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Green leader South Australia gets energy security the diesel way

Probably not what Senator Hansen-Young had in mind for South Australia:

SA irrigators, farmers turn to generators for electricity stability

By Lauren Waldhuter

Irrigators and farmers are buying diesel generators to secure their power supply, as price and stability issues continue to plague South Australia’s energy grid, industry experts have said.

Susie Green, head of the state’s apple and pear grower and cherry grower associations, said some farmers were now investing in generators for stability. “More and more I’m hearing that people are looking at forms of back-up generation for irrigation pumps and all different systems around their orchards,” she said.  — ABC

One more cost to add to the price of wind and solar powered electrons. It’s not just the cost of a blackout, it’s the dollar volatility too. As the spot price soared to $13,000 MWh power companies tell irrigators to turn off their pumps.

How much capital is tied up in fuel and generators that are bought as insurance against government mandated grid failures which are themselves the  price of “insurance” against the weather changing.

h/t David B

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137 comments to Green leader South Australia gets energy security the diesel way

  • #
    Rod Stuart

    In another small state, not long ago and not far away, diesel engine generator sets were leased at a cost of some $150M. This was due to an over-dependence on so-called “renewables” as well. The number of small engine generator sets purchased by the populace, at the encouragement of the staff of the electricity provider, are not included in this cost.
    Could it be that electricity produced by “renewables” is inherently unreliable, insecure, and expensive?
    As nature delivers one lesson after another, will this knowledge ever enter skulls as thick as cold aluminum?

    413

    • #
      a happy little debunker

      Grinds my gears, every single time Tassie gets a bashing.

      Tassie’s ‘renewables’ are not inherently unreliable, insecure and expensive – that would be an apt description of our political leadership.

      194

      • #
        John Michelmore

        It was the management of Tassies renewables that caused them grief. Their hydro power base load capabilities have to be an asset that we in SA would love to have instead of wind and solar.

        140

      • #
        Rod Stuart

        If renewables were reliable, secure, and affordable, then it stands to reason that there would be no need for the giant extension cord to Victoristan.
        If such were the case, electrical energy in Tasmania should be among the least expensive forms of energy in the world, as it would be had the cancer of green socialism not inflicted the island with nonsense.
        While hydro electricity is certainly the cream of the crop of “renewables”, it is the addition of the eagle destroying eco-crucifix insanity that makes it expensive. And the vagaries of the Indian Ocean dipole that makes it insecure.

        192

        • #
          Peter C

          I thought that the extension power cord to Victoria was put there so that Tassie could sell hydro power into the SE grid at high spot prices.

          I asked the Bass link people for an explanation of the fault which disrupted the link but they never replied.

          150

          • #
            Rod Stuart

            As Jeremy Clarkson used to say “What were they THINKING!”
            The energy crisis in the late sixties made the need to “drought insurance” painfully obvious and HT built the oil fired power station at Bell Bay in the early seventies. A venerable old design using Parsons equipment identical to the New Plymouth power station in New Zealand, it was reliable but thirsty for oil which OPEC made more expensive.
            Towards the millenium then, the idea surfaced that a gas pipeline from the mainland would not only wean Bell Bay Power off oil, but would provide a source of natural gas for industry and commercial enterprise. It seems someone forgot to factor in the cost of gas reticulation. Another over extended company called Duke Energy was absolutely enamoured with the idea of not only building a pipeline from Longford to Sydney, but the concept of taking it South as well! Full speed ahead, and Damn those Rocks!
            Maintaining any insurance policy can be expensive, and maintaining a power station for use only when the Mother Nature closes the valve on the water is a very expensive proposition, but necessary as many forms of insurance are. The “Bass Link” was constructed as another insurance policy. (Therein lies a clue. In general, it is not only dumb but illegal to indemnify the same risk twice).
            In the case of Bell Bay HT opted to farm out the operation and maintenance to a contractor. Before the first decade of the 21st century was out, rains stopped again, and the operating contractor fired the old girl up but it was not long until #1 boiler and #2 generator were toast. (Blasphemy to suggest that this was due to inexperience alone. Such equipment, especially when old, does not respond well to long periods of idleness.)
            However, Alinta Energy was intent on construction of a combined cycle plant and a peaking plant, so the demise of the old station could be said to be “timely”.
            But then Alinta self-destructed, and the new owner couldn’t weather the storm of the GFC. (Actually, it was more mismanagement and being over-extended, but the GFC was a ready and willing whipping boy).
            So, bouyed up by the hype of “clean” energy, the Labour government of bailed out the project.
            I recall the Grand Opening in 2009, when one of the State bureaucrats declared that the State could make a fortune, importing gas from Longford and selling the electricity back to the Lilliputions via the Bass Link. “Value added” he said. I remember remarking that if that caper were successful, the State could try importing wheat from Alberta, milling it, and selling the flour in Toronto. “Value added, you understand.
            So Peter, that’s the story so you can form your own opinion. My opinion is that elected minions should not be allowed to play around in an industry about which they know less than nothing.

            171

            • #
              jorgekafkazar

              As Jeremy Clarkson used to say “What were they THINKING!”

              Thinking? They are beyond stupid. There was none of this “thinking” of which you speak.

              elected minions should not be allowed to play around in an industry about which they know less than nothing.

              Précisément! How do you stop them?

              90

          • #
            David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

            G’day Peter C,
            There’s a sort of reply in this link from the ABC this morning.

            http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-05/basslink-calls-on-hydro-tasmania-to-resume-paying-cable-fees/8092404

            The short andwer seems to be “We don’t know”…
            Cheers,
            Dave B

            50

      • #
        paul

        A relative of mine has a farm just out of devonport.

        He will convert to diesel power soon and go off grid as he will save $20000 a year in electricity.

        we recently wet to tassie for a holiday and experienced 3 unexplained power outages in the 4 days we spent in the north east

        Green madness

        120

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Rod,

      Let’s try skulls as thick as something more dense than aluminum. How about lead, solid lead from ear to ear? That sounds closer to the truth to me. I despair of ever seeing the lessons of reality sink in. And I doubt that anything could sink in even if their skulls were nothing more than paper thin.

      A man and his fantasies are seldom parted and then only by extreme measures.

      141

      • #
        Rod Stuart

        Roy
        It was a subtle little analogue that only the locals would cotton to.
        In the last SA blackout, just last week, the aluminum smelter at Port Augusta froze up.
        According to the papers, half of it will never operate again.
        Coincidentally, during the Great Tasmanian Energy Crisis, it was the aluminum smelter at Bell Bay that was at considerable risk.

        101

        • #
          James Murphy

          sorry to be pedantic, but Pt Augusta is generally known for its power generation, Whyalla for its steelworks, and Port Pirie for its lead (+ zinc, gold, silver, copper) smelter. I understand that it was the very recently refurbished Port Pirie smelter which suffered the most damage. the Alcoa aluminium plant in Portland, (people’s democratic republic of) Victoria suffered damage from the power outage last Thursday.

          Regardless, I got your point!

          92

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          It was a subtle little analogue that only the locals would cotton to.
          In the last SA blackout, just last week, the aluminum smelter at Port Augusta froze up.

          Ah ha! Missed that one. ;-)

          10

      • #
        clive

        “Both human stupidity and the universe are infinite, although I am not sure about the latter.”(Einstein)

        40

    • #
      Fang

      Hmm! Our problem is we all here know this base load power is a issue! Were talking in a echo chamber here! How do we get the message out to the political class to let them know that this issue will kill any chance of them, regardless of political persuasion, employment ever again unless they stop this madness!

      20

  • #

    When I’ve said that I’ve been considering a diesel generator, I haven’t been kidding. What happens after Hazelwood closes will be the key trigger.

    231

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Better get your name down now on the list. Likely to be a big rush after the first blackout in the inner city; you know how keen the greenies are about their own comfort.

      120

      • #
        Raven

        Likely to be a big rush after the first blackout in the inner city . .

        If government is unable/unwilling to ensure energy security, demand for diesel generators will increase. Perhaps the government should look to subsidise them, just like solar panels. At the very least, they should be eligible for a FIT.
        Who could argue that a diesel generator isn’t a necessary back-up to solar panels?

        Longer term, the increased demand will reduce prices for generators and once again solar panels will look expensive and unreliable.

        90

        • #
          ROM

          The Pommy politicians through sheer utter incompetence and stupidity plus a delightful and whimsical dog like belief in an insane, green driven, utterly morbid fascination and fixation on the extreme dangers of a very common gas that in the minutest quantities can apparently overheat an entire planet, arguably an understandable belief in a land where the warming rays of the Sun are rarely seen and summer is when you only have two bars of the heater on and everybody is looking for ways, any way at all of keeping warm and keeping the lights on, are now into subsidising a whole new industry of vast banks of soot and smoke and CO2 emitting diesel powered generators that are supposed to come on line on the grid when the wind don’t blow to activate the endless arrays of British and Scottish medieval period style, bird destroying eco-crucifixes so they can work their intermittent and unpredictable and insanely expensive magic of appearing to generate some useable forms of energy perhaps.

          Those old fashioned medieval period wind driven eco-crucifixes will only work, maybe, after the gold heap from the citizens alms and donations, forced of course like blood from a stone on the pain of being cold and and having to permanently use candles, because the pommy political elites were so bloody dumb and stupid and so easily conned by the green and climate catastrophe academic elites who slobbered and dribbled at the thought of all that tax payer’s treasure coming their way if they could conn the political elites enough, that they actually believed them and failed totally to realise that if they wanted the place to keep on working when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine and the French don’t glow in the dark like they use to, they still needed to generate their own power from all that coal and gas and oil they still have left as well as keeping the Scots with their fleets and fleets of aforesaid medieval period style , bird life destroying ecocrucifixs who don’t know if they are British , Scottish, EUers or just an extension of a small northern island that sticks up out of one of the coldest seas on the planet, from being frozen when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine.

          91

          • #
            Hat Rack

            O/T. ROM, your style of writing reminds me very much of one of my all time favourite books, the Australian classic Such is Life by Tom Collins. If you haven’t already read it and you like stories about rural life in the early days I think you could enjoy it. Regards.

            20

          • #
            Fang

            Our problem ROM, is our ex neighbours have signed contracts for a wind farm on wimmera plains north of Horsham! Corporate cronyism to our farmer with hand outs, legal subsidys for the farmers! Its very sad to see my former neighbors been suckered into a wind elephant so they can get handouts from tax payer! :(

            00

    • #
      Robert Rosicka

      Bemused , a friend of mine that’s worked in the electricity supply area for over 20 years tells me when Hazelwood closes it won’t be long before blackouts begin .

      180

      • #

        I fully expect that, especially since Dan Andrews has said the closing of Hazelwood will have minimal impact on Victoria’s electricity supply. Since when have any Green policies not worked?

        181

        • #
          jorgekafkazar

          Remember, the cure for failed Socialism is always more Socialism.

          160

          • #
            Dennis

            As it has been observed, socialists are people in government who spend our money and when they run out of our money they borrow in our names to spend more.

            70

          • #
            Ted O'Brien.

            Failure isn’ the word. Our failure is the Marxist objective. A scorched earth economy is what they are trying to create.

            Just as a developer buys a building and demolishes it to build another of a different plan, the ALP is setting about, and has been doing this for over 40 years, destroying our capitalist system so they can install a system of their design. And, as far as I can tell, their model is the one Russia discarded after a lifetime of trying without success to make it work.

            60

            • #
              Mark

              Yes. I often read economic analysis that implies that the left has implemented incorrect policies because the policies do not produce optimal results. But, of course, the policies are not incorrect, because the optimal result sought is destruction of our society. Destruction of money, destruction of well-being, destruction of anything and everything that gives people independence and dignity. Just look to Venezuela and Cuba to see the optimal results actually sought by the left.

              20

      • #
        David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

        G’day Robert R,
        Is your “won’t be long” measured in days, hours or milliseconds?
        Cheers,
        Dave B

        40

        • #
          Robert Rosicka

          First “unexpected event” which is code for the following -
          Hot day
          Cold day
          Storm
          Wet day
          Dry day
          Strike
          Lightning
          Interconnector outage
          Maintanence
          No wind
          Too much wind
          No sun
          Too much sun
          I know there’s more but as you can see the chances are minimal of a power outage .

          50

      • #
        tom0mason

        In order to clarify socialist policy, the word ‘black out’ are deemed racist misogynistic term an is hereby deprecated.
        The words ‘nature friendly’ or ‘at one with nature’ will henceforth be used.

        30

  • #
    Jaymez

    Every major shopping centre, every supermarket, every club and pub, all hospitals, many commercial buildings and most banks are just some of the many businesses whch have back-up diesel generators and they are far easier to cost justify in South Austrakia. 100% Renewable is a fantasy.

    221

    • #

      In Britain these backup generators were extremely popular in the 1970s, particularly at airports, Post Office sorting centers, hospitals and banks. Only then unreliable electricity supplies were due to the coal miners union, under a Marxist leadership, wanted to bring down the Government.

      171

      • #
        ian hilliar

        What happened to all the Marxist anti-capitalists when Russia disintegrated? Not even Lee Rhiannon is an avowed communist anymore. Just as vehemently anti -capitalist, so they have all become deep green watermelons. And with their Marxist background, they now run the Greens, and the ALP.

        121

        • #
          gnome

          She’d like to be an avowed communist but being a declared green pays a lot better since the USSR money stopped coming in.

          61

      • #

        Note just the 1970′s. Look up “STOR”; the scheme whereby hundreds/thousands of diesel generators have been hidden across the countryside; and emergency generators in hospitals, etc. contracted to supply electrical power when wind/solar fail and the tide is still in/out.

        Generator salesgroids were laughing all way to the Bahamas.

        110

    • #
      Raven

      100% Renewable is a fantasy.

      I reckon it’s probably a mix of fantasies.
      They think renewable energy will grow like Jack’s beanstalk and everyone will be happy with Goldilocks’ porridge.
      But it looks like they didn’t count on the Hansel & Gretel factor where we really do end up in the oven.

      That’s the problem when policy is based on emotions to underpin the fantasy.
      No matter how badly the policy turns out, you are still comforted by the inherent inalienable goodness of the fantasy.

      50

  • #
    John Michelmore

    On the news today, abalone farmer in Port Lincoln faces a 100% increase in power prices, that “small” increase will bring his bill to about $1.3m per annum. Where is Port Lincoln Oh No that’s here in SA as well!!

    201

  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    I see Turdbull is about to price carbon again , by using over use of electrons as a base .
    Our governments seem hell bent on pandering to the inner city vote and don’t give a rats about the deplorable regional Aussies .
    I’m from Victoriastan and have just setup a 3000 watt inverter in a camper trailer but plan on being able to have it connected to five AGM batteries for use not if but when our power outs start .
    300 watt of solar will keep the batteries topped up till needed .

    151

  • #

    Here in Britain backup diesel generators are becoming a key part of the renewables future, particularly in the winter when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine. The diesel used in generators is free of excise duties, and contains a red dye to distinguish it from the version you can legally use in cars and trucks. So the UK has a watermelon energy policy – green on the outside red (diesel) on the inside. A slightly different take on James Delingpole’s use of the term :)

    190

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      So can you buy old chip shop fryer oil for running cars or has that been stopped? At least when the back up gennie runs it will make you hungry….

      50

    • #

      @Kevin: Have they solved the problem of diesel turning to jelly when it’s cold? Battery powered pre-heaters? I remember seeing trucks at transport stops with gas or kero lamps burning under the fuel tanks. Seemed a bit risky, but I don’t remember any explosions reported.

      60

      • #

        Cannot remember that happening. Was in the winter of ’63 or ’47?
        Or maybe you are thinking of something a bit earlier? This is a Gardner engine of 1927, where you might be able to make out the blow lamps heating up the tops of the cylinder heads. They literally glow red hot before the engine can be fired up.

        https://manicbeancounter.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/img_0213.jpg

        80

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          Kevin, we had that experience in NSW when we started getting our distillate from Bass Strait crude oil. It had a higher wax content, and became unflowable at temperatures of nearly ten degrees Centigrade. They eventually fixed the problem by mixing a proportion of heating oil with the distillate in cooler areas in winter months.

          There was a bigger problem with this, which we experienced. Towards the end of the oil change cycle sufficient of this freezable fuel made its way into the engine sump to cause the engine oil to set like jelly when cold. I discovered that there was a problem when on a frosty morning I started our truck and left it idling to warm the motor up before putting it to work. When I returned a few minutes later to go to work the motor was clunking, wrecked.

          41

          • #
            ROM

            The wax in diesel fuel problem with entire 1000 gallon tanks of diesel freezing up into wax was during and following the 1982 drought when we had some severe frosts across all of eastern Australia.
            We had a rotary fuel pump on a tractor destroyed when the fuel used as a lubricant in the high tolerance , high pressure diesel injector fuel pump froze and the un-lubricated steel to steel parts grabbed and destroyed the pump.
            That got me started in researching the whole wax in diesel fuel problem.
            I spent a month on the phone and fax, no internet in those days, and collected a large amount of information from a whole range of sources, farmers Truckies . earth movers, fuel testing laboratories, standards bureau , oil company’s and retailers and etc..

            The upshot was I received a phone call from the National Farmers Federation or its equivalent at the time and was asked to attend a meeting between the Federation’s senior executives and the fuel companies to discuss the wax problem at Shell House in Melbourne in the autumn of 1983.

            I met the two NFF people outside of Shell House, there were four of us as I had asked another Victorian farm representative along to protect my backside as a witness
            As we walked up the steps of Shell House , one of the NFF executives just turned to myself and casually said, I hope you have all your data as you are presenting the case.
            Which was hell of a shock to me and the first I knew about that part of the presentation as I had assumed the NFF guys were going to do the presentation..

            There were 27 oil companies in that meeting, all of them the Technical Marketing Executives, the guys who were the liaison representatives between the refineries and the fuel and oil wholesalers and retailers and had to deal with all the problems that arose in the technical and marketing field and were the channel for feedback to the refineries and the wholesalers and retailers..

            I presented what I had found out in my research and it wasn’t good from the oil companies perspectives so it got pretty willing in that room as quite a lot of oil company reps didn’t like being told they were directly responsible for the destruction of machinery and engines worth millions of dollars because they were so intent on chasing profits that they just left the wax in the fuel, which burns quite OK in a Diesel engine and is the same wax that our mothers used to seal jam jars and etc with.
            Which it was quite OK with until it got cold and the wax froze out at cloud point temperatures not much below zero degrees.
            All checked out in the deep freeze of my fridge with thermometer.
            My methods and etc to check cloud points and other fuel characteristics and the numbers subsequently approved by a senior independent fuel laboratory’s chief tester in a few phone conversations.

            Plus information from the Australian Standards Bureau where I was told that fuel tanks had standards they had to meet but [ 1982 ] there were NO standards in Australia as to fuel qualities at least before and during 1983.
            It was left to the oil companies to set the standards in pre 1983.
            There were and are four seasonal standards for all fuel in Australia. which even a few fuel retailers didn’t know of in those days as I had one who argued vehemently with me and then rang a few hours later with an abject apology as he had been a fuel retailer and distributor for a couple of decades in a local region and never ever knew there was more than one grade of fuel .

            Summer standard where a higher level of wax and etc are left in the fuel and it is a little heavier in specific gravity;

            Winter fuel where the volatiles are kept at a higher level to ensure the fuel flows and burns freely during cold weather, the change over being from memory around April and October.

            Heating oil is added in some cases to summer fuel to reduce tendency to freeze in extreme cold and is then classified as winter grade fuel.

            Some companies use to run an intermediate grade between summer and winter fuel grades.

            And alpine grade for extreme cold conditions which is not far from heating oil in its specifications.

            I had a wax numbers from Indonesian oil wells, Catalytic cracker data, sulphur level data and etc.
            Come lunch when a fancy lunch was provided and I was invited to sit at a small table and a fight almost ensured to get a seat at the table.
            One senior tech guy leaned over the table and demanded; where did you get all that information which sort of threw me.
            Another just said ; you realise you have been telling us some information that we thought was only known to the tech reps in that room.
            Another around that table admitted openly that they had a real problem and they weren’t fully aware of it until I provided the large number of instances of damage to engines and transmissions and failures to test samples and etc.
            Plus alterations to oil specifications which were not listed anywhere which cost a Queensland company some 300 thousand 1982 dollars due to slipping wet clutches in their earth moving equipment when an oil company put an additive into the oil without any updates in specifications.

            Following lunch there was a much more accomodating attitude and solutions were suggested like covering our tractors at night until I pointed out that when you knock off sowing at near midnight in a 500 acre paddock , the wind is blowing near gale and its cold enough too damage to brass monkeys, then the oil company reps were quite welcome to come out and put the tractor covers on for me to just to gain a bit of experience on that proposal.

            Anyway the upshot was that the wax was reduced dramatically in the winter grade fuel and a lot of other small changes made in fuel standards as the refineries were forced to admit they had done a lot of damage to their customers.
            Recently however with a couple of generations of techs gone by and the corporate memories get lost as result, the wax problem has again reappeared in some quarters.

            Thats the outline of the very serious to farmers , trucks , earth movers and etc wax in fuel problems of the early 1980′s and how it was solved for a couple of decades at least.

            160

  • #
    marcus

    I live in country South Australia. I have found that a modest computer UPS with a big 75 AH battery can run a modern fridge/freezer and a few LED lights for long enough to patch Mr Jays green cock up

    90

  • #
    Homersan

    $13000 spot price? My God…doesn’t this ring any warning bells with our politicians? Are they so caught up in those farce? …Really? I am embarrassed to vote for them.

    100

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Has SA got more in common with Mugabes Marxist Rhodesia, than mainland Oz?

    101

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      You are stretching too far. Mugabe is smarter and more successful than the local politicians.
      Obviously you live in another State where there is little comment on the confusion in SA; e.g. the new hospital which was the second most expensive building ever made (although it is now challenging for top spot) and would result in less hospital beds available. It is years overdue and the State Government is delaying its completion, arguing about defects. The builders are losing money and unable to finish it, and are claiming that the defects were inherent in the plans delivered by guess who?
      The roads aren’t quite down to Zimbabwe’s standards but the Government is working on it. (If the road gets too bad they reduce the speed limit, so to go 12 kilometres on a main road recently involved 13 changes in the limit). It has achieved world class status in Bursting Water Mains,along with the World’s most profane yet ineffective Water Minister who wants more water to run into the sea.
      Then there is the mysterious block of land that keeps being sold and unsold, all with the highest secrecy as neither the Ombudsman nor the Independent Commission against Corruption are allowed to see the documents.
      They are trying to ‘adjust’ or ‘homogenise’ the electoral boundaries as they cannot see themselves getting the necessary 47% (2 party preferred) to keep office at the next election. Still, unfortunaely, over a year to go.
      Perhaps the almost invisible and ineffective opposition should resort to witchcraft and sorcery.

      101

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Were I someone who’s farm depended on pumping water for irrigation or someone whose business depended on being able to run milling machines and similar equipment, I would be out of business if I lost a crop or couldn’t get a customer’s job done on time.

    So would I not buy generators of sufficient capacity to handle the load? Would I not stock all the diesel fuel or gasoline I could so I could withstand an unreliable power supply from the [you name it depending on where you live]?

    But as Rod said at #1,

    As nature delivers one lesson after another, will this knowledge ever enter skulls as thick as cold aluminum?

    The trouble is that generators are expensive and around here anyway, you have to jump through some hoops to get them connected to be your alternate source of electricity in any building, your home or business or anything else that runs off the grid. I can’t blame anyone for wanting to be sure you aren’t feeding power back to the grid when you shouldn’t and you’re not doing anything dangerous to yourself. But it shouldn’t take more than permission from the utility and an inspection to be sure it’s done right.

    71

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      In doing some research on the requirements for hooking up a generator I find and not surprisingly, that the Sierra Club is driving the building codes, especially regarding electricity. The State of California wants everything solar friendly. It’s too bad that solar panels, no matter how many I put on my roof, will not run my air conditioning in the summer.

      I also found it hard to isolate the actual requirements from all the verbiage stuck in to make everything official.

      It seems like the devil is already in the kitchen stirring the pot. I should have known better than to expect good judgment. After all, this is Califunyfarmia.

      130

      • #
        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Ian,

          They are truly amazing — and frightening. Their ignorance of basic science, not to mention common sense will be the stuff of museums chronicling the fall of the State of California. And it’s all going to be for nothing gained, absolutely nothing.

          As of a few days ago the law prohibiting grocery stores from giving out plastic or paper bags in which to take home what you just bought went into effect. They no longer even have plastic bags to put loose produce items in like apples or tomatoes either. They can sell you plastic “reusable” bags for $0.10 each however. And from the look of them they will soon be as much of a problem as any other plastic bag. Surely we have more serious matters to attend to in Sacramento than grocery bags!? This is a nightmare.

          The prohibition will extend to all retail sellers at some future time. Of course! Why not?

          If I could live without eating I could fight this by simply not buying groceries anymore until common sense prevails again. Most of the state would eventually join in when the full prohibition kicks in. And then things would change — and fast. But I gotta eat. I wonder how long the local stores would tolerate my picketing outside with a sign stating, not a reason for undoing the law but my objection to it on a strictly personal basis. If they want me to buy in their store they owe me a means of carrying what I just bought out to my car. And that being the case, why are they not very loudly fighting Sacramento? Why were they not fighting for their customers from the first mention of this idiotic law?

          Imagine going into a store selling clothing and buying half a dozen or a dozen shirts and being left to yourself for a means of carting them out of the store.

          They called Jerry Brown Moonbeam during his first time around as governor. What I would call him now isn’t something I’d say in polite company. And the legislature is just as bad.

          I think the people we call voters should be called fools instead.

          Sacramento, I OBJECT !!! :-(

          10

          • #
            Rod Stuart

            I sympathasise with you Roy.
            The State of Tasmania has been encumbered with this grocery bag nonsense now for several years.
            It is a real pain in the arse to go in and load up a shopping trolley only to realise you left your bags in the car.
            A visit to another State that has less of the green cancer affliction seems so realistic.
            One does get accustomed to it after some time, and I think the trick is to buy some really sturdy bags made of cloth rather that the plastic bags the grocer sells.
            It is not abnormal for us in Tasmania to put the goods back in the cart at the checkout and bag them at the boot of the vehicle.
            In fact I wouldn’t mind if it was actually a benefit to anyone and anything. I have yet to be convinced.

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          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            They can sell you plastic “reusable” bags for $0.10 each

            There is your scam, right there. The bag will be reusable a finite number of times (probaly twice) and then the next visit, you will have to buy a new one. That is not only $0.05 per bag, per visit. It is a tax on people who can’t do math.

            How many customers would your grocery store get through in a day? Multiply that by $0.05 per customer minimum, and you have a nice little earner, as the Brits would say. If the grocery store has a smart accountant, they can probably avoid sales tax on the bags, and on the extra revenue.

            I can see those canvas bags on wheels making a comeback. So there is an investment opportunity for you, free of charge.

            20

            • #
              Rod Stuart

              One way around it is to order groceries on line.
              I fail to understand how this is a paying proposition, but the two major competitors in the business play that game in this country.
              Place an order on line, and they have employees that circumnavigate the store and select the items that you ordered, then a bloke with a refrigerated van that delivers to your door.
              We have tried it and we don’t like it. But then, we are retired and lots of families have two people working and it mus the convenient.
              The astounding part is that when the goods are delivered they are in the same old disposable bag from the old days!
              The entire world has gone raving mad, I tell you!

              10

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              There is your scam, right there.

              Since I regularly buy apples, tomatoes, cucumbers and other produce, I’m tempted to get a little revenge by taking one bag, filling it with the mix of things I want and then leave it to someone at the checkstand to sort it out. The trouble is, the checkout line isn’t where the problem is. The problem is almost 400 miles north in Sacramento.

              00

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Just to substantiate that claim about not running my A/C I went to my files and pulled out the spec sheet on the compressor. I didn’t remember the number but it’s there in black and white. The locked rotor current is 131 amps at 240 Volts. That will be the initial surge when the control relay closes. Although that lasts only a fraction of a second while the capacitor gets a second phase going so the motor starts turning, the lights in the house can flicker slightly because of the voltage drop when that relay closes. The compressor is on an independent circuit all the way from the meter box with separate 50 amp circuit breakers so I’m not seeing the result of resistance that can happen in connections in old buildings or anything else. Edison’s 240V line voltage drops enough to flicker lights in the house (remember it’s a split phase system with 120V obtained from either 240V hot wire and a center tap on the transformer).

        How can I expect solar to manage that?

        10

        • #
          Rod Stuart

          How can I expect solar to manage that?

          You can’t. Even if your machine had a “soft starter”. (basically a VSD worth about as much as the motor).

          01

          • #
            Roy Hogue

            I’ve seen motors set up to do that kind of “soft start”. But they were much larger than my A/C compressor. One was the drive motor on a motor generator set that converted 60 Hz to 50 for testing dual frequency stuff. I never saw such a setup on most of the motors I’ve ever known anything about, mostly the motors running the automatic pinspotting machines in the bowling alleys where I worked years ago. We never had any data on their power requirements except that they were obviously running on 120V. The last generation of them I worked on were set up to use the start capacitors to do dynamic braking, which eliminated the troublesome mechanical brakes of the earlier designs. Neat trick, that, with cheap maintenance of only the extra relay contacts instead of expensive mechanical parts.

            00

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              I’ve never heard a motor start with such a mechanical clunk as that compressor. I don’t know what the torque is but it’s enough to transmit the shock through the mounting grommets to the housing and make a noticeable sound.

              00

        • #
          Analitik

          Elron Musk will sell you a battery (or 3) to handle that starting surge for you.

          10

    • #
      bobl

      Originally, they did this here as protectionism for the government utility forcing everyone to connect where available and forbidding private generators on various grounds, but in our privately owned current system such a rule is against the consumer law. They still try it on for water here in Queensland, but it is illegal under the cca act what they do, it’s a bluff ready to be taken to court.

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    • #
      Dennis

      Why not use a trade quality extension lead and power outlet bank and connect essential household appliances to a generator?

      40

  • #
    bobl

    This is what happens when you get your electricity from sunbeams and unicorn farts. Now as I have mentioned before all the construction and operating energy costs plus the effect on carbon sinks of unreliables mean that these technologies emit more CO2 than coal, adding into the mix thousands of CO2 generating small generators (diesel and petrol), even if they are rarely used only makes the unreliables even more negative.

    Insane…

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  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    Roy if I was building again I would put in two seperate lines , one for the grid and one for home generated power .
    No need to get too fancy just a few extra power points and lights , trouble is we get Internet via wireless from a tower so we will lose that but will still have power at least .

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    • #
      bobl

      Its easy to do, you just need a transfer switch installed in the switchboard and a suitable cable run to where your generator is. Maybe $200 if your electrician is consumer friendly.

      I’d go further though, and use the genset to charge batteries then connect the batteries to a 5-10 KW islanding inverter then connect that to the transfer switch. This way the generator only needs to make electricity a few times a day saving about 80% of the fuel cost while your house is unoccupied and consuming maybe 300W. If you do that you can make electricity very cost effectively around the cost of diesel per litre /2 per kWh.

      Some businesses I know, already switch regularly to diesel power to avoid high demand or time of use charges.

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  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Comments prior to this use industrial or similar to indicate the importance of steady power.
    Guess what the server farms of the internet/cloud use as backup?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “insurance” against the weather changing.

    That’s a tough business.

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  • #
    RAH

    Though I haven’t gotten a transfer switch installed yet I do have a generator sitting in the garage. The time we tend to lose power for a significant period is during ice storms. All I do is roll the generator out and start it up and run a heavy extension cord in the house and run what I need off of it. I wired the power to my gas furnace motor and controls so I can plug into the extension cord. I can run the furnace, fridge, several lights, TVs, and well pump. We got by with that set up for three days. I keep 25 gallons of gas on hand and that will get us by without a problem.

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  • #

    Diesel generators are made in Asia (using Aussie coal). The diesel itself is refined in places like South Korea and Singapore to be brought to Australia.

    Meanwhile centuries of premium coal lie in our backyard, while no government would speak for it and no bank would lend for it. Meanwhile Germany, despite its constant boosting of green boondoggles, gets to dig massive amounts of its own brown and black coal for burning in shiny new coal power plants which actually managed to scavenge Euro-funding and tax support (to save Germany from the nuclear power which it has not shut down).

    If some Australian Rip Van Winkle awoke right now and asked us to explain this situation we couldn’t. All we could say is: “You needed to be here, Rip.”

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    pat

    5 Dec 9.23am: news.com.au: AAP: Turnbull to abolish Abbott’s Green Army
    Tony Abbott’s Green Army will reportedly be dumped in the upcoming mid-year budget review, helping to fund a $100 million investment in Landcare as part of a backpacker tax deal with the Greens…
    Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg would not confirm the report, describing the Green Army as a very successful program from the coalition.
    “But these are issues which have to be looked at in the context of the overall budget situation,” he told ABC radio.
    “I don’t want to pre-empt what will happen in MYEFO other than to say we have to find savings across the board.”
    http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/turnbull-to-abolish-abbotts-green-army/news-story/548c0c92e0300690ec0ddb7721b2f623

    5 Dec 9.16am: news.com.au: Climate change policy review to focus on jobs, power prices, energy security, international permits
    AAP, Claire Bickers,News Corp Australia Network
    A MAJOR review of Australia’s climate change policies next year will look at a form of carbon pricing for power companies…
    It will also consider the use of international permits to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and setting a long-term target for emission reductions beyond 2030…
    Meanwhile, it’s expected the Turnbull Government will announce its plans to axe Tony Abbott’s ‘green army’ plan in the midyear budget review.
    Mr Frydenberg would not confirm the report this morning, describing the green army as a very successful program from the Coalition.
    “But these are issues which have to be looked at in the context of the overall budget situation,” he told ABC radio…
    Mr Frydenberg and his department will hold a series of round-tables and workshops as part of the review and will seek public submissions to a discussion paper early next year…
    Originally published as Abbott’s ‘green army’ plan faces axe.
    http://www.news.com.au/national/climate-change-policy-review-to-focus-on-jobs-power-prices-energy-security-international-permits/news-story/057248df9801d79b79098e9b60d1c5ef

    4 Dec: AFR: Mark Ludlow: Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg says international emission trading permits are on the cards
    The Turnbull government will consider the use of international permits to attempt to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions as part of its landmark review into climate change policies, but an emissions trading scheme is not on the agenda…
    http://www.afr.com/news/politics/energy-minister-josh-frydenberg-says-international-emission-trading-permits-are-on-the-cards-20161204-gt3l0g

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    • #
      Glen Michel

      We have a desperate problem with saffron thistle here in NW NSW.We are one of the few farms that have kept it subdued; it’s expensive and occupies a lot of time in spraying them.Unfortunately the thistle has carpeted large areas.It is a very nasty weed.The green army could well be put to good use.This is a national ecological problem.

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    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Pat , I saw something bigger today. The SMH has done an about face, reporting positively on Trump.

      40

  • #
    ianl8888

    Using a generator for domestic power …

    I’ve commented a few times that it’s not simple. The technical detail, the costs of installation, the red/green tape …

    Comments above from those who have organised themselves this way demonstrates the truth of this.

    The situation I thought only a few years ago to be impossible is now here. Our power grids, one of the pinnacles of achievement for civilisation during the 19th and (especially) 20th centuries, are being deliberately destroyed for an unprovable, panicky hypothesis.

    Homo sapiens is genuinely, truly, hopelessly, spectacularly stupid.

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    TdeF

    Malcolm still wants his ETS. From Andrew Bolt “The Turnbull government will consider the use of international permits to attempt to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions as part of its landmark review into climate change policies, but an emissions trading scheme is not on the agenda.”

    What is this but an ETS? To add to the huge carbon tax, mandatory LGCs (Large Scale Generation Certificates) currently at 9C kw/hr which force everyone to give cash to windmill companies through their power bills so that the government does not even have to pay for windmills and add to the deficit of states like South Australia.

    So a huge carbon tax while not pretending to have a carbon tax plus a Federal ETS to fulfill their ‘obligations’, presumably under the Paris agreement just ratified by Malcolm. Purchasing of fake carbon certificates overseas, sending taxpayer money overseas to foreign banks, through agents like Malcolm’s Goldmann Sachs. Carbon Cash for everyone while Australians get trapped in their lifts and watch the jobs vanish.

    With a one seat hold on power, Malcolm is the worst socialist Prime Minister since Julia Gillard. The Hawke, Keating, Howard period is starting to look like a golden age. Malcolm and Baird are wiping out support for the Nationals as well.

    When will the Liberal party admit they were wrong and bring Tony Abbott? The Federal and State Governments, even Liberal governments are killing Australia, as intended. We need a Trump revolution here. Tony Abbott needs to start his own Liberals. If Xenophon and Hanson can do it, so can he.

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    • #
      ianl8888

      The Hawke, Keating, Howard period is starting to look like a golden age

      Yes, as long as we restrict Keating to his period as Treasurer.

      80

      • #
        TdeF

        Agreed, but he would not have attacked his own Superannuation savings as both Turnbull and Shorten want to do, seeing our savings as their nest egg to pay for their excessive spending and the unprecedented growth of government and government interference. What on earth was the Liberal Baird government doing banning dog racing? Horse racing is next. Then car racing. Then religion. Megalomaniac or left politicians who believe they have a ‘social licence’ to interfere in every days lives of their subjects?

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      • #
        Dennis

        The first world’s greatest treasurer for Australia, the title given by a tiny European magazine that asks for submissions from treasurers stating why they are the best.

        The second was Wayne Swan, his claim to fame was the inheritance of major economic reforms from 1985 to 2006, creation of the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority to monitor banking and finance in 1998, over a decade of Coalition (Howard government) managing budgets into surplus and leaving Rudd Labor $22 billion of surplus in 2007 and funds invested in education and Future Fund exceeding $60 billion in 2007.

        And that Australia, no thanks to Treasurer Wayne and his comrades, survived the northern hemisphere financial crisis (Labor called GFC) better than most nations did.

        31

    • #
      bobl

      Tdef, the problem is that getting people that believe in individualism to complain en-masse (get organised) is like herding cats, it’s so much easier for collectivists to act… well… collectively.

      40

    • #
      Raven

      When will the Liberal party admit they were wrong and bring Tony Abbott?

      Tony Abbott promised to axe the tax.
      Malcolm Turnbull promised (himself, anyway) to axe Tony Abbott.

      I don’t think Tony will be coming back but also, I can’t see anyone on the horizon positioned to axe Malcolm Turnbull, so that’s a worry.
      Even if I favoured Malcolm, there still needs to be people coming up through the ranks.

      31

      • #
        Dennis

        Joe Hilderbrand wrote in the Daily Telegraph today that our PM’s greatest achievement was surviving until Christmas 2016.

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        • #
          MudCrab

          I said earlier in the year that by Christmas Turnbull would not be PM and Abbott would be on the front bench.

          Sigh. Still 20 days to go, but does anyone know a bakery that makes a good humble pie?

          40

          • #
            David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

            No,
            But they make a good lamb pie in Merriwa.
            Cheers,
            Dave B

            10

          • #
            bobl

            It’s a political reality that they will want to roll Turncoat around 6 months out from the election so they can take advantage of the honeymoon effect. That means we have a year and a half to wait. Meantime hopefully the Nats will read the riot act to him. If he tries to institute a full on Carbon tax (ETS) then I expect him to be rolled right away.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      TdeF

      There are 2 things wrong with the current lot of politicians. The first is a greatly inflated sense of their own importance; Federally they live in a bubble called Canberra where everyone is interested in politics and constrained to be polite to them. They believe that they are entitled to special treatment and normal behaviour is not necessary. In the States the sense of entitlement is completely out of scale with their actual performance (unless you feel Ministerial dogs deserve chauffeured limos).

      The second thing is a greatly inflated sense of their own ability. Despite 50 years of political disasters they keep on making decisions on matters that they know nothing about. The current state of the electricity market is a telling example. Incompetence and stupidity combined.

      The problem goes back to the 70′s where the push to get people into Universities went off the rails; drawing people who weren’t suited into that area and allowing them to stay in the sheltered workshop. The likes of Curtin, Chifley, Casey, McEwan, Caldwell, Hayden, Peter Walsh may not have had the graces but had experience of real life which meant they didn’t have that air of arrogance evident in so many of their successors, and it is doubtful that they would have got into the current herd. (Herd is the right collective noun for the current Ministry and/or shadow Ministry isn’t it?).

      10

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      The only people who felt any Golden Age under Hawke, Keating and Howard were the Marxists and their tools, witting and unwitting.

      The rot started with Whitlam. Fraser did little to heal it, and Hawke and Keating built on it. Doesn’t anybody remember the 20% interest rates? The reckless borrowing for takeovers?.. The crash of 1987?nbbb

      Howard then paid off Keating’s debt, but, applying the same current conventional wisdom in economics, as taught in Whitlam’s academies, did more damage in rural Australia than Hawke did.

      10

  • #
    David Maddison

    Small gas generators eg 10kW are available for the home that run on natural gas or LPG.

    Does anyone know the fuel cost per kWh for these?

    Also, how long can the domestic gas supply be expected to run during a grid failure?

    60

    • #
      Dennis

      My 3.5 kw unit consumes about 1-litre of petrol per hour so from my dual fuel vehicle days experience I guess that on LPG the consumption would be approximately 15 per cent more per hour.

      40

      • #

        How expensive does grid electricity have to become before having a diesel generator is competitive?

        30

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          I have seen 50¢ per kWh, how accurate that is I don’t know.

          David Maddison: I think that those units are duel fuel types i.e. start up on diesel then switch to gas. Piped gas lasts as long as the supply in the bulk storage which will be drawn at a higher rate than usual, but these can run to over a week. The question is when can the suppler get replenishment?

          30

        • #
          AndyG55

          Reliability would be a major factor.

          How much does it cost you when you don’t have electricity.

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        • #
          ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N

          A diesel generator’s competitive if you have solar panels to shine spotlights on at night.

          30

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          It depends heavily on 1. The scale, and 2. The usage.

          When the mains power came to us with 11,000v in 1954, 20 Kim’s by road out of town, the power was from diesel generators in our local town.

          With the coal fields 50 miles further on, they soon built a 33,000 v line to there.

          10

        • #
          bobl

          Jo,
          I did the math on this.

          Small generators get around 300g/KWh at optimal load. Its density is around 840g/litre so there is 840/300 is 2.8kWh per litre.

          at say $1.15 per lire – 38c excise and gst on excise the fuel could cost 77c Per Litre. So theoretically the fuel cost could be as low as 77/2.8 = 27.5c per kW hour ex of capex (On the same basis that greens calculate renewable energy cost).

          However, you must dimension a power supply at peak usage, so you need maybe 6kW to run your HWS and other bits and pieces or the cooker if you can’t have gas. So other times you pay maybe 5 times that when all the heavy appliances are off and your house is using say 300Watts.

          So you need to buffer that so that you are using peak generator efficiency all the time by using the generator to charge batteries intermittently then use the batteries to run the house via a 10 KW islanding inverter. If you do that then you should achieve around 30c-35c per kWh.

          Now here is where it gets interesting, if you have solar (I have 3Kw) then you can sell ALL your generation to the power company, but of course you are generating your own power from diesel. You pay say 35c per kw hour for your power from diesel but can get (on the right input tariff) 50c per kw hour for solar. At 15 kWh a day (which is what my 3kW system does) this is 7.50 per day which buys 9.7 litre of diesel (ex tax) enough to generate 9.7 x 2.8 = 27 kWh of electricity from diesel, enough to run my house.

          Ain’t green economics wonderful.

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          • #
            Peter C

            I was going to say Incredible Bobl, but on reflection it is sadly credible.☹️

            Thanks for the maths and congratulations on your investment.

            Living in the city, it seems unlikely that I would be allowed to run a diesel generator 24/7, simply because of the noise.

            I was thinking of a much smaller unit just to keep the contents of the freezer safe.

            20

          • #
            David Maddison

            Thanks for that detailed and interesting analysis bobl.

            00

          • #
            Rod Stuart

            What does the net present value look like when you apply the amortised capital cost over the life of the machine, as well as operating and maintenance costs?
            Would the expected life of the project be 10 years? 15 years?
            The gen set would operate on average about 10 hours per day? That would be 36,500 hours in ten years.
            Small equipment like that would require complete overhaul at, say 7500 hours? Probable replacement at say 20,000 hours?
            Servicing of lube oil and filters at 1000 hour intervals?
            I suppose if you did this yourself at zero labour cost it might be attractive.
            I’ve done this analysis in an industrial setting and every time Hydro is cheaper. But that was not with today’s cost of electricity. And it is very difficult to appraise the benefit of reliability.

            00

            • #
              bobl

              Rod, Hope you check back for the answers
              Firstly this is for a home setup, at 30 kW hours a day and a 6KVA genset the genset would run for about 5-6 hours a day. So you get around 5 years between servicing. In a high efficiency home say 20 kWh a day consumption or one with gas cooking and HWS you will only need 2-3 hours charge time and a longer service interval.

              Let’s say the setup costs 1K, at 20 kWh a day you generate 73000 kWh so the capex is around 1.3c per kWh for each $1000 spent.

              Yes I am assuming zero cost for lube etc because this is a domestic setting and the cost of that is likely under 1c per kWh.

              In a commercial setting it sure is much higher than this because A) Maintenance is better and more frequent, B) The Asset is more mission critical (A Domestic situation can rely on grid fall back and tolerate complete outages for substantial periods.). C) There are no Labour costs (Or rather the labour costs can be considered sunk costs). D) The intangible value of sticking it to the electricity company is different ;-)

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              • #
                Rod Stuart

                Thanks, Bob
                That looks reasonable.

                The intangible value of sticking it to the electricity company is different

                PRICELESS!

                00

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      David M,
      Be careful of any price comparison you do with gas. Looks like our domestic supply is diminishing and prices escalating.
      There’s a commonwealth-level conference looking into that supply at the moment. Not sure where I read it, but may be able to find a link.
      Cheers,
      Dave B

      30

    • #
      Analitik

      I would not rely on domestic gas pressure lasting long during a blackout. Post Hazelwood, a small petrol generator to power refrigeration and a few jerry cans could be prudent for Victorians. For South Australians, I would buy a somewhat larger diesel unit (~2kVA) and consider an inground tank.

      10

  • #
    John in Oz

    I always thought that Governments were supposed to be in place to supply the populace with essential services that are best produced due through economies of scale.

    I currently supply my own water with 50,000l rain tanks due to the high cost of mains (with mains backup) and 5KW of solar power that (thanks to those without it) covers my own use and the mains draw when the sun is not shining plus a profit each year.

    Now I have to consider purchasing a generator for the expected blackouts in SA.

    What am I paying a Government for?

    100

  • #
    John Watt

    So much for the deluded Rudd/Gillard “CO2 is pollution” mantra. Diesel produces real air pollution as well as the CO2. Central Planning at its best!

    100

  • #
    pat

    just posted:

    4 Dec: BBC: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key resigns
    Mr Key called it “the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” adding “I don’t know what I’ll do next.”
    Bill English is expected to take over until the National Party holds a caucus to choose a new PM.
    Mr Key is stepping down at the request of his wife Bronagh, the New Zealand Herald reports…
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38204424

    30

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Many, many commentators suggested he could easily get a similar job in Australia. Many others commented more on the lines – the PM’s of the UK, NZ and Italy have all resignd this year; why doesn’t Mal get the message?

      30

  • #
    Ruairi

    Many farmers can’t idly stand by,
    In S.A. and are forced to rely,
    On their own diesel station,
    For power generation,
    To back up the back-up supply.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    Here’s an idea. Would it work?

    Australia has a territorial waters limit of 12nm or 22km.

    Would it be possible for a power company to build a fossil plant and escape CO2 emissions limits by building a 22km undersea pipeline to exhaust the CO2 at sea in international waters? The gases could be vented either directly into the water or into the atmosphere via a floating chimney stack.

    A bizarre solution forced by a bizarre energy policy.

    Problem solved?

    61

  • #
    Robdel

    A headlong rush into 100% renewables is the best way to cause a popular revolt and put an end to cagw nonsense once and for all.

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  • #
    pat

    4 Dec: HeraldScotland: Letter: Industry needs energy, but renewables not the answer
    FROM: DB Watson, Saviskaill, Langdales Avenue, Cumbernauld.
    FURTHER to the recently published WWF assertion within its The Energy of Scotland Report that as renewables grow in the future “there is little or no need for conventional generating capacity in Scotland”, the National Grid System Data site has recorded that Scotland was a huge importer of electricity each day for almost the entire last week of November.
    This was principally due to the calm weather related loss of wind generation which also coincided with the unpredictable close-down of Torness conventional 600MW Unit 1 due to seaweed reducing the cooling water intake capability whilst its second unit was on planned reduced output for refuelling. Hunterston was outputting 1000MW of conventional generation throughout.
    My randomly timed random checks show that Scotland from a week past Wednesday (November 23) was daily importing 1423MW, 1725MW, 1417MW 962MW,742MW, 524MW from England peaking, apparently, at 2550MW on November 23. Torness was fully back on line from November 26 still leaving Scotland importing hugely…
    The last week of November was a glimpse of Scotland’s future. READ ALL
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/14945895.Industry_needs_energy__but_renewables_not_the_answer/

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  • #
    pat

    4 Dec: WSJ: Brian Spegele: China’s Clean Energy Push Runs Into Headwinds
    Construction of solar panels and wind farms hasn’t been matched by electricity grid upgrades
    BEIJING—China’s unbridled ambitions for clean energy led to the construction of two wind turbines every hour in recent years. Now, there is a new demand: slow down…
    So it came as a surprise to some industry observers when the country’s energy authority in November slashed wind and solar targets through 2020, dialing back the pace in a sector it views as strategic…
    Roughly one-fifth of wind power currently goes undistributed; in some parts of China, it is closer to half.
    Meanwhile, a slowing economy has caused China’s overall power needs to plateau, amplifying worries that after a long boom, the wind and solar sectors could risk a bust…
    Executives and industry observers now expect that pace to slow by as much as half in the coming years.
    At the end of last year, installed photovoltaic solar capacity stood at around 43 gigawatts while wind reached about 130 gigawatts…
    Yet, the lower clean-energy goals signal the huge role coal will continue playing in China for years to come. Based on government projections, China will possibly add more power capacity from coal in the coming years than from solar and wind combined. That is partly the result of local governments seeing new coal power plants as good for growth, with more jobs from mining and related industries…
    Against such a complicated backdrop, the IEA’s Mr. Frankl said it makes sense for the Chinese government to guide the industry slower for the moment. While it is too early to conclude China is backing off renewables long-term, he said the government was afraid the recent boom could overheat the market and lead to a bust.
    “This is a legitimate concern,” he said.
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-clean-energy-push-runs-into-headwinds-1480852982

    20

  • #
    RB.

    Its over now but I had huge frustrations with unreliable water supply because of people stealing from the system when I had the water booked. Hot weather and underwatering can ruin a crop of a variety cultivated in cooler climates while water is so expensive now that overwatering to err on the side of caution is not an option.

    If I was still in the business, I would have to invest in an old Lanz Bulldog to hook up to the pump – running on old fish&chip oil.

    30

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    Dennis

    In The Daily Telegraph today (I read a hard copy) there is an article covering demands from the NSW Labor Opposition Leader and the Greens in NSW for the NSW Government to end coal fired power station operations in the state. They want an immediate increase in renewables.

    The Minister has thankfully told them that it is not going to happen on his watch and has pointed out that renewables (so called) cannot provide the electricity that is needed to drive the state economy.

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    Manfred

    Possibly a little OT or maybe repetitive, relevant nonetheless.
    The electrical (de)generation plight in Ontario appears extraordinary.

    FRONTIER CENTRE FOR PUBLIC POLICY
    Ontario electricity has never been cheaper, but bills have never been higher
    Ross McKitrick August 8, 2016

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    Lance

    Once upon a time, there were “flywheel engines” or “Hit and Miss” type engines used in agriculture for pumping water. Very fuel efficient, slow speed, actually variable speed, but simple and cheap. Lister or Lister Petter engines, I believe. In modern times, they can scarce be found. Farmers need water. Not necessarily instantly, but reliably and cheaply. The only sources of these engines and engine pump combinations I’ve found are from India. ( I’ve no association with any of these, simply posting for whatever interest some parties might find in them ). See: Lovson http://slowspeedengine.com/engines_lg.htm and Vidhata http://www.vidhataindia.com/pump.html . Fuel consumption is a major factor in any case. The Lovson engines seem to be quite miserly in that respect. Best. :)

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      David Maddison

      If you want to see such engines in action you can go to the next Lake Goldsmith Steam Rally 2 hrs drive from Melbourne. They have open days twice per year.

      http://www.lakegoldsmithsteamrally.org.au/

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      Dave Ward

      In the UK there are many societies dedicated to restoring and preserving old engines and related machinery. Any steam engine rally, and many country & farming fairs will have sections displaying a variety of open frame, hit and miss and hot bulb engines. These vary from small half horsepower units to trailer mounted diesel engines weighing tons. The sheer variety of makes, types and uses these were put to, during their long lives is amazing. The majority appear to have driven water pumps, but generators and saw benches were also popular. Sadly, most of the exhibitors seem to be as old as their machinery, but occasionally you will see youngsters getting their hands dirty!

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        Rod Stuart

        Similar events are common in the “colonies” as well Dave.
        The Threshermen’s Reunion at Austin, Manitoba is well attended. And the “Steam Festival” in Sheffield, Tasmania is a gala event.
        A great deal of that old equipment was imported from England and Scotland.
        Both of the events I mentioned includes ploughing competitions, and displays that involve real horse power, and oxen as well.
        In Manitoba (back in the ’20′s it was called “the bread basket of the world”)the emphasis is on steam p;ower for threshing machines.
        In Tasmania, the use of seam was probably more varied, as it was necessary for mining and forestry as well as agriculture.

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    Lance

    Sorry for leaving this out, as it is significant. The engines referenced have Specific fuel consumption ranges from 185 to 270 grams of diesel fuel per kwh produced at shaft output. In rough measure, 0.25 Liter/hr/ KWh.

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    Lance

    A bit of travel for me, David, as I’m near Jacksonville FL USA. On the off chance I’m nearby, I’d be very pleased to see that and buy you pints from sunup to sundown. :)

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      David Maddison

      This is not the type of engine you were talking about Lance but this is a beautiful 1932 twin cylinder Ruston and Hornsby diesel at Lake Goldsmith. I made a video. https://youtu.be/jIQ1pOUYQYE (They have all engine types, not just steam.) This engine can burn almost any liquid hydrocarbon including crude oil straight out of the ground.

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        Lance

        Great Video, David. Thank you for posting. Love the craftsmanship illustrated in the video. Timeless stuff, that.

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    Egor TheOne

    SA state government = kookoo
    Vic state government = kookoo
    Australian (pretend)renewable energy policy = very kookoo!

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    Dave Ward

    Several comments talk about using inverters and battery banks, rather than running generators for long periods. For domestic use this is an excellent idea, but not cheap to start with. If you are going down this route, might I suggest you look at marine or better “off grid” suppliers.

    Many companies supply “Combi” inverter/chargers, which can often be linked up to provide substantial outputs, and even 3 phase if required. Rather than duplicating circuitry, using bi-directional conversion stages saves space, and makes installation and wiring simpler. It also offers (depending on manufacturer) the possibility of near instant changeover from charger to inverter (providing UPS capabilities), and even boosting weak mains or small generator supplies. This reduces the need to buy a big generator, just to cope with short term heavy loads, and you get high capacity battery charging included.

    So you can run a smaller genny at optimum load, thereby getting better fuel economy. I’ve seen at least one firm here in the UK offering containerised solutions and even “hybrid” generators, combining these technologies to provide continuous power without needing to run engines through the night. It’s probably time to start investing in this line of business…

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    Cephus0

    Kristonabike but surely you guys can just arrest the lunatics with their unevidenced sc-fi who are trying to starve you, boil/freeze and bankrupt you? Surely there is some way you can stop this? If the ‘government’ said you all have to drink battery acid and gibber under the moon would you do it?

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