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Germany shuts too much coal, lasted 8 days without them, now admits they can’t close them

Photo German wind turbines, Emben. Emden, Germany by Gritte

Emden, Germany by Gritte

On January 1st, Germany shut 11 coal fired plants with about 4.7GW of generating power — supposedly as a part of the Big Phaseout. But  eight days later the wind wasn’t blowing and according to Pierre Goslin the system got so unstable that the managers had to turn back on some of the coal power.This  on-off-cycle repeated so many times that one large plant — Heyden  –was restarted six times in the next eight weeks.

The Federal Network Agency have reclassified the four of the big plants as “system relevant” which means they have to hang around on standby ready to rescue the grid at any time. So the largest efficient and cheap generators on the grid will be paid to sit around waiting for the unreliable expensive energy to fail.

2021 German Coal Plant “Phaseout” Lasted Only 8 Days…Put Back Online To Stabilize Shaky Grid

The Federal Network Agency has now confirmed that it has reclassified the Heyden, Datteln, Walsum 9 and Westfalen power plants, which had already been shut down, as system-relevant and that they now must remain on standby as reserve power plants. The owners will therefore be required to continue operation in the short term.

Never mind that this sporadic operation of these coal plants is horribly inefficient and costly, as you will find out below.

Coal plant shutdowns have increased grid frequency instability

By Blackout News

Who pays, … the consumer:
The Federal Network Agency adds, “The costs for the provision in the grid reserve, as well as for the conversion to a rotating phase shifter, are borne by the power grid customers, as these measures serve the safe and reliable network operation.” It is thus clear that these costs must also be financed through the electricity price.

See NoTricksZone, and also WattsUp. Thanks RicDre.

APOLOGIES: Moderation is going to be very slow tonight. Sorry for the inconvenience. Hopefully we can fix that soon.  

10 out of 10 based on 91 ratings

125 comments to Germany shuts too much coal, lasted 8 days without them, now admits they can’t close them

  • #
    Yonniestone

    The Germans are no fools when it comes to engineering but have been known to follow a cause with great zeal, they are not alone in falling foul to this cause but its not nice to be the first, this is a case of greens that turned bad and resulted in a large batch of Sauerkraut’s.

    470

    • #
      Jojodogfacedboy

      At least they are smart enough to realize the mistakes and get the grid back on.
      Other politicians really couldn’t care less the damage it does and move full steam ahead.

      250

    • #
      Ronin

      I thought it was weird that the German greens started to shut down nuclear generators first after Fukushima, for a start, Germany isn’t on any fault line nor is it subject to tsunamis and their reactors are of a more modern design than the Japs, so totally irrelevant reasons.

      411

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        Even the plant at Fukushima is a weird one. There was so much wrong with the location and design of the plant. I can’t fathom how the Japanese managed to make so many wrong decisions at at one location.

        110

  • #
    Lance

    What they refer to as a “rotating phase shifter” is more commonly known in English as a synchronous condenser. Their “green heavy” grid can’t provide/absorb reactive power without them. Or STATCOM or SVC power electronics. In all honesty, the costs for this ought be borne by the unreliables that induce the need for such things.

    Good article on Synch. Cond, STATCOM and SVC. https://www.irjet.net/archives/V3/i11/IRJET-V3I1177.pdf

    Politics is no match for Physics. That much is clear.

    490

    • #
      Roger Knights

      “Politics is no match for Physics. That much is clear.”

      Or, as Robert Anton Wilson put it:
      “If A is greater than B, and B is greater than C, then A is greater than C, except where profited by law.”

      30

  • #
    Pauly

    Clearly, politicians can only learn by making their own mistakes. So Germany is following South Australia’s grid experience in 2016, attempting to shut coal fired plants in their green zeal. What is totally puzzling is why the same politicians have shut down 50% of their nuclear capacity before they started in on the coal generators. And they fully intend to shutter the rest of their nuclear capacity along the way.

    Clearly, only grid-wide blackouts can teach politicians the error of putting ideology ahead of engineering. As all Australian politicians quickly acknowledged after September 2016!

    Did I need to end this comment with (sarc)?

    300

    • #
      Ronin

      Politicians who adopt the greens causes and cause blackouts need to lose their jobs, that might smarten the rest up.

      220

  • #
    Graham Richards

    I bet you won’t see this reported in the SMH, the ABC, 7, #9, 10. and only “ The Outsiders”on Sky AU.

    Gotta keep the vast majority of the public from knowing this in case they ask questions,
    The governments, both Federal & State can’t have the public revolting like they did when Matt Kean tried smuggling the Turdball back into “power”.

    Scomo wants to be the Pied Piper leading us all down the garden path to a dark, renewables, unreliable, very expensive future ( if we’ll have a future at all)

    310

  • #
    Klem

    I don’t understand why this happened. Germany has wind turbines and solar panels everywhere. Greenies, who are known for their prodigious math skills, promised that wind and solar would be all that Germany needed. What happened?

    200

    • #
      Deano

      But maths is racist and biased in favour of patriarchal oil company enviro-vandals. What’s the matter with you Klem? Don’t you read Green Left?

      https://www.greenleft.org.au/

      (It’s a good laugh for an occasional look)

      30

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Greenies, who are known for their prodigious math skills,

      Yes. But they’re working in Base 5 – Pental, where 5 = 10 and 60 = 220.

      Their lefty comrades, on the other hand, work in seximal. They make a fist of it. But then, without the fist, they couldn’t count to six, even.

      20

    • #
      ivan

      What happened?

      A stationary high pressure region built up over Europe (including the UK) so the wind didn’t blow, therefore it didn’t generate any power from the bird mincers and clouds got in the way of the sun shining on the dirt covered solar panels, so again very little power produced.

      Those things are not called unreliables for nothing. Always remember the only guaranteed output from them is ZERO

      40

  • #
    Lance

    Maybe the Germans ought to give this article a look:

    Converting Existing Synchronous Generators into Synchronous Condensers

    https://www.power-eng.com/coal/converting-existing-synchronous-generators-into-synchronous-condensers/

    110

    • #
      YallaYPoora Kid

      A number of synchronous condensers are being installed around the eastern grid as we speak. More money wasted on supporting disturbing generation in the grid.

      220

    • #
      YallaYPoora Kid

      Eastern Australia grid that is.

      70

    • #
      RicDre

      Converting your Synchronous Generators into Synchronous Condensers is not going to be of much help if your Wind and/or Solar generators go flat for an extended period of time as appears to have happened in Germany.

      220

      • #
        Richard Owen No.3

        And as happens in Australia.

        And as all they do is stabilise the grid for a short time when the wind (or solar) generation drops abruptly*, so the gas turbines can start up.

        So expense on top of expense, so we can then rely on expensive CO2 emitting alternatives. Weird thinking.

        * See TonyfromOz’s comments and articles (at PAPundits)

        110

      • #
        Lance

        Synchonous Condensers are not intended to provide sustained power.
        Their purpose is to provide/absorb reactive power and stabilize mains voltage by compensating for large inductive loads shifting the apparent power vector towards higher reactive components.

        They only provide seconds worth of pseudo generation, but absorb some 20% of rated capacity continuously to keep them spinning and functional. But, they absorb high transient loads cost effectively and are generally more robust and reliable than the thyristor fired STATCOM and SVC sort.

        They do what they do, effectively.

        80

        • #
          RicDre

          “Synchonous Condensers are not intended to provide sustained power.”

          True, which is why it is folly to convert a reliable source of electricity into a Synchonous Condenser unless you also have some other reliable source of electricity to back up Wind and/or Solar when it goes flat for other than a short period of time and Germany has no such source if the close all of their coal and Nuclear generators.

          110

          • #
            Lance

            Germany’s “green wind/solar” plan is entirely dependent upon Norway’s hydropower to back up the wind/solar and to absorb excess generation using pumped hydro.

            Without Norway, Germany’s grid would collapse daily.

            Greens point to Germany as if it represents some type of holistic goal. No place on earth has the unique situation that Germany has with Norway. Without that symbiotic energy relationship, Germany would go blackout with regularity.

            If Germany is going to close their coal and nuclear plants, it is far better to repurpose the generators as synchronous condensers than to cart them off as scrap. At least that has some value. Greater value would be to keep their coal and nuclear plants online and tell Merkel and her Green Idiots to go pound sand where the sun doesn’t shine.

            140

            • #
              RicDre

              All good points, but apparently even Norway’s hydropower is not always enough to keep the German grid from collapsing without having at least some of the coal powered generators also available.

              90

              • #
                Richard Owen No.3

                Germany also draws electricity from Swedish hydro, Polish black coal and Czech and French nuclear. The last 3 don’t allow unwanted export from German wind when it does generate: thus retaining stability in their own markets.

                Norway only has enough hydro capacity to satisfy about half Germany’s demand, so are happy to accept (like Sweden) cheap power from them when Germany has excess when the wind blows, but less keen on going without at home to cover the stupid German politicians. And being outside the EU they can’t be forced to do so. There are some changes, Norway’s hydro is all ‘run of river’ so they just shut down most of their hydro when the wind blows and charge more when it doesn’t (except when rainfall has been deficient as it has been twice in 13 years). Norway rejected a proposed interconnector with Scotland as they didn’t want that extra load. Sweden has shut down its only pumped storage station as uneconomic, and most, I think all, of Germany’s pumped storage schemes have shut down, in one case being turned into a 3 kilometre long “beach” resort.
                Germany has significant hydro resources (think Dambusters) – about 10% – and France has some (~15% of French capacity) as well as the theoretical draw from Andorra and Spanish hydro, but no-one is building more capacity so the ability to balance increased renewables capacity is limited. There were plans for Germany to build more hydro in Austria and interconnect their wind generators (largely in the NE) with that through Poland and Czechia. No agreement from both those countries.

                In the UK they think(?) that interconnectors will allow their lunatic policies to continue, but even they were faced with reality and had to restart several coal fired stations when wind could only supply 0.4% of demand.

                161

          • #
            RickWill

            Gas plants in South Australia get almost daily directions to stay hot and connected. There is an greed price for that direction that ends up in the cost of FCAS. FCAS cost are split between the retailers and intermittent generators.

            The cost of synchronous condensers is borne by the network. It is one of the reasons network charges are rising. But the condensers eliminate the need for gas plants to be directed just for frequency control. Gas plant will happily produce without direction when the wholesale price is high enough to cover the fuel cost. So the condensers eliminate the cost of gas to keep gas plant hot and running at low output.

            The commissioning date for the SA synchronous condensers has slipped from end of 2020 to next month so they have encountered project delays – I do not know why. The first synchronous condensers have been in Australia for months now.

            I do not pay any energy bills so I do not follow the pricing but there is a lot of noise in the media at present that retail costs are coming down.

            50

            • #
              Richard Owen No.3

              Rick,
              I thought that much of SA’s reliable gas was now dual fuel diesel – start on diesel and switch to gas when hot – which has fairly high running costs, comparable to ‘Peaking gas turbines’ but lower maintenance cost**. The older gas-fired boiler plant was supposed to be shut down but apparently is still kept going by AEMO direction.

              **and probably lower CO2 emissions due to higher efficiency.

              50

  • #
    David Maddison

    Shut them down!

    Don’t let real power generators rescue green fantasies!

    There must be a major crisis to make the Left wake up and understand the uselessness of wind and solar.

    If greens/Leftists want to use wind and solar, fine. Smart meters can ensure that. But they must not get back up from real power generators. When the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining, the lights must go out on wind/solar consumers. And they must not force the unwilling to use wind/solar.

    And don’t forget, they keep telling us wind and solar is the cheapest of all power production. Market forces would ensure there is enough wind and solar with storage for those who want to use it.

    350

    • #
      Popeye26

      David

      I totally agree with your thoughts. DON’T bail these b.ms out of their manufactured dilemna. They deserve to sink or swim on their own (and with their own money – NOT TAXPAYERS).

      If all this CR.P was about CO2 and the earth burning up then they would support nuclear. The fact that they don’t only PROVES that the entire manufactured CO2 BS is about Marxism and control of the masses only.

      It’s a pity that the supporters don’t look up a bit of (very recent) history and get an understanding that this ideology has NEVER worked in the real world and NEVER will.

      Cheers,

      260

    • #
      Lance

      As grids get increasingly “green”, they become increasingly unstable and prone to blackout.

      If a few thousand homes went “full load” at grid peak, it would crash the grid. Whether intentional or not.

      Blackouts used to be rarities. They will become more common and of greater duration.

      The “green” power generators simply can’t restart a blacked out grid. Only thermal generation can do that and even that is a dicey scenario.

      The blackouts are coming. Sooner with more non-dispatchable generation, than later.

      180

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Informed folk know Australia still has a carbon (sic) tax.

    How sneaky were the cinos in doing this?

    Sinodinos: “… policies such as carbon (sic) pricing & taxation, we had to do it in ways more palatable.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/australia-to-use-biden-summit-to-repair-climate-wars-damage-20210413-p57iqx.html

    80

    • #
      Flok

      7% of the electricity bill as per the information on this site

      https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/consumers/electricity-prices

      “Environmental costs
      This is the smallest component of the average bill. It includes the cost of meeting the national Renewable Energy Target, as well as the ongoing costs of rooftop solar power support schemes. The cost varies from state to state. According to a 2019 study by the Australian Energy Market Commission, the cost of environmental schemes makes up about 7 per cent of the average bill. However, now that the Renewable Energy Target has been met, environmental costs are expected to fall significantly in the next few years.”

      20

    • #
      glen Michel

      Reading the letters section of that SMH link thinking how left and ignorant that paper has become. All seem to be bleating the same message. I urge readers here to make a special effort not to succumb to mindlessnes.

      80

  • #
    David Maddison

    How do people come to believe in such rubbish as the anthropogenic global warming fraud and how cheap wind and solar supposedly is?

    Did you ever wonder why the Left have an ongoing war against the teaching of real history and education in general?

    History repeats itself.

    Albert Speer, in his final speech at the Nuremberg war crimes trials said the following. Just replace “radio” with Socialist Media:

    Hitler’s dictatorship differed in one fundamental point from all its predecessors in history. His was the first dictatorship in the present period of modern technical development, a dictatorship which made the complete use of all technical means for domination of its own country. Through technical devices like the radio and loudspeaker, 80 million people were deprived of independent thought. It was thereby possible to subject them to the will of one man…

    230

    • #
      Ronin

      ‘How do people come to believe in such rubbish as the anthropogenic global warming fraud and how cheap wind and solar supposedly is.’
      Because they get their news from ch7’s Sunrise in the morning and their ABC at night.

      130

    • #
      Ian1946

      David, I just watched an interview on Sky with a New Zealand Minister talking about “carbon” reporting by companies. Vomit inducing stuff especially when he was banging on about 2 degrees of warming and adherence to the Paris accord.

      Yes they are out there and seem to believe what they are saying.

      140

      • #
        RickWill

        The single question that will stop the nonsense is to ask anyone claiming warming to tell you what the current temperature is and what will be the warm temperature at some date in the future.

        The average surface temperature on Earth, as best it can be measured, ranges from 6C to 20C over the year.

        The current range of CMIP6 models have the present global temperature covering a 2C range:
        https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNhBlQt8jdeBoZ9NhY
        The VAST majority of commentators spout nonsense about warming without actually having a clue what they are talking about.

        Next time someone talks about global warming simply ask them what the average global temperature was last month and what is was 50 years ago for the same month. You can even give them time on their phone to research it.

        In fact there is a challenge for anyone here – What was the global average surface temperature in March 2021 and what was in March 1971?

        70

        • #
          Tilba Tilba

          the global average surface temperature in March 2021

          I search on that, and found this:

          https://www.noaa.gov/news/march-2021-and-year-to-date-were-among-earth-s-top-10-warmest

          This would seem to confirm that the earth has warmed since 1880, and indeed since 1971.

          114

          • #
            el gordo

            I dispute that global temperatures have been rising since 1880, note the great climate shift of 1976. What do you think caused it?

            https://i2.wp.com/www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/global-land-ocean-mntp-anom/201401-201412.png?ssl=1

            80

          • #
            el gordo

            ‘The Pacific Decadal Oscillation index shifted in 1976 from dominantly negative values for the 25-yr time period 1951–75 to dominantly positive values for the period 1977–2001.’ (Hartman 2005)

            The PDO is now drifting back into negative, so it stands to reason that we are now entering two decades of cooling.

            50

          • #
            RickWill

            You have failed to answer the simple question – What was the global average surface temperature in March 2021 and March 1971?

            The link advises us that March 2021 was a sweltering 12.7C. You have not provided any indication of what is was in March 1971. So noe clue as to the actual rise (oe fall) over those 50 years.

            50

          • #
            John of Cloverdale

            That’s because they got rid of the embarrassing 1940s blip.
            “Phil, Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know). So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean — but we’d still have to explain the land blip. I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from. Removing ENSO does not affect this. It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”.” [Tom Wigley, to Phil Jones and Ben Santer]
            If they looked at the AMO and PDO plots, they would have seen it was a natural cycle which gave the warming in the 1940s and the cooling in the 1970s. But that wouldn’t fit with the CO2 con, so they had to alter the temperature data to agree with the CO2 warming hypothesis.

            40

        • #
          Peter C

          The average surface temperature on Earth, as best it can be measured, ranges from 6C to 20C over the year.

          Meaning?

          Taking a look at Roy Spencer, the largest excursion in Global Average temperature over the course of a year is about 0.5C. Admittedly he is not measuring surface temperature, but even so the average surface temperature might vary from 14.7-15.2 over a year.
          https://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_March_2021_v6.jpg

          30

          • #
            RickWill

            The UAH TLT is an anomaly. It is impossible to find the actual temperature. Over a year UAH actual measurement swings from about 268K to 273K similar to RSS:
            http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/irss_tlt_0-360E_-90-90N_n.png

            The scammers want you to believe in anomalies. If you see actual temperatures then they are in no way alarming.

            Take Tilba’s current alarming 12.7C for March 2021. Imagine a much more balmy 12C – average!!!.

            Everyone gets sucked into to talking about anomalies.

            I can guarantee that tropical warm pools will not exceed 30C – they are regulated to that value. There is no greenhouse effect and NO WAY a tiny amount of trace gas added to the atmosphere can warm the globe – it is unphysical rubbish.

            30

  • #
    David Maddison

    Germans, or at least their government and most of the Sheeple, seem to be even more fanatical believers in the anthropogenic global warming fraud than even NZ, UK, Canada and Australia, all of whom seem to be fairly high on the list of how much damage they are prepared to allow “green energy” to do to their countries.

    210

  • #
    • #
      David Maddison

      The second reference is on an engineering-oriented website and yet talks about “carbon” (sic) not carbon dioxide.

      The cluelessness of everyone involved in the Klimate Kult, including even so-called engineers and so-called scientists who no doubt did dumbed-down degrees in the last two decades or so; plus the Sheeple, politicians and public serpents who also use this incorrect terminology, is simply staggering.

      190

    • #
      RickWill

      The first two were supposed to be running in December 2020 but latest forecast is to be running in May this year. Not all going to plan!

      50

  • #
    Neville

    I’m more convinced today that it will need a major ongoing crisis in electricity generation to wake up our donkeys to their ignorance
    and stupidity.
    How anyone believes this religious fanaticism is beyond my understanding and even Rosling, Ridley, Shellenberger, Lomborg, Lindzen, Christy,Spencer, Happer etc seem to have zero impact on the clueless media.
    Certainly we know we are dealing with some of the most stupid people on Earth and Biden’s EXISTENTIAL threat nonsense is just more proof that our western so called leaders have completely lost the plot.
    Meanwhile China, India, Africa etc are building 100s of new coal fired stns and Germany will be at the mercy of Putin and his Russian gas pipelines. Will they ever wake up?

    190

  • #
    TdeF

    Whatever the future of various power sources, a National grid must run on the new UHVDC. The old argument between Tesla and Edison is over. Thanks entirely to semiconductors, Edison has won. (I still cannot believe he electrocuted an elephant to demonstrate the danger in using AC.)

    Move to Very high voltage DC and there is no problem with power stations coming and going and inertia and phase changes. Nor with distance and massive losses of power. But it has never been about distribution, but about man made Global Warming. Otherwise we might have had fusion power by now and not a landscape littered with thousands of decrepit useless windmills and solar farms, the greatest waste of money outside world war. And to make a few people rich, especially China and the Germans.

    110

    • #
      David Maddison

      It’s amazing that the same people who love the sight of tens of thousands of windmills polluting the environment won’t tolerate the building of almost anything useful, small or large.

      180

    • #
      Lance

      Tdef, UHVDC is a non starter for anything less than about 1000 km.

      Each substation is about USD 500 Million.
      The practical limit is 5. One at each end and 3 in the middle.

      UHVDC still has high corona losses at 500KV to 1000 KV.

      Fusion has always been 30 yrs away, and likely will be.

      We have what we have because it works and is affordable. The smart thing to do is keep the technology we know works now and forget about the unreliables and other unproven bright shiny things.

      The long term practical answer is some standardized thorium cycle or MOX U/Pu cycle with reprocessing.
      Even so, the pressure vessels have limited production. About 1/month from Japan Steel Works, and comprises 80% of the world’s capacity for those vessels.

      https://www.forgingmagazine.com/issues-and-ideas/article/21921859/us-cedes-capability-for-largest-nuclear-forgings

      150

      • #
        TdeF

        If Western democracies has thrown $10Trillion at the problem, we might be there. That’s a lot of pressure vessels, but it’s the basic physics which needs it, not manufacture. And that’s because coal, oil, gas, even uranium will run out soon enough. So short of Breeder reactors producing plutonium, we have no solution for the growing demand for power. Unless we want plutonium everywhere.

        80

        • #
          RickWill

          China is consuming resources at an unparalleled rate. There is hundreds of tonnes of steel in a single wind generator. China produce more than half of the world’s steel.

          China’s domestic known coal resources would only last about 30 years if they were not importing coal. I believe fossil fuel prices will climb significantly as this century progresses.

          One thing that 2 decades of dabbling with weather dependent generators proves is that they are currently not a viable option. There are only two current renewable energy sources; hydro and managed biomass. All the money spent on wind and solar generators has contributed about 3% of the current energy supply – a gnats wisker above nothing.

          Two decades of effort to get to less than 3%. So extrapolating gives us 20X30 years, makes 600years, to wean off fossil fuels. I have doubts that there are viable fossil fuel resources to last that period given the accelerating rate of consumption.

          There needs to be a significant breakthrough in energy production, extraction or reduction to get through the fossil fuel era in good shape.

          90

      • #
        TdeF

        I take your point, but Australia is a very big country. And the losses on even 500km can be 15%. At the time the Portland smelter was built in Victoria, the estimated losses were 50% over 500km. They may be down to 15% by now but it is still a huge cumulative loss of cash.

        Plus we are currently paying a $6Bn a year premium on our power hidden in our electricity bills at a wholesale level so the Greens can make windmill owners rich, subsidize solar and destroy coal, gas and oil, under the RET scheme. Few people even know why their electricity bills are so high.

        How much have we lost by stopping even searching for gas in Victoria. So a one off cost of $2Bn is peanuts compared to what we are losing every year to achieve nothing. Long term. We have not even built a new dam for 50 years. We dump water after storms, benefiting no one and not even generating electricity.

        And Marvellous Malcolm is going to pump water uphill. The bill for that could be well over $6Bn. It’s a bankers’ picnic on our money.

        110

    • #
      Hanrahan

      Move to Very high voltage DC and there is no problem with power stations coming and going and inertia and phase changes.

      I’ll admit to being a little out of my depth here but the retail poles and wires must remain AC surely. And to have DC isolation, which you seem to be advocating, you would need to have discrete retail supply areas where if a fault occurs the whole node remains down until that fault is rectified.

      10

  • #
    Lance

    Not everyone can be so utterly stupid as to think the unreliables can provide grid scale power.

    There has to be a reason the unreliables are politically mandated, as that is the only basis for their existence.

    The only plausible reason seems to be (at least to me) Control. Controlling energy means winning a war without having to fight one. Notice China is building more coal fired generation than the entire US Grid capacity? China intends to preserve manufacturing. EU, UK, AU, and US seem content with becoming “Service Industries” instead of Manufacturing Industries. If so, the Middle Class will go extinct, leaving only the Upper and Lower classes intact.

    This outcome appears to me to be wholly intentional. It isn’t rational from the point of view of any government that actually wants to be independent and sovereign. It seems designed to neutralize any sovereign nation into servitude.

    Just thinking out loud. There’s no rational reason to go down this green path to bankruptcy and subservience.

    210

    • #
      glen Michel

      So true and sinister.

      20

    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      Interesting observation Lance.

      If war was to start, manufacture is key to winning, as was demonstrated in WWII.
      Who’s in the best position? China with thousands of independent coal plants, or a distributed network with no backup? Hmmm, damage some of that distributed network and they’re manufacture instantly stops.

      80

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Pity the article does not mention lignite, which provides a lot more power than hard coal, it might have been in interesting post, but…

    120

    • #
      Lance

      Lignite has about half the energy content of anthracite coal.

      It “may” provide more total power because it is cheaper.

      Hard to tell what you mean because your statement is imprecise.

      https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/coal-heating-values-d_1675.html

      240

      • #
        TdeF

        The only reason lignite is half the power per tonne is that it is usually 60% water. A company in Bacchus Marsh and Monash university came up with a way to remove the water by compression. I mean who wants to pay the shipping cost of millions of tons of dirty water? The original order was $400Million from India but the ignorati journalists and their political friends stopped it.

        As with this whole carbon scam, we are run by idiot journalists whose science training stopped with Winnie the Pooh and politicans who play to the stalls. The vision of the 1950s is lost in the era of the professional politicians and unprofessional journalists who care nothing for facts. An era where Tim Flannery handed out his science opinion on Nuclear power and promoted investment in Hot rocks power generation (‘the technology is straightforward’. How would he know anything about technology?) The Hot Rocks failure cost taxpayers $93 million, and the university experts were on $400,000 a year.

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        Peter Fitzroy

        So…
        The article leads to the impression than only hard coal was being used, not the mix as I pointed out. Yet you accuse me of being imprecise. Of course, it also should have disclosed that gas, and nuclear are also part of the energy mix, but that would not have the impact now would it? And all the muppets would not be able to swerve out of their lane.

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          Paul Miskelly

          Peter Fitzroy,
          It has long been generally accepted that German coal-fired power stations are fuelled for the most part by lignite, or as it is called in Australia “brown coal”.
          Here’s a bit of history: when he was setting up the original brown-coal power stations in Victoria, Sir John Monash caused much controversy in some circles because he brought a number of German experts out to Australia to assist in the station’s design. Controversial because of the political sensitivities still lingering so soon after the end of WWI.
          I am at a loss to understand your concern that this point be clarified. The point of the article, surely, is that these coal-fired power stations had to be restarted. The specifics of their fuel type is a secondary consideration.
          Paul Miskelly

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      TdeF

      The German power stations run on lignite. And the power output is very comparable, if you remove the water. It’s all the same stuff after all. Old plant matter at different stages of metamorphosis or compression. Victoria Brown coal was banned from export by the Brumby government because the Age said they were going to remove the 66% water and ‘make it blacker’. Which clearly in the minds of the Age journalists is ‘carbon pollution’.

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      Richard Owen No.3

      The latest German lignite plants emit 800 kg CO2 per MWh, whereas Victoria’s are over 1100. If we were to up-grade them we could reduce their emissions nearly 30%. The Victorian government doesn’t want that, but they don’t want them shut down either or there would be major blackouts (possibly extending to SA and NSW) and they would be thrown out of office, possibly forcefully.

      The policy of the Gullible is to install more renewables but use those power stations to cover lack of supply, thus reducing their income but not their costs. Eventually the coal stations will become unprofitable and the private owners will shut them down anyway. Best keep a supply of candles handy

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        TdeF

        It’s quite insane to spend fortunes to lower CO2 output. To increase efficiency yes, but not lower output. CO2 is essential for all life on earth. It is in equilibrium. It is not pollution. And if it is filthy industrial pollution, there are 7 billion filthy polluters on this planet breathing out right now. Many of the Greens.

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      glen Michel

      Then again Peter you could always use Peat.

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    Serge Wright

    The real intention behind RE ideology is energy reduction, otherwise known as demand management from the MSM propaganda outlets. The idea being that after we move to RE, we are then told that we need to adjust our own energy usage in line with the weather in order to save the planet. Of course all of this is part of the green Marxist grand plan to reduce growth and prosperity and aid the transition to a Marxist-welfare dependency.

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      Richard Owen No.3

      That’s why they now want all new electrically powered appliances to be installed with a means of them being shut off from Central Control (when supply is low), and also new household solar panels to be shut down when supply exceeds demand.

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        OldOzzie

        FIMER makes it easier for solar customers to meet evolving Australian regulatory requirements

        April 1, 2021Energy Matters

        In late 2020 South Australia introduced its mandatory Remote Disconnection and Reconnection requirement under its Smarter Homes initiative. FIMER has been working with leading technology providers to offer a future-proof solution that ensures installers and customers can comply with this and other incoming requirements on the network, state or national levels, as well as the opportunity to access virtual power plant programs.

        FIMER’s current range of inverters (UNO-DM-PLUS-Q, PVS-50/60 and PVS-100/120) has been integrated with SwitchDin’s technology. Additionally, FIMER’s new three-phase range (PVS-10/33), alongside the REACT 2 hybrid inverter and energy storage solution will be tested for compatibility in April 2021.

        By partnering with SwitchDin, FIMER will be able to address emerging regulatory requirements and take advantage of new opportunities such as dynamic export limits, which allow solar system owners to avoid strict solar feed-in limits in favour of more flexible interaction with the distribution networks.

        SwitchDin is an Australian energy management software company that plays a critical role in the energy transition by making distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar PV and battery storage smart, visible and controllable.

        Warren Merritt, FIMER Technical Sales Lead, says, “It’s fantastic to be partnering with SwitchDin to offer solutions to our installers and end-customers. We are starting to see new and emerging rules or regulatory controls that are being imposed to address the high penetration of solar energy in some areas and this will potentially reduce a potential customers’ desire to invest in solar. FIMER is excited to be working closely with SwitchDin to ensure a smooth and reliable transition to a cleaner energy grid.”

        Utilising SwitchDin’s unique Droplet controller in conjunction with its Stormcloud platform enables homeowners and businesses to not only comply with South Australia’s rapid-shutdown regulations but offer advanced whole-of-system monitoring, energy management and alert functions.

        “As a vendor-agnostic provider of energy management software, the addition of FIMER’s inverters to our growing family of integrated devices is great news for anyone looking to tap into the grid of the future. We are proud to be partnering FIMER to enhance the value of their technology to their customers,” said Andrew Mears, CEO and Co-Founder of SwitchDin.

        Utilising SwitchdIn’s technology, FIMER’s UNO-DM-PLUS-Q, PVS-50/60 and PVS-100/120 inverters comply with South Australia’s Smart Home program with no additional subscription costs for customers using these inverters.

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        Ronin

        Already happening in SA and sure to spread to the next power shy state, keep watch for it and also coal generators being used a rotating frequency control instead of delivering steady reliable 24/7 power.

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    OldOzzie

    BA CEO: Zero Carbon Aviation Solutions Will Take 30 Years

    However, the industry is keen to start making changes now, not in thirty years. As such, multiple parties are currently involved in increasing Sustainable Aviation Fuels’ (SAFs) feasibility. These are currently available in small quantities for high prices. However, numerous industry leaders are attempting to increase the supply of such fuels to reduce the cost.

    Easy to integrate

    British Airways alone is looking to build 14 SAF production plants in the UK. Doyle points out that it is possible to integrate SAFs easily into the fuel chain, and they can substitute kerosene without any modification needed to an aircraft. Given how far away zero-carbon solutions are, the CEO believes that SAFs will be vital to the industry for the next 20-30 years.

    What are Sustainable Aviation Fuels?

    SAFs are made from combining regular kerosene-based aviation fuel with renewable hydrocarbons. Because the fuel is still classified as “Jet-A1,” ground workers can place it straight into an aircraft’s tanks. Across a lifecycle, SAFs can reduce CO2 emissions by 80%. But how do they manage this?

    When fossil fuels are burnt, the world’s net carbon increases, as it was previously locked away, and now joins the global ecosystem. However, in the case of SAFs, the renewable part comes from plant-based products. While plants are growing, they absorb roughly the amount of carbon emitted when the fuel is burned. While the carbon is still emitted into the atmosphere, it is recycled rather than adding new carbon to the atmosphere.

    What about hydrogen?

    British Airways is also actively targeting hydrogen-powered flight. The airline is in a joint venture with ZeroAvia, a company looking to make hydrogen flight a reality. So far, they have powered a small turboprop aircraft with their new technology.

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      • #
        TdeF

        It was a complete failure, despite costs of $1Bn sixty years ago. The photo is of a nuclear reactor on board an aircraft, not one powering an aircraft. And really the idea of a flying nuclear reactor? We have enough risks with reactors which are in concrete silos.

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          Peter C

          It did not fly but I would not call that a complete failure. Nuclear risk was probably a minor consideration.

          There was no need for it at the time. Jet fuel was a better idea.

          I think a nuclear powered aircraft would likely be better than Hydrogen. Then again Coal to Oil conversion is probably still an even better idea.

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          • #
            TdeF

            I suspect they just wanted to see if they could get a nuclear reactor off the ground. That’s a long way from using it to get off the ground.

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              Peter C

              It could be a good idea for long duration high altitude communications drones. An economical alternative to satellites.

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      Ross

      ” the renewable part comes from plant-based products. “OO – is that a bit like running diesel engines off canola oil? Sound like agriculture utopia until you do the maths and realise how much farmland needs to be devoted to replace all that oil which has been distilled into diesel.

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        Curious George

        It is deeper than just an environmental damage. Apparently, you need diesel fuel to grow the crop. More diesel fuel than you can produce this way.

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      Lance

      Good insight into the sanity of the BA CEO. I’d keep sharp things away from him and note he won’t be there in the 30 yrs he says it will take to achieve his goals. Bald face propaganda.

      The US Navy experimented with SAF. Spent USD 150 per gallon on algae based SAF. Also spent some USD 30/gallon on biodiesel mixed fuels. Right up until the turbine manufacturers voided the engine warranties because of off-spec fuel usage and Captains realized they were personally responsible for the loss of aircraft and lives if such happened.

      https://www.rt.com/usa/157724-pentagon-green-jet-fuel-cost/

      SAF will NEVER happen until G.E, Rolls Royce, etc, warrant their engines for use with SAF.

      Hydrogen? It takes 20 kg of composites to contain 1 kg of H2 at 700 Bar. Tell me how that works at 8 Km altitude? Fireworks are incredible to watch from the ground.

      https://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/hydrogen/basics/documents/task2_gaseous_h2.pdf

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      TdeF

      This is all based on using crops to produce fuels instead of food to save adding CO2 to the air.

      And that in turn is based on the insane idea that CO2 is stuck in the atmosphere somehow. It denies the basic physical chemistry of rapid gaseous exchange with the 98% of CO2 which is in the vast oceans and equilibrium.

      The best response was by Tony Abbott who just grew trees and bushes. It doesn’t take many and they are free. Plus the climate and rainfall can improve. However Malcolm and friends loved the billions involved in ‘Carbon Credits’ and you have to think no one wants to solve the problem. Firstly because they lose the income. Secondly because there is no problem.

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        TdeF

        And you know something stinks when his ‘Direct Action’ planting of trees to Green the landscape is opposed by the Greens who want to pay billions for carbon credits so other countries can allegedly grow trees, at a markup and a big commission to the bankers, like Malcolm.

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          TdeF

          And it’s the same argument against using old rotted plants to power our country. We are only allowed use the food we grow to power our cars, factories and phones and heat our homes. ‘The Science’ is the same. CO2 levels are allegedly man made, which is a lie. It’s no secret that man made CO2 is under 4%.

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      Kevin kilty

      The inability to use the term carbon dioxide produces some amusing results. The CEO of BA must be a dope, or even more likely the journalist is, but how about this?

      When fossil fuels are burnt, the world’s net carbon increases…

      The amount of carbon in the word, except for a bit of the 14 isotope’s variations remains essenially constant.

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    Neville

    AGAIN here’s the CSIRO Cape Grim co2 data and this CSIRO useful quote. See under seasonal variation and NH is the net SOURCE and SH is the NET SINK of co2. IOW we’re already NET ZERO.

    https://www.csiro.au/en/research/natural-environment/atmosphere/Latest-greenhouse-gas-data

    So why do just 0.8 bn people ( just 7% of emissions) have to do anything at all? Let’s leave it up to Biden and Boris etc and the 7 bn luvvies in the NET SOURCE NH ( 93% of emissions) if they’re so worried about it.
    “Seasonal variation”

    “Carbon dioxide concentrations show seasonal variations (annual cycles) that vary according to global location and altitude. Several processes contribute to carbon dioxide annual cycles: for example, uptake and release of carbon dioxide by terrestrial plants and the oceans, and the transport of carbon dioxide around the globe from source regions (the Northern Hemisphere is a net source of carbon dioxide, the Southern Hemisphere a net sink)”.

    Amazing how hostile some L W loonies become when you mention this CSIRO Cape Grim data.

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      Ross

      Australia produces 570 MT of CO2 emissions annually.(was once 660MT) The Australian biosphere consumes 8045 MT per year. The biosphere cleans 15x more CO2 that we produce. Not only are we already at Net Zero , we are in fact extremely Net Negative and have always been.

      [Apologies Ross this comment was caught by our spam filter]AD

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      Klem

      It doesn’t matter about net zero, it never has mattered.

      Understand this folks: its not about controlling CO2 emissions, it’s about controlling YOU.

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    IOW we’re already NET ZERO.

    wha? We are trending up in both hemispheres. Are you postulating that we will have a horizontal line?

    On the other hand are you saying that our emissions are bonded to our hemisphere and we can ignore the other half of the earth. That half that manufactures stuff we import and consumes the coal we export.

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    Neville

    Perhaps more hope of burying their RCP 8.5 fantasies and they should use this as an incentive to only follow proper data and evidence in the future.
    And Aussies should start building new coal powered reliable, HELE power stns ASAP. I’ve had a gut-full of their Sci-Fi nonsense.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/04/15/media-finally-notices-that-the-rcp-8-5-climate-model-is-over-hyped-science-fiction/

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    David Brown

    Let’s not forget the world’s most famous Greenie, Hitler.

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    John F Hultquist

    The first spelling of Pierre’s last name is wrong.
    2nd is correct.
    Pierre L. Gosselin is proper.

    John

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  • #

    Aloha! Jo if you can source from more reputable and recognized news sources it goes a lot further to shut down any push back from marxist climateers! Black Out News nobody in the USA knows. The Guardian or NYT is more lefty.

    I will give you an example. The Democrats in the USA are now on a “gun control” binge. If I posted an article to refute it from the RT or NRA or AK NEWS they just laugh! But when I post this link below from USA TODAY, a reputable NPR type lefty rag I get ZERO push back!

    OBAMA GUN CONTROL LINK: https://tinyurl.com/3d3rxd9c

    See! Now by using that link I can say Democrats have no leg to stand on regarding “gun control”! How can you be for gun control when you are the largest arms dealer in the world? crickets!

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    Tilba Tilba

    I’m finding this thread extremely interesting and I’m learning a lot 🙂

    Serious question: how is Snowy Hydro 2.0 going? Is it a genuine sensible project or not?

    (PS I remember visiting the original Snowy Scheme in about 1966 – a 7-day school trip – apart from being a cold year with huge snowfall – it was one of the most fascinating things I can remember from school days).

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    • #
      Hanrahan

      I was surprised to find that some pumped hydro is being scrapped in Europe [stated above] which confirms a suspicion of mine that Snowy 2 is Turnbull’s foible. I hope not because it is our money being spent.

      The dodgy economics is probably why the scheme at the old Kidston gold mine hasn’t proceeded. Much of the infrastructure is there already so if it can’t get off the ground “cheap” power to pump water up hill must be something of a myth.

      I have always said that the winner from any storage system would be the thermal generators who would have a smoother demand curve which would improve their efficiency.

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      Ronin

      Simple application of intelligence, if Turnbull is involved, then it’s a fizzer.

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      Peter C

      Good question TT. I hope you get an answer.

      My school trip was to the NE Victoria and included the Kiewa Hydro Scheme. It is small scale compared to the Snowy. I don’t know why they have not instituted a pumped Hydro system there. The layout seems ideal to me.
      Not economic I suppose.

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        Dennis

        I understand that Snowy 02 was part of the original Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme but abandoned because it was not going to be cost effective.

        It should also be noted that in 2019 there was a major concern that Snowy Hydro would be taken off line as the water storage position deteriorated because of the drought.

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        Hanrahan

        A proposal to turn Kareeya, an 88 mW hydro into pumped storage was killed by the greens. No way were they going to allow a dam on the tail race.

        But would it have been of value? Kareeya is fed from the Koombooloomba Dam which is able to feed virtually unlimited catchment water for a few months of the year. I recall a control room operator beaming that they had produced 110% of nameplate for the month. If your dam is topping you would never pump water back, capital expenditure is unproductive.

        When the northern grid was a separate entity Kareeya would take over freq. control for many months hydro is excellent for this. You can’t pump and control freq. at the same time.

        Thinking now, I see no value in spending money developing a perfectly good hydro scheme into pumped storage when it may only be short of “natural” water for a few months a year.

        A hydro with dwindling water is still able to supply output for morning and evening peaks for a number of months. What is pumped storage useful for? Meeting peaks. All this expense to provide a piddlin 88kW PEAKING power for the few months a year when water is short.

        It is hard to justify capital expenditure that will be idle most of the year.

        I’m thinking while typing but it seems to me that adding pumped storage onto a good hydro station is a fool’s errand. To justify expenditure it should be a dedicated facility, peaking is a problem even when dams are overflowing so, like the Big Battery need to be working 24/7/12.

        I may have answered TT by saying storage and generation are two separate issues and should not be conflated.

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      YallaYPoora Kid

      Snowy hydro is a typical Turnbull project – all based on financial models and low cost of power at a low demand period. Water is then pumped uphill to storage using low cost power and then generates power with water flowing going ‘downhill’ during peak demand (high returns) and claimed to be renewable.

      So it is just a financial swindle similar to other nonsense – the cost of building the project will far outweigh any real returns but provides another source of renewable energy to claim credits.

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      Kalm Keith

      “– apart from being a cold year with huge snowfall – ”

      Maybe it was winter. It does snow up there in winter.

      That’s why people can ski there.

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        Tilba Tilba

        In fact we visited the world’s oldest ski-club during our visit. I’ll leave you to find out its name.

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      • #
        Tilba Tilba

        “Maybe it was winter. It does snow up there in winter.”

        It was winter – but it was a particularly cold and snowy winter. In fact the whole Snowy Hydro Scheme 1.0 was premised on far higher snowfall than is now occurring, because of Global Warming. I’ve read it doesn’t output anywhere near the design capacity.

        And skiing at Australian resorts is highly dependent on artificial snow-making – it’s not an industry I would invest in long term. Lots of ugly abandoned ski resorts all over the Alps in Europe.

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        • #
          bobn

          Where are these mythical abandoned ski resorts all over the Alps? Name a few. I ski these resorts and they all have great snow this year. However the the silly panic over chinese flu has closed many this year but none are abandoned. Stop making carp up TT!

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          Hanrahan

          How is a small building in a sea of snow “ugly” but massive windmills dotting the skyline “picturesque”?

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      RicDre

      TT: Here is the latest article on Snowy Hydro 2.0 that I Could Find:

      Snowy tunnel-borers about to start digging
      Herald Sun 31 Mar 2021
      KIERAN ROONEY

      MASSIVE tunnel-boring machines on the Snowy Hydro 2.0 scheme are about to start digging, with work ramping up on the project that will boost Victoria’s energy supply and power 500,000 homes.

      https://www.pressreader.com/australia/herald-sun/20210331/281797106787305

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      Paul Miskelly

      Hi “TT”,
      I did a search on: “Engineering Design Considerations for pumped storage schemes”.
      One interesting paper that I found, clearly directed to a general audience, is:
      https://setis.ec.europa.eu/system/files/Pumped%20Hydro%20-%20technical%20concepts,%20design%20criteria%20and%20current%20development%20options%20-%20%20SANDER.pdf
      If one scrolls down to page 12, there can be found the dot point:
      “Length of the water conduit should be as short as possible. The ratio of head to length should be strived smaller than 1.2”.
      By “head”, engineers mean the vertical distance between upper and lower water levels, or the height through which the water moves.
      I trust that it is clear that, to minimise losses, the horizontal distance through which the water has to travel should be as short as possible. Indeed, an engineer colleague, experienced in this sort of work has told me that once the ratio horizontal:vertical distance reaches 4:1, the design is not viable, because pumping losses exceed the energy recovered from the falling water.
      Here’s the punch line for Snowy 2.0: that ratio is 26:1.
      I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
      Cheers,
      Paul Miskelly

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        Hanrahan

        Jeez…. Someone red-thumbed that, after all the research you did.

        We have at least one miserable B on the site.

        That 4:1 gradient would not be easy to find. Kareeya Hydro [Sorry, it’s the only hydro I know and can find on g-earth] is 3:1 from mill pond to generator station and that bypasses the Tully Falls, a major falls.

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    Flok

    Turnthebull said: Was supposed to be up and running by 2021. They got the final signature in May 2020.

    It went from $2b and they are still counting…. Around $7b+

    Why do prices go up when politicians get involved in anything?

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    Ronin

    The South Australian grid , being the wombats furthest down the burrow when it comes to unreliable power, intend to stabilise their grid by tripping your solar panels output when they have too much power and tripping your appliances when they haven’t got enough power.
    Really ?, is this any way to run a state power grid in 2021.

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      Peter C

      Tripping the solar panels is a good idea.

      Tripping the appliances is not. I hope South Australia gets there before Victoria (because I live in Vic).

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        Ronin

        Peter, South side of Adelaide is doing it now, Victoria will be next.

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        Analitik

        I’ve been hoping that for over 5 years now but the grid engineers are just too reactive and initiating mini rolling blackouts in South Australia that the MSM dare not mention. They also black started South Australia’s grid so quickly in 2016 that the lessons were never learnt by the general population , especially with the gas lighting by the renewabubbles lobby with the backing of the MSM.

        Liddell’s closure will be the straw that breaks the eastern grid’s resilience – the closure of Hazellwood gutted the operational reserve and the loss of Liddell will put it into deep deficit during high demand periods. Expect to see Queensland island their grid occasionally in the summer of 2023 onwards, letting the southern states to fend for themselves. Most likely, each state will end up islanded and the large rolling blackouts will occur in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales in in order to prevent statewide blackouts.

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    Curious George

    Closure? That’s where Australia is far ahead of Germany – the Ozzies don’t just close the plant, they blow it up. Germans reactivate it after 8 days.

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    another ian

    For the record

    “US Green Impossibilities”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/04/16/us-green-impossibilities/

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    CHRIS

    And just think of all the coal-fired power plants that China and India are currently building. These 2 countries don’t give a rat’s a$$ about CAGW, and I don’t blame them. Go for it!!

    10