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Oil giant Venezula, Green giant Tasmania – both running out of electricity

Venezuela Shuts down

In a land where energy makes up 25% of their GDP  and most of their exports –  it takes some management to run out of electricity.  Apparently the land of oil needs some fossil fuel generation.

Venezuela to Shut Down for a Week to Cope With Electricity Crisis

The government has rationed electricity and water supplies across the country for months and urged citizens to avoid waste as Venezuela endures a prolonged drought that has slashed output at hydroelectric dams.

The socialist solution? Blame the weather:

The ruling socialists have blamed the shortage on the El Nino weather phenomena and “sabotage” by their political foes, while critics cite a lack of maintenance and poor planning.

And hope for help from heaven:

“We’re hoping, God willing, rains will come,” Maduro said in a national address Saturday. “Look, the saving is more than 40 percent when these measures are taken. We’re reaching a difficult place that we’re trying to manage.”

Looks like Venezuela will be doing its bit for the Paris agreement then.

h/t Willie

The Green state — Tasmania — has an electricity crisis and is now running on dirty diesel

Due to profiteering and bad planning the Tasmanian hydro dams are only 15% full. They  shut down their “back up” gas power last August, and then the sole cable across the Bass Strait broke in December.  Now they’re flying in diesel generators to keep the lights on. (Golly. Don’t those windfarms work?) Indeed the ABC news says they were desperate enough to try cloud seeding too, to hopefully make it rain on the dams.  Welcome to the new green energy where we seed clouds to generate electricity.

The Marcus Review brilliantly sums up the Five Part Act of the Tasmanian Energy Scandal. It’s greed, mismanagement and bad practice all the way down.

First they had one cable, and only one cable. Second their own generation relied heavily on hydro. Thirdly, they run down their dams to sell expensive electricity to Victoria when the Carbon Tax made it more profitable. (See: “greed”). Fourthly the government commissioned the Tamar Gas power station as a back up, built it, but then gave it to Tas Hydro, which cannabilized it and then shut it down to sell it off.  That project was only started in 2009, yet the new plant was decommissioned in August 2015, deemed “unnecessary”, just four months before the cable broke.

As the Marcus Review says:

“The decision to sell the Tamar Valley gas station’s major operating component in August 2015 was made despite the fact that:

  • Hydro Tasmania had already savaged the State’s stored hydro energy supply to less than 30% (with summer coming around the corner).

Not to worry, it’s not like the Tamar Valley gas station cost around a quarter of a billion dollars to build and was still in brand new condition or anything. Oh, wait a minute…”

“When you add it all up, Tasmania is now laughably and hopelessly reliant on the dirtiest forms of fossil fuel for its survival. Insane amounts of money have been squandered.”

The cable probably won’t be fixed til June by which time the dams will be down to 6% full, and the eco-greens who don’t want people to burn coal, also don’t want the water used to make electricity calling it “environmental vandalism” to run the dams so low. Perhaps if the Greens had protested against the closure of the gas power station they might have been able to save more flora and fauna in the dam valleys now?

If the Wilderness Society cared about the outcomes for environment, they could start a new campaign and call it:  “Fossil Fuels for Flora and Fauna”!

h/t Robert O, Analitik, Dennis, ROM.

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111 comments to Oil giant Venezula, Green giant Tasmania – both running out of electricity

  • #
    Another Ian

    Jo

    Check whether it is Tamar or Bell Bay – wrt to something earlier, maybe previous thread

    20

  • #
    Gee Aye

    So the hydro areas of Tasmania are in drought (although maybe about to come out of it). Was this a factor worth mentioning?

    225

    • #
      AndyG55

      Planning for drought is part of electricity supply (and water supply) engineering.

      USING all of your water, to make a quick buck or two, leaving supply in a precarious position is NOT GOOD ENGINEERING or good economics.

      It will COST Tasmania FAR more to survive, than they got by selling their electricity to make a buck.

      Maybe there is rain on the way, that will save them.

      The real question is… will they realise how much the goofed up.

      If the administration is left wing based.. almost certainly not.

      380

      • #
        Gee Aye

        Agree. Worth mentioning above don’t you think?

        318

        • #
          AndyG55

          So why did they try to make a quick buck using all their Hydro water to sell electricity to Victoria.

          Pretty darn STUPID, hey Gee Aye !!

          Any logical, sensible person would do all they could to retain as much water as possible in a rainfall reduced scenario.

          220

          • #
            Manfred

            Green is as green does. No unintended consequences here. All inconsistencies welcome. Scintillating Green acumen at work. Green ‘business’ as usual.

            The far-left history of the Australian Greens
            The great paradox of the [Tasmanian] Greens is that their origins lie in a campaign to fight the development of a source of renewable energy, hydro-electrical power, that their great day of celebration marked the effective end of the push to develop this cheap and carbon-neutral means of powering the Tasmanian economy.

            ‘The first Green Party anywhere in the world began in Australia in 1972, the United Tasmania Group…’ ‘They have drawn their support and platform from organisations that involve trade unions, the peace and disarmament movement, opponents of the two Gulf Wars and involvement in Afghanistan, anti-urban development activists, the women’s and gay rights movements, animal activists, the community legal centres movement, opponents of coal seam gas, opponents of genetically modified organisms… the list goes on.’

            …which is exactly why Australia needs the Radicalisation Awareness Kit: Government’s new booklet for schools links green activism, ‘alternative music’ to terrorism

            180

            • #
              Manfred

              The great paradox of the Greens is that their origins lie in a campaign to fight the development of a source of renewable energy, hydro-electrical power, that their great day of celebration marked the effective end of the push to develop this cheap and carbon-neutral means of powering the Tasmanian economy.

              The far-left history of the Australian Greens

              100

            • #
              tom0mason

              Helpful aphorisms as an aide-memoir to Green Politics…

              … back to the future with the Greens…

              ‘The future’s Green,
              The future’s Medieval.’

              ‘The Greens, bringing you the future one blackout at a time.’

              ‘Gaming the political system with blame.
              Or how the Greens will be pointing mucky fingers at you.’

              50

            • #
              Mjw

              It’s like selling your family car to the neighbor for scrap value and then using the money to take a taxi.

              00

            • #
              Salome

              I think the Greens just don’t believe in electricity–at least not in having enough of it. They’d rather put it in the hands of their One World government to be able to ration supply and free it up only to those whom they like.

              11

    • #

      Drought was a factor worth mentioning. So the article mentioned it, quoting the Marcus Review: “Tasmania was in the middle of a dry spell”.

      You know, when you consider the Tassie basket case, the SA basket case, the unused and under-used desals (unused cranes courtesy of a certain Mick Gatto), Timmy’s Geothermia, the Kembla Wave Generator etc…you really need to ask if we have reached Peak Adult.

      460

      • #
        ianl8888

        … if we have reached Peak Adult …

        Not yet …

        80

        • #

          I believe adults would have easily deduced the probability of serious drought in the short term from what happened in Tassie in 1908-10, 1913-15, 1918-21, 1926, 1933-34, 1935-36, 1945-46, 1949-52, 1954-55, 1967-68, 1972-73, 1982-83, 1987-88, 1993-95…

          This surely confirms my thesis that Tasmania has already run out of adults and that the species is now rare in the mainland states, particularly South Australia.

          Save the adult!

          302

      • #
        RB

        They were not mistakes and we were taken in long ago. The rich behind Marxist have too much power and too much to lose for adults to be allowed anywhere near their power and resources.

        170

    • #
      Analitik

      The Tasmania electricity crisis has been discussed in depth here since the BassLink cable failed in December. Since then, we have been watching a slow motion train wreck.

      Robert O and Rod Stuart have analysed the circumstances meticulously including examining rainfall records, the gas pricing futures committed for the Tamar Valley Power Station and the water levels in the dams since the Carbon Tax was repealed. The upshot is there is no drought – just mismanagement of the water resource, chasing profits. The Hydro Tasmania site blatantly states that they viewed BassLink primarly as a means of obtaining income.

      Matthew Groom, the Tasmanian Minister for Energy has been castigated for allowing Hydro Tasmania to put the Tamar Valley Power Station up for sale but before allow this, he explicitly requested (and received) a written statement from Hydro Tasmania that it would not put the energy security of Tasmania at risk.

      Here is a statement he made in the Tasmanian Parliament on the subject
      http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/releases/ministerial_statement_on_energy_security

      BTW the Tamar Valley Power Station was not cannibalized else it could not have been brought back on line as quickly as it was.

      210

      • #
        ianl8888

        Yes

        Can people from Tasmania provide some detail here, please ?

        The suspicion I have is that, like Bob Carr did in NSW, senior, sensible, experienced engineers in Hydro Tasmania were systematically retrenched, retired, replaced with green oriented people by the previous ALP Govts. This left Hydro Tasmania defenceless.

        So a newish Minister, with no engineering anywhere his CV, had to rely on Hydro Tasmania advice since he had no way of critiquing said advice, or even grasping an independent opinion if he had tried. It’s a familiar enough pattern in NSW.

        230

      • #
        Peter C

        The Tasmanian Goverment has a plan……….

        Phase 1 is to get to winter rains without Basslink; and
        Phase 2 is to put in place longer-term supply options if Basslink remains out into next summer or beyond.

        See Analytic’s reference above.

        20

      • #
        Rod Stuart

        Quite correct, Analitik
        Tamar Valley power station was not “decommissioned”. The base load plant, or Mitsubishi combined cycle machine was “laid up” using a procedure that would allow it to be idle for an extended period of time without deterioration. The peaking plant was to some extent available and in fact operated frequently as synchronous condensers for voltage control (necessary because of the intermittent supply from two wind farms as well as the vagaries of the Bass Link.) The manufacturer notified HT of a potential disc failure in the 60 MW Trent 60WLE at the same time but this did not make the machine unavailable. Neither was it “cannibalised”. Certainly the funds for maintenance expenditure were curtailed as soon as Hydro owned the asset, but the notion of cannibilisation probably stems from the conflation of two completely separate facilities next door to one another. Bell Bay Power was fully decommissioned in 2009 and HT tried to salvage as much as it could prior to its eventual demolition.
        This preparation for storage began in earnest mid 2013. It is conjecture that this was done for economic reasons. IMHO it was done simply to sell “green” energy to the mainland. After having spent a lifetime career in the energy industry, I am still loathe to consider that energy comes in different colours.
        If one drills down to root cause, the situation exists because of the folly of politicians operating a business about which they know nothing (business is not a legitimate role of government), but primarily the folly of basing a business model on a collection of fairy tales.

        181

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          Rod, I refuse to accept your “(business is not a legitimate role of government)”.

          All business is subject to the government under which it operates, be that government big or small. If there is no government, then criminal gangs will do the governing. For a society to succeed its government must have business expertise. It is absolutely necessary that governments have business expertise.

          In the Australia that I grew up in governments did have business expertise in the form of a non partisan public service which employed a lot of very intelligent people. This all came to an end when the ALP gained power with the election of the Whitlam Federal government in 1972 and the Wran state government in NSW in 1976. They stacked the public service with party hacks.

          The modern ALP is not an Australian Labor party at all. It is a Marxist party, primarily dedicated to abolishing all private management of industry, no matter what the cost.

          30

          • #
            Rod Stuart

            You misunderstood my intent.
            Of course those in government should have “business expertise”.
            My point is precisely this: Government can never provide goods and service to the consumer as sufficiently as the private sector.
            Most people recognise that when a government has a monopoly in automobile manufacture, the only automobiles are Ladas and there are only enough to use as bribes.
            There is ample evidence in history to illustrate that a government monopoly in agriculture results in long line-ups and starvation.
            Why then, do people consider that it is the government that must operate the business of producing electricity? When politicians are in charge of production, decisions are always based on politics rather than logic and reason. Government has no business being in business. It has never resulted in anything but waste and inefficiency, becasue the decisions that affect the position and distribution of goods and services will always be made to optimise the garnering of votes in the short term. It is the legitimate role of government to ensure that the provision of goods and services take place in a free market, and to ensure that collusion and buggery are avoided.
            And that goes for the business of “educating children”, and the provision of health services.
            In this case, the State of Tasmania made an attempt to create competition in this business with the creation of Aurora as generator as well as a retailer. Exactly four years ago the “expert panel” appointed by the government of the day produced its final report. The recommendations were designed to make the electricity business model as close to the unregulated model in New Zealand as possible. However, as is always the case, the Premier and Treasurer had absolutely no clue about anything other than politics, since she* had never ever been employed in the real world. I can think of no other reason for the State refusing to implement these recommendations, gormlessly cherry picking a few of them. This is pure unadulterated Left wing politics. Just as it is often said that the IPCC is a political organisation with no scientific ability, one can say that Hydro Tasmania is a political organisation with no real desire to provide electricity other than to use it to gain votes for the Greens and the ALP. The business model is created layer upon layer of fairy tales about “big business”, “saving the planet”, “carbon pollution”, “green energy” and other such nonsense. If one drills into root cause a bit further, it is the apathy and ignorance of the voter that puts these crooked, twisted green minds into a position of power.
            * Premier Lara Giddings has NO experience outside academia and politics. Her ego is bigger than her butt. Her hubris is such that she thought she could be Treasurer as well as Premier.

            20

          • #
            Rod Stuart

            Ted, just in case I didn’t make the implication clear, I’ll spell it out.
            While energy does not come in colours, politics does. And the Forces of Darkness are GREEN.
            While I can offer no evidence, it would not surprise me in the least if HT management engineering this “crisis” in a childish, spiteful move against the Hodgman government.
            Over a couple of decades HT has become infiltrated by the colour “green”.
            It is nearly implausible that the decisions leading to this circumstance were made randomly.
            Can you see why it is not a good idea to have government operating a business which provides goods and services?

            20

          • #
            Mjw

            What happens to your fine theory if the Government is the criminal gang?

            00

    • #
      RB

      Drought! Yes. Technically but still 1200mm to 2400mm for the calendar year which is 80+% of the mean.
      http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/awap/rain/index.jsp?colour=colour&time=history%2Fnat%2F2015010120151231&step=2&map=percent&period=12month&area=nat
      The areas where the dams aren’t got down to 60% of the mean.

      00

    • #
      Water Wizard

      Lake Pedder is close to full. http://www.hydro.com.au/system/files/water-storage/Web_Lakes_PEDDER.pdf

      The canal to Lake Gordon has limited capacity and Hydro must get permission to get water from Pedder. They can take about 360GL or the top 1.5m without permission. They have done so. There is about 2,500GL more (2,900GL capacity). If Pedder gets drained down to the pink sands, there will be green campers all around it and Hydro would find it difficult to refill it as the government lacks spine and the greens would view the current problem as a victory for global warming and Gaia vs NPC electricity.

      However, getting more water from Pedder solves Tasmania’s power problem and it can be turned on tomorrow.

      They still have the Mersey Forth system (close to full) in reserve for autumn and its raining on a seven day cycle again. Obviously the trade winds have started to move in March, signalling the tail end of the El Nino.

      The only good news is a black power reboot is not required for a hydro based power grid.

      20

  • #
    Craig

    ####wits in charge, that’s why we need business people at the helm, to the hell with the bloody public service and their damn union mates.

    210

    • #
      ivan

      Actually a good number of engineers are needed as well as the business people with several years of experience, MBA degrees just don’t cut it.

      100

  • #
    Wayne Job

    I seem to recall a major dam that dwarfed what they have being virtually finished and a Bob Brown and his greenies making the Gov demolish it. [snip]

    91

  • #
    Popeye26

    Poor Tasmanian’s.

    If ONLY they hadn’t listened to their Green Masters when smarter people than them were trying to build the Franklin River dam in the ’70′s & 80′s. They MAY now have had some backup to their current quandary and with winter approaching it can only get cooler for them when even the lights might eventually go out.

    But, but, but – what about all those renewables – oh, wait – they don’t “cut the mustard” so well in the island state – do they.

    Cheers,

    242

    • #
      Russell

      The Gordon below Franklin dam that would have avoided all these problems was killed off by PM Bob Hawke under pressure from Bob Brown and his cronies. It was Hawke’s weakness in this situation that provided the impetus for the massive growth of the Radical Greens that is now being felt globally.

      171

  • #
    Chris

    I think South Australia might have some similar challenges soon. Leigh Creek coal fields are closed, Port Augusta power station is closing, Dry Creek power station is being wound down and the State has access to Victorian power through one transmission line. We have solar panels and wind farms though, and a geothermal plant and wave generator … Oh, wait.

    260

    • #
      The Backslider

      One transmission line. What could go wrong?

      181

      • #
        Yonniestone

        Murphy’s Law mixed in with Howe’s Law “Everyone has a scheme that will not work.”

        I believe ‘Tasman’s Law’ needs to be invented. :)

        110

      • #
        James Murphy

        it already failed once late last year, causing a lot of grief. Residents of Adelaide tell me that the trend of non-weather related blackouts and ‘brown-outs’ is on the increase, but of course, there are no official records kept of such things, at least, not that I am aware of… unless it’s a major problem which can’t help but make the news.

        130

      • #
        ROM

        There is a second Vic / SA power Interlink, the 180 km long 220 Mw HVDC transmission link between Red Cliffs in Victoria Victoria and Berri in South Australia.

        Redcliffs / Mildura are serviced by HT lines running through the Horsham sub station in the west and then north to the Redcliffs substation.

        Another HT line that comes up via Swan Hill to Redcliffs completing the loop and ensuring power outages will be minimal if either HT line develops a fault or a break

        30

    • #
      ianl8888

      … South Australia might have some similar challenges soon …

      It has already experienced that. Just a few months ago they had an “unexpected” and widespread power loss when the wind dropped and the only interconnector to LaTrobe’s lignite-fired power stations malfunctioned. Oh to be on the operating table undergoing a bypass when that happens … these fools absolutely refuse to understand the point to “affordable and reliable”

      As an addition, the unendingly stupid SA Govt then blamed everyone else because there there should have been more interconnectors to the lignite-fired power sources – it morphed into a “national” problem

      70

      • #
        Analitik

        Well another scapegoat has been found by the investigative team at RenewEconomy
        They say the Australian Energy Regulator lays the blame on “non scheduled” generators that lifted frequency levels – most likely co-generators and diesel gensets.

        http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/wind-energy-not-to-blame-for-south-australia-power-outage-31520

        But this only explains why it took so long for the interconnector to be re-established – not why there was such a massive shortfall in local generation that South Australia was utterly dependent on the support from the Victorian brown coal generators. Once again, the renewables lobby tries to hide the fact that the natural variation in wind made the nameplate capacity of all their windfarms utterly irrelevant (even at a time where demand was minimal).

        90

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        ianI8888:

        They blamed the lack of inter-connectors TO QLD. as being the problem. After a brief (very brief) period wondering why Qld. would put an inter-connector from Birdsville down Cooper’s Creek etc. to save the South Australian ‘government’ from its incompetence I realised that they thought the problem was not enough electricity in Vic. & NSW to supply them through the single link.
        The real reason is that the State Cabinet are collectively insane. e.g.
        Runaway trucks on the steep descent into Adelaide – Solution? reduce speed limit of CARS on the same road.
        Main Hospital needs up-grading – Solution? – Build the world’s second most expensive building over the railway marshalling tracks as a replacement with LESS beds.
        Hospitals struggling with demand – Solution? – Shut down 2 and sell the land off. Reduce capability of others so much more shuffling of patients by ambulances.
        State Debt and unemployment at record rates – Solution? – announce new $250 million contemporary Arts Museum.
        Train network limited and out-dated – Solution? – delay electrification on major line to pay for digging tunnel to cut 3 minutes off bus trips to city (from marginal seats).
        Retailers in CBD complaining about taxes on car parking, reduction in car lanes, closure of some lanes, meaning less customers coming to the City – solution? – sign up for Adelaide to be “carbon neutral”.

        I rest my case.

        100

        • #

          ….. solution? – sign up for Adelaide to be “carbon neutral”.

          The whole of Adelaide without one single car, bus, train, taxi, fire truck, police car, ambulance.

          Yeah! Right!

          Paraphrasing it, it reminds me of an old movi, Look Back In Anger Laughter.

          Tony.

          110

        • #
          Mjw

          Betcha can’t beat this one, a $14 billion East West tunnel to alleviate chronic traffic congestion funded $4.5 B from the Feds, $7.5 B from tolls and a measly $2.0B from the State govt. Cancel the project and pay the contractor $1.2 billion NOT to build it.
          Surely you can’t top that.

          00

  • #
    ROM

    It does take a certain level of political chutzpah to completely stuff an perfectly viable state or nation particularly a state or nation that is sitting on top of a highly prized and very cheap energy source that the politicals of most states and nations would give their eye teeth to have in their own backyard

    The two examples here of Tasmania and Venezuela have managed the difficult feat of completely rubbishing their economies in only a couple of decades despite both of them having some very big and cheap energy advantages compared to just about everybody else around them.

    In Tasmania’s case it was the extreme socialism of the Greens and the almost total eclipse and complete ignoring in the Green creed of any consideration at all for the needs and hopes of the actual citizens whom it desires to rule, not Govern but to “Rule”.

    Call it Green Socialism and their running dogs in both the Labor and Liberal governments who managed the transition from a viable and potentially very cheap energy supplier Tasmanian State with all the business and industry advantages that implies, to an economy that is now totally reliant on handouts from the mainland states.
    In short Tasmania has now gone down the economic slippery dip so far under its “Green Socialist” controllers it has become a little more than a supplicant State that appears unable due to its incompetent self centred Green rulers, to drag itself out of the green tinged economic mire into which it sinking ever further as the Bass Link debacle is showing.

    ——
    In Venezuela’s case it was again Socialism with a very big capital “S” under the late President Hugo Chavez, a Red Socialism as compared to Tasmania’s Green Socialism that has virtually destroyed Venezuela’s economy and its social structures.

    And this in a nation with the LARGEST oil reserves in the world .
    Larger even than the present oil reserves of Saudi Arabia and those of Canada, the next two oil giants.

    [ Countries with the biggest oil reserves ]

    Venezuela holds the world’s largest proven oil reserves. The country’s proven oil reserve as of January 2013 stood at 297.57 billion barrels accounting for about one fifth of the world’s total proven oil reserve. The country produced 2.8million barrels of crude oil per day in 2012 with 149 active rigs.

    Proven oil reserves, those extractable with today’s technology, in Venezuela are mainly concentrated in the Maracaibo Basin, a sedimentary basin in the north-western part of the country possessing more than 40 billion barrels of oil reserves, and the Orinoco Belt in central Venezuela which is estimated to contain 235 billion barrels of extra heavy crude oil.

    [ For info; A barrel of oil is 158.987 liters in volume. ]

    The Venezuelan heavy oils as with all heavy oils, are full of nasties like sulphur and heavy metals which have to be extracted before the end refining process gets under way.
    In some wells they inject steam down the adjoining wells to heat and release the oil from the tar sands, similar to the Canadian processes but underground whereas the Canadian Tar sands are a surface operation.

    The Heavy oil Orinoco Belt is around 600 kms long by 70 kms wide.
    It is estimated that in total it could contain up to 1,200 billion barrels of oil, more than the total of all the light crude reserves in the world
    ———-
    As I said at the beginning of this comment; It takes a great deal of political chutzpah to become so economically incompetent as to ruin the economy of a state or a nation through totally mismanagment and through utter incompetence in the casual running down that State’s or Nations energy systems to the point where they lose all reliability and predictability, particularly when that State or Nation is in the very advantageous position of already sitting on a very large and somewhat unique reserves of readily accessible and very cheap energy.

    However as we now know that difficult feat of b***gering a state or a nation’s economy has been successfully accomplished by the “Green Socialists” of Tasmania and the “Red Socialists” of Venezuela.

    Which just goes to show that Watermelons do come in different shades of Green and Red even though they are all still Watermelons as in Green on the outside and Red on the inside.

    410

    • #
      Dariusz

      When Venezuelans nationalised their own oil industry they thought that the bad western private oil companies where taking them for a ride. Years of neglect comes to roost now. This applies to Iran hungry for the western technology. The west Siberian oil fields kept communism going since the sixties, Iraq, India, Mayomar and now Saudi Arabia, all not immune to the production decline. All under the state management and a complete cluster unmentionable.
      Green energy is even worse because no one has made any commercial gain from these crazy schemes.
      And yet I am on the cusp of loosing my job in the oil industry. Why?, because the private small companies invented fracking and moved the US into the hydrocarbon export, a feat not achieved in this country since the 70-ties.
      Still awaiting my subsidies to save my job that greens are so adamant about.

      230

      • #
        Water Wizard

        Fear not. The oil in the brown coal in Gippsland totals more than 500 Billion barrels. Someone has invented a low temperature solvent that separates its from the coal.

        00

    • #
      PiperPaul

      “…whereas the Canadian Tar sands are a surface operation.

      Not exclusively. There are about 20 SAGD oilsands plants in Alberta and 6 (much larger) surface mines.

      “Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD; “Sag-D”) is an enhanced oil recovery technology for producing heavy crude oil and bitumen. It is an advanced form of steam stimulation in which a pair of horizontal wells is drilled into the oil reservoir, one a few metres above the other. High pressure steam is continuously injected into the upper wellbore to heat the oil and reduce its viscosity, causing the heated oil to drain into the lower wellbore, where it is pumped out.”

      110

      • #
        Water Wizard

        The Canadians have a huge plant coming on line in 2017-18. Trouble is it needs an oil price over US$70 just to turn the lights on. Its nearly all heavy oil so it needs lots of energy to process.

        00

    • #
      Manfred

      It does take a certain level of political chutzpah to completely stuff an perfectly viable state or nation…

      To those that have read ‘Atlas Shrugged’ this is a familiar concept. However, were all policy grinding political monkeys and their policy think-tank slactivists required to take out personal indemnity insurance mainly to remind them they will be held personally responsible for their ‘beliefs’, for squandering economies and debilitating resources, for the sequelae of their arrogant negligence, perhaps it could be a better world.

      71

  • #
    Robert R

    The worst adversity is to never have had experienced adversity. A good dose of adversity for tasmanians in the form of no available electricity power essential in running everyday life function will drive home to everyone that fossil fuel technology must be utilised and wind farms and solar are just a political hallucination.
    Nothing like a bit of deprivation of essential services to suddenly bring the dreamers down to reality with a thud.

    250

    • #
      ianl8888

      That’s fine, Robert, but lack of power actually kills people, innocent people

      In a recent incident in the area where I live, a patient dependent for the time on an oxygen pump at the local GP’s rooms was unexpectedly threatened with death when the power was suddenly lost without warning (and no, we are never told why)

      The GP’s and their assistants suddenly had to comb the area for a useable diesel generator to keep the oxygen pump going. Quite a life and dath kerfuffle for a power loss of about 3 hours

      Try weeks …

      50

    • #
      Robdel

      If only they were to build a power plant fuelled by coal from the Fingal valley there would have been no problem with the current drought conditions. But I suppose I am dreaming.

      10

      • #
        Water Wizard

        The Fingal Valley represents the other end of the Gippsland Basin. There is oil in that coal.

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    I hope you all take very careful note of something here.

    Where do they turn when their renewable electricity suppliers ([a] dams for hydro, hopelessly run down, and [b] wind power, variable at best) fail so miserably?

    Do they hurriedly throw up more wind turbines? Do they install rooftop panels on every rooftop available?

    Well, no to both, so where do they they turn.

    Diesel fuels the engine, and the engine drives the generator. While ever you feed in diesel, the power is generated, not a piddly little bit here and there, but the maximum power the unit can deliver.

    Feed in the fuel at one end, and the total power comes out the other end. All the time.

    Forget the cost, the people in power say. We want the electrical power and we want it RFN, and all the time, because if we don’t deliver it, then we get the blame, and it’s us as politicians who lose out jobs.

    Forget the (green) talk that diesel generators should only be used as a last resort.

    THIS ACTUALLY WAS THE FIRST RESORT.

    When you want real power, you will always go for reliability.

    If that’s not an indicator of what politicians KNOW and what they SAY to appease the green they suspect is in everybody, when the chips are down, look where they turn to first.

    Tony.

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      Yonniestone

      This ^^^^ X 10000 thumbs up, it goes a long way to explaining why I’ve never used a wind/solar powered welding machine on site!

      220

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      James Murphy

      Japan was the same after the tsunami in 2011- straight into natural gas, so much so that the regional LNG price went up markedly, and rapidly. Perhaps it isn’t entirely comparable, given the circumstances, and numbers of people involved, but still, it says something for the versatility and convenience of fossil fuel generation, even after decades and decades of work on “traditional” renewables.

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      Graeme No.3

      What the UK government are doing with their STOR – all diesel generators and very lucrative contracts.

      50

  • #
    Richard Barnett

    This is my 42nd year working in electrical power generation. Throughout all those years I came to realize that if a manager wanted to keep their job, planning must be at an excellent level, with precise execution, including contingencies. It seems things are changing and until the consumer’s wakeup and push back I fear it will not get any better.

    200

    • #
      Analitik

      Excellent point. We hear a lot of babble from the renewables lobby about the grid being ‘gold plated’ and the ‘unnecessary’ excess thermal generation capacity that has been installed over the years. So called experts and advocates (Giles Parkinson digs them up at every opportunity) see this as engineers indulgence. None of them truly appreciates the continuous balance that must be achieved between generation and demand.

      I keep saying that my hope is that South Australia’s grid falls over sooner rather than later, both to the reduce scale of the crash, so that recovery is not unduly prolonged (minimizing the pain), and to limit the spread/contagion of renewable generation being installed in other states. And hopefully, investment will flow back to this sector to ensure that supply is kept dependable as current thermal generators are retired simply due to age (as opposed to the whim of bureaucrat).

      Richard, let me thank you and your colleagues for performing the critical but unsung task of providing reliable electricity to consumers who would only appreciate your efforts and diligence if their comforts and conveniences were taken away from them. I know industry understands but the normal masses do not which is why the basis of your work allowed to be undermined by politicians and lobbyists who have no notion of what a finely balanced machine a large grid actually is.

      300

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        ianl8888

        Indeed

        I know this next point is unpopular and not well appreciated. The only public acknowledgement I’ve seen in the last decade was about 6 months ago, written by Henry Ergas and published in The Aus.

        And what did he write ? That the Aus mining industry was about the most innovative, technically advanced and economic in the world. Note: not perfect.

        Supplying the raw fuel at the needed qualities, volumes and times while staying in the black is a very difficult and complex task. Finding and developing the deposits suitable to do this is both capital-intensive and risky – it also commands a great deal of skill and knowledge. Without these enabling activities, the grid engineers can do nothing.

        Yet mining is still regarded by most as just digging a hole in the ground, which any fool with a shovel can do. City populations simply do not grasp that they cannot feed or energise themselves.

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        Graeme No.3

        Some time in the coming summer. A hot humid night with little or no wind and Out go the lights! Followed shortly by the departure of Jay Weatherill, so it won’t be all bad.

        It is a race between SA and the UK which gets to the crunch point first. The UK may get a bonus by the departure of Dave Cameron if he is still around.

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    R2Dtoo

    Meanwhile, here in Canada, our new PM and several provincial leaders are pushing wind and solar. They oppose an east-west gas/oil pipeline to supply eastern refineries while importing oil by tankers from foreign countries (all the way to Montreal!). The big “plan” is to build a massive east-west grid to move power around, which means the destabilizing unreliable “renewables” will be attached to all of Canada, making the grid difficult to manage. The idiocy burns. Trudeau has already pledged $2.65B to the UN fund. The same week a report came out that our First Nations need $2B just for adequate housing and basic infrastructure. We had a sensible government. Now not so much. The answers are so simple – the politics so heartbreaking to our beautiful nation.

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    observa

    No worries, the Greens have come up with a cunning plan. Simply build a pipeline interconnector from all the mainland desal plants to fill Tassie’s dams.

    160

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      Annie

      Ha Ha! How much power would they need for that? I can just imagine such a Whacky Watermelon Whizzbang suggestion being made.

      50

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        According to the greens no power is needed.

        It apparently works as a syphon. The water flows from north to south in the southern hemisphere. And, in any case, Melbourne’s water is higher than Tasmania’s.

        Didn’t you know that?

        50

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      Mjw

      Keep that type of humour to yourself, you don’t want to give the Eco-loons anymore mad ideas.

      10

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    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    Here is an EXCELLENT documentary on oil…
    Who and how was the education system generated to being used today?
    Why is it so closed in and biased?

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7TvL4GlQyMBLlUsTrN_C4Q

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    TdeF

    Underlying this is the refusal of Greens to allow the building of any major dams anywhere in Australia for fifty years. Let the rivers run. Empty everything. Stop farming, mining and manufacturing. Tasmania is nearly there. Chaos and destitution except for the public servants in Hobart who grow nothing, make nothing, do nothing. Certainly stopping the Lake Pedder and Gordon below Franklin dams were the signature work of Greens leaders Bob Brown and Christine Milne. So was the endlessly destructive carbon tax which emptied the dams. They now have what they wanted. Disaster. In their perfect world Tasmania would have no dams anyway, nothing to run dry. Green paradise.

    Since then they have also stopped even the possibility of dams on many river systems like the Mitchell in Victoria and even slowly strangled commercial fishing. The Greens are really good at stopping everything. Even coastal shipping is impossibly expensive and this is also killing Tasmania. It is cheaper to import bricks from Spain and potatoes from New Zeland. In Victoria today we have a new Green dream ‘very fast’ single track train on the major Ballarrat line which is not working at all and not faster and much more dangerous and a total logjam on our freeways after stopping a major road to put 40,000 cars a day underground.

    Is there no end to Greens’ ability to stop things and cause havoc. Now if they could only stop Australia from growing at a million people a year we would not need the dams, roads and even trains. No jobs either as the car industry leaves, quickly followed by aluminum and refining and ore processing.

    The fantasy that we can live on lentils in the inner city, ride fixed wheel bicycles and not have factories or mines or electricity and import everything and be happy is behind a Green movement which is stopping even our parliament from working. The irony is that officially they want sustainability, the exact opposite of the mendicant country we will become. Of course you could take the view that the Greens see this as a triumph. Chaos and revolution and total control has always been the aim of career communists like Bandt and Rhiannon. Tell people what they want to hear and when they get power, they will do what they like. Chaos creates opportunity as with Lenin.

    As for CO2 driven Global Warming, it was a crazy and barely plausible idea in the first place. Science as religion. Like religions, the madness is that people still believe it even without any warming at all. Ocean acidification is another master scare which has no evidence at all, but still they believe. Carbon dioxide pollution causes extreme events like bushfires and cyclones? Now that was pure genius. Who would believe that?

    70

    • #
      Mjw

      I would like to correct you on the Ballarat “fast” train. Originally it took longer than the old slow train to get to Melbourne but since the elimination of some stops it is 3 minutes quicker.

      00

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    Venezuela has been in the grip of radical leftists (socialists, communists, and megalomaniac leaders) since about the turn of the century. This is a good example of the half life of civilization under under evil tyrants; about 20 years or so.
    Tasmania fell under radical leftist greenies perhaps in the period from 30 to 20 years ago. So their half life to destruction is similar or a bit longer than Venezuela’s.

    Where do all the loony leftists come from? My observation is from a less well educated country (Venezuela)from Marxists social sciences classes in the schools and universities and a large population of the poor who are misled by promises of something for nothing. Would Tasmania’s problems come from Marxist social classes in the schools and universities, from loony green Marxists and loony Marxist unions?

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    • #
      Joe Lalonde

      You better watch out for who you cross with.
      Some banker suicides have been happening even with a nailgun.
      http://thedailycoin.org/?p=66985

      With Qaddafi creating his own Central Banking system in gold for oil, he had set up a
      pretty advanced system by Hillary’s standards.
      This would take insiders in the banking system that she would
      definitely be going after.
      This would explain the rash of banker suicides…considering no banker
      was actually being prosecuted.FBI investigations no doubt…

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    Reed Coray

    Politicians and government officials get so used to successfully pulling the wool over the eyes of the populace, they believe they can successfully pull the wool over the eyes of nature. When they fail, they never blame themselves; but resort to their proven ability to pull the wool over the eyes of the populace and blame a subset of the populace that is currently out of favor. So it goes; and in my opinion, so it will always go.

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    Rocky

    Is this the country with some dodgy oil price which does not match reality ?

    30

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  • #
    Rosco

    “Indeed the ABC news says they were desperate enough to try cloud seeding too,”

    The residents of Charleville have some spare vortex guns available for immediate delivery to assist in cloud seeding operations.

    50

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    Roy Hogue

    If memory serves me as well as I think it does, Venezuela has been trying to run a one commodity economy based on oil. Big mistake — and big no matte what the commodity is. But at least they now have a golden opportunity to start using some of that oil they can’t sell profitably to build a few more power plants to keep their lights on all night. But just because it makes sense to me doesn’t mean it will make sense in the topsy turvy world of Venezuela.

    Go figure.

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    Roy Hogue

    About Tasmania I can’t comment. But I don’t like to hear of the problem. Not one bit.

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    Rocky

    http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=79687&p=irol-rigcountsoverview

    Meanwhile back at the Ranch or in Texas .. Rig Count Still Falling

    Tasmania had Brian Harradine to pull them out of trouble and he was an excellent negotiator. Right now Taz is being run like a Train Wreck in Motion.

    40

  • #
    Robber

    Electricity supply reliability likely to decline worldwide.
    Utilities Warn of Rising Pressure on Electricity Reliability and Prices, Accenture Reports

    MADRID–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Almost half (45 percent) of utilities industry executives surveyed by Accenture (NYSE:ACN) worldwide, and 64 percent in Europe, reported that the traditional electricity distribution model is no longer fit-for-purpose. Unless the industry undergoes a digital, regulatory and business model transformation, utilities warn of increasing pressure on supply reliability and prices, according to Accenture’s Digitally Enabled Grid research, now in its third edition.
    View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160316005115/en/

    The proliferation of distributed generation has been a key challenge for utilities. Accenture’s survey of 85 industry executives across 18 countries found that more than half (56 percent) expect grid faults to increase by 2020 as a result of distributed renewable generation, such as residential solar photovoltaics (PV). In addition, improving economics could make electricity storage another key disruptor, with 32 percent of executives expecting it to cause an increase in grid faults, up from 14 percent in 2013.

    30

  • #
    Gary in Erko

    .
    The emergency generators are not necessary. There’s a few kerosene fridges and lamps on eBay and Gumtree.

    40

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    A C

    Given that scientists believe that they can now control the weather and they can dial up what ever temperature you want, Its about time that they did the same for rainfall. Surely they can sort that out as well?

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  • #

    Maybe Venezuela should try to build one of these, an oil fired power plant:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoaiba_power_and_desalination_plant

    I think they could run cleaner than coal fired plants.

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    Rod Stuart

    The commercial solar installations are letting their shareholders down. Ivanpa is in the same fix.

    30

  • #
    handjive

    2016: This Is The Year That Shale Gas Passes Coal

    “2016 is shaping up to be a year for the record books: the Energy Information Administration is anticipating that this year, for the first time ever, natural gas will displace coal as America’s largest source of electricity generation …”

    > Fracking, which Obama opposed, is doing more to clean up the environment than any government program:

    Obama-Backed Solar Plant Could Be Shut Down For Not Producing Enough Energy

    30

  • #
    David Maddison

    When they built Basslink, why wasn’t a redundant cable installed, or a cable with redundant conductors?

    30

  • #
    David Maddison

    Apparently it’s Earth Hour tonight, Sat March 19th. True Believers are meant to turn their lights off for an hour at 830pm.

    51

    • #
      Annie

      Thanks for the reminder David. I will make sure all lights are on to celebrate the gift of power and thank those who work to produce it.

      62

    • #
      AndyG55

      Darn, That means I will have to drag out the stage lights.

      I only have normal household power here, so maximum 2400W. ! :-(

      71

    • #
      mark

      The irony of the gesture is perfect. Something like ‘Go green, turn out the lights of civilisation’. Most celebrations involve light displays of some kind. Only the greens celebrate by calling up darkness.

      50

    • #
      Wayne Job

      I was worried that I could not do my bit this year but luckily we had rain and my huge bonfire could be lit to celebrate earth hour.

      00

  • #
    ROM

    To the Tasmanian and Venezuelan energy supply debacle, we can add another excellent example, one that has been extensively dissected by Euan Mearns on his Energy Matters blog.

    The smallest of the main islands, El Hierro that make up the Spanish owned Canary Islands which are located about 100 kms off Morocco’s southern coast and very roughly close to 800 kms or so south west of the Spanish mainland out in the Atlantic, decided to go from very reliable diesel power to Renewable Energy using wind turbines and pumped hydro power to replace most of the diesel generating power that had previously provided the power for the island’s 11,000 residents.

    The Renewable energy from the wind turbines was of course far cheaper as the wind energy was free.
    And the pumped hydro was going to cover all the islands power needs when and if the wind stopped blowing for any length of time.

    El Hierro is a classic test case for Renewable Energy being both completely isolated power wise from any other power source, a good population base of 11,000 citizens as a viable test population and situated well out in the Atlantic here the prevailing winds should be reliable and relatively constant and about as close as one could get to being predictable for wind turbine power generation reliability and predictability.

    Euan Mearns Energy Matters blog has a number of posts on the El Hierrorather disastrous renewable energy outcomes but I will quote from a Canadian Free Press article which summaries very well the El Hierro situation and outcomes.

    The CFP also uses Tasmania’s self imposed stupidity as a parrallel example of just what will almost invariably go seriously wrong when you allow the Climate Change flat earthers the anti human Green luddites to dictate how the essential power needs of a society will be generated.

    The Myth of Sustainable Power from Renewables

    Two islands—one off Spain and one off Australia—are using renewable energy to supply power to their homes and industries in the hopes that they can be free of fossil fuels. Tasmania, an island off the south coast of Australia, was virtually 100 percent renewable, but had to bring in diesel generators to get it through an energy crisis. El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands off of Spain, had been 100 percent diesel-powered, but turned to a hybrid wind/pumped storage hydroelectric system to replace the diesel generators, only to find that the island is still dependent on them. In each case, the cost has been huge, and should be cautionary tales to policymakers who want to tinker with the electricity systems we depend upon.
    &
    El Hierro
    El Hierro, the most westerly of the Canary Islands, had, for many years, produced its electricity from an 11.36 megawatt diesel plant, supplying 10,920 residents of the tourist island. On June 27, 2014, the island replaced its diesel-fired generation with hydro and wind, planning to save €1.8 million ($2 million) in fuel costs each year. It was hailed as an example of sustainable development.[iii] [Note: the blog Energy Matters has followed this situation very closely.]

    The island built a hybrid wind power and pumped hydro storage system and combined them in a way that is opposite to which these technologies are usually used. Instead of the pumped hydro being used as load-following backup for the wind power, the wind power is used to keep the pumped hydro reservoirs full, allowing the hydro plant to function as a baseload and load-following generation source. The system has three components—a 5-turbine, 11.5 megawatt wind farm; a 380,000 cubic meter upper pumped hydro reservoir located at an inactive volcanic crater at 709.5 meters elevation; and a lower 150,000 cubic meter reservoir at 56 meters elevation. The hydro plant has a capacity of 11.3 megawatts.

    Capital costs for the system are cited as €84 million (€7,300/kilowatt installed) or $94 million ($8,200/kilowatt installed).[iv] The Spanish government financed part of that cost. The graph below compares the capital costs for the wind/hydroelectric hybrid system on a kilowatt basis compared to those of other generating technologies in the United States, based on modeling assumptions of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) for its Annual Energy Outlook 2015.
    &
    Conclusion
    The hybrid renewable system of El Hierro is expensive, inefficient and commercially unviable. Clearly, fossil fuel generation would be simpler and cheaper. Instead of acting as a flagship project to demonstrate the feasibility of 100 percent generation from intermittent renewable sources, it has highlighted the difficulties involved in achieving it.

    Neither Tasmania not El Hierro are able to provide electric power without using fossil fuels. And, in Tasmania’s case, the institution of a carbon tax in Australia exasperated its energy crisis. In both cases, trying to move toward 100 percent renewable energy has been very expensive.

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    pat

    Lovins likes the rhetoric…but the African continent is the prize:

    18 Mar: ClimateChangeNews: Megan Darby: Germany mulls ‘mammoth’ 95% cut in emissions by 2050
    (Clean Energy Wire is paying for Megan Darby’s travel to Berlin and accommodation)
    Minister says renewables transition can radically slash greenhouse gases by mid-century, but omits coal exit strategy
    Drawing on a public consultation launched last year, the environment ministry expects to present the proposal to cabinet before the summer recess.
    It is a “mammoth task with profound implications,” environment minister Barbara Hendricks said at a conference in Berlin. “No sector will be excluded from this transition.”…
    At the second annual Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, hosted by the foreign ministry, the focus was on expanding renewable energy.
    There was no mention of the coal sector, which continues to be Germany’s main source of electricity. Nor did the federal environment agency’s official estimate that carbon dioxide emissions increased 0.7% last year come up…
    Germany is the single biggest donor, with €3 billion to the Africa renewable energy initiative (AREI), which aims to install ***10 gigawatts across the continent by 2020…
    American physicist and environmental writer Amory Lovins praised the German government for embracing change.
    One of the intellectual pioneers of citizen-centred energy, Lovins said: “Germany’s choice of the disruptive energy system, supporting the new and not just protecting the old, might just save the world.”
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/03/18/germany-mulls-minimal-carbon-emissions-in-a-generation/

    **10 gigawatts rising to 300 gigawatts…plenty of business for Germany’s renewable corporations.

    Dec 2015: Deutsche Welle: France, Germany promise money for clean development in Africa
    ***By 2020, renewable energies are supposed to generate ten gigawatts of electricity. This is to be increased to ***300 gigawatts by 2030…
    Ingrid Hoven (Director General of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development) says developing nations are right in pointing out that renewable energy technologies are costlier than traditional technologies.
    “Exploring the geothermal potential in East Africa, for example, is quite expensive,” says Hoven. “So one approach might be to finance exploration projects and then let the countries decide for themselves whether they want to open them up to private companies for actual use.”…
    ***In effect, the initiative supporting renewable energies in Africa is an example of one hand washing the other: Industrialized nations show they are financing specific projects to foster clean development in poor countries, and they for their part demonstrate a commitment to lowering greenhouse gas emissions…
    http://www.dw.com/en/france-germany-promise-money-for-clean-development-in-africa/a-18887790

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    pat

    17 Mar: ClimateChangeNews: Megan Darby: Why Germany’s clean energy shift is vexing its neighbours
    Transition towards a grid based on fickle renewables is messing with Poland’s electricity markets
    Germany’s rush to renewables is destabilising the power grid in neighbouring Poland, a top Warsaw official complained on Thursday…
    In a conference hosted by the Foreign Office in Berlin to promote its “Energiewende” or energy transition policy, Michal Kurtyka called for market reform.
    “Poland is needed for Energiewende to succeed,” he told an audience that included several ministers from around the world.
    On the sidelines, he told Climate Home the problem comes when electricity surges through Poland’s power lines between generators and consumers in Germany. The network operator has to manage these “loop flows” but gets no payment for doing so.
    “What is a problem is that these unplanned flows are completely outside of the market, they are not integrated in tariffs,” he said. “It is very much disturbing the Polish grid.”…
    German economics and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel agreed, in his opening speech, that renewable generators should not continue to receive prices set by government.
    “They are no longer small puppies,” he said. “They have grown up and they need to face market pressure.”
    Next year, Germany will switch away from fixed price support for renewable power technologies to an auction-based system…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/03/17/why-germanys-clean-energy-shift-is-vexing-its-neighbours/

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      tom0mason

      This old news item (from 2012) shows how rapidly Germany has failed to responded to the Czech Republic and Poland’s needs.
      Poland on the other hand is taking action …

      In the meantime, Germany’s neighbors, Poland and the Czech Republic, are taking action on Germany’s use of their power grid that Germany undertook without asking permission and without paying for its use. These countries are building a huge switch-off at their borders to block the import of green energy that is destabilizing their grids and causing potential blackouts in their countries.

      10

  • #
    pat

    17 Mar: EurActiv: James Crisp: German-Polish spat threatened summit backing for Paris Agreement
    EXCLUSIVE / A spat between Germany and Poland linked to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project almost derailed plans for European Union leaders to call for the swift signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change at today’s summit in Brussels.
    Poland demanded the climate statement be axed from draft European Council conclusions, to be agreed by EU leaders today, after Germany pushed for a planned debate by leaders on energy security to be dropped…
    Heads of state and government will now debate the COP21 pact, but it has been relegated to the “other items” of the European Council…
    The pressing nature of the crisis was blamed for the issue being taken off the table, albeit temporarily…
    EurActiv can reveal that an argument between German and Polish diplomats centering on the recent Commission package on gas security, but given added spice by the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, was the real reason…
    http://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/german-polish-spat-threatened-summit-backing-for-paris-agreement/

    20

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    pat

    18 Mar: ReutersCarbonPulse: Mike Szabo: Ex-Morgan Stanley carbon trading head joins Shell
    Dougal Corden joined the firm’s London-based carbon team this month and will focus on cross-commodity options, according to a well-placed source…
    He was head of emissions and cross-commodity options at Noble Group between 2014 and 2015, after leaving Morgan Stanley as an executive director of commodities in the summer of 2013 following an almost seven-year stint.
    Prior to that, Corden was an environmental products trader at Shell rival BP.
    At Shell, he joins the other members of the oil major’s carbon team including general manager William McGrath, regional team lead Mitchell Gorman, and veteran trader Urvesh Kotecha.
    http://carbon-pulse.com/17235/

    a must-read:

    18 Mar: ReutersCarbonPulse: Mike Szabo: Main EU carbon auction host EEX calls for changes
    German energy exchange EEX, which hosts the vast majority of the EU’s near-daily carbon allowance auctions, has called for changes to the sale process ahead of the introduction of the MSR.
    The bourse on Friday published its submission to a European Commission public consultation on whether the regulations governing EU member state allowance auctions need to be amended…
    ***Below are the main recommendations from EEX’s submission….READ ALL
    http://carbon-pulse.com/17275/

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    David Maddison

    The Russians are building a floating twin nuclear reactor that produces 70MW of electrical power plus 300MW of heat and optionally over 200 megalitres of desalinated water per day. It could be used to provide power plus fill up the dams as well as provide heat (for what application, I don’t know).

    30

  • #

    Let’s go back, way back, in fact 16 years way back, to the year 2000.

    There are no Wind Plants in Victoria.

    In that year, 2000, Hazelwood power plant has been humming along now for 36 years.

    Scroll forwards now to 2016.

    Basslink (when it’s working at its designed capacity) supplies power from the Victorian brown coal power plants into Tasmania, and that same brown coal fired power is now also supplying power into South Australia.

    So now Hazelwood is part of the plant system supplying power for THREE States.

    In this year 2016, Victoria now has a Nameplate of 1250MW of wind power plants, and hey that’s getting close to what Hazelwood is.

    Along with all those wind plants, other plants have also been constructed. Solar power is (so they tell us) also contributing as rooftops all over SA, Tassie, and Victoria are being covered with panels.

    So, all up now, the Nameplate of all that extra power is well and truly up beyond Hazelwood. So, with all that extra, umm, renewable power across those three States, there’s really no need for Hazelwood, as that Nameplate of Hazelwood has been surpassed.

    So, with that in mind, has Hazelwood been closed?

    Well, no.

    It still hums along, now quite literally ancient at 50 years plus old, geriatric in fact, well beyond its use by date.

    No, if they shut down Hazelwood, well, South Australia grinds to a halt, Tasmania grinds to a halt, and Victoria grinds to a halt.

    And yet, the wind power total in Victoria alone is almost the same as Hazelwood.

    That filthy dirty disgusting ancient geriatric Hazelwood still supplies ….. more than DOUBLE ….. the power delivered from those Victorian wind plants.

    Politicians in THREE States know this, no matter how green they try and paint themselves, and they also KNOW that closing Hazelwood means their States just shut down.

    When they need electrical power, real reliable, constant electrical power, then even a 50 year old fossil fuel burner is kept running into very old age.

    Tony.

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    Andrew McRae

    Jo says:

    they run down their dams to sell expensive electricity to Victoria when the Carbon Tax made it more profitable. (See: “greed”).

    The excess between value of goods sold and cost of goods sold certainly qualifies as “profit” and in this case it also qualifies as tax collection. They are an entirely government-owned entity. That’s why there was no need for greed and profit motive in the first place. Taxpayer money can always flow in both directions, and it is not unusual in corporations for the shareholders to inject capital to fund development projects. This is (yet another) one of the ironies of the situation. Risking a supply shortage would also raise the market value of their more reliable competitors, which would be no good for TasHydro in the long run. In normal market conditions a short term gain from greed would lead to longer term pain, but seemingly not so for TasHydro.
    At some level they must have believed that their sole Shareholder (Tas government) could just send taxpayer money their way to get them out of any difficulties. I have tried finding facts in the media to support that hypothesis but I haven’t found any media reports stating who actually paid for all the diesel generators, TasHydro corporation (i.e. electricity customers) or the Tas government (i.e. general taxpayers). One ABC article says:

    Hydro is not saying how much it is spending on alternative power supplies, but consultant Marc White estimated it would cost five times as much to run a diesel generator as import the same amount of electricity.

    Again one has to wonder where the money came from before Hydro spent it on diesel.

    As other commentators have said, greed would have led to proper risk management for the sake of self-preservation. It’s because they don’t seem to have exhibited much survival instinct that I still suspect they had expectations of cash injections from the shareholder if things went bad. Or perhaps they actually believed that the weather has a constrained variance.

    When announcing their hasty stopgap measures, TasHydro even admit they may not be able to meet normal demand this way:

    Generation from gas and temporary diesel, along with voluntary load reductions by large consumers, will be well in excess of the import capacity of Basslink. This will ensure Tasmanian demand can be met, even with a prolonged Basslink outage.

    Demand destruction is all part of the plan. What a great plan!
    Again from the ABC article:

    “Before running the diesel generators, there’ll be more opportunities to negotiate commercial load reductions with major industry and really keep those diesel generators as a last resort,” he said.

    The “negotiation” suggests that both sides are getting something and giving up something in the deal, so how much money is the Tasmanian government paying TEMCO and Bell Bay to produce less output? Paid to not produce! What other interpretation is possible for the word “negotiate”?

    Greed done properly would not have led to this outcome, because making the unreliability of hydropower glaringly obvious doesn’t help TasHydro in the slightest and their government owners should have made greed unnecessary. Not that there’s anything wrong with greed, as fair trade benefits both parties. Cue Gordon Gecko. It’s the lack of fairness in this sector that is partly to blame.

    TasHydro thinks all this blaming of the government is unfair:

    As a government business we expect to have our actions questioned and scrutinised. While we will continue to respond to inquiries and keep the community abreast of the situation with regular updates, it is important that this challenge facing the state be approached in a calm manner. There are many people at Hydro Tasmania, TasNetworks and within government who are totally focused on ensuring energy security is met in these challenging conditions. Unnecessary and ill-informed commentary and speculation is a distraction to this effort, and could harm local confidence.

    Yes, and if Tasmanian confidence in its government was important they should not have reduced competition in Tasmania by moving TVPS from Aurora to TasHydro, and neither should TasHydro have reduced their generator diversity and relied entirely on BassLink.
    Successive governments have flip-flopped on the privatisation of Hydro and their recent intervention in a supposedly arms-length enterprise has created confusion with ill effects on the public. If supplying electricity reliably is believed to be such an important public good then the government should not have given TasHydro the illusion of being able to operate independently of government policy and make its own decisions on reliability engineering. If TasHydro had been a truly independent company they would have never been given TVPS to begin with and TVPS would be currently taking up the slack of the lost BassLink. This isn’t speculation, it’s history. It is necessary to make this commentary to avoid the same mistakes being repeated in the future. The Tasmanian government should give clarity to generator roles that ensures reliable electricity supply. Either fully privatise it or else centrally plan the energy supply, but so far the Tasmanian government has done neither.

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    John F. Hultquist

    April 1st is still a few days away.

    You did make all this up — right?

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      diogenese2

      Dennis; a timely reminder that “Agenda 21″ is now obsolete although numerous contributors keep referring to it. Agenda 2030 was published in last summer and unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly on Sept 25th. I referred to some of the clauses at the time. Of course it has now sunk out of view
      and is in dire need of a bell.

      http://www.bellrock.org.uk/misc/misc_poem.htm

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    Stanley

    I guess it’s more like Mirth Hour instead of Earth Hour!

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      Annie

      I had a glass of fizzy and all the lights on to celebrate. One son will celebrate by flying his A380 and another two family members will celebrate at the Melbourne Grand Prix!

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    RogueElement451

    Schadenfreude {noun}
    glee · gloating · gloat · schadenfreude · malicious glee · gloating joy · epicaricacy · malicious-joy · malicious pleasure

    Har Har

    00