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Gamechanger: Chinese Crypto Miners can get 8c cheap electricity in Australia using our coal power

Wow. Wait til word gets out. This is dynamite.

Chinese Bitcoin miners are reopening the Hunter Valley coal power station called Redbank in NSW. They have a deal that gets around our gargantuan, mismanaged grid by buying coal power direct for 8c/kWh, while Australians in the same place pay 28c/kWh.

This is exactly the nightmare the head of the Australian Energy Management Organisation (AEMO) spoke of just last week — that “big players could abandon the grid”. That’s a degenerate spiral leaving a shrinking pool of suckers to pay for the inefficient, bird-killing, blackout prone, witchdoctor grid.

Bitcoin mining’s growing demand for cheap energy revived a shuttered coal mine

Ashat Rathi, Quartz

Consumers there pay, on average, $A0.28 ($0.22) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity. But Hunter Energy, which owns Redbank, are offering the crypto miners electricity at a fraction of the cost. The “first-of-its-kind” deal, as the Age puts it, will see the crypto miners pay only A$0.08 per kWh in the day and A$0.05 per kWh at night. Hunter Energy told the Age that the price is feasible because the electricity produced at the coal power plant would go straight to the crypto miners, bypassing—and thus, presumably, avoiding the costs of using—the grid. (Quartz has reached out to Hunter Energy for a comment.)

This tells everyone all they need to know about “cheap” renewables. Eight cents is the big-commercial retail rate of coal powered reliable electricity in Australia, and anything else is nuts.

The cheap deal will mainly apply to those close to the plant (near Singleton) because building long transmission lines is too expensive. Any day now, the large smelters in NSW will start adding up the cost of either relocating or building a transmission line.

It’s not surprising that this comes from crypto industry first. It must be one of the most transportable high-electricity-need industries there is.

Three messages here:

  1. The free market can solve Australian electricity price hell in a flash.
  2. Coal power is cheap, cheap, cheap, and even small coal plants are viable and valuable. (This one is only 150MW)
  3. Wind and solar are not competitive. Subsidized renewables are the major thing making our grid expensive.

We could run again as a nation using coal for our entire baseload — with some gas to power the peaks.  The only thing stopping us is our desire to change the global climate.

Please, someone add up the total octopus-costs of bizarre weather-changing policies.

The Turnbull government will surely try to ban this or tax it to oblivion.

Big implications – 130MW of cheap electricity suddenly available in the Hunter Valley

Here’s a “disrupter” Audrey Zibelman (the AEMO head) didn’t see coming. The Australian market is begging for cheap electricity and right now one place, ONE, can offer it at a third of the price that everyone else pays:

Hunter Energy says cryptocurrency mining will only consume, at most 20 megawatts (MW) of the coal plant’s 150MW capacity. The region “needs more baseload power,” Hunter Energy’s CEO Jim Myatt told the Age. Baseload power is industry jargon for the ability to provide power on demand, which is something solar and wind power cannot do because they are beholden to the vagaries of nature.

Suddenly the land and buildings near Redbank just stepped up in valuation. If you run a small business (or big one) where electricity is a large part of your costs, and you can move to tap into that, why not?

How about our other recently closed coal plants in Australia? What other towns and areas would be reincarnated as cheap manufacturing or “mining” zones? Imagine what this could do for the LaTrobe Valley? Collie in WA? Liddell?

h/t to Peter Rees for this list.  Which of these can be reopened, and which have been blown up.?

CLOSED  COAL PLANTS
Year Name State

MW

Company
2011 Munmorah NSW

1400

Delta electricity
2012 Colllinsville QLD

190

Ratch-Australia
Playford B SA

240

Alinta energy
Swanbank B QLD

480

CS energy
2014 Morwell VIC

189

Energy Aust.
Redbank NSW

151

Redbank energy
Wallerawang NSW

1000

Energy Australia
2015 Anglesea VIC

160

Alcoa
2016 Northern SA

520

Alinta Energy
2017 Hazelwood VIC

1600

Engie

5930

I’ve suggested this scenario on the blog before — in a free market people would band together to fund their own coal power. I wondered if large miners could do it, but I assumed it would be illegal.

Redbank, small, “carbon polluting” and newish coal plant

According to Wikipedia — Redbank is a small coal plant commissioned in 2001. It used coal tailings, was theoretically the least efficient most greenhouse gas generating plant in Australia, was (maybe) hurt by carbon taxing policies, closed in 2014 and will be reopened in early 2019.

Redbank was fuelled by beneficiated, dewatered tailings from the Mount Thorley Warkworth mine at Warkworth, delivered by conveyor. In lay terms this is the part of the coal waste which would otherwise not be utilised, and simply buried as the mines progress.

According to Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA), in 2007 Redbank emitted more climate change and global warming causing greenhouse gases per unit of electricity generated than any other power station in Australia.[3] CARMA estimates this power station emits 1.06 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year as a result of burning coal.[4]

(Note that no data from the actual plant, operator or Australian Government is actually used to base these approximate assumptions on. CARMA uses a statistical model that predicts CO2 emissions given the size, age, fuel type, estimated capacity utilization, and engineering specifications of individual plants.)

Like all NSW coal plants Redback was hard hit by the carbon tax:

17 April 2012: The Age: Brian Robins: Biggest carbon emitter slashes asset value as tax looms

The state-owned power generator has cut asset values by more than a third, to $1.1 billion from $1.86 billion, by booking a heavy $700 million write-off in the first such big financial hit due to the looming carbon tax introduction. As the nation’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, Macquarie Generation faces a direct annual tax of $460 million, which will flow into the government’s coffers, if it maintains electricity output at present levels….

Victoria has dirtier coal-fired power stations as they use brown coal, which emits more carbon dioxide. As a result, its generators will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from the federal government, which will allow them to continue polluting.

The only NSW power station to receive support from the federal government is a small producer, Redbank, which is to receive just $8.8 million. ”This loss of value is a direct hit to New South Wales as a result of federal Labor’s carbon tax,” said NSW Finance Minister and Acting Treasurer Greg Pearce.

Victorian brown coal plants received $2b in compensation for the carbon tax. Many of these were owned by foreign companies. The NSW government owned Macquarie and got almost nothing.

In any case, why give compensation for a tax designed to put the same businesses out of business? Insanity.

 h/t GWPF, and belatedly Pat too!

 

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Gamechanger: Chinese Crypto Miners can get 8c cheap electricity in Australia using our coal power, 9.7 out of 10 based on 72 ratings

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207 comments to Gamechanger: Chinese Crypto Miners can get 8c cheap electricity in Australia using our coal power

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    Now you know why Weatherdill wanted the Northern Power Station at Pt. Augusta destroyed ASAP.

    360

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Makes me wonder whether ( ahem ) “favours” have been done to make such facilities……er…..all of a sudden……”available”….?

      And our strategic assets sold off to fund a tech-bubble…

      Its also goes to show you who the bunnies are – our own govts are happy to impoverish the average person to pursue a green mirage, and the hard nosed smart ones come in and buy the bargains.

      We are either supreme idiots as a people, or we are being white-anted by our own politicians….which one is it?

      190

  • #
    TdeF

    Not so sure. It will end up in Court as the Commonwealth public servants try to stop it and all the threatened ‘Clean Energy’ carpetbaggers who are thrilled by the way their act is stuffing the electricity system. The Act covers this direct sale by implying that while it is about grabbing money from resellers, if there is no reseller and people are selling direct, they are deemed to be resellers. I had thought of this, but so had the cunning beeswaxers who wrote the act. It was always designed to frustrate any attempts to stop the illegal culling of electricity payments to go to friends of the Greens, the bankers, the middle men like AGL, the windmill vendors and the solar pushers.

    However the Chinese will meet them in our Court, hire the best lawyers and it will end up in the High Court of Australia as an oppressive money grab, breaking the age old rule about the forced enrichment of third parties as it is not a tax. Such seizure of public money was outlawed by Magna Carta in principle if not in law. Only the Greens and their friends in Canberra would construct such a tax which is not a tax, not about carbon but wipes out the biggest, cheapest suppliers of coal energy.

    400

    • #
      TdeF

      To quote the Act (also known as the RET, Renewable Energy Tax in my view)

      Part 3—Acquisition of electricity

      31 What are relevant acquisitions?

      (1) There are 2 types of relevant acquisitions of electricity. These are:

      (a) a wholesale acquisition (see section 32); and

      (b) a notional wholesale acquisition (see section 33).
      ..
      33

      In this situation, the person who generated the electricity is taken to be 2 persons (the notional generator and the notional wholesaler), and this Act applies as if the notional wholesaler acquired the electricity from the notional generator at the time that the electricity is used. That acquisition is a notional wholesale acquisition.

      So the framers of the Act want their money even in a direct sale. They just declare the two people are three people and demand the cash anyway.

      You have to protect our unique Australia Climate. Legislated theft. Government can tax and fine, they cannot legislate that you have to pay third parties.. for nothing.

      290

      • #
        TdeF

        Renewable Energy Theft. That fits better.

        251

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        The 8 cents is nonsense. The RET and other imposts still have to be paid. If and when big operators go offline it won’t be because of price. It will be for security of supply in a rationed market.

        What do Redbank’s P & L figures say for the last year of operation? Does 8 cents really cover production costs?

        20

        • #
          Hanrahan

          The RET and other imposts still have to be paid.

          That’s the point of the exercise, read TdeF’s post above more closely.

          40

          • #
            Ted O'Brien.

            Don’t expect to be allowed to avoid it.

            I see this as a kite flying exercise. A kite flying exercise that could be very useful. Keep watching.

            10

            • #
              Ted O'Brien.

              As for transmission lines, if the business can be got past the obstacles and up and running, there should be little trouble to hire space on existing transmission lines.

              00

              • #
                Lawrie Ayres

                Redbank was doing fine until Gillard.came along. They burnt reject coal that would have gone to a dump otherwise.

                20

              • #
                Lawrie Ayres

                What is the difference between these people generating their own power and say an off the grid solar system or own diesel generator? The only difference is scale. Would it be wonderful if nearby Singleton decided to go off grid and hook into Redbank. In the 50s Muswellbrook had its own power station so the idea is not new.

                00

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Not if they build a bitcoin mining massive server farm on site and dont export the power outside the power station gorunds.

          I mean, why would you if it means masses of red tape and govt getting under your feet?

          70

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Its also possible the Communist Chinese have blundered in their push for Communism world wide.

          Here is a Communist country undercutting the local imposition of Socialism ( via RET ) and using Capitalism ( if it chooses to sell its power on the grid ) to do it.

          Oh the irony…..

          Hey, at 8c / kwh, I will happily buy from the chinese power plant, and bypass all the local generators and their huge profits……

          70

        • #
          Dave Ward

          Does 8 cents really cover production costs?

          “In lay terms this is the part of the coal waste which would otherwise not be utilised, and simply buried as the mines progress”

          As the fuel is essentially waste, I guess their operating costs are even lower than a normal coal plant?

          30

      • #
        Graeme#4

        I doubt that our large industrial installations in WA’s NW would pay RET when the only use of their electricity is themselves. If I’m correct, surely the same precedence would apply?

        20

        • #
          Graeme#4

          As a part answer, it seems that the NW mines operate from either the 855 MW of the North West Interconnected System (NWIS) or the standalone 893 MW power stations. All of these power stations mainly use natural gas.

          10

      • #
        cohenite

        TdeF; yep, that stuffs the idea; good catch. Scomo, Hunt and turnbull will be all over it like the rash they are.

        00

      • #
        cohenite

        TdeF; there may be exemptions:

        http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/RET/Scheme-participants-and-industry/Renewable-Energy-Target-liable-entities/Calculating-certificate-liability

        Exemptions

        Acquisition of electricity may be exempt from liability purposes (that is, it is not a ‘relevant acquisition’) if:

        Electricity was delivered on a grid of less than 100 MW installed capacity, or
        The end user of the electricity is the entity who also generated the electricity, and either:
        the distance between electricity generation and use is less than 1 km, or
        the electricity transmission line is used solely for the transmission of electricity between the point of generation and point of use.

        40

    • #
      RickWill

      The 2018 RET applies to 16% of usage. With LGCs at $80/MWh the RET corresponds to $12.8/MWh.

      Assuming zero fuel cost and no financing charges it is reasonable to think $30/MWh would cover operating costs. So $42.8/MWh should cover costs. At $80/MWh for the daytime charge they could make a nice profit.

      40

      • #
        Hivemind

        Last year, a company decided it was cheaper to pay the fines than buy RETs. I can’t be bothered to look up the reference, but the green piggies squealed to high heaven.

        60

        • #
          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          I guess this is why the govt apparently has a lot of cash to toss around in the coming budget??
          Cheers,
          Dave B

          10

        • #
          RickWill

          Actually ERM Power held LGCs to surrender but decided it was better to take the $123M hit and get some $164M on the eventual sale of LGCs. I gather it is not treated as a fine but an alternate way of meeting the RET obligation as it resulted in an after tax loss so reduced their tax burden. Of course the benefit of the eventual sale would lift tax burden in 2018. This is from the ERM 2017 Annual Report.

          For the 2016 compliance year, the Company chose to achieve compliance with the Renewable Energy Target scheme by
          paying the Clean Energy Regulator $123m, in lieu of surrendering 1.9 million Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs). This enabled the sale of existing LGC inventory into the market while prices were high, with the Company reaching agreements to procure lower cost LGCs in the future.

          20

  • #
    PeterPetrum

    How interesting, and how exciting! Depending on the outcome of this initiative if it is challenged (and it will be) this could be a turning point. If the power from this generator is not supplied to the grid, but directly to a business or localised groups of businesses it will signal a possible disruption to and the possible end of the national grid as the only supplier of power. This will have to stimulate a re-evaluation of where our baseload power comes from and how it is distributed. This could be the start of a regeneration of generation.

    280

    • #
      TdeF

      The Chinese have the capital to afford the lawyers. They will win. This law is illegal. We have our test case when the Clean Energy people try to shut down the power station because it is not ‘accredited’ or ‘eligible’. At the same time they will use their legislated powers to demand billions for LGCs not bought by a deemed notional wholesaler. This will be a case of Green Canberra public servants fighting the rest of Australia for control of our electricity and our cash. Drain the swamp!

      340

      • #
        PeterS

        The only way the swamp will be drained is if we become another state of the US. Forget it mate. This country is hell bent on going down the socialist path. Perhaps after the crash and burn we will learn.

        81

        • #
          TdeF

          That’s very defeatist. Remember this is a one seat Government. Abbott was booted from his landslide position by a leftist cabal within the Liberal party. No one is happy with a choice between extreme Left Labor Shorten and Labor Lite Turnbull. Both are treacherous villains to the electorate having removed popularly elected leaders and put in their own people and policies. Weatherill is gone. Andrews is history, even a despised Union puppet who has put 60,000 CFA members and families offside and shut Hazelwood by tripling the coal price and wrecking our road and rail systems for his Green friends. Melbourne city traffic is now beyond a disaster, chasing the Green marginal vote. People are angry.

          When the bedwetters in the Liberal party get desperate, they will turn to Abbott. The Labor bedwetters already have Albanese as a last minute surprise. It could be an Abbott v Albanese election because Abbott vs Shorten would be a walkover. Turnbull and Shorten want to fight over taxation. The issues will be the cost of electricity and immigration. Both are red hot issues. We have double the immigration of the UK with half the population. People are angry about both.

          Remove the unlawful RET and the whole wind ripoff would stop and coal would be profitable again. After all, the whole 1.5 trillion dollar business is about CO2 and how much effect has 30 years of carbon hating had on CO2 levels? Trump and Abbott are heroes, except to the communist media who tell us they are unelectable incompetents.

          291

          • #
            PeterS

            You say when the bedwetters in the Liberal party get desperate, they will turn to Abbott. Isn’t that defeatism if it takes desperation to return Abbott? Defeatism is often related to realism. I always hoped for Abbott to be returned as PM but the unfortunately given our style of politics I see little hope of that. I hope your predictions do come true but I’m a realist not a dreamer. One thing is for sure; Abbott is our version of Trump in many ways. He tells it as it is despite all the criticisms he gathers from everyone including his own party. I’m sure he would love to say lots more.

            So unless Abbott does become PM before the next election (highly unlikely) and given the fact our two major parties are in complete agreement on renewables, what hope is there of that changing if one of them is re-elected to form government next time? Stupid is as stupid does if the voters do that, unless one believes the push for more and more renewables is a non-issue.

            90

            • #
              TdeF

              No it is not defeatism to hope for something better. One party room revolt and we would have a chance to destroy the RET in this time in Government. It could be over this year.

              Abbott did a great deal in a short time with an intransigent Senate. Remember the cheering when they defeated his first attempt to remove the Carbon tax? Then the mining tax. Three free trade agreements. Direct action, which Turnbull removed, adopting Green party policy. Remember the 1200 people drowned under Labor? Abbott was ridiculed for advising the Europe against uncontrolled invasion. Now Turnbull is giving the same advice, a legend in his own lunchtime.

              Abbott deserved his time despite his 30 newspolls. If Turnbull had a Turnbull firing up the ABC against him, he would have been history a year ago. The most useless Prime Minister since McMahon. Not an idea in his head. Snowy II defines him. Useless.

              150

              • #
                TdeF

                Besides, if a PM is to chase popularity as measured in polling results, why have a government? Many things parents and governments have to do are unpopular. Otherwise all governments can do is stop things happening, increase taxes and increase spending and try to please minorities, the story of the last ten years, except for the short period under Abbott. Three Green Labor governments, Rudd, Gillard, Turnbull. Remember when one seat Bob Brown was PM?

                50

              • #
                glen Michel

                Not to mention ushering in Labors ‘Safe Schools’ program. It’s fair to say he probably regrets that one.That said I would like to see him return.Abbot Mark2.

                30

              • #
                PeterS

                You assume too much about voters. I’m not so sure how a party that promotes a policy to remove the bias towards renewables and support coal fired power stations will ever be voted to government. I sincerely hope one day we will find out, provided they are voted to government instead of being slaughtered to oblivion. You have to remember Australia is more of a left leaning nation than say the US. A party like the ACP would instantly be a popular one in the US but look how dismal its support is at the moment here. I will certainly be voting for them if they run in my electorate. My guess though it will not only fail to win it but lose it by a very wide margin. This is reality, not defeatism. If I was a defeatist I wouln’t vote at all if the ACP was in my electorate. I think you dream too much. May your dreams turn into reality for all our sakes.

                40

      • #
        cohenite

        This law is illegal.

        TdeF; your analysis is spot on except for this; why do you say the RET is illegal?

        10

    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      I remember when many years ago when they started talking up increasing the price of electricity; it was speculated and postulated about making small scale generators for local streets and districts. Better than having power black-outs, and better than everybody having their own generator running of a night.

      And here we are with exactly that happening; for a different reason, but the idea is scalable. i.e. single dwelling/business, 20 houses/one industrial estate, ect.

      When the aluminium smelter in SA closed down, I rather expected him to simply buy is own coal, feed it into a private power generator and enjoy the cheapest power available; bypass entirely the hassle and cost of buying electricity.

      50

      • #
        toorightmate

        Greg,
        Where was the aluminium smelter in SA?

        30

      • #
        RicDre

        This just proves that Edison was right and Tesla was wrong. If we had just stuck to DC power instead of changing to AC power we would already have a power station every 10 miles or so and wouldn’t need a big, complicated grid to transport the power. As an additional benefit, we wouldn’t need inverters on Wind Generators and Solar Panels to convert the DC to AC. The Green Dream of power supplied locally by Green Energy would then be much simpler to achieve and we would now be living in Green Nirvana.

        313

        • #
          TdeF

          Tesla was right, until the Greens shut the existing power stations as listed. So what, blow up all the power stations and build local biomass converters and a whole new grid system and replace every electrical device in the country?

          Remove the RET and cheap, plentiful power would be available overnight at 4c kw/hr wholesale. There is no Green Nirvana. It is an illogical fantasy, good for no one. CO2 is not our enemy. We are made from it. As are all living things. Green itself is chlorophyll, a long chain hydrocarbon. The Green political movement is a destructive anarchist organization bent on destroying democracies.

          300

        • #
          Graeme#4

          Actually many of the really long transmission lines are HVDC, not AC. Even though there are conversion losses at each end, apparently the transmission losses are less.

          70

          • #
            Kneel

            “Biggest” power lines I know of are 5A1 and 5A2, the two 500kV lines that link the major NSW Central Coast generators (Vales Pt, Munmorah and Eraring – yes, they closed one or two, but these 3 provided 4+GW by themselves. Er 2.4GW, VP 2GW?, Mun 1.6GW?) to western Sydney load (Kemps Creek 500kV switchyard) – you can see these when driving the M4 near Walgrove Rd, the “4 conductors per phase” towers (3 phases per side of tower, so one tower does both). Several GW normally comes down from them and they also add significant grid stability to the NSW grid.
            AFAIK, even the lines from the snowy hydro are 330kV AC – and in cold weather (snow etc), they deliberately overload them to keep them warm and ice-free (I’m guessing they pull 1500-2000A keeping them “warm”).

            30

            • #
              Graeme#4

              I was thinking about the ones in China, I believe over 2000 kms. Believe they also have plans for a 3000 km HVDC line.

              10

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    The other problem they face in Canberra is that those who can afford to do so will choose to go off-grid. Yes, expensive now, about $25,000-30,000, or less if you ignore batteries (which may be impossible).
    I am thinking of a solar array, 2 batteries as 23KWh reserve/bank and a small generator. Obviously you would have to have an electricity bill exceeding $5,000 for it to pay, or be so irritated by blackouts that cost was secondary. My current cost per KWh from all charges equates to $610 per MWh, well over the breakeven cost.
    IF batteries (or other storage) drop in price as fast as the Gullibles claim then it would be a no-brainer for bigger users. That leaves the general public facing ever rising electricity prices, and they won’t be happy with that.

    81

    • #
      PeterS

      Just get two backup generators to overcome blackouts. No need to spend all that money and go to all that fuss to go off grid, unless you have money to burn.

      90

    • #
      Bobl

      Not that difficult, far too much storage, get a bigger generator, diesel with electric start, and 2 truck/traction batteries. Use the solar to charge the batteries, and arrange for the generator to kick in automatically for heavy loads cooking/heating and for recharging when the battery falls below 70% charge. (That’s why it has to be electric start/stop so you can remote it) If you can, use the exhaust to heat water.

      This will give you energy at around 30c per kWh less if you can claim the diesel rebate. You don’t need the huge storage because the generator can bridge the gaps.

      For the heaviest stuff, IE the stove you can just have a remote start stop in the kitchen to start the generator. You can do the same for hot water using an on demand electric boiler preceded by your exhaust heater. Push the button turn on the tap.

      30

      • #
        PeterS

        With clever engineering one could also use the heat generated by the solar panels and the batteries to heat the storage water. Still I prefer the much simpler and cheaper solution of just relying on a couple of generators and stay on the grid, at least until the cost of power becomes way too prohibitive. Then I would be looking at those other solutions, especially once they have become cheaper. It will be interesting to see what happens when other battery technologies become cheaper and more efficient, for example those new generation lithium/supercapacitor hybrids, and the silicon based ones.

        20

        • #
          Lucky

          Technological breakthroughs that are imminent, according to the press:
          Nuclear fusion electrical power generation
          Large scale cheap renewable generated electrical power
          Batteries that will enable renewable generated electrical power to be cheap.

          20

    • #
      RickWill

      My current cost per KWh from all charges equates to $610 per MWh, well over the breakeven cost.

      How do you arrive at this cost with “all charges”. I gather you are in SA. It appears very high. If you have your own unshaded roof or an open back yard it would make economic sense to install at least solar. Typically the best return is to get a subsidised on-grid installation. They cost around $1000/kW installed rather than spending the $25,000 to go off grid.

      If your conscience does not allow you to take money from the offshore owners of the wind farms you could set up your own panels, battery and inverter to run a few power points to the loads that used power most consistently like fridge/freezer and TV. These are relatively low demand but high energy users. A 3kW array with 5kWh battery will produce 3kWh daily in Melbourne throughout the year so likely better in SA for a cost of $6k. If there is no financing charge then payback is less than 10 years or a little more if you exclude the service charge. That is far better than a term deposit.

      I cannot see any means by which SA will have lower power costs in the near future. Maybe after 2030 when the wind subsidy runs out (providing there is no Federal Government pushing for more). If you have an on-grid system installed you are just taking money from the wind generators for the next 12 years but paid to you up front.

      10

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        RickWill:

        Thanks for your advice. Firstly I was talking about a hypothetical case and thinking more of a case of going off-grid. The cost of $61 per kWh is the total bill cost divided by the KWh used. Fortunately I have solar so haven’t paid an electricity bill for 7 years. I made my decision when I worked out the economics with figures from my neighbour who installed the year before. I was pushed into this by a local Greenie who claimed that “it was my moral duty to install solar”. I have never voted for him or his party since so my conscience can’t be working too well. Why I haven’t even thanked him, despite seeing him several times every year.
        Yes, the payback time was 7 years although prolongued by the inverter failing and a new one set me back another $1880, so I won’t be “debt free” until the end of the year. What the economics are for a new installation when the panels are cheaper but the feed-in tariff is much less I haven’t worked out, but don’t think they would be as good ( I would need to generate 32-33 kWh per day at the current 16¢ feed in rate).
        I too cannot see any means by which SA will have lower power costs in the near future. Indeed not for Australia until a Federal government loses office because of high electricity prices, which won’t be for several years at least. The stupidity has to work its way through the economy until the general public realises that they have been told a lie by both major parties. Labor will continue to attract votes from those who believe in Fairy Godmothers and Easter Bunnies but it will be the end of the Liberal Party.

        40

    • #
      Hanrahan

      IF batteries (or other storage) drop in price as fast as the Gullibles claim then it would be a no-brainer for bigger users.

      We have been using lead/acid car batteries for over 100 years now and are producing millions each year. Bought one lately? The economies of scale rapidly approach zero and they are then priced as a commodity.
      You don’t get a lot of change out of $1 for a good AA cell. How many of them are produced each year? An eniloop li/ion is $5. No way will teslawalis or equivalent ever be an order of magnitude cheaper, and that is what is needed to deliver the green’s dreams.

      20

  • #
    el gordo

    Fascinating, didn’t see this coming.

    ‘The plans are ambitious. The IOT Group isn’t scared to throw about the phrase “billion-dollar blockchain valley” and share its vision for an “Australian Silicon Valley” in the Hunter, “creating new employment, new housing, restaurants, coffee shops, restaurants and business”.

    “This deal has opened the door to these kinds of businesses,” IOT Group executive director Sean Neylon told Fairfax Media.

    “The reasons why blockchain specialists are not in Australia is because power costs are too high, it’s not efficient.”

    Business Insider

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    • #
      Hanrahan

      “The reasons why blockchain specialists are not in Australia is because power costs are too high, it’s not efficient.”

      I was going to say that was not a concern for the guys at BOM who used the supercomputer to mine bitcoin. Fortunately I checked first: They only used their desktop computers.

      Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has a $77 million Cray XC-40 supercomputer named Australis. That bad boy houses 51,840 Intel Xeon cores, 276 terabytes of RAM and has usable storage space of 4.3 petabytes, operating at a peak capacity of 1.6 petaflops, with an upgrade scheduled to bring it up to 5 petaflops. It’s designed to almost instantaneously calculate a detailed weather forecast of any 6 square kilometres in Australia and deliver it straight to anyone’s smartphone.

      It is the most powerful supercomputer in all of Australia, and rough calculations show that someone who uses it to mine bitcoin could probably do alright.

      Two Melbourne BoM IT workers are now under investigation for not doing exactly that, with the AFR reporting that the employees opted to mine bitcoin on desktop computers instead of going the full Cray.

      One of the involved employees has since gone on leave, thereby literally going home instead of going big.

      30

  • #
    beowulf

    Redbank Power Station is about 15km due south of Liddell/Bayswater. Greenies have been trying to kill it off since it was built, on the grounds that it was more polluting than the nearby full scale coal power stations and not meeting its stated environmental standards (based on their spurious estimates). It had a chequered financial history from the beginning for reasons not fully disclosed, but not helped by having to fight court cases against the greenies during its startup phase.

    It is fueled with tailings from the adjacent Warkworth open cut CHPP in what was intended to be an environmentally preferable use of a wasted resource. But any coal is bad coal to a greenie. It has been in mothballs for a few years.

    Its experience is indicative of the probable experience of any new proposed coal power station, except that for a full scale PS the screeching would be a thousand times greater. The local Hunter Valley greenies would go into overdrive chaining themselves to everything in sight and blocking Newcastle harbour.

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    • #
      Yonniestone

      Same with the old Alcoa plant at Anglesea Vic, its right in the Surfcoast shire council and they are RABID supporters of A21 or any green agenda including the (new) locals that move there and are suddenly experts and know best for the area.

      Note Anglesea station was closed in 2015 but the state Labor government still used its power for the grid until the election was looming a people criticised them, the local surfcoast eco groups formed during protests to close it would go into an absolute fit if a buyer wanted to run it again, having lived in the area when it operated visitors wouldn’t believe it when you told them of its existence but to greens innovation is evil.

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      • #
        beowulf

        Yes Yonnie, remarkable how blow-ins — especially if they are yuppies or tree-changers — always know what’s best for the locals.

        In the Hunter tree-changers park themselves next to 1,000 acre open cuts that have been there for 40 years then complain about dust and won’t let the mine expand onto new ground that it was always intended to expand onto. If they had 2 brain cells to rub together they wouldn’t have bought land there in the first place. The constant squeak of draglines operating and the concussion of 10 tonnes of Nitroprill going off might give some hint that there is a coal mine on the other side of the fence.

        Meanwhile the yuppies in inner city Newcastle come down out of their million dollar waterfront apartments, park their BMWs, get out their kayaks, tie up their dreadlocks and blockade coal ships in the harbour.

        After a day’s hard protesting they all go back to their coal-powered homes to relax.

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  • #
    TdeF

    Redbank Power Station is located near Singleton, in the Hunter Region, New South Wales, Australia. It was coal powered with one steam driven turbo generator with a capacity of 151 MW of electricity.

    Now if the Crypto miners are clever, to get around the RET, they need to generate 99MW, not 100Mw.
    Also the computer farm would have to be less than 1km from the power station and have its own unshared direct cable.

    “(2) An acquisition is not a relevant acquisition if:
    (a) the electricity was delivered on a grid that has a capacity that is less than 100 MW and that is not, directly or indirectly, connected to a grid that has a capacity of 100 MW or more; or
    (b) the end user of the electricity generated the electricity and either of the following conditions are satisfied:
    (i) the point at which the electricity is generated is less than 1 kilometre from the point at which the electricity is used;
    (ii) the electricity is transmitted or distributed between the point of generation and the point of use and the line on which the electricity is transmitted or distributed is used solely for the transmission or distribution of electricity between those 2 points”

    Still, it’s worth it. That saving buys a lot of PCs. Unless the Act is changed, there could be a lot of server farms around old power stations like Hazelwood.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Plus they have to be careful that the cable cannot handle more than 100Mwatt. It will be strictly monitored by those who protect our Australian exclusive CO2 levels.

      120

    • #
      TdeF

      It also gets into a legal wrangle about ‘from the power station’. It’s hard to be less than 1km from a power station without being in the power station, so from the start of the transmission line, hopefully. That’s another silly provision which will end up in the courts.

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  • #
    robert rosicka

    For a few years now I’ve wondered if we wouldn’t be better off if the Chinese were in charge !

    63

    • #
      NB

      Sure. And 90% of us would live on $3 a day; those of us expressing a religion would be in prison being fattened up for organ harvesting; others would be working in the slave pits. And all the time you are monitored and graded for communist virtue.
      Might as well vote for the Greens.

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      • #
        el gordo

        NB its not all that bad these days, you should get out more.

        Under Xi religions are generally tolerated and he is also encouraging the study of Confucianism in schools, which is better value than European fables.

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    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      No question. That is the plan of the elites in South Australia. And most of the job is done already. SA is little more than a Chinese colony, propped up by taxpayers in Western Australia. All quite ridiculous, and equally futureless.

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    • #
      el gordo

      Robert you are not alone, according to a Lowy Institute survey, 23% of Australians aged 18-29 don’t believe it matters what kind of government we have and 37 % say non-democratic rule would be best.

      00

  • #
    Hanrahan

    This week Korea Zinc is commissioning it’s one million cell solar farm. They won’t be happy to find out they could have done a deal to reopen Collinsville power station.

    70

    • #
      Hanrahan

      I’ve done it again, commented on a headline. Sorry.

      But the concept will be studied by other big users. The now closed Yabulu nickel refinery has a gas turbine generator, prolly closed cycle, within or very close to it’s boundary. It may be viable again at that price.

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      • #
        WXcycles

        That would be flatout supplying Black River and Bluewater.

        Korea Zinc is now one (actual) cyclone away from closing down.

        10

  • #
    • #
      john karajas

      robert: April 1964 had two days in a row that were over the old 100 degrees Fahrenheit and that was in the late part of the month. It was my last year at high school. I don’t know how this second hottest April for Perth was calculated but it certainly didn’t feel all that different from the many other Aprils I’ve experienced here in my home town. But, hey, who am I to argue with the demonstrably superior and ever so worthy ABC. (/sarc.)

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  • #
    Sean

    Real baseline power for a virtual currency. Convoluted renewable schemes for real life due to a virtual weather prediction. Apparently the machines have taken over. Their needs for low cost power take precedence over humans.

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  • #
    Geoff from Tanjil

    We have a “private” power station at Maryvale (Paperlinx) in the Latrbe Valley generating approx 54 MW supplying the Paper mill on the same site manufacturing “Reflex” paper and other products. It uses a mixture of bio fuel and gas. I tried to search for the output cents per kW cost but couldn’t find it. I think that if the Mill had to pay retail rates the Mill would shut down putting more hundreds of people out of work.
    You can find some info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_power_stations_in_Victoria_(Australia)

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  • #

    Going to Mars and never coming back

    April 30, 2018
    by Dr Kate Raynes-Goldie, Particle

    If all goes to plan, humans will be settling Mars by 2032. And there’s a good chance someone on the crew will be from Australia.

    SpaceX founder Elon Musk has said he wants to die on Mars. If you were given the chance, would you go to the red planet? What if it was a one-way trip?

    The Mars One programme is offering just that. And when they began accepting applications in 2013, between 2700 and 200,000 people (the actual number is a source of debate) from around the world put up their hand to go to Mars and never come back.

    Mars One

    Mars One launched in the Netherlands in 2011. The goal of the organisation is to create the first permanent human settlement on Mars by 2032. Funding for the programme will come from a variety of sources, including donations and a documentary series that would document humanity’s first colonisation of another planet. While exciting and ambitious, the viability of the programme and its proposed revenue model have faced criticism from a variety of sources.

    The candidate pool has now been whittled down to 100. Seven of those 100 candidates are Australian. And one of those candidates is WA-based Josh Richards.

    1 of 100

    Josh is a physicist, explosives engineer, soldier, comedian and self-described troublemaker. Originally hailing from Victoria, Josh says that he doesn’t consider himself “to be of anywhere”. Instead, he told me, he sees himself “very much as human”. And this feeling of being human first is what initially drew him to Mars One.

    “Serving with both the Australian and British forces kinda detached me from a lot of those ideas about nationalism and sense of place,” Josh told me. “It’s part of the reason I signed up … and why I would be OK going one way … I don’t have a strong sense of home.”

    Indeed, Josh believes that our focus on countries rather than humanity is something that keeps us apart. More importantly, it’s what keeps us from doing great things.

    “The reason we haven’t gone to Mars is we are still fixated on nations,” Josh said. “We’re still fixated on that idea that where you are born defines your worth as a human being. So, to me, Mars One focusing on being a truly international organisation that really seeks out diversity, seeks out differences and tries to identify what we have in common … is bringing our entire species together to do something extraordinary.”

    Next step, Mars?

    Even though Josh is one of the 100 finalists, only 12 to 24 of those candidates will actually be going on the mission. The next phase, Josh tells me, will likely take place in Wadi Rum, Jordan (appropriately, where they also filmed The Martian). There, they will run through corporate team-building exercises, with the stress levels increased in order to more closely simulate a Martian mission. This will reduce the pool down to 40, who will then go on a 3-week camping trip which will bring it down to the final 12 to 24. This should all happen towards the end of this year or early 2019, Josh says.

    Whatever happens, Josh’s message is important and powerful for the future of humanity: “The only way we can do truly extraordinary things where we redefine who we are as a species is when we work together to do it.”

    If you want to hear more about his inspirational journey and message, Josh will be speaking at the Australian Computer Society’s Gala Dinner on 1 June 2018 in Perth.

    https://phys.org/news/2018-04-mars.html#jCp

    ————————-

    (…) If all goes to plan, humans will be settling Mars by 2032. And there’s a good chance someone on the crew will be from Australia. (…)

    Hahahaha !

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    • #
      Ian Hill

      No-one will ever set foot on Mars alive. An Apollo 13 type of accident is bound to happen and they will run out of oxygen, the one thing Earth’s explorers never had to worry about.

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      C. Paul Barreira

      Utterly asinine. Makes South Australia appear sane. Almost.

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      Annie

      I suppose someone needs to make the appropriate comment about being off the planet…

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    • #
      sophocles

      If you were given the chance, would you go to the red planet?

      Definitely not. But let us examine the question a little more dispassionately:

      What if it was a one-way trip?

      It’s like asking if a Tesla catches fire or breaks its front suspension, or both.

      I won’t sign any non-disclosure contracts. If Elon Musk is involved there will be at least one of those. A waiting time of a mere three months to supply Tesla front suspension parts at US$1300.00, tells me that the chances of a one way trip via Pluto are higher than an uneventful journey to Mars, especially if the space ship needs spare parts.

      I’m an animal, not a plant so I’m not adapted to breathing an atmosphere of 92% CO2 at all and I am very keen on ambient surface temperatures between 265°K and 280°K, so I like our present proximity to the Sun.

      If you read that as a NO, you’re right.

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      • #
        sophocles

        If you do choose to go, ensure you take plenty of money: air will be metered and you will have to pay for every breath.

        30

      • #
        Hanrahan

        A long, weightless space flight might have some appeal for us old men with buggered knees. But the internet would be slow.

        30

      • #
        WXcycles

        So antarctica is out too, huh? Yeah, me too, I’ll go as far South as the Gold Coast, maybe Perth.

        Cya Elon.

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    • #
      J.H.

      Humans can’t breed on Mars. It is unlikely conception would even happen and if it did, the foetus’s would not develop viably in 0.38G. A permanent colony would need orbital “breeding stations” for any humans or livestock… Or they would need to genetically mutate humans and animals to live in Martian gravity…

      … aside from the insurmountable problems of just trying to sustain thousands of people in radiation shielded, underground town sized habitats. It would be like living permanently in a submarine.

      There will be no permanent colonies on the Moon, Mars or any planet… not unless genetic engineering can develop a sentient being to actually thrive in a martian environment.

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  • #
    Peter C

    Why don’t Crytocurrency re open the Angelsea Power Station on Victoria?

    It has it own coal mine. It is located close to Geelong, Vic. The power line was built to supply the Alcoa plant at Point Henry. Alcoa decided to close down because of escalating power prices.

    Price might be less than 6c/kWhr because the infrastructure costs are so low. It is already there, including the transmission line

    Geelong needs the employment boost.

    All the infrastructure is already there. It just needs a prod. Maybe Alcoa Geelong could reopen also.

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    • #
      Yonniestone

      See my comment at #6.1 Peter, the entire place is infested with green zealots and Geelong has a long history of unionisation throughout the place, with a Labor government in no way known will it happen with the Lib’s in same situation but a bit more of a fight, you’ll find somewhere legislative laws will be in place to stop any new coal mines or stations operating the only hope is a strong conservative government that’s willing to take on a movement that believes they’re a law unto themselves.

      Last time I was living there a developer wanted to build on land near Jan Juc and suddenly an action group was formed citing significant flora and fauna etc that stopped the build, interesting was the land a few hundred meters away that got a free pass had local investors involved, Torquay developed fast during my time there and the NIMBY mentality is strong as those that made fortunes from the surf industrial complex are the same that don’t want anything touched.

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  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    Welcome back to the 1920s. Co-Generation was the norm. There were several such plants still when I lived in Dayton, Ohio, the largest being a Delco plant. There was one when I was at SIU in Carbondale (town name may be a giveaway). There was one at the small college I attended in Mn. There were everywhere, and only disappeared when they got expensive, as large scale plants plus a grid were CHEAPER.
    Duh.
    Now, of course, we have several kinds of co-generation. Distributed wind, and solar, expensive for the individual and devastating for the grid. Desperation diesel, if you are on a grid that’s flickering. And now bitcoin coal.
    Ain’t progress run by politicians great?
    Aren’t you glad you have an intrusive, powerful government looking after everyone’s welfare.

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    DaveR

    OK, so I am sick and tired of buying electricity from carpetbaggers Origin Energy. I want to buy purely coal power say at less than $10c/kwhr. After all, other consumers can buy purely renewable power (at much greater than $10c/kwhr).

    And I know that for a small transmission fee the generator can pump it in at one end, and I can take it out at the other, because the big power retailers tell me so, and do it already with renewable power.

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    • #
      Robber

      But you can’t bypass the middle men, the network operators who each have a monopoly in their area of operation. All they have to do is make regular submissions to their regulator and they get a guaranteed return on their capital and operating costs.

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  • #
    pat

    fourth, sixth, second, twelfth…whatever:

    1 May: CarbonBrief: Zeke Hausfather: State of the climate: Warm start to 2018 despite La Niña conditions
    The first three months of 2018 have been between the fourth and sixth warmest first quarter on record since 1880. This is despite a modest La Niña event leading to a relatively cooler start to the year, compared to recent record warmth.

    Overall, 2018 is on track to be the fourth warmest year on record after 2016, 2017, and 2015, but depending on how the rest of the year shapes up it could be as high as the second warmest, or as low as the 12th warmest…READ ON
    https://www.carbonbrief.org/state-of-the-climate-warm-start-to-2018-despite-la-nina-conditions

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    • #
      toorightmate

      pat,
      The Carbon Brief article must be utter crap.
      The northern hemisphere has experienced an abnormally cold 2018 so far.
      Australia has not been remarkably high, nor Africa or South America.

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  • #
    pat

    here we go again:

    1 May: BBC: Rising levels of ‘frustration’ at UN climate stalemate
    By Matt McGrath
    Old divisions between rich and poor over money and ambition are again threatening to limit progress in UN climate negotiations…
    But developing countries say they are “frustrated” with the lack of leadership from the developed world.
    Commitments to cut carbon are still “woefully inadequate” they said…

    The developed nations want almost all countries to share the same set of rules on how carbon emissions are measured, reported and verified. This issue, called “transparency” in the negotiations, has run into difficulties with many emerging economies arguing for more “flexibility”.
    According to some observers, the richer countries believe that some in the talks are trying to turn the clock back to the time when only wealthier countries had any commitments to cut carbon, while developing countries including India and China had no obligations…

    “The EU, US, and other developed countries are worried about the slow pace of negotiations on transparency and other elements of the Paris rulebook,” said Alden Meyer from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
    “And what they see as the efforts of some developing countries to reintroduce bifurcation into the climate regime – an argument they thought had been settled in Paris.”

    The developing nations are, in turn, incensed that enthusiasm for the $100bn per year in climate finance support from the rich, due to start in 2020, has started to wane…
    “It has been frustrating to hear some developed countries celebrate their climate leadership even as they fall well short of the modest commitments they have made over the years,” said Thoriq Ibrahim, environment minister for the Maldives and chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States, one of the key groups of poorer nations in the talks.

    “If we spent as much time working on this problem as we do congratulating ourselves for caring so deeply about it, we would be closer to an outcome worthy of a celebration.
    “As it stands, we haven’t mobilised nearly enough resources to tackle this problem and until developed countries match their rhetoric with action our survival will continue to hang in the balance.”…

    “The fossil fuel industry and its trade association proxies have undermined climate action for decades yet the UN continues to allow these obstructionist to pull a chair up to the table,” said Jesse Bragg from Corporate Accountability.
    “If we are to avert the worst effects of climate change and truly realize the promise of Paris, parties must first resolve to eject the presence of the very industry at the core of this crisis once and for all.”
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43949423

    here we go again II: developing nations must leapfrog fossil fuels:

    30 Apr: Vox: The world’s bleak climate situation, in 3 charts
    We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
    By David Roberts
    In the journal Nature, journalist Jeff Tollefson recently offered that magisterial overview (LINK) of the climate challenge and the progress that’s been made so far. He finds, as such sweeping looks tend to, that both optimists and pessimists have a case. There is a revolution in clean energy … but it’s not happening fast enough.
    I’ve boiled it down to three key graphics, adapted from Tollefson’s piece (which you should read, seriously)…

    ???The big carbon story of the 21st century thus far has been China’s miraculous spurt of economic growth, fueled almost entirely by coal, and its equally miraculous plateauing of emissions in the last few years, driven by a wide range of efforts to curb coal use…

    ***In a nutshell, hitting Paris targets will mean both that developed nations start rapidly reducing toward net-zero emissions by mid-century and that developing nations find a different path to prosperity than the one traveled by the countries around them holding all the wealth and still, on a per-capita basis, emitting the most carbon.
    It’s a long shot.
    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/4/30/17300946/global-warming-degrees-replace-fossil-fuels

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      pat:

      “Long shot”? I would rate Musk’s settlement on Mars as more likely, and I can’t give the percentage on that as my calculator only allows 9 zeros after the percentage point.

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    pat

    what a “Super” idea, Bill!

    1 May: Guardian: Bill McKibben: ‘There’s clearly money to be made from sun and wind’
    Environmental campaigner and founder of 350.org says the financial sector has picked up on the future of energy much quicker than politicians
    by Ben Smee
    After almost three decades of environmental activism, Bill McKibben has become the Earth’s investment broker.
    “There’s no way at this point to solve [climate change] one person at a time,” McKibben told Guardian Australia.

    The author and founder of 350.org is at the start of an Australian tour, speaking with councils and unions, banks and superannuation funds – anyone with serious cash to invest – about backing an aggressive shift to renewable power sources…

    “When we started the divestment stuff six years ago, I was operating entirely on moral grounds,” McKibben said. “But it quickly became apparent that it was a much more financially savvy idea than we’d given ourselves credit for. Anyone who five years ago did it made out like bandits.”

    ***On Tuesday, McKibben will launch a report by 350.org, the University of Technology, Sydney, and Future Super, showing 7.7% of Australia’s superannuation savings could fund a full transition to renewables by 2030…
    “The solar guys haven’t made their money yet, so they can’t [buy political influence]. But if you’re running a pension fund or you’re running a big investment company, you can’t make any more money out of coal. Its day is done. But there’s clearly money to be made from sun and wind, so that’s where they’re headed.”…

    McKibben has wasted no time in Australia, heading to the country’s two most prominent beachheads. In Newcastle, the world’s largest coal export port, he stood in the shadow of piles and piles of black coal, and met local community groups.
    “There is a one-to-one relationship between those huge mountains of coal behind us and the fact there are countries that are not going to exist by the end of the century,” he told them. “One is directly related to the other one.”

    At the weekend he visited the Great Barrier Reef. There he saw two versions of a future he warned about almost three decades ago…
    While McKibben was heading to the reef, news broke that the federal government would fund a $500m “rescue package” for the reef. To those who know the science – that the bleaching and death of corals is demonstrably due to climate change – the commitment was laughable.
    “To simultaneously promote the world’s biggest coalmine while pretending to care about the world’s largest reef is an acrobatic feat only a cynical politician would attempt,” McKibben said…

    “Everyone knows that 70 years from now we’re going to run this planet on sun and wind, the question is whether we’re going to be running a broken planet.”…
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/01/bill-mckibben-profit-renewables-coal-reef

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    • #
      RicDre

      ‘There’s clearly money to be made from sun and wind’

      This is true, but it doesn’t come sun or wind power, it comes from the tax payers or the rate payers.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      The increasing squeals from the Greenies shows their desperation as they see reality starting to take hold. Fortunately for them Australia has its decision makers isolated in Fairyland on the Molonglo.

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      WXcycles

      Isn’t it wonderful how closet greenie superheros always have a world-saving centralised involuntary megaplan waiting in the wings, that involves everyone else’s retirement funds, being ‘invested’ in projects guaranteed to send them and the country broke fast.

      30

  • #
    • #

      Say, isn’t that just so nice that this solar PV powered Bitcoin Business is so considerate of their employees, only having them work for four or five hours a day, when they actually have electrical power.

      (As an aside, I’m willing to bet they’ll operate under the same manner that the ACT does. You know, still connected to the actual 75% coal fired grid, and claiming that because they sink their money into renewables, then they are actually 100% Renewable)

      Tony.

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      • #
        Hanrahan

        It will be operated remotely so the only job will be feeding the guard dog. I’m not sure if I’m being sarcastic or not. :(

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        • #
          Bobl

          Not, yes it will be a lights out data centre. There might be a nerd in the corner lit only by the flicker of his notebook screen to reboot any windows servers every now and again, oh and yes, feed the guard dog.

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  • #
    ROM

    In short, the Renewable Energy industry in Australia and maybe the western world wide with its politically enabled power grasping agenda with the advent of potential “Bitcoin mining” power generator development is now facing its “Black Swan” event.
    .

    [ All Swans were white without exception and had been as long as mankind could recall down throughn history until the impossible, the improbable, the unbelievable came out of the blue with the discovery of WA's Black Swans ]
    .

    Nothing for the last two decades has prepared the eco-nazi greens and the renewable energy scammers and the hard left “carbon” agenda driven promoters for this from “out of nowhere” development .

    The politicians now have a real problem on their hands.
    Bitcoin or one of its competitors in the algorithm driven blockchain technology may just possibly develop into a major currency on world markets.
    And if the politicals blow the chances of Australia being right up there in the forefront of such a development then they know they will condemned forever as lacking vision and destroying the long term interests of Australia.

    Besides just imagine what a small parcel of shares in Bitcoin might lead to so why destroy the chances of both being seen as visionary and making a nice untraceable and tidy brown paper bag packet on the side by trying to shut down a small power station over a bit of “carbon” which most of the proles are now beginning to get sick of hearing about but which could lead to very considerable financial benefits and which with its cryptographic technology will be almost impossible to trace at any time in the near future.

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    • #
      RicDre

      “And if the politicals blow the chances of Australia being right up there in the forefront of such a development then they know they will condemned forever as lacking vision and destroying the long term interests of Australia.”

      I doubt that politicians are too worried about being condemned for “lacking vision” or about “destroying the long term interests” of a country as they can always find something or (preferably) someone on which to blame any problems that arise from their decisions.

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    ROM

    This City Just Passed the First Bitcoin Mining Ban in the US
    Plattsburgh, New York has imposed an 18-month moratorium on Bitcoin mining to prevent miners from using all the city’s cheap electricity.

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/8xk4qv/bitcoin-ban-plattsburgh-coinmint-mining

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  • #
    Don B

    The madness will not end until it is acknowledged that carbon dioxide is not the climate control knob.

    A public debate between scientists would be a beginning, but how is that going to happen? The Trump Administration floated the idea of a red team/ blue team debate by the EPA, but that thought seems to have floundered.

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    • #
      PeterS

      There is no need for a debate. Much of the rest of the world is happily going on building hundreds more coal fired power stations for the foreseeable future, thanks mostly to China. It’s really only Australia who is dumb enough not to follow reality.

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Why am I not surprised? Let me count the ways.

    Well no, I’ll just say that in the biological sciences there’s an axiom that says, “If there’s something there that can be eaten there will be something there eating it.” The Dung Beetle illustrates thins nicely.

    What that axiom doesn’t say is that the same thing applies across all human endeavors. So if somewhere there’s a way to make money there will be someone there making money.

    Our problem is to see to it that the available ways to make money are honest and produce useful services or products at competitive prices in an honest market. That there’s a way to scam the system is an indictment of our leadership all around the world from South Pole to North Pole and back again.

    We should not tolerate the Dung Beetles of human society.

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  • #
    manalive

    I wish someone would explain where these bitcoin resources are, how they are mined, in what way can they be used to generate electricity, are there any CO2 emissions and how are the Chinese miners going to get the electricity from Redbank NSW to China at 8c/kWh.

    30

    • #
      PeterS

      Bitcoin resources are lots of powerful computers, supercomputers or the like, which are used to solve a particular complex mathematical algorithm, which takes a long time to solve, and once solved creates a bitcoin that are then issued onto a bitcoin exchange through an approved mechanism over the internet. The resources would be installed in close proximity to the power source.

      60

      • #
        manalive

        Can you buy a house, a car, a hamburger, using bitcoin i.e by not converting it into a national currency?

        10

        • #
          PeterS

          In some places around the world yes you can. There are bitcoin ATMs too. The whole crypto currency mania though is just that – a mania. There are over 1600 cryptocurrencies at the moment and growing. We can’t have that many ways to purchase goods and services. I tend to believe when the NWO comes we will have just one currency, which might in fact be a crytpocurrency. Whether it will be bitcoin or not is uncertain.

          30

      • #
        David Maddison

        Like the supercomputers at the BoM which staff used to mine Bitcoins.

        11

      • #
        Graeme#4

        And for every new Bitcoin mined, the process required to mine new bitcoins becomes increasingly more complex and requires even more power. Crazy.

        30

        • #
          PeterS

          By design to try and limit how many bitcoins are available. The aim was to prevent the insane way nations like the US keep “printing” money without any real limit.

          10

        • #
          Hanrahan

          Would mining real gold be less energy intensive?

          A viable mine gets a couple of grams of gold [that would be a few match heads I'd assume] for every ton of ore processed. That’s after removing the overburden.

          I prefer the yellow metal.

          40

          • #
            David Maddison

            Yes, it uses seven times less energy to dig gold out of the ground than mine the same value of Bitcoin. See link at my comment 41.1 below.

            11

            • #
              Graeme#4

              And surely the energy required to keep mining bitcoins must increase exponentially, unlike other mining.

              10

            • #
              Serp

              One times less is zero. Seven times less is better expressed as one seventh the magnitude.

              Similarly with greater: n times greater is n+1 times the magnitude.

              00

          • #
            toorightmate

            2g/t is good grade these days.
            Plenty of the world’s gold miners are achieving less than 2g/t to feed their processing plants.
            2g/t sounds very low, doesn’t it? It is 2ppm.
            Anything measured in ppm is low. Like CO2.

            20

      • #
        manalive

        I collected football cards as a kid which were fungible and there was a lively trade, if you had two Dick Reynolds and no John Coleman you could swap, but you couldn’t use them to buy a liquorice stick at the tuck shop.

        30

        • #
          toorightmate

          Obviously a misguided youth.
          Why the hell would anyone collect Essendon cards?

          20

          • #

            Footy cards – way off topic, but what a hoot!

            We moved to Queensland from Mexico in 1960, and I was the eldest of the five children, still only 9 years old at the time. Right from the age of five years old, I barracked for Collingwood, and I have no idea why, how, or when it started, as Mum barracked for Geelong, and Dad barracked for his home suburb Richmond, so where Collingwood came from beats me, but I was as staunch as any Magpie supporter at the time, even on my relative lonesome at school too. I had a good friend at Beaumaris Primary (back in Mexico) and he was a Hawthorn supporter, His Dad took him to the footy and three times I was also asked to come along. Three Hawthorn Games, and none was against Collingwood, so I’m even at a loss there as well, and one game was at the “G”, against Melbourne, so first time I saw that, and it was just such a huge ground to a small boy’s eyes.

            Anyway, now in Queensland, I re-started School at Labrador Primary on the Gold Coast, and not long after I started, I took my footy cards (virtually all of them Magpies of the time) along to school to do some ‘trading’. They were a real novelty really, and I gave up on day one, not too long after one of the boys asked me ….. “What’s a Collingwood?”

            Tony.

            40

            • #
              Hanrahan

              Had to go to the doc’s a while back, every time I pharted it came out “Good old Collingwood forever”.

              He said “Don’t worry, a lot of aoles sing that”.

              20

      • #
        ROM

        So far no nations have been shut down economically and socially due to the collapse of their power generation systems.
        South Australia is still the poster child for such an event and that was only for hours and not days and weeks.

        Today with the universal use of ATM’s and electronic fund transfers systems andy electronically / electrically reliant in their entirety based global financial trading systems , the economy of all western advanced and other moderately advanced nations is hog tied to the reliability of the power generation systems.
        For without universal and utterly reliable electrical power, with modern electronic fund transfer systems, ALL fund transfers and financial arrangements, personal, business, national and international financial arrangements other than cash transactions will simply cease to exist.

        Just imagine the horror in world financial markets if a major and economically powerful nation just simply dropped out entirely, in seconds as its power system fails catastrophically , of the immense global financial trading system leaving billions or trillions of “whatever” currencies lost and in never never land, never to be seen again as the records are lost or don’t exist due to never having been recorded due to there being the sudden cessation of power that drives the entire international electronically based global and national financial systems.

        When the financiers and politicals in the tiny sector of their minds that is devoted to the real world that ordinary folks inhabit, finally manage to figure this out and have a glance at the sums they might lose and the flow on effects for themselves, their nations, their economies, their trading activities, then there will a hell of a rush to build power generators that will provide dead steady and utterly reliable power in amounts that will needed both now and into the future.

        The economic and social consequences of a collapse of the now close to universal electrically powered and electrically reliant electronically controlled currency and financial systems of the world due to a collapse of a Renewable Energy reliant power generation system in a major economically active nation must finally be beginning to create bouts of cold sweat on the brows of a lot of financial manipulators.

        40

        • #
          Hanrahan

          My son tells me every Woolworths store in the country shut up shop when their barcode computer went down a week or so ago.

          Has the newfound reliability of ‘puters [who has had a HD die lately?] lulled management into a false sense of security?

          00

          • #
            ROM

            Not just Woolworth’s has been lulled into a sense of false security but every damn organisation, political entity, industrial outfit, computer and tablet and smart phone user, data analysists and operators of electronically based data storage systems, medical, military, essential service systems operators plus, plus have ALL been lulled into a potentially catastrophic sense of false security .

            And this is due entirely to the long history of ultra reliable and cheap power from the great coal fired generators over the last half to three quarters of century to the point where the generations of today who have NEVER had to live with candles and kerosene lights and no electrical power cannot concieve under any circumstances a world without the everlasting, ultra reliable, always there power at the flick of switch that is the hallmark of western nations’s electrical energy systems of the last half to three quarters of a century.

            Reality is now that due to unbelievable stupidity, and arrogance and hubris, plus an out spoken belief in acompletely unproven ideological belief in the powers of a harmless and beneficial minor atmospheric gas plus an absolute gross ignorance plus a flea sized brain capacity and compounding inability to even do some basic thinking through the potential and real consequences of their policies by the political and academic and bureacratic elites, we have an ultra reliable power generation system which produced cheap power for three quarters of a century quite deliberately and openly and deliberaterly dismanted and destroyed and replaced by an intermittent, expensive, unpredictable costly power generation system that cannot even provide the amount of and steady supply of power needed to actually to create copies of itself, a complete inability to build its own components and a copy of itself and in fact has now been shown from actual data to now use more fossil fuels due to the backup generators required to generate the same amount or even less power than came from the coalfired generators of old.

            When you look at it in the cold hard light of day, the inherent stupidity at an absolute level of this unpredictable and intermittent and unreliable renewable energy / wind -solar based approach by the political and academic and bureacratic elites is far beyond abject stupidity and is verging on utter insanity and a total betrayal of their responsibility to the citizens of the nation who unfortiunately [ like the banks ] have now been seen to have seriously misplaced , maybe completely misplaced their trust in their own leaders.

            50

            • #

              So true,Rom. Civilizations don’t fall because of any cyclical
              law, they fall because of some major stupidity, perfidity, or
              occasionally jest bad luck,like being a small nation in a
              strategic zone. We are not the latter.

              30

            • #
              Dave Ward

              The generations of today who have NEVER had to live with candles and kerosene lights and no electrical power cannot conceive under any circumstances a world without the everlasting, ultra reliable, always there power at the flick of switch

              It’s well known that the present generation will suffer serious withdrawal symptoms in a matter of hours, if their smart phones cease to work. At least us old fogies can still remember how to function without “Always On” connectivity. I am (almost) looking forward to a time when my “old tech” skills suddenly become in great demand.

              20

      • #
        Hanrahan

        My nerdy son tells me supercomputers are’t all at good at mining, that PCs with a particular graphics card are more bang for the buck.

        10

        • #
          David Maddison

          Yes. Certain graphics cards have far more computational power than CPU’s.

          01

          • #
            Dave Ward

            It wasn’t long ago that I read about hackers linking multiple Play Stations together, as they had superior CPU’s compared to PC’s of a similar price.

            00

    • #
      Adam Smith

      “Mining” bitcoin is the process of securing a Bitcoin Transaction. When a Bitcoin Transaction is broadcast to the network, nodes (computers with the ledger of all transactions) first validate that the Transaction is correct and then proceed to push the transaction to other nodes.

      At any given point in time, there is about 5000 transactions “floating” around the network that have not be “confirmed”. Confirmation is performed by a miner.

      A miner gathers up all the unconfirmed transactions and performs a cryptographic calculation (Hash) against the transactions. The result of the calculation is a long string of numbers. The Bitcoin rules state that given the amount of hash power (calculations per second), the number must start with a repetitive sequence of zeros (0) X Times. The X is called the Bitcoin Difficulty and adjusts ~ every 2 weeks. When a miner “finds” this number, they broadcast the result to the network and a Block (group of transactions) is created and the miner is rewarded with fees and the Block Reward (currently 12.5 BTC).

      Currently Bitcoin is processing 30 Exahashes per second. An Exahash is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 operations

      30

      • #
        Graeme#4

        Please correct me if I’m wrong Adam, but doesn’t the process of verifying a Bitcoin transaction take longer and longer as time goes on? If I’m correct, this would mean that using crypto currencies in the business world would would be totally useless and business normally requires millions of transactions daily.

        10

        • #
          Adam Smith

          > but doesn’t the process of verifying a Bitcoin transaction take longer and longer as time goes on?

          No. The Difficulty is adjusted based on the hash rate of the last 2016 blocks (~2 weeks). It is designed (based on Poisson distribution) to be on average 10 minutes to confirm a block (mined).

          If, for example, a major Bitcoin mining data center blows up and the hash rate drops, then the difficulty will be adjusted down to maintain the 10 minute average.

          Due to probability, a block may take 2 seconds or 3 hours to confirm.

          It is important to remember that a Bitcoin Transaction is “instant”. The network is aware of the transaction while it is waiting to be confirmed (mined). These transactions are called zero-confirmation transactions. Businesses may prefer to accept low value transactions without waiting for confirmation but do so with risk.

          00

  • #
    Anne

    Hi Jo, not sure where to leave this question. Weatherzone is comparing average temperatures to range 1855 to 2012. I tried to find out what official BOM is but could not…. Is this another scam? Certainly in the northern hemisphere temperatures are down over the last few years so maybe Australia as well? Cheers

    91

    • #
      el gordo

      Its a scam by SMH and Weatherzone, as far as BoM is concerned there was no weather before 1900 AD.

      91

    • #
      Anne

      I did not know Weatherzone was Fairfax!! Thanks…… Shall find another site to look at.

      10

      • #
        ROM

        When Fairfax acquired Weatherzone a few years back they slowly morphed their forums into allowing almost continuous attacks on the skeptics who were regular denizens of their climate forums.
        Skeptics as I can well testify were continually moderated out but the climate and deep green crazies were allowed close to free range to attack the skeptics in ofttimes quite nasty commentary.

        There was actually some pretty decent and technical commentary on the climate and all its connatations from a few very switched on skeptics there, never really matched by anything scientifically substantive from the climate fascists on that forum.
        Eventually WZ shut their Climate Forum down hence my migration to Jo’s site here.

        If you can stomach it, the Agricultural forum at WZ if it is still going, is primarily inhabiied by a fanatical deep green whose ignorance and grossly distorted view of the real world and our energy generation and supply system and our food production systems that feed over 7 billion pepole is truly of a mind boggling hubris and ignorance.
        He claims is totally and completely independent in his power supplies, in his food and everything else although he seems to have no trouble posting voluminious amounts off deep green crap onto forums despite claiming to be completely “independent” of everything that exists in modern living qualities..
        I guess the world wide internet doesn’t count in his estimation regarding being independent of everything and everybody and why can’t we all live like him and save the planet is his deep green mantra.

        50

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘China has powered ahead of other countries with ‘bitcoin technology’ filing more than half of all blockchain patent applications for cryptocurrencies last year.’

    Express

    10

  • #
    PeterS

    The rest of the world is going ahead and building hundreds more coal fired power stations as we speak with many more to come. That’s the real competition for Australia, not bitcoin. As far as I know there are no laws to prevent say the Chinese from building them here close to our rich supply of cheap coal to supply electricity and at the same time use them to mine bitcoin during times of low demand. That would be a win-win for them, and a win for us provided they build enough of them to collapse the electricity price and stuff up the renewables to the point of embarrassment by way of the very system of free enterprise the government ounce promoted. So, I say to China, come on in and mine as much bitcoin as you like with the restriction they direct power to the grid at least during peak demand periods.

    70

  • #

    I would guess the NSW Govt would have many ways to lawfare Redbank into staying shut. Interesting to watch.

    40

  • #
    David Maddison

    Sorry to be off topic:

    For those interested in some good old fashioned fossil fuel powered* fun, you might want to attend the Lake Goldsmith Steam Rally this weekend. Two hours drive from Melbourne. *Because Dopey Dan of Victoriastan increased coal taxes they burn wood in most of the steam engines because it’s cheaper.

    http://www.lakegoldsmithsteamrally.org.au/

    41

    • #
      Dave Ward

      Working steam powered ‘power’
      generating display

      Presumably a more traditional setup than the one being discussed in this thread! It was also nice to see the “Little Grey Fergies” on parade.

      10

  • #
    David Maddison

    Why would the Chinese come here? Surely they could get cheaper electricity than 5c / 8c in China from their modern ultrasupercritical coal plants or nuclear plants? Or they could also get cheaper power in the USA.

    31

    • #
      Graeme#4

      IIRC, the Chinese were trying to ban Bitcoin mining in their northern provinces because of the pollution issues. I believe Bitcoin miners have set up in Iceland where there is cheap geothermal energy.

      20

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    This post might help to highlight the cost of line work and the place of “renewables” in the ripoff that was the Gold Plating of poles and wires.

    When I heard about the “poles and wires” my immediate reaction was to assume that the distribution system had been allowed to rot and that whoever purchased that distribution system had a lot of catching up to do.

    Having a captive clientele, the new owners could not only catch up but add new line work to new developments with us mugs paying extra for.

    Little did I know that a considerable part of new line work was probably being done to connect isolated renewables.

    Another hidden subsidy for renewables.

    When we have finished paying for all of this Gold Plating the original purchasers are in a position to sell the business with massive improvements.

    A massive profit scoop paid for by the dumb consumers.

    Privatisation?

    Somebody needs to be held accountable for this!

    KK

    90

    • #
      ROM

      This requirement for the poles and wire owners / operators to install the transmission lines to any approved power generators has always been legal requirement.

      And as you have indicated, KK , with the change from a few central, large scale generators which the requirement on the part of the poles and wire ,the grid operators was created around, the huge geographical distrubution of the so called renewable energy installations has imposed a massive increase in costs on the consumer who has to eventually pay for this enormous increase in geographical , large current flow, high expense, over engineered grid facilities.

      But it gets worse, much worse.
      The poles and wire grid connections to ALL of these widely distributed renewable energy installations has to be sized to point where they can carry the “maximum” output, the maximum actual theoretical plated output that might occur at EACH of the renewable energy installations that is only reached a few times at best, each year..
      However as we here all know, the wind energy industry is battling to reach about an average 28% of their theoretical and invariably claimed maximum output.
      That 28% average of their maximum generating capabilities is the Capacity Factor as it is called.

      Solar here in Australia , I think reaches about 18% [ ?? needs checking ] of its theoretical maximum output, an 18% capacity factor of the always claimed and quoted maximum output by the promoters of solar..

      So in effect the consumers are being FORCED to pay for a poles and wire grid connections to renewable energy generators of a size that can carry 3 to 4 times the “”average” output of wind farms and maybe 5 times the “average” output of solar farms just so on those few occassions, maybe a half dozen times each year when for a couple of hours, the wind generators operate at their maximum plated outputs so that maximum output of power can be fed into the Grid.

      The actual 28% “capacity factor” of Australia’s wind farms is really bad when one considers the 80% to 85% “capacity factor” plus the double the 20 year lifetime of wind turbines of the coal fired power stations

      But in Germany the land based wind generating “capacity factor” for its nearly 28,000 wind turbines is an incredibly bad 18% capacity factor.
      Over an average long term period the 28,000 German land based turbines only generate about 18% of their maximum theoretical and plated output.

      Which is why the wilfull abandonment of wind farms and turbines is beginning to appear in Germany and no replacements are being put in place as the looming cut off dates for the lucrative subsidies by 2020 for most of Germay’s wind and solar generators is getting ever closer.

      A couple of the German North Sea wind farms are still to be connected to the german grid by undersea cable even after over a year of being cleared to operate.
      Meanwhile those couple of Off Shore wind farms are collecting the huge subsidies despite NOT contributing any power at all to the German grid.

      90

      • #
        Dave Ward

        So in effect the consumers are being FORCED to pay for a poles and wire grid connections to renewable energy generators of a size that can carry 3 to 4 times the “”average” output of wind farms and maybe 5 times the “average” output of solar farms just so on those few occassions, maybe a half dozen times each year when for a couple of hours, the wind generators operate at their maximum plated outputs so that maximum output of power can be fed into the Grid

        It’s just the same over here in Blighty, and a situation that could be avoided if all such generators were required to install (at their expense, not ours) some form of storage to smooth the output. I recall a large solar farm being constructed on a former RAF airfield which was going to require a dedicated underground HV line of some 25km to the nearest Grid substation. This never got laid, although quite how the developers got round the peak output issue was never made public…

        10

  • #
    David Maddison

    Sorry for another O/T.

    Someone will need to analyse these figures but according to Renew Economy (whom I would trust) the AEMO has cut the calculated output of many windmill subsidy farms and solar subsidy farms from between 10 and 22 percent due to recalculation of transmission loss factors.

    http://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Security_and_Reliability/Loss_Factors_and_Regional_Boundaries/2018/Marginal-Loss-Factors-for-the-2018-19-Financial-Year.pdf

    Renew Economy article at
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-wind-farms-hit-as-aemo-slashes-output-calculations-18481/

    31

    • #
      David Maddison

      I MEANT to say I WOULDN’T trust Renew Economy.

      71

    • #
      RobK

      I havent read the link but RE tends not to transmit particularly well because it surges about the grid. Each route has its particular capacitance and impedence which is not corrected because high penetration RE is not yet made to pay for “ancillory services”such as reactive power control. Spinning reserve of real baseload does this for free. RE (even domestic solar)is problematic in transmission, instrumentation and control. It is low grade energy, not worth full payment as if it were dispatchable.

      50

    • #
      RickWill

      Largest change I can find for Queensland is from 0.9597 to 1.066. which is a change of 11%. But the new loss factor only represents 6.6% loss. It would be unusual to have losses above 10% but is possible on long skinny lines.

      Broken Hill has gone up 22% but that is at the end of a long skinny line. It may also be a function of the solar plant and the intermittent high production during good sunshine swinging to high demand at night time.

      40

      • #
        Hanrahan

        By “skinny” I assume you mean inadequate separation between conductors. Right?

        10

  • #
    pat

    theirABC with a “new” Big Idea – CAGW!!!

    have only heard the bizarre end of Mike Hulme’s section so far…and I mean bizarre.
    as for the San Francisco segment, some might by sea level rise claims are cited:

    AUDIO: 1 May: ABC Big Ideas: Cultures of climate
    The idea of a reliable climate has provided a secure framework for human development and planning.
    What will be the social impact of an uncertain and unpredictable climate?
    Recorded 23 April 2018 Australian Museum
    Speaker:
    Mike Hulme Professor of Human Geography Cambridge University
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/cultures-of-climate/9711568

    AUDIO: 1 May: ABC Big Ideas: As sea levels rise, San Francisco urban planners are thinking about how to build above the water line.
    Recorded 20 March 2018 NGV Living with Water Symposium
    Speaker
    Landscape architect Kristina Hill University of California
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/climate-resilient-city/9711740

    50

  • #
    Robber

    Wholesale prices ex generator are readily available per AEMO. For example, this year the average wholesale price in NSW is 8.1 cents/kWhr (excludes GST).

    But a big cost that is hidden in retail prices is network costs. I just found Ausgrid’s 54 page submission to the Australian Energy Regulator with their proposed network charges for 2019. Ausgrid provides network services for Sydney and part of northern NSW. As you might guess, it’s complicated with multiple pricing mechanisms depending on usage, time of day pricing, type of customer etc.
    But at its simplest, table 4.1 of their AER submission indicates residential charges (excl GST) as 36.4 cents/day plus 5 cents/kWhr usage charge. If we assume the average household usage is about 4,000 kWhr/year the fixed charge is about 3.3 cents/kWhr, so all up the network cost averages 8.3 cents/kWhr.
    So in NSW we have 8.1 cents wholesale plus 8.3 cents network.

    Now retail costs must be added to get the total cost to households.
    AGL’s standing offer (ie no discounts, and excl GST) for Sydney is 84 cents/day plus 29 cents/kWhr. Using 4,000 kWhr/year gives a total price excl GST of 36 cents/kWhr. That gives AGL a retail gross margin of 20 cents/kWhr (Wow!!). However, retail discounts of around 34% are quoted by AGL on the usage rate reducing that to 19 cents giving total price of 26 cents/kWhr. So AGL’s retail take reduces to 10 cents to cover their costs plus profit (note that retail costs include the impact of the RET and feed-in tariffs).
    So broadly speaking, residential electricity cost is about 30% wholesale, 32% network, and 38% retail. The ACCC is due to report by midyear on retail electricity prices – seems like there is plenty of room for efficiency improvements.

    80

    • #
      RickWill

      The retailer also has to purchase RET certificates to surrender at $35/MWh for STCs or $85/MWh for LGCs. That adds about 1.5 cents per kWh to the price without GST and it rises each year.

      20

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Thanks. Good outline.

      00

  • #
    Matty - Perth

    Shutting this down would not have been the doing of a Liberal government at all one upon a time, but it will be politically destructive for anyone who tries. So far they have sailed along ripping people off and obscuring themselves with many layers of confusion and regulation but this time they will be laid bare. If I guess right they will plotting just how to take this down without infuriating the public.

    50

    • #
      Hanrahan

      “The Public” can easily be neutralised with the usual argument “There are no jobs in it anyway”

      The PS burns waste so there are no mining jobs, the the data centre will not employ locals so that leaves three shifts at a small thermal power station. No big deal from that angle, it is as a test case that it is interesting.

      20

      • #
        Matty - Perth

        What they can’t neutralize is the jarring realization among the public that our power prices have been jacked up for no good reason. If coal has lost it’s price advantage why is this electricity a third of the cost?

        50

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Slightly O/T, but I recall, extremist people like ISIS have a tendency to dynamite significant “idealogically impure” items of the culture they have overrun ( like buddhist statues etc ) to remove it from peoples visible memory and make things over in their own image, effectively.

    I recall in some places, the greenies demolish the coal power stations…

    80

  • #
    pat

    am omitting the jibe at Trump, but do note this is only a draft law. Guardian manages to end it with “unusual and extreme weather” para:

    30 Apr: Rain of terror: Egypt to crack down on ‘fake’ weather reports
    Meteorological authority prepares draft law to ban unauthorised forecasts
    by Ruth Michaelson in Cairo
    The head of the Egyptian Meteorological Authority has said it is the only government body authorised to make predictions about the country’s weather, and is preparing a draft law to ban unauthorised forecasts.
    Ahmed Abdel-Al, the EMA chairman, said during a television interview that the bill seeks to punish anyone “talking about meteorology, or anyone using a weather forecasting device without our consent, or anyone who raises confusion about the weather”. The EMA is Egypt’s primary, if not sole, source of domestic information on the country’s weather patterns…

    Timothy Kaldas, of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy thinktank, said: “Regardless of whether or not this proposed law affects anything, it reflects the government’s view that it has a right to regulate any and all information, even information that should be a product of apolitical scientific analysis.”…

    The country has experienced some unusual and extreme weather in recent weeks, including heavy rainfall and fierce sandstorms. Residents of New Cairo, one of the capital’s wealthier suburbs, were sent into a panic after poor infrastructure coupled with heavy rain turned streets into rivers. Officials from Egypt’s Administrative Control Authority were accused of being unprepared for the conditions, and were reportedly suspended and referred to public prosecutors.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/30/egypt-crackdown-fake-weather-reports-meteorological-association

    27 Apr: EgyptianIndependent: Better weather expected over next few days: meteorologist
    by Al-Masry Al-Youm
    Heavy rains which hit Egypt over the past few days during Spring was due to climate change affecting the whole world, said Egyptian Meteorological Authority Chairman Ahmed Abdelaal.
    Abdelaal told Al-Masry Al-Youm that climate change was taking place due to global warming as a result of the excessive use of energy sources…

    coincidentally!

    27 Apr: WMO: Council of Arab Ministers for Meteorology Meets
    The second session of the Council of Arab Ministers for Meteorology and Climate Affairs took place on 26 April, with a focus on boosting the effectiveness and capacity of meteorological services. Discussions included aeronautical meteorological services, weather and climate risk management, training and capacity building, the fledgling Arab Climate Outlook Forum, and sand and dust storm warning services.
    The meeting, chaired by Saudi Arabia and held at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo, Egypt, agreed to press ahead with developing an Arab Strategy for Meteorology and draw up an implementation plan.

    The Arab Council of Ministers for Meteorology expressed appreciation to WMO for strong partnership and support provided to Arab countries and looking forward to enhancing his partnership.
    WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas told delegates that WMO would support greater regional coordination and efforts to become more resilient to weather and environmental extremes and to long-term climate change.

    Mr Taalas met with Egypt’s Minister of Civil Aviation, Sherif Fathy, in the presence of Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Aal, Chairman of the Egyptian Meteorological Authority and the current Chairman of the Arab Permanent Committee for Meteorology, to discuss ways of enhancing activities.
    As the meeting took place, parts of the region were impacted by heavy precipitation and flash floods due to an Active Red Sea Trough, compounded by a severe sand and dust storm…

    (WMO’s Taalas) cited some examples from 2017:
    includes:
    Cold periods: The cold also extended to parts of northern Africa with snowfalls in some elevated parts of the Algerian Sahara.
    https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/council-of-arab-ministers-meteorology-meets

    20

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    This is seriously funny…..

    They advocate “more politics, less science”…..

    But if you take out the politics, there will be nothing left, there certainly isnt any science to start with…

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-05-02/why-science-cant-solve-climate-change/9711364

    Climate change a ‘toxic brand’
    The idea of using more politics and less science to solve climate change might stick in the craw of those who think we should rely on what the science “says”.

    But Professor Hulme, who once evaluated climate models and scenario construction, claimed this was putting too much of a burden on science.

    “Science is a very powerful way that humans have invented and discovered to understand the way in which the physical world works,” he said.

    “Science will not be able to adjudicate on what we should or should not do.

    “We have invented another human tradition — we call it politics — to resolve those sorts of challenges.”

    Professor Hulme claimed better politics was the only way to reduce the vitriol around climate change that has made it a divisive and “toxic brand” in some countries.

    Better science communication?

    Some, like Australian psychologists John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky, argued there would be more action on climate if people better understood the scientific consensus.

    But Professor Hulme countered that at the heart of the debate were different political preferences and values — such as how much people are prepared to sacrifice now for future generations, and what kind of energy technology we support.

    “People who are just as committed to the evidence of climate change have very different views about what energy mix we should have — between fracking, nuclear and solar,” Professor Hulme said.

    But Dr Cook, from George Mason University, insisted better science communication can still change views.”

    Its a bit like when socialism isnt working ( coz it cant..) , pile on more socialism as the “solution”…..

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      pat

      OriginalSteve -

      uhoh, we were posting the same link at the same time. it is a crazy piece – how could CAGW possibly get more political?

      btw here’s the lengthy AUDIO. which will be repeated, as will Big Ideas’ Hulme rubbish. theirABC has about four topics of discussion on rotation 24/7.

      AUDIO: 25mins32secs: 29 Apr: ABC: ScienceFriction: Natasha Mitchell: The Climate Fetish
      Science can’t solve climate change, we’ll only be able to deal with it using the human imagination. Really? Leading climate scientist Professor Mike Hulme has had a radical shift in focus, and he believes climate change is at risk of becoming a fetish.
      http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/sciencefriction/the-climate-fetish/9700332

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    pat

    just realised audio for Mike Hulme “Big Ideas”/ABC is at the following link, not the one posted previously.
    first 35mins is Hulme, followed by 19mins of the landscape architect, Kristina Hill, University of California, on alleged huge sea level rise in San Francisco:

    AUDIO: 54mins17secs: 1 May: ABC Big Ideas: Adapting to a changing climate
    The social impact of an uncertain and unpredictable climate and building cities to cope with flooding.
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/adapting-to-a-changing-climate/9711562

    more CAGW from theirABC:

    2 May: ABC: Science can’t solve climate change — better politics can, former IPCC scientist says
    ABC Science By Anna Salleh for Science Friction
    It’s not every day you hear that the climate change debate needs to be “more political and less scientific” — but that is exactly what Mike Hulme is calling for…
    In fact, he said he thought climate change was in danger of becoming a “fetish” and that rallying cries to “save the planet by limiting global warming to 2 degrees” could distract us from the “political logjam” in front of us.
    We can actually only deal with climate through the human imagination.”…

    “Sometimes, framing actions as [tackling] climate change will not bring people into a community meeting. But framing it as ***making savings on energy bills will gain more traction,” said Macquarie University geographer Donna Houston, who hosted a postgraduate workshop with Professor Hulme in Sydney (at NSW Govt-funded Australian Museum) last week…

    Co-benefits are “critically important”, according to David Karoly, who heads up the CSIRO’s Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub…
    Some, like Australian psychologists John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky, argued there would be more action on climate if people better understood the scientific consensus…
    But Dr Cook, from George Mason University, insisted better science communication can still change views.
    “Consensus messaging depolarises the debate, so conservatives become more accepting,” he said…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-05-02/why-science-cant-solve-climate-change/9711364

    Hulme was at NSW govt-funded Australian Museum:

    Sydney Uni: Sydney Environment Institute: SEI News: Professor Mike Hulme & ‘Cultures of Climate’
    On Monday 23 April 2018, join Professor Mike Hulme for the HumanNature Lecture Series. Hulme’s lecture will explore some of the many fascinating ways climates are historicized, known, changed, lived with, blamed, feared, represented, predicted, governed and, at least putatively, re-designed…

    Prof Mike Hulme’s lecture is the third in the HumanNature series, which is ***jointly funded and coordinated by the Australian Museum, the University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, Western Sydney University, and the University of Sydney.

    The Series features leading international scholars in the Environmental Humanities and aims to highlight the key research and developments to come out of the environmental humanities and will feature environmental humanities scholars who are renowned in their fields. Stay tuned for more profiles on ***keynote speakers in the months to come.
    http://sydney.edu.au/environment-institute/news/sei-news-professor-mike-hulme-cultures-climate/

    ***all of whom will be featured endlessly on theirABC, no doubt

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      glen Michel

      very silly people over there.The closest analogy i can come up with is mice on the treadmill.

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    David Maddison

    This website shows the staggering electrical consumption of Bitcoin mining. About the same amount of electricity is used as all of Switzerland.

    https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption

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    pat

    read all:

    2 May: Bloomberg: War on Coal Is Making the World’s Top Mine Owners a Lot Richer
    By Thomas Biesheuvel and Thomas Wilson
    The world’s war on coal is making its biggest producers a lot richer, at least for now.
    With governments from Asia to Europe setting stricter pollution limits as the climate change debate intensifies, output of the planet’s dirtiest fuel is dropping. Some of the more significant declines are occurring in China, the top mine operator, and financing for new supplies is drying up. That’s creating a windfall for the producers who remain.

    Anglo American Plc, which not long ago wanted to unload its coal assets, has seen income from the business triple since 2015 to become the mining company’s most profitable commodity. Last year, Glencore Plc reported earnings from the fuel more than doubled, while BHP Billiton Ltd. said it surged sixfold. Income for the 37 coal producers tracked in a Bloomberg Intelligence index was the highest in six years.

    CHART: Getting Rich From Coal…

    “It’s a perverse consequence” of policies intended to combat climate change, said Julian Treger, co-founder of activist investor Audley Capital Advisors LLP. “It’s going to be very difficult for funders to provide capital to bring new coal assets online. We have a very interesting supply and demand picture being set up.”
    While global coal use and mine output has been dropping, production failed to keep pace with demand in 2016 for the first time in seven years, data compiled by BP Plc show…

    Concern over tightening supplies has revived prices. European coal for export has almost doubled from the lows of 2016, and U.S. futures are 50 percent higher on average in 2018 than two years earlier…

    One reason for the output slide is the lack of coal-industry financing. With growing concern about climate change, lenders shrank funding for the industry to $14.9 billion last year from $22.5 billion in 2015, according to BankTrack. At least 15 of the biggest banks have policies that prevent investing in coal projects. JPMorgan Chase & Co., HSBC Holdings Plc and Credit Suisse Group AG won’t fund new mines, while Societe Generale SA and Deutsche Bank AG go even further with bans on loans for coal-fired power plants.
    And it’s not just banks. Big investors are increasingly turning their backs on coal…

    “The pressure on the investment industry to reduce the amount of capital that we make available to the coal industry is increasing,” said Nick Stansbury, a fund manager at Legal & General Group Plc, the U.K.’s largest manager of pension assets. “That will lead to this industry facing a rising cost of capital.”…
    “This is a lethal product in the way that it is consumed in much of the world,” Stansbury said. “Providing energy to people who otherwise don’t have access to it is hugely socially useful, but coal is not the most useful form of energy to provide.”…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-01/war-on-coal-is-making-the-world-s-top-mine-owners-a-lot-richer

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    Chinese crypto-miners chewing through our coal on our plot?

    What’s odd to me about our relationship with China is that we like to insult them and then say yes. We threaten them over what we cannot control and then cave in to them over what we can control. Like ports, irrigation/ag-land, urban real estate, concessions of all kinds. You don’t have to be Sam Dastyari to work it out.

    How about we measure our words at all times, stay ultra-polite at all times…but say NO a bit more often?

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      toorightmate

      Whether we like it or not, China is now our economic master.
      How did they get there?
      By stealth and the stupidity of BHP, Rio Tinto and numerous Australian governments.
      Yep, you heard me right. China is our economic master.

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    pat

    AAP loves that simulated ETS in “climate leader” China:

    2 May: SBS: China eyes blue skies with carbon tax plan
    China is approaching climate change with a double whammy of an Emissions Trading Scheme launched in December and plans to bring in a carbon tax next.
    They’re two ideas that have been controversial in Australia but for China, while it has been complex to develop, it was a simple decision.
    Low carbon is the future, Jiang Kejun, a senior researcher at the Chinese government’s Energy Research Institute, told AAP.

    “This is a very strong signal to tell investors, otherwise investors don’t know what’s in the future, they only think about short term benefits,” he said at an emissions reduction summit in Melbourne on Tuesday…
    Businesses are on board with the ETS, officially expanded nationally in December as a follow-up to seven pilot programs running around the country.

    Initially only applying to the electricity sector, it’ll cover 1700 power companies and three billion tonnes of carbon, making it easily the world’s biggest.
    In contrast, the current largest ETS in the European Union applies over 31 countries and 11,000 heavy emitters, across multiple sectors, but only manages 1.4 billion tonnes of carbon.
    Dr Jiang eventually sees the ETS covering eight sectors and seven billion tonnes of carbon but in the meantime a carbon price will help pull other sectors into line.

    He concedes an ETS won’t work for everybody and talked up the importance of subsidies for renewables, something China has seen a major jump in.
    China expects solar energy to be competitive against coal without subsidies by 2020 and wind against coal by 2022, which means if investors head down the clean route it eventually negates the need for the ETS.

    ***”China is very unique, the government is so strong, the government can do everything they want to do. It doesn’t matter if people like it or not they just do that,” he said…

    He believes Australia can lead the world into the low carbon scene with renewables.
    “I think it’s easier to be a very low carbon country – very big space, the sunshine so good,” Dr Jiang said.
    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/china-eyes-blue-skies-with-carbon-tax-plan

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    pat

    funny how AAP/SBS are not reporting the following! nor ABC, I would guess:

    1 May: Oil Price: Can China Meet Its Nuclear Power Goals?
    By Irina Slav
    China has 36.93 GW of nuclear power generation capacity across 38 units, data from the China Nuclear Energy Association has shown. Most of this is concentrated in coastal provinces where nuclear accounts for 15-25 percent of the power generation mix.
    Yet this is nothing compared to China’s plans for nuclear energy: the country is eyeing capacity of 88 GW by 2020, installed and under construction…

    A recent report (LINK) by the China Nuclear Energy Association, however, warned that if Beijing is to meet its 2020 nuclear capacity targets, it would need to build faster. This year, the non-government organization said, five reactors will be launched out of 20 that are under construction. But five a year is not enough: China needs to launch between six and eight reactors annually to hit the target of 88 GW in operation by 2020.

    The five reactors to be launched this year will add 6 GW to China’s power generation capacity as the country seeks to reduce its dependence on coal, which currently accounts for 70 percent of power generation…

    Meanwhile, China is developing its nuclear power know-how and is already exporting it, well on its way to becoming a leading nuclear power as others begin to phase out their nuclear power capacity.
    “China is the fastest-expanding nuclear power generator in the world, underscoring the huge potential of the country’s nuclear sector at a time when traditional giants like the US are retreating,” the director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University recently told the Global Times.

    The most notable illustration of this expansion is the Hualong-1 third-generation reactor which is currently being built in China, but Beijing is in talks with four countries, among them the UK, Thailand, Argentina, and the Czech Republic, to built Hualong-1 there as well
    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Can-China-Meet-Its-Nuclear-Power-Goals.html

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      The five reactors to be launched this year will add 6 GW to China’s power generation capacity…

      So, a Nameplate for each reactor of 1200MW.

      You know 2.86 times the Nameplate of Macarthur Wind Plant, (420MW) the largest in Australia, and generating anything up to 8.6 times the power per year, just from the ONE reactor.

      Or all five Reactors, so just 1000MW higher in Nameplate than every wind plant in Australia in total, and delivering around four times the power. FIVE reactors.

      5 Reactors or around 2800 wind towers.

      Tony.

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    TdeF

    Consider if Abbott did get back in as PM. He could move to cancel the RET immediately.

    The cross benchers have not read it. Few in parliament could read it. Almost none have read it. They fought for the Carbon Tax, the Mining Tax. The RET is a complex document which almost no one understands, so it could vanish.

    Sovereign risk? So what? The RET is a gift, not an obligation. Daniel Andrew’s showed how to handle sovereign risk when without warning he tripled the cost of coal. The the publicly owned Liddell was given away for nothing and now AGL don’t want $1.5Billion for it, preferring it closed. Remove the RET and it all would make sense again. For example Hepburn Springs have paid for their $10million windmill 10 years early and are still receiving massive subsidies but still cannot make a profit from selling the world’s most expensive electricity. Why hand them cash for an unprofitable business, or is wind energy preferable to lower CO2. If so, what evidence is there that it works?

    Yes, the wind farms would go out of business, unable to compete on fair terms. So? We paid for them. Hand them back to the state. The home solar would not be paid for lunchtime electricity no one wants and no one can use, except perhaps to heat their swimming pools. We paid 50% of the cost of something they own, so why should we pay for the unwanted power? They would be better off with far cheaper power at night.

    Then if for some strange reason people want electric cars, it would be nicer if the electricity was 1/3 of the price? They would make more sense.

    We could also start smelting again, recycling plastic and making steel and running businesses profitably instead of everyone working for the public service. We could stop paying businesses secretly to keep operating uneconomically, as with Alcoa and all smelters. We could stop paying businesses to stop work when there is no power. We might even recycle our own waste instead of sending it to China, who no longer want it.

    So Tony, get back in, remove the RET. Even the cross benchers would agree. Stop the insanity. There is only one Green in the House of Representatives. Sorry, two if you count Malcolm.

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      We know that geographic factors can limit or stimulate a country’s productivity, navigable rivers, good soil, fertile valleys, mineral resources… but nature doesn’t rule all, culture and can-do government,
      (not pervasive bureaucratic stuff-up,) is significant too. Look how
      the Ming Emperors’ state monopolies stymied China and how once rich
      Spain squandered its gold. Today there’s Venezuela, once the richest
      country in South America, now in economic crisis. And poor fella’ my country. We hafta’ get action. Get rid of the RET! No payola for
      failure, those subsidies O-U-T. While we’re about it, who will rid us
      of those troublesome knaves, Mal ‘n Bill?

      …Time ter bombard yr local reps with letters.

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      ROM

      If people want electric cars then let them pay for the power stations required to meet the extra amounts of power required for large scale EV numbers. Let the electric car buyers and users pay for the extra power lines and refurbished grid to carry the extra power required for EV’s
      Make the EV buyers and users pay for All the costs of the electrical outlets needed to recharge their cars where ever and when ever.

      After all petroleum powered vehicles never got witha bulls roar of the immense subsidies, both open and hidden, that are currently being lavished on EV’s by governments and politicians who will never o learn that politicals and governments NEVER can pick winners but are champions at picking losers ofimense amounts of tax payers hard earned in new and failed technological developments.

      The petroleum fueled Vehicles were developed by private enetrprise over many decades without serious subsidies from governments of every persuasion.

      The fuel refining and the the immense continent wide fuel distribution systems with all its outlets and supply points and pipelines and etc were ALL financed and created by private entrepreneurs who used the profits from selling fuel to vehicle owners to finance and build the immense and extremely complex fuel distribution systems of today.

      So why should petroleum fueled vehicle owners be forced through the tax system to subsidise and to basically finance a complete fueling system including new power generators and a rebuilt heavier grid to carry power to EV owners charging points so EV owners get a cheap ride in vehicles that not many of the proletariat are ever likely in the next few decades to be able to afford.

      Furthermore, it has already been shown that EV’s in their totality of construction including huge amounts of energy required for constructing their batteries, plus the losses in transmission of power from the power generators to charging points, plus losses in charging and then discharging vehicle batteries, are actually producing considerably more CO2, the dreaded “carbon” of the climate change fanatics than does the entire process of refining , transporting and using petroleum fuels in a standard vehicle.

      So what is then point of pushing EV’s when new fossil fueled engine developments are already reducing the excuse for EV’s, the Carbon of the climate change fanatics to levels lower in fact in a total system overview than can be done by EV’s and all their required power generating systems.

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    2dogs

    Hunter Energy told the Age that the price is feasible because the electricity produced at the coal power plant would go straight to the crypto miners, bypassing—and thus, presumably, avoiding the costs of using—the grid.

    Does this mean that if you bypass the grid, you bypass the RET?

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      el gordo

      Good point.

      From my understanding the crypto consortium will only need about five percent of energy generated, so they might have to build a satellite city.

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      RickWill

      No. It is possible to get exemptions but I think unlikely for crypto mining although it would be reasonable to argue for exemption. The main benefit is bypassing the NEM scheduling. It means the generator can run at steady output and not be up and down at the whim of the wind. The generator can be run at a near steady economic rate. You get a guaranteed volume and price for all output. The RET at current level adds about 1.5 cents/kWh so not huge.

      The high cost of intermittency is the destruction of base load. Every MW of wind and solar generation reduces base load by a corresponding amount. Australia how has 5000MW of wind generation and similar amount of solar. On a windy sunny day in spring or autumn that can reduce demand on dispatchable generators by about 30%. That equates to 30% loss of revenue for that period but higher operating and maintenance costs to remain on line to be recovered from reduced sales. AEMO have hinted that they need to compensate dispatchable generation to remain available to make up for lost revenue from loss of electricity sales taken by the intermittents. Obviously that will mean higher costs to consumers to avoid more loss of dispatchable generation.

      So, to summarise, we subsidise wind and solar generators into the grid. We replace low cost slow response dispatchable coal generation with high cost fast response dispatchable gas generation. We realise prices are out of control and stability is at risk so look at ways to subsidise coal to ensure viability and to hang around to get prices and stability under control; again. All this in the vain hope of cooling the planet. Or getting gullible populace to part with their money for a good cause.

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        TdeF

        “The RET at current level adds about 1.5 cents/kWh so not huge.”

        Where did you get this figure?

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    One would think that a first-world coal-rich (make that ultra-coal-rich) nation which is also ultra-rich in iron ore, nickel, uranium, zinc, copper, gold. silver, cobalt, manganese, lead, titanium, rare earths, bauxite etc would be smelter-central for metal production and value adding. One would think that.

    Nope. Out of the question. Smelly stuff. Boy stuff. Snips ‘n snail ‘n puppy dog tails. Yuk.

    But we do have some Chinese crypto-miners burning our coal on the cheap to make bitcoins. (That’s where you mine stuff then burn what you mine to sort-of mine again to produce a bunch of numbers.) Will that do?

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    [...] line of argument from Jo Nova. Chinese Bitcoin miners are reopening the Hunter Valley coal power station called Redbank in NSW. [...]

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    pat

    this will not be reported by theirABC/SBS/Fairfax/Guardian etc etc:

    27 Apr: Reuters: Strong Asian demand continues to hold up thermal coal markets
    by Nina Chestney in London, Henning Gloystein in Singapore
    Asian thermal coal demand is defying its typical seasonal slowdown as well as the expanding use of renewables and natural gas, with prices holding not far off $100 a tonne despite the onset of the usual lull at this time of year.

    Benchmark Australian thermal coal prices are at $93.40 a tonne, their highest seasonal level in five years and $15 per tonne above the five-year average price.
    Coal’s strength is also visible in the derivatives market, where API2 2018 coal futures are at around $83 a tonne, around 25 percent higher than in April 2017.

    The firm prices are due to robust use in India, Japan, South Korea and even China, where coal consumption has held up despite huge programs to boost the use of gas and renewable energy.
    “Coal demand for the coming two years is expected to remain stable around current levels. Although headlines in the newspapers may suggest that coal demand will peak soon, in reality, demand will remain solid in the coming years,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro.

    Thermal coal remains the most-used fuel for power generation globally, especially in Asia which uses more than 70 percent of the world’s thermal coal, up from under 50 percent in 2000, according to BP’s latest Statistical Review of the World.
    The strong demand comes despite coal’s image as a dirty fuel which has left it increasingly shunned by many investors.

    However, cashing in on strong demand have been specialist thermal coal miners like Australia’s Whitehaven Coal, Indonesia’s Adaro Energy and Glencore, who have been outperforming their peers from the natural gas market like Santos or Woodside…
    For the rest of the year, analysts expect prices to remain strong, with a slowdown in demand only starting to weigh on prices from the 2020s as renewables and natural gas gradually eat into coal’s use…

    GOING STRONG
    One of the surprises over the past year has been China, where many analysts expected a decline in coal demand due to its drive to use more renewables and move millions of households to use natural gas for heating…
    Restocking by utilities after the lunar new year prompted a 20 percent jump in coal imports in March from a year earlier, customs data showed…

    Elsewhere in Asia, imports by Japan and South Korea also remain strong. More than 40 percent of South Korea’s nuclear generation is currently offline, which has driven the need for increased coal use.
    Coal’s rally since 2016 has revived companies like Peabody from bankruptcy. Tempted by high prices, many miners are now eyeing higher output.

    For the first time in years, over the past two quarters, 80 to 90 percent of global miners have been making money due to higher coal prices, said Georgi Slavov, head of research at commodities brokerage Marex Spectron…
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-coal-prices-analysis/strong-asian-demand-continues-to-hold-up-thermal-coal-markets-idUSKBN1HY0YC

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      If the coal market gets any better Tom Steyer will have to resign from the war on coal and go right back to coal investing. Party like it’s 2010, Tom!

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    pat

    just switched on the “Credlin” program on Sky News (before watching UEFA Cup replay) and they were discussing a headline showing on the screen, claiming a survey in Victoria shows JUST 13% of Victorians think their electricity bills are too high!

    the only coverage I can find is Herald Sun, behind a paywall, with one headline being:

    Power bills Victoria: Households in the dark on rising energy costs

    however, there’s also a different headline for the same story. best excerpts I can gather below:

    Origin survey shows households are in the dark on their pricey power …
    Herald Sun-30 Apr. 2018
    As households struggle with soaring power costs, a new survey released by Origin Energy has revealed that just 13 per cent think their electricity deal is more expensive than they could be paying elsewhere…
    Seven out of every ten households can save money by switching to a new electricity deal, with the typical family saving $330 in the first year alone. But the survey, by Empirica Research, quizzed 1000 bill-payers and found they were more likely to try and reduce their power usage and buy energy efficient appliances to pay less on their bills, instead of switching providers…

    who would believe an Origin survey? not me.

    as for Empirica Research, couldn’t help noticing the name of Jon Krosnick on their website as a consultant for their Think Tank:

    Empirica Research: Jon Krosnick is the Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences at Stanford University
    http://empiricaresearch.com.au/think-tank/#jon

    there’s lots of Krosnick on joannenova and WUWT over the years, but here’s just one perfect example I posted on jo’s website a few years ago:

    6 May 2015: LA Times: Patt Morrison: Stanford’s Jon Krosnick: On climate change, most Americans want action
    Another presidential election, another chance for Republican candidates to step out of the denial zone and deal with climate change. That would put them on the same side as a large majority of Americans, if you ask Jon A. Krosnick. He’s a Stanford University professor who directs the Political Psychology Research Group there, and his two decades of asking Americans about climate change has turned up consistent support for action to rein in global warming…

    Q. How did you get started on climate change?

    Krosnick: In 1995, I got [an invitation] to a meeting of psychologists to talk about global warming. When I heard the framing of the question — why some people cared about climate change and other people didn’t — I understood why I was there. I’d been trying to understand why some Americans care about particular political issues and some don’t. I had studied abortion and gun control and other policy issues.

    Q. How does it compare?

    Krosnick: In some ways, climate change is typical and in some ways it’s not. Pick any issue — gun control, defense spending, even terrorism — and a small group of Americans are very passionate about it: 5% to 15%, sometimes 18% or 20%. But no issue gets anywhere near a majority of Americans…

    Q. In what way is climate change different?

    Krosnick: It’s weird in this regard: About 90% of the passionate are on what you might call the green side. They believe it’s happening, it’s caused by humans, it’s a serious problem, and government should do something about it. That’s unusual in that it allows candidates to win votes by talking about it. Democrats and Republicans will gain votes among independent voters if they take a green position…
    Many Americans, including people in Washington, do not realize how one-sided the public is on this…
    So we’ve started looking at states and haven’t found a single state where a majority of residents are skeptical, but legislators think they are. West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas — even in those states, large majorities are expressing green points of view…

    Q. What influences people’s thinking?

    Krosnick: In one experiment, we had [control group] participants simply report their opinions on global warming. Others reported after watching a video interview with [Stanford climate scientist Stephen Schneider]. A third group reported its opinions after watching that video and a video of another Stanford professor, from the Hoover Institution, making a counter-argument that more greenhouse gases are good for the planet.
    Compared to the control group, we found that watching Schneider did increase the number of people who said the planet was warming, and so on. When the skeptic [video] followed Schneider, pretty much all the impact of Schneider was eliminated…
    We’ve [also] found the more people have been exposed to Fox News stories in general, the more likely they are to be skeptical about climate change…

    Q. Have public attitudes changed over time?

    ***Krosnick: What we’ve found is about 80% of Americans — I never see 80% of Americans agreeing on anything when it comes to other issues, so this is very unusual — believe the federal government should limit greenhouse gas emissions by businesses and in particular by public utilities…
    Some [other] policies enjoy clear majority support: a carbon tax on business, cap-and-trade systems, tax incentives or mandates to improve energy efficiency of buildings, [cars] or appliances — policies that are characterized as reducing emissions, with a guarantee of reductions. Even if it costs Americans money, we see about two-thirds to three-quarters of the country expressing support for these policies…
    Q. In 2010, Gallup’s Frank Newport disagreed with your conclusions, saying many polling groups showed “demonstrable drops” in Americans’ “acknowledgment and concern” about global warming.

    Krosnick: I don’t know of any studies that have shown anywhere near a majority of Americans expressing incredulity [about global warming], but there certainly is variation in the percentage of Americans expressing particular opinions. [Variations often] have to do with question wording…
    When question wording [is different] in significant ways, it’s not unusual to see substantial differences in the answers you get.
    I wish polls played a more prominent role in governance…
    http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-83467321/

    I have no doubt the Victorian survey is rubbish.

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    Even the folks (to borrow Barry O’s second favourite patronising word after “kids”) in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas are expressing green points of view? Them thar rubes who can’t even say macchiato? In large majorities? Well, it shows the value of using precise scientific terms like “climate change”, “global warming” and “green points of view”. What would we do without science?

    You have to know how to read these titles and honours:

    Empirica Research + Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences + Political Psychology Research Group + think tank = push poller + witch doctor + factoid spinner + data torturer.

    Tripe factor is doubled if Stanford’s involved.

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    pat

    a despressing bunch of people:

    2 May: Guardian: Climate ‘culture war’ will doom Australia to fail on emissions targets, Labor says
    Mark Butler says ‘we’re not going to get deep decarbonisation’ without end to toxic politics
    by Calla Wahlquist
    Australia will not achieve its emissions reductions targets until it ends the “culture war” on climate policy, Labor frontbencher Mark Butler has said.
    Speaking at the Carbon Market Institute emissions reduction conference in Melbourne on Wednesday, Butler said that Australia was a case study in how “toxic politics” could stymie efforts to decarbonise the economy.

    Australia should follow the example of the United Kingdom, he said, ***which has maintained bipartisan commitment to its climate policies through Brexit and divisive debates around immigration despite a “similar media market”.
    “I fear that we’re not going to get on the sort of path that we need to get on to until we resolve the toxic politics that has put climate right at the centre of the culture war in Australia,” Butler said. “Until we find a way through that we’re not going to get deep decarbonisation in Australia.”…
    Butler said high-polluting industries that fought against the a carbon pricing mechanism under the previous Labor government now wanted an emissions reductions mechanism…

    Claire Savage is deputy chair of the Energy Security Board, which was established to provide advice on the energy policy overhaul. She told the conference that Australia needed integrated energy and climate change policy and the NEG was “an opportunity for bipartisanship on a mechanism to deliver emissions reduction”…
    “Industry do need confidence around the mechanism that will operate and the framework within which the targets will change.”
    Savage also said Australia should focus on energy efficiency as the main policy lever that could reduce energy prices, reduce emissions and increase reliability.
    ***“Reducing peak demand is a way of dealing with peak demand,” she said…

    Butler said addressing the inefficiency of Australian industry and households was “critical” to both reducing costs and ensuring supply.
    “We have an enormous challenge in that we’ve gone from being a low-cost energy economy to a high-cost energy economy but we’re still behaving like a low-cost energy economy,” he said.
    Butler and Savage were speaking on a panel that included the Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, the Nationals MP Damian Drum and the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network chief executive, Susie Smith…

    Drum said the push for renewables in the form of state-specific targets was “bullshit” if it came at the expense of affordable dispatchable power.
    “We all love to have a social conscience, just think about your social conscience when you get the price of energy to the stage where mums and dads can’t pay their bills,” he said…

    Drum said that Australia’s capacity for gas electricity generation had been “hijacked by liars”.
    “Gas is half the emissions of coal, and better, and it’s dispatchable and it’s available and we lock it up,” he said. “We lock it up for political reasons. I continually get challenged, ‘Hey mate, why don’t you blokes accept the science on climate change?’ ***I say, ‘Mate, I do, why don’t you accept the science on gas?’.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/may/02/labor-says-australia-will-fail-on-emissions-targets-unless-climate-culture-war-ends

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    • #
      Serp

      Thanks for this Pat.

      All the vying for sanctimony incarnate status by the reported speakers makes for a suffocating read and is only partly relieved by Drum’s contribution.

      Let’s face it, nobody was, is or will ever be in possession of Complete Knowledge but anybody can see the deliberations of such a conference will produce yer garbage out.

      Love to all.

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  • #
    Bob Peel

    Energy to burn mining thin air. ??? “Recycle”
    An intriguing post Joanne.
    So our coal – the CO2 added to our budget – processing Bitcoin turns out cheap and feasible given the right size power station and playing the RET at its own game?
    The comments correctly identify it should interest our smelters. But should we not expect a flood of similar deals to resolve the exposed Recycle/Ship to China scandal?
    Cheers

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