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Climate control gone wrong: Tasmanian Hydro seeded clouds before disastrous floods

Tasmanian Hydro, Logo, Renewable Energy.

Greedy Green Hubris gone wrong? It took months of bad choices to achieve this Gold-Star Moment in Bad Management:

Tasmania’s state-owned Hydro-electric power generator could face legal action for damages after admitting it cloud-seeded in or near water catchments the day ­before disastrous flooding, although heavy rain was forecast.

Tasmania  shut their only fossil fuel power plant in August last year, and relied on renewable energy and one sole Basslink electricity cable to mainland Australia. The cable was supposed to be a back up supply but was bringing in 40% of Tasmania’s electricity, and it broke in December. But a green and greedy approach in Tasmania meant that the state had already run its dams down to 26% levels by selling too much electricity to the mainland at high “renewable” subsidized prices. That was a low level at the start of summer, normally a drier season in Tasmania. After the Basslink cable broke, the dam levels fell to a precipitous 13%, so fast that the green state had to bring in diesel generators just to keep the lights on. They also switched back on the Tamar Gas plant in late January. So much for being the “100% renewable” state.

When rain was forecast in June the hydro managers must have been delighted, but even faced with the forecasts  they seeded clouds on June 5th as well. (Rivers were rising on June 4 and flood warnings were valid for many areas of Tasmania.) This was the same storm system that hit Sydney on its way to Tasmania, causing deaths and threatened houses. Flood damage and losses from that same system in Tasmania now amount to around $100 million. One man is still missing, feared drowned.
Tasmanian Hydro, Logo, renewable energy.
The Basslink cable is projected to be fixed before the end of June, and in Tasmania they already had the wettest May since 1958. Dam levels had been restored to 20%. They only had to wait a few more weeks.

Hydro Tasmania’s cloud-seeding plane was sent up on Sunday morning and seeded clouds with silver iodide to increase rainfall for an hour and 34 minutes, from 10.57am, despite the weather ­forecast.

The operation targeted the Upper Derwent catchment, an area that less than 24 hours later saw damaging floods which left one man missing, feared drowned at Ouse and caused major damage to property and stock.

The cloud-seeding also was within about 10km of the Mersey-Forth catchment area, which also hours later experienced rapid and disastrous flooding that killed a woman and inundated dozens of homes at Latrobe.

One earlier report showed that cloud-seeding increased rainfall by 8% over a month in target areas. (Which is a difficult statistic to use to compare with the current situation).

The government owned Tasmanian Hydro defends itself:

“There were no flood warnings in effect for the Upper Derwent at the time of the flight,” a company statement said. “This area received a substantial, but not excessive, amount of rain after Sunday morning’s flight.

“Water in the (flooding) Ouse River came from the overtopping of Lake Augusta due to the flood event. Lake Augusta is not in the catchment targeted by Sunday’s cloud-seeding flight. Hydro Tasmania’s cloud-seeding program is currently on hold.”

Read more in The Australian

 Tasmania is seeking money from the rest of Australia to build a second cable. It is the ultimate welfare state basket-case.

See The Marcus Review for the full glory of the first “four part act in Tasmanian tragedy”. The latest cloud seeding debacle shows how little anyone learned.

The Marcus Review notes the whole energy debacle has cost $560m to Tasmania (not counting anything due to cloud seeding):

 To put this in some perspective, the current cost of $560 million is already well over twice the $230 million it cost to build the Tamer Valley gas station.

One thing is for sure, the short term money that Hydro Tasmania made between 2012 and 2014 will be completely and utterly dwarfed by the cost of this mess.

 On May 12th Tasmania Hydro proudly announced they had been 100% renewable again for a whole week. They had turned off the gas and diesel and had to use hydro because some of the smaller dams were in danger of overflowing.

For info: Tasmania has about 500,000 people, and the Bass Strait that separates it from mainland Australia is 240km wide, 400km long and about 60m deep. It is notoriously wild, and infamous for disappearing ships. It is described as twice as wide and twice as rough as the English Channel.

h/t Marcus, David B, Robert for keeping me up to date.

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Climate control gone wrong: Tasmanian Hydro seeded clouds before disastrous floods, 9.2 out of 10 based on 90 ratings

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137 comments to Climate control gone wrong: Tasmanian Hydro seeded clouds before disastrous floods

  • #

    Is there an example of even one Green’s scheme that has actually worked?

    283

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Well the green scheme to completely stuff up Tasmania’a base power supply is going along just swimmingly……

      182

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        So much so I have instituted the inagural “Burnt Cable Award” and given it to the Tassie govt for services rendered above and beyond….

        10

    • #
      Another Ian

      Bemused

      The cash register

      50

    • #
      handjive

      Yes, bemused. The Greens pathological, pathetic, all consuming hate of humanity:

      Are Babies Bad for the Environment?
      “The best thing you can do for the planet might be having fewer children, a new study argues”

      UK aid helps to fund forced sterilisation of India’s poor

      “Yet a working paper published by the UK’s Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes.

      The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases …”

      62

      • #
        Peter C

        “The Greens pathological, pathetic, all consuming hate of humanity” !!!

        Try Googling this:

        To feed a starving child is to exacerbate the world population problem — Environmentalist Lamont Cole #EarthHour

        70

        • #
          Robert R

          Yeah, they represented the situation by promising we would get warmer weather and it is perishing here tonight…..really cold……

          60

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        …cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes.

        I could be wrong but it sounds like it might be more accurate to call those programs, pogroms instead. Pogrom is a lot stronger than what you’re talking about but the intent is similar, is it not?

        70

      • #
        jorgekafkazar

        The Greens pathological, pathetic, all consuming hate of humanity…

        which comes straight from the source of all statist enlightenment:

        “Time is everything, man is nothing: he is at the most time’s carcass.” –Karl Marx

        Small wonder that Socialist governments killed [[snip] millions] in the 20th Century alone.

        [Sorry to have to do a small edit. Fixed the 20 to 20th for you too.] AZ

        30

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Ah eugenics………. surfacing yet again through the green movement….

        Is a new version of the infamous T4 next?

        10

    • #
      Albert

      Seems they took no notice of the elNino which could have been the worst in recent years. The ‘experts’ also did not expect coral bleaching from the elNino, I did, it’s normal
      A study of elNino is the first stop to determine weather

      30

  • #
    Mal

    Tasmania is a classical example of when green ideology collides with pragmatic physical and economic reality.
    South Australia is next.

    292

  • #
    ROM

    Hydrographic modelling of river flows, of reservoir inflows and outflows, of the consequences of precipitation events of vary magnitude on both river flows, of flooding of terrain, erosion and landform changes and reservoir fills is a very wide spread and very mature modeling science where the output of the hydrographic models have been substantiated, validated and and verified by an innumerable number of actual events in innumerable locations and varying conditions.

    Surely a major Hydro controlling organisation such as the Tasmanian Hydro who having been established as the Hydro Electric Department in 1914 has now had over a century of experience whilst operating through a huge range of weather and climatic conditions over than century of existence, to refine its operations and to get a full understanding of precipitation events effects on its dams and rivers and any potentially flooding events.

    A few runs of their hydrographic models, if they have some that is, [ if they haven't any hydrographic flow models for their hydro and dam and river systems they really are incompetent ] which would have taken a few hours would most likely have told them well before the rainfall event that there was a potentially severe flooding possible from the forecast precipitation in what is the now hard hit flooded areas.

    The current incompetents now running Tasmanian Hydro seem to have learn’t nothing from their formerly quite admired operations over the century past.

    251

    • #
      ROM

      Just a PS to my above post for what it is worth;

      Back in the mid 1960′s and soon after our gliding club was formed I taught a young Agricultural student at our local Ag college to fly gliders.
      He got a position as a rain making trainee with the then experimental CSIRO rain making group in the 1967 local Victorian drought through his Ag experience and because he was a glider pilot and understood weather.
      He reputedly became the best unlicensed blind flying pilot in Australia with the CSIRO pilots giving him plenty of instruction and experience in blind flying in clouds while cloud seeding
      He went on to get his doctorate in cloud physics and then run Tasmanian Hydro’s rain making division for many years but is now long retired.

      He had the data to show that rainmaking in the right cloud and weather conditions really did work in boosting rainfall.

      Knowing him I would suspect he is holding his head in frustration at what has happened to his well loved job.

      252

  • #
    Egor TheOne

    Green engineering = normal peoples disasters !

    Who let the Lunatics(greens) in charge ?

    Where is our Donald Trump to round up these CAGW True B’lver Ratbags?

    Why do we appease such a minority of Eco-loons ?
    They are less than 1% in the lower house and only 10% in the upper house (federally).
    Why is the tail allowed to wag the dog ?

    All these Clowns needed to be shouted down , as they attempt to do to us.

    WAKE UP Australia , and stop turning the other cheek to these Closet Marxists !

    333

  • #
    Geoff

    http://ecn.t2.tiles.virtualearth.net/tiles/ho2?g=671&mkt=en-us

    Lots more bad weather coming. A very large set of south Atlantic storms are forming. All of antarctic origins (no GW here) with a bit of moisture thrown in at the end of a very strong El Nino. Last time this happened in the early 50s it snowed for six weeks in Southern Tasmania. With Lake Gordon banks fully exposed due to greed, rain would not be good. Pray for snow.

    131

  • #
    RobK

    A litany of unindended consequences. If we’d not a a carbon tax it’s most likely the Basslink cable would not have had such a work out gouging green tax dollars up for grabs on the mainland. Every likelyhood it wouldn’t have failed…at a time of decommissioned coal and gas plants. I have bad days too sometimes but these guys can’t seem to win a trick.
    Perhaps management could do with a bit of scientific protocol. It seems to be in short supply.

    132

  • #

    Cloud seeding has been in use for many (many) decades now. It was used on the Snowys in the early days of that huge Hydro Scheme.

    In Tasmania, they’ve been doing it for decades as well.

    They say that in Tassie, it has about an 8% effect over and above normal rainfall.

    To think that cloud seeding this time caused the flood, or added to what this flooding caused, is drawing a long straw if you ask me. It looks suspiciously like trying to find blame for legal reasons here, a bit like that quirky Billy Connolly (Australian) movie The Man Who Sued God.

    As to the last paragraph in Joanne’s Post: (my bolding here)

    Tasmania has about 500,000 people, and the Bass Strait that separates it from mainland Australia is 240km wide, 400km long and about 60m deep. It is notoriously wild, and infamous for disappearing ships. It is described as twice as wide and twice as rough as the English Channel.

    The people fixing the Basslink cable say that the repair ship requires 20 days of calm weather and calm seas.

    Good luck with that.

    Tony.

    251

    • #
      RobK

      Tony,
      I agree the cloud seeding in this case likely made little difference (who knows)but you would have to question the wisdom of authorizing the flights under the prevailing conditions. I know it’s easy to criticize and no doubt the pressure was on but that’s exactly why they should have protocols in place so they aren’t wasting money and causing damage with ad hoc decisions.

      92

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘It looks suspiciously like trying to find blame for legal reasons here …’

      Yep, but you never know your luck, the Brisbane flood disaster is in court next month.

      ‘The Supreme Court in Sydney today struck out the class action’s statement of claim – but would allow it to be amended for the case to be heard on July 18, 2016.

      ‘Law firm Maurice Blackburn is representing about 4,500 Brisbane and Ipswich flood victims in a bid to claw back more than $1 billion lost in the disaster.’

      ABC 2014

      80

    • #
      Another Ian

      Tony

      I know a driller in the oil game who’s worked all over the world.

      He reckons that Bass Strait is at least as dangerous as the North Sea

      80

    • #
    • #
      Peter C

      They say that in Tassie, it has about an 8% effect over and above normal rainfall.

      To think that cloud seeding this time caused the flood, or added to what this flooding caused, is drawing a long straw if you ask me.

      Fair enough on the raw stats.

      But what it cloud seeding is ineffective on non rain bearing clouds and only works on the clouds which would give some rain otherwise? It could distort the 8% figure a lot!

      41

      • #
        Pauly

        Peter C,
        That is TonyfromOz’s point. Cloud seeding is only effective when done in the right conditions, ie, during an approaching front. It is also highly localised, so that the additional rainfall occurs to fill the catchment areas of interest.

        And as anyone who has followed the famous Sydney to Hobart yacht races knows, predicting the severity of storms off Australia’s south-eastern shores is very difficult. You only have to review the forecasts that the Bureau of Meteorology were making about the storm cell that travelled down the east coast last week to realise that none predicted the extreme level of rainfall that occurred.

        I find it interesting that, apart from the flooding around Sydney, I didn’t hear of any severe rainfall or flooding south of Wollongong, or in any parts of Victoria, with this east coast storm cell. So perhaps there were other local weather effects, like a smaller cold front crossing Tasmania at the same time, that caused the severe effects that we saw.

        While it might be interesting to see what meteorological advice the cloud seeding flight actually was given, that would only show the forecasts that BoM was making 24-36 hours prior to the storms hitting Tasmania. The BoM forecasts for aviation are pretty good predictions of weather for 6 hours, but storm conditions can change these forecasts rapidly, and the BoM is not Nostrodamus. I’m with Tony on this one.

        30

    • #
      Greg

      It looks suspiciously like trying to find blame for legal reasons here

      Not at all. Think it through. What is the most likely thing to increase the risk of flooding during a heavy storm: ensuring that the ground is water logged before it starts.

      This is not ill-intentioned opportunism as you are trying to suggest but perfectly sound logic.

      This is what happens when dogma and extremism perverts proper system management.

      If they were not hell-bent on remaining “100% green” they would use some fossil fuel when needed not start polluting the atmosphere with chemicals to seed clouds.

      33

  • #
    stan stendera

    Greens be dumb. Greens be killers. Greens be dumb killers. Bad, bad combination.

    103

  • #
    Reed Coray

    FUBAR anyone!

    51

  • #
    john karajas

    Billions of dollars wasted on a desalination plant in Victoria and now this shemozzle in Tasmania. Greens and their obedient “noble cause scientists” are really costing us money. Listening to Bill Shorten mouthing homilies about “climate change” during this current Federal election is enough to make me want to puke.

    272

  • #
    thingodonta

    Classic case of we will get paid regardless, and no one in government is monitoring?

    92

  • #
    Geoff

    Hydro Tasmania drained Australia’s largest lake, Lake Gordon, 6,000+ GL. 12 times Sydney harbour to placate their masters. It would have been paid about $400M if this water equivalent ie from the Forth Mersey had been piped to Victoria. It has lost over $500M net on subsequent power profits/interruptions etc. It will lose over $1B if the sides of Lake Gordon are reamed out in a flood. A deal that has been ‘on the table’ in Tasmania for 10 years.

    Hydro is now a political organization. Engineering is secondary.

    142

  • #
    Rollo

    On May 12th Tasmania Hydro proudly announced they had been 100% renewable again for a whole week.

    The greens zealously oppose the building of dams, but when quoting statistics for renewable energy they are more than happy to include hydro power. Surely they should be striving to restore natural river flows to appease Gaia ?

    How close were they to 100% renewable counting only solar and wind?

    203

    • #
      el gordo

      Greens have a psychological problem.

      ‘In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time…’

      wiki

      73

    • #
      Cookster

      Spot on Rollo. And its not just Australia where the occasional spike in renewables is exaggerated either. Anytime any country achieves 100% renewables during a flood or wind storm it gets plastered all over the internet by the lapdogs in the media. Costa Rica received a lot of “airplay” during floods in 2015 but it gets 75% of its energy from Hydro with an extensive river and dam system plus a ready source of geothermal energy being a geologically active region.

      Apparently Australia has large geothermal potential in central Australia but the distances from major population centres are great therefore the transmission costs also become prohibitive.

      But in Australia our Greens typically oppose dams as they invariably threaten some rare species of frog and yet the contributions of Wind and Solar to Costa Rica’s renewable energy totals are quite pathetic. Wind contributed just 2.1% in 2011 and yet it is Wind and Solar energy that Greens in Australia expect to be able to replace our reliance on coal. Presumably Bill Shorten agrees with them.

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/30/truth-behind-costa-rica-renewable-energy-reservoirs-climate-change

      31

    • #
      Russell

      Spot on indeed. Except “greens” did not proudly announce anything, Hydro Tasmania did. And the context of that announcement was that Hydro were attempting to deflect criticism about their bungling of the state’s power supply, and the huge expense of running diesel generators.

      Hydro Tasmania, like Forestry Tasmania, are both Government Business Enterprises and as such their finances are “commercial in confidence” yet they demand and receive huge handouts of public money. They are a scam on the public of Tasmania, and their most vocal critics are the Tasmanian Greens.

      Despite so much delusion on this page Hydro Tasmania is not green, it is run by former bankers and they want your money.

      30

  • #
    pat

    reminder of another great success:

    8 Jun: Illawarra Mercury: Glen Humphries: Weekend storms wreck wave generator
    The Oceanlinx barge off the coast of Port Kembla has suffered considerable damage from the weekend’s storms.
    The barge appears to be listing further backwards than it was just a month ago.
    Also a large white shipping container that was on the southern side of the structure is no longer visible.
    It is likely that the structure has fallen into the water…
    The wave generator is now in the hands of Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), after the company went into receivership in 2014…
    Oceanlinx went bust in 2014, owing secured creditors $7 million and investors a further $3 million…
    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/3955450/weekend-storms-wreck-wave-generator/?cs=298

    143

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      Thanks Pat,
      I’d not heard anything of that saga, and I guess there’ll be nothing in SMH or ABC,
      Cheers,
      Dave B

      72

  • #
    pat

    increasing revenue to fund your pet projects, by selling CO2 emissions seemed like such a good idea, Gov!

    10 Jun: CarbonPulse: COMMENT: What undersubscribed auctions mean for California’s carbon market
    By Liz Hardee, Senior Analyst, The Climate Trust
    (The Climate Trust is a nonprofit carbon financing investor and developer)
    With allowance prices at the high $12 range, each auction typically provides several hundred million dollars in revenue to the state. Revenue is then reinvested in targeted mitigation efforts such as transit improvements, energy efficiency retrofits, and the installation of renewables. According to the California Air Resources Board (ARB), which runs the program, the state has spent $1.44 billion in revenue on such projects to date, with 43% of this funding spent in low income and other disadvantaged communities…
    The most recent allowance auction sold just 11% of the allowances it offered, resulting in only $10 million in revenue to the state. In market lingo, this is called undersubscription, and its causes are largely political…
    Oversupply drives down demand.
    Secondly, a lawsuit, brought against ARB by the California Chamber of Commerce, alleges that allowance auctions constitute an unlawful tax and should not be allowed to continue, creating uncertainty about the market’s future. The Wall Street Journal and The Sacramento Bee newspapers have both speculated on the imminent demise of the market in California since the auction. They insist that California is now experiencing the same market dynamics that caused the crash of carbon prices in the European Union several years ago; however…READ ON
    http://carbon-pulse.com/21152/

    26 May: Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: California’s cap-and-trade carbon emission system may be failing
    The impact is mostly financial – slowing or even blocking plans by Brown and legislators to spend what they thought would be billions of dollars that they wouldn’t have to raise though direct taxes…
    Brown has a $3.1 billion spending plan in his 2016-17 budget, based on an assumption that auctions would generate more than $2 billion during the fiscal year. A big chunk of that money was to go to Brown’s pet bullet train – keeping alive a project that otherwise is woefully short of the money its construction would require…
    It would be foolhardy for Brown and legislators to dip into a barrel of pork that may be, in fact, virtually empty, just as it was foolhardy for politicians to ignore private warnings from cap-and-trade market analysts about the likelihood of the collapse now occurring.
    http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/dan-walters/article80107032.html

    27 May: San Francisco Chronicle: Melody Gutierrez: High-speed rail takes hit as cap-and-trade cash falls short
    The rail authority was expecting to receive $150 million Wednesday from the auction, but will instead receive $2.5 million after the state took in 2 percent of what it had anticipated netting from the final quarter of this fiscal year’s cap-and-trade auctions…
    Peters said the analyst’s office found it problematic that the rail authority’s business plan relies heavily on the cap-and-trade revenue in future years, particularly given that the program is authorized only through 2020…
    http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Cap-trade-auction-fails-to-raise-millions-in-7948128.php

    92

  • #
    Paul

    Has the cause of the failure of the Bass Link cable been found?
    Is it a small damaged section?
    Was it due to overloading the cable?
    Is it being replaced completely, or will it fail somewhere else, when returned to service?
    Does anyone know?

    41

  • #
    pat

    the deceptive ABC.

    remember the disaster that was the Henbury carbon farm?
    ABC is shilling that the new owners might get back into the business, yet the owners don’t appear to be planning anything of the kind…not for the next couple of years at least. seems more like they are responding to an idea put to them by the ABC:

    10 Jun: ABC Landline: Kerry Staight: Carbon farming still a possibility at Henbury Station despite disastrous past, owners say
    (Watch the full story on Landline this Sunday at noon on ABC TV)
    The new owners of a vast cattle station in central Australia say carbon farming could return to the property, despite previous plans to create the world’s biggest carbon farm failing spectacularly.
    Five years ago, Henbury Station in the Northern Territory was de-stocked as part of the controversial carbon farm plan, which was partly taxpayer-funded.
    The project fell apart when the company at the helm, RM Williams Agricultural Holdings (RMWAH), collapsed.
    Henbury has now been revived as a cattle enterprise, but the family in charge says it would also consider investing in the carbon marketplace in the future.
    “We’d probably spend the next couple of years getting Henbury fully established before we got too far into that,” co-owner Neville Anderson said…
    While the brothers are open to exploring carbon farming in the future, they say it will also have to make economic sense…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-10/carbon-farming-could-return-to-henbury-station/7496306

    last week, ABC was shilling Tasmanian “climate” wines, as if they were the biggest thing in the wine industry. however, first note:

    Wikipedia: Tasmania wine
    Tasmanian wine statistics
    1500 hectares under vine.
    More than 11,000 tonnes of wine grapes were processed in the 2013 vintage. This represents around 0.5% of Australia’s total winegrape production.

    4 Jun: ABC Landline: Climate Wines
    PIP COURTNEY, PRESENTER: Rising summer temperatures in Australia’s traditional wine regions have prompted some of the country’s oldest and biggest wine-making families to uproot and expand south. The wine industry’s race to Tasmania is well and truly under way. Millions are being spent on new vineyards and the island state’s grapes are fetching prices five times that of mainland grapes…
    SNOW BARLOW, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE: This is overwhelming, the research now. It’s research my group’s done in Australia which has gone across almost all Australian regions. We did a survey back of 45 vineyards around Australia where people had long-term datasets, you know, some back as far as 100 years, some back as far as 70, but the minimum was back for 25 years. And that showed effectively that, you know, vintage was progressing, becoming earlier one day per year…
    SHERALEE DAVIES, WINE TASMANIA: The national average across all varieties is around $450 per tonne. In Tasmania, our average is around $2,500 per tonne…
    http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2016/s4475759.htm

    if u read it all (there’s lots of Barlow of cours), it seems the big wine-makers are merely expanding into Tasmania, and enjoying the premium prices.

    Landine has become unwatchable.

    32

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      “they say it will also have to make economic sense…”

      Obviously the owners aren’t greenies.

      ON the wine grape prices in Tasmania: the higher price would be influenced by the high percentage of pinot noir and by the small size of the vineyards. And before any reader rushes into ‘investing’ on the basis of the ABC report, bear in mind the small size of Tasmania and the industry. One of the largest producers depends on Brown Bros. to handle their distribution on the mainland. (Nothing wrong with their wine, it is rather good, just economics and the scale of operation).

      20

  • #
    a happy little debunker

    TonyfromOZ @2.44pm is right , this about laying blame for the sake of laying blame.

    Ouse in the Derwent valley – experienced the only southern flooding & was also a coincidental target of the cloud seeding – but only received about 35mm of rain over the duration of this low pressure system.

    Burnie on the northwest coast recorded over 110mm of rain, Devonport 100mm, Launceston – with the worst flooding since 1929 – received only 50mm & St Helens on the northeast coast recorded 100mm.

    I live on the southeast coast of Tassie – where like St Helens, we also had no flooding – but received over 100 mm of rain in the same period.

    The water that caused the Ouse river flooding came from areas totally unaffected by the cloud seeding.

    Over the 4th & 5th Ouse received a mere 2.6mm of rain – likely as a result of cloud seeding, with no other population centre recording any rainfall on the 4th.

    So a bit disingenuous to claim that the Ouse river catchment was ‘already’ rising on the 4th.

    Oh, and Basslink was declared fixed last week!

    51

    • #
      Peter C

      Is Basslink fixed?

      Last I read they had not even identified the fault or its location.

      21

    • #
      David Smith

      HLD:
      I can’t claim to have any knowledge of the geographical area, but the Australian reports an area very near the cloud seeding that was flooded. It also seems that local farmers are extremely unhappy:

      The cloud-seeding also was within about 10km of the Mersey-Forth catchment area, which also hours later experienced rapid and disastrous flooding that killed a woman and inundated dozens of homes at Latrobe.

      “We are gobsmacked that the Hydro would do this, considering the weather forecasts as of Wednesday or Thursday last week were saying significant rain ­between 80 to 100mm or more,” said Wayne Johnston, president of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association. “There is rising anger from farmers who have now lost significant infrastructure, without the loss of livestock and possible loss of life.”

      Story in the Australian (pay walled)

      10

  • #
    Joe McCarthy

    I concur with the happy little debunker. There is no more need of calm waters. It is final testing that remains.
    Some other things in the post need correcting. Please forgive me for being so pedantic.

    Tasmania shut their only fossil fuel power plant in August last year

    False. The facility was never “shut down”. There are two fossil fueled plants; one is a base load combined cycle plant and the other an open cycle peaking plant.
    The peaking plant was always available, and used, for shaving those peaks in demand.
    The combined cycle base load plant was “laid up” in early July 2013. It ran from October 2013 to March 2014 and again was “laid up”.

    Combined cycle equipment is designed and built to run continuously. If it is idle for more than a few hours, it must be drained of its circulating fluid. In that condition it is susceptible to rapid deterioration unless components which might oxidize are segregated and continuously recirculated with warm dry air. In that condition it is “laid up”.

    That this process was done properly and correctly is confirmed by the fact that it was in operation again shortly after the New Year; a scant twelve days from the cable failure.
    As for the cloud seeding, I think the only rational thing to say is that if people are sufficiently gullible to believe nonsense such as “green energy” or “clean energy”, “global warming” or “climate change”, then they are obviously gullible enough to think that they can make it rain by “seeding”.

    71

  • #
    Russell

    Greedy Green Hubris? Anyone with half a brain knows that Hydro Tasmania is NOT remotely green. Their record includes flooding Lake Peddar, drowning most Tasmanian river valleys and very nearly damming the Franklin and lower Gordon rivers. The Hydro insisted on building more and more dams despite the fact that Tasmania was oversupplied with electricity. Greens were protesting the dams, not building them. The electricity, that would otherwise be surplus to the state’s needs, is squandered on an aluminium smelter and a handful of other energy guzzling businesses. The rate that these multi-nationals for the power is a secret, it is widely believed to be less than the cost of production.

    The recent energy crisis was caused by Hydro Tasmania selling power to the mainland (via Basslink) when electricity prices were high. Despite an El Nino event and probable drought being forecast, the greedy Tasmanian government kept exporting electricity and dams levels were reduced to 30% more than one year ago. During the dry spring energy was imported via Basslink at unprecedented levels, then the cable broke/fried. Over the (predicted) dry summer and autumn dam levels fell to less than 12%. And who was at the helm leading up to and during this crisis? The incompetent state Liberal party, and the apparently incompetent Hydro Tasmania board and management. And not a Greedy Green to be seen.

    I apologise if a few facts spoil a good story.

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    • #
      AndyG55

      Umm.. when was the Liberal government elected in Tassie.

      Mid March 2014 wasn’t it.. Carbon tax was abolished in July 2014

      The INCOMPETENCE of sending massive of power back to the mainland to gain carbon tax funds was totally down to the previous Labor/Green alliance.

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      • #
        Russell

        Fair point about the timing of the energy sales being largely on Labor’s watch. In fact there is little difference between the previous Tasmanian Labor government and the current Liberal government. Both exist to entrench the status quo of crony capitalism. The idea that the two Green MP’s with portfolio’s had any influence on Tasmania’s energy policy or financial management is laughable. If you want to blame someone outside of the Hydro Tas board for their mismanagement, here’s your man. The only thing green about him is his name:


        http://www.bryangreenmp.com/biography.html

        2010 – 2014
        » Deputy Premier
        » Minister for Primary Industries and Water
        » Minister for Energy and Resources
        » Minister for Planning
        » Minister for Local Government
        » Minister for Racing

        30

        • #
          AndyG55

          “The idea that the two Green MP’s with portfolio’s had any influence ”

          How many Greens, holding the balance of power, had a huge influence on Federal Labor who were prepared to do anything to get that power.?

          Let’s ask Gillard shall we.

          “There will be no carbon tax under blah blah … whatever she said…..

          11

    • #
      Analitik

      squandered on an aluminium smelter and a handful of other energy guzzling businesses

      So those businesses mean nothing to Tasmania?

      The “oversupply” situation was created to entice these manufacturers to Tasmania by providing them cheap energy for their “guzzling” operations.

      If you want Tasmania to compeltely deindustrialize, then you have a point. Then Tasmania can devolve to a purely rural (and maybe some mining) existence since there would not be the manufacturing jobs to flow on to the rest of the state economic activity.

      Re BassLink flows and water depletion, read the following for “a few facts”
      http://euanmearns.com/the-tasmanian-energy-crisis/

      50

      • #
        Russell

        The gift of almost free electricity to entice the aluminium smelter originated in the 1950′s. According to the Bell Bay Aluminium website, that plant employs 500 people and contributes $690m to Gross State Product. It’s owned by Rio Tinto, a corporation with revenue of US$ 34.829 billion in 2015. Why should Rio Tinto be entitled to consume a massive amount of electricity for less than the cost of production? By comparison tourism generates $1.3 billion, and tourism operators have to pay the retail price for power. There is absolutely no reason why the Tasmanian government cannot treat Rio Tinto like any other customer and sell them energy at a profit. Why do Tasmanians subsidise a billionaire energy guzzler? It’s no longer the 1950′s, it’s time to move on.

        I doubt that their are many Tasmanian manufacturing jobs downstream of the aluminium smelter which mostly produces ingots and blocks for export. As you suggest there are diverse industries and enterprises in Tasmania that could sustain the economy without the free kick of subsidised power. However that transition will need leadership and competent management which is sorely lacking in the major parties.

        Thanks for the link: http://euanmearns.com/the-tasmanian-energy-crisis/

        I suggest that many of the posters here could benefit from reading this research (there is an appalling amount of misinformation in this thread). Mr Andrews’ conclusion, however, seems to be based more on ideology than on the facts:

        So whose fault was it?

        If… Australia’s carbon tax did exactly as intended then the lion’s share of the blame falls on the carbon tax. It can also be argued that Hydro Tasmania acted reasonably in taking advantage of the situation, particularly when it made $300 million without seriously depleting its hydro resources

        Hydro Tasmania, and the energy ministers of the day, did not act “reasonably”. Sure there was a financial incentive to export power, but the priority for Hydro Tasmania (a state owned Government Business Entreprise) and the Tasmanian government, should always have been to ensure energy security for Tasmania. Gambling on rain as we approached an El Nino pattern and relying on the limited capacity of cable under the ocean is not “reasonable”. Hydro Tasmania did not make “$300 million without seriously depleting its hydro resources”. It made $300 million because it was prepared to deplete those resources, down to around 26% before Basslink failed, and put the entire state at risk. Tasmanians went into winter with dams at 12% of capacity, Basslink still broken, rain yet to fall and the State bleeding money on diesel generation. A few weeks ago the rain came and Tasmanian’s breathed a sigh of relief. We had dodged a bullet, but that is not the point. Well paid Hydro executives and politicians (particularly Bryan Green and Matthew Groom) mismanaged crucial infrastructure, wasting millions of dollars and putting the state at risk. They conveniently blame the Basslink failure, but the real failure was their lack of competence and their greed. Being Tasmania, the media turn a blind eye, no one will be held accountable and no heads will roll.

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        • #

          Isn’t Dr. David Crean, the former Labor Upper House member and brother of Simon and son of Frank, still the chairman of Hydro Tas?

          10

          • #
            Russell

            Apparently the Chair is now Grant Every Burns. If someone was to make a family tree of Tasmanian’s in influential public service, corporate and political positions it would look like a game of snakes and ladders with a few revolving doors for good measure.

            30

        • #
          Analitik

          Mr Andrews’ conclusion, however, seems to be based more on ideology than on the facts

          What about the statement that started the following paragraph “Where Hydro Tasmania fell down was in failing to maintain an adequate reserve margin

          Try presenting all the information rather than a cherry pick of what is convenient.

          BTW Why was it so profitable for Hydro Tasmania to first sell all that electricity that drew down the dams and then continue to play with the spot prices rather than allowing the dams to recover?

          The Carbon Tax and the Renewable Energy Target – are you going to say that these weren’t policies forced on the Federal Government by The Greens???

          00

          • #
            Russell

            “Where Hydro Tasmania fell down was in failing to maintain an adequate reserve margin”

            Absolutely, it’s obvious from my other comments that I agree with that. The point I was making that the rest of his conclusion is just ideology. And I re-published the link and recommending that people read the article themselves, hardly cherry picking.

            Presumably the carbon tax set was intended as an incentive for energy producers to move away from carbon intensive production and towards renewables. Selling Tasmania’s hydro power via Basslink and replacing it with brown coal power from Victoria does not deliver any new renewable energy production and no net emissions benefit. So Hydro’s game of flushing all the water away during the two year window of “opportunity” is not a good example that “Australia’s carbon tax did exactly as intended”.

            If the carbon tax had been a stable policy and not removed by he who must remain nameless, the Hydro might have been sensible enough to sell the energy into the mainland over a longer period whilst sustaining responsible water levels. (Alternatively the Hydro may have succumbed to state government pressure to return annual dividends and nothing would have changed.)

            00

            • #
              Analitik

              The Carbon Tax was foisted on the Australian population and economy through the marginal interests of suburban pseudo intellectuals voting for The Greens in breach of an election promise. This ridiculous policy is what led to the Tasmanian issue.

              The similarly forced adoption of RETs then made it profitable for the spot market play after The Carbon Tax was repealed.

              Yes, Hydro Tas were greedy in profiteering – poor state decisions made to take advantage of poor federal policies (both directly and by the consequences).

              10

    • #
      Bob in Castlemaine

      So I assume it was the Liberal government that was controlling Hydro Tasmania was it Russell? Or was it the board of that company perhaps that was responsible for its own poor decision making?

      30

      • #
        Russell

        I said several times that the Hydro board was responsible:

        And who was at the helm leading up to and during this crisis? The incompetent state Liberal party, and the apparently incompetent Hydro Tasmania board and management.

        Well paid Hydro executives and politicians (particularly Bryan Green and Matthew Groom) mismanaged crucial infrastructure

        Hydro Tasmania is a Government Business Enterprise so it would be reasonable to assume that the state government has some control over a public asset (although historically GBE’s in Tasmania seem to control the government). I believe there should be an independent enquiry to examine if there is cause for the board to be sacked.

        Andy #20.1 pointed out that a state Labor government was in power for the bulk of the period of increased electricity exports, a state Liberal government would not have done anything different.

        30

        • #
          AndyG55

          I repeat..

          The INCOMPETENCE of sending massive of power back to the mainland to gain carbon tax funds was totally down to the previous Labor/Green alliance.

          12

          • #
            AndyG55

            And anyone who thinks that Labor will not totally sell out to the Green agenda when it suits them to stay in power, is totally denying the Gillard/Greens fiasco in Federal politics.

            22

  • #
    mikewaite

    I have been following the story intermittently , so may have missed some details , but 2 points that I
    came away with are :
    1 (that I probably share with most readers ) : the appalling incompetence of Green politicians and their
    civil servants in both financial and engineering matters .
    2 ( which does not seem to have been remarked upon- unless when I was off-site): despite the loss of the
    Basslink and the severe reduction in Hydro power there appears not to have been any drastic effect on the
    population – no citizens out of work because their employers close down , no loss of public services like hospitals,
    no closure of schools and the youngsters are not deprived of their mobiles for lack of power to charge them.
    Does this mean that Western societies do not really need all the power that is currently available.
    That should please Greens who would say that the unreliability of renewables is not such an important factor,
    and it would please those who could argue that we do not need to plan for any more appalling windfarms and the
    costs associated with them.

    11

  • #
    Russell

    Mike #21, It pays to do basic research before making assumptions.

    1. No Green politicians were involved in the failure of Hydro Tasmania to appropriately manage the state’s water storages leading into the predicted dry summer season. Nor are Hydro Tasmania financial personnel or engineers likely to be “green”. Apart from mismanaging Tasmania’s power infrastructure, Hydro Tasmania likes to collaborate with dictators in the region to build huge dams that displace indigenous people. It is unlikely that green minded folk would be attracted to that nature destroying, human rights abusing work.

    2. Basslink was opposed by the Greens and is still a questionable use of public funds costing $92 million every year on rent alone. With the lakes drained and Basslink broken, the Liberal Tasmanian government plugged the energy gap with imported diesel generators at a cost of $44 million for the lease and $11 million per 100 megawatts of generation per month. When running the generators produced diesel emissions equivalent to 156,000 cars. So Tasmanians kept their devices charged during the crisis thanks to an expensive, polluting, third world solution. And no, there was little change for Tasmania’s hospitals that are already a complete shambles thanks to decades of incompetent, corrupt and contemptible “leadership” by successive Labour and Liberal state governments.

    The reliability of hydro electricity is probably greater than the reliability of fossil fuel generators. Response to fluctuating demand is also better as the power can be turned on and off at will with little waste. Hydro technology, Basslink and even the weather were not the root of the problem. The energy crisis was caused by incompetent managers at Hydro Tasmania and a greedy Liberal government chasing short term profits at the expense of energy security for Tasmanians.

    41

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Russell:

      You might ask why the new Liberal Government was so ‘greedy’ for funds after many years of government by Labor+Greens.

      50

      • #
        Russell

        You might ask why the new Liberal Government was so ‘greedy’ for funds after many years of government by Labor+Greens.

        Short answer, because successive Labor and Liberal governments have sold off resources and opportunities to their mates while seeing almost no return to the state. Case in point, Forestry Tasmania has received $1 billion in taxpayer handouts over the past decade, while John Gay and a handful of insiders made off with the profits. Tasmanian logging contractors have a saying, “special rates for special mates”, they see first hand who benefits from the sweet deals.

        The Labor/Green “power sharing deal” consisted of two Green MP’s in an otherwise Labor cabinet. I don’t think anyone really believes that the two Greens had much impact one way or another on the Tasmania economy. The alliance certainly didn’t impact the mining industry with several new and controversial mines approved during that period.

        20

    • #
      mikewaite

      Russell(#22) I meant no disrespect to the engineers at Tasmanian Hydro who are , I am sure as professional a team
      of men and women as you will find anywhere . No my disdain was for the politicians and their aides , who. regardless of
      declared affiliations , always seem to be pressing policies associated with the Green parties – at least
      that is the impression from websites, since in the UK we only hear about Australian politicians from the BBC
      or newspapers when they are eaten by sharks.
      My main point was that through combinations of accident and mismanagement Tasmania could have had an energy crisis , but
      in the event , little disruption was experienced – apparently . This makes me wonder whether Western dependence on
      energy may actually be less than we often consider to be the case .

      21

      • #
        Mike

        “when they are eaten by sharks.”

        mikewaite: …..TYPO**** You must mean ‘when they are eaten by loan sharks’. :)

        40

      • #
        Russell

        Hello Mike, I appreciate that being in the UK the nuances of the energy situation in Tasmania are not likely to be reported. In the lead up to this crisis, there was no pressure or influence from Green politicians to sell Tasmanian power into mainland grid. The Tasmanian energy minister at the time was Bryan Green, a Labor politician well known as a supporter of “traditional” industries (dig it up and cut it down). The current energy minister is Matthew Groom, the son of a former state premier, an ex-lawyer and previously head of Business Development at Hydro Tasmania. He doesn’t ever seem to do much, apart from blaming the Basslink failure and attempting to privatise areas of National Parks.

        As I wrote above (#20.2.1), Tasmania was teetering on the brink of an energy crisis and only got through by importing huge banks of diesel generators in an expensive lease arrangement. Maybe an appropriate solution for a remote mine site, but an admission of failure in a state that has almost exclusively powered itself with hydro electricity for decades. Apart from the people “in charge”, and some of their supporters, Tasmania is a great place.

        20

    • #
      RobK

      The short term profits followed from the high price for renewable/low carbon electricity as mandated by federal government.

      20

      • #
        Mike

        As mandated by government creditors.

        Before a loan can be made, the debtor needs to prove creditworthiness to the non taxpaying bank, central bank, or world bank etc….

        The creditor calls the shots, not the government (lender/debtor). It is really very simple.

        20

      • #
        Russell

        Apparently you can get a good price for selling kidneys, but no-one mandates that you should sell a kidney and no-one mandated that Tasmania should sell off it’s energy security.

        20

        • #
          Mike

          The kidneys were not sold. The kidneys are simply owned by crditors after failure to pay back loans.

          10

          • #
            Russell

            So Hydro Tasmania, a Government Business Enterprise, has a huge debt. The state government decides that they want this enterprise to return a dividend (to plug holes in the budget caused largely by handouts to Government Business Enterprises). The government flogs Hydro Tasmania, draining critical water storages in the process and continues to milk the drying lakes by playing the spot prices game via Basslink, which breaks.

            Hydro Tasmania’s debt changes nothing. The board and the Tasmanian government have an obligation to the people of Tasmania, to provide power and protect the significant public investment in the hydro infrastructure, and they failed.

            40

            • #
              Mike

              The ultimate responsibility of the government these days, almost any government in any country, is to the creditor, not the tax payer or newly born.

              Anything else, like ‘labour did this’ or the ‘Greens did that’ is pure fantasy. The creditor holds all the cards.

              The tax payer just pays interest on loans if that.

              11

            • #
              Mike

              One way of looking at it… Think of the government as a mortgagee.

              A non mortgagee (Dad) originally had a house in full ownership but somewhere at the highest level dad (For example to illustrate logic) started to fantasize about having more money and decided to go into debt and become a mortgageee. He called it, the new status, “Good Debt” to the children and all the children thought dad had their interest at heart.

              Anyway, dad did ok for a few business boom busts and then he received a ‘margin call’. The house was no longer worth more than the debt obtained through creditors.

              Dad loses the houses and the kids starve etc……..

              Same %$3&&8, different shovel…

              10

              • #
                Russell

                By running the dams down to 12% the Hydro placed very expensive infrastructure at risk, that if damaged they could not afford to replace. Logically the Hydro should have prioritised the protection of their assets to be able to generate revenue in the long term and continue to service their debt. They didn’t.

                I agree that there is little point blaming any flavour of politics, in Tasmania Labor and Liberal are indistinguishable. However this whole thread is tainted with a fallacy which goes like this:

                Fallacy

                1. Hydro Tasmania produces renewable energy so it is “green”.
                2. The previous Tasmanian Labor government was under the spell of “greens”.
                3. The carbon tax was implemented by the federal Labor government to stimulate the expansion of renewable energy and satisfy “greens”.
                4. As a result of the carbon tax, Hydro Tasmania and the state governments decided to take advantage of higher prices for renewable energy, causing our water storages to fall to critically low levels.
                5. Therefore the mismanagement of Hydro Tasmania was caused by “greens”.
                6. Hydro Tasmania has ramped up their cloud seeding program to restore water levels, leading to cloud seeding in advance of the recent floods in which people died.
                7. Therefore the floods/the deaths/Hydro Tasmania/the debt is an example of “green” incompetence, “green” lunacy.

                Reality
                1. Ideologically and politically Hydro Tasmania is far from green.
                2. The Tasmanian labor government featured two green cabinet members who were hamstrung by their required allegiance to corrupt Labor and no green policies resulted.
                3. Hydro Tasmania’s energy exports did not achieve any of the aims of the carbon tax, no extra production capacity was created and the shortfall in Tasmania was replaced by coal powered electricity form the mainland.
                4. The state government saw the carbon tax as a cash cow, and exported as much hydro electricity as possible before the carbon tax could be repealed by Abbott. If a carbon price was secure for the long term, Hydro Tasmania may have prioritised energy security for Tasmania over the quick bucks. Instead Abbott provided Hydro with an incentive to export energy in a hurry as the economic opportunity would only be temporary. Hydro Tasmanian cynically exploited the opportunity for short term profit, and to meet the government’s expectations of a dividend.
                5. The mismanagement of Hydro Tasmania was caused by their board and the state government. Tasmanian GBE’s effectively are the government.
                6. Hydro Tasmania did continue cloud seeding in the face of the coming storm and hopefully will be require to explain that irrational and potentially reckless decision. No “greens” appear to have been involved in cloud seeding.
                7. The deaths in the floods were tragic and possibly avoidable if more resources and planning had been applied to prepare communities for the storm. An article that suggests the energy crisis, the subsequent cloud seeding, and the deaths are the fault of the “greens” is misleading and just poor form. The apparent incompetence within Hydro Tasmania and the poor state of the island’s economy are interrelated. Tasmania is run by a club of criminals and cheats who could not muster a creative or innovative thought if their lives depended on it, and that doesn’t change under Liberal or Labor.

                20

              • #
                AndyG55

                ” If a carbon price was secure for the long term, Hydro Tasmania may have prioritised energy security for Tasmania over the quick bucks. Instead Abbott provided Hydro with an incentive to export energy in a hurry as the economic opportunity would only be temporary”

                And now you get to the Abbott, Abbott, Abbott stage..

                Well done

                Always find some way to blame Abbott… so funny.. and so, so PATHETIC

                32

              • #
                Russell

                Andy G, actually I blame the Hydro Tasmania board along with Bryan Green and Matthew Groom, please try to keep up. The Abbott reference is just a bit of context. But now that you bring it up I do think Abbott is a complete tool. Also, it looks like your caps lock key is a bit sticky.

                20

              • #
                AndyG55

                That’s ok Russell,

                you have now marked yourself as an Abbott-Abbott-Abbott drone.

                Well done. :-)

                12

              • #
                Russell

                I didn’t get the memo that his name must remain unspoken. What happens next? Does ASIO stick a bomb under my car?

                20

    • #
      Analitik

      huge dams that displace indigenous people

      ROFLMAO!!! The Tasmania Aborigines (originally driven down there by the later arriving unrelated, mainland Aborigines) were driven out by pastoralists of the dam areas well before the dams were built.

      So Tasmanians kept their devices charged during the crisis thanks to an expensive, polluting, third world solution

      OK, you obviously have ZERO idea of how electricity is used in a modern society. Please learn something about commercial refrigeration, hospital services, municipal water supply, transport systems etc before posting up any more diatribe about how everything is a plot against The Greens

      51

      • #
        Russell

        What I wrote was, “Hydro Tasmania likes to collaborate with dictators in the region to build huge dams that displace indigenous people”. And you think I am talking about Tasmania? If you know anything about Hydro Tasmania / Entura I don’t need to explain that to you.

        The comment about keeping devices charged was in response to Mike #21, “the youngsters are not deprived of their mobiles for lack of power to charge them”. I detect a sense of humour in his post which is more than I can say for yours.

        Now you tell me, which Greens policy demanded that Hydro Tasmania mismanage their water storages?

        30

        • #
          Analitik

          Fair call on the indigenous people quote – that was a cherry pick due to a rushed reading of your post. My apologies.

          As to your main question, I’ll answer with another.

          Why was it so profitable for Hydro Tasmania to first sell all that electricity that drew down the dams and then continue to play with the spot prices rather than allowing the dams to recover?

          The Carbon Tax and the Renewable Energy Target – are you going to say that these weren’t policies forced on the Federal Government by The Greens???

          00

  • #
    Speedy

    Some poor woman was killed? Who cares – chances are she exhaled carbon dioxide?? /s

    Honestly, these green guys are really dumb!

    Cheers,

    Speedy

    22

  • #
    Ruairi

    How poorly Greens on energy perform,
    Throughout Tasmania is now the norm.

    50

  • #
    observa

    Ah well I guess cloud seeding the day before a big downpour was a tad better than cutting the ribbon on a new desal plant. Always look on the bright side.

    50

  • #
    Mikky

    Hydro Tasmania still seem to be putting profits (or by now reduced losses) ahead of prudence by using the Derwent hydro basin for electricity generation in recent weeks, rather than the gas and diesel generators they now have. The Derwent basin is one of the three basins with major water storage capacity (but still highly depleted), to deal with drought periods, and/or loss of Basslink:

    https://climanrecon.wordpress.com/2016/06/11/status-of-the-derwent-hydro-basin-in-tasmania/

    21

  • #
    Harry Twinotter

    I would not call cloud seeding “climate control”.

    24

    • #
      AndyG55

      “I would not call cloud seeding “climate control”.”

      ….neither is denying plant food CO2 to the atmosphere.

      Yet there are a bunch of real bozos out there that think CO2 can control climate and reducing CO2 emissions will somehow keep the climate 0.003ºC cooler (or whatever ridiculously small value it is)

      Pretty dumb, hey !!!

      62

      • #
        Harry Twinotter

        AndyG55.

        Keeping up the “good fight” I see. And off-topic as usual.

        Now, if you actually had some discussion/argument for why cloud seeding is considered “climate control”, that would be interesting.

        21

        • #
          AndyG55

          Now where did I say cloud seeding was “climate control”

          Even though the supposed extra rainfall would feed into the statistics that give us what is referred to as “climate”.

          At least cloud-seeding might have some effect on climate statistics, maybe.

          But we all know that CO2 has none. Don’t we Harry.

          32

    • #
      RobK

      Unless you do it for over thirty years.

      40

      • #
        Harry Twinotter

        RobK.

        You mean cloud seeding for over 30 years?

        Not much difference to the climate. Making rain fall that was very likely to have fallen anyway is unlikely to have much impact. The ironic fact about cloud seeding is they only do it when it is about to rain. More on the event might come out during the coronial inquest, Hydro Tasmania are not saying much until that happens.

        21

        • #
          AndyG55

          Ah , so you admit that cloud seeding is an attempt to change the rainfall statistics of a particular area.

          And that’s what “climate change” is all about, isn’t it… changing the statistics.

          Thanks for playing , Harry. ;-)

          22

    • #

      Do you have two beavertails also?

      11

  • #

    I have not been all through – http://euanmearns.com/the-tasmanian-energy-crisis/
    comments n all. – But where he states
    [Figure 4 gives a detailed picture of Tasmania’s generation over the period of the Basslink failure. Before the failure Tasmania was importing up to 40% of its power through Basslink, presumably to give its depleted reservoirs a chance to recover. But Basslink began to give problems early in December (note the thinning of the red layer) before failing completely, and to pick up the slack hydro generation had to be upped from 600 to 1,000MW,]
    That diagram does not split imports & exports. So they can only understand part of the story.
    I have two charts here – Tasmanian electricity crisis explained day by day
    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=4353
    A daily chart 1 Nov 15 to 10 Mar 16 from AEMO of Demand, Export, Import, Hydro, Wind, Gas. Then a 5 minute chart for same columns period 15 Dec 15 to 21st Dec.
    See the truth for yourself. For some reason in mid Dec the Hydro powers that be started exports to try and play Victorian price peaks.
    With dam levels so low!!! After a few days of the switching to & fro the thing broke.

    40

    • #
      Russell

      For some reason in mid Dec the Hydro powers that be started exports to try and play Victorian price peaks.
      With dam levels so low!!!

      That’s an interesting observation, that with dam levels already very low and El Nino in full swing the Hydro decided to play roulette with the state’s dwindling power resources. And minister Groom did nothing. The first link has good data but no analysis other than to lay the lame at the carbon tax, which of course was long dead by Dec 2015.

      Another critical issue which is yet to be explained is why the Hydro and their government masters failed to take the predicted El Niño into account and cease the export of electricity. It took me just a few minutes to find the first of the BOM’s El Niño alerts, dating way back to April, 2014. This is basic information that managers of the water storages and the minister would have known.


      http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/archive/ensowrap_20140408.pdf

      April 8, 2014
      El Niño likely to develop in winter
      It is now likely (estimated at a greater than 70% chance) that an El Niño event will develop during the southern hemisphere winter.

      Unfortunately in Tasmania greed, incompetence and corruption are expected so these fat cats are not likely to suffer any consequences.

      41

    • #
      Bob in Castlemaine

      Well spotted Wazsah, when I first saw your post back in March my first thought (as a former cable design engineer) was that these clowns have probably exceeded the cyclic rating of that cable.  From Jo's article it seems that's what the owners of the cable have also concluded.
      Ignore the static about long dead "carbon" taxes etc, the fundamental issue is that the Hydro Tasmania board, which includes the likes of former left wing Grattan Institute member Saul Eastlake saw the chance to boost their green credentials while at the same time making a financial killing.  
      Whether Hydro Tasmania's engineering staff were too inept or, more likely I suspect, didn't have the balls to lay it on the line to the board what risks they were taking I don't know.  Either way the board should get the chop.
      No matter what, we now see another mendicant state (in addition to renewables besotted SA) holding out the begging bowel to the rest of the country, asking to be saved from the inevitable results of their renewables stupidity.
       

      21

      • #
        Geoff

        Yes. The board must go. However, Tasmania is a claimant state. Has been for 90 odd years. Government will always look after government. Another solution must be found to fund Tasmania.

        10

  • #
    Ursus Augustus

    Sorry Jo but this cloud seeding thing looks crazy at first but in context is was perfectly rational. Courtesy of the idiot mainlanders who set up a green inventivation for us to sell our otherwise perfectly rationally derived hydro power (we have a bit of coals and sfa oil and gas but shiploads of water and plenty of wind) the Hydro overdid things with playingthe SE Oz energy market. ANd then the frigging cable broke in the middle of a drought. One rationale for the cable was as a backup in times of drought. As it happends Tassie is the only other area of the country whose rainfall has decreased over the last century ( the SW of WA being the other).

    It is not like the greens were the enabling force behind our dams, rather the daams were the enabling force that created the greens, the greens HATE the dams.

    As for the cloud seeding it was to the west/north of Ouse, to the west/south of Latrobe Devonport, well to the west of Launceston where the flooding occurred so down wind from where the rain was coming from, but hey don’t let facts get in the way of a halfwitted headline.

    This drivel from you and Eric Worral over at WUWT reads like some alarmist cherry picking about the ‘demise’ of the GBR. I expect a bit more from you guys. Very very disappointed.

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    Russell

    “Hydro Tasmania… saw the chance to boost their green credentials while at the same time making a financial killing.”

    How did Hydro Tas imagine that exporting electricity into the mainland spot market, during a drought no less, would boost their green credentials? Especially when there was no carbon tax? They were simply playing the peaks and troughs of the regular electricity supply and demand cycle.

    Grattan Institute is left wing! It was founded by Peter Costello and Steve Bracks, funded by BHP, and Lucy Turnball is on the board. If Saul Eastlake is a lefty he did pretty well to hide it while he was the Chief Economist at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

    I agree that the Hydro Tasmania board should be sacked, but there is nothing to support your invention that the crisis was related to green posturing on the part of Hydro Tas.

    The energy crisis was not an “inevitable result”, as your own assessment suggests it was caused by incompetent and greedy managers. Tasmania’s “leaders” have undermined it’s economic potential for decades by clearfelling entire forests for woodchips and burning hundreds of thousands of tonnes of high value rainforest timber, by facilitating monopolies, gifting resources and opportunities to mates, paying multi million dollar subsidies to Malaysian billionaires and engaging in all kinds of garden variety corruption. More to do with redneck stupidity than “renewables stupidity”.

    You may have to get over your “evil greens” conspiracy. The people who run Tasmania, including the Hydro Tasmania board and the energy ministers are right wing. They most likely have no love for renewable energy except the kind that makes them a quick buck. They are on your team, and they f**ked up.

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    • #
      Bob in Castlemaine

      Russell without wishing to become involved in debating abstract delusion, a concise response is perhaps this quote from Orwell’s 1984:
      “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

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      • #
        Russell

        Bob, George Orwell is great, but logical arguments are also nice and your argument is full of holes. Hydro Tasmania has no green credentials and their poor management of a renewable energy resource is not an inevitability.

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      AndyG55

      “They are on your team”

      We know that the Greens are now “your” team.

      As if it wasn’t obvious from your run-around ranting attempts to get them off the hook.

      How’s that working out for you! ;-)

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      • #
        Russell

        Explain exactly why the Greens are implicated in a Hydro Tasmania f*kk up? And do you mean The Greens, or greens in general?

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        • #
          David Smith

          One thing the Tasmania Greens are proposing is a transition to 100% “renewable” energy by 2020. ROFLMAO!
          If Tasmania did implement Green policies and try to power themselves by rainbows and unicorn farts then that would be a major f*kk up!
          Tasmanian Green Party Policy
          I also notice that that the Tas Greens propose more use of bicycles to lower the “carbon footprint”. As Tasmania seems to solely consist of hills and mountains using a bicycle to get around quickly is a ridiculous idea. The Greens are living in la-la land.

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        • #
          Analitik

          Because it was The Greens that made it so profitable for Hydro Tasmania to first sell all that electricity that drew down the dams and then continue to play with the spot prices rather than allowing the dams to recover.

          Are you going to say that The Carbon Tax and the Renewable Energy Target weren’t policies forced on the Federal Government by The Greens???

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          • #
            Russell

            So, you are driving across the Harbour Bridge with your family and you notice $50 notes flying around in the traffic. Do you stop and pick up the cash, or do you do what is safe for you, your family and your car?

            The choices that Hydro made, with Bryan Green (Labor), Matthew Groom (Liberal) and a bunch of bankers at the wheel was to ignore their primary commitment to provide power to the people of Tasmania who are still paying off their excesses.

            Wazsah (#28) has made one of the few factual contributions here by pointing out that in the week leading up to December 20, 2015, with water storages at critically low levels, Hydro Tasmania where still playing the spot price game. So that’s about six months into the drought, and 18 months since there had been a carbon tax. Who to blame for that decision that potentially fried the cable? Matthew Green, Will Hodgman, and the Hydro bean counter board.

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            • #
              Analitik

              No, the federal branch of The Greens for enacting the legislation that led to the “$50 notes flying around in the traffic”

              Yes, Hydro Tas were greedy in profiteering from first The Carbon Tax and then by playing the spot price game, made especially profitable due to the windfarms installed by the RET. Both are to blame – poor state decisions made to take advantage of poor federal policies (both directly and by the consequences).

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            • #
              Analitik

              No, the federal branch of The Greens for enacting the legislation that led to the “$50 notes flying around in the traffic”

              Yes, Hydro Tas were greedy in profiteering from first The Carbon Tax and then by playing the spot price game, made especially profitable due to the windfarms installed by the RET. Both are to blame – poor state decisions made to take advantage of poor federal policies (both directly and by the consequences).

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    Geoff

    This problem had nothing to do with green anything and plenty to do with old fashioned, “what’s in it for me”. Everything would have worked a treat except they were committed to supply juice under contract and it stopped raining.

    It could now be asked “who is going to prison?” A reasonable question. However, its the government. They never go to prison.

    All we can do is kick this lot out and hope the newbees are more competent. We get what we vote for, yet more people with no idea how to run anything.

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    ScotsmaninUtah

    “writing cheques their body’s can’t cash”

    The Greens, Lefties and others of this world continue to do this … :(

    we need to stop acquiescing to stupid and dangerous people !

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    Egor TheOne

    CAGW = BS

    Greens = Kookoo

    I find it ironic that clouds need to be ‘seeded’ in winter !

    Especially in a state that gets approx 1800 mm of annual rainfall on its west coast .

    If Bob Brown and co (Green Lunatics) didn’t stop the Franklin river dam project ( and possibly others ), there would be less or even no need to seed clouds and more , much more potential for truly renewable hydro-electric power availability.

    After all , is that not the name of the game ?

    Harnessing the power of nature to our advantage ?

    The kookoos want to do it with wind and solar but not with hydro !

    Apparently , turning some of a river into a lake is a big catastrophe….I am yet to hear a ‘reasonable’ argument why .

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    • #
      Russell

      If the Gordon Below Franklin scheme had gone ahead, the Hydro would be in even more debt and you can be rest assured that the Tasmanian government would have insisted on selling the extra power into the mainland grid. So nothing would have changed, except for a few more zeros on the debt.

      Most Tasmanian rivers had already been dammed by the time the Franklin dam was proposed, and the state was oversupplied with power. The only reason to dam it was to satisfy the Hydro’s insatiable appetite for public money.

      If you don’t know why drowning the Franklin river gorge would be a catastrophe, you have obviously never been there. Good. Please stay away.

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      • #
        Egor TheOne

        All rivers should be dammed!

        They then become both a true source of renewable energy (which is a major renewable energy source) and a major low energy water reserve .

        Personally i would rather view a dammed river than view a coastline littered with ‘prayer wheels’!

        We all know , if it was up to the Greens, there would be no dams anywhere.

        In that event we would lose the main, only, truly renewable power source, and in addition need to use ridiculously expensive Reverse Osmosis high pressure desalination plants that would require an even more ridiculous spattering of ‘Prayer Wheels’ littering our coastlines .

        Yep …’Save the rivers’, but too bad for the many that need affordable power and water, just so a few Eco-Loons can bathe in environmental righteousness (economic vandalism).

        Which dams anywhere have amounted to a so called environmental catastrophe?

        Cut it down, dig it up, and ship it on out , I says!
        As crude as that may sound, the alternative is to regress back to medievalism, from where i am sure that some have never progressed from.

        [Edited, punctuated, for clarity. Something wrong with your keyboard? There are spaces before every punctuation mark? - Jo.]

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        • #
          Russell

          Yeah, yeah. The earth is flat, Tasmania needs a desalinator, no dams anywhere ever caused any environmental damage or displaced people, ho hum… And the only way to save our comfy civilisation is to trash the planet.

          You may not have heard that the Murray Darling is in a bad way, surely dams are not part of that problem. And the Snowy River, with more than 90% of its water pumped across the Dividing Range, barely makes it to the sea any more. And the Colorado River is just a trickle by the time it has been dammed and pumped to grow oranges, dates and golf courses California. And the Narmada Dam in India displaced how many people to grow cotton in the desert? And the Omo River in Ethiopia no longer floods so an centuries old culture will die off. Like the Nubians who lived on the site of the Aswan dam, that destroyed the Nile floodplains.

          Nothing to worry about. Your perspective is not only crude it’s deluded. We are doomed if this forum is any indication of human ignorance and self-interest.

          But wait a second, I thought hydro electricity and Hydro Tasmania were an evil, expensive, bungling green plot, and here you are advocating for it.

          Try Google for pictures of the Great Ravine on the Franklin River. It’s a magnificent landscape, but please don’t do there.

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          • #
            Egor TheOne

            So it’s ban all dams!

            Brilliant, another Green initiative .

            My guess is you would be among the first to winge if your power supply went out or your water supply was reduced, but yet you criticize the most efficient way to create both.

            As I have stated earlier all rivers should be dammed for water reserve and power supply with exception being only for sound economic and or ‘genuine environmental’concerns.

            Not rejected out of hand because medieval environmental catastrophists (the Greens), cannot think rationally!

            The Greens will only ever be a fringe party, unless insanity becomes commonplace.

            Cut it down, Dig it up, Dam it up, and Ship it on out, I says!
            And make the kookoo Greens watch , I also says!

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            • #
              Russell

              Ban all the dams? No, just answering your question. Ban all new dams in Tasmania, definitely.

              All the rivers should be dammed, and all forest should be pulped and all pasture should be fracked. Happy scorched Earth.

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  • #

    I have just added a new graphic showing how with 5 minute data how the Victorian AEMO Regional Reference Price acted as a trigger for Basslink exports from Tassie in mid December 2015.
    Tasmanian power exports via Basslink in Dec 2015 were triggered by Victorian price signals
    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=4537

    BTW – I thought I would state here what I thought of the cloud seeding issue.
    It is obvious that cloud seeding can work – this can be shown in the laboratory.
    Rainfall statistics are so noisy that it would be rare to find a field of rain gauges adequate to sample rain after cloud seeding experiments.
    Much work was done post WWII with cheap aircraft parked all over.
    In that period there were turf wars between CSIRO and BoM which has not helped the progress of the science here – exactly on the continent where the very best endeavours should be made.
    Masses of data from post WWII missions are in a CSIRO library at Aspendale I understand – shame they are not digitised.
    The Hydro has used CS for many years – their business. One of their pioneers Searle has an 18 page 2002 pdf report online.
    http://www.snowyhydro.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/ISsubcs.pdf
    The page 8 Fig 7 map shows a rainfall anomaly over SE Australia which may be due to the post WWII CS.
    If you look at the NSW rain history the wettest year was 1950.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rranom&area=nsw&season=0112&ave_yr=0

    Re this current issue of seeding when significant rain was forecast –
    Why nobody recalled the mission that day in view of the forecast and preceding days of heavy rain rolling towards Tassie from Qld.?? Potential lawyers picnic.

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    • #
      AndyG55

      That looks like 1 month’s worth.

      Can you take it back further, see what the transfers were like during 2013, 2014?

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