JoNova

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


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Books

Snowy 2.0, twice the cost, half the value, wastes a quarter of the energy, and wrecks the environment

The Snowy 2.0 Scheme is a $10 billion bandaid to make up for Wind and Solar’s unreliability. Hydro storage is an anti-generator that destroys 20-30% of the electricity fed into it. It turns out it also destroys three quarters of the money fed into it, and some of the environment as well. What’s not to like?

by Steve Hunter. h/t StopTheseThings

Today a Who’s Who of Australian engineering are scathing about Snowy 2.0 in The Australian

The mammoth pumped Hydro scheme is a $10 billion dollar disaster that will never pay for itself, is already being superceded by battery technology, and will scar the land, infect pristine alpine lakes, risk critically endangered species, damage fishing grounds, and breach the Biosecurity Act in a National park. (Where are the environmentalists, Tim Flannery? Does anyone care?)

Pumped Hydro doesn’t even work on a small scale. Projects like it are being junked around the country before they get built and there has been only one other pumped hydro project “committed” in the last 20 years.

On the revenue side, the output of Snowy 2.0 from 2025 to 2042 is now forecast to be less than half the business case estimate, [...]

In China severe floods, mud, hail, raise concerns about the Three Gorges Dam

 Something to watch

Spare a thought for people living in China. There have been 31 days of rain, leading to mass flooding, mudslides, a few minor earthquakes, and some ominous warnings like in #Chongqing city, where people have been told they need to be “above the third floor” and to prepare for floods that might reach 193m (presumably “elevation” not depth of water). There is chatter on social media ( and a few news outlets) wondering if the ThreeGorgesDam is about to break.  The chatter has been building for a week and it’s so serious that Chinese government have officially said it’s nonsense. Despite the awesome potential of a failure (or even a serious flood) there is surprisingly small discussion in the media or even on Twitter. Almost like the CCP doesn’t want it discussed?

In the last hours the normal inflow data for the dam has stopped being publicly updated. “Just a glitch”.

As Kate says at SmallDeadAnimals. It’s probably nothing.

The Epoch Times: Floods in China reach biblical proportions

Rains have lasted over 30 days and are continuing. And many other disasters are hitting at once including tornadoes, hailstorms, torrents, mudslides, and earthquakes — in [...]

Quick! Tell the PM: Pumped Hydro is not a “generator”. It’s a $2 – $4b energy chewing “renewables” bandaid.

No more excuses for sloppy, inaccurate language. How can you run a country with falsehoods?

Hydropower is a generator. Pumped Hydro is giant appliance that sucks electricity and gives you back some later. In a system with reliable baseload generators it is superfluous, redundant, and entirely unnecessary. It is an expense we don’t have to have, didn’t need, and don’t want to pay for. It can only make things more expensive than the system we used to have. Not only do we have to pay for the giant infrastructure, every day it operates we also throw away 20 – 30% of the electrons (so to speak) that go through it.

Scott Morrison says it’s only $1.4 b from the taxpayer, but the total cost may be $4 billion, and as Judith Sloan says, someone’s got to pay — if not through taxes, it will be added to electricity prices. The Snowy Corp may “self fund” it (a deceptively nice way to put it), but they won’t be donating the money.

And the Snowy Corp couldn’t “self-fund” it from electricity bills if they weren’t already so ridiculously high.  If we had enough coal power to keep electricity as inexpensive as it [...]

The Battery of the Nation disconnected for two months – Basslink cable inoperable again

For the last year everyone has been calling Tasmania the “Battery of the Nation” — Turnbull, Hydro Tasmania, government departments, the ever hopeful green press. It’s an official plan. The bright idea is to add “Pumped Hydro Storage” to the large dams already on the island state, boosting the only reliable renewable type of energy. But right now, as far as mainland Australia goes, Tassie is a No-Volt Battery.

Even Hydro Tasmania is calling itself the “Battery of the Nation”

The dirty secret is just how fragile the link is. Not only did it break for six spectacular months in 2016 — leaving the “green” state flying in squads of diesels – but its now quietly out of action again and it’s projected to be out for two months all up. The 290 km undersea cable known as Basslink is the second longest of its type in the world. It broke on 24 March 2018. It is not expected back in action til May 31. It was an accident of routine maintenance at one end.

“The equipment was damaged by a third-party contractor during routine works. There is no damage to the cable itself.”

 

[...]