JoNova

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Victoria paying big to drive at breakneck speed to repeat South Australia’s blackout

Victoria is driving down Blackout Drive. They have reports from South Australia up ahead, they know where the road goes, but the state is paying for the first class ticket on a trip to RiskyGrid.

Victoria has 5.7 million people, over three times bigger than South Australia. Right now SA relies on the Victorian grid stability to keep running, and gets up to 800MW of reliable electrons from the state-next-door. But Victoria wants to add more wind power — theoretically the equivalent of a big coal fired plant (like Hazelwood).

Tom Quirk and Paul Miskelly looked closely at the numbers and patterns and see the writing on the wall. To help expensive, unreliable, intermittent green energy survive the government subsidizes it by around 9c per KWhr (bear in mind the wholesale rate for coal fired power is 3 – 4c per kWhr.) The government also demands retailers have a 12.5% mix of renewables, and that they accept most electrons from wind power whenever and wherever it is available. This strange anti-free market rule is called “nondispatchable” power, meaning the system can’t just throw it away if there is any demand at all. Whereas coal and gas are dispatchable, meaning they have to compete on price to meet what’s left of the shifting demand curve and if they produce more than what’s needed, that electricity gets… well thrown away.

The one thing we know for sure is that extra wind turbines in Victoria are not going to add stability — wind patterns across Australia flow East West, and with no mountain range to split the states, most days all the turbines are behaving similarly. There are already wind farms spread right across Victoria, so adding more is not going to stabilize or smooth out the volatility, it will amplify it.

Tom and Paul look closely and found that when averaged over a month there is a pattern to daily wind (despite the noise). I haven’t seen these graphs before (see figure 3, 4 and 5). Right now there is a point in the SA average day when windpower supplies 50% of the minimum daily load. In Victoria, right now it’s only 10%.  But after Victoria adds 4000MW of wind the maximum wind farm output will be close to meeting all the states electricity needs during it’s lowest electricity point of the day (4am). During that time the retailers will be forced to accept the wind power, and any coal and gas power will have to be “spun off”, wasted. Gas turbines can adapt somewhat, but the 600 ton coal turbines spinning at 3000rpm are not going to stop easily. They disconnect from the “load” which means the turbines are easier to spin, and they do need less coal, but they are still burning some coal.

In September 2016, the gas capacity factor of Victoria was a dismal, devastating, tiny 1%, meaning that the gas stations could have produced 99 times more electricity

The cheapest form of electricity is most efficient when it just purrs along like a car in the country. It’s at 4am that coal is at it’s best — providing the super cheap, super reliable energy that keeps all the freezers at Coles running and the air in skyscraper’s circulating. Even while we sleep, modern economies are constantly demanding about 60% as much electricity as when it peaks  which happens when everyone gets home from work and collectively turns on the oven, the kettle, the heater and takes a hot shower. You might think electricity use was 10% at 4am, but millions of machines in our modern economies hum through the darkness.

And the strange unfree market affect gas power too. The government is still forcing customers to buy the expensive wind-electrons at a higher price than gas fired ones. This will force out gas-fired plants as well. In September 2016, the gas capacity factor of Victoria was a dismal, devastating, tiny 1%, meaning that the gas stations could have produced 99 times more electricity. States with high wind content need to have a lot of infrastructure sitting around, ready to go, but mostly being underutilized. The Soviets were not this good at government driven inefficiency.

There are already plans in Victoria to close Hazelwood (a large old coal generator). After the extra wind is added, it makes it much harder for other coal fired stations to run economically, yet the state will need them more than ever to cope with the volatility of supply. They will have to draw more power from New South Wales — and the black coal generators there which are more expensive than the brown coal ones in Victoria. But all three states will have to deal with more volatility of supply. The system will have to handle 4000MW variations.

As more investors give up on cheap baseload generators, so will investors give up on manufacturing and production. The risk of blackouts and the high cost of electricity every single day makes “anywhere else” look appealling. How many jobs, how much income is Victoria throwing away in the quest to make storms nicer in 2100?  — Jo

More renewables into the mix,
Is Victoria’s rash politics,
And will fail to be able,
To keep the grid stable,
Which their neighbours S.A. couldn’t fix.

 – Ruairi

____________________________________

Will the lights go out in Victoria or just industry?

Tom Quirk and Paul Miskelly

 The government of Victoria has a target of 40 % renewable electricity by 2025. This would require the construction of new wind farms with a total capacity of some 7000 to 8000 MW. A more modest approach is taken here by analyzing the consequences of an extra 4000 MW of wind power and looking at what might happen following the example of South Australia.

There are two difficulties, intermittency and the same winds blowing across state borders causing correlated variations in the supply of wind power .

Victorian generators are presently supplying the balancing power to the South Australian electricity market with as much as 800 MW and in return very occasionally South Australian wind farms send their surplus back to Victoria. This can be seen in Figure 1 where the two interconnectors, Heywood and Murraylink, can be seen supplying power when there is little wind in South Australia.

 

Wind power, Graph.

Figure 1: 30 minute supply from South Australian wind farms and two Victorian interconnectors, Heywood (600 MW) and Murraylink (200 MW), for part of September 2016. At times, usually in the early morning, wind power is sent into the Victorian electricity market (as shown by the negative-going excursions in the Heywood and Murraylink curves above).

 The same prevailing winds flow from SA to Victoria

There is a clear correlation of wind farm output between South Australia and Victoria. In statistical terms it is 40% and given the already wide geographical spread of the present wind farms in Victoria then building more there should not make a significant difference to this correlation.

South Australian, Wind power, Graph. Sept 2016.

Figure 3: Average demand and wind supply in 30 minute intervals for 1 – 27 September 2016 for South Australia and 1 – 30 September for Victoria.

 

Figure 2: 30 minute wind farm power output for September 2016 for South Australia with 1576 MW of installed capacity, and Victoria with 1242 MW of installed capacity.

 So if Victoria increases its wind farm capacity what might be expected for the physical and economic performance of coal burning base load power stations?

Firstly, the present performance, shown in the table below, indicates that wind farms generate on average only some 30% of their rated capacity and even this value varies through the year. Secondly, the fossil fuel using generators have a very different utilisation in South Australia compared to Victoria. Base load generators that deliver low cost power need to operate for most of the time and this is the case for Victoria. But the large supply of power from wind farms has destroyed the ability of the gas fed generators in South Australia to act as base load suppliers of power and so require higher prices for the delivery of power.

 

September

Installed wind farm capacity MW

Average output for September MW

Capacity – utilization factor

Fraction of time output less than 10% of installed capacity

South Australia*

1576

504

32%

24%

Victoria

1242

339

27%

17%

 

September

Installed fossil fuel capacity MW

Average output for September MW

Capacity – utilization factor

Fraction of time output less than 10% of installed capacity

South Australia (only gas)*

2150

568

26%

  3%

Victoria        coal

6635

5243

79%

  0%

Victoria        gas

2689

    37

  1%

95%

* all gas fossil fuels from 1 to 27 September

 

So the impact of more wind farms in Victoria can be assessed by using the example of South Australia. This is best examined by looking at the 24 hour pattern of demand and the accompanying wind farm supply. This pattern for 30 minute intervals is shown in Figure 3 for September 2016. The average wind output for South Australia is about 50% of the lowest demand in the early morning while for Victoria wind supply is less than 10% of the lowest demand.

South Australian, Electricity, demand per hour, power, Graph. Sept 2016.

Electricity Demand, Victoria, Sept 2016

Figure 3: Average demand and wind supply in 30 minute intervals for 1 – 27 September 2016 for South Australia
Figure 3: Average demand and wind supply in 30 minute intervals for 1 – 30 September for Victoria.


 There appears to be a position for base load power in South Australia but this is closed off by the intermittent wind farm output. This is best shown by looking at the average demand and the wind farm maximum and minimum output plotted in Figure 4 where wind output can exceed demand on occasions as noted in Figure 1 where power is exported from South Australia to Victoria. These exports are at times of low demand in the early morning and serve to disrupt base load operation in Victoria.

 

Weekday Weekend Demand, Wind power. South Australia. Sept 2016.

Figure 4:  Weekday and weekend demand and maximum and minimum wind supply for 1576 MW in 30 minute intervals for 1 – 27 September 2016 for South Australia.

 

 For Victoria if a further 4000 MW of wind farms is added to supply then a situation similar to that of South Australia is possible as is shown in Figure 5. The maximum wind farm output is nearing the demand minimum and in addition the interconnectors to South Australia will add an extra intermittent need for power.

 

Weekday, Weekend, Demand, Electricity, Wind power, Victoria, Sept 2016. Graph.

Figure 5: Weekday and weekend demand and maximum and minimum wind supply for 1242 MW and 5242 MW installed capacity in 30 minute intervals for 1 – 30 September 2016 for Victoria.

 

 So for Victoria variations of supply will approach the situation in South Australia for load following. This would require the Victorian generators to cope with correlated variations in South Australia and Victoria with variations of as much as 3000 MW. Although the installed capacity of wind farms in New South Wales is only some 500 MW, these will also have a degree of correlation with the southern states so the system will need to be able to handle 4000 MW variations. This is the key question as load-following generators were developed to handle demand changes of 10’s of MW per minute but, with the projected increase in wind farm installed capacity, the short term supply changes may increase to a requirement of 100’s of MW per minute. The creation of more interstate transmission lines may not help when simultaneous variations in wind farm output occur in all the States.

The conclusion for the proposed Victorian increase in wind supply is that it will very much reduce the ability of the base load generators to supply low cost power but the government intention is to drive coal burning generators from the electricity market. This will add to industry costs and may drive some to seek lower cost power elsewhere. Worse may follow from the inherent instability of a system with a large supply of renewable energy. Industries needing reliable power may not be confident of its delivery or long term costs and as a consequence not establish or expand their operations in Victoria.

The real distortion to the system is the treatment of wind generated power. It is described as non-dispatchable (although some wind farms are now termed semi-dispatchable) as it must be used when generated. Wind farms do not bid a price into the wholesale market but rather take what is on offer and in addition collect a legislated subsidy of around $70 to $90 per MWh from distributors who pass this cost on to the users. The consequence of this is a distortion of the market that drives out high priced generators, such as the cleaner gas-fired plant, whose actual operating costs are less than the subsidy paid to the wind farms.

 

 

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Victoria paying big to drive at breakneck speed to repeat South Australia's blackout, 9.2 out of 10 based on 58 ratings

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100 comments to Victoria paying big to drive at breakneck speed to repeat South Australia’s blackout

  • #
    Egor TheOne

    Despot Daniel Andrews,Vic State Fuhrer,needs to go!

    271

  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    Speaking to someone in the know last week and he said when Hazelwood closes blackouts begin.
    When the govt owned the grid as one coal fired station was opened they had a team of engineers working on the next one but privatisation put an end to that and if it’s your power station you will only do the bare essentials to keep it running .
    No thought anymore to the future it’s not my job .
    Seriously looking at a stand alone system now .

    270

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      With the regulations that we have, if a power station in private ownership is closed, it will be immediately demolished to ensure that it cannot be reopened to compete in the market when prices rise, which they surely must. The demolition insures profits for the owners of the remaining stations.

      70

      • #
        Mike

        “The demolition insures profits for the owners of the remaining stations.”

        The owners? The idea that the owners make a profit is only about 2% of the story. Here is the bit that is missing from the big picture using a small clip from the famous movie “The International”

        Clive Owen as Louis Salinger
        Naomi Watts as Eleanor Whitman”

        “The International, ‘You control the debt you control everything...”
        https://youtu.be/t_JWeOIuySc?t=39

        50

  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    Is it possible Victoria could take out the whole eastern seaboard and South Australia if an unexpected event happens ?

    220

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      South Australia certainly, and fairly frequently. I would think, or at least hope that the NSW authority is preparing plans to shed demand from Victoria whenever it looks like blacking out NSW.

      140

    • #
      Peter C

      I utterly despair the energy policy of our Victorian Labor Government. My email entreaties to Premier Daniel Andrews and Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio have gone unanswered.

      In some ways I hope that a power outage in Victoria does take down the entire eastern seaboard. It may take a disaster of that magnitude to make everyone see sense.

      Let it happen before the next Victorian election!

      360

      • #
        Robdel

        I agree totally Peter C. The faster the disaster strikes, the better. It is the only way that the public will come to realise how insane the green blobbists are. Once this craziness impacts on the populace we may well see the end of cagw madness with its complete dependence on renewables.

        320

        • #
          James

          I read that the Victorian Government has banned fossil fuel exploration now. Things will be very interesting over the next few years. Trump will unwind the United States from the CAWG bandwagon. He is not even president and economic optimism is way up. My retirement account has gone up by 20 percent since election day.

          Here in Northern NY I am paying 10.8 us cents per KWH for electricity. The govenment in its wisdom has subsidized one of the Nuclear plants at Oswego to remain running. People like their lights to stay on. I am not far from Massena and Quebec hydro plant, so power is reliable and inexpensive where I live. Hydraulic fracturing means that heating oil is costing me $1.75 per gallon this year. It is not worth my time to cut firewood to heat with. I cut some in case we get an ice storm, with major damage to the grid, so no power for a week or two.

          Once the lights start to go out in Australia, and the US economy starts to boom, people will be asking a lot of questions to their politicians. Green power give a nice warm fuzzy feeling for some people until the lights go out and the heating does not work.

          I hope you get a return to sanity sooner that than later in Australia. I hope the lights work when I next visit in April next year.

          40

      • #
        Yonniestone

        I’m certain your emails were well written with excellent points Peter C, unfortunately time wasted on such pig headed arrogance that is our Marxist driven dictatorship jokingly referred to as government.

        What really boils my blood is the % of people now getting scared and shouting “we didn’t ask for this!” are the ones that blindly voted for these muppets in the first place without any effort into researching the backgrounds and thus future intentions of these people, I mean what part of asshat engineered works some of the time at a hugely over inflated cost to you the taxpayer that is 50% renewable energy didn’t you get?!!!!

        Oh and good luck publicly protesting this unless you like to be illegally detained, unlawfully sprayed with capsicum foam while having a state funded counter rally full of wanna be revolutionaries that hurl abuse and human waste at you while the MSM vultures air a beatup about what planet hating racists you are.

        This political situation in Victoria is all our fault and must be fixed by all of us if anything is to be retained for the near future at least.

        321

        • #
          Robert Rosicka

          Yonniestone , the unions run Victoria via the puppet Andrews .

          151

        • #
          Annie

          How can it be all our fault if we didn’t vote for Dopey Dan? I’ve never voted Labour/Labor in my life. I’ve never understood how people can’t see what they are about.

          Otherwise I agree with you Yonnie.

          90

          • #
            Yonniestone

            Our fault in the context of allowing the decades of political decay to infiltrate our lives without actively curtailing it through voting or professional activism, Victoria can get thousands to march in support of any SJW non problem but only manage 50 to protest the disgusting safe schools grooming program or placing potentially dangerous migrants with our most vulnerable.

            Trust me I’ve felt your pain on recent election nights.

            80

      • #
        Graham Richards

        If I was the opposition leader in Qld I would have as my main policy the re purchase of the retail side of the industry, can the renewables crap & guarantee coal based energy pricing for the next 10 years. Industrial investors would be lining up to take advantage of a state supply of energy which would provide a consistent supply of energy at realistic prices, free from green interference
        And provide a climate of confidence in planning & returns on their investment.
        The $80 billion deficit inherited from the ALP would disappear promptly & Qld would experience another 25 years of prosperity.
        Problem is the opposition is just as blind & mired in Global Warming & other Green crap as the the incumbent ALP.
        Where is our Donald???

        270

    • #
      Analitik

      South Australia will go down with some regularity before Victoria’s first state-wide blackout.

      Localised blackouts will probably occur with increasing frequency but I’m willing to bet that most times these occur, it will be in the south west, the furthest portion of the Victorian grid from the Latrobe Valley, the Snowy Mountain Scheme AND BassLink. It is a statistical likelihood that South Australia will go down at the same time given the output correlation between the South Australian wind farms (which are largely in the east of that state) and the Victorian ones (which are predominately sited in the west).

      I’m still hoping for mass public outrage to reverse the green revolution before the Victorian grid deteriorates to the level where a state-wide blackout takes place.

      191

      • #
        Robber

        The Portland aluminium smelter in western Victoria consumes about 12% of Victoria’s electricity.
        It will be the next major industry to close as Australia continues to export industry and jobs as our governments force up labour costs and energy costs.
        From The Australian Sept 27,2016: The mooted closure of the ageing Hazelwood power station as early as April next year <> has raised fresh concerns about the future of Alcoa’s 328,000 tonnes-a-year Portland aluminium smelter in western Victoria.

        The brown coal-fired Hazelwood accounts for more than 20 per cent of Victoria’s electricity demand and its closure could ­trigger an increase in pool prices for electricity of about $10/MWh, according to an assessment by Morgan Stanley.

        It said such a rise would accelerate “demand destruction’’ for electricity, most notably at the Portland smelter, which accounts for about 12 per cent of Victorian demand, and which employs more than 750 workers and contractors.
        Alumina chief executive Peter Wasow said Portland’s future would be “very heavily influenced by the price of power that we ultimately pay, and not only the price for the energy but also the price for transmission’’.

        So a drop of 12% in demand will force the closure of another coal-fired power station if supply increases with more subsidized windmills.

        171

        • #
          Russ Wood

          South Africa has closed most of our aluminium smelter lines, first temporarily because of the ‘load shedding’ power outages, and now permanently, because the cheap power that the smelters need is no longer available. And the national power monopoly ESKOM has announced its power plan for the future – renewables and gas turbines (I’m not sure if OCGT or CCGT). And exploration drilling in the Karoo semi-desert for a possible LOCAL gas supply is still banned. Oh yes! There is no monopoly on political stupidity, when it comes to technical matters!

          40

    • #

      ‘When the lights go out, Victoria,’
      makes me think of classic Hollywood cinema,
      circa World War Two, when the lights went out
      in London ‘n the free French’n the Casablanca
      -freedom-fighters were holdin’ back the tide
      of fascism. Aux armes Victorienne citoyenne!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGZRVSGIegE

      20

  • #

    Similar tragedy now unfolding in Canada, which has had cheap and reliable energy as a cornerstone of its economy. Ontario is leading the way, with a particularly crazed Premier, Kathleen Wynne, admitting the damage but insisting that the problem can be resolved by more concessions, or more bureaucratic streamlining or…or something. Says Kath: “People have told me that they’ve had to choose between paying their electricity bill and buying food or paying the rent. That is unacceptable to me.” See? She cares. But they always care, don’t they?

    When the ski-bum PM of Trudopia – who cares, and cares, and still can’t care enough! – gets cracking with his carbon taxes we might see Canadian businesses trying to break into uncaring Trump’s USA, just to get away from some of that care. Just as well Trudopians will have plenty of dope for legal sale, to help them get on the same wavelength as their Home Alone Prime Minister.

    270

    • #

      Indeed, Canada has its own cautionary tale in the Ontario experience. Professional engineers have explained in detail why the politicians are deluded, but voters are listening more than elected officials.

      https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/speaking-truth-about-power/

      90

      • #

        Ron better than just saying that “Professional engineers have explained in detail”.
        Can you give us the reason in your own words?

        I don’t mind you linking to your own site if you gave us a few lines in summary.
        Readers here shouldn’t need to follow links to understand the content of your message.But keep the link so they can see the details.

        [I editing my original reply here which was unnecessarily undiplomatic.Sorry, - Jo]

        80

        • #
          John F. Hultquist

          Readers here shouldn’t need to follow links to understand the content of your message.” { Jo }

          I did not see your original but on dozens of occasions I have wanted to write a nasty note saying such. If the link is to an image that might be funny, I might click on it. If I’ve read other material by the poster (as here) I will sometimes open it in a new tab/window, and might get back to it. Or not.
          At the moment we are at comment #4, of 60, and I do not wish to be taken away.

          ~~~~~
          Ski slopes are opening in the Washington Cascades this week.

          20

        • #

          There are a lot of details (engineers after all), so I didn’t want to put too long a comment here. If you want a summary, I guess this would do:
          “In Ontario, with limited economic hydro and expensive storage, it is mathematically impossible to achieve low CO2 emissions and reasonable electricity prices without nuclear generation.” The article, a presentation really, goes into both the costs and the higher CO2 emissions that result from back up generation for wind/solar and can only be practically provided by gas in Ontario’s (hydro and nuclear not being flexible enough to deal with the intermittency.

          70

          • #

            Thanks Ron, it gives us something to discuss, and you are right, some comments are too long. Short and to the point is very appreciated.

            We have a similar situation here with “no nuclear” because of a political aversion, and no room for more hydro thanks to 2b years of erosion. No hills.

            My understanding regarding hydro is that it is good for spinning reserve and good at intermittency because they just need to open and close the gates to change the generation. Is that wrong?

            40

            • #

              You are right in principle, but there are constraints in practice, particularly the size of the reservoir, its expand ability due to water rights, and also the water flow of the dammed river, and technical flexibility of the equipment. In Ontario’s case, the OPSE is saying further hydro flexibility is limited. For more on this issue, here is a nordic study:

              http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:495430/FULLTEXT02

              10

              • #
                RAH

                Dec. 17th, 1929 the USS Lexington CV-2 tied up to the Baker dock at Tacoma, WA to supply the city with power when their reservoirs ran so dry their hydroelectric sources could not meet demand. Yes, I’m talking about the same ship the Japanese sank at the Battle of the Coral Sea during WW II. She had expensive steam driven electric drive which could provide the city with all the electricity it needed though her role was to supplement the diminished capacity of their normal hydro sources. She provided power for a month until heavy rains replenished the reservoirs.

                00

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    This parallels the situation in Germany where the supply from wind (and sometimes solar) drove the lower emission but more expensive gas fired plants out of the market. 2 plants only installed 2 years ago are being dismantled and are to be shipped to other countries e.g. Turkey. Other flexible methods such as hydro and pumped storage also suffered. Only coal fired was cheap enough to cope with the disruption, which is why Germany is building more coal fired plants and why the increases in wind capacity haven’t resulted in a reduction in emissions.

    210

    • #
      ianl8888

      … Germany is building more coal fired plants …

      Lignite fuel but true state of the art low emission engineering

      I inspected several in 2012 as part of a fuel supply review. Very impressive stuff.

      120

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        Which was always available, but never admitted.

        50

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        ianl8888:

        After Dopey Dan has blacked out Victoria – and SA as collateral damage – the new government will have to turn to new brown coal (lignite) burning power stations to keep the lights on. The Hazelwood site would be a good starting place.
        As a side benefit the CO2 emissions will be less so they can fool the greenies. See Max Walker “How to Hypnotise Chooks” for tips.

        60

    • #
      tom0mason

      Germany fiddles the books by not having the large state picked industries pay the ruinous cost of renewable. Only domestic and small/medium size businesses pay the exorbitant cost of unsustainable energy.

      http://thebulletin.org/germany%E2%80%99s-energiewende-intermittency-problem-remains9469

      80

  • #

    Kids in the kitchen – or
    aka-demi-kids. Out!

    50

  • #
    tom0mason

    The big problem they are not addressing is that as you increase wind power, conventional power (from coal, oil, nuclear) will spend an increasing amount of time and effort trying to stabilize the grid.
    When wind generation gets much over half of the grid capacity then, at times, the majority of conventional powers capability is spent trying to stabilize the grid and not supplying the customer. The relationship is not linear being as it is, customer load and weather dependent.
    One of the major problems is that advocates of wind rely on highly averaged figures for performance data of wind power. Which is fine if you can live with your power being available ‘on average’. The problem is most customers would like the power to be there at the touch of a switch and not just ‘on average’.

    180

  • #
    Fang

    Well! As an Ex Farmer, best decision I did make was to buy a new 6kvA Diesel Generator which is nicely setup now to keep me and my Family, at least at Home! In nice lovely electrons, to run our household! Im sure Ive got a few neighbours with the same idea!
    Sort of blows out the low Carbon emissions policy! :)

    270

    • #
      Peter C

      Can you advise what you chose. Also, how is it connected to the house? Does it power your entire home?

      60

      • #
        Fang

        Big switch that isolates the house from the grid mains and then allows independent source of 240v single phase to be plugged in to house system!
        Local electrical contractor can point you in the correct direction! :)

        Email sent to Fang to ask him to add some more detail – links, info. Thanks Fang – Jo

        50

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          All up cost?

          Please.

          20

          • #
            John F. Hultquist

            While a decent question, there is “the rest of the story.”

            We live in a rural setting and have very reliable power. The longest down time has been 4 hours.
            We have a couple of refrigerators and a freezer. When not full of food, I add plastic bottles of water. Thus I have a large base load of cold. Without power, after about 3 days the food would have to be given away or thrown out. If the power outage was geographically wide, we might have to drive a couple of hours just to give it to folks that were not in the same situation. That’s not going to happen.
            Also, we have installed a modern wood stove ($$$) just in case the power goes off during a winter High Pressure episode. The house is “all” electric. So I also have a chainsaw, splitting maul, and work gloves. I have trees but also bought wildfire killed logs that are more easily worked with. For example, the pines are long and nearly knot free. My trees are many-limbed Cottonwoods and I have to deal with all the smaller limbs.
            That’s some of the rest of the story.

            40

      • #
        ianl8888

        Yes. Whenever I see a comment such as that by Fang I ask those questions. Similarly with people who claim to have gone “solar + batteries”.

        It can be quite surprising that many of these posters then refuse to answer these questions. This certainly makes me wonder.

        30

        • #
          Fang

          Gday guys
          Number one! You will need licenced electrical contractor to fit and install the mains isolator switch that isolates any solar, wind and fossil fuel power generation from the main grid supply power! This is most important so as not to kill any power line worker with your alternative power supply! So my understanding is both the active and neutral wires need to be switchable??? (Again check with licensed electrician!)
          Electrician would know how all this works! :) But basically big switch on switch board, that has a 3 pin 15 amp socket on it, in which you plug your genset into. You electrician will need to know the specs of the gen set to match up the requirements of your system!
          (I ,MUST STRESS! You need a licenced electrician “who” know what hes doing with this stuff, as it can be a bit of an issue to ones health if they get it wrong!
          Cost can get up to couple grand if you remotely set genset up from switchboard! My Manual switch system is only for backup for when main power goes down, and its work quite well for three fridges/frezzers, evap aircon 99% LED Lights water/septic pumps telly, NBN System (very important for teenager!) Haven’t used electical cook top with it yet, but coffee machine works fine! Longest we’ve used backup system is four hours Diesel genset used 5 of it 10 ltrs fuel supply! Same evening/night of our power outage there must have been four or five gensets, running in the street! :)
          So now, when Vics power gets stupid brown outs/black outs (in west of state!) I can at least keep cool and make coffee! :)

          20

  • #
    theRealUniverse

    More proof in graphic form that wind farms (bird killing blots on the landscape) are useless for base power, including solar and the rest of the so called ‘renewable energy’ which is far from anything renewable considering the cost and other, not mentioned by MSM, environmental resource issues in the manufacture of these monsters.

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    As we watch Big Green throttle western economies with its huge and loopy projects, we are in much the same position as Soviet citizens observing the construction of Magnitogorsk or the Baltic-White Sea Canal. We know it’s all ruinous and futile, but we know there’s an upper crust of technocrats, academics, journalists, commissars and politicians who don’t think like normal humans, and who want it regardless…

    And then we start to suspect that the very futility of the projects is what appeals to them.

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      ianl8888

      And then we start to suspect that the very futility of the projects is what appeals to them

      I think that the appeal isn’t so much the futility but rather that of the thrill of Noble Cause Corruption when one exercise power without accountability and justifies this by claiming the highest, the noblest, of aims. It’s obviously very heady stuff as it’s been practised in one guise or another for countless millenia.

      And it always ends very, very badly – for everyone.

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    stan stendera

    Shakespeare said it best: “What fools ye mortals be.”

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    Peter C

    Gas turbines can adapt somewhat, but the 600 ton coal turbines spinning at 3000rpm are not going to stop easily. They disconnect from the “load” which means the turbines are easier to spin, and they do need less coal, but they are still burning some coal.

    I think this mis-states the situation slightly. It is the 600ton rotors of the coal (and gas) fired power stations that synchronise the grid. They cannot be allowed to stop! If they disconnect from the load, because they cannot maintain synchronous rotational speed, the grid goes down.

    If wind or solar power should suddenly subside the 600ton rotors must be powered up very quickly. That is not easy to do unless the power station is already running at some power setting.

    I say this without any professional knowledge. Someone else may wish to explain to better.

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      tom0mason

      Peter C,
      ‘Gas turbines can adapt somewhat, but the 600 ton coal turbines spinning at 3000rpm are not going to stop easily. They disconnect from the “load” which means the turbines are easier to spin, and they do need less coal, but they are still burning some coal.’

      The other problem is that if you could make these gas turbine generators more load/supply reactive (by what ever means) all you do is add to the problem. The quicker these adapted generators react when connected to the grid the more unstable the whole system becomes. The grid system could end-up chasing it’s tail trying to dampen overshoot/undershoot reaction from adapted gas turbine generators, while varying wind inputs cause the phase and frequency to wobble around, and the customer load varies suddenly.

      Still it will be an interesting experiment that hopefully the rest of the world can learn from.

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      Bob Cherba

      From my experience in the “olden days,” you’re mostly right. From a system standpoint, I think we always had “spinning spare” equal to the size of the largest unit operating, so we if it tripped off line the spinning spare could quickly pick up the lost load.

      I admit to being a retired, obsolete electrical engineer but the principles involved in generating and distributing electrical power haven’t changed. If a system is to remain stable, supply must equal demand — and it’s a near-instantaneous thing. The greenies say they rely on “science” with respect to CAGW, but ignore the physics and reality of power generation and distribution with intermittent wind and solar. When demand is greater than supply, the frequency drops and relays all over the system shed load to protect system stability and equipment until the frequency recovers.

      Boilers and turbines operate best, and most reliably and efficiently when base loaded and kept at one temperature. The more you vary the load and temperature, the more stress and strain the system undergoes. It causes leaks and cracks in boilers, turbines and associated equipment.

      The increased used of wind and solar generation decreases the reliability and efficiency of dispatchable sources and increases generating costs. Then there’s the constant threat of bownouts and blackouts.

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        Russ Wood

        My wife tried to point out to disbelieving colleagues that the stupid “Earth Hour’ blackout actually WASTED fossil fuel,since the electrical load drop-off reduced the spinning load on the generators, so the(already generated)steam to the turbines had to be blown off.

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        tom0mason

        “When demand is greater than supply, the frequency drops and relays all over the system shed load to protect system stability and equipment until the frequency recovers.”

        But in the ‘olden days’ you knew that the generators provided a stable voltage and frequency. Thus it was easy to add ‘graded protection’ through the grid network. A ‘graded protection’ that acted to isolate faulty loads from the grid as close as possible to the fault, and with minimum disruption to the rest of the grid. This protection could also be set/reset remotely. This was fairly simple through arranging breakers(isolators) that could discriminate fault currents by magnitude and/or time, and communicate conditions to a regional central office. Back in those ‘olden days’ it was a semi-automatic system, designed very conservatively to ensure maximum stability.

        These days wind generators provide variable output and poor frequency control. This means that the implementation of any ‘graded protection’ is orders of magnitude more complex, for not only is the customer load varying but wind power is varying as much, or often more.
        How can the grid be protected? How can the protection differentiate between a nasty loads and a wobbly wind turbine?
        To manage such difficulties the grid specification has been eased both in allowable grid voltages and frequency variations to let these variable generator connect to the grid, and generator ‘ride through fault’ setting have been altered (made less sensitive, made longer in time before acting). The protection these days is more complex with digital communications and software controls. The software controls are continuously sifting data to detect real from apparent loads and voltage variations, as well as the state of conditional sensors. The grid is now a physical entity controlled by the software.

        These days we are beholden to art of software design wizards to define how stable the grid will be.

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    Robert Rosicka

    I was amazed to learn that where I live in northeast Victoria our power comes from NSW not from Victoria , wonder if this makes our power more stable and reliable ?

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      Mark M

      How’s the climate where you are? Stable?
      A dystopian future of permanent Anthropogenic Climate Unchanged, here now?

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        Robert Rosicka

        It’s been a long cold winter here , had maybe one or two hot days but lately it’s jumper time again .

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          Annie

          Same here Robert, stove going the last few days after a brief hot spell. The stove gives us cooking, hot water and heats the main living room as well as three radiators and two bathroom towel rails. The cooking aspect gives a large hotplate and an oven…it’s brilliant; made in Albury by Metal Dynamics. We love it. Summer hot water comes from tubes on the roof. We also keep a drawer full of candles and a couple of torches.

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        Mark M

        Apologies Robert.
        My poor attempt at humour was not directed at you if that is how it is read.
        More at the stupidity of energy generation in one location contributing to another’s weather.

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        tom0mason

        Japan had stable weather — Tokyo snow in November

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    Peter C

    The same prevailing winds flow from SA to Victoria

    There is a clear correlation of wind farm output between South Australia and Victoria. In statistical terms it is 40% and given the already wide geographical spread of the present wind farms in Victoria then building more there should not make a significant difference to this correlation.

    Tom Quirk and Paul Miskelly are looking at the power output figures here and noticing a correlation. They are correct.

    There is a clear and easily understood reason for that, which involves meteorology. High pressure systems are huge. They are almost the width of the entire continent. They are associated with low wind speeds, especially near the centre of the high pressure system.. A high pressure system knocks out the wind power of SA, Vic, Tas and NSW all at the same time.

    It has been claimed that the wind is always blowing somewhere, hence wind power systems just need to be distributed. That is partly true but the distribution need to be larger than SA to southern NSW!

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    jorgekafkazar

    You have been put into the hands of maniacs.

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    RobK

    Some kind of moratorium on renewables would be a smart move until the logistics of ride through of the lulls and effective dissipation of the peaks is sorted….and work out who pays.

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    • #
      Hivemind

      Unfortunately we already know who pays. It’s the taxpayers and the consumers of power. The real question is who is going to lose out?

      Somebody will no have power for some part of the day. For some of us it will be most of the day. The electricity authorities are busy replacing regular, always-on, consumption meters in our homes with programmable (not always-on) control systems. So in the future, there will be a priority list. Before the entire system goes down, your* power will be disconnected.

      (*) Obviously this doesn’t apply to the green power base that makes the decision.

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    Asp

    Anybody for a game of dominos?

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    PeterS

    This is more proof that the left are really incompetent and hell bent on destroying our economy all for the sake of trying to reduce temperatures by an amount that’s not even measurable if at all. Oh well, looks like we need to crash and burn before we learn the lesson the hard way.

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    Mark M

    And, it will be as effective as having a “no-peeing” section in a public pool.

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    gnome

    They must put something in that desalinated water to make Victorians vote Labor.

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      GrahamP

      As an ex Vic I don’t think it is something in the water, it is the PATHETIC LNP.

      Victoria desperatetly needs another Henry Bolte, and people with long memories like me will see a similarity between Henry an Donald T

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    el gordo

    The Marxists are turning Victoria into an outpost of empire, this from the ABC in August.

    ‘There are five electricity distributors in Victoria, with three partly owned by State Grid.

    ‘State Grid owns a 20-per-cent share in AusNet Services Electricity Distribution.

    ‘It also owns 60 per cent of Jemena, the company which owns Jemena Electricity Distribution Victoria and 34 per cent of United Energy Electricity Distribution Victoria.

    ‘Cheung Kong Infrastructure/Power Assets owns a 51-per-cent share in both CitiPower Electricity Distribution Network Victoria and Powercor Electricity Distribution Network Victoria.

    ‘The transmission link which transports renewable energy from the Mt Mercer wind farm to the Victorian grid — Transmission Operations (Australia) Pty Ltd Victoria — is partly owned by Cheung Kong Infrastructure.

    ‘The Hong Kong-listed group owns a 50-per-cent share.’

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    JMO

    Production of electricity from wind or sun is NOT from a farm, it is from a power station.

    If the electricity comes from coal then it is a coal fire power station, if from nuclear fission its called a nuclear power station. So electricity from wind is a wind power station and from the sun a solar power station.

    So let’s us be clear about this – THEY ARE NOT FARMS!!

    JO:- would you mind calling these turbine monstrosities wind power station instead. Thank you.

    And thank you for such a great web site – there is a heck of lot of work here. You are hero.

    A spade is spade (and perhaps even a bl—y shovel),

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      Robert Rosicka

      No JMO Jo has it right by calling them farms , until they can produce large quantitys of power 24/7 they are farms producing what equates to seasonal income ie they only produce income when the conditions are right and the subsidies are piled on .
      Both need heaps of fertilisation to function so you can see my argument .

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        Annie

        You both have a point there. I just call them useless.

        What I can’t help noticing is the tendency for people to be herded, or persuaded, into apartment blocks/towers in cities. They have no gardens. They often now have total reliance on ‘fresh’ air through air-conditioning and no openable windows. What happens when these nightmare structures suffer power-cuts, as they assuredly will given that we are being deprived of reliable power generation in this State of Victoria? A deliberate long-term plan to suffocate and starve people?

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          Annie

          I can understand why people in remote areas have stand-alone wind/solar. It’s much too difficult to link to the grid for them. However, I would be having a good supply of cooking and lighting alternatives as well as my own generator, whether diesel or petrol fueled.

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        David Maddison

        They are subsidy farms. That’s the only thing of value they produce, but that’s just for the owner and it comes at the expense of decent working people, the “deplorables” as Clinton and other elites would call them.

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    Charlie

    ‘Victoria has 5.7 million people, over three times bigger than South Australia…’
    Are Victoria’s residents 18 feet tall, or are South Australians only two feet tall?

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    Just Thinkin'

    I really think everybody is missing the whole point.

    The whole idea is to de-humanise the planet.

    This then makes it easier for our “one-world-government”
    (dictatorship) to take over.

    You can’t build anything substantial without reliable
    24 hour a day power.

    Imagine having a black-out while firing up your blast furnace.

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    Mikky

    I’m looking at the synoptic charts during SA heatwaves, there is a clear pattern of few isobars during heatwaves, extending into Victoria and Tasmania, wind power is no way to meet peak demand in SE Australia. Results being assembled here:

    https://climanrecon.wordpress.com/south-aus-wind-power/

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    Analitik

    Gosh, who could have foreseen this in any way or shape?
    The idea that the weather patterns and hence wind generation are highly correlated across south eastern Australia is just a stunning insight.

    As is the notion that the Victorian government should have taken the South Australian experience into consideration before embarking on a 40% renewables target.

    It’s simply amazing that no one on this forum has ever come up with these conclusions before.

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      ianl8888

      Figure 1 (Quirk and Miskelly) in the above post should be required for publication/broadcast in all MSM outlets for at least 12 months. The ABC logo should be permanently replaced with that graph.

      And the pigs are fed and ready to fly. Look … there goes one now !

      All this needs a big, brash, noisy, vulgar Trump truck barreling right through the middle. Nothing else works.

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      Paul Miskelly

      Hi “Analitik”,
      Re your observation that no one seems to have found the correlation before in the weather patterns in eastern Australia, I presume that you are commenting somewhat tongue-in-cheek.
      Dr Tom first identified this correlation as far back as 2010 in “Wind Farming in South Eastern Australia”, co-authored with Andrew Miskelly, and published in Energy & Environment Journal.
      Also, what “Peter C” said at comment #14 above is correct. I teased out that particular correlation in my 2012 paper “Wind Farms in Eastern Australia – Recent Lessons”, also published in E&E. (I believe that copies of this latter paper are fairly easy to find on the Internet these days.) In that paper, I examined a year’s worth of AEMO 5-minute wind farm data (2010) and one clear finding was that the wind is most definitely NOT always blowing somewhere across the Eastern Australian grid. Indeed, there were 109 occasions in 2010 where the total wind output across the entire Eastern Australian wind turbine fleet was less than 2% of the installed capacity. Further, there were several occasions of hours at a time when total wind “farm” output was zero, each such occasion being exactly coincident with the passage of a big high-pressure system, as “Peter C” points out above. Further, in the paper I alluded to the possibility of blackouts should wind capacity become a significant part of the generation mix. That prediction is now proving correct for South Australia: two of the partial blackouts, (1 November 2015 and 1 December 2016), were due to the wind dying as the direct result of the passage of high-pressure systems across SA. The State-wide blackout, (September 28 last), was due to a sudden, catastrophic loss of wind generation, a mechanism also identified and discussed in my paper.
      As a direct outcome of the conducting of these analyses, involving as they do the examination of real, live data, I are very, very concerned, (and I think that Dr Tom would echo these concerns), about the likely consequences for grid stability, and hence the ongoing security of the electricity supply across Eastern Australia, should Hazelwood be shut down as proposed.

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    Ruairi

    More renewables into the mix,
    Is Victoria’s rash politics,
    And will fail to be able,
    To keep the grid stable,
    Which their neighbours S.A. couldn’t fix.

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    David Maddison

    Australia’s electricity demand is already decreasing as industry shuts down due to the high electricity and other costs plus private individuals are using less because of the high cost.

    To some extent the impact of the closure of reliable electricity generation will be lessened simply because deindustrialisation means that less electricity is required.

    Deindustrialisation and a return to the stone age is ultimately what the Greens and Marxists want for us.

    Hopefully the Trump revolution will go global and we will rid the world of these evil doers.

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      Egor TheOne

      “the Greens and Marxists want for us”…..The greens are Marxists, and the ALP and even some of the LNP are preaching from the same book of Totalitarianism!

      All these imbeciles,lunatics and racketeers are ruining this country with such misfit policies of CAGW and UN appeasement being embraced and enacted.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Deindustrialisation and a return to the stone age is ultimately what the Greens and Marxists want for us.

      I doubt that is what they want. It may be what they get, but it is not what they want. Remember, forward thinking and planning are not some of their noticable traits.

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    el gordo

    Captain James Cook sailed further south than we can today.

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      Dennis

      And that (1770) was around the tail end of the Little Ice Age wasn’t it.

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        Graeme No.3

        Dennis:

        The end of the Little Ice Age is assumed ( conveniently ) to be 1850. This is based on ????
        The melting of middle latitude european glaciers? Well it is true that the Grindlwald and Aletsch at one end of Switzerland did show maximum extension and rapid melting after 1855. At the other end the Mt. Blanc glacier set was at a maximum in 1838? Glaciers in Norway and Iceland were observed increasing in the 1890′s (leading to claims of the ‘Coming Ice Age’ as late as 1926). If you look at Glacier bay in Alaska it shows retreat after the 1770′s. [ http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2001/07/fieldwork2.html from the US Glacier service is a good map of history ].
        The question of glacier retreat on the hemisphere is harder to find. Leaving aside the hysteria about a MAJORITY of the glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsular retreating in the last 20 year (and a small minority increasing) the evidence for southern Chile, Pantagonia and the South Island of NZ is, well, inconclusive. Nor should I dismiss the fact that the northern part of South America and parts of North America (Colorado etc.) show increasing ice in the last few years.
        Glacier growth doesn’t depend purely on lower temperatures, nor retreat on warmer temperatures esp. if these are only registered hundreds of kilometres away, so the claim that they match temperature records in showing warming would be useful corroboration if only the latter weren’t so scare and so often adjusted to match “pre-judged warming”. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Guy Callendar who suggested CO2 as a cause in 1938 faced a deal of opposition from scientists who hadn’t noticed any warming in the 1920s and 1930′s. Nor that he retracted his claim in 1962/3 following a very cold winter in Europe.

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          Graeme No.3

          Pantagonia is of course that part of South America where believers in AGW retreat to whenever their knickers get into a twist.

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    KinkyKeith

    I couldn’t find RiskyGrid on Google earth.

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    KinkyKeith

    This post illustrates Tokenism now well out of hand.

    In defiance of “the science” we now revert to electricity generated by a system that creates greater CO2 output per kWh, has a terrible and poisonous chemical pollution footprint associated with the innards of the wind turbines and costs so much more than even the obsolete coal fired plants currently in use.
    Greater environmental damage, greater cost, poor systems reliability, laughable service life and outrageous decommissioning slug at the end; something for our children.

    But, but but,,,

    The most important thing of all,,,,,

    More green votes.

    KK

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      Dean from Ohio

      More green votes

      More forced devotion to the green idol and the government idol, and ultimately the culture of death that necessarily follows in the wake of idolatry.

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    [...] Daniel Andrews shuts the brown-coal power station supplying more than 20% of the states electricity can be read at Jo Nova’s blog Categorized under: ENVIRONMENT AND JUNK SCIENCE. Tagged with: no [...]

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    Rethinking Green

    Yep Victoria, you will suffer just like we do in South Australia now, starting to feel like I’m living in the 80′s again, only difference ridiculous retail power prices, look at the U.S. with some of the wind farms there, been in operation for so long now maintenance costs are very high and turbines deemed to costly shut down and left to rot, daily maintenance and constant checking, a number of support towers are so fatigued cracks have gotten so large that even though the turbine is permanently shut down the structure is at risk of collapsing, it will eventually happen here, oh wait it is already happening at star fish hill farm.

    10