JoNova

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


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Renewable Energy Target costs miners millions, green electricity cost 9 – 15% of bills

Who was it that said that Renewable Energy is making electricity cheap?

The Minerals Council added up the numbers on the RET (the Renewable Energy Target) and checked the invoices. And even though “Renewable Energy” is made from the free* wind and sun, somehow, being forced to use inefficient, diffuse, and unreliable electricity costs coal miners millions.

For some reason foreign competitors didn’t voluntarily offer to match it. Perhaps they like their weather and don’t want to change it?

Cartoon with thanks and permission from Steve Hunter

Credit Steve Hunter illustrations

 The Australian

RET costs causing a heavy burden: miners

MINERS have moved to counter arguments from the renewable energy industry that the target scheme is lowering electricity prices, releasing figures showing it is costing millions of dollars and comprising up to 15 per cent of total electricity bills.

A briefing sent to MPs interested in the renewable energy target debate, circulated by the Minerals Council of Australia, shows six coalmines in Queens-land and NSW paid a combined $7.7 million in RET costs last year and $7.3m in 2012.

The proportion that the RET charge made up of the total bill ranged from 9 per cent to 12 per cent last year, and between 12 per cent and 15 per cent in 2012. This is significantly higher than the 4 per cent average cost to house-holds because large users receive a discounted electricity price for buying in bulk.

 

Cabinet this week gave Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane a negotiating mandate to reach a deal with Labor that is in line with longstanding Coalition policy. This would see aluminium granted a full exemption and likely see the government push for a cut to the RET from 26 per cent of electricity demand in 2020 to about 20 per cent.

*Free, adj: Not imprisoned or enslaved; being at liberty. ;-)   Not to be confused with the Idiom: for free.

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Renewable Energy Target costs miners millions, green electricity cost 9 - 15% of bills, 8.8 out of 10 based on 70 ratings

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73 comments to Renewable Energy Target costs miners millions, green electricity cost 9 – 15% of bills

  • #
    Peter Miller

    The problem with energy policies in the western democracies in these dark days of ‘climate change’ is that you couldn’t make them up.

    Go back 20 years to more enlightened days, before the days of Mann, Gore and the Team and if you said that in the near future we are going to punish and tax you viciously to make you use unreliable expensive energy, you would rightly be treated as a lunatic. But it has happened and few in the smug Establishments of our western democracies seem to care.

    I really feel sorry for the Soviet Union, if they had just hung on a few more years, they would have won the Cold War without firing a shot. We in the West are destroying our economies just to appease grant-addicted bureaucrats, posing as scientists, and the goofy whims of leftist, science-challenged politicians.

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    • #
      James Bradley

      To take our minds off the stupidity of a system that just banned Noddy Books we made jokes in high school about the Middle East crisis then in Lebanon and how governments may one day find a way to tax the air we breathe.

      How we laughed… at least we got Noddy back on the shelves.

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    • #
      turnedoutnice

      But doncha realise? The deal made in 2004 by Gerhard Schroeder with GazProm and Putin (he is Chairman of Nordsteam, the gas pipe under the Baltic) was to use the windmills to get the EU under Russian control.

      He made this deal in the last days of his Chancellorship.

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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Can you give me a reference for that piece of information?

        What you say, does not really align with my understanding of events; not that I am any expert on Euro-Russian geopolitics, you understand.

        60

        • #
          turnedoutnice

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerhard_Schröder

          ‘As Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder was a strong advocate of the Nord Stream pipeline project, which aims to supply Russian gas directly to Germany, thereby bypassing transit countries. The agreement to build the pipeline was signed two weeks before the German parliamentary election. On 24 October 2005, just a few weeks before Schröder stepped down as Chancellor, the German government guaranteed to cover 1 billion euros of the Nord Stream project cost, should Gazprom default on a loan. However, this guarantee had never been used.[22] Soon after stepping down as chancellor, Schröder accepted Gazprom’s nomination for the post of the head of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG, raising questions about a potential conflict of interest. German opposition parties expressed concern over the issue, as did the governments of countries over whose territory gas is currently pumped.[23] In an editorial entitled Gerhard Schroeder’s Sellout, the American newspaper The Washington Post also expressed sharp criticism, reflecting widening international ramifications of Schröder’s new post.[24] Democrat Tom Lantos, chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, likened Schröder to a “political prostitute” for his recent behaviour.[25] In January 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported that Schröder would join the board of the oil company TNK-BP, a joint venture between oil major BP and Russian partners.[26]‘

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          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            Ah, thank you.

            My confusion came about because what you wrote implies that Putin was Chairman of Nord Stream, and that somehow the deal included the use of Russian windmills. Neither of which sounded credible to me.

            My mistake.

            10

            • #
              turnedoutnice

              Another political tart, close to the UK’s PM is Greg. Barker, who was until recently UK Minister (for climate change). He worked for the Russian Sibneft company. He is now the UK’s representative at the UN in these matters.

              Fake IPCC Climate Change Science was cooked up by Western Political Activists whose aim was to hobble Western Capitalism. Then the political tarts arrived, financed by Russian companies as part of Putin’s new Tsarist Nationalism.

              The Russian Energy weapon is now being applied to Europe which looks likely to have record low temperatures in January as the new Little Ice Age approaches. Then the deadly windmill scam will bring much of Europe to its economic knees, particularly Belgium and perhaps the UK if it too becomes very cold.

              60

    • #
      Leonard Lane

      Turnedoutnice. Thank you that is a concise and accurate account of what the loony leftist brains have brought upon us.

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    • #

      The fact that the Left have to LIE about ‘global warming’, renewable energy, temperature data, the link between CO2 and temperature, the claim that the missing temperature increase is hidden in the oceans and so on tells the whole story. It has nothing to do with science or a reasoned argument that there is a problem. Putting aside the scammers who are making money out of it or collecting grants, what we are left with is simple minded people who have formed an obsessive belief in climate change, and that obsession compels them to pursue irrational and unworkable ‘solutions’ to this perceived problem. Not all are simple. Some are just pure evil. For one reason or another (usually self-loathing) they hate our society, so they promote everything that is harmful to society.

      Just look at the Left’s record: they hate Israel because that country is America’s proxy, so they do not care if Hamas kills Israeli children but go berserk over the deaths of children that Hamas use as a shield against Israeli reprisals; they favour fascist anti-free-speech laws to punish the mainstream community but they are happy to see terrorist organisations incite violence and hatred against our society; they say the carbon tax worked because the growth in CO2 output is declining (I am unsure about this claim and I would treat it with the same scepticism with which I treat everything else the Left say) whereas what they should be saying is that pensioners are going without heating, and industry is shifting production overseas; and so on ad infinitum.

      The evidence is all around us and irrefutable that with the Left we are dealing with people either who are driven by hate – some are so bigoted that their hatred has become a debilitating mental illness – or who are not able to reason through complex issues and thus tend to obsess over any worrying idea that is put into their heads.

      Given that we know what sort of people we are dealing with, the greatest crime of all is that conservative governments are too cowardly to dismantle the Left’s political agenda, and, worse, are actually pandering to them.

      30

  • #

    If the UK is anything to go by, these are not the full costs of renewables. As well as the actual subsidies other impacts include:-
    - the reduced capacity utilisation of conventional power station, leading to higher fixed costs per unit of electricity.
    - the investment in the grid required to carry the power from the wind turbines, which are often in remote areas.
    - decreased competition due to giving part-time renewables preferential treatment.
    Last year I looked into the figures for UK market. From 2010 to 2013 energy prices to consumers had risen 25-30%. The opposition Labour Party launched a campaign inferring that this was due to profiteering by the big energy companies. I found that nearly all of the cost increase was due to fixed costs of the energy distributors. The the wholesale cost of electricity was roughly flat and profit margins had not changed markedly. At the end of the year I looked at the main British subsidy – Renewables Obligation Certificates. Although they had risen by 140% in less than three years (Jan-Dec 2010 to Sept12-Aug13), they still accounted for much less than one third of the increase in costs of the six main gas and electricity distributors. ROC costs here.
    British consumers and businesses are being ripped off. It would take a large-scale and independent audit to sort this out – but those in power do not want do know.

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    • #
      gnome

      I still wonder too, what percentage of Australia’s “gold plated” poles and wires is attributable to servicing the far flung windfarms and other large scale MRET scams.

      I was hoping Warburton could clear this up, but it doesn’t look like he went into it at all.

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  • #
    bemused

    Imagine if this concept of energy savings were to be enforced in other products such as electric cars, low-power draw implements etc? Oh, wait…

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  • #
    manalive

    RET = Rent-seekers’ Electricity Tariff.

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  • #
    handjive

    How the RET works:

    Overseas investor pays the (broke) farmer $700,000 to put 70 turbines on ground.

    Enter the Australian tax payer, pays $400,000 in subsidies per turbine = return $28M a year to overseas investor

    For 30 years (contract)

    written into the budget there is an expenditure figure of $17 billion – 17 thousand million dollars, to build between 7000 and 10,000 of these.

    http://stopthesethings.com/2014/09/15/the-wind-industrys-worst-nightmare-angus-taylor-says-time-to-kill-the-lret/
    . . .
    Where the F@*~ are they gonna build 10,000 wind turbines?

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  • #
    pat

    Greenpeace falls out of love with Shell, but even i would admit the ad’s storyline might not have done Shell any favours either! LOL.

    9 Oct: Bloomberg Businessweek: Carol Matlack: Greenpeace’s Arctic Drilling Video Sinks Lego’s Deal With Shell
    A 1-minute, 45-second video has ended a long-term relationship between Lego and Royal Dutch Shell. The Danish toymaker said today that it will not renew a co-promotion deal with Shell, after a Greenpeace video linking Lego with the oil company’s Arctic drilling program went viral.
    The video, which shows an Arctic landscape built of Lego blocks being swallowed up in a pool of black oil, “may have created misunderstandings among our stakeholders about the way we operate,” Lego Chief Executive Jorgen Vig Knudstorp said in a statement…
    In a statement issued by its London press service, Shell said it did not comment on contractual matters. “Our latest co-promotion with Lego has been a great success and will continue to be as we roll it out in more countries across the world,” the statement said.
    The video has drawn some 6 million views on YouTube since Greenpeace posted it on July 8. Created by a London-based production agency, it shows Lego toy polar bears, wolves, and hockey players being covered in oil from a Shell well, as the Lego Movie song Everything Is Awesome plays in the background.
    Knudstorp said Lego would honor the 2011 contract with Shell but would not renew it. He described the contract as “long-term,” without saying when it would expire. “We do not agree with the tactics used by Greenpeace,” he said, but “we want to ensure that our attention is not diverted from our commitment to delivering creative and inspiring play experiences.”
    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-10-09/greenpeace-forces-lego-to-split-with-shell

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  • #
    pat

    9 Oct: UK Express: Nathan Rao: Winter 2014 set to be ‘coldest for century’ Britain faces ARCTIC FREEZE in just weeks
    WINTER 2014 is on track to be the coldest for a century as Britain is just WEEKS AWAY from a crippling ARCTIC FREEZE.
    Heavy and persistent snow, freezing gales and sub-zero temperatures threaten to grind the country to a standstill for up to FIVE MONTHS, horrified long-range weather forecasters have warned…
    January is currently showing signs of temperatures hitting “record-breaking” lows meaning parts of the country could see the mercury plunge to -27C (-17F).
    James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather said “significant snowfall” is likely in WEEKS with savage frosts and thick winter fogs threatening widespread misery…
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/520672/Winter-weather-2014-UK-forecast-cold-snow-November

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    • #
      Angry

      Well Pat if large numbers of Brits freeze to death in this severe winter it might finally bring some common sense back into their energy policy ………

      60

      • #
        Peter Miller

        Amen to that.

        An abnormal number of nuclear power stations in the UK will be down for maintenance, or being repaired, this winter. The coal fired power station, supplying half of Scotland’s electricity, will shortly be forced to close because of green levies and taxes.

        Ever greater dependence on wind power, which simply doesn’t work when a high pressure system bringing cold weather sits over the country, makes the UK especially vulnerable to cold weather.

        If the Daily Express is right and this winter in the UK is one of the coldest ever, then many thousands of people will die of hypothermia in the UK. Perhaps, this will be the catalyst for energy sanity after a decade of total lunacy, inspired and sponsored by Labour leader Ed Milliband.

        50

  • #
    Safetyguy66

    For years now the easiest way to prove renewables have been costing us more, was to simply look at your power bill. Most companies spate out the renewables charges and will even add more if your stupid enough to tick the boxes asking them to. I cant count the number of people I have pointed this out to when they wanted to argue how great wind power was. Almost to a man, they change their tune pretty rapidly when they hear numbers like 300mil for 160MW of power 25% of the year and then notice the charges on their own bills through the miracle of reading.

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  • #
    Yonniestone

    Jo the explanation of the ‘adj:Free’ (LOL) is actually needed to reintroduce people to the memories of a Free democratic society as opposed to a For Free left wing socially structured entitlement society, today I was happy to see the potential demise of one such local quasi businesses reported here , it’s interesting that they now call themselves a ‘Group’ and a ‘Centre’ opposed to a previous ‘Business’ and ‘Shop’ I guess when your ‘Business’ relies on public funding from Sustainability Victoria your ‘Shop’ becomes unsustainable.

    Some people may consider my Schadenfreude towards this ‘Group’ of people a bit cruel, well I think over time history will look more favorably on people like myself and others who considered those weak minded people who hated anyone that didn’t conform to their social overhaul to be fools that needed to be put back in their place and to learn from our mistakes to prevent a repeat of such events.

    This particular BREAZE will be remembered as little more than a pestilent congregation of vapours.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      My father designed the family house with double brick wall, insulated ceiling, extra wide eaves to keep the sun off the windows in summer but not winter, and orientated (on a suburban block) to catch the cool summer breezes. He ruled out solar hot water as unreliable, as it was then. It wasn’t intended for any purpose other than to make the house comfortable to live in; which was the case.

      That was in 1957. What have these people got that’s new except double glazing and subsidised PV solar panels?

      I once looked at the “wonders of earth sheltered houses”. The claimed superior insulating properties of 2 metres of earth was bettered by 25 centimetres of concrete, and dwarfed by 10 cms. of concrete with an enclosed 25 cms. of polystyrene foam. But using modern technology was anathema to the troglodytes.

      There may be other advantages to earth sheltered houses but to reject any better approach to achieving your main aim of superior insulation, and then claim yours is the only way struck me as ridiculous. Come to think of it, that sort of thinking seems to ring a bell.

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      • #
        Yonniestone

        I come from a building/construction background and sadly your correct, what is seen as modern unsustainable practices to the troglodytes was utilized to good effect by your father in 1957 and will outlast any tissue paper sustainable building with less maintenance to boot.

        Couple of years ago I fabricated and erected the main steel framework for a modern house locally that used the most tonnage of steel I have ever seen for a structure of that size in my life, the reason given for such overkill was support for the 2nd floor suspended concrete slab flooring required this wall strength, 30 years ago houses with suspended slab floors were built using almost entirely timber frames with a steel UB floor beam used only for large span floor areas when needed, the steel decking/sheeting for the concrete was the only other steel used, and these houses are still standing with no movement whatsoever.

        I guess those old out of touch builders were not enlightened to the wonders of sustainable building practices.

        100

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    The claim that wind (and solar) is reducing electricity prices is based on 2 miscalculations by many [snip].

    The first is “the big pond” theory, i.e. there is a big pond of electricity somewhere and you can add to it e.g. when the wind blows and later draw from it if the wind isn’t working. Total nonsense, the grid has to be balanced to less than a second so if wind doesn’t deliver then some other (conventional) generator has to be ready and take over.

    Running backup (rolling reserve) generates emissions but little electricity, so the efficiency of the conventional side drops, emissions rise and costs go up. None of this is booked to wind (or solar) as it should be.

    The second is ignorance of the Law of Supply and Demand. If the grid has supply and demand in balance then if wind turbines start generating, that electricity has to go somewhere. Normally this would mean finding someone waiting for more electricity (see under unicorns, fairy godmothers etc) or the wind farmers lowering the price to make it attractive enough for conventional producers to disrupt their output. (As happens in some places but subsidies based on output mean the wind farms still make money). The RET counters this by forcing conventional generators to use the on-off supply from renewables.

    Again the changes cause lower efficiency, higher emissions and higher cost to the conventional producers. None of this is booked to wind (or solar). In Germany, the effect of rushing into high levels of disruption from renewables has been the shutting down of lower emission generators (CCGT, pumped storage) and the continued running of old, high emission but cheaper to run coal fired plants. (And the increasing threat of blackouts). Some of the new brown coal fired stations coming on stream were specifically slated as cover for variations in wind power. So more wind turbines has resulted in HIGHER CO2 emissions.

    Coal fired electricity costs $30-40 per MWh (depending on type of plant etc.) Wind costs roughly $110-140 per MWh. There is NO WAY that more wind farms will lead to lower electricity prices, now or in the future.
    Germany – highest wind (& solar) capacity installed in Europe- highest cost electricity in Europe
    Denmark – second highest wind capacity installed in Europe – second highest cost electricity in Europe
    South Australia – highest wind capacity installed in any State – highest cost electricity in Australia.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Wow! that was quick. The first red thumb from some innumerate and illogical troll inside 20 minutes.

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    • #
      Safetyguy66

      “The first is “the big pond” theory, i.e. there is a big pond of electricity somewhere and you can add to it e.g. when the wind blows and later draw from it if the wind isn’t working”

      Absolutely right. This is perhaps the most misunderstood concept in renewables for the Gen. Pop. I had this explained to me in 2007 by the electrical engineer responsible for managing the feed from our windfarm to the grid via our substation, so Im pretty sure he knew what he was talking about.

      After 6 years in the windfarm construction industry I got basically sick of explaining to people that apart from a handful of days a year when the wholesale price is so high it pays to turn on everything you have as a generator, the rest of the time the turbines are basically pumping power into the ether. If its not needed and the grid isn’t ready for it at the time your generating it…. its not used….. simple as that.

      Combine this fact with the fact that you cant predict when your going to be able to generate from the windfarm and how much and you have what may in fact be the most useless form of power generation for grid feed ever designed. No wonder greenies love them, they are soul food for morons.

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Safetyguy66:

        The greens run on slogans “wind is free, so electricity from wind MUST be cheap”.
        They ignore the cost of all those turbines which are NOT financed by fairies leaving big bags of money, but by people out to make as much as they can before the scheme collapses.

        The other one is “Denmark gets 20% of its electricity from the wind” which might have been true for a few hours a year before 2005 when the authorities woke up to the problems. Since then they will allow about 10% maximum, even when the new offshore farms push total wind capacity up over 30%, because it is too disruptive. Any generation above that is directed to the Norwegian and Swedish hydro scheme or into the european grid via Germany at a low price. Indeed the disruption from surges from little Denmark is such that some ask to be paid to take it ( negative prices). The result is massive losses on wind energy for the Danish Government and the banning of future off-shore wind farms.

        There is an unsubstantiated claim that over 1000 (of 7000) onshore Danish wind turbines are now out of action, being mainly older, smaller community owned ones where the now reduced income can’t even pay for the maintenance. As I said unsubstantiated.

        And as in Germany, the surges in supply make the real success in reducing emissions non-viable. This is the CHP plants (combined heat and power for the troll) which produce electricity and low level heating (which is much appreciated in Denmark where the AVERAGE annual Temperature is 8℃ ) but whose operation is disrupted by variations in supply from the wind. There are over 600 small and 9 large ones, supplying from 4 houses to whole towns. Result – HIGHER EMISSIONS from wind.

        110

        • #
          NZPete

          Graeme, I’m disappointed your troll has failed to thumb you down!
          ~[;>)
          Well said.

          20

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            Perhaps a little late for him? By 8.30 pm. he has probably had a nice cup of organic, free range, fair trade insipid tea and gone to roost.

            20

  • #
    handjive

    Workers have called on union action against safety and wage concerns at the Nyngan Solar Plan development

    Workers building a solar plant in western New South Wales have raised safety concerns including venomous snakes on their work site.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-09/nyngan-construction-workers-concerned-about-safety-issues/5801134
    . . .
    If only energy consumers could do something about the snake-oil salesmen selling the green energy quackery.

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    • #
      Safetyguy66

      Jeebus lucky we didn’t have such softies working at Musselroe. We had 2 security guards trained in snake catching (averaged catching 1-2 per day) and we just worked around them. Usually 1-1.5m tiger snakes by the way. Shame Joe doesn’t support pictures in the threads or Id post some.

      50

  • #
    Keith L

    I think it is possible to demonstrate that a money subsidy is just an energy subsidy and that the RET is really just the same thing as a diesel engine behind every windmill.
    I wish I could get the numbers together but I suspect that a windmill over its lifetime absorbs more energy that it produces once all necessary set up costs and running costs are taken into account.
    The reason I believe this is because the most efficient computer algorithm for the calculation of this complex problem is the analog system called the ‘market’ located in the ‘real world’ and this always seems to deliver a negative end result in the calculation of ‘money’.
    Any thoughts?

    80

    • #
      ROM

      Keith L
      October 10, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Keith,
      I treat just about any figures from any industry source with very considerable suspicion. And from the Wind Turbine industry with almost complete contempt as they are one of the most blatant of leaching propogandists outfits around today in the energy industry.

      One of the major deficiencies and outright deceptions of the wind turbine industry when one is trying to find figures and data on energy generation technologies is the complete avoidance by the wind or solar industries of the mention of “dispatchability”, the ability to call on the required amount of power needed at any time and for the technology ie; coal, gas, nuclear and hydro to supply that required power then and there, reliability in “dispatchability” being something that at any level, wind and solar are utterly incapable of ever achieving let alone guaranteeing.

      This inability to supply the needed and required power on demand is the Achillies Heel of wind and solar and will never be overcome without immense amounts of money and engineering which is arguably far beyond our civilisation’s resources to construct and build energy storage facilities to supply energy when the wind and solar generators are incapable of doing so due to low wind conditions and lack of sunlight.

      All of which makes wind and solar utterly impractical in every sense, economic plus engineering and societally as Jo’s headline post points out, to power an industrial based civilisation that utterly depends on for it’s 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year operation on dead steady, utterly reliable power source that is always there at the flick of a switch in the amounts needed and with an absolute 100% reliability .

      So having got that out of the way I suggest a look at the nuclear power industries numbers on the EROI’s [ Energy Return On Investment ] of the various energy generation technologies,

      First three points to remember;

      Each industry creates favourable propaganda, the nuclear industry being no different.
      The nukes unlike the wind turbines and solar however have been run through the green and public wringer innumerable times so are likely to have data close to real in their tables.

      The wind and solar power generation industries avoid like the plague, any mention of dispatchability as it utterly destroys their case when making comparisons of EROI’s between generation technologies.

      The wind turbine economic life , not it’s physical longetivity, is now known to be an average about 15 years in length on land and about an economic life of about 12 years for ocean based turbines.

      Solar about 15 years economic going up to a maximum of 25 years at best
      Nuclear about 50 to 60 years economic life and coal fired about 40 to 50 years with gas fired generators about 30 years economic life.

      Ref; The Performance of Wind Farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark

      That term economic life is most important as the wind industry never admits that it has such a short economic life but always in all EROI calculations works on a 25 to 30 year life cycle for wind turbines, about double the real economic life of the actual wind turbines.

      So taking into account the flaws in Wind’s inability to meet dispatchability requirements which negates Wind almost entirely as a alternative and reliable power source for an advanced energy dependent civilisation, the information and the tables of data from the following World Nuclear Association site on the relative EROI’s of the various power generation technologies is likely to be as close to accurate as one is likely to find.

      Energy Analysis of Power Systems

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      • #
        Keith L

        Hi ROM
        Thanks for your reply.
        Like you I am reluctant to take anyone word for anything unless it can be backed up with some evidence. In addition to the obvious ‘spin’ that these companies put on information there is also the fact that it is hard to measure in any case. (How do you work out the cost of intermittency (dispatchability) in generation, for example? The costs vary depending upon what other energy sources you have available to take up the slack at the time is required.)

        What I would like to have is some vast compuer which could not only process the necessary calculations but also source its own input data. This would mean reading in all the various inputs from the millions of different producers and consumers, factoring in all the associated costs of construction and maintenance of infrastructure etc.
        It would have to be a hugely complicated processing system. The hardware would be orders of magnitude beyond what the current world wide internet contains and the lines of code would be huge.

        However, as I stated above, I believe we have already, unknowingly, created such a computer as an analogue system and it is called the market. I believe that the cost in dollars is a pretty good approximation of the cost in energy and when Big Wind and Big Solar demand subsidies then that tells me something about their viability.

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  • #
    Allen Ford

    Sadly, this post is sadly misinformed, as the following letter from a Gore acolyte attests. It was published in The Weekly Times, a local paper centred around the Ryde area, in Sydney.

    Al Gore, sea level rise & Hunters Hill

    Dear Sir,

    I am Sustainability Manager for Hansen Yuncken construction company, a certified assessor for the GBCA and most recently I have been trained on Climate Change by Al Gore.

    In his training in Melbourne last week I heard the latest understanding about climate change and what it means for us.

    The two stand out messages for Hunters Hill are that 6m sea level rise cannot be ruled out this century.

    And we are on the cusp of a massive economic opportunity with renewables.

    Imagine the direct impact on home owners in our area if sea level rises 6m!

    How are we planning for this or more importantly working to avoid it?

    Australia gets the most sunlight of any country in the world and we have the best research facilities on renewables.

    We can create a massively profitable renewables sector to take advantage of the fact that India has budgeted $34billion over the next 10yrs to spend on solar power, and Arab countries have budgeted $100 billion! 24,000 jobs can be created in the solar sector alone.

    SIMONE CONCHA

    Hunters Hill

    So, there you have it! A great and glorious future awaits us all, with untold zillions of dollars generated by greenery.

    Pity about the submarine denizens of Hunters Hill!

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    • #
      gnome

      I look forward to the folk of Hunters Hill gaining employment in the solar panel factories.

      (For the interstate and overseas correspondents, Hunters Hill, fronting Sydney Harbor, is – from memory – the highest or second highest income area in Australia)

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      • #
        Allen Ford

        Another oft overlooked spin off of sea level rises is an increase in habitat for sea creatures, and that can’t be a bad thing!

        00

  • #

    An entrepreneur has in front of him two proposals for a power plant, both of around 250MW, one of them a Natural Gas Fired Plant and the other a Wind Plant.

    Let’s just wildly assume that they actually will cost the same amount of money to construct, because the Wind Plants will cost considerably more.

    For the first of these Plants, the Natural Gas Fired Plant well, it’s a fossil fuel Plant, so the total construction cost will be borne by the proposer. Now, typically these plants are only required to be run during times of peak power consumption, so perhaps for maybe one or two hours in the morning and perhaps for three or four hours in the evenings, those two periods of peak consumption. So, they do the sums based loosely around those hours, the lifetime of the plant, an extrapolated cost for the gas, and then calculate what the cost per unit will be for the electricity generated, all of this to recover all the costs associated with the Plant, plus a small profit. Now, the only time they can actually sell the electricity is when the grid controller rings them up and says, hey, we need your power to top up the grid. So, they are reliant upon those actual hours per day, because that’s the only time they can actually generate power for sale to the grid.

    The second proposal is for a Wind Plant. Now, straight away, right up front, as is the case with every Renewable Plant, the two Governments involved here (Federal and State) throw in an outright gift which in nearly every case amounts to 50 to 60% of the up front plant construction cost. So now they only need recover half their original cost. They then calculate, using best case scenarios for Capacity Factor, (a percentage that will never actually be achieved) the life of the plant, again assuming best case scenario of 25 years. (again, almost never achieved)
    From this total power hoped to be generated, they then work out a unit cost for the power generated. However, luckily for this Wind proposal, enshrined in the legislation is that their power MUST be purchased whenever it is generated, for every watt of power being generated.

    Note the difference here. The grid MUST purchase all the wind power, while the Gas fired plant relies on the phone call to tell them when to run and for how long, and that’s all they get paid for. So, if the gas fired plant is not really needed, then they don’t get a brass razoo, while the wind plant gets paid whenever the turbines are rotating.

    So, you tell me which proposal looks the more attractive.

    Now, and you need to go to this chart now, because it is a live feed.

    Wind Performance Right Now

    Once there, go to the main graph, the second image down on that page. At the top right, above that graph, press the MW button. Now, along the bottom of the text under the graph, UNTICK all States except South Australia, and UNTICK Total, the button directly above SA. This now shows the black line as the total power being generated by every wind tower in S.A.

    Note how the total power dropped during the daylight period, and at the peak consumption time, around 5/6PM, it rolled along at around 100MW, which was around 5 or 6% or its total, and around 3 or 4% of what the State was actually consuming. Then during the night, as everyone rocked off to bed, it started to come good, and at around 3AM, it peaked at around 60%. Then, in the morning as the AM peak consumption period arrives, it starts to fall away again.

    Every watt of power was purchased at the full agreed price, no matter that most of it between 9PM and 5AM was not even needed.

    Now can you see why renewable power raises your power bills. They HAVE TO purchase all of it, while the gas fired plant only gets paid when it is actually called upon to deliver.

    That’s just ONE of the things that increase power costs associated with the use of renewable power.

    Tony.

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      ROM

      To my total frustration since the change in the format of “Wind Farm Performance” site to the “Wind Energy” format, the wind power output graph fails completely to load at all in my ancient Apple Version 4.1.3 Safari browser.

      There seems to be problem with a script somewhere which prevents loading of the Wind Farm Performance graph, a graph which I often referred to when it was in the old format.

      The rest of the site such as the map Tony referred to above, appears to load OK.

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        ROM,

        only guessing here, but it might be a problem with the live feed itself.

        Now, go to the site and at the very top right, you’ll see a tab titled with today’s day (Friday right now) and time.

        Click on that, and a drop down menu will appear showing this Month.

        Try clicking on any day earlier than today.

        Just guessing here.

        Tony.

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          ROM

          Thanks Tony, but no joy!
          On your suggestion have Tried past dates, months, MW’s instead of %’s but no graphs nor any sign of one appearing.
          I seem to have everything else on the Aneroid site.

          Got that little Safari rotating dooflickie in the middle of the vacant graph spot where the graph for each of the generator types output is supposed top appear that says it’s trying to load something but it can’t get past “Go”.

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      Safetyguy66

      Can you like a make a 5 minute youtube video of this please Tony. Your scenario is spot on and it would be so much easier for me to just link people to it than having to explain it over and over.

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      Lawrie Ayres

      It’s 8.37 PM in Wingham and I’ve just checked the wind output of our wind farms. Most are running far less than 50% some not at all. Now why on earth did the Coalition this morning do next to nothing about ridding us of this pox? We waited and waited to get rid of the ALP/Green disaster and got, for our troubles, a slightly less left wing government. Birmingham is looking for a whitewash on the BoM; Hunt keeps wind turbines; McFarlane is looking for a job in the wind industry. Jensen is kept silenced and the rest are too afraid to speak the truth. We wasted our votes and I’m afraid we misplaced our trust. I write to them all and all ignore me. Please send emails or letters to OUR representatives and let them know you are not happy.

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      Jud

      Tony,

      You’ve described the scenario here in Ontario to a tee.
      Except here they have managed to make it even worse.

      The ‘backup’ gas plants here are actually also paid whether they produce power or not.
      To stop them closing up the government has guaranteed they get paid for their capacity – not their actual output.

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    ROM

    As Energy sources, the cost, complexity, problems and future of are under discussion here and given the complete political, economic and totally abject debacle that the so called renewable energy scams of wind and solar are turning out to be everywhere they have been tried, it is probably appropriate to bring the latest tests of Rossi’s E-Cat reactor cell to everybody’s attention here.

    Now I have been quite skeptical of Rossi’s claims for the E-Cat but so far nobody has been able to pin down any malfeasance on anybody’s part in any attempt to explain away the apparent ability of the E-Cat reactor to generate power through possibly some sort of possible but not in the least understood “cold fusion” reactions.

    The promise being almost unlimited power for the world of the future in Rossi’s E-Cat reactor proves to be a viable and efficient energy source.

    This morning’s NoTricksZone blog has a post by Rick Werme who has got an honorable mention more than once on this blog by Jo

    Rossi’s E-Cat Verified, But Mystifies Independent Reviewers…The Dawn Of An Energy Revolution?

    The paper that Rick Werme refers to and which is the outcome of the investigation by an independent group on the inputs, output and operation of a Rossi E-Cat reactor cell is listed here;

    ____________________________

    Observation of abundant heat production from a reactor device and of isotopic changes in the fuel

    ABSTRACT
    New results are presented from an extended experimental investigation of anomalous heat production in a special type of reactor tube operating at high temperatures.
    The reactor, named E-Cat, is charged with a small amount of hydrogen-loaded nickel powder plus some additives, mainly Lithium.
    The reaction is primarily initiated by heat from resistor coils around the reactor tube. Measurements of the radiated power from the reactor were performed with high-resolution thermal imaging cameras.
    The measurements of electrical power input were performed with a large bandwidth three-phase power analyzer.

    Data were collected during 32 days of running in March 2014.

    The reactor operating point was set to about 1260 oC in the first half of the run, and at about 1400 °C in the second half.
    The measured energy balance between input and output heat yielded a COP factor of about 3.2 and 3.6 for the 1260 oC and 1400 oC runs, respectively.
    The total net energy obtained during the 32 days run was about 1.5 MWh.

    This amount of energy is far more than can be obtained from any known chemical sources in the small reactor volume.

    A sample of the fuel was carefully examined with respect to its isotopic composition before the run and after the run, using several standard methods: XPS, EDS, SIMS, ICP-MS and ICP-AES.
    The isotope composition in Lithium and Nickel was found to agree with the natural composition before the run, while after the run it was found to have changed substantially.

    Nuclear reactions are therefore indicated to be present in the run process, which however is hard to reconcile with the fact that no radioactivity was detected outside the reactor during the run.

    [ / ]

    Further reading from E-Cat World is

    E-Cat Report Released: ‘Not a Conventional Source of Energy’ (Cold Fusion/LENR Confirmed)
    _______________

    There is still a long way to go but so far every test of Rossi’s E-Cat reactor has shown increased output of energy significantly greater than that of the amount of input energy.

    And if over the next half decade Rossi’s E-cat becomes a fully commercialised and proven power source, the world is looking at a viable alternative to most of the fossil fuels including oil based fuels as it appears that the E-cat cell is quite small compared to it’s potential power output making it a possibly viable alternative power source with a tiny fuel consumption for mobile vehicle use.

    Add to Rossi’s E-Cat the possibility / probability of Lockeed Martin’s Shunk Works getting their transportable sized Fusion reactor proven out by later this decade and the world could be looking at a longer term vastly changed energy perspective that uses little in the way of resources, is relatively pollution free, is low cost, reliable, dependable and can readily be installed almost anywhere and is transportable.

    And we will get rid of those damn totally useless bat, bird, economy [ as the Spanish discovered and and now the Germans are discovering and the Brits on the way to discovering ] and health and landscape destroying wind turbines just as fast as we can and it will be a very good riddance to that lot plus all the greens and scammers and assorted rip off merchants of every shady type that hang on the fringes where anything that has the public’s money being lavished on it will find those green coloured human cockroaches in the close vicinity.

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      Aaron M

      ROM,
      I really want to believe in Rossi’s work, but his history is so dodgy, it’s hard to believe that the independent university guys haven’t been compromised along the way.

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    pat

    “if climate change sceptics are wrong” – LOL:

    10 Oct: Sky News: Kerry says time running out on climate change
    Kerry said on Thursday that the window for facing the challenge was ‘closing quickly’ and warned of dire consequences if climate change sceptics are wrong about the future and nothing is done.
    ‘If they’re wrong, catastrophe,’ Kerry said in Boston after visiting a wind-technology testing centre with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.’
    Life as you know it on Earth ends. Seven degrees increase Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) and we can’t sustain crops, water, life under those circumstances.’..
    ‘The solution is staring us in the face. It’s very simple: clean energy,’ he said, noting the prospects for creating millions of jobs worldwide in the sector.
    ‘And here is the kicker,’ Kerry said, ‘the market we’re looking at is a $US6 trillion ($A6.49 trillion) market with four to five billion users today, climbing to a potential nine billion users by the year 2050. It is literally the mother of all markets.’…
    http://www.skynews.com.au/news/world/nthamerica/2014/10/10/kerry-says-time-running-out-on-climate-change.html

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      Tim

      Time is always running out to save the planet. Paul Ehrlich said some 15 years ago that we needed a ‘wartime effort’ to save us back then.

      I guess there’s a sucker born every minute and they’re too young to remember this ongoing urgent call – to – action meme.

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    pat

    getting down to the nitty gritty -

    10 Oct: The Conversation: How family planning could be part of the answer to climate change
    by David Hodgkinson, Associate Professor, Law School at University of Western Australia and Rebecca Johnston, Adjunct Lecturer, Law School at University of Notre Dame Australia

    But if you have two children, your legacy of carbon emissions could be 40-times higher than those you saved through lifestyle changes.
    In fact, under dangerous climate change scenarios in 2050, nearly a third of carbon emissions can be avoided by slowing population growth…
    If families, on average, have half a child more than the UN projects, population will reach 16 billion by 2100…
    One way to reduce the impact of population could be to include family planning in carbon markets. Here’s how it could work…
    Market-based mechanisms to address the population problem…
    One approach would be the provision of carbon credits for having fewer children. Market-based mechanisms — emissions trading schemes (essentially cap-and-trade schemes) — are in vogue as a means to address the climate change problem. Why not use such mechanisms to address the population problem?…
    This is not an original idea — New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin, for example, has examined whether, given the global extent of emissions trading schemes, the “next logical step” would be carbon credits for avoided children….
    http://theconversation.com/how-family-planning-could-be-part-of-the-answer-to-climate-change-32667
    ???(Disclosure Statement: The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article. They also have no relevant affiliations.)

    (from profile:
    David is an associate professor in the Law School at the University of Western Australia, Special Counsel at national Australian law firm Clayton Utz, and executive director of EcoCarbon.

    Shaping Tomorrow’s World: Rebecca Johnston
    Rebecca is a corporate advisory lawyer at national Australian law firm Clayton Utz…
    Rebecca also advises on climate change law and policy.
    LINK: Putting a price on carbon: Why not a carbon tax?
    Posted on 29 September 2014 by David Hodgkinson & Rebecca Johnston
    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/bio.php?u=567

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      Joe V.

      Why complicate it ? Why not just charge Carbon Credits for having children (as if the little blighter s weren’t expensive enough already) ? ‘eckin madness. The way to reducing population growth is in prosperity , through burning more cheap carbon as India & China know already.

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    pat

    further to our writers’ Disclosure Statement at The Conversation, given both are connected to Clayton Utz:

    Clayton Utz: Climate Change
    Our lawyers are at the forefront of legal developments in this rapidly changing area of law – we’ve:
    appeared frequently at major international and domestic carbon market forums;
    had the only Australian lawyer on the ISDA Energy and Commodities Committee, which drafted the ISDA standard Greenhouse Carbon Trading Permit contract and derivatives for Australia; and
    advised the Australian Department of Climate Change on the design and implementation of Australia’s emissions trading scheme, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
    http://www.claytonutz.com/industry/climate_change/home.page

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    pat

    9 Oct: Guardian: Why climate change should signal the end of the city-state
    Our urban leaders’ belief in autonomy as the ultimate goal must be unset writes Richard Sennett. The seductive idea of a place controlling its own fortunes is out of date
    Nature is undemocratic. Voting and inclusion cannot change the facts on the ground about how the climate operates, of course, but the issue cuts deeper. Collective will is irrelevant to adaptation strategies. Under nature’s sway, the very idea of autonomy loses its meaning…
    In everyday life, we want to be in control as much as possible. But we are moving into an era, particularly in our relations with the natural world, where the sphere of human self-control and autonomy is shrinking…
    The urban challenge we face is how to live more openly, in the sense of acknowledging and coping with disorder.
    (Richard Sennett will be speaking at Urban.Age 2014 in Delhi on 14-15 November)
    http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/oct/09/why-climate-change-should-signal-the-end-of-the-city-state

    Profile: Richard Sennett: Inner-city scholar
    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/feb/03/books.guardianreview4

    didn’t need to search, but did….Sennett is not unknown to “our ABC”.

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      tom0mason

      “Nature is undemocratic.”

      Wrong!
      Nature is highly democratic, the ‘fittest’ survive the best.

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    Konrad

    Big Wind is no more than a subsidy farming pyramid scheme, and the pyramid is about to collapse in Australia. The problem with pyramid schemes is that when there is going to be no next layer, it all falls down.

    Just discussion of the Warburton RET report has caused “renewables” investment to crash 78% last quarter. That whooshing sound is not the sound of “free electricity” being generated, it’s the sound of capital flight. It doesn’t matter if subsidies are kept for existing bird blenders, no further subsidies means no next layer for the pyramid.

    The only justification for this inanity was the threat of CAGW, and that hoax is dying. Big Wind can’t use the “sustainability” or “energy security” excuses, as their product is too costly, failure prone and environmentally damaging. The anti shale gas propaganda has failed. Big Wind can try pumping their propaganda millions into re-hyping “ocean acidification” hoax next, but it is hopeless. Sure the “green” groups will be happy to guzzle from a trough of bird blood soaked cash, but they no longer have the slightest shred of credibility.

    Wholesale electricity from reliable power plants is selling for $30 per MWH. Some figures show just maintenance costs on bird blenders in Europe as high as $38 per MWH. It was never going to work without constant subsidies. And without new turbines being installed in Australia, maintenance cost are going to rise here as there will be no economies of scale with new installs and the existing machines age.

    Big Wind needed constant expansion for their subsidy farming game to continue. These shysters have had their plug pulled. It’s game over for Big Wind in Australia. Any directors of local players in the game need to consider whether they may be now “continuing to trade while aware of impending insolvency”.

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    Angry

    If there was a hospital 100% powered by solar/wind electricity with no backup fossil fuel generators. ALL followers of the global warming RELIGION could be asked to use it.
    [Comment edited so it would not be misinterpreted. - Jo]

    I’m sure they will enjoy the experience !

    By the way here is a great article from Andrew Bolt today regarding the global warming [snip] ……

    Even when they’re wrong, climate scientists insist they are right:-

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/even_when_theyre_wrong_climate_scientists_insist_they_are_right/

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    Climate Heretic

    Interesting YouTube video, “It’s the great wind farm scam “ by a senator from SA John Madigan.

    Also look at his wikipedia entry for some background information.

    Regards
    Climate Heretic

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    • #
      Yonniestone

      Senator Madigan is my local representative and very upfront with his views but willing to listen to others if they put a case forward, if the wind power industry thought they could bluff or scare this man then they’re in for a big shock, he does his homework and won’t suffer fools gladly.

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    PeterS

    The problem is most people still don’t get it. I hate to say it but I think the only way Australia will learn the sad lesson of the corrupt AGW hoax and scam is to let them set the energy targets and send electricity bills to the sky, and have all industries shut down or moving overseas, leaving Australia broke. Even then many AGW advocates probably will still refuse to accept they got it wrong. Perhaps they are mentally challenged.

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    Robert O

    Let us get back to the genesis of the RET. Renewable energy sources were thought to be necessary to replace coal oil and gas generation since they all produce carbon dioxide on combustion to produce the steam for the generating turbines. Carbon dioxide as we all know is allegedly very bad for the planet because it allegedly causes global warming. Other means of power generation are also off limits; nuclear is bad because because it creates waste which is radioactive and has a half life of several thousand years, and hydro power means that the necessary dams will create environmental havoc destroying nature, e.g. the Lower Gordon scheme.

    However, Australia sells heaps of coal as well as yellow cake to other countries so the carbon dioxide and environmental problems are sent away for others to make; the problems still exist, but they are somewhere else on the planet.

    So instead of using the uranium here we cannot have an industry which doesn’t emit carbon dioxide, and we will slowly replace our coal-based power stations with less than efficient solar and wind facilities which have problems to generate base-load power. And to do all of this we need a RET to subsidise solar and wind infrastructure because it cannot compete otherwise, and there is also a need for back-up generation for night time and the other 70% of time when the wind is not blowing.

    Since the original premise that carbon dioxide causes global warming is not supported by any significant increase rise in temperatures that was predicted by the AGW hypothesis, what is the point of going to all this trouble and expense continuing subsidising renewable energy?

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    pat

    10 Oct: SMH: Exclusive: Mark Kenny: Carbon price on Bill Shorten’s agenda as he goes to electorate
    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has raised the prospect of reviving one of Labor’s most politically damaging policy areas – a carbon price – as part of his bid to make Tony Abbott a one-term prime minister…
    “Labor doesn’t support a carbon tax, but in terms of real and effective action on climate change I do support a market-based system to set a price and that’s where the rest of the world’s going,” Mr Shorten said…
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/carbon-price-on-bill-shortens-agenda-as-he-goes-to-electorate-20141010-1148xe.html

    11 Oct: AAP: Shorten rules out carbon tax return
    Labor will not bring a carbon tax to the next election but a market mechanism is still the best way of dealing with emissions, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says…
    “We will not have a carbon tax, the Australian people have spoken and Labor is not going to go back to that,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.
    Fairfax Media had earlier reported Mr Shorten had confirmed Labor would take a carbon price, although not a tax, to the election…
    On Saturday he said it was “important we use the market … to help set a priority in terms of tackling climate change…
    Mr Shorten also urged the government to “sort out” China’s surprise decision during free trade talks to impose tariffs on Australian coal…
    The decision is a blow to Australian producers dealing with China, the second biggest market for coal, and comes as free trade negotiations continue with an agreement expected later this year.
    “This is a new obstacle in the path of Australian coal,” Mr Shorten said…
    “The government needs to sort this issue out.”…
    “This is the kind of hiccup in our biggest and most important trading relationship that we just don’t want or need,” the prime minister told reporters in Canberra on Friday.
    “I think that we will work with the Chinese to get to the bottom of what seems to have happened overnight.”
    Environment Minister Greg Hunt said it didn’t matter what name the opposition wanted to give it, his proposed plan was a carbon tax.
    “It’s a carbon tax. He knows it, we know it, the Australian people know it,” Mr Hunt told reporters in Launceston on Saturday.
    “He should at least be honest and call it for what it is.”
    https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/25236470/shorten-rules-out-carbon-tax-return/

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    pat

    survey by Carbon Market Institute and the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy!

    10 Oct: SMH: Lisa Cox: Businesses want tougher climate action, low carbon economy: survey
    Australian businesses want the Abbott government to set tougher emissions reduction targets and fear the country’s economy will suffer if it does not move away from fossil-fuel intensive industries, a new analysis shows.
    The survey of 245 companies also found that 87 per cent believe the government should not act alone in setting Australia’s post-2020 targets and should follow advice from an independent body such as the Climate Change Authority.
    The study by the Carbon Market Institute and the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy surveyed senior executives in industries including electricity generation, mining, manufacturing, professional services, waste management and agriculture…
    Seventy-six per cent also said they wanted a strong target for Australia’s emissions reductions in the post-2020 period, while nearly 80 per cent believed Australia should be looking to the United States, the EU and China in setting its climate policies…
    The figures follow international criticism of Australia’s performance at a recent summit of world leaders in New York.
    After the summit, a lead adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel attacked the Abbott government’s championing of the coal industry as an economic “suicide strategy”…
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/businesses-want-tougher-climate-action-low-carbon-economy-survey-20141010-114eq1.html

    Lisa, please explain Bill Shorten’s support of the coal industry as reported by AAP today. get your Fairfax head out of the partisan politics, please.

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    pat

    11 Oct: Aust’n Financial Review: Ben Potter: Deconstructing ANU’s divestments
    Socially responsible investing is the new black, a fashion statement for cutting edge investors.
    But it is no proof against a wardrobe malfunction.
    Australian National University’s vice-chancellor Ian Young learned this after he steered a radical “socially responsible” investing blacklist through the institution’s council.
    ANU’s seven-stock blacklist goes far beyond the usual fossil fuel targets to ensnare companies producing a range of raw materials used in products Australians rely on every day.
    By the time you’ve completed your morning routine – used the bathroom, showered, sprayed on anti-perspirant, checked your email on an iPhone, gulped down a vitamin pill, admired the paint-job on your BMW and soared to the hum of the precision-cast crankshaft driving to work – you’ve likely used materials produced by Iluka Resources, Sandfire Resources, Independence Group and Santos…
    It would be hard to survive in the modern world without them…
    ANU’s divestment will make little practical difference to the seven companies. The sums involved are small – about 1 per cent of the portfolio or $10 million across the seven stocks. But the symbolism is intense…
    “I would be surprised if there’s a company pretty much anywhere which has a more holistic approach to the involvement of our communities and providing direct employment, ownership and benefit programs,” said Peter Botten, chief executive of Oil Search, which produces oil and gas in Papua New Guinea, a country so desperately in need of money that Australia pours in half a billion dollars of aid a year. Oil Search is recognised by the United Nations Global Fund campaign for the work it does in PNG healthcare…
    Hypocrisy a trap
    The SRI terrain is pitted with landmines, including one marked “hypocrisy”. Socially responsible investing emphasises transparency and engagement. But Young hasn’t answered detailed questions about the blacklist. He has identified climate change as “the most serious issue ever to have faced humanity” and Santos as a major source of carbon dioxide emissions.
    ***But AFR Weekend has calculated from official data that ANU is easily heaviest emitter of climate-warming greenhouse gases per student among Australia’s top universities. And Santos’s annual emissions of 3.7 million tonnes are less than a 10th of the global emissions of either BHP Billiton or Rio Tinto, which produce oil. In fact the combined emissions of the seven blacklisted companies come in at a fraction of either BHP or Rio’s.
    If combating climate change is really the driver, it isn’t clear how ANU’s blacklist advances that goal. Indeed, it’s far from clear that ANU’s approach is the best way to advance any goal…
    “Divesting out of these companies doesn’t actually solve the problem,” Abidi (Azhar Abidi, investment director at IFM Investors) says. “They’re still being funded. Somebody will buy the stock – even tobacco companies’.”
    http://www.afr.com/p/personal_finance/deconstructing_anu_divestments_93AjBhJLqBe8Z6QuPR6iSJ

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    pat

    10 Oct: Australian: Staff Reporter: Obama in fresh G20 climate push
    United States president Barack Obama will push to get climate change on the G20 agenda, when the summit is hosted in November in Australia, The Australian Financial Review reports.
    According to the newspaper, Mr Obama’s international adviser and at the White House and “G20 sherpa”, Caroline Atkinson, said the administration wanted the summit to work towards “specific steps” to reduce global warming, especially in relation to infrastructure investment, adding that “there would be many around the table” to promote discussion on the issue.
    “As extreme weather events have become more frequent, as the next key date in the international negotiations on climate which is December 2015 comes closer, there is more of a focus among leaders,” Ms Atkinson said, according to The AFR. “We expect leaders will have a discussion about that.”…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/latest/obama-in-fresh-g20-climate-push/story-e6frg90f-1227086721860

    read all:

    10 Oct: NYT: Coral Davenport: Republicans to Investigate Environmental Group’s Influence on Carbon Rule
    Congressional Republicans are investigating whether the Obama administration improperly colluded with a prominent environmental advocacy group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, as the Environmental Protection Agency drafted major climate change regulations…
    Mr. Issa and Mr. Vitter contend that the environmental group’s influence on the Obama climate change rule was inappropriate. Their staff members are investigating whether in drafting the rule the E.P.A. broke the law, specifically the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs how agencies write regulations…
    As evidence, the lawmakers point to a series of friendly emails between the E.P.A. administrator, Gina McCarthy, and employees of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a powerful advocacy group with a long history of using lobbying and lawsuits to shape government policy. The emails show that the environmental group and the E.P.A. worked together on a series of policy and messaging moves meant to advance Mr. Obama’s climate change agenda without action from Congress…
    Mr. Vitter and Mr. Issa said their investigation was prompted by an article in The Times in July that detailed how the Natural Resources Defense Council influenced key elements of the June climate change regulation…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/11/us/republicans-to-investigate-environmental-groups-influence-on-carbon-rule.html

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    pat

    10 Oct: Uni of Iowa: Hayley Bruce: UI alumnus and climate scientist James Hansen to speak at UI
    Hansen studied under legendary UI space scientist James Van Allen
    Hansen’s lecture, “Speaking Truth to Power: Lessons from Iowa and Relevance to Global Climate Policies,” will be Thursday, Oct. 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union.
    The lecture is one in a series of events in the UI Public Policy Center’s “Meeting the Renewable Energy Challenge” symposium.
    Though Hansen’s lecture is free and open to the public, those interested in attending the Oct. 16 symposium events need to register by the end of Monday, Oct. 13. The cost is $25 for general public, free for students without lunch, and $10 for students with lunch…
    The “Meeting the Renewable Energy Challenge” series of events is sponsored by the following: Iowa NSF EPSCoR, Iowa Energy Center, UI School of Urban and Regional Planning, the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, the UI Lecture Committee, the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, and the UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education…
    http://now.uiowa.edu/2014/10/ui-alumnus-and-climate-scientist-james-hansen-speak-ui

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     D o u g   C o t t o n 

    All these inflated energy costs are an absolute waste of money, because there is no valid proof of any physical process whereby carbon dioxide could warm at all.

    I have proved (using 2nd Law) that gravity forms a temperature gradient (both upwards and downwards from the altitude of radiative balance in a planet’s troposphere) which most certainly raises the surface temperature in any planet with a significant atmosphere because thermal energy can transfer in all directions when thermodynamic equilibrium is disturbed.

    The Venus surface is about 735K. The base of the nominal Uranus troposphere is about 320K. You have no explanation as to how the necessary thermal energy gets to these locations. I have.

    Earth’s surface would be about 300K (due entirely to the gravito-thermal effect) but for the cooling effect of water vapour, which I have confirmed from 30 years of temperature data from three continents.

    I answer “Absolutely NO” to the IPCC assertion that radiation determines these temperatures at the base of planetary tropospheres and thus in any surfaces at that altitude. Try explaining temperatures on Uranus with radiation! And, by the way, you have no valid explanation as to how the Sun’s direct radiation into the surface could warm Earth’s surface to a mean of 288K when all it could do is support a temperature of -35C in an asphalt paved Earth.

    If you think you have such an explanation, complete with computations and empirical proof that water vapour warms by at least 10 degrees for every 1% then there’s a $5,000 reward on the table for your proof.

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    alpha2actual

    I have yet to read an article discussing the deployment of utility scale wind or solar projects in the U.S. that includes an assessment of Europe’s almost 30 year experience which has been less than stellar. “Analysis of Wind Farm Performance in UK and Denmark” by Dr Gordon Hughes, is a Professor of Economics at the University of Edinburgh where he teaches courses in the Economics of Natural Resources and Public Economics. He was a senior adviser on energy and environmental policy at the World Bank until 2001. He has advised governments on the design and implementation of environmental policies and was responsible for some of the World Bank’s most important environmental guidelines.

    The study has used data on the monthly output of wind farms in the UK and Denmark reported under regulatory arrangements and schemes for subsidizing renewable energy. Normalized age-performance curves have been estimated using standard statistical techniques which allow for differences between sites and over time in wind resources and other factors.
    The normalized load factor for UK onshore wind farms declines from a peak of about 24% at age 1 to 15% at age 10 and 11% at age 15. The decline in the normalized load factor for Danish onshore wind farms is slower but still significant with a fall from a peak of 22% to 18% at age 15. On the other hand for offshore wind farms in Denmark the normalized load factor falls from 39% at age 0 to 15% at age 10. The reasons for the observed declines in normalized load factors cannot be fully assessed using the data available but outages due to mechanical breakdowns appear to be a contributory factor.
    These findings have important implications for policy towards wind generation in the UK. First, they suggest that the subsidy regime is extremely generous if investment in new wind farms is profitable despite the decline in performance due to age and over time. Second, meeting the UK Government’s targets for wind generation will require a much higher level of wind capacity – and, thus, capital investment – than current projections imply. Third, the structure of contracts offered to wind generators under the proposed reform of the electricity market should be modified since few wind farms will operate for more than 12–15 years. As a consequence, any economic assessment of wind generation should not be based on an expected life which is longer than 15 years. In recent work reported in evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change I assumed that wind plants would have a residual value equal to 20% of their initial cost in real terms at the end of 15 years. The analysis in this paper suggests that this is too favorable an assumption. Given the costs of decommissioning old turbines the residual value is likely to be well below 10% of their initial cost and the decision point may be at 10 rather than 15 years.
    As a consequence, any economic assessment of wind generation should not be based on an expected life which is longer than 15 years. In recent work reported in evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change I assumed that wind plants would have a residual value equal to 20% of their initial cost in real terms at the end of 15 years. The analysis in this paper suggests that this is too favorable an assumption. Given the costs of decommissioning old turbines the residual value is likely to be well below 10% of their initial cost and the decision point may be at 10 rather than 15 years”.

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