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German solar: 10 hours of sun in December makes 40 Gigawatts of nothing

From Pierre Gosselin at No Tricks Zone:

Germany needs 80GW of electricity. It has 40GW of installed solar PV.

See the graph: The red line is what the country used, and the orange bumps are the solar contribution.

Clearly, solar power will take over the world.

Solar Energy, Germany, December 2017

In December, Germany got ten hours of sunlight. That’s not a daily figure, that’s the whole month. So in summer on a sunny day, solar PV can make half the electricity the nation needs for lunch. In winter, almost nothing. From fifty percent, to five percent.

Imagine what kind of havoc this kind of energy flux can do. Not one piece of baseload capital equipment can be retired, despite the fact that half of it is randomly unprofitable depending on cloud cover. Solar PV eats away the low cost competitive advantage. Capital sits there unused, spinning on standby, while wages, interest, and other costs keep accruing. So hapless baseload suppliers charge more for the hours that they do run, making electricity more expensive.

They just need batteries with three months supply. It will be fine once Germany turns the state of Thuringia into a redox unit.

Read about it:  Dark Days For German Solar Power, Country Saw Only 10 Hours Of Sun In All Of December!

It’s rare for Germans to botch up an engineering task on quite this scale.

 

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German solar: 10 hours of sun in December makes 40 Gigawatts of nothing, 9.4 out of 10 based on 103 ratings

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118 comments to German solar: 10 hours of sun in December makes 40 Gigawatts of nothing

  • #
    Lance

    The Latitude of GE is roughly 50 Deg. North. Similar for London UK.
    Summer Solstice Insolation is about 11.6 kW/sq m.
    Winter Solstice Insolation is about 2 kW/sq m.

    This does not account for clouds or haze which may seriously limit actual insolation at surface level.

    So, even if there were no clouds, solar PV output would be expected to be 83% less in winter than in summer.

    With clouds, even less available solar.

    Someone on the original design group needs a sound spanking.

    Nifty online tool for estimating insolation. http://applet-magic.com/insolation.htm

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    • #
      TdeF

      With the axis tilt of 22.5 degrees, midwinter in Berlin 52.5N becomes 75 degrees. That means at midday the sun is 15 degrees above the horizon, not enough often to clear the trees or the buildings. Similarly London, Paris, Vienna. Moscow is 56N. Even Dublin is 53.3N.

      By the time you get to Oslo/Stockholm/Talin/Helsinki/St. Petersburg/Northern Scotland you have 60N +22.5=82.5 and the sun gets to 7.5 degrees above the horizon.

      So White Nights become very Dark Days and you need a streetlamp to see your hand or read a paper. That’s on a clear day where you are not freezing and the sun is visible. Solar? Laughable.

      If it doesn’t work for the sunniest place in the world, South Australia with a tiny population of 1.5Million and huge area and cloudless skies and 30 degree latitude, how is it going to work for a population of Germany of 82 million in winter? Solar is busted.

      As Climate Commissioner Will Steffen said, over a year Victoria gets enough solar energy on the state to power it twice over. Read differently, he said we have to cover half the state in solar panels just to equal what we get now from coal. We would also need trillions of dollars and to live somewhere else. Solar is busted.

      500

      • #
        toorightmate

        TdeF.
        Well that’s easily fixed.
        Just mount the solar panels on extension arms – about 200 metres above the roof of the house.
        There y’ go.
        Another problem solved.
        I think Chairman Mal will like this one. It is right up there with Snowy 2.0

        80

        • #
          TdeF

          Like the 200meter arms for maximum light!

          However the travel distance of sunlight through the atmosphere at such an oblique angle is increased by Thickness*tan(82.5) or for St. Petersburg 8*the thickness and clouds reduce intensity. As well the Blue/UV is refracted out too, which changes the colour to red, so perhaps 1/10th to 1/20th of the power per square metre. Maybe far less.

          However the freezing snow can reflect the light on a good day, making visibility a little better. Best to visit these places in summer and not expect to recharge your phone with solar.

          70

          • #
            ROM

            .

            TdeF and Jo as usual are quite right!

            Those of us of German ethnicity are very good engineers and we have overcome so many technological problems through the use of sheer brain power.

            As is usual for most technological problems such as not having enough sunlight during winter and autumn and spring to run a decent solar system for power due to very low sun angles, those of us of German ethnicity have found a solution as illustrated below;

            https://c1cleantechnicacom-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/files/2017/05/Solar-in-Germany.jpg

            All we have to do is double the area on which we can collect the sunlight available, as illustrated.

            This is made much easier as a Germanic elitist project to fulfil by the using vast amounts of OPM for the extensive number of solar panels required.

            With enough OPM we could just about double the area of the German nation with solar panels using the construction concept illustrated above.
            A three tiered nation, wind turbines on top, solar panels at the next level down and then the bit where all those 80 plus million Germans can roam about doing what Germans do, admittedly doing it all in the shade due to the top cover of energy production systems,

            Of course, mid winter, low sunlight, low wind speeds, North Atlantic cold outbreak and even the Germans might not have thawed out from the glacier like ice sheet under all those sunlight shading solar panel energy generators by the time the next autumn/ fall comes around.
            .
            Some of those of german ethnicity will never give up on pouring theirs and everybody elses wealth into their dream project [ A dream project which is somewhat smaller today as even the slow learning Germans have apparently and finally given up on trying to take over a complete continent after at least two goes in the last century ] until the lights go out and OPM runs out, after trying to ensure and prove to the world that solar power and wind power alone can be used to drive the industrial and economic needs and social and domestic power requirements of a major nation.

            .
            Nor should anybody of another ethnicity ever claim that we of the german ethnicity are fast learners.
            In fact we can state we are characteristically very slow learners indeed but we get pretty thorough in making radical shifts from one extreme in our projects to another extreme project without much of a moderate phase in between.

            [ Sometimes I think that SA's power problems are related to the fact that SA was settled heavily in the 1850's by a few boat loads of North Germans , who being my ancestors, were a damn hard bunch to shift in their ideas and fixations and stuck to their guns on just about everthing religious, social ,[ their women folk were, unlike many other ethnicity's women folk of the time, equal with their menfolk and made damn sure the menfolk knew it despite all the associated high pitched, full on, high volume, guttural germanic verbal combativeness ,]
            They were also known as a “hard headed” and a bloody obstinate bunch .
            But they did adopted new technology with gusto and at a very rapid rate.

            Nobody as in nobody except through a total failure and collapse in the provision of energy at every level are going to shift those SA politicians from their hard lined beliefs in renewable energy despite what may ! ]

            Nope, I am are at least three generations along from those old german settlers and are long past standing for parliament!!! so I don’t need no papers to prove or not that I am the progeny of an Australian born man and wife and not of some old roaming Germans somewhere .]

            Those of german ethnicity have clearly proven in the past that it takes at least two serious and very costly demonstated examples of the failure of german objectivity before the message finally gets through the german mentality that something will have to change because somebody else is going to make sure it changes for them and fast if they don’t.
            .

            Frau Merkel has clearly demonstrated to the world with her”, Energiewende “The Energy Transition” the shift to all renewable energy and the single handed saving of the planet by aforesaid Frau Merkel, the German characteristics of the implacable pursuit of an irrational dream of renewable energy only despite all the problems of demonstrating after thirty years and a couple of hundred billion euros to drive that dream project forward or demonstrate any at all obvious advantages of using Renewable energy only ‘

            [ In fact according to the latest news, even the Germans have finally had enough of the Energwiende at the highest political levels with an increasing number of german politicians and german economists and scientists who don't depend on government money, and the rank and file in their political parties all beginning to demand a drastic pull back from the" Energwiende," a increasingly likely probablity as Merkel lcontinues to fail to put together a governing coalition following the German election of a couple of months ago.

            And within another month or so and still without being able to form a governing coalition Merkel could well be gone and be history with a new proposed front runner for German Chancellor a person who is defintley not a supporter of Renewable energy if the news is correct.`

            And if Germany, the poster child of Renewable energy industry gives Renewable energy the flick, there goes the dreams of inexhaustable riches through OPM by the scammers, pimps and f_______s of the Renewable energy industry worldwide as it will have demonstrated to the politicals everywhere that one of world's most technologically advanced economies could not make Renewable energy work well enough to power an advanced nation's entire industrial, social and business requirements and demands.]

            Of course to the english speaking world such a German ethnic characteristic is also known as sheer bloody obstinacy and Germanic rigidity and fixation regardless , something noted at some very considerable cost by the English, French , Polish and Russian speaking world going back for at least some 60 years and even further back some 100 years ago with the same players and no doubt a well known German ethnic characteristic for at least 500 years past according to european medieval history.

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          • #
            sophocles

            Don’t forget, too, because of the low light, those panels have to kept spotlessly clean, totally free from dirt, frost and snow to be able to do their job.

            I foresee a great market for PV panel Washers and Wipers. Modified ones from cars should do a sterling job! The panels themselves can provide the power to drive them.(pat pending).

            ( Hey: the world’s first patentable Perpetual Motion Machine?
            No?
            You don’t think so?
            Darn.) :-)

            00

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Someone on the original design group needs a sound spanking.

      Maybe. However, perhaps they were just doing their jobs and knew what the outcome would be.

      The people in need of the “spanking” are the corrupt politicians and the environmental lobby groups that push this rubbish at the taxpayers’ and consumers’ expense.

      You can start with the Communist refugee Merkel. You can add the academics who, “Weinstein” like, never called it for what it is; and the left-leaning media which never engaged a sceptical neurone to question who was to benefit.

      The full fallout is yet to be felt in Germany. Industry closures, job losses, lower living standards and slow economic decline are all mounting the pale horse.

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      • #
        John F. Hultquist

        I agree. German engineers have proven they are not crazy.
        The push for solar panels in Germany is one of the difficult things one has to confront when trying to make sense of this entire global warming/green_scam.

        Thinking of Germans, mediterranean vacations come to mind. Now why is that?
        Don’t shoot me for this (my mother’s family is of German ancestry), what also comes to mind is sauerkraut.

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        • #
          KevinK

          Yes German Engineers are not crazy, the politicians on the other hand ???

          All we need is a “breakthrough” solar PV panel with 1000% efficiency, that will fix it all…. And some batteries that can store 1000% more than the existing batteries without catching on fire or exploding. Simple really, I can’t understand why the engineers have not delivered on the politicians promises yet ????

          Cheers, KevinK

          60

    • #
      Geoff

      This is ALL about who gets the money. There were no engineering studies to calculate results before the build by the approval authorities. There were vast amounts of studies done on how this would save the planet.

      We live in a would where paperwork gets a higher rate of return than outcomes.

      The only way to mitigate this rent seeking outcome is to pay people who do no real work a fixed income to do nothing. They would actually have to sit staring out of a window 8 hrs a day doing nothing. Its cheaper, far cheaper to do this than allow them to do ANYTHING paid for by the taxpayer.

      After just a few days of this most will go looking for real employment.

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    • #
      destroyer D69

      I must disagree with the utmost respect as to the application of a sound spanking. I believe that nothing less than a severe walloping applied with maximum gusto is the appropriate response to be meted out to all who have foisted this abomination on the world.

      160

    • #

      It doesn’t work at all and is insufficient except for a few, lucky hours a year.

      Look at the total wind+solar generation over a year and there’s a substantial supply gap. Something that hits hardest in mid-winter when the winds are calm and the sun obscured during the days. Wind and solar provide no heat; so Germans will have to burn forests and food to keep warm.

      Then, when the winds come, the manual interventions to the grid come; at a huge cost to consumers: One grid operator in Germany Tennet says that the thousands of necessary over a year, manual interventions cost around a thousand-million Euros (1,000,000,000 €) to prevent rolling blackouts as wind power fluctuates

      Sharpening the point of the spear upon which Germany is sacrificing itself is the Merkel-decreed (unconstitutional) arbitrary shutdown of nuclear power plants. Another 1.3GW of reliable, baseload generation was turned off at the start of winter. Not only are consumers hit with higher costs of energy and the increasing likelihood of blackouts; they have to compensate the owners of the nuclear power plants for losses due to premature shutdowns.

      The drive to absurdity appears unstoppable with the German government trying to kill the use of internal combustion engines in favour of electrical power; when there’s not going to be enough dispatchable electrical generating capacity to supply homes and businesses at an affordable price. It’s no help that the payment system for EV charging stations is devoid of material security and everybody could potentially recharge their EV on Merkel’s account; there won’t be electrical power.

      The only glimmer of hope is that Merkel is still unable to find enough coalition partners for a majority federal government; 3 months after the federal election.

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      • #
        Gerry, England

        I hope there is another German election soon where the AfD vote increases further. Spurred on by how well they have done last time, more people may realise that it is a vote that will bring change if they vote AfD.

        30

    • #
      Manfred

      It’s all accounted for. The Germans are known for the thoroughness of their design and the enthusiasm of their industry. It’s secreted the fudge factor, otherwise known in the Davos Circle as the Malthusian Solution namely, let them freeze to death in winter.

      10

  • #
    Yonniestone

    This type of debacle should be going viral, if people wonder how 40 GW of solar can fail so badly and how is the shortfall made up tell them to search Germany using more coal and they’ll get articles from all sources showing how much Germany HAD TO use and build more coal powered infrastructure to survive its increasingly colder winters and deluded foray into modern weather cooking.

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  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    Botch it? Suppose they didn’t. Suppose they did an optimised, carefully engineered, well installed and maintained solar install, with premium materials and best case life cycle costing —- AND THIS IS TE BEST IT CAN DO IN THE REAL OF WORLD OF ENERGY PRODUCTION!
    The siting was a bit of a conundrum; Deutschland ist wo Deutschland ist, and prior attempts to take over more southerly geography came a cropper with much resultant angst. This, folks, is your proof of concept for latitudes north of the Mason Dixon Line, which is a pretty large chunk of the so-called civilized world that professes a love for green stuff.
    The engineers sind wunderbar. The Politicians, & “scientific” enablers, not so much.

    If the Germans can’t make it work, what chance do folks who can’t keep their trains on their tracks have?
    Even with a little more sunshine.

    320

  • #
    CheshireRed

    The reason they botched an engineering job on this scale was very little to do with ‘saving the planet’ and a whole lot to do with politics and lining their own pockets, whether in financial or career benefits.

    So yet again the very people who claim to be solving problems are actually the ones who create them in the first place. C’est la vie.

    220

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    Now that’s a graph that tells a story, No effort needed to interpret.

    160

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      What would be of great interest to everyone would be the alternate graph.

      Baseload power runs year round regardless; you don’t stop massive turbines in a hurry and must be paid for even if the Sun is shining and the wind is blowing.

      In the above graph the total cost of the power could be roughly seen as the area under the curves added together. That graph is pretty much the cost of the baseload power, i.e. Coal and nuclear, negligible solar.

      It would be very interesting to let consumers see what happens to the cost of the power they are paying for when the Sun comes out.

      To that end a graph made 6 months after the first would presumably show a high level of solar input and the sum of the areas under the graphs would be much larger.

      The visual comparison should highlight the problem: people in Germany are paying for an amount of unused power generation because of a POLITICAL FIX.

      Given that the real cost of production of solar is much higher than coal, the presentation would be even more dramatic if the engineering/real cost of production was graphed.

      Somehow the message must be presented to the long suffering electricity users who are paying for this scam.

      Truly, the Emperor has no clothes.

      Can’t we ALL find a way to see that?

      KK

      60

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    A politically motivated top down command and control economy can only fail. Even its successes are failures. As long as there is saved wealth (aka profit not consumed) to be consumed it appears to succeed. Therein lives the problem. Saved wealth is the price one pays to have a future. Consume that without producing even more saved wealth, you have consumed your future.

    For the nth time, a society has consumed its future by assuming the current gang of power and control thugs could do a better job than the previous gangs of power and control thugs. In spite of their much publicized good intentions, they achieve the same pathetic results. Wealth was consumed with little to nothing to show for it. If they are lucky, they will experience only extended hard times. Definitely not the future that was promised.

    230

  • #
    TdeF

    Great article by James Delingpole, as usual

    The Fuhrer, in other words, was as big a Gaia worshipper as even Naomi Klein or Emma Thompson or Leonardo di Caprio.

    As Hitler thought, so did the Nazi intelligentsia. Many of them were vegetarians and, like Rudolf Hess and Agriculture Minister Walter Darre were big fans of organic farming. The party was fiercely anti-smoking (even though the Germans continued to smoke fanatically so long as tobacco was available).
    They were also massively into “renewable” energy, especially wind, tidal power and hydroelectric.

    Hitler said in a dinner party conversation in 1941:

    “We shall have to use every method of encouraging whatever might ensure us the gain of a single kilowatt…Coal will disappear one day.”

    He then speculated on renewable solutions to this ‘peak coal’ problem:

    “The future belongs, surely, to water – to the wind and the tides.”

    The fuhrer may have gone, but his madness lingers.

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    • #
      Another Ian

      Sounds like a book to be read – I
      ll have to try our library

      20

      • #
        • #
          TdeF

          Though she later recanted, even Margaret Thatcher supported Global Warming in the war with the Welsh coal miners led by Arthur Scargill. It also helped push nuclear in the UK. The idea that solar could replace coal remains laughable.

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          • #
            Robert Christopher

            If I remember the figures correctly, when the Nottinghamshire miners could produce coal at £20 a ton, it could be sold at £90, and Welsh coal was produced at £120: it therefore needed to be curtailed. I think imported coal could have been brought in below £20. The taxpayers were fed up with subsidising the mining industry (and British Steel and British Leyland and British Rail. It was very poor management, at all levels, especially at the ownership level of nationalised industries)

            I have been down The Big Pit, in South Wales, and seen the coal seam: it’s about three feet thick (1m) so loads of rock needed to be extracted just so the miners could move forward! Extra investment would not have solved the problem there, even though the coal was very good quality: it’s quite unlike Lignite!

            There was also the small matter of whether the UK would be governed from Moscow through the Trade Unions or the Parliamentary Labour Party. Thatcher’s 1979 election win put a stop to both! (To give Brussels a chance? :) )

            There is also a difference between grants and subsidies for research and prototyping and the teat-sucking subsidies and market rigging that we have now from the EU spurred on by Green Zealotry.

            20

          • #
            Gerry, England

            Global warming hadn’t been invented when Mrs Thatcher took on Scargill’s National Union of Mineworkers and won having made preparations beforehand. Rather than nuclear it unleashed the ‘dash for gas’ generation which not only left the NUM stranded it also put the militant rail unions out in the long grass as gas didn’t need rail transport. A sad but politcally necessary policy since I believe gas is better suited to domestic and industrial use while coal can be burnt in central locations where it can be cleaned up. UK coal is mostly deep mine where the imported stuff is opencast.

            10

            • #
              Robert Christopher

              That is how I remember it too. :)

              In fact, in the 1970s we were still being told we were entering an Ice Age.

              Déjà vu, for the Dash for (fracked) Gas, and the Ice Age! :)

              20

    • #
      David Maddison

      Thanks for posting TdeF.

      41

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      It makes you wonder whether the evil of Nazism was actually defeated, or just went underground and was protected & nurtured by some of the Elite…..and seems to be resurfacing…..
      I think of the evil that has be revealed by Jimmy Saville et al, who seemed to be “connected” and probably protected for some time.

      Back to the topic – I’ve been posting on a few of “our ABC” discussion boards about how it would likely take 30-50 years to re-engineer the grid to cope with useless-ables, and to make a few rough and tumble no-holds-barred / queensberry rules points – namely that no one so far has even shown a properly engineered design to transition the grid to laughables to also still preserve our standard of living.

      It seems to be an open secret that there is no design nor plan to preserve our standard of living, but rather a concerted push to trash our economy to preserve the mythical “Gaia”.

      150

      • #
        TdeF

        Yes, having had Europe conquered by France until 1812, the Franco German war of 1870, the Franco German war of 1914 and by Germany from 1939 to 1945, you have to wonder if the European Union is not just the latest instance of Franco German political domination. The battle of Britain is possibly now replayed as Brexit, where Britain stands alone, except for the support of the US and the Commonwealth.

        90

        • #
          Robert Christopher

          The Spectator, July 2017:
          In the summer of 1990, the editor of The Spectator, Dominic Lawson, went to interview Nicholas Ridley, Margaret Thatcher’s Secretary of State for Industry, and asked him about the drive towards European Monetary Union. ‘This is all a German racket designed to take over the whole of Europe,’ said Ridley. ‘I’m not against giving up sovereignty in principle, but not to this lot. You might as well give it up to Adolf Hitler, frankly.’

          Of course, I couldn’t possibly comment :)

          10

      • #
        Hanrahan

        “It seems to be an open secret that there is no design nor plan to preserve our standard of living, but rather a concerted push to trash our economy to preserve the mythical “Gaia”.”

        I have no doubt that the green movement is deliberately anti-humanity. Improving the lot of the world’s poorest is of no interest to them. In fact their policies condemn them never to improve.

        60

    • #
      Another Ian

      I haven’t thought this out but it seems to me that there is a line of argument here that should end up with a rabid green having to admit to being a Hitler worshiper

      20

  • #
    Don B

    Solar and wind only add to electricity costs, because reliable generation must remain as backup.

    Another graph which tells that story; the more solar and wind, the higher the electricity price.

    http://www.euanmearns.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/europeelectricprice.png

    150

    • #
      TdeF

      That’s because wind may be free and coal is free, but the cost of harvesting wind in $ per kw is higher than the cost of harvesting energy from coal in $ per kw.

      The great lie, the sophistry in all this eco madness is that wind is FREE. It isn’t.

      310

      • #
        TdeF

        The corollary is that if you build enough windmills, the price of windmills will drop, so the cost of wind power will drop. Surely after the installation of 350,000 giant windmills, that is busted too?

        290

        • #
          TdeF

          The third big lie is that if you install enough wind and solar, CO2 levels will drop. Have they? No, CO2 steady growth is totally unaffected by an expenditure of $1,500,000,000,000 a year.

          Renewable energy is a lie. Unreliable, unpredictable, unaffordable and utterly inadequate.

          380

          • #
            toorightmate

            The CO2 horsesh*t has to stop.
            If the figure was 100 times that, people would still not be aware of the utter stupidity of it all.

            80

      • #
        Another Ian

        There was a comment the other day along the lines of

        “The wing may be free but sailors discover that the means to harvest it are expensive”

        150

      • #
        Robert Christopher

        Venezuela has a similar problem in that their free resource, oil, isn’t worth much if cannot be extracted and delivered as the customer wants it.

        10

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      That’s a good visual.

      10

  • #

    Great article, highlighting the full costs of renewables. The climate alarmists only compare the average cost of producing electricity from each source, then inflate the cost of fossil fuels with a fictitious “cost” of CO2 emissions. The full cost of renewables should be compared with electricity provision without them. As Jo says

    Capital sits there unused, spinning on standby, while wages, interest, and other costs keep accruing. So hapless baseload suppliers charge more for the hours that they do run, making electricity more expensive.

    In Britain, there is also the cost of increased grid infrastructure. Wind turbines are often in areas far from centers of population, and wind turbines are far from each other. The coal or gas plants are often near to population centers, whilst the nuclear plants, although in remote places, deliver large amounts of power from a single location.

    240

  • #
    Another Ian

    Around this area

    “America’s Wind Industry Squeals as Republicans Slash Massive Wind Power Subsidies”

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2018/01/we-dont-need-no-669.html

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    • #
      Another Ian

      And the comments

      40

    • #
      robert rosicka

      They can squeal as much as they like they claim they’re cheaper than coal and don’t need subsidies.

      140

      • #
        TdeF

        All the internet information about the low cost of wind energy is put out by the endless wind lobbyists and salesman. They argue that wind energy is actually cheaper, but they are comparing nameplate or absolute maximum wind power with coal power. When the wind is not blowing the cost is infinite because you are dividing by zero. You need to increase the cost of wind power x5 to compare, then that is still unfair unless you have massive storage, which is so expensive as to make wind unaffordable.

        If SA was entirely wind and Musk’s $100Million 5 second battery, you would need 12x60x24x $100Million or $1,728,000Million to backup a single day’s electricity for South Australia.
        Of course that’s $1Million dollars per person in South AUstralia. We will all have to pay more GST.

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  • #

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

    180

  • #
    PeterS

    It’s ironic that Germany’s goal is to shut down all its nuclear plants yet it’s building more coal fired plants for obvious reasons. Yet Australia has no nuclear power plants and is closing down the coal plants one by one. Australia has to be the most stupid country in the world.

    170

    • #
      David Maddison

      No longer the “clever country” and given huge numbers of missed opportunities I’m not sure we ever were.

      91

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Ive always been impresed with Australians and thier ingenuity and resilience, our best export is our people IMHO.

        Anyone who wants to be big in tech always goes OS as we just dont have the collective mindset to foster R & D or proper science here.

        The full “lucky country” quote :

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lucky_Country

        “In his 1976 follow-up book, Death of the Lucky Country, Horne clarified what he had meant when he first coined the term:

        When I invented the phrase in 1964 to describe Australia, I said: ‘Australia is a lucky country run by second rate people who share its luck.’ I didn’t mean that it had a lot of material resources … I had in mind the idea of Australia as a [British] derived society whose prosperity in the great age of manufacturing came from the luck of its historical origins … In the lucky style we have never ‘earned’ our democracy. We simply went along with some British habits.

        In the decades following his book’s publication, Horne became critical of the “lucky country” phrase being used as a term of endearment for Australia. He commented, “I have had to sit through the most appalling rubbish as successive generations misapplied this phrase.”

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Correct.

      If the govt is a reflection fo the people…well….

      A Brit once asked me what Australia was like, as he was interested in emigrating. I said kind of tongue in cheek it was a nation of plumbers…..I dont think he emigrated.

      60

      • #
        PeterS

        ..and electricians. I’m not denigrating them – just highlighting the fact they and many Australians have a good work ethic – they just don’t have vision. It’s all short term stuff; never looking to the future the way say America did in the past to get where it did so quickly during the 20th Century. Those that do don’t even bother to stay here and go overseas where their vision can be applied. If Australia really had the vision over the past century we could by now be focusing on sending a man to Mars ourselves. Instead we closed down our space industry a long time ago, and instead have CSIRO squealing about climate change. We are doing the same thing with everything else. Car industries closed down, petrol refining closed down, etc. Gradually we are becoming the Mexico of SE Asia. Eventually even the plumbers and electricians will be forced to earn much lower wages as cheaper labor keeps coming from overseas to compete and supply the desperate need by homeowners and builders as the rest of us suffer lower living standards and take home pay. I really don’t understand how anyone can see it any other way. Australians might wake up eventually but only after things get so bad it can’t be ignored anymore. The wake up call should have happened decades ago. We not only should have a very strong space industry here, we also should be the food bowel of the world given the land we have. Even there people come up with silly excuses like we can’t do that because we don’t have enough water. That’s pure rubbish. We have so much water it’s not funny. Most of it is left to drain away into the ground and into the seas. But building dams is such an evil act according to so many, not just the Greens. What fools. They also put up other stupid excuses about how inefficient it is to use land for food production. Tell that to the Israelis that turned desert into one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world. Look, at the moment it’s clear the problem is here to stay until the music stops and everyone wakes up from the zombie state to find there are no chairs left to sit on. Then and only then will the rude shock will hit all Australians and wonder what the hell happened. It’s obvious. We just don’t have any vision. It’s all about me me me, now now now. Even many of the ads on TV use the same theme. It’s sickening. It’s soul destroying. Sometimes I think I can’t wait for Shorten to become PM so we can get it over and done with much quicker and start all over again; hopefully.

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    I know I bang on about it all the time, but look at that graph, and this is just for the one Month.

    See the actual power consumption curve at the top there.

    Look at the minimum it falls to ….. 50GW, and the average low point is 55 to 60GW.

    See the low ones there and count them off. They are the weekends when power consumption is typically lowest, and also note that the lowest power consumption there is (who knew) Christmas Day.

    The Peak is up beyond 80GW on most work days and the average Peak is around 75GW.

    So, more than 70% of what is effectively the total generated power is required ABSOLUTELY, 100% of the time.

    It would be hard to even find an average for solar power on that graph

    How the hell can you even hope to run a Country on a power generation source as poor as what you see here.

    Fine, let them leap for joy on the summer day when it generates big time around midday on a couple of days, but when you have a load curve like the top of this graph ….. all the time, then this is less than nothing.

    The cost has been horrendous, but who cares as cost doesn’t seem to matter any more.

    It just DOES NOT WORK!

    End of story.

    Tony.

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      TdeF

      Right again, as usual. However consider that these are Germans. They have done their homework.
      They knew solar did not work when they sold it.
      This is all theft and [snip], political posturing by governments and a gravy train for manufacturers.
      Think what could be achieved in new power sources if the Germans did not worship trees, earth wind and fire, like the druids.

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      • #
        TdeF

        Right again, as usual. However consider that these are Germans. They have done their homework.
        They knew solar did not work when they sold it.
        This is all theft and fr*ud, political posturing by governments and a gravy train for manufacturers.
        Think what could be achieved in new power sources if the Germans did not worship trees, earth wind and fire, like the druids.

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        • #
          TdeF

          Please note I did not accuse all Germans of these things, just the people selling wind and solar. As for druids, it was the religion of many countries and remains so, especially in the East of Eurasia and Russia. People are welcome to their beliefs, but the money being spent should be employed developing fusion, fission, geothermal, ocean solar,.. The whole article is about the inadequacy of German solar, which is transparent. Someone must be responsible and I doubt it is the Russians.

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        • #
          ROM

          Think what could be achieved in new power sources if the Germans did not worship trees, earth wind and fire, like the druids

          and the National Socialists of a three quarters of a century ago.

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        • #
          Robert Christopher

          I read, either here, at NoTricksZone or, perhaps NotManyPeopleKnowThat, that Energiewende was planned and run by bureaucrats, without the inconvenience of consulting knowledgeable people. And we all know the consequences of that, no matter their nationality.

          The problem that the Germans have is that they have more money to throw at the problem.

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    • #
      toorightmate

      The CO2 horsesh*t has to stop.

      50

      • #
        PeterS

        Well the CO2 crap hasn’t stopped the building of about a thousand new coal fired power plants all over the rest of world. Only here in Australia have we decided it’s good policy to keep closing down ours and not replace them with new ones (or nuclear plants as some are doing) and pretend it’s OK. Stupid is as stupid does.

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    RickWill

    I wonder how many panels could actually make use of that 10 hours of sunshine. I expect a lot were covered in snow. Maybe they are steep enough for snow to slide off.

    Anyhow if you lived in Hamburg you could expect 12 hours of full sunshine equivalent in December based on the 10 year average:
    http://www.leidi.ee/wb/media/INSOLATION%20LEVELS%20EU.pdf
    So 10 hours is not unexpected.

    The paper on the following link was reference on NoTrickZone:
    http://www.hanswernersinn.de/dcs/2017%20Buffering%20Volatility%20EER%2099%202017.pdf
    It has a realistic look at the potential for German wind and solar. It is evident that the country will consume itself before it achieves its CO2 reduction targets.

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    pat

    compare with a Dec 2016 NYT story, which is still being picked up by MSM:

    25 Dec: NYT: Stanley Reed: Power Prices Go Negative in Germany, a Positive for Energy Users
    Power prices plunged below zero for much of Sunday and the early hours of Christmas Day on the EPEX Spot, a large European power trading exchange, the result of low demand, unseasonably warm weather and strong breezes that provided an abundance of wind power on the grid…

    Negative prices indicate that Germany’s power grid, like most others around the world, has not yet adapted to the increasing amounts of renewable energy being produced.
    “We have a lot of stress on the grid,” said Ulrike Hörchens, a spokeswoman for Tennet, a large grid operator in Germany and the Netherlands…

    But regulatory tweaks could make a difference. Germany, for example, does not do enough to encourage customers to increase their use at times of oversupply.

    On a basic level, that could be as simple as providing incentives for people to turn on the washing machine when power is plentiful, and cheap. Companies could make even more use of such guidance, ramping up energy-hungry tasks at times of low-cost electricity…

    RWE, one of Germany’s largest operators of power installations, employs a weather forecaster to help anticipate surges in wind power, and to match the spikes to when the company expects peak demand…
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/25/business/energy-environment/germany-electricity-negative-prices.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0&mtrref=undefined

    4 Jan: ScienceAlert: Germany Had So Much Renewable Energy Over Christmas It Had to Pay People to Use It
    This is the future.
    by JEREMY BERKE
    People in Germany essentially got paid to use electricity on Christmas.
    Electricity prices in the country went negative for many customers – as in, below zero – on Sunday and Monday, because the country’s supply of clean, renewable power actually outstripped demand, according to The New York Times…

    How this happens
    The phenomenon is less rare than you may think.
    Germany has invested over US$200 billion in renewable power over the last few decades, primarily wind and solar.
    During times when electricity demand is low – such as weekends when major factories are closed, or when the weather is unseasonably sunny – the country’s power plants pump more electricity into the grid than consumers actually need…

    It’s important to note that Germany’s utilities companies aren’t depositing money directly into consumer’s accounts when this happens. Rather, the periods of negative-pricing lead to lower electricity bills over the course of a year…

    The New York Times reported that some manufacturing plants and offices were incentivised to use electricity, at a cost of US$60 per megawatt-hour. And earlier this year, power prices in Germany spent a total of 31 hours below zero during an unseasonably warm October, according to the Times…

    In Britain, renewable energy sources generated over triple the electricity as coal did in 2017, according to The Guardian. In June, during a particularly windy night, power prices actually went negative in Britain for a few hours as well – and it’s likely to happen again.
    https://www.sciencealert.com/germany-actually-paid-people-use-clean-renewable-electricity-over-holidays-christmas

    meanwhile?

    26 Dec: L’Express: AFP: Electricité: la France importatrice nette en novembre, selon RTE
    (google translation) France was a net importer of electricity in November, while its production of nuclear and hydraulic was back again, said Tuesday the manager of the transmission network…
    “The monthly balance of trade becomes an importer in November 2017, which had not happened since January 2017. It amounts to 826 GWh” (gigawatt hours), said RTE in its monthly balance sheet.

    France has thus imported more electricity than it exported during the past month, and has in particular been a net importer from Spain, the United Kingdom and the so-called CWE zone (Central Western Europe, which includes Germany and Belgium…
    Gross consumption increased by 1.1%, while the average temperature was below normal…
    https://lexpansion.lexpress.fr/actualites/1/actualite-economique/electricite-la-france-importatrice-nette-en-novembre-selon-rte_1971789.html

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    pat

    Most of Britain’s electricity in 2017 is low-carbon for first time
    Financial Times-20 hours ago

    FT’s story is based on the following CarbonBrief analysis, which itself is based on:

    The figures in the article are from Carbon Brief analysis of half-hourly generation data collated by Dr Iain Staffell at Imperial College London for Electric Insights. In Carbon Brief’s analysis, the Electric Insights figures have been adjusted to include all sources of UK electricity generation, making them comparable to the widely reported BEIS Energy Trends data on generation. This adjustment makes use of already-published BEIS data for the first three quarters of 2017. To match up with the BEIS generation data, the figures include generation from pumped storage, even though this is a net user of electricity, and exclude imports. The adjustment also takes account of losses due to power plant self-use, whereas the Electric Insights data is for electricity supplied to the grid. It adds estimates for generation sources not connected to the national electricity transmission network. Electric Insights already adds solar and makes an estimate for distributed wind, but excludes other types of distributed generation, such as landfill gas, waste incineration and industrial gas combined heat and power. Its figures are also too low for wind, an unresolved but known discrepancy when compared to the official BEIS stats.

    lengthy, lots of links, charts:

    3 Jan: CarbonBrief: Simon Evans: Analysis: Low-carbon sources generated more UK electricity than fossil fuels in 2017
    The rise of low-carbon electricity supplies has been rapid, driven by subsidies for renewables…

    However, nuclear remains the single largest source of low-carbon electricity in the UK – and the second largest source overall. It generated 70TWh in 2017, a figure that is virtually unchanged since the early 2000s, when a number of old reactors were closed down…

    Coal death spiral
    The latest decline in coal-fired electricity generation in the UK completes an 84% fall over the space of just five years, between 2012 and 2017.

    The fall has been so dramatic that solar generated more electricity than coal on 182 of 365 days last year, with wind exceeding coal on 302 days. There were also 1,226 half-hour periods with zero coal generation, the equivalent of 25.5 days.

    There were 3 full days with zero coal, including the well-publicised first coal-free day since the industrial revolution, on 21 April, but also the 1st and 29th of October…

    The leading protagonist in coal’s demise has been the UK’s top-up carbon tax, the carbon price floor. This has raised the carbon price for the power sector to around £23 per tonne of CO2 in 2017, increasing the cost of coal generation, relative to lower-carbon gas…

    At the latest budget, the government committed to maintain a steady carbon price for the power sector until coal has been phased out. The government has yet to set out how it will ensure its phaseout plans are guaranteed, if the carbon price and market conditions fail to do the job. It also remains committed to the capacity market, which (includes?) keeping coal plants open as an insurance policy against insufficient electricity supplies…

    The variability of wind and solar output is magnified on a day-to-day or hour-to-hour timescale, as the chart below shows…
    https://www.carbonbrief.org/uk-low-carbon-generated-more-than-fossil-fuels-in-2017

    18 Nov: Paul Homewood: “Polluting” UK coal plants export power to France as cold weather bites
    Analysis by Iain Staffell, lecturer in sustainable energy at Imperial College and author of the Electric Insights report, came to a similar conclusion.
    “In short, coal usage has shot up in the last two weeks, both because we are now exporting to France and because demand is growing as it gets colder. We are still using less coal than we did this time last year though,” he said…READ ALL & CHECK THE COMMENTS
    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/11/18/polluting-uk-coal-plants-export-power-to-france-as-cold-weather-bites/

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    Extreme Hiatus

    So when someone with a clue told them that they can take those solar panels and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine… they did!

    Between saving the planet and saving ‘refugees’ Merkel and her masters have pretty much ruined Germany.

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    It’s rare for Germans to botch up an engineering task on quite this scale.

    There is a first time for everything, even botching an engineering job on such a grand scale as this, German or not.

    The guy who engineered the VW Beetle with it’s elegant simplicity and reliability is long gone and individual initiative and sound reasoning seem to have gone out of style. And not just in Germany.

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  • #
    pat

    when Greenpeace sees it as “ambitious”, maybe it’s time for a re-think?

    2 Jan: Financial Times: Taiwan green shift defies energy security fears
    Ambitious transition to renewables comes despite supply shortages and nuclear phase-out
    by Edward White in Taipei
    The government has faced growing calls to tackle the toxic smog that blights many parts of Taiwan — thousands took to the streets last month to protest against coal-fired power.
    President Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive party are pushing ahead with a proposal to cut coal use and boost renewable generation. But cost uncertainties, Taiwan’s acute energy supply problems and a pledge to phase out nuclear power on the earthquake-prone island threaten to complicate the plan.

    “We do see it as ambitious,” said Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace executive director. “It is pretty unique that they are trying to deal with both [nuclear and climate change risks] at the same time.”
    The government aims to lift renewables’ share of Taiwan’s power mix from 6 per cent to 20 per cent over the next seven years via construction of offshore wind farms and solar installations, and to reduce carbon emissions to 20 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030…

    But the speed of the transition threatens energy security in an already fragile power system.“Everyone has concern, not only the chipmakers,” said the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association. “We need a stable power supply.”…

    A power outage in August hit millions across Taiwan, prompting the resignation of Lee Chih-kung as economic affairs minister. Now authorities are rushing to build new wind and solar capacity while installing a suite of new gas-fired turbines and LNG import terminals, which will be critical in cutting the use of coal…

    The government has also committed to ban the sale of fossil fuel-powered motorcycles and cars by 2035 and 2040 respectively, which will put more pressure on electricity demand as consumers switch to electric vehicles.

    Frequent typhoons in summer, the risk of earthquakes, and rough seas and strong winds throughout winter mean wind power engineers are encountering challenges “that have not been faced anywhere in the world”, said Thomas Probst, a project manager with Danish engineering consultancy Niras, which is advising Taipower on the offshore projects…

    There is a very good wind resource in this region and the government is pushing this industry, giving some very favourable feed-in-tariffs for the developers,” said Mr Probst. “It seems very likely that a large capacity will be installed between 2020 and 2025.” There are, however, also questions about future power price increases. Early estimates put the investment in wind power, alone, at $19.2bn, but government agencies remain unclear on the total costs of the transition…
    https://www.ft.com/content/6b429f2e-e3c6-11e7-97e2-916d4fbac0da

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    pat

    2 Jan: Guardian: 2017 was the hottest year on record without an El Niño, thanks to global warming
    Climate scientists predicted the rapid rise in global surface temperatures that we’re now seeing
    by Dana Nuccitelli
    In fact, 2017 was the hottest year without an El Niño by a wide margin – a whopping 0.17°C hotter than 2014, which previously held that record. Remarkably, 2017 was also hotter than 2015, which at the time was by far the hottest year on record thanks in part to a strong El Niño event that year…

    It’s déjà vu all over again
    I’ve been writing for the Guardian for almost 5 years now, and every year I’ve had to write a similar headline or two…
    Those early years were the height of the denier frenzy about the mythical global warming ‘hiatus…
    Temperatures have in fact risen so quickly, it appears to have taken just a few years for that prediction to come true and for the denier focus on the short-term surface warming slowdown to look quite foolish…

    2017 – a year of climate denial
    Speaking of climate denial, on the 362nd day of the hottest year on record without an El Niño, the US president tweeted this…BLAH BLAH

    America was hit by 15 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2017, and it will likely be the costliest such year on record once all of the hurricane damages are tallied.
    These extreme weather events are expensive, and they’re a mere taste of what’s to come. Until we manage to cut global carbon pollution, temperatures will continue to rise and climate change consequences will become more severe. While it broke many of today’s records, 2017 is just a taste of what’s to come.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/jan/02/2017-was-the-hottest-year-on-record-without-an-el-nino-thanks-to-global-warming

    perhaps because of this:

    2 Jan: Mashable: A meteorological ‘bomb’ is set to go off along the East Coast, and dangerous cold will soon follow
    By Andrew Freedman
    The cold weather that will result is going to be more frigid than anything that residents of the Midwest and East Coast have experienced so far during what has been an unusually intense and long-lasting cold snap. Instead of breaking daily temperature records, as dozens of cities have been, all-time cold temperature records will be threatened on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday…
    http://mashable.com/2018/01/02/weather-bomb-to-strike-east-coast-arctic-blast-coldest-to-date/#TMe0KpZnDQqB

    Winter Storm Hitting East Coast Could Shatter All-Time Cold Temperature Records
    HuffPost · 23 hours ago

    MSM in US is mostly reporting the 2017 verdict as a local story:

    2017 the third hottest year on record in Flagstaff
    2017 was 6th warmest year on record in Milwaukee
    Memphis had sixth-warmest year on record in 2017
    2017: Salt Lake City’s 4th warmest year on record
    2017 beats 2016 as the hottest year on record for Lafayette

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    pat

    3 Jan: Time: Bryan Walsh: Arctic Blast: The Northern Air Mass Bringing Record-Breaking Cold to the U.S.
    Today was cold for much of the U.S., but the next few days are going to get much, much worse. Why January is starting off with a shiver
    Dangerously cold temperatures will be hit the Northern Plains and the Upper Midwest this weekend and into next week, causing temperatures to fall below 0º F (-18º C), and in some places, reach -60º F (-51º C) with the wind chill. In Chicago, temperatures on Monday could threaten the all-time coldest daily high temperature in the city’s history: -11º F (-24º C), reached on Christmas Eve 1983 and Jan. 18, 1994. Detroit could see its all-time coldest daily high temperature record of -4º F (-20º C) tumble as well. That cold air will continue towards the East Coast in the following days, with temperatures in the single digits over the mid-Atlantic, and in the -10s and -20s in parts of New England by mid-week. Altogether this could be the coldest Arctic air mass to hit the middle of the country in more than 20 years, with temperatures as much as 40º F (22 º C) below normal in much of the country…

    Since 1912, the coldest states have warmed nearly twice as fast as the rest of the country. In a warming world, winter loses its sting.
    But it won’t seem that way over the next few days—and that will be dangerous. Even with climate change, the U.S. still generally still sees more deaths from cold snaps than from extreme heat. For all the media attention that snow gets—looking at you, Weather Channel—extreme cold can be deadly, especially for the society’s most vulnerable. For them, a little global warming can’t come soon enough.
    http://science.time.com/2014/01/03/arctic-blast-the-northern-air-mass-bringing-record-breaking-cold-to-the-u-s/

    3 Jan: MotherJones: Snow in Florida? Maybe We Can Thank Global Warming.
    Yes, that’s right. Research suggests climate change has made cold snaps more likely.
    by Nathalie Baptiste
    The Eastern United States is starting out 2018 the same way it ended 2017: bone-chillingly cold. Many New Year’s Eve revelers endured record-breaking low temperatures, and it’s only going to get colder. Thanks to a weather system known as a “bomb cyclone,” the entire East Coast is or will soon be subject to subzero temperatures, hurricane-force winds, snow, and ice—including Florida, the Sunshine State…

    But despite how strange it is to spot snow on palm trees, the sight doesn’t disprove global warming…
    Just like every other time it gets cold enough to require a winter coat, climate change deniers have seized on the chilly weather outside to argue that global warming can’t be happening. They’re wrong—the frigid temperatures might actually be because of global warming.

    In 2016, Mother Jones reported on Rutgers researcher Jennifer Francis (ANOTHER CLIMATE NEXUS VOICE) and other scientists who believe that global warming is playing a role in extreme cold snaps…
    It’s also important to remember that weather and climate are two different things…

    So even though much of the country finished out 2017 with record-breaking (COLD?) temperatures, it was still the second hottest year on record. The clear, long-term trends are far more important than the snow Tallahassee residents are seeing outside today.
    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2018/01/snow-in-florida-maybe-we-can-thank-global-warming/

    I have not heard a single report on the Big Freeze in the US on any radio news bulletin (ABC & BBC included) over the past week.

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    pat

    3 Jan: SMH: Twenty NSW beaches, national parks at ‘extreme risk’, report finds
    by James Robertson
    Many of NSW’s iconic beaches and parks are at “extreme risk” from rising sea levels and national work is needed so the public accepts the cost of fighting erosion, a report quietly released by the state government says.
    The consultants’ report, released by the state government two days before New Year’s Eve, has found that every single one of the about 20 beaches along 150 kilometres of central NSW’s most pristine coastline, and two national parks are facing “extreme risk” of climate change…

    Global warming threatened all the former Great Lake Council’s beaches, including Hawks Nest, Blueys and Jimmys Beaches and One and Seven Mile National Parks, the report by BMT WBM environmental engineers warned…

    The areas were either already at extreme risk or would be by 2060 or 2100, the report said.
    The CSIRO forecasts a likely rise in sea levels of between 0.45 to 0.88 metres by the end of the century…
    “Many of the properties at highest risk are also those with the highest property values,” the report concluded…
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/twenty-nsw-beaches-national-parks-at-extreme-risk-report-finds-20180102-h0cllg.html

    2 Jan: Boston Globe: It’s a glacier out there: Waters off Mass. are freezing solid
    By Emily Sweeney and Laney Ruckstuhl
    In the wake of a nearly seven-day deep freeze, the Coast Guard has been busy breaking up ice off the shores of Hingham, Weymouth, and Winthrop, according to Coast Guard officials.

    Chief Petty Officer Anthony Kaminski, the officer in charge of the Pendant, a 65-foot harbor tug ice breaker, said they cleared ice along the Fore River in Weymouth, the Back River in Hingham, and behind Logan Airport. The work began on New Year’s Eve and continued Tuesday morning, he said.
    “Looks like we’ll be doing this all winter,” Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Andrew Barresi said…

    BELOW:
    ‘Slurpee waves’ again wash ashore on Nantucket
    The weather is so cold that slush-like ocean water is slowly rolling towards the shoreline on Nantucket. The effect is hypnotizing, and it’s the second time it’s happened in three years

    Possible blizzard Thursday — then temperatures plunge
    New Englanders can think of today as a single day of reprieve ahead of the near-blizzard conditions expected Thursday

    It’s just another storm. So why does this one feel so cruel?
    Maybe it’s the cold spell that preceded it. Maybe it’s the cold spell yet to come.
    http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/01/02/ice-ice-baby-cold-snap-freezes-harbors/zGD2i8FXl0t0jhlV9QdAkI/story.html

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      pat

      should have included the money quote from the SMH/NSW beaches article:

      A spokesman for the Office of Environment and Heritage said it worked closely with coastal councils and was jointly developing a coastal zone management plan.
      “Councils can also apply for funds under the $63 million Coastal and Estuary Grants program,” the spokesman said.

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      Annie

      So I guess that when NYC is under a km of ice and snow it will once again be ‘the warmest evah’?

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    • #
      AndyG55

      “Many of NSW’s iconic beaches and parks are at “extreme risk” from rising sea levels and national work is needed so the public accepts the cost of fighting erosion,”

      TOTAL BS.

      Beaches will easily cope with a rise of less than 1mm/year.

      The geology of the NSW coastline clearly shows that a couple of thousands years ago water levels were some 1 – 1.5m higher than now.

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    • #
      AndyG55

      “The CSIRO forecasts a likely rise in sea levels of between 0.45 to 0.88 metres by the end of the century…”

      CSIRO forecasts are fantasy based on proven erroneous junk models.

      No sign of more than about 1mm/year rise, and no sign of any acceleration..

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  • #
    Andrew McRae

    Hello, Jo, and TonyFromOz.

    Another obscurantist from the infamous Grattan Institute gives a muddled explanation of rising electricity bills.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-04/energy-policy-solar-electricity-bills-air-conditioning-costs/9298346

    About the only part that is correct is that the main cause was network overheads and the main contributor to that was government-owned network corporations, responding to government decisions about higher reliability standards, and being guaranteed financial returns by the government.

    What does he say about renewables being to blame? He says Yes, but greenhouse blah blah.

    The main muddle is the lack of discrimination between nameplate maximum capacity and actual generation. It leads to contradictions like this (my emphasis):

    Up until the late 2000s the market kept chugging along. Then [an event had the effect of] pushing more supply into the market.

    Far from being oversupplied, the market is now struggling to meet demand … Put simply, Australia has failed to build enough new generation over recent years…

    Plus this contradiction.

    And second, the Renewable Energy Target (RET) was ramped up, pushing more supply into the market.

    Is it renewables’ fault that replacement generation has not been built? No. It’s the Government’s fault for failing to provide the right environment for new investment.

    When you live in topsy-turvy world, adding “more supply” is not building enough “new generation”, and adding more investment incentives for “supply” was a failure to stimulate new investment in “generation”.
    It’s as though this guy just started writing out his addled stream-of-consciousness and never went back to read or edit it as a document, or worse that he cannot recognise contradictions.

    Make the distinction between nameplate capacity and actual output and suddenly the contradiction is resolved :
    Stimulating (mal)investment in low output medium nameplate capacity renewables with subsidised costs plus requiring retailers to buy that output while unsubsidised high output high capacity coal power continued generating unpurchased output was a failure to stimulate investment in greater actual generation and also lead to some coal stations being unprofitable and closing which created the undersupply.

    They do not account for all the network upgrades that stabilise the grid frequency against the destabilising influence of rooftop solar and wind as being costs of the RET. Climate policy is certainly the main cause of undersupply and, with proper accounting, is likely the second-largest cause of bill increases.
    The Grattan Insitute doesn’t try to paint the private sector as evil in this piece, they do blame government policy, but they have totally obscured which government policy is most to blame. Climate policy never appointed a red team to defend CO2 against its rapid conviction for change in climate.

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    • #

      Thanks Andrew. (my bolding here)

      …..with subsidised costs plus requiring retailers to buy that output while unsubsidised high output high capacity coal power continued generating unpurchased output…..

      There are currently NO such coal fired power plants in Australia. They used to be called rolling reserve, in other words burning and turning, but not delivering any power until called upon.

      Right now, and for the last six months plus I have been watching and collecting the data, every Unit at every coal fired plant which is in operation is selling every MWH of power it generates. The only time they are not doing that is when they are down for maintenance.

      They are even ramping up and down to follow the Load in every State (now only two States, NSW and Qld) to follow the Load, except for Victoria which needs all the power it can get, so every Unit in that State in operation is generating at its maximum whenever it is on line.

      It’s irony really, because in effect, coal fired power is all that is keeping power prices down.

      NSW had some rolling reserve plants, which have closed, and power costs in that State rose when they closed. They closed Playford and then Northern in SouthAus, and power costs went up. They closed Hazelwood in Victoria and power prices went up there too. You’d think people would have noticed that, eh, but no, they have this desperate need to demonise coal fired power at every turn.

      High Capacity high output coal fired plants are most definitely NOT generating unpurchased power. It’s the first power they go to when they need power, at any time of the day. All the AEMO does is to get on the blower to any coal fired plant and ask them to ramp it up to maximum, and it doesn’t actually need to do that, because it is now automatic considering the time power is actually needed to be ramped up.

      They don’t even ramp back down if wind power is high. It just hums along doing what it always does.

      All of this is a real inconvenient truth, so d@mned inconvenient that no one even dares to report on it, not that any journalist would even bother, because those facts have vapour trails too far above any journalists eye line.

      Tony.

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        Andrew McRae

        Yes I guess it was the rolling reserve that I was referring to.

        They don’t even ramp back down if wind power is high. It just hums along doing what it always does.

        When retailers are currently required to purchase ~18% wind power, and on days the wind utilities are generating more than is needed, you’re saying the coal PS does not ramp down at the same rate that the wind has ramped up and yet the money paid for the power at that time is still preferentially paid to the coal PS and not the wind PS ?

        Where does the wind power go in that case, and is it purchased?

        For total generation to equal total demand and for Coal to be paid for every MWh generated despite increases of wind output would surely mean Coal must have reduced their weekly output. How else do you explain it?

        If what you say is true, my mistake was to say the coal PS profitability drops from a direct expense not being offset by direct income, but the only other way coal PS closures can be explained is from weekly generation decreasing, which makes fixed costs greater in comparison to direct income, but that does still require coal PS to have reduced weekly generation in response to wind being available in the market.

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          Andrew,

          from what I he seen over the last six Months, coal fired power generation actually looks like it is increasing.

          Any changes at all with respect to wind going up and down, all of that is taken up with the gas fired plants either coming on line to take up any slack or going off line.

          The way power pricing is structured, it’s last on first off, and those coal fired plants are already delivering , so what comes on line is gas fired power, and when consumption drops, then the most recent gas fired plant that came on line is the first to be dropped off.

          I have also noticed that hydro and wind work closely together, and when wind is low, then hydro is up, and vice versa.

          What I have seen, and it’s not just an anomalous thing, because this is now six Months of daily checking, is that coal fired power looks immune from virtually every other form of power generation.

          At the start I was certain that I would see coal fired power being affected badly in the current power generation ‘climate’ (not weather type climate here) but it looks like it actually is the ‘go to’ when ANY power is needed.

          It’s the strangest thing. It supplies the most at that 4AM Base Load time, and then ramps up to supply the bulk of power at Peak Power time, no matter what wind is supplying.

          It has become so obvious now what is actually happening.

          The AEMO just hums along, doing what it always does, making sure and certain that there is always power there, and when that is needed, it’s now obvious that no matter what whoever it may be says, coal fired power really is the source of major supply.

          What has made power so costly is gas fired power, and what I have seen is that the more gas plants on line, the higher the cost for electricity.

          That’s not me just saying that.

          Six Months of data now comprehensively bears that out.

          The problem (for everyone) will be if they want to close another coal fired plant, because then there won’t be enough power to go around, especially in Victoria.

          SouthAus they would like to tell us is an example, but hey, they only consume around 6% at most of Australia’s generated power, and you can get by when it’s on a micro level like that. You CANNOT do that for Victoria, Queensland or NSW.

          Incidentally, what I have noticeds is that since Holdens closed, power consumption in SouthAus has fallen even further.

          When it comes to coal fired power station profitability, what needs to be realised here is that they sell absolutely humungously monstrously huge amounts of power, when compared with EVERY other method of power generation, so they can absorb things a little more easily. Rolling reserve plants would have felt the heat big time because there was hardly anything coming in and they had to keep Units at the plant operational, so in those cases, it was an economic decision to close.

          Tony.

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            Andrew McRae

            Tony.
            Thanks for monitoring the situation. I had forgotten about those station closures. That may mean coal total output has increased since 3 years ago in spite of the closures because the remaining coal stations are running with a higher daily duty cycle? I know you said you’ve been watching it for only 6 months so any answer here might be speculative.
            I had a look at the AEMO 2014 report the other day and it seems from 2008 to 2014 the total demand actually fell slightly, and the total coal generation output actually decreased faster than the demand did, with the gap made up by increases in gas and a bit of wind. So coal did decrease in output over that time.
            Checking the latest report (May 2017) and figure 1.9 shows that in 2015/2016 the total demand had almost gotten back up to where it was in 2008, and although coal output grew after 2014 (figure 1.10), wind had also grown in the meantime and so by 2016 coal output was still less than in 2008.
            Beyond that I defer to your descriptions as the official reports won’t yet show what you’ve been seeing in the last six months.

            The problem (for everyone) will be if they want to close another coal fired plant, because then there won’t be enough power to go around, especially in Victoria.

            Nah mate, they just close down the demand instead!

            Temperatures of around 41 degrees in Melbourne and Adelaide on Saturday and 38 degrees in Sydney on Sunday will drive up electricity usage as residents try to cool their homes.

            The Australian Energy Market Operator is working with 14 businesses that have large factories and smelters and use a significant portion of the two states’ electricity.

            The national regulator has made deals with the companies to reduce operations over the weekend to free up more supply for households.

            Makes you wonder if the big users are being compensated with tax $ for lost production.
            First they came for the aluminium smelters, and I said nothing, for I was not an aluminium smelter. Just kidding, as this set of priorities is the opposite to a totalitarian state because a commie regime would decide the people can suffer as long as the 5 year quota of aluminium gets produced for glory of great State of Wetherilstan etc. Of course in commie state the government would own the factory too. In Australia, people vote, companies don’t.
            More back room bread and air-con circuses to win votes, some things don’t change.

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          rollo

          Craig says “Where does the wind power go in that case, and is it purchased? ”

          Not quite sure of my facts here, but I’ll give it a go.

          The windmills converter has the ability to transfer energy generated to the grid if there is a 50hz 240volt (or near enough) wave for it to ride. Remember that certificates are only granted for power sent to the grid!

          The random dribbles of wind power are such a small part of the grid that, if not needed for immediate consumption, could be absorbed by the rotating mass of all the online synchronous generators, used to top up batteries or used to pump some water up a hill.

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        rollo

        Tony says “They used to be called rolling reserve, in other words burning and turning, but not delivering any power until called upon.”

        So from “burning and turning” how long does a coal fired power station take to reach maximum output? I realize this may vary considerably by generator type.

        I was just looking at Eraring 01 on aneroid and it went from zero capacity to 95% in about 12 hours. Would this be from a “rolling” or a stationary state?

        Sorry if this is a dumb question but I couldn’t find a dummies guide anywhere!

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        • #

          rollo, no, not a dumb question at all.

          That 12 hours to full power is around the average for big Units like at Eraring. That’s from zero. Before that, they have to fire up everything all the way back to the coal loader. All that you will see is the power coming back up from zero.

          After a major (long time off) servicing, most of them will step it up, running up the power to (say) a third, and leave it there for a few hours, sometimes longer, and then the next step, (say) two thirds, and same time for that, and then slowly back up to max, constantly checking everything the system, not just power generation capability, but again everything back to the coal loader.

          We have just gone through the benign Months and all plants had Units down for servicing, so i got to see a lot of Units coming and going, and again, that’s a co-ordinated thing with the AEMO as well, going on what power is needed, so servicing schedules for all 49 Units in the Country are very carefully scheduled.

          Tony.

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            During those benign Months, there were a number of weeks when between 9 and 12 Units were off line for servicing, most averaging three days to five days, some less.

            Right now, and for the last three weeks or so, there have been just three Units down, and at one stage only One Unit (at Liddell) was down and that’s been down for almost six Months now.

            I would see some units coming back on line, as another somewhere else started to go down, and that’s how fine the planning was

            Tony.

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            rollo

            Thanks Tony. So if a station such as Eraring is “burning and turning” how quickly could it reach maximum output?

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        Chad

        Tony, ..can Gas be substuted for coal in a high output , SC, or even a HELE type plant ?
        Or is there some technical barrier ?

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          Graeme No.3

          Chad:

          The barrier is cost. HELE type plants burn coal because it gives the most amount of heat at the lowest cost. You can fire boilers with oil or gas but the amount and cost of fuel required brings the cost way up.
          Gas is useful in CCGTs (closed cycle) where you get energy out of burning the gas in the turbine then ‘recover’ more by directing the exhaust from the turbine into a boiler fire box. (in some cases exhaust from multiple gas turbines feeds the boiler). This means about 60-62% efficiency of combustion vs about 45% in a coal fired HELE station, but it still costs more because of the price paid for the gas.
          The big advantage with CCGTs is that the higher efficiency results in less CO2 per unit of electricity generated. Thus HELE stations generate 700 kg. CO2 per MWh v 400-450 from CCGTs. (Old time black coal about 960, old time brown coal 1100-1300 depending on composition esp. water amount). Thus the move in many countries to gas as a way of reducing emissions, more demand for gas leading to higher prices and higher bills for consumers. Unfortunately where coal is still cheap (as in Germany) it is the CCGTs that cannot compete (whole plants have been dismantled and moved to other countries).

          Get the gas cheaply enough and you can compete. This has shown up in the USA where frakking resulted in cheaper gas but also hydrocarbon liquids which being unwanted were sold very cheaply to those who could burn them e.g. in a boiler. Hence the dip in coal usage in the USA which has reversed once Trump removed the charges laid on coal by Obama. Equally, if you force up the price of coal, as per Dopey Dan tripling the mining royalties, then lower emissions should follow as CCGTs replace coal fired – dependent on there actually being alternative methods of generation (CCGTs) available. As there weren’t such in Vic. the move has indeed proved dopey.

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            Chad

            Thanks Graeme,
            ..i was curious why we never hear of Gas fueled SC or HELE type generators.
            I was under the impression that Gas has a higher energy density, and hence lower CO2 per KWh by default…..but if the cost factor is significant it wont make enough difference

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    It’s rare for Germans to botch up an engineering task on quite this scale.

    It’s been a long time since real Engineers have had any say in how the country is run. It was all over, bar the shouting, by the mid 1990′s.

    Major projects were undertaken with single-buttock effort and foresight.

    Exhibit 1: Berlin’s new Airport [BER] originally proposed to open in 2007, delayed to 2011 once construction actually began and now; it may open in 2019 or 2022.

    Exhibit 2: Trains where the newest “very fast” trains will be “not quite as fast” as their predecessors; slowed to 250 km/h from 320 km/h; their predecessors e.g. shedding wheels at speed or cooking their passengers on a hot day as airconditioning struggled in ambient temperatures of just 35°C.

    Exhibit 3: Rail network where freight and passenger trains collide all too often as a result of poor signalling and safe working practices. Their rail signal network is also insecure; vulnerable to miscreants’ deliberate actions.

    Exhibit 4: The Chancellor’s Office in Berlin (which looks like a giant, front-loading washing machine from the street) has a leaky roof that they’ve been unable to fix since 2007.

    Exhibit 5: Regulations on vehicle emission limits reduced arbitrarily to levels orders of magnitude below what is known to be harmful and to levels below what is technically achievable at a reasonable cost. [Result: "Dieselgate" as management encourage flacid engineers to play the system instead of standing up for reasonable emissions limits.]

    Exhibit 6: EV recharging networks deployed in haste with essentially no security on billing. You just need a valid RFID tag ID; no encryption, no handshake to validate the card.

    Exhibit 7: EV delivery vans, purpose built for the German post office fail to deliver as temperatures sink below freezing. Their batteries are depleted prematurely because they need to heat the vehicle with several already left stranded “in the wilderness”. Range anxiety is high in the delivery drivers. Highway speeds can also cause the bonnet to fly open … and the vehicle suddenly stop without reason, refusing to restart until a technician can come to “reboot” the vehicle.

    Exhibit 8: Promoting combustible polystyrene as fasade insulation on residential buildings, protected only by a thin, fragile render. Costing a small fortune and, even at today’s energy costs, with payback periods of between 50 and 90 years in energy savings.

    Exhibit 9: Thermomix

    Exhibit 10: Berlin Central Train Station; a crossing point of national and international tracks where long-distance travellers have to make do with platforms not wide enough to cope with travellers with luggage.

    Exhibit 11: Bus stations where the roof is too low for the regular buses.

    I could spend all day listing debacles and failures to meet expectations of reasonable and safe performance. If it didn’t make me so sad.

    Not that one can blame the Engineers beyond their failure to stand up for what is technically reasonable and to let them do their job properly. Management, driven by politics and serving the screeching “environmentalists” are preventing Engineers from applying the diligence required to achieve the famed qualities of German Engineering. It’s a frantic rush to market with a product of the month defined by “marketing” and a desperation by the harried Engineers to hang onto their (usually low-paid) jobs.

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    pat

    3 Jan: Click Orlando: AP: LIVE UPDATES: Florida faces freezing temperatures, bomb cyclone developing
    More flights canceled
    https://www.clickorlando.com/news/live-updates-florida-faces-freezing-temperatures-severe-weather

    3 Jan: WaPo: AP: Storm slaps coastal South with most snow in nearly 3 decades
    By Russ Bynum 
    SAVANNAH, Ga. — A brutal winter storm smacked the coastal Southeast with a rare blast of snow and ice Wednesday, hitting parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina with their heaviest snowfall in nearly three decades…

    ***At least 17 deaths were blamed on dangerously cold temperatures that for days have gripped wide swaths of the U.S. from Texas to New England…

    Airports shut down in Savannah, Charleston and elsewhere as airlines cancelled 500 flights Wednesday, and at least 1,700 more were cancelled Thursday. Interstate 95 was nearly an icy parking lot for almost all of its 200 miles (322 kilometers) in South Carolina. Troopers couldn’t keep up with the number of reported wrecks which numbered in the hundreds…

    Associated Press reporters Seth Borenstein in Washington; Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama; Tammy Webber in Indianapolis; Jeff Martin in Atlanta; Freida Frisaro in Miami; Brendan Farrington and Gary Fineout in Tallahassee, Florida; Jonathan Drew in Raleigh, North Carolina; Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, South Carolina; Rebecca Santana in New Orleans; Brian Witte in Annapolis, Maryland; and Stephen Morton in Savannah contributed to this story.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/bitter-cold-tests-winter-wise-delivers-shock-to-south/2018/01/02/dced2c98-f01e-11e7-95e3-eff284e71c8d_story.html?utm_term=.cd4eb440c4a4

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    pat

    ???

    4 Jan: ABC: Energy policy failure behind 10-year story of spiralling electricity bills
    By David Blowers, The Conversation
    (David Blowers is the Energy Fellow at the Grattan Institute)
    Politicians are told never to waste a good crisis. Australia’s electricity sector is in crisis, or something close to it. The nation’s first-ever statewide blackout, in South Australia in September 2016, was followed by electricity shortages in several states last summer. More shortages are anticipated over coming summers.
    But for most Australians, the most visible impact of this crisis has been their ever-increasing electricity bills…

    Four components make up your electricity bill. Each has contributed to this increase
    1.The biggest culprit has been the network component — the cost of transporting the electricity.
    2.Next comes the retail component — the cost of billing and servicing the customer.
    3.Then there is the wholesale component — the cost of generating the electricity.
    4.And finally, the government policy component — the cost of environmental schemes that we pay for through our electricity bills…

    3. Generational problems
    So far, we have accounted for 65 per cent of the bill increase of the past decade, and neither renewables nor coal have been mentioned once. Nor were they ever likely to be. The actual generation of electricity has only ever formed a minor portion of your electricity bill — the ACCC report shows that in 2015-16 the wholesale component constituted only 22 per cent of the typical bill…

    4. Green and gold
    Finally, we have the direct cost of government green schemes over the past decade: the RET; the household solar panel subsidies; and the energy-efficiency incentives for homes and businesses.
    They represent 16 per cent of the price increase over the past 10 years — but they are still only 6 per cent of the average bill.
    If the aim of these schemes has been to reduce emissions, they have not done a very good job.

    Rooftop solar panel subsidies have been expensive and inequitable. The RET is more effective as an industry subsidy than an emissions reduction or energy transition policy. And energy efficiency schemes have produced questionable results.

    It hasn’t been a total waste of money, but far deeper emissions cuts could have been delivered if those funds had been channelled into a coherent policy…

    The Coalition has rejected the Clean Energy Target recommended by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel. Labor will give no guarantee of support for the Government’s alternative policy, the National Energy Guarantee.
    Some politicians doubt the very idea that we need to act on climate change. Some states have given up on Canberra and are going it alone.
    We’ve been here before and we know how this story ends. Crisis wasted.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-04/energy-policy-solar-electricity-bills-air-conditioning-costs/9298346

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    Andrew

    No solar generated … but but but there was so much wind over Christmas it had to pay people to use the power.
    “Electricity prices in the country went negative for many customers – as in, below zero – on Sunday and Monday, because the country’s supply of clean, renewable power actually outstripped demand.”

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    Julian Flood

    If we treated each supplier of electricity as just that, not a supplier of electricity generated by a particular means, then some sort of sense would return to the market. At present (I’m in the UK) an energy firm has no incentive to prioritise reliability of supply as important. The solution is to give each supplier a five/ten year contract to supply a steady and reliable amount of power with penalties for power outages.

    Companies wishing to supply the grid would then build the mix of their generating capacity as economically as possible to meet the reliability and demand criteria — my guess is we’d end up with some wind backed up by a few OCGT, with CCGT as the 100% fallback. When the wind blows the CCGT could shut down, when wind falters the OCGT would keep things working until the CCGT gets up to speed. This mix would be low carbon dioxide by its nature, not by any political interference.

    The best bit of this solution is that the suppliers would take the risk, not the consumer. There would also a built-in incentive incentive to develop small modular reactors to take over the base load, and to inprove the response time of CCGT.

    Low CO2, if you think that matters. The supplier in the firing line if anything goes wrong, the ideal situation if you are a politician. Low-cost and steady power if you are an industrialist who needs to keep the factories working. Above all reliable electricity if you are one of the little people who just wants to turn on a switch and have the electrons there when needed.

    It’ll never catch on. I can’t imagine why.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Yeo

    JF

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    Alfred

    It is actually much worse than the chart above. Here is the real picture.

    Germany’s electricity production for December 2017

    For a total of 10 days, there was no wind and no sun. Anyway, sometimes the wind generated 50GW and at other times it was 5GW. Thankfully, coal, gas and imports saved the grid.

    Imports went up to 15GW at times. That means they imported coal and nuclear-generated electricity from elsewhere. No wonder their neighbours are complaining of the Germans messing up their own domestic systems.

    Border dispute lays bare Germany’s fragile electricity infrastructure

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      ROM

      Alfred , that article was published in March 2017;

      Since then Germany’s bordering nations have installed massive “phase shifter transformers” to prevent the loop flows from the north German wind turbines through the bordering nation’s, i.e.Poland ., France, Czechs and possibly Austrian grids to southern Germany where its industry is mostly located and its main power use is located.
      The Germans were using other nation’s grids to shift its power around because it hasn’t built the infrastructure for transmitting this power from north Germany where the bulk of the wind turbines both on shore and off shore are located down to the German industrial base in southern Germany.

      This loop flow from German, mainly due to north German on shore and off shore wind generators in high wind conditions, was causing huge problems for the grid operators in those German bordering nations which behind the scenes was leading to the Germans being called some very nasty names by those other national grid operators and even at the political level who were beginning to have breakdowns in their grid supplies when a heavy power flow from those german generators in the North were diverted through the bordering nations grids without their permission as “was” the EU policy on EU power transmission between members of the EU.

      Phase shifters allow the national grid operators to swich on and off at their borders, and at their discretion the power flowing into their own grids from anywhere else if that power is unwanted or will overload their own grids.

      The EU is consequently having yet another bout of palpations as yet another of its hallowed policies of unlimited control except by and through the EU political elites in Brussels is swept aside by the realities of a highly varied, continental wide, nationalistic grouping of industrialised systems.

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    Chad

    I agree the solar contribution in germany ( even in summer) is a trivial and unpredictable joke,…
    But, the headline about. “only 10 hrs of sunshine in December”..is a bit naughty,
    Anyone looking at the data can confirm the solar farms were generating power for 5-6 hrs nearly every day that month, so likely 150+ hrs of (pathetic) but actual solar generation.
    Fake headlines and deceptive information , dont help make a convincing case !
    Germany’s bigger RE problem is their 50 GW of wind , which is so variable from 0-45 GW on a daily , even hourly, basis…… A nightmare for grid operators to manage !!

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    • #
      RickWill

      All solar panels are rated under Standard Test Conditions. That requires solar insolation of 1000W/sq.m normal to the surface. When considering a location, the daily sunshine is often referred to as hours of full sunshine equivalent. For example the average daily solar flux in Melbourne is 4 hours of full sunshine meaning an average 4kWh of solar insolation per sq.m per day normal to the sun rays.

      In winter in Melbourne I have seen as little as 20 minutes full sunshine equivalent in a day. Equating solar energy to full sunshine equivalent is common practice. Insolation equivalent to 10 hours of full sunshine in December means the 40GW of installed solar panels produced 400GWh of electrical energy for the month because they are rated at full sunshine.

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        Chad

        Somehow i doubt that is the way they did the calculation, and even if it was, they got it wrong,
        …..the official data shows solar generation at 540GWh for december which would suggest 13.5 hrs equivalent full sunshine !
        But, it would have been easier to simply quote the real GWh figure, and point out that it represents 1% of the total energy used, …or just 10% of its summer output.
        I guess that would not have been as dramatic as “Only 10 hrs of sunshine”…which is not true !

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    pat

    further to comment #16 – Carbon Brief Analysis – which FT also had today.
    now good old CAGW media advocacy org, Thomson Reuters Foundation, comes along with the kicker. note the writer & the “experts”:

    4 Jan: Thomson Reuters Foundation: Record year on green energy not enough to meet UK carbon targets
    by Zoe Tabary
    Although Britain generated most of its electricity from low carbon sources for the first time in 2017, it needs to invest more in clean energy to meet climate change targets, experts said on Wednesday…
    “Even though there’s been good progress so far, there isn’t enough new low-carbon generation that we know of to meet the UK’s targets,” Simon Evans, policy editor at ***Carbon Brief, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation…

    “New nuclear costs are far higher than anticipated and carbon capture hasn’t even got off the ground yet,” Tom Jennings, policy director at the ***Carbon Trust, an environmental consultancy, said in emailed comments.
    “The big challenges are low carbon transport – such as investment in electric vehicles – and heat.” …

    Shelagh Whitley, a climate expert at the London-based ***Overseas Development Institute, said that Britain must end fossil fuel subsidies to meet carbon targets.
    “The government spends almost 200 million pounds a year subsidizing fossil fuel-based electricity production,” she said in emailed comments.
    “That extends the life of high-carbon assets, and makes it more challenging for alternative lower-carbon options to compete.”…
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-climatechange-government/record-year-on-green-energy-not-enough-to-meet-uk-carbon-targets-idUSKBN1ES1NF

    re the writer:

    Zoe Tabary is a Thomson Reuters Foundation editor who writes on efforts to build climate resilience, among other topics. She previously worked at Amnesty International and the Economist Group.

    more info on the “experts” to come.

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      pat

      Barry Woods’ lengthy, but detailed – even if perhaps dated – look into Carbon Brief:

      ***2011: WUWT: The Carbon Brief – The European rapid response team
      Guest post by Barry Woods
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/18/the-carbon-brief-the-european-rapid-response-team/

      ***Carbon Trust: Board & Advisers
      James Smith
      CHAIR, THE CARBON TRUST
      In addition to his role as chair of the Carbon Trust, James is chair of the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama and chair of the advisory board of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College and LSE. James retired from Shell in April 2011 after 7 years as Chairman of Shell UK.

      Tom Delay
      CHIEF EXECUTIVE, THE CARBON TRUST
      Tom was appointed as the first Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust in 2001. Tom has extensive experience in the energy sector, with 16 years in commercial and operations roles at Shell, before moving into management consultancy with McKinsey and the Global Energy Practice of A.T. Kearney prior to joining the Carbon Trust…

      Paul Jefferiss
      NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE CARBON TRUST
      Paul Jefferiss is Head of Policy at BP and has served on numerous government, academic and private sector governance boards and advisory committees in the US, UK and EU, with a focus on energy, climate and the environment.

      Chris Mottershead
      NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE CARBON TRUST
      Chris Mottershead is Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) at King’s College London. He joined King’s in 2009 after retiring from BP, where he worked for 30 years, most recently as their Global Advisor on Energy Security and Climate Change.

      Sam Fankhauser
      ADVISORY PANEL MEMBER
      Professor Samuel Fankhauser is Co-Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and Deputy Director of the ESRC-funded Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, both at the London School of Economics… Previously, Sam worked at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility. From 2008 to 2016 he was a member of the UK Committee on Climate Change.

      Nina Shapiro
      ADVISORY PANEL MEMBER
      Nina is the former vice president finance and treasurer of the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation. She was appointed treasurer in 2000 and vice president finance in 2003, and held those titles until she retired in 2011. Nina currently serves on the boards of Man Group, RusRail Leasing, African Minerals and is a member the World Bank Group Pension Board…

      hardly “independent”:

      ***Wikipedia: Overseas Development Institute
      The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is an ***independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues…***Since 2004 it has had a Partnership Programme Arrangement with the UK’s Department for International Development…

      Funding
      As a registered charity, ODI’s income relies on “grants and donations from foundations, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, governments, multilateral agencies and academia”.
      For its £28,541,000 income (USD 42,811,000 as of January 2015) per its annual report from 2013 to 2014 ending 31 March 2014, ODI provided a list of these “major donors”, which include Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Oxfam, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Research Triangle Institute, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Swiss Federal Government, The Prince’s Youth Business International, UN Women, UNICEF, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, US Agency for International Development, Wiley-Blackwell, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, World Bank…

      Oct 2016: ODI: Alex Thier appointed new Executive Director of ODI
      Alex, formerly a senior official at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), joins ODI from Triple Helix, a US-based consultancy firm which he founded to increase access to off-grid, renewable energy in Africa and Asia…
      Alex has also held leadership positions in the United Nations (UN), Stanford University and several NGOs, and began his career as a humanitarian aid worker with the UN and Oxfam. He has authored and co-authored books, articles and op-eds in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy…

      THE CAGW SWAMP IS, UNFORTUNATELY, FORMIDABLE.

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    pat

    not a popular story with MSM. btw I haven’t seen a single article on the US power grid during the Big Freeze that mentions solar and/or wind power:

    30 Dec: Bloomberg: America’s Deep Freeze Is Aiding Coal and Sending Power Up
    By Tim Loh, Chris Martin, and Naureen S Malik; With assistance by Jim Polson
    Power plants are burning more coal and oil amid arctic blast
    The arctic blast that’s turning the northern half of the U.S. into a giant icebox this week has been good news for oil and coal.
    Plants are using the most fuel oil in three years to produce the electricity that’s powering heaters across New England. In the PJM market, which stretches from Illinois to Washington, D.C., coal has once again surged past natural gas to become the biggest fuel for power generation. Oil demand has also shot up…

    “Most likely gas prices are too high,” said Tai Liu, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. At $18 per million British thermal units for natural gas, he said, “I’d rather run my coal units if I can choose between the two.”…

    The increased coal use could add weight to the Trump administration’s push for bigger payments to coal and nuclear power generators. U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been calling for them to be compensated for the “resilience” they offer the power grid during extreme weather events — like the polar vortex that tripped plants offline in early 2014…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-28/america-s-deep-freeze-is-aiding-coal-and-sending-power-surging

    3 Jan: CountOnCoal.org: The Vortex Validation
    What a year it was that just ended. After seeing an election that embarrassed the political “experts”, we enjoyed a booming economy that embarrassed the economic experts…

    Energy experts found their own platitudes exposed by reality. None is more beloved of journalists and energy experts than the coal-is-dead-or-dying narrative.

    The eagerness to write off coal reached a noisy climax when coal’s power market rivals belittled Energy Secretary Perry’s call for a reliability valuation for power plants with on-site fuel storage. The grid is reliable, said coal’s detractors. It doesn’t need FERC’s intervention to spare further closure of coal capacity.

    Whomever the gods would embarrass they first allow to speak.

    As the last expert tut tutted the secretary, an historic deep freeze grips the Eastern half of the country from Nebraska to New England, giving new credence to Perry’s cautious assessment of the grid’s ability to withstand disruptive events. In the nation’s largest regional grid, coal on the close of the week generated more power (45,842 MW) than natural gas (25,927 MW), nuclear (35,514 MW) or renewables (3,086). PJM coal accounted for almost 40 percent of the grid’s power in one afternoon – almost a third more than the organization’s typical coal share. And colder weather is still to come.

    In New England, where coal has been all but banned, households are facing the cold reality of relying on depleted inventories of heating oil and soaring prices for natural gas (a one day jump of 230 percent) as a monster storm approaches. It’s almost an SNL skit.

    Attention FERC commissioners: coal shines when temperatures plunge. Consider a counterfactual: what would happen had the Michael Bloomberg-Gina McCarthy-Sierra Club program prevailed to retire the last coal plant? I can see the ads now.

    Polar Vortex 2.0 was just the exclamation point to an otherwise good year for coal if not for its detractors. U.S. coal output climbed 6.4% over 2016, thanks to falling coal inventories and rising natural gas prices.

    Experts also got LNG growth wrong by understating offshore demand and infrastructure development that turned the US into a net energy exporter in 2017. Switching just 5% of China’s power requirements to LNG adds another Japan-sized market for global LNG imports, says Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Field LLP. If LNG keeps its foot on domestic gas prices, coal’s more efficient producers will see greater market potential.

    Meanwhile, IEA now projects global coal demand to grow through 2022. If you relied on the echo chamber for your energy news last year, you’re excused for being surprised by all this.
    http://www.countoncoal.org/2018/01/03/the-vortex-validation/

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  • #
    nc

    You’re gonna need a bigger battery!

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  • #
    Delaxos

    A repetition of 1973 oil embargo would add another perspective on energy sources and use, as it did then…

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