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Solar overload — “Costs a fortune” as the super Duck Curve flood of electricity hits Australia

Ladies and Gentlemen, Australia is now romping in as Star-Crash-Test-Dummy in the renewables stake.

Proportionally, we have more uncontrolled solar roof top generators than any other nation. We’re in uncharted territory: about 20% of houses in Hawaii and California have Solar PV, but in Western Australia, it’s 25%. In Queensland it’s 30% and throughout Australia we are adding 100MW a month and it’s like a whole new coal fired station every year (except it doesn’t work most of the time).

Strap yourself in! This is more useless infrastructure than anywhere else on planet Earth. The only time solar PV panels provide something we might need is at afternoon tea time in summer when airconditioners are on. So for three quarters of the year they provide electricity when we don’t need it, and for three quarters of every day they don’t even work. The rest of the time they burn capital, increase the blackout and fire risk and sit there collecting dust and hail stones.

Electricity at the wrong time is not just wasted, it’s a burden

Too much electricity bumps up the grid frequency and voltage, potentially damaging equipment and risking blackouts. Obviously we have to “manage” this flood of green electrons. Your money or your lights.

If you like your computer, you can keep your computer. But hand over your job, the economy and your quality of life.

Welcome to the Duck Curve

Each year as more solar power arrives when we don’t need it in the middle of the day, the belly of the load curve swings lower and lower. Then as the sun fades and the peak need of the day arrives after dark the demand ramps up, and so must the supply. This peak is the ducks head. The neck of the duck is when generators must ramp up steeply to take over from the failing sun. It’s often when prices spike.

Duck Curve, Graph, Solar PV, Electricity load.

The Californian Duck Curve keeps getting fatter as more solar power arrives at noon. (Courtesy of CAISO)

The tail of the duck is the secondary peak at breakfast. The belly of the duck is noon, when otherwise profitable cheap baseload electricity infrastructure sits around and burns cash. The middle of the day is “theoretically cheap” but the rest of the day gets more expensive.

If we add more storage, we just toss more money in the pit in an attempt to flatten a curve that we created in the quest for greener electrons.

The solution, just stop, stop already!

The commentariat below are saying that at best we switch our hot water systems to “soak” up electricity we didn’t need, or buy electric cars we don’t want. Or we need fancy-pants switches to disconnect the panels, or we need to pay millions for batteries or billions for pumped hydro. Pay now, pay later, pay, pray and pay!

I say, just stop. Stop installing infrastructure we don’t need, stop subsidizing it, stop pretending we need green electrons. Stop pretending we need “storage” to solve a problem we never had. Stop buying electricity at inflated prices from generators which don’t make it when we need it. People wanting to make money selling solar power can pay for the batteries themselves.

Start spreading the costs of this pointless experiment as fairly as we can instead of dumping it on electricity consumers who don’t have solar and on taxpayers who voted against a carbon tax.

 Call it a “solar spill” — doesn’t sound so bad

Everyone seems to think this is just an unlucky accident happening because of an inevitable transition. Instead this is a slow motion train wreck — utterly predictable:

“Solar power surge is flooding the grid”

Cole Latimer, The Sydney Morning Herald

 ”Solar spill”, when high levels of energy are generated by rooftop installations in the middle of the day when demand is low, is becoming a problem for Australia’s electricity networks, according to Andrew Dillon, the head of the grid representative body Energy Networks Australia.

“If this goes badly, one of three things is going to happen,” he said at an Energy Networks 2018 event on Wednesday.

“Either we get voltage and frequency issues at the local level or even localised blackouts and things tripping off.”

Or rooftop solar would have to be stopped from coming into the grid or, he said, the networks would have to spend a fortune to have the capacity to deal with it.

Electricity providers warn of massive blackouts as excess solar power during the middle of the day threatens to flood the grid

Brett Lackey, Daily Mail Australia

  • Energy companies are becoming concerned about excess solar power in grid 
  • Residential solar panels feed extra electricity into grid which can overload it 
  • Electricty experts say residential battery packs are needed to stop blackouts

The best solution to soak up the excess energy and stop it from coming into the grid is by installing battery packs.

‘We have to soak up the energy somehow, battery storage is an efficient way of doing this; we can get energy recoveries of around 90 per cent,’ energy service company Greensync’s chief executive Phil Blythe said.

At the ABC this is a “success” for renewables, where Queensland is a “world leader”.

And the solutions are smart and involve the government spending even more of your money:

 Solar panel surge is overloading the electricity grid and could lead to blackouts: energy group

Ashleigh Stevenson, ABC

Mr Dillon said if the issue was not addressed, problems could occur.

“The first one is we start to get voltage and frequency issues, which can damage equipment or even localise outages,” he said.

“The second one is we have networks saying to customers wanting to connect solar, ‘No you can’t do it because we’re full’.”

Or, he said, the networks may end up having to spend a fortune to upgrade their facilities.

Some call this profligate emergency patch for our grid — “future proofing”:

Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Government had introduced several measures to future-proof the network. “We have to move the peak that we’re seeing during the middle of the day when we have solar, to that night time cooking peak, and we’re doing that,” Dr Lynham said. “The big thing we’re doing obviously is the pumped hydro, the big Wivenhoe pumped hydro storage solution. That’s 570 megawatts … that’s a coal-fired power station.

Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Government had introduced several measures to future-proof the network.

“We have to move the peak that we’re seeing during the middle of the day when we have solar, to that night time cooking peak, and we’re doing that,” Dr Lynham said. “So during the middle of the day when all the solar panels on roofs are working, we’re storing energy through pumping water up the top of the hill at Wivenhoe and at night time we’re driving it back down.”

Dr Lynham said the Government was taking a smart approach to the issue.

“We’re bringing on an interest-free loan scheme for batteries later on this year,” he said. “Instead of peaking your hot water at night when power used to be cheap, you peak your hot water during the day, you have your pool pump running during the middle of the day when the solar is on. “And also you can’t have a normal meter installed in a house — if you build a house or change your meter it must be a smart meter so all those controls are available to the household.”

 

h/t David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz, Pat, Ian, others Thank you.
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123 comments to Solar overload — “Costs a fortune” as the super Duck Curve flood of electricity hits Australia

  • #

    “Either we get voltage and frequency issues at the local level or even localised blackouts and things tripping off.” Even without the daily duck curve just a few little clouds must cause hiccups. A complicated nightmare of areas suddenly behind a cloud changing from having been pulling the phase (attempting to raise the frequency) to dragging then back as the cloud passes all out of time with each other means spikes rouge waves and a whole host of system reaction time delays. Batteries cost cost cost. Then die and cost again. Can we even afford the time spent on diagnosis of what caused the latest issue. At last the oil companies will love all the trucks of repair equipment buzzing around in circles.

    373

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Love it Siliggy.

      Between you and Jo you’ve nailed it.

      No more comments needed.

      Madness rules.

      Vote No 1. Turnbull.

      Idiots.

      150

      • #
        GD

        Vote No 1. Turnbull

        No, vote Australian Conservatives or any other conservative minor parties. There needs to be a third force in the Senate to negate the damage the Liberals and the Labor/Greens are inflicting upon us.

        180

        • #
          PeterS

          So true. Glad to see there are more people who think that way. Otherwise, we might as all go home and wait for the smoke from the crash and burn scenario. Then again the way things are going I’m not so sure we are of the woods yet – not by a long shot. When you have a party like the Greens still way ahead of the ACP and ON, I still view the vast majority of people in Australia are asleep. Something really bad must then happen to wake them up. Let’s hope the new change in the wind apparently blowing across the rest of the West since Trump was elected reaches us very soon.

          81

        • #
          TedM

          “There needs to be a third force in the Senate”

          There need to be a third force in the lower house.

          100

          • #
            PeterS

            Indeed but of course that’s much harder. However, it’s more important since it’s the only quick and efficient way to turn things around. Having just the upper house in control of say the ACP might only go so far as stalling things but not necessarily reversing the renewables insanity. We desperately need a Trump like leader as PM but let’s face reality – it ain’t going to happen for a number of reasons, the biggest one being I think is that most Australians would hesitate at approving such a leader of any party. Sad but true I believe.

            30

        • #
          PeterPetrum

          In my electorate in the Blue Mountains there is very little chance of a conservative winning in the next election, unless we get someone extraordinary to stand, which is unlikely. So, the last three on my ticket for the lower house will be, Libs, Labor, Greens, and any vaguely right winger up top (still no chance of winning, though). However, in the Upper House, it will be Australian Conservatives first (as long as they have a rep (or two) in NSW, which is likely) then any other right winger next down the line, with the major parties and the Greens last. At least it may send a message and may help get a solid Conservative party holding the balance of power in the senate.

          50

          • #
            Evo of gong

            I agree that the AC don’t have a chance to get someone in the lower house at the next election but if they can get a few in the senate they might should be able to prevent some of the crazy ideas that Liberal, Labour or the Greens might want to legislate. As a ex-liberal voter I have now thrown my lot in with the Australian Conservatives who have the most sensible policy on climate change and energy. Bernardi’s strategy is to target the upper house where the AC might be able to get the balance of power.

            10

    • #
      Latus Dextro

      The rest of the time they burn capital, increase the blackout and fire risk and sit there collecting dust and hail stones.

      … and illustrate another one of those Green inconvenient truths better known as hypocrisies, the utterly enormous toxic burden presented during manufacture and disposal of PV panels …

      The toxic chemicals in solar panels include cadmium telluride, copper indium selenide, cadmium gallium (di)selenide, copper indium gallium (di)selenide, hexafluoroethane, lead, and polyvinyl fluoride. Additionally, silicon tetrachloride, a byproduct of producing crystalline silicon, is highly toxic. <a href="https://sciencing.com/toxic-chemicals-solar-panels-18393.html&quot;>Toxic Chemicals in Solar Panels By David H. Nguyen, Ph.D.; Updated April 30, 2018

      …. and they’re thinking batteries are a good idea? It beggars belief.

      82

      • #
        • #
          WXcycles

          This area, of solar panel toxicity, is a bit far-fetched. It reminds me of the fear-mongering crazes surrounding ‘radiation’, and then dioxin, and super-duper toxic electrical-transformers, during the 1980s and 90s. We were all going to get cancer, birth defects and a third eye. Didn’t happen though, in fact, it was a non-event (mostly pushed by ABC, and junk-sci magazines … ho-hum).

          The substances used in solar panel manufacture have also been used in mass-market computer manufacturing, since the late 1970s. These substances are not new, they’re commonplace. If they were a problem Taiwan for one would be an Island 25 million sick and dying super-mutants. Not happening.

          There are many good reasons to slam solar panels on generation merits.

          Their toxicity isn’t one of them. If you think it’s really a problem why are we all using PCs, smartphones, and modern digital TVs?

          This is more of the usual anti-DDT or ‘Silent Spring’ type mentality, taking yet another swipe at technology, with yet another inconsequential toxicity fear-campaign. I’ll believe this is a ‘problem’ when smartphone manufacture is banned, for using these same molecules and processes.

          21

        • #
          Latus Dextro

          Thanks tom0mason! Nevertheless, relieved that the citation was adequate enough for you to kindly and accurately correct.

          00

          • #
            tom0mason

            Latus Dextro,

            No problem.
            However I would point out that solar panel are a quick and effective method of seeing how demented K. Trenbeth’s silly is his ideas about earth’s energy balance.

            During the day 341 Wm^-2, or 161 Wm^-2, is shown as available at the surface absorption in the paper on Earth’s Global Energy Budget by Kevin E.Trenberth, John T.Fasullo, and Jeffrey Kiehl.

            However, most solar panels are rated as about 15.5% efficiency at 1000 Wm^-2, and have an area of approximately 1.18 m^-2. This results in peak output of 1.18 x 0.155 x 1000 which is approximately 183W – manufacturer often round this to something like a rating of 200 W.

            If the planet worked as Trenberth et al. say then 341 Wm-2 from the sun would results in peak output of only 63 W. Why rate them at 200W when (according to Trenberth) under 65W is the peak possible.

            00

      • #
        Geoffrey Williams

        Queensland & Western Australia ‘World leaders in renewables’
        Sure, world leaders alright-in a race to the edge of the cliff!!
        GeoffW

        50

  • #
    Bruce

    Thank you Jo, I am very disturbed about the way our political servants are behaving in an aloof totalitarian manner about many many current theories.

    371

    • #
      Leonard Lane

      Bruce, the farther you go from free enterprise, leaving the most good for the most people, into socialism where the very rich prosper, the poor are subsidized through taxes, and the middle class is driven out. That is the inevitible result of increasing socialism.

      120

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Agreed. Although solar systems usually have grid connectivity so the inverters can be shut down via remote command from the power company if so confugured.

        As such, in theory there should not be over-generation of power.

        If not, it again points to a deliberate creation if a problem.

        Possibly they are waiting for a crisis to use as an excuse to implement very tight controls on all household based power generation….

        00

  • #

    Is it time to ask for a discount for disconnecting the off peak meter and replacing it with a duck bum meter?

    142

  • #
    Robber

    How government interventions have stuffed the electricity market with roof top solar rebates that aren’t a rebate. When you buy a solar power system for your roof, the government gives you (or more often your provider) a certain number of renewable energy certificates depending on how big your system is and how much sun your part of Australia gets. The special type of RECs that you get for a residential solar system are called “Small Scale Technology Certificates” (STCs). Those STCs essentially reduce the price you pay by about $600/kW, but those STCs are paid for by other electricity consumers. Current legislation means that the solar rebate started to reduce by one fifteenth every year from Jan 2017 until it drops to zero in 2032.
    In addition, State governments have established feed-in tariffs of 9-11 cents/kWhr that include an allowance of about 2.5 cents/kWhr as a “carbon reduction” bonus over and above typical wholesale prices. But as pointed out in this article, the value of solar generation in the middle of the day is getting less and less, and the costs of accommodating that generation is getting more and more. Sheer government madness driving electricity prices up for both consumers and businesses, for what? Oh that’s right, to stop global warming by 0.001 degrees in 2100.

    351

    • #
      PeterS

      Actually how do we know they won’t actually INCREASE global temperatures by 0.0001 C? Of course there is no way of knowing either way. Look the whole thing is a scam.

      311

  • #
    Geoff

    Its not about the CO2. Its ALL about the money and who gets it. So much corruption and stupidity, not sure of the order of occurrence.

    Can it be stopped? Not with our current crop of politicians. Its must fail first…… and it will.

    371

    • #
      PeterS

      Correct Geoff. More specifically it’s about tax and power. The leftists can’t stand losing so they will try anything and everything to push their agenda, even if it ends up rolling the country over the cliff.

      261

    • #

      Yeah, they’re not this thick. It’s all about cronies, carpetbagging, taxing and controlling. Can’t be about the coal because we raffle that off to Asia in huge quantities to pay for all this green gunk.

      Crony globalism at work. It’s the only answer to that eternal question…
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3hjo7V7TPs

      200

      • #
        Just Thinkin'

        CORRECT, Mosomoso.

        I remember when the water was “taken” away from
        Councils in Queensland and separate “Water Boards”
        set up.

        The price per quarter for our water went from around
        $90 to OVER $300…..all in one go…

        Well, someone’s got to pay for all the maaaatees in high
        places, don’t they?

        110

  • #
    PeterS

    How much more evidence does one need to prove both major parties have set and will keep this nation on a course of self-destruction? When will voters wake up? When it’s too late? I hope not. What’s interesting is other nations appear to have taken notice how our crash test is producing the results anyone with an ounce of intelligence is to expect. So they are now announcing policies to bolster their coal and/or nuclear power stations to avoid the disaster we are going to experience if we do not turn around.

    181

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      It will take multiple deaths of the plebs followed by many lynchings of politicians for people to wake up…..the problem for the globalists us that once the Australians blood is up, its a genie that cant be stuck back in a bottle……at that point they will need to either crush the population with riot police, start a war as a diversion, or capitulate.

      10

  • #
    Jeff

    Breaking news -
    Greens propose an undersea powerline from California to Australia so we can use their solar generation at night.

    281

  • #
    Ian1946

    O/T NSW reached $14,000 per Mw this evening. I guess that will happen when they continually consume 2Gw more than they generate. Is it any surprise that AGL still insist on closing Liddell presumably to force $14,000 per Mw on a daily basis.

    190

  • #
    el gordo

    Scott Morrison said he was going to phase out renewable subsidies by 2020, but I think he would be wise to bring an end to this madness before Xmas.

    200

    • #
      PeterS

      Indeed. In fact he might be forced to after the next election if the ACP manages to hold the balance of power. I know it’s unlikely but that’s a shame thanks to voter apathy. It’s the only way we will phase out renewals subsidies, other than of course if we become another province of China, in which case we will have all the coal fired and nuclear power stations we can build. However, if ALP+Greens manage to win then look forward to much more pain before voters finally wake up.

      41

      • #
        el gordo

        The Coalition ginger group know what we know and must act before Xmas, Scott and Josh are also aware but I have little faith in them.

        Against the odds I’m hoping for a clean sweep of the front bench.

        ‘….another province of China …’

        You make it sound like a bad thing.

        Beijing doesn’t want to subjugate Australia, there is no commercial value in that, it would be best if we became non-aligned and fiercely independent, and conscious of our place in the world.

        A quarry, food bowl and tourist resort on the outpost of empire, similar to our past attachment to mother Britain.

        01

  • #
    • #
      Graeme No.3

      I think the reneweconomy article wins the title for DuckCr*p.
      All the sheep chanting
      Distributed generation is good.
      Reliable generation is bad.

      And the World’s LARGEST solar heat station – delivers a whole 140MW at around A$200 a MWh for 12 hours a day (in summer). Wow!

      90

  • #
    RickWill

    Here is a different perspective on the same story:
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/whats-behind-scare-campaign-on-rooftop-solar-blackout-threat-78729/
    Have a look at the comments. Took a while but I think my message at least got some thinking. You can see that not many people have thought this through.

    It is rewarding that even AEMO is beginning to recognise the prospect of grid defection. I think there is an awareness looming.

    This story was in the Herald Sun this week:
    http://www.drinkstrade.com.au/157?Article=soaring-power-bills-force-doyles-bridge-hotel-to-ration-heating
    The publican runs a diesel to reduce his electricity bill. Not complete defection but partial.

    By the way SA is forecast to have zero minimum grid demand as early as 2024.

    111

    • #
      Ian1946

      Indeed Rick the ignorance is stunning, and they stubbornly stick to the renewables religion.

      81

    • #
      Yonniestone

      The confusion seems to be over contradicting ideas of how rooftop solar works and affects the grid, the article states rooftop PV is adding 2 to 3.7 GW to the grid but its stable because PV systems can self regulate over and under frequency events but the chart shows ” more than half the inverters were designed to deal with under-frequency events, and three-quarters for over-frequency events.” but then plays down any risk to the grid because “solar PV inverters had a wider tolerance to fluctuation in voltage and frequency than their gas and diesel generators.”

      The real insight to this solar is the future is this part:
      “There is probably a really good case for more visibility on rooftop solar and battery storage, and even “orchestration” and control of those assets to provide flexibility, ensure excess power can be stored and demand is managed.Bbut the case needs to be made without such blatant exaggeration.

      In any case, it’s what is going to happen anyway. This transition is unstoppable, and if policy makers and regulators are smart, and fair, they will encourage the uptake of battery storage and other smart software that will usher in a new digital and distributed age that will actually help, not hinder, grid stability.

      Solar PV inverters have dynamic response capabilities that lower or raise the energy they generate to help maintain stable voltage. They do this in an instant. Batteries make this even easier.”

      A nice theory but can it generate enough energy to manufacture and maintain itself without coal, gas, hydro or nuclear baseload?

      100

      • #
        Yonniestone

        Coincidentally I had a conversation about this today with people who have invested in solar and battery storage systems that wholly believe this is the how the future will be, even when given the math of energy generation vs energy needed for manufacturing they still believed it was possible, but these are people that fully believe a trace gas essential to all carbon based life will destroy everything if it exceeds levels its proven to have already done multiple times in the past and still the world turned.

        151

        • #
          RickWill

          Mainland Australia can go solar. It is not far off economic now for residential supply to be economic off grid. I cannot see anything happening on the grid that will lower prices. The current faults with the NSW coal generators is due to maintenance being squeezed on dying/retiring assets. They need more income from these assets to keep them maintained. Who wants their son or daughter working in a coal power station in Australia! There needs to be financial incentives to be in a dead end career and that costs money. Power prices keep going up so making your own gets more attractive.

          Already Bloomberg are forecasting a 34% reduction in panel cost in 2019 due to China pulling their subsidies on solar installations. China wants to remain a manufacturing powerhouse and keep pace with the USA. They need coal and nuclear power generation to do that.

          Australia’s manufacturing at mass scale is near dead. So the remaining electricity users are low intensity. Solar with storage is already lower cost than diesel. Grid supply ambient energy is hobbled by the 150% increase over generation for the transmission and distribution. It cannot compete with locally made and stored electricity. The grid will get very messy before it dies. It will become like public transport. You use it if you have to but it is not your first choice. You have to be prepared not to have it when you need it.

          NSW avoided black outs this week because Tomago idled pot lines at peak times.

          40

          • #
            Latus Dextro

            Australia’s manufacturing at mass scale is near dead.

            So the basis of the economy is what, rampant aggressive pillage and export of natural resources until that too becomes uneconomic? Your ‘edukation’ sector will fail in a foam of volatilised frappe ideology. Such is the vision of Green politics. And contrary to your ridiculous supposition there is nothing whatsoever wrong or troublesome or unhealthy or immoral about working in a modern coal fired power station.

            10

          • #
            Robber

            If we put 5kW on every house, to generate 24,000 MW we need 4.8 million rooftops excluding WA. That has got daylight hours covered, but we need 4 times that to feed into storage assuming 25% capacity factor, so 19 million rooftops and about 384 million solar panels.
            At a cost of about $10,000 for a 5 kW system before the government incentive, cunningly hidden by factoring it into other people’s bills through the small scale technology certificates (STCs), that’s a total capital cost of $190 billion. But after that, free electricity for everyone /sarc.

            10

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      There will be zero SA viability as a state by 2024 as everyone will have left….

      I have this image if a single light bulb working in the middle of adelaide, and uts hailed as a renewables ” success”…

      Idiots.

      00

  • #
    Hivemind

    “… if you build a house or change your meter it must be a smart meter so all those controls are available to the household.”

    Nice try guys. What you really mean is so that the controls are available to Big Brother. In the early 80′s, there was a major power incident in NSW, when a power station tripped and triggered a cascade failure. This meant that there was a major shortage of power in NSW, which Big Brother ‘fixed’ by turning off everybody’s off-peak water heaters. Nobody had hot showers the next morning.

    90

    • #
      Latus Dextro

      The “answer” is always in plain view – see “Resilience” below. It just depends on one’s ideology and the need for the perception of “crisis:” The irony is as obvious as is the implication of what the UN describes euphemistically in article (28) of its “transformational” Agenda, “We commit to making fundamental changes in the way that our societies produce and consume goods and services…”

      So, claiming that PV, alone, cannot support the present civilization may be true, but it is also totally irrelevant. If our civilization has to survive the ongoing crisis it has to go through profound changes that are difficult even to imagine for us. Resilience

      Solving a manufactured crisis by needlessly destroying prosperity and freedom? The definition of insanity. A definition of ideology; secular globalism.

      51

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    The level of MALadministration in our current governments demands a Royal Commission into the reasons for that occurrence.

    KK

    130

  • #
    shannon

    Has anyone checked out the NEM,plus Widget generation and demand sites tonight?
    At 9pm NSW was short of power by approx 2300 MW !!
    It appears to be NSW turn now, to look “in trouble” …and UP goes the prices.
    When S.A. is sending power into Vic then onto NSW with Tassie also on the bandwagon ..I smell a ripoff being set up by the Electricity controllers.!
    Or are they experimenting to see if NSW will survive when they pull the plug on Liddell.
    Id love to see a week of wet/cold weather ..if just to see HOW this all plays out.
    I know ..the population will still be the losers ..both ways!!

    70

    • #
      RickWill

      I understand there are problems at Liddell. This plant is being run down ahead of its closure. It is common practice to squeeze all you can out of ageing plant before it is retired. There have been a few LOR2 events this week related to generator faults in NSW. I do not know details but I figure it will be in the press when the peak in wholesale price becomes widely known. If only you could schedule wind and solar to produce on demand or such power from a big battery. Lucky BassLink is back up.

      My off-grid solar system struggles through the end of June so solar does not offer much through this time of the year in the higher latitudes.

      40

      • #
        shannon

        Today at approx 140pm….NSW was being “protected” from blackouts by “power cords” from 3 states
        2136 MW in total….QLD…VIC..Tassie.

        Are we sure AGL doesnt intend pulling the plug on Liddell ahead of time ???
        ..considering a Fed Election is a “breath” away ?????
        Suspect !!!!……something is going on !

        00

        • #

          shannon,

          Liddell at least has three of its four Units on line right now. That’s delivering 1150MW, two Units at around 420MW and the third at 300MW, so even those three Units are only operating at three quarters of their original specifications.

          However, it’s Bayswater which is giving them (AGL) grief at the moment. They have four Units there, each rated at 660MW, and currently only one Unit is on line delivering 650MW, out of a Nameplate of 2640MW, so they are losing income hand over foot on that, around $4.3 Million a DAY.

          It also doesn’t help that at the same time, one unit at both Mt. Piper and Vales Point, so all up, there’s 3740MW of coal fired Units off line just in NSW alone, and that’s 37% of the total Nameplate for coal fired power.

          Tony.

          20

          • #
            shannon

            Thanks Tony for your explanation….
            Do we know WHY all of a sudden, ALL of these Units are offline??
            Surely they are not doing maintenance on all 6 Units at one time !!!!
            Something sounds “deliberate” …. call me paranoid if you want, but I cant believe this is just coincidental…!!

            02

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      Morning Shannon, Rick,
      There’s an interesting article in today’s SMH on the state of generation in NSW yesterday. It surprised with me with its objectivity. (There is a paywall, but it allows infrequent users through, at least last time I checked.)

      ” Energy crisis’ looms as power supply falters
      Tomago Aluminium may be forced to curtail operations for a third time this week.
      http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/tomago-aluminium-warns-of-energy-crisis-as-power-supply-falters-20180608-p4zkbw.html?btis


      There were several units out of production.

      Cheers,
      Dave B

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        RickWill

        Thanks for that David.

        NSW obviously need one less smelter. It will not be far off as idling potlines creates a nightmare for process control. It upsets a very complex routine for anode replacement and can take weeks, even months, to stabilise after idling. All adds cost, hopefully they are duly compensated with some free wind energy over the next few months.

        My bet is that if Tomago has a line freeze they will not restart that line.

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          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          Thanks for that technical bit RW. It’s not an area I’ve been close to, but I have been aware of the closure of some of these plants in recent years. I hope this one can avoid that, but it doesn’t look promising unfortunately.
          I have sent the SMH link to my local members.
          Cheers,
          Dave B

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        shannon

        Thanks David for that article….
        Living in the Hunter region …something is building here for a “showdown”..
        Either Tomago Aliminium plant will close due to energy shortfall….OR they allow a gas fired power station to be built asap by the company nearby…ignoring the protests, on gas rigs off the coast.
        To my knowledge Bayswater had units renewed to operate with gas a couple of years ago…but it caused shortfalls of domestic gas supply in the area..
        If all the rumours are true….gas supply from “somewhere” would save a host of “lost jobs” for the Hunter in the future..
        Interesting times ahead…
        Meanwhile a generator is looking essential !!!

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        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Hi Shannon, interesting points, but we need to be mindful of where “solutions” come from.

          Gas is expensive compared to coal and won’t be a permanent solution to the lack of high technology coal fired power.

          The only real, long term solution is coal fired power.

          Pollies in South Australia love gas because it got them out of a pickle after they got rid of so much coal fired capacity.

          Hang the expense, the voters pay for it anyway.

          All you can do is laugh and hope that some day the truth will come out and all those involved will be identified, shamed and prosecuted.

          KK

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          • #
            Kinky Keith

            And I left out the main point.

            That the “need” for gas which occurred recently, perhaps even a need that was created, has opened the gate to someone, perhaps a “friend” who just happens to have the gas exploration rights for a promising area.

            What we really need is good, reliable, cheap and long lasting HELE power plants to put our abundant supplies of coal in.

            We don’t really need gas at the moment, the rush to gas is just a rush to a new area of profit.

            What we really need is good, honest government.

            KK

            10

            • #
              shannon

              KK agree with both your posts……
              I am not pushing gas over coal….for the Hunter “coal is king”….
              Yes we really do need long term.. HELE plants to be built asap…..but by WHO ??
              We now have two political parties ..racing each other.. to the bottom of the pit !
              Whatever did this Country do.. to deserve the idiots we now have, in Canberra !!

              10

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    /sarc The threshold for getting government attention for a real problem, away from the usual vote buying, emotion-mongering crony crapitalism that seems to fully occupy them, is pretty high. With capitalism, a canary in the coal mine was sufficient to take action. In our current criminalocracies, it seems to take a rabid bear in the kitchen, which causes havoc not only for we uncouth masses, but also for the elites. I regret to inform my Australian friends that it seems to have self selected as the bear for the green energy problem. Unfortunately, to reach the threshold you will need to convert your current problems into a catastrophe with many deaths, or create a viral image…like a nighttime comparison of Victoria and North Korea. We thank you for your noble sacrifice. “dimes for Australia” can start in our schools as soon as we negotiate the cut the teachers unions will take from the funding.. /sarc off

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    pat

    behind paywall:

    8 Jun: UK Times: Robert Lea: Ban petrol cars by 2025, says Branson
    A call by Sir Richard Branson to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in Britain by 2025 has been derided by the motor industry as unrealistic, driving people into expensive electric cars they cannot afford and in which they will struggle to travel on long journeys.

    In an unexpected intervention — which was dismissed by some as a publicity stunt for his Formula E electric motor racing team — Sir Richard, one of Britain’s best-known entrepreneurs, said the government should bring forward its target to ban cars with internal combustion engines from 2040.

    Sir Richard said that ditching petrol and diesel was achievable far earlier than planned because “every month the technology is getting better and better”…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ban-petrol-cars-by-2025-says-branson-gzs29sszv

    no surprise BBC gave Branson a platform for this stunt. note the 100ft sea level rise quote:

    7 Jun: BBC: Sir Richard Branson: Ditch diesel for electric cars before 2040
    By Eleanor Roper
    Newsbeat has spent the last seven months following Formula E, the competition where electric cars reach 140mph racing on streets around the world.
    We’ve followed DS Virgin Racing, the team owned by Sir Richard, who says that “every month the technology is getting better and better”…

    Sir Richard believes 2025 should be the deadline, in line with countries including Norway and the Netherlands.
    “I honestly think that we’ve got to bring everything forward because there are concerns that we could actually have sea levels rising ***by over 100ft if we lose a big chunk of the Antarctic.
    “Therefore we’ve got to move the process of moving to clean energy quicker than most governments around the world are doing.”…

    You can watch Newsbeat’s documentary Formula E: Driving Change on the BBC iPlayer now.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-44246154

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    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      Intellectuals and their mates have done such unspeakable damage over the past century and a half—and have learned nothing, except how to rort systems. Universities have come to be at the heart of this foul corruption, media was always there—and all on the public gravy-train. This obsession with so-called renewable energy does seem to share more than a few characteristics with Operation Barbarossa that began on a Sunday, 22 June 1941. The story of the West in those fifteen decades—one long, slow-motion, train wreck.

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      • #
        C. Paul Barreira

        I have just noticed on the Powerline blog a reminder from John Hinderaker (here) that it is forty years since Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn delivered his remarkable commencement address at Harvard University (read it here).

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    pat

    8 Jun: PV Mag: Vincent Shaw: Chinese government stands firm in face of PV industry lobbying
    Representations by big beasts of global PV win only a partial concession from the authorities in Beijing, with officials agreeing to honor FIT payments for any ground mount projects connected during the next three weeks.
    There was only slight movement in Beijing however, with the government responding on Monday and China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) and the National Energy Administration (NEA) confirming all projects in receipt of quota permission last year, and which can be connected to the grid by the end of this month, will have their 2017 quota subsidies honored. It is estimated that slight concession will add around 4-5 GW of new capacity by the end of the month, such is the scale of the Chinese market.

    But further lobbying efforts by representatives of the likes of Sungrow, Trina Solar, Tongwei, Longi, Jinko and CSI – whose top executives were in Beijing to meet the director of the government’s new energy department on Wednesday – have thus far fallen on deaf ears. A press release issued after the meeting contained no new concessions and there has been no official response as yet to a letter sent to the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), signed by 52 residential PV companies including CSI, Sungrow and Chint.

    With analysts at the recent, record-breaking SNEC expo in Shanghai speculating the Chinese market could be close to, or even surpass last year’s landmark 53 GW of new PV capacity, industry watchers are now warning the figure for 2018 could plummet as far as 28-35 GW, thanks to Beijing’s dramatic intervention.
    https://www.pv-magazine.com/2018/06/08/chinese-government-stands-firm-in-face-of-pv-industry-lobbying/

    7 Jun: OilPrice: China Deals Shocking Blow To Solar Industry
    By Irina Slav
    GMT Research also reduced its China new solar capacity additions forecast by as much as 40 percent to 28.8 GW, with one analyst saying, “When the industry talks about China, it’s always about how demand in the region exceeds expectations. That is not going to be the case anymore.” …

    Although surprising, the Chinese planning commission’s move makes sense: subsidy costs have been swelling at a fast rate and have become difficult to manage. Greentech media reports that in 2017, these hit US$15.6 billion (100 billion yuan) and the government has still not paid these in full. At the rate of new solar capacity approvals from the last few years, subsidy costs would have reached US$39 billion by 2020, according to Wood Mac estimates…
    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/China-Deals-Shocking-Blow-To-Solar-Industry.html

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    pat

    Bloomberg looks for a silver lining:

    8 Jun: Bloomberg: China New Solar Policy May Delay India’s Panel-Making Plans
    By Anindya Upadhyay; With assistance by Feifei Shen
    India’s efforts to build out solar power equipment manufacturing capacity may be set back as China’s recent policy shift is expected to trigger a global equipment supply glut and price crash.
    An auction for building new capacity scheduled for September by state-owned Solar Energy Corp. of India “can be delayed depending on global cues,” said Managing Director J.N. Swain…

    While the knock-on effect from China’s decision is a blow to India’s efforts to develop its own solar power equipment manufacturing industry, it also may benefit the South Asian nation’s drive for more renewable power generation as it makes imports cheaper…

    Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects module prices to drop 34 percent this year and as much as 15 percent in 2019 in the wake of China’s move, which cuts financial support to developers and halts approval for new projects. The new forecast follows an earlier estimate by BNEF of an “intense glut” in solar modules supply by late 2018…
    That reliance on overseas supply means India,the biggest customer of Chinese solar equipment, stands to gain most from reduced equipment prices. The picture is less clear for its ambitions as a manufacturer, for either domestic or overseas markets…

    India’s high capital cost and corporate taxes also make it difficult to produce equipment that can compete with imports, according to Sujoy Ghosh, country head for India at U.S. module manufacturer First Solar Inc.
    The Indian government is still optimistic. Nearly 50 foreign and domestic investors have shown interest in the auction and “response could be enthusiastic”, according to SECI’s Swain.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-07/china-s-new-solar-policy-may-delay-india-s-plan-to-make-panels

    meanwhile…

    8 Jun: CarbonPulse: Qantas, GreenCollar Group team up on carbon, reef credits
    Australian airline Qantas and carbon project developer GreenCollar Group have partnered up to generate and market credits from projects that cut greenhouse gas emissions and help the threatened Great Barrier Reef.

    Green Collar: People
    Our Work
    Carbon farming Reef Credits, Trading & Investment, etc…
    https://greencollar.com.au/#people

    10

  • #
    Anton

    The climate crap was a major factor in the surprise election result in Ontario where the new Premier is uninterested in the issue relative to business concerns. The excruciatingly politically correct incumbent saw a massacre for her party.

    Australia next, we hope.

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  • #
    Another Ian

    Hopefully this will spread


    rald
    June 8, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Rex Murphy:

    “The fate of the Ontario Liberals is an ‘evidence-based’ illustration of what happens to a political party when it is captured by Greenism”

    AGW Kills Political Parties.

    …-

    “Ontario did not elect its “first” Green politician Thursday night. It has had a whole government of Green politicians — named Liberals — for the past 15 years. For which Doug Ford is now infinitely thankful.”

    “Rex Murphy: It may have been many things, but Ontario’s election was not ‘historic’”

    http://nationalpost.com/opinion/rex-murphy-it-may-have-been-many-things-but-ontarios-election-was-not-historic

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/index.php/2018/06/08/june-6-2018-reader-tips/#comment-1120169

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    • #
      PeterS

      It adds weight to the idea that unfortunately we need ALP+Greens to rule for a while before Australians wake up. It has often been said we are 10 or so years behind the rest of the world. There’s a lot of truth in that.

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    • #
      PeterS

      However, I do hope I’m wrong and in fact we are ahead of them. For that to come to fruition though we need Turnbull to be rolled and his replacement to be Trump-like in his conviction and his actions towards the CAGW nonsense. Too bad there is no one with the courage and the Trump-like characteristics to do it. The closest we have is Pauline Hanson and Cory Bernardi, and of course there is no way either of them will become our next PM.

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  • #
    PeterS

    As per usual this guy’s video below does a colourful prognosis of the situation, including the cycle of politics. Our next federal election has now become a lot more interesting. I look forward to both parties failing to reach a majority vote, at least I hope so despite what the polls are still saying. Granted polls are unreliable and should not be trusted too much but surely they should soon reflect the same change here as has occurred now throughout the rest of the Western world of a major shift away from the majors and back to common sense. In that respect we should see parties like ON and ACP sky-rocket in the polls, while the Greens plummet to extinction. If we don’t I would be no longer worried but extremely concerned as to the future of this nation.

    Ontario Election Fallout: Doug Ford wins, Kathleen Wynne loses!

    10

  • #
    David Maddison

    There’s no one to save our country

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    • #
      David Maddison

      My above comment previewed correctly but didn’t post correctly because it had emojis copied from my iPhone.

      I meant to say this:

      There’s no one to save our country but it’s certainly enjoyable watching Donald J. Trump save his.

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      • #
        PeterS

        That’s because Australians are not drawn to nationalism the way Trump and many Americans are. Massive immigration with no real desire to assimilate with Australian culture (what’s remaining) helps to take care of that. I’m not saying nationalistic tendencies are ideal; they do have their problems especially when mixed in with socialism (witness Hitler). However, the alternatives of left-wing socialism and communism, which are closer to what Australia has become are just as bad if not worse. Many of our unions play a large role in making sure that centre-right tendencies, such as free enterprise and capitalism are at least controlled if not destroyed. We might see a backlash at the next election and a return to the conservative or centre-right side of politics but only if voters wake up and stop supporting the two major parties so much under their current leaders. If someone like Trump walked in and formed a totally new party or say took over the LNP I’m not sure what the result would be. At first I would think the party would win an election hands down but somehow I doubt it due to voter apathy. I wish I was wrong.

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        • #
          el gordo

          ‘….but only if voters wake up and stop supporting the two major parties …’

          Objection … repetition.

          ‘….the alternatives of left-wing socialism and communism, which are closer to what Australia has become are just as bad if not worse.’

          Australia has history, its part of our political culture and Labor is the result, so we naturally already have socialist leanings. Nothing new under the sun.

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          • #
            PeterS

            I totally agree on the last point. That’s why it would be almost impossible for a Trump-like nationalist to become PM. There’s simply not enough appetite for one now. Perhaps in the future after the crash and burn?

            10

  • #
    pat

    6 Jun: Bloomberg: David Wethe: Shale country is out of workers and dangling 100% pay hikes
    Sales-tax revenue is hitting a record high, allowing the city to get around to fixing busted roads. But the crazy-low 2.1 percent unemployment rate is a bear.
    As the proprietor of Mulberry Cafe and Gerardo’s Casita, Morales is working hard to retain cooks. As a Republican first elected in 2014, he oversees a government payroll 200 employees short of what it needs to fully function.
    “This economy is on fire,” he said from a back table at the cafe the other day, watching as the lunchtime crowd lined up for the Asian Zing Salad and Big Mo’s Toaster hamburger.

    Fire, of course, can be dangerous. In the country’s busiest oil patch, where the rig count has climbed by nearly one third in the past year, drillers, service providers and trucking companies have been poaching in all corners, recruiting everyone from police officers to grocery clerks. So many bus drivers with the Ector County Independent School District in nearby Odessa quit for the shale fields that kids were sometimes late to class…

    The oil industry has such a ferocious appetite for workers that it’ll hire just about anyone with the most basic skills. “It is crazy,” said Jazmin Jimenez, 24, who zipped through a two-week training program at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, about 100 miles north of Midland, and was hired by Chevron Corp. as a well-pump checker. “Honestly I never thought I’d see myself at an oilfield company. But now that I’m here — I think this is it.”

    That’s understandable, considering the $28-a-hour she makes is double what she was earning until December as a guard at the Lea County Correctional Facility in Hobbs. When the boom goes bust, as history suggests they all do, shale-extraction businesses won’t be able to out-pay most employers anymore. Jimenez said she’ll take the money as long as it lasts…

    And this one could go on for a while. Companies are more cost-conscious than ever, and the evolution of oilfield technology continues to make finding and producing oil quicker and cheaper in the pancaked layers of rock in the Permian. It now accounts for about 30 percent of all U.S. output.

    There’s no question the economic upside is big in the basin, which covers more than 75,000 square miles in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Midland saw year-over-year increases of at least 34 percent in sales-tax collections in each of the last four months. Morales said coffers are full enough that he may ask for raises for city workers — so they don’t bolt for the oil fields…

    Another surprise: Some of his students, with two-year associate degrees, can make more than he does, with his master’s in science, electrical and electronic engineering. At Midland College’s oil and gas program, which trains for positions like petroleum-energy technician, enrollment is down about 20 percent from last year. But schools that teach how to pass the test for a CDL — commercial drivers license — are packed.
    “A CDL is a golden ticket around here,” said Steve Sauceda, who runs the workforce training program at New Mexico Junior College. “You are employable just about anywhere.”

    And you can make a whole lot more money than waiting tables at Gerardo’s Casita. Jeremiah Fleming, 30, is on track to pull down $140,000 driving flatbed trucks for Aveda Transportation & Energy Services Inc., hauling rigs.

    “This will be my best year yet,” said Fleming, who used to work in the once-bustling shale play in North Dakota. “I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.”
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-06/shale-country-dangles-100-pay-raises-as-labor-market-runs-dry

    8 Jun: ZeroHedge: Tyler Durden: “Its’ Crazy”: Texas Roiled By Unprecedented Labor Shortage As Shale Industry Hires “Just About Anyone”
    Meanwhile, innovations in oilfield technology promise to find new and efficient ways of finding and pulling oil from the pancaked lawyers of rock in the 75,000 square-mile Permian basin – an extraction method which now accounts for 30% of all US output…

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  • #

    So then, here we right now, 11AM Saturday morning, and rooftop solar power is around its maximum power delivery for the day, and will vary little around that maximum for the next three hours or so.

    There is currently a Nameplate of 7800MW in rooftop solar power on roofs all across the five major States in the AEMO main power grid.

    Rooftop solar power is currently generating 900MW of power, and being a Saturday, when more people are at home, (both from work and school) virtually all of that is being consumed by the homes themselves.

    Currently, with respect to coal fired power there are eight of those 48 Units not on line, and those eight Units have taken away 4300MW from the grid, most of that in NSW.

    That leaves us with a current Nameplate for coal fired power of 18700MW.

    Coal fired power is currently generating 16800MW and delivering it to the grid.

    That is at a current operating Capacity Factor of 89.8%

    Rooftop solar , delivering 900MW of its 7800MW is operating at a current Capacity Factor of 11.5%.

    Current demand is around 23000MW, so coal fired power is delivering 73% of the required power and rooftop solar is delivering 3.9%.

    Ho hum!

    Tony.

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    • #
      Yonniestone

      This what I was going to ask Rick Will above @ #11.2 Tony after he replied “Mainland Australia can go solar. It is not far off economic now for residential supply to be economic off grid.”

      Rick if you see this can you elaborate on how Australia can achieve this with the capacity factor given by Tony, thanks for replying also.

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      • #

        Mainland Australia can go solar. It is not far off economic now for residential supply to be economic off grid.

        Yeah, look yonniestone, I think that was a mis-statement (most probably unintentionally) there.

        If Australia is currently averaging 25000MW as average power consumption on a daily basis, that won’t ever be achieved.

        Even considering that the Residential sector would be consuming (around) 8000MW of that, the actual power generation from 7800MW of currently installed rooftop solar is only around 1150MW, so imagine how many more rooftops need to be fitted with panels just to reach that Residential sector power alone, let alone all consumption. And you can bet those battery off grid installations make up only a tiny proportion of all installations.

        Tony.

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    • #
      Rob Leviston

      Tony! You didn’t mention the wind! Oh? What wind? Currently around 100Mw or so, according to the aneroid graph (2.15 pm). That is a capacity factor of what? 1.9% Oh dear!
      So even with 8 coal units out, coal is still delivering!
      What’s the bet we will have the RE bleating that coal is unreliable, but say nothing of the fact that more often than not, wind cannot deliver at all!

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  • #
    David Maddison

    Perhaps we need to stop being critical of unreliable windmills and solar and start promoting it.

    We are delaying the inevitable collapse of the Australian electrical grid.

    That collapse, along with the commensurate loss of lives and massive economic damage is the only thing that will make people wake up and see the insanity of the unreliables….maybe.

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    • #
      David Maddison

      Plus, if conservatives were seen to be for the unreliables, the Left would oppose them!

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      • #
        Yonniestone

        Reverse psychology can work on children but the left are way too spoilt to change routines.

        Their only connection to ducks would be a bib or one shaped as a potty.

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      • #
        WXcycles

        Kind of agree David, they’re going to crash the grid (multiple times) anyway, before ANYONE decides its an honest to goodness national Kwrissis (a resl one this time–channeling Biggusdickus).

        And the well-to-do smug (with batteries) will be laughing, until their investments close the doors, and their duperfund plunges, and realestate quits fluffing and properly tanks.

        Then, maybe, maaaybe, the voterarti snaps out of the PV eekonomics stupor and pushes for actual heads on silverware.

        10

    • #
      PeterS

      That has crossed my mind before but I refuse to support a scam under any circumstances. It goes against my scientific training a long time ago and the continual pursuit of the truth.

      20

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    pat

    8 Jun: Washington Examiner: House GOP blocks Obama-era rules on cost of climate change
    by John Siciliano
    The House GOP on Friday took a step forward in reining in the Obama administration’s method of assessing the cost of carbon dioxide pollution when developing regulations.
    The House voted 212-201, along party lines, to include a rider blocking the use of the climate change cost metric to an energy and water spending bill.
    The amendment offered by Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert bars any and all funds from being used under the bill to “prepare, propose, or promulgate any regulation that relies on the Social Carbon analysis” devised under the Obama administration on how to value the cost of carbon.

    The rider was added to the spending bill less than 24 hours after Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt proposed new rules to dial back the use of the carbon cost metric in EPA regulations.
    “Many have complained that the previous administration inflated the benefits and underestimated the costs of its regulations through questionable cost-benefit analysis,” Pruitt said. “This action is the next step toward providing clarity and real-world accuracy with respect to the impact of the agency’s decisions on the economy and the regulated community.”…READ ON
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/house-gop-blocks-obama-era-rules-on-cost-of-climate-change

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  • #
    pat

    no mention of batteries, but mentions:

    ***”They have large roofs and consumption day and night. It’s really the perfect storm for installing solar,” Mr Saunders said.

    9 Jun: ABC: Harnessing renewable energy: Australia’s largest hospital solar power system to be installed in Port Macquarie
    ABC Mid North Coast By Emma Siossian
    The town on the New South Wales Mid North Coast is said to have one of the best climates in Australia, which state Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams, is pleased can be put to good use.
    “We have so much good sunlight for an extensive period of time throughout the year.
    “We can use that to the benefit of our health facilities and spend less money on energy and benefit the environment,” Ms Williams said.
    “The Mid North Coast has one of the highest uptakes of rooftop solar, so it makes perfect sense that we use our health facilities to capture that sun.”

    Reducing dependency on the grid
    More than 2,000 photovoltaic panels will be installed at a cost of $900,000 as part of the Mid North Coast Local Health District project
    It will generate 609 kilowatts of electricity and cover most of the available roof space at the hospital and the adjacent Mid North Coast Cancer Institute, significantly reducing the site’s dependency on the grid.
    Ms Williams said it would save the hospital around $130,000 in electricity bills each year…

    Project a pilot for other regions
    The Port Macquarie Base Hospital has been chosen as a pilot site for the large-scale solar project, which aims to demonstrate that it is a cost effective and sustainable option for hospitals across the country.
    Danny Saunders is the project manager for environmental sustainability with the Mid North Coast Local Health District and said the system is expected to be investigated by other health districts across NSW.

    ***”They have large roofs and consumption day and night. It’s really the perfect storm for installing solar,” Mr Saunders said…
    “I know Canberra recently put in a very large system, and Adelaide and Bankstown is going through the process as well now.”…

    Meanwhile, Charles Sturt University (CSU) in southern NSW last year switched on a 6,000-panel system at its Wagga Wagga campus, at a cost of $3.2 million.
    The university said it was Australia’s largest rooftop solar power system so far, producing 1.77 megawatts of power, roughly the equivalent of powering 400 typical Australian households
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-09/australias-largest-hospital-solar-energy-system-to-be-installed/9850212

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    • #
      Rob Leviston

      Reminds me of a ‘discussion’ I had with an RE supporter recently. Couldn’t help himself but tell me how much energy was hitting the ground per square metre. Of course, trying explain that harvesting said energy was nigh on impossible…………………..oh well.

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    pat

    great excitement at RE – read all:

    8 Jun: RenewEconomy: Gupta’s stunning deal to supply cheap solar to South Australian industry
    By Giles Parkinson & Sophie Vorrath
    UK “green steel” billionaire Sanjeev Gupta has unveiled a stunning, landmark agreement to provide cheap solar power to five major South Australian companies, promising to slash their electricity costs by up to 50 per cent.
    The eight-year deal signed with a consortium brought together by the SA Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) – and including some of the heavy hitters in the resources industry – will enable Gupta’s SIMEC ZEN Energy to fast track the construction of the 220MW Cultana solar farm near Whyalla.
    The eight-year supply deal is the just latest in a flood of contracts between large energy users and solar companies to slash their electricity costs by sourcing power directly from their own or third-party solar farms…

    ***It is also another stake in the heart of the coal industry and their apostles in the right wing of the Coalition, whose claim that only coal power can deliver cheap and reliable energy is looking more ridiculous by the day.
    “We wanted energy affordability, energy reliability and energy security, and this deal with SIMEC ZEN Energy delivers all three,” Rebecca Knol, the CEO of SACOME, told RenewEconomy…

    Ross Garnaut, director of SIMEC ZEN, said that the expected bill savings from the customers of 20 to 50 per cent were from the “firm” solar contracts – i.e. backed up with storage or other sources – not just the solar power purchase agreement.
    “While delivering SACOME members with electricity at a price below what could be achieved through a standard market tender, this contract also allows SIMEC ZEN Energy to fast track plans to replace the capacity lost when the Northern Power Station closed two years ago,” Gupta said…READ ALL
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/guptas-stunning-deal-to-supply-cheap-solar-to-south-australian-industry-54849/

    most comments positive, but one links to:

    25 Apr: SMH: Cole Latimer: ‘I’m truly concerned’: AEMO chief warns on rooftop solar
    The rise of rooftop solar has helped drive down electricity costs for many Australians but the head of the energy market operator warns those still on the grid have been punished with higher prices.
    “I am truly concerned over the issue of an economic bypass,” Audrey Zibelman, the head of the Australian Energy Market Operator, said at a Centre for Independent Studies event this week…

    As electricity networks – the poles and wires – still require a fixed, per customer contribution to recover their capital, each electricity user is meant to pay an equal share. However, when people defect from the grid by installing rooftop solar it increases the proportional costs for those who still rely solely on grid power for their electricity.

    Ms Zibelman raised concerns over the number of Australians defecting from the grid. While she supports the rising levels of solar rooftop installations and the increase in renewable energy, she said it was important Australians remained connected to the grid so that excess energy could be utilised and the power network better managed as the energy sector undergoes a massive transition from its old one-way power system to a multi-directional energy network…
    “You can’t simply say [to those without solar], too bad for you because you have to pay for the entirety of the networks.”…ETC
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/i-m-truly-concerned-aemo-chief-warns-on-rooftop-solar-20180424-p4zbg0.html

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      WXcycles

      ” … Ms Zibelman raised concerns over the number of Australians defecting from the grid. … ”
      —-

      And thus the Devil did repent and pretend to give a stuff about what her left hand had been doing.

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    pat

    9 Jun: Guardian: Move over Elon: global energy prize goes to Australia’s solar guru
    UNSW professor Martin Green, who revolutionised photovoltaics, says sun’s power is ‘the best option out there’
    by Sophie Vorrath for RenewEconomy
    The “father of PV” – University of New South Wales professor Martin Green – has become the first Australian to win the global energy prize from a shortlist that included Tesla’s Elon Musk.
    UNSW said Green had been selected from 44 contenders from 14 countries by a committee of leading scientists to share the $820,000 prize with Russian scientist Sergey Alekseenko, an expert in thermal power engineering

    It said Green was honoured for revolutionising the efficiency and cost of solar photovoltaics, and making it the lowest-cost option for bulk electricity supply…

    “If you look at the figures from the last few years, growth has consistently stayed at around 40% a year,” Green said. “If it keeps growing at that rate, we’re looking at hitting a terawatt of solar production in 2024.
    “Even if it slows to growth of 20% a year, we are on track to reach production levels of a TW a year in the late 2020s. And that’s the area where you can really start cutting greenhouse gases.”

    And that’s what it’s all about – a cheap transition that does not cost more and in fact will likely deliver savings – although some people, and some governments, prefer to remain none the wiser. Which is why awards like this one are so important…

    Green said removing barriers often meant changing regulations to make them consistent with a solar type of future, as well as overcoming political resistance in places ***like Australia and the US.
    This is an edited version of an article published in RenewEconomy. You can read the original here (LINK).
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/09/move-over-elon-global-energy-prize-goes-to-australias-solar-guru

    ***no mention by Green about China’s recent solar announcement.

    no link in the above to the Award givers – wouldn’t fit with the Guardian’s anti-Russia propaganda. Guardian even removes the Renew Economy’s capitalisation of the name of the awarders – Global Energy Prize:

    Wikipedia: Global Energy Prize
    The Global Energy Prize is an international award which recognises outstanding scientific innovations and solutions in global energy research and its concurrent environmental challenges. Since its inception in 2002, the Global Energy Prize has grown to become a recognised global energy award. Three leading Russian energy companies support and provide funding the prize: JSC Gazprom, JSC Surgutneftegaz and JSC Federal Grid Company UES.
    The Global Energy Prize is awarded annually in Russia by the President of the Russian Federation or person on his behalf…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Energy_Prize

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    • #
      Rob Leviston

      Solar produce 1 Terrawatt of power? When? I mean, yesterday, we managed around 15 GW, from all solar farms, and rooftop solar. So, rounded up, that is 5,500 GW/yr. So, he really thinks that solar can be doubled in the next 18 mo, 2 yrs? I mean, really?
      We already are getting warnings of impending grid breakdown from rooftop solar, and somehow, we need more disruption? Are these people so smart, that they stop thinking?

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  • #
    pat

    7 Jun: WarwickDailyNews: Council split, but solar farm decision final
    by Marian Faa
    After months of protest from the Warwick community, 47 letters of objection, and a public meeting full of opposition, five of the nine local government representatives said “yes” to the controversial development, but four objected.
    Cr Vic Pennisi said he was concerned the council did not have enough information to make an informed decision. “The long-term effects on the environment are not known,” Cr Pennisi said.
    “We don’t know some of this stuff and at the end of the day we are compromising some of the best agricultural land in Australia, not just here, Australia.”

    But deputy mayor Jo McNally was in favour.
    “Our planning scheme should be an instrument that facilitates and not hinders development,” Cr McNally said.
    The multi-million-dollar solar farm will transform what has been labelled “the gateway to the Southern Downs”.
    The saga over 300 acres of pristine agricultural land in Sladevale began in late February, when Mt Tabor residents received a letter notifying them of the proposed $100 million solar farm to be built in the Freestone Valley below…

    Terrain Solar director Simon Ingram said Warwick was the perfect place for a renewable energy plant due to its temperate climates and high solar levels.
    “The energy will be exported into Australia’s national grid which will put downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices,” Mr Ingram said.

    But despite the green light, it’s not all clear skies for the Australian-owned solar developer Terrain Solar.
    The long list of concerns professed by members of the community have been addressed in the 37 conditions imposed on the development.
    Among the conditions are a 200 meter buffer zone with natural vegetation and a maximum lifespan of 25 years.
    The council has also stipulated that solar panel coverage must not exceed 30 per cent.
    Further conditions require grass cover to be maintained and stock to be grazed on the land where the solar farm is located.

    While the news will devastate those with concerns for their land values and million-dollar views, others are glad to see the development going ahead.
    But those who don’t agree with the decision will have no course to appeal the approval.
    “There are no third party appeal rights to the decision the council is about to make,” town planner Melissa Vouros said ahead of today’s meeting.
    https://www.warwickdailynews.com.au/news/breaking-council-split-on-solar-decision-today/3434784/

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  • #
    pat

    9 Jun: WarwickDailyNews: Farm set to be educational hub but residents ask, why here?
    by Elyse Wurm
    A VISION for the University of Queensland to become fully renewable is set to make the Freestone Valley an education hub, but the plan hasn’t offset disappointment about the construction of a massive solar farm on prime agricultural land.

    UQ energy and sustainability manager Andrew Wilson said the solar farm would be the institution’s flagship asset and would include a visitor information centre style “research hut” and live displays.
    “Warwick was the absolute perfect location in terms of its proximity to our campuses, but we needed to be nearby to major services and amenities to attract our researchers,” he said.

    The university solar research group will also use the site for a “cloud camera”, which observes the sky and uses algorithms to predict cloud movements and position panels.
    Already running a pilot research facility at Gatton, Mr Wilson said the solar farm would have a low environmental impact.
    “What we saw at Gatton is that the solar farm tends to retain moisture in the soil and we think the shade from the panels helps that moisture.
    “We think the quality of the agricultural land under the solar farm won’t be impacted and could even be improved.”

    But Sladevale resident Mark Pierce said the benefits of the solar farm could still be reaped if it was placed west of Warwick, off agricultural land.
    “It still comes down to the point that it’s not about it being solar, it’s about the location,” he said.
    “By taking away valuable farming land in Australia, that still doesn’t make sense.”…
    https://www.warwickdailynews.com.au/news/farm-set-to-be-educational-hub-but-residents-ask-w/3437100/

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  • #
    pat

    never saw this on the ABC “Just In” pages this week, but here it is:

    7 Jun: ABC: Solar farm being built for UQ given green light, despite community concerns
    By Ashleigh Stevenson and Sophie Volker
    Residents of a rural Queensland town say they are “extremely disappointed” a multi-million-dollar solar farm has been given the green light for construction on prime agricultural land.
    Terrain Solar submitted the application to develop a 154-hectare site at Freestone Valley near Warwick, but the University of Queensland (UQ) will take ownership of the project when construction begins later this year.
    Southern Downs Council yesterday approved the development application, with Mayor Tracy Dobie casting the deciding vote 5-4 in favour of the $125 million project going ahead.

    Sladevale resident Meryl Strand, who lives near to the site, said she was devastated by the decision and concerned about the potential impact on the community.
    “It’s the gateway to Warwick and the Southern Downs, the tourist route — it’s the viewing point everyone coming into Warwick from the north can see, it’s on prime agricultural land, class A,” she said.
    “The argument wasn’t that we hate solar farms, the argument was it’s the wrong location.

    “Instead of seeing changes with the seasons, the sunflowers and sorghum and planting and harvesting and everything else, we’re going to be looking down at solar panels.
    “We’re known as the rose city — do we really want to be known as the industrial city?
    “I call it environmental vandalism. Why would you put that on good agricultural land?”…

    By owning the solar farm, UQ said it would become the first major university in the world to offset 100 per cent of its electricity usage with its own renewable energy assets….
    UQ energy and sustainability manager Andrew Wilson said the university would become energy neutral by 2020, with the construction of the solar farm to offset its annual electricity needs.

    “It’s been a trend where we’ve seen corporations across the world like Apple, IKEA and Walmart, as well as throughout Australia enter into something called power purchase agreements,” Mr Wilson said.
    “This is like a contract for an organisation to buy energy from a renewable energy project.
    “With UQ we wanted to take that one step further and leverage the experience we already have in the renewable energy space and to build, own and operate the asset ourselves.

    “It’ll generate about 154,000 megawatt hours each year, which is equivalent to about 27,000 average homes.
    “So we expect that will fully offset UQ’s electricity usage even with future growth in our organisation.”

    UQ vice-chancellor and president Professor Peter Hoj said the Warwick solar farm would offer a range of further research and teaching opportunities.
    “It will leverage UQ’s existing clean energy strengths and provide the potential to venture into emerging research and industry partnerships,” Professor Hoj said…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/uq-solar-farm-plan-approved-despite-local-objections/9842490

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    • #

      “It’ll generate about 154,000 megawatt hours each year, which is equivalent to about 27,000 average homes.

      Yeah, of course it will.

      From a 64MW Nameplate, that’s at a Capacity factor of almost 28%, year round.

      Good luck with that.

      Tony.

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  • #
    pat

    8 Jun: CaixinGlobal: Subsidies Slashed, Solar Subsidiary Sold
    By Mo Yelin, Ge Mingning and Luo Guoping
    China’s largest supplier of polysilicon wafers — a key component of many electronics, including solar panels — has agreed to partially sell one of its major operations for up to 12.75 billion yuan ($1.99 billion), as solar-power subsidies are cut.

    The sale of 51% of Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon Technology Development Co. Ltd. to the Shanghai Electric Group, one of the country’s largest manufacturers of industrial equipment, will be completed half in cash and half in shares, GCL Poly Energy said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Wednesday

    The deal could value the wafer-producing subsidiary at up to 25 billion yuan, but the final price is still being negotiated. GCL Poly acquired Jiangsu Zhongneng for $3.36 billion in 2009…

    Early this month, three government agencies — including the National Energy Administration — began cutting state support, including reducing subsidies, for the solar panel sector to stem overcapacity…
    The government won’t grant subsidies to any new ordinary solar projects this year, and support will be slashed for those that are being built, according to the new rule…

    Founded in 2006, GCL has developed into a solar-power sector leader in China. But its massive investment to ramp up capacity has led to a high debt-to-equity ratio, which in 2017 was as high as 74.55%. GCL reported a net profit of 2.28 billion yuan in 2017, a 23% drop year-on-year.

    The deal to sell some of Jiangsu Zhongneng’s shares could help improve the company’s liquidity, according to several industry sources.
    https://www.caixinglobal.com/2018-06-08/subsidies-slashed-solar-subsidiary-sold-101267395.html

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    pat

    8 Jun: EconomicTimesIndia: Indian companies wary of China dumping solar equipment
    By Nishtha Saluja
    Domestic manufacturers say they are already rattled by the ripple effects of further dumping by the Chinese manufacturers in India, once their internal demand is met. “The effects of dumping would be extreme on the domestic manufacturers leading to the threats of partial or complete shutdown,” said Sunil Rathi, Director, Waaree Energies.

    The module prices in India are likely to come down by up to 25%, industry experts say, which would render the equipment manufacturers in India uncompetitive. “The Chinese move is also a blow for local manufacturing plans. I think the government needs to decide how they want to prioritise the development of the sector and how critical manufacturing is to them,” said Vinay Rustagi, managing director at solar consultancy firm Bridge to India…

    The domestic manufacturers, who are already reeling under the uncertainty around safeguards duty on solar imports from China and Malaysia, can now only look to the government for respite. “For domestic manufacturers, to retain their market share, the primary support that the government can extend is through the immediate implementation of Safeguard Duty,” Rathi added.

    Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association (ISMA) last year filed a safeguards petition to probe the solar imports from China and Malaysia. “This shows that the Chinese are capable of dumping at any cost to India, which is an attractive market for them. Without safeguards duty, the domestic players will not survive, as reflected in the preliminary findings of the Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS),” said Dhruv Sharma, governing council member of ISMA.

    The Directorate General of Trade Remedies later this month plans to hold a public hearing on the imposition of 70% safeguards duty which was recommended by the DGS in January this year…
    https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/indian-companies-wary-of-china-dumping-solar-equipment/articleshow/64513943.cms

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  • #
    pat

    8 Jun: PV-Tech: Fortum to sell 54% stake in India solar portfolio
    By Tom Kenning
    Finland’s Fortum has signed an agreement to sell a 54% share in its solar power company that operates four projects in India, with an aggregate capacity of 185MW, to UK Climate Investments (UKCI) (40%) and Elite Alfred Berg (EAB) (14%)…

    Last year, the head of consultancy firm Bridge to India, said that many developers with solar assets in India are looking to sell their portfolios. Some of them have been in the market for a long time and are under pressure from their investors to find an exit. Meanwhile, PV Tech recently analysed how hardening interest rates might impact the secondary market in India’s solar sector.
    https://www.pv-tech.org/news/fortum-to-sell-54-stake-in-india-solar-portfolio

    19 Apr: PV-Tech: Excel spreadsheet vs reality: Why hardening interest rates expose Indian solar
    By Tom Kenning
    While the big four of customs duty, Goods and Services Tax (GST), anti-dumping and safeguard duties have received heavy media coverage, a fifth element that has a major impact on the Indian solar market is interest rates, particularly as the country has some of the highest costs of capital in the world. This article draws on industry opinion about the future of interest rates and its effect on Indian PV.

    After seemingly good news for India’s downstream solar market with the ‘Change-in-Law’ provision clarification – still with some short-term uncertainty – and customs duty being removed from most PV module imports, this week took a turn for the worse. The Madras High Court has reportedly thrown out a writ petition filed by Shapoorji Pallonji against the recommendation of a 70% Safeguard Duty on PV imports, paving the way for a final decision on the duty imposition.

    Meanwhile, a Gujarat distribution company (Discom) has also reportedly cancelled its recent 500MW solar auction after discovering far higher prices than it had hoped for – even though they hovered around the once reputable 3 rupee per unit mark (US$0.046). As Mudit Jain, senior manager, consulting at Bridge to India has noted, if a safeguard duty is imposed, just getting INR 3/kWh will also become difficult.
    However, behind the scenes, interest rates are also having an impact, to the point where some have even asked for an Indian Green Investment Bank to be formed…

    Rising interest rates would be “sobering” for the Indian market, says Vinay Rustagi, managing director of consultancy firm Bridge to India. Debt utilised for solar projects in India is available on a floating rate basis, which means they are not fixed and can move up and down with interest rates in the vital economy, and some PV developers have taken risks based on a downward path for interest rates…

    Citing some of the lowest tariffs bid in India so far, Ghosh said the industry will be watching to see if such projects can deliver returns to investors, and if not, there could be more consolidation in the industry…ETC
    https://www.pv-tech.org/editors-blog/excel-spreadsheet-vs-reality-why-hardening-interest-rates-threaten-indian-s

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    pat

    Tucker’s short interview with Hayward, the author of “Climate Change Has Run Its Course” for WSJ:

    8 Jun: Youtube: 4min: Tucker Carlson Tonight Prof Steven F Hayward
    Global warming debate hijacked
    Tucker Carlson (FoxNews USA) Interviews Prof Steven F. Hayward of UC Berkeley and discusses the factors changing the traditional climate change debate.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0dJmg3I9B4

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    pat

    Solar panel sparks fire at Mackay (Qld) home
    Mackay Daily Mercury – 7 Jun. 2018
    UPDATE 3PM: A SOLAR panel fault is believed to have sparked a small fire at a Mackay home this afternoon…

    Fire at Amazon center in Redlands blamed on solar panel malfunction
    Los Angeles Times – 6 Jun. 2018
    A fire caused by a malfunction in a solar panel array caused $25,000 in damage at an Amazon fulfillment center in Redlands on Tuesday night…

    Warning about solar panels after fire in Wellbrooke Gardens
    Daily Echo UK – 4 Jun. 2018
    Warning about solar panels after fire in Wellbrooke Gardens … warning has been issued after a man was taken to hospital following a roof fire

    Fire crews rush to reported structure fire at Coast property
    Sunshine Coast Daily – 3 Jun. 2018
    UPDATE: INITIAL reports a roof was ablaze at a Glasshouse Mountains property turned out to be a solar panel on fire…

    Solar panels spark fire at Bolingbrook Ikea
    Chicago Tribune – 12 May 2018

    PICS/VIDEO: Update: 2-alarm Indio Walmart fire caused by solar panels, caused $ 1 mil in damage
    KESQ California – 29 May 2018
    Update: The Indio Walmart fire was caused by “Electrical/Solar Panels,” according to Cal Fire. The total cost of the damages is estimated at $1,000,000, while $4,000,000 worth of damage was prevented by firefighters….
    Two firefighters were transported to the hospital for evaluation with non-life-threatening burn injuries. One civilian was treated for minor injuries at the scene. Fire crews are expected to remain on the scene for the next three hours…
    http://www.kesq.com/news/2-alarm-fire-reported-at-indio-walmart/747309885

    ‘Years to understand’ fire risk of solar power systems
    The Australian-11 Jul. 2017
    Victoria’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade has responded to more than 40 fires caused by home solar power systems in the past five years…

    PICS: Siemens electric plane prototype caught on fire in the air before crashing and killing both occupants
    Electrek co – 4 Jun 2018
    Electric flight just had a major setback after a tragic fatal accident last week in Hungary.
    One of the few all-electric airplane prototypes in operation today, Siemens and Magnus’ eFusion, crashed near Budapest during a test flight last week – killing both the pilot and a passenger…
    If the plane indeed caught on fire in the air, the batteries will certainly be a major suspect in the investigation…
    Battery fires are already a major concern for fuel-powered aircraft and it was anticipated that electric airplanes would face an uphill battle in being accepted because of that…
    https://electrek.co/2018/06/04/siemens-electric-plane-prototype-fire-crash-death/

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    Latus Dextro

    In the post-modern Alinskey-esque dogma of diversity and inclusion it may be seen that the rigid Herr Dr. Hockey Schtick embraces the curvaceous Miss Duck Curve with wanton glee.

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