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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Spent $1.5 billion on an interconnector to get a tiny cut in obscenely inflated electricity bills!

What costs $1,500m, makes no electricity, but “saves money”?

South Australia has used federal subsidies to build more wind power than it can use. They’ve spent half a billion already on diesel powered jet engines and a battery that can power the state for “minutes”. For 139 hours last year the state produced so much wind power it supplied 100% of the states electricity needs and then some, and the problem of excess electricity is only getting worse as wind generation keeps increasing and solar PV uptake is rampant.

When government rules and regs have created an inefficient, expensive problem, what do we do? More of it. A new report suggests that South Australia needs a direct transmission line to NSW which will cost $1.5b. We could spend that on a reliable generator instead, or get the government out of the way and let the private sector do it for us, but instead we need to pay for another transmission line to connect up different zones-of-subsidy-rent seekers and hope we get $30 off the bill? It’s a savings in the statistic margin of error…

South Australia didn’t even have an interconnector til 1990. Now with decentralized and renewable power they [...]

A shortage of bottled pollution means Brits face beer, coke, bacon shortage

This is serious. The World Cup cometh, and the United Kingdom is running out of beer.

The UK emits over one million tons of CO2 each day but bottles of flood-drought-n-coral-killing CO2 are in short supply.

Trade journal Gas World, which first revealed there was a problem last week, said it was the “worst supply situation to hit the European carbon dioxide business in decades”.

Carbon capture is the way of the future, which is a shame. If it worked now, people wouldn’t be running out of beer, bacon, coke and even crumpets.

We spend billions to take pollution out of the sky and stuff it into deep holes. Then we pay people to generate the same pollution and put it in our food. Someone, join the dots. Cut out the middle man and move Heineken next to Drax!

[...]

Old neglected wind turbines — ticking 100 ton bombs

Don’t camp under an old wind turbine

What weighs 100 tons, sits 100 meters above the ground, leaks transmission fluid and may disintegrate into a million sharp fibreglass spikes…

….

NoTricksZone

As much of Germany’s nearly 30,000 strong fleet of wind turbines approach 20 or more years in age, the list of catastrophic collapses is growing more rapidly. The turbines are now being viewed by technical experts as “ticking time bombs”.

According to a commentary by Daniel Wetzel of online German Daily ‘Die Welt’, the aging rickety wind turbines are poorly inspected and maintained and thus are now posing a huge risk.

Over the past months alone there’s been a flurry of reports over wind turbines failing catastrophically and collapsing to the ground, e.g. see here, here and here.

Industrial systems in Germany need to get technical inspections and safety approvals, but wind turbines don’t…

Read the rest at NoTricksZone

Vernunftkraft keeps a list of failures.

The Greens, of course, are apoplectic (not).

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Photo: this particular turbine crashed in Antarctica. If you own a photo of a failing German one, please let me know.

[...]

Midweek Unthreaded

The Australian magical NEG target which turns black coal to white elephants

Australia is figuring out how to change the global climate and power up the nation. It’s the old “have cake: eat cake: sell cake and build a sea-wall with cake” dilemma. The PM, Malcolm Turnbull, has come up with a plan called the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), which will manage to hurt the environment, jobs and industry at the same time.

Who benefits? Gas companies, Renewables Co. Who loses? Everyone else.

One of the key ideas is that we should have an average emissions target of 0.4 magical tons of CO2 per MWh, because “storms”. Tom Quirk has laid out our current situation below and how (theoretically) we might meet that target. (Especially if clouds start raining money, thinks Jo, preferably in USD and filling Lake Eyre.)

The “good news” is that South Australia can stop already, it’s there. The bad news is that the rest of Australia will need to catch up with South Australia, including the size of the electricity bills (and then some).

In 12 years Australia needs to shut nearly every single coal plant thus turning black coal into white elephants. The one last black coal plant or two will operate barely at break-even point, sitting [...]

Weekend Unthreaded