Forget momentum for renewables. Five of the G7 nations increased their coal use

Spot the contradictions. Oxfam want us to believe we can be “coal free” in France, the UK and Italy by 2023. Then they tell us that most of these richest of rich nations are already trying and failing to do that. They are using more coal.

Then there is a nifty graph below, which seems to suggest that in these same nations solar is cheaper than coal. If solar is so cheap then, we don’t need any schemes, markets or subsidies. Right?

Welcome to reality — even the richest greenest nations need more coal:

Five of the world’s seven richest countries have increased their coal use in the last five years despite demanding that poor countries slash their carbon emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change, new research shows.

Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan and France together burned 16% more coal in 2013 than 2009 and are planning to further increase construction of coal-fired power stations. Only the US and Canada of the G7 countries meeting on Monday in Berlin have reduced coal consumption since the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009.

The US has reduced its coal consumption by 8% largely because of fracking for shale gas. Overall, the G7 countries reduced coal consumption by less than 1% between 2009-2013, the Oxfam research shows.

A tad ambitious?

The UK could feasibly stop burning coal for its energy supply by 2023, according to Oxfam’s report.

….  and in the US and Canada by 2030

There is a reason Africa is poor and Africans want to come to the West.

The briefing paper comes as nearly 200 countries meet in Bonn ahead of crunch climate talks in Paris later this year, and shows that G7 coal plants emit twice as much CO2 as the entire African continent annually, and 10 times as much as the 48 least developed countries put together.

 I don’t think this is the message Oxfam wanted to share

Read the fine print. You might think this is a map of countries where solar is cheaper than conventional electricity.

Oxfam, graph, cost of solar compared to conventional

The graph comes from Deutche Bank, the bank that cares about the environment.

These green colored countries have “regions” where solar is cheaper. How big is a region? Does that mean if solar makes sense in Tibooburra and East Widgiemooltha all 7 million square kilometers of Australia gets the deep green treatment on this map? If a country has expensive electricity (making it even easier for solar to compete) they get the mid-green paint, though they’d probably prefer cheap electrons.

But this graph is not entirely useless. We can assume Oxfam/Deutsche Bank  were dedicated about finding every region where solar could possibly be said to be competitive, so the green color code is meaningless, but the grey areas, they tell us a lot. We know where solar is probably a waste of money.

There is no region of Canada, Greenland, Russia, Korea, or Scotland and England where solar makes economic sense. We can forget most of Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia as well.


Oxfam, Let them Eat Coal (2015)

8.7 out of 10 based on 57 ratings

97 comments to Forget momentum for renewables. Five of the G7 nations increased their coal use

  • #

    I think it’s worth mentioning that conservatives like myself are maligned when it’s claimed we’re against solar power. We’re perfectly in favour of it where it makes sense. On boats, for example, and other places not connected to the grid. If you want solar, and you’re willing to pay for it, knock yourself out.
    What we oppose is its use when it doesn’t make sense. When it’s economically irrational. If technological advances make it sensible to adopt solar, we’ll adopt it with great glee.
    The eco-loon plan to tax people into conformity with their solar agenda is not a case where solar makes sense. It’s a fake market, with fake results, and inefficient allocation of resources. The sensible thing is to get rid of the eco-loons, and their sycophant political accomplices too.
    The same can be said for our attitude toward the environment as well. We’re in favour of it when it makes sense, and opposed to it when it doesn’t. Of course, pretty much everything from and including ‘Silent Spring’ has been in the ‘doesn’t make sense’ category. Incorrect facts, illogic, special pleading, irrationality, appeal to irrelevant authorities and economic and scientific ignorance characterises all the green literature.


    • #

      Well said John, I’ll also add that anything touched by the left becomes the kryptonite for conservatives in their CAGW propaganda machine.

      A conservative doctor could find a cure for cancer only to be accused of using the funds from big oil to achieve this such is the blind inanity of the left.


      • #

        Well that fits well with Maggie Thatchers comments about socialism is all good, until you run out of otehr peoples money….

        She certainly knew how to deliver a resonant & stinging backhander, with a truck load of truth in it….


    • #

      That’s true.

      Conservatives generally look at what’s new and assess if it offers benefits in the overall scheme of things, as well as long term consequences. They’ll only apply/implement if it offers tangible benefits. This is why they are superior at managing and offer a stable governance to a nation (which is good in terms of economics). The unfortunate thing about Modern Conservatives is that they compromise too much. They play the Left’s game. Their advisors are, to put it frankly, completely mis-informed and incorrect in their assessment of the voting people. ie: Compromise Conservative values to “capture the Centre”. Nonsense! All one has to do is demonstrate Conservative values and benefits in the real world! If people can see tangible benefits, they wouldn’t bother considering to vote for other political parties. Conservatives have a good message, they just suck at promoting it!

      The worst thing about Conservatives is that they let the Left get away with too much. Only a few hold them to account. (And they are rare).

      The Modern Left? Well, they change for the sake of changing! New! Fresh! Trendy! Popular! Progress! “Moving Forward!” …Announce things on Twitter and Facebook! They don’t even bother with testing/assessing/considering long term consequences. They believe all their ideas work because it works in their mind! In our recent case (Rudd/Gillard/Rudd + Greens alliance), they don’t even bother setting money aside for their promises! They’re going to do something whether you like it or not! How are they going to pay for it? Never mind that! They’ll get it from somewhere! (Australian Superannuation is like a $2+ trillion industry. It is a huge money pot in the eyes of the Left. This is why ALP+Greens constantly tinkered with it during their final 18 months).

      Just think about the illogical way they spend taxpayer’s money. (This is what Wayne Swan and Penny Wong did)…Use economic models to create projections. Based on those projections, spend the money. When the money that actually comes in doesn’t match the computer projections, blame the lack of money coming in! And then at Budget time, tinker and tamper with the numbers so it’ll look like we’ll be heading back to a surplus. (You’ll laugh at all the assumptions Swan made to achieve those numbers!). Then announce we’re heading back to a surplus when everyone can see we are clearly NOT.

      Overall, its the Left’s way or the highway! And if you disagree? They will unleash emotional bullying on you and call you names! Sexist! Racist! Homophobe! Xenophobe! Skeptic! Denier! Misogynist! Etc. Etc.

      The Left don’t compromise. They keep going and going until they get their way. They will wear people down, because they know the average Jane/Joe will eventually give up…The worst thing about them is that they can look straight in people’s faces, tell them the sky is purple, and people believe them! This is why they can get away with telling people “they care” about “working class”, indigenous, etc; when they really don’t. (Working class, Indigenous, black, minorities, women, gays, the poor, etc …are categories created by them in order to give them Political Identities and to divide people of a Nation! To pit women against men. To pit people’s colour against one another. To pit poor against rich. To give people victim status. Victim status allows one to justify poor behaviour towards others and get “free stuff” from Govt.)

      Conservatives are concerned with doing good. (Good results). As a result, you can see the money they spend is focused.
      The Left are concerned with seeming to do good. (Good intentions). We’ve all experienced how they spend our money! Its nonsensical and all over the place!

      Conservatives are concerned with people growing their own pie. (Equal opportunity. Not equal outcomes. You are responsible for your own success.)
      The Left are concerned with taking someone else’s pie and dividing it up. (“Equality” is their word. Its fundamentally about envy of others who have more. Change rules to help “political victims”.)

      When Conservatives get it wrong, they apologise and correct the problem.
      When the Left get it wrong, they offer a non-apology, play it down, hope people forget, blame it on the Conservatives, or introduce new policies that make things worse! Its NEVER their fault! They are faultless!

      The Left’s power is that they use emotion of humanity. They can claim all sorts of things and people will believe them. Of course, using emotion can only get you so far. When one achieves power through manipulating other people’s emotion, they don’t stay for long. Because once one attains power, good governance requires competence and rational thinking. Because rational thinking leads to decisions that offer optimal results for the people.

      The biggest difference between the political Conservative vs Left is the behaviour of the people that follow or practice the views of each side.

      => The Left behave like they can get away with anything. They will make all sorts of claims. They don’t need to fact-check, refer, dig, analyse, etc. Its outright academically lazy behaviour. They claim they want to debate, but when challenged to, they back down. Anyone see Al Gore honestly debate a skeptic in an open forum? They don’t want to debate merits of their ideas. The most radical ones will suddenly turn up on Conservative websites to troll, antagonise, and provoke. (I tracked one interesting character who, on their Twitter page, gloated that he enjoys doing it to Conservatives and wears it like a badge of honour). The extreme ones love chaos and anarchy. (Just look at the groups who took over Occupy Wall Street. That started off with honest intentions and protested about crony-ism and corruption in the financial sector. Then it just went nuts once organised radical groups jumped into it.)

      => The Conservative is different. They want to get something done with minimal screw-ups. To sit down, look at the problem. To look at the data, analyse, run computer models with the correct assumptions or account for details not found in the model. To openly debate the merits of ideas, etc. To make sure tangible benefits can be attained. The extreme ones take things a little too far in strictness. They need to cop a chill pill; need to relax or they’ll get a heart attack!

      The Conservative thinks the Left are wrong.
      The Left thinks the Conservative are evil…And have no problems in behaving poorly towards them.

      Side note:

      You can tell the Australian political Left pretends to care by their own recent behaviour.

      (1) When the polls indicate they are popular, they have no problems in saying “No!” to everything without a care. They are willing to economically hurt the whole country if it leads them back into power. (They really don’t care for the long term consequences of Debt and Deficit.)

      (2) When the polls indicate people like Abbott over Shorten, it tells the Left that there’s a good chance Abbott will stay on for a 2nd term, possibly more. All of a sudden, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen is willing to compromise ($3 billion budget saving) and the Greens are willing to talk! (This all happened last week!)

      Everything for the Left is politics.

      When Abbott says “No! No! No!” in Opposition, he’s doing it because a policy doesn’t make economic sense. (Mining Tax that doesn’t generate revenue, etc.)
      When Shorten says “No! No! No!” in Opposition, he’s doing it because he hopes to kill economic recovery (a LNP strength) and to bring his side back to power.

      The only Conservative I really like is Scott Morrison. He says what he believes in and won’t apologise for it. As well, he lays his policies out straight and direct. There is very little spin and no hesitation. Even the National Press Club don’t treat him the same way they treat Abbott or Hockey! They know Morrison doesn’t take crap and gets the job done…Especially when the Left claimed it cannot be done! (See the results when he was Immigration Minister).

      And what does the Left do? They wallow about how good it would have been if Rudd and Gillard just got along! (On our dime! Thanks ABC! Thanks for reminding us of the chaotic nature of this generation of ALP!)


    • #
      Rud Istvan

      Right you are. For some thoughts on that at mostly grid scales, see our recent post Solar Grid Parity at Climate Etc.


  • #

    In reporting on “Renewable energy ‘simply WON’T WORK’: Top Google engineers” in 2014, the Register wrote this:

    Koningstein and Fork [two Google engineers] aren’t alone. Whenever somebody with a decent grasp of maths and physics looks into the idea of a fully renewables-powered civilised future for the human race with a reasonably open mind, they normally come to the conclusion that it simply isn’t feasible. Merely generating the relatively small proportion of our energy that we consume today in the form of electricity is already an insuperably difficult task for renewables: generating huge amounts more on top to carry out the tasks we do today using fossil-fuelled heat isn’t even vaguely plausible.

    Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear. All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race.

    As a side note, they wrote in something called the Bootnote (on page 2)

    *The Piper Alpha gas rig explosion of 1988 on its own caused three times as many deaths as the nuclear power industry has in its entire history. Bizarrely though, no nations ceased using gas.

    What is disturbing about the full Deutche Bank report–written by two guys–under a section at the end called “Supply” is that Deutche Bank didn’t bother to compute the costs of “steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage, etc.” They only mention polysilicon, and even then there’s a shy paragraph about it that says “Supply Demand: Could Be Tight.”

    Nor did they compute the political ramifications of China owning 95% or the world’s rare earth supply, and steel. China reined in rare earth exports in 2013 sharply, official policy. What if China says in 2018, Hey! we only have enough for ourselves and Russia (BRICS). What then?

    Finally, we’re going to let a banker with vested interests (lot of government money to get their hands on) make these determinations?


  • #

    So… My American bretheren and I apparently pay too much for electricity, along with our friends to the south?

    If we’re already paying an artificially inflated price, then I’d have to question the rationale behind most of western Europe paying a ‘fair’ price, when they pay roughly two to three times what we do per kilowatt-hour.

    I really have to question whoever came up with this graphic.


  • #
    Kevin Hearle

    Deutche Bank should not publish graphics that misled the public it will not enhance their reputation. Solar in New Zealand farms has a place on our outlying Islands and other specialist functions but in no way can it compete with grid base load power even at the high rates we pay for electricity.


  • #

    How can solar possibly be economically viable in Ireland???


  • #
    Mike S.

    Based on a first scan of the Deutche Bank report, a few things stand out:

    1: The beginning of the report specifically refers to “unsubsidized rooftop solar electricity”. Uncertain how or even if these numbers can be applied to large-scale generation projects.

    2: They use the “levelized cost of electricity”, which is the total cost investment divided by total energy output over the lifetime of the system. Comparing figures 36 and 38 shows they assume 1400 hours sunlight (probably annual equivalent, meaning an average of 16% capacity), so if a $2.90/W system has $0.173 LCOE they’re assuming a 12-year lifespan. The cost breakdown in figure 39 does not appear to include any operations and/or maintenance costs (unless I’m misunderstanding what “BoS” is).

    3: Figure 43 shows that their price estimates do not include the cost of batteries, which – by their own estimates – would almost double the cost of a system. Without them, the system would have to be larger (at higher LCOE) to meet demands during times of low insolation, and that’s without considering power loss on overcast days, etc.

    4: “Using conservative assumptions and no incentives, our model indicates that the incremental cost of storage will decrease from ~14c/kWh today to ~2c/kWh within the next five years.” I leave it to the more knowledgable as to whether a seven-fold reduction in battery storage cost in five years really reflects “conservative assumptions”, I honestly have no idea.


    • #
      Mike S.

      BTW, might be good for someone who knows the industry lingo better than me to check my figures on point #2 above to make sure I wasn’t misinterpreting a table somewhere.


    • #

      A seven-fold reduction in battery cost in 5 years is every bit as likely as hydrogen fusion.


      • #

        Unless there is a fundamental breakthrough in fusion, it will remain a goal/dream only. Battery technology is improving.


    • #

      Mike S.

      LCOE is the biggest crock of bovine waste product to be ever used as any reference.

      Even Wikipedia recommends not to use it as a guide.

      I have seen so many LCOE tables over the last eight years, and each one is different. They will do anything they can to make any non renewable look bad, and renewable look good.

      There are so many variables that they can make it up to suit the purpose they want.

      Think of it in the same manner as you would for a ….. Climate Model.



  • #

    As it is Angela Merkel’s German government of lefty-luvvies) and the German bank, Deutche Bank, pushing hard on this, I think it is only fair that Germany be the first Western nation to fully decarbonize themselves, preferably before the Paris shindig.
    After all if it is so important, and can be done, her government and the Germany nation will be fully behind the move. Let Germany show the rest of the world how cost effective and good for industry it would be.


    • #
      Ron Cook

      Interestingly on a river cruise last year from Nuremberg to Amsterdam I saw very few German houses with solar panels. Historically and heritage significant buildings are not allowed to put solar panels on the roof.

      R-COO- K+


  • #

    New Zealand generates 60% of its power by hydro and pays through the nose to make wind and roof top solar look practical, which it obviously isn’t. Most also still remember how much their power bills have multiplied over the last decade.

    Those hermetically sealed eco-insulated Deutche Bank analysts live in an elite, removed World. In truth, their ideology is collapsing before their very eyes. Deutche Bank is locked into an endeavour to ensure its colossal investment in Energiewende yields a useful financial result. In the long run, it cannot.

    The irony is that the grand children, great grand children etc. will be saddled with the colossus of economic ruination, an impoverishing burden that leads literally no where as industry evaporates. The crunch appears that European economic survival depends in large part on Germany’s economic viability.

    The European Super Bureaucracy is a model and basis of the UN led global state, so the Euro state kannot be permitted to fail. Renewables will be seen to succeed at any cost for the moment….

    Longer than the moment they will not for the glaringly simple reason that they are NOT economically sustainable.


    • #

      Yes well the “Renewables will be seen to succeed at any cost for the moment….” is reminiscent of the Political Commisars who thought nothing of throwing russian soldiers directly into gunfire to “prove” the USSR political ideology was “sound” and “worth dying for”…the reality was if the soldiers refused, they wee shot by the Commisars…..


  • #
    Robert O

    The idea that solar power is cheaper than the coal fired alternative is blatantly false. It’s fine for remote locations off the grid, but with diesel back-up. However, one only gets much production for 6-7 hours daily, and production is halved on cloudy days which means about 15% of its theoretical capacity. Unfortunately, this type of article is little more than propaganda which is common to the adherents of the AGW hypothesis, but nevertheless frequents the media.


  • #
    David S

    The fact that the dark green areas are where solar is cheaper because of high electricity prices is a bit oxymoronic. Electricity prices are expensive because of green policies.


  • #
    Leonard Lane

    It is amazing how many times the sentence “Follow the money.” is a true and accurate means of judging proposed new technology.
    If you follow the money with respect to renewable energy such as solar and wind power, the results are almost immediate and absolutely clear. Solar and wind power are infeasible even with huge taxpayer subsidies.
    Without taxpayer subsidies they are an expensive substitute for places and operations that are far from the electricity grid.
    A good example would be charging cell phones while hiking and camping in a remote wilderness area. Or pumping shallow groundwater to fill a small stock watering or wildlife tank when the demand for water is low and intermittent. There are many other applications for small, niche applications by the well-to-do who have the time and money to expend on such things.
    But major sources of power for a city or nation–will not work without massive subsidies and concurrent fossil fuel plants to keep a constantly balanced grid. The renewables are simply unfit for this application even with punitive power rates and subsidies.


    • #
      All's right...

      Hold on! Solar water well pumps for stock tanks work very effectively when compared with the cost of a windmill. They also work well for neutralizing electric charges in pipelines. It’s not just for the well-to-do. Solar PV has some formidable applications, particularly when the alternatives are hugely expensive.


      • #
        David-of-Cooyal in Oz

        True A R, but you don’t need 24/7 or even overnight power there.
        Dave B


        • #

          That’s right; ok for intermittent use when timing isn’t critical. That reminds me of my little set of PV Christmas lights; they work fine in the Aussie summer, most of the time, but it wouldn’t matter too much if they didn’t. They wouldn’t be my
          Uh use in the English winter!


  • #
    It doesn't add up...

    BP have published their annual world energy statistics compendium today – a treasure trove of information that is very useful for disabusing elaborate Green claims. The spreadsheet (1.6MB) can be downloaded directly here:

    and there’s a pdf version and other commentary and charts available here:

    Among the revelations: despite earlier estimates from the Green lobby of falls, China actually marginally increased coal consumption and emissions in 2014, while renewables were just 1.8% of their total energy supply.


  • #

    Kevvy will take this to the UN & claim credit for that!


  • #
    It doesn't add up...

    Surely DB have got the colour coding on their map mislabelled? Across most of the US power prices are cheap, thanks to coal/shale gas/hydro power. 12.35¢/kWh on average across the USA.

    Denmark and Germany have some of the most expensive power anywhere in the world that isn’t an isolated island.

    Looks like some highly questionable research to me.


  • #

    As a percentage of total energy used around the world Solar and Wind are a joke.
    Lomborg states that today S&W represent less than 1% of total energy and this will be about 2.5% by 2040 at the most.
    Like the mitigation of their so called CAGW S&W are a first class con and fraud and the numbers will never add up.
    Very simple maths proves the case.
    Here’s Lomborg’s column and S&W numbers at 12th paragraph. Good WSJ column BTW.


    • #
      It doesn't add up...

      From the BP statistics for 2014:

      Global energy consumption 12,928.4 mtoe
      of which Renewables 316.9 mtoe (or 2.45%)
      of which Wind 159.8 mtoe (or 1.24%)
      Solar 14.2 mtoe (or 0.01%)

      The numbers for wind and solar are grossed up by assuming you would otherwise use a power station with 38% efficiency to provide the energy, so roughly you can divide those percentages by 2.5 to get the net numbers.

      Considered just in terms of power generation we get

      Global total 23,536.5 TWh
      Wind 706.2 TWh (or 3.0%)
      Solar 185.9 TWh (or 0.8%)


      • #
        It doesn't add up...

        Correction: the global solar figure in mtoe is 42.1 which is 0.3% of the global primary energy supply


  • #
    Yorkshire Chris

    Wow! Ireland…. IRELAND…! is one of the countries where solar electricity is cheaper. Ireland has probably one of the cloudiest climates in the world, the only way that solar can be cheaper is if other forms of electricity are outrageously expensive


  • #

    We are now hearing a great amount of false information on the subsidies that fossil fuels are reputed to get so at least for the American scene, which I suspect is less amendable to the so called Renewable Energy than Europe come these 2013 figures from the USA’s Energy Information Administration’s [ EIA ] “Analysis and Projections” report of March 2015.

    Direct Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy in Fiscal Year 2013

    The report has tables covering the use of fuels and generation types across the spectrum but I will just quote some figures from the tables on Electricity Generation in the USA using 2013 dollar values.

    So taking a look at a some relevant data from this report.
    Table ES5. Measures of electricity production and growth;

    ** Share of 2013 generation [ % ]

    Coal ; ———————–39%

    Gas & Petroleum——-28%

    Nuclear ——————–19.4%



    Wind ———————4.1%



    Solar [ Distributed & Utility ] -0.4%


    Now for the relevant subsidy section;

    Table ES4. Fiscal year 2013 electricity production subsidies and support;

    (million 2013 dollars, unless otherwise specified) [ and percentages of total electricity production dollar subsidies ]

    Coal ————— —————901 —————— 6 %

    Natural as & Petroleum —690 ——————-4 %

    Nuclear ————————-1,660 —————-10 %


    Wind —————5,936 ————-37 %

    Solar——————4393————–27 %

    Hydro —————–392 —————2 %

    Geothermal —— 245 —————-2 %

    Biomass ————–118 —————1 %

    Other —————–594 ————— 4 %


    Total subsidies for renewable electricity production in the USA = $11,678,000,000 ie; 72 % of all electricity production subsidies.

    [ EIA ] Renewable energy in the USA in 2013 produced 13.1 % of USA’s electricity but took 72% of all the subsidies., a total sum of $11,678,000,000


    I wonder why Coal is coming back in so many countries as the main base load electricity producer.???


    • #

      When I read through the various comments on this thread there is a whole plethora of data and opinions being researched and posted here by some very switched on commenters on the various advantages, disadvantages and costs of the various forms of electrical energy production.

      The anti-renewable energy attitudes amongst a high percentage of skeptic blog commenters at least for grid power energy production, are generally an outcome of the hard headed realism and understanding of the real world practicalities by the denizens in blogs such as Jo’s rather than just opposition to another type and form of energy production for the sake of being, shall we call it, anti-renewable energy activists.

      But this questioning of renewable energy has now reached new levels in very recent times as has the role of coal in our local as well as global energy production.

      The increasingly obvious failures and downsides of renewable energy, it’s utter lack of forecast predictability in both the timing plus the output of any power plus now at last, the opening up of the whole health question from wind turbine infrasound [ The Australian ] which is increasingly being recognised as seriously affecting the health of a large percentage of rural residents who are forced through no decision of theirs to live in the vicinity of wind turbines whose owners reside in style in the big cities, has created an interest in examining and opening up those well hidden secrets of the renewable energy industry, wind in particular to daylight and transparency of the whole of the renewable energy industries costs, subsidies, operational modes, propaganda. total lack of public transparency and it’s continuing “snout deep in the tax payers trough” entitlement psychology.
      All of these are leading to a reassessment of Renewable Energy as the potential power source as to whether it can ever provide the ultra high levels of reliability of supply as an absolute needed to run a 24 hours a day, seven days a week, fifty two weeks a year, modern industrialised, urban based society and nation [s]

      But I am beginning to suspect that the quite sudden increased levels of interest in every aspect of the Fossil Fuel costs, supply and subsidies versus the same in Renewable Energy have come about almost entirely due to the vicious and utterly rabid anti Coal / anti Fossil Fuels programs of the intellectually challenged, irrational and unhampered by practical realities or the personal hypocrisies of the rabid anti fossil fuel green activists and their demands for divestment of coal and fossil fuels investments and for stringent taxes and exclusions to be applied to fossil fuels, Coal in particular.

      The whole anti Coal movement by these crazy irrational activists has seriously backfired as it has made many in the public take a much harder look at the role of Coal and fossil fuels and compare thei costs and attributes to the alternative renewable energy systems of wind and solar.

      It has made people start to think about the consequences if we lose the reliability of a coal powered electricity supply grid and now is starting to make the policy producers and has caused the political decision makers to also start asking questions on what the role of Coal and fossil fuels play in keeping our society and civilisation operating and improving.
      They after all will have to deal with all the political and social consequences if the reliability of the grid collapses due to decisions they take to say eliminate the role of Coal in energy production as the anti-coal activists are demanding.

      In effect the anti-coal activists have achieved the direct reverse of what they expected to attain in eliminating Coal and eventually fossil fuels from our energy production.
      They have made everybody increasingly aware of the role that Coal and fossil fuels play in our electrical energy production.
      And with that exposure to the role of Coal comes the realisation amongst the public and policy creators on just how much we really do depend on Coal for our long term and utterly reliable supply demands and needs and by inference on the viability and success of our economies and societies and nations.

      And it is now reaching the point where it is not just the role of Coal and fossil fuels in our electrical energy production that are being questioned.
      It has turned the public spotlight on the claimed alternatives, the so called Renewable Energy systems of wind and solar and they are not coming out of the increasingly public examination of their claims in anything like a potential and commercial alternative to the fossil fuels .

      In fact under serious examination they are increasingly being seen to have failed in just about every single advantage they have previously laid claim to.

      And when the dust settles, Coal will still most likely be King at least until another replacement technology such as thorium or fusion comes along and is deemed reliable and cheap enough so as to replace Coal at the centre of the global nations electrical energy production and needs.

      And when the turbines wear out and the solar cells degrade, only the scrap merchants along with those who again want their natural and visual wind turbine pollution free scene to enjoy will be interested in the remnants of the great Renewable Energy scam of the early 21st century.

      The anti coal activists in their utter ignorance, stupidity, hypocrisy and irrationalism may in fact may have done the world’s fossil fuel based electrical energy producers quite a large favour.


      • #

        ROM, it is quite sad to see households sucked into installing substantial solar arrays on their roofs, which they use to feed the grid and theoretically off-set their power bill, often omitting that it will take them (depending on their consumption and size of installation) possibly 6 – 8 years or longer to re-coup the initial cost. After fifteen years, do you think anyone will want to buy a house with a tired, inefficient array stuck on the roof….??? They will INSIST that it be removed.


  • #

    Solar power ‘s a worthy invention,
    As the grid gets an added dimension,
    But to demonize coal,
    Is a pointless own goal,
    Due to climate-change warmist pretension.


  • #

    Deutsche Bank backed the sun.


  • #

    “Five of the world’s seven richest countries have increased their coal use in the last five years despite demanding that poor countries slash their carbon emissions”

    Actually China’s GDP is as much as France, UK and Germany together, but are not in the G7 and play the old per capita game claim to be poor. As the major source of solar cells and windmills and the only source of critical rare earths for magnets, they are in the business of telling everyone else to stop using coal. They also push the Climate Agenda, of course. They are held up as leading the way in fighting Climate Change. How does this even make sense?

    When was there ever an effort to get China to burn less coal or even slow down their rapid growth in coal use? Never. Even their promise to do nothing is held out as a triumph.

    This is all nonsense, Western countries committing self harm for fringe votes while the world’s major emitters of CO2 demand that Western Countries hand over cash to the UN and ‘poorer’ countries.

    Now if Julia Gillard was in the UN like Helen Clarke and Kevin Rudd was Secretary General, then you would see some taxation and everyone would get pink batts and cash. Is the UN even functioning, stuffed with semi retired politicians on incredible wages with infinite luxury travel? How is that Ebola going? Or the Ukraine? Or Syria?


    • #
      It doesn't add up...

      China/Hong Kong now accounts for 27.8% of global CO2 emissions according to the BP statistics just released. Their per capita emissions are now higher than those in Europe. They consumed 50.6% of the world’s coal burn in 2014. Despite their massive manufacturing capacity for solar and wind, renewables accounted for just 1.8% of their own energy, compared with 2.45% for the world as a whole (N.B. data grossed up assuming alternative is a 38% efficient power station).


  • #

    Solar’s handy in some circumstances. But a big, dirty basaltic volcano like Laki a couple of centuries back, something much bigger than the 2010 event which caused all that chaos, would likely have a devastating effect on solar dependent “regions”. This is something which has to come sooner or later. Is there a plan for that?

    Of course, there are a couple of energy sources unaffected by volcanoes, pipeline politics, pipeline wars, oil cartels, blockades etc. But you’d have to live in a country stupendously rich in coal and uranium to enjoy that situation. And who could be that lucky?


  • #

    > What’s It Like To Live Without Electricity? Ask An Indian Villager

    > World’s Poor Reject Half Modern, Half Primitive (Green) Life…Demand “Real Electricity”, Not “Fake” Greenpeace Solar! (notrickszone)

    Hamen nakli nahin, asli bijli chahiye (We do not want artificial energy, give us the real one)

    The article describes how a village in India had been without electrical power for more than 30 years, and longed
    to get back on the grid.
    Greenpeace decided to use the village as an example to the world to showcase how communities can do just fine on renewable energy.”

    > Lights Out in Nigeria (NYT)

    “LAGOS, Nigeria — WE call it light; “electricity” is too sterile a word, and “power” too stiff, for this Nigerian phenomenon that can buoy spirits and smother dreams.
    Whenever I have been away from home for a while, my first question upon returning is always: “How has light been?”

    The response, from my gateman, comes in mournful degrees of a head shake.

    Bad. Very bad.

    > Africa’s quiet solar revolution (

    African villages, Mr. Hosier says, are littered with failed solar projects donated by well-meaning government agencies or nongovernmental organizations that installed the technology but couldn’t afford to follow up with maintenance or battery replacements


    • #

      well-meaning government agencies or nongovernmental organizations that installed the technology but couldn’t afford to follow up with maintenance or battery replacements

      Nothing “well-meaning” about it- it is deliberate and intended to inflict the most harm to the most vulnerable. One day, warmists will have a reckoning, and it can’t come soon enough.


  • #
    michael hart

    It’s a shame that Oxfam has fallen to this level. I have personally known a couple of their area managers in the UK. It used to be about helping people.


  • #



    By virtue of being a State of the U.S. good old Alaska gets the lime green colour.

    Alaska. You know, where they have an average 3.5 hours sunlight a day averaged across the whole year.

    The far reaching impact (careful Tony, remember the /sarc here) of solar power in Alaska is 0.01%. That’s percent folks, and not the whole number, just percent. It’s around 150MWH out of a total generation of around 1,400,000MWH

    But hey, the colour suits their purpose here.



  • #
    Owen Morgan

    It’s a bit hard to tell from the map if both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are included as places with “regions” where solar is cheaper than conventional sources of energy, or just the Republic. While it’s artistically appropriate to paint the Emerald Isle green, the idea that solar power makes any kind of sense in Ireland is nonsensical. Sweden seems dubious, too.

    On the other hand, idiotic subsidies for renewables and corresponding handicaps for reliables may well skew pricing, such that the reliable sources are rendered artificially more expensive, to make renewables seem “cheap” (only relatively). That seems to be accounted for in the map by the paler green, according to the key, but the green for Ireland is the darker one, where, supposedly, there are regions with cheaper solar electricity, without price distortion.

    That is utter twaddle. There is no part of Ireland, North or South, where solar makes economic sense.


  • #

    For the life of me I cannot comprehend how they can say Solar is cheaper than coal fired power, so let’s look at some actual figures for Australia.

    There are currently 1.4 MILLION rooftop solar installations in Australia, and the total (NAMEPLATE) comes in at 3100MW, which sounds like a huge number.

    The average size now comes in at 2.2KW.

    The cost of that average 2.2KW system (total cost here) comes in at $6500, so all those installations have cost $9.1 BILLION.

    Total yearly generated power 3.39TWH.

    Let’s pretend for a minute that beyond solar supporters wildest dreams, they actually do last the full 25 years, and that they actually do keep generating at their maximum for the full 25 years, (both of these are outright fabricated dreams) so now we have a total generated power of 84.75TWH.

    Distilled down, that means the cost of the electricity is 10.74 cents per KWH.

    Currently, coal fired power is already supplying its power at between 2.7 and 3 cents per KWH.

    That makes rooftop solar power between three and four times more expensive than coal fired power.

    The true cost is around 5 to 7 times more expensive.

    The retailers have to purchase rooftop solar returned to the grid, a second subsidy. Some of those contracts are getting up beyond 40 cents per KWH, and some retailers even add on an extra 10 to 14 cents on top of that. Those contracts are still current and will be for their life, anything up to 20 plus years. If those retailers are buying rooftop solar for that 40 cents per KWH, and buying coal fired power for 3 cents per KWH, then solar is 13 times higher than coal fired power.

    It’s a con, one we are all paying for.



    • #
      Big Dave

      Don’t know where Oxfam are getting their figures. The ACT recently contracted the supply of PV solar electricity at $186/MWh. Electricity from coal comes in at $35/MWh. Solar cheaper than conventional? Tell’em they’re dreamin.


      • #

        The ACT is generally funded by us mugs who do not reside in the ACT.
        The Leftovers residing in the ACT would prefer Solar, regardless of cost.
        It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.

        Dear Mum,
        Please send more GST.


    • #

      Here in WA it’s 8.9? cents/kwh back into the grid ans 40 cents/kwh from the Govt. The contract is for 10 years but hasn’t been available for a few years.

      It’s a badly thought out plan because for every kwh that I (and I have grid connect solar) draw from my solar is a kwh that I would have otherwise drawn from the grid, where I would have been charged about 18 cents/kwh for use of the grid as well as the 8.9?cents for the power generation cost. The grid still has to be maintained so guess who pays my share. Those of you who don’t have rooftop solar.

      I feel guilty even talking about it.


  • #
    Robert O

    I went to the bother of reading the Oxfam report. What seems to stand-out is the basic premise that carbon, actually its dioxide, is a threat to humanity and has to be drastically reduced if we are going to save the planet from an unprecedented increase in temperature. Didn’t see the word photosynthesis anywhere, which is a photochemical reaction which uses carbon dioxide and provides humanity with carbohydrate and oxygen and, in fact, will result in more production due to increased temperatures- that is if they occur- and I have yet to see any significant mathematical relationship between global temperature and levels of carbon dioxide upon which the hypothesis of AGW is based. We know that the oceans store most (97%?) of the world’s carbon dioxide (as carbonic acid) and warmer waters expel this gas whereas colder water absorb it. It’s the chemistry about the solubility of carbon dioxide. Whether any man-made carbon dioxide gets into the oceans at all is debatable as it is drowned out by natural sources.

    As to electricity generation I will leave to others more qualified to explain how solar and wind can replace hydro/coal/gas/nuclear power stations.


  • #

    Hi Jo

    Just saw a news report that the power station and nearby coal mine in Port Augusta are to be closed in 2018, sadly with the loss of 440 jobs. The ABC are very excited.

    As I understand it the 2 power stations were built in the 1950s so are considered obsolete, costing too much to run and maintain at current power prices, and the coal deposit is just about all used up too so they were going to close anyway.

    Interestingly according to the news report the company did a study into converting to a solar thermal operation and found it to be uneconomic.

    So there you have it. Even with all the subsidies, RTS etc., a new solar thermal power plant is as, or more, uneconomic as a old coal fired power station built 70 years ago.

    Wonder if they considered the nuclear option? Although the over supply of electricity in South Australia would probably rule that out too, for now.


    • #

      All of a sudden, it’s all about the jobs jobs jobs.

      I’m a little, umm, curious as to the timing of this announcement, so soon after the fire on thew weekend just gone by.

      Incidentally, Northern Power Station has not come back on line since that fire.

      Oh, and as a reminder of how cheap coal fired power is, notice how when it’s not there, the cost for electricity soars, as shown in S.A. yesterday, the first day back at work after the Monday Public Holiday. Look at the cost for electricity for S.A. yesterday and note the cost during Peak Power consumption period (7AM until 10PM on work days) as shown at this link. All those tiny plants which come on line for around four hours a day are now having to run constantly, blowing their budgets completely out of the water, and wind is supplying a goodly amount also. Access to regular, constantly supplied power is what keeps power costs so low. Take coal fired power away, and the cost for electricity soars, graphically shown here.

      As to the news article at the ABC site, I love it where this was said, by, umm, you guessed it: (my bolding)

      South Australian Greens Senator Penny Wright said it would be crucial the State and Federal Governments backed Port Augusta to shift to solar thermal power generation.

      “The Port Augusta community is ready to make the transition and we really need governments to get behind the various companies that I know are interested in looking at solar thermal,” she said.

      It’s the way of the future, we absolutely need to be making that transition because those jobs can then be there for the workers who are going to be losing their jobs.”

      Replacing 2 X 400 MW units, one unit operating constantly, and replacing that with a Concentrating Solar Power plant, which will be lucky to provide 50MW for (on a year round average) barely 6 hours a day is the Greens idea of,umm, …..the way of the future.

      These people live in dreams.



      • #

        That cost for power in S.A. during that Peak period is just the average cost per unit for those 15 hours. That’s what the retailers have to pay for the power they buy to then on sell to consumers. They are paying more to buy it than they can sell it to consumers for. How long do you think retailers can absorb those costs for?



      • #


        Remember in an earlier comment I mentioned how journalists know journalism, and are not particularly interested in anything of a technical or engineering nature.

        Take this link and check out the headline in bold and large writing.

        The have added up the total Nameplate of Northern at 520MW and Playford at 240MW (long closed, but hey why bother checking as it’s at Port Augusta anyway, so it must be part of all this.)

        So then, add together 520MegaWatts and 240MegaWatts, and you get, umm, 760 ….. Watts.

        Surely someone in the chain must have checked this prior to going into publication.

        It also mentions this:

        “Jay Weatherill must step in with urgent funding for solar thermal in Port Augusta, to create jobs in the wake of the huge job losses the closure of the coal station and mine will bring”.


        At least 5 years (at the absolute minimum) from thought bubble to power delivery, and there’s no way Weatherill will go forward without a huge amount of Federal Money, and that looks about as likely as snow falling in Cairns.

        For a plant which will deliver only a fraction of the power.



        • #

          Hmm, wonder where the base load power will come from.


          • #
            Graeme No.3

            From Victorian brown coal fired plants via the Inter-connecters. (Which are being up-graded).

            See Tony comment about higher prices. As soon as SA needs the power, up go the prices. When, on rare occasions, they export wind power, guess what happens to the prices.


        • #
          Graeme No.3

          520 MW to be replaced

          best output by Solar Thermal (tower) 17 MW continuously for 9 months.

          So SA would need 31 solar towers

          Cost per tower (Spanish) $472 million

          Total cost of solar thermal = $14.632 billion. (just to supply 9 months a year).

          Cost of supplying 520 MW by CCGT ~ $1 billion,
          but supply will be interrupted by variable wind.

          Current amount available in the SA Treasury $0

          I think you can work out that solar thermal in SA has less than Buckley’s chance.


  • #

    10 June: CarbonBrief: Simon Evans: 10 charts showing why carbon emissions stalled last year
    It’s worth noting that BP and official Chinese statistics have at times been heavily revised in the past, including a 19% increase in the coal consumption figure for 2007 between the 2013 and 2014 BP data, so neither source can be considered definitive. It’s also possible, according to BP chief economist Spencer Dale, that Chinese demand will rebound.
    Another point of interest is India’s coal use. Its coal growth of 36 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) during 2014 (11%) offset a 19Mtoe (6.5%) reduction in the EU, twice over…
    The lion’s share of global renewable electricity in 2014 (74%) came from hydroelectricity. A map of non-hydro renewable electricity generation changes the ranking we saw above, with the US instead of China taking top spot…
    MAP: Renewable power output during 2014, excluding hydroelectric generation, by country. The area of the bubbles is proportional to generation in terawatt hours, but there is a minimum circle size below which all outputs look the same. Click image to view the interactive version.
    Given the continuing increases in renewable energy generation and the larger share of additional demand satisfied by low-carbon sources during 2014, it’s perhaps tempting to imagine that efforts to tackle energy-related emissions are starting to see success.
    A recent Bloomberg article said fossil fuels had “lost the race” against renewables because more renewable electricity generating capacity had been installed than for fossil fuels. There are several reasons why this paints a misleadingly optimistic picture, however.
    Foremost among them is that despite growth in renewable energy use (green areas, below), fossil energy has been racing ahead, too, and it had a massive head start…
    Update 17:30 – We added clarification that the emissions referred to are only energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, not total carbon dioxide emissions.

    PDF: 48 Pages: BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2015


  • #

    so how has CAGW-infested Reuters reported the BP report?
    e.g. do they isolate hydro percentage? no.

    10 June: Reuters: Nina Chestney: Renewables fastest growing form of energy in 2014: BP
    Renewable power was the fastest growing form of energy last year, with a record 6 percent of global power generation, in a year when energy consumption slowed sharply worldwide, BP said in an authoritative review.
    “Renewable energy used in power generation grew by 12 percent (last year),” said the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, issued on Wednesday. “Although this increase was below its 10-year average, it meant that renewables accounted for a record 6 percent of global power generation.”
    China recorded the largest increase in renewables for power generation for a fifth consecutive year at 15.1 percent.
    “The deceleration in global energy demand and shift in the fuel mix had a marked impact on carbon emissions,” BP said in the report.
    “Our calculations suggest that global CO2 emissions from energy use grew by just 0.5 percent in 2014, the weakest since 1998, other than in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis,” it added…

    ABC has been airing fluffy social programs from something called Monocle 24 out of London in recent years, but last nite it had former Independent/Observer reporter Steve Bloomfield talking G7/CLIMATE/DECARBONISATION with reporters Isabel Hilton (Independent/Guardian/BBC) & Roger Boyes (UK Times). relatively fact-free:

    Hilton on the Climate Communique: we are talking about the complete decarbonisation of the world’s economy, so it’s important that they’ve said that; if these people say this is the end of the fossil fuel age, then it will happen. i’m encouraged by it. it’s clear Merkel & Obama have been committed to this; Obama wants to leave it as his legacy. meanwhile you have China racing for it with ever-increasing speed. last year the investments in renewable energy were greater than the investments in fossil fuels. all over the place you can see a big transition and a political endorsement of this.

    Host Bloomfield to Roger Boyes: you were based in Germany for a number of years. on a very sunny, very windy day last year, there was a day when half of all Germany’s energy came from renewables. so Germany is a country that understands the potential of renewables, isn’t it?

    Roger is pro-nuclear, so pushes that again saying, under a new Govt, Germany might revert to nuclear. mentions the large subsidies for renewables. says it helped that the coal lobby is shrinking in Germany, it was always powerful in the SDP (Social Democratic Party), now it isn’t. brown coal is disappearing. it’s not really mined that intensively any more

    Bloomfield: it’s not just that the mood music has changed. China/US climate deal, first time something like that has happened. it suggests this is building up to something in Paris.

    Hilton: terrific momentum. the betting is China’s emissions will peak in 2020-2025. snowball is beginning to roll.

    approx first 15 mins:
    AUDIO: Download: Monocle: Midori House: Tuesday 9 June: A round-up after the close of the G7 summit…etc


    • #
      It doesn't add up...

      Let me help: the BP report shows 240.8 mtoe as the hydro contribution to China’s 2972.1 mtoe primary energy consumption, or 8.1% of the total. That’s up from 208.2 mtoe in 2013. Figures are grossed up by assuming the alternative is a 38% efficient power station. In terms of generation, China’s hydro output was 1,064.3 TWh out of a total of 5,689.4TWh, while wind contributed 158.4 TWh, and solar just 29.1 TWh.

      The thing is, there aren’t lots more Three Gorges Dams the Chinese can build, so growth in hydro power has almost certainly peaked.


  • #


    ‘Awful and noisy’: Tony Abbott slams wind farms during interview …
    Sydney Morning Herald-3 hours ago
    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described wind farms as “visually awful” and boasted slashing the Renewable Energy Target will restrict growth …

    Tony Abbott tilts at ‘visually awful’ wind farms
    The Australian Financial Review-1 hour ago

    Wind farms ‘visually awful’, have ‘potential health impact’: Abbott
    SBS-1 hour ago

    ‘They’re awful’: Abbott’s wind farm confession
    The New Daily-3 hours ago

    PM regrets not halting clean energy more
    Yahoo7 News-11 minutes ago

    Tony Abbott agrees windfarms may have ‘potential health impacts’
    In-Depth-The Guardian-3 hours ago


    • #
      el gordo

      At last, the leader of our nation has set his sights on wiping out Medieval technology blighting the land. Politically savvy and pragmatic, Abbott is forcing Labor to make a stand on the issue one way or another.

      If this minor skirmish receives public approval, as seen through the polls, our great leader might even put on his bravery cloak and say (on the road to Paris) the science on global warming ‘is crap’.


    • #

      Tony Abbott has also blamed the hostile Senate for blocking the Government to stop them dealing with the RET, and he also said he wished the Howard Coalition Government had never introduced RET.


  • #

    from Lenore Taylor’s Guardian piece – Tony Abbott agrees windfarms may have ‘potential health impacts’ – nothing ideological in her choice of responders!

    Bill Shorten accuses PM of hurting investment in renewables…
    The opposition leader, Bill Shorten, said the comments would create ***investor uncertainty. “There’s Tony Abbott at it again,” he said. “Now he’s anti-windmills….
    Members of the Association of Australian Acoustic Consultants told an inquiry into wind turbines on Wednesday that several studies had found no ***perceivable physical reaction to so-called infrasound from windfarms, as claimed by some residents living close the them.
    In a report released in February, the National Health and Medical Research Council also concluded that “there is currently ***no consistent evidence that windfarms cause adverse health effects in humans”…
    A Friends of the Earth renewables spokesman, Leigh Ewbank, said the prime minister’s comments proved the government’s energy policy was ***ideologically driven.
    “The prime minister admitted to Alan Jones that his government has actively sought to stifle the wind energy sector … the prime minister’s admission proves once and for all that his government’s energy policy is ***ideologically driven,” Ewbank said.
    And he suggested Abbott ***“defer to the experts” on the issue of windfarms and health. “There are now 24 reviews by credible bodies, such as the Australian Medical Association, that show wind energy is clean and safe.”…
    Labor’s environment spokesman Mark Butler said the prime minister’s “stunning admission” that “his goal was to put an end to the renewable energy industry confirms [his] utter lack of foresight”.
    “It’s gobsmacking that Australia’s prime minister can be so short-sighted, and so out of touch,” Butler said. “Tony Abbott is an embarrassment and this will not help Australia’s participation in the negotiations at the upcoming ***Paris conference.”
    The Greens senator Larissa Waters said: “We sort of knew this was his view but he came right out and said it this morning. This is a prime minister who does not like clean energy.”


    • #

      Wow! Just Wow!

      Thanks for this pat, and I noticed the article just as you put it up.

      Watch the short video at the top of the article at this link. Tony Abbott is being interviewed by Alan Jones this morning.

      As a politician, I would think that it’s okay to think this privately, but to say it at one of the big media commentators, and then emphasise it out loud and in capitals is definitely a great big Wow! moment.

      I wonder how much early info he has got back from the Senate Inquiry.



      • #
        el gordo

        Andrew Bolt gets it just right.

        ‘I often say that in politics you can rely on your enemies to advertise your virtues more noisily than will your friends.’


    • #

      I think this is the report. It was commissioned by Pacific Hydro, who would have guessed 😉

      On page 3 they list the various SPL levels at different places. They conclude there is just as much infra sound at the beach or in the Adelaide CBD (72 – 76 db) as exists near a wind farm. BUT they also show that 8km from the coast it is only 57! So the natural wind farm environment would be 57 and rises to 72 when the turbines operate.

      I can’t find a website for The Association of Australian Acoustical Consultants who ever they are! Chris Turnbull has an acoustic consultancy company named Sonus.


  • #

    11 June: ABC: Alinta Energy to close power stations at Port Augusta and coal mine at Leigh Creek
    Coal-fired power stations at Port Augusta in South Australia, and the outback mine which supplies them, will close from early 2018 or possibly sooner, Alinta Energy says.
    The company said its Northern and Playford B power stations and Leigh Creek coal mine would not operate beyond March 2018 and might close even sooner…
    Alinta Energy chief executive officer Jeff Dimery: “There are approximately 440 employees that will be affected by this difficult decision”…
    South Australian Greens Senator Penny Wright said it would be crucial the State and Federal Governments backed Port Augusta to shift to solar thermal power generation…
    “It’s the way of the future, we absolutely need to be making that transition because those jobs can then be there for the workers who are going to be losing their jobs.”…
    Colin Fenney from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said it was more bad news for communities which had struggled as mining was in the doldrums…


    • #

      They tried to close these power stations down before because of the wind installations only to find they had to fire them up again when wind failed to produce enough power.
      If they were smart they’d close down these old style stations (250MW per furnace) and build a new one 700MW per furnace at Leigh Creek with twice the output and no rail transport involved.


      • #
        Graeme No.3


        cooling water isn’t that plentiful at Leigh Creek, and you’d have to build new power lines.


  • #

    11 June: BBC: Helen Briggs: Alarm sounded over progress towards key climate summit
    BONN: International talks regarded as a key milestone towards a new global climate deal are due to end on Thursday, amid concern that progress has been slow.
    Negotiators have been accused of spending too much time on detail and ”not getting around to any actual homework” at interim talks in Germany.
    Countries are working towards options to limit greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 ahead of a crunch December summit.
    Christian Aid said there was a danger of ”sleepwalking into Paris”…
    ”Negotiators have acted like schoolchildren colouring in their homework timetable and not getting round to any actual homework.”
    He said negotiations must deliver ”a robust text soon otherwise they will cause further unacceptable delays and result in countries sleepwalking into Paris”…
    Key sticking points include finance to help developing countries adapt to climate change and agreeing on immediate and binding targets for carbon emissions.
    But negotiating time is running out with only around 10 days’ worth of negotiations remaining after the Bonn talks close…
    Delegates will return to Bonn in August for another round of climate talks, before the summit in Paris at the end of the year.


  • #
    el gordo

    Would you believe 97% of Guardian readers think coal mines are uglier than windfarms.


  • #

    Remember that Tony Abbott remarked last year that he will not stand for socialism masquerading as environmentalism


  • #
    Roy Hogue

    So the whole U.S. has regions where solar is cheaper than conventional electricity?

    Funny thing… …my neighbor who has solar panels on his roof told me they wouldn’t even pay for themselves for 10 years. Take away the tax write off incentive — which will someday happen — and then calculate the breakeven point. And without that tax write off who’s going to go headlong into solar anymore. I’ve seen it happen before. Government can only force things so far before people start to think. And worse, government is very fickle. Times change and the tax writeoff looks more like lost government revenue. Absent the incentive, the vendors of solar electricity will disappear like the vendors of solar water heating did in the ’80s.

    I’ve asked myself a question: if I was the Edison company (I get power from Edison) and I’m forced to accept, power from tens of thousands of very small producers, track all that and mess with crediting those producers for what they pump back into my system, would I want to be in that position? Not on your life. I would only do it if forced by law. And eventually I would start to buck the system any way I could. I’d become a pain in the butt to everyone I need to needle to try to get out from under that mess. And that’s what it is, a mess, notwithstanding that computers can handle the messy details.

    Solar is only cheaper than having no electricity at all, as in the example I’ve given about railroad signaling being solar powered out on the deserts of the southwest, where utility power is many miles away, the actual load is light and the need is considerable so the cost of solar, batteries and associated equipment can be justified.

    So yes, there are such places. But…

    Then there’s the potential for damage to my roof. I’ve been there too. Never again. Experts are trumped by experience.


    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Oh! Did I mention that our price of a kWh is too high because we have a man made shortage of generating capacity?

      Common sense could solve that problem starting today.

      But it won’t. There is no common sense anymore. 🙁


      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Edison wanted to build what’s called a “peaker plant” on the coast of Ventura County several years ago, a convenient location for cooling water (a conventional steam turbine plant with fast startup capability). It would add generating capacity at peak demand hours and could help avoid the roving blackouts we’re all subject to in Edison territory — a huge part of Southern California. Every foolhardy group came out of the woodwork to oppose it and it got shot down. The list of objections was legion — even that it would spoil the view. Never mind that it would be right next to an existing power plant that’s been there for years. What view is there to spoil? The view of the existing plant?

        I hope they enjoy being blacked out for an hour when the temperature gets to 100 F. I hope thy’ll enjoy it when the grid finally collapses and they’re without electricity for possibly days or weeks. I surely won’t enjoy it. But that’s where we’re headed if we don’t change our attitude.

        As I said, there is no common sense anymore.

        We all want the benefit of technology. But too many fruitcakes are no longer willing to put up with what it takes to get that technology. In spite of the fact that the latest stats say people are now leaving California than are entering it, the demand is still going up. My house has more technology in it today than last year at this time and it all uses standby power 24/7, where 20 years ago almost nothing but your TV was on standby waiting for a remote control to turn it on. Many time 1 + 1 = a problem unless you plan for the result.

        Tony is right on the money with everything he says about electricity.


  • #
    Alan Grey

    I am not sure how the Deutsche Bank could even make these claims. In Australia, the retail cost of electricity includes subsidising green energy. Especially the massive subsidies for solar (where some subsidies give people with solar panels 40c/KWH for what they feed back in)

    So they are comparing a fictitious cost of solar with an inflated retail cost of energy. Quite dishonest really