JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Turnbull, Andrews achievements: 1,000 unemployed, prices up, blackouts coming

Good afternoon Prime Minister and Premier,

Before we move on to your new partnership, let us think about Scott Morrison’s words:

“Governments must do no harm”.

As a political thinker he is “out there”, our Scotty isn’t he Gentlemen?

Perhaps we need him on the home team in the energy market do you think?

National Electricity Market Grid 4th April 2017

National Electricity Market Grid 4th April 2017 (Click to enlarge)

The solid basis on which the Turnbull/Andrews  partnership needs to be formed has to originate with the achievements you have both made so far.  Let’s list them:

  • Through your deliberate actions (and failure to act) of shutting Hazelwood, you have reduced mankind’s contribution of CO2 by a factor of 0.0002.  That reduction, when compared with the CO2 produced by animals consuming vegetation and microbes consuming vegetation is a ratio of 0.000025.                              Hmmmm……..
  • You have just put at least 1,000 people out of work in the Latrobe Valley.
  • You will bankrupt many businesses in the Latrobe Valley and devastate a whole slab of the Nation’s economy.
  • You have placed the viability of every single manufacturing business in Eastern and South Australia under threat – with the certainty of unemployment for hundreds of thousands of people if the madness continues.  These businesses are now less able to compete with imports and less able to compete when exporting.
  • You have caused power prices for every single Eastern and South Australian to rise by a ridiculous amount – because the forced removal of a marginal 1600Mw makes a massive difference to the price of a commodity in short supply.
  • You have introduced a new unprecedented level of risk of blackouts to 89% of the Australian population.  Look at the attached AEMO record for this evidence.
  • You have caused an unprecedented rise in the price of east Australian gas by pushing 1600 Mw of generation away from coal and on to our dwindling gas supply.
  • Your initiative of closing Hazelwood has increased the probability of gas supply shortages for 89% of our population.
  • You have increased our farmers’ costs which also makes them less able to compete with imports and less able to export.  After some of them have weathered a few previous frontal assaults from Coles, Woolworths, the Chinese Government and Murray Goulburn, your increased power prices to run milking machines, pumps and chilling equipment are just what a struggling dairy farmer needs.
  • You have made the large gas supply companies and power generating companies – and those with a finger in the renewables honey-pot – an absolute fortune for their shareholders.  You could be forgiven for thinking that the Australian Federal Government and the Victorian Government actually exist to benefit shareholders of those companies – and not your own constituents!!

Gentlemen, even a compliant media will not save you from what is going to happen soon.

Gas Shortage fears as prices soar, article. Australian Electricity Grid. News.

Click to enlarge to read.

Your choices are simple:

  1. Wait for a single interconnector trip or other unplanned event to black out a whole slab of Eastern Australia and then receive an absolute flogging over Hazelwood and be forced into an embarrassing re-start of the Station.
  2. Have some initiative, form a strong home team together and get the Station fired up again without delay.

You have both seen that the Weatherillesque technique of blaming everyone else for his own failures – even with a fully compliant S.A. media on side – wears a bit thin when the lights go out and voters get ready to reach for baseball bats – so it is time for you to form a partnership and start doing the right thing Gentlemen.

You will both be congratulated for putting childish Politics to one side and behaving like true leaders.

Thankyou and best regards,

IAN WATERS

Senior Project Engineer, Australian Manufacturer

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (122 votes cast)
Turnbull, Andrews achievements: 1,000 unemployed, prices up, blackouts coming, 9.8 out of 10 based on 122 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/y2mc2o92

206 comments to Turnbull, Andrews achievements: 1,000 unemployed, prices up, blackouts coming

  • #
    pat

    meanwhile, across the water:

    5 Apr: Reuters: Richard Valdmanis: New York, other states challenge Trump over climate change regulation
    A coalition of 17 U.S. states filed a legal challenge on Wednesday against efforts by President Donald Trump’s administration to roll back climate change regulations, deepening a political rift over his emerging energy policies.
    Led by New York state, the coalition said the administration has a legal duty to regulate emissions of the gases scientists believe cause global climate change.
    “The law is clear: the EPA must limit carbon pollution from power plants,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement announcing the challenge…

    Trump’s order directed the Environmental Protection Agency to review the regulation to decide whether to “suspend, rescind, or revise it.” Shortly after, EPA filed a legal motion asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to delay ongoing court proceedings on the regulation to allow for the review…

    The New York-led coalition’s motion on Wednesday asked the court to throw out the EPA’s request to delay court proceedings, saying the delay “would waste the substantial resources already expended in this litigation.”

    “This case is ripe for decision now, and nothing that EPA has proposed to do obviates the need for this court’s review,” according to the statement.

    The coalition includes attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington – along with the District of Columbia and a number of smaller localities.
    https://gma.yahoo.com/york-other-states-challenge-trump-over-climate-change-225723305.html

    92

    • #
      Mark M

      Steve Milloy says, “This is fantastic for climate skeptics.”
      Why?
      “This will force the White House to get on the stick with respect to redoing the endangerment finding.”
      https://twitter.com/JunkScience/status/849762561658671108

      121

    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      ClearlyTrump is having a difficult time trying to implement his policies on the climate hoax.Just hope he has the will to take it on.
      GeoffW

      21

      • #
        Allen Ford

        I think it is pretty clear that the Donald should commission an open enquiry, similar to our Royal Commission, to force the fake “scientists” to justify their fantasies, in public, face to face with critics.

        We have already seen a start in this direction few days ago, with Michael Mann making a complete fool of himself before Congress in a shoot out with Curry, Christy and Pielke.

        More, please!

        81

        • #
          Gerry, England

          There is another take on this that suggests that to those with no knowledge, Mann was the better performer because he spoke with certainty. We know he was talking rubbish but to the unwashed he would seem to know what he was talking about. While the testimony of curry, Christy and Pielke was factual and accurate, it included a lot of doubt. So it appears less convincing. What anyone fronting up to a warmist in a situation like this needs to do is demolish the drivel that they will spout. That is probably not natural for a scientist speaking in public but perhaps they can be trained to be more adversarial and act as if it was a court case. I did laugh at Judith Curry skewering Mann over his denier calling denial.

          61

          • #
            KinkyKeith

            Good outline Gerry.

            Too much comment in the form of uncertainties when the basic IR science is essentially not applicable to our atmosphere.

            CO2 is not a heat trapping gas in our atmosphere.

            Why even discuss the hot spot, it’s a nonsense.

            KK

            20

          • #
            Ted O'Brien.

            “To those with no knowledge”… Yes, but.

            Where would Michael Mann’s bluster get him in a court of law?

            10

    • #
      NuThink

      Led by New York state, the coalition said the administration has a legal duty to regulate emissions of the gases scientists believe cause global climate change.

      Scientists who “believe”. So they do not have to quantify, just belief is sufficient. How science has fallen since Sir Isaac Newton observed the apple falling from a tree.

      41

    • #
      turnedoutnice

      Aussies: collect emu feathers and gum; plaster the corrupt politicians with gum, cover them in emu feathers, drive them out of state capitals on railway trucks into the desert.

      There, fixed it for you!

      20

  • #

    It’s not going to happen until the proverbial actually hits the fan (in this case the one not turning). It’s only when people experience the reality of the lights and everything else going out that the pollies might start stirring. Unfortunately, it’ll probably also incur some deaths along the way when things fail at the most inopportune time and especially if backups fail.

    350

    • #

      I also had another worrying thought. If we do have east coast blackouts, for how long could these blackouts potentially last? I well remember the Longford gas plant explosion and we were without gas for at least a week. It wasn’t very good when your hot water and heating was all provided by ‘inexpensive’ gas.

      250

    • #
      Peter Miller

      Keeping Hazelwood open is an obvious choice in a real world. However, in a world dominated by greeniespeak and ecoloon considerations it is obvious heresy.

      Sadly, for Australia and other countries where trendy ecoloon theories hold sway, you will have to have a series of electricity generating disasters before the message finally sinks in.

      Politicians always prefer trendy easy, short term, decisions, as opposed to tough, potentially unpopular, ones.

      Anyhow South Australia, enjoy your totally unnecessary power blackouts, You might as well get used to them for a long time to come, unless common sense prevails, which is a highly unlikely scenario.

      280

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        Keeping Hazelwood open would not be simple. The closure of Hazelwood is a major factor built into the business models of all power suppliers. Those business models were constructed on bases sold by governments for cash, and include government regulations and their effects.

        Reopening Hazelwood would reduce power prices, busting those business models. Compensation would have to be paid. The alternative on offer in the heads of some politicians is of course a Marxist economy where everybody is busted and the command economy carries us all to Nirvana.

        10

    • #
      Robdel

      I have been saying this for a while. There is nothing that focusses the mind so well as continual blackouts. So the sooner this happens, the better. Until then, do not expect any changes to the present madness.

      90

  • #
    el gordo

    ACP seeking candidates.

    Cory Bernardi ‘said he would like to field candidates in every state and would be looking actively for the best quality candidates to “champion the Australian conservative cause”.

    “To be above the line you’ve got to have more than one candidate so we’ll look to have one or two [in SA],” Mr Bernardi said.

    The Labor and Liberal “proposals to fix the energy crisis in South Australia are lacklustre at best,” he said.’

    ABC

    230

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Hazelwood is closed and cold, right?
    Could it be restarted without much work?

    120

    • #
      Greebo

      In a word, NO. Tony could explain it better, but the generator armatures will have sagged under their immense weight. Hazelwood was killed.

      270

      • #
        Greebo

        Allow me to rephrase. Hazelwood was executed.

        260

      • #
        Leonard Lane

        I think you are correct Greebo, and hope Tony joins the conversation.
        Of special interest are the large shafts in the steam turbines.
        These shafts are long and heavy, While spinning at a sufficient speed, the shafts remain straight. But when stopped, their weight is such that they sag and bend. Starting them to turn again won’t work because once bent if they are rotated there be significant wobble. In other words, the turbine shafts are ruined and the steam turbines provided to run the electricity generating plants have to be rebuilt.

        180

        • #
          Rodney Entwistle

          Steam turbo alternators are brought to rest every time they are maintained. They do not “bend” permanently. Sure, they bend elastically under gravity, and distort if not evenly heated, but each of these is easily overcome by slow rotation and steam warming. It goes on all the time. Nothing is “ruined” by stopping the plant.

          60

          • #
            Greebo

            I can only repeat what I have learnt over the course of this projected closure. It has been in the wind for some time. Hazelwood is 53 years old. Perhaps newer installations are better equipped to deal. Perhaps you are wrong. My info is that they never ‘rest’, but are turned by an outside source. I defer to Tony from Oz. He is also on record here as stating that Hazelwood will never turn again.

            70

          • #
            Ted O'Brien.

            Are the bearings pressurised while they are stationary?

            Also about bending. Everything bends. I was astonished to discover that the sensor for our 2 tonne cattle scales is a jigger like a postage stamp with two wires and has in it an iron wire zig zagging like the grubs do in the bark of scribbly gums. This is glued fairly precisely to the side of a steel bar about half a metre long, 6 cm x 2 cm on edge. That arrangement can measure the deflection in the bar when 100 grams are placed on it by measuring the change in the resistance of the iron wire.

            00

        • #
          Greebo

          Yep. My, admittedly limited, understanding of that is that if those shafts were spun back up to speed, you would be wise to stand elsewhere. Like, in a different postcode. With the tonnage involved, even a few mm out of true would be cause for concern.

          70

        • #
          Curious George

          Large wind turbines tend to sag when not rotated. A steam turbine is not a wind turbine.

          30

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            Curious George:
            Steam turbine shafts can bend. Even when not generating they normally have a ‘trickle’ of steam turning them over around 3 r.p.m.
            If maintenance on the turbine is required the shaft is supported at intervals with chocks (lengths of wood).

            The same with big ships, the US Navy turns over the propellors on its carriers even when moored, so the bending force on the drive shaft is evened out.

            70

        • #
          Geoffrey Williams

          Unfortunately you are correct Peter.
          GeoffW

          00

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Hi Greebo

        So you are sure that the rotors were not rotated at low speed to preserve their integrity?

        KK

        60

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          KK:

          The owners shut down the factory, having neglected maintenance as the plant reached its end of expected life, declaring that they were exiting coal fired (except for the suddenly more profitable Loy Yang plant) so had no incentive to leave the equipment in any sort of condition for recovery. Besides to keep the rotors going would require steam from operating boilers.

          No, the rotors won’t run again, even if Dopey Dan panicks and tries to restart them. The French have got as much money out of the old plant as they can, and will start demolishing it, leaving Dopey Dan and Muckup Mal with the problem of restricted supply.

          120

          • #
            KinkyKeith

            Thanks Graeme, I had understood that during temporary shutdowns a petrol driven engine would supply power to produce a very slow turn.

            Obviously that didn’t happen here.

            KK

            60

            • #
              Greebo

              KK, that is my understanding as well. I have ‘heard ‘ however, that the temporary rotation you speak of was never intended in this case. Andrews was never going to reduce the coal levy, and therefore keeping the plant ‘alive’ was never going to be an economic reality. It is now 597 days to the next Victorian election. Even the most optimistic commercial entity is unlikely to spend xxx $s keeping something, an ancient relic as Tony fondly describes it, going in the hope that the comrades may decide to vote for change, which in itself is hardly a certainty.

              60

              • #
                TdeF

                I cannot find Tony’s comment that Hazelwood would never start again. However what I read was projection and I suspect Tony is running on speculation as to the condition of Hazelwood. He was very surprised that it was functioning perfectly or at all, that it was 90% of specification. The owners say they spent $1Bn on maintenance but Tony is convinced it is derelict and will never start again.

                Personally, I think it could, that Tony’s generalizations about age assume Engie have run the place into the ground. There is no evidence of that.

                Even if it were true, a power station like Hazelwood, basically multiple generators five years apart and bought with a real expectancy and lease for 40 years of operation is much more than the boilers. It is an open cut mine, which is still there. Coal which is still in the ground. Conveyors and staff and much more. It is not a single machine but a series of machines and boilers which require maintenance and which can have have been serviced and replaced.

                I would like to hear from someone with first hand knowledge of the state of Hazelwood and get a costing for reopening, maintanance and operation. The reason they closed was nothing to do with age of the boilers or lack of maintenance, although Tony’s speculation that it was run into the ground could be right. Or wrong.

                40

              • #
                TdeF

                So the question for Hazelwood would be, if the RET was removed, if Engie could double its income, how much would it cost and how long would it take for Hazelwood to reopen? Could it reopen tomorrow? Does anyone have answers?

                At the very least, if a new brown coal based power plant was to be built, something which no one was intending to do, we would buy some time for this to be achieved, not Turnbull’s uncosted, unproven water battery in the distant future or submarines in the never never. Why does every Tunrbull solution involve importing everything from overseas? No wonder there are no jobs for Australian engineeers let alone Australian designers.

                50

            • #
              Ted O'Brien.

              Petrol? I recall that when I toured the Liddell power station while it was under construction the starter motor was a 12,500 hp gas turbine.

              00

              • #
                KinkyKeith

                Thanks Ted. Just recalled an earlier comment about a small motor being used.

                Even 1 or 2 rpm would be enough to prevent sag and distortion.

                00

          • #
            Ian

            I don’t understand why Turnbull is being pilloried for the Hazelwood closure. `here’s a comment from the AFR :

            “Josh Frydenberg blamed the Labor government for putting pressure on Engie to shut the plant, noting that a shutdown of Hazelwood has been part of Labor policy. Labor senator Sam Dastyari joined with the Greens in October to pass a motion in the Senate to encourage the exit of coal-fired power stations from the national electricity market.

            “The closure of Hazelwood has long been Labor’s stated policy,” Mr Frydenberg said.

            “They can’t have it both ways, saying that they are standing up for blue-collar workers and at the same time pursuing policies that put them out of a job.”

            How is Turnbull the culprit?? Because he its Turnbu]ll I suppose

            30

            • #
              KinkyKeith

              I agree that Laba behaved badly on this issue and in a manner designed to gather green votes.

              The parallel issue is that Turnbull could remove or seek to remove the hideous RET which is damaging the business model for Engie.

              00

      • #
        Peter C

        the generator armatures will have sagged under their immense weight. Hazelwood was killed.

        That might be correct, or not. Why should the armature sag under its own weight? If the armature was to sag under its own weight how did they install it and start it up in the first place?

        I doubt that Engei has anticipated a start up, but it might not be impossible if the economic circumstances are right.

        70

        • #
          Greebo

          Suggest you wait for Tony on that one.

          30

        • #
          TdeF

          No one has speculated on Engie’s commercial strategy. This whole issue of closing coal power could blow up in the winter. Weatherill is running scared of a blackout. Watch Daniel Andrew’s cringe if Victoria gets one too. NSW came perilously close just a month ago to a state wide rolling blackout. We are on a knife’s edge, not only for electricity but a popular revolt on power. The Melbourne Herald Sun and the Australian have been scathing. One blackout across four states now and governments will fall and Turnbull’s silly idea makes Rudd look practical.

          90

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            TdeF:

            Turnbull’s idea was worked out by engineers years ago and shelved as too costly, but it still makes sense in that pumped storage improves the efficiency of conventional generation. Yes, you lose 25% of the energy but the cost differential between night time and daytime allows pumped storage to make some money, and the coal fired plants in particular benefit by running all night and are ready for the morning peak (unlike renewables). It doesn’t make any sense to use the extra capacity as an excuse to add more renewables (see Germany where most pumped storage capacity has been shut down because (at times) a glut of output reduces the earnings of the storage operators) because we would wind up subsidising pumped storage to ‘solve’ the problems caused by subsidised renewables.
            In any case Muckup Mal’s “solution” won’t be available for 7-9 years, long after he will be gone.

            81

      • #
        CameronH

        The main issue is with the turbine shafts as they are much longer than the generators and have very hot steam passing through them. Typically they only permanently sag if they are stopped while still hot. On a normal maintenance shut down they are kept turning, barring is the term, until they are at ambient temps. Over a long time frame they will sag so. in normal circumstances, they are turned by hand on a regular basis a quarter at a time.

        00

  • #
    Rick Will

    Solar has no benefit of scale. Solar can have benefit of siting but that is largely offset by cost of transmission in Australia.

    Wind has a small benefit of scale but larger scale brings higher risks and that adds to costs.

    Batteries have no benefit of scale. Note the Tesla grid battery uses the same tiny cell used in their cars – 20mm diameter and 70mm long.

    Diesel has little or no benefit of scale although suburbs full of little diesels belching fumes would not be nice. Scrubbers can be fitted to larger units for not much additional cost/kWh or they can be sited in less populated locations

    If governments persist in eliminating coal generation then it makes sense for anyone who can install solar and batteries to go down that path. It is rapidly becoming more economic to produce your own electricity rather than relying on the NEM. I am near certain that Finkel will not recommend any new coal generation!

    South Australia’s wholesale price is forecast to hit $322/MWh tonight. The import is forecast to reach 640MW. That is close to capacity. We are only in early April. What will happen in June when all the reverse cycle air conditioners are heating at night.

    I am still punting on June 18th being the first day of load shedding post Hazelwood. BUT there is a good chance it could be sooner if there is a few days of cold weather.

    I do not see a lot of point having Ian’s post on this web site. This message needs to be put to an audience that does not see the obvious.

    221

    • #

      This is a repeat of the Comment I made across at the most recent Unthreaded, and there were two new Threads from Joanne, so no one would have seen it, but it’s worthwhile repeating here, so I hope you don’t mind. The text of that Comment was as follows:

      When it comes to these CSP power plants, (solar thermal) what must be understood here is it all depends upon the generator itself.

      Generators have evolved over the years to become bigger, and that’s bigger in output, to the point where that soon, they will be able to drive huge output generators, upwards of 1600MW.

      In the same manner that the output has increased, the actual physical size of the generators has become smaller, with better technology all round. However, everything depends upon the rotor, the actual part of the generator which has to be turned over, and that is a huge weight to actually rotate, even if they have gotten smaller.

      To turn that huge weight around requires a very large turbine. To turn that turbine requires immense amounts of pressurised high temperature steam and to ‘make’ that steam, a monster furnace actually capable of being able to heat the water to that high temperature steam.

      So, here we are now, with HELE, which is USC (UltraSuperCritical) and that refers to the operating temperature of the steam itself, and with Advanced USC on the way (between 2018 and 2021) operating at an even higher temperature and also a greater efficiency.

      The three levels of technology below (get that, below) USC are SuperCritical, Critical, and SubCritical. (lower operating temperature of the steam) Sub Critical dates back to the 40s/50s, and even that had an increase in technology in the 60′s/70′s.

      Hazelwood was SubCritical. There are some Critical, and even SuperCritical plants here in Oz, the most recent ones, and they are here in Queensland.

      Okay then, let’s get back to CSP solar thermal.

      All of these plants are sub critical, the same level of technology coal fired power was back at the end of the Second Great War.

      The problem is that operating temperature, and the best they can get out of CSP is at that SubCritical level, hence they can only make certain amounts of steam enough to drive smaller turbines, hence (considerably) smaller generators, and the best they can manage is 125MW generators, and even then only when that temperature actually rises to that SubCritical level.

      When I started all this back in early 2008, I saw a very dry pdf document of almost 300 pages, what is now referred to as ‘modelling’, and it dealt solely with CSP. They modelled that CSP would be able to drive 250MW generators by 2008, 500MW generators by 2012, and to drive those 500MW generators so that they could actually generate on a 24 hour basis with heat diversion a year or so later.

      Needless to say, none of that modelling has proven true, because even now, with specially and specifically designed turbine/generator units the best they can manage is 150MW generators derated to around 125MW, and even then only on a strictly limited time basis, and even those have trouble managing a year round Capacity Factor between 25% and 30%, lower even than wind power.

      Again, let me stress here that CSP is Sub Critical, at least three levels of technology lower than coal fired power currently is at, and the same technology as the now closed Hazelwood.

      After so long working on CSP, they have still not found a way to increase that operating temperature, and at the rate technology is improving in every other field of power generation, this tells me that is about the best they can get it to be.

      Do not ever believe that this plant proposed for South Australia will ever provide 24 hour power.

      The two plants in the Mojave that they constantly refer to cost $2.2 Billion and $1.5 Billion, and have NEVER supplied 24 hour power. They are lucky to generate at a CF below 30%.

      It’s a technology that cannot be improved to a scale that even approaches what coal fired power can already do now.

      Tony.

      622

      • #
        RobK

        Quite so Tony. The CSPs have their low grade heat spread over a paddock. To concentrate it, light is focused onto a boiler on a stick high in the sky. No matter which way you tackle this, it is not the way of the future in a rational world.

        300

      • #
        Chris in Hervey Bay

        I just want to get some things in perspective for you all.

        Some years back, I was one of the commissioning engineers (instrumentation) of 3 small boilers at an oil refinery. Which, by comparison, uses much, much less steam than a power plant like Hazelwood.

        The main load was 4 steam turbines plus some smaller pumps and ancillary equipment. The main load comprised of 1×15,000SHP, 1x 25,000SHP, 1×45,000SHP and 1×60,000SHP turbines.

        To supply the steam, at 700 degrees F, and (only) 600 psi (small stuff really), we had 3 boilers producing 100,000 pounds of steam an hour, each.

        To get 300,000pounds of steam / hour, you have to boil 30,000 gallons of water / hour, or 38 litres / second and raise the pressure and temperature to get to the 600psi at 700 degrees F.

        So, you can see, you need massive inputs of energy, whether it be coal or gas or the sun, to drive a large plant producing 1,000′s of megawatts of electricity.

        420

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Interesting outline.

          90

        • #
          Dave in Montana

          For clarity, to get 300,000 pounds/hr of steam you need 300,000 pounds/hr of water. 1 water lb = 1 steam lb

          40

        • #
          Rodney Entwistle

          Thermal electricity plant….approx.
          Energy in = energy out divided by thermal efficiency ~= 3 x energy out.
          MWh_in ~= 3 x MWh_out
          The other 2/3 is rejected to cooling system (e.g. cooling tower, lake, ocean) and up the stack.
          For process plants, some (or most) of that heat can be used for process heating and therefore has a much higher overall thermal efficiency.

          50

      • #
        Leonard Lane

        Thanks Tony. And the boilers at Tonopah type power plants have to be heated by gas all night, in the mornings until the solar provided is hot enough to generate electricity. Then in the afternoon solar again fails and gas heats the boilers until the next morning when solar can resume providing the power.
        Another thing to consider on the Tonapah solar/gas generating plant is that it is in a desert with hot days and cool nights. There is also a lot of dust blowing around in the desert. Thus the solar mirrors have to be washed with water (scarce in the desert) every day or two.
        The best way to consider steam turbine plants like Tonopah is that they are gas power plants all night, in the mornings, and evenings. And their power is supplemented by solar power through the middle part of the day. It would be cheaper and more efficient to get rid of the mirrors, towers, and use a conventional gas powered power plant. Cheaper, better, more reliable power. Finally this would save untold thousands and thousands of insects, bats, birds, including hawks and eagles.
        Don’t let anyone in OZ tell you that solar plants like Tonopah are efficient, or that they do not require huge amounts of water and labor to keep the mirrors clean, or that the power they produce does come mainly from solar power. The power comes mostly from gas, and they are destructive of huge quantities of wild life. The intense focused sunlight burns birds and they laughingly are called “smokers” as the plummet to the grounds as flaming dead carcasses.

        350

        • #
          Curious George

          Pah. The gas heating applies to Ivanpah, not Tonopah. Tonopah (“Crescent Dunes”) was designed to have enough heat storage capacity to continue production overnight. In October it developed a minor leak of molten salt, and it has been off-line ever since. The company, Solar Reserve, is tight-lipped about production data.

          40

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            The Crescent Dunes Plant looks interesting in that its output, when it is operating, is sold at $A181 per MWh, a considerable drop from previous plants of this type.
            I notice that 64.5% of its output was in July, Aug and Sept. From Oct. to April it only managed 18% of the total output. No month outside the peak months reached even 10% and it was shut down in the previous Dec. Could this be due to it only having 10 hours storage capacity? Had it run 24 hours a day it would be rated at 15MW capacity.
            For the same money we might have a 1000MW gas fired CCGT with output costing less than half that of the solar plant. Which makes more sense?

            60

            • #

              Graeme No.3, and everyone,

              look closely at the graph shown at this link.

              It may seem technical, but it shows what happens when there is heat storage involved in the process for CSP.

              It shows the process involved.

              The orange line close to along the bottom shows the actual power being generated (in MW, as shown by the right side vertical axis.) and that comes in at just 50MW.

              The more heat that is being diverted to storage, the lower the output in MW.

              The heat is used to raise the temperature of the compound, be it molten salts, graphite, or whatever is being used, and molten salts is becoming the most common. Once that compound reaches operating temperature, it can then ‘make’ steam to drive the turbine, which in turn drives the generator.

              You either use that heat as it is being heated by the Sun, or divert the heat during the process of heating.

              If some of the heat is diverted, then there is less to ‘make’ the steam, if you can see that.

              The longer the diversion of heat, then the lower the power output.

              That’s why nearly all of those CSP plants have a total output of 100MW, and that involves two by 50MW generators. (as shown with the list at this site)

              As soon as they attempt to install a larger Unit, eg, the 125MW Units at those plants in the Mojave Desert, they have serious problems, especially if they have storage. Too much heat is diverted and the operating temperature is never quite reached.

              They have differing levels of heat storage, expressed in hours, 4, 6, 8, 12 and 16 hours, but the most common is 4 hours, because of that reaching the operating temperature thing.

              You either use the heat as it is happening, or lose out (in overall power generation) by diverting it.

              Tony.

              100

              • #
                KinkyKeith

                Again, thanks Tony, another very interesting overview of CSP.

                Eye opening in terms of your assessment of that optimum 4 hour period.

                I just wish that we could have had all the money wasted on rooftop solar and other nutty warmer schemes sent to universities and CSIRO to support proper research into concentrating and storing solar energy.

                Even diverting that money to build a few dams with generators would have been better than the current roof top Tokenism.

                KK

                00

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Thanks Tony, a great read.

        40

      • #
        cohenite

        Thank you Tony; I will be using this when I speak to the cockroaches of the media; new angles and really, really simple ideas have to be used to keep their gnat sized attention spans focused. The temperature limitations of solar vs coal is a straightforward concept.

        111

  • #
    Another Ian

    An example of one of the fleet of promotional vehicles for the current Australian electricity policy

    http://www.yesterdaystractors.com/cgi-bin/viewit.cgi?bd=ttalk&th=1810534

    60

  • #
    ROM

    .

    2 . Have some initiative, form a strong home team together and get the Station fired up again without delay.

    A / And then get ass in gear and cut off all subsidies to Renewable Energy before you get the backside sued out of you by the dozens and possibly hundreds of individiuals who are suffering severe health problems from turbine infrasound as is happening in Ireland.

    B / Plus dozens / hundreds of large businesses plus maybe thousands of small businesses who will sue the politicians as their businesses have lost millions / tens of millions / hundreds of millions of dollars due to unreliable and blackout prone power due entirely to political decisions made by the politicians leading to uneconomic circumstances and heavy economic losses for base load fossil fueled generators and their subsequent shutting down.

    C / And go get ass further into gear and go find and contract a couple of major global power station constructors to build a half dozen coal burning Super Critical High Efficiency, Low Emission generators along the eastern sea board to cater for Australia’s energy requirements over the next three or more decades.

    D / Lock up any and all the green blob protesters that try to prevent the construction of the power generators for the duration of the construction phase as well as declaring their organisations as alien and internationally funded anti Australian organisations that will have to pay tax and meet every business and legal criteria before being allowed to continue to exist and operate in Australia.

    E / Get some bloody political cojones you lily livered political has beens and no hopers and do something concrete to get Australia up and running again.

    341

  • #

    Let’s be correct about this.

    As much as we would like to think that Hazelwood can be restarted, that won’t be happening.

    The process for generating coal fired power is not a simple one. The coal is crushed to powder and injected with forced air into the furnace. That heat then boils water to steam which is pressurised and then used to drive the turbine, which in turn then drives the generator.

    The boilers, all of them, need extensive work, probably in fact replacement. Then the turbines will need to undergo major servicing, and the generators themselves are ancient, and cannot be made to deliver the original 200MW each again.

    That work on the boilers alone is horrendously expensive, and was due to have to be carried out in early April. If (bloody big if too) that work could be carried out, then highly purified water can only be used to make those turbines run up again.

    ALL of this work should have been carried out years if not decades ago to prolong the life of the plant. It was allowed to degrade until the point of no return, now.

    Back in 2007, there was a proposal for a total upgrade of Hazelwood, using the coal drying process used in the German brown coal plants, and at the same time, the work to everything else would have been done on a Unit by Unit basis.

    The Political climate at the time, and this ramping up scare about CO2 emissions saw vacillation on an unprecedented scale, resulting in the usual fix of the application of band aids only.

    The fact that in the last Month of operation they got all eight Units delivering at their best after so long was astonishing in the extreme, a tribute to the people working there, and not the owners, who just raked in the money from the sale of the electricity, around a Million dollars a day.

    You won’t see Hazelwood back in operation at all. The cost would be too great, and would never be recouped, because even if they did do it, it would still be an ancient relic from a time now passed.

    All it does is place extreme pressure on other coal fired plants, and I notice now that dear old Liddell, now the oldest coal fired plant in Oz at 46 years, is being used as a primary generator with all four Units operational, and now being ramped up in power generation, instead of being used as backup for those other coal fired plants when their Units go down for maintenance.

    Until people get told the truth about coal fired power, then there will be a typically blase attitude about it, but telling the truth is the province of sites like this only, and nowhere in the MSM, because none of those journalists want to even find out the truth, let alone write it down, and have his Editor not even print the article for fear of the backlash.

    Everyone is scared, and when the time comes that the power goes down, the backlash will be horrendous.

    There’ll be the Dorrie Evans response ….. “WHY wasn’t I told?”

    Tony.

    612

    • #
      toorightmate

      Tony,
      You can replace/refit plenty of boilers for the amount we are wasting on wind turbines.
      How did you like the 120 Me the wind farms of SA and Vic were generating at 4:00 pm 5/04/17?

      A nice little snippet from the USA this morning:
      “If milk had the same level of subsidy as does wind power it would cost about $10 per litre”.
      The CO2 horsesh*t has to stop.

      291

    • #
      Chris in Hervey Bay

      Tony, this is one thing I can not figure out.

      All you need is plenty of steam to run the generators.

      In my experience, the boilers are the first thing in the system to wear out, (thermal shock, eroding of the fire bricks, and grate of the fluid bed).

      So, why not just bulldoze the boilers at Hazelwood and then plant a couple of small package nuclear reactors in their place and pipe them up to the turbines.

      After all, a nuclear reactor only produces steam.

      150

      • #
        RobK

        Heaven forbid, if you added some modular nukes at strategic nodes in the grid you’d have no problems ever again.

        130

      • #
        Greebo

        Well, the TWU, along with the CFMEU and the Greens would see to it that such a reactor in Victoria would never be supplied with fuel. We are going to need miracles to get a nuke anywhere in this country, let alone Victoriastan.

        120

    • #
      Dave in Montana

      It depends a lot on how the units were laid up. If the boilers were dehumidified and the turbine/gen sets kept on turning gear they could be restarted. Even if they let the rotors bow, they could be rolled out. But as Tony mentions, it depends on the economics-well, if what I read somewhere is correct, at a $350 mw price, it could be very economically feasible. If 6 of the 8 units could be run at, say, 80% capacity, that would gross around $8.5 million a day. That’s enough revenue to refurbish the 2 off-line units to at least a level that would give reliability until a more efficient station could be built. Keep rotating through the units, 3 months at a time, and in 2 years you have a 1600 mw plant running at 92% CF. It seems to me that if these units were able to run at 100% in the last month of their lives, then it’s feasible they could be brought back on line, even if it’s at a somewhat reduced CF. Of course, all of this is dependent on the price of power, but if ya’all are going to be relying on wind and solar, the value of a megawatt will indeed be astronomical!

      100

    • #
      jfpittman

      Tony, do the boilers need to be retubed. Do you know if the boilers were mothballed correctly? If they have not been maintaining the units of a 40+ year old boiler, not even correct mothballing would be feasible.

      Used to run a 30+ year boiler here in the USA, reached the point it was not economical to redo and meet regulations, even though it had the cheapest fuel cost. Payback period for the unit was just too long to be considered, and this was without the scheme that your governments put on you that would have made that payback period much longer.

      40

      • #

        This was the problem at Hazelwood, the boilers reaching the stage where they needed either major work or replacement, and that date for those boilers was 2nd April. hence they closed the plant just before that date, as uneconomical to do the major work on those boilers, and be able to recoup the cost from the sale of electricity.

        Tony.

        20

    • #
      Cloudbase

      Just asked a friend of mine who has been in nsw power generation all his working life.
      Said Hazelwood if fine to restart.

      30

    • #
      Cloudbase

      Just asked a friend of mine who has been in nsw power generation all his working life.
      Said Hazelwood if fine to restart.

      40

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Thanks Tony, another great summary.

      00

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Thanks Tony, another great summary.

      00

  • #
    Ross

    Well done Ian –we’ll interested to see a reply if you get one, but as Tony says they only have option 1 ( in your last paragraph) available to them.

    70

  • #
    KinkyKeith

    It’s important to keep the future predictions on jobs and power in front of the public and to clearly identity cause and effect.

    The principal media outlets may not help with this however and so the public may be led to believe that a low flying crow crashed into a critical element of the supply chain and thus caused an outage.

    Stranger things have happened.

    KK

    120

  • #
    el gordo

    Mt Piper coal fired power station in NSW has expansion plans on the table and are sitting on their hands until AGW is crushed. Piper is only a short distance from a coal mine, so its a no brainer to put in gas.

    ‘In its November 2011 review of the major electricity generation projects under consideration in Australia, the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics noted that a 2000 MW expansion of the power station was under consideration though no decision had been made on whether it would be coal or gas-fired.’

    80

  • #
    pat

    31 Mar: SanFranciscoChronicle: Dominic Fracassa: Surge of hydropower could force cutbacks of solar, wind
    An abundance of rain and snowfall this winter has teed up what’s expected to be a bountiful year for hydroelectricity production in California, as reservoirs recover from five years of drought.
    But the projected rise in hydropower could force the state to sharply cut back on the amount of power produced from other sources, particularly renewable energy, according to the California Independent System Operator, the organization that manages most of the state’s vast energy system.
    The operator forecasts on some days it will have to block between 6,000 and 8,000 megawatts of electricity from the grid as a result of the profusion of hydropower. That’s the equivalent output of six to eight nuclear reactors…

    “If the amount of excess supply we have on the grid is during the mid-morning and mid-afternoons, it’s likely that solar will be high on the list to curtail,” Greenlee said, adding that wind power production is likely to be curbed as well. Natural gas plants could also be affected…

    Hydroelectric output could also be curtailed, Greenlee said, but only when dams are beneath their “spill levels,” the safety threshold that determines when water must be released. The system operator must accept power from hydroelectric sources that are above their spill levels. That could happen as snowmelt pours into reservoirs…

    Fitch Ratings released a memo in March predicting that curtailment brought on by overproduction would hurt renewable energy producers…
    The system operator pays some energy providers to power down when it’s necessary to cut back, but Reilly said that “most renewable projects don’t receive revenue when they’re being curtailed, so they would lose out on revenue they would otherwise get.”
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Surge-of-hydropower-could-force-cutbacks-of-11042567.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    41

  • #
    toorightmate

    None of the Goon Show scripts which Spike Milligan put together were crazier than this one developed by various State and Federal governments.

    200

  • #
    pat

    TonyfromOz might like to take this on:

    5 Apr: ClimateChangeNews: Adani coal would not cut emissions – IEA expert
    Australian ministers claim Carmichael mine would send cleaner coal to India than imports from elsewhere. This is false, says analyst from major global agency
    By Graham Readfearn in Brisbane
    Climate Home sent questions to Adani but did not get a response…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/04/05/adani-coal-not-cut-emissions-iea-expert/

    5 Apr: ClimateChangeNews: Megan Darby: Rich countries oppose bid to drought-proof Ethiopian communities
    Debate at Green Climate Fund board meeting in Songdo exposes rich-poor tensions over flagship initiative’s funding priorities
    A bid for US$100 million to drought-proof Ethiopian communities has exposed a rich-poor divide in the UN’s flagship climate finance initiative.
    Representatives of the US, Canada and other developed countries voiced their opposition to the funding proposal at the Green Climate Fund (GCF) board meeting in Songdo, South Korea, on Wednesday. That reflected an independent expert panel assessment it was “weak” with “little scope for innovation”.
    But delegates from the developing world defended it, accusing the panel of bias…

    The board is due to decide the fate of the proposal, along with eight others, on Thursday. A Bangladeshi scheme that was the subject of a similar row in December was quietly withdrawn, allowing the GCF to claim a 100% approval rate…

    Money is slow to flow even for approved projects. An US$80 million grant for cyclone shelters in Bangladesh was rubber-stamped in November 2015, the GCF’s first tranche of approvals. Not a cent has been disbursed, according to the GCF website…READ ON
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/04/05/rich-countries-oppose-bid-drought-proof-ethiopian-communities/

    41

  • #
    pat

    here we go again:

    4 Apr: DailyWire: Frank Camp: Report: Trump considering left-wing carbon tax to fight Global Warming
    According to The Washington Post (LINK), the Trump administration is “exploring the creation of two controversial new taxes — a value-added tax and a carbon tax — as part of a broad overhaul of the tax code, according to an administration official and one other person briefed on the process.”
    Generally speaking, until Trump implements policy – in the form of an executive order or through work with Congress – it’s wise to take what he says with a grain of salt. It’s also prudent to be wary of quotations from anonymous “administration officials.”…
    http://www.dailywire.com/news/15102/report-trump-considering-left-wing-carbon-tax-frank-camp

    4 Apr: WaPo: White House disavows two controversial tax ideas hours after officials say they’re under consideration
    By Damian Paletta and Max Ehrenfreund
    One of those administration officials also earlier Tuesday said the White House was considering the creation of a carbon tax, but a Trump administration spokesperson later said that idea was also no longer under consideration…
    “As of now, neither a carbon tax nor a VAT are under consideration,” deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement…

    ???The rapid reversal illustrates a Trump administration still in the initial stages of a plan to rework the tax code, particularly as it looks to build support while also sticking close to conservative ideas…

    But both of the taxes discussed Thursday would face significant opposition — including from Trump’s fellow Republicans…
    Many Democrats support the creation of a carbon tax as a way to address climate change, but they couldn’t even reach an agreement on the issue when they had control of Congress and the White House during the early years of the Obama administration. In the years since, many congressional Republicans have continually accused Democrats of seeking a carbon tax and promising such a fee would devastate the economy…ON AND ON IT GOES, AS IF THE ORIGINAL STORY WAS TRUE (WHEN IT WAS MOST LIKELY FAKE NEWS)…
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/04/04/white-house-explores-two-new-tax-ideas-a-value-added-tax-and-carbon-tax-as-leading-proposal-to-raise-revenue-falters/?utm_term=.8352bf1d195b

    31

  • #
    pat

    5 Apr: UK Telegraph: Handouts for diesel cars hit by ‘toxin tax’
    By Gordon Rayner and Steven Swinford
    Drivers of diesel cars are to be given financial help by the Government, Theresa May has hinted, as cities across the UK prepare to introduce new taxes on the vehicles.
    The Prime Minister said that drivers who were encouraged to buy diesel cars by previous governments, only to see the policy reversed, must now be “taken into account”.
    Mrs May said she was “very conscious” of the fact that there was a push towards diesel under Labour more than a decade ago because of concerns over carbon emissions…

    The proposals were made as the Government prepares to introduce a so-called “toxin tax”, under which drivers of up to 10 million older diesels facing fees of up to £20 per day to drive into urban areas.
    Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, on Tuesday announced the most punitive levy yet on diesel motorists as he announced plans to charge them £24 a day to drive in central London from 2019. He said: “The air in London is lethal and I will not stand by and do nothing.”…READ ALL
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/04/handoutsfor-dieselcars-hit-bytoxin-tax/

    6 Apr: Bloomberg: U.K. Seeks to Abandon Green Goal That May Sour Brexit
    by Jess Shankleman
    Britain wants to avoid fines due when green target is missed
    Abandoning target may conflict with broader EU energy links
    Britain is looking for ways to scrap its 2020 clean energy targets while maintaining everyday trade in Europe’s energy market, an early sign of the kind of cherry-picking that threatens to sour Brexit negotiations.

    Officials in the Treasury and the business department are looking for a way to abandon the national goal of getting 15 percent renewable energy by 2020, which is almost double the current level, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
    Erasing the target would allow Britain to skirt fines that could reach tens of millions of pounds since it’s on track to narrowly miss the 2020 goal…

    Backing away from the goal would ease pressure on utilities struggling to switch off stations powered by fossil fuels in time…
    It wouldn’t have much impact on the EU’s overall goal for 2030 negotiated as part of the United Nations deal on climate change in Paris in 2015. National commitments under that target haven’t been doled out…READ ALL
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-05/u-k-said-to-seek-end-for-clean-energy-goal-that-may-sour-brexit

    41

  • #
    TdeF

    The point of government at any level is to act on behalf of the citizens, whether council, State or Federal and to see that their interests are protected. This is true for police, war, trade, security. Taxation is a necessary evil to pay for the common good, so we pay our politicians and public servants well, increasingly more than private individuals. There are public servants working for the common good on over $1Million a year and a common excutive level salary of $200,000 a year, far more than most people in the community.

    So perhaps our governments could explain.

    What benefit does any Australian get from these windmills which are costing us at least $3Billion a year and devastating our lives?

    240

    • #
      TdeF

      Who gave our Federal government the right to force us to buy Carbon credits, known as LGCs and STCs? These are bought from windmill power suppliers and for that you get no power at all. Nothing. Up to 3/4 of our raw power costs, before markups is made up of payments to people who are not the government, not even Australians. It is not a tax. This is extortion or theft. It is also not within the power of a Westminster government to legistlate.

      The RET is illegal, forcing us to pay third parties and for which we get precisely nothing. We do not even own the windmills. Then we have to take their power and pay them for it, whether we like it or not.

      Get rid of the RET. It would not stand up to scrutiny in the High Court, defying natural justice and what the High Court would see as ‘unjust enrichment’. As a tax, as pointed out by Dr. Tom Quirk, it is over $200 a tonne for nautural gas, 10x what Gillard would have charged.

      So who benefits? Not anyone in Australia. Not the climate. So why do our politicians demand we pay this huge carbon tax? So they can make friends at the UN and get cushy retirement jobs? It certainly looks like it, from Helen Clarke to Kevin Rudd to Julie Bishop to Malcolm Turnbull.

      Destroy the RET. It is theft, extortion, illegal and wrong. A wrong law, an utterly deceitful law. The world’s biggest carbon tax and government by deceit.

      260

      • #
        TdeF

        Converted by Dr Quirk, this is what our RET costs in carbon taxes to strangers overseas for nothing at all. We do not even own the windmills, for which we are charged in addition and at their convenience.

        So we, the Smart Country are paying over $200 a tonne carbon tax to strangers. Thanks Malcolm. You are destroying this country for your own reasons. Can we have our real Prime Minister back please?

        242

      • #
        Rick Will

        So who benefits?

        STCs benefit anyone installing rooftop solar, now 1.6 million households – say 5 million individual Australians. They reduce the capital outlay so that households can install solar panels and get an economic return. It is simply a transfer payment from those buying electricity who cannot afford solar, do not have the roof space. are renting or ideologically against it to those who install them. Current value is $39/MWh (deemed output – not actual).

        Destroy the RET. It is theft, extortion, illegal and wrong.

        You need to come up with something concrete to make a case for any illegality with the RET – TdeF saying it does not make it so. Governments confer and defend rights that benefit individuals and business all the time. Banking licenses are a good example. This gives the banks the right to create money on computer hard drives then charge interest on it. It is no wonder Coles is looking to get into the home loan market – literally one stop shopping as they now offer low cost car and home insurance.

        62

        • #
          TdeF

          Conferring an exclusive right is fine. It is contrary to a free market but the public accepts it. Personally I do not. Governments should stay out of business and especially banking unless there is some great public benefit in regulation or to protect the public.

          However it is another thing for the government to pass a law for you to pay interest to a bank for money you did not borrow. Or to pay for LGCs which are worthless, simply a right to buy electricity from someone else. I suppose you could consider that nothing is illegal if you get away with it, but I would argue that there is nothing like the RET scheme, has been nothing since Papal Indulgences. The key is that most people are unaware that they are paying, so they are not upset about it, simply puzzled that working coal and gas power stations are closing and electricity is going through the roof. Puzzled as to who is paying for forests of windmills and totally unaware of the billions leaving the country.

          As for STCs, why should they be subsidized? Why should everyone else pay for midday solar no one wants? Where is this planet we are saving? What effect is all this money having on CO2 levels? Or is it all madness. The money for solar panels simply leaves the country. At least the householder owns the subsidized solar panels. Who owns the windmills?

          They are unaware that they are paying for thousands of windmills owned by someone else and then paying again for the windmill power.

          So when something is not right, you have to say so. The RET is not right. It is not a tax. It is not fair. It is deceitful and doing vast damage to our economy, our energy security and replacing it with things which do not work which we do not even own!

          The bank analogy is false. Banks are highly regulated. Money has not existed since the end of the gold standard. All trading is in phantom currencies but they may as well exist and they are valuable. LGCs and STCs are worthless the moment they are handed over. You are buying nothing. It is a fr*ud.

          90

          • #
            TdeF

            As for whether it is legal. The High Court can decide that. That is why we have a High Court. It can declare that laws and decisions of government are illegal. Otherwise you can get a runaway parliament, just passing laws which they like. Parliament can be as oppressive as any mad monarch and the plaything of politicians answerable to no one, especially if they keep the electrocate ignorant as in the case of the RET legislation. No one knows why Hazelwood closed. Our PM says it was a private commercial decision. Rubbish.

            It is long past time the High Court looked at the RET legislation from a dozen angles. In cleverly hiding the world’s greatest Carbon tax, in not even mentioning the word carbon, the framers of this legislation set out to deceive everyone. They have succeeded.

            I believe the legislators have gone far too far, far outside the rights of parliament to obligate the population to pay overseas for nothing at all, pieces of paper. As for fairness, why should some sections of the community receive massive personal benefits because they can afford solar cells? It should be everyone or no one or buy your own and it is not even taxpayer money.

            80

            • #
              TdeF

              As for the illegality, firstly the High Court would have to decide whether it is a tax.
              If it is, it is illegal under the constitution as a tax on oil, gas and coal which is an exclusive State right.

              If it is not a tax, on what basis does the government force people to pay other people. Issuing banking licences limits the market for banks, but otherwise it does not oblige people to use them. However all fossil fuel electricity in Australia is subject to a massive payment to third parties of which most people are unaware. Can a government do this?

              A court can order this through agreed contracts or civil law or for compensation on a case by case basis. A court cannot order everyone in the country to do anything. The question is whether the government has this power, delegated to the govenment under the constitution. I doubt it.

              Then fairness. Deceit. Do the people of Australia know that the government has quadrupled their electricity bills? Do they know the money is going overseas? (The Australian estimates $3Bn a year). Do they agree that if they pay for windmills, they do not own them? Are they even aware that they are being taxed heavily without it even being declared? Is it itemized on your electricity bill, or just secret? Do they know why the gas and coal power stations have closed?

              What other country has such a system, a secret and massive carbon private levy administered and obligated by our government and currently at over $200/tonne for gas. Gillard’s tax was $23/tonne. Our secret Carbon Tax is now 10x as great.

              What worries me is that the government in avoiding an illegal tax has created a system where you are obliged legally to pay others in the community and overseas. Fundmentally for nothing. What do you get? The public does not own a single windmill.

              This is wrong. If it is not outside the rights of parliament, there is something wrong with our constitution. It is against natural justice.

              40

              • #
                TdeF

                “STCs benefit anyone installing rooftop solar, now 1.6 million households .. They reduce the capital outlay so that households can .. get an economic return.

                This really annoys me. If I buy a car, I pay for it. Perhaps you could pay for me to buy a hybrid? Think of the money I could save at your expense. Sounds fair. $5000 please.

                An ‘economic return’. On whose money? Why does a household have a right to charge me so they can make money?

                The logic is that we should all learn to swim, so the community should subsidize private swimming pools. Then if they are not being used at lunch time, we should pay more for them at 11c/kwhr. No, that is not fair. I do not want to buy solar panels. Let people buy their own.

                Where do I and the rest of Australia benefit from the few who can afford solar panels? Or is the planet being saved?
                If so, how?

                61

              • #
                TdeF

                Big solar panels are from what I have seen, the exclusive province of rich families with few children or retirees, put in to lower their electricity costs and at our expense. How is that fair? What sort of law forces the poor to pay for the rich.

                Then they get a feed in rate, at least down from 65c kw/hr to 11c kw/hr and lately with some limits, but the poor bunnies who paid for these imported systems have to pay again for electricity no one wants and make the rich richer?

                A bit of fun for people with too much money, subsidized by the millions who cannot afford them. Besides if everyone could afford them, there would be no one to pay for them. Then who pays for the night time power? Or do we have to buy batteries for the rich too?

                No, it is wrong. Morally wrong.

                The other aspect is that if you are enjoying your free cash from the feed in tariff, you are tied to the grid. If the grid goes off, you go off. So if anyone thinks they are isolated from the coming blackouts for which they are in part responsible, think again. As baseload goes down, the ability for the poor to subsidize the rich diminishes too. The whole place will be in darkness. It is a form of justice. The solar panels will be useless. No we are not subsidizing candles for the rich.

                72

              • #
                Rick Will

                TdeF saying it is illegal does not mean it is illegal. You have to determine the basis of its illegality. You need to seek some legal opinion if you want to pursue this avenue. Otherwise you are a broken record repeating nonsense over and over.

                Those who got in early with solar in Victoria are guaranteed the 66c/kWh till 2024.

                I have separate solar systems. The on-grid exports most of its production to maximise the income and the off-grid charges a battery that supplies the majority of my load 24 hours a day. With this arrangement I only lose the on-grid portion when the grid shuts down.

                The ONE thing governments SHOULD do is control the money supply. A banking license confers this right to banks and they have abused it. This is an absolute blight on Australian society. Consider the obscene prices basic shelter now commands in Australia. Young adults have little prospect of owning a house. Australia’s youth under 36yo have the lowest level of home ownership in all OECD countries. This is what the banks have achieved. The young who do get into property end up paying the bank profits for their entire working life. Now we have the even crazier situation where superannuation funds can gear up to get into property and gain greater tax benefits. These are simply transfer payments to those who can service the debt from those who cannot service a debt or is unwilling to take on debt.

                11

              • #
                TdeF

                I learned something about the law years ago, if something is wrong you will find the law supports you. I have fought many battles on this basis and won. That is why we have courts as well as parliament. Otherwise it is a dictatorship.

                The RET is wrong, blatantly deceitful and most obviously not a tax. So is it lawful? Not if it prescribes something which is outside the ability of a government to do, force a non government party to hand over cash to another non government party for nothing at all. It is one thing to raise taxes which a government has a right to do. It is quite another to order parties to hand over cash for nothing, so obviously avoiding being a tax but also raising questions about the governemnts ability to do so. This needs to be challenged in the high court.

                As for Will’s complaint about home ownership. That is quite separate. What people expect in a home these days is light years away from what was considered a home a generation ago. No wonder it is expensive. As 83% of Victorians live in Melbourne when you can live far more cheaply in the country, there is more involved here than just banking. If they also want solar panels paid for by other people, we are entering an idea of entitlement which is a core problem in modern society, people who want the government to force others to hand over property or money, as is the case with the RET.

                On the issue the government controlling banks, they don’t. The problem is that money has never been cheaper. Unfortunately that makes houses more expensive. That is nothing to do with the banks. If they charge too much, they are rapacious. If they make borrowing more affordable, people cannot buy houses. Blaming the banks is just too easy.
                As for home ownership overseas, they only get leases, not title. They have death duties. France even taxes your home and everything you own as part of income tax. You can buy a house in Detroit for nothing, but no one wants to live there.It is not comparing like things to talk about home ownership overseas.

                I also object strongly to governments deciding what I can say. I object strongly to the attack on everything we read and the words we use. As for the current attack on sexist stereotypes in Fairytales being the cause of domestic violence, words fail.

                Mostly I object to the RET because it is destroying Australia economically, power, jobs, exports, industry, farming and our futures. We are impoverishing ourselves. The only thing saving us are farmers and miners and they are both under great threat from city elites who demand everything and generate no income at all. We are not allowed to export our coal. Now we are not allowed even burn it ourselves. This is wrong. If it is not illegal, it should be and will be. That is how our democracy started, from Magna Carta to Eureka. It is all about taxation and abusive governments.

                81

              • #
                TdeF

                The closest most people come to illegality is in “The Castle” where Dad challenged the forcible seizure of his home ‘on just terms’. He won. Therefore it was illegal, if not the law then the application of it. That is why the High Court exists and as all recent governments have found, the High Court can overturn or negate their laws. They need to look at the RET, a sleeper which no one noticed when LGCs were only 1-2c kw/hr. The problem with the RET is that it is buried deep in the billing system, so people are not aware of it except their bills are skyrocketing while coal and gas power stations are closing as non profitable. People are smelling a RET in the works. They are right.

                51

              • #
                Rick Will

                You are in your own fairy tale if you are offering “the Castle” as your precedence. You do realise that it was not a documentary but a film of fiction?

                Governments main purpose these days is to give and take. It makes them important to every day life.

                LGCs and STCs are so-called green currency. They are not a lot different to other money just that renewable generators produce them rather than the banks and anyone using electricity has to buy the current RET proportion – just like interest on the other form of money that the banks charge.

                01

    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      Those who once were known as public servants are now unelected politicians. Any change—of the sort mentioned in these columns—requires their removal from office. The Premier makes an announcement. Who conceived the policy? Who devised the details? Who wrote it? Not the Premier. And these matters go way beyond energy. But they become increasingly urgent as the crisis develops. Assuming that Hazelwood and (probably) Port Augusta are not capable of returning to production the problems have no solution within years. The green politicians—elected and unelected—have put our political institutions at risk. Where they go next is, I suppose, interesting. It may be as well that the public generally is content with bread and circuses and ever-increasing mortgages; the popular notion is that house prices don’t contract in Australia. Oh dear!

      40

    • #
      Robber

      TdeF, you have made the claim here that the RET is illegal. What steps can you take to get that tested?
      It would make for a revolution in Australia, and go a long way to restore Australia’s competitiveness.

      40

  • #
    Graham Richards

    What you must realise by now is that the Carbon Tax has been brought to bear . Look at electricity prices rocket without any increase in the actual cost of gas or coal. The only increase is in taxes.
    We’ve all been hoodwinked. By cries of increased costs. It’s only taxes brought in by scheming duplicitous politician that have increased to fund their dumb sudsidies for even more dumb wind & solar farms.

    150

  • #
    ROM

    There is some better and more rational news coming through from the international renewable energy fiasco and debacle;

    This from today’s GWPF news items;

    The knighted scientific drop kick who was the chief adviser to UK’s Tony Blair and Gordon Brown has just admitted that he was completely wrong in recommending that Diesel powered vehicles should be the direction the government should promote as the future powering of vehicles in the UK.
    The fall out from this admission which has just provided the UK public with a glimpse of the fallacies of most of the supposed scientifically based recommendations to governments from Expert scientists may have very large longer term consequences for science as the values of diesel vehicles that the citizenery have brought over the last few years on the advice of the aforesaid expert scientists have now fallen dramatically both in value and in price on the secondhand market.
    &
    HOODWINKED BY A GREEN ZEALOT: THE SCIENTIST BEHIND THE DASH FOR DIESEL CALLED CO2 ‘WORSE THAN TERROR’

    The scientist behind the dash for diesel is a committed climate change activist who once described global warming as a greater threat than terrorism.
    Professor Sir David King, 77, was the architect of the policy to cut fuel duty for diesel cars as Tony Blair’s personal scientist.
    ———-

    AT LAST! UK SAID TO SEEK END FOR 2020 RENEWABLES TARGET

    Britain is looking for ways to scrap its 2020 clean energy targets while maintaining everyday trade in Europe’s energy market, an early sign of the kind of cherry-picking that threatens to sour Brexit negotiations.
    Officials in the Treasury and the business department are looking for a way to abandon the national goal of getting 15 percent renewable energy by 2020, which is almost double the current level, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

    —————–
    THE RISING TREND OF UK INDUSTRIAL ELECTRICITY PRICES
    .
    The emerging trend in UK electricity prices to industry confirms civil service advice to Mr Blair, which he ignored, that the EU Renewables Directive (2009) would disadvantage the UK relative to other members of the European Union. If the Industrial Strategy is to succeed, the Renewables Directive will have to be repealed, post-Brexit, and immediate steps should be taken to resile from its commitments.
    &
    in 2007 the UK government estimated that the UK alone would bear between 25% and 40% of the total EU-wide cost of the Renewables Directive targets, a share disproportionate to its population and the size of its economy.

    ——————
    Spiegel on line;

    Power Failures
    Germany Rethinks Path to Green Future
    Germany’s energy revolution is the government’s only major project — but the problems keep piling up. The pace of grid expansion is sluggish, and electricity costs for consumers are rising. The environment minister wants to fundamentally alter the way green energy is subsidized, but will it mean putting the brakes on the entire project?
    &
    Attractive feed-in tariffs have given eco-friendly electricity production such a boost that the expansion of the power grid and many other projects simply haven’t been able to keep pace. Timetables are being mixed up, costs are spiraling out of control, and every day that the chaos continues, the green-republic project risks losing more supporters.

    In an attempt to bring some order back into the energy turn-around, Altmaier now wants “to work out a coherent concept for reforming subsidies for green power generation.” He hopes this will cut costs without crushing all the country’s eco-friendly dreams, while at the same time winning the backing of opposition politicians.

    During his summer trip across Germany, it quickly became clear that he would have to face more or less every lobbyist the industry employed to have any chance of drawing up such a plan. And he’d have to think far beyond simple subsidies for eco-friendly electricity.

    ——————-
    .
    Meanwhile here in Australia despite the information that even an old farmer can pick off the internet in a few minutes that of an unaffordable and troubled future for renewable energy, a future that as economic and social realities finally hit home to the political system, becomes ever more fraught and doubtful for that same renewable energy industry.

    Despite all of this information our lead headed politicians,[ they seem to become very dense and thick when they enter politics] here in Australia continue to persist with their crazy obstinate job destroying and economy bankrupting renewable energy policies that have never been shown or proven to have any impact on the climate nor have been shown anywhere on this planet to have improved an economy or increased the living standards of a national populace in general.

    Entering politics does something to what the voters might have originally seen as good sensible pragmatic political leaders.

    Upon entering today’s politics these same nascent politicians check their collective brains and common sense in at some obscure part of the bureaucracy never to reclaim them while they practice politics and then only until they are out of politics and only a few years from their death beds do we see some common sense finally reasserting itself in former politicians.

    111

    • #
      JoKaH

      Entering politics does something to what the voters might have originally seen as good sensible pragmatic political leaders.

      No matter who you elect to parliament you always end up with a politician!!

      140

  • #
    Tdef

    Or as the head of Bluescope steel said two weeks ago, the price of electricity is 10 x what he pays in the US. As one of only two steel makers in Austalia, what could he be saying? Goodby Whyalla. Goodbye Newcastle. Goodbye Port Kembla. Goodbye Portland.

    Why?

    220

  • #
    Tdef

    You have to be angry at the facetiousness of Malcom Turnbull. Hazelwood was a commercial decision. Sure, they could not make money in the richest market in history. Nothing to do with the government then?

    170

  • #
    Tdef

    As for Daniel Andrew’s handwringing, if he wanted to keep the state’s biggest coal customer going why did he just increase coal prices 300%?
    The Labor Bumby government banned brown coal exports. Andrews made sure it stayed in the ground. Why?

    170

    • #
      Tdef

      Where do Victorian’s benefit? The people he has sworn on oath to serve.

      130

      • #
        Greebo

        He had the fingers on one hand crossed. That way he only has to serve half of us. Not my half, I might add.

        598 days to go.

        90

  • #
    pat

    doubt if financial markets can teach us much of late!

    4 Apr: NYT: Michael Greenstone: What Financial Markets Can Teach Us About Managing Climate Risks
    (Michael Greenstone runs the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and is the Milton Friedman professor of economics at the university)
    Say an investor had only two options of what to put money in: gold or stocks. Gold has an average annual rate of return of 3 percent, while the stock market delivers a healthier 5 percent. Which should the investor choose? Seems simple, right? Take the higher payout.
    But annual averages can be deceiving…

    Before the(Trump) executive order, the social cost of carbon was set at about $40 per metric ton of carbon released. Under the executive order, President Trump appears to be putting us on a path toward valuing climate damages at much less — possibly less than $5 per metric ton of carbon.
    How is it that simple to reduce the estimated cost of climate damages from carbon emissions by 90 percent or more? It all depends on how we choose to value future risks…

    There is a lot that we don’t know with certainty about climate change: How much will temperature increase for a given increase in greenhouse gas concentrations? How much will sea levels rise?
    Although we do not have certain answers to these questions, the range of potential answers includes very disruptive possibilities…

    If those risks don’t materialize, there will have been costs to spending today on climate mitigation. But if those risks are real, using a low discount rate to choose the degree of climate mitigation today will be like having invested in gold before the Great Recession.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/04/upshot/what-financial-markets-can-teach-us-about-managing-climate-risks.html?_r=0

    just do it, Trump:

    6 Apr: Bloomberg: Elizabeth Dexheimer: Cohn Backs Wall Street Split of Lending, Investment Banks
    Senators ask about Glass-Steagall return in private meeting
    Trump’s top economic adviser said he supports separation
    In a private meeting with lawmakers, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said he supports a policy that could radically reshape Wall Street’s biggest firms by separating their consumer-lending businesses from their investment banks, said people with direct knowledge of the matter.
    Cohn, the ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive who is now advising President Donald Trump, said he generally favors banking going back to how it was when firms like Goldman focused on trading and underwriting securities, and companies such as Citigroup Inc. primarily issued loans, according to the people, who heard his comments.

    The remarks surprised some senators and congressional aides who attended the Wednesday meeting, as they didn’t expect a former top Wall Street executive to speak favorably of proposals that would force banks to dramatically rethink how they do business.
    Yet Cohn’s comments echo what Trump and Republican lawmakers have previously said about wanting to bring back the Glass-Steagall Act, the Depression-era law that kept bricks-and-mortar lending separate from investment banking for more than six decades.

    In the years after the law’s 1999 repeal, banks such as Citigroup, Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. gobbled up rivals and pushed into all sorts of new businesses, becoming one-stop-shopping financial behemoths.
    White House spokeswoman Natalie Strom didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Many banking executives believed that the inclusion of former finance executives like Cohn in Trump’s White House would temper major changes such as a Glass-Steagall return. But his Wednesday remarks suggest he could be a wildcard should Congress get serious about reinstating the law.
    White House officials haven’t said what an updated version of Glass-Steagall might look like…

    Dismantling the nation’s banking giants isn’t a partisan issue, which is one reason why Wall Street fears the idea could gain traction. Both political parties — and many voters — still resent that taxpayers had to rescue the industry with a $700 billion bailout during the 2008 financial crisis…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-06/cohn-backs-wall-street-split-of-lending-investment-banks

    31

  • #

    No Whyalla wipeout, no Whyalla wipeout, no Whyall….uh-oh.

    90

  • #
    PeterS

    Be patient peoples. Too many are still asleep and blind to what’s about to happen to us all in the near future. When things do get hairy then and only then will most of the people wake up and start acting as though they did really care about the pathetic lot of politicians we have in both major parties. Then the real fun starts. Until then just prepare as best you can as no one else really cares about you except yourself and probably your closest family relatives and very close friends. Certainly the politicians don’t care about anyone except themselves. Also enjoy the real estate bubble while it lasts. I think it has a long way to go yet meaning it will get much bigger but when the bubble finally bursts it will be devastating. Meanwhile ignore the likes of Turnbull, Shorten and many others. They will all get what’s coming and deservedly so. They may be laughing all the way to the bank for now but when the time comes they will wish they listened to the silent majority even though the silent majority are too silent for now.

    110

    • #
      Glen Michel

      Sire, the peasants are revolting!

      60

    • #
      John McDougall

      Buy futures in tar, feathers, hemp rope, and piano wire.

      100

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      They will wake up when the next electricity bill comes in, and explode when the one after that arrives. only 26% of houses in SA have solar, and not all of them got into it before the value dropped out, so the increases are going to hurt badly. Should there be blackouts before the next State election in SA (March 17, 2018) then Weatherill would be advised to slip out of the State in disguise. Followed by Andrews in Victoria. By that time Turnbull’s strategy of inactivity will have worn very thin, possibly as much as Shorten’s negative posturing, so 2018 looks like Chinese style ‘interesting times’.
      The only consolation we, who saw it coming, will have is that those false prophets will fully deserve whatever happens to them. It would probably be wise not to wear anything green in public.

      91

      • #
        C. Paul Barreira

        Should there be blackouts before the next State election in SA (March 17, 2018) then Weatherill would be advised to slip out of the State in disguise.

        And vote for whom? The SA branch of the Liberal has one policy regarding energy:

        If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will seek a co-ordinated national approach to achieving reductions in carbon emissions from power generation that does not continue to disadvantage South Australian power consumers.

        Can you see any change, that is, benefit to people, in that? For I do not. Government in SA has four basic characteristics: arrogance, ignorance, incompetence and negligence. The so-called Opposition is a part of that scheme. Hence my argument that South Australia is a de facto one-party state.

        40

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          I agree that the Opposition is useless. Bear in mind that Birmingham and Pyne have control so alternative views aren’t wanted. There is a good deal of scepticism (if I may use that word in public) about the Opposition hence they are barely leading in the polls.

          I also note that Corey Bernardi has called for candidates for the Conservatives for the next State election (March 2018) having previously ruled that out. I think (and I have never met him) that he has identified a need, a wish for something different as a choice for S.A.

          20

          • #
            el gordo

            G3

            Bernardi is planning to run candidates in the senate only, we need him to run candidates in the Reps as well, for maximum impact. He has Donald’s song book in his back pocket and knows he’s on a winner.

            20

        • #
          Angry

          ONE NATION, ALA, AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATIVES………….

          10

      • #
        PeterS

        The should have exploded before now since electricity prices are already far too high on the world scale. Given they have not started to yell yet it has a way to go before the peoples wake up and see they are being duped. Recall the boiling frog syndrome? Yes it’s not a strictly correct analogy but most aren’t. The point is electricity costs have been stepped up little by little over a very long time now. No one knows for sure at what point the next rise will spark a revolt but when it does watch the sparks fly and the politicians duck and cover to pretend they didn’t know when in fact they did and duped us all.

        30

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          PeterS:

          The general public has NO idea what prices are elsewhere in the World, and they have been bombarded for years with claims that wind and solar are cheap, although that information is trickling through. The rises have been moderate but people were already moaning. Already The Advertiser and 2 TV channels are gunning for the State government, but turning public oppinion is a slow matter.
          When the June bills go out, and especially the Sept. ones there will be the outbreak you call for.

          10

          • #
            PeterS

            Perhaps, and I hope so. If the public outcry does not eventuate by the end of the year then it will occur later. But then again we could be in the middle of a world war going by what’s occurring right now in Syria with the US launching a military strike against the Syrian government with the now express aim to remove Assad. So electricity prices might be the least of our concerns. Do we now have Obama 2.0 as president of the US?

            00

            • #
              Graeme No.3

              No.
              Trump has set out three points. Or 4 if you think that he has signalled that he won’t continue with the previous President’s policy of imitating a door mat.
              To Assad he has said ” this is just a minor taste of what will happen if you step out of line again.”

              To Putin he has said “What are you doing allied with this d*ckhead? Do you really want to wind up with a share of a radioactive lump of dirt in the M.E.?”
              To Xi Jin ping he has said “when I talk about wiping out Nth. Korea what makes you think I am bluffing? Are you going to continue propping up that lunatic? Or will you remove a danger to your eastern frontier from a irrational mug, are you going to let him disappear and look for advantages in the collapse of the northern regime ?”

              Don’t forget that IF the russians influenced the Presidential election it was because they thought Hillary was unstable, irrational and might start a nuclear war (as she threatened). Trump they think is rational and not very interested in them.

              50

  • #
    pat

    5 Apr: UK Independent: Donald Trump ‘won’t discuss climate change’ at meeting with Xi Jinping despite US and China being worst polluters
    Mr Trump once said global warning was a hoax invented by Beijing
    bu Andrew Buncombe, New York
    “My guess is that this issue will not come up at this meeting, and I think that is a lost opportunity if it’s not raised,” Barbara Finamore, founder of the Natural Resources Defence Council’s China programme, told The Independent.
    “For many years, this issue was one of the brighter spots of the US-China relationship, and it helped to build dialogue.”…

    Despite China’s desire for the Trump administration to make climate change one of its policy priorities, it seems unlikely the two leaders will discuss it in Florida.
    Axios reported that in a background briefing with reporters ahead of the two-day meeting, Trump administration officials did not wish to address it. “Trump has little interest in dealing with global warming,” the news site reported. “When a reporter asked the officials about the subject, they quickly pivoted to North Korea.”…

    Jackson Ewing, director of Asian sustainability at the Asia Society Policy Institute, said climate change would be “conspicuously absent” from the first summit between the two leaders…
    Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy expert with the Union of Concerned Scientists, said he had been told by Chinese counterparts that climate change would not be discussed…He said it may come up at the next bilateral meeting, on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in July…
    He (Meyer) said climate change was an existential threat to the world…
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/donald-trump-xi-jinping-meeting-climate-change-denial-hoax-existential-threat-a7669186.html

    never mind, it’s just a game…

    5 Apr: CarbonPulse: FEATURE: China’s national carbon market gets off to a cracking start, virtually
    An online Chinese carbon trading game seems to be attracting more interest than the country’s regional pilot markets as thousands of amateurs join professionals in an attempt to win real cash and prizes by virtually speculating on prices while keeping an eye on their compliance obligations…

    31

  • #
    StefanL

    Incognizant ?

    We need to popularise a new word in the English language to go with illiterate (can’t read or write) and innumerate (can’t do arithmetic). The new word (“incognizant”?) would mean “unable to remember any basic science from primary school and totally ignorant of any basic engineering”.
    Of course many of the “incognizants” are also innumerate.

    The new word would apply to the majority of our politicians and to almost every single greenie (and AGW believer).

    110

  • #
    King Geo

    Here in WA we are immune from this madness – may I suggest manufacturing businesses move to WA – we have reliable base load energy generation based primarily on natural gas. Even the incoming ALP McGowan State Govt wants nothing to do with the ALP Fed’s “50% RET by 2030 policy” – clearly they are not into economic suicide. Expect the WA Economy to improve as the rest of the other key Aussie mainland states falter with the exception of NSW with its black coal fired power stations. As for VIC, SA & QLD – oh dear – you voted in lunatic ALP State Govts obsessed with the ALP Fed’s “50% RET by 2030 policy”. But you will learn – expect all 3 of these ALP State Govts to be booted out in the near future – especially SA (March 2018) & VIC (Nov 2018).

    40

    • #
      Greebo

      Didn’t McGowan signal he’d bring in a RET, only to ‘withdraw’ from that position after the South Australian stupidity? I wouldn’t trust ‘em. Bracks went to the 2007 election with the promise of NO DeSal plant. That went well.

      110

      • #
        King Geo

        Given WA’s current economic issues I doubt very much that the 4 week old McGowan ALP Govt would adopt the ALP Federal Policy any time soon (50% RET by 2030). This policy should spell the end of the current ALP SA & VIC Govts in 2018. The QLD ALP Govt likewise in 2018. The lunacy of the 50% RET should play into the Federal Coalition’s hands and ensure re-election with a bigger mandate in 2019 – assuming of course they replace Malcolm with a more right wing leader who encourages the cheapest and most reliable source of base load energy generation, ie fossil fuels and not economy damaging RE.

        30

  • #
    pat

    4 Apr: Nature: Future climate forcing potentially without precedent in the last 420 million years
    Gavin L. Foster, Dana L. Royer & Daniel J. Lunt
    The evolution of Earth’s climate on geological timescales is largely driven by variations in the magnitude of total solar irradiance (TSI) and changes in the greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere…
    If CO2 continues to rise further into the twenty-third century, then the associated large increase in radiative forcing, and how the Earth system would respond, would likely be without geological precedent in the last half a billion years…READ ON
    http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14845

    CAGW mob who rarely quoted studies about cold killing more than heat, will now jump on this one:

    Springer: Cold- and heat-related mortality: a cautionary note on current damage functions with net benefits from climate change
    Huber, V., Ibarreta, D. & Frieler, K. Climatic Change (2017).
    Abstract
    Several economic assessments of climate change build on the assumption that reductions of cold-related mortality will overcompensate increases in heat-related mortality at least for moderate levels of global warming…
    Here, we reanalyse this dataset with a focus on cardiovascular mortality and present evidence for two flaws in the original analysis, which would imply a significant bias towards finding net mortality benefits from climate change: (i) the combination of mortality data for all ages with data specific to the elderly and (ii) the confounding of seasonal effects with direct temperature effects on mortality…
    In an exemplary calculation, we show that while FUND currently projects a net reduction of approximately 380,000 deaths from cardiovascular diseases globally per year at 1 °C of global warming, correcting for the two potential flaws and assuming equal vulnerability of urban and rural populations would result in a net increase of cardiovascular mortality, with approximately 150,000 net additional deaths globally per year. Our findings point to the urgent need of renewing damage functions on temperature-related mortality currently applied in some of the most widely used integrated assessment models…
    https://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-017-1956-6

    11

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      So the temperature will rise to equal that in the Holocene Optimum? Or maybe in the Eemian interglacial (lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos in the Thames Valley) (both of which humans survived) or various other periods of tens (even hundreds) of millions of years of higher temperatures than at present which were times of abundant animal life. And this is made likely by increasing??????? solar activity.

      Give the ignorant author the Order of the Over Ripe Fruit, preferably at maximum velocity.

      30

  • #
    TdeF

    Again, the government does NOT buy the windmills. We do. We pay for them so that private people can own them and charge us for their use. Even better, we pay these people four times the going rate for electricity, to supply it when they feel like it and only triple the price when we buy from coal or gas producers and they supply nothing.

    Why should we be buying windmills for private companies? What sort of law is that? At least when we built Hazelwood we built it with our taxes and sold it for cash. Now we have private power companies and we have to pay for their windmills and pay them again for the electricity if and when they choose to produce some? We even have to pay them for other people’s electricity.

    Again, that is robbery.

    160

  • #
    Dennis

    After leaving Goulburn NSW where I had on two occasions observed most of the wind turbines at a nearby wind farm motionless today I drove via Crookwell to Bathurst where another wind farm was observed from the road, all wind turbines not rotating.

    90

  • #
    Rob Leviston

    5PM AEST. Looks like wind power in Australia has pretty much collapsed! According to Aneroid, total out put is sub 100MW! The AEMO is reporting just 4MW produced from wind in Victoria!And SA just 42 MW! This is a disaster waiting to happen! All we need is for an interconnector to go down, or a power plant to go offline, and we’ll see load shedding/brownouts/blackouts. Will people wake up when they experience widespread power failures? Wind wont save them. Solar is way behind the 8 ball. And batteries, batteries! Huh, if you have them, you might trickle on for a few hours, but then? God help us, we NEED solid, reliable power!

    171

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘God help us …..’

      Its the blocking highs doing the damage, I have it on good authority that the wind will blow again on Monday.

      20

      • #
        James

        If it is blocking high, then it could sit there for weeks. Blocking highs are depressing for farmers wanting rain to plant a crop!

        50

    • #
      toorightmate

      Rob,
      Just think. If we had 10 times as many wind turbines in Vic they would be generating 40MW – way to go!!!!!!

      90

  • #
    Robber

    Excellent and clear analysis Ian. It seems obvious to all but those in the CAGW bubble.
    Where is Dr Alan Finkel and his inquiry into affordable and reliable electricity supply? Turnbull and Weatherill have made big announcements that will cost billions, and Andrews has raised coal taxes to drive more coal stations out of Victoria. But our expert panel seems to be sitting on its hands.

    100

  • #
    Drapetomania

    Where is Dr Alan Finkel and his inquiry..

    Or..where was the media interest at the time in the original findings of the Productivity Commission requested by Tony Windsor in 2011…
    The small print showed that only the UK and Germany lowered their CO2 emmissions.
    And Germany did that by co2 paper swaps.
    So we were left with the UK..what magic did they use..??
    By forcing some industries to shut down..due to price increases.
    Brilliant…
    Windsor..who must have been in a parallel universe read that it was a complete flop(hidden in jargon)…and gave the thumbs up..and ..
    Treasurer Wayne Swan “..Australia risks falling behind the rest of the world if we fail to put a price on pollution…”

    Cringe…

    130

  • #
    thingadonta

    The Victorian government is being sued by Lake Oil, for not allowing even conventional (i.e. non fracking) gas exploration on land, which has been going on all over the world since the 19th century. Lake Oil has been investing in gas in Victoria for many years. The official reason given by the government is to protect farmers and the environment.

    No scientific evidence exists whatsoever that this presents a credible ‘threat’ to farmers or the environment.

    I suspect the reason for this ban is unwanted competition for land and control of people’s minds: private market entrepeneurs present a threat to those who use government, not to administer, but to advance their own personal agendas and interests by exploiting the resources of a country or state, rather than allowing the private market to access these resources. In this case, the threat is through research, development and land access for the market; rather than through research, development and access solely for government agencies, government-linked academic research institutions, and government-subsidised renewables and other environmental groups and interests. The purpose of the ban is to ultimately eliminate competition for these social and economic resources.

    It is very similar to what happens under communism, where private companies are banned because these are in competition with those who use government not to administer, but to exploit a society’s resources, whether social or economic, and who are able to use government power to eliminate competition using a facade of ‘social equality’ or in this case, environmentalism.

    100

  • #
    Wayne Job

    Once apon a time in a land far far away, an emperor decided that the night could be abolished by magic, that all industry could be powered by fairy dust and the evil molecule CO2 could be banished from his empire.
    Alas both the Weatherdill and the Turnbulldust created a monster that devoured the last vestiges of stability, turning harmony into chaos. This monster awakened the peasants to the real evil in their midst and they revolted. Thus are the legends of past ages turned into fairy tales and fairy tales may hide the truths of past ages.

    61

  • #
    Geoff from Tanjil

    With regard to Hazelwood Pwr Stn the main transformers are already being drained of oil and stripped for scrap. There will be no miracle rebirth. If the open cut mine is flooded you can say goodbye to any winnable coal for any High Temp High Energy station being built on the site unless coal is used from Yallourn or Loy Yang. This link is to a short article about the problems with mine rehabilitation.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-07/expert-warns-of-hazelwood-rehabilitation-challenges/8001284

    20

  • #
    Mark

    The left is crazy! Not sure why the liberals have adopted their agenda.

    70

  • #
    TdeF

    Just a decade ago, we had one of the cheapest electricity systems on the planet. Then Kevin Rudd said Climate Change was the greatest moral challenge of a generation. Now we on a path to economic meltdown, in the name of saving the planet. However after all the seriousness of the insanity which is privat solar systems, I have a solution.

    Private windmills. With Batteries. Now the cities can be a forest of millions of private windmills. You can watch television when the wind blows. Read a book when the wind blows. Even access the internet and your private wind driven system will work. Plus a feed in tariff. Trams will have windmills too. They will move very slowly. Big city buildings will have full size windmills and to save on power, all the windows will be open in summer, saving on airconditioning, as it was in the 1920s. Of course we will have to rebuild most of our cities, but it is all about saving the planet, isn’t it?

    40

  • #
    TdeF

    You would have to wonder if any politicians have actually read the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act (2000). Unless they are very good actors, there is a real possibility that even they believe Malcolm Turnbull’s story that closing Hazelwood was a commercial decision in which his government played no part. Daniel Andrews too. So much hand wringing after raising the coal royalty by 300%. So much concern for the poor workers and their families. Can politicians really be this thick? Or so nasty and uncaring?

    140

    • #
      TdeF

      For those who want to know how much we the public have to pay to buy 1Mwatthr of electricity, here is the current pricing for Large Scale Generation Certificates.

      You have to buy these if you want to get power from coal or gas or oil. For that $85 you get a piece of paper, no electricity but you can sleep soundly knowing your money is leaving the country and helps make the world a richer place and overseas companies get to own forests of windmills in your country at your expense and generate electricity which you are obliged to buy as well. It’s very generous of you, considering you get nothing but the knowledge that you are a good person.

      Oh and your electricity company pays for you and in the way of all retailers, doubles the cost. So about 17c/kwhr of your electricity bill is for bits of paper. Unless you live in South Australia, in which case you may not get any electricity, which is a huge saving.

      100

    • #
      David Maddison

      You would have to wonder if any politicians have actually read the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act (2000).

      Politicians rarely read or understand the legislation they vote on.

      Gosh, they rarely read or understand anything.

      40

  • #
    cedarhill

    The only good one can say about “conservative” Aussie politicians are that the lot of them are marginally better than the “liberals”.

    20

  • #
  • #
    Andrew McRae

    Some half-thoughts on this…

    * A short introductory note by Jo and a horizontal line would have made it clearer from the start that this was a guest post.

    * This action has not “reduced mankind’s contribution of CO2 by a factor of 0.0002″. A reduction by a factor of 4 means the ratio of new over old is 0.25. Following same pattern, this was a 0.02% reduction which is a change by a factor of 0.9998, or a reduction by a factor of 1.0002, or hardly any change at all.

    * It does not tell how how much safety margin remains between capacity and peak demand, but this would be important to their thesis of increased blackout threat. IIRC, our peak demand is 18000MW and this closure removes 1600MW. The numbers are important, so what are they really?

    * Could the next statewide blackout be Australia’s “Fukushima moment”, where in spite of all the chaos it causes, it actually serves as great advertising for the advantages of building new power stations of more advanced design and efficiency? In this case for coal that is USC designs.

    * They are going to sell us more battery bolt-ons to wind as a stop-gap solution. But a proper solution may take about 10 years to build.

    * Are skeptics going to have any more brightly shining Earth Hour shenanigans now that the supply margins are tighter? Would you risk a blackout to prove a point?

    * All your base load are belong to us.

    * All hail hypno-toad, uh, I mean, renewables.

    41

    • #
      PilbaraPro

      Agree.

      I read that China is moving fast towards “USC designs”. But that is probably so people in cities can continue to breathe – not because of concern about AGW.

      I have read that China also has 35 nuclear power stations (NPS), another 21 NPSs under construction and a further 36 NPSs planned for beyond 2020. (But that was probably last month!)

      And the original author is a bit extreme (in his hand-written note on 1st diagram) re power being transmitted from Qld to Tasmania. Qld’s exported coal-fired power will be consumed primarily in towns north of Sydney. Ideally generation should be near the load – but cost of generation and location of coal clearly have a big effect. Unfortunately most of NSW’s coal is north of Sydney, hence coal-fired power from Qld and from the NSW fields has to be transmitted some distance to the loads – but not all the way to Tasmania as suggested by the original author.

      Anyway, I live in WA where we are not affected by as much insanity as the other 2/3rds of Australia (by area that is). We are insane in other areas. We collect a big royalty from our iron ore producers and then give it to the eastern states to waste on stupid power decisions. Maybe we should, instead, stop all iron ore exports until the GST imbalance is fixed – i.e. until we get back a bit more than 34c per dollar of the GST we collect! Seems there would be a net gain to Australia as a result! By the way, there is a huge amount of anger in WA re the GST imbalance.

      00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Governments must do no harm,

    Wow! Where did you hear that one Jo? Never mind, you told us but I just don’t believe it’s true. If it were to be true this would be a different world. :-)

    I sure do wish it was true. California alone is hell bent on doing me as much harm as they can. :-(

    Sorry to be so pessimistic and cynical about things government. But history tells a different story, does it not?

    90

    • #
      TdeF

      “Do no harm” is the essence of the Hippocratic oath, an ethic which some people believe should apply to all people in positions of power and responsibility. I believe that governments should act for the people with the interests of the people paramount. However I just cannot fathom why our politicians are acting so much against everyone’s interests. Even if they truly believed CO2 was poisonous, Australia generates less than 1/50th of the industrial CO2 of the planet but politicians are determined to shut down our industries, replacing them with nothing and shut down our power stations, replacing them with windmills.

      I just cannot work out why? The whole country voted repeatedly against a Carbon tax. The Gillard one she promised absolutely not to have and the very first thing she did was $23 a ton. It has been repealed, but the same Conservative party is happy with a hidden cost of over $200 a ton for natural gas, the least CO2 intensive fossil fuel on the planet? Tasmania and South Australia are replacing natural gas with diesel? That’s not even Green?

      I would make the excuse of total ignorance for our politicians, except for the protests of both Turnbull and Andrews that they have nothing to do with Hazelwood closing. Credibility zero. They are deliberately doing an incredible amount of harm and their only possible excuse is total ignorance?

      40

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        TdeF,

        When the bottom line is written the problem is that we the people put these power brokers in office, both here and in Australia and then we do not pay attention to what they’re doing. But even worse than that, many among the electorate want them to be dishonest in their preferred direction. So in the end, as I see it, we get what we ask for, dishonesty but not necessarily the dishonesty we wanted. Once it starts it takes on a life of its own.

        You give the example of the carbon tax. By now I’ve read enough of this site to understand that the groundwork was laid long before Gillard or any of the current power brokers in Canberra. Enough voters saw something they wanted and that starts an avalanche that grows down the line and it’s now very hard to undo. Too many were offered the wrong incentive, the incentive to enhance their own position rather than the position of Australia.

        Admittedly that’s simplified a bit. But I think it’s essentially true.

        Since you’re a sharp observer, give me back your opinion of what I just said.

        Thanks

        Roy

        00

    • #
      Angry

      California is a basket case thanks to leftist vermin……..

      10

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        No basket could even hold what California is becoming. When you see yourself as qualified to tell everyone else how to live right down to the last detail of how you ought to think then I don’t even know what to call it. It’s way beyond smug self-righteousness, hubris, or anything else I used to think it could be called.

        California is due for a voter revolt. Only problem is the voters who still suck up what comes from Sacramento like it was food to a starving man in numbers far too great to make the difference.

        But at least you and I can be angry together.

        00

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          On the national front, I see that after putting up all the “fight” they could to stop the confirmation of Gorsuch as Supreme Court Justice, enough Democrats turned tail and ran from the party line and voted to confirm him. So on the national level things look much better.

          From the start I thought all that fight was just noise and I was lucky to be proved correct.

          I think many Democrats are secretly appalled at what that once proud party has become.

          00

  • #
    Robber

    Hazelwood will not reopen because for everyone in the industry its closure has pushed up prices and therefore profits.
    For Victoria, according to AEMO data, average monthly wholesale price ex generators:
    Apr 2017 $112.91/MWhr (Apr 2016 price $45.88)
    (Hazelwood closed progressively in last week of March 2017).
    March 2017 $90.63/MWhr (March 2016 $45.89)
    Feb 2017 $86.05/MWhr (Feb 2016 $35.42)
    Jan 2017 $62.04/MWhr (Jan 2016 price $46.95)

    All generating companies, whether wind, solar, hydro, gas, coal, are laughing all the way to their banks. And of course wind/solar/hydro bank another $90/MWhr through their legislated sale of renewable energy certificates (the hidden carbon tax we thought we voted out).

    40

  • #
    WayneT

    Can anybody say ‘Lima Declaration’? we are definitely punching above our weight when it comes to de-industrializing, and getting rid of manufacturing in this country.

    60

    • #
      David Maddison

      Yes. Australia is the new Argentina and Venezuela.

      20

      • #
        el gordo

        Not quite, the Chinese have a land hunger and the speculators are being kicked out of Beijing to cool the property market there. This is the second wave coming our way and I’m not sure Talcum has the bottle to manage the situation.

        00

  • #
    pat

    first thing i heard Harrabin say on BBC World Service radio was renewables now provide 15% of electricity globally. he doesn’t give any figure in his article, but the report states:

    “The proportion of global electricity provided by renewables rose from 10.3% in 2015 to 11.3% in 2016″.

    “large hydro” is excluded, but am not sure whether or not nuclear (& others) are included. Harrabin only talked of wind and solar as if they are providing it all. someone will have to go through the 272 page report! lol. Harrabin didn’t mention anyone but the UN being responsible for the report.

    6 Apr: BBC: Roger Harrabin: UN report: Clean power is up, costs are down
    The world added record levels of renewable energy capacity in 2016, according to the UN.
    But the bill was almost a quarter lower than the previous year, thanks to the plunging cost of renewables.
    Investment in renewables capacity was roughly double that in fossil fuels, says the report from UN Environment.
    It follows news that the cost of offshore wind power has fallen by around a third since 2012 – far faster than expected.
    But the report’s authors sound the alarm that just as costs are plunging, some major nations are scaling back their green energy investments.
    This, they say, reduces the likelihood of meeting the Paris climate agreement
    The paper is published in conjunction with Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance…
    The report finds that wind, solar and other renewables added 138.5 gigawatts to global power capacity in 2016 – up 8% from 2015. The added capacity roughly equals that of the world’s 16 largest existing power producing facilities combined, it says…

    Some nations are also taking the opportunity to scale back ambition on energy investment.
    But Michael Liebreich from BNEF said the key argument over costs had been won: “The question always used to be ‘will renewables ever be grid competitive?’.
    “Well, after the dramatic cost reductions of the past few years, unsubsidised wind and solar can provide the lowest cost new electrical power in an increasing number of countries, even in the developing world – sometimes by a factor of two.”
    And Ulf Moslener added a message directed at President Trump: “These technologies are there because they are competitive. We see wind – and in some cases solar – are the cheapest alternatives. Subsidies play less of a role. That’s where the markets are going, and it’s probably a bad idea to work against markets.”
    There was a more muted reaction from Dr John Constable of the anti-green group GWPF, whose campaign against wind subsidies has arguably put downward pressure on renewables costs.
    He told BBC News: “Faced with a barrage of criticism about subsidy levels, the offshore wind industry has reacted with claims of major cost reductions.” But he said the cost of wind power could be deceptive, as it didn’t include the cost of supplying the cables to tie turbines into the national grid.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39513339

    PDF: 272 pages: REN21: Renewables 2016: Global Status Report
    This report was commissioned by REN21 and produced in collaboration with a global network of research partners. Financing was provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the Government of South Africa, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank Group. A large share of the research for this report was conducted on a voluntary basis.
    http://www.ren21.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/REN21_GSR2016_FullReport_en_11.pdf

    11

  • #
    pat

    this lists “wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, small hydro and marine sources”:

    6 Apr: UNEP Press Release: More Bang for the Buck: Record New Renewable Power Capacity Added at Lower Cost
    •Global investment of $241.6 billion in 2016, 23% less than 2015, brought 138.5 gigawatts of new renewable power capacity (excluding large hydro), up 8 per cent from 127.5 gigawatts in 2015
    •Average dollar capital expenditure per megawatt for solar photovoltaics and wind dropped by over 10%
    •The proportion of global electricity provided by renewables rose from 10.3% in 2015 to 11.3% in 2016; prevents an estimated 1.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions…

    Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2017 finds that wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, small hydro and marine sources added 138.5 gigawatts to global power capacity in 2016, up 8 per cent from the 127.5 gigawatts added the year before. The added generating capacity roughly equals that of the world’s 16 largest existing power producing facilities combined.

    Investment in renewables capacity was roughly double that in fossil fuel generation; the corresponding new capacity from renewables was equivalent to 55 per cent of all new power, the highest to date. The proportion of electricity coming from renewables excluding large hydro rose from 10.3 per cent to 11.3 per cent. This prevented the emission of an estimated 1.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide.
    https://web.unep.org/newscentre/more-bang-buck-record-new-renewable-power-capacity-added-lower-cost

    01

    • #
      Curious George

      If you need a cheap capacity, go renewable by all means. If you need a cheap electricity, look elsewhere.

      10

  • #
    PeterS

    While we are closing down our coal fired power stations many other countries are building new ones as we speak. This list is very revealing: http://endcoal.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Jan-2017-Proposed-by-country-MW.pdf
    Even Germany has them under construction right now. Note however that Australia appears to have some planned but not yet started construction. What’s the bet they will be cancelled?

    Other reports here: http://endcoal.org/global-coal-plant-tracker/summary-statistics/
    Recent openings here: http://endcoal.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Jan-2017-New-by-year.pdf
    Searchable world map here: http://endcoal.org/tracker/

    Note that China and India combined have added the following MW of power each year from coal fired power stations;
    83,051 2006
    83,897 2007
    64,058 2008
    66,730 2009
    75,054 2010
    79,756 2011
    69,685 2012
    70,345 2013
    58,288 2014
    86,220 2015
    61,000 2016

    and they have another 193,741 extra MW of coal power under construction to add around 824 Mt/year of CO2, which presumably will all go on-line over the next few years. Then there is much more that have been approved but not yet started construction and even more that are on the drawing board but some could be cancelled. We just closed down Hazlewood, which was generation around 1,600 MW and around 8 Mt/year of CO2. And we have people going around right now telling us closing down that power station was a good thing for the environment. So we have “saved” 8 Mt/year to “help” stop global warming (which isn’t happening) yet China and India alone are about to add another roughly 14 Mt/year each and every month over the next 5 years assuming that’s how long it will take them to complete those currently under construction. Than there is the rest of the world. The world is adding another 272,940 MW of coal power and 1,156 Mt/year of CO2 as we speak. So we have “stopped global warming” (ha ha) for roughly two weeks at best. This is much worse than earth hour since we are now paying higher and higher electricity costs to achieve that worthless result. Are we stupid or are we stupid?

    40

  • #
    pat

    should have mentioned Harrabin/BBC mentioned the plan was for 100% renewable electricity by the middle of the century (which century would that be?). guessing there’s mention of that in the report.

    Bloomberg’s piece…”it’s a whole new world”…the report is obviously timed for Xi Jinping’s US visit:

    6 Apr: Bloomberg: With More Bang for the Buck, Renewables Providing Most New Power
    by Mark Chediak
    The data are similar to findings from the International Energy Agency, which said the capacity of renewables added in 2015 exceeded additions from all other sources for the first time and that the total installed base for renewables has now passed that for coal…
    Bloomberg New Energy Finance said government mandates and incentives are helping drive renewables to become a bigger part of the global energy mix…
    While much of the total decline in financing is pegged to lower equipment costs, some of is due to a slowdown in China, Japan and other emerging markets, McCrone said. Investment in China fell 32 percent to $78.3 billion and spending in Japan slumped 56 percent to $14.4 billion. The figure in the U.S. fell 10 percent to $46.4 billion.
    “It’s a whole new world,” Michael Liebreich, the founder of New Energy Finance, said in a statement. “Even though investment is down, annual installations are still up. Instead of having to subsidize renewables, now authorities may have to subsidize natural gas plants to help them provide grid reliability.”
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-06/with-more-bang-for-the-buck-renewables-providing-most-new-power

    01

  • #
    pat

    ***AFP also suggesting it’s all about solar and wind:

    6 Apr: AFP: Record amount of renewables capacity added in 2016: UN
    The new energy — mainly from wind and solar installations, but not including large hydro projects — was up eight percent from the previous year, on global investment of $242 billion (227 billion euros)…
    “Ever-cheaper clean tech provides a real opportunity for investors to get more for less,” said Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment…
    The new figures come a day after Europe’s energy utilities dealt a body blow to the coal industry by pledging that no new coal-fired power plants would be built after 2020.
    National energy companies from 26 of the European Union’s 28-nations — with the exception of Poland and Greece — joined the initiative, announced in Brussels…

    “With power supply becoming increasingly clean, electric technologies are an obvious choice for replacing fossil fuel-based systems … to reduce greenhouse gases,” said EURELECTRIC president and CEO of the Portuguese energy group EDP, Antonio Mexia.
    In a statement, the consortium of 3,500 electricity generating companies renewed its commitment to the Paris Agreement, the 196-nation climate pact that vows to cap global warming at under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit)…
    The rapidly falling cost of wind and especially solar photovoltaic energy is driving a global shift from dirty to clean energy…
    ***Investment in 2016 was evenly divided between solar and wind…
    https://www.afp.com/en/news/2265/record-amount-renewables-capacity-added-2016-un

    01

  • #
    pat

    read all:

    6 Apr: Bloomberg: Anna Hirtenstein: New Energy Goes Mainstream as Majors Muscle In
    Across Europe, Latin America and India, major electricity suppliers including Enel SpA, Vattenfall AB and Engie SA are proposing to build wind and solar farms, offering low-cost construction bids to win energy-supply contracts. While that can mean cheaper power for consumers, it’s eroding profit margins and increasing competition for small, independent generators who have dominated what was once considered a fringe industry…

    Unwittingly or not, governments and regulators are encouraging the trend through a change in the way they support renewables. Instead extending traditional subsidies and above-market prices for clean electricity, they’re auctioning off contracts to buy power from renewables. In more than 45 countries where those auctions are in place, costs typically fall as much as 50 percent for solar and 60 percent for wind within two years, according to analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
    Specific figures on returns from clean energy projects vary widely and are a closely-guarded secret by the companies that win them. Even so, there is anecdotal evidence showing the big developers are triumphing over smaller ones most everywhere they compete…

    Investors are taking note because the risk-return ratio is changing in the clean energy business. Funds that seek the highest returns have scaled back their support, giving way to more conservative pension and generalist funds. Institutional investors are starting to accept returns more akin to what they get from utilities than those of a startup, said Mark Mansley, chief investment officer at Environment Agency Pension Fund, which has assets of 2.73 billion pounds ($3.36 billion)…

    The industry is being pushed to cut corners and could make promises it can’t keep, said Michael Andresen, head of asset management at Danish wind consultancy K2 Management…
    For those smaller developers vying for contracts, the CEO of Italy’s Enel had a few words of advice.
    “If you try to fight the big players, it is difficult,” Starace said. “Maybe you win one. But the next one you win, they might kill you.”
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-05/big-power-flexing-muscle-boosts-risk-for-green-energy-markets

    01

  • #
    ROM

    Off topic;;

    Maybe this news is somewhere above in the comments but life is about to get just a shade too interesting as the same old, same old Middle East nasties get up to their usual murderous ways.

    The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s gas attack on the rebel held town where over 70 deaths have resulted so far from chlorine and nerve agent gases delivered by Syrian aircraft bombs seems to have finally triggered Trumps and the American’s reaction.

    Some 40 American Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired at the Syrian Government’s Homs airbase a few hours ago.

    The Russkies are scrambling for cover as their strategy in Syria looks like it is coming badly unstuck as their proxy Assad breaks the rules all over again.

    Drudge Report & the BBC have lit up in the last few minutes on this American Cruise missile strike on the main Syrian government airbase.

    20

    • #
      el gordo

      A surgical strike is good strategy, the world will cheer.

      10

    • #
      PeterS

      I certainly hope those news reports about Syria being the culprit are true and not some fake news where the attacks were either staged or they were perpetrated by the rebels to con the West into siding with ISIS and deposing Assad. Back in 2013 it was thought Syria perpetrated a similar attack but later it turned out it was very likely Turkey. If only we knew the real story back then and now. There is too much at stake given Russia is on Syria’s side. Now that US has just attacked Syria with air strikes launched by US jets and Tomahawk missiles in an initial strike we now have to wait how Russia responds. I hope and pray things don’t escalate out of control.

      31

      • #
        el gordo

        Its a calculated risk, the Americans phoned the Russians before the attack to avoid collateral damage.

        Importantly, the President is saying to Xi this is how its done, now its your turn to take out North Korea’s rocket launch pad. Of course if you’re not man enough, I’ll do it for you.

        31

        • #
          ROM

          El Gordo @ #53.2.1

          My sentiments exactly and I had a post but decided not to comment here as i distracted from Jo’s theme but as this is a long way down in the comments and the ME situation is now in play amongst the real big boys and a week is a long time in politics;

          Trump’s / America’s cruise missile strike against Syria’s Assad in retaliation for Assads’ sarin and chlorine gas attack on a Kurdish controlled town comes at a VERY opportune time with the Chinese General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jingpin’s imminent visit to the USA and with the North Korean threats to use their rapidly developing and potentially nuclear armed ICBM’s against the USA and South Korea going up substantially in decibels recently.

          With China the NK’s only reluctant ally, it is a very timely reminder that Trump has just delivered to the Chinese that they had better do something fast to rein in or neutralise Kim Il Jong before it becomes too late and the Chinese have a rather nasty war they never wanted particularly with the major global power and their main trading partner right on their doorstep, literally.

          Or worse, Kim Il Jong begins to pass some items in his nuclear arsenal and missile technology to the ME terrorist organisations.

          20

    • #
      toorightmate

      Two weeks ago, indiscriminate US bombing in Iraq killed 200 innocent civilians. Why have we conveniently forgotten about that while we mourn the loss of 70 Syrian rebels by gas?
      Our news reporting is horribly biased.

      21

  • #
    el gordo

    A fait accompli, can renewables provide enough energy for a continental bullet train network?

    ‘Japan’s heightened interest in an Australian high speed rail network comes as the project has received fresh scrutiny from a parliamentary inquiry, being chaired by Liberal MP John Alexander. The “issues of concern” that led to the inquiry were ones that worry much of suburban Australia: lack of infrastructure, congestion in our cities, regional decline and a lack of economic opportunity.

    ‘The bipartisan committee said the report’s conclusions were unavoidable, particularly the need for decentralisation to relieve cities of the “full burden of growth” while connecting the regions to urban centres with high speed rail. The “essential ingredient” is the increase in land value associated with the rail that will allow the infrastructure to be built — the much vaunted “value capture” model.

    “When you view it at as real estate development on steroids,” Alexander says, “then the dollars stack up.”

    The Oz

    00

    • #
      el gordo

      Chinese Premier Li Keying is known around the traps as “super salesperson for high-speed rail”, so I would be surprised if the May budget doesn’t mention the topic of decentralisation and fast trains.

      00

  • #

    With respect to the rising cost of electricity, I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to old electricity bills, dunno why, I just am.

    So, I looked at an old bill from 2010, just prior to when we moved here to flood central Rockhampton.

    The actual (retail) cost for the electricity was 14 cents/KWH, and now it’s double that, at 28 cents/KWH

    However, back in 2010, there was a set charge for Supply to the premises, and that was $17.00 for the period of supply, ours being three monthly.

    What has changed now is that that Supply to the premises has changed from that set 90 day fee to a daily cost of just under 90 cents per day, hence a three Monthly fee of $89.00.

    So while the cost for the actual electricity has doubled, that fee has risen by a factor of 5.23, so, an extra $280 a year.

    I mean, how hard is it to flick the switch from on to off. The electricity is always there in the same manner as it has always been.

    A clever way to hide a considerable price rise, and not say that it’s a rise in the cost for the actual electricity.

    My consumption has stayed relatively the same across those years, around 20 to 25KWH per day, and my bill has well more than doubled.

    They’ll find ways and means to raise the cost, while saying that they are umm, trying to bring the price down, but really, they just mouth the words.

    Any change in a downward direction will be so minimal as to be almost invisible, while finding another way to gouge you.

    Tony.

    110

    • #
      David Maddison

      Is there any claimed purpose for the supply fee, such as a payment for the cost of the delivery infrastructure?

      In any case, if you buy any other commodity product such as petrol you only pay for what is purchased. It would be ridiculous to be charged a fee for the use of the pump. The cost of getting “the stuff” to you should be borne by the seller.

      In Victoriastan we even have to pay for the cost of the smart meters.

      You should only have to pay for one thing and that is the cost of the kWh consumed.

      60

    • #
      Wayne Job

      Tony, Thankyou for all the info you give, for me it is most valuable.I am an engineer,designer and inventor and have worn many hats during my life, retired now and see all the stupidity of AGW and the chaos it is about to dump on us. The mad green agenda that has the capacity to destroy all major industry and manufacturing in oz. Your insight into the electrical side of things is wonderful. Thankyou again.

      60

    • #
      Skeptikal

      If the price of electricity continues to climb at the rate it has been here in QLD, it will soon be cheaper to run a diesel generator than to buy from the grid.

      30

  • #
    pat

    another UNBELIEVABLE poll, especially given only 4% said “environment/pollution” – not even CAGW – is “the most important problem facing the country today”.

    5 Apr: Quinnipiac Uni Poll: Two-Thirds Of U.S. Voters Take Climate Personally, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds
    The U.S. should discourage the use of coal because of environmental concerns, 56 percent of voters say, while 36 percent say the U.S. should encourage coal use, citing jobs and economic benefits, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds…
    A total of 76 percent of American voters are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about climate change. Other voter attitudes on climate change are:
    Voters do not believe 76 – 19 percent that climate change is a hoax;
    Voters believe 65 – 28 percent that climate change is caused by human activity;
    Voters say 62 – 28 percent President Donald Trump should not remove specific regulations intended to combat climate change;
    Voters say 72 – 25 percent it’s a “bad idea” to cut funding for scientific research on the environment and climate change;
    The U.S. is doing enough to address climate change, 18 percent say, while 18 percent say the U.S. is doing too much and 59 percent say more needs to be done;
    56 percent say there has been more extreme or unusual weather in recent years;
    68 percent of voters say the U.S. can fight climate change and protect jobs, while 24 percent say one goal hurts the other.

    “It’s personal. Climate change is an existential threat, many voters feel. They are concerned, and some are very concerned, about the looming menace of climate change,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
    In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 12 percent of American voters list health care as the most important problem facing the nation, with 11 percent each for the economy and the Trump Administration…
    12. What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?
    Environment/pollution: 4%
    https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2449

    Registered voters:
    PARTY IDENTIFICATION
    Republican 23%
    Democrat 31
    Independent 38
    Other/DK/NA 8

    6 Apr: Time: Justin Worland: Poll: Voters Don’t Support Donald Trump’s Climate Change Agenda
    The poll is the latest evidence to show public opinion shifting in favor of action on climate change. A Gallup poll released last month found that concern over global warming hit an eight-year high this year with 64% of Americans expressing concern…
    ***But nonetheless the issue has also struggled to gain traction as a political winner. Only 4% of people surveyed by Quinnipiac ranked the issue as the biggest issue facing the country…
    Quinnipiac surveyed nearly 1,200 voters across the country and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
    http://time.com/4729014/donald-trump-climate-change-epa-poll/

    01

  • #

    photo smiley-gets-a-big-hug_zps6ibxouvv.gif .…bourbon and coke dull the pain

    00

  • #
  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    OT but loving the new potus and his stance on Assad, if only the last potus had of grown a pair earlier on .

    10

  • #
    Shauno

    Hazelwood wont be restarted as has been said but I think the infrastructure like the power grid already in place could be used for a 2000MW gas fired power station. Mind you they hate gas in Victoria as well so why bother just let the state fail.

    20

    • #
      David Maddison

      Why gas when there is a dirt cheap brown coal deposit on site? Just build an USC plant on site to the maximum size the existing transmission wires will handle – or even bigger with upgrades. In fact, why not build a 4GW (or bigger) plant to replace the existing 1.6GW?

      30

    • #
      Angry

      Back to the stone age for Victoria……

      10

  • #
    John Watt

    It is not really in Turnbull’s span of influence to fix our power supply security mess.
    By succumbing to power industry privatisation we have given away any public influence over power generation technology choice.

    The future generation technology will be the one that makes enough profit for the private owner. The public will pay the profiteer’s price because electricity is a 21st century necessity.

    By being conned by Flannery/Obama/Gore we have foregone the opportunity to sustain/upgrade/modernise our well-established coal-fired baseload stations.

    We will get low output largely “renewable” generation installations with all the South Australian implications rather than the well established pattern of 1000 MW plus base load coal fired installations. The large economically attractive stations with their long construction times will be too large a business risk for private enterprise to take on.

    Turnbull’s electorally challenged government cannot guarantee a private investor that coal fired stations will be “legal” in Shorten’s Australia.

    50

    • #
      PeterS

      Turnbull wouldn’t know how to fix our supply security mess even if his life depended on it. A 10-year old kid from China would have a better idea.

      90

  • #
    Angry

    NICK XENOPHON SHOWS HE IS JUST A LUNATIC GREEN NUTTER…………….REMEMBER THIS FOR THE NEXT FEDERAL ELECTION !!!

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/xenophon-sacks-mate-who-says-50-renewables-is-mad/news-story/23db36d760d5a2201202670a6ef8b715

    XENOPHON SACKS MATE WHO SAYS 50% RENEWABLES IS MAD
    Nick Xenophon has sacked his top South Australian candidate for correctly saying Labor’s plans for a 50 per cent renewable energy target is “f…ing mad” and will destroy the state.
    Xenophon’s party seems hijacked by irrational greens, with fellow Xenophon MP Rebekha Sharkie now ominously calling it “my team”:
    Nick Xenophon has dumped via text message a long-time mate and prospective star candidate for the next South Australian elect¬ion after a spectacular falling-out over renewable energy policy.
    Peter Humphries, a well-known South Australian lawyer with a long association to Senator Xenophon, announced this week his nomination to represent SA Best, a party set up by Senator Xenophon to contest the next state election…
    But Senator Xenophon has sent an SMS to Mr Humphries, telling him he had no chance of representing his new party after telling media outlets, including The Australian and the ABC, that high renewable energy targets were reckless and hurt business.
    This is despite Senator Xenophon, after September’s statewide blackout, blaming the state’s more than 40 per cent renewables mix and saying South Australia’s energy arrangements were a “textbook case” of how not to transition to renewable energy…
    But Mr Humphries’s oppos¬ition to SA’s target of 50 per cent renewables by 2025 sparked immediat¬e internal division with the Xenophon team. Senator Xenophon’s “golden girl”, federal NXT MP Rebekha Sharkie, said she disagreed with Mr Humphries, saying “myself and my team”, including Senator Xenophon, backed a 50 per cent target.
    Yesterday, Mr Humphries stood by his comments, saying it was “f..king obvious” that the Weatherill government’s “reckless rush to embrace alternative energy targets” was “vanity polit-ics” that had devastated the state.
    Xenophon has already been overruled by Sharkie on a deal with the Turnbull Government to make welfare cuts.
    How often does this happen, that the Left takes over organisations set up for other purposes?
    XENOPHON IS A LUNATIC !!!!

    20

  • #

    [...] bleaching caused by falling sea levels! Recall the modest trajectory of the rising seas. Jo Nova on the achievement of the Prime Minister and Daniel Andrews with the RET and the loss of Hazelwood Power Station •You have just put at least 1,000 people out [...]

    00

  • #
    Michael Fry

    Please read the following from New Scientist I cant believe the analogy used;

    Sometimes a house gets warmer even when the central heating is turned off. Does this prove that its central heating does not work? Of course not. Perhaps it’s a hot day outside, or the oven’s been left on for hours.

    Are these fools joking at best they are treating joe public as idiots.

    Entire article as follows, be warned it is demeaning and you may want to cover your ears.

    Climate myths: Ice cores show CO2 increases lag behind temperature rises, disproving the link to global warming
    The lag proves that rising CO2 did not cause the initial warming as past ice ages ended, but it does not in any way contradict the idea that higher CO2 levels cause warming.

    By Catherine Brahic and Michael Le Page

    Sometimes a house gets warmer even when the central heating is turned off. Does this prove that its central heating does not work? Of course not. Perhaps it’s a hot day outside, or the oven’s been left on for hours.

    Just as there’s more than one way to heat a house, so there’s more than one way to heat a planet.

    Ice cores from Antarctica show that at the end of recent ice ages, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere usually started to rise only after temperatures had begun to climb. There is uncertainty about the timings, partly because the air trapped in the cores is younger than the ice, but it appears the lags might sometimes have been 800 years or more.

    Initial warming
    This proves that rising CO2 was not the trigger that caused the initial warming at the end of these ice ages – but no climate scientist has ever made this claim. It certainly does not challenge the idea that more CO2 heats the planet.

    We know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas because it absorbs and emits certain frequencies of infrared radiation. Basic physics tells us that gases with this property trap heat radiating from the Earth, that the planet would be a lot colder if this effect was not real and that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will trap even more heat.

    For the rest follow the link below you will be annoyed;

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11659-climate-myths-ice-cores-show-co2-increases-lag-behind-temperature-rises-disproving-the-link-to-global-warming/

    00

  • #
    Michael Fry

    From New Scientist while accurate if you understand the practical for the non thinker the following clearly provides the illusion that temp and co2 rise together when the do not the lag continues and the only correlation is CO2 follows temperature rise, the two do not rise together this is a falsehood deliberately written in such a way to make the indefensible defendable, typical journalism and why I hate journalists they play with words like a pied piper attracting the less than salubrious minds as consensus followers.

    Rising together
    It takes about 5000 years for an ice age to end and, after the initial 800 year lag, temperature and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere rise together for a further 4200 years.

    The final paragraph is really little more than a deflection of reality and the creation of controversial nonsense ie flim flam to confuse the masses and deflex or an attempt to exonerate the writers from poor journalism there are more ups and downs in the following paragraph than in Kings Cross on a Saturday night, it opens as finally but in reality there is no finality in the coment.

    Finally, if higher temperatures lead to more CO2 and more CO2 leads to higher temperatures, why doesn’t this positive feedback lead to a runaway greenhouse effect? There are various limiting factors that kick in, the most important being that infrared radiation emitted by Earth increases exponentially with temperature, so as long as some infrared can escape from the atmosphere, at some point heat loss catches up with heat retention.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11659-climate-myths-ice-cores-show-co2-increases-lag-behind-temperature-rises-disproving-the-link-to-global-warming/

    00