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Renewables industry collapsing in Europe — still a $329 billion subsidised global cash cow

The EU has led the way to convert to “clean energy”. But the subsidies  ran out.  Investment in Europe in renewables is plummeting:

Renewable Energy Investment, Europe, 2015, 2016.

Thanks to BloombergEuan Mearns and h/t to GWPF for that graph.

Europe’s once world-beating clean technology industry has fallen into a rapid decline, with investment in low-carbon energy last year plummeting to its lowest level in a decade.

Michael Liebreich, chairman of the BNEF board, said the global financial crisis and its aftermath were to blame only in part. “Europe’s failure to respond [to the crisis was a factor and] global investors, scared about the survival of the euro, had plenty of reason to hesitate about putting money into euro-dominated clean energy projects,” he said.

What bad luck – it’s nearly, almost, really competitive. Any day now:

Liebreich … “The tragedy is that Europe lost its renewable energy mojo just as costs were plummeting to the point where green power is fully competitive without subsidies in more and more parts of the world.”

Shame investors are too stupid to see how renewables are going to make lots of money. Only governments have that kind of vision, right?

The solution to save the industry? Not efficiency. Not competitiveness. It’s “politics”:

Oliver Joy, spokesman for the European Wind Energy Association, told the Guardian: “The outlook for 2016 is not as rosy and we’re likely to see a dip in installations this year. Beyond this, the future for onshore wind is not clear as an uncoordinated patchwork of policies across Europe continues to stifle progress, not least in the UK and Spain. We need to see more political appetite at European and national level, which means putting in place a vision for renewables into the next decade.”

Here’s a detail that tells us how big the malinvestment is here. There are nearly half a million people in Europe working in wind and solar to generate expensive electricity:

Jobs are being lost as a result. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, employment in solar photovoltaics in Europe fell by more than a third to 165,000 jobs in 2013, the last year for which it has yet collated figures. Jobs in wind energy rose slightly, by more than 5% in 2013, to nearly 320,000 across the bloc, with more than half of these in Germany.

Imagine if those people were doing something useful?

Globally $329 Billion is wasted on renewables

Here’s $329 billion very committed dollars worth of vested interests pushing the Climate Scare. Unlike the fossil fuel industry their profits depend almost entirely on government policy.

As Oil Crashed, Renewables Attract Record $329 Billion

Renewables Investment, global, 2004 - 2015

Media spin to save the day

The financial disaster can be spun to “success” if we ignore the collapse in the EU industry and pretend that what matters is that other countries are picking up the futile baton. If China “overtakes” the EU we can use rose colored glasses and see a hyperbolic “turning point”.  We can toss in graphs about increases in capacity which always make renewables sound good, because their theoretical fantasy capacity is so high.

Bloomberg hyperventilate on renewables

Solar and Wind Just Did the Unthinkable

Cheap oil and gas couldn’t stop another record year for renewables, or a turning point for energy investment.

The sun and the wind continue to defy gravity.

Renewables just finished another record-breaking year, with more money invested ($329 billion) and more capacity added (121 gigawatts) than ever before, according to new data released Thursday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Whatever you do, don’t graph renewables output in actual megawatts. Don’t graph it in CO2 tons saved. Never ever even mention the number of global degrees of cooling.

 

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131 comments to Renewables industry collapsing in Europe — still a $329 billion subsidised global cash cow

  • #
    AndyG55

    Yet I read that the Labor PM, Turnbull, has just given $1 BILLION for renewables in Australia.

    DOH !!!

    That’s nearly as much as is wasted on the ABC !

    421

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Ouch! a double whack to the goolies, well played socialist Australia well played.

      321

    • #

      So Europe has run out of other people’s money, how long until Australia does the same (to roughly quote Maggie Thatcher)?

      361

    • #
      Mike

      For starters, Turnbull didn’t give anyone any money, his creditors did. It is common for folk to say things like, “i purchased a house” when they didn’t at all a creditor/bank did.

      Secondly, there is this,,,,,,, what do renewables, military weapons, and the oil have in common?

      There is relatively little money in any of them. The real/big money is in the debt that these industries cause.
      Another good example amongst many is real estate.

      “THE INTERNATIONAL FILM THE ESSENCE OF BANKING TO CREATE PERPETUAL DEBT “
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiN1xHaNDJ0

      44

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      Indeed he did, AndyG55.

      Co-incidentally exploiting the recent Belgium attacks as a distraction for the LNP support base, Mao Warmbull chose Wednesday afternoon to announce the purpose and timing of the Clean Energy Future legislation, uh I mean Clean Energy Innovation Fund:

      “Every year (the fund) will invest $100 million in the smartest, most cutting edge, Australian clean energy technologies and businesses,” Mr Turnbull said, flanked by Environment Minister Greg Hunt.

      Great! That goal implies building new Advanced Ultra-Super Critical steam coal-fired power stations which will be 20% more fuel-efficient than present operational boilers. That higher efficiency will cut CO2 emissions by the same fraction while delivering the same power 24h per day reliably and emitting virtually no genuine pollution from the legally-mandated exhaust scrubbers, making them the best value for money and smartest CO2 emission reduction strategy available.

      “This challenge of global warming, this challenge of climate change – we will beat that by being really smart.”

      Yes.
      Smart would imply understanding whether the problem is real before leaping into expensive solutions.
      Smart would imply an examination of the reliability of climate science before spending another 10 billion dollars on projects that rely on predictions of global warming doom.
      Smart would imply funding an international research programme to gather the 30 years of high-resolution mid-troposphere humidity, temperature, and radiation data that is needed to scientifically test greenhouse warming models offered by both the establishment and skeptics.
      Smart would imply funding more research into natural processes driving climate so that we can understand whether global temperatures will actually go down during this century in spite of CO2 heating taking place.
      Smart would imply preparations for, and adaptation to, any future change in climate, whether warming or cooling, so any damage is mitigated regardless of whether we can control the climate.
      So of course none of the above will be done by Warmbull & Co.

      “We will help plug this investment gap.” The Federal Government confirmed it will “target projects such as large-scale solar with storage, off-shore energy, biofuels and smart grids”.

      Targeted by artillery, perhaps? Biofuel production from crops competes with food crops for arable land and raises food prices. Biofuel from GM algae or bacteria does not compete with food but has still not proven economic to conduct, it’s a loss of money and therefore not sustainable, uh I mean ripe for “plugging the investment gap”.
      The “Off-shore energy” usually means offshore wind turbines, which will do much less harm to bird life by being far away from trees, but are typically more expensive to build and maintain offshore than on land, making their net loss, uh I mean “investment gap” even greater than usual.
      “Smart grid” is code for “demand management” which in turn is code for surrendering control of your major appliances to the power company who can then turn your air conditioner or hot water heater on or off whenever is appropriate to die Zielvorgabe für die nationalen Emissionen.
      Will Warmbull & Co actually force any of this wish list to be implemented, or is it a pre-election sweetener for green-tinted voters? Is the LNP targeting these projects for actual execution, or are they only targeted for buzzword compliance?

      The Paris Climate Treaty will open for signatures 30 days after Warmbull made this announcement. Is the Clean Energy Future bill uh I mean Clean Energy Innovation Fund going to be in service of, or a substitute for, an Australian ratification of the Paris Treaty? The problem with the LNP right now is that you have absolutely no way of knowing until 22 April 2017.

      20

      • #

        Look at page 5 of Andrew’s second link. (pdf document)

        Now tell me that there’s no future in coal fired power.

        On that page alone are (at least) three of the giants of the electrical power generating industry.

        If there was no future in coal, do you seriously think they would be investing their money in R&D like this.

        I suspect that they are just waiting for all this kerfuffle to just blow over, and then they are ready to go.

        And even if it takes a little longer in our already Developed Countries, those giants are already doing this in China and India, perfecting it for when our day arrives.

        Let those green urgers hug their trees. Pretty soon, they’ll be wanting their home comforts, very quietly brought to you by these guys and old king coal.

        Tony.

        31

  • #
    Robk

    It seems to me that as more power grids are loaded up with whimsical intermittent supply to the point of instability the gloss will have to come off renewables. The added costs of accomodating huge surges and the futility of running make-up power in the background is senseless.
    If we could build dams to supply water and store power in a manner that is proportional to our population, there could be some hope to make something of these expensive schemes.
    Failing that, I see our best bet to maintain our productivity and survivability lays with baseload nuclear and coal.

    321

    • #
      ianl8888

      Both South Australia and Tasmania have recently shown the truth of this.

      Neither State is out of the toilet yet, nowhere near it.

      260

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      I am not up with the current figures, but my impression is that New Zealand gets the vast majority of its power from hydro, and does it several times by having multiple dams on the same river.

      And of course, the lakes formed behind the dams are great tourist attractions for those folks who just love burning fossil fuels, whilst towing their mates around on a piece of string. And then there are all of the hospitality and service sector jobs created by the constant stream of tourists.

      Not only that, but the outflows from the dams can be regulated and redirected to serve the needs of the vinyards, in their efforts to create the perfect Pinot Noir, that I just happen to have in a glass in front of me, as I type.

      And just think folks, the operational raw material for all this, is essentially free.

      Hmm, this is a good Pinot …

      320

      • #
        Peter C

        my impression is that New Zealand gets the vast majority of its power from hydro, and does it several times by having multiple dams on the same river

        Not so apparently.

        NZ has a total demand of about 1200 MW. Hydro (according to this government websiter) supplies about 300 MW
        http://www.emi.ea.govt.nz/Reports/VisualChart?reportName=GUEHMT&categoryName=Retail&reportGroupIndex=7&eventMode=Async&reportDisplayContext=Gallery#RegionType=NZ&MarketSegment=All&Capacity=Large&FuelType=fresh water&Show=Capacity&DateFrom=1/9/2013&DateTo=29/2/2016&reportName=GUEHMT&condensedView=false

        30

        • #
          ianl8888

          Coal actually supplies the majority of it.

          NZ’s coal mines cannot really supply all that is needed, and in fact some of the thermal output from the South Island is of such high quality that it is more economic to export it and import lower quality Indonesian coal for the domestic shortfall.

          I’m told that in WW1, the high quality thermal coal from the open cut mine north of Westport had been used by design in the British warships as it gave superior heat for weight to push the steam engines then in use. One such British warship was in a tropical harbour when a hurricane blew up. Several German warships had anchored off the harbour waiting the storm out with the obvious plan of sinking the British ship when the storm lifted. The British captain decided to power out of the harbour through the storm, relying on the high quality coal powering his ship. The German ships had to watch helplessly as the British ship steamed out past them, but the story goes that the Germans applauded as the British powered past through the storm.

          And yes, coal quality characteristics are the hero here together with the engineering skill to use those qualities properly.

          130

          • #
            David Maddison

            Coal truly is a miracle fuel.

            20

          • #
            Ross

            Correction ianl888

            Very little of NZ’s electricity generation comes from coal. The Huntley Power stations have been partly closed and Genesis (the company that owns them) says the remaining 2 will close by Dec 2018.
            There are a number of relatively small gas fired plants but Rereke is correct in saying the majority comes from hydro–over 65%.
            The quality coal you mention from the S Island west coast is now very limited because the company that mined and exported it went “belly up” –the irony is that a major cause of its problems was that in ventured into renewable energy projects. The price of coal dropping obviously did not help much.

            30

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Well I just had to check,

        According to that great authority, Wikipedia, New Zealand Hydro has a capacity of 5.5GW, with fossil fuels providing 2.3GW, and Geothermal 1.1GW. The largest wind farm, Tararua produces a piddling 161MW, with West Wind coming second with 142MW, and we are supposedly one of the windiest countries in the world.

        The reference is en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_power_stations_in_New_Zealand

        80

        • #
          Rod Staurt

          we are supposedly one of the windiest countries in the world.

          Now that’s not fair, Rereke.
          You blokes have Winston Peters on your team.

          50

          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            We blokes don’t necessarily agree that we have Winston on our team, that is up to the individual.

            Winston however, assumes that we blokes are always on his team, and so he feels that he can speak for the rest of us.

            Big difference!

            50

    • #
      Peter Miller

      And let’s never forget that the more ‘renewable green’ energy you have, the bigger your back up fossil fuelled power systems have to be, when the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow.

      Add that to the instability caused to power distribution systems by significant amounts of ‘renewable green’ energy production and you start to have a real problem. Germany and the UK being obvious cases in point. Note: The UK will imminently be facing a truly gargantuan energy crisis, yet by mid this year there will be no real power stations under construction anywhere in the country!

      Slowly but surely, the huge financial and political cost of ecoloon approved energy policies is beginning to be more widely realised. Woe betide a western government who chooses to pay ever increasing energy subsidies to greedy fat cat individuals and companies, while cutting back on expenditure on health and education – I wish!!!

      191

      • #
        tom0mason

        The Brits deserve all they get, let them sink into the slime-bog of dark green ecolunacy!

        :)

        30

      • #
        toorightmate

        Peter,
        Get your facts straight please.
        The sun always shines and the wind always blows. It’s in several peer reviewed papers.

        20

  • #
    David Maddison

    On what basis do they make the claim that the costs of renewables is “plummeting”? The individual costs for solar panels and windmills might have gone down but they still remain many times mire expensive per unit of power produced than fossil, hydro or nuclear and you still need those traditional power genetators to back hp the “renewables” so overall it is an incredibly expensive exercise.

    Compare that with the figure I posted here the other day of a proposed thorium reactor of the LFTR design. Over one year it would use one tonne of thorium costing US$300,000 to produce 1000MW continuously for one year. Of course, you would have the cost of a reactor on top of that but still dirt cheap electricity.

    151

  • #
    Analitik

    How’s that shorting hedge fund going, Jo?

    30

  • #
    Yonniestone

    The Rockefeller Family Fund is divesting from fossil fuels as quickly as possible and ‘eliminate holdings’ of Exxon Mobil Corporation.

    Although they apparently have little fossil fuel investments left it looks like climate grandstanding in an attempt to renew the interest in so called renewables, poor buggers must be doing it tough ATM.

    120

    • #
      Bulldust

      They hope to make a media splash because Rockefeller = Exxon/ESSO etc (Standard Oil). Interesting quote from the Exxon rep:

      Asked about the Rockefeller announcement, Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said: “It’s not surprising that they’re divesting from the company.”

      “The Rockefeller Family Fund provided financial support to InsideClimate News and Columbia University Journalism School, which produced inaccurate and deliberately misleading stories about Exxon Mobil’s history of climate research,” Mr Jeffers added.

      Source: http://www.theage.com.au/world/rockefeller-family-fund-divests-from-fossil-fuels-which-built-familys-fortune-20160324-gnqc69.html

      How on earth Exxon scientists were expected to know CAGW was a settled science before the IPCC and it’s thousands of backers could even make it’s mind up is beyond me. The world has gone mad … it’s as crazy as the “scientists” calling for RICO charges against sceptics.

      192

      • #
        Yonniestone

        Sanity is caught between misplaced authority and appeal to false authority, there’s no reasoning with administration when the patients have the keys to the asylum.

        122

      • #
        PiperPaul

        …it’s as crazy as the “scientists” calling for RICO charges against sceptics.

        “Blame Others Of What You Are Guilty.”

        40

    • #
      Peter C

      On Wednesday, Exxon said ………
      it believes the threat of climate change is clear and warrants action.

      How on earth did they get that idea? Why on earth don’t they hit back with a bit of realism!

      112

      • #
        Yonniestone

        They’re just paying lip service in an attempt to keep the CAGW myth in the public psyche for another green scheme.

        Got to admire their front though, these people could sell sh$t personalities to parking inspectors.

        122

  • #
    Ross

    Hooray! Renewable energy isn’t doing well! (apparently) And we celebrate this why, exactly, Jo?
    It’s renewable, right. Wouldn’t you hope it does well? What’s your agenda here, Jo? Say hello to the IPA for me.

    115

    • #

      Who is celebrating?

      I’m lamenting the wasted funds. You’d prefer we wasted more?

      190

    • #
      AndyG55

      “It’s renewable, right. ”

      Yep, last reports, wind turbines last only 10 or so years.. then they need to be renewed.. more wasted money.

      121

      • #
        ROM

        .
        AndyG55 @ # 6.2

        You sort of beat me to this wind turbine life factor, Andy.

        I was going to write it up last night but was to darn tired. The date of my birth is becoming an increasing problem.

        Opinion only below so!
        I suspect that the European renewable energy industry has a somewhat worse outlook in its immediate future than most of us down here are aware of.

        A couple of the new major factors are of course, the Daesh promoted terror campaign in Europe which already is leading to very large economic resources being now directed into internal security plus a major increase in the European wide counter terrorism forces.
        That leaves a lot less economic resources available to be allocated to non essentials such as Renewable Energy, a factor that is now getting increasing recognition within Europe.
        An economic fact already evident as the Renewable Energy subsidies are being already being dramatically cut in the Spain, [ The Spanish equivalent of the High Court has ruled that the government is quite legitimate in cutting renewable energy subsidies despite any contracts written under different circumstances by past governments ] the UK, Ireland, Denmark, across Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe and now becoming evident in some states of the USA.

        A second factor slowly being recognised is the more and more obvious and abject failure of Renewable Energy to deliver the amounts of power it promised plus the total failure after three decades or more of massive subsidies to begin reducing the costs of the renewable energy that was initially promised by the Renewable Energy industry if they were subsidised enough to reach a full development stage.

        Thirty or more years later nothing has been seen in renewable energy cost reduction to then ordinary power consumer and in fact the opposite appears to be the situation re the consumer, consumer energy prices have continued to increase to finance the subsidies to the Renewable energy industry.

        A third factor is the rising public anger and the increasing backlash outside of the political and green NGO renewable energy promoting symbiosis particularly in Germany at both the increasingly unaffordable cost and the prices of renewable generated energy and its utter lack of reliability and predictability.

        And inside of Germany the locals are about fed up with the arrogance of the turbine industry and the way in which it is just destroying so much of the Germany’s forests and picturesque rural countryside which Germany in the past has invested huge resources into preserving for future generations.

        See NotricksZone Alternative Energy posts

        Plus a steadily dawning realisation that turbine Infra sound, now being heavily researched in western Europe has and is causing severe health and mental problems to a good percentage of its citizens who have been afflicted with turbines being built in their in close proximity.
        The latest demand from a proffessional that is deeply involved in researching turbine generate Infra sound impacts on human health is demanding that any turbines installed in the future should be located at least five [5 ] kilometres away from the nearest habitation.

        German Medical Doctors Warn Hazards Of Wind Turbine Infrasound Are Very Real, Worse Than First Thought! –
        &
        German Expert: Wind Turbine Infrasound Travels 25 KM…Warns Of Health Hazards…Advises Minimum 5000 Meter Distance! -

        A fourth factor is the rapidly increasing backlash from nations that border on the renewable energy poster child of Germany .
        Nations such as Poland, France, Czech, Dutch , Belgium are finding a rapid increase in blackouts and power outages as the German wind turbines rapidly increase output when wind velocities rapidly increase and the German grid system which is itself incapable of handling these turbine generated surges in power and cannot handle the extra load then dump the over supply of German turbine generated power across the borders into the neighbours grids which then fail and collapse under the unexpected and unpredicted surge in unwanted German power.

        So Germany’s neighbours are all installing Phase Shifting switches at their grid borders to stop the unwanted and grid system overloads from the German turbine surges in wind power so as to protect their own grid systems.
        [ the electrical engineers here might like to explain how such a phase shifting switch would work? ]

        Germany’s Wind Power Surges Plunge Their Neighbours Into Darkness

        To put an end to the often unexpected power flows from Germany — so-called loop flows — the countries are taking the matter into their own hands. Concerned about the stability of their own grids, additional costs and the ability to export their own power, the Czechs, for example, are installing devices to block the power from 2016 onwards.
        Poland is also working on the devices, known as phase shifters, and expects to have some operating this year. To the west, the Netherlands, Belgium and France have also installed phase shifters to deal with the flows.

        In reference to AndyG55′s post above, from a 2012 study by Proff. Gordon Hughes on behalf of the UK’s Renewable Energy Foundation including the economic life of Wind turbines which is much shorter than any wind farm investors are ever informed of.

        The Performance of Wind Farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark

        There are a number of very informative graphs included in this study but to quote on the economic life of both UK and the Danish land based and off shore turbines.

        1. Onshore wind turbines represent a relatively mature technology, which ought to have achieved a satisfactory level of reliability in operation as plants age. Unfortunately, detailed analysis of the relationship between age and performance gives a rather different picture for both the United Kingdom and Denmark with a significant decline in the average load factor of onshore wind farms adjusted for wind availability as they get older.

        An even more dramatic decline is observed for offshore wind farms in Denmark, but this may be a reflection of the immaturity of the technology.

        2. The study has used data on the monthly output of wind farms in the UK and Denmark reported under regulatory arrangements and schemes for subsidising renewable energy.
        Normalised age-performance curves have been estimated using standard statistical techniques which allow for differences between sites and over time in wind resources and other factors.

        3. The normalised load factor for UK onshore wind farms declines from a peak of about 24% at age 1 to 15% at age 10 and 11% at age 15.

        The decline in the normalised load factor for Danish onshore wind farms is slower but still significant with a fall from a peak of 22% to 18% at age 15.

        On the other hand for offshore wind farms in Denmark the normalised load factor falls from 39% at age 0 to 15% at age 10.
        The reasons for the observed declines in normalised load factors cannot be fully assessed using the data available but outages due to mechanical breakdowns
        appear to be a contributory factor.

        4. Analysis of site-specific performance reveals that the average normalised load factor of new UK onshore wind farms at age 1 (the peak year of operation) declined significantly from 2000 to 2011.
        In addition, larger wind farms have systematically worse performance than smaller wind farms.

        Adjusted for age and wind availability the overall performance of wind farms in the UK has deteriorated markedly since the beginning of the century.
        [ edit; All the best wind sites have long been taken up leaving inferior wind sites for later turbine installations ]

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

        So taken all up and as the money runs out for the subsidies and the public becomes more and more aware of the total failure of the renewable energy industry to provide a reliable power supply [ and after a good dose of blackouts and brownouts ie; Tasmania ? ], there is a good chance that any wind farms still operating past 2020 will probably be abandoned when they run out of economic life and the tax payer or the locals will be left with the job and hideous expense of cleaning up after the wind turbine owners / operators have grabbed the money and cut and run.

        The answer to that of course is to force all Wind turbine and solar panel owner and operators into depositing a few million dollars per generating unit into a clean up fund and site rehabilitation which is no more than the mine owners and power generator owners and operators are now required to do across Australia.

        Plus making turbine owners legally liable for any wind turbine infrasound effects on local resident’s physical and mental health.

        40

    • #
      James Bradley

      Ross, you have a great point.

      We should be propping up a non-income producing, inefficient technology with tax payer funded subsidies.

      What we should do is get all those other primary industries together… you know the mining ones, the ones that pay tax, pay dividends, issue fully franked shares (they are the shares the companies have already paid another tax on), the companies that support hundreds of thousands of workers through wages and training schemes, the companies that provide sources of efficient and economical energy to keep other businesses profitable that in turn employ people and pay taxes.

      Now we should simply close those efficient and economical businesses down that support the country and simply only subsidise the renewable energy schemes with the tax payer dollar… hmmmmm

      Ross, I have a question for you;

      If we close all the efficient income producing businesses that pay tax, and they in turn can no longer employ workers who pay tax, who in turn can no longer support all the other businesses who pay tax, where do you propose the tax payer funds for you uneconomical and inefficient renewable schemes will come from?

      171

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        James Bradley:

        It is a waste of your time arguing with people like Ross. They believe there is a an endless supply from the big bag of money that the Government uses, and all you have to do is squeal loudly and some will come your way. So many of the people who believe this are employed (one way or another) by the Government, either directly as public servants or in the health and education sector, or the recipients of benefits such as the unemployed, disabled, consultants and commissions, and builders of renewable energy flops.

        In most western democracies that now adds up to 50% of the voters, so changing this is close to impossible. See the reaction recently in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Canada with left wingers gaining support through promises of more government spending. I have come to the conclusion that only a prolonged economic depression will reverse this idea, and it may take generations. In the meantime the Chinese, Indian and southern African economies will boom. Eventually Europe will regain some prosperity from the flood of now affluent tourists wanting to see the remains of previous prosperous countries while they wonder how those europeans could have been so stupid as to lose the plot. For Australia we will have to rely on kangaroos and koalas as any attempts to retrain our politicians for some useful purpose are doomed to failure.

        51

        • #
          James Bradley

          No, Graeme, I wasn’t arguing with Ross, I was agreeing with him, but the more I supported his point the more stupid his point seemed.

          Stupid is defined as an act that benefits no one…

          40

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘Wouldn’t you hope it does well?’

      Wishing renewables could carry base load and reduce human induced CO2 emissions is a forlorn hope.

      CO2 doesn’t actually cause global warming, the hiatus proves that, so it would be far more productive if we spent the billions helping the Third World climb out of poverty. Clean drinking water for all would be a nice start.

      121

  • #
    Pethefin

    Here’s an idea for other countries to copy in order to illustrate the size of subsidies being paid to “green” energy industry:
    http://tuulivahinko.fi/
    It’s a real-time measurement of subsidies paid to wind industry in Finland by the state of Finland, each day, each second.

    120

    • #

      What’s interesting is that it seems that the more the wind blows, the more it costs. Silly me, that’s what it’s all about.

      120

    • #
      Peter Miller

      “Here’s an idea…..”

      Not only is it a great idea, but it should become mandatory, as should the disclosure of the amount of green energy subsidies in every electricity bill.

      As for the Finnish Website, which discloses that these subsidies cost an average of 4.32 Euros per second, that doesn’t sound much until you realise that’s 136 million Euros per year.

      100

  • #
    PeterS

    Globally $329 Billion is wasted on renewables

    I firmly believe with that sort of money we could have found a cure for most if not all cancers. What a disgusting waste of money. It’s almost criminal.

    210

    • #
      Climate Heretic

      “Globally $329 Billion is wasted on renewables”

      It is Criminal. FTFY.

      Regards
      Climate Heretic

      140

      • #
        PeterS

        Thanks. I had the same thought in my mind as you but I was in one of those moments of weakness. The trouble though is people like Turnbull are so delusional their moment of weakness as exhibited lately is like comparing a nuclear explosion with a soap bubble bursting.

        60

    • #
      stan stendera

      It IS criminal.

      40

  • #
    pat

    lengthy but worth a read. public needs to stay on top of this and ensure it never happens:

    23 Mar: CFO: Hot Topic: David McCann: Climate Change and Insurance
    More and more companies are persuaded that climate change is real. So why aren’t insurers factoring it into property insurance premiums
    If you’re a doubter on climate change, take notice.
    The 2016 edition of the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risks Report lists “failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation” as the greatest risk facing the world over the next 10 years. That was the collective judgment of 742 surveyed experts and decision makers drawn from business, academia, civil society, and the public sector…
    “There is work being done to incorporate climate risk as a reasonable consideration in pricing and reserves as an industry-standard best practice,” says Lindene Patton, an attorney and independent consultant who worked for Zurich Insurance for 17 years before leaving in 2014 as chief climate product officer. “But it’s not there yet.”
    Not only is that work “not there yet,” there doesn’t seem to be a particular sense of urgency to get there.
    “It’s not presently possible, given the current state of climate science, to take the output of climate-change models and apply them directly to insurance pricing,” concurs Bob Hartwig, who as president of the Insurance Information Institute serves as a de facto spokesperson for the industry…
    “There have been significant losses that don’t show up on insurance companies’ balance sheets,” notes Cynthia McHale, a former underwriter and manager of Accenture’s insurance practice, who is now insurance program director at Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocate. She adds, “The industry tends to speak in generalities and not engage in deep or complete discussions on the issue of climate change and insurance. We’re pushing them to get deeper into it.”…READ ON
    http://ww2.cfo.com/risk-management/2016/03/hot-topic-climate-change-insurance/

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    Amber

    Once pension funds and other investors have had their share of loser
    renewable investments there will be a stampede to the exits .
    Shorting them before they go broke is the surest way to make money from these pretenders .

    Buy coal now .

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      Robk

      I understand where you’re comming from but I’m just not sure about the merit in shorting government interference or stupidity.

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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Governments can’t even get stupidity right, because it has to be formulated into a sequence of procedural steps, in the various Departmental Operating Instructions.

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    David Maddison

    A lot of people have invested their superannation (non Aussies => retirement savings) in so-called ethical investment funds and these invest a lot in “renewable” energy. Down the track there are going to be some very upset investors who lose their life savings.

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    Phillip Bratby

    Whenever you see the words “clean” or “green” coupled with “energy” or “power”, keep a tight grip on your wallet.

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      tom0mason

      If it’s ‘clean’, ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ lock your pocketbook somewhere safe, preferable in a different country.
      ;)

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    Alan

    Who’d have thought it story.
    A new, World Coal Association report (yes vested interest) “finds high efficiency low emission coal-fired power generation mitigates more CO2 emissions than renewables.”

    Significant findings from the report include:

    •HELE coal-fired power generation mitigates more CO2 emissions than renewables per dollar of investment.
    •By 2040, 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2 per year could be avoided by deploying HELE technologies.
    •Given the higher capital costs of renewable technologies and their lower load factors, in most regions, conversion to HELE technologies represents the lowest cost CO2 abatement alternative.

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    The text in Joanne’s Post mentions this: (my bolding here)

    Renewables just finished another record-breaking year, with more money invested ($329 billion) and more capacity added (121 gigawatts) than ever before…..

    Notice they still talk in Nameplate. (Capacity as they call it)

    121GigaWatts, and hey wouldn’t that fire up the DeLorean?

    121GigaWatts.

    You know, power delivery the equivalent of 10 USC (HELE) coal fired power plants.

    That’s ten plants with 2 X 1300MW generators, which will cost (and here I’m quoting the steep end of costs) around $40 Billion.

    Tony.

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    Yonniestone

    The Flux Capacitor required 1.21 gigawatts of power travelling at 88 mph to work, that’s 100 DeLorean’s worth, with about 6,500 still existing the future is looking good /sarc.

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  • #
    cedarhill

    Any idea how many thorium fired nuclear power plants could be built with 1/3rd of a trillion dollars (including R&D)?
    Same question for the small modular nuclear reactors?
    And how many birds have been slaughtered and other wildlife?

    Ask a few pertinent questions.

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    • #
      David Maddison

      Funnily enough I have just written a magazine article on thorium reactors including small versions. Here are some 2008 figures for small modular reactors (uranium).

      http://m.phys.org/news/2008-11-mini-nuclear-power-homes.html

      “Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world,” said John Deal, CEO of Hyperion. “[The nuclear plants] will cost approximately $25 million each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $2,500 per home.”

      Company website at http://www.gen4energy.com/

      20

  • #
    pat

    24 Mar: MIT Technology Review: Richard Martin: Ivanpah’s Problems Could Signal the End of Concentrated Solar in the U.S.
    But the troubles at Ivanpah have joined the delay or cancellation of several high-profile projects as evidence that concentrated solar power could be a dying technology.
    Last year BrightSource canceled a 500-megawatt concentrated solar project planned for Inyo County, California. That move followed the 2014 decision of French nuclear giant Areva, which acquired an Australian concentrated solar startup called Ausra in 2010, to exit the solar business after losing “tens of millions” of dollars. And the Spanish company Abengoa, which has developed several large concentrated solar projects and received $2.7 billion in loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy, is in talks to restructure its debt and is in danger of becoming Spain’s largest-ever bankruptcy.
    Most of these shuttered projects have been doomed by one factor: cost…
    For now, says SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith, market conditions in the U.S. “have forced us overseas.” SolarReserve is developing a 100-megawatt in South Africa, known as Redstone. And BrightSource is building a 121-megawatt facility, featuring the world’s tallest solar tower collector, at Ashalim in Israel. “You need to look beneath the surface and beyond the U.S.,” says Joe Desmond, senior vice president of marketing at BrightSource…
    Last year, solar power may have finally covered more than 1 percent of global energy demand…
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601083/ivanpahs-problems-could-signal-the-end-of-concentrated-solar-in-the-us/

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      I wonder why they are having problems. How could industries based on selling stuff costing $125, $145 or $275 have trouble competing with people selling at $30 ? Perhaps they need a carbon tax or ETS to help?

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    toorightmate

    We have seen Spain blow big money on Solar.
    We have seen California blow big money on solar.

    We, in Australia, are really going to show them how to blow big money. We will repeat their mistakes over and over.

    Innovation I think???? Continuity with change???? There has never been a more exciting time to be Malcolm Turnbull!!!!!!

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      toorightmate mentions this:

      We have seen Spain blow big money on Solar.

      And did it work?

      Well no.

      Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) was hyped to be the coming thing, but all along it was a flop, and the hype never lived up to expectations, no matter what they tried to spin.

      Although CSP has been part of what I’ve been doing for 8 years now, I singled out what was happening in Spain back in November of 2013 at the Post at the following link.

      Solar Thermal Power (Concentrating Solar) Fail – Just Look At Spain

      24 of these CSP plants, and not one of them delivering power anywhere even close to what could be considered acceptable. See the table at the link for data on every one of those 24 plants.

      That of itself should have been a signal that it was never going to be of any worth.

      Imagine if that money had have been spent on something that gave value for money, instead of this immense waste.

      Tony.

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        Graeme No.3

        Unreliable CSP at $275 per MWh v reliable coal at $30 – what would a Turnbull choose?

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      • #

        Right now, Good Friday, 11.00AM, with virtually every workplace and commercial outlet in the Country closed down for the Easter holiday, total power consumption is probably at its lowest here in Australia in comparison with most working days.

        Because of that, one unit at Bayswater is off line, probably still running, but just not delivering power. So now, Bayswater only has 3 units delivering power, so three quarters delivery from ONE power plant. That’s a (currently right now) Nameplate of 1860MW, and that’s the actual total from the site which details power delivery from every power plant East of the WA border.

        So, and I know it’s still the cooler Months in the Northern Hemisphere, but pretend it’s mid Summer there in Spain, and these CSP plants are all working at their best. That’s 24 of these CSP plants covering an area of 55 square Kilometres in all, just the plants themselves.

        Just those three units at Bayswater provide 100MW (Nameplate) more than all 24 of these Spanish CSP plants.

        Under average yearly operation, those 24 Spanish solar plants will deliver across a whole 12 month year the same power delivered by Bayswater in 93 days.

        Pretend in your wildest dream that these 24 Spanish solar plants will actually last for the proposed 25 years. The total power generated by ALL of them for that 25 years will have been delivered by Bayswater in 6 years and 5 Months. Bayswater has been open for 30 years, so it has already delivered 4.6 times the power that might be delivered from every one of these Spanish plants if they last their full life span, and Bayswater has perhaps 20 years still to run.

        All totally useless FACTS, because CSP is the way of the future ….. so they say!

        Tony.

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    CC Reader

    OT – I want to congratulate the JAFA’s an other NZlanders for not choosing the “white feather of surrender” for their flag. I look forward to the UK getting out of the EU.

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    CC Reader

    If I could not live in the US, I would choose NZ.

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  • #
    Richard deSousa

    “spare cash on hand” “not spare cash on had”

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  • #
    Dave in the States

    It is the biggest scam in history. It hurts the poor the most.

    It is a transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the upper classes and the government class.

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    handjive

    “Whatever you do, don’t graph renewables output in actual megawatts.
    Don’t graph it in CO2 tons saved.
    Never ever even mention the number of global degrees of cooling.”

    And most misleadingly, never show the extreme climate that has been stopped by renewables, even though this is the reason they are built.

    If you can predict more extreme weather in 100 years if they aren’t built, the same logic demands you can show the extreme weather stopped so far by these ugly blights on the pristine landscape.
    ~ ~ ~
    Meanwhile, where are all the “green jobs”?

    Port Augusta is the fabled canary in the coalmine – a coal town teetering on a precipice as it transitions away from fossil fuels.

    “The closure of Alinta’s coal operations in the area are frankly devastating,” says Joseph Scales, secretary of the Australian Services Union, which represents most of the workers at the Northern power station, set to be shut down in May this year.

    When it closes, almost 200 people will lose their jobs.

    Some might be redeployed in the public sector – a deal that was made when the power plant was privatised – but the majority will find themselves with a redundancy package and slim job prospects in the area.”

    Wait. What?
    “One possible future is the town creating hundreds of jobs by building Australia’s first major solar thermal power plant, sucking up the energy of the sun and providing a steady stream of power for southern Australia.”
    . . .
    You mean they haven’t built the solar power to replace the coal?

    We’re Saved!

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      Mike

      “Meanwhile, where are all the “green jobs”?”

      The green jobs are in the unemployment que.

      The ‘unemployed’ do not have enough money to create CO2 and in fact, it is possible to graph CO2 production from economic data alone.

      Don’t worry, there are plenty of people who do not understand the theory of economic relativity.

      Here is the formula.

      E = MCO2 2 Or Economic activity equals Money (Fiat currency) Carbon Dioxide squared.

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      • #
        Mike

        * E = MCO2 2 Or, Economic activity equals Money (Fiat currency) Carbon Dioxide squared.

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        • #
          Mike

          A recent example of creating unemployment, and thus lowering CO2 emissions is SunEdison. (Relativity…..see the formula for economic relativity above.))

          “SunEdison Plummets On Imminent Bankruptcy; Axiom Sees “The Beginning Of The End” And 85% More Downside”
          “…….Stated differently, via a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing, a distressed company who is unable to obtain a new loan outside of bankruptcy,” …………

          When an entire country loses nearly all its jobs, like Greece recently, then that country is Carbon Green. The CO2 emissions from the average Greek is nearly zero, when a few olive trees here and there are included in my special theory of economic relativity that i explain in some detail using the formula above.

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      handjive

      Further from the link:

      200 jobs gone, maybe 45-50 jobs created, intermittent power supply … it’s a Whyalla Wipeout!

      “SolarReserve has built a 110MW solar thermal plant in the desert in Nevada, with more than 10,000 mirrors concentrating the sun’s heat on to a tower filled with molten salt. It’s building a similar plant now in South Africa and hopes to do something roughly the same in Port Augusta.

      “In Nevada, our Crescent Dunes project created roughly 4,000 jobs ,” he says.
      “We had more than 1,000 people on site at one time building it.
      And we’re creating between 45 and 50 full-time roles for operation and maintenance.”

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        A little calculation:

        If the solar plant can develop 110 MW for the 5 hours in the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky and half that for another 5 hours, then for 365 days it would (possibly) generate 301,125 MWh in a year. I know this is hopelessly optimistic, for starters these sorts of plants often shut down in winter, and certainly don’t run at full capacity every day of the year. (1)

        From similar plants we can set the cost at $275 per MWh or $150 more than solar PV (or at least $230 more than the shut down coal fired) so an excess payout or just over $45 million which will have to be paid by SA consumers in higher electricity bills.

        If we take a more realistic average rate of 340 MWh per day (2) and assume also this happens every day then the excess over PV solar amounts to $18 million per year. If we paid the 200 soon to be unemployed $75,000 a year we would ‘save’ money, and boost the economy of Port Augusta.

        (1) For those fooled into thinking they run at night, this can only be done by reducing output during the day and storing the excess heat for use at night, or for the sun to shine at night.
        (2) Ivanpah – “the largest CSP plant in the World – runs about 45% capacity ignoring the output from natural gas heating used in the morning to heat the ‘molten’ salt.

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    • #
      TdeF

      So now instead of 98% of CO2 coming from overseas, it is now 98.001%? How are the people of South Australia better off? Less guilt?

      These closures defy logic, especially in a state which is now critically dependent on CO2 power from Victoria, as shown by the 5 hour statewide blackout in November when the feed from Victoria broke. The same in Green Tasmania, except they cannot find the break. Must be those giant King Island crayfish with a taste for power. Is one called Malcolm?

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      • #
        TdeF

        How does the Green jobs bit work in a Solar generator anyway?

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        • #
          TdeF

          Sorry, 45 jobs created. Maintenance? Oiling moving bits like sunrays presumably. Watching stuff, like the sun go up and down. Sounds rewarding stuff.

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            Graeme No.3

            Washing all those mirrors with squeegees on 4metre poles every 2 days.

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            • #
              TdeF

              Night shift?

              How do you replace jobs like this with Green jobs.

              The CFMEU is going to start rolling strikes at Hazelwood and elsewhere to support their claims for $180,000 pa for a 4 day week, $150 a month for mobile phones and to be paid to walk to and from the carpark. Presumably at overtime rates. Who needs a degree?

              I do not think Australia can afford Green people with squeegees in the desert on night shift.

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        • #
          David Maddison

          Corrupt CFMEU union thugs and left leaning governments will make sure there are plenty of green “jobs” just like they did at the VIC desal plant.

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  • #
    Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

    This reminds me of the late 1980′s when I read regularly in the network trade press that “soon” the installed base of token-ring networks would overtake that of ethernet. Over the course of several years the discrepancy between token ring and ethernet kept getting bigger but IBM had the money and kept the trade rags supplied with copy. The so-called journalists at those trade rags kept pushing the same line month after month, seemingly unaware that last month’s rosy projection had just been falsified by the updated numbers in this month’s rosy projection.

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    handjive

    97% Peak Stupidity? Again?

    Will the Twistcow take the tasty green bait and photo op?
    Tony did.

    The Queensland Government has called on the Prime Minister to visit parts of the Great Barrier Reef which are dead or dying from coral bleaching.

    “I have no doubt that if [Mr Turnbull] could see these reefs first hand, he would step up and he would deliver for Australia a decent plan to address climate change, as well as additional support for our efforts,” Qld State Environment Minister Steven Miles said.
    . . .
    Forget just viewing the video supplied, nothing says “committed” like a first-hand fossil-fuelled flight over the fossil-fuelled ‘global’ warming.

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    • #
      el gordo

      …and this weekend the ABC has a thingy on the GBR hosted by a celebrity naturalist. Coincidence?

      60

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    handjive

    Times demand a Sustainable Development Commission to replace the Productivity Commission

    “An Australian Sustainable Development Commission, with authority, adequate funding and broad support, would send a very clear signal domestically and internationally that we are serious about implementing the SDGs and the Paris agreement.
    There is no better way to ensure a viable and healthy future for all Australians, both current and future generations.”
    . . .
    Malcolm’s your man!

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    TdeF

    You have to wonder about the ‘renewables’ from China boosting global Green energy. Who checks that stuff and what does it matter if coal fired power is growing at a vastly greater rate anyway? It is as if ‘renewables’ are an end in themselves, which is true for the renewables industry, wind and solar. So who is the biggest supplier in these industries? The same Chinese government.

    It was always a puzzle that the Pyramid building industry in Egypt lasted only 200 years. Amazing things, building up to three at the same time and then nothing. It looks like our wind and solar farms will join Stonehenge, the Egyptian pyramids, the Mexican pyramids, Easter Island statues and the structures of paleolithic Turkey in history. Future generations can only marvel at things which were the product of a forgotten and irrational religion which became an enormous and fundamentally pointless industry.

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    • #
      Mike

      ……………………………“the Pyramid building industry”…..………………….

      What….??

      It is doing fine, these days the digital fiat currency printing pyramid scheme is the the new age pyramid building activity…good grief…

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    pat

    compare what Jo wrote to the BBC spin!

    24 Mar: BBC: Mark Kniver: UN: 2015 record year for global renewables investment
    Global investment in renewable energy hit a record US$285.9bn (£202.3bn) in 2015, beating the previous high of $278.5bn set in 2011, a study shows.
    The 10th Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment also showed that investment in developing nations exceeded that in developed countries.
    In another first, more new renewables capacity than fossil-fuel generation came online during 2015.
    But it warned that much more had to be done to avoid dangerous climate change…
    “A large element in this turnaround was China, which lifted its investment by 17% to US$102.9bn, or 36% of the world total,” the report observed.
    However, other developing nations also contributed as six of the top 10 investors were developing nations.
    In the foreword, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said the report’s findings increased confidence that a low-carbon world was obtainable…
    Prof Moslener added that renewable generation was still dwarfed by fossil fuel-based sources, and only accounted for 10% of the global mix…
    Lead author Angus McCrone, chief editor at Bloomberg New Energy Finance: “One advantage that renewables has is that it can be built very quickly,” he explained.
    “If you are a power-hungry emerging market in Africa or South America, for instance, you can put up a wind farm in six to nine months, or a solar plant in three to six months.
    “However, if you want to put up a coal-fired power station, it is going to take three or four years.”…
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35891876

    24 Mar: The Eagle: Texas A&M-Galveston researchers question nations’ ability to meet climate change goal set at Paris summit
    Glenn Jones, a professor of marine sciences, and Kevin Warner, a doctoral candidate in marine biology, argue that to keep the temperature from ever breaking that two-degree threshold, 50 percent of the world’s energy will have to come from renewable sources by 2028.
    According to the International Energy Agency, renewable energy accounted for 22 percent of the world’s energy in 2013 and is expected to be at 26 percent in 2020.
    Jones said he doesn’t see how the world could ramp up renewables as much as it needs to in that short a time period.
    He used the example of wind turbine production, which he said is one of many facets of renewable energy that would need to be vastly increased. He said the equivalent of 13,000 5-megawatt wind turbines were installed around the world in 2015. That number would have to average 485,000 5-megawatt wind turbines a year globally by 2028.
    Then there’s an issue of countries with high percentages of the population without electricity…ETC
    http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/texas-a-m-galveston-researchers-question-nations-ability-to-meet/article_64917406-fd92-5966-9fec-0917c86a08f0.html

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    • #
      TdeF

      “..investment in developing nations exceeded that in developed countries.”

      You have to love the way China is still a developing nation, with the world’s second highest GDP.

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  • #
    pat

    correction: BBC author is KINVER not kniver…

    10

  • #
    Lemur

    We’ve reached “peak clean energy”… who’d ‘a thunk it!

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  • #
    David Maddison

    Has anyone thought of how to dispose of all the windmills when they fail in a few years?

    Blades are not recyclable and give off toxics if burned.

    Steel towers are highly recyclable, as with copper wiring.

    I assume the rare earth magnets might be reprocessable into new magnets.

    Hundreds or thousands of tonnes of concrete foundation – will they dig it up or leave it in the ground? Concrete can be recycled but I think it is a marginal proposition and most windmills are in remote areas so transport would be uneconomic.

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    • #
      Mike

      Yep…….Problem solved

      From: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-30/germany-now-faced-thousands-aging-wind-farms
      “What can be done with the decommissioned wind turbines?

      “A previous study that was commissioned by Scottish National Heritage (SNH) forecasted that there would be a need to ‘recycle’ “approximately 225,000 tons of rotor blades by the year 2034. Something similar is happening in Germany, where the rotor blades “are ‘reprocessed’ in industrial scale factories and then shredded and mixed with other waste. The final product is then used in “cement manufacturing facilities as fuel.

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      • #
        tom0mason

        There you go then Mike, it’s all ‘sustainable’ and therefore no problem.

        Ho-humm, I wonder how much energy it took to make the blades in the first place? Or is that the wrong question.

        10

    • #
      toorightmate

      Concrete breaks down after a few centuries or millennia, so that’s not a problem.

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    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      The foundations of large towers are concrete and steel:
      ” Buried 25 to 32 feet (depending on bedrock depth) in up to 260 cubic yards of
      concrete; 120 anchor bolts extend from ground level to the bottom of the 14-foot-diameter foundation (a single 28-foot-long anchor bolt weighs 150 pounds)” [from page 2]

      This is for the “resistance” design. The “weight” or gravity design use 305 cubic yards of concrete but is just 8.6 feet deep.
      http://www.pse.com/aboutpse/PseNewsroom/MediaKit/099_Wind_Power_web.pdf

      The above source is located in central Washington State, USA.
      Google Earth location of visitor center:
      47.0125535, -120.201749

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    pat

    ABC never flinches over hundreds of billions or even trillions demanded to stop the climate from changing (lol) but a few million to look into complaints about wind turbines & they get agitated;

    24 Mar: ABC The World Today: Millions in funding for research into wind farm illness criticised
    ELEANOR HALL: Australia’s leading medical funding body, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH and MRC), has awarded $3.3 million to two researchers to investigate whether proximity to wind turbines makes people sick.
    That’s despite the NH and MRC previously finding that there was “no evidence” that exposure to wind farm noise causes illness.
    One of Australia’s leading wind farm researchers says it’s a waste of government money…
    IMOGEN BRENNAN: Professor Chapman says the new research funding is irresponsible.
    SIMON CHAPMAN (University of Sydney’s Emeritus Professor): There are people who are anxious and worried about all manner of extremely low or non-existent risks and agencies like the NHMRC don’t quarantine money for that.
    I mean they don’t put money aside for people who believe that UFOs are landing people and are going to infect us. I mean these sorts of issues have their adherence as well, but the NHMRC does of course not quarantine money for that.
    IMOGEN BRENNAN: The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has defended the funding.
    MALCOLM TURNBULL: A reasonable exercise for the Government is to, as we have promised, has been promised last year, to investigate the matter and if the conclusion is as you suspect it will be that will serve to allay a lot of anxiety. And that’s a very important thing to do.
    http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2016/s4431111.htm

    24 Mar: Irish Times: Chris Ashmore: Planning refused for 51-turbine Donegal wind farm
    Contentious roposal generates over 200 objections – mostly focused on height of 117m
    Planning permission for the biggest wind farm in the country in a sparsely populated area of Donegal has been refused…
    ‘Vigorously opposed’
    The planning application has been refused, mainly because of the environmental impact.
    A spokesperson for the Finn Valley Wind Action Group said: “We wish to make it clear to the applicants in this case, and any others who may consider making a similar application in our area, that any future applications here will also be vigorously opposed.”…
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/planning-refused-for-51-turbine-donegal-wind-farm-1.2585893

    —-Thanks Pat – Jo

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    pat

    comment #32 on wind turbines is in moderation.

    24 Mar: Bloomberg: SunEdison May Face $1.4 Billion Default If Report Not Filed
    Top renewable developer has `big issue coming with their debt’
    by Brian Eckhouse & Chris Martin
    The clock is ticking for SunEdison Inc.
    The world’s biggest clean-energy developer has already postponed the release of its 2015 annual report, twice. If SunEdison fails to file the report by March 30, it must reach accommodations with lenders on at least $1.4 billion in loans and credit facilities or face a potential technical default.
    SunEdison reported total debt of $11.7 billion at the end of September, more than double the amount a year earlier, as it bought up wind and solar developers and projects on six continents. That’s prompted questions about whether it borrowed too much, too fast, and has helped make it the worst-performer on the 104-member WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index in the past year…
    SunEdison took on a $725 million second-lien credit facility in January, with Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG, KeyCorp and Macquarie Bank Ltd. as joint bookrunners…READ ALL
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-23/sunedison-may-face-1-4-billion-default-if-earnings-delayed-more

    24 Mar: OilPrice: James Burgess: As SunEdison Tanks, Is Rest Of Solar Going With It?
    SunEdison, one of the giants in solar power globally, may file for bankruptcy protection, as the solar industry gambles on its future, struggling to compete with low oil and gas prices while simultaneously trying to capitalize on what looks like a rosier long-term future…
    Investors and creditors, however, are getting restless, and with a good reason. According to SunEdison’s latest financial report, for the third quarter of 2015, the company had a debt pile of $11.67 billion, while cash and cash equivalents were just $2.39 billion.
    How did it come to this for one of the oldest players in the solar industry?…READ ALL
    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/As-SunEdison-Tanks-Is-Rest-Of-Solar-Going-With-It.html

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    el gordo

    O/T

    Antarctica Meltdown Postponed

    “Five to ten years from now, I think we’ll still be seeing regional variability dominate any global climate change signal,” Scambos said. “We’ll know more about the drivers of regional trends, and also the history of sea ice in Antarctica,” he said. “But I don’t think we’ll see a climate-driven decline until late in the 21st century.”

    NSIDC (story at Watts)

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    pat

    24 Mar: The National Scotland: Greg Russell: The closure of Longannet, the last coal-fired power station in Scotland, receives a mixed response
    COAL-fired electricity production in Scotland will end this afternoon when Longannet power station in Fife switches off the last of its four generating units for the final time.
    It came on line in 1969 after taking eight years to build, and was the largest such unit in Europe. Longannet was originally designed to run for just 25 years and throughout its life it has powered on average over 2 million homes in every year of operation.
    More than 200 jobs will go at the plant itself, along with over 1,000 others in the supply chain. Around a dozen local companies will be directly affected and almost 200 across Scotland, so reaction to its closure has, understandably, been mixed…
    (Energy Minister Fergus) Ewing blamed the UK Government, which he said needed an urgent review of its energy policy.
    He said: “The shambles of the Westminster Tories energy policy sees the premature closure of Longannet happen at the same time as warnings continue about the narrowing gap between electricity demand and supply.
    “With the closure of Longannet the margin of spare capacity will get even tighter, yet the Tories have put the brakes on the development of replacement capacity in Scotland, onshore and offshore wind power and the CCS project which would have resulted in increased low carbon thermal generation at Peterhead.
    “They need an urgent rethink of their failing energy policy.”
    However, the green lobby welcomed the closure, with Friends of the Earth Scotland declaring it marked the beginning of the end for fossil fuels in Scotland…
    And Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland, added…READ ON
    http://www.thenational.scot/news/the-closure-of-longannet-the-last-coal-fired-power-station-in-scotland-receives-a-mixed-response.15443

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      Don’t you just love this: (my bolding here)

      The shambles of the Westminster Tories energy policy sees the premature closure of Longannet happen at the same time as warnings continue about the narrowing gap between electricity demand and supply.

      Premature closure.

      47 years of operation, and they call this a ….. premature closure.

      Wind and solar power dream of lasting as long as this ancient old clunker.

      Tony.

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    stan stendera

    How stupid we humans be.

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      David Maddison

      Well, smart people are stupid for allowing themselves to be told what to do by stupid people.

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    pat

    23 Mar: TimesOfSanDiego: Chris Jennewein: Solar’s Real Cost Averages $18,675 for California Homes
    How much does it really cost to convert your home to solar power? A new study (LINK) estimates the average cost in California was $18,675 last year after typical incentives.
    The study by Solar to the People, scheduled to be released Thursday, found wide variability throughout the state… http://timesofsandiego.com/business/2016/03/23/solars-real-cost-averages-18675-for-california-homes/

    from the report linked above:

    Solar to the People Report: How Much do Solar Panels Cost in California?
    Why Are Homeowners Going Solar in California?
    •California has the highest cost of energy on the West Coast, and one of the highest costs of energy in the country.
    •State and local net metering policies allow homeowners to get paid for excess power produced, and some regional price rebates still exist…

    23 Mar: AP: Solar incentives sunset as states grapple with tight budgets
    By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Thousands of homeowners and small businesses in New Mexico — the second sunniest state in the nation — have invested nearly a quarter billion dollars in roof-top solar and related labor thanks to a program fueled by tax credits…
    But the plug will be pulled this year since lawmakers concerned about a state budget crisis did not approve a measure that would have extended the popular incentive through 2024. With the 10-percent tax credit now expiring at the end of the year, New Mexico joins other states where credits and other incentives have started to disappear.
    While states have adopted hundreds of different policies and incentives related to various sources of renewable energy and energy efficiency, 16 states had specific programs that offered personal tax credits for solar.
    Half of those states already have had their credits expire, including North Carolina, which once boasted the nation’s most generous tax credit for solar installation. Others are in line to see them sunset over the next two years. Some states also have let expire corporate tax credits for solar…
    The fear that New Mexico would not be able to afford the $3 million solar credit is unfounded, said Republican Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes and Democrat Sen. Mimi Stewart, co-sponsors of legislation that called for extending the credit…
    But Republican Rep. Jim Townsend of Artesia argued that the credit only helps individual homeowners who can afford to invest in solar and ultimately leads to higher prices for electric customers…
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/8150b0cb958446658b978f604826ad65/solar-incentives-sunset-states-grapple-tight-budgets

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    If you look at Australia’s adventure in renewables, you’ll see the scam being partly funded by certificates that are magiced into existence by fiat when installers sign a piece of paper to state that some renewable energy technology has been installed. That technology is supposed to deliver 1 MWh (megawatt-hour) of electrical power equivalent over the lifetime of 15 years (for PV solar and solar thermal).

    The people who paid to have the systems installed can immediately claim a corresponding number of certificates which the company installing will gladly take care off their hands at the going rate; which is about 5 times the global trading rate; and convert that to a “rebate” to the punter. The installers have deals with traders who then sell the certificates to generators of derdy carbun electrical power because those producing reliable power are compelled by law to purchase unreliable power corresponding to a proportion of their generated power.

    Obviously a government-instigated system which permits people to take money from others ought to have checks, balances and auditability; especially to ensure that the quantity generated by the renewables for which the certificates are created, are producing electrical power accordingly. But the auditability stops at the paper trail; and paper is uncritical.

    There is no systematic measuring of electrical power actually generated by renewables. (An official, tamper-evident meter would add approximately $5 to the cost of an inverter.) There appears to be no inspection of installed systems to ensure that they are functioning as specified after the end of warranty; when the owner of the liability is perhaps confronted with a $4000 quote to replace an inverter.

    Many owners of such systems haven’t explicitly insured their PV systems. Not even as a major asset which they (theoretically) are obliged to keep operational for 15 years; even to replace (at full cost) if the system is destroyed by e.g. a house fire.

    There is no way to tell if what is promised and paid for will ever be delivered. And those forced to pay the price have no rights to be able to enjoy that for which they’re being forced to pay.

    Kings have been made to stand on a soggy island in a swamp until they agreed to accept to the property rights of free men.

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    [...] Renewables industry collapsing in Europe — still a $329 billion subsidised global cash cow [...]

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    Richard

    It’s laughable and optimism at it’s worst to think we can just plod along business as usual with solar panels and windmills. It’s a Greenwashing [snip]. Once you understand EROEI aka EROI the penny will drop with a loud thud. Nothing works with 7 Billion + people. Infinite growth with finite resources….a 10 year old could explain why this cannot work and will never work and yet our politicians still plod along telling us fairly tales about more growth and more jobs, hover boards and pots of gold at the end of the Rainbow. There is a pot but it’s full of something brown and smelly.

    [I think the word I snipped out is what put this in moderation. If you avoid such terms in the future your comments should automatically be approved. I don't see any other objection to it.] AZ

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    Try reading the April 2016 article “Catching a Wave” in Smithonian.com.
    We are learning from something that happened a billion years ago.
    Significant?…YES..
    Vern Cornell

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