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Welcome to the Unreliables: Town sues over $4m Geothermal Failure that never delivered a single Watt

Australia has no shortage of hot rocks, but it turns out to be harder to capture than people expected:

Geothermal power

Click to enlarge  |  ABC

Seven years ago everyone was excited in Winton Queensland. The new Geothermal project would only cost $3.5 million but it would save “$15 million” in electricity bills over the next twenty years and “should be operational by the end of 2016”.

Now in 2022:

Council launches legal action over $4m geothermal plant that’s never delivered power

The renewable energy project was set to be the only operating geothermal power plant in the country and was touted as the start of a geothermal windfall in the region. But more than two years since construction finished, it has never delivered power and is not operational.

“It’s bloody disappointing, to put it mildly, for such a great potential for the water that comes into town,” Winton Shire Council Mayor Gavin Baskett said.

What went wrong? “Technical issues”. The ABC doesn’t get to the bottom of this, but the water was just not close enough to boiling.

Martin Pujol, principal hydrogeologist at Rockwater, said at 86C, the Winton project would have been one of the lowest temperatures globally used to produce electricity.

Who did those funding estimates?

In a concept design study, project manager Peak Services — which is owned by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ)— estimated that the council could save more than $15 million over the first 20 years of operation.

My favourite line from 2016: “We wouldn’t have pulled it on if there were risks.” he said.

The town hopes to salvage something from the town’s white elephant, and no one relishes this failure.

Ultimately, the man-in-the-street needs to know that “free energy” is everywhere but it’s not free to collect. People are being sold a field of dreams and fluffy hope.

h/t Dave in Cooyal.

 

9.7 out of 10 based on 98 ratings

188 comments to Welcome to the Unreliables: Town sues over $4m Geothermal Failure that never delivered a single Watt

  • #
    Mike

    Geothermal appears to only work in very specific locations, namely where you have very high temperatures very close to the surface. I have a friend who was a principal in a geothermal company in Calgary and the company went under in just a few years. Alberta is not a good location for geothermal as you have to drill too deep to reach the target zone.

    240

    • #
      Geoff+Croker

      2x 150kWe gTET ORC Generator with water cooling. Primarily export power
      Power generation/ savings around $50k-$75k pa (depending upon water consumption) plus renewable energy credits.

      http://www.g-tet.com/projects/

      If the water did not arrive at the surface with a residual head for circulation this is not going to be sustained. The sulphur may be a problem.

      https://www.experiencewinton.com.au/about-winton/artesian-bore-water

      This is ALL about a RET. Pay for a radiator and get no RET. Put in a renewable power generator and collect a RET.

      Get a grant to put in a tax machine.

      No tax available, (RET laws change), don’t start machine.

      Nothing to do with ANYTHING technical.

      If tax machine works, put in tax machines at multiple council sites.

      120

  • #
    David Maddison

    The water was only 86C.

    Shouldn’t that have been an immediate alarm bell to any scientist or engineer reviewing the proposal that this project wasn’t a good idea?

    Or wasn’t it reviewed?

    I assume the plant would have used the Organic Rankine Cycle where the usual steam of the Rankine Steam Cycle is replaced with a low boiling point organic fluid like a refrigerant.

    The system used a low grade low temperature heat source at best.

    A heat engine requires a high delta T between the heat source and the condenser temperature for maximum efficiency. (This used to be considered fairly basic knowledge, back in the day.)

    In this case the heat source was 86C and what temperature could be expected of the condenser, on average, 30C? Thus the delta T was only 56C.

    There are some delta T efficiency figures at https://electratherm.com/organic-rankine-cycle-basics/

    They don’t consider delta T’s as low as 56C but even a delta T of 106C gives an efficiency of only 8%.

    The likely delta T of the system. in the present case seems unusually low at what I estimate of 56C and so the efficiency would be much less than 8%.

    Wikipedia confirms: “However, it is important to keep in mind that for low-temperature geothermal sources (typically less than 100 °C), the efficiency is very low and depends strongly on heat sink temperature (defined by the ambient temperature).”

    The system heat source could provide low grade heat at best and it’s difficult to see how it could possibly work and provide useful or cheap amounts of power.

    It appears not to even pass my simple examination above. How did millions of taxpayer dollars get invested in something with a seeming unlikely probability of return?

    As usual with “green” projects, FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL.

    652

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      I was going to write that this has been known for 200 years but I checked and found that Sadi Carnot wrote about the necessary temperature change and efficiency in 1824. So this principle has been known for only 198 years!
      It gives us a guide to how out of date these Greenies are or possibly how far back in time they want to take society.

      610

      • #
        sophocles

        If you had said 200 years. Graeme, nobody could have called you on it.

        Thomas Savery’s work was in 1698.
        Thomas Newcomen made improvements in 1712 with a steam driven piston engine. This was improved by James Watt in 1765.
        Cugnot’s steam powered behemoth was 1769.

        Steam power has been around for a while — over 200 years. If you had said “200 years,” nobody could have called you on it.

        50

    • #
      Binny Pegler

      No over sight and on consequences. Just say the word ‘green’

      270

    • #
      yarpos

      You just know that at some stage someone is going to say it will all be good if we just kick in another mill for a solar booster.

      210

    • #

      Entropy is a harsh teacher and is immune to ideology. There are no free lunches.

      220

    • #
      Lance

      Sadi Carnot already defined the zero entropy increase model for any thermal machine or cycle.

      Max Theoretical Efficiency = ( 1 – Tl/Th). Temps in absolute units, Kelvin or Rankine.

      Usually, the actual efficiency is half the Carnot Efficiency.

      So if the Hot reservoir is at 86 C ( 359 K) and the cold reservoir is at 25C (298 K) then the maximum theoretical efficiency with zero entropy increase is ( 1- 298/359) = 0.1699 or 17%. The practical efficiency of that system is about 8%. A First Year Uni student in Thermo I would tell you this is a bad idea.

      Any student of chemistry or steam power would know that the dissolved minerals in the primary circuit circulated water would lead to a severe loss in efficiency due to heat transfer fouling in short order.

      Only abject idiots would have pursued this project from inception. Or hustlers/con men/ thieves/ grifters or the like.

      The only thing that the Winton project “might” be good for is district heating or something similar. But that is another economic and engineering analysis in itself.

      190

    • #
      Jonesy

      David,as I read the first line of this thread, I thought immediately on too low a Delta T. Even using refrigerant as UQ tried to use on a pilot program using heat from the town water bore in Birdsville back in the eighties. Not enough heat to gain efficiency of operation. Food for thought, It isnt just heat that drives a turbine..it is expanding gas!

      90

    • #
      Leo G

      In this case the heat source was 86C and what temperature could be expected of the condenser, on average, 30C? Thus the delta T was only 56C.

      The gas temperature at the condenser should be at least 5 degree C above isopentane BP ie above 33 degree C.

      10

    • #
      Deano

      “The water was only 86C. Shouldn’t that have been an immediate alarm bell to any scientist or engineer reviewing the proposal …?” –

      yes, but I wonder if several engineers pointed this out, were dismissed as “deniers”, and replaced with believers? Goes on a lot.

      80

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    Renewable energy it’s free and it’s plentifull. Well we all kmow the truth don’t we.
    And now a little story; at this time I am visiting South Wales UK to catch up with family. My wife had previously warned me not to bring up my favourite subject climate change. Well I got sucked in didn’t I; sitting down with relatives having coffee someone mentioned the beautiful view of the distant hills. I could not resist and I mentioned those horrible turbines in the distance. Well if I did I was instantly pounced opon by someone close who exclaimed that it was ‘free energy’ to which I replied that there was no such thing. Again with more venom she blurted out that its free, it’s the wind! I tried without avail to explain that the wind turbines cost a lot of money and someone had to pay. Furthermore I said those things are expensive and what happens when the wind stops. A killer blow I thought. Big mistake by me, but we have the grid they said its ok stupid. At this point I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, or indeed explode in a fit of anger. Someone rescued the situation by saying that everyone is entitled to an opinion and so I had to let it rest. My wife has not left me yet but I’m not too sure about the relatives
    This is the kind problem we face in society today. Missinformed people with no understanding of the subject. Blame the media, blame their education or blame their laziness in not looking for the truth . . .

    971

    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      Further to above, as if that was not enough, someone mentioned the Swansea Bay Tidal lagoon project (killed off a few years ago I thought). This person, well educated I might say, couldn’t understand why the project shouldn’t deliver continues energy. After all the tide was always moving either in or out . .
      At this point I bit my tongue, it’s still bleeding !!

      711

      • #
        Graeme#4

        And I believe that the location has one of the biggest tidal movements in the world. If tidal energy won’t work there, it sure as heck won’t work elsewhere.

        231

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Brittany has a very big tide range – up to 14 metres. Hence the French Govt. building the Rance River station (at the river mouth).
          It has been ‘working’ for nearly 50 years now but I understand it only runs now in one direction (for a few hours daily), possibly to minimise the problem of seaweed blocking.
          For all those claims about cheap reliable electricity the French Govt. has shown no interest in further projects.

          311

        • #
          Ian

          “And I believe that the location has one of the biggest tidal movements in the world. If tidal energy won’t work there, it sure as heck won’t work elsewhere.”

          It works in WA.

          “The Perth Wave Power Project (PWEP) is an innovative offshore development in Garden Island, Western Australia (WA). It was developed by Carnegie Wave Energy and officially switched-on in February 2015.

          The plant has a peak rated capacity of 5MW and can produce desalinated water. Carnegie signed a power offtake agreement for the project with Synergy. The electricity generated by the project is sufficient to power approximately 3,500 households.”

          https://www.power-technology.com/projects/perth-wave-energy-project/

          323

          • #
            b.nice

            Oh dear. Ian doesn’t seem to know the difference between tides and waves. !

            311

            • #
              Ian

              Fair enough I did not make the correct comparison.

              140

            • #
              b.nice

              “The project was completed at a cost of $39.87m.” For 5MW capacity.!

              Is there any data that shows the actual 30 minute time step output.

              161

              • #
                Hanrahan

                If there is no wind there are no waves so why not just build another windmill?

                71

              • #
                Ian

                Hanrahan The system is not on the surface but fully submerged

                The Perth Wave Energy Project consisted of three 240 kW CETO 5 wave energy converters that were installed and grid connected in late 2014/2015. CETO is a fully submerged, pump-based technology whereby a submerged Buoyant Actuator moves with the energy of the ocean’s waves, 1-2 meters below the surface of the ocean. The Buoyant Actuator is attached to a pump via a tether, and the entire system is moored to the seabed. As the Buoyant Actuator oscillates with the wave motion, it allows the pump to extend and contract propelling high pressure fluid ashore via a subsea pipeline. The high-pressure fluid then powers an off the shelf hydroelectric turbine to generate clean renewable electricity. De-energises fluid is then returned via a second pipeline at low pressure, forming a closed loop system.

                The CETO 5th generation devices operated for 12 months through 2015, over four seasons and accumulated over 14,000 hours of in-ocean operation. Power was sold to the Australian Department of Defence under a PPA. In addition a wave energy (hydraulic) powered desalination system was connected and operated, again with potable water produced and sold to the Department of Defence. “

                516

              • #
                b.nice

                Cut and paste a blurb.. wow.. well done.

                “Is there any data that shows the actual 30 minute time step output?”

                Or does it only produce words.

                102

              • #
                yarpos

                H’s point doesnt have anything to do with surface or not. Calm conditions mean low to zero output just like lack of wind for a windmill. I guess it will power thousands of homes just like wind turbines do sometimes. Interesting they couldnt make their system work in Albany and the WA Govt walked away when its seems an ideal location with swell “100%” of the time according to their own blurb. Win some , lose some I guess.

                With this success under their belt for a number of years now you would have thought it would have taken off.

                61

          • #
            Hanrahan

            Years ago there were pictures circulating of a destroyed wave generator. Do you seriously think something can work reliably is such a hostile environment for 50 yrs? There are tried technologies that can.

            131

            • #
              Ian

              “Years ago there were pictures circulating of a destroyed wave generator. Do you seriously think something can work reliably is such a hostile environment for 50 yrs? There are tried technologies that can.”

              You would have to ask the company that developed and operates the system about reliability.

              However the technology is of interest to other countries as it is l”ikely that Carnegie will build its biggest wave energy project to date in the UK. The planned 10MW-15MW project will use CETO 6 technology, using the full-size 1MW machines and will occur in two stages.

              Firstly, a single CETO 6 unit will be installed, and then nine or 14 further units, possibly reaching 15MW worth of power generation.”

              116

              • #

                That’s really impressive.

                And so cost effective also.

                Why to equal the power output of, umm, let’s say Bayswater then eh!

                So 10 X CETO 6 to give 10MW. Bayswater is 2640MW, so now we need 264 X 10. To equal the power output, that’s a multiplier of three. To last the 50 years of Bayswater, then double that.

                So that’s $5.3 Million X 10 X 264 X 3 X 2, and that comes to a number so ridiculous, but hey, renewable power is free umm, isn’t it? and if they want to construct them to equal the power output of Bayswater, and the cost of Bayswater, that’s 158,000 of them ….. or ONE Bayswater at one site for one build, not 158,000 builds over how long?

                Why is maths such a hard concept these days? People can’t even add up any more.

                Tony.

                Post Script – the cost comes out at $84 Billion, but here you have to consider that over time that original cost of $5.3 Million will be whittled down to $6.95, so, you see, renewable power really is ….. FREE, eh!
                And that total of 158,000 of them, well they won’t be all in the one place, they’ll be spread out along the coastline, you know, one every hundred metres of so. Then there’s the infrastructure for all the power lines and connections to the grid, and the batteries for the storage and, oh it’s such a worry, but at least it’s all free though.

                371

              • #
                Ian

                Gosh TonyfromOz what an impressive maths exposition. I wonder why the company has attracted so much interest from a variety of sources wanting to use the technology if it is so costly

                You write “Then there’s the infrastructure for all the power lines and connections to the grid, and the batteries for the storage and, oh it’s such a worry, but at least it’s all free though.”

                I think one of the innovative aspects is the development of microgrids that can be disconnected from the grid ad operate operate independently.

                https://www.power-technology.com/analysis/featuregoing-deep-to-harness-wave-power-carnegies-ceto-systems-4855445/

                221

              • #
                b.nice

                “why the company has attracted so much interest”

                Virtue-seeking and vain hopes. !

                Bound to be heaps of FREE government funding available as well.

                A fun NICHE product. !

                Now… “Is there any data that shows the actual 30 minute time step output?”

                92

              • #
                b.nice

                ps.. You can create a microgrid much more cheaply with a few big diesel generators.

                You know, like those used in the SA microgrid, and as backup supply in Victoria.

                81

              • #
                Hanrahan

                You would have to ask the company that developed and operates the system about reliability.

                Have you? If not you cannot assume that I am wrong. Nor could you assume I’m wrong with no better evidence than the hopes of the promoters.

                There is an old saying: A mine is a hole in the ground with a liar standing over it.

                The modern equivalent would be: An RE project is some calcs on the back of an envelope drawn up by a liar.

                71

          • #
            Chad

            Ian
            June 5, 2022 at 10:14 am · ”

            It works in WA.

            “The Perth Wave Power Project (PWEP) is an innovative offshore development in Garden Island, Western Australia (WA). It was developed by Carnegie Wave Energy and officially switched-on in February 2015

            Would that be the same Carnegie Wave Energy that went bankrupt in 2019 after their wave power project in Albany failed ?
            A lot of public money sank with that.
            https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-15/carnegie-clean-energy-enters-voluntary-administration/10904644

            “Renewable energy analyst David Leitch said while Carnegie’s technology was not commercial, some of its research could perhaps find a buyer….Wave technology is always a very risky technology and one where investors, frankly, were unlikely to ever get their money back,” he said.

            191

            • #
              b.nice

              Chuckle, well found, Chad.

              111

              • #
                Ian

                “Chuckle, well found, Chad.”

                Unfortunately Chad didn’t find the subsequent information I put in # 3.1.1.2.2

                Remember “he who chuckles last chuckles longest”?

                210

              • #
                b.nice

                Still LAUGHING at the way you refuse to answer the simple question.

                “Is there any data that shows the actual 30 minute time step output?”

                41

            • #
              Ian

              “Would that be the same Carnegie Wave Energy that went bankrupt in 2019 after their wave power project in Albany failed ?
              A lot of public money sank with that.”

              It would indeed be that company that went into voluntary liquidation in 2019

              However had you been just a little more diligent in searching the literature you would have come across this

              “The company, which started its life as Carnegie Wave Power, went into voluntary administration in early 2019 after a series of blowouts and losses in former subsidiary microgrid business Energy Made Clean and the last-minute termination of a $16 million project contract.”

              you would also have read

              “Carnegie gets to ride the wave again, as creditors vote to save company”

              Signs of hope have emerged for embattled wave energy developer Carnegie Clean Energy, after creditors on Wednesday voted unanimously to accept a restructuring plan to save the company and re-list it on the Australian Securities Exchange.
              A plan to resurrect the company’s core wave power business, and to sell or wind down Energy Made Clean, was soon revealed, alongside “in principle” funding support through company director and shareholder Grant Mooney and key stakeholder Asymmetric Credit Partners.”

              Just before being reinstated to the ASX in October of that same year, Carnegie chairman Terry Stinson said the business had experienced “a very significant cultural reset” during its decline into administration.

              https://reneweconomy.com.au/carnegie-to-power-moored-and-aquaculture-vessels-with-wave-energy/
              https://reneweconomy.com.au/carnegie-gets-to-ride-the-wave-again-as-creditors-vote-to-save-company-20817/

              BTW I’m sure you will be delighted to hear the company is still going strong and is in fact expanding

              413

              • #
                Gary S

                Saved by those who wanted their money back.

                61

              • #
                another ian

                Gary S

                “Saved by those who wanted hoped to get their money back??

                91

              • #
                b.nice

                Embattled wave energy technology company Carnegie Clean Energy has relied on commitments from third-party investors to secure the $5.5 million considered crucial to its re-capitalisation plans, after it failed to reach its minimum target for the issuance of new shares from existing shareholders.

                The company’s troubles reached a breaking point when – after blowouts and losses in the micro-grid business – the Western Australian government terminated a $16 million agreement for the Albany Wave Energy project because it had lost confidence in Carnegie’s ability to complete the project.

                71

              • #
                b.nice

                At a price of $0.001 per share must be worth something 😉

                Here’s your chance Ian, $10 will get you 10,000 shares !

                51

      • #
        Vicki

        Look guys, I have read all the replies to poor Geoffrey, and we all have experienced something similar. But you can’t give up on this issue. I think we need to go as far as we can with the facts that we have – even if it means injuring a few relationships – it is that important.

        However, I have to admit that we are truly entering “1984” territory in terms of “untruth”.
        [SNIP, email sent to you Vicki, – Jo]

        102

      • #
        Hanrahan

        There are four slack tides a day with each a MIN of 1 hr, likely more each.

        And then there’s the environmental vandalism. Why is it greens don’t give a fig about their environment

        110

    • #
      John+in+NZ

      You have my sympathy Geoffrey. My family forbid me from talking about about climate change whenever we are out.

      370

      • #
        Petros

        I think the arrangement should be that if someone else brings it up then it is game on. Many of us are in this situation often and we are too polite to counter their idiotic claims. We need to push back.

        451

        • #
          John+in+NZ

          “I think the arrangement should be that if someone else brings it up then it is game on.”

          I agree Petros.

          If we self censor and say nothing, they won’t understand there is another explanation.

          441

      • #
        yarpos

        I wont if they wont, but dont expect me to sit there and listen to total bull excrement without saying something.

        291

        • #
          Sambar

          Its the same with the “jab” if its brought up I have to comment and often with peculiar responses.
          After the subject was mentioned in a group I threw in a small hand grenade. I know six double and triple vaccinated people who have had strokes in the last eight months, and yet only one acquaintance in the 12 months prior to vaccinations to suffer this fate. Well the response was most telling, the entire group just drifted off like fog, not a single comment more. Could it be they were all worried about making wrong decisions and had no idea how to address the problem?

          202

          • #
            Annie

            I think that is so Sambar. I don’t make a secret of my views when in company but don’t bring up the subject myself. Just a couple of times it has seemed to be appropriate to mention post-vacc use of suggestions by Dr Zelenko to recover from an unavoidable vacc situation.

            91

      • #
        Ronin

        I now use the exercise to throw a few grenades into the conversation then sit back, say nothing and observe their lack of common sense, education, hunger for the truth etc, it’s very illuminating.
        No point trying to change their mind.

        122

        • #
          Lank

          I only discuss climate change seriously to folks that can answer this simple question…. Apart from water vapour what three gasses make up 99.9% of our atmosphere?
          I have yet to find ANYONE who can answer correctly.

          Surely this simple science taught at school, particularly with the idea that a trace gas is the control knob to changing climate. People look at me as if I’m a lunatic when I tell them that argon is about 22 times the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Most have never heard of it.

          71

      • #
        Stanley

        My mother always said that the topics of “sex, politics and religion” should not be brought up in polite social discourse. Now we can add “climate change” to that. Hang on, “climate change” IS a religion (a belief system)…..

        131

    • #
      John in Oz

      The typical response when discussing details of renewables is that the proponents do not have any knowledge of technical/monetary mechanisms and wish to change the subject.

      Of course, they leave with the knowledge that I am a numpty who refuses to understand that renewables are cheaper and will save the world.

      BTW, coal and oil are also ‘free’. It’s obtaining and using it that costs, as it is for wind/solar.

      130

      • #
        Ozwitch

        My MIL thinks that rooftop solar is free power, so she can just leave everything on all the time at no cost. I explain that rooftop solar is a massive cost for installation and she doesn’t get to pay for that part. This cost when amortised simply doesn’t add up these days. But she’s like all green numpties – as long as they don’t bear the cost themselves, they love it. If I told her to cough up $15,000, well a different story.

        130

    • #
      Liberator

      I love them spouting the price of renewable is free. Turbines cost from $1-4 million each, annual maintenance cost ~$50 k a year. Power output, typically 30% of rated capacity. Electricity from wind is now “free” so no returns on that million dollar investment other than subsidies. No one ever seems to consider the initial capital costs along with the annual running costs, yes it does cost $ to run a turbine and $ are required to finance the building of these turbines, that’s not free money, it has to come from somewhere and at what cost? The only real difference between coal and wind is the energy source is “free” but it still cost $$$$ to capture that “free” energy. Coal would be cheaper too if the governments didn’t slug the coal fire power stations to extract and pay for the coal.

      Repeat for solar…

      160

      • #
        Liberator

        and to add: “Some wind turbine manufacturers like Siemens Gamesa have expressed concerns that the cost of wind energy is getting too low to maintain the development and growth of the market.”

        70

      • #
        yarpos

        I believe some US States tax people with tanks for water that falls from the sky

        If true, its not a big leap to tax people for the wind that blows by

        40

        • #
          Annie

          Was there not a time in Melbourne when one was not supposed to collect one’s roof water? We had neighbours in one place who had to have a permit to collect water for the wife’s needs as she had allergies to mains treated water.
          This was back in the early-ish 1990s.

          11

    • #
      Neil+Crafter

      at which time you look around and say “somebody say KFC?”

      30

    • #
      Alby

      It must be something in the water there. My son and family live in South Wales and I am forbidden to discuss CC with him when we visit as it leads to the sort of friction you describe. It’s bad for my blood pressure too. I just hope that i live long enough to see him realise the reality of the cooling we are diving into.

      As for geothermal power. I still think that the potential is great if the technology can be developed. I invested in Geodynamics’ explorations in the Cooper Basin, where they found water of 250C at 4.5km down. The proof of concept with a 1MW test plant was successful until the bore linings were embrittled by the liquid coming up the bore and the whole thing folded. End of my investment.

      30

    • #
      Daffy

      The best parry to the ‘free energy’ crowd is that coal energy is free too. It burns all by itself. They then say, what about the cost of mining. You say: exactly, and what about the cost of mining (extracting the energy from) the wind and/or sun?

      10

  • #
    Graham Richards

    Even when failure is proved, you know when it doesn’t bloody work, when it’s more than obvious renewables is a crock of you know what, every dumbass lefty continues to waffle, continues to throw $$$$$millions of other peoples hard earned at renewables. The day when the economy grinds to a halt & we’re living in the dark, scratching for a living is not far off. All that will be heard across the country will be the waffle about how the next renewable theory will see the renewables nirvana appear.

    Most of the waffle comes from the vey governments the stupid electorate puts into power.

    A wonderful idea, a proven idea that produces abundant energy is ignored and denigrated.
    NUCLEAR. But our governments are too involved with the UN, the WEF, neither of which we actually vote for, and their ambitions to rule the world!!

    310

    • #
      another ian

      “Even when failure is proved, you know when it doesn’t bloody work, when it’s more than obvious renewables is a crock of you know what, every dumbass lefty continues to waffle, continues to throw $$$$$millions of other peoples hard earned at renewables. ”

      But, like a certain other subjection of those who lean left, if applied properly next time it has to work (/s)

      130

  • #
    James Murphy

    2 x 150kW generators, provided by a company based in Victoria.
    http://www.g-tet.com/technology/

    11

  • #
    Rafe+Champion

    Just conversationally introduce people to the NemWatch widget that you can read on your phone.

    Today the wind is running at 65% of capacity so the wind warriors are very happy but the thing is to get your friends and relations to check regularly around breakfast and dinnertime to see how much more green is required on low-wind days to replace all the red (gas) and the brown and black coal.

    201

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Wind , Solar and battery were running at 0% the other day for hours .

      90

      • #
        RickWill

        were running at 0% the other day for hours

        My bet is that they were not running at all. In fact, the wind turbines were idle and the solar panels unlit for hours. Neither are exceptional circumstances because the guaranteed output is ZERO.

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        • #
          robert rosicka

          Conversely today in South Oz they are running at 95% wind , solar and battery . That’s one heck of a turnaround and shows just how unreliable weather dependent electricity generation really is . Instead of relying on one or two guaranteed forms of energy generation they rely on six forms of energy generation adding to the absurd cost we know is associated with so called renewable energy .

          50

  • #
    James Murphy

    I know a handful of people who work for “Celsius Energy”, a company using numerous very shallow wells (around 200m each) to essentially store heat generated in summer, and recover it in winter, alternatively contributing to building cooling and heating.

    It’s pretty interesting technology, though not “new”, as such. The company is getting various grants and government funding, and I am not 100% convinced it will ever be a raging success, however, their engineers are genuinely striving to drill and complete these wells as cheaply as possible, and they have some capable scientists modelling heat flow in the various formations they encounter, and generally, there is a will to make a system that works as advertised, and to be profitable. Whether it turns out to be a success, or a grand folly, I do not know…

    https://celsiusenergy.com/en/

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    • #
      David Maddison

      Those systems for seasonal storage of building heating and cooling, presumably geothermal heat pumps, are feasible and only store low level heat or cold but there is not a sufficient temperature differential to produce reasonable amounts (or any) of electricity.

      20

      • #
        James Murphy

        yes, exactly, heat… I never claimed it was electricity generation… and yes, they do have a heat exchanger and a closed loop circulation system to pump fluid through the wells. it’s part of the cost they are trying to reduce, installing this tubing, and cementing it in place is not as simple as it seems.

        10

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Does anyone remember the fad for underground or earth bermed houses in the 70’s & 80’s?
      Same principle. I think they are now called Earth Ships.

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      • #
        beowulf

        One fellow I worked with back in the 80s had an “underground” house on his bush block. It worked well when a bushfire burnt straight over the top of it without major damage. From memory the place leaked like a sieve though every time it rained heavily. Mould city.

        Another opinionated idiot I had the misfortune to work with in the 2000s had a passive-design house, but they got the design wrong — too much glass facing the wrong direction etc. When we had a heatwave that peaked at 48⁰, the temperature INSIDE their house was 52⁰C. They had to move out for 2 days while the interior slowly cooled down. Much schadenfreude was had at his expense.

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  • #
    Penguinite

    Ultimately, the man-in-the-street needs to know that “free energy” is everywhere but it’s not free to collect and distribute. There is no such thing as a “free lunch”! Even coal and gas cost $$ to extricate, but they can be used to generate electricity at a reasonable cost.

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    • #
      David Maddison

      I like to use the analogy of a sailboat. Any sailor will tell you that the wind might be “free” but it is very expensive to collect and no one wants to be stuck in the doldrums or be becalmed elsewhere.

      In any case, the “frew” energy of the wind is irrelevant because the cost of fuel such as coal to generate electricity is not significant.

      Coal provides cheap electricity but it is a fact (that I am yet to discover an exception to) that more wind and solar ALWAYS leads to higher consumer ekec8cosys with no known exceptions.

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      • #
        David Maddison

        “Frew” was meant to be free and “ekec8cosys” was meant to be “electricity prices”.

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        • #
          Richard C (NZ)

          Thanks. “Frew” was immediately explained by qwerty but “ekec8cosys” had me stumped.

          Bit like “covfefe”.

          50

          • #
            David Maddison

            It had something to do with the typing prediction and auto-correct and my editing all at the same time on my Android phone and I didn’t notice.

            30

    • #
      Penguinite

      Those pesky thumbs?

      40

  • #

    They should have tried making gas and maybe using this gas to generate electricity from People Poo !!!!!!

    All those idiots on the Town Council talk enough gas anyway.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/6064741/bristol-energy-company-turns-human-poo-electricity/

    [wee edit. – LVA]

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  • #
    Curious George

    “Council launches legal action over $4m geothermal plant that’s never delivered power.” Is the Council suing itself?

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  • #
    Peter

    Where is Flannery now? Didn’t he promote it as one of Australia’s most reliable options for reducing carbon emissions? He said there are hot rocks in South Australia that potentially have enough embedded energy in them to run the Australian economy for the best part of a century? More here. Grants were flowing back in 2009. Geodynamics’ project is one of four renewable energy demonstration projects that will be collectively awarded $235 million under the REDP. Apparently the good doctor had invested before promoting Geodynamics. Warwick Hughes has a bit to say here.

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    • #
      David Maddison

      As a taxpayer, I want Flannery to give me my money back out of his own pocket.

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    • #
      Tel

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Renewable_Energy_Agency

      REDP is yet another of the green subsidies that we keep getting told don’t exist. The Renewable Energy Agency had a budget of the order of $3 billion, to spend over 8 years, and presumably they are getting more in recent budgets.

      A lot of it goes into experimental projects, research, things that were never intended to be profitable. I think it’s inevitable that if you try new things, then some stuff won’t work as expected, and therefore money is lost during the discovery process. The question is whether that should be tax money, taken from people by force, or whether that should be stock market speculation where people know they are taking a risk but hope to make gains.

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    • #
      James Murphy

      Not defending shonky Flannery, or the waste of public money, but the physics was sound, and they did a lot to prove the concept of enhanced geothermal electricity generation.

      Commercial scale production would have been much more expensive than they thought because they’d have to use much more expensive materials in the wells, plus, the well spacing needed optimisation. additionally, Santos (the Moomba plant) would have been their biggest paying customer, and presumably they didnt want to pay extra for the electricity…

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    • #

      A flannery is now the phrase to use when the heavens open up and it rains a lot. There has been a lot of flannery in Sydney this year with Sydney already exceeding it’s average annual rainfall for 2022 at the end of March 2022. How flannery good is that?…….LOL

      20

  • #
    David Maddison

    Let’s take this moment of discussing another “green energy” disaster to remember the suffering of people in places like Melbournistan in Australia that are currently cold and miserable inside their own homes because they can’t afford electricity or gas to keep warm.

    More unreliables ALWAYS leads to higher consumer electricity prices. (I am yet to discover an exception.)

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  • #
    Graeme#4

    The WA state govt invested in a wave energy company in the state, only to see the entire project go belly-up. You would think our governments would learn some lessons from these debacles.

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  • #
    GAZ

    There is no free energy but there sure is FREE MONEY. These schemes are designed to harvest subsidies.

    150

    • #
      David Maddison

      Excellent point.

      Now, where did the $4 million from this project go?

      Also, compared to the vast amounts of money harvested from these “green” schemes, $4m is relatively trifling…

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      • #
        yarpos

        A nice waste case study though. A bit like Hepburn Springs windfarm, small enough and public enough that you can easily see the money streams.

        40

  • #
    Vicki

    I recall seeing a geothermal experiment going on at Thargomindah in outback Queensland when we visited quite a few years ago. They previously had successfully utilised hydroelectric source of energy from the Artesian waters below.

    30

  • #
    David Maddison

    The failure of this system, and all green energy projects in general, makes you wonder what on earth is being taught in the institutions that today “identify” as “universities.

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  • #
    Harves

    You know that ‘renewables’ are in trouble when their ABC starts reporting in the failures.

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  • #
    Eng_Ian

    Many years ago I was working on the geothermal heating system in Portland, (Vic). The water was around 70+ degrees from the bore and it was used to heat several buildings, the swimming pool, hospital etc. I upgraded the swimming pool system, more than doubling it’s heating capacity with just a little plumbing to amend the flow directions on the heat exchanger and the addition of a few extra plates.

    As we all know, heating air from water is a known and successful venture, think of a domestic radiator, common in europe. A few university ‘experts’ were interested in generating electricity from the heat source. I was a young engineer at the time but even I knew that the energy available was a function of the temperature difference multiplied by volume and a constant, (associated with the physical properties of the water). MINUS losses and in consideration of the maximum possible efficiency of a heat engine.

    My ’30 second calculations’ indicated that the system could use the full flow of the bore, (about 80 litres per second), with a temperature strip of around 60 degrees C, (using the tidal lagoon for cooling) and an efficiency of around 15% through the cycle minus losses of 50% would give around 1.5MW. Which sounds great, avoiding around $225 per hour in electrical costs.

    Now do the payback period for even a simple system. Nope a definite loss maker. Wouldn’t even consider consultant fees for a decent study.

    And consider that if constructed all the building that were being heated cannot access the geothermal heat, the equivalent savings in not buying gas for a boiler would well and truly trump the electrical supply income, many, many times over.

    You have to wonder what the universities teach, even back then it was a worthless idea with no future. I wonder why they ever bothered to get in the car and drive the 4 hours from Melbourne to Portland.

    By the way, a water to water heat exchanger is in excess of 99% efficient. So heating the municipal swimming pools used just 12 litres per second of the geothermal flow, around 2MW (PEAK demand). Try getting that from an electrical outlet… And it worked during the day and night, even if the wind wasn’t blowing.

    The bad news, the system was abandoned some years ago when the water board, (under direction from state government), closed off the water supply. So now the town burns gas or electricity for heat.

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    • #
      Curious George

      I wonder if 12 litres/sec of water 60 degrees C warm is enough to keep a municipal swimming pools warm.

      20

      • #
        Eng_Ian

        It kept the indoor 25m and the outdoor 25m pool warm all winter. You just have to keep the losses to a minimum.

        Worked like a dream. Windy cold nights on the outdoor surface resulted in significant evaporation until the pool was covered by a blanket.

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        • #
          Fran

          Years ago we built a pool in Montreal. We put 1/8″ closed cell foam under the liner and used a blanket at night. We were swimming weeks before other gas and electricity heated pools in the neighbourhood.

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  • #
    Neville

    BTW Flannery’s hot rocks project in SA was helped by a lazy 90 + million $ grant from the Rudd govt and Andrew Bolt never let the clueless fools forget it.

    https://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/another-flannery-fail-geothermal-project-scrapped/news-story/331390329e1af9da27ec28a80163b45d

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    • #
      Ronin

      Another Flannery fail, has this goose ever got anything right, or even half right.

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      • #
        Forrest Gardener

        He apparently bought himself a nice house on the Hawkesbury River so he was successful at separating governments from taxpayer funds.

        But I don’t think that’s what you meant.

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        • #
          YallaYPoora Kid

          He still active at taxpayer fund harvesting as part of Australia Museum work. At least he is completely discredited by sane people regarding his CC predictions. The lovies still love him and call him an international spokesperson for CC with who else but David Attenborough giving him plaudits.

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          • #
            Graeme No.3

            Why wouldn’t they love him?
            He has a record of 100% failure with his predictions which is exactly the rate all climate alarmists have reached with anything they have put a date on. Hence the popularity of “We are all doomed, real soon” type waffle.
            e.g. Prof. Svante Arrhenius Oil will run out by 2023
            1923 Montana Glacier could disappear by 1952 Says Professor Waterman.
            1924 Montana Glacier could disappear in a few years Says Dr. Elrod
            1924 Montana Glacier could disappear in 25 years Says Dr, Matthes
            2009 No more Glaciers in Montana by 2020
            2010 Signs installed about glaciers being gone by 2020
            2021 All of the glaciers in Glacier National Park are expected to be gone by 2030 (I suspect not but it has a chance).
            1971: ‘New Ice Age Coming’ Dr. Paul Ehrlich
            The oceans will be dead in less than a decade. America will be subject to water rationing by 1974 and food rationing by 1980
            1986: EPA predicts 2 feet of sea level rise for Florida by 2020.
            1987: NASA’s James Hansen predicts world 3C warmer by 2020.
            1988: Maldives completely under water in 30 years
            1989: Rising seas to ‘obliterate’ nations by 2000 If nothing is done within 10 years Quoting UN Officials
            1989: New York City’s West Side Highway underwater by 2019 (It isn’t)
            2000: ‘Children won’t know what snow is by 2010.’
            2004: Britain to have Siberian climate by 2020
            2004: By 2007 violent storms would smash coastal barriers, rendering large parts of the Netherlands uninhabitable. Cities such as The Hague would have to be abandoned
            2004 Tim Flannery predicted that ‘Perth will be the 21st century’s first ghost metropolis. (2007: ‘Brisbane and Adelaide – home to a combined total of three million people – could run out of water by year’s end.’ )
            2007 Tim Flannery hotter soils meant that “even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems”.
            a memorial should be erected in Lithmore for that last one

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        • #
          Ronin

          “But I don’t think that’s what you meant.” 🙂

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  • #
    Zane

    Unfortunately bracket creep and ever-rising property prices provide endless tax revenues for Federal and State governments to waste on green silliness and wokery.

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  • #
    Ronin

    The one at Birdsville used to work ok, water was 98.9 c.
    At least Winton can use the cooling section to cool the towns bore water, as for the rest of it, use it as a warning to others about these ‘miracle’ green schemes, hydrogen will be the next one, I can guarantee it.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    I love this quote from the linked article:

    “We wouldn’t have pulled it on if there were risks. There’s been plenty of homework on it and [we’ve] been over it and over it,” he said.

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  • #
    yarpos

    Bit like wind and solar really. More suited to niche applications and minor grid contribution from ideal sites. Scale up and Pandoras Box is opened.

    A friend in Europe has this type of system for home and water heating. There is no communal system, those that want it build it. Just like going “off grid” with your own solar and wind.

    40

  • #
    Ronin

    The latest retreaded green fad is’OTEC’, they tried it in Hawaii in the ’80’s I think, abject failure.
    They propose to utilise the differential between deep ocean water and surface water, to generate power.

    40

    • #
      David Maddison

      I remember when that was first hyped in the 1980’s and despite numerous attempts was always found to be uneconomic.

      They have poor thermal efficiency due to low delta T and you need a lot of infrastructure to produce a small amount of power.

      The delta T is even smaller than the failed geothermal project under discussion.

      You can’t override the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

      They have been trying to do this since 1880. If it was economically feasible it would have been done by now.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    In the linked article:

    “There’s one in Birdsville, this is just the latest technology one – just really looking forward to it.”

    The reality:

    https://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/birdsville-in-australia-abandons-plans-for-renewal-of-geothermal-plant/amp/

    Birdsville in Australia abandons plans for renewal of geothermal plant

    Local utility Ergon Energy in Queensland/ Australia has decided to abandon plans to renew its small geothermal power station in favour to a solar PV and storage strategy. This means the end to the currently only geothermal plant in Australia.

    Just imagine how bad it must be if even solar was better…

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  • #
    Ronin

    I think Ergon got sick of it, lots of operating problems, fouling etc, when it tripped or set off an alarm, the mechanic at the local petrol station was dispatched to reset the trip or tighten any leaks or top up oil, it did save a bit of diesel, but sadly wasn’t a commercial success, just a green wet dream, like the rest of them.

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    • #
      RickWill

      I did the maths and it is at least feasible.

      The average water consumption in Winton is 77tonne/hour. The well temperature is given at 86C. Assume a wet bulb of 30C to give maximum temperature differential of 56C. No heat exchanger and working fluid is perfect so lets say delta T is 50C. That gives 4491kWh input. The Carnot efficiency at 303K cold and 353K hot is 14% so potential of 628kW before taking out plant losses.

      The output was rated at 310kW. There is a townwater storage tank so flow could be kept reasonably steady by using the tank as buffer.

      Nothing like this is maintenance free. At 33c/kWh, the plant can generate a revenue of $100/hour or $876,000 in a year if able to operate continuously. There are not many tradesmen prepared to get out of bed for $100/hr. But it would probably be possible to get a skilled individual on an annual salary of $150,000 to look after the plant. Maintenance on a $3.5M spend should be no more than $300k a year, including labour, once the plant is sorted.

      It may be that they were simply not willing to work through the teething issues. The modern woke world paying lawyers to recoup losses rather than engineers to sort out the plant problems. It is depressing to see this waste.

      If this was the approach a few decades ago, Australia would have no power generation, coal export or iron ore export industries that the country now relies on for its income.

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  • #
    Ronin

    I was in Birdsville in winter 2002 and had a walk around town and had a look at the ORC setup and also noticed that there was not ONE solar panel or HWS in town, figured they were supporting the ORC system.
    Great place for solar.

    30

    • #
      RickWill

      It is now the highest, or closest to it, postcode for rooftop solar uptake 3.8kW/person.
      https://www.solarquotes.com.au/location/birdsville-4482-qld/

      30

    • #
      RickWill

      Solar was probably a better option than the geothermal plant as the panels are lower maintenance than rotating plant. The diesel generator is already there so the solar panels act as fuel substitute. Diesel generated electricity in these remote places would have a fuel cost close to $0.7/kWh now.

      The economics for solar panels would be highly favourable in Winton. Winton averages 6 hours per day full sunshine. So 1kW of panels would produce 2190kwh/yr. If they cost $2,000/kW installed (that would be without subsidies) then they recover their cost inside two years just as fuel replacement.

      Actually, I wonder if rooftop solar in Winton has killed the economics of the geothermal plant. Winton has installed solar capacity of 1.1kW/person. That is quite high. Average output would be 6.6kWh/person per day. That would run most households and the peak output would align with the maximum demand on warm summer days.

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      • #
        Ozwitch

        What about the average daily temps though? I imagine Winton gets pretty hot in summer so some falling off of efficiency of the panels?

        30

        • #
          RickWill

          The output in that postcode 47XX (Winton region) peaks at 70% of rated capacity mid summer. The efficiency loss is around 24% at panel temp of 60C, which is typical for a panel in full sunlight. The rest would be orientation not being optimal for mid summer as panels are required to be tilted while flat would be the best for midday midsummer for Winton at 22S.

          October give the highest output, peaking at 75% of the rated capacity.

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  • #
    el+gordo

    Tasmania is looking at it.

    ‘Two inferred geothermal resources have been defined in Tasmania under the Australian Code for Reporting Geothermal Resources and Reserves. An inferred resource of recoverable energy of 11,000 PJth was estimated for the Lamont Geothermal Resource in central-eastern Tasmania.’

    https://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au › assets › file › D…PDF

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      East Central Tasmania? That’s far too close to the Greenie Ranks (or is it Rank Greenies) in Hobart (and possibly Launceston) with a good road there. Expect massive NIMBY demonstrations.
      As bad as frakking where in the UK it has been banned because it MIGHT cause earth tremors over 0.2 (personal disclosure – I’ve slept through the last 2 ones at 2.5 (although I noticed the 3.7 one recently being emplaced on the toilet).

      50

  • #

    Ergon spent ~ $200,000 per house [total $4.5 million] to build a solar farm at Windorah to save the off-grid diesel generator from using its regular 100,000 litres per year.
    When it was installed I asked the mayor how much diesel the generator uses now.
    “Still about 100,000 litres”, he said.
    IOW, 100% useless plus the cost of never-ending maintenance.
    But nobody ever publishes a cost/benefit study of these things.

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    • #
      Ronin

      Windorah…. Their 6 solar pv dishes seem to have fallen into disrepair, no one cares, the money has been grabbed and off they’ve run, who maintains it, who indeed.

      60

      • #
        David Maddison

        the money has been grabbed and off they’ve run

        Which of course is the sole true purpose of all these green schemes. They were never about “saving the planet” which is doing perfectly fine.

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    • #
      Neville

      Great to see you’re still OK SD.

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  • #
    Ronin

    Here we go, the lastest moronic green brain f*rt is to use hi-rise elevators to lift heavy loads up to top story then let them generate power on the way down, sheesh. !

    20

    • #
      Hanrahan

      Falling weights can power Swiss clocks, little else.

      A week ago my son told a story about someone asking how, when he was a kid, they used to pull a weight up a hill which kept the lights on in the house. Clearly a weight that can be handled by puny men could not run a generator for long so the discussion group could not work out how it was done until someone explained that the weight powered a fan which blew air over a pan of spirit. This “charged” air was piped to the lamps. Problem solved.

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      • #
        Ronin

        Cape Otway lighthouse has a hand winched weight that is part of a clockwork system that rotates the lamp reflector which in turn is floating on a near frictionless bearing consisting of a large pan of mercury, I think they said it had to be cranked back up inside the lighthouse tower every 4 or 8 hours, woe betide any keeper who let it ‘run down’.

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        • #
          yarpos

          Twas my job, as a 2nd year trainee, every fourth week to wind up the Post Office Tower Clock which sat on the top of the telephone exchange. Two by two story open ladders with a mezzanine in the middle, and winch the weights up to the top. Nice view.

          Health and safety heads would explode if you proposed it today.

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  • #
    Ross

    All these crazy alternate power generating projects probably got the go ahead because “our” government signed Australia up to some UN treaty years ago. So, some public servant or politician on a junket way back when, sat in a room with a lot of other flunkies and signed some agreement to explore alternate power generation projects. So tidal power, geothermal, pumped hydro, green hydrogen and god knows what else. So, they wouldn’t see this as a waste of taxpayers money because it will justified according to them. At one stage, Hazelwood power station in Victoria (brown coal) was listed for sale by ENGIE (French energy company) for $200m. With all the money that’s been wasted on all those wacky projects, Hazelwood could have been bought, upgraded and possibly now back online. I think Hazelwood was rated as 1700 mW output. With upgrades it could have now been pumping out probably at least 2000 mW, 24/7. Higher power prices don’t worry me personally, but I have aged family members who literally sit around the house in Winter covered in a blanket with the central heating turned OFF to save money. It’s not right. (today we are reaching a single digit top temp of 9˚C, but the chill factor makes it probably <5˚C)

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  • #
    Neville

    I always had a soft spot for Trace Adkins’ “Every light in the house is on”.
    Tells the story of his pretty girl heading north for the bright lights, but she soon gets sick of it all and returns home to the south.
    Of course he’s wired up the house with permanent very bright lights to help guide her back to him.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91d55nDqTOM&list=PLjxd6HnUZV-UkrRCTQ3MDjpeJmAw8qXaS

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  • #
    Robber

    But wind and sun are free, right?
    At 11.30 am today, across the AEMO grid, solar was delivering 27.5% of demand, wind 23.2% – so 50% “unreliables”, forcing coal to reduce output to 11,000 MW, 43% of demand, down from 15,000 MW overnight.
    Spot price $6/MWhr, yet average for the first few days of June over $350/MWhr.
    What a crazy system.

    30

  • #
    OldOzzie

    The Climate Cult and Their Green Lethargy Future

    Environmentalists have waged war on fossil fuels, the Industrial Revolution, and capitalism in general. Their “solutions” will make us all poorer, more vulnerable, and less free.

    By Thaddeus G. McCotter

    when I was in Congress, I once went on a fact-finding trip to Pakistan.

    What I found, however, was that President Musharraf was facing another threat to his rule.

    During a brief stay in Islamabad, my hotel room suddenly went dark one evening. It wasn’t terrorism. It was a rolling power blackout. Earlier, I had heard firsthand accounts of the dissatisfaction this caused Pakistanis, including how the rolling blackouts facilitated extremism’s spread and tactics. The blame for the blackout was placed squarely on Musharraf. As I looked out my window across an eerily darkened capital city, given all the challenges facing them, I couldn’t help but pity the Pakistani people for having to endure yet another tribulation: having to live with such a substandard power grid.

    Now, the Pakistani people can pity me.

    Per Fox News, the apocalyptic climate cult is bringing their rolling blackouts to Michigan to benight the state whose ingenious, hardworking people and the unparalleled industrial prowess they built and operated had once put the world on wheels and kept the world safe.

    For those paying more than performative attention, the climate cult has openly waged war on fossil fuels, the internal combustion engine, the Industrial Revolution, and capitalism in general. That these discoveries, inventions, and means of production spurred the largest and widest increase in prosperity, life expectancy, and personal comfort and safety matters little to these zealots.

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  • #
    Hanrahan

    Back to Jo’s original story, there is something wrong here. What was attempted was not “hot rocks” technology but “hot water” tech. On the face of they hoped to get power from the Great Artesian Basin, a resource the greens tell us is depleting and we should not use it.

    Hot rocks entail two wells which must be fracked to allow feed water at pressure from one well to have steam at pressure out the other. This project was nothing like that.

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    • #
      Ronin

      The now defunct plans for the Birdsville ORC were to relocate the ORC to a deeper bore out of town near the existing diesel power station, use that (hotter) water then pump it back down the existing borehole, less the towns water supply, thus completing the circuit, making it a ‘hot rock’ deal rather than artesian, might have worked.

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  • #
    Dennis

    After Kyoto Agreement 1997 the Howard Government introduced a trial basis 2% Renewable Energy Target with no technology specified.

    After the Howard Government was replaced by the Rudd then Gillard Union Labor Government the RET was boosted to 30% plus subsidies, plus a carbon tax and a renewable energy surcharge of 10% each on electricity bills, plus 10% GST and 10% of revenue sent to the UN green funds.

    The Abbott Government managed to abolish the two taxes and slightly reduce the RET.

    The Morrison Government established 2030 as the end year for RET and subsidies.

    And now the Albo Govermment plans to increase the RET to over 80%

    20

    • #
      Ross

      One of the most prophetic statements by an Australian PM can be attributed to Tony Abbott. “ climate change is crap”. Amazing, he had a 16 seat majority but got stymied by an uncooperative Senate. Plus, then got white- anted by his own party.

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      • #
        Dennis

        No, that is what the Labor, Greens, IPCC and other leftists claimed PM Abbott said.

        He actually said that IPCC climate modelling is “crap” and that he as a sceptic understands that the climate changes.

        He was “white-anted” from 2009 soon after he replaced Opposition Leader Turnbull in that position. And much to the annoyance of the LINO left faction Opposition Leader Abbott led the Coalition to effectively defeat the Gillard Union Labor Government at the 2010 election, forcing them into a minority alliance to form government again.

        The character assassination smearing continued after that election result right through to and after the 2013 landslide defeat of Rudd again Union Labor and continued until 2015 when Prime Minister Turnbull was appointed, who led the Coalition into defeat at the 2016 election saved by a one seat National Party gain, all the seats won at the 2015 election were lost by the “Turnbull Party” as the PM had called it.

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        • #
          Ross

          Don’t worry Dennis, I know what he meant. To me it was an accurate statement and he should not have been embarrassed by it. Trouble was, he had the Australian wannabe Al Gore lurking around in the background – good old Malcolm T.

          30

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    ozfred

    With installation costs for a grid connection rising rapidly (part of why suburban lot prices are what they are?) the decisions for a rural or regional person in determining how to power their new home is becoming more complex (unless there is a licensed electrician in the family?).
    As costs can head in excess of $50,000 and battery costs decline, there appears to be a case for solar panel installation and battery.
    And even with a more reasonable cost (only a transformer is needed), the pay back period (ROI?) due to the delivered cost of a grid generated unit, is worth the calculations. And as a hedge against further grid price increases.
    Inner city and suburbs have a different set of problems, including urban heat sink effects and the replacement of distribution transformers to support non-central power generation.
    “interesting times”?
    A pox on anyone’s house that supports one and only one solution. Science depends on research that examines all alternatives. It is traditional that not all research provides positive outcomes. But all research does provide information to direct further research.

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      Hanrahan

      You must have done the calcs or you wouldn’t make this post.

      Show them.

      BTW I would not go off grid for domestic power without a generator unless I had a bobcat so I could bury spoiled food out of the frig.

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      Ronin

      “It is traditional that not all research provides positive outcomes. But all research does provide information to direct further research.”

      Research done properly will also show up dead ends, that must have got deleted from these ginger beers who done a course through Miss Potts’ Correspondence School of Gingerbeering, or they were away that day.

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        Hanrahan

        Research with no +ve outcome is not published so no one knows about it, if it were meta analysis would look different.

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      Dennis

      According to my builder son off grid solar with battery storage is not cost effective, the break even point for the battery storage system extends past the average life of the battery and the solar system depending of course on capacity takes several years to break even, businesses with taxable profit might be better off than domestic consumers being able to write off the expense against tax liability.

      Not many years ago four quite old home units in an inner city Sydney suburb were converted into two townhouses and the owners wanted them off the grid, the cost was ridiculous and the electrical contractor did warn the owners that what they wanted was too expensive compared to grid connection.

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        ozfred

        urban and rural costs differ greatly.
        Battery costs still are coming down. Hopefully I can find an installer that will consider generic ones rather than “name brands” that can be easily “expanded in capacity” when/if I upgrade the inverters….

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    David Maddison

    Hey, what happened to the one kilometre high, 200MW wind tower?

    Now there’s an opportunity to waste a vast amount of money and harvest lots of subsidies from taxpayers which hasn’t been exploited yet.

    https://www.iatp.org/news/australia-considers-one-km-tall-power-tower

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      Ross

      That was the solar tower- not wind tower.

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        David Maddison

        Well the idea was to create a massive updraft of hot air to spin 200MW of wind turbines using the sun to heat the air so it’s debatable whether it should be called a solar or wind subsidy harvester. I prefer to call it a wind device because that is the ultimate motive power.

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          b.nice

          Sounds like it was driven by hot air…. Put one over the top of a Labor party caucus meeting. !

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          Ross

          Wind draught power?? Another useless green fantasy, like pumping water uphill.

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          Ronin

          Enviromission were the perpetrators of this grossly outrageous nightmare.

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          ozfred

          This is the principle of wind cooling towers in the middle east.
          Nice theoretical idea – financially infeasible?

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    Philip

    But the graphic looks so good, how could it fail ? A government agency says it would work but turns put the water wasn’t hot enough. Enthusiasm perhaps turned a blind eye to the fundamentals of physics ? Now extrapolate that enthusiasm and love of neat graphics that display how these futuristic things work, to the entire grid.

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      Graeme No.3

      My recent reading included that about the R101 Airship in the UK. It was supposed to be the biggest and best and was built by the Government unlike the R100 which was built by Vickers under tight money constraints.
      Vickers had an advantage that they had a brilliant designer in Barnes Wallis and practical engineers. The R100 was ready on time and on budget, and (after test flights) flew across the Atlantic to Canada, toured there and some of the USA, then flew back.
      The R101 was handicapped by “great ideas” like using diesel fuel because it was less flammable. That meant diesel engines which had to be British! not the lighter weight German types.** So heavy marine diesels (which couldn’t be reversed so an extra engine (and weight) was added to do any reversing). The air worthyness certificate was issued at the last moment by someone anonymous as the R101 took off for India but crashed in northern France with most aboard killed. (and the heat from the burning hydrogen set the diesel alight).

      **the Germans then were quite cooperative, although questioning some aspects of construction (which were ignored). Neville Shute, who was Walis’s assistant later wrote a scathing book about events. Possibly not quite as accurate as he thought but there was a tragedy followed by a coverup.
      Very typical of public servant projects, My late father (engineer) had 2 favourite phrases “a camel is a racehorse designed by a committee” and regarding government programs “an elephant is a mouse built with public finance”.

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    Dennis

    Climate Council chief Tom Foolery was involved in a thermal energy electricity generator project that became of waste of time and money, unworkable.

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      Dennis

      I wonder what the Albo Union Labor Government will do when Zali Steggall of the Teal Independent Party tables her proposed legislation to establish a new Climate Commission that operates outside of the Government, Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, with the power to instruct the Government on climate issues?

      The Commissioner an all powerful untouchable bureaucrat.

      As revealed recently on Sky News Bolt Report, Andrew Bolt obtained a draft copy of the proposed legislation and said that he read it cover to cover and was shocked by the contents.

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  • #

    Geothermal is the Future.
    https://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/

    St. Patrick’s Cathedral’s new tradition: Geothermal
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sulu2N0gxA

    Incredible growth plans for Chinese geothermal district heating JV
    https://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/incredible-growth-plans-for-chinese-geothermal-district-heating-jv/

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  • #

    Ah, the ignorance and naivety of the decision makers.

    It’s not the temperature of your heat source but the conductivity for heat flow from the undergound that determines how much heat you can extract. If you take heat out of your source it cools. For a viable operation the heat you extracted has to be replenished. Where does it come from? From below. How does it come from belowz? Through thermal conductivity. What limits that flow? A low thermal conductivity, a high resistance to the propagation of heat. Rocks have a low thermal conductivity. Therefore your idea flops spectacularly.

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    […] last, but, not least, Jo Nova discusses an Aussie town suing over a “green” project that delivered no […]

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    John Connor II

    Bigger things than energy await.
    Watch the news tomorrow, Monday..

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    In 2021 1,000,000,000 was invested in geothermal energy
    Apparently 4million was misspent

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