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Can’t slip old solar panels into the compost heap. A toxic cadmium, lead headache coming?

So having some solar waste panels lying around is not exactly like having a second-hand nuclear fuel rod in the basement, but there will be Gigatons-to-Go, the volume is spectacular, and we can’t eat cadmium for breakfast. There will literally be a mountain of toxic garbage — and only Europe, apparently, has a rule about solar manufacturers having to collect and figure out what to do with the solar waste. (And with a 25 year lifespan, how much, exactly, is even that worth? Just say “Solyndra“.)

A new study from a group called Environmental Progress shows that solar panels make 300 times more volume of toxic waste per megajoule as nukes do. All estimates like these are based on assumptions and guesses, so perhaps it’s not that bad. The study might be exaggerated, and maybe solar panels are only 100 times larger in volume than nukes eh? Where’s the Green outcry.

Materials, throughput for solar versus nuclear, waste, toxic, graph.

Study: Solar panels a looming toxic ‘crisis’

Discarded solar panels, piling up around the world, are detrimental to the environment, according to a new study by Environmental Progress.

And carcinogenic.

And teratogenic.

While environmentalist have warned for decades of the hazard of nuclear power, solar panels produce 300 times more toxic waste per unity of energy than nuclear power plants, warns Berkeley, California-based EP.

Discarded solar panels not only contain lead, but chromium and cadmium – both of which are carcinogenic.

The Study comes from Environmental Progress:

Last November, Japan’s Environment Ministry issued a stark warning: the amount of solar panel waste Japan produces every year will rise from 10,000 to 800,000 tons by 2040, and the nation has no plan for safely disposing of it.

recent report found that it would take 19 years for Toshiba Environmental Solutions to finish recycling all of the solar waste Japan produced by 2020. By 2034, the annual waste production will be 70 – 80 times larger than that of 2020.

Environmental Progress investigated the problem to see how the problem compared to the much more high-profile issue of nuclear waste.

We found:

  • Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than do nuclear power plants.

  • If solar and nuclear produce the same amount of electricity over the next 25 years that nuclear produced in 2016, and the wastes are stacked on football fields, the nuclear waste would reach the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (52 meters), while the solar waste would reach the height of two Mt. Everests (16 km).

  • In countries like ChinaIndia, and Ghana, communities living near e-waste dumps often burn the waste in order to salvage the valuable copper wires for resale. Since this process requires burning off the plastic, the resulting smoke contains toxic fumes that are carcinogenic and teratogenic (birth defect-causing) when inhaled.

If you wonder about the validity of the assumptions (fair enough) check out the Environmental Progress blog. There are some pretty aggressive critics, and some very informed replies (and more in that chain). Look for responses from and Jemin Desai and Mark Nelson (the latter two are the authors).

h/t Jim Simpson

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61 comments to Can’t slip old solar panels into the compost heap. A toxic cadmium, lead headache coming?

  • #

    Always the unintended consequences, just like fluorescent light bulbs. That is, they are rarely considered.

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    • #
      sophocles

      An unreliable electricity supply, as in SA, is going to turn recycling all those PV cells into a right song and dance. Japan is already aware of the looming problem, because, as pointed out, they can’t be just stacked up and left, nor can they be smashed into small pieces and buried in a land fill. No way.

      Toshiba Environmental Solutions, based in Yokohama, southwest of Tokyo, also has technology that can separate solar cells from glass. It has recycled about 30,000 solar panels so far and can handle about 3,500 panels per month, or about 44 tons by weight.

      And that’s just a drop in the bucket, with 800,000 tons of panels per month forecast for disposal in Japan by 2040.

      Toshiba Environmental Solutions’ method grinds the cells into a fine powder, whereas NPC’s leaves behind a sheet of cells.
      “The powdered cells have a high silver content and smelting companies buy it at high prices,” said Shinji Takeda, vice president of Toshiba Environmental Solutions. “Because it is a dry process, and the technology uses neither solvents nor heat, the environmental burden is also low.”

      The panels

      (NPC is a Japanese manufacturer of photo-voltaic manufacturing equipment). TES’s solution, at a superficial glance, looks to require supplies of reliable electricity to power the grinding process. I can’t see the company encamped on a river bank with a water wheel providing the grinding machinery’s motive power. (The Greens would surely find something wrong with even that solution.)

      Jo has already pointed out a plastics recycling company in SA having to close its doors because of loss of uneconomic electricity. Recycling them economically is going to be a must; cadmium entering the food chain is not a pleasant prospect.

      Yep, lots of unintended consequences there. :-(

      141

      • #
        sophocles

        … keyboard strikes again!
        Darn.
        “…loss of uneconomic electrickery” should read “loss of economical electricity.” Please adjust your eyeballs and all visual aids.
        Thank you.

        80

      • #

        What might be of additional concern is the proliferation of battery banks. They do not last forever and when they need to be disposed of, how is this going to be accomplished? Have these costs been factored into the full life-cost of ownership (including solar panels)? I often wonder about all the hype about how much someone is saving with this technology. Is it really as told and what has been missed or misled?

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        • #
          sophocles

          Those are very good points, bemused. Maybe batteries should be banned? (the blanket Green solution :-) )

          At the moment, most exhausted and dead cells of all kinds head straight for the land fill. Lead-acid ones used to be recovered while we manufactured them here in NZ, and I think they still are, but I’m far from sure of that.

          I have neither seen nor heard of any recycling for the other types in NZ, yet. (Mind you, that wouldn’t be hard considering I haven’t been looking!).

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      • #
        John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia

        Is this process a high user of electricity? If so, it may not be so economic in Australia with our high power costs. Rather, we could export the panels to Japan to help their job situation. Sounds familiar!

        40

  • #
    Neville

    All the dangerous waste problems begs the question, why are we using fairytale energy like S&W anyway?
    Lomborg has given us the data from the IEA that clearly states that this rubbish energy only generates about 0.6% of the world’s total energy.
    While the IEA hope this will increase to 2.4% by 2040 the EIA ( Obama govt ) also tells us that co2 emissions will increase by 34% by 2040.
    These pollies (all around the world) unfortunately are barking mad.

    200

    • #
      Neville

      I should probably ( again) include my links to back up my comments. Here’s the Lomborg link and the link to the 2016 Obama govt EIA report. This proves that the mitigation of their so called CAGW is an easily understood con and fra-d. Even Dr Hansen the father of their CAGW agrees that Paris COP 21 is “just BS and fra-d.”

      Oh and all this pain and no gain will guarantee an endless waste of trillions $ for the OECD countries for decades to come. Where are our reporters and media who would normally swoop on this type of fra-d and corrupti-n?

      http://www.lomborg.com/press-release-research-reveals-negligible-impact-of-paris-climate-promises

      https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/ieo/pdf/emissions.pdf

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      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Where are our reporters and media who would normally swoop on this type of fra-d and corrupti-n?

        With one or two exceptions they are either in the green-left pocket or they’ve never learnt to think critically. They’re a product of the post-modernist journalist schools.

        We need to support the media that tells the truth about this issue. For a start that means “The Australian” newspaper and attack the stupid ones (like Kohler) who seems to have a very ignorant blind spot.

        10

  • #
    Mark M

    If you can bear it, the ABC, the Link episode this week in Townsville, talking coal & coral.

    They discuss lithium batteries, and disposal of batteries.

    The Link, 30/6/17, ABC iview, begins 22.20sec, Prof. Damien Giurco, UTS:

    @23.16: “We are going to see in the next ten years a demand for lithium, particuarly batteries, double …

    25.45: “A lot of waste, a lot of waste …

    http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/link/NC1710H017S00#playing

    80

  • #
    Jemima

    One needs to be careful with the wording. What the report attempted to calculate was the volumetric difference in waste produced per unit of energy delivered.
    The volume of waste is potentially 300 X greater for solar than for nuclear irrespective of relative toxicity.

    100

    • #

      Good point Jemima – I’ve made that clearer in the post. Obviously the volume of nuclear waste is not the main problem with nuclear waste. But the size of the solar waste is going to be a headache, especially if those heavier metals leach…

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    • #
      sophocles

      If we directed a decent lump of the money spent on UF’s (Unicorn Farts) and PD (Pixie Dust) on research into Molten Salt Reactors to work the bugs out of them thoroughly, then nuclear waste will be become a thing of the past and we won’t have to dispose of dangerously radioactive material again.

      The Blurbs from the MSR engineers say the MSRs can burn anything radioactive down to non-radioactive ash. Great. Waste storage solved.

      No meltdown problems either. The reactor sits inside a bowl. If there is a runaway, the fuel is dropped into the bowl where it spreads out and the reaction ceases. There’s a bit of a clean up to be done but it is apparently not so difficult and the dumped fuel can go back in and continue to be used.

      W&S is a waste of money. MSR’s work at PoC (Proof of Concept) level. We need to
      spend on them and get them on line.

      40

  • #
    David Maddison

    And not only waste from solar panels. There will be huge problems disposing of windmill blades, their massive concrete bases and their rare earth magnets.

    Does anyone know if recycling a rare earth magnet and breaking it down into its original elemental metals involves as much toxic waste as refining the ore in the first place? These items a worth recycling due to the scarcity of the rare earth metals.

    151

    • #

      I’m not all that sure that the rare earths can be recycled, reversing the process that they were manufactured for.

      Back in the late 60s early 70s when I did the technical trade training for my electrical trade, the theory was bat$hit boring, and although I paid attention enough to get my trade, I couldn’t really figure out why we needed to know in such minute and infinite detail some of the stuff I actually learned.

      When we did generator theory, it had a lot to do with magnetism, naturally.

      Have a rotating field (in the rotor) and it induces a current flow in the Stator. The higher the speed, the higher the stator current. The greater the magnetic field, the higher the stator current. Enhance that permanent magnet with electromagnetic windings, the greater the magnetic field, hence the higher the stator current.

      The higher that Stator current, then (naturally) the higher the output power.

      (everyone’s switched off now Tony, you can stop here if you like)

      Magnetic materials, magnetic hysteresis loops, remanance, etc etc etc.

      So, what we want now is something of a really high magnetism, and now (in this day and age) something lighter in weight.

      Hence, now we can get 1500MW+ out of one generator with a rotor that weighs almost the same as a 70s technology generator which only generated 660MW.

      Lower the weight of that rotor, and it goes backwards, hence a smaller turbine, hence (all the way back) not as much coal needed to burn per unit of power generated.

      So, it all depends on that original magnet in the rotor itself.

      Scroll forwards to rare earths used for those rotor magnets: (my bolding here)

      Rare earth alloys

      The (BH)max values that can be achieved with rare earth alloys are 4-6 times greater than those for Alnico or ferrite.

      The three main permanent magnet rare earth alloys are samarium cobalt (SmCo5 and Sm2Co17) and neodymium iron boron (NdFeB). These materials may be produced by alloying the constituent elements, or more usually by reducing a mixture of the oxides together in a hydrogen atmosphere using calcium as the reducing agent. The alloy is then milled to a particle size of about 10 mm, pressed in a magnetic field and sintered in vacuum.

      The first alloy to be available was SmCo5, but this has gradually been replaced by Sm2Co17 because of its lower cost and better temperature stability. The more recently developed NdFeB magnets have the advantage of higher remanence Br and higher (BH )max, and they are lower in cost because the raw materials are cheaper. The disadvantage of NdFeB materials is that they are subject to corrosion and they suffer from a rapid change of magnetic properties (particularly coercivity) with temperature.

      Corrosion can be prevented by coating the magnets and the properties at elevated temperature may be improved by small additions of other elements.

      So, these rare earths give a larger (higher) and tighter magnetic hysteresis loop.

      Greater magnetism, higher induced current flow in the stator, hence higher power output.

      Now, I included that block quote to also indicate the process, and how difficult it ‘might’ be to reverse, for purposes of disposal.

      Yeah, dull and boring I know, but, hey, that’s electrical power generation for you. If I can just barely understand it, imagine my difficulty in attempting to explain it all.

      Tony.

      Quote Source

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      • #
        Annie

        I’m not the only one who didn’t switch off Tony! That was very interesting.

        50

      • #
        sophocles

        Tony said:

        If I can just barely understand it, imagine my difficulty in attempting to explain it all.

        It’s not so bad once the head is wrapped around it. Way back when I was studying Electrical Machines, a heavy rotor landing on the foot sort of helped. (Yes, it was painful, but the rotor was undamaged.)

        You could always skip the involved explanation by making the explanation as the maths with limited comments … :-)
        Nobody could complain then.
        (Can glazed over eyeballs be recycled … ?)

        30

        • #

          …..making the explanation as the maths…..

          Don’t get me started on vector diagrams for series and parallel LCR circuits, and thank heavens for plastic brains.

          Standing in front of a class of 20 or so young apprentices (the toughest, because they were only 17) and going through those vector diagrams, seeing the glazed over looks, and then, blink, the lights came on, one by one.

          Nothing was ever that satisfying.

          Explaining something so damned complex with so many levels of maths, and then seeing them ….. get it.

          Tony.

          Plastic Brain – Engineering Calculator, preferably a Casio fx-100C, and I still have mine after 32 years, same one, still used every day.

          50

          • #
            sophocles

            Right, I won’t get you started, then, so I won’t mention Kirchoff’s Laws in reactive circuits with applied AC.

            I know your satisfaction: it’s addictive. I knew I had it right when I overheard one class member say to another: “That was tough, but, hey, I understand it!” as they went out the door.

            O/T:
            I was cleaning out a seldom opened drawer in my desk the other day and discovered my Hemmi bamboo slide rule (255-D), with fully intact user manual. The user manual hasn’t been used much: the staples are rusty. It dates from 1972, so it’s 45 years old. There are no battery compatibility problems because there are no batteries. I would have to study the manual to be able to use it again with any facility.

            10

    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      David M.
      RE: massive concrete bases

      The wind projects near us have a facts page here:
      https://www.pse.com/aboutpse/PseNewsroom/MediaKit/099_Wind_Power_web.pdf
      The 273 MW Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility came on-line in
      December 2006 and was expanded three years later.

      Wild Horse place is 15 miles. East of our house.
      Note, that within the concrete base are steel anchor bolts 25 to 32 feet long, and weighing – on average – 150 pounds each.

      The area is high, dry, and a wildlife/natural area. If and when the wind towers are gone, the base will likely stay. Other places are likely different.

      Similar concrete structures remain at places from WWII activities.

      80

  • #
    Robber

    Off topic, but too much wind in SA overnight. Per AEMO.
    “Constraint Invocation to manage power system security in SA Region.
    In order to maintain a secure operating state in SA, the following constraint set has been invoked:
    Constraint Set S-SA_WIND_1200 is invoked from 0120 hrs Mon 03/07/2017 to 0700 hrs Mon 03/07/2017″

    “Refer market notice 58783
    Constraint set S-SA_WIND_1200 has been revoked at 0650 hrs.
    AEMO will monitor the online South Australia synchronous generating units to ensure fault levels match the level of wind generation in South Australia.”

    And for some reason spot prices have gone crazy at 8.15 this morning, with NSW leading the way at $241/MWhr (5 minute spike) 30 minute $160, importing lots from Qld, while SA with all that wind is at $212/MWhr (30 minute $143).

    Another illustration of how hard it is to keep the lights on with heavy reliance on intermittent wind, although it is still only providing 1600 MW of total demand 27,000 MW. Note Anero.id website reports wind at 2200 MW versus nameplate 4,400 MW. Don’t understand the discrepancy with AEMO data.

    120

    • #
      Mark M

      Record breaking cold weather hits Australia’s south east – Coldest in 110 years!

      “The mercury in the NSW town, close to the Murray River, sank to -5.6C early on Sunday morning — that’s the coldest it’s been for 110 years.

      Adelaide

      In South Australia, there’s a severe weather warning in place for gusts of up to 100km/h across the Eyre Peninsula as a low pressure system heads in from The Bight.

      As the system rattles across the coasts, Adelaide may experience gusts of up to 50km/h with showers a feature for Monday and Tuesday. Highs of 15C and lows of 8-9C.”
      . . .
      Further evidence that blowing up power stations does not stop the climate from changing or make 100km/h winds less extreme:

      Another piece of the Port Augusta power station tumbles to the ground!

      https://twitter.com/7NewsAdelaide/status/875922998179512320

      80

    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      Robber,
      “… wind at 2200 MW versus nameplate 4,400 MW …”

      I don’t know what is “name plate” nor much else about what gets reported. However, the issue might be the Betz coefficient.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betz%27s_law

      According to Betz’s law, no turbine can capture more than 16/27 (59.3%) of the kinetic energy in wind. The factor 16/27 (0.593) is known as Betz’s coefficient. Practical utility-scale wind turbines achieve at peak 75% to 80% of the Betz limit

      30

      • #
        Rick Will

        Name plate is the maximum output for each turbine. Although there are times when no turbines are producing, there are no times when all turbines are working at nameplate. Monday July 3 most turbines in SA are able to work at or near capacity albeit with some at risk of being shutdown for high wind protection. The turbines in the east coast are not producing much.

        The Betz limit is simply a consequence of extracting momentum from the air. The energy in a stream of air is 0.5*rho*Area*Velocity^3. The maximum energy that can be extracted occurs when the exit air flow rate is reduced to 1/3 of the stream flow. Real turbines can achieve about 75% of the Beta limit.

        A turbine with 80m blades in its rated airstream of say 12m/s has stream power of 20.8MW. The maximum possible power that can be extracted is 12.3MW. In reality is will be around 9MW due to the air drag on the blades plus mechanical and electrical losses. The nameplate with be 9MW.

        Although the incident power increases to the cube power of the stream velocity, all the mechanical transmission and electrical generator parts are designed for the 9MW. The turbine structure will be design to the maximum wind loading; usually regulated so they do not fall down frequently.

        If the wind exceeds the rated windspeed, the pitch is adjusted to keep power at rated output so the mechanical and electrical parts are not overloaded. In very high wind the turbine is braked to stop rotation, and consequently power output, so the wind loads on the blades and tower are reduced to the minimum possible.

        20

  • #
    Antoine D'Arche

    whaaaaaat??? But I thought solar was completely green and environmentally friendly?!?!
    And governments have subsidised the installation of PVs. And therefore have made themselves responsible for the clean up. And the liability claims, healthcare costs that will ensue. And I mean sue.

    131

  • #

    Some will complain that environmentalprogress.org is funded by and for the nuclear lobby. I say it’s a good thing if a good thing puts up a fight. I hope the coal industry finds a more aggressive tone in its lobbying. Because my country is rich in coal and uranium, with the geological stability to accommodate nukes and nuke waste.

    In the 1980s we saw a war on hydro and nukes, a war which was won by the bad guys, by Big Green. Never again.

    191

  • #
    • #
      FarmerDoug2

      Joe
      Seems the sheeple are beginning to wake up.
      Reading some comments from the Environmental Progress site is also encouraging. We are beginning to have that debate.
      Doug

      50

  • #
    Alistair

    I wonder how much energy it will take to recycle them?
    Have to build more solar panels to run the factories?

    80

  • #
    DaveR

    The most important point from this article is the amount of (toxic) waste generated from the manufacture of solar panels, not the risk from recycled panels at end of life.

    Its the same problem with greens the world over – they do not understand the environmental cost (impact) of mining and refining metals to go into solar equipment, or the by-products of the highly specialised manufacturing process.

    When someone tells me about zero-impact solar power I just laugh.

    141

  • #

    PV solar is a pollution bomb.

    Not only is the energy that they can potentially produce embedded when they produce, shifting future emissions into the present and immediate past, they’re an environmental headache in terms of the space that they occupy; the heat island that they produce; the hazards of day to day use and their obstruction to emergency helpers; their eventual dismantling and disposal is considered SEP — Somebody Else’s Problem. Including by those who think it a problem because they believe that the world will be an average of 0.2°C warmer in 80 years.

    Then there’s a “small” matter of production of PV cells taking place in places where the environment is already polluted; but the believers don’t seem to care about the people who make those things; and the people who live in the regions increasingly polluted by the hunger for subsidies and/or the compulsion to emit virtue signals.

    Here’s a link to some of my thoughts on the subject, 3 years ago. [Too long to paste into a blog comment here.]

    101

    • #
      David Maddison

      Firefighters often need to break through roofs and this is an enormous problem and danger if there is a PV array energised to 1000V apart from the physical impediment of breaking through or pulling aside the array.

      Solar power kills!

      101

      • #
        Manfred

        In another few years, if not already, we may see prospective house purchasers require a statement (if they don’t already) of the residual life and current rated efficiency of a roof top solar array. Many may then require the removal of the PV panels not only because of constraints around declining efficiency and residual life, but in addition, an understandable reluctance to accept future removal and disposal liabilities, which given the implication of this post, may well be punishing, not only to an individual house owner but to those responsible for the up-scaled commercial ‘farms’.
        Another (and dare I say, predictable) nail being hammered into the coffin of ‘free’ energy.

        131

        • #
          Rod Stuart

          Visiting a shirt tail relative in Brisbane and I became aware of another problem with rooftop PV.
          Pigeons!
          They get up there among and under and leave an absolute minefield of feathers, excrement, waste food, etc.

          30

  • #
    TdeF

    Plus the thousands of windmills each with 300kg of neodymium, hundreds of tons of heavy metal pollution. All this would be banned except the Greens hate coal and perversely, love diesel. Not real environmentalists, just unthinking acolytes following their herd instinct and the media.

    Today front page Graham Lloyd suggesting that new technology coal at $2Bn (once) is cheaper then $3Bn a year in subsidies buried in your electricity bills. Wow! Arithmetic.

    Trust Labor PM Malcolm to push a big spending, big borrowing to fix today’s problems in the distant future building something we already have. Like Weatherill’s $350 million gas power plant, when Pelican Point was simply turned off because it lost $15 last year. (It is not on again, so a deal has been done).

    Firstly, of course. Secondly, only very slightly more efficient than normal coal. Thirdly, Hazelwood could be turned on tomorrow and lastly, the deceit that as the RET is buried at wholesale level, the public is not paying another $3Bn a year to middle men. How else can anyone think that Hazelwood was forced to close, supplying electricity at 4c kw/hr when the retail price is closer to 40c kw/hr. The middle bit is ‘lines and poles’ and ‘distribution’, stuff which apart from maintenance was in place in the 1980s and some back to the 1950s.

    No Graham, the real payments for your environmentally polluting, inefficient, random, unreliable and hopelessly inadequate solar panels and windmills is closer to $6Bn a week and half the money leaves the country as it is not even a tax. Even Tony Abbot talks about reducing the % when he should be repealing the RET. Green power does not need subsidies. It is cheaper. Apparently.

    Why not just turn Hazelwood on again? Today. That would cost the (Our) government money. They would rather the public pay for windmills and solar in massive hidden RET (LGC and STC) certificates. Also they want to get through the summer blackouts and then win friends by appearing to do something before an election.

    We need governments which act at all times in the interest of the people, not their own political theories and for their own careers. As many of the states line up for election next year, just watch the game playing with power. It used to be the Unions shutting off the power for extortion. Now it is both Labor and Liberal governments. Like SA, we must suffer first before politicians ride to our rescue, our heroes. The environmentalists and not self interested opportunists.

    In passing, Malcolm’s Liberals have easily lost the next election. Christopher Pyne will not be reelected. Half the Liberals will be gone, retired on their massive indexed pensions on permanent holiday. So Christopher just wanted on the record that he and Brandis and others brought Abbott down and before he loses his job, Christopher wants to force gay marriage through parliament as leader of the house. Nothing to lose and retire to fame and fortune. Our politicians.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Sorry, Pelican point is operating again. How?

      20

      • #
        Robber

        South Australia’s Pelican Point power station will be returned to its full available capacity of 479 megawatts, its owner ENGIE says. The announcement came on the same day the company turned off its 1,600MW Hazelwood power station in Victoria. ENGIE said it would spend more than $40 million upgrading its second turbine at Pelican Point in South Australia after it was withdrawn from the market in April 2015.
        Pelican Point is now keeping the lights on in SA when the wind doesn’t blow, but at great cost because of gas prices.

        80

    • #
      TdeF

      $6bn a year, not a week. Sorry for all the errors. My proof reader was watching the Tour de France.

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    • #
      David Maddison

      My understanding is that Hazelwood was just turned off and not mothballed with the intention of it being restarted. Large turbines need to be rotated slowly to stop bearing set and boilers need to be purged with nitrogen etc..

      Does anyone know if the damage from an improper shutdown would be economically viable to repair?

      40

  • #

    As Broken-Glass Theory to creative destruction,
    so renewable toxic-waste to a clean environment.
    Oh what a web you weave, warmies, when first you
    practise to deceive.

    50

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    Just put them into a great big ship and send them back to where they came from! That might fix a few things.
    GeoffW

    40

  • #
    King Geo

    And solar panels it seems can also catch on fire – refer to the latest article in WUWT.

    51

  • #
    TdeF

    Graham Lloyd’s reasoning for why ‘renewables’ are undercutting coal power is simple. No fuel costs and no operating costs. Stands to reason. Goodbye coal and gas.

    However in Australia coal and gas are free too. We have plenty of the stuff and it costs us nothing. That is until Daniel Andrews tripled Victoria’s royalties on coal and forced Hazelwood to close. Of course he could have made the coal free but chose to kill the power station instead because that means Green votes in marginal seats.

    The real cost is in capital invested and the lifetime of the equipment and the cost of continual maintenance but those are dirty money issues which never bother a true believer. Being Green is its own reward. So Lloyd argues that subsidies should be scrapped. Hurray!
    ‘Subsidies’, our hidden massive carbon costs are the very mechanism by which coal and gas power are made unsaleable.

    So given that ‘renewables’ are cheap, they should quickly win the commercial battle and everyone will be happy. Great. A land covered in windmills is our future, apparently. Free energy forever.

    Real heavy metal pollution is simply not our problem. Nor is servicing or replacing the equipment or amortizing the capital cost. That will be covered by future massive taxes to fix the huge pollution problems left by the unthinking environmentalists for our children and our children’s children. Etc. They will be building coal fired power.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Then there is the real cost in pollution and even CO2 in the countries where the solar panels and windmills are manufactured. Who cares if they are horribly polluted? As long as we have lower CO2. You have to think that people do not realise CO2 is universal. I suppose it is the old NIMBY group, that if ‘pollution’ is overseas, we are better off.

      Personally I would love to know if the CO2 levels in South Autralia are any lower because of their windmills? Or in the whole world? Why measure temperatures? The simple question is that if CO2 levels are not detectably lower in South Australia, what exactly is the point of all their windmills and suffering? Maybe the media could show Temperature, Humidity, Pollen levels, Pollution levels and CO2 levels? We could watch CO2 go steadily down, say with the closing of Hazelwood.

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      Graeme No.3

      TdeF:

      Wind turbines have operating costs, maintenance, lubricating oil, payment to land holders etc. Amounts to $24 per MWh (Infragen) or 10% of operating revenue for on-shore wind (UK Government agency report) – about $15-18 per MWh.

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      sophocles

      They didn’t need to privatise the plant in the first instance, and shouldn’t have.

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    Another Ian

    Somewhat O/T on the latest London fire

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2017/07/we-dont-need-no-630.html#comments

    Comment of note


    AHH!!! replied to comment from Larry | July 2, 2017 10:09 PM | Reply

    Solar powered sprinkler system? “

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      Ross

      Not O/t at all Ian. This is just another case of unintended consequences of Greenie dreams.

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    pat

    ***classic:

    3 Jul: TheAge: Melbourne’s frosty winter blast sees solar hot water panels burst around the city
    by Ebony Bowden
    Solar hot water panels have fallen victim to this weekend’s cold snap, bursting, splitting and leaving home owners with plumbing bills in the thousands.
    Plumbers say they have struggled to keep up with unprecedented demand for help as temperatures plummeted. One plumber in Melbourne’s west said he had attended eight jobs over the weekend…

    The cold snap caused water in panels to freeze and expand, resulting in snapped and split panels and broken frost valves…

    John Willis from John Willis Plumbing in Lilydale: “There are various manufacturers of them, and some of them aren’t really up to the job of the frost
    “The lady I went to yesterday tried to get in contact with the people that had put the system in for her and they were deregistered and had gone out of business…

    Simon Marchione from All Sorted Plumbing in Keilor Downs: “I don’t think it’s a quality issue. It’s more or less I don’t think anybody expected for Melbourne to be so cold. ***They really aren’t made for our changing climate.”…
    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbournes-frosty-winter-blast-sees-solar-hot-water-panels-burst-around-the-city-20170703-gx3dfd.html

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    pat

    while we fiddle…

    found the following at Straits Times, Singapore and, luckily, noticed NYTimes credited at the end of the article.
    it took a while, however, to find the NYT piece, because it had a different headline and even searching excerpts didn’t work until i prefaced an excerpt with “New York Times”!

    note at bottom of NYT article: “A version of this article appears in print on July 2, 2017, on Page A10 of the New York edition”, meaning it wasn’t considered big enough news to make it on Pages 1-9:

    1 Jul: NYT: Hiroko Tabuchi: As Beijing Joins Climate Fight, Chinese Companies Build Coal Plants
    When China halted plans for more than 100 new coal-fired power plants this year, even as US President Donald Trump vowed to “bring back coal” in America, the contrast seemed to confirm Beijing’s new role as a leader in the fight against climate change.
    However, new data on the world’s biggest developers of coal-fired power plants paints a very different picture: China’s energy companies will make up nearly half of the new coal generation expected to go online in the next decade.

    These Chinese corporations are building or planning to build more than 700 new coal plants at home and around the world, some in countries that today burn little or no coal, according to tallies compiled by Urgewald, a Berlin-based environmental group. Many of the plants are in China, but by capacity, about a fifth of these new coal power stations are in other countries.

    Overall, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries, said Urgewald, which uses data from the Global Coal Plant Tracker portal. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 per cent…
    “Even today, new countries are being brought into the cycle of coal dependency,” said Urgewald director Heffa Schuecking…

    The United States may also be back in the game. Last Thursday, Mr Trump said he wanted to lift Obama-era restrictions on US financing for overseas coal projects as part of an energy policy focused on exports.
    “We have nearly 100 years’ worth of natural gas and more than 250 years’ worth of clean, beautiful coal,” he said. “We will be dominant. We will export American energy all over the world, all around the globe.”…

    Shanghai Electric Group, one of the country’s largest electrical equipment makers, has announced plans to build coal power plants in Egypt, Pakistan and Iran with a total capacity of 6,285MW – almost 10 times the 660MW of coal power it has planned in China.

    The China Energy Engineering Corp, which has no public plans to develop coal power in China, is building 2,200MW worth of coal-fired power capacity in Vietnam and Malawi. Neither firm responded to requests for comment.

    Of the world’s 20 biggest coal plant developers, 11 are Chinese, according to a database published by Urgewald. Overall, Chinese firms are behind 340,000MW to 386,000MW of planned coal power expansion worldwide, Urgewald estimated. A typical coal plant has a capacity of about 500MW and burns 1.4 million tonnes of coal each year, enough to power almost 300,000 homes…

    Much of China’s overseas push has come under the Belt and Road initiative, which calls for up to US$900 billion (S$1.2 trillion) in infrastructure investments overseas, including high-speed railroads, ports, gas pipelines and power plants…

    In Egypt, coal projects by Shanghai Electric and other global developers are set to bring the country’s coal-fired capacity to 17,000 megawatts, from near zero, according to the Urgewald database…
    Pakistan’s coal capacity is set to grow to 15,300 megawatts from 190. In Malawi, planned coal projects would bring its coal-fired capacity to 3,500 megawatts from zero…

    The world’s single largest coal-plant developer is India’s National Thermal Power Corporation, which plans to build more than 38,000 megawatts of new coal capacity in India and Bangladesh…
    The AES Corporation, based in Arlington, Va., is building coal plants in India and the Philippines with a combined capacity of 1,700 megawatts…
    Japan’s Marubeni Corporation is involved in joint ventures for a combined 5,500 megawatts of new coal generation in Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia, according to the database…

    Bonds and shares of the world’s biggest coal developers, like India’s National Thermal Power and Marubeni, are frequently found in the portfolios of large institutional investors and banks…
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/01/climate/china-energy-companies-coal-plants-climate-change.html

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    Neville

    This pie chart shows that power stations are the source for just 21.3% of world co2 emissions.
    And S&W probably make up a small percentage of that 21.3%
    Therefore a clear 78.7% of co2 emissions come from other sources. I haven’t seen any electric tractors or trucks or aeroplanes lately, so their mitigation is indeed a load of BS.
    Of course the human pop will increase by at least another 2-3 billion by 2050 and all these people will have to be fed, clothed, housed and looked after until well past 2100.
    Yet the UN expects life expectancy, wealth and general human well being to be much improved compared to our lives today. IOW the extremists are telling porkies every time they open their mouths. See Lomborg, Dr Goklany, Ridley and Dr Rosling’s You tube videos.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_mitigation#/media/File:Greenhouse_gas_by_sector_2000.svg

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