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Great civilizations are built on good fuel (not on hydrogen)

A week ago the Australian Government released their  Technology Investment Roadmap Discussion Paper. Presumably they want a map because they’re lost. They’d like submissions by June 21.

David Archibald lets rip on why hydrogen fuel is not going to save us, but coal, gas, and nukes will. He has wondered for years why Australia is so concerned with talking about a thirty year energy plan when we don’t even have a 90 day supply.

Australia’s Energy Plan

Guest Post by David Archibald

Global warming is the new state religion and Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist, is its high priest…

The fad of the moment is hydrogen. To recap, when global warming started out the villains among us realised that the easiest way to make money was to turn Australia from being a low-cost power producer to a high cost one and take a slice of the action on the way through. So the likes of AGL and Macquarie Bank concocted solar farm and wind farm schemes and sold them on to people wanting a high, government-enforced rate of return. They then used their own money to generate a yet higher return on equity by taking advantage of the inherently unstable power grid they had created. They did this by building diesel generator sets such as this one in South Australia, obviating the whole point of getting away from carbon-based fuel.

Briefly, the only reason solar and wind get a look-in is because solar panels and wind turbines are made using energy from coal at $0.04 per kWh and turn out power at $0.20 per kWh. Some mines voluntarily install solar panels to supplement the power from diesel generator sets at $0.30 per kWh.  What would happen to the cost of power if the energy used for making solar panels was $0.20 per kWh? It would be north of at least $0.80 per kWh. You can’t use solar and wind power to make solar and wind power equipment; as such they are neither renewable nor sustainable. And they certainly won’t be replacing fossil fuels when the fossil fuels run out.

Even some lefties are figuring this out and thus the documentary Planet of the Humans. So the global warming clerisy, headed by Alan Finkel in this country, needs to keep coming up with new content to satisfy their simple-minded believers. Thus the latest encyclical by the Minister for Religious Affairs, Angus Taylor, entitled Technology Investment Roadmap Discussion Paper. This is 74 pages of stomach-churning pap. Vast sums are to be spent on hydrogen. The language of the Government encyclicals suggests that hydrogen is a new source of energy that just has to be tapped to guarantee a wonderful future.

But hydrogen is such a reactive gas that there is no source of it in nature. The only naturally occurring hydrogen is in farts in which it provides the flammable component. Hydrogen has a myriad of uses in the chemical and oil refining industries. The cheapest way of making hydrogen at the moment is a water shift reaction with natural gas. About 60% of the energy contained by the natural gas is wasted in the process — if you just wanted a source of energy. When natural gas becomes expensive enough, then hydrogen will be produced by electrolysis of water.

As a fuel, hydrogen has some big shortcomings

Hydrogen has low energy density, so a big, high-pressure tank of the stuff doesn’t take you far. It has an explosive range in air of 18% to 60%. It causes embrittlement of steel. There is a plot at the moment to add hydrogen to the natural gas distribution system — which then might start leaking like a sieve. It has a colourless flame, so leaks that have caught fire can’t be seen. In the days before infrared cameras, workers at a rocket fuel factory in Texas used to detect hydrogen leaks by walking with a straw broom in front of them. When the broom caught fire they had found the leak.

The $300 million the Federal Government proposes to spend on hydrogen won’t add anything new to what is currently known about hydrogen. It is just a distraction to placate a religious minority — the global warming believers, in the manner of Hassidic Jews being exempt from military service in Israel.

Energy Policy for Australia: Buy Oil, get nukes, stop wasting that gas

The Federal Government’s energy policy is just wishing and hoping and dreaming, built on a foundation of scientific fraud. That begs the question of what should it be? This won’t take long so let’s start:

First, sick to the terms of the Paris agreement we signed in 1979 and have at least 90 days of liquid fuels stockpiled in the country. At the current Australian consumption rate of about one million barrels per day, that would be 90 million barrels. Better yet, let’s be a lot safer than that and have 200 days of stocks. As our refineries are now few and far between, the stocks should be held as refined product – diesel, petrol, jet fuel and lubricants, and all the other little things that an economy needs to keep going. The cost of building the tankage would be US$400 per cubic metre which equates to $0.60 per litre. At 159 litres per barrel, 200 million barrels equates to 31.8 billion litres which would cost $19 billion for the tankage. At the current Singapore price for diesel of A$64 per barrel, filling our strategic petroleum reserve would cost a further $12.8 billion. Not having a reserve of this magnitude is an existential threat.

Second, ultimately nuclear energy will be needed to power every activity. The current nuclear technology, dominantly light water reactors burning U235, is prone to explosions and leaves a large waste burden relative to the power produced. To overcome those problems, in the ideal nuclear technology the fuel will circulate instead of being a solid, in the manner of the thorium molten salt reactor. Reactor size is likely to shrink back to 300 MW instead of the current size of 1,000 MW and beyond. The standard of living of our grandchildren and the generations subsequent will depend upon the operating cost of the nuclear technology we bequeath them.

A good analogy is agriculture in the economy. Currently the 2% of the U.S. population engaged in agriculture feeds the rest of the country and provides a surplus for export. The same situation occurs in Australia. By comparison, 20% of the Chinese population is engaged in agriculture and, despite the world’s heaviest fertiliser use, China needs to import 20% of their protein consumption as well. So, all other things being equal, China’s standard of living is inherently 20% lower than those of Australia and the U.S. If sustaining the future nuclear reactor fleet, in doing everything from making steel and cement to rubber seals, takes 30% of the power produced instead of say 2%, then the standard of living will be 30% lower. Getting our nuclear technology as good as it could be, as determined by physics and chemistry, is the most important thing the Federal Government can do for the future of the country.

There has been little progress in nuclear technology for the last 50 years. As the fossil fuels run out, doing everything will become more expensive. There is no time to waste.

Third, when the world’s oil supply tips over into decline, demand will start switching to other fuels. Cars will go 50% further on natural gas burnt in current car engines than on natural gas burnt in gas turbines to make power to charge electric vehicles. Coal-to-liquids becomes viable at US$120 per barrel. Ideally we will adopt the Bergius process in which hydrogen atoms are forced into coal molecules rather than the Fischer-Tropsch process in which coal is burnt to produce a synthesis gas which in turn is run over a catalyst to produce liquid fuels. The Bergius process, relying upon hydrogen produced by electrolysis using power from nuclear plants, will result in our coal reserves lasting a lot longer. Our motto should be “Conserve to convert” (to liquid fuels). Because when the coal runs out we will be scraping up dead leaves, lawn clippings, forest waste, old newspapers to provide the carbon to run the economy on.

The plan above will work at some level. It all depends upon how expensive nuclear power is when we get to the best technology possible. No other plan will work. The sooner we start, the safer we will be. That might require a cathartic event to get rid of the global warming believers who are currently forcing us down a path that can only end in tears. We wouldn’t require a cathartic event, causing suffering and putting the nation at risk, if the Chief Scientist spoke scientific truth. He can’t be so stupid as to actually believe that global warming is real, for example the runaway, compounding effect of water vapour heating starting at exactly the pre-industrial level of CO2 in the atmosphere, that the whole edifice relies upon, leaving the only possible conclusion that he sees global warming as a means to an end. In the 1950s there was a common meme in movies of evil scientists doing evil things, to the detriment of society. He is one of these.

The Global Warming religion is a new form of animism

On the subject of the religious influence on Australia’s energy policy, most global warming believers would consider themselves to be militant atheists. They are wide of the mark, because they have reverted to a basic form of animism. Nicholas Wade makes the case in his book The Faith Instinct that humans evolved to believe in a religion. Certainly religion is a part of culture and culture is the extension of evolutionary pressures by non-physical means. It is incontrovertible that some cultures are better than others. It follows that a better religion will be part of a culture’s outperformance of other cultures. Global warming doesn’t build orphanages or hospitals. As a religion it doesn’t do any good at all. Belief in global warming is like a prion relative to the human genome, a little poisonous fragment even simpler than a virus.

The U.S. entertainment industry is well aware of the significance of the religious component of culture. In the series American Gods, the old gods, led by Odin, battle the new gods created by popular culture on the basis that gods are created by the public’s belief. That theme continues in the newly released movie entitled The Hunt in which members of the “godless elite” hunt and kill deplorables. In a scene set in a convenience store, one of the elite says “For the record, arsehole, climate change is real” as she kills a deplorable with a poison gas canister.  That sentence from popular culture gives us hope that this is the beginning of the end for global warming.

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Rating: 9.6/10 (84 votes cast)
Great civilizations are built on good fuel (not on hydrogen), 9.6 out of 10 based on 84 ratings

173 comments to Great civilizations are built on good fuel (not on hydrogen)

  • #
    MrGrimNasty

    I’m not sure if/how long you can stockpile highly refined fuels, I think they might degrade.

    Hydrogen is probably as much an irrelevance and expensive pointless inefficient use of energy as carbon capture.

    Mercedes has given up even trying to use the end product!

    https://electrek.co/2020/04/22/daimler-ends-hydrogen-car-development-because-its-too-costly/

    As for fossil fuels running out – we haven’t even started on methane hydrates.

    320

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Ohh my gosh, I’m having palpitations..
      Green thumb for MGN !
      What could happen next ?
      :-)

      33

      • #
        sophocles

        What could happen next ?

        … umm … fitz isn’t red-thumbed for making silly comments?
        … hmm … and Andy actually says something nice to or about him?

        Nah. Couldn’t possibly happen! :-D

        30

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Or I could get an apology for an accidental red thumb ?
          Nahhh that will never happen either.
          :-)

          PS Fitz is absent..Where has he gone ?

          21

    • #
      Dennis

      The last information I read not long ago was that The Australian Federal Government has signed an Agreement with the United States for priority access and supply from US oil reserves on the basis that Australia is a valued and trusted defence and trading partner.

      And that our Government has purchased cheap oil and filled all available storage capacity in Australia and shipped the remainder to the US for storage there.

      Also that negotiations are underway with Australia’s four remaining oil refineries to increase capacity, and for some additional new oil refineries to be constructed.

      91

      • #
        Another Ian

        Dennis

        Chiefio had a look at that a while back.

        Don’t hold your breath waiting for the first tanker to arrive.

        40

    • #
      Geoff Croker

      Great to see a discussion about hydrogen.

      The initiation voltage to split water is 1.23V (Faraday). Commercial electrolysers can do this at 1.5-1.6V, (see Hydrogenics or NEL).

      The next problem is that oxygen gets stuck to the anode. The water temperature is also crucial.

      An electrolyzer operating at 1.48 V would be 100% efficient. The very best PEM electrolysers can get to 94% efficiency. This is not a sustained lifetime efficiency.

      There is a process that initiates at 0.09V. It does this by changing the water before it is electrolysed at a 3% cost of the energy budget by regulating the ionization process.

      Needless to say whichever sovereign owns this process will change many of our current energy sources.

      So it will be possible to use hydrogen in many parts of the economy profitably. As hydrogen could be made anywhere there is electricity there would be little need to ship it as methane if all that was required was hydrogen.

      The bigger question is will this discovery remain in Australian hands? If it goes to China, Japan, South Korea or Taiwan why would they need to buy our methane? It could even go to Saudi Arabia or Qatar.

      80

      • #
        Mal

        Wait until the greenies realise that burning hydrogen with oxygen creates water vapour or water particles which is predominant green house gas
        Their little, water melon heads will explode
        On the other hand they may not explode as they probably wouldn’t understand the science anyway

        161

  • #
    John Galt

    Thorium. Operationally safer. More difficult to weaponize. Plentiful in Australia.

    330

    • #
      Dennis

      Thorium Molten Salts Reactors.

      70

    • #
      Amos E. Stone

      Certainly safer because not one reactor using this technology exists today – only 2 experiments were ever built. Probably 10 years away.

      While I’m here – ‘current nuclear …. prone to explosions’ What? Over 600 reactors worldwide, 440 currently operable, only 2 blown up by avoidable _hydrogen_ explosions given just a bit of foresight.

      If you want a nuclear plant in the next 5 years, talk to S. Korea, Russia or even the Chinese.

      60

  • #
    Lance

    The only value H2 has is as feedstock for synthesis of liquid hydrocarbon fuels and in a limited industrial usage.
    Other than that, it is fairly useless to an economy.

    This is a very good paper discussing why a “Hydrogen Economy” is an uneconomical and risky venture.

    https://afdc.energy.gov/files/pdfs/hyd_economy_bossel_eliasson.pdf

    200

    • #
      Another Ian

      As Willis E put it over at WUWT a while back

      “The problem with hydrogen is that it is pre-burnt. You can’t jusy open up a hydrogen mine.”

      140

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      But burn Hydrogen with oxygen and we get water !
      We need water in the deserts of Australia.
      Ummmmm ?
      I think I’ve just found out the next Greenist expensive & useless
      Hydrogen scam.

      64

      • #
        Another Ian

        Bill

        As the solar plants will have to be inland so they don’t have to destroy so many trees this will be a god-send as it gets rid of the need for those pesky transmission lines.

        Expect a duck shove on the scarcity of water to hydrolyse to get that newfound water.

        40

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Brilliant. Somebody please get that up and running.

        20

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Plus…how do you tax hydrogen? Hard if you can DIY it….

      Uh oh….

      40

    • #
  • #
    Curious George

    The only thing for hydrogen is that we have hydrogen-powered fuel cells. They are still on the expensive side, but they ARE. The fuel of tomorrow could well be alcohol. It has a relatively low toxicity, and a lower energy density would be compensated for by a high efficiency of fuel cells – if CSIRO develops them.

    42

    • #
      Lance

      Yes, H2 fuel cells do exist. Existence isn’t the larger picture, though.

      Up until a few years ago, a fuel cell for an automobile was on the order of USD 100,000.
      Now, it is down to some USD 6,000 for the cell itself.
      The Toyota Mirai is about USD 58,000 but with subsidies, might go to USD 40,000.

      H2 is usually stored at 700 bar (10,000 PSI).
      Fueling stations cost about USD 1.5 Million each.

      Lots of issues to solve, most very expensive.

      I wonder what things would look like in a serious collision aftermath. Might not want to see that.

      241

    • #
      bobl

      This still doesn’t solve the problems of low energy density. The only practical way to carry hydrogen around is as a hydride. The best candidates for carrier atoms are Carbon (Valence of 4) and Nitrogen (Valence of 3) making the high density compounds CH4 Methane and NH3 Ammonia. Ammonia is too toxic to use as a fuel leaving Methane as the best hydride for transport of hydrogen. Given that you can also oxidise the carbon there remains no relative benefit to using hydrogen over Methane. You are just throwing energy away by dissociating the Methane.

      The other problem is deoxygenation, when we burn carbon, plants turn the resulting CO2 back into Oxygen but when we burn Hydrogen we produce water, there is really no equivalent natural (high volume) process that turns water into Oxygen. In this it’s much much safer to burn carbon than hydrogen or even hydrocarbons. The only solution to this is to source the hydrogen for building methane from electrolysis of water which is very inefficient.

      90

      • #
        Chad

        Bobl, the $22 Bn , 15GW, Solar “Energy Hub” proposed for WA is based primarily on the production of Hydrogen for the manufacture of Ammonia intended for export to Japan as fuel stock., together with HVDC export to Singapore and Indonesia.l
        The Gov’mt have just given the OK for this project

        30

        • #
          bobl

          Oh well if someone is stup1d enough to pay 22 Billion for such a plan why should I complain. At least making hydrogen with intermittent energy is practical (Like pumping water) unlike using it for gridscale electricity.

          50

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Forty years later, and nothing about the hydrogen scam has changed.

    The promises of hydrogen power are still the same …

    “Brisbane’s City Plaza was buzzing as the revolutionary vehicle was unveiled on July 14, 1980.

    It might have looked like any other 1974 Ford Fairlane, but Horvath insisted that under the green bonnet was a device which could turn water into hydrogen via a controlled, thermonuclear reaction.

    Queensland Rail even selected a diesel-electric locomotive for conversion to hydrogen power and Horvath announced plans to convert the Howard coal-fired power station, near Maryborough.”

    https://www.couriermail.com.au/archive/news/horvaths-hydrogen-fairlane/news-story/24fddbda2900f1d0ac4b40083f858c2f

    110

  • #
    Zigmaster

    The conclusion is that the vast sums of money proposed to find technological solutions to climate change would be better spent reprogramming the population on climate change/ global warming. Provide funding for scientists to expose the climate change fallacies and withdraw all funds supporting the religion. If private mega rich individuals feel a need to support the religion impose a tax on these contributions. Provide funding for filmmakers to run a series not just about the renewables boondoggle but the whole climate change / global warming mantra which must be exposed. The behaviour of our institutions, weather bureaus, scientific organisations, universities must be exposed. In the same way that financial incentives have driven science to corrupt the scientific method and processes, financial incentives can help redirect the debate.
    Encourage whistleblowers to highlight the manipulation of the science and temperature data that is necessary to keep the narrative going. The value of one warmist who exposes what is going on is equivalent to 100 sceptics sending the same message. Eg Michael Moore .The problem is isolated warmists who defects gets targeted.It becomes like a whack-a -mole machine ,the warmists whack each person that dares to lift his head above the climate change safety net. They get picked off one by one. Eventually the machine speeds up and you become overwhelmed.
    We need to do the same. Speed the machine up otherwise more gazillions will be funnelled into a useless pursuit of providing an expensive non solution to a non problem.

    160

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Part of the situation is that it’s a huge PsyOp. If you can convince people there is a massive problem, you can whip them into an unthinking frenzy to solve problems that don’t exist.

      In many ways it’s a complete waste if time, and severs no benefit of those running the “scheme” except brainwashing a generation and squandering a generations’ resources and time.

      At the moment our ( individual ) involvement is kind of voluntary, but what I know about these people suggests eventually it will literally be forced upon us , because to the globalists it literally is an occult religion they follow. We pesky humans are a nuisance, which is why they would be happy to cull 90% of use with a war ( or a virus ), to protect thier mythical “Gaia”.

      100

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      “would be better spent reprogramming the population on climate change/ global warming.”

      Huhhhhh ?

      It bloody climate cooling which is happening here in Australia…
      But never mind let’s just waste some money..

      74

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    I would suggest that considerable progress has been made on nuclear technology.
    Bechtel has developed a package for the US Navy that could be easily adapted to
    civilian use. Whether a number of small units either collected in a “farm” or distributed
    as substations powering a city probably poses few technical problems, the political problems are
    obviously overwhelming.

    150

    • #
      ivan

      Rolls Royce (RR) are looking at the same in the UK with their nuclear sub generators. If they manage to pass the stupid nuclear regulations (only designed to fail with ‘safety devices’ piled on ‘safety devices’ which reduce the safety of the units) we might get ‘nuclear power in a container’ power stations.

      40

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    As per the comment about naturally occurring sources of hydrogen…does that mean Australia has corporate membership of the blue flash club? :-)

    60

    • #
      Greg in NZ

      T.I.R.D. Paper? Pffft… kah-boom!

      Talking of flatulence, nominee for the World’s Most Spoiled Brat Prat Award, Christiana Figueres, is at it again. In this Radio Nyet Zealand podcast series, ‘After the Virus’, starting today, she said:

      “Those 10 years we thought we had [,] have now been shrunk into basically anywhere between three to 18 months” because of “carbon”. And they have the gall to refer to her as an “expert”? Again, pffft!

      Also, that most-childish of Covert-1984 abbreviations, PPE, has now been turned into ‘Post-Pandemic Economy’ – gotta keep those goalposts shifting, or should that be ‘transforming’.

      https://www.radionz.co.nz if you dare!

      120

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    There’s something inherently disturbing about society.

    One hundred years ago we were looking back on the devastation of the War To End All Wars and no doubt thinking, that was bad, surely we will learn from that.

    Tragically the war meme has been replayed over and over, endlessly reinforcing the notion that humans can’t think straight.

    Now we want to take an expensive, violently corrosive gas and make it the new God.

    Madness.

    KK

    200

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Keith, why not build a copy of the Airship Hindenberg
      And send Allan Finkel on the Airships first flight ?
      What could go wrong ?
      :-)

      123

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        That might save us from having to sack Finkel as well.

        73

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          I’m sure that Angus Taylor
          ( Our beloved energy minister )
          Would love to go on the inauguration Hindenberg II flight.

          83

          • #
            Another Ian

            Time to replicate R101?

            More on that one in Neville Shute Norway’s “Slide Rule”

            (He worked for Vickers on R100)

            And pithy comments on bureaucratic endeavours in technical fields

            40

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Sounds good.

        30

  • #
    Robert Christopher

    The Ausyralia TIRDP has this gem:

    “Electricity: By 2030, many of the technical challenges involved in increasing shares of renewables and distributed energy are likely to have been resolved.”

    In the UK, which wasn’t listed in the report has come out with a paper,
    Absolute Zero

    30

  • #
    Robert Christopher

    [Duplicate]

    11

    • #
      Robert Christopher

      cont ….

      In the Executive Summary of Absolute Zero, it states:

      “We can’t wait for breakthrough technologies to deliver net-zero emissions by 2050. Instead, we can plan to respond to climate change using today’s technologies with incremental change. This will reveal many opportunities for growth but requires a public discussion about future lifestyles.”

      It can found at:
      ukfires.org/absolute-zero

      A difference of opinion, I detect! :)

      It’s worth a read, as you see the UK is headed for a different sort of h*ll to Australia.

      40

    • #
      Robert Christopher

      [Duplicate]AD

      11

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    You can’t use solar and wind power to make solar and wind power equipment; as such they are neither renewable nor sustainable

    Why not? Is there a rule?

    This sounds more like a ‘received wisdom’ religious argument than anything put up by your animists, who, at least have science and logic on their side.

    337

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Yes it’s called lack of reliable generation.

      Stop stirring.

      220

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        “Stop stirring”.

        That’s being very generous. I would say more, but have been banned from interfering in the free speech of others and can’t say things like; “just look after the Koalas” because they need him more than the blog.

        In the modern world, the only acceptable reality is that propagated by The ABCCCC and endorsed by our leaders in Canberra and supported by the lesser leaders in the lower levels.

        As for Hydrogen, pure and virginal in the New Clean Era:

        Bang!

        110

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Peter can you name one manufacturing plant anywhere in the world that produce wind turbines or solar panels using renewable energy ?

      140

      • #
        Greg in NZ

        Whoah there, roberty-bob – Peter (the rock) has ‘logic’ AND ‘science’ on his side: thou shalt not question the wisdom of he who has faith in the sun, and the wind, and hokey-shticks by the truck-load! Amen.

        150

        • #
          Another Ian

          “hokey-shticks by the truck-load! ”

          I wasn’t aware that there had been such a break-through in wind turbine blade design?

          60

      • #
        Ross

        Slightly OT Robert but in NZ we have one of the few aluminium smelters in the world which honestly say their product is totally produced using renewable energy. But the NZ Greens and a few other idiots want to close it down so that electricity can be added to the national grid. One of the reasons is they are slowly coming to realise we cannot have a lot of electric cars running around without extra electricity supply (there are a few other issues but they do not want to think of about them)

        100

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Hydro powered then Scott , that would work but from solar and wind alone no way and thanks it’s the first time I’ve heard enzed had a smelter .

          40

    • #
      Lance

      Yes, Peter, there is a rule. It is called “reality”.

      What happens when the power drops out for:
      concrete calcining mills
      aluminum production pots,
      a steel mill,
      micro chip fabrication ovens,
      the internet,
      water pumping stations,
      sewage treatment plants,
      traffic control signals
      operating theaters
      petrochemical plants/refineries
      etc, etc.

      Unless the alternative energy people want to be held legally liable for their inability to deliver reliable power, they have virtually nothing of relevance to offer.

      This is why windmills and solar panels are little more than virtue signalling toys that destabilize grid infrastructure. The only thing alternatives can do is offset fuel costs at a thermal generator and raise power prices, risk economies, damage appliances and motors, and generally provide negative value.

      Study up on technology and economics. Then you could answer your own question.

      270

      • #
        AndyG55

        “they have virtually nothing of relevance to offer.”

        An very apt summary of Peter’s comments. !

        80

    • #
      Travis T. Jones

      “Why not?”

      If there was an example, you would have linked it by now.

      60

    • #
      Travis T. Jones

      “Why not?”

      If there was an example, you would have linked it by now.

      50

    • #
      Peter Fitzroy

      So support for coal power is just a religion as is asserted to renewables, as these comments attest.

      220

    • #
      bobl

      Let me give you a simple engineering response. The renewable energy device does not produce enough excess energy over its actual life (taking account of all losses and self consumption) in order to be able to make another. IE a 1MW windmill, backup, structure, and transmission equipment does not produce sufficient excess energy over its life to be able to manufacture a 1 MW windmill, structure, backup, and transmission equipment.

      A 200 watt solar panel, wiring, frames, support structure, battery, inverter, and transmission equipment does not produce sufficient energy to manufacture a 200W solar panel, wiring, frames, support structure, battery, inverter and transmission equipment.

      (Including all energy consumed in all manufacture stages, including the Mining and refining of the component materials)

      150

      • #
        RickWill

        Your list for the 200W solar panel omitted the other 3 X 200W panels needed in most parts of Australia plus the 2000Wh battery needed to get a consistent steady output that can keep mining and processing operations running 24/7. It is not possible to cycle many industrial processes due to the high thermal shock and rapid degradation resulting from cycling.

        80

        • #
          bobl

          I appreciate the sentiment but I did cater for batteries which means you can assume the 800Wh of winter daily production from our 200W panel is spread over 24 hours ( Average of 33 W with an allowance for dull days leading to an average reliable output from those 200W panels of just 6 Watts).

          It comes down to the same thing – a solar panel & paraphernalia to make it work, does not produce enough spare energy over it’s lifecycle to manufacture a Solar panel with the same paraphernalia.

          PS Rick.
          There are two ways to look at the math, You can derate each panel like I’ve done, or expand the system to show what you need to give the original 200W reliably 24×7 IE – your approach, they’re equivalent.

          By the way to get 200W of RELIABLE output (24 x 200) = 4800 Wh a day in the 4 hr per day winter production window you need 1200W or 6 Panels, and then to cater for dull days you need 5 times that again or 30 Panels and 24kW (5 Days x 4800Wh) of Battery Backup. Three panels is far from enough, add a zero.

          70

    • #
      RickWill

      Peter asked

      Why not? Is there a rule?

      I operate some of my household load off grid and have done for 7 years so I have a good idea of what is involved.

      The linked paper gives you some insight into what is involved in producing power on-demand from a solar system plus storage sized to meet the NEM demand:
      http://www.environment.gov.au/submissions/nem-review/willoughby.pdf
      It is based on actual output from the Broken Hill solar farm.

      If the grid had infinite storage at zero cost then solar would be an economic proposition. However there is not infinite storage and any form on electric energy storage is very expensive. Despite all the forecasts of price drops, the cost of batteries continues to climb in AUD terms. Installed cost for batteries would need to be under $100/kWh and last 25 years to make them economic for household use. The cost is currently about 10 times that. The cost would need to be much less to make them economic for grid scale use.

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    • #
      AndyG55

      Is there a rule?

      Yes its called logic, common sense and engineering feasibility.

      None of which you seem to have or to comprehend.

      NSW Current electricity supply

      94% COAL

      5% gas

      Is that too difficult for you to comprehend ?

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    • #
      AndyG55

      “at least have science and logic on their side.”

      Something you have dispensed with COMPLETELY !!

      60

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Peter F:

      Wind and Solar are inherently variable. Modern Manufacturing requires reliable electricity supply. And please don’t claim that then we need (very, very) expensive batteries to cover the downtime.

      40

    • #
      AndyG55

      I defy Peter to state one thing that is manufactured using only solar and wind power.

      No coal, No oil, No gas…. anywhere in their manufacture.

      Fossil fuels are responsible of EVERY ASPECT of modern civilisations.

      They are what those civilisations are built on and with.

      Wind turbines and solar cells are built using large amounts of fossil fuels.

      NOTHING is built using wind and solar.

      There only contribution to modern society is in small niche items like flashing school signals that only need to operate for a very short while each day.

      They are a BURDEN and a HINDRANCE on every country or state that has attempted to use them in any quantity.

      Like all leftist things, they TAKE, rather than GIVING !

      50

    • #
      GD

      So Peter Fitzroy, your ‘solar and wind’ powered plant is supposedly powering your solar panel and wind turbine factory.

      You may as well power it with fairy dust and unicorn farts for all the good it would do.

      However, how about a walk-through of your suggested power plant.

      Let’s suppose it’s 7am on Monday morning, the workers arrive for the day. Luckily the wind is blowing a bit of a gale, and by 8am the sun is beginning to charge the parent solar panels that are supposed to generate enough power to begin manufacture of those child solar panels.

      It’s looking like a bright, sunshiny day. What could go wrong?

      Unfortunately, at 9am, the wind dies down, as it does, and your solar and wind farm plant is now dependent entirely on the power from your solar panels.

      By 11am, the day is looking overcast, the Sun has gone behind the clouds, as they say.

      By 1pm, either way the Fitzroy Wind and Solar Manufacturing Plant is offline, out-of-business, or just plain broke.

      50

      • #
        AndyG55

        “, out-of-business, or just plain broke.”

        You forgot all the continuing government subsidies.

        The ONLY thing that allowed him to set up in the first place

        Total reliance on government handouts

        50

  • #
    Robber

    Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s Technology Investment Roadmap is a fizzer, a road to nowhere.
    The paper says a goal is improving energy affordability, but most of the discussion is about reducing emissions. “On a pure energy collection and generation basis, solar and wind costs are projected to be cheaper than new thermal generation over all time horizons to 2050, but the cost of firming is still a major issue.” In other words, those ‘ruinables” are unreliable and will not deliver more affordable electricity.
    “If significant cost reductions in energy storage are realised, careful and systematic deployment of low-cost renewable generation could re-establish our advantage in energy-intensive manufacturing.” More wishful thinking without any evidence.
    Dr Finkel’s 2017 paper is the only place where I have seen calculated some meaningful costs of electricity: New coal $76/MWhr; Solar with 12 hours storage $172/MWhr; Wind without backup $92/MWhr (so add the cost of pumped hydro, batteries or gas to get the real cost); Gas $83/MWhr.
    What are the costs of hydrogen as a fuel? You can bet that some “activist scientist” will come up with a forecast that by 2050 it will be competitive. But hidden away will be the assumption that coal, oil and gas will become increasingly expensive because they have to be dinged for their contribution to global warming.
    Let Angus Taylor know that he needs to trash this roadmap and get back to basics – more affordable energy now. Stop the subsidies and the handouts.

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    • #
      PeterS

      As long as we keep voting into power majority ALP and LNP governments, nothing will change on the emissions reduction front. Both parties agree we have to reduce them. In our form of democracy the buck stops with the voters. We elect the government we want. So, if voters don’t want to keep reducing our emissions and instead resume the building of coal fired power stations then the choice is simple; stop voting LNP or ALP. The only other way to grab the government’s attention is to have mass protests. I don’t see that happening any time soon. All this confirms my view most voters believe reducing emissions is necessary, don’t rate the issue high enough to warrant doing anything about it and/or simply don’t give a damn because they are ignorant of the issue.

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      • #
        el gordo

        You have convinced me that all political parties should be abolished, even Canavan thinks CO2 causes global warming.

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        • #
          Serp

          Yeah, he states the proposition but whether he thinks (in the sense of holding informed belief) it is moot; after all, he is smart enough to work his ambitious self into federal cabinet so he’s a chance to know, as Abbott famously does, climate change is crap.

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        • #
          PeterS

          I didn’t say all parties should be abolished. I have said many times people need to think for a change and place their preferences accordingly so that neither major party can form a majority government and elect a minor party with better policies to dictate terms to one of the majors to form government. It almost happened once before but unfortunately the independents chose the wrong one and Gillard became PM. If people only used their brains and preferences good quality minor parties then we might have a better result. I doubt it will ever happen though for obvious reasons. So, expect more of the same.

          40

          • #
            el gordo

            ‘ … preferences good quality minor parties ….’

            That is a value judgement. I’m suggesting only individuals should face the electorate and are chosen on the basis of sound judgement and charismatic personality.

            The problem that might arise is that in time of national emergencies, like drought, bushfires, pandemics or war, our elected representatives might not be able to organise themselves and chaos would prevail.

            We already have the unelected swill (senate) which offers checks and balances to avoid political excess. Also, as in the case of Morrison’s robodebt, a class action shamed the government into returning the money unlawfully stolen from Australian citizens. This wouldn’t be possible in China, so perhaps we should be grateful for small mercies.

            10

      • #
        Boris

        Peter, I believe it’s like that because most people/voters firstly can’t think, cant’t face the emotional cost of understanding/admitting that things are so dire that our ‘democratic’ civilisation has become a political conspiracy against the electorate. If people can’t or refuse to see the war that is being waged against logic, honesty and humanity then they’ll never be able to in any other way other than sheep.

        Some politicians are likely just ‘playing the game’ because if they don’t, they have no career. Others are blinded, but a smaller few are diehard on board with a global clique to form a socialist/communist global reorganisation of society.

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        • #
          Kalm Keith

          Well said.

          40

        • #
          PeterS

          Those are valid reasons why voters don’t take a number of important issues seriously enough when deciding who to vote. Most of the time they simply vote either ALP or LNP because they hate the other side. Hatred is rife and we are witnessing it today in various ways in the US. The hatred of Trump by the left is so high it’s becoming scary.

          40

          • #
            Another Ian

            One trouble is having to select “least worst” to vote for.

            I can’t see much improvement coming from that.

            And not voting could well let even worse get up.

            50

          • #
            Joe

            Peter, it could be that the whole climate/renewable thing is not a big concern for most people whether they are for it or against it. The warmies bang on about how the earth will melt and the oceans will eat us up and half the world will die and then us coolies come along and bang on that we will all be living in caves, ruled by some incarnation of karl and nobody will have electricity – perhaps the average bod is just sick of all the theatrics and preacher man fire and brimstone rhetoric from both sides and is just happy to sit back and let the lib/labor cycle run its course as it has done since federation. For all the fighting, our tax base hardly changes, prices go steadily up regardless of what side is in power and we still lead a pretty ok life. Ultimately those with lots of wealth control the governments. I think people are realising that there is often no real ideology let alone scientific basis for particular parties taking a stance on an issue, it is usually just based on a belief that it will gain them more power and votes and they take the punt. All this current business with the virus demonstrates that very well with how the response strategy is polarising into a left/right issue.

            50

          • #
            Boris

            Yes, PeterS.

            We’ve been sufficiently divided/atomised to make it next to impossible to see a positive change other than a tyranny coming down the line from above.

            There is still hope but it’ll take massive civil disobedience from enough citizens to make the country ungovernable. In reality this could be costly as the establishment is playing for keeps and they’ll cause lots of suffering before they can be eventually defeated. If I think back to what happened in central Europe, it took a significant part of the population no longer prepared to be kept in a national prison. It also took enough of the security apparatus to no longer be prepared to kill for that regime.

            30

      • #
        Chad

        PeterS
        May 29, 2020 at 8:08 am ·
        As long as we keep voting into power majority ALP and LNP governments, nothing will change on the emissions reduction front.

        In order to change that, you first have to educate and convince the population of the solution.
        Unfortunately, unless you can find an effective charismatic, convincing, leader ,..a “Hitler” or “Churchhill”. Type… then it wont happen, and you just risk opening the door to the Greens.
        The only way to effect a mass change of thinking otherwise , is to let the inevitable chaos of wrong choices hit the fan !
        Once enough people are suffering from the self inflicted pain and inconvenience of a unreliable power supply….then they will seriously be ready to consider practical alternatives.

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      • #
        Robdel

        The only time when we will get mass protests is when the lights go out. Patience. It will happen sooner or later. Until the government is overthrown in the manner of the French revolution and the tumbrils will roll for the politicians and their supporters.

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  • #
    PeterS

    The rush to new technologies amuses me. How many do we need? They are all too expensive and/or have major drawbacks, at least for the foreseeable future. That includes battery powered vehicles. Yet we all know fossil fuels is still by far the best technology. So why the change? It’s all driven by the CAGW scam artists, large and small. I’m sure one day we will come up with a better technology but it’s not in the near term that’s for sure. Too much vested interest anyway in fossil fuels. Hence my amusement. It would be like our tourist industry now talking about trips to Mars; LOL. The reality is we will be driving fossil fuel powered cars for a very long time to come.

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    • #
      Chad

      Peter,
      ..for clarity, it is not just CAGW activism, there is also the “Renewable” movement also…..
      …..those who believe we are doomed to consume all our fossil fuel sources in the near future and will consequently ignite a “Mad Max” scenario on the entire planet !
      They are convinced we are way past “Peak oil”, “ Peak Coal” Gas, etc etc with only a very limited time to find “alternative Renewable” energy sources.
      neither CAGW or the imminent need for Renewable Energy, have any basis. in fact, but they fit the Green Alarmist agenda nicely.

      40

  • #
    el gordo

    They have found matter sitting out in space between galaxies and I argue that these atoms are souls. Does that make me a supporter of animism?

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-28/astronomers-find-universe-missing-matter/12291788

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    • #
      el gordo

      ‘Personally, I believe that spirit is really eternally connected with matter but certainly not by the same kind of body … as regards the actual connection between spirit and body I consider that the body can hold on to a ‘spirit’, whilst the body is alive and awake the two are firmly connected. When the body is asleep I cannot guess what happens but when the body dies, the ‘mechanism’ of the body, holding the spirit is gone and the spirit finds a new body sooner or later, perhaps immediately.’

      Alan Turing

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    • #
      Russ Wood

      I read a rather nice comment about ‘matter in space’ in an SF novel. Two ‘humanoids’ are talking:
      “Just WHY are we here in the universe?”
      “Well, you know that there are great nebulas of vapour out in space, and that many of them are filled with alcohol molecules?”
      “Yes – and…?”
      “Well, the purpose of us humanoids – is to DRINK it!”

      Cheers!

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  • #
    Anton

    I am a research physicist (not in atmospheric physics), a sceptic that CO2 causes dangerous warming, and an evangelical Christian. The deepest analysis I now of the Green movement is not that it is pagan but that it is an heir to the Romantic movement of the very late 18th and most of the 19th century. The Romantic movement exalted feeling over reason and came close to worshipping nature (so a hint of paganism but not very much back then). It was a reaction against the elevation of reason by the 18th century Enlightenment movement. (We need both head and heart, of course.) Its basic view is ‘nature good, humans bad’, although nature is ‘red in tooth and claw’ (as Tennyson put it). Many of the ‘Romantic’ writers and poets were well off. They saw only the negative side of the Industrial Revolution (poor working conditions and insecurity, slums, pollution), but ignored the drudgery of land work, the chance for anyone with a good idea to do well – in turn improving the lives of purchasers – and cheap mass production of useful objects for poorer households. Today’s Green movement is almost identical.

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Good point.

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    • #
      Boris

      Anton,

      The ‘Green’ movement was created as a controlled opposition. Sure the romantics flocked to its siren song. Public school, university, media and politics have slowly been co-opted into furthering and steering the inability to think and recognise commonsense.

      The true believers are proxy warriors for the wolves.

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Well put …..controlled struggle and the Helegian Dialectic at play…

        50

      • #
        Anton

        You are using the passive sense; created by whom, please?

        I am willing to believe it has been funded by enemies of Western civ, but it could not have flourished without the modern cultural deathwish.

        30

        • #
          Boris

          Anton,

          The modern “Green” movement has it’s roots in cultural marxism – read the Frankfurt School and their critique of Western Civilisation. Yes, they – Green environmentalists’ were funded by a very select globalist clique such as the eugenicist Rockerfeller Foundation et al. These foundations had ideological sympathies with those whom you mentioned in your original post.

          30

  • #
    pattoh

    A bolt on [S] Middle Distillate Synthesis plant to the NW Shelf output or perhaps in Darwin would insulate Australia from the inevitable Balance of Payments blowout & keep the lifeblood liquid fuel supply up to the Resource & Rural sectors which currently provide ~~3/4 of what provides our standard of living.

    https://www.rba.gov.au/chart-pack/balance-payments.html

    [ note this is a log scale & split to mendaceously downplay the "resource sector"component]

    Get up your representatives!
    They chose their job & it is supposed to be for your benefit not the banks from Thread Needle & Wall St.s!

    40

  • #
    Saighdear

    So the Australian Government is looking for a roadmap / route map? They should take a leaf out of our Nikki Sturgeon’s book and go to WHSmith’s or any good corner shop. will be about as useful as a used Match!

    20

  • #
    John in Oz

    I could not make it past the Ministerial Forward which must have been written by Alan Finkel or some other rabid Green:

    - Australia consistently meets and beats our climate change targets
    - Our emissions per person and per dollar of GDP
    - future investments in low emissions technologies
    - It means reducing emissions, not reducing jobs and the economy. It is an approach based on rigour, discipline and optimism, not ideology (my bold)
    - Government’s investment priorities through annual Low Emissions Technology Statements
    - Australia’s role in the global response to climate change
    - continue to support global efforts to reduce emissions
    - The Roadmap and first Low Emissions Technology Statement
    - incentivising voluntary emissions reductions
    - This will position Australia to overachieve on our 2030 Paris target
    - The Government will publish the first Low Emissions Technology Statement in coming months

    This part was the funniest given the failure of wind, solar, geothermal and wave power to produce a reliable, consistent, dispatchable power system:
    - We must support technologies that can succeed, but we must also be disciplined in recognising when technologies are struggling and in leaving deployment of technologies that have reached commercial viability to the private sector

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    • #
      wal1957

      We must support technologies that can succeed, but we must also be disciplined in recognising when technologies are struggling and in leaving deployment of technologies that have reached commercial viability to the private sector

      If this was reality they would then have to scrap the idea of renewables as a major source of power. Renewables have always struggled/failed to deliver on any of their promises.Purely on the score of reliability you would have to discard renewables.

      If CO2 was the ‘bogeyman’ they claim, then nuclear appears to be the only option currently available. An economy cannot function properly without reliable power. It’s a necessity, not an option.
      So the only options they appear to have are coal,gas or nuclear as baseload generators.

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  • #
    David

    Running out of coal and oil and gas in the near future is club of Rome stuff from last Century. Nuclear power stations are available virtually off the shelf. Hydrogen and Thorium as fuels were off in the never never 50 years ago – and they stiff are.

    So the roadmap is wrong wrong wrong. So the answer should be coal and nuclear, plus minor renewables.

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      David…accidental red thumb….sorry…

      40

    • #
      Greg in NZ

      Think of the polar bears! Why won’t you think of the cute, cuddly, carnivorous polar bears!

      And baby seals! And scientists trapped on their ship in the frozen Arctic sea ice! Maybe THEY need to be walloped over the head with a ‘club’ of Rome. :-)

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      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Wow Greg.

        You’ve been on fire over there.

        Has Jacinderella resigned or something?

        :-) KK

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        • #
          Greg in NZ

          Cheers buddy – we live in hope, yet the alternative is just as bad. After National’s internal coup last week, the new leader, Todd Muller, came out as a carbon-loathing believer in UN-ity & diversity (everyone has an equal chance of dying?) and the Greens’ so-called Zero Carbon bill. If talk-back radio is anything to go by (yeah nah) he’s lost the farmers & oldies already and he’s only been there one week!

          Yesterday was a hoot in the shed, putting finishing touches on a 2 metre-long steel handsaw I’ve been commissioned to paint (a huntin’ & fishin’ scene of deer and trout and other tasty wild food), though not much was accomplished as I kept jumping back to Jo’s wonderful blog and the just as entertaining / educating comments. So I say, cheers to all of us!

          40

          • #
            Kalm Keith

            Politicians; everything they do is a response to media analysis of current talking points.

            What’s hard to understand is that voters keep on electing trouble for themselves and we show no sign of change, apart from the Donald.

            20

            • #
              Doc

              KK. The public have been pre-prepared for both the leftist shakedown
              and the anthropogenic global warming concept. The dumbing down of
              education standards in general, and the dropping of maths, science and
              history requirements in particular give us a disarmed public. There is a
              Loss of ability to even consider that the stories from people that seek
              to control the people, stated as fact, are not based on anything but ‘facts’.
              There is not enough knowledge to even know what questions to ask, and
              no ability to analyse the answers. The standard of general knowledge is
              embarrassingly low, at least in the USA when ‘Waters’ on Fox News asks
              basic historical questions. We are probably as bad. Without a basic idea
              of history people lose the ability to question the ideas pushed on them by
              those that wish to control our universe. People are conned silly by having
              resisters to the pushed theme labelled eg as sceptics, delcons or Deplorables.

              We live in a dangerous world currently. The USA is showing just how fragile
              is democracy when it’s challengers are so expert at moving in under even
              righteous demonstrations. They turn them into riots, looting and destruction
              to get officialdom to react with increasing power and seemingly appear to
              threaten the originally wronged. We now have extreme danger when the
              Whitehouse itself is threatened.

              People, dumbed down since the 1970’s have been fully softened up by the
              left – and the centre right has done nothing to reverse things as it
              is also just chasing power . Making a fight on leftist socialist theory is
              too hard and increases the risk of losing because to fight means to try to
              reduce government facilitated conditions from the voter. The Human Rights
              Commission and the refusal to tackle Sect.18c are examples of the right
              accepting such leftist beliefs, increasing control over us by curtailing our
              Freedoms. Both Abbott and Morrison failed on this altar. Our world needs
              Trump. He is his own worst enemy, but he is the only leader of any democracy
              that is fighting for democracy both internally and globally. Just look at the
              Fight he has with most US media and the US left. That’s what it takes to
              preserve freedom, but Trump fights alone. In Australia, we even have public
              political defenders for the action of China against us, as our ‘fault’!
              That says it all about how nobody reacts to AGW claims without proof, most
              believe Trump an uncouth imbecile – they believe what the msm and electronic
              Press tells them as ‘fact’. They accept imposed energy destruction. They are
              undereducated specifically to be left compliant.

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              • #
                Kalm Keith

                I liked reading that Doc and a good summary in the last sentence.

                Like most of us Trump is a flawed human being but he has saved America.
                It’s almost unbelievable.

                I only watch T.V. when away on holidays and occasionally the screen has shown things like the Cavanaugh mess, Nancy Pelosi, breathless media personalities raging against Trump in a never ending stream of confected stupidity.

                The world is in a bad way.

                KK

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    • #
      Chad

      David
      May 29, 2020 at 9:12 am ·
      . Hydrogen and Thorium as fuels were off in the never never 50 years ago – and they stiff are.

      David,…..why do you believe Thorium is. “off in the never never”?

      10

  • #
    RickWill

    The PC department of the electrical power industry has created new words in recent times -
    CURTAILMENT – when the intermittent generator has ambient power in excess of the current demand of the network it is supplying; it is curtailed.
    FIRMING – when the intermittent generator is ambient power limited and cannot meet the network demand; it relies on dispatchable generators to meet the demand.
    VARIABLE RENEWABLE ENERGY – “intermittent generator” is not PC.

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    • #

      Expect ‘intermittent’ to become a non-word – 1984 – the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought, making thought crime literally impossible, because there’ll be no words in which to express it.

      60

    • #
      Chad

      Rick..
      Dont forget the “Passive DPV”.
      A cover name for Roof Top Solar..
      Passive = uncontrollable
      D = Distributed
      PV = PhotoVoltaic

      And of course there is.”DM” =. Demand Management
      …..a cover name for Rolling Blackouts !

      60

  • #
    David

    What a disappointment!

    The Federal Government’s ‘Technology Investment Roadmap’ is not a strategy document leading to low-cost, reliable electricity, rather its a complex and winding pathway to the fairies at the bottom of the garden.

    It describes gas as the answer to back-up unreliable solar and wind and unrealistically assumes gas prices will stay low, enabling lower electricity prices. It calls renewables as the future mainstay of our grid, yet in reality it would be gas base-load with renewables peaking ability, when available! The word ‘coal’ is mentioned 20 times yet, ‘emissions’ is on every page. ‘Nuclear’ is relegated to the never never in concept and timeframes!

    I thought we were getting a strategy to reduce costs and increase reliability with emissions reduction as a backdrop. Sadly this is not true.

    There is no analysis in the post Covid-19 world of our need for low-cost, reliable base-load electricity to increase our manufacturing base, yet the strategy is to encourage import of short-lived Chinese wind turbines and Chinese solar panels at the expense of Australian-sourced steel, building materials and plentifully available Australian coal.

    ‘Technology neutral’ is just a mindless catch phrase while we continue to allow subsidies for any technology, especially renewables.

    Neither fish nor fowl, the report has already been castigated by the left media and deserves further criticism from those on the sensible right.

    What a disappointment!

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  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Nuclear – see this real-time (5 minute update) graph.

    https://transmission.bpa.gov/business/operations/wind/baltwg.aspx

    Along the border of the states of Oregon and Washington the Bonneville Power Administration takes electricity from various sources and transfers it to other agencies to distribute to the final customers. Our local utility gets electricity from the BPA and as an end of line user our house is 100% electricity.

    The Columbia River is the large provider in the region. That’s the blue line at the top. Wind is green – it bounces off the bottom. Not much the last 2 days, 27th & 28th. The brown line at the bottom is a mixture of places that burn things – waste wood, landfill gas, waste paper, and some coal. It normally is higher and somewhat steady but Panic2020 has caused most of these facilities to be shut.

    Purple: Nuclear is the electricity from one facility, the Columbia Generating Station, on the Hanford site (look it up). The nuclear facility coordinates with others on planned closures when refueling and upgrades are needed. If we had 10 such plants we would not need anything else. (The big dams were built years ago).

    Wind is a distraction and an irritant.

    The BPA ships power south, out of the region. See “Pacific DC Intertie” or Path 65.

    40

    • #
      Serp

      Beautifully illustrates how wind generation proceeds oblivious to the demands of load.

      30

    • #
      Chad

      John,
      That is obviously a huge Hydro facility,
      I downloaded some of the historical data , and noticed that at times the Hydro generation was reduced to down 5.0 GW or so, but i was not able to figure the reason for that.
      Im curious if you know weather the Hydro capacity is seasonal or at any time restricted by water availability/ flows.

      20

  • #
    RickWill

    There is an interesting evolution in the power industry at the moment.

    It seems the economics of pumped storage is being hobbled by environmental constraints. It takes a long time and very deep pockets to get a project started.

    By contrast there is essentially no restriction on setting up battery storage. In fact useful size grid scale batteries can be mounted on land already dedicated for grid infrastructure. It means there a lot of batteries being installed. Not a significant capacity when it comes to so-called “firming” ability but significant in terms of stability. Even small batteries can contribute significantly to grid stability.

    The emerging view is that batteries will be the storage of choice because the hurdle to establish pumped hydro is simply too high despite it being lower unit cost on paper.

    Apparently there is now over 1GWh of battery capacity installed in Australian homes.

    60

    • #
      Serp

      Hence the AGL Virtual Power Plant innit?

      30

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Sorry Rick.

      Accidental green while reading.

      Batteries of any type are a serious environmental issue, and that’s apart from the fact that they’re a joke when put up against proper baseload generators.

      They are obviously useful in individual isolated situations which cannot access baseload power.

      KK

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    • #
      Chad

      Apparently there is now over 1GWh of battery capacity installed in Australian homes

      Not quite… last count was 738MWh
      But even if it were 1GWh, ..that doesnt help much in a 600 GWh per day demand grrid system !

      30

  • #
    TdeF

    I have written on all this before. The greatest combustible we have is aluminium. Before our Government legislated the Renewable Energy Act (Electricity) in 2001 and we started paying the world’s highest prices for the world’s cheapest power, the answer was aluminium. Dollar per kg it is the next greatest fuel in the world and have have so much of it and so much cheap energy. That has been destroyed by hidden taxes to give free windmills and solar panels away.

    Hydrogen is a joke. By far the lesser of the two components of combustion which powers all life on earth, the real attack is a religious attack on the sixth element of the periodic table, carbon. Carbon is black. Carbon is evil. Te threat to the world is ‘carbon pollution’. And this without proof of any kind.

    Greenpeace banned Chlorine. The world is now banning Carbon. You cannot ban an element of the periodic table.

    Humans are made from carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Now one of them is evil. It is a religion of self hate. Breathing produces carbon dioxide and water.

    It’s a wonder water is not banned as well.

    Who needs scientists when you have acolytes, high priests and innumerates like Tim Flannery, Al Gore and Greta.

    Who needs all those years studying science when you can be shouted down by people who have no idea of chemistry, physics or simple mathematics?

    A scientist is now whoever has an opinion on science. Or has risen to the top where politics dominates science, as religion used to do and utterly science free people like Australia’s economist Ross Garnaut who claims to be the new Galileo when they are the oppressors.

    And when have they ever been right about anything? Flannery, Gore and Greta? Or James Hansen who thought the world depended for its climate on the upper atmosphere simply because that was his speciality and he had studied Venus?

    It is very frustrating. And Australia’s Chief Scientist is always a political animal, like the Head of the BOM or the ABC or the CSIRO. You do not climb the greasy pole if you do not stand on a few heads. Or tell the truth. It’s pure Sir Humphrey Applebee from Yes, Prime Minister.

    Hacker : They have the right to know!

    Sir Humphrey Appleby : No, they have the right to be ignorant. Knowledge implies complicity, ignorance has a certain Dignity.

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    Bulldust

    The Hunt was surprisingly watchable, and not a Hollyweird cring-fest as one would expect. Not high drama by any standard, more of a crazy action romp with jabs at political narratives.

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    Keith Woollard

    I really like this guys take on hydrogen in an ICE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gu1v7d7-Wh0

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      Bill In Oz

      Somebody needs to send the link to Finkel & Angus.
      He puts it simple enough that even those dodos will understand.
      :-)

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  • #

    This might seem to be off topic, but it is right on point in my opinion.
    Right at the top of the Post it says this: (my bolding here)

    So the likes of AGL and Macquarie Bank concocted solar farm and wind farm schemes and sold them on to people wanting a high, government-enforced rate of return.

    If something is said time after time after time after time, it then becomes the only thing that is said about them. These Power plants are not ….. FARMS. They are industrial electricity generating plants, in EXACTLY the same manner as ALL electricity generating plants.

    But see, it is now so accepted, that this is the only thing they get called ….. wind and solar FARMS, a nice warm and cuddly thing to refer to them as, differentiating them from those foul and disgusting coal fired power plants.

    The very exact same thing is happening with ….. wind power is CHEAPER than fossil fuel generated power, the inference here being specifically coal fired power.

    No matter how many times I argue the opposite, no matter how many times I quote actual figures, I’m criticised for doing it, because now, everybody KNOWS wind power is cheaper than coal fired power.

    In the last week/ten days, four more new wind plants have been added to the Australian grid, one in NSW, and the other three in Victoria. They are: (and here, I am using their own terminology referring to them as farms)

    1. Gullen Range Wind Farm 2 (this is the second part of the Gullen Range plant) It is located around the Southern Tablelands area in NSW. It has a Nameplate of 109MW, now taking the total Nameplate for this Gullen Range plant up to 276MW. The cost was $290 Million.

    2. Bulgana Green Power Hub, between Stawell and Ararat in the Central Western region of Victoria. The wind plant facility has a Nameplate of 182MW and the cost was $350 Million. It also has an absolutely humungous monster battery capable of ….. 35MWH of power delivery.

    3. Cherry Tree Wind Farm near Seymour in Victoria. It has a Nameplate of 58MW and the cost was (around) $120 Million.

    4. Elaine Wind Farm. This is the second stage of the Lal Lal wind farms, and stage one was the Yendon plant. This stage two has a Nameplate of 84MW and the cost was (around) $170 Million

    So, all up for these four new wind plants, we have an added Nameplate of 433MW and a total cost of all four of them of $930 Million. So, at the average Capacity Factor of 30%, this is an equivalent of 130MW extra power generation and it only cost $930 Million. That added 130MW is one fifth the size of one Unit (of the four units) at the Bayswater plant. So, that’s one fifth of one quarter the size of Bayswater, and Bayswater has twice the lifespan of all those wind plants so all this new added wind generation is one fortieth or 2.5% of Bayswater.

    Please don’t ever even think that wind power is cheaper than coal fired power.

    Apologists for wind power will come crawling out of the woodwork if they hear this.

    This now takes the total Nameplate for wind power up to 7728MW, so just a tad under THREE TIMES the Nameplate of Bayswater. ALL of that wind power generates the same power (17,000GWH) in a year as Bayswater does, and Bayswater will last twice as long as all of those wind plants.

    Incidentally, that huge battery at Bulgana which can supply 35MWH. Well, that’s 0.025% of Victoria’s average daily power consumption. And here, keep in mind it’s not delivering this 35MWH to the grid as NEW power, because it has to be charged up, presumably by the accompanying wind plant, so that extra to charge the battery is not being sent to the grid for consumption.

    Oh, and one of them, in Victoria, is suing because its output is being restricted, and if they win, there’s more taxpayer dollars down the gurgler. Oh, and that Bulgana wind plant is claiming a CF of 44%, and the others between 36 and 38%

    Repeat a meme often enough and it becomes the truth.

    Wind ….. farms.
    Wind ….. is cheap.

    Neither is true.

    Tony.

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      Boris

      TonyfromOZ,

      One of the first things social engineers do is capture the language and introduce new terms that turn commonsense on it’s head 180 degrees. In that way the “ministry of peace” in reality is the “ministry of war” etc.

      Slowly we propagate and repeat falsehood until the next generation don’t know the difference.

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    • #
      Serp

      Within a few years they’ll have hundred and ten percent capacity factor if they keep inflating their figures at the current rate.

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      • #
        Greg in NZ

        Boris, to paraphrase the falsetto-voiced Bee Gees:

        It’s only words
        And words are all they have
        To take away your cash
        (and everything else they can get their dirty hands on).

        Words I no longer use which USED to be meaningful:
        conversation
        expert
        literally
        unprecedented (ew! must wash hands and fingers, yuk!).

        As David Bowie once sang: ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four…”

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    • #
      Chad

      Tony,..
      .. i think they are more correctly termed FARMS ..since their purpose is to GROW company profits by FERTILIZING the electricity market with instability, and HARVESTING the susidies and Rebates available to renewables.

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    • #
      Joe

      I don’t know Tony if calling them ‘plants’ does a lot to dispel the green misnomer of ‘farms’. We might soon be referring to ‘planting’ a new crop of towers in the paddock. I think that ‘farm’ in this context is actually an acronym and probably should be rendered in caps, ‘FARM’ like you did. I will leave it up to others to research what that could stand for.

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    • #
      Speedy

      Hi Tony

      And like the yachties say – the wind is cheap, but the sails cost a s/load.

      Cheers,

      Speedy

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    • #
      Rowjay

      The AEMO quarterly report for Q1 2020 offers an interesting insight into the reasons for curtailment of wind production in Vic and SA during a “separation event”. Seems it was deemed necessary to curtail wind and encourage gas generators to remain online to maintain grid stability in the separated regions:

      Well worth a read.

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  • #
    Graham Smith

    Even the IPCC can’t agree that hydrogen is a clean fuel. According to the IPCC reports, CO2 is only a minor contributor in and of itself, but its great crime is to trigger a positive feedback, whereby the small amount of warming it directly causes, allows the atmosphere to retain higher moisture volumes, and it is this higher atmospheric moisture that triggers the worst of the warming. If we burn hydrogen instead of carbon, we produce H2O, not CO2. Not only is this far less efficient (you need 4 hydrogen atoms to react with the same volume of oxygen as 1 carbon atom) but you are producing atmospheric moisture directly! This will surely by their hypothesis trigger just as much warming, just eliminating the middle man of CO2?

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  • #
    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    “Technology Investment Roadmap Discussion Paper”

    The use, in this scholarly title, of the word ‘Roadmap’ for situations other than real roads and real maps means a rort is in the offing.

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    • #
      Greg in NZ

      As I’m still in moderation up-thread (?) I’ll try again here to see if my fun/pun abbreviation for said ‘scholarly roadmap’ was the guilty partner:

      T.I.R.D. Paper.

      If that’s all they have to go on, aye, ’tis a rort all the way down… flush!

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  • #
    Ruairi

    To harness the power of tide,
    Should bring warmists and skeptics onside,
    As the moon is the force,
    On all coastlines the source,
    For sustainable wattage worldwide.

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  • #
    GlenAustralia

    This is NOT about energy nor is it about CO2 … it’s all about the CONTROL of all people.

    As far as ENERGY is concerned …

    [1] There are some Fossil Fuel experts on WUWT, one of them is “David Middleton”.
    Last year he did a series basically covering how much fossil fuel reserves we have and how long would they last at current usage.
    We have like 600 years of Coal and a few hundred years of Petrol/Gas/Shale … AND … when those become expensive to extract there are further chemical/physical processes that can squeeze more out of the “plays” that have been closed due to the economics of extraction, which provide a hundred years or so of fossil fuels.
    Basically we have 600+ years of Coal and 300+ years of Fossil Fuels.

    [2] There are also some Nuclear experts on WUWT.
    According to what I have read from them, we have over a thousand years of Nuclear energy (both standard and LTFR) available … and when fossil fuels run out, we can use the power of Nuclear to turn Carbon into fossil fuels.
    And I’m not going to mention “Fusion” because it’s always 20 years away … until it isn’t … and then we have unlimited energy until the Sun goes dark.

    The UN wants total global control over everything (aka typical Socialists), and so they need a mechanism by which to fool people into giving up their freedom to be controlled by the UN … and Global Warming / Climate Change is that mechanism … and it works because most people are either gullible or much too lazy to educate themselves in real true science.

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  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Viv Forbes at the saltbush Club has some scathing things to say about ruinables as reliable power sources:

    https://saltbushclub.com/2020/05/26/more-useless-energy-policies/

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  • #
    Jon Reinertsen

    The love of Hydrogen will last until the first crash when a car will explode and take out an entire street. Electric batteries can burn for days, reigniting just as the ES turn their backs on them.

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      I saw the Dutch ES putting an EV in a water filled car sized dumpster for as long as it takes to burn itself out…

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  • #
    Jon Reinertsen

    The love of Hydrogen will last until the first crash when a car will explode and take out an entire street. Electric batteries can burn for days, reigniting just as the ES turn their backs on them.

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    • #
      Dennis

      Exothermic reaction, Lithium ion batteries, and the bigger they are (capacity) the worse the fire can be.

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        I watched this video whereby one AA cell was unrolled and the lithium dropped into a ceramic bowl with water in it..it burned that hot it melted the glass bowl where it touched it.

        Now ramp that up…..

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        • #
          Chad

          Sorry O Steve..but unless you can prove that and link to the video,..i am calling BS on it.
          And if you do find a video, it is a hoax !
          There is no lithium metal in an Li cell to drop into a bowl.
          It is only present in the form of harmless lithium salts

          Once a lithium iron cell is discharged it is harmless.

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          • #
            Chad

            The risk from lithium cells is the electrical energy, which can spark and ignite fire, and the flamable risk is from the electrolyte in the cell which is a liquid or gell of salts in solvents.

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          • #
            Kalm Keith

            Hi Chad, I’m not sure what you’re getting at?

            Lithium “ion” batteries are something you don’t muck around with. As mentioned several times previously, I’ve seen the result of impact ripping open a very small battery that was embedded in wet soil.

            I’ve read that the fume resulting is not in any way healthy. On the scale of an electric vehicle battery the consequences for anyone trapped after a car accident when the LiPo has been ruptured?

            I’m puzzled by the comment?

            KK

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  • #

    I believe I can offer an informed opinion here as I worked in Industrial Gases for some years. Basically – what a complete load of rubbish!!!! Finkel has no idea at all and has not even consulted with Engineers like me who know what we are talking about.

    Bert Van Manen, my former Federal Member, and actually a smart character waxed on about hydrogen at an LNP meeting. I put him in his place by pointing out the sheer difficulty of transporting it – as a liquid its still very light, and it has the VERY NASTY ability to freeze oxygen into it, creating explosive mixtures. And as a gas the cylinders weigh a heap and transport is simply not viable.

    Some will say we should transport it as ammonia. That is also inefficient as you have the vast proportion of the weight as useless nitrogen. Also ammonia is a pretty nasty substance and exponentially increasing the no of storages (which have to be registered, as ammonia leaks mean evacuations) will create all sorts of OH&S issues. After several bad leaks I think people would have had enough.

    As Jo has mentioned, leaks are invisible as are the flames. There was a v nasty fire at one of the installations my former company had. People could not see the flames. And hydrogen is almost as bad as helium for leaking, and that says something.

    And the electrolysis process is terribly inefficient as a source of hydrogen. Steam reforming is much easier, but then we have to use that nasty natural gas….

    So there you have it;

    Incapable of being transported economically
    Dangerous as a liquid and the high pressure cylinders are known but also bring hazards and are heavy
    Leaks a lot and has invisible flames
    Embittles steel
    Inefficient to make by electrolysis

    But these PHYSICAL FACTS mean nothing to Finkel and the idiots who promote it – I mean what could go wrong????

    More waste of money to rent seekers wishing to pillage the public.

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  • #
    Rudi K

    The external fuel tank powering the space shuttle Challenger launch had been full of liquid oxygen and hydrogen. Interesting how long it took the CNN commentator to realise there had been a “major malfunction” in the technology.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4JOjcDFtBE

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  • #
    Peter C

    David Archibald mentions Coal to Liquid fuels here:

    Coal-to-liquids becomes viable at US$120 per barrel. Ideally we will adopt the Bergius process in which hydrogen atoms are forced into coal molecules rather than the Fischer-Tropsch process in which coal is burnt to produce a synthesis gas which in turn is run over a catalyst to produce liquid fuels. The Bergius process, relying upon hydrogen produced by electrolysis using power from nuclear plants, will result in our coal reserves lasting a lot longer.

    Apparently the Fischer-Tropsch process is still used by the petrochemical firm SASOL in South Africa but they may be using gas now instead of coal. The Bergius process has not been used since WW2.

    As I was reading about the Bergious process I came across Coal-Water slurry!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal-water_slurry_fuel

    The coal is ground to a fine powder and mixed with water. The fuel is said to be fire proof and explosion proof and can be burnt directly in steam boilers and diesel engines and possibly gas turbines. I am amazed that this fuel is not being used already in countries with coal deposits.

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    • #
      Rowjay

      There are very few coal deposits suitable for use in Coal-Water slurries without costly pre-treatment. The main issue is the presence of non-combustible impurities including silica in the coal matrix which tends to make a mess of metallic moving parts. There was talk of creating big industrial low speed diesel engines with ceramic cylinder liners to minimise wear, but the world has moved on and peak oil still seems to be a long way off.

      On another note, I had some time to have a look at the ACT Govt’s claim to have secured 100% renewable energy by 2020. The ACT’s daily generation requirement is about 640MW, and the Environment ACT glossy brochure proudly states that “with 640MW of renewable energy already contracted, 100% renewable energy is now secure”. They have listed Hornsdale (309MW), Coonoor Bridge (19.4MW), Sapphire (100MW), Crookwell II (91MW) and Ararat (80.5MW) wind generation locations, together with solar from Mugga Lane (13MW), Williamsdale (7MW) and Royalla (20MW) which adds up to 639.9MW NAMEPLATE capacity. A quick check on Anero.id to find the ACTUAL generation numbers for the named wind locations for May this year show a capacity factor of around 40%, ranging from 5% to 80%, but a long way short of the nominated requirement. Wonder why the lights are still on here?

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Peter C:

      This was trialled in the USA where they pumped the slurry for (from memory) 136 miles and burnt it in a boiler.
      Very successful in that the rail company dropped their freight rates for coal substantially to retain business.

      That was around 50% coal (+ a fraction of oil). There has been some work since boosting the percentage coal to about 70% with improved economics.

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  • #
    ralf ellis

    .
    Hydrogen is a battery, not a fuel.
    You cannot dig hydrogen out of the ground….
    R

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  • #
    John

    And gee I’m tired of hearing of how Australia can be a super producer of Hydrogen.

    If technology gets to the point that wind and solar can be efficiently bottled into hydrogen then why on earth would anyone ship that energy from faraway Australia? Last time I checked the sun shines in other countries.

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    • #
      Chad

      John
      May 30, 2020 at 8:02 am ·
      ……why on earth would anyone ship that energy from faraway Australia? Last time I checked the sun shines in other countries.

      .Well… not so much sunshine in the NH, such as places like Japan,..and not too much space for windmills.
      They import a large proportion of their energy needs…currently coal and oil…and plan for H2 in the future..
      But yes, generally not a smart idea !

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  • #
    Robber

    But in Victoria wealth is created boy government handouts.
    From the community-owned Hepburn Springs Wind Farm Report:
    “While high energy prices buoyed the co-operatives performance, Hepburn Wind continues to operate in a volatile market. With the absence of any substantial federal energy policy, the renewable energy certificate market is continuing to decline, posing significant risk to the co-operative which obtains a substantial portion of income from large generation certificates (LGCs).”
    “Hepburn Wind has been working to address these issues by collaborating with the community energy sector and lobbying for a suite of policy interventions that will strengthen the co-operative and de-risk community energy projects.”
    “$500,000 grant secured for solar farm development.”
    “This year’s reduction in LGC prices has impacted our profitability for FY2019. This reduction in prices indicates a significant threat to the co-operative’s viability into future years.”
    They received $91.60/MWhr as per Vic wholesale prices, and a further $51.17/MWhr through sales of LGCs.
    Net profit before tax $621,806; Income from sale of LGCs $$646,173.
    With wholesale prices and LGC prices down in 2019/20, it will be interesting to see their next report.
    Depreciation of $462,000 per year is 4% based on a 25 yer life – currently 8 years operations.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      They are going to go bankrupt.
      Fairly quickly or, if they get government handouts, slowly. In any case neither the shareholders or the Government will get their money back.

      30

  • #
    Ross Stacey

    I watched an esteemed group last night on ABC Q&A. Prof. Finkel was having a hard time convincing the rest of the panel that we needed natural gas as the fuel for turbines to stabilise the Solar, Wind and Hydro grid. He thinks we are 30 years away from making Hydrogenfuels. The experts led by Mz. Turnbull could not accept it would take so long and believed we did not have that much time to protect the planet.
    I must be missing something because Angus Taylor is developing prof, Finkels hydrogen plan. It was only a short time ago that the LCP believed that coal plants were viable and tha CO2 was a fallacy.
    Could it be that now more than 50% of the population believes that CO2 is the driver of climate change that they have to be seen to be reducing CO2?
    Has there been a sound scientific study to show absolutes that CO2 is the driver, or have I missed this extraordinary information.

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      The very fact that this discussion took place in the publicly funded media says it all.

      It’s entertainment/pseudo-education/mind entrainment for the masses that covers the real issues.

      KK

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  • #
    Chad

    As long as the Govrnmt stick to the plan of rolling down the LGC’s and other incentives, it will eventually strangle the flow of investments into Wind and Solar.
    turnbull is just trying to protect his investment in Renewables,…he knows JS about the technologies, especially Hydrogen , which has so many hurdles to overcome beforre it is remotely viable as a fuel, that it isnt even funny !…Finkle is right on that 30yrs, and by then there will be other more practical alternatives to syphon off the investors.

    40