JoNova

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Coal stations more reliable in a crisis. Renewable power, interconnectors are fragile and risky!

Who wants to rely on renewables in a crisis?

Just when power is so important the interconnector went down yesterday between NSW and Victoria effectively cutting the East Coast “National” grid in half. It’s not clear if the transmission lines are damaged which will take weeks to repair or just tripped out. But there were blackouts yesterday in NSW, and coal fired power stations in Victoria that could be supplying customers were disconnected from most of NSW. Large industry was again forced to shut down temporarily. Call it “demand reduction” or call it incompetence. We’re a nation that can’t supply heavy industry with electricity. The people of Sydney have been told to turn off washing machines and dryers, spare appliances. Sure, it’s a national crisis, but what got us through the crisis was coal, and what would have stopped a price spike, and kept the industry online, was more coal.

Coal power, hydro, wind, solar Graph. During Black Saturday fires.

During Black Saturday fires.                   |  Source: Anero.id

Meanwhile electricity prices hit $14,700 for two hours in NSW, with a draw of 12,000MW. I estimate that’s theoretically up to $350 million in electricity costs that could have been used to help repair the damage instead. Some of that won’t be realized because of forward hedged prices and long term contracts, but ultimately some of the spike will be paid by consumers in NSW to shareholders of generators. Perhaps  Alinta, AGL and Energy Australia will donate two hours of electricity profits to the bushfire crisis?

By definition a decentralized power grid that depends on interconnectors is not as stable in a crisis as individual state grids that are self-sufficient with a few defendable stations which are situated closer to large population centres on shorter transmission lines.

Solar Panels don’t work under a smoke haze, and millions of panels in Melbourne, Sydney and in New Zealand are going to need a good clean or suffer efficiency declines. How many man-hours will that take? Will any injuries or deaths occur from thousands of people climbing on their roof and will anyone even tally up that renewable cost?

The break in the interconnector lines is inside NSW so some power is being supplied by Victoria to “the Wagga area” in southern NSW (just to clear up confusion and thanks to WattClarity and @allanoneilaus).

NSW residents urged to cut power use as fire threatens Snowy Hydro

Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald. Jan 4th.

The NSW grid’s links to Victoria went down late on Saturday afternoon, with Mr Kean issuing a statement urging all residents to preserve power. “The extensive bushfire activity in the Snowy Mountains and other areas of the state have had an impact on our electricity supplies,” Mr Kean said. Just before 7pm, 14,000 people had lost power in Sydney’s north and south-west, and Port Stephens.

 A senior official within a government agency, who did not want to be identified, told the Herald the transmission lines from Snowy “had been taken out”, but a spokesperson for Mr Kean could not confirm the reports. Mr Kean asked consumers to make sure power-hungry pool pumps were turned off, raise air conditioner thermostats to 24 or 25 degrees, refrain from using washing machines, dishwashers or dryers, and turn off appliances and lights not in use.

AEMO was also working with large load electricity customers to reduce their electricity consumption where possible.

UPDATE: News just in Sunday — No significant fire damage to the Snowy Scheme. Jan 5th.

Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald

Two potlines were turned off at the Tomago aluminium smelter – the plant near Newcastle typically accounts for about 10 per cent of NSW demand – to help balance supply and demand. “AEMO estimates we saved 200-300 megawatts of demand” through the public appeals, Mr Kean said. “There was no surplus – every single megawatt counted.” Power supplies have resumed between NSW and Victoria although transmission capacity may not be at full capacity for some time, Mr Kean said.

Engineer Ian Waters sent an open letter to Scott Morrison yesterday afternoon:

Prime Minister you are probably aware of the dramas today with the substations in the snowy mountains – burnt out – and affecting imports of electricity from Victoria? I have attached below what is going on with the grid. Basically we are limited to only 486 Mw of brown coal fired electricity from Victoria – through interconnectors that are supposed to be capable of 1,600Mw. The bushfires have created havoc around the Snowy system and shut down much of the capacity.

You may not be aware Prime Minister – but our local Shoalhaven pumped hydro system is also shut down until further notice because of the massive risk of the Currawan fire to the station. Knowing the condition of the country around there Prime Minister I can understand the fear of every employee and Manager there – even if the Currawan fire didn’t exist you would be bloody nervous!

Prime Minister the Latrobe Valley right now is OK for fires and every Company who runs a Brown Coal fired station down there (except of course AGL with their normal and totally expected bearing failure after commissioning!) are pouring the MW out, Mt Piper is going well, Bayswater and Eraring are performing wonderfully well in challenging conditions and basically Australia is running on coal.

I’ll keep this very simple Scott Morrison – it is a sackable offence for a Prime Minister to continue with the madness of snowy hydro 2.0 knowing the vulnerability of equipment in that region – not to mention the losses, wastage and massive capital cost blow-out.

It is also a sackable offence for a Prime Minister to allow AGL to shut Liddell and – to deliberately run it down as they are now – to guarantee its’ shutdown.

Please do the right thing by the Australian people Scott Morrison and urgently get more coal fired electricity into our grid – and abandon all renewable madness.

Thankyou and best regards,

Ian Waters.

 

h/t Ian Waters. Dave B. Pat.
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (96 votes cast)
Coal stations more reliable in a crisis. Renewable power, interconnectors are fragile and risky!, 9.5 out of 10 based on 96 ratings

110 comments to Coal stations more reliable in a crisis. Renewable power, interconnectors are fragile and risky!

  • #
    Scott

    I know slightly off topic but this mad rush to stop using fossil fuels just imagine trying to fight Australian bushfires in an electric fire truck.

    combustible batteries and no where to charge them.

    460

    • #
      hatband

      BioFuels.
      Green Capitalism’s wet dream.
      It needs herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides too. Plus massive tracts of land.

      What’s there for a Green voter not to like?

      171

      • #
        Graeme Bird

        Only if you are doing it wrong. Under permaculture you have all these support trees. They start off in the majority then you have to pare them back when your system is mature. Then you STILL have to keep chopping them back because they encroach on your cash crops. So if you are doing it right the spare wood is just a side effect. Permaculture is the answer. No matter what the question is. Well….. permaculture and thorium would have it covered.

        48

        • #
          Chris

          How much land would that require? The figures for Britain show that to be totally reliant on biomass /fuels would require 1/3rd of the island to be under production.

          30

          • #
            sophocles

            Permaculture requires rainfall. Australia is too dry for it to work.

            41

          • #
            Graeme Bird

            You’d just have the means to use whatever waste wood you had. Whether for rocket mass heaters, biodiesel, woodgas generators, or what have you. So it doesn’t take ANY land. Since its a byproduct of what you would already be doing. This is a big mistake we are engaged in when we try and set aside land with a single purpose in mind. Carbon credits become a disaster because of this. The ideology in permaculture is that any element in the overall design ought to have at least three purposes, or it cannot justify being placed where it is.

            Permaculture was invented in Australia and it emphases using the same water multiple times. The Mollison ideology was to have about 15% of the land in water features, usually starting with swales. Other designers have found that this has been a mistake for specific clients. But not I think as a public policy goal. Since water features have positive externalities for everyone at lower altitudes. And eventually for the continent as an whole.

            00

    • #
      soldier

      I agree. The concept of electric fire trucks may just be possible in a couple of hundred years if technology improves by orders of magnitude. In the foreseeable future the concept is a joke!

      On another issue relating to the fires, all the ash, leaves and soot that is raining down on all the homes in SE Australia is blackening the roof of every house I can see from here. This includes blackening the rooftop solar panels which must reduce their normal efficiency to less than 50%.
      Even in normal times these panels need to be cleaned twice a year at a contractor charge of $18 per panel. Most houses in the affected area with solar will need to stump up $300 to $400 to get their panels working again.

      80

    • #
      MikeO

      Instead of electricity perhaps they could use a hydrogen truck!

      31

      • #
        Wayne Job

        I do hope your post was sarcasm, It is almost impossible to keep hydrogen contained, it kills metal embrittling it,and loves catching fire or exploding.

        My thoughts are you need to do some research.

        90

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          And the chances of a catastrophe increase as the temperature rises. The fire on the Hindenburg wasn’t due to hydrogen at the start; it was started by static setting the envelope material alight, but once that source of ignition was there….well there is film.

          And batteries are affected by temperatures too.

          61

          • #
            Kneel

            “The fire on the Hindenburg wasn’t due to hydrogen…”

            Correct, it was the nitro-cellulose paint burning – that’s why the fire is so bright. If it was just hydrogen, you’d hardly see the flames…

            20

        • #
          PeterPetrum

          Some people obviously need the #sarc tag to get the joke!

          70

      • #
        Richard

        To separate the H2 from the O you???? or perhaps you simply get the hydrogen by ????? . Is hydrogen volitile to handle?????

        00

    • #
      George4

      I doubt a battery is any more at risk of igniting from an external fire than a tank full of diesel or petrol.
      I wonder if they would suit the increasing number of underground tunnels.
      Also are the current pumps on trucks electric ? – might make things a bit simpler IDK.
      But yes, a long time before we see them fighting Australian bushfires.

      There is actually a Wikipedia article on electric fire trucks.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_fire_engine

      “Modern battery operated models
      In the twentieth century, some manufacturers have designed storage battery-operated, self-propelled models, which they claim are a better, cleaner and greener alternative to gasoline and diesel fuel fire trucks. These are said to be better suited for particular types of environments, e.g., hotels and resorts, manufacturing facilities. Harnessing battery power is an old idea, going back to the nineteen hundreds. It joins an increasingly longer list of production battery-operated vehicles.”

      06

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Well put Jo , I noticed the big spike yesterday and wonder as well as to the proximity of the various fires to high voltage lines .
    I know the one in Whitfield is very close .

    150

  • #
    PeterS

    Nice letter Ian Waters. Let’s just wait and see if PM Morrison grows a spine and acts accordingly. His performance on energy policy thus far has been pathetic.

    380

  • #
    Peter C

    Hooray for Engineer Ian Waters courageous letter to the PM.

    I wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison myself about two months ago.
    His written response was that Australia will stick to our Climate Commitments.

    However I think he understands the issue. He is cautious about being confrontational but I sense that the political response is steady the ship and don’t get side tracked by the excitable elements.

    Also the interconnector problem could not have come at a better time. No great damage occurred but the warning was very clear.

    350

    • #
      Broadie

      Scott Morrison is pursuing a career. He has replied in a manner that will protect his job and submits to the globalists. If he wants his children to enjoy the halls of power he will attempt to avoid confrontation. If he had guts we would have seen them by now.

      Australia does not have a US style constitution to protect it. Australian democracy was protected by conventions and traditions. The Socialists do not respect these traditions and exploit the conventions.
      There is a simple to way to restore the power to the wham, bam & crash of community representation and our imperfect form of democracy and that is to stop paying Politicians.
      We need a charismatic figure, capable of maintaining the inertia, and prepared to risk everything to separate our legislature from the bureaucracy. The solution will not come from the ‘Conga line of suck holes’ waiting for pre-selection by a Party system. They will destroy our Australian way of life and will not reflect the aspirations of their communities nor benefit from the knowledge held by people like Ian Waters.

      203

      • #
        george1st:)

        Give Scomo a chance .
        I know where your coming from but I don’t think Abbott,Dutton or Turnbull would have won the last election from Labor .
        Hopefully Morrison is playing the long game and treading the fence carefully to keep voters onside and Libs in Govt.
        It is a tight rope he is walking .
        If he gives in too much to the leftist ideologies though , then all is lost .

        143

        • #
          BC

          Let’s dispel this myth now. Morrison did not win the election; Labor lost it. They did so by revealing too much of their mad agenda. If they had used the Rudd (me too) and Richardson (whatever it takes) technique, they would have kept quiet about their true agenda until after they won the election. Which brings me to Broadie’s comment above about our flawed democracy. We have virtually no control over politicians at any level and we have no one to protect our interests – neither the leftist media nor those who have the power to do so but are appointed by politicians and are part of the mates network (to put it obliquely, in an act of self-censorship). In the good old days, government was largely benign and could be trusted to look after the interests of the masses. But in this new age of hate and revenge politics, the wrong people are able to use government to punish those they dislike or disagree with and to force their sick agenda on the unwilling, and there is NOTHING we can do about it.

          230

  • #
    PeterS

    AEMO was also working with large load electricity customers to reduce their electricity consumption where possible.

    Orwellian speak? I suppose in practice means they are doing their best to make power prices too expensive leading to more business closures.

    360

    • #
      Peter C

      I think it is short term energy reduction strategy in order to minimise domestic blackouts. Domestic blackouts will have political fallout!

      Hospital blackouts would be even worse. Hospitals are supposed to have backup supply but I am not sure if they have catered for all their needs.

      Cutting off shopping centres on a hot day would likewise make people notice

      270

      • #

        Way – back machine…You must remember this:

        Schedule fer the unprecedented heat wave -check!
        Open window, disable the air conditioner – check!

        … Whole lotta’ conditioning going on in the lo-ong war
        btwixt the voluble ‘n the gullible.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=37&v=wXCfxxXRRdY&feature=emb_title

        130

      • #
        Graeme Bird

        Blackouts in peacetime is not just an inconvenience. Its a signal to the rest of the world that we cannot look after ourselves if put under even the slightest pressure. We need a complete overhaul of our energy systems or we really are just mucking about.

        On the positive side if we succeeded in having energy that could be supplied under carpet-bombing, we’d be the only country that could pull this off and that would make us a major kick-ass power.

        231

    • #

      PeterS – that means shutting down production. Hello high costs….

      80

      • #
        Bushkid

        Also, unscheduled, short-notice forced industry shutdowns, e.g., of pot lines in smelters, as in the aluminium smelters, will very quickly push those industries offshore, never to return.

        That is, however, a feature of the green push, not a bug.

        280

  • #
    Global Cooling

    Harvesting trees and bushes could as normal as harvesting wheat. I do that every year and get enough mulch into my fireplace for the winter. Mulch can also used industrial level for biodiesel. See for example http://biodieselmagazine.com/articles/9415/creating-bio-oil-from-wood-chips-a-reality-at-battelle

    40

    • #
      Graeme Bird

      Right. Now we are talking. Turning the extra productivity of public lands to our advantage.

      43

    • #
      Graeme Bird

      I don’t really see why we cannot just throw a lot of mulch in with the coal. We need to encourage a lot of smokeless wood-heating as well. We just lost about 20 years of home heating for no good reason. In permaculture old Bill Mollison would say “the problem is the solution”. Clearly we have just such a situation here. Our heating bills are going through the roof ….. and we have too much fuel. The problem is the solution. Bill Mollison is the greatest Australian. And I don’t even think its too early to tell.

      36

      • #
        Serp

        “I don’t really see why we cannot just throw a lot of mulch in with the coal” says Graeme Bird. Dried and powdered mulch that’d be with a calorific value negligible compared to the coal it accompanies effectively sabotaging the operation of the coal turbine. By the same token I don’t see why we can’t just pour a bucket of water into Graeme Bird’s Maserati’s engine.

        90

    • #
      Graeme Bird

      People may be critical of your idea because they may be thinking of this biodiesel as an international product. But you know. It cannot compete internationally. This stuff ought to be consumed in a rural area or amongst a consortium of small farmers. I know of one group of farmers that organised the producer goods to convert their big machinery to plant oils from trees, produced and consumed locally. Strategically speaking we cannot get enough of this sort of thing. Because we need to have the entire country running, even in the face of external shocks and attacks. The problem is that we now have a form of pseudo-capitalism which robs small business of producer goods accumulation.

      26

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Saw an interview with CEO of the grid management company on ABC news – one of the extra “fun” problems these massive fires has posed, is shutting down the interconnect power stations ( Tumut 3, I think it was ) that the interconnect between the states of NSW & Victoria ran through, so NSW and Vic were probably islanded in terms of power for some time.

    Ah greenies…..the gift that keeps on giving…..

    210

  • #

    Good to see an engineer speaking up. I am one as well!
    Those on the Green Left have never heard of “cost benefit” or actually understand the technical issues related to the power grid. They even seem to misunderstand that solar does not deliver at night or all the time (cloudy weather really cuts the output of my panels)! And wind, don’t get me started. In Germany long term studies show wind farms only deliver at name plate output less than 2% of time…

    More solar more wind does nothing other than accentuate the power spikes and volatility, driving power prices all over the place.

    If the Green Left here in Australia were honest they would be pushing for nuclear power but no, crickets on that…

    360

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      “If the Green Left here in Australia were honest they would be pushing for nuclear power but no, crickets on that…”

      Its never been about climate, but using climate as the trojan horse to deliver socialism to Australia, through a Goebbels-like Big Lie.

      “Greenies” = Watermelons i.e. green on the outside, red ( Communist ) on the inside…

      300

      • #
        hatband

        …deliver socialism to Australia, through a Goebbels-like Big Lie.

        Goebbels reference to the ”Big Lie” was his way of describing the Propaganda techniques of the Bolsheviks in the Soviet Union.

        83

        • #
          sophocles

          … it also more than adequately describes the techniques he adopted/originated — never forget that.

          41

          • #
            hatband

            Every Country uses Propaganda in Wartime.

            Even 75 years after the War in the Pacific ended, many Australians still believe that the Japs intended to invade Australia.
            That’s the power of the Big Lie.

            Here’s another Big Lie: Climate Change.

            60

      • #
        Mal

        Communists?
        More like exo fascists!!

        81

    • #
      hatband

      If there’s one good thing about the Left, it’s that they’ve kept the disaster of Nuclear Power Generation out of Australia.

      Would you volunteer to live next door yo the Fukushima Reactor?

      127

      • #
        peter

        Fukushima was an old 40 year old reactor built in one of the most tectonically active (earthquake prone) regions of the planet. It was built at sea-level on the coast of a country renowned for its huge tsunamis. Tsunami is a Japanese word after all. Australia has NONE of that predicament. Anyway Fukushima would have been fine if its back-up power generator (diesel) hadn’t been flooded by the biggest tsunami to hit Japan in 300 years. No casualties resulted from radiation however 10,000 people were missing following the tsunami flooding of the Japanese coast.

        392

        • #
          hatband

          Sounds like Fukushima was a perfect storm of 1 in 300 year events, earthquakes, poor decision making before during and after the event, and just plain bad luck.
          Okay.

          Would you volunteer to go and live next to the remains of the Nuclear Reactor at Chernobyl?

          020

          • #
            Graeme Bird

            It was a foreign attack. All our power systems have to be resilient against near extinction events and foreign intrigue. We build a nuclear power plant and all of a sudden Chinese nationals and Mossad agents are crawling all over it and its a social faux pas to mention as much.

            313

          • #
            Graeme Bird

            Yes I’d live next to Chernobyl now. But a lot of people would have gotten insipid lifetime damage from the initial short-lived cloud of radioactive iodine. The Japanese too, although most of them should be alright. Because they ate so much seaweed their thyroid glands may have been satisfied and not have taken in the radioactive iodine.

            46

            • #
              robert rosicka

              Graeme the Chernobyl disaster was a long time ago and deaths from it are listed between 30 and 100 depending on who’s data you look at , there have been massive improvements to design and safety since .
              Yes I’d have one in my front yard .

              90

              • #
                Graeme#4

                Watched a documentary that included the chief doctor who treated the Chernobyl patients. Initial death toll was around 30. More may have died later.

                31

              • #
                Graeme Bird

                Yes I heard Chernobyl deaths were about 55. But that wouldn’t take in these cases of minor thyroid damage that aren’t likely to show up.

                10

          • #
            Tel

            We have plenty of empty land in South Australia, West Australia, Northern Territory … so nobody needs to live next to the nuclear power plant.

            You wouldn’t be stupid enough to build it in the middle of a major city.

            91

            • #
              sophocles

              You wouldn’t be stupid enough to build it in the middle of a major city.

              If you build the old, dangerous out-of-date — as in obsolete — pressure water reactors like Chernobyl and Fukushima, then you would be right.

              But, if you build the modern safe LFT reactors, it won’t matter where you put them. Wny? They can be buried — you know: in the ground. Not a problem. They are safer by far. l

              Get yourself up to date: https://www.ted.com/talks/kirk_sorensen_thorium_an_alternative_nuclear_fuel#t-587379

              90

              • #
                Chris

                Both the Americans and the Russians have built mini nuclear reactors. The Russian one is on ship and powers a town within the Arctic circle. The American one will have its certification and paperwork ticked off in September. It can be carried on a low loader. Both countries plan to build many more. Russia is gradually taking over Europe with the new second direct gas pipeline to Germany, thus providing the energy that renewables don’t. With floating nuclear power stations they have the potential to provide power to anywhere in the world.

                60

          • #
            peter

            Chernobyl was really interesting. Inferior Russian nuclear power technology that no-one in the West would have anything to do with. An unauthorised after-hours plant experiment by junior technicians leading to an out of control, over-heat incident and explosion. No proper safety or emergency plan. No proper notification/communication to the surrounding civilian population. Then radioiodine exposure that can be easily treated with iodine supplements but wasn’t. Just great! But now it’s a tourist destination.

            20

        • #
          Graeme Bird

          We have to remember that we had two such waves in quick succession. So the first wave has to be considered a rehearsal for an attack on the Japanese.

          27

      • #
        Peter C

        I would like my own mini Nuclear Power Plant, if I could buy one.

        Like this:

        To keep inconvenience and power costs down, the entire house’s electricity and its centralized heating are provided by a small nuclear power plant in the house’s support pylon, completely shielded with plastic for complete safety.”

        171

        • #
          hatband

          Mate, that’s got to be satire.

          Nobody’s that stupid.

          07

          • #
            sophocles

            It’s possible.
            Think LFTR – Liquid Fuel Thorium Reactor

            I recommend:

            https://www.ted.com/talks/kirk_sorensen_thorium_an_alternative_nuclear_fuel

            Enjoy and, at the same time get yourself up to date with modern nuclear technology and forget all about the old fashioned, early, dangerous, crap technology .

            60

            • #
              Tel

              It’s good theory but no one has figured out how to contain that liquid fuel. Probably there’s some ceramic that will do it, but don’t forget it needs to stay intact without maintenance for a minimum of 40 years.

              For comparison, you can’t buy a hot water system with more than a 10 year warranty and those do get maintenance.

              70

              • #
                sophocles

                no one has figured out how to contain that liquid fuel.

                Wrong. They have. Containment is not a problem. Check out:

                https://www.terrestrialenergy.com/technology/

                for just one.

                Do a search and you’ll find at least half a dozen companies geared up (Note: not “gearing up” but geared up) to provide safe nuclear power. Do a search on LFTR and get yourself up to date with the technology as it currently stands. You’re still stuck in thinking about pressure water reactor problems …. Old fashioned, out of date crap.

                50

              • #
                sophocles

                Indonesia, about the most dangerous place on the planet for any conventional (as in ancient, old fashioned, dangerous, melt-down prone, Chernobyl style obsolete ) nuclear technology is investigating or has already signed — I forget which — for two nuclear plants using modern safe LFTR technology.

                Do a search …

                40

              • #
                Graeme Bird

                Tel with molten salts when anything goes wrong the salt just freezes. When I say freezes its perhaps at a few hundred degrees celsius but still the problem is contained. The radioactive material is bound chemically in the salt. So you don’t have the radioactive strontium hurting people locally and the radioactive iodine hurting people wherever the wind blows. The main problem will no longer be that sort of danger. Its just a corrosion problem. But even that shouldn’t be a big deal as you’d just recycle all the pipes and vats all the time.

                10

          • #
            Graeme#4

            Hatband, there are plenty of folks who are willing to mount a large lithium battery on the side of their house without considering the possible consequences.

            90

          • #
            Ian1946

            I hope that you never need radiation therapy with products created at the Lucas Heights nuclear facility because in your twisted alarmist logic it should be closed down. Some of the isotopes used have half life’s measured in hours so importation is not an option.

            10

        • #
          Graeme Bird

          For the neighbourhood. Don’t be greedy or you’ll have all the air-conditioners and the heaters on at the same time.

          14

      • #
        Robber

        Hatband, have you ever driven through the vineyard areas of France? And right next door is not the wine making factory but a reliable, safe, nuclear power plant.

        131

  • #
    a happy little debunker

    It makes me feel ill, to think that Tasmania is considering increasing exports (via interconnectors) by 200% – this translates to +150% of Tasmania’s actual demand being exported on a daily basis.

    120

  • #

    What is globalism? It’s like the bolshies, trots, mao, 1789…all that.

    Elites with enormous hubris but without any competence grab power. They grab it at all levels while leaving the illusion of red team/blue team choice and while laying claim (stop me if you’ve heard this before!) to scientific principles and enlightened social values.

    These elites bungle and brawl with one another while creating frustration in the general population, thus making it hard for the sane and competent to unite.

    You see, the more they bungle and the worse they make things the more likely they are to keep power. If things worked properly and there was general prosperity nobody would want the elites with their potty schemes and endless bungling. So it’s important to repress the middle class and get everybody catching flies and killing sparrows. Nothing must work properly. All expectations and aspirations must be lowered.

    So that’s the deal. If non-hydro renewables were any good the elites would reject them.

    Be clear. The waste, mess and white elephants are not mistakes. They are the whole point.

    220

  • #
    Graeme Bird

    Our grid, like our banking system, is a massive liability if we think of national disaster or war. We should have an energy system that remains resilient under carpet-bombing. Or we are not serious about our defence. Renewables make things worse of course. But the grid in and of itself lacks viability when we really need it. Where is that reality in the defence white papers. Not there. And our most important ally has gone crazy and started running amok.

    54

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      I don’t think that Britain has gone crazy, their insistence on Brexit to free themselves is actually inspiring.

      KK

      200

    • #
      sophocles

      Everybody’s National grids will become massive liabilities as our planet’s magnetic field continues to decay. We’ll be back in the stone age.

      See: http://magneticreversal.org/

      31

      • #
        Serp

        That is serious alarmism sophocles. What is the solution? And don’t say “prayer”.

        00

        • #
          sophocles

          I don’t think I’ll be around to see what happens.
          You say I am seriously alarmist. The more I find out about geomagnetic excursions, the scarier I find them. They make Klimate Change as defined by the UN et al trivial.

          Something big and bad happened 12,000 years ago. That time we know as The Younger Dryas.
          It is also known as the Gothenburg Geomagnetic Excursion. There are two craters under the Hiawatha Glacier on North West Greenland which need dating. Sudden GMEs (GeoMagnetic Excursions) may be caused by Big Rocks from Space. The two craters there are about 400 km apart. Were they involved? We don’t know. Yet.

          I came across Graeme Hancock’s videos and the Comet Group’s research and watched and read. I think he’s got some interesting ideas there deserving of more research, but I also think he’s off the wall in other areas. The Comet Group also has good ideas but I remain not fully convinced, yet.

          I’ve seen Ben Davidson’s Solar micronova stuff. The Rank Corporation’s underground construction is strongly indicative of some higher order consideration of mega-catastrophe. But I don’t know enough about it to necessarily agree with him. But on the plus side, Davidson is someone whose research I respect.

          You ask about a solution:

          The human race has to go underground before it hits and stay there while it lasts, otherwise we may follow the Mammoths et al. We should be starting digging now rather than being distracted by trivial problems such as Klimate Change. Think about the underground cities in (southern) Turkey and (northern) Iraq. They were dug to protect populations from the Gothenburg Geomagneitc Excursion (aka The Younger Dryas).

          Gobeklie Tepe has been labelled as a temple. A small part has been exhumed and is not understood. Hancock and others have suggested it may be warning. And it may be documentation carved in stone. It may be none of those.

          (Do a DDG search on them).

          We should power those underground establishments from nuclear power — LFTR.
          Forget about interconnecting by grids. The grids will be destroyed by our star if Davidson is right. They’re all too fragile to survive what’s coming. As Venezuela, right on the edge of the South Atlantic Anomaly, is discovering.
          See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TE4uJ3cPMuY

          12,000 years seems to be a Magic Number :-D

          You will note many people survived the last geomagnetic excursion. The Clovis People (and others) didn’t. The Mammoths, Sabre Toothed cats, giant sloths and all the other northern Hemisphere megafauna fell over and died.

          Do you want to do the same?

          The UN has gone feral and has to be reined in to do this.
          But they haven’t a clue.

          I don’t think I’m being seriously alarmist. This chappie is more so than I am:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8agpg0Q95bE
          Enjoy.

          I think his timeline is on the ball for effects but I consider his timetable too premature, too short.

          Of course, he could be right and I could be badly wrong.

          I posted a list of about five or six papers a few months ago. They’re all free downloads. Download them and check them for yourself. We live in “Interesting Times”™ and the global warmists haven’t got a clue about what is about to happen. The more scientific papers about these I read, the scarier these things become. Does that cheer you?

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    Kalm Keith

    An extremely important point raised about the safety problems of working to clean ash off roof top solar.

    The other issue is that of the poor safety record associated with wind turbine erection and maintenance. By any measure, wind turbines have a bad safety record compared with coal fired power.

    KK

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    Deano

    Interesting point by Ian Waters that AGL appear to be deliberately allowing Liddell to be run into the ground to ‘prove’ it is uneconomical to maintain. I’m thankful for people like him speaking up (probably at some risk) about these things, because I’m sure the ABC/Nine etc would just run the line claiming these power stations were dinosaurs and only fit for the museum.

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    • #
      Robber

      Exactly Deano. Just like a house, if you were going to demolish it in 3 years you would not be spending money on maintenance, except for bare essentials such as fixing a leak.

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    • #
      Analitik

      AGL appear to be deliberately allowing Liddell to be run into the ground to ‘prove’ it is uneconomical to maintain

      This has been known to be the case since AGL bought Liddell and then immediately depreciated it to $1 on its balance sheet. They intend it to break down totally as soon as the shutdown date is reached. Someone who worked there told me how maintenance is only to keep things running rather than in good order and that the plant is too far gone to be saved. Hazelwood was in better condition when it was closed than Liddell is now.

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  • #
    JCalvertN(UK)

    I think Ian Waters’ letter could have been worded better.
    It is ruined by the bit about “It is a sackable offence . . .”?
    There is no basis for that.
    It is hard to take the rest of the letter seriously with BS like that in it.

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  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Bleating about renewables to distract from the failure to have any energy policy, or even a plan.

    It’s no wonder that the rest of the world is laughing at us

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    • #
      AndyG55

      So you would agree that our energy policy should include at least 1 new large coal or gas fired power station in each eastern state.

      That is the only policy that makes and sense.

      Pity Morrison is too scared to say and do it.

      Yes, the rest of the work is laughing at us for falling for this anti-CO2 scam, and letting our energy supply system stagnate and decay while well over 1000 new coal fired power plants are being built in Asian and other parts of the developing world.

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      • #
        sophocles

        No, I don’t.
        Go nuclear: LFTR. When it comes to renewable, thorium can’t be beat.

        (like NZ, you guys are going to have to modify your anti-nuclear legislation, but that’s doable).

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    • #
      AndyG55

      You do want RELIABLE electricity, don’t you…

      .. so you can continue with your gormless, vacuous comments?

      By their very nature, unreliables can never provide that.

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    • #
      sophocles

      Peater:
      Were you out there toasting your marshmallows in all that wasted energy of the fires?
      No?
      Thought not …

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    • #
      Graeme Bird

      Having renewables for energy is one thing. But they don’t belong on the grid because so far our grid doesn’t have storage. And if you have some sort of problem with CO2 they will increase CO2 release for less energy when subsidised. Subsidies set up energy sinks. Like with turning corn into fuel.

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  • #

    [...] generation in the Snowy Mountains and the imperative to keep all of our coal-fired power capacity. Must read! Circulate to all of your agents of [...]

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    el gordo

    ‘ … the failure to have any energy policy, or even a plan.’

    The end of subsidies for renewables is a good start, it means that whole side will ground to a halt. So what you see is Morrison saying let the free market determine your energy mix, its up to the states to decide.

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  • #
    Paul Miskelly

    Oh, Peter Fitzroy,
    You have done it again. You have hit the nail – on your own head.
    When I last checked, a very significant part of Australia’s “energy policy” relies on the concept that we build more, larger-capacity, interconnectors, so that we can connect more intermittent renewables to such as “Snowy 2.0”.
    I would think then that, “bleating”, about renewables, as you choose to put it, is precisely germaine to the discussion, particularly as the use of such intermittents as grid-connected wind and solar PV generation has been shown to be a completely pointless means of both mitigating CO2 emissions, and substituting for coal-fired power stations.
    So, do you see, Peter, that in choosing to address the use of both “renewables” and “interconnectors” in his letter, Mr Waters has selected exactly the relevant matters?
    So, yes, I do agree, that because we have an energy policy that relies so heavily on failed technologies, we are indeed the laughing stock of the world.

    I think we can safely say, Peter, that indeed here you have scored a direct hit, but of the kind that is often called an “own goal”.

    Still on topic: does anyone remember what is known to grid transmission engineers as the “Benalla Fire”? Does anyone remember the consequences of that event? The Benalla fire showed the critical need to keep control burn practices up to date. It seems that policymakers have forgotten it.

    Jo and David,
    Excellent work. Thank you again for doing what you do.

    Paul Miskelly

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    • #
      Lance

      Good points, Mr. Paul.

      I wonder if the people touting those interconnectors realize they cost over $1M USD/km? Who do they think pays for them? What is the break even point for the energy transferred vs the cost of the lines, switchgear, etc? Odd how PF and others never mention that, eh?

      As to the Benalla Fire:

      You mean “this” Benalla Fire? 1952. Moving at 35 miles/hour?

      https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/23161403

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    • #
      Mark D.

      Great comment Paul! Nailed it!

      10

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      But Paul,
      the idea of interconnecters is that the States can shut down those nasty (cheap) coal fired stations and draw their electricity needs from those States where the wind is blowing and/or the sun is shining. Ignoring any losses in transmission. Belatedly the greenies have realised that storage is necessary, and who who gets to pay for that AND those interconnectors?
      There is also a problem with increased demand as everyone rushes out to buy electric vehicles.
      There have been blackouts in SA, Vic., Germany and England all associated with renewables and interconnectors.
      Obviously renewables are the way of the future sarc/

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  • #

    For those of you still coming back to this now surpassed Thread, I tracked down what happened to cause that huge price spike in NSW on Saturday at 3.30PM on Saturday.

    Basically, what happened here was that the Interconnector to Victoria failed, and they replaced that loss of power with power from gas fired plants, and that was costly to get them on line at such short notice.

    Now, I can just say that, but the chasing it all down exercise was a little more involved than that, and I can show you, so that you can get the idea that I’m not just attempting to explain it away.

    Go to this link, and it will open in a new window, so you can go back and forth from screen to screen without too much hassle. This shows the distribution of power load curves for the AEMO coverage area. When it opens, this is the default screen, showing the last seven days, so you need to do a little work here to locate the problem.

    This will work at any time, as all you need do is locate the actual day and date of this event, 4th January 2020.

    At that default screen, first, click on 3d on the day tab at upper left, and this narrows it down to 3 days of load curves, and alongside that, click on the 5min tab.

    Now, above that click on the NEM button, and when the drop down menu appears, click on New South Wales. Okay then, what you see on the upper graph is the load curves for all power sources, and the lower image shows the cost structure, and on that lower image you can see the vertical spike at 3.30PM to that $14700/MWH cost, shown at the upper right of that lower image.

    Okay, now see the small coloured squares alongside each power source at the right. Well if you click on each colour it will take that power source colour out of the large upper load curve image, so untick all the colours, so that only the purple coloured IMPORTS one is still ticked, and that shows just the power imports INTO NSW, all of them, the two from Queensland and the one from Victoria.

    Now, see the square cost structure spike in the lower image, and compare that to the upper purple coloured imports image above.

    See the big dip down in imports, just before the price spikes. The loss was 850MW from the high point to the low point.

    Now ….. LEAVE that purple colour there and tick the small coloured boxes for Gas (OCGT) Gas (CCGT) and Distillate, and when you have done that, untick the purple Imports coloured box.

    See how at the same time as the loss of the imports, the AEMO in NSW had to fired up those plants to replace the lost imports power. I then referred to the Aneroid site, and found that seven of those gas plants were called on line at very short notice, as well as the super expensive Distillate plants as well, and all of this added 1060MW back into the NSW grid system, and that is why the price spiked to that huge amount and stayed there for all the time those plants were on line.

    Now, at the same time, as they lost that Interconnector into Victoria, NSW is still getting imports from Queensland, so they were ramped up to max as well, further increasing the cost for wholesale power. As the Interconnector trip with Victoria was sorted out, those power plants all had to stay on line. until it all settled down, at around 10PM, after the evening peak had passed.

    It took some work to find it, but all of this happened in real time, as you can see, again showing that the AEMO will do all it can to keep the power on, and here you need to understand that at that time NSW was consuming its most power for some time. almost 13000MW in all.

    For some perspective, now that just the gas plants are showing on that upper load curve image, now click on the black coal small coloured box, and watch the change in that image. as the small gas plants are all but disappeared with the huge overlay of coal fired power.

    I hope this was (relatively) easy to understand.

    Tony.

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    Zane

    Snowy hydro 2 pumped storage is costed at A$5 billion, however these big capex projects are known to go well over budget. US$3 billion buys a real gas or hele coal power station. There’s no cure for dumb, or for pandering to green and inner city interests. This is where the tax bonus from the huge mining and property boom of the past twenty years was squandered, on bloated welfare entitlements and government spending.

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    • #

      So then, how much do they really rely on pumped hydro? I mean if this new Snowy 2 is to be operational.

      Tumut 3 is the biggest, and only one of two in the Country.

      It has 6 Units of 275MW each.

      Over the last seven days, that means there has been an equivalent of 6 X 168 Hrs that it could have been in operation for, running 24/7, but seriously, no pumped storage operates at this level anyway, as they need to be always pumping the water back up the hill, so it can stay in operation

      So, that’s effectively at 100% a total of 6 Units at 168 hrs for the week.

      Over the last seven days, there has been three days when three Units were in operation, and three days with two Units in operation.

      The total hrs of operation, adding up the time delivering power per Unit, it has been operational for just 38 hours in all, out of a possible (at 100%) 1008 hours.

      So Tumut Three Pumped Storage has operated at an equivalent Capacity Factor for the last week of 3.77%

      Day 1 – One unit for 3 hrs
      Day 2 – One Unit for 4 hrs
      Day 3 – No units on line
      Day 4 – One Unit for 6 hrs, one Unit for 3 hrs, and one Unit for 1 hr
      Day 5 – One Unit for 7 hrs, one Unit for 3 hrs, and one Unit for 1 hr
      Day 6 – One Unit for 3 hrs, and one Unit for 1 hr
      Day 7 – One Unit for 4 hrs, and one Unit for 2 hrs

      And Snowy 2 is supposed to, umm, make a difference.

      At that cost it would need to operate on a lot longer basis than they use pumped hydro for now.

      Tony.

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    John F. Hultquist

    A comment (#66) about fire, fire season, and the starting of fires.
    Hope y’all will check it out on the “Weekend Unthreaded”.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2020/01/weekend-unthreaded-292/#comment-2251824

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