JoNova

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


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

The Battery of the Nation disconnected for two months – Basslink cable inoperable again

For the last year everyone has been calling Tasmania the “Battery of the Nation” — Turnbull, Hydro Tasmania, government departments, the ever hopeful green press. It’s an official plan. The bright idea is to add “Pumped Hydro Storage” to the large dams already on the island state, boosting the only reliable renewable type of energy. But right now, as far as mainland Australia goes, Tassie is a No-Volt Battery.

Battery of the Nation, Tasmania, Hydro.

Even Hydro Tasmania is calling itself the “Battery of the Nation”

The dirty secret is just how fragile the link is. Not only did it break for six spectacular months in 2016 — leaving the “green” state flying in squads of diesels – but its now quietly out of action again and it’s projected to be out for two months all up. The 290 km undersea cable known as Basslink is the second longest of its type in the world. It broke on 24 March 2018. It is not expected back in action til May 31. It was an accident of routine maintenance at one end.

“The equipment was damaged by a third-party contractor during routine works. There is no damage to the cable itself.”

 

Hydro Tasmania, logo.

The hype:

It’s a glorious title, but the Battery of the Nation is apparently just an “initiative” to “investigate and develop a pathway”. So it’s a $2.5m thought bubble about a plan to make a path. This was announced in April last year by the PM and Tas State Premier.

It’s … a web page:

“Tasmania is uniquely placed to help lead Australia through its challenging transition towards cleaner sources of energy. Battery of the Nation offers a future that’s clean, reliable and affordable.”
- Steve Davy, Hydro Tasmania CEO”

Which is all true apparently, except it’s not so clean nor reliable and costs billions. But apart from that….

Back on March 1, 2018: the Australian Fin Review was lauding it:  “Hydro Tasmania’s 5 GW ‘Battery of the Nation’ dwarfs Snowy 2.0“. Three weeks later the cable was inoperable again. Where are the headlines now?

The Tasmanian government-owned hydro electricity monopoly will unveil a report next month saying preliminary studies have identified 4000 megawatts to 5000 MW of potential pumped hydro storage sites across more than a dozen sites that can be delivered at a cost of $1 million to $1.5 million per MW.

And where is the report that was due in April? There’s no press release yet. I guess no one wants to mention the Battery of the Nation while it is effectively dead — including the lefty-lobbying-media. If a coal plant was out of action for two months, there would be a headline every week in the Fairfax press. The Australians for Big Government (ABC) mentioned the disconnect on March 28th, and played it down a few weeks later as the fault problem was extended — “it’s no threat to power security”. Of course, if the dams were empty, it would be.

The Tasmanian Labor opposition policy is now aiming for a 120% renewable target. If the cable breaks again, perhaps they can post those extra electrons in shoe boxes.

“We’ve seen what South Australia has done, Tasmania could have been been leading the charge here,” Ms White said.

If your aim is world leading electricity costs, the highest unemployment, and businesses abandoning the state while others revert to fifty year old diesel tech, SA is the place to beat!

What about a second interconnector?

A second interconnector across the Bass Strait would cost $1 billion dollars and is considered unlikely to ever go ahead. But the AEMO wants it now, and Infrastructure Australia is thinking about it with a $20m study.

Spent a billion, get 15% back, looks like an “affordable” big-gov solution:

“The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has handed down a report calling for a second Tasmania-Victoria interconnector from 2025

A second Bass Strait cable had the lowest “cost to benefit” ratio of the other options recommended in the report.

The AEMO found the cable’s overall net benefit over 20 years would be $143 million when combined with augmented interconnector capacity linking to New South Wales.”

Still cleaning up after the last debacle

In 2016, Hydro Tasmania had run their dams too low out of greed — collecting carbon credits by exporting renewable hydro power to Victoria –even as an El Nino was forecast which meant dry conditions were coming. Things reached high farce when Hydro Tas attempted the world first of generating electricity by the not-so-renewable option of cloud seeding. The icing on the Farce-Cake was that they tried this in the face of a major storm front that caused flooding rain.

Basslink and Hydro Tasmania are still fighting it out in court over who’s to blame for the last breakage.

h/ts Robert Rossicka, Yarpos, Ian 1946, Chad, Peter C, Pat, Rickwill, AndrewWA

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (65 votes cast)
The Battery of the Nation disconnected for two months - Basslink cable inoperable again, 9.8 out of 10 based on 65 ratings

149 comments to The Battery of the Nation disconnected for two months – Basslink cable inoperable again

  • #
    a happy little debunker

    As a Tasmanian, I can assure you that we don’t want the connector we’ve been foisted with – let alone a second.

    The State liberal Party are unpinning our power price from the Victorian standard (as was forced by the preceding Labor government)

    Our dams are filling and frankly if we could retreat entirely from the NEM we’d all be happier and wealthier.

    241

    • #
      Hanrahan

      That sounds OK. But why now, with adequate water, does your spot price vary so widely? I’ve been talking to operators in a hydro control room in an earlier life- You need need more watts, open the tap a little wider.

      Isolated as you are your price should flatline and at a low level.

      191

    • #
      Geoff

      The mainland does not need Tasmania’s electricity. The idea of transferring electrical power to a mainland with so much coal is ludicrous. It does need Tasmanian fresh water. When Tas Hydro generates electricity the water flows out to sea.

      130

      • #
        Another Ian

        Geoff

        Basslink didn’t seem to like it the last time they tried to run water through it

        40

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Ah well there you see that’s where your logical thought flies in the face of Socialist “thought” – we “need” all States to be co-dependent and thoroughly incompetent ( almost achieved by Glorious Leader Andrews in Victim-oria-stan ) and if one state can run well by itself,. it must be nobbled and brought into a state of dependency so we can all float around in the cozy Socialist poo soup that Leftists love….if everyone is inept, no one can point the finger at others and accuse them of rank stupidity or subterfuge.

      You just have to think “correctly”…. Oh hang on – the nice chaps from the Dept of Re-Education and thier tasers are here…..off to re-education camp for me…..bye….

      90

  • #
    easy tiger

    Hello world
    In a weird twist of fate Tasmania wholesale prices have been fairly stead and often less than the rest of the grid.
    It is a weird ans wonderful world
    Bring on the CO2

    92

    • #
      Hanrahan

      Interesting that you assert that Tas’s wholesale price is steady. That is a contradiction of my post above it.

      In the last 24 hrs Tas has had two excursions to $130/MW, higher than any North Island* state.

      * As our delightful hostess at Wool North described us.

      101

    • #
      WXcycles

      I can’t figure out why they don’t just go to full baseload solar and whirlyturbines, and sell the abundance of supa-dupa-cheapa-powa to Victoriastan and UsedNorthwhaleistan? They’d make squillions.

      00

  • #

    The nation already has the world’s finest mega-batteries. They’re known as coal basins, with pretty names like Bowen, Sydney, Cooper, Galilee. Our Permian coal even looks beautiful.

    Oh, how’s that oil price going, warmies? If any of your white elephants need extra feeding with diesel (and they will!) there might be some extra cost. Even delays, what with war ‘n pipelines ‘n straits ‘n stuff. Okay with that? No price too great when Gaia’s priests demand more and more burnt offerings for the old hag?

    431

    • #
      Hanrahan

      It was coal that kept the lights, and heaters, on in NE US during their severe winter. The nuclear stations were already at max and gas was in short supply because of the domestic heating demand.

      181

    • #
      pattoh

      Also hopefully with the NT reversal on drilling; the Beeteloo Basin

      All we need is a sensible policy on GTL &/or [S]MDS & we can have energy independence.

      Sadly though, with our political leaders [ lackys], that would be too logical & not fit the City of London/ Wall St [ Goldman Sachs] agenda.

      Malcolm has his play list………..

      So we will blindly continue to boogie our way through the AGL [ Enron v2.0] dance card while the “Candy Man” keeps us in dopamine hits via the Fondle Slab & the 6:00 propaganda.

      Clever Country – not!

      60

      • #
        PeterF

        NT gas is said to cost $6/GJ to get into the pipeline. $7-8 to get to a power station on the NEM how exactly does that reduce power prices

        30

        • #
          WXcycles

          I read on wuwt that the radical greenies are promoting closing pipeline valves to sabotage them. Maybe a reply is to shut down Tassie Hydro pipes, and the national extension-cord during a global cooling winter (wow, sabotage could be a double-egded sword).

          Now, tell us again about saving the world from the CO2 induced greenhouse-effect? When they have a frost bitten nose and ears we may get more sense out of them (yeah, a long shot).

          This afternoon I watched the last seasonal moist humid (H2O ghg affected) prefrontal air get pushed out off the coast …and guess what? That sunny air cooled down real fast once the only significant non-trace level greenhouse gas in the planet’s atmosphere was mostly removed.

          Pity trace levels of CO2 doesn’t exhibit any such noticeable tangible ghg warming effect, otherwise the greeie infestation in Muppetmaniaistan wouldn’t get cold, if the power like, went down, or sumptin.

          To CO2 … or not to CO2 … that is the question?

          Yeah, they’d incinerate an old-growth forrest just to get a little bit warmer … Tassie Oak anyone?

          /summer

          40

    • #
      WXcycles

      Coal’s solar powered, what’s not to like?

      40

      • #
        Ceetee

        @WXcycles #3.3
        Exacularly ya genius!! This is why I come here. Smartest people on the planet. Your post has made my day.

        20

  • #

    As Turkey was the sick man of Europe,
    so Tas-mania is one of the sick(est)men in Oz.

    101

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Sound financial management to spend a Billion and make $143 million , then again Victoriastan spent that much not to build a road and will we ever know the true cost of Weatherdill’s fixation with renewables .

    161

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    I think I saw the words, “carbon credits,” in what Jo wrote. Perhaps the objective is wrong. If the idea were to be ,”Let’s have reliable electricity,” wouldn’t that work a little better than, “Let’s have carbon credits?”

    81

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      But then what do I know anyway? Perhaps being the Battery of the Nation is more important than reliable electricity.

      91

  • #
    Antoine D'Arche

    are we the only sane people on this planet ? I mean how did the %$#@ did we ever get this far when a con as transparent as this has taken out about half or more of the population? Or is it that our generation on are somehow born more stupid and gullible?
    How are we EVER going to get to the stars in an Enterprise when we can be so EASILY led by such %$#@ing nonsense to spend 1.5 trillion per annum. 1.5 trillion. That would build a space dock, an Enterprise, several shuttles, etc etc…. yes I’m a space enthusiast. Beats being a brain dead Gaia worshipper.
    I NEVER believed this global warming BS. How. Why. Has it got this far.
    Bring on the asteroid for I fear it is the only way to effectively wipe out enough of these morons.

    161

  • #
    Hanrahan

    Australia is on a downhill slide. It seems that the longer you delay capital works the more unaffordable they become.

    In the ’70s Qld duplicated their HV line to the north connecting Gladstone power to the Bowen Basin mines. That was done when the state had no pokie tax or tobacco tax and was the only state with free hospitals [Thank you Joh]. I have no idea if, and how much, the feds contributed but it would be hard for a state to contemplate that today without ScoMo tossing in 75%.

    I’m at a loss to understand how with modern technology projects are becoming more expensive. Want an example? Check out the price of the Snowy and convert the pounds of the day to dollars now allowing for inflation, it was a bargain, I’ve done the exercise. We couldn’t do it today in spite of the advances in tunnelling machinery.

    161

    • #
      Yonniestone

      As the states become Labor run they are Union controlled but Unions that look after the select few in their ranks and hierarchy not with the future economy in mind, they have become an extension of the political dysfunction that infests this nation.

      180

    • #
      Robert Swan

      Not only is Australia on a downhill slide, we’re world leaders in the decline.

      What we get for our infrastructure dollar is pitiful. In other comments here I’ve compared the cost of our roads with the U.S. Fair enough, it might not be too surprising that the uber-capitalist U.S. of A. beats us hollow, but surely we would rate well next to a country like France? Well, no. Have a look at the Millau Bridge. Highly functional, long lived, so good looking it has become a tourist attraction in its own right and it cost < 400M Euros.

      What do we have that compares? Well, NSW was going to put up a couple of new sports stadiums at $1B a pop. Pathetic.

      160

      • #
        el gordo

        We have a big country and I was surprised that Morrison decided to continue hugging the coast, but Turnbull still has High Speed Rail sitting in his bottom draw and if necessary he will shrewdly call for tenders before the next election.

        31

    • #
      Joe

      Hanrahan, was that “[Thank you Joh]” a shout out to ‘agrarian socialism’? The Nats still love a good Gov handout as long as you are a farmer and a good amount of Gov subsidy and protection for an industry as long as it is a rural one. What was the cry? – Capitalise the gains, socialise the losses.

      00

  • #
    Ian1946

    The lefties over at renew economy are working themselves into a lather over the budget reductions for windmills and solar panels. Quite amusing to read the group think and the contradictions, RE is cheaper but only with subsidies. They think that labor will have the RET at 80% in no time.

    201

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      They think that labor will have the RET at 80% in no time.

      Labor probably will do just that. Nothing would surprise me less. Promise anything to regain government.

      That’s how subversives work. It’s a continuation of their Fabian fantasy.

      20

  • #
    Ceetee

    You Aussies must be as dopey as we across the pond are. Some of us make a concerted effort to find the most stupid people on the planet and then elect them to positions of power over our lives. And then when delta x goes to zero and the inevitable cluster fock happens we devise all manner of excuses to explain why this had nothing to do with our own capacity to THINK.

    241

    • #
      wal1957

      Hi Ceetee

      This occurred back in the day of John Howards reign as PM.
      While standing in line to vote, a young bloke, early twenties tapped me on the shoulder and asked me… ” hey mate, who’s that politician with the big bushy eyebrows?”

      Mmmmm, he of the big bushy eyebrows. It’s no wonder we have the government we have when we have voters of that calibre.

      111

      • #
        Dennis

        PM Howard was sensible and refused to ratify the Kyoto Agreement, PM Rudd ratified that Agreement despite the fact that the Howard Government direct action “greenhouse gas emissions” were reduced to below the various reduction targets. RET of 3 per cent was, as Howard said last year, a once-off trial.

        The Howard Coalition Government repaid the Labor $96 billion debt with interest from 1996 to 2006, inherited a $10 billion budget deficit and produced surpluses in all but one year in office (not one produced since then) and created some investment funds including the $60 billion Future Fund that pays public service pensions from income and has doubled in value to more than $120 billion.

        70

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          How quickly they forget.

          What’s the level of debt now?

          $527.5 Billion. Billion with a “B”. In just 12 years.

          http://aofm.gov.au/cgs-quarterly/quarterly-data-march-2018/

          10

        • #
          Joe

          I think it is probably more correct to say that the taxpayers of Australia paid down the debt and that those taxpayers were from both sides of the political fence. They also sold some of their long held assets to pay that debt down – Telstra, Airports, all of our gold reserves. Small Government John was not exactly a small taxer he was collecting over 24% of GDP from us in his hey day. Subsequent Govs were collecting less that 20% and even under Abbott it started to increase and even more so under Turnbull and now Turnbull is wanting to increase the tax take to Howard levels. I think that you need to be scientific when you look at the numbers and graphs – politics is more fraught with BS than even the climate wars but the common point is that the people are the ultimate losers as they are easily fooled into worshiping false messiahs.

          00

    • #
      sophocles

      Right behind you, Ceetee …

      Our wonderful Deputy PM, James (Cat-6) Shaw, owns and operates the hardest vacuum known to Man.

      10

      • #
        Ceetee

        Got ya sophocles. Man I despise that cretinous blowhard. A festering infected boil on our democratic process is that parasite. Two days ago I saw possibly the saddest indictment of our western consumerist lifestyle. It was a photo of a single use plastic bag lying on the floor of the Marianas Trench. It could have been fake, who knows these days. My point being instead of being deceitful anti plant food political activists the greens could be a force for good. They are not. They are the foot soldiers of lies and fascism. They enable all that is wrong about the left. They substitute thought and reason with the same shit that Mao and Stalin stuffed up multiple generations of their own societies with. By the way, ALL our pollies are captured by the meme. Most are far too gutless to answer the questions that we here are shouting at them. We are the true greens. We are the true democrats. We are the true scientists. They are the real deniers. It’s time we went on the front foot and started throwing the punches.

        30

        • #
          sophocles

          ‘They are the foot soldiers of lies and fascism.

          Yes. The unthinking believers in propaganda, pure propaganda and nothing but propaganda. The highly gullible.

          I don’t agree that all our pollies are captured by the meme. Unless push comes to shove, they prefer to not admit their lack of knowledge and they know if they say they doubt, they’ll be attacked. They stay safe, which is typically political and which is bad enough.

          I don’t despise Shaw: he can’t help it so he’s not worth that effort. I neither trust him nor believe him. He’s certainly worth the effort to deflate and ridicule. He has no science qualifications other that what he might have been exposed to at school thirty years ago. If he had, and, if he had done his research, he would have known that Tropical Cyclone ratings stop at Cat-5 because Cat-5 is open ended and cyclones never go supersonic. Cat-6 is unique to Atlantic Hurricanes. But, he’s swallowed the “the storms are getting stronger and coming more often.” propaganda line hook line and sinker despite the evidence from NOAA being the exact opposite.

          Trouble is, the storms will be becoming more frequent and stronger,as we go further into cooling over the next three years but it’s certainly not because of warming.

          Shaw has a Master’s degree in Sustainable Business Management which I think of as a Howto: How to Plunder a Company Repeatedly Without Killing It nor Being Caught. ie: Sustainable Theft.

          10

  • #
    pat

    knowing there are fools running the country elsewhere is no consolation:

    9 May: KFGO: Reuters: California grid operator sees tight power supplies for summer
    by Scott DiSavino
    The California Independent System Operator (ISO), the grid operator, said the system’s capacity to serve consumers will be tight in high-load periods in the summer months, especially during the evenings of hot days when solar power dissipates…
    http://kfgo.com/news/articles/2018/may/09/california-power-supplies-will-be-tight-this-summer-grid-operator/

    30

  • #
    pat

    10 May: Reuters: UK GAS-Prices rise on undersupply and higher oil, coal
    Demand is forecast at 184 million cubic metres (mcm) and flows at 176 mcm/day, according to National Grid data, meaning the system is undersupplied by 8 mcm…
    Several UK Continental Shelf outages have reduced supply by around 18 mcm/day…
    “Gas prices are (also) extremely sensitive to coal and the strong coal price of recent weeks has been one of the biggest price drivers,” Sanderson added…
    https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL8N1SH1U

    ArgusMedia, formerly Petroleum Argus Ltd., now majority-owned by giant private equity firm, General Atlantic. writer is ex-Climate Home:

    9 May: ArgusMediaBlog: UK government rebuffs gas storage pressure
    by Alex Pashley
    Pressure on the UK government to support gas storage sites has eased as memories of the record winter price spike fade.
    The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) is right to rebuff calls from industry and storage firms for an inquiry, following NBP prompt prices climbing after National Grid’s rare deficit warning.

    The UK system eventually balanced during the coldest day since 1987, even as multiple supply disruptions curtailed domestic production and Norwegian exports.
    And there are potentially cheaper measures, such as more balancing products, to cope with another similar cold spell.
    Criticism has centred on a supposed new vulnerability following the closure of Rough as a storage facility, leaving the UK with no long-range storage.

    Beis greenlighted its shutdown as the UK could call on supplies from Norway, Qatar and the continent to meet demand.
    And the UK comfortably passes N-1 tests — a measure of whether a country can meet peak demand without its largest piece of supply infrastructure — even following the closure of Rough.
    But the Gas Security Lobby Group rejects the government’s analysis and wants Beis to reconsider whether the UK needs a minimum amount of storage, similar to France’s stock requirement for firms supplying protected customers or Italy’s strategic reserve.
    And subsidies to prop up existing sites and spur investment in new ones is another demand.

    But Beis shares little of this urgency, rejecting calls for an inquiry…
    Beis is correct to say that Rough still operating as a storage facility would have made little difference. The struggle to meet demand in northwest Europe during the cold snap was not because of a lack of storage but the limited availability of gas.
    Sites in Germany, the Netherlands and France had not filled at the start of last winter. Had Rough been available, there would have been more gas in UK storage but continental stocks would have been lower by a similar amount.

    And part of the reason there is little incentive to build new UK storage is the abundance of capacity elsewhere in northwest Europe.
    Even if a Beis inquiry found the UK needing extra storage, there would still be no relief until the early 2020s.
    A candidate like the 1.5bn m³ long-range Gateway in the east Irish Sea would take at least 3-4 years to build.

    But some UK capacity expansions are advancing without subsidy, which will raise deliverability. Stublach is scheduled to expand by 100mn m³ to 300mn m³. And the government is helping in other ways, such as at the 500mn m³ Islandmagee project, where it is cutting borrowing costs by underwriting most of the debt.
    And storage operators have so far not closed much capacity — in the UK or the continent — despite tight summer-winter spreads pressuring margins.
    SSE has been trialling more innovative storage products at its Aldbrough and Hornsea sites to boost revenues.

    Declining demand pares winter peaks
    Falling gas demand in recent years with more insulation and greater efficiency helped the UK meet the winter demand spike, although production is also expected to go into decline in the coming years.
    Demand was 442mn m³/d on 20-23 December 2010, when daily lows in London averaged -4°C.
    Overnight temperatures were just below -5°C on 1 March — only the 15th coldest day in the capital since 2000. But National Grid’s composite weather variable, which measures wind chill among other factors, found it to be the coldest day nationally in 30 years…

    Tied to Europe
    There could be more price spikes and calls for support for facilities in the coming winters, although the real issue could again be limited availability of gas rather than storage…
    Low stocks heading into next winter raises the possibility of more hub price spikes, which can be politically difficult.

    UK energy costs have risen into the middle of the pack in the EU-28, from closer to the bottom in the last decade.
    The government could have alternative measures to ensure balancing the system, such as expanding its demand-side response. National Grid scaling back deliveries to firms that had bought off-peak capacity on 1 March helped balance the system and end the gas deficit warning.
    National Grid was able to reduce demand by 52mn m³/d in 2005 — equivalent to 21pc of average daily demand at the time — using interruptible contracts to cut off supply to industrial users and power stations…

    The UK could give itself a bigger buffer in cold snaps to come by following the lead of Germany, which has introduced new balancing products such as the demand-side management and long-term options.
    http://blog.argusmedia.com/uk-government-rebuffs-gas-storage-pressure/

    the writer’s LinkedIn page:

    LinkedIn: Alex Pashley, Reporter at Argus Media, London
    Previous: Climate Home,
    Freelance, Anadolu Agency
    Education, University of Warwick
    (includes short stints at The Economist, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Bloomberg, freelance at Aljazeera, Vice News, etc)

    30

  • #
    pat

    behind paywall. Germany taking over?

    9 May: UK Times: Emily Gosden: Competition inquiry for energy deal
    The proposed merger of SSE and Npower faces an in-depth competition inquiry after the energy giants failed to address concerns their combination would result in higher household bills.
    The Competition and Markets Authority said it had referred the merger for a Phase 2 inquiry which would take until October 22.
    The watchdog had given the companies until late last week to offer “undertakings” to address its competition concerns but said they had not done so.

    SSE and Npower are two of Britain’s “Big Six” energy suppliers; SSE is part of the FTSE 100 group of the same name, while Npower is owned by Innogy, of Germany.

    The transaction could be complicated by the fact that Innogy, which is controlled by Germany’s RWE, is due to be sold to Eon, a rival German supplier that already has a UK supply business. This raises the possibility that Eon could end up owning or having indirect stakes in three of the Big Six suppliers. Industry sources expect Innogy could therefore be required to sell its holding in the merged SSE-Npower company before the Eon deal goes through…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/sse-and-npower-merger-faces-full-competition-investigation-wgrfmjk2t

    10 May: TheNationalScotland: BP forecasts EU will see a decline in energy consumption
    by Greg Russell
    THE European Union is forecast to be the only region in the world that will see a decline in energy consumption and production to 2040, according to BP.
    The oil giant added that the bloc will also witness the largest decline in carbon emissions.

    BP predicted that the EU’s demand for energy will fall 11% by 2040, in contrast with the past 20 years, during which demand has been broadly flat. Production is forecast to decline by 5%.
    In its Regional Outlook for Europe, BP said the EU’s energy mix will continue to evolve, with coal and oil dropping from a 51% share in 2016 to 32% by 2040. The share of natural gas will increase from 24% to 27% in the same time frame…

    The company said declining demand for fossil fuels will be offset by a rise in renewables, which will increase their share from 9% to 27% and hydro from 5% to 6%.
    Renewables growth will be driven by wind (4.8% per annum) and solar (4.9%pa). By 2040, the report said the EU will meet 15% of energy demand by wind, solar and biomass will account for 5% each and biofuels for less than 1% of demand.
    BP said the power sector will become increasingly important, accounting for half of energy consumption by 2040.

    It predicts very little change in the sectorial mix of energy demand, with declines in all sectors – transport (-0.8%pa), industry (-0.7%pa), non-combusted industry (-0.9%pa) and buildings (-0.1%pa).
    Nuclear is expected to decrease by -1.5%pa by 2040 and the EU’s share of global nuclear generation will halve to less than 15% by 2040.

    Oil and gas production in the EU will fall by more than 60% by 2040. In 2040 the EU will produce fewer than one million barrels per day (mb/d).
    Dependence on oil imports is anticipated to rise from 85% in 2016 to 92% in 2040, and gas dependence from 72% to 89%…

    Carbon emissions will continue to fall, with emissions in 2040 at 50% of the 1990 levels.
    The EU will see largest decline across any region.
    BP Group’s chief economist, Spencer Dale, said: “We are seeing growing competition between different energy sources, driven by abundant energy supplies, and continued improvements in energy efficiency.
    “As the world learns to do more with less, demand for energy will be met by the most diverse fuels mix we have ever seen.”…

    There are anticipated to be nearly 190 million electric cars by 2035, higher than the base case in its report for last year of 100m.
    http://www.thenational.scot/news/16215154.EU_will_be_only_part_of_world_to_see_a_drop_in_energy_use_and_production/

    40

  • #
    pat

    behind paywall:

    10 May: UK Times: Sturgeon ‘misled MSPs on frack ban’
    by Hamish Macdonell, Scottish Political Editor
    Nicola Sturgeon has been asked to explain if she misled parliament about fracking as confusion deepened over the Scottish government’s approach.

    Defending the decision to instigate an indefinite moratorium on fracking, James Mure, QC, counsel for the Scottish government, said: “The concept of an effective ban is a gloss. It is the language of a press statement. What they have done is to announce a preferred position on the issue.”
    The moratorium is being challenged at the Court of Session in Edinburgh by Ineos and Reach CSG, the petrochemical companies, which want to extract gas and oil from rock beds by using high pressure water to fracture the rock.

    The description of the government’s stance as a “preferred position” not a ban seemed to contradict statements made by Ms Sturgeon and other ministers when the moratorium was extended last year. In October she said: “Let me be clear, because to some ears it will sound as if some members are dancing on the head of a pin: fracking is being banned in Scotland – end of story.”
    Paul Wheelhouse, the energy minister, also referred to an “effective ban” on fracking having been imposed.
    The Conservatives produced evidence which they claimed showed that the Scottish government had referred to a “ban” on fracking ten times and called on ministers to explain why they believed there was a ban in place but their lawyer did not.
    Alexander Burnett, the Tory energy spokesman, said: “People will be stunned that a QC representing the SNP government in court could so spectacularly contradict the claims and parliamentary statements of Nicola Sturgeon and Paul Wheelhouse . . .

    He added: “It confirms this fracking ban is a game to the SNP , aimed at pandering to the extreme elements in the independence-supporting green lobby. In the process, Scotland risks missing out on an economic boom and the chance to lower people’s energy bills.”…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/scotland/sturgeon-misled-msps-on-frack-ban-6fdf6k57r

    behind paywall:

    Britain lobbies for right to host 2020 climate meeting
    Financial Times 9 May 2018
    Theresa May’s government is lobbying for the right to host a crucial climate meeting in 2020, in a sign of the prime minister’s determination to highlight the Conservative party’s green credentials. Claire Perry, the energy minister, said on Wednesday that the UK planned to put its name in the ring for the UN’s main annual climate change conference in 2020…

    50

    • #
      Mary E

      Britain lobbies for right to host 2020 climate meeting
      Financial Times 9 May 2018
      Theresa May’s government is lobbying for the right to host a crucial climate meeting in 2020, in a sign of the prime minister’s determination to highlight the Conservative party’s green credentials. Claire Perry, the energy minister, said on Wednesday that the UK planned to put its name in the ring for the UN’s main annual climate change conference in 2020…

      She can hear the cash registers ringing, that’s what I think. Those climate people spend a lot of money when they go visiting – hotels, restaurants, gew-gads and baubles, even taxis and limo-services. Cha-ching!

      10

  • #
    pat

    10 May: ClimateChangeNews: Bonn morning brief: Missing US climate cash raises tensions
    By Karl Mathiesen, Megan Darby and Soila Apparicio
    Egyptian ambassador Wael Aboulmagd, who chairs the 130-plus bloc of developing countries known as the G77 and China, told Climate Home News that Donald Trump’s reneging on climate finance has left questions other developed countries need to answer.
    “I can’t speak on their behalf and they might sense that they have to step up to deal with the gap left by the United States,” he said. “We need to ask them how to address that gap.”

    The EU responded by reaffirming its commitment to the developed world’s “collective” climate finance target of $100bn per year by 2020 – but would not be drawn on whether this meant other nations would need to step up…

    Human rights warning
    Five UN human rights experts have raised concerns with the Polish government about a recent law cracking down on demonstrations…
    “All eyes are on the Polish government to see how, as the host and the president of Cop24, it will honour its human rights obligations and uphold its responsibility to ensure free and unfettered access for broader participation,” they added in a statement.
    Here’s a date for the activists’ diaries: the “high-level segment” where ministers deliver 3-minute statements, is scheduled to start on Tuesday 11 December…

    Host with the most
    The UK is interested in hosting the 2020 UN climate summit, clean growth minister Claire Perry reportedly told a conference in London. Her department confirmed. Perry said: “The UK leads the world in tackling climate change and we would be delighted to host COP26 here in the UK in 2020. Other countries have also expressed an interest, and we will continue to engage on selection of a host nation.”
    2020 is the year governments are due to submit another round of national climate pledges – hopefully, but by no means assuredly, with higher ambition…
    Under the UN’s regional rotation system, it is the turn of western Europe “and others” to preside – the others being Israel, Turkey, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Turkey’s environment minister has also expressed an interest in hosting…

    US-China pals
    Spotted in the corridors of Bonn, the two diplomats from China and the US who have co-chaired negotiations on the transparency section of the Paris rulebook.
    Laughing and relaxed, the two looked like great pals. On Wednesday morning, Climate Home News overheard them telling other negotiators they were heading into the final wrap up of the transparency section for these talks.
    It may surprise readers to hear about positive US contributions that continue to happen inside these negotiations. But state department officials remain engaged and are working to land a deal on the rulebook in December…

    The real story
    Australia’s 2018 budget was released this week, just after countries had finished telling their national climate stories to one another in the Talanoa Dialogue. CHN wonders whether, if the dialogue had been held two days later, the Australian delegation would have told the story of budget cuts that the Sydney Morning Herald says will see spending on climate change fall from A$3 billion in 2017-18 to $1.6 billion for 2018-19?

    Don’t bank on it
    Multilateral development banks (MDB’s) are falling behind on their commitment to align their financial flows with the UN Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a report published on Wednesday at the UN climate talks in Bonn by think-tank E3G…

    Please do more”
    At the closing session of the Talanoa Dialogue, Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama made a plea to developed nations to do more to help the victims of climate change.
    “Please do more to tackle the fundamental causes of this suffering,” said Bainimarama. “Please do more to embrace the opportunities that will flow for your own people and the whole world from the transition to net-zero emissions economies.”
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/05/10/bonn-morning-brief-missing-us-climate-cash-raises-tensions/

    9 May: ClimateChangeNews: Rich world faces questions on who will replace US climate cash
    By Karl Mathiesen
    The withdrawal of US climate finance by the Trump administration has left other developed countries with a dilemma. The commitment they made – to move $100bn every year to poor countries to help them cope with climate change – was collective.
    The US is withholding $2bn pledged to the UN’s Green Climate Fund and across the wider climate finance sphere, its retreat leaves a bigger hole…

    EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete last year rejected suggestions the EU or any other donor should carry the can for the US.
    Elina Bardram, a senior EU negotiator, told Climate Home News at talks in Bonn “the EU and other donors remain committed to the $100bn goal and continue to work in view of scaling up available financing”. She noted the “collective commitment” needed to be sourced from public and private funds.

    The US deficit has increased tensions over a perennial issue that has stalked efforts to fight climate change. Negotiators in the former West German capital have spent the past ten days trying to agree complicated rules that will govern the Paris agreement. The rules are due to be finalised at talks in December. But developing countries refuse to move forward until they are satisfied promises on money will be kept.
    Even before Trump’s election there were “serious questions as to the pace and the scale” of developed country finance, said Aboulmagd.

    The chair of the least developed country group Gebru Jember Endalew did not want to single out any donor for more funds. “Let [developed countries] maximise and raise their ambition, with the purpose of addressing the general financial gap that we have. Because I don’t think that would be a good signal to say that the others have to fill the US gap,” he said.

    Nations are keen to avoid the semblance of delivering ultimatums. “We don’t think our efforts should be exerted in pointing fingers and setting people up for picking up the blame, it is counter-productive,” said Aboulmagd.

    But the bottom line is the priorities of developed countries such as the EU – a universal rulebook and increased ambition – is in part contingent on showing the money. That has been a huge sticking point at these talks…
    The UN has scheduled an extra week of talks in Bangkok in September to make progress on a text before politicians get involved at the December summit.
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/05/09/rich-world-faces-questions-will-replace-us-climate-cash/

    40

    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      Claire Perry told a conference in London ‘The UK leads the world in tacklng climate change . .’
      Well now I thought that it was us here in Australia who led the world in clmate change, or was that Germany?
      Isn’t it strange?
      GeoffW

      10

  • #
    pat

    11 months, no response from Trump admin! Alister Doyle seems unaware, or unwilling to write about, the failure of the Bonn talks to achieve anything:

    10 May: Reuters: ‘No follow up’ from Trump over staying in climate pact: U.N.
    by Environment Correspondent Alister Doyle
    U.S. President Donald Trump has yet to outline what changes he wants in a 2015 global climate agreement as the price for dropping his plan to quit, the United Nations’ climate chief said on Wednesday.

    Patricia Espinosa said she had asked Washington for its demands after Trump announced last June that he planned to quit the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to end the fossil fuel era this century with a shift to cleaner energies.
    “There has not been a follow-up” from Washington, she told Reuters during negotiations in Bonn among almost 200 nations on a “rule book” for the 2015 agreement.

    Espinosa, a former Mexican foreign minister who leads the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, said she had stressed that the pact was flexible, allowing all countries to set their own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    “I would not like to see the U.S. leaving. I certainly hope there is a reconsideration of this decision,” she said of Trump’s plan to pull out.

    Trump doubts the view of mainstream science that man-made greenhouse gases are raising global temperatures…

    On climate change, she said Trump might be swayed by an accelerating shift among many U.S. states, cities and companies to cleaner energies from fossil fuels.

    Asked if the United States would outline its demands at the Bonn talks, a U.S. State Department official said: “We do not have any new information to share at this time on decisions concerning the Paris Agreement.”

    The Bonn meeting, which ends on Thursday, is working on rules for the Paris Agreement due to be in place by the end of the year, such as how to measure and account for greenhouse gas emissions and climate finance for developing nations that is meant to reach $100 billion a year by 2020.
    “A good set of rules … should be a way to give comfort and confidence to the concerns they (the United States) could have,” said Espinosa.

    Asked if she would be happy for the United States to stay, while watering down deep cuts in emissions promised by former President Barack Obama, Espinosa said: “I think we should not choose between those two scenarios.”
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-accord-un-interview/no-follow-up-from-trump-over-staying-in-climate-pact-un-idUSKBN1IA2L5

    30

  • #
    pat

    10 May: UK Telegraph: Jillian Ambrose: Swansea Tidal’s cost claims crumble under questioning
    Mark Sharrock, the boss of Tidal Lagoon Power, told a committee of MPs that he would need a deal offering financial support of £89.50 for every mega-watt of electricity produced to build the groundbreaking 320MW project.
    But under questioning he admitted that this could only be achieved with extra financial help from the Welsh Government, and a contract almost double the length than what is typically offered to developers of new nuclear or renewable energy projects.

    On a like-for-like basis the Swansea Tidal project would need a contract price of £150/MWh. The sum is well above the eye-watering price of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project which will cost bill payers £92.50 for every megawatt produced over 35 years.
    It is also almost triple the price of the newest offshore wind power projects which will be built for £57.50/MWh.
    Mr Sharrock told MPs that the price of the project is justified by the fact that it is a “pathfinder” project which could pioneer a new industry for the UK and benefit from cost falls, as seen in the offshore wind sector…

    The Government was expected to agree a bi-lateral deal with Tidal Lagoon Power for the controversial project years ago but concerns over the cost has led to a five year delay over the project.
    Charles Hendry, a former energy minister and author of an independent review of the project, told the committee that it is too late to “start again” by setting up a tidal lagoon auction.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/05/09/swansea-tidals-cost-claims-crumble-questioning/

    10 May: UK Telegraph: Our energy revolution needs the Government’s spark
    By Ian Funnell, CEO at ABB Ltd UK
    We stand on the point of a genuine energy revolution. Electric vehicles, until very recently the preserve of a small environmentally minded elite, are now a feature of public transport for the first time.
    The rapid growth and connection of renewable energy, the electrification of transport, the development of technologies which can carry electricity safely and efficiently over huge distances, and a revolution in carbon capture and storage technology have all converged to bring this about.
    But we need to grasp this opportunity to really make it work and to do that we need joined up thinking: from government and from industry…

    And we need government to come to the party too, creating an environment that incentivises the critical industry investment needed to ensure…
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/05/10/energy-revolution-needs-governments-spark/

    40

    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      Thanks Pat good reporting;
      Swansea tidal lagoon, despite the evidence of just how bad a deal this monstrosity would be I have an awfull feeling it may go ahead anyway. If it does British taxpayers will have to fork out for the most expensive energy ever, and that includes all renwables and nuclear. Look out for the biggest white elephant in the British power grid.
      GeoffW

      40

    • #
      Davidsb

      …and a revolution in carbon capture and storage technology …

      Can we assume that all those new Chinese, Indian and other coal-fired power stations around the world will be employing this new and revolutionary technology?

      And if not, why not?

      Perhaps Australia might like to re-consider its future electricity generation mix, with a view to building some new coal fired power stations – after all, no less an expert than Ian Funnell, CEO at ABB Ltd UK, is backing the technology…..

      ;¬)

      30

  • #
    pat

    10 May: BBC: Matt McGrath: UN climate stalemate sees extra week of talks added
    Poorer nations say they are fed up with foot dragging by richer countries on finance and carbon cutting commitments.
    Some countries, led by China are now seeking to renegotiate key aspects of the Paris agreement…

    The signing of the Paris climate agreement in 2015 was seen as a momentous achievement, but in retrospect doing the deal might have been the easy part…

    Poorer countries have become frustrated by what they see as the cavalier attitude of the rich to the urgency of the problem of rising seas and devastating floods and storms.
    “The developed world has to lead,” Amjad Abdulla, the lead negotiator for the Maldives told BBC News.
    “We have a huge void – the action (by rich countries) on cutting carbon before 2020 we haven’t really fulfilled that – and we are already embarking on rules for post 2020, that’s unfair.”

    Follow the money
    Climate finance is almost always the root of some of the biggest arguments in this process. Here in Bonn the developing world have pressed hard to get commitments from the richer nations about a timetable for the monies to be delivered into the future.
    For many delegates like Amjad Abdulla, this question of trust on finance is critical, not just in dealing with the impacts of climate change but in helping developing countries shoulder the burden of cutting emissions and moving to renewable energy…

    These frustrations have led China to try and renegotiate a fundamental aspect of the Paris deal – the idea that all nations, rich and poor alike, will take on commitments to cut carbon.
    “The signals they have been giving here have not been really helpful and have on the contrary been quite negative,” said Ulrikka Aarnio, an observer from campaigners, the Climate Action Network…

    Resistance to change?
    The Chinese idea that going “back to the future” might be best for developing countries has also shown itself in a dispute over what seems the relatively trivial issue of a name change. The UN proposed last year to alter the clumsy “UN Framework Convention on Climate Change” to the simpler ‘UN Climate Change’.

    This proposed new wording has caused upset among some delegates because it drops the word convention from the title.
    Signed back in 1992, the Framework Convention divided the world into the rich who were obliged to cut their carbon and the poor who were free to continue using fossil fuels.
    “Everything we have undertaken is under the Framework Convention. I don’t think we are going to change that, it has to stay – the bedrock is the convention, the foundation is the convention. We are working, we are building on that. Changing that would be a very bad idea.” (SAID WHO, BBC?)

    The slow progress here means that an extra session of talks has now been added to the calendar for September to try and make progress before ministers gather in Poland for the crucial Conference of the Parties in Katowice in December.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44060910

    10

  • #
    James

    I hate it when they say something is “routine” when the result is something that is far from routine, or at least should be. Earthworks should not be cutting the interconnect cable on a regular basis!

    70

    • #
      yarpos

      Didnt see anything about earthworks, you have some inside info?

      The routine task can become quite tricky once people stop thinking or fail to plan.

      30

  • #
    Mark M

    If their goal was to prevent climate change, they failed. Dismally:

    May 11, 2018: Hobart floods: Havoc as wild weather floods city and Tasmania’s South East

    http://www.news.com.au/national/tasmania/havoc-as-wild-weather-floods-hobart-and-tasmanias-south-east/news-story/7707f3fc8e3bd16a7752f172e4879c9a

    31

    • #
      yarpos

      ? climate change or storm?

      80

    • #
      Mark M

      Here’s how a complex low-pressure system sent temperatures plummeting

      Difficult to predict
      The Bureau of Meteorology usually has several days’ indication that a system like this may form, but development of multiple low-pressure centres at the surface makes it tricky to predict exactly where local impacts will strike.

      https://theconversation.com/heres-how-a-complex-low-pressure-system-sent-temperatures-plummeting-96422

      > Sadly a carbon (sic) tax wasn’t available for an interview on how it would prevent this.

      40

      • #
        el gordo

        They said it happens once a year, but I have my doubts.

        ‘The low-pressure system set to hit the east coast is from a polar vortex – a swirling mass of air that sits over Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

        ‘At times a smaller pool of chilly air at the vortex edges breaks away and heads north – towards Australia.

        ‘When it mixes with warmer air over the continent it triggers an outbreak of intense conditions.’

        Nine News

        20

        • #
          WXcycles

          “Would you like to know more?”

          00

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          Hiking in Tasmania.

          It’s what those who do it know from experience.

          However, for those who don’t, let me give you the drum:

          “Tasmanian weather is renowned for being unstable. She can be icy cold, and brutally hot… and that is just before lunch!

          In the central highlands (Overland Track, Walls of Jerusalem, Lake Sinclair, Mt Field etc) the best time to hike is Tasmania is December through to April. It can still be bitterly cold, maybe even snow during these months, but it is the most stable time of year. You need to be prepared for cold conditions even in the middle of summer. That means gloves, beanies and the whole nine yards.”

          https://www.inspirationoutdoors.com.au/hiking-tasmania/

          You’ll see that the lovely Louise doesn’t want to carry a tent. And the greenies don’t want Tassy to built modern huts in the wilderness areas because huts attract people. So piss-off Louise. Go to NZ instead and let the Tassy tourism industry go the same way as the Tassy Tiger.

          http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-20/disagreement-over-tasmanian-south-coast-track-cabin-plan/8367442

          10

  • #
    Mark M

    Meanwhile, in Western Australia … no amount of green energy can stop it …

    ‘Valued at zero’: WA coastal dwellers face financial ruin as sea rises

    https://www.watoday.com.au/national/western-australia/valued-at-zero-wa-coastal-dwellers-face-financial-ruin-as-sea-rises-20180508-p4ze3z.html

    > That sea better get a leg up, those islands should be under water by now …

    The Batavia, a Dutch East India Company ship, was wrecked on Morning Reef near Beacon Island — 60km off modern Geraldton — in 1629.

    “Of about 341 people aboard, most made it to nearby islands but more than 120, including women and children, were brutally killed during a mutiny.

    More than a dozen skeletons have been retrieved from Beacon Island since the first find in 1960 …”

    https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/wa/batavia-shipwreck-expedition-to-uncover-more-secrets-ng-08c68c21bc67606e6cffca3ef9c5580e

    70

  • #
    Another Ian

    Not only more subsidies but more time too

    “British Columbia’s Carbon Tax Fails – Goalpost moved”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/05/10/british-columbias-carbon-tax-fails-goalpost-moved/

    50

  • #
    yarpos

    Half a billion to prop up the billions already spent in world leading SA, a few billion to pump water uphill in the Snowy and a billion for another fragile Basslink, blow up usable power staions and force others out of business. Pretty soon, you are talking about real money.

    To paraphrase Kermit, it isnt easy (or cheap) being green.

    130

    • #
      PeterS

      Since all the money in the world can’t alter the climate one iota, and given the fact hundreds and hundreds of new cola fired power stations are being built and will continue to be built over the foreseeable future around the world, Australians will need to wake up to the fact we can close down all our power stations, shut all business down and exterminate 99.99% of the population and still the climate will not change one iota. Eventually people will have to wake up to the fact they have been conned and vote accordingly. The next federal election will be very telling as to how asleep Australia still is. If they are still asleep then nothing will change and the crash and burn scenario will have to play out to wake people up.

      70

    • #
      Another Ian

      But hydro will be down the drain on costs


      B A Deplorable Rupertslander
      May 10, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      Rivers should now have human rights:

      https://downtrend.com/71superb/liberal-want-to-give-human-rights-to-rivers/

      It gives a new twist to the song Old Man River, doesn’t it?”

      http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/index.php/2018/05/10/may-10-2018-reader-tips/#comment-1113267

      Will the Snowy sue?

      20

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      yarpos:

      Snowy 2 is already over $10 billion in cost – revised building cost $4 billion plus $6.2 billion buying out Vic. and NSW from the Snowy Mountains Authority.
      That $6.2 billion is borrowed so will attract interest as well. The buyout money will go down the gurgler as both State Governments have an election coming.
      Then there is the probability of construction difficulties hinted at in the Report about “complex geology”. All in all, we (the taxpayers) will be lucky to get out of that one for less than $A18 billion.

      70

  • #
    David Maddison

    This is a good thing. Australia needs a series of serious power crises to make people wake up.

    It’s disturbing that this failure was not made public at the time it happened.

    80

    • #
      PeterS

      Yes unfortunately something very serious and painful is necessary to bring much of the public out of their sleep. Given the massive hardcore leftist attitude and the widespread hatred of anything even slightly right of the middle of politics in this nation it will need to be extreme to bring us back to the conservative middle.

      60

    • #
      Chad

      It’s disturbing that this failure was not made public at the time it happened….

      …actually it was, …..as mentioned above, and even posted / discussed on this blog at the time
      I guess many folk did not notice the significance of it then.

      40

      • #
        Annie

        I seem to remember there was mention of a two-week lack of Basslink, quietly changed to end of May.

        40

        • #
          yarpos

          echos the original outage, timelines drifted out as reality catches up with optimistic/hopefull management wallies

          20

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Given the significance of the extended outage I would have thought there would have been more news reports and some journalism done to expose a bit more as to what exactly happened to the cable .
        All I seen reported at the time was a few lines in a story by the ABC that was shuffled over the page by a heap of garbage in quick time .
        If you’ve seen some news that explains what happened Chad I’m sure most us here would love to hear it , other than the dog ate my homework excuse they’re putting out .

        30

        • #
          PeterS

          There would be far more news stories from the MSM if me made a new record high temperature in the middle of summer being a sign of massive global warming than anything as serious as the Basslink outage. Come to think of it how come I don’t see much coverage about the currently unusual freezing conditions being a sign of massive global cooling? MSM biased? Who would have thought!

          30

  • #
    nc

    What is the max capacity of the Taz cable?

    10

    • #
      yarpos

      I think it is about 500MW normally with temporary peaks to 650MW. Battery of a nation not, battery of Victoria possibly.

      20

  • #
    Robber

    So Tasmania is running on 100% “renewables” without the interconnector – 1300 MW of demand being met by 0-200 MW of wind (nameplate 300 MW) and 1100-1300 MW of hydro (nameplate 2261 MW). But they are missing out financially by not being able to buy in cheap coal power from Vic overnight, and then sell hydro at morning and evening peak prices. They also have 176 MW of diesel and 371 MW of natural gas as backup. Do they have any solar?

    50

    • #
      Chad

      Do they have any solar?….

      Rooftop only currently i believe.
      2 small (<15MW) solar farms are planned..

      30

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Would they consider #TasExit? Slightly tongue in cheek, but hey…

        50

        • #
          yarpos

          If RET/REC was dumped maybe they would, but they stand to loose to much income. Follow the money.

          10

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Went looking for the insolation of Hobart and the first link I clicked seems to have left poor tassie off their map http://pv-map.apvi.org.au/sunspot

        Not a great return for solar panels in tassie unless you put the panels on the hill tops which would be unacceptable to all but the greens .

        20

  • #
    Hanrahan

    There’s always someone dumber – somewhere.

    From Breitbart:

    A California regulatory board has passed a regulation that will require all new homes built in the state to be powered by solar panels.
    The new rules, which will take full effect in two years, will add thousands of dollars to the construction and maintenance of new homes, but leaders in Sacramento say that the effort will be worth the costs. The new rules will also help the state come in line with its goal of having 50 percent of its electric power supplied by solar by 2030, according to The New York Times.

    California becomes the first state to force homebuilders to include solar power in new construction.

    The five-member California Energy Commission passed the new requirements with very little debate. Critics lambasted the board’s foregone conclusion of the efficacy of the idea.

    Will they be going back to whale oil lamps at night?

    70

    • #
      Robdel

      It would not be such a dumb idea if it were simply solar hot water. As in Israel.

      70

      • #
        David Maddison

        Solar hot water heaters are arguably cost effective in the right class climate although I have read that even in Australia they are not considered cost effective given their cost, service life and energy savings.

        30

    • #
      David Maddison

      It’s unbelievable that in Kaliforniastan just five people can make a decision to cause such economic destruction.

      I wonder if there is any legal basis for Trump to intervene and stop this madness?

      50

    • #
      PeterS

      Good move – to send the state into bankruptcy even faster.

      20

    • #
      Jeff

      What happens if you have big trees in your yard or want to grow some for summer shade?

      60

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        As I was commended for a comment: “These results proved politically controversial, and once that happens facts are ignored.” You might want to trademark that one, Graeme.

        30

    • #
      yarpos

      Good move really, housing in California was just too, too affordable. They should mandate batteries also, can you really have too much of a good thing?

      20

  • #
    Peter C

    From the Basslink Media Statement:

    The Basslink Interconnector is the world’s second longest undersea electricity cable. Owned by
    Keppel Infrastructure Trust, Basslink delivers excellence in the areas of safety, reliability and performance.

    http://www.basslink.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/20180328_Basslink-Statement-Outage.pdf

    Excellence in the area of Reliability? I think not. Two long outages is less than two years.

    80

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      They meant “reliability in State government payments”.

      Why spend money foolishly when the govenment can do that for you?

      50

    • #
      Hanrahan

      I was wondering how long the cable across the Kattegat was and found this: A proposed DCHV cable from Norway to Scotland. How valuable will that be to Scotland now they are drinking the windmill koolaide?

      The NorthConnect (also known as Scotland–Norway interconnector) is a proposed 650-kilometre (400 mi) 1,400 MW HVDC interconnector over the floor of the North Sea. The £1.75 billion project is being developed by NorthConnect, a Norwegian company specially set up by five electricity companies (Agder Energi, E-CO, Lyse, SSE plc and Vattenfall) to advance the scheme, with 2020 as the target start date. It is hoped that the connector will assist the growth of the Norwegian and Scottish renewable energy industries.[3]

      Norway has a nice little earner buying excess wind energy to pump water uphill and reselling it during the calm periods.

      40

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Hanrahan:

        I have been reliably informed that Norway has NO pumped storage. Its hydro is all run of the river type i.e. as cheap excess electricity from Denmark and Germany is available they just shut down their hydro stations.
        When there is an electricity shortage in Denmark and Germany they sell hydro back to them (at about 3 times the price).
        Norway is a well off country.

        20

        • #
          yarpos

          Lucky ducks have it both ways. North Sea Oil and a well managed soveriegn wealth fund plus abundant hydro resources to sell to neighbouring virtue signallers.

          00

  • #
    Chad

    Slightly off topic, but still talking RE battery systems….
    Notice how even when SA is able to generate plenty of steady (1300MW) wind power , and balance demande using small amounts of gas…even consistently export to Vic….
    ……dispite that “steady state” period yesterday , the Tesla Battery was still franticly discharging during price peaks, and recharging during price dips……irrespective that the power/ stabilisation/FCAS etc was not needed !!
    …its a blatent money skimmer with apparently no restriction on its operation.
    Its as if someone just gave then the keys to the money bank and then left them to it !
    When is someone going to stop this madness, giving money away to onerseas owners just maks power more expensive for evey one.

    130

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Good outline Chad.

      The same thing is happening to the shares which are purchased by our Superannuation funds.

      Artificial “churn” has been created under the pretense that it’s necessary to provide market stabilization.

      All that is really happening is that Superannuation funds are being continuously skimmed by computerised trading platforms.

      All endorsed by our governments who in one way or anoth$r are encouraged to turn a blind eye.

      Get out of the UN.

      Shun the EEU and demand government in the best interests of the people.

      Individual politicians found to be aiding and abetting private ripoffs of public funds need to be brought to account.

      Presently they seem to have immunity from prosecution.

      Auxit.

      KK

      70

    • #
      toorightmate

      Elon needs all the support he can get.
      financially, physically and mentally.

      40

      • #
        yarpos

        Yes I feel for Elon. I hope he gets everything he needs, and everything he deserves.

        30

      • #
        Chad

        But its not Musks battery !
        Its owned and operated by Neoen..a French company i believe.
        So whilst Musk may gain some (too much) comfort for having supplied the tecknology, fortunately he has had all the money from it that he is entitled to ….
        …..(until he leaches on for maintenance and repirs !)
        Meanwhile the cash flows to Europe instead !
        I liken this whole deal to a bank robbery..
        ..Aussie Joe public is the bank,
        …Weatherdill was the financier (cannot call him a mastermind!)
        ..Tesla supplied the weapons
        ..Neoen did the job and scarpered with the cash !!

        Needless to say, it really irritates me how many people think that the battery belongs to Tesla !
        ..present company excepted.

        50

        • #
          yarpos

          but, but, Weatherill when in full cry election mode said Elon had “invested” in SA. That wasnt a fib was it??

          00

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Oh no…weather = catastrophe…..the sky is falling…pass the beer….

    May I have communism and propaganda for 200 please?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-11/hobart-weather-flash-flooding-record-rainfall/9750032

    “Hobart city recorded more than 100 millimetres of rain in a single day for the first time ever in May — doubling the previous record.

    It is understood to be only the fifth time since 1893 that the city has recorded more than 100mm in a day in any month with the State Emergency Service describing it as “an extreme weather event”.

    Hobart resident Monte Bovill said the streets of the city were like rivers.

    “Macquarie Street, which is the main street in Hobart, had probably two dozen cars just lying there on the road, that had been swept down,” he said.

    “It was really crazy to see what used to be a road was literally a river.”

    All southern campuses of the University of Tasmania (UTAS) have been closed because of flooding.

    UTAS spokesman Jason Purdie said the campus was a no-go zone.”

    This happens in Sydney and Melbourne too….yawn….

    30

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      Fifth time in 125 years! Wouldn’t that allow it to be called a “one in 25 year” event? I.e. Significant but not all that rare? Even something a city should plan for?
      Cheers,
      Dave B

      60

      • #
        robert rosicka

        I’m getting a bit suspicious here not one “unprecedented ” in any of the reports I’ve seen .

        40

      • #
        MudCrab

        Open to correction as it has been a LONG time since I worked with stormwater (and even then I was never responsible for anything about basic levels) but by the time you get to 1 in 100 year events I believe the roads are designed to flood in order to contain the extra rainwater. If you look at a cross section of a road most of it is (slightly) lower than the surrounding area and SHOULD contain flood water until the existing storm drains can remove it.

        Having the water rise far enough to spill over the property boundary and start flooding homes on the other hand was usually frowned on.

        Open to correction like I said. It has been over 15 years after all.

        50

    • #
      yarpos

      They need to parachute in Peter Hannam so he can report LIVE on the unprecedented man made climactic apocalypse thing unfolding as we type.

      10

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    O/T slightly, CA in the USA is experiencing some revolt against Herr Brown and his Leftist agenda – people have petitioned to break up CA into 3 smaller states to break Browns Warmist control.
    Note the comments about failing govt , which is typical of Socialism:

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/13/us/california-closer-to-split-into-three-states-trnd/index.html

    “Should the country’s most populous state be split into three separate states? California voters might be able to make that decision this fall.

    A local venture capitalist’s proposal to break up California, “CAL 3,” gained nearly double the necessary signatures to get it on the ballot in November, which will allow state voters to decide on the partition.
    Tim Draper announced Thursday that his initiative had gotten more than 600,000 signatures from registered voters across all of the state’s 58 counties, surpassing the 365,880 signatures required by state law.
    “This is an unprecedented show of support on behalf of every corner of California to create three state governments that emphasize representation, responsiveness, reliability and regional identity,” Draper said.
    How could this help California?

    According to the proposal, first announced in November, this will solve California’s most pressing issues, including the state’s failing school systems, high taxes, deteriorating infrastructure and strained government.
    Draper explained that partitioning California into three states would empower regional communities to make better and more sensible decisions for their citizens.

    “To create three states from a standing start, you’ll get all the benefits of knowing all the things that worked in the past, and all the things that could work in the future and you get to eliminate all the baggage you got in the state,” Draper said in a news conference Thursday night at Draper University.
    “When you get together and you start something fresh, you have a new way to look at it and create better things” he added.

    But wait, there’s more…..CA seceeding from the USA ( maybe build a wall around CA ? ):

    http://www.lamag.com/culturefiles/california-just-approved-petition-put-calexit-ballot/

    “California Just Approved a Petition to Put Calexit on the Ballot
    It’ll take a lot of signatures, but the initiative to make California its own country is happening

    January 31, 2017 Thomas Harlander 35 Comments

    Following the inauguration of literal Bond villain Donald Trump, Californians have taken the first steps toward secession. The California Secretary of State just gave the Yes California Independence movement the green light to start gathering signatures to put #Calexit on the ballot in November 2018, LA Weekly reports. A substantial 585,407 signatures are needed, and the organizers of the movement have until July 25 to get them.

    If the measure does end up on the ballot and is approved, it would repeal the provision in the state constitution saying we must be part of the United States and would allow for a vote on actual secession at a later date. After that, Calexit would require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution—a looong shot, but not impossible. Will it ever happen? If this were 2015 (pre-Brexit, pre-Trump) the obvious answer would be no. But now, who’s to say?

    On the other hand, #CalExit doesn’t sound so bad anymore…

    — Thomas Middleditch (@Middleditch) January 29, 2017

    Imagine it. A promised land of delectable sunshine, surfing, free college, no border wall, flourishing communities of refugees and immigrants, people ironically and nonironically saying “hella” all mingling together without judgment, increasingly intersectional Star Wars movies, a marijuana farm in every backyard, SJW snowflakes brought on as advisors to all major corporations, statues of Kamala Harris—our new queen—in every public square, a ban on guns (and knives and particularly aggressive-looking ladles), mandatory pussyhats, In-N-Out vouchers for all. Oh man, the potential.

    If you’re down to channel the reckless populism that seems to be the spirit of the age, or want take your California pride to the next level, or just feel the need to stage the ultimate rebellion against Trump, you can sign the petition here.”

    20

    • #
      yarpos

      Three sets of Ca senators and three sets of electoral college votes doesnt sound good for the Repubs. On the other hand an exit …

      10

      • #
        Davidsb

        Last analysis I saw was that the two rural/agricultural sections would lean towards the Republicans, with the third section (coastal/cities) would be heavily Democrat-oriented.

        So, on balance probably good for the GOP…..

        20

        • #
          yarpos

          Last one I saw had it north , south and the valley inland. I doubt SF/Sacremento dominated north will be Republican, and LA/San Diego was lost decades ago. So I reckon one out of three which would be backward.

          A better outcome woul be the single break away of the State of Jefferson group, which has been kicking around for many years. Rural areas and the north beyond SF. Just one new State and a definite Repub leaning.

          00

  • #
    pat

    10 May: Reuters: Asia coal industry sees blue skies, ignores storm clouds
    by Clyde Russell
    Asia’s coal miners, shippers and traders are seeing strong demand and rising prices for their fuel, and they expect this happy situation to persist for several years to come.
    It was a challenge to find anybody pessimistic about the outlook for coal in Asia, the world’s largest producing and consuming region, at this week’s annual gathering of the industry on the Indonesian resort island of Bali…

    Certainly, it would seem that the industry has some reason to be optimistic, with Chinese imports up 9.3 percent in the first four months of the year, and hopes that India’s two years of declining imports will end in 2018…
    Prices are also performing better recently, with Australian benchmark thermal coal at Newcastle Port up to $101.35 a tonne in the week ended May 6, a gain of 11.6 percent from the low so far this year of $90.68 at the end of March.

    Even low-rank Indonesian coal is performing better, with Argus Media assessing 4,200 kilocalorie per kilogram (kcal/kg) coal at $42.79 a tonne in the week to May 4, up from the 2018 low of $41.08 on April 13, and 18.2 percent higher than the low for 2017 of $36.20 in May of that year.

    The main driver of coal’s improving performance is Chinese demand, with traders reporting buying interest from China for a variety of coal grades, from low-rank Indonesian fuel to higher quality coal from Australia…
    But India’s imports are up slightly in the first four months of 2018, to 60.4 million tonnes, a gain of 3 percent over the 58.6 million recorded in the same period last year…

    Indonesia, the top shipper of thermal coal used in power plants, has put in place policies aimed at directing more of its coal to the domestic market…

    ***In Australia, the main constraint on boosting exports is environmental activism against the industry, which is becoming more sophisticated as well as popular with the public.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-column-russell-coal-asia/asia-coal-industry-sees-blue-skies-ignores-storm-clouds-russell-idUSKBN1IB0IL

    Reuters’ writer Clyde Russell:

    LinkedIn: Clyde Russell, Asia Commodities & Energy Columnist at Thomson Reuters, Launceston, Australia
    Previous: Bloomberg, West Australian Newspapers, Dow Jones Newswires
    Education: University of the Witwatersrand
    Summary: I also contribute as a speaker/moderator/chairman at regional forums such as the Asia Oil & Gas Conference, Asia Commodities Week and various Coaltrans events.
    Experience:
    Asia Energy Team Leader, Bloomberg
    June 2006 – April 2011
    Education: University of the Witwatersrand
    BA, English, Politics, Economics

    10

  • #
    pat

    10 May: BusinessInsider: One developed country is moving back to coal
    by Haley Zaremba, OilPrice.com
    • Japan is moving back to coal.
    • The move would make 26% of the country’s electricity come from coal by 2030.
    • The coal industry may actually be revived for the moment, as China and India are also using more coal.

    Japan, in a move that few could have foreseen, has opened at least eight brand new coal-burning power plants in the last two years and has plans for at least 36 more in the next ten years.
    This ambitious return to coal far outstrips any other developed nation, and it’s only speeding up. Last month the Japanese government made major advancements to officially adopt a national energy plan that would see 26 percent of the country’s total electricity come from coal in 2030, directly contradicting a previous directive to cut back coal usage to just 10 percent of total electricity…

    However, despite all the love lost for nuclear, there are also plenty of critics to Japan’s new direction, who say that the government is being weak on renewables and that the return to coal guarantees a major rise in air pollution, standing in direct conflict with Japan’s pledges to cut its greenhouse gas emissions. As it stands now, the country is responsible for a whopping 4 percent of global emissions, and that’s before the impending construction of 36 coal plants over the next decade.

    However, despite all the love lost for nuclear, there are also plenty of critics to Japan’s new direction, who say that the government is being weak on renewables and that the return to coal guarantees a major rise in air pollution, standing in direct conflict with Japan’s pledges to cut its greenhouse gas emissions. As it stands now, the country is responsible for a whopping 4 percent of global emissions, and that’s before the impending construction of 36 coal plants over the next decade…

    Japan’s hunger for coal is not purely domestic–last month the government of Wyoming announced that the Japan Coal Energy Center and Kawasaki Heavy Industries intend to spend $9 million in grant funding for research of carbon capture near the U.S. city of Gillette…

    In addition to their research on carbon innovations in Wyoming, Japan is also looking for other ways to greenify coal, including looking into the fossil fuel as a possible source of energy for hydrogen-powered cars. In fact, Japanese engineering firm Kawasaki Heavy Industries has partnered with Australia to turn their cheap coal into hydrogen gas in a new Melbourne-based $390m pilot plant…

    Just a few years ago, any expert would have told you that Japan’s coal industry was on its last legs as well…

    So far, the turn has been a boon to the economy. In one example, Japanese trading house Itochu Corp recently announced a 13.7 percent boost in annual net profit, and they attribute a large portion of it to higher coal prices thanks to the newfound demand. They’ve predicted that the current financial year will also be one of their best.

    Against all odds, coal is making a comeback in at least one major global market, and with China and India (two of the largest markets in the world) continuing to depend heavily on coal, it looks like the once-ailing industry may have some life left in it after all.
    http://uk.businessinsider.com/japan-moving-back-to-coal-2018-5/?r=AU&IR=T

    20

  • #
    pat

    11 May: MiningMonthly: Hogsback on the next coal boom
    HOGSBACK reckons he knows things are looking up when there is a float on the stock exchange for a coal mining company.
    This week an IPO was announced not only for a coal company but for a pure play hard coking coal company, which means times are definitely becoming more interesting.
    It will not be too long before taxi and Uber drivers in Mackay and Newcastle will be giving you coal mining company stock tips, like they do for gold stocks in Kalgoorlie.

    This week Bounty Mining announced it would be raising $18 million and its main asset is the Cook Colliery in Queensland…
    This could be the start of the next surge of coal mining investment…
    Cook Colliery produces a high quality hard coking coal product that has been accepted in the main export markets of China and Japan.
    Bounty has already secured a strategic investment in the IPO from an investment vehicle associated with Xcoal Energy and Resources, a US-headquartered, privately-owned global coal marketing and logistics company…

    You know there is change in the air when a company can get a longwall mine that was literally underwater, organise an IPO and secure a major investor and offtake customer all in 12 months. Let the good times roll.
    http://www.miningmonthly.com/hogsback/international-coal-news/1338093/hogsback-on-the-next-coal-boom

    10 May: KallanishEnergy: Bangladesh inks deal with CHDHK to build coal-fired plant
    The state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has signed a joint-venture agreement with China Huadian Hong Kong Company Ltd. to build a 1,320-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Bangladesh.

    The JV expects within a month to begin construction on the $2 billion power plant project at Moheshkhali Island in Cox’s Bazar district, 415 kilometers (258 miles) southeast of Dhaka, Kallanish Energy reports.
    The project is expected to be completed in four years, BPDB director Mohammad Saiful Islam said, Reuters reported…
    Bangladesh State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid, said Maheshkhali will be transformed into an energy hub within the next three to four years…

    Earlier this year, the state-owned Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh (CPGCBL) began contruction on the 1,200 MW Matarbari power plant in Cox’s Bazar District, Bangladesh.
    The BDT360 billion ($4.33 billion) Matarbari ultra super critical coal-fired power plant will feature two units of 600 MW each.
    Last August, CPGCBL awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the power plant’s construction to a consortium including Sumitomo, Toshiba and IHI Corp. As part of the contract, a deep-sea port will be also constructed by the consortium on Matarbari Island.

    Upon its commissioning, the Matarbari power plant is expected to contribute 10% of the total power generation capacity of the country, the Dhaka Tribune newspaper reported.
    Bangladesh, which is currently facing a daily power shortage of between 1,000 MW and 1,500 MW, has said it plans to provide electricity to all of its citizens by 2021.
    https://www.kallanishenergy.com/2018/05/10/bangladesh-inks-deal-with-chdhk-to-build-coal-fired-plant/

    00

  • #
    pat

    9 May: TheNational UAE: While coal is a dirty word to some, Africa is relying on it
    African Development Bank backs coal and it should be seen as critical to the continent’s development, says chief executive of the World Coal Association
    by Gavin du Venage
    One by one international financiers are pledging to end coal energy finance but the Africa Development Bank (ADB) remains a holdout and continues to fund projects on the world’s most electricity-poor continent…

    It was coal, however, that underpinned the industrial revolution that changed the West from an agrarian backwater to the technological master of the world for the past three centuries. In recent decades emerging markets such as China have also embraced coal to power the factories that transformed it, and other Asian economies, into industrial powerhouses.

    The UAE, along with other Arabian Gulf nations, is also to introduce coal to its energy mix; The 2,400 megawatt Hassyan clean coal power station in Saih Shuaib, Dubai is nearing completion at a cost of around $3.4 billion.

    From its headquarters in Abidjan on the Ivory Coast the ADB is one of Africa’s major investors with loan capital of around $32bn. For its part the bank wants coal to be part of Africa’s electrical future. The ABD’s president confirmed that coal would be included in future energy funding options.
    “Africa must develop its energy sector with what it has,” said Akinwumi Adesina. “Endowed with many different energy sources – both renewable and conventional – Africa needs a balanced energy mix.”

    ADB figures show the continent has the lowest electrification rate in the world, with consumption per capita estimated at 613 kilowatt hours per person per year, barely enough to run a refrigerator. Europe, meanwhile, consumes 6,500 kWh per person a year, and in the US it’s even higher at 13,000 kWh.

    Africa’s energy provision is dire. Nigeria, the most populated country on the continent with 150 million people, routinely struggles to distribute 5,000MW a day – less than half the 12,500MW Abu Dhabi can produce for its relatively tiny population of 1.1 million.
    Nigeria can in fact produce an extra 2,000MW a day, but cannot distribute it because it lacks the transmission infrastructure to get it to customers.

    Africa loses up to 4 per cent of its annual gross domestic product from energy bottlenecks and inefficiencies the ADB says. More than a century after the light bulb was invented, 645 million of its people still have no electricity…
    “This natural resource should be seen as critical to the continent’s development,” says Benjamin Sporton, chief executive of the World Coal Association. “The fuel currently provides 41 per cent of the world’s electricity.”…
    https://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/while-coal-is-a-dirty-word-to-some-africa-is-relying-on-it-1.728838

    10 May: TheNational UAE: Africa wants the same opportunity as the West had to develop
    Coal is abundant across Africa. South Africa alone has around 200 billion tonnes – enough to keep the lights on for at least 200 years
    by Gavin du Venage
    The West used coal to power its industrial revolution and now many developing countries argue they should not be held back from using this abundant resource to do the same.

    Coal is abundant across Africa. South Africa alone has around 200 billion tonnes – enough to keep the lights on for at least 200 years, according to figures by government electricity utility Eskom, which wants to be able to use the resource for more power generation. Other countries in the region such as Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana also have vast reserves.

    Most Arabian Gulf oil exporters have the blessing of being close to the ocean, meaning they can readily export their crude and thus monetise an important resource. Coal deposits in Southern Africa are harder to ship, since they require rail infrastructure and ports.

    Since countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe are landlocked, they rely on neighbouring nations for access to the sea. Some with coal plus a coastline still have difficulty getting their product to market. Tanzania has deposits in the Mbeya area, nearly 700 kilometres eastwards from the coastline and port of Dar es Salaam.

    As a result, coal-rich countries are looking at alternatives to turning their coal resources into bankable assets. One way is to build small-scale electricity plants at the coal source. Tanzania’s Mbeya coal to power project, for instance, will see a 300 megawatt plant built in the far west of the country. Much of its power will be exported to neighbouring countries such as Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, both of which experience chronic energy shortages.

    Others are being a little more ambitious. Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe are in talks over a $550 million port and 1,700km rail venture. This will link the coalfields of the latter two countries to Mozambique on the East coast of Africa, making exports to Asia and the Gulf a possibility.

    Of course, coal energy must now compete with renewables, which present a far more appealing environmental profile. However, it is unlikely that many African countries will be able to afford – or even have access to – some of the backup solutions required to turn wind and solar into a 24/7 resource.
    Pumped hydro stations that use electricity during off-peak demand hours to send water uphill, then allowing it to run down and turn turbines, are a common form of energy storage in the West. But many African countries lack the water resources or geography to make such projects widely available…

    Batteries are also unlikely to make it as a form of energy storage in African countries any time soon, as the add-on complexity of such a systems would make electricity unaffordable for most. While solar and wind projects are now common across the continent, especially Southern Africa, the need for base power remains.

    For now, it appears countries with coal reserves and a shortage of electricity will old-school it and continue to build fossil-fuel burning plants to meet the needs of their growing populations.
    https://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/africa-wants-the-same-opportunity-as-the-west-had-to-develop-1.728836

    50

    • #
      Ross

      Great to see the Africans finally telling the zealots that they are just going to get on with it and produce cheap electricity for it’s citizens.

      80

    • #
      yarpos

      “For now, it appears countries with coal reserves and a shortage of electricity will old-school it and continue to build fossil-fuel burning plants to meet the needs of their growing populations.”

      Old school it? seriously? they make it sound like there is actually a viable affordable alternative.

      50

  • #
    Ross

    Off topic but this is something everyone has to watch

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/05/09/un-pushes-for-paris-agreement-on-steroids/

    I know in NZ the current Govt. would sign something like this without even reading what it is all about. I suspect Australia would act in a similar way (ie both Governments seem to have had a big gulp of the Greens “cool aid”)

    90

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      We need to get out of the United Nations.

      AUXIT!!

      110

    • #
      el gordo

      I blame Macron for everything.

      ‘The 193-member world body approved the resolution on a vote of 143-5 with seven abstentions. The US was joined in voting against the resolution by Russia, Turkey, Syria and the Philippines.’

      Oz

      30

  • #
    Greg in NZ

    I hear it’s a little chilly & snowy over there on the continent today – can we send you some warm clothing? A sack of prime NZ black coal maybe? As per your ABC – Aus Back-to-front Crew – in reference to Macquarie St in Hobart, “It was really crazy to see what used to be a road was literally a river.” Hang on… wasn’t it originally a river, which then became a road, which has now returned back to being a river again? Ah yes, the cycle of life.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-11/hobart-weather-flash-flooding-record-rainfall/9750032

    “UTAS students posted videos earlier today of a tide of water engulfing the corridors of the science block.” I love Nature’s sense of humour when she educates the young’ns with a little practical, hands-on-deck, real world ™learnings™.

    100

    • #
      yarpos

      Kiwi warmies are good! My wife bought some slippers in NZ when we visited in winter once. She got to the counter and was asked “Just the sluppers then love?” keeping her composure she responded “yep, just the sluppers”.

      80

      • #
        Greg in NZ

        I’m surprised a pair of possum-fur nupple warmers weren’t thrown in for good measure – yep, there’s such a theeng… or is that thung ; ))

        00

  • #
    Eddie

    What IS the point of a battery you cannot connect to?

    Storing up reserves for the future?

    In that sense coal may be the best battery there is. Stored for us by nature.

    70

  • #
    pat

    comment in moderation re Qld coal story: 11 May: MiningMonthly: Hogsback on the next coal boom

    10 May: ClimateChangeNews: Eyes on ministers to intervene as UN climate talks get mired in old battles
    Eyes on ministers to intervene as UN climate talks get mired in old battles
    By Karl Mathiesen
    Ministers from the EU and China must intervene to rescue talks on putting the Paris climate pact into action, a top EU negotiator said on Thursday…

    Elina Bardram, head of the EU delegation, said attempts to write different rules for rich and poor countries into the Paris Agreement were a “recurring theme”.
    Climate ministers from the EU and China are set to meet at least twice this year in the lead up to a major summit in Katowice, Poland in December – billed as the most important since the Paris deal was struck. Bardram said their high-level political intervention was needed to resolve the issue…

    One of the priorities for wealthy countries in the Paris Agreement was to move beyond a two-tier approach, getting emerging economies like China, Brazil and India to take more responsibility.
    According to the developed world, the Paris deal changed the dynamic of global climate diplomacy. EU negotiator Elina Bardram said the division based on 1990s income levels was “not of this world anymore”. Li Shuo, from Greenpeace East Asia, described that position as: “We are moving into a new house and we want to abandon the old furniture.”

    But high emitting middle income nations do not want let industrialised countries off the hook for their polluting history.

    Now they are pushing to return elements of the original convention to the rules of Paris Agreement. The deal does contain ambiguity on this issue, opening the door to a political fight. Observers predict that when talks reconvene in Bangkok, China and Saudi Arabia will make aggressive attempts to keep strict divisions between rich and poor in the text.

    ***No US, Chinese or Saudi representatives would speak to CHN (ClimateChangeNews).

    Meena Raman, of the Third World Network, said: “The story of climate violence is full of villains who for decades have grown rich off their polluting activities. They bear a historical responsibility – and they owe the rest of the world a debt.”…
    “Some parties are bringing back some issues that were closed in Paris, but we will be guided by the Paris Agreement,” said Ethiopian diplomat Endalew. He said the US intention to withdraw from the deal had been a “major factor” that may have emboldened China.
    “It creates a kind of mistrust. The momentum which has been created in Paris was: we all will be leaders in the process, whether you are developed or developing,” he said. “But the US withdrawal immediately the Paris Agreement has contributed a lot for parties to reconsider and are kind of looking backward.”…ETC
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/05/10/eyes-ministers-intervene-un-climate-talks-get-mired-old-battles/

    10 May: ClimateChangeNews: Bonn voyage: ‘Satisfactory’ session leaves the hard work to Bangkok
    By Karl Mathiesen, Megan Darby and Soila Apparicio
    “The issue of finance underpins so many different parts of climate negotiations, because poor countries simply can’t cover the triple costs of loss and damage, adaptation and mitigation on their own,” said Harjeet Singh of Action Aid. Developed country intransigence on the issue, he added, was “holding up the whole package”.
    “The risk of gridlock at Cop24 is high,” agreed Tracy Carty, of Oxfam. “Developed countries need to get serious about the need to improve predictability of climate finance, and put new commitments to real money on the table by Cop24.”
    It’s fundamental to trust, said Christian Aid’s Mohamed Adow: “The radio silence on money has sown fears among poor countries that their wealthier counterparts are not serious about honouring their promises.”…

    Location, location
    It’s a long way from being decided – Turkey and Italy are also in the running – but the newly announced UK bid to host UN climate talks in 2020 has got some positive reaction on social media.
    James Murray, editor of Business Green, tweeted: “UK would be able to present a very strong bid. It’s got long-standing, unequivocal, cross party support for climate action, the deepest emissions cuts of any G7 nation, a coal phase out, green finance hub, and world’s largest offshore wind industry.” Environmentalist Tony Juniper of WWF UK is also in favour.
    It could be awkward timing though, noted E3G’s Jonathan Gaventa, coming just weeks before the end of the Brexit transition period.

    UK talks would certainly save CHN some travel time, from our London base. But to really showcase the clean transition, we should head out of the capital to the likes of Hull, Sunderland or Aberdeen.
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/05/10/bonn-voyage-satisfactory-session-leaves-hard-work-bangkok/

    20

    • #
      pat

      good old Hank, he of the Risky Business triumvirate along with Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer:

      9 May: ChinaDaily: Paulson Institute to support growth of green finance market
      By Zheng Xin
      The Paulson Institute’s green finance center will support China’s development of a robust green finance market with market-based solutions.
      The center, led by Deborah Lehr, vice-chairman of the Chicago-based think tank and research institution, marks a major step in the institute’s efforts to promote sustainable economic growth and environmental protection in China and the United States, it said.

      “The development of green finance is a top priority for China and one that aligns with the Paulson Institute’s mission,” said Paulson Institute Chairman Henry M. Paulson, Jr on Tuesday during a news conference in Beijing
      “The Paulson Institute’s green finance center will work to help China achieve low-carbon economic growth, while strengthening US-China financial and commercial ties through promoting transparent, rules-based and market-oriented solutions.”

      China is moving full speed ahead to establish a green financing mechanism to support the economy’s transition to sustainable growth, putting its full weight behind green financing…

      Ma Jun, chief research economist at the central bank, estimated that the costs of cleaning up China’s environment and meeting its commitment of achieving peak carbon emissions by around 2030 will amount to over 3 trillion yuan ($450 billion) annually.

      Public sector financing can only cover about 15 percent of the estimated costs according to the People’s Bank of China, which means innovative financial mechanisms must be developed to help attract the necessary private sector financing to reduce carbon emissions and support environmental protection…

      The center’s efforts will build upon the Paulson Institute’s current green finance program, which has developed partnerships with leading Chinese and international organizations to promote thought leadership, test new ideas, and develop innovative means of financing green development…

      Key international stakeholders with which the Green Finance Center will work closely include the China Green Finance Committee, Tsinghua National Institute of Financial Research and its international partners, the UN Environment Program, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Institute of International Finance, and the Sustainable Digital Alliance.
      http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201805/09/WS5af25760a3105cdcf651cd47.html

      20

      • #
        pat

        free community papers such as Portland Tribune, part of the Pamplin Media group, don’t hesitate to publish PR rubbish like this:

        19 Apr: Portland Tribune: EARTHTALK: Michael Bloomberg to the Rescue
        (EARTHTALK – QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT OUR ENVIRONMENT)
        by Doug Moss and Roddy Scheer
        Dear EarthTalk: Since when did Michael Bloomberg become a great environmentalist?-Jackie Miller, New York, NY
        EARTHTALK: Michael Bloomberg was primarily known as a financier and media tycoon long before he became one of the most beloved mayors in New York City history. But what most people still don’t know about Bloomberg is that he is fast becoming one of the world’s great environmentalists through his work to hasten the transition to renewable energy and mitigate the effects of climate change.

        Indeed, working to stave off cataclysmic global warming is nothing new to Michael Bloomberg…

        Meanwhile, Bloomberg has been quietly directing hundreds of millions of dollars toward climate-related environmental causes through his Bloomberg Philanthropies.

        In 2011, he made waves with the fossil fuel industry by donating $50 million (and later another $30 million) to help the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign close half of all U.S. coal power plants (and replace them with clean energy) within six years…

        In late 2013, Bloomberg teamed up with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and another billionaire environmentalist, Tom Steyer, on Risky Business, an initiative to assess and publicize the economic risks to the U.S. associated with climate change…

        It’s no wonder that environmentalists are among those calling for a Bloomberg presidential bid in 2020.
        https://portlandtribune.com/sl/392566-284946-earthtalk-michael-bloomberg-to-the-rescue-

        Youtube: 3min49secs: 8 May: EARTHTALK: Michael Bloomberg to the Rescue (2 views, both me)
        posted by Michael Bloomberg
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFLA8wCCRlA

        if you click on Bloomberg’s name for the rest of the youtube videos being posted under his name, there are scores, but all in the past week. seems he is considering a run for the presidency!

        as for EARTHTALK:

        EARTHTALK.ORG: EarthTalk is a 501(c)3 non-profit which leverages the power of the media to “preach beyond the choir” on green living, sustainability and the need to protect the environment.
        Our syndicated EarthTalk Q&A column reaches tens of millions of readers every week through our network of 800+ syndication partners, many of which are small-town weekly newspapers across America’s heartland. Our EarthTalk.org and Emagazine.com websites reach millions more online…Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to EarthTalk today!

        10

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      pat:
      I see you have been quoted in Not A Lot of People Know That.

      40

  • #
    Hanrahan

    Hi guys, I’ve got an off topic Q for the mathematicians amongst us.

    Testing my download speed there is a message “Your speed had a 43% middle variance”. What are they telling me?

    20

    • #
      Robber

      It is simply the range of download speeds during the test compared to the average. So less variance is better. The issue is whether it’s something on your machine that is interrupting the download or whether it’s in the network. Run the test a few times at different times.

      30

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      They’re telling you that your ‘puter has the Tassy disease.

      Download varies dependent on whether the connector is connected.

      43% of your download is going into the Middle Kingdom.

      30

    • #
      yarpos

      Worked in IT for decades and one of my favourite (!?) things is error messages.

      They are usually impenetrable by anyone outside IT

      They are barely penetrable by anyone inside IT

      They rarely convey anything useful in regard to whats wrong or next steps

      They often use the same error message to indicate many different errors

      They are often best and least frustrating when they are in a foriegn language

      00

  • #
    PeterF

    Even I think that the Tassie battery of the nation isn’t going to happen. A single link is too unreliable even if it wasn’t as problematic as this one and for a billion dollars for 500 MW for a second you could build 1,000 MW of pumped hydro on the mainland without the transmission losses

    30

  • #
    yarpos

    ““We’ve seen what South Australia has done, Tasmania could have been been leading the charge here,” Ms White said.”

    We humans are bizzare creatures arent we? We look at exactly the same scenarios and outcomes and see completly different things. Seriously? she aspired to emulate SA? wow!

    50

  • #
    Another Ian

    Battery of the nation

    This one?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_(crime)

    40

  • #
    pat

    comment in moderation which includes possible run by Michael Bloomberg for the Presidency in 2020.

    looks like Tom Steyer has similar plans – no mention, of course of Bloomberg’s connections to Steyer via Risky Business:

    25 Apr: Bloomberg: Call Him Mr. Impeachment: Tom Steyer’s War Against Donald Trump
    A lot of Democrats think the billionaire investor is the wrong man with the wrong idea. Ask him if he cares.
    By Max Abelson
    Narcissism was in the air in Washington. On a February night a few hundred yards from the White House, Tom Steyer, the hedge fund billionaire and political activist, had taken over three rooms at the National Press Club for a panel called Presidential Mental Health & Nuclear Weapons. On the dais, two psychiatrists, a psychologist, a Jungian author, and a warhead-security specialist were settling into blue chairs in front of a blue curtain. They were there to discuss the matter of Donald Trump’s ego. But Steyer, stepping to the lectern by their side, was unmistakably the star of the show. Applause broke out. He smiled and locked eyes with people around the room. Fans following the Facebook livestream sent thumbs-ups by the thousands as he and the five speakers set about explaining why Trump’s sadism, paranoia, unpredictability, and self-obsession make him ill-suited to nuclear weaponry…

    Thus far, he’s pledged about $40 million for Need to Impeach and an additional $30 million to get millennials into voting booths in November. He views himself as the leader of a movement to deliver America from evil—not one of those billionaires who cut checks merely to buy influence in Washington. Never mind that Steyer spent more on disclosed donations during the 2014 and 2016 election cycles than anyone else, according to the Center for Responsive Politics…
    He stepped down from the dais and was mobbed. As aides tried to usher him out, Steyer hugged and high-fived…
    ***He was still gabbing as he left, the long goodbye of a born candidate…
    “When you’re absolutely sure you’re right and you’re fighting for the things you think are most important, then there’s also great joy in being able, once you’re in it, to push as hard as you can”
    The “we” risked coming off as royal, but Steyer was reaching for the unifying vibe of a stump speech…

    He didn’t see Trump coming. But only a few hours after the election, he published a pledge that he’d stand up to the incoming president. In July, six months into Trump’s term, something new took shape. Steyer changed NextGen Climate’s name to NextGen America and said its mission would expand to include health care, equality, and immigration issues….
    (He and his wife, Kat, own a mansion overlooking San Francisco Bay, a place whose marketing brochure showed a ballroom, five bedrooms, and two fireplaces. They also have an 1,800-acre cattle ranch down the coast.). In September, Steyer met Democratic consultant Kevin Mack, a direct-mail specialist who’s worked for Planned Parenthood and the AFL-CIO. “I sat down with him to talk about a whole range of things: ‘This is what it might look like to run for office, this is what it might look like to start a movement,’ ” Mack said…

    Steyer decided to launch this movement outside the auspices of NextGen America, choosing the name Need to Impeach. He shot the fireplace spot and bought time on cable, including enemy territory: Fox News…
    By February, Need to Impeach had about 40 staffers and a headquarters in a San Francisco Beaux Arts building. The group set up a war room for opposition research, plus a media arm and a legislative outreach team, and sent Steyer on a 30-stop tour to press his case across the U.S…

    His teams at NextGen and Need to Impeach include flacks and Obama veterans, even a body man who keeps his Honest Tea at the ready. He’s been known to invoke Lincoln twice in an hour ***while espousing policies that position him as a billionaire Bernie Sanders: single-payer health insurance, higher taxes for the rich, and ***clean energy…

    Although Steyer did the same (DENIED HE WOULD RUN FOR SENATE IN) 2018, he’s been coy about 2020, refusing to say whether he’ll run for the White House…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-04-25/billionaire-tom-steyer-s-quest-to-impeach-trump

    Steyer is getting maximum positive MSM coverage almost daily as he travels across America with his “Impeach” nonsense.

    20

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    ROAR

    Reality

    Of

    Australian

    Renewables.

    An informative post on ROAR.

    Thanks Jo.

    20

  • #
    John PAK

    In Wales the Dinorwic pump storage scheme was built to absorb excess night-time generation, primarily from Wylfa Head (nuclear) power station. It was used as a rapid response unit for unexpected demand spikes on the national grid and paid for itself fairly quickly. If applied appropriately pump storage is a sensible way of smoothing out fluctuations in supply and demand but will never be a source of energy as hydro is in Norway. UK and Australia do not have sufficient annual precipitation.

    00