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More renewables, more record prices

Once again, bad luck for renewables. The AEMO put out their report for the first quarter of 2019. Despite a massive growth in renewables, power prices are still not falling as predicted.

The report highlights that record high spot wholesale electricity prices were set in Victoria and South Australia, and nearly in everywhere else as well:

• Victoria and South Australia’s quarterly average spot wholesale electricity prices of $166/MWh and $163/MWh were their highest on record.

• Victoria and New South Wales recorded their highest underlying energy price on record, while Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania recorded their seconded highest energy prices on record.

These record highs were not just billion dollar price spikes, but the actual underlying energy prices as well.

Looks like a trend here:

Wholesale electricity prices, NEM, Australia, Q1, 2019. AEMO, Graph.

Wholesale electricity prices, NEM, Australia, Q1, 2019 | Click to enlarge.

The news gets reported but somehow coal and heat get the blame?

Record power bills in NSW, Vic

Perry Williams, The Australian

Power prices in NSW and Victoria soared to their highest level on record in the first quarter of 2019, with the jump blamed on high coal and gas tariffs and searing summer temperatures which cut output from hydro-generators.

Significantly, solar partly soothed grid pressures over that period with rooftop units soaking up some of the demand.

Nice theory, but intermittent energy is a burden on the grid that forces up the prices of all the baseload providers. It simply eats into their profits, but doesn’t reduce their costs, so they charge more the rest of the day.

Again, coal gets blamed:

Coal, often cited as the cheapest form of generation in the market, also contributed to the cost hike, with 800MW of supply moved to a price above $100/MWh in the first quarter after being offered below $100/MWh last year.

Firstly, the cheapest form of generation by far is brown coal, which we are cutting back the fastest. Black coal is often twice the price. And if black coal is charging even more (and it appears to be), it’s partly to compensate for the “intermittent burden” on the grid, and partly because it can. Less competition means … less competition.

It was of course, bad luck that the snowy hydro dams are so low. But relying on hydro to get us through very hot summers was never going to be a great idea in Australia.

Gas prices were also high, but then, if we didn’t need so much gas, the gas prices might not be as high. And if we used some of our 300 years supply of coal instead, we wouldn’t care less about the gas price.

Cheaper prices are just around the corner, except when they aren’t

More bad news (for consumers). The traders buying futures contracts don’t see prices coming down.

• Forward wholesale prices also continued their upward climb: the price of calendar year (Cal) 2020 electricity swap contracts traded on the ASX rose between 12-23% over Q1 2019 and have risen by 49% in Victoria since July 2018.

The reason that the salad-days of electricity are gone — not enough Brown coal:

Prices leapt when Hazelwood brown coal power closed. They jumped, and never came back down.

In our auction system, generators bid, say 1GW at $50. The AEMO says “yes please” to all the cheapest bids until the demand is met. That final “highest” accepted winning bid, sets the price that every successful bidder gets paid. A few short years ago, brown coal used to win bids and set low prices like, even, $13/MWh. Now there just isn’t enough brown coal generation to supply all the demand very often. So the winning bids are set by black coal instead, and they are at far higher prices. Remember, all the generators get paid at the highest wining bid price too, even if they offered to do it for less. So if we close even more brown coal plants, it’s happy days for all the other generators. Not so for consumers.

AEMO, Q1, Price setting trends.

Click to enlarge.

See the graph below to understand bidding better. Loy Yang (bottom left) a brown coal plant in Victoria, put in the cheapest bid on this graph from 2014. Bayswater and Liddell are black coal putting in higher bids. Typically the AEMO will need to accept all the bids in the sweep from the left up to say 25,000MW. As demand rises for MW (the horizontal axis) the AEMO has to accept higher and higher bids.

Notice back in 2014, there were many bids in the $10 – $20MW/h range. When there was surplus brown coal power, these would set the winning bid price. When the grid is “stretched to the limit” prices may spike to $14,500/MWh (right off this chart).

Bidding on the Australian NEM

Bidding on the Australian NEM (From this post)

 

Below, see the spectacular change in the last year on the Australian grid which is now at 56,000MW total capacity.

The rapid rise of solar power has replaced both hydropower and black coal in the middle of the day. Black coal plants, will naturally have to charge more for the other hours of the day so they can still cover maintenance, staff, capital and all those other costs that don’t go away as solar power kicks in.

New generation in Australia, Q1, 2019, AEMO.

New generation in Australia, Q1, 2019, AEMO.

 

REFERENCE:

AEMO Media release about the Quarterly Energy Dynamics – Q1 2019 (1.7 MB, pdf)

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Rating: 9.5/10 (66 votes cast)
More renewables, more record prices, 9.5 out of 10 based on 66 ratings

173 comments to More renewables, more record prices

  • #
    Another Ian

    Would you call Figure 10 a “pregnant graph”?

    110

    • #

      Since it’s a duck curve I was thinking “flying duck”.

      161

    • #
      joseph

      Looks like a sunrise, in the middle of the day. I guess we can expect it to be giving birth to even higher prices!

      100

    • #
      Geoff

      Far worse thatn electricity is about to happen in regard to our eastern seaboard gas prices. It was only two years ago it was A$3.50/GJ by 2022 its going to hit A$20/GJ. All manufacturing will cease in Sydney and Melbourne. Kaput. Zero.

      You could not write a novel that made up this story and sell a single copy. No-one would believe it was possible.

      180

      • #
        David Maddison

        Geoff, I don’t disbelieve you but do you have a source for that so I can tell others?

        40

        • #
          Geoff

          One need only look at the prices projected by LNG Ltd at their Nov 2018 General Meeting. http://www.lnglimited.com.au/site/PDF/6195_1/2018AGMPresentation

          There is plenty of evidence. Just go to the ASX reports for Santos etc. They are going to not have enough gas in 2022 for their LNG contracts ex-Gladstone. They need Narrabri to fulfil contracts. The farmers are not going to co-operate.

          Why do you think AGL is going to build a gas import terminal at Western Port?

          The world’s largest gas exporter is overcommited. The supply/demand curve is going to run out of supply in 2022. The eastern sea board grid is going to be topped up at world parity prices set in US dollars. Industrial users are desperate to sign anything that keeps the price below $10/GJ. Its not going to happen.

          30

          • #
            Geoff

            Meanwhile yet more stupid government!

            https://www.facebook.com/TopherField/videos/327497544604368/?type=2&theater

            I am the engineer who did the topher video about the Tasmanian pipeline.

            The MDB has been “swiss” cheesed. Now my mates in the MDB are in total despair.

            70

            • #
              peter

              I watched your video Geoff. WOW!!! Why isn’t that video shown on ABC TV prime-time? You won’t see that video on ABC at all, nor SBS nor anywhere else on public broadcast TV. Why not?

              50

            • #
              robert rosicka

              Great stuff and have forwarded it around ,have joined his site

              10

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              Sometimes Geoff, you have to just get off the sinking ship. After youve warned the incompetent captain shes taking water but the captain ignores your warning and continues to rearrange the deckchairs, its time to bail out …

              Its like a massive, Biblical-scale delusion has struck down most of the population in many areas of society.

              Its like the population on cue has become insane overnight….

              00

              • #
                Geoff

                Working on the relationship between Sunspot activity and the volume of inflow to our reservoirs at the moment mate. Its a perfect match for Melbourne’s three on-river dams since 1950. It proves the Sun drives our rainfall. Doing Tasmania now.

                The storage managers are not worried about what warmistas say, they have to manage the water and hydro power predictions.

                30

            • #
              glen Michel

              All I can say that Copeton dam 10%;Pindari 8%; Keep it and Split Rock are deadwater. Northern systems have been going backward compared to the Murray as we don’t have the benefit of snowmelt.Coming off a low base up here. That said environmental flows dont make sense either in regulated or non-regulated systems.Bureaucracy!!

              10

            • #
              David Maddison

              Excellent video Geoff. I reposted it on Farcebook.

              10

          • #
            Kinky Keith

            I remember this being discussed in the media years ago and being able to get an expert opinion on the thing and seeing the damage done since just makes my blood book.

            The arrogance, the deliberate cruelty, the destruction of Australia by political activists in almost beyond belief.

            In order to buy votes Australian politicians have shut down Kurri Aluminium smelter, the automotive industry and a great deal of the means to be a self sustaining nation. In a few years the only jobs will be in politics, the ABC and universities with all budgets being funded by loans from the United Nations via The China World Envelopment Bank.

            T. Reason at work, I never thought Australia could sink so low.

            KK

            91

            • #
              Kinky Keith

              Blood,,,,, boil

              31

            • #
              Latus Dextro

              Take heart KK.
              De-industrialisation, de-population and destitution is unsustainable.
              The pain and the poverty, regression and murderous neo-Marxism, unwelcome and undesirable as they may be, are a social, political and biological dead-end process we seemingly have to endure because the dead-wood political class are predictably too stupid and self-interested to avoid it, and “society” clearly gets what it deserves.

              We’re engaged in a cultural war and we’ll soon be engaged in a technological war. If they want to stuff a social credit index down the throat of the hoi polloi I suspect we’re going to resemble a sci fi dystopian movie sooner rather than later. If the Greenies foist UN sanctioned soylent green on us, then Mad Max may be here sooner rather than later.

              This has to, it must, it will come to a outright street brawl one way or another.
              The Left will countenance nothing less.

              81

              • #
                Another Ian

                Take heart.

                Look what happened to Germany and Japan after WW2 when they restarted with all new plants.

                20

              • #
                OriginalSteve

                My thoughts exactly, although the Left want street brawls, its what they love.

                If many peopke switch off thier mobile phones and wear hoodies, they have got nothing…..

                Interestingly, the “V for Vendetta” scenario is becoming more likely by the day, with the Mad Max scenario if society really does fully collapse. The only benefit of the mad max thing, is most of the useless “corporate” malingerers who started and propogated the mess will die off first, as they are incapable of actual survival in a grid-down situation…a silver lining of sorts. I do honestly feel sorry for thier families who may die of starvation or disease….

                00

    • #
      ColA

      I am not sure I should admit to this, but as I have mentioned here before, I am part of that pregnant PV blip!
      We bought a duplex early last year and one of the first things I did was put solar panels on the roof, while I did understand that it was not good for the energy and climate chaos crap, I am an engineer, a pragmatist and I suppose selfish, interested to take care of me and mine first.
      My previous normal bills for 2 of us using around 11 kWh/day were about $400/quarter, $1,600/yr.

      So I put 6.2 kW of 1st grade panels on the roof and a 1st grade 5 kW inverter. My roofs faced east/west so I added a couple of panels to compensate.
      I paid about $5,500 including a timer to run my hot water during the day, the total cost was just a tad short of $10,000!
      I went to Origin as my supplier as they put the required digital meter in for free, their first plan was $1.41/day access, 28c/kWh I paid to them for usage (-10% discount) and 15c/kWh they paid me for solar feed in. after 12 months they owe me $140, they advise me I am putting in, on average, 24kWh per day.

      Origin have just offered me 3% usage discount and 20c/kWh solar feed in for the next year! and they expect I will earn about $100 per 1/4. So to me that is a $500 per 1/4 turn around and will pay for itself in less than 2 years!

      I am sad that these stupid energy policies will have a detrimental effect on all but selfishly I am glad it is not coming out of my pocket!

      131

      • #
        RickWill

        ColA
        Way to go – a great story and one you should take pride in. The more of us who take the government largesse on offer, the greater the pain for the grid scale proponents. And the faster the recognition of the absurdity of allowing intermittent generation to connect to a grid. The 15c/kWh FIT is about the price the retailer would pay for wholesale power delivered to your neighbour; meaning it has economic merit in the current circumstances.

        Rooftop solar would make economic sense if there was no existing grid. The economic future of the existing grid was sealed once the first intermittent generators were given access. By their end of grid nature, rooftop solar has the highest priority access when feeding in so trumps all other generating sources.

        50

        • #

          By their end of grid nature, rooftop solar has the highest priority access when feeding in so trumps all other generating sources.

          Total power generated by rooftop solar power yesterday. – 18.7GWH

          Total power generated by every other source yesterday during those same hours of rooftop solar power generation (6.30AM till 6PM) – 302GWH. (Rooftop Solar power multiplied by 16.12)

          It’s actually more than that multiplier of 16.12 because two thirds of that generated rooftop solar is consumed by the homes, so the amount fed back to the grid (for use by other homes in the local area) versus all other generated power for the same time is more like a multiplier of 48 to 50.

          To me, that looks more like Open Misere than trumps.

          Tony.

          140

          • #
            Peter C

            more like a Lay Down Misere for ColA and RickWill.

            Misery for the rest of us.

            90

          • #
            RickWill

            Tony stated:

            Total power generated by rooftop solar power yesterday. – 18.7GWH

            Do the same analysis for the same day 5 years ago and 10 years ago. That will give you a better indication of what will happen in the next 5 and 10 years.

            21

      • #
        David Maddison

        ColA, you did a rational thing and nobody could blame you but by the same token please don’t be upset if the whole renewables/unreliables thing comes crashing down around you in the unlikely event that we ever get a rational government.

        100

        • #
          RickWill

          Costs are already sunk in the collection part. By the time rationality prevails the panels will be paid for and addition of battery will be the economic choice.

          One factor about the distribution assets being privately owned is that I doubt any State government will legislate that you must pay an electricity service fee even if you are not connected to the grid.

          20

          • #

            Rick, are you off grid?

            Grid connected solar users are getting a free ride and not covering the costs of installation, getting paid above market rates for FiT, they’re not covering the costs of their back up power, FCAS, etc that they are completely dependent on 2/3rds of the day.

            And if all Australians adopt the attitude of “take what I can get”?

            Lots of people took up solar without any inkling of how subsidized it is. I have no beef with them. But as a nation solar is unsustainable. The first step to fixing this is making sure everyone knows that solar panels are a false saving, helping some, but hurting others more. The next step is changing the billing so that the cost of installing and maintaining 2 million inefficient generators is borne in a fairer way.

            Given a free and fair market the solar problem will be solved as quickly as possible. As we saw in Victoria a week ago, when the subsidies go, so do the orders. All we have to do is ask solar users to pay their share and no one except people in remote communities will install solar.

            If we don’t stop the installation of solar panels we create an entire nation of white elephant infrastructure. It’s a “planned market” soviet style success. We all end up with solar and we all end up paying 50c/KWh.

            160

            • #
              robert rosicka

              Guilty of all of the above

              50

            • #
              RickWill

              I run about 30% of my load off grid and have done for the past 7 years. That maximises my income from from my generous FIT for the on-grid solar.

              I have a very good idea of what off-grid dispatchable power costs from solar generation and battery storage. NEM wholesale prices will need to more than double to get to 100% intermittent plus hydro and storage. Your 50c/kWh is what a household can do it for. The grid will be more expensive because there are many more players to get paid.

              I do not see anything changing as Climate Change zealotry in Australia is getting worse, not better.

              In my view, households able to insulate themselves from the rising costs should do that. The more households that do it, the less for the grid scale operators and the sooner the stupidity is exposed. Wholesale price for lunchtime power in Queensland should be going negative on some days this year. That means solar subsidy farmers will be curtailing output voluntarily.

              Once again I offer you the links to my effort to point out the folly of permitting intermittents to connect to the grid:
              http://www.environment.gov.au/submissions/nem-review/willoughby.pdf
              https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Planning_and_Forecasting/ISP/2018/Round-1-Submissions/Rick-Willoughby—AEMO_ISP_Submission.pdf
              As far as I can determine there have been very few other private citizens as active as me in pointing out the economic damage.

              60

              • #
                Kinky Keith

                The problem is corruption at all levels of government.

                30

              • #
                Peter C

                Thanks Rick,

                I do not see anything changing as Climate Change zealotry in Australia is getting worse, not better.

                I agree. Reasoned arguement is not working.

                40

            • #
              Latus Dextro

              We have free power. 24/7, 365.
              We intentionally own sufficient shares in power companies, to receive dividends twice a year sufficient for all our power requirements.
              Purchasing shares instead of virtue signalling deteriorating arrays always seemed the preferable choice.
              I am filled with gratitude.

              50

              • #
                RickWill

                In my view power companies have high risk exposure. I have specifically avoided infrastructure funds that have exposure to power generation. Look at the carnage in the UK and German power generation industries as governments have forced price controls. Australia is heading the same way. You can bet Shorten will do the same as he doubles down on is electricity policy enabling more intermittents without understanding how that impacts on price.

                Solar owners are a powerful lobby due to shear numbers. State and Federal Governments have to step carefully with regard to rooftop solar owners. By contrast they are sticking it to the large generators. It is not far from price control.

                40

              • #
                Kinky Keith

                Latus,

                The opportunity cost of the money you’ve got in shares is at least 4% p.a.

                Are the dividends covering that plus the electricity bills?

                If so I might need to check this out.

                Less messy than installing rooftop solar and having to replace it in 10 years.

                KK

                21

      • #
        Chad

        ColA…..Can you clarify
        If you are feeding in to the grid an avarage of 24 kWh per day, and presumeably also supporting most of your own demand of 11 KWh /day. …on a 15 C FIT..
        How come they only owe you $140 after 12 months ?
        12 months of 24 kWh feed in at 15 C is worth over $1300. ?
        It seems you are feeding everything back into the grid, then buying back your 11kWh ?

        20

    • #
      glen Michel

      Looking at Tassie and its reliance only Hydro tells one that they exported all their “clean green” stuff to Victoria and probably SA. Dams do go empty quickly in summer when you’re on a good wicket. Life was so much simpler and cheaper before these subsidised feed ins.

      80

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    “It was of course, bad luck that the snowy hydro dams are so low.”

    Science!

    Just open a small coal mine near by!

    Not too big, we don’t want floods like 2011 …

    “GREENS leader Bob Brown says the coal mining industry should foot the bill for the Queensland floods because it helped cause them.

    The floods are Queensland’s worst for nearly 40 years, with more than 26,000 homes affected and at least 16 people killed.”

    https://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/coal-miners-to-blame-for-queensland-floods-says-australian-greens-leader-bob-brown/news-story/cbfe12042fa9c4149ea3c10524f57344

    70

    • #
      Travis T. Jones

      And, what’s not to like about coal induced rain …

      “The rain and flooding in western Queensland during the last few months has been transformative.

      These two images taken by NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite in November 2018 and May 2019 show an explosion of fresh vegetation”

      https://twitter.com/Ben_Domensino/status/1125635708259930114

      80

    • #
      AndyG55

      Was coal to blame for the one 40 years ago?

      And the even bigger one around the 1900s?

      There is absolutely NOTHING in that graph to indicate that human CO2 was in the least to blame for any floods.

      Bob Brown is just an attention-seeking LIAR/ingoramous

      181

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        For a moment there, I read that as “lignoramus”, but quickly realised that no sensible person would blacken the name of Lignite by association with our Greens Professor Emeritus.

        KK

        90

      • #
        el gordo

        Nice graph, I reckon there must have been an increase in La Nina activity around that time. The 1890s were a wash out.

        20

        • #
          Another Ian

          el gordo

          ” The 1890s were a wash out.”

          You have an each way bet there, at least in western Qld.

          The latter half was in the Fed drought.

          But when the DPI blokes started simulating ground layer dry matter production using met records they found that the early 1890s must have been the best seasons ever seen so far by Europeans. Fits with the last big fire that went down our creek being in the early 1890s too.

          Which helps explain how the most Dry Sheep Equivalents (DSE) run in that area were pre-Fed drought. We got back to around 2/3 of that around the 1960s.

          20

          • #
            el gordo

            Thanks for the anecdotal evidence, further confirmation that we live in a land of drought and flooding rains.

            Except for a widespread El Nino drought in 1888, the late 1880s and early 1890s were a period of extremely heavy rainfall over New South Wales, Queensland and to a lesser extent Victoria and the “settled” areas of Tasmania and South Australia. Lake Eyre is believed to have filled with water from Cooper Creek in 1886/1887, 1889/1890 and 1894.’ wiki

            10

      • #
        el gordo

        The early 1890s were wet, but a string of El Nino starting in 1895 and going through to Federation, hence the Federation Drought.

        10

    • #
      WXcycles

      “GREENS leader Bob Brown says the coal mining industry should foot the bill for the Queensland floods because it helped cause them.

      Bob Brown is a perverse lying moron – at best!

      The flooding was caused by a prosaic monsoonal low that happened to remain almost stationary for almost two weeks, and those have been occurring in north Queensland for all my life, and will continue no matter if humans exist, or have capitalism, or technology, or not.

      What a lying jackass that Brown is, but he’s a greens politician, so it’s not like I we could reasonably expect to be honest, intelligent or informed of the facts, nor to pay attention to them, or reality.

      As mentioned in comments yesterday (by Pat) Lake Eyre is filling like has not been seen in about 45 years and the outback soil moisture is again fully recharged over a large area, and the land, plants and animals plus QLD rivers are all very healthy as a result of this beautiful and welcome rainfall event, which will have very positive and beneficial natural impacts for years to come.

      It will also greatly positively benefit Queenslanders lives in the years to come.

      Bob Brown, pull your head out of your butt some time, you’re a primary example of why people detest lying deceitful politicians as never before, especially the uncontrollable lying and perversity coming from greens party politicians.

      191

    • #
      Maptram

      Why should the coal industry pay for damage done to homes built in flood prone areas?

      70

  • #
    Zigmaster

    I always explain to my warmist friends why renewables can never be cheaper than base load power. If base load power is A and cost of renewables is B and prior to all this global warming hype we could run our system on base load power but now our system with renewables it can’t function without base load power as a back up, A + B can never be cheaper than A alone.

    What makes it even worse is that adding renewables to the system makes the existing back up systems less efficient and more expensive as they aren’t designed to be run as such.

    If my memory is correct one of the most vocal crusaders for the renewable revolution President Obama made a speech making it clear that the fight against global warming would necessitate making energy more expensive.

    160

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    Quoted

    “In our auction system, generators bid, say 1GW at $50. The AEMO says “yes please” to all the cheapest bids until the demand is met. That final “highest” accepted winning bid, sets the price that every successful bidder gets paid.”

    Only in Australia.

    This isn’t a “Market”, as my great grandmother would say: “it’s Highway Robbery”.

    How can a Parliament get away with this. It isn’t “waste” as a compliant media often describe this sort of behaviour, it more sinister than that.

    KK

    Of course, nothing at this level ever happens without a reason .

    90

  • #
    PeterFitzroy

    I’ll never understand how we took electricity supply from a simple, reliable and stable system to the over managed, costly, unreliable internet, and unstable system we have now.
    If I were king, I’d mandate that any generator that wants to join the network must prove that they can supply at their nominated output 24/7/365.

    210

    • #
      PeterFitzroy

      I forgot, as king, no subsidies either.

      150

      • #
        el gordo

        Could a bullet train network run on renewables or would it require Hele coal fired power stations?

        ‘Labor has promised to spend $1 billion buying a corridor of land between Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane to build a future high-speed rail link.’ SMH

        60

        • #
          glen Michel

          Another Labor boondoggle EG. Even if it comes to pass and it won’t it will fail because it is another Labor initiative.

          50

        • #
          philthegeek

          There you go eg. Albo has heard you. :)

          16

          • #
            el gordo

            Albo has always been a VFT fanatic and clever strategy by Labor on this.

            On Sunday’s launch I expect Morrison will take the earlier ‘expressions of interest’ in Turnbull’s bottom draw and announce a continental VFT network for the states that want to be connected.

            Saw Peta Credlin last night encouraging the PM to revive the Bradfield Scheme, to drought proof the MDB, but does he have the political nous?

            50

        • #
          RicDre

          ‘Labor has promised to spend $1 billion buying a corridor of land between Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane to build a future high-speed rail link.’

          I hope this works out better for Australia than Jerry Brown’s High Speed Rail project has for California. The first section to be opened, the 171-mile (275 km) section from Bakersfield to Merced is estimated to cost $10.6 billion.

          70

          • #
            Another Ian

            IIRC now canned as too expensive so that is the train from nowhere to nowhere

            40

            • #
              RicDre

              “IIRC now canned as too expensive so that is the train from nowhere to nowhere”

              New California Governor Gavin Newsom has “indefinitely postponed” the full route from San Francisco to San Diego but plans to complete the Bakersfield to Merced section and will continue to spend money on environmental reviews for the remainder of the route.

              40

      • #
        Mark D.

        Did you take some “sanity” pills? You seem unusually sane.

        40

        • #
          Kinky Keith

          That’s the first of his I’ve green ticked.
          It is different from the usual.

          50

        • #
          Another Ian

          In agricultural extension a format is

          Tell the audience what you’re going to tell them

          Tell them

          And conclude by telling them what you told them.

          it is reckoned that the best advisory job has been done when the subject comes and starts telling you about what you’ve been telling them.

          10

    • #
      RicDre

      “I’ll never understand how we took electricity supply from a simple, reliable and stable system to the over managed, costly, unreliable internet, and unstable system we have now.”

      Its not really hard to understand, they decided to change the priority for electrical generation from reliable to renewable and the complexity and instability are a direct consequence of that decision.

      110

      • #
        PeterFitzroy

        Certainly, but they were who? My best guess was politicians in league with business. Another example is the E10 fuel, which is subsidised upto the wazoo, else it would be way more expensive than any other option. The history is a beautiful case of market manipulation, and this was prior to the current mess the electricity industry is now in.

        30

        • #
          rk

          Peter,
          If I might enlighten you a little on your query. Most power stations were sold off by Labor governments and possibly some Liberal ones too, to reduce debt because of ever growing public debt levels. It doesn’t get away from the fact that all power should be generated within each state by the one entity and only have interconnectors for an emergency. Power transmission losses being a major reason as well as instability introduced by other states and the very important need to provide REACTIVE POWER into the system where it is needed. This is needed for voltage control where extra voltage is required when large 3 phase motors and transformers need more voltage through the field windings. Think of an electric train starting off from a station using 25,000 volts AC, there is an extra requirement for voltage to energize those motors and stop the frequency and voltage falling.

          It can’t come from solar or wind because of intermittency and distance from the source.

          20

        • #
          RicDre

          “Certainly, but they were who?”

          ‘They’ are the politicians and the people who voted for them.

          00

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Yes. That’s the superficial answer. But not the true answer.

        The true answer requires answering the question: “why renewables”?

        What Mr Fitzroy needs to understand is that renewables fall out of the green left socialists’ belief that man-made CO2 is the primary driver of global warming and it will be catastrophic.

        Mr Fitzroy doesn’t seem to understand that the green left socialists can’t abide nuclear.

        Mr Fitzroy needs to understand that the green left socialists seek to change the Capitalist free-market system – just like Venezuela.

        Mr Fitzroy can’t have it both ways.

        Either Mr Fitzroy accepts the unreliable, expensive and inefficient nature of renewables or he rejects his belief that man-made CO2 is the primary driver of global warming.

        So, what shall it be Mr Fitzroy?

        21

        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Kinky Keith
          May 9, 2019 at 6:51 am · Reply
          There seems to be a considerable amount of comment that has been “disappeared” which has the effect of putting comments 16 and 17 sitting on this thread looking out of context.

          The comments related to the continued presence on the blog of a poster who has done nothing but offer insult to the blog and those posting on it.

          On a casual read his posts may seem bland but they are numerous and content free.

          A number of people have taken exception to this and tried, through channels, to have someone look at the situation.

          Nothing, and so ridicule was used to highlight comments that were in all aspects, Irrelevant and inspired by some unknown motivational force.

          Several threads back the weight of opinion about this situation was expressed in a most unusual manner by those using the site.

          If my memory serves correctly on that one thread there were at least three of His “comments” that received over 30, yes thirty, Red ticks Each.

          It seemed that a lot of blog contributors were keen to have their opinions noted, but were apparently ignored and what seems like intentionally disruptive comments continue.

          He seems to have achieved his purpose: Internal Division.

          KK

          http://joannenova.com.au/2019/05/theres-a-new-climate-activist-non-party-party-in-australia/#comment-2135896

          10

          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            Déjà vu

            Unscientific, I know.

            Nevertheless, I’ve been here before.

            In that life the whole site ended up closing down as a result of sabotage and subversion by those who couldn’t handle the discussion of matters about which they disagreed.

            At the post to which you refer (and reference) I was nailed by AZ (rightly so – probably) for having a smart crack at Mr Fitzroy. That seems to have gone into the “disappeared” kettle too.

            Like “the Phantom”, the man who never dies, “Mr Fitzroy” is the man who never debates. The man who won’t substantiate his assertions. Bald assertions are the common currency of the green left alarmists. He has them in spades.

            Accordingly, in respect to Jo (our wonderful hostess) and AZ (our tireless Mod), I’ve resolved to moderate my “smarty” comments. However, I will not resile from pursuing Mr Fitzroy and his comrades for there pompous and content free interventions.

            I’m still waiting to read Mr Fitzroy’s analysis on how man-made CO2 is the prime driver of global warming and why it will be catastrophic.

            10

            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              Their.

              10

            • #
              Kinky Keith

              I looked excitedly at the interaction between Reed Coray and Mr.
              Reed wrote a lot.
              Nothing else seemed to happen.

              10

              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                KK.

                No. That’s right. Nothing seemed to happen. Except perhaps behind the scenes – but I’ll say what I want to say up front.

                Now, the question I ask is why has Mr Fitzroy not pursued the undertaking he gave to debate Reed Coray?

                Others here have also challenged Mr Fitzroy to provide his reasoning on how man-made CO2 is the prime driver of global warming and why it will be catastrophic. He’s absented himself from that. Why? He just asserts and baits.

                The evidence is against him. The models on which he no doubt would seek to base his argument have been demonstrated time and again to be not fit for purpose. They don’t do clouds and they don’t do cosmic rays. They seem to not use the latest evidence on the magnitude of climate sensitivity.

                The Christy image presented to Congress some little time back has never been refuted – yes, it’s been asserted that it’s wrong – but that’s not refutation, that’s just warmists speaking their book.

                http://www.globalwarming.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/CMIP5-73-models-vs-obs-20N-20S-MT-5-yr-means1.png

                He then makes grandiose statements like the one above at 5.0, without seeming to understand the irony it contains. It seems he does not wish to be challenged, and doesn’t like it when he is. That is part of the standard play-book of the warmists. Don’t debate those who disagree with you.

                It’s a pity. But there it is.

                10

    • #
      Bill in Oz

      Holy cow, I’ve just given Fitz
      A green thumb !
      First time EVAH !
      Have you been to Damascus Fitz ?
      And been blinded by the light
      Of facts ?

      30

    • #
      RickWill

      Free electricity is the most significant benefit that Climate Change zealotry, from the faithful, has provided me.

      40

      • #
        Chad

        Sorry to remind you rick… but it is not FREE electricity.
        You paid for it in advance partially, and now the rest of us are paying part of your bill for you
        Only 30% of the electricity charge is the generation cost, the rest is Transmission, distribution , FCAS, maintenance, etc etc…all cost that you are passing on to others.

        20

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Rick,

        You are being paid 66.0 cents/kWh by government and its agencies for the electricity you feed into the grid.

        I am charged 25.752 cents/kWh by Synergy (in Western Australia) for each unit I use.

        You are being paid 30 cents/kWh more than I’m being charged. That’s the size of your subsidy from people who can’t afford it. From the taxpayer.

        That is outrageous.

        10

    • #
      AndyG55

      “24/7/365.”

      Really ? ;-)

      Maybe look up the meaning of “nominal” as well

      You seem to be talking about wind power

      nominal: definition

      1. (of a role or status) existing in name only

      2. (of a price or charge) very small; far below the real value or cost.

      30

    • #
      greggg

      OMG! He said something sensible.
      Wind farms, and solar farms, need to be responsible for the backup power that is required to deliver power for however long it takes base load to start and ramp up. The owners of the wind and solar farms need to own or contract the power plant that is needed. Base load generators should not bear the financial responsibility incurred by intermittents. Pull your finger out government! (Yes, only if Australian voters have a brain and vote LNP back in. I look forward to Scomo Derangement Syndrome).

      10

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Greggg,

        That’s all fine. However, to provide electricity reliably the unreliables will need to invest more capital in back-up or contract the reliables to provide it for them at a price. That means the unreliables capex will be higher and so their costs.

        Either way, the consumer will be hit with a higher cost/kWh than would otherwise occur if we stuck with coal.

        The fact that the general public has no idea about this is frightening. The politicians know, but they refuse to be honest with the voter.

        10

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    The most interesting thing about the 24 hour input graph is Wind Power, shown of course in eco green.
    Notice how it is reflecting the influence of the Sun via the diurnal bulge.

    Also notice how black coal, bad, drops off in the middle of the day, showing that it just can’t cope.

    The “real eco” sources come into their own after sunrise and before sunset.

    Now all of this graph is showing differences, Delta, in individual providers, what would an actual output graph look like?

    I’m sure that a government agency providing basic services wouldn’t stoop to trying to mislead the public.

    KK

    Would it be all black?

    30

    • #
      RickWill

      Some of the reduction in wind is due to curtailment for stability reasons. As more roofs in Sa and Vic get panels, they will eat into the market availability for wind and curtailment will become more frequent.

      We could see the whole SA grid demand being fed from rooftop at lunchtime on a Sunday by November 2021.

      30

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Followed by a blackout as the wind drops and they cannot afford natural gas.

        10

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Hi Rick,

        On a normal calm day early morning sunrise wind is from the West. At lunchtime there’s a break and reversal with sunset wind coming from the East.
        I think that the graph shows that pattern to some extent, but the main thing about the graph is that it doesn’t show the absolute contributions from each source, just their relative changes.

        KK

        00

      • #
        rk

        Rick, sorry you could not see the whole S.A. grid fed from roof top at lunch time. The whole system would go unstable with no reactive power to control the voltage and no large controlling generator to control voltage and frequency. Further, electrical energy, (voltage) would be uneven on different phases as residential solar would be fed in on single phases in a totally uncontrolled manner. How would voltage from hundreds of thousands of homes all be fed evenly back up through high voltage transformers to be distributed?
        Couldn’t happen – large amounts of voltage can only travel one way.

        11

        • #
          RickWill

          rk
          Why be sorry – you are simply WRONG. I am not sorry you are wrong but I can inform you why you are wrong.

          Electranet have a project under way to install synchronous condensers:
          https://www.electranet.com.au/what-we-do/projects/power-system-strength/
          They plan to have them operational in 2020; but still to get past the final green light. These can replace the gas generators used in SA for stability requirements but do not replace their on-demand generating ability. The current high capacity link to Victoria provides the required rotating reserve for generation and there are plans to add a high capacity link between SA and NSW that will provide redundancy for the rotating reserve in the event the Vic link drops.

          They are claiming a saving of $3 to $5 per year per customer but it is more capital that has to be paid off. There could be some saving in gas usage but the gas plant still has to be available so it will just charge a higher price when generating to recover those standing costs.

          00

          • #
            rk

            Rick,
            Nowhere in the world is a power grid powered only by solar which is what you were inferring in your comment. Synchronous condensers still need to get their power from somewhere and you obviously don’t understand what I said about hundreds of thousands of solar installations trying to feed varying amounts of voltage onto a grid from single phase sources and so causing huge power differences between phases. It would seem you might not know anything about reactive power either. US power engineers say even 40% solar is threatening to destroy the Hawaiian power grid because solar is starting to burn the grid out. See what power engineers say. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU6izpryqqw&feature=youtu.be

            10

          • #
            Graeme#4

            Rick, I can’t see Synchronous Condensers helping much at all, except for very short time intervalsas the energy stored in them is not much. I note that Huntington Beach power station was looking at running their old power turbines as Synchronous Condensers. Also they require power from the grid to keep spinning.

            10

  • #
    Robber

    I have been recording Tony’s very informative daily reports on the generation mix across the AEMO grid, and have now started relating that to wholesale prices in Vic. For April the average wholesale price reported by AEMO for Vic was $98/MWhr, compared to March $138 and Feb $111. NSW & Qld average prices for April were $78 and $69. Looking more closely, for the weeks ending April 21 and 28, the average weekly prices in Vic were $87 and $79, with the lowest days being April 20 $64, April 25 $61 and April 26 $58.

    Here is the breakdown of generation by source in GW over the grid for each week of April and 1st week of May and the Vic prices:
    Coal 15.9 15.8 15.5 15.7 15.4
    Gas 1.6 1.8 1.4 1.4 2.1
    Fossil 0.5 0.5 0.2 0.3 0.4
    Hydro 1.5 1.6 1.0 1.0 1.4
    Wind 1.6 1.4 2.2 1.7 2.0
    Solar 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.3
    Rooftop 1.0 1.0 0.9 0.9 0.7
    Total 22.4 22.5 21.6 21.4 22.4
    Price $108 $118 $87 $79 $102

    It appears that there is some correlation between lower overall demand, lower gas usage, lower hydro, higher wind, and lower prices. Vic & SA are big gas users, and Vic also relies on hydro from Tas and Snowy.
    Given the current bidding system, it is most likely that the high bidders are gas and hydro generators, so when they aren’t needed, prices are lower and similar to NSW & Qld. But the crazy thing about this bidding system is that the highest price accepted is then paid to all the producing generators.
    This appears to be the wrong way to run an essential service.

    Further analysis needed to reveal those high bidders in Vic and SA.

    90

    • #
      Mark D.

      Robber, Hydro operators, when full, can bid at the most opportune moment and they can spin up fast.

      In the chart above it looks to me like they have figured out how to play the game. When solar is strong they lay low and refill.

      50

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      It’s definitely Not a Market.

      It seems to be an inverted market that sends the reward for thrift and intelligence in the wrong direction.

      40

  • #
    CPhillips

    Back in 2004 I purchased shares in Geodynamics who were looking to develop geothermal power in the Cooper Basin.
    The site was extraordinary with high temperatures of 250°C at 5km depth without being a volcanic area, the hot rocks were found to be already saturated with brine water which meant the system could be run on a closed loop with no need to source water from elsewhere, and the hot area was completely insulated with the water trapped at high temperature and high pressure
    (unlike Californian geothermal plants that need to pump water underground, and they still lose 50% of the water/steam as it nicks off elsewhere through other leaks).
    At the time the company reckoned that when scaled up to 300 MW or higher, power could be produced for a wholesale cost would be approx $50 per megawatt hour (which was the same for black coal at the time) with zero carbon emmissions.
    That is Base load power generation, and they had an in principle agreement with Origin energy for Origin to purchase 50% of any power station output.
    What happenned?
    Apart from a few drilling issues, the main problem was that the site was nowhere near the power grid and they did not have enough money to pay for the long distance transmission lines to reach the grid – governments were not prepared to cover the cost of the transmission lines and it was left to them to try & find fincancing.
    THEN the Global financial Crisis occurred in 2008 and is seemed like all the venture capital dried up, and Origin Energy withdrew their agreement and decided to develop intermittent renewable power project (i.e. where the government subsidy guarantees were!).
    Geodynamics limped along for some years but eventually changed their name to “Renew” and looked to survive sucking on the government tit for small scale renewable energy project.
    My shares were changed to Renew shares with their business model of chasing small scale “pig-shit-gas” and “solar panels on shopping centre roofs etc.
    I am so utterly, utterly depressed about that!
    …and consider if the site HAD been connected to the grid 10 years ago; by now there might have already been 300 MW of geothermal BASE-LOAD generation being supplied to the South Australian power grid – they could have done with that a few years ago when all their lights went off for days (and saved them buying that stupid Tesla battery array)!

    50

    • #
      yarpos

      So it wasnt viable, but if the had of done it, it would be really good?

      10

    • #
      rk

      C Phillips,
      I sympathize with you and the loss of your investment in Geodynamics. It could never have worked, it was impossible to turn drilling bits at 90 degrees or even close to that at 6.5 klm below the surface in granite. I visited Innamincka a number of times around that era and even spoke with a head drilling contractor who worked on the site and had long experience drilling in the oil industry and he told me it was impossible to expect hot water/steam turned down there to come up another pipe some distance away without dispersing through unknown cracks and fissures and so complete the cycle. It was impossible, let alone the transmission problems that would have made it uneconomic anyway. I believe something like $900 million was lost in that debacle.

      20

    • #
      Another Ian

      FYI

      ” Professor Flim Flam moves to multi-million $$$ mansion in seaside Manly
      Thursday, 09 May 2019 ”

      https://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2019/05/professor-flim-flam-moves-to-multi-million-mansion-in-seaside-manly.html

      20

  • #
    George4

    The Libs have just promised again to reduce Electricity prices, but I doubt they are addressing the real problems and I think a big government stick approach is not the way to go.
    “underwriting new generation investment” makes me nervous.

    Energy Minister Angus Taylor will on Friday vow to reduce the spot price in the national electricity market to less than $70/MWh by the end of 2021, the Daily Telegraph reports.

    Senior government minister Mathias Cormann says the $185 price cut is a target and will be taken to the election.

    The plan is built on several policies, including underwriting new generation investment, as well as passing stalled legislation which would force energy companies to split if they deliberately jack prices up.

    https://www.9news.com.au/national/government-to-promise-power-price-cuts/e90440a5-f97f-4a25-8e57-f6a3ae9c139a

    50

  • #
    pat

    can’t recall this being posted here. hope someone can excerpt some of it. I’ve heard most of it being read out – and it is brilliant. covers Germany/Drax etc:

    Carbon emissions credit scams are putting wood back on the burner
    The Australian-8 May 2019
    I’m simply revealing the massively crooked practices taking place outside Australia to rig claimed global carbon emission reductions…
    The biggest source of its so-called biomass energy is burning wood, which is … Robert Gottliebsen

    short but sweet from Viv in American Thinker:

    9 May: American Thinker: Hydrocarbons beat biofuels on all counts
    by Viv Forbes
    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/05/hydrocarbons_beat_biofuels_on_all_counts.html

    60

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Millions of young Australians and equal numbers of older people are genuinely alarmed about world carbon emissions.
      Sadly, they are being hoodwinked by false carbon reduction schemes in what is one of the greatest scams seen in our history.
      Here I want to emphasise that this commentary is not an attack on climate science, nor the basic climate policies of our political parties. I’m simply revealing the massively crooked practices taking place outside Australia to rig claimed global carbon emission reductions.
      But we may get caught up in the racket because the ALP plans to allow Australian companies to buy carbon credits overseas to offset their carbon emissions.
      As I will describe below, if we are not very careful, these overseas carbon credits may be fictitious as a result of the rackets being embraced in Europe and elsewhere.

      In 2009, the EU committed itself to 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020. It put so called “biomass” on the renewable energy sources list.
      By 2014, biomass accounted for 40 per cent of the EU’s renewable energy and by 2020, it’s projected to make up 60 per cent.
      Genuine biomass is a legitimate carbon reduction source but Europe has embraced “fake biomass” on a massive scale. The biggest source of its so-called biomass energy is burning wood, which is one of the worst forms of carbon producing energy. Coal emits far less carbon than burning timber.
      And my comments

      Graeme
      Drax in England has converted 5 of their 6 units to burning wood. Their CO2 emissions from those stations have gone up 32-33% more than when burning coal.
      Had they kept burning coal they would have gone bankrupt, but thanks to the EU edit that “coal is bad, wood is good” they get subsidies not taxes, and so are quite profitable.
      Ironically, their attempts to switch to burning natural gas, which would have made genuine reductions in CO2 emissions (over 40%) were thwarted by opposition from the Greens.

      Russia is increasing its supply of natural gas to the EU. It also ships at least a million and a half tons of wood pellets there, with about a million tons going into electricity generation (largely it seems in Denmark). The rest goes for heating etc. in Germany (half a million households cut off from electricity because they can’t pay the rising bills) and the UK.
      One item not mentioned in the article was the burning of household waste to supply hot water heating in urban areas. Again not regarded as emitting CO2.
      And despite these fiddles Germany’s CO2 emissions haven’t reduced since 2009

      20

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Unbelievable.

        The Human condition, induced confusion and perpetual serfdom.

        There seems to be only one country that has been aware enough to make a start at pushing back against this monster.

        The other one that attempted to escape is still in the hands of the shysters.

        00

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      pat:

      I have a full copy of the article. If wanted please check with Jo re transfer via e-mail.

      00

  • #
    yarpos

    Nov 2016

    Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has said power bills for Victorians should go up by 4 per cent, which is about 85c a week, or $44.20 a year.

    ABC has also obtained a separate government analysis based on assumptions by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, that predicted the average household bill would remain unchanged in 2017, then rise by about 8 per cent in 2018, or $86 a year.

    Meanwhile, Frontier Economics forecasted retail electricity prices for Victorian householders would increase by up to 25 per cent immediately after a Hazelwood shut down, but that was under a scenario where other generators paid a levy for the plant to shut down.

    Report author Danny Price told news.com.au that the impact of Hazelwood shutting down of its own accord, without the additional levy for a buyout, would be 20 per cent.”

    50

  • #
    theRealUniverse

    Time to forget the 70s ‘ban the bomb nuclear’ rhetoric and go NUCLEAR! Oz has plenty free U238, what are you waiting for?

    90

  • #
    RickWill

    The first paragraph uses words that support a sad myth:

    Once again, bad luck for renewables. The AEMO put out their report for the first quarter of 2019. Despite a massive growth in renewables, power prices are still not falling as predicted.

    Use of the word “renewables”, without qualification, when referring to wind and solar electricity generation makes such statements complicit in perpetuating an economy destroying myth.

    Wind and solar generators are not able to support the energy requirements of a self-sustaining modern economy. They are a net drag on a modern economy, costing more than they can produce, and in NO WAY RENEWABLE!

    Their economic value lies in low energy intensive applications remote from an existing grid.

    90

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      “Their economic value lies in low energy intensive applications remote from an existing grid”.

      The Truth, the Whole Truth and nothing but the Truth.

      70

    • #
      yarpos

      That battle is lost Rick , as the lefts first step is to define the language of the debate

      Renewable, progressive, global warming, settled science etc. Nearly every one the reverse of reality when you look at what is really happening.

      30

  • #
    pat

    8 May: NoTricksZone: 100% Renewables At 764 Euros Per Household Per MONTH… Germany’s 4.6 TRILLION Euro Green Energies Flop
    by P. Gosselin
    The 4.6 trillion euro German green energies flop
    By Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt and Frank Bosse
    (German text translated/edited by P. Gosselin)
    https://notrickszone.com/2019/05/08/100-renewables-at-764-euros-per-household-per-month-germanys-4-6-trillion-euro-green-energies-flop/#comments

    9 May: NoTricksZone: New Study: The Tropical Atlantic Was 7.5°C Warmer Than Now While CO2 Was 220 ppm
    by Kenneth Richard
    https://notrickszone.com/2019/05/09/new-study-the-tropical-atlantic-was-7-5c-warmer-than-now-while-co2-was-220-ppm/

    50

  • #
    pat

    10 May: RenewEconomy: Murdoch media and the myth about Tesla EVs causing blackouts
    Every day, readers have been able to turn to the Murdoch media stable – Sky News, The Australian and the state-based tabloids to read or listen to some complete nonsense about climate change science, renewables, or electric vehicles.

    It’s a tough call, given the intense competition, but if we had to give a prize to the dumbest story of all, it would likely be The Australian columnist Robert Gottliebsen and his story entitled Electric cars are already causing some grid failures (LINK)…READ ON
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/murdoch-media-and-the-myth-about-tesla-evs-causing-blackouts-84284/

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    • #
      Kinky Keith

      It’s important to reinforce the beliefs of the faithful.

      40

    • #
      George4

      I really have to agree that article about Tesla’s causing blackouts sounded like BS to me.
      When he based it on some unnamed acquaintance, I thought why didn’t he just ask the network operator, since he is an investigative journalist.

      Still, we decided to check with all the local grid operators in Melbourne. Had there been any such cases? No, came the answer.

      “We have not had blackouts or major network issues caused by EVs in our network,” said Helena Lilley, from Ausnet.

      For starters, this was discussed on the Tesla Australia Slack group and no-one there (200+ Tesla owners) could pinpoint where 6 Teslas exist on one street. Sounds made up to start with.”

      50

  • #
    pat

    just posted:

    10 May: ABC Science: Solar energy is on the rise, as coal-fired power stations age and gas prices rise — but is the grid ready?
    ABC Science By Nadine Cranenburgh
    (Nadine Cranenburgh is a freelance writer with postgraduate qualifications in electrical and environmental engineering)
    Last year, the amount of electricity generated by solar panels and wind turbines rose by almost a third from 9.8 to 12.6 per cent of total generation.
    And while fossil fuel sources provide around 80 per cent of the national energy mix, their contribution is starting to decline with the closure of ageing coal-fired power stations and rising gas prices…

    Renewable options are inevitable
    Integrating variable renewables into the grid will require investment in transmission networks and energy storage such as pumped hydro and batteries.
    But doing nothing is not an option, as coal-fired power stations are reaching the end of their useful lives, and cannot simply be replaced.
    “You could put another power station where Hazelwood is — but couldn’t feed it, as there’s no coal left,” (Grahame Holmes, a smart energy systems researcher at RMIT University) said…READ ALL
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-05-10/solar-energy-power-grid-renewables-policy/11088002

    40

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      “with the closure of ageing coal-fired power stations and rising gas prices…”

      Coincides with the closure of many ageing white men.

      40

    • #
      WXcycles

      … But doing nothing is not an option, as coal-fired power stations are reaching the end of their useful lives, and cannot simply be replaced. “You could put another power station where Hazelwood is — but couldn’t feed it, as there’s no coal left,” (Grahame Holmes, a smart energy systems researcher at RMIT University) said…READ ALL

      Perhaps Grahame Holmes has not heard of that new-fangled technology coming out of middle-Rngland about 220 years ago? (Grahame Holmes, a smart energy systems researcher at RMIT University)

      Renewable options are inevitable … The first full-scale working railway steam locomotive was built by Richard Trevithick in 1802. It was constructed for the Coalbrookdale ironworks in Shropshire in the United Kingdom though no record of it working there has survived.[3] On 21 February 1804, the first recorded steam-hauled railway journey took place as another of Trevithick’s locomotives hauled a train from the Pen-y-darren ironworks, in Merthyr Tydfil, to Abercynon in South Wales.[4][5] Accompanied by Andrew Vivian, it ran with mixed success.[6] The design incorporated a number of important innovations including the use of high-pressure steam which reduced the weight of the engine and increased its efficiency. …”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locomotive#Steam

      One is puzzled how Grahame imagines that Australia magically manages to (economically) export coal from the central interior of Queensland and New South Wales, to ship-loading facilities on the coast, then send it to India, China, Japan and Korea, – at a significant profit margin?.

      But according to him can’t manage to feed coal, cheaply and economically a power station located anywhere within Australia?

      Give your Degree back Grahame, you’re either no ‘expert’ in the economics and viability of electrical generation systems based on coal or you are a shameless unethical bloviating deceiver bringing shame and dishonor to colleagues within your claimed ‘Profession’.

      Recant your nonsense and apologize to them.

      70

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        I know people who are RMIT grads, I can guarantee that the elec eng guys had industry-linked lecturers who knew how many beans made 5. I nkow people from RMIT who worked for MIRA, ASD, DSTO,etc, who are grounded very much in reality.

        Maybe research is , ahem, much more theoretical these days…..

        00

    • #
      Bill in Oz

      No brown coal left ?
      That is a straight out LIE BIG FAT Pat.
      The Latrobe Valley has enough brown coal for about 850 years..
      It’s a huge resource.
      And the people of the Latrobe valley know this.
      Bloody foreigners spreading garbage propaganda

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    pat

    10 May: ABC Fact Check: Prime Minister Scott Morrison said an electric vehicle can’t tow a boat or trailer. Is he correct?
    By RMIT ABC Fact Check
    Principal researcher: Natasha Grivas
    Updated 7 minutes ago
    The verdict
    Mr Morrison’s claim is in need of a tune up.
    Right now, there are a handful of electric vehicles available on the Australian market and only around half specify towing capacity. However, those powerful enough to tow a boat or caravan come with a hefty price tag of $100,000 or more.
    Experts told Fact Check that electric vehicles under development by leading manufacturers and due to be released onto the market well before 2030, are likely to have the capacity to tow a trailer or boat with similar efficiency as petrol-based vehicles…
    Experts told Fact Check it was unwise making comparisons between current and fast-evolving technology…

    Can electric vehicles tow?
    Experts told Fact Check that it was incorrect to suggest that electric vehicles generally did not have towing capacity.
    Most electric vehicles have plenty of pulling power, reflected in their high output of torque…
    Professor John Andrew, of RMIT’s School of Engineering, said there was no reason why electric vehicles would not be able to tow…READ ALL
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-10/federal-election-fact-check-electric-vehicle-tow-boat/11078464

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      RicDre

      “Professor John Andrew, of RMIT’s School of Engineering, said there was no reason why electric vehicles would not be able to tow”

      Yes, but how many miles can they travel while towing the trailer? And how long will it take to recharge the vehicle for the next leg of the journey?

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        WXcycles

        Grahame Holmes, who’s also at RMIT, and claims to be a “Smart Energy Systems researcher“, seems to think locomotives pulling wagons can’t deliver coal cheaply to a power station anywhere within Australia!

        RMIT seems to be harboring a clutch of crackpots.

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        Annie

        My thought too.

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        yarpos

        Fair question Ric but such detailed considerations would require a further study and, of course, funding.

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    pat

    ABC’s CAGW election:

    AUDIO: 3min50sec: 10 May: ABC AM: Climate change one of many issues for voters in Wright
    By Rachel Mealey on AM
    Voters around the country continue to tell pollsters that climate change is a pivotal issue for them in this campaign.
    Data out this week from the Lowy Institute indicates nearly two-thirds of voters rank the issue as a “critical threat.”
    The issue is important to a number of voters in the Queensland seat of Wright, south and west of Brisbane, a traditionally safe Liberal National seat.
    Featured:
    Wright voters
    Anne Tiernan, professor of political science and dean of engagement, Griffith University
    https://www.abc.net.au/radio/adelaide/programs/am/climate-change-one-of-many-issues-for-voters-in-wright/11100006

    AUDIO: 3min12sec: 10 May: ABC AM: Higgins: party division, climate change put key ‘blueblood’ seat in play
    By Sabra Lane on AM
    AM’s Sabra Lane speaks with politics lecturer James Murphy from – and about – the Melbourne electorate of Higgins, in key play this election…
    James says the Liberals’ climate change policies and the party infrastructure’s attitude towards women are shaping up as issues swaying voters.
    (FROM TRANSCRIPT)
    JAMES MURPHY (lecturer in Australian politics at Swinburne University): Well, I saw a Roy Morgan poll from a couple of days ago, saying something like 67 per cent of the electorate put climate change in the top three of their issues. And that’s the highest kind of rating for any Liberal seat in the country…
    https://www.abc.net.au/radio/adelaide/programs/am/party-division-climate-change-put-key-blueblood-seat-in-play/11100000

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    Latus Dextro

    Wild crowing on the NZ news yesterday after the announcement that the government would shut down all oil / gas production from New Plymouth by 2050. In the meantime, they’ve provided a stream of money to open a “transitioning” research project in the region, chiefly to keep the natives happy and the standard of living illusory.
    Hard on the heels of this MSM proclamation was the announcement that in the UK: Britain has first coal-free week in over a century … and just for added indoctrinating oomph, since the industrial revolution.

    UK Green Pus:

    “Just a few years ago we were told Britain couldn’t possibly keep the lights on without burning coal,” said Doug Parr, policy director at environmental activist group Greenpeace.
    “Now coal is quickly becoming an irrelevance, much to the benefit of our climate and air quality, and we barely notice it.”

    Detailed info may be seen at Energy Trends (Gov UK). The story is not quite as simple as it is presented, as the file ‘fuel used in electricity generation and electricity supplied‘ suggests.

    Irrelevant to all of course, except the growing swathe of power impoverished, the ideologues and the profiteers.

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      Greg in NZ

      Just don’t mention cousin Dubya‘s favourite word – nukular! Am going to have to give up listening to their radio as the verbal / audio rubbish is piling sky-high by the day, so much so it’s almost reached a tipping point, eg. after our lovely Indian Summer of calm pleasant bliss 2019 –

      https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/388911/summer-temperatures-come-to-an-end-for-mother-s-day

      “Mr Green said climate change is a factor in the higher temperatures in New Zealand and Australia. Something definitely is changing, he said. Mr Green said that, in the past, where cycles of hot and cold weather were normal, we’re now seeing consistently warmer temperatures. This winter, potentially, could be quite mild and – for skiiers – not necessarily the best news.” Bunkum!

      Skiiers? I think I’ve found that extra missing ‘i’ from Australia’s new plastic $50 notes (ie. ‘responsibilty’). The above-quoted Mr Green is known as a ‘weather commentator’ in these parts yet remains conveniently silent on the COLD POOL of air over south-east Oz pushing this lovely warmness ahead of it onto us. Did he study Media or Meteorology I wonder. Then again, he used to have a radio show, with guest mediums, where folk could phone in to see if Fluffy the cat was OK or if Uncle Bob and Aunty Lulu were ‘finally at peace on the other side’. A believer in man-made climate change AND necromancy

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        Latus Dextro

        Greg in NZ, I dare myself, nay, steal myself to aural exposure of the MSM organs of State in NZ.
        Invariably, being the eternal optimist I am, I steal myself with hope that I will hear the echo of affirming sanity. It is never the case and the Leftist, corporatist globalist rainbow hysteria has of late deteriorated into a rank, insensible hand-waving screech resembling a vomitus of verbal risotto.

        I take heart. Their end is clearly nigh.
        What is more, they clearly know or sense it.

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    pat

    a whopping 16min46sec:

    AUDIO: 16min46sec: 10 May: ABC Breakfast: Victorian independents promise ‘representational democracy’
    But independents are also vying to unseat some very high-profile Liberals in key blue-ribbon electorates in and around Melbourne and ***action on climate change is their rallying cry.
    Guests:
    Julia Banks, independent candidate for Flinders;
    Oliver Yates, independent candidate for Kooyong;
    Jason Ball, Greens’ candidate for Higgins
    https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/victorian-independents-promise-representational-democracy/11100062

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    pat

    10 May: ABC: A quick quiz to test whether you know what millennials/gen Xers/boomers think
    Is there a generation gap in Australian politics? See if you know where younger and older Aussies stand on 10 key election issues.
    Story Lab By Catherine Hanrahan, Colin Gourlay, Ben Spraggon and Matt Liddy
    We have analysed Australians’ responses to Vote Compass to understand the differences in views across age groups.
    Question 1: How much should the federal government do to tackle climate change?

    Answer: Voters ranked the environment as their biggest concern in this election, and young voters have the strongest view about doing more on climate change.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-10/election-2019-vote-compass-quiz-age/11087550

    9 May: Mashable: Fearless TV weather forecasters air the planet’s soaring carbon levels
    by Mark Kaufman
    Mike Nelson’s weather forecasts on May 7, 2019 included more than powerful storm fronts, thick fog, and flurries of snow. The veteran meteorologist’s Denver television broadcasts, delivered three times a day, flashed the planet’s current level of carbon dioxide — a potent heat-trapping gas — on the screen…
    Unable to avoid the atmospheric realities they scrutinize each day, a growing contingent of meteorologists are now looking well beyond the 10-day forecast, to Earth’s troubling climate trends. They hold a powerful audience, as over half of Americans receive their news from television…

    “It’s important for us to get the right science out there,” said Denver 7′s Nelson, who then paused, and considered another reason why he’s presenting CO2 levels. “I’ve been doing it, increasingly, since the birth of my grandchildren.”…

    Just last month, another veteran forecaster, Miami’s John Morales, started presenting carbon dioxide numbers on air, too…
    These veteran, and to some legendary, forecasters have an advantage that many climate communicators don’t. They have profoundly reliable, trustworthy, recognizable faces that people have counted on for decades, through historic storms, drought, and flooding. “We are the scientists that the TV public sees,” said Bob Lindmeier, a Wisconsin forecaster for over 30 years. “For most of them, we’re the only scientists they have any connection with,” added Lindmeier, of ABC’s 27 News…

    There’s a younger breed of forecasters who can’t ignore today’s unfolding scientific and environmental realities, especially when they hit home in the form of worsening floods and long-term drought…

    George Mason’s (Edward) Maibach noted that, since 2012, there’s been a 33-fold increase in the rate of TV forecasters’ reporting on climate change — though it’s likely even more…
    https://mashable.com/article/weather-forecasters-tv-climate-change/

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    David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

    Figure 10 confuses me.
    The y axis is labelled “Average Change”, but goes from -1500 to +2500 while the text above it says there’s capacity of 56000??
    And the label below the graph says “New generation”.
    Seems to me they’ve developed a way to copy the IPCC “Temperature anomaly” and hide the fact that coal still produces most of the power needed at midday?
    Cheers
    Dave B

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    el gordo

    Breaking Nooze, BoM admits weather has returned to normal.

    “We’ve seen an unusually warm autumn but this is actually the type of system we do expect to see this time of year, so it’s actually a return to some normality.”

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      Greg in NZ

      Is this the ‘new’ normality, the ‘old’ normality, or simply ‘some’ normality? If only Greta the Great could impart some of her infinite youthful wisdom upon us mere aged know-nothing normies…

      https://thestandard.org.nz/zero-carbon-bill-let-the-battle-commence/

      There’s a few Left and Right blogs I sporadically visit to see how mad they both are on the day, and this Labour Lefty Loopy site has, heading an article about something zero – or worse, doing away with some chap called Carbon Bill – a recent picture of a NZ protesting school teenager holding a sign saying:

      It’s SNOWING in Hawaii, wake the f*** up [edited for clarity due to upper/lower case letters all over the show – ejaKayshn what?]

      Kids write the funniest things.

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        theRealUniverse

        ” if New Zealand wished to ensure that methane from livestock caused no additional contribution to warming beyond the current level ( utter garbage.), emissions would need to be reduced by at least 10-22 per cent below 2016 levels by 2050, and 20-27 per cent by 2100.” NUTS!!!!!!!!!!

        “Dairy NZ has also grabbed hold of that figure and are using it as a possible goal. Note that this reduction will maintain New Zealand’s current contribution to global warming from methane, not reduce it. If Beef and Lamb’s scientific advice says differently then it is contrary to what the IPCA and the PCE has been saying and should not be trusted. And the proposals will hit fossil fuel emissions. Hopefully completely.”

        TOTALLY INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        BYE BYE to NZ’s reputation as a global efficient agricultural producing country, BYE BYE poor land!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        (I was born on a dairy farm in NZ for record, we produced butterfat by the ton!)

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          theRealUniverse

          And..
          “Climate change is an existential threat scam. We should have been making changes 20 years ago (like eliminating humanity as Morris suggested). Vested interests (Big OIL??, sceptics?) are clearly still going to try and fight this.” Of course we are!!!

          The progress of the bill through the house is going to be a very interesting process and a test of how well our democracy cooperate fascist regime is functioning.”

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      Bill in Oz

      Any link to that BOM apology EG ?

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    TdeF

    The fallacies in ridiculously labelled renewables are many. Free and eternal are the main drawcards. Coal is free. Uranium is free. Nothing is eternal.
    The cost of production and need for maintenance are not free. The other is commandable. Random wind and predictably useless solar are not able to power a constant demand society at any cost.

    So the species extinction we are facing is ours.

    Politicians push unfettered human migration. Natural free and eternal energy. Vegetarianism. A philosophy of natural peace among men. All aimed to destroy the fragile civilization and peace acheived in the last 75 years.

    We should be spending on the only one proven, endless and adequate and non polluting power source known to science, fusion.

    Humans have been around for 100,000 years. Agriculture and the wheel for only 10,000 years. Electronics for 100 years.

    With the current batch of pseudo science pushing globalist politicians, we will be lucky as a species to be around in another 100 years.

    Of course renewables are cheaper. The only thing lacking is any rational explanation for this absurd and destructive proposition.

    Absurd Renewables are all built with coal power and there is no expectation that they will ever be self sustaining. Better to spend the $1.5Trillion a year on fusion.

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    TdeF

    All this is meant to distract from the basic proposition, that Carbon Dioxide increased CO2 levels are man made. Whether tiny, invisible CO2 from which all life on earth comes is itself a dangerous gas producing hot house warming is not established by any known science. Still we continue.

    Consider the proposition that CO2 levels are random. That CO2 stays in the atmosphere for thousands of years. That the level of CO2 at the start of the 20th century was random. That the 50% increase since 1900 is man made. These are the propositions we are asked to believe, without any evidence.

    On this basis alone we are told to abandon all travel, meat, energy generation and our entire civilization. You would think someone would check to see if CO2 levels are man made. In fact the check is obvious and it is not.

    Is that the end of it? No. Like the Democrats investigation of Trump’s theft of the 2016 election with Russian help, the facts have nothing to do with the conclusion. In this new world, you make a statement and search for facts to support it, making them up if necessary.

    In this new world, the opposite of Rational science, facts are flexible and we will all be waiting for the promised free electricity from free wind and free solar. The great promise of the UN/EU/Progressives/Greens. Waiting forever and at unbelievable cost.

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      Maptram

      Climate change believers claim that analysis of the CO2, other gases and other materials in ice cores, prove temperatures are higher when CO2 levels are higher. The CO2 must have originated in the atmosphere for them to be able claim the levels as proof of warming. Skeptics believe otherwise.

      However, the point is that there is CO2 in the ice core samples and the question is how did the CO2 get into the ice core samples? Perhaps the atmospheric CO2 is picked up when snow falls, becomes trapped and remains there when the snow becomes ice over time and under pressure. The fact that ice contains CO2 is proof enough that the CO2 does not remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years, and because climate change believers use it as proof of warming they should also believe it.

      Similarly to CO2 being picked up by snow, perhaps it is also picked up by raindrops and finds it’s way to the oceans, either directly from rain falling into the oceans or from rain falling over land and then finding it’s way to the oceans

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    theRealUniverse

    Just saw a sign down the road..”this is a climate election” “I am a climate voter” or something like that..= poor delusioned gullible voter, sucked in by the endless diatribe. He or she will find out when they get their electric BILL next year!

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    Kneel

    “Better to spend the $1.5Trillion a year on fusion.”

    Don’t even need to spend that – a mere $1 billion would be more than sufficient to know for sure whether 2 of the LENR reactors are stable and scalable to grid level: even half that ($500 million) would likely do it.
    OK, sure, they may not work, but if they do…
    And the aneutronic LENR reactors use a non-toxic, non-radiocative, abundant fuel (boron-11, which is available almost everywhere, and hydrogen which can of course be “cracked” from water), produce no radiation or radioactive materials during use, and the “waste” is a valuable and useful gas (helium). Nor can they “blow up” – like an ICE, using too little OR too much fuel results in a fizzle, not a bang.
    EMCC said they need about US$200 million to test a full scale reactor – all their previous research, funded by the US Navy, suggests the engineering and science on scalability are correct. There is likely some “D” needed, but the “R” seems to be done.
    US$200 million – peanuts compared to what we spend on “renewables” EVERY YEAR!
    So why isn’t it done already? Simply because there is no easy way to apply crony capitalism to it, there is no way to “corner the market” for fuel and so on – no politician will support it because there is no benefit to the politician to do so, while supporting “green” energy allows them to feather their own and their mates nests and apply punitive control over the population.
    Sad, but alas true.

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      theRealUniverse

      I was reading from stellar plasma expert that fusion as tried for producing power cannot be stable, ever. So attempts to tame it are fruitless. Plasma on cosmic scale cannot be used by humans. Therefore fusion power will never be a reality..could be wrong..but..
      Why not use that money to explore Thorium instead.

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        Tdef

        Why not both? Why this incredible investment in windmills. We did all this before. They were dumped instantly when steam appeared. Solar should be used for agriculture.

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        Tdef

        As for plausibility, fusion in plausible. Like flight. Or a man on the moon. We have $1.5Tn pa in funding. Why spend it on windmills?

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    Peter C

    Power Policy.

    I am going to vote [1] Australian Conservatives in the Senate.

    Liberals may well get my preference in the end, but there are several other minor parties that I think deserve a preference above the Liberals.

    Check this Policy Statement by PHON;

    One Nation will implement low cost, reliable, dispatchable power by building new low-emission coal-fired power stations. We will restore Australia’s essential 90-day fuel security policy and commit to reducing cost of living expenses while ensuring manufacturers have a globally competitive power source.

    That is enough for me.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Several locals have indicated to me that Clive Palmer would get their vote. Not that they trust him, they’re just sick and tired of the main parties trying to be “greener than thou”.

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    greggg

    Is there any good data out there about actual pollution from coal plants? Mercury etc? I haven’t been able to find any solid evidence about the effect of coal emissions on the mercury in oceans. That matters, not CO2.

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      Graeme No.3

      greggg:

      It would depend on the grade of coal being burnt and the pollution control equipment in place at the power station. That said, I would think the amount must be negligible. The UK had uncontrolled coal burning in London for over 250 years, with power stations in the inner city and coal fires in homes. The resultant dreadful air quality killed (possibly 12) thousands in the Killer Smog in Dec. 1952, but these deaths have been put down to sulphur dioxide (foming sulphuric acid in very humid air) and carbon particles, neither good for lungs. Mercury wasn’t implicated.

      There is no question that mercury is toxic, but its salts are mostly low solubility esp. the sulphate generally regarded as insoluble in water, so even if it was present there is not much chance of it getting to the sea.
      I wonder how much of this scare is based on the fumble in the early 80′s by an ‘environmental chemist’ who claimed to have found large amounts of mercury and cadmium being emitted by coal fired power stations? Fortunately his figures were so extreme that it was obvious that no-one within 50 kilometres of a power station woud be alive. The reason for his figures was discovered when other chemists tried to repeat his analyses, and found to be that he was using red & orange pigmented plastic stoppers on his flasks; such pigments being cadmium and mercury sulphide types. The acids he was using leached small amounts of the metals and he extrapolated the figures up about 10 million times. Switching to clear plastic stoppers (which had been available and in use for years) eliminated the “pollution”. Still, the Greenies never let a good scare go un-recycled.

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      Graeme#4

      This IER paper provides a lot of interesting info about how clean coal plants are today:

      Also a comment on this blog, July 2018: “Regarding the articles in the Newcastle newspaper… Power station elemental mercury vapour emissions are swamped by background levels in a mixed atmosphere. …”
      Also look at the paper “ACARP Trace Elements In Coal”, No 02, from CSIRO. Under the section “Trace Elements Of Major Concern”, this statement: “… the most significant difference between the Australian and international coals was in the levels of arsenic, selenium, mercury and boron. Australian coals contained substantially lower concentrations (up to 35 percent of the levels in the international coals) of these elements which are of major environmental concern. …” :Look at their Figures 1 and 2.

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    Agate Tozer

    Independent economic reviews attribute the bulk of electricity price hikes to the privatization and goldplating of the networks.

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      Robber

      Tozer, It’s not the networks that bid wholesale prices from $60/MWhr on some days up to $250/MWhr on other days, with spot prices up to $14,500/MWhr at summer peaks.

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    Stan

    Just for balance…. Our council was one of many who recently purchased solar energy for $77 MWh while the price for mixed grid electricity was $85/MWh.
    No question here… renewable electricity is cheaper.

    00