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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Germany shuts too much coal, lasted 8 days without them, now admits they can’t close them

Emden, Germany by Gritte

On January 1st, Germany shut 11 coal fired plants with about 4.7GW of generating power — supposedly as a part of the Big Phaseout. But eight days later the wind wasn’t blowing and according to Pierre Goslin the system got so unstable that the managers had to turn back on some of the coal power.This on-off-cycle repeated so many times that one large plant — Heyden –was restarted six times in the next eight weeks.

The Federal Network Agency have reclassified the four of the big plants as “system relevant” which means they have to hang around on standby ready to rescue the grid at any time. So the largest efficient and cheap generators on the grid will be paid to sit around waiting for the unreliable expensive energy to fail.

2021 German Coal Plant “Phaseout” Lasted Only 8 Days…Put Back Online To Stabilize Shaky Grid

The Federal Network Agency has now confirmed that it has reclassified the Heyden, Datteln, Walsum 9 and Westfalen power plants, which had already been shut down, as system-relevant and that they now must remain […]

Green energy “an existential threat to German economy” declares Supreme Auditors

Emden, Germany by Gritte

The supreme auditors of Germany warned about the costs of Green energy a few years ago, but now they are paying attention to energy security too, and with sudden alarm they’ve announced that Green energy poses “an existential threat” to Germany.

It’s something dumb bloggers have been saying for years. But this is good news that German bureaucratic numerical masters are on to it.

Pierre Gosselin of NoTricksZone, calls it “explosive”:

So explosive is the German Government Audit report that Die Welt and the government auditors see the Energiewende as a “danger for all of Germany”.

Daniel Wetzel at German national daily Die Welt reports on the latest German Federal Court of Auditors’ warning: “If things continue like this, Germany as a business location is in danger. The costs are out of control – and there is a growing threat of an electricity shortfall.”

The Bundesrechnungshof in Germany or Federal Audit Office sounds rather awesome — legislators can’t tell it what to do, and its exact position in the layers of power is disputed, which only makes it sound more significant.*

The Federal Audit Office sees the […]

In a fluke moment SA and Vic have got cheap electricity (but only thanks to Black coal, and a screwed market)

Yesterdays free advertisement for the Renewables Industry comes from Peter Martin, ANU, and was swallowed whole by The Conversation, and then repeated by The ABC. (If only the ABC had three million dollars a day to spend on checking things before it published them, they might have warned the economist that he doesn’t understand much about the grid or even the energy market.) This kind of anti-coal PsyOps might work on teenagers: Electricity has become a jigsaw. Coal is unable to provide the missing pieces

March 16, 2021 1.46pm AEDT

Yallourn, in the Latrobe Valley, provides up to 20 per cent of Victoria’s power. It has been operating for 47 years. Since late 2017 at least one of its four units has broken down 50 times. Its workforce doubles for three to four months most years to deal with the breakdowns. It pumps out 3 per cent of Australia’s carbon emissions.

And here’s Macarthur Wind Power plant, Victoria’s largest at 420-never-attained-MW. It breaks down nearly every single day:

Fig 1: Anero.id Macarthur Wind output

Martin goes on in a non-stop infomercial for wind and solar He must be aiming for 12 year old voters, or perhaps […]

Political obliteration: The Right sold out their base on sovereign borders and climate change

There are lessons for conservatives from this eclectic election in the most isolated state on Earth. It was historic, epic, and “A complete and utter landslide“. And the message is “borders”. Remember “Build the Wall?” Conservatives all around the world seem to have forgotten the power and appeal of being able to control who and which viridae, come across the border. If the Democrats in the US fortified the wall, they might not have to fortify election results.

It’s a complete blitz. | The West Australian

The election Saturday was a wipeout of legendary proportions among democracies anywhere. Only four years ago, the Liberals (conservatives, theoretically) were the ruling party in Western Australia. Today they hold but two, as in one plus one, seats in the lower house of the WA Parliament, out of 59. They may win 3. The Labor Party took 58% of the first preference votes (that’s almost unheard of). Labor will take the Upper House too. See: WA Election Results. Things are so extreme, the talk now is how the Parliament is not big enough to hold the Labor M.P.’s. The rooms are just not designed for one party having almost […]

German experiment to make wind powered Silicon Chips fails

Surprising no one: lumpy expensive electricity does not make for a High Tech Paradise

It’s another example of how more green jobs means less real ones. A German High Tech Chip maker driven to Singapore by renewable energy prices

Emden, Germany by Gritte

To understand the scale of just how green Germany is, ponder that it has the third largest wind power fleet in the world, with around 30,000 turbines. In 2020, wind power generated more than a quarter of German electricity and solar power another 10%. Despite all that *free* energy Germans pay some of the highest electricity prices in the world at 38c/KWh. Whereas Singaporeans use natural gas and pay 18c/KWh. Germans are famous for their high tech engineering, but now they can’t afford to manufacture it at home. Siltronic is moving, and along with that presumably goes some of the intellectual property, brains, and security that comes with having that production locally.

h/t GWPF Chipmakers lament high taxes and levies on electricity in Germany 9.5 out of 10 based on 62 ratings […]

Texas dodged a bullet: Would you like explosions with your blackouts?

Houston Texas, Feb 2021. Image by Fish & Trips

Texas toyed with cascading crises

The Green Experiment could have gone so much worse. Here’s a man who was a gas industry executive involved in a near miss in New England in 1989. The four day blackout sounds bad, but it was a lottery win compared to the worst case scenarios. Not only was a full state-wide blackout possible, which may take months to correct, but the gas system is a bomb waiting to go off too.

ERCOT officials admit they only just averted a blackstart:

Texas was “seconds and minutes” away Texas’ power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, officials with the entity that operates the grid said Thursday.

— by Erin Douglas, Texas Tribune

The Blackstart in Venezuela took weeks to restart — rebooting an induction motor takes six times the normal current. Energizing a substation can cause explosions. It’s much easier to add load to an operating grid than to rebuild one from scratch. Surges on start up can break things, that fail. It can take rolling rounds […]

Texas: day four without power and water for some, fishtanks freeze, pipes burst, “worse than Africa”

Even if the Texas situation resolves tomorrow the anger will burn for months

A few hours ago, about one quarter of Texas still didn’t have power. After three or four days without power some houses are so cold the fishtanks have frozen over. Some people have been without power for 84 hours straight and ERCOT — the Texas Electricity management can’t say when it will be restored (though they have just announced it might be soon). It is still operating under the EEA 3 highest emergency level. Many people have had their power return for a couple of hours only to lose it again. And there is a burning anger at the unfairness of it all. People say they can see houses, shops and office buildings “lit up like Christmas trees” but have had no power themselves for days. Some are using their cars to warm themselves and charge phones but after three days they are running out of gas. There are restaurants that are offering free food.

It’s so cold in Texas homes that fish tanks are frozen. pic.twitter.com/IRuDjpG5Af

— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) February 18, 2021

Others are desperately using gas BBQ’s indoors even though it […]

Un-Greening: Mexico gives up on renewables, revives coal industry

Mexico, the eleventh biggest population on Earth, was all enthused about renewables a few years ago, but now they are actively winding back wind and solar and reactivating coal projects. Mines are being reopened, coal miners are being hired and the state owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has been told to buy electricity from its own coal generators before they buy electricity from the privately owned renewables generators.

López Obrador is called a populist, he talks of energy sovereignty, and speaks badly of predecessors who opened up the energy sector to foreign and private interests. He vowed to put ” at least 80% of the budget – into fossil fuels.””

Mexico was once a climate leader – now it’s betting big on coal

David Agren in San Juan de Sabinas, The Guardian

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as Amlo, has unveiled plans to buy nearly 2m tons of thermal coal from small producers like Rivera. He also plans to reactivate a pair of coal-fired plants on the Texas border, which were being wound down as natural gas and renewables took a more prominent role in Mexico’s energy mix.

Not […]

Extension cord to rescue renewable South Australia will now cost $2.4 billion

It’s another hidden subsidy for “Green Power”.

Big-Bandaid: Unreliable generators need thousands of kilometers of extra transmission lines.

The totally non-essential new interconnector between NSW and SA will now cost nearly a billion more than was expected. It will add no new baseload generation but allow the random energy surges from South Australia to interfere with New South Wales supply. Surges of subsidized energy will break the balance sheets of cheap baseload infrastructure in NSW, making them less profitable, and driving them out of business unless they charge more for the fewer hours they operate. Both states will spend more on electricity but be less self sufficient, and more dependent on other states.

Why aren’t NSW generators complaining? Because they know prices will rise, not fall. Ask AGL — the more coal plants it can close, the more profits it can make from the gas and unreliable generators.

The extra interconnector won’t solve the real issues — it “probably” won’t change the massive high pressure weather systems that stop wind towers working in both states simultaneously. The magical transmission lines “probably” won’t stop the sun setting in Adelaide one hour after it sets in Sydney either. But it […]

There’s no such thing as clean energy

All good environmentalists detest renewables and are appalled at the money wasted on the industrial renewables corporations.

All the rest are unwitting marketing agents who provide free advertising for banks and multinational conglomerate profits. In the process they hurt the poor and scorch the Earth.

In short: The world spent $3.6 trillion dollars over eight years, mostly trying to change the weather. Only a pitiful 5% of this was spent trying to adapt to the inevitable bad weather which is coming one way or another. Both solar and wind power are perversely useless at reducing CO2, which is their only reason for existing in large otherwise efficient grids. Wind farms raise the temperature of the local area around them which causes more CO2 to be released from the soil. Solar and wind farms waste 100 times the wilderness land area compared to fossil fuels, and need ten times as many minerals mined from the earth. Biomass razes forests, but protects underground coal deposits.

The role of large wind and solar power in national grids is to produce redundant surges of electricity at random or low-need times. They are surplus infrastructure designed in a religious quest to generate nicer weather. […]