbeds both)The report also lists the research funding that companies, including Shell and BP, give universities, including £6m to Oxford and £17m to Imperial College London…
    “Stigmatisation poses a far-reaching threat to fossil fuel companies,” said Ben Caldecott, a research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, and an author of the report…
    On Thursday, a group of 70 global investors with $3 trillion of collective assets launched the first coordinated effort to demand that the world’s 40 leading fossil fuel companies, including ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton, assess the financial risks a carbon bubble poses to their businesses…
    While stock markets, including London which is heavily exposed to coal, have yet to significantly adjust company valuations, big financial players have started analysing the issue with reports in the last six months on the future risks of coal investments from Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Citi Commodities, while Morgan Stanley and Citi GPS have examined the wider energy market.
    McKibben said the divestment campaign was one front in the battle against climate change, but a vital one given the role of similar tactics in previous historic changes, such as ending apartheid in South Africa. The Nobel peace prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu has blessed the movement, stating: “Divestment played a key role in helping liberate South Africa. The corporations understood money even when they weren’t swayed by morality. Climate change is a deeply moral issue, too.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/27/fossil-fuel-divestment-campaign-uk


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    pat

    have no doubt there’s lots of dodgy CAGW stuff linked from this page, but just going thru the Partners Boards & Sponsors is enough:

    Fossil Free: Resources
    **FOSSIL FREE: A CAMPUS GUIDE TO DIVESTMENT**

    Partners:

    Responsible Endowments Coalition
    Sustainable Endowments Institute
    As You Sow
    Energy Action Coalition Coal Divestment website

    350.org and The Ohio Student Environmental Coalition team up to bring 9 divestment trainings in 10 days across the state this week.
    http://gofossilfree.org/resources/

    24 Oct: Ceres: For immediate release: Investors ask fossil fuel companies to assess how business plans fare in low-carbon future
    Coalition of 70 investors worth $3 trillion call on world’s largest oil & gas, coal and electric power companies to assess risks under climate action and ‘business as usual’ scenarios
    https://www.ceres.org/press/press-releases/investors-ask-fossil-fuel-companies-to-assess-how-business-plans-fare-in-low-carbon-future

    Signatories as of October 2013
    https://www.ceres.org/files/car-mats/car-release/carbon-asset-risk-initiative-investor-signatories-as-of-october-2013/at_download/file


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    pat

    hmmm! apartheid, tobacco…invest in what we tell u. is there a pattern developing?

    29 Oct: DemocracyNow: Former Irish President, Climate Justice Advocate Mary Robinson Urges Divestment of Fossil Fuel Firms
    She now heads the Mary Robinson Foundation–Climate Justice, where her efforts include campaigning for the divestment from fossil fuels. “We can no longer invest in companies that are part of the problem of the climate shocks we’re suffering from,” Robinson says. “To me it’s a little bit like the energy behind the anti-apartheid movement when I was a student. We were involved because we saw the injustice of it. There’s an injustice in continuing to invest in fossil fuel companies that are part of the problem.”…
    MARY ROBINSON: I think a lot it is coming from those who benefit at the moment from selling fossil fuel, so the coal and oil communities. It reminds me a little bit of the tobacco problem, and it’s somewhat similar because it’s causing denial of an issue that we should be taking so seriously and working together on…
    AMY GOODMAN: You mentioned social unrest and displacement as the real effects of climate change. What do you mean?
    MARY ROBINSON: It’s all ready happening that many people are having to leave their places where they were living. We heard from the panel this morning here in Louisiana, in New Orleans, about people who can no longer be in certain places. It’s happening worldwide, but we’re not seeing the full scale of it yet. The prediction is we may have up to 200 million climate-displaced people by 2050, which is only 36 years ahead…
    AMY GOODMAN: The argument against dealing with climate change is it means losing jobs in a troubled economy.
    MARY ROBINSON: And that, again, is a false juxtaposition, because I think it’s very clear that as we move to low carbon, it will actually be job creating. I gave the figures that it has been job creating in the United States. There are more green jobs being created than in other sectors. So, we have to recognize it’s very important that it’s a just tradition. We work closely with the trade union movement.
    ***Sharan Burrow is on our climate leadership group. And they’re looking to pension funds to invest in futures that are good for everybody, the renewable energies and others…
    http://www.democracynow.org/2013/10/29/former_irish_president_climate_justice_advocate

    Sharan Burrow still working tirelessly on behalf of ordinary workers, i see!


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      Speedy

      Pat

      I see that Mary Robinson is telling her public that a primitive lifestyle is good for employment and living standards.

      Makes you wonder why we bother inventing stuff really, doesn’t it?

      Cheers,

      Speedy


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    Simon

    In short, BmK hasn’t yet got his tiny little brain around the fact that the GHE is a bogus and entirely fictitious concept. All the data is pointing to the fact that climate sensitivity to CO2 is ZERO! All this talk of IR absorption by CO2 is a red herring. It emits as mus as it absorbs – it has to according to basic physical laws – it cannot ‘trap’ heat. In fact, on all timescales, CO2 trails temperature.


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    Eliza Doodle

    OT the Head of the UNFCCC Ch. Figueres needs to speak to the people of Wangaratta VIC.

    Wangaratta Chronicle away down nearer the bottom of the page.
    “Do you believe our weather is being impacted by man-made climate change?”

    under What Do You Think heading.

    (Thanks to John Oh on last years Australia’s Hottest Day thread for noticing this).


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    gbees

    “Alternatively, Bill is talking out of his hat.”

    you are too kind Jo. some would say he’s talking out of a piece of his anatomy ..


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    genie81

    Has anyone seen Les Huron’s on wind turbines? He is acoustician and has linked health to wind turbines. A good read.


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