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Welcome to renewables world: Australia plans for blackouts, throws billions of dollars, but ABC says it will get “cheaper”

The fear is palpable

How much fun can you have living in a global experiment?  In Australia, peak summer is about to hit in a post-Hazelwood-electricity-grid.  There’s a suite of committee reports as summer ramps up. Everyday there’s another Grid story in the press, and a major effort going on to avoid a meltdown.  Minister Josh Frydenberg announced today that “we’ve done everything possible to prevent mass blackouts”. Or as he calls it, a repeat of the South Australian Horror Show.   Politicians are so afraid of another SA-style-system-black that they are throwing money: The “Snowy Hydro Battery” will be another $2 billion. Whatever. It’s other people’s money.

This is what they are afraid of:

The red bars mean “Reserve Shortfall”. The dark blue matter is “Generation”. The graph covers two years (sorry about the quality) so the two red bursts are summer 2018 and summer 2019.

SA MEdium Term Forecast, Outlook, AEMO, Mt PASA. Australian national electricity market, 2017, South Australia, Graph.

SA Medium Term Forecast, Outlook, AEMO, Nov 16th 2017, South Australia.

Oddly we are headed for a critical time, but this’s the most recent graph I can find  — thanks to Wattclarity –  from November 16th, 2017. (Here’s an earlier version from March 2017. and from Dec 2016). Perhaps there is a newer kinder forecast, but curiously the AEMO Medium Term Outloook page isn’t working “til early 2018″. Hmm? Odd time to take it down.

The words in that top box (rewritten below*) indicate they do a new outlook every two weeks, but I can’t find one on the Wayback Machine, or Google Cache. Perhaps you can? Please let me know.

Australian electricity prices forecast to rise and fall at the same time

The ABC tells us prices look set to fall:

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AMEC) said the price drop will happen as variable wind and solar generation comes online, which is paid for by the Government’s Renewable Energy Target.

Notice how in the government funded ABC, “the Government” appears to pay for many things, almost like it generates income? More accurately, the Government’s Renewable Energy Target forces customers to pay more for electricity from coal and gas producers, which in turn, give that to the intermittent generators.

Nationally, prices rose almost 11 per cent this year, but with the extra supply from wind and solar, the commission predicts that will be offset by a 12 per cent fall over the following two years.

Eleven percent? Twelve percent? Praise the error bars!

Always, always, the cheap electricity is coming. Soon.

The world is full of paradoxes. Everyone is paying more for electricity yet the cheapest generators are going out of business

Wholesale electricity prices in Australia are higher than ever and headed for the sun, averaging in the $100/MWh range. Yet the AMEC report somehow found “that over time, low wholesale prices contributed to the closure of coal-fired plants”.  Could it be that the gap between the reality of the wholesale prices the retailers pay and the wholesale prices the coal plants receive has something to do with the LRET (Renewable Energy Target) which is currently around $85MW/h?

While government groups are forecasting cheaper prices, the people betting on future prices and markets are forecasting more profits ahead and higher prices. Who to believe?

Seems the more free energy we get from the wind and sun, the higher the prices rise.

Ten days ago a Goldman Sachs report warned that people are underestimating the future price rises coming in Australia.

NSW and Victorian wholesale power prices are set to rise as much as 50 per cent in coming years, boosting profits at energy giants AGL and Origin, as peaking power that requires high prices to start is increasingly required to back up renewables.

This is the view of analysts at investment bank Goldman Sachs, who say a recent softening in electricity futures prices is underestimating a coming price shock by 20-30 per cent, even if the National Energy Guarantee is put in place. “We forecast wholesale electricity prices will rebound towards a new peak of between $120 and $130 per megawatt hour,” Goldman Sachs analyst Baden Moore said in a note to clients.

In South Australia, prices are forecast to average $150, while in Queensland, which has state-owned coal generators, prices are forecast to fall to about $50.                                                                                              — Matt Chambers, The Australian, December 12th, 2017

GoldMan upgraded the profit forecast for AGL and Origin.

Forecast prices on the Australian National Grid

Forecast prices on the Australian National Grid

StopTheseThings argues that Australia’s Energy Transition is leaving 42,000 families in Abject Energy Poverty. (Despite that suffering, it must be reassuring to know that thanks to the energy “transition”, storms will be slower in 2100. )

Sydneysiders are being warned of chaos, unprepared for a blackout

The Energy Security Taskforce Report is chaired by NSW chief scientist Mary O’Kane. Today it is getting headlines:

Up to 10,000 Sydney commuters on underground trains would have to be evacuated, surface roads would be gridlocked and ferries may have to move ­people out of the CBD in the event of a “black’’ power event of the type that hit South Australia last year. — Sid Maher, The Australian

Meanwhile, public hospitals only have six hours worth of fuel in their back-up diesel generators, the report found. — news.com.au

The NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin says a lblack system event is highly unlikely because the last one occurred in 1964:

Mr Harwin played down the possibility of a black event. “NSW has not been subject to a black event for 53 years — so it is highly unlikely that such an event will occur.

Are you feeling reassured?

That’s possibly 9 – 15 hours without power in a city of five million people:

It [the Energy Security Taskforce report] said anecdotal evidence suggested that in a black system Sydney would be without power for at least nine to 15 hours, probably longer, and would be one of the last parts of the state to have power restored to customers. This was because the Sydney CBD physically lay at the edges of the network in relation to the main generators.

The same article goes on to point out that there are no planned communications mechanisms for a black system, though the RBA, ASX, and banks would cope because they “had structured their communications platforms so that they were not reliant on the National Broadband Network [NBN] and would still be operational during a blackout.”

Our newspapers are going into the gory detail of blackouts in our largest city:

NBN equipment would not operate in a blackout but customers with fibre to the premises and a power supply with battery pack-up would be able to operate their devices for approximately five hours. Houses with fibre to the node, fibre to the building, cable and fixed wireless would not have operable internet or phones. The report said public hospitals in NSW had back-up diesel gener­ators but fuel would need to be ­delivered within six hours.

Perhaps someone can explain to me again why we are spending $74 billion on the NBN? And if you are admitted to hospital in Sydney, perhaps bring some diesel with you — just in case the backup trucks don’t get there in time.

One way to hopefully prevent a blackout is to manually load shed. Which is the nice term for deliberate blackouts –but  note the costs:

There were “significant gaps in knowledge, preparation and planning for black system event in NSW’’ and costs could be as much as $136 million for every 200MW of load shed in the CBD for four hours.

The NSW Grid uses around 9,000MW (or more). The $136m cost mentioned above is for 200MW for four hours. If things really go pear-shaped, open the vault doors and watch money exit at light speed.

Toss another $4b at the problem created by renewables?

If energy is not stored in fossil fuel form, the alternate storage methods are, breathe, expensive. We thought the big Snowy Hydro battery was expensive, but it’s suddenly twice the price:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s much-hyped ‘Snowy 2.0′ expansion has been given the green light, however the scheme could cost 125 per cent more than first thought and won’t be switched on for at least six years.

The expansion had a tentative price tag of $2 billion, however new documents show the cost could actually end up as high as $4.5 billion - not including the estimated $2 billion also needed to upgrade transmissions lines from the mountains into Sydney and Melbourne.

For this kind of money we could start talking about actual generators like USC  coal plants or nuclear plants, things that Indonesia already has or is planning to get. The Snowy pumped battery uses energy to push water uphill, so it can get some of that energy back later. (That’s another story for another day).

Finally we find out the Basslink Interconnector Cable broke because it was run “too hot”:

Tasmanian Hydro, Basslink. Logo.

….

It was one of the most spectacular debacles in the world of modern electrical grids. Basslink is the underwater interconnector between Tasmania (home of Hydropower) and Victoria (former Brown Coal king of Australia, but “transitioning” to unreliables fast). When the cable broke in December 2015, it cost Tasmanians $560m, took 5 months to repair. They had ran their low dams down to get rich selling “low carbon” electricity to Victoria, but shut their last gas plant only a few months before. An El Nino was running, so their low dams weren’t restocked until May or June. In the meantime they flew diesel engines across en masse to keep the lights on. The whole episode was capped off by the incident where Tas Hydro saw a major storm coming, with flood warnings and decided it was a good time to try cloud seeding. Greed anyone?

The Basslink Cable was supposed to allow 630MW of energy to go back and forth, but according to Tas Hydro can only deal with 500MW.

“BPL believed its cable could safely and reliably operate at 630MW for extended periods without overheating the copper and insulation and causing an unreasonable likelihood of failure,” Mr Davy said.

“Unfortunately, they were wrong. The expert reports note that the cable, as designed and constructed, cannot meet the minimum operating requirements.”

There goes another 130MW Victoria was hoping to use in peak hours over summer:

“Victorians have been expecting to rely on 630MW of peak power over summer, and if that’s reduced to 500MW that will have significant impacts on how Victoria sources that power on the hot days of summer,” he said.

____________________________

Words in the top box of the AEMO Medium Term Outlook.

* The Mt PASA Process is run at least once a a week and provides a reserve  forecast for the next two years. The  graph below provides a summary
of the latest MTPASA results for the next two years for QLD, NSW, VIC, SA and TAS  regions. These graphs are updated each release of the public MTPASA results.

h/t Dave B, Pat.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.1/10 (69 votes cast)
Welcome to renewables world: Australia plans for blackouts, throws billions of dollars, but ABC says it will get "cheaper", 9.1 out of 10 based on 69 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/y8f8ko8k

193 comments to Welcome to renewables world: Australia plans for blackouts, throws billions of dollars, but ABC says it will get “cheaper”

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘Are you feeling reassured?’

    One in five households leave the air conditioning on when they go off to work, they are unconcerned.

    91

    • #
      PeterS

      That reminds me. Last week I was going out for a short while with a friend and he said I should turn off the aircon. I said why? He said to conserve energy. I then said what for? He was baffled. I should have continued the discussion and told him the obvious. It was to keep the place cool – that’s what aircons are for you silly child.

      274

    • #
      Hanrahan

      I’m in Townsville and seldom run my aircons. Admittedly I have a house on a rise and designed in the “Queenslander” style and while I don’t deliberately leave ground level windows open at night there are no repercussions if I do. My ceiling fans work overtime though.

      Are such fans routinely installed in southern houses? They should be.

      190

      • #
        PeterS

        Many people don’t mind the heat and humidity. Many people do. It’s not just about personal preference. I and some of my relatives and friends sweat profusely in environments of high temperature and humidity. I would hate to live in a place like Townsville without aitconditioning. If I didn’t have it I would have to have a shower and change of clothes several times a day in summer. I stayed at Houston, Texas for a while and I couldn’t bear it most of the time. At least they had air conditioning everywhere even with the doors wide open at the shopping villages so as one walks out of one shop and into another it’s still cool on the immediate outside even on a very hot day.

        110

        • #
          Annie

          I find humid heat almost unbearable and would never move to Queensland…a winter visit maybe. Some people are made such that aircon is the only way they can cope. We will put it on gently and not too cool in hot weather but leave it on if we go out for a while…that is surely better than leaving it off and coming back to a dreadful heat box and then having the poor old machine going at full blast to try to cool the place. I would have thought that in the long run it is actually a more efficient use of electricity?

          100

          • #
            Hanrahan

            “…that is surely better than leaving it off and coming back to a dreadful heat box ”

            But a house built in the tropics should not be a “heat box”, it should cool rapidly. A “Queenslander” is elevated on stumps, timber floors and frames, weatherboard cladding and insulated iron roof, pitched on all sides with gutters all round. [This is part of cyclone-proofing your house.] But OH&S makes the cost of building off the ground prohibitive and green anti-logging stance makes timber costly when compared with masonry block, thus most new homes are masonry block on a concrete slab which DO take time to cool.

            Once you know how to live in the tropics things become easier. That said, I accept that some just can’t handle the heat. Me? Hate wet southern winters. :)

            71

      • #
        yarpos

        We have both (a/c and fans) and on hot days run both. We are subject to blasts of very hot weather, that usually last less than a week rather than months of steamy, relentless moderate heat (parents in Innisfail).

        70

  • #
    PeterS

    What happens when matter and antimatter collide? They annihilate each other and a lot of energy is released. Perhaps that’s what Australia is thinking it’s doing. Perhaps CSIRO got a little confused and didn’t explain the Physics properly to the government that the law of conservation of energy still applies.

    111

  • #
    Hivemind

    If Victoriastan is starting 130 MW short, what are the odds that they will want to share with South Australia when everybody is running their aircon?

    Not bloody likely.

    221

  • #

    I wonder if any of the lessons from the 2003 North eastern American blackouts have been forgotten? Like “A lot of people have conjectured that if we could have seen that the [phase] distance between generators was increasing [on August 14, 2003], we could have prevented the blackout,” https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/2003-blackout-five-years-later/

    181

    • #

      From the Report on the August 14, 2003 Blackout
      ” Under routine conditions, some IPPs provide limited reactive power because they are not required or paid to produce it; they are only paid to produce active power. (Generation of
      reactive power by a generator can require scaling back generation of active power.) Some contracts, however, compensate IPPs for following a voltage schedule set by the system operator, which requires the IPP to vary its output of reactive power as system conditions change.”
      https://www3.epa.gov/region1/npdes/merrimackstation/pdfs/ar/AR-1165.pdf
      Spinning generators can cope with a load that changes a bit in reactive phase but can solar farms cope at all? Also do wind turbines pull the phase out of whack MOST of the time?

      73

      • #
        Lance

        Siliggy, you raise an important observation and situation.

        Synchronous thermal generators ( steam turbine + alternator ) have high kinetic energy that help them maintain frequency. Their alternators can be “tweaked” by modulating the excitor to increase reactive power or to absorb it if necessary within the limits of the alternator. A good “why and how” re: reactive power, is at:
        http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jce/papers/Vol11-issue2/C01121525.pdf?id=100

        Unless the wind turbines have special inverters that mimic the inertia of a thermal plant, the wind generators are of no help in maintaining frequency. The “mimic” is called “virtual inertia”

        ” The fundamental theory, the operating range, and the modifications needed for the wind turbine to contribute to the inertial and primary frequency response during the frequency drop will be presented in this paper. ”
        https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/55335.pdf

        Voltage collapse and frequency collapse occur almost simultaneously. Automatic tap changers and reactive power injection help control system voltage. Injection of reactive power to raise transmission line voltages must occur within seconds to minutes to be of help. For practical purposes, reactive power must be injected as near to the low voltage point in the system as possible as added reactive power causes heating in the transmission lines and loses effectiveness over distances greater than, say, 100-200 km.

        The load flow analysis of the grid requires foreknowledge of the various generation capacities available, and the characteristics of the interconnecting transmission lines. For practical purposes, there can be only One designated swing generation unit to provide reactive power. This is due to the complexity of solving the math models of the system. It is unlikely that a wind plant can generate more than a few kVars of reactive power even if it were equipped to do so. When the grid needs reactive power, it needs MVars not kVars, and it needs them immediately. The designated generator changes from day to day or hour to hour, based on expected grid operation, offline maintenance of generators, etc. In other words, you must know the system and have made the plans in advance so the SysOp can manage the grid in real time. This is not something one may fix on the fly by guessing. Wind plants in general can’t help.

        Politicians and Greenies ought listen to the Electrical Power Engineers, not the wind power salesmen.

        Building the airplane while flying it is generally not a good idea.

        280

        • #

          Lance (not many of us with this name). What a great comment.
          One part I liked a lot an wonder if you know why it made me smile is

          ” For practical purposes, reactive power must be injected as near to the low voltage point in the system as possible as added reactive power causes heating in the transmission lines and loses effectiveness over distances greater than, say, 100-200 km.”

          Your comment is loaded with information that not only helps to see the complexities but helps those of us who grasp SOME of them to see how common rules of thumb can meet the extremes where they do not work well enough to explain things clearly. An example is the first of your links.
          In it we find

          “The apparent power is the maximum real power that can be delivered to a load. As Vrms and Irms are the effective
          voltage and current delivered to the load,
          Apparent power = Vrms • Irms …………..…………………… (6)”

          This rang alarm bells in my head straight away so went to have a look at what “6″ was.
          “Relationships between Voltage and Angel Stability” (benevolent celestial beings who act as intermediaries between God and powerlines?) While this is just evidence of poor proof reading apparent power is not the maximum real power that can be delivered to a load. Later on they correct this and get it well sorted in fine detail

          ” Since the current flowing through your electrical system is higher than that necessary to do the required work”

          The power factor error causes greater loss on the lines on both sides of the grid connection. So the maximum power is highest when VA is at angle zero if the load is resistive. Another rule of thumb that contradicts is “maximum power transfer occurs when input impedance matches output impedance”.
          The eyebrows went up with this also

          “The reactive power flow is minimized so as to reduce R I^2 and X I^2 losses.”

          Is this badly abbreviated or just plain old wrong? “X I^2 losses?” While it may be talking about anything from how Pythagoras gives you Z to eddy current , radiation and induced current losses etc, I doubt they ever exactly equal X I^2 None the less the document from “NIGERIA” is full of good clues to follow. Harmonics is a real good one. All this added Xc and Xl makes ringing at the wrong rate possible.

          21

        • #

          Lance Having a look at your second link the most notable thing is the stated dependence on other types of generation with the underlying assumption that wind power will only ever play a minor role.

          “The frequency response of such power systems will
          depend on many factors, including types and characteristics of
          conventional generation, their droop settings, the level of wind
          power penetration, etc.” Bold mine.

          Conventional generation remains the buck stops here part of solving the problem.

          “This short-term capability of injecting additional power into the grid makes it possible for wind power plants to participate in providing
          inertial response
          until the primary frequency control reserve of
          the power system is activated.
          ” bold mine.

          There is also much talk about what happens in the seconds after a problem and frequency change but not a lot about milli seconds and phase change. I am most concerned that it could all collapse in under 20mS and frequency is nearly not involved. Imagine parts of the grid advancing or retarding suddenly but then remaining like that at 50Hz after the step change. Phases going out of whack may quickly cause high Voltages and currents that trip things or destroy them. Not to forget that the wind speed changing rapidly or suddenly stopping confuses everything as well.

          10

      • #
        RobK

        Sil,
        It depends on the type of wind turbine. Some are inverter type, some are asynchronous. Inverter types like PV have unity Power Factor (i.e.voltage and current are in phase). This does mean that P.F. varies alot as these wander in and out of supply. Asynchronous wind works on slippage of phase just like a big three phase motor (which causes current to lag voltage), the wind turbine is an electric motor being over driven so it will try to make leading P.F. The point is it randomly changes causing poor transmission efficiency due to heating of conductors, trips breakers outside specifications and can cause lots of eddy currents etc. Synchronous generators can vary the excitation and there by correct Power Factor(reactive power)
        Asynchronous supply distorts the sine wave a bit as it slips. Inverters struggle when at full load due to little spikes and harmonics from solid state high frequency switching (usex to approximate a sine wave.

        100

        • #

          RobK thanks It is hard to get the head around the difference between the source leading the load in time with current and Voltage inphase the whole way and when the current and Voltage are out of phase. Worse when these two phase difference types are interactive. “Synchronous generators can vary the excitation and there by correct Power Factor(reactive power)” I once built a 20 KW unit for the back of a truck to produce stable 144 Volts after rectification to charge 10 12V batteries in series. Regulated this by Mosfet pulsewidth modulation of the alternator field winding. Not sure if driving it harder can correct the power factor much when the wind is a torque limit. You and Lance are getting parts of my head to function that have not worked for years.

          20

      • #
        Lance

        A good read on Frequency control with high renewables penetration.

        “Grid Inertia and Frequency Control in Power Systems With High Penetration of Renewables”

        You’ll have to search for it. The spam filter won’t let me post the link.

        do the www thing and add scribd.com/document/162660725

        90

  • #

    Sustainable Development. Nothing by accident. What creepy people want.

    201

  • #
    Tom R Hammer

    And let’s not forget Liddell. AGL is going to have the Australian taxpayer on the hook for a completely new power plant before this debacle is resolved.

    290

    • #
      Tom R Hammer

      And the prospects for the Australian economy gets worse: The US Republicans just dropped corporate tax rates to 15% to be implemented in 2019. The US is in the cusp of an economic boom and a very focused return to business competitiveness. The coal industry is coming back fast after Obama’s decimation. The demand for grid electricity supply will likely be enormous. Australia will need to do something similar or lose ground, but the empathy and will and political leadership is not there.

      322

      • #
        pat

        Tom R Hammer -

        the Republican Tax Bill cut corporate tax from 35% to 21%. have not seen anyone suggesting it was cut to 15%.

        50

        • #
          Lionell Griffith

          The tax rate for all business should be reduced to zero. Businesses don’t pay taxes, they are passed through to their customers one way or another: higher prices, reduced quality, lower quantity of goods and services for sale, fewer new goods and services, or some combination thereof.

          But…but…but how will we pay for Government. First step is to reduce spending by 90%. Second step is to eliminate all activity of Government not related to being a Just and Moral institution. The only Just and Moral Government is limited to the prosecution of violation of individual rights of its citizens by any and all domestic or foreign entities INCLUDING those commuted by itself and to provide a non-violent path to redress of grievances and contractual disputes. All to be paid for VOLUNTARILY. If you don’t pay, you don’t get the services beyond having the thugs generally kept off the streets.

          131

  • #
    TdeF

    Now the talk in Melbourne has started about closing “the most polluting power station” Loy Yang ten years early, in 2020. That’s two years away. 1000mw missing. 17% of Victoria. Along with Liddell, another 1000Mw.
    So 12% of the grid gone in 2020. If you thought AEMO was in trouble in 2019, try 2020.

    Of course we will be saved by Malcolm’s giant battery where we pay to pump water uphill.
    We will also be saved by a special law forbidding blackouts? Only a simple lawyer like Malcolm would solve problems caused by laws with yet more laws against having problems?

    390

    • #
      TdeF

      You might remember that all this started in 2001 when the Federal Government decided to pass laws controlling power and tax everyone for using ‘fossil fuel’. Prior to that, we did not have a problem. The problem is not privatisation, as the ABC would have people believe. The problem is the RET, the insane grab for people’s money to pay for windmills and solar panels, to save the people in China from our CO2. I would have thought the exact reverse was true.

      98% of the world’s CO2 comes from overseas, if we are to believe this nonsense. So why are we closing our power plants and paying the world’s highest prices for electricity? To save China? Or to buy UN privileges for Julia Gillard, Helen Clarke, Kevin Rudd and Julie Bishop. Those parties must be good.

      561

      • #
        toorightmate

        The CO2 horsesh*t has to stop.

        122

        • #
          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          This quote was in SMH Latest on Wednesday:

          “A tonne of CO₂ is a tonne of CO₂. It’s a global issue,” the council’s executive director, Miles Prosser, said.

          The first part is a truism, but useless. I suggest a mantra for us:
          “A tonne of CO2 is a tonne of plant food”, perhaps adding “so why worry”, or “so burn more coal”.

          Cheers,
          Dave B

          162

      • #
        Another Ian

        ” Those parties must be good.”

        Well they’re no doubt up market from the ones Pickering hints at on the Canberra diplomatic circuit

        20

    • #

      I think it could be much worse than you thought. LYA – 2,000 MW is about six years older than LYB – 1,000 MW so I suppose it’s the one they would close first.

      10

  • #
    Hanrahan

    Sheet does happen. Aukland central lost power for days when an UG feeder burnt up. [Corrections welcome, I am past my best :) ]

    100

    • #
      bobl

      actually that was another spectacular stuff up, according to legend those cables were supposed to be thermally derated based on soil moisture, but the controllers failed to do that and one collapsed, the load shifted to the others which promptly followed suit, they managed to save one of 4 if I recall. The excuse was they they didn’t know how to derate them and that the documentation was lost, well until they noticed the derating chart was hanging on the control room wall!

      240

    • #
      sophocles

      Are you referring to the 1998 Great Auckland Power Failure?

      This article tells it how it was.

      I was trying to make 400 days continuous up time for my desktop linux-powered computer at my employer’s offices in the CBD then. It made 392 days before that thrice-damned digger blade sliced through the last cable into Auckland … and all the lights went off and my computer went down … sigh.

      Life … a massive and continuous collection of trivial peccadilloes :-(

      50

    • #
      yarpos

      Same/similar thing happened in Central Sydney many years ago.

      50

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Parts of Newcastle lost power for over a week a couple of years ago.

      Sometime before that we had rolling one hour blackouts in the centre of the city as a test run.

      It ain’t over yet and stay away from high rise elevators.

      KK

      60

  • #
    TdeF

    At the same time the Green vote in South Australia has dropped to 6%. It’s a bit late.
    Now Labor and the Liberals are competing to shut down Australia completely. Are both major parties completely blind to what they are doing? Or is there another agenda?

    There was a time when cheap, reliable, certain and adequate electricity was a state problem, an engineering problem and a agreed necessity. Since 2001 it has been a Federal political football. Now all States are playing ball, competing to cripple their industries and get more and more hidden taxes at the council, state and Federal level. Victoria is introducing their own RET, but how it works is not yet announced.

    Tasmania spending $11Million a month on diesel generators and South Australia just admitting to something like $358? million on diesels plus running costs and another say $100Million on Musk’s battery and all the silent subsidies to keep smelters going. How much Alcoa is being paid to stay open is a State/Federal mystery but you cannot make aluminium in a country with the world’s highest electricity prices.

    Meanwhile everyone is banning gas, banning mining, vetoing funding of mining. Even the Banks are in the act. Dam building stopped half a century ago and mining is now the enemy of all Australians, despite the fact that it is our biggest source of income. Otherwise we could not afford those imported cars, clothes, solar panels, windmills, smart phones and PCs and NBN and digital cameras and diesel engines. Australia is now a manufacturing free state. Rich Malcolm, rich greens and cossetted public servants could not care less.

    541

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Until suddenly there is no more money to cosset public servants and some will be dismissed. The rest will probably stop work in protest.
      No-one saw it coming.

      230

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      As i have said before, and will say it again- there is no labor and liberal – all are globalists with the same occult Gaia worshipping australia wrecking driven agenda….

      231

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Well said.

      A couple of weeks ago I finally decided to go look at the aftermath of government electricity policies.

      Driving into the ghost of a once high tech ( for Australia ) industrial complex was heartbreaking.

      Kurri Kurri was once home to Hydro Aluminum and at the state level, it’s closure is probably the reason why subsequent state governments have not had to bother about that expensive business of building new modern, low “emission” power plants. Money saved means more money available to direct towards supporters where it will do more good in the long run.

      Stuff the 1200 former direct employees and many others employed indirectly.

      People need to understand the new paradigm.

      Politics is about getting as much as quickly as you can, and about staying in office long enough to get your government, people powered, Pension.

      We need a political upheaval.

      Remember.

      Merkel, Frydenberg, Turnbull, Gored, obama, Clinton and so on.

      All looking after the people who voted for them?

      Really?

      KK

      131

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Wanted to add that this closure does not hurt the State government much as the annual unemployment benefits payments of about $60,000,000 are met by the Federal government.

        Of course the Federal government doesn’t pay any of this; individual taxpayers have to fork out $4 p.a. to cover this.
        Not much, you say; and then we have Tomago aluminium just hanging on, waiting for the final blow. And I forgot all the unemployment in S.A. and Victoria from the end of motor vehicle manufacturing.

        Surely voters must be getting the picture?

        Government doesn’t care about you!

        KK

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    • #
      Mark Allinson

      “Or is there another agenda?”

      There is another agenda.

      00

  • #
    graphicconception

    … and banks would cope …

    That’s nice.

    You will still be able to pay your electricity bill even though you will not actually be getting any!

    170

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      All banking is electronic, based upon the availability and supply of electrons. Once we run out of electrons, or the electrons can’t get to where they need to be, the whole financial system will collapse.

      Having a piece of paper, which says, “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of …” will mean nothing, if the other side of that promissory transaction has been purloined.

      When the collapse comes, it will be swift and sure.

      51

  • #
    pat

    like the ABC, The Guardian is always keen to see Govt add further burdens on the public if, in their tiny minds, it is in the name of combatting CAGW.
    ignore all possible unintended consequences and get like-minded CAGW zealots to complain the Govt is wicked for not saving people from the fuel poverty CAGW policies caused in the first place:

    20 Dec: Guardian: Adam Vaughan: Tenants lose out after landlord pressure halves UK home insulation cap
    Plan to make landlords improve draughtiest homes and boost energy efficiency for hundreds of thousands of tenants lies in tatters, say critics
    Tenants face missing out on energy bill savings after the government caved in to landlords’ demands by lowering a cap on the costs they face to upgrade Britain’s draughtiest homes.
    Landlords must improve the energy efficiency of F- and G-rated homes from next April under new regulations designed to protect vulnerable tenants and cut carbon emissions.
    But on Tuesday the government said the costs of the upgrade would be capped at £2,500, half what officials had originally told buy-to-let landlords to expect…

    One green energy charity accused Theresa May of putting landlords’ interests ahead of tenants. Max Wakefield, a campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action, said: “The prime minister claims to be prioritising controlling domestic energy costs, but in reality policy is being designed to suit landlords.
    “Hundreds of thousands of renters will now be left wondering when, if ever, they can expect to live in a decent home.”

    But the National Landlords Association was not happy either, calling the proposal a “complete farce”. It said there was a risk landlords who still could not afford the upgrades would leave properties empty and unimproved.
    “The government clearly thinks that landlords have cash to spare, just when its own changes to landlord taxation will soon be increasing the cost of providing homes to rent,” said Richard Lambert, the group’s chief executive…

    Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat MP and the former energy minister who created the regulations, said the change undermined commitments made in the government’s recent climate change masterplan.
    “The Clean Growth Strategy said it was taking fuel poverty and [energy] efficiency seriously. This looks like that was spin and not real,” he told the Guardian.
    The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “Our proposed changes send a clear signal to landlords that they need to improve the energy efficiency of homes they’re renting out.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/dec/19/tenants-lose-out-landlord-pressure-halves-uk-home-insulation-cap

    20 Dec: BusinessGreen: Landlords to face limited upgrade bill under proposed changes to energy efficiency rules
    by Madeleine Cuff
    There are currently around 280,000 privately rented homes in England and Wales rated F or G for energy efficiency, representing around six per cent of the total private rented sector.
    The new regulations mean it will soon be illegal to rent out such properties until they are brought up to a higher ‘E’ rating, subject to a cost cap for landlords paying for the upgrades.

    The government’s impact assessment of the proposals suggests that under a cost cap of £2,500 only 30 per cent of homes rated energy efficiency level F and G would be brought up to the legal minimum standard of E by 2020. In comparison, a cost cap of £5,000 would bring 42 per cent of homes up to E or above.

    The lower cost cap will also only result in energy savings for tenants of £390m rather than £727m, the government admitted (LINK).
    Joanne Wade, chief executive of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, said the proposed cap was too low. “The alternative of a £5,000 cap would double the average energy bill savings for tenants and enable 35,000 more homes to be brought up to the minimum standard,” she argued…READ ON
    https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news-analysis/3023392/landlords-to-face-upgrade-bill-under-proposed-changes-to-energy-efficiency-rules

    51

  • #
    pat

    21 Dec: Australian: Michael Owen: South Australia’s mid-year budget update reveals diesel generators, failed bank tax costs
    The total cost of South Australia’s emergency diesel generators has been revealed as costing taxpayers more than $338 million in a mid-year budget update that also includes $370m in cuts to government agencies to replace a defeated state-based bank tax.
    But not included in the government’s $338m figure today was an extra $72.8m for contigency (including relocation) and $20.4m in estimated operating costs, taking the complete spend to $431.9m.

    South Australan Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis today delivered his final budget update before the March state election, unveiling a healthy surplus of $443m for 2016-17, $204m more than had been expected.
    But the surplus is forecast to tumble to just $12m in 2017-18 and $14m the following year, before rising again to $334m by 2020-21…
    Although the Weatherill government’s bank tax, proposed in the May budget, was defeated in parliament last month, there was an unexpected GST windfall worth an extra $348m…

    There have been months of controversy about the hidden cost of the government’s decision to lease and then buy back-up diesel generators for the next two summers, before relocating them to a central location and converting them into a permanent gas-fired “power plant”.
    Mr Koutsantonis used his budget update to reveal the total cost and breakdown, saying the cost of the generators was $227.2m while establishment and leasing costs amounted to $111.5m…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/south-australias-midyear-budget-update-reveals-diesel-generators-failed-bank-tax-costs/news-story/82a57359a07f974233118722201effb8

    51

    • #
      James

      Doesn’t South Australia use some creative accounting to claim they are in surplus? I found an article in the Australian but it was pay walled that would back me up on this. I have a hard time believing that they are in surplus!

      60

      • #
        TdeF

        The GST ‘windfall’. Both ironic and other peoples’ money. Like Tasmania, unearned income to buy Senate seats and political power for Greens and pretend conservatives like Christopher Pyne. The Turnbull/Pyne/Bishop Black Hand group in the winner’s circle have done more damage to Australia than any other covert communist group.

        The only one crying foul over the closure of Liddell is still Tony Abbott. He was removed by the Black Hand, acting on behalf of the UN as we were warned by Lord Monckton. Now they are still trying to force him out of parliament and the Liberal Party.

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  • #
    Godfrey

    When I was a lad in Brisbane in the 70s we didn’t have aircon. We knew it existed, but we didn’t have it in our homes or any homes of those we knew. We opened windows and had fans. We had mozzie nets and we sucked it up. It was by modern standards, pretty primitive.

    We are in a first world country. At the most base survival level we have trees for shade and water. We can survive. Well unless you’re old and/or sick.

    I think a good dose of a few seasons of Green energy will be good for our cause. Play the longer game – let everyone experience their failure. It needs some political backbone to point it out that voters ongoing discomfort is because of their vote. Do that along the way but plan. Keep your powder dry until this insanity ends by the people’s hands.

    191

    • #
      GreatAuntJanet

      But aren’t you worried that with the longer game, idiots just won’t remember what it was like to have reliable, cheap power? That’s how it seems with the fools who seem to think socialism/communism is a desirable thing (comrade) – apparently they haven’t been educated in what happened in countries like East Germany, USSR, Venezuela etc, and how unmarvellous their lives would become.

      91

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        My highly intelligent 16 yo neice thought Communism was cool until i said NK was communist…….

        Problem is, the young things consider it hip to be allowed to legally marry your pet donkey ( so to speak…) But parents seem to have neglected teaching tomorrows law makers and voters about Communism and its ilk.

        This is our generations RESPONSIBILITY to make sure the swamp of a leftist run “education” doesnt claim them as its own, its time to fight back…..knowledge is power…..

        50

  • #
    DonS

    Hi Jo

    I would just like to point out that not only does the new 4.5 billion dollar price tag for the Snowy-Hydro crack pot battery scheme not include costs for the upgrade of the poles and wires but does not include the cost of the “renewable” energy generators that are the whole point of this joke. How many windmills and solar panels will it take to pump enough water up a hill to cover the need for power at peak times? Without “free” renewable energy this thing will need to suck power out of the already stressed grid.

    I also note that the media reporting this story talk about the Snowy-Hydro corp as if it is a private company and how it will need to consult it’s shareholders before approving the project. The “shareholders” of the Snowy-Hydro are, the Federal government, the New South Wales state government and the Victorian state government. There seems to be a lot of dopes in the media who do not actually know the difference between private enterprise like BHP etc. and government owned businesses like the ABC, NBN Co, Snowy-Hydro corp etc..

    Sadly this is all being done under what is supposed to be a right of center government. The opposition Labour party have even more expensive loony tune schemes it wants to bankroll. Meanwhile among all the ABC environmental reports today was a story about how 30% of Australians will not be able to afford to give presents to their kids this Xmas. What a wonderfully insane country we are building.

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    • #
      yarpos

      Cant really blame them Don, they are just cut and pasting press releases. Not much in the way of thinking and journalism happens any more. Its farcical now to think of journalism as a profession, its more of a word processing admmin job.

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    • #
      David Maddison

      The enemedia and Turnbull are hyping this up as if it were new generation capacity. They don’t seem to understand that this is just another Big Battery that will represent a net power loss of 20% of what’s put into it because hydro is typically 80% efficient.

      And where is the surplus power going to come from to charge this thing? Is it an excuse to build even more windmills?

      What are the economics with respect to cost of power in, power out etc.?

      81

    • #
      Another Ian

      DonS

      There is this book

      Brad Collis “Snowy: the making of Australia”

      Unless someone pulls finger the sequel might well be

      Brad Collis “Snowy 2: the breaking of Australia”

      40

  • #
    Bob Cherba

    I’m old, American, a retired electrical engineer, and conservative. I’m constantly amazed at the scientific, cultural and economic ignorance of both electors and the elected. The majority of both in the EU, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the USA are bent on destroying our collective countries. We adopt stupid renewable energy, LGBTQ+, cultural and immigration policies that are doing far more harm than good. Governments, left and right, enact destructive policies, blame failure on capitalism, individual freedom, and everything but their policies. Then the politicians compound the problem by enacting “fixes” that only make the problems worse.

    The renewable/green power people believe the advocates of central power stations only oppose renewables because we’re greedy. They simply ignore the fact that wind and solar power are intermittent, not dispatchable, and require 100% dispatchable backup. On top of that, the politicians implement systems of renewable incentives and priorities that make it impossible to recover fossil and nuclear plant operating and maintenance costs — let alone make a profit.

    Not to worry, tho’. We’re all importing thouands of immigrants and in 30 or 40 years our descendants will be living as most of the Middle East lives today and we won’t need all this electrical power.

    462

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      I’m old, Aussie, a retiring farmer. And I see the same problems.

      In 1972, after 23 years of increasing prosperity, we elected a Labor Party to federal government. They immediately set about emptying the piggy banks, and declared that everybody was entitled to a university education, where they paid the fees. There lies the root of our problems. To graduate the greater numbers of students, they lowered the standards.

      The unis are no longer free, but the legacy of those lowered standards lasted a long time. The blind cynicism that you alluded to was not learned, it was taught. And, right now, standards in our high schools seem to be going even lower, as kids are overwhelmed by the cultural garbage being inflicted on us all, and the computer game trade.

      I am hoping that Trump can save you, because if he does he will save us too. But here at home most of the people who might save us are shut on the outer.

      Right from the time of Trump’s election, Australia has been performing above expectations. I attribute this to the confidence that Trump’s election inspired in business management beyond US borders.

      The Trump Effect!

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      • #
        el gordo

        ‘I attribute this to the confidence that Trump’s election inspired in business management beyond US borders.’

        The stock market looks healthy, but most of the impact is coming from our major trading partner.

        30

      • #
        James Bradley

        Ted,
        The reason the Labor Party declared free education and ran with the so called education revolution back in the 70′s where they created incentives for students to finish high school and continue on into gaining multiple uni degrees at tax payer expense instead of encouraging early leavers starting trades and attending TAFEs was to mask a quickly growing unemployment problem because of the Labor Party’s socialist agenda.

        142

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Perzakly.

          41

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          James, you are too kind to them. They have for nearly 45 years now been trying to prevent as many kids as they possibly can from learning to think for themselves until long after they have become adults. Brainwashing!

          100

    • #
      yarpos

      If you point out the factual,readily observed problems with what they are doing your are branded variously a denier, racist, islamaphobic,etc. Mainly because they dont have anything to come back with and name calling absolves them from having to think.

      110

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Good outline Bob.

      In all modern countries there is an infrastructure hurdle;

      The Media.

      It is inconceivable to me to imagine any voter under 40 years of age being able to make any sense of the situation while all they have to go on is the distorted media output of TV, Radio and print.

      The problem is that no single voter can be expected to know the realities of modern electricity production or the place of CO2 in the world of nature and industry; this is why we elect governments, to act on our behalf and hire the most appropriate expertise for all situations.

      The fact that they are not doing this is very deliberate and in should be seen for what it is: Tr££son.

      Welcome to the modern world where wars are no longer necessary because the elites can score more easily from within their own boundaries.

      Sound education and a free Media are lacking.
      KK

      81

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        … being able to make any sense of the situation, while all they have to go on is the distorted media output of TV, Radio and print.

        But businesses, and chambers of commerce, and industry groups, are increasingly engaging people with the appropriate soft analytical skills, to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff, and provide them what advice, they can.

        From my experience, there is a lot of chaff being blown around by the media, and not a lot of wheat coming from government. But there is just enough to help specific businesses to plan for survival in spite of the noisy trading market.

        We need to bring all those old ASIO folks out of retirement, while they can still get a pension.

        60

    • #
      RossP

      Fantastic posts by both Bob and Ted. I think they sum up the situation really well. All the politicians of the countries listed by Bob should be required to read them.

      71

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Bob, at least you have the 2nd Amendment, and I suspect when your country eventually goes turtle, like ours, due tot he Leftist parasites, you will need that Amendment to put stuff right. History tells us were in for a stoush within these countries, as the Leftists will likely attempt full martial take over once the infrastructure and monetary strength is weakended…

      51

  • #
    Curious George

    “prices forecast to rise and fall at the same time”. In medical terms this is called schizophrenia.

    110

    • #
      Annie

      I’m not sure that is really a definition of schizophrenia. I know some schizophrenics and I don’t think it is a case of holding two opposing opinions. However, one of the miseries of the illness is never-ending voices telling the victim how worthless and evil he/she is and that the police are in persuit and that one is being spied on by the tv or radio. Also the belief in the occult seems to be present, at least in one person I know. The miracle is that any survive for long as the condition is so terrible that suicide is often the only way out of it.

      40

  • #
    Timo Soren

    Looks like two blackouts this summer.

    Better check the hospital emergency diesel generators.

    70

    • #
      James

      You might want to reschedule any medical procedures to outside the summer time frame. These hospital generators seem to be unreliable.

      50

    • #
      yarpos

      Many decades ago, I worked in a telephone exchange. We had a humungous(my technical term) diesel generator set to hold up the exchange in the event of a blackout (4000A at 48VDC at peak hour). One day we had the blackout, and the start motor just went click, no go. Panic ensued as the exchange batteries drained.

      Turned out there was a daily task, on rotation, for junior staff to check the specific gravity in the hefty lead acid starter battery to ensure its health. Turns out people were just recording random healthy numbers rather than messing with hydrometers and battery acid.

      Was a good life lesson in standby anything.

      100

      • #
        Lance

        That’s why I prefer air starters vs electric starters for standby generators.

        A pressure switch activates an alarm if the storage tank runs low and a small petrol air compressor can be used to top off the tank if needed, even if the mains are down.

        Air starters cost more, but are higher reliability.

        70

  • #
    Zigmaster

    Consistent with the fearmongering that goes on in this insane transition to renewables we are reaching the point of no return where even if we ditched our commitments to Paris and built some nuclear and coal plants the electricity system is so stuffed that it can’t be fixed both in terms of cost and reliability.
    Who to blame. Firstly , the idiot voters who put in these warmist state governments and keep them there and secondly the Liberal party at both state and federal level for not providing a clear differential on energy policy. The only thing that the Libs can say is that labor is worse ( but not by very much).

    221

  • #
    MikeW

    Wind and solar power will always be more expensive than fossil fuel power, because wind and solar companies use more energy in their operations than they can ever produce with their monstrous wind turbines and solar panels. The fossil fuels used in wind and solar operations would generate more electricity if they were burned directly in power plants. The so-called positive “energy balances” calculated by wind and solar companies are bogus because they are “narrow-boundary” analyses that don’t include energy usage, for example, by the companies’ employees and their dependents. When a company’s only product is energy, it’s energy output must exceed all of it’s input requirements, including employee requirements, if it is ever to provide lower cost energy. In the U.S. especially, employee’s commuting and life style energy requirements are very high. That’s why highly automated fossil fuel operations will always be less costly than labor-intensive wind and solar operations. That’s also why wind and solar power companies always lose money with current technologies, unless they are given subsidies or set-asides.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      MikeW:

      There is also the issue of turning a diffuse and intermittent source into electricity. There are collection and transmission costs in using wide and distant areas of land. We are constantly told that sun and wind are cheap, based purely on the bids of renewables companies in the Wholesale electricity market. This ignores the fact that we pay more than that.
      Firstly the renewables companies have to undercut the reliable conventional producers in order to get their Certificates (under RET).
      Secondly this disrupts the business of the reliable conventional producers forcing them to charge more.
      Thirdly the bid price isn’t what is paid as the actual price given is the HIGHEST of those accepted applied to all. (So disrupting the reliable conventional producers benefits the renewables producers).
      Fourthly the free Certificate is on-sold to the electricity retailers who pass that cost along (+ a percentage) in the bills to consumers.
      And fifthly the cost of backup is not paid by the renewables companies and as we are starting to see with Snowy Scheme 2 how expensive that is.

      The claim that wind is cheap is questionable as even Infigen admits that its running costs are $24 per MWh. At $76 selling price plus $85 from the Certificate you will see why the rush into renewables is happening. What will happen is that more renewables will drive the reliable conventional producers out of business, helped by lunatics like Dopey Dan in Victoria and Bill Shorten if he ever gets into power. The end result will be blackouts as there won’t be enough reliable conventional generation to cover shortfalls in renewables WHEN they occur. Snowy Scheme 2 won’t be ready for at least 6 years and batteries won’t be able to fill the gap. Work from the ??millions SA is paying for roughly 2 seconds overall cover, then multiply by 16 to equate for all the eastern States, then by the number of seconds in 2 days for the cost of minimum cover from batteries.
      Current hydro might cover for a few hours but a common 3 day lull in wind will mean prolongued blackouts. What happens then will not be pretty.

      110

    • #
      yarpos

      No, no, I wont have it. Minister D’Ambrosio told me that renewable put “downward pressure” on prices. I am just waiting for the response to my questions on what the mechanism is for cost reduction and where this has actually happened on planet earth. When it comes in , I will be sure to share it with you.

      110

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Don’t hold your breath waiting for that reply.

        60

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Reminds me; One of of my mother’s friends told her “When my mother* was pregnant with me, my parents moved to the village of Brighton because they were told that there would soon be a government bus service down King George road. My mother* died 25 yars ago but I have lived to see that bus service. 57 years it took”.

          * the friend’s mother to be clear.

          60

  • #
    PeterS

    According to some reports the full cost of the Snowy Hydro expansion could be around $12 billion. Going by past experiences, such as the NBN, one could safely double that. Meanwhile every other country in the world of significance is rapidly building new generation coal fired power stations and/or nuclear power stations. When will Australians wake up and demand we do the same? When we have blackouts lasting for days and people are literally dying by the hundreds? If we don’t start building new power stations soon this country will be gone. I suppose then China will just take over and we won’t have to worry anymore about moving Australia Day, become a republic or change the flag. It will be done for us in a flash. Wake up Australians!

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    • #
      Horace Jason Oxboggle

      Queensland, with its coal, is a logical place in which to build one, or more, High Efficiency Low Emissions (HELE) power stations. Also, diverting water from north Queensland rivers down through the state’s inner regions would open up countless opportunities for agriculture and population redistribution. Where are the visionary investors? Certainly not fund managers! Imagine if Gina Rinehart proposed such a thing! The Greens, the media, the unions, and most politicians (Labor and Liberal) would have a huge bout of the vapours! What a bunch of Blitheratti Bed-Wetters!

      71

      • #
        Another Ian

        +Conjure up no more spirits than you can conjure down”.

        A lot of that water from the Bradfield scheme was aimed at the mitchell grass downs. Which is the remnant of the bottom of the last inland sea. So it has a serious layer of salt from about 600 mm down.

        Which would play hell with a big stick on any irrigation thereof.

        60

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Diverting the rivers was first proposed by Bradfield and Idress in 1943. The public service is still thinking about it.

        50

      • #
        el gordo

        ‘Where are the visionary investors?’

        Beijing.

        30

    • #
      Glen Michel

      Elon Musk may well hover a bit in order to snout some subsidies thereabouts.This country is starting to PISS me off with this dithering.

      20

    • #
      Another Ian

      Peter

      I’m not arguing

      See #14.3

      10

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    They talk about clusters…in IT, a cluster is a mechanism to ensure high availability of a business service, such that should one part if the cluster fail, the other part seamlessly takes over.

    The only cluster we can see with this deliberate engineering of the power mess is folllowed by a rude word, but people probably get what i mean….

    If Australians dont go bolshie on politicians over this, we may find a migration across the ditch to NZ, as a “Mad Max” scenario unfolds here…..

    100

  • #
    Chad

    Sorry, but please check your facts..

    ……Meanwhile every other country in the world of significance is rapidly building new generation coal fired power stations and/or nuclear power stations. ?..

    The USA and Germany are NOT building any new coal or Nuclear plants in the forseeable future.
    ( That may change under Trump ?)
    They have the same reckless RE based ideology as Au.

    28

    • #
    • #
      Graeme No.3

      They have started up 2 new ones in the last 2 years. Admittedly they were delayed for years by green opposition, but there are signs of a rethink in Germany. Even the leader of the Socialist Party is in favour of coal fired production.
      It all depends how they get through this winter, which has all the signs of being a hard one. Blackouts will make a big difference in the election likely next year.

      90

    • #
      PeterS

      Chad, sorry but YOU check your facts. Several hundred are being built everywhere, except here in Australia.

      70

      • #
        Chad

        Yes Peter i am aware of what is happening around the world with new coal plants,…
        But i repeat the USA and Germany are not building or planning to build any NEW coal plants in the foreseeable future.
        If you know otherwise, Please show me where they are ?
        As Graeme said,…The 2in germany have been under delayed construction for 8-10 years ,..
        …they planned 10-15 years ago !

        Note:- I fully agree we should be building new efficient coal plants and developing future Nuclear technology for true energy security. …but sadly we currently do not seem to have the political fortitude (spherical pairs) to progress that agenda.

        41

        • #
          Chad

          Sorry, i forgot to add, both USA and GDR also have defined programs to shut down Nuclear generation , and no plans as yet for new.
          I dont think its a wise move, but that is the reality of Green Madnes
          Maybe Trump can make a difference.

          31

          • #
            RossP

            The problem in the US, Chad is simply political. No new plants are likely to be built, as you say, because the investors are scared of a change of Government whether it is in 3 years or 8 years time ( or any time after that).
            Mean while Asia it is all go and they do not give stuff what the rest of the world thinks.

            30

          • #
            PeterS

            Although they have about 10 in the proposal stage and some might be cancelled, at least they still have over 60 nuclear plants in operation. If they suddenly decided to shut down just half of them all hell would break loose. It won’t happen unless they like to have another civil war.

            20

            • #
              Chad

              All the proposed coal and Nuke plants in the USA were put on “hold” indefinitely under the Obama rule. Regulatory controls made them uneconomic.
              As i said previously, ..maybe Trump can change that situation !
              ..Germany ?.. Who knows ?, they are so pig headed and determined to set an example,..i encourage them to forge ahead on “Point”, down the RE road to god knows where,..such that we all can see where it leads us , before its too late to turn back.!

              20

        • #
          PeterS

          Chad, yes it’s likely they will not be building many if any coal fired power plants but don’t forget they already have many of them in place as well as nuclear and gas based ones. Some of the coal and nuclear ones are likely to be expanded, and some of the coal ones might be replaced with gas type plants. So they are not standing still unlike us.

          According to their EIA site there are 381 coal fired ones, 1,076 oil based ones, 1,801 gas based ones and 61 nuclear plants. These are 2016 figures.

          30

          • #
            Chad

            Most countries are in the same situation , thanks to IPCC, Paris, etc.
            Some have been cunning enough to buy time and argue for thermal generation options (China, India, etc) , but others with…. weak leadership, lack of forsight, stupid agenda’s , etc (like us) just accepted the dictate.

            30

            • #
              PeterS

              What you say doesn’t add up. Hundreds of coal fired power plants are being built everywhere where’s a demand for them, except here in Australia. As far as I can see we are alone on the magical yellow brick world to the wizard of Oz, which ends right at the edge of a major cliff.

              40

            • #
              el gordo

              Malcolm’s agenda was to unite the left and right under a green flag, the Merkel model, occasionally referred to as the Fourth Reich.

              On flimsy grounds Malcolm organised a coup and became PM and took the Coalition to the green/left, its a Clayton’s Republic. The pseudo Marxist consortium was now in place.

              ‘… lack of foresight’

              The desalination plants will remain a testament to the lack of due diligence.

              50

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Interestingly , our house lost power this morning…..

    Welcome to Malcolms Twilight Zone….

    70

  • #
    Ted O'Brien.

    My worry is that with all the hullabaloo if we manage to avoid blackouts this summer too many people will not believe there is a problem and things won’t change as needed.

    80

    • #
      PeterS

      That’s OK Ted O’Brien. Lessons are better learned the hard way. If they aren’t already the rest of the world will be laughing at us while they keep on building hundreds of new generation coal fired power stations and nuclear power stations.

      50

    • #
      yarpos

      Exactly, a mild summer and Weatherdill gets re-elected and the game continues nationally. It just means the eventual incident will be even bigger.

      60

    • #
      Another Ian

      More time to polish your gen set

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    OriginalSteve

    Email from a friend- chunks of the ACT has lost power this morning….they must have been running on renewables…..

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    TdeF

    You have to wonder how we are going to produce metals without producing CO2?

    Ultimately all smelting is the removal of Oxygen to leave metal and carbon is the agent, often known as coke.

    Iron Fe2O3 + C -> Fe + CO2
    Lead PbO + C -> Pb + CO2
    Aluminium Al2O3 + C -> Al + CO2

    and concrete from old sea shells
    Limestone CaCO3 -> CaO + CO2.

    Concrete is the second most consumed substance on the planet after water, 3 tons per person and growing rapidly. It is 5% of all CO2 generation.

    Of course there is just all that life on earth burning the results of photosynthesis, an evil industrial process

    Hydrated Carbon Dioxide (CO2)m(H2O)n + O2 -> CO2 + H2O (also known as carbohydrate)

    and the evil ‘fossil’ fuel (old rotted plants)

    (CH2)n + O2 -> CO2 + H2O

    So all we have to do is stop using metals, stop making concrete, stop burning wood, stop traveling, stop breathing and get rid of all life on earth and the planet will be saved. For whom?

    You cannot expect politicians to know anything about science. 70% are lawyers. They just pass laws and raise taxes and look after their retirement. They worship wind, sun and water. Just like the druids.

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      David Maddison

      TdeF, this basic science is beyond your average politician or Greentard.

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      PeterS

      Of course it will never happen TdeF. Other countries are not taking much notice of the Greenies and instead are continuing to build their new power plants to supply all the electricity they need to make as much metal as they need. Only Australia has decided to go the other way and close down more and more of our own industries. Look on the bright side. If we shut down all our industries then we might not need our coal fired power stations and instead run everything on batteries.

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        Chad

        But there wont be any ” powercuts” …because you are forgetting the other part of the master plan..
        The magic that is …..Demand Management” !!
        Already Alcoa have been asked to be prpared to shut down their smelters if requested to help avoid major shortages. They will be financially compensated !
        So we dont even need to worry if our last remaining metals producers will decide to stop production here…..we are actually intending to TELL them to stop, and PAY them to Do it.

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          OriginalSteve

          Gosh that sounds like a subsidy…..

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          el gordo

          Imagine the plant is running at full capacity and the authorities tell them to immediately shut down the potlines for a few hours. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that would be a huge cost impost.

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  • #

    The only bright side of the oncoming Summer Armageddon of Power Blackouts is that we will see all our politicians running in circles screaming, “It has nothing to do with me” right after they finished proclaiming that they are ramping up “renewables” to assure us of a “sustainable future”, and save the planet. The only future for almost all of our politicians is the scrap heap of ‘Green Energy” promises.

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      PeterS

      That’s the sort of thinking I started to have recently. Let the sleeping voters put Shorten as PM and watch the country collapse for multiple reasons. Then perhaps Australians will wake up and decide once and for all that unionised socialism is deadly to an economy, and never to vote for them again – period.

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    David Maddison

    As Australian industry shuts down there will be more power for domestic consumers plus there will be less air conditioning demand because it will likely be a cool summer as we enter global cooling.

    We may avoid blackouts and this avoid the wake up call.

    And power deficits are being made up by secret installation of diesel generators.

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    Robdel

    I have always maintained that the public will still feed the money go,round until they the pinch gets too great, but more significantly untill there is a massive longterm blackout. At thet point they will be asking for politicians’ scalps. None too soon in my view.

    The only thing that the populace will really notice is when the electricity cuts out permanently,

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    Lance

    UK is facing a somewhat similar situation. Mandated, subsidized, intermittent alternatives that undercut the thermal plant capacity and thereby distort the financial basis of operating the thermal plant.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/europes-power-and-utilities-sector-set-for-more-pain-after-27bn-asset-writeoff/

    This has led to shutting down thermal plants which, in turn, decreases grid stability.

    The UK will see many excess deaths from cold in Jan/Feb. AU may see excess deaths from heat during the same time frame among the elderly and sick.

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    Rupert Ashford

    Oh nothing to see here. No black-outs will happen and prices will drop soon as everybody know renewables are now cheaper than coal. Try the other one – and do they include the subsidies and taxes we pay and that get funneled into the rip-off around the renewables in that “cheap price of renewables”? And to top it off just yesterday I got a newsletter from my holiday park informing us that we need to keep our fridges running optimally and avoid using air conditioners as the energy companies are warning that they are going to apply load shedding over the holiday season. Merry Christmas from your government who looks after your interests – the wannabe’s that will sell out their country to be seen to be doing something on the world stage – we want to lead by example!!! These Aussies are crazy…

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      PeterS

      The best thing that could happen (I know it won’t because it won’t be hot enough everywhere) is that just before Christmas we get an all day blackout over most/all of the eastern states due to all the electric ovens and air conditioners being turned on at once. Then all those people cooking with electricity won’t be able to cook their Christmas roasts and everything else. Now that would make an interesting topic for discussion over the Christmas table while they are sweating like pigs and whining like stuffed pigs. It would make a nice wake up call. Too bad it won’t happen.

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      • #

        thanks for the heads up. I need to swap and go my bbq bottle

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          Rereke Whakaaro

          You could always become a vegetarian. All you need is clean running water to wash the vegies … but wait … the running water relies on pumping stations, which rely of a constant electricity supply … oh, dear.

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    Furgutt

    This is about the too many parasitic middle men who want their bit while sitting on their fat arses. Just the same as the food industry-lots of price increases but less for the producer. The situation is becoming reminiscent of the “Grapes of Wrath” where big business makes the rules until noone is any longer able to follow the rules. They are now taxing free energy and will be taxing water and air in the not so distant future but ensuring that the population keeps on growing to provide a± source of revenue-stuff the living standards, we can always wring another dollar out of the poor. The move is to maintain control of distribution while making us pay for the infrastructure.

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    RickWill

    While Jo Nova fights the good fight for science and engineering in Australia, the anti-science and greed driven in the community are far better organised and that encourages further funding for their cause. This link provides a list of achievements:
    http://www.solarcitizens.org.au/people_powered

    Climate Change is a truly massive industry. It is all consuming. If you are riding the coat tails you are guaranteed employment and funding. There is no money in things just being normal.

    The resources that are being committed to wind and solar generation in Australia has reached critical mass. There are enough people dependent on it as an industry that it is self perpetuating. There is no sign of that effort being constrained. In fact the political clout the movement wields is continuing to build.

    The electricity supply is South Australia is no longer an economic entity. If prices go up any more the rate of consumers moving to make their own will accelerate. All other States are heading in the same direction. With Snowy investing incredible sums for pumped storage it is unlikely costs for that will ever be recovered from electricity sales. Hence it is an uneconomic project. That means its funding will come from general revenue and maybe some overseas borrowing that the governments involved will have to take over so eventually coming from general revenue.

    My prediction for 2018 is that electricity prices will increase. I predicted increases in 2017 and that has been validated. If you are not making your own then expect to pay more.

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    pat

    wow!!

    21 Dec: Guardian: Adam Vaughan: Nuclear and renewables provide record share of UK electricity, ONS says
    Power generated from low carbon sources hit 54.4% between July and September, according to Office for National Statistics
    The record high share of 54.4% of power from low carbon sources was a result of the rapid growth in solar and wind power, according to the Office for National Statistics…
    The growth of green energy squeezed out fossil fuels, pushing the share of electricity generation from coal and gas plants to a record low of 42%.

    Including windfarms, solar panels, hydro schemes and biomass plants, renewables accounted for 30% of power in the third quarter. The all-time high was 30.7% in the second quarter of 2017.
    “This latest record is yet another nail in the coffin for the claim that renewables cannot be a sizeable part of the UK’s electricity mix,” said Dr Jonathan Marshall, an analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit…

    The three months were not as windy or sunny as the year before, but this was offset by new windfarm and solar installations. The share was also helped by the return to operation of a wood-burning unit at the Drax power plant in North Yorkshire, which was out of action the year before…

    Britain went without coal power for a day in April for the first time in more than 130 years…
    For one period on an afternoon in May, all the solar panels in fields and on buildings across the country were even generating more electricity than the UK’s eight nuclear power stations…
    Wind power capacity has increased, too, though one of the biggest moments for windfarms was not growth but falls in price…

    Bulb, an energy company that supplies renewable power to more than a quarter of a million customers, said that at the current rate 2017 would prove to be a record year for renewables.
    The company forecast 100 terawatt hours of power would be produced by renewables by the year’s end compared twith 208 for fossil fuels and nuclear based on an extrapolation of the official data so far this year…

    COMMENTS:
    Parseval: More recently and during the coldest part of the year wind has been operating at half capacity or less, solar unsurprisingly has been negligible and two nuclear power stations have been offline (Sizewell for planned maintenance, Dungeness because of faults) as has reactor No.2 at Heysham.
    The remaining coal fired stations have been going flat out to compensate.
    Can someone explain to me how we’re going to cope with similar situations once the coal fired stations have all gone?…
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/21/nuclear-power-renewables-low-carbon-provide-record-share-uk-electricity

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      pat

      this is a followup to comment in moderation: Guardian: Adam Vaughan: Nuclear and renewables provide record share of UK electricity, ONS says

      access the data here:

      Office for National Statistics
      Energy Trends: electricity
      Electricity statistics from the latest quarterly edition of Energy Trends,
      DOWNLOAD: Documents: Energy Trends section 5: electricity
      PDF, 191KB, 10 pages

      Nuclear remained a significant component at 24.4 per cent, down from 24.8 per cent last year (Chart 5.2)…
      The UK remains a net importer with 7.2 per cent of electricity supplied from net imports in the third quarter of 2017…
      Final consumption of electricity during the third quarter of 2017, at 68.1 TWh, was 1.9 per cent lower than in the same period last year which, alongside an increase in losses, left overall demand 1.3 per cent lower than in Q3 2016…

      Hydro generation increased by 8.3 per cent.
      Gas and coal made up a record low of 42 per cent of generation (down 4.5pp) in Q3 2017. This reduction was mainly due to increased baseload (non-thermal renewable and nuclear) generation offsetting the need for fossil fuel generation. Coal fired generation fell by 20 per cent to 2.2TWh, while gas fell by 11 per cent to 29TWh.

      Generation from Bioenergy was up 23 per cent, making up 10.3 per cent (up 2.1pp) of generation for Q3 2017. This was mainly due to low generation in the same period last year, partly caused by long periods of outage at Drax. Nuclear accounted for 24.4 per cent of generation, down from 24.8 per cent in the same period last year.
      https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/electricity-section-5-energy-trends

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    pat

    comment in moderation re: 21 Dec: Guardian: Adam Vaughan: Nuclear and renewables provide record share of UK electricity, ONS says

    20 Dec: UK Telegraph: Jillian Ambrose: Energy minnows fuel funding fears after failing to pay into scheme for vulnerable customers
    Two energy supply minnows have failed to meet a key payment deadline for the Government’s warm home discount scheme, fuelling growing fears of a financial crunch for small suppliers due to rising costs in the crowded market.
    Flow Energy and Spark Energy were both expected to pay into an Ofgem-run funding pot, which is backed by a 15-strong group of energy suppliers. The scheme aims to cut up to £140 from energy bills for the most vulnerable customers over the winter, when bills are at their highest.
    In a letter to the group, seen by The Telegraph, the regulator said two suppliers missed the Dec 11 payment deadline, meaning the rest of the group will need to foot their share of the cost…

    A spokesman for Flow said that the troubled supplier has deferred its payment until after Dec 31 to push the expense into the group’s next financial year, beginning in January…
    Flow admitted to investors last month that its troubles will have an impact on its “seasonal working capital” but stressed that it still has the backing of its lenders…
    The company’s shares now trade at just half a pence, a fraction of their 22p a share value two years ago.

    Spark Energy, which has been dogged by consumer failings in the past, initially denied any late payment but later admitted that it has agreed with Ofgem to pay the amount owed in the new year.
    The privately-owned company made a pre-tax profit of just over £4m in the first half of 2016 from supplying pay-as-you-go meters to the rental sector. Spark has not published accounts for the 18 months since then.

    Ofgem has not asked Flow and Spark to stop taking on further customers despite failing to meet their payments on time.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/12/20/energy-minnows-fuel-funding-fears-failing-pay-scheme-vulnerable/

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  • #

    I don’t care what they say, and I don’t care who says it, but you CAN NOT run the Country on renewables of any sort.

    Sydney alone consumes around 30TWH of power a year, It needs its power constantly. That’s around 3500MW constantly available for 24 hours of every day. It has to be there.

    The South East Corner of Queensland, (because that’s where they all) are also consumes similar, if not a little more than Sydney.

    The area around Melbourne, a huge built up are now, also consumes around the same as that.

    There’s around 90000MW to 11,000MW on a daily basis.

    The total supply from wind power, (and that’s EVERY wind tower in the whole Country) averages out to a daily basis is currently around 1500MW, so days more, some less, who knows.

    That’s not enough to supply less than half of just one of those areas I have mentioned.

    Then you have the rest of the Country.

    It cannot be done, and it just will not ever be done, no matter who says it.

    Someone in a position of power, pretty soon in fact, is actually going to have to say that, and then explain it. I would not like to be that person.

    You can mislead people on some minor things, but something on a scale like this, the backlash will be horrible.

    They can fiddle at the edges with pricing structures, but unless you actually HAVE all that power there for constant and reliable use, then pricing structures mean a little less than zero really.

    It’s coming, and it has to happen. Just when is another question altogether.

    3500MW PLUS on a full 24 hour basis for just one of those areas. A 100MW battery which can supply around 70MW for ONE HOUR. if that, well that’s not really the answer.

    Until someone actually puts it on the front page of the ABC site, and all the media sites, and leads off their news bulletins with it, and then covers it in their Current Affairs programs, then a pretty major crash is looming. Politicians will look to shift the blame, and immediately pooh pooh the whole thing, but THAT will blow up in their faces. They’ll be decimated.

    When people actually see all this and it sinks in, pity help those who put us in this place. Politicians, media people, journalists, academics, economists. All of them will just look like a monster Oak Tree. (thoroughly r00ted))

    Tony.

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      PeterS

      Yes the rest of the world already knows the importance of including base load power, which is why they are busy building so many new coal fired power plants and some nuclear ones to boot. Perhaps when Indonesia has built enough of them they can sell us some power. After all it’s not too far away. It’s just mostly Australians who are for some reason sticking their heads in the sand and pretending it doesn’t matter. It will though eventually. It will hit them like a steam train.

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      • #

        Base Load:

        It’s just mostly Australians who are for some reason sticking their heads in the sand and pretending it doesn’t matter.

        What gets me is the number of people, and there are an awful lot of them, who actually believe that rooftop solar is an answer for this.

        They only think of what they use personally in their own homes. They have no comprehension whatsoever of any power consumption outside of that.

        They seriously think that Base Load, if it even exists at all, is just some people with off peak water heating, and that also can be solved by rooftop water heating.

        Heavens to Betsy, even I have have rooftop solar hot water heating, and during the Cyclone, a family member told me that at least I still had hot water via that rooftop hot water system.

        I then asked them to look at it and tell me what was different about it, with no response at all, just a puzzled look.

        It’s just the panel on the roof. The water gets from the tank at the side of the home up to the panel via insulted pipes, uses the panel to heat the water during the day and then falls back to the tank, also via insulated pipes.

        So, I then explained this and asked them what the problem was with that, again a puzzled look.

        The water gets from the tank up to the panel via …..an electric pump.

        So, no electricity, no pump, no water to the panel, no hot water.

        By having a solar panel on the roof, without the tank attached to the panel, (the new aesthetically pleasing look for solar hot water) I have no saving whatsoever on my power bill, and that’s basically similar with all of those hot water systems, because the water still has to be pumped up to the tank on the roof.

        Either way, I was told that there is still an element in the wall mounted tank as it is, because that is legislated procedure.

        And you wonder why I am not in favour of rooftop solar power. It’s virtually useless, unless you actually go off the grid totally, not grid connected, and not half and half, with the insurance of the grid itself.

        And having rooftop solar with batteries sort of defeats the purpose as there is no power being fed back to the grid, and anyway, with grid connected rooftop solar, if the grid goes down, then so does every grid connected rooftop system.

        Until people look outside of their own personal power consumption in their homes, and realise the humungous requirement for mammoth amounts of reliable and constant electricity, all of these little furphies will persist, spread by journalists writing articles about something they have no understanding of themselves, and don’t bother to ask people who would tell them the truth, because, well, you know, those perceived ‘experts’ have vested interests in coal fired power.

        We are all in trouble until the truth is told.

        Tony.

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          Our Green Betters must know it deep down. But like our Red Betters of last century, they have a revolution to run and a recalcitrant middle class to weaken and subject. And what our Red Betters did to humans and the natural world, our Green Betters will be willing to do also. Revolution to run and all that.

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          Speaking of Base Load and all that, the day of least power consumption in the whole year in Australia is coming up.

          Christmas Day.

          And it’s not just a small reduction in power. It’s huge.

          The Base Load is around 2000MW lower consistently, and the Peak Load can be anything up to 8000MW lower.

          For those of you who have that inkling to check, then visit that AEMO data dashboard on the day, and it’ll only take you five minutes or so to look if you wish, and just look at the individual Load Curves for each State.

          It once and for all puts the kibosh on residential power being a large consumer, because on this one day, residential power SHOULD be at its absolute zenith because everyone is home.

          Also worth noticing is that while the typical Summer Load Curve shows one huge peak in the mid afternoon. the Load Curve for Christmas Day looks more like a typical Winter Load Curve with two distinct peaks, one at the usual early morning time, and the late afternoon peak at 6PM, however both peaks are considerably lower than they are in Winter.

          It also puts the kibosh on household air conditioning being a large consumer of electricity as well, as typically, with everyone supposedly at home and in the midst of Summer, power consumption in that mid afternoon period actually falls, and is nowhere near what it normally is for a normal Summer’s day.

          So much of what you read from uninformed sources can be shredded just by looking at actual data.

          Tony.

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            KinkyKeith

            Interesting.

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          • #

            And there I was about to turn off the popcorn maker at the point to do some planet saving! (No, I don’t pop. It’s how I roast my coffee.)

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            Notice something here.

            This isn’t a case of hindsight, and saying ….. Say, did you see that power consumption yesterday for Christmas Day, and how low it was?

            I’m confident enough to get in early and TELL you what will happen.

            This isn’t like it’s a guess or anything. This is electrical power consumption, which varies sometimes wildly from day to day and from State to State.

            And yet, here I am, two and a half days in advance, actually predicting something which is the complete opposite of what it should be.

            I can see it now, the number of you going to check just to laugh at me when I’m shown to be totally and utterly wrong.

            No chance!

            Tony.

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              Tony, it’s a bit like those melting poles, rising seas and unprecedented weather events. Nobody is supposed to check. We’re just supposed to accept Mawson got lucky and Turney didn’t, that the sea is swamping Coogee and that a new climate began in 1979 right when they turned on the satellite.

              Your problem is that you check all the time. What is it about air force electricians? Check, check, check.

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            PeterS

            Tony these days most people do not bother to look at the actual data. They are too busy watching their favourite sport, TV soap opera, losing sleep over which smartphone to buy next, etc.. When the grid does finally go out then they might sit up and notice because those things will no longer be working.

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            TedM

            All makes sense Tony, as usual. Also worth a look here as one of Germany’s leading economists gives his assesment of that country’s much vaunted “Energiewende” project.

            Germany’s once highly promoted “Energiewende” (transition to green energies) and the country’s feed-in act have been given a grade of “F” by one of the country’s top economists, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hans-Werner Sinn.

            http://notrickszone.com/#sthash.NaBhMHUL.dpbs

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          Ted O'Brien.

          Tony, in my gunnadobutneverdid department, I intended to build such a solar hot water system, using the existing tank, and a solar powered pump to circulate the hot water to a heat exchanger in the tank, with a valve to prevent circulation when heat transfer was in the wrong direction.

          There’s an even bigger potential for solar heating if houses were redesigned with the brick “veneer” on the inside and insulated cladding on the outside, so that when warm air was pumped from under the roofing iron down through the walls and under the floor the bricks acted as a heat bank to keep the house warm after the sun had gone down. This process could be reversed in summer to cool the system with night air.

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            Graeme No.3

            Ted O’Brien:

            There are a number of old stone cottages in the Adelaide Hills, very picturesque but not always occupied. I was talking to an old timer who had lived in one for years and he described them as “impossible to heat in winter and impossible to cool in summer”.
            You are correct in thinking that thermal mass stabilises temperature but it doesn’t respond well to trying to change it. Do you remember the fad for ‘underground’ houses? Or the mud brick homes?

            As for pumping hot air downwards I think the electricity cost would outweigh the benefits. There was an idea for factories where the steel walls were doubled, air flap inlets at the bottom and outlets at the top. The idea was that the heat from the sun on the outer ‘skin’ could be removed by letting air into the gap at the bottom and (in summer) out at the top, reducing the amount of heat radiating from the inner wall. In winter the warm air would be directed into the factory and also drawing air into the gap from inside, so the heat was circulated into the factory. Dead as a dodo as no-one wanted the cost of installation.

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    pat

    believe it or not:

    20 Dec: E&E News: Chelsea Harvey: Climate Change Has Doubled Snowfall in Alaska
    One reason is that warmer air can hold more moisture, which leads to greater amounts of precipitation, including snow
    According to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports, summer snowfall has risen by about 49 percent since the mid-19th century, and winter snowfall has increased by a whopping 117 percent.
    It may sound counterintuitive…
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-change-has-doubled-snowfall-in-alaska/

    21 Dec: Scientific American: Get Ready for More Volcanic Eruptions as the Planet Warms
    A new study shows that even relatively small-scale climatic changes affect volcanic activity
    by Annie Sneed
    But scientists have found another force—climate change—affects the frequency of eruptions. Now a new study shows even relatively minor climate variations may have such an influence. If they are right, today’s global warming could mean more and bigger volcanic eruptions in the future…
    The scientists focused on eruptions in Iceland about 5,500 to 4,500 years ago. During that period Earth’s climate cooled and glaciers grew, but there was no full-blown ice age…

    When the scientists compared the volcanic record with glacial coverage, they found the number of eruptions indeed dropped significantly as the climate cooled and ice expanded. “There’s a big change in the record in the mid-Holocene [epoch], where we see no volcanic ash in Europe and very little in Iceland,” says Swindles, an associate professor of Earth system dynamics at the University of Leeds.

    “This seems to overlap with a time where there’s cold climate conditions, which would have favored glacial advance in Iceland.” He says his team observed an approximately 600-year lag between when glaciers advanced and volcanic activity diminished. “That’s because it takes a long time to grow ice masses,” he explains…
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/get-ready-for-more-volcanic-eruptions-as-the-planet-warms/

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      john karajas

      Thank you for finding this latest gem Pat. Yes folks: we can now extrapolate from icy Iceland to the whole of our planet including tropical Puerto Rico or Indonesia, say, and claim that climate change, in even small amounts, will have demonstrable effects on volcanic activity. Oh yes indeed! Keep shovelling it out of the bovine rears Professor Swindles, we need some more humour!

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      KinkyKeith

      Bizarre. It’s as if a gigantic mesh filter has been thrown over the past so that any view of the past can only be seen in the light of future devastating climate events.

      If this is modern science then we are lost.

      KK

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    King Geo

    It is the “Summer Solstice” today. But with this maximum sunlight exposure the Turnbull Govt needs to realize than accelerating Oz towards an RET target will result in great economic pain – you see Sun & Wind just won’t deliver cheap & reliable base load energy generation. The phasing out of the coal fired power stations while available gas reserves are low on the east coast is economic vandalism. This is going to end badly.

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      Ted O'Brien.

      My theory is that the solstices/equinoxes are on the 21st or the 22nd, depending which is closer to the nearest 29th of February. Right or wrong?

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    Proof AGW theory & IPCC are wrong has been hiding in plain sight. Demonstrated by ‘notch’ in Top-Of-Atmosphere radiation measurements, energy absorbed at low altitude by CO2 molecules is immediately redirected to water vapor molecules. Influence of CO2 compared to water vapor can be no more than the ratio of CO2 quantum mechanics line count*intensity to H2O quantum mechanics line count*intensity This ratio is approximately (71*0.0025) / (423*0.4) = 0.001 = 0.1%. CO2 has no significant effect on climate. Same applies to all other ghg which do not condense in the atmosphere. http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com

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      KinkyKeith

      Dan, this has never been about the science.

      It’s always been about what can be creamed off the central coffers when you know in advance what’s coming and can organize a “fix” for the problem. Sometimes there’s even a fix ready before the problem is created.

      Be very sure: government subsidies of wind and solar are being harvested by those with the inside running.

      KK

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  • #
    Harry Twinotter

    Sigh. Around 20 years of lost opportunities. I am reminded of how Richard Alley framed it, each degree the Global Mean Temperature rises will cost more to fix.

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    pat

    22 Dec: Illawarra Mercury (Fairfax): Farmers on the front line of climate change
    by ***Verity Morgan-Schmidt
    (Verity Morgan-Schmidt is chief executive of Australian Farmers for Climate Action)
    Like most farmers, I’m a big fan of our sunburnt country, our land of drought and flooding rains. What I’m less fond of is the flow-on impacts of the increased number and intensity of heatwaves which are rapidly becoming a defining feature of climate change. Fruit, vegetables, grains, and grapes all struggle to cope under hot conditions. Fruit wilts in the paddock and grapes ferment before your eyes; tempers fray as the stress of maintaining farm productivity under unprecedented conditions takes its toll.

    For livestock producers, the burden is immense with heatwaves dramatically impacting on the well-being and productivity of beef and dairy cattle, with many struggling to ever return to pre-heatwave productivity levels. Sheep farmers are no better off, with studies demonstrating a drop in ram fertility as a result of heatwave conditions…
    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5135645/farmers-on-the-front-line-of-climate-change/

    ***Verity by name only!

    21 Dec: Dept of Agriculture & Water Sources ABARES: Snapshot of Australian agriculture reveals record production in 2016-17
    The map of Australia’s agriculture shows cotton was the highest revenue crop per tonne produced and per hectare sown in 2015-16, while sugar cane was the highest yielding per hectare.
    ***ABARES Executive Director, Steve Hatfield-Dodds, said the Australia’s Agricultural Industries 2017 map provides an overview of the Australian agricultural landscape.
    “The gross value of farm production was more than $63 billion in 2016-17, reflecting record production,” Dr Hatfield-Dodds said.
    “The top two commodities by gross value of production in 2015-16, were beef and veal (cattle and calves) at $13.1 billion, and wheat at $6.2 billion.

    “For horticulture, grapes had the highest gross value of production, while almonds were the highest revenue per tonne produced, and potatoes had the highest yield per hectare in 2015-16….
    “The top five commodities exported (by value) were beef and veal, wheat, wool, dairy and wine.”

    The Australia’s Agricultural Industries 2017 map can be downloaded from Australia’ Agricultural Industries Map 2017 (LINK).
    http://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/news/media-releases/2017/snapshot-aus-ag-reveals-record-production-2016-17

    the only MSM coverage I could find of the above good news:

    21 Nov: SBS: AAP: Aussie farm production hits record levels
    Australia’s gross value of farm production has soared to a record high of $63 billion in 2016-17

    ***will follow up on ABARES Executive Director, Steve Hatfield-Dodds

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      Len

      I asked Verity’s father when did she become radicalised. The answer filtered back was when she did her Masters Degree. Verity is paid to produced this gibberish.

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      Annie

      I couldn’t help smiling as our ram has proved his capabilities with the production of 3 lambs from two ewes at the earliest time it would have been possible. His very appropriate name is Studley. The third ewe looks imminent too; crikey Studley!
      The beef cattle look sleek and the fruit trees laden…or they were until the wretched sulphur-crested cockatoos reappeared. I’ve had no time and energy to net them yet as it is so busy around thus time. Mowing is a priority.
      Poor old Verity….I hope it isn’t the nice girl of the same name that we used to know.

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    pat

    so, whilst only SBS appears to have picked up on the good news, SMH jumped on this:

    12 Dec: SMH: Darren Gray: Dry conditions, then frosts hit farm production and exports
    Dry conditions in winter and spring, followed by severe frosts in cropping districts in south-eastern Australia, have combined to slash crops, farm incomes and agricultural export earnings in fiscal 2018.
    Australia’s wheat crop, forecast to be just over 20 million tonnes, is on track to be the lowest in a decade…
    The fall in incomes for some farmers – particularly grain producers – coincides with rising fuel and electricity prices and means a large number of farmers will have less cash to spend in regional areas.

    Dry conditions hit grain farmers in all grain-growing states this year, but had a particularly harsh impact on growers in New South Wales and Queensland who were also hit with above-average temperatures.
    The dry conditions were so severe that ”many of Australia’s most important cropping regions” received just 40-60 per cent of their average rainfall in the crucial period between April and November, according to the latest report from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)…

    The report forecasts the gross value of farm production to fall seven per cent to $59 billion in fiscal 2018, down from last year’s record $63 billion result.
    But the fall in winter crop production, including major crops like wheat, barley, canola and others, of 41 per cent, will be much greater…

    ***Steve Hatfield-Dodds, executive director of ABARES, said the fall in the total gross value of farm production was mainly due to lower crop production and lower prices.
    “Despite the decline, gross value of farm production would still be higher than the average of $55 billion over the past five years…

    Dr Hatfield-Dodds said export earnings were forecast to rise for livestock and livestock products (up 11 per cent to $23 billion), wine (up 12 per cent to $2.64 billion) and cotton (up 24 per cent to $2.1 billion).
    “While grain prices are expected to remain low in 2017-18, prices for livestock and livestock products are expected to increase,” he said.

    But the report reveals a much more challenging picture for grain producers, particularly in eastern Australia, with the national wheat crop forecast to be just over 20 million tonnes this season.
    “If realised, it will be the lowest since 2007–08. Wheat yields are forecast to be below average for all states except Victoria. Seasonal conditions in the eastern states were variable but mostly unfavourable for crop development,” the report said.

    “Wheat crops in Queensland and New South Wales were adversely affected by below average in-crop rainfall, well above average daytime temperatures and severe frost events. October rainfall aided crops in south-eastern New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia but came too late to benefit most crops in Queensland and New South Wales.”
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/dry-conditions-then-frosts-hit-farm-production-and-exports-20171212-p4yxms.html

    what SMH ignored or downplayed from the ABARES report (see LINK below):

    12 Dec: SheepCentral: Lamb, sheep and wool prices forecast to rise, with modest flock growth – ABARES
    LAMB, sheep and wool prices are expected to rise in 2017-18, driven by strong demand and flock rebuilding, the national commodity commodity forecaster ABARES said today…
    ABARES is expecting lamb slaughter to increase by 3 percent to 23 million head…
    Lamb production is expected to lift 2 percent to 518,000 tonnes for the year…
    In 2017-18, Australian wool exports are forecast to increase 4 percent to 446,000 tonnes, with higher prices lifting value by 20 percent to $4.3 billion…
    ABARES is forecasting the national flock to increase by 3 percent to around 73 million head by the end of 2018…
    Click here to view the full ABARES report (LINK)
    https://www.sheepcentral.com/lamb-sheep-and-wool-prices-forecast-to-rise-with-modest-flock-growth/

    Hatfield-Dodds moved to ABARES in ***August 2017:

    LinkedIn: Steve Hatfield-Dodds
    Executive Director, ABARES, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
    Canberra, Australia
    Education: Australian National University
    From Summary:
    I joined ABARES – the economics and science bureau of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources – as Executive Director in ***August 2017. Before that I led CSIRO’s integration science and modelling initiative, and was the lead author of the Australian National Outlook report (2015) and papers in Nature and other journals.
    I am an Honorary Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, and Board Member of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE). My previous career has included senior policy roles in Department of Climate Change, Allen Consulting Group, Department of Environment and Heritage, Treasury, and research positions at ANU and CSIRO.

    Wikipedia: Stephen Hatfield Dodds
    Steve Hatfield Dodds (born Stephen Dodds) is an Australian philosophical economist, with notable work in the social cost of economic decision-making and particularly sustainable development and the economic impact of climate change…
    In 2000, Hatfield Dodds gained his PhD in Economics from the Australian National University in Canberra, after submitting a thesis, “From consumerism to sustainable development: essays on progress, well-being and limits in economic thought”…
    He joined Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in 2002, and in 2003 became Senior Researcher in the Integration Science and Public Policy office, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems. In 2008 he joined the newly formed Commonwealth Department of Climate Change…

    In the December 2007 report “Leader, follower or free rider?”, touted as of similar importance to Sir Nicholas Stern’s Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change for the Government of the United Kingdom (to which he contributed a submission), Hatfield Dodds as lead author argued for deep cuts in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions in the next 40 years (to 2050) and that the economic costs are modest and manageable and, indeed, preferable to the consequences of not acting. “It is much more disruptive and costly to step up action than to relax it so it is better to start off with the most stringent target you can imagine and that is what we have modelled… ”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hatfield_Dodds

    hmmm.

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    John F. Hultquist

    NOTE: “Don Harwin says a lblack system …”

    ?? black swan

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    Robber

    A Merry Christmas to all, with a special alert to Santa visiting SA in his EV-powered sleigh with his lists on his smart phone:
    The synchronous generating units expected to be synchronised in SA from 24/12/2017 01:30 to 26/12/2017 14:00 in Pre-dispatch published at 22/12/2017 13:30 are inadequate to maintain sufficient system strength in SA and hence a secure operating state.
    AEMO currently estimates that, in the absence of sufficient market response by 24/12/2017 00:30, AEMO may need to issue a Direction requiring one or more SA synchronous generating unit(s) to operate or remain synchronised from 24/12/2017 01:30 to 26/12/2017 14:00, to maintain sufficient system strength in SA.

    The big battery seems to be getting a regular workout, and the emergency diesels have been given a run in the last 24 hours. But perhaps SA doesn’t have enough gas to keep up their network synchronisation through Christmas? Or are some workers taking Christmas off?

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      I suspect you mean:
      AEMO may need to issue a Directive requiring …

      Rather than:
      AEMO may need to issue a Direction requiring …

      Yes, I know, ain’t predictive text just wonderful … not!

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    Another Ian

    O/T

    “Delingpole: Christmas Is Here, Everyone! EPA Officials Are ‘Leaving in Droves’ ”

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/12/22/delingpole-christmas-is-here-everyone-epa-officials-are-leaving-in-droves/

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    Gary Else

    NSW has not been subject to a black event for 53 years — so it is highly unlikely that such an event will occur.

    ‘She’s heavier than the wooden duck therefore she will sink proving she is a witch’ is just about as sound. (Apologies to Monty Python)

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    Antoine D'Arche

    I think a lot of people could be dissuaded from their belief in renewables by graphical representations of issues like:
    - the power generated by renewables only supplies this much area – colour in a *small* portion of Australia
    - the area needed to be covered by solar panels in order to supply all of Melbourne – colour in a huge portion of Australia
    - the area needed to be covered by solar panels in order to replace e.g. Liddell
    many people don’t get numerical representations, and it doesn’t suit media grabs etc
    just a thought. Has it been done before on a large, Australian centric scale?

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      el gordo

      Good point Antoine, the visual approach would be more effective.

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      PeterS

      Good idea Antoine. Include the area needed to house enough Tesla batteries to provide sufficient backups for each state for at least one day. Then add the number of diesel engines to back them up. Of course the total cost would be many trillions. Look, let’s just get on with it and start building new generation coal fired power stations before it’s too late. The rest of the world recognises the need as hundreds are being built today. Why is Australia alone on a road to economic suicide?

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      Robber

      Here’s a starting point. Any cartoonists available?
      When the wind blows hard (but not too hard) each turbine can produce 3 megawatts (that’s 3 million watts) of power, enough to light 300,000 globes, or run 3,000 microwaves. That’s enough power for about 3,000 people. Sounds wonderful?
      In Australia we use about 21,000 megawatts of power on average, so that means we would need 7,000 windmills. But wait, the wind doesn’t always blow strongly, in fact on average it only blows at less than one third of that strength. So we really need at least 21,000 windmills.
      Now just imagine, if we put all those windmills in a line, each 300 metres away from the next one they would stretch for 6,300 kilometres. That’s equal to the distance from Sydney to Perth, plus the distance from Melbourne to Darwin. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have our very own Southern Cross criss-crossing our continent providing “free” power for all?
      How much would 21,000 windmills cost? Well, about $6 million each, or about $126 billion in total. On windless days you do need to keep in reserve existing coal and gas fired stations, equal to 100% of peak demand. Alternatively, at peak wind there is surplus production, so you could spend even more to install huge batteries (about 5,000 times the size of the SA big battery at a cost of about $250 billion) and/or lots of pumped hydro. But that’s another unwritten story.

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      • #
        Chad

        …And dont forget to allow for a few thousand kms of Hv transmission line and associated transformers etc equipment………probably another $100bn or so !

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        Antoine D'Arche

        what’s the maintenance cost wind turbines – I can only find a reference to 25%, and so many cents per kWh

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        • #
          Robber

          Hepburn Springs has a small community wind farm, and their website publishes operating cost data.
          I did some estimates for Ararat wind farm as follows:
          75 towers (completed Apr 2017) Capital Cost $450 million
          Nameplate capacity 240 MW Average production 72 MW (assume 30% CF)
          Operating costs 3%
          Amortization 20 years 5%
          Allow Return on Capital 6%
          Required price $100/MWhr (Dr Finfel estimated “levelised” of wind as $92/Mwhr, so I’m in the ballpark)
          Sale of RET certificates $82
          Total ROCE 17.5%

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    M Allinson

    It’s terrible that it has come to this, but the best scenario for Oz would be a multitude of rolling outages over this summer.

    It really might be the thing that wakes people up to the massive globalist con.

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    Bachy

    If we’re not allowed to burn coal, maybe we should set up one of these carbon neutral wood burning plants mentioned in another post. Or 50. Would provide more reliable baseload power than any combination of solar, wind and 8 minute batteries. If it’s good enough for Europe, it’s good enough for us, and being carbon neutral the greens can’t complain can they? Maybe we’d even qualify for a big payout from the UN climate slush fund for doing something as environmentally friendly as cutting down all the trees and burning them…

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    JVossos

    Our twits here in Canada are trying to take away our ‘reliable’ sources of energy and replacing them with stupid windmills and solar panels. Canada is next door to the Arctic. We either keep warm in winter or we freeze to death. Canada gets several months of sub-zero temps going down as far as -40C some days. Heat can be very uncomfortable in an Australian summer, but cold in Canadian winters is deadly.

    I moved to the west coast of Canada where it’s not too hot in summer and rarely goes much below freezing in winter …. We do get a lot of rain.

    I thought to move back East to be nearer to family, but I am afraid of the costs of ‘green’ electricity and the boot on your neck, progressivism in Eastern Canada. It’s just gotten fookin awful here . We used to be a small, but a great nation, now, under the twat Trudeau we are sinking fast.

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