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SA Premier hailed “leader”: govt buys twenty years electricity at twice the price for solar

UPDATE: More details are coming in: The SA govt is effectively covering all its own electricity use with this one plant, which is about 5% of the whole state’s demand. The plant will have 8 hours of battery storage (theoretically). The word I hear is that this is not an outright purchase of $650m, but an offtake agreement for around 70-78/MWh — which means the government will buy nearly all the production available (125Mw of 150MW) each year, but won’t own the plant.  [Text edited and substantial additions below.]

Not long back, Port Augusta had a thirty-one year old coal plant generating 520MW.  The Premier could have spent $30 million to keep it going through this anti-coal political era. Instead he blew it up and is spending millions to buy electricity at twice the price, under contract for 20 years. The $650 million Aurora Solar Plant will produce 150MW of solar power (on a good day).  Per megawatt, this solar power is twice the price of coal fired power. (The old Hazelwood coal plant supplied electricity at around $30MWh.) Per degree Celsius, it will buy global coolness by some number starting with three decimal places of zero.

Solar power is supposed to be competitive with coal, but no private company seems to keen to do this. In this case, the company is getting a signed up buyer for around 80% of its product, and for 20 years. Of the 150MW of sacred solar electrons, 125MW will go to the government itself and just 25MW will be left over for non-government customers. If South Australians wanted to vote for cheaper electricity, this is another 5% that out-of-reach.

To put this in perspective $650 million dollars is around $400 per man, woman and child in SA, over the next ten or twenty years, to appease the climate Gods. The exact cost is hard to calculate at this stage. But the government of SA will be the one sole major customer, effectively paying off the solar farm, but won’t own it in the end.

The original Northern Coal Power station employed 250 people. The new solar one will give 700 people a pointless but paid position for three years, after which, only 50 people will have a job at the solar plant, and countless others will be out of work as more businesses close down in South Australia due to the price of electricity.

Praise flows in:

 The Australian Services Union hailed Mr Weatherill as “the unequivocal international leader for clean energy generation”.

 Independent SA senator Nick Xenophon and Pt. Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson said the deal will be “transformational”.

It will be “transformational” like a dose of Dengue Fever.

Will South Australia ever recover?

The project is underpinned with a $110m concessional equity loan that Senator Xenophon negotiated earlier this year as part of the talks over the federal government’s company tax cuts legislation.

Time for WA to secede and cut the financial lifeline that makes these kinds of decisions possible.

Put it in your diary, Malcolm Turnbull gets something right:

The announcement comes after Malcolm Turnbull told the South Australian Liberal Party annual meeting on Saturday that the state’s strong focus on renewable energy was equal parts “ideology and idiocy”.

The Prime Minister said Mr Weatherill’s energy policies were an “experiment’ that should have been conducted in private, not inflicted on an entire state”.

TonyfromOz in Comments: This is not nor has it ever been baseload power

Nick Xenophon said this: (my bolding here)

“This will make a difference in the South Australia energy market. It will secure the grid and mean more baseload power than intermittent power,” he said.

The Base Load for South Australia is at around 4AM every morning, every morning, and averages around 1100MW. The total amount of power that will be generated and delivered by this Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant at 4AM on ANY morning, even at the height of Summer will be …..

ZERO MEGAWATTS

There is not one plant of 150MW Nameplate on Planet Earth which has EVER generated 24 hour power, and this plant will not be the first to do it.  If you want some facts on CSP, you only need to see how poorly it works in Spain, and I have some information on just that at the link below. This is just another joke from a Government that has no idea at all.

Solar Thermal Power (Concentrating Solar) Fail – Just Look At Spain

South Australia won’t need too much cable,
With less power, very dear and unstable,
And must learn to cast lots,
For the few megawatts,
Of crumbs from the Great Leader’s table.

–  Ruairi

EDITED: The original headline was: SA Premier hailed “leader”: spends 20 times more to make one third of the electricity with solar — based on a comparison of spending $30m to keep Northern Coal running, or $650m to build a solar plant. With an offtake agreement, the unknown extra cost is spread over 20 years, and must end up being more than $650m in total. The SA government is buying most of the product; the Aurora project investors will expect some profits, plus there will be interest payments on the loans — all of which needs to be covered. Last year the SA government was asking for a tender for 480GW of electricity per year for government sites (but it’s not clear if this was the total demand). Hypothetically, if it was, the bill for getting that at a cost that was $40MWhr higher is about $20m extra dollars per year (please check my maths). Partly this is also funded by a federal govt concessional equity loan ($110m), not just funded straight up by SA taxpayers.

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SA Premier hailed "leader": govt buys twenty years electricity at twice the price for solar, 9.7 out of 10 based on 113 ratings

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250 comments to SA Premier hailed “leader”: govt buys twenty years electricity at twice the price for solar

  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of stupid from SA , they haven’t gone weapons grade yet .

    342

    • #
      ColA

      Weatherill or Andrews are only the end result of a succession of bad advise that is obviously flowing upstream (Classic charts show BS flows downhill, leftards can’t even get that right!)

      SO WHO OR WHERE IS THIS ADVISE COMMING FROM?? WHO IS DRIVING THIS MADNESS??

      81

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        Where do they get their advice? From Karl Marx, via Whitlam’s universities and British universities.

        The ALP should never be dignified with the title of Australian Labor Party. They are.bookworm socialists, read there Marxists, and their long term goal has for many years been the destruction of the free enterprise capitalist system.

        So, while we are seeing this as a major stuff up, the ALP are getting ever closer to achieving their goal.

        40

    • #
      Geoff

      How much fresh water does this plant need to generate steam? Port Augusta has no spare fresh water.

      10

  • #
    The Black Adder

    I thought that the politicians in South Australia could not get any dumber!
    How wrong was I?
    Pure unadulterated green madness.
    Get me of this planet!!

    261

    • #
      Asp

      Though, as an ex-South Australian, I am deeply saddened by this latest episode from Monty Python, it is not fair to limit accusations of the practice of stupidity as an art form to South Australia alone. Across the border we have another stooge whose first act upon election to the position of premier of Victoria, was to spend over $700 million to cancel the contract for an essential item of infrastructure. Over $1 billion for a desalination plant that will never be required. He followed this up by decommissioning 25% of the baseload power generation capability of the state. Weatherill is only in front in this race to the bottom because he had a head start.

      301

      • #
        el gordo

        Good point Asp, we have half a dozen desalination plants and they sit as useless monuments based on a vague CO2 theory. The never ending drought failed to materialise and I demand a Royal Commission, focussing on the lack of due diligence and interpretation of the ‘precautionary principle.’

        101

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          A Royal Commission into the desalination plants would be very much in order! There was much about them that was strange, including the extraordinary expedition of the exercise.

          20

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      There is something seriously amiss with this announcement. Firstly Crescent Dunes at 110MW cost $A1.35 billion and had the cheapest selling price of any solar heat plant in the world at $A178 per MWh.
      Now we are told a bigger plant will cost half that, and sell electricity at 40-43% of that “breakthrough price”.

      Also the ABC claims it will deliver 495GWh annually, this would require operating at 100% of capacity for 10.4 hours a day for the whole year. That is assuming that the sun isn’t blocked by herds of flying pigs.

      Lastly the construction will start next year (after the election?) and will last 2 years. Crescent Dunes took 5 years.

      And 130MW is a toy power station.

      181

      • #

        Graeme No.3 is correct here.

        These claims are best case (peak of Summer) scenarios.

        By the way, and this is important.

        That storage capability is NOT battery storage but heat diversion storage.

        as I explain in Comment 29.1 below.

        That 8 hours of storage is for the absolute peak few days of mid Summer only, because in the Winter Months, the plant will barely reach operating temperature, let alone have enough heat to divert to storage.

        As I explain with the graph and some text at my linked Post, look at the Insolation curve and note the heading above the graph ….. for a typical Summer day.

        That insolation curve is shown there with the heading ‘direct nominal irradiation’. Note that it only reaches maximum for a couple of hours, but can be operational for perhaps around 5 hours at best.

        Work down from that outer curve to see how the heat is diverted and the total power generated, including drawing back the heat from the storage to use after the Sun has set.

        Now, in Winter, that insolation curve, (the uppermost curve) is a lot smaller in height, and because of that, the compound will take longer to reach the operating temperature, hence less power output, and less (usually back to zero) time for the compound to be diverted to that heat storage, so much in fact that the plant in Spain which actually did achieve 24 hour operation for 36 consecutive days only (and only a 20MW plant mind you) actually shuts down during the peak Winter period.

        Also be aware that almost every one of these CSP plants are notorious consumers of high amounts of Natural Gas for the backup to start the turbine/generator until the solar function can take over, and after shutdown, depending on the time factor for heat storage, so much in fact, that one or two of those U.S. CSP plants were almost reclassified as gas fired plants, they used so much.

        Also be aware that these plants also consume very large amounts of the power they generate, (and are also reverse connected to the grid) because each one of those heliostat mirrors is electrically driven and computer controlled so that each mirror points absolutely perfectly to that one single point on the tower to heat the compound, and that needs to be done as soon as the Sun rises, and the plant is not generating until operating temperature is reached, so those heliostats draw their power from the grid so they can be so perfectly aligned. That was the problem with one plant in the U.S. where some mirrors got out of alignment and fried some of the equipment at the top of that tower, so much in fact that the plant had to shut for eight Months for repairs.

        These plants have been in theory (modelling) for decades now, and they still cannot get larger single Units than 125MW, because of the constraints of the operating temperature itself.

        These are not the answer, and if they are perceived as a viable answer, then someone is asking the wrong question.

        Tony.

        240

        • #
          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          Afternoon Tony,
          The link below is to an article by Peter Hannam in today’s SMH. The main part is an attack on all things coal, which is no surprise. But at the end he mentions HELE generators, which was. I can’t recall seeing any mention of them in SMH before at all. My guess is that he’s attempting a pre-emptive attack, especially as his coal attack doesn’t mention CO2.

          http://www.smh.com.au/environment/black-hole-pollution-from-coalfired-power-worse-than-overseas-survey-finds-20170813-gxvhce.html?btis

          Sorry this is not directly relevant…
          Cheers,
          Dave B

          40

          • #

            Note here that this CSP plant proposal comes in at only $650 Million. Hey! A snap!

            That’s for a 150MW plant with a Capacity factor of 37%, so the equivalent average daily power extrapolated out across the whole year of 56MW.

            $650 Million for 56MW.

            Scaling that up to a USC plant, (2 Units at 1000MW each Unit, so 2200MW) please don’t even begin to tell me that the USC plant will cost $25 Billion.

            Tony.

            70

            • #
              The Black Adder

              Tony,
              How much does a brand new coal fired power station cost to build and how much power can it generate?
              Thanking you in advance….

              00

            • #

              To put it another way, the $650million investment will return $45million/year at current wholesale prices. Minus operating costs and you have a net profit of 30 on 650, which is reasonably tidy.

              01

          • #
            Ted O'Brien.

            Note there that Peter Hannam can’t spell “sulphur”.

            Perhaps he just pasted Al Gore. It is a lengthy piece.

            20

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        According to the BoM Port Augusta has 142 clear sunny days a year.
        To summarize:
        The cost to build is far lower than anything similar.
        The cost of the output is far lower than any similar plant.
        The claimed annual output is exaggerated beyond what is possible.
        The time to build is far faster than previous plants of this type.
        And it won’t start until after the election. I have doubts that it will be anything other than a press release.

        20

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          At last it has come out that SolarReserve will have to borrow to construct the plant. Presumably about $A750 million, which brings the total cost back to about that of Crescent Dunes in Tonopah, Nevada which they built. I would say they own that facility except it seems to have been built almost entirely on borrowings and government credits.
          From my calculations using Tony’s figure of 37% capacity factor, (generous) the constrained max. generation capacity of 125MW and interest at 1% on borrowings, it would take 22 years to pay off the plant. NO Profit at all in 20 years then.

          00

      • #

        Graeme, you need to look up the difference between Solar PV and solar thermal.

        01

  • #
    Geoff

    As an ex-South Australia I can only weep. These idiots have had lots of help from the tax payer. They have bankrupted the state for a generation in advance. They are training our children to believe in the magic pudding. This will end in misery.

    470

    • #
      Leonard Lane

      Geoff:
      It seems obvious that SA is headed in a way that is harmful to the people of the state and their economic future. How is it that the voters keep putting the Green/Left back in power?

      210

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Good question Leonard.

        I suspect it will soon change. I hear the rumble.

        Do you hear the tumbrils?

        Horse power. That’s all they’ve got.

        Weatherdill and his socialist green comrades are for Madame Guillotine:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHVo0hJhnK4

        131

      • #
        William

        There has been a massive gerrymander in South Australia Leonard – I believe the Libs need around 54% of the vote to win government from the loons. However I did read that there has been a change in electoral boundaries that might make it easier – if they can field an effective option.

        90

        • #
          Dennis

          Yes, the electoral boundaries have been changed and Labor is no longer in such a well protected from voters position now.

          Last year the SA Labor government appealed to the High Court against the redistribution and lost the appeal.

          They are not in panic mode as the election date draws closer and one major worry is electricity supply being unreliable and leading to blackouts on the eve of the next election. So they are doing a Rudd/Gillard Labor squandering taxpayer’s monies trying to convince voters that Labor is hard at work on their behalf.

          80

      • #
        John Michelmore

        The voters keep putting Labor back in because Labor are the best at handing out other peoples money (and dealing in crony capitalism) to save communities in trouble. These communities are desperate to have jobs and activity, the cost and who pays for it is not the first consideration. Sometime in the future when the money must be paid back and the coffers are completely empty, is when Dick Smiths prediction about unrest comes to fruition. Meanwhile pork barrelling is the future until the big crunch. None of this is about the correct economic decisions, its about re election, complying with our real government (the UN) and hoping voters can’t see past the spin coming from all levels of government.

        80

    • #
      James

      I thought things were bad in the state bank days. Now things are completely nuts. I am glad that I left SA.

      90

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      It will end in misery unless the voters give every politician an electoral hiding they will never ever forget in this country……they need to be made an example of…..

      My thought is elect the conservative right wing parties and side line the globalists play things ( liberal and labor ) for 10 years…the globalists will go incandescent and pull every dirty trick you can think of, but the question is : Who owns the State – the voters – or – the globalists?

      This is as much an issue of national Soveriegnty as it is about electricity……

      Slavery or freedom – choose wisely….

      100

  • #
    RobertR

    Oh they’re all really hip, Elon’s involved now. They’ll have electric cars, but diesel power generators to provide the electricity to charge the batteries to keep the cars going and to keep the lights on………and to……….. charge the big battery……….

    280

    • #
      Another Ian

      “Today’s fake-industry leader is Tesla, the electric car developed by subsidy entrepreneur Elon Musk, who also heads SolarCity and SpaceX, other government darlings. Musk’s genius is primarily in the subsidy-seeking realm — by 2015, U.S. governments alone had given his companies US$5 billion through direct grants, tax breaks, cut-rate loans, cashable environmental credits, tax credits and rebates to buyers of his products. Counting subsidies from Canada and Europe, the government bankroll could be double that. Counting indirect subsidies — such as electric-vehicle-friendly infrastructure — the subsidies soar ever higher.”

      http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2017/08/we-dont-need-no-643.html

      211

    • #
      Roger

      and Electric cars add very significantly to CO2 emissions – each Tesla car battery releases 15 – 20 tonnes of CO2 during its manufacture. 150 – 200kg per 1 kWh of storage as demonstrated by IVL Swedish Research Institute in a study sponsored by the Swedish government.

      Each electric car – before its battery gets its first charge – emits More CO2 than 8 years of driving a normal car.

      How many years of Emissions from a coal fired power station will Musk’s Magic Battery for SA equal ? My guess is more than it saves.

      161

  • #
    Gary

    Socialism or Marxism? Or both.
    Destroy everything that builds an economy and build everything that destroys an economy.

    I’m in despair at what is being done to this great country of ours by these idiots.

    350

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      You are not alone Gary.

      However, while they are idiots they absolutely know what it is that they are doing. They are anti-Capitalist, anti-democratic, anti-free-market.

      Totalitarians all – of the Stalinist kind.

      South Australia is stuffed.

      So badly is it stuffed, you won’t even need to turn out the lights when you leave.

      200

      • #
        Spetzer86

        That’s only because they plan on turning off the electricity before everyone’s out.

        80

      • #
        Manfred

        Hon Visiting Professor Juliet Gillard “Changing Minds Saves Lives” delivered at University of Adelaide – how excruciatingly ironic.

        Do you think the SA eco-Marxist government will permit a mass exodus of the jobless from a collapsed economy and housing market? Consider how many rickshaw drivers they’ll need and how they’ll be compelled to incrementally return to an early nineteenth century labour intensive economy (but without steam). They’ll have no money to import food and other basic necessities.
        They will become a failed State and they will cease being democratic.
        I wonder if this is the Green utopia the latte drinkers over at The Conversation aspired to?
        The eco-Marxist policy of open borders will reverse itself in SA. It’ll have to.

        40

      • #
        el gordo

        ‘They are anti-Capitalist, anti-democratic, anti-free-market.’

        They are none of the above, their only intention is to save the planet for their grandchildren.

        All this nonsense could be overturned very quickly if we had a Royal Commission into climate science.

        60

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          They just need an absolute blood letting ( politically ) at the ballot box.

          SA needs to be held up as a political slaughter FOR BOTH PARTIES at the next election.

          Politicians need to speak in hushed whispers when “SA” is every mentioned again……

          110

  • #
    Mark

    It’ll be fun when they have the next Premiers’ conference and SA has its hand out for more of WA’s money!! I hope the WA Premier at least has the decency to laugh.

    280

  • #
    Popeye26

    Aaaah,

    Jay Weatherill – obviously a MASTER at mathematics.

    Elon Musk saw him as an idiot, took advantage of the moment, (as Elon is prone to do when he sees taxpayer dollars up for grabs) and sucked SA of a few hundred million dollars.

    Glad to say I moved away from SA (was born in Adelaide) many years ago and now live in the “comparable” Utopia of NSW.

    Blew up one of their coal fired generators in Port Augusta – Smart move dunderheads. Not much CDF hey!!

    Cheers,

    191

    • #
      yarpos

      Who can forget the dewy eyed Weatherill gazing up adoringly at the Musker as he spoke. So, so happy and in love.

      40

  • #
    el gordo

    I have faith in the democratic system, South Australians aren’t stupid, they will vote according to the pain in the hip pocket nerve.

    ‘CONFIDENCE in the reliability of SA’s electricity system has plummeted to almost half the rate of other states, figures show.

    ‘The third of three surveys over 18 months by Energy Consumers Australia, reveal “positivity” in the network is 45 per cent.

    ‘This compares with a high of 84 per cent in the ACT, 75 per cent in NSW, 80 per cent in Victoria, 77 per cent in country Queensland, 73 per cent in WA, 75 per cent in Tasmania, and 76 per cent in South East Queensland.’

    The Advertiser July 2017

    100

    • #
      TdeF

      Yes, but most work for the government. So Jay is making sure their power does not go off in the next blackout. Especially his own office. Bureaucrats need their power. Hospitals, airports, traffic lights, elevators, dialysis machines, incubators, smelters,… but not public servants. They will be able to keep going doing their essential work of spending other people’s money. Then ride their bikes home.

      170

    • #
      Yonniestone

      That’s what I kept telling myself about Victorian voters el gordo and yet here we are……..again.

      The scary part is the people are losing the ability to think for themselves with each generation, eventually the majority will allow themselves to be stripped of all rights and assets because that’s how their parents voted, there’s no opposition in a benevolent dictatorship.

      71

      • #
        el gordo

        ‘…..there’s no opposition in a benevolent dictatorship.’

        Few and far between, so we’ll have to wait for global cooling to kick in.

        30

  • #

    Last night, against better judgement, I watched a noisy, repetitive movie full of synthetic action, pregnant glares and mumbled dialogue. (It was called Mad Max: Fury Road but should have been called Where’s Mel?.)

    One highlight is a one-armed chick who can match it with any bloke because she…because she…because she’s a one-armed chick, okay? There are other chicks who can carve up big, beefy blokes because…oh, just because!

    In every era people are conditioned to believe and accept the improbable for reasons of political expediency and religious reverence. The fact that everyone knows something is improbable or even absurd does not intrude on this automated belief and acceptance. Of course you can run a state on wind-power. Of course you should blow up a coal power plant. Of course it works out cheaper. Of course.

    South Australia is a one-armed chick who wins every fight. Observe. Believe. Applaud.

    290

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

      Arthur Conan Doyle

      90

    • #
      Yonniestone

      You can’t beat the original, never will.

      “Jay the boy has done it again, this time its A solar.”

      50

  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    I think you have underestimated how many jobs have and will be lost because of the closure of that coal fired power station .
    Jobs that relied on that industry in Leigh Creek and Copley need to be added .

    140

  • #
    cedarhill

    Nice to know that the SA folks are proving Darwin right about evolution. They’re going from homo sapiens (wise man) to homo bruta (dumb man) which rapidly evolves to full hominis extincti (extinct man).

    120

  • #
    TdeF

    Just when you think South Australia has reached Peak Stupid, they exceed all expectations. By now they must have the lowest CO2 in the world, except for all that gas and diesel. How are they going to pay their RET though? That goes to the owners of the Windmills, not the government.

    150

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Maybe ask their inspiriation, NK, for a hand out…afer all, with the nuke program, clearly despite starving millions, they have money to throw at missle programs & shout at the rest of the world…..

      Everyone should leave SA, then it can commiserate with California as two genuinely failed states, like their brothewr in arms, NK….

      30

  • #
    TdeF

    Off topic on Barnaby Joyce. On the NZ government website “If you were born overseas and at least 1 of your parents is a New Zealand citizen by birth or grant, you are an NZ citizen by descent.”

    Even “Citizenship by birth—from 27 February 2001. A child born in Australia on or after 27 February 2001 to a New Zealand citizen parent is not an Australian citizen by birth”

    The debate over citizenship is extremely complex, a fact most New Zealanders would know. Rights have varied but the sticking point is the automatic citizenship by descent. Australian law has changed many times. Barnaby Joyce would not be aware of any of this, of course.

    So Turnbull’s majority of one is possibly gone. So is his deputy leader and minister and party leader. Of course the court might accept his total lack of knowledge of this default condition, but is that reasonable? I would think a lot of New Zealanders were very aware of this.

    An election coming. Parliament cannot be prorogued for months. Tony Windsor is knocking on the door and Malcolm’s Liberals and Malcolm’s Nationals are on the nose.

    There is a huge change in the wind. Jay Weatherill impresses though. As State and Federal governments throw our money away, blow up power stations, blame everyone but themselves for the power prices and ask us to suffer for the people of the world, is any government safe? At the same time the big issue is same sex marriage? Now it would cost very little to have a referendum tied to an election and that will be soon.

    81

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Tony Windsor is knocking on the door and Malcolm’s Liberals and Malcolm’s Nationals are on the nose.

      Steady TdeF. Barnaby’s Nationals are not Malcolm’s.

      The difference?

      Barnaby held his own at the last election and The Nationals held their ground if I recall. He knocked that sniveling suckhole Tony Windsor into the drack drain – where he belongs.

      The Nationals saved poor old Malcolm’s bacon.

      The thing to do is, no matter what, make sure The Nationals have the balance of power in the Senate, should there be an early election.

      103

      • #
        TdeF

        Sure, but at what point did Barnaby’s Nationals make a jot of difference to Malcolm’s agenda? Malcolm detests the Nationals almost as much as he hates the (conservative) Liberals. Malcolm’s family has been solid Labor for generations, since his great uncle was the leader of the British Labor party. Copycat Labor policies, as if no one noticed. Gonski 2.0? VFT? All that’s missing is the Republic.

        Malcolm’s election dream was a secret pact with the Greens, electorally wiping out both Labor and the Nationals. Di Natalie led him on, which is why Malcolm didn’t campaign and almost lost the election. So Di Natalie was nearly deputy PM under Shorten. One seat. Daniel Andrews saved all the Liberal seats in Victoria. Don’t forget this was a Liberal party with a landslide victory in the previous election under Abbott. The only people who like Turnbull do not vote for him. No, Barnaby has not called the shots at any time.

        162

      • #
        beowulf

        Sorry Sceptical Sam, but you’re not being sceptical enough. The facts that Barnaby defeated the traitor Windsor, and that the Nationals saved Turnbull’s bacon do not indicate any degree of independence. Barnaby could have used that as leverage against Turnbull to pursue independent policies — instead he threw away that advantage, preferring to nuzzle up to the Arch Assassin.

        As an old country boy myself, Barnaby has been the greatest of disappointments to me. He lost his apparent early independence of thought and action to become Big Mal’s snivelling, sycophantic lap-dog — especially after the coup. In fact he is becoming more of an attack-dog than a lap-dog, rushing to Mal’s defence at every opportunity, defending the indefensible. He seems keen to ‘out-Turnbull’ Turnbull himself on some issues.

        Under Barnaby the Nationals (with a couple of exceptions) have become nothing more than a rubber stamp for Turnbull’s worst excesses. The proverbial cigarette paper couldn’t squeeze between the two parties now. We even have the Young Nationals clamouring for more windmills, solar panels and carbon taxes FFS. There’s the future of your ‘independent’ national Party. They are most definitely Malcolm’s to do with as he pleases while ever he stays in power, and he knows it.

        120

    • #
      Another Ian

      TdeF

      According to the bloke on Ray Hadley’s show yesterday there are 3 time periods with different rules on New Zealand citizenship.

      The period covering Barnaby’s birth year requires completing the formwork required to be considered a NZ citizen.

      120

    • #
      Chris in Hervey Bay

      A good friend of mine lost the custody of her 2 children because her husband is a New Zealand national.

      They all still live here in Australia.

      The Australian Family Law Court recognized the New Zealand law and deemed the children New Zealanders even though both children were born in Australia.

      That occurred about 20 years ago.

      50

      • #
        Another Ian

        Chris

        More on 13.2

        IIRC the age bracket that covers Barnaby ends about 1977 when things for NZ citizenship changed again

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      John in Oz

      My Oath of Allegiance, taken in 1980, reads (my bold):

      I, A. B., renouncing all other allegiance, swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia, Her heirs and successors according to law, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Australia and fulfil my duties as an Australian citizen.

      This is from the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 (several modifications since).

      Is it necessary to tell your departing country that you have renounced allegiance to them?

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      • #
        John PAK

        Fair point John in Oz.
        We need someone with a degree in engineering who had some expertise in the power industry to run the Sth Au grid. I wouldn’t care if he/she was born on the Moon to a couple of Latvian Lesbians, so long as they did the job properly.

        I find the Pythonesque parliamentary bickering over nationality somewhat embarrassing.

        My father was born in Brisbane but somehow ended up serving in the British RAF during WW2 and later became a key player in the UK’s reactor design team which involved signing the official secrets act so I only knew what he did in recent years. He had zero qualifications but they just wanted the best engineers available at the time to design the worlds first power generating nuclear reactor so the UKAEA never quibbled about his lack of a passport or his rather vague nationality.

        30

      • #

        irrelevant to Barnaby

        22

      • #
        TdeF

        It is more the document he signed, as you would expect, to attest to his lack of a conflict of citizenship. This is not a trivial document.

        Candidate nomination
        declares that:
        the person is qualified under the Constitution and the laws of the Commonwealth to be elected as a Senator or a member of the House of Representatives, as the case may be;

        False or misleading statements
        11. Division 137 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) (the Criminal Code) makes it an offence to provide false or misleading information or documents in purported compliance with a law of the Commonwealth, with a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment.

        Section 44 of the Constitution sets out restrictions on who can be a candidate for Federal parliament. In full it reads:

        44. Any person who -
        (i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power

        That is clear enough. Of course you would not expect a politician to know the law.

        Also very interesting today is the John Lyons’ book A Balcony Over Jerusalem where he mentions Xenophon travelling on a Greek passport. Xenophon says that never happened.

        30

    • #
      Dennis

      Automatic eligibility upon application to the New Zealand Government.

      The same person with the Kiwi parent being automatically eligible but the offspring of that person is not automatically eligible.

      I filled out the on line form today to learn how the system works, but as I could not complete the application I only got as far as parent’s details.

      30

      • #
        Dennis

        By the way, New Zealand used to be governed from New South Wales and is today still listed on the Australian Constitution and a member of the Commonwealth of Australia along with mainland states and Tasmania. The NZ Government sends delegates to the Australian Constitutional Convention when held from time to time and discussions have included a single currency and NZ becoming an Australian state again, not as part of NSW next time.

        Closer Economic Relations (CER) was signed between Oz and NZ decades ago to allow citizens of both countries to travel back and forth without the need for a visa, and to stay in either country as long as we like.

        We are much more closely related and aligned than the average Kiwi would be happy about, so if you meet one don’t mention this stuff.

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    • #
      philthegeek

      Barnyard is toast……that just hasn’t popped out of the toaster yet.

      Have a read of what he thinks about the dual citizenship thing……..when it doesn’t apply to him. :)

      There are basic principle from S44 that apply here and Barnaby is well on the wrong side of them. The wriggling, squirming and hysteria from the Govt is fun to watch though.

      12

      • #
        Dennis

        From the New Zealand Government website;

        Who can get it

        If you were born overseas and at least 1 of your parents is a New Zealand citizen by birth or grant, you are an NZ citizen by descent. To get yourself an NZ passport, you need to register your citizenship. You can order a passport at the same time by ticking a box on the form.

        If you are under 16, you apply for citizenship as a child

        20

        • #
          philthegeek

          Dennis, from what i am reading that was NOT the situation in the applicable timeframes for Barnaby. The NZ Govt has checked and declared that he is a dual national…..i’ll take their word on matters of NZ law.

          That said, Barnyard has just announced he has renounced his NZ citizenship. Means he can stand in a by election, but doesn’t solve his problem. Its a status at relevant times thing.

          He’s toast. :)

          10

        • #
          Robber

          As I read it, anyone is entitled to be an NZ citizen by virtue of an NZ father if you apply. But if you have never registered, how does NZ government even know Barnaby exists? He doesn’t have an NZ birth certificate, he is not registered to vote, he doesn’t own NZ property, and doesn’t have an NZ passport. Case closed your honour.

          41

          • #
            philthegeek

            Case closed your honour

            Not that simple. Its the law that applies at the relevant time. Barnyard IS (or was as he renounced like today) and NZ dual national when he ran for election. NZ govt confirmed. Yup, someone in his position now wouldn’t be unless they applied, but thats irrelevant. Just because the kiwis changed the law AFTER Barny was a citizen, does NOT mean his status changed. They didn’t take the citizenship off him that he had.

            He’s Toast. A bit like Roberts, although Roberts has told porkies about it, whereas Barnyard is just thick.

            11

  • #
    TdeF

    Off topic on Barnaby Joyce. On the NZ government website “If you were born overseas and at least 1 of your parents is a New Zealand citizen by birth or grant, you are an NZ citizen by descent.”

    Even “Citizenship by birth—from 27 February 2001. A child born in Australia on or after 27 February 2001 to a New Zealand citizen parent is not an Australian citizen by birth”

    The debate over citizenship is extremely complex, a fact most New Zealanders would know. Rights have varied but the sticking point is the automatic citizenship by descent. Australian law has changed many times. Barnaby Joyce would not be aware of any of this, of course.

    So Turnbull’s majority of one is possibly gone. So is his deputy leader and minister and party leader. Of course the court might accept his total lack of knowledge of this default condition, but is that reasonable? I would think a lot of New Zealanders were very aware of this.

    An election coming. Parliament cannot be prorogued for months. Tony Windsor is knocking on the door and Malcolm’s Liberals and Malcolm’s Nationals are on the nose.

    There is a huge change in the wind. Jay Weatherill impresses though. As State and Federal governments throw our money away, blow up power stations, blame everyone but themselves for the power prices and ask us to suffer for the people of the world, is any government safe? At the same time the big issue is same sx marriage? Now it would cost very little to have a referendum tied to an election and that will be soon.

    10

    • #

      Yes, if the Government cannot keep confidence the best way to go is a Referendum on SS Marriage at the next election.
      Just to be fair, they could actually tell us what SS marriage is
      when enacted and about enshrining fundamental freedoms of religion and speech in the bill.
      Same goes for the Republic push.
      What sort of republic are they going for?
      If its presidential, I’m out.
      If you want proof, glance towards the USA.
      If you vote ‘for a republic’, you don’t know which one will eventuate.
      Until they guarantee the stability we now have, they are wasting our time discussing it.

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    • #
      Robert Rosicka

      Tdef , there are 100 things that Australia needs to address,SX marriage is 101 on that list .

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      • #
        TdeF

        My point too. Also that Civil Unions are already legal in every state regardless of gender. Yes, you can throw rice. So it is not necessary or even logical and I expect not something most of the existing 38,000 ss couples want, but who asks them? The same with “Green” power and “Green” jobs and low cost wind and solar and Climate Change. All nebulous fantasies from the swamp.

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        • #
          clive hoskin

          Tucker Carlson brings up something which these”gender Benders”haven’t thought about.If you can say what SEX you are,then you can also say YOU are a person of COLOUR.That will throw the cat among the pigeons.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7gFeF_AQow

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        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Its a great distraction though…and allows a free attack by nhilists against Christians, to boot….

          I need to keep harping on this point as our whole bedrock of morality and laws and prosperity are from Christianity.

          SSM is a trojan horse to attack the foundations of society, it goes way way deeper than just allowing homosexuals to “marry”…. a friend who is homosexual says he cant see the need for it. If thats the case, then who really is pushing it?

          The Left loves divisive causes – they see a “crack” in society , and they put a jemmy in and open up a bit more to play with…..aka troublemakers….

          40

    • #
      John PAK

      Barnaby needs to “come-out” as a lesbian and then the PC twits will feel obliged to leave him alone.

      40

  • #
    Mark

    ‘Peak stupid’, a great, but daring concept. Daring because it seems there is always a higher peak to climb. Like the one in Venezuela.

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    • #
      Gary

      This is a fitting epithet for Wetherill:
      The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

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      • #
        The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler

        Also attributed to Al (no, the other one; the bloke who actually used his brain … )

        “Only two things are infinite, the Universe and human stupidity; and I am not certain of the former.”

        52

        • #
          Greg Cavanagh

          While Albert was being comical about it, he states in such a way that he messes up the message. So please allow me to rephrase “Human stupidity; the one thing in the universe that is infinite”.

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        • #
          Another Ian

          Didn’t he also reckon that

          Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result was a sure sign of insanity?

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  • #
    Owen Morgan

    South Australia is the biggest Petri dish in the world: the size of Spain and France put together. It has demonstrated that renewables don’t work. Yes, the science is never settled, but there are reasons to believe that photovoltaic and wind technology cannot supply South Australia’s needs. Not now. Not ever.

    And, let’s face it: that’s a place with a tiny population, smaller than Hampshire’s, in England.

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    • #
      Manfred

      It really depends where one settles the level of ‘need’.
      Given the Greens are anti-industrial, anti-prosperity and anti-population, anti-livestock and anti-freedom, pro-regulation and pro-insects, it should help to clarify one’s thought.
      The UN have also clarified the issue if there’s any doubt.

      TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD:THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

      The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda.

      28. We commit to making fundamental changes in the way that our societies produce and consume goods and services. Governments, international organizations, the sector and other non-state actors and individuals must contribute to changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns, …

      SA is the future unplugged.

      40

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Manfred:

        What happens when the money runs out? e.g. when they can no longer borrow enough to pay the salaries of the greens in teaching and the public service.

        20

  • #

    Time for WREXIT, isn’t it?
    And a HARD WREXIT to boot!
    Make that waster Weatherill
    accountable, W.A.

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    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      Ever since Joe’s days and perhaps before, Queenslander’s have been talking about putting a fence around the state and abdicating from Australia.

      Now we have SA. For the first time in over two centuries, we have a real practical location for Australia’s new penal colony.

      We don’t need no Mel Gibson movie showing a post apocalyptic world, we have our very South Australia. Fence it off and preserve it for future historical reference, and movie backdrops.

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      • #
        el gordo

        We need to understand their political culture.

        As you know SA is the only state that wasn’t a penal colony and became popular with German immigrants. In the fullness of time Adelaide blossomed into a city of churches.

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  • #

    Why just argue against the South Australians?
    Our treasurer is saying coal fired power is too expensive.
    http://www.afr.com/business/energy/treasurer-scott-morrison-says-cheap-coalfired-power-era-is-ending-20170813-gxv3z3
    Yet the point about coal is that it is reliable, and gas is becoming more expensive.
    Now if this were the US he would be right, but with the emissions ‘goals’, coal is priced right out of the equation.
    An own goal.
    “But that said, we need to ensure that we get the rules right so people can have confidence investing in new energy supply. I don’t care what they invest in, if they invest in coal or they invest in wind.”

    Read more: http://www.afr.com/business/energy/treasurer-scott-morrison-says-cheap-coalfired-power-era-is-ending-20170813-gxv3z3#ixzz4pj8nWzOv
    Follow us: @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook

    He should care deeply.
    He and his party before him, has made electricity too dear for us to run our businesses, due to a failing ideology that few countries care about in practice.
    Pakistan, India and China come to mind.
    He still believes we can save the planet from inevitable climate change.
    If renewables are so efficient, why do I have to subsidise them?
    The rules make businesses close down.
    We need rules that cut our real taxes on energy.
    Its a disgrace that they are going to put an emission tax on cars next, to make electrics ‘economical’,or just cheaper than petrol driven vehicles.
    This would be a tax on transport, the life blood of the economy.
    It would damage interstate and intrastate trade.
    Constitutional responsibilities of the federal government.
    Only the other day I learned that recycled glass is being stockpiled because imports are cheaper.
    Well, of course.
    That’s because gas and electricity, the things needed in glass manufacture, are so dear its easier and cheaper to ship the product across vast oceans.
    Its like the Holden story where it used to cost as much to transport a car from Japan as to deliver it to Melbourne when built in Dandenong.Sending it interstate cost more than direct delivery from Japan.
    I note that coal power is being supported by our deputy Prime Minister, who may need to face a by election soon.
    How humiliating it must be for a treasurer, who is clearly intelligent, to have to sort out such a mess.
    To care though is the hard part.
    Take a leaf from the Conservatives in the UK and push back the goals on emissions until better technology comes around.
    Wind and solar don’t cut it.
    Actually use the precautionary principle.
    With incidental constitutional power prevent the destruction of stable base load stations until replacements are on line and tested.
    Stop taxes on transport disguised as saving the planet.
    Ensure that experimental grid networks be tested on the willing volunteer businesses and households that believe in the need,
    not on whole states.
    Allow freedom of choice where consumers opt out of green subsidy for electricity to allow people who want this some ‘skin in the game’,and expose them to real costs.
    Rather than being afraid and bending in the wind,vigorously point out you are going to listen and fix this, not watch as we go broke.
    Make this a point of difference between yourselves and your political opponents.
    Appeal to small business and their employees.
    Be seen to care, this is about people.

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    AndrewWA

    If you want to know just how these Thermal SOLAR plants under-perform just Google Ivanpa, California and Crescent Dunes, Nevada. Both have failed to satisfy production milestones and have need relief from supply obligations.

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  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    If only we could convert stupidity into electricity without burning more money than the coal it would take to make it, we would have an inexhaustible and highly reliable supply of electricity. Even stopping the stupidity would make a huge difference.

    Alas, it seems the tsunami of stupidity is simply going to have to work itself out. Unlike an ocean tsunami coming to shore, there is no high ground to go to for safety. The best we can do is not be stupid ourselves.

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  • #
    Gerry, England

    I don’t have anything personally against South Australians – well until the Ashes start of course – but the sooner the whole state collapses into a Mad Max post apocalypse world as an example of what renewable energy can achieve the better. Then it can be held up as shining example of what not to do. Sadly with the morons with have running things in the UK they will want to try it for themselves rather than believe the evidence.

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  • #
    Tom O

    This “anti-alarmist” post makes the same irritating point that they all make, and I wish they would all stop. We have seen a sharp rise in CO2 without any corresponding rise in temperature.

    I don’t care what the “alarmist” say about “natural variability temporarily causing the pause and hiding the rise,” all I know is that it is obvious that CO2 is not “the thermostat’s control knob.” To that end, I would like to see all these posts dropping the “obligatory” comment of “won’t affect the global temperature more than .0x degrees.”

    Fact is, it won’t change the global temperature, period, so WHY do we have to have this obligatory comment in every post? It’s like the genuflect of “climate change” in all the research papers, whether or not they actually are researching something to prove/disprove climate change. The rise in CO2 had not shown any discernible affect, so stop pretending it does and report stupidity in terms of stupidity.

    Every time I see a comment like “it will buy global coolness by some number starting with three decimal places of zero” it says CO2 has a discernible affect on temperature, and plays into the hand of stupidity. Not only that, but it also sends a denial signal that the world isn’t cooling down but still warming. The only thing that shows “warming” is the data manipulation.

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    • #
      David Maddison

      I agree. For the same reason I don’t like the term HELE for High Efficiency Low Emissions describing super and ultrasupercritical coal plant. It makes it sound as though “low emissions” is an advantage when it is irrelevant. I refer to CO2 specifically, obviously there should be the standard scrubbing of flue gases for sulphur etc..

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    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      Agree Tom. I assume Jo does it because we have readers from the political parties, so she makes a point at opportune times point out the stupidity of it.

      But I do agree with you, CO2 is not in any way the control for temperature…The End. No snarky comments, just that.

      After all, any presumed reduction of world temperature by 0.0000001C is purely theoretical, and can never be measured. I would like to see Jo focus on this aspect more forceful: vis-a-vis: “If it can’t be measured, it doesn’t exist.”

      71

    • #
      el gordo

      Yep CO2 does not cause global warming, but I would take it further and tell people that global cooling has begun.

      Is there one politician who agrees with me?

      70

    • #
      Manfred

      Well said Tom O @ #22.

      The UN Trojan horse of Climatism was always a hollow argument.

      20

      • #
        John PAK

        Yes, we need to get past this notion of CO2 warming and see that it’s a Global Governance Agenda as Ottmar Edenhofer PhD has pointed out.

        30

    • #

      Tom, thanks for the feedback. To clarify, after years in this debate where so many things I thought I knew for sure have become questionable, it’s still my sincere belief that CO2 raises surface temperatures by something small, probably with a climate sensitivity of a tenth to a fifth of what the IPCC crowd are guessing. David E (the other half) and I spend hours talking about this — he’s spent years working on more accurate estimates. (Another round of advances on that soon – book coming.)

      A few years ago I made a comment about 0.00C in an Op Ed. The editor of a major newspaper was going to remove it as a flippant comment, but I protested that it was exact and accurate to two decimal places. After batting it back and forward, I won the point, and it appeared to leave quite an impression. She genuinely hadn’t realized that even if we assume their models are right, there is still nothing materially useful about any of our reductions.

      50

  • #
    tom0mason

    Sorry for SA citizens but it’s big news for the rest of the world. The faster SA can drive themselves back to the dark ages the faster the rest of the world will learn that unreliables are not the answer.

    I’m still betting on Germany pipping SA to the post in being able to totally disable their industries and citizens from the realities of living in the 21st century.

    70

  • #
    pat

    12 Aug: Australian: Chris Kenny: Rush into renewables without a sensible plan is no way to operate
    South Australia is not the only energy-rich constituency that has deliberately harmed itself in an ideological push to lead the global charge on renewable energy. If its statewide blackouts and world’s most expensive electricity don’t do enough to wake up the rest of the nation then we should cast our eyes across the Pacific to Canada.

    In the vast province of Ontario the Liberal (left-of-centre) government has spent the past decade subsidising large-scale renew­ables, imposing a cap-and-trade system on industry and deliber­ately eradicating coal-fired electricity. The result has been a doubling of power prices and a decline in the manufacturing base.

    To borrow from the great Canadian songwriter Leonard Cohen, we have been shown our energy future and it is murder…

    This self-harm ought to have people marching in the street. But government spin and the green-left bent of most media keeps a lot of anger at bay, convincing at least some voters that the rest of the world is moving with them or that they are saving the planet…READ ALL
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/rush-into-renewables-without-a-sensible-plan-is-no-way-to-operate/news-story/8c5016f5aed543b14d2bc9174770087e

    50

    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      Even if voters did wish for something different no one offers any such choice. Liberal. Australian Greens. Nick Xenophon Team. One Nation. There you have it. Life in a one-party state.

      20

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        The only way to make a point is to hamstring them politically…..if no one can govern ( via a mass informal vote ), you have a crisis, but it certainly makes them sit up and take notice.

        The globalists will become nasty very quickly, becasue they will lose grip on power, and they will take any step they consider necessary ( unrestrained by any morals ) to restore that….

        40

        • #
          Manfred

          The US furnishes the perfect illustration of Globocult insurrection. As you elegantly point out, any step they consider necessary (unrestrained by any morals) to restore that… [grip on power] they will employ. Alinsky’s handbook is their very grip on reality.
          They can only be met with an unrelenting, undefeated resolve to ensure that rationality, prosperity, education, democracy and order prevail. And then they need to be reduced to terminal irrelevancy.

          30

      • #
        el gordo

        A pseudo Marxist dictatorship.

        20

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          I think SA could in the spirit of its current Communist leadership, kick-start its car industry and manufacture the awful Trabant….

          It would be a fitting epitaph for SA….

          41

      • #
        robert rosicka

        why do people keep saying one nation are the same as the other mainstream parties ?, there is a big difference .

        30

        • #
          el gordo

          One Nation and the Greens agree that multinationals shouldn’t steal our energy resources and leave us wanting.

          If Tony Abbott became PM he could woo One Nation voters back to the Coalition, or form an alliance, by stealing chunks of their platform.

          Supposing the High Court rules against Barnaby and there is a snap election, Labor is a clear favourite to win according to the punters.

          10

  • #
    pat

    a tale from North Carolina. time will tell:

    13 Aug: GreensboroNews&Record: Our Opinion: On a dark afternoon
    As the story on today’s Ideas front explains, scientists look forward to learning a lot from the solar eclipse on Aug. 21.
    But the nation’s energy suppliers don’t want any surprises.
    That’s especially important in North Carolina, the state whose electrical grid will be most affected — and for the first time, as solar power confronts a solar eclipse.

    North Carolina’s rapidly developing renewable-energy industry has propelled it to second in the nation for solar power, behind only California. But North Carolina is more directly in the path of the eclipse, with the sun at least 90 percent obscured across the state, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This will happen between 1 and 3 in the afternoon a week from Monday, a time when solar-energy production normally is hitting its peak.

    It’s a substantial peak in North Carolina, according to Duke Energy, which says it manages energy from more than three-quarters of the state’s 3,200 megawatts of solar power. But for about 90 minutes, it expects its solar output to drop from 2,500 megawatts to 200 megawatts. That will mark a rapid descent from the mountaintop.

    Don’t expect the grid to go dark, however. The California Public Utilities Commission is asking residents there to conserve power during the eclipse, but Duke isn’t making a similar request. It has everything covered, according to its communications office.

    As the time for the eclipse nears, Duke operators plan to decrease solar production slowly and gradually increase output from natural-gas plants. There will be a steady flow of electricity — even enough to handle extra demand if customers turn more lights on as the sunlight vanishes.

    The process may be similar to what happens every night. Until someone finds a way to store sunlight on a large scale, solar power production drops to nothing at the end of the day. Then Duke draws more from gas, coal, nuclear, hydro and others in its wide mix of energy sources…

    The argument against over-reliance on solar is valid. Night falls after every single day. The weather often delivers dark clouds. If an energy company such as Duke were to rely too heavily on solar, it would have to keep an unrealistic amount of production capacity in reserve — idle, but ready to kick into gear when the sun disappears. And that’s expensive…

    The nation’s energy suppliers will learn, as scientists will, about the effects of this kind of solar interruption. Like scientists, they’ll extrapolate their findings to other situations and draw lessons that will help them keep the lights on when other challenges arise.
    http://www.greensboro.com/opinion/n_and_r_editorials/our-opinion-on-a-dark-afternoon/article_65fa26ad-ee37-59f0-9352-d530ec56f491.html

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  • #

    Senator Pixie Ann Wheatley Nick Xenophon said this: (my bolding here)

    “This will make a difference in the South Australia energy market. It will secure the grid and mean more baseload power than intermittent power,” he said.

    The Base Load for South Australia is at around 4AM every morning, every morning, and averages around 1100MW.

    The total amount of power that will be generated and delivered by this Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant at 4AM on ANY morning, even at the height of Summer will be …..

    ZERO MEGAWATTS

    There is not one plant of 150MW Nameplate on Planet Earth which has EVER generated 24 hour power, and this plant will not be the first to do it.

    If you want some facts on CSP, you only need to see how poorly it works in Spain, and I have some information on just that at the link below.

    This is just another joke from a Government that has no idea at all.

    Solar Thermal Power (Concentrating Solar) Fail – Just Look At Spain

    Note the date I wrote this, four years ago, and still they cannot even get remotely close to 24 hour power, no matter how many hours of heat diversion they have.

    Tony.

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    • #
      tom0mason

      What they need is an IR concentrator to use all that back radiation from CO2 that is raining down unused 24/7.

      131

    • #
      Mark M

      For o/s visitors, Cultural Reference: Pixie Anne Wheatley.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfCnuMxcK0o

      20

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        I wonder if we could get Wetherall renamed to Manuel – as in from Fawlty Towers?

        “Manuel!!!!”

        ….doonk!! ( sound of spoon on forehead…)

        20

      • #
        Annie

        ‘Cultural’? Yuk! I wish I hadn’t looked…soon turned off again. People think that’s clever or funny?! And the voice :(

        20

    • #
      John in Oz

      Thanks for your work, Tony.

      I have reminded our local SA pollies and my local PAW member of their collective stupidity using some of your data.

      If they only looked at Port Augusta’s weather forecast for this week they would see (if the blinkers were off) that it is not looking too good for CSP generation.

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  • #

    Zero megawatts, eh?

    I have an idea! Let’s get Elon Musk, the Joyce Mayne of Science Innovation, to acquire South Australia as a proving ground for life on Mars. Crow-eaters could be paid to sit or lie in the dark while waiting for their solar panels to warm up. They could be tested for adjustment to cold meals and warm Coopers.

    Those zero megawatts could be turned to big dollars. Jay will soon be thinking of ways to multiply zero.

    41

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    Curious George

    Dr. Jay Weatherill is full of energy. Oh, wrong, not Dr. Weatherill. A real doctor would try it on rats first.

    51

  • #
    Bobl

    The stupid thing is Tony, that storage even if it did work turns a 150 MW station into a 20-25MW station. Because you can’t charge the storage with 1GW while delivering 150 MW if you only have 150MW of sunlight to use at midday in summer when it’s cloudless and low humidity.

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    • #

      Bobl has it correct here:

      where this plant says storage, that’s not battery storage as in diverting part of the electricity being generated to charge up a battery for later use.

      It’s HEAT storage.

      The mirrors point to to the top of the solar tower, where the compound is passed, and the heat makes that compound go molten.

      That molten compound is then used to heat water to steam which is then pressurised to drive a turbine which in turn drives the generator, which makes the electrical power.

      The storage part of the equation is where some of that molten compound is stored so that when the Sun goes down, that can then be used to extend the process.

      The more heat (compound) that is diverted for storage, the less compound there is to generate electricity.

      At the link I provided to my own Post, there is a graph explaining this with some text also adding to that explanation.

      The second, and probably most major drawback of this CSP is that compound itself. It can only be made to reach certain operating temperatures, hence only making so much steam. The amount of steam then dictates the size of the turbine, which dictates the size of the generator.

      Higher operating temperatures, meaning higher amounts of steam, meaning larger turbines, meaning bigger generators, meaning more power output.

      Coal fired power can produce huge heat for that larger operation, and Nuclear produces even higher operating temperatures again.

      Solar Thermal, (CSP) can only operate at set temperatures, way way lower than for coal and nuclear, hence a smaller operation all the way down the line.

      And when heat is diverted to storage, it is even smaller again.

      They have not been able to work around this, and they have been working at it for nigh on 15 to 20 years now.

      The best they can get to run a single Unit is 150MW derated to 125MW as in those two big (useless) American plants, and those plants in Spain of larger size are all in multiples of 50MW units.

      More heat storage (in hours) means less power output.

      Tony.

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  • #
    Egor the One

    Premier Weatherill > https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ac/Straitjacket-rear.jpg

    Earth hour every hour in SA !

    51

  • #
    Ruairi

    South Australia won’t need too much cable,
    With less power, very dear and unstable,
    And must learn to cast lots,
    For the few megawatts,
    Of crumbs from the Great Leader’s table.

    110

  • #

    Off – piste-

    New software from Tony Heller-

    “Getting Started With UNHIDING THE DECLINE”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_E82rrZb2s

    31

  • #
    Koen Robersscheuten

    I beg to differ here.

    We are talking about two different systems, with totally different ins and outs. The factor 60 seems highly exaggerated.

    The number of 520 MW figure for the coal plant is a peak figure. In the old paradigm this is the only way way to address peak consumption.
    Even if peak demand is only for 10 minutes a day, you have to have this peak performance of your power plant.

    We have to look at daily energy consumption, and if they made the correct calculations, then 150 MW of solar during 6 hours on sunshine average is 900 MWhrs.

    With the battery system, you could have 1.8 GWatt peak during half an hour, for instance.

    Next, if we take the value of coal at 6 cents per KWhr and we produce 900 MWhrs for 20 years which is about the lifecycle of solar and batteries and systems. We arrive at $ 424 Million in coal consumption, the $ 30 million refurbishing of the coal plant included.

    If we calculate a price increase of coal, and mention that the $ 500 million of the battery system is mainly the price of the Lithium, which can be perfectly recycled at a fraction of the cost.

    So we easily arrive at a 1:1 price/performance ratio.

    Additional advantages are that the battery capacity and solar capacity can be easily expanded, in small increments.

    The real problem is the reliability, can Tesla build the electronic-interface that can supply 1.8 GW peak, and make those electronics and batteries last for 20 years ?

    Not an easy challenge, and it contains a certain amount of risk, but even if it misses by 50% it still means that we become independent of limited supply fossil fuels. Not even considering CO2, coal also brings other pollutants, which are absent in the new paradigm.

    And there are new opportunities : In Australia Lithium is abundant, and at 350 kg per Tesla car, demand is going to be high.

    48

    • #

      Koen, please see the update written at the same time as you were writing, especially my note at the bottom about the 60 times figure. More details are in. The actual figure might end up being higher than that over 20 years but it is hard to calculate it, so I changed headline and put it into the post note for discussion. Naturally, if we could have a completely open playing field for comparison — we’d compare the cost making SA 40% renewable versus running it on Port Augusta coal and Victorian coal for baseload with gas for peak.

      The Northern Plant wouldn’t have even needed a $30m bailout to keep running if there was not a major intermittent forced supply set into the system with the RET and other subsidies running against it.

      As for “other pollutants”? — Look up Cadmium and Cobalt. There is nothing pure and clean about solar, it is just a different industry.
      As for energy independence — Are we going solar to save the world from climate change or not? Feel free to say so…

      And if you want independence — there is always the worlds largest reserves of uranium sitting right there in SA.

      As for price, if solar was such good value the government wouldn’t need to buy most of the overpriced output and they wouldn’t need the CET, the RET, the carbon tax, anything.

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      • #
        Robert Rosicka

        When in Marla a few months back we were talking to an older gentleman and discovered he was working at the port Augusta power plant before being made redundant after the closure .
        Now I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get some inside info and had a great talk for a couple of hours .
        I asked him what the condition of the plant was because I’d heard conflicting stories and he replied that everything was old but extremely well maintained and in perfect running order , he said like anything that age yeah you could have spent a few dollars here and there but ultimately the power plant was ok .
        I forget what his exact position was at the plant but it was in engineering somewhere .

        90

      • #
        Koen Robersscheuten

        Ok, I noticed the update.

        I’ve put in more numbers.

        Please note that I am a die hard climate skeptic, fully on par with “Slaying the Sky Dragon”, “The Hockey stick Illusion” and “Disgrace to the Profession”.

        I saw Elon Musks presentation in September 2015, on his powerwall and also on the industrial version of it.

        I noticed that many of the posters here have no idea how such a system works.
        Like “8 hours of power” does not mean that you can only use it for 8 hours. I means that you can store 8 hours of solar output, 8Hrs * 150 Mw
        = 1200 MWHrs. If you use only 7 MegaWatts, the batteries last a Whole week.

        I also calculated that for the required battery storage, about 6500 tons of Lithium is needed, which at $ 300 US, gives us a price, more in the vicinity of $ 2 billion. The lithium is probably leased, just as they do with hybrids and EV’s, the lithium battery is leased, not sold, to keep the car’s cost down.

        Also, “The government buys 125 MW at $78/MWHr” means that the government guarantees that the company gets a guaranteed price of $78/MWHr, it does not mean that the government is not going to use all that power themselves, they sell it to an distributing utility.

        Given the $ 2 billion investment, that boils down to 1% interest for the investors.

        I read the article about the recycling of Lithium, but that is non-conclusive, that is exactly the problem on the whole Lithium story, nobody really knows, we haven’t looked for Lithium, we never tried to mass produce it,we never really found it, we never tried to recycle it.

        One of Tesla’s open secrets is that you do not charge Lithium Batteries above 80 % and that you cool them below 30 degrees Celsius. I noticed smart phones lowering the charge current at temperatures and charge levels above those limits.

        As a small consumer, I find myself completely at the whim of energy companies and governments, and such a small and private solar-battery system will end that dependency. The price of solar panels will go down significantly, but I am afraid that the price of Lithium will initially go up.

        As an added advantage you can use lots of energy during sunshine, for Air conditioning (when it is most needed), washing and drying, heating the pool (also acts as a store of hot water), charging the EV

        I saw on TV that Siemens developed a small one-propeller-airplane that is powered by replaceable Lithium batteries, and flies 100 kilometers far. Especially great because it is so silent.

        I proudly cycle on my “fat” bicycle, with 4 inch tires, and with a 500 Watt electrical motor powered by a lithium battery. Uphills and headwinds are no longer a problem, only rain spoils the fun.

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        • #

          Koen,

          this solar power plant is not connected to any battery for storage.

          The storage referred to here is heat storage, as I explain at comment 29.1 above.

          Tony.

          10

        • #

          Koen, ouch on the battery storage. Wow. ($2b is spectacular… :-) ).

          Presumably it is a moot point if the storage is the molten salt instead, but yes, you make good points about lithium and other costs. I appreciate your expertise here. Thanks. Interesting comments.

          Jo

          10

          • #
            Chad

            Reposted from an incorrect location…

            Ref , Battery storage and cost
            There was a figure mentioned for an equivalent 900 MWh capacity storage facility…$2 bn i remember.
            Im dont know what that was based on, but the most recent ( Sept ’16). declared cost for a Tesla Powerpack installation was us$147,000 for a dual 210kWh unit (420 kWh total) system complete with inverters, controls and installation.
            That gives a guide of approx us$350,000 per MWh.
            Suggesting a 900MWh facility could be us$315 million …at 2016 costs.based on a small capacity system, so further reductions for scale would easily apply
            I believe that Tesla base prices have also been reduced since then.
            Since the Port Augusta storage has been stated to be 1100MWh, i would expect that an equivalent battery facility could be able to be installed for less than us$400million.
            Of course, a battery on that scale has never been contemplated, let alone scoped out in detail, so this is all theoretical.

            00

    • #
      TedM

      Don’t forget to factor in the decline in the capacity of the batteries. As Koen’s assumptions would mean deep cycling, the capacity of lithium iron batteries will decline more rapidly.

      The suggested life of 20 years is more than optimistic. I would suggest the useful life of half that. Just how long do the lithium iron batteries in your mobile phone or tablet last?

      A 20 year lifespan would require just using the top 20 – 30% of battery storage, and even that’s optimistic.

      61

    • #
      Robert Rosicka

      So lithium is easy and cheap to recycle .
      https://waste-management-world.com/a/1-the-lithium-battery-recycling-challenge

      Not according to this .

      40

  • #

    UPDATE: See the post. A substantial update and edit. Technically, the SA government will be the one sole major customer paying off the Aurora Solar Project over 20 years at something like $72 MWh, capped at $78MWh. They won’t end up owning the plant, and will likely pay more than the $650m construction cost.

    I’ve explained it all with a link to more details.

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    • #
      Forrest Gardener

      Well then, a more nuanced response would note the high cost of this exercise and then be along the lines that as government now has its own power supply then it should use it exclusively. After all government work is strictly 9 to 5. After that all government power consumption must drop to zero, or at least drop to whatever the battery happens to be able to supply from time to time.

      Hoist the government on its own petard.

      Just one technical question. When other power sources in SA are unavailable, what’s to stop the citizenry using the government power supply? I can’t imagine it being terribly popular for government to cut off wide areas of suburbia at the same time as keeping its own lights ablaze. Do government employees and their families get to sleep over in government buildings when the state is in darkness? Will real estate prices in the government always on zone rise?

      61

      • #

        Forest, even government sites would need some electricity at 4am. Every fridge will need 24 hour supplies, also security lighting, large buildings with air conditioning, scientific laboratories, overnight maintenance or cleaning crews, and software back ups. I’m sure there must be others.

        Even an institution which is largely 9 – 5 and manufactures no industrial product still cannot be 100% solar powered. Eight hours of battery is not enough. Even the SA govt will be running off fossil fuels at 4am.

        62

        • #
          Forrest Gardener

          Quite so Jo.

          My suggestion was that government not be permitted to use anything other than power from their new wizz bang generator.

          Otherwise they must admit to being just a little bit pregnant.

          They talk the talk? Now can they walk the walk?

          60

        • #
          crakar24

          Yes Jo we have fridges, fridges to keep our milk for our cups of coffee from spoiling.

          Although I work for the federal government so my fridge may not qualify as a state government fridge so may need to be turned off along with the lights every night.

          I will have to check my employment contract to see where I stand on this issue.

          20

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Jo:

      As I pointed out above even a price of $A178 per MWh was hailed as a major drop in cost for this type of plant. Suddenly the cost has dropped to 40-44% of that. How? I would suggest that the Premier’s PR Group has taken the cost BEFORE the RET certificate cost i.e. $82 approx. making the more believable price of $160 per MWh. They may have been influenced in this decision by the assumption that it would be people in other States who would be paying for those Certificates.

      I find it very hard to believe that the cost of this type of plant could drop over 50% in less than a year. Certainly the Capital repayment figure will be less but the operating cost won’t have dropped. And as I pointed out above, and was backed up by Tony, the output figure is rubbish.

      20

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    ZERO MEGAWATTS

    What are you talking about Tony? The Grand Leader has spoken and the new calculus says 0 = 1,100 MW. And that’s that.

    It’s not innumeracy, it’s plain old failure to care what the result of their grand plans will be. My bet is that he never bothered to look for any information one way or another, he just fired a shot in the air and dared it to land anywhere but where he wants it to land. It’s living in a fairy land where whatever you imagine is suddenly true. Alice would love it.

    I wish I could call it stupidity because that would be a lesser sin than not caring.

    Welcome to lalaland and don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt. You may need it as you go down the rabbit hole.

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  • #
    Don B

    “The Continent of Australia is one of the most energy rich countries in the world. And yet the state of South Australia has become blackout capital of the OECD. Nine coal-fired power stations have been closed and some renewable energy deployed in its place. Electricity prices are soaring to the extent that Energy Matters’ readers are alarmed.”

    http://euanmearns.com/the-australian-energy-conundrum/

    51

  • #
  • #
    David Maddison

    Is there no one in a position of authority who can see what a mindless waste of money this is and put a stop to it or at least point out the truth?

    Do the voters themselves not understand or care?

    SA is at least a gold mine for purveyors of the most expensive, unreliable and mostly undeliverable energy producers and accumulators on the planet such as wind, photovoltaics, solar thermal and Big Batteries.

    There’ll probably be more whacko schemes to come.

    I wonder how long it will be before they invest in perpetual motion machines?

    83

  • #
    TedM

    To the already common “bird and bat blenders” we can now add a “bird and bat baker”.

    61

    • #
      David Maddison

      Here is actual footage of birds getting fried at Ivanpah. You can see the smoke trails.

      http://youtu.be/ICLXQN_lURk

      53

      • #
        David Maddison

        Insects get fried as well.

        It is a killing machine.

        43

      • #
        TedM

        And the greens love it. Unparalleled hypocrisy.

        41

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Here’s another one. This one is in the California desert east of Los Angeles.

        Perhaps we need to license birds and enforce airspace requirements on them the same as human pilots must observe… thou shalt not fly here on pain of losing your privilege of flying.

        Or perhaps we need to start protesting in front of Trump Tower or something…

        It’s hard to watch. And I’m not one who breaks down crying over some magnificent animal killed on the road. But just a minute here. Whatever happened to our understanding that other living things share this planet with us and have at least the same right to be here that we have? And that makes it our responsibility to not erect death traps for them.

        Not so long ago there was a movment, thankfully short lived, that wanted legislation creating legal rights for animals. Where are these people now? They were sure vocal then.

        20

  • #
    David Maddison

    They call it150MW but as with windmills its deliverable power will be a huge amount less even on a good day.

    There should be laws prohibiting the use of nameplate capacity and only state average deliverable power.

    In addition, there should be a randomness factor quoted as a measure of the quality of the product. So for example wind would be close to 100 percent random and thus would be the lowest quality of energy while coal and nuclear plant would be close to 0 percent random and be the highest quality form of energy.

    If a free market was allowed to operate the highest quality energy would get the best price and the lowest would probably be unmarketable or good for nothing but pumping water for pumped hydro storage but that would not be truly cost effective either.

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    • #
      joseph

      David,

      You just got me thinking about hydro storage.

      With just a bit of digging and a little cement Wilpena Pound could become a dam to supply the water to a hydro plant. The water to fill the dam would be water pumped from the Spencer Gulf with electricity supplied by the CSP in Pt. Augusta. The hydro could then be used to supply the power to charge the Big Battery when the wind isn’t blowing, which in turn could be used to supply the electricity to pump the water up to Wilpena Pound when the sun isn’t shining.

      Something beautiful about that.

      And I think its even gets us in the neighborhood of zero random. :-)

      20

      • #
        crakar24

        LOL WP is a state icon, well they think it is anyway. To outsiders its what is commonly known as a $h1t whole good luck wanting to turn it into a large body of water :-)

        30

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Why not just pump the water back up to fill that dam with the electricity generated by the water behind that dam? Direct solution to the problem, right?

        If you could do that you’d have a real milestone in the history of renewable energy. And I’m beginning to feel guilty for bringing it up for fear that some politician might steal my idea.

        10

        • #
          joseph

          “Why not just pump the water back up to fill that dam with the electricity generated by the water behind that dam?”

          Well, you do want to be able to charge the Big Battery when the wind isn’t blowing . . . . .

          And, by the way, your idea is far less likely to be stolen than mine because it would cost less. :-)

          Roy, crakar24 is right, Wilpena Pound is a state icon, more than that really. It’s worth doing a search and having a look.

          I hope the politicians don’t take either of us seriously . . . . . .

          10

  • #
    Another Ian

    Seems to fit here

    “Virtue Signalling and Renewable Energy
    August 14, 2017, 8:27 am

    Alex Epstein:

    Stories about “100-per-cent renewable” locations like Georgetown, Tex. are not just anecdotal evidence, they are lies. The Texas grid from which Georgetown draws its electricity is comprised of 43.7 per cent natural gas, 28.8 per cent coal, 12 per cent nuclear, and only 15.6 per cent renewable. Using a virtue-signalling gimmick pioneered by Apple, Facebook, and Google, Georgetown pays its state utility to label its grid electricity “renewable” — even though it draws its power from that fossil-fuel heavy Texas grid — while tarring others on the grid as “non-renewable.”

    Apple’s renewable claims have always irritated me so I am glad to see someone pointing this out.”

    http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2017/08/virtue-signalling-and-renewable-energy.html

    40

  • #
    manalive

    Mean Gott, this is childish isn’t it, Weatherill stung by the blackouts and ‘load shedding’ caused by his mad pursuit of ‘ruinables’ is doubling down, he’s doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result (aka insanity)
    EROEI:
    A simple glance at the ERoEI ratio for desert solar illustrates the insanity of this idea without adequate storage and idiotic with it from the state with reputedly the largest single uranium ore source on the planet.

    61

  • #
    TdeF

    It’s obvious, by directly taking power from a generator and not through a reseller, Weatherill has avoided the Federal RET (Renewable Energy Tax/Target)! The RET applies at a wholesale level and there is no reseller.

    That will not only guarantee power for his office, it will halve his electricity bills. He knows all about the RET.

    Whyalla too are going to put in their own Gas generator, avoiding the RET. The Australian Submarine Corporation also has bought a $30Million diesel generator. Under 100km of distribution and you can avoid being a wholesaler and avoid the RET.

    So not only has he blown up perfectly good power stations, he is building his own private power and his government is avoiding paying for windmills. He and everyone else knows the reason they are paying the world’s highest electricity bills is his Green politics.

    From his privileged and wealthy position Weatherill has ducked the massive tax, ensured he never runs out of power and used the taxpayers cash to do it. Not so stupid, just the people of South Australia who should be angry at this blatant abuse by utterly self interested politicians.

    South Australia has a special provision in the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2001 with regard to a Special provision relating to transactions involving NEMMCO National Electricity Code means the code of conduct called the National Electricity Code referred to in Schedule 1 to the National Electricity (South Australia) Act 1996 of South Australia.
    NEMMCO has the same meaning as in the National Electricity Code.

    “Despite section 31, no acquisition of electricity by NEMMCO is a relevant acquisition.”

    It looks like a device which means South Australia and only South Australia can sell electricity to itself and not be classed as a “Notional Wholesale” transaction and so utterly avoid the RET.

    Do as I say, not as I do. Weatherill will have his cheap, utterly reliable private power, again at the expense of his electorate.
    I retract. That’s not stupid. That’s something else.

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    • #
      TdeF

      So the Weathbunker will be powered at all times. Probably their own TV and radio broadcast facilities too, so his people can be reached in a blackout. Crystal sets will be issued. It must have been frustrating in the last blackout. That will not happen again. Giant battery storage too, for the use of the dear leader and minions who will have power and jobs when everyone else is laid off with no airconditioning in the middle of summer. Then dear leader can address his people, to tell them everything is under control, his control. After all, a blackout is the fault of evil Energy operators and free market liberals and if that fails, God.

      90

    • #

      There’s something misleading about the State Government purchasing the power generated by this solar plant, giving the impression that the output is ‘directly’ connected to all those Government offices.

      The output of this plant is connected ONLY to the grid.

      All of those Government offices are connected to the grid, and draw their power from the grid, so those government offices will have power all the time, no matter what, provided the grid stays up that is.

      Ergo, (the intention is) that if those Government offices have their power 24/7/365, then it’s, umm, obvious that the solar plant is operational for 24/7/365

      South Australia’s total power consumption is around 12TWH.

      If (and a bl00dy big if at that) this plant actually delivers the full claimed power, it amounts to a little less than 4% of the State’s power consumption.

      Sarcastically speaking here, let’s hope those Government offices don’t have electrical power sensitive equipment which needs to be turned on all night, across the whole year, eh!

      Tony.

      82

      • #
        crakar24

        We have UPS that last….oh I dunno 15 minutes after the power goes out, how long does the sun stay in the underworld for?

        30

    • #
      RickWill

      The SA government may not be paying for the LCGs but someone will. The plant will be making something like an additional $90/MWh by selling its LCGs to retailers who need them to meet their RET obligations.

      The real price for the solar/thermal generation is up around $170/MWh. The cost to the consumers is multiples of that because there has to be gas plant continuously available that will produce at around $300/MWh when needed. Then with distribution and retail cost plus margins the consumer is heading north of $500/MWh.

      The way this works is that every person who pays for electricity in Australia is subsidising the SA governments power supply. I figure other states have not latched onto this transfer – much more subtle than GST transfers.

      The RET clearly encourages anti-competitive practices. It is the government decree making economic losers profit takers.

      20

  • #
    Robber

    This is similar to a deal signed by the ACT government with the Ararat wind generator to buy their power at about $75/MWhr. What they don’t report is that in addition, the generator gets to sell their renewable certificates to retailers for about $80/Mwhr that is factored into all consumer prices.
    Dr Finkel in his report listed the levelised cost of new power stations as follows:
    Solar Thermal with 12 hours storage $172/MWhr
    Combined Cycle Gas Turbine $83/MWhr
    Supercritical Coal $76/MWhr
    Wind $92/MWhr with no back up, add some open cycle gas turbines at $123 for backup.

    The Port Augusta solar owner (SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith said the plant would feature about 12,000 “billboard-sized” mirrors, measuring 100sqm, arranged in a circle over an area of about 600ha. The mirrors will focus light and heat at the top of a 227m tower — to be the tallest of its kind in the world) will get an annual income of $74+$80 = $154/MWhr. According to reports, the plant will deliver 495 gigawatt hours of power annually (an average output of 56 MW). That gives a gross income of $76 million per year for the next 20 years. To get a return on the $650 million investment need to deduct maintenance and operating costs, estimate 3% of capital equals $20 million. Deduct depreciation over 20 years = $32 million per year. So net income before taxes equals $24 million for a return on capital of 3.7% per annum.

    Conclusion: This will result in even higher electricity prices in South Australia, but they will have the biggest battery and the biggest/tallest solar tower in the world!

    70

    • #
      David Maddison

      Well, like the Big Battery, at least the Big Tower can be a tourist attraction as a monument to stupidity.

      Or people might go to watch the spectacle of the birds and insects getting fried and leaving smoke trails as per the video I posted elsewhere on this page.

      63

    • #
      Another Ian

      “Conclusion: This will result in even higher electricity prices in South Australia, but they will have the biggest battery and the biggest/tallest solar tower in the world!”

      Two “biggests” – potential tourist industry boost if they can work out how to arrange their travel with fossil fuel being unfashionable and electricity in short supply

      30

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Sad to see SA seems to excel in real world and political stupidity, hopefully there is no export market for it….

        Maybe they should erect a monument to the SA govt as a tourist attraction and call it The Big Boofhead … kinda like a living political epitaph….

        20

    • #
      crakar24

      Hey don’t knock it when the Chinese send their warships up gulf St Vincent we can change the mirrors set their ships on fire just like Arcamedies light.

      30

  • #
    David Maddison

    How can we unwind this mess?

    It may not even be possible at this point because once the economy is ruined and our borrowing capacity is exhausted there is no going back.

    And is Weatherill actually mad?

    73

  • #
    PeterS

    The left are very much like the ancient Greeks and Romans. They love to build useless monuments to their pagan gods. The only difference today is the left like to perceive themselves as the “pagan gods”.

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  • #
    Penguinte

    What a brilliant plan! Make the States power costs so high that the causes the population to de-camp. The reduction in population will require less power. We used to laugh about NZ and say “last one out turn off the light”. Looks like whetherill’s SA will soon be taking that crown. Whether ill is committing a couple of generations to a debt that realise absolutely nothing.

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    • #

      Penguinte — take it even further, which voters are more likely to move states — those dependent on welfare or those who invest, take risks, and run or work in businesses that produce goods?

      (Not that I am suggesting the Weatherill govt can plan this far ahead or realizes what a manufacturing-bomb the inevitable high energy costs are.)

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      • #
        robert rosicka

        typically all public servants , other govt workers state or federal ,green leaning brain washed lefties ,card carrying communists , unionists ,those on the dole or pensions and any one dependant on the above will vote labour or green and now Xenaphon .
        given the job losses in this state thats quite a few votes .

        30

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Well yes, but communists voting for communists…what could possibly go wrong…..

          Build a fence around SA, keep the uranium, let the rest of it rot…..maybe we could market it as the NK of Oz…and kid of political Jurrasic Park?

          40

          • #
            Greg Cavanagh

            Similar to my suggestion elsewhere on this thread. Let it be a museum of the 2000′s, or movie backdrop.

            BUILD the WALL.

            10

  • #
    David Maddison

    Why are SA scientists and engineers silent about this?

    73

    • #
      manalive

      Maybe because they are afraid of being labelled Den1ers?
      The irony here is that even if one swallows the fossil fuel/’Dangerous CC’ narrative whole, wind and solar are cannot be the answer.

      52

    • #
      RickWill

      We are still a long way from these projects being regarded as dead ducks. They provide exciting engineering opportunities and good pay.

      How often have you thought about the morality of doing work that the wider public regard as honourable and worthy. Engineers are usually head down and bum up focused on getting value for effort over the next week. month and maybe year. Not many are involved at strategic level.

      I expect it will be many years before all this frenzied effort will be looked back over and recognised as a huge waste of resources. It is, indeed, a large scale experiment that hopefully the rest of Australia and the world can take lessons from.

      Look at the desalination plants. Frenzied effort over short period at premium cost for a hyped risk. However they do eliminate the need for more dams so may have economic value at some point. Engineers working on them felt urgency and worked diligently.

      With SA becoming the renewable centre for Australia it is guaranteeing transfer payments from other States to the proponents of the renewable generation via the RET – so some economic upside for SA at the expense of other States.

      The way it is working out Queensland will be the prime producer of dispatchable power and send that south with a cheque for the LCGs it needs to meet its RET obligations. So SA is essentially reaming Queenslanders.

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    Geoffrey Williams

    South Australia under Weatherdill is building white elephants that will take lots of cash for little electricity.
    Time will tell as South Australia keeps going ‘South’. Pity is they are wasting other peoples money!
    GeoffW

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      Sceptical Sam

      That’s standard Labor policy. It’s something that the Labor Party has refined to perfection.

      Other examples include NBN and NDIS.

      Of course, the Labor Party doesn’t have the monopoly on stupid. It would have if it had decided to build 12 diesel powered conventional submarines in South Australia at a cost of $60 Billion and rising. (the cost – not the submarines). But they didn’t. That was a decision of the Liberal Government in Canberra. Is stupid contagious?

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    David Maddison

    The sheeple out there think that just because some Green Thing is Big that it must be powerful, e.g. Big Windmills and Big Wind Subsidy Farms, Big Batteries and the Big Tower.

    The reality is that these things are big because of the low energy density of the wind, the sun and electrochemical storage.

    They produce very little product at random times (not battery) and they need a lot of “stuff” to do it.

    In comparison a fossil fuel or nuclear power plant is very compact and needs a lot less stuff for every unit of energy produced.

    There is an interesting calculation to be made for someone that wants to work out the number of tonnes of materials and volumes used to produce every unit of energy comparing the reliables and the unreliables.

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    Mark M

    Related: Turkey terror: 3,000 birds scared to death at fowl farm

    https://www.rt.com/viral/399593-petrified-poultry-perish-russia/

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    toorightmate

    Jamestown’s big battery was THE answer to the maiden’s prayer.
    The maiden never stops praying!!!

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      Sceptical Sam

      Hmmm. I thought the answer to her prayer was Weatherdil do, I have that wrong?

      Battery and all.

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    pat

    TonyfromOz – over to you. heard this on Macquarie Network/Fairfax radio news this morning, but feel sure they didn’t mention it was an “Environmental Justice Australia” report. gotta love that “666″ number!

    15 Aug: Guardian: Michael Slezak: Australian coal-power pollution would be illegal in US, Europe and China – report
    Environmental Justice Australia report says Australian coal-fired power plants regularly exceed lax limits imposed on them
    Pollution from coal power plants kills hundreds of people each year in Australia. In Sydney alone, about 130 premature deaths are thought to be caused each year by coal-fired power stations, with worse impacts in regions near the stations.
    Nationally, the health effects from the pollution emitted by coal-fired power plants are estimated to cost $2.6bn – a figure that would amount to $13.20 a megawatt hour if it were added to power costs…

    Some coal-fired power plants in New South Wales were allowed to emit 666 times what would be allowed in the US, and 33 times what is allowed in the EU and China…
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/15/australian-coal-power-pollution-would-be-illegal-in-us-europe-and-china-report

    Hunter coal-fired power stations licensed to emit 666 times more mercury than US power stations
    Newcastle Herald· 4h ago

    Coal power comes with $2.6b health bill
    SBS-11 hours ago

    Coal power comes with $2.6b health bill
    9news.com.au· 11h ago

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      TdeF

      Premature deaths are a wonderful tool in the hands of the Greens. All caused by coal fired power stations. Where do people get such numbers? Are they due to the extra 50% CO2 since 1900?

      So they spend $2.6Bn on medical treatment and still lose 130 people. That is a cost of precisely $20,000,000 per person and they still lose them. Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to give them the $20Million and let them tour the world and die happy?

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    pat

    14 Aug: SBS: AAP: Aurizon shuts freight units, pushes coal
    Rail freight operator Aurizon has posted a full-year loss of $188 million on the back of a $927 million hit from asset impairments and redundancy-related costs.
    Aurizon is exiting the container freight business to increase its focus on its growing coal division, as the rail haul operator suffered a full-year loss of $188 million.

    The bulk freight operator’s underlying earnings before interest and tax for the year to June 30 fell four per cent to $836 million, due to an estimated $89 million loss from the impacts of Cyclone Debbie.
    Aurizon chief executive Andrew Harding said despite the cyclone – which closed down the central Queensland coal network – coal continued to perform, with falls in Queensland volumes offset by higher numbers in NSW.
    The company believes the demand, particularly for thermal coal from Asian markets, remains strong and forecast coal volumes to be between 215 and 225 million tonnes in 2017/2018…
    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/08/14/aurizon-shuts-freight-units-pushes-coal

    14 Aug: CarbonPulse: China sees surge in coal consumption, though carbon market likely unaffected
    After several years of flatlining, coal-fired power generation has surged in China this year, likely pushing up carbon emissions but not necessarily boosting CO2 demand in the soon-to-be-launched national ETS, according to analysts.

    14 Aug: CarbonPulse: China considering power sector-only ETS, reports say
    China might shrink its planned emissions trading scheme further to only cover electricity generators from the start, domestic media reported Sunday, citing unnamed government officials.

    14 Aug: CarbonPulse: Prospects dimming for China ETS launch this year
    While China is still expected to formally launch its national CO2 emissions trading scheme in November, it is looking increasingly likely that an emissions cap and compliance obligations will only come into play next year, according to sources.

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    David Maddison

    How many more fossil plants can Australia afford to lose before things get really critical?

    It doesn’t matter how much new “renewables” are installed as they are useless anyway.

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      Liddell will do it for NSW. Originally, it had four 500MW Units, and is now, just like old Hazelwood, managing to make around 430MW per Unit, and while on most days, all four Units are running, it it restricted to making that 420MW during peak period times only, and usually just hums along at around 250MW, so take that away and NSW is in dire straits. Yesterday, the second of its four Units went down, so only two are running now.

      The other plants in NSW could probably take up some of that, like Loy Yang A and B, and Yallourn W have done in Victoria since the closure of Hazelwood, but that means those others in NSW, Bayswater, Eraring, Mount Piper, and Vales Point would need to run at max all the time, and maintenance would need to become as critically controlled as it now is in Victoria.

      As it is, NSW consistently draws 1000 to 1100MW from the Qld coal fired plants, and also draws power from strapped Victoria as well.

      Tony.

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    David Maddison

    Here is the solution to Australia’s energy crisis.

    1) Remove all subsidies from “renewables”. There should be no problem with this as we are constantly told they are cheaper than conventional generation.

    2a) If you believe in the science that there is no anthropogenic global warming allow the market to operate and install fossil and/or nuclear plant as determined by the free market.

    2b) If you are anti-science and believe in AGW then allow nuclear plant to be built or just remove yourself from the grid.

    Job done!

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    Peter

    “Per degree Celsius, it will buy global coolness by some number starting with three decimal places of zero.”

    Assuming reducing CO2 has any effect on climate at all, this may have an effect on global climate of that magnitude (minisculitude?).

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      Greg Cavanagh

      Up until recently (I don’t know when, perhaps someone does). All bulb thermometers have 1 C graduations on them, so they are generally considered +- 0.5 C. When you add up hundreds of temperatures of this type, the accuracy is +- 0.5C at best.

      So, if the theorised affect of doing something will change the atmospheric temperature is in the order of 0.001C which is being generous. There is no way of ever measuring that in the atmosphere.

      I believe the newer automatic thermometers are accurate to 0.1C.

      But if you’ve ever laid out 5 or 10 thermometers around your yard, you’d discover that the temperature variation is huge, even over small distances. They pretend that averaging many temperatures over thousands of kilometres means something, it doesn’t. It is fools gold.

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    pat

    this is such a typical CAGW tale:

    14 Aug: WAMU88.5: Martin Di Caro: With No Place To Charge, D.C.’s Electric Cab Drivers Ask For Help
    District’s Eco-Friendly Cab Program Suffers From Lack Of Charging Stations

    PHOTO CAPTION: A group of electric cab drivers stands with a protest sign (“For 180 vehicles, there is only one fast public charger in all of DC”) in front of a Nissan Leaf electric cab. The drivers want permission to transfer their licenses to hybrid cabs.

    When taxi driver Habtamu Tarekegn decided to “go green” by buying an electric car, he was excited about the potential for economic independence at a time when D.C. cabbies are struggling to compete with Uber…
    There also were financial incentives: the District had a limited number of $10,000 grants to help cabbies like Tarekegn cover the cost of a new car. Additionally, he would eliminate the cost of gasoline.
    Now, however, with D.C.’s electric taxicab program in its second year, Tarekegn is among a group of 120 drivers who say they regret going green…

    “That is the worst decision I made in my life. I regret it,” said Tarekegn, one of 15 Washington cabbies who spoke to WAMU about the struggles of lost earnings, stress and high monthly car payments. Some said they have missed payments that can top $400, not including insurance…

    “This car is a joke,” said Nuru Shafi, another disgruntled driver…
    The drivers want permission to transfer their H tags to hybrid vehicles, but the switch is not possible under current rules…
    Despite drivers’ complaints about the Leaf’s relatively limited range, the city’s eco-friendly program’s problems do not lie with the make or model of a single auto brand. The real problem is the scarcity of battery charging stations in Washington that are available to taxicabs.
    “When we need a charge, we have to go Virginia or Maryland. Daily I can charge two or three times, so I have to go to Virginia or Maryland two or three times,” said Tarekegn. “How can we work with that?”

    The public charging stations outside D.C. that the cabbies use have a nominal fee, but the trouble of leaving the city costs hours of valuable time. Additionally, there is often a long line to use the coveted fast chargers, which can power up the Leaf’s battery in about 30 minutes…

    Almost all of the 89 public charging stations in Washington are located in hotels, businesses, and commercial parking garages and are reserved for employees or patrons, not taxi drivers. Nineteen of the 89 stations require key card access that cabbies do not have.

    Moreover, most of the chargers in D.C. are the standard 240 volts that require about three hours to power up the vehicle’s battery — an impractical amount of time for someone who needs to be on the road to make a living…
    Like the other electric cabbies, (Engida Dawe) bought a Nissan Leaf for more than $30,000 believing charging stations would be available across the city…

    This summer a passenger asked him for a ride to BWI Airport. Based on his dashboard display Dawe believed he had enough battery life to make it to the airport and back, but running the air conditioning while traveling at highway speeds drained the battery faster than expected, and it died on his way back into the District. He called a tow truck…

    Pepco is planning to install a fast charging station in each quadrant of the District, but (director of the District’s Department of Energy & Environment Tommy) Wells encouraged drivers to look into installing a basic charger — price range of $500 to $1,500 — at their homes. The Level 1 charger can take all night to power up a battery, but the car would be fully charged as drivers hit the road each morning…

    When told that some drivers view that cost as prohibitive, Wells responded, “Okay, they’re not buying gas. So I’m not sure the degree to which they believe the government should underwrite their choice [to buy an electric car].”…

    “Before I bought an electric car, I was making $180 or $200 per day,” said Terakegn. “Now it’s $80 or $90.”…
    Hemacho is down to working three or four hours per day — about as much time as one full charge lasts.
    “I work that and then I go home,” he said.
    http://wamu.org/story/17/08/14/no-place-charge-d-c-s-electric-cab-drivers-ask-help/

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    Renato

    I think this is really excellent and very noble of South Australia.
    They are leading the world in renewables, and now trying to show that they can do solar better than Spain.

    If the experiment succeeds, well done.

    If it is an utter and miserable failure, it will serve as an example to the rest of Australia and to the World of what happens when Governments believe shysters and are overcome with quasi-religious fanaticism.

    So either way it will be a very valuable exercise for people outside South Australia. I thank the 48% of South Australian voters who elected this Government. Their sacrifice is admirable.
    Regards.

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    pat

    virtue-signalling?

    12 Aug: Bloomberg: Musk’s Electric-Car Vision Doubted by Major Parts Suppliers
    By Gabrielle Coppola and Claire Ballentine, With assistance by Esha Dey
    Delphi CEO predicts 95% of vehicles still use gasoline in 2025
    Carmakers hype EVs to be seen as progressive, Magna CEO says
    “There’s a lot of buzz and a lot of talk about how the world’s going to change to electrified vehicles overnight, and I’m here to tell you it’s not going to happen overnight, and it’s not going to happen for decades,” David Dauch, Chief Executive Officer of American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc., said Tuesday at a JPMorgan conference in New York. “I’m a strong believer in the internal combustion engine. I think it’s going to continue to be here for some time.”…

    “Right now you have an industry that’s sort of stuck between the market and what they see from their clients,” said Matt Stover, an analyst with Susquehanna International Group in Boston. “They see Tesla with an enterprise value of $70 billion, and they see what their clients are awarding to them, and they say, ‘Wow, something doesn’t make sense here.’”…

    Magna International Inc., the top parts supplier in North America by sales, sees pure electric cars being between 3 percent and 6 percent of global new vehicle deliveries by 2025. Chief Executive Officer Don Walker told an industry conference last week that automakers share his skepticism of faster market penetration, but can’t say so publicly.
    “They know what’s going to happen, but they have to say what is going to be popular to be perceived as a progressive company,” Walker said Aug. 2 at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars near Traverse City, Michigan…

    Delphi CEO Kevin Clark told investors at the JPMorgan conference this week that 95 percent of vehicles will still have combustion engines in 2025, and about 30 percent will have some form of gasoline-electric system. Just 5 percent will be purely electric, Clark projected…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-11/musk-s-electric-car-vision-doubted-by-major-auto-parts-suppliers

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    pat

    14 Aug: Daily Caller: Michael Bastasch: Top Electric Grid Regulator Will Make Keeping Coal Plants Online One Of His Main Goals
    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee said he would look for ways to “properly compensate” coal plants for providing reliable electricity during his time as a top energy regulator.
    “These are essential to national security. And to that end, I believe baseload power should be recognized as an essential part of the fuel mix,” Chatterjee said in a video (LINK) interview FERC officials posted online Monday.

    “I believe that generation, including our existing coal and nuclear fleet, need to be properly compensated to recognize the value they provide to the system,” Chatterjee said.
    Chatterjee’s comments are a nod to power plant operators and Republican lawmakers who worry that too much baseload power is being taken offline, in part, due to Obama administration energy regulations…

    Sixty gigawatts of coal-fired power has come offline since 2010, according to industry data. While most energy experts blame low natural gas prices, federal environmental regulations and subsidies for green energy likely played a big role in closures as well…

    Chatterjee mentioned infrastructure as another major priority for the Republican-controlled FERC. He hopes approving backlogged energy projects will create jobs and help the Trump administration meet its goals
    http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/14/top-electric-grid-regulator-will-make-keeping-coal-plants-online-one-of-his-main-goals/

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    pat

    14 Aug: Reuters: EUROPE POWER-Curve reaches 18-month high, spot prices dip
    Cif Europe coal prices for 2018 hit $77.75 a tonne, a level last reached in November 2016, supported by Chinese demand that is tightening global supply.
    Coal and carbon are major costs for power generators in Germany…

    Thomson Reuters data showed German wind power output was expected to more than quadruple to 8.3 gigawatts (GW) on Tuesday, with 2 GW of production expected on Monday…
    https://www.reuters.com/article/europe-electricity-idUSL5N1KX4YF

    14 Aug: Reuters: China approves plan to promote unified nuclear reactor brand
    China has approved a plan from its two state nuclear developers to promote a single integrated nuclear reactor brand that will help speed up construction and strengthen their ability to compete in markets overseas.

    China is in the middle of an ambitious nuclear program that could bring total capacity to as much as 200 GW by 2030, and it also aims to win more projects abroad…

    The China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and the China General Nuclear Project Corporation (CGN) have been jointly developing an advanced model known as the “Hualong One”, but despite government pressure, they have continued to work separately on their own designs…

    CNNC is building its own version at Fuqing in the eastern coastal province of Fujian, with the first scheduled to launch in 2019. It expects to finish a Hualong unit at Pakistan’s Chashma nuclear complex by 2020, the first overseas, and start work on another in Argentina by 2020…
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-nuclear-hualong-idUSKCN1AU0PI

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    It’s worth noting here that while this technology is announced as new technology, hence oh so obviously better than anything that might have the words coal fired in it, the technology for EVERY one of these plants is that they are ALL classified as sub critical, and that is all to do with the operating temperature of the compound used in the plant.

    The compound can only ever heat the steam up to a sub critical level, no matter how many mirrors they focus onto the tower.

    You may recall that across the years I have been commenting here at Joanne’s site, I have often mentioned that China is closing those ancient power plants, all of them 50MW and smaller, and averaging around 20MW.

    The same has applied in the U.S. as they also close those ancient and tiny power plants, only they are replacing them with the more plentiful Natural Gas they have.

    Note here that in China and the U.S. those closed plants are all around 20to 50MW output.

    Note also the word ancient.

    At the dawn of when coal fired power started to go in, all they could drive was those 20 to 50MW Units.

    They were all sub critical coal fired plants.

    The coal fired technology has improved three levels, to Critical, SuperCritical, and now UltraSuperCritical, and the Chinese are now around two years or so away from the next level of Technology, Advanced USC.

    As each level of technology comes in, larger generators can be run, because they can now ‘make’ steam at a higher operating temperature and pressure, and Advanced USC could see single generator Units up to around 1800MW, usually the sole province of the really big Nukes.

    So, here we have a CSP solar plant using technology that coal fired power moved away from in the early 1950′s, and sub critical is as good as it gets when it comes to this solar technology, because of the nature of the compound(s), and using only the focussed light of the Sun to make it molten.

    Looks like back to the future past to me.

    Tony.

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    pat

    21 Jul: LasVegasReviewJournal: Henry Brean: Nevada solar plant back online after eight-month outage
    A first-of-its-kind solar plant in Central Nevada is back online and generating power after being down for repairs for eight months.
    The Crescent Dunes power plant, 225 miles northwest of Las Vegas, returned to service July 12 and is delivering renewable energy to customers in Nevada, even at night, according to NV Energy spokesman Mark Severts.
    The $1 billion facility backed by $737 million in federal loan guarantees is owned and operated by Santa Monica, California-based SolarReserve. NV Energy is the plant’s sole customer under a 25-year power-purchase agreement…

    The 1,600-acre solar plant entered commercial operation in November 2015 after four years of construction on federal land. It was forced to shut down in late October when a small leak developed in a tank filled with molten salt.

    In December, Mary Grikas, SolarReserve’s vice president of global communications, downplayed the problem and said the plant would be back online and operating at its full, 500,000-megawatt-hours of annual power delivery in January. Instead, the facility remained offline for another six months.

    Reached for comment Wednesday, Grikas declined to discuss the cause or exact length of the delay.
    ***“We don’t provide specific operational details for the media, nor do our competitors,” she said in an email. “The plant is up and running — generating electricity, and storing energy for generation during peak demand periods.”…
    Grikas said the company expects Crescent Dunes to continue operating for the next 40 years at least…

    The leak that shut down the Crescent Dunes facility in October was discovered just days after SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith, U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and then-Deputy Energy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall gathered at the plant to announce plans for as many as 10 more of the arrays at an as-yet-undisclosed location in Nye County.
    If built, the $5 billion endeavor, known as project Sandstone, would rank as the world’s largest solar energy facility with an output of 1,500 to 2,000 megawatts, enough to supply about a million homes.
    https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/energy/nevada-solar-plant-back-online-after-eight-month-outage/

    25 Jul: UtilityDive: Crescent Dunes CSP plant producing power after 8 months offline
    By Robert Walton
    But CSP projects are not cheap. An analysis by Lazard last year showed the average levelized cost of CSP was more than twice the cost of utility-scale solar PV: $119 to $181/MWh compared to $50 to $60/MWh.
    Last year, SolarReserve also floated plans to build a $5 billion, 2,000 MW project in Nevada, but it’s unclear whether or not the project has moved forward. An analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance told Bloomberg that absent significant federal and state subsidies beyond the investment tax credit, “there is virtually no way this project will be able to deliver electricity at a price that’s competitive today, much less five years from now.”
    http://www.utilitydive.com/news/crescent-dunes-csp-plant-producing-power-after-8-months-offline/447804/

    Oct 2016: Bloomberg: SolarReserve Planning World’s Largest Solar Farm for $5 Billion
    “Absent significant state- and federal-level subsidies beyond just the investment tax credit, there is virtually no way this project will be able to deliver electricity at a price that’s competitive today, much less five years from now,” said Nathan Serota, an analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance…

    15 Aug: Australian: Michael Owen: Sun shines for Weatherill’s giant solar plan
    The Turnbull government offered the loan earlier this year in a deal with independent South Australian senator Nick Xenophon, who in return supported company tax cuts legislation.
    Clean energy proponents have hailed Mr Weatherill as the “unequivocal international leader” of renewable power…
    South Australia has the world’s highest electricity prices because of an almost 50 per cent ­renewable generation mix…

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    pat

    read all:

    15 Aug: Australian: Judith Sloan: Energy a joke, but no one laughing
    The NEM operates one of the world’s longest interconnected power system. It covers a total distance of about 5000km from Port Douglas in Queensland to Port Lincoln in South Australia, with 40,000km of transmission lines.
    But herein lies one of the NEM’s weaknesses: it is a very long, weakly connected system which does not provide the ideal underlying conditions for the ­efficient and transparent operation of the market for electricity. The penetration of renewables, as well as their preferential access to the NEM, has made this weakness even more apparent. There is no doubt the theory is strong: a ­national electricity market should provide the basis for the lowest cost of provision of electricity while encouraging optimal investment. That the NEM has failed to do so carries a very heavy economic cost for the nation while imposing a burden on households and businesses.

    If we look at the operation of the NEM, one standout feature is the proliferation of regulatory agencies. There is the Australian Energy Market Commission, the Australian Energy Regulator, the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Clean Energy Regulator. And just because we don’t have an enough empire building in the electricity space, the government will add yet another agency: the Energy Security Board, one of the many unfounded recommendations of the Finkel review of the security of the electricity system.
    This is complete madness, particularly as the role of the board will simply be to tread on the toes of the AEMO…

    One central failing of the NEM is its inability to achieve one of its core functions: to oversee the ­reliability and security of the electricity system. The actions of a number of states are also undermining its operation; most particularly, South Australia…READ ALL
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/energy-a-joke-but-no-one-laughing/news-story/fd99e5e11e5161f3ba9bbead289c954a

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    William

    O/T, but Fairfax is running a story entitled “‘Black hole’: Pollution from coal-fired power worse than overseas, survey finds”, illustrated as always, with photos of steam rising from cooling towers (yes, Fairfax and its audience are that dim). However, on reading the report (I took one for the team), it becomes clear that there is no evidence that our pollution is worse, only that our limits are not as tight as in the US, European Union and China – and of course we know Chinese emitters don’t cheat.

    While it is encouraging that they are focusing on actual pollutants – particulates, mercury, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides – rather than on CO2, it does suggest that perhaps they have realised they are losing the CO2 battle and are moving to a new front. And while they do state that the survey was undertaken by Environmental Justice Australia (EJS), it doesn’t disclose that EJS is a group of environmental lawyers – natures ambulance chasers for want of a better description.

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      William

      I hate it when you press Post Comment just as you notice an error – EJA, not EJS!

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      While it is encouraging that they are focusing on actual pollutants – particulates, mercury, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides – rather than on CO2

      So, who would have thought that the obvious answer to this is to replace old plants with new tech USC coal fired plants, with their massively less emissions of every sort, CO2 included!

      Tony.

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        William

        They raise HELE and claim that they are just as dirty. What they fail to do is actually compare the actual outputs of the pollutants, it is all just about the limits!

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    pat

    14 Aug: GlobalConstructionReview: China launches nuclear company to build 20 floating reactors
    China plans to build 20 floating nuclear power stations to help consolidate its hold on the South China Sea.
    Announced last week by China National Nuclear Power (CNNP), the barge-based power stations would be used to provide electricity and thermal energy for desalination in disputed areas.
    A statement carried by state-owned Global Times said the aim was to develop China’s sea power, further the maritime silk road and integrate civil and military nuclear-powered vessels…READ ON
    http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/china-launches-nuclear-company-build-20-floating-r/

    meanwhile, remember the massive solar plant in Morocco was predicted to be able to supply Europe.
    not easy finding anything online about Noor’s output, but there is this:

    10 Aug: MoroccoWorldNews: Morocco Recorded Highs in Solar Power Production on August 7-8: ONEE
    August 7 and 8 saw record highs across Morocco for solar power production, owing to the scorching temperatures across the kingdom, revealed a press release published by the National Office for Electricity and Potable Water (ONEE) on Tuesday.
    The national’s solar panels made a “historical record” by generating 6060 MW (milliwatts) on August 7 at 1:00 p.m., representing an increase of 70 MW.
    The ONEE added that the evening production has reached 6180 MW at 9:00 p.m., representing an increase of 130 MW compared to its peak during the same period in 2016.
    The ONEE continued that the maximum daily consumption reached 124,190 MWh on August 8, exceeding the maximum daily consumption recorded in 2016 by 2931 MWh.
    https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2017/08/225845/morocco-recorded-highs-in-solar-power-production-on-august-7-8-onee/

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    pat

    11 Aug: Edie.net: Green groups praise Sadiq Khan’s pledge to make London world’s first National Park City
    The Renewable Energy Association (REA), the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) and the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) are among a host of organisations that have welcomed a new strategy from London Mayor Sadiq Khan which seeks to make the capital “greener, cleaner and ready for the future”…
    Specifically, Khan will use planning regulations to protect the Green Belt and promote the implementation of green roofs, green walls, rain gardens and habitats for wildlife in and around new project developments. The Mayor will also fund thousands more trees and improvements to community green spaces, and help London’s boroughs invest in local parks…

    The Solar Trade Association’s (STA) head of external affairs Leonie Greene said: “Solar is vital to any green and modern capital city. London is now starting the focussed work it urgently needs to do to catch up on solar, not only with the rest of the UK but with other world cities. However, the Mayor is quite right that national Government needs to provide a better enabling policy framework to support his ambitions – particularly on the tax treatment of rooftop solar.” …ETC
    https://www.edie.net/news/11/Green-groups-praise-Sadiq-Khan-s-pledge-to-make-London-world-s-first-National-Park-City/

    Mayor of London: Draft London Environment Strategy – have your say
    On 11 August Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, published his draft London Environment Strategy. The Mayor is taking a range of actions to improve the environment now, setting London on the path to create a better future.
    DOWNLOADS
    https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/draft-london-environment-strategy-have-your-say

    Mayor of London: Draft Fuel Poverty Action Plan
    Between 2013 and 2014, 69 per cent of the national increase in fuel poverty occurred in London. Fuel poverty in London remains very high, with more than 335,000 households affected according to the latest available data.
    This draft Fuel Poverty Action Plan sets out what the Mayor will do to help lift Londoners out of fuel poverty, and overcome the health effects of cold, damp, draughty living conditions…
    DOWNLOAD
    https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/energy/draft-fuel-poverty-action-plan

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    pat

    behind paywall:

    14 Aug: UK Times: Emily Gosden: Wages clock up for smart-meter fitters
    Wages are rising steeply for engineers who install smart meters as energy companies struggle to recruit enough staff, threatening to further inflate the costs of the £11 billion scheme.
    Salaries have risen by as much as a fifth within less than a year as suppliers prepare for the widespread rollout of the meters, which take automatic readings of gas and electricity usage. The government wants every home to have one by 2020.
    Consumers pay for the scheme through levies on their energy bills and suppliers have already warned that it is pushing up costs. British Gas said the scheme was one of the factors behind its 12.5 per cent electricity price rise.

    A senior source at one supplier told The Times that wages had increased from £27,000 to between £32,000 and £33,000 in the past year and bonuses could raise that to £36,000. “There’s not enough people in the UK skilled with the ability to install gas and electricity meters,” the source said. “Demand is outstripping supply. Installers are jumping between companies, going to the highest bidder.”…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/wages-tick-up-for-smart-meter-engineers-d3gcmj7sg

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    pat

    15 Aug: ThisIsMoneyUK: Green energy tycoons go to war: New age traveller turned multi-millionaire is accused of trying to undermine rival
    By City & Finance Reporter for the Daily Mail
    A controversial green energy tycoon dubbed Britain’s wealthiest hippy was yesterday accused of plotting the downfall of a rival company having become its largest shareholder with a £10million stake.
    New age traveller turned millionaire businessman Dale Vince, the owner of vegan football club Forest Green Rovers, is battling to win a seat on the board of Good Energy Group having taken a 25.3 per cent holding in the firm.
    But bosses at Good Energy are urging shareholders to reject his plan to become a director – claiming that as founder, owner and chief executive of arch rival Ecotricity Vince has ‘actively sought to undermine Good Energy over the past 18 years’.

    The power struggle has pitted Vince, 55, against clean fuel fat cats Juliet Davenport, the 49-year-old polo-playing chief executive of Good Energy, and her ex-film producer husband Mark Shorrock, 47, who is behind plans for a huge tidal scheme in Swansea Bay.

    Vince: ‘As the single largest shareholder in Good Energy we have the most to lose if the business does not succeed.’
    His football club, Forest Green Rovers, sells only vegan food at its ground, such as veggie burgers and Quorn pies.
    He has long been opposed to Shorrock’s plans in Swansea Bay, and has claimed he can generate tidal energy at a lower price and financed over a shorter time
    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-4790004/Green-energy-tycoon-Dale-Vince-war-Good-Energy.html

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      Graeme No.3

      pat:

      Not often you see vultures fighting (apologies to any vultures offended by being classified with that lot).

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    Peter

    Not attempting to derail this conversation, but it seems really strange to me that many of the same people who are applauding this $650M expenditure (in the social media arena) are also complaining that $122M on the SSM ballot is a waste of money. How much does that highlight the priorities and willful ignorance?

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    AndrewWA

    I’ve provided some of this information previously but it’s worth a re-visit.

    The 2 Concentrated Solar Thermal Plants (CSP) we know most about are:
    + IVANPAH, California. Nameplate capacity – 392 MW. No molten salt storage. Natural gas power reruired to re-start plant each morning.
    + CRESCENT DUNES, Nevada (near Las Vegas. Nameplate capacity – 110MW. 111 GWh of advanced molten salt energy storage. (This is closest to that planned for Port Augusta.

    The comfort words for CSP comes from Power Magazine, Jan 2016: CSP is “straight forward and fairly well understood”.

    With regards to Ivanpah, the operator Brightsar energy advised, in Nov 2010, that “it would take 4 years to reach full design capacity of the design 940MWh.”

    IVANPAH
    + The design output of 940Gwh gives a Capacity Factor of only 27.4% (although all of the publicity talks about 31.4%)
    + Connected to the grid in Sep 2013. Official opening in Feb 2014.
    + 2014 – produced 419 MWh. CF 13%
    + 2015 – produced 653 MWh. CF 20%
    + 2016 – produced 703 GWh. CF 21%.

    CRESCENT DUNES
    + Design output – 500GWh. Capacity Factor: 16% – actual/52% – planned.
    + Storage capacity – 10 hrs.
    + Construction commenced in Sep 2011.
    + Construction completed end 2013
    + Commissioning commenced Feb 2014
    + Operational since Sep 2105.
    + Synched to grid Oct 2016.
    + 3 years from completion to synch with power grid!!!
    + Produced only 127 GWh in 2016 (10 months).
    + Best month of 30.5 GWh (Sep 2016).
    + Plant off line in Oct 2016 due to leak in molten salts storage tank.
    + Operations recommenced in July 2017.
    + 2016 production at rate of 153 GWh/year. Only 31% of expected production. CF of only 16%.

    Good luck Sth Australia if this technology is going to provide the 125 MW of SA Government peak demand.

    The distressing aspect of the 150 MW plant planned for Port Augusta is $110 Million of funding from our Fed Govt in the form of a concessional equity loan.

    So not only does SA steal WA’s GST but also pillage our other taxes to fund their crazy power plans.

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      Graeme No.3

      AndrewWA:

      thank you for that. Crescent Dunes plant at Tonopah, Nevada was built by SolarReserve, the company listed as about to supply (or not) SA with electricity. Their design does not use natural gas to heat the molten salts in the morning, unlike Ivanpah. This limits their hours of operation as they have to retain more heat in the molten salt tank so it is fluid enough to be used fairly early in the morning.

      As for WA supplying taxes I can assure you that J. Weatherdill doesn’t care where the taxes come from. My analysis of the announcement says that it cannot pay for itself in 20 years so there must be secret sums being thrown the way of the builder.

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      Analitik

      You analysis gives the impression that Ivanpah is more successful than Crescent Dunes since it has a higher reported CF. What is missing, however, is the effect of the gas “pre-heating” needed to get Ivanpah operational in the cold desert mornings. Not only is this gas consumption not subtracted from the energy output but electricity generated from the initial turbine operation powered by the gas burners is counted towards the “solar” output

      It really is a case of having your cake and eating it at the same time. But then it’s all part of The Third Way.

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    Analitik

    Late to the party but THIS IS AWESOME!!!

    CSP will now have its day in the sun (down under) so it can prove itself.. TO BE UTTERLY USELESS

    Joy, joy happy, happy, joy, joy. :) (for all outside South Australia, that is – sorry Croweaters)

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      Robber

      Where is the SA Liberal Party opposition? No statement about diesel generators and batteries and solar stations pushing up electricity costs?
      Their last press release on their website dated June 2 says: “The latest Australian Energy Regulator statistics paint a bleak picture for thousands of South Australian families struggling to cope with the highest power prices in the country. South Australia has the most per capita electricity disconnections, gas disconnections, the most people with an energy debt, the highest average electricity debt in the country and the situation is deteriorating dramatically.
      “The Weatherill Government’s decision to force the Northern Power Station to close down has plunged thousands of South Australians into crippling energy debt and left many without electricity,” said Shadow Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan.”

      And policy #28 says: “We believe the current South Australian target of 50% renewables by 2025 should be abandoned now in favour of a single national target”.

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        I think that Labor Governments have overplayed their hands here in agreeing to 50% targets, both at Federal and State levels. I’m pretty sure they have only done it to shore up Greens preferences at future elections, because, surely they know it cannot be achieved. The date is always somewhere out there in the future, and they’ll always have the excuse that they were hamstrung by the other side of politics when State Governments change hands, or people, umm, conveniently forget what was promised in the first place.

        I also think that what they are relying upon is that no one will actually go and check for themselves.

        When you have Queensland Labor promising hand on heart to be 50% renewable by 2030, coming from a base of zero, and with 115% coal fired at the moment, (and seriously, it actually is 115% coal fired at the moment) they have ZERO chance of even getting that current coal fired total of 115% back to zero, let alone back to Minus 50%.

        Liberal Party Oppositions (and Governments for that fact) everywhere look to be populated by people who are just glorified used car salesmen, or former Lawyers, and it’s the same for Labor, only with former Union Leaders thrown in.

        I mean, take a person who actually could do something in Government. Given the way people think of any politicians, there’s no way a thinking person would even consider entering politics when they know that at every step, whatever they try to do will be shredded by the other political parties, all of them, their own party, and the media.

        I know I use the term as sarcasm, but it seems to me that ALL politicians are Pixie Ann Wheatley.

        Why would you bother.

        That’s why they get away with saying what they do. They quite literally have no idea, and not enough nous to find an expert and ask them that if I was to say such and such, would I look like a f00l. They just don’t even care. They say whatever they want, and no one holds them to account.

        Tony.

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          Graeme No.3

          Tony,
          given the quality of politicians on all sides I don’t see any improvement possible. I do take issue with you describing them as glorified used car salesmen as any successful used car salesman wouldn’t need to go into politics,

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            It’s funny really, because when I read it through again in Preview before posting the comment, the only thing I changed was where I said this: (my bolding here)

            Liberal Party Oppositions (and Governments for that fact) everywhere look to be populated by people who are just glorified used car salesmen, or former Lawyers, and it’s the same for Labor, only with former Union Leaders thrown in.

            I had originally written the word failed before the word lawyer, and I thought that was maybe a little strong, so I changed it to former.

            Tony.

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              Graeme No.3

              Ah well, at least we agree that the very last people who should be politicians are those who want to be politicians.

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        Analitik

        My point is that the proof will be in the lack of delivery of this supposed “saviour” putting yet another nail in the coffin of the renewables fable being sold to the public.

        The main conservative political parties have failed to behave conservatively so the public must bear the initial cost for their failure to act according to their purported agenda. So the only way for the population at large to understand the extent of the lies being told is for the renewables systems to fail yet again. There is a price to all this but sadly, it has to be paid.

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    Chad

    Ref , Battery storage and cost
    There was a figure mentioned for an equivalent 900 MWh capacity storage facility…$2 bn i remember.
    Im dont know what that was based on, but the most recent ( Sept ’16). declared cost for a Tesla Powerpack installation was us$147,000 for a dual 210kWh unit (420 kWh total) system complete with inverters, controls and installation.
    That gives a guide of approx us$350,000 per MWh.
    Suggesting a 900MWh facility could be us$315 million …at 2016 costs.based on a small capacity system, so further reductions for scale would easily apply
    I believe that Tesla base prices have also been reduced since then.
    Since the Port Augusta storage has been stated to be 1100MWh, i would expect that an equivalent battery facility could be able to be installed for less than us$400million.
    Of course, a battery on that scale has never been contemplated, let alone scoped out in detail, so this is all theoretical.

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