JoNova

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


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Rafe Champion guest post. Carbon taxes and RE fails as usual in SA.

Alan Moran published an account of the carbon taxes that both the Coalition and the ALP support. In The Spectator he spelled out the cost of two forms of carbon taxation that we have at present and on top of that the ALP is determined to impose a great deal more.

Read the story here Stoking the fires of energy policy

The existing taxes arise from the RE mandates that increase the amount of wind and solar power in the mix and associated costs that arise from the additional transmission infrastructure required to service dispersed sources of power. Secondly there are taxes to support grants and soft loans dispensed by agencies like the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The ALP spelled out their vision for increased power costs in a document called Powering Australia which represents a triumph of aspiration over reality. To quote, it will close the yawning gap between our current Federal Government and our business community, agricultural sector and state governments when it comes to investing in the renewables that will power our future.

Our plan will create 604,000 jobs, with 5 out of 6 new jobs to be created in the regions.

It will spur $76 billion of investment.

It will cut power bills for families and businesses by $275 a year for homes by 2025, compared to today.

Moran pointed out that the $78 billion to “rewire Autralia” is nearly four times the asset value of the existing NEM system in SE Australia and the cost of that “investment” will be a charge on taxpayers.

As to the reality of plans to increase the RE capacity and replace the poor old clapped out coal burners, have a look at the situation in South Australia just before sunrise this morning.

While the wind across the NEM was running at 20% of capacity (2/3 of the average) and delivering 10% of demand, in the wind leading state there was a wind drought (3% of capacity), with 60% of demand provided from Victoria while 80% of local generation was gas and (unusually) they were burning oil as well!

This picture will change through the day. And the NemWatch widget. Encourage people to look at the widget before after sunset and before dawn to get a vivid sense of the lunacy of turning to wind and solar power.

Wind was low in Victoria as well, running at 15% of capacity (half the average) while the much maligned coal burners kept the lights on, running at 75% of capacity (they can manage 100% when necessary.)

This is the The Spectator piece. Stoking the fires of energy policy

9.7 out of 10 based on 43 ratings

58 comments to Rafe Champion guest post. Carbon taxes and RE fails as usual in SA.

  • #
    PeterS

    It’s funny seeing both major parties jostling to gain the moral high ground over the same game plan of zero net emissions by a certain date. None are so blind of the big picture as those who vote for either major party.

    191

    • #
      James Murphy

      The deckchairs on the Titanic would get rearranged faster by monkeys. Cheaper too, no doubt.

      30

  • #
    OldOzzie

    REPORT, U.S. Gas Exports are Triple U.S. Gas Production, Low Gas Reserves Now Sends Prices Soaring

    Another item in the long list of ‘thanks Joe Biden‘ stuff. Shortages in natural gas in windmill chasing Europe have driven up the prices significantly. The conflict between NATO and their targeted villain in Russia is only making matters worse.

    As the EU prices jump to $33/$34 per million British thermal units (BTU’s), the U.S. natural gas selling at $6 per million BTU’s is an absolute bargain.

    Liquify that stuff and send it across the pond says any smart energy capitalist.

    However, that comes with a problem for us. Our supplies of natural gas are depleting quickly, our exports are now almost three times more than our production.

    LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) – U.S. gas prices have climbed to their highest level in more than a decade as strong demand from overseas has emptied storage and left inventories well below average for the time of year despite a mild winter.

    120

    • #
      OldOzzie

      1 BTU = 1.0551E-6 GJ

      Gas Quarter 4 2021

      Average downstream gas market prices increased from Q3 in Brisbane and fell slightly in Adelaide, Sydney and Victoria, ranging from $10/GJ to $10.91/GJ.

      The average day ahead exchange traded price of $10.29/GJ at the Wallumbilla trading point was influenced by price increases in November and December ($11.27/GJ and $11.43/GJ respectively).

      Since one british thermal unit is equal to 1.0551E-6 gigajoules, you can use this simple formula to convert:

      gigajoules = british thermal units × 1.0551E-6

      The energy in gigajoules is equal to the british thermal units multiplied by 1.0551E-6.

      For example, here’s how to convert 500,000 british thermal units to gigajoules using the formula above.
      500,000 BTU = (500,000 × 1.0551E-6) = 0.527528 GJ

      70

      • #

        Old Ozzie. You have made it a bit confusing. The E actually means exponential and is equal to 10. It is a US notation and E6 is actually 10 to the power of 6 =1 million.
        Those that do maths might think of e which equals 2.718 and is the base of a number system which contains the ln or natural log eg e^6 and ln e^6 =6
        A better explanation of the energy conversion factor is
        1 million BTU = 1.0551 GJ.
        Only the USA uses (but not always) imperial or British units. Remember their ton =2000lbs (imp 2240 lbs) and their gallon is 8 lbs of water.(imp 10lbs). Also note a barrel is 42 US gallons. I believe Caterpillar only use the SI system as do now most US car manufacturers.

        30

        • #
          OldOzzie

          It was hard finding a simple view of conversion – I use US Gallon=4l, Imperial Gallon=5l. metric ton in lbs=2204.62lbs, but I always round down to 2200lbs

          Having grown up with Imperial and moved to Metric, cannot understand the stupidity of America and UK not going Metric.

          00

    • #
      Hasbeen

      Labor is boasting that their energy plan will create 604,000 jobs.

      604,000 new jobs to do what the current workforce is doing sounds more than a little expensive. I wonder where the savings are in this that will reduce power bills by $275 a year?

      20

  • #

    Dont forget that LGCs are effectively a “carbon tax” forcing fossil generators to buy LGCs from RE generators…effectively increasing the cost of fossil generation whilst compensating the RE operators.
    They are much reduced in cost recently, ..$30-$40/ MWh…but still hugely signoficant.

    121

  • #
    John Connor II

    It will cut power bills for families and businesses by $275 a year for homes by 2025

    Wow – $1.30/day in 3 years time.

    Bwaa haa… 😅😅

    Let’s just go nuclear and end the charade eh?

    170

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    For all the difference between them, Labour and the Greens may just as well merge into one party.

    110

  • #
    Furiously+Curious

    I just watched the Marianne Williamson talking to a climate scientist, who kicked off the extinction rebellion scientist demos. So you don’t have to. It is just nice to see how the others are thinking. Anyway, the absolute basic premise that these people have to explain, is their claim that life on Earth can only survive in a 2 degree temperature band. The little Ice Age really wasn’t a good time to thrive on this planet, and they are saying that a 2 degree temperature rise since then, will be catastrophic for life. So life can only survive in a 2 degree temperature range!
    Well, just looking at how much ‘medical science’ has caved in to wokeness, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find climate scientists happy to go along with that thesis? Explaining it, that is another thing.

    171

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      We have had more variation than 2℃ in the Holocene (last 10,000 years).
      And the previous Interglacial (Eemian) had temperatures about 2.5℃ warmer than present (raised sea level at least 6metres) with lions, elephants, giraffes and hippos in the Thames Valley, and elephants and water buffalo in Northern Germany. Followed (around 50,000 years later) by the Mt. Toba super eruption and world temperature down by 5℃.

      Aborigines walked to Australia (and Tasmania and Kangaroo Island) when it was cold and the ocean level was much lower (and the Great Barrier Reef wasn’t where it is now) without government subsidies..

      111

      • #

        Graeme, no need to go back in time. Have a look at the temperature difference between places in Greenland and Singapore. It is the latter that is well off. In Australia one could look at the difference between Darwin or Cairns and Canberra or Hobart. I was in Canada for 6 months when there was snow on the ground all the time. It hardly ever was above 0C. The lake we were on froze out some 150m from the edge. I saw the Niagra falls frozen solid. A few years ago I visited some mines in Canada including Sudbery. At a mine in New Brunswick the outside temp. was -35C and there was a blizzard which the locals said had a wind factor of -35C or -70C in total. People can live in cold areas and tropical areas. I like the sub-tropical area I now live in where the summer day temperature is 30-35C and the winter day temp about 16-22C. Considerably more difference than 2C between winter and summer and even day and night.

        30

      • #
        Ronin

        I wonder why they kept going south when it was so cold, maybe they were chased.

        40

    • #

      yes seems delusion and ideology are the order of the day. Amazing that these climate brain dead cannot look into the past and see the enormous variation in temperatures – all without any man made CO2 in the mix.

      100

    • #
      HB

      Try 13 degrees C warmer when primates evolved 50 million years ago rain forests every where
      No SUVs back then all natural

      70

  • #

    Yes – splurge vast sums on replacing the grid, but then we still need to have basically the whole grid again (which is never mentioned) to back up the utterly unreliable ruinables. At even more cost…and private companies will, just like in PNG, have to install their own backup generators to remain in business, at even more cost.

    Labour and in fact any politician supporting this needs to get it reviewed by an engineer who can tell them just how useless this whole idea is, and maybe looking hard at the data on past temperature variability and the lack of evidence to support global warming would be worthwhile. But nowadays we see that logic, commonsense and engineering reality are shoved aside as wokeness, political correctness and ideology prevail.

    Unfortunately the laws of physics and the variability of the weather are immutable, and a massive trainwreck will be the result.

    161

  • #
    Ronin

    It’s amazing how little SA’s ‘big battery’ contributes to the mix.

    121

  • #
    Graeme#4

    What is needed is a clear understanding of:
    1. The backup in GW required to support Australia’s total energy usage if we were to go to 100% renewable.
    2. The cost of the above storage.
    3. The additional renewables required and their cost.
    4. Whether there is sufficient minerals available to build 2 and 3.

    100

  • #
    John Hultquist

    Except for John Connor II (#3), anyone that can do arithmetic should be able to show the stupendous silliness of the wind and solar cult.
    Yes, there are a few limited situations where one or the other meets a need. Grid scale functionality and stability isn’t one of them.

    101

  • #
    Mark Allinson

    “Grid scale functionality and stability isn’t one of them.”

    I am amused by a advertisement currently running on TV – a chap who has just signed up for a solar roof deal explains that it’s not all about saving money, he also feels good to be playing a small part in helping to “shore up and stabilise the grid.”

    131

  • #
    James Murphy

    I think Labor has a spelling mistake in their policy name. It should have been “Lowering Australia”.

    70

    • #
      another ian

      Labor – an ironclad guarantee to take “U” out of work”

      70

    • #
      Ross

      Or worse still -“deflowering” Australia. We all know what that means.

      40

    • #
      Ronin

      There’s no U in labor.

      40

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Just in case anything goes wrong here the Australian Labor Party has registered it in Papua New Guinea.

      Up there it’s the “laba parti”.

      20

      • #
        James Murphy

        At least in PNG, parti disputes can be settled fairly efficiently and decisively without raising too many eyebrows. Kind of puts a new spin on the term “a party hack”…

        From my perspective, when I was working there 10-12 years ago, it was awful to find out that someone wasn’t coming back to work because they were killed by another tribe. it happened more often than I think it should have, but this is what makes different cultures so interesting, and if you don’t laugh, you never stop crying.

        30

  • #
    jpm

    This seems strange : “Moran pointed out that the $78 billion to “rewire Australia” is nearly four times the asset value of the existing NEM system in SE Australia and the cost of that “investment” will be a charge on taxpayers.”
    I read something on the subject years ago and it stated that grid costs were paid by electricity customers when they paid their electricity bills meaning that it would not come from General Revenue! I don’t believe that that has changed. Any one with different information pleas let us know.
    John

    50

    • #
      Ronin

      So we will have to build two grids, one for unreliables and another to back it up when the wind doesn’t blow and it’s nightime.

      70

    • #
      Rafe Champion

      You are correct jpm!
      Thanks

      50

    • #
      Tel

      Electricity bills do have an itemized charge to cover the network costs. It is per-day and unrelated to usage.

      Where that money actually goes, or what it covers, I have no idea.

      I would have once thought there should be a basic law of honest business, if you charge someone an itemized cost for a specific service the money has to go to what you said it goes to … but I’m way too cynical to believe such rubbish these days! 😉

      60

      • #
        jpm

        Tel
        I have not been able to determine exactly what the daily charge covers but am not sure that it covers the wires and poles. It is called a charge for connection to the electricity grid. It definitely covers the wire to your house from the distribution network running past your dwelling, the meter rental & maintenance, possibly the meter reading but and other such costs. Meter reading may be covered in the retail costs? But, the grid costs vary depending on new work and maintenance etc. and it seems to me the daily charge does not vary as these things do. Does anyone have definite info on this, I am interested.
        John

        30

        • #
          Rafe+Champion

          This is something that needs to be clearly explained. The providers who build the poles and wires are allowed to increase the charge in proportion to the capital they invest, subject to review and approval by one of the regulators. Approval is required to avoid overcharging by “gold plating” the grid. Alan Jones tried to explain this on one occasion but threw his hands in the air with frustration at the complexity and lack of transparency. I will make a point of covering this thoroughly in our forthcoming booklet on the things that everyone needs to know about the electricity system, how it works, how it is regulated and how it is being wrecked by the politicians, planners and vested interests.

          Matthew Warren provided a lot of good basic information in Blackout: How is energy-rich Australia running out of electricity? but he is a warming alarmist and committed to 100% RE (admittedly not on a strict timetable). But he falls far short of explaining how we will ever get over wind droughts and lack of storage. He is too committed to the system where he had made his career.

          20

  • #
    Ronin

    I wonder what the labor goons have been doing during their 3 year ‘holiday’, I know swotting up on their portfolios wasn’t one of them, Rudd MK2 ala Albo knows nothing about anything, 2GB caught him out with asylum seekers also Kenneally is a vacuum as well and if by some sad event they fall into govt, she will be the minister for fishing boats.

    120

  • #
    another ian

    Fits here IMO

    “Honolulu, Hawaii: Top “Solar Superstar” in the USA”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/04/26/honolulu-hawaii-top-solar-superstar-in-the-usa/

    Dissected with precision!

    40

  • #
    Cookster

    Thanks Jo. I check the it the NEM Widget regularly before sunrise and know all about the lunacy of replacing coal with wind and solar. Kudos to Tony from Oz.

    The other thing the true believers in South Australia point out is that they can lean on the grid when required. But how is that going to go when first NSW, then Queensland shut down their coal? As I wrote in a post the other day I give up with Australians. Let them have what they yearn for and learn the hard way. Hopefully not too many old and frail folk suffer or worse in winter.

    70

    • #
      another ian

      It was suggested that Qld with the youngest coal plants would “speak the speak” but stay with them.

      But seems that Qld Education is about to go “full pronoun woke” so I wouldn’t bet on that any more

      60

  • #
  • #
    Gerry, England

    604,000 jobs! What is the job destruction rate by green virtue signalling in Australia? In the UK it is over 3 to 1 so that would be the loss of over 1.8 million real jobs that produce tax revenue.

    10

  • #
    Peter Styles

    Offshore wind projects should be banned in Australia .The first and potentially largest wind project the $12 billion Star of the South project, which proposes to build a wind farm with up to 2.2 gigawatts of capacity off Victoria’s south coast .The bankrupt Andrews labor Government is supplying $40 million to support the development .The problem is the transmission network of cables and substations connecting the wind farm to the grid costs $10,s of billions ,and is added to Victorians electricity accounts .The clean Hydrogen can provide the electricity at 25% of offshore wind without the massive pollution of the ocean, and mass destruction of native birds .

    10

    • #

      More hidden costs

      00

    • #
      b.nice

      “The clean Hydrogen can provide the electricity”

      Umm…… and where is this “clean Hydrogen” going to come from, that doesn’t require lots of electricity.

      Sorry, but “clean Hydrogen” is a user of electricity, not a provider.

      00