JoNova

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


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South Africa grid struggling with national rolling blackouts: Strikes, corruption and no respect for coal power

This is Fall of Rome type stuff — everything is coming undone

National rolling blackouts have been occurring for days in South Africa and are forecast to continue for another week at least. One engineer warns they are just a step away from a total blackout and says it will be very difficult to reawaken the entire system. Traffic lights are failing, trains are stopping, and mobiles phones, ATMs and fuel pumps may not work. With unemployment at a shocking 35% already, the million dollar losses from blackouts make for a dark feedback loop.

The immediate cause is strikes for wage claims and terrible maintenance leading to major power outages lasting as long as nine hours. But Green targets and activism only makes it worse because there’s no interest in maintaining plants properly which are planned for closure. South Africa runs mostly on old coal plants, and one of the largest plants is closing (supposedly) as soon as September. And the wind and solar power they have often isn’t helping with the peak loads either.

There is vandalism from every direction. At the bottom end, apparently up to half the people in Soweto are not even paying for electricity — […]

Just throw money: AEMO demands $12b gift to build 10,000 km of new transmission lines for Renewables

Marcus Wong Wongm

Effectively — the AEMO (the Australian Energy Market Operator) is the taxpayer funded advertising agency for the Renewables Industry. The point of the latest AEMO super-report, apparently, is to get Australian taxpayers or consumers to foot the bill for the high voltage lines that the unreliable industry desperately needs but can’t pay for itself.

The AEMO has declared we need to rush to cough up $12.7 billion to build new interconnectors in Australia. That’s $500 from every man woman and child and let’s call it what it is, a Gift Card for the Renewables Industry. The net benefit of all that money will be to allow wind and solar industrial plants to connect their unreliable product to the grid we already have, and to the storage products that we still have to pay for, and all so that their green electrons will make the weather 0.0 degrees cooler in a hundred years. Australians alive today will pay now and basically get nothing but views of more criss-crossy-steel-wires and spires, and more wind towers too. Sing Hallelujah.

The 104 page Blueprint imagines all kinds of scenarios except for an actual free market, true competition, consumer […]

Wind Industry insider laments 15 years waiting for the bright “future that never seems to come”

The people making wonder wind turbines are having a tough time. They thought they were picking the hottest new industry, saving the world, and expecting to make great money. Instead supply chains are in crisis, competition is fierce, and profit margins are razor tight. They know that the solar panel industry has largely gone to China, and worry that wind turbine manufacturing will do the same.

What they don’t seem to realize is that the reason the factories went to China is that the country isn’t powered by wind turbines. No country powered by unreliable power is also a growing manufacturing base. And as well as having cheap coal power, China also has the advantage of cheap slave labor, few environmental rules, no ethics and hardly any red tape. It’s a red-light flasher. About now, a wise investor might be wondering about the the odd disconnect in the idea of building devices to save the world while imprisoning people and polluting lakes. What if the environmental movement is a hollow geostrategic trojan fantasy serving Russians, Chicomms, socialists and investment banker cartels?

For Ben Hunt, the light-bulb moment isn’t there yet. These are the guys trying to make ends meet […]

More bad luck! Snowy Hydro can’t run much because it has *too much water*

Would you like blackouts or floods with your Green Burger?

Tumut Generation Station No. 3 Snowy scheme | Joe “velojo” A

Here in Weather-Dependent Renewable World the chief crash test dummy is struggling because of yet another bit of terrible luck. We desperately need the only reliable renewable energy we have to generate while reliable but-badly-maintained-coal is breaking — and our national grid sits on the edge of blackouts. But Lordy No! Oh the schadenfreude — the dams are all full. Seems we have too much water thanks to the La Nina we didn’t predict, and the excess rainfall that wasn’t supposed to happen, and the dams that weren’t supposed to fill. Now if Snowy Hydro releases too much water to make electricity they may flood lower areas.

You can’t make this stuff up. Hydroelectric dams serve two purposes and sometimes they conflict. If we are lucky, we might avoid both blackouts and floods, but we won’t avoid the bonfire of electricity bills that are coming.

Ponder the impossible quandry of the Green religion. Like the Escher puzzle of Energy — It’s always the weather’s fault. If only we could use enough renewables to get perfect weather we […]

Global-Woe: The transition has stalled — the world is using more fossil fuels than ever (Still 80%!)

Reality must be depressing for Green-believers. Here they are, after all this revolutionizing, they’ve installed more than a million megawatts of glorious solar and wind totems and it has barely made a dent. The world still stubbornly runs on fossil fuels.

The BBC laments:

Climate change: Green energy ‘stagnates’ as fossil fuels dominate

Matt McGrath, BBC

A new study says that the world is using more fossil fuels than ever as the transition to green energy stalls.

The Renewables 2022 Global Status Report says the share of wind and solar in the global energy mix has risen minimally in the last decade.

“The share of renewable energy has moved in the last decade from 10.6% to 11.7%, but fossil fuels, all coal and gas have moved from 80.1% to 79.6%. So, it’s stagnating,” said Rana Adib, the executive director of REN21. “And since the energy demand is rising, this actually means that we are consuming more fossil fuels than ever.” As the world rebounded from Covid-19 in 2021, there was a significant rise in overall energy use, most of which was met by fossil fuels.

Here is the […]

Electricity Hunger Games downunder —  potential sighting of four hour price bonfire

It’s a grid on the edge

Like a meteor-shower, the dinner time performance today may or may not be a spectator event. The fun may start at 4:30pm in Qld, NSW, Vic, SA and Tasmania — a full quinfecta at $15,000 per MW/h. The first wave of winter cold is about to wash over the grid, and those solar panels will fail just as people plug in their heaters, ovens, dryers and kettles and there is a four hour spike at $15,000MWh forecast. The graph below is the forecast for NSW, but it is essentially the same tsunami shape and dimension in every single state of the National Energy Market. Right now I presume there are engineers in the control rooms sweating over alternatives and they may well pull it off. These wildly high spikes have a way of resolving at the last minute. But think for a moment what kind of stakes we’re playing with. Hypothetically, if there was a 12,000MW demand for 4 hours in NSW at $15,000, that’s $720 million dollars worth of electricity. A few days like that would pay for a new coal plant, but no one seems to be listening to that price signal…

[…]

Cult of Green: Because no 1,000 year old forest is complete without industrial wind turbines

In Germany, praise be to Gaia, it’s Green to knock down a forest that has sat undisturbed for a thousand years to put wind farms in, and then plant saplings in a fake forest somewhere else as a carbon sink.

When will the environmentalists realize they have been taken for a ride by investment bankers and the renewables industry? Let’s help them speed up that “transition”. There’s a Red-pill moment here. File the story of the Reinhardswald, “fairy-tale forest” away for those moments when a teenager turns up to tell you how important it is to save old growth forest. Exactly, you can say… would you like too help stop the latest rapacious attack on rare heritage forest?

Being “Green” is nothing more than a badge people wear to their weekend dinner party.

NoTricksZone has reported on this environmental crime in February 2022 when the access roads started to go in. In the latest news Swiss NZZ Daily has described it as the absurdity of the German energy transition:

In the fall, the Documenta management planted oaks in the fairytale Reinhardswald near Kassel to save the climate. Now the forest is to give way to wind turbines, which […]

Shocking electricity price rises starting in Australia — so bad that small retailers ask customers to leave

It’s the day before the election and all through the house, electricity bills are doubling…

The price rises are so extraordinary one retailer is asking their customers to leave “in the next 24 hours”.

Across Australia small power suppliers are sending emails to customers right now warning them that their rates are going up next week by eye-watering amounts. Wholesale electricity prices were at a record high in April this year, and it hasn’t improved in May. Prices are hitting $200-$300 per megawatt hour, not as a peak, but as a 24 hour average. In South Australia two days ago, the average for the full day was $1,141. Futures contracts are rapidly taking off and these rises are starting to flow through to customers. Already, the small retailers are bleeding cash, just as they did in the UK, and if wholesale prices don’t come back to Earth soon, they will go out of business.

Reader Brett in South Australia shared an email from Discover Energy. As of next week the standard peak rate will rise from 39 cent per kilowatt hour to 70 cents. Off peak rates rise from 27 to 46. He also adds, “My brother lives in NSW […]

India going gangbusters on coal — tosses green rules, and wants to reopen 100 old mines

China has already announced it will dig up another 300m tons of coal next year, and now India is planning to boost its own production by 500m extra tons in the next two years.

Coal mine in Dhanbad, India. | Flikr

Amazing what a strong market signal can do

TradingEconomics

India increasing domestic coal production, cuts environmental green tape

India needs a billion tons of coal a year, and digs up about 770 million tons. Suddenly the plan is to increase that to 1.2 billion tons “in the next two years” and if that means opening 100 old mines and throwing away the green tape, so be it.

Phys-Org

Soaring temperatures have prompted higher energy demand in recent weeks and left India facing a 25-million-tonne shortfall…

The government hopes to woo private mining giants—like Vedanta and Adani—to revive more than 100 dormant coal mines previously deemed too expensive to operate, using new technology and fresh capital. …the Environment Ministry said it has allowed a “special dispensation” to the Ministry of Coal to relax certain requirements—like public consultations—so mines could operate at increased capacities. Coal mining projects previously cleared to […]

Mayhem on the Australian Grid continues — Record prices, factory shutdowns, emergency warnings

Generation tonight….

Just another week in the Transition we (Don’t) have to have

With 65 Glorious Gigawatts the Australian grid system has a vast excess (theoretically) of generation capacity, yet it’s so fragile that the loss of an interconnector, normal maintenance and a few coal turbines down — has triggered $100 million dollar price spikes. These burning pyres of money are so savage the average cost of wholesale electricity — across a whole day — is lately in the realm of $200- $700 per megawatt hour over most states for 24 hour periods. For the last week, daily prices have been ten times the “old normal”.

And it comes on the back of the most expensive April in the Australian grid history in every mainland state on the National Electricity Market.

Autumn and spring are supposed to be easy days in Australia with peak demand only running at 27,000 MW. Because things are lighter, generators do normal maintenance at this time of year, but at the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any room for that in the network. In summer, demand is often 5,000MW higher. Where’s that going to come from?

Factories are shutting down for fear […]