Guest Post: Dr Faustus – Monday’s Experts on the Energy Crisis

Everyone is suddenly wise after the event – except about the wrong event.

Behold, David Crowe in the SMH, presenting what has become conventional wisdom since last Sunday:

Energy crisis: A crash we all saw coming but did nothing to stop

After years of slow failure in plain sight, the Australian energy system has hit the wall. This is a moment like the collision at the end of a slow-motion crash test video when the car crumples under pressure. Anyone watching could see the jolt coming for the crash test dummies.

Ok.

Australia has not installed enough renewable energy quickly enough and has failed to provide enough storage for that energy. The withdrawal of coal-fired power has been under way for years and the country is still not ready despite the warnings. The high price of gas has been forecast for years and is sending electricity prices soaring.

Slight cognitive bust.
Yes, destroying the low-cost dispatchable coal-fired generation system with nothing to replace it but high-cost gas was rooly, rooly stupid.

But 15-20 years ago, when the car crash “everybody could see coming” really started in earnest, there was no alternative (other than nuclear). Batteries were not an option and there is insufficient hydro capacity on the eastern seaboard.

And gooses, exactly like David Crowe, were talking about moral hazards – and not about how stupid it was to use a high price fuel for base load generation.

Even today, with the car crash entering everybody’s homes and workplaces, again, gooses like Crowe still don’t see the car crash unfolding.

Sure Australia could go out and commit to build ~80GWh of battery storage and ~60GW of additional renewable generation to keep it charged and supply the grid. If everything worked out well, that could give us a reasonable 90%/95% system availability. (Although with international Robber Barons providing the capital, power would get seriously expensive – but that’s another issue.)

But the necessary $600/$700 bn investment would need to be substantially replaced in 12 years, and completely replaced within 20 years.* And the sunk cost would be a permanent drag on technology upgrades.

That sort of money would buy Australia a tradable nuclear industry and deliver power at world scale prices. However nuclear will not be considered because of the politics.

So, unfortunately, it’s 97.3% likely that Australia is on the threshold of making a panicked series of bad, bad choices – choices that will make the Covid response look thrifty, slick and well considered.

There are a few alternative starting dates for the process that led us here. But mark this down as when things really started downhill.

*Even without catastrophic failure, network batteries lose capacity: the literature suggests 8 to 12 years and on average they are not doing 25% of their job. Replaced by 20 years.

Similarly wind turbines: European experience is they are replaced at between 15 to 20 years – although many fail sooner.

Solar: longer time to failure, but a wide range of estimates: 10 to 50 years. Solar farm installations are estimated to live 25 years – although that’s panels, not the associated Sun-following technology.

194 thoughts on “Guest Post: Dr Faustus – Monday’s Experts on the Energy Crisis”

  1. Good work Dr F
    This has been something which I have been wondering about.
    Let’s assume that it is possible for a system comprised entirely of renewables targeting the same reliability as Dirty Coal is possible, via stacks of windfarms everywhere to catch every zephyr of breeze and batteries everywhere.
    But how much would it cost.
    Including dispensing with the myth that solar and wind are generators in perpetuity once installed and require no maintenance, along with battery degradation over time.
    And, while we are at it, let’s factor in remediation and disposal of toxic waste from spent batteries, solar panels and wind generators.
    Once we have costed all this, then reduce it to impact on household energy bills.
    When the real impact on household bills is known, I think you will find the cohort of “people are prepared to pay extra for clean green energy” might drop from the 60% touted by the Ponds Institute to below 10%.


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  2. the cognitive dissonance continues.

    Apparently its all those old unreliable fossil fuel stations’ fault.

    Except the ‘unreliable’ bit is 5% unplanned outages in coal generation.. and the solution is to fire up idle coal and gas.

    The rot started in the early 90’s in NSW, when the last coal station was completed (Mount Piper).
    Most of NSW generation capacity is over 35 years old. Vales point was completed in 1978, FFS.


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  3. Sancho,

    its not just electricity as we now use it, either.

    The fairies at the bottom of the garden want transport to move to electric (or hydrogen). We’d have to roughly double our existing electricity generation capacity to cover that energy currently sourced from liquid fuels.


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  4. Energy crisis: A crash we all saw coming but did nothing to stop

    Australia has not installed enough renewable energy quickly enough and has failed to provide enough storage for that energy.

    At least these creatures are consistent. Whenever socialism fails they say it’s because socialism wasn’t implemented the right way. Likewise they’re now saying that the grid disaster is because grid-destroying renewables weren’t installed fast enough.

    I think I saw a term once which describes doing the same thing over and over again expecting something different.


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  5. ” If everything worked out well, that could give us a reasonable 90%/95% system availability. “

    Sounds OK that 90-95% availability, doesn’t it?
    Do the math: 365 days a year, so 90% is 36 days a year with no availability.
    One month a year, on average, you won’t have power.
    Oh.
    99%? That’s 3 days a year.
    Oh.
    Makes you realise just how reliable the grid has actually been, doesn’t it?

    And your numbers are WAY low for storage anyway – minimum load for AEMO grid is about 18GW. So 80GW/h of battery storage is only just over 3 hours at minimum load.

    If you want to be realistic about the storage required, how about a week of still, overcast weather, does that happen much? 18Gw times 24 hours a day times 7 days is 3024GW/h. SA battery cost $1B for 150MW/h, or about $6B per GW/h, so 3000 GW/h would cost $18T (that’s trillion) dollars.

    Oh and don’t forget we’ll all need to recharge out electric cars too – so you can basically triple the required supply.

    This is not even close to realistic with current tech and costs – nowhere near it.

    If CO2 matters, and we have to do it real soon, the only answer is nuclear.

    If we need to meet just today’s peak on AEMO, we need about 35GW, and a typical power station is 2.6GW, and takes about a decade to complete. That’s 14 plants plus you better add another 3 to cover failures and maintenance, so call it 17. Near enough to one completed every 18 months between RIGHT NOW and 2050. Or one every 1.4 years between 2026 and 2050. Or one completed every year between 2032 (when the first one might be completed) and 2050. Good luck with that.


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  6. Sure Australia could go out and commit to build ~80GWh of battery storage and ~60GW of additional renewable generation…. But the necessary $600/$700 bn investment

    There was a detailed analysis done about the amount of battery storage required for Australia, from memory it was 42,000 times the size of the large Jamestown battery and the cost would be in excess of A$4 trillion. Also not enough global raw material available currently to build them all.

    Battery storage for the national grid is absolutely not viable in any way, shape or form with no prospect of being so in the immediate future until such point some major storage breakthrough occurs.


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  7. @ ChrisM-

    And that assumes none of them randomly overcharge and burn or explode. As has already happened in multiple home and substation locations in Australia and worldwide…


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  8. Sure Australia could go out and commit to build ~80GWh of battery storage and ~60GW of additional renewable generation to keep it charged and supply the grid.

    That 80 GWh of battery capacity would keep the lights on for 3 hours in the AEMO market area.

    Since the SA big battery cost $100 million for about 100 MWh that means $80 billion for 3 hours of backup. Then another $80 billion only 8 years later when the batteries expire. And so on.

    In practice I think you will need more like 3 days of storage capacity, not 3 hours. High pressure systems arrive over the continent regularly, as do cloud patterns. For example last night around 7pm I was checking the Qld electricity mix: 7.2 GW of which 39 MW was “wind and other”, ie. 0.5% renewables despite the huge installations they already have built. Three days of battery capacity would need about $5.76 trillion to be spent each 8 years. But Greens, Teals and Labor pollies probably can’t hold a number that big in their heads.


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  9. Sancho Panzersays:
    June 16, 2022 at 12:20 pm

    Let’s assume that it is possible for a system comprised entirely of renewables targeting the same reliability as Dirty Coal is possible, via stacks of windfarms everywhere to catch every zephyr of breeze and batteries everywhere.
    But how much would it cost.

    Rowan Dean mentioned a study last Sunday on Outsiders, where they worked out the cost on bateries. The basis wasto build enough to supply Australia for 1.5 days, assuming a wind/solar drought where ruinables generated next to nothing. $7.something Trillion was the figure IIRC.

    But I beleive in unicorns, pixie dust and faeries too.


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  10. Given that every back-of-the-envelope look at renewables tells us they’re not a solution, the immediate question that arises is why do we have so many innumerates in power?


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  11. Someone on the Cat (Johanna?) quoted this old Dutch saying which I thought was rather apt in relation to our energy crisis, “Don’t throw out your old shoes until you have a new pair that fits”.
    The people pushing wind and solar energy have at no time proven that a system powered by these sources can provide consistent 24/7 electricity in sufficient quantities to replace, let alone enhance, our current coal fired power system.


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  12. “$7.something Trillion was the figure IIRC.”

    COVID rubbish cost GovCo nearly $1T, and just that has done immeasurable damage.
    Seven times as much is blindingly obviously not going to happen – and no private company will invest that much cash into anything without some sort of guarantee that they’ll get their investment and a decent return back.
    And that’s for 36 hours of storage, and all the rest of it. We need way more than that – 7 days AT LEAST, and the capacity to recharge it as well as supply demand AND charge all those electric vehicles.

    How many African and South American kids do you think will die to provide you with the required lithium, cobalt and nickel to make those batteries? How much CO2 will be created mining, refining, manufacturing and shipping that stuff? How much environmental damage (strip mining, water pollution, habitat destruction and do on) will it do?

    FFS, it took us over 100 years to develop our current infrastructure for fossil fuels and more than 75 years to build the current electricity system. You want to totally re-make it in 10-20 years, how much do you think that will cost – not just in dollars, not just in waste and corruption, but in environmental damage too? It won’t happen, it can’t happen – we’d be fools to even attempt it on that time scale. But we will, won’t we fellow fools? You betcha! Because our politicians “care”, doncha know? It’s important – for the kids. Why won’t you think of the kids?


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  13. Well Duncanm, look at the grifters getting in on the gig. The Turdballs, Holmes a Court, Cannon-Brookes et al. Easy money. Especially with LRET payments of $70 MWh on top of generation price, which averages around $100 MWh at the moment.

    The companie’s energy broker rang me last week and said that the 12 month ontracts are for 22c kWh generation. So that’s plus network costs, LRET/SRET, Metering and AEMO charges. In addition there’s a new one coming up called UFE. This is where you will be slugged for electricity generated that vainished into thin air via network faults, unmetered connections and wait for it, “The distributed nature of the generation sector”. In other words, the gruinable grifters want to be paid for energy that no one wants when there’s too much of it in the system.


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  14. Everyone wants to go green until the power cuts out.
    Coal is the best way. Climate change is fake (and gay) but most people will believe anything they’re told until it has a serious personal impact. Perhaps even then they’ll keep believing like leading lemmings off a cliff.


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  15. “Everyone wants to go green until the power cuts out.”

    Wait until the bills roll in – just got a notice from my supplier that costs will basically double starting 1st July, from 25c/kw/h to just under 50c/kw/h.

    Great timing – you want to double the cost to me, while telling me I might have to deal with blackouts as well.

    Yay for cheap renew-a-bulls – just imagine how much the price would have gone up and how much more unreliable it would have been if we’d kept coal going.

    Thanks green blob – I really appreciate being able to line the pockets of the rich with the cash of the poor, it’s so satisfying in terms of social justice, you know? Makes me feel so superior to those plebs.


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  16. In other words, the gruinable grifters want to be paid for energy that no one wants when there’s too much of it in the system.

    there’s a real fortune to be made from potential energy


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  17. Is Twiggy and Loose-Cannon’s big power cable to Singapore still happening?
    Or has it been repurposed to supply electricity to this country?


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  18. If you want to be realistic about the storage required, how about a week of still, overcast weather, does that happen much? 18Gw times 24 hours a day times 7 days is 3024GW/h. SA battery cost $1B for 150MW/h, or about $6B per GW/h, so 3000 GW/h would cost $18T (that’s trillion) dollars.

    Oh and don’t forget we’ll all need to recharge out electric cars too – so you can basically triple the required supply.

    This is not even close to realistic with current tech and costs – nowhere near it.

    My Turd World estimate is based on AEMO’s statement of opportunities ‘step change’ scenario (discounting the hydrogen fantasy).

    This is not a Net Zero next week case. It has some coal and gas out to 2050 – ie it is far from the worst future.


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  19. We can only stand by and watch the chaos unfold. I’m no longer mad or depressed about it, I’m highly entertained.

    My generation grew up living frugal lives within very tight system boundaries. Having done it then, I can do it again. I might not like the extra physical work involved at my time of life but I can do it with a smile if that’s what we are reduced to.
    The Nike and digital generation have had a completely different experience through the 70 years of peace and prosperity in a rapidly growing country. They are utterly unprepared for when the reality stick hits.
    This week, and the panicked response of the managerial monkeys ably aided and abetted by all but a tiny minority of the journalism class, has shown it is going to to hit and hit hard.
    We cannot return to a sane world until cheap and reliable energy returns. As to how long that might take, Madame Mystic’s crystal ball might be able to hazard a guess.


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  20. What does raise my hackles is that these useless failures of human understanding in charge of this shit show of failure will never ever, be held accountable.


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  21. Given that every back-of-the-envelope look at renewables tells us they’re not a solution, the immediate question that arises is why do we have so many innumerates in power?

    Innumerate or double-dealing?

    When it all falls over and the dust settles, it is hoped the money trails will be exposed so we can know who were the dupes and who was in on the swindle of tax payers’ and consumers’ dollars.


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  22. And gooses, exactly like David Crowe, were talking about moral hazards – and not about how stupid it was to use a high price fuel for base load generation.

    So you want to move to the low cost fuel of *checks notes* … uranium.


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  23. “What does raise my hackles is that these useless failures of human understanding in charge of this shit show of failure will never ever, be held accountable”
    Considering that all these idiots have to live in the same world there is nowhere to run . Desperate and starving humans will fight over what’s left when TSHTF and they will be severely pissed . If things get bad enough a few might even get eaten…


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  24. So you want to move to the low cost fuel of *checks notes*

    if you mean that having a reliable supply is worth the cost … then, yes


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  25. Innumerate or double-dealing?

    When it all falls over and the dust settles, it is hoped the money trails will be exposed so we can know who were the dupes and who was in on the swindle of tax payers’ and con

    oh I have no doubt the hucksters are on the selling end… but our politicians are either corrupt (as you suggest) or complete idiots.

    These are the two explanations apart from maybe a third; cowardice.


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  26. Given that every back-of-the-envelope look at renewables tells us they’re not a solution, the immediate question that arises is why do we have so many innumerates in power?

    Teal masculinity
    moderated

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  27. So you want to move to the low cost fuel of *checks notes* … uranium.

    Actually, m0nty-fa, most of us would be happy to stick with coal, because there is no actual proof (Note: computer models are proof only of the gullibility of idiots who believe them.) that CO2 is affecting the climate to any significant extent. But if the Gods of the Vironment continue to scream “Carbins”, then we would settle for uranium.

    PS: What is the cost of having no electricity? No working hospitals, computers, electric trains and trams, and so much more of what a civilised economy needs.


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  28. duncanm

    oh I have no doubt the hucksters are on the selling end… but our politicians are either corrupt (as you suggest) or complete idiots.

    More likely both corrupt and idiots.


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  29. As I posted on a recent thread = Courtesy of Peter Smith of the Quadrant Online……………….

    “Then there’s renewable energy and the tall tale that this will bring many green jobs and lower energy costs. The recent events in Australia, soaring gas prices and the ironic call by the government for more coal and gas power, should put pay to that. It won’t. The powers that be are shameless. If they said higher power bills, unreliable power and less prosperity is the price for protecting the planet, at least they would be honest, if stupid. Instead, they lie. It’s hardly noticeable against the backdrop.”


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  30. PS: What is the cost of having no electricity? No working hospitals, computers, electric trains and trams, and so much more of what a civilised economy needs.

    Answer – Candlelit Federal and State/Territory Gov’ments that would finally realise the folly of their ways and get back to letting Engineers run the Electricity Grid System with no pandering to the Climate Change Hoax.


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  31. Given that every back-of-the-envelope look at renewables tells us they’re not a solution, the immediate question that arises is why do we have so many innumerates in power?

    Because as I have said before. “Net Zero” is really the average IQ of all Australian ‘Pollies’.


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  32. He’s shameless.

    Daniel Andrews blasts former Morrison government for current situation, claims it had no ‘clear energy policy’ for a ‘long time’ (16 Jun)

    Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says there has not been “clear energy policy” coming out of Canberra for a long time, in an apparent dig at the previous government which was in power since 2013.

    But the Victorian Premier insisted the situation will change under a government led by Anthony Albanese.

    “Is there any wonder there’s uncertainty in this energy market when really we just haven’t had a coherent, clear energy policy out of Canberra for a long, long time?” Mr Andrews said to reporters on Thursday.

    “Hopefully that’s going to change, in fact, I’m very confident it will, and the regulator is doing what they should do.”

    This is the guy who blew up Hazelwood power station two years ago rather than mothball it.
    Well, he’s right about it’s going to change: for the worse.


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  33. So you want to move to the low cost fuel of *checks notes* … uranium.

    Over the life of the investment, nuclear is probably cheaper and we are already involved at the level of extraction. The only thing that is barring us from nuclear is ideology; please stop pretending its strictly business. Our energy should be a mix of coal/ nuclear/ gas / solar/ and wind.

    Dr Faustus, if you’re around, what is the back of the envelope cost of establishing nuclear?


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  34. Dr Faustus, if you’re around, what is the back of the envelope cost of establishing nuclear?

    And, what is the cost of not establishing Nuclear Power? Australia is just about the only country in the G20 that has not developed Nuclear Power Electricity Generating Plants. The Clever Country? I don’t think so.


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  35. Well, congratulations to Dover for reading The Herald so we don’t have to. Personally, I wouldn’t use it as an emergency reserve for a certain rapidly disappearing product not now commonly found on supermarket shelves.


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  36. Here you go Dover, courtesy of Mole yesterday:

    The U.S. nuclear power fleet last year achieved its lowest recorded average total generating costs in two decades—$30.42/MWh

    Linky from 2020.

    That’s the operating cost of course. I don’t know the capital cost off the top of my head. Maybe Mole knows. I do know that China is building 150 reactors over the next 12 years, taking abut 6 years each from first sod to first electricity supply. From that link their capital cost is supposed to be about 15,000 yuan per kW.


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  37. What makes me laugh, or is it cry, is the backgrounds and working history of all these LayBore Gov’ment Cabinet Ministers. How many have a scientific, engineering or business background/working history? How can the Energy Minister possibly understand the intricacy of how an Electricity Grid System should work/operate in providing the cheap and reliable Grid System that a Modern Industrial/Information/Agrarian Society needs? Australia once had such a Grid System but the Lunatics have gradually been taking over the Asylum and this where we are now.

    Actually, I shouldn’t just point the finger at LayBore but also to the Libs/Nats as collectively they have all in their own ways allowed this dire situation to develop and wasted billions and billions of taxpayer/borrowed money along the way.


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  38. Biden Energy Secretary: Buy an EV Peasant!

    h/t Dr. Willie Soon; Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, who last month pocketed 1.6M exercising share options on an Electric Vehicle company, has suggested people experiencing gasoline pain should just buy an EV.

    Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm insists high gas prices are ‘a very compelling case’ to buy an electric car: Official is worth $8million and recently exercised $1.6m stock option in electric car company

    Granholm, in a clip surfaced Tuesday, made the case for going electric amid sky high gas prices
    ‘If you filled up your EV [electric vehicle] and you filled up your gas tank with gasoline, you would save $60 per fill-up,’ she said
    Granholm made similar points in a White House press briefing in May 2021. ‘If you drive an electric car, this would not be affecting you,’ she said then

    Granholm, who is worth $8million according to Forbes

    Last month she also exercised stock options in Proterra, an electric vehicle company where she served as a director

    She ended up pocketing $1.6 million on the transaction, according to an energy department spokesperson

    What a charmer – Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm financially benefitted from a company whose value is soaring thanks to a gasoline price crisis which the Biden administration she serves helped to create, via their war on oil pipelines and oil and gas exploration.

    No word yet if any of the Biden family serves on the boards of EV companies Jennifer is involved with.

    Update (EW):

    Breitbart reports Biden has instructed Granholm to meet with oil companies, to figure out ways to boost production and reduce gasoline pump prices. This follows on from a letter Biden sent to oil companies, which contained the ominous warning “my Administration is prepared to use all reasonable and appropriate Federal government tools and authorities to increase refinery capacity and output in the near term”. Biden expects oil companies to bring an explanation for their lack of production to their meeting with Granholm.


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  39. Bah and Humbug. Nuclear is OK for the AGW obsessed and is probably a wise option for remote centres where a local generation option saves on transmission costs. Coal is still the cheapest reliable supplier in this country where population centres are close to generation plants (eg Sydney, which is floating on coal and gas).


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  40. … tl/dr …
    Here’s what happened:
    The Election of the Albanese Government signaled that the Big Corporates would switch to making money by paper shuffling and pick Australia’s bones clean.
    They’ve wasted no time about doing it either.
    Is placing the Regulator in charge going to do much?
    Don’t be silly, no Labor Government will ever do anything to help ordinary Australians or hinder the Big End of Town.


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  41. Given that every back-of-the-envelope look at renewables tells us they’re not a solution, the immediate question that arises is why do we have so many innumerates in power?

    Huh?
    You’ve been told for 35 years that we’re transitioning to a Service Economy.
    We’re more or less there now.


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  42. Kneelsays:
    June 16, 2022 at 1:37 pm
    “there’s a real fortune to be made from potential energy”

    Get busy pushing that rock up a hill then….

    LOL. That is so funny in so many ways. Then, get the kinetic energy when the rock rolls back down the hill – Hopefully smashing into and destroying a Parliament House with the “Pollies” inside. A double whammy no less.


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  43. Geese like David Crowe, who recently moved seamlessly from The Australian to the Sydney Morning Herald – a worker’s collective like the ABC where management is forbidden from managing – can’t stand Australian voters, who voted against the green left until Malcolm Turnbull’s hand picked successor sold them out at the end of last year in Glasgow.

    In fact, the green left media can’t stand anyone who doesn’t go along with the Marxist narrative being pursued by the ALP government to destroy the free market and replace it with the guaranteed failure of central planning.

    People who read the Sydney Morning Herald are the minority who voted in the Marxist government in Canberra and deserve everything the Elbow regime will inflict on them.

    The journalists of the Australian media are the worst possible people to be advising Australian voters about anything because they loathe them.


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  44. Gas For Me But Not For Thee: Obama To Install Massive Propane Tanks In New England Mansion

    Former President Barack Obama has ordered three massive propane tanks for his Martha’s Vineyard property as energy prices nationwide continue to surge.

    The office of the select board of Edgartown, Massachusetts, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that an application for an “underground propane installment was approved at the 79 Turkeyland Cove Road address,” the location of a property owned by former President Barack Obama. The tanks are to be used for “residential purposes,” the office told The DCNF, and have a total capacity approved of “2,500 gallons which was broken into two 1,000 gallon tanks and one 500 gallon tank.”

    “We’ve never had a private propane tank come to us,” select board member Arthur Smadbeck told the MV Times.

    Although propane gas yields fewer carbon emissions than oil and coal, it is still considered a fossil fuel, and the massive installation at the Obama estate is not exactly environmentally friendly. Propane combustion produces numerous waste products such as particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, greenhouse gas, methane and non-methane overall organic carbon.

    For the average American household, propane gas is increasingly becoming more expensive. Americans who use propane to heat their homes can expect to spend 54% more to run and maintain their homes due to increased energy prices, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    Obama has consistently argued for the importance of fighting climate change and limiting fossil fuel emissions, saying that “no challenge poses a greater threat to our children, our planet, and future generations than climate change” and pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025.


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  45. In addition there’s a new one coming up called UFE

    we already pay for losses and measurement problems

    getting slugged extra for UFE represents an additional charge (excuse the pun) for losses that were already once factored into the retail price

    it’s a rort


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  46. Huh?
    You’ve been told for 35 years that we’re transitioning to a Service Economy.
    We’re more or less there now.

    Huh to you too. Australia is a Quarry and a Farm with a few other bits added on. The taxpayer/voter doesn’t get much service from all the Gov’ments. Only a great big serve on a regular basis. Ouch. Not again.


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  47. I’m starting to get the impression that the Libs intended to lose the last election, having planned or at least foreseen a whole heap of disasters to appear just as Albo took office.


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  48. JOHN KERRY: “We absolutely don’t” need to drill for more oil and gas. pic.twitter.com/F6EA6JHIuG

    — RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 15, 2022

    LOL. And Bumbling Biden has just asked/requested the Energy Companies (Petroleum, Gas, etc.) for them to attend a Meeting whereby they can explain how they can increase production of these fossil fuels. Well, how can they do that if they are not allowed to drill to start with. Oh, I know, they just need to wave magic wands and all will be fixed.

    I wonder whether Bumbling Joe and Kerry the Fairy talk to each other. Maybe Kerry the Fairy has a stash of magic wands in his bag of tricks.


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  49. Dr Faustus, if you’re around, what is the back of the envelope cost of establishing nuclear?

    Real back of the envelope stuff:

    China: US$2.5 bn/MWe (not sure how reliable the estimate is, or whether Chinese construction standards would apply outside of China. )

    EIA US Estimate: US$6 bn/MWe

    Current projects, forecast final cost:

    US, Vogtle 3&4: US$12.5 bn/MWe
    UK, Hinkley Point C: US$11.3 bn/MWe
    France, Flamanville 4: US$14 bn/MWe

    Vogtle and Hinkley Point have been political and project management disasters. You would have to assume the same fuckup quotient and at least a 25% loading on comparable Australian projects – so say, US$17.5 bn/MWe.

    So, 20 MWe worth of nuclear generation might be US$350 bn – (A$500 bn). Plus fuel storage and handling and waste management – another $100 bn? $200 bn? (Ziggy Switkowski 2006, escalated)

    Not cheap by any means, compared to coal, or gas turbines.

    But with a 50 year life, arguably considerably ‘cheaper’ than the renewable equivalent over that time frame. Unless one applies ‘technology curve’ magical thinking, that is.

    The key to economics however is the discount rate applied to the owners’ capital. Simple maths.

    Government at 5%? A$80/MWh.
    AGL Nuclear at 15%+? Forget it.

    However, it will never happen.


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  50. It seems to me that these people actually believe that batteries come fully charged and just top themselves up whenever they get a bit low. No outside input, just self-sustaining, magical batteries that never run out. And that’s why we don’t need coal. Easy.


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  51. Labor would love to go Nuclear, but not at the risk of spending a Generation in the Electoral wilderness.
    Here’s one way they can get there:
    Let the Liberal & National Parties talk the issue up, call a Snap Election on some other minor issue and win 100+ Seats on the strength of Liberal Voter antinuke backlash.
    Then introduce Nuclear anyway, funded by the Superannuation Gangsters and owned by Labor Mates.


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  52. Dickless

    Huh?
    You’ve been told for 35 years that we’re transitioning to a Service Economy.
    We’re more or less there now.

    Even a “Service Economy” requires electricity for such minor things as hospitals, offices for financial advisers, bankers, accountants and other service providers to work from, heating and air conditioning for their homes and offices, and so much more about which you seem oblivious. Without that, we will never, ever, get there.


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  53. Not Uh ohsays:
    June 16, 2022 at 7:04 pm
    It seems to me that these people actually believe that batteries come fully charged and just top themselves up whenever they get a bit low. No outside input, just self-sustaining, magical batteries that never run out. And that’s why we don’t need coal. Easy.

    Dig Norman Lindsay up from his grave, and have him re-write The Magic Pudding as The Magic Battery.

    Simples!


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    3
  54. “the Libs intended to lose the last election”
    2 dogs, I was thinking the same thing during the campaign. They aren’t even trying to win this.


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  55. Good post Dr F.

    Some questions if I may – I will use the answers when educating gullible fools and other wokesters.

    1. What is the installed capacity of coal, gas, hydro, solar and wind? By this I mean the ‘plate capacity’.
    DISER says total is “around 265 TWh”
    2. What is the generating capacity of each? By this I mean that I understand that coal might produce >90% of installed capability at any one time, but I cannot find figures on solar and wind which I suspect are 15-30% of installed capability.

    Example: if coal is 54% of installed capability and is generating 90% of the time (say) to produce 54% of 265TW then that’s 143TW being produced by 174TW of total capability.

    What I want to know is solar and wind produce 9% each (23.8TW each), what installed capability is that coming from? I have a suspicion that wind and solar are producing 23.8TW each from one hell of a lot more installed capacity; in other words that they are grossly inefficient.

    3. What are the real (un-government-effed-up) costs of production?
    I recall figures from a TISN baseload power supply meeting 15 years ago that coal was around 3.5c/KWh, wind around 23c/KWh and solar around 28c/KWh.

    Appreciate it if there are current references linked as well.

    As I said, need to educate some people who have been thoroughly propagandised with green/ABC lies.


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    5
  56. “what is the back of the envelope cost of establishing nuclear?”
    Since all the ‘big’ nations have had nuclear warships trudging around the world’s oceans for years, obviously it’s not been an intolerable expense. Nor incredibly dangerous.
    I grew up in the 50s. Doing homework by the light of a kerosine lamp. It will be amusing to watch the ‘Greta’ generation complain about not being able to call their neighbours to complain about exactly that.


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  57. Gyro Cadiz; have a look at the Jacobs Report 2017. it has some data re costs and utilisation for coal and gas but not seemingly for currently operating solar and wind.
    I dont have the skill to link


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  58. Bruce/ Kneel
    Please correct me on this. Energy is measured by mass.
    The mass for solar/wind is .0061 to .0067.
    Mass for fossil fuels is 1.62 to 1.68.
    As I understand it, fossils are 4 decimal points to the left.
    Is that 1000 times more mass than solar and wind.
    Do solar and wind has an alternating current and a direct current.
    The lies are unbearable such as the Sydney moaning homosexual reporter.
    The lies are going to get bigger and people are swallowing it.
    BTW Oz being a service country, this is what brexit was about. The midlands wanted industry back skilled industry like foundries.
    Ffs two good looking shielas on the channel 7 late news . Then they started talking to eachother.


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  59. That unelected clown chosen as the go-to expert on covid, Professor Peter Doherty proudly explained how Q&A had grown up by having only agreeable people on this week about how to fix our energy crisis.

    Of course, it was an unsightly circle jerk conducted in an echo chamber where all agreed that the only way out of this mess is to build a billion wind turbines and solar farms and have them pump intermittently into a billion batteries to feed the network at a controlled pace.

    So, a wind turbine in every backyard and every third world kid employed in lithium mining to provide giant fire hazard batteries on every street corner to provide power at ten times the price and to still obviously fail when the unicorn farts stop.

    Labor will fuck this country in the next three years with this, so bring on the blackouts and eye watering electricity bills and watch the excuses fail as they can only disown this situation for so long.


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  60. Courtesy of Jo Nova –

    Someone needs to tell the Australian Energy Minister the bad news about batteries

    Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen says we just need more renewables and more storage:

    Bowen says we can store water, we should be able to store power

    “You can say the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. Well, the rain doesn’t always fall either but we managed to store the water,” Bowen said.

    Chris Bowen isn’t having any of Uhlmann’s ‘wind doesn’t always blow’ rhetoric.

    “the rain doesn’t always fall either, but we manage to store the water – we can store the renewable energy if we have the investment”#auspol pic.twitter.com/LjJkEr3zJy

    — Squizz (@SquizzSTK) June 16, 2022

    Bowen needs some education in simple General Science as he has obviously been smoking something elicit.

    He doesn’t seem to realize that electrons won’t politely sit in a shoe box waiting for the day they run your toaster.

    When South Australia got the worlds biggest battery in 2017 everyone got excited but few realized it would only power the state for two whole minutes before it ran out. South Australia is just 6% of the total National Energy Market, but if we were trying to make it truly 100% renewable with a reasonable battery backup Paul Miskelly and Tom Quirk calculated we’d need 7.5 million tonnes of lead acid batteries and a spare $60 to $90 billion dollars.

    Conclusion – We are well and truly Farked if this ignoramus keeps up with this line of not thinking……………………………………..

    RIP Australia


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    11
  61. Some sanity getting through in the comments on Rowe’s article (for once).

    John
    12 HOURS AGO
    “Australia has not installed enough renewable energy quickly enough and has failed to provide enough storage for that energy” – so exactly what does that look like? Wouldn’t that take 20 years and a trillion dollars with still no certainty it would work? Where is the plan, the materials, the costings, the budget for this? It doesn’t exist because the truth about the stupid statement you just made is that the energy system everyone dreams about is exactly that – a dream – not reality. Nowhere in the world does that energy system exist. The biggest policy failure we have had is allowing the activists to prevent upkeep of our existing energy system until we proved the new fairytale energy system you aspire to actually works.



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  62. On cue.. more ‘experts’ running the shit show.

    Energy Security Board chair Anna Collyer said the pressure on the electricity grid highlighted the need for reform to move “beyond the crisis” by continuing the long-term shift to solar, wind, hydro and other renewable power.

    Who’s that, you say?

    Why, another HR-lawyer type with ZERO practical skills that have anything to do with energy and power.


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  63. 1. What is the installed capacity of coal, gas, hydro, solar and wind? By this I mean the ‘plate capacity’.

    AEMO publishes a convenient summary, with a very comprehensive backup spreadsheet that details each generating and battery unit.

    This tells us, for instance, that there is 20,055MW (nameplate) of installed wind capacity in the NEM (as at May 2022). The AEMO dashboard tells us that wind is currently sending out 622MW across the NEM – an impressive 6.2% utililisation.

    Given that renewables ‘run first’, this measures what wind is actually capable of generating just now.

    By comparison, dispatchable energy from coal, gas, and hydro is running below capacity because that is the level of generation called into the market to make up the shortfall. This measures the operating utilisation of the network generating assets.

    For coal, this is currently about 70% on aggregate; although considering that some 2,500MW is out of the system for maintenance, the average station utilisation is 77% of capacity.

    Just now, renewables are not making much of a contribution to east coast Australia – because calm and low angle winter morning Sun.

    Without fossil fuel, batteries and hydro would have to supply three quarters of eastern Australia’s power on a future day like today – probably for several hours.

    AEMO knows this.
    Albanese and Bowen, not so much.

    This is the future.


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  64. Poor fella my country.

    Labor Prime Minister summed up in 8 Min 01 Secs by Chris kenny

    Albanese has ‘signed his political death warrant’

    Sky News Australia 2.54M subscribers

    Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signing a deal to prioritise “climate gestures” amid an energy crisis could be “signing his own political death warrant,” says Sky News host Chris Kenny.

    Mr Albanese and Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen signed a letter to the United Nations promising to deliver cuts to Australia’s emissions by at least 43 per cent by 2030.

    “So that’s it, rather than ensure you have enough electricity, no greenouts, and that your electricity is affordable,” Mr Kenny said.

    “Albanese and Bowen, in the middle of an energy crisis, have bowed to the UN and promised to cut our emissions by even more.

    “The political timing is unthinkable.”


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  65. The Stupidity of Teals/Greens in Australia

    Chris Bowen isn’t having any of Uhlmann’s ‘wind doesn’t always blow’ rhetoric.

    “the rain doesn’t always fall either, but we manage to store the water – we can store the renewable energy if we have the investment”

    (((hippocrates shrugged)))
    @Goldy1970
    ·
    19h
    Replying to
    @SquizzSTK
    I enjoy seeing Chris Uhlman spoken to like this
    SwissMama ?? ??
    @SwissMama06
    ·
    19h
    Me too ?
    Show replies
    SmudgeTheKitten
    @BabyzSmudge
    ·
    19h
    Replying to
    @SquizzSTK
    Bloody good analogy. I’m keeping that.


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    2
  66. Welcome to a weather dependent nation — whether you can use your dishwasher depends on the wind

    Renewable Crash Test Dummy: Friday edition

    For energy-nerds following the Australian experiment, today is a big day. On the up-side, three coal turbines have rebooted adding another 1200MW to the grid. On the down-side, the wind has slowed and 3000MW has disappeared. On the hope-side, another 4 coal turbines may possibly get back in gear by Sunday, and you never know, the wind might pick up. Though it doesn’t look good.


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  67. Some great comments by some obviously knowledgeable folk. Would it be possible for such folk to co-operate and write a paper, or advise of one already written, that would present a clear and concise overview able to be argued from when confronted by the fairies at the foot of the garden? I am happy to contribute if someone(s) with the relevant wherewithal(s) can lead it up.


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    4
  68. So you want to move to the low cost fuel of *checks notes* … uranium.

    If you are ruling out all emissions producing fossil fuels, and require 24/7 electricity, then yes, its pretty well the only one.

    You ignorant hermophradite slut.

    Also proving the idiom “learnt nothing and forgotten nothing” , this morning ABCcess had an expert of some flavor opining that we needed Rudds pink bats program back and a carbon tax like Saint Julia of the immaculate widows and orphans fund wanted.


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  69. Dr Faustussays:
    June 17, 2022 at 8:23 am
    “This tells us, for instance, that there is 20,055MW (nameplate) of installed wind capacity in the NEM (as at May 2022). The AEMO dashboard tells us that wind is currently sending out 622MW across the NEM – an impressive 6.2% utililisation.”

    May I suggest changing to an unimpressive 6.2% utililisation. The left doesn’t understand sarcasm!


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    4
  70. Bruce of Newcastlesays:
    June 17, 2022 at 9:18 am
    “the rain doesn’t always fall either, but we manage to store the water – we can store the renewable energy if we have the investment”

    Jo Nova rips Bowen a new one.

    Holy Battery Powered Australia: Chris Bowen thinks we can store electricity “like water in a dam” (17 Jun)

    The other irony is that Australia hasn’t built a serious dam in about 50 years despite doubling population.

    Funny, I was saying much the same thing re:dams to my old man last night. All the problems we have are political. All the problems we have are almost entirely self inflicted.

    We are not a serious country.


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  71. I do know that China is building 150 reactors over the next 12 years, taking abut 6 years each from first sod to first electricity supply.

    If you follow that link – keeping in mind it’s Wikipedia, which can be unreliable – you can see that there are currently 20 reactors under construction in China. For China to get to 150 new reactors over the next 12 years they would need to start another 130 projects over the next six years. This in a market where there is an oversupply of energy in many areas.

    Your sums don’t add up at all, Bruce.


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  72. “The political timing is unthinkable.”

    Perfect time for it, actually, given that we’re just coming off an election where the Green/Teal factions got a huge swing.

    Chris Kenny is a goose.


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  73. For China to get to 150 new reactors over the next 12 years they would need to start another 130 projects over the next six years. This in a market where there is an oversupply of energy in many areas.

    Your sums don’t add up at all, Bruce.

    Not really Bruce’s numbers.

    After COP 26, China announced a huge nuclear program as its gift to decarbonising the world. The semi-official 150 nuke buildout was widely broadcast.

    The extent to which this is smokescreen for China’s much cheaper coal program, or typical 5-year Plan strategic wishfulness is yet to be seen. But at China’s US$4bn, zero environmental/community fucks given, and 5 years lead time a pop, it is arguably feasible.


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  74. Nuclear is by far the highest reliability and lowest human-cost of all generation, including renewables.

    The 300,000 Europeans who die each year from winter smog agree with you.

    By contrast, the two poster children of the anti-nuclear world, Chernobyl and Fukushima, resulted in a disappointingly tiny number of casualties.


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  75. Chris Kenny is a goose.

    Naaaaaaah. It’s the battery operated Chris Bowen who is the goose. You got the Chris bit right, however, you got the family name completely wrong. Anyway, the way that Bowen is going, his goose will soon be cooked.


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  76. Re: The service economy. Someone once described it as everyone taking in each others washing. The added advantage is that, without power, it’ll all be hand washed. Just the thing for the delicates amongst us.


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  77. Dr Faustussays:
    June 17, 2022 at 10:18 am
    Nuclear is by far the highest reliability and lowest human-cost of all generation, including renewables.

    The 300,000 Europeans who die each year from winter smog agree with you.

    as do the thousands who die prematurely from lung problems in the third world.

    Dung smoke isn’t so healthy.


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  78. Ford Recalling ‘Mustang’ Mach-E Over Battery Issues

    On Monday, Ford Motor Co. notified dealers that it would be issuing a stop-sale notice for the all-electric “Mustang” Mach-E. The note made mention that the high-voltage contacts on the battery could overheat and cause malfunctions — potentially causing the vehicle to lose power while in operation or even fail to start.

    Considering how absolutely wicked battery fires can become, this was likely a prudent move on the part of Ford. Over the last several years, EVs have been getting some negative attention for fires related to charging or battery failures of late and Blue Oval is likely aware that any mishaps with the Mach-E will be amplified as a result. Nipping this in the bud immediately is wise. However, the resulting recall has defaulted to the industry standard solution of issuing a software update on the affected models.

    While tweaking the software can help mitigate problems, manufacturers have started leaning on the strategy as a way to buy time until a more comprehensive hardware fix is developed. This may also be the situation with Ford, as it doesn’t even want dealers to demonstrate the Mach-E to potential customers and used capitalized letters to make that point. Transcripts of the dealer notice shared on the relevant Mach-E forums have likewise mentioned that parts pertaining to the subsequent recall were unavailable. However, the phrasing used by the automaker makes the assumed lack of any parts interchangeable with the planned software update a corporate spokesperson said should be available next month.


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  79. Here is Laybore’s Plan for Powering Australia –

    https://www.alp.org.au/policies/powering-australia

    Some interesting parts of this Plan are –

    – Allocate up to $3 billion from Labor’s National Reconstruction Fund to invest in green metals (steel, alumina and aluminium); clean energy component manufacturing; hydrogen electrolysers and fuel switching; agricultural methane reduction and waste reduction.

    Correction – any National Reconstruction Fund does not belong to Labor which is a Political Party, but to Australia funded by taxpayer/borrowed money.

    Correction – alumina is the mined ore and not a green metal. Whatever a green metal is.

    – Roll out 85 solar banks around Australia to ensure more households can benefit from rooftop solar.

    What the heck is a solar bank?

    – Install 400 community batteries across the country.

    What the heck is a community battery?

    There is a lot more to this “Plan” so happy reading on this Happy Friday…………………………


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  80. typical 5-year Plan strategic wishfulness

    Indeed. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    There’s a chance that China could do for nukes what it did for solar: throw massive resources into achieving astounding economies of scale. Given they already did it for solar, it seems redundant to also do it for nukes.

    Nukes will be competing with battery tech to provide baseline energy. China is also betting big on grid batteries. They’re funding both in state-run enterprises and seeing which one comes out on top, with a view to export markets. Both will end up being in their domestic mix.


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  81. m0nty-fa

    If you follow that link – keeping in mind it’s Wikipedia, which can be unreliable – you can see that there are currently 20 reactors under construction in China. For China to get to 150 new reactors over the next 12 years they would need to start another 130 projects over the next six years. This in a market where there is an oversupply of energy in many areas.

    Your sums don’t add up at all, Bruce.

    Chynerr is a command economy, the kind you seem to favour.

    If President Xi wants nuclear power stations, he will have them.

    See also: Ghost cities in Chynerr.

    You don’t even understand your preferred ideology.


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  82. There’s a chance that China could do for nukes what it did for solar: throw massive resources into achieving astounding economies of scale. Given they already did it for solar, it seems redundant to also do it for nukes.

    m0nty-fa is entirely too stupid to consider the possibility that, having achieved “economies of scale” with solar, Chynerr might have discovered that they erred in thinking that those “economies of scale” could produce reliable, continuous, power on the scale needed by a modern economy. Hence the nukes. Redundancy probably does not enter the equation.

    m0nty-fa is an ideologically blinded idiot (on his good days).


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  83. The 300,000 Europeans who die each year from winter smog agree with you.

    Not sure where this comes from. Most of Europe, especially western Europe, cleaned up their smog problems decades ago. This is not to say that particulate pollution is non-existent and certainly Eastern Europe still has problems. I’d suggest that more die from cold in winter. That beacon of advanced industrialisation, Afghanistan, features in the top ten most air polluted countries in the world.


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  84. Your sums don’t add up at all, Bruce.

    So, Monty, you don’t believe China’s sober and solemn promise at the Glasgow 26 COP?

    That’s amazing! Maybe when Albo holds a COP here, as he has said he is inviting, maybe you could ask Mr Xi himself about that. Just don’t come by private jet, as you won’t get a parking spot.


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  85. So you want to move to the low cost fuel of *checks notes* … uranium.

    I quite like thorium, prefer it to uranium. Have worked with both. Thorium isn’t just cheap, it’s free. The sand miners dump the monazite concentrate back into the pit since it’s worthless to them, and a liability because of its slight radioactivity. The concentrate can contain 10% thorium by weight*. You could power human civilization for millennia from this free waste material.

    (* By comparison a good uranium ore might contain 1000 ppm U, which is 0.1%.)


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  86. Can Pfizer sub-branch into nuclear power and build a few stations for us?

    What does this mean.

    Power stations that unexpectedly die?

    They partly operate for a few weeks then need a booster?

    They draw out more energy than they contribute?


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  87. Labor and the greens are just hoping this episode blows over. But next April the rest of Liddell will be closed and that means 1.5GW taken out if the system. To voter that we will get a mix of solar and wind. Solar is relatively predictable by comparison. Still very inefficient. They will overbuild by at least two factors to cover this loss. So expect to see 2GW of wind and 1GW if solar to cover it. Plus crossing of fingers and toes.


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  88. “The concentrate can contain 10% thorium by weight*. You could power human civilization for millennia from this free waste material.”

    And you can’t make a bomb from thorium either…


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  89. Nukes will be competing with battery tech to provide baseline energy.

    You’re doing this for a laff.
    Right?

    China’s long-term plan is to phase out fossil fuels entirely in favour of mostly wind/solar, and replace them for baseline purposes with a mix of nukes, hydro and batteries. Most Western countries would have aspirations of following this roadmap, with gas as a transitional option for baseline.

    Now, you can argue as to whether China’s plans will ever be realised as they have a chequered history of following through on such things, but that’s the plan at the moment.


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  90. China’s long-term plan is to phase out fossil fuels entirely in favour of mostly wind/solar, and replace them for baseline purposes with a mix of nukes, hydro and batteries.

    m0nty-fa actually believes this, while Chynerr continues to build hundreds of coal fired generators.

    Bridge for sale, m0nty-fa!


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  91. Wake me up in 2050, we might have a commercial reactor running thorium by then. Nice thought, but not useful Bruce.

    And yet you and the left are busy blowing up coal power plants and spending billions on renewables that require amazing advancements in battery technology.


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  92. NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean granted temporary emergency powers to force coal to electricity generators https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-06-17/nsw-energy-temporary-emergency-coal-generator-powers-matt-kean/101160956

    But I thought the problem wasn’t about the lack of coal. It’s about the lack of sun and wind to keep the renewables running coinciding with unplanned generator outages. Anyway let’s hope the generators are back working. I find it worrisome that someone like Kean can get emergency powers for a problem he was part of creating though.


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  93. The current state of affairs is that the middle of the day is dominated by renewables – notably rooftop solar – that has crushed the price because margin cost is zero. That forces the coal plant to burn fuel oil to stay hot so it can bid successfully into the evening and morning peaks at high prices. The shortfalls (notably in SA) are made by gas.
    Old plant is unreliable and a lot of capacity is offline.
    The next generation is likely to be largely renewables because solar and wind can now generate at low cost without subsidy – in the range USD13 to YSD35 a MWh. Which is why there is so much being built now in China, where the latest tech is available.
    Coal and nuclear are now very expensive options.
    Countries that have gas, like the US, will transition fairly comfortably. Australia will struggle because our gas goes offshore and the local supplies is running down.


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  94. Started reading the comments but quickly found the credulity / gullibility grating….

    OK, so the elites are out to do the best for us, and just can’t / won’t get it, eh? The elites are dumb and so inept they haven’t realized what needs to be done. Etc Etc…etc etc.

    No. Every harm they do is deliberate. The elites want a totally F’cked Up society and have no interest whatsoever in making things better for the general population. thus, the erosion of power-capabilities BY DESIGN continues apace. new Cats offering ‘solutions’ are completely deluded in believing solutions are wanted.

    Seriously New Cats, have you all been asleep this past two years as every type of harm…..physical, mental, educational etc etc etc….was done to the whole of Australia by these arse-hats? Haven’t you seen them signing up with Dementia Joe…and now also licking China’s balls to shaft us good and hard? Didn’t the current version of the satanist uniparty F’wits just sign us up to increased pain by 2030….all the while knowing that Oz is a already a NET SINK for CO2….that Oz “should” be getting paid for taking about a billion tons of CO2 per annum from other countries?

    The MO is straightforward: Plausible Denial, which simply means putting up a smokescreen while they do their dirty best to destroy the nation. You cannot reason with them, in the same way as you cannot reason with any other Agent of Satan.

    Geez guys. what about a solution to the elites-problem?


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  95. Trained Observer

    The next generation is likely to be largely renewables because solar and wind can now generate at low cost without subsidy – in the range USD13 to YSD35 a MWh. Which is why there is so much being built now in China, where the latest tech is available.

    Then the way ahead is:

    Step 1, cease all subsidies to ruinables, including building their essential interconnectors from remote sites to join the main grid. Clearly (by your own admission) the subsidies are no longer needed.

    Step 2, pliss esplain why China has built a huge solar power system, and is now building a vast nuclear power system, apparently to at least supplement it, if not replace it.

    Finally, but not one of the steps, also explain how the intermittency problem that afflicts solar and wind is to be solved. The sun does not always shine (and never does for extended periods each day), and the wind does not always blow, and those failings frequently occur simultaneously.


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  96. How many people are going to be imprisoned, or totally financially gutted because they tried to “work around” this murderous madness.

    Scavenging “deadfall” from anywhere is about to become a serious criminal offence. Chainsaws and axes will become “controlled / prohibited items” (except for specific government agencies, as usual).

    The degenerates mean to RULE, and RULE they will.

    Welcome to the Gulag, boys and girls.


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  97. China’s long-term plan is to phase out fossil fuels entirely in favour of mostly wind/solar, and replace them for baseline purposes with a mix of nukes, hydro and batteries.

    Where China gets to in 50+ years in terms of weaning itself off base load coal is, as you say, moot.

    Most Western countries would have aspirations of following this roadmap, with gas as a transitional option for baseline.

    Possibly – it’s not a stupid plan for China.

    Except Australia.
    We stand alone, as far as I can see, in terms of aiming for no dependable base load within 20 years, with a hopeful story about gas peakers, hydrogen, a substantial increase in batteries, pumped hydro, all complemented by “a market that incentivises energy users to adjust demand based on system conditions.

    Delivering “secure, reliable and affordable electricity”.

    Apparently for a $72 billion investment.

    I’m excited.


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    2
  98. duncanmsays:
    June 17, 2022 at 4:51 pm
    Geez guys. what about a solution to the elites-problem?

    the only solution I see involves piano wire and lamp posts

    I recall being promised right wing death squads and helicopter rides when Trump was elected.

    Feeling rather ripped off…


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  99. The next generation is likely to be largely renewables because solar and wind can now generate at low cost without subsidy – in the range USD13 to YSD35 a MWh. Which is why there is so much being built now in China, where the latest tech is available.
    Coal and nuclear are now very expensive options.

    only if you’re stupid enough to believe that the only criteria for ‘cost of energy’ is how cheap it is when available at random times.

    The cost of not being readily available when required is what is not factored into renewables.


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  100. Ok, so let’s have some Lateral thinking for the moment while laying down horizontal –

    1. The “Ruin-a- Balls” are not able to provide reliable 24/7 Base Load Power right now.
    2. Maybe, one day in the future. they will be able to do this with developments in technology.
    3. So, in the meantime let’s not transition to 100% “Ruin-a-Balls” until until this has been proven.
    4. If somehow proven, then let’s see the cost of doing so as against the status quo.
    5. Then, put the cost, etc, to the voters/taxpayers and let’s have a Constitutional vote on it.
    6. If the Population are then happy to pay the cost, etc, then away we go……………..

    To go where no Human has gone before……………………………..lol


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  101. TO – The power generated by renewables is not correctly priced until it can provide 24/7.

    The way to do that is contract delivery. That way the renewable operators deliver 24/7 and if their own assets aren’t producing they are buying from someone else who is producing – then delivering on the contract. Entirely fair then.

    What happens in that model is the renewable operators now have incentive to provide the necessary backup when wind and solar aren’t available. They then spend the needed capital on those peaking plants – which may be hydro, gas, batteries or whatever. But whatever they elect to invest in that capacity then fills the gaps.

    Unfortunately now the pricing system favours renewable operators cheating by delivering their energy when they have it, and then saying ‘who me?’ when AEMO comes knocking for peak loads. They don’t have to spend the capital required to deliver those peaks and fill-ins.

    Change the contractual obligation and everything suddenly works – because they will have incentive to have the back up capacity themselves since otherwise they have to pay through the nose for the extra to deliver to their contract. So they’ll build the gas plants or the batteries, and their electricity cost of production will reflect the combined capital of the system needed to provide that 24/7 power.


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  102. The 300,000 Europeans who die each year from winter smog agree with you.

    Basically, you’re on the same page as the Greens and the Teals, then, shilling for an end to Coal Power?


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  103. 5. Then, put the cost, etc, to the voters/taxpayers and let’s have a Constitutional vote on it.
    6. If the Population are then happy to pay the cost, etc, then away we go……………..

    There’ll never be a vote on Nuclear Power in Australia, pard.
    Simple reason is the Yes camp would be demolished.


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  104. Wake me up in 2050, we might have a commercial reactor running thorium by then. Nice thought, but not useful Bruce.

    Monty – Already in operation in India and China.

    I’m not talking about Dot’s obsession, I’m talking conventional fuel-element reactors. The CANDU reactor design is in wide operation around the world and can already use thorium.


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  105. The power generated by renewables is not correctly priced until it can provide 24/7.

    The way to do that is contract delivery.

    That horse bolted when the industry was privatised. Imposing a full service delivery obligation is directly oppositional to competition.

    What is happening here is that the firms who bought the coal stations want government to rescue their stranded assets. Should have done due diligence old cockos, don’t expect taxpayers to gift you anywhere near 100 cents in the dollar.

    It’s a classic case of rent seekers seeking to maximise rent against the interests of the consumer. Not the sort of market inefficiency that governments should indulge.


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  106. What is happening here is that the firms who bought the coal stations want government to rescue their stranded assets. Should have done due diligence old cockos, don’t expect taxpayers to gift you anywhere near 100 cents in the dollar.

    This is like telling locked-down cafes its their own fault.


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  107. It’s a classic case of rent seekers seeking to maximise rent against the interests of the consumer. Not the sort of market inefficiency that governments should indulge.

    It’s always hilarious when the Fat Man tries to Alinsky us.

    In trying to hang the antics of his beloved rEnEwAbLe EnErGy industry on the baseload generators they exploit and parasitise, he describes his own side’s actions and those of the Fellow Travellers in government perfectly…


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  108. Can do… but it’s not doing thorium, is it.

    You really can’t use search engines can you Monty?
    I’ve linked their thorium page several times on this and the old Cat.
    You go find it, I’m sure you can do so if you put your mind to it.

    Fun thing. We were doing some work on mineral sands and it turned out one sample had more thorium in it than expected. Which meant after the good stuff was dissolved there was all of 0.1% thorium in the residue. Panic! The lab techs weren’t happy. So your friendly neighbouring chemist went down to the workshop and asked a fitter to build a lead lined box, which he did in an afternoon. Whereupon we put the sample into the box and closed the lid.

    Lab techs happy. It was completely silly, since thorium is a harmless alpha emitter, but it’s the emotions that count in these things. Then we spent years and years negotiating with the original supplier of the sample for them to take it back…

    We humans are so prone to mysticism it’s surprising we ever made it out of the caves.


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  109. 5. Then, put the cost, etc, to the voters/taxpayers and let’s have a Constitutional vote on it.
    6. If the Population are then happy to pay the cost, etc, then away we go……………..

    There’ll never be a vote on Nuclear Power in Australia, pard.
    Simple reason is the Yes camp would be demolished.

    Head case, you have made a typical left wing nut job post. My post had nothing whatsoever to do with Nuclear Power. Can’t you read or are a you just a troll plonker with a vested interest in ruining Australia? Probably yes.

    My post was actually sar-cas-tic and referred to the “Ruin-a Balls” that both you and “monkeypox virus” seem to be in love with.

    Go back to school and learn to read. North Korea awaits both your arrival and superb knowledge of how to build a robust and efficient Electricity Grid System with those lovely “Ruin-a-Balls”. You will be doing the West a big favour by going there and helping them out and leaving us alone. Bye, bye.


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  110. China’s long-term plan is to phase out fossil fuels entirely in favour of mostly wind/solar, and replace them for baseline purposes with a mix of nukes, hydro and batteries. Most Western countries would have aspirations of following this roadmap, with gas as a transitional option for baseline.

    Now, you can argue as to whether China’s plans will ever be realised as they have a chequered history of following through on such things, but that’s the plan at the moment.

    How do you know what China’s long term Plan is? Are you a Manchurian Candidate and on their Payroll?

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm


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  111. It was completely silly, since thorium is a harmless alpha emitter

    Shame you didn’t have a Geiger counter to hand. 🙂

    Alpha radiation makes the most gorgeous crackles, but gets stopped by something as thin as a sheet of foolscap paper…


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  112. Just thought I’d let everyone know that at 6.40pm today Friday 17th June that according to AEMO there is no solar and no wind energy being delivered into the system. We are being kept afloat by brown coal 53%, Gas 27% and hydro 19%. So much for wind and solar. Zilch, nothing, zero.


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  113. memsays:
    June 17, 2022 at 6:47 pm
    Just thought I’d let everyone know that at 6.40pm today Friday 17th June that according to AEMO there is no solar and no wind energy being delivered into the system. We are being kept afloat by brown coal 53%, Gas 27% and hydro 19%. So much for wind and solar. Zilch, nothing, zero.

    The figures quoted are for Victoria.


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  114. Ed Casesays:
    June 17, 2022 at 5:22 pm
    The 300,000 Europeans who die each year from winter smog agree with you.

    Basically, you’re on the same page as the Greens and the Teals, then, shilling for an end to Coal Power?

    You have babbled frequently about nuclear being an election loser, but have never specified what power system you believe we should have. Does your statement re coal power indicate that you think it is the way of the future, or do you favour solar, wind and batteries? Or do you support a massive expansion (difficult in Australia for geographical reasons) of hydro power?

    Or are you just stirring the pot?


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  115. Rex Angersays:
    June 17, 2022 at 6:54 pm
    And that hydro power is predominantly Tasmanian, correct?

    I don’t know if Victoria has any power-generating dams.

    Tassie is delivering 300 MW to Vic.


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  116. m0nty-fa

    It’s a classic case of rent seekers seeking to maximise rent against the interests of the consumer. Not the sort of market inefficiency that governments should indulge.

    That’s a very good description of the solar and wind scam. Glad to see that you recognise the corruption involved, compounded by ongoing subsidies funded by electricity users.

    Have you taken up the solar challenge yet? Solar panels on the roof, battery out the back, EV in the garage, and, most importantly, cut off from the polluding grid. Go to it, live the dream.


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  117. Thorium?

    Back in the “Thousand Year Reich”, the German nuclear programme was run by the POST OFFICE, with “assistance”, (logistical support, slave labour and “protection”) from the SS. Look up a bloke called Hans Kammler.

    There are the remains of WORKING reactors scattered all over the place.

    They also knew about Thorium and how to extract / refine it, having recognized the potential as a power source.

    And, if you think that it seemed odd to user the quite sophisticated V2 rockets to deliver a couple of hundred Kg of High Explosive to London, you may be on the right track. There also appear to have been a couple of “controlled fizzles” (sub-critical fission of experimental devices”), at least one of which was carried out above ground on a proving ground used by the Wehrmacht for “weapons testing” and still in use by the Bundeswehr today..

    Well before the war was over, there were serious operations underway to “acquire” all of this atomic knowledge (and the actual brains behind it). Patton and his army did not race across the southern regions of the falling Reich for giggles. He had orders.

    The soviets also had a long “shopping list”, as did the French and the Brits.

    The old joke about about the US getting their Nazi rocket and atomic scientists and the soviets getting THEIR Nazi rocket and atomic scientists is a fair summation. The French and Brits swept up a few, as well.


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  118. Go to it, live the dream.

    does he not find it strange that the only place his idyll exists is in his head?

    if I’m a climate denier

    the that fool is a reality denier


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  119. Bruce, if thorium was so easy, cheap and awesome, it would be far more popular than it is. Which is virtually nil.

    That’s the problem with industrial chemists. Stuff that works great in a lab may not be commercially practical, but try telling them that.


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  120. Ed Casesays:
    June 17, 2022 at 6:38 pm
    Settle down Schmendrick, you’re a blow-in.

    Another juvenile left wing nut job comment with no added value whatsoever. Please feel free to keep all of those left wing nut job comments coming as they are quite entertaining and make for an easy target.


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  121. m0ntysays:
    June 17, 2022 at 11:45 pm
    Bruce, if thorium was so easy, cheap and awesome, it would be far more popular than it is. Which is virtually nil.

    That’s the problem with industrial chemists. Stuff that works great in a lab may not be commercially practical, but try telling them that.

    m0nty-fa

    If solar and wind were so easy, cheap and awesome, we would not be having the problems we are. Which are huge, and increasing.

    That’s the problem with academic theories. Stuff that works great in a model may not be industrially practical, but try telling them that.

    Don’t forget to take the solar challenge. Gloating rights await you after 12 months.


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  122. Bruce, if thorium was so easy, cheap and awesome, it would be far more popular than it is.

    It is. Just not in the West where the Greens have been at work for fifty years.

    On the other hand the price of uranium has been low, and there’s plenty of it about too. Uranium nuclear fission is better known and is better developed, so it does make sense to use a well understood technology. Of the cost structure of uranium nuclear power only about $6/kWh is the fuel, so you don’t actually save much by going to thorium.

    When you consider power generation all you need to think about is the craziness of the Greens in opposing hydroelectricity. That too is a well understood baseload technology – with additional benefit of having good peaking ability. Yet it is opposed for specious reasons. The illogic of the Left is mindblowing.


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  123. So here’s an interesting thought experiment.

    If magical fairy-dust storage does eventuate, would it be cheaper to run nuke or coal and store power for the expensive (read: renewball’s not working) periods while the renewballs do their excess-power/cheap peaks, or do that via renewballs ?

    given the price range between the peaks and troughs, I suspect it would be.


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  124. Between 1999 and 2022, the number of operational thorium reactors in the world has risen from zero[4] to a handful of research reactors,[5] to commercial plans for producing full-scale thorium-based reactors for use as power plants on a national scale.

    So just plans, Bruce. No actual commercial thorium reactors in use today.

    Nukes are a non sequitur in Australia, thorium is a non sequitur globally. Bringing them up as the solution shows you aren’t serious.


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  125. No actual commercial thorium reactors in use today.

    let’s play semantics

    there are no wind turbines in use “today” either

    mUntard reckons words and actions “should” be the same


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  126. m0nty-fa

    Nukes are a non sequitur in Australia, thorium is a non sequitur globally. Bringing them up as the solution shows you aren’t serious.

    Rejecting the very concept of covering the known weaknesses and intermittency of solar and wind shows you aren’t serious.


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  127. The only way I know of to make wind and solar reliable is storage and lots of it.
    You can use batteries, pump water up hills or make hydrogen, all of which have their problems. There is no magic tech that will make solar and wind reliable 24/7. Only way to get 24/7 solar I know of is solar power satellites which beam the energy to Earth as microwaves. Considerable work has been done on this and no, they aren’t “killer beams from outer space” but there are serious cost questions. Easier to just build lots of nukes, then you don’t need to fiddle around with unreliables. You can even get nukes which will load follow for peaking or find something else to do with the excess power during periods of low load. Like desalinating water for example. Storage built in and we’re then drought proofed.


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  128. When you consider power generation all you need to think about is the craziness of the Greens in opposing hydroelectricity. That too is a well understood baseload technology – with additional benefit of having good peaking ability. Yet it is opposed for specious reasons. The illogic of the Left is mindblowing.
    It is perfectly logical if your goal is to destroy industrial civilisation which is the Greenies goal.


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  129. Firming is clearly going to be gas in the immediate period and large scale batteries, pumped storage and possibly other options later.
    China’s nuclear reactors are not being rolled out in any substantial way and the pilot reactors are getting no noise, which usually is a sign that they’re not keen. China is going flat out on “green” hydrogen right now.
    Major driver for renewables today is that coal fired power has become expensive, as is evident in NEM bidding.


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  130. When you consider power generation all you need to think about is the craziness of the Greens in opposing hydroelectricity.

    That was the Tasmanian Greens, the action had widespread support among Liberal voters.
    The reason was that building Hydro Plants by destroying beautiful wilderness, then mothballing the Plant had been a Tasmanian Labor Party industry for more than a Generation.

    That too is a well understood baseload technology – with additional benefit of having good peaking ability. Yet it is opposed for specious reasons

    No, it’s opposed because it destroys areas of natural beauty.
    See:
    Lake Pedder and the Snowy River.

    The illogic of the Left is mindblowing.

    Destroying areas of natural beauty is a hallmark of the Right, funded by corporate greed.


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  131. It is perfectly logical if your goal is to destroy industrial civilisation which is the Greenies goal.

    Who cares about the Greenies?
    The goal of the Australian Greens is to do their donors bidding.
    What their donors appear to want is a low wage Australia that looks like Bangladesh.


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  132. [Un]Trained Observer

    and large scale batteries, pumped storage and possibly other options later

    Large scale batteries, on the necessary scale, are a long way off. Pumped storage has its place, but it is highly inefficient. If “possibly other options later” include nuclear, you might have got one out of three.


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  133. Boambee: nuclear isn’t economic. Gas will do the job of firming until battery tech gets there. Renewables are now enabling options because they can produce cheap energy. That’s what the investment picture is today.


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  134. Hubris

    Not having reliable, continuous, power also isn’t economic.

    If the rabid, rancid, Greens insist on “No Carbins”, then for the forseeable future, batteries are even more uneconomic. Note that the Slime have been successful in banning gas exploration, much less exploitation, in large parts of Australia. Do you seriously think that they will fold now?

    PS, your estimate, please, of the time that will elapse until “battery tech gets there”. To the nearest ten years will be adequate.


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  135. Trained Observer(or should that be Hubris?)

    How do you intend to obtain the gas? NSW and Victoria have either restricted or banned gas exploration and exploitation. The overseas contracts can only be broken in the short term by invoking sovereign risk. The Slime Greens oppose with expensive lawfare any attempt to use gas or build gas fired plants.

    Apart from those minor obstacles, your plan is wonderful.


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  136. Un(Trained Observer)

    Do the concepts of contract law and sovereign risk have no meaning to you? If so, you are even more of an idiot than I initially suspected.

    However, you are correct in one way. Australia has ample gas, it just needs to look for it, and exploit it. Both of those activities are anathema to the Slime and the lawyers who will fight lawfare on their behalf.

    Then there is the ongoing political opposition to building gas powered generators.


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  137. PS, given their “wonderful” efforts to install massive numbers of solar and wind generators, why do the Chinese need all that gas? Maybe solar and wind are not as good as the propaganda from self-interested parties tells us?


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  138. ” The 300,000 Europeans who die each year from winter smog agree with you.

    Basically, you’re on the same page as the Greens and the Teals, then, shilling for an end to Coal Power?”

    Heh.
    Europeans dying from smog aren’t choking on coal power station exhaust gases, which are heavily regulated, they are choking on diesel exhaust fumes – the same diesels that the greens said were “better” because they produced less CO2. But many, many more particulates – which cause smog.
    But because of the monomaniacal fixation on CO2, particulates didn’t matter, and they subsidised diesel so much, everyone got a diesel engined car. Then, ooops, too many particulates, now you gotta pay extra tax on diesel and we’re gonna BAN them as too dirty.

    This is what happens when those nominally in charge fail to ask “And then what?” – the cure is worse than the disease.


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  139. “No, it’s opposed because it destroys areas of natural beauty.”

    Dear Mr Green,
    You say the above, but also say that if we stay on fossil fuels, we will destroy the entire world.
    So, which do you want – to destroy a small section of the world (admittedly a part that is “pretty”), or destroy the whole lot?
    THERE IS NO THIRD OPTION!
    Renew-a-bulls don’t cut it – see Germany, Spain, and now Australia. They are unreliable and unpredictable sources and “storage” at the scale required is unusably expensive or does the same “damage” as “pure” hydro, or both.

    Standard of living is directly correlated with energy consumption, so reducing consumption means a loss of standard of living – that’s not gonna fly either.

    Who cares about the environment? Rich people do – people who have time and cash left over after finding (or paying for) shelter, food and other necessities of life. Anyone who labours 12+ hours a day just to stay alive doesn’t give a rats arse about the environment – they care about surviving. So if you want more people to care about the environment, you better start making those poor people rich, so they care about it too. That means getting them cheap, reliable energy. And that means fossil fuels – at least for now.
    If you want to spend mega bucks on energy, please spend it on research into things like modular nuclear that is “walk away safe”, as well as research into things like fusion and so on. By using “green energy certificates”, preferring one energy source as a supply over another, and other cross-subsidies, you are betting that what has so far been shown to be uneconomic is made economic not because someone smarty figured out how to out compete existing sources, but by penalising the existing sources. This is not a “market solution”, it’s an authoritarian, crony-capitalist solution that lines the pockets of those who already have an extravagant lifestyle and so can afford the extra costs involved – they will “invest” in a guarenteed return, and those many who are struggling will have to pay the subsidies to those few who are already rich enough. That is not a long term solution – it’s not even a medium term solution.

    I’m not interested in your hippy solutions – they have their place, but they don’t work at the scale required for an industrial society. That is reality – deal with it.

    We moved from wood to coal to oil to gas because each one was either more abundant or cleaner than the one before – most often both at the same time. We will move to fission and fusion and electric vehicles when it makes sense to do so, and not before. Trying to force it will not work – it never has and never will, because it is just YOU distorting the market with MY money, taken from me by force. And once the smarties figure out how to game the system, they will strip-mine whatever profits they can from it, and leave the rest of us with a broken system and no money. Thanks, but I’ll pass on that one, and you should too.

    We KNOW what works to make people rich and to care about the environment, and you are doing everything the exact opposite way to what has previously done what you say you want to do. You are either ignorant or stupid, and I have no time for you either way.


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  140. Boambee: the LNG contracts provide for Australian law, which is what the ADGSM is. There is no sovereign risk when contracts are affected by legal actions. Just a very powerful self interested lobby of oil majors. You would know that this is the only major exporter market that does not prioritise domestic supply?
    As to why China would want gas, it’s the same reason we would. Go figure.


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  141. [Un]Trained Observer

    As to why China would want gas, it’s the same reason we would. Go figure.

    To cover the manifest deficiencies in ruinables?


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  142. Gas providing up to half typical energy in some parts of NEM at present. Eight large coal units have been out of service. Renewables profile is largely normal for this time of year.
    Labor showing usual signs in trying to have a bet each way. Meanwhile Europe getting ready for Russia to turn off gas supply next winter. (With another big hike is global traded gas prices to follow)


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  143. Boambee: China has accelerated its renewables investment and has contracted considerable new gas. It has over 100 hydrogen trials, about 10% of which are focused on feeding power plant. Add in battery tech investments, they’re probably heading to a big industry base to add to their 80% share of PV. Subsidy for PV and wind projects ended last year.


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