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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How much wind power can a grid handle?

Could Australia end up with synchronous failure across states?

When wind power is maxing out it’s bad for grid stability — it pushes out the reliable spinning inertia — the massive rolling turbines that relentlessly pull the grid back to 50Hz. Here’s a graph of SA and Victoria wind farms last month, and you can see that for all the thousand kilometers that might separate them, they are controlled by much larger common weather patterns.

Wind power in South Australia and Victoria often both max out or crash together.

Tom Quirk looks out our national grid in light of the SA blackout debacle. The message from South Australia is that wind power does not make for nice stable and synchronous grids. As I mentioned before the whole idea of alternating current (or AC electricity) is about the exact push pull of electrons at a set frequency. The grid lives and dies by its frequency. We can’t add a 53Hz current to a 47Hz one and get a 50 Hz average. When different frequencies meet we get interference patterns –  a mess of spikes and dips.  Say hello to Lumpy Electricity. Say goodbye to your computer.

Indeed when the frequency [...]

SA Blackout: Three towers, six windfarms and 12 seconds to disaster

Finally, the gritty info we’ve been waiting for: The Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) preliminary report. The message here is of how a combination of both transmission towers failing and probably the auto-shut-off of wind farms combined in 12 seconds to crash the South Australian system. It’s looking awfully bad for the wind industry. The AEMO pins the crash on the sudden reduction from the wind generators, but stops short of declaring why they dropped power so suddenly. Was it the auto-shut-offs, lightning strikes, a software glitch,  turbine failure, or was it a key transmission line that broke?  Reneweconomy is about the last-man-standing trying to defend the wind industry in Australia. Giles Parkinson argues it was the third transmission line that took out some wind generation.

Even if the third transmission tower took out two “farms”, the fragility of wind-dominated grids is on display. And above and beyond this, South Australian electricity is a management debacle. The only question is, which mistake was the worst: Is this is epic indulgence of running the wind farms flat out in a storm only to trigger a blackout with their auto shut offs? There’s a compelling case, but there are tenths or less of [...]

German environmentalists say renewables are destroying their landscapes, killing nature, wasting money

 

….

Pierre Gosselin reports that environmental experts, professors, and some green leaders in Germany are fed up at the deforestation, the fraud and the futility. They are protesting at the waste of money in the name of ecology as trees and birds get destroyed, electricity prices skyrocket, but nothing gets achieved for the climate. One has put together a book titled: “Sacrificed Landscapes – How the Energiewende Is Destroying our Landscapes.”

They might mistakenly think there is a man-made crisis in the climate but they are honest players, and they realize that real environmental causes are being used as a guise for a planned economy and self serving corruption:

Now that Germany’s Energiewende has been in full swing for a number of years, many leading environmentalists are in a state of shock as huge areas of the country are being deforested and landscapes disfigured to make way for hundreds of wind turbines.

Environmentalist Georg Etscheit is a regular contributor at Germany’s leading climate alarmism site, Klimaretter, and he as well, has had enough. Etscheit will be releasing a book in early November.

Wind farms dominate the landscape in Germany. From the promotional video.

The book contains [...]

The South Australian black out — A grid on the edge. There were warnings that renewables made it vulnerable

Australians are going to be talking about this for weeks. Indeed, the SA Blackout is the stuff of legend.

The Greens are blaming coal (what else?) for causing bad storms and blackouts. Forget that Queensland gets hit with cyclones all the time and the whole state grid doesn’t break. Some greenies are also raging against “the politicization” of the storms. Yes, Indeedy. Go tell that to Will Steffen.

We are not being told the whole story. We do know that South Australia has the highest emphasis on renewables in the world. It also has a fragile electricity network, and wild price spikes to boot. (Coincidence?) The death of a few transmission towers should not knock out a whole state, nor should it take so long to recover from. The storm struck worst north of Adelaide near Port Augusta but the juicy interconnector from Victoria runs in from the south, and goes right up past Adelaide and most of the population. Why couldn’t the broken parts of the system be isolated?

Digging around I find ominous warnings that while the lightning and winds probably caused the blackout, the state of the South Australian grid appeared to be teetering on the brink, [...]

Entire state of South Australia without electricity as storm hits

South Australia, population 1.7 million, has no electricity

Tweeted by the Country Fire Service @CFSAlerts

A storm hit, possibly the worst for 50 years. Winds of 90km/hr gusting to 140km/hr. Reports are that everyone is being told to use their radio’s and stay off the streets. The blackout struck at 4.30pm AEST. UPDATE: Power is coming back to some, but questions are being asked about the state which has more renewable energy than any other in the world. See updates below. It sure looks like a management disaster. Want to build subs by torchlight?

How long before someone blames climate change?

—————–

UPDATE#1: Bingo. Just 5 hours for Will Steffen to claim it’s “driven by climate change”:

9:55pm “Storms like the one which knocked out the entire South Australian electricity network are occurring in a warmer and wetter atmosphere, the Climate Council’s Professor Will Steffen said. “These conditions, driven by climate change, are likely increasing the intensity of storms like the one in South Australia,” he said. “Australians are being affected right now by climate change. “The atmosphere is packing much more energy than 70 years ago… This is a prelude to a disturbing future.

Nevermind that [...]

Wind power sucks money and electricity in South Australia

On a good day South Australia has more than 40% renewable energy. On a bad day, it’s -2 or something. Wind towers suck in so many ways.  They can even draw more power out than they bring in and best of all — their peak electron sucking power comes just when the state needs electricity the most.

Business blows up as turbines suck more power than they generate

The sapping of power by the turbines during calm weather on July 7 at the height of the ­crisis, which has caused a price surge, shows just how unreliable and ­intermittent wind power is for a state with a renewable ­energy mix of more than 40 per cent.

South Australia has more “renewable” wind power than anywhere else in Australia. They also have the highest electricity bills, the highest unemployment, the largest number of “failures to pay” and disconnections. Coincidence?

The emergency measures are needed to ease punishing costs for South Australian industry as National Electricity Market (NEM) prices in the state have frequently surged above $1000 a megawatt hour this month and at one point on Tuesday hit the $14,000MWh maximum price.

Complaints from business about the extreme prices – in normal times they are [...]

That’s a 97% consensus at Shell that renewables are not profitable

The Top Ten solar companies don’t pay any dividends

 Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden says he is wary of switching completely to renewables as it may threaten the very survival of the company.

Amazing that the oil and gas giant Shell got its shareholders to vote on whether they should put their profits towards becoming a 100% renewables corporation.

Major investors have been applying pressure on Shell to increase focus on renewables in order to mitigate climate change risks.

97 percent of Shell shareholders at its annual meeting on Tuesday rejected a resolution to invest profits from fossil fuels to become a renewable energy company. The Anglo-Dutch firm had previously said it was against the proposal.

So despite twenty years of relentless spin that “Clean Green Energy” is the future, 97% of investors know it isn’t.

Once again, the green sector have overplayed their hand. Shell‘s been good to them, pandering to the fear campaign for years, donating to their causes, and lobbying for carbon credits (because even and oil and gas company can get extra profits from big-government gravy into “sequestration” and biofuels.) But the green activists were not content. Too much [...]

It’s “irresponsible” to research health effects of wind-farms says Prof Chapman, USyd

Welcome to the cult of climate control where it’s responsible to spend $10 billion of Taxpayer dollars to change the weather with windfarms and such, but it’s irresponsible to spend $3.3 million to check if that harms anyone.

I hear that in houses kilometers away from a wind tower, the water in a glass can ripple, along with the water in the toilet bowl. Obviously since humans have no water molecules it couldn’t possibly …

Is it news that this research will finally be done? Not according to the ABC where the headline is about how much money is being wasted.

Millions in funding for research into wind farm illness criticized

IMOGEN BRENNAN: Sheep farmer Donald Thomas has lived near Waubra in Victoria for more than 50 years.

Since wind turbines were erected nearby about seven years ago, he says he and his family have had headaches, pressure in their ears and many sleepless nights.

DONALD THOMAS: It’s extremely frustrating. But the thing is, what the point they’re missing is the fact that yes, it is affecting us and it’s extremely unpleasant and so many of my neighbours have actually had to leave. It’s [...]

Renewables industry collapsing in Europe — still a $329 billion subsidised global cash cow

The EU has led the way to convert to “clean energy”. But the subsidies  ran out.  Investment in Europe in renewables is plummeting:

Thanks to Bloomberg,  Euan Mearns and h/t to GWPF for that graph.

Europe’s once world-beating clean technology industry has fallen into a rapid decline, with investment in low-carbon energy last year plummeting to its lowest level in a decade.

Michael Liebreich, chairman of the BNEF board, said the global financial crisis and its aftermath were to blame only in part. “Europe’s failure to respond [to the crisis was a factor and] global investors, scared about the survival of the euro, had plenty of reason to hesitate about putting money into euro-dominated clean energy projects,” he said.

What bad luck – it’s nearly, almost, really competitive. Any day now:

Liebreich … “The tragedy is that Europe lost its renewable energy mojo just as costs were plummeting to the point where green power is fully competitive without subsidies in more and more parts of the world.”

Shame investors are too stupid to see how renewables are going to make lots of money. Only governments have that kind of vision, [...]

Australians don’t want to pay more for Green-power. What was a pitiful 1% of the grid, shrank by half.

What could possibly go wrong? According to badly done, ambiguous surveys, everyone in Australia “loves” green energy, and believes in climate change. But according to actual payments, hardly anyone wants to cough up any cash for it, (unless the government is waving a big stick). Poor Greenpower appears to have gotten its business advice from the ABC, or the CSIRO.

How much of the Australian grid is voluntarily green? Would that be 28% (our target for 2030)? Nope. It’s not even five percent. Instead a mere one electron in every 200 is voluntarily “green”. It’s a pathetic half a percent.

All Australians are free to pay an extra 5 or 6 cents per kilowatt to get their energy “green” from GreenPower. But even at the height of the 2008 -Gore-Rudd era only 1% of all the electricity was bought up by green consumers willing to voluntarily pay more for “clean” energy. Since then, though the volunteers have left in droves.

But I’m sure the Greens are happy. They always wanted a free market solution.

Speaking of free markets, I say let’s have more. How about we allow people the choice to buy dirty energy too.  I want pure coal fired [...]