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Solar Homes use more grid electricity than non-solar homes

There are probably more solar panels in QLD than anywhere else in the world. Back in February last year, the boss of the Queensland state power company announced the awkward result that households with solar panels were using more electricity than those without. Apparently people without solar were turning off the air conditioner because electricity cost too much, but the solar users didn’t have to worry about the cost so much.

Queensland solar homes are using more grid electricity than non-solar, says Energex boss

Feb 2016:  Solar-powered homes in south-east Queensland, which boasts the world’s highest concentration of rooftop panels, have begun consuming on average more electricity from the grid than those without solar, the network operator has found.

Terry Effeney, the chief executive of state-owned power distributor Energex, said the trend – which belied the “green agenda” presumed to drive those customers – was among the challenges facing a region that nevertheless stood the best chance globally of making solar the cornerstone of its electricity network.

From October 2014 in Queensland, the average grid electricity use of solar homes started to exceed the average use of people without solar power and stayed higher for the at least the next 18 months (when this story appeared).

In other words, subsidized solar panels could mean that the people who pay the subsidies use less electricity than the people who get the subsidy and the panels. It also means the poor, who can’t pay for panels, have to go without more often.

Playing God with markets doesn’t have to be this hard. If the price of electricity is the largest influence on behaviour, the government could have just slapped on a bigger electricity tax, and that would have cut electricity use across the board. Thousands of people wouldn’t have wasted millions of dollars installing solar panels. The money would have helped the state government provide a service that was more useful than weather-unchanging-electronic-panels. Queensland could have had more healthcare, more holidays or less debt, instead they changed the color of their electrons.

 

Giles Parkinson at Reneweconomy admits it’s a bad look:

What’s the point of solar, CEO Terry Effeney wondered out loud at a Brisbane business luncheon even on the future of electricity, if it wasn’t reducing demand and reducing the amount of coal-fired generation.

Parkinson tries to explain why this might not be:

One of the problems is that there are no direct comparisons … of, say, big families with a lot of energy use, using solar or not, and people who live in apartments, or pensioners, and using solar or not. And it doesn’t compare houses before they had solar and afterwards.

It could also be that the biggest electricity users also took up solar. When you take out the biggest users, that reduces the average for the remainder. The fact that it is flattened now suggests that may be the remaining households have run out of ways to cut demand.

The biggest users of electricity are the homes with more airconditioning, heated pools, extra fridges.  Wealthier people can afford the capital outlay to buy solar panels. But it doesn’t explain why their grid use declined in 2010 and increased in 2014.

The artificial tariffs encourage people to feed their solar to the grid when it doesn’t need it, and draw back electricity later:

There is a further complication. Even those houses with more solar than they need have no incentive to move demand (such as pool pumps, air conditioning and other appliances) to the daytime when it could be supplied by their rooftop solar, because of the structure of the tariffs, particularly the 300,000 on the premium feed in tariff.

They get 44c/kWh for solar exported to the grid, and a lot less for imports. It is totally different to whether the solar households are helping reduce coal consumption. On Energex own evidence, they do, because they now account for 7.4 per cent of total demand.

The premium feed in tariff is a perverse incentive and one that would require some clever thinking to get around. A recent suggestion by the Quensland Productivity Commission to simply end them was dismissed straight away.

It has more than 1,000MW of rooftop capacity and at its peak that could theoretically satisfy 20 per cent of demand at any one time (although South Australia and Western Australia are predicted to go to 100 per cent of demand at certain times within the next decade).

 

Of course the voters would have hated a straight electricity tax. Perhaps the appeal of a complicated subsidy scheme is that it looks so “progressive” yet hides the government mandated tax, and provides an escape clause for wealthier citizens. It also created a whole class of voters with a pro-renewables interest in maintaining the subsidies.

Let’s have a free market in energy I say. I can buy boutique solar powered flow for 44c.. The wholesale rate of coal power  is around 3 – 4 cents a KWh.   Gimme, gimme, gimme cheap coal-fired electrons. Where do I get that choice?

 

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224 comments to Solar Homes use more grid electricity than non-solar homes

  • #
    oeman50

    And you know what I do with CFL and LED bulbs? If I have a 60W incandescent bulb, I replace with a 75W equivalent so I get more light. It still draws less power than the bulb it replaces, but there is not as much savings as using a 60W equivalent bulb. I use the newer technology to improve my life, not to keep my emissions as low as possible. Isn’t it weird that other people do that, too?

    261

    • #
      Just Thinkin'

      Same here about the bulbs.

      We got solar panels in 2009, then added another 4 a bit later.

      We DID NOT get the panels for any STUPID green reason. he he

      I could see that electricity prices would be increasing.

      The decision was all about the pocket…

      162

      • #
        observa

        Ditto for us when I realized- You’re going to pay me Watt for that? Gimme some of that clawback and pronto stoopids!
        The only green around here are the neighbours going without reshiftable power bills but I get to swan around oozing compassion for Gaia if they ever grizzle. Win win!

        20

    • #
      Geoff

      Cheaper power via subsidies from industry and the poor to the better off means more power used for no productivity increase, who would have thought?

      Batteries in everything must be charged. Usually overnight. No sun then. so expect our HV transmission lines to not cope with batteries everywhere. Except batteries at the power station or shared by the power station there will be no savings. More CO2 emitted, more capital lost, more complexity and opex etc. Then there is the disposal problem, cobalt and lithium.

      The only thing driving this fantasy is the need get re-elected. The environment and economy lose.

      411

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Always and forever, there will be unintended consequences when you expect reality to obey your fantasies. Especially when those fantasies are founded on nothing but a noble cause script disconnected from anything real.

    Reality is what it is and knows nothing about noble causes.

    311

    • #
      Oliver K. Manuel

      Yes, tyrants know that noble causes persuade large numbers of the public to follow their plans, e.g., “renewable energy, sexual equality, etc., etc.”, as if energy might otherwise be created or destroyed and sexual differences are imaginary.

      152

    • #

      Surely not another failed Green scheme?

      261

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        In countries with nuclear power…(pause)… where the cost of cleaning and disposing of nuclear waste is not passed on to the consumer…(pause)… because the nuclear industry is simply storing its waste on-site, ..(pause)… the cheap cost allows users to use more power than they would otherwise have used if the final costs of disposal were actually included in the cost per kilowatt.

        From: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/burning-reactor-fuel-could-have-worsened-fukushima-disaster

        “At U.S. nuclear plants, spent fuel is equally vulnerable. It is for the most part densely packed in pools, heightening the fire risk if cooling systems were to fail. NRC has estimated that a major fire in a U.S. spent fuel pool would displace, on average, 3.4 million people from an area larger than New Jersey. “We’re talking about trillion-dollar consequences,” says panelist Frank von Hippel, a nuclear security expert at Princeton University.”

        416

        • #

          Could have, might have, possibly, if, but. No one ever thinks of the birds.

          102

        • #
          Peter Miller

          There is a perfectly safe way to get rid of nuclear waste, including the scary highly radioactive stuff.

          There are plenty of salt domes in most developed countries. You develop underground chambers, galleries etc in the salt domes, then from the outside back towards the interior access, you pack in your nuclear waste. Salt is ultra dry and ‘plastic’ in that it ‘flows’ into any cavity, sealing it forever. It is also impermeable which means you have to wait for many millions of years for erosion to expose your waste to the Environment, by which time it will be almost totally inert.

          All other schemes for getting rid of radioactive waste have flaws, salt domes are the simple and effective answer, which presumably is why governments seem so reluctant to use them.

          132

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            In the meantime, the cost per kilowatt to price in the very, very, adult supervision required to get the job of disposing spent fuel done is not showing up on the nuclear energy bill. At these prices, energy obesity will continue.

            312

            • #

              I’d happily pay to get rid of my waste, as I do with all of my other residential waste. I’m not happy to pay for snake oil salesmen (bankers, financiers, Big Oil etc) making money hand over fist and delivering nothing with wind and solar, expect third world energy and increasingly similar living standards.

              100

    • #
      Peter Miller

      Noble causes?

      More like just another instance of: The Law of Unintended Consequences.

      Socialists and sundry lefties have long been guilty of repeating the same old mistake:

      1. Let’s do X, it sounds good, helps whatever cause is trendy at the time, and the gullible/stupid will give us their votes if we do it. So X results in Y.

      2. But Y causes Z and Z3, both of which are bad, had not been expected and make the situation worse than if X had never happened.

      Rolling blackouts in times of extreme weather, the result of green energy programs, are going to become ever more frequent in the years ahead for just about everyone who genuinely (obviously does not include China or India) signed up to the idiocy which was the Paris climate agreement.

      171

  • #
    Oliver K. Manuel

    The delusion that you are “doing the right thing” is a powerful reason for following the commands of a dictator.

    161

    • #

      yep doing the right thing is what dictators demand.

      “I think the executive order is a good executive order, and I think the president is doing the right thing,” Cheney said.

      111

      • #
        AndyG55

        Donald Trump has a LOT of Obarmy’s executive orders to undo.

        If the quickest way to undo them is by another executive order, then it most definitely is the right thing to do.

        202

    • #
      Allen Ford

      The “right thing” meme was tossed around by the forme NSW premier, Mike Baird, for banning greyhound racing and forcibly amalgamating local councils, with the result of a massive backlash and his standing down to “spent more time with his family” and other pretexts.

      Funny thing is he never spelled out exactly what the “right thing” was nor how he came to this conclusion.

      Lesson: run a mile, or kilometre, when a notable person spews out the “right thing” pretext!

      102

  • #
    diogenese2

    This is a classic example of the “Jeavons Paradox” wherein efficiency lowering cost simply causes increased consumption (or indulgence if you like) and not resource saving.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox

    From this insight William Jeavons forecast, in 1865, that Britain would run out of coal by 1880 and that the industrial revolution would collapse. Slightly out, but the primeval fear of resource depletion (ie peak oil) has dogged the “developed” nations ever since. This fear, alongside the Malthusian fear of population excess, is the imperative that has driven the entire Global Warming Narrative since the 70′s.
    the first CAGW paper was written in 1953 but the emerging Global Cooling scare rather put the idea on ice (sorry about that).
    This is why the elites of the developed world created the UNFCCC in 1992 with its potentially suicidal intent and accepted the Third World demands for exemption from the requirements of the Rio accord, they believed that the rising price of depleting fuel would price the developing nations out of the market. Anything rather than face the industrialisation of the third world.
    The narrative now faces the complete failure of their vision, strategy and objectives.
    This is not going to be pretty.
    “may you live in interesting times” Chinese curse.

    230

    • #
      Tim Hammond

      I’m not sure it is really.

      There is no increased efficiency, merely increased supply that – because of subsidies mainly – is artificially cheap. And what is consumed is air-conditioning rather than electricity as such.

      What it really is perverse incentives, coupled with the delusion that most of us will refrain from consuming near term in order to achieve something long term (and perhaps beyond our lifetimes). We all have problems saving enough for our own old age, when those things are obvious and personal. The idea that we would not turn on the air conditioning to help somebody in 100 years is wishful thinking of the highest degree.

      00

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    Letting people have cheap (subsidised) electricity causes them to use more than those who pay the extra cost. Sounds like Federal and State Government policy.

    220

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Well now thats just a tad awkward….

    30

  • #
    Steve Richards

    A good example of the Law of unintended consequences…..

    151

  • #
    Ross

    It even looks like the now left-wing Economist magazine is finally waking to the issues around so called green energy ( or they madly rushing to be seen to be on the right side of the debate).
    But they have a long way to go given the headline.

    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21717371-thats-no-reason-governments-stop-supporting-them-wind-and-solar-power-are-disrupting?cid1=cust/ednew/n/bl/n/20170223n/owned/n/n/nwl/n/n/n/8947035/n

    50

  • #
    PaulE

    I do this for an obvious reason. They pay so little for the electricity we sell to the grid that I turn the air conditioning on in the morning to keep the house cool through the day. Most of what my 5kW panels generate probably still goes but it allows me to buy less in the evening.
    Since i have a notional “credit”, we use the air conditioning in the bedroom every night.
    That’s why we put solar panels in in the first place.

    70

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Quite right; it is far more efficient to cool the house when the air outside is cooler, then you use only what is needed to maintain your temperature. You save more electricity by not setting the temperature too low. That way you use less electricity than those who only turn the air-conditioning on when they get home, especially if you are in a State with ‘daylight saving’ which means the maximum temperature coincides closely with the end of the working day.

      50

      • #

        Graeme No.3 mentions this: (my bolding here)

        Quite right; it is far more efficient to cool the house when the air outside is cooler, then you use only what is needed to maintain your temperature. You save more electricity by not setting the temperature too low.

        This (air conditioning) is the single most difficult thing I have ever come across when I try to explain to people how to use it in a household application, and here, I’ll just (try to) explain for the Summer situation on cooling.

        The unit itself is set to operate on the temperature you set it at. Whatever that temperature is, (and I always use 25C, Summer and Winter) then it operates to keep the inside of the home at that temperature. So, the temperature setting you apply (25C) is the lower setting, and internally, the unit has an upper setting, two or three degrees higher.

        The unit operates under two conditions, ‘blowing’ Cooled air around the volume of the room to get it back to that desired temperature you have set, and once at that temperature, then circulating the air around the volume, two separate pieces of work.

        For the first operation, when the upper temperature is reached, the unit starts up the compressor automatically, and the compressor, with the fans blow cold air into the room. Once that desired set temperature is reached, the compressor turns off automatically, and then the second piece of work is just the fans circulating that cooled air around the room.

        As it slowly warms up inside the room, the upper temperature is again reached, and the compressor starts again to blow cold air into the room.

        It continuously cycles around those two set temperatures, compressor coming on and going off automatically.

        The compressor is far and away the largest consumer of electricity, and the fans consume a lot less. (a lot lot less)

        So, getting back to what Graeme said above, if you turn the unit on in the cool of the morning, when the ambient outside temperature is coolest, around that 25C already here in Queensland, then the unit operates more efficiently, as the inside temperature is closer to your set level. So the compressor only comes on for a short period of time, every so often to get the inside temp back down to your setting.

        However, wait until it really gets hot to turn the unit on, and here’s what happens.

        Outside 35C, inside probably even hotter still, especially if you’ve just arrived home from work and the inside is up beyond 40C, sometimes even hotter still.

        The unit comes on and the compressor now has to work overtime to get that temperature down to your desired setting of 25C. If it is a small unit, that means the compressor has to work continuously to try and overcome that huge differential between the inside temperature and your setting. (and here you need to be aware that a correctly functioning aircon unit should be specifically designed for the volume it is meant to operate in, as it’s no use getting a small unit for an open plan home)

        In many cases, that differential is so huge the compressor has to run full time for a very long time to try and get it down, and may, in fat, not even succeed, depending on the size of the unit.

        Whereas, turn it on in the cool of the morning and allow it to just run all day, the compressor may only operate for short periods of time throughout the day, depending on if you have doors and windows open (which they should not be, close everything, otherwise your aircon unit is trying to air condition Australia) insulation in the roof and/or walls, and a correctly designed unit for the volume it is trying to cool.

        Running the thing all day, as might happen on weekends when everyone is home from work and school, is cheaper than waiting until it’s too hot already and then turning it on.

        The compressor is the largest consumer of electricity in the whole operation, and if that is operating less, then it is cheaper to run.

        Electrical Theory is a lot more than the power coming out of the proverbial ‘hole in the wall’.

        Tony.

        Please don’t ask me about Power Factor, True Power, and Apparent Power

        181

  • #
    James Murphy

    What happened after September 2015 – does that data exist somewhere?

    60

  • #
    el gordo

    O/T

    “In short, why not say to the people of Australia: we’ll cut the RET, to help with your power bills; we’ll cut immigration to make housing more affordable; we’ll scrap the Human Rights Commission to stop official bullying; we’ll stop all new spending to end ripping off our grandkids; and we’ll reform the Senate to have government, not gridlock.”

    Tony Abbott

    370

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Abbott is a Rhodes Scholar ( like Turncoat, Hawke & Bill Clinton )
      Rhodes loved the idea of world govt
      Ergo….

      40

      • #
        el gordo

        Cory, Malcolm and Tony are all Scorpios, which leaves the astrologers in a dither.

        40

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          True…although it seems a tad intersting we keep getting people in the top jobs that have signed onto “the cause”…funny that….

          20

          • #
            el gordo

            This from Chris Uhllmann on Tony Abbott.

            ‘His anger is not limited to Mr Turnbull but spread widely across those colleagues who conspired in his execution: chief among them Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison. It extends to those who voted against him and even staffers who have since taken jobs with traitors.’

            20

          • #
            el gordo

            Dutton is now the punters favourite to get Turnbull’s job before Xmas, a populist in the Trump style.

            He appears to be a clean skin on climate change, an amusing quip on sea level rise suggests he’s not into the AGW hypothesis.

            40

          • #
            el gordo

            What are the odds, Peter Dutton is another Scorpio.

            00

    • #
      AndyG55

      I’m pretty sure that TA knows he will never get the PM job again, but it seems he is dead set on doing whatever he can to bring the leftist Turnbull Party back to being a centre-right Liberal party.

      Its the only way that the Liberal party can be saved, because there are now alternatives for the centre, non-leftist, conservative voter.

      20

      • #
        el gordo

        So we support Peter Dutton for PM, with Tony on the front bench, while Malcolm joins other ex-politicians on the infrastructure band wagon.

        If the punters are right, all of this should come about before Xmas.

        Cory can do well out of this tumult, achieving a better than predicted following.

        00

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        And yet whoever we get, we seem to get an ETS or carbon tax?

        I guess Bill Shortpants isnt a scorpio, I guess that would mess that idea up….

        00

  • #
  • #
    Binny

    Solar panels starting to fail as well. The quality of a lot of those panels left a lot to be desired.
    Gov starts to throw money around – Dodgy dealers come out of the woodwork, plus people are not as vigilant on quality. Because, after all it’s not their money.

    160

  • #
    Popeye26

    This is the latest from the “Climate Council” that the ABC reports like the little lapdog that it is for all warming believers and memes.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-23/solar-power-cheaper-than-coal-climate-council-finds/8296232

    Cheers,

    50

    • #
      Robert Rosicka

      I’ve stopped checking what the climate council report , none of it is true and it’s always doom and gloom .
      Which proves the abc have no interest in fact checking unless it’s to have a go at conservative views .

      130

    • #
      Peter C

      Much the same in The Age today. Peter Hannam joyfully predicts a bright future for Big Solar and claims that the cost of solar is “close to half of the levelised cost of a new ultrac ritical coal fired power” and “solar can provide power when demand peaks”.

      It sounds wonderful, but he is leaving things out which are crucial to the actual costs.

      Hannam should be held to account for speading falsehhods.

      80

      • #
        bobl

        Yes, I have considered donating to the Climate Council just so I can sue them from Fr@ud. (IFF means if and only if) I see this as seeking donations on a false pretence. Yes, IFF solar panels were the ONLY component, and IFF they worked at night and IFF they worked on cloudy days and IFF they worked when dirty and IFF you didn’t need a grid then Solar panels might produce energy at a lower cost than coal some of the time. It is deceptive lie. The sum total of Solar Panels installed in Australia is unlikely to be able to provide the energy for the solar industry in Australia let alone anyone else.

        60

  • #
    Dennis

    Another example of unforeseen consequences, or were they unforeseen?

    The proven way to go is zero subsidies for any business venture and let the market decide the viability of the product.

    So called renewable energy is socialist thinking, choose winners and losers regardless of the cost and the quality provided.

    150

    • #
      Popeye26

      Too true Dennis.

      It’s amazing how expensive some things become when they’re NOT propped up with someone elses money.

      Cheers,

      40

  • #

    Never mind the consumption, feel the virtue.

    120

  • #
    Neville

    Solar and wind only supply about 0.5% of our TOTAL PRIMARY energy, while fossil fuels supply 89.3%. And globally the supply from S&W is about the same. Here’s the pie chart for OZ from the IEA 2014 and Geo S&W supply just 1.3%.
    NOTE this is TOTAL energy used in OZ not just electricity.

    http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/AUSTRALI4.pdf

    Here is the IEA pie chart for the world. Note fossil fuels still supply 81.1% of TOTAL world energy and Geo S&W only 1.3% combined And IEA told Lomborg this may increase to 2.5% for S&W by 2040. IOW still sweet FA while the US gov EIA tell us that co2 emissions will increase by 34% by 2040. So if we follow the COP 21 donkeys the world will waste countless tens of trillions $ down the drain for no measurable return by 2100. Does this make any sense to anyone?

    OH and if the Labor donkeys win the next election they’ll definitely export as much coal and gas as they can. So Labor couldn’t care less about co2 emissions , they just want to stuff up the OZ economy apparently. But where are the journos explaining these very simple facts to the OZ electorate? Here’s the IEA world TOTAL energy chart.

    http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/WORLD4.pdf

    120

  • #
    Dennis

    There is no doubt that buying the latest electrical appliances, LED lights and so on will reduce consumption of household electricity however, on my bills power is the lowest charge, administration, renewable energy surcharge etc., plus 10% GST is the higher cost.

    And I do not have a solar system so I am effectively subsidising others who do and who are subsidised.

    The old coal power station supply system was better.

    140

    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      We can thank our lucky country stars that we do not have to pay the cost of disposal of nuclear waste which is usually never factored into the final electricity bill for nuclear energy. Instead this hidden cost is deferred by storing the problem in temporary spent fuel pools so that the consumer does not have to wear the additional cost of disposal from the outset. This allows the nuclear energy user to consume more energy than would otherwise have used because the cost is artificially low.

      From: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/as-nuclear-waste-piles-up-south-korea-faces-storage-crisis/

      “The world’s fifth-largest user of nuclear power has around 70 percent, or nearly 9,000 tonnes, of its used fuel stacked in temporary storage pools originally intended to hold it for five or six years, with some sites due to fill by the end of 2016.

      And then there is the environmental cost which is tricky. For example, the nuclear industry finds it cheaper to store uranium tailings in dams that are supposed to last forever.

      “From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailings_dam

      A tailings dam is typically an earth-fill embankment dam used to store byproducts of mining operations after separating the ore from the gangue. Conventional water retention dams can serve this purpose, but due to cost, a tailings dam is more viable. Tailings can be liquid, solid, or a slurry of fine particles. Solid tailings are often used as part of the structure itself.

      Tailings dams rank among the largest engineered structures on earth. The Syncrude Mildred Lake Tailings Dyke in Alberta, Canada, is an embankment dam about 18 kilometres (11 mi) long and from 40 to 88 metres (131 to 289 ft) high. It is the largest dam structure on earth by volume, and as of 2001 it was believed to be the largest earth structure in the world by volume of fill.[1]

      There are key differences between tailings dams and the more familiar hydro dams. Tailings dams are designed for permanent containment, meant to “remain there forever”.[2] Copper, gold, uranium and other mining operations produce varied kinds of waste, much of it toxic, which pose varied challenges for long-term containment.[3]

      It plans to cram those sites with more fuel than they were originally intended to hold while it looks for a permanent solution, suggesting little has been learned from the Fukushima disaster in neighboring Japan.”

      411

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        WOW.

        That sounds really scary ES, is it true??

        20

        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          Nuclear power is really, really, really scary. At least two extra ‘really’ material KK. Makes the decadent popular pastime of using extra solar power seem like being caressed by beautiful angels in comparison to using allegedly cheap/clean/reliable nukes.

          http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/spent-fuel-fire-us-soil-could-dwarf-impact-fukushima

          “But the national academies’s report warns that spent fuel accumulating at U.S. nuclear plants is also vulnerable. After fuel is removed from a reactor core, the radioactive fission products continue to decay, generating heat. All nuclear power plants store the fuel onsite at the bottom of deep pools for at least 4 years while it slowly cools. To keep it safe, the academies report recommends that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and nuclear plant operators beef up systems for monitoring the pools and topping up water levels in case a facility is damaged. The panel also says plants should be ready to tighten security after a disaster.

          At most U.S. nuclear plants, spent fuel is densely packed in pools, heightening the fire risk. NRC has estimated that a major fire at the spent fuel pool at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania would displace an estimated 3.46 million people from 31,000 square kilometers of contaminated land, an area larger than New Jersey. But Von Hippel and Schoeppner think that NRC has grossly underestimated the scale and societal costs of such a fire.”

          48

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        Typo: that should be
        From: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/as-nuclear-waste-piles-up-south-korea-faces-storage-crisis/

        “The world’s fifth-largest user of nuclear power has around 70 percent, or nearly 9,000 tonnes, of its used fuel stacked in temporary storage pools originally intended to hold it for five or six years, with some sites due to fill by the end of 2016.

        It plans to cram those sites with more fuel than they were originally intended to hold while it looks for a permanent solution, suggesting little has been learned from the Fukushima disaster in neighboring Japan.”

        28

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          ES:
          Could you find a more reliable source?

          60

          • #
            KinkyKeith

            Graeme, you won’t find a more reliable source of electric power than nuclear generation.

            That’s why a large part of Europe’s power comes from that source.

            50

          • #
            Mark D.

            Good one Graeme!

            20

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            Not sure about that Graeme No3. All nuclear reactors in operation seem to be excellently reliable sources of spent nuclear fuel rods. I admit that those that are in South Korea might not be as reliable as those building up throughout the rest of the world.

            Just thinking about the global energy obesity crisis and am beginning to postulate that the reason for this scourge might be originating from the military industrial complex which is extremely energy intensive. This industry might be the reason our energy requirements are increasing exponentially. Bombing countries/places back to the literal stoneage and rebuilding them again in a contiuous cycle is very energy intensive.

            I was thinking perhaps we should start thinking of energy in terms of drone/ICBM/bunkerbuster bomb per Gigawatt. Perhaps someone can help do the math.

            Does anyone know how many gigawatts of electricity it takes to keep the military industrial complex supplied so it can manufacture/create and explode things and places at current perpetual levels?

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        Peter C

        Why not just pile the nuclear waste material up on the surface. What is Woomera for otherwise? Another alternative is to put the waste back in a hole, like the one that it came out of, eg Olympic dam mine site. Both simple and cheap options

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          Frank

          The fairest solution is to share the burden by having everyone store a kilogram under their house.

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          • #
            ROM

            Some people already have that kilogram of nuclear material stored under their houses.

            Its all there in the rocks of the planet right down through the planet’s crust.

            And for some who are residing in the granite belts of this planet you don’t have to go very deep to accumulate a kilogram of radio active material under a house as the quite natural radio active Radon gas levels are quite high to very high in many dwellings and work places across the global granite formations.
            ——————–
            And to bring the rants appearing here against nuclear power into a natural perspective particularly as mankind has lived in various quite natural radio active regions for most our existence as a race and species.
            Plus of course the endless low level radio active sources surrounding us and created by charged nuclear sized particles that constantly stream in for the surrounding galaxy and even the Universe.

            .
            From the now notorious for excessive regulation, the USA’s EPA.

            According to the US EPA, nearly 1 in 3 homes checked in seven states and on three Indian lands had screening levels over 4 pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended action level for radon exposure.

            The alpha radiation emitted by radon is the same alpha radiation emitted by other alpha generating radiation sources such as plutonium.

            A family whose home has radon levels of 4 pCi/L is exposed to approximately 35 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow if that family was standing next to the fence of a radioactive waste site. (25 mrem limit, 800 mrem exposure)

            An elementary school student that spends 8 hours per day and 180 days per year in a classroom with 4 pCi/L of radon will receive nearly 10 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows at the edge of a nuclear power plant. (25 mrem limit, 200 mrem exposure)

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              Environment Skeptic

              Many tons of depleted uranium were stored by the US on Iraq under their beds/houses and so on..
              It is true that at least some efforts have been made to store at least some of the isotopes of uranium in various countries.

              The question remains…..How can the nuclear industry be toilet trained to clean up its spent fuel rods amongst other things.

              From:http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs291/en/


              Health effects of radon

              Radon is the most important cause of lung cancer after smoking. It is estimated that radon causes between 3–14% of all lung cancers in a country, depending on the average radon level and the smoking prevalence in a country.

              An increased rate of lung cancer was first seen in uranium miners exposed to high concentrations of radon. In addition, studies in Europe, North America and China have confirmed that even low concentrations of radon – such as those found in homes – also confer health risks and contribute significantly to the occurrence of lung cancers worldwide.

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            • #
              Graeme No.3

              ES:

              Smoking seems to make exposure worse. I still remember one Health Lecture where it was pointed out that exposure to asbestos (one of the dangerous types) put your chances of dying before 70 up 10 times. Smoking put it up 30 times, and smoking and asbestos up 90 times.
              Given the epidemic os smoking in asian countries it wouldn’t take much to boost the cancer rates.

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              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                It’s not my main fear. The cancer that has its origins in the power to print money as debt is probably scarier.

                My main existential fear is that with so much spent fuel being stored on site that is increasing all the time at hundreds of nuclear power reactors,….. the slightest geopolitical aggression or accident magnifies/increases the probability of nuclear malfunction. A nuclear power plant with a bloated spent fuel pool multiplies the complexity of running the plant. Instead of the nuclear reactor melting down, it can escalate and become nuclear reactor meltdown/other plus spent fuel fire as Fukushima showed for what i think is the first time.

                As for Jo’s post here about houses with solar using more electricity, it could equally be construed that houses being supplied with alleged cheap nuclear power use more power because the true cost is not reflected correctly with cost of spent fuel management factored in. And there are plenty of examples of Boric acid corrosion and failing pumps to show that the nuclear industry has its fair share of cost cutting measures over and above the spent fuel management failure which directly make nuclear power cheaper aat the outset. Of course this changes as the Japanese example shows the public had to guarantor approximately four trillion yen of debt loans to bail out the failed nuclear plant.

                That’s why the same phenomena of using more energy because it is cheap creates energy obesity (Using more decadently) with nuclear power which is similar to the example described in Jo’s new post with respect to solar.

                The scarier, and even scarier thing is that energy obesity gives rise to the ability to decadently use the cheap energy to increase manufacturing capacity for such things as weapons of mass destruction like ICBM’s, drones and much much more.

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            bobl

            Maybe we could incorporate the fuel in solar panels and fix them on top of greenies houses so they can generate at night the way the greenies think they can. You could also turn the spent fuel into alpha particle batteries and install them in the greenies electric bycycles and cars!.

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          Environment Skeptic

          Serbia has played its part for the storage of many tons of depleted uranium.

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      • #
        RobK

        On the contrary ES, Australia could do a booming business safely storing the world’s nuclear waste.

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          Environment Skeptic

          That would only encourage the energy obesity epidemic. If the waste that nuclear energy produces is so clean, it could be stored under houses and so on in the originating country.

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            Graeme No.3

            Be sensible if you can. Some radioactive substances are dangerous, others less so. Plutonium is toxic orally, skin contact and inhalation. You could stand next to a sealed drum of it for 8 years and still be alive.
            France stores radioactive waste in the Champagne district (there are public tours available) and deep underground in the Massif Central mountains.
            There are thoughts that thorium based molten salt reactors could “burn up” the radioactive waste in storage.

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              Environment Skeptic

              Concentrate anything and it can be toxic. Concentrate power and it becomes toxic at the psychological level.
              For example, natural uranium ore is not concentrated but when it is, it is toxic to the liver.
              Our river systems need concentrated water (clean water), but if anything else is concentrated in it the river system dies or at least in part.

              Most of my objections to thorium is that it requires a humongously intensive use of chemical processing and is not as many think, baked in the oven ready to go. The pollution is huge before it can even be used. Nature has not magically refined it for us ready to go. The same applies to the uranium. That’s why tailings dams are supposedly built to last forever, which is pathological/psychotic fantasy

              Our planet is a small shadow of the diverse life that existed here as little as 30 years ago.

              I Google “mass fish death” etc all the time and it is on the increase.

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                Environment Skeptic

                Of course you won’t hear about mass fish death in many of Australias river systems because the fish are already dead and cannot be wiped out twice. Ok maybe one or two species survive like carp for instance.

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              Environment Skeptic

              Maybe anthropogenic life on earth was put here so that future species will find innovative ways to feed and evolve from the concentrated waste products our species left behind.

              Chronology of major tailings dam failures.
              http://www.wise-uranium.org/mdaf.html

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          Environment Skeptic

          https://www.choosenuclearfree.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/F1020014W-1024×685.jpg
          We are doing our part. We carry our fair share of the nuclear obesity epidemic. tailings as far as the eye can see in more than one location.

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    Dennis

    Imagine a town where coffee shops had to pay a subsidy amount to one of their competitors, the cafes paying the subsidy cannot afford to pay it and the recipient cafe is making substantial profits with a small share of the local market.

    This reminds me of renewable energy, those businesses are the profitable coffee shop.

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  • #
    KinkyKeith

    The “Solar” issue is just another example of kindergarten level Political Science.

    The truth is now, and always will be, that there are “economies of scale”.

    The only justification for solar use is for very isolated situations.

    This same PolSci method of doing things brought us the more obvious crazy “enhancements” to the residential building codes instituted to curry favour with green voters, and hang the expense.

    Two very obvious building code abberations stand out:
    first, all new buildings must have external awnings to doors and windows where sunlight may enter and lead to the use of air conditioners to excess. I worked out the likely retirement date of the debt required to pay for these awnings out of the “savings” and it was about 90 years.

    There is also a requirement to “save” the rainwater. The tank and associated valves and switches is reproducing the function of large dams. The maintenance problems are insurmountable: that’s code for something.

    I’m sure that if the cost effectiveness of these two nutcase examples of green engineering were known to the public they would not be happy. We have retreated to the early 1900s just so that politicians can avoid spending on infrastructure.

    In our area they sold off land bought with our water rates for a new dam but took the cash back to Sydney to buy votes.

    They need the cash to buy votes.

    If there was any real justice most politicians would be doing hard labour, preferably on a new dam site.

    KK

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    • #
      Dennis

      There is also at least two areas set aside for new dams by the Coalition in NSW government from 1965 to 1976 and both were abandoned when Labor (Premier Carr) came to office early 1990s.

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        Michael

        The Wolfdene dam site between and the Gold Coast had been progressively acquired (by coalition governments) over a number of years. A strategic site between two growing major population centres. One of the very first actions of the newly elected Goss government was to abandon the project and sell off the land. Pushing this bit of electoral sycophancy was none other than Kevin Rudd. Ironically the water minister was Henry Palazcuk – the father of the present Premier.
        This was probably the most damaging action by a government in recent Qld history.

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        • #
          KinkyKeith

          There’s a lot of money in them thar hills, all bought and paid for by the dumb taxpayers/water rates payer and electricity user/payer.

          Easy pickings for any brand of politician, almost invisible loss to the public eye who don’t know the score.

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    David Maddison

    Sorry, O/T.

    Another SA factory closes down.

    At this rate there will be plenty of windmill power for everyone, at least when the wind is blowing.

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/bathroom-manufacturer-caroma-will-close-the-doors-of-its-adelaide-factory-tomorrow-ending-76-years-of-manufacturing-tradition/news-story/6b8fac63df2799ae8eb00f03fbab9213

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      KinkyKeith

      It seems you just can’t fight the inevitable.

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      Dennis

      The SA Labor government must surely by now in panic mode?

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      • #
        David Maddison

        I don’t think so Dennis. They are deluded.

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        OriginalSteve

        Socialists dont care…the more damage they do to our standard of living to make everyone equally misrrable, the happier they will be.

        Think of them as “economic suicide bombrs” and you wont be far off…..they dont care if they lose power as long as ” the cause” moves forward….bettervto keep them voted out of power and in the political wilderness than let them near positions if respinsibility.

        In mant ways, McCarthy was spot on and we should now take a similar approach to protect our country from these menaces…

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  • #

    The reason is simple. In most cases, you don’t get paid for the electricity you generate, except as a use it or loose it credit. I know of people who purposefully supplement gas heat with electric heat in order to use up the credit they gained during the summer months, despite the cost per BTU being much higher for electric then for natural gas.

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    • #
      Peter C

      Can you explain how the credit system works.

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      • #
        RobK

        PC,
        The schemes vary over time and place to place, and whether domestic, commercial or industrial. There are whole departments to administer it, federal, state, industry etc.

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      • #

        For home solar, any surplus electricity generated usually appears as a credit on your electric bill. The credit can only be used to offset electricity consumption. The idea is to use excess electricity generated in the summer to offset consumption during the winter. If you generate more than you use in a designated 12 month period, the power company gets it for free.

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        • #
          Rick Will

          co2isnotevil
          In Victoria the surplus can be used to pay for gas if you have a common supplier and, if there is surplus after that, it gets paid out each period or once a year. If you only have electricity from that supplier then you get a payment either periodically or once a year, depending on supplier.
          http://delwp.vic.gov.au/energy/electricity/victorian-feed-in-tariff/closed-feed-in-tariff-schemes/premium-feed-in-tariff/premium-rate-terms-and-conditions

          I have a friend who travels quite a lot and has a 4.2kW system on the top FIT in Victoria. His average surplus from it is consistently over $2000 per year, paid out once a year. He got onto the gravy train after I pointed out how lucrative it was. He wanted the maximum of 5kW but did not have sufficient suitably orientated roof space when the installer measured the roof.

          Already people in Adelaide are being offered highly subsidised batteries as a trial for grid stability. The offer is a $8500 installation for $3500; said to pay off in 7 years on the savings.

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    James

    I got my electricity bill today. I live in northern NY. Last month I consumed 1057 kWh, for a total cost of $112.84. Average cost per kWH 10.7 cent (USD) per kWh. Works out to 14 cents per kWh (AUD). I own 2 houses. Once cost $84000 (USD), and is now paid off. The other once cost $74500 (USD).
    I am glad I left Australia, with high energy prices, the high housing prices, and a revenue collection camera hiding behind almost every tree!

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    • #
      Ross

      Interesting James.
      I live in NZ. As you will know we have 75+% renewables ( mainly hydro). My electricity bill for last month showed we used 462kWh and I paid , after a 10% prompt payment discount, NZ$147.98. As well as 15% GST this bill includes $2.08/day connection charges (33 days in this case).

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      • #
        James

        My source breakdown is 6% coal, 34% gas, 22% hydro, 28% nuclear, 6% wind, 2% solid waste, then 1% or less of biomass, oil, renewable biogas and solar.

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      • #
        AndrewWA

        Here in Perth, Western Australia, without getting anything from hydro, for the same consumption (over 33 days)and without any prompt payment discount the cost would be:
        AUD138.40 (NZD129.40) – 24.07c/kwhr; 44.2c/day supply charge and only 10% GST.
        That’s with Gas 46%; Coal 37%; Small PV Solar 13% and Wind 4%.

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  • #
    Bushkid

    That may be true of some, but far from all who have solar panels on their roofs.

    Even with just the 2 of us in our house, neither of us even remotely moderate consumers of electricity (let alone greedy), our power bills were becoming exorbitant and would have become barely affordable. At the time we decided to install solar panels, it was virtually impossible to find any discussion at all to contradict the catastrophic “predictions” and grossly inaccurate statements of the CAGW bed-wetters. We naively thought we were “doing the right thing” at the time.

    Even now, we are parsimonious with out electricity use, certainly not wasteful. Sure we use it wisely, doing things that use a heavier load during sunny days (washing, vacuuming), but we hardly ever even watch TV (and it’s a small one, not an electron-guzzling wide screen job). Air-conditioner? Only a small one in one bedroom that was used of sleeping during the summer days when doing night shifts. We haven’t even turned it on during this rather hot summer, haven’t needed to. Ceiling fans and open windows are more comfortable anyhow. Mind you, with the continually-rising cost of electricity, it won’t be long before the bills are as much as before we installed solar. I hate to think what they’d be without it.

    So, while some may be free-loading and costing the less fortunate, don’t tar us all with the same brush, thank you.

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    • #
      RobK

      Buskid,
      That’s fair enough but your system was presumably subsidized via certificates and possibly grants. These are funded by the RET scheme which is why your costs are sneaking up again. You are somewhat protected compared to those without PV.

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  • #
    Rick Will

    I did not bother doing any cost projections in my submission to the Finkel Inquiry because the numbers to go 100% renewable were so ridiculous that there was no way it would be contemplated. Then I found this:
    http://www.energynetworks.com.au/sites/default/files/ntr_ipr_launch_full_slide_pack.pdf
    For $984bn Australia can go off-grid.

    I believe this will be the outcome of the Finkel Inquiry:
    http://www.energynetworks.com.au/sites/default/files/151215_ntr-wp1-iwp2_fgf_refresh_technical_report.pdf

    I have considerable doubt about the projected cost for battery storage such as $104/kWh when commercial versions are currently over $1000/kWh and I cannot see households doing much with a 5kWh battery and getting good cycle life. Other reports in this group have more realistic sizes but I do not think that is the basis of the cost. Costs are based on 7%pa financing and 10 year depreciation so they are reasonable.

    So off-grid is already the preferred direction. You can bet this will be incentivised. Those left on the grid will be paying much more.

    One business opportunity will be delivering diesel fuel to households and servicing all those little diesels that are planned to plug away for 30days/year on average. I do not know how it is possible to claim 100% renewable with all these little units belching fumes throughout June.

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  • #
    RobK

    Some sundry observations regarding solar electricity:
    Second hand solar panels are readily available from suppliers(see eBay). I recently purchased some. Obviously these are not eligible for energy certificates as they’ve had them paid out as if they’d produce for 15 years. I asked why these are for sale. The answer was; “people are doing upgrades”. Most of these used panels are bought for recreational purpose and would only see light of day sometimes. I checked the date of manufacture on the panels I bought:2007. I asked: “so these are from schemes that had the 45c feed-in for ten years and now that’s run out?” Answer:”Yes.” Effectively these troughers got there certificates calculated on 15 years of output but only kept them for ten years.
    Second unrelated to first point:
    PV panels’ output is reduced by about 5% for every 10degC temperature rise of the panel. Most domestic installations are closely fitted to roof for engineering, cost and aesthetic reasons. On a hot day they readily drop output by 25%, especially if there’s little wind for cooling of panels. This happens just when massive aircon systems are going flatout.
    Many domestic systems have suboptimal orientation.
    To extend useful sunlight harvesting hours with non tracking solar, it is becoming popular to have multiple orientations (also utilize more roof), the yield per panel is less but the subsidy certificate is the same.
    A non-dispatchable power source should be worth less than any dispatchable one. I note that in WA commercial PV (i.e. on factories etc) has no feedin tariff which means that on holidays and weekends they produce for nothing just so that during the week they can relieve their 37c per unit fee. I know someone who has a 100kW PV system on a factory which uses all the solar during the week. Some months (depending on how many holidays and weekends in the month) the system exports 30% to the grid for nix.

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  • #
    Michael

    Friends, a couple, live in a riverside apartment in Brisbane. Worth about $2.5. The building installed rooftop solar panels about 6 years ago. The feed in tariff is 44c per kilowatt hour. Our friends net electricity bill is just over $200 per quarter. Because electricity is so cheap, the air-con is left running 24/7.

    This scheme (a Bligh Labor thought bubble) is crazy on a number of levels.
    They use more electricity than they otherwise would because it is so cheap – and a lot of that is when solar is not supplying any at all so it is generated by coal fired power stations.

    The poor people can’t afford to install solar. The poor people are paying higher bills to subsidise the wealthy who use more electricity because it is so cheap so more subsidy is needed from the poor.

    The scheme rivals for stupidity Major Major Major Major’s dad’s not growing alfalfa bounty . (See Ch 9 Catch 22 by Joseph Heller)

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    ROM

    And we blame the politicians who from the look of it and confirmed by their application of abject imbecilic stupidity to most things they get their tiny minds fixated on, couldn’t arrange a free night in a house of ill fame without imposing multiple taxes, allowances, regulations, to reduce useage and then subsidies to the highest earners because they couldn’t sell the product because the citizens the politicians purport to represent [ Sarc +++ ] couldn’t afford it and then compensatory additional subsidies to those who can’t afford to pay the high subsidies the politicians put on to reduce the citizens abilities to use the facilities on offer.

    Now if you can follow that para above you are just possibly a member of the convoluted, concrete minded scientific, political and elitist green climate cult.

    [ concrete minded = Some minds are like concrete - All mixed up and set hard ]

    However this time we can give the politicals a C+ pass as they rather stupidly believed all the crap that emanated from the true culprits of this whole gross and increasingly evil in impact and results so called “climate change” debacle.

    Those truly responsible for this debacle and the associated wide spread destruction of living standards, and “lives” in some cases as the poor elderly can no longer afford the cost of energy to keep warm or cool, those scientific perverts who go under the pseudo label of climate scientists and who have claimed without any supporting observed and verified evidence and based on nothing more than a great deal of arm waving and loud vicious invective against anybody who dared to challenge them to produce evidence, that the world and its climate were going to hell in a red hot bread basket due to mankind’s burning of the civilisation creating coal for energy and thereby releasing all that atmospheric CO2 that was trapped in that organic material forming coal all those couple of hundred millions of years ago..

    All those increasingly spurious claims of a global climate disaster from CO2 emmissions are based on nothing more substantial that a set of increasingly disparaged, vaporous in output, chimera like in the ability to change and still claim accuracy and in the end nothing more than a set of grossly corrupted numerical climate models programmed by third rate programmers who believed they knew every single factor that affects the global climate but have created so called climate models that have yet to match any predictions at all of any past and modelled climate prediction as that future climate occurs as time has passed over the last two decades.

    All backed by an even more rabid and ignorant city centric elitist greens who haven’t a clue where the power that comes out of the wall socket comes from nor where the water in the tap comes from nor any clues at a all about the massive investments and infrastructure that are basic to supplying these basic needs of an industrial civilisation.

    I am sick to death of the abject stupidity that surrounds the whole cabal of climate alarmist scientists, some of whom are so crooked they couldn’t lay straight in bed if their lives depended on it, plus a whole gang of near criminally rigid in ideology, stupid politicians who believed them along with an abjectly imbecilic frothing at the mouth greens and their equally imbecilic media running dogs.

    End of rant!

    Yeh I feel slightly better but only slightly until this whole damn climate alarmist debacle is brought to a close and the perpetrators , all of them are brought to some form of basic and substantial justice in our society for what the tottally uneeded suffering and fear and guilt and have so needlessly and ignorantly and stupidly and mindlessly inflicted and deliberately imposed on the citizens of this nation.

    And in the end; For what?

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    manalive

    Malcolm Turnbull has emailed me (and a few million others) his message on energy viz. that he wants a coordinated approach to ensure reliable and affordable electricity supply.
    Have no problem with reliable and affordable electricity but it is the coordinated bit that is a bit of a worry.
    I realise that we have a national grid with interconnections but I would rather see competition between the states like exists in the US, states which provide the cheaper unsubsidised power (whatever the source) attract the investment and jobs.

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    Neville

    The bottom line is that S&W etc will never pass a simple maths test when compared to TOTAL energy used around the world or in single countries.
    Sure some countries are lucky , like NZ and have other renewables but world wide this doesn’t add up to a row of beans and outside a miracle this will never change. BTW fossil fuels still provide 60% of NZs TOTAL energy, so even this extreme example needs the majority of its TOTAL energy to be sourced from coal, oil and gas.

    http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/NZ4.pdf

    Another example is Canada that still needs fossil fuels to provide 72.4% of their TOTAL energy supply. This is just very simple kindy maths, but it seems to be beyond the scope of so called educated people. Thank Garrrwwwd for people like Lomborg, Jo, Bolt etc or we’d have little common sense left at all.

    http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/CANADA4.pdf

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  • #
    Peter

    I doubt that their accounting is correct.
    Since installing solar I definitely use more kWh than before, but a large chunk of what I use is self generated (4.5kW system). However everything my panels generate is first fed to the grid and comes back into my meter as grid fed consumption. At least that’s how it works here in Darwin. That means my presumptive ‘grid’ consumption has gone up, but that doesn’t take into account my grid feed in – which is substantial. If I subtract what my system produces from the total of my consumption, my net consumption from external generation has fallen by around 1/2.

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    • #
      el gordo

      Do the calculations vary between wet and dry seasons?

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      • #
        Peter

        Sorry, that should have been a reply not a new comment.

        Our usage patterns certainly do. In the wet season the aircons get a heavier usage, but the water bill goes down, and the inverse in the dry, the aircons get little or no use (or just work as fans to provide some airflow) and the water usage goes up (my wife has an extensive veggie garden). The two seem to balance out over the course of the year, but installing the solar knocked a large amount off the electricity bill.

        Unfortunately self tank water storage hasn’t proven to be very economical, given the cost / capacity of a tank compared the the cost of ‘street water’ (the payoff is in tens of years, whereas the solar ROI is around 6 years).

        The charging mechanisms/formula used for electricity and ‘renewables buyback’ are the same year round, though they have recently installed ‘peak/off peak capable’ electricity meters, which may indicate a future plan.

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      RobK

      Peter,
      That is an unusual method of metering. Normally there’s self consumption (unmetered except by your inverter), then a fed in tariff. The “nett” metering as you describe is used in South Australia too, I’m told. Where all your solar, even that which you use yourself, is paid for at a higher rate than peak tariff. Your energy system will go broke with this scheme. It is cunning but evil.

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    • #

      Peter,

      this is not criticism of you per se, but an attempt to clear up a misconception.

      …..but a large chunk of what I use is self generated (4.5kW system). However everything my panels generate is first fed to the grid and comes back into my meter as grid fed consumption. At least that’s how it works here in Darwin. That means my presumptive ‘grid’ consumption has gone up, but that doesn’t take into account my grid feed in – which is substantial. If I subtract what my system produces from the total of my consumption, my net consumption from external generation has fallen by around 1/2.

      The excess generated power you do not use in your home during daylight hours is fed to the grid. It is not yours any more. You have sold it. (in some cases, for an exorbitantly high FIT) To then say what you then draw back from the grid is what you have already generated is a fallacy. You have sold that power for the high FIT, and the power you draw after hours FROM the grid is at the standard cost of electricity.

      The grid is not your personal battery to store your excess power and then claim it all back. It’s not yours. You sold it.

      Sorry!

      Tony.

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    Rick Will

    This link shows how your money (if Australian taxpayer) is helping to support the mining industry:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-08/solar-pv-diesel-hybrid-power-ramped-up-at-copper-mine/7492348
    All that money to produce 20% of the mine’s power from solar.

    There is a real belief that the cost of solar panels and batteries will get dramatically lower and make solar/battery economic. Australia does not produce any commercial panels or commercial batteries. The country will rely on China to make all the improvements that are needed to make it viable.

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    • #
      bobl

      Yes, there certainly is. I recently encountered a “green believer” who was adamant that solar and batteries would “Improve exponentially” to make renewables viable. He just couldn’t get his head around the fact that batteries are already near 100% efficient (you get back almost 100% of what you put in) and that batteries are a nett loss – IE can’t get any more “Efficient” don’t make energy and always LOSE ENERGY when you use them. Battery improvements are just fiddling with energy density, the physical size of the battery. Even that is dictated by the electronic valence of the electrodes and the chemistry of the electrolyte, given a certain battery chemistry, the volume of the battery to store the energy is pretty well minimised already. There is no “Exponential improvement” just around the corner, well except perhaps for Nuclear batteries.

      Frankly if you have the area under a solar panel with an average energy density of just 5W/square meter and a peak of 200W/square metre then you’ve got plenty of space for low energy density common old lead acid batteries.

      The same thing with panels, the greenies can’t seem to get their heads around the law of conservation of energy, that solar panels output can NEVER exceed their input from the sun, that 5000Wh per day per square meter is the absolute maximum amount that can EVER BE EXTRACTED – EVER at the equator on a bright clear summer day at midday of course with zero loss it would be pitch black under them. EVEN if solar panels were 100% efficient they STILL WOULD NOT SOLVE THE GRID SCALE ENERGY PROBLEM. Yet they still crow about “Exponential improvement” in a technology that is fundamentally physically limited – can’t possibly ever be exponential.

      The lack of basic science understanding even among educated people is astounding.

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        I have this perfectly safe item for you to install into your laundry. It’s an environmentally conscious thing which will be good for all of us, and all you have to do is to install it into the inside of your home.

        You fill them all with Sulphuric Acid, and when it is in constant use, it gives off explosive amounts of Hydrogen Gas, (inside your laundry) but, umm, trust me, it’s an environmentally good thing you are doing.

        They are common old Planet saving batteries of the lead acid variety.

        Great!

        Tony.

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          bobl

          And what Tony, you would have use use the most explosive and reactive substance known to man instead – Lithium which explodes on contact with water, which has been known to cause 1000+ degree C hot flash fires? I know which I would want to have in my (Ventilated) laundry. I also did say my lead acid batteries were mounted outside – under the solar panels.

          Personally with an electronic valence of 3 I like the idea of Aluminium-air batteries unfortunately with aluminium hydroxide gel as a product I don’t see them ever being made viable.

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            Graeme No.3

            bobl:

            Batteries are chemically based. Their rate of reaction depends on the temperature. Below 10℃ or above 30-35℃ they lose efficiency and can have side reactions (hydrogen gassing). Well ventilated temperature change limited storage area please.

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              bobl

              I’m sorry Graeme I stand corrected – I’ll give each battery it’s own aircon, that should be doable! Of course the greenies 100% efficient solar panels will also absorb all the incident solar energy leaving the batteries underneath at -273.6 deg C – I forgot.

              /sarc (For those that need it)

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    pat

    Another Ian comment #12 links to WUWT “Trifecta of green lunacy” thread, especially #2 of their trifecta, but #1 is a doozy as well:

    23 Feb: UK Times: Ben Webster: £450m lost over failed green power programme
    Minister who backed plan now works in sector
    Britain is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds subsidising power stations to burn American wood pellets that do more harm to the climate than the coal they replaced, a study has found.
    Chopping down trees and transporting wood across the Atlantic Ocean to feed power stations produces more greenhouse gases than much cheaper coal, according to the report. It blames the rush to meet EU renewable energy targets, which resulted in ministers making the false assumption that burning trees was carbon-neutral.
    Green subsidies for wood pellets and other biomass were championed by Chris Huhne when he was Liberal Democrat energy and climate change secretary in the coalition government. Mr Huhne, 62, who was jailed in 2013 for perverting the course of justice, is now European chairman of Zilkha Biomass, a US supplier of wood pellets…

    23 Feb: CarbonBrief: Jocelyn Timperley: Biomass subsidies ‘not fit for purpose’, says Chatham House
    Subsidies should end for many types of biomass, a new Chatham House report (LINK) argues, because they are failing to help cut greenhouse gas emissions…
    The analysis outlines how policies intended to boost the use of biomass are in many cases “not fit for purpose” because they are inadvertently increasing emissions by often ignoring emissions from burning wood in power stations and failing to account for changes in forest carbon stocks…

    Carbon Brief examines the main arguments of the report, which cut through the long-running debate about the climate impacts of burning biomass…
    Contentious issue
    The rising demand for renewable power around the world has led to a large increase in the production and burning of wood pellets…READ ON
    https://www.carbonbrief.org/biomass-subsidies-not-fit-for-purpose-chatham-house

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    Peter

    Our usage patterns certainly do. In the wet season the aircons get a heavier usage, but the water bill goes down, and the inverse in the dry, the aircons get little or no use (or just work as fans to provide some airflow) and the water usage goes up (my wife has an extensive veggie garden). The two seem to balance out over the course of the year, but installing the solar knocked a large amount off the electricity bill.

    Unfortunately self tank water storage hasn’t proven to be very economical, given the cost / capacity of a tank compared the the cost of ‘street water’ (the payoff is in tens of years, whereas the solar ROI is around 6 years).

    The charging mechanisms/formula used for electricity and ‘renewables buyback’ are the same year round, though they have recently installed ‘peak/off peak capable’ electricity meters, which may indicate a future plan.

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    Mark M

    Large parts of Queensland had been suffering through several years of drought but bounced back with good rains and growth conditions.

    https://theconversation.com/australias-2016-environment-scorecard-rains-return-but-in-some-cases-too-late-72882

    This good news has nothing to do with solar panels or windfarms.

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    pat

    video should get posted online:

    23 Feb: Daily Signal: Climate Change ‘Lunacy’ Called a Gift to Conservatives
    by Kevin Mooney
    For conservatives, the “lunacy,” “wrongness,” and “criminality” of climate change theories is the gift that keeps on giving, the executive editor of the London branch of Breitbart News Service said Thursday during a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
    Three major strands characterize the climate change movement, James Delingpole said during the CPAC panel, sponsored by E&E Legal Institute and titled “Fake Climate News Camouflaging an Anti-Capitalist Agenda.”
    Delingpole identified these three strands as a sort of religious view that sees man “as a cancer and blight to the planet,” a “follow the money” component in which well-placed individuals “make money off scams” at public expense, and a political component that exists, he said, because “the left has always wanted to find scientific justification to tax and regulate us and control our lives.”
    Joining Delingpole were Steve Milloy, a lawyer and author who founded the website JunkScience.com, and Tony Heller, who has written under the pseudonym Steven Goddard at the blog Real Science, which he founded. John Fund, a columnist for National Review, acted as moderator…

    Looking to the future of energy policy, Thursday’s CPAC panelists said they found cause for encouragement with the Trump administration.
    Milloy credited President Donald Trump for a professed willingness to “abolish the EPA” and for recognizing the Environmental Protection Agency has committed “regulatory overreach.” He said he anticipates the Trump administration will “turn loose the American energy industry.”
    Environmental activists have made a concerted effort to circulate “fake climate news” in recent years, but the technique is not exactly new, Heller said…READ ON
    http://dailysignal.com/2017/02/23/climate-change-lunacy-called-a-gift-to-conservatives/

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    pat

    23 Feb: Daily Caller: Michael Bastasch: Hundreds Of Scientists Urge Trump To Pull Out Of A 25-Year-Old UN Environmental Treaty
    More than 300 eminent scientists signed the letter to Trump, delivered Thursday, arguing he should pull out of the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) because it targets carbon dioxide — a gas essential for life.
    CO2 “is not a pollutant but a major benefit to agriculture and other life on Earth,” reads the petition, obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Observations since the UNFCCC was written 25 years ago show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign — much less than initial model predictions.”…

    “Since 2009, the US and other governments have undertaken actions with respect to global climate that are not scientifically justified and that already have, and will continue to cause serious social and economic harm—with no environmental benefits,” reads a separate letter written by Richard Lindzen, a climatologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
    “While we support effective, affordable, reasonable and direct controls on conventional environmental pollutants, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant,” Lindzen wrote in his letter, supplementing the petition.
    “To the contrary, there is clear evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful to food crops and other plants that nourish all life. It is plant food, not poison,” Lindzen wrote.
    Increasingly, scientists are finding the world has actually greened in the past few decades largely due to increased CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. CO2 fertilization is even greening some of the world’s most arid regions…
    http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/23/hundreds-of-scientists-urge-trump-to-pull-out-of-a-25-year-old-un-environmental-treaty/?print=1

    23 Feb: Breitbart: Charlie Spiering: Steve Bannon Details Trump Agenda: Deconstruction of the Administrative State
    White House chief strategist Steve Bannon detailed President Donald Trump’s agenda during an appearance at CPAC, thrilling the audience of conservatives who wanted to hear more about what Trump would do as president…
    “The way the progressive left runs is that if they can’t get it passed, they’re just going to put it in some sort of regulation in an agency,” he said. “That’s all going to be deconstructed.”…READ ON
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/23/steve-bannon-details-trump-agenda-deconstruction-administrative-state/

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    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    The only 100% genuine users of PV generated electricity are those who are off grid. These users often have to budget their stored electricity on triage based usage such as lighting, food preparation / preservation and if they have satellite broadband/phone – then the kid’s schooling.

    On grid PV electricity generators may save on their electricity bills, even enough to have the luxury of air con, but are forced to sell any surplus juice to the greedy power companies at the base rate to be resold at a huge profit. The big losers in this PV electricity farce are the poor and the refuseniks who don’t subscribe to the big, green politically agendized, PV electricity scam.

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      This also goes to the heart of Joanne’s main Post above.

      See where this is said: (my bolding here)

      The only 100% genuine users of PV generated electricity are those who are off grid. These users often have to budget their stored electricity on triage based usage such as lighting, food preparation / preservation and if they have satellite broadband/phone – then the kid’s schooling.

      Information is always available provided you know where to look, and then enter the right text into the search engine.

      Take this link to a diagram of rooftop solar panel generation and I’ll explain it to you.

      This image is from only five weeks ago, on a typical mid Summer day.

      First, note the Nameplate of this huge system, and that is to the left of the graph, the second tab down titled Installed Power Capacity, and here that is 5796KW, so just short of 5.7MW, a very large array, and this is at UQ.

      Now, note the maximum power generation, and that’s at Midday, and is 4707KW. Even at Maximum, it’s still only managing 81.6% in the middle of Summer.

      However, note it is a bell curve in shape. It starts generating as the Sun rises at 5.30AM and goes off at around 6.30PM.

      Now while there is some power, it would still be barely usable at breakfast 6.30 or so, when it’s barely 15% of capacity, and then falls below that 15% mark at around 5.30PM, before the main evening meal, and all the things you do at home when you do finally get home from work and school.

      So, all the generation is at its best between 10AM and 3PM, when everyone is at work or school. So, here a (relatively goodly) amount is being fed back to the grid.

      For those fully off grid, the batteries are being charged here, and note here that battery operation supplying power to the home would need to be between 4PM and 10AM, as power generated by the panels before or after those times is either very small and not enough to cover actual consumption, or after Sunset when there is zero generation, really, effectively, any time after 4PM in fact.

      So, people would need to change their actual power consumption. It effectively cancels out air conditioning unless you have a pretty large array, and large battery storage. They would need to have their largest consumption periods at around that 10AM to 2.30PM time slot, you know, all the major household chores, washing drying etc, and even cooking as well.

      What it shows, which goes directly to what Joanne mentions in her Post, is that people are not willing to change habits of the generations, eating the main meal in the evening, doing the chores etc, in the evening, mainly because they are at work or at school, which is what Joanne mentions that rooftop panel owners are large users of grid electricity, because of the time they consume that power, the normal times they have ALWAYS consumed the most electrical power.

      So, to cover that you need a large battery storage capability if you want to lead a normal life, not a pi$$y little wonderwall.

      Also of note is that I have noticed some high profile TV people who have gone down the battery route are in fact installing hybrid systems, part battery and part grid consumption, you know, as they refer to it, security.

      Why?

      Note on that linked image the vertical downward spike. That’s a cloud flitting across the face of the Sun, not sitting for some time across the Sun, but just moving quickly across the face of the Sun. Notice how generation falls immediately by two thirds. Imagine having a piece of electrical equipment requiring absolute power at all times. It will just drop off line, and even instantaneously, and that is not really a good thing.

      So, why REAL battery storage, which is three days worth of full power, and that is the recommended MINIMUM, not some wonderwall, which doesn’t even cover full consumption of the average home for one day.

      This is why, shown at this second generation image, this one only three days after the first image. Note how the power is virtually useless at only an average of 15% of the good day. This is for a day with a lot of overcast and rain.

      You need a battery storage which can cover that. And, on top of that, you need people to change the habits of a lifetime, something they will not do. You either work, or stay at home and use the power which is being generated. You need a system which can cover ALL your consumption, and a battery storage to also cover all your normal consumption, not just plug it into the hole in the wall, and expect it always to be there. THAT is the purpose of the grid, with real power generation that CAN cover all consumption in all applications. That covers the monumentally tiny consumption for an individual home. What are you going to do in the case of a Woolworths, a shopping mall, a large industrial complex, or a middle or even large Capital city. All of that needs (ABSOLUTELY) 24 hour power, always there, always at its maximum.

      If rooftop solar is the answer, then someone is asking the wrong question.

      Tony.

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        bobl

        Tony – Just expanding

        1. To get to grid reliability purely from PV you need 10 days of storage – commercial installs with diesel genset backup use 5 days storage. You need to be able to charge the 10 days storage in ONE day, this means you need a nameplate of 11 times daily consumption (1 for actual usage + 10 for charging).

        For a 25kWh per day typical house consumption that means you need a 5kW system x 10 days or a 55kW system to get to grid equivalent reliability on a purely PV system. The Battery system needs to store 10 days or 250 kWh at 20% depth of discharge (for reliability) – That’s about 2500kWh of battery storage worth about $750,000. The Total cost is just short of a million dollars.

        All this is because you have to cover cloudy winter weeks – and you can’t charge the battery system on demand. If you add into the mix a generator so you can charge the battery on demand, then you can drop the battery capacity to equal around double the array capacity or 50kWh at a cost of around $10000 and the array to 5kW at around $5000. You’ll need to recharge with the generator overnight if you don’t control out of hours consumption but $18K total cost is a whole lot better than $1 million.

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        • #
          Rick Will

          bobl
          The size of solar array and batteries relative to your load depend on location. Your first set of numbers would suit a location at very high latitude and using lead/acid battery.

          Even at current price per kWh for LiFePO4 cells compared with lead/acid, the lithium are still much cheaper than lead acid. The fundamental difference is that lead/acid are typically rated at 20 hour rate compared with 2 hour rate for LiFePO4. Basically LiFePO4 can be pulled 10 time harder to give its rated capacity compared with lead/acid. If a lead/acid was pulled that hard, about 50% of the energy would be lost to heat inside the battery. A LiFePO4 cell will give in excess of 5000cycles if cycled between 45 and 95%. Lead acid less than 1000 with that cyclic range.

          The full cycle efficiency of my battery, rated at 2 days supply on average but load is intermittent, is better than 95%. Chargers and inverters included it is still better than 90%. The efficiency only motors in the second half of June. A lead/acid gets a cycle efficiency around 80%. So it needs more solar panels to do the same job.

          I can get 99.9% reliability in Melbourne with a solar array that can supply the daily load from 1 hour of full sunshine and a LiFePO4 battery having 48 hours of storage. Most days in summer the battery only cycles between 75 and 95%. I have panels distributed in 1kW blocks that face slight east of north and angled for maximum output in winter. I have 1kW facing just east of north that follow the pitch and I have 1kW that face north of west that follow the pitch. Orientation can make a difference to get the best from winter sun.

          What CSIRO are proposing is that all houses have a small diesel that runs maybe 30 days a year. I know that is the most economic option but how can they claim this 100% renewable.

          Malcolm Roberts had no reply to Paul Graham from CSIRO when he stated that 100% renewables was feasible:

          The Australian government’s chief scientific body says there is no apparent technical impediment to reaching 100 per cent renewables for the national electricity grid, and levels of up to 30 per cent renewable energy should be considered as just “trivial” in current energy systems.

          http://reneweconomy.com.au/csiro-says-australia-can-get-100-per-cent-renewable-energy-86624/
          There were no in depth questions. In fact he was fobbed off as an idiot when he suggested that everyone present could agree that base load was essential – near universal disagreement amongst his fellow senators and those before the inquiry on that point. He will need to be a lot smarter and learn a lot more about the realities to ask searching questions.

          The future I see is off-grid but it will come about through the existing grid simply being far too expensive. If the cost of LGCs were paid by voluntary contributions identified in consumers’ bills then we would soon see how many people actually supported renewables. In the minds of CSIRO the only sensible direction for South Australia is batteries. They will just get wound into further subsidies so the investment in renewable generation is not stranded due to system instability.

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          Willard

          Bobl are you saying for a home to go off grid with solar plus batteries the cost is going to be close to one milliion dollars?

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            bobl

            No, I am saying that to take a home off grid, and have 2.5kW constantly available rain hail or shine 99.95% of the time. To do it properly, you need to spend of the order of a Million dollars, mostly on batteries. You will then be able to ride through 10 days of bad weather and recharge in one.

            Now to save Capital bucks you could 1. Tolerate less reliability, 2. increase the depth of discharge (shortening the battery life) 3. Add a fossil fuel backup.

            On a compromise you can do a reasonable off grid supply for 30-50K (unsubsidized) but without a petrol or diesel generator backup, it will not be grid reliability equivalent.

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              Willard

              Bobl is your answer yes or no?

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                bobl

                My answer is as I have stated it – not everything is black and white Willard some things are analog! Renewable energy design is one of those things.

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              Willard

              1. You are saying the average house consumption is 25kwh, incorrect it is 18kwh
              2. You have multiplied 25kwh with 10 days and provided an answer of 2500kwh, a bit of proof reading goes a long way Bobl.
              3. Your claimed battery storage needed is now down to 180kwh.
              4. Tell me where on the Australian mainland or Tasmania it could possibly go 10 straight days without any light what so ever? So little light that the solar inverter does not switch on?
              5. Tell me why 55kw of panels is needed? You actually think it may be go for 10 days straight with no light then there’s a sunny day followed by another 10 days without any light?
              Bobl if you’re going to paint a negative spin on solar plus batteries at least make it half believable.

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                bobl

                Look Willard I’m just telling you how it’s done. You can do it with 10 Days charging for 10 days cover but you won’t get the same reliability with that. Also the batteries are a large portion of the cost if I cut my panels in half (to get 5 Days charge per day) then I cut my costs to 460,000 – big deal.

                It’s worse than that though, I’ve done solar systems – It is exceedingly hard to get reliability of supply without fossil fuel backup, things go wrong a lot, panels deteriorate from the UV they get dirty, I should add capacity to cover that too.

                Offgrid domestic PV works only because we adapt to the power available, adapting the sun to us is expensive enough to be impractical.

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        Willard

        The large uptake of battery storage in this country over the next few years is both exciting and inevitable, what is also exciting and enviable is the excuses you’re going to make in the next few yesrs when your fortune telling is wrong Tony.

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          bobl

          You are very rude sometimes Willard. Tony like me just does the math. Your activist faith clouds your rational mind. For example Solar power with battery backup is CO2 positive IE emits more CO2 than gas or coal – does it make sense to do that then. Like I have tried to show you if you use batteries, it is NOT a matter of getting through the night, it’s a matter of getting through the longest string of dark days and nights experienced in the locality of the installation. This means you have a short window to charge your batteries and a long window for discharging. This requires overbuilding. The Embodied CO2 of the overbuilt intermittent sources is more than the lifetime CO2 emissions of a fossil fueled alternative of the same capacity. Not only that but wind and solar consume land voraciously. Ivanpah Solar CSP station is ONLY 72 MW average delivered about 1/2 the capacity of just one 777 aircraft and it’s 16 square km of bird blinding/incinerating environmental destruction.

          It’s only Math Willard, I’m happy to give you the data and you can check it yourself.

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            Willard

            No rudeness about it Bobl, I question your calculations, facts, sources of information and your future predictions and you suddenly become uncomfortable.

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              bobl

              OK Willard let’s say I’m not infallible and it is actually possible that in doing a 5 minute calculation to reply to your misinformation I may (or may not) have made a numerical error – So yes I may have calculated it wrong. So, Willard, let’s pull out that dusty calculator.

              Now in most places it can be dark and dank for up to 10 days, after 10 days in Australia we usually get a different weather pattern due to Rosby waves. So “In general” if you don’t live in Wagga Wagga you will need to have 10 days of storage or a fossil generator to get near 99.95% availability. So on the basis of 10 days storage let’s work it out

              First – we need to power ourselves and charge our batteries for 10 days so we need 11 times our daily kWh which we set at 25 kWh (a 5kW array x 5 average hours sunlight) To do that we need a Solar array 11 times our 5kW one Thats 55kW right or about 275 x 200 Watt panels yes? let’s say a 200 Watt panel is 300 bucks. 300 x 275 = $82,500 yes? The islanding inverter is another 3K but it’s small bickies we can neglect it

              We need 10 days worth of batteries at 25kWh a day that’s 250kWh of storage right?

              We are using lead acid storage technology, so we don’t want the discharge to be more than 20% of capacity otherwise our batteries fail prematurely (Go from 10 years down to say 2 years). So the battery capacity has to be five times the Storage requirement 5 x 250kWh is 1250 kWh (admission – I May have made an error here) – Lets move on

              a 100 A/H 12 V AGM deep cycle battery is about $400 each is 12 x 100 A/H or 1200 Wh (1.2kWh) so we need 1250/1.2 = 1041 of them at $400 a piece that’s $416,000 – (yes I made a boo boo) Adding up and neglecting wiring and control gear that’s 416,000 + 86000 = 502,000 for a 10 day 25 kWh supply which could approximate grid reliability with NO FOSSIL FUEL BACKUP.

              So rather than a million it’s 1/2 a million and change.

              Now if I have a fossil fuel generator backing this up I can opt for just 19 hours (Night only) of storage which in most cases might give me my cover when all the days are fine which is a lot of the time. In this case I can get away with 19/24 x 25kWh or around 19 kWh of storage, after accounting for depth of charge = 5 x 19=95 kWh or 92/1.2 = 79 of those $400 batteries (or 3 Tesla 7kWh powerwalls) – About $30K in either case. Because we are not covering any cloudy days we can get away with our one day source of panels so 5Kw (25 x 200Watt) of panels at say $300ea = $7500 and that $3K inverter – About $40,000. Where the days are clear, this will work day and night, but it will need topping up with the generator whenever the battery charge dips below 80% on cloudy days or the nights after cloudy days. It is Not Grid equivalent reliability without the generator top up – The battery storage means you won’t use a lot of fuel which is good for the pocket.

              So you see here that 100% renewables at grid reliability is VERY expensive to achieve compared to overnight storage with Fossil Fuel Backup.

              The extra cost to hedge the weather is not worth doing compared to using the generator.

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                Willard

                So your ONE MILLION DOLLARS is only 1/2 – million dollars by your calculations, glad your not doing a quote on my house. Tell me, why are you using lead acid?

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                Dave

                If it were manufactured Willard in Australia or the USA

                The cost would be $1 Million

                A worker on high pay at Baiyun Obo earns 1,780 yuan a month!

                Must make you feel good all over about your new battery pack!

                About AUD $1.53 per hour!

                Do you want to discuss electricity prices now?

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                bobl

                Perhaps Willard I should proof read longer but alas I am human and not afraid to admit it. Unlike yourself I can’t see that half a million and change for 25kwh per day power system is not STILL TOO EXCESSIVE, Albeit it’s not a million its half a million. Frankly since 275 solar panels don’t fit on my roof there is other infrastructure to build, concrete pylons, steel frames, wiring, microinverters, switchgear, land clearing and god knows what else on top of that crude 1/2 million estimate.

                To me there isn’t any difference in conclusion, 100% solar @ 99.95% reliability, even for a home is still uneconomical and generates more CO2 than fossil fuel – Case closed.

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                Willard

                “Case is closed”? It was thrown out by the judge long ago Bobl.

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          Dave

          Willard

          “The increase in rare earth mining for battery storage in Baotou over the last fifteen years & next few years is both exciting and inevitable”

          Yup, batteries are the way to go, Baotou was a small joint of 90,000 odd Mongolians, and now over 3 million. They used to farm and herd sheep etc, but now they are Greenies, making battery minerals for the latte sippers in blacked out South Australia to stay on Facebook & Twitter. Toxic lakes with radiation are cullingg people. Seems it’s OK as long as they’re GREEN!

          Willard: “It’s an exciting time to make batteries to vandalise the whole world environment.”

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            Willard

            Nice for you to join the discussion Dave, although it would be helpful if you brought something up to date and factual with you, but please do go on, tell me about these rare earth metals and which battery manufacturers use them?

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              Dave

              Pleasure Willard

              Batteries? Sorry, I didn’t mention any of the metals, minerals etc!

              These are sustainable elements used in the making of Tesla, Samsung, Apple, etc etc batteries which are a natural by-product of Wind Mills & Solar Panels. Also wrecked Tesla cars too! It’s one of the TRULY Green industries on earth!

              Can you include concrete in your data in future, say compare Nuclear to Solar. Or add Aluminium, Glass, Copper & steel too just for fun. Clay use in latte coffee mugs are excluded for the time being!

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              Dave

              Sorry Willard!

              Did I mention Panasonic, they manufacture Tesla batteries.
              Also happen to be a shareholder of Tesla

              Amazing coincidence eh?

              Not sure how much environmental damage they do to the earth today!

              But we can’t talk about this today!

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                Willard

                Glad to see you are capable of performing a copy and paste of a photo Dave, so tell me how that waste pit is linked to panasonic? Would you like me to post a photo of the Exxon Valdez disaster and claim you caused that by driving a petrol car?
                On another matter get back to your original task of backing up your claim and providing a list of rare earth metals in each manufacturers battery packs.

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                Dave

                Ah!
                Willard

                They come from Panasonic in Japan!

                Where do they get the minerals?

                Oh! Mongolia!

                And the Tesla battery is 78% nickel, 15% cobalt, and 5% aluminum and 2% Lithium! Seems Elon Musk disagrees with you Willard!

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                Gee Aye

                Dave, none of those are rare earths?

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                Dave

                Gee!

                Aye!

                Where did I say they were?

                You have to get with it Gee Aye, you’re as bad as Willard!
                He said they were rare earth minerals in a question. But please read again Gee Aye!

                Get with it, use Google!

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                Willard

                Post 38.1.2.2 from Dave refers to rare earth metals, Dave is digging a big hole for himself but still can’t find any rare earth metals.

                25

              • #
                KinkyKeith

                Dave
                Willard is re——–s.

                He obviously is u——–d

                22

              • #
                Dave

                You win Willard

                Telsa Batteries are safe as houses!

                You and Geeaye celebrate!
                But don’t use solar to recharge them eh!
                Ehheeee
                So funny
                Good night chappies!

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              • #
                Gee Aye

                It was 38.1.2.2. Actually it was in quotes and I really can’t follow where the quote came from.

                This discussion is interesting in one way but completely forgettable in the sense that none of you are providing information other than your own opinions.

                One side is denying a trend and the other thinks that the trend is evidence for something without evidence

                15

            • #
              AndyG55

              tell me about these rare earth metals and which battery manufacturers use them?’

              Ahhh.. dullard admits his ignorance.. do tell us more ;-)

              Let me guess, you have only ever read the fancy, glossy propaganda, and NEVER look at the damage that occurs in the manufacture of turbines, solar panels etc

              Don’t concern yourself.. It not near where you live, dullard

              I bet you don’t have a single wind turbine within 10 km of you, hey !

              Inner-city, far-left, decaf latte-sipping ghetto dweller is my bet.

              Your whole life and everything around you is dependent on lots of fossil fuel energy :-)

              44

              • #
                Willard

                Agh…AndyG55, provides clear evidence of his ignorance and lack of knowledge by falling back on name calling.

                36

              • #
                AndyG55

                oh look seems I hit a raw nerve.

                Mr all-talk dullard, inner city latte-sipper.

                TOTALLY reliant on fossil fuels for his very existence. :-)

                13

            • #
              AndyG55

              Have you paid your “holding deposit” on a Tesla Mk3 yet . dullard ??

              Be true to yourself, if you can manage that..

              … send that $1000 to Elron Musk, he desperately needs it.

              44

              • #
                Willard

                Good effort Andy, 2 attempts at name calling in one post, Gold star for you.

                35

              • #
                ROM

                Never a good idea to rush into believing every new claim of some incredible advance that is going to revolutionise something in ways that we could never imagine !

                Never a good idea to rush into believing every new lot of overblown, sucker’s wallet lightening and scamming mob and their latest quite out of this world claims, out of this world because what they claim doesn’t actually exist except as instilled by aforesaid morality and ethics free scammers into those starry eyed lambs about to be led to the financial slaughter, the investors and the odd commenter or two on a well known climate blog.

                From; Engineering and Technology

                [quoted ]

                Contrary to popular belief, household storage for solar power doesn’t reduce cost or emissions, an American study suggests.
                .
                As charging and discharging a home battery itself consumes energy, feeding surplus solar power into the storage device instead of into the grid results in higher overall electricity consumption for the household, as well as higher emissions because the increased consumption needs to be covered by fossil fuel-based energy.

                This increase is quite substantial – up to 591KWh annually.

                “I expected that storage would lead to an increase in energy consumption,” said Robert Fares from the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, “but I was surprised that the increase could be so significant – about an eight to 14 per cent increase on average over the year.”

                Fares, together with Professor Michael Webber, analysed the impact of home energy storage using electricity data from almost 100 Texas households that are part of a smart grid test bed managed by Austin-based renewable energy and smart technology company Pecan Street Inc.

                The results are relevant for Texas, where the majority of grid electricity comes from fossil fuels. As a result, the increased consumption due to storage technology leads to higher carbon, sulphur and nitrogen dioxide emissions.

                The situation, however, is different for utility companies, which could reduce their peak grid demand by up to 32 per cent thanks to solar energy storage and cut down the magnitude of solar power injections to the grid by up to 42 per cent.

                “These findings challenge the myth that storage is inherently clean, but that, in turn, offers useful insights for utility companies,”Webber said.

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              • #
                ROM

                Oops!
                Link to Engineering and Technology article referred to in post #38.1.2.2.2 above.

                30

              • #
                Willard

                Very true Rom, the lsolar energy loss through charging a battery rather than sending power directly to the grid is a factor, then on the other hand there is less power flowing from the household solar panels through the transmission lines and vise versa, reducing the transmission losses, and of course the incentive to install solar increases due to reasonable priced battery storage.

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              • #
                ROM

                No doubt at all that the customer / the owner and operator of that home battery storage or even a grid sized battery storage system will be required / forced to pay for that extra eight to fourteen percent more power used to run and charge and discharge that battery storage.

                . Plus of course the cost of the batteries and their replacement every decade at the very least which would probably equate to the equivalent of another year or so worth of extra power usage every decade.

                So using batteries as a energy storage system equates to extra cost of power actually used over a period of say a decade, into the real cost of power for that decade long period of maybe equivalent to around 12 years cost of power without any batteries in the system.

                And that is close to a 20% increase in power costs that covers the battery replacement over whatever period such battery replacements are required.
                Which is probably at least once every decade and far more likely, a period of around seven to eight years maximum for efficient battery life, efficient in both the charging process and in the amount of useable power that can be drawn back out of the battery.
                Which is a long way short of acceptable and useable in time and in terms of acceptable efficiency compared to the life of a battery run down to its failure mode.

                And all the sums on batteries are being quoted by the newest version of climate scammmers, the battery scammers, on brand new batteries without any allowances for the substantial drop off in charging performance and draw back of the energy from the battery which begins to appear within a few cycles of a new battery’s performance regardless of the battery technology used.

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              • #
                KinkyKeith

                Willard

                There are lots of “factors”.

                Batteries are NOT environmentally friendly and are an extravagance that I indulge myself with when I fly my r/c glider , mow the lawn and start the car.

                Otherwise I like my electrons made the cheap and environmentally friendly way, with beautiful, black, shiney, hard coal.

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              • #
                Willard

                Round trip efficency is 90% on the latest Batteries Rom, considering transmission line losses are an average 6% I’m sure the home owners with batteries will be happy to pay for the 4% you claim they need to pay for.
                Obviously you are concerned for these home owners who are going to splash the cash on battery tech that may have a pay back period of 6 to 9 years when the warranty is only 10 years, I can see the problem, what happens if the $10,000 pack shuts down for good the day after the warranty expires? Battery costs are only. reducing on average 9% per kwh, the replacement pack in 2027 will be around $4000 for another 10+ years ,how will they cope?

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              • #
                Willard

                Kinky Keith, your concern for the enviroment makes me all warm and fuzzy.

                15

              • #
                AndyG55

                Notice that dullard has not answered the question..

                Come on, little EV shill…… have you stumped up the $1000 US for a Tesla 3down-payment… or are you just yapping?

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        • #
          Rod Stuart

          The new US administration use a term that is applicable to you Willard:
          “DREAMERS”

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  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    OT , we closed the Coral reef blog too early , give us 101 million or the reef gets it .
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-24/50-reefs-first-global-plan-says-only-10-pc-reefs-can-be-saved/8293514

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  • #
    Joe Blow

    When we got our 12 panels the guy installing us made it very clear that to maximise our return we should run pool pump, washing machine and dryer at night (paying 22c per kWh at the time I think), and then earn 44c per kWh generated during the day. So, we churn through power at peak time and then make a nice little earner during the day.

    40

  • #
    pat

    23 Feb: WaPo: White House to eject its environmental advisers from their longtime main headquarters on Friday
    By Juliet Eilperin
    The White House on Friday will move its Council on Environmental Quality out of its main headquarters at 722 Jackson Place, a red brick townhouse it has occupied since it was established nearly half a century ago.
    Although some White House CEQ staffers will remain in adjoining townhouses, the shift means the council will lose its main conference room. While the influence of CEQ waxes and wanes depending on which president is in office, it traditionally plays a key role in executing the White House’s overall environmental agenda and coordinating key decisions among different agencies…
    Christy Goldfuss, who was CEQ’s managing director under Obama and now serves as vice president for energy and environment policy at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, said the decision to transfer its headquarters reflects the Trump administration’s “overall approach to CEQ in general,” where it ranks as a low priority…
    CEQ’s website was taken down after Trump took office and still remains blank…
    President Trump has not yet nominated anyone to chair CEQ, and a career employee is working as acting director out of the Old Executive Office Building. The president has also yet to name nominees for other key environmental posts, including his science adviser and the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/02/23/white-house-to-eject-its-environmental-advisers-from-their-historic-main-headquarters-on-friday/?utm_term=.46ec2ffc3da0

    24 Feb: CarbonPulse: ANALYSIS: Going it alone? UK emitters brace for EU ETS exit
    The UK’s hardline approach to leaving the EU has upped the chances that British emitters will also exit the bloc’s carbon market, and the government’s recent track record suggests a move away from emissions trading altogether.

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  • #
    Renato

    We live in a society where Lefty types advocate for the poor to pay for the power bills of the rich.

    Generally speaking, the “poor” in our society are those who cannot afford their own house, and who have to pay rent to a landlord. It is thus impracticable for them to have solar panels on the houses they rent, or if they do, impracticable for them to move such panels from renatal property to rental property.

    Thus it was always evident from the very beginning that the policies of Labor, the Liberal and the Greens were to make sure that the poorest section of our community would disproportionately subsidize the power bills of the richer members who were subsidized to install solar panels, and who got the ultra generous tariffs on power fed back into the grid.

    And as we see from these statistics, the richer members of the community are whooping it up with use of their cheaper power, while the poor have to make do with a lot less, and are made significantly poorer.

    How did this Green policy ever pass the Social Justice considerations that all the major parties espouse?
    Regards.

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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Thanks for that very clear and illuminating piece Renato.

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    • #
      el gordo

      ‘How did this Green policy ever pass the Social Justice considerations that all the major parties espouse?’

      Noble Cause Corruption

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    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      The greens used to be about saving species and trees etc. Clever programing changed all that and now we have what i like to collectively qualify as carbon-green. It is still possible to find greens (not carbon-green) who are mainly concerned with deforestation, non-carbon pollution, extinction in the present etc.

      Nearly everyone i know who has solar panels are paying them off. Solar panels are a great income for creditors by way of interest payments. Banks are interested in everything There is no other industry on earth that can make money out of anything during the good times and the bad.

      richer members

      These days, it is all about having a credit rating. The rich (good credit rating) are able to afford (borrow) money (debt) for a house (bank asset) and solar panels (bank asset)

      Subsidise (borrow from a bank to pay subsidies) Does this look right?

      01

  • #
    Ross

    So renewables are popular? Even with many readers on this blog! Who knew?
    The times are a changing. Don’t get left behind, jo.

    25

    • #
      AndyG55

      Really?? Where???

      Sure some of those with some spare cash have found that they can make a dollar off the tax-payer by attaching solar to their roof.

      But I doubt very much that any would have done so without the subsidies and manic feed-in tariffs.

      Its economics, not renewables..

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      • #
        bobl

        Yes, I did it when I could get a nice subsidy and a cost benefit analysis said I could profit after 5 years. Then Energex added extra “Fees” and destroyed my business model – the QLD government cheated me big time. Still I get half price electricity as a consolation prize even if it will only just cover costs.

        Nothing about the climate though… The promise of cheap electricity was the driver. Next step is to go off grid with batteries and a water cooled lng/diesel generator for hot water, aircon (compressor driven by the engine) and power. I reckon I can get around 50% – 60% thermal efficiency and the cost less than 20c per kWh.

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  • #
    enthalpy

    The obvious reason why people with solar panels draw more from the grid is the change to nett metering where only excess electricity generated is sent to the grid. This means that families are able to use as much electricity during the day as they generate and their bill is still affordable with no loss of amenity.

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  • #
    JLC of Perth

    My goodness! Perhaps the general community is a lot less interested in green ideas than the green activists assume they are. How very surprising!

    10

  • #
    pat

    some scepticism at freerepublic and on wsj twitter feed that this is real, but time will tell. quitting Paris is not the only option:

    23 Feb: WSJ: Kushner, Ivanka Trump Pushed to Remove Words Critical of Climate Deal From Executive Order
    President plans to issue orders aimed at rolling back Obama climate agenda soon
    By Amy Harder and Peter Nichol
    WASHINGTON—At the request of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his wife, Ivanka Trump, language critical of a global climate deal was struck from an executive order that Mr. Trump is planning to sign soon, according to multiple people familiar with the move.
    Mr. Trump is expected to sign within days at least two executive orders that will begin the process of trying to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s climate and environmental regulations.
    Mr. Kushner, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump, and Ms. Trump, the president’s eldest daughter, intervened to strike language about the climate deal from an earlier draft of the executive order, according to these people.
    The executive order, which targets Mr. Obama’s broad climate agenda, now includes no mention of the climate deal, which nearly 200 nations struck in Paris in 2015, in large part due to a strong push by the Mr. Obama’s administration.
    One White House official said both Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump have been considered a moderating influence on the White House’s position on climate change and environmental issues. The move is the latest sign of influence Mr. Trump’s daughter and Mr. Kushner have in a White House that has seen internal divisions on a variety of issues, including foreign policy…
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/ivanka-trump-jared-kushner-pushed-to-remove-language-critical-of-climate-deal-from-executive-order-1487889272

    COMMENTS ON THE ABOVE AT FREEREPUBLIC:

    The article is long but goes on to say that Trump said while campaigning that he would withdraw from the Paris deal, but he said after the election he was open to remaining in. Sean Spicer deferred to Tillerson who supports the deal but says he’ll go with whatever Trump decides.
    The article also talks about which environmental regulations Trump will be rolling back. One of things is a repeal of regulations which require power plants to cut the amount of carbon. Myron Ebell from the Conservative Enterprise Institute says that Trump hasn’t made a decision on the Paris deal but that it wouldn’t make sense to stay in if Trump is repealing those regulations…

    more fake news…

    I didn’t vote for her or her husband. I voted for Donald Trump…

    Articles from unnamed sources are not real news.
    Search is your friend.
    Quit letting fake news divert your attention…
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3528548/posts

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    pat

    a must-read, even tho it’s from an alarmist’s perspective. CAGW policies aren’t working:

    24 Feb: CarbonBrief: Simon Evans: House of Lords energy report slammed as ‘confused’ and ‘misleading’
    The UK’s energy policy is beset by a series of failures, according to a new report from the House of Lords economic affairs committee.
    If the UK is to fix these problems, the committee says, it should put energy security first, move to competitive auctions for electricity and “vary” the pace of greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Though it does not say so explicitly, it appears to favour a slower pace of cuts.
    Carbon Brief unpicks the committee’s report with the help of several climate and energy policy experts. They describe it as “confused”, lacking nuance and “very disappointing”. Others say the report summary is “very misleading” and the proposed auction “doesn’t really make sense”…

    The report begins by recalling a 1982 speech by Nigel Lawson, then the energy minister, setting out a “liberalised vision” of competitive energy markets that was being “embraced” by all. The committee’s citation for the speech is a 1989 book by the economist, Dieter Helm.
    Helm, a professor of energy policy at the University of Oxford and Lawson, a former chair of the Lords committee and now chair of the climate-sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation, were the first two people to give evidence to the Lords’ inquiry. They are also the two most frequently cited names in the report and, as a result, their testimony heavily influences the report. Helm’s name appears 29 times, more than twice as often as any other…
    The committee goes on to say that the focus on decarbonisation has left energy bills rising and electricity supplies perilously insecure…READ ALL
    https://www.carbonbrief.org/house-of-lords-energy-report-slammed-confused-misleading

    23 Feb: EurActiv: EU carbon market at risk of another lost decade
    By Wendel Trio | Climate Action Network Europe
    The current proposals are clearly not in line with the EU’s commitment under the Paris Agreement to keep the temperature rise well below 2°C, let alone below 1.5°C. This would profoundly damage the EU’s reputation as a frontrunner in the fight against climate change and further deteriorate EU citizens’ trust in the bloc’s ability to act.
    Last week the European Parliament adopted a weak position that would keep the carbon market ineffective for a decade or more. In particular, it refused to increase annual emission cuts (via the so-called Linear Reduction Factor) from 2.2% to 2.4% per year and align the starting level of the new carbon budget with actual emissions, which will create a new surplus right from the start of a new trading period.
    The responsibility of tackling the ETS’ core deficit, its giant surplus of allowances, is now with EU governments. Without raising the ambition of the reform proposal, the market will remain oversupplied until 2030. The figures speak loud and clear: the total surplus of allowances will amount to more than 6 billion by 2030…ETC
    http://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/eu-carbon-market-at-risk-of-another-lost-decade/

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  • #
    pat

    ***looking for $3 trillion a year to make up the shortfall!

    22 Feb: Thomson Reuters Foundation: Investors urged to quench growing thirst for climate-friendly finance
    by Megan Rowling
    India, like many developing countries, is grappling with how to fund a massive increase in its clean energy supplies as part of a government push to bring electricity to every household…
    There is likely be a 30 percent shortfall in investment towards that goal based on current capital flows, said Gireesh Shrimali, director of the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) India, a think tank that advises decision makers on green strategies.
    “We need to attract institutional investment,” he said, referring to pension funds, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds. “They are capable of meeting this gap, and the truth is they are not investing enough.”…

    On Tuesday, the World Bank said Zambia had signed agreements for a second mandate to develop utility-scale clean energy with Scaling Solar, a World Bank programme helping developing countries to procure low-cost, privately financed solar power.
    Scaling Solar projects in progress in Zambia, Senegal, Madagascar and Ethiopia will develop and tender over 1.2 gigawatts of solar power combined, and the programme is planning to expand to Asia and the Middle East, the World Bank said…

    Estimates for total investment in global infrastructure expected by 2035 range from $53 trillion to $90 trillion, said Luigi Carafa, a climate fellow with the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB), while climate finance in 2014 was $392 billion.
    If that infrastructure – which includes transport, building and energy projects – is to be green and sustainable, then the “climate finance gap” is ***at least $3 trillion per year, he said, adding that public finance alone cannot close that gap…
    http://news.trust.org/item/20170222172527-gz9bx

    23 Feb: Financial Times: Pilita Clark: US to send delegates to Bonn climate talks despite Trump vow
    President has previously dismissed global warming as a hoax
    “We got an email saying there is a US delegation coming in May”, said Nick Nuttall, communicatons co-ordinator for the UN climate change secretariat in Bonn. “It looked like it was a pretty standard delegation that they would send.”…
    While the agreement is now in place there are many rules and processes that need to be negotiated on precisely it will work…
    Even if US remains part of the Paris deal, Washington could frustrate UN climate negotiations in other ways, such as withdrawing its financial support…
    https://www.ft.com/content/f6b5de1c-f9e9-11e6-9516-2d969e0d3b65

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  • #
    pat

    24 Feb: UK Times: Lucy Bannerman: Solar-powered schools ‘penalised’ with higher tax
    Environmentally friendly schools with solar panels on their roof will have to pay hundreds of pounds extra under changes to business rates. But academies, free schools or private schools with the same type of panels will get relief, because of their charitable status.
    Philip Hammond, the chancellor, is facing further pressure to soften the rate reforms after complaints from high street businesses this week that they will face a sharp rise in charges.
    “It’s absolutely bonkers,” said Sarah Ewins, business manager of Eleanor Palmer primary school in Camden, north London, where pupils organised cake bakes and other events last year to raise £24,000 for the panels.
    Instead of reducing energy bills, Ms Ewins said that the panels would now cost an extra £500 in addition to the £4,000 increase to the school’s rates bill…
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/solar-powered-schools-penalised-with-higher-tax-xh7xhg9hk

    more detail found elsewhere, but not sure if this is precisely as at The Times:

    According to the Solar Trade Association, the rateable value for self-use solar panels will rise from £8 per kilowatt to up to £61.60. Campaigners said it was “bewildering” that the government should seek to penalise groups using clean energy to reduce their electricity bills. Leonie Greene, of the Solar Trade Association, said: “The proposed tax hike on solar is bewildering and completely at odds with the government’s new industrial strategy. “Rooftop solar is an ideal means for schools, hospitals and businesses to reduce their energy costs while doing their bit for the environment.” Nina Schrank, energy campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “By penalising these people, ministers could stop the solar industry in its tracks before it even gets going.”

    01

  • #
    pat

    what a mess!

    23 Feb: UtilityWeekUK: David Blackman: Business rates cap averts renewables disaster in Scotland
    Holyrood moves to curb possible ***650 per cent rate hike for renewable energy schemes
    The Scottish government has capped a massive hike in business rates bills which threatened to undermine ambitious plans to boost plans to boost renewable energy generation north of the border.
    According to Scottish Renewables, smaller hydro, solar and wind schemes faced business rates increases of up to 650 per cent as part of a wider revaluation of the property tax launched by the Holyrood government in December.
    However Dereck Mackay, finance minister in the Scottish Nationalist Party administration has announced that rate increase next year for a host of small businesses will be capped at 12.5 per cent…

    In addition, the minister announced further support for companies working in the renewables sector with continuing relief for community owned businesses.
    And district heating schemes will receive 50 per cent rates relief for the next 12 months.
    Hannah Smith, policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said that the package was broadly welcome but expressed concern about the rating picture beyond next year…
    “It is disappointing that there will be no specific relief for small-scale onshore wind and solar generators, which are also facing very large increases, but the relief for new-build schemes and those with an element of community investment is welcome.”…
    http://utilityweek.co.uk/news/Business-rates-cap-averts-renewables-disaster-in-Scotland/1296372

    01

  • #
    Analitik

    Too bad they aren’t all as green as this man, Clayton Lyndon, who installed a 24 kW PV system with 6 Powerwalls to cut his more than $13,000 per year energy bills.

    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/a-gold-coast-man-bought-six-powerwall-batteries-to-create-a-tesla-power-station-at-home-2016-9

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      He is apparently still connected to the grid. What happens if Qld. follows the SA route to frequent blackouts?
      Still nice to know that he can afford 58-63 thousand for partial cover, and it will work out around $366 a MWh or 37¢ a kWh.

      30

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Analytik,

      I would definitely not want my family living on top of that.

      Lithium ion batteries!!!!!

      10

    • #
      Rod Stuart

      What a farce!

      The payback time is 31 years for a complete “off the grid” system

      What discount rate was used in this calculation?
      What maintenance costs? the operating costs?
      How are the supposed “savings” evaluated twenty years out?
      What escalation rate is used?
      What about the demolition costs?
      In most enterprise a period more than three years is simply nonsense.

      00

      • #
        Willard

        The article couldn’t provide a total cost, a bit of research would have come up with a figure around the $80 000 mark, the savings were claimed to be $13 000 per year, to get that figure there would have to be some very smart use of the power, more likely $10 000 per year and the premises must have been chewing through a lot of power to start with.
        Now this is where it gets interesting and I reckon the home owner is going to be a little bit annoyed, the installation was sometime on or before September 2016 using the Powerwall 1, in October 2016 the Powerwall 2 was announced, half the cost per usable Kwh, assuming the solar panel cost was the same using a Powerwall 2 set up would be around the $50 000 mark.

        00

  • #
    observa

    They forgot the bit about all the FIT scheme lapper upperers getting their solar income tax free while the low income/wealth schmucks have to pay their higher bills out of after tax income. Way to go watermelons.

    10

  • #
    Ava

    On a related theme, importing wood pellets is producing more CO2 than burning coal.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4255010/Idiocy-replacing-coal-power-stations-burning-wood.html

    10

  • #
    nc

    Sun Metals Zinc refinery Townsville installing solar. Can anyone supply information, all I can find is fairy dust.

    01

    • #
      observa

      Solar can make sense cutting world’s dearest power bills for individual businesses in industry and commercial when they’re working during the day, but not much for working families unless they’re on FIT. Consequently without generous FIT schemes the solar panel industry has switched its focus. Westfield Marion in SA has just installed a structural solar panel roof on the carpark as an example, but the more they do that the more consumers will have to pay for reliable thermal to amortise covering the 6-8pm peak demand. The thorny old economic problem of what’s beneficial for the individual isn’t necessarily beneficial for the group.

      10

    • #
      observa

      Speaking of fairy dust that’s what the study of economics does, in particular with macroeconomic analysis here. You hold certain parameters constant (ceteris paribus in the lingo) and reasonably/rationally analyse what happens. So think of Oz chugging along with only a few large coal thermal power stations and gas peaking plants plus an adequate distribution network to handle all daily and seasonal peak demands. Then it’s decided that solar panels are the way to go and by hocking us all up we can import shiploads of panels and inverters and grid controls plus enough 457 visa folks to get the job done in not needing thermal anymore during the day, winter or summer. Yessiree sir within 3 months by the next quarterly power bill none of us will be paying for any thermal power during daylight hours. Whaddya reckon happens to all our thermal power bills when the sun don’t shine to keep everything going and welcome to an instant 100% depreciation on all that brain fart borrowing. It’s called the fallacy of composition.

      It’s why economics is called the dismal science because it cuts any emotional attachment off at the knees and now you can see why leftys never get it or point blank refuse to.

      10

    • #
      Gee Aye

      It could be completely banal like on street lights and outbuildings.

      10

  • #

    [...] Solar Homes use more grid electricity than non-solar homes ~ Escpecially when the GOVERNMENT is in charge – at least that what Aussies are discovering ~ [...]

    00