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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Megawatts that come and go — Wind energy, shaking up the National Grid in Australia

This postmodern art is what wind power looks like on our national electricity grid. (Like a kindergärtner on steroids). There are 35 wind farms on this spaghetti graph, spread across 6 of our 8 states and territories. They cover thousands of square kilometers and are connected in allegedly the largest electricity grid in the world. This frenetic action covers the last two weeks, and is pretty normal.

You might think the wind “averages out” across the nation.  Noooo. Some days, Australia is windy…

Wind power generation, Australian National Electricity Grid, August 2015

Graph from ANEROID ENERGY for 1 – 16 August, 2015

The total megawatts output varies as per the black line, from zero megawatts right up to 3000.

This below is a typical days national grid demand in winter. Even in the dead of night, the minimum baseload demand is 18,000MW. The nation is talking of going 26% renewable (unless it goes 50%). What could possibly go wrong!

Australian National Electricity Grid, demand, winter, graph

According to AEMO Australia has the largest interconnected electricity grid in the world covering the east coast from Port Lincoln in South Australia to Cairns in Queensland (See the green and red squiggles on the right hand side of the map below) . That’s most of the Australian population. The wind power is mostly sited in the South East – SA, VIC, and NSW.

Australian Electricity Grid, transmission lines, 2009

Australian Electricity Grid, transmission lines, 2009  | Click to enlarge

We are a windy country with wind turbines spread all around. But this big nation has big weather systems. Some days the whole grid is windy and other days, not.

Synoptic Chart of Australia, August 2015

 Australian synoptic chart August 15th 2015.

Just in case you think August is unusual. Here’s the action for July — with the spaghetti removed and the unit in megawatts.

Pity the network manager.

Wind power generation, Australian National Electricity Grid, July 2015

The whole month of July 2015 — wind power across the national grid

Graph sourced from ANEROID ENERGY.

 As Tonyfromoz has pointed out, if the Greens were serious about cutting carbon (sic) they would talk about the new ultracritical hot coal plants which can save as much as 15% of our emissions and produce reliable electricity at the same time.

Or, if say, the health of the planet was a stake, I reckon they might even discuss nukes.

h/t George and his friend on Facebook

Background on wind power

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Rating: 9.5/10 (81 votes cast)
Megawatts that come and go -- Wind energy, shaking up the National Grid in Australia, 9.5 out of 10 based on 81 ratings

168 comments to Megawatts that come and go — Wind energy, shaking up the National Grid in Australia

  • #
    RoHa

    We need to eat more beans.

    171

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      All I can think of is an episode of The Goodies about beans….

      The whole paradigm is borken – wind is a joke, nuclear isnt looked at, we need a mjor disrputer like hydrogen….but of we used the hydrogen tech that is locked deliberately, it would silence the “CO2 Crisis” indefiantely and take away the greenies main toy….

      I say we put huge pressure on the greenies to use hydrogen tech….


      [* * * Where Did Those Comments Go? The missing off topic whole #2 nest has gone here. Please try to stick to the topic at the top of the thread! - Jo]

      40

  • #
    Svend Ferdinandsen

    The same happens in Denmark http://www.emd.dk/el/, but i can not show the history.
    We have at some times a wind production at the same level as our consumption, at other times it is 0, but that is only possible because we can trade with Norway, Sweden and Germany.
    The advocates for windpower often forget that when they praise Denmark.
    Australia and US have not neighbours that can level the production out.

    390

    • #
      janama

      when I was in Cologne last year I was having a chat with another guest in the hotel. I asked him what he did and he replied that his company was in charge of the electricity grid.

      “so you are the bloke that has to synchronize all those damn solar panels and wind turbines?” I asked – he laughed and said “You got it in one”.

      “It’s a joke!” I said, “yes it is, but try convincing the politicians of that” was his reply.

      210

      • #

        “It’s a joke!” I said, “yes it is, but try convincing the politicians of that” was his reply.
        Showing these great daily production charts to them while mentioning that there is no other effective storage than refilling hydro dams with water that first needs to exist someplace lower may help.

        30

    • #
      johnonomous

      Svend Ferdinandsen links to an interesting Danish energy site. You can play around with the calendar to get historic data in fortnights or smaller periods back at least to January 2013. Unlike Australia, the Danes have other countries that they can export electricity to, probably having to pay to have the electricity taken. I don’t know how often some wind turbines need to be curtailed because of over-production but Svend might know if this is occurring. It appears that the danes have the most expensive electricity in Europe.

      50

  • #

    Never mind. It’ll all be dealt with in due course by Australia’s Chief Engineer.

    Australia Seeks Chief Engineer

    A draft advertisement for the position of Chief Engineer is circulating through the corridors of power in Canberra.

    Bureau of the Chief Engineer AustraliaThe Chief Engineer is to run an independent Bureau to advise on policies relating to technologies and to audit spending on infrastructure and deployment of technologies within all of government. The Bureau of the Chief Engineer will operate as an independent, professional, “corporate consultancy and inspectorate” to the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

    Wishful or forward thinking?

    241

    • #
      Ross

      Bernd

      I can see some positives in this if the right person is recruited to run it. Someone with extensive practical, real world experience and someone with real back bone , character wise. It would certainly balance some of the stuff coming from the universities.

      150

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      What type of Engineer, I wonder?

      There seems to be a lot of options to choose from.

      80

      • #
        crakar24

        One of those social types would be nice.

        30

      • #

        What type of Engineer, I wonder?

        My preference is Mechanical Engineer (I must admit a personal bias). Mechanical Engineers have to be au fait with aspects of other disciplines; including electrical, electronic and civil in order to do their bit effectively.

        One shouldn’t discount others out of hand though. There are many e.g. Mining and Power Engineers with a good grasp of what makes things tick; and the experience to have a well-developed sense of proportion.

        20

      • #
        Bill

        Why not a tech instead of an engineer? We used to describe the difference between the two as “an engineer will give you the square root of a pickle jar, but the technician/technologist can take the lid off”. Practical over theory any day…

        00

        • #

          Because the tech probably lacks the background to interpret complex scientific arguments and the systematic problem solving skills of an experienced and competent Engineer.

          The role of the Chief Engineer isn’t to handle formulaic problems. It’s to form an appreciation of the sciences and to guide policy for the application of apppropriate technologies throughout government and in government-funded areas.

          Only Engineers in sheltered workshops deal with pure theory. Real engineering deals substantially with practicalities.

          30

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Has Campbell Newman applied?

      70

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      I fear they will seek someone unworthy of the “Engineer” title, and pick some bozo who will agree with the CAGW nonsense…..no engineer worth their qualification can agree with CAGW. It goers againt common sense and all available evidence.

      I suspect that the Leftists will attempt an end run around engineers credibility generally, by using the “appeal to authority” – so the Leftists can point to the “Chief Engineer” and say “see – he agrees with us…!!”

      A BIG concern I have is the Leftisst will do the same demolition job on engineers credibility as they have done with scientists by dragging them into the lethal and reulsive CAGW quagmire that the Leftists are happy to call home….

      In terms of strategic move to zero engineers credibility in the public mind by getting some twit to sing to the ( faulty ) CAGW hymn sheet, its smart. If youc an destroy all science credibility by reducing it to the level that a complete idiot could understand, they have created effectively a nation of idiots.

      Scary stuff….

      I hope I’m wrong , but I fear I am not.

      70

    • #

      Bernd, lets us hope he is a registered Engineer under the Professional Engineers Act Qld (which should be endorsed by the Commonwealth and all other states). The Act requires compliance with a code of conduct and a code of ethics. A major point is to be competent in specified areas of practice (eg chemical, electrical or mechanical engineering). Unfortunately many engineers (particularly civil engineers) are not competent even in their own field and breach the code of ethics when they endorse matters outside their area of knowledge and understanding (eg thermodynamics associated with understanding of weather and climate). However, the PEAct comes under the criminal code and both unregistered person supplying an engineering service and registered engineers who are incompetent or breach the code of ethics can be prosecuted.

      50

      • #

        I should have added that this “Chief” engineer will need to be registered under the PE Act Qld if he gives any advice about projects in Qld such as the Adani coal mine, roads in Qld (such as upgrade of the Bruce hwy), the Gladstone port dredging, NBN rollout in Qld, CSG pipelines in Qld etc etc.

        50

      • #
        Rod Stuart

        Hi Cementafriend
        I had made this suggestion earlier today but it was in the wrong place and appears to have been obliterated.
        The lady is eminently qualified. She has produced some “green” stuff in the past, but it is mostly because she knows exactly which side of the toast has the butter on it.
        She has a great deal of respect for Stewart Frank and is well versed on both sides of the debate.

        10

        • #

          In a word: No!

          She has no experience running her own company to make a profit. She has only 9 months experience working within an Engineering consultancy. Most of her professional life has been in “sheltered workshops”; places that do not have to show a profit and whose funding is not dependent upon success.

          20

      • #
        AndyG55

        Cem, doesn’t EA endorse the farce of CAGW?

        50

        • #
          Fat Tony

          Just got the latest EA (Engineers Australia)monthly publication – on the cover is the headline “RENEWABLE ENERGY Government directive shakes confidence” and the article on page 12 headlines “Government Meddling Threatens Renewables”.

          There appears to be plenty of idiot “engineers” to pick from…..

          40

        • #

          AnddyG- Some at EA have endorsed CAGW but few are registered PEs under the Act and to my knowledge none of those endorsing CAGW are competent Chemical or Mechanical engineers who actually understand thermodynamics and heat&mass transfer.
          Unfortunately, the Board of Professional Engineers can only act on complaints about people who may not be registered (quite a few have been fined) and registered engineers who are incompetent or in breach of the code of conduct (one person who was registered but falsified the information for registration and was an engineer associated with the collapsed TV building in Christchurch was fined I think about $700,000 and disqualified for life). Engineers tend not to complain unless they interact with someone who is really incompetent and may cause public harm.
          Maybe more complaints need to be made or legislation changed to allow the Board of PE to act not unregistered persons.
          In Qld there is also a Public Sector Ethics ACT that applies to government, universities and other education sector and to local government. Through this engineers in local government need to be a)registered, b) apolitical & c) treat the public with honesty and integrity. Someone should put in a complaint about John Cook who it seems does not understand honesty, integrity, competence and apolitical.

          30

          • #

            Some at EA have endorsed CAGW

            It’s the official position of the organization.

            Engineers Australia’s Climate Change Policy

            Engineers should work to eliminate the causal factors contributing to climate change from engineering endeavours, as well as consider contemporary science in adaptation and mitigation initiatives during planning, design, delivery, operation and decommissioning of engineering works and products.

            Policy
            Engineers Australia policy position is that increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, including from the combustion of fossil fuels, are contributing to anthropogenic global warming and adverse changes to Earth’s climate systems.

            Engineers Australia encourages national greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to be pursued to enable transition to renewable and sustainable energy, water, transport, industry and agriculture systems.

            Engineers Australia will work to facilitate statutory, regulatory and policy reform such as progressive Renewable Energy Targets, incentives to promote renewable and sustainable energy technologies, energy efficiency standards, transport emission limits, and incentives/disincentives to reduce dependence on fossil fuel sources. It is recognised this is part of a transitional process.

            Destroyed by white ants. The Institution has been white-anted by nincompoops for decades. They have lots of policies. Including a rather baffling one that effectively opposes all mining:

            Specific sustainability considerations to be applied to engineering practice … include …:
            1. The use of resources should not exceed the limits of regeneration.

            Download the linked document. It may as well have been drafted by the IPCC. It’s not the professional work of real, competent Engineers.

            Many Professional Engineers who are members of IEAust are only members because regulations require that they remain members in order to keep their job; despite the Institution having become a decrepid, brain-dead husk.

            I would therefore prefer for the Chief Engineer to have no affiliation with IEAust.

            40

            • #

              Bernd, some people mix up the registration as a Chartered Engineer with EA and the registration as Professional Engineer under the PE Act Qld. To be registered as a PE you do not have to be a member of EA. I understand that practically no mining engineer in Qld belongs to EA. Many if not most mining engineers and metallurgical engineers are members of AusIMM who can assess their qualifications and experience for registration as Professional Engineers.
              EA has been infiltrated by incompetents who have a political agenda. They talk about the engineering team and have moved to allow associates and technicians have a say in the constitution and the watered down code of ethics. Similar situations is occurring in many once professional institutions and societies. Look at the AMA and law societies. The legal “profession” has no code of ethics. How Medicos many swear to the Hippocratic Oath

              30

    • #

      For the casually sceptical who haven’t followed the link and twigged that the whole thing is an exercise in running a flag up the pole to see who salutes; one clue should have been that it makes altogether too much sense for a government policy.

      A similar exercise in April may have contributed to the ABC closing its shops and getting back to core business.

      ridicule often decides matters of importance more effectually and in a better manner, than severity. — Horace, in Satires

      10

  • #
    Bloke down the pub

    Australia has an advantage over Europe as it can share the pain over the whole continent. In Europe, the problems caused by one country dumping their unwanted power onto their neighbours has led to breakers being installed for example between Germany and Poland.

    160

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      As I understand the breakers are not yet in action, but close with Poland and the Czech Republic.

      Europe has an advantage in that the large amount of interconnected hydro can make wind fluctuations less important, at least until they run out of capacity. see http://euanmearns.com/how-much-wind-and-solar-can-norways-reservoirs-balance/

      Will Bill Shorten will tell us where all the necessary dams will be built to make his ‘renewable’ fantasies possible?

      220

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        Dams we might be able to build. But to generate power they must have elevation. Elevation we have not much of.

        180

        • #
          Russel44

          Here in Tasmania there’s still lots of capacity for hydro generation – clean, renewable, reliable for baseload, able to be turned on or off within a few minutes, etc. There’s already a cable connecting us to the mainland and a second one could be constructed quite quickly. The only problem is that the Greens will stop any more construction. Bear in mind that it was Bob Brown leading the opposition to the proposed Gordon below Franklin dam that led to the rise of the Greens in the first place – compounded, of course by the weakness of Hawke in giving in to Brown.

          120

        • #
          Debbie

          That’s true Ted…however you would possibly be surprised by how little elevation is actually required to produce hydro power.
          Some upgrading of the hydro power we already have plus extra installations on dams we already have would also produce a great deal more hydro power in OZ.

          50

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            E = mghe, where m = mass of water, g = force of gravity and h = head (height), e = efficiency factor. For use as pumped storage as necessary for taming wind farms use 0.75 for the last factor.

            Less head (elevation) means you need greater water flow rate.

            “A cliff-top salt water storage in WA would be located on land of 100-140m elevation about 1km from the shoreline. To provide 1500MW of capacity, 15-20 headrace tunnels or pipes about 5m in diameter feed hydro turbines, with intake/discharge into the ocean. To minimise environmental impacts and maximise cost effectiveness, two 200ha clay/membrane sealed cliff-top ponds with 120-140m head would be optimal; there are several sites fitting these criteria. Each power station would provide 700-800MW of fast response backup power for up to six hours and would stabilise the output of future wind and wave generators in the vicinity. Such as system would cost less than $5 billion”.
            So, by building vast salt water ponds on the Eyre peninsular SA could be 100% renewables for 2 days of no wind in summer for a mere $100 billion. Or they could spend $7 billion on gas fired CCGT plants and a get a reliable supply all year.
            Since SA uses 7.5% of Australia’s electricity, that means Australia can have 100% renewables for a mere $12,666 billion or roughly $116,000 per head of population (i.e. those who would have to pay for it). And it would only require a fraction over 500,000 hectares.

            100

            • #
              RB

              Or plug the useless desal into the wind farms. We don’t need the water now but its there and the wind farms just f up the system.

              40

  • #

    Yep and those high priced, bird crunching monstrosities managed to generate less than three (3) percent of Australia’s electricity in 2013 and 2014.
    The old SECV’s business plan was to produce safe, cheap, reliable power from brown coal. Wind power is unsafe, expensive and unreliable – but it’s the GREEN plan that is wrecking Australia’s energy industry.

    331

    • #
      Dennis

      I know about one small business that commenced manufacturing in Australia several years before the carbon tax con and the renewable energy surcharge increased the price of electricity that has moved to India. The products are used by defence forces and police in many countries and the production line has a number of extremely high heat electric furnaces.

      But when the decision to move offshore was made the benefits were far greater than electricity price cost reduction, although that was a significant factor. Lower wages and refectory compliance/regulations costs, leasing of land and buildings and more added to the gains of profit margin. The Australian Financial Review reported last year that the average cost of employing skilled labour in Australia was, rounded off, A$600/day. In the US the cost is A$400/day and in India A$200/day. That is the total cost per employee on average calculating all operating costs, not only wages.

      An example I use relates to a Western Australian luxury motor yacht designer and builder who used to sell their vessel for around A$1.5 million subject to fitting out. The same vessel is now built in the US and imported into Australia where the price is around A$900 thousand. The toxic combination of high electricity price, labour costs, industrial relations law costs, compliance with regulations costs (red and green tape) etc., have made Australia uncompetitive. We cannot even build ships including submarines competitively, let alone world’s best quality.

      211

      • #

        Notably; Australia cannot build wind turbines; not even the towers, competitively.

        Germany’s big wind turbine manufacturers chucked in the towel a couple of years ago when subsidies first sagged. They import just about everything that goes into their new “wind parks” now. (BTW: total cost of employment in Germany is also below Australia’s… wages haven’t risen substantially in a decade.)

        40

    • #

      Wow, most posting here have little idea of anything much but you take the cake!

      Shall I just whisper “Morwell mine fire” in your shell like? Coal is dirty in ways beyond GHG emissions! Heavy metals, radioactive elements etc etc all come out the chimney stacks of coal fired power plants.

      Coal has had its day, the Carmichael mine will not proceed, not economically viable and the coal price is in a terminal dive. And coal fired power plants are dirty!

      01

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    Jo, this is a wonderful post. Informative, graphic, fact filled, and shows the horrors wind power brings to a national, regional, or local grid. The astonishing variability must reverberate through the grid causing untold hours of human toil just to try and even out the wild swings and maintain a constant level of power on the grid. It is no wonder that wind farms require diesel backup generators to balance withing the farm and huge fossil-fuel plants to balance across the grid.

    I hope this is picked up and spread widely around the world. The old Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist-Soviet Union tactics of “Admit nothing, deny everything, and counter attack viciously and personally” is alive and being practiced by the radical leftists, global warming zealots every day. Facts as presented herein may help persuade the neutral and the thinking portion of the global warming believers.
    Great job and again, thank you so much.
    PS
    Solar power presents similar problems. Any data for solar power?

    332

  • #
    Doonhamer

    Chief Engineer. (in a American-Scots accent).
    Captain, tha grid cannae taak it. The surges are causing all the breakers to trip and the di-lithium crystals are melting.
    Chief Climate Scientist (in a calming voice which indicates that he is unaware of the seriousness of the situation).
    Simple. Just reverse the polarity of the neutron flow. Simple.

    270

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      That would be very funny, if it were not true.

      As Jo says in the post, “We are a windy country with wind turbines spread all around. But this big nation has big weather systems.”

      Big weather systems tend to produce big winds, and when wind gusts go over a predefined design limit, the rotors are feathered and turbine is decoupled to prevent damage.

      No wind = No electricity. To much wind = No electricity.

      So you cannot replace base load, from coal or nuclear, with something as variable as wind or sunshine, or tidal flow. The variable stuff will only ever be the icing on the cake, and very few power engineers want it.

      200

  • #
    ScotsmaninUtah

    Red flag day..

    If you visit the Australian Green Party’s website, the Australian Labor Party’s website , and the UK Green Party website or any activists website you will see a plethora of renewable energy statements and policies presented in a very convincing and authoritative way.

    “Wind will provide the main source of power by 2030, followed later by wave and tidal power. Solar thermal, photovoltaics and hydropower will be important because of their potential for local and small-scale generation.”

    “Our goal is to Power Australia with at least 90% renewable energy by 2030
    The Greens’ Clean Energy Roadmap sets out a framework to build an Australia powered by the wind, sun and waves.”

    “Labor’s support for clean energy has paid off – under the previous Labor Government, Australia’s wind capacity trebled and Labor supported the installation of more than 1 million solar panels”

    If you then examine the German experience and read their stunning admission back in April 2014. Germany’s Economic Minister and Vice Chancellor to Angela Merkel, Sigmar Gabrie announced that its transition to Renewable Energy was:-

    “On the Verge of Failure.”

    One has to ask, if these groups of activists/politicians are paying heed to the red flags ?

    310

    • #
      Dennis

      They only focus on their political agenda, and the money.

      160

    • #

      I understand that South Australia is one of the leading states pushing for ‘renewable’ energy, so why not go the whole hog and go fully wind, solar and whatever else is deemed to be renewable. In doing so, they should disconnect from the national grid’s dirty power sources and then the rest of Australia can see how well it all works. At the same time, all the Greens and their supporters can move to the nirvana state. The proof of the pudding will only be in the eating.

      170

  • #
    Mikky

    Its worth repeating the arguments that show how pathetic wind is, as a source of energy:

    *Nuclear is tops, huge energy from tiny lumps of metal, strong nuclear forces = vhigh energy
    *Chemical is next, vast quantities in coal, gas and oil, chemical bonds = good energy
    *Wind is pathetic, kinetic energy of air molecules, sometimes unable to bend a feather

    If that ain’t bad enough, why plaster the countryside in wind turbines now, they will all be broken or obsolete in 10 years time.

    340

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      They make a beautiful pyrotechnics display when they catch fire – much better than Guy Fawlkes night.

      120

      • #
        James Murphy

        That’s only if they haven’t been stripped of their copper first!

        10

      • #
        PeterPetrum

        I saw a photo recently (can’t remember where) that showed two engineers standing on the nacelle of a wind turbine that was on fire within a few metres of them. They were embracing each other before, presumably, jumping off to their deaths, as the only other choice they had was to be burnt alive. I can’t get it out of my mind.

        20

        • #
          Dave

          Shocking
          One 17 & one 19 died in this incident!

          1: One fell to his death and was found on the ground underneath the turbine
          2: The other died from his burns and was found inside the charred remains of the turbine

          Don’t watch the video

          http://www.epaw.org/multimedia.php?lang=en&article=a19

          10

        • #

          Australia: Roof insulation. Electrocutions and deaths from hyperthermia. House fires.

          “Green” policies and actions around the globe leave a trail of death and destruction.

          40

          • #

            Coal mines kill thousands around the world every year. You lot really have no idea do you of the real world? Emissions from coal fired generators kill people every year because of particulate, heavy metal etc coming out the smoke stacks.

            Many reasons for switching to clean, renewable forms of energy beside GHG emissions!

            01

            • #

              Coal mines produces lots of TWh for billions of people to use.

              All mining is risky. How will you make steel for wind turbines, etc without coal? How will you make steel without mining for iron ore? How will you make solar cells without mining e.g. quartzite? How will you make e.g. the magnets without mining for rare earths?

              Where, in the first world, are there stack hazardous emissions from coal fired operations?

              Many more people are sick and have died from indoor cooking and heating fires.

              00

  • #
    ivan

    You are not the only ones that have this problem. The UK has it and France is getting it if the present president is to be believed.

    For those interested here are a couple of sites first the UK. and second France.

    90

    • #
      Oswald Thake

      Thanks for putting up those links, ivan. I was about to do it myself to show our Aussie mates what a pathetic shambles wind power is; in the last seven days we haven’t done better than about 15% of installed capacity. And don’t get me started on Biomass! Drax Power Station, Europe’s biggest, standing on one of England’s biggest coal fields, switched some of its capacity to burning wood imported from three thousand miles away purely to get the renewable subsidies! I can always tell when a load comes in as the biomass generated power goes up to its maximum about 3 1/2 GW and stays there until the stock of wood chips are burnt.

      10

  • #

    “Or, if say, the health of the planet was a stake.”
    In the radiative balance equation the single most important number is Albedo. So if global warming is a problem then using lighter coloured gravel and white tinted bitumen on roads while painting roofs white would make a much larger difference.
    If Co2 was a problem then pushing it out of the atmosphere using existing technology is also easy and can be coal fired. http://www.economist.com/node/9253976
    Sadly these simple solutions will not allow large amounts of money to flow or bribe many politicians.

    50

  • #
    pattoh

    Hey Tony, this one will make you laugh:-

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-08-18/germany-struggles-too-much-renewable-energy

    I wonder how their cultural situation ( with guest auto workers ) is going with so many BMWs & Benzs manufactured in China these days?

    Auto construction robots probably don’t run to well on unicorn farts.

    80

    • #
      Bruce of Newcastle

      I read that article just now, and while it has some real clangers in it I was encouraged that the grid instability issue is starting to be heard outside sceptical blogs like Pierre’s.

      Can you imagine what a disaster Shorten’s 50% renewables policy would be? We’d be having grid collapses every week.

      100

  • #
    • #

      Now a not so abnormal minor eruption.
      http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20150819_16.html
      “a major eruption could send rocks flying or trigger flows of hot ash and rocks.”
      You would think the concern would be a rock hitting the nuclear plant or a lava flow but it is likely to be too far away and is over water. The problem feared is ASH. I can imagine ash blocking air and water filters. There may be other simple problems like ash blocking roads and shorting power insulators.

      00

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    In the Pacific Northwest of the USA — 5 min. updates for a week

    http://transmission.bpa.gov/Business/Operations/Wind/baltwg.aspx

    Since Noon Sunday — near zero wind

    80

  • #
    Rud Istvan

    So your grid must have underutilized backup on standby do avoid going dark. And that significant additional cost is never charged to the wind operators. The actual system economics are much worse than wind subsidies alone. And interconnect cannot solve the problem for Australia, Europe as a whole, or the US. Denmark is lucky to have Norway hydro to back it up via that interconnect. Special unusual circumstance. Vermont wind, ditto from Quebec Hydro. It would be much cheaper and just as green for Vermont to just buy Quebec hydropower.

    120

    • #
      Bill

      Quebec’s hydro power actually comes from Churchill Falls in Labrador without the province being fairly paid for the power.

      10

  • #
    handjive

    reference -

    Widget: Live Generation

    We (at GLOBAL-ROAM Pty Ltd) are pleased to be able to work with the RenewEconomy team to assist readers to understand how much renewable generation is currently contributing to electricity supplies in the main electricity grids across Australia.

    The widget shows an instantaneous rate of production (i.e. MWh per hour – or simply MW) and utilises three sources of data

    60

  • #
    Manfred

    For all the background reasons stated by Jo and the omitted obvious, that our ancestors tried and for the most part, discarded this method of energy generation, one rhetorically asks WHY?

    So obviously nothing to do with reliable energy generation, but everything to do with an inefficient, criminally wasteful and distortioning ideology with an unconscious dependence on windblown symbolism. Such mindlessly extravagant progress delaying diversion must inevitably end.

    It is conceivable then, that the only sustainable thing left standing should be reason.

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    Ruairi

    When the wind blows, we’ll have power,
    Maybe here, maybe there, for an hour,
    Perhaps more through the week,
    If a surge hits a peak,
    As supplied from a wind-turbine tower.

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    Peter Miller

    Wind, wind has two different pronounciations.

    Wind blows intermittently.

    Clockwork power requires a good wind or the gadget stops.

    Either way, it is totally unreliable and has no place in a 21st century energy strategy.

    80

  • #
    Another Ian

    Jo

    Very O/T but anyone contemplation going the Windows 10 road ought to read this IMO

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/windows-10-deletes-software-it-doesnt-like-and-other-security-superhighways/

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    Another Ian

    Another graph that fits here

    “Wind power as a share of total primary energy consumption”

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2015/08/we-dont-need-no-533.html

    (Mods – Repeated from the SMH thread if that is OK)

    10

  • #
    el gordo

    Abbott plays hard ball and wedges Labor.

    ‘Tony Abbott has escalated his ­attack on anti-coal activists and challenged Labor to stand up for jobs, by moving to ban green groups from using the courts to stop major developments such as the Adani coalmine.’

    Graham Lloyd / Oz

    100

    • #
      Dennis

      Good move, the Greens have cost Australian businesses and the economy hundreds of millions of dollars by holding projects up and in related court costs.

      One example was the duplication of the Pacific Highway in New South Wales, one section being constructed to join two completed sections was stopped by claims that a very rare native Orchid was in danger of extinction if the duplication works proceeded. The resulting delay in construction took over one year. The construction firm closed its substantial depot and moved machinery and people to other sites.

      90

  • #
    David Maddison

    The top graph would make a nice piece of modern art, but its true story is a tragedy for Australia.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    As I understand it, yet another hidden cost of wind and solar is excessive wear and tear of fossil fuel power stations due to constantly ramping up and down of their output. We aren’t building any more and we are prematurely wearing out the ones we have.

    110

    • #
      bobl

      Not really, yes thats true with diesel and gas, but coal plants can’t really do that, you just gotta dump the excess energy somewhere.

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    David Maddison

    I have heard warm-mongers say that if you had enough wind generators placed north-south up and down the continent you would tend to smooth out fluctuations but the top graph proves that is not true. The wind tends to blow or not blow about the same over the entire 3,685 km longitudinal distance from Cape York (QLD) to South East Cape (TAS).

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    • #
      James Bradley

      I did the calcs some months ago for a local green zealot facebook page that I joust with and from memory – you’d need another 37,000 turbines to meet base load demand and at 32 acres and about $3mil per turbine that’s roughly all our pasture lands, all our native bird life and near $6,000 for every man woman and child living in this country just to establish then there are the ongoing costs of maintenance and then turbine replacement every 15 years at say $22bil.

      Bring back nukes.

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      • #
        ianl8888


        … local green zealot facebook page

        Didn’t believe you, of course

        My experience is that when faced with such information, most people respond: “Well, I’m not a scientist/engineer, whatever …”

        What they mean, basically, is that they lack the knowledge to discuss the issue so they wish to change the subject (but that lack of knowledge will not change their minds)

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      • #
        Manfred

        Something similar was done for the UK, and an approx. starting point for baseload would be something in the order of a minimum of 40,000 windmills, which presents an obvious array of insurmountable practical problems.

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  • #
    pat

    Ted O’Brien says -

    “Pin those charts on the wall for daily reference”

    how about they are pinned on the wall in all the ABC studios around the country, right in the presenter’s – especially Fran Kelly’s – face.

    the commercial media can shill all they want for the wind & solar industry, but not our taxpayer-funded media. ditto SBS studios.

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    David Maddison

    I wonder how long before this wind production data is “homogenised” to even out the output or make it look like it’s producing more than it is?

    100

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    bobl

    Here is the part Tony left out!
    I’m an Electrical Engineer. Let’s look at it from a power systems design perspective.

    Let’s “pretend” that graph is for a year.

    Look at the graph and pick the absolute lowest point on it – is it the first Sunday, or second Sat or Monday? Anyway, take that number and multiply it by about 0.7. That is the baseload power that can be supplied by that system. For all the Hype that number is the number of watts of Coal power that can be shut down and replaced without gas or diesel backup – and frankly I wouldn’t build a whole gas plant just to backup wind – I’d go broke that way.

    Tony, do me a favour and mark this point (70% of minimum) on these graphs, the spaghetti tells the green blob that the wind farms do something they point to the same graph and say see, look at all that power going up and down. Marking the point tells the blob that whatever things wind plants do, replacing fossil power is NOT ONE OF THEM.

    Tony, I call this the baseload equivalent – the maximum power available on something approaching 99.8% availability basis – , which if I recall correctly is roughly what our power systems are supposed to have – AT THE RETAIL END. 99.8% is still 18 hours outage per year! and maintenance, line faults and other emergencies are supposed to fit in that too!

    How do you spell Hopeless, well I spell it W.I.N.D P.O.W.E.R

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    • #
      bobl

      Goodness knows what thrust that comment into moderation!


      Me neither…? – Jo

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    • #
      ianl8888


      … frankly I wouldn’t build a whole gas plant just to backup wind – I’d go broke that way …

      As the Germans and British have shown in actuality. Tax subsidies are now at break point for the various populaces, and the countries adjacent to Germany have grown tired of dealing with the sudden, unpredictable dumps of excess power Germany has inflicted on them. Cameron and Merkel well know this, so watching the greenies struggle here is of some interest

      This is the one issue that could overcome my view that green propaganda has already won – fear within the authorities of widespread, popular anger. It’s a pity that it may come to that dangerous point

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    DaveR

    Jo,

    a lot is made of the rated output capacities of wind farms, but the real data is actually a little harder to find.

    What % of installed capacity did the combined Australian wind farms produce at say for the month of July 2015?

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    • #
      David Maddison

      The nameplate capacity of wind plants is meaningless as they only produce about 25% of that on average. I think it is false advertising to even quote that power figure. The 25% figure is what should be quoted.

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      AndyG55

      I prefer the metric, “What percentage of nameplate can they guarantee to provide 95% of the time.”

      Last time I did a calculation, (April for whole UK network) it worked out at just less than 3% of nameplate.

      This is NOT AN ALTERNATIVE to energy. !!

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    • #
      DaveR

      Thanks both David Middleton and AndyG55, I agree with you both. But I am really looking for the actual figure for July wind energy output as a % of nameplate capacity, to quote to the infidels. Does anyone have this figure? It looks like the average wind output for the month is about 1,500MW/day

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    Ross Stacey

    I hope all of Jo’ s data makes it into evidence in the forthcoming Court Case. I see the Dutch Greens have just sued, and won, a case against their govt. for inaction on Climate Change. Sarc.

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    pat

    19 Aug: SMH: Review questions Coalition push to end ‘legal sabotage’ of resources projects
    by Mark Kenny, Lisa Cox, Jane Lee
    An attempt by Tony Abbott to blame “legal sabotage” used by green groups to kill off large resource projects in the courts, at the cost of tens of thousands of jobs, is derived from dubious and exaggerated evidence, according to an independent review of environmental law.
    An analysis of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act by progressive think tank ***the Australia Institute has found only a fraction of the roughly 5500 projects referred since the act’s inception in 2000 have been challenged using “third-party appeal rights”.
    Elements of the yet-to-be-released study, obtained by Fairfax Media, reveal that of those projects referred to the environment minister for assessment under the act, about 1500 have been judged to require formal assessment, with just 12 refused federal environmental approval – nine of those because they were deemed “clearly unacceptable” even before being referred for formal assessment…
    To that end, the government plans to amend section 487 of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to remove the power of so-called “third parties”, such as environmental groups, from intervening in referrals from the minister under that act, via the courts.
    Labor and the Greens said they would not support government’s proposal, meaning the government will need the crossbench if its plan is to pass the Senate.
    “I regret to say Mr Speaker, that some green groups are doing their best to sabotage jobs and investment in Australia,” Mr Abbott told Parliament.
    Attorney-General George Brandis will move to repeal the section after the successful challenge by a Queensland conservation group in the Federal Court halted Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland…
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/review-questions-coalition-push-to-end-legal-sabotage-of-resources-projects-20150818-gj1xp3.html

    4BC news headlines just now claimed Govt will probably lose this battle as Independents won’t be supporting the change, but says Labor hasn’t decided how to vote as yet.

    “progressive”?

    ***Wikipedia: The Australia Institute
    The current Executive Director is economist Richard Denniss. Denniss’s immediate predecessor was Clive Hamilton…
    The institute is considered left leaning and describes itself as “the country’s most influential progressive think tank”…
    The institute’s researchers are prominent commentators on public policy issues, including work on climate change and emissions trading, taxation policy, paid parental leave and unemployment…
    The Australia Institute has been active in promoting renewable energy development…
    The institute has been largely funded by the Poola Foundation and the Treepot Foundation – philanthropic organisations run by the Kantors, an offshoot of Rupert Murdoch’s family.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Australia_Institute

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  • #

    Pity the network manager.

    unless AI (not the agricultural AI!) has advanced more than I thought, I don’t think they would understand pity.

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    pat

    16 Aug: Lincolnshire Echo: Wind farm opponents dismiss survey claiming few people object to developments
    Opponents of onshore wind farm developments across Lincolnshire have expressed surprise at the results of a survey which has claimed that only 8 per cent of people are against turbines on farmland.
    The Good Energy poll also found just 4 per cent of the public opposed solar farms – and 7 per cent were against biomass plants…
    “Who pays the piper calls the tune, so it’s no shock that a poll commissioned by a wind energy company would find results the client liked,” Sir Edward said. “If they came and asked people here in Lincolnshire, particularly around Hemswell, they would find the locals united in opposition…
    Protect Nocton Fen has just been successful in persuading Swedish firm Vattenfall to drop its plans for 20 turbines each 150 metres tall close to Nocton village, just eight miles south-east of Lincoln.
    Durable opponent Melvin Grosvenor from Baumber 10 miles away described the survey as “without credibility”…
    “We’ve seen these surveys consistently over the years and we find that they ask leading questions to which most people would respond that they are in favour of renewables…
    “This survey has no credibility whatsoever because we don’t know where the 2,000 people live.
    “They are getting the answers they want because they’re obviously not from people in the countryside who are legitimately raising their concerns and being heard.”
    Good Energy admitted to asking specific questions on solar and wind power…
    But Good Energy head of innovation ***Will Vooght claimed: “These stats indicate that opposition to renewable energy remains consistently low, showing it’s a vocal minority dictating policy – flying in the face of public support.”
    Friends of the Earth renewable energy campaigner Alasdair Cameron said: “Wind and solar power are incredibly popular and it is frankly astonishing that the Government continues to make it harder for people to use it.”
    Meanwhile, in the build-up to the COP21 climate change talks in Paris in December, the UK remains likely to miss EU renewable energy targets.
    The nation produces only 7 per cent of its energy from those sources against a target of 15 per cent by 2020.
    http://www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk/Wind-farm-opponents-dismiss-survey-claiming/story-27594988-detail/story.html

    who would trust this guy to do a legit survey!

    ***Real Cool Futures: Interview with Will Vooght, Good Energy
    http://www.realcoolfutures.com/case-study.php/will-vooght-renewable-energy-regulatory-affairs-officer

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    David Maddison

    Consumers must be given a choice whether to use “green” energy or not. Those that use green, i.e. wind or solar must only be able to use that electricity and must not benefit from fossil generation or hydro (which is integrated with fossil). The green consumer will be able to select the maximum price they are willing to pay for solar and wind before their lights go out (or they will go out anyway when there is no wind or sun).

    As was explained in a previous thread in response to my question about smart meters, this charging scheme and the turn-off is all possible with smart meters.

    It is simply not fair that we all have to share the cost of expensive green energy when most of us don’t want it or wouldn’t want it if the true cost were charged.

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    John

    Thanks Jo for a great piece.

    One way to drive the point home further would be to explain for everyone’s benefit how the grid has to be balanced to match total input with total load on a continuous basis, 24/7/365.

    I think most people do not understand this and they think that it’s just like a water supply where the level in the dam varies if there is a mismatch.

    If you could get a concise summary from someone in the power industry explaining the nitty gritty of grid balancing it would be a great post in itself.

    The general public needs to be informed, not misled by the green zealots.

    yes. I agree. Good point. Ahem… We could do “photos” of giant battery farms covering square kilometers where all that spare electricity goes when the “dam” is overflowing. ;-) — Jo

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    • #

      The UK introduced a scheme for backup generation, with thousands of standby diesel generators paid to be available if the other sources of power wobbled too much. The scheme was called STOR (Short Term Operating Reserve – rolling fields of generators). Some of the less-bright politicians just read the initials and were convinced that it was a bank of batteries that stored excess wind and solar power.

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    pat

    throwing Africa under the CAGW gravy train again. unforgivable:

    17 Aug: Brookings Institution: Caroline Kende-Robb: How Africa can show the world the way to a low-carbon future: 10 facts, 10 actions
    (Note: Caroline Kende Robb is the executive director of the Africa Progress Panel, a foundation chaired by Kofi Annan.)
    No region has done less to contribute to the climate crisis, but no region will pay a higher price for failure to tackle it. At the same time, over half of Africa’s population lacks access to modern energy.
    Africa’s leaders have no choice but to bridge the energy gap—urgently. They do have a choice, though, about how to bridge the gap.
    ***Africa can leapfrog over the damaging energy practices that have brought the world to the brink of catastrophe—and show the world the way to a low-carbon future. Africa stands to gain from developing low-carbon energy, and the world stands to gain from Africa avoiding the high-carbon pathway followed by today’s rich world and emerging markets…
    8. Overhaul the climate finance architecture
    Climate finance has failed Africa. It is both chronically underfinanced and fragmented. The separate multilateral agencies offering facilities to support adaptation should be merged into a single facility, perhaps under the auspices of the Green Climate Fund. Rich countries should set a clear timetable for delivering by 2020 the outstanding $70 billion per annum in climate finance…
    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/africa-in-focus/posts/2015/08/17-africa-low-carbon-future-kende-robb

    World Bank Blogs: Caroline Kende-Robb
    Executive Director, Africa Progress Panel
    She is currently on External Assignment from the World Bank.
    Prior to joining the Africa Progress Panel, Caroline worked at the World Bank for ten years as a sector manager and technical specialists for the Sustainable Development Network in the regions of Africa, Europe and Central Asia, and East Asia and the Pacific. Caroline began her career in management for five years in the private sector. She then worked for the EU …
    Before joining the World Bank, Caroline spend seven years at the IMF. Caroline is part of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Africa…
    She holds a BA (Hons) in Geography and MSc in Social Policy from the London School of Economics.
    http://blogs.worldbank.org/team/caroline-kende-robb

    Africa Progress Panel also includes:

    Michel Camdessus
    Michel Camdessus, an economist and French national, was managing director of the International Monetary Fund from 1987 to 2000.

    Peter Eigen
    Professor Peter Eigen, a lawyer by training, worked in economic development for 25 years, mainly with the World Bank in Africa and Latin America

    Robert E Rubin
    Robert E. Rubin became Secretary of the Treasury to President Bill Clinton in 1995…
    Mr Rubin began his career in finance at Goldman, Sachs & Company in New York City in 1966. He became a general partner in 1971 and joined the management committee in 1980. Mr Rubin was Vice-Chairman and Co-Chief Operating Officer from 1987 to 1990 and served as Co-Senior Partner and Co-Chairman from 1990 to 1992…

    Bob Geldof
    (enough said)

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  • #

    Definition of a nightmare!

    Look closely at that bottom graph above in Joanne’s main Thread.

    It shows 16 days of output from all the indicated wind plants, 35 wind plants in total. The Nameplate is close to 4,000MW. There are (around) 2300 to 2500 separate individual towers.

    Look at any point on that black line, the total power output from all of them, the squiggly line which goes up and down across the page. At one point in time, some of those 2500 towers are working and some are not. Ten minutes later some which were working are now not working, and some which were not working are now working. Ten minutes later, same thing. Ten minutes later same thing. All the way across that graph.

    The grid controllers in those areas are now juggling the voltages, and the frequencies to keep a stable grid in operation.

    Up to 2,500 separate units. Coming and going. And who knows when, and where.

    Okay then, now go to the left vertical axis, the total power output. Go up that vertical line to a point between 2500 and 3000, umm, let’s say for example an arbitrary point, umm, 2640MW.

    Now draw a horizontal black line across the page.

    No variation, just a solid black line. No ups, no downs, a set voltage, a set frequency.

    2640MW. Constant, unvarying, stable.

    That black line is the output for the same 16 days from Bayswater.

    One power plant.

    Four units.

    Four, not 2500. Just four of them.

    Now tell me that wind power is not a problem.

    Tony.

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      ScotsmaninUtah

      Tony great post :D

      assuming the graph is representative of the supply/load characteristics of wind generation It will probably produce some sag and swell and significant harmonic distortion.

      I would hate to be an appliance on the receiving end of this signal.

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      • #
        gai

        I understand that in the UK/EU they are now doing ‘brownouts’ to balance the load. This really messes up your electric motors and shortens their life. (I just lost my refrigerator and my chest freezer to grid problems)

        It also can fry electronic gear LINK

        Bishop Hill: Belgian brownout, German emergency, British plan

        Blackouts are bad enough but variable voltage/current is going to mess up a lot of equipment and not just in the home.

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    george

    Tony
    You got that right about controllers juggling – having spoken to a guy I know at the pointy end.
    PITA is the impression I got…

    Leonard – re your solar query?
    Go to the Aneroid Energy Home page.
    Untick everything under the graph except for Total.
    Then (thinking of all the turbines around the countryside, and how much that has likely cost to date) toggle Wind on and off.
    Then (thinking of the multitudes of house roofs with panels on them, and how much that has likely cost to date)…just for a giggle…do the same with Solar.
    :)

    30

    • #
      Yonniestone

      The intermittent nightmare of wind generated power was foretold in 1927 from the movie Metropolis , we should legislate by law that wind proponents be forced to perform this task if the insanity of 100% so called renewables is implemented by the feeble minded.

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    David Maddison

    In a thread a few months ago recall that someone calculated that at current electricity prices you would be almost better off to go off-grid and have a diesel generator in your back yard. Alternatively, to solve the problem of constant deliveries of diesel, I guess you could use a natural gas powered engine. There is something very badly wrong with our electricity system.

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    observa

    Don’t you deniers and skeptics worry about those squiggly lines. By the time we Greenies have finished homogenizing and pasteurizing the data and processing it all through our computer models you’ll soon see the hockey stick of renewable nirvana. Ever onwards and upwards with Gaia!

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    george

    A correction to my previous!!!
    (Thought something was a little NQR after posting…)
    The Aneroid site appeared to list only commercial solar. And there is currently a note regarding data provision issues to AEMO by solar firms.

    To more realistically interpolate solar (for SA at any rate);
    SA base load circa 1GW.
    SA peak demand generally 2.5GW.
    SA solar installed capacity circa 0.7GW.
    In 2014, the solar component of power generated in SA was about 6%.

    However – across whole-of-Oz it is closer to 2% apparently…

    20

    • #

      Rooftop Solar accounts for around 1.6% of total consumption, and overall solar contributes around a little under that 2% you quoted.

      Wind power currently sits at around 4.5% of total consumption.

      So, wind and solar make up around 6.5% of total consumption. That’s around 13.5TWH of power.

      The absolute 24 hour physical requirement is around 140TWH per year, so wind and solar don’t even make 10% of that, and hey, who cares, that power is required for 24 hours of every day. Wind and solar cannot do that.

      Total consumption is around 210TWH per year.

      If it wasn’t for Hydro, renewable power would look like the flop it is. The total power delivered from renewables comes in at around 14%. There’ll be no more hydro in Oz in the foreseeable future, so wind and solar is what they will have to rely on here, and there’s no way known they can get it up to Labor’s hoped for 50%.

      Tony.

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        george

        Tony, all noted.

        FYI re my 6% solar for SA, that was from the table on p21 of the AEMO 2014 South Australian Electricity Report.
        A table note…
        “Rooftop PV is not registered with AEMO, but is included here given its material contribution to generation in 2013–14.”

        http://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/Planning/South-Australian-Advisory-Functions/South-Australian-Electricity-Report

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        David Maddison

        I don’t think hydro as an old-style renewable should be placed in the same category as wind and solar as unlike those, hydro is by and large predictable, constant and controllable.

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        manalive

        … there’s no way known they can get it up to Labor’s hoped for 50%.

        It’s an aspirational goal, like his “aspirational” goal of having 50% of ALP parliamentarians being women or doubling the ‘refugee’ intake (aka not stopping the boats) or, from an earlier generation: “… by 1990 no Australian child will be living in poverty …”.

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    Rod Stuart

    Once upon a time there was a King who wanted to go fishing. He called the royal weather forecaster and inquired as to the weather forecast for the next few hours.

    The weatherman assured him that there was no chance of rain in the coming days. So the King went fishing with his wife, the Queen.

    On the way he met a farmer on his donkey. Upon seeing the King the farmer said, “Your Majesty, you should return to the palace at once because in just a short time I expect a huge amount of rain to fall in this area”.

    The King was polite and considerate when he replied: “I hold the palace Meteorologist in high regard. He is an extensively educated and experienced professional. And besides, I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him and I will continue on my way.” So the King continued on his way.

    However, a short time later a torrential rain fell from the sky. The King and Queen were totally soaked and their entourage chuckled upon seeing them in such a shameful condition.

    Furious, the King returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the weatherman at once!

    Then he summoned the farmer and offered him the prestigious and high paying role of Royal Forecaster. The farmer said, “Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey’s ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain.”

    So the King hired the donkey.

    And so began the practice of hiring asses to work in the government and occupy its highest and most influential positions.

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    Joe

    Jo, without any intention of sounding like supporting wind power, I think your broad claim of the ‘base load’ we ‘need’ is a little misleading. Surely you would acknowledge that coal fired power by definition needs to have a significant night time load just to be able to supply the daytime load and as such we have tailored our usage a great deal to facilitate this source of power. We heat our hot water at night and store it rather than heating it on demand, we run many factories and industrial processes at night, we pump water up into dams at night, we leave on heaps of lights at night, we sell the electricity cheaper at night, all to even out (reasonably successfully I would add) that load profile. So that ‘base load’ figure is to a large extent, an artefact of the technology. If you were to really talk about our energy ‘needs’ at night, then like most species we would probably not use as much in the night as we do in the day and we probably would not choose to inefficiently store hot water if we could just heat it on demand. Most species seem to cope with the day and night cycles of energy from the sun and have that make-hay-while-the-sun-shines strategy. I think we are shooting ourselves in the foot if we baulk at any energy source (good or bad)simply because it is intermittent. Joules are Joules. I think that intermittent energy could be sold as simply that with its own tariff (yes, read smart metering) and that there are plenty of uses for intermittent energy. Someone here I think mentioned that possibly it could be used to drive de-sal plants which seemed reasonable. I think the current problems with the wind saga is that it has been encouraged to just be dumped into the grid without a specific demand for it. Heck with its own tariff you could even sell it at its true cost without knocking up the regular NEM prices.

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      Rod Stuart

      What part of that 18 GW load are you prepared to do without, Joe?
      Please don’t take offense, but I don’t think you understand the electricity market.
      How on Earth do you reconcile that base load is an “artefact of the technology”?
      Would you prefer factories shut down at night? That cool stores shut down refrigeration at night? Black out the streets as though it were war time? Because that is exactly what will happen if Willy Shorterm and Sarah Sea Patrol get their way.

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    • #

      Joe,

      here’s where a lot of people have no concept of what that power is used for during those night time periods.

      Look especially at every building taller than two stories in towns and cities all across the Country, your typical skyline, and it doesn’t need to be just those huge Capital cities, as it’s every structure taller than 2 stories.

      EVERY single one of them has an air conditioning unit on the roof, and here, don’t think of it is warm in Winter and cool in Summer. The nature of those buildings is that they must remain closed. Those units are there to provide actual recirculated breathing air into and out of those buildings. It is the only air supply in those buildings. You cannot turn that off overnight and then turn it back on the next morning. It just doesn’t work that way.

      Those units with their compressors run 24/7/365, and they have to.

      Add up all of them and it’s an absolutely huge power usage.

      Every town city large city capital city.

      You cannot just turn them off.

      Artefact of technology. Really.

      There is so much power consumption at night, that what you have mentioned barely covers 2% of it.

      Tony.

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        Gary in Erko

        Tony, your note about night time energy usage has sparked my idle curiosity. For our cities, ranging in population and industry type density from (say) Sydney to Hobart – roughly how much energy per hectare is needed for night-time street lights?

        A google search with keywords ” area hectares” gives 1.2 million for Sydney, 170 thousand for Hobart, in hectares (rounded).

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      • #
        Joe

        So Tony, the electricity retailers sell their wares at off-peak times at a cheap rate just out of benevolence? Nothing to do with the free market principles of supply and demand? The cheap price has nothing to do with encouraging the shifting of the load profile? Just a happy convenience that us humans have enough demand 24/7 to make the coal fired job an easy one? It seems like a big impost to have every home have and maintain an inefficient hot water storage unit if it is some percentage of that tiny 2% that you claim. Same can be said about all the costs of the pumped hydro – all for some fraction of a lousy 2%? I am certainly not claiming no loads need a 24 hr supply, that is farcical and extreme, simply that our natural pattern (not that influenced by the nature of coal fired) is less at night and that is ordinarily a problem for the coal fired power and has been for as long as coal fired has been the mainstay, especially our vintage of coal fired. The total load profile is an average of a great many smaller loads and it does not simply imply that all of those loads need power 24/7 or even that 98% need power 24/7. That is the old way of thinking, not wrong per se, but needs to be brought up to date with the newer technologies and markets. As we see more potentially large loads like electric vehicle charging joining that load profile, they are good candidates for soaking up any sources of intermittent power, smartly managed on a separate tariff. Every State in Australia is considering ‘smart grid’ technology to manage loads and create more energy products to sell. You can pretend it is not a reality but it wont stop it being an issue and most likely a reality here at some point. Remember that as customers, we are buying energy not power. Alternative energy suppliers need to be able to compete in the market on their own merits and not be fed a lifeline from a government and just thrown into the ‘electricity mix’. I have no problems with a supplier offering an intermittent supply if that product can be distinguished on the network it shares with other suppliers and sold separately.

        16

        • #

          Residential Consumption is around 30% of the overall.

          Commerce and Industry consume the remainder.

          The average Commerce consumer is residential multiplied by between tewn and a hundred.

          The average Industrial consumer is residential multiplied by 100 to 500+

          Commerce and Industry are on separate contracted (and how do I accentuate that word contracted at a set contractual price paid) prices for ALL their electricity consumption, and there are quite literally a huge number of contracts for consumption. The commercial enterprise or Industry selects the contract best suited to them and their consumption.

          They don’t sell the electricity cheaper at night because its excess. They generate and then sell only what is actually required to be actually consumed. Have you not read comment 43.2.

          And when will you people realise that electricity consumption is not your home hot water system or what you use in your home. Residential consumption is barely 30% of the overall consumption.

          They pay their contracted price for every KWH of power they consume, day or night.

          If Coles/Woolies choose (as if) to keep their cold storage running at night, they pay the same per KWH as they do during the daytime. (read comment 43.3)

          Electricity is not sold off cheap.

          Tony.

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          • #
            Joe

            Like you say Tony, I definitely don’t have your same understanding of how electricity pricing works or how it defies the market place laws of supply and demand. What I know is different to what you know. I know the NEM spot prices at night are lower than in the day. I know that for domestic supply (yes that minor 30%) the off peak controlled tariff is cheaper than the all day tariff. I know that commercial tariff customers who use energy all day pay a contracted price which takes into account the fact that they are consuming during the day and during the off peak times and may be committed to minimum consumption agreements. I know that our coal fired stations can’t operate with a huge difference between night time load and day time load and aim to lessen that difference. And while I am not saying you are wrong with your 2% figure of ‘shifted load’, I am very skeptical, maybe even 97% skeptical that it is as low as that.

            14

    • #

      Oh, and Joe,

      the next time you’re out grocery shopping, look at you local Coles or Woolies and note the cold storage, the banks and banks of cold storage. They have to be left on, sorry, must by law be left running 24/7/365.

      There are around 800 Coles stores In Australia, the same number of Woolies, and the same number of Independents. That’s a lot of compressors cycling 24/7/365.

      People who think ‘Base Load’ is just a dumping ground for excess power at night give me the (insert appropriate word here). It’s all the things you never see, and take for granted, and all those things that give us the lifestyle we have become accustomed to, you know, the things required to actually keep the Country running.

      It’s not a damned derogatory adjective to describe coal fired power plants. It’s an actual physical requirement.

      And here in Oz, it’s around 18,000MW at its minimum, for 364 days a year. The only day it’s lower than that is Christmas Day, and only by around 2000MW, but hey, no one works on that day. That alone should give you an idea. The day of absolute least consumption is that Christmas Day, and it barely rises over the low point, and with everyone at home, and no one at work, it indicates ….. graphically, that Residential consumption is small when compared to all other consumption.

      Take that away that Base Load, and Australia grinds to an absolute halt. Full stop.

      Tony.

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      • #
        Joe

        Sorry Tony, I think we were probably typing at the same time you posted that last one. As I pointed out, I am not arguing the case that there are no loads that need 24/7 power. I just disagree with your determination that the low point on the graph represents the minimum ‘need’ and your suggestion that none of the load has been ‘artificially’ shifted to that off-peak time to better suit the coal fired properties.

        16

        • #

          Joe,

          please.

          They don’t, as you say, ‘artificially’ shift the load to that off peak time. It’s a physical actual requirement. That power has to be supplied to keep all those things running.

          If there was no actual requirement, then the plants would just shut down.

          That generated power is actually being consumed, not because it’s there, but because it’s actually required.

          Tony.

          71

          • #
            Joe

            Tony, I am sorry I confused you when I said ‘artificially’ but I did put it in quotes hoping you might not take it literally. I was trying to make the distinction between what one might do naturally versus what one might do without the cheap tariff incentive. For example I would ordinarily heat my water as I needed it rather than have an additional storage tank and do it at night because it is cheaper.
            I am a little puzzled by your claim that the load shifting that does occur by the few arrangements I mentioned only amounts to a meagre 2%. I know it is only back of envelope stuff but if I went out on a limb and figured that the residential demand was as you say about 30% and that the water heating component of that might typically be 50% in an average household then that would seem to suggest that the water heating alone was a not so insignificant 15% at night, and that is just the off peak water heating I mentioned, how about then the pumped hydro and the industry taking advantage of the off-peak rates? I think you have pumped hydro in the SEQ in your state, that should have some easily worked figures. Are they still in that 2% too?
            You quote refrigeration loads a lot in your 24/7 claims and to a large extent I don’t disagree with that, especially with the current technology, however that will all change with time too with rising energy costs and refrigeration designs will have to become more efficient and no doubt more flexible. Refrigeration is not a hard challenge as you effectively ‘store’ the cold (and before people jump on that concept too, I do use it somewhat metaphorically rather than scientifically). Boaties have long dealt with the challenge of running refrigeration on a boat with limited and intermittent power and make use of eutectic lined chests, high insulation and other efficient technologies to make this possible. In the US you can buy ice ‘batteries’ (note the quotes again) basically just a huge tank of refrigerant material you freeze with solar power or other intermittent power and use to exchange heat and cool as needed. You have a complimentary hot tank which does a similar job.

            15

            • #
              Dave

              .

              OH Great

              A fisherman Joe!

              Boaties have long dealt with the challenge of running refrigeration on a boat with limited and intermittent power and make use of eutectic lined chests, high insulation and other efficient technologies to make this possible.

              Boaties?
              Fisherpeople?
              Trawlers?
              OR

              Fishing companies?

              But these are not allowed anymore!

              FV Margiris, is nearly state of the art, yet not allowed in Aussie waters?
              Greenpeace is totally opposed to this!

              So what do you suggest?
              Mini FV Margiris that would be inefficient, uneconomical and useless

              I think you are talking of recreational fishing here Joe, not commercial?

              Can you link me to an example of an economical GREEN COMMERCIAL FISHING VESSEL please?

              It’s here now!

              But unfortunately not allowed?

              WHY Joe?

              31

              • #
                Joe

                Huh? Dave, not sure what you were getting at here. I am not a fisherman, I no nothing about it, let alone commercial fishing operations. I was referring to ‘yachties’. They probably don’t put fish in their fridges, just beer, I guess. Perhaps someone else here will pipe up with some answers to your questions. John West?

                13

              • #
                Dave

                .

                But you used it as an example Joe:

                Refrigeration is not a hard challenge as you effectively ‘store’ the cold

                Then inferred BOATIES had solved the problem?

                You never mentioned Yachties?

                Why did you refer to this subject if not making a point?

                NOW!

                John West?
                Yachties?

                Please be more specific Joe!

                21

              • #
                Joe

                Yes it seems I am very confused now Dave. I must have errantly picked up the term ‘boatie’ at some point in life assuming it was interchangeable with ‘yachtie’, dreadfully apologetic about that. Barramundi.

                13

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Joe:

          re shifting, it depends on whether you shower in the morning or at night (or if you’re a smelly Green). If you are a morning person you have hot water available from lower priced electricity, whereas at night you get water heated at a higher price.
          Solar hot water doesn’t really change this when there are overcast days, as top-up heat after any heating during the day is still cheaper overnight.

          Renewable might have a place, especially in remote areas, but to try and add large amounts of variable output methods onto a stable system results in blackouts. You need fast acting generation e.g. diesel or hydro when the wind fails or the sun doesn’t shine, and pumped storage for when there is plenty of wind. Since the Greens oppose those methods there is no point in pursuing “renewables’ especially with the much higher costs.
          If you disagree I have no objection to you going off grid, installing generators and storage at YOUR expense. Industry and commerce will do whatever is cheapest.

          By the way, do you have an electric clock, DVD player/recorder/set top box, digital clock radio, computer connected to the internet, hot water service (night time), security lights or street lights near you etc.? All of these use control signals coming from the grid.

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          • #
            Joe

            Graeme, I am not sure I was making any case for renewables, not that I realised. The example I was referring to with Tony was the off-peak tariff which is available in many supply areas. This is a controlled supply which basically heats up your big tank of water late at night and early morning and then you can actually use the hot water at any time of the day you like (or not as you point out is the wont of your greenies). Because it only uses energy at night they sell it at a cheaper tariff. You can use that same night time tariff on the solar hws booster too, that would be the norm. No real dramas with any of that if the tank is reasonably big to suit your family needs. Agree with you on the dumping of the intermittents into the grid causing problems (and not just with the $$$) because this energy has not been called for by the loads and it relies on the other sources to respond rapidly and randomly which is a big, and I think, unfair challenge. The principle behind the smart metering can ensure that the intermittent supply is only dispatched to the grid when those particular customers demand it and this makes it a lot more transparent to the other sources who carry on supply as normal. Yes indeed I probably have one or two of those gadgets altho maybe nothing of the generation that depends on the 50 Hz timing signal or any of the switch signals. The little 50hz motor clocks are a very handy little gadget tho for use as an integrator which I have used for measuring the effective duty cycle of fridge motors, just wire it to the motor terminals and bob’s your uncle – it starts and stops and gives a very handy indication of how long the motor has been operating in any given 24hrs.

            03

          • #
            Joe

            Graeme, I think most everyone who is off the grid is doing things off their own back and the bulk of them would definitely not like to be classed as ‘greenies’, however having said that there is the small issue of diesel fuel excise which if you are considered to be a valid RAPS (Remote area power supply) candidate, the tax payers forgo a little income here to help you out where a city punter would have to pay that fuel excise as normal.

            23

            • #
              Graeme No.3

              @Joe:

              Thanks for clearing up my misunderstanding.
              The reason for night tariffs is that the coal (& nuclear and any other continuous method) have to run 24 hours a day. A coal fired station can take 3 days to start up from cold, so shutting down when morning will bring high demand is silly (and just increases maintenance costs). The night tariff is to encourage demand at times of low demand, thus reducing any loss, and also decreasing the peak demand.

              It makes sense from engineering and financial viewpoints, something that renewables (in the city) don’t.

              I see you attracted 2 red thumbs for your RAPS comment…?? Probably from a couple of farmers.

              30

  • #
    Rod Stuart

    The NDP recently won an election in the Province of Alberta.
    If you have never heard of the NDP, just imagine Sarah Sea Patrol and Lee Rhiannon high on ice and Loco weed.
    They are doing a survey, and of course make the assumptions that “global warming” is not just a figment of some damned fool’s imagination, that the term “climate change” is not a load of nonsense, and that of course Big Oil, Big Coal, and Big Pharma cause all the world’s problems.
    I am sure that Albertans would appreciate all of the readers of this blog completing the survey.

    60

  • #
    gai

    O/T

    Thought you might be interested Jo.

    Seems Willis over at WUWT really stepped in the fecal material when he decided to treat Dr. Nir Shaviv to the sharp edge of his pen HERE.

    Dr. Shaviv’s rebuttal: Reply to Eschenbach

    The dispute is over the adjustments to the sunspot record and Dr. Shaviv’s response to the rewrite: The Sunspots 2.0? Irrelevant. The Sun, still is.

    10

    • #
      ianl8888

      Eschenbach states that Shaviv et al replaced actual solar data with a sine wave (because, says Eschenbach, the actual data didn’t fit any result) and then called the sine wave an harmonic solar event, or some such. Eschenbach further says that replacing actual solar data with a simple sine wave, irrespective of what it is then called, cannot tell you anything about reality, only about the sine wave

      This appears sensible to me. I cannot find where Shaviv et al actually address this point

      10

      • #
        gai

        Actually Dr Shaviv did address the ‘sine curve’

        ….Studying this phase mismatch is simpler and clearer in a harmonic analysis, which is why we used it, but it is also possible to do it with a more direct solar proxy. I know this, because we also carried out the full analysis, but during the refereeing processes decided to leave it out as it didn’t add any more physics while making the results more opaque. If anyone is bored, he or she can read this “supplementary material” describing this analysis here.

        Willis shot from the hip without doing all the checking he should have. Given Dr. Shaviv has been working on Cosmic Ray data for years, I am surprised Willis didn’t go looking like I did.

        (All he had to do was put ‘Cosmic Rays’ in the sciencebits search engine for crying out loud!)

        What did I find?

        Cosmic Rays and Climate

        The oceans as a calorimeter

        (I am forbidden access to the actual paper linked in the sciencebits article) but I think I found it:
        The solar and Southern Oscillation components in the satellite altimetry data
        Daniel Howard, Nir J. Shaviv and Henrik Svensmark

        In the first sentence of the introduction is a pointer to this paper.
        On climate response to changes in cosmic ray flux and radiative budget Shaviv N.J.

        That paper in turn points to several others including Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate Shaviv and Veizer, 2003

        That paper gives this legend for the ‘sine curve’

        Figure 2. The cosmic ray flux (Φ) and tropical temperature anomaly (∆T) variations over the Phanerozoic. The upper curves describe the reconstructed CRF using iron meteorite exposure age data (Shaviv, 2002b). The blue line depicts the nominal CRF, while the yellow shading delineates the allowed error range. The two dashed curves are additional CRF reconstructions that fit within the acceptable range (together with the blue line, these three curves denote the three CRF reconstructions used in the model simulations). The red curve describes the nominal CRF reconstruction after its period was fine tuned to best fit the low-latitude temperature anomaly (i.e., it is the “blue” reconstruction, after the exact CRF periodicity was fine tuned, within the CRF reconstruction error). The bottom black curve depicts the 10/50 m.y. (see Fig. 1) smoothed temperature anomaly (∆T) from Veizer et al. (2000). The red line is the predicted ∆Tmodel for the red curve above, taking into account also the secular long-term linear contribution (term B × t in equation 1). The green line is the residual. The largest residual is at 250 m.y. B.P., where only a few measurements of δ18O exist due to the dearth of fossils subsequent to the largest extinction event in Earth history. The top blue bars are as in Figure 1.

        Which brings us back to the laymen’s explanation I posted at the top.

        Dr. Shaviv has removed the pointer to WUWT

        It now says:

        Wattsupwiththat removed.
        Not sensible anymore.

        30

        • #
          ianl8888


          The solar and Southern Oscillation components in the satellite altimetry data
          Daniel Howard, Nir J. Shaviv and Henrik Svensmark

          Now it makes some sense

          Thanks

          10

    • #
      el gordo

      I like the stuff on sea level rise due to thermal expansion, its all down to the sun and El Nino.

      10

  • #

    My personal database covers the 5 minute Dispatch and Price data from the Australian Energy Market Operator files from start of 2014. It is a bit complicated and has some remaining bugs but you are welcome to have a browse around. I am happy to construct reports/plots to meet other uses if time permits.

    20

  • #
    RogueElement451

    Where the windmills fail to work because of lack of wind ,on very hot days they could be tilted from the vertical axis to the horizontal axis,convection would create an updraft causing spin and with the exposed upper sails being fitted with solar panels limitless free energy.
    I expect to receive news from Sweden shortly about my Nobel Award for creative genius.

    30

    • #

      Alberta will have an easier time gaining access to global energy markets if we demonstrate to our global trading partners that we are serious about climate change.

      Strongly agree. Everybody likes to think that the other trading partner is a mug punter.

      Comment:

      If gullibility were of real value, Alberta could be a leading world exporter.
      You’ve fallen for the con: Hook, line and trawler.
      “Climate leadership”? Pull the other one.

      Stop the destruction of prosperity so that you can rescue the world from the ashes of the fires that you’re lighting.

      Comment @21

      Question 14 doesn’t collect opinions. It’s like the elections in the Soviet Union: all the candidates are from the same party.
      All of the mneasures are a nonsense that will achieve no measureable benefit to “climate”. They will make lots of people poorer; and a few far more wealthy.

      @23

      The people have chosen to be governed by fools who spin scary stories, protecting them from scary monsters, unicorn stampedes and Yankees under the bed.

      Barring thermonuclear global war, mankind does not measurably affect climate outside of the small areas of actual habitation. Even afetr global destruction, the Earth will recover; in much the same as it did from the Younger-Dryas period. (Ask a real scientist!)

      Climate has been changing for billions of years. The climate has been warmer for 65% of the past 10,000 years. ie. we’re living in COLDER than average times.

      Climate is not fragile. It is resilient. If it were “teetering” as the fearmongers preach, then complex species such as primates could never have evolved.

      If Alberta wants to do something to benefit the environment, then it can give nature a hand by cleaning up nature’s massive oil spill on the sands as quickly as possible.

      20

    • #

      This is the reply to 47.

      I’ve previously published a concept to deal with idle wind turbines. I can’t understand why nobody’s implemented it, especially in the North Sea where there’s natural gas readily available.

      10

  • #
    pat

    reminder:

    21 July: Hindustan Times: Increased coal production helps meet Prime Minister’s power promise
    by Suveen Sinha & Aman Malik
    It is only now, says Anil Swarup, that he fully understands what Prime Minister Narendra Modi told him when he first took charge as coal secretary. “Fix coal, fix the economy,” Modi had said…
    Last year, Modi became Prime Minister with a promise of 24×7 electricity to all.
    The transformation has been made possible by an unprecedented surge in Coal India’s output. The state-owned miner produced 494 million tonnes in 2014-1The target for this financial year is 550 million tonnes.
    The government targets producing 1.5 billion tonnes of coal by 2019-20, the anticipated demand at that time, assuming 8 to 9% growth in the GDP. Of that, 1 billion tonnes is to come from Coal India.
    The rest is to come from private companies that have won blocks in the recent auctions 5, an increase of 32 million tonnes over the previous year…
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ht-special-increased-coal-production-helps-meet-pm-s-power-promise/article1-1371448.aspx

    to be fair, i am posting this update:

    10 Aug: DNA India: Sumit Moitra: Coal India’s billion-tonne goal quietly rolled back
    The much hyped 1 billion tonne production target for Coal India (CIL) announced by Union coal minister Piyush Goyal, may have been given a quiet burial. CIL has admitted that it can reach up to only 908 mt, a good 100 million less than what has been touted by the ministry since May grabbing the fancy of power producers as well as investors…
    “Coal India has prepared a roadmap for achieving a coal production level of about 908 mt in 2019-20 from the current level of production of 494.23 mt,” coal and power minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to Lok Sabha last week…
    CIL officials admitted that it is yet to identify projects that can take care of the rest of the target…
    What’s more, CIL has also revised downwards the production target for 2016-17, the terminal year of the 12th Plan period from earlier envisaged 615 mt to 597.60 mt…
    The delays for mine and non-mine projects are mainly due to issues relating to land acquisition, rehabilitation, forest and environmental clearances and railway connectivity. The yearly target for the current 2015-16, however, has been kept unchanged at 550 mt, translating into a production growth of 11%…
    Nonetheless, CIL’s scaling down on its production as well as investment targets wouldn’t be music to the ears of global equipment suppliers, many of whom has been waiting for orders to flow from the Indian mining behemoth in times of global slowdown in investment in new mines.
    http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-coal-india-s-billion-tonne-goal-quietly-rolled-back-2112715

    the point i want to make is even the revised figures are staggering.
    will post a second comment re ABC on this subject.

    20

  • #
    Billy Bob Hall

    Solar will fill the gaps ? Maybe the stored wind energy in ‘cheap’ everlasting batteries can be used to power wind turbines, which turns them into fans which can then blow us around to the sunny side of the earth ? ;-)
    (The future is so bright I gotta get me some stronger shades).

    20

  • #
    pat

    Fran’s ABC Breakfast this morning:

    19 Aug: ABC Breakfast: Adani’s Carmichael coal mine and India’s ‘energy poverty’
    Earlier on RN Breakfast, Michael Roche, head of the Queensland Resources Council, said the Indian Government is focused on coal-fired power generation ‘to deal with the fact that 300 million Indians don’t have electricity today’.
    But according for Dr E.A.S Sarma, that’s only partly true.
    He’s the former head of India’s Ministry of Power, and he says small scale, off-the-grid renewable generation like hydro, biomass and solar are the only ways of powering the poor in India.

    as always,, it’s what ABC doesn’t say that is telling.

    Fran calls Sarma “the former head of India’s Ministry of Power”, but doesn’t say he retired 15 years ago when he was “demoted” to the Dept of Coal:

    Sarma, who was unceremoniously transferred to the lowly Department of Coal, told this correspondent that he was on Thursday offered the Chairmanship of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the power sector regulatory body,
    as a sop…
    http://www.angelfire.com/in/jalnews/02114.html

    Sarma denied he resigned because of his transfer to the Dept of Coal:

    Nov 2000: Rediff: ‘Linking my resignation to the reshuffle would be unfair to the government’
    by Y Siva Sankar in Bombay
    Economic Affairs Secretary Dr E A S Sarma, now making news for seeking voluntary retirement from the civil service, has sought to dispel rumours that he decided to quit in protest against his transfer as coal secretary…
    He ruled out joining the corporate sector in the near
    future. “No way. I have a pathological revulsion for corporate jobs.” …
    http://www.rediff.com/money/2000/nov/02sarma.htm

    could the venerable civil servant, EAS Sarma, also have a pathological revulsion for coal due to the above?

    one more comment to come.

    20

  • #
    pat

    Mungo hearts Sarma.
    taxpayers pay for this?

    11 Aug: ABC The Drum: Mungo MacCallum: Abbott’s infatuation with coal blinds him from reality
    And thus last weekend, when the secular saints and their disciples were assembled, there was not doubt about who was the potential messiah. Julia Gillard could hardly have received more rapturous applause if she had been reincarnated as Joan of Arc, walking free from the flames to proclaim the dawn of a new and better world.
    But for every heroine there has to be a villain, and the organisers cast this role for one of the demon princes of the evil empire commanded by the arch fiend, Rupert Murdoch…
    And when it comes to the case of Adani, Abbott’s infatuation has blinded him from reality – the sign of a true romantic. Abbott apparently believes that the arrival of Australian coal will suddenly liberate the power-hungry masses of India from their needs. But as the former Indian secretary for power, Eas Sarma, somewhat acerbically pointed out, the problem is that many of the hundreds of millions of his citizens are not connected to the grid system, and because of their remoteness, are not likely to be.
    Coal is never going to be an option, and even if it were, Indonesian coal would be much cheaper than the product of the Galilee Basin. Far more practical, and economic, will be renewables, especially solar…
    But Abbott still clings on to the comforting myths of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Magic Pudding of endless coal…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-11/maccallum-abbotts-infatuation-with-coal/6687542

    Guardian hearts Sarma – Greenpeace, Sierra Club, etc picked this up:

    7 Aug: Guardian: E.A.S. Sarma: Coal is not the answer to India’s energy poverty, whatever Tony Abbott says
    As a former secretary of India’s ministry of power, I know India’s challenges. Australian coal doesn’t make economic sense for us – but renewables do…

    Sarma speaks the ABC/Guardian CAGW language:

    2014: SIPCOT Area, Community Environmental Monitors: The coal scourge by E.A.S.Sarma Former Union Power Secretary
    Coal is a widely used but fast depleting energy resource…
    Limits to Growth:
    In 1972 and 1974, the Club of Rome, in its two ominous studies, “The Limits to Growth” and “Manking at the Turning Point”, cautioned the global leaders that, if they continue to proceed with the business-as-usual approach to exploitation of the planet’s resources, we would reach the end of the road within a century. The world leaders brushed aside these studies, saying that new technologies could surmount all such limits. During the last two decades, the world has woken up to new realities, namely, the spectre of global warming caused by coal burning, in addition to the limits to growth arising on account of escalating ozone depletion, increasing ocean acidification, rapidly depleting bio-resources/ bio-diversity, uncontrolled spread of toxic pollution, increasing stress on land, fresh water systems and life-supporting nitrogen & phosphorous cycles and so on.
    The present paradigm of resource-intensive economic growth is clearly unsustainable.
    http://sipcotcuddalore.com/pr_230214.html

    10

    • #
      ianl8888


      … Indonesian coal would be much cheaper than the product of the Galilee Basin …

      1) Indonesian coals are very wet (ie. high Total Moisture) and so need blending with a lower TM coal for power station use. For those who will naively think that just stockpiling the raw coal and letting it dry out will be sufficient, please note that most coals (including both Aus and Indonesian products) are subject to spontaneous combustion when piled over a period exceeding about 7-8 weeks – the risk is real

      2) Adani India intends to control the production from Carmichael – nobody likes putting all their eggs into the Indonesian basket (significant sovereign risk issues are constant)

      3) If the total Indian shortfall is about 100mtpa, as reported, both Indonesian and Aus coal production together cannot fill that. The Indian coalfields themselves have both distinct geological and infrastructural issues, together with the effort of modernising the mines

      For the sake of the level of geological knowledge in this website’s general audience, I’ve simplified point 1) quite considerably

      40

  • #
    David Maddison

    Some warm-mongers, recognising that solar and wind is unstable say we are going to be saved by everyone using batteries at home. People should be aware that just as the nameplate capacity of a wind generator does not represent reality, neither does the nominal capacity of a battery pack.

    To ensure long battery life it is never advisable to fully discharge the batteries. Different battery chemistries will have different depth-of-discharge to ensure maximum battery life but in the case of lead acid it might be 50%.

    For lithium ion batteries the maximum life is also achieved if they are never fully charged. At a voltage (charge level) of 3.92V the batteries will last longest rather than charging them to the maximum 4.2V but at 3.92V the capacity is only 58% of what it is at 4.2V. This means that for maximum battery life you only have half the nameplate capacity. If you want nameplate capacity your expensive batteries will die much more quickly.

    See http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries

    So we will soon be having another nameplate lie to deal with.

    41

    • #
      David Maddison

      I meant to include a table comparing depth of discharge (left) and the number of discharge cycles to end of life (right). With only a 50% discharge the batteries last much longer than at 100% discharge. Li ion batteries.

      100% DoD 300 – 500
      50% DoD 1,200 – 1,500
      25% DoD 2,000 – 2,500
      10% DoD 3,750 – 4,700

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    David Maddison

    More climate change nonsense on their ABC. They blame “climate change” for sinking of coral atolls but it has been known since the time of Charles Darwin that atolls sink naturally. Nothing to do with climate.

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/religionandethicsreport/will-australia-rescue-the-sinking-pacific-countries/6709238

    Will Australia rescue the sinking Pacific countries?

    Wednesday 19 August 2015 5:30PM (view full episode)

    The Abbott government believes its plan to cut carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2030 is enough to help fight climate change but some vulnerable Pacific countries fear they are being abandoned to the impact of warmer temperatures.

    Kiribati is a nation of 100,000 people living on mainly low-lying atolls at risk from rising sea levels. The Catholic aid groups Caritas and the Edmund Rice Centre have been working to prepare for the worst—the possible evacuation of the islands.

    Maria Tiimon Chi-Fang from the Edmund Rice Centre’s Pacific Partnership explains.

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    David Maddison

    Here is a video I made of a privately owned 95kW nameplate wind generator in the parking lot of a pub in Hastings, VIC. Great noise huh? https://youtu.be/a4md5YS-51M

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    Planning Engineer

    Good accurate article and it gives a good description of major struggles. It should also be noted that when looking at data on this time scale a bit of smoothing in the plots occurs. As you move from weekly to daily, to hourly to minute by minute and shorter duration time scales you see that system loads have a bit of choppiness that the system resources must react too to maintain balance. Intermittent resources are choppy as well and make the overall variability of this choppiness worse.

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      For the storage fanatics without a sense of proportion; Germany experiences lulls of 3 to 9 days where there is negligible power generation from wind. Typically those lulls occur mid-summer and mid-winter. In the latter period, the snow-covered PV solar eats electrical power and the shallow pumped-storage reservoirs are of reduced to negligible capacity.

      As for batteries; German researchers recently tested a large storage bank and only narrowly avoided incineration of the whole unit. The cells failed prematurely. Lasting weeks; not decades.

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