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Thanks to Green schemes Queensland dumps gas for coal

Green Fairy Gods of Economic Management

Another unintended consequence of policies to control the climate. Who would have guessed? Laws aimed to disrupt the energy market, disrupted the energy market. Just like Germany, parts of Australia are now dumping expensive gas, resurrecting old coal burners, and voila: The Fairy Gods of Economics tinker — and get the opposite of what they intended.

Here’s the chain of events as best as I can figure. The greener-governments raised the cost of all electricity, but tried to slap an advantage on some forms at the expense of others. The catch is that there is just not enough alternate energy to go around.

More projects used gas, partly due to other state based green schemes like the Gas Electricity Scheme of Queensland. So gas demand rose and gas became more expensive. At the same time, those who owned gas found that export markets will pay more for gas for other uses. So it didn’t make sense to keep the gas for the power-stations here when they could sell it for a greater profit elsewhere. Meanwhile, other forces were also at play. The Green drive created a glut in fickle solar and wind power. On the one hand that makes gas stations more appealing because they cope with the fickleness, but on the other it made everyone’s power bills higher, so people used less electricity. Plus more red-tape, green-tape, and  botched over-management of the economy helped drive Australian production down, which also meant business used less electricity. All this created an oversupply of electricity, and that created the big-squeeze on generators: despite the fact the consumer was paying more for electricity, the generator’s marginal profits were less (the government was taking a bigger cut, and making generators use less efficient practices). The bottom line is that thanks to fiddling with complicated multivariable free markets, the electricity generators face even more pressure to pick the cheapest supply. Hence coal wins.

Reader Scott the trader explains that the opportunity cost makes coal much more appealing than gas:

“…ignoring thermal efficiency for the moment, burning coal at $2/GJ is obviously better than opportunity cost of $9/GJ gas for the same electricity revenue.  Or put another way $2/GJ coal converts roughly to $20/MWh fuel only cost vs being able to sell gas at $9 which if you were using it for fuel would equate to ~$70/MWh.”

True free markets obey no one.

QUEENSLAND’S largest power generator will today declare that Australia is one of the world’s most expensive countries for energy and warn that the electricity market is being distorted by the carbon tax, mandatory renewables target and solar-rooftop subsidies.

After Stanwell took the extraordinary step yesterday of announcing it would mothball its biggest gas-fired power station and resurrect a coal facility built in the 1980s – sparking predictions that gas-fired power plants would be withdrawn in other states – it will today call for a scaling back of the renewable energy target.

Before the introduction of the carbon tax, the RET scheme and solar feed-in tariffs, the abundance of coal had made Australia a source of low-cost electricity, the company will say.

“These policies appear to have been implemented for ideological reasons with little analysis of the impact on electricity prices and economic growth,” Stanwell chief executive officer Richard Van Breda will say.

A carbon market where the price is too low means coal outperforms gas:

Origin Energy managing director Grant King has previously said it would take a carbon price of $40-$60 to create “fuel switching” — to make it more economical to build a gas-fired power station than a coal-fired plant for baseload generation.

National Generators Forum executive director Tim Reardon said that “as the gas prices increase trickles down into other states, we would expect to see other gas plant withdrawn”.

“The carbon price would need to be much closer to $100 a tonne before it changes the economics of electricity generation,” he said.

But if the carbon price was high enough to drive the us to use gas then the country would become too poor to keep the indulgent Green Gravy trains running. The dilemma, eh?

Mr Van Breda said he was concerned about the oversupplied nature of the energy market.

Demand for electricity had fallen due to a slew of factors, including the decline in manufacturing and falling demand from households stung by higher power bills.

The Australian has learned that analysis by the National Generators Forum finds that if electricity consumption continues to decline at the same rate as it has over the past four years, the electricity sector could achieve a 5 per cent reduction on 2000 emissions levels as early as 2017-18 without government intervention through the RET or Direct Action Plan.

Yes, the old chop-the-GDP works to reduce carbon dioxide emissions every time.

The Australian

H/t To Scott the trader for advice and the tip.

Image: Adapted from a photo by Michel Villeneuve

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.6/10 (100 votes cast)
Thanks to Green schemes Queensland dumps gas for coal, 9.6 out of 10 based on 100 ratings

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131 comments to Thanks to Green schemes Queensland dumps gas for coal

  • #
    Sonny

    Sounds like Agenda 21 implementation in Australia is working perfectly.


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  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    Currently, nothing in economics has not been distorted by many avenues that are available by the investment community. Big money breeds big corruption and EVERY country is effected. Collusion runs rampant between governments and banks.


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    • #
      Rod Stuart

      “There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.

      “Yet this difference is tremendous; for it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorable, the later consequences are disastrous, and vice versa. Whence it follows that the bad economist pursues a small present good that will be followed by a great evil to come, while the good economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil.”

      – From an essay by Frédéric Bastiat in 1850, “That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Unseen”


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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    This is always the trouble with reverse incentives – paying people to not do something.

    As soon as a government does that, the populace suddenly finds a whole lot more of the stuff that they shouldn’t be doing, so they can get paid more for not doing it.

    Worked a treat in the USSR, which is why that system collapsed, leaving the oligarchs in charge.

    As Sonny says, Agenda 21 is working perfectly.


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    • #
      Rick Bradford

      Dear Secretary of State,

      My friend, who is in farming at the moment, recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs. I would now like to join the “not rearing pigs” business.

      In your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to rear pigs on, and which is the best breed of pigs not to rear? I want to be sure I approach this endeavour in keeping with all government policies, as dictated by the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy.

      I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs, but if this is not the type you want not rearing, I will just as gladly not rear porkers. Are there any advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old Spots, or are there too many people already not rearing these?

      As I see it, the hardest part of this programme will be keeping an accurate record of how many pigs I haven’t reared. Are there any Government or Local Authority courses on this?

      My friend is very satisfied with this business. He has been rearing pigs for forty years or so, and the best he ever made on them was £1,422 in 1968. That is – until this year, when he received a cheque for not rearing any.

      If I get £3,000 for not rearing 50 pigs, will I get £6,000 for not rearing 100?

      ….

      http://www.dearcustomerrelations.com/best-ever-mischief-letters/defra-the-not-rearing-pigs-business/


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  • #
    Graeme No.3

    Much the same happened (and is happening) in Germany. Huge subsidies for “renewables” yet the CO2 emissions went up.


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    • #
      King Geo

      Don’t forget these words.

      GREEN IS BAD – VERY VERY BAD.

      All that the “Green Agenda” can achieve globally is a LOT OF PAIN.

      It has been happening for years now – fortunately the Abbott Govt here in Oz is ridding us of this “Evil Green Scourge”.


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      • #
        Joe

        King, I am not too sure what will eventuate but I think the current Oz Gov. is talking about doing just what Rereke warned about a few posts back and that is using tax payers money to pay people not to make CO2. Perhaps he won’t go as far as to pay the pig farmers – we can only hope.


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  • #

    The ACT government has made a big fuss about targeting 40% ‘renewables’ by 2020. What they never mention is that they are and always will be connected to the largely coal-fired NSW electricity grid so that power will be available at times when, inevitably, supply from renewables will fall short or fail. It is no different to the Germans having a no-nuclear policy but then buying electricity generated by nuclear power stations across the border. The question is: are these people stupid enough to believe their own propaganda or are they simply doing it to deceive people who are stupid enough to believe the propaganda?


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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      … are these people stupid enough to believe their own propaganda or are they simply doing it to deceive people who are stupid enough to believe the propaganda?

      Probably both, because they live and work in an echo chamber, where everybody repeats every new idea that somebody else comes up with, so that they can always claim to “have been onboard from the start”, if the idea is a success.

      On the other hand, if the idea is a failure, they can also point to the fact that, “Somebody else”, was leading the charge, and that they just went along with it, for the sake of solidarity, or professional peer support.

      This social phenomena has a name — it is called, “A Consensus”.


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      • #
        Eddie

        Yes and they try to con sense the rest of us.

        consense
        /kənˈsɛns/
        verb

        1.
        To overcome or avoid rational thought or condideration by popularising a false, absurd, or distorted representation of something.

        2.
        To deceive the senses


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      • #
        Neville

        Not to mention the groupthink factor, as expressed so well in the book “The Abilene Paradox”.


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    • #
      old44

      Cut them loose and let them survive on Green power.


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      • #
        Vic G Gallus

        I would love it if a place, Tasmania for example, were to be set aside for watermelons to show us how their policies are sustainable. Electricity could be 100% renewable through the use of hydroelectricity.


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        • #
          The Griss

          No, somewhere like SA, where they want to rely on wind and solar, then chop the electricity wires from Victoria.

          Tassie has Hydro, which is not really “green” because it has to have dams.


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        • #
          from 20%

          It has been for about forty years.
          Hydro Tasmania celebrates a centennial this year.
          There were hydraulic turbines here twenty years before that.
          Indeed, if the rain is dependable, the State operates on hydro power. If the reservoirs were wide and deep as they are in Canada, the State could probably muster enough storage to remain that way through a dry patch. However, nearly half the capacity is run of river power, so when it rains it is make hay while the sun shines, and when it does not the storage is soon challenged. Most reservoirs are skinny and not very deep, similar to New Zealand’s.
          That is why Hydro built the 200 MW Bell Bay power station in the early ’70′s. However, she was built to consume oil which soon became expensive. She is replaced with the gas fired Tamar Valley power station since 2009. TVPS was not running during the unusual rainfall last winter, but is now required as much for voltage stabilisation for the giant fans as it is for stemming the descent in storage over the summer.
          How things might have been different with the massive storage the Franklin Dam could have provided had Keating not mobilised the RAAF in opposition! I know someone who claims that their dad took a shot at Bob Brown in those days. Things might have been different if the volley had found its mark!


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          • #
            Greg Cavanagh

            Remember the Franklin Dam?

            This was going to be a big new hydro-electric scheme.
            Most of Tazmania screamed so loud it was killed off.

            Let em’ sink or swim with what they’ve got, I say.


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          • #
            The Griss

            Tassie Hydro also operates the wind turbines on the west and north coast doesn’t it… (can’t remember the locations)

            Its all about continually augmenting electricity sources as the population grows.. is Tassie population growing , don’t know.

            West coast has plenty of wind and rain so hydro and wind may actually be sensible for the small population that needs to be supported.

            ie.. I have no problem with either in certain situations, so long as they are sensible and efficient and reliable, which the combination of wind and hydro probably would be for Tasmania a very high proportion of the time.

            And if the Lab/green down there want to ruin the west coast with lots of horrible wind farms.. well not many people live there anyway.. and its only their tourist industry that they might be killing off.


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            • #
              Rod Stuart

              HT has a windfarm at Woolnorth in the Northwest and at Musselroe Bay in the Northeast. Both are in the order of 160 MW NAMEPLATE. Capacity factor is about 20% according to AEMO.

              Of course, a census would be necessary to answer that question, but judging from the number of property for sale signs and stuff for sale on Gumtree, as well as a decrease in the quantity of electricity customers, I think it would be a pretty accurate guess to say that the population is in serious decline.

              The windfarms are there for one reason and one reason only. HT is a State owned enterprise in a State that has been cashing in on “Green”. The carbon tax has essentially been a transfer in the order of $250M pa from the mainland to the island.

              HT is very conscious of the fact that this gravy train is about to grind to a halt, and for the most part seems to blame that on the Abbott Abbott Abbott.

              Rain doesn’t always fall in the correct location to replenish the storage. So much of the hydro capacity is run of river that when there is a drought the storage is depleted rather quickly. The fossil fueled Tamar Valley power station is an insurance policy for such an event. The Bass link is another such insurance policy, although since July 2012 it has been used as a conduit to sell “green” electricity (whatever that is supposed to be) into the national grid.

              There is no such thing as economically efficient eleventh century technology. The wind farms at Woolnorth and Musselroe kill just as many birds and bats (if not more) that any other windmills, and based on operating and maintenance costs, capital cost allowance, and the exorbitant costs to the distribution system, produce on their so-called “clean” electricity at a cost of four or five times the cost of electricity from Victorian coal. The carbon tax distorts that picture.

              Lab/green aren’t the only folks down here. In fact, come the Ides of March, I think you will find that Lab/green are few and far between. Or maybe that is just wishful thinking. The current mob have exploited Cloward-Piven like a fine art. It’s hard to convince a bludger to vote for a change when that change might mean less dole, or working for the dole.


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        • #
          Vic G Gallus

          It was a sarcastic comment as it already has happened, voluntarily, and Tassie is headed towards being a basket case.


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  • #
    pat

    just posted the following plus more Bloomberg frenzied reporting on the possibility of FIXING the EU CO2 market at the previous thread, but this fits here too. the carbon cowboys & their political friends are attempting to seize the EU moment:

    6 Feb: Chicago Tribune: Mark Drajem, Bloomberg News: Southern balks at EPA rules that cite its carbon-capture plant
    Southern Co., which is building the nation’s only commercial power plant that will capture its own carbon emissions, criticized a proposal from the federal government to require all new coal plants to use the technology.
    At a public hearing Thursday at Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, industry representatives said the agency went too far in its proposed limits on carbon-dioxide emissions from new power plants. The technology isn’t commercially available and doesn’t have the rules in place to govern its use, they said.
    Southern said the plant it’s building in Kemper, Miss., which the EPA cited in its proposal, shouldn’t be viewed as a model. It “should not be used in developing a national standard for greenhouse gases,” Danny Herrin, the Atlanta-based company’s environmental director, testified…
    (MOTHERS & GRANDMOTHERS???) Environmental advocates, religious leaders, medical professionals and mothers and grandmothers also testified Thursday, mostly in support of the plan or asking the agency to go further…
    The standard “is supposed to be technology forcing,” said Felice Stadler, senior director for climate at the National Wildlife Federation. “You have to put a marker out there.”…
    “It’s about fuel diversity,” said Eric Holdsworth, director of climate programs at Edison Electric Institute, a Washington-based trade group representing utilities such as Southern and American Electric Power Co…
    Industry groups also said that standard is too tight, because plants can’t meet it in real-world conditions.
    The rules were embraced by environmental groups and other lawmakers who have been seeking new methods to curb carbon emissions, even though have lacked consensus in Congress to achieve their goals.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-wp-blm-news-bc-epa-southern06-20140206,0,6624868.story


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  • #
    pat

    4 Feb: The Conversation: Glen Peters: Carbon as a commodity: a trade in pollution could help clean up dirty economies
    (Glen Peters, Senior Research Fellow at Center for International Climate and Environment Research – Oslo. Disclosure Statement: Glen Peters receives funding from the Norwegian Research Council.)
    Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas have soared. In 2013 they were more than 60% higher than in 1990. This is despite significant progress in global climate policy, with numerous international agreements promising emission cutbacks…
    If China and other carbon exporters gave up their responsibility for their exported emissions, then they implicitly allow the carbon importers to regulate their exports. This can be implemented by using a border carbon adjustment, where a carbon price is placed on products imported from countries without sufficient climate policies – in effect a customs duty on carbon. It’s something that’s been discussed by the US, EU, and other industrialised countries.
    Since industrialised countries are net importers of emissions, the use of a border carbon adjustment would lead to larger global cuts in emissions. But it would also reduce income for net exporters as demand for products falls. Perhaps this is a reason why China and other major carbon exporters haven’t pushed the issue.
    To keep things fair, a consumption-based climate policy would need to ensure a share of the border tax on imported carbon is actually returned to the exporter. Potentially based on the amount of carbon exported, these payments would fund for installing cleaner technologies in the exporting countries. Some argue that the fear of such complex and provocative policies may be just what we need to force nations towards agreeing a comprehensive global agreement using the simpler territorial system…
    http://theconversation.com/carbon-as-a-commodity-a-trade-in-pollution-could-help-clean-up-dirty-economies-22364


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  • #
    pat

    7 Feb: NYT: Stanley Reed: European Lawmakers Try to Spur Market for Carbon-Emission Credits
    After the vote Thursday, carbon permit prices rose about 7 percent, to about 6.60 euros, or $9. But that price is still well under the figure of €25 or more that analysts say is needed to influence business decisions like whether to burn coal, which is a heavy carbon emitter, or natural gas.
    European officials “wanted to give a signal that the E.T.S. is not dead, and they managed to get it through,” said Roland Vetter, an analyst at CF Partners, a London-based trading house…
    But it will be many months before those policies are ironed out, and with a new European Parliament to be elected in May, there is no guarantee that efforts already underway will become law…
    Beginning as early as March, European officials will reduce the number of credits released over the next three years by about 900 million tons or about half of the estimated two billion ton surplus…
    But after much early fanfare, the European system lost momentum. The long economic slowdown, since the financial crisis of 2008 reduced industrial activity and energy use in Europe, creating a surplus of permits in the system that has depressed the price of allowances. Heavy subsidies for renewable energy by countries like Germany have also undermined the trading system, some analysts say…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/07/business/international/european-lawmakers-try-to-spur-market-for-carbon-emission-credits.html?hpw&rref=business&_r=0


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  • #
    pat

    this was hidden way down in those google AlGore-ithms results:

    6 Feb: Bloomberg: Rachel Morison: Changes to U.K. Carbon Floor Price Will Harm Liquidity, EDF Says
    Freezing or changing plans for the U.K. carbon floor price would “severely damage” power market liquidity, according to Electricite de France SA.
    ***The floor price, set in the national budget each April, will rise to 18.08 pounds ($29.42) a metric ton of emissions in the year through March 2016, up from 4.94 pounds, the Treasury said last March. The government plans to freeze the carbon price from 2016, the Daily Mail newspaper reported Jan. 25…
    Emitters such as factories and power stations must pay the floor price in addition to buying European emissions allowances, which have fallen 80 percent from a record 31 euros a ton in April 2006.
    “It is no secret that the trajectory for floor prices is way out of line with carbon prices,” Michael Fallon, minister of state for energy, said at a conference in London. “This is significant for industry and we are bound to show an interest in this.” …
    The carbon floor price will add 10 percent to electricity prices by 2015, according to Gareth Stace, head of climate and environment policy at manufacturers organization EEF.
    “Some of our members would be happy to see it abolished altogether,” Jeremy Nicholson, director of the Energy Intensive Users Group said yesterday by phone from London. “We are arguing for the trajectory for the carbon floor price to come down towards the end of this decade and beyond.” …
    The lack of clarity on the carbon floor price is unsatisfactory, according to Tim Yeo, chairman of the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, said in London.
    “I can sympathize that it provides a healthy revenue stream and the chancellor doesn’t want to lose it,” he said.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-05/changes-to-u-k-carbon-floor-price-will-harm-liquidity-edf-says.html


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  • #

    As I understand the situation, Australia could promote fracking and thus bring down the price of gas.

    Possibly there are not enough pipelines to transport it or some other reason why fracking is not making an impact on gas prices?


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    • #
      Andrew Griffiths

      This is highly complex situation and way beyond my level of competence,however there exists in the state of NSW a highly effective, unholy anti fracking alliance of greenies,farmers,concerned citizens and Alan Jones(a Radio Commentator). These people have the State Government running scared,but our gas supply in Sydney I believe comes from South Australia with some fracked gas from Queensland. Apparently there is still plenty of gas under Bass Strait to supply a market in Victoria and Western Australia is supplied by so called conventional sources off shore from the Pilbara near Barrow ISland. The high price of gas is a global price and we in Australia have so far been insulated from having to pay this global price ,we could be in for a surprise.


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    • #
      Fred Allen

      Gas prices are rising in the USA. This has much to do with a shortage of gas and a very cold winter, but it is also as a consolidation of the fracking industry as the little guys get pushed out as a result of that short-term oversupply. Gas fracking is also short term. The wells don’t last a long time compared to oil and conventional gas mining. The drillers that are doing well are tapping oil. North Dakota drillers are pulling out oil and burning off a lot of the natural gas as it isn’t worth keeping at present. Part of the reason for fracking doing well in the USA is that many landowners have the mineral rights beneath their land. Not so in many other countries including Aus.


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  • #

    We should be thankful that the green madness is self limiting – that every time a government tries to implement green policies, the pain experienced by ordinary people gets them booted out of office.


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    • #
      The Griss

      That only works well if the other side of politics hasn’t also caught the greenie disease.

      We may (?) be ok here, but the UK is in a right pickle because they are all rabid green nutters,

      and the USA has to find a respectable Republican candidate from somewhere if they want to replace OH-Bummer..
      a Hispanic or similar to counteract the dark racial vote wouldn’t hurt ! !

      Germany will always be driven by the manufacturing dollar, so look like they may manage to pull through.

      Elsewhere in the EU….. Who knows.!


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      • #
        Eddie

        We may (?) be ok here, but the UK is in a right pickle because they are all rabid green nutters,

        That would be run by rabid green nutters, thank you.


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        • #
          The Griss

          I was talking about the pollies, and bureaucrats.

          I do know that a small percentage of the general populace is probably at least partly sane :-)


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          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            There is no objective measurement for “sanity”, it is a relative concept.

            So, whatever the mental state of the majority happens to be, defines “sanity”.

            Isn’t that a sobering thought?


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            • #
              Robert

              A very nice summary of the concept I once discussed with an Abnormal Psychology professor some years back. The societal perspective of what is abnormal, or insane to stay with the concept of “sanity”, is often if not always completely different from what a clinical psychologist would consider abnormal behavior. Quite often the societal norms by which a society gauges what is abnormal are often considered to be unhealthy and destructive from a psychological perspective.

              Not all of those who have studied psychology and made it their career are as messed up as Lewandowsky. Some of them are actually quite intelligent.


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          • #
            Eddie

            Eccentricity and even insanity isn’t a problem.
            It is the relinquishing of individual intellect (however obtuse or immature) to the collective groupthink of consensus that is so insidious disabling.


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            • #
              The Griss

              “Eccentricity and even insanity isn’t a problem.”

              Some would suggest that the former is almost a necessity. One particular noble skeptic comes to mind :-)

              Far from insane though…. certainly more sane than most of the UK parliament.


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  • #

    So, while the rest of the (already Developed) World is busy replacing old coal fired power plants for new Natural gas fired plants, we here in Australia are going in the opposite direction.

    Odd, isn’t it? Why would they do that?

    The plant being closed is a CCGT gas fired plant, using an Alstom GT26 turbine to drive the generator via a shaft. When I say turbine here, it is similar to a jet engine on an aircraft, and that’s just a basic description, as it is more complex than that. Because it is a CCGT, (combined Cycle) the hot exhaust from the back end of the turbine is utilised to heat water to steam to drive a smaller secondary turbine/generator to add to the power from the first generator. This gives this single unit a total power of 385MW, and this Swanbank unit ran for a World record (for this Alstom turbine) of 254 days continuously, hence this CCGT unit supplies a Base Load power requirement.

    Stanwell, who operates this unit, now find that they get more for the gas selling it into the export market than using it to generate electricity. Now, bean counters here were obviously hard at work, factoring in the cost of the gas ….. and then, as they are actually burning the gas to generate electricity, they are now subject to the CO2 Tax on their CO2 emissions, so selling the gas means they get the full export price, and don’t have to pay the CO2 Tax on top of that.

    Now, keeping that in mind, consider this.

    Stanwell are closing this unit, and will be re-opening one unit at Tarong, and that unit is a coal fired unit, originally one of the 4 units there, the first of which came on line in 1979.

    It will quite obviously be refurbished prior to coming on line, if that hasn’t been happening already.

    That Tarong unit is a 350MW unit, so it’s almost equivalent power and also operating as a full time unit, will be supplying power to fill a Base Load requirement. It’s one of two units (temporarily) closed in 2012, so it’s not ancient as it would have still been kept almost operational as that closure was only temporary.

    Okay then, remember how many times I’ve said that gas fired power emits around 40 to 50% less CO2, so then, it may seem puzzling that a company would go in the reverse direction considering their CO2 tax impost will now be increasing, so it might actually seem that the bean counters could have got this one wrong, considering this is an (almost) equal power for equal power replacement.

    Or have they?

    Stanwell also own the coal mine which supplies Tarong, and feeds the coal to the plant via a conveyor from the mine, not quite 2KM away, So here, they do not need to buy the fuel as they would with the Natural Gas, as they already own the coal, so all they are paying now is the impost of the CO2 Tax. As to the coal, they are already mining it to feed their plants at Tarong and Tarong North. Any excess will now be used instead of sold to export, keeping in mind the price for coal has come down considerably in the last couple of years.

    So, see how this is more complex on a number of levels now.

    Even when the CO2 Tax is removed, it is still cheaper to run this coal fired plant than it is to run a gas fired plant.

    THAT is a bit of a worry here in Australia, as it means that further gas fired plants might also do the same thing, and those two monster coal fired plants in NSW wanting to upgrade had the preferred option of CCGT instead of USC coal fired power, so conceivably, those two plants might now be run into the ground without any replacement going ahead.

    Strange days indeed.

    Tony.


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      Sonny

      Hi Tony,

      Great post, it shows how ridiculous the main argument for CO2 taxation is.
      I remember all the green luddite, wide eyed, brainwashed zombies in the media, and even among friends arguing that CO2 taxation would force companies to become more “green” and use “renewable energy” instead of “dirty coal”. We argued that they would do nothing of the sort and simply pass on the cost to the consumer.

      The plus side is we were right, and they were wrong.
      Now, how do we fix the damage?…


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      Bulldust

      Is it wrong that I got a stirring in my loins at the mention of “Alstom GT26 turbine“? Sounds very powerful… good name /nod

      Export market is the key BTW. Queensland is discovering what WA has found. International LNG prices (especially from NE Asia) are too juicy to pass up, so despite decent-sized reserves in WA, all that gas wants to go offshore and the domestic gas prices get bid up dramatically. Supply demand … all that Adam Smithy stuff. When the NWS (NorthWest Shelf) project was first developed you could barely find buyers for natural gas … now it’s all trendy.

      Once again coal is king in Australia and the greenies must must be fuming.


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        Justin Jefferson

        Supply demand … all that Adam Smithy stuff.

        LOL. Yeah, like gravity, it just keeps hanging’ around, doing its thing.


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        Hey, this short video is probably in the category of technical engineering advertising, but it is interesting because it shows what is behind power delivery for this Natural Gas area which uses what is basically a jet engine to drive the primary generator.

        This is for that Alstom GT26 turbine.

        Now, while it is of some interest, watch at around the 3 minute mark as it explains how this type of turbine is so effective. It can be just idling away as they do to keep the temperature up, especially for that second function which uses the exhaust gases to generate a secondary power supply, hence the turbine needs to be spinning.

        To get it up to maximum delivery, the primary power unit, this unit can do that in just 15 minutes.

        So, it can be utilised for a constantly operational power delivery, for a Base Load requirement, or also as a Peaking power delivery platform as well.

        Now, while that time differential is important in this application, it can be compared to large scale coal fired power which has a lead time of possibly many hours, even in that spinning reserve mode which some of them operate at, those older plants, which are used for this purpose.

        Here, this turbine can do that in considerably less time.

        Alstom GT26 Gas Turbine

        Tony.


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          The Griss

          The real biggy is that all combustion machinery operates more efficiency, with less real pollutants, when operating at its optimum design speed.
          Any other speed is wasteful on fuel and can lead to improper combustion.


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          Greebo

          Pretty impressive piece of kit. How does that compare to Newport in Melb, Tony?


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          from 20%

          One thing you failed to mention Tony is Catch 22.
          The maintenance schedule for big GT’s is determined via EOH (equivalent operating hours). This is an adjustment to real time for every start/stop cycle and every load change. Depending on the machine, this penalty can be a thousand operating hours for each start/stop cycle.
          In the advertisement for the GT26, it might well be POSSIBLE to ramp up from 20% load to 100% load in fifteen minutes, but the EOH penalty is several hundred hours. This translates into big dollars when the overhaul interval rolls around. That is why operators like Stanwell, TRU, and Contact like to bid into the system with prices that result in a reasonably steady full load.
          Back on the farm, if one of the old timers said “Well, you COULD do that” it meant that if you did you would pay for it.
          That is why I say well you COULD use a KA26 plant as a peaker, or you COULD thrash it around up and down in load, but who would want to?


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          One thing about natural gas that is usually ignored is the CO2 contained in the raw gas which can be as high as 50% in the case of Gorgon field gas. This is removed in the first gas processing stage and simply vented to atmosphere.


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      ianl8888


      … how many times I’ve said that gas fired power emits around 40 to 50% less CO2

      Reasonable post, Tony, but the quoted figure of 40-50% less CO2 emissions for burning gas rather than coal is misleading

      Actual reduction is quite dependent on the qualities of both natural gas and coal being compared. A very high ash, high moisture coal vs almost pure CH4 does indeed approach a 40% reduction in stations specifically designed for these raw energy sources

      Most Aus domestic coal-fired power stations are designed for about 28% raw ash, 10% water (adb), 22 MJ/kg (adb) specific energy. Compared to a 90% CH4 input (ie. some water, CO2 contamination), saving is about 35%

      Aus exports good quality thermal coal (15% ash, 8% water, 27-28 MJ/kg) to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan amongst others but this specification is at about double the domestic price

      So a 40-50% CO2 saving is misleading, and we already have enough disinformation out there. Perhaps 35-40% is a more reasonable range


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      Phil

      Did anyone else catch the Phillip Adams LNL on Wednesday night (repeated Thursday afternoon) where he interviewed a chap named Mark Diesendorf, assoc prof. and deputy director of the Institute of Environmental Studies at the UNSW.

      Prof Diesendorf has written a book called “Sustainable Energy Solutions for Climate Change” in which he maintains that Australia could be powered 100% by existing renewable energy technologies (scaled up) with only very minor backup required from gas turbines. His suggested probable optimum mix of energy sources is (in the order of) 50% wind, 20% PV, 20% solar thermal storage, 5% existing hydro (I guess a prof of environmental studies couldn’t bring himself to suggest new hydro dams) and 5% other. This conclusion is supposedly supported by extensive modelling of actual power production from existing plants and hourly weather observations (presumably wind strength, cloud cover, etc.) across Australia.

      I do not know how or if he allowed for transmission losses getting the power from wherever the wind is blowing to where it ain’t, etc.

      Adams was of course his usual smug know-all self and fawned all over the prof.

      Comments?


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        Phil

        The interview is available by podcast at http://www.abc.com.au/rn/lnl. It runs for 30 mins and is worth the time.


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        Absolutely amazing. A mathematician who has found his niche, first in flouride for teeth and now in environment and Big Carbon. What does he plan to do for energy storage? Green energy is extremely inconvenient in location and time. No sunlight at night, no howling winds on a still summer’s day, no water in a drought, that sort of thing. So if we are to get 50% wind, how does he work that out? How many hundreds of thousands of windmills? Why not look at Germany and England where windmills are a total failure when they are needed? Germany has given up.

        Prof Will Steffen is another case in point, a former ‘climate commissioner’ like the Science Fiction writer Tim Flannery. Steffen had said that Victoria received twice as much solar energy as it needed to power the state. He is right. However to capture this sunlight you have to cover the entire state with solar cells. Not only was the cost scores of trillions and the distribution impossible and lossy, there would be nowhere to live, no forests and no animals, no grass. So these single disciple academics (Steffen is an Industrial chemist) do not even realise the implications of what they are saying.

        If there is one thing worse than economists being expert on ‘the science’ it is scientists who cannot see the sun for the solar cells. Scientists too have wives and children and mortgages and needs. Big Carbon is now bigger than Big Tobacco in turnover. Some scientists have turned to the dark side. 50% wind power? Absurd.


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          bobl

          Get the math right! If Victoria receives twice as much sunlight as it needs to power the state, then given that solar panels are only 20 % efficient, and accounting for inversion matching and transmission loss. Then account for those rare (sarc) days Victoria has dull weather – eg just about all winter, one would only need to tile an area of 5x5x1.2×0.5 = 15 times thea area of Victoria with solar panels, making sure no incident light escapes over the whole array, and that every panel is working 100 % of the time and that there is no shading, so raze all the trees over this area 15 times the area of the state. What a joke.


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        cohenite

        Diesendorf is associated with a mob called Beyond Zero Emissions, BZE, and they published some time ago their guide to having Australia powered entirely by renewables.

        Barry Brooks is an alarmist but has the sense to realise renewables won’t do the job.

        Brooks allowed 2 engineers, Martin Nicholson and Peter Lang to do a critique of BZE’s plan called Stationary Energy Plan; here is the critique.

        Diesendorf responded sort of here.

        Peter Lang responds here.

        Basically BZE’s plan would depend on Australia using at least 60% LESS electricity than it does now!

        However since our population is increasing and the figures are on a per capita basis, as the population increases while the electricity capacity of BZE’s plan doesn’t that 60% would increase.

        It is so annoying to argue the relative costs of renewable when renewables do not work at any price! They do not work because they are intermittent and whatever electricity they do produce comes in surges which no transformer system could accommodate.


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        Angry

        Phillip Adams is a Leftist COMMUNIST at the abc (Australian BULL..IT commission) say no more !!!


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          Greebo

          Australia’s richest socialist, Hendo describes him as. I stopped listening to him when he and a guest spent nearly the whole program denigrating the 43rd US President as shrub, amid much self congratulatory mirth.


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          Oksanna

          Does anyone else remember how great Richard Carlton was on the ABC before he was de-fanged and put out to pasture in commercial current affairs? ABC journos of that calibre just don’t get jobs anymore. Instead we get insipid Tony Jones interrupting and ganging up on Ian Plimer. The ABC needs to find John Howard’s right-wing Phillip Adams, (the one that the ABC’s latte journo set joke has escaped), don’t put him back in his cage, and instead give him a radio programme.
          Actually I would prefer a libertarian Phillip Adams, but that departs too much from the ABC’s socialist-approved left-versus-right dichotomy. “The Right” is, after all, the monster to which all of self-righteous Aunty’s minions’ venom is directed. If Adams had been able to remove the blinkers and look at the fountainhead of his communist and green ideals with the penetrating, critical insight he brought to bear on everything else, he would have been a truly great journalist.


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      Rod Stuart

      Are you sure that 254 days online is a record for a GT26? I’m pretty sure that Taranaki Combined Cycle at Stratford had a longer run than that in 2001. And how about Tallawarra in 2011? Anyhow, not important. Neither is the difference of 40% of CO2 emissions. As we are all aware, it simply doesn’t matter, except for the ridiculous tax on air.


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      Robber

      Tony, are there simple comparisons of the at source and delivered cost to consumers of different power supplies? For example, what is the at source cost of wind power assuming a reasonable return on investment? But then what is the delivered cost of that power delivered to the consumer taking into account the baseload backup required and the more complex network to manage the varying supplies?


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      Joe

      Thanks Tony that was informative on the SEQ situation. You mentioned that even with the CO2 tax removed that the coal fired station would still be a better option but surely the coal fired would still be the cheaper one to run right now even with the CO2 tax?


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    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    I’ve got one of those new hybrid conditions. It’s of the medical-monetary type called Neuralgia of the Hip Pocket Nerve. It’s brought on by electrons. When I check my electricity bill I reach two conclusions: (1) I am subsidising the so called “green” electron users, and (2) My electrical energy costs increase despite ongoing thrift schemes to reduce my carbon footprint. My prognosis isn’t hopeful either. Secondary manifestations of this type of neuralgia are frustration induced mind-boggle and chagrinitis.


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    AndyG55

    Nice little jaunt. :-)

    Anyways.. actually on topic.

    At Hexham (that’s sort of the outskirts of Newcastle) they are building a rather large coal train stationing and repair depot.

    Someone is pretty darn confident that COAL is still KING and that exports are going to keep climbing or they wouldn’t be spending this sort of money. :-)

    Hopefully that will also mean that the trains are a bit quieter past my place, lumpy wheels, jambing brakes etc may be a thing of the past.


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      AndyG55

      ps… The staging means that they will be able organise the coal trains so they can send them through Newy without having to slow or stop. A great benefit of anyone near the railways.


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      Yonniestone

      Hey Andy I actually heard about these rail jobs through the rumor mill in my work (steel fabrication), I think Transfield and UGL are big players in the rail industry, your right about the investment in this venture big money and big organization too.
      I believe with more heavy industry in Australia we are clever enough to invent better, quieter train/rail systems all it takes is a backer with money,vision and confidence in this country’s abilities.
      It’s time for the cleansing of the green scum that made Australia slip and allow the hard working to maintain a grip.


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        AndyG55

        I actually know quite a few guys that drive the coal trains. Even they are saying its BIG !

        If you drive over to Stockton, (no that is not OS, more like OP) the new coal area is also a pretty big undertaking.

        Lotsa luvly energy.. and we are the only dopes that pay a carbon tax to use it !.. DOH !!!


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          scaper...

          There will be interesting developments in the king coal industry in Qld in the next decade.

          It involves a tenement that the Galilee railway will run through and a huge discovery north of Brisbane.

          The warmists won’t stop the developments. Oh, how I’m laughing at the fools.


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          scaper...

          Got to be coy on developments but can reveal a nation building project that most have not been aware of.

          It is called PROJECT IRON BOOMERANG.

          Shane’s vision is similar to the GREAT SOUTHERN CROSS project and the railway will run through a certain parcel of vacant crown land that is of interest to GSC.

          Endeavouring to put the finishing touches on my submission to the Joint Select Committee on Northern Development this weekend.

          Over ten years in the making.


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            Yonniestone

            This is exactly the sort of developments we need, not just for Australia but the Northen states as well.
            Years ago I worked in QLD (Sunshine Coast) and was impressed by how fast and efficient Queenslanders worked, after getting to know the locals I was informed on their views of how the state could be run better and soon learnt that they weren’t happy with being seen as just a tourist destination, I can empathize with their plight and hope investors realize just how much potential is up there.


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    Joe

    Jo, I am not certain of your claim about the economic science you attribute to the rise in gas price which you say increased due to increased local projects (encouraged by the carbon mania) and you claim that the gas folk just happened to notice at that same time that they could get much bigger prices by exporting their product. Is not the reality that the huge export market compared to Australia’s piddly domestic market was the driving force behind the surge in gas prices? I would go as far as to suggest that the local increase in demand had virtually nothing to do with the price. Would you suggest too that the huge decrease in the price of coking coal was due to the increased demand for gas in ‘local projects’? Because if it was then the coal price will presumably go back to where it was when the local gas demand goes down. Why did the electricity prices not show any sort of downward dip that correlated with the coal market price fall? I don’t know how we can pretend that our piddly local market, just like our CO2 production has any effect on global coal or gas prices.
    You say too that coal generators margins were squeezed but don’t forget that generator=government still in many cases so the ‘margin’ issue is not that simple.
    Scott’s representation of the comparative costs of coal fired and gas fired may not be so accurate or universal. While the end product may be the very same they are vastly different in the role they play. If we are looking for increased capacity in base load the coal may fit the bill but if we are looking for generation to match the dynamic loads then you need something with a volume knob and gas can easily do that while coal can not.
    You might have some contrary evidence to show that the big market players like China are demanding gas because of some green mania but it could simply be because a gas fired station is a lot more flexible for changing load patterns and you simply can not, not have a means to deal with that.
    In the same way here in Oz the gas fired stations meet much of the peak loads which it would just not be feasible to meet with the coal stations alone so a cost comparison is not totally clear. It’s horses for courses. The solar generators, love ‘em or hate ‘em, behave a bit more dynamically like the load and change with weather and time. I think you might need to convolve their time-of-day graphs with the changing load graphs to see how much good or bad they cause. Needless to say they do cut into the lucrative afternoon peak substantially on sunny days and this has driven those peak spot prices down to the dismay of the gas generators. That arguably is a plus for all consumers. It is a relatively simple exercise to coordinate the turning off of a certain percentage of the solar feeds and correlate that with the spot NEM prices. Unless we are going to build our coal capacity to match our peak demand there is always going to be a need to be able to smooth out the bumps and gas is likely to remain one of those options. I am not sure that the green folk would like to be held up as purveyors of the ‘lower carbon’ gas option. I think you will find that there are many issues that gas and its extraction raises (just like the nuclear option) that do not sit well with those folk and that carbon is not their only concern. Even some diehard coal advocates here might share some of those concerns.


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      Joe

      I should point out too that I don’t pretend to know just what cost difference between the coal and the gas might be justifiable since they perform different roles and I don’t necessarily suggest that the 70 vs 20 quoted would be ok or not. I can’t really reason why a power supply with a volume knob should be expected to be more expensive but it is probably right. If I want to have variable lighting in my house I can just change the bulb as needed and use a regular $5 wall switch (coal) or I can use one bulb and a $50 dimmer switch (gas). I guess one could look at the cost of increasing coal capacity to meet the peak and run inefficiently at other times and see if the variable output gas option came in cheaper than this at varying gas pricings.


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        Graeme No.3

        Joe:
        coal fired delivers at around $A39-40 per MWh (in Australia)
        CCGT power costs around $A65 per MWh, but with less CO2 emitted.
        OCGT power costs around $A110-120 per MWh with CO2 emissions about equal to a modern (higher efficiency) coal plant.
        Wind turbine power costs vary widely but in Australia $A110 per MWh would be reasonable.
        Solar PV is about $A175 – 225 per MWh but the actual price varies because of subsidies.
        Solar heat power (with storage) is unknown but at least $A225 per MWh (in Spain there were many projects when the feed-in tariff was $A305 per MWh but when it dropped to $A266 per MWh all new projects stopped immediately, but existing plants continued running. Now that Spain has cut subsidies it will be interesting to see what plants are moth-balled).

        The problem with renewables is that they are not predictable (>48 hours) so the system has to accommodate them, come hell or high water. This means that other suppliers get less of the market. When the renewables come in at the peak demand (and peak prices) period they increase the economic cost for the other suppliers. When they come in when the demand is low then they can force the price down even to negative levels as happens in Germany and Denmark. Since renewables get subsidies the price they get when producing power is less important to them, and the major brunt is borne by the conventional suppliers.

        For the conventional suppliers if the price goes below their cost, then they lose money which they have to make up. If renewables keep cutting in at peak price periods it makes it harder for them to do so. In Germany the average price for electricity has fallen below the cost of CCGT so those plants are shutting down or moving to other countries. Pumped storage units which buy power when it is ‘cheap’ and deliver at peak demand are affected too and have shut down.

        This means that the elements with more flexibility have shut down, and there is more reliance on OCGT to supply when wind and solar can’t. So the flexibility is obtained with higher costs and higher emissions.

        The standard grid can accommodate a small amount of variable renewables, but larger amounts bring problems. The current cost to consumers in Germany is about 40¢ per kWh. Denmark is close to that. South Australia pays at least 10% more than any other State because of its high wind component. Hope that answers your query.


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      ianl8888

      Joe

      Please do not confuse coking coal with thermal coal. Very different uses and specifications

      Aus sells many tonnes of high quality coking coal to China (those sales and the Pilbara iron ore is where a good portion of our money comes from), but very little thermal coal.

      Most exported thermal coal is sold to Japan, SE Asia, where we compete mainly with Indonesia. So gas prices for power generation and coking coal prices for steel making are only tangentially related through manufacturing activities


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        Joe

        Thanks Ian for the clarification, I should not have written coking coal. I think I probably wrote coking coal because I had in mind the big price drop for that. I appreciate the fact they serve different markets. Am I wrong tho to assume that more specifically the price of thermal coal has not taken a similar dive? I stand corrected if that is not the case. Apologies.


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          Joe

          Just had a quick check of the coal prices for both Thermal and Coking over the last few years. I recalled the 50% drop figure for the coking coal which was pretty dramatic but the Thermal coal seems to be not a lot better with a mention of 44%. Not claiming those are statistically accurate or scientificly good comparisons but just pointing out there was a significant fall. Apologies again for the confusion with my error. Hope this better puts my original comment in better perspective.


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      Graeme No.3

      Joe:

      I think you are confusing CCGT (closed cycle) with OCGT (open cycle). Closed cycle is as Tony describes above, a primary gas turbine plus a back end steam turbine. This is basically for base load generation, although the units can be varied a little.
      In overseas countries these can have 3 or even 5 turbines feeding the boiler for the steam part. There are even units where the ‘waste heat’ at the end is used for low temperature industrial processes or as hot water circulation home heating (usually called trigeneration – there is a small plant in SA too).

      OCGT is fast fire up, fast switch off. It is good for sudden surges in demand or drops in supply e.g. wind turbines slowing down. Not as good as hydro but the only other method of handling the variation caused by largish amounts of wind generators. Generally not run for long periods as then maintenance becomes expensive (usually around 10-15% of the time).
      These units can be fired with kerosene, oil or gas. Gas is cleanest, less maintenance, less CO2 emissions. This is what is driving the demand overseas in some markets.

      There is also a demand in Europe and places like Japan, Taiwan and Sth. Korea for natural gas for CCGT because those units (see Tony again) emit less CO2 per MWh generated. The other big market is for home/office/factory heating, and despite the claims from some quarters about warming this is growing substantially. When the temperature in northern Europe drops below -5℃ a lot of people turn up the gas for some reason.

      You are correct that solar is interfering with the market for OCGT generation, especially in Germany. Indeed many ‘peak demand’ suppliers (e.g. pumped storage units) have shut down (and more would if the German government hadn’t hastily made it illegal to do so). Wind turbines have introduced more problems, as the sudden increases in supply drop the price of electricity even to negative values to get people (other countries) to use more. The wind farms get a subsidy so don’t suffer, but the conventional producers have to recover those losses, so the higher cost CCGT have been priced out of the market by cheaper coal fired units.
      So wind and solar in Germany have resulted in lower emission CCGT being replaced by brown coal fired plants, including very old high emission ones kept going to cover when wind farms don’t supply. Given that they are shutting down their nuclear plants as well (for political appeasement of the greens) german emissions are going to rise and rise. A triumph of green ideas.


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        Joe

        Not making any distinction in my comments with respect to the different types of gas fired or suggesting that gas was not a good or viable base load option. I am sure Tony’s facts are all good. I was saying that here in Oz the gas fired stations are able to handle and do handle the varying loads. While I don’t agree with all the subsidies that distort the energy market both here and in Europe as you point out, I question whether it would be any less interfering of a Government to stop a (if it was a relatively unaided) solar market because it made say the gas fired suppliers business case less attractive, that would not really be in the spirit of a free market either and there would be accusations of the davids versus the goliaths. Don’t forget that the load itself is highly dynamic albeit somewhat predictable and what would be our basis for rejecting any highly variable input? All subsidy issues aside here in Oz what would be our argument against small and of course variable and somewhat unpredictable solar inputs joining the spot market or wind for that matter? Is driving down the wholesale spot market price at least some of the day a bad thing?


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Joe,

      Do you actually know how a power generation site actually works? Do you understand how a power distribution network operates?

      If not, how do you justify your statements with reference to the supposed differences between coal and gas?


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        Joe

        Rereke, I am not sure I follow your questioning. It’s a bit of a how long is a piece of string type question. I am not sure what you are asking of me. I think it would be fair to say that most people have some ‘understanding’ of how those things work that might range from 0 to 99% and I have no idea where I might sit in that range or where I need to sit in that range to make the comments I did. I don’t think that my comments were particularly specific of technologies. The only real comparison I made was that here in Oz the gas fired stations can be fired up and down to meet the peak loads while the coal stations were a lot less flexible, certainly on an hour to hour basis. I did suggest that coal stations might be a good option for increasing base load but I was not suggesting that gas could or would not be viable for that. I also stated that it would not be feasible to have purely coal fired as it would need to be designed to meet the peak load and run inefficiently during lower loads and that comment was based on my understanding (whatever percentage that might be) of the “traditional” coal fired station. I appreciate that there are newer novel coal based fuels that reportedly do allow some throttling and I am not discounting those by any means. Graeme made a similar comment to yours about me confusing the two types of gas fired generation technologies and I was truly a bit puzzled about how that related to my comment too. I admitted to Ian that I should not have referred to ‘coking coal’ that was a mistake. Can you clarify just what it was I stated that has caused such concern and I will be happy to try to explain my thinking and certainly accept if I got anything wrong. Perhaps it was my overly simplified (if not wrong) view of things. I don’t doubt that I have said something particularly wrong from the tone of the responses and I am not being defensive at all, but I am nonetheless puzzled as I seem to agree with most of the comments.


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          Rereke Whakaaro

          When I asked you that question, I was focussing on your statement:

          If we are looking for increased capacity in base load the coal may fit the bill but if we are looking for generation to match the dynamic loads then you need something with a volume knob and gas can easily do that while coal can not.

          Load dynamics are managed by bringing stations onto the grid, or disconnecting them from the grid. Power must be frequency matched and synchronised throughout the grid, so generators are usually kept spinning, even when their output is disconnected from the grid itself.

          Stations can be shutdown (as they are for maintenance) but most stations work by boiling water that is then used to drive steam turbine generators. Because of the volume of water involved and the need for constant temperature and pressure, it takes some time for the systems to become stable to the point where it can be reconnected to the grid. And operators are generally not clairvoyant, so it is easier to keep them spinning in idle, so they can be switched on-line if there is a sudden increase in demand.

          The volume knob is on output, and is much the same, irrespective of whether the input power source is coal, gas, or nuclear.


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            Joe

            Rereke I though I had posted you this response late last night but it did not seem to find its way to the thread so I will try again….
            Unfortunately for us Rereke, the situation here in Oz, is that our coal fired stations are now under capacity in places during summer months and to handle Peaking demands we need additional capacity to meet the gap between the top end of the coal fired and the spot demand. This is met with the newer gas stations which can respond much quicker to changing loads (minutes as opposed to several hours with coal). Sadly, even with additional coal capacity (at least the ‘traditional’ technology) you can not simply have these idling away ‘off-line’ as you suggest and then flick a switch to have increased capacity in a matter of minutes. When a coal fired generator is standing by you can’t have the boilers running at peak. Roughly explained the thermal energy input from the coal matches the electric load on its generator (which is very low if a generator is standing by). It is this necessity to bring up the boilers with additional coal that gives such a long response time. While we don’t have the spare capacity in the summer months, if we did, there are things that can be done to smooth out the effective load. We currently create controlled loads on these coal fired generators to increase their loads during ordinarily low load times such as at night. We do that with pumping water up to dams and using this to generate hydro power during peak times and we also rely on off-peak domestic hot water loads at night. In the near future we may find more of our transport effectively running on this same coal power with electric vehicles adding to this night time load by charging. This could potentially offer a greater balancing effect for the stations. This allows for a lesser variation in the boiler load. Ideally the more constant this is the better things run. In the past we tended to manage the load itself with ‘load shedding’ methods where customers simply got turned off if the generators could not handle it but the gas generators now allow a good means of us handling the Peaking demand. We are still in need of more baseload capacity tho. I am not sure how intentional it was but I think the State Gov bought themselves some time with the big solar base they funded/encouraged/subsidised/wasted/whatever but it is concern for the gas stations who are not only facing big gas bills but are losing big chunks of their lucrative revenue streams as wholesale prices on the afternoon spot market are way down. In Queensland the gas capacity came about with a Government scheme which mandated something like 15% but we ended up with more (just like the solar scheme). In a nutshell I do agree with a lot of the comment here but I do think that Jo got it wrong in her ‘best as I can figure’ chain of events that attributed the gas price boom to local politics. Certainly the bigger overseas gas market may have been green influenced but it is them not us that have driven the price up. As long as we are using the same commodities as the os markets to make our power it is naive to expect that it could ever be a cheap option here unless there was some sort of Gov fiddling like they did with the solar to distort the free market. If the os markets move to gas that could be doubly good for us as it leaves us with the less demanded cheaper coal option as well as giving us a big new market for our gas. I think most oz economists would be celebrating the booming gas export market and prices and yet we are seeing it as a bad thing.


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          Rod Stuart

          In addition to Rereke’s comments, let me point out that the unreliability of wind and solar generation upsets the voltage and frequency control. Wind turbines simply shut down completely in a sudden gust of wind, and then come back equally unexpectedly. This raises merry Hell with the distribution system.
          In order to counteract this effect, the network operator (NEM) compensates specific generators for “FCAS” (Frequency Control Ancilliary Service) which amounts to “spinning reserve”, machines that are synched but at part load so that their angular inertia can stabilise the frequency. Even a few giant fans in the grid make it necessary to synch “synchronous condensers”, which are large un-powered generator rotors rotating a grid frequency so that the angular momentum can provide stability when the wind gusts. In order to keep them spinning, they consume energy from the grid. Of course, FCAS and synchronous condensers have always been part of the system which provides you with rock solid frequency and voltage (called QUALITY of electricity) and it has always been expensive to provide this quality. Unpredictable renewables magnify this requirement (and cost) several times over. If you have ever had to rely on a small engine generator set you will have experienced low quality electricity, as in the lights dim when you plug in the kettle, or you clock gains or loses and hour a day.


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            The Griss

            This is to do with the system stability I was discussing the other day.

            To cope with all the renewables, many things have to work just right.. on a hair trigger so to speak.

            Because of the urban topology, (ie a band along the coast), Australia has some of the longest runs of transmission lines in the world, long enough to allow standing waves etc to occur.

            If a major surge does cause a cascade of circuit breakers to go, the system could break down into little intermittent pockets of supply, all out of sync.

            Getting them back together again could take several days.

            Let’s just hope it never happens, because it would play havoc with people’s lives and the economy.


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            Good points Rod.

            There are quite a few people, currently living at home, who rely on medical equipment that is mains frequency dependent. Dialysis machines being one possible example.

            I am wondering how those folks get on, if they are connected to a “dirty” grid?


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      bobl

      I don’t think you get it. The price of a commodity is established by it’s supply and demand. The price of coal fell due to one of two causes, either the demand fell or supply rose. If supply/demand gets to a point that the miners can’t meet their costs, then new mines stop opening, and the price starts up again. Coal prices are a pretty good proxy for economic activity as well. It’s possible that gas took a chunk of coal, but given the effect is greater on coking coal used in steelmaking, it seems to me this is unlikely. The price is indicating that we are still in the economic doldrums, in part due to expensive green energy.

      One might think that world economic doldrums are just a random thing, but this one isn’t, this one is manufactured by green and left leaning governments in the western world ganging up on business – particularly in Europe, USA, until recently Australia. Even the right leaning parties now lean to green, just look at the schizophrenic UK parliament.


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    With people of this mindset unfluencing economics?… They’re correct! We all will be toast, and iitttsss cccoommiinnggg, but not for the reasons they’re prepared to be resonsible for or admit!


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    tty

    ianl8888 says

    “Reasonable post, Tony, but the quoted figure of 40-50% less CO2 emissions for burning gas rather than coal is misleading”

    It isn’t. That figure isn’t based on the quality of the fuel but on the much better thermal efficiency on a CCGT plant (50-60 % as against 30-40 %). By operating a gas turbine and a steam turbine in series the difference in start and end cycle temperatures is much better than for a simple steam turbine. Carnot’s law you know. Nobody, not even green politicians can beat the second law of thermodynamics.


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      ianl8888

      tty:

      I wasn’t discussing CCGT or even operating plant efficiencies, only the raw energy input from the types of fuels under discussion. Energy input from coal vs methane is entirely dependent on the fuel qualities, with coal’s mineral, water and maceral contents lowering its’ raw input energy range

      China’s most recent refinements to coal-fired stations have improved thermal efficiencies within operations to about 40% in the best of them, provided the raw coal fuel is of certain prescribed specifications


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        tty

        Modern CCGT plants run at 50-60% thermal efficiency, OCGT about 35-40 %, large Diesel generators also about 40 %, Nuclear about 30 %.

        Since they all use hydrated fuels (except nuclear) they all (including nuclear) generate less CO2 per kWh generated than the best (40 %) coal plants, and in the case of CCGT very much less.


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    Sunray

    Thank you Jo, but will this piece of critical information get top billing on the nightly TV News, I think not.


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    Lawrie

    Finally the big players are stating the obvious. Pity these guys weren’t as vocal when the ALP/Green disaster was drafting the carbon dioxide tax and associated policies. I feel that Tony Abbott now has a strong supporter in scrapping the RET. Reducing the cost of power to every consumer will gain more votes that maintaining a “clean energy future’. I note that climate change is now number 14 of 16 things that voters are concerned about. Abbott should hasten the demise of the fraud and very few would notice let alone care.


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    Tim

    If common sense economics combines with common sense practicality, you have a winning combination. Unless, that is, Big Brother decides to insert their own agenda into a perfectly harmonious and workable state of affairs.

    The subsidies, taxes and legislation that throw a spanner into the works and disrupt rather than assist are either intentional or stupid. There’s no middle ground.


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    PhilJourdan

    Socialists are always trying to disprove basic economics. And as we see, always with unintended consequences. They claim many things. But their claims never materialize.

    At this rate, the Greens will be responsible for Coal regaining its top place in the energy chain, and the world can look forward to more “Shanghai Summers”.


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    Mikeh

    As usual, in matters of energy idiocy, Europe is a world-leader.
    This is an excerpt from a report on the situation here:
    ” However, things are not turning out as intended. The combined effects of market and policy factors have increased the competitiveness of coal-fired generation relative to gas, leading to increasing electricity emissions and decreasing profitability of CCGT investments. This situation has led to many new, high-efficiency CCGTs
    being mothballed shortly after they have entered operation or even upon commissioning. Recent estimates suggest that 51GW of the EU’s generation capacity is currently mothballed, and that 110GW of installed CCGT capacity – 60% of the total gas-fired capacity in the EU – is not recovering fixed costs and may face closure within the next three years. The prospect of a EU gas plant bust has been met with consternation from major EU utilities with a significant proportion of gas in their generation portfolios.”


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    Roy Hogue

    So the unintended consequence is to go back to what, if I remember correctly, is your most abundant fuel there in Australia and therefore probably the cheapest no matter how natural gas gets manipulated.

    Stop me if I’m wrong here but shouldn’t we all have another long hard laugh at the whole idea of manipulating the climate?

    How soon until the carbon tax is dumped into the Pacific Ocean wearing concrete boots? The middle of the Pacific Trench would be the ideal place, about 14,000 feet to the bottom. At ~ 3 feet per meter, about 4.6 km out of sight and beyond anyone’s reach. I don’t know of anyone and certainly no economist worth paying attention to, who would not say, “Let the free market determine what happens and be done with it.”


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      Roy Hogue

      Let’s put in the missing comma.

      I don’t know of anyone and certainly no economist, worth paying attention to, who would not say, “Let the free market determine what happens and be done with it.”


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        Bryl

        I’m a pedant I know but, if you are concerned about the punctuation, it should be:
        I don’t know of anyone, and certainly no economist worth paying attention to, who would not say………. (commas located here if you are saying no economist is worth paying attention to)
        or
        I don’t know of anyone, and certainly no economist, worth paying attention to who would not say……… (commas here if saying anyone and economists are not worth paying attention to, with emphasis on the economists)

        I once taught English grammar but don’t usually worry about it too much these days. Still, I love the way punctuation can subtly change meaning in the English language.


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        Eddie

        Most people don’t read what you write anyway so meticulous attention to punctuation is often wasted.


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        Roy Hogue

        I can see that a comma can do more than just change the meaning of a sentence. It can generate a whole lot of comma-entary as well. ;-)


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          Eddie

          Roy , While I don’t imagine you to be the sort to cry in your cornflakes , I must nevertheless apologise for the slight you must have felt and that Rereke was good enough flag up. Lest there be any remaining doubt, I enjoy all your contributions immensely, with or without the commas.


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            Roy Hogue

            Roy , While I don’t imagine you to be the sort to cry in your cornflakes , I must nevertheless apologise for the slight you must have felt and that Rereke was good enough flag up. Lest there be any remaining doubt, I enjoy all your contributions immensely, with or without the commas.

            Eddie,

            No slight was felt. I had a bad hair day with the words and I might as well admit it and go on. Thanks for the kind words.

            Roy


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      Greg Cavanagh

      …about 4.6 km out of sight and beyond anyone’s reach.

      It would become an eco-tourist destination.

      You know; take a high presure submarine carying 3 people at a time. Launched from a huge 10,000 tonne ship that just sailed for 6 days to get there, ect ect ect.


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    One of the tragedies of the lack of debate about energy is the utter waste. In cool Victoria most people have electric driers which are grossly inefficient. Gas driers are 100% efficient as burnt gas produces hot wet air which can be used directly instead of through a heat exchanger. Laundrmats would use nothing else, but thanks to the competition between the old state owned gas and state owned electricity companies, you cannot buy a gas dryer. Changing to gas dryers would allow us to shut Hazelwood.
    The carbon savings would be incredible, as if that mattered.

    We could also dry the brown coal as half the energy is lost in getting rid of the water and turning it into black coal. The technology works, but the Greens hate black coal even more than brown coal, because it is ‘blacker’.

    There are lots of such gross inefficiencies and ancient costs, but who cares? The Victorian distribution is by electricity poles after they took over the telegraph/telephone poles. This 100 year old concept costs $100Million per year to maintain and starts bushfires, so all the trees in Melbourne have to be murdered. Now NSW wants to put the NBN on the poles. Above ground power should vanish. It is rarely used overseas. With modern techniques we could remove all this waste as is being done in WA.

    Now even an energy company which profits from selling overpriced energy has stated the obvious, sales are dropping because people cannot afford their product. Did it have to come to this?


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      Rod Stuart

      Please explain ” thanks to the competition between the old state owned gas and state owned electricity companies, you cannot buy a gas dryer”.

      I have often wondered why gas dryers and gas fired adsorption air conditioners are seemingly impossible to purchase at a reasonable price.
      In Canada, the only consumer who would choose an electric dryer is one who does not have access to natural gas, and for some reason does not want to use bottled gas. A domestic gas dryer is about 6 or 8 kW, so they make an electric dryer seem like a toy. They can beat the washing machine in a race hands down. Mind you, in Australia the most efficient clothes dryer is the clothes line.


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      bobl

      Greens hate black coal even more than brown coal, because it is ‘blacker’.

      Of course they would, coal’s not green, it’s a different colour, didn’t you look and see? Electricity comes in different colors too, didn’t you notice it at christmas? Gren electricity has the green quark replacing the upper left quark, everyone knows that! /sarc


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    Neville

    If SLR is a predictor of GAGW we should all rest a little easier. If you remove human ground water extraction and 60 year cycles we don’t seem to have much to worry about. Once again this backs up Judith Curry’s latest article examining IPCC AR 5.

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2012/09/10/sea-level-acceleration-not-so-fast/


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    Neville

    Europe is now running away from their decades long green energy disasters. This is the green energy and job destroying disaster that Labor, Greens etc want OZ to copy so we too can wreck our economy. Brilliant ,NOT.

    http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/020514-689033-europe-finds-anti-co2-policies-are-destroying-the-economy.htm


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    clipe

    If the CRA rules that the groups exceeded those limits, their charitable status could be revoked, which would effectively shut them down.

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/ynokyoto-bombs-.html

    Oh happy days!


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    Safetyguy66

    10 Threads ago I explained to one of our resident green faithful that when the pendulum of energy rationale started swinging back, it would head to the 7th level of green ideological hell before it even looked like slowing and that the only ones they would have to blame is themselves.

    This is what happens when ideology tries to dictate to the market, enjoy the results eco loons, as someone looking at an economy that may now have a chance to provide me with a job over the next 10 years or so, I know I will be enjoying it immensely.

    “The state should confine itself to establishing rules applying to general types of situations and should allow the individuals freedom in everything which depends on the circumstances of time and place, because only the individuals concerned in each instance can fully know these circumstances and adapt their actions to them. If the individuals are able to use their knowledge effectively in making plans, they must be able to predict actions of the state which may affect these plans. But if the actions of the state are to be predictable, they must be determined by rules fixed independently of the concrete circumstances which can be neither foreseen nor taken into account beforehand; and the particular effects of such actions will be unpredictable. If, on the other hand, the state were to direct the individual’s actions so as the achieve particular ends, its actions would have to be decided on the basis of the full circumstances of the moment and would therefore be unpredictable. Hence the familiar fact that the more the state “plans”, the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.”

    ― Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom

    Have a play with this if your inclined. Highly recommended and it has a Carbon Tax too! It simulates brilliantly how quickly you can break your economy by trying to focus on fairies in the garden.

    http://www.positech.co.uk/democracy3/


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    Nathan

    So let me get this straight.
    To really get ‘Green’ to work, you have to control every aspect of the economy, everyone’s business and be mindful not of poor people’s suffering?
    Isn’t that Communism? Oh but wait! We’ve done that before and it doesn’t work does it.
    Maybe we just shoot the people who don’t fit into our scheme… oh wait!

    Sigh!!


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    pat

    somehow, i find the results of the poll extremely depressing. how different they might be if Charlie’s Headless Chickens were given MSM time:

    7 Feb: Roy Morgan Poll: More Australian electors (49%) want the Carbon Tax repealed than those that don’t (41%) but a clear majority of Australians (86%) think it important Australia reduces its emissions of carbon dioxide
    More Australians electors (49%, although down 2% since October 2013) support Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s decision to repeal the Carbon Tax while 41% (up 3%) disagree and 10% (down 1%) can’t say according to a special telephone Morgan Poll conducted over the last three nights (February 4-6, 2014).
    However, a very large majority of Australians 86% (down 1%) think it is important Australia reduces its emissions of carbon dioxide while only 11% (up 1%) don’t think it is important and 3% (unchanged) can’t say.
    In terms of Global Warming, 50% (up 1% since July 2013) of Australians say it will be too late if we don’t act now, 30% (down 3%) of Australians say Global Warming concerns are exaggerated and 16% (up 2%) say it is already too late (a record high) and 4% (unchanged) can’t say…
    http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/5422-global-warming%20-and-carbon-tax-201402070431


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      Safetyguy66

      “16% (up 2%) say it is already too late (a record high)”

      LOL Too late for what?

      Record High, yup with what they are smoking that’s not surprising.


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    pat

    Scott defends staying the CAGW course in the EU!

    7 Feb: Forbes: Mike Scott: Success In Cutting Carbon Is A Competitive Asset For Europe
    The European Union’s recent package of proposals on climate and energy policy to 2030 was long on the rhetoric of competitiveness, a reflection of the very real concern in Brussels that Europe’s ability to do business is being eroded by high energy prices – or to be more precise, high energy prices compared to the US…
    “The Commission proposals on energy and climate up to 2030 will do nothing to promote an industrial renaissance, rather they will accelerate the deindustrialisation which is already under way” says Gordon Moffat, Director General of Eurofer, the steel industry trade body, adding that EU emissions reduction proposals are “technically and economically impossible to achieve with current technologies”…
    Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, adds that the Commission’s 40% emissions reduction target “would run counter to the stated goal of 20% of industry’s share in Europe’s GDP by 2020”. A true European industrial renaissance, director general Hubert Mandery says, “requires making a choice between jobs & growth and affordable climate action, or unilateral climate action at any cost”
    These groups have some powerful allies, with EU industry commissioner Gunther Oettinger telling a recent conference in Brussels that he is sceptical about whether the EU will be able to achieve the target. By 2030, Europe’s emissions will be just 4.5% of the global total, down from 10.6% today. “To think that with this 4.5% of global emissions you can save the world is not realistic,” he said. “It is arrogant or stupid. We need a global commitment.”…
    Now another report by Climate Strategies, Staying with the Leaders – Europe’s path to a successful low-carbon economy, goes a step further, arguing that it is not the future of fossil fuel-intensive industries that Europe needs to be most concerned about – rather, the region will undermine its future competitiveness if it fails to support its low-carbon industries.
    The study, based on a joint analysis by economic research institutes including the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) in France and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in the UK, finds that Europe’s competitors, including China, India and the United States, have been steadily investing in low-carbon technologies and energy efficiency, and that it is in Europe’s economic interest to remain a part of this evolving group of leaders…
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikescott/2014/02/07/success-in-cutting-carbon-is-a-competitive-asset-for-europe/


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    pat

    the following is all about perceptions of CAGW according to the likes of (unbiased?) Yale University’s Project on Climate Change Communication, Columbia’s Center for Decision Sciences and Center for Research on Environmental Decisions & who knows who else in the links provided (can’t be bothered finding out):

    7 Feb: New Yorker: Maria Konnikova: Hot Heads in Cold Weather
    A study out this month, from the Cardiff University psychologists Stuart Capstick and Nicholas Pidgeon, found that periods of exceptionally cold weather in the United Kingdom had the opposite effect as they did in the United States: more people believed in the truth of climate change. The reason for the difference? The media had framed the weather within the context of climate change, emphasizing that it was unnatural, rather than simply cold. Perhaps if people here were told that it’s not just brutal out there, it’s unnaturally brutal, they, too, might jump to a different conclusion.
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/02/how-cold-weather-makes-you-forget-about-global-warming.html

    reminds me of the NY correspondent on ABC local’s Overnight program this week, talking to Trevor Chappell. all about how the FREEZE in the US does not mean global warming has stopped. the guy went on to say how the term “global warming” wasn’t the right term and actually added that “CLIMATE CHANGE” is the “PREFERRED TERM”. of course it is, for CAGW propagandists in politics, academia, the MSM and the financial sector.


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    pat

    naturally, this is in all Fairfax publications:

    8 Feb: Fairfax/Brisbane Times: David Harper: Delivering judgment on the great global warming debate
    Some statements have a stunning impact. One made by Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber in Australia last year is an example. He said the difference between two degrees of global warming and four is human civilisation.
    If the world is warming, and if average temperatures might exceed 2 degrees above those prevailing between, say, 1850 and 1950, then humanity is at risk. In assessing the seriousness of that risk, the issues are, first, the likelihood that the risk will eventuate; and, second, the consequences if it does.
    If the risk is small and the consequences limited, the steps required to avoid it will be quite different from those that will be necessary if the risk is substantial and the consequences horrendous…
    But some experts are better than others. It is probable that no climate scientist has more impressive credentials than Dr Schellnhuber…
    He is a leading member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)…
    Thousands of scientists contribute. Nearly 200 countries, and the World Meteorological Organisation, are members.
    As far as I am aware, nobody of any comparable expertise has challenged Schellnhuber’s proposition that global warming by as much as two degrees, let alone four, would be a disaster of epic proportions. That conclusion is therefore highly relevant to the assessment of the overall risk we face…
    We can differ about the certainty of the science. The sceptics may be correct in contending that their scepticism is based on better science than that of their opponents. But that is not the point. The sceptics cannot rationally contend that the science of their opponents is so unreliable that the risk to which those opponents point is a risk that can be ignored.
    This, nevertheless, seems to be the position of Maurice Newman…
    In essence, Newman seems to allege that the IPCC is corrupt, and its work of no value.
    Such a conclusion beggars belief. Most people are basically honest. In the absence of hard evidence to the contrary, it must be accepted that at least the overwhelming majority of IPCC scientists are honest and appropriately qualified. If in their professional opinion the world is at risk, it would be their imperative duty to warn us. If they did not, and the risk became the reality, they would rightly be excoriated for their failure.
    There is another point. If the IPCC were corrupt, it would not tell its paymasters what they do not want to know…
    We cannot in conscience ignore the interests of our children, our grandchildren and subsequent generations when so much depends on what we do now. Other interests – of individuals, of business, of political parties – pale before the interests of the entirety of humankind…
    (David Harper was appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1992, and retired from the Court of Appeal in June last year)
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/delivering-judgment-on-the-great-global-warming-debate-20140207-32743.html


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    john

    Cassidy hires DOD clean energy expert

    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/personnel-notes/197754-cassidy-hires-dod-clean-energy-expert

    Cassidy & Associates makes its first hire after its major restructuring at the beginning of the year, bringing on retired Air Force Col. Dave Belote as senior vice president.
    He most recently served as the vice president for federal business at Apex Clean Energy, which contracts with the federal government to provide renewable energy services to military bases and public lands.
    The Obama Administration commended Belote in November, naming him one of 12 White House Champions of Change for his work advancing “clean energy and climate security.”
    “This is an exciting time to be a part of the exceptional team at Cassidy as the firm stakes out its future and recognizes this nexus of energy and national security as an area demanding Washington and Wall Street’s attention,” Belote said in a statement.
    Last year, firm founder and K Street icon Gerry Cassidy announced he would step down as the chairman at the end of the year, handing the reins to Kai Anderson, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and retired Lt. Col. Barry Rhoads. Cassidy still serves as chairman emeritus of the firm.

    ————————

    Here is one of the stories I did at the DB, which included Apex.

    http://dailybail.com/home/the-mafia-is-moving-into-green-energy.html

    Scroll down to this story and see the clickable links below.

    Apex buys rights to wind farm project
    Property intended for a wind farm south of the Hoopeston area has again changed hands.Development of the Hoopeston Wind farm has been ongoing since 2008. The most recent coordinator, GDF SUEZ Energy North America Inc in Houston, Texas, took over in 2011 when it purchased the previous wind farm developer, International Power.
    Now, a representative of Apex Wind Energy Inc. confirmed Friday afternoon that the company has taken over the project. Company Communications Manage Dahvi Wilson indicated in an e-mail that Apex acquired the Hoopeston Wind farm from GDF SUEZ in February.
    Apex Wind Energy, Inc. is an independent renewable energy company based in Charlottesville, Va. Since its founding in 2009, Apex has completed 10 acquisitions and has project sites in 20 states, including Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
    BP owns Greenlight and Apex
    Maersk Line and Apex partnership
    Apex Nevada
    Jim Trousdale relationship map


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    pat

    have a laugh:

    7 Feb: NYT Dot Earth: Andrew C. Revkin: A Conversation on Tobacco and Coal Exports and Moral Responsibility
    I sent my recent post on exports of life-shortening tobacco and dirty fossil fuels to a variety of climate and energy scientists and analysts and the result was an interesting email conversation that is excerpted below…
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/07/a-conversation-on-tobacco-and-coal-exports-and-moral-responsibility/?_php=true&_type=blogs&module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog%20Main&contentCollection=Opinion&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body&_r=0


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    handjive

    The Snorkel State.
    Beautiful one day, snorkels the next!

    Coal miners to blame for Queensland floods, says Australian Greens leader Bob Brown
    .
    The settled science has spoken.

    Expect permanent flooding.


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