China promised to strictly control coal then started 182 coal power plants instead

By Jo Nova

Two and a half years ago President Xi promised to “strictly control coal-fired power generation projects” in China. Before this solemn pledge the CCP had approved a blockbuster 54 gigawatts of coal fired power plants in just two years. Afterwards, to show how committed they were to Net Zero principles and international agreements, they *only* approved 131 GW. As President Xi promised — he’s “strictly in control” (of a massive increase). He’s also strictly in control of the world’s manufacturing.

After being deceived, the UN, Greenpeace, and Joe Biden promptly did nothing at all — it’s not like the future of life on Earth is at stake. And John Kerry somehow saw only “agreement” and “hope”.

When faced with this environmental catastrophe, the BBC told the world about China’s green power surge instead, and only mentioned the coal in passing as an aside. China had spawned a world record in coal plant construction, but apparently these coal plants are not so bad because many are built on renewable parks, “partly as backup for all the new wind and solar farms”. As if CO2 emissions are neutralized just by the presence of the sacred talisman of “renewables”. It’s […]

Solar Stocks crashed in the last quarter too, down 40% so far this year around the world

Jo Nova

It seems people only wanted renewable energy if they got cheap loans

Just as the quarterly reporting season revealed crippling losses for wind power and EV’s, so it is with Solar energy.

The general US S&P shares index gained 15% this year but The Invesco Solar ETF (Fund) which invests in solar energy stocks around the world — fell by a dire 40%. Even the US “Inflation Reduction Act” couldn’t save the solar sector. As finances tighten with rising interest rates, apparently solar panel orders are among the first to be cancelled.

Some of the worst performers in the whole US share market are solar shares, with SolarEdge and Enphase losing 70% each this year. A few weeks ago, the CEO of SolarEdge said revenues this quarter were about half of what was expected. He blamed “unexpected cancellations” from European distributors. But US demand was down too. Indeed, the bad news started in California, the largest market in the US, when the government slashed home solar “net metering” payments in April by about 75%. Suddenly, it was going to take 10 years to pay off the panels. Solar panels were a luxury item.

If only solar panels […]

Snowy 2.0, doomed from the start — after the sinkhole came the poison gas, “worst major project in history”

ABC News

By Jo Nova

It’s just emblematic of your Clean Green Future

Complexity and false hope is eating the crown of Australia’s Net Zero transition — the Snowy 2.0 Pumped Hydro scheme. Things have gone from “debacle” to Soviet Grade Industrial Fiasco. After Florence-the-tunnel-borer got stuck and created a sinkhole, workers spent seven months trying to shore up the ground, playing God against the mountain — pumping in grout, cement and polyurethane foam. But the foam made a gas so toxic the tunnel had to be evacuated. To make things worse the workers were originally told the gas was water vapor but it turned out to be isocyanate. At every point the Snowy Hydro team hid the bad news and issued propaganda, and it’s only taken the ABC a year to tell us the workers predicted the sinkhole, and three months to investigate the safety breach.

Still, that’s better than the NSW regulator who knows all the other safety breaches but won’t even share them, because it’s so bad ” it may affect the contractor’s reputation.” (Which it surely just did anyway.)

This is your low-carbon future. It was supposed to cost $2 billion but the bill […]

Failing underwater cables “pose global threat to offshore wind”

They’re not much use without a lot of cabling. | Image by Norbert Pietsch from Pixabay

By Jo Nova

Thanks to Oldbrew at Tallblokes Talkshop

Who knew high voltage cables running for kilometers in a deep electrolytic moving body of water would be expensive?

The 245kV Wolfe Island Cable | Photo by Z22

Despite offshore windfarms dealing in a kind of mechanical hell of high speed salt water spray, big waves and volatile wind conditions, surprisingly 85% of the insurance claims are because the underwater cables are failing.* If the subsea cables can’t be insured, it’s another unexpected cost threatening the economics of offshore wind.

The underwater cables needed for offshore wind are apparently so costly to repair, and the losses from lack of generation so steep, they are in danger of becoming uninsurable.

Subsea cable failures pose global threat to offshore wind

Energy News Live

The race to harness offshore wind energy has hit a significant roadblock, with the reliability of subsea cables emerging as a critical concern.

Global Underwater Hub (GUH) has raised alarm bells about the escalating issue of subsea cable failures.

October 6th, 2023 | Tags: , , | Category: Global Warming, Grids, Renewable, Wind Power | Print This Post Print This Post | |

Climate Change won’t get the chance to kill off the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle — the wind industry will do it first

Wedge-tailed Eagle | Photo by “Fir0002/Flagstaffotos“

By Jo Nova

Greens destroying nature again

Some experts think there may be only 1,000 of these eagles left, our largest bird of prey, and yet in the last 12 years some 272 of them have been killed or injured in the vicinity of Tasmanian wind towers. That’s at least as far as the maintenance crews have noticed, and not that they were specifically looking…

So the number can only go up, and other types of birds are getting the chop too.

The Tasmanian Wedge-tailed eagle has been known to have a wingspan as large as 2.8m (9ft 3in). They mate for life, and a single nest can be 1 – 3 meters across.

Tasmanian wind rush ‘may push eagles to extinction’, says study

By Matthew Denholm, The Australian

Tasmanian wind farms and transmission lines have killed or injured 321 threatened eagles in 12 years, but the real figure is likely far higher, a new study finds.

The peer reviewed study, published in Australian Field Ornithology, uses data from wind farms, TasNetworks and eagle rescuers to identify the death or injury of 272 endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed […]

‘Biggest clean energy disaster in years’ — UK government sells rights to the wind and no one wants them

By Jo Nova

The Year of Gloom continues for Wind Power

Wind energy is so cheap and profitable that last week, investors abandoned the annual UK auction to build industrial wind plants in the oceans around the UK. Exactly no one offered to spend money building turbines even though electricity prices are burning hot. Apparently prices for building the machinery to collect and transmit low density erratic energy are not “free” like the wind. Even after decades of advances, sacred green electrons still cost a lot more than war-afflicted-fossil-fuel electrons do.

The free market has spoken and it said “No”. At The Guardian though – it was, of course, all the Governments fault. That and the dreaded Hand Of Inflation. It’s so unfair:

‘Biggest clean energy disaster in years’: UK auction secures no offshore windfarms

Lack of interest was widely expected after government failed to heed warnings about soaring costs

Jillian Ambrose

None of the companies hoping to build big offshore windfarms in UK waters took part in the government’s annual auction, which awards contracts to generate renewable electricity for 15 years at a set price.

The companies had warned […]

Panic now: The Australian national grid manager admits blackouts are coming

 

By Jo Nova

We’re on the precipice of a radical experiment with a national electricity grid

The AEMO (manager of the Australian grid) has finally released the major report on problems coming in the next ten years on our national grid, and it’s worse than they thought even six months ago. They euphemistically refer to the coming “reliability gaps”. They could have said “blackouts” instead, but a gap in reliability sounds so much nicer.

Bizarrely, the lead graph of the 175 page AEMO report goes right off the scale, mysteriously peaking in the unknown and invisible real estate off the top of the chart. And they’re not projecting troubles fifty years from now. Those cropped peaks of invisible pain hit from 2027.

And even the pain we can see is apparently quite bad. Two states are already likely to breach “the interim reliability measure” in this coming summer. Ominously, just one day after releasing the report, the AEMO is calling for tenders for “reliability reserves” in South Australia and Victoria. Apparently, they want offers of industries ready to shut down who aren’t already on the list, and they want spare generation too — get this — even asking […]

90% of new car sales in Norway are EV’s — but fuel demand has only fallen 10%

By Jo Nova

Yet another reason EV’s are a lousy way to “save the world”

The point of all the subsidies, the charging sites, the $3,000 parking fines, the extra generation, interrupted journeys, pot-holes, road-wear, tyre pollution, collapsing parking lots and random fires is supposedly so that we make the weather nicer by burning less fossil fuels. But in Norway where the biggest experiment in EV’s has produced an “idyllic” mass uptake of EV’s, the fuel use has hardly changed.

Rystad Energy says that this shows we *must* electrify the buses, tractors and trucks too, but really this just shows what a waste of money all the past subsidies were.

If the “low hanging fruit” subsidies didn’t achieve much, the next round of subsidies will have to waste stupendous amounts of money. Remember this doesn’t include fuel used to power the electricity cars, nor the fuel used to mine the lithium and build the EV, or to fill in the potholes and rebuild the bridges. No one even knows if EV’s will reduce carbon dioxide. “There’s no such thing as a zero emissions vehicle”.

This is just “road fuel” we’re talking about and it’s not reducing it much:

Is […]

Expert “Everyone knows Australia will miss” the NetZero target — only 4 renewables projects approved in last Quarter

 

By Jo Nova

The current state of the Renewable Crash Test Dummy Transition

Everyone who can add up in Australia knows it can’t work, but the climate of fear stops them saying so. Last month a senior energy industry executive told the Australian Financial Review quietly that everyone believes [the 2030 target] will be missed, but nobody wants to say it. Apparently, even executives are being coerced into silence for fear of retribution. The insider referred to the “discretion” Ministers have on project approvals. It’s like a national mafia racket: “Nice business you have there — shame if you couldn’t get the permit”. So the Labor Party sets itself up to fail by silencing the people it could be listening to — as if the electricity will still be there when the turbines stop turning.

To put the size of the moonshot in perspective, even Federal Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen himself said the nation must “install 22,000 500-watt solar panels every day for eight years along with 40 seven-megawatt wind turbines every month”. In toto, we are supposed to build 44GW of “renewables” by 2030.

Instead of this frenetic pace, renewable energy investment ground to […]

Australia can’t build one nuclear plant but fifty years ago France built 56 in 15 years

Fifty years of the French Nuclear Industry

By Jo Nova

The dismal, destitution of our national energy debate

You would think our former Chief Scientist would know how to do basic research before commenting in the national news?

Alan Finkel says Australia probably couldn’t build one nuclear plant in less than twenty years, because the UAE took fifteen years. But fifty years ago the French built 56 nuclear plants in just 15 years. Isn’t that relevant and shouldn’t we at least mention that? At the time, the population of France was 51 million — twice what Australia is today. So pro rata, Australia could be aiming for 26 reactors.

If we ask nicely, perhaps we could borrow the old 1973 plans? The Messmer plan was launched in response to the oil crisis and the French started construction on three plants in the same year. The slogan they used was “In France, we do not have oil, but we have ideas.”

In Australia, our slogan it seems, is we don’t have oil, but we buy solar panels from China.

In a similar vein, two weeks ago Sweden announced it would be building 10 new nuclear reactors by 2045. With […]

“Turbinegeddon” — Siemens loses €4.5 billion because collecting free energy is not cheap

Siemens Gamesa

By Jo Nova

The end of the naive era of hope in Wind Power fairies

Remember how they said wind energy would keep getting cheaper? Only a year ago academics were still writing papers about the “Moore’s Law” miraculous future of wind power. Only we appear to have already hit the point where bigger is not better. Two years ago the former head of Siemens bizarrely warned that “Wind power risks becoming too cheap” and Reuters, bizarrely, published it.

Meanwhile production costs are rising for the offshore variety too, and Siemens is scrambling to delay deliveries, so it can fix problems first…

The Washington Post, a big fan of the “Green transition”, puts in an admirable effort to make excuses for the bad luck of the wind industry — anything but admit that this failure may represent real mechanical limits to the collection of erratic, low density energy in the most hostile settings on Earth.

These machines are so fragile they cannot just sit under their own weight motionless, less they get permanent brinelling damage to the bearings. And tiny micro-oscillations can create False Brinelling.

Wind ‘Turbinegeddon’ Is a Troubling Climate Omen

by Chris […]

Inflation be damned — Brown coal is still making electricity for 3c a Kilowatt hour

By Jo Nova

Don’t mention brown coal?

Last quarter I reported that the Australian Energy Market Operators (AEMO) had strangely “forgotten” to list the brown coal prices in its quarterly report, despite it being the second largest energy source in our national electricity market.

Other quarters, often they would include a graph comparing the average winning bids of all the major fuel types — a graph that surely is essential in these inflationary times where our electricity prices are setting record highs, rising by 25% this month, and we have a national debate on our energy crisis.

In the next quarterly report the AEMO did list the average “winning bids” of brown coal but didn’t do the comparison graph, so I’ve done it for them. If only they had room in their 68 page report and $450 million dollar budget so Australians can see, at a glance, which fuel source provides the cheapest wholesale generation by far, every quarter, all the time?

Despite all the inflation, the war, and the pandemic, brown coal generators are still making electricity for 3c a KWh. Shouldn’t Australians know that?

Click to enlarge (Or download the larger JPG file)

Compare that to […]

5 Megawatt solar plant destroyed by hail

By Jo Nova

Hail destroyed most of the three year old Scottsbluff community solar project in Nebraska this week. Solar energy might be free but collecting it requires vast acreages of fragile and expensive infrastructure.

Imagine if a three year old coal plant was “destroyed by hail?”

Scottscliffe was a 5.2MW plant with 14,000 panels that started operating in the Spring of 2020. In theory it was going to reduce the “carbon footprint and stabilize city costs for the next 25 years”. Instead it will increase the toxic metal in landfill.

There were tornadoes in the area at the time, but there doesn’t appear to be damage to the fences, trees or poles surrounding the plant.

About a quarter of the panels may have survived, or at least don’t have damage visible from 100 meters away…

We hope they had insurance.

Baseball-sized hail took out a 5.2-megawatt solar farm in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, on Friday

Kevin Killough, Cowboy State Daily

[Don Day, Cowboy State Daily meteorologist] said that the region around southeast Wyoming has some of the highest frequencies of hailstorms in the country. “It’s ground zero,” Day said.

The average […]

Despite the green revolution, and record energy use, the world still runs on 82% fossil fuels

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

By Jo Nova

We are a fossil fueled world. Solar & wind power make up just 7.5% 6% of our energy needs.*

The world has set a new record for energy use in the last year. And even though renewables are being installed at the fastest rate they ever have been, it isn’t enough to keep up with the growing demand for energy let alone to “convert” the world to Net Zero.

Overall, despite our best efforts to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, the world remains “stuck” getting 82% of its energy from them.

The Energy Institute has released the Statistical Review of World Energy, and it shows global energy use has not only recovered from the pandemic, it is now 3% higher than it was pre-Covid in 2019. The relentless human desire for energy continues. In 2022, humans used 1% more energy than they did the year before and 70% of that growth was from China.

To put the historic size of the “Renewable Energy Transition” into focus, here’s the last century of energy transformation. The Energy Institute did not seem to want to highlight the insignificance of renewable energy, so […]

Siemens Energy stocks fall 36% — turbines are degrading faster than expected

The new onshore models have rotors 170 meters long | Siemens Gamesa

By Jo Nova

It’s a bloodbath in the wind industry.

Despite the wind being free, collecting it appears to cost a fortune. Siemens Energy lost a third of its stock price on Friday. Just like that, seven billion dollars in market value disappeared.

Only a month ago they were expecting to break even, as the Wall Street Journal reports, the executives appear to have been blindsided by the rapidly escalating maintenance costs. The problem is so bad, and perhaps fundamental, that shareholders in other turbine manufacturers are selling out. Vestas Wind fell 7% Friday.

Siemens Energy Share Price, Yahoo Finance

The promise was that wind turbines would keep getting cheaper as they got bigger and better. Instead, issues are appearing now even in new installations, and people are starting to wonder if they’ve made the turbines too big too fast. The bearings and blades are wearing out, and the costs to fix them are crippling.

Clean Energy’s Latest Problem Is Creaky Wind Turbines

Carol Ryan, Wall Street Journal

Shares in Siemens Energy plunged by a third after it said turbine […]

Sweden axes Renewable Energy Targets, shifts back to nuclear power

By Jo Nova

Sweden has thrown away the sacred renewables talisman and opened the escape valve from the Temple of WindySolar-Inc. They’ve done the obvious thing anyone who was worried about CO2 would have done in 1992 — aimed for nuclear.

They have switched their 100% “renewables” target by 2045 to a 100% fossil-free target. It’s still a pagan antipathy of the sixth element of the periodic table. But at least it’s a more pragmatic version.

Sweden topped the EU list for renewables share of energy in the last tally — albeit with mostly biomass and hydropower. It was a star of the renewables set — number 1 on the Climate Council list of the “11 countries leading the way“. Yet here they are effectively giving up on the unreliable generators. Surely this must hurt?

The team at NetZeroWatch applaud the Swedish shift, and suggest the UK follow.

Sweden adopts new fossil-free target, making way for nuclear

Florence Jones, Power Technology

Sweden’s parliament adopted a change to its energy targets on Tuesday, which will see it become 100% fossil fuel-free by 2045.

The change means that nuclear generation can count towards […]

Bad news for electric planes — batteries only last “a few weeks”

By Jo Nova

Once again, batteries just aren’t living up to hopes and dreams. Only a year ago Rolls Royce were excited about the nine-seater P-Volt electric plane — forecasting that it would be carrying customers on ninety mile hops in 2025 and 250 miles by 2030. Alas, it must have been a sobering year. The developers of the P-Volt have pulled the pin indefinitely and decided to wait until battery capacity and weight improvements make it realistic.

The P-Volt made by Tecnam

Pioneering electric plane shelved as batteries only last a few hundred flights

Howard Mustoe, The Telegraph

A pioneering electric plane developer has shelved development of its new craft after discovering that its batteries will only last a few hundred flights before they need to be replaced.

Tecnam said its main challenge was the energy density of the batteries available today, which are relatively too heavy for the amount of power they can store.

The speed at which the batteries would lose charge would erode the nine-passenger craft’s value, ruining its commercial prospects, it added.

“Not commercially viable” could be name for most Green engineering.

What do we […]

Green Australia: where Industry is on Edge, the grid “precarious” and electricity prices up 25%

By Jo Nova

The land that is the Renewable Crash Test Dummy is holding its breath

This time last year, the Australian energy market turned into a kind of Hunger Games spectacle with daily feeding-fest at dinner time where prices were so burning hot that unhedged smaller retailers begged their own customers to leave them and then the whole market was suspended. The bonfire was so big we’re still paying for it, and retail electricity prices are set to rise another 25% in a few weeks.

So it’s no surprise that as the cold weather arrives downunder, everyone involved in energy is “on edge”. Suddenly Australian corporate leaders are telling it like it is — the Alinta Gas chief says there is just no way we can build enough renewables in time — he can’t even “see a way” of building enough renewables to compensate for the coal units that are being closed.

The man who used to run the Snowy Hydro Scheme agrees (and then some) — saying we need to build a “Snowy” every year, and we are being lied to (his words) and it will take not 8 years, but 80 years to get there. The […]

Peak ESG is behind us: Investors throw out climate fantasies at Exxon and Chevron

By Jo Nova

Nearly every proposal from the climate activists was struck down:

How times have changed. After the energy crisis of 2022 investors at major oil and gas firms are spurning climate activism. A year ago nearly a third of investors at Chevron and Exxon voted for the draconian “Scope 3” emissions targets. These targets are ludicrous — requiring the oil and gas giants to adopt a plan to reduce third party use of their own products. It’s like a form of corporate sabotage.

This year only about 10% of the same investors voted for these measures. And apparently there’s a similar trend on the other side of the Atlantic with BP and Shell investors rejecting activism too.

This is a very encouraging sign that the dominance of BlackRock et al is waning — they are bullying the world with other people’s money, and word is spreading as the US states fight back.

ESG Blowback: Investors Reject Climate Measures at Exxon, Chevron

By Collin Eaton and Jenny Strasburg, The Wall Street Journal

The votes were abysmal for climate activists. All but two of the 20 shareholder proposals for the two companies garnered less than 25% […]

The French are leading a nuclear power alliance in Europe and threatens to block the Renewable Energy Directive

By Jo Nova

The EU is fracturing over energy, and not a day too soon…

Signs of hope. Just as Germany recently pulled the pin on the EU’s Electric Vehicle mandate, France is now threatening to scupper the EU’s new Renewable Energy Directive unless they include a role for nuclear power. It was supposed to be signed off on Wednesday. Despite nuclear being the only reliable baseload source of “Net Zero” energy, France has had to fight for its inclusion at every step.

France is gathering 16 European nations into a Nuclear Alliance

World Nuclear News:

France’s Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, brought together her counterparts from member countries of the Nuclear Alliance on 16 May at the Ministry for Energy Transition. A total of 16 countries were represented. In addition to the host country, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Sweden, plus Italy with observer status, were represented. The UK was present as a guest country.

“Nuclear power may provide up to 150 GW of electricity capacity by 2050 to the European Union (vs roughly 100 GW today),” the […]