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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Robbins Island Mega wind farm: killing birds and baseload power at 300 kilometers per hour

After nearly two weeks the ABC carrier pigeons finally brought the news that Bob Brown, former Greens leader, is campaigning against this gigantic wind farm — the $1.6b one in NW Tasmania that wants to be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Could it be the ABC doesn’t want to admit they were wrong too, pushing wind power non stop for years?

Look how erratic that wind is — 90% one day, zero the next

Tom Quirk looked at the nearest wind farm to Robbins Island, and it’s a fitful machine (see that graph below). Worse, it fails in synchrony with most wind farms in Australia. Thus exacerbating the unstable, fickle supply of wind energy.

 Tom Quirk predicts the demise of another coal plant

Quirk was Deputy Chairman of VENCorp, which managed the transmission and wholesale natural gas market and system planning for the electricity market in Victoria, Australia.

A wind farm on Robbins Island will simply extend the variations in power supplied to the mainland while making no difference to the correlations of wind through the states in the wholesale market. Thus more backup would be required from gas and hydro sources. Loy Yang B with 1,000 MW would [...]

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.”

 

[...]

Forget Megawatts, ABC invents new unit of power — “size of Tasmania”

Outback couple build solar farm to prove fringe-of-grid power generation needs

Building a $14 million solar farm is an expensive way to send a message about electricity prices, but Doug and Lyn Scouller said they were left with few options.

In Normanton, 500 kilometres north of Mount Isa in north-west Queensland, the Scoullers built a solar farm big enough to power an area almost twice the size of Tasmania, in a move to prove to stakeholders the benefit of positioning power generation sites at the end of the grid.

In old fashioned terms, the “farm” produces five-megawatts. But yesterday, Tasmania didn’t use 5MW it used 1,072 MegaWatts. So this solar farm would have supplied 0.2% of the houses and businesses on an area “twice the size of Tasmania”. The only Tasmania-sized-areas that would be functioning on 5MW are in the empty desert or the Great Southern Ocean.

And we wonder why some Australians think solar power is a no brainer. If this little farm can supply 120,000 km2, we just need another 60 like it, and we could do the whole continent!

ABC journalists are not good with numbers. If only they had a billion dollars a year [...]

ABC renewables fantasy island “farewells diesel” (except for 40% of its power)

Flinders Island is in the Bass Strait North of Tasmania.

If there is a heaven for renewables, this island should be it. But instead, even on Flinders Island, renewables aren’t cheaper than diesel generators. This is a dismal reality, yet the ABC promotes it as a fantasy poster-isle, interviewing only vested or “no idea” people, asking no critical questions, doing no counter research and telling us renewables will be “more reliable” and implying they are cheaper too. The ABC is a three-million-dollar-a-day advertising outlet for other government agencies. Instead of serving Australians it appears to be there to help shake down the taxpayer.

ABC renewables hype strikes again: Rhiannon Shine reports Flinders Island as a showcase of the brave new renewables world. Let’s translate that spin and see just how pathetic it is. If anywhere was going to be totally renewable, Flinders Island would be it — a first world island, tiny population, massive subsidies, no access to cheap coal or gas power, government support at every level and placed in a handy wind stream known as “the Roaring Forties”.  Yeah! This is one of the last places in the first world (short of Antarctic stations) where renewables [...]

Climate control gone wrong: Tasmanian Hydro seeded clouds before disastrous floods

Greedy Green Hubris gone wrong? It took months of bad choices to achieve this Gold-Star Moment in Bad Management:

Tasmania’s state-owned Hydro-electric power generator could face legal action for damages after admitting it cloud-seeded in or near water catchments the day ­before disastrous flooding, although heavy rain was forecast.

Tasmania  shut their only fossil fuel power plant in August last year, and relied on renewable energy and one sole Basslink electricity cable to mainland Australia. The cable was supposed to be a back up supply but was bringing in 40% of Tasmania’s electricity, and it broke in December. But a green and greedy approach in Tasmania meant that the state had already run its dams down to 26% levels by selling too much electricity to the mainland at high “renewable” subsidized prices. That was a low level at the start of summer, normally a drier season in Tasmania. After the Basslink cable broke, the dam levels fell to a precipitous 13%, so fast that the green state had to bring in diesel generators just to keep the lights on. They also switched back on the Tamar Gas plant in late January. So much for being the “100% [...]

Oil giant Venezula, Green giant Tasmania – both running out of electricity

Venezuela Shuts down

In a land where energy makes up 25% of their GDP  and most of their exports –  it takes some management to run out of electricity.  Apparently the land of oil needs some fossil fuel generation.

Venezuela to Shut Down for a Week to Cope With Electricity Crisis

The government has rationed electricity and water supplies across the country for months and urged citizens to avoid waste as Venezuela endures a prolonged drought that has slashed output at hydroelectric dams.

The socialist solution? Blame the weather:

The ruling socialists have blamed the shortage on the El Nino weather phenomena and “sabotage” by their political foes, while critics cite a lack of maintenance and poor planning.

And hope for help from heaven:

“We’re hoping, God willing, rains will come,” Maduro said in a national address Saturday. “Look, the saving is more than 40 percent when these measures are taken. We’re reaching a difficult place that we’re trying to manage.”

Looks like Venezuela will be doing its bit for the Paris agreement then.

h/t Willie

The Green state — Tasmania — has an electricity crisis and is now running on dirty diesel

Due [...]