To the editor of The Australian

Dear Editor

A few comments on the editorial on Tuesday August 23. On the closure of our ageing fleet of coal-fired power stations, the situation is much more precarious than the writer realises, as explained in this piece that was rejected by your op ed staff recently.

Closure of more coal capacity at present will be disastrous due to the combination of wind droughts, the need for un-interrupted and adequate input to the grid, and the lack grid-scale storage. When Liddell is phased out every windless night will pose a threat of major blackouts,

Snowy2.0 is practically irrelevant as a storage device because it (powered by a large fleet of windmills) will not replace even a single coal power station, if it is ever completed.

You mention unexpected wind droughts across Europe. The term Dunkelflaute (dark lull) has been used in Germany for years to describe prolonged periods without wind and with little sun. Similarly the failure of the German green transition, the Energiewende was public knowledge as long ago as 2018 when the annual report on progress stated that it was failing on all three legs of the “policy triangle” – emission reduction, cost and grid stability.

I don’t know if your writers believe what they say about the inevitable move to intermittent energy or whether you have instructions to take that line regardless of the evidence. As you can see from developments in Europe we are on a road to ruin with support from the major parties and popular approval. You can help by providing the people with the information they need to engage in a serious talk about the issues.

For example you could issue breakfast and dinnertime reports based on the NemWatch widget, the AEMO data dashboard or Aneroid energy to read something like this [from 6.30 this morning]

Across the NEM the wind is providing 16% of demand for power with CP 38 (the facilities are delivering 38% of installed capacity). In South Australia, the wind-leading state, the wind is delivering 43% of demand but the capacity is 25% (compared with the average of 29) so the state is importing energy and 57% of local generation is gas.

The point is that whenever the wind is below average in SA they import power and use a great deal of gas.

You could also write an editorial urging the Senate to vote down the “suicide bill” they are about to pass to allow some time to reconsider the issues in the light of information provided by the Energy Realists of Australia.

And please ask Perry Williams to report the size of storage facilities in MWhours and not just MW. Providing MW alone is like reporting the size of a tract of land by stating the length but not the breadth!

22 thoughts on “To the editor of The Australian”

  1. And please ask Perry Williams to report the size of storage facilities in MWhours and not just MW. Providing MW alone is like reporting the size of a tract of land by stating the length but not the breadth!

    Whenever I find myself harangued by a renewable energy enthusiast I always casually ask them to explain the difference between energy (MWH) and power (MW). I’ve never met one that could.


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  2. Rafe I admire your persistence.
    Your note however will be discarded in the trash.
    The quest for truth when reporting is a long lost ideal in the lamestream media.
    As for Mr Perry Williams? If he insists on reporting storage in MW rather than MWh/r it just proves how lazy and ignorant the journalists are about the topic they are reporting on.


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  3. Anybody seeing what is happening with electricity prices in UK and Germany can see where we are headed.

    The polictians and media need to wake up.


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  4. Bourne 1879 @ 9:04

    I was speaking to a mate of mine yesterday about the power prices in the UK.
    He hasn’t heard a thing about it.
    This is what happens when the media only reports on subjects that suit their agenda.
    The lemming viewers only see what the media wants them to see.


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  5. Unfortunately the Murdochs, especially James, believe in the climate fairy.

    And they don’t like conservatives, which is why The Australian and the Daily Telegraph are now so unreadable. If you don’t believe me get a load of stablemate New York Post’s editorial yesterday. Amazing.

    Newscorp seems to think that being WaPo lite will sell newspapers. Um, no, it won’t.


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  6. Thanks Rafe.
    There are none so blind as those who will not see.
    But this kind of thing will be valuable evidence against the enemy within when we get to HoP time.


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  7. Rafe’s logic and facts are irrefutable.
    Which tells me that the Perry Williams and Chris Bowens of the world are lying, hiding data, and ignoring evidence.
    Just why is debatable, but they are gaslighting Australians for sure.


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  8. “Gaslighting’ Australians?

    More like “Candling”; Either using a candle, good and hard and probably forever, or, like their ideological heroes, turning you into one.


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  9. people I know who are concerned about the UK’s energy problems, do not in any way relate it to their green policies over recent years

    they put it down to worldwide shortages of gas and because of that prices have gone up to unaffordable levels

    nothing to do with green policies!

    I mentioned this to a friend just last night and she just considers me an idiot for not understanding what’s going on

    we have to crash and burn then rebuild, there appears no other way forward

    the brainwashing is widespread and very effective


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  10. Chris Kenny had some alleged “energy consultant” on his show yesterday, who sounded more like a PR man for ruinables.
    Coal fired power stations just get old, he said.

    This is the intellectual nadir of civilisation.


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  11. Anchor Whatsays:
    September 1, 2022 at 6:31 am
    Chris Kenny had some alleged “energy consultant” on his show yesterday, who sounded more like a PR man for ruinables.
    Coal fired power stations just get old, he said.

    This is the intellectual nadir of civilisation.

    What a Plonker that alleged ‘energy consultant” is.

    Coal Fired Power Plants can run for 50 years when well maintained.

    Solar Panels and Windmills don’t even get past adolescence before they fall apart. And hailstones and bad weather just bounce off of Coal Fired Power Plants. Not so with solar panels and the windmills don’t like too much wind.

    Just go Nuclear and be done with it.


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  12. Vagabond – your post on 31/8 @ 8.53am – what is the difference between energy mw and power mph.
    My basic understanding is energy measures the change in state of material while power is the speed of this change in state.
    Please be gentle wif me.
    Vagabond – agreed – on auguries Tass last night the gorgeous blonde haired blue eyed girl read out power shortages on the east coast is due to not enough wind farms.


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  13. From my training many years ago, I think that the difference between watts and watts per hour is that watts measure the power that can be supplied by say a battery at full charge, however this may only be for a very short time till the source is depleted. Watts per Hour is the amount of watts or MW that can be supplied by the source over a 1 hour period. So you could have a battery that could supply a massive burst of energy, say 10MW for a few seconds and then be flat, a battery that could supply 10MW/Hour could supply 10MW for one hour before it starts to drop off as it flattens.


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  14. “Anybody seeing what is happening with electricity prices in UK and Germany can see where we are headed.”

    Ahem, yes – prices so high that it’s cheaper to buy petrol than charge your vehicle (assuming you even can charge it!)


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  15. “I think that the difference between watts and watts per hour is that watts measure the power that can be supplied by say a battery at full charge, however this may only be for a very short time till the source is depleted. Watts per Hour is the amount of watts or MW that can be supplied by the source over a 1 hour period.”

    Err, not quite.
    Watts is how much power you can pull from it.
    W/Hr is how much energy you can store.

    So:
    10 MW / 10MW/h means you can pull 10 MW max from it and if you are pulling that 10MW, it will last an hour. If you are only pulling 1MW, it will last for 10 hours.

    You might think of it in terms of a hydro system:
    W is how much the power generator can produce (how many homes it can run at the same time)
    while W/h is how big the water storage is (how long before you no longer have any water left in the dam to run the generator).
    For storage systems like hydro, you can store many multiples of hours of the maximum you can generate. Batteries are typically much closer together. So hydro might be 100:1 and up (w/h:w) while a battery might be more like 1:1 – 10:1.


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  16. sfw and Kneel are right but allow me to make a small pedantic correction. Energy is measured in watt hours, not watts per hour. Watts are a “Joules per second” unit where Joules are the units of energy. The amount of energy provided or used is the product of the rate of energy transfer (watts) and the time for which it flows.

    On your electricity bill you are charged for the amount of energy you have used in kilowatt hours, not kilowatts. The rate at which any load such as a heater or an aluminium refinery uses energy is the wattage rating and that has implications for the size of the generator and distribution equipment etc supplying it.

    For some heavy users there is (or was) a charge for maximum demand measured in kilowatts at certain times but that doesn’t apply yet for domestic users.


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