JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Australian wholesale electricity prices have doubled in the last year (and it’s because we don’t have enough coal power)

Luckily for Energy Oligarchs, Australian electricity prices have bounced right back to pre-pandemic insanity. Wholesale rates are romping around $170 dollars a megawatt hour in April across the whole national grid…

The media mouthpieces are blaming it on outages of coal turbines — even though wind power fails every week, and solar fails every day. If unreliable generators cause high prices, then Wind is King Fickle. They’re also blaming high coal prices, but coal itself, is a small part of the cost of a two billion dollar plant. Naturally, neither political team has a clue how to fix this. But it’s all so banal — the prices are set at auction, and some fuels are cheap. Add more of the cheap type, and we’d get cheaper electricity.

Right now, if there were more black coal plants setting the price more of the time, electricity would be half the cost. If enough brown coal plants like Hazelwood were still running, the prices would be a fifth. It’s all there in the data that ABC journalists never find. Consider the winning bids by fuel type in Australia for the last quarter of 2021. For Brown Coal, the average winning bid was $11 a megawatt. Eleven!  When the Australian grid had a bit more coal, and a lot less unreliable renewables, the average cost for decades was $30 per megawatt.

The reason a few broken coal turbines seem to wreck havoc on the Australian market is because we need them all to keep prices down, and don’t have any to spare anymore. Imagine how much fun it will be when we shut the rest of Liddell down?

The real cause of hideous prices are the geniuses in government who thought they would stop some storms if they subsidized the unreliable generators and drove the cheap ones off the grid.

The ABC as usual, works as advertisers for the Renewable-Industrial-Complex and the side of politics that pays the ABC the most.

ABC Blames Coal for high prices of electricity.

ABC Blames Coal for high prices of electricity.  ABC

 

Nobody mention brown coal:

Behold the graph below from the last quarterly report of the AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator). The cheapest prices were all set by brown coal, and that was at a time when coal prices were at record highs of $200 dollars a ton. But even the black coal prices then are half the price of gas, and half the price of the current market. It follows then that coal power is not winning enough bid stacks at the moment, and if we had more coal we’d have cheaper electricity.

They could have headlined this graph: “Brown Coal still impossible to beat”.

Brown coal setting lowest prices on Australian NEM Market. Electricity Grids.

Brown coal sets the lowest prices on the Australian NEM Market.  | AEMO Q4 Report 2021 

 

For  what it’s worth, global coal prices in the last quarter of 2021 were not as high as now ($330) but still a record at the time — and a meaty $150-$250 per ton — all of it very high compared to the long term average of $50 – $100 a ton.  During these highs our coal plants were still out-bidding and generating electricity cheaper than all the other sources. Though they likely have forward contracts so they’re not prey to these spikes. But if push came to shove,  Australia has 300 years of coal to dig up. It’s not like we couldn’t mine a bit more…

 

Cheap electricity isn’t a radical idea.  It’s what we did for 30 years.

h/t to Dave and George, Wazz, and Old Ozzie.

REFERENCE

AEMO Quarterly Energy Dynamics Q4, 2021 

9.8 out of 10 based on 64 ratings

159 comments to Australian wholesale electricity prices have doubled in the last year (and it’s because we don’t have enough coal power)

  • #
    Mike Jonas

    If “Outages at a number of coal plants helped drive up east coast power prices”, then what would blowing up coal plants do to South Australian power prices?

    411

    • #
      rowjay

      Wouldn’t outages of wind and sun also drive up east coast power prices??

      251

      • #
        b.nice

        Yep, that is when prices really get high. So much gas needed.

        151

        • #
          ozfred

          Seems that WA thought about gas prices many many years ago…
          Pity the eastern states didn’t

          63

          • #
            rowjay

            There were transition strategies towards renewables put in place by eastern State Govts (and the Federal also with Snowy 2 among others) – these major infrastructure projects do not happen overnight.
            The sensible thing to do was replace Liddel PS with a modern, 2.4 GW+ HELE plant for grid stability with immediate emissions reductions when compared to the 1970’s technology it would have replaced to ease through the transition, but no – not palatable for some groups.
            The next step was to rely on peaking gas plants for the transition, as there were known domestic gas reserves in both NSW and Vic that could have been developed to supply these units, but no – gas is not palatable to the same groups, who are also wanting to ban gas heating in our southern homes! A ban on gas heating will actually shift peak electrical demand (at least double in fact in these regions) to the winter months when solar power output is reduced, and as eastern Australia experiences wind stagnation events during winter months that can last for days, I’m at a total loss to understand the logic.
            So congratulations climate activists – we are still relying on base load power generated by (mostly) outdated coal plants that are also being forced out of business by the preferential treatment given to variable renewable energy (VRE) suppliers, gas deposits that should have been developed for the transition still remain in the ground while gas prices surge, and it will cost a mere $20billion to connect up more of the VRE suppliers who caused the unreliable grid problem in the first place as they were not required to supply “firm” power! Remember the criticism of gold-plated poles and wires upgrade a decade or two ago – so now the solution is to create “platinum” poles and wires for connections going to nowhere.
            Those who think 100% renewables (even with mega-battery backup) will reduce power costs at consumers’ front doors for the foreseeable future have bypassed their logical brain -/end rant/.

            161

            • #
              Sunshine Rainbows

              China now has coal plants that are three generations above our coal fleet. Its also worth knowing that the Australian 1970s-build coal plants were designed for baseload applications only – not for cycling. Now they’re being forced to run for cycling operations which creatse huge problems with pressure parts and steam/water systems. Virtually every Aussie coal plant trip is from a tube leak since these ancient coal gens are being forced to cycle due to VREs.

              131

    • #
      Graham Richards

      I’ll just have behave like the proverbial cracked record!

      Just wait awhile for prices to conservatively treble/ quadruple when coal generation is no more. The subsidies from cheap coal generation will dry up & renewables will rule!!
      Prices, reliability & availability will cripple all but the cave dwellers.

      The irony of it is that our own leaders are doing this to us at the behest of a body, the UNITED NATIONS. Have any of you ever voted for the UN or any of its swill known as representatives/ leaders.

      Communist’s control used to revolve around state ownership of resources, labour & manufacturing. Difficult to do as only private enterprises can run an economy successfully.
      So let private enterprise do their thing & simply control energy. Nobody can do anything without energy so a world government in control of supply of energy on their terms = total control without all the messy bits. Only the compliant super wealthy will be members of the new world government club. The rest will do as they’re told!

      241

  • #
    Geoff+Croker

    Reality no longer exists. The Voldemort of gas, CO2, rules all thought. It remains unspoken but drives all energy policy. Self made Gaia idolatry.

    Its all going wrong but the ship of state cannot alter direction without losing elections. Deluded voters want their cut of the avalanche of free money. A planned path to an economic meltdown.

    Our political class cannot Add. They can ONLY Divide. Democracy has one major failing. Vote buying by money printing.

    The RBA has allowed a BIG PRINT RUN in the name of covid necessity.

    Now comes the consequences.

    Money (DEBT) has no value if interest rates are zero. MONEY = DEBT. Economics 101.

    261

    • #
      Ronin

      The chooks are coming home to roost, print money for any length of time and expect inflation to follow, like night follows day.

      110

    • #
      Lance

      Geoff: “Money As Debt” video, by Canadian Paul Grignon

      Makes economic reality very clear.

      20

  • #
  • #
    Erasmus

    We have seen this coming for years, but our political class just don’t get it.

    201

  • #
    RickWill

    Jo wrote:

    The cheapest prices were all set by brown coal, and that was at a time when coal prices were at record highs of $200 dollars a ton.

    The chart you are referring to specifically states by fuel type. It omits the negative price set by the wind and solar generators. In the section above the selected chart in the Report on page 18 you will find that wind and solar are setting the price more often. This occurs when the rooftops kick in and the price goes negative. From the report:

    Wind and solar price-setting frequency increased to 12% in Q4 from 10% in Q3, an increase of eight percentage points since Q4 2020.

    Increasing price setting by wind and solar means the price is going negative more often. W&S can stand negative prices down to the cost of LGCs – I think now at AUD47/MWh. Coal bid energy blocks well below this level so they stay scheduled.

    If you look at the SA and Victorian prices, they are often negative around minus AUD40. This is when wind or solar is setting the price. Today for example:
    https://www.aemo.com.au/energy-systems/electricity/national-electricity-market-nem/data-nem/data-dashboard-nem#price-demand
    In Q4, Queensland solar often sets the wholesale price.

    105

    • #
      Lawrie

      I am obviously thick. How can a supplier of any service or good bid a negative price and still remain solvent. At the height of the drought even poor cows on the flooded market gave a return small though it was. If one is bidding a negative price I assume they are paying someone to take their power. Is that correct? As Pauline would say very honestly IMHO “Please explain”.

      161

      • #
        GERARD BASTEN

        This is a very good question!
        The answer is that the spot price is not paid by retailers who have contracts for differences with generators. These contracts have a “strike price” where the generator receives this price at all times but pays everything it receives in excess of this price back to the retailer.
        This concept is not well understood by most people and I suggest you research it for yourself some more. But it is vital to understanding how the electricity market works.
        So in the real world what happens is that generators and retailers sit down regularly to agree what the “strike price” will be for future periods. The strike prices agreed to is the real guide to what customers will pay, not the spot price.

        100

      • #
        Tel

        I can’t believe how many people don’t know about LRET. It’s the one thing that you can talk about, and talk about, over and over but it’s impossible to make a dent.

        The Australian government has imposed transfer pricing, there is never a real-world negative price. The transfer pricing get settled after the wholesale electricity market, therefore it’s not quoted in wholesale price and gives the appearance is of a nominal negative price.

        A completely parallel market exists trading large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) giving those wind and solar generators additional revenue. One “LGC” equals one megawatt hour of a non-CO2 energy generation. The 2021 spot price for an “LCG” ended up approx $40, so you can add that to whatever the wind and solar generators get in the wholesale market.

        http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/Infohub/Markets/Pages/qcmr/september-quarter-2021/LGC-Market-trading.aspx

        That’s what makes it worth their while to keep generating into a nominally negative wholesale market.

        That’s also what makes coal less profitable than it otherwise would be in a normal, non-mangled market … each MWh of coal power generated requires sufficient “LCG” purchase to meet the current target percentage. Another way to look at it would be, no one wanted to buy “Green” electricity, and the government figured it was easier to simply force everyone to buy it.

        221

        • #
          Lawrie

          Thanks Tel. I still find it most confusing but a quote springs to mind ” Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”. Just get rid of the subsidies to wind and solar and most of the problem would go away.

          51

      • #
        GERARD BASTEN

        I might add that generators bid low prices only to make sure that they are dispatched according to the merit order. However if they do this too often they will find that the strike prices offered at future negotiations are lower than before. The problem here becomes one where the government interferes and pays subsidies to ensure what wind and solar generators can keep on generating by getting guaranteed prices no matter how often they bid low. This distortion is not seen by customers who in fact are paying for these subsidies through their taxes in addition to the artificially low electricity price. So when government says that the price is low, they forget to say what the subsidies cost. i.e. smoke and mirrors….

        171

        • #
          RickWill

          that they are dispatched according to the merit order.

          Nothing is dispatched according to merit order. Coal generators bid blocks of energy at high negative price to remain scheduled. It is cheaper for them to take a loss for a few hours then make it up when the rooftops go out.

          If generators were scheduled on merit order then W&S would always be scheduled as their marginal cost is negative but they are not. They voluntarily curtail when the wholesale price goes lower than the negative of the current LGC price.

          All NEM market bidding is based on maximising income for generators.

          14

          • #
            GERARD BASTEN

            You are correct to say that they are dispatched according to bid price which is taken to be “merit order”. However you miss the point that their compensation comes from the contract prices, though the “contracts for differences” that they have negotiated, nothing else. This contract price will over the long term be equal to their cost of production. It is therefore the subsidies to wind generators and solar which distort the market. Coal generators get no subsidies!

            111

        • #
          b.nice

          “How can a supplier of any service or good bid a negative price and still remain solvent. “

          In the case of wind and solar…. they get big subsides to cover that negative price.

          In the case of coal, they know they will still be in the game when the price goes up due to wind and solar having a rest.
          Its probably cheaper than throttling up and down.

          31

          • #
            GERARD BASTEN

            You can get the answer to your question by reading my post 5.1.3.1.1 It was a very good question.

            20

      • #
        Ross

        Me too Lawrie. Obviously the key players in our electricity grid want to endlessly complicate the system so they can “game” it. So, that average Joe in the street has no clue how it works. A little like mobile phone plans.To underpin that gaming those players create myths. First that it is a “market”, which it isn’t. It’s a heavily controlled exchange dictated by ideology and politics. The other myth – that renewables provide heaps of electricity and are really cheap because, you know, sun and wind are free.

        51

      • #
        RickWill

        I am obviously thick. How can a supplier of any service or good bid a negative price and still remain solvent.

        LGCs currently trade for AUD48.7/MWh. This is paid to grid scale S&W when they produce. They have some marginal cost like FCAS charges that they bear but they can still make money around minus AUD40/MWh wholesale price.

        Coal and gas can bear high negative prices for short periods in the knowledge they can make money during evening peaks. They also get paid for the stability features such FCAS, RERT and AEMO directions that they provide. So the wholesale price is nothing like the whole story.

        The wholesale price only makes up a small component of the retail price. It includes most of the FCAS, RERT, directions and some of the curtailment as well as all the LGC costs then the transmission and distribution costs.

        All the money being spent to connect and stabilise the intermittent generators is now baked in. That capital will be impacting on retail bills for decades.

        So it is possible for S&W to make money at negative wholesale price but the consumer is being royally screwed by the whole mess. The only way out now is to go off-grid – if you can of course. As wealthy people leave the grid, those stuck on the grid will bear a greater burden of all the capital expenditure.

        The previous chairperson of the electricity security board Kerry Schott, has recently called for the cost of new transmission lines to come out of general revenue rather than from consumers as it is becoming clear electricity costs cannot go down with the high level of expenditure on all the new infrastructure.

        The biggest increase in actual generation in Q4 2021 was from rooftops. It covered most of the fall in coal generation.

        41

  • #

    Isnt the wholesale cost simply dictated by the market “supply vs demand” situation , independent of generation source ?
    Such that when wind fails ( as recently) on a dull day,..the wholesale price ramps up due to supply limitations ?
    The “Pollies” are blaming the War in Europe for forcing up the price of gas and coal, but that has to be BS.

    131

    • #
      Lawrie

      The politicians who “engineered” this debacle are hardly going to admit fault now are they? Why the MSM does not hold them to account is also confusing but then they would have to admit their complicity in selling the people a dud.

      131

    • #
      RickWill

      Isnt the wholesale cost simply dictated by the market “supply vs demand” situation , independent of generation source ?

      No – all bidders in the market are aiming to maximise their profits. There are a lot of smart people with powerful software working out what their daily bids well be, all aimed at maximising income. Just one example here:
      http://www.hardsoftware.com/our-software

      Operating for over 20 years, HARD software has the unparalleled experience of developing the market, trading and operations software you need to maximise market revenues and mitigate all of the compliance and financial risks for renewable generators.

      If anyone has experienced a retail electricity price reduction, I would like to hear from them!

      31

  • #
    Neville

    That crazy King Island system was running on 100% wind this morning for about 5 minutes, solar 0% , Battery still FLAT and diesel having a rest for once.

    https://www.hydro.com.au/clean-energy/hybrid-energy-solutions/success-stories/king-island

    91

    • #
      Lawrie

      KIng Island is in an unusual situation having no access to mainland power. It sits in a very windy part of the continent being in the middle of Bass Strait (for non-Australians, although watching some quiz shows leads one to believe many Australians don’t know where it is either), so should be in a prime wind generating position. It is a prime candidate for renewable energy with diesel backup. It would be very interesting to do the sums and see if the expensive renewable setup actually saves money over time.

      61

      • #

        Lawrie
        April 30, 2022 at 8:58 am · Reply
        KIng Island …….
        ……It would be very interesting to do the sums and see if the expensive renewable setup actually saves money over time.

        Well, that is precisely why it was installed as a Pilot development site for RE systems.
        But getting hold of the detailed costings would be like sqeezing blood from a stone.
        It has had several revisions and changes ( replacement battery etc) , over the time it has been operating, but the only data that i have seen reported is that it has reduced the Diesel generator operating time by 40-60% ??…..with no cost details.

        81

  • #
    Lawrie

    As we have known for the past 20 years the MSM is the problem. One or two decent newspapers could have destroyed the climate scam at the outset. It also proves that journalism schools AKA universities are completely useless when it comes to providing the community with information. There is now only one source of news on the airways and that is Sky after dark and channel 53 for those of us in the bush. I note that ever so gradually there are more advertisers on 53 as they realise more people are watching.

    131

  • #
    Simon

    The report actually says:

    Daytime electricity prices continued to fall, particularly in the southern regions which saw record negative price incidence in South Australia and Victoria, especially in October. Drivers included continued growth in grid-solar output, which at 269 MW exceeded wind output growth of 156 MW, coupled with lower operational demand
    (down 465 MW) due to strong growth of distributed photovoltaic (PV) output and cool wet La Niña conditions which reduced cooling loads and maximum demand levels. However evening and overnight prices were not affected by these trends, remaining substantially higher than a year ago.

    423

    • #
      William

      Well, looking out my window here in Sydney, we are having yet another day when rooftop solar panels are nothing more than decorations and power walls are only good for storing coal or gas generated electricity. EVs are being solely run on coal or gas – perhaps a bit of hydro. And this has been pretty constant for all of our so called Autumn, Summer and now Spring.

      Daytime demand is down because very few households, other than a handful of hottish days, have bothered using air-conditioners for the last year or so. Had we had a hot summer the crisis we are in would have been very apparent as airconditioners drained the grid.

      221

    • #
      b.nice

      Which explains why SA has the highest electricity prices, by far, right Simon ! 🙂

      https://i.ibb.co/sKSn2F5/Electricity-by-state.jpg

      131

    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      Like yourself Simon the ‘report’ is full of rubbish . .

      82

    • #

      Daytime electricity prices continued to fall,”

      But overall prices are rising. So extra solar at midday reduces demand, curtails cheap coal, and in the end either drives out the most efficient cheap producer of electricity at all hours — or makes it run less efficiently. The coal plants that stay on have to cover their costs, so they charge a bit more all the other hours of the day.

      Solar and wind are the vandals on the grid.

      271

      • #
        RickWill

        Solar and wind are the vandals on the grid.

        This is true and the damage was done as soon as the first vandal was released. There is no going back. All the costs on transmission, distribution, stability mechanisms, market systems, synchronous condensers, reliability and emergency reserve providers etc are locked in with guaranteed cost recovery that is not going away over the next decades.

        The fundamental is that W&S offers no benefit of scale and there is a huge cost in transmitting dispersed energy over large distances at low capacity factors. Ultimately it will be cheaper to make your own electricity – it is already cheaper for some.

        121

        • #
          Tel

          There is no going back.

          Yeah there sure is a way of going back … LRET was designed with a sunset date, and keeps getting extended by each government. First time it does not get extended … BOOM! Solar and wind instantly becomes unprofitable.

          All that is required is one government to do nothing at all, let the thing expire … easy as bro.

          111

          • #
            Lawrie

            Who has the guts? Anyone who might is kept away from the levers of power on a backbench or driven out all together.

            21

          • #
            RickWill

            Yeah there sure is a way of going back

            The capital has been spent. All the rooftops are not going away; at least in the next couple of decades until a decision in needed for replacement of some of the earlier units. Rooftops are the main cause of negative daytime prices and that is getting worse.

            The LRET is still due to run till 2030. When it expires, all the grid W&S will keep generating with zero marginal cost. The wholesale price will set around $0 rather the -$40 now. Even without any increase in LRET, the level of W&S will remain at 2030 levels for decades until they need a decision on replacement.

            The big costs have been in new transmission and distribution upgrades. The capital spent is guaranteed a return. It is locked into the existence of the suppliers of poles and wires. The costs are recovered over decades – like road tolls. They essentially never go away because the new infrasture requires maintenance.

            The more capital invested in infrastructure, the higher the costs of operating and maintaining it. None of it will be stranded.

            If you think Clive Palmer is going to call the shots and disconnect all the intermittents, you are on hopium. The grid will not go back to dispatchable, centralised generation unless there is new nuclear technology widely accepted in Australia.

            32

      • #
        OldOzzie

        They’re Paneling Paradise to Put Up Solar — a Lot

        By Steve Miller, RealClearInvestigations
        April 28, 2022

        The pathway to a green future involves taking millions of acres of pristine wilderness and turning them into fields of windmills and hot expanses of glistening panels.

        The Biden administration’s goal of supplying 40% of the nation’s energy from the sun by 2035 means covering millions of acres of forest and desert habitat with vast solar panel installations fenced off like prisons. It would require 8,800 square miles of land, or 5.6 million acres, to generate that power (leaving out small installations on buildings and the like) — about the size of Rhode Island and Massachusetts combined.

        But the push to convert that land from pastoral to energy-productive is galvanizing a new environmental movement, one led by citizen groups and small non-profits rather than the monied green interests arrayed against them — ones ironically accustomed to casting the fossil fuel industry in the role of the ecological heavy.

        The potential impacts of solar-power installations have flown under the radar while much public resistance has centered on wind farms – which kill an estimated 1.2 million birds per year in the U.S. and are considered loud and unsightly by many who live near their towering turbines. Even as the Biden administration has made limiting the environmental impact of oil and gas a key goal, it has opened large tracts of federal lands to solar development by major corporations including Duke Energy, Exelon and BrightSource Energy.

        Solar advocates say mitigating climate change requires a switch to carbon-free energy, and utility-scale solar installations are vital to the effort. They contend a looming climate crisis requires the switch to be made quickly, although the effects of widespread solar development are not fully understood.

        51

  • #
    robert rosicka

    If Hazelwood and the one at Port Augusta were still running and there was no wind or solar in the mix there would be stability in the system even if one plant had trouble . As for coal prices being to blame didn’t dangerous Dan raise the price of Brown coal 300% years ago. If you could see a chart of electricity prices with the correlation of when intermittent generation came into the mix along with when they started blowing power stations up I’m sure it would tell the true story . Intermittent energy means intermittent prices .

    211

  • #
    Ronin

    If as they have said, that coal outages have caused the wholesale increases, doesn’t that indicate that unreliables are the culprit , you can’t have it both ways.

    102

  • #
    Ronin

    Flinders Island widget indicates the wind speed is around 25 m/sec which is close to 90kmh, that is howling.

    71

    • #
      William

      Well those wind generators may well have hit the wind speed where they automatically shut down. Another failing with eco-crucifixes.

      141

  • #
    William

    What continues to astound and depress me is that so many otherwise clever people are convinced our future energy supply will be completely provided by renewables – principally wind and solar. That concept defies rational thought, and physics, and supply, and reality. It worries me that the only thing that is going to make so many realise their wilful ignorance is going to be blackouts and rolling brownouts.

    Hospitals won’t have enough electricity – our EV ambulance and fire engine fleets will be plugged into dead power points while people die and properties burn. There will be food and clean water shortages. Sewage, household and industrial waste, transport hubs, schools and university, shops – all of these rely on electricity, as do businesses and the remains of our manufacturing sector. The new electric bus fleets and our electric trains and light rail won’t be running, and nor will EVs – petrol and diesel cars and trucks as service stations rely on electricity to pump fuel to the cars.

    What is happening is akin to deliberate criminal negligence and those with the power to do something about it are too scared, deluded or just plain ignorant to do anything about it. By clamouring for more renewables, they seem to truly believe that giving a starving man less food to relieve his hunger is the way forward. We are being led by idiots, charlatans and and renewable rent seekers.

    301

  • #

    The irony is that burning fossil fuels (CO2 increase) has no significant effect on climate. Water vapor increase, which has been measured since 1988 by NASA/RSS has been trending up at 1.44% per decade. This is 34% to 178% more than possible from surface temperature increase and completely overshadows any effect from CO2. WV increase can account for all of humanity’s contribution to climate change. https://watervaporandwarming.blogspot.com

    202

    • #
      Simon

      1.44%/decade is consistent with 0.2 degrees C of warming per decade. Well done, you have empirically validated the Clausius-Clapeyron equation.

      220

      • #
        b.nice

        Yep and its all natural warming.

        And out of the coldest period in 10,000 years

        Be very grateful. !

        111

      • #
        b.nice

        And yes, water vapour is the only gas able to affect the natural gravity based thermal gradient.

        That is why CO2 doesn’t cause any warming,

        … and even if the CO2 warming myth was true, that warming would be totally swamped by the actions of water vapour.

        151

        • #
          Simon

          The problem with your theory is that asymmetric molecules absorb infra-red 🙂

          018

          • #
            Graeme#4

            So what? b.nice is still correct, as H2O and CO2 share the near-IR and IR spectrums. And looking at a graph of the absorption percentages, it’s clear that water vapour has a far higher percentage. In fact, when you at the composite total, it’s abundantly clear that the main absorption comes from water vapour in these energy bands.

            151

            • #
              b.nice

              Its also been proven by actual measurement that the slight extra absorption by increase plant-food gas, is transferred directly to the atmospheric window.

              https://i.ibb.co/WBzWpZz/radiative-change-2.jpg

              There is no energy “trapped”. There is no warming from atmospheric CO2.

              81

              • #
                Graeme#4

                CO2 molecules in the atmosphere don’t have much chance to retain any acquired energy – it’s immediately stolen away by kinetic collisions with the other overly abundant non-radiative atmospheric molecules before the CO2 molecules have any chance to re-radiate their acquired energy. Prof. Happer has a good explanation of this interaction.

                81

          • #
            b.nice

            You mean you read a little bit about radiative gases somewhere….

            So What. !

            You obviously don’t know anything about energy and heat transfer.

            For instance, did you know that net radiative transfer is a product of temperature differences?

            Did you also know that CO2 cannot and does not change the atmospheric temperature profile?

            71

            • #
              Graeme#4

              Yes, I too was wondering about the difference between asymmetric molecules and symmetric molecules (CO2) with regards to their absorption behaviour – perhaps Simon can explain what he meant by his statement. It’s really more to do with the energy bands that they re-radiate energy in. And you’re about CO2 not changing the temperature profile. In fact, CO2 in the atmosphere doesn’t get much of a chance to do anything.

              61

              • #
                Richard C (NZ)

                G #4 >”CO2 in the atmosphere doesn’t get much of a chance to do anything”

                The warmys don’t know the difference between real and apparent power (using electrical analogy – radiative power in this case).

                They think downwelling IR-C (DLR) warms the surface, except IR-C is only apparent power. No-one in their right mind attempts to harness the 24/7 DLR (IR-C apparent power) which in the tropics fluctuates around 400 W.m2 (e.g. Darwin) by using the equivalent of solar collectors (IR-A/B real power).

                Similarly, IR-C DLR’s <100 micron penetration (thickness of human hair) doesn't heat the ocean – solar IR-A/B in the tropics does (eff. penetration 1m). DLR energy-per-photon is 3 orders of magnitude less than DSR (meV vs eV).

                Wang & Liang (2009) quantified DLR:

                [29] The dominant emitters of longwave radiation in the atmosphere are water vapor, and to a lesser extent, carbon dioxide. The water vapor effect is parameterized in this study, while the CO2 effect on Ld is not. The effect of CO2 can be accurately calculated with an atmosphere radiative transfer model given the concentration of atmospheric CO2. Prata [2008] showed that under the 1976 U.S. standard atmosphere, current atmospheric CO2 contributes about 6 W m−2 to Ld, and if atmospheric CO2 concentration increases at the current rate of ∼1.9 ppm yr−1 [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007], this will contribute to an increase of Ld by ∼0.3 W m−2 per decade. Therefore, the total variation rate in Ld is 2.2 W m−2 per decade.

                So the CO2 component of total DLR (e.g. Darwin) is 6/400 or 1.5% and 13.6% (0.3/2.2) of average variation. Obviously this was considered negligible in the study.

                Moot however, given DLR is not a surface heating agent – contrary to CO2-centric climate science and the IPCC’s scientifically fraudulent attribution of ocean heat gain.

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                Graeme#4

                Well said Richard. There are many solid scientific papers out there that point out that while CO2 may re- radiate well in the lab, up in the atmosphere it’s an entirely different story.

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                b.nice

                To actually measure any downwards CO2 wavelength radiation at the surface, you have to create a negative temperature profile by using a super-cooled
                sensor.

                ie make it go from cooler atmosphere, to an even cooler sensor.

                On top of that, the mean free path of that radiation at atmospheric pressure is some 10-15m. ie.. its a complete nothing-burger.

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          • #

            Much of the IR energy absorbed by CO2 in the troposphere is redirected to other molecules via gaseous thermal conduction and radiated to space by water vapor molecules.
            All molecules that can absorb IR can also emit IR. Increased cooling from increased CO2 in the stratosphere counters the slight warming from increased CO2 at the surface. http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com

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            • #
              Simon

              but not completely, which is why global surface temperature is increasing.

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              • #
                b.nice

                Wrong again.

                Global surface temperatures have decreased since the 2015/16 El Nino.

                Atmospheric CO2 has absolutely zero measurable effect on the global temperature.

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              • #
                Richard C (NZ)

                Simon >’global surface temperature is increasing”

                Yes, increasing in the CO2-forced climate models – but not in the real world this century.

                As b.nice states above “Global surface temperatures have decreased since the 2015/16 El Nino”. This is becoming very embarrassing for Karsten Haustein of the World Weather Attribution project:

                GFS 2mT
                http://www.karstenhaustein.com/climate.php/

                Click on the Overview panel to go back to 2015/16 and compare. Max dT was 0.818 in 2016, it is currently 0.373.

                And the SH is fluctuating around 0 anomaly from the 1981-2010 reference period i.e. no “climate change” whatsoever in terms of temp.

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              • #
                Richard C (NZ)

                Schmidt, Taalas, Foster, Rahmstorf, Betts, Cropper, UKMO’s Stott and Scaife were all quick to claim the greater part of the 2015/16 El Nino warming for AGW e.g. here at Carbon Brief:

                Analysis: How much did El Niño boost global temperature in 2015? – Carbon Brief

                Schmidt estimated El Niño was responsible for 0.07C of the above-average warming we saw in 2015

                Dr Thomas Cropper, a climate scientist at the University of Sheffield, has estimated [using Foster & Rahmstorf method] the contribution from El Niño to 2015 temperature. He says it is about 0.09C

                Stott tells Carbon Brief: “An estimate of less than 0.1C due to El Niño on 2015 global mean annual mean temperatures…”

                Scaife suggested only a cursory role for El Niño, telling Carbon Brief: “We think El Niño made only a small contribution (a few hundredths of a degree) to the record global temperatures in 2015”.

                Scaife “The forecast for next year[2016] is about 0.8C above the 1961-1990 baseline. About 0.2 of that is likely to come from El Niño …”

                Now in 2022 they all look like idiots.

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                Graeme#4

                We have only discussed one reason why CO2 cannot have much of an effect in the atmosphere. There are many other reasons, such as the logarithmic effect of CO2 and the fact that it is now in the top part of that curve i.e. saturated.

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              • #
                Graeme#4

                And two other key reasons: Firstly, there is stuff-all CO2 in the atmosphere, so its chance of contributing anything is minuscule; and secondly, whenever a CO2 finally gets a chance to re-radiate energy, it does so in all directions, so only a fraction of the re-radiated energy returns to earth.

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              • #
                b.nice

                “Now in 2022 they all look like idiots.”

                Actually, they have always looked like idiots.. it is not a new development.

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              • #
                b.nice

                “as the logarithmic effect of CO2”

                That is IPCC conjecture..

                Real measurements show that any possible effect levels off around 280ppm.

                https://i.ibb.co/T8m3R7M/eggert-co2.png

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              • #
                b.nice

                “re-radiated energy returns to earth.”

                Again, part of AGW fallacy

                Net radiation is always a product of temperature difference, CO2 radiation cannot change that basic law of physics.

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              • #
                b.nice

                “Global surface temperatures have decreased since the 2015/16 El Nino”

                Not only that, but there was also 15 years on non-warming from 2000-2015

                El Ninos have been the only atmospheric warming events in the whole satellite temperature measurement era.

                And nobody except the most anti-science AGW zealot can pretend CO2 causes El Nino. !

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              • #
                b.nice

                Particularly interesting was the effect of the 2015/2016 El Nino on the Arctic.

                UAH shows a big spike then a gradual decay back down to the zero trend line this century before the El Nino.

                https://i.ibb.co/9cYJZHZ/UAH-No-Pol-2000-March-2022.png

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              • #
                Richard C (NZ)

                >”Schmidt [et al]… all quick to claim the greater part of the 2015/16 El Nino warming for AGW”

                No hemispheric analysis from them of course. Refer Schmidt’s GISTEMP:

                Temperature Change for Three Latitude Bands

                And

                Hemispheric Temperature Change

                https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v4/#

                It is obvious that the NH and SH are disparate datasets (not to mention questionable CO2 correlation) but yes, the 2016 El Nino shows up in both.

                Problem is: SH 2021 (0.55) was subsequently unchanged from 2002 – 2014 after the El Nino (mouse over the data points). According to Schmidt, F&R and the others, the trajectory of the global time series should carry on through the 2016 datapoint (but 0.2 lower) after all the natural variation is removed (a method I don’t disagree with but their statistical technique was far too simplistic and wrong – ‘nuther story).

                OK maybe the NH (and therefore GL because the NH skews the global mean) is on that trajectory but not the Tropics or SH or Southern Extratropics. And the 2015/16 El Nino is not only absent from the Southern Extratropics but those years were the coolest of the 2011 – 2021 decade except for 2012.

                Taking Scaife’s 0.2 off 2016 Extratropics (0.5) gives 0.3. We have to go back to 1997 – 2000 for an equal 0.3 anomaly i.e. a Southern Extratropics trajectory through the 2016 datapoint minus 0.2 gives an absurd cooling downturn 2016 – 2021 which obviously did not occur.

                For those of us who remember (I do), all of those CO2-centric climate scientists prognostications re CO2 driven temperature rise past 2016 are now coming back to bite them (unless the above is studiously ignored).

                My solar-centric outlook is somewhat different and as per Cap Allon:

                GRAND SOLAR MINIMUM 101: THE FUTURE LOOKS COLD

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              • #
                Richard C (NZ)

                >”…all of those CO2-centric climate scientists prognostications re CO2 driven temperature rise past 2016 are now coming back to bite them”

                And the UKMO (think Stott, Skaife upthread) keeps up the charade with their annual “decadal forecast” (actually 5yr) i.e. they begin again each attempt based on new observations. Here’s the latest:

                UKMO Decadal Forecast issued January 2021

                See Figure 3 and notes

                Latest observations are now at the bottom of the beginning of the forecast (blue). That’s about 0.9 from their 1850-1900 baseline. And also at the lowest of the 22 CMIP6 climate models (green).

                We are now in La Nina conditions but the forecast is for rocketing warming to 1.4 anomaly at 2025 at record levels far above the 2015/16 El Nino – that is absurd.

                They say:

                The forecast is for continued global warming largely driven by continued high levels of greenhouse gases. However, other changes in the climate system, including longer term shifts in both the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), are also contributing. Near record temperatures are predicted during the coming five years, although La Niña is likely to depress temperatures slightly in 2021, consistent with the Met Office annual global temperature forecast. After the first year the forecast remains towards the mid to upper end of the range simulated by CMIP5 models that have not been initialised with observations (green shading in Figure 3). Barring a large volcanic eruption or a very sudden return to negative PDO or AMO conditions (which could temporarily cool climate), ten year global average warming rates are very likely to be similar to late 20th century levels over the next few years.

                2022 is proving them dead wrong so there will have to be another “decadal forecast” Jan 2023 starting again with new observations – what a load of horse manure.

                00

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            Splendid comment Simon.
            “The problem with your theory is that asymmetric molecules absorb infra-red “.

            Completely shoots down the idea that symmetric CO2 does.

            Personally I would believe John Tyndall who said it does, but radiates it quickly and has far less effect than water vapour. ( He was a mountaineer and well aware of the atmospheric lapse rate.)
            Some of his work published in the Proceeding of the RS is available on-line. You may have to use a different search engine than Google because they probably censor him.

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            • #
              b.nice

              Still haven’t figured out why the known radiative properties of CO2 would counter the basic laws of physics.

              But its Simon’s little dream, so analysis is pointless. !

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      • #

        The exact Clausius-Clapeyron equation relates volume change to enthalpy change with phase change at saturation. What is popularly called Clausius-Clapeyron in meteorology is an approximation. https://glossary.ametsoc.org/wiki/Clausius-clapeyron_equation

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  • #
    Forrest Gardener

    In summary according to their ABC:
    1. Outages at a number of coal plants helped drive up east coast power prices
    2. All coal plants should be shut down and blown up immediately or if possible sooner

    Waiting for cognitive dissonance to kick in to induce learning at their ABC requires the patience of Job.

    Q: how can you tell when an ABC type is thinking?
    A: they go blue in the face because they can’t think and breathe at the same time.

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    • #
      b.nice

      “they can’t think and breathe at the same time.”

      Non-breathing ABC types are extremely rare…. non-existent, actually 🙂

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    Peter Fitzroy

    So the AEMO is lying when they say it is the price of black coal which is driving up the price in Australia. Note that if you include the first quarter of 2022, (omitted in the post) the picture for QLD and NSW is stark.

    So much for cheap and reliable coal power.

    and no one can explain why the price of coal should be a major factor in the price of electricity

    note: for brown coal the reliability of the generators is now a problem with unplanned outages affective production in Victoria

    so in the end with do not have cheap, secure or reliable coal power.

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    • #

      Peter, good to see you’re catching on finally.

      When Hazelwood closed did that “cause” the price rise that followed? Was “coal” to blame, or the lack of coal?
      Obviously it wasn’t high bids from Hazelwood that drove the prices up in the months after it shut.

      Follow your own reasoning — if coal caused the high prices in NSW and Qld in Feb and March, what do you blame for SA and Tas high prices in April? Must be hydro and renewables… So all forms of generation cause mayhem?

      My explanation is simpler. If we had more coal plants, it wouldn’t matter if one or two broke down. This is backed up by years of Australian data from 1975 – 2005. Coal = cheap. Check every nation in the world — the more unreliable power they have the higher their prices are. It’s a system wide problem.

      PS: When I started writing the post yesterday I was using the latest AEMO Quarterly report. I take it you read the full 63 page Q1 report for 2022 this morning?

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      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        Still no explanation why local coal going to local power stations is now way more expensive. The costs to the miners or the transporters has not changed, why are we at the mercy of ‘international’ pricing.

        It is either gouging or we are being played for fools.

        For example, in other energy exporters, local consumption is ringfenced and protected. See Saudi Arabia, Norway, Russia, France and Indonesia

        As to the power mix, I believe that we should upgrade/replace the older coal plants with the current generation of coal plant which is much more efficient etc etc. But that would be all for naught if the coal plants are at the mercy of international price volatility.

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        • #

          I’ll bite — are local coal prices rising? How do you know and where are the prices? Have you got any links? Please share.
          According to an earlier commenter brown coal is not competing or affected by foreign trading? I suppose that may change with a real energy crisis. India may want our brown coal?

          Speaking of gouging, did you know Hydropower bidding has gone up in line with other bids?

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    • #
      b.nice

      Seems Peter has only just caught on that the current coal fired power stations are getting old,

      ….and desperately need replacing with modern, more reliable ones.

      Rational people have been saying this for ages…. and he only now figures it out !

      Does he really think wind and solar can survive without reliable back-up. !

      If that reliable back-up disappears, wind and solar crash with them, because they are totally reliant on having that back-up available.

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      • #

        To be honest b.nice, I’d just be happy if they fixed the old coal plants well and maintained them properly, and stopped the subsidies to the unreliables immediately.

        Though to be fair the entire market pricing needs to be redeveloped so that unreliable generators are held to account to pay for the inefficiencies and disruption and extra storage costs. They get a free ride…

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        • #
          b.nice

          My understanding is that a couple of the older coalies are getting to the stage where maintenance is more expensive that building a new one.

          One big new modern one in each eastern state would go a long way to easing the current knife-edge situation.

          Wind and solar will only continue to exacerbate the grid supply problems.

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    Geoffrey Williams

    Headlines like the one above are ABC fake news and disinformation. And all very confusing and of course meant to be in order help fool the public. But for myself what I am sure of is that if coal power was shut down tomorrow then our society and our economy would cease to function the very same day. And that is the simple truth.
    The general public are easy to fool and manipulate. They have all been brainwashed at school,at university, and the by media. A perfect job of information control in a so-called democratic society. Just mention climate change and it’s a red button with an immediate affirmation of net zero emmissions that must be achieved. And of course they don’t understand why and it’s not necessary to do so just accept it.
    There is no hope I’m sorry to say. But at least we’ll all go down together I hope . .

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  • #
    Sunshine Rainbows

    Its also worth mentioning that the coal plants are on outages more often because they’re nearing the end of their lives and maintenance capex has been slashed. The coal generator owners have resigned to the fact that these plants will be destroyed in the coming decade so they’re not getting properly maintained. We’re seeing the output of most of these coal plants drop over the years as a result of this.

    Also, brown coal generators are almost completely isolated from the international black coal trade. They have no exposure to it (which is a good thing).

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    • #

      Thank you. It’s always good to hear from someone who knows the topic.

      So in a global energy crisis brown coal may be extra useful (for those nations that are lucky enough to have it?)

      Is the lack of trade the reason that brown coal is so much cheaper than black? Or is it mining costs? I am interested to know more…

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      • #
        RickWill

        Is the lack of trade the reason that brown coal is so much cheaper than black? Or is it mining costs? I am interested to know more

        There is no sea-borne trade in lignite so little international trade or spot price. It is too expensive to transport as it is more prone to spontaneous combustion than higher rank coal – thermal coal will also self-combust under the right conditions. Lignite has about half the specific heat of sub-bituminous thermal coal. In fact, lignite has lower heat value than dry wood chips. A burner nozzle for lignite is about twice the diameter of a black coal nozzle for the same power rating.

        At the margin, thermal coal price for power stations in Australia will follow the international spot price but that is unrelated to the cost of mining. If a particular coal mine can make more money exporting the coal than selling to the local power station, they will export it. You only need one generator to be in that position for it to drive the prices across the system. Likewise with gas. The local price will be set by the international price at the margin and that ultimately drives what all gas plants pay for their gas.

        Lignite costs what it costs to mine it. There may be some internal transfer pricing to maximise profits for a business depending on how they are taxed. Mining is often treated more favourably than other activities from a tax perspective so the mine might charge higher price to shift income from generation to mining. Most vertically integrated mining/treatment operations in metals use spot prices for internal transfers as that is easy to get past tax officials. However there are group overheads that can be spread disproportionally to shift revenues to get more favourable tax treatments.

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        David Maddison

        Jo, according to a Vicdanistan Government department the answer is as follows. However, Vicdanistan also infamously cancelled a huge brown coal export order made by India, “for their own good”.

        https://earthresources.vic.gov.au/geology-exploration/coal/alternate-uses-for-brown-coal

        Brown coal is not currently widely traded due to the challenges in exporting the raw resource. ‘Run of mine’ brown coal from Victoria’s reserves in the Latrobe Valley is reactive and has a high moisture content, which makes it unsafe and uneconomic to export without processing (drying and stabilising).

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  • #
    Simon

    Imagine how expensive electricity would be if there were no near-zero marginal cost generators to drive the average price down. You can get an idea by observing how the price increases when there is little wind or solar generation.

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    • #
      b.nice

      Imaging how much it would cost you if you had to actually pay someone to take your product !

      As you are well aware, this causes SA to have substantially higher electricity prices than any other state.

      https://ibb.co/Htv6VrN

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      • #
        Ronin

        Queensland, most coal = cheapest.
        SA and Tas, no coal= dearest.

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        • #

          Simon, we can all see how you cherry pick tiny parts of the day and tiny parts of the system. Tell us again which nations in the world have lots of renewables and cheap electricity?

          Which nations are factories moving too — are they the ones with lots of solar panels?

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            • #
              b.nice

              “Several countries on the right hand side have a high proportion of renewables.”

              Hydro as a very large percentage

              Stop trying to con people with misinformation.

              And stop DENYING the huge cost of integrating unreliable supplies into a stable grid.

              It makes you look like mindless zealot.

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            • #
              b.nice

              Trying to DENY that those places with the highest percentage of wind and solar don’t have the highest electricity costs..

              Basic data is incompatible with your ideology.

              Even 1 + 1 is too much for you to understand.

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            • #
              b.nice

              2nd link….

              Max Roser – Agenda Contributor – The World Economic Forum

              LOL…. You have to get a better source of mal-information, Simon. !

              LCOE doesn’t include implementation into grid costs.. which are horrendously high,

              Neither does they include the fact that wind and solar must have 100%+ reliable back-up.

              The real cost, when integration and intermittency are counted, is far above the cost of coal and gas, and even nuclear.

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            • #
              Simon

              What I’m saying is that the most efficient and reliable electricity network is distributed with multiple sources of generation. The zealotry is in claiming that the network should be exclusively coal & gas, which is reliable (maybe not in parts of Australia) but also expensive and polluting.

              18

              • #
                b.nice

                Solar and wind can never lead to a “reliable” grid.. they are inherently unreliable

                So stop talking nonsense.

                Coal can be very cheap if allowed to operate as it should… far cheaper than having to implement unreliable sources into the grid.

                The huge costs of grid stabilisation and integration make wind and solar a far more expensive option, plus they absolutely must have 100% reliable back-up.

                This is shown by the fact that where ever they infect the grid to any extent, you get world’s highest electricity costs.

                So basically every thing you said was wrong.

                Also, the manufacture, installation and final removal and disposal of wind and solar is vastly more polluting than coal or gas.

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              • #
                b.nice

                Wind and solar have a part to play, as niche, tiny markets where reliability is not required and access to the grid is not economically viable

                eg wind mills or solar for pumping water on large farms.. but their inherent unreliability means that they should never be considered, by a rational mind, to be anything but a tiny part of a major electrical grid.

                31

              • #
                b.nice

                Wind and solar are “disruptors” and “parasites” on a major supply grid.

                Destroying grid stability, disrupting the supply of reliable suppliers, and generally making a total mess.

                No wonder the far-left love them, they are so similar to the left’s influence on society as a whole..

                31

              • #
                b.nice

                South Australia.. currently using 80% GAS.

                Interconnects providing 4 times as much as wind.

                20

            • #
              Graeme#4

              Simon, quoting Lazard LCOE or the CSIRO Report is never a good move, because both of these use the short lifetime of 30 years. If you extend energy source lifetimes out to the longest (nuclear), then re-do the comparisons, SMR nuclear is the cheapest, followed closely by USC coal then CCGT gas. Wind and solar come in at TWICE the cost of nuclear, coal and gas, and this is before the extra required costs of firming/backup and additional transmission lines are added. If firming/backup is added, wind and solar costs blow out to three times greater.

              21

    • #
      b.nice

      We don’t have to imagine how cheap electricity was before unreliable suppliers where introduced into the grid.

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      • #
        Graeme#4

        There is a nice graph showing electricity prices tracking CPI increases up until around 2003. Then as the unreliables were introduced into the grid, the electricity prices climbed far more steeply than the CPI.

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    • #
      Robber

      The now old engineers built a very reliable and low cost electricity system using coal as the base load with hydro to cover the peaks.
      But now we aren’t allowed to build any new dams, so open cycle gas turbines are now the peak demand price setters.

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      RickWill

      Imagine how expensive electricity would be if there were no near-zero marginal cost generators to drive the average price down.

      This is such a naive statement because the wholesale price of electricity is an ever reducing portion of the retail price.

      The retail costs across the States give some idea what intermittent generation costs:
      VIC 19.77c/kWh
      QLD 19.97c/kWh
      NSW 22.74c/kWh
      SA 31.52c/kWh

      Even this understates the true cost of intermittency because SA burdens Victoria with all its intermittent generation. The true picture is seen when the SA-Vic interconnected goes down and the wind plants voluntarily curtail because they cannot afford the FCAS charges.

      If you have the capital, the cheapest electricity will be what you make yourself. An intermittent powered grid will never match having intermittent generation at the load.

      The grid is doomed until it becomes a social service, paid for from general revenue.

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    • #
      Forrest Gardener

      Simon, your post this time could not be more inverted from reality if you tried.

      A useful rule of thumb is to believe the exact reverse of what you write.

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  • #
    John Connor II

    Heatwave Triggers Indian “Power Crisis” As State Firms Seek Russian Crude To Secure Supplies

    The South Asian country’s power grid is dominated by fossil fuels, particularly coal and crude, and has come under severe stress as one of the worst heatwaves in years causes widespread blackouts.

    Another devastating heatwave has parched large swathes of India this week (after record heat in March), resulting in power blackouts. In the capital New Delhi, high temperatures hit 104 Fahrenheit and could increase even more through the weekend.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/heatwave-triggers-indian-power-crisis-state-firms-negotiate-russia-crude-imports-secure

    What? No green solar and wind power?
    Greta won’t be happy 😅

    Poor old India…

    30

  • #
    OldOzzie

    Bruce of Newcastle says:
    April 30, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    Albo has discovered a new winningly winning campaign idea!

    Labor to make $125 million electric bus pledge (Sky News, 30 Apr)

    Sure to bring in squillions of votes. There’s just one tiny problem…

    Paris suspends electric bus fleet after fires (Phys.org, 29 Apr)

    Hopefully Albo’s electric buses will have lots and lots of emergency exits in them.

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    • #
      Ronin

      And smoke detectors and a good sprinkler system.

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    • #
      Graeme#4

      That’s the fourth bus company to remove their EV buses. In February 2020, SEPTA (Pennsylvania) removed their entire fleets of electric buses; Philadelphia removed their electric buses in 2019 because they couldn’t cope with hills; and in 2021 Foothills Transit in California was deciding whether to continue using their electric buses after a bus fire.

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      • #
        Klem

        My local town council recently voted in favor of buying several electric buses. This reminds me of their decision a few years ago to buy solar powered garbage cans at $10k each, and which failed within a year.

        Its senseless decisions like these that make me wonder if our councillors are on the take.

        50

        • #
          Ronin

          “Its senseless decisions like these that make me wonder if our councillors are on the take.”
          They would have to be on the take, for those stupid e-scooters as well.

          11

  • #
    Ronin

    The AEMO is like a big casino, people bid into the scheme, negative bids are to stay in the game, gaming is rife, shut down one power plant, reap the rewards with the other one, it’s all a game of high stakes poker and we ain’t invited.

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  • #
    Ronin

    A coal station shuts down for repairs and everyone faints, solar shuts down EVERY evening and no one says boo.

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    • #
      John Watt

      Ironic isn’t it? A conventional coal fired system employs “spinning reserve” to cope with the inevitable plant failures. But when you shut down whole stations and maybe neglect proper maintenance on the remaining generators then you not only increase the chances of plant failure but you also reduce your ability to provide reliable supply. Under the “marketized” power industry this drives up wholesale prices. How did our “energy” ministers not see this before they embraced the “market” and the “net zero” cult? Should have left the state-owned ,coal-fired energy industry in place. Hey, back then we had some of the world’s cheapest distributed energy and we could produce goods that were competitive. Now we suck off the Chinese teat with complete reliance on imports. We depend heavily on the low wages in China.
      Yes Aussie “leaders” you have made several major mis-steps.

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  • #
    KobaTheDread

    A brilliant energy policy outcome by the clueless muppets of the Morrison government. Labor will be worse but most punters will be happy with that – for a few months at least.

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  • #
    Philip

    The radio hourly news reported that coal in nsw and qld has caused a rise in power prices.

    Then the sport.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    Conservatives are seeing the issue of electricity pricing from the wrong perspective.

    Obviously, in a free market prices tend to go down or at least stay the same for various commodities, or alternatives are found.

    Conservatives WANT to see low prices for all people.

    But this is NOT a concern of the Left.

    They WANT high prices for electricity (and everything else).

    The reasons are that:

    1) There is more money to be made by the Elites.
    2) It keeps the poor, poor.
    3) It stops or stifles economic process.
    4) It helps regress to a pre-industrial age.

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    • #
      robert rosicka

      Missed one , make it more expensive so no one can afford to use it .

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      Lawrie

      It also greatly helps it’s masters in Beijing. Anyone who believes that China is not supporting the Greens and the left of the Labor party is deluded. The more we cripple ourselves the better China likes it.

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    PeterS

    Looks like a lot of people here are finally waking up to what’s happening. A lot more damage will be required though for masses to wake up. I wonder much vandalism will be done to our grid and power stations before the masses rise up to the challenge and stop voting for the major parties. The Ministry of Power in India are looking at ways to shock-proof their systems.
    How to shock-proof India’s power sector
    Here though we continue to shut down our coal fired power stations. It’s worse than vandalism. It’s akin to terrorism.

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      Hanrahan

      before the masses rise up to the challenge and stop voting for the major parties.

      You’re right. A disorganised rabble of independents, Palmer, Hansen, Katter and Steggel will cure it all in the first sitting.

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        PeterS

        Rowan Dean made an excellent speech on Outsiders today. We all should follow his advice. The coming federal election might be our last chance to save this once great nation.

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    CHRIS

    Like all commodities in a capitalist society, electricity prices are ruled by the “SUPPLY AND DEMAND” mantra. The shift to so-called ‘renewables’ will obviously increase prices, as our modern industrial society cannot survive on renewables alone (NOTE: I do not include wind and solar power under the renewables banner, as both of these resources depend on the mining of limited metals).

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    Zigmaster

    If the Labor , Greens, climate independents get into power. the current surge in prices is just the beginning. The reality is the more intermittent renewal energy that comes into the grid replacing base load power the more expensive energy becomes. The data proves that. Countries with the most aggressive transitions from coal to renewables have the highest electricity prices.So not only do renewables cause prices to rise they create uncertainty and unreliability. These are just facts that are confirmed by the data and if people are stupid enough to believe the BS served up by the politicians they get the government they deserve. Models that claim to show renewables create jobs and will have lower prices are just not credible.
    Like in the US 4 years is a long time to put up with gross incompetence and a lot of damage can occur in that time until democratic processes will enable an incompetent government to be removed.

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    Sean

    My father-in-law was a pilot in the US Air Force. When he was trained, the instructors told him “if something goes wrong with the aircraft while flying, figure out as quickly as possible what’s different and start making corrections there”.

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    David Maddison

    Unreliable energy is like communism.

    Its proponents (who are also Leftists or outright communists) say it is an ideal system but has never been given a chance to prove itself and none of the numerous countries that have tried it and failed abysmally are good examples of its implementation.

    The undeniable FACTS remain that everywhere that has unreliable solar and wind power, with or without electrochemical or hydro batteries, the price of power to the consumer goes up dramatically. In Australia’s case it has approximately tripled from the time when we had 100% reliable power.

    More unreliables = more cost.

    More reliables = less cost.

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    David Maddison

    Isn’t a problem of brown coal how to dry it efficiently?

    One or more Australian companies have developed technologies to do this.

    E.g. https://tripleinnovation.com.au/case-studies/coal-drying-technology/

    In any case, weren’t the coal power stations in Vicdanistan specifically designed to burn brown coal?

    And what is the problem anyway? The anti-energy lobby says it’s especially CO2 emitting for a given amount of energy produced (not that it matters), but as I understand it, that is not the case.

    The following table shows not much difference between the different types of coal. Brown coal is lignite. Bituminous coal is what’s used in proper power stations in NSWstan and Queenslandistan.

    Apologies for non-metric units.

    Pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units (Btu) of energy for various fuels

    Coal (anthracite) 228.60
    Coal (bituminous) 205.40
    Coal (lignite) 216.24
    Coal (subbituminous) 214.13
    Diesel fuel and heating oil 163.45
    Gasoline (without ethanol) 155.77
    Propane 138.63
    Natural gas 116.65

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      Graeme No.3

      David,
      I refer you to Carnot’s principle and the difference in temperatures. Lignite has a lot of water so getting a hotter temperature is a problem. Compression removal of moisture (banned by Dangerous Dan) or pre-drying the brown coal reduces CO2 emissions substantially – from 1160 kg./MWh (in the Latrobe valley) to 800 kg./MWh in the latest German plant (now running at full capacity to get around failure of renewables and use of Russian gas).
      Not that it matters, as you state, but the religious fanatics of the Great Green do.

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    rowjay

    Simon says..

    Imagine how expensive electricity would be if there were no near-zero marginal cost generators to drive the average price down.

    RckWill provided the state breakdown – I have added the ACT – proudly “100% renewable”

    The retail costs across the States give some idea what intermittent generation costs:
    VIC 19.77c/kWh
    QLD 19.97c/kWh
    NSW 22.74c/kWh
    ACT 25.54c/kWh – allegedly 100% renewable
    SA 31.52c/kWh

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    Lawrie

    One of the best and most informative, for me at least, threads of recent times. Thanks Jo.

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    Thanks Jo for addressing this – I have just posted a new annotation of my 9 year chart of AEMO monthly wholesale prices taking account of global thermal coal prices going ballistic since Sep 2021 –
    April AEMO wholesale electricity price explosion
    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=6911

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      Thanks Warwick, I have done a 22 year chart myself in the last week, but I didn’t have all the details you have… just the biggies, the 2007 drought, the carbon tax, the pandemic.

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      Whilst there is some correlation with current coal prices and the increase in electricity cost, ..it is far from being a verified cause.
      Coal was $200/ T in late 2021, but the electricity cost was not aparently following the increase.
      And we still do not have any verified linkage between the market price of coal and the cost to those coal plants that own their own mines ?
      Infact , it has previously been argues by other more informed posters that the “cost” of coal to generators such as Bayswater / Liddell , etc is negligible , with the mining costs simply rolled into the generators operating costs.
      We need input from an insider “cost accountant” from one of these operators to clarify this .

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