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Invisible costs of renewables: “Staggeringly high” $125b for US electricity consumers

A major new “nail in coffin” study shows the more renewables we force onto the market the more expensive electricity gets.

Solar Panels

Everyday someone tells us renewables are cheap, but these estimates come from flawed “LCOE” method (at best) supposedly the lifetime cost, but without many indirect costs. Granted, it’s hard to figure out what the bill for renewable energy is. But what really matters to every man and his dog, is the cost effect on the whole system, not a cherry-slice comparison of a few sunny-windy hours a day which doesn’t take into account the effect that renewable energy has on the rest of the 24/7 electricity grid.

Greenstone, McDowell and Nath have analysed all 29 states in the US where there are laws demanding a certain percentage of energy be renewable. On average a 4% increase in renewables led to a price rise of 17% and the impost was wildly high compared to any remotely sensible cost-benefit analysis. Renewables are the car insurance bill that costs 3 times as much as your car. Any serious environmentalist would hate renewables.

Michael Shellenberger, Forbes

The cost to consumers has been staggeringly high: ”All in all, seven years after passage, consumers in the 29 states had paid $125.2 billion more for electricity than they would have in the absence of the policy,” they write.

Greenstone et al analyze the RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standards) in the US. This is like the RET in Australia and the Renewables Obligation in the UK. Like any market destroying rule, it ensures the system finds a more expensive way to supply electricity.

The low estimates ignore the cost of building and running a gas station that just sits around a a spare wheel, randomly earning no money some of the time. They ignore the vast land area wasted and the long transmission lines. One study by Edison Electric in 2011 estimated that 65% of all planned transmission lines in the US were primarily going to be built for renewables. In the US that’s another $26 billion cost tossed on the invisible renewables BBQ.*

Greenstone et al look at retail prices state by state in the US as these RPS requirements came into action and followed them for the next 7 years.

They found three things: A 4% increase in renewables led to a price rise of 17% and the impost was wildly high compared to any remotely sensible cost-benefit analysis

1. Electricity prices rise after the RPS rules come in. After 7 years the prices are 11% higher, and after 12 years they are 17% higher.

2. The addition of renewables does reduce the “carbon intensity” of the system. But the cost is exorbitant. Across the 29 states and after 7 years it costs somewhere from $130 – $460 per ton of CO2 “saved”. In Obama’s reign the social cost of carbon was wildly overestimated at around $50 per ton, so the intermittent energy generators are orders of magnitude more expensive than doing nothing. Compare that to the Australian Dutch auction process called Direct Action (by Tony Abbott) which reduced carbon for under $14 a ton. The relentless push to use wind and solar to save the world looks like a late-night infomercial for the renewables industry. Even if the IPCC were right, and if there was a global carbon market to reduce CO2, no one would want to use renewable energy to do it. It’s too expensive.

3. That many of the states already had renewables (I’m guessing hydro) so the targets were already partly met. So the net increases in renewables were smaller than the gross target suggests. These targets were very small, averaging around 2% extra renewables after 7 years and 4% by 12 years.

Clearly, it doesn’t take many intermittent renewables to wreck the grid.

 

Renewable total and net requirements per state, USA. Plus the Australian RET target (red). | Click to enlarge.

To put this in perspective, the RET target in Australia in 2020 will be 23.5% of Australia’s electricity generation.

That would be the gross figure, not the net gain.

RPS Requirements, percentage, rising retail electricity costs. Graph.

 ABSTRACT

Working Paper: Do Renewable Portfolio Standards Deliver?

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) are the largest and perhaps most popular climate policy in the US, having been enacted by 29 states and the District of Columbia. Using the most comprehensive panel data set ever compiled on program characteristics and key outcomes, we compare states that did and did not adopt RPS policies, exploiting the substantial differences in timing of adoption. The estimates indicate that 7 years after passage of an RPS program, the required renewable share of generation is 1.8 percentage points higher and average retail electricity prices are 1.3 cents per kWh, or 11% higher; the comparable figures for 12 years after adoption are a 4.2 percentage point increase in renewables’ share and a price increase of 2.0 cents per kWh or 17%. These cost estimates significant ly exceed the marginal operational costs of renewables and likely reflect costs that renewables impose on the generation system, including those associated with their intermittency, higher transmission costs, and any stranded asset costs assigned to ratepayers. The estimated reduction in carbon emissions is imprecise, but, together with the price results, indicates that the cost per metric ton of CO2 abated exceeds $130 in all speci cations and ranges up to $460, making it at least several times larger than conventional estimates of the social cost of carbon. These results do not rule out the possibility that RPS policies could dynamically reduce the cost of abatement in the future by causing improvements in renewable technology.

 h/t Pat

*Edited to clarify it was 65% of $40bn total in transmission line costs in the US.

REFERENCES

EEI (2011): “Transmission projects: At a glance,” Edison Electric Institute (EEI).

Michael Greenstone, Richard McDowell, Ishan Nath (2019) Do Renewable Portfolio Standards Deliver?  Energy Policy (PDF paper) Institute, Uni of Chicago, WORKING PAPER · NO. 2019-62,

Mills, A., R. Wiser, and K. Porter (2009): “The cost of transmission for wind energy: A review of transmission planning studies,” Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), Berkeley, CA. 1, 4

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Rating: 9.5/10 (65 votes cast)
Invisible costs of renewables: "Staggeringly high" $125b for US electricity consumers, 9.5 out of 10 based on 65 ratings

159 comments to Invisible costs of renewables: “Staggeringly high” $125b for US electricity consumers

  • #
    graham dunton

    Wind/solar mandates are a costly fail, reports University of Chicago study
    Anthony Watts / 4 hours ago

    Report pdf.
    https://burnmorecoal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/BFIEPIC_WP_201962_v3.pdf

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    • #

      And if people aren’t aware of ‘energy poverty’ now, they most certainly will be in a few year’s time.

      210

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Renewables are a dog.

        Its like you *can* drive a square peg into a round hole, but you will need a Communust size sledge hammer, a certain degree of bloody minded stupidity, and a willingness to destroy the hole and the peg.

        When I think back to bread lines, empty shelves and other failures of Communism, thus fits perfectly.

        The Soviets had a political ideology to prove, and a willingness to destroy lives to “prove” the alleged “superiority” of the Soviet thought bubble, funny how it all collapsed…..

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        • #
          Kinky Keith

          That should be framed and hung in the National Gallery next to the portraits of our recent Prime Ministers.

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      • #
        Latus Dextro

        Let’s take a quick skate across the surface of ‘fuel’ or ‘energy’ poverty and a little drift beyond. The following is quoted from referenced sources provided in links (Energy Action Scotland most recent figures – 2017)

        Number of households in fuel poverty in Scotland – 24.9% or 613,000

        Number of households in extreme fuel poverty in Scotland – 7% or 174,000
        A household is in fuel poverty if, in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime, it would be required to spend more than 10% of its income on all household fuel use. If over 20% of income is required, then this is termed as being in extreme fuel poverty.

        A satisfactory heating regime is defined as:
        For “vulnerable” households, 23°C in the living room and 18°C in other rooms.
        For other households, this is 21°C in the living room and 18°C in other rooms.

        In New Zealand (like Scotland) about 25% of households are considered to live in ‘fuel poverty’. Howden-Chapman et al. (2011)

        In sub-tropical / warm-temperate Auckland, 14% of the city population were fuel poor in 2008, while in warm-temperate Wellington, 24% were fuel poor and in cold-temperate Dunedin as many as 47% of households were fuel poor. It matters where one lives.

        In NZ, average indoor temperatures are cold by international standards and occupants regularly report they are cold, because they cannot afford to heat their houses. Fuel poverty is thought to be a factor in NZ’s high rate of excess winter mortality (16%, about 1600 deaths a year) and excess winter hospitalisations (8%).

        In spite of the large amount of ‘free’ renewable water from the heavens, the cost of power continues to rise in NZ as does and will fuel poverty. And as we enter a Grand Solar Minimum should we anticipate the fuel poverty and excess winter deaths to grow substantially? Is there an emerging unstated political consequence? Will the declining temperatures and increased cost of food begin to expedite closer attention to the absurd cost of electricity?

        In NZ, 80% of electricity generation is “renewable” — 59% being hydro, 5% wind, and the trivial contributions from solar, wave, batteries.
        The ideology: The [NZ] government has a strategy to lift renewable energy output to 100 percent (in years with normal hydro inflows) by 2035 (!)

        Commercially, the NZ electricity market is configured to fit the globalist political narrative a multicultural rainbow of diversity with 52 different brands on offer, a diverse “choice” of plans and packages and although much is of course made of the “choice.” And not unlike globalist societies that have embraced multiculturalism, the price and the pain are crushing and absurd. Such is the feel of global homogenisation.

        25 generators sell into the wholesale market and close to 50 traders purchase from it. New Zealand leads the world for customer switching rates, taking three to four days on average. (Electricity in New Zealand 2018 / Electricity Authority)

        Price of NZ electricity is clearly very expensive (Average Electricity Costs, cents per kWh) vary by plan and location quite significantly:
        Low user mean: 28.26, (range: 26.90 – 30.65; SD: 1.24);
        Standard user mean: 22.65 (range: 19.99 – 25.66; SD: 1.90).

        The NZ CPI indicates that the cost of a standard basket of groceries has risen by around 35% since 2006, and electricity cost has risen by >100%.

        Globalist governance in NZ irrespective of any small partisan difference has ensured that NZ is headed in the same direction as the rest of the western virtue signalling doyens of the Paris Discord toward the destination of de-industrialisation, de-population and destitution, otherwise known as The Green Death.

        It is beyond time to bring to an end the globalist ideology, that suffocating neo-Marxist polemic of identity politics, political correctness and cultural Marxism encased by a virtue-signalling green carapace, the Trojan horse of climatism.
        Now is the time to join the growing return to rational politics based on science, truth and Judeo-Christian values, in the emerging political movement of the moment that is sweeping the World, and bringing with it a re-vitalisation and re-traditonalisation of the West.

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        • #
          Latus Dextro

          And just hot off the press:

          FUEL POVERTY AND ELECTRICITY POLICY COSTS
          Date: 22/04/19 Dr John Constable, GWPF Energy Editor
          New analysis from the UK government shows that households are heating their houses less than is required to meet the levels thought necessary to deliver comfort and health.
          Those on lower incomes are “under-consuming” by a larger margin than those on higher incomes, with only the top richest decile consuming more than the estimated requirement. It seems probable that increased prices for electricity are rationing the poor out of the heat market.
          Electricity demand in the United Kingdom has been falling for about fifteen years, with consumption in 2017 at levels last seen in the 1980s.

          80

        • #
          Greg in NZ

          Latus, 28 years ago after a decade of travelling around the planet, I departed the States (not long after Bush the First’s Gulf War shoah) and returned to NZ, basing myself in the hills near Queenstown in the South Island. Aye, I was a Believer, believing the end was nigh and the seas would rise and the Earth would cook – hence the mountainous, cold, alpine sanctuary. The wonderful local library (pre-internet days) had a plethora of books on geology, hydrology, meteorology, history, as well as the new-kid-on-the-block, man-made UN/GW/CC. After those first few record-breaking freezing snowy years, researching recorded and observed scientific data from international and local sources, I (dear Gaia!) became a non-believer – a sceptic [skeptic] if you will. If only school children of today, ie. Saint Greta of Ignorance, would read some science books instead of looking at out-of-context digital video stills:

          https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/pictures-of-starving-polar-bears-convinced-me/

          But never fear, Jacinda and Emmanuel are going to STP – Slave The Planet – by ‘pledging’ and ‘conversation’ and international flights and limousines and 5-star meals and servants and ralph! Or was that barf! Otherwise known as puke!

          https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018692230/ardern-and-macron-join-forces-against-extremist-content-online

          But back to your In New Zealand (like Scotland) about 25% of households are considered to live in ‘fuel poverty’ comment, having come to understand the 97% CCC is totally 100% Crock, I moved north years ago, back to the northern beaches of ‘sub-tropical / warm-temperate Auckland’ where I grew up and, depending on this year’s winter, may even keep moving further north…

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          • #
            Annie

            Although I agree with and am interested in most of your comment, Greg, I dislike your use of the term ‘shoah’; it is a term for a particularly unbelievable nasty specific persecution of the Jews. In fact, I think its use is offensive, whatever you may think about the Gulf War.

            30

            • #
              Annie

              I usually enjoy your comments.

              30

              • #
                Greg in NZ

                And I yours, Annie. My dictionary, for the above word, has: “modern Hebrew, literally ‘catastrophe’.” There have been legions of man-made catastrophes, however climate change is not one of them. Another cool change heading your way I see, with freezing snow for the tops – hopefully your firewood stash is handy and dry.

                60

    • #
      Philo

      I’ll second the results. Renewable subsidies are like a cancer.
      When we built the house I figured a 3.4kWh solar installation would more or less zero out our A/C costs, so we installed the panels.

      The next year the Federal Gov. extended a subsidy. Then PA added its own subsidy and also mandated renewable energy credits. The power company piled on and matched the state subsidy.

      So I called the solar supplier and added on another 2.2kWh of panels. I got nothing for the first install but the second one was completely paid for by the “rebates”. The state tried to weasel out of it but the power company won in court. Some legislative big wheels forgot to add a clause to the law.
      Then we signed up for REC’s. Over several years our electric usage is down from daily production about as much as the average bill is. In addition we get a roughly equal amount from REC’s.

      I’m not going to refund any of this largesse because it would be an insult to the people who are generously subsidizing our solar panels and I give them my thanks.

      A program like this insults my conservative values, but lawmakers do stupid things to get votes. I have voted for other candidates.

      10

  • #

    I never thought to be cheered by the banksters (Forbes) giving a platform to a major nuclear lobbyist (Shellenberger) but this at least shows a glint of realism dawning. It’s a bit like Genghis Khan telling the troops to stop cutting off heads or he’ll run out of taxpayers, but it’ll have to do. After all, nukes aren’t so bad if you don’t have primo coal. A nuked-up SA seems about right.

    Conservation has always been the answer. Stop wasting stuff. Big Green has been one big exercise in waste, on a scale not far short of hot war. The time has come (and almost gone) to start pointing to the waste. The Port Kembla Wave Generator should be a comical symbol but also a serious warning of how far down we can go.

    We need to ape “Hero” Shellenberger, we have to start proposing coal as a valuable resource to be used, improved and conserved, even if we have to talk a lot of green drivel about making peak-time juice for a million EVs. It’s unlikely that prominent journals like Forbes and lobbyists like Shellenberger will want to be part of the push that’s needed to save this country which is far and away the biggest victim of the War on Coal. Got to do it ourselves, in conversation, on forums, on social media…wherever we can.

    An Asian slowdown, about which we can do nothing, will hit our incomes through falling coal exports. Politics and geopolitics might easily shut down a big part of our coal export market. How silly would we be to have no use for our own coal where we dig it? We’re expected to sell but not use?

    We’ve all heard and read the words “War on Coal”. We know how this country gets by economically. So…we’re in a war, right now. Do we win it or lose it?

    450

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    Take the argument a step farther. Like almost all aspects of “progressive” policy the virtue signalling
    policies of the well-to-do end up harming the poor. Higher energy prices are like a regressive tax; a fee on
    a necessary staple of life. What really bothers me is that solar is a really good business. There are hundreds of thousands
    of instances where a small solar rig and a battery provide off-grid power that is useful and cost effective. Cells develop,
    batteries develop, companies make money, efficiency improves. We keep batteries charged, we keep buoys beeping, those remote
    emergency phones work, our little hurricane rig keeps things charged for a couple of days after. On a larger scales, homeowners are free to experiment, and many have, with some success. For that matter, if a utility sees a niche where solar, or wind is useful, it can be implemented.

    Or government can interfere with the market, and things get worse.

    Lets all remember that at heart, politicians are doing this because they claim they can control the climate. Something not one will admit to if asked directly.

    Studies like this often, to my eye, grossly underestimate the costs of screwing up the system. In a competitive world economy, what is the value of having the lowest cost, most reliable, most secure power grid, and what opportunities are lost when it becomes more costly and less reliable. What is the cost of a business that chooses not to locate in a specific locale? What opportunities are lost when marginal family income goes to progressive emergy generation wet dreams, rather than savings & investment.

    Worse than the direct costs, I’d wager.

    190

    • #
      Rob S

      You (and me) like most people on the planet will glow old and die before a cost effective home generation and power storage is developed, it’s chemistry and difficult.

      40

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    Yes,

    Invisible costs of renewables are staggeringly high but the main issue is that they’ve been Deliberately put out of sight and comprehension by Manipulators going to work on the structure of our electricity accounts.

    Cross fertilization of means of production cunningly woven into the fabric of our production and supply system to the point that, for rooftop solar owners there’s no doubt about the science: Solar is cheaper than dirty coal fired.

    And MalEx444 had nothing to do with this.

    KK

    162

    • #
      Dennis

      Are you aware that when the NSW Desalination Plant was constructed the electricity supply was offset by construction of a Wind Farm near Goulburn NSW which I understand was an Infigen Energy project.

      Born Lucky!

      60

      • #
        Dennis

        The Sydney Desalination Plant is a potable drinking water desalination plant that forms part of the water supply system of Greater Metropolitan Sydney. The plant is located in the Kurnell industrial estate, in Southern Sydney in the Australian state of New South Wales. The plant uses reverse osmosis filtration membranes to remove salt from seawater and is powered using renewable energy, supplied to the national power grid from the Infigen Energy–owned Capital Wind Farm located at Bungendore.

        The Sydney Desalination Plant is owned by the Government of New South Wales. In 2012, the NSW Government entered into a 50–year lease with Sydney Desalination Plant Pty Ltd (SDP), a company jointly owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (50%) and two funds managed by Hastings Funds Management Limited: Utilities Trust of Australia and The Infrastructure Fund (together 50%).[4] The terms of the A$2.3 billion lease lock Sydney Water into a 50–year water supply agreement with SDP.[5] The operator of the plant is Veolia Water Australia Pty Ltd.

        The Sydney Desalination Plant is the third major desalination plant built in Australia, after Kwinana in Perth which was completed in 2006 and Tugun on the Gold Coast which was completed in 2009.

        Wikipedia

        50

        • #
          AndyG55

          “Infigen Energy–owned Capital Wind Farm located at Bungendore.”

          Its really amazing just how many places say they get their “renewable” supply from there. ;-)

          80

        • #
          Ted O'Brien

          All built with, by Australian standards, lightning speed. No demonstraters blocking strrets, no political barricades. And never needed.

          20

        • #
          ColA

          I believe the Sydney plant has been used, at least?

          To the best of my knowledge, the Tugun plant NEVER PRODUCED ONE DORP OF WATER after commissioning and still sits there today IDLE, but costing the Qld. tax payer over a million a year in care and maintenance – the Flim Flam gift that just keeps on taking!! :-(

          50

          • #
            AndyG55

            Actually, IIRC, the Brisbane plant was used for about a fortnight just after the Brisbane floods, while they cleaned the flood waters from the main water processing plant.

            10

  • #
    Another Ian

    “Absurdity: The absurdity of using wind and solar for base-load electricity in Germany is exposed by German journalist Holger Douglas, translated by GWPF.

    “The guaranteed output of PV is nevertheless 0%; for onshore wind it is only 1% and for offshore wind it’s 2%. In plain language, the 120 GW of renewables that we have built up over the last 15 years make almost no contribution to the secured output. We will never build a secure power supply with wind and PV alone. Ten years ago, we had around 100 GW of power from secure energy sources at our disposal – coal, gas, nuclear, biomass and hydroelectric plants.”

    “These forms of electricity generation cannot be relied upon to supply heat in the winter or refrigerate food in the summer. When timely electricity is needed, they have little value regardless of price. Using gas turbines to back-up these forms of generation is as efficient as driving an auto in stop-and-go traffic. Under current policies, in five years Germany will be experiencing significant problems. See links under Problems in the Orthodoxy.”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/04/24/weekly-climate-and-energy-news-roundup-357/

    (Repeated from Unthreaded)

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Renrwables is anothet typical failed Soviet idea……

      70

      • #
        Bill in Oz

        No, the soviets did not dream it up.

        It has been dreamed up by dopey idealistic educated idiots in our own universities and colleges – in Australia, the USA & UK.

        There is a radical solution which would work.

        Defund & shut down all government funded wind & solar power research

        241

      • #
        ivan

        Not a Soviet idea, have a look at ‘limits of growth’ from the idealists of the Club of Rome

        60

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          I should have said a Soviet-style idea…

          It reeks of Soviet style bloody minded determination to force through a failed idea for a pointless politcally motivated outcome……

          80

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    The main issue that still remains out of sight is the Hidden profit motive.

    Just the example in the U.S. study shows that, over a period, the excess paid by households and businesses was $125 Billion but there doesn’t seem to be any attempt to “track” this huge amount of cash.

    First and most obvious there’s a lot of expensive hardware to pay for, but in any good business profit margin should be about 30%.

    A simple assessment would give say $80 Billion for hardware; wind and solar generation in place.
    This makes the profit for the organisers of the scheme a cool $40 Billion.

    Now I know that many will be saying: but hang on there’s still $5 Billion leftover. Anyone who th.is this has probably forgotten that Bill and Hillary and many politicians like them still live there.

    Nothing, no opportunity, no situation, is ever Wasted.

    There are scavengers everywhere.

    KK

    101

  • #
    Robber

    A simple calculation on the cost of solar electricity.
    Assume a 5 kW system costing $5,000 after government rebates.
    Assume an average 17% capacity factor.
    Total electricity generated per year = 5x24x365x.17 = 7446 kWhr per year.
    Costs:
    – Wipe off capital cost over 20 years = $250/year
    – Allow 2.5% as alternative interest income that money could have earned =$125/year
    Cost of electricity generated = $(250+125)*100/7446 = 5 cents/kWhr.
    Feed-in tariff = 11 cents/kWhr.
    Net profit = 6 cents x 7446 kWhr = $447/year.

    Note that calculation is after government subsidies.
    If capital cost $8,000, feed-in tariff 5 cents (based on bidding system):
    Cost of electricity generated = $(400+200)*100/7446 = 8 cents/kWhr
    Net loss = 3 cents x 7446 = $223/year.

    But from an individual consumer perspective, with retail electricity cost of about 20 cents/kWhr (plus daily supply charge of 90 cents/day), solar still makes sense, even as it increases overall electricity supply costs for everyone else.

    To go off grid, I see an ad for a 10 kW solar system with 61 kWhr battery for $40,000.
    That would give you peak output of 6 kW, average output of 1.7 kW = 40.8 kWhr per day.
    The average Victorian household consumes about 4,900 kWhr/year, or about 13.4 kWhr per day. Of course if you are going to start charging your EVs, then ….

    On an earlier thread, I had quoted Dr Finkel’s report stating solar without backup 9 cents/khr (compare with my 8 cents estimate above), and with 12 hours backup 17 cents/kWhr.

    Welcome amendments/refinements of this analysis.

    101

    • #
      Graeme#4

      1. Add additional annual cleaning cost. I’m now in a two-storey townhouse, and there’s no way I’m going to climb up and clean the panels myself.
      2. Loss of panel efficiency over panel lifetime?
      3. 20 years seems a long time, particularly for Perth where a high UV could impact the lifetime.
      4. 13.4 kWh/day seems low for the average suburban house. I’m guessing this figure includes a lot of smaller residences such as homes in caravan parks. I believe a more realistic figure would be closer to 20kWh/day.

      121

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Other thoughts:

        * Damage by hail?

        * Your calcs assume uniform sunshine all year, so winter is less output.

        * No assumed rate of retail power cost increase each year on a 5 year average?

        130

    • #

      Do your figures take into account daytime sun variability ie cloud, sun location (few solar systems have tracking ability) as well as such things as interference by trees etc?

      And isn’t solar efficiency affected by ambient temperatures as well?

      100

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        bemused:

        17% seems a pretty average Capacity Factor for solar PV in southern Australia.
        That takes in the various factors you mention, but anyone with lots of tree shadows who installs solarPV has more money than brains.
        Incidentally we recently installed solar PV on our bowling club, panels orientated in the wrong direction (roughly west) and at a lower angle than desirable, but they still work at a only slightly lower capacity (14% by calculation). Don’t know how they will go in winter but consumption is a lot lower then.
        Yes, solar efficiency is strongly affected by high temperatures (just when you want lots of electricity to run your air conditioning).

        The problem will come when renewables reach 45-50% forcing up the cost of electricity and the size of people’s bills, until they find themselves paying out for bills even though they’ve got solar.

        60

      • #
        Robber

        Yes, Bemused, 17% capacity factor is an optimistic year round estimate. Currently rooftop solar is delivering an estimated 14% capacity factor on average, reflecting age, cleanliness, and location.The true cost must factor in 100% reliability through storage or backup by another generator.

        40

    • #
      ivan

      Robber, don’t forget that solar is only useful for maybe 12 hours per day so I think your calculation result is rather high.

      50

    • #
      Latus Dextro

      Cost of installation? … and ….
      Cost of removal around the 12 to 15 years mark … after all, no one in their right mind will purchase a house with a roof-top array destined to last at declining low efficiency for another 5 – 8 years, which will then require expensive removal and disposal, and then possible novel re-installation.

      70

      • #
        toorightmate

        Don’t be surprised if in years to come that solar panels are not handled with procedures similar to those currently applied to asbestos.
        Every single element on the Periodic Table is becoming more and more hazardous to every living being!!!!!! – you know. Don’t ya just love the Nanny State?

        60

      • #
        Dennis

        And don’t forget the reports in recent months regarding electrical faults in rooftop solar installations that are worrying authorities.

        Metal roofs would be the worst.

        60

    • #

      Robber, thanks for that. I assume the biggest issue is battery life? If those batteries don’t last 20 years or lose too much efficiency that will surely wipe out any economic benefit in toto?

      100

      • #
        Robber

        As others have pointed out, there are several issues that add to overall solar costs – cleaning, declining efficiency, disposal, inverter and battery life. I read reports of 5-15 years for battery life, presumably dependent on usage. I note that Tesla Powerwall has a 10 year warranty.

        70

    • #
      Bobl

      Whoa, there, average consumption for a household is more like 25kWh per day or more. You might get to 15 where there is gas hot water and cooking.

      You need to account wiring and losses, and assume a 10 year inverter life and 15 year panel life. Average output in cities is only about 70-80% of capacity reducing the capacity factor because of pollution of the panels, (dust) which builds up remarkably quickly.

      Still, solar can save a bit of money, doesn’t save any CO2 though, Jo the article is wrong solar panels don’t reduce Co2 intensity, they just move the time of emission forward and the place to China or germany.

      00

  • #
    DMA

    from $130 – $460 per megaton of CO2 “saved”

    Probably mean metric ton. it is written Mega in several places

    [Thanks DMA. Fixed. I'm so used to writing of national Mt of carbon saved. It was a 2am autopilot typing thing. You are of course, completely correct. - Jo]

    40

    • #
      toorightmate

      A survey by John Cook could find that 97% of journalists would not know the difference between metric and mega.

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      Bobl

      This is wrong, there is no CO2 saving when all factors are accounted, especially taking into account the energy consumption of those in the climate industry. Consumption for climate related jobs is at least 60% of renewable generation, losses are up to 30% curtailment adds more. So the cost per tonne saved is infinite (no savings are ever made)

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    David Maddison

    At least the US now has a leader in Trump that knows about the “renewables” nonsense, how much worse would this be in Australia where every single state and federal leader and nearly every single politician is an anthropogenic global warming “true believer” and they even shamelessly run election ads promising to do something about Climate Change™?

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    • #
      toorightmate

      Trump’s Easter address was presidentially impressive.
      DJIA is at a record high. USA weekly jobless claims are now the lowest since 1969. Yet the left continues to loathe the man.
      He is certainly making America great again despite 97% opposition from the media.

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    Graeme No.3

    David Maddison:

    They also shamelessly run election ads promising to do something about poverty, inequality, increase your wages and reduce taxes.
    Recall DeGaulle’s comment about people believing what politicians say, when the politicians don’t believe what they say.

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      Power Grab

      This reminds me of the time when Ronald Reagan was POTUS. Newscasts of the time seemed to dwell incessantly on the “homeless”. It was as if they never existed before he was elected. Then after he was elected and nicer and nicer things could be found in the market for the middle class to purchase…the news never stopped scrounging around and digging up scruffy-looking losers to show us on the evening news, trying to make it sound as if everyone was worse off.

      It surely seemed to me that something was “rotten in Denmark”.

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  • #
    RickWill

    The single question to ask;
    Below what cost for intermittent energy would it lower the average cost of energy for the grid?

    Sadly it is a negative number for Australia.

    In systems where the fuel cost is very high and the dispatchable generators have fast start up then adding intermittents can provide a saving – remote mine sites come to mind.

    In systems that have high dependence on hydro with limited perched water supplies, intermittents may provide a benefit when the dispatchable generators require expensive fuel.

    Rooftop solar has the highest priority access to the grid. If everyone with a roof loads it with solar panels then it impairs the grid scale intermittents as well as benefitting the roof owner.

    The current Victorian scheme for rooftop solar has been oversubscribed and the government has stopped (paused) payments till July:
    https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/victoria-solar-industry-slams-pause-in-rooftop-rebate-as-phones-stop-ringing/

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    • #
      Travis T. Jones

      Quote:

      “So they stop. They don’t buy, they wait.

      Because what they’re now waiting for is the free money that’s been promised to them.”

      Take away the free money, you got nothin’ no-one wants.

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      • #
        RickWill

        If you know you can get the subsidy by waiting till July then why would you do it now? Taking away the subsidy just makes it more expensive and the payback longer. The payback with the Victorian subsidy as well as the federal mandated transfer payments is probably 2 years and without the Vic subsidy around 4 years.

        Subsidised rooftop solar is very cheap power. It benefits the owner significantly at the cost of electricity consumers. However it is one way homeowners can also enjoy the benefits of the government largesse that is also doled out to the grid scale generators via the RET in even greater costs to consumers. Rooftop generators also have the technical advantage of the highest priority access to the grid.

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      Robber

      Rick, you are right -for remote mine sites where you already have invested in diesel generators, the saving in fuel and maintenance costs may be enough to justify installing some solar panels, especially if you get the government subsidy.

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      • #
        RickWill

        Diesel generation fuel costs about 35c/kWh at a mine site. That would give a payback under 3 years for a minimalist solar system; making it very attractive.

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        • #
          Graeme No.3

          So, AGL is replacing their ageing gas fired plants in SA with “gas fired engines”. I read that as dual fuel diesels (start on diesel then switch to gas when hot). Given that they are the latest design hence better efficiency, what would their running cost be?

          Since they can start up fairly quickly (like OCGTs – peaker plants to renewenergy readers) but are more rugged, reliable and lower in maintenance cost, would they be there to enable AGL to milk the high prices in the South Australian market?

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        • #
          Bobl

          That depends what the mine site mines. People make the mistake of assuming the fuel for electricity must be bought. Not the case, where say a coal mine is next to the generating plant and owned by the generator then the fuel cost is just the marginal cost of digging it out of the ground and processing it. This can be as low as $20 per tonne. The accountants use a nominal amount related to what the fuel would have sold on the market to account for the opportunity cost, but in reality if you dig it up for $20 then that’s what it actually cost.

          If you were mining oil for example you could use the gas side production to provide your electricity. From my recollection Queensland sugar was going to build a biomass plant to get out of paying it’s electricity bills.

          When you own a fuel source economics are rather different.

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  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    “You can’t just put in wind turbines and solar panels.

    You have to build all this infrastructure to connect them with energy consumers.”

    Because wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, “renewable” energy requires many more transmission lines, and bigger batteries.

    “You have to mine materials for batteries.

    Those mines are environmentally hazardous.

    Disposing of batteries is hazardous.”

    Also, the ingredients of green energy, like battery packs, are far from green.

    “You have to consume 100 barrels of oil in China to make that battery pack,” he explains.

    “Dig up 1,000 pounds of stuff to process it.

    Digging is done with oil, by big machines, so we’re consuming energy to ‘save’ energy—not a good path to go.”

    https://reason.com/2019/04/24/the-green-new-deal-will-hit-the-poor-with-higher-energy-costs/

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    pat

    saw this – brilliant – not to be seen on Australian FakeNewsMSM:

    23 Apr: Fox News: Stuart Varney on new Wall Street record: ‘It’s the Trump growth agenda success story’
    By Talia Kaplan
    VIDEO: 2min55sec: As stocks close at a record high after a months-long recovery, Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney says President Trump is the one to thank.

    Stuart Varney, host of “Varney & Co.” on Fox Business, said Wednesday the new Wall Street record high can be attributed to the “Trump growth agenda,” which he said “has been wildly successful.”
    Varney made the statements on “Fox & Friends” the morning after the S&P 500 hit an all-time high, recovering from last year’s dramatic plunge.

    “We’re in earnings season. That’s the time when the big corporations tell us how much money did you make. That’s what they are telling us right now,” said Varney, a Fox News business contributor on “Fox & Friends.”
    “The expectation was the profits would go down. Instead, we got profits going up very nicely. I challenge you. Go and look at your 401(k). Look at your IRA. I guarantee you will smile because since President Trump was elected in November of 2016, the value of all stocks has gone up by $9.4 trillion.”

    He added, “Middle America has got a piece of that, your 401(k), your pension plan, you got a piece of that. And it’s gone up like that because of the Trump growth agenda. It has been wildly successful. The economy is expanding. The market’s at record highs.”…

    Last month, the White House touted economic numbers that some well-known economists once predicted would never happen under President Trump.
    The conflicting predictions came early in 2017, when Trump and his official budget proposal forecast more than 3 percent annual economic growth under his presidency.

    According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the economy grew at a 3.1 percent rate from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018, one measure of annual growth. That marked the first time in 13 years that it had been over 3 percent, the White House noted. The administration attributed the gains to tax cuts, deregulation and other pro-growth policies.

    “I believe 41 states are now bringing in more money than they did I think 10 years ago before the crash. So you’re back to where you were before the crash. That is entirely the result of President Trump’s growth agenda,” Varney said Wednesday.

    “The economy is growing, 3, maybe a bit more than that 3 percent. The stock market record highs. In comes the money to state governments. It’s a success story. It’s the Trump growth agenda success story. Case closed.”
    https://www.foxnews.com/us/stuart-varney-on-new-wall-street-record-its-the-trump-growth-agenda-success-story

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      pat

      Varney/Fox articles should be dated 24 Apr.

      Trump still has to battle the East and West Coast virtue-signallers:

      23 Apr: KFI AM640: NYC To Ban Hot Dogs and Processed Meats To Improve Climate
      posted by Deanna Moore
      New York City is the first city in the United States to eliminate processed meats.
      Mayor Bill de Blasio approved an ambitious $14 billion Green New Deal on Monday, April 22, to combat climate change. The plan will cut purchases of red meat by 50 percent in its city-controlled facilities such as hospitals, schools, and correctional facilities. The new commitment builds off of the Meatless Mondays campaign that was adopted by all NYC schools in 2017.
      “It is a difficult plan. It is a necessary plan…. Estimates that tell us that we have only 12 years to get it right. Let’s be clear, we have until 2030 to change things fundamentally, or our lives won’t be the same,” de Blasio said at an Earth Day event yesterday.

      By 2030, New York City’s Green New Deal will reduce greenhouse emissions by 30% while also creating new jobs. Additionally, all buildings that are 25,000 square feet or more, of which there are 50,000 citywide, will be required to make efficiency upgrades that lower their energy usage and emissions or they will face steep penalties.
      https://kfiam640.iheart.com/content/2019-04-23-nyc-to-ban-hot-dogs-and-processed-meats-to-improve-climate/

      24 Apr: Fox Business: California gas price spike result of ‘mystery’ surcharge?
      By Brittany De Lea
      VIDEO: 2min37sec
      On Tuesday, Newsom askedOpens a New Window. the California Energy Commission to investigate why the state’s gasoline prices are so much higher than the rest of the country, citing independent analysis that suggests there could be an “unaccounted-for price differential” resulting from “inappropriate industry practices.”

      As of Wednesday, the average gas price in the state was about $4.03 per gallon, while the national average was $2.86 per gallon, according to AAA. However prices in some cities, like San Francisco, were even higher – at $4.10. Those are the highest prices California has seen since 2014…

      On the other hand, some experts aren’t so quick to point to non-market forces influencing the California market.
      As previously reported by FOX Business, a supply crunch from refinery upsets in Los Angeles and San Francisco was contributing to the price uptick – specifically because California has a unique gasoline standard, which means replacements for the production shortfall are harder to come by. Flooding in parts of the Midwest also compounded problems, since it affected ethanol blends and caused distribution disruptions.

      Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, told FOX Business that there are no mysterious factors at play – it is simple supply and demand economics.
      “When a refinery in a tight market like the West Coast goes down, knowing few refineries produce California’s one-off gasoline mix, is a recipe for a course in Econ 101: supply drops, and demand is inelastic, meaning motorists still need fuel, so prices can soar,” DeHaan explained. “I don’t see much/if any manipulation here, this is how markets work.”…
      https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/california-gas-price-mystery-surcharge

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        pat

        opening line of Fox/Newsom articles should begin:

        “On Tuesday, Newsom asked the California Energy Commission”

        of course, Newsom appears to ignore all the real reasons for California’s high gas price:

        2 Oct 2018: SacramentoBee: How fighting climate change will raise California gas prices even higher
        By Dale Kasler
        Last year the California Legislature raised gasoline taxes by 12 cents a gallon, and conservatives were so outraged they launched an effort to repeal it at the ballot box. Proposition 6 comes up for a vote in November.
        Now, with considerably less fanfare, the state’s air-pollution agency has enacted a regulation that will raise gas prices as much as 36 cents a gallon by 2030, and diesel by 44 cents, according to the agency’s staff. Californians already pay an average $3.73 a gallon for gas, or 85 cents above the national average.

        The projected increases are part of the latest effort by the California Air Resources Board to fight climate change. The board last week voted to strengthen the state’s “low carbon fuel standard,” a fairly obscure regulation that requires oil refiners and makers of other fuels to reduce the “carbon intensity” of their products, including the greenhouse gases generated during production and distribution of the fuels..

        The oil industry, which has been fighting the Air Resources Board over the rule for years, said the latest decision makes a bad regulation even worse…
        “The cost of this program, given these increases, is definitely impactful on consumers,” said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association. “It really is a hidden gas tax that takes more out of the pockets of consumers.”
        Reheis-Boyd said oil companies support efforts to curb greenhouse gases but “you don’t want to bring unnecessary economic harm to your state.”…

        The fuel standard isn’t as well known as California’s “cap-and-trade” program, which forces food processors, cement makers and other industrial firms to reduce carbon emissions. Cap-and-trade requires fuel wholesalers to reduce emissions as well, and the costs of compliance are raising by gas prices by an estimated 10 to 12 cents a gallon. That’s in addition to the higher costs caused by the low carbon fuel standard…

        The low carbon rule goes beyond the cap-and-trade mechanism. Not only does it measure fuels’ carbon content, it also takes into account the emissions generated when those fuels are manufactured and distributed – from the carbon spewed into the air by refineries to the emissions from rail cars that haul Midwest corn to California as feedstock to produce the fuel additive ethanol.

        Fuel manufacturers who can’t meet the standard must buy credits from clean-fuel manufacturers whose products, such as ethanol, surpass the standard. Electric utilities can generate credits, too, when their infrastructure is used to charge electric cars.

        When fuel manufacturers buy credits, the costs they incur are passed on to motorists in the form of higher gas and diesel prices. The carbon standard gets a little stricter each year, and the cost of credits has risen. That’s putting more upward pressure on fuel prices – a trend that will continue in the next decade with the newly revised standards.

        The old regulation required fuel makers to lower their “carbon intensity” by 10 percent in 2020, as compared to 2010 levels. The new regulation will require them to gradually reduce carbon intensities by 20 percent by 2030, also compared to the 2010 baseline.

        Dave Hackett, president of the Stillwater firm, said California is finding it’s tougher to reduce the “carbon intensity” than originally believed. The new regulation actually takes a step back in one sense; the new target for 2020 is just a 7.5 percent reduction in carbon instead of the original 10 percent, and then inches up each year to a 20 percent target in 2030…

        Recognizing the difficulty in reducing carbon from the transportation sector, the new regulation will increase the rebates for motorists to buy carbon-free electric vehicles by augmenting incentive programs run by SMUD, PG&E and many of the state’s other electric utilities. The utilities are participants in the low-carbon program and generate credits when their infrastructure is used to charge electric cars’ batteries. They then sell those credits to oil companies and other fuel makers struggling to comply with the rules, generating cash for the car-buying incentives.
        The incentives could go as high as $2,000 per vehicle but the numbers haven’t been finalized yet, said Air Resources Board spokesman David Clegern…

        Out-of-state fuel makers have been challenging the regulation in court for years, arguing that the rules penalize those shipping fuel and raw materials a long distance to California. That violates the U.S. Constitution, which forbids states from limiting interstate commerce, they argue. The courts ruled in favor of the California regulation in 2013 but a new challenge is pending in the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals…
        https://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article219331435.html

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          RickWill

          These targets are trivial. Any one of the following would achieve them:
          1. Build better roads to reduce congestion.
          2. Use diesel instead of gasoline.
          3. Apply some level of regenerative braking – even the simple I-ELOOP of Mazda, but full hybrid better.
          4. Use turbo engines and dual clutch transmission.
          5. Reduce speed limit by 10%.
          6. Reduce vehicle mass.
          7. Improve vehicle streamlining.

          A combination would be the likely easiest solution but reducing by 20% is not even challenging with the currently available technology. Reducing congestion is likely the most expensive but by far the best single solution. I reduced fuel consumption by 30% just by going a tad smaller and opting for a diesel.

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            Bobl

            This is absolutely right, I have a turbo diesel it gets around 4lt/100 km better than any hybrid, far better than coal burning EVs. But they use almost no energy saving measures, eg. Regenerative Braking to charge battery and run air-con. About 30-50% of the time the wheels drive the engine as cars go downhill, you can hold the exhaust valves open AZ and shut down the fuel supply to rest cylinders when downhill. Then there are variable capacity engines that can shut down cylinders under light coasting loads. Then the weight of a diesel could be reduced quite a lot by using composites. If this was done I estimate my turbo diesel would get below 3lt / 100km because you can simulate some of this (for example throw the clutch on downhill grades) I can drive my car like that and get user 3.3 lt /100 km (just by coasting down hills).

            EVs already do this stuff and still can’t match a turbo diesel.

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    Penguinite

    15 years of CO2 induced climate change propaganda. Billions of $$$ cost! Zillions of words written! But nobody has conclusively proven that Man can alter the climate by reducing CO2. Sure the “Climate Alarmists” will spout “The science is proven” and “93% of scientists agree” blah blah blah but all we see are hockey stick graphs and spreadsheet predictions. Please give me something real and meaningful or STFU and let us get back to a decent coal, hydro or nuclear powered life.

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    Peter Fitzroy

    Yep, good old coal power, cheap because the electrical infrastructure costs are discounted, the build costs of the plants are written off, the supply of coal and its related infrastructure was subsidised, and it gets to dump its waste for free. I would like to see a true accounting for coal, along the lines that nuclear and renewables have to go through.

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      Graeme No.3

      Electrical infrastructure and build costs were paid off by the coal fired plants making money for the State Governments before the Politicians then got more spending money by selling off public assets.
      The exception is Qld. with the cheapest electricity in Australia from State owned stations and distributors. Mind you, that means the Qld. government dumped $700 million in debt onto the 2 distributors who have to pay that off (plus interest) while maintaining dividends to the Govt. So even Qld. has had electricity bill rise, but no where as much as places like South Australia where there are signs of recession coming.

      But I agree with you that it is time for a true accounting for the cost of renewables.

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        Dennis

        NSW electricity assets were sold for well below the estimated value of those assets, $12-15 billion written down value I understand based on age and replacement dates.

        The sale realised just $5.9 billion and after debt hidden off Labor state budgets over 16 years in the government owned private companies managing those assets after the Electricity Commission was shut down all that was left was $800 million. To be fair to the Coalition, they were elected to office when the sale of those assets was well underway.

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      AndyG55

      Don’t forget to add in the “externalities”, Fitz

      1. the HUGE POSITIVE of CO2 emissions feeding the world’s biosphere and all other life on Earth.

      2. The HUGE BENEFIT of RELIABILITY. The world cannot operate with that RELIABILITY.

      3. The fact that nearly all infrastructure in the world is there BECAUSE of coal fired power.

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      • #
        AndyG55

        silly typo..

        The world cannot operate without that RELIABILITY.

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        • #
          OriginalSteve

          In the greenist Soviet-like mind, ideology is more important than reality…..

          Wind and solar no work Comrade…but with glorioys subsidies and destruction if coal power, we will show glorious renewables ” work”….Da.

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      RickWill

      Peter asked:

      I would like to see a true accounting for coal, along the lines that nuclear and renewables have to go through.

      Why – the costs are still required for dispatchable power. At some point the dispatchable fossil fuel generators will need to be replaced irrespective of how much intermittent generation is added simply because the guaranteed output of wind and solar is zero.

      The true value of intermittent generation on the national grid is negative. We see that very clearly across the Australian states with the range of power prices across the various states. Victoria now locked into the South Australian pricing as Hazelwood succumbed to the loss of base demand due to the high capacity interconnector to SA.

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      A true accounting for coal?

      Here it comes. When we had a coal based system with no intermittent renewables we had the cheapest electricity in the world. We had manufacturing industries.

      Now we still have a largely coal based system, but just allowing a small amount of forced renewables to change the grid means we have the most expensive electricity in the world.

      You don’t need a PhD Peter. These are hugely complicated systems and it’s easy to find a hundred studies telling us renewables are cheap, but you won’t find one country which has wind and solar and also has cheap electricity.

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        It’s also bleedingly obvious that a centralized generation system will cost a lot less in transmission lines than one that requires 100,000km2 of space. Doh.

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        Peter Fitzroy

        Jo, I don’t want to ditch coal, I’m just asking that It pays for the pollution it currently dumps into the atmosphere. I don’t think it unreasonable that if my air quality is decreased I should be compensated.

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          PeterS

          In that case I want the renewables industry to pay for the pollution they produce through their manufacturing processes. It would send them bankrupt overnight.

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        Graeme#4

        If I might add a comment, before renewables came on the scene, electricity cost increases mostly followed the CPI. After renewables arrived, the electricity costs zoomed well above the CPI. And yes, I do have that graph and the data.

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          Serp

          The RET holed the Australian economy below the waterline without anybody really noticing at the outset and now we’re in the absurd position of observing both major parties vying for votes with competing breach widening targets and the psychopathic Greens hell bent on outright scuttling the ship with a 100% target and this has all taken place within two decades; sometime in the third decade we’ll go under.

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        Bobl

        But it’s not, if you do an accounting of climate jobs and their related energy consumption I estimate that 60% of all renewable output is consumed by the renewable and climate industries themselves ( not accounting for their transport fuel use ). When accounting for transport fuels the climate industry consumes around 120% of all renewable generation today.

        This makes renewable and climate industries nett emitters of CO2 even before life cycle emissions are accounted.

        That is, for every GWh of renewable production the industry itself consumes 1.2GWh of energy.

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  • #

    As long as people believe that the electricity which comes out of ‘the hole in the wall’ is all the same, the thought that renewables can ….. deliver power will persist. It’s always there, ALL the time, ergo, renewables (here, wind and solar power) MUST be delivering.

    When that totality of electricity supply is held up by 70% to 74% coal fired power, it remains reliable, and always there, and on a daily basis, coal fired power (as a whole of fleet) varies by as much as 4500MW, from 14000MW at 4AM to over 18000MW at the 6PM peak each and every day and night, all year round.

    The problem ….. NOW ….. is that the existing coal fired plants we do have left are all we have. There are 15 coal fired power plants with 48 Units across three States. In Summer and Winter, there are times when there is only ONE Unit off line across that whole fleet. In Autumn and Spring, they shut down Units in a rotational basis for maintenance so they are ready for Summer and Winter, when they are needed the most, and right now, there are between 8 and 10 Units off line at any one point in time.

    Now, the problem with that 70-74% of total supply is that it is so critical.

    The common thinking is that renewables, wind and solar can replace coal fired power.

    They can’t.

    People say that they already have.

    They haven’t.

    The coal fired plants which have closed were, all of them, time expired only, and uneconomical to keep in operation, and that will be the exact case with Liddell, and it has absolutely zero, nothing, nada, to do with constructing renewables, replacing it. It’s at the limit of operation right now.

    So, 70-74% of all generated power.

    Okay, now close just one plant, and you lose around 5% to 8%, and each further closure is another 5% to 8%, keeping in mind that most plants have four Units.

    See now how you are eating into that 70-74%.

    Solar power plants deliver just 1.8% of all generated power, with 35 separate power plants.

    Wind power plants deliver just 6.8% of all generated power, with 53 separate plants.

    The generated power from both of them, while at those percentages, is sporadic in nature, and not ever reliable or constant, and can be as low as 1% of actual requirements at times ….. and what do you do at times like those?

    So, replacing the lost 5% to 8% from just closing down one coal fired plant, virtually means a whole new FLEET, in its totality of wind and solar.

    Take away that 5% to 8% and the grid struggles. True, it will probably stay up, thanks to gas fired power and maybe some hydro added in, but if it does stay up, people will automatically perceive the power coming out of that ‘hole in the wall’, and know (and will undoubtedly be told) that it is renewables doing that.

    Take away further increments of 5% to 8%, and it (rapidly) becomes too much.

    Perception from the public is the key here. They have been led to believe it’s all okay, and renewables will do the trick.

    They won’t, and until people are told the truth, renewables will have a free run.

    Tony.

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      People will read this and say that it’s patently untrue.

      So, replacing the lost 5% to 8% from just closing down one coal fired plant, virtually means a whole new FLEET, in its totality of wind and solar.

      During its last 31 days of operation, the ancient 53 year old clunker that Hazelwood was, it delivered 15% more power to the grid than EVERY wind plant in Australia COMBINED, and Hazelwood only had a Nameplate of 1600MW.

      Take out one coal fired plant, and you need to add a whole new fleet of wind plants equivalent to the existing Nameplate, just to deliver a little less power than was taken away by the closure of the coal fired plant.

      Tony.

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        toorightmate

        C’mon Peter Fitzroy.
        Let’s see you debunk this stuff.
        You are an A1 DRONGO.

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          Peter Fitzroy

          What are you talking about? I’m saying that I would like to see a comparable accounting for all power generation. I would like to see coal fired power pay to pollute, and my water, but none of that is about the role that coal fired power has in our grid. By the way you execrable piece if dog droppings, if you want insults you’ll get them

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            AndyG55

            “pay to pollute, and my water”

            RUBBISH !

            Coal fired power stations over their life time for energy delivered, are FAR LESS polluting than wind or solar.

            They are highly RELIABLE, the are very COST EFFECTIVE…

            AND as an HUGH BONUS, they provide totally essential CO2 for life on Earth.

            You are so brain-numbed that you cannot even look around you see that basically EVERYTHING in the human infrastructure is there BECAUSE OF COAL and other fossil fuel.

            And yes, toorightmate really was too right in his last comment.

            You most definitely ARE.

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            AndyG55

            In a cost/benefit analysis, COAL wins by many magnitudes. !

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              Peter Fitzroy

              you could have posted a link, but you did not – blowhard tactics

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                AndyG55

                Poor fitz, just your normal huffing and puffing from the nether end.

                Look around you and you will see that basically EVERYTHING in the human infrastructure is there BECAUSE OF COAL and other fossil fuel.

                COAL CONTRIBUTES in many ways to modern society.

                Wind and solar DO NOT contribute at all.

                They are TAKERS, hence the leftist love of them.

                Try to face REALITY for once in your juvenile, nil-educated existence, Fitz.

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                AndyG55

                “you could have posted a link”

                You could have posted a link to some actual empirical scientific evidence that shows warming by atmospheric CO2.

                But you haven’t.

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                Peter Fitzroy

                Coal pollution is free, I think it should be costed and charged, that includes CO2, the other various oxides, the particulates, the fly ash, the heavy metals and the dust. Obviously if you operate with a free good, you will be able to undercut anyone else.

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                el gordo

                ‘Coal pollution is free …’

                Better to avoid this form of argument and be more positive, visualise Australia without coal fired power stations.

                Why is natural gas the only backup electric generation suitable for solar and wind?

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                AndyG55

                Just LYING now, and having fits, poor Fitz

                CO2 is NOT pollution,

                Very little else in the way of emissions.

                Does NO HARM to the surrounding area. (Unlike wind turbines that massacre avian wildlife)

                Fly ash? Do you have concrete, or roads near you, plaster on the walls of your house?

                Oh quick.. run for you insipid life, fitz

                Wind and solar, MASSIVE pollution on a LARGE SCALE in their manufacture.

                Child labour too.. not a problem for you though!

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                Peter, coal plants have to meet environmental standards. They already pay to clean a lot of the particulates and etc out of their stacks. If you think the emissions standards should be lower, then go ahead and make that case. But I don’t want coal power to pay to pollute, I want the pollution stopped.

                We run clean coal plants here — compared to past ones, or third world ones.

                And if you want us to call CO2 pollution you do need some evidence of a cause and effect relationship with CO2 and global temperatures, and then you also need evidence that this amount of warming causes net harm. At the moment, all the evidence suggests CO2 is a net benefit. The warming is insignificant, and it too saves lives net, so we should be paying the coal companies to produce more of it.

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                Peter Fitzroy

                Well, Jo, if you were to set the cost to pollute higher than the cost not to, then economics would come into play. As to the harmful or otherwise arguments for CO2 and extra warming, we have only one earth, and to wilfully change the atmospheric gas mix or the temperature without a full understanding of the consequences is just plain stupid. Neither you or I can assert that the changes will only be beneficial, simply because we don’t have the info necessary to base our decisions on.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                Coal fired power CO2 is NOT POLLUTION.

                End of story, Fitz. !

                We have one Earth, and the plant life on it NEEDS a higher level of atmospheric CO2.

                When someone invokes the “precautionary dumbness”, they know they have TOTALLY LOST THE ARGUEMENT.

                They have given up because they KNOW they have NO EVIDENCE, and that its all just a “pretence”.

                You have NOTHING, Fits.

                Be careful of the boogie-man, little child.

                Leave that night-light on! ;-)

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              • #
                AndyG55

                “and to wilfully change the —- temperature “

                Tell that to GISS, NOAA, BOM etc.

                There is ZERO EVIDENCE that human released CO2 has any effect on real global temperatures whatsoever.

                Its all just a FANTASY..

                Yet you would invoke the “precautionary ignorance” and destroy the RELIABILITY and RESILIANCE of the main electricity supply system of the whole nation, on just a fantasy.

                That really is total idiocy.

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          • #

            Ah Peter Fitzroy, there’s where you are so sadly mistaken again, where you say this:

            I would like to see coal fired power pay to pollute…..

            Surely you mean pay to emit ….. not pollution, but Carbon Dioxide.

            But hey, a misdirection like that is neither here nor there for those who, like you, are told what to say, and the language and terms to use when saying it.

            What you have never understood is that it’s not the coal fired power plants who pay, but every single consumer of electricity.

            You see, the WHOLE cost is passed directly down to consumers, every single one of them in all three sectors of power consumption with an increase in the unit cost of the electricity they consume, and while the residential consumer just pays the extra in his higher electricity bill, everybody is then slugged extra when they have to pay increased costs for everything, with prices raised to cover that increase, and then the Government wins yet again with increased revenue from the increased GST resulting from the higher costs for electricity everyone pays.

            Oh, and before you go rabbiting on about other gases, they were covered by that Carbon (sic) Tax Legislation, something I mentioned way back in 2011, with a CO2 Equivalence multiplier table legislated by Labor when they introduced that CO2 Tax (Table shown at this link) but, hey you knew that already, didn’t you? (/sarc) That chart then went on to increase costs even further and in many different areas other than coal fired power, all costs also passed directly down to consumers as well, but then you knew that too, didn’t you? (/sarc)

            What you need to do is to lobby your Government to just close those coal fired plants down if you feel so strongly about it, but hey, no worries there eh! Bill Shorten has PROMISED, hand on heart to close 60% of coal fired power down if he’s elected.

            That is one promise he will NEVER deliver on. NEVER.

            Tony.

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            • #
              Peter Fitzroy

              By my definition which is from Britannica: “Pollution, addition of any substance or form of energy to the environment at a rate faster than it can be dispersed or stored in a harmless form.” You may want to argue about the positive or negative effects of CO2 but it is being added to the environment at a rate which fits this definition. Asking for payment when this is dumped into commons is logical in my view.

              This is not saying that coal fired plants should be shut down, or replaced with newer more efficient ones. All I’m saying is that coal gets to externalise costs, and this should stop.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                “Pollution, addition of any substance or form of energy to the environment at a rate faster than it can be dispersed or stored in a harmless form.” “

                Thanks, so by that definition CO2 is NOT a pollutant at any atmospheric level possible.

                Storing the extra CO2 in the atmosphere is not only totally harmless, it is actually HIGHLY BENEFICIAL to all life on Earth.

                And it dispersed and used easily because PLANTS LUV CO2.

                You have yet to produce one single piece of actual scientific evidence that raised atmospheric levels of CO2 are harmful in any way whatsoever.

                Stop your mindless huffing and puffing, Fitz.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                “coal gets to externalise costs”

                So, does it get to externalise BENEFITS as well

                If so coal wins HANDS DOWN, by MILES.

                Wind and solar, not even out of the stalls !!

                There is ZERO actual benefit to wind and solar as grid supply.

                It is ALL NEGATIVES.

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              • #
                Peter Fitzroy

                Total bulldust Andy The last time CO2 was this high we did not exist . Let me ask you again what sort of world are you trying to achieve? Have you asked the rest of the global population? Or are you just another dictator?

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              • #
                el gordo

                ‘The last time CO2 was this high we did not exist .’

                Ice cores too far back, don’t go further than the MWP and RWP, otherwise it appears as blatant alarmism. Nothing unusual is happening in the atmosphere with the extra CO2.

                Controversy has arisen over the ice core data, which you should be aware of.

                ‘There are a number of problems with this official view. The first is the assumption that past CO2 levels were as unvarying as the ice cores suggest.

                ‘The problems with the ice cores is they are subject to close-off fractionation, or leakage of gases from the gas trapped in the ice, because of ice pressure; this process is related to the kinetic diameter of the gas molecules not the collision diameter; something which confuses even experts who gave ice cores a clean bill of health as a proxy for past CO2 levels.

                ‘The result of close-off fractionation is that ice cores may underestimate past levels and fluctuations of atmospheric CO2 …’

                Anthony Cox and Bob Cormack 2013

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              • #
                AndyG55

                ZERO EVIDENCE , Fitz

                You are just making up balderdash to suit your mantra.

                YOU and your ilk are the ones trying to DESTROY Western society, and install a UN/socialist dictatorship.

                I’m sure that if they were told the actual TRUTH, the WHOLE WORLD would rather have good solid reliable electricity, PLUS the added bonus of increased crop yields, more vibrant biosphere, than have their countryside inundated with worthless, bird-mangling wind-turbines and massively over-priced power because of the need for 100% back-up of inefficient totally unreliable wind and solar.

                Seems you skipped Biology in high school and all other levels of studies if you think increased atmospheric CO2 isn’t an absolute BOON for all life on Earth.

                Humans can cope with up to 5000ppm easily, with acclimatisation, as shown by submariners.

                If you think humans can’t cope with a gradual rise to 1000ppm or even 1500ppm atmospheric levels you really are off your rocker, and in a brain-numbed stupor of ignorance. Bedroom levels often reach that in the morning.

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              • #
                Peter Fitzroy

                el gordo – the link does not use Ice core data, but “boron/calcium ratios in foraminifera to estimate pCO2 during major climate transitions of the past 20 million years. During the Middle Miocene, when temperatures were ~3° to 6°C warmer and sea level was 25 to 40 meters higher than at present, pCO2 appears to have been similar to modern levels”

                now you would have to challenge the boron/calcium ratio as well.

                But my main point is that by changing the environment in this way is foolhardy to say the least.

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              • #
                Peter Fitzroy

                el gordo – the link does not use Ice core data, but “boron/calcium ratios in foraminifera to estimate pCO2 during major climate transitions of the past 20 million years. During the Middle Miocene, when temperatures were ~3° to 6°C warmer and sea level was 25 to 40 meters higher than at present, pCO2 appears to have been similar to modern levels”

                now you would have to challenge the boron/calcium ratio as well.

                But my main point is that by changing the environment in this way is foolhardy to say the least.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                “But my main point is that by changing the environment in this way …. “

                GARBAGE !

                There is ZERO EVIDENCE that the highly beneficial increase in atmospheric CO2 has done any harm whatsoever, or that we have contributed all but a small part of it, (some 15% by any real science.)

                Come on Fitz,

                In what way has the “global climate” changed in the last 40 years, that can be scientifically attributed to human activity?

                (with empirical evidence, not models)

                You remain dumb and/or mute on this question.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                Maybe this chart will alleviate Fitz adject FEAR and PANIC about atmospheric CO2.

                Or maybe not. poor fella doesn’t “get” simple data. ;-)

                What you SHOULD be SCARED off, Fits, is that it is currently so darn LOW. !

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              • #
                el gordo

                ‘…the link does not use Ice core data …’

                Fair enough, but its still too far back in time and will only cause confusion.

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              • #
                el gordo

                Stomata is a litmus test.

                ‘It appears that the ice core data represent a long-term, low-frequency moving average of the atmospheric CO2 concentration; while the stomata yield a high frequency component.

                ‘The stomata data routinely show that atmospheric CO2 levels were higher than the ice cores do. Plant stomata data from the previous interglacial (Eemian/Sangamonian) were higher than the ice cores indicate…’

                David Middleton

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              • #
                el gordo

                ‘But my main point is that by changing the environment in this way is foolhardy to say the least.’

                Human ingenuity will solve any problem that may turn up, at the moment nothing unusual is happening and the huge spike in CO2 appears beneficial.

                If we could just focus on the past 2000 years it should give us better clarity, quoting Middleton in comments over at Skeptical Science …

                ‘Plant stomata show higher and more variable CO2 levels than ice cores.

                ‘GeoCarb and plant stomata show higher CO2 levels than ice cores.

                ‘AIRS shows higher mid and low latitude CO2 levels than ice cores show for Antarctica.

                ‘That the ice cores are not resolving decadal and century scale CO2 variations very well and that Co2 levels recorded in Antarctic ice cores should yield lower values than just about any other method used to estimate past global CO2 levels.’

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            • #
              Bill in Oz

              Thanks Tony for that !

              I really wish we had here an intelligent and informed person
              Who could present the argument for renewable energy.
              If there is one to be presented.
              Peter Fitzroy is none of these things.
              Neither informed
              Nor intelligent.
              He is like a muddled headed wombat !

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        • #
          AndyG55

          It is noted that Fitz was totally unable to debunk anything Tony has said.

          “During its last 31 days of operation, the ancient 53 year old clunker that Hazelwood was, it delivered 15% more power to the grid than EVERY wind plant in Australia COMBINED,”

          Just shows how USELESS wind really is.

          What amount of electricity can you absolutely guarantee to be getting from wind at some point say in a month’s time.

          The answer is BASICALLY ZERO.

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          • #
            Robber

            If we are going to cost in “pollution”, add in the costs for solar panels of mining rare elements, manufacture, shipping, and eventual disposal.

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      • #
        Dennis

        Capital Hill Wind Farm has 67 Wind Turbines and total nameplate capacity of 140 MW, they cover 15,000 acres (6,000 hectares of land).

        Capacity factor of 30 per cent average 42 MW.

        Hazelwood Power Station 1600 MW.

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        • #
          Peter Fitzroy

          Af course the coal fired stations can produce a lot of reliable power. but I think you misunderstand the capacity factor and how it is calculated.

          With a 25% capacity factor, a 2-MW turbine would produce

          2 MW × 365 days × 24 hours × 25% = 4,380 MWh = 4,380,000 kWh

          There are as you say 67 turbines so 29,343,460,000 kWh which is impressive

          I’m sure TonyfromOz will correct me if this is wrong

          Now does the windfarm have sole use of the 6.000 hectares? or is farming going on as well.

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          • #
            Dennis

            There are few suitable locations on the interconnected electricity grid to site the number of 15,000 acre wind farms needed to replace the coal fired power stations.

            In other words transition to wind energy is an exercise in futility.

            Given that the wind farm I refer to has a capacity factor rating of 42 MW to achieve 1600 MW would take 38 of those wind farms just to duplicate Hazelwood Power Station which was about 20 per cent of Victoria’s generating capacity.

            The only person impressed with your diversionary nonsense is yourself.

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            • #
              Peter Fitzroy

              Rubbish, counting offshore, there is lots of space to erect wind turbines. It is, unlike coal power, is able to share it’s footprint with other activities. As to diversionaly nonsense, what have I said that fits that definition.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                ZERO consideration of avian wild life

                ZERO consideration for aquatic wildlife

                The environMENTAList way.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                At least the sea birds chopped by the offshore wind turbines will get eaten by the sharks, so no evidence left.

                Stuff the whales and the infrasound interference though.

                Doesn’t matter, does it Fritz. !

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              • #
                Bill in Oz

                Ahhh yes, place s where folks can be driven out of their homes by constant low frequency noise !

                Now answer the question Fitz, “WHERE DO YOU LIVE ?”

                Where do you get your actual live experience of life from ?

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              • #
                Dennis

                Tony could answer you but I will try to remember his estimation of how many offshore wind turbines would be needed to power the State of California USA.

                As I recall, three rows of wind turbines stretching from the Mexican border to the Canadian border theoretically, of course “firming” back up in fracture would be required in addition and many transmission lines additional to the main electricity grid.

                Peter your theory would be like trying to replace heavy diesel powered road transport with 1 tonne electric utility trucks.

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              • #
                Dennis

                Infrastructure.

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              • #
                Peter Fitzroy

                Bill I’ve answered you question in yesterday’s’ thread. Now since you live in the Adelaide Hills, I’m expecting you to shut about anything not in the life experience of a resident of that area.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                So you are also going to shut up, then, Fitz.

                Or just drone on with your meaningless anti-fact blah.. !

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          • #

            Oh, Peter Fitzroy, you asked me to correct you, so I will.

            Now I understand why you place so much faith in wind power. It’s because when it comes to Maths, your f*****g hopeless, and your reading comprehension is not much better, as the original Capacity Factor was quoted as 30%, and not the 25% you picked out of your @rse, wherever you thought it up from.

            2 MW × 365 days × 24 hours × 25% = 4,380 MWh = 4,380,000 kWh

            There are as you say 67 turbines so 29,343,460,000 kWh which is impressive

            I umm think you need a better ‘plastic brain’ than the one you have.

            You’ve added two extra zeros, so you’re out by a humungous way. Using your calculations, just this one wind plant you incorrectly worked out for, then this one plant generates just a little less than DOUBLE the total power generated by every wind plant in Australia combined.

            And before you divert the subject away, another failure of maths is there also.

            140MW Nameplate at that 30% CF gives a total generated power of 368.172GWH, which translates directly back to an equivalent Nameplate of, umm, the original 42MW quoted.

            Peter Fitzroy, methinks it’s YOU who does not understand what CF is, eh!

            After all, you did ask me to correct you.

            Tony.

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            • #
              Peter Fitzroy

              Oh – did make a mistake, thanks for the correction – I should have said 293,460,000 kWh which is still impressive. For your second bit about capacity factor, could you give a bit more detail? I do not see how you get 42 MW. Buy the way you have asked me to not insult you or your name, please reciprocate

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              • #
                Dennis

                140 MW nameplate or installed capacity cannot be achieved constantly if at all so the rating or average energy output is capacity factor and that is 30% of nameplate/installed capacity.

                So 30% of 140 MW is 42 MW.

                On average Capital Hill would deliver 42 MW of electricity to the grid. Wind turbines are toys that take up enormous land area to duplicate any of the coal fired power stations.

                For 67 wind turbines capital factor each 0.627 MW.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                At no point did Tony insult you. He just stated facts as shown in your post.

                You are hopeless at maths, and have shown very little comprehension of basically everything.

                You have too much erroneous garbage in your thick brain-washed skull, that needs to be trashed before you can actually learn anything real.

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              • #

                Peter Fitzroy, you wrote:

                I should have said 293,460,000 kWh which is still impressive.

                But you didn’t, did you? You got it totally and utterly wrong, and frankly, not impressive at all. Using the same terminology you did, the Bayswater coal fired power plant delivers 17,000,000,000 KWH, which actually is impressive by comparison, or your make believe plant multiplied by 58.

                And not another failure of Maths, surely.

                30% of 140MW is 42MW.

                Use the same formula to scale up 140MW for yearly output at 30%. (140 X 24 X 365.25 X 0.3)

                Once you have that total in MWH, then use the reverse formula (without the 30%) to give an equivalence for Nameplate.

                140MW at 30% gives 42MW.

                You really DON’T understand Capacity Factor now do you? Go on, admit it.

                You could have made it even more impressive. (which it really isn’t if you use the correct terminology) You could have tried 293,460,000,000,000 milliWattHours. That’s why we have terms for factors of ten, Kilo, Mega, Giga, and Tera above unity, and milli, micro, nano, and pico for below unity, so we don’t have to get hooked up in humungous long numbers where mistakes get made, because that’s the ONLY thing which impressive, a really big number with lots of zeros after it.

                (and as I mentioned, the original quote, had you read it correctly was at the CF of 30%, so I have no idea where you got your own figure of 25%)

                You need to stick to what you’re good at, finding spelling errors, and misdirection.

                Peter Fitzroy, when you’re in the Maths hole, stop digging.

                You hide your embarrassing failure by deflecting away from it. We expect that from you now.

                Tony.

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        Robber

        And to reinforce Tony’s numbers, in the three months Jan-Mar 2019, in the AEMO grid coal delivered an average of 17,200 MW, with a range from 13,000-21,000 MW in response to demand changes.
        Wind delivered an average of just 1,610 MW with a variation from 200 MW to an occasional peak of 4000 MW unrelated to demand, from a nameplate capacity of 6,100 MW.
        Large and small solar delivered an average of 1,670 MW with a variation from zero to an occasional peak of 6,000 MW unrelated to demand, from a nameplate capacity of 2,500 MW for large commercial operations and over 8,000 MW for rooftop installations. To any costing of intermittent wind and solar generation must be added the costs of 100% reliable backup generators.

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      • #
        Bobl

        But not at the same reliability level. Our standards are for only 20 hours outage per year. That’s 20/8766 hours or 0.0023 (0.23%) downtime, otherwise stated as 99.77% uptime.

        You can’t do that with energy sources that have a uptime of near zero. On a guaranteed 99.77% uptime basis solar produces exactly zero watts as does wind, and even hydro. (Although hydro can produce at that reliability for reasonable stretches of time)

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    • #
      Bill in Oz

      Maybe the solution will come very quickly
      If all the coal fired power generators
      were shut down for a day
      On strike against dopey governments
      Imposing unreliable windy sunny power
      On us all.

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    David Maddison

    I would like to see a figure for Australia as to how much electricity would cost if we ditched wind, solar plus diesel and other backup generators which are specifically installed to back them up.

    Unfortunately these solar and wind subsidy farms can’t just be eliminated because they likely have bullet proof supply contracts and compensation would have to be paid, probably for many years of the contract. So eliminating solar and wind farms might make no difference in Australia for decades. In other words, Australia is doomed, for this and many other reasons.

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    • #
      RickWill

      Wholesale price $40/MWh. Retail price average of 30c/kWh excluding connection fee. (my guess)

      We could see the wholesale price fall till Liddell closes. The March 2019 forward price for LGCs is $23.60 for 2020 and $14.75 for 2021. So this is becoming an insignificant component in the total cost of electricity. This is having an impact on the income stream of subsidy farms. It is no wonder that Alex Turnbull is raging. Without upping the RET the subsidy farms lose their subsidy through oversupply of certificates.

      The per unit price of STCs has been falling since 2015 and will be zero by 2030. Without direct subsidies from the States (like Victoria has done) the payback for rooftop solar is likely to increase if electricity prices remain static.

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    • #
      Robber

      A simple calculation of how wind generators are adding to electricity prices:
      Current installed wind generator nameplate capacity 6,100 MW in the AEMO grid.
      Ararat wind farm cost $450 million for 240 MW nameplate capacity.
      Extrapolating that cost indicates total investment of about $11.4 billion in windmills.
      On average those windmills are delivering 1,830 MW per hour (30% capacity factor), and are receiving $100/MWhr for electricity sales plus up to $80/MWhr in sale of certificates.
      That provides gross income of $2.9 billion per year or about $115 taken from every person in Australia.
      That electricity could have been provided by other generators at minimal extra cost as they must always be on standby for when the wind doesn’t blow.

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  • #

    The staggering cost is not invisible and I see it every month in my electric bill.

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    • #
      David Maddison

      Yes in Australia, but I think US electricity prices are little affected because in the US the subsidies come as tax breaks (the only reason Warren Buffet invests in wind and solar) but in Australia it is the consumer that directly pays for the subsidy, not tax general revenue.

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      • #

        California electricity prices are through the roof and heading higher. One problem is that PGE entered into some very expensive long term contracts to purchase ‘green energy’ under state mandate. The next spike will occur as the result of culpability in recent fires, which our idiot governor also blames on climate change.

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    • #
      toorightmate

      The invisible costs are subsidies which we all pay by way of taxation (in each and every one of its horrible forms).
      The general public seems to think that governments have money.
      The only money that governments have is yours and mine.
      I bet Peter Fitzroy (the DRONGO) believes that governments have money.

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Go into a supermarket and look at all the refrigeration installed. At least double that for the cold storage out of sight.
        If electricity costs go up so does the cost of your groceries.

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  • #
    Robert Swan

    Not nice to be language tyrant, I know, but I have to point out that “everyday” is an adjective meaning “ordinary”. Put in a space: “Every day someone tells us …”.

    Sorry, but it’s an everyday bugbear of mine, along with people who are “easily lead”; and others who are given a “free reign”.

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  • #
    pat

    23 Apr: Los Angeles Times: Will Newsom end oil drilling in California? Many environmentalists are betting yes
    By PHIL WILLON
    California’s legacy of oil drilling should be just that, many environmentalists argue – relegated to the history books.
    They are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to ban new oil and gas drilling in California and completely phase out fossil fuel extraction in one of the nation’s top petroleum-producing – and gasoline-consuming – states.

    At the least, they want the state to impose buffer zones prohibiting new oil and gas wells near schools, hospitals and residential neighborhoods and also require monitoring for potentially hazardous emissions from abandoned or plugged wells, proposals already being considered by state lawmakers.
    “It sure would make us happy if he made a big splash about this. It’s month four. People are being very patient. By month six, patience may wear thin,” said Sierra Club California Director Kathryn Phillips…

    The governor was coy about core aspects of that policy, and declined to say if it would ban the controversial practice of hydraulic fracking, a process that uses drilling and large volumes of high-pressure water to extract gas and oil deposits.
    “I’m taking a very pragmatic look at it, in scoping this,” Newsom told the Los Angeles Times last week. “It’s also an inclusive scoping because it includes people in the industry, that have jobs; communities that are impacted from an environmental justice prism but also from an economic justice prism. It’s a challenging issue. There’s a reason Gov. Brown used a lot of dexterity on this issue.”

    The Democratic governor emphasized that he would not be “exercising passivity.” But Newsom also said that, despite his strong support for putting California on a path to a 100 percent renewable energy supply, it would be unrealistic to think that California can just stop its dependence on oil and gas.
    “One cannot just turn off the switch. One cannot just immediately abut against a century of practice and policy,” Newsom said.

    Though his campaign was endorsed by influential environmental groups that support curtailing oil production, Newsom must weigh the potential, widespread economic effect of undercutting a billion-dollar industry in the state. Though oil production in the state has been on the decline in recent years, California in 2017 was the fifth-largest crude oil producer among the nation’s 50 states, federal figures show.

    Newsom also has a long personal and financial history with the heirs of the Getty Oil family. The governor’s father, the late William Newsom, was a longtime friend and former high school classmate of Gordon Getty, son of oil magnate J. Paul Getty, and managed the Getty family trust. Gordon Getty also was a longtime financial benefactor to Gavin Newsom, and for decades they were in the winery and hospitality business together. (The governor put those investments in a blind trust after he was elected in November.)

    Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association, says Newsom will take a pragmatic approach. Oil production in California helps support 368,000 “blue-collar jobs with high wages,” she said, and the state still will depend on oil and gas for fuel and energy even during its long-term transformation to a 100 percent renewable energy supply.
    “We have, I think, close to 40 million people in the state who drive 26 million vehicles with internal-combustion engines,” Reheis-Boyd said. “You cannot have a policy that stops production of oil in California for quite some time.”

    Reheis-Boyd also said California has some of the most strict regulations and environmental protections in the world. If the state decides to shut down oil production, it will be forced to import oil from states and countries with much lower health, environmental and safety standards – increasing risks posed to those populations.

    “Without domestic oil, it would mean we would have to import oil from other countries. Now you’re looking at more truck emissions, more ship emissions, possible oil pipeline mishaps. It’s counterproductive,” said Bill La Marr, executive director of the California Small Business Alliance, which has a membership of 26,000 companies statewide.

    La Marr said phasing out oil production in the state would also increase fuel prices, driving up costs for business owners and, ultimately, consumer goods.
    “In the end, it’s a tax on consumers,” he said. “Most hardworking people can’t afford a brand-new Prius or a Tesla. They rely on the internal-combustion engine.”…ETC
    https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-gavin-newsom-fracking-oil-drilling-ban-20190423-story.html

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    pat

    Youtube: 8min33sec: 22 Apr: John Stossel: Green New Deal: Fact versus Fiction
    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal proposes to save the planet. It calls for the United States to reduce carbon emissions to zero in 10 years.
    James Meigs, former editor of Popular Mechanics, tells me “That’s a goal you could only imagine possible if you have no idea how the energy economy works or how energy is produced in this country.”

    The Green New Deal calls for a transition to 100 percent renewable energy, many more wind turbines and solar panels.
    But the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine.

    Because of that, Meigs explains, “You also have to build all this infrastructure to connect [renewables] with energy consumers possibly very far away, and you always need some kind of backup power.”
    That means many more transmission lines and bigger batteries.

    But “batteries are lousy way to store energy” says physicist Mark Mills, a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He also points out that wind mills and solar panels are anything but green, “I have to dig up a 1,000 pounds of stuff to process it … digging up is done with oil, by the way, big machines, so we’re consuming energy to quote, save energy. It’s not a good path to go.”

    It would also be very expensive.
    Mills points out, “We’re charging more for people who can’t afford it and we give money to wealthy people in the form of subsidies to buy 100,000 dollar [electric] cars, put expensive solar arrays on their roof or to be investors in wind farms. We have an upside down Robin Hood in our country to the tunes of 10s and 100s of billions of dollars.”

    The bottom line, the Green New Deal, even if it were scientifically possible:
    Would hurt the poor.
    Cost everyone more.
    And make energy less reliable.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIOiGtO2UBA

    following links to wrong video, which is why I’ve posted the youtube above:

    24 Apr: Townhall: Green Dreams
    by John Stossel
    Physicist Mark Mills, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute: “You have to consume 100 barrels of oil in China to make that battery pack,” he explains. “Dig up 1,000 pounds of stuff to process it. Digging is done with oil, by big machines, so we’re consuming energy to ‘save’ energy — not a good path to go.”
    Still, wind turbines and solar batteries are 10 times more efficient than when they were first introduced! That’s not good enough, writes Mills, to make “the new energy economy” anything more than “magical thinking.”
    “They hit physics limits. In comic books, Tony Stark has a magic power source, but physics makes it impossible to make solar 10 times better again.”

    The dream of “green” causes us to misdirect resources. Even after billions in government subsidies, solar still makes up less than 1 percent of America’s energy — wind just 2 percent. And even that energy isn’t really “clean.”…
    https://townhall.com/columnists/johnstossel/2019/04/24/green-dreams-n2545231

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    pat

    ignore video at top; Cronkite video is in the CBS tweet further down:

    23 Apr: Fox News: CBS resurfaces 1970 ‘Act or Die’ alarmist climate change clip on Earth Day
    By Lukas Mikelionis
    CBS dug up for Earth Day a decades-old news clip about pollution and the environment urging people to “act or die,” while its current morning show hosts endorsed punitive fees on some urban motorists.
    CBS “This Morning” played the vintage video of Walter Cronkite in 1970 endorsing the Earth Day as “a day set aside for a nationwide outpouring of mankind seeking its own survival.” In another clip, Cronkite says: “The gravity of the message of Earth Day still came through. Act or die.”

    In the spirit of the doomsday warnings in 1970, which have since been ridiculed for over-the-top predictions, the show aired a segment praising London’s ultra-low emission zone that forces motorists to pay high fees just to drive through the center of London.

    TWEET: CBS Evening News: CRONKITE VIDEO ONLY

    “Approach central London and you’ll see these signs announcing a charge just for bringing your car into town. Ka-ching, about 15 bucks. And if you’ve got an older car, especially if it’s a diesel, the overhead cameras will spot you, and under the new, ultra low emissions zone, that will be another sixteen and a half bucks. That’s over $30 just to drive into town,” the segment said.

    The show’s co-anchor Gayle King said the fees are a way of doing “a little something” to fight climate change and suggested the policy will encourage people to update their vehicles or “take the bus.”
    The broadcast didn’t raise the criticism shared by Londoners and British conservatives that say the roll out of the policy hits the poorest motorists the hardest as, unlike wealthy residents, they cannot upgrade their vehicles to the required standard to avoid fees.

    Many of the initial predictions about global warming voiced in the 1970s have been debunked. Ecologist Watt, according to the Daily Signal, issued a number of bombshell predictions in the wake of Earth Day in 1970, warning of the imminent shortages and the end of crude oil.
    “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate … that there won’t be any more crude oil,” Watt reportedly said. “You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”…
    https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/cbs-climate-change-earth-day-gayle-king

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  • #

    We live in the Age of the Stunt. A stunt can be mathematical, mental or just verbal. It can also be a large-scale physical affair passed off as reality. (If you have deep pockets or someone else’s money, these guys and their like will be happy to help with any big stuff: http://crisiscast.com/solutions/).

    On this open, tolerant site we encounter specialists and generalists. One GeeUpper specialises almost exclusively in anti-Abbott gotchas, popping in to sermonise about Tony’s past surrenders to relentless green pressure…as if that would bother a GeeUpper! Of course the whole dismantling of Abbott involved plenty of stunts, peaking with Bronnie’s helicopter ride contrasted with Malcolm’s humble suburban choot-choot which just happened to have a TV crew on board.

    I recently noted the truly comical reportage by BoM/Weatherzone/Elders on the “deluge” in Western NSW which brought an inch or two of rain to some thirsty towns and farms. It’s funny, yes. It’s kind of sinister too.

    But the most ingenious stunt is the simple mental trick whereby any glitch or slide in Australian coal exports is seen as an argument against the domestic use of coal. If rice or wheat exports suffered, nobody would regard that as an argument to stop eating rice or wheat. Yet if the slightest downturn occurs for any reason in our recently massive coal exports, it’s construed as the world turning its back on our most critical resource and an argument for leaving coal in the ground and investing in green fairy-floss. Imported green fairy-floss, of course.

    The stunt, daring and simple, consists in persuading that a critical and super-abundant resource should be rejected not because its price has gone up but because its price has gone down. Down!

    It’s war, right? The globalists and carpetbaggers used the word first, and have shown through the RET and all kinds of other schemes that they mean it. So we should mean it too. Let’s fight and win the War on Coal for coal. Not like we have any choice at all, people.

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  • #
    Ruairi

    Alarmists who think on a hunch,
    When renewable numbers they crunch,
    Must begin to ask why,
    That the power supply,
    Is costly and not a free lunch.

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    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    Komminist ideology will kollapse again tovarich. Just be patient. Meanwhile pack your shovel.

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    Bill in Oz

    How very curious !
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-25/vic-solar-installer-staff-laid-off-after-temporary-halt-rebate/11045054
    Rebates on solar frozen in Victoria.
    And sales dry up.

    In other words the only reason for solar panel installations in Victoria is the government rebate and the interest free loans !

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    pat

    24 Apr: LA Times: Tesla returns to losing money as revenue, cash and other key numbers tumble
    by Russ Mitchell
    The company reported Wednesday that automotive revenue in the first quarter fell 41% to $3.7 billion from $6.3 billion in the previous quarter, a far steeper drop than expected for sales of all its electric-cars — the Model S, the Model X and the Model 3.
    Total sales, including Tesla energy and battery storage products, fell 38% to $4.5 billion from $7.2 billion…

    The company turned unprofitable again after two rare quarters of positive earnings. The net loss was $702 million, after a $139-million profit in the previous quarter. (The first-quarter loss was close to what the company recorded in the year-earlier period — $709 million — when it was grappling with fundamental manufacturing problems.)…

    Whether Model 3 demand picks up will help determine how much capacity is available at Fremont. Asked how many customers have ordered or reserved a Model Y, Musk said the company won’t discuss reservations. “People read too much into this,” he said…
    Until recently, many on Wall Street had predicted a great future for the Model 3. According to Musk forecasts, the company should have been selling 500,000 a year by the end of 2018, instead of the 146,000 it reported.

    Production problems led to service problems and delivery problems. Now the company appears to be facing a demand problem. Tesla made slightly more Model 3s in the first quarter but delivered 20% fewer than the previous quarter. Model S and X deliveries dropped 56%…
    The Model 3 costs far more than the $35,000 base car that Musk had promised and only recently put on the market. The average price of a Model 3 remains more than $50,000. The $7,500 federal tax credit for Tesla car buyers, following the terms of the program, was cut in half in January. It will be halved again in July and will disappear after Dec. 31.

    The cheaper versions of the Model 3 present another problem: Can Tesla make a profit at the $35,000 price, when it’s had so much trouble making a profit with far higher average selling prices…
    https://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-tesla-earnings-elon-musk-quarter-20190424-story.html

    24 Apr: WSJ: Tesla Reports Loss, as Elon Musk Talks of Raising Capital
    Auto maker back in red ink with 40% drop in cash amid Model 3 delivery struggles
    by Tim Higgins
    Tesla said it struggled during the quarter to get the Model 3 from its California plant into the hands of buyers in Europe and China for the first time. “This was the most difficult logistics problem I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some tough ones,” Mr. Musk said…
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/tesla-reports-loss-amid-stuggles-delivering-model-3-cars-11556141829?shareToken=st6808ed233cd6407da40103e57b0345ed

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    pat

    ***under 18-and-a-half years is not “20-25 years”:

    24 Apr: OffshoreWind: First UK Offshore Wind Farm Disappears from Horizon
    E.ON has decommissioned the two-turbine Blyth project, the first offshore wind farm built in UK waters.
    by Nadja Skopljak
    The Blyth offshore wind farm features two 2MW turbines commissioned in December 2000, which were at that time the most powerful units.
    According to E.ON, wind farms usually have a lifespan of ***20-25 years and Blyth has reached the end of its time.

    One turbine is expected to be recycled and reused for spare parts within E.ON’s onshore wind project, with the other to be used by the Port of Blyth for training purposes.
    E.ON UK Renewables developed the 4MW offshore wind project in a consortium with Shell Renewables, Nuon UK and AMEC Wind.
    https://www.offshorewind.biz/2019/04/24/first-uk-offshore-wind-farm-disappears-from-horizon/

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    • #
      Dennis

      Meanwhile power stations steam on reliably towards their accountable working life of 50 years, and if well maintained could keep generating electricity for another 30 years or longer.

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    PeterW

    Right now, I would pay $50 for a $2 O-ring seal.

    To get one for the retail price would require an absolute minimum of 90 minutes of my time , PLUS the vehicle cost of travelling 130km, PLUS the opportunity cost of delaying an entire cropping program for 1/2 a day until I get my boomspray fixed.
    The “energy cost” of that part on the retaiker’s shelf is microscopic compared with the cost of not having it.

    If I’m not able to work with the machinery, I will be sitting by an open fire on the back lawn. In energy terms, that will be grossly inefficient as very little of the 70-odd years’ sunlight that went into growing that timber will be transferred to me. In practice, it costs me a few cents worth of fuel as the fireplace was free, the machinery was already purchased for other purposes and I fetched the wood in my spare time.

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