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Puerto Rico: Hurricane destroyed wind, solar. Plus five months on, 15% still blacked out.

In South Australia, when the lights went out, Olympic Dam took two entire weeks to get operational again. Spare a thought for those in Puerto Rico. Right now, five months later, and one in 6 still don’t have electricity. That’s five full months of blackout –  surviving off candles, car batteries, small diesels and whatever anyone can get. Some people will be waiting til May. Though that’s “95%” connected, so still no joy or lights, for one in 20 people. How do you put a roof back on your house when you can’t even power up your drill? (See The Atlantics photo montage from January 27th to get some idea of what life is like, months after the storm).

Puerto Rico has 3.6 million people, was poor and corrupt, with failing infrastructure and huge debts before Hurricane Maria hit on Sept 20th. The government has a budget of $10b per year, but owes more than $70b. The hurricane wiped out 80% of the infrastructure, completely trashing some of the solar and wind “farms”, and bringing down transmission lines.

The remains of one solar plant:

Solar Panels, damaged, Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria.

See the complete destruction here:

Brett Adair with Live Storms Media

One wind farm that survived the hurricane sat idle for weeks because there was no grid running and a wind farm can’t start a grid up (so much for microgrid resilience). Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA had oil powered generation plants which were 44 years old on average, and not surprisingly (with no access to coal or nuclear power) the people paid very high electricity rates. Government entities and a few chosen private industries got it for free though.

Puerto Rico, Map.

Puerto Rico in the Caribbean was right in the path.

 

The renewables industry are leaping in to sell a vision that the mostly diesel and gas powered state should rebuild and go renewable. Elon Musk is promising to rescue the territory with tesla powerwalls and microgrids.  At least some engineers were pointing out the nation needs something cheap, and soon, rather than expensive and fragile. (Check out their photo of the solar panel damage). How exactly is an island in a hurricane zone going to be more resilient with acres of glass, or giant fans on pylons?

A lot of the solar farms took a lot of damage. Dakota Smith has before and after images from NOAA maps.

One windfarm survived unscathed but was still useless:

Vox, Oct 23rd, 2017

There also isn’t any noise. The turbines are in perfect working order and could be a vital source of energy for the power-starved island. Except that they can’t actually be turned on without a small amount of electricity from the grid — which, of course, isn’t currently capable of providing it.

When the grid eventually comes back online, the wind farm will be able to provide power to about 35,000 homes. Until then, the blades aren’t turning.

The island’s grid is antiquated and hasn’t received any major upgrades in years. Power outages were a regular part of daily life on the island even before the storm

Puerto Rico had given away free electricity for years , and was an accident waiting to happen:

It’s worth reading Marji Wojcik in full:

…when the hurricane made landfall on September 20th, Puerto Rico was already an accident waiting to happen. Unfortunately, like so many of our ailing cities – run by Democrats for decades – it was a victim of irresponsible progressive policies long before it was a victim of Maria.

The government has funneled public money to state-owned enterprises that are supposed to be financially independent. Worse, the report said, many workers no longer even look for jobs, since welfare benefits pay more than actual work.

A year and a half ago, even the New York Times had to admit ~ How Free Electricity Helped Dig $9 Billion Hole in Puerto Rico ~

In fact, the (island’s power authority, Prepa) has been giving free power to all 78 of Puerto Rico’s municipalities, to many of its government-owned enterprises, even to some for-profit businesses — although not to its citizens. It has done so for decades, even as it has sunk deeper and deeper in debt, borrowing billions just to stay afloat.

Now, however, the island’s government is running out of cash, facing a total debt of $72 billion and already defaulting on some bonds…

This is what a government run monopoly grid can achieve:

A 2016 report on PREPA commissioned by the Puerto Rican government is scathing. In the latter months of that year, for example, Puerto Ricans experienced four to five times the number of service outages as U.S. customers on average, though they pay the second-highest rates in the U.S. after Hawaii. Instead of investing in preventive maintenance, PREPA operates in a permanent state of triage. Its budget is “opaque and discretionary.” Record keeping is “subpar.” A third of the capital budget is spend on discretionary administrative expenses, hinting at a slush fund. Thirty percent of PREPA’s employees have retired or migrated to the mainland since 2012, the Washington Post reports—especially its skilled workers. Money is short, the report concludes, but so is human and intellectual capital.

The EIA data on Puerto-Rico shows it is a fossil fueled nation:

In 2016, 47% of Puerto Rico’s electricity came from petroleum, 34% from natural gas, 17% from coal, and 2% from renewable energy.

If renewables were cheap and competitive everyone would be happy. But they can’t even beat expensive diesel gens in an equatorial country.

Apparently even two days ago, there were still scenes like this!

@NydiaVelazquez

h/t RK, pat, yarpos, Hank Phillips, Richard Illfield, TdeF.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (68 votes cast)
Puerto Rico: Hurricane destroyed wind, solar. Plus five months on, 15% still blacked out., 9.7 out of 10 based on 68 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/y45feewl

144 comments to Puerto Rico: Hurricane destroyed wind, solar. Plus five months on, 15% still blacked out.

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Almost describes south Australia

    231

    • #
      Ian Hill

      Except most of SA went the entire summer without a blackout, dammit. Now we have to endure election posters of the Premier standing with arms crossed stating “Standing Up for SA”.

      20

  • #
    Environment Skeptic

    Higher electricity prices will solve that. Doh!
    The geographical location of Puerto Rico is so fortunate “IT” did not also have to contend with Putin using his Siberian weather modification.
    Easily fixed.

    10

    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      And ‘debt’…..electricity cannot be fixed without debt. Not more than .03% interest. A good government should be able to broker at least that.

      30

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Actually, I was more fascinated why wind generators cant be started without a power supply. Have they ever heard of permanent magnet gen sets?…That would supply the exciter current/control system power etc.

        I’d have thought they could do a manual start with a hand controlled hydraulic brake etc.

        2/10…..Must try harder….

        30

        • #
          jpm

          Steve
          The problem is synchronizing the AC to mains out on the grid. Without a source to sync to they cannot start up. They are designed to be slave systems using the signal from the grid to sync up.
          I suppose a free standing wind farm could start up but it would have different specifications to the ones they have which are meant to run with other grid generators already running.
          John

          70

          • #
            Hanrahan

            The turbines are in perfect working order and could be a vital source of energy for the power-starved island. Except that they can’t actually be turned on without a small amount of electricity from the grid — which, of course, isn’t currently capable of providing it.

            This is the justification for SA’s battery but I must ask “Can it do a stand-alone startup or does it too need grid power to sync to”?

            Doing a bootstrap startup of a failed grid is a bigger problem than I would have thought, had I ever thought about it.

            20

            • #
              jpm

              With the battery powered generator the same problem applies if it is grid connected. It must sync to the power on the grid. They use conventional generators to provide the frequency as they have rolling inertia to steady the frequency. Also the load would need to be shed and brought back gradually as sufficient generating capacity is brought on line. Otherwise it would blow breakers and it would have to begin again. It took many hours to restart the SA grid in Sept. 2016.
              John

              30

          • #
            soldier

            To make a final connection to the grid 4 factors over three phases need to be synchronised :

            *voltage magnitude
            *phase sequence
            *phase Angle
            *frequency

            All of these must be exactly matched to the grid before any attempt is made to to connect.

            If a connection is attempted without meeting these conditions, grid instability and/or equipment damage will occur.

            70

            • #

              Thanks for this soldier:

              To make a final connection to the grid 4 factors over three phases need to be synchronised :

              *voltage magnitude
              *phase sequence
              *phase Angle
              *frequency

              All of these must be exactly matched to the grid before any attempt is made to to connect.

              If a connection is attempted without meeting these conditions, grid instability and/or equipment damage will occur.

              Now I want you to imagine this.

              You have a number of large coal fired Units on line, and another large coal fired Unit comes back up online after maintenance, say one of the large Units at Bayswater, just like happened at around 2AM on Monday morning, one single Unit of 660MW.

              All of those four things are in perfection and the switch gets flicked and that ONE Unit comes back onto the grid.

              Okay then, now imagine that you have around 2800 to 3000 separate wind turbines, each around 1.5 to 3MW.

              They drop off line and come back on line ….. and no one really knows when that’s going to happen, where it will be happening, and how often it will be happening.

              Those four things have to be accomplished every single time for every single turbine every single time, and who knows when.

              That of itself leads to grid instability.

              Tony.

              120

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Being poor is hazardous to ones health. Having a corrupt government is even worse. In combination they are deadly. However, it is a problem only if you want to live and thrive. If not, just keep on keeping on doing what you do. It will soon no longer be a problem for most. It will bother a few only because they are still alive. This is what happens when you make creating wealth a sin and taking it a virtue. Life becomes impossible to sustain sometimes even in the short run.

    Sadly, my search for intelligent life on earth continues. Some still exists but precious little of it.

    280

    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      “creating wealth a sin”

      Creating wealth is now for the first time fully assimilated by the (borg) debt creating apparatus/financial complex which cannot intrinsically produce anything on its own..

      80

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        Sad indeed Lionell…hmmm

        30

      • #
        Lionell Griffith

        Slight correction, the process does not create wealth but only transfers it to those who didn’t create it. The result is the destruction of wealth and the the ability of those who can create it is diminished.

        60

    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      my search for intelligent life on earth continues

      A comedian claimed he visited a place where scientists were searching for intelligent life.
      All the telescopes were pointed up.

      30

  • #
    pat

    can’t see this linked by jo:

    PICS/VIDEO: 2 Oct 2017: Accuweather: NEXRAD radar, wind turbines, solar farms destroyed in Puerto Rico
    By Jesse Ferrell
    On Sept. 24, four days after Category 4 Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, I retweeted this post by the NWS in San Juan, Puerto Rico, showing the damage to their NEXRAD radar. I’ve seen radar domes crushed before by straight-line thunderstorm winds, but never one completely destroyed…

    PIC: Here’s what’s left of a wind farm in Punta Lima, Playa Hucares, Puerto Rico (click to enlarge)

    VIDEO: 1min21secs: The video below shows a better view where you can see that almost every turbine is damaged, and many are completely destroyed. It also shows a destroyed solar farm, which is not available on the aerial images.,,

    PIC: Also shown in the video above is the Humacao Solar farm which was built way too close to the coast; it was under construction but had hundreds of solar panels that were destroyed

    FROM COMMENTS:
    Bob Wallace: 89 MW of Puerto Rico’s 125 MW of utility solar came through with only minor damage. That’s 70% of the total. At least one farm that was poorly designed got wiped out.
    REPLY: Michelle Irizarry
    Hi! I’m looking for a source for these values?
    Thanks!
    (NO RESPONSE FROM WALLACE)
    https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/weathermatrix/nexrad-radar-wind-turbines-solar-farms-destroyed-in-puerto-rico/70002879

    20

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    Puerto Rico had subsidies, tax beaks to attract industry, and a leftist government that could not do anything right. Many of the smartest left to the US mainland leaving behind a population that was more and more dependent on the government.
    Another example of a failed leftist government that was also corrupt and unaccountable to anyone. The politicians could always buy votes by promising more and more and creating more and more dependency on the government.

    202

  • #
    rapscallion

    You don’t need a hurricane or other natural event to severely incapacitate a country, but it helps. On the other hand, just elect a Left wing, oh, so progressive, and “green” government and the results are almost the same.

    The pictures above shows what happens when you combine the two.

    I’m sorry, but I’m out of sympathy. If you’re that ruddy stupid that you elect such crooks you deserve everything coming to you.

    181

    • #
      PeterS

      That includes Australia. If we are going to continue on the mad road to more and more renewables while we keep shutting down our coal fired power stations one by one without replacing them, then we deserve everything coming to us. Sorry but that’s how the ball bounces. The people have the power to say no to more renewables and yes to more not less coal. All that needs to happen is for enough voters to support the AC party and hopefully force one of the two major parties to comply in return to forming a minority government. For example, I very much like AC’s policies on energy:

      Key Points:

      Australians deserve the most reliable and affordable energy in the world.
      With electricity generation, we are technology-agnostic but subsidy-averse.
      We support nuclear power and a nuclear fuel cycle industry.
      We support all forms of electricity generation and will provide them with legislative certainty and legal protection.
      We do not support any renewable energy targets.
      We will remove all taxpayer and cross subsidies to electricity generation.
      We will require all electricity supplied to the grid to be useable – that is, predictable and consistent in output (kWhrs) and synchronous (at the required 50 Hz range).
      We will allow market forces to provide the most efficient power generation available.
      We will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

      Further Information:
      Electricity

      Australia should have the cheapest and most reliable electricity in the world. We have world-scale and world-class coal, gas and uranium reserves. Yet our electricity sector no longer reflects that.

      Australian Conservatives are open to any form of electricity generation, and will provide legislative certainty for the ongoing use of fossil fuels. We will remove the barriers to building more dams for hydro-power and clear the way for nuclear power as well as a nuclear fuel cycle industry.
      Gas

      Australia should also have the cheapest and most reliable gas supply in the world.

      We will support landholders’ rights to allow gas production on their properties, and to a reasonable return for that access and extraction, to help ensure there are sufficient quantities available for our domestic and export markets.
      Renewable Energy and Climate Change

      Australia produces less than 1.5% of global CO2 emissions. Even if our emissions were reduced to zero, it would make no perceptible difference to the climate.

      Ideological obsessions with uneconomic renewable technologies to meet unrealistic emissions targets to prevent ‘climate change’ have made our energy unreliable and expensive. Targets and subsidies for renewable energy distort the market and disadvantage consumers. Australian Conservatives are open to renewable energy as an option for electricity generation but we oppose taxpayer and cross-subsidies to support it.

      Australian Conservatives will scrap all taxpayer and cross-subsidies for electricity generation and allow market forces to determine the best outcomes for Australian consumers and business.

      331

  • #
    PeterS

    It was bound to happen – and will happen again in other areas. Demonstrates yet another reason why reliance on solar and wind for grid power is a very dumb idea. I’m waiting for large hail to destroy most solar panels across certain parts of Australia.

    151

    • #

      Hail!? A bit of broken glass!?
      Lucky we don’t have to worry about large wave causing two nuclear reactors to explode, eh?

      521

      • #
        yarpos

        Bit of a false equivalence really as we:

        a) probably wont have the common sense to build one or more reactors

        b) wouldnt be stupid enough the put it on the coast in a known tsunami risk zone(which we dont have)

        one thing is a real risk for solar farms at northern latitudes, the other is just a bizzare comparison

        140

      • #
        sophocles

        Three, not two.

        50

      • #
        el gordo

        ‘However, todays high quality solar PV panels usually come equipped with laminate, glass, or acrylic casing to protect the crystalline cells underneath. Under test conditions, these protected panels can withstand high velocity hail pellets shot from pneumatic guns.’

        wiki

        10

        • #
          RAH

          How big of hail stones and what thickness of laminate glass. Those would be the key questions. From what I’ve seen when hail gets up to about the size of a golf ball or larger then look out because even dimensional shingle roofs are in danger of severe damage. Tempered glass shatters, the laminated glass on the top of some sun rooms fail, aluminum awnings beaten into scrap, etc…

          Of course the laminate glass may protect the cells but once the outer sheet of glass shatters how well is the unit going to work?

          50

        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          “Under test conditions, these protected panels can withstand high velocity hail pellets shot from pneumatic guns.’”

          But they cannot withstand a pin thrown by a trained Shaolin Monk…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn6IY99ON1U

          30

      • #
        rapscallion

        Shows how little you know about reactors doesn’t it? A nuclear reactor CANNOT explode, It simply isn’t possible. To cause an explosion you have to have two hemisphere’s of U-238 smashed together at extremely high speed. As all reactors contain only one piece of uranium there can be no explosion. Fission is controlled by hafnium rods. Come back when you know what you’re talking about!

        80

        • #

          “one piece of Uranium”? Lol. Dunning-Kruger in action.

          ” The insufficient cooling led to three nuclear meltdowns, hydrogen-air explosions, and the release of radioactive material in Units 1, 2, and 3 from 12 March to 15 March. Loss of cooling also caused the pool for storing spent fuel from Reactor 4 to overheat on 15 March due to the decay heat from the fuel rods.”

          They were nuclear reactors, and they exploded. If you wanted more detail you could go and read it for yourself instead of subjecting us to your half-witted dissertation.

          12

  • #
    Bill_W

    I understand your point and it definitely makes it harder without electricity. But, in answer to: “How do you put a roof back on your house when you can’t even power up your drill?” Probably need a saw, screws, nails, hammer (or nail gun) more than a drill for a new roof. But, the same way I did after Katrina: I used a hammer, a battery powered screwdriver/drill, and a gasoline generator to recharge the batteries. Later, I used a cheap brad nail gun for trim but by then I had electric back!

    70

    • #
      D. J. Hawkins

      In the early 1900′s my great-grandfather was a very successful building contractor. Without using power tools of any sort. What was done once can be done again.

      91

      • #
        James

        An Amish crew could soon put those roofs back on with nails. Unfortunately PR is too far to via a horse and buggy!

        70

      • #
        Spetzer86

        Not too many people have the tools to make that possible anymore, let alone the tools to keep the actual tools performing in peak condition. The cost of progress, you lose the knowledge/ability used to get you to the current level.

        130

  • #
    Planning Engineer

    Thank you for that update. I’ve been trying to follow the issues around restoration, but that information is tough to find. Information supporting the false narratives that Puerto Rico would have been in better shape with a larger renewable base and that renewables can best save it now get more considerabley more press than the cold hard realities.

    My observations from last October on Elon Musk’s contribution: https://judithcurry.com/2017/10/27/trying-to-make-sense-of-musk-love-and-solar-hype/

    60

    • #

      Thanks Planning Engineer. Your analysis that Musk et al may be involved in “rescues” as a PR and marketing campaign is compelling.

      If only the media did not make it so easy (working as free-propaganda agents).

      As always — the media is the problem. Musk would not be able to get away with this if journalists asked hard questions.

      110

      • #
        MudCrab

        Hard questions?

        Try just questions.

        Musk tweets and the world falls over itself to get downwind, but no one ever steps back to ask what he is actually saying.

        Take the other month where Musk went to lengths to push the flamethrowers his Boring Company were selling. Pre-order now! Get your flamethrowers! Great for the Zombie Apocalypse!

        Even if you ignore the ethical questions of flamethrowers (and/or cheap rebadged propane burners probably imported from China and normally retailing for $39.95) the real open and unanswered question has to be why was the Boring Company selling them? The Boring Company for those playing at home is the business group put together for the purpose of digging the tunnels for Musk’s grand underground mass transit plan.

        Honestly, does this strike anyone as a sensible business plan for what is nominally a heavy engineering company specialising in making tunnels? Does the fact that this collection of what are nominally highly trained and experienced professionals even have the time to sell what are effectively toys for developmentally stunted adults not even raise questions? Is this ‘Make Work’ for a company that is sitting around doing nothing? (And if they are sitting around doing nothing then why is Musk still putting out twits about the amazing progress of his test tunnel?)

        Sales of these toys apparently raised $2million. Ignoring the question of just why so many people are gullible to spend so much on what is clearly a massively marked up product, why was this done? Is there a cash flow problem at Planet Musk and the quickest way to fix this was to do a merchandise push? Where the coffee mugs and t-shirts not turning over enough units?

        So we have a very weird situation that SHOULD have raised eyebrows, instead what we actually got was a whole bunch of fanboys going ‘Yeah, Musk is selling flamethrowers! How cool is that?!’

        50

        • #

          There seem to be a lot of tunnels being bored about the place. Bezos is hollowing out a mountain to house a clock…as you do.

          As I’ve mentioned before, it seems that the rock stars of private enterprise (they’re the ones who grow and grow but take taxes rather than pay them) are busy doing what governments or less attractive corporations would like to do: enormous private data gathering, peculiar space projects which mix the real and fantastic…and lots of big holes underground. If I was prone to suspicion I might think that the line between rock star entrepreneur and Big Bro government is a touch blurry.

          30

      • #
        WXcycles

        http://rossriversolarfarm.com.au/

        I like solar, cyclones are over rated, it’s not like they going to be a problem within the next 20 years, and this transitions us into a new domain of living in harmony with the marvelous world around us.

        And it will have a battery in the event that the sun were to go down, so if a cyclone comes, which never happens, we should be fine.

        And it’s cheap too. :D

        03

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          The battery is cheap? Does you mummy allow you out on your own?

          I recently filled in an online check on the advantage of adding a battery to my solar. Having filled in (corrrectly) the current capacity of my installed PV solar and $15-20,000 available I got a 0 in two spots, now and in 10 years.
          In the small print it explained that 0 meant that the battery would never pay for itself. That, by the way, was the Alternative Technlogy Association, hardly a hive of rabid climate change deniers.**

          ** Well, actually most think that all climate change is man-made but many others are sane.

          20

        • #

          Ross River Solar Farm plant. (please try not to think of it as a farm, which actually IS productive.)

          145MW at a Capacity Factor of 20% tops, so a total average daily power generation of 29MW.

          So, 0.4% of Queensland’s power daily power consumption, delivering a tiny amount of power for the hour and a half either side of Midday, if there’s no cloud and it’s Summer.

          Oh frabjous day!

          Tony.

          40

  • #

    Puerto Rico doesn’t need to be adapted to the new climate because the new climate is just like the old. The region was thrashed by four lethal hurricanes in 1780, all above Cat 3, one of them being the Great or San Calixto, still the deadliest in the history of Atlantic hurricanes. Not that Hurricane Mitch, which missed Puerto Rico in 1998 but really tore up parts to the west, was a walk in the park. But none of this is new, any more than New York hurricanes are new.

    Building white elephants and shoddy green infrastructure might enrich crony capitalists bilking some tropical anti-paradise, but it doesn’t save any planets. The dough and resources you spend on those white elephants might be spent on eg stabilising watersheds and just pinning roofs. I’m sure the Clinton Foundation would be happy to help out. (Yeah, I’m definitely joking.)

    151

    • #
      Leonard Lane

      mosomoso, it was more a case of radical leftists and the inevitable collapse of that form of government coupled with a continued drain of its best and brightest. Crooked leftists and something for nothing voters caused the problem. Of course, green vultures swept in to take advantage wherever they could and exacerbated the many problems the island has.

      81

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    “debt” is an under appreciated problem with government ownership of assets.
    In a business, debt is a primary obligation; you not only have to pay it back, you have to pay it
    back first. And you have to pay it back from the proceeds of the business, so it is a primary
    component of the pricing information of the market.

    So a private company issues debt, to fund an asset or operation, that generates receipts to pay its
    coupon, its interest, its operating cost, and a profit.

    A private firm always is more productive than a public firm, thus its products “cost” less.

    The government can’t take over a business unless it is willing to subsidise its inefficiency, and typical
    political market distortions. It does so beginning with the debt.

    Peurto Rico sold debt at lower rates “because it was guaranteed by the full faith and credit” of a government.
    It sold debt with the promise of favorable tax rates compared to commercial debt.
    When it couldn’t pay on time, it used the implicit police power of the state to change the bondholder’s terms.

    This is typical of government bonds in many jurisdictions.

    I’m not sure restoration would have been better with investor owned utilities…it was a bad storm on an island.
    And, In fact, thousands of investor owned utilities have DONATED men, parts, and vehicles to the rebuilding of what was already a patchwork.

    But refinancing & modernizing….if its the PR government I doubt it. Fool me once…….

    50

  • #
    RAH

    Puerto Ricans should be thankful that a Republican POTUS is in office during recovery. That way they get the press harping about how the US isn’t doing enough to help the recovery and so keeps some pressure on the Federal government to provide more aid. If a Democrat was in the White House they would have been forgotten about by the press long ago even if the Federal Government only did half of what it has done so far. It’s just like the homeless. I’ve noticed over the decades that they disappear in the news when a Democrat is in charge, but suddenly reemerge in dire straights when a Republican is POTUS. Our old media is so predictable.

    171

    • #
      Curious George

      Don’t underestimate a local angle. Once I had a coworker who had just moved from New Orleans. He told us a story of a bridge which they were building from both shores of a river, and in the middle the two halves missed each other by a foot. I said, this is hard to believe, are you sure it was a bridge and not a tunnel? Answer: You don’t know New Orleans.

      30

      • #
        destroyer D69

        The Ron Camm bridge in Mackay Qld had the same problem.. if you know where to look the misalignment at the Northern end is obvious…

        20

    • #
      yarpos

      Bit like “common sense gun control laws”. Obama had 8 years, Dem majorities, presided during Sandy Hook, …….nada. Now all the people who did nothing are telling Trump what he should do. Personally I dont think it matters as the horse has bolted, but the hypocrisy is rather blatant.

      50

    • #
      rapscallion

      “Our old media is so predictable.”

      It is also incredibly corrupt, so bit like the FBI, DOJ etc

      It’s no different in the UK. All as bent as marzipan fishing rods!

      10

      • #
        RAH

        When I was going to Indiana University in Bloomington, IN it was common knowledge that if one wanted to score some weed the Ernie Pyle school of Journalism was the place to go.

        00

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    RAH, thanks, that is the best comment in the thread.

    50

  • #
  • #
    David Maddison

    Stefan Molyneux explains what an economic basket case Is Puerto Rico.

    https://youtu.be/k4iuD7xQDxE

    52

    • #
      PeterS

      I follow his videos and find him telling the truth in a way that is impossible to refute. Indeed the West is heading for a financial crisis the likes we’ve never seen. It’s only a matter of time. History repeats. Hopefully after the crash and burn the West still exists in some viable form so it can rise again, but hope alone won’t be enough I’m afraid.

      50

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    You might conclude from the fact that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory that I might have some sympathy or empathy for Puerto Rico over this. But even though I don’t like to see anyone suffering, I would leave them to fight their way out of this. After all, they made it, not me. The storm is bad enough but the decades of stupid policy compounds their disaster and I’m fed up with being looked at as a source of relief from problems others have caused to themselves.

    Is that too harsh? I don’t know. And frankly I don’t care. If they want to think and act like California, maybe they’ll serve as an example for California.

    I won’t be holding my breath waiting for Sacramento to recognize their mistakes nor will I worry about what the Puerto Ricans do either. When no one will pay attention to the handwriting on the wall, it’s time to say, sorry, no one here cares. Get out of your own mess.

    I’ll get red thumbs for sure. But the truth is the truth and there comes a time when the foolishness must stop. And someone needs to say it.

    I’m seriously considering my options for getting out of California.

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    • #

      Your abject selfishness is noted. Normal civilised human beings behave altruistically and it has long been recognised that this aspect of human nature explains much of our species’ social evolution. In your case, you appear to be fighting for devolution.

      Your comparison of California and Puerto Rico is silly. Quite apart from geography, population and economy, the electricity sectors in each are not even remotely comparable.

      California’s electricity problems were caused by privatising state assets to companies who then used artificial supply restrictions to game electricity prices for profit.
      California produces 33% of its electricity from renewables.

      Puerto Rico’s problems were caused by a government monopoly making no investment in electricity generation or transmission infrastructure over 4 decades.
      Puerto Rico produces 2% of its electricity from renewables.

      621

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        If it’s selfishness then I’ll wear it as a badge of honor. If you want to try the race card, I’ll wear that as a badge of honor too.

        Whatever you want to make of me, go ahead. But I have the brass nerve to say enough is enough and you can have your altruism. The road to disaster is under everyone’s feet right now and we keep marching on and on and on…endlessly to the stupid notion that those who’re successful owe something to those who aren’t successful. But it’s not as simple as you believe and I’m not going down that road except by force. And I’ll fight all the way.

        And FYI, it isn’t electricity I’m talking about. It’s government policies that don’t take care of the real interests and welfare of those to whom that government owes its concern for their welfare. Electricity suffers in both places because of stupid government policies.

        Give me a Donald Trump any day, warts, complaints whether true or not or anything else that anyone thinks is wrong with his presidency because for the first time in my memory a president spoke about our real problems when he campaigned and once in office is going about keeping his promise to the voters. California should have such a governor. Puerto Rico should have such a governor.

        In the entire political landscape around me only one man is doing his job — Donald John Trump. If no one else will follow where he leads, so be it. I cannot carry anyone on my back and I’ve stopped trying to do it because it helps nothing.

        Funny thing too, as of this comment I don’t have a red thumb. Amazing, no?

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        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Not even Ronald Reagan, the conservative’s poster boy until now, did as well in 8 years as Trump has done in 1 year by insisting on looking out for America and American’s real needs before anyone else’s. And that’s his job. If Puerto Rico or California could learn instead of complain they could both fix up their problems easily enough. But no, they don’t learn, not even from the example right in front of their noses, so they suffer.

          And FYI once more, Trump is by no means a conservative.

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          • #

            Trump’s looking out for Russia’s needs – Congress passed a law for sanctions against some of the crooks in the Russian regime and Trump has failed to implement it, past the deadline for implementation in the first week of Feb.
            Trump’s been impeding a police investigation, and so far 4 of his cronies have been indicted for their crooked deeds involving Russia.
            There has never been a worse President – it’d be the equivalent of Corbyn becoming PM in the UK: these guys are not batting for their country.

            14

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Well, finally a red thumb. It’s March 2nd here but already starting March 3rd in Oz. The red ones weren’t here when I looked earlier today. The habitual objectors seem to be a little slow.

          Don’t be too hard on them. According to their apologists they can’t help it. It’s all Donald Trump’s fault, dontcha know?

          21

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Craig:
        “Normal civilised human beings behave altruistically”, so since you insist other people subsidise your fantasies can I conclude that you aren’t normal?

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        • #
          yarpos

          ““Normal civilised human beings behave altruistically” mmmmmmmmm, the naivity is strong in this one! be dissapointed, you will

          30

      • #
        el gordo

        ‘California’s electricity problems were caused by privatising state assets …..’

        It was the same in NSW, the RET and selling the poles and wires have proven to be a disaster.

        50

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Just to let Craig know the truth about electricity in California — utilities like Southern California Edison that sells electricity to me were doing quite well until California snuck in a reform measure that was supposed to take care of us on into the future. We would get additional generating capacity instead of warnings that if we run our air conditioners on a hot summer day the system will crash and burn.

          What it did instead is force Edison to divest itself of its generating capability, forcing them to buy power from someone kissing up to the state. So now they are no longer in control of their business. But it has gone farther than that. Edison now must kiss up to California and has become a nightmare to do business with because they’re forced to be the state’s policeman, applying pressure to get everyone to use only the approved number of kwH per month through punitive pricing for using more than you should. Where once they did one thing well, sell their customers all the electricity they wanted, they are now faced with a conflict of interest. And no business wants to be in that bind, Craig. Not even the one you work for.

          But the state has left Edison a way out called the California Public Utilities Commission, CPUC. And the CPUC can dictate rates for electricity so Edison is always profitable up to whatever limit the very politicised CPUC thinks is OK.

          The consumer is taking it up their backside in all this because we have no recourse, no advocate and no way to fight back. No matter how many Californians refuse to pay their bill, Edison will simply get a charge tacked on to the bill that will still keep arriving even after Edison has shut us all off and there is nothing I know of in the state of California that will stop that from happening if we do the one thing that might force a change for the better. But as you must surely recognize, that hurts the protesters badly because nearly everything runs on electricity.

          Craig, can you run your household without electricity? If you can then continue to believe that government can do it better than private incentive to make a profit. But I know how much my home depends on electricity and I can’t even light the burners on the stove in the kitchen without the power that generates the spark that lights them up. Imagine that…an appliance that runs on natural gas needs electricity to be useful.

          I know that Edison would protect their interest because they, like everyone else in business, are in business to make money for their owners and that would be good for me, the consumer. And the CPUC, instead of doing social engineering would be able to stick to the one job it did well and prevent the natural monopolies that our public utilities are because they can’t help it, from price gouging.

          They have us by the balls and intend to squeeze until we comply. Political power goes right to the head of the self-righteous and they use it to make the rest of us live the way they think we should. And that won’t change as long as you — and millions of others — are willing to let emotion instead of good sound judgment make your decisions for you.

          In California we have one of the “greatest” experiments in social engineering in the country going on right now. And right now, both business and individuals are leaving this dump that once was the Golden State.

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          • #
            Roy Hogue

            It’s now a whole day after I posted the first comment and still not a red thumb on so much as a single word I’ve said.

            And Craig seems to have faded into the woodwork.

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            • #
              The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler

              Howdy Roy,

              Greetings to you from Wonderful Windy Wyoming!!

              My older brother, now retired, lives in Saratoga; his wife (a year older than him) is still working, doing diabetes research. He’s afraid she’ll never retire.

              Having said that, I mentioned in passing one day, in an exchange of e-mails, that Wyoming does not have a personal income tax (like several other states), and other taxes are, in general, low, when compared to our neighbors.

              I have the feeling that if there were some additional choice, he might press for vacating the Greater San Fran Metroplex. Our sister, in Ft. Myers, has invited both of us to consider re-locating there, as the residences are dirt cheap. They could sell their homestead in Saratoga, and have enough to buy a residence, and several others, and make an income as landlords, all within a few minutes drive.

              I sympathize with your plight; may you find peace and wisdom, and both at the same time! At least one green thumb for you is from me.

              My best regards to all,

              The Most-est Deplorable-est Vlad the Impaler-est, a crashing-est bore-est and an even-est bigger-est bully-est (according to C.T.)

              20

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                Howdy Vlad,

                In spite of your screen name I don’t even begin to think you’re deplorable because you make sense. :-)

                Thanks for the good wishes. And if you see this, tell me how you get through -20° F in the winter.

                Years ago I picked up an AM station just as they were announcing the temperature, -20 F. So I stuck around knowing they would eventually tell me where they were and it was Casper, Wyoming. I was able to go outside in shirtsleeves that same evening and was nothing more than a little chilled by the breeze. But -20 is more than I want to face.

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              • #
                The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler

                Greetings to you and yours, Roy:

                Well, to tell you the truth, twenty below Fahrenheit is not all that bad. It really comes down to adaptation. One learns very quickly how to layer up; your car (when you buy it from the dealer) already has a block heater on it, you have a 4WD (of some type, usually a truck or SUV), and if you’re here, you are an ‘outdoorsey-type’ already.

                Twenty below AND hurricane [typhoon, for our good friends Down Under] force winds, NOW we’re talkin’ K-O-L-D!!! Ranchers lose livestock, you can walk to the top of your roof on the snowdrift behind your house (yes, I’ve done it!), and it is not uncommon to hear of some otherwise healthy individual succumbing to hypothermia.

                As a good friend once said, “The wind keeps the riff-raff out of here.” To which I answered, ‘no it doesn’t — – I’m still here!’

                As to the handle, I can thank one “Dr. DeHavilland”, a.k.a. ‘Harry TwinOtter’ for the “Vlad the Impaler” part. I skewered him here, and on WUWT, so in an attempt to insult me, he bestowed this moniker upon me. Believe it or not, I had never heard of the individual, so when I saw a program on him, on American Heros Channel, I was amazed to see that this was, in fact, an historical figure. I thought it was just something he made up. Upon seeing this moniker, I immediately adopted it. Yes, I’ve embellished it a bit.

                On the “Deplorable” part, well, I’m sure you know/understand the source of that. My first adaptation was to add ‘deplorable’ to “Vlad the Impaler”, but I did it incorrectly, viz., “Vlad the Deplorable Impaler”. Then, some sharp-eyed contributor here asked the pertinent question, ‘does the deplorable part modify “Vlad” or “Impaler”? ‘, at which time I realized it was subject to mis-interpretation.

                Then, the most gracious and kind Professor Craig Thomas responded to a post I made (about a year ago, I think), advising me that I am a bore, and a bully: I related an incident where I asked a young lady a series of questions about modern-day living. She had stated that ‘ … humanity … ‘ was ‘ … destroying the planet … ‘, whereupon I started asking if she used a whole slew of modern technologies, such as cell phones [no, I do not have a cell phone, and never will; personal choice], modern medicine, heating (winter), cooling (summer), full shelves on the grocery stores … … … etc etc etc …..

                Professor Thomas took exception to my tirade (yes, it was a tirade; but this young lady never did have a response to my questions … ), and in an attempt to insult me again, advised me that I am a bore, and a big, mean, awful nasty, uncaring, S-O-B BULLY (yes, I’ve embellished here), so, once again, I decided I would adopt the moniker.

                Therefore, I am, most humbly, your servant, and compatriot, the Most-est Deplorable-est Vlad the Impaler-est, a crashing-est bore-est, and an even bigger-est bully-est (according to C.T.).

                I fully understand any reluctance to live near Wyoming. There are parts of S. Utah and N. Arizona that have quite mild winters. Cedar City and St. George (Utah) have the moniker “Utah’s Dixie”, so those are potential options for you; I’ve been to Farmington, N. M., and found it quite pleasant. But, Wyoming is one of the few states with no personal income tax, so these others do have some level. I cannot say that I’ve ever heard of anyone thinking it is excessive; but it is present.

                I’ve asked my older brother about the secession movement in California; he thinks there’s nothing to it. I’m of a mind that instead of seceding, we should take most of the Left Coast and THROW it out of the rest of the country; make them stand (or fail) on their own. If they want back in, we’ll have to do some “reconstruction” on them, and purge them of the leftie-socialism disease that’s pervasive. Yes, it would impact him (Saratoga would be in the part we throw out), but I think with enough notice, his family could relocate to an acceptable clime.

                OK, I did not mean to write that much, but it is what it is. I’ve followed and enjoyed all your postings here; I think this such a wonderful thing, that two Yanks can meet and discuss on a blog run by a lovely and gracious Aussie lady, along with her dedicated and un-thanked moderators. I tip my hat to all (and when I win the Publisher’s Clearing House $5,000-week-for-life sweepstakes, a fine tip will appear in the tip jar … … …

                Don’t hold your breath, Jo, … … … … …

                Vlad

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              • #
                Roy Hogue

                Vlad,

                Wow! I asked for a slice of bread and got the whole loaf along with butter, cheese, even a pickle slice and steak to put in the sandwich. Thank you seems inadequate.

                I enjoy reading your comments although time forces me to scan what people say looking for something interesting or provocative so I don’t read nearly everything in a thread. I takes too long.

                Once my wife and I stayed with family in Kingman, Arizona in August. We didn’t know until we got there that it’s the monsoon season when rain is inevitable and the temperature and humidity are about 100 with little relief at night — just try to sleep in that. The heat is OK if the humidity is reasonable, say Phoenix for instance. And air conditioning keeps the interior of your house down to something passable, at least until A/C gets prohibited by big brother (I don’t think that is likely but severe restrictions on power usage may do it anyway) But the northern parts of Arizona are tough in the summer months. The south rim of the Grand Canyon was a little better for humidity but the temperature stubbornly insisted on staying near 100.

                The view down into the canyon was more than adequate payback for suffering the high temperature.

                I was only in Farmington once briefly as we passed through on the way to Durango, Colorado so I have no experience there. Durango, at 6,000 feet was nice in the summer but has those cold freezing winters. I was there to ride what is now known as the Durango & Silverton Railroad, only then it was still an operating division of the Denver & Rio Grand Western. In Silverton at 9,000 feet it was still warm but I’ll bet the nights got cold even in the summer.

                Anyway, to make a long story short, I was born and raised in Southern California, my wife is an immigrant from the Netherlands and the family also settled here. We’ve been here all our lives and have friends and family we would leave behind if we go. So the incentive to stay is big, the climate alone being a big inducement even without anything else. I know of no other place where you can get a fresh breeze off the ocean every day and never face snow. We do have overnight frost in the winter but once the sun is up the temperature quickly goes up.

                So the question becomes which is worse, stay or leave?

                About screen names: I thought about using several different ones but finally decided to use my real name. It keeps me from saying anything I should be ashamed to say. Among all those names I see people using I wish I had thought of “Bite Back”. But that’s now in use although it doesn’t show up often and I can’t appropriate it instead of Roy Hogue.

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          • #

            You’re such a liar Roy.

            http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/02/03/enron.tapes/
            “bankrupt energy trader Enron Corp. plotted to take a power plant off-line in 2001 to jack up electric prices in Western states.
            That same day, shortages of power forced rolling blackouts in northern California that affected about 2 million customers.”

            http://www.mresearch.com/pdfs/19.pdf
            “Enron had developed a
            wide variety of methods for creating the illusion of transactions that could alleviate transmission
            congestion at the California ISO.”

            Conclusions
            1. Enron’s traders created a number of schemes designed to create imaginary schedules eligible
            for ISO congestion payments.
            2. These schemes, both in their scale and in their number, indicate that traders had the ability to
            distort the ISO’s transmission operations throughout the State of California.
            3. These schemes included numerous counterparties. PGE was a primary player. Other Pacific
            Northwest utilities were involved. California utilities such as LADWP and NCPA appear to
            have played an important role.
            4. The ability of the protagonists to manipulate the ISO system opens the question whether
            critical operations during January 2001 suffered from their manipulations. Data
            inconsistencies between the ISO and the Bonneville Power Administration seem to support
            this hypothesis.

            …and on and on. Same things they started doing here in Australia.

            12

    • #
      Lionell Griffith

      It was once called “Tough Love” but more and more it should be called “self preservation.” I have long advocated, stop feeding them. They will soon learn to care for themselves or no longer be a problem. Keep giving them handouts, they will soon multiply themselves and their self caused problems without limit. They have a right to be left alone and leaving them to their own devices is all you should give them.

      Leaving the State of California a year ago was a good choice on my part. Yes, I had to experience real winter weather again but that was a small thing when compared to the social/political insanity that is growing in California. It is crazy in Illinois as well but only half as crazy. The difference is huge.

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      • #
        David Maddison

        This is why they have signs in parks etc. not to feed birds or other animals. They become dependent and then can’t find their own food.

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  • #
    pat

    behind paywall:

    NSW power stations generating electricity for Melbourne over sweltering summer
    Daily Telegraph-11 hours ago
    With AGL announcing plans to spend $200 million to upgrade the massive Bayswater Power Station in the Hunter Valley, The Daily Telegraph can reveal NSW exported a whopping 2577 per cent more power to Victoria between December and the end of February compared to last summer…. But the disastrous outcome for Victoria, which forced its Health Department to warn hospitals to double check emergency generators just in case they lost power during a heatwave, is a warning sign for NSW, which is facing the closure of AGL’s Liddell power …

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    • #
      pat

      a few more excerpts at Tim Blair’s blog:

      1 Mar: Tim Blair Blog: NSW CONTROLS VICTORIA AND SOUTH AUSTRALIA
      Compared to the previous summer, NSW exported a massive 2577 per cent more power to Victoria between December and the end of February.
      As well, overall electricity transfers from Victoria to NSW have fallen 80 per cent since Victoria closed its major coal-fired Hazelwood power plant last March.

      That closure meant that southern states have become hugely dependent on NSW for their energy needs. “Exports of energy to Victoria increased nearly 1000 per cent since Hazelwood closed, and yet only last week Labor was praising their approach to energy management,” according to NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin.
      “The energy we send south of the border helps Victoria and even South Australia get through the summer.”
      At one point during the summer energy regulators warned of rolling blackout threats throughout Victoria…

      During the Australian Open, the Australian Energy Market Operator was twice compelled to activate its emergency reserves scheme. Just as well good old reliable NSW power was available to keep Victoria running…

      The need to retain a steady and proven coal-based electricity supply is clearly evident in this summer’s power figures. Victoria, and to a lesser extent South Australia, were utterly helpless without NSW coal power…
      https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/nsw-controls-victoria-and-south-australia/news-story/571d07f032f33ba58877002ae4e3c7e6

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        All NSW has to do is turn off the power interconnector, and let Victorians deal out to with Comrade Andrews his well deserved desserts once they realize what their communist Premier has created……

        Oh to be watching that day…….git yer popcorn here….!

        20

    • #
      PeterS

      I’m now more inclined to believe more so than ever before that this shared grid system we have across the eastern states is a bad idea. If we didn’t have it we wouldn’t be having states like SA and Victoria so anti-coal even under Shorten’s future energy policy let alone the current pro-renewables regime thanks to Turnbull. It will only get much worse under Shorten as NSW and Qld struggle to support SA and Victoria. Better to cut them loose and let them suffer the consequences of their stupidity. If the system is meant to promote stable and low cost electricity then it has failed miserably, and we now have the proof to show it is delivering the exact opposite and can only get much worse. Something has to change to stop this madness.

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        PeterS:

        If Weatherdill and Dopey Dan squeeze back into power that may be the only option. Next year would be the Greens battle of Waterloo. No hope of reserection until a generation or two had forgotten their incompetence.

        10

    • #
      Dennis

      Very interesting Pat, thank you.

      10

    • #
      yarpos

      Its quite funny really , just another case of Sydney beleiving it own publicity yet again. Do they not look at the NEM dispatch page? do the think they would be dispatching much anywhere if power was continually feed in from QLD?

      00

    • #
      RickWill

      Actually NSW was supplied excess from Queensland. Queensland is the only State with excess capacity at peak times.

      00

  • #

    Lucky they didn’t have Fukushima’s dud choice of energy generation then or they’d have it far worse than just being blacked out.

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    • #
      PeterS

      At least Japan has woken up to reality. They are building over 40 new coal fired power stations. When are we going to wake up?

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    • #

      Agreed, nuclear power run by socialist monopoly in a hurricane zone might be worse.

      Otherwise, have any nuclear plants in capitalist nations been damaged by a hurricane?

      I realize nukes and coal are against your religion but it’s also possible that if Puerto Rico had one or the other 30 years ago, they might also have cheap electricity, real industry, insignificant debt and their smart people may not have left.

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    • #
      AndrewWA

      There was nothing “dud” about Japan’s nuclear energy power stations at Fukushima.

      This plant was commissioned in 1971 and gave over 40 years of reliable energy supply.

      With changing perceptions of risk assessment, sea walls had been added but clearly weren’t sufficient to provide adequate protection from the biggest Tsunami. This had been recognised but the decision was made to avoid this cost and shut down the plant ASAP.

      Unfortunately, for all concerned Fukushima was expected to be decommissioned 12 months BEFORE the Tsunami,however, this was postponed – with the input from all appropriate authorities as no adequate replacement energy supply had been developed.

      So a good, reliable power supply used long beyond it’s use-by date.

      If it’s nuclear energy in principle that you’re against Craig then I can’t help you.

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      • #

        Andrew, Fukushima has now cost the Japanese taxpayer many, many times more than the value of all the power it ever generated.
        80,000 people are homeless. Vast amounts of land is now of zero value.
        The impact on the economy was huge.
        And you are defending this dud 1950′s technology?

        11

    • #
      yarpos

      he really is a one trick pony

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    • #
      MudCrab

      Japan suffers from a massive earthquake and tidal surge that killed nearly 16,000 people and all you can think about is that big nasty scary nuclear reactor that killed HOW MANY?

      If you want to be serious and honest with yourself the conclusions to be drawn here is just how safe correctly managed electric power actually is. Fukushima failed, but not in the massive end of the world meltdown and explosion the Green Left secretly would have preferred, but how many reactors operate in Japan? Fukushima wasn’t even the closest to the epicentre.

      Cheap electric power raises the standard of life. Everyone gets a better life. There is more wealth and with more wealth more gets spent further improving the quality of life. I actually counter your argument. If Puerto Rico had been operating nuclear stations they would have been better equipped overall as a country and been in a much better position to recover.

      Normal civilised human beings behave altruistically, but you seem to want to keep the 3rd World 3rd just to push your own agendas.

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      • #

        The exploding nuke cost the Japanese taxpayer pretty much the same as all the other tsunami damage combined – including decommissioning, $25billion. For some reason the nuke industry is allowed to take subsidies, take profits, but it doesn’t pay for its ^$%#ups for some reason. Wottascam.

        As far as cheap electricity goes, this was a failure.
        Monju was another one – total cost will add up to $20billion, produced power about 3 times in its life, kept getting shutdown by accidents, and all subsidised by the taxpayer of course. It’s going to take until 2047 to decommission it, it’s in such a mess.

        Meanwhile, in terms of EROI, nukes are near the bottom of the list, better only than tar sands and ethanol plants.
        The Hinkley Point nuke in the UK was recently given a price guarantee of $165/MWh, rising annually with inflation for 35 years.
        Compare that with the “world’s most expensive electricity” in South Australia, which averaged $109/MWh last year.
        Yep, even if we had a nuke in South Australia, it wouldn’t be competitive and could exist only through massive subsidy.

        12

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Agreed that the Hinkley Point contract was excessive, indeed fully in line with the lunatic policies in the UK for electricity supply, but the French have been supplying Europe (and the UK) with nuclear at 63-69€ per MWh for some years. Some USA plants have been selling at $A 78 to 90 per MWh. Also, who says that we would be adopting the old technology as a source of RELIABLE carbon dioxide emission free electricity.

          00

    • #
      sophocles

      Especially for you, Craig. It’s two hours long and worth watching in full. You just might learn something, but I’m not holding my breath.

      20

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        sophocles:
        I gave it 5 seconds and realised that it was beyond Craig T. Surely you don’t expect him to handle decimals? Simple arithmetic is, as for many Greens, beyond his intellectual grasp.

        21

        • #
          sophocles

          Sorry Graeme. No, I didn’t even consider innumeracy would work against it. I should have taken that into account.

          I’ve watched it right through twice and I’ve got to go back to it for a third time soon; it’s very information dense.
          This time I’m checking on half-lives, and fissile products. I have a suspicion Sorensen has glossed over some things there.

          Fukushima is a good exposure of the pressurised LWR fragility and highlights its failure modes, all of which the LFTR can economically circumvent. The LFTR is a good look on fuel residues, operational safety, and disaster safety, and Sorensen has made good capital there, but it is not good on the poliferation front. Medical isotopes are readily filtered from the fuel stream, as he says, but so are small quantities of weaponisable products such as U233 and neptunium, which has been glossed over. A lot of thought has to go into that area. The weapons grade products are in small quantities but given time, the quantities can be built up faster than they decay, There’s more info to find.

          00

      • #

        Lol, now Sophocles is buying vapourware.

        Has anybody been able to build one without using taxpayers’ money?
        The only reason to persist with this insanely expensive and risky 1950′s method for boiling water (fission) is because it has proven to be such a brilliant way to rort $billion$ from taxpayers all over the word. Fission technology is not a technology that works in the free market. It is a tool of governments used chiefly to raid government coffers to make some individuals rich.

        The geography of nuke-construction in the world today is pretty strongly correlated with the amount of local corruption. India, Indonesia, Russia, China, and a few other dodgy places in a similar vein.

        12

    • #

      You are quite right, Craig. Nukes are for geologically stable locations outside hurricane alleys etc. South Australia comes to mind. (I wonder if they have any uranium over there?)

      Japan can do nicely with our Aussie coal and North-West Shelf LNG. No nukes for them.

      30

      • #

        As I pointed out above, Nukes can’t even compete with South Australia’s high prices – Hinckley in the UK has just been given a 35-year indexed price guarantee starting at $165/MWh – 50% higher even than South Australia’s high prices.

        We can’t afford nukes even when they don’t blow up causing tens of billions of $ damages.

        12

        • #

          I was in France when energy poverty had people worrying about taking a hot shower or boiling up some beans. When I came back some decades later France was in the top ten of electricity producers and among the biggest retailers of electricity in the world, at times the biggest.

          Not saying that a nuke industry in SA would be free of plunder from subsidy-hounds, union extortionists, crony capitalists and the like. But at least, as a power source, it doesn’t suck diesel and doesn’t…well, just suck.

          00

  • #
    pat

    China’s annual coal consumption rises for first time in 3 years
    Financial Times-28 Feb 2018
    China’s appetite for coal increased last year due to a stimulus-driven economic uptick before its party congress, new numbers show, demonstrating how the country’s ambitious war on pollution is still second to political necessities…

    27 Feb: HellenicShippingNews: China: Coal machinery to see robust growth
    China’s coal machinery manufacturers are expected to continue their strong run till 2020, buoyed by a recovering coal mining sector, analysts said.
    Wu Dongdong, an analyst with Hangzhou-based Zheshang Securities Co, said demand for coal machines increased as a majority of coal enterprises earned higher profits…

    Several major Chinese coal machinery makers and suppliers predicted robust growth in 2017.
    Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery (Group) Co estimated that its net income would increase at least 329 percent year-on-year to 266 million yuan ($41.9 million) in 2017. The company attributed the growth partly to the recovery of the coal mining sector…
    Source: The Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China

    28 Feb: HellenicShippingNews: Citibank says coal prices will remain ‘higher for longer’
    Coal prices look set to stay higher for longer…
    Citi says its forecast upgrades are based on the assumption that China should remain a strong coal importer from the seaborne market for the rest of this decade, pointing to rising domestic coal production costs and limited prospects for large-scale supply growth due to stricter environmental and safety regulations…
    Citi says its forecast upgrades are based on the assumption that China should remain a strong coal importer from the seaborne market for the rest of this decade, pointing to rising domestic coal production costs and limited prospects for large-scale supply growth due to stricter environmental and safety regulations…

    27 Feb: Platts: Mid-term coal prices to remain strong on China demand: Citi
    Seaborne thermal coal prices are expected to stay “higher for longer” as China is seen remaining a strong importer amid limited output growth, Citi analysts said Tuesday.
    Citi analysts raised their forecast for Newcastle 6,000 kcal/kg NAR to $85/mt FOB for 2019 from $75/mt. They also forecast Newcastle price at $80/mt FOB for 2020, up from their previous view of $65/mt FOB.
    Seaborne thermal coal prices have been on a steady rise in the past 18 months amid strong Chinese demand as well as supply tightness at various producing origins. China’s total coal imports in 2017 rose 6% on year to about 271 million mt. The country had imported about 204 million mt in 2015…

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      PeterS

      To be expected given they had during last year about 280 coal fired plants under construction, some of which must have gone on-line by now with many more to follow soon.

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  • #
    Ian1946

    South Australia’s future looks very much like Puerto Rico especially if Labor are re-elected. All the elements are there, a clueless leftist government, a bloated public service and talented people leaving the state. All it needs is a big storm to damage the windmills and solar panels and bye bye power. Victoria will be no help as they are going the same way as it relies on NSW coal power when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

    The state will end up with massive debt and high unemployment. All of Tom Playford’s efforts wasted.

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    • #
      Chad

      You forget….
      S Australia does have enough thermal generation (Gas, Diesel etc) to power itself even if all the wind farms fell over, and the interconnectors topple as it did last time.
      Its just that they chose not to use it whilst imported power from Victoria is cheaper !

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      • #
        Ian1946

        Would they have had enough thermal power on those really hot days without the interconnectors?

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        • #
          Chad

          Yes….if they chose to start them all up !
          They have near 3GW of Gas & diesel generation, and only very infrequently do they exceed 2 GW demand peak.
          But at least without the interconnector it would force up their power price and squeeze the pips until it hurt such that everyone took notice .
          Even just a fault on the main interconnector ..combined with a windless period, would make them squeal a bit, as they have SFA utility solar !

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          • #
            Graeme No.3

            Chad:
            The interconnectors do have a use; when the wind blows strongly the extra electricity can be sent (cheap) to Victoria, avoiding overloading the local grid and causing a blackout before some of the gas fired plants can be shut down.
            Of course, if Weatherdill gets back in and allows more wind turbines then the interconnectors will become overloaded and more blackouts will follow.

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  • #
    Jonesy

    I look at those power prices for Porto Rico and smash my head against the wall…We got coal out of our wazzo, we got gas to burn and we got enough uranium to melt the world. Yet, we have to pay for intermittent, unreliable green power because our politicians want to look good in Davos whilst killing off the very reason our economy was so great.

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    pat

    ***full of unsupported renewables” claims, but what gets me is how it states coal usage was 60.4 percent in 2017, vowing to be 58 percent of total energy consumption by 2020. what will China’s total energy consumption in 2020 be? all very well to use percentages when it suits:

    28 Feb: Reuters: CORRECTED-China’s 2017 coal consumption rose after three-year decline, clean energy portion up
    The world’s biggest coal consumer used 0.4 percent more coal in absolute terms in 2017 compared to a year ago, the bureau said in its annual National Social and Economic Development communique, without giving the value of total coal consumption.

    ***However, as a portion of total energy consumption, coal usage fell 1.6 percentage points to 60.4 percent last year, while clean energy, including natural gas and renewables, rose 1.3 percentage points to 20.8 percent from 2016, the communique showed…
    That indicates the country remains on track to fulfil its promise to decarbonise its economy and reduce air pollution, as it vowed to cut the coal portion to below 58 percent of total energy consumption by 2020.

    Carbon intensity, the level of carbon emissions per unit of economic growth, dropped by 5.1 percent in 2017 compared to a year ago. Total energy consumption rose by 2.9 percent to 4.49 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent which is still below the target of 5 billion tonnes by 2020…
    https://www.reuters.com/article/china-energy-coal/chinas-2018-coal-consumption-rose-after-three-year-decline-clean-energy-portion-up-idUSL4N1QI48M

    ditto the percentages used by WaPo below – “In 2016, these (fossil) fuels provided 85 percent of world energy. The projection for 2040 is 74 percent”. and, as it says, the 74 percent is based on “favourable assumptions”, or dare I suggest, on pure fantasy:

    28 Feb: WaPo: Robert J. Samuelson: Why fossil fuels survive
    Anyone who tells you that dealing with climate change is simply a matter of sweeping away the obstructionism of oil companies is living in a dream world. The real obstacle is us — our vast dependence on fossil fuels and the difficulty of extricating ourselves without crippling the world economy…
    But the problems transcend President Trump’s disengagement, as a new study (LINK) from the oil giant BP makes clear.

    Reading it, you might think it came from an environmental group. The study’s central conclusion, writes BP chief executive Bob Dudley, is that many anti-global-warming policies fall “well short of” what’s “necessary to achieve the Paris climate goals. We need a far more decisive break from the past.”…

    Consider: (includes)
    ●By 2040, the number of electric vehicles worldwide hits 300 million out of 2 billion total vehicles (roughly a doubling of today’s total). More important, these electric vehicles account for a disproportionate share of driving, about 30 percent. As a result, there’s no increase in oil and liquid fuel demand for cars and light vehicles, despite an assumed doubling in worldwide travel.

    ●There’s a continued boom in solar and wind power. From now until 2040, these renewables are the fastest-growing source of energy, increasing fivefold. As a share of global primary fuel consumption, the gain is from 4 percent to 14 percent. Their impact on electricity generation is even greater, rising from 7 percent in 2016 to 25 percent in 2040.

    ●Electric utilities continue to switch to natural gas as their primary fuel from coal, which has much higher carbon emissions. About half the growth in natural gas consumption reflects this switching.

    Total use of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) is projected to increase almost 20 percent between 2016 and 2040. The electric cars, renewables and fuel switching merely offset some — but not all — of the added energy demand from population and economic growth. The BP study assumes a world population of 9.2 billion in 2040, up from 7.4 billion in 2016. Over the same period, the global economy doubles its output.
    What this means is that greenhouse gases are still pouring into the atmosphere, albeit at a slower rate…

    In 2016, these fuels provided 85 percent of world energy. The projection for 2040 is 74 percent, even with favorable assumptions about renewables and electric vehicles.
    Virtually all the energy increase is projected to come from developing countries for factories, offices, homes, air conditioners and heaters. India and China alone account for half the increase in energy use by 2040…

    Governments, says Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist, should discourage the use of fossil fuels through either a carbon tax or a “tax and trade” system…
    “If we don’t like something [greenhouse gases], the easiest way to get less of it is to put a price on it,” Dale says.

    Indeed, this could herald a “decisive break” from the past. But it might also break public opinion, at least in the United States. How high would prices have to go to prove Dale’s point? To succeed, the price increase might have to be fairly stiff — say, an extra $2 or $3 a gallon for gasoline — and that might be far more than Congress would adopt or many Americans would accept…
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-fossil-fuels-survive/2018/02/28/4725cb3c-1cad-11e8-9de1-147dd2df3829_story.html?utm_term=.a6a95555717f

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    pat

    28 Feb: Reuters: UPDATE 1-France to meet record power usage with Spanish, German imports
    By Geert De Clercq
    France will cover expected peak power consumption with massive power imports from Spain, Germany and other countries as frigid temperatures boost electric heating, RTE data showed on Tuesday.
    France has Europe’s most temperature-sensitive electricity grid as about a third of French homes are heated with electric radiators and every one degree Celsius drop in outside temperature requires an extra 2,400 megawatt hours in power, equivalent to the power consumption of the city of Paris.

    New RTE forecasts show maximum forecast electricity consumption of 95,000 megawatt hours (MW) on Tuesday evening at 1945 Central European Time, which would be the second-highest power consumption level since the 102,100 MW record on Jan 8, 2012.
    On Wednesday, peak usage of 94,626 MW is forecast for 0930 CET, but peak consumption will level off in the second half of the week as temperatures rise…

    EDF’s total nuclear capacity is 63,260 MW from 58 nuclear reactors, but because of safety and maintenance-related outages, nearly 11,000 MW of nuclear capacity is offline.
    EDF has postponed the start of maintenance and refueling outages of two reactors, Gravelines 6 and Tricastin 4, by a week to March 3.
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/france-power-coldsnap/update-1-france-to-meet-record-power-usage-with-spanish-german-imports-idUKL8N1QH7LM

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    pat

    23 Feb: Politico: Small old wind towers make for big new problems
    By Kalina Oroschakoff
    One source of clean energy is turning into a dirty problem for Europe.
    The Continent’s first wind farms, built three decades ago, now host many towers that are too old, too small and too inefficient to keep working
    That means dealing with heaps of waste created by green energy — particularly the high-tech blades made of exotic compounds that are difficult to recycle…

    By mid-2017, Germany had a total of about 28,000 onshore wind towers, according to the country’s wind lobby.
    The number of towers being decommissioned could rise after generous government support programs for the first wave of wind farms end in 2020. Rising maintenance costs and lower power output increase arguments to take them out of service and replace them with newer, more effective turbines.

    Under current rules, operators have an obligation to manage the decommissioning process in countries such as Germany and Denmark.
    “You need to do a decommissioning plan when you set up your turbines,” said Jonas Pagh Jensen of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy… While that wasn’t the case in the past everywhere, “today, everyone is highly regulated … our customer is obliged to make a plan [for] what they intend to do in 20-25 years time when the turbine is expected to come down.”

    One option is selling old assets to poorer countries.
    Germany’s wind industry says “there’s a well-functioning market for old installations, with former Soviet Union countries and southeast Europe important buyers.” There are also customers in Latin America and Asia…

    In the 1980s, a wind tower stood about 20 meters tall, its blades spanned about 17 meters, and it had a capacity of about 75 kilowatts of electricity. A modern tower can stretch more than 100 meters tall, with blades that span 126 meters and a capacity of 7.5 megawatts — enough to power about 3,000 households. One of the world’s largest rotors has a diameter of 164 meters. Its 82-meter blades correspond to the wingspan of an A380 airplane and it produces some 9.5 megawatts of power…

    A few years ago, investors bought up worn German wind facilities and relocated them to Poland. But noise complaints from people living close to those towers helped fuel a political push to dramatically toughen wind farm rules in 2016, essentially throttling new investments…
    Burying the blades in landfills is increasingly difficult thanks to toughening EU waste rules…
    In 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, Germany had to deal with 54,000 tons of waste from rotor blades…

    So burning the shredded blades is one option. Another is to cut, shred or mill the blades into powder and fibrous fractions and then use the material as fillers or reinforcements or fuel to burn waste…
    But for both options, the blades first must be cut into smaller sections, and that generates potentially dangerous amounts of dust, the wind industry said.

    Other ways of handling blade waste include incorporating them into other wind turbines or using them in construction projects such as playgrounds or bridges.

    The scale of the problem is likely to grow. Today, there are about 77,000 onshore and offshore wind turbines in Europe, according to WindEurope, and 640 megawatts worth were decommissioned in 2017…
    https://www.politico.eu/article/small-old-wind-towers-make-for-big-new-problems/

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      David Maddison

      I think the windmill blades will burn nicely. They could be burned in specially designed furnaces which could handle the glass residue and the heat could generate steam to drive turbines to make electricity.

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Dave:
        I wouldn’t count on them being that usefull. Yes, they would burn, but with copious quantities of black smoke. As the latter is largely composed of finely divided carbon particulates, such as the Green favoured diesels are now blamed for producing, the result is likely to be Green gullibles lying around holding their throats claiming they cannot speak. On second thoughts BURN ALL TURBINE BLADES NOW!

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    pat

    28 Feb: UK Telegraph: Jillian Ambrose: Industry risks being left in the cold as gas market hits twelve year high
    Britain’s largest energy users have reignited calls for an urgent government review of the country’s gas supplies after freezing temperatures forced the market price to twelve year highs.
    An alliance of industry groups has warned that the winter gas price shocks expose the vulnerability of the UK gas market and pose a major risk to the sustainability of British manufacturing.
    The second major gas market spike this winter has emerged just two weeks before the group prepares to face the Government over its concerns.

    A government spokesman said officials are monitoring gas supplies closely but do not expect supply disruption.
    Freezing temperatures across Europe bolstered the demand for gas heating this week, lifting short-term prices on the gas market to highs not seen since Britain’s first “gas supply alert” from National Grid in 2006.
    At the same time pipelines linking the UK to gas markets in Europe floundered and a major gas-processing plant shut in Norway.

    The price of gas climbed to six year highs on Tuesday at 90p a therm before more than doubling overnight as the cold weather gripped the country to reach almost £2 per therm on Wednesday morning…READ ALL
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/02/28/industry-risks-left-cold-gas-market-hits-twelve-year-high/

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    • #
      RickWill

      USA is open for business. Just set up shop in the USA. Any government trying to run a modern economy using wind and solar generation are laughably stupid.

      At least In Australia it has been widely recognised that the country no longer needs manufacturing and will let that era die a natural death. Australia can get by exporting raw materials to industrious countries; providing the children of the workers with educational opportunities to learn art and economics and providing pleasant places for holidays.

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  • #
    pat

    28 Feb: Guardian: Wholesale gas prices more than double as freeze drives demand
    Concern over level of shipped supplies and plant outages as public usage spikes in cold snap
    by Angela Monaghan
    Wholesale gas prices in the UK more than doubled on Wednesday to their highest level in at least 10 years, as freezing temperatures across Britain drove a spike in demand and raised fears of a supply shortage.
    Within-day prices rose 108% to 160p per therm, after hitting am earlier peak of 190p per therm. Day ahead prices were up 6p at 95p.
    It comes as the severe cold snap continues and is forecast to worsen in some parts of the country…

    Fears over supply were exacerbated by outages at gas terminals in St Fergus, Scotland, and at Morecambe, which amounted to about 13m cubic metres of capacity.
    “These events may ease during the day but could also add to already acute demand for gas,” said gas analysts at Thomson Reuters…

    National Grid data on Wednesday showed demand for gas was 28% above the seasonal norm. A National Grid spokesperson said: “Due to the cold weather some supplies have tripped but we’re also seeing some come back. We are in communication with terminal operators and closely monitoring the situation. Market prices are high, reflecting the supply and demand position.”…
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/28/wholesale-gas-prices-more-than-double-as-freeze-drives-demand

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    pat

    28 Feb: Big freeze creates 12-year spike in UK gas price
    First significant test of market since closure of Rough storage facility
    by Sylvia Pfeifer
    Wholesale gas prices for same-day delivery soared to a 12-year high, jumping to 190p a therm on Wednesday morning, more than three times the average of 56p a therm seen so far this month.
    Prices were driven higher not just by snowy conditions but by several outages at gas terminals which slowed imports.
    Demand was forecast to be about a third higher than seasonal norms as households turned up their heating…

    With the cold snap expected to last for several more days, it is the first major test of Britain’s gas market since the closure last year of Rough, the UK’s biggest natural storage facility, which prompted concerns the country would be more exposed to sudden price swings in winter…

    The National Balancing Point gas market, the virtual hub that serves as the main pricing point for UK natural gas, has seen “a perfect storm”, said Oliver Burdett, commercial director at EnAppSys, an energy market monitoring specialist.

    “Issues at the Norwegian Kollsnes processing plant, low gas flows from Europe due to shortages on the continent and cold weather have combined to expose a weakened gas market following the closure of Rough,” he added. At its peak, Rough could hold 3,700mcm of gas so its removal from the market has a “significant impact”…

    Security of supply in the UK has “gotten worse”, said Niall Trimble, managing director of the Energy Contract Company. Before the closure of Rough, Britain’s overall gas storage capacity accounted for roughly 6 per cent of annual demand. That has now dropped to about 2 per cent, said Mr Trimble…

    The high wholesale prices could also lead to higher household energy bills in the coming weeks…
    https://www.ft.com/content/de6b2f96-1ca3-11e8-956a-43db76e69936

    27 Feb: Financial Times: Drax’s new chief says big power plants remain key
    UK energy system still requires large-scale back-up supplies for peak demand
    by Susan Pfeifer
    Britain still requires large-scale power plants to ensure the country’s energy system has adequate back-up supplies at times of peak demand, according to the new chief executive of Drax, the power company…

    Drax, which has spent the past few years converting half of its six generating units to burn wood pellets instead of coal, said it would continue to develop four new open cycle gas turbine units. Two of these will enter the next capacity market auction at the end of this year. The group is also looking to convert its remaining two coal units to combined-cycle gas turbine units as the UK works towards a deadline of 2025 to phase out coal-power generation.

    The development of these plants “would be supported by 15-year capacity market contracts, providing a clear investment signal and extending visibility of contract-based earnings out to the late 2030s”, said Drax in its results statement…
    https://www.ft.com/content/eb06d198-1bad-11e8-aaca-4574d7dabfb6

    27 Feb: UK Telegraph: Jillian Ambrose: Drax earnings ‘clouded’ by costs and currency woes
    The FTSE 250 group, which lost its long-standing chief executive Dorothy Thompson last year, has accelerated its plan to steadily write down the value of its coal assets ahead of the Government’s hardline against coal-fired power by 2025.
    The group is preparing to convert its power units to run on renewable biomass pellets and is also investing in gas and batteries to ensure it has a place in the UK’s energy future.

    The group imports much of its fuel from the US and global coal markets which are priced in US dollars. Although Drax has “hedged” its exposure to currency markets, the rising value of sterling following the post-Brexit crash delivered a £156m blow to the value of its derivatives…
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/02/27/drax-dragged-loss-pound-devaluation/

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    pat

    read it all:

    28 Feb: Phys.org: How supergrids can support the integration of renewable energy
    One of the main problems with the transition from fossil fuels to renewable electricity is the unreliability of the supply. However, this can be tackled by pioneering technologies for storing energy and upgrading grids
    In the past, most electricity grids were mainly based on centrally produced power, in relatively few plants, within national borders. Today electricity grids need to support decentralised generation and enable international distribution to manage electricity surpluses.

    “Europe is not only a multi-state society, but also a multi-vendor society. Our challenges are to ensure constant power transmission by removing the technical barriers between the different systems, and share essential information with different stakeholders, such as manufacturers and transmission system operators,” says Carlos Ugalde-Loo, academic at Cardiff University School of Engineering (Wales, UK)…

    Most existing transmission lines use alternating current (AC). The use of direct current (DC) can, however, decrease power loss over large distances…
    “Therefore, in DC systems we need devices that react faster than in AC-systems. Today in Europe, we only have prototypes of such devices. In China, a couple of DC-transmission systems are already operational, but I’m not convinced they are fully secure,” (Ugalde-Loo) says.

    “Moreover, a growing interconnection capacity means that in addition to energy, system unbalances can be propagated. For instance, the interconnection capacity between France and the UK is currently 2 GW,” Ugalde-Loo adds. “This may increase in the future. If a failure occurs in such connections, there could be a knock-on effect with blackouts in both systems. In a prospective DC system spanning different European countries, if there is an incident at some system interconnection, who will take responsibility for it?”…

    The challenges are not just technological; there are also political obstacles. “The electricity from several Eastern European countries, including Poland and Romania, today largely depends on the availability of cheap coal and lignite,” says Kathleen van Brempt, a Belgian member of the European parliament.

    “Furthermore, the coal sector represents a lot of jobs in these countries. For this reason, their politicians tend to be more willing to vote in favour of new gas pipelines than for new technologies for renewable electricity, even as we move towards renewable sources as a society”.

    “But coal-dependent countries aren’t the only ones to be blamed,” she warns. “Take for example my own country, Belgium. If the government doesn’t take an irreversible decision about closing the nuclear power plants, investors will remain reluctant to put money into additional renewable generation capacity. As long as the free market offers cheap energy from amortised nuclear plants, the profitability of new renewable electricity power plants is doubtful. Generally, the Scandinavian countries today are closest to a society based on renewable energy sources.”

    Political resistance also exists in left wing and green movements. They protest against the “visual pollution” of the landscape caused by surface lines on high pylons…
    https://phys.org/wire-news/281255031/how-supergrids-can-support-the-integration-of-renewable-energy.h

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      Graeme No.3

      pat:

      “As long as the free market offers cheap energy …., the profitability of new renewable electricity power plants is doubtful”. What happened to the old claim that renewables woud be cheaper “REAL SOON”? (claim dating from the early 1980′s or earlier).

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      • #
        RickWill

        The only way wind and solar (there is no such thing as renewable energy) can be competitive is with massive government interference in the market. Without that coal wins every time.

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  • #
    pat

    28 Feb: Bloomberg: Covered in Snow as Cold Snap Makes Energy Markets Shiver
    By Anna Shiryaevskaya and Rachel Morison; With assistance by Jesper Starn, Rachel Morison, Elena Mazneva, Mathew Carr, and Alaric Nightingale
    Temperatures will remain below average until at least the middle of March.
    “Cold weather, tight storage and supply issues combined to drive up gas prices in Britain and across Europe,” Enappsys Ltd., an energy trading consultant in Stockton-on-Tees, England, said in an emailed note…
    Roads may become blocked by deep snow and rural communities may be cut off for several days, while long interruptions to power supplies may also occur, the U.K.’s Met Office said on its website, forecasting heavy snow showers through Thursday…

    Average temperatures in the U.K. are forecast at minus 3.3 Celsius on Wednesday, about 8 degrees below seasonal norms…

    Flows from Norway have been reduced due to an outage at a key processing plant, while heavy snow at a U.K. gas terminal is preventing pipeline imports from the Netherlands…
    Power system prices, or the cost of balancing Britain’s electricity market, jumped to 200 pounds a megawatt-hour this morning, a record for the half-hour periods, National Grid data show…
    Loadings of Forties oil, a key grade in the North Sea, have been hampered by bad weather, according to a person familiar with the matter…

    The rest of Europe also continues to be affected. Average temperatures in Germany are forecast at minus 7.1 Celsius, about 9 degrees below seasonal norms…

    Many trains and flights in Sweden have been canceled as a massive amount of snow is falling across the nation, with police advising motorists to stay at home as roads are clogged up in some regions. Temperatures have fallen to as low as minus 30 Celsius in the north and the grid manager started an old oil-fired reserve unit to ensure there is enough power to heat homes…

    Russia’s Gazprom PJSC has been shipping record amounts of gas to Europe. The gas exporter has a history of limiting supplies to Europe during freezing weather because of increased demand in Russia. But with spare production capacity, no caps have been announced for this winter.

    In parts of Russia, temperatures dropped as low as minus 46 Celsius over the past 24 hours. Moscow, the nation’s biggest gas consumer, faced its coldest night this winter on Tuesday with the mercury dropping to almost minus 22 degrees in the center and to minus 30 in the suburbs.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-28/london-covered-in-snow-as-siberia-cold-snap-roils-energy-markets

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    pat

    28 Feb: Reuters: ‘Beast from the East’ sends British energy prices skyward
    by Susanna Twidale
    Temperatures fell to minus 12 Celsius (10 degrees Fahrenheit) in some rural areas while the Met Office warned of up to 40 cm of snow in parts of Scotland and Ireland braced for what could be its biggest snowfall since 1982.
    The cold snap comes just days after a law was introduced in Britain’s parliament aimed a capping consumers’ energy bills, a move which British Gas owner Centrica said could hurt competition.

    “The (British) market is acutely tight. Highest consumption since 2010; flexibility being tested from various sources and now UKCS (UK Continental shelf) and Norwegian outages,” said Thomson Reuters analyst Oliver Sanderson…

    Output at Groningen, Europe’s biggest gas field, has plummeted as Dutch authorities try to reduce earthquakes in the region.
    Dutch gas exports to Britain fell more than 50 percent last year, data from Britain’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy showed…
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-gas-prices/beast-from-the-east-sends-british-energy-prices-skyward-idUSKCN1GC1IZ

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    David Maddison

    Puerto Rico may be technically a part of the United States but it doesn’t have US culture or values and a vast majority of people don’t speak English well or at all.

    You are not going to have US style management to get things fixed without US culture. The prevailing culture is simply that of most other failed Spanish speaking states typical of Central and South America.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language_in_Puerto_Rico

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    John F. Hultquist

    The photos show that horse power held up better than the modern power sources.
    I wonder if they know how to harness the horse power?

    I wonder if (a) the solar arrays were insured; and (b) will they replace them in the same place?

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    Dave

    O/T
    But Tim Blair has an article about a story on SBS the FEED

    And as we all know, that makes it harder for polar bears and penguins to hunt, travel across the ice and find a safe place to breed. So, they die out. Now this is what could just be a freak event or we could be one step closer to an Arctic disaster.

    It seems FACTS don’t count anymore?

    The Feed original is here March 1st episode about 23 minutes in!

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Well, one to the Green gullibles. All Arctic penguins are extinct (as are Antarctic polar bears).

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    Geoffrey Williams

    Have to feel for the poor people of Puerto Rico.
    Badly managed economy and energy system likewise.
    GeoffW

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    pat

    “Kill Climate Deniers” (what could that even mean?) appears 12 times in Hannah’s theirABC piece:

    1 Mar: ABC: Kill Climate Deniers: Playwright takes on Andrew Bolt, climate change sceptics and Breitbart News
    RN By Hannah Reich for The Hub on Stage
    Four years after backlash shut down the original staging of the play, David Finnigan’s Kill Climate Deniers has now opened in Sydney.
    In 2014, Finnigan was commissioned by Canberra’s Aspen Island Theatre Company to write a play that explored climate change and Australian politics. He called the play Kill Climate Deniers, and was given a $19,000 grant from the ACT Government to develop it…

    Finnigan said that despite the name, his play is not a violent call to arms but rather “a pretty joyful comedy”.
    “It’s a high-octane action adventure thriller set in Parliament House,” he said…

    Finnigan, who based his 2012 Churchill Fellowship on studying the intersection between science and the performing arts, creates theatre in collaboration with climate and systems scientists.
    Scientists were informally involved in the development of this play ensuring that “all the science was double and triple fact-checked,” he said…

    The backlash to Finnigan’s original play has shaped the work in unexpected ways, leading him to engage directly with the climate deniers who criticised his play’s title.
    “I think his [Andrew Bolt's] followers and the people that very actively wrote to me following his attacks are a really interesting group that deserve engaging with,” Finnigan said.
    “I genuinely think they [climate deniers] understand perhaps better than myself and a lot of left-leaning liberals the consequences of climate science. And because they understand the consequences, they can’t accept the science.
    “These deniers see climate change as the leading edge of this massive effort to restructure society with a socialist frame.
    “I think they’ve got a really good handle on how climate change is going to affect every facet of society in the next 50 years.”

    His reworked play includes quotes from the sceptics, the playwright himself, as well as a version of Bolt.
    “I didn’t ask him to get involved in the project but since he did, I’m not going to ignore the comedy value that he brings to everything he touches,” Finnigan said…

    Sydney’s Griffin Theatre Company’s production of Kill Climate Deniers is the first full-scale mounting of the play, which won the company’s Griffin Award in 2017.
    While in 2014 Finnigan was concerned with the new anti-terrorism laws which included an offence of “advocating terrorism”, he’s less afraid now.
    “I don’t think anyone is going to take this play literally,” he said.
    The artistic director of Griffin Theatre Company, Lee Lewis, directed this staging of Kill Climate Deniers, which she described as having “a uniquely Australian train-smash structure”…

    Lewis believes that ultimately Kill Climate Deniers must be read as a satire and that “satire is one of our most useful forms for critiquing really difficult politics”…
    Kill Climate Deniers is showing at Sydney’s Griffin Theatre Company until April 7.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-01/kill-climate-deniers-playwright-takes-on-bolt-breitbart/9478748

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    pat

    Hannam has warming on his mind:

    1 Mar: SMH: Peter Hannam: The scientists planning to get stuck in the ice to plug a climate gap
    For Markus Rex, this week’s midwinter Arctic heatwave is the perfect justification for the most ambitious climate research effort ever planned at the top of the world.
    Professor Rex is a leading atmospheric climate researcher at Germany’s University of Potsdam but also the project co-ordinator for a €60 million ($95 million) year-long scientific expedition to improve the understanding of the processes under way in the fastest-warming part of the planet.
    “We want to find out why the warming in the Arctic is so dramatic and so much more rapid than in the rest of the world,” he told Fairfax Media. “There are strong feedback mechanisms that we do not understand.”

    The week’s warm, moist air injection in the Arctic circle has pushed temperatures above zero at what is usually about the coldest time of the year. The ejection of cold air from the region has triggered snow storms and frigid conditions over much of Europe.

    As part of the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate – dubbed MOSAiC – dozens of scientists will be based on board the icebreaker RV Polarstern from October 2019.
    Launching from the Siberian coast, the ship will become locked in sea ice and then drift with the currents for at least a year…

    For one thing, the study of the sudden stratospheric warming events – such as this week’s – will help researchers improve climate models to predict changes.
    “For many decades, climate models have not even included the stratosphere because it only contains 10 per cent of the mass of the air,” Professor Rex said…

    The expedition co-ordinator said increasing economic activity in the Arctic, made possible in part by the shrinking ice cover, underscored the importance of researching the region before the effects of oil and gas exploration, over-fishing, the spread of black carbon – which would accelerate ice melt – and other activities take hold.
    “We need to understand how these effects work so ***we can set up the regulatory framework for the economic activities in the Arctic,” he said.

    Comments are not open on this article
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/scientists-get-stuck-in-ice-arctic-20180301-p4z2aw.html

    ***you do not speak for “WE”, Prof Rex.

    meanwhile,

    1 Mar: BBC: Storm Emma and ‘Beast from the East’ bring snow chaos
    Hundreds of people were stranded on a motorway in Scotland overnight in freezing temperatures as heavy snow caused travel chaos in parts of the UK.
    Drivers were stuck on the M80 between junctions 8 and 9, with some saying they had been there for up to 13 hours.
    In Lincolnshire snow ploughs have been unable to reach the “impassable” A52 between Boston and Skegness, and police have told drivers to avoid the area.
    The disruption comes as Storm Emma hits southern and western parts of the UK.
    Heavy snow blizzards, “biting” winds and significant travel disruption are predicted for southern, western and central England, parts of Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Meanwhile the “Beast from the East” weather front continues to freeze Scotland and the north of England, with up to 40cm of snow expected in some places.
    Police Scotland says everyone – apart from emergency workers – should avoid travel until the weather improves.
    A red warning for snow – meaning there is a potential risk to life – is in place in Scotland until 10:00 GMT…

    National Rail is reporting mass disruption in the South East, Scotland, the North West and the South West…
    Glasgow Airport has said there will be no incoming or outbound flights until 15:00. More than 200 passengers spent the night in the terminal. The Red Cross brought cots, blankets and supplies for the stranded travellers…

    The Met Office said there were signs the cold easterly flow was likely to last into next week and possibly into the following week…

    BBC Weather’s Ben Rich predicted “blizzard conditions” by Thursday evening across the south west of England, Wales and parts of the Midlands.
    He said a “biting easterly wind” will make it feel like -11C (12F) in Birmingham and Cardiff – on what is the first day of meteorological spring.
    The Met Office said some areas of Scotland could see up to 30cm (11.8 inches) of snow fall and possibly up to 40cm (15.7 inches) in “a few places” by mid-morning…
    There is potential for up to 50cm (19.6 inches) over parts of Dartmoor and Exmoor, the Met Office added, with up to 20cm (7.8 inches) falling in southern England, Wales and the West Midlands…

    Hundreds of schools will be closed across the UK. Schools in some areas of Wales will not reopen until Monday…
    In London, a man died after being pulled from a frozen lake…
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43236763

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      RickWill

      Imagine how cold it would be if we had not already had 150 years of global warming – something like 0.8C cooler than now. Imagine the devastation caused by -11.8C compared with the much milder -11C. All in UK and Europe should be thankful for global warming.

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    pat

    25 Feb: NoTricksZone: Spiegel: Leaked “Controversial” Draft 6th IPCC Report…Deciding On Final Version “Like A Bazar”…”Personal Reputations” At Play
    By P Gosselin
    Spiegel calls the confidential draft “controversial”…
    IPCC: 1.5°C warming by 2043!
    The report also maintains with “robust certainty” that the 1.5°C warming will be reached in 25 years at current CO2 emissions. The report also says that coal energy will need to be reduced 5% every year, a target considered by many as one that would be excruciating, especially for poor and emerging countries…

    Spiegel also writes that the UN openly admits in the confidential draft that the task of changing the energy system over to one relying mainly on renewables would be daunting in that ***“such a radical transformation of society has never been planned before.” and the “experience for this is lacking”.
    http://notrickszone.com/2018/02/25/spiegel-leaked-controversial-draft-6th-ipcc-report-deciding-on-final-version-like-a-bazar-personal-reputations-at-play/#sthash.rEinLOrJ.PNF4YOCE.dpbs

    28 Feb: WUWT: Climate Explainers Tackle All That Snow
    by Eric Worrall
    The localised US “global warming hole” seems to have taken an excursion to Northern Africa, Europe, Russia, Asia and Great Britain over the last few weeks, but this hasn’t stopped climate explainers from trying to fit all that cold and snow into their global warming narrative…READ ON
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/28/climate-explainers-tackle-all-that-snow/

    28 Feb: WUWT: Anthony Watts: 6 to 8 feet of snow forecast for California mountains
    The latest weather model projections show significant amount of snow over the next 72 hours. This will certainly help California’s drought situation. However it’s going to completely cripple road travel over I80, Highway 50 299 32 and possibly Highway 70. The majority of snow is expected on Thursday night, and low snow levels down to 1000 feet are possible by Friday night.
    H/T to Dr. Ryan Maue…
    FROM COMMENTS:
    Greg: Just had over a foot of snow on the mediterranean cost in south of France. Haven’t seen that much snow here in 20 years. No doubt this is “exactly” what climate models told us would happen “in a warming world”…READ ON
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/28/6-to-8-feet-of-snow-forecast-for-california-mountains/

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    Will Janoschka

    Off Topic:

    There appears to be randomness afoot in Nova land. First the Bourke thread disappears and returns, now we have two midweek unthreadeds runnings. Pay attention out there, anything may happen!

    Someone is futzing with! SUSE42.3 And Debian 7.9 has a completely different midweek with Gee Aye than Ubuntu 14.3 with El gordo! :-(

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    [...] PR Wind. You would think that having windmills in a part of the world that has the occasional hurricane roll thorough would not be a big problem.  After all, the machines are designed for wind speeds more than what their top operational design speeds are.  And you would be wrong.  Latest example of this comes from Puerto Rico, which is now five months after Hurricane Maria’s landfall.  First, the basics:  Puerto Rico has 3.6 million people, many of whom are moving to Florida.  Its total budget is around $10 billion / year.  It is also $70 billion in debt.  Five months after landfall, one in six, 15% are still blacked out.  The storm completely wiped out all solar and much of the wind generation (yet another drawback to renewables).  One wind farm that survived the storm sat idle for weeks because no grid existed to hook into (wind is highly variable in output and must have a larger grid to mitigate the huge variations in output).  Worse still is PR’s power authority, which has been funneling free energy to all 78 of PR’s municipalities, many of its government-owned enterprises, and for some well-connected businesses.  And it has done this for decades.  But they had enough money to go green, renewable, fragile, and expensive.  Nothing like expensive generation when the lights go out.  http://joannenova.com.au/2018/02/puerto-rico-hurricane-destroyed-wind-solar-plus-five-months-on-15-s… [...]

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