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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Nothing shows how pathetic solar and battery power are like the pitiful celebrations

Strap yourself in: Solar Power and batteries made a whole town 100% renewable (for 80 minutes).

It’s an Australian first! Put out a press release. No seriously, they did:

Solar and battery microgrid takes WA town to 100% renewables in Australian first

Western Australia has again demonstrated its remote renewable energy generation chops, after successfully powering the Pilbara town of Onslow entirely on a combination of large and small-scale solar and battery storage for a total of 80 minutes.

Only 520,000 minutes short of a whole year.

“The milestone achievement was announced by WA energy minister Bill Johnston on Friday morning after being demonstrated by state government-owned regional utility Horizon Power, which established the solar and storage microgrid next to an existing gas plant.”

Onslow is a metropolis of 847 people sited in one of the sunniest zones in one of the sunniest countries in the world. With at least 3650 hours of sun a year, Onslow vies for a top ten position globally.

If solar power was going to make it anywhere, this would be it. But we all know what keeps the lights on in Onslow and it isn’t solar power.

The […]

Climate fears stop new gas plants in Europe, then cold hits and they go back to coal

God’s joke on governments that try to control the climate with their electricity grid:

Europe talks itself out of building gas plants in order to stop global warming, then after an extra cold winter, they also run out of gas, and now they have to go back to burning coal.

Spooked investors weren’t funding many gas plants now that the glorious renewable era was here and policy makers were all wearing their Hydrogen badges, and waving their carbon capture wands. In the last year all the geniuses of the European Investment Bank, the IEA, the European Commission were saying “gas is over” and it would be a stranded asset.

One month ago, Nina Chestney was predicting a gas supply crunch:

Gas faces existential crisis in climate wary Europe

May 14, 2021, , Reuters

Europe faces the prospect of higher electricity bills and a supply crunch, as utilities struggle to finance new gas-fired power plants unless they meet tougher emissions criteria imposed by banks pressured to stop financing fossil-fuel projects.

…Gas projects worth some 30 billion euros were cancelled, delayed or indefinitely postponed last year as they struggled to find funding.

The […]

Russia bets big on coal, gas, fossil fuels, and not on renewables

Росгвардия

The West is switching to trendy unreliable energy while Russia is ramping up coal and gas production.

Russia is building a ten billion dollar railroad to sell coal to Asia, but Australia is building a ten billion dollar hydro bandaid “battery” just to make unreliable energy slightly less useless.

Russia is being left behind on renewables, and they’re probably delighted. The more the West cripples itself in a quest to make sparkly green-electrons that stop the storms, the richer the Russians will get.

With the second largest coal reserves in the world, they’re well positioned to meet the growing demand from India and China. Indeed, if Russia could just think of a way to stop the USA and Australia from producing coal, they could corner the market.

If Russian Intel isn’t paying climate activists and child-complainers a retainer, they must have rocks for brains. But since they are apparently paying French and German bloggers to discredit the Pfizer vaccine perhaps they already are some of the great minds behind Greenpeace?

And if they were funding climate disinformation campaigns, which media outlet would tell us?

h.t GWPF

Source EIA 2021

Give me one reason Russia […]

Did a short sharp Geomagnetic storm contribute to the Callide Coal plant explosion?

Ben Davidson speaks from Spaceweathernews.com and claims that there was a short sharp geomagnetic storm over the East Coast of Australia around the time the Queensland Callide Power plant exploded.

The CME that flew past Earth didn’t do much around the world, causing a small 1% deviation in magnetometers. But there was a burst of activity in the Southern Hemisphere that appears to have hit the east coast of Australia. Magnetometers there saw a 300 – 500% change* between noon and 3pm on the same day as the Callide Coal Power Plant blew up. The explosion happened at 1.44pm and the 275 kV transmission lines tripped at 2:06pm.

*(UPDATE: There is some contention in comments about the Australian DST figures — we’re they really that high or unusual? I’ll update the post when I can confirm it either way).

We don’t know if this tipped something over the edge at Callide, but the timing is highly coincidental. If Earth’s magnetic field is weakening it would seem urgent, to say the least, to understand the risks these spaceweather events pose to our critical infrastructure.

Perhaps an engineer who knows the design of (hydrogen cooled) supercritical coal reactors might be able […]

A Dutch Court says Shell is causing storms and floods. And Exxon shareholders vote to lose money

Who knew?

It doesn’t matter how much a company panders to the Religion.

The Pagan Chieftan hath spoken and decided that Shell not only has to cut its own emissions nearly in half, it improbably, somehow, is responsible for its customers emissions too. Will Shell put photos of heatwave casualties with warning labels on oil cans: “This product may cause Tornadoes”?

Shell is reaping the rewards of playing the “climate” game. They didn’t stand up against the climate witchery when it came for the coal industry, and now its come for them.

Oil Giants Are Dealt Major Defeats on Climate Change as Pressures Intensify

By Sarah McFarlane and Christopher M. Matthews, Wall Street Journal

In a first-of-its-kind ruling, a Dutch court found that Shell is partially responsible for climate change, and ordered the company to sharply reduce its carbon emissions. Hours later in the U.S., an activist investor won at least two seats on Exxon’s board, a historic defeat for the oil giant that will likely require it to alter its fossil-fuel focused strategy.

The Shell ruling, issued by the district court in The Hague, found that Shell must curb its carbon […]

Queensland’s Near Miss: hydrogen may have exploded at a coal plant (and renewables don’t save the day)

Tuesday was a wild day for Queensland Electricity. An explosion struck the Callide C Power Plant triggering a cascade of other plants to switch off within seconds. The massive 2.5GW fall in supply took the grid frequency in Brisbane to a hair raising 49.55Hz. How close did it come to falling over? Half a million people lost power for a couple of hours but a Statewide blackout was averted. Luckily no one was hurt.

Meanwhile the people in power were not saying “Hydrogen”, or “explosion” but the Supercritical Units at Callide are cooled with hydrogen, and there was an explosion. The owner CS Energy called it just “a fire”. But in other news reports people in the nearest town said it was “the loudest explosion they have ever heard”.

Hydrogen, it seems, is used in some coal plants as a coolant, but Holy Hindenberg, it is known to explode. (See Ohio in 2007, Pittsburg in 2017 and India, 2019) . A Union official said it appeared the hydrogen filled generator of the main turbine had suffered a catastrophic failure. And it’s all exquisitely awkward, as David Archibald points out, happening while a two day Hydrogen Conference is on — as […]

NSW power so erratically expensive an aluminium smelter powered down three times in a week

The Tomago smelter uses more than 10% of the entire New South Wales electricity grid supply. But the price spikes in electricity are so crippling the industrial giant could not afford to keep running on three occasions in the last week. Welcome to Venezaustralia.

Tomago

And it’s not even winter yet:

Prices were spiking in four states on May 17th.. Thanks to WattClarity.

Tomago aluminium smelter powers down three times in a week due to electricity shortages

A massive 35,000 per cent spike in wholesale power prices due to supply shortages has forced a NSW aluminium smelter to shut down three times in the past week to keep the lights on in Sydney.

The Tomago smelter, which supports more than 1800 local jobs, has had to power down multiple times since May 12 to ensure households across the state have enough power for heating as winter sets in.

Tomago chief executive Matt Howell said the sudden power price hike to $14,500 a megawatt hour was the equivalent of ­petrol prices going up to $400 a litre.

This time it was mega-price-spikes but other days Tomago plays Electricity-Saint for […]

France threatens UK electricity supply again, Navies called in

The island of Jersey gets 95% of its electricity via cables from France. The latest post-Brexit fishing dispute got so hot so fast, that a French minister even suggested cutting off the electricity if they didn’t get their way. 60 French fishing vessels were protesting at slow licensing. But naval ships from both sides were even called in to patrol the area, the situation has been defused.

Surely the UK government must be working out that electricity supply is a major tool for foreign disputes. Currently about 10% of the UK electricity comes in via undersea cables*, but that is set to rise to 25%, according to the Daily Mail. Surely alarms are ringing? This is not even the first time this outrageous threat was made. Macron himself threatened it last October too. See “Hands Up! Your money or your Fish!“

There is a very uneasy power balance here: The right to fish in British waters is worth about 650 million euros to EU fishermen, but European energy markets were worth up to £2.3 billion for the UK.

Not only does it leave the UK in a weaker negotiation position, but a selfish foreign player could also ambiguously twist […]

Fifty years of failed renewables predictions

For five decades, experts have been predicting renewable energy would supply 20 – 50% of the US Electricity Grid. Instead it’s taken twice as long to get to one fifth of the original prediction. (And to get to that pitiful 10%, that includes Hydropower).

Renewable Energy is the wordsmiths Great Hopium. The seductive temptation of “free energy” rolls on, never mind about the vast infrastructure and land it takes to capture a low density energy source. The price for “free fuel” is expensive maintenance, costly transmission, extra stability charges, and eye-bleeding storage costs (or an entire national spare grid for “back up?”).

For fifty years people have been overestimating the renewables transition.

The graphs comes from the JPMorgan, Energy Review. Even back in 1970, the need for 24 hour supply and frequency stability were well known.

A search online did not find a copy anywhere of Bent Sorensen’s original 1970-ish prediction, but it did find about 500 articles and nine of his books, showing that if at first you don’t succeed, you can make a career out of it.

Joe Biden is also marching down Failure Boulevard:

What are the odds?

Globally we used to get […]

Be gone all you gas cookers and heaters in Victoria! We need colder weather. Seriously?

Evil weather-destroying equipment will be banished:

Photo Kwon Junho

Victorians building new homes will be denied the choice to pick their preferred heating and cooking appliances in the hope that this will stop storms and droughts for their great grandchildren.

As household prices rise, the money that could have been used for holidays, health, or education will be used to enrich a few corporations and make a small percentage of the population feel important and calmer.

If only the low carbon revolution was clean, green and cheap, no one would have to ban anything.

Suffer the children:

Push to turn off gas to help reach state’s climate goal

Tom Cowie and Nick O’Malley, The Age

Gas appliances including heaters, hot water services and cooktops would be phased out under a proposed moratorium on new gas connections to Victorian households to help the state achieve its 2030 target to cut carbon emissions by up to 50 per cent.

Victorians are the nation’s biggest users of natural gas for heating, hot water and cooking due to the state’s historically cheap and plentiful supply piped in from Bass Strait since the 1970s.

But […]