JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Only 10% of power allowed from solar in Broome WA to stop grid “fluctuations”

When too much solar is more than enough

The WA government-run electricity provider (Horizon Energy) has called a halt to new solar installations in Broome, a town in Northwest WA that is not connected to the national grid, or even the main WA grid. (It’s 2,000km north of Perth). About 10% of the town’s power comes from solar* but apparently the little grid can’t handle the fluctuations, so the early birds got the subsidies, and the rest got grumpy.

June 3rd, ABC:

Broome residents tire of cap on solar power installations Horizon Power only allows 10 per cent of the town’s power to come from solar due to issues with grid fluctuations This leaves some residents unable to install a solar system that connects to the grid Horizon is trialling battery storage technology in other WA towns and hopes to expand this to Broome

Residents in the Kimberley town of Broome have said they are fed up with being prevented from accessing solar power despite living in one of Western Australia’s sunniest towns.

State-owned energy utility Horizon Power allows just 10 per cent of the town’s power to be generated from solar to protect the grid from [...]

Rudd’s last minute gift to renewables -industry $7 billion extension til 2030

Apologies to foreign readers as we rake over the Stupidest Energy Policy on Earth. This really takes the cake.

Back in 2010 Rudd signed off on an extension of subsidies to renewables generators that would apply from 2020-2030, long after he would be gone.  Effectively this decision will take up t0 $300 per Australian over that decade –  in the order of $1000 per family –  and gift to the renewables industry. Naturally, in the public arena, an issue this big was decided with major, some, no discussion at all.

The ABC investigated the intricacies of who knew what and when in the knifing of a first term PM, but billions of dollars — who knew?

Dennis Shanahan raised it today in The Australian

Rudd renewables extension upped power bills $7.5bn

Electricity customers face an extra burden of between $3.8 billion and $7.5bn in “windfall” subsidies for renewable power generators in the next decade ­because of the stroke of a pen in the last months of Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership.

Against advice from consultants, energy companies and the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Rudd government in 2010 extended the phasing out of the renewable subsidies for existing operators from [...]

Turnbull’s “game changer” — $2 a week savings next decade that most Australian don’t believe

Turnbull threw away the Lib’s best election strategy in the last election and almost lost. He couldn’t run a carbon tax scare like Abbott had (or Trump did even moreso). Now he can’t run a cheap electricity campaign in a nation where wallets are bleeding from power bills. It would be a gift campaign to mock the idea that wind and solar make prices cheaper — that’s a bubble desperate to be popped. But Malcolm’s campaign (if he survives that long) is a Santa tricky plan to have it all — lower emissions, lower prices, and more stability. And if you’ll believe that…

He’s leaving his entire right flank open, unguarded.

A few dismal facts that won’t go away: Malcolm’s NEG plan to reduce electricity prices aims pathetically low ($2 a week) and will fail anyway. The country already knows that. The world still awaits the glorious discovery of a single nation powered by lots of wind and solar that has cheap electricity. Australia’s 1.5% of global carbon emissions are irrelevant. Australia may be the only nation on Earth that is even trying to meet the Paris accord. More than half of Australians don’t buy the blame for the climate. Who [...]

ABC: Let’s pretend base load power doesn’t exist, call it a dinosaur. Who’s in denial?

The new phrase that must be neutered is “base load”. It’s like kryptonite for renewables!

Nick Kilvert at the ABC helpfully provides a no-hard-questions mouthpiece and tells us Base load power is the dinosaur in the energy debate.

To serve the Australian taxpayer he quotes a Professor Vassallo, Chair of Sustainable Energy Development (USyd), and CSIRO Energy Director Dr Glenn Platt. Just in case they weren’t green and biased enough he also interviewed Professor Blakers, director of the ANU Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems. Finally he turns to Dr Mark Diesendorf, who is apparently just some guy at UNSW with a team of modelers. (Kilvert doesn’t give us his title, but a two second search suggests he works at the “Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets“. Perhaps it was an oversight, or maybe Kilvert was feeling guilty that every single person he quoted has a career in sustainable energy). Glenn Platt — by the way, is not just “Energy Director” but is described at The Conversation as leading the Energy Transformed Flagship research centre at CSIRO. So that’s four green academics, no one from the coal industry, no skeptics, no other engineers, and no one involved in managing a grid.

[...]

Renewable energy pollutes London but what’s a bit of smog if you’re saving the world?

Managing the global climate is a tough thing. Sacrifices are required.

The last 100 years has been a success story of cleaner air in London. But air pollution is on the rise again. The fear of carbon is partly responsible for over a million people returning to burning “renewable wood” instead of clean gas and turning around a century long trend. Welcome to the “progressive” 21st century. Too bad about about the dusty lungs and razed trees.

As much as a third of small particle pollution is due to wood fires.

Wood-burning stoves are increasingly popular in middle-class homes and hotels, with 1.5 million across Britain and 200,000 sold annually. Old fireplaces have also been opened up in many houses and can cause greater pollution than stoves. Wood burning is most popular in the southeast, where it is done in 16 per cent of households compared with less than 5 per cent in northern England and Scotland.

Between a quarter and a third of all fine particle pollution in London comes from domestic wood burning. During a period of very high air pollution in January, it contributed half the toxic emissions in some areas of the [...]

Within 5 minutes a wave of hot water systems switch on in SA adding 250MW of demand to the grid

We are creatures of habit. Look at the spike caused at 11:32pm as something like 27,000 hot water tanks in South Australia suddenly switch on to use cheaper off-peak electricity. This spike is entirely due to pricing plans. It’s entirely avoidable too, but at least it’s predictable. “Scheduled”.

This peak, allegedly, is only a problem if SA is “islanded” — meaning if it can’t rely on the coal generators in Victoria.

Yesterday people were asking why the South Australian demand was peaking at 1am (and why two hours were strangely missing from that graph). “Hot water” is the answer (at least to the first part).

SA Hot water systems add sudden 250MW of demand at 11:30pm. Graph.

This graph comes from the AEMO report in Feb 2016. What follows is their electro-nitty-gritty:

Based on previous experience, and as demonstrated in a separation event on 1 November 2015, maintaining the SA power system in a secure operating state is challenging if there are large changes to the supply-demand balance during a period of islanding.

There is a risk of automatic under frequency load shedding if SA is being operated as an island during the hot water demand peak, [...]

Rooftop solar destroying baseload profitability and proud of it

What other heavily subsidized industry brags about its ability to provide a product for one quarter of the time it’s needed? Vale sunny-day-solar!

Pick a day, an hour, and what are the chances solar will be there for you? A lot less than one in four, because last Monday’s peak in South Australia was an all time record. Every day in the last year was worse.

And so much for cheap… the price when solar power peaked was still close to $50/MWh. Compare that to most of the years of the national electricity market operating when average prices were $30/Mwh.

The price dip at 6am (the black-line bottomless gully), has nothing to do with solar, but was caused by wind power. Far from being useful, essential, or productive, solar and wind power are playing havoc with a normal market, destroying the chance for cheap, reliable energy to find a place. As long as we force the market to accept this non-dispatchable  supply, we are actively punishing reliable power. What investor in reliable energy would look at this and head to South Australia?”

 

Giles Parkinson was excited at Reneweconomy: Rooftop solar provides 48% of South Australia power, pushing grid [...]

Taxpayers give $300m to Saudi billionaire for solar plant that makes 2% of old dying coal plant’s power

It will only take 50 plants like this, and $15 billion spare dollars, to replace the Liddell coal station (8,000GWh), now slated for closure in 2022.

$300m handout to Saudi tycoon for solar farm

Australians are set to pay $300 million in subsidies to an outback solar farm owned by a Saudi Arabian billionaire in a new test of the federal government’s looming energy reforms, escalating a dispute over whether to cut the handouts to keep coal-fired power stations alive.

AGL’s controversial Liddell coal power station in the NSW Hunter Valley generates 50 times as much electricity as the Moree solar farm in the state’s north, which stands to gain big subsidies from households from higher electricity bills until 2030…

But we need more chinese-built glass panels that make green weather-controlling electrons.

Lucky solar power is so competitive. Look at the money roll…

The Moree solar farm generates 150,000 megawatt hours of electricity a year, about 0.08 per cent of the 200 terawatt hours produced on the national electricity market every year. The project is forecast to collect about $50m in payments over the next four years and $90m in the following decade under the existing [...]

Australians forced to pay $60b for expensive “green” electricity

The cost of Going Green, The Australian, Cover,  September 1, 2017.

The Australian calculates the total bill will be in the order of $60b for green electricity.

It’s not like we could have done something better with that.

Read it all (if you can), then write to your MP and Senator. Ask why — if they are serious about helping reduce CO2 — we don’t have a USC coal plant like so many other countries, and why we don’t have nuclear power. Then ask why, if they are concerned about the poor, about health, about education, we are wasting $60b dollars to try to change the weather in 2100 that we could be spending on these critical areas right now?

Taxpayers hit with a $60bn power bill

The Australian,  Adam Creighton

Taxpayers will have paid more than $60 billion through federal renewable energy subsidies by 2030, about twice what the crumbling car industry received over 15 years and enough to build about 10 large nuclear reactors.

The government’s large and small-scale renewable energy ­targets, which will compel energy retailers to buy 33 terawatt hours of wind, solar and hydro energy by 2030, will [...]

Victoria plans to reduce electricity prices by copying state with most expensive supply in the world

In a genius move, Victoria, which has “soaring” electricity prices, now announces plan to copy South Australia where people pay more for electricity than anywhere:

The Andrews government this morning unveiled a new renewable energy target with a commitment to power up to 25 per cent of the state from renewables by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025.

The government has backed the construction of two large scale solar farms in regional Victoria which will provide another 140MW to the state’s supply, and has set up a reverse energy auction system to bring forward an additional 650MW to the state’s supply.

Meanwhile the trams will run on sunshine.

Legislation creates savings, how?

Victorian households will allegedly each save around $30 annually on power bills under the new plan, while medium sized businesses have been projected to save up to $2400 a year under the legislation which will be introduced to parliament today.

It’s almost like Victoria plans to make electricity from legislation (hey, it’s renewable, and will never run out). By making electricity shockingly expensive, Government ministers can talk of “savings”, even though prices will be far higher than the average price [...]