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Guest post by Rafe Champion. Will it work to press on with more wind and solar power with existing storage technology?

PS: From Jo. Rafe Champion has been posting at the lost Catallaxy site for years so I offered him a home to try to fill the vacuum on Australian blogs for discussion on energy issues.

The dilemma Australia faces is that if we keep stuffing subsidized unreliable energy into the system we will force stable fuels out, and be carbon free, but we will also be free of 50Hz cycles, 24 hour power, aluminium plants, and manufacturing jobs. Policy-dreamers are using magical words like “battery” and “pumped hydro” as if Australia is a scaled up Mechano Truck run on Monopoly-money and we can expect reliable rain for the first time in 2 billion years.

Snowy Hydro Cartoon by Steve Hunter

by Steve Hunter

The Energy Security Board, chaired by Kerry Schott, has at last delivered a report to the Federal Government with proposals for market reforms to resolve a looming crisis in the national power supply or at least the NEM, the National Energy Market that covers the south-eastern states, excluding WA. The crisis is twofold – increasing grid instability and the threat of supply if coal plants are forced out of business prematurely. Both of those issues arise from the rapid escalation of intermittent inputs of wind and solar power because Australia has the gold medal for the rate of increase in installed RE capacity.

Kerry Schott, the chair of the ESB, has signalled that the ‘simple’ plan to move towards net zero emissions is to get in as much renewable energy and hydro as we can and back it up with pumped hydro and batteries.

The fundamental problem is the gap in RE supply on windless nights when the supply is zero. No amount of installed capacity is helpful in the absence of wind and sun, in the way that a chain is only as strong as the weakest link and a flood protection wall is only as good as the lowest point regardless of the high parts or the average height.

How much can we expect from pumped hydro and batteries?

The Snowy 2.0 project will probably cost north of $10 Billion and it will take years to complete. It is expected to deliver as much power as a big coal power station like Bayswater for about six months. So to replicate Bayswater we need a second Snowy 2.0 but where can that be located? And even then, the two Snowys (and associated wind farms) only replace 2GW out of some 20GW of coal capacity that we have at present.

Moving on to batteries. Some people in the industry will tell you they are not supposed to deal with wind droughts, they just deliver instantaneous inputs of power to stabilize the grid in the face of fluctuations of wind and solar input. But still there is talk about putting batteries at Liddell and Yallourn to cover the gap when they close. The problem is the difference in scale between the power that you can get from the battery (after it is charged) compared with the power delivered by the coal plant.  The pathetic scale of big batteries is explained here.

Many of the problems in the green energy transition are covered in the briefing papers from the Energy Realists and  you can see them all here.

 

9.7 out of 10 based on 61 ratings

91 comments to Guest post by Rafe Champion. Will it work to press on with more wind and solar power with existing storage technology?

  • #
    clarence.t

    No , it won’t.

    Snowy 2 “Water will be pumped to the upper dam when there is surplus renewable energy production and the demand for energy is low,”

    To get excess wind and solar for pumping the amount needed is many multiples of what we now have.

    For any sort of storage, you still have to produce the electricity first !

    422

    • #
      Peter C

      Totally agree clarence.t,

      How much can we expect from pumped hydro and batteries?

      The Snowy 2.0 project will probably cost north of $10 Billion and it will take years to completet is expected to deliver as much power as a big coal power station like Bayswater for about six months.. I So to replicate Bayswater we need a second Snowy 2.0 but where can that be located? And even then, the two Snowys (and associated wind farms) only replace 2GW out of some 20GW of coal capacity that we have at present.

      It is expected to deliver as much power as a big coal power station like Bayswater for about six months.”

      Where does that come from?

      210

      • #
        clarence.t

        What Snowy 2 will actually do is take advantage of low prices when there is a low of wind and solar to pump up.

        Then they will supply back to the grid when prices are high.

        This will actually help the coal fired power stations, because it will push up the price during lower price time, and will mean that the coal fired power stations don’t have to throttle back so much, thus operating more efficiently.

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        • #
          Ted1

          You seem to have forgotten that they intend to close the coal fired stations.

          220

        • #
          William

          I am still waiting for someone to tell me what will happen with Snowy II when there is an inevitable drought. What will be the priority for what little water there is – farms, drinking water, river health or the battery? Even if Snowy II is an enclosed system, which is unlikely, it will need constant topping up.

          20

        • #
          clarence.t

          typo first line low -> lot !

          01

      • #
        Rafe Champion

        Sorry Peter, it came from a serious clerical error converting the number of hours that Snowy2.0 can run into the number of days in the year.
        However you cut it, Snowy2.0 is not a substitute for a power station before you even get into the cost and the environmental impact.

        120

        • #
          clarence.t

          Big question is, how much wind and solar would they have to construct, somewhere nearby, to be able to operate it solely on “renewable energy”.

          41

          • #
            RobK

            The overbuild required to keep Snowy 2.0 cycling to the best advantage will depend on the relative priority given to either effective arbitrage (profit) or grid stability. You can’t use full capacity for both. If the grid is overwhelmed with RE, stability is maximised by running the storage at around 50% so it can be either a source or a sink to the grid.
            Any storage system works best with a predictable baseload that cycles on short rotation.
            Trying to fully buffer for weather and seasons will need to add in a large fudge factor because you need to juggle not just demand but also very variable supply.
            A fool’s errand.
            Keep up the good work Rafe.

            40

      • #
        Chad

        Re Snowy 2…..
        “It is expected to deliver as much power as a big coal power station like Bayswater for about six months.”

        From memory, Snowy 2 was planned to have a 2 GW generation capacity, and a storage capacity of 350 GWh ? (Max)
        So if those targets are achieved, all that can be expected is a 2GW supply for 175 hrs (7-8 days)
        That can be rehashed various ways since i believe the feed reservior for S2 can also supply existing Snowy generators , which could provide more power , but for less duration.
        I suspect the limiting factor will be the grids ability to distribute the power from the one generation point ?

        20

    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      To get excess wind and solar for pumping the amount needed is many multiples of what we now have.

      This is a rare event clarence, but I totally agree with you.

      I have never understood the physics of Snowy Hydro 2.0, let alone the economics. When (or more importantly, how often) is there going to be such an excess of wind | solar power that the price will be very low, and the emissions will be very low – enough to pump huge amounts of water up the mountain?

      Won’t the very act of sucking out that much “excess cheap” power mean that it will be used up very quickly, and/or the price will go up in line with the demand? The whole thing has got me stuffed, I have to concede.

      I certainly accept that emissions should drop – but it seems too often the cure is worse than the disease …

      11

      • #
        clarence.t

        “Won’t the very act of sucking out that much “excess cheap” power mean that it will be used up very quickly, and/or the price will go up in line with the demand?”

        I think that is what I was trying to say in my rushed post #1.1.1

        With the NSW regularly operating on 80% + coal fired power, where do they think the electricity for the pumps is going to come from. !

        50

  • #
    Dennis

    For information purposes, not long after VicGov closed Hazlewood Power Station (25 per cent of Victoria’s generating capacity) because of the prolonged drought the Snowy Hydro dams were close to empty and Snowy Hydro Power Stations could not be used to replace the lost capacity.

    220

    • #
      Jojodogfacedboy(A Collateral Damage Victim by Progressive Policies)

      The sales representatives did a real number on poor old Queen Elizabeth and she’s heavily invested the Monarchy on this terrible technology in which she’s going broke on.

      That’s why the propaganda changes to get worse as she’s wants suckers, ops investors to help her out of this jamb.

      51

    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      … because of the prolonged drought the Snowy Hydro dams were close to empty and Snowy Hydro Power Stations could not be used to replace the lost capacity.

      I remember visiting the Snowy Hydro Scheme as a wide-eyed schoolboy on a week-long excursion, in the mid-60s. It was a pretty cold and wet decade in NSW (at least in my memory), and we were enthralled to see metres-deep snow everywhere (as high as the roof our our lodge at Cabramurra) – and all the dams were full.

      It seems to have been pretty much all downhill since those optimistic and halcyon days. Mind you – the Snowy Scheme also did huge amounts of good, in allowing the development of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.

      00

  • #
    Dennis

    A manufacturing company production manager (engineer) used to say that sales are today’s people, manufacturing is tomorrow and distribution from warehouse the day after, and last are the accountants who record the figures and when necessary carry out outstanding debt collection and if required hire lawyers to assist.

    So why do governments rely on accountants and lawyers to make decisions on capital expenditure and infrastructure and ignore the engineers?

    240

  • #
    Neville

    S&W are a TOXIC disaster and last about 20 years, if you’re lucky.
    Over that time during cold winters the generation period is about 8 hours a day and cloudy overcast days are a disaster.
    So probably a lot less than 16 hours every day over a full year don’t generate any electricity at all.
    And still nights and days don’t allow any wind generation either, so where is the electricity to run a country to come from when we close down reliable base-load power stns?
    Batteries are another expensive,dangerous TOXIC joke and can never be relied on to run a modern country and will always fail after a very short period of time.

    290

    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      Over that time during cold winters the generation period is about 8 hours a day and cloudy overcast days are a disaster. So probably a lot less than 16 hours every day over a full year don’t generate any electricity at all.

      I understand what you’re saying – but there are large areas of the country from say Dubbo to Perth, where the sun shines strongly for many months of the year, and winters are mild. Not saying it’s ideal, but if you’re going to have a solar strategy, there are enormous areas of Oz where it should do better than most.

      00

  • #
    Rafe Champion

    I expect that everyone on this list is likely to agree that the RE experiment will never work.

    The thing is to get the simplest possible explanation and spread it widely outside our bubble.

    300

  • #

    No it will not work, it is a completely pointless exercise as atmospheric CO2 does not, can not cause global warming.

    The main absorption peaks in the CO2 spectrum are, in order of spectral intensity:
    a. wavenumber 667.661 cm-1 , that is, wavelength 14.9777 microns,
    frequency 20.016 Tera Hz, amplitude 3.061 x 10-19 cm/mol, photon energy 1.3263×10^-20 J,

    b. wavenumber 2361.47 cm-1 ,that is, wavelength 4.2347 microns,
    frequency 70.795 Tera Hz, amplitude 3.642 x 10-18 cm/mol, photon energy 4.6909×10^-20 J,

    c. wavenumber 3727.08 cm-1 ,that is, wavelength 2.6831 microns,
    frequency 111.74 Tera Hz, amplitude 6.092 x 10-20 cm/mol, photon energy 7.4035×10^-20 J,

    d. wavenumber 4989.97 cm-1 ,that is, wavelength 2.0040 microns,
    frequency 149.6 Tera Hz, amplitude 1.356 x 10-21 cm/mol, photon energy 9.912×10^-20 J,
    calculated using the HITRAN web site facility for the parameters of temperature of 12̊C and pressure 0.945 atmospheres being the estimated average conditions at about 500 metres above sea level.

    99.8% of the photons that may be absorbed by the atmospheric CO2 molecules will be from the 15 micron absorption band and Planck’s law determines this to represent the peak radiation from a source at 193.5̊K, hence they will not heat the Earth at its average surface temperature of 288.5̊K. Temperatures of 193.5̊K, ie. -79.5̊C, only occur occasionally in Antarctica.

    For an average Earth temperature of 15.5̊C (288.5̊K), the above four spectral bands represent less than one fifth of the emitted energy from the surface. In the same way that a thermos flask does not make its contents hotter by back-radiating the heat emitted by the contents, even if all of the energy from the four spectral bands was back-radiated to the Earth’s surface it would not cause an increase in surface temperature. Only radiation from a source hotter than the Earth can cause a temperature increase not the minor radiation from a few bands being part of the original emission spectrum. The only hotter source is the Sun.

    240

    • #
      clarence.t

      The following OLR chart shows very clearly that the small extra absorption in the CO2 band is transferred to the adjacent bands, increasing OLR in the atmospheric window.

      https://i.postimg.cc/FRtCjkyG/Radiative-change.jpg

      No energy is “trapped”.. CO2 warming is a myth, a provably incorrect conjecture.

      OLR has increased in line with global temperatures.

      https://i.postimg.cc/76VcwYzV/OLR-increase.jpg

      This implies an external source of energy.. ie the Sun !!

      121

    • #
      TdeF

      The point before CO2 causing heating is whether mankind has caused the CO2 increase. And it’s not true. You would think a wild idea like that would have stronger evidence than we think. Not only is it easy to prove that almost none of the increase is man made, a warming planet will increase CO2 as 98% of CO2 is dissolved in the ocean. Nothing .more.

      If CO2 is not controllable, what is it all about?

      250

      • #

        TdeF, there is no significant correlation between the Satellite temperature for the appropriate zone and the CO2 concentration data for a station within that zone, that is, CO2 concentration does not cause a detectable temperature change.
        Perversely – for the UN IPCC, the annual rate of change of CO2 concentration correlates with the temperature data, that is, the time differential of the CO2 record matches the temperature record showing that temperature determines the rate of change of CO2 concentration. The reverse is not possible as a CO2 rate cannot set a temperature level. For example, a rate of 2 ppm per annum could be zero to 2 ppm, 542 to 544 ppm or any other pair of number differing by 2.
        This is confirmed by taking the integral of the temperature with respect to time. It closely matches the time sequence for the CO2 concentration.

        It is all about lies by the UN to try and gain political control over all Nations. As that has been too slow to take effect they have turned their attention to creating a pandemic to frighten the World into submission.

        160

        • #
          Bozotheclown

          Bevan, you don’t need to even say this.

          What TdeF said is correct and needs no further support. Atmospheric Co2 would increase BECAUSE of warming not the other way around the source is the oceans. Human impact by consuming the carbon that is life giving heat/energy is trivial.

          50

    • #
      clarence.t

      “from the 15 micron absorption band and Planck’s law determines this to represent the peak radiation from a source at 193.5̊K, hence they will not heat the Earth at its average surface temperature of 288.5̊K.”

      The only way you can actually measure the CO2 radiation band to the surface is to use supercooled instrumentation, thus creating a negative temperature differential between the air and the sensor.

      ie, you actually have to create the conditions for CO2 net radiation to exist.

      81

  • #
    Neville

    Another very clear and accurate video from Prager Uni and Mark Mills is very tidy and explains the fantasy of the TOXIC S&W disasters.
    And this takes just 5.5 minutes of your time and you won’t be disappointed and everyone will learn something new.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqppRC37OgI

    70

    • #
      Neville

      BTW here’s the transcript of Mark Mill’s excellent video.

      Have you ever heard of “unobtanium”?

      It’s the magical energy mineral found on the planet Pandora in the movie, Avatar. It’s a fantasy in a science fiction script. But environmentalists think they’ve found it here on earth in the form of wind and solar power.

      They think all the energy we need can be supplied by building enough wind and solar farms; and enough batteries.

      The simple truth is that we can’t. Nor should we want to—not if our goal is to be good stewards of the planet.

      To understand why, consider some simple physics realities that aren’t being talked about.

      All sources of energy have limits that can’t be exceeded. The maximum rate at which the sun’s photons can be converted to electrons is about 33%. Our best solar technology is at 26% efficiency. For wind, the maximum capture is 60%. Our best machines are at 45%.

      So, we’re pretty close to wind and solar limits. Despite PR claims about big gains coming, there just aren’t any possible. And wind and solar only work when the wind blows and the sun shines. But we need energy all the time. The solution we’re told is to use batteries. Again, physics and chemistry make this very hard to do.

      Consider the world’s biggest battery factory, the one Tesla built in Nevada. It would take 500 years for that factory to make enough batteries to store just one day’s worth of America’s electricity needs. This helps explain why wind and solar currently still supply less than 3% of the world’s energy, after 20 years and billions of dollars in subsidies.

      Putting aside the economics, if your motive is to protect the environment, you might want to rethink wind, solar, and batteries because, like all machines, they’re built from nonrenewable materials.

      Consider some sobering numbers:

      A single electric-car battery weighs about half a ton. Fabricating one requires digging up, moving, and processing more than 250 tons of earth somewhere on the planet.

      Building a single 100 Megawatt wind farm, which can power 75,000 homes requires some 30,000 tons of iron ore and 50,000 tons of concrete, as well as 900 tons of non-recyclable plastics for the huge blades. To get the same power from solar, the amount of cement, steel, and glass needed is 150% greater.

      Then there are the other minerals needed, including elements known as rare earth metals. With current plans, the world will need an incredible 200 to 2,000 percent increase in mining for elements such as cobalt, lithium, and dysprosium, to name just a few.

      Where’s all this stuff going to come from? Massive new mining operations. Almost none of it in America, some imported from places hostile to America, and some in places we all want to protect.

      Australia’s Institute for a Sustainable Future cautions that a global “gold” rush for energy materials will take miners into “…remote wilderness areas [that] have maintained high biodiversity because they haven’t yet been disturbed.”

      And who is doing the mining? Let’s just say that they’re not all going to be union workers with union protections.

      Amnesty International paints a disturbing picture: “The… marketing of state-of-the-art technologies are a stark contrast to the children carrying bags of rocks.”

      And then the mining itself requires massive amounts of conventional energy, as do the energy-intensive industrial processes needed to refine the materials and then build the wind, solar, and battery hardware.

      Then there’s the waste. Wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries have a relatively short life; about twenty years. Conventional energy machines, like gas turbines, last twice as long.

      With current plans, the International Renewable Energy Agency calculates that by 2050, the disposal of worn-out solar panels will constitute over double the tonnage of all of today’s global plastic waste. Worn-out wind turbines and batteries will add millions of tons more waste. It will be a whole new environmental challenge.

      Before we launch history’s biggest increase in mining, dig up millions of acres in pristine areas, encourage childhood labor, and create epic waste problems, we might want to reconsider our almost inexhaustible supply of hydrocarbons—the fuels that make our marvelous modern world possible.

      And technology is making it easier to acquire and cleaner to use them every day.

      The following comparisons are typical—and instructive:

      It costs about the same to drill one oil well as it does to build one giant wind turbine. And while that turbine generates the energy equivalent of about one barrel of oil per hour, the oil rig produces 10 barrels per hour. It costs less than 50 cents to store a barrel of oil or its equivalent in natural gas. But you need $200 worth of batteries to hold the energy contained in one oil barrel.

      Next time someone tells you that wind, solar and batteries are the magical solution for all our energy needs ask them if they have an idea of the cost… to the environment.

      “Unobtanium” works fine in the movies. But we don’t live in movies. We live in the real world.

      I’m Mark Mills, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, for Prager University.

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  • #
    exsteelworker

    They, the ruinables zealots don’t care if ruinables can’t replace baseload . The IPCC,UN,EU,US DEMORATS,ALPBC/GREENS want, no, demand wall to wall ruinables. Especially for Australia, we must destroy our power stations and close all coal mines or else.What ever it takes, ALP. Our only one hope is for the US to be Republican controlled again, otherwise buy a petrol generator and wire it up to your house mains, cause you’re going to need it.

    100

  • #
    Analitik

    See this for a detailed examination of a pumped hydro scheme for buffering wind generated electricity in Scotland on Euan Mearns’ Energy Matters site which, sadly, is no longer active.
    Unfortunately, the comments are no longer available as there was always very detailed discussion at Euan’s site

    https://euanmearns.com/coire-glas-the-raging-best-of-pumped-hydro-storage/

    80

  • #
    Analitik

    And here is a series of articles examining the performance of the El Hierro hybrid wind/hydro plant Gorona del Viento.
    This was flagship project for Spanish renewables that cost between 67 and 80 million Euros to reduce the island’s diesel usage for electricity generation (7.6 MW peak demand) with a 5 turbine 11.5 MW windfarm coupled with a 11.3 MW pumped hydro plant. Of course, there was no reduction in the 11.36 MW diesel generation capacity so it was an incredibly expensive fuel reduction scheme.

    Much of the time, wind generated power was used in a semi-baseload mode with around 30% of average generation for a period used to fulfill demand (when there was sufficient wind) and any excess used to pump water from the lower to the upper reservoir which would then run down pipes back to the lower reservoir. The diesel generators acted as the flexible dispatchable source to provide most of the power and cover most of the wind generation gaps. The reservoirs were insufficient to provide meaningful pumped storage, despite the massive investment, partially because they were also the source of the island’s fresh water.

    https://euanmearns.com/?s=hierro

    140

  • #
    Saighdear

    Och never mind all the data about wind n solar n performance of EVs, etc.. LOOK! at for example uk’s gridwatch:https://gridwatch.co.uk . .. surely much the same around the world ?. VERY Little WIND to produce anything worth storing, let alone the cost of trying to “catch it” Seems the only things the Scots can catch in GREATER numbers this paast few weeks is COVID! Yet, “Roy MacGregor, group chairman of Global Energy, who started his working life at the Nigg yard, has returned with a vision to make the UK’s leading renwables hub.
    Work is underway at Nigg to assemble the foundations for the giant 1.1GW Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm off the Angus coast, securing almost 100 jobs at the yard.
    “I think we will have a renewable industry… building these structures for the future,” he adds.
    “They will be bigger, they will be better they will be more complex, and we’ll be feeding electricity to Europe and other parts of the world.” https://scottishdailypost.co.uk/when-the-oil-boom-brought-cowboys-and-crofters-to-cromarty
    Pity ! NO WIND today or yesterday or , … (and the days are noticeably shorter, so Solar is also getting less.)
    Nights are warming recently, only, but NOBODY mentions the record breaking Night-time LOW Temps we are having this year – meaning that the SOIL is not reaching its Optimum temps for crop growing ( around 5-8C at bottom of the furrow this now).

    90

    • #
      Chad

      Scotlands RE energy surplus…problems ?
      This is an interesting video about the Orkney islands off Scotland where they have a surplus of Wind and other RE power
      The video is intended to promote how communities can become fully RE powered, ..but in doing so, it reveals that it comes with a cost and complications..
      https://youtu.be/8UmsfXWzvEA
      Basicly they have so much wind generation (overcapacity for low wind days ?) that most of the time there is a surplus that they cannot use, so they have to shut down some turbines which of course makes the system inefficient and expensive. Electricity is very expensive in Orkney.
      In order to utilise the surplus, they either need a battery. ( more cost , no benefit) , or a bigger interconnector to the mainland (huge cost £250m !) that can only be justified by installing even more wind turbines ( unwanted eyesores !)
      An interesting insight to those that think 100% RE is simple.

      20

      • #
        Ronin

        Funny thing is they have all this excess RE power but it’s too expensive for most Islanders to use it, so they are installing their own turbines.

        00

        • #
          Chad

          Yes, further proof that having a plentiful supply of RE, does not mean electricity will be low cost !
          …add them to the list of evidence with Germany, California, S Australia,etc etc.

          00

  • #
    Deano

    Subsidizing renewable energy in order to make it competitive with fossil reminds me of the now defunct Australian car manufacturing industry. For years it was propped up by placing tariffs on imported cars which allowed local manufacturers to be protected from free market forces. This resulted in nothing more than a dead body on life support until the truth was so obvious, no one could justify pretending there was hope any longer.
    Renewables should be able to make economic sense all by themselves if, as numerous articles in the media claim, they’re now more economical than traditional forms.

    And I speak as a man with a soft spot for old Aussie cars. I had a Charger. Fantastic car but watch the arse when taking a sharp corner at speed. Short wheel base and live rear axle. Whooops!

    90

  • #
    CHRIS

    As I have always said…apart from wood and hydro, there is no such thing as “renewable energy”, given the current level of technology. Solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, nuclear power plants…made out of thin air? I THINK NOT. If the world wants to (eventually) live comfortably, then it MUST rely on renewable, clean energy (which, at the moment, does not include any of the above sources).

    30

  • #
    John F Hultquist

    Rafe’s comment (#5) is spot on.
    Perhaps enough people will pay attention and vote for folks that have not joined the Climate Cult.
    Otherwise, when something goes terribly wrong some cold dark night, the Cult members will blame the electrical grid managers.
    Then, somewhat like the police in big US cities, no one will want these e-grid jobs and many years of education and experience will be found hiking, sailing, or on the golf course.
    I’m sounding like a curmudgeon, sorry.

    90

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    My sincere Congratulations to the United Bloody Nations, the European Union, The World Health Organization and especially the World Economic Forum; You have Won!

    The western world that was rebuilt following World War 2 is now destroyed in every sense and securely Locked Down.

    Particular mention must go to the IPCCCCC, who through abuse of the Stephan and Boltzman equation and Planks Law, have verbalised true science to the point that up is now down, cold is now hot, and cheap is now expensive : well done team Schwab.

    All that is acknowledged, a remarkable achievement to be able to control the minds and lives of hundreds of millions of people who previously thought that they were free and well educated.

    But, the Gold Medal for sleight of hand must go to the group of IPCCCCC scientists who have made CO2 at altitude, capable of expelling “photons” against the thermal incline back towards Earth. Amazing.

    If you have ever heard a small rattling sound on the rooftop during the night, that’s it, Photons.
    ———
    Ad deadum:
    The former Western Nations have about three months left to free themselves from this catastrophic situation we are now locked in.

    Ad dandum;
    Those in the former state of Victoria and the new Penal Colony of Western Sydney have about four weeks.

    Good luck All, were going to need it.

    160

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Why do you think that any of theses issues are not being considered?

    016

    • #
      clarence.t

      “Why do you think that any of theses issues are not being considered”

      Because they still think it can be achieved.

      Obviously they have only looked through rose-coloured bottle bottoms.

      100

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Agreed, and obviously we need to consider that otherwise it would be inconsiderate.

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  • #

    On Saturday, August 14, grid operators disconnected several industrial plants from the power grid in the evening. The power generation could no longer cover the current electricity demand in Germany. The power supply was critical and it was no longer possible to secure the supply even by importing electricity.

    Power supply for critical industrial companies disconnected from the grid

    Germanys super green energy projects under proof.

    100

  • #
    • #
      Serp

      It’s a race then, whose power grid will collapse first? I hadn’t realized Europe had drunk so deeply of the renewables kool-aid.

      30

  • #
    David Wojick

    The impossible cannot happen so we should get ready for the coming crunch. Things may turn around pretty quickly once the grid starts to fail.

    121

  • #
    clarence.t

    SA currently generating 92% of supply from Gas (+ some coal fired from Victoria0

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    • #
      clarence.t

      ps.. They are currently importing more from Victoria, than wind is producing.

      Thank goodness for fossil fuels !!

      161

  • #
    clarence.t

    “The cold southerly winds led Sydney to a maximum of 10.2 degrees Celsius yesterday, the coldest maximum daily temperature since 1984. It was the coldest August day since 1962.”

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      Sambar

      But wasn’t it big news that Sydney had just had a record breaking run of days over 20 degrees in winter? It seems that this damn weather thing just keeps changing its mind.
      I wonder how the reported “weather bomb” that was going to hit Sydney has panned out, I seem to have missed any news on this event over the last couple of days.

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    Robber

    Wacky Wreckonomics – rooftop solar feedin tariffs $60/Mwhr when last Sunday the spot price across the AEMO grid at midday was negative $84/MWhr because of surplus solar generation. But what kept the lights on in the evening? Why coal of course, that had to ramp up from 9,400 MW to 15,600 MW. More intermittent wind and solar will not deliver a reliable grid.

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      Kalm Keith

      And;

      There is more Carbon Dioxide created in the production of every kWh from Wind and Solar than there is from modern Coal Fired generators.

      At no level is “Green Energy” actually green:
      it’s more of a Goost-urd gray.

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    Neville

    I’d like to ask Rafe Champion if he can find fault with anything Mark Mills says above in the Prager Uni video?
    It passed muster with me, but maybe I’m totally clueless and biased.
    Mark Mills has the research to back up his claims and the Manhattan Institute site has a lot of useful, detailed information we should use.
    Anyone have any comments or disagree with the above? Here’s the link to Mark Mills site.

    https://www.manhattan-institute.org/green-energy-revolution-near-impossible

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      Rafe Champion

      Neville I have been circulating Mark Mills items and especially the Prager video ever since I found them.
      Some people won’t watch Prager on principle, but keep up the good work and promote his work as best you can!

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    Serge Wright

    Snowy 2 won’t really deliver any power. In fact, it will be a large net consumer of power due to the losses of moving water uphill. I also read that it can only provide an output of 2GW for 7 days when at full capacity, not 6 months. But, as noted in the article, the storage is way too small to replace the entire coal power fleet’s dispatchable power.

    What I find difficult to understand is why some people wish to press on with removing all of the fossil fuel fleet of power stations when we don’t have a viable replacement solution using highly intermittent wind and solar. These people are either incredibly dumb or incredibly vengeful, seeking to inflict untold harm on society.

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      Graeme No.3

      And people forget that Snowy1 was designed to store water for use in droughts. If we are going to get more droughts as modellers claim, then there will not be that much water to pump up again.

      The whole purpose of Turnbull’s White Elephant was to use up excess renewable energy (when prices were low) and sell it (less 25% losses) for more than the cost (estimated $40 per MWh). We could have reliable electricity at that price from coal-fired but no, we are ruled by gullible politicians making decisions on matters they are competent to make.

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      David Wojick

      They are mostly neither dumb nor vengeful, just wildly hopeful. They fully expect technology breakthroughs. When I point out the problems I am consistently told that I lack imagination. So they suffer from an excess of imagination.

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        Serge Wright

        Hi David, these people use words like “imagination” as a cover. The majority are fully aware this is not a solution and they are the same people that don’t care about China’s enormous emissions, which is evidence of their real intentions.

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    Neville

    Mark Mills has recently appeared before the US Senate and Canadian parliament, although I think he’d have a battle to enter the closed minds of the US DEMs .

    And then could they really understand any of this ,even if they wanted to listen?

    https://www.energy.senate.gov/services/files/EF587531-1EBD-437F-ADF0-2FA60E198B71

    BTW here’s much more from Mark Mills about energy etc. See his bio at his site.

    https://www.manhattan-institute.org/expert/mark-p-mills

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    OldOzzie

    Thanks Jo and Welcome Rafe

    PS: From Jo. Rafe Champion has been posting at the lost Catallaxy site for years so I offered him a home to try to fill the vacuum on Australian blogs for discussion on energy issues.

    Definitely a Chocolate Moment

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    Rafe Champion

    Thanks OldOzzie and Jo, I started blogging in 2004 on the Catallaxy site that was started by Jason Soon. I decanted all the items off my website and mercifully they were all lost in the Great Server Crash. This is the list for 2004-05, 2006, 2007.

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    Above all else, the fundamental problem with relying on wind and solar power is that they can be totally wiped out with big lines of severe thunderstorms. The forces unleshed from big storms are well known, hail, lightning and strong winds but most people are not aware of how violent the down draughts can be under big storms, sometimes reaching 200 m.p.h. The wind power industry hides the true data on gear box failures which start to occur after about five years all around the world on all makes of turbines. It is impossible to keep large wind turbine blades in balance after they are installed because of all sorts of things that hit them irregularly even down to rain and dust and they cannot be designed for the vertical stress of thunderstorm downdraughts.
    As a former Airline Captain I can tell you that after 26 accidents in the USA in the late 1960’s and 1970’s with jet aircraft hitting the ground, we were always told not to take off or land when thunderstorms were near an aerodrome. Even at maximum power you cannot outclimb those downdraughts under severe storms so why would you erect wind turbines up on exposed ridges. The big storms will come back as all weather is cyclical – one big storm which hit Brisbane in January 1985 had radar returns at 76,000′ and wind gusts recorded at 187 k.p.h. blew out all the windows in the Brisbane control tower. Imagine wind turbines in the path of that and you can’t feather the blades when the wind is trying to drive them all down towards the ground.
    Most wind farms never seem to operate at capacity – in August 2019 I was flying a light aircraft from Ceduna to Port Augusta and the winds were 25 to 30 kmots from the south west. As I flew over the wind farm to the south west of Port Augusta I could count only seven turbines turning out of twenty eight and the next day observed a similar lack of turbines operating with those to the west of Broken Hill. In trips to Thursday Island the two wind turbines up there have not operated for a number of years because of the wind and costs to keep them serviceable. This is a form of madness that politicians don’t seem to grasp.

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      Ronin

      RK, it is interesting what you can see from a light plane, the small ORC plant at Birdsville has been shut down and they are back to diesel, same with Windora, its solar plant has been let deteriorate and they just use diesel.

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        Yes, I have noticed that and Coober Pedy had an unservicable wind turbine for many years. There are also countless Southern Cross windmills on rural properties throughout Australia that have been damaged or destroyed by wind and storms

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      Tilba Tilba

      Above all else, the fundamental problem with relying on wind and solar power is that they can be totally wiped out with big lines of severe thunderstorms. The forces unleashed from big storms are well known, hail, lightning and strong winds but most people are not aware of how violent the down draughts can be under big storms, sometimes reaching 200 m.p.h.

      Possibly – but there are huge / vast areas of Australia from Dubbo to Perth that hardly ever receive a thunderstorm like that … and if they do, they’ll deal with it okay. Where is the issue?

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        R.K.

        Not possibly, this is what happens with severe storms. Frontal systems can deliver thunderstorms over a wide area, hundreds of miles long and from a long aviation career flying all over Australia I say you are misinformed. The issue is big storms do destroy solar and wind and damage gear boxes and bearings and also many other things. You have obviously never been exposed to the turbulence in big storms. On the 2nd December 2005 a twin engined Piper Chieftain owned by a wealthy cattle grazier flew along the edge of thunderstorms near Condoblin in NSW at 10,000′ and both engines were torn from the wings and wreckage strewn over a wide area. The whole of western NSW had severe storms over a wide area for three days. Your statement is at odds with reality

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    GlenFromAus

    Snowy Hydro 2 is NOT for the common people.
    It is for the Elites (& their toady sycophants).
    Wind + Solar will pump the water uphill, the Elites (& their toady sycophants) will use the consatnt stable 2GW that are produced by SH2, and any Wind+Solar left over will be for the commoners.
    Australia will be at NET ZERO and the Elites will be exalted and praised.
    The common people (edit: those people that are left after the 80-90% of vaxxinated have died off before 31-Dec-2023) will use whatever “extra” power is delivered via Wind + Solar. And if there is NONE, then those commoners can “eat cake” like the SERFS did in the 1700’s.

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    Neville

    The Heartland Institute checks out the UN CODE Red warnings for our climate in the latest IPCC AR 6 report.
    Of course there is no EXISTENTIAL THREAT or CODE RED or APOCALYPSE or anything to be concerned about now or in the foreseeable future.
    The video is a little over 30 minutes but is well worth your time as they sort out more of the climate porn and so much of the extremist’s BS and fra-d.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tog6vDpxbr8

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    yarpos

    That’s the trouble with Arts graduates , they think real world things are simple because they have never built them or operated them and never will.

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      Tilba Tilba

      That’s the trouble with Arts graduates , they think real world things are simple because they have never built them or operated them and never will.

      We’re very smart – we get engineers and other drones to build all the stuff, while we kick back with a latte or a Chardonnay “-)

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    Ronin

    The only way that Snowy 2 would work is if a nuclear power station was built on the coast south of Sydney and it ran a desal plant and pumped water up to the Snowys.

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    clarence.t

    Meanwhile in China.. after a brief slowdown…

    “A total of 18 new blast furnace projects with a total capacity of 35 million tonnes
    per year and 43 new coal-fired power plant units were announced”

    https://energyandcleanair.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/China-Q2-briefing-coal-steel-CO2.pdf

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      clarence.t

      So, all you’s CO2 haters..

      Suck it up boys and girls, there’s going to be plenty to go around, for a long, long time. 🙂

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      John PAK

      When I talk about China building a new power stations each month and therefore burning more and more coal, some of the limp green types say that we (Au) need to set an example. Do we hold some sort of high ground or moral superiority ? We’re soon going to be left behind and without sufficient electricity to run a nation.

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    […] Many of the problems in the green energy transition are covered in the briefing papers from the Energy Realists and you can see them all here.Jo Nova Blog […]

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