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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

Six gigawatts of total wind generation collapsed in 16 hours last week, and nobody cared

By Jo Nova

Just another day of Wind turbine failure — 6GW in 16 hours

There was no cyclone, no storm, no national disaster, but our national infrastructure collapsed just the same. Blame a high pressure cell.

Last week TonyFromOz noticed that the output from all 79 industrial wind plants in Australia disappeared overnight from 6GW to just 0.4GW. Imagine if an entire state of coal plants failed in the space of 16 hours and nobody cared?

Wind plants fail all the time and wreak havoc on the grid. It’s just “business as usual” or rather “subsidies as usual”. The rainbow list of acronyms below the graph shows every single wind plant in five states of Australia was accounted for in this dismal tally.

Wind turbine failure: TonyFromOZ

Billions of dollars rests on whether we can stop high pressure cells forming near Adelaide…

As Tony points out, the more wind towers we build, the worse this mayhem will be. Weather comes and weather goes but when the doldrums hit, it wipes out all 79 industrial plants together. Only wind plants built outside the high pressure cell could smooth out this failure. Offshore wind farms would have failed at […]

Skeptics are saving whales while Greens lobby for Industrial Plants in the wilderness

By Jo Nova

Let it be known that the skeptics are, and always have been, the environment’s best friend. The Greens, sadly are the wilderness wrecking, naive minions of the Establishment Powers who will sacrifice whales in a quest to impress their industrial banker overlords. They tell themselves they are saving whales 100 years from now with the same windmills that kill the whales today.

Our good friends at Heartland and CFACT are working to stop the insanity in a guerilla campaign.

“SAVE-WHALES-STOP-WINDMILLS.ORG”.

@ClimateDepot

Conservative watchdogs highlight ‘alarming’ surge in whale deaths as wind farms grow off NY, NJ coasts

Josh Christenson, NY Post

“It’s gone from ‘Save the Whales’ to ‘Kill the Whales.’ And the green groups that have promoted Earth Day for 53 years are totally okay with this agenda.”

Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow president Craig Rucker said the push to build the wind farms comes “despite growing evidence that whales are being impacted by the preliminary sonar blasting being conducted to site windmills, as well as scores of the marine mammals washing up dead on beaches.”

Steve Milloy, a senior fellow at the […]

Wind fantasy land: to cover 8 days of half-speed wind, UK needs 1,000 times the “biggest battery” on Earth

By Jo Nova

Wade Allison has done a short but devastating analysis for the GWPF. The take home message is that the energy contained in the wind is diabolically more erratic than most people realize. It’s just basic physics and almost no one in politics seems able to comprehend just how impossible these numbers are. If only they would “follow the science” eh?

Thanks to Paul Homewood at Notalotofpeopleknowthat.

The exponential death of affordable electricity

It’s just physics. The power of the blowing wind increases by the speed of those particles cubed which produces a twin engineering nightmare. If the wind doubles in speed, the energy goes up by a factor of 8 (or 2 × 2 × 2, and we need to spell it out), and if it slows by half, the energy drops eight-fold. It’s bad both ways. At high speeds, the mechanical engineers have to turn off the turbines to protect them, and at low speeds the electrical engineers have to ramp up power stations that may not exist, or pray to Gaia for batteries that will never exist.

Allison has a graph showing the total output of all the wind turbines in the UK and Europe […]

Australia’s Biggest Renewable Energy Project, Snowy 2.0, grinds to a halt, with a stuck bore

The new hole in the ground in the Snowy 2.0 scheme.

By Jo Nova

Complexity has a price, and a renewables grid is a bit like a 240 volt moving Rubiks cube. Here we see an unnecessary project hit by a random factor that in turn will affect all the others, blowing out other costs and schedules.

Australia’s breakneck energy transition, driven like a crash test dummy by government subsidies, depends on finishing the massive pumped hydro scheme called Snowy 2.0. However it has hit another delay no one apparently saw coming.

“Australia’s biggest renewable energy project” is the $6 – 10 billion plan to pump water uphill so it can run back down again to generate electricity every time the windmills and solar panels suffer a catastrophic failure, which is nearly every day. The entire project is superfluous in a grid with coal power — as we know from the last fifty years when we didn’t need it.

Unfortunately a 2,400 ton Tunnel Boring Machine called Florence is quite stuck under a cave-in. According to the ABC she started ten months ago, and is supposed to be digging her way through 15 kilometres (10 miles) of mountain. […]

Who knew Scottish wind turbines are kept warm with diesel power…

By Jo Nova

Arecleoch Wind Farm | Mary and Angus Hogg.

While British people can’t afford to warm their own homes in winter some Scottish wind turbines are being rotated and de-iced with warmth from diesel generators which also leaked some 4,000L of diesel. Since this was due to a cabling fault, presumably the other shivering wind turbines are maintained with mains power?

If giant turbine blades sit still too long, the bearings can generate permanent Brinelling damage. Alternately micro-oscillations or vibrations can cause False Brinelling. Small metal fragments then grind more of the metal around it, reduce efficiency, and increase the friction, the heat and the fire risk. It’s a couple of the hidden costs of maintaining a vast network of infrastructure to collect low density energy. Coal turbines must be slowly rotated too, to avoid the shaft bending, but coal turbines run for months at a stretch without stopping. One coal turbine can weigh up to 600 tons, but wind turbines nacelles usually weigh 100-300 tons, but can weigh up to 700 tons)*. The largest wind turbine blades can weigh 35 tons each. The power-to-maintenance ratio of wind turbines is absurd.

The wind turbine industry today […]

The strange coincidence of the Offshore Wind Industry and 178 dead whales

Floating humpback whale offshore of Delaware. Photo: Marine Education, Research & Rehabilitation Institute.

By Jo Nova

There have been a lot of dead whales on the East Coast of the US lately. David Wojik noticed that NOAA was investigating 178 dead whales in something called an Unusual Mortality Event, or a UME — it’s like an episode of X-Files.

NOAA says this wave of strandings mysteriously started in 2016 which was before the offshore wind factory industry got going — but Wojik points out the timing matches very well. Offshore lease sales for the wind industry ramped up 2015-16. There were nine big sales, he says, off New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Massachusetts. And not so coincidentally, apparently 2016 was also the year that NOAA started giving permission slips for whale hunts, sorry whale harrassments for “geotechnical and site characterization surveys“.

In bureaucrat-valium-lingo, the license to cause incidental dead whales is called an IHA — or an Incidental Harassment Authorization. This appears to have fooled Greenpeace.

Although since wind turbines are a sacred totem, NOAA could have called them a 007 License to Kill Humpbacks and they might not have cared either. The whales are dying for […]

Even in battery fantasy dreams the costs don’t make sense

By Jo Nova The amount of storage America needs for a grid run on erratic wind and solar power is so galactically vast the numbers don’t matter. Because every which way they are calculated, every estimate, the highest one, the lowest one, it doesn’t make any difference. They are all unaffordable.

And they’re not just unaffordable in the sense that it hurts. They’re unaffordable in the sense that there is no economy left.

Basically America would need 12,500 times as many batteries as it has now. At current prices this would cost about $175 trillion dollars, which is eight times the entire GDP of the United States.

Some researchers predict costs will fall, but even at fantasy low ball estimates that are one tenth of current prices, the cost of those batteries is still nearly $20 trillion.

Astronomical battery cost looms over “renewables”

David Wojick, CFACT

We now know that the battery storage for the entire American grid is impossibly expensive, thanks to a breakthru study by engineer Ken Gregory. Looking at several recent years he analyzed, on an hour by hour basis, the electricity produced with fossil fuels. He then calculated what it […]