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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More bad luck! Snowy Hydro can’t run much because it has *too much water*

Would you like blackouts or floods with your Green Burger?

Tumut Generation Station No. 3 Snowy scheme | Joe “velojo” A

Here in Weather-Dependent Renewable World the chief crash test dummy is struggling because of yet another bit of terrible luck. We desperately need the only reliable renewable energy we have to generate while reliable but-badly-maintained-coal is breaking — and our national grid sits on the edge of blackouts. But Lordy No! Oh the schadenfreude — the dams are all full. Seems we have too much water thanks to the La Nina we didn’t predict, and the excess rainfall that wasn’t supposed to happen, and the dams that weren’t supposed to fill. Now if Snowy Hydro releases too much water to make electricity they may flood lower areas.

You can’t make this stuff up. Hydroelectric dams serve two purposes and sometimes they conflict. If we are lucky, we might avoid both blackouts and floods, but we won’t avoid the bonfire of electricity bills that are coming.

Ponder the impossible quandry of the Green religion. Like the Escher puzzle of Energy — It’s always the weather’s fault. If only we could use enough renewables to get perfect weather we […]

Global-Woe: The transition has stalled — the world is using more fossil fuels than ever (Still 80%!)

Reality must be depressing for Green-believers. Here they are, after all this revolutionizing, they’ve installed more than a million megawatts of glorious solar and wind totems and it has barely made a dent. The world still stubbornly runs on fossil fuels.

The BBC laments:

Climate change: Green energy ‘stagnates’ as fossil fuels dominate

Matt McGrath, BBC

A new study says that the world is using more fossil fuels than ever as the transition to green energy stalls.

The Renewables 2022 Global Status Report says the share of wind and solar in the global energy mix has risen minimally in the last decade.

“The share of renewable energy has moved in the last decade from 10.6% to 11.7%, but fossil fuels, all coal and gas have moved from 80.1% to 79.6%. So, it’s stagnating,” said Rana Adib, the executive director of REN21. “And since the energy demand is rising, this actually means that we are consuming more fossil fuels than ever.” As the world rebounded from Covid-19 in 2021, there was a significant rise in overall energy use, most of which was met by fossil fuels.

Here is the […]

America’s National Renewable Energy Lab warns a “tidal wave” of wind and solar waste is coming

Who will pay for the cleaning up job?

By 2050, the world will be throwing out 2 million tons of wind turbines and 6 million tons of solar panels every year.

One reason the world may be throwing away so much not-so-renewable waste is that recycling it costs ten times as much as what is recovered.

Who would have thought that collecting low density energy in extreme environments would create megatons of tough, non-biodegradable infrastructure, embedded with toxic heavy metals?

Graveyard of the green giants: It’s the hidden cost of our dash for windpower – thousands of decommissioned blades that are so difficult to recycle, they are just dumped as landfill,

writes TOM LEONARD, DailyMail

Scientists at America’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have warned that in the next few decades, the world faces a ‘tidal wave’ of redundant blades that will number ‘hundreds of thousands, if not more’.

By 2050, it’s predicted that the world will need to dispose of two million tons of wind turbine blade waste every year. In the UK, the volume already exceeds 100,000 tons per year.

The International Renewable Energy Agency estimates that by 2050, up […]

After 26 COP meetings we are a Fossil Fueled World: Coal, oil gas give us 80% of the energy on Earth 

This is what Decarbonization Failure looks like:

Our World In Data

After three decades of effort, twenty-six glorious international COP meetings, six IPCC reports, and the installation of around 400,000 wind turbines, the total energy supplied in the big renewable energy transition still amounts to about 5% of total energy production.

The artificial Global Green energy transition is but a decoration on the energy cake. Twenty five thousand commercial planes aren’t electric. 6,225 bulk carriers are not powered by solar panels. And 260 smelters are molten hot and none of them work on wind turbines.

While the media green junkies tell how inevitable the renewable energy transition is, the wave we ride is the massive increase in the use of coal, oil and gas.

And it’s still growing.

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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 […]

Australian government needs coal subsidies to save grid from renewables subsidies

In Australia, the subsidy bandaids are piling up.

We subsidized weather-controlling generators in the hope that our electrical infrastructure could not only provide electricity but would also stop storms, floods and The Taliban. However the weather-controlling-generators were also weather-dependent, and it was costing quite a lot to add storage, stability, transmission lines and synchronous condensors. Who knew changing global weather would cost so much?

Once upon a time Australia had a full complete electricity grid that was cheap and efficient. Then we added inefficient things to it until we had two whole grids, one that changed the weather (in theory) and a spare one that filled in for all the other grids failures. For some reason it was not cheaper to run two whole grids rather than just one.

The subsidies were needed to drive out the cheapest player (coal power), but having succeeded, we then needed different subsidies to keep the coal power in.

What a tangled web we weave when first we lie to ourselves.

Grid and bear it: subsidised coal part of energy overhaul

Geoff Chambers, The Australian

Special payments will be needed to keep ageing coal-fired and gas […]

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 […]

China suddenly puts brakes on climate action, wind and solar subsidies

It’s almost like China’s climate action was just window dressing. It seems to be unraveling…

China’s National Carbon Trading Scheme was supposed to go into full operation later this month, but now it’s been cut back by two-thirds. Instead of burdening 6,000 companies it will only afflict 2,000. And only a week ago, the Chinese government suddenly axed solar and wind subsidies, with the cuts starting just six weeks from now. Oilprice calls it “a crushing blow for wind and solar”. In a devastating move, there are even demands that solar plants have to sell electricity at the same price as coal power. The cruelty!

China produces three quarters of all the world’s solar panels, having subsidized-the-heck out of the global industry, exploited slave labor and driven the US leaders out of production.

Judging by the Wall St Journal story — in the last two months the paradigm has shifted from Environmental control to Economic priority. Perhaps solar power wasn’t much use for building ballistic missile submarines?

How different things would be if solar was actually cheaper than coal…

No new solar power plant subsidies. Just like that? China to stop subsidies for new solar power stations, onshore wind projects […]

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 […]

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 […]