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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Crabs are just another victim of Wind turbines thanks to EMF pollution from undersea cables

Edible crab like the one used in the study. Jean-Pol Grandmont Wiki

It’s a Nightmare on Crab Street

Crabs are being drawn to high electromagnetic (EMF) fields around undersea cables and getting trapped there for hours, “mesmerized”.

They are not just immobilized, in lab tests it screws up their blood chemistry and circadian rhythm too.

Nature-lovers might wonder what other marine life is also being impacted? What if the magnetic fields are playing havoc with migrating fish and turtles too? It might be handy to find that out before we build bigger taller towers offshore with bigger stronger cables.

Where is the Green outcry, or the Save-the-crabs campaign? Perhaps some kinds of pollution are OK “for the greater good”?

These are not some esoteric rare crustaceans, by the way, but common dinner crabs — the ones food chains and fisheries depend on.

If these crabs were victims of coal plants the headlines would be a catastrophe.

Underwater power cables are ‘mesmerizing’ crabs around Scotland

In a new study, researchers found brown crabs ‘freeze’ when they come too close to the electromagnetic fields generated by these cables. This disturbing behavior may negatively affect the marine creature’s […]

The Green Agenda meets The Energy Crisis (just in time for COP 26)

Some great Green plans are starting to come undone and it’s not even winter yet

But it is just in time for a reality check on COP26.

Europe’s energy crunch is continuing, as gas storage volumes have shrunk to 10-year lows. In the UK 12 energy companies have collapsed this year leaving 2.2 million customers stranded without an electricity provider. Things are so bad the Dutch government is thinking of reopening the Groningen gas field, Europe’s largest onshore gas field. This is a big backward step for the transition to magical energy. “Until recently, the plan was that Groningen would be closed completely by 2023, ending the large-scale gas production and export by the Netherlands with a bang.”

There are even thoughts of switching back to coal. Drax is suddenly talking about keeping some coal plants running a bit longer, something that would have been blasphemy a few months ago.

Across Europe and Asia — the energy crisis runs amok

No one can blame Brexit for food shortages in Brussels:

https://twitter.com/hermannkelly/status/1442901773958582274

But people can blame Green policies for energy pain

Kate Andrews: Britain’s weak energy security puts net zero in doubt The Daily Telegraph, 29 […]

“Fossil Fuels are a strategic asset” say people watching UK and EU perfect gas storm

It’s not even winter yet but suddenly all eyes are on the gas prices

Gas through the roof…

Thanks to fear of climate change voodoo many nations in the EU have effectively stopped exploring for gas and decided not to frack their shale deposits to get cheap gas too. (In Australia too). Vainglorious governments aimed to change the weather instead of having cheap electricity and lo, wind-towers were built everywhere.

What could possibly go wrong? Nearly everything.

Even the massive size of the European market hasn’t saved them from price rises so large that retail suppliers are collapsing, and fertilizer factories are closing.

Its a great way to give your enemies the upper hand

The wind drought in spring and summer meant that wind farms failed. Then the Russians squeezed gas supply in to the EU looking suspiciously like they were hoping to push up prices and pressure Germany into approving the controversial Nordstream 2 pipeline. Now the Kremlin is suggesting a quick approval will alleviate the gas shortage (they’re just trying to help). In the latest news one large interconnector between the UK and France has suffered a fire and broken down and won’t be restored til […]

Renewable bandaid burns money: New transmission line alone costs as much as new advanced Coal Plant

The Humelink transmission line does not connect a single large city.

Just another hidden renewable subsidy.

Boy O boy, that bill blew out fast:

Households could be up for $2b electricity transmission cost blowout

Peter Hannan, Sydney Morning Herald

Transgrid now expects its proposed HumeLink – a 500-kilovolt line connecting Wagga Wagga, Bannaby and Maragle – to cost $3.317 billion, up from $1.35 billion estimated in January 2020. That would make it “by far the most expensive transmission project” in Australia, said Bruce Mountain, director of the Victoria Energy Policy Centre…

NSW Households will be forced to pay $60 per year above their already-inflated-costs whether they want renewable energy or think windmills are a bird-killing, shamanistic health-hazard that won’t stop storms, floods or droughts any better than crystal shields do.

We can see why the government won’t let people choose to buy green power voluntarily.

Transgrid said the steel and materials costs more, but wow, golly, there was also a bill for “environmental offsets” through the Kosciuszko national park of an eye-watering, wait for it, $935 million. Perhaps they are transplanting the trees they cut […]

Guest post by Rafe Champion. Will it work to press on with more wind and solar power with existing storage technology?

PS: From Jo. Rafe Champion has been posting at the lost Catallaxy site for years so I offered him a home to try to fill the vacuum on Australian blogs for discussion on energy issues.

The dilemma Australia faces is that if we keep stuffing subsidized unreliable energy into the system we will force stable fuels out, and be carbon free, but we will also be free of 50Hz cycles, 24 hour power, aluminium plants, and manufacturing jobs. Policy-dreamers are using magical words like “battery” and “pumped hydro” as if Australia is a scaled up Mechano Truck run on Monopoly-money and we can expect reliable rain for the first time in 2 billion years.

by Steve Hunter

The Energy Security Board, chaired by Kerry Schott, has at last delivered a report to the Federal Government with proposals for market reforms to resolve a looming crisis in the national power supply or at least the NEM, the National Energy Market that covers the south-eastern states, excluding WA. The crisis is twofold – increasing grid instability and the threat of supply if coal plants are forced out of business prematurely. Both of those issues arise from […]

Approaching a tipping point in the power supply

Guest post by Rafe Champion

We are installing wind and solar power at a great rate and the expectation is that this will go on and RE will increasingly penetrate the system as coal power fades away. In the SE we still have just enough conventional power to get by almost all the time but the tipping point will come when we lose another couple of coal stations and we will need to have a continuous supply of RE. There will not be enough conventional power to keep the lights on through windless nights. The point is that RE can DISPLACE coal power but not REPLACE it.

Note from Jo: With the sad demise of Catallaxy, I invited Rafe to continue here blogging about energy and electricity in Australia. So the format of the blog will flex somewhat to try to fill some of that void.

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Big batteries could be bigger bombs than Beirut Fertilizer

Sudden tragic release of stored chemical energy in Beirut

It turns out storing Megawatts of high density energy in a confined space is “like a bomb”. Who could have seen that coming, apart from everyone who understands what a megawatt is?

Clean, green, noisy and explosive.

And they are “unregulated” in the UK.

GWPF

UK’s giant battery ‘farms’ spark fears of explosions that can reach temperatures of 660C

Amy Oliver Mail on Sunday

…according to a troubling new report from leading physicists, these vast batteries amount to electrical bombs with the force of many hundreds of tons of TNT.

With the potential for huge explosions, fires and clouds of toxic gas, they could devastate towns and villages nearby, says Wade Allison, emeritus professor of physics at Oxford University and co-author of the report.

The batteries, designed as reservoirs of spare electricity for when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun fails to shine, are spreading around the British countryside. And this, says Prof Allison and his fellow scientists, could spell catastrophe.

It’s like a potential bomb,’ he says. ‘When batteries catch fire, you can’t just squirt water on […]

Wind power “headed for disaster” in Germany

Is this the future of wind all over the world? The salad days of wind power in Germany are over. Bad news is rolling in from several directions. Twenty years of hope-n-subsidies has run aground. Profits are grinding down, and hardly any new towers are being erected. People are fighting back against the noise, the views, and the bird chopping. Conservationists might like the idea of wind, as long as it’s in someone else’s forest. Suddenly groups that oppose wind towers are gaining traction, and the red tape and legal battles have grown wings and settled on new developments like a bat plague.

New turbines are now supposed to be two kilometers from any home, and there just isn’t enough spare land to build them on. German wind farms are running out of Germany.

If only they were profitable and provided an essential service, they might still have friends.

Wind energy in crisis as expansion stalls in Germany

Alex Reichmuth; Nebelspalter, via GWPF

Lengthy planning and approval procedures stand in the way of the expansion of wind energy. There is too little designated space for possible locations and too many lawsuits against projects. The resistance to […]

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 […]

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 […]