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ABC: Let’s pretend base load power doesn’t exist, call it a dinosaur. Who’s in denial?

The new phrase that must be neutered is “base load”. It’s like kryptonite for renewables!

Nick Kilvert at the ABC helpfully provides a no-hard-questions mouthpiece and tells us Base load power is the dinosaur in the energy debate.

To serve the Australian taxpayer he quotes a Professor Vassallo, Chair of Sustainable Energy Development (USyd), and CSIRO Energy Director Dr Glenn Platt. Just in case they weren’t green and biased enough he also interviewed Professor Blakers, director of the ANU Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems. Finally he turns to Dr Mark Diesendorf, who is apparently just some guy at UNSW with a team of modelers. (Kilvert doesn’t give us his title, but a two second search suggests he works at the “Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets“. Perhaps it was an oversight, or maybe Kilvert was feeling guilty that every single person he quoted has a career in sustainable energy). Glenn Platt — by the way, is not just “Energy Director” but is described at The Conversation as leading the Energy Transformed Flagship research centre at CSIRO. So that’s four green academics, no one from the coal industry, no skeptics, no other engineers, and no one involved in managing a grid.

So here’s Dr Platt, struggling with the basics of electricity grids:

“The idea of there being an average or ‘base’ electricity load, doesn’t make sense. Let alone having this sort of big, slow-changing power station to meet that load,” says CSIRO Energy Director Dr Glenn Platt.

And here’s today’s energy production across the national grid, where everyone can see that the minimum demand was 18,000MW (just like it was last time TonyfromOz wrote about it here five years ago. That 18,000MW are all the fridges at Coles, the freezers at Woolies, the air conditioning units in every skyscraper or tall building with windows that don’t open. It’s hospitals, night shift workers, smelters, street lights, home heaters or air con, and water heaters.

Baseload power, Australia, NEM, electricity load curve, demand, supply.

Don’t believe your lying eyes.

Source: Aneroid (which gets the data from the AEMO)

Dr Platt is working hard to convince the public that demand is all over the place:

Throughout the day, electricity demand peaks in the morning as people get ready for work, and again in the evening.

But electricity use also changes across the year, maxing out on hot summer days when air-conditioners are at full blast, and bottoming out on mild spring nights.

No mention that the constant unremitting base load is 75% of the peak. Would it change things for the paying public if they knew that?

To craft a story that base load is “old” Prof Anthony Vassallo digs out some historic anedotes:

Coal-fired power stations can take days to fire up from cold to full capacity and when demand slumps during off-peak periods, shutting down isn’t an option.

So when these power plants were being built in Australia, a market solution was created, says Professor Anthony Vassallo, Chair of Sustainable Energy Development at the University of Sydney.

“In the 70s, to stop them from having to turn off overnight, the regulators and the operators offered very, very-low-cost electricity for consumers to run their hot-water systems, which in turn sustained the ‘base load’ on the power station,” he says.

It’s true that people found ways to even out our electricity use by switching on hot water heaters at 11:32pm, but it’s also true that it was cheaper for everyone when they did.

Vassalo frames coal in the worst possible way:

But today, as more and more renewables such as wind are feeding the grid, coal-fired power stations are often forced to pay to keep their turbines running when demand drops.

What he doesn’t say is that coal fired stations are only forced to pay because taxpayers are forced to subsidize renewables. If there was no RET, rooftop or other  subsidy, many renewables plants would never have been built. Who would put solar panels on if they had to pay $4,000 more?

Looks like the dinosaur industry supplies the dinosaur base load

Today’s production: 14,000 out of 18,000 MW was supplied by fossil fuels.

Australian electricity supply, daily load, NEM, October 2017.

The ABC is happy to make sure Australians know the limitations of coal in fine, if imaginary detail:

“Technology has moved on from base load, and now you want flexible power.

Spell it out for us, Prof Blakers, why do we “want” flexible power — is that so we can cope with the artificial “flexible” supply, forced onto the system by mini-Gods who think they can change the weather with solar panels and windmills?

…And that’s what demand management, batteries and pumped hydro is,” says Professor Andrew Blakers, director of the ANU Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems.

So, by golly, why didn’t we use them before –  maybe because they are inefficient, or inconvenient, or waste energy or cost more?

“If you have an increase in demand, a coal power station will take hours [to meet it], a gas turbine 20 to 30 minutes, batteries about a second, demand management about a second, and pumped hydro will take anywhere between 20 seconds and two minutes.”

It’s true coal can’t shift up quickly and gas can (and I hear, within a mere minute or two, not “20 – 30″). But gas also costs twice as much as coal (or even more). Does an academic care? Do taxpayers pay him to give them the whole truth or just the bit that suits him?

“Compete Nonsense” because thousands of computer simulations show that it’s theoretically possible

Theoretically, if you have unlimited funds, we could go “renewable”:

“All this talk about ‘you’ve got to have baseload power stations’ is complete nonsense,” says Dr Mark Diesendorf.

 

 

 

 

His team at the University of New South Wales ran “thousands of computer simulations” correlating hourly power-consumption data from the National Electricity Market (NEM) in 2010, with the potential power generation of renewables, based on recorded weather data for the same year.

He claims that a combination of existing technologies, including hydro and biofuelled gas turbines, were able to supply the simulated NEM even during “peak demand” — on winter evenings following overcast days.

Kilvert didn’t ask what it would cost. The academics just say “it won’t be cheap”.

Jen Marohasy did a good job going through the finer details of Base Load Electricity a while back.

EDIT – Oops: Kyrpton should have been Kyptonite. Thanks to Ian C, and Tim.

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258 comments to ABC: Let’s pretend base load power doesn’t exist, call it a dinosaur. Who’s in denial?

  • #
    Stuart Lynne

    I am all for renewable producers *if* they can guarantee delivery. They can achieve that by purchasing backup power from dispatchable producers (aka gas turbine, or in some areas hydro) when they cannot produce themselves.

    That provides an economic reason for dispatchable producers to exist.

    That removes the problem from the grid operators. Either you provide the electricity you contracted to provide or pay a steep penalty (which at that point would be shared in some way between the renewable and dispatchable producers.)

    I have no idea if renewable producers can exist with this additional cost. But presumably that alone would say something about the economics of renewable energy.

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    • #
      • #
        RickWill

        Reading the comments gives the impression that the BoM is not well loved.

        91

        • #

          The BOM and Chicken Little, or the Boy Who Cried Wolf, have a lot in common and people are getting tired of the constant errors and doomsday crap.

          141

        • #
          Usrus Augustus

          The sheer idiocy of these buffoons is just nit quite approporiate for their purported role in society.

          What but about statistical analysis of demand don’t they understand? Baeload as a concept being a fantasy is just propaganda driving argument.

          WHen I started engineering I did the same maths as the maths major science students. It seems the current crop have little or no foundation in maths let alone common sense. I guess the epitome is Tim Flannery who is a ‘professor’ of something’ and an ‘expert’ but whose undergraduate studies was in literature or some such.

          70

          • #
            Ted O’Brien.

            I refuse to admit it as argument!

            10

          • #
            Will Janoschka

            “What but about statistical analysis of demand don’t they understand?”

            Perhaps the big Elephant under the tent!! Electrical power demand is perhaps the most deterministic of anything yet discovered. Baseload need only cover your statistical ‘noise’ peaks to be 97%-99% reliable! It is only the SCAM of ‘inverted transient renew-ables’ that drive all “outages”!!

            “Baseload as a concept being a fantasy is just propaganda driving argument.”

            Could you expand on that statement, so that it makes any sense? :-)

            00

          • #
            Power Grab

            Maybe his major was “Creative Writing”?

            01

      • #
        Annie

        Thanks for that bemused…I always welcome a good laugh. :)

        60

    • #
      Geoff

      We have now reached the pointy end of “demand management”. That is when we run out of power and have blackouts. To add to this we have “managed” the demand side by increasing prices to the point when big users turn off their demand by shutting down.

      The argument is no longer about “saving the planet” bu how to save our economy and way of life.

      Our “leaders” received money collected by force from the people. Beyond an election they have clearly shown there is only self interest in government management. The public service is no longer lead by people who want to serve. All they want is a larger power base and salary.

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    • #
      Peter C

      Stuart Lynne,

      I am all for renewable producers *if* they can guarantee delivery.

      I would be for that to. That is what all the Greens and Leftys are expecting and hoping for. But renewable producers cannot do that!

      That is why our power supplies are now in disarray. It is as simple as that!

      60

  • #
    mwhite

    “Coal-fired power stations can take days to fire up from cold to full capacity and when demand slumps during off-peak periods, shutting down isn’t an option.”

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/387566/Technical_Assessment_of_the_Operation_of_Coal_and_Gas_Plant_PB_Power_FIN….pdf

    A few days??? check out table 2, page 9

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    • #
      AndyG55

      link not work.. its those 4 dots before pdf, which aren’t being recognised

      51

      • #
        tom0mason

        AndyG55,

        just done a search (using the full address as stated) for the document. Two results references to the said document, one does not work, the other does and the pdf file is indeed called Technical_Assessment_of_the_Operation_of_Coal_and_Gas_Plant_PB_Power_FIN….pdf, which is weird and certainly not to normal standards, having a ‘….pdf’ name to this file. I could however download it using a Mozilla (Firefox, Pale Moon, Iceweasel, IceCat, Wyzo, SeaMonkey, etc.,) type browser.
        So yet again the UK government shows a complete lack of talent with IT projects and standards. Or maybe it’s intentional — “The document is available”, but only for those in the know.

        My working download was from
        “https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/387566/Technical_Assessment_of_the_Operation_of_Coal_and_Gas_Plant_PB_Power_FIN….pdf” complete with the dots!

        60

    • #
      Graeme#4

      Agreed. The report shows that even in a worst-case scenario, when a coal plant has been shutdown for greater than 48 hours, the max. Startup to full load tine is only 8.5 hours.

      70

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Anyone that espouses the energy fantasies of Dr Platt has no business giving advice or being head of anything that may directly affect normal rational people.

    “Technology has moved on from base load, and now you want flexible power.” so all those years of requiring 18,000 MW could have been avoided by being more flexible?

    Today I’ll drive my car the same distance with 1 litre of fuel instead of 10 litres because the computer model I’ll install will make power delivery “more flexible”

    Plenty of low hanging fruits with these guys and yes I did mean fruits!

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      This is all leading ( deliberately ) to making power just in time, but mosr e importantly if you create a finely balanced power situation, you need to put in controls ( i.e. slavery / serfdom ) of all consumers so they can be controlled as needed.

      As such, an artificial “crisis” needs a “solutuion” that gives the elite, via msart meters, solar power, etc 100% control over your very life, house, income….etc etc.

      The elite are trying to put everyone in a strait jacket for power, then lock our lives down under agenda 21 etc.

      Global CAGW “crisis” = global slavery.

      160

    • #
      Anto

      It really is frightening in it’s naivety – like a couple of Amish farmers discussing the flaws in a Ferrari.

      100

  • #
    Mark Fraser

    Stuart, how about the bleeding edge 24c/kwh Fortis is proposing for their subsidy farm in the Okanagan? That would push my monthly to 600/month or more, as we depend on electric heating (via heat pump!).

    80

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    A wonderful theory but not in this universe. I suspect you will have to pass through quite a number of Alice’s Looking Glasses to find the universe in which the theory works.

    By working, I mean it actually delivers as promised with no higher cost than that which it is supposed to replace. I recommend finding a universe in which the three laws of thermodynamics are inoperative. You might then have a chance.

    However an academic doesn’t have to consider such dirty low life things as delivering as promised at the same or lower cost. Even the fact that the laws of the universe might have a say in the matter is held as irrelevant.

    Such tings are simply engineering details of no concern to him. He came up with a hundred trillion dollar idea and it is up to us to come up with the hundred trillion dollars and make it actually work.

    The interesting part is after the hundred trillion dollars is extracted from the economy, there will be no functioning economy. Obviously then, a base demand won’t exist that requires a reliable base load generation capability. It really doesn’t have to work. Problem solved.

    Hmmmm…. I sense a flaw somewhere in his thought process. Can’t quite put my finger on it…. Must be that I have an antique bias for staying alive, living free, and thriving based upon my own efforts and in cooperation with others of like mind.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Lionell Griffith:

      The big problem is that the Greens are more like the Red Queen than the White Rabbit, and likely to descend into murderous rage when the real laws of the universe prevent them getting their way. Encouraged no doubt by our politicians whose resemblence to the Mad Hatter comes increasingly to mind these days.

      270

      • #
        Lionell Griffith

        Yes, Lewis Carroll’s stories about Alice’s adventures is very instructive about our post modern world. I recommend reading them for enlightening detail.

        10

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Give yourself over for the good of the collective and set yourself free .

      40

      • #
        Lionell Griffith

        The collective will have to get along without me. That is a game you can win only by not playing.

        20

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    Denying base load in an electrical grid is like denying blood pressure in a human being. Would anyone say that our heart does not need to produce a base line blood pressure to maintain our life?
    The renewal energy floggers’ claims are analogous to saying we don’t need a base blood pressure–our heart only needs to beat when we are exercising or excited.
    Pure, unadulterated lies flying in the face of all logic and what is observed every hour, day, month, and year–that a base load is necessary to maintain required power for the grid.

    370

    • #
      Ozwitch

      And commercial freezers only need to run when you open the door.

      170

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        I have noticed that all refrigerators have a little light in them, which only comes on when you open the door. It helps you find what you are looking for, in the fridge, whenever you need it.

        So, following the logic of Professor Vassallo, and Dr Platt, the rest of the power consumed by the refrigerator, when the door is closed. is superfluous to requirements, and can be done away with. Fantastic idea! Gosh, why didn’t I think of that? Perhaps it is because I don’t hold a chair or doctorate in esoteric studies?

        Has either of these learned (but not world-wise) gentlemen actually approached any of their colleagues in the Physics, or Electrical Engineering disciplines, in regard to their analysis? Or perhaps that level of detail is considered to be insufficiently cerebral, and far too mundane to be worthy of consideration by pristine academia.

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        • #
          robert rosicka

          How do you know the light goes out when you close the door ?

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          • #
            Lionell Griffith

            The post modern view is that it is like Schrodinger’s Cat. When you close the door, the light transitions to a state where it is in an entanglement of on, off, and imaginary. It takes an act of looking for its state to collapse to on or off with the imaginary part vanishing.

            Next question:

            When the refrigerator door opens and no one is there to look, does the light still go on?

            30

        • #

          “I have noticed that all refrigerators have a little light in them, which only comes on when you open the door.”

          That is because of the refigerator gauge boson. His name is Westing. Such is similar to Maxwell’s Demon called Photon, He decides if Thermal EMR is to be emitted, absorbed, transmitted, reflected, or the remaing nothing,so that all probilities sum to unity! QED (quantumelectrodynamics) in a nutshell.
          If you catch Westing doing his thing; (the state of the light\lamp\LED), he asks “isn’t this a Westinghouse?” When you agree, he says “I’m just westing!” :-)

          00

    • #
      Another Ian

      LL

      Thanks. I’ll borrow that blood pressure analogy

      130

    • #
      Manfred

      As Tony has mentioned on several occasions, the simple answer, pull the damned plug, turn off the dependable generation and savour the moment …
      for the peace will be very short lived.

      130

  • #
    jorgekafkazar

    “Base load power is the dinosaur in the energy debate.”

    And Truth is the dinosaur in energy politics.

    250

  • #
    AndyG55

    I suggest that coal fired power be disconnected from Uni NSW.

    They only get power when the sun shines and/or the wind blows.

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    • #

      That thought came to m ind when I read the article yesterday. In fact, I would like for everyone that pushes for renewables (let’s have a register) to be connected only to renewables, when the wind don’t blow, the power she don’t flow. With smart meters it should be easy to restrict power to the true believers.

      310

      • #
        amortiser

        I’m sure this is possible with current systems. The suppliers know at any particular time the make up of the energy mix. People now can nominate to be “green power” users. It would be a simple matter to cut them off when the green power is exhausted.

        Let them know the actual consequences of their choices rather than have other customers bear the cost of their prejudices.

        190

    • #
      Another Ian

      Andy

      One might suggest that there is a fair disconnect there already

      60

    • #
      James

      How are the tax revenues in Australia these days? I expect that they should be dropping as the economy shrinks. I hope that CSIRO and the Universites get their funding cut as a result of the economic destruction which they have brought to the country.

      100

  • #
    Betapug

    As former UK National Grid CEO Steven Holliday put it in 2011,
    “The grid is going to be a very different system in 2020, 2030. We keep thinking that we want it to be there and provide power when we need it. It is going to be much smarter than that. We are going to change our own behaviour and consume it when it is available and available cheaply.”
    As Holliday retired last year on his L11,000/wk pension, “cheaply available” is probably not his concern. http://www.cityam.com/249180/steve-holliday-receive-bumper-pension-after-10-years

    150

    • #
      Ozwitch

      I hope he enjoys never being able to fly anywhere or catch public transport because the aircraft can’t start up and the trains can’t run as there is no power ‘available.’ Hope he likes rotting meat and sour milk, and being stuck at traffic lights.

      120

      • #
        Manfred

        Do you reckon he can ride a bicycle, or will he need a tricycle?
        My guess, the latter. To think … what a pleasure to see The Cons, finally out and about in the community, peddling usefully away, helping the old folk with their groceries.

        50

      • #
        Dave Ward

        Because the aircraft can’t start up

        They won’t be “starting up” – no nasty fossil fuel burning engines by then. The lack of “power available” means there won’t be any charge in the incredibly light, ultra high capacity batteries – which we are constantly told are going to be perfected any day now…

        40

        • #
          clive hoskin

          So,if 8 years worth of CO2 is produced making a”Battery”for a Tesla,how much CO2 is going to be produced by these 100KW standby batteries?

          10

  • #
    Robber

    Seems these academics are the dinosaurs – time they were defunded and sent out into the country to demonstrate how to live without baseload power.

    170

  • #
    TdeF

    Utter deceit and well commented. However there is one word which needs correction. “Taxpayers”.

    The RET does not hit taxpayers and a lot of people do not pay nett tax, perhaps 80% of Australians. The RET hits everyone and represents 10% of disposable income for the a lot of Australians.

    That is why it is not only wrong, it should be illegal. So the worker’s party, the caring Greens and Malcolm’s Liberals are robbing the people who can least afford it. The poor and the old, the unemployed. The universal socialist answer? Give them the cash to pay the electricity bills. Move the electricity cutoff from $150 in arrears to $400 in arrears, as just happened. Fixed.

    No, parliament does not touch this money. Jay Weatherill and Daniel Andrews and Malcolm Turnbull do not see a cent of it. It is the most awful idea, to force everyone to pay strangers so they can build windmills for their own incokme. Then we have to pay these people again for their power. Even homeowners. This is theft, extortion and law.

    Under the ancient legal principle that you should not be forced to enrich others, it should not exist. What is great for the politicians is that it has nothing to do with them. They are not accountable. It is outside their budget, so complain to someone who cares. This is the worst law in Australia’s history. It is all about destroying not only people’s incomes but the baseload which keeps our society going. Just like baseload, this is all hidden in complex double speak about AEMO and batteries and subsidies. What subsidies? This is robbery.

    What do you hear from Canberra? They will adjust the ‘target’ up and down. Make it 300%. That has precious little to do with this non tax, this impost on the poorest Australians by an uncaring, government which pretends the cash grab does not exist. Then governements take our taxes to build their toys and to secretly pay people to keep going, the very owners of capitalist enterprises so hated by Labor. They build publicly funded batteries to try to justify this theft because the windmills don’t work.

    Who is better off? The people who get the cash. Windmill owners. Home Solar. AGL. Even the home owners will find they are worse off, when they finally get their electricity bills. Unless their solar works at night.

    Repeal the Renewable Energy Tax. It is the problem. The only problem. If windmills are so cheap and profitable let them pay for themselves. Solar too. Let them compete for the non existent baseload without the RET.

    241

    • #
      TdeF

      Tony from Oz has corrected my energy consumption for SA. His time for Musk’s Battery? 4.5Minutes of power.

      170

      • #
        TdeF

        The AEMO is Tony’s source. I must have been looking at incremental figures. 4 1/2 minutes!

        Now Turnbull’s hydro battery costing more billions. It is hard to nail down the figures or the costs.

        Victoria 41,243 GWh in 2016–17 total, 112GWhr per day.
        The figure for the total energy from the Snowy is 5,000 GWh per annum

        The Snowy could run Victoria for six weeks. However it is shared between NSW and Victoria 2:1.

        So the Snowy has about 2 weeks of power for Victoria.

        Malcolm’s scheme would add one week for Vicotira if it added 50% as said. However you have to subtract the cost of pumping all that water uphill unless the windmill operators give their energy away free. Ha! We may have paid for the windmills, but we don’t own them.

        This whole scheme was investigated and abandoned a long time ago as uneconomic. The cost starts at $2Bn and could reach $6Bn but they are hiring workers now.

        Liddell is free. AGL paid nothing. Coal is free. Surely we could fix Liddell and turn Hazelwood on for far less than $6Bn and five years waiting?

        Can we have our government back please, Malcolm?

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        • #
          Graeme#4

          I think that we need to stop being alarmists about this and focus on the actual battery usage, whatever that is going to be. Surely it’s clear that the battery will NOT be used to backup the whole of SA, so why do we keep quoting these figures? I don’t believe the SA govt has clearly said exactly how many homes will have backup and where, and until they do, may I suggest that we refrain from quoting these very low backup times. I think the more important question is exactly who will benefit from the backup and who will miss out.

          50

          • #

            I did try to explain it at this link that TdeF is referring to.

            The Battery has 100MW (Nameplate) and it can supply that at 129MWH, so effectively, that discharge rate (which pretty much cannot be exceeded without damage to the Battery) it can supply all its charge (100MW in total) for 47 minutes, and that would amount to around 6.7% of the total requirement (total power consumption) for the State, on average, as at Peak power times consumption will be greater, hence, that percentage less.

            However, it will supply it’s 100MW for 47 minutes only.

            That 4.5 Minutes was conjecture based on total State consumption versus the total charge in the battery, because it just COULD NOT deliver at that huge rate of discharge without doing irreparable damage (to the battery itself) after a few milliseconds.

            Tony.

            150

            • #
              Dave Ward

              The Battery has 100MW (Nameplate)

              But do we know if 100MW is the ultimate (100%) capacity, or a more reasonable 85-90%? Lithium ion batteries will be permanently damaged if allowed to be fully discharged, and normally incorporate circuitry to manage this, disconnecting them before it happens. That would bring the 47 minutes down to just over 42…

              30

          • #
            Tdef

            It is not alarmism. It is about deceitful politicians letting people think that you can avoid blackouts for days,that $100 million of public money can replace coal power for more than a few minutes.

            90

          • #
            KinkyKeith

            It’s that dreaded 97% thing again.

            3% will be O.K. and 97% will miss out.

            KK

            10

        • #
          David Maddison

          They seem to be going ahead with Snowy 2.0 without a proper feasiblity study. It just a thought bubble from Turnbull’s tiny brain that’s going to get turned into another multi billion dollar mistake.

          Also, there are efficiency losses with pumped hydro. You only get back about 80% of the energy used for pumping. And we will have the ridiculous situation of using coal power to pump water uphill because the unreliables are not up to the job.

          101

    • #
      RickWill

      The RET hits everyone and represents 10% of disposable income for the a lot of Australians.

      The impact of the RET is not a direct cost unless you are consuming electricity from the grid. The number of consumers is reducing as more people install solar panels – almost two million households now. They get a direct benefit from the RET although that benefit has started to be phased out.

      The value of the NEM is gone. Grid electricity is already too expensive for heavy industry to survive and uncompetitive against solar/battery/grid back-up for households:
      https://www.evergen.com.au/news/payback/
      It makes no sense to connect grid scale wind and solar to the network and transport it at high cost to consumers when they can collect the same energy locally.

      I see little prospect of sense prevailing. There is so much inertia now and lack of understanding regarding electricity supply. The prospect of individuals having control over energy supply is very compelling. They will give up a lot of utility for that perceived freedom. Look at how many people are prepared to sit in a car in traffic each day rather than catch a train. For the price of an average car they can make their own electricity “for free”.

      54

      • #
        Graeme#4

        Just looking at the battery capacity of 7.5 kWh in your example Rick, there is no way that this solar system could power an average house (25 kWh/day) off grid. Nor do I believe that average suburban house has the roof area to support an off-grid solar array. Even in sunny Aust., the solar and backup battery system requirements to go off-grid are massive, and I think folks who talk about an average suburban house going off-grid are deluding themselves.

        120

        • #
          TdeF

          Also, what is being phased out is the pay in tariff. The STCs do have a statutory limit unlike the LGCs. The cash is flowing like a river from the poor to the rich and overseas. Shareholders in AGL are thrilled. The sooner they close Liddell, the sooner they are in the cash as electricity prices go through the roof, even for those with solar panels.

          50

        • #
          RickWill

          Graeme
          That size system is not intended to be for off-grid. The best return from a battery is to stay on grid at present. The Evergen forecast a 6 year payback for that size system with existing subsidies and price rises at the current trajectory. Eight years if the prices are flat. The cost would be considerably more for a system that can operate off grid. Basically the system supplies around 90% of your energy but it takes from the grid when the sun is not doing its job.

          The most economic way to go off grid is to have the solar system plus battery plus generator. However that is more fiddly than just taking from the grid when sun is low and selling back into grid when sun is good. The intelligent part of the Evergen system is that it looks ahead at weather forecasts and determines if the battery should be charged off-peak overnight. That means the battery gets fully utilised even on dull days by load shifting.

          My point is that I cannot see the grid ever being economic again. It makes no sense to place solar parks way out in western NSW to feed power all the way into coastal centres. Why not just use rooftops that already exist and save the cost of transmission. There is no way that grid connected solar and wind can compete with roof mounted solar and battery.

          On the basis that there is no way any politician will be brave enough to make the grid an economic asset again I just see a reasonably rapid demise. The load will reduce through energy intensive business closing down while those not wishing to be left stranded, paying high prices and suffering outages, will opt for solar plus battery.

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            Graeme#4

            While I understand what you are saying Rick, you seem to be saying that the grid should only exist to backup household energy systems. (Sorry if this is not what you intended to mean.)
            But if I’m correct in my assumption, this would assume that the grid has to backup EVERYBODY, and it couldn’t do that, because everybody in one area, when the sun’s not shining, would all want to be backed up simultaneously. You simply can’t design a grid system to do this.
            ALL businesses are energy-intensive, including those that supply our essential services and food supplies. So you could not expect all these services to simply shut down.

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            • #
              Dave Ward

              Because everybody in one area, when the sun’s not shining, would all want to be backed up simultaneously. You simply can’t design a grid system to do this.

              Surely that’s just what conventional grids do (or rather used to do, before these lunatics began the great “decarbonisation” bandwagon).

              It’s only in the last few years that talk of customers having to plan their activities around the availability of power has taken over from expecting the lights to come on whenever we throw the switch…

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              • #
                Graeme#4

                Yep, but I gained the impression that Rick was suggesting a low-cost “backup” grid to homes that would use solar as their main power source.
                (Again, sorry Rick if I’ve assumed wrongly.)

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      • #
        TdeF

        Not a direct cost?

        Poor people cannot afford solar panel installations! Still they are forced to pay for them and electricity is a much higher part of their budget, which is about food and housing and energy, electricity and petrol and little else. How do you put up solar panels when you are renting or every cent is going into paying a mortgag?

        Solar panels are middle class toys, 50% paid for by increasing everyone else’s electricity bills. How is that fair?
        Then the same poor people and real battlers have to pay the rich middle classes at lunchtime for solar no one wants.

        If you are given thousands by other people, you should not be paid again for the free power. If the people of Australia bought windmills, they should not be charged again for electricity or at worst it should be a loan which has to be repaid, at interest.

        Worse the people who get cash presume on the poor people to subsidize their off peak power by building and maintaining coal power stations to provide night time power. Now even governments are building batteries because neither solar nor wind actually work, except as exclusive entertainment for the rich. Nice little app on your phone so you can see how much money you are making?

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        • #
          Graeme No.3

          TdeF:

          There is always the Spanish solution. First drop all subsidies, then tax those with grid connected solar PV for Grid Disruption, and then hit those who’ve gone off grid with a tax for avoiding paying for the grid.
          Bear in mind the uncontrolled rush into renewables (mostly due to regions competing to see who could be ‘greenest’) just about bankrupted the Central Government when the Regions were unable to pay what they promised and dumped the whole mess.

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          RickWill

          How is that fair?

          It is not fair. However all the government agencies that represent the economically disadvantaged support decarbonisation. I don’t think there are many people who actually understand how all the subsidies work and how they impact on power prices.

          That is why I believe there is too much inertia to save the grid. I cannot see the present state and federal governments all being thrown out and pragmatic new governments formed to shift 180 degrees to low cost energy policy.

          The reason I looked up Evergen is that Glenn Platt, quoted in the blog above, is the CEO of Evergen so has vested interest in spruiking solar energy and batteries. CSIRO is not an organisation that is concerned about fair. The majority of employees are middle class with aspirations working on planet saving, government funded projects.

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            TdeF

            “However all the government agencies that represent the economically disadvantaged support decarbonisation.”

            So Public Servants are crippling the people they are supposed to look after. Now that’s caring.

            “Decarbonization” itself is a pompous word like anthropogenic, implying science and a higher motive and rational behaviour. But we are carbon life forms. Our entire life is dependent on carbon. Every tree, every plant, everything we eat is part of the carbon cycle made from only CO2 and H2O and Government Agencies support decarbonization? What does that even mean? Or is it just not using coal? Is carbon dioxide really ‘pollution’? All 0.04% of it? Argon is 1%.

            There is also the implied idea that if we stop burning rotted plant matter, we can stop the terrible droughts and hurricanes and floods caused by CO2? This is not science. It is not even logic. It is not true.

            Decarbonization is not an objective of any rational person. If it means lowering CO2, that is not possible as CO2 levels are set by water temperature and water temperature alone. That is simple physical chemistry, Henry’s Law. There is no fossil fuel CO2 in the air, or at least it is tiny. All the changes are natural.

            There is no runaway tipping point Armageddon. It was all made up. The temperature has not changed for 20 years. Who are we saving by punishing our poorest people?

            Decarbonization sums it up. An absurd idea based on wrong premise and no science at all. Who cares how much damage this does to poor people. Certainly not comfortable public servants on good wages with superannuations and sitting at desks. They are saving the poor by making them suffer. Really?

            Robbing people to get half price solar panels is wrong. That it is done by government agencies is a disgrace.

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  • #
    turnedoutnice

    Make windfarmers and solar cell operators guarantee continued operation of the Grid by exporting excess as free domestic water heating etc. and filling deficits by contracts with diesel and gas plant. They’d soon top pushing for more state subsidies.

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    turnedoutnice

    Alternativly, tax all earnings, including subsidies.

    50

  • #
    Robber

    Talking of baseload, something seems to have changed in the wholesale electricity market.
    Look at average monthly prices for Victoria in 2017 per AEMO reports:
    Jan $62.04/MWhr
    Feb $86.05
    Mar $90.63
    Apr $108.20 (Hazelwood closed at end of March)
    May $107.95
    Jun $98.50
    Jul $117.38
    Aug $102.57
    Sep $79.43
    Oct $61.96/MWhr
    Note annual price FY 2015/16 $46.14/MWhr
    Have the generator owners decided to stop gaming the system as a response to the increasing complaints and political pressures, or is it seasonal?

    50

    • #
      OldGreyGuy

      We have also had less supply than demand here in Qld which appears to be a change from the standard are there units down for maintenance prior to the Summer peak?

      30

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Talking about base load I see the planned maintenance of the Heywood interconnector hasn’t started , could this be because there is next to no wind or solar at the moment ?

    http://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-dashboard#nem-dispatch-overview

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  • #
    Mark M

    O/T: A NASA satellite that monitors CO2 is revealing the inner workings of our planet.

    These findings, published in one of five studies coming out today in Science, represent just the first batch of discoveries from a mission NASA launched in 2014.

    The satellite, called Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2, is designed to monitor carbon dioxide in our planet’s atmosphere.

    CO2 levels have been increasing since the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, and because CO2 is a heat-trapping greenhouse gas, our planet is warming up.

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/12/16460014/nasa-oco-2-satellite-carbon-dioxide-earth-atmosphere-plants-ocean-climate-change

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    • #

      OCO-2 was/is a waste of resources. CO2 has no significant effect on climate. The IR EMR absorbed by CO2 is immediately (starts within 0.0002 microseconds) shared with surrounding molecules. It takes about 6 microseconds for a CO2 molecule to emit a photon after it absorbs one so that is highly unlikely.

      Water vapor is hundreds of times more absorbant of IR EMR than CO2. Shared energy contains no identity of the molecule which absorbed it. Water vapor has hundreds of absorb/emit bands at lower energy level than CO2. At low altitude, energy absorbed by CO2 is effectively rerouted up via water vapor.

      Atmospheric water vapor has been increasing 1.5% per decade. Warming from rising WV is countering the average global cooling which would otherwise be occurring.

      Click my name for more.

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      • #

        In what direction is that photon emitted Dan. And from what direction are the photons it is absorbing coming from Dan?

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        • #

          The point is essentially all emission from gas molecules at low altitude is from water vapor molecules, not CO2 molecules. Direction is not the issue because the same rules apply for all gas molecules.

          Are you not aware that emission from gas molecules is omnidirectional? Or that the net direction depends on the population gradient which, on average, declines with altitude? WV gradient is shown in Fig. 2.

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            KinkyKeith

            Well put Dan.

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            Mark D.

            Gee is likely not aware. Optionally is aware but in a world we call “denial”.

            Might be in another world called “out of my league”

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          • #

            Direction does not matter? So a photon that was going up that is redirected down is of no importance because other gas molecules do it? Love that logic.

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            • #
              KinkyKeith

              Read Dan’s second paragraph.

              Informative and elegant.

              At least to those of us who understand physics.

              KK

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              AndyG55

              Again, your base-level ignorance of atmospheric physics is a wonder to see.

              An empty fantasy world.

              You don’t even see to comprehend that there is rarely ANY photon re-emittance from atmospheric CO2. Quote from Dan, :It takes about 6 microseconds for a CO2 molecule to emit a photon after it absorbs one so that is highly unlikely. ”

              Simple science, GA. !!

              Nor do you seem to comprehend that it can only be in the direction of the main flux, which is outwards from the surface.

              Sad to see a leaf so brain-washed-out.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                Oh Dear !!

                Precisely GA,

                That is exactly what everybody says when they see your pointless twitter type posts.

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              • #
                tom0mason

                The secret is to bang the molecules together folks.

                ;)

                20

              • #
                KinkyKeith

                Andy, there are two ways we can look at it.
                As Dan says you can look at the population gradient or the temperature gradient.

                Any photons heading to Earth are not going to get far, and any photons heading out from the surface radially have a big gap to the next collision or photon absorption.

                And that’s IF the CO2 can emit.

                KK

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            • #
              Phoenix44

              You think a molecule is stationary? Oh dear.

              30

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                AndyG55

                I guess the poor little scientifically inebriated twitterist thinks that energy flux can just be turned around 180º by 0.04% atmospheric CO2.

                BIZARRE !!

                30

            • #
              Peter Fitzroy

              Exactlly, this is the greenhouse effect… why is anyone debating this?

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          Graeme#4

          And the linear structure of the CO2 molecule means that it doesn’t vibrate very well when energised, so it’s not very good at re-radiating energy. But the water molecule has a different angular structure, so it vibrates quite well, easily re-radiating energy.

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        el gordo

        So are we looking at an increase in human induced water vapour?

        40

      • #
        Rollo

        Dan says

        The IR EMR absorbed by CO2 is immediately (starts within 0.0002 microseconds) shared with surrounding molecules. It takes about 6 microseconds for a CO2 molecule to emit a photon after it absorbs one so that is highly unlikely.

        If the large number of collisions drain the energy continually so a photon doesn’t get emitted, could it also be argued that the freqent collisions keep the bond “vibrating” so it rarely has an opportunity to absorb a photon?
        PS. I don’t really know what I’m talking about here so feel free to educate me.

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        • #
          KinkyKeith

          At that level of analysis we are talking about models which might help explain the macro measured realistic.
          Your model might be as useful as anybody elses.

          KK

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        el gordo

        ‘Atmospheric water vapor has been increasing 1.5% per decade. Warming from rising WV is countering the average global cooling which would otherwise be occurring.’

        Interesting idea, so you don’t expect temperatures to fall over the coming decade?

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      AndyG55

      “and because CO2 is a heat-trapping greenhouse gas”

      WRONG !!! Unproven baseless conjecture.

      There is no mechanism for CO2 to warm our convectively controlled atmosphere.

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      Reed Coray

      Mark M. The addition of Co2 gas to a system that otherwise is devoid of Co2 gas may (a) change the spatial distribution of temperature within the system, and/or (b) change the time-varying nature of the temperature within the system, but those changes are NOT the result of “trapping heat.” Heat cannot be trapped–period, end of story. Therefore Co2 gas cannot trap heat. A vacuum thermos bottle is an example familiar to most people where the addition of Co2 gas results in lower, not higher, and more rapidly, not less rapidly, decreasing system temperature. Anyone who claims Co2 gas is a heat-trapping gas is playing fast and loose with the connotation/denotation of “heat trapping”. See-comment #1 at http://joannenova.com.au/2017/07/weekend-unthreaded-171/.

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    tom0mason

    Dear ABC,

    Please try to remember –

    Base load = Demand from Paying Customers.

    Base load is normal demand requirement from all those paying electricity users — what do you want to do? Cut the off?

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    graphicconception

    I always favour a trial. I used to suggest California but South Australia would be OK.

    Install the equipment, drop the interconnects then go for it. The world needs a definitive answer.

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    TedM

    “No baseload power”. So by default we also get rid of “abundant, reliable and affordable”.

    Did Nick Kilvert study journalism in Venezuela.

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    • #
      tom0mason

      Removing baseload is to prevent paying customer using what they pay for when they wish to use it.

      The whole point of a grid connected system is to cost effectively allow baseload to be managed.
      The alternative is to break-up the grid to smaller units, and have less efficient and more intermittent supply managed over the smaller regions.

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    KinkyKeith

    The current level of perception of reality in our world is frightening and to the point now that even the manipulators in our parliaments and the UN and our semi government organisations only see one thing as real: The Money.

    I used to think that wars were bad but now the horror of the wholesale capture of civilisations via the mobile phone and internet seems much worse: people can’t see what is happening and everyone seems to be walking on a cloud about three inches above ground level.

    We have been had.

    KK

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      Robdel

      As soon as the electrical blackouts begin people will realise what is happening. The clouds will part then.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      We have been had.

      Not yet, we haven’t. What do you suppose will happen if the entire grid goes dark? What will happen to the cellphone repeaters when the batteries run low? What will happen to the telephone network when the battery backups in the exchanges becomes exhausted? What if the electric trains can’t run? What if traffic lights no longer work?

      What happens if your electric clock tells you the time that the power failed, yesterday?

      Would you be able to get to work? Would there be any point to the work you do? Would anybody, anywhere, even consider trying to get anywhere else?

      Civilisation is a very delicate construct. Even those of us who have been trained to survive, will struggle in such chaos. Your average left-wing academic will not have a show. But that is the time bomb they are playing with.

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        KinkyKeith

        True. We aren’t talking about 45 minute rotating load shedding here; whole cities will go down.

        Then there will be a revolution.

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        OriginalSteve

        At that point i suspect that full mags, soap, gennies and full water tanks will be valuable commodities…

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    • #
      Ted O’Brien.

      KK, it is WWIII well under way, and many of our young people have already bee captured!

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    PeterS

    Every country except Australia understands base load is absolutely essential. Let me explain. Imagine if coal fired and nuclear power stations suffered the same gyrations of energy output as wind and solar. Even with massive battery storage systems, modern civilisation as we know today would cease to exist as virtually all forms of businesses would halt. Given at this stage we won’t allow nuclear ones, coal fired power stations for us is absolutely essential if we as a nation are to survive. So one begs the question, how come Australia is not building new generation coal fired power stations (pretty much everyone else is building them) to replace the aging ones that are being gradually closed down? Is the purpose of preventing such constructions to destroy Australia’s economy? If so why? It’s now time to ask these very pertinent questions and to get answers as these questions ONLY apply to Australia. As I keep repeating, the rest of the world is building the new generation coal fired power stations with great haste. Why are our two major parties deliberately refusing to build or encourage the private sector to build such new coal fired power stations? By refusing to do so the end result is the destruction of our economy while the rest of the world is building them. It’s now time to hold those responsible to account as this is without a doubt a national emergency. It would be like us being attacked by some large and very powerful enemy, and Australia sitting back doing nothing about it and refusing to call upon our ally the US to save us. This is no joking matter.

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      Ted O’Brien.

      Why do they stand back? Because 1. This is ALP policy, and 2. The Liberals are terrified of the financial losses that will incur when the scam terminates.

      00

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      Chad

      Just a small correction..
      Not everyone else is building new coal fired generation,
      ….. The one noteable exception is the USA where the one and only, new coal plant build is under review , all others cancelled, and no future ones are proposed. (Currently ?)
      Also they have , like us, a ban on new Nuclear plants also, so their thermal capacity is slowly being reduced.
      However , they are building a lot of new gas generation and wind/ solar projects, so you can see they are like a giant version of Australia….headed for a “base load” crisis if they do not get enough gas onstream soon.
      Either way, without Nuclear, they will not meet their CO2 targets in the future.

      00

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    robert rosicka

    Price of electricity in SA shot up to $10,000 but has now dropped again .

    30

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    Ruairi

    The base load gives constant grid power,
    To supply daily peaks any hour,
    And now base load we’re told,
    Is outdated and old,
    By some folks from their ivory tower.

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    Penguinte

    Typical academic! All theoretical knowledge but no common sense or reality. I bet he’s still paying off his HEX debt.

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    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      “All theoretical knowledge. . . .” No. It’s ideological and incorrigibly politicised. The institutions concerned are of one mind and tolerate no dissent. As ideologists the academics have little capacity to observe, less to philosophise, and all committed to ideology—activated to change the world. As Michael Walzer wrote in The Revolution of the Saints: A Study in the Origins of Radical Politics (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965), p. 27:

      [The] content [of an ideology] is necessarily a description of the contemporary experience as unacceptable and unnecessary and a rejection of any merely personal transcendence or salvation. Is practical effect is to generate organization and cooperative activity.

      There’s nothing new in it, but even the threat of Communism that defaced most of the twentieth century pales against the suicidal inclinations of the West. The humanities died years ago. Now science has followed a similar path, destructive of truth and truthfulness. Careerism rather than postmodernist fervour may have provided the motivation for most, but it’s all to the same pernicious, even fatal and destructive end.

      So it’s not “theoretical knowledge” at its core but the labour—to quote Walzer again—

      to explain to its students the world and human society as they are and must be and so to win for them that freedom which consists in an acknowledgement of necessity.

      And now, by and large, they have the law on their side.

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        el gordo

        They say the science is settled and the paradigm is set in stone, but in reality the situation is very fluid and likely to turn quite sharply.

        The renaissance is still in its infancy, enjoy the moment, victory will be ours.

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    TdeF

    Now we have Julie Bishop attacking Tony Abbott. He is a backbencher, not a cabinet minister with an obligation of solidarity unlike Julie Bishop. Everyone is piling on Abbott, under direction from Turnbull who does not want to sully his imagined reputation and demands total loyalty, to his Blackhand faction.

    You have to wonder with all this nonsense about baseload, Abbott the wrecker, Abbott the dinosaur what is driving Turnbull and friends. Billions on batteries to fix the problems they created?

    There is no problem, if only our Governments would stop forcing power stations to close. In our inner city Melbourne area, the suburb went completely dark for two hours last night. No street lighting, nothing. Time to go back to the 1880s and gas lighting, which our Premier is trying to stop too. Why? What is driving these people? It cannot be ‘Climate Change’ an exaggerated and barely detectable warming over some decades and absolutely nothing for 20 years.

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      Greebo

      Now we have Julie Bishop attacking Tony Abbott.

      Indeed. Have you read Tony’s London speech? Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

      Bishop is just another in the long line of troops sent out to silence Abbott, as Malcolm does not have the courage to take him on himself.

      http://tonyabbott.com.au/2017/10/transcript-hon-tony-abbott-mp-address-global-warming-policy-foundation-westminster-london/

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      • #
        el gordo

        The Black Hand Mob are sticking together.

        ‘Malcolm Turnbull has declared it is up to Tony Abbott to explain the “inconsistencies” in his views on climate change expressed this week compared with the “different” policies he implemented when prime minister.

        ‘The Prime Minister said this morning that Mr Abbott’s speech in London had climate policies which were “quite different” to when he was leading the Coalition.’

        Oz
        ——-

        For Christ’s sake Tony, tell them CO2 does not cause global warming.

        90

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          The really big benefit if major big city blackouts occur, is that as the electrically powered infrastructure grinds to a halt, many clueless inner city lefties will die off like flies, as big cities will turn into death traps as people panic and law and order breaks down.

          My suggestion is before this summer, to talk to friends who live outside of the main major cities and make sure you can spend time with them if necessary….

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    JOHN IVORY

    Have you been asked too go on the ABC too debate these topics as either guest speaker with host or debate with a global warmisth and the ABC host as the chairman on talk back radio in Qld.

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  • #

    Big lumbering coal fired power units, you know those behemoths of power generation, the 6600MW units at Bayswater, the 720MW units at Eraring. Days and days to run up and they just have to supply at their maximum or they’re not as efficient.

    Well, that’s umm, not true at all really.

    In fact, the ONLY power plants that are load following in the Country are those huge Units.

    At my most recent Base Load Post, (at this link) giving the data and analysis for just this last week, I showed images of that Bayswater plant’s four units for the 2nd October, and how they actually are following the Load as closely as possible, and this wasn’t just an isolated thing, as they do it ….. every day.

    In Victoria, the same used to happen when they had the insurance of 53 year old Hazelwood, but now that’s gone, they are delivering their full power virtually across the whole day.

    All the coal fired power in NSW and Queensland when shown together follows the load.

    It’s a little tricky at the moment as plants frantically go off line in the benign Spring Months so they can be ready to cope with the approaching Summer period, when the Load Curves change from their Winter pattern to the Summer one, when that (Winter) dip between the two peaks disappears, replaced by the one new (Summer) peak at around 1PM to 3PM.

    That gap between the Winter dip and the Summer peak is around 8000MW, and hey, there’s only one form of power generation that can cover that, and you guessed correctly.

    At any one point in time over the last three weeks now, at least 10 of those Units are off line for maintenance, and it’s sometimes spooky to watch as one Unit shuts down just after one of the previously off line Units comes back up to speed. Ten Units amounts to around 5000MW and more, all off line, and that’s 25 to 30% of Australia’s total coal fired power, making the remaining Units work a little harder, but hey, they actually CAN do that.

    As to all that power being used solely for hot water heating, that part of it is so minimal as to be almost inconsequential. It spikes to around 10% of that 18000MW, and then settles back down, so it averages only 5%, but even that is only for TWO HOURS. The Aluminium smelters comprise around 10 to 12% of the total as well. So all up, that leaves almost 12000MW to 14000MW being consumed in other areas, and across the years I have detailed them, and trust me, that level cannot alter by any significant amount.

    That 18000MW is firm, as it has been for so long now, and will remain so, and they have nothing in the way of renewables which will be able to supply that amount of power, nothing, no matter what the dreamers might wish.

    There just is no substitute for large scale coal fired power. Shut that down, and you just shut down Australia. It won’t be isolated areas blacked out here and there. It’s be Capital Cities shutting down and whole States going down, and SouthAus, huh, that’s barely 6.2% of Australia’s total power consumption. Let them do what they want. but you shut down NSW, Victoria, or Queensland, and wait for what happens then. It will not be pretty. They rely on coal fired power, no matter what they might say to appease the Green Blob.

    (Like a fool, I guess) I went and read almost every one of those 150 plus comments at that ABC article saying Base Load is a dinosaur, and almost every one of those comments showed that the writer has absolutely no concept of what Base Load really is.

    Until that sinks in, then I feel like I’m just pi$$ing in the wind.

    Still, I’m so glad I’m doing this continuing series, because it now offers me a reference, and along the way, even I have learned new things as well.

    Wind, Solar, and Batteries!!!!!

    Don’t make me laugh.

    Tony.

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      Bulldust

      Sorry to hear you polluted your mind with 150 posts of drivel. I trust you have recovered.

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    • #
      robert rosicka

      Tony I’ve been watching the AEMO dashboard for a few weeks now and it’s very interesting right now what’s happening in Victoriastan and SA , both struggling to meet demand and in SA the wind seems to have all but stopped .

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      Andrew S

      I’ve been following this subject for a while without comment but given the Green push for more public transport, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne where the rail traction systems run the older 1500V DC systems with a substation every few kilometres to supply power. In Melbourne we have just under 70 of them with the smallest ones around 1.5 MW capacity supplying the suburban train system and more than 40 supplying the 600V DC tram system. Sydney tend to have larger capacity ones at larger spacings, particularly on the electrified lines to Lithgow, Newcastle and Wollongong/Kiama making this another big energy use made much more expensive to run under this new energy policy.

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      Graeme#4

      How long does it take to start up a coal-fired generator Tony? I thought that it took about 24 hours. And I believe gas units start up a lot faster – what’s their typical start-up time?

      20

      • #

        Bayswater Unit 3 went fully offline at 2230 on 6Oct2017. It took around the previous three hours to roll back to (almost) zero.

        At 0700 on 09Oct2017, it resumed delivering power. It took around 6 hours to reach 500MW, and at the evening Peak was delivering 680MW from its 660MW Nameplate. Not bad for an old Unit. So, it was offline for 53 hours in all. As it started to scroll up, one of the Units at Eraring began to roll down, like the engineers at each plant were actually on the phone to each other ….. okay looking good here, start to roll back.

        At the same time that ONE Unit was delivering 680MW at that evening peak, EVERY wind plant in Australia was delivering 1000MW from a Nameplate of 4400MW.

        One Unit at Bayswater delivering a little less power than almost 2500 Wind towers.

        Now tell me wind power can replace coal fired power.

        LOL, and it takes a lot for me to actually write that st00pid acronym.

        Tony.

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          Graeme#4

          Sorry Tony, should have read your response more carefully. So the start-up time would be around 6-8 hours?

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        • #
          Chad

          I share your frustration Tony.
          Even from my “laymans” perspective, the issues are very apparent and so obviously not understood by those in positions of influence, and authority.
          We desperately need to find a communication channel to get a message through but i actually cannot think who would be in a position to change or influence the decisions.

          00

    • #

      The thing about watching those Units going offline as another one runs back up is that the AEMO, you know the market regulator, must KNOW, hand on heart, that the only thing actually keeping things running is coal fired power. It’s almost a delicate balancing act, and you don’t realise until you actually watch it on a daily basis.

      People talk about rooftop solar and distributed power. It just makes me shake my head.

      When you have Capital cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, EACH consuming almost DOUBLE what the whole State of South Australia consumes, rooftop solar and distributed power means absolutely NOTHING. You need constant large scale power generation that is actually reliable to keep all that going.

      There are people who know all this, and they are the ones I feel contempt for, the fact that they have no cojones to actually come out and tell these politicians who know just enough to make them all look ridiculous when all this comes out, and trust me, sooner or later it will all come out, and there won’t be enough rocks for them all to hide under.

      Tony.

      250

      • #
        John F. Hultquist

        Tony,
        Graeme uses the phrase “start up a coal-fired generator.”

        Correct me if I’m wrong:
        One part of this involves shutting the unit down. That is, it goes to local air temperature. One does not just start such a thing back up again.
        The second part is when the unit is slowed or reduced in output but kept “hot.” Starting again toward a full or nearly full output has a time delay, but is possible.

        If you have posted on this difference, can you give us a link.
        Thanks.

        30

        • #
          Graeme#4

          Beat me to it John. I don’t know if coal-fired plants are shut down so that they are “cold”, but I presume this must happen for some maintenance. So what I was after was the start time only, up to providing a full load, from a cold state.
          What I’m getting at is I believe that it’s not good practice to do this – coal-fired gear to be kept continuously running. Back in the days when I was looking after electronic equipment in the country, one of the worst things was a completely cold start in the early hours during winter.

          40

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            Graeme:

            Tony gave you the answer but you have to work it out. Bayswater was off-line for 56.5 hours until it started generating power, but he specified that it was down for 53 hours, so 3.5 hours to start up and another 6 hours to get near top output.
            The usual claim is that it takes a whole day to start up a power plant from cold, even 3 days for some brown coal plants. This was faster, possibly because other units may have supplied some steam to help. NOTE also that turbines can be left in a ‘rolling reserve’ status, i.e. the boiler is running at low output, the turbine is running at 3000rpm but little electricity is being supplied. That way, when demand increases the boiler is ‘stoked up’ and more steam enables more power output. From Tony’s figures this suggests that around 6 hours to get near full output. The interval would be covered in practice by hydro, firing up OCGTs and even diesel generators.
            Well, that’s my thought.

            30

            • #
              Graeme#4

              Did so Graeme – see up-thread. Also the Uk power station report as mentioned above was very enlightening and gas answered all my questions. The U.K. Report is very good in that it tables the different startup times depending on how long the plant has been shutdown, and it’s worth saving for future reference.

              20

      • #
        Chad

        Its interesting to note that California is having very similar issues.. Only supported by importing power from other states..
        http://www.caiso.com/SystemStatus.html

        00

    • #
      Joe

      You need to meet some basic ramp up times to respond to changing loads to be able bid on the NEM (unless of course you are one of those exempt species of suppliers). This is discussed in a 2014 options paper by the AEMC where they canvassed making some changes to the requirements here.

      20

    • #
      OldGreyGuy

      Don’t give up hope Tony, we are glad you have the time, energy and commitment to keep up the analysis and posts.

      40

  • #
    Bulldust

    Surprisingly the ABC let my comment through yesterday, calling them out on the lack of diversity in their references:

    ABC how about a couple non renewables commentators to counter this one-sided story? For starters, I don’t care what baseload started out as in life… today it also means the minimum demand load for a grid. This is a technical term people in the field use for this measure.

    There was much talk of households in the story, but they are just a fraction of grid demand. Industrial and commercial users demand more power than households, and their demand profile if fairly predictable. A handful of aluminium smelters potlines, for example, are going to pull the same amount of power, give or take a small margin, regardless of time of day or day of the year. Year in and year out. Likewise air conditioning systems that run 24/7 in large office buildings, refrigeration in supermarkets, medical equipment etc. Fossil fuel generators are by far the cheapest way to supply such power 24/7 every day of the year.

    Never mind the fact that fossil fuel generation is cheaper than renewables (if it wasn’t we could drop all the renewables subsidies now, right?), for renewables to provide base load, you then have to have back up systems. Such systems are expensive batteries, wasteful pumped hydro (as no system is 100% efficient, you won’t get out what you put in), or idle fossil fuel capacity. Therefore, if you push a grid in Australia, especially as thin as it is, to a very high degree of renewables, you are simply asking for problems and higher cost to consumers, households or business.

    201

    • #
      Forrest Gardener

      Yes, they allowed mine as well.

      Sadly the author has fallen at the first hurdle. A quick google search would reveal numerous definitions such as “The base load on a grid is the minimum level of demand on an electrical grid over a span of time, for example, one week.”
      It is nothing whatsoever with a constant power source chugging away. It is nothing to do with the source of the power. It is the amount of power from all sources which can reasonably be expected to be required. You can incorporate batteries or diesel generators if you like but it is a different concept to the provision of emergency supply should the base load not be met.
      By all means talk about different power sources and their relative advantages and disadvantages but don’t conflate separate concepts. 

      The new censors are not nearly so extreme as the previous ones (yet). That said the imbalance between those who think rationally and those who can’t or won’t is as extreme as it ever was at their ABC.

      151

      • #
        Bulldust

        Yes I have noticed that of late. I wonder if they were instructed (i.e. slapped on the wrist) to be more balanced since reopening comments on stories a few months back.

        50

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Shoukd read

        “….average australians blood is up…”

        20

  • #
    Bulldust

    BTW Diesendorf is a green-left type of looney, see, for example:

    https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/behind-howards-dangerous-nuclear-push

    Or, more recently, here:

    https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science/lets-debate-nuclear-power-%E2%80%93-just-don%E2%80%99t-call-it-low-emission

    Where he suggests nuclear can be as CO2-intensive as gas electricity generation. Needless to say, the guy is a complete greenie fruit loop willing to twist statistics and models to arrive at the answer his ideology first imagined. He has a very l9ong tradition in saying stupid things that are demonstrably false.

    121

    • #
      Geoff Sherrington

      Bulldust,
      I would occasionally run into Mark Diesendorf when he was a pimply-faced youth hanging out on the fringes of public meetings and science get togethers about resources. He would emit protest if the topic went against his naive world view.
      His would be an interesting brain to study. Something in his formative years seemed to set off his life long discontent. How to detect this dissent, how to correct it to stop it from spreading? He was smart enough to get a series of taxpayer-funded positions to sustain his keep with OPM. Safe spaces in CSIRO, academia, many peer-reviewed papers opposing the very type of society that provided his comforts. Nothing in the way of wealth creation, lots about how to reduce wealth creation by useless wish-based expenditure, again with OPM. Not much to boast about in retirement.
      Unfortunately, when you get a few of these cunning brains together, they get some hearing. A significant % of the populace is always swayed by plausible spin. We used to meet it head on and produce positive outcomes of research and development when his types went negative. Sadly, since my generation retired a decade or more ago, this public duty to enforce the correct interpretation of data seems to have slowed down and allowed the dissidents a toe hold.
      It is up to our younger readers to double their efforts and call shame when the spin comes out. Like Jo does. Geoff.

      131

  • #
    NB

    Why does the ABC discredit itself so? The stupidity of promoting the ‘baseload power’ claims only reinforces the stupidity of the the ABC in promoting the AGW crew. It’s one level of derangement to the next.

    It is fascinating watching the ABC destroy itself, and I wonder just to what level of irrationality it can extend.

    111

    • #
      el gordo

      Don’t underestimate the power auntie has over the population, they are blissfully unaware that its the propaganda wing of the Klimatariat.

      The ABC needs to be deconstructed, piecemeal fashion, starting with the newsroom.

      101

      • #
        Forrest Gardener

        … or if not deconstructed, be compelled to run entirely off grid.

        Perhaps they could run the whole enterprise on hot air.

        71

    • #
      Forrest Gardener

      I think the answer is that their ABC types firmly believe they are reporting accurately and fairly. The idea that they are little more than a propaganda machine likely does not occur to them. Introspection just ain’t their game.

      Of course with that mind set any contrary opinion is simply evidence that they need to fight even harder for their just and noble causes.

      81

    • #

      I don’t turn the ABC on unless it’s radio for cricket scores, and even then I turn it off before my head can be infected with any “news” or “comment”. But when I visit Sydney or family I’m amazed by the size of the ABC and the hold it has even over conservative-trending households.

      The ABC is enormous, that’s what we need to face. It’s an 800 lb gorilla pretending to be a victimised Bambi, and to cross the ABC is worse than falling foul of other networks, even assuming there will be much difference between the critical positions taken by any network in Australia, barring some talk-back opposition designed to evaporate by news time. Nor will the staff of other networks and outlets challenge the ABC since they regard it as a final career option in uncertain times. Fairfax watched its demographic being swallowed up by Auntie and said not a word as it tumbled into beggary.

      The ABC has evolved its clever mix of snobbery, authority, intimidation and faux concern which, together with its sheer size, makes it a formidable force. Once even a Labor premier might take it on, now a Liberal PM needs to hold on to Auntie’s skirts and plead and simper for attention. Humiliating, but that’s what we’re up against. How we uncreate this monster is a tough question, but we need to start asking it.

      Well, I guess we can start with sending attention to people like Tony from Oz right here. Have to start somewhere, right?

      131

  • #

    Just call Macquarie Dictionary and get that sheila who changed the definition of “misogyny” to change the definition of “base load” to take into account our underlying attitudes and coal-based privilege.

    Hey, 1984 was thirty three years ago and we’re still mucking about with personal choice, individual discernment and factual reality?

    132

    • #
      PeterS

      While we are at it, we might as get them to change the meaning of “destructive” to “progressive” since they appear to be synonymous according to both major parties and their partners.

      81

  • #
    Forrest Gardener

    Quote: The new phrase that must be neutered is “base load”. It’s like krypton for renewables!

    I agree entirely with the identification of the apparent attempt to neuter the term “base load”. It appears that the strategy is to acknowledge that base load can only be met with coal and gas, then remind us all that coal and gas are evil, and imply that base load is the work of the devil.

    And of course their ABC is always keen to amplify the propaganda.

    Another piece of kryptonite to alarmists is the chart showing what base load REALLY looks like. That needs to be disseminated far and wide.

    71

    • #
      PeterS

      Don’t just blame the ABC – Turnbull and the LNP are just as much to blame if not more so since they ought to know better.

      80

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    We’ve read all about this renewables rubbish for decades now.
    Seen it all before. It is an ideolgy based on the fallacy of so called ‘man-made’ global warming. All lies.
    In my humble opinion Nick Kilvert and his like are the dinasaurs in the debate, but a new one eyed species that cannot and will not survive.
    Regards GeoffW

    61

    • #
      PeterS

      Only Australia has such ideologies still driving national energy policies. Meanwhile, everyone else is making appearances they are following the same path as we are to renewables but in fact everyone else are also building large numbers of new generation coal fired power stations for one simple fact – they recognise the essential need for reliable base load power. Only Australia is committing economic suicide. What does that say about Australians?

      50

      • #
        Another Ian

        PeterS

        We’re frequently told that we should follow “the consensus”

        It would appear that in this case “the consensus” is the need for more coal fired electricity

        So why aren’t we following?

        90

        • #
          PeterS

          That’s the question we need our leaders to answer satisfactorily. If they can’t they should be forced to resign immediately and follow the rest of the world thus preventing our economy from crashing.

          60

      • #
        Chad

        Its not only Australia Peter.
        As i replied to your previos comment above, there are several other countries committed to a similar energy policy, some of them are indeed revisiting coal generation, but others like the USA are still avoiding coal and Nuclear options in the same way Australia is.
        The BIG difference for Australia is that we do not have the luxury of joining other countries with supporting power generation, …if we run short on base (or peak) load, we cannot turn on the interconnects to a large back up supply.
        Study the California situation….they almost went “dark” in 2001 due to this very problem, and only solved it by importing huge amounts of power. To this day they continue to import 30% of all the power consumed in CA because they cannot build coal or Nuclear plants.

        00

  • #
    pat

    ***”Labor supported keeping the mine open”, but not in the Fairfax headline or the opening paras:

    12 Oct: SMH: AAP: Laws pass to keep Springvale coal mine open as Labor raises fears over Sydney’s water
    The NSW government has passed laws to keep a controversial coal mine open, but the opposition says the legislation significantly weakens protection of Sydney’s drinking water.
    Legislation keeping Springvale coal mine, near Lithgow, in operation was passed in the state upper house late on Wednesday night…

    NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin said the new laws would allow the mine to continue supplying the Mount Piper power station, putting downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices and avoiding possible blackouts.
    Two months ago, the NSW Supreme Court upheld an appeal by non-profit group 4Nature against the extension of the mine, which would have prolonged its operation by 13 years…
    Mr Harwin was asked on Monday if the government was interfering in the NSW judicial process but he argued it was “absolutely necessary to act now to ensure that we have a secure supply of power”…

    ***Labor supported keeping the mine open as it extracts coal used to produce 11 per cent of the state’s electricity.
    However, the party said aspects of the bill eroded environmental protection laws…
    Meanwhile, EnergyAustralia praised the government for passing the legislation, saying it would ease pressure on electricity prices…
    Centennial Coal said the approval would secure more than 600 jobs in Lithgow…
    However, 4Nature president Andrew Cox said the state government’s decision was “abhorrent”.
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/laws-pass-to-keep-springvale-coal-mine-open-as-labor-raises-fears-over-sydneys-water-20171012-gyzc82.html

    cannot find ABC reporting anywhere that this was passed in the Upper House. too busy quoting “friends” like Buckley!

    10 Oct: ABC: Springvale Mine closure would not affect power prices, analysts say
    By Avani Dias
    Closing a coal mine west of Sydney will not result in increased energy prices, according to ***expert assessments obtained by the ABC, contradicting the New South Wales Government’s predictions it will…

    Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) chief executive Sue Higginson said the group had “expert evidence to suggest that there really isn’t a basis or a foundation to draw that conclusion”.
    “In fact, there’s enough coal stockpiled and there are alternative ways through modifications of technology to continue the supply of coal,” she said…

    One statement, seen by the ABC, by financial analyst Tim Buckley from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said shutting down the mine would not cause a coal shortage or consequently drive up power prices.
    “There are clear options that are well within the capacity of three major multinational energy corporations to solve the problem of a coal shortage-induced NSW peak-power period shortfall over 2017/18 and beyond,” he said.
    “A full analysis shows there is clear optionality across coal sourcing and stockpiles that could be put in place that needs to be considered that together provide significant power outage risk reduction.”…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-10/springvale-mine-closure-will-not-compromise-energy-prices/90329

    when will ABC management require staff to report impartially on all matters, including those related to CAGW policies?

    51

  • #
    Dennis

    It is becoming fashionable for leftists to blame Tony Abbott for Australia signing and ratifying the Paris Agreement, he set the target goal etc.

    On 15 September 2015 following a ballot in the Liberal Party by MPs Abbott was defeated by Turnbull 54 votes to 44 votes. No National Party MPs were able to vote.

    The Paris Conference was held from 30 November 2015 to 12 December 2015.

    Today Minister Bishop is rewriting history and claiming that PM Abbott set the targets Australia would agree to at the Conference. Of course he was involved in the cabinet discussions, he was prime minister. But he talked the target down from what some of his cabinet ministers wanted.

    Australia only signed the original Kyoto Agreement when the Howard Government attended the Conference, PM Howard said direct action based on common sense, practical and affordable means was Australia’s objective in lowering greenhouse gas emissions. And since all of the targets have been achieved or bettered, and few nations that signed the Agreement have achieved their targets.

    It was Rudd Labor that ratified the Kyoto Agreement, and the Turnbull Coalition Government signed and ratified the Paris Agreement.

    Some might recall the anger Bishop expressed just before heading to the UN Lima Conference, she wanted to donate more money following UN IPCC call for donations. Abbott and Treasurer Hockey refused to provide new money and told her she must use her foreign aid budget, which she did, $200 million over 4-years pledged.

    Australia is now in a difficult position having committed to UN IPCC penalties and instructions. To escape we need a very strong government and allies. Maybe the US will lead the way and clear the path?

    90

  • #
    John Watt

    So if we don’t need base load stations why are they fussing over batteries and Snowy 2.0? The load curve at the top of the page hasn’t changed much in the past few decades. Supplying the big 24/7 rectangle that the bendy part sits on keeps the country alive. Thusfar no one can do it better/cheaper in this country than baseload coal.

    80

  • #
    Another Ian

    Somewhat O/T but not far imo

    This morning on a radio program an interviewee was talking of a “balanced response from BOM”

    I presume that means a cagw plug on both shoulders?

    61

  • #
    Michael Reed

    Hello Toni ,thanks for your straightforward explanations of what baseload power actually means.
    Most Australians haven’t a clue about what baseload power actually is.This ignorance
    will soon turn to frustration as bit by bit we lose it.When intermittency of this basic
    Requirement begins to happen then traffic lights will stop,electricified rail transport will halt,
    important medications that have crictical cool temperature requirements wil become useless,
    Jobs will be lost,mortgage defaults will increase,,food refrigeratored in supermarkets will have to be dumped,computer control systems will fail,elevators will stop,,air conditioning will fail etc,etc and so on -of course you no one will be able use your smart phone either.When this starts to
    happen then Australians will get true lessen in what baseload power really
    means.Mike R

    100

  • #
    Michael Reed

    Mike reed
    Forgive my spelling errors I rushed through posting it as my first posting got lost somehow.

    70

    • #
      Robdel

      Well posted, Michael. I have bern saying this for a while. The penny will only drop when examples you give eventuate. And then the people’s anger with the politicians will be a wonder to behold though one must admit that it is the public’s fault that these politicians got elected.

      60

  • #
    pat

    mosomoso wrote at comment #32 -

    “Just call Macquarie Dictionary”

    note ABC knew this since Jan:

    25 Jan 2017: ABC: ‘Fake news’ named 2016 Word of the Year by Macquarie Dictionary
    The World Today By Angela Lavoipierre
    The editor of Macquarie Dictionary, Sue Butler, said “fake news” won in part because of its broad influence…
    US President Donald Trump used the term a number of times while campaigning for the election, famously saying to a CNN news reporter during a press conference last year “you’re fake news”.
    Ms Butler said the committee’s job was to look for a word that had risen from the pack and had “some sort of broader context and meaning … as well as something a bit clever.”…

    But wait, is fake news a word?
    “Fake news” of course is more than one word, and Ms Butler explained they had to adopt “normal speak” and classify the shortlist contenders as words.
    Anything considered a lexical item can be nominated, so multi-word phrases are allowed…
    Ms Butler said the shortlist was about reading the zeitgeist, saying that when she looks back at previous lists she can see what was on the public’s consciousness that year…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-25/fake-news-named-2016-word-of-the-year/8211056

    ABC knew it in February with a whole 40-plus minutes for an anti-Trump piece. RMIT’s Farrar says giving CAGW sceptics a voice would defy the 97 percent of climate scientists who believe, blah blah, and give the impression it’s a 50-50 debate. much of the usual Chappell ABC smugness. awful stuff – no need to listen, but CAGW sceptics part is around 6mins in:

    AUDIO: 40mins41secs: 23 Feb: ABC: Trevor Chappell: What is ‘fake news’?
    Macquarie Dictionary chose ‘Fake News’ as its 2016 Word Of The Year. US President Donald Trump has used the term repeatedly. But what is fake news? Is it just propaganda under a funky new name? Trevor Chappell is joined by Gordon Farrer, a former journalist and Associate Lecturer in Journalism at RMIT University. Farrer is currently doing a PhD on fact-checking websites
    http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/overnights/fake-news-gordon-farrer/8296060

    YET when ABC wants to attack Trump, from a DICTIONARY standpoint, this week, they choose MERRIAM-WEBSTER! LOL.

    9 Oct: ABC: Donald Trump takes credit for ‘fake news’, but dictionary disputes
    But the Merriam-Webster dictionary interjected on Twitter, and said the use of the term “fake news” dated back to the late 1800s.
    “Our research traces ‘fake news’ back to at least 1890. ***But we won’t be adding the term to the dictionary… yet,” it said.
    One of the examples on the dictionary’s website is a headline from 1890, which reads “Secretary Brunnell Declares Fake News About His People is Being Telegraphed Over the Country”…
    —-

    YOU HAVE TO LAUGH, but somehow the use of the term “climate change” to mean CAGW needs to be challenged.

    40

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    In the blog comments so far, I read of groups like Union of Concerned Scientists and Environment Defenders Office. I read lots os short smart comments about something needing to be done.

    Here’s the go. Take your blogging one step further and actually create a group that can be quoted. All you denizens here, let us have a quick whip around about how keen you personally would be to join and help initial funding for a group.

    Name? Energy and Truth. Union of Correct Scientists. Union of Correct Non-Scientists.

    You tell me. Geoff.

    40

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    Forgot a name for the Group.
    “Truth to Power”.
    Too indirect for John & Joan Citizen??? Geoff.

    50

  • #
    pat

    11 Oct: ClimateChangeNews: Germany to miss climate targets ‘disastrously’: leaked government paper
    Environment ministry documents reveal 2020 target for cutting emissions to be missed by a large margin dealing a “significant blow to Germany’s climate policy
    By Sören Amelang
    Germany’s environment ministry fears high emissions from coal-fired power plants and transport will make the country miss its 2020 climate targets by a wider margin than previously anticipated…

    Without further action, Germany’s CO2 emissions will only be 31.7% to 32.5% below 1990 levels, an internal environment ministry paper seen by the Clean Energy Wire shows.
    Given the official target of cutting emissions by 40%, the ministry warns that a failure of this magnitude would constitute a “significant blow to Germany’s climate policy”, and would amount to “a disaster for Germany’s international reputation as a climate leader”…

    Most experts believe Germany’s only option to drastically cut its emissions in the short term is to close down its dirtiest lignite-fired power plants. This is a prominent Green Party demand in the upcoming coalition talks with Merkel’s conservatives and the free-market FDP…

    Economic growth and exports will increase coal-fired power generation, while low oil prices will push up demand in the heating and transport sectors, according to the ministry…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/10/11/germany-miss-climate-targets-disastrously-leaked-government-paper/

    12 Oct: CarbonPulse: UK says struggling to meet post-2020 emission goals, may need offsets
    The UK may need to exploit loopholes including buying foreign carbon credits as it faces costly binding emission targets next decade, the government said Thursday in its long-awaited Clean Growth Strategy, which reaffirmed a commitment to carbon pricing but didn’t say whether it will push to remain in the EU ETS.

    13 Oct: CarbonPulse: EU ETS reform deal eludes lawmakers after marathon talks
    Negotiators from the three EU institutions failed to reach a final deal on post-2020 ETS reforms in talks that went on for more than 13 hours and into the early hours of Friday morning.

    13 Oct: CarbonPulse: Carbon Markets: National market uncertainty hammers trade in Chinese pilots
    The ongoing uncertainty about the Chinese national ETS launch has left the eight pilot schemes even more off keel than normal after their compliance rush ended over the summer months

    12 Oct: CarbonPulse: North American Markets: Prices steady in thin trade after aborted conference interrupts
    North American carbon markets endured an extremely quiet week, with normal business in California interrupted by an aborted conference and the RGGI market falling silent due to an apparent lack of interest.

    30

  • #
    pat

    11 Oct: Financial Times: Andrew Ward: Trump cannot stop shift to green technology, says Canada (Environment) minister Catherine McKenna spells out how Ottawa has stepped into gap left by Washington
    The environment minister said the plunging cost of wind and solar power, which is increasingly competitive with fossil fuels in many parts of the world, was changing perceptions of climate action from an economic cost to a growth opportunity…
    “China has to act because the people are demanding it,” said Ms McKenna…

    ***For all her green rhetoric, Ms McKenna admits that Canada faces a balancing act between promoting clean technology and avoiding a precipitous decline in its large oil and gas industry. Canada’s oil sands have long drawn ire from climate activists because they are more carbon intensive than most forms of crude.Ms McKenna said it would be up to the market to determine if oil sands, known for their high costs, could remain competitive.

    “We’re in a transition and transitions take time and must be done in a thoughtful way, recognising that people need jobs,” she said. “If you try to push too hard you lose elections. We had a government for 10 years which wouldn’t even utter the words ‘climate change’ and, as a result, our emissions went up.”
    Ms McKenna, a human rights lawyer before entering politics, has faced fierce criticism from Canadian conservatives

    An opposition MP apologised last month for calling her “climate Barbie”, in reference to her blonde hair.
    “I’ve been referred by that ridiculous moniker for a year and a half but it wasn’t until it was used by a colleague in the House of Commons that I called it out,” she said, adding that her critics “need to get with the programme” on ***gender and climate.
    https://www.ft.com/content/f9e0d30c-ae8a-11e7-aab9-abaa44b1e130

    30

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      The canadians are so blatantly being manipulated into the green loopy-la land its just laughable.

      You watch the canadian pollies and you wonder how canadians managed to get it so wrong.

      I ponder whether the western countries are going to jointly Brexit-like just savage every green- sympathetic pollie at the ballot box at the next major elections.

      It needs to happen and brutally so. No quarter can be given electorally now….

      10

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    Joe

    Although there is some 97% consensus here on the evils of variable energy supplies, there is not a consistent pro-free market view expressed by many of the commenters. Jo has never really explained how a free-market in electricity supply would work in Australia which has a demonstrably consistent base load historically supplied by Governments at reasonanable prices. Those fixed sized markets often gravitate to being monopolies and attract Government intervention. Looking at where the monies are going (and despite claims of Governments grabbing most of that) it can be seen that the free-marketeers, the profiteers are the ones grabbing it. Same thing happening in the petroleum fuels business (yeah I know Gov gets a share of those sales with excise). Some punter whacks out 20k for his solar system on his roof with a ‘payback’ time of 14 years but in reality he is a loser that has handed over many thousands more than he needed to, to the free marketeers who have ripped into him. While everyone is happy to blame big gov as the baddie in this whole energy fiasco, no one is game to blame big electricity, big banks, big corporations in genral for any of the woes. Jo has never attempted to explain how big electricity is so good for us. The push to make us punters depend on the teats of big business, big electricity, big water, big medicine and big food seems every bit as sinister as talk of big brother government. How is it any different? Surely big government and big business are two sides of the same coin? Big governments get put in place by big business and big money. We see governments doing the bidding of big business every day. Big green is actually big green Inc. and if they convince a government to mandate their expensive products, it is merely a win for that business. In the usa some states punish you if you are not a customer of big business – you are labelled a ‘prepper’. I see the problems with force fitting these big variable sources into ‘big grid’ but on the demand side, the punters should be free to do what they like, especially the small residential punters. Take away all of the small scale subsidies and even the export of excess energy to big grid and the residential punter can make a good saving on his or her power costs (and of course have money to spare to pay their supermarket electricity bills which of course they are not averting) by throwing a few panels on the roof by avoiding big intaller business. Figure on about $1 per watt. Many could go off-grid for their residential needs for a small cost. Just evolve some community based low profit installers to do the job without ripping off. Big electricity now charges you about the price of 2-3 kWh per day just for your connection to big grid. Some homes could survive on that amount of energy in one day. That might free up much of big grid for the commercial and industrial users.

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      Geoff Sherrington

      Joe,
      You seem to young to have lived when Australian electricity supply was low-cost, coal driven and very reliable. Only union strikes were major factors for blackouts. It was so good that we attracted energy-intensive industry here, with smelters, alumina refineries and so on. Best in the world quality.
      What we need to do is return to those conditions, which are an inarguable expression of what can be done for what cost.
      You are essentially arguing a case with different goal posts.
      You are wanting people to show you how to absorb some small future costs, but you are arguing from a present base which is ever so much higher than historic.
      Jo has argued for a free enterprise system, as do I. This means essentially no interference or regulation by government. If people choose to spend scarce funds on gas exploration, discover a new gas field to be fracked, they are on a path like that in recent USA history where both electricity costs and CO2 emissions have been held down by gas replacing coal in part. In Australia, we can’t have this because for example of fracking bans in Victoria.
      But above all, what makes current Australia so different to the past is this pervasive green influence to keep CO2 emissions to a minimum approaching zero. This cannot be done at all, let alone for acceptable costs. For the moment it is a horrible distortion of the freedom of the market through renewable incentives that cripple non-renewable energy production and prevent a return to the historic, best in the world scheme.
      I think you know all of this, but I wonder why you are fronting up what-if hypotheticals that have no bearing on the historic goal post to which we must return to again enjoy being the best country in the World in which to live.
      Why to you look to enjoying a third world existence dominated by a global government with strange ideas? Geoff.

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        Joe

        Thanks Geoff for your comments. I don’t have any objection to a totally ‘free market’ solution that would provide cheap power from a centralised source if that were possible. In fact it would be lovely. That is why I am asking for more details of how it would work or indeed if there is some prototype market elsewhere in the world that might be informative. All of the modern low cost coal power soultions seem to be happening in China, which of course is a totally gov controlled market. Our only experience of cheap power here in oz has been from what were gov built and run (up until more recent times) coal stations. The only new coal stations here are also gov built and owned. There is a significance in that too, in that many have their own collieries and these mines are not at liberty to sell their coal into other markets, it is purely for their own use. This is why electricity prices never went up and down with coal spot prices unlike for example the gas generators which are all privately owned or dont have their own reserved supply of gas. No reason that a bit of gas for the local market could not be mined (by gov too?) at low cost just like the reserved coal, but of course it is not and is valued at its international parity price because it is a free(r) market and it is more profitable for a company to sell it to the highest bidder who is generally overseas. The free market is in no way benevolent and if we get something cheap it is only because it benefits the marketer. It just seems like a big leap of faith to jump into a totally free market arrangement even without considering all the CO2 BS going on. We are prepared to pay what we pay now so why would a free market charge less? How do we have competing players in this limited market? How do we transition to new suppliers when we still have (mostly) enough supply? Do we end up with a situation where each supplier only works on 30% capacity because there are so many players in the game? I think most of the retail side is out of Gov hands now (or maybe a good arms length, WA?) and how has that worked out? A big chunk of our bill is retail profits. Recent investigations of the petroleum retail pricing shows plenty of gouging of customers by the free marketeers. We like to refer to any sort of Gov involvement or regulation as socialism or communism but in reality every western democracy has socialist elements to its government. You rule out electricity supply as one function of gov but how about schooling, policing, fire services, ambulance, courts, and defence, should we rule them out too and put them in the hands of the free market? How do we decide what will work and what will not? That is why I ask for some better example of how a free market in electricity will work here – I am not bluntly saying it will not.

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          Geoff Sherrington

          Joe,
          Having been many years in senior management of large resources corporations – one of which owned and operated the electric power station supplying the Pilbara with its huge iron mines, free enterprise at work – a suggestion might be that you have a fear of corporate profits shared by many in the public who have had no experience of profitability. There is no Scrooge McDuck swimming pool filled by coins of profit. Profits go straight back to shareholders, to capital expansion like more new mines, to research and development, a surprisingly large amount to charity, etc. Yes a little is creamed off in some companies for extravagant lifestyles for a few, but in total that is small beer that eventually again ends up in community.
          So, please worry less about profits. They are a way for free people to fund ideas free of the heavy handicap of bureaucracy.
          What would be wrong with a deliberate policy of return to the coal powered, low cost, high reliability demonstrated in the past. What would be wrong with companies managing the lot while governments get on with defence, international affairs, etc., the core reasons for their existence? I can answer that with two words for Australia today. Global and warming. If it were not for these and the fear of voter loss they induce in pollies, Australia would again approach the near Utopia it was.
          There are many possible words that could be written in response to your musings here so I chosen just the obvious. It is also obvious that in relation to electricity supply we as a nation could hardly have made a bigger mess of it if we were paid to so do.
          So please help to resolve the global warming mess as hard as you can, to liberate free enterprise and restore price in the admirable way that we Aussies can perform. Geoff

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        Joe

        … and, although qld is probably the likely place to build a new coal station with the new mines going in and the high quality coal, it would be a great opportunity if Jo could orchestrate the secession of WA and then make WA the prototype for cheap free range coal power (has collie got any left, they seem to be using gas a lot?) with no pressure from the NEM or the feds to spoil the experiment.

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          Joe, in a free market the capitalist pigs will only sell something they can profit from. But as long as other smarter pigs can compete with them to sell a cheaper product, they can’t get too fat, unlike their socialist, protected monopolies.

          It doesn’t make sense to have a free market in transmission lines though, so keep that as a natural monopoly in govt hands. Pray that the opposition or the media pay attention and call out the worst of the waste.

          WA is NOT the place for big Coal — only minor coal mining here (despite massive mining in just about everything else), lots of gas, far too many solar rooftop PV units which eat up the baseload cake, and the old Muja coal plant is to be closed in Sept 2018.

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            Will Janoschka

            Nowyadid it! I thought I had ‘nuances’ that got sniped!

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            Joe

            Jo and Geoff, I think I get the gist of how the free market works in principle ;) that is not my problem – specifically I can’t see how it works in a small fixed size market like electricity (a relatively small number of modern stations meets the entire needs of Oz). Is the rooftop solar over there in the west really the reason you don’t have half a dozen new gas generators setting up shop to compete for market share? The gas fired generators work fine for base load and peaking power and coping with any variable inputs. Two thirds of the time the rooftops are doing nothing anyway. They are not even up against king coal as Jo points out and the playing field should be pretty even. Why haven’t you got much more supply than demand? Would someone build a new gas station if it was to only achieve 30% CF? The gas is probably a good example of the free market effect because in that scenario the free market is international in nature and totally decoupled from the electricity generation and it gets expensive for your local gas generator to fill the tank to make your electricity whereas in theory the marginal cost of getting the gas out of the ground is probably not too different to that for coal. Your gov owns the gas and sells it to the miners at mates rates but it would be a sin to have gov use it themselves in a gov owned generator as has been the case for all of our coal stations. That definition of the boundaries of the free market is a big sticking point for the NP who don’t want the prices coupled in with the overseas market, they are more for a ‘local’ free market. So you are happy to keep the transmission network gov owned but that is a third of your current bill. Have you got a free retail market in the west? Are there a lot of competing retailers driving down the retail component of your bill?
            Perhaps the answer is the hybrid solution where the gov builds what we need and puts it on the slate, tweaks it to suit, proves it for some time, demonstrates some price benchmarks, gets a pink slip roadworthy cert and then sells it off to a free market buyer. This is now what people like Tony Abbott are proposing. It is the model used by the LNP whenever they can’t get a private party interested in a project – just a temporary adoption of socialist policy – a socialist bridging loan you might say.

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    Phillip Bratby

    Lunatics in charge of the asylum comes to mind.

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    pat

    yes, Bishop and Turnbull have both come out with ABC’s meme about Abbott once believed in CAGW.
    ironic, given ABC has spent the past 9 years calling Abbott a denier.

    all week I’ve seen comments on other websites that ABC has been pushing the following video on their TV platforms, but they have been going even more overboard online:

    VIDEO: 56secs: 10 Oct: ABC: What does Tony Abbott believe about climate change?
    The former prime minister’s opinion depends on when he was asked.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-10/what-does-tony-abbott-believe-about-climate-change/9035698

    10 Oct: ABC: Tony Abbott’s climate change claims just don’t stack up
    Opinion By Andrew P Street
    (Andrew P Street is a writer and author of The Short and Excruciatingly Embarrassing Reign of Captain Abbott)
    VIDEO: 56secs: 10 Oct: ABC: What does Tony Abbott believe about climate change?

    11 Oct: Tony Abbott’s climate change speech in London reveals his true self
    Analysis By political editor Andrew Probyn
    VIDEO: 56secs: 10 Oct: ABC: What does Tony Abbott believe about climate change?

    10 Oct: Facebook: ABC News: ***VIDEO: 56secs: What does Tony Abbott believe about climate change?
    At the G20, he assured the world Australia believed in climate change and the need to do something. But a different Tony Abbott emerged in London overnight

    and again…YET, the following at least admits Abbott’s personal views ‘seem to have barely moved since he famously described it as “crap” in 2009′:

    10 Oct: ABC: Tony Abbott on climate change: How to provoke instant outrage to keep yourself relevant
    Analysis By Europe correspondent James Glenday
    VIDEO: 56secs: 10 Oct: ABC: What does Tony Abbott believe about climate change?
    His personal views, as opposed to the views of the government he led, ***seem to have barely moved since he famously described it as “crap” in 2009…
    245 COMMENTS AT TIME OF POSTING
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-11/abbott:-how-to-provoke-instant-outrage-to-keep-yourself-relevant/9037366

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      Geoff Sherrington

      Pat,

      WE both know that the ABC is deliberately confusing comments about global warming GW and man-made global warming AGW and CAGW for Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.
      Any reasonable observer admits to the reality of global warming. A few tens of $ of the community believe in AGW. A few percent or so believe in CAGW. This is the spread among all people. Among those who are in a position to know, there is far too high a % of those who are pro CAGW because they have done none diligent study of the science and they are mainly loudmouths who are polluting the well.
      Abbott’s remarks are entirely consistent with informed community beliefs. Groups like the ABC and particularly young academics should simply put them in their original context and stop being hateful. Geoff.

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      el gordo

      “The lesson I’ve taken from being in government, and then out of it, is simply to speak my mind.” Tony Abbott

      When he was PM the gang of four (Bishop, Morrison, Hunt and Turnbull) worked to unseat him. Abbott was simply outnumbered and when he suggested an audit on BoM they blocked him, and against his better judgement he went along with the Paris Agreement.

      Now he can speak freely from the backbench, unrestrained.

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    pat

    one of ABC’s good billionaires at work:

    11 Oct: The Hill: Timothy Cama: Bloomberg pledges $64M for anti-coal initiatives
    Billionaire philanthropist Michael Bloomberg is making a new $64 million commitment to environmental groups’ efforts to shut down coal-fired power plants and replace them with cleaner forms of electricity generation.
    The media mogul and former New York City mayor made the announcement Wednesday at the Washington, D.C., office of the Sierra Club. The group’s Beyond Coal campaign is getting $30 million of the money, with the rest going to the League of Conservation Voters and others…

    Bloomberg declared his actions Wednesday as a “war on coal,” embracing a term Republicans use to attack clean-energy advocates, saying that the Trump administration and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt are wrong to say that the war is being fought mainly in Washington, D.C.
    “These are the groups that are fighting the war on coal, and it’s happening all across America, and they are winning,” Bloomberg said of the groups receiving funds from his Bloomberg Philanthropies organization.
    “The war on coal is a fight for America’s health, for our economy and our environment, and our competitive place in the world. And it’s a fight we’re going to win, no matter what anybody in Washington says,” he said.
    “This is to save American lives and save the American economy. This is our future, and going in the wrong direction is just needlessly inflicting pain on all of us, and it has to stop.”…

    Bloomberg, through his philanthropic group, has been the main financier of the Beyond Coal campaign since it launched in 2011. His $30 million commitment is in addition to more than $100 million he has dedicated for the anti-coal project in the last six years…
    Beyond Coal is the largest private effort in the county dedicated to shutting down coal plants…

    But Beyond Coal and the Sierra Club, the nation’s largest environmental group by membership, have been far from the only forces working against coal. Natural gas and renewable energy have gotten far cheaper and various regulatory efforts, largely from the Obama administration, have hastened coal’s demise.
    http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/354934-bloomberg-pledges-64m-for-anti-coal-initiatives

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    pat

    12 Oct: Nature: Weather-company chief is Trump’s pick to lead climate agency
    Barry Myers would bring private weather-forecasting experience to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    Jeff Tollefson
    Barry Myers, the chief executive of weather-forecasting firm AccuWeather, is US President Donald Trump’s pick to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the White House said on 11 October…

    But some scientists worry that Myers’s ties to AccuWeather could present conflicts of interest, and note that Myers has no direct experience with the agency’s broader research portfolio, which includes the climate, oceans and fisheries.
    “I think the science community has real cause for concern,” says Andrew Rosenberg, head of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Cambridge, Massachusetts…
    Rosenberg notes that Myers was an early proponent of carving out a larger role for the private sector in providing weather services…

    The chief executive’s views on climate change are a little harder to parse, because Myers hasn’t taken any strong public positions on global warming. But in a position statement on the Accuweather website, the company says there is “little doubt” that human activities influence the planet’s climate. “At the same time, our knowledge of the extent, progress, mechanisms and results of global climate change is still incomplete,” the statement says. The company says it encourages its scientists to express their own views, and it publishes a blog featuring posts about climate research…

    Updated: This story has been updated with information about Myers’ views on climate change and the recently confirmed assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, Timothy Gallaudet.
    http://www.nature.com/news/weather-company-chief-is-trump-s-pick-to-lead-climate-agency-1.22311

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    Dennis

    I am fed up with media lies.

    Channel 7, Mark Riley:

    Wrong Mark, Tony Abbott did not set the present RET as you alleged tonight, he tried to abolish the RET and related subsidies.

    The hostile Senate rejected the Bill but decided to put a cap on the Labor 23% RET.

    Your lie is about a Senate decision and not an Abbott decision.

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    robert rosicka

    More lies and alarmist rubbish from the ABC , Kiribati is not sinking , it has grown in size and its erosion problems stem from the Americans building runways during WW2 by dredging the coral reef to use as fill .
    the locals have been using coral to shore up the island but this just compounds the problem .

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    I have noticed a lot of talk lately about baseload. Sure baseload is needed to meet the bulk of the grid’s load requirement. But let me talk about grid stability for a moment.
    Grid stability requires much finer resolution than hour by hour control. It is a dynamic requirement and it is required second by second. I am not exaggerating. I shall do my best to describe how this works.
    The two key components for stability are inertia and governor control.
    Wind turbines and solar panels provide neither inertia nor governor control. Inertia is provided by the synchronously connected rotating angular momentum of the large generators. Solar panels have no inertia. Wind turbines are not synchronously connected. Wind turbines are based on asynchronous machinery, and worse, they are decoupled from the grid by a bunch of electronics. Wind and solar cannot be governor controlled. It’s just not possible to turn the wind and sun up down moment by moment, to deliver more or less power respectively, when required by the grid. This important work falls to the good old dinosaur stations where it’s possible to control the prime mover. ie: coal, gas, hydro, geothermal, nuclear.
    The stability equation for the grid involves frequency as the key performance indicator. The reason for this is because energy balance on the grid shows up as a frequency deviation. Frequency must be maintained near to 50 Hz and typically that’s between about 49.8 Hz and 50.2 Hz. The typical capability limits of generators are about 47Hz minimum and 52 Hz maximum. If the grid goes outside this frequency range the machines would get damaged, and so their protection systems will disconnect them to protect them from damage. Hence, 47 Hz and 52 Hz are the stability limits. Beyond this we have cascade failure, and a system wide blackout.
    The relationship between energy balance and frequency is based upon a simple differential equation derived from the rotational form of Newton’s second law. The relationship describing this is called the swing equation. Grid power balance and rate of change of frequency are related by the equation df/dt=P/M, where df/dt is the rate of change of frequency in Hz/s, P is the power imbalance on the grid in MW, and M is the angular momentum of the synchronously connected machines in MWs/Hz.
    Look at this equation closely. df/dt=P/M. For a given power imbalance P the rate of change of frequency is determined by the value of M. If a large power imbalance event occurs, say the loss of a large generator, or the tripping of an interconnector, the deviation can easily result in the frequency dropping at 0.5 Hz/s. This is serious. The frequency drop from 50Hz to 47Hz is only 3Hz. If nothing is done to fix that power imbalance immediately, the grid will be off in about 6 seconds. That’s way faster than hour by hour. Typically this instantaneous load balancing is done by a combination of governor control and under frequency load shedding.
    The recent developments of adding more wind and solar, both forms of generation without synchronous inertia and governor control, along with the removal of generators that provide both. This reduces system inertia, ie: reducing the value of M. This has the effect of increasing the sensitivity of the system to a power imbalance. The df/dt fall is steeper for a given power imbalance event, and therefore there is less time to respond, as if 6 seconds was a lot to start with. But it gets worse. It’s the old generators with inertia that also provide the governor control. So while the rate of frequency drop is increasing requiring a more instant response, there are fewer machines that are able to respond.
    I have written this up at my blog here in a series of posts in terms that I hope are not too complex.
    http://www.kiwithinker.com/category/power-system-stability/

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      OriginalSteve

      Yup and its the main reason why SA 40% renewables is anathema to a stable grid, but the black hand donkeys know that, which is why they are doing it….

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      el gordo

      ‘Professor Paul Kench, of Auckland University, who co-authored the study with Dr Arthur Webb, a Fiji-based expert on coastal processes, said the study challenged the view that the islands were sinking as a result of global warming.’

      “Eighty per cent of the islands we’ve looked at have either remained about the same or, in fact, got larger.

      “Some have got dramatically larger,” he said.

      “We’ve now got evidence the physical foundations of these islands will still be there in 100 years.”

      Daily Telegraph

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    Tim

    “It’s like krypton for renewables!”

    I think you meant kryptonite… unless base load power is the name of the planet renewables come from…

    </nerd>

    Yes, Oops! Fixed. Thanks to you and Ian who emailled. – Jo

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    TdeF

    While on words, words like Base load, the other word thrown around is ‘subsidies‘.

    As Margaret Thatcher said, the government has no money. It only has your money.

    Subsidies sounds like someone is really helping someone else, instead of helping themselves to your power bill. It sounds like something for nothing, which it is, but it a gift from the poor to the rich ordered by our government and buried in every power bill.

    However this is worse, no ‘government money’ is being spent. Jay Weatherill did not have to build a single windmill.

    Every time you buy 1kwhr of coal or gas or diesel power, you are ordered to pay windmill producers for the right to buy that power. This is NOT for the power. That is extra!

    There are no government subsidies. When someone gets a cash payment for the solar panel installation, that is everyone else’s money, not his money. Not ‘government money’. Our cash we thought was to buy electricity for ourselves, but it is given to someone else and not for electricity. To add insult to injury, we have to pay them for the electricity they produce with our money. Call it a pay in tariff. Make it sound like a business opportunity.

    Taxation without representation. Or as I like to call it, theft.

    Then pay back period. Why should someone ‘buying’ a solar system get a pay back? When do we other electricity users get a pay back? Oh, that’s right. We can enjoy the lower CO2. Except that isn’t true either and wouldn’t make a difference if it was.

    No subsidies is a weasel word. So is renewables. So is decarbonization. So is Climate Change. All crafted words to give the impression that someone is doing something good for everyone while making a tidy profit. It is all theft.

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    Deplorable Lord Jim

    Australia’s climate change commitments.

    Effect on world temperature: 0
    Costs of commitments: $60,000,000,000+

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      PeterS

      Succinct but factually correct. Let me see. What if we spent that amount of money building a statue of any kind in the middle of Australia? Given the impact on the climate would be exactly the same how come the reaction is not the same now as it would be if we built that statue?

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    toorightmate

    I eagerly await the ABC sponsored lecture on “spinning reserve”.
    I wonder which group of geniuses they will muster to explain this to Mr Average (ie the bloke paying the bills and research grants and subsidies).
    BTW – Abbott’s speech was spot on. Bishop, Turnbull and the media are incapable of understanding the points he made.

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    pat

    Tony Heller exposes more CAGW fraud:

    12 Oct: RealClimateScience: Tony Heller: Featured Fake Climate Study Of The Day
    (LINK) How global warming is drying up the North American monsoon

    Latest idiocy from the team climate fraud, claims global warming is drying up the summer monsoons in the southwest.
    I was born in the southwest and spent the majority of my life there. I’m just back from watching the cleanup from the latest flooding in Tesuque, New Mexico. A ranger in Bandelier National Monument just told me about all the flood cleanup efforts they have had to do the last few years. Boulder had the worst floods in a century in 2013.
    There is no indication that summer rains in the Southwest have changed…
    CHARTS
    As always, climate scientists are simply making up alternative facts to keep their well funded climate scam alive. It is 0% science, 0% data, and 100% BS.
    https://realclimatescience.com/2017/10/featured-fake-climate-study-of-the-day/

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    Planning Engineer

    A good way to get an appreciation for baseload power (which will vary from place to place, but overall look pretty similar) it to plot a systems the load for all hours of the year sorted by load value (from max to minimum). See this graphic.

    http://nuclear-economics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Merit-order.jpg

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      Will Janoschka

      Perhaps in the next weekend-undrivel; we can have some polite or intense interaction without identifying background of any other! I value your technical views but refuse to accept\promote some of them!
      All the best!-will-

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    Roy Hogue

    Even if there’s no child watching the parade to say, “Gee mommy, the emperor has no clothes on,” it will get said by reality.

    I can only hope for both Australia’s sake and mine in the states that reality bites sooner rather than later because the longer the reckoning with reality is put off the worse things will probably be when it happens.

    I know that in Oz you pay a lot of attention to what happens here and we pay little if any attention to what happens there. But I do all I can to tell anyone I can about how bad things have become in Australia. Hopefully the lesson you have to teach the world will do some good. I can only hope that, as I said, the reckoning happens sooner rather than later.

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      KinkyKeith

      Besides electricity generation or non_generation, we also have dangerous bushfires in common Roy.

      Brought to us by the same eco-friendly cabal that worships Global Warming.

      KK

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        Roy Hogue

        Yes, this fire season has been a spectacular disaster. I’m almost in tears when the death toll from a fire like that goes up to 50 or more with another approximately 400 people unaccounted for, as of yesterday’s news. I didn’t even take note of the property loss but it’s homes in the many hundreds. And it’s not that we don’t have past examples to learn from. I can remember as a child about 12 standing in my parents front yard watching fire go raging up the nearby mountain side. And then they go and build up there in a place that turns almost literally into a bomb primed to go off when the dry hot weather comes along. That spectacular view of the valley below can turn into a race to save your life very fast.

        I grew up within walking distance of La Tuna Canyon.

        The worst of it is up north in wine country. My wife wondered if she dared hope that the fire would wipe out Nancy Pelosi’s vineyards. She was not serious but it shows the depth and width of the political divide in America these days. I have no idea if Pelosi owns vineyards or has any financial interest in them. She apparently married into money and I’ve never felt myself compelled to go looking into it it far enough to know the details.

        All this years fire damage and loss of life does tempt me to believe the human race has promoted itself to it’s level of incompetence as Dr. Lawrence J. Peter wrote in his book, The Peter Principle. He swore up and down that he intended it as a spoof or a joke. But the resemblance to reality is too good to believe he was anything but correct.

        Take your pick of the references you’ll get from my Google search.

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          Roy Hogue

          And about generating plants…

          As a teenager the father of my best friend was an engineer working of the natural gas fired plant that was soon to start operation, also within easy walk from home and highly visible because of the size of the boiler structure. He arranged to take me on a tour of the place just before it went operational. His responsibility was the instrumentation monitoring that huge boiler and he very proudly showed me some of it.

          The details were probably lost on me but the lasting impression is still how big that boiler was. The actual turbines and generators were miniscule compared with the boiler required to keep them running. Even the cooling towers were dwarfed by that boiler. We climbed what seemed like endless steps just to get to the first level where there were burners — and some of his stuff he could show me — and there was a lot more above us. As I drove over the top of the grade on the west end to get into the San Fernando Valley every morning on my trip to the office I could see that plant standing out from clear across the valley on the east end. It was easily the largest structure you could find. And it still would be if it had not been torn down at the end of its useful life.

          People in general have no concept of what it takes to keep delivering power to their wall outlets and light switches.

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          Roy Hogue

          As of this morning the wildfire death toll is announced as 38, which is probably more accurate than the previous 50. But still a huge disaster.

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    Stuart Lynne

    I’m reminded of one of the other jobs that large base load providers do. Details hazy (from doing the public visits at a local gas fired plant years ago.)

    As generators (large and small) enter and leave the power grid, they need to match and synchronize their power.

    Generators with a large rotating mass (aka large base load done by gas, coal, hydro or nuclear) help by maintaining a stable AC signal (that is coordinated across the multiple large generators.) Because they have a large mass and generate a large amount of power, they can absorb and fill in small up and down variations as the smaller producers kick in and out.

    I presume that some of this can be done in newer more modern implementations. I suspect that those are yet another expense to the grid operators as they lose base load support.
    [Published with editorial changes] Fly

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    BillD

    Australia is moving ahead with energy storage that also helps smooth out differences between supply and demand. Pumped hydroelectric storage is one approach, where water is pumped uphill when electric demand is low and run down through generator when demand is high. Systems like Tumut 3 are hybrids between traditional hydro and pumping up hill. Such systems can go from zero to 100% power in less than one minute. Battery storage is improving quickly and will soon come on line in utility scale projects. Storage has been used coal and nuclear plants but now most interest focuses on pairing storage with wind and solar.

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    • #
      Chad

      BillD… Yes , storage can theoretically help resolve some of the issues of renewable generation technologies.
      But, its a matter of scale and cost.
      If you consider how much storage GWh would be needed to support a fully RE generation grid, you will soon realise that it becomes both physically, and financially, impractical……no matter which storage technology you choose.

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    • #
      AndyG55

      “Australia is moving ahead with energy storage that also helps smooth out differences between supply and demand.”

      You are truly gullible if you think will make more than a very tiny difference to anything.

      Look into the cost to replace base load power. ..

      Or do you choose to ignore that as a inconvenience, that someone else will have to pay for.

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    notaluvvie

    I have computer simulations which show I am exempt from paying any and all taxes. Does that mean I don’t have to?

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    Brian the Engineer

    We seem to have changed the definition of base load. The usual meaning was that generated load that could not be switched off even when there was no demand, in particular coal as it is difficult to bring them back on line quickly. Consequently the fuel was burnt whether or not there was load. This is one of the reasons off peak hot water is offered overnight when the demand was low at a cheaper price. The base load provided was above the minimum demand and below the peak demand and hydropower was turn on during the peak demand periods as it was almost instantaneous. This is why pumped storage also makes sense. It provides the peak load at a cost of pumping the water uphill of 20% energy loss but the base load power is free over night and doing this means you don’t have to build as many coal fired power stations. This minimises the Cap Ex in the supply system.
    The demand curve was predictable and this could be easily managed. Now with the excessive amount of renewables in the system there is also a supply curve. The supply curve is completely unpredictable with high levels of intermittent supply (renewables). We are just as likely to get a supply drop to zero when demand is at a peak. This is only one problem with the rush to “renewables”.
    The busload on the graph in the article should closer to 21,000 Mw

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    • #
      bobl

      No Brian,
      Base (Basic)
      Load (Resistance)

      So Base load literally means the normal (maximum) resistance that the generators See. It is Load dependent not source dependent, to maintain voltage then so-called baseload generators need to source a particular current into that Base Load. Multiply Voltage (fixed) by Current (Variable) and you get Power so the apparent resistance in a fixed voltage system can be represented by a particular Power generation. It’s all about Ohms Law V=IR and P = VI or indeed since V=IR P=IR x I (P= I squared R).

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    Amber

    Given a choice energy consumers are not interested in subsidizing
    “renewables” in any meaningful way . If the government thought otherwise
    they would offer a feel good green rate and they would discover very little take up but
    they already know that don’t they ?
    Government politicians are the beneficiaries of millions in “renewable” donations
    and governments knows they are increasingly killing the golden geese through normal
    tax means . Hence an alignment of interests and the need for a large new source of cash .
    Trotting out misleading academics to trash talk the huge contribution
    of reliable affordable base load power is part of the marketing plan . Just one big problem …
    People have figured out the obvious … claims by so called experts like
    the International Panel of Climate Con-men (IPCC) have been lying to the public
    about their understanding of climate change for decades . The models used to underpin
    the worlds largest con – game in history are fabrications so inaccurate as to overstate any warming by hundreds of percent .

    The jig is up . Even a biased panel of “experts ” is not going to stop the exaggerated global warming industry from imploding .
    Too bad it took so long .
    Want to test it? Eliminate base loan power for 2 weeks and see how many politicians will be out of a hobby .

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