JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Weekend Unthreaded

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Weekend Unthreaded, 7.6 out of 10 based on 29 ratings

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175 comments to Weekend Unthreaded

  • #
    ARW

    It would be interesting to look at historical electrical supply data – especially when coal dominated. Was there always a blackout threat? I don’t recall this issue when I lived in Oz up until 1992. Blaming coal now as unreliable is simply absurd

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    • #
      Bite Back

      It would be interesting to see what happens if serious protests start. I don’t like the idea any more than you in Oz do but what will happen if you don’t stop this madness?

      BB

      150

    • #
      Timo Soren

      Un-reliable coal is a silly statement. In fact, the fluxuations of solar and wind are absolutely the unreliable situation.

      270

      • #
        James

        Do you think that it would be possible to explain capacity factor to these people?

        80

        • #
          TedM

          “Do you think that it would be possible to explain capacity factor to these people?”
          Not a hope James.

          100

        • #
          Bodge it an scarpa

          I do try, by using an analogy of purchasing a new expensive car that is advertised buy the manufactures to be capable of reaching 100 miles per hour or achieving 100 miles to the gallon fuel economy, only to discover that it is only capable of 30miles per hour while drinking fuel at the rate of 30 miles per gallon.
          Using Metric numbers like 160Kph vs 50kph and 8.8 litres per 100 Km would make the brain dead morons heads explode.

          20

        • #
          Watt

          Do you think they’d have the capacity?

          20

      • #
        yarpos

        sort of ignores the last 50 years of delivery also

        70

      • #
        bobl

        Yes, for those that care let me explain why.

        Aside from No Coal or water (Which are manageable situations) the unreliability of a steam plant are comprised of random events the probability of two unrelated events is P1 x P2.

        So if we have two 99% reliable coal plant (Prob of Failure Pf = 0.01) then the probability of them both failing at the same time is roughly 0.01 x 0.01 or 0.0001. The combination of the two plants then has 99.99% reliability at the generating capacity of all but the backup generator.

        This extends to multiple plants, you can back up many plants with just the one redundant unit with minor effect on the probability of failure EG P failure of any one of 10 Plants is 10 x one plant eg 10% so 0.1 x 0.01 is 0.001 or one unit backing up 10 delivers 99.9% reliability.

        Now let’s look at getting this for wind, first you have to arrange for the failures to be random. That means the redundant windmills have to in completely different climate zones since fuel failure is unmanageable (you can’t stockpile wind) . All windmills in a particular farm are related (one down all down) they must be considered a SINGLE UNIT. Using CF as an approximate measure of uptime then the reliability is around 25% (75% chance the windmill is not generating nameplate). So how many redundant windmills in different climate zones is necessary to guarantee the output at the nameplate output of just one of the windmills at the same level as a steam generator (WITHOUT REDUNDANCY) of 99%. Turns out this number is 16 ( 0.75^16 =0.01). So it takes 16 redundant windmills in different unrelated wind zones to reach the reliability of a single unbacked up steam plant.

        How many of those windmills are needed then to guarantee the output at the nameplate of a single windmill/farm at the same level as a 10:1 N+1 steam plant arrangement. 99.9% reliable

        The answer is 24 (0.75 ^ 24 = 0.001).

        This is why I often challenge Tony on using CF, cf isn’t just a measure of capacity it’s also a measure of reliability. To compare a windfarm to a coal generating unit one has to compare at the same reliability.

        So for a 10:1 N+1 setup the equation for wind is around Nameplate/24 or 4.16% of nameplate can be relied upon at the same reliability as coal.

        Put another way, to generate 1 GW at 99.9% reliability coal needs 10 +1= 11 x 100 MW units, to do the same Wind Needs 24 x 1 GW wind farms in different unrelated wind zones. (Remembering each wind farm needs it’s very own billion dollar interconnector and the coal plant needs 1 (or at worst two for redundancy))

        131

        • #
          Peter C

          Very important point bobl.

          Your answer is 24.

          That is the number of wind farms (wind power plants) in different climate zones to guarantee reliability at the 99% confidence level.

          But almost all of our wind farms are in the same climate zone (South East Australia). A high pressure system encompasses all of them at the same time!

          Therefore wind cannot ever provide reliable power for our region.

          80

          • #
            bobl

            Yes, that is the message I was trying to convey. There probably aren’t 24 different windy and uncorrelated locations in Australia. See also that the overbuild for the same reliability (without backup that’s more reliable than wind) is 24 times. This means that the CO2 used to build the wind plants (even if it were possible) is many times more than it will ever generate because of the required redundancy.

            50

        • #
          RickWill

          This is a fallacy. The only way to get reliable supply from any wind farm is to have a fossil fuel plant as running reserve or massive storage capacity able to ramp to full rated supply at short notice. Germany has shown there are times when none of its wind farms produce. Likewise there are times in Australia when no wind generator is producing. Zero times any number remains zero.

          30

      • #
        Graeme#4

        Looking at the comments in The Australian, it seems that the regular pro-AGW commenters have a ” theme for today”, and I can only presume that this theme is coordinated by an organisation. The “unreliable coal-fired plants” was one such theme recently to try and counter-act the many commentators who pointed out the problems caused by renewables.

        81

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        ” unreluable coal” is a typulical left wing redefining things to suit an agenda.

        They need to be openly mocked when this phrase is used…

        70

        • #
          Peter C

          OK.

          Idiots, Bumbkenkofts, Fools, Asses, Cretins, Individuals of low intelligence, Zealots, Blinded by their ideology.

          All of them.

          50

    • #
      Dennis

      Coal remains the main source of fuel for power stations in Australia.

      Wind and solar provide less than 4 per cent of electricity.

      160

      • #
        TedM

        “Coal remains the main source of fuel for power stations in Australia.

        Wind and solar provide less than 4 per cent of electricity.”

        Even though their nameplate capacity is close to 20%. Just how unreliable is that.

        70

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      For the first few years of my life I can remember the wagons taking loads of bread from the bakery out for delivery.

      About 1950 the wagons became motorised and we no longer had piles of steaming horse droppings left on the road outside our house.

      In that same period we had many blackouts and for lighting could use the gas mantle or candles.

      No big dramas as it wasn’t like the present where almost
      everything uses electricity.

      Bye and large things improved remarkably on the reliability front but the green monster had been busy ensuring that no trees were lopped from around power lines or houses. In our locality, as well as the occasional house being crushed by a tree, we had serious threats to electricity supply.
      Eventually, about three years back a storm brought down the waiting growth and a lot of Newcastle went without power for over a week. Thank you greens.

      This was avoidable.

      Sometimes I think that the only reason governments exist is to facilitate friends of the elected elite getting at our tax dollars.
      Provision of cheap, reliable electricity is easy from a technical standpoint but greed and distorted political thinking is ruining our country.

      KK

      280

      • #
        PeterS

        By definition our government are acting as anarchists yet the people by and large don’t see it even though it’s so obvious. While they keep letting coal fired power plants to be shut down, the closer we get to the point where our whole economy implodes. The only way to prevent that is to start building new coal fired power plants like the rest of the world is doing for that very reason. It’s not rocket science. Given it’s not how come our governemtn is acting alone out of all the other significant countries? More to the point how come the voters are still supporting the two major parties that are hell bent on going down this suicidal path? Stupid is as stupid does.

        81

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Not stupid, just uninformed and lied to.

          Our role is to speak to as many people as possible and put things straight and let them know they are being white anted….

          70

        • #
          René Fries

          “the rest of the world is doing”… I’m not so certain. I’m a Luxembourger born in Germany and living in Belgium and can assure you thet these 3 governments are as foolish, if not more, as is yours

          51

    • #
      Hanrahan

      In a previous life I was a comms tech for the Northern Electric Authority, since abolished, so I spent time in the control rooms and I do recall once, when a boiler had blown in Collinsville, that there was concern if another generator tripped but apart from that time the answer is “No”.

      60

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      Coal is blamed so often it has become a punchline.

      Are You a Millennial? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No35-c4zXjo

      Funny skit.

      40

    • #
      Curious George

      Any power source becomes unreliable when the government decides to blow it up.

      120

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      It would be interesting to look at historical electrical supply data…

      Why bother? History means nothing to the brain dead. They know nothing of it, not even its name, “history”.

      10

  • #
    Timo Soren

    I would love to hear/see Austraiian Electric Bills! I am from South Dakota USA. I have a very large tri-plex, we are in the dead of winter.
    We use natural gas for heat. We have 3 apartments each with 2 bedrooms.

    Our last bill was 1270 KwH with a total cost of US 148, which means delivered 11.7 us cents per KwH
    Converting to AU$ almost exactly 15 AUcents per KwH.

    THat included all taxes and surcharges like (meter cost etc..)

    Regards
    Timo

    200

    • #
      James

      That is almost exactly the same as what I pay in upstate NY. I heat with wood, heating oil and electric. I spend less on heat than what I did when I lived in Australia. US houses are insulated. Australian houses are little more than summer camps (shacks)!

      150

      • #
        John F. Hultquist

        James writes “US houses are insulated.”

        That is true in upstate NY, but the USA is a big country, so not true everywhere.
        Also, . . .
        I was raised in a house in western Pennsylvania. The house was built in the early 1900s. It was heated with local coal until the late 1940s. Then gas became available and the coal stove was removed and gas heater was installed near the center of the house – a small house. The gas heater did not keep the bedrooms warm, nor the bathroom. It had a small heater about a foot wide and 1 1/2 tall. We slept with our clothes under the covers and would get up in the morning, grab the clothes and run to stand in front of the heater to dress.
        Housing inventory changes slowly. That house is still there and much the same as it was when it was built. I’ve not been in it for 40 years. I never thought of it as a shack — it was/is a step or two up, but it is/was very basic.

        90

      • #
        RickWill

        Australian houses now have mandated energy efficiency requirement. So new houses are generally more energy efficient than older housers. The level of insulation in earlier houses depended to some degree where you lived.

        Our house in Melbourne, built in the 1990s, is reasonably well insulated with mostly glass wool batts. We only have single glazing but have interior PVC blinds that completely block light and provide some thermal insulation from the windows. Only two windows have full exposure to the sun and that occurs mid afternoon to evening.

        There is no insulation directly under the concrete tiles. I have measured temperature above 60C in the roof cavity on a warm sunny day. The inside ceilings exposed to the cavity measured 32C early afternoon and 41C in the evening as the rooms gained heat. So batts are reasonably effective.

        This year I installed an electric fan that forces air into the roof cavity when the cavity temperature exceeds 31C and turns off when it is below 29C. There are plenty of spaces where air can escape such as where ridged tiles meet flat metal roof valleys so no need for any outlet vents. The fan is rated at 750Cu.m/hr and I figure it is achieving close to this air flow. Air is drawn in from under an eave on the southern side. The air inside the cavity is now only a few degrees above the outside air temperature at the hottest time.

        The fan has made the biggest difference to internal temperature over night. Before the fan, the roof cavity was still above 40C due to thermal mass of the tiles at 10pm on a sunny summer day when the outside temperature had dropped below 25C. With the fan it reaches outside air temperature around 8pm, as soon as the sun is near the horizon. The house internally can be cooled quickly to the cooler night air by opening a few windows. The thermal mass of the concrete slab stays in the range 20 to 25C.

        Internal air temperature on the ground level has not exceeded 28C despite 40C outside shade temp without use of any other form of air-conditioning.

        The fan requires 50W so nothing compared with any other form of air conditioning. It is not audible in any living area of the house. I have been pleased with the significant benefit for such a small outlay. From the perspective of energy efficiency it has been exceedingly good value. I power the fan from my off-grid solar so there is no running cost.

        110

        • #
          Hanrahan

          I live in the tropics where heating is virtually unheard of. A few years ago we did run a reverse cycle air-con a few nights. The house is well designed, [timber framed so little thermal mass] and on a rise so most of the time ceiling fans are adequate so our heating/cooling costs are modest.
          Not sure if I could say the same on the flats with small yards, masonry block homes with high thermal mass wth air-con exhaust creating a heat island. It pays to be selective when choosing your house. :)

          40

        • #
          Another Ian

          A friend in US was going the other way. The fan moved warm air from second floor to basement.

          10

        • #
          Peter C

          Excellent idea Rick,

          Does your fan force air from the house into the roof cavity or from the outside into the roof cavity?

          20

          • #
            Graeme#4

            If the cooler air is being taken from the house, and your bathroom exhaust fan doesn’t exhaust to the outside, why not simply turn on the exhaust fan for a few hours?

            30

            • #
              RickWill

              We have done that in the past but it requires thinking about as well as being in the house to do it. Also it is not quite as effective as bringing air directly from outside. The new fan is on automatic control. The fan I have fitted is intended as an exhaust fan but I am using it to bring outside air directly into the cavity; rather than room air into the cavity. Using any of the bathroom or toilet vent fans requires bringing hotter outside air into the house then blowing it into the cavity. So that is then adding heat into the house. In warm weather we normally have the house closed up until the outside air is cooler than the house. Typically it stays closed until the sun is down or a cool change has come through.

              In Melbourne it is rare not to have some time during the night when the temperature is in the low 20s or even cooler. Being able to equivalate internal temperature quickly to outside temperature once the outside is down in the low 20s or even cooler then keeping insulated once the sun returns makes the house comfortable without much energy expenditure.

              20

          • #
            RickWill

            I have a slight positive pressure in the roof cavity. One of the reasons for this is I have found some leaf litter falling on the roof finds its way into the valleys and will get trapped there with a twig from surrounding trees. Fragments of the leaf litter can work their way into the roof cavity near the valleys and that creates a fire risk. I have cleaned out that litter in the past. I am hoping the slight positive pressure reduces that ingress.

            20

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Insulation is an interesting subject. My house was built with no insulation in the early 1960s but in about 1975 I had it insulated both walls and attic to the R19 standard with wood fiber treated with a borate solution to make it fire resistant. It was blown into the attic and walls through holes they made above and below the horizontal fire block cross members. They then plugged the holes and painted the house. You can’t see any evidence of what they did except in the garage wall that’s common with the rest of the house.

          Doing that has saved me more than its cost over the years be a huge factor at this point. It also reduced outside noise coming in and the difference in sound level was noticeable immediately.

          When we had a bathroom remodeled a few years ago they wanted nothing to do with simply leaving the old insulation in place in the wall where it would easily stay but instead, removed it and put in fiberglass that doesn’t do nearly as well as my fluffed up wood fiber. But I don’t have the contractors license and they would not listen to me. Never mind that I knew what I was talking about.

          Now the State of California insulation standard is R30 to R60 for homes like mine. I wish them luck. But a fanatic knows no end to his fanaticism.

          10

          • #
            Roy Hogue

            And no matter how well I’m insulated, on a cold night the furnace still comes on. Funny thing, that. No matter how well something insulates it only slows down heat loss or gain. It never stops it.

            Eat your standards, Sacramento. Leave me the fuel and the electricity to control the temperature inside my house and content yourselves with the fact that I was way out ahead of you.

            00

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Timo Soren:

      You wouldn’t like South Australia. The standard rate varies slightly from retailer to retailer but with all charges included works out at 61¢ a kWh for me**. There is a complicating factor in that higher usage means an increased rate for the extra, and a variable ‘pay on time’ discount that can run up to 20% (mine is 15% and included in above calculated cost).
      ** the extras push the rate up from 47¢ to 61¢.
      Fortunately I have solar (now that a new inverter is working) so that is working well as the hot sunny spell goes on.

      100

      • #
        James

        What infeed tariff do you get for solar?

        60

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Good question. I think they have cut it back to 44¢ without notification (I got a letter just before Xmas announcing a price rise of 20.8% for Victorian customers and it included a feed-in tariff of that). Previously it was 52¢ for years but last year it went up to 60¢, again without notification. As far as I know 44¢ is set by the SA Govt. and any extra has to be paid by the Retailer.
          Needless to say I am waiting on the next bill for accurate figures and then may well change supplier.

          60

      • #
        TedM

        61c/kwh is horrific. Here in WA it’s less than half that, at least it was last time I cared to look. We have a small population with a large sprawling network but to our advantage we don’t have too much wind and solar, apart from rooftop solar.

        50

        • #
          Graeme#4

          Over one year in Perth WA, my electricity cost averaged 26.91c/kWh. Thank goodness we aren’t connected to the “national” grid.

          10

          • #
            Hanrahan

            In Qld it’s 25.89 for general tariff and 20.48 for the switched hot water and permanently wired air-cons that are switched off during peaks. Better than SA. :)

            10

      • #
        John F. Hultquist

        61¢ a kWh

        Holy cow!
        Everyone in SA must be above average income.

        90

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Actually their income after essentials is low. It is a bit embarrassing to have to give money to a friend because I know they are struggling. Their electricity went up twice last year and their annual bill is now around $4000 nearly double what they thought it would be.
          The cost of electricity feeds into other areas like food; look at your local Supermarket or foodstore and the amount of electricity they must use (and the large bit for cold stores that you don’t see) and think what effect tripling the cost of electricity does to their prices.
          And lots of firms are shutting down in SA; as it has been the case for years but it seems to have accelerated in the last 2 years.
          Those that survive have to put up with irregular supply or install generators. I know the local Supermarket chain has up-graded their generators in their 4 stores since the store without much capacity blacked out and all frozen food had to be dumped. One of the Cafés installed both solar and a 17.5kVA generator after losing $10,000 stock during a blackout. I don’t know if the other café has a generator. Both Bakeries have generators (and all their other shops elsewhere in the Adelaide Hills) as have the 2 hotels and the Petrol station (also adorned with a huge array of PV solar). Household generators, especially small ones for the minimum essentials, are popular in the Hills, although the rush to install them has slowed recently.
          Our local village monthly market was yesterday and attended by the 2 top contenders for the upcoming election in 2 months. The local seat has been vacated by the holder after some boundary changes. Both are good candidates, the Liberal and Xenophon’s SABEST party, and the only ones with any chance of winning the seat. Neither mentioned the cost of electricity in their published (Party approved) literature although both are well aware that the locals are worried by it. Indeed all Parties except the Australian Conservatives don’t mention the problem except to say in passing that they want more renewables and that will bring the cost down if elected. Pigs might fly!
          I don’t know who to vote for, I’ve known the Xenophon man for years and think highly of him, which is more than I, and a lot of others, would say about his boss. The big boost for Xenophon is not his popularity but a strong desire for a change, and as both majors insist on no change then it looks like Xenophon as the unlikely hope. Personally I can see a falling out if the local Xenophon man is elected. The trouble is that if he gets the balance of power Xenophon would back Labor, and they would be back in with a minority vote yet again.

          110

        • #
          C. Paul Barreira

          Not Now!

          But some are, quite a few in fact and they, like the green-socialist government have little but contempt for the less well-off, let alone poor. The reason is tax receipts from WA (in the main) being redirected to SA. Ludicrous, but so it goes.

          70

        • #
          toorightmate

          Nope John F H,
          The majority of people in SA are just plain dumb and do not realise that they exist only because of an unfair distribution of a Federal Goods and Services Tax.

          50

    • #
      RexAlan

      Well I live in Sydney NSW and I’m looking at my last bill as I write. The charge is 29c per kWH with a daily supply charge of 84 cents, plus the 10% government GST tax on top. I receive a pay on time discount of 9% and a 21% seniors discount. So I effectively pay 20.3 cents per kWH.

      60

      • #
        RexAlan

        But I guess if you take the total bill and divide by the total kWH used it works out at 32.6 cents.

        60

        • #

          Still about double my Alberta cost.

          30

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Worth putting 2KW solar on the roof and a smallish battery…..

          10

          • #
            RexAlan

            Thats not possible when you live in an apartment block as many people do.

            40

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              You might be able to convince the body corporate to stick an array on the roof in a combined effort with a few people and do it that way?

              Failing that, if your balcony etc faces the right way, you could put a few panels on the balcony on a stand ( so they arent fixed ) and do it that way….

              10

      • #
        John F. Hultquist

        . . . daily supply charge of 84 cents,

        That is the most reasonable thing I’ve heard about AU electricity supply since ‘ol Shep was a pup.

        In USA cents, ours is 63 1/3.

        10

      • #
        Another Ian

        Western Qld SWERline power

        Prime time use 46.516c/kwh

        Off peak use 16.448 c/kwh

        (Off peak 9pm – 7am IIRC)

        Average cost 38.4 c/kwh

        20

    • #
      John of Cloverdale WA

      “We have 3 apartments each”. Wow Timo you yanks are rich!
      Sorry, just my Aussie humour coming out.

      10

  • #

    Last weekend the UK Conversation had an article claiming.

    If there is to be an effective response to climate change, it will probably emanate from China. The geopolitical motivations are clear.

    This on the basis of China being increasing dominant in the manufacture of solar-modules, wind turbines and car manufacturers moving into the electric car sector.

    Whilst this is all true, the article ignores that China are also, by far, the world’s largest producers of coal, have 47% of the world’s coal-fired power stations by capacity, and 56% of the coal-fired power stations under construction.

    Do the two things reconcile? My post Is China leading the way on climate mitigation? suggests reasons why pursuing both coal and renewables is a coherent strategy for the Chinese, but is bad news for those who think that future decades will see massive cuts in Chinese greenhouse gas emissions.

    200

    • #
      TdeF

      Plus they produce 50% of the world’s steel, a product of coal. Coke, pure carbon is used to reduce Iron oxide to Iron. When you consider that 75% of US steel is recycled in electric arc furnaces with no additional CO2, the proportion of the world’s CO2 produced in China is much higher. Apparently they need all that steel to make windmills to save the world from their coal.

      Of course now that the world has 350,000 huge windmills there has been no effect on CO2 which is steadily rising regardless, but no one seems to notice the complete disconnect between action and result.

      It would be comic, windmills, solar panels, carbon taxes and crippling Western democracies, but that perhaps is the idea. It is why the communist side of politics still pushes the story that Global Warming is real, produced by gas and coal and steel and concrete manufacture in all countries other than China. More windmills!

      190

      • #
        Yonniestone

        China the country that has recorded history from 1500 BC and Sun Tzu’s “The art of War” chapter “The art of deception” combined with global leaders that equate to allies of China that enables their obvious failure in “emissions reductions” to appear successful while other nations struggle under the same climate dogmas.

        20

      • #

        One reason for China’s apparent domination of renewables type markets is to move away from primary production into more value-added areas. Bulk steel production is for emerging economies with low labour and energy costs. Shipbuilding is another example. This is why in the USA emissions per capita peaked in 1973 and in the EU as a whole in 1980. (There are other reasons besides)
        An example I give of China trying to dominate in the “green” sector is in electric batteries. After Chile, China has the World’s second largest proven reserves of lithium, a principal raw material. It makes sense to develop the electric battery sector when you have secure supplies of the scarce raw material. Also, to develop the production of electric cars, as they a good option for both trying to constrain pollution in cities, whilst allowing the emerging middle-class access to personal transportation.
        China does, I believe, produce over half of the world’s electric cars. They are small and have high CO2 emissions, as the electricity is mostly from coal. (I think TdeF you may have pointed this out in the past). But the real pollution does not come out the exhaust pipe, but from a power station that can be located well away from the cities.

        31

        • #
          TdeF

          Shipbuilding? It is collapsing in China. This is party because the world has enough ships and partly because of the new Silk Road announced in Astana, where the number of containers per year is projected to be tens of millions by 2020, via Kazahkstan, Moscow, Venice, Germany. Rail to rail, road. You can now send a train load from Hong Kong to London. There is a huge interchange station on the Kazakhstan border swapping from the Chinese narrow gauge, but then it is all the way to London. China is planning to build trade massively without shipbuilding. The dominance of ships and rule Britannia is ending, isolating the US and South America only. Australia too.

          We in Australia are minnows and our politicians are just happy to please their EU and UN masters. Our Julie loves a party. Too bad it’s not the Liberals.

          50

    • #
      RickWill

      Actually Trump and Putin both have effective responses to Climate Change as did Tony Abbott. Sadly Abbott did not survive to see his response reap the full rewards; albeit he did make a tiny wave in 2014:
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/8133304-3×2-700×467.jpg
      China is just in it for the money, willing to sell false idols to the masses of Global Warming worshipers.

      140

  • #
    Ruairi

    To banish skeptics to a far exile,
    Without debate is what makes warmists vile.

    A bird of prey, a pyromaniac,
    Can hunt by fire in the great Outback.

    Low winter sun nor wispy little breeze,
    Will power traffic through a long deep freeze.

    Those pricing power, know well how to screw,
    Victoria and South Australia too.

    Australia’s power policy is nuts,
    With prices rising and more power cuts.

    210

  • #

    My costs in December in Alberta, Canada 52 degrees N. Highly efficient 1000 sq. ft. 2 bedroom bungalow. Includes warming a 400 sq. ft. garage totally with electricity. House is heated with natural gas.
    Electricity – 92.22 CND, 70.59 USD, 91.58 AUD. Only 28.51 CDN was for 647 KWH of actual electricity The rest was grid costs and taxes.
    Natural gas – 113.23 CND, 86.67 USD, 112.45 AUD. 27.56 CDN was the cost of 12.27 GJ of gas. The balance was distribution and taxes.
    No effort was made for conservation, Hot water and cooking is by NG. The garage is kept 5 to 10 degrees F above freezing.
    The house is relatively new but no heroic methods of construction were used to increase efficiency. Building of it is detailed at this site. http://boardsandbricks.com/index-of-posts/
    Our Alberta government is proceeding with a plan to shutter all coal plants and replacing them with NG, solar and wind. Alberta has traditionally relied on coal for about 40 % of its generation. This plus carbon taxes will impact our costs. How much, remains to be seen. I have concerns which I have expressed at the following site. >http://rockyredneck.simplesite.com/438251516

    80

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Very sensible argument but would politicians ever grasp it?

      My only suggestion would be to replace the lead photo with one of stationary wind turbines.

      Is much wood used for heating in Alberta? I assume none is used for electricity generation as in Europe and the UK. Both industrial and domestic use as replacements for conventional fuel result in increases in CO2 emissions. And as electricity costs are forced up people turn to wood as cheaper source of heat.

      Do the wind turbines work well in winter? They don’t in Europe during their peak demand times in winter, and they aren’t that good in South Australia during our peak demand time on hot days in summer.

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      • #

        Natural gas is so cheap that few people bother with wood for heating but some do for outbuildings or if they do not have gas service. Hardly anyone uses electricity for heating or hot water but many do for cooking. My Son is one of the few who heats with electricity. The cost is about equal because he has no gas hookup.
        I don’t think the windmills work that well as we usually have less wind during cold periods. Of course, this is when we have poor sunlight too and solar is impractical without tracking. There can also be problems with icing of turbine blades and snow cover on solar panels. Coal or natural gas plants are much more resistant to extreme weather.

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      James

      Does anybody use coal for home heating in Alberta? It is reasonably common in the US, close to coal mines!

      70

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        John F. Hultquist

        See my comment at 8:29 – - a reply to you (?), I think.

        Burning coal in-house is not common in the USA. Wood is more common. We have a wood stove in case the electricity goes off. Heating water or cooking on a camp stove is an option.
        Nice information here:
        http://aceee.org/files/proceedings/2004/data/papers/SS04_Panel1_Paper17.pdf

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          James

          I own a house near Pennsylvania, in upstate NY. There are 5 coal dealers within a 60 mile radius. Further you get from PA the more expensive the coal gets, so fewer people bother to heat with it.
          I now live in Northern NY, almost into Canada. There is one coal dealer within a 60 mile radius. I did price the coal, and it was $50 more per ton than further south. I have access to woods so I stuck with wood heat. A lot of people get logs delivered and cut and split them themselves. To far from the mines to bother with coal.

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            John F. Hultquist

            About 1950 or so, is when our house got gas and got rid of the coal stove. I don’t recall any other house that had coal.
            I suspect we did because the coal was probably free. There were layers of coal under family property less than 15 miles away. My uncle ran the dragline and, when old enough, two of his sons worked for the same company.
            Gas was plentiful, enough so that glass-bottle works were located in local towns.
            Unlike coal stoves of the 1940-50s, gas stoves operated without intervention.

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        No, it is rare. A carbon tax has also made it uneconomical for most. Hardly any small coal mining operations left and the big ones don’t sell in small lots.

        40

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      James

      Does anybody use coal for home heating in Alberta? It is reasonably common in the US, close to coal mines!

      20

    • #
      Timo Soren

      This is why I asked for total bill over KwH because you just said: C$93 for 650KwH or 14 Ccents per Kwh which is reasonable, the fact that the base Kwh charge was C$29 puts that at less than 5 Ccents. I suspect you have other things that could be part of the cost like line support (as we do) and etc… but you end result was dirt cheap base Kwh and final still 15 Ccents which is good!

      20

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    • #
      Another Ian

      I missed this bit at the end

      “For climate scientists : hot weather is climate, and cold weather is cherry-picking.”

      Adds to

      “If it is melting it is a glacier. If it is increasing you are misinformed”

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        PeterS

        If you listen to some leftists anarchists they convey the message that cold climate as due to global warming, and hot climate as due to catastrophic global warming.

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      Philip Mulholland

      Another Ian,
      Thanks for the tip.
      In Oymyakon it is so cold that the electronic thermometer could not stand and broke at -62 °C, and looking at these photos it can be understood why.
      Wednesday, January 17, 2018 19:21

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    Yonniestone

    POWERLINE: THE WEEK IN PICTURES: POD PEOPLE EDITION http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/01/the-week-in-pictures-pod-people-edition.php

    A weekly collection of humorous political cartoons, memes and jokes from a conservative view.

    10

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    yarpos

    Nice juxtaposition of articles in the business section of The Age website today.

    One article on how you “cant hide from climate change” themed on corporate social responsibility to “save the world” Right next to it is a an item on coal exports and how they are booming at the moment. Bit like Disneyland, that was Fantasyland kiddies and now we are going to Realityland.

    100

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    TdeF

    Normally the press is full of bad news. Hurricanes, climate change, floods, climate change, droughts, Global Warming and even the war in Syria as a consequence of CO2.

    However in this month’s Spectator we have news which will never be in the popular press..

    9,000 people were killed in natural disasters in 2017. (Actually 9,066) The lowest for 40 years, since 1979.

    From 2008 to 2017, an average of 72,000 died in natural disasters.

    Fifty years ago (the period 1958-67) the average was 373,453 per year.

    So CO2 has reduced deaths from natural disasters by 40:1. As good a conclusion as any.

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    Hanrahan

    The reneweconomy generation/demand website has been down all weekend, saving power maybe, /s

    What are the alternative sites?

    60

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    Another Ian

    They’re starting early today

    Vic – SA both near max

    Tas – Vic red

    NSW – Vic red

    30

    • #
      Hanrahan

      I remember hearing years ago that the limit on HV transmission lines is heat from restive impedance. On cool days with a steady wind a higher current can be carried but this is an imprecise science.

      That is straight forward but apparently once seriously overheated the cables are damaged and must be replaced. That would be a high cost for an error. As I recall it has to do with the heat destroying the lubrication between the individual conductors. Can anyone confirm this?

      60

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        Another Ian

        Apparently water cooling didn’t wprk for the one under Bass Strait

        40

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        Chris in Hervey Bay

        They blamed the high winds in a storm.
        My belief is this, as,
        The most common conductor in use for transmission today is aluminum conductor steel reinforced (ACSR).
        When the interconnection failed from Victoria, the load on the transmission lines from the north overloaded and the aluminum outer conductor melted leaving only the steel inner reinforcing carrying the electrical load, which promptly fused due to the higher impedance of steel.
        All the weight of the transmission line was left on one side of the tower, and with the wind, the towers fell over.

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      • #
        Crakar24

        That’s the skin effect, Dependant on frequency

        40

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      Robber

      Good old wind in SA is currently delivering 24 MW to meet demand of 1890 MW (presumably demand is greater but roof top solar is delivering something). And of course that great big battery is contributing 30 MW for an hour or so before recharging from the grid. 690 MW (max?) is coming from Vic, while Vic is being supported with 220 MW from Tas and 950 MW from NSW. Is this any way to run a railroad, let alone a critical resource?
      Nothing coming from those Weatherill Diesels, but they still have some gas stations in reserve.

      60

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      Another Ian

      Just now both lines into SA are red. As is NSW – Vic

      Don’t turn on another air conditioner!

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    Mark M

    Doomsday Global Warming Update:

    2004:
    A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020.

    https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2004/feb/22/usnews.theobserver?__twitter_impression=true

    30

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    John of Cloverdale WA

    Just having fun:
    I can see why Trump is not worried about global warming affecting the US if he read the New York Times back in 1989. As reported by the NYT, NOAA scientists declare there had been no warming in the US after examining temperature records from 1895-1987.
    Sourced from Tony Heller’s post.

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    Mark M

    Turns out emitting CO2 is a truly lousy way of killing kangaroos …

    “They’ve lived in the area all their lives and they have never seen kangaroos so thick.

    Mobs on the Fleurieu Peninsula and Adelaide Hills were also swelling.

    Mr Paul said the major contributor was rain.

    During the state’s dry decade until 2012, numbers had remained steady.”

    South Australian farmers demand better control incentives as kangaroo numbers boom

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/south-australian-farmers-demand-better-control-incentives-as-kangaroo-numbers-boom/news-story/22396d84b94826d609e6de0b67eb3851

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      Extreme Hiatus

      A kangaroo boom! More rain, more plant food, more kangaroos, and not enough ‘natural’ or human predation to smooth that cycle I guess.

      On the bright side, kangaroos are renewable. If they could be harnessed on wheels like hamsters or something similar they could generate a lot of electricity even when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining. Sounds like a perfect government subsidized and managed backup plan. And it would be a uniquely Australian advance in fighting the Climate Crisis and a chance to show China a thing or two about real climate leadership.

      Oops… I just realized that the exploitation of kangaroos may not be politically correct. So I would like to apologize for anything I have written here that may in any way offend kangaroos or their allies or anyone anywhere. I have nothing but the utmost respect for all marsupials and all those who self-identify as marsupials. Diversity is our strength. Any kangaroo volunteering to work in the renewable energy industry should be fully compensated, have an excellent dental plan and retirement package, and be able to join the government employee union of their choice.

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    Another Ian

    Maybe another “Hanrahan projection”

    See days 8 – 14 here

    http://www.wxmaps.org/pix/prec7.html

    “Should have been here next week they said
    It will rain a lot next week”

    We’ll see.

    20

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    Another Ian

    Screen saves

    I saw a mention of this recently – not sure where it was now.

    Click on the lower lhs button (like for shutting down)

    Then go down the programs to Windows Admin tools and find “snipping tool”.

    With this you can select all or a part of the display and save it as a graphics file like a jpeg.

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  • #

    I know I rabbit on about Load Curves, but this simple and misunderstood diagram says so much.

    It’s now Summer and the Load Curves have changed from their Winter profile to now show just the one Peak during the day.

    For December and now most of January, that Peak has been in the late afternoon, around 3.30 to 5.30PM.

    However, all that changes this week, and that Peak will move back closer to Midday, early afternoon, and flatten out across the top, instad of showing a steady rise to the Peak, and then dropping away.

    Why would it change you say?

    Simple really.

    School starts, well here in Queensland anyway, so that will be the first sign of change for me, tomorrow’s Load Curve for Monday 22d January.

    So, some of you are probably wondering why something like school starting would see what is an increase in power consumption.

    I have mentioned often that the largest consumer of power is HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) in every building in every town and city, every Mall, every hospital, every, well, everything really.

    These days, virtually all schools now have air conditioned classrooms, and most would also have refrigerators. None of these have been operational for the last two months since school broke up. The fridges have been operational would be my guess, but not opened and closed an a many times a day basis as they will be now, so instead of the Compressor now having to work more often with students going to it often, they would have been closed and operating the compressor on a ‘hardly ever coming on’ basis. Now add to that the compressors on every one of those AC Units.

    Go to this link (AEMO data dashboard) and click on the QLD tab at top left, and you can see the shape of the current Load Curve, rising to that one Peak at around 4.30 or so, and then go and look at the same page tomorrow afternoon, and you can see the difference.

    There are just so many huge consumers of electrical power out there, and so very few of them are the ones which get all the blame, home air conditioning, and here, think of one of your home Units for every classroom, and now imagine how much power that all must consume when you add up the number of classrooms and then the number of schools.

    Again, when you talk that much extra power consumption, forget wind power and a few solar panels on the roofs of some schools. Those levels of power can only be provided from a constant source of supply.

    Tony.

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      PeterS

      Interesting observation about air conditioned classrooms and refrigerators. Add to that the extra demand on electricity for the same devices at work when people come back from holidays. All we need then is a major shortage of supply due to a failed power plant and people just might wake up as they swelter at school and at the office scratching their heads why there is no power given the skies are clear and there are no storms anywhere.

      60

      • #
        yarpos

        If its due to failed plamt it will most likely be a coal fired generator, as the dominant supplier. The lacl of ability of wind or solar to respond will be ignored, and it will be a coal problem. You cannot win.

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    Crakar24

    Alarmist group hug happening right now on SBS, a lot if protectionism going on

    40

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    kevin george

    Our current problem is intermittent coal-fired generators

    Nick Stokes

    20

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      PeterS

      Not just intermittent – also deliberate destruction in some cases. In any other area such action would be treated with such utter contempt the people responsible would be quickly dragged to the courts and dealt with with suitable custodial punishments.

      70

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      kevin george

      I liked this bit from Eric Worrall…

      This greensplaining ignores the central issue – the shortage of reliable, dispatchable power capacity

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    Crakar24

    One guy won’t leave the studio alive

    30

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    Crakar24

    This is getting good they are now talking about necking people to save the planet

    40

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    Crakar24

    Old mate just stated he does not recycle as its a waste of time…….dead man walking

    30

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      toorightmate

      Unfortunately, the only recycling which makes economic sense is aluminium cans.
      Every other recycling option does NOT make economic sense (paper, glass, plastics, etc), BUT it makes us all feel good (warm and fuzzy stuff).

      40

      • #
        John F. Hultquist

        I only feel good/warm/fuzzy if I get paid enough for stuff that I can buy a few beers.
        For most stuff they don’t pay, so having paid for it the first time, I have to pay again to transport it, give it away, or pay again for it to go to a dump.
        Then, of course, there is the issue of time. Because I am now picking up speed on the downhill, I hate to waste it moving trash around.

        30

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        Hanrahan

        Crushed glass makes an excellent aggregate for bitumen. I think they do that locally.

        20

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    John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia

    Tony, I went to the AEMO link and compared each state tab and noted the SA price/MWh (y) axis was out of this world, topping at $1600, compared with the rest of the states, where it is about $400.

    30

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    el gordo

    Putting this up to see whether it conflicts with Ian Wilson’s moon theory?

    http://climatechangedispatch.com/further-proof-el-ninos-are-fueled-by-deep-sea-geological-heat-flow/

    50

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      Thanks eg,
      Great link, which I caught from your post yesterday, and was able to read before finding this. Fascinating article, which I found convincing. But I’m not in a position to reliably assess.
      That it gives an explanation of the source of large quantities of hot sea water in both location and geological cause gives an explanation of El Nino which works for me.
      Cheers,
      Dave B

      20

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        el gordo

        Here is Ian Wilson’s hypothesis, but I lack the barycentric skills to draw a conclusion,

        https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/evidence-that-strong-el-nino-events-are-triggered-by-the-moon/

        20

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        el gordo

        Before I forget, Ian Wilson correctly predicted a strong El Nino for 2015 and 2019 is up on the board.

        At this rate the hiatus will never end.

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          Extreme Hiatus

          el gordo – Thanks for posting those links. I had seen the one at tallbloke’s but forgotten about it, and this later one about these El Nino eruptions is new to me – but very interesting because it makes so much common sense. Particularly following the recent discovery of the heat vents under the Antarctic ice sheet. And the more I think about this the more sense it makes.

          Put them together and I wonder if the moon cycles can be linked to these undersea eruptions? Maybe pulls on the tectonic plates?

          I sure don’t know but it certainly is intriguing without any moon effect and would be really amazing with one.

          That said, I don’t think it would be a great idea for Trump to tweet about this at this point ;-)

          40

          • #
            el gordo

            That is what I was thinking EH, it seems to tick the right boxes.

            Bit premature for a Donald tweet, but it would be fantastic if Ian Wilson put up a guest post here on the importance of the discovery.

            20

            • #

              …it would be fantastic if Ian Wilson put up a guest post here on the importance of the discovery.

              Yeah, and perhaps Jo might like to invite the relevant experts to regale us with the latest state of the science in relation to Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster?

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          • #

            You should put your thinking cap on and try to figure out the difference between something existing and something being *discovered*.

            Those sub-antarctic volcanoes have been there for tens of thousands of years.
            They didn’t just start existing because somebody first noticed them.

            10

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    Dennis

    14.45 EST and wind turbines contributing are;

    SA x 2 sites @ 30% Capacity Factor

    TAS x 1 site @ 30% Capacity Factor

    ALL OTHERS ZERO PER CENT

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    DonS

    Ahh, summer in Australia. Surf, sand, BBQ’s and the return of that great annual pest, no not the blow-fly, I mean the climate council or commission or whatever official sounding name they go by this year.

    All day Friday the ABC megaphone was handed over to one of the high priests of climate catastrophe to inform us that the past 5 years have been the hottest ever recorded since forever or something like that, I tend to tune these things out now days. No evidence was produced nor asked for by the enquiring minds of the ABC journalists and as usual no other point of view was heard. What other nation on earth would spend 1 billion dollars a year for this “quality” of news reporting? North Korea?

    Funny how the climate council only seems to appear in January each year around the time the weather is hottest. I suppose it would have been harder to get even the ABC types excited over a global warming scare back when parts of SE Australia was shivering under record low temperatures. Is it just me or is the timing of these announcements just a little bit suspicious?

    Sometimes when the tidal wave of global warming propaganda reaches the levels it did last week I start to wonder if I might be wrong in doubting CO2 induced warming. Why can’t I sip the cool-aid lay back and smilingly nod along with the 99% of journalists, politicians and big business CEO’s who all agree we need to do something about global warming/climate change. Maybe I need to be locked up in an ABC run re-education camp and shown the error of my ways Stalin style. If it comes to that at least I know I’ll be in the best of company.

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    toorightmate

    The ABC is slipping – there has not been a single anti Adani article this weekend.
    The ABC seem to be leading the anti Adani movement. Thank goodness they are not biased!!

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    • #

      Yeah, I mean what’s not to love about providing massive taxpayer handouts to a foreign company that’s going to damage our water resources to generate profits for its (foreign) self?

      11

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    Dennis

    CH7 News Weather Report

    “Searing Heat” tomorrow.

    Mid Summer Oz

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  • #
    David Maddison

    I did some industrial archeology today and looked at some abandoned and disused power stations in the Latrobe Valley, Victoriastan. The one with eight chimney stacks is Hazelwood which even though old was economically viable but for the fact that Dopey Dan’s government deliberately tripled coal taxes to put it out of business since it’s OK for Australia to be the world’s biggest coal exporter to let other people such as the Japanese to make cheap electricity but not to burn it to make cheap electricity in Australia.

    See pictures at:

    https://www.facebook.com/david.maddison.758/posts/10157041796048082

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    tom0mason

    People here may be interested in “Shock Study: Atmospheric CO2 Levels Change with Planetary Movements”.
    Forget about human’s minuscule input atmospheric CO2, NATURE through the action of planetary movements is in control of CO2 levels.

    Read more at https://principia-scientific.org/shock-study-atmospheric-co2-levels-change-with-planetary-movements/

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    john

    Offices of ‘Hillary pay to play’ renewables concern raided.

    http://www.windtaskforce.org/m/blogpost?id=4401701%3ABlogPost%3A118759

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    Robber

    Let’s look at the scenario of 50% intermittent “renewables” in the Australian National Electricity Market as proposed by several State governments and opposition parties, and for simplicity assume it is all wind. According to the Market Operator (AEMO) and as Tony has often highlighted, the average demand is about 24,000 MW, with an overnight low of 18,000 MW and a summer peak at 6pm of about 31,000 MW.
    The 50% target means “renewable but intermittent wind” will have an entitlement to supply 12,000 MW (or 12 GW) on average. But if we assume wind has an average capacity factor of 30%, at low wind those wind generators will supply near zero, while at peak they can theoretically supply up to 40,000 MW (nameplate capacity).
    The capital cost of 40 GW nameplate capacity wind turbines is estimated to be $75 billion (Ararat wind farm completed April 2017 cost $450 million for 240 MW nameplate capacity).
    Consider just 24 hours with zero supply of wind – the grid must be fully supplied by coal/gas unless there is stored energy available in the form of hydro or batteries.
    Now consider 24 hours of wind at maximum capacity, generating 40 GW, well above that required to meet demand so it must be curtailed (let’s assume to no more than 50% of demand or 12 GW), and used for storage into batteries or pumped hydro. That would require storage capacity for 28 GW for 24 hours, that’s equal to about 5,000 SA big batteries or three Snowy 2′s (cost $15 billion?).

    Summary: To achieve a 50% renewable target of 12 GW using wind requires a nameplate capacity of 40 GW (30% capacity factor) at a cost of $75 billion. In addition, storage costing at least $15 billion will be required. However to meet peak demand of 31 GW, allowing for up to 5 MW from storage, on days of low wind, coal/gas must be able to supply up to 26 GW. Therefore to enable the shutdown of 3 or 4 coal/gas generators massive new investments approaching $100 billion are required to replace 5 GW of reliable generators with intermittent wind. Tell ‘em they’re dreaming.

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    • #
      Robber

      And in today’s Australian: Power shortage exposes danger of wind reliance: Frydenberg
      “There is no doubt SA has an over-reliance on wind power, which is not only causing reliability issues but price volatility as well,” Mr Frydenberg told The Australian yesterday”.
      “The wind was blowing so little in SA during the heatwave it was only producing 6.5 per cent of its capacity, which meant it needed to import a stack of power from Victoria. Victoria was able to do this not only because of its coal-fired assets, which SA no longer has, but also because of hydro-electric power from the Snowy and ­Tasmania.”

      20

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      RickWill

      This analysis is simplistic and understates the cost by a long way. Power supply from wind must take into account the the variability in the supply. Unless there is infinite storage the capacity factor is meaningless. There are periods in Australia when wind generators produce less then 10% for 2 days or more. That means your estimate on storage are way under. A more realistic cost to achieve 50% market share from wind is AUD300bn.

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    • #

      You’re worried about $100 billion?

      You *do* realise the government is spending $164billion on welfare recipients just this year, right?

      In the scheme of things, spending $100 billion on the nation’s most important sector of infrastructure is nothing.

      In any case, “spending” $100 billion like this just turns it into taxes (the government would get $25billion straight back within weeks of spending it) and into wages, those wages in turn get “spent”, ie, turned into more taxes and wages and essentially it all comes back to the government anyway – providing we ever get a government that agrees to put a stop to Howard’s policy of giving away our assets to foreign-based multinationals of course.
      We can’t count on the current mob: they seem hell-bent on *reducing* the amount of government spending that comes straight back to the government by reducing corporate taxation as much as they can.

      00

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    RickWill

    Josh Frydenberg is using SA’s reliance on Victoria to push for the energy guarantee arrangements:
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/south-australian-heatwave-sparks-push-for-national-energy-plan/news-story/d61493bf04a6811c6c033ac46073d627

    Mr Frydenberg said the events of last Thursday and Friday provided evidence that SA could not go it alone or would risk another blackout.
    He said it should serve as yet another reminder why it was time SA Labor “admitted its failings” and signed on to the NEG to make the national grid more affordable and reliable. “There is no doubt SA has an over-reliance on wind power, which is not only causing reliability issues, but price volatility as well,” Mr Frydenberg said.

    20

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      RickWill

      More on the high demand:
      https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2018/01/20/australia-power-crisis-looming/

      The wholesale electricity price soared as a result of the Loy Yang B failure, leaping briefly from about $80 a megawatt-hour to an incredible $12,000 and higher.

      Mr Dyke said the price of power soared when the system was in crisis and the owners of coal generators were “happy for shortage of power” while making millions.

      “What you’ll see is power demand will increase in the next couple of weeks and there will be a real squeeze in February,” Mr Dyke predicted.

      It is an interesting view that only coal fired power can take advantage of the high prices during periods of power shortage. All the wind generators were able to do the same but, as is common, lack of wind created the shortage.

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    • #

      You can’t count on Frydenburg for facts: he got caught out yesterday lying (massively) about how much diesel VIC & SA were burning to back up the grid.

      His claims about the cause of price instability are a self-serving nonsense, proven wrong by the last few years’ instability in the QLD market, a market that hasn’t been significantly penetrated by wind power.
      Of course, Frydenburg isn’t going to admit the truth: the current energy problem is a direct result of
      - his government’s absolutely defective policy approach to energy in this country,
      - the privatisations that were allowed to happen,
      - the massive rorting being conducted at the network and retail level
      - the failure of the privately-owned power stations that have been shut down or will soon be
      - the export overseas of the bulk of the rorted profits within the energy industry

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      • #

        The whole of Australia had cheap electricity before we got lots of wind and solar.

        Qld is connected to the whole grid.

        QLD pays the RET like every other state of Australia.

        Even new coal plants can’t save QLD from the disaster than is Lib/Lab energy policy.

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        • #

          The RET is a fraction of the wholesale price, and the wholesale price has barely changed over the years.

          Our electricity price rises have come from the massive increase in network costs (which was caused by a privatisation boondoggle) as well as a massive increase in the retail margins (again, privatisation and boondoggles).

          Some good points are made here:

          “Our research shows that the cost of gas makes up just 3 per cent of your final bill and coal just 5 per cent,” The Australia Institute’s senior researcher David Richardson told The Daily Telegraph this week.

          “It in no way explains why bills have gone up by 183 per cent on average over the last two decades.”

          Indeed. We’re being scammed, and trying to use this scam to bash renewables is just helping the scammers.

          http://www.news.com.au/finance/money/costs/the-real-reasons-why-our-power-prices-are-going-up/news-story/c61b12ecd56001bfbcd2b9f45c581d7b

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            Robber

            CT, some facts. You say the wholesale price has barely changed over the years.
            Consider these facts from AEMO. Average price tables for NSW; SA; Vic in $/MWhr:
            FY 2014 $52; $62; $52
            FY 2015 $35; $39; $30
            FY 2016 $52; $62; $46
            FY 2017 $81; $109; $67
            FY 2018 $85; $99; $97
            So in just a few years, wholesale prices up from 4-6 cents/Kwhr to 8-10 cents/KWhr.
            And that’s before the extra 8.5 cents “renewables” get paid through the sale of certificates under the RET for their 15% share of supply.
            Add to that the increasing complexity of the network to cope with increasingly amounts of intermittent wind/solar supplies from diverse locations.

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        • #

          The Australian Financial Review doesn’t mince its words:
          http://www.afr.com/content/dam/images/g/u/x/8/i/9/image.imgtype.afrArticleInline.620×0.png/1490589202001.png

          “The profit margins earned by electricity retailers in Victoria appear excessively high and have been rising without apparent justification,” the report says. Consultant CME made similar findings in a report last year.

          And this graphic shows the margins we are paying to the electricity retail sector are more than triple the margins earned by UK electricity retailers:
          http://www.afr.com/content/dam/images/g/u/x/8/i/8/image.imgtype.afrArticleInline.620×0.png/1489407576208.png

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  • #
    GAZ

    $400 million can’t ‘vaporise’. Who pocketed this money???

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  • #
    yarpos

    The short term generators, thats the game.

    Take AGL “getting out of coal”. AGL build more windpower, destabilise grid. Invest in fast start generation in parallel. Close Lidell. Wait for the inevitable power shortage, bid $14,000 per MWh for marginal high cost electrcity. Collect scam payment whenever wind power generates something. Its a good gig, you cant lose, unless the game is changed.

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