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

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Advertising

micropace


GoldNerds

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



Archives

Finkel report destroys baseload coal power economics

Demand enough renewables and you might as well ban coal

There’s a lesson Australia needs to learn from South Australia. When intermittent renewables reach a certain percentage of daily average supply they make baseload power unfeasible. The situation develops into an impossible dead end that can only be solved with container-ships of cash.

The intermittent supply of wind and solar is the immoveable problem. It eats into the daily chart of the cheapest stable electricity supply — which is coal fired. Coal can’t be ramped in and out in minutes. It is a creature that runs best non-stop, efficiently, smoothly, at a high capacity factor (meaning it works best when it is producing around 90% of it’s design limit continuously).

Tom Quirk points out that sometime after these intermittent renewables hit 30% of the average daily supply, as they have in South Australia — locally sourced coal power becomes uneconomic. There are times during the daily cycle when renewables are providing almost all the demand. There is little demand left for the massive coal turbines to supply, so they spin on pointlessly, but costs remain, and profits are zero.

In SA, the owner of the last coal fired station was still willing to pour in money, but even large cash injections didn’t change the daily bad news cycle, and the coal station was closed.

If the electricity markets were left to run free, and compete purely on price, coal would provide the baseload (unless we had nukes) and obviously, electricity would be cheaper. But no amount of word mangling can dress up the situation. The insistence on having a large slab of intermittent power forces coal out of the system, and that forces prices up.

– Jo

 

The Levellers

Guest post by Tom Quirk

The claim that there is an opportunity for coal burning power stations depends on the extent of renewable energy sources.

The Blueprint target of 42% renewables destroys the opportunity to build baseload coal burning power stations independent of the choice of technologies.

This is because the Blueprint analysis uses the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE). LCOE is the net present value of the unit-cost of electricity over the lifetime of a generating plant using a particular technology. It is often taken as a proxy for the average price that the plant must receive in a market to break even over its lifetime.

A key factor in calculating the levelised costs is the utilisation of the plant expressed as the capacity factor. Levelised costs are referred to in the Blueprint. In particular an appendix shows a comparison of levelised costs for a wind farm and an ultra-super-critical coal burning plant having similar levelised costs. This is misleading,

There is a good illustration of the difficulty of levelised cost comparisons from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) in the United State[1] where assumptions are made about plant utilisation expressed as the capacity factor. These are based on regional analysis. This is shown below in Table 1, extracted from the EIA report on levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for new generation resources for 2022.The comparison with Australian states shows very different values for capacity factors and the comparison shows the importance of analyzing the particular electricity system and not a regional average.

Table 1. Estimated and measured Capacity Factors

Plant type

Capacity factors

Dispatchable Technologies

EIA*

2022

Victoria

2012

South Australia

2012

 Conventional Coal

77.5%

33.2%

 Conventional Coal with 30-90% CO2 sequestration

85%

Natural Gas-fired
 Conventional Gas-fired Thermal

?

29.0%

 Conventional Combined Cycle Gas Turbine

87%

14.2%

 Conventional Combustion Turbine

30%

 

 

 

 

 Hydro

16.0%

0.0%

Non-Dispatchable Technologies

 

 

 

 Wind

41%

38.0%

33.1%

 Solar PV

25%

14.2%

 Hydro

60%

*Energy Information Agency (United States)

The difference in the capacity factors for coal fired plant is that demand in Victoria was 85% coal fired supply but only 2.5% wind while for South Australia coal supplied 17.1%, wind 26.6% and solar PV 3.8% of demand.

So the claim that there is an opportunity for coal burning power stations depends on the extent of renewable energy sources in the region being examined. It is clear that there is no opportunity for base load power in South Australia. A 33% capacity factor for 1203 MW of wind farms in 2012 gives variations from 0 to 1200 MW. But with average demand of 1493 MW and demand variations during the day from 1000 MW to 1800 MW wind farms can drive out baseload supply.

The Blueprint target of 42% renewables therefore destroys the opportunity to build baseload coal burning power stations independent of the choice of technologies.

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (71 votes cast)
Finkel report destroys baseload coal power economics, 9.7 out of 10 based on 71 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/y9utmbus

204 comments to Finkel report destroys baseload coal power economics

  • #
    ExWarmist

    It’s a very interesting point being made in this article.

    That setting an ‘economic framework’ that divorces the rationale for building a reliable electicity generating system from building a CO2 minimising electicity generating system guarantees that society will acquire an umreliable electicity generating system and all the consequences of that.

    I wonder how many blackouts we will have to endure before the insanity of an artificially defined economic framework is identified and tossed in the bin. The key risk of course is that society will be so damaged by the impact of these measures that recovery will no longer be financially and technically feasible.

    501

    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      I suspect that unless the politicians wake up to themselves quickly and get out of this power regulation nonsense, it will be set in stone forever more and politicians will forever try to regulate it unsuccessfully.

      272

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        This is the same old nonsense of – attempt to appeal to authority – that the IPCC was set up for…

        By creating an artificial “reference” – the gummint can then nail thier colours to the mast. I hope their colours can be viewed while uderwater……..

        In a kind-of tribute to the Goons :

        “Its those rising sea levels you know, young Seegoon….”

        “But Major Budnock, how did you know?”

        ( at this point I start sniggering….it is Friday after all…enjoy!)

        70

      • #
        Allen Ford

        Put the engineers back in charge, pronto, and send the pollies to the South Pole, or anywhere but here.

        230

    • #
      Leonard Lane

      ExWarmist, thanks for the comment. I agree that the two objectives are incompatible. It makes no sense to have intermittent renewable sources of electric power if the objective is to produce and supply reliable base load electric power for consumer and industrial production.
      Also, without the range of declared and hidden subsidies renewables, as intermittent power cannot compete with steady base load power from fossil fuels, hydroelectric plants, and nuclear plants.
      On the other hand, if the objective is to subsidize renewables in the quest for reduced CO2, baseload suppliers will be driven out of he market unless they are subsidized at a comparable rate (this never is even considered); and electricity prices will skyrocket. With prices skyrocketing and no base load power supplies the systems have to crash. Industry in penalized beyond its ability to survive and consumers are hit with the double jolt of fewer jobs and blackouts, as well as diminishing ability to pay for the skyrocketing electricity prices.

      310

      • #
        oeman50

        LL, you are even more correct than you think. Even nuclear plants are affected by this same dynamic in the US. The first shutdown of a nuclear plant in the US for purely economic reasons was Kewaunee, in Wisconsin. The energy price it needed was above the price offered by subsidized renewable prices, so the owners could not make money.

        230

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          I seriously forsee riots in this country…..

          And you wonder why Parliament House is being hardened?

          Ponder this – they say its terrorism, but seriously, you have a better chance of winning lotto than being a terror victim.

          The gummnt know bad days are coming, so they are hardening their bunker….also refer to police being now paramilitary and country wide snooping of everything and most schools with 6′ fences which can be used as local internment camps.

          You would have to be completely blind ( and therefore canon fodder ) not to see whats coming….

          180

      • #
        Paul Aubrin

        The actual aim of the green lobby is to control energy, because whoever controls the energy control the whole life of people.

        270

    • #
      Tom O

      ExWarmist, you have to consider something that you have not at this point. You say – ” The key risk of course is that society will be so damaged by the impact of these measures that recovery will no longer be financially and technically feasible.”

      Now here is the point that you are not considering, and that few are, for that matter. What if the intent of the anti-carbon movement IS to make recovery from these policies impossible? What if the intent truly is to crash civilization, taking human population with it? When you finally look at it from that point of view, you will finally understand why facts and data showing what is going to happen has no meaning to them. This is what they want, and renewable insanity is their chosen method. When the percentages are high enough and baseload generation goes down permanently, the reduction in population over the lifetime of the renewables will be enough to allow them to happily “refurbish” the baseload capacity, and restart civilization “in the image they desire – elite and serf.

      310

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        I think they may get a very rude surprise…hubris after all is a naturally self limiting disease….

        I doubt the Elite truly understand how a ticked off Australian population will be. When you consider the number one SAS unit world wide is Australian and aust troops were comfortable with use of bayonets in jungle warfare……

        Yep…best of British with that….

        71

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        That’s not a new thought TomO.
        It is what people look for whenever socialists, elitists, globalists, Marxists, Maoists…. etc, speak on any subject. It has long been recognised that the Green movement is destructive to the society that hosts them.

        70

        • #
          mal

          Popular news keeps focusing on ISIS as a terrorist organisation we have to guard against whilst the real terrorists are within our own society and are known as the Greens.

          70

      • #
        ExWarmist

        I think the basic issue is a combination of human stupidity, ignorance, laziness, cowardice, and greed bathing in a morass of information that many are ill-equipped to sift, assess and evaluate to discern fact from fiction.

        The bottom line – incompetance and cultural decay are far more likely root causes for our current issues than active, malevolent plots.

        The key reason I say this is a follows.

        IF:

        the intent truly is to crash civilization, taking human population with it?

        THEN:

        There is the following reliable and relatively low risk method for doing so.

        1. First park own wealth in tangible assets.

        2. Given appropriate resources, infect the SWIFT, ATM & POS systems with a stuxnet type virus bringing all financial transactions to a halt.

        3. [SHOCK] Wait about a week as the society begins to collapse, populations become hungry, terrified, riot, law begins to breakdown as out JIT logistics systems collapse.

        4. [INITIAL SOLUTION] Institute Martial Law to ‘keep everyone safe.’

        5. [BLAME] Convert the initial chaos & terror to hatred. Identify a non-integrated scapegoat community composing 6% to 10% of the population and blame them for the crisis.

        6. [MASS BLOODSHED] Round up, inter and murder the non-integrated scapegoat community. This has the dual benefit of demonstrating ruthlessness in the application of martial law to intimidate potential opponents and establishes the ground for the next point.

        7. [SIN & GUILT] The population having been whipped into a frenzy of hatred is now swung to guilt for their acquiesence to crimes against humanity.

        8. [EXPIATION] Enroll everyone into ‘service to the community,’ to expiate their sins through service ‘to a greater good.’

        9. [CONSOLIDATION] Identify anyone capable of thinking for themselves, or liable to lead dissent. Inter and murder them.

        10. [NORMALISATION] Restore the operation of the financial system. Maintain martial law.

        This has the benefits of maintaining all the infrastructure and ensuring the mobilisation of labour for the benefit of the rulers.

        The fact that this plan which is much more effective than using the “Greens” to haphazhardly collapse society hasn’t been performed, indicates that the ‘Greens’ are a symptom of human ignorance not a tool of a grand plot.

        30

        • #
          ExWarmist

          Having established control – then impact population as desired.

          E.g. One child policy as per China.

          20

        • #
          sophocles

          Point 10 will require the re-establishment of a reliable electricity supply. The financial institutions computer systems are deeply embedded.

          Sure, they have `emergency’ generators to keep the main computer centres operational, but they rely heavily on the installed networks (copper telephone lines and optical fibre networks) which all need reliable electricity supply. Without that, there won’t be any Normalisation.

          Crash the Internet and watch the disintegration proceed apace.

          40

          • #
            ExWarmist

            The plan above doesn’t go through a run-down of infrastructure first.

            The elites still have to live in the same society everyone else lives in, albeit in a gated community guarded by ex-special forces. They have every interest in maintaining a functioning society, but like everyone else are subject to poor thinking.

            20

          • #
            ExWarmist

            There are multiple single points of failure that could be exploited to achieve the same end.

            My basic point is that given that such reliable attacks haven’t been done. Collapsing society is not an elite plan. The whole ‘malevolent plot to collapse society meme’ is just an idea adhered to by people with a touch of paranoid thinking driven by either fear or hope depending on whether they see it as a negative or positive respectively.

            The key point is that the elites benefit from the current status quo – their concept of ‘change/transformation’ is all along the lines of further entrenching their position at the top of the power/wealth heirarchy.

            I suspect that the elites want the current party status-quo to continue for as long as possible.

            20

            • #
              ExWarmist

              Given the above, I predict the current social trend of increasing surveillance, militarised police states, and the use of the state and media machinery to disempower the vast majority people. To ensure the ongoing co-option of their productive labour for the benefit of a thin slice of humanity who will continue to live like despotic kings with enormous wealth and unaccountable power over the lives of others.

              I hope I’m wrong.

              20

            • #
              sophocles

              Technological infrastructure is just accepted. It’s there. Nobody gives it a thought because it’s just there.

              Networks are:
              - the sewerage system (electrically powered pumps.)
              - water system (electrically powered pumps to develop `head’)
              - telephone and telecommunications systems (electrically powered. Includes Internet)
              - radio and TV -all electrical
              - newspapers – electric presses. (Stand-by emergency generators for the bigger printers)

              Take all those down and watch the mess. Night-soil will be a big problem.

              00

    • #
      Steve Honeyman

      The proof in this pudding is the new contractural requirment for the new submarine contractors to build a giant diesel powered electricty generator to ensuire no loss of power during construction. This was insisted on by Senator Nick Xenaphon after the SA blackouts. Seems Nick isn’t as “sure” of the SA power supplies as he wants people to think.

      The other item to consider is the “daisy chaning” of electrity supply to SA and Vic and by extension to Tas. Part of the SA blackout was caused when the interconnector between Vic and SA shut down to prevent damage to the Victorian power supply. Victoria supplies SA base load power when the renewables cannot fill the shortfall hence no need for base load generation in SA. Victoria also supplies Tasmania with power when the hydro doesn’t work due to recent droughts.

      But… Victoria has since closed Hazelwood power statio that provided 22% of Victorian power. This loss of generation will be made up of power from NSW. Now, if Sydney gets another string of very hot days and power use ramps up, there will be a corresponding loss of available energy to Vic,Tas and SA. Add extra demand there plus no wind and……

      110

    • #
      Rupert

      Problem is by the time the damage start to filter through and start to become obvious our economies will already be sold out to China and India. And then the fun will start for all of these Western “Welfare States” – somewhere there’s going to come a huge payday and our kids are going to end up being slaves.

      80

    • #
      mal

      The whole green philosophy is to destroy western civilisation as we know it. The unintended consequence (which they haven’t got the analytical brains to see) is that they will create anarchy as Australia descends into third world poverty.

      71

    • #
      Bobl

      Only works out that way if wind and solar have infrastructure cost subsidized and have first dibs on the network. If purchases of energy can freely choose between sources this doesn’t happen. So clearly, removing subsidies and priority is the solution.

      20

  • #
    Geoff

    The great lie of renewable power continues. Meanwhile our entire manufacturing base is at risk. “only Finkel” can save us. He has vast….. experience running a grid. Well at least six months more than any politician.

    So the first BIG price increase is being announced. The poor will just have to turn the switch off. Many will go off grid to local generators.

    We have a PM who has no idea what he is doing other than navel gazing.

    Time to turn off the interconnectors Victoria and go it alone. Let them all go dark.

    241

    • #
      Hivemind

      Victoria can’t turn off the inter-connectors. Now that Hazelwood has shutdown, they will need to get electricity from other states on a regular basis.

      South Australia, On the other hand, shouldn’t assume that Victoria will be providing them anything anymore. Just you wait for summer. It’s going to get ugly.

      270

      • #
        yarpos

        I am starting to wonder if it they will even get to summer. SE Australia is in the doldrums over the last few days with a slow moving winter high. Wind power pretty much zero (this afternoon SA had 5MW) and solar greatly diminished. SA has been totally reliant on the interconnector for long periods and a shutdown is planned for the 21st, we live in interesting times.

        60

        • #
          Rick Will

          I forecast once Hazelwood closed that the last week of June will be a struggle for SA. Victoria may not have the power to send west. Yesterday AEMO gave a warning of lack of reserve in SA. If there is any loss of generation in the system over the next few weeks I would not be surprised if SA started forced load shedding.

          51

    • #
      sophocles

      Given enough stress, the cities will start rioting. Power outages will be a good opportunity to add widespread looting to the mix.

      140

      • #

        Naaah, not in this country, won’t happen. You’d like to think so, but we will just roll over and accept whatever is dished out like we always have, just look back through history. When was the last uprising? The Eureka Stockade, roughly a couple of hundred years ago wasn’t it? And they were mostly Irish.

        70

        • #
          Angry

          It is only possible to push people so far before they SNAP and all hell breakes loose.

          We are almost at that point !

          60

        • #
          sophocles

          Hungry people riot.

          `An army marches on its stomach.’ Claudius Galen, Chief Physician of the Roman Army.

          We can paraphrase it:

          A population abides when its bellies are full.

          The French Revolution started soon after Let them eat cake.
          The Russian Revolution started with a dislocation in transporting the harvest.
          Auckland NZ saw a riot in 1935 by hungry unemployed.

          We saw the power of hunger very recently: only six years ago in what’s become known as the Arab Spring [2011]. A rise in the price of wheat caused by shortages put `the daily bread’ out of reach of many. They rioted.

          When stored grain from previous bumper years is eaten without any top up from this last disastrous winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s going to happen again. The spring sowing season has been severely disrupted in
          many regions by a winter which just won’t let go. We have no idea if next winter is going to be as bad as the 2016-2017 one, or if it will ease things. We can guarantee one thing: weather forecasting is going to be difficult. Cooling makes the weather highly unpredictable.

          One thing we can predict with certainty:

          Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it.

          30

        • #
          MareeS

          The Miners’ strike of 1929 saw a big uprising in the Hunter Valley coalfields, several killed and dozens injured when police opened fire on rioters.

          And there was a riot involving thousands in Newcastle in 1978, ostensibly about the closure of the Star Hotel, but really about 20+% youth unemployment and the closure of a large part of the city’s industrial base.

          00

  • #
    toorightmate

    Power was off for 1.5 hours in some east Brisbane suburbs this evening. I do not know the cause yet.
    Maybe it was just practice/conditioning for 40 renewables?

    160

  • #
    davefromweewaa

    The more free power we get from wind and sun, the more expensive and unreliable it becomes! Meanwhile the climatic benefit is either unquantifiably small or entirely imaginary.
    Every time you hear someone spruik climate control through renewables, ask them to quantify the climatic benefit. Always push back!

    321

    • #
      sophocles

      ask them to quantify the climatic benefit. Always push back!

      Exactly right. Demand proof, always. Numbers. Verifiable numbers, not numerical cobwebs and daydreams.

      140

    • #
      Bobl

      It’s imaginary because on a lifestyle basis wind and solar don’t answer any Co2. They don’t actually do what is claimed of them. Not only that, 25% of energy generated by solar power is consumed by increase energy demand of the solar industry itself, and we don’t even manufacture.

      20

  • #
    RobK

    It’s a viscous circle. Coal is forced to subsidize RE, price goes up so more people look to RE to offset cost, coal goes broke, price goes up, more people look to RE, batteries and Natural gas. Price goes up. Infrastructure expenditures on distribution grid go to accommodate RE, price goes up.
    Finkel could have put forward a mix of coal and nukes got a stable grid, cheap electricity, bugger all CO2 and let people play with wind and solar unsubsidized but he acknowledged nukes and modular nukes as politically difficult and left it at that….so he’s giving political not scientific advice.

    262

    • #
      RobK

      Why must we experiment with our life blood, the grid. There are safe proven paths known to work well…all the time, cheaply.

      191

      • #
        Hat Rack

        RobK, re your vicious circle: If batteries don’t meet expectations and gas prices continue to rise, will future generations have to subsidise coal to guarantee reliable base load?
        That really would complete your circle!

        90

      • #
        yarpos

        But Rob we need to save the planet and the polar bears and stop Tim Flannery’s pad at Berowra Waters going underwater.

        41

        • #
          sophocles

          yarpos said:

          But Rob we need to save the planet and the polar bears

          …and now the Graundia and their tear jockeys have discovered the Antarctic Emperor Penguins. Oh sheesh. The `recovering poly bears’ are no longer news, which should relieve them (the bears) immensely.

          The overly lacrymose haven’t heard about trends nor about penguin mobility. The last two years has seen a rather dramatic drop in Antarctic sea ice, which, of course, is going to threaten the penguin population.. Two years does not a trend make, but given the probable evidence for advancing cooling, it’s quite likely to continue and become a trend (see the Polar See Saw. The theory is pretty obvious from the analysis of ice cores and the comparisons between those of both ends of the world.)

          The poor penguins; they’ve been discovered; there’s no more hiding in obscurity for them. If necessary, they will move to other places, and even spread out more should present roosts prove disadvantageous. They don’t need crocodile tears. One thing their new professional mourners have most certainly neither noticed nor heard about, is the Polar See Saw. The penguins, not consulted of course, have experienced it before, many times, so they’re old hands (flippers?) at coping with it.

          A population of any animal, be it polar bear or emperor penguin, is managed more by its food supply then anything else, and that includes predation. If the Antarctic warms and ice melts, the penguins will go ashore if necessary. If the warming (I’m assuming Antarctica could be slowly starting to warm a little) increases their food supply, their population will wax rather than wane.

          So all those sententiously pontificating about the present population being threatened without considering this point, and without knowing exactly what will happen to those food supplies, are Idiots.

          Somehow, I don’t think the penguins with either notice or care.

          20

    • #
      Annie

      Viscous? One does feel one is wading through sludge or trying to swim through thick glue or trying to clear honey off a rough rock! A vicious problem, to be sure.

      There are plenty of power lines all round Dubai and Abu Dhabi I noted today; sensible people.

      BTW, temps here today reached 50C on the way back to Dubai, near Jebel Ali! Luvverly! We are told that temps at home are -2C…gruesome. What a contrast to the perfect temps in the Cypriot mountains.

      140

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      This shows the next part of the puzzle after smart meters were forced on people – total control of all power and hamstringing society through reducing abundant based power to “just in time” nonsense….

      Note the diagram – it spells it out clearly for what they are pushing for here in Oz.

      https://www.technocracy.news/index.php/2016/04/22/flashback-technocracy-smart-grid-green-economy/

      According to the United Nations Governing Council of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), “our dominant economic model may thus be termed a ‘brown economy’.” UNEP’s clearly stated goal is to overturn the “brown economy” and replace it with a “green economy”:

      “A green economy implies the decoupling of resource use and environmental impacts from economic growth… These investments, both public and private, provide the mechanism for the reconfiguration of businesses, infrastructure and institutions, and for the adoption of sustainable consumption and production processes.” [p. 2]

      Sustainable consumption? Reconfiguring businesses, infrastructure and institutions? What do these words mean? They do not mean merely reshuffling the existing order, but rather replacing it with a completely new economic system, one that has never before been seen or used in the history of the world.

      ……

      The Technocracy Study Course, written by Howard Scott and M. King Hubbert in 1932, established a detailed framework for Technocracy in terms of energy production, distribution and usage.

      According to Scott and Hubbert, the distribution of energy resources must be monitored and measured in order for the system to work — and this is the key: monitoring and measuring.

      They wrote that the system must do the following things:
      ◾“Register on a continuous 24 hour-per-day basis the total net conversion of energy.”
      ◾“By means of the registration of energy converted and consumed, make possible a balanced load.”
      ◾“Provide a continuous inventory of all production and consumption.”
      ◾“Provide a specific registration of the type, kind, etc., of all goods and services, where produced and where used.”
      ◾“Provide specific registration of the consumption of each individual, plus a record and description of the individual.” [Scott, Howard et al, Technocracy Study Source, p. 232]

      In 1932, such technology did not exist. Time was on the Technocrat’s side, however, because this technology does exist today, and it is being rapidly implemented to do exactly what Scott and Hubbert specified: Namely, to exhaustively monitor, measure and control every ampere of energy delivered to consumers and businesses on a system-wide basis.”

      California puts on its red nose for its permenant role as a clown:

      https://www.technocracy.news/index.php/2016/04/20/solar-power-disrupt-california-power-blackouts/

      “Solar power is causing damage to California’s electrical grid and could lead to blackouts this summer, but the state’s plan to solve the problem is vehemently opposed by The Sierra Club.

      The state was forced to shut down its solar farms on March 27 because they were producing more electricity than Californians needed. Grid operators say this damaged the power grid, and the system will be incredibly vulnerable to damage and blackouts this summer because of excess solar power.

      The operator’s proposed solution is to merge its power grid with PacifiCorp, Oregon’s electrical utility, which has access to many more reliable coal power plans that could offset the unreliability of California’s solar systems.

      Environmental groups such as The Sierra Club are furious about the solution and sent a letter to California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown in February demanding California suffer blackouts rather than merge grids with a company that uses coal power.

      “It’s constantly solving a constant problem, meaning you’re always trying to balance,” Nancy Traweek, who directs system operations for California’s electrical grid, told KQED Science Monday. “All of a sudden you have a major cloud that comes over a solar field. That [power] needs to come from somewhere else immediately. When it gets really bad, now we really got to start cutting as much as we possibly can. If that’s not done, then you could have a blackout.”

      Germany gets cold feet on wind…..

      http://dailycaller.com/2016/04/08/germany-to-abandon-1-1-trillion-wind-power-program-by-2019/

      “Germany plans to stop building new wind farms by 2019, gradually turning away from its $1.1 trillion wind power program, according to a Thursday report in Berliner Zeitung.

      The government plans to cap the total amount of wind energy at 40 to 45 percent of national capacity, according to the report. By 2019, this policy would cause a massive reduction of 6,000 megawatts of wind power capacity compared to the end of 2015’s capacity.

      “The domestic market for many [wind turbine] manufacturers collapses completely,” Julia Verlinden, a spokesperson for the German Green Party, told Berliner Zeitung. “With their plan, the federal government is killing the wind companies.” Verlinden goes on to blame the political influence of “old, fossil fuel power plants.”

      50

  • #

    There’s something in all of this that people need to see.

    Note how for coal fired power they give the CF as (around 80%) or so, and for wind power it’s at (around) 33%.

    Take one average large scale coal fired power plant, with a Nameplate of say 2000MW. At that 80% CF, then it is generating (on average) 1600MW.

    In Australia, we have 45 wind plants at a total Nameplate of 4400MW, so around an average of 100MW per wind plant, and with a CF of that 33%, then the total output is only 33MW per plant.

    See the difference here 1600MW versus 33MW per plant.

    When taking the total Nameplate for wind of 4400MW, then at 33% the average Nameplate is only 1450MW.

    So, just this one single coal fired plant is generating more power than ALL of those wind plants totalled together.

    When shown on a chart like this, the percentages look just like that, percentages.

    When totalled over a whole of grid scenario, it’s easy to see that wind can never replace coal fired power.

    You would need to build too many of them, and even then, coal fired power will deliver its power on a full time basis. At least you are dead set certain, that if you are feeding in coal at the front end, then you’ll get 2000MW out the back end.

    With wind, it could be as high as 2500MW, and a few hours later down to 200MW, and no one knows just when that will happen.

    Certainty versus uncertainty.

    Take away the ability for coal fired power to operate at its design capability, and all you have left is ….. uncertainty.

    Tony.

    542

    • #
      toorightmate

      The complete circus is based on CO2 being harmful.
      The CO2 horsesh*t has to stop.
      Surely some people are getting suspicious or “wising up” after 3+ decades of CO2 gloom ands doom.
      The planet has not shown a single skerrick of evidence to demonstrate that CO2 has done any harm. If anything, the opposite applies (better crops, more greening, less weather catastrophes, less lives lost to climate extremes, less droughts, more regular rainfall, etc, etc, etc).

      391

      • #
        el gordo

        I’m with you mate, CO2 is innocent of all charges laid against it, but as you know the science is settled and only a mini ice age will bring an end to this madness.

        150

      • #
        Allen Ford

        The planet has not shown a single skerrick of evidence to demonstrate that CO2 has done any harm.

        The problem is that, despite this demonstrable evidence, the yellers and screamers still shout that the earth is warming rapidly and the seas are also rising to suit. There is a complete disconnect from reality by the whole bunch of pollies and their cheer leaders.

        The climate issue is but one manifestation of the continuing white anting of Western Civilization. The recent disastrous fire in London is another case in point. How did any sane architect or builder construct a fire trap like the Grenfell Tower, with no sprinkler system, no adequate escape routes for inhabitants and inflammable cladding? More importantly, what about the authorities who are supposed to oversee building standards?

        Our future is none too rosy!

        130

    • #
      Matty

      ” Take away the ability for coal fired power to operate at its design capability, and all you have left is ….. uncertainty. ”
      There’s always the unexpected. Like maybe a Trump style revolt against the political establishment . We live in hope.

      200

      • #
        Egor the One

        You cannot challenge the faith of the gloBull warming Jihads .
        They don’t care about facts and proof, just their righteous crusade as they beat their little chests at their local cafe latte shops in vain attempts to out virtue each other …..leftism = a mental illness !

        191

      • #
        sophocles

        Matty:

        you live in a democracy (supposedly), so do something about it.
        The power is in your hands.

        20

      • #
        clive

        I have heard rumors that when the”Lying,Do nothing,Career politicians”had their last anti gun hand-in,that there was a lot of guns”Oiled”up and buried in PVC pipes.We may find out in the not too distant future,if the rumors are right or not.It wouldn’t be a good idea to be a”Greeny,a Leftard,or a politician”me thinks.

        10

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Yairs. I have always said that a politician who talks in percentages is probably lying, and a politician who always talks in percentages is always lying.

      130

      • #

        A politician who simply opens his mouth is always lying!

        60

      • #
        Allen Ford

        Not only pollies. I had an argument with my cardiologist a few years back when he wanted to prescribe a statin drug to control my cholesterol. He claimed that thousands of clinical trials demonstrated that they reduced the mortality from heart attacks by 40%. When I looked at the evidence, the real situation was quite different. The reduction of mortality, in real numbers, was from 2 deaths per 100, for the control group to 1 for the test group. Sure, if you express the change in percentage terms it is a 50% reduction, but the reality is that you need to medicate 100 patients with a statin to gain a mortality reduction of 1 whole patient. Big deal! This means that 99 patients gain no benefit, at great cost and risk of unwanted side effects.

        I am still alive and kicking nearly 7 years later!

        It is no wonder that Dr Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, made the following claim:

        “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

        Percentages, in isolation from raw numbers, can be very misleading.

        120

        • #
          Peter C

          Alan,

          I am glad that you are still alive and kicking.

          I made a similar decisciIon not to take statins. The absolute benefit is apparently small. I do not like the supposed side effects.

          Also a quick check out by heart attack seems like the least worst way to go.

          70

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Same goes for the great “cholesterol is bad” myth…..

          The infamous Framingham Study had very cherry picked data ( IPCC all over again? ).
          When you look at the original study data set, there is no clear correlation between heart disease and fat intake.

          Interstingly, saturated fat comes mostly from animals. In the NWO there will be a serious push to control energy, water and food consumption – the NWO plan is to have every one on a vegetarian diet to protect their precious ( mythical ) “Gaia”…..

          80

        • #
          Annie

          Allen, I refused to continue with statins after trying two different ones (albeit unwillingly). I found I was becoming depressed each time and decided I’d rather live a more cheerful life, even if it is shortened!

          Is it the case that ‘good’ cholesterol supports serotonin production, thereby affecting mood?

          I certainly have friends and family who have been adversely affected by the wretched things.

          Peter, I’ve often thought that a massive quick heart attack or stroke a better way to leave this world than a lingering illness. The main worry with a stroke is if it doesn’t complete the job straightaway! That is unfunny.

          30

        • #
    • #
      ColA

      Tony, Climate Etc. did and great breakdown of EIA and LCOE estimates to show that they were very biased, i.e. just one instance; LCOE are calculated on a set 30 year plant life, but wind plants don’t last much more that 20 (as yet unsolvable main bearing failure) and coal and gas often go well over 40 years. True costs of wind
      You will also notice that the above comparison does not include the associated costs of the unreliables battery or backup supply that Funkel said should be included with new unreliable plants.
      My friend Alan has had some fun throwing numbers at first how much backup the plants should have (think about dear little Cyclone Debbie that would have virtually stopped all wind and PV on most of the QLD East coast for a week!) and then adds the loss factors to convert to and from the backup and then tries to estimate the time it takes after the event to recharge the backup systems giving reduced power output to the grid.
      So after a Debbie event you would have most of the QLD East cost on low grid capacity and no backup!! BRILLIANT!!

      The concept or any understanding of the concept of “SPINNING RESERVE” or the necessary levels of reserve capacity to secure the grid appears to be totally lost on 1/2 the Coalition, double speak for Labor and witchcraft for the green loonies!!

      70

      • #
        Bob Peel

        … (think about dear little Cyclone Debbie … So after a Debbie event you would have most of the QLD East cost on low grid capacity and no backup!! BRILLIANT!!

        Debbie; cyclones; they are isolated events.

        Think instead of the regular, predictable, winter-blocking-highs, stalled over South Australia for weeks on end, as we just had at the beginning of June. I monitored Wind for days and it hovered from near-zero to about 1%.
        At dinner time last night (15 June), a frigid night, heaters, mums home cooking, lights, …
        Generation was 27,300MW of which Wind was 118MW.

        SA Wind 1MW. A Joke!

        100

      • #
        yarpos

        Interesting article by John Hewson in Fairfax today, he talks about dispatchable power with it in quotes as if its just some silly slogan and a side issue from the important business of virtue signalling.

        41

    • #
      Steve Honeyman

      I had seen live power readouts that showed from 1st to mid March this year that Hazelwood, running at 60% capacity was producing more power over a 24 hour period than ALL the windfarms in Australia combined. And that station was providing 22% of the total power for Victoria at the time.

      80

    • #
    • #
      Bobl

      What do you mean hours! Wind can change in minutes as warm/cold fronts pass.

      20

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    First Law of Systems: The purpose of a system IS what it does.

    Corollary: The purpose of the current political system is to destroy the ability of the body politics’s ability to exist and thrive.

    The above is true without regard to either the politicians’ stated intent or the body politics’ stated desires. Any given cause or set of causes, once made active, achieves its particular set of effects no matter what the intent of the agent who caused them to be activated. If the agent had wanted a different set of effects, he should have chosen a different set of causes. That given agent repeatedly does not choose differently, shows he really wanted the effects achieve no matter how much he protests otherwise. The agent here is either the politicians or the body politic or both acting in concert.

    The bottom line is that when you choose to activate a cause, choose wisely. Once done, the effect will be whatever it is without respect to what you wanted it to be. That the choice was a collective (aka democratic) one does not change the outcome.

    Sadly, the one thing we learn from history is that most of us refuse to learn from history. We keep choosing the same path and getting the same result while wishing for a different result. It is intellectual madness if not psychological madness.

    171

  • #

    Large scale coal fired power is there to supply an absolute requirement of power, the amount of power that is required for the full 24 hours of every day.

    That minimum is the base and it falls to that amount and then rises from that amount.

    That minimum is the Base.

    What is supplied is the Load.

    It’s two words the Base ….. Load.

    All too often it is used as and adjective to describe the type of power plant that supplies that load, hence we get baseload plants.

    Until people realise it is not an adjective, but that physical and absolute requirement for a dedicated amount of electrical power, then they will keep calling it a ….. myth, and referring to it only as that much maligned adjective.

    It’s no myth.

    It’s actual.

    Here in Australia, it’s 18,000MW.

    I know I harp on about it, but it’s scary when you think that people who should actually know these things have no concept of it, and think its an easy thing to just shut down the plants that provide that total power.

    I get the distinct impression that no one knows about it at all.

    It’s the same everywhere, for a town, a city, a State Capital, a region, a State and a Country. It’s 60 to 65% of every watt of power that is consumed.

    THAT is what coal fired power supplies. Renewables CANNOT supply on that scale, bioh in MW and in time, 24 hours of every day.

    Tony.

    421

    • #
      Pauly

      TonyfromOz,
      While most attention about capacity factors of renewables focuses on meeting baseload conditions, and some attention is paid to adjusting capacity to meet demand, there appears to be little discussion about how a renewables based grid manages over-generation, when you have all the renewables madly pumping out four to ten times the power that no one needs.

      I’ve seen some discussion of the European consequence, where national grids are so furiously trying to offload excess renewable power to neighbouring countries, that in turn also have instantaneous excess power being generated, resulting in the farcical economic situation of negative electricity prices. In other words, the power companies are forced to pay other countries to get rid of excess power.

      Of course, what that means economically is that consumers end up paying not only for the excess infrastructure capacity, but also paying for the excess power generated. That issue could be a topic for a separate economics discussion – about incentives and behaviours of renewable power companies to make profits when the sun is shining, or the wind is blowing – and how can this possibly lead to lower costs to consumers?

      But my concern, which perhaps you may be ably to address, is: what happens to an electricity grid when fluctuations of electricity power, significantly in excess of demand, hit the grid? What mechanisms are currently in place to moderate generation capacity to meet demand, and are those mechanisms able to cope with peaky and distributed producers like wind and solar?

      140

    • #
      ColA

      Tony, and the concept of spinning reserve as I have mentioned to you above, above!

      20

  • #
    pat

    Bloomberg report destroys coal altogether…and the CAGW mob will lap this up, publicise it, and mock anyone who doesn’t believe the good billionaire’s “experts”:

    15 Jun: Bloomberg: Solar Power Will Kill Coal Sooner Than You Think
    Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s outlook shows renewables will be cheaper almost everywhere in just a few years.
    by Jess Shankleman and Hayley Warren
    Solar power, once so costly it only made economic sense in spaceships, is becoming cheap enough that it will push coal and even natural-gas plants out of business faster than previously forecast.

    That’s the conclusion of a Bloomberg New Energy Finance outlook for how fuel and electricity markets will evolve by 2040. The research group estimated solar already rivals the cost of new coal power plants in Germany and the U.S. and by 2021 will do so in quick-growing markets such as China and India…

    It would mean that global carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuels may decline after 2026, a contrast with the International Energy Agency’s central forecast, which sees emissions rising steadily for decades to come.
    “Costs of new energy technologies are falling in a way that it’s more a matter of when than if,” said Seb Henbest, a researcher at BNEF in London and lead author of the report.

    The report also found that through 2040:
    •China and India represent the biggest markets for new power generation, drawing $4 trillion, or about 39 percent all investment in the industry.
    •The cost of offshore wind farms, until recently the most expensive mainstream renewable technology, will slide 71 percent, making turbines based at sea another competitive form of generation.
    •At least $239 billion will be invested in lithium-ion batteries, making energy storage devices a practical way to keep homes and power grids supplied efficiently and spreading the use of electric cars.
    •Natural gas will reap $804 billion, bringing 16 percent more generation capacity and making the fuel central to balancing a grid that’s increasingly dependent on power flowing from intermittent sources, like wind and solar.

    BNEF’s conclusions about renewables and their impact on fossil fuels are most dramatic. Electricity from photovoltaic panels costs almost a quarter of what it did in 2009 and is likely to fall another 66 percent by 2040. Onshore wind, which has dropped 30 percent in price in the past eight years, will fall another 47 percent by the end of BNEF’s forecast horizon.

    That means even in places like China and India, which are rapidly installing coal plants, solar will start providing cheaper electricity as soon as the early 2020s.
    “These tipping points are all happening earlier and we just can’t deny that this technology is getting cheaper than we previously thought,” said Henbest.

    Coal will be the biggest victim, with 369 gigawatts of projects standing to be cancelled, according to BNEF. That’s about the entire generation capacity of Germany and Brazil combined.
    Capacity of coal will plunge even in the U.S., where President Donald Trump is seeking to stimulate fossil fuels…

    All told, the growth of zero-emission energy technologies means the industry will tackle pollution faster than generally accepted.
    ***While that will slow the pace of global warming, another $5.3 trillion of investment would be needed to bring enough generation capacity to keep temperature increases by the end of the century to a manageable 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the report said…

    By 2040, wind and solar will make up almost half of the world’s installed generation capacity, up from just 12 percent now, and account for 34 percent of all the power generated, compared with 5 percent at the moment, BNEF concluded.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-15/solar-power-will-kill-coal-sooner-than-you-think

    50

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      “faster than previously forecast”. Now where did I hear that before? Fact or fiction?

      BTW, for interest. Forbes reports Michael Bloomberg’s wealth as $51.2 billion. Donald Trump, $3.5 billion. But Trump has more confidence in his hardware than Bloomberg’s software.

      140

  • #
    pat

    I shouldn’t mock the MANMADE GLOBAL WARMING MOB. after all, they just want to bring the temperature down:

    15 Jun: LosAngelesDailyNews: Snowbound California roads still getting a major plow job
    By Rich Pedroncelli and Brian Melley, The Associated Press
    YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK >> There may be no more potent reminder of California’s humongous snowfall than the plows still clearing roads that snake across the state’s highest mountains as summer approaches.

    Crews have been digging, blowing and blasting for months — and the work is not finished…
    “We’re almost at the middle of June and we still have lots of passes that aren’t open,” said Florene Trainor, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation…

    The only road through Yosemite, Highway 120, remained closed this week as crews dig out from snows that topped 20 feet and drifted well over 50 feet.
    On a recent day, the park’s entrance station at 9,945-foot high Tioga Pass was buried in snow.

    But the serenity of the Sierra Nevada, with birds chirping beneath snow-crested peaks that tower above 12,000 feet, was shaken by the roar and beep of plows, excavators and massive machines carving through 15-foot snowbanks and moving giant blocks of snow. Big snow blowers sent plumes arcing through the air and off the side of the road…

    “It’s spooky, it’s nerve-wracking … especially when you can’t see the road. You’re on a big sled,” said Clint Weier, a maintenance superintendent with Caltrans. “Some of our operators up here have had some wow factors.”

    Avalanches stampede down granite walls, taking trees and rocks with them that choke roads…
    The park’s official map notes that the eastern entrance atop the state’s highest automobile pass is typically closed through May, but it usually opens later after a snowy winter, Gediman said Tuesday. There’s no date yet to open the road through the park…
    http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20170615/snowbound-california-roads-still-getting-a-major-plow-job

    14 Jun: EastValleyTimes: California cherry farmers expect “the best crop in recent years”
    Spring weather affects blueberry harvest
    The cool, rainy spring complicated the California blueberry harvest. Farmers say spring weather delayed harvest by up to 10 days, causing California blueberries to be short on the market at a time of high demand…

    Cherry harvest increases
    Volumes of California-grown cherries on the market have shown a sharp increase this year, according to a government estimate. The report says California cherry farmers expected “the best crop in recent years” after several seasons of drought and low yields. The estimate pegged the California crop at 99,000 tons, up 65 percent from last year. Washington leads the nation in cherry production, and also expects a larger crop…
    http://eastvalleytimes.com/food-farm-news-california-cherry-farmers-expect-best-crop-recent-years/

    no doubt 2017 will be declared the HOTTEST YEAR EVAH; Gov Jerry Brown’s CAGW policies being responsible for the cooling in California, etc.

    71

  • #

    Wind, solar, hydro, batteries and biomass are antique technologies, mutton dressed as lamb. But the zillions being poured into them will account for the world’s energy innovation budget for decades to come.

    The problem with futurologists, public intellectuals and Living National Treasures is that they are paid to pronounce (easy) not to think (hard). So you end up with these energy solutions that are diffuse, intermittent, expensive and generally clunky. It’s like Encarta CDs and computers in classrooms – except those things were at least fresh for a few minutes.

    We’re not just warring against coal. We’re warring against the new by blowing its budget and credibility on a lot of old iron. Renewables might look zoom-zoom, but they go clank-clank.

    And clank.

    150

  • #
    Rud Istvan

    The EIA LCOE analysis is badly off. We dissected it in detail in guest post ‘True Cost of Wind’ at Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.

    150

    • #

      Thanks Rud, I see The True Cost of wind.

      Can anyone sum up what is a very long in depth article? Others would like to know…

      121

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        Jo, on my mac that link didn’t work. I found the article by searching EIA LCOE at Judith Curry’s site. Copying the address here gave the same result you got. I deleted the http// to get what showed here, see if it works.

        judithcurry.com/2015/05/12/true-costs-of-wind-electricity/
        Note that that article is two years old. Here is an early extract which is still very relevant, and needs keeping in mind:

        “The main US federal incentive is the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC), created by the Energy Policy Act of 1992. It is now $21.50/MWh for the first ten years of generation. It was intended to jumpstart the industry, so has expired via sunset provisions several times over the past 23 years. Each time, US wind investment promptly collapsed. Each time, Congress promptly renewed PTC at the same or higher incentive rates. Why? At Berkshire Hathaway’s (BH) 2014 annual meeting (BH’s Iowa based electric utility MidAmerican Energy has $5.6 billion invested in wind generation) Warren Buffet said:

        “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate. For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

        130

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          It didn’t work.

          40

        • #
        • #

          From Planning Engineer Rud Istvan article – they don’t
          make sense without the Tax credit.

          https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/images-for-wind2.jpg

          60

        • #

          From the Istvan post, capacity factors and lifetime all
          underestimate the ‘true’ cost of wind.

          ‘Studies of UK and Denmark wind farms suggest their actual
          economic lives appear to be 12-15 years due to wear and
          tear.[4] One of the unanticipated problems that arose
          with larger turbines is premature cracking failure of
          the main axial bearing(s). These failures arise from two
          very difficult engineering conditions. First is uneven
          loading. Wind speeds increase with altitude so the three
          blades, which span great distances, are never evenly loaded.
          The bearing(s) wobble under the tremendous forces generated.
          Second, braking when wind speed exceeds 25mph suddenly
          loads reverse torque on the axial side where previously
          unloaded (and wobbling) individual bearings are in natural
          misalignment to their trace. If things go ‘well’, cracking
          can be caught before catastrophic failure. It is expensive
          to repair. The blades must be detached so the turbine can be
          dismounted and sent back to the factory.’

          There’s a follow up image shows a 3MW unit with damage.

          Images for wind6

          90

          • #
            sophocles

            Premature bearing failure has been a long and consistent problem with the wind turbine gear boxes.
            Gear boxes would last three to five years before failing. So much for the 25 year `design’ lifetime.

            I was reading about this eight years ago, and it had been a problem for some years before then. Research into the problem was on-going but no cures had been found. It’s interesting to note it’s still a problem, even if causes are better known.

            Costs to repair started at about $100,000. (I assume USD). That was just for a replacement gearbox.
            Getting it into the turbine and returning the unit to service was extra. How much extra I couldn’t determine. That was in 2008 dollars, nearly twice as valuable as today’s dollars.

            Assuming that sort of maintenance is required over a `farm’ full of turbines for twenty to twenty-five years, means that wind generation is even more expensive than just initial acquisition, construction and setup costs.

            10

  • #
    Ted O'Brien.

    David Crowe in The Oz @ 12:00 am.

    “A confidential briefing on the energy scheme proposed by chief scientist Alan Finkel has revealed that the claim of a $90 saving on annual bills does not include the cost of a key new policy to make renewable energy more reliable.”

    Is that the only rs in the report? If as reported surely that is enough to smash the whole job in the public view.

    130

  • #
    Egor the One

    What does anybody expect from ‘the Foinkel Fiasco’ ?

    He was appointed by TurnBull, because he is one of his gloBull warmer buddies, and as such has just repolished the same Turd and tried to deceptively represent it as Gold .

    The Foinkel needs sacking along with his boss , Turnbull and half his crony front bench !

    161

  • #
    Ruairi

    Renewables cannot replace,
    Clean coal, in supplying the base,
    Of electrical load,
    As a competent mode,
    To power the whole human race.

    220

  • #
    Svend Ferdinandsen

    It is possible to solve the problem. Any wind turbine that want access to deliver must guarantee some minimum power under all circumstances. They can do it by contracts with baseload power stations or they could put in gas turbines, i don’t care, but just wants electricity available all the time.
    Do not use Denmark as an example. We have Norway and Sweden to compensate, and are anyway small relative to those two countries.
    http://www.svk.se/drift-av-stamnatet/kontrollrummet/
    Earlier to day we produced 1000MW mostly by burning something, and imported 3000MW.
    Look at Norway, 95 to 99% of their electricity is hydro. But if they installed 30% wind power, the hydro stations would still cost the same to maintain, and they had to bypass some of the water and would anyway need to stand by.

    140

  • #
    Doug Proctor

    I’m sure the justification is that an interconnected transmission system can reroute power throughout the country and share costs – in a nationalized industry. There is no local economics or baseload problem in this scenario.

    13

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      I think the justification is that “the wind is always blowing somewhere” or that “wind works at night and solar during the day”. Both propositions have been proven incorrect for SE Australia. Perhaps if we put a cable down to a wind farm on Macquarie Island ? No good, the transmission losses, let alone the construction cost, would rule it out.
      Still, it would be the most reliable place for wind in Australia – I KNOW send MT and the Greens down there to live. They could call their settlement Finkeltown.

      140

      • #

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

        I think the justification is that “the wind is always blowing somewhere

        Go and look at this map of wind power in Australia, and it’s the top image at this link. This is right now, at 9.50AM Friday 16th June.

        Be aware that the green colour indicates ZERO percent generation. At the moment, it’s all green for every wind plant shown.

        When you look at the second image below that one, click on the tab MW at the top right of the image and you’ll see that the current total power generation from every wind plant is 200MW out of a total Nameplate of 4400MW, so it’s running at a Capacity Factor of 4.5%, and is currently supplying 0.83% of Australia’s power requirement, so less than ONE PERCENT.

        So, with around 2,500 individual wind towers, probably only 100 of them actually are turning over.

        Tony.

        141

        • #
          StefanL

          Correction to Tony’s post: The Green colour means between 0 and 30%.
          So, not ZERO everywhere today.

          However, there have been days when there has been negligible wind anywhere in SE Australia.

          (I have twice emailed the custodian of that website to reverse the colours to correspond to people’s intuition, but without result).

          60

        • #
          ivan

          Tony, I think you will find that well over 50% of them are turning but most of those that are are being driven by electricity from the grid.

          If they weren’t driven round on a regular basis their bearings and main shaft would be messed up and that is a very expensive repair.

          The thing is we are never told just how much power is pulled from the grid just to keep these power plants in commission. From some figures that have been released it is higher than expected.

          20

      • #
        Angry

        The only thing always blowing somewhere are the “greens smelly farts” !

        21

  • #
    HAS

    Just a note from over the ditch.

    The need to look at local system’s characteristics is fundamental. Here we have good levels of hydro storage and that can help manage one of the best wind resources around. We also have good geothermal that is the lowest marginal cost base load generation.

    However advocates of PV fail to take into account two thing about NZ. We aren’t called the land of the long white cloud “Aotearoa” for nothing, and being in subtropical climates our peak electricity loads aren’t day time (when the sun shines), its morning and evening residential loads. PV can’t deliver the performance it gets in other countries and must have storage to service the high value loads (and it turns out if you buy the storage you’re better off without the PV).

    110

  • #
    manalive

    The coal not burned in Australian power-generating plants is and will be burned elsewhere.

    160

    • #
      GD

      How can our politicians not consider this? Do they have a death wish for Australia?

      120

      • #
      • #
        manalive

        Who knows, I’ve lost interest in order to retain what’s left of my sanity.
        In the Climate Change™world “Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” (Lewis Carroll).

        120

      • #
        Angry

        They are TRAITORS to our nation.
        Therefore the amswer is YES.

        30

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          I’m hopeful that the Nationals will pull Turnbull into line on this nonsense.

          And hopefully, the new conservative forces will continue to gain strength as it becomes clear, even to the dullest, that Turnbull, the greens and Labor are delusional traitors to the Australian people.

          00

  • #
    pat

    Ted O’Brien hinted at the following in comment #13. it’s a must-read. Finkel review was all smoke and mirrors – no surprise there. comments are virtually all scathing and some include more accurate (worse) figures for some of the claims made in the article. also, not surprised the Bloomberg Fantasy Report gets a mention:

    16 Jun: Australian: David Crowe: New electricity reform details cut off promised $90 saving
    Households will not receive a promised $90 annual saving from a clean energy target, as new details about the sweeping energy reforms put to Malcolm Turnbull undercut assumptions behind forecasts of electricity price falls.
    In a double blow for consumers, soaring wholesale prices are forecast to push up household gas and electricity bills by double-digit amounts next month, with retailers warning of steep price rises amid the debate on energy reform…

    A confidential briefing on the energy scheme proposed by chief scientist Alan Finkel has revealed that the claim of a $90 saving on annual bills does not include the cost of a key new policy to make renewable energy more reliable…

    ***Cabinet ministers are also anxious about the household impact, given growing scepticism about the modelling, which was done by the same firm that made optimistic forecasts about wholesale prices in a renewable energy analysis three years ago…

    A new issue concerning ministers and backbenchers is uncertainty about the cost of financial rewards for energy generators using certificates that are funded by retailers, who would pass the cost on to consumers. The Finkel report puts no figure on the annual cost of the certificates but the briefings on the modelling suggest it would be $78 million in the first year, rising to $1bn a year in the decades ahead…

    ***The modelling by economics firm Jacobs found the clean energy target would result in residential retail prices on average 7 to 10 per cent lower if there were no change to current policies. An ***informal government analysis suggested electricity prices would be $90 lower per year under the clean energy target than they would be without reform…

    ***Dr Finkel’s briefing yesterday confirmed these calculations did not include the cost of his recommendation for a “reliability obligation” on new wind and solar projects to have to invest in batteries, hydro or other generators to ensure back-up power.

    ***The Minerals Council of Australia estimates the added cost of battery storage could push the cost of wind power from $92 per megawatt hour to anywhere between $304 and $727 per megawatt hour…

    Wind, solar and other renewable power is expected to account for 76 per cent of the $88bn to be invested in power generation to 2040, according to a research paper from Bloomberg New Energy Finance issued yesterday.
    “This year’s report shows that renewables and storage are set to transform Australia’s energy supply faster and at a lower cost than the Finkel review anticipates,” said analyst Kobad Bhavnagri.
    The firm’s key finding is that coal is “yesterday’s technology” because the cost of wind and solar is falling so quickly, making it harder for investors to justify a new coal-power station…

    Conservative Coalition MPs do not accept this and reject key parts of the Finkel report that suggest the cost of capital for a coal power station is as high as 14.9 per cent under current policies, making it half as attractive as an investment in a renewable power project.

    The objections from Coalition MPs put them at odds with industry associations, the National Farmers Federation and energy groups calling for a consensus in parliament on the Finkel recommendations. Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief James Pearson said: “We need politicians of all sides to set aside ideological baggage and reach an agreement that provides certainty for the future.”…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/new-electricity-reform-details-cut-off-promised-90-saving/news-story/5991f423ba3f0549edffbf37bbed3652

    40

  • #
    Another Ian

    Jo

    For bringing information to the attention of politicians on this power deal. I remember that Tony from Oz and I think David M did detailed submissions to various enquiries.

    Any chance of getting things like that together here so they can be forwarded to individual politicians?

    No guarantee that they’d be read of course

    60

    • #
    • #

      My submission to the Queensland Government Renewable Energy Expert Panel (50% Renewables by 2030) is at this link, and when the site opens, on the right side of the page you’ll see highlighted in green, the heading Issues Paper Submissions, and in that box, just click on my name, Anton Lang. (and it’s a pdf document of 15 pages)

      If you take the time to read it, then you’ll be one up on the actual Panel themselves, because they did NOT read it.

      After all the Submissions were put in, and the Preliminary Report published, they had a round of public meetings as members of the panel toured Queensland cities.

      At the Rockhampton meeting, I asked one of the two Panel members present at that meeting if they read my submission, and his reply was:

      Oh no, we don’t read the Submissions. Our staff will do that and bring anything important to our attention.

      I guess mine was considered as, well, you know, not really important.

      Tony.

      161

      • #
        toorightmate

        Tony,
        A large majority of people who follow Jo’s blog can understand your submission.
        A very large majority of government and bureaucratic types can not understand your submission.
        That is yet another part (and not a small part) of a problem which has evolved into a disaster.
        I can only think of one organisation which could possibly make Australia’s problem worse. The UN.

        90

      • #
        sophocles

        Oops.
        Mistake: you used “impossible” on the first page!

        “Hmph. Not what we want to hear, that’s it: File Thirteen for that one.”

        You also say, in your conclusions, “… this is a plan which cannot be achieved,…
        Oh, Tony, you have challenged the civil service mind. :-)

        I can just see two of them:

        CS 1: “Right, we require all buildings to have windows which can be opened from the inside on every floor.
        That’ll fix some of that baseload thing.”
        CS 2: “All traffic lights could use LEDs, couldn’t they?”
        CS 1: “Good idea, there goes some more of the baseload. Make a note of that. Same with street lights …”
        CS 2: “We could make all houses and other buildings change to LED lighting, too.”
        CS 1: “You’re right. More of that baseload gone. Run up the figures will you, while I find out who has
        the concessions for LED bulbs. Time to buy some shares …”
        CS 2: “Ummm. What about the wind?”
        CS 1: “What about it?”
        CS 2: (points to wind map of Australia) “There’s a lot of it in the south western and south of West
        Australia … do they use any of that?”
        CS 1: “Why? What are you thinking of?”
        CS 2: “Well, if they aren’t using it, we could build the wind plants down there and run a transmission
        line up from there past Uluru to here. See, it’s not far on the map.”

        Yep. Cheaper power. Just needs some imaginative Civil Servants and bottomless public pockets. :-)

        Away from the lighter side, that’s a good submission, Tony. It’s something even a pollie could
        understand, if they ever get to read it.

        00

    • #
      Another Ian

      Tony and Dave

      Thanks.

      Timely as I just got a “how great we are” from our local member

      40

  • #
    pat

    send this woman back to NYC:

    16 Jun: Australian: Matt Chambers: Alan Finkel report spot on: AEMO chief Audrey Zibelman
    New Australian Energy Market Operator chief Audrey Zibelman says the Finkel blueprint for national electricity security is “spot on”, providing strong reliability measures as the costs of wind, solar and storage continue to fall rapidly.
    In her first public comments on Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s review of National Electricity Security, Ms Zibelman said the nation was at an inflection point in a “massive transition” in terms of energy. “The Finkel review, which identifies a number of changes that can and should be made on how we operate the system, is spot on,” she said yesterday…
    “As we look at renewables, we need to make sure we have batteries and other resources on the supply and demand side to maintain security,” Ms Zibelman said…

    Referring to Dr Finkel’s recommendation that big power stations needed to give three years’ notice of closure plans (after Hazelwood’s quick shutdown this year), Ms Zibelman said there was a need for planning and a ­retention policy to make the grid resilient…
    “The cost of solar and wind continue to decline, the cost of storage continues to decline, and customer preferences in terms of solar going onto rooftops are being revealed in a way that was never done previously,” Ms Zibelman said. “It’s important for stability, for everyone to understand what the policy is, but I also think it’s important to understand the economics is changing.”…

    She says that while the nation has a high reliance on coal-fired power, it is a world leader in the transition to renewable energy.
    “We are not terribly different to the rest of the world in the dynamics, but I believe we are ahead of the world,” Ms Zibelman said.
    “What we are seeing in Australia is a rapid increase in solar resources, both behind the meter and grid scale, as well as wind resources, and we are able to, because we have the land and sun and wind resources, to take advantages of these changes in technology.”…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/alan-finkel-report-spot-on-aemo-chief-audrey-zibelman/news-story/4cf5e765df33ca2d07c45d4023f5170a

    read all:

    15 Jun: Australian: Robert Gottslieben: Renewable energy needs investment in back-up, but who will pay?
    Beware of rushing to install roof solar panels to avoid the higher power charges that stem from the Finkel report.
    The power planners in eastern states are already one step ahead and are looking to cover the cost of the massive renewables back-up investment required by Finkel by increasing service charges rather than putting the whole amount on the voltage of power used.

    Unless the distribution of costs is changed, the bill for those who can’t afford solar panels/batteries or who live in apartments would explode because they would be required meet all the burden of back-up plants…
    And, as I pointed out yesterday, they also have to explain and distribute the inevitable big rise in electricity prices that must follow from erecting back-up plants as the real cost of renewable energy comes to the surface…

    Australia is moving from a low-cost to a high-cost energy nation at a time when India and China are still erecting large numbers of coal burning power plants.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/robert-gottliebsen/renewable-energy-needs-investment-in-backup-but-who-will-pay/news-story/d3ab6b9e228e7e090a53e9b197dfa13c

    60

    • #
      beowulf

      Prior to becoming the boss of AEMO Frau Zibelman had a background as an activist lawyer in the Attorney General’s Office of Minnesota. I’m guessing that would make her a world authority on power grid management … or maybe not.

      Who appoints these people?

      80

  • #
    Neville

    Just checking OZ co2 emissions since 1990, 0.58 bn tonnes pa and comparing it to the latest year available in 2015, 0.54bn Ts pa. That’s a drop of 0.04 bn Ts pa over that period of 25 years.

    The OZ population was 17.1 M in 1990 and 23.8 M in 2015 or an increase of about 39% over that quarter of a century. But amazingly our co2 emissions are now 0.04 bn Ts pa lower today. Why then should the OZ taxpayer be funding other countries to increase their co2 emissions for decades into the future?

    See graph and bottom of the page for data at Govt link.

    http://ageis.climatechange.gov.au/Chart_KP.aspx?OD_ID=69116354463&TypeID=2

    40

  • #
  • #
    Robber

    “This is because the Blueprint analysis uses the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE). LCOE is the net present value of the unit-cost of electricity over the lifetime of a generating plant using a particular technology. It is often taken as a proxy for the average price that the plant must receive in a market to break even over its lifetime”.

    This is a critical point. The LCOE for wind/solar must include the cost of backup so that 24/7 supply is guaranteed. Without that, it is not a levelised cost.

    SA is starting to realise the problem. With a nameplate wind capacity of 1700 MW it can occasionally meet the overnight demand of 1200 MW, and go a long way to supplying the peak 6pm demand of 2000 MW. But with a capacity factor of 30%, wind supplies on average 500 MW. However right now at 7.30 am in SA wind is supplying just 30 MW. Having shut down base load coal stations because they became uneconomic at low utilisation, SA must now rely on high priced gas (Pelican Point has restarted and is delivering 470 MW and many smaller gas turbines are running) plus imports from Vic to meet demand. Result is that SA has the highest wholesale electricity prices of all states, currently averaging about 12 cents/KWhr.

    So while you might calculate that the LCOE of wind is 8 cents/KWhr, you need to factor in the costs of backup supplies when the wind doesn’t blow. I think this is one thing that Dr Finkel got right, but then to ease the political reality he quoted savings of $90 per household that The Australian today is now reporting was false.

    100

    • #
      Geoff

      Its not the capacity problem that reeks havoc with the grid. Its the problem of probability of capacity. Simply the coal fired plants are on all the time and getting reduced revenue for more of that on time. So they must charge more. Eventually they will be more expensive than wind turbines.

      The market is assumed to be unlimited, ie users must have electricity from the grid. Wrong. As the price rises, users require less electricity.

      Intermittent renewables can ONLY make ANY grid uneconomic. Once economic collapse sets in it is NOT recoverable.

      70

  • #

    President Obama Mis-Directed Billions of Tax Dollars Away from Real Energy Solutions

    Those numbers don’t include the opportunity costs of killing job producing projects like the Keystone Pipeline and supporting job-killing EPA regulations intended to kill the coal industry. They don’t include the real cost of every American having to pay higher priced for their energy.
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/president-obama-mis-directed-billions-of-tax-dollars-away-from-real-energy-solutions/

    60

  • #
  • #
    Mark M

    Rudd: $1 a year to save the planet:

    “That is that they calculate that between now and about 2045 that you’d be looking at a total impact … in the vicinity of $45 per person over that period of time or something like $1 per person per year.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s2076131.htm
    . . .
    Truffles Turnbull crossed the floor to support this.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/turnbull-crosses-floor-to-vote-with-labor-20100211-nts2.html

    80

  • #
    David Maddison

    Fink’s recommendations require that new unreliable power production has it’s own backup, presumably batteries as there are not enough available sites for pumped hydro (the cheapest form of storage) and “hydraulic rock storage” is untested and unproven (where you excavate a huge rock cylinder from the ground creating a hydraulic cylinder).

    I would think new unreliables with batteries will be at least double the price, probably a whole lot more.

    This will make windmills even more expensive so how is that to be paid for and how does that affect the pricing structure for the existing unreliables with no “clean” backup except wonderful coal?

    81

  • #
    TdeF

    Am I the only one who did not understand Tom’s table and words? Sorry, but I found it incomprehensible despite attempting to read it a few times.

    As usual Tony has picked out the Capacity Factor as his usual nameplate point but dispatchables are what exactly?
    Why does nothing add up to anything? 2022 and 2012? Why?
    How is the table a good example of the difficulty of levelised cost comparisons? How?
    Possibly it comes from trying to say too much where the assumptions are buried in a lot of the language of the business of energy production.

    Sure, you cannot make one type of energy 9c kw/hr cheaper and so force retailers to prefer it at random times as when the wind blows, but not too much, without undermining the entire economic basis of supplying base load power. You cannot increase the price of coal 300% without reason without
    forcing power plants to close.

    Then if you force Hazelwood, the biggest, cheapest supplier to close through government regulation, the market is utterly fake.
    If Hazelwood is selling plentiful power at 4c kw/hr but people are paying 40c kw/hr, the market is fake.
    If windtowers are selling power at 9c kw/hr but the cheaper supplier is forced to close, the market is fake.
    If 90% of what you pay for electricity is going to middlemen, the market is fake.
    Even 1000% carbon taxation would be better than this because at least the money might stay in the country.

    Now we do not even own the windmills.

    So much for free power. Even then it is ridiculously expensive, intermittent and unreliable.

    Only when the wind blows.

    110

  • #
    gbees

    I just received information regarding power price increases from Energy Australia effective 3 July 2017. Overall c/KWHr increases since 30 June 2016 amount to ~28%. With big increases in off-peak 36%, hot water 38% and so on. If this doesn’t sink the Liberal party I don’t know what will.

    110

  • #
    BoyfromTottenham

    A critical point missing in this discussion is the fact that wind and solar ‘renewables’ alone cannot ever (as far as I know) replace the base load grid, consisting of a few large existing coal / gas generators, for one simple reason – the 50 Hz (cycles per second to the layman) power that they generate has to be synchronised exactly in frequency and phase to ‘the grid’ BEFORE it can be safely connected. Traditional generators generate power at a stable 50 Hz simply because they consist of a huge, heavy rotating element (the rotor), kept rotating at a speed which corresponds to exactly 50 Hz despite changes in power demand. Wind and solar generators work on a different principle – the direct current that they generate has to be turned into 50 Hz alternating current to allow it to connect to the grid, but this does not involve the heavy rotating element used in traditional generators, so it has no inherent ‘stable’ 50 Hz frequency, and it has no stable power output because it varies with every change in both wind spped and direction, and amount of sunshine.
    Connecting an unsynchronised supply of any sort to a working, stable power network will cause its safety mechanisms to trip. These safety mechanisms protect both power sources from excessive voltage and current flows which would cause instant and huge damage to both sources. I am sure that every power station engineer understands this simple fact, but somehow those arguing for more and more ‘renewables’ in our power grid (even up to 100% according to some state governments!) choose to ignore this irrefutable FACT.
    Now imagine that there are no traditional generators in the grid, just thousands of wind and solar sources. How can stable 50 Hz power be guaranteed across the grid if every one of these thousands of energy sources is by nature constantly varying in output? FACT – it cannot. When will this madness stop?

    90

    • #
      yarpos

      yeah but you are just a “baseloader”, thats so not on trend. We will smoothly transition to fully integrated and sustainable distributed micro grids, power sharing, load management and maybe rainbows and unicorns on the off days. We dont need no steeeenking baseload power!!

      10

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Correct. What those who want the “renewables” never mention is that you cannot have both systems.
      If “renewables” are allowed to have priority on generation then it disrupts all conventional methods – coal, CCGTs and nuclear – making them more costly.
      If “renewables” aren’t allowed to have priority on generation then it destroys their economics, and having stand by backup doesn’t mean that there is much reduction in emissions.

      The only exception is that a conventional method has some flexibility – OCGT (or Peaking Plant), Diesels or hydro – so a low level of renewables can be accommodated.
      The debate then degenerates into fantasy as advocates for “renewables” dream up vast hydro/pumped storage or gadzillions of as yet uninvented batteries as an excuse to get their way. So adding expense onto expense.

      10

    • #
      sophocles

      BoyfromTottenham said:

      A critical point missing in this discussion is the fact that wind and solar ‘renewables’ alone cannot ever (as far as I know) replace the base load grid, consisting of a few large existing coal / gas generators, for one simple reason – the 50 Hz (cycles per second to the layman) power that they generate has to be synchronised exactly in frequency and phase to ‘the grid’ BEFORE it can be safely connected

      That’s not a problem. Power control electronics using piezo-electric crystal frequency generation can maintain very accurate waveform frequency to +/- 10^-6 (millionths) of a Hz and phase-locked loops (the name is itself explanatory) can maintain very precise phase relationships. Drift and synchronisation is a problem having been
      solved many years ago. The earliest solution was with clock signals broadcast by short wave radio! (in the era of vacuum tubes – WWV and WWVH, for those in the know.)

      The Internet has the Network Time Protocol for simple time synchronisation between wide spread and diverse computer systems. Computer internal clocks, for example, because they were originally only used to control the computer’s internal workings, are notoriously prone to drifting. Time synchronisation is important for many applications and for network security (and for legal reasons). NTP can maintain accuracy to milliseconds, which is pretty good for something so simple.

      These sorts of solutions have been available for 50 years. So mass frequency synchronisation and phase locking for widespread power inverters is a trivial electronics problem.

      Given that the turbines output DC, then the power to the grid has to be produced by Inverters (DC-AC converters). Three phase power is the norm. These inverters, while not cheap because of the power involved,
      are readily available as `off the shelf’ units.

      Power fluctuations are difficult. Surge (a sudden power increase) can be regulated (clipping) but drop off or even drop out, can’t be anticipated and can only be covered, or smoothed, by big storage.

      Now, there’s a problem :-) .

      Let’s all play “Guess the Fluctuation” Every time we get it wrong, the grid crashes. Anybody can play …

      00

  • #
    pat

    lol.

    15 Jun: ClimateChangeNews: Karl Mathiesen: US cities and states back Paris deal but ignore climate finance
    Several US states and cities have committed to cut emissions despite president Trump, but only Seattle remembered cash commitments to the developing world
    Affirmations of the Paris goals have come from thousands of centres of power. State capitols, mayors’ offices and boardrooms have aligned to tell Trump “We Are Still In”. Twelve states, plus Puerto Rico, representing a third of US citizens, have joined the United States Climate Alliance, which commits to meet the carbon cuts the US pledged to the Paris accord.

    But those standing by the agreement had, until this week, universally ignored the part of the deal that binds it all together – cash…

    Even California governor Jerry Brown, lauded as the US’ new climate leader, was silent on cash when he responded to Trump’s Paris withdrawal this month.

    On Monday, Seattle city council bucked that trend with official recognition that support for the UN Green Climate Fund (GCF) was part of the US’ responsibilities under the Paris deal…

    “Being in Paris means more than just mitigating your emissions,” says Benito Müller, the convenor of international climate policy research at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute. “We need to make sure it becomes common currency that finance is recognised as part of the Paris Agreement.”

    Climate finance is important for two reasons.
    ***Firstly, it supports emerging economies like China, India and South Africa – responsible for a growing share of global emissions – in shifting to a cleaner development pathway.
    ***If they can be encouraged to meet rampant energy demand from renewables instead of coal, it makes the climate safer for everyone…
    Secondly, it goes to protect the poorest…

    That’s why Seattle’s intervention is so important. While it comes with ***no details about the nature or quantity of “support” it pledges to the GCF, it recognises the aspect of the agreement that brought the developing world on board…

    But the GCF is often criticised for its behindhand start to life. It got $10bn worth of start-up pledges ($8bn after the US U-turn), but so far has only disbursed $5m. It’s not running out of money any time soon…

    The sums this constellation of US governments can raise from their payers of rates and taxes will, in all likelihood, come nowhere near filling the $2bn hole left by Trump. But a new flow of money, however ***symbolic, would speak of solidarity with the rest of the world and more truly reflect the Paris accord.
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/06/15/us-cities-states-back-paris-deal-ignore-climate-finance/

    40

  • #
    TdeF

    Then what is the real cost of electrical power? On top of the $6 billion a year for the RET and for nothing at all that we get to own, you have all the many subsidies as smelters all produce CO2. It is part of the process. Carbon removes oxygen from oxides. Science. So Whyalla, Port Pirie, Portland and so many more are receiving billions in State subsidies just to keep going. Aluminum is solid electricity.

    Hazelwood alone received $500million of State taxes just to stay open. Why? Similarly Alcoa. We do not even know the latest deal struck to stay open with 75% of the pots destroyed in the last blackout. Now the silent subsidy to Hazelwood has stopped, but so has the $90 million in coal payments and the jobs and the PAYE tax. This is madness. We Australians own the coal but our government does not want it mined and does not want to be paid?

    Add the cost of this madness, poles and wires, distribution leftovers from 100 years ago all maintained instead of being removed. Thanks to the Line Clearanace Act after the bushfires, fire resistant palms and elms and plane trees are being stripped around Melbourne at a cost according to Energy Safe Victoria of another $100million a year or being replaced with explosive gum trees which drop branches on power lines. Melbourne’s streets are like a Goya painting or the Scream. How much more sensible would it be to put it all underground, as is happening in Perth or with all new estates.

    So in the transition from public to private power, we have lost sight of the sole purpose, to provide adequate, cheap and very reliable power. It has become a political football, a massive feast for opportunists, contractors, investors and we are paying many billions a year for nothing at all . We have government interference in all markets at every level, thanks to the Greens.

    And the end result? Price and performance mayhem. Massive price increases and a total loss of reliability and adequacy and the closure of whole cities and the stopping of whole industries. This is not progress. Repressives not progressives.

    Can we please have Tony Abbott back? Now? This could and should be cleared up with all diligence. As in Hot Shots, the pit bull is out of the cage, the crips are raiding the liquor store. We are in deep trouble while our smirking faux PM is openly ridiculing the US President.

    Is no one in charge of this country?

    80

    • #
      TdeF

      Our chief scientist should be advising on how we can restore more than adequate, utterly reliable, very cheap electrical power. Not how we can reduce CO2 to help other massive countries when they will not help themselves. Instead he is advising on how we Australians can spend more hundreds of billions to do something which does not need to be done. As Finkel made abundantly clear by its omission, climate has nothing to do with it.

      120

  • #
    Alfred (Melbourne)

    Wind producing under 5% of electricity in South Australia on Fri 16 Jun at 08:25

    And all the rest of their electricity is from burning gas – unless they were importing some electricity from Victoria.

    70

  • #
    Eric Worrall

    I’m prepared for a renewable energy future. Just bought a 5kw industrial diesel generator.

    140

    • #
      gbees

      I have one as well. Mine is a Kolher 44KVA. I bought for backup since we had in one year 17 blackouts. I just need to install a decent size underground diesel storage tank.

      80

    • #
      yarpos

      Just did the same thing. The sparkie comes in a couple of weeks to set up a tidy changeover arrangement to run the house on gen power. I will be surprised if we dont have outages this summer unless its super mild.

      20

    • #
      Peter C

      Hi Eric,

      You have been doing a great job contributing articles to WUWT.

      I hope that you do not need that generator. Queensland plans for renewable energy are not as far advanced as other states.

      10

    • #
      sophocles

      Eric Worrall said:

      Just bought a 5kw industrial diesel generator.

      Nice.
      Two of them, with one as a stand-by/spare, would cover almost every eventuality :-)

      00

    • #
      Robber

      Eric, have you run the costings in cents/KWhr to get a price with a modest return on investment compared to the current grid?

      00

  • #
    pat

    15 Jun: Reuters: Joseph Nasr: No need for EU mandate to negotiate Nord Stream 2 – Merkel
    “I think some legal questions need to be clarified in relation to Nord Stream 2,” Merkel told a news conference with Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas. “Otherwise it is an economic project and I don’t think we need an extra mandate for it.”

    Eastern European and Baltic countries say a new pipeline carrying Russian gas across the Baltic will make the EU a hostage to Moscow, while those in northern Europe — especially main beneficiary Germany — see the economic benefits…
    EU nations are deliberating on whether to give the European Union a mandate to negotiate with Russia.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/germany-estonia-nordstream-idUSB4N1G002D

    15 Jun: Financial Times: Berlin hits back at US move to tighten sanctions on Russia
    New Senate curbs seen as threat to Europe’s energy supplies
    by Henry Foy in Moscow, Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington and Stefan Wagstyl in Berlin
    Germany and Austria have castigated new American sanctions on Russia that target Moscow’s controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe, describing them as an illegal threat to EU energy security.
    Sending a strong message to Moscow, the US Senate on Wednesday voted 97-2 to approve measures that toughen existing sanctions on Moscow and create new restrictions that target companies which support Russian “energy export pipelines”.

    In a joint statement on Thursday, Berlin and Vienna said the amendment heralded a “new and very negative quality in European-American relations”.
    The Senate move threatens to break a delicate transatlantic consensus on Russia sanctions orchestrated by Chancellor Angela Merkel, which has until now excluded Russia’s export pipelines partly because they involved key German interests…

    “Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, not the United States of America,” said the statement, issued by Sigmar Gabriel, German foreign minister, and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern…
    “We cannot accept . . . the threat of illegal extraterritorial sanctions against European companies that participate in the development of European energy supply,” it said.

    The Russia sanctions outline opposition to Nord Stream 2, a pipeline that will double capacity for Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled gas monopoly, to supply gas to Europe under the Baltic Sea. The measures could affect European energy companies, including Shell, Engie and OMV, which are financing the pipeline. Shares in all four companies tumbled on Thursday…

    The Senate measure also codifies existing sanctions into law and makes it harder for the White House to ease punitive actions…

    Nord Stream 2 is under regulatory scrutiny following claims that it would increase European reliance on Russian supplies and reduce lucrative gas transit through Ukraine, a US ally.

    But Mr Gabriel and Mr Kern said the US was keen to expand its exports of liquid natural gas to Europe, and views the new pipeline as a competitor.
    “The goal is to secure jobs in the oil and gas industry in the USA,” they said. “Who gives us energy and how we decide is according to the rules of openness and market competition.”

    Following the first US shipment of LNG to Poland last week, the Trump administration said exports “support American jobs, lower energy prices for our partners abroad, and contribute to Europe’s energy security goals using a reliable, market-based supplier”.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin brushed off the sanctions. “Now we know that another draft bill has appeared in the US Senate on toughening these sanctions. Why, by the way?” Mr Putin asked during an annual televised call-in show. “This is, of course, a sign of continued political infighting in the US.”…

    Nord Stream 2, the company managing the pipeline, said the move was a sign of “increasing politicisation of Nord Stream 2 driven by commercial interests”, and suggested it was part of the US’s intentions to become a major gas supplier to Europe through exports of LNG…

    Alexander Medvedev, Gazprom’s deputy chairman, shrugged off the impact of the Senate amendment on his company. “I think the bill is aimed at US companies. This is a case of cutting off your nose to look beautiful. If senators believe that they can block the US-Russian co-operation, god be their judge,” he said in comments reported by the Interfax news agency.
    https://www.ft.com/content/27e28a44-51b0-11e7-a1f2-db19572361bb

    40

  • #
    Earl

    I am beginning to think that the penny is dropping on the CAGW scam, with subsidy reductions, and reduced investment in “renewables”. Particularly in places like Denmark.
    The big thing is if the scam collapsed, a considerable amount of money and jobs would go down the gurgler.
    In Australia, gullible leftie investors , ” yes, one of those ” have poured 100s of millions into the scam, and there is no way that investment can be recouped. No one in the private sector will touch such a dog. Lots of mums and dads will lose their superannuation.
    I believe politicians will keep the scam going until it becomes obvious to everyone that it is a fruad,
    By which time they will be retired on huge pensions, and the mess will not be their fault.

    60

  • #
    Analitik

    The Finkel report really does nothing more than extend the terms of the market distortions introduced by the LRET along with the “Semi-scheduled generator” designation for wind and PV farms (which gives them priority market access, never mind the day ahead bids from traditional generators and the actual demand).

    The economics of baseload thermal generators (coal/CCGT/nuclear) have been fundamentally undermined since these regulations and requirements were introduced back in 2011. The demise of Northern and Hazelwood is mirrored in plant closures in other countries that have enacted similar legislation with the worst example being an almost brand new, record efficiency CCGT plant being closed in Germany 2 years ago https://energytransition.org/2015/04/energiewende-shuts-down-most-efficient-gas-turbine/

    The talking heads being interviewed in the media on The Finkel Report are unanimous in support because it would provide certainty for investment in wind and solar farms. They don’t understand (or care) about the reality of meeting demand and the limitations of available storage technologies.

    I posted in the previous thread about the need for a catastrophic, extended grid failure in South Australia as soon as possible in order to highlight the $tupidity of the “experts” that have shaped recent government energy policy. Nothing else than the widespread calamity, suffering and misery of such an event will convince the masses that the fairytale projections of The Finkel Report the similar conclusions by university energy think-tanks (Melbourne Energy Institute, Institute for Sustainable Futures etc) is utter bunkum and incite the rage needed to force the pollies back to reality.

    I only wish that Elron Musk had carried through with his promise of installing a 100 MW (400 MWh) in South Australia so its limits could be clearly demonstrated to drive home how the notion of storage support to cover renewable intermittency is ridiculous in the real world (as opposed to the models where generation and demand is homogenized down to make the capability appear adequate).

    60

  • #
    pat

    climate contradictions in Scotland!
    all that precipitation, but no water for whiskey? glad Jody includes an old Figueres quote I’d missed at the time – always good for a laugh:

    14 Jun: ScottishHerald: Jody Harrison: Scotland hits its greenhouse gas target – but emissions increasing
    (SCROLL DOWN) ANALYSIS – Climate change could put whisky at risk and mean no more skiing
    As a relatively warm country firmly in the earth’s temperate zone, Scotland should be well placed to deal with the effects of climate change.

    If sea levels continue to rise at current rates, as a result of the melting of the polar ice caps in the face of rising sea temperatures, some of Scotland’s coastal habitats could be lost entirely…

    Since the Met Office began monitoring began in 1961, the east of Scotland has seen a 36.5 per cent increase in precipitation, while the north and west of the country have seen a 67-69 per cent rise, leading to a notable increase in the frequency of floods and landslides in that time…

    ???Water shortages could strike at the heart of the whisky industry, which accounts for one quarter of the UK’s total food and drink exports and generates almost £4 billion for the UK economy…

    The Met Office has also warned the Scottish skiing industry could disappear, taking local jobs with it as winters become too mild for regular snowfall…

    However, although a small nation on the international scene, Scotland remains at the forefront of efforts to mitigate climate change…

    Last year, the UN climate change secretary Christiana Figueres praised Scotland’s progress on renewable energy and fighting global warming “exemplary” and said the fact that emissions had been cut by (BY WHAT?) were “impressive”.
    She said: “It’s very much about the direction of movement here, the direction of travel, and that is undoubtedly the right direction of travel in Scotland.”
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15346467.Scotland_hits_its_greenhouse_gas_target___but_emissions_increasing/

    30

  • #
    TdeF

    You have to love the obvious industry solution to the RET. The new Korean Whyalla owners will build their own gas power plant!
    Simple. There will be no sale of electricity so no need for LGCs! This drops the power cost x10.
    Similiarly with the submarine corporation who have bought their own $30Million diesel power.

    So the very reason we in Victoria under Henry Bolte invited Alcoa to Australia to subsidize our base load at night has been turned around by the Greens to make out they are parasitic with subsidized power. Solution? Close. Or build your own power plant and buy gas directly and let the Green city dwellers pay their own real costs of electricity or have none. If they are happy to pay 10x the going rate to burn their own coal, that’s their problem. The subsidies by factories and smelters and industry will just stop.

    Maybe that’s why Turnbull also wants an emissions tax? Industry is buying around the RET. Then who pays for the private solar systems and windmills? The great thing about an emissions tax is that it can force Whyalla to close anyway as the very process releases so much CO2 and the real objective is to close Whyalla, Portland, Newcastle, Port Pirie, Geelong. Then everyone can work for the public service, as in Queensland and South Australia and Victoria under Labor governments. Best of all, they can all join unions.

    80

    • #

      So the very reason we in Victoria under Henry Bolte invited Alcoa to Australia to subsidize our base load at night has been turned around by the Greens to make out they are parasitic with subsidized power.

      While this may be partially true, that perceived ….. myth about the Base Load being this and perhaps off peak hot water heating, Base Load power consumption is a helluva lot more than just that.

      I know I harp on a bit about this, and I’ve even mentioned this before, but Base Load is a huge amount of things other than those two earlier mentions.

      Perhaps the largest consumer of all is every high rise building in Australia.

      The average tall structure you see on a Capital City high rise has an average power consumption requiring a dedicated 1.5 to 2 MW all the time.

      Around 40% of that is for HVAC (heating ventilation air conditioning) so that’s 400KW constantly. Perhaps the most important of these is the ‘V’ part of that, ventilation, as those huge units on the roof provide the only air circulation into and out of that building to keep a constant supply of breathable air in those structures, and that’s something you just cannot turn off. It has to be there day and night, and you can’t just turn it all of overnight.

      Think of how many high rises there are, and multiply all that by a quarter of a Megawatt consumption during the night just to keep the fans ticking over circulating the air throughout the structure.

      There’s the largest power consumption.

      Then there’s hospitals, lighting and traffic control, all of it, and the list goes on and on, 24 hour industry and mining, and that total of that 18,000MW is soon reached.

      That is only supplied by coal fired power.

      Take that away, and the cities just close down, as those buildings become uninhabitable.

      It’s no myth.

      They don’t just generate the power and then dump it with an extension cord plugged into the ocean.

      What is being consumed MUST actually be generated, and it is required for the full 24 hours of every day.

      Tony.

      151

      • #
        peter

        Not so Tony,

        A 24 story residential tower in London had no air-con, no powered sprinkler system, limited smoke detectors & alarms (if any), no pumped-pressure water hoses on each floor (as far as I know) and no dedicated fire-escape doors on ground-level. This would have greatly saved on power use, particularly at 1am in the morning. I don’t know if fire-escape stairs were permanently illuminated but that’s another power saving area. This all worked very well for more than 40 years until, well, you know….

        91

        • #
          toorightmate

          And would you know it?
          The new cladding was NOT installed for aesthetic reasons.
          It was installed for GREEN reasons – to better insulate the structure and save power.
          BUT YOU WILL BE BATTLING TO FIND THAT IN ANY PRESS REPORTS.

          81

          • #
            David Maddison

            The Chinese cladding comes into two varieties, with or without fire retardant. Guess which one’s cheaper?

            42

            • #
              David Maddison

              Even though there are fire codes, apparently there is no testing or confirmation that certain cladding is compliant with codes as was discovered in a similar but smaller non-lethal fire in Docklands, Melbourne, Australia a year or two ago.

              42

          • #
            peter

            I watched this fire unfold ‘live’ on TV. After many years working in a safety related technical field, it was horrific to watch. I knew that after people got over their immediate shock and horror, they would be very, very angry – and THEY ARE ! Some people should go to jail over this but it wont be any smug (but incompetent) London Council bureaucrat or building corporate executive. It will be some lowly safety inspector who knew the building safety was a load of shit but ignored saying anything because nothing would have been done and someone may have kicked his arse for saying it. They will find he should have submitted some complaint form XYZ-15, in triplicate, to the Ministry of Funny Walks. And he didn’t! Therefore his fault.

            Still, film of this disaster will be a great training film for many years to come on “What NOT to do for High-Rise building Fire Safety”. The Greens have been conspicuous in their absence in commenting on this disaster? Perhaps they think it’s all the fault of fossil fuels – like petroleum derived polymers used in the cladding?

            10

        • #
          yarpos

          too soon, before they even have the bodies out of the building? apparently not.

          00

      • #
        Geoff

        Tony there is no doubt that the Russians have infiltrated our government and AEMO. No-one here is dumb enough to turn off major turbines and still expect the grid to work.

        30

      • #
        BoyfromTottenham

        I read on the uk news that the cladding complied with the current UK building regulations, but did not need to comply with fire regulations because it was installed on the outside of the building. The UK fire regs apparently only apply to the inside of buildings! Arses covered, then.

        10

  • #
    pat

    RussiaRussiaRussia explained. doubt theirABC/Fairfax etc knew they were being gamed as they breathlessly covered every meaningless Russia/Trump story:

    15 Jun: Forbes: Kenneth Rapoza: What The Russia Sanctions Upgrade Means For Trump And Ukraine
    President Donald Trump has lost his argument for a Russia reset. With Ukraine and U.S. oil companies at least partially in mind, a new bill passed by an overwhelming 97 to 2 majority in the Senate on Wednesday punishes Russian oil and gas firms even more than the current sanctions regime. The bill goes to the House and will likely pass there as well. Russia has no friends on Capitol Hill…

    Once it clears the House, it forces Trump to go against the will of both houses of congress to veto the legislation in favor of Russia…

    The latest upgrade reveals a colossal chasm between Republicans and the President, with new additions that may yet put the squeeze on a Baltic Sea pipeline designed to bypass Ukraine as a key transit route for Gazprom natural gas into Europe. The Nord Stream II pipeline is a sister pipeline to the Nord Stream I. It would sit side-by-side and ship Russian gas into Germany.

    Gazprom’s partners in this new pipeline include Engie of France, OMV of Austria, Shell Oil and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall. The pipeline is part of a duo of new transit routes designed to bypass Ukraine, Russia’s traditional partner for Europe-bound gas deliveries. The other Gazprom pipeline deal is with Turkey, but the so-called Turkish Stream project is not mentioned in the changes…

    “Being able to threaten Nord Stream II gives Ukraine and its supporters the feeling Uncle Sam is with them on this,” says Sijbren de Jong, an energy analyst with The Hague Center for Strategic Studies. “It increases the risk for the European companies involved because they never know whether the U.S. will use this provision and when they do, if you’re invested as a company…it will force them to make contingency plans. Insurance companies will love this.”…

    The threat against Nord Stream II puts added risk and new stresses on European energy firms. Russia accounts for nearly a third of natural gas supply in Europe. Russia is the world’s largest natural gas producer.

    Outside of the Nord Stream II addition, the bill expands restrictions on Russian oil companies — regardless of where they are located. That provision is designed to stop Russian companies from working with their Western counterparts who might teach them advanced drilling techniques. The bill requires Trump to impose sanctions on foreign firms that make significant investments in next-generation Russian oil projects, namely shale and Arctic Ocean drilling…

    Investors saw the move as largely part of a political divide between anti-Russian Senate politicians like John McCain and the president’s wish for detente…The Washington foreign policy establishment has a very different set of ideas about Russia than the president…
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2017/06/15/what-the-russia-sanctions-upgrade-means-for-trump-and-ukraine/#40dd06022783

    20

  • #
    John in Oz

    From Fri 16 June The Advertiser:

    “A team of experts commissioned by the Federal Government has identified 185 sites in SA suitable for hydro power energy projects…”

    – this in the driest state in the driest country.

    Compare this grand plan with an interesting Letter to the Editor in Feb 2017:

    Fantasy land fix
    BEFORE anyone gets too excited about ANU Professor Andrew Blakers’ proposed “pumped hydro” solution at Cultana near Whyalla (“Watery solution to power problems”, The Advertiser, 17/2/17), it may be well to consider a few points.
    The terrain will not give his preferred 400 to 500m height difference – at best it might give 200m, and that is being very generous.
    To achieve the 300MW proposed with a 200m height difference the water flow rate needs to be 200 cubic metres per second. That is 720,000 cubic metres per hour or 720 megalitres. For comparison, this is around one-and-a-half times the average water use for Adelaide per day. This is without considering where the water would come from in the first place.
    If there were suitable sites for both the upper and lower reservoirs, the 10-hectare reservoirs will store 100 megalitres per metre of depth, so one hour’s operation will drop the level 7.2m. For six hours’ operation the usable depth of water needs to be just over 43m – 150 feet – over the whole 10 hectares and as the level drops so will the power output.
    The facilities at each end would need to be major engineering structures and the connecting pipework needed for a flow rate of 720 megalitres per hour would be enormous. There would also be huge costs involved in switchyards and transmission lines.
    Another factor is that the facility would be a nett energy user as “efficiency” gets in the way of a perfect outcome. This means that over time the facility uses more energy than it generates.
    If the plan is to use wind power to provide the off-peak power to pump the water, he might consider the fact that SA’s wind farms operate at around 30 per cent of rated capacity on average and are below 30 per cent for 50 per cent of the year and below 8 per cent for 20 per cent of the year.
    So the reliability of his proposed scheme is tied to the intermittency of the wind and we are only too familiar with that already.
    Having spent over 40 years as a civil engineer involved mostly in construction (including some hydro), I am a seasoned cynic and when people bandy around costs without any detailed consideration of the particulars and talk about “fast tracking”, my BS alarm screams.
    The gap between theory and practice is very wide. Many people have fallen into it and never been seen again.
    The fact that federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis are enthusiastic about the “plan” is more a measure of government desperation than the worth of the proposal.
    They would serve us better by concentrating on returning to a system that works rather than being seduced by fantasy land solutions. Just up the road from Cultana is a 560MW power station capable of producing that output year round regardless of the weather and it is being demolished.

    How stupid is that?

    DAVID BIDSTRUP, Plympton Park.

    150

  • #
    Dennis

    Isn’t quite clear that our politicians are not interested in what their constituents want or don’t want, unless there is an election date not far away and then they nod but chose their words carefully to make us feel like we have been heard.

    Once elected to government they proceed with their own agendas regardless, they are effectively our masters.

    70

    • #
      gnome

      Or as an old-timer rural neighbour of mine explained “for three weeks every three years they’ll kiss your arse and the rest of the time, you can kiss theirs”.

      00

  • #
    Robber

    Excellent link by Peter at 6.6 above to UK Spectator:
    “Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy” by Matt Ridley.
    “Even put together, wind and photovoltaic solar are supplying less than 1 per cent of global energy demand. From the International Energy Agency’s 2016 Key Renewables Trends, we can see that wind provided 0.46 per cent of global energy consumption in 2014, and solar and tide combined provided 0.35 per cent. Remember this is total energy, not just electricity, which is less than a fifth of all final energy, the rest being the solid, gaseous, and liquid fuels that do the heavy lifting for heat, transport and industry”.

    “A two-megawatt wind turbine weighs about 250 tonnes, including the tower, nacelle, rotor and blades. Globally, it takes about half a tonne of coal to make a tonne of steel. Add another 25 tonnes of coal for making the cement and you’re talking 150 tonnes of coal per turbine. Now if we are to build 350,000 wind turbines a year (or a smaller number of bigger ones), just to keep up with increasing energy demand, that will require 50 million tonnes of coal a year. That’s about half the EU’s hard coal–mining output”.

    “If wind turbines were to supply all of the world’s energy growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000.”

    At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area greater than the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year”.

    Always look on the bright side. At least our pollies haven’t legislated that 20% of all transport be “green”.

    90

  • #
    Murray Shaw

    Jo,
    The Quirk name to me is synonyms with wind power. Growing up of the grid in the 50s with a 32 volt Lister powered lighting plant, Dad bought a Quirks Wind Electric generator that came with a 50foot tower as it must have seemed a good idea at the time. I Spent many hours swinging around on that tower helping get the generator up and down for repairs. Dad gave up on it in the end and when TV got somewhere near used the tower for the TV antennae. My early experience with wind power ended somewhat in tears, and I think the country is about to shed some too.

    110

  • #
    Robber

    In SA, with only 11 MW of wind generation today, they have 1400 MW of electricity coming from gas stations (max capacity about 1700 MW), and 275 MW coming from Vic to meet total demand of 1670 MW. But at 6.30 pm tonight, they need supply of 2100 MW. Come on croweaters, all blow together:-)
    Wonder what the cost of that gas is, compared to the coal stations they shut down? Ahh, but ain’t it good to be green? Current SA price $100/MWhr, Vic at $91, with Qld cheapest at $77/MWhr.
    Average price in SA this year $108/MWhr, last year $61. Is there any industry left there?

    80

    • #
      Analitik

      If you look at the files here, you can see the interconnector flows as well as the regional demand. Heywood is V-SA and MurrayLink is V-S-MNSP1.

      If you look in the PUBLIC_DISPATCHIS_20170615.zip file (the most recent as I write this) and pull the sub files for 6:30pm and 6:35pm (AEST), you can see that for Thursday the 15th, South Australia’s demand was around 2.05 GW with local generation around 1.7 GW and inward interconnector flows around 350 MW (MWFLOW) so the SA gas generators must be running flat out with the only margin provided by Victorian generation.

      Come July when it gets colder and Victorian generation struggles to cover local demand, a similar weather pattern (slow moving high over VIC/SA) will be disaster time for South Australia as I cannot see Victoria load shedding on behalf of South Australia.

      10

  • #
    Rick Will

    The Jacobs Group modelling that underpins the Finkel report has a fair sprinkling of fairy dust:
    https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/1d6b0464-6162-4223-ac08-3395a6b1c7fa/files/emissions-mitigation-policies.pdf

    Page 42 – rooftop solar to increase 5 fold from current lever to 25000GWh by 2035. However it would require considerably more investment than they determine because some of the fairy dust is apparent in the chart at the top of page 31 – 9 hours of full sunshine every day in June and a whopping 11 hours in December.

    Page 41 has a table for wind capacity factors for each state., Most are in the mid to high 30s. The bottom of all ranges is 29% and the highest 43%. That has to be taken with a good sprinkle of fairy dust or the best pair of polaroid rose collared glasses.

    Page 38 – the good old favourite that battery costs will fall to 30% of current cost by 2035. That one is rolled out all the time and each time it appears the starting price is higher! No consideration for the skyrocketing price of lithium feedstock. I presume they have battery replacement after 10 years, the warranty interval, but that is not clear.

    The essence this of Tom Quirk’s post is cast away by Jacobs by making an assumption:

    The modelling makes a range of assumptions and simplifications in order to provide information about the relative performance of possible policies to reduce emissions. The modelling omit features such as ramp rate constraints and start-up costs that are important for short-term outcomes in the electricity sector, but are small in absolute terms over the longer time horizons that are the focus of this work, so excluding them will not materially affect the comparative projections in this report.

    I am still looking for the fatal flaws but these are quite large holes in what I expect will be a rotting carcass once knowledgable people have looked through it.

    60

    • #
      Dennis

      Reports and recommendations most often neglect to mention replacement cost of equipment and a timetable for writing the equipment off against income if a business venture. And of course removal of the old equipment costs.

      And financing costs, loss of income from monies invested or interest on monies borrowed.

      40

    • #
      John in Oz

      I live in the Adelaide Hills with 4.8KW solar, no shadows and a very good North pointing roof angle compared to our latitude (which probably makes my figures far better than many rooftop solar systems I have seen).

      If I were to be generating at max capacity this equates to 4.25hours/day over almost 7 years of production. I still get the full rated generation.

      large-scale solar generation ‘may’ get 9 hours if they are sun-following but this is definitely NOT going to be the case for rooftop solar.

      Calling their figures ‘rubbery’ is an insult to prophylactics.

      30

      • #
        Rick Will

        There is an abundance of data to provide far more realistic figures. InJune 2016 the 53MW solar plant at Broken Hill produced 6857MWh. That works out to average daily sunshine of 4.3 hours.

        Anyone with an an ounce of knowledge on energy production can tear the Jacobs report to shreds. I get the impression the numbers have been fudged to give the required answer. It is no better than a climate model.

        I have a friend charging a new lithium battery from solar for a boat in Tasmania so have been watching their level of sunshine. Over the last week the east coast has not done much better than 1 hour of equivalent full sunshine on any day.

        30

    • #
      Another Ian

      Rick

      That well known modelling dictum – “when in doubt leave it out”

      10

  • #

    I think this important article sheds some light on Jo’s opening comments.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2012/07/variation

    10

  • #
    John Soldier

    The crux of the matter is that they all think that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a problem!
    Alan Finkel, Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten and all their hangers-on are all suffering the same delusion.
    They have all been conned into believing that CO2 is a nasty pollutant that is causing the earth to warm and that mankind is to blame. That is not true.
    Carbon Dioxide is a harmless trace(1/25th of 1%) gas (not a pollutant) that is not only a vital plant fertiliser but is the very basis of all life on the planet.
    The lack of warming over the last 20 years proves that CO2 is does not cause warming since it increased by 10% in the same time period.
    How do the alarmists respond to that?
    Why then do politicians and beaurocrats all around the world persist in creating policies that waste taxpayer’s money to ‘solve’ a non-problem.
    Any talk of emissions reduction is misleading nonsense.
    Who is going to bring a halt to this madness?
    Certainly not Turnbull, Finkel or Shorten.

    30

    • #
      Len

      On the back page of Section Two of this week’s Farm Weekly there is an article entitled “Air pollution watch at Cape Grim”. This is a Fairfix publication. It appears to be a propaganda piece for BOM and CSIRO.

      00

  • #
    pat

    lengthy, lots of detail, clear as mud:

    16 Jun: news.com.au: Electricity price rises locked in from July 1, 2017
    by Charis Chang with AAP
    POWER prices are set to rocket after three major retailers announced increases of up to 20 per cent and $600 a year for the average customer in some states.
    Origin, EnergyAustralia and AGL have all announced price increases for electricity and gas starting from July 1.
    Small businesses may be the hardest hit, especially Origin customers in South Australia, which will see prices rise by a whopping $1453 a year when increases to gas and electricity bills are combined…

    Mr Wood said setting a higher emissions target to allow coal to get some incentives would be fine as the goal was to reduce carbon emissions, not get rid of coal.
    “The threshold doesn’t drive emissions reduction,” he said. “What drives emissions reduction is our commitment to the Paris Agreement…
    Mr Wood said politicians should be more honest with the public about future energy prices.

    Historically coal has been a very cheap way of producing electricity, costing about $40 per megawatt hour. But Mr Wood said new efficient coal-fired power stations would cost double that, about $80-90Mwh.
    Gas is even more expensive, hovering about $110Mwh and even if this dropped due to policy changes, would still likely be about $90Mwh.
    While wind and solar are cheaper, their prices don’t include the cost of battery storage and pumped hydro to ensure stability of their supply.
    “So the only obvious conclusion is we’re not going back to $40Mwh any time soon,” Mr Wood said…
    http://www.news.com.au/finance/small-business/electricity-price-rises-locked-in-from-july-1-2017/news-story/0bad2dcddc1a3040c4abbf07d25cb7fc

    10

  • #
    pat

    15 Jun: The Hill: Paris Agreement was good for subsidized big business, but not Americans
    By Katie Tubb
    (Katie Tubb is a policy analyst specializing in energy and environmental issues at The Heritage Foundation’s Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies)
    Yet one can’t help but note that many of the businesses boosting the Paris accord get a big boost in profits from global warming policies.
    Take Elon Musk, for example. Two of his companies, Tesla and SolarCity, have accepted billions in global-warming-predicated government loans and federal tax credits. Put another way, Musk has a multibillion-dollar personal stake in global warming…

    Nor is mogul Musk alone. GE, Microsoft, Google, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley – all benefit from “warmist” tax equity arrangements that allow them to take a 30 percent federal investment tax credit when financing solar projects.

    That preferential tax treatment can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars per deal. In 2013, for example, Goldman Sachs offered a $500 million financing arrangement for SolarCity rooftop solar leases.
    Goldman Sachs has also been associated with other solar projects beholden to the federal taxpayer for financial backing. They include the Desert Sunlight utility solar project (with over $350 million in stimulus funds and a nearly $1.5 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy) and the Alamosa Solar Generating Project (with cash grant from Treasury exceeding $35 million and a more than $90 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy).

    GE’s Shepherds Flat wind farm received over $1.2 billion in federal and state subsidies, despite the Obama administration’s estimation that it would “likely move without the [Department of Energy] loan guarantee.” The Obama administration also determined the climate benefits fell short of the total subsidies by a factor of six.

    Google, General Electric, Chevron, BP, and Statoil are among a host of companies that own Ivanpah, the solar farm boondoggle that has cost Californians and federal taxpayers hundreds of millions. And while oil companies certainly see a threat in global warming policies that target use of conventional fuels as policy “losers,” companies like ExxonMobil andChevron also have considerable resources in natural gas, a “winner” in global warming-inspired policies like the Clean Power Plan or a carbon tax that primarily targets coal.

    Corporations love it when governments jump on the global warming bandwagon. They get “free money” through subsidies like renewable tax credits, government backed loans and loan guarantees, and grants, and artificially high demand through state-level mandates to use renewable energy. It allows them to double and triple dip in the pot of taxpayer dollars.

    But experts inside and out of the financial world warn that these policies are not just wasteful; they could be creating a market bubble ready to burst. Furthermore, they mask the price point at which these technologies are economically competitive…READ ALL
    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/337939-paris-agreement-was-good-for-subsidized-big-business

    20

  • #
    pat

    15 Jun: InsideClimateNews: Marianne Lavelle: Congress to Pruitt: We’re Not Cutting EPA Budget to Trump’s Levels
    House Republicans say they’ll protect programs that affect their districts. That’s a lot of the EPA’s work.
    Members of the congressional committee responsible for the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget—Republican and Democrat alike — made clear Thursday they have no intention of approving the White House’s proposal to slash the agency’s spending.

    In a hearing, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt defended the Trump administration’s budget plan for the first time on Capitol Hill, insisting that the agency he leads could fulfill its mission under a plan that cuts its budget more than any other federal agency’s.

    On climate change, the committee members divided along party lines on whether they supported the Trump administration’s decision to exit the Paris accord. Pruitt, who was a chief proponent of the move, claimed that President Donald Trump would “continue engagement” on the subject. But most of the hearing focused on other issues, with members of both parties driving home the point that Congress will not pass a budget that cuts the EPA’s funding by 31 percent and eliminates nearly 50 of the agency’s programs…

    “You are going to be the first EPA administrator who has come before this committee in many years who actually gets more than he asks for,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). That theme was echoed by several of his colleagues on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies…READ ALL
    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/15062017/scott-pruitt-epa-budget-hearing-congress-opposes-trump-cuts

    10

  • #
    pat

    14 Jun: Reuters: Alister Doyle: Oslo airport imports biofuels from California, greens doubt benefit
    Oslo airport is importing renewable jet fuel made from waste cooking oil in California, stirring criticism that shipping and trucking it more than 16,000 kilometers (10,000 miles) undercuts environmental benefits…
    “This is a tiny little drop (in fossil jet fuel use). But it is the first drop,” said Olav Mosvold Larsen of state-owned Avinor, which runs 45 airports in Norway. He said jet biofuels were twice the cost of conventional fuels.

    The jet fuel blend sold for planes in Oslo now has 0.2 percent biofuels in the test project, he told Reuters. So far, Avinor has bought 1.25 million liters (275,000 UK gallons) of biofuels.
    In recent months, Avinor has imported waste cooking oil, sold by AltAir in California from sources including fast food restaurants, he said, confirming a report in the Norwegian daily Aftenposten. Last year, Oslo’s biofuels came from Spain…

    Some environmentalists say that shipping biofuels from California, via the Panama Canal, makes no sense.
    “This is madness,” said Truls Gulowsen of Greenpeace, saying that European laws should do more to promote local production of biofuels, such as from Nordic forests. “Waste cooking oil should be used in California,” he said.
    Larsen said there were net environmental benefits…

    Scandinavian Airlines System [SASSA.UL] said the plans could push up costs unless matched by other nations. “Extra taxation is limiting our possibility to invest in biofuels and take steps for a sustainable future,” said spokesman Knut Morten Johansen.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-environment-biofuels-idUSKBN195259?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews

    15 Jun: BBC: Jane Wakefield: Future Energy: Will buses be run on coffee?
    Green entrepreneur Arthur Kay wants the red buses that have become a landmark of London to run on fuel generated by coffee waste.
    He runs Biobean, a start-up which is gathering waste from coffee chains such as Costa and converting it into liquid fuel.
    The firm is due to unveil a coffee-run bus in the capital in a few weeks…

    “We are going through a period of energy divergence where we are moving from a fossil-fuel based society to one that is increasingly diversified. Bio-fuel will be crucial to that,” said Mr Kay.
    The biochemical method by which oil is extracted from a pile of coffee grounds is patented but uses a process which evaporates the grounds via something known as hexane extraction.
    It extracts around 15 to 20% of oil and the remaining mass is turned into bio-mass pellets which can be burnt as fuel in wood burners.
    And, said Mr Kay, there is always a ready supply of ingredients…

    Lots of countries are starting to see the benefits of bio-fuel, which can be made out of anything from chocolate to sewage…
    Sweden created some unwanted headlines a few years ago when it used the carcasses of rabbits – being culled due to over-population – to make fuel…
    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-38854886

    00

  • #
    pat

    comment in moderation, beginning: Reuters: Alister Doyle: Oslo airport imports biofuels from California, greens doubt benefit

    ***$12,000 is only the amount awarded to date. this study is to last a year:

    15 Jun: WashingtonFreeBeacon: Elizabeth Harrington: Feds Fund Dissertation on ‘Climate Change Denial’
    Study seeks ‘more complete and nuanced understanding of climate change denial’
    The National Science Foundation is funding a doctoral dissertation on “climate change denial.”
    The University of Kansas was awarded ***$12,000 for the research, which began on June 1. The research seeks to find a “more complete and nuanced understanding” of individuals who are skeptical that human beings cause climate change…READ ON
    http://freebeacon.com/issues/feds-fund-dissertation-climate-change-denial/

    NationalScienceFoundation: Award Abstract #1703120
    Doctoral Dissertation Research: Climate Change Denial and the Politics of Coastal Restoration in Southern Louisiana
    Start Date: June 1, 2017
    End Date: May 31, 2018 (Estimated)
    Awarded Amount to Date: $12,000.00
    Program Manager:
    Marie Cornwall
    SES Divn Of Social and Economic Sciences
    SBE Direct For Social, Behav & Economic Scie
    Investigator(s):
    Eric Hanley (Principal Investigator)
    Jacob Lipsman (Co-Principal Investigator)…
    Sponsor: University of Kansas Center for Research Inc
    https://nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1703120&HistoricalAwards=false

    10

  • #
    pat

    16 Jun: Australian: Matt Chambers: Minerals Council of Australia backs building new brown coal-fired power plants in Victoria
    The Minerals Council of Australia has backed the construction of a new brown coal-fired power plant in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley using the latest technology that it says is capable of driving emissions down by up to 40 per cent.

    In a policy paper issued today, the MCA warns of a looming gap in baseload power following this year’s closure of Hazelwood and the expected retirement of another 8,000MW of baseload power before 2030.

    “There is a need to start building new baseload power stations,” the report on “a low emissions coal future for the Latrobe Valley” said.
    “Given the current gas market challenges in Eastern Australia, the Latrobe Valley offers a good option. Not only is the fuel source — brown coal — readily available, there is an existing and under-utilised power network system in place.”

    The MCA report says the latest brown coal technology in use in Germany can produce power at emissions 25 per cent below the current power stations in the Latrobe Valley. The latest proposed power station in Germany offers 35 to 40 per cent lower emissions.
    The current German plant has emissions of about 0.9kg per kWh, while the proposed one is at 0.75kg per kWh.

    “With a levelised cost of energy of around $55 to $65 per MWh, a similar power station located in the Latrobe Valley would offer the lowest cost new baseload power, significantly cheaper than gas or renewables and storage,” the MCA said.
    “It would help place downward pressure on electricity prices, ensure reliability while also reducing emissions from the power sector.”

    To finance a new plant, the MCA urged the government to consider making available Clean Energy Finance Corp funding for “high energy, low emissions” plants, like the ones built in Germany….READ ON
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/minerals-council-of-australia-backs-building-new-brown-coalfired-power-plants-in-victoria/news-story/6f428e23b3e36280318229e67898dace

    20

  • #
    pat

    UNBELIEVABLE! how does taxpayer-funded ABC get away with auch a one-sided view of everything connected to the CAGW scam?

    16 Jun: ABC: Battery storage: How it could solve our energy problems
    7.30 Report, By Matt Peacock
    If chief scientist Alan Finkel gets his way, battery energy storage will be central to Australia’s energy future.
    The move to battery technology is a worldwide trend and three state governments — South Australia, Victoria and Queensland — are already going it alone, commissioning their own battery storage to ensure energy security…

    The batteries will be particularly helpful on days when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.
    “It can be used alongside a solar farm to help smooth the output and make any disruptions less likely and much more manageable,” said Kobad Bhavnagri, head of Asia Pacific economics and policy at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
    “Storage is also very likely to go in at your local substation. Your suburb is probably going to have a lot of storage in it because it adds a lot of resilience to the system. It makes operating the network better, stronger and also ***cheaper.”…

    How much of a ‘thing’ will it be?
    Mr Bhavnagri predicts solar-plus-batteries will carve out a major slice of the Australian grid.
    “We forecast that by 2040 almost half of [all] buildings in Australia, be that a factory or a household, will have a solar system. And a quarter of all those buildings will have a storage system as well,” he said.
    “So when you add all of that together, we see distributed energy supplying about a quarter of Australia’s national energy needs in 2040.”…

    “We forecast that by 2040 almost half of [all] buildings in Australia, be that a factory or a household, will have a solar system. And a quarter of all those buildings will have a storage system as well,” he said.

    “So when you add all of that together, we see distributed energy supplying about a quarter of Australia’s national energy needs in 2040.”…
    Now both Victoria and Queensland have also commissioned huge battery storage units to be up and running within three years…

    Which other countries are doing it?
    Ike Hong represents the massive South Korean battery manufacturer Kokam, which is bidding for the power storage contracts in South Australia, Victoria and Queensland…

    As battery prices continue to fall other countries are getting on board.
    “In the United States, UK, Asia, and everywhere globally, the utilities start picking up the storage system. They understand the need of the storage system,” Mr Hong said.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-16/how-does-battery-storage-work/8624378

    00

  • #
    theRealUniverse

    Finkel should listen to John Coleman (weather channel founder) destroy the CNN warmist idiot journo over global warming. Great viewing.
    https://www.iceagenow.info/john-coleman-global-warming-papers-bought-paid/
    Colman says it straight up, warming is a scam. Science papers on AGW are paid for by gov agencies, that where the money is, publishing garbage papers on AGW.

    10

  • #
    Boambee John

    Getting rid of coal without a formal ban seems to have been one aim.

    Hence the maximum of 700kgs of carbon “pollution” per MWh of delivered power is lower than currently achieved by HELE plants.

    Wouldn’t want competition for the windmills or solar cells!

    20

  • #
    PeterS

    When the lights go out for good in Australia I wonder who will get the blame? The politicians or the people who voted for them in the first place? The answer of course is both. I hope I’m not around when the crash and burn scenario plays out.

    30

  • #
    pat

    17 Jun: Spectator Australia: Ian Plimer: Climate Notes
    One lonely molecule…
    The 24 million people in Australia generate 1.5 per cent of annual global human-induced CO2 emissions. USA emits 14 times and China emits 26 times more CO2 than Australia. Australia has 0.33 per cent of the global population.
    Our high standard of living, a landmass of 7,692,024 square kilometres with a sparse inland population and greenhouse gas-emitting livestock combined with the transport of livestock, food and mined products, long distances to cities and ports and the export of ores, coal, metals and food for 80 million people result in high per capita CO2 emissions. Australia’s exports of coal, iron ore and gas contributes to increasing the standard of living, longevity and health of billions of people in Asia.

    If Australia emits 1.5 per cent of global annual CO2 emissions, 3 per cent of the total annual global emissions are anthropogenic and the atmosphere contains 400 parts per million by volume of CO2, then one molecule in 6.6 million molecules in the atmosphere is CO2 emitted from humans in Australia. This molecule has an atmospheric life of about 7 years before it is removed from the atmosphere by natural sequestration into life and limey sediments.

    Australia has far greater economic priorities than to change a whole economy, increase energy costs, decrease employment and decrease international competiveness because of one poor lonely molecule of plant food in 6.6 million other atmospheric molecules…

    Furthermore, it has yet to be shown that human emissions of CO2 drive global warming, so why even bother with a Renewables Energy Target?…READ ALL
    https://spectator.com.au/2017/06/climate-notes/

    10

  • #
    pat

    15 Jun: Climate Depot: Marc Morano: Hurricane season begins: Record ‘4,252 days since Category 3+ hurricane made USA landfall’
    Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.: ‘US hurricane season has started…As of today (June 15, 2017) it has been 4,252 days since the last time a Category 3+ hurricane made a US landfall. That is long enough to get lazy and to forget. The streak will not last.
    http://www.climatedepot.com/2017/06/15/hurricane-season-begins-record-4252-days-since-category-3-hurricane-made-usa-landfall/

    15 Jun: GrindTV: Following epic year of snow, Utah records its busiest ski season in history
    Following a ski season across the United States that has set numerous records for snow depth and for season length, the 2016-2017 has just set yet another high mark: Per a Wednesday press release from Ski Utah, the state of Utah just experienced its busiest ski season in history…

    “On the heels of a record breaking year last year, this continued growth shows Utah’s winter sports industry is thriving,” Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty said in the press release. “While there is still room to grow, we could not have asked for better results this year.”
    And the increasing number of skiers and snowboarders wasn’t just confined to Utah.

    In the press release, Ski Utah cites a survey by RRC that shows that nationally, ski and snowboarder visits increased from 52.8 million in 2015-2016 to 54.7 million this season. Vermontbiz.com reported Thursday that the Green Mountain State saw a huge rebound in skier visits this year, with nearly 4 million people visiting Vermont resorts…
    And, in good news, if you’re still itching to get your ski fix in, there are six resorts across the country that are still open.
    http://www.grindtv.com/skiing/following-epic-year-of-snow-utah-records-its-busiest-ski-season-in-history/

    10

  • #
    Bobl

    This is absurd, I can take a fossil fuel plant and build it under a mountain if I want, over it I can grow trees or have any ecosystem I want, fed by the emissions of that plant. It has zero environmental impact, you can’t even see it! Try doing that with a windmill or a solar panel. They don’t work too well constructed underground. You must clear 5 ha minimum around windmills, and solar farms have no vegetation, no ecosystem. All this cleared land reduces CO2 sinking capacity, is that taken into account for renewables? Hell no… The CO2 accounting is completely wrong, it’s not life cycle, it doesn’t account foregone sinks, it doesn’t account allied industry demand, it doesn’t account maintenance and renewal or disposal cost. In short it is nowhere near meeting ISO55000 asset management standards.

    50

  • #
  • #
    observa

    Is it any wonder our movers and shakers are shaking a lot at present while the thermal insurers are being blown up.

    00

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>