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Cut carbon emissions by 50%? — Greens nightmare — Coal gasification may be the answer

A new MIT report suggests a better way to use coal in power-stations and potentially cut CO2 emissions by 50%. The process involves gasifying coal and producing electricity in one process at the same site. The coal only has to be heated once,  and the electricity comes from a fuel cell, not a fire — it’s a chemical reaction across a membrane.  The output is potentially much more efficient, and makes no ash. The researchers argue we could get twice as much electricity for each ton of coal burned. Currently coal fired power pulls out 30% of the chemical energy in coal, but coupling these two processes might increase it to 55-60%.

This report is based on simulations, but the separate processes are already well developed and running. The next step would be a fully functioning pilot plant to put the two together and test the idea. If there was the political will it could be done in a few years. There probably won’t be.

The Greens of course will hate the idea because the Evil-Factor of coal is near 100%.

In the eco-collectivist-world, cutting “carbon” is important, but apparently not as important as propping up a dependent lobby group for big government (that’s the entire renewables industry) or crippling independent corporations which have power and money outside big-government control. There is also the reputational damage of admitting that windmills and solar were a fantasy that has wasted billions of our children’s money. On top of that, there’s the potential death of a Really Useful Scare. All up, the future of Life on Earth is at stake, but that probably won’t be enough for the Greens to lobby for this approach to get tested.

Hybrid coal powered electricity system could cut coal-plant emissions in half

Coal gasification, by itself, works at a lower temperature than combustion and “is more efficient than burning,” Ong says. First, the coal is pulverized to a powder, which is then heated in a flow of hot steam, somewhat like popcorn kernels heated in an air-popper. The heat leads to chemical reactions that release gases from the coal particles — mainly carbon monoxide and hydrogen, both of which can produce electricity in a solid oxide fuel cell.

In the combined system, these gases would then be piped from the gasifier to a separate fuel cell stack, or ultimately, the fuel cell system could be installed in the same chamber as the gasifier so that the hot gas flows straight into the cell. In the fuel cell, a membrane separates the carbon monoxide and hydrogen from the oxygen, promoting an electrochemical reaction that generates electricity without burning the fuel.

Coal gasification, by itself, works at a lower temperature than combustion and “is more efficient than burning,” Ong says. First, the coal is pulverized to a powder, which is then heated in a flow of hot steam, somewhat like popcorn kernels heated in an air-popper. The heat leads to chemical reactions that release gases from the coal particles — mainly carbon monoxide and hydrogen, both of which can produce electricity in a solid oxide fuel cell.

In the combined system, these gases would then be piped from the gasifier to a separate fuel cell stack, or ultimately, the fuel cell system could be installed in the same chamber as the gasifier so that the hot gas flows straight into the cell. In the fuel cell, a membrane separates the carbon monoxide and hydrogen from the oxygen, promoting an electrochemical reaction that generates electricity without burning the fuel.

This method also produces pure CO2 which is easier to do carbon-capture and sequestration with (CCS). Though that is still utterly pointless, but is another factor the eco-warriors will have to ignore.

 

h/t David and Matthew.

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172 comments to Cut carbon emissions by 50%? — Greens nightmare — Coal gasification may be the answer

  • #
    dean

    According to the Green Blob most coal is still burnt in Newcomen’s……….

    Anyone with the slightest shred of decency knows technological improvements are totally irrelevant when it comes to coal. The Blob has a gut reaction to that foul four letter word, for them coal is equivalent to “Ni!”.

    310

    • #

      I’ve said it before, even if someone came up with an energy source that was 100% safe, produced no pollutants of any kind and cost a fraction of any current power source, the Greens would oppose it. They would simply oppose it because it would defeat their Grand Scheme of bring the world to its knees.

      431

      • #

        Slowly repeat after me: ‘It – was – nevah
        - about – the – envirahment,it – was – evah
        - about – the – politics.

        280

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Agreed, and as I’ve said before, the tree hugger greenies were always harmless. The hard-core hard leftists who have hijacked the green movement as a cover for imposition of Communism upon the planet are another story.

          Communism has a cruelty to it that is a whole different story….

          150

          • #
            Ted O'Brien.

            The tree hugger greenies are communists too. They may be too dopey too know it, but they believe there should be no private management of industry.

            40

            • #
              Dave in the States

              Almost all environmentalists are communist by the fact that they always want to stifle private property rights or eliminate private property altogether. Leftist usually present themselves as benign by utilizing a very narrow definition or socialism; That socialism is public control of the means of production. Anything that falls short of this strict definition is therefore not socialism and okay-they say. No, one of the primary planks of the Communist Manifesto is the elimination and confiscation of private property and control of what can and can not happen on all property.

              [This is a science blog. And while communism and socialism may figure into things we would like to minimize getting off topic and into those subjects. We don't mind some mention of them but don't go on about it. Let this be the end of it for now. Thanks.] AZ

              20

  • #
    toorightmate

    Coal gasification.
    Now that sounds like a Chairman Allbull innovative idea (yawn).

    140

  • #
    gnome

    If coal gasification is the answer we might need to shoot whoever it is who writes the questions. What about a few nice new coal-fired steam-driven turbine generators. Cheap electricity and increased food for plant growth. Win/win.

    Stop playing their game- it’s over.

    440

  • #
  • #
    el gordo

    They are going about this the wrong way, we need to freeze the Southern Ocean all year round. The CO2 will be drawn into the sinks and trapped under the ice would fall into the abysmal depths.

    There maybe some leaking via currents, but I guarantee CO2 levels will fall relatively quickly.

    Its a wonder the Royal Society hasn’t thought of it.

    110

  • #
    doubtingdave

    I can understand some peoples lack of enthusiasm , even cynicism , but i live down the road from the Drax power station , probably the worlds biggest wood burning stove , like most here i’m not bothered that this coal gasification technology would reduce CO2 emissions , but it has to be better than burning wood , and could probably be built for just a couple of years worth of the subsidies that Drax gets , and ofcourse its the reduction in the flow of government gravy that the greens really object to .

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  • #
    J Cuttance

    If “This report is based on simulations”, then my instincts towards it are based on alarm bells.

    111

    • #
      Tom O

      There is nothing wrong with simulations when you are developing an idea, as long as you can learn from them. I have no problem with simulations that lead to practical applications. The “simulations” you are reacting to are those that are only theoretical and cannot be turned into practical applications. Like so many things, the words computer simulation have taken on an unwarranted air. Without actual resources, you are limited to simulations as a means to test a theory. Your alarm bells should only ring when the word is used in relationship to something that projects into the future, and can’t be compared to what actually happens.

      80

  • #
    Clive

    Suggest people investigate Ultra High Temperature Gasification, it works with any organic material including coal and gives off zero CO2.
    Can also produce liquid synthetic fuel.

    70

    • #
      ianl8888

      …Currently coal fired power pulls out 30% of the chemical energy in coal …

      Yes, the USC (ultra super critical) coal-fired plants the Chinese have developed have efficiencies yields up to 45%, trending to 50%.

      Coal gasification is old technology that works, but is very expensive of yield but this may be able to be bettered.

      40

  • #
    KinkyKeith

    Very disappointing to see such cynicism in the first few comments.
    Of the first 5 comments a full 60 percent indicate a disbelief that this wonderful New discovery is going to work.

    I’m sure that it will be much cheaper than pure coal fired and certainly cleaner since the coal will be steam cleaned before use.

    Those who see this as just another bit of gee_up propaganda should be ashamed and stop being so negative.

    120

    • #
      Bulldust

      Well coal gasification is hardly new – perhaps these folks have tweaked it and done something different incorporating fuels cells. My question would be over the economics of fuel cells? Does this scale up well at competitive cost compared to modern coal-burners?

      120

    • #
      tom0mason

      What is disappointing is that this so called new process does not address any of the problems that coal gasification is known to have, primarily the VOCs and other products that are produced by the process.

      Commonly associated with former manufactured gas plants (known as “FMGPs” in environmental remediation) are contaminants including:

      BTEX
      Diffused out from deposits of coal/gas tars
      Leaks of carburetting oil/light oil
      Leaks from drip pots, that collected condensible hydrocarbons

      from the gas

      Coal tar waste/sludge
      Typically found in sumps of gas holders/decanting ponds.
      Coal tar sludge has no resale value and so was always dumped.

      Volatile organic compounds

      Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
      Present in coal tar, gas tar, and pitch at significant concentrations.

      Heavy metals
      Leaded solder for gas mains, lead piping, coal ashes.

      Cyanide
      Purifier waste has large amounts of complex ferrocyanides in it.

      Lampblack
      Only found where crude oil was used as gasification feedstock.

      Tar emulsions
      Coal tar and coal tar sludges are frequently denser than water and are present in the environment as a dense non-aqueous phase liquid.

      From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_gasification

      Will any of these reduce the efficiency of, or completely poison, the fuel cell stack? IMO they seem to be very optimistic about producing mainly carbon monoxide and hydrogen, both of which can produce electricity in a solid oxide fuel cell, without other byproduct causing deleterious contamination.
      Without a physical model working with real coal (of diverse quality?) such things can not be properly addressed.

      Yes it is a good idea, with nice computer modeling but this announcement is very much before the majority of fact of this process in known.

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      • #
        Yonniestone

        The design looks a bit like an internal combustion engine, but if it’s emissions are anything like is suggested in your list it will be unpopular on all sides, still no one knows until it’s tested in reality.

        70

        • #
          Yonniestone

          Also remember one of the first fuels considered for an ICE was gunpowder and from this led to more scientific ideas based on that concept with the various elements known and available for those times, without the quest for knowledge there is no progress in technology.

          “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T. S. Eliot.

          Even going around in circles can produce results.

          40

      • #
        tom0mason

        Note that BTEX referred to above is

        BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene)
        BTEX chemicals are naturally occurring volatile organic compounds found in the coal deposits and associated groundwater. Drilling and other UCG processes release BTEX from the coal seam. Their short-term health effects include skin, eye and nose irritation, dizziness, headache, loss of coordination and impacts to respiratory system while chronic exposure can result in damage to kidneys, liver and blood system.

        See http://www.ntn.org.au/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Nov-Underground-Coal-Gasification-Nov-2015f.pdf

        50

      • #
        Tom O

        the simulation says its possible. When that happens, you put it out in the general arena to see if there is anyone willing to finance a project. What do you expect them to do, run their own printing press to generate the funding? They looked at it and have offered it as an idea. That’s all they can do until someone else takes the idea and tries to implement it. When that happens, we will get answers, but until then, it’s criminal that governments will subsidize bad ideas and not test alternative ideas.

        50

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      I want to know where they can get coal that does not contain a significant amount of impurities. It is all very well to model a reaction in theory, but avoiding some unpleasant surprises at industrial scales, is something else again.

      140

      • #
        gnome

        Impurities RW ? Nothing that doesn’t occur in nature. That’s the beauty of coal – it’s all natural.

        90

      • #
        Analitik

        Absolutely. This “study” appeared earlier on WUWT and I’ll give it the same assessment here as I did earlier.
        It’s all simulated with no attempt to build a working prototype based on the concept so publishing a paper is just career promotion, especially since the paper spruiks CCS along with the increase efficiency as advantages of the concept.

        Definitely not worth pushing down the Unthreaded Weekend for this.

        80

        • #
          Tom O

          Yes, it’s a simulation with no attempt to build a prototype. Any idea what building that prototype would cost? I doubt it. And I don’t agree with you – ANY alternative to throwing money down a rat hole is worth looking in to. Your apparent approach would say nothing but the status quo. We need better, cheaper, cleaner, and more efficient ways to generate electricity. Closed minds don’t help any more than does government’s closed attitude towards any alternative to “renewables” that aren’t renewable. Yes the wind will blow and the Sun will shine, but the devices used to convert that to electricity are NOT renewable, they are only replaceable, and at no small price, either. The electricity they generate can never come down in price because the whole process of building and replacing the damn things is a recurring cost, not a one time cost.

          41

          • #
            Analitik

            I’m not dismissing the concept nor the fundamental intention – improved efficiency is always a good thing if it can be achieved over an industrial scale with a net cost benefit.
            A prototype could be as simple as a set of lab experiments involving:
            1. making a sample of coal gas,
            2. filtering out impurities,
            3. running through a fuel cell
            and then presenting the findings in terms of energy in (coal + thermal + electrical), electrical energy out and some analysis of the effects of scaling, byproducts and side effects

            But the publication of a paper over a set of simulations is just boosting citation count to build an academic career.

            40

    • #
      toorightmate

      Kinky,
      My cynicism comes from the intense effort put in to this concept in the Latrobe Valley 35 years ago. The pilot plant for this was massive AND expensive.
      Some very good people put in outstanding efforts – all to no sensible avail.
      The quality of those people was far superior to the current bunch of “scientists” who gaze at monitors and dream about models of models; and bleaching of models; and bleaching of models of models.

      70

    • #
      oeman50

      Indeed, fuel cells can be more efficient than regular steam cycle power production. However, there is still ash and sulfur in the coal and they both have to separated and disposed of, no matter what type of gizmo is using it. The fuel cell does not produce ash, but the gasifier does.

      60

  • #
    tom0mason

    Umm…
    Nice idea but it sounds to me that this announcement is a bit ahead itself…

    One of the big questions answered by this new research, which used simulations rather than lab experiments, was whether the process would work more efficiently using steam or carbon dioxide to react with the particles of coal…

    …The next step would be to build a small, pilot-scale plant to measure the performance of the hybrid system in real-world conditions, Ong says. Because the individual component technologies are all well developed, a full-scale operational system could plausibly be built within a few years, she says. “This system requires no new technologies” that need more time to develop, she says. “It’s just a matter of coupling these existing technologies together well.”

    So when will a physical model be made to verify the virtual model, or are we to run everything on virtual power?

    100

  • #
    Rod Stuart

    Kinky Keith
    Don’t consider this comment to be negative.
    Having read a number of these innovative solutions, I strongly suspect that the 50% efficiency refers to the process in which the fuel produces electricity.
    But the pulverised coal is to be treated in a fluidised bed with live steam. Where does the steam come from?
    The process used to produce synthetic crude from the Alberta tar sands is similar. It takes a LOT of steam. That means that a great deal of the energy in the tar sand is used in the process. (I forget how much).
    In any event, the comment that the various technologies already exist is more than likely true. I recall that twenty years ago Siemens was all ready to go with a combined cycle employing the Brayton cycle and a solid oxide fuel cell. This idea would no doubt be similar.

    90

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      The reaction of carbon (coal, charcoal) with water is endothermic i.e. it requires continuous heat to keep going, hence high temperature steam use. Nothing new about this, it was known before 1900 with Water Gas production. Those plants cycled the reaction between coal & water to coal & air – which heated up the reactor again. The two reactions could be combined but the resulting gas mixture had a lot of CO2 so didn’t burn as well.

      If they are going to generate carbon monoxide and hydrogen then they might get better efficiency by separating the 2 gases; that probably requires cooling the gas mixture. Hydrogen fuel cells can be very efficient, from 60-90% although the higher efficiency ones usually require a pure oxygen feed. Carbon monoxide would burn well in air, and would suit a CCGT (closed cycle gas turbine), as would the gas mixture. The latest CCGTs run around 60-62% efficiency.
      The problem is, as you say Rod, generating the steam which requires fuel. Perhaps we could burn the contaminants mentioned by tom0mason in 7.2 above. Health and Safety would be a real problem with that mixture.

      100

    • #
  • #

    Cutting carbon dioxide emissions with Coal gasification will never satisfy the Greens, as they hate coal in any form. The Greens will not rest until all power is produced by bird-chomping Wind Turbines and bird-frying Solar Furnaces. Dead birds are not a concern to the Greens. The fact that the power will be very expensive and not available all the time will not bother the Greens. The fact that many people will freeze to death is of no concern to the Greens. The Greens are looking forward to the ultimate triumph of the Great God Gaia.

    120

  • #

    I hope you all take notice of the single most important thing about this article.

    How often have you heard that coal is, umm, dead, or dying, or that coal is being turned away from by everyone.

    And yet, here we have R&D being done here on a coal process for the generation of electricity. And this is just one of them brave enough to come out and say so. And, hey, if it’s research, then it must be getting funding from somewhere, eh! As is the one here in Oz mentioned by Graham.

    All of those huge electrical power generation equipment Companies, and trust me, they are monsters, well they also are actively working on coal fired power in huge ways, on every aspect.

    If coal was dying, do you seriously think ….. ALL of these entities would be sinking what can only be stated as Billions of dollars into coal fired power if it was even looking like dying. They’d lose out huge.

    Coal is nowhere even remotely close to even feeling a little ill, let alone dying or even dead.

    You won’t hear about any of this, anywhere, because they don’t need to advertise and draw attention to themselves. They just get on and do it.

    Notice now also, that the thinking is moving laterally, also a sign that people are looking for other ways of doing things.

    Old King Coal is like the proverbial Knight, only in this case, it’s not even a flesh wound.

    Tony.

    301

    • #
      Peter C

      Old King Coal is like the proverbial Knight, only in this case, it’s not even a flesh wound

      How long until our knight can start cutting bits off the squirming Green knight (or monster)?

      80

  • #

    If this makes sense, China will develop it and will export the technology.

    The way climate alarmists sabotage the economies of their home countries, by the 22nd century China may be the only world superpower.

    70

  • #
    Manfred

    This is interesting and rational. The utilisation of a massive cheap energy resource is compelling and unstoppable. In fact, it’s as compelling as the massive 2.6 terabyte resource currently being mined by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, those files with millions of secrets regarding the financial disposition of, well, among others the Greens, the Green NGO’s, UN Officials and doubtless many others.

    It only remains to be seen whether the Fourth Estate have the stomach for a honourable job, or whether a Green emetic will get in their way.

    130

  • #
    Greg Cavanagh

    It doesn’t matter what is invented in the way of power generation. The greens will oppose anything that uses a raw material, sea water, fresh water, fresh air, or a vegetation. I can hear their screaming from here.

    How do the “greens” whoever they are, have so much power?

    100

  • #
    Peter C

    Arguing to 100

    This is a classic case, in my opinion, where we should be arguing to 100 instead of zero. For a full explanation of arguing to one hundred read this article by Alex Epstien.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexepstein/2016/04/06/how-to-make-energy-a-winning-issue-for-republicans-in-2016/#46666021260d

    But to save some people the trouble I will briefly explain. If -100 is ultimate harm and +100 is ultimate good, zero is in the middle, neither good nor bad.

    In this particular case, conceding that CO2 causes Global Warming sets skeptic’s best case argument as zero (ie increased CO2 will cause little or no harm). Greens however will say that Global Warming is seriously bad. Consequently anything which produces CO2 is a bad thing (even if it is less). Coal gasification still produces CO2. Even if it is half of what came before it is still bad. Cutting CO2 emissions to zero is the ultimate ideal (+100). Therefore we have to pursue Solar and Wind energy, even if they are not yet viable economically. That is the goal and that will Save the Earth!

    Of course it is utter crap and bull. But it works because the terms of the debate are framed the wrong way and skeptics have gone along with some of it.

    However I would argue that CO2 does not cause any harm. It does not cause Global Warming in the slightest amount. I would not even say it causes Cooling (because that could be a bad thing). Everything about increased atmospheric CO2 is good for humans and the world in general. By reframing the argument that way the ultimate good (+100) is more atmospheric CO2. That is win win for humanism and the environment.

    Consequently we should not waste a single dollar on Coal gasification technology and definitely not on Carbon capture and Storage (CCS).

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    • #
      gnome

      Something wrong with my green thumb button. I keep hitting it over and over and only one tick comes up!

      80

    • #
      bobl

      Yes,
      But I disagree with your implementation. To reframe the argument we need to contrast the evil the Pro Carbon Tax lobby is doing ( EG AGW Policies encourage Dead grannies, Dead Black Babies in poor countries and Haiti stripped of trees because it doesn’t have coal fired electricity, Dead birds and Bats, Sick people from Infrasound, collapsed national economies, food burnt as fuel. This is the -100

      This should be contrasted to the good cheap energy does, all first world economies are underpinned by 99.5% reliable Electricity. They can afford to have national parks, to preserve nature because they are rich because of fossil fuel! This is the +100.

      By framing the debate this way that is by setting Human Welfare as the goal rather than having minimal ecological footprint as the goal we can get away from the zero-sum debate Epstein warns about.

      Cruz in the USA is almost there on this idea.

      80

  • #

    The people who found their sense of purpose back in the 80s opposing hydro and nukes (but who now approve of these technologies on the sole condition that nobody actually implements them) will just have something else to hate. If it’s not wasteful, destructive, intermittent, diffuse, expensive, unreliable, impractical, inefficient and intrusive…they won’t like it.

    Our Green Betters go by a simple rule: you can’t burn an omelet without breaking all the eggs.

    90

  • #
    ROM

    Apart from the facts that this paper is based on a model, the whole concept seems like it has been thoroughly worked over a long way back in time in both its individual components , in the chemical reactions, in the poisoning of the fuel cells from a whole range of heavy metals and etc found in all coals [ below ] , in a working concept and often in experimental set ups by government laboratories and / or commercial power generation groups all of which has been explored way back by the mid 20th century. his
    An example right here on our own doorstep from way back as toorightmate points out in post at # 9.4

    [From above ; Including lots of Thorium of which India has the largest known deposits and which is why India is stockpiling their fly ash and coal ash residues from their big generators.
    The Thorium in the Indian coal residues from the coal that fires those big steam generators will be readily accessible for processing if India does go down the Thorium reactor road or a combined fuel reactor such as the long established Canadian "Candu" reactor type design [ a couple are being built or are already in operation in China under license ] which has been proven to be excellent as a combined uranium and /or plutonium & thorium fueled reactor.]

    And if you really want to get the full low down on Coal gasification for power generation along with diagrams, graphs and all the extras involved in the whole coal to gas to power process process then I suggest you have a read of a well presented and easily understood presentation by the CSIRO’s Dr David Harris, dated April 2007.
    Thats nine years ago now!

    And David Harris has included the graphs of efficiency of the various gasification strategies and how they would be incorporated into a power generation system INCLUDING the efficiencies that could be attained by using an “integrated gasification fuel cell system”.
    .
    Coal gasification in low emissions power:
    New tricks for an old dog!

    .
    The MIT’s Katherine Ong should perhaps learn to use Google before she embarks on reinventing another rather old and well explored concept.
    Even more so as she seems to be relying on modelling to come up with the answers whereas those older and the real deals as scientists and engineers actually went out there more often than not and built the bloody things on a small scale to see if they could get them to work or not.

    —————

    As for the Green Sleaze and its reactions. 

    Well if Der Spiegel is correct as Pierre Gosselin posted on his NoTricksZone blog,[ here ] the Green sleaze in Germany is busting up into factions that are “for” or are now turning “against” wind energy at least, depending on who, which and how much the various Green sleaze factions are corruptly getting under the table from the lavishly tax payer financed German wind energy promoters.

    And that will eventually extend to solar and all renewable energy systems as the ever increasing human and economic cost of the Germany’s transition to renewable energy, The Energiewende, continues to almost exponentially increase.

    It is only a matter of time as some in the Australian Greens finally both admits and has a sufficient sense of guilt to admit that the whole renewable energy thing has been a gigantic and utterly unaffordable debacle that has set back a lot of potential advances in society by a number of years as immense public and private resources were side tracked onto a totally dead end pursuit of emissions free energy from an utterly unpredictable, unreliable, unaccountable , increasingly corrupted, publicly financed systems of wind turbine and solar panel generation of electricity.

    And when the hard edged environmental quasi religious cults such as the greens start splitting into factions then we will see the name calling and the accusations of being apostates to the cause from any and all factions.
    That the preliminaries.
    Then comes the real fight.

    So folks we might have a couple of years to go before we begin to see this in Oz but come it will and Germany, the home of the most radical of greens is the bell wether of what will come for the greens even down here in Australia.

    So start laying in the popcorn for it could all get very entertaining to see a full scale Green on Green factional brawl as it is only the greens who really know how to hate.

    120

    • #
      ROM

      O/T

      I have to chuckle sometimes.

      Jo, bless her, every now and then rather subtly likes to toss a bit of bait to her faithful commenters to see what they might come up with.

      They always bite and usually provide both a vast range of information, lots of opinions informed or otherwise, and usually some good entertainment.

      I suspect that this is a posting of Jo’s that fits that profile. :-)

      90

    • #

      ROM, where you mention this: (my bolding here)

      It is only a matter of time as some in the Australian Greens finally both admits and has a sufficient sense of guilt to admit that the whole renewable energy thing has been a gigantic and utterly unaffordable debacle that has set back a lot of potential advances in society by a number of years as immense public and private resources were side tracked onto a totally dead end pursuit of emissions free energy from an utterly unpredictable, unreliable, unaccountable , increasingly corrupted, publicly financed systems of wind turbine and solar panel generation of electricity.

      I’m of the belief that it really hasn’t set back advances in non renewable technology, like in the coal fired power generation areas.

      Those huge companies which make the equipment for large scale coal fired power plants have just kept going doing what they do in that field, and the advances have been many. The wind and solar renewables equipment was just added on as an extra for their companies. They still kept going with those non renewable areas. It’s the same with the R&D as well, which has also been continuing as it always did.

      I believe that when the real truth is told about how much of a failure the renewable fad (if I can call it that) really has been, then the technology will be already there to put in place. All that has been lost is the time factor, but only in the already Developed World, because those many huge companies have been installing their equipment in places like China, and recently, in India, and other non Developed Countries.

      Oddly, while advances in renewable technology have been small, advances in non renewable technology (read coal fired power here) have been quite large.

      My gut feeling is that these huge companies are paying lip service to renewables because when it all ends, that’s when they will step in, and those developed Countries will be ripe for new plants to replace those ancient ones.

      You only have to visit the sites for those huge companies and see what they have to realise quite quickly that the equipment shown there only has the one major application, large scale coal fired power, and the technology for that has gone ahead probably faster than for any other power generating method.

      I do see the lateral point you were trying to make, the advances in society had they not proceeded with renewables, but all I’m saying is that when the time comes, and it will, the transition won’t be as problematic as people may think.

      I’m certain that the people in political power KNOW that renewables cannot do what is claimed, and the only recourse is to replace like with like. They just can’t figure out a way to admit it without looking like fools, and after all, it’s not just them who look like fools, but everyone really. It’s just as politicians they’re the ones who’ll wear all the blame. They know that to actually power large cities (umm, where the votes all are too) they need power plants which can supply the immensely huge amounts of power to do that.

      Do you seriously think that if the problem was what it is made out to be that they would have just shut the plants down, virtually on the spot. Think Hazelwood in Victoria, an ancient clunker if there ever was one. Why is that still kept operational? Think Northern in South Australia. Why is that still operational in a State which says it has enough power with wind, and yet Northern still hums along.

      The time will come when hard questions get asked, admissions are made, apologies sort of made, and when that time comes, people will be surprised with the technology they see, having been told for so long that coal is dead.

      Tony.

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        Analitik

        Think Northern in South Australia. Why is that still operational in a State which says it has enough power with wind, and yet Northern still hums along.

        Northern: 544 MW, Playford: 240 MW – both scheduled to close in May (extended from end of March)

        Once these close, South Australia will be left with

        1477 MW: wind turbines
        838 MW: CCGT gas generators
        2939 MW: peaking gas and diesel generators
        680 MW: interconnectors to Vic (being upgraded soon to 870 MW)

        Mean demand ~1700 MW, peak demand ~3300 MW

        Anyone see potential issues?

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        • #
          Analitik

          Sorry that should have been

          2101 MW: peaking gas and diesel generators

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        • #

          Playford is closed, well pretty much, anyway, even though full closure does not take effect until May. It’s not actually delivering any power, and only listed as Playford B AG as the only operational unit.

          As of right now, (2.50PM Tuesday 12APR2016) only Northern NPS1 is on line, delivering 260MW.

          Playford has been operational since 1963, 50 plus years. 4 X 60MW units, ancient technology, perhaps the most ancient still in operation in Australia, again emphasising that while South Australia prides itself on its wind power, it would run this old clunker into the ground right to the very last second.

          Tony.

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          • #
            Analitik

            That leaves SA with the following situation once Northern and Playford are fully shut down

            1477 MW: wind turbines
            680 MW: interconnectors to Vic (being upgraded soon to 870 MW)

            Local dispatchable generation total 2939 MW
            838 MW: CCGT gas generators
            2101 MW: peaking gas and diesel generators

            Mean demand ~1700 MW, peak demand ~3300 MW

            20

          • #

            Say, just as a point for reference on this, this is the link to the current delivery status for all those Australian power plants.

            Current Dispatch – SCADA

            When the link opens, you’ll see the blue links. It’s updated every 5 minutes.

            Scroll to the bottom for the most recent.

            If you click on the last link there you’ll get a prompt. You have to save the file, then click on where you saved it, and click on the saved file file, and you’ll need XL or equivalent to open it up.

            It lists every power plant, and what they are now delivering.

            Okay then, I have a question.

            I know the ones I look for and their codes, but can anyone find for me the list of the codes for all the plants there. I’ve looked everywhere using as many different search engine parameters I can but to no avail, and I’m willing to bet it’s easier than I thought, but I just cannot locate it, so over to any of you willing to find it and help me out.

            Tony.

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        TOny, as always an intersting read.

        What I dont understand is why people keep flogging the fossil fuels dead horse and instead work on the biggest disruptor tech of all – the hydrogen path.

        I guess water is pretty hard to tax easily, where as fossil fuels have a potentially well controlled distribution path which is easy to tax…

        Maybe its all just about the tax revenue….sad but ( maybe ) true?

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        • #

          OriginalSteve,

          as mentioned earlier in this same Thread, that Hydrogen path is not an easy one to follow, let alone scaling up to the huge amounts of power available from what is already proven technology, and one which is constantly improving.

          I know I always sound like I’m pushing the same old barrow, but after so long doing this, there is nothing which can do what is already being done with large scale coal fired power.

          Something may actually come along. Who knows, and you probably won’t hear about it until its actually ready, but what we have now is what has given us what we have, and if there was anything coming, then those huge majors would be getting out of building the monster equipment used for coal fired power right soon, and they aren’t, so that of itself is a message in bright lights.

          Tony.

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        • #
          Graeme No.3

          OriginalSteve:

          How would you generate the hydrogen? Making it directly from sunlight is too inefficient, although being slowly improved. There were claims a few years back of 20-25% efficiency but silence since. I can only think they were exaggerated as that would have been useful, if a bit expensive.
          Generating electricity and hydrolysing water is well known, and quite uneconomic. Continuous hydrolysis at high pressure is a standard industrial process (around 75-80% efficiency) but cracking methane is a cheaper way of generating hydrogen gas and you can imagine the reaction of the greens to large scale use of that process. Intermittent hydrolysis as suggested for absorbing excess wind power is hopelessly uneconomic, likely to be around 35% overall. Possibly less if you have to get it to where it is used.
          Hydrogen burns with a hot flame but isn’t suited to an internal combustion engine (octane rating ~66). It takes up a large volume for little weight, limiting its use unless liquified. It is also noted for its ability to leak from just about any container. And burning it with air generates lots of nitrogen oxides.
          It can be used with pure oxygen in a fuel cell to generate electricity at around 90% efficiency. A pity that the 10 ton weight of the cell limits potential uses.
          If you can overcome those disadvantages then you can look forward to the thanks of a grateful world, probably posthumously.

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            OriginalSteve

            I take your points, it seems to me that unless there was sufficient political will to drive innovation in the hyrogen space that it wont happen when its cheaper and easier to dig decayed plant matter out of the ground and burn it…..kind of old tech and clunky…..

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        • #
          Another Ian

          Steve

          A while back at WUWT Willis did a run on hydrogen.

          First big problem – it’s pre-burnt and you can’t just mine it.

          And there are a few problems down the supply line as I recall

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  • #
    Clive

    Rather disappointing to see so many negative comments. Please see this video of treatment of municipal wast by Ultra High Temperature Gasification. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woH0s1cZIQg
    This system can work with any organic material, because it is an anaerobic process only water is exhausted from the generator, the wast heat can also be used for various processes including preparing the material for gasification. There are also very hard particles of wast that is suitable for road building.
    Another UHTG system uses plasma gasification and is also in use.
    Time for people to realise that to condemn all systems without first looking at them closely is as silly as the CO2 is going to kill us all brigade.

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    Gee Aye

    Assuming this is true… Where is the evidence of the headline? No citations here

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    TdeF

    You cannot create energy. I cannot see how any process can increase the energy released by complete combustion? In complete combustion, it all goes up the chimney as CO2 and H2O. With wood, only metal oxides, tiny amounts of ash are left. 100% is all you can get.

    There is the heat of combustion, say 16,300 kj/kg for lignite (very wet, brown coal), black coal (anthracite) 15,000 to 27,000 and petrol at 48,000 kj/kg. Carbon on its own is 34,080. As they are almost entirely Carbon and Hydrogen, so the result is simply combinations of CO2 and H2O heat of formation. Hydrogen itself is 141,790 kj/kg when turning to water, H2O.

    However most are in multiples of CH2 so they are all very similar on paper. Impurities, up to 60% water can halve the value of lignite (Brown coal). So drying it can double the heat/kg or the above process or even mechanical drying. So they must be talking about a new way of releasing energy from brown coal without flames. Fuel cells do this, reactions without flames. That is the only way people can get a 50% increase in energy from coal, eliminating the water from Germany’s brown coal.

    I know I have posted this before, but I was appalled at the time. When this drying was tried a decade ago with Victorian Government support, the Greens successfully demanded the Labor government stop funding this abomination, as it made coal ‘blacker’. This insane objection was front page news in the Age at the time. So the Greens do not actually want any coal or fossil fuel, no matter how clean or efficient.

    Labor too, as in the Australian this morning, according to Bill Shorten coal burning power stations are major polluters and need to be shut down. This is Labor policy. So is 50% renewables by 2030. How many windmills is that?

    He now says an ETS is their policy, that Gillard’s ‘carbon tax’ was inappopriate and set too high. In this Malcolm Turnbull, the Greens and Bill Shorten agree, an ETS is necessary. Strangely Malcolm is saying nothing himself. He is just biding his time until he can have his ETS, unopposed, a policy supported by all politicians and none of the public. Next he will invite the people smugglers to start up. His vengeance on Tony Abbott will be complete. Tony’s job, his career and then his greatest achievements destroyed.

    The sooner we get Tony Abbott back, the better. We knew where we stood before the great communicator showed his true form as the great waffler who always gets what he wants. Malcolm will bring in his beloved ETS, regardless of what anyone says. Then his ‘renewables’. Even now Michael Kroger is doing backroom preference deals with the Greens. You can guess what Turnbull’s team is promising.

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      TdeF

      To put it more simply, the energy per kg of CO2 produced cannot be increased by any method except by removing material which does not burn.

      For wood and brown coal that means water. Everything else is just Carbon, Hydrogen and water. Apart from calcium and 1% Nitrogen so are we and we burn too.

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        bobl

        Tdef,
        Not completely true, the thermal efficiency of coal power is around 45% what this means is that 48000 kJ per kg goes in and 20000kJ of electricity comes out, 28000kJ of energy is wasted (Mostly as heat not converted to electricity). There are various ways to arrange it so that more of the thermal energy gets converted to electricity one is to increase the temperature (and thereby the system pressure) which is your USC plant. Another is to use the waste heat and there are trigeneration (CHE) units that use the waste heat for heating or refrigeration. Theoretically after the steam turbine you could pass the waste heat into a stirling or rankine heat engine to extract more energy from the cooling gas. Even so the efficiency isn’t going to get much more than 70% because the energy ends up in a unextractable form. In the fuel cell however the conversion is dependent on a chemical reaction, all the energy is extracted in the same form and much less is wasted – that’s why efficiencies can be so high – no waste.

        PS In theory you CAN actually get more than 100% consider where the waste heat powers an adsorption refrigerator. The Energy is pumped from the cold side to the hot side, for each KW moved from cold to hot we get 1KW of Cooling on the cold side and 1KW heating on the hot side there are 2KW of Effects (Because effects are not energy they are work which is NOT conserved).

        (Actually that’s because the Cold side is -1KW and the hot side + 1KW and added together they give zero – but we still end up with a cold room and a hot room (or hot water) both of which are useful despite the fact that the net energy is zero.

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          TdeF

          Agreed, but the efficiency of conversion of heat of combustion to mechanical energy and then electricity is a different matter. As far as I know, no matter how you do it, this efficienty is limited by first principles of to the ultimate temperature difference, as in the Carnot Cycle. If you can increase the temperature of the furnace, you can increase efficiency but the process is fundementally limited.

          However you say the energy is extracted in a chemical reaction. If it is heatless, the energy is simply stored in another form. Sooner or later it has to be released as heat and then Mr Carnot will have his way.

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            TdeF

            Still as in the article “promoting an electrochemical reaction that generates electricity without burning the fuel.” If the output is electrical and then you can get 100% efficiency in generating work, you seem to have bypassed the laws of thermodynamics by avoiding engines entirely. Turning chemical energy into work without loss. Is that true? Is that the source of the claimed efficiency or the removal of water? Is the claim for black coal as well as brown?

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              J Martin

              Take out any Thorium and Uranium from the coal and convert that to energy as well and that way you will get many times as much energy as you would from wastefully burning a valuable chemical resource called coal.

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        • #
          Graeme No.3

          bobl:
          the efficiency of a Stirling engine depends on the temperature difference so the gain in efficiency would be small, as you suggest.
          Curiously there is a coal fired power station in Denmark which manages to get 90% efficiency. Nothing special, it just uses the ‘waste’ heat in the cooling water by pumping it around the district heating houses, in-door swimming pools, sports fields and even de-icing roads. With an average annual temperature half that of Melbourne that heat is useful most of the year.

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    • #

      TdeF, you ask this: (my bolding here)

      Labor too, as in the Australian this morning, according to Bill Shorten coal burning power stations are major polluters and need to be shut down. This is Labor policy. So is 50% renewables by 2030. How many windmills is that?

      I did the exercise for Bill Shorten’s green dream at the earlier Unthreaded Post at this link.

      Tony.

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    • #

      How many windmills for Labor’s 50% Renewable Energy by 2030 as per leader Shorten?
      The Eastern states need 25,000 GW currently, the daily use varies from about 16,000 to 23,000+ GW. So 50% is 12,500 GW.

      No. of 4 MW windmills is 12,500/4 x 4 (capacity factor) = 12,500 windmills
      Land required is approx. 650,000 ha. @ 13 ha. per rated MW. (as per Macarthur Windfarm)

      I really cannot see this ever happening, imagine the equivalent of 80 x 80 sq. km. of solid wind turbines spaced 625m x 825m apart somewhere near our cities to reduce transmission loss; where would you put them, how would you overcome the objections of the local population, where would you get the concrete for the tower footings, where would you get the 12,500 turbines from….. All in 14 years ????

      Pretty well mission impossible, but what would you do when they are all nearly idle as happened to our 39 windfarms between last Thursday and Saturday noon producing 400 MW on average, about 10% of capacity, and as low as 200 MW a couple of times? Space them well apart so they get different winds? No, our windfarms already are well spaced between Adelaide and Sydney!

      The only solution is not to vote for the people that espouse such rubbish and there are not many of them to choose from.

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        AndyG55

        Let alone all the materials to manufacture the darn monstrosities. !

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        AndyG55

        ” but what would you do when they are all nearly idle”

        Well, as the coal-fired power stations become economical if not run pretty much 24/7, they would have all shut down.

        So my guess is.. NO ELECTRICITY for the whole of the state.

        Try to imagine the whole of Sydney without power for even several hours.

        There aren’t enough diesel generators in Australia, or maybe even in the world, to cover that.

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        • #

          Andy, our 39 windfarms are chuffing along at about 12% at the moment, or about 450 MW in total, probably enough for the Melbourne and Sydney trains and nothing else. Don’t know what Malcom’s new fast train would use, but Billy’s windmills would have trouble to power it on some days.

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        Geoffrey Williams

        Spot on Rob!
        Bill Shorten is simply pandering to the left wing green ideologues who have no concept/knowledge of practical science and engineering.
        These people would lead us back into the stone ages if we were to allow them to do so!
        Geoff W

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  • #
    ROM

    Clive @ #20

    I suspect that most of the guys and gals that comment on Jo Nova’s site are both quite well qualified in a lot of engineering related professions and /or a well read in technology and basic science as well as in new scientific developments.

    We see a continuous stream of overheated hype and gross over promoted near scam like claims every day on some new revolutionary device,some new development that is going to “revolutionize” some industry or our whole society in the next couple of years [ Teslas' home battery system, the 10 KW version of which only a couple of months after the over hyped media hoopla opening promotion was very quietly dropped ]‘

    So every time we see some “revolutionary new development” press release quoted verbatim by the media ghouls, the scam filters go into overdrive, usually as it turns out over time, with very considerable justification.

    As to gasification technologies, You are quite right. They have been around in numerous forms in numerous industries for a very long time .

    BUT a gasification technology has to fit its purpose.
    If it doesn’t it is virtually useless or worse, a destroyer of wealth, of time , of human resources and a probable severe delayer of further advances in that part of that industry.

    A hatchback car and a Belaz 75710 dump truck can both carry products from one place to another and do it comfortably and at speed.

    You can probably get a hundred or so kilograms plus a small family into the hatchback and then drive 600 kms in a day.

    The tool box in a Belaz 75710 at an ore carrying capacity of around 496 tonnes probably comes in at close to a hundred kilograms weight.
    The Belaz will knock up quite few kilometres per day but it won’t leave that mine site.

    Both vehicles have their purposes
    Neither vehicle can do the others job or get within a bull’s roar of doing the other’s job.

    So gasification undoubtedly works and that would be admitted by every commenter here, but only for the job it was originally designed and developed for.

    And that also would I think also be the understanding of just about every commenter here.

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  • #

    “Hybrid coal powered electricity system could cut coal-plant emissions in half”

    Well that’s the bad news, but OTOH, it does save on digging up dead otherwise-useless black stuff.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Apart from making steel and plastics and fertilizers.

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      • #

        By “otherwise”, I meant other than humans – sorry for the sloppy wording. BUT: if we used all the power options available to us, including developing nuclear properly, we could make all those things without coal or oil. With abundant energy, you can make anything.

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        • #
          el gordo

          Australia doesn’t need nuclear just yet, we still have an over supply of that filthy black stuff, so I reckon state of the art coal fired power stations should suffice for the medium term.

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Do we (the human race) currently have the ability to generate the required MW and potentially TW of electricity by fuel cells? I’m not the expert but it sounds a little fanciful to me. According to a my research before making this comment, the typical cell gives you less than 1.5 V. That’s just a flashlight battery at best. The problem may not be intractable in the future but it doesn’t sound practical now and possibly for a long time to come. How many of these things will you need to hook up in series just to get something to feed to an alternator for step up to transmission voltage? And then you need — I’m afraid to guess how many such strings — in parallel to get a practical generating plant.

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      Roy Hogue

      In other words, forget the CO2 scare and just burn the coal. It’s the most plentiful fuel we have.

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      • #
        TdeF

        As below, forget the scare. Increase coal reserves x4. The people who want 1/4 of the CO2 win but everyone wins. Finally something on which we can agree with warmists. If this works, why are we wasting our cash on useless windmills. Why aren’t the 350 CSIRO scientists working on fuel cells and improving coal efficiency? Or would they rather study the weather?

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  • #
    TdeF

    Following from the debate above about efficiencies, I now understand that this is a new saving. What it means is that we can

    A. reduce use of our brown coal by 50% by drying (by mechanical compression for example)
    B. gain another 50% by steam extraction of Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen for electricity generation by fuel cells without mechanical conversion of heat into power

    Plus for the science ignorant political activists, reduce CO2 emissions x4 or 75% in Victoria. For those who actually care about the future, we can increase brown coal reserves x 4 and even reduce the costs of mining x2. Anyway you look at it, fuel cells double all coal reserves for power generation.

    Why not look at dissociation of water as a means of storing power. This is really simple. Use off peak electricity to convert excess water (from brown coal say) into H2 and O2, compress these gases and use the same fuel cell technology to recombine them at night. Why use hot sulphur storage as in the current solar farms if you have access to water? Why not the two fundamental gases?

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      TdeF:
      hydrolysis of water is best done as a continuous process as it is occasionally done commercially. It is cheaper to produce hydrogen by cracking methane.
      Intermittent hydrolysis as advocated by greenies (to store surplus wind power) would probably operate with an overall efficiency below 35% hence the electricity generated would be even more costly than wind or solar.
      There is also problems with storing hydrogen.

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      • #
        tom0mason

        Graeme No.3
        Indeed storing, transporting and using hydrogen as a fuel have many difficulties. One is the huge volume that the storage would take-up. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_storage for more info (note the link to ‘hydrogen tank’ within the text.)

        Another problem is that hydrogen tends to make most common metals brittle, so a reliable plant for handling hydrogen has to be made of more exotic metal compounds and alloys, and/or special composite material, or metal/plastic matrix composites. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_embrittlement for more information.
        IMO these problems are resolvable but they also have to be cost effective to make them viable.

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        • #
          Another Ian

          Tom

          See 19.2.2.3

          Seems to me in the resolvable for a trip to the moon but not for a jaunt around the block

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          Roy Hogue

          As I remember, H2 is such a small little molecule that it can slowly leak right out of any storage tank through the walls of the tank. I don’t know how fast but that would seem to work against any long term storage of hydrogen. And in an enclosed space it might eventually result in a fire or explosion danger.

          For the duration of a trip to the moon and back this wasn’t a problem and leakage at whatever rate it proceeds was to space, so no problem there either. Besides which, the space flight itself was so much more dangerous to astronauts than the H2 that no one worried about it, at least not until Apollo 13. And that’s not entirely fair because the problem wasn’t the H2 but a manufacturing defect.

          There is also the problem that in daylight a hydrogen fire is not easy to see (almost completely invisible) and could pose a very serious additional danger in a collision where fire results.

          I’ve seen some articles pronouncing that hydrogen as a motor fuel is here but I’ve never seen a refueling station. A quick search shows only one anywhere near me and it’s a 30 minute drive from home if traffic is perfect. Double that each way if there’s heavy traffic, plus time at the pump.

          Should I run out and buy a hydrogen powered car?

          There is now quite a list of fuel cell and hydrogen powered automobiles but personally, I’m not ready to trust the stuff. Gasolene is dangerous enough when it leaks from a gas tank damaged in a collision. But at least you can see the fire.

          10

          • #
            Rod Stuart

            Roy
            Remember the Billings Energy Company? It must have been at least fifty years ago that they drove a hydrogen fueled Chev from Montana to New York.
            They claimed to have developed a vessel filled with some sort of honeycomb material that allowed hydrogen storage in the same way that acetylene is stored in a bottle.
            I don’t recall anyone claiming to know from where all the hydrogen would come if this caught on.

            10

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              Rod,

              Yes, now that you’ve mentioned it I do remember something about it, though not nearly 50 years ago. But hydrogen isn’t an unstable compound like acetylene and I couldn’t see how they got an advantage from that storage technique but there were probably details I don’t remember. The acetylene problem was acute, it’s a very unstable gas that could go off just from rough handling of cylinders under pressure and I remember seeing acetylene generators in several automotive shops years ago. When I learned how to use an acetylene torch on the job I remembered those generators and realized they were a holdover from the days before safe storage in pressurized cylinders came along.

              How you’re going to get the hydrogen is the main question of course. And I know only one way that’s very practical, break water into its two components hydrogen and oxygen using electricity. I think every high school and college science curriculum has included a demonstration of that technique. It’s instructive because it shows that running a car on hydrogen is still relying on conventional fuels to turn generators somewhere. So in the end, where’s the advantage?

              Those proposing all sorts of substitutes for fossil fuels don’t appear able to trace their solutions back to the primary energy source, which is always going to be: falling water; burning something; solar. I could mention wind but we all know that’s a joke. Solar at practical levels of power is probably also a joke.

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              • #
                Roy Hogue

                Graeme No.3 mentions cracking methane, something I know nothing about. From what I read about hydrogen production, most processes leave CO in the H2 they produce and I would think this isn’t a very desirable thing for an automotive fuel — or any fuel.

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            KinkyKeith

            A good outline Roy, and no doubt this can be used as an analogy for much of the “coal alternate” suggestions being put up.

            Practicalities often override a potential advantage.

            KK

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            Analitik

            Metal hydrides were the DOT approved storage mechanism back in the ’80s for this reason. The issue was weight and refill time (the absorbtion was exothermic so heat exchangers were needed for the tanks).

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  • #
    Bud Nalton

    During the last war,as a lad here in England,we had a Gasworks in the village,and it supplied us with gas for lighting,and a gas ring to put a kettle on.The gas mantle(bulb) glowed brightly when lit with a match.The mantle was a wispy thing,looked like cotton,and now many years later I have discovered that the mantle contained Thorium.Funny how things turn out.
    If the Germans passing overhead had found our Gasworks,that would have turned our lights out,but now our own govt. will do what they could not do.
    Where is there a Churchill when you need one.

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    Edwina

    When I was a kid there used to be large gasworks converting coal to gas piped to houses,etc. The gas was stord in large circular units called gasometers that rose or fell according to the gas inside. The added smell was for safety purposes in case of leaks. This form of energy supply seems to have been abandoned. I don’t know why. You would not need fracking. Is it a case of economics? It puzzles me because lots of places use gas and QLD exports an enormous amount to Asia.

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    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      Edwina,
      I think that you are referring to ‘town gas’ which was a by-product from the coke ovens.
      Coke is required for the iron smelting process. In UK North Sea gas replaced town gas in the 60′s.
      Regards Geoff W

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      • #
        TdeF

        In Australia town gas was produced from our massive brown coal deposits, piped from the Yallourn valley, a continuation of the system of lighting which was used to power Melbourne in the 1880s. The other product was briquettes which worked really well but on a large scale made the city dirty with soot. Yes, large local gasometers provided constant local pressure for peak periods as the whole gas system is very low pressure. So low in fact that the 1880s pipes in inner city Richmond rusted long ago and the holes in the ground carry the gas.

        In fact high pressure water came during the early 20th century as in London. I remember lifts in Melbourne with a single rope through the elevator car floor and roof to operate the valves.

        Electricity came in so quickly that telegraph poles became telephone poles became electricity poles which people still call telephone poles for no apparent reason. As for electricity, it did not come in for another 40 years after gas and then very slowly until after WW2. Before then a single power point was impressive technology, needed for radio the wonder of the age.

        However the battle for clean abundant power continued to the point where we have very clean coal with no particulate matter or sulphur. Since then, advances in efficient extraction of energy from coal have been obstructed and unfunded by Green activism, advances which would actually dramatically reduce CO2/kg.

        It seems for no apparent reason, the science ignorant Greens just hate carbon. Perhaps because it is black as graphite? Dirty as coal? Who would really believe diamonds were carbon anyway, or that water was made of two gases or that trees were just CO2 and H2O. Clearly mad scientists. Common sense tells us that carbon is bad, apparently. It should be banned. Greenpeace actually banned chlorine. Now who’s mad?

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          TdeF

          Actually there was originally local town gas manufacture directly from coal in most suburbs and a big chimney as part of each of the gasometer sites. I particularly remember South Melbourne on Graham Street and Essendon on Moreland road. Huge tanks which rose and fell during the day and dominated the skyline. People would have laughed that we are going back to windmills after four hundred years. Useless, unreliable and ugly things. Only good for stuff which can be vary, like pumping water.

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      Graeme No.3

      Edwina:

      Safety AND economics. Town gas contained CO2, hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The latter being toxic and the old story of committing suicide by sticking your head in an unlit oven also extended to deaths from accidental leaks (hence to added odour).
      In producing the gas about half of the coke was used to supply the heat, but resulting in CO2. Result higher cost for a product with lower heating value.

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        Graeme No.3

        Man in England tried to commit suicide by turning on stove without lighting it and sat down on sofa awaiting results. But it was (non-toxic) natural gas.
        Reconstruction later suggests he got bored with waiting so long, turned off oven and then lit a cigar. Blew up the house, so was that a success?.

        60

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    pat

    red alert!

    10 Apr: Reuters: Alister Doyle: Nations seek rapid ratification of Paris climate deal, 4-year lock
    OSLO, April 10 (Reuters) – Many nations are pushing for swift ratification of a Paris agreement to slow climate change and lock it in place for four years before a change in the White House next year that might bring a weakening of Washington’s long-term commitment…
    But many developing nations want the Paris agreement to move forward as rapidly as possible on ratification, partly to lock in the United States if Republican candidates Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, who do not think that climate change is man-made, win the U.S. presidency.
    Once the Paris accord enters into force, a little-noted Article 28 says any nation wanting to withdraw will first have to wait four years – the length of a U.S. presidential term.
    “I would expect non-compliance, but not necessarily a formal withdrawal,” under a Republican president, said Oliver Geden, of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.
    And many nations see self-interest in signing up…
    “A lot has changed” since Kyoto, Christiana Figueres, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, told Reuters, noting that prices of wind and solar energy have tumbled and scientists are ever more certain that burning fossil fuels causes global warming.
    “Much is made by some of the politics in the United States but it seems unthinkable that, whatever political complexion is in the White House … (they) cannot see the self-evident economic and social benefits” of reducing emissions, she said.
    And more countries say they are suffering heatwaves, desertification, downpours and rising sea levels…READ ALL
    http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/idUKL5N17B30Q?irpc=932

    11 Apr: ClimateChangeNews: Ed King: World Bank, IPCC gather to discuss climate risks
    The world’s top finance officials head to Washington DC this week for the annual IMF/World Bank Spring Meeting
    Here’s a mini preview from John Roome, the Bank’s new head of climate…
    Vulnerable meet in DC
    Finance ministers from the V20 group of countries deemed exceptionally vulnerable to climate impacts will meet this week in Washington on Thursday to explore how they can develop better financial protection from extreme weather. A ‘risk pooling’ mechanism is once proposal under discussion, along with what the V20 calls a 2020 Action Plan to “mobilize unprecedented investment”.
    1.5 to stay alive?
    The UN’s IPCC climate science panel meets from 11-13 April in Nairobi…
    4-year lock
    Did you know, Article 28 of the Paris Agreement means any country wishing to withdraw will have to wait for 4 years? That’s the length of a US presidential term in office (natch)…READ ALL
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/04/11/world-bank-ipcc-gather-to-discuss-climate-risks/

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    pat

    11 Apr: ClimateChangeNews: Megan Darby: UN energy envoy urges investors to consider 1.5C warming limit
    Finance sector should be prepared for more aggressive emissions curbs to hit value of carbon majors, says Rachel Kyte
    Rachel Kyte, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All, urged financiers to also factor in the tougher goal agreed at December’s Paris climate summit.
    “If you are a long term investor,” she said, “I would want to be playing with what the scenarios look like for 1.5C, 2C and the differences therein, because it is not just a minor tweak of the curve.”…
    Kyte’s remarks at an event in London came as government representatives met 4,000 miles away in Nairobi to consider the science of the 1.5C threshold…
    UN chief climate diplomat Christiana Figueres, on the same platform as Kyte, acknowledged the shortage of peer-reviewed literature. She urged scientists to fill the gap.
    “Do we know today how we would get to 1.5C? No. It is a moonshot.1 It is a clarion call to everybody,” Figueres said…READ ALL
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/04/11/un-energy-envoy-urges-investors-to-consider-1-5c-warming-limit/

    40

  • #
    pat

    11 April: ClimateChangeNews: Richard Klein: The UN’s climate science panel must adapt to stay relevant
    (Richard Klein is a senior research fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute. He has been a lead author in six IPCC reports, including the last four Assessment Reports, serving three times as coordinating lead author.)
    We have got used to vast IPCC reports, but in the coming years tailored studies focused on land, cities and the 1.5C warming ceiling may be more useful to policy makers
    This week in Nairobi, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will decide its agenda for the next 5–7 years.
    At the top of the list is the Sixth Assessment Report, a comprehensive review to be published in 2021–22. But the most crucial work ahead involves shorter, more focused reports…
    Special Reports are shorter, focused reports on specific topics; the most recent ones were on managing risks of extreme events and disasters (2012), and renewable energy (2011).
    Along with the 1.5C request, the IPCC has received 27 proposals for new Special Reports (though some overlap), on topics ranging from cities; to forests, land use and land degradation; to human health and food security; to oceans and the cryosphere; to aviation and shipping; to carbon markets…
    It would be unprecedented for the IPCC to decline the Paris invitation, even though time is short to conduct and assess the research needed. Thus, in Nairobi, discussions will likely focus not on whether to prepare the report, but how…
    The IPCC has faced criticism that it works too slowly to meet policy-makers’ needs, and that the Assessment Reports are too dense and impenetrable.
    In February, the IPCC hosted an expert meeting on communications that raised fundamental questions about the effectiveness of its reports…
    The work ahead is daunting. The challenge now is how to be ***fast and nimble…BLAH BLAH
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/04/11/the-uns-climate-science-panel-must-adapt-to-stay-relevant/

    ***sounds like our PM!

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  • #
    Bulldust

    Ahhh got to love the ABC for posting any climate change garbage they can find …. we will all be eating more roo in 2050 because of … wait for it … cow farts:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-11/kangaroo-will-be-the-meat-of-choice-on-our-future-menu/7316058

    I guess that is grass gasification?

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    • #

      Cue Curly!

      Trust the ABC to recycle something from eight years ago.

      In the early days of the (first) Rudd Government, he got Ross Garnaut to make a green/white paper detailing exactly this.

      It prompted me at the time (October 2008) to do two Posts, and I’ll include the links for my Posts. Some of the links at those Posts are broken now, because it was so far back, but the gist of today’s article is the same as it was back then.

      Climate Change – The Kangaroo Solution (Part One)

      Climate Change – The Kangaroo Solution (Part Two)

      A Month earlier than that, I also did a post on a similar matter, how cattle were contributing to Climate Change with their Methane emissions. Again, here’s the link to that Post as well, and check out the edit I made at the bottom of the Post, putting paid once and for all to those familiar cow f@rt jokes, as most of the Methane comes out of the cow’s mouth.

      That Thing Cows Do

      Tony.

      [I don't know why the filter caught this Tony. Sorry about the delay] ED

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      • #

        7 hours in moderation, so I thought I’d just attempt to reply to a comment in moderation just to see if it can be done. I’m the only one who actually can reply, and I sort of suspect that if the original is in moderation, then, the reply will also be as well.

        Tony.

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        Thanks ED,

        I wasn’t really all that concerned. What it did make me think about was if I could actually reply to a comment in moderation, and see if it showed up, and it did. As I mentioned, I’m the only one who actually can reply, because I’m the only one who knows it is in moderation as it shows up as such, but only to me as the original writer of that comment. It was odd that the reply did show up, because I sort of suspected it wouldn’t.

        Tony.

        [Tony, That ability to reply to your comment in moderation is unfortunate in that it can leave your reply visible to everyone but without any visible context. So the recommended method is to send email to support(at)joannenova.com.au instead. All the moderators will see that email and it maximizes the chance of resolving the situation quickly.] AZ

        10

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      No…grassification….. :-)

      10

    • #
      Another Ian

      Well they’ll have to reassess their take on kangaroo management and harvesting then.

      Maybe even get to paying agistment on their flock to those in rural areas that feed them?

      00

    • #
      AndyG55

      Kangaroo is rather tasty… by the farmers tell me its a PITA to actually herd the buggers !!

      10

  • #
    ROM

    When you read the link in Pat’s latest post at #31 has anybody notice something missing in just about all the recent urging and constant hectoring that we MUST get the CO2 emissions down to hold temperature increases to no more than a now 1.5 C.
    All that urging, lecturing and and hectoring emanates straight from the mouths of the hypocritical energy greedy, energy plundering political and all knowing self appointed scientific elites of the UN, the Greens, the rabid left, the soft left media and etc.

    The missing items in all that elitist sharp tongued hypocritical hectoring of the public and politicals is a now barely and increasingly rarely mentioned “Climate” and “climate change”.

    The whole bag of climate change s–t has quietly morphed into reducing CO2 to stop a supposed temperature increase which in turn is now morphing into a green left onslaught on coal and the energy that coal produces for all of us.

    Somewhere the “climate” seems to have been [ deliberately ] forgotten and fallen by the wayside as it has failed totally to fall into line with the claims of the  climate models on which the anti-human left and greens had pinned their entire hopes and anti-development and development halting strategy on.

    As CO2 also refuses to fall into line with all the CO2 reducing and CO2 eliminating [ stupidity and ignorance of the proponents of that demand exemplified to the max there ] the green left has shifted its aims once again to trying to destroy Coal.

    They have to find something to back up their constant barrage of invective against something, anything of use to mankind so as to keep their believers in a state of fear and to keep the funds rolling in and to maintain their political power base and political influence.

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    • #
      el gordo

      The hiatus has come as a huge shock to the Klimatariat, how could we have got it so wrong and how do we save our necks.

      Andrew Glikson illustrates the technique when the ABC anchor asks him if this fast moving polar wobble is something we should be concerned about?

      He said no but it will have an influence on climate change.

      31

      • #
        GrahamP

        el Gordo. I heard the Glikson on the ABC driving home from the shops and was astounded at what seem to be the rantings of a madman.

        He clearly did not get the memo about geothermal activity melting the ice.

        As well as that I find it a bit strange that a small shift in surface mass near the poles (where the distance from the axis of rotation is relatively small) could cause the earth to wobble.

        However I can’t begin to quantify this so I am hoping someone reading this thread might be able to tell me if he is telling porkies.

        21

        • #

          Did Glikson quantify the mass shift or is “small” your characterisation?

          12

          • #
            GrahamP

            Glikson used numbers like trillions of pounds. (BTW alarmist love big numbers so use units that add to the story).

            However google tell me the earth is approx 6 x 10^24 kg so I stand my my characterisation.

            It is the radius^2 in the formula for rotational inertia that leads me to ask the question.

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            • #
              Gee Aye

              You don’t need me to tell you that if someone is using big numbers as an argument is a fallacy and then using the same tactic yourself is an even worse fallacy owing to the complicit and implicit nature of the act

              11

  • #
    pat

    thought this might have some meaning to those who have been commenting about town gas:

    9 Apr: UK Telegraph: Emily Gosden: UK homes could be heated by hydrogen under plan to tackle global warming
    The entire gas network for the city of Leeds, including all domestic gas boilers and cookers, would be converted to run on clean-burning hydrogen under the proposed world-first project.
    The plans to make Leeds a “hydrogen city” would cost an estimated £2 billion, according to Northern Gas Networks (NGN), which is responsible for distributing gas across northern England and has received funding from energy regulator Ofgem to develop the idea.
    It hopes Leeds could be converted by 2025-30 and that the model could then be replicated in other major cities across the UK…
    The company is working to redesign the Leeds gas network to build a series of “steam methane reformer” plants around the city, taking methane from the national gas grid and converting it into hydrogen by removing the carbon.
    The carbon would then be disposed of using carbon capture and storage technology, for example by pumping it into a disused North Sea gas field, while the hydrogen would be transported to households and businesses in Leeds…
    Although this would require the conversion of all household gas appliances, the company believes this is not an insurmountable task, likening it to the nationwide programme to convert boilers and cookers from towns gas to natural gas in the sixties and seventies, following the discovery of North Sea reserves…
    Residents would not have to foot the upfront cost of the appliance conversions, with the bill for the entire scheme instead being paid for gradually on energy bills, it suggests…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/09/uk-homes-could-be-heated-by-hydrogen-under-plan-to-tackle-global/

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    pat

    last nite ABC’s Big Ideas was “Future Manifestos” and the summary includes:

    “When you hear the word ‘manifesto’, what do you think of? Marx and Engels ‘Communist Manifesto’, or the more recent LEAP manifesto from Canada, perhaps?…
    Five thinkers examine the place of manifestos in history and in contemporary feminism, politics and activism. Highlights of ‘Future Manifestos’, recorded at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) on March the 13th, 2016.”

    the whole program was ridiculous but, at the end of the hour, ABC’s Paul Barclay mentioned there was one other manifesto discussion at ACMI which they couldn’t fit in – on environment and sustainability – & maybe they’d use it in a future program.

    anyway, some might recall the LEAP Manifesto:

    11 Apr: Globe & Mail: The Leap Manifesto: What is it, and what could it mean for the NDP’s future?
    The manifesto was crafted by bestselling author Naomi Klein and her husband, documentary filmmaker Avi Lewis.
    Mr. Lewis is also the head of the influential Toronto-Danforth riding association, and the son of former Ontario NDP leader Stephen Lewis. That has made for some interesting comparisons between Leap and a movement the elder Mr. Lewis opposed in the 1970s: the “Waffle,” an NDP faction whose Manifesto for an Independent Socialist Canada proposed to steer the federal New Democrats in a more far-left direction…
    The Leap Manifesto didn’t go over so well at the party’s Edmonton convention with Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley, who said the party should support pipelines linking Alberta’s oil with Canada’s coasts. In a speech on April 9, she warned New Democrats to not be tempted by “slogans and dreams” after their election loss…
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/leap-manifesto-what-is-it-and-what-could-it-mean-for-the-ndpsfuture/article29583796/

    Guardian was objective as always!

    Sept 2015: Guardian: Martin Lukacs: The Leap Manifesto isn’t radical. It’s a way out of Canada’s head-in-the-sand politics
    (Martin Lukacs writes for the Guardian. He was one of several drafters of the Leap Manifesto)
    Environmental activist David Suzuki, Naomi Klein and several others speak during a news conference to launching “Leap Manifesto: A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another” in Toronto on September 15, 2015…
    It lays out a vision – bolder than anything on offer from political parties – to transition the country off fossil fuels while simultaneously improving the lives of most Canadians…
    The smear-jobs started resounding immediately through the echo-chamber of the corporate press. The manifesto was advocating the “overthrow of capitalism,” a “utopia” that could be brought about only through “immediate social revolution.” It would “crash our economy,” throwing millions into poverty. No pragmatic politician could entertain the “manifesto’s madness,” thundered Canada’s national paper of record.
    Except all the manifesto’s proposed policies – respecting Indigenous rights, debating a guaranteed annual income, taking back public control of energy systems, funding clean transit and public investment in low-carbon sectors like education, health and childcare, promoting sustainable farming or raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and scrapping trade deals that prevent governments from banning extreme energy extraction – are more or less within the bounds of classic social democracy. And scientific studies – cited in the manifesto – have shown that a complete and economically-beneficial transition toward renewable energy is feasible within the next two to three decades…
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2015/sep/17/the-leap-manifesto-isnt-radical-its-a-way-out-of-canadas-head-in-the-sand-politics

    to be continued.

    20

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    pat

    some amusing updates:

    11 Apr: CBC: Leap Manifesto: Alberta NDP ‘had nothing to do with this nonsense’
    ‘These downtown Toronto political dilettantes come to Alberta and track their garbage across our front lawn’
    By Bill Stadel, with files from CBC’s Edmonton AM, CBC News
    Alberta NDP members are openly discussing splitting from the federal party after delegates agreed to support “Toronto political dilettantes” and their “garbage” Leap Manifesto at the party’s national convention in Edmonton.
    “I’m spitting angry,” says Alberta labour leader Gil McGowan. “These downtown Toronto political dilettantes come to Alberta and track their garbage across our front lawn.”…
    The manifesto, which advocates a swift end to the use of fossil fuels, including a moratorium on new infrastructure projects such as pipelines, was spearheaded by documentary filmmaker Avi Lewis and his wife, anti-capitalism activist and author Naomi Klein.
    McGowan said some Alberta NDP delegates were so upset over the document, they began to talk about separating from their federal counterparts…
    While Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and her cabinet ministers spoke out against the manifesto during the weekend, a motion adopting the principles of the document passed narrowly Sunday — opening the door to further debate.
    “We had nothing to do with this nonsense,” McGowan told CBC’s Edmonton AM radio show on Monday…
    “The people who wrote this very naive document have just handed a big stick to the Wildrose and the PCs,” McGowan said.
    In fact, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean wasted no time in calling the document “a radical anti-Alberta resolution,” while Alberta PC Leader Ric McIver linked the Notley government to “radical socialist ideology.”
    The manifesto will be discussed in every NDP riding and brought back to the national party convention in two years, a year before the Alberta provincial election…
    As a labour leader, the manifesto’s disregard for working people annoyed McGowan the most.
    “It makes them feel good to say that we have to deal with climate change and shut down the fossil fuel industry, but they ignore what they say has real implications for real people.”
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-ndp-leap-manifesto-anger-1.3529980

    earlier:

    11 Apr: CBC: Rachel Notley calls Leap Manifesto ‘naive’ and ‘ill-informed’
    Alberta’s premier says no need to split from federal NDP over fossil fuel and pipeline issues
    By Michelle Bellefontaine
    The Leap Manifesto proposes Canada immediately start moving away from fossil fuels and stop building new projects like pipelines.
    “These ideas will never form any part of our policy,” Notley said Monday. “They are naive, they are ill-informed, and they are tone-deaf.”…
    Interim Progressive Conservative Leader Ric McIver said the delegates’ decision to start discussing the Leap Manifesto shows they don’t like Alberta very much.
    “It’s clearly an attack on Alberta’s key industries, it’s clearly an attack on the way Albertans make their living,” he said…
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/rachel-notley-calls-leap-manifesto-naive-and-ill-informed-1.3530309

    20

    • #
      Analitik

      The Leap Manifesto was issued quite a while back. I wonder what the driver is in the Canadian New Democratic Party to adopt it?
      They were 3rd in the elections last year so even if they adopt it as official policy, it would be similar to The Greens’ 2030 90% renewables “Renew Australia” plan – it would never get implemented

      01

  • #
    David Maddison

    Off topic: I was just listening to ABC Radio National Afternoons and someone from Western Australia was saying that due to roof top solar plus battery backup no new power stations would be needed to be built in WA and in fact surplus capacity would now be decommissioned and planned baseload power projects would be cancelled. The stupidity is mind boggling.

    50

    • #
      Alan

      Yep sure is David, especially as I look at the AEMO and Nem Watch websites and note that solar is producing less than 5% of the SWIS total at the moment (2pm on partly cloudy day), while good old coal is cranking out just on 50%. Coal was about 57% at around 6am today

      40

    • #
      Alan

      Meant to add that coal and gas combined were producing 92% for the SWIS

      10

    • #
      David Maddison

      The transcript and audio haven’t been posted yet but I expect they will be by tomorrow and will be found here: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rnafternoons/

      10

    • #
      Alan

      Morning update on WA’s electricity generation. Very still night last night so between 1-6am this morning gas and coal contributed 99% of the SWIS generation (1700MW)with most of the remainder being from land-fill gas. At 7am it remains very calm and its overcast in Perth so gas and coal still at 97% of the 2300MW being generated.

      00

      • #

        Alan,

        Could you give me a link for Western Australia’s power generation data.

        The AEMO site and a couple of others only have the data for power generation figures for East of the SA Border. Those sites have everything except for W.A. and the N.T.

        Tony.

        00

        • #
          Alan

          Tony

          There is a link from the national AEMO site (upper right) which takes you here to AEMO WA. Various option, I generally use the generation then fuel mix display which gives MWh for 30 min intervals. You’ll know but for those that don’t they need to be doubled to match the NemWatch figures. The AEMO WA figures don’t include APVI small solar ( so % are not correct) which are on the NemWatch site. They have a link to a link etc for an explanation of how they are derived (estimated/guesstimated) but think there is a fair bit of slop there. Trust that helps
          Wish the NemWatch would include a demand line on their graph so we could see how much SA is sucking in off the connector, but I guess that might be embarrassing.

          00

          • #

            Thanks Alan,

            links saved.

            Tony.

            00

          • #

            Thanks Alan,

            links saved.

            I have a site for just the Nameplate, but that doesn’t tell me actual generation data

            WA Generation

            Tony.

            00

            • #
              Alan

              There is a lot of space to hide inconvenient figures in the name plate list from the Public Utilities Office, mainly in the Off grid sources with dual fuel generation “units”. Be interesting to know the proportion of actual generation by fuel source say for Hopetown or Coral Bay Wind/Diesel set-ups and similar, although most are pretty small.
              Also have a feeling that the NemWatch small solar (derived from the APVI) is for the whole state not just the SWIS.

              00

        • #
          Alan

          Should have added that those figures only cover the South West Interconnected System (SWIS)but that is most of the populated areas including Geraldton, Albany and Kalgoorlie. Think there is a map on the site

          00

    • #
  • #
    pat

    can’t resist posting the following.

    it’s NPR, so it’s full of Trump, plus Cruz & Rubio, whose debates, says Tania, suggests they regard scientists “with more than a modicum of misgiving” (so much nicer than calling them deniers I guess).
    links to a 15-minute video of one of the authors discussing his research.

    11 Apr: WBEZ Chicago: Scientists Largely Trusted, But Also Seen As ‘Inhuman’
    Tania Lombrozo, NPR Digital Media
    (Tania Lombrozo is a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley. She writes about psychology, cognitive science and philosophy, with occasional forays into parenting and veganism)
    A 2014 Harris Poll found that U.S. adults rate being a scientist among the most prestigious occupations, topped only by doctors, military officers and firefighters…
    How is it, then, that scientists are regarded so favorably along some dimensions, and so unfavorably along others?
    A new paper by Bastiaan Rutjens and Steven Heine, just published in the journal PLOS ONE, sheds light on these questions. In a set of studies that recruited nearly 2,000 participants online, Rutjens and Heine found that scientists were regarded as more trustworthy and scrupulous than a “regular person,” but also more robot-like, goal-oriented and cold — and more interested in the pursuit of knowledge than in “doing the right thing.” One test that tapped into people’s unconscious associations found that being a scientists was associated with immoral acts related to harm and purity — such as murder or incest — but not with those related to fairness or care, such as cheating or abuse.
    The authors conclude: “While scientists are largely trusted (and liked), they are also viewed as somewhat inhuman and obsessed enough with the pursuit of knowledge that they are perceived as capable of immoral conduct and can be potentially dangerous.”…
    https://www.wbez.org/shows/npr/scientists-largely-trusted-but-also-seen-as-inhuman/8d42abd6-9d00-45aa-8331-0e9c2912a6b1

    hmmm!

    11 Apr: Phys.org: International network to spy on trees
    A scientist from The Australian National University (ANU) is helping set up an international network to use surveillance camera networks and drone data to spy on trees…
    Dr Tim Brown has helped launch the Australian Phenocam Network after collaborating with similar networks in North America and Europe…
    Rapid change in technology has made it possible to cheaply deploy lots of cameras and generate vast coverage, Dr Brown said…
    Dr Brown is harnessing gaming technology to organise the huge quantities of data that are produced by surveillance cameras and other sensors into easily accessible formats.
    “I’m excited to make tools for citizen science, or students for example,” Dr Brown said…
    An example of Dr Brown’s work, a panorama of North Canberra taken from Black Mountain, showing the contrast between spring and autumn colours was selected as the cover for the March 2016 issue of the Journal Frontiers in Ecology, in which his research is published.
    http://phys.org/news/2016-04-international-network-spy-trees.html

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    pat

    the good billionaires, plus other political energy news:

    11 Apr: Politico Morning Energy: Eric Wolff: Appropriators gonna appropriate
    STEYER, OTHER LIBERAL ONE PERCENTERS, TO CONFERENCE IN CALIF: Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and other deep-pocketed liberal donors are slated to huddle behind closed doors in Santa Monica, Calif., this week to plot a strategy for making climate change a top-tier campaign issue in 2016. Steyer is co-hosting a session on Wednesday at the Democracy Alliance meeting called “Contrary to Pundit Opinion, Climate Can Help Us Win in 2016,” according to an agenda obtained by POLITICO (NO LINK PROVIDED). NextGen Climate Political Director Sky Gallegos, League of Conservation Voters Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld, NRDC Action Fund Executive Director Kevin Curtis, Working America Political Director Matt Morrison and Democracy Alliance Climate Fund Director Roger Kim are scheduled to speak at the session.
    As POLITICO’s Ken Vogel reports, the Democracy Alliance is hoping to use the entertainment industry to score victories on a range of progressive issues. Steyer has emerged as a leading member of the Democracy Alliance in recent years and he has been a regular fixture at the group’s meetings. This week’s Democracy Alliance conference comes as Steyer is laying plans to make a series of Senate endorsements, a prospect that is expected to be a major topic of discussion at the meeting…
    NO WORK FOR AN ICEBREAKER: Three massive icebreakers owned by the Finnish government currently have nothing to do. The Kontio, Urho and Voima should be out in the Baltic Sea at this time of year, breaking ice and securing passage for transport vessels in the northern regions. But the problem is there is no ice to break, staff at the operating company Arctia said. The winter’s been too warm — the mildest one in 100 years for the country, according to the staff. Despite the current situation, Olli Rehn, Finland’s energy and economy minister said he is not so worried because “there will be tough winters in the future.”
    ***“To be able to trade and do business, we need to keep sea routes open in the Baltic Sea,” he said. “That’s why we need these icebreakers, even [if] this winter hasn’t been a harsh one.”
    http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-energy/2016/04/pro-morning-energy-wolff-213693

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    pat

    a final comment re ABC’s Paul Barclay referencing Marx and LEAP as being what the ABC audience might think of when they hear the word “manifesto”. obviously, Barclay knows only the far-left listen to the ABC!

    Mulcair just lost the leadership of the NDP, but this video is fun to watch:

    Sept 2015: VIDEO: 29secs: TheRebelCanada: Brian Liley: Leap Manifesto: WATCH Suzuki, panelists (Naomi Klein etc) laugh when supporter asks to hear “the economic argument that we can afford this”
    But things got uncomfortable for(Thomas) Mulcair this week when a group of his lefty friends and supporters called for an overthrow of the capitalist system.
    They unveiled something called the Leap Manifesto…
    When one of their own grassroots supporters in the audience sincerely asked how they could afford all this, the panelists — elite superstar socialists like David Suzuki and Naomi Klein — just laughed.
    But it’s a serious question…
    How will Muclair and Justin Trudeau respond to this high-profile demand to make over Canada completely?
    http://www.therebel.media/leap_manifesto_watch_suzuki

    8 Apr: CBC: John Paul Tasker: Avi Lewis wants Liberal government to adopt parts of Leap Manifesto
    Lewis says he wants Leap Manifesto principles to be ‘law of the land’
    One of the big names behind the Leap Manifesto has his sights set on the Liberal government — despite recent overtures by some members of the NDP to adopt the document as its own.
    “The party we really want to influence is the one that’s in government because we want these principles embedded in the Leap Manifesto to become the law of the land,” Avi Lewis, a climate change activist and filmmaker, said in an interview with Chris Hall on CBC Radio’s The House.
    Lewis said during a recent Leap Manifesto town hall in Toronto, ***a Liberal MP sat in on the discussion, addressed the crowd and cornered organizers to learn more about the manifesto, which calls for dramatic action on climate change, a rebuke of Canadian consumer capitalism and a renewed focus on fighting inequality…
    The document has a wide range of supporters, including actors, labour unions and environmentalists…
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/avi-lewis-leap-manifesto-liberal-government-1.3527842

    ***why not name the MP, Avi?

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    pat

    11 Apr: Bloomberg: Indian Bankers Said to Be Wary of Solar as SunEdison Totters
    by Anindya Upadhyay & Anto Antony
    Indian lenders are becoming increasingly reluctant to finance solar-power projects by foreign companies as bankruptcy looms for SunEdison Inc. in the U.S., creditors familiar with the matter said…
    One of the people, from an Indian bank, said it’s unclear how much debt owed by SunEdison the bank will recover. Another lender said it’s owed about 1 billion rupees ($15 million) and is cautious about financing projects won at very low tariffs.
    Ben Harborne, a SunEdison spokesman in California, didn’t immediately address a request for comment. Pashupathy Gopalan, SunEdison’s president in the Asia-Pacific region, didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment on debts in India…
    Renewable-energy companies have largely struggled since mid-2015, partly as depressed commodity prices hurt the energy industry broadly. SunEdison shares have slumped 99 percent in the past year…
    Tycoons such as Softbank’s Masayoshi Son, Foxconn Technology Group’s Terry Gou, Liang Wengen of Sany Group, Chint Group Chairman Nan Cunhui and Bharti Enterprises Pvt.’s Sunil Mittal have announced plans for at least $25 billion of investment in India’s renewable energy sector.
    The question is how much of that will materialize, and whether India can find the sums needed to fund its green-energy ambitions…
    There are already infrastructure financing hurdles in India, where central bank data shows that about 14 percent of total loans have soured or been written off. Against that backdrop, the drama around SunEdison isn’t helping renewable-energy businesses…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-11/alarmed-india-bankers-said-to-sour-on-solar-as-sunedison-totters

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    Although coal is the floor price (oil Hahahaha! Did you saw the price at the pump when the price of electricity in coal-black-well-that-kills in Merkel?), It remains the thermal function to heat the water in the pot is negligible:

    CAPACITY HEATING FUELS

    Firewood: 16 MJ / kg
    Coal: 13-30 MJ / kg
    Natural gas 39 MJ / m3
    Crude oil: 45-46 MJ / kg
    Uranium (REP): 500 000 MJ / kg

    Thus, coal performance can be doubled it – it will never catch that of Uranium unbeatable!

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    bobl

    Wheat Flour 16 MJ/kg

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    Rocky

    Double text posted. Have a cup of tea and look out over the bay. Rest the eyes. Thanks for your good work.

    Starts Coal gasification, by itself

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