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Some days one thousand MW of solar vanishes in Australia

The Australian national grid stretches from the tropics to the cold temperate zone from 16S to 43S. You might think that along those 40,000 kilometers of transmission lines there is always somewhere somewhere sunny at midday, but some days you’d be wrong.

James Luffman at WattClarity,  noticed this extensive cloud arrangement affecting solar on Friday May 19th. On that day, a one thousand MW generator wasn’t there when it was expected to be.

Cloud patterns on Friday 19th May 2017 – leading to a day of low Solar PV output, NEM-wide

By James Luffman | Published Fri, 25 August 201

Cloud cover over Australia, map, preventing solar PV generation.

Cloud cover over Australia, map, preventing solar PV generation.

How often does this happen? Hard to say, since data on rooftop PV has only just started to be released. It may not be as often as wind turbines, which simultaneously flounder across the whole Australian grid every 10 days or so.

This kind of comma-shaped band of cloud is relatively common over eastern Australia, when you have moisture from the Coral Sea area feeding into a trough with a low-pressure system near SA or VIC.

In this particular case of 19th May, the band of cloud happens to cover most of the populated areas of the NEM, and the cloud is very thick over a large area.  Being a widespread and slow-moving cloud feature, it shows up as a significant outlier in Paul’s daily aggregate graph, since it lasted most or all of the day over most of the NEM’s installed rooftop PV.

 We should be grateful solar made it (nearly) to half its normal power:

....

….

Imagine if a coal plant was forecast to produce 2GW (only at lunch time) but some days, randomly, could only do half?

Would forward markets pay more for this energy?

ABOUT SOLCAST: Nick and Paul McArdle (WattClarity): started Solcast to assist with the integration of increasing solar PV into power grids, in association with a research project at the ANU led by Nick.

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Rating: 9.8/10 (61 votes cast)
Some days one thousand MW of solar vanishes in Australia, 9.8 out of 10 based on 61 ratings

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

127 comments to Some days one thousand MW of solar vanishes in Australia

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    When you consider what the twentieth century gave us, in terms of advanced medical diagnostics and technological treatments for serious diseases, you have to wonder what happens to those people who are current receiving treatment, at home.

    Most advanced medical equipment requires a constant mains voltage, with a consistent and reliable mains frequency. Such electrical supplies can be found in hospitals, because they generally have their own standby generators. But those generators were intended for stand-by duties, only. I doubt that they were designed for ongoing backup, for a varying and unreliable mains supply, that seems to be the twenty-first century ideal degradement.

    350

    • #
      Dennis

      No problem, politicians have it under control. Or will have after the next election if we vote for them.

      210

      • #
        ColA

        Turncoat and the Lib/Nats will loose the next election and we will all be shafted with Labour.
        Shortping driven by the watermelons will start a 50% renewables package! WHY??
        Because some dumbass innercity cafelarte, ecoterrorist, crusaders elected him!
        Because our leftard ABC and media preach CAGWatology until it drivels down their chin!
        Because there is no one SCREAMING “Look these idiots don’t understand the first thing about energy and power”
        Because no one is listening to anyone who actually states the engineering facts.

        I am disgusted that these numbnuts will drag this great country down into energy kayos and poverty and destroy our industries in the process!

        301

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          Bring it on.

          The sooner it happens the sooner the voters will understand how they’ve been conned by the ignorant, the incompetent and the Anarchist green-left.

          Massive unemployment, business collapse, stock market collapse, deep recession (there’ll be no capacity to borrow to avoid it because the ALP under the dud Rudd spent it all last time). Cash will be king again.

          We can then bend our backs and rebuild it without the fools sabotaging and undermining at every turn.

          60

          • #
            el gordo

            Hmmm ….. nice to vent one’s spleen, but the picture you paint is highly unlikely to eventuate.

            Labor is going to the next election with the Belt and Road strategy, backed by the China infrastructure bank, it’ll be a shoe in.

            30

            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              Oh well, I suppose we can look forward to a replay of the Rex Connor/Tirath Khemlani disaster then?

              Belt and Braces strategy might be a better descriptor.

              10

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Two months ago I ended up in hospital with Influenza B and very low blood pressure, for that day my treatment relied on amazing people and a reliable electricity supply to run lighting, monitoring equipment, blood pressure readings, air conditioning, refrigeration etc… of course those things can be done ‘old school’ with the same effect but all the modern technology of the electric alternatives gives the doctors, nurses and staff a far superior advantage in time management allowing them to treat/heal more people at once.

      So more people getting looked after is at risk because of a Green initiative.. hmmm there appears to be a pattern forming here…..

      320

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Yes, funny how the green blob seems to rate humanity pretty low.

        Although if they hate humanity that much, clearly they hate themselves……ergo, they are professional self loathers…..

        They are seriously messed up…..

        231

        • #
          Greg Cavanagh

          They do hate themselves. They stop short of flagellation, but they do take their self-hate out on those around them.

          A quick talk with them will confirm their self-loathing, even though they don’t recognise it in themselves.

          111

    • #
      Manfred

      …that seems to be the twenty-first century ideal degradement.

      Ask Elon Musk. One man’s degradement is another man’s treasure.

      141

  • #

    Customers need reliable power supply at low and predictable prices. Energy companies that base their energy supply on unreliables should be required to complement their unreliable energy sources with facilities that together provides a reliable power supply. The costs of providing a stable power supply can not be disregarded when considering unreliable intermittent energy sources.

    230

  • #
    David Maddison

    No important infrastructure such as electricity supply should ever be based on whatever the weather conditions happen to be.

    382

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    Instead of only paying the wind and solar power people for when they do produce electricity, they should be penalized whenever their electrical output deviates more that a few volts or a fraction of an amp from the base-load required. And to make the whole grid more efficient and more of a public service to electric power customers, all power generators should be paid exactly the same rates (no RET and same penalties from deviations from a constant base-load).
    Without some payment system for electric power such as this I don’t see how industrial output and GDP in Australia can grow.

    351

    • #
      StephenP

      Good idea. The renewables should only be paid for the electricity that they guarantee to supply. If they run short they should have to pick up the tab for alternative supplies they will have to organise. If they produce too much then they should be only paid the going rate for surplus electricity, in the same way that a farmer who produces too much wheat only gets paid what someone is prepare to take it off his hands.

      40

  • #
    Dennis

    It is vandalism when state governments support the dismantling of a reliable, efficient and relatively low cost electricity supply system based on power stations and encourage competition from unreliable by comparison, inefficient and very high cost toys that must be spread out across the countryside and rooftops to catch the winds and sunshine intermittently more often than not.

    And worse, using the State of Queensland as an example, where the youngest coal fired power stations are operating and coal and gas in abundance being exported to foreign countries by many shiploads every day.

    The Commonwealth of Australia should be an economic powerhouse with a standard of living second to no other country but instead our ranking in the OECD 38 member countries is now last time I checked 12th from 8th in 2007.

    But the electricity and gas supply crisis seems to be out of control with all of the governments ignoring voters and taking instruction from offshore, United Nations and others.

    270

  • #
    Manfred

    If the Greens had a time machine, they would by now have returned to that magical moment when the penny dropped in an early hominids brain and the utility of fire dawned.

    As true, perhaps more so today than when it was published in 2008:
    Greenpeace on fusion: Whatever it is, we’re against it
    Luddites 2.0

    “We’ll certainly have it in fifty years,” ITER’s Neil Calder told the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation last week. But not if Greenpeace has its way.

    Yes, the fuel for fusion is abundant, and far more productive than fossil fuel – one litre of seawater can produce as much as 30 litres of petrol. It’s much safer than nuclear fission. And it doesn’t release CO2. So what’s the problem?

    “Governments should not waste our money on a dangerous toy,” Jan Van de Putte of Greenpeace International said when ITER was announced in 2005. Van de Putte predicted it will never be efficient – so why bother?

    Spokesperson Bridget Woodman said: “Nuclear fusion has all the problems of nuclear power, including producing nuclear waste and the risks of a nuclear accident.”

    (Which must break the record for the number of false and contradictory assertions you can cram into a 17-word sentence. But that’s par for the course these days. When you hear a phrase like “sustainable energy” the opposite is usually intended – the speaker is referring to an energy source that won’t sustain anything for very long or very reliably.)

    Reliable power as we all know simply does not feature in The Green Agenda. The irony remains that they appear to perhaps consider sitting around a smokey camp fire a better alternative, well at least in Africa, or perhaps, is it the compelling vision of rationed, State kontrolled, regulated and administered power that has such appeal?

    191

    • #
      manalive

      That’s the test of the Greens’ sincerity, it isn’t and never has been about the climate.
      As opposed to their preferred dead-end ‘sustainable’ energy technologies, whatever the technical difficulties and risks of nuclear energy they are manageable and able to be improved with research and must be preferable to their imagined ‘climate catastrophe’.

      111

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      I understand, from sources that are usually reliable, that most major hospitals have nuclear fusion reactors on site. But they aren’t called that, of course. They are called something innocuous.

      They are used for sterilising fluids, that would be destroyed by boiling, and sterilising medical equipment and appliances that could be damaged by heating.

      Some university campuses also have them, I understand.

      I wonder if there are any other groups out there, whose day I can ruin, by including them in the list?

      50

      • #
        Manfred

        RW, just consider that delectable gamma radiation used to sterilise food / fruit / veg in order to permit a longer viable self-life. Reduces waste, reduces cost and enhances profit. Fiscally and nutritionally sound, one double benefit guaranteed to receive a firm ‘nyet’ from the illiterati, rectifiable here.

        40

      • #
        OldGreyGuy

        RW, Trade Unions and Television Broadcasters?

        20

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        RW:

        Not fusion, maybe fission. If they have nuclear fusion running then they could save €10 billion or more for the EU.

        I would think they either have gamma ray emitting isotopes for sterilisation of glass items or short half life isotopes generating heat.
        In Australia these are made at Lucas Heights reactor. A number of countries operate Homogeneous reactors (small, safe) to make medical isotopes (usually those with half lives measured under an hour or a day).

        40

        • #
          Griffo

          I think the Lucas heights reactor was designed and partly manufactured in Argentina, Australia in the 1950′s was quite advanced in the field of nuclear technology,where are we today?

          20

      • #
        sophocles

        Something Innocuous?” I’ve never heard of it, never seen it, never handled it and never driven it. Are you sure you have the right euphemism, Rereke?

        Could it have been a “Harmless Thingummy,” or an “Unobnoxious Nonesuch” by any chance? Or was it a “Nothing Offensive?
        I have a passing familiarity with those :-)

        00

      • #

        RW,
        That is spontaneous nuclear fission Cobalt-60 etc, not fusion of H2 into He. Evidenced only via thermonuclear weapons and possibly the Sun. So far, human attempts at controlled fusion have not produced any useful power\energy

        10

        • #
          Akatsukami

          Co-60 doesn’t fission; it decays via beta (electron) emission to a metastable Ni-60 isotope, which releases its excess energy as gamma photons.

          00

    • #
      ROM

      Manfred @ #6

      Reliable power as we all know simply does not feature in The Green Agenda.

      Reliable power doesn’t figure in the Greens “back to the caves” policies because they are of a couple of generations who have NEVER had a lack of power at the flick of a switch for more than a few minutes.
      The Greens of today quite literally do not have the faintest concept of what it is like to live without instantaneous power and in just about any amount with almost no individual personal limits to that power whenever they want it and demand it.
      They have no concept of the amounts of power required to run our civilisation.

      They have no remotely related concepts as to how that power is generated and provided today.

      They have never thought of any of this because they haven’t needed to think about it.
      Reliable , cheap, always there electrical power for 60 years or more in this nation has always been there except for the odd few minutes every few months when a local blackout might occur due to some technical problem. .

      They have never thought about or can even comprehend as it is outside of their very limited and bigoted views of the world outside of their own social block, on what it is like to live in a mega city when there is NO electrical power of any sort.
      They have no concept or experience to realise that all power of every type , oil, fuel, coal , gas plus water and sewerage and etc rely entirely on the provision of massive amounts of electrical power at all times for those other fuel and power sources and essential services to function.

      The green elites in their inner city bubbles just don’t understand although they believe they are the only ones who do and the rest of us are just stupid dolts, the archetypal elitist Hilary Clinton’s “Deplorables” description of those she and the greens and elites believe are way below themselves personally in status , education, thinking and problem solving ability and generally of a much lower class than they, the green elitists are, that reliable adequate in every way, cheap power is now the very blood and sinews that hold our civilisation together, that gives us the lifestyles and comforts and health and mobility and the ability to continually innovate and create that leads to a better life and a better world in the future.

      The members of the Green blob in particular are collectively exceedingly ignorant of the realities of having almost unlimited electrical power at their finger tips 24/7/52 and its absolutely essential role that support and drives and allows our modern civilisation to function in a manner that has given the last couple of generations in the electrically powered developed world the highest living standards and health and wealth that mankind any where, any time has every experienced.

      And very recent history tells us, if the Green Blob achieves even a modicum of power as in Germany and Tasmania and SA to name a couple , the economies of those regions are on the downward spiral towards that of economic basket cases.

      I seriously doubt that any Green has laid eyes on this World Bank comparison graph below where Energy use per capita is compared to the the GDP per capita of the world’s nations .

      And if they did they probably wouldn’t have the broad ranging intellect , their intellects being constrained and exceedingly limited by a green selfie centred and myopic view of the world where they would not and could not begin to even understand the implications shown so clearly in this World Bank graph of adequate always there and cheap power, to a nation’s and its citizens prosperity and living standards.

      51

      • #

        The members of the Green blob in particular are collectively exceedingly ignorant of the realities”
        The willfully ignorant members of the Green blob is correct for those that ignore that before their nose! Now to achieve needed moderation, :-)

        Ignorance is the opposite of ‘medical idiot’ (sentence yet incapable of providing for self), infant\baby\larva.
        Momma Effalump “yous try eating ‘my’ idiot, yous become small grease spot stomped into da dirt, Kapish? Kapish?”!
        All da best!-will-

        10

  • #
    Another Ian

    O/T For the ev files

    Combined ev news and stock tips?

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2017/11/we-dont-need-no-659.html

    And comments

    40

  • #
    el gordo

    Over the next couple of decades we can expect more low cloud cover because of cosmic ray bombardment and a meridional jet stream.

    As the world cools the politicians will get a wake up call, too little too late for most.

    121

    • #
      el gordo

      The regulars here know the argument, but for the general reader our yellow star is a major driver of climate change on earth.

      https://phys.org/news/2016-08-solar-impact-earth-cloud.html

      90

      • #

        That article is fraught with technical error, wee i.e.

        The eruptions cause a reduction in cloud fraction of about 2 percent corresponding to roughly a billion tonnes of liquid water disappearing from the atmosphere.

        All sensational\nonsense statistical numbers with no meaning whatsoever. A 2% reduction in the 66.3% visible ‘cloud cover’ results in 65% visible ‘cloud cover’. So what does that mean to anyone? A ‘billion tonnes’ is a weight corresponding to 10^12 kg mass under Earth’s gravitational force as fake acceleration rather than compression of this atmospheric fluid. Times 50 (1/2%) yields 5×10^13 kg of claimed atmospheric H2O in all 5 phases of H2O, (exists only in the wonderful Earth’s atmosphere) :-)

        Your same Climate Clowns Claim (CCC) 5.2×10^18 kg weight for Earth’s atmosphere. From sea surface pressure measurement 101.35kPa ±30 Pa (including wind effects) Earth total airborne atmospheric mass must be less than 2×10^18 kg mass; including all “airborne” bugs, bees, bats, birds, aircraft, and H2O in all 5 phases.
        All the best!-will-

        10

    • #
      James Murphy

      2013 was the most recent solar maximum, but was the weakest maximum in the last +/-100 years. It will be interesting to see how the solar minimum goes.

      10

    • #

      “As the world cools the politicians will get a wake up call, too little too late for most.”
      Politicians range from ‘living dead’ McCain, to dead dead Crinton family cartel, both ‘disappeared’ by 11/2018. What me worry?… Running out of fine Glenfiddich remains properly ‘worrisome’! :-)

      30

  • #
    robert rosicka

    OT , is the minister for energy and little critters caught up in the immigration scandal ?

    40

    • #
      Dennis

      Beat up by leftist journalist, the minister’s mother and family were WW2 refugees, Hungarian but stateless Jews who were sent to Australia for resettlement, via UNHCR I understand.

      The minister was born in Australia and his parents are naturalised Australian citizens.

      The allegation is based on the Hungarian background and therefore possibility of another birthright citizenship deemed to exist regardless.

      The Section 44 High Court Judgment is still unsatisfactory, and with no precedent in our constitutional law history.

      For example, New Zealand was once part of New South Wales, Australia and New Zealand were British Commonwealth of Nations member, now Commonwealth of Nations, and when the new Commonwealth was formed many citizens of Australia and New Zealand, and other new Commonwealth nations, lost citizenship rights. And in more recent times the NZ Government made changes to deem the child of a person born in NZ and therefore a citizen automatically a citizen regardless of where the child was born and the citizenship held.

      So there it is, clear as mud.

      70

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        New Zealand only granted citizenship to refugees without criminal record. I believe it used to be the exact opposite in New South Wales.

        50

        • #
          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          No RW. They remained Brits, but were given free transport ex UK.
          Cheers,
          Dave B

          50

          • #
            Dennis

            And much later their value increased to ten pounds.

            50

          • #
            Griffo

            Some of the convicts returned to England after they had done the time,I wonder who paid the for the ticket?

            20

            • #
              Dennis

              The Unions

              30

            • #
              el gordo

              Once the convicts served their time they were given a ‘ticket of leave’, at that point their wages increased markedly and could afford their ticket out of this place.

              If the Americans didn’t have a revolution there is a reasonable chance that Australia would have become a French colony, outpost of a different empire.

              10

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          As the old song had it
          “True patriots we,
          for be it understood,
          We left our own dear country,
          for our country’s good”.

          So any that aren’t doing this country good, should be returned to sender.

          30

    • #
      Dennis

      The Labor Deputy Leader has now defended the Minister and his refugee family history and said trying to use that against him is unfair.

      It has now been revealed that she owns property in Slovenia where her parents came from, and she has property in that country where to own property the buyer must be a citizen.

      The plot thickens.

      70

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Or the Thick plots, whichever comes to mind.

        30

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Just heard an interesting conversation on talk back radio on this and I had to admit they were right as much as it hurt .
        The conversation was about refugees and how many of them were stateless too but the prime minister and others were all too quick to become hypocrites.

        10

  • #
    robert rosicka

    This made me wonder about the 140 megawatt solar farm planned for Glenrowan, the useful sun hours per day in our area are 3.6 taking all factors into account .
    Only way you would get your money back I reckon is through subsidies and if this is the case how much are the subsidies worth compared to the electricity generated ?

    Is it a solar farm or a subsidy farm .

    111

    • #
      ColA

      I was thinking of a new startup company specializing in wind turbine demolition, plenty of business in the near future, however a cost benefit analysis showed that the turbines don’t make enough actual profit to pay for their installation let alone their demolition! So let them fall down by themselves, it won’t take that much longer!!

      71

      • #
        Manfred

        They will remain on the landscape as rotting sentinels of a intellectually bankrupt ideology. By the time their useful life has elapsed, no one will be able to afford their demolishment. In the annals of history they will feature as having served well to provide cover for famous gun battles, and like Roman ruins, be scavenged for building bits and pieces, as well as jewellery. In short order, no one will remember what in fact they were originally designed to do and like the pyramids, it will be supposed that they are remnants of burial chambers. There will be a faction that want to preserve them, and a faction that consider them relics of aliens. Their future, like their past, will be a quaint foot note in human progress.

        91

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        If your business was to demolish, or otherwise remove wind turbines, from place A. You could then on sell them at a discount at place B. If you play your cards right, you might be able to get the Government to subsidise both sides of that operation.

        Just a thought.

        61

      • #
      • #
        Wayne Job

        Was travelling through California USA some years back and there were miles of hills covered with the first generation wind turbines. Rusting ugly hulks, miles of them.The green scam does not clean up it’s own mess.

        10

    • #
      sophocles

      Subsidy Farming is Big Business.
      Wherever there are subsidies, there are Subsidy Farmers.
      Always.

      90

  • #
    Mark M

    “Poverty reduction of this magnitude is unparalleled in history:

    never before have so many people been lifted out of poverty over such a brief period of time.”

    The astonishing, and astonishingly unappreciated, progress in human well-being over the last 3 decades.

    http://humanprogress.org/blog/things-are-looking-up-by-any-measure

    This fall in extreme poverty is all the more remarkable considering that the world’s population rose by 59 per cent over the same time period.

    Between 1981 and 2015, global life expectancy rose from 63.2 years to 71.9 years – a remarkable 12 per cent jump that is, undoubtedly, connected to rising incomes and, consequently, improved nutrition.

    Similarly, we can now examine the processes behind the extraordinary greening of the Earth over recent decades as CO₂ levels have climbed.

    Up to 50% of vegetated land is now greener than it was 30 years ago.

    The increasing human-driven CO2 fertilization effect on vegetation was estimated to be the dominant driver.

    https://theconversation.com/satellites-are-giving-us-a-commanding-view-of-earths-carbon-cycle-85539

    60

  • #
    Another Ian

    Queensland LNP electricity policy for critique

    https://www.betterqueensland.org.au/fairgo

    Tony in Oz?

    20

    • #
      RickWill

      I am not certain if a State has the authority to end the RET as I expect the States are bound by the federal legislation but not certain how this plays out with electricity. The government granting of LGCs could possibly be challenged on grounds of monopoly rights, which is unconstitutional. Any sane State government needs to have a determined approach to ending the RET by whatever means it takes. That is the quickest way to get competition back into electricity supply and lower costs.

      I like the idea of tying salaries to lower prices. That will get some reality back into the debate.

      20

      • #
        bobl

        I have looked at this question extensively. Its tricky, but the state could legislate that the GENERATORS rather than the retailers buy the credits because after all they do the emitting, then because all the generators in QLD are state owned, they simply stop buying credits. This is backed by a fine from the federal government but the federal government cannot under the constitution tax (or fine) the states. The fine levied on the generators then constitutes taxation by the commonwealth on the state which is constitutionally prohibited.

        00

  • #
    PeterS

    Clouds will always present a problem for solar power. Imagine if we had just half the number of coal fired power stations and enough solar and wind mills to make up the difference. We would no doubt have frequent blackouts, so much so our economy would be terminal. Some think we could overcome such issues by using huge numbers of mass storage batteries. Apart form the crippling cost of doing so, they still won’t be enough during extended periods of low or zero illumination. After all the sun does shine 24 hours here in Australia!

    70

  • #
    toorightmate

    Jo,
    You continually misspell “Solcast”.
    It is “SOCIALIST”.

    20

  • #
    Ian1946

    I keep reading articles on Facebook (I am a glutton for punishment) that solar is our saviour as it now works well on cloudy days and at night. It appears that “dirty coal” can finally be abandoned /sarc

    50

  • #
    Timo Soren

    So what is May 15 actual versus actual. Not sure how two different actuals happen!

    20

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      The blue actual is the actual data for the 19th May actually, while the 15th May actual is what actually happened on the 15th.

      10

  • #
    David Maddison

    A lot of this debt is caused by the economic devastation caused by wind and solar.

    Another Aussie achievement, oi, oi, oi. In just about a week or so the total Government debt has blown out another billion dollars to $753 billion.

    http://www.australiandebtclock.com.au/

    51

  • #
    toorightmate

    Just wait until the $100bn for NBN hits the books.

    80

    • #
      Dennis

      No, NBNCo debt is hidden or accounted for in the government owned private company NBN Co.

      Debt not revealed in Commonwealth Government Budget papers, only part that was granted from consolidated revenue.

      At least some State Governments, Queensland and New South Wales, have government owned private companies. I have written here about NSW Labor selling some of those companies and assets for a loss of $6.1 billion below lowest valuation. The $5.9 billion realised dropped to $800 million when the hidden debts were repaid.

      That was when AGL Limited picked up some bargains, but others did too.

      40

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        It’s a little more complex than that Dennis, isn’t it?

        As I understand it, the current $49.0 billion cost of the NBN comprises a $29.5 billion equity injection into NBNCo by the Federal Government and a loan of $19.5 billion which was supposed to come from the private sector but didn’t, and so the Feds had to stump it up. At this stage most of the $29.5 billion has been tipped in to NBNCo. Both amounts were raised through Commonwealth bond issues.

        Now, this is where it gets interesting. Come the next election (assuming Turnbull runs his full term), the government will need to show the budget outyears to 2023 (a Charter of Budget Honesty requirement) and that is likely to identify a strategy for the sale of NBNCO. No private sector entity will pay $49.0 billion for what is an unprofitable business. This will necessitate a writedown of some or all of the equity (the $29.5 billion) and that amount will be added to net Commonwealth debt, since, with the sale of the NBNCo, there will be no asset against which all of the equity can be balanced.

        10

        • #
          toorightmate

          Dennis and Sceptical Sam,
          I know you both mean well, BUT NBN is not on the books.
          It should be. It is dead set money down the drain.
          How long are you folks going to believe an NBN cost of $49bn? I would love to sell you a bridge.
          It is $100bn – if we are very lucky and get very smart. Have you seen “lucky” and “smart” on the horizon?

          30

        • #
          Dennis

          Minister for Communications Turnbull admitted that the NBN Labor introduced was heading in 2013 to a completion cost well above the likely private sector valuation of the company and assets Sam. But he also pointed out that it had gone too far to be abandoned.

          Labor now likes to pass the blame to the Coalition and at the same time criticise their modification of connections and other things but doing that reflects only on Labor’s mistake.

          Toorightmate, $100 billion was mentioned by Minister Turnbull as close to where the Labor NBN was heading in total cost.

          I will continue to pay for my Telstra wireless account and have no landline connection.

          Rudd and Conroy are the culprits and they produced no cost benefit analysis and business plan for their high-speed broadband NBN when they claimed a better service for all and neglected to mention that higher speeds meant high priced plans. Or that businesses and organisations that needed high-speed broadband already had it. NBN was a socialism style for the workers/masses project and first and foremost, an election vote lure.

          20

  • #
    ROM

    Very recently here in western Victoria we had a big announcement of a new Solar Farm to built near Ararat which is located about 200 kms NW of Melbourne on the Western Highway [ number 8 ] that heads NW to Adelaide.

    A very routine announcement these days of endless renewable energy projects.

    Solar Farms of course for maximum production of profit making power are located in areas where there is a maximum of hours of sunshine and minimum of cloudiness to drive those solar panel’s profit making output.

    Maybe, but not so fast, thankyou!

    The maximum combination of sunlight exposure hours allied with cloud free hours in Australia can be found in a band at around latitude 33 degrees to 34 degrees South which is the outcome of research for the location the now abandoned renewable energy Updraft Solar Tower [ don't confuse the Updraft Solar Tower with the Molten Salt Tower being built in SA, Neither will ever work economically or are economic if unsubsidised ] was to be located not very far north of Mildura in NW Victoria.

    The Mildura area is itself is served by and is also at the junction of two high voltage power transmission lines which close a loop from the main substation at Horsham in the south around through the sub station at Bendigo in central Victoria.
    Plus a moderate capacity HV transmission line feeding into the SA grid to the west.

    A short distance north of Mildura is therefore the logical location for a large solar farm to produce the longest hours of income earning power production and be close to HV transmission lines to feed that power into the grid.

    However as noted above, the new large Victorian Solar Farm is to be built at Ararat which is south of the Great dividing Range in western Vic, is subject to a lot of coastal originated cloud being only about 50 kms from the southern Ocean, has a lower sunlight intensity than any area north of the Great divide , has a relatively high rainfall, is bloody cold and cloudy in winter and has all the attributes to be avoided if one was going to build a profit making Solar Farm.

    The decision to build this Solar Farm a Ararat is totally illogical but from the promoters viewpoint is completely rational.

    Mildura is 550 kms from Melbourne and 400 kms from Adelaide so to take potential investors and bank experts and politicians and those all powerful , subsidy dispensing bureaucrats to Mildura to inspect the facilities and building progress involves a flight of a couple of hours from Melbourne to get there, then a couple of hours of flight to return to the city lights with all the very annoying, time consuming hassles involved with boarding an aircraft these days.

    A long and dreary day for most of those potentially influential people and bureaucrats and politicians when one is constructing a Solar Farm and intends to get the maximum of subsidies to ensure that the your Solar Farm is highly profitable regardless of how much power it actually will produce or not produce.

    Ararat on the other hand is about to be connected to the new extension to the Western freeway out of Melbourne making the 200 km drive from Melbourne in a chauffeured car by politicians and investors and bankers and bureaucrats, most important those government bureaucrats, to inspect the new Solar Farm only of a couple of hours duration.

    And then a good feed with some of the good quality locally produced wines and a pleasant chauffeured trip home on a nice fast smooth driving freeway and home in Melbourne in a couple of hours in time to watch the footy.
    A pleasant day out indeed and a most impressive Solar Farm project inspected.

    And those nice little earners , those subsidies completely guaranteed and future quite lucrative income for the investors 100% ensured.

    And the income from all that near non existent sunshine on those solar panels, well that is just cream on the income cake !

    [ do I need a sarc/ ?]

    81

    • #
      ROM

      Correction ; Ararat is about 150 kms from the ocean, not 50 kms

      50

    • #
      dianeh

      The flight from Melbourne to Mildura is only one hour but your point remains valid.

      The other problem with a more remote site is the additional costs in building, relocating staff, transport etc.

      The cynic in me suspects that these increased costs push the project to bankruptcy too fast for the subsidy farmers. It is after a fine balancing act keeping to maximise your subsidies before the project shuts down.

      30

  • #

    Doesn’t matter
    what the weather
    rainy, sunny,
    cloudy, cloudless,
    that ol’ coal plant
    carries on regardless,
    24/7.

    60

  • #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for showing that Insolation Curve for rooftop solar power.

    It’s an amazing thing when you apply mathematics to something like this, and the whole argument just collapses.

    Note that even at Midday on the best days, the total power being generated still never reaches the Nameplate.

    Note the shape of the curve, the start from zero generation and finish back to zero times.

    From that you can calculate to a fair degree of accuracy the total generation across that period of time when it is generating power which can then be extrapolated out to a Capacity Factor, (CF) which can then applied across the full 24 hour period.

    Then take into account the bad days across the week, Month, and year, the lowering of maximum generation away from the warmer Months, the less time of generation in those cooler Months, the siting of the actual panels on the rooftops, the differing generation with respect to North versus South across the Country, and the degrees between North and South and, from all of that you find the average CF for rooftop solar barely manages between 15 and 17% across the year.

    Then, from that, you need to understand that even with all that generation (huh, ALL of it?) anything up to 75% is actually being consumed by the home with the panels on the roof.

    So, what you have actually have being fed back to the grid is such a minute amount, even with so many rooftops now covered with panels.

    At absolute best its Nameplate multiplied by 15%, and the result of that multiplied by 25%, and here I’m using best case scenarios, so that comes in at a little less than 4% of whatever the Nameplate being quoted is.

    As an example here, take a fairly large rooftop system of 6KW. Using all the above maths, that sees a total power delivered back to the grid across a full YEAR of just under 2 MWH. That power is being delivered by just ONE of the four units at Bayswater in ….. 11 SECONDS.

    ONE year versus 11 seconds.

    Even I know that’s a pretty useless comparison, but now extrapolate that out to how many rooftops need to be covered, just to replace that ONE unit at ONE coal fired power plant.

    Recently in Queensland, the Premier and her Energy Minister said that rooftop solar power is the largest power generator in Queensland, surpassing that old clunker at Gladstone, the 40 year old six unit plant with a Nameplate of 1680MW. That was based on the Nameplate. In actual fact, the power being generated from all that rooftop solar is less than what one unit at that plant generates, and the power being fed back to the rid is only 25% of that.

    Maths will destroy any argument in favour of rooftop solar, but hey, no one will ever know that, and it all comes from that Insolation Curve.

    Tony.

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    • #
      Dennis

      Mathematics is of course what Christopher Monckton applied to UNIPCC climate change hoax data and he was attacked because they said he is not a scientist.

      90

    • #
      RobK

      It’s not just that some days are more subdued than others due to cloud cover; on regular, part cloudy days various substations’ loads are solar fed for some minutes then not. The next substation and others surrounding all have major random load fluctuations as well, to test the infrastructures limits of control and instrumentation. It’s chaos. It doesn’t average out over large areas either, especially variations in reactive power and line voltage.

      40

    • #
      Graeme#4

      So Tony, if my maths are correct, this is only 5.5 kWh/day, which means I would need, at a minimum, 4.5 times 6kW panels on my roof to give me daily requirement of 25kWh. And this doesn’t include backup for the days when the panels are not producing. So why are folks being sold 5kW systems and told that they can recover 70% of their power bill? Something doesn’t add up.

      50

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        The “rule of thumb” is to multiply the name plate by a factor of 4 to get the average daily output per year.

        So a 5 kWh PV installation would on average deliver 20 kWh per day. More in summer – a lot more and less in Winter. That’s for Perth.

        As Steve says on the Whirlpool Forum on Wednesday 1 Nov at page 71:

        I’m not doing too bad then – 2 days of 42.2 from an east only 6.6kw install!

        Work from home so the day time power works –

        Steve

        http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2589100&p=71

        I’ll be interested to hear him tell everybody how much he gets in the depths of Winter when the cloud is thick and he needs the heat. But I’ll not hold my breath.

        20

      • #
        bobl

        It depends on the feed in tariff you get. I’m on 50c so that means I sell for about twice what I buy for. My 3Kw system can produce say 12 Kwh over a day, which buys me 24kWh give or take Nett metering.
        The best way to manage this is to arrange to use no power during the day to maximise my income, then use the earnings to buy energy at night.

        Intuitively you would think it best to use the power you generate, but it isn’t so when you are earning twice what you pay. If I use my own generation I save 26c per kWh, if I sell it I get 50c per kWh

        If your feed in tariff is below your cost to buy, then it’s best to use energy during the day and save it at night.

        00

        • #
          Graeme#4

          Something else that’s new to me – I always though solar users were paid less than their normal rate. But you are paid twice as much? Why would the supplier do that?

          00

  • #
    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    Wonderful to behold, the scientifically beautiful thing about PV is that it produces useful electricity indirectly from a fusion reaction on our nearest star. That’s the silk purse. The sow’s ear or rather the pig’s breakfast is what political crony capitalism, energy company oligarchs and other PC boofheadery have made of this blessing.

    80

  • #
    Another Ian

    O/T somewhat

    Can someone point me to a quotable link that outlines the RET – warts and all? Especially the warts.

    For use in a (hopefully) education exercise.

    TIA

    10

    • #

      Check out TdeF comments on RET @ Jo Nova, Ian.

      30

      • #
        Another Ian

        Beth

        Thanks. For this exercise I need preferably one quote that has it as a lay down misere. Some reading but not too much reading if you get the gist.

        I’m not sure that TdeF has it all in one place?

        TdeF?

        10

    • #
      ROM

      Dunno if this might be of use Ian, but try the Clean Energy Regulator which runs the whole crazy shebang around the ridiculously expensive and grossly inefficient, economy destroying and utterly impotent in its intended effects , the Renewable Energy Target [ RET ]

      30

    • #
      bobl

      It’s not the RET exactly, but rather the LGC (Large Generation Certificates) that causes the distortion.

      I wrote this analogy for a few politicians, its a lay down Miserere

      Consider two Cola producers say Coca-Cola and Pepsi, one competitor Coca- Cola – let’s call it Coke (because Coke is also ironically the common name for coking coal) has cornered the Cola Market. So the government preferring Pepsi steps in and legislates the following:-

      For every case of Coke produced (not sold) they must pay Pepsi for the equivalent cost of 2 Cases of Coke. But Pepsi doesn’t have to produce anything for Coke, they just hand over a “certificate” saying Coke may produce their case of Coke.

      In addition, Coke is prohibited legislatively from selling any Coke until Pepsi, primed with all the cash being handed over from Coke completely runs out of pepsi.

      Finally, No-one actually likes pepsi, so the government mandates that all cola shall be generically packaged so that no-one can actually specify that they want Coke and not Pepsi

      Remembering that Coke pays twice the cost of a carton of Coke to Pepsi and still has to pay for production of that case of Coke, the Cost of Coke is multiplied by 3, which of course means Pepsi, the competitor Coke is funding, is also able to charge a similar price but has market priority, So not only does competitor Pepsi get the cash from Coke, it’s also able to charge 3 times the normal rate for it’s own product and guarantee that it gets sold. Wholesalers and Retailers add in their margins which are based on the production price, adding 50% each, so the wholesale price is now 4.5 times production cost and the retail price is 6.75 times production cost. Even so Coke only ever sees the profit margin on one carton of Coke – say 10%, Pepsi on the other hand makes it’s 10% plus 2 Units of Subsidy from Coke and 2 units from being able to mark up it’s product by 200% a total of 410% – Who would you rather be, Coke or Pepsi

      Now substitute coal electricity at a production cost of 4c per KWh for Coke and note that 6.75 x 4 is 27c per Kwh which is ironically what retail Electricity costs in Australia.

      This whole scheme has one business subsidizing its competitors like this – If the government did this to CocaCola would it even be legal?, yet we blindly accept that the exact same scheme is just dandy when the targeted business is coal fired electricity generators.

      00

  • #
    Michael Reed

    Well I keep saying this but our economy can only suffer so many hits under normal
    conditions .When the resources boom was riding high national government receipts
    were very healthy no one cared.So now within the space of 10 years we have a blowout of 753 billion
    dolllars.All this means that by continuing to follow ridiculous economic green ideology via
    wind and solar and stupid emissions targets politicians have definitely set Australia up for
    at the very best recession.For decades we have been told that we are connected to world
    economy and that our fortunes always will be affected by it.Well that now is immediately not
    true .The damage to our economy is real.We are now no “lucky country ” that luck has all
    run out.Both major political parties in this country are responsible for this mess especially
    through through their green virtue signaling and gleefully signing up to the Paris agreement.
    And so where to from here we’ll it looks like more of the same with increased green’s fairy technology,you’d have to laugh if this wasn’t all true.Well I’ll say it again ( like a domino effect)
    inevitable business closures then increased unemployment then increased mortgage defaults
    then the bubble of the housing market collapse.Its all there and plain to see but now it is really
    only a matter of time sad fact is that this mess is really in no way connected to the world economy
    Cheers Mike

    70

    • #
      el gordo

      Retail shop business will continue to decline, because of Amazon, but I think the employment figures look healthy going forward.

      With interest rates so low I don’t see a massive increase in defaults. The housing market in Sydney and Melbourne had become bubbles. but the Reserve pulled the banks into line and coincidently Beijing imposed tighter financial restrictions on the amount of money leaving China.

      This level of cooperation has cooled the market.

      00

  • #
    pat

    maybe the Greens should be offering public holidays for days when the “unreliables” fail!

    3 Nov: ABC: Robyn Ironside: Queensland election: Greens flag public holidays for Origin III and International Women’s Day
    Public holidays on the third State of Origin match and International Women’s Day are being placed on the table by the Greens as they seek to win at least one seat in the Queensland Parliament…
    It comes a day after the party announced adults would only pay $1 for public transport journeys under its transport policy.
    A National Parks holiday would be one of the four proposed by the party, as well as a day of significance for First Nations communities…

    Greens Maiwar candidate Michael Berkman said Queenslanders deserved a break.
    “Four extra public holidays would mean millions of Queensland workers get a chance for a day off,” Mr Berkman said.
    “Every day Queenslanders are working longer and harder while wages are stagnant and corporate profits soar.”
    There are currently 12 public holidays a year in Queensland. Most other states also have 12, except for Victoria which has 13.
    Berkman: “This is about ensuring everyone can enjoy more time with loved ones, volunteering or building community.
    “Australian workers won the five-day working week and the eight-hour day. Since the 1970s, we’ve gone backwards.”
    “At least one would fall between the Queen’s Birthday in early October and Christmas Day, December 25 where there are currently no public holidays at all,” Mr Berkman said…

    FINALLY
    ‘More loopy policies from a loopy party’…READ ON
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-03/queensland-election-origin-3-and-womens-day-public-holiday-call/9114572

    Labor get to interrupt early on in this piece:

    3 Nov: ABC: Chris O’Brien: Queensland election: LNP promises to get new regional dams built
    “We will fund and complete the planning and Environmental Impact Studies for Urannah, Nullinga and the Burdekin Falls Dam projects to get them shovel-ready.”
    (INTERRUPTED BY) But Labor said funding the dam plan would mean cutting services in other areas.
    Mr Nicholls said the Rookwood Weir was ready for construction now.
    “We will also upgrade the Haughton Channel in Townsville and duplicate the Ross River Dam Pipeline,” he said…

    ‘Dams will come at the expense of other services’
    Health Minister Cameron Dick said the LNP needed to explain how it planned to fund its dam network…
    “The only way that Tim Nicholls could fund this dams project is either by cutting jobs and services or by selling assets.”…ETC ETC
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-03/queensland-election-lnp-to-get-new-queensland-dams-built/9113656

    00

    • #
      OldGreyGuy

      You can promise anything Pat if you are not likely to be elected.

      Surprises me that they aren’t calling for the 4 day work week and free pony rides for everyone.

      30

  • #
    pat

    2 Nov: ABC: What’s wrong with being ‘fair and balanced’?
    By Alan Sunderland
    (Alan Sunderland is the ABC’s head of editorial policy, having previously worked as the head of policy and staff development with ABC News. A journalist for 32 years, he began as an ABC cadet in 1979 before spending more than 20 years as an on-the-road reporter with the ABC and SBS. His experience includes five years as political editor with SBS in Canberra, and two Walkley Awards for news reporting. He returned to the ABC, and to news management, in 2005.)

    The ABC has been in the news a bit lately, not least because there is a push underway to make sure our journalism is fair and balanced.
    In fact, there is even a proposed law to that effect before our Federal Parliament.
    So what could possibly be wrong with such a simple and admirable idea? Surely, all media should aim to be fair and balanced in the way they report the news?
    Well, let me try to tell you exactly what’s wrong with it…

    When it comes to “fair and honest dealing”, we explain it is essential to maintaining trust with audiences and those who participate in our programs, but we also explain that sometimes deception or the breach of an undertaking might be justified in the public interest.
    When it comes to “balance”, we explain very carefully that “impartiality does not require that every perspective receives equal time” but that one of the hallmarks of good journalism is balance that “follows the weight of evidence”.
    This last point is crucial in understanding why journalists don’t just switch off their brains and provide equal time for every voice on every issue…

    Avoiding false balance
    In short, “fairness” and “balance” are not and never have been recognised standards of objective journalism. They can be helpful indicators of impartiality and accuracy, but only if they are put in the right context and used wisely. In other words, if something is “accurate and impartial” it will always meet the recognised standards of objective journalism. If it is fair and balanced, it might not…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-02/whats-wrong-with-being-fair-and-balanced/9111234

    following is given another two hours of ABC, taxpayer-funded air-time(with repeat) this week. Paul Barclay repeatedly refers to “social researcher and author” Rebecca Huntley, see comment #19 at jo’s thread – http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/unusual-pacific-cooling-means-la-nina-is-now-a-possibility/ -
    for all of Huntley’s ABC/Guardian links, etc which Barclay doesn’t mention.

    2 Nov: ABC Big Ideas: Lucky country?
    Social researcher, Rebecca Huntley says that, based on her research, Australians still believe they live in the ‘lucky’ country, even if things are not perfect. Rebecca Huntley speaks to Paul Barclay
    Recorded at Avid Reader in Brisbane on 3 March 2017.
    Original broadcast was on 13 March 2017.
    Presenter: Paul Barclay

    Barclay is worried for his children, re home affordability, job security and climate change. in SE Qld this past Summer, he says, every single day was HOT.
    later asks Huntley about milennials – funny, they all care about the same three issues. Huntley says all Australians are concerned about climate change and want to transition to “renewables”.
    the entire interview follows ABC’s agenda, but Huntley says she doesn’t decide the topics people talk about. Trump mentioned throughout. conservatives politicians mentioned disparagingly.

    another great Huntley ABC moment:

    23 Jul: ABC Future Tense: How to make spaghetti bolognese
    Social researcher and author Rebecca Huntley uses the recipe for this very popular and accessible dish to highlight the varied threats to our future food supply from global climate change.
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/how-to-make-spaghetti-bolognese/8652644

    00

  • #
    ROM

    So what happens to solar parks after the owners and promoters move on or maybe they don’t and just keep collecting the subsidies anyhow.

    In short who checks that a solar farm is still operating and generating power to justify the payment of the subsidies it is eligible for and makes claims on ?

    Nov 30 / 2009. —Ballarat Solar Park Is 14,993 Square Metres Of Solar Goodness

    This 8 year old, so called Solar Park on Ballarat aerodrome is overgrown and completely decrepit and it has been in this state for some 3 or 4 or more years past.

    It certainly doesn’t appear to be operational in any way for the last few years whenever I have driven past it only a few metres away whenever I have called in an a friend who has a repair business on Ballarat Aerodrome.
    Or if it is operational [ with waist high grass , out of alignment panels, some cracked and broken panels and etc, ] then the amount of power it is producing is merely a token amount.

    It would be interesting to find out if the owners / promoters / investors of this debacle of a decrepit, overgrown probably no longer functioning solar plant are still collecting their subsidy monies.

    So who checks and regularly surveys solar plants and renewable energy installations, particularly the small scale commercial units such as at Ballarat Aerodrome to see if they are operational and generating power as per their claimed numbers to justify their subsidies.?

    The room for a fairly large scale Spanish type renewable energy f—-d system is wide open here in Australia.

    31

  • #
    David Maddison

    I posted this on the previous thread but it was late and not many people might have seen it.

    I would appreciate it if you find any errors and also could someone please explain how the RECs apply to this scheme.

    Thanks.

    So Zen Energy is going to build a power station for the Whyalla Steelworks…

    https://amp.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/31/whyalla-steelworks-to-be-powered-by-700m-solar-battery-and-pumped-hydro-project

    ///////It includes 200MW of photovoltaic solar panels, a 100MW/100MWh battery storage facility at Port Augusta, 120MW/600MWH pumped hydro storage facility in a disused mining pit in the Middleback Ranges and 100MW of demand response at the Arrium steelworks and other industrial sites.//////

    So for $700 million you get:

    200MW solar = a real 40MW

    Hydro = 120MW for 5hrs or 25MW for 24hrs if you can find power to pump the water.

    A BIG BATTERY 100MW, I am guess similar to the other SA battery, say 100 MWhrs or 4MW for 24hrs.

    If the hydro and battery were charged you could get 69MW for 24hrs. But to recharge the dam and battery the solar would be fully consumed for almost 18 days just recharging them for another 24hrs.

    It doesn’t make sense.

    For that amount of money you could probably build a proper 500-1000MW power station running on coal or gas.

    In other words the effective around the clock output from this “power station” is 4MW. For comparison there is a 2.5MW diesel genset on Ebay for US$750,000.

    I gather the 100MW of “demand response” is what the Lefties have come to call a “virtual power station”. It means 100MW of load shedding on demand…

    61

    • #
      sophocles

      Okay, David, Follow The Money:
      1 Who is paid?
      2a How much?
      2b how often?
      2c are they in another country?
      3 Are the contracts secret?

      That will make a lot more sense than figures which cannot add up. Those figures are meant to sound good, look good and make everyone who can’t or won’t do simple arithmetic feel good. Turn your Bunkum/Baloney Detector on and look deep.

      50

    • #
      RickWill

      All this power will flow into and out of the NEM.

      A battery alone in SA could make money on the daily arbitrage. Set a range so it charges if wholesale price is below say $30 and send it out if price is above $140. So the battery could earn at least $50M over a 5000 cycle life.

      All the solar generation will earn LGCs.

      The pumped storage can also make use of the daily arbitrage but at wider settings. Say capacity used 200 days per year with margin of $100/MWh. That equates to $2.4M pa.

      It would not make sense as a stand alone system to supply a set base load however it could make money at the expense of other consumers. It changes the steelworks from a dumb consumer to a smart prosumer.

      The solar alone could earn around $25M annually just in LCGs. The wholesale value of the power will be around $30M annually.

      An annual return of about $50M for an investment of $700M in not too bad. The fact that it ties into the steelworks may mean the solar plant has scheduling priority as well. It will be one of the first generators to offer some level of buffered supply that does not involve fossil fuel. I expect the SA government will assist as well.

      10

  • #
    RickWill

    As SA begins to appreciate the scale of overbuild required to get some semblance of reliable output from wind and solar, they recognise they need to spend much more.

    You can register for the next big energy summit in SA:
    https://www.solar.org.au/solar-events/summits/#featured
    You will learn how the next $8.4bn will be spent to chase down the next few percent of market share.

    I wonder what the annual saving in gas will be after spending another $8.4bn on wind and solar?

    40

  • #
    pat

    comment in moderation re: 2 Nov: ABC: What’s wrong with being ‘fair and balanced’?

    surprised to find this on Politico:

    30 Oct: Politico: Sara Stefanini: Europe’s energy realities bite into climate spin
    Germany, the host of the climate conference, vividly illustrates difficulties encountered by self-styled green pioneers.
    International climate negotiators who want a firsthand look at the difficulty of cutting greenhouse gases ought to visit the German town of Neurath, which lies just 60 kilometers from Bonn, where they meet this month to hammer out rules to limit global warming.
    There they’ll find the smokestacks of a 4.4-gigawatt power station that burns lignite — the dirtiest form of coal — to generate electricity, and pumps out 33 million tons of carbon dioxide a year as a byproduct, making it the second-most polluting plant in the EU.
    Neurath doesn’t fit in the story Germany likes to tell itself and the rest of the world: that it’s an exemplar of dealing with climate change thanks to its ambitious plan to end reliance on nuclear and fossil fuels and embrace green power, a policy that most Germans simply know by the name Energiewende.

    The power station illustrates how politically and economically difficult it is to implement policies to shift toward renewable sources of energy. If one of the world’s wealthiest and self-proclaimed greenest countries is running into problems, the message it sends to the delegations in Bonn is a depressing one…

    Then at next year’s summit in Katowice, Poland, they’re supposed to take stock of progress and pressure countries to go further. As it happens, Katowice is Poland’s coal capital and sits 150 kilometers south of the lignite-fired Bełchatów power plant, Europe’s top polluter…

    Germany is struggling to quit coal and combustion engines and other member countries are pushing to weaken climate policies to protect dominant old industries like coal in Poland and forestry in Finland…
    Germany shows the gap between promises and performance. The country’s carbon dioxide emissions went up by 1.2 percent in the first half of this year, with increases from lignite, natural gas and transport fuels, especially diesel, German think tanks reported in August. It’s now on track to fall short of its self-imposed goal to cut emissions by 40 percent by 2020, reaching 27.6 percent in 2016…

    Europe’s largest economy has found the shifting to renewable energy more difficult and expensive for several reasons, both political and technical. Germany lacks transmission lines to get wind power that’s mostly up north to the industrial centers in south, and hasn’t properly started to build that infrastructure. The supply of wind, solar and hydro energy rises and falls with the weather, and the technology to store such electricity remains in the early stages.
    Coal is a cheap and plentiful source for backup power generation, especially in countries with strong mining sectors like Germany…
    https://www.politico.eu/article/europes-energy-realities-bite-into-climate-spin/

    30

  • #
    pat

    3 Nov: Bloomberg: Tax Quibble Stalls India Solar Cargoes, Delaying Projects
    By Anindya Upadhyay, Rajesh Kumar Singh, and Shruti Srivastava
    Several solar projects in India are facing delays and inflated costs as customs officials have blocked more than 900 containers of panel shipments for more than a month by demanding higher import duties.
    Officials clearing import shipments at the Port of Chennai in South India are classifying solar panels as motors, which attract 7.5 percent import duty as opposed to zero on solar modules, said Sunil Jain, chief executive officer of Hero Future Energies Ltd., a company backed by International Finance Corp. A 30-megawatt shipment of Hero Future was cleared after paying higher duties, he said.
    “These additional costs aren’t anticipated when we bid for projects,” Jain said…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-02/tax-dispute-stalls-india-solar-panel-cargoes-delaying-projects

    1 Nov: Reuters: Russia’s Rosneft, Iran’s NIOC agree to team up on oil and gas projects worth $30 billion
    by Denis Pinchuk; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin
    “We are talking about several oil and gas fields, which we will develop with our partners,” Sechin told reporters, adding that Rosneft has invited Iran to develop offshore and other projects in Russia.
    The spat risks imperiling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of installing 100 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022…

    The industry has the option to approach a tribunal after an investigation is complete and an order is passed, a customs official said, asking to not be identified. The tax department contends that the shipment will attract higher tariff as it contains fitments apart from panels that can power other appliances…
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-iran-oil/russias-rosneft-irans-nioc-eye-30-billion-in-oil-and-gas-projects-idUSKBN1D14P6

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      pat

      the following should be in the Bloomberg India/solar piece, not in the Russia/Iran Reuters piece.
      these excerpts follow on from where it says “Jain said…”

      The spat risks imperiling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of installing 100 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022…

      The industry has the option to approach a tribunal after an investigation is complete and an order is passed, a customs official said, asking to not be identified. The tax department contends that the shipment will attract higher tariff as it contains fitments apart from panels that can power other appliances…

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    pat

    3 Nov: HindustanTimes: Clean coal, not solar, is the silver bullet for India’s carbon emission reduction
    (Vrishab Prakash is pursuing an executive MBA at the Management Development Institute (MDI); Sajal Ghosh is associate professor at MDI)
    Analysis shows that it costs Rs. 875 to reduce a tonne of CO2 emission when power is generated by ultra-supercritical power plants instead of subcritical plants while it costs Rs. 2,624 (AUD 52.909) to reduce a tonne of CO2 emission when power is generated by (solar photovoltaic) SPV plants instead of subcritical plants. Thus, an ultra supercritical power plant has a CO2 avoidance cost which is almost Rs. 1,748 per tonne of CO2 cheaper than an SPV plant. The divergence would have been even greater had we incorporated the mammoth hidden costs for SPV of land acquisition, keeping coal-based power plants idle during sunny days, construction of green corridors for evacuation of solar power, grid instability and e-waste disposal…

    According to the data released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), in the year 2014 – 2015, total CO2 emission by power plants was 805.4 million tones and it is increasing by approx 7% on year to year basis. To reduce CO2 emissions substantially, 50% of existing subcritical plants can be replaced by highly efficient ultra- supercritical plants. By doing this, the government can save up to Rs. 25,000 crores as compared to the equivalent reduction of CO2 emission by SPV power plants.

    This calculation also supports the views of Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser to the government, who has categorically asserted that the social cost of renewables is far greater than that of thermal power for India – he has even called for a global alliance to promote clean coal. Minister Piyush Goyal at the FICCI summit on climate change also agreed that it makes more sense to invest in supercritical and ultra-supercritical technology and replace old coal-based subcritical thermal plants in India’s pursuit of its Paris commitments on climate change…

    Further, India’s solar programme is heavily dependent on imports. In 2015-16, India imported $2.34 billion worth of solar cells, out of which 83.61% were from China…READ ALL
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/clean-coal-not-solar-is-the-silver-bullet-for-india-s-carbon-emission-reduction/story-sFrmX8H7MbfpcRIGXTMP6H.html

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    RAH

    Just wondering if you have a traditional tornado season down under?

    We here in the US are now into our “second season”. Everyone knows about our spring season but we also have one this time of year. As old man winter pushes south with a powerful jet stream dipping down the cold air coming out of the NW is colliding with the warm moist air coming off the Gulf of Mexico in the SE. I live near Indianapolis and we have a good potential for severe weather this Sunday. This time of year tornado formation during the hours of darkness is more common than during the spring. So far this year the tornado count in the US is running about at the average on the adjusted scale.

    All indications are that we in the great lakes, Midwest, and North east regions are in for the coldest and snowiest winter we’ve had since the winter of 2012-13. Can’t wait for the “experts” to tell me it is all due to “climate change”.

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    Dave Ward

    Just an observation on the earlier comments such as:

    Most advanced medical equipment requires a constant mains voltage, with a consistent and reliable mains frequency. Such electrical supplies can be found in hospitals, because they generally have their own standby generators

    Unless the management of such sites really want to risk expensive litigation they will specify UPS systems to supply those “critical” services. If a surgeon is in the middle of open heart surgery even a split second interruption of power is potentially life threatening. A standby generator will take several seconds to kick in, so is no help in this scenario. This has always been the case, even when supply interruptions were rare. If the Greens get their way those UPS’s are likely to get a LOT more use, and one would hope that their operating duration will be looked at more closely – as numerous comments have mentioned, batteries take time to re-charge after use.

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      Roy Hogue

      As a longtime user of UPS equipment I have to say they were very hard on batteries. I could get a reliable life of about 2 years out of batteries rated for 3 years average life. And anything suitable for the needs of a hospital OR would need to provide a lot more power than the commercial units I used to protect several PCs from trouble. In the end I was wondering if they were worth the trouble and the rather expensive lead-acid gel batteries.

      Most power interruptions were a second or 2 and most PCs can stand loss of power for as much as 4 seconds without going down. That depends on the power supply of course. But, still, I run 2 machines here at home without backup power and I have yet to actually lose anything running without a UPS to keep me safe. Frequent backup is the best safety device in the world.

      I have no idea what the UPS needed for a hospital OR might cost or what battery technology it uses but I would hope it’s not the gel type but real lead-acid batteries. And even there the lifetime is not exactly sterling even though it’s better than the gel batteries. From reading about the electrical systems on diesel-electric submarines I’m convinced that there’s a considerable maintenance job to keep battery backup power available and reliable. Most car batteries are simply used without checking the electrolyte level or adding water because you run the risk of putting in contaminants every time you open a cell. They go until they won’t crank the engine at which time they get replaced.

      But that kind of operation won’t do it for a hospital. I suppose a they have little choice but to provide the backup for critical needs but it’s a messy thing at best to rely on lead-acid batteries — or any batteries.

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        Nickel iron cells for durability.

        They’re not much good in terms of recovery efficiency or holding charge, but they do last for decades and are still popular in applications where they can be continuously on charge when not needed and where the low storage density is not an issue.

        Hospitals and other installations would use that to maintain electrical power while their standby generators are coming up to speed. i.e. capacity is sufficient to keep critical systems running for minutes, not hours.

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    Variability of insolation at a particular location is quite high. Here’s a scatter diagram for Medina, Western Australia; and a chart of the number of consecutive dull days where insolation was substantially (one standard deviation) below the mean at the same location. Daily variability is around 30:1. Seasonal variability 10:1, especially in winter, when minimum output is lowest.

    The reliability/availability of conventional electrical grid supply is orders of magnitude better than what could be achieved by solar power. The expense of required over-capacity to maintain reserves over 5 to 15 consecutive days of little sunshine makes PV unviable for anything but niche, low-power applications. Battery storage for more than one day’s requirements is beyond the budget of most people. Indeed, those responsibly offering true off-grid solar systems, specify backup generators to be used during such periods.

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    Dennis

    #9.2.2.1 still in moderation?

    Thank you

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    Antoine D'Arche

    is there a website that tracks cloudy vs sunny days, parts thereof etc? TIA

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