Not enough “oats” in the European power supply?

Everyone knows the sad story about the farmer who decided to save some money by reducing the ration of oats for his horse. He started with a reduction of 10% and it didn’t seem to matter so he cut another 10% and then another. He was saving money hand over fist but then the animal unfortunately died.

Over the last decade or three the nations of the western world started to reduce the amount of fossil fuel “oats” in their power “rations.” In Australia the process started in 2012 with the closure of Munmorah in NSW (600MW), Swanbank, Q, 500 and Collinsville Q 180. Major closures since then were Wallerawang (1000) in NSW, Northern (546) and Playford (240) in SA and finally in 2017, the biggest of all, Hazelwood in Victoria(1760.)

That took 7600 MW out of the total of 30,500, a 25% reduction. This year the phased closure of Liddell in NSW started with one of the four 500MW turbines going out of service, with the process to be complete in April 2023. In recent months a combination of planned (maintenance) outages and unplanned outages combined with issues in the supply of gas caused major price increases and alarm about the stability of the system.

The horse died when the ration of oats slipped below a sustainable level. How many more oats (coal power capacity) need to be taken out of the system to kill it? Practically everyone who has an opinion insists that the closure of coal stations has to be accelerated, or at least the expansion of wind and solar power, storage capacity and major interconnections has to be ramped up with all possible dispatch. That cannot work, as described below.

Now in Europe we can see what happens when you go too far, apparently it happens very quickly when you get to the tipping point.

Trigger warning, this material is likely to be distressing if you manage to conjure up a feeling for the desperation and desolation in a Britain where 60% of their manufacturing could be about to collapse, while household bills for many people are likely to exceed their disposable income.

Meantime, the same forces are de-industrializing Europe right before our eyes. Industry after industry is throttling back, shutting down, or considering doing so if the energy chaos continues. Britain is staring at the potential shutdown of 60 percent of its manufacturers. Germany and most of Europe are on the same track.

Never say it couldn’t happen here!

See also Jo Nova’s account of the situation in Europe.

There are companies that started business in the 1800s and survived two world wars but may not last the coming winter. It’s all changing so fast, they lament. With energy costs rising three to sixfold, the highest energy industries are folding. The first casualties were fertilizer, aluminium and zinc, and now in the second wave, the glass makers and tilers are coming undone, and with them, whole towns that support them will unravel too:

‘Crippling’ Energy Bills Force Europe’s Factories to Go Dark

How many power-intensive Australian firms will survive the impending increase in power prices?

Postscript. Why we can’t build RE capacity to get out of the hole.

As the saying goes, when you are in a hole, first of all stop digging. We are in a serious hole with the power supply but the standard response is to keep digging by accelerating the building of wind and solar, storage, interconnectors, hydrogen.

That will not work due to the combined effect of the following factors.

  1. Wind droughts. These are well-known in some circles but not among the people in AEMO and other advisory bodies who planned the destruction of the conventional power supply.
  2. Need for continuous supply – no gaps. Hence the term “choke point” that I used to convey the sense of “rapid death” when the wind power supply is too low to keep the lights on.
  3. No storage
  4. No capacity to exchange power with neighbours.

The reason why more windmills and solar panels will not help at the “choke point” is that when you have no RE on a windless night, no amount of additional capacity will help. The horses will get out of the paddock through gaps in the fence, regardless of how high you build it. Building the high parts even higher will not keep the horses in. We can increase the penetration of RE in the system by building more capacity but the gaps persist (so why bother?)

As for storage and the calls for “Storage Targets”, we don’t have any effective storage at grid scale at present and there is no prospect of any in sight, despite the number of “big battery” projects in the pipeline. Add them up in terms of MWhrs (instead of MW) and see how much you get compared with the demand on a windless night.

Wind watch update

This morning just before sunrise the wind was generating 7% of power across SE Australia at a capacity factor of 12% (almost down to the 10% for a severe wind drought.) South Australia (the wind leading state) was importing two thirds of its demand and the local generation was 80% gas! A bit of a gap there!

This evening at dinnertime WA was down to 1% of power from the wind. In the East the wind was doing much better, delivering 3% of the demand at a capacity factor of 7 (severe drought.) Victoria is the big wind state with more capacity than SA, though not per capita, and their windmills contributed 1% of demand at capacity 1.4%. Their capacity factor was below 5% for the previous 24 hours!

Approaching 10pm nothing has changed, the wind across the SE is delivering 4% because the total demand has gone down, still the capacity factor in SA is 1.2 and in Victoria 2.8! This is a shot of the NemWatch widget, it is a live display so it will change.

This is the AEMO data dashboard, this is also live, this display shows the flows between the states, see the Fuel Mix tab at the top to find what the different sources are providing.

The wind supply over 24 hours. This is the rolling 24-hour display at Aneroid Energy. Tick and untick the boxes to see individual states. This is the 24-hour display for all sources on the same page.

War without an end game, what do you think?

Liberals, using the U.S. nomenclature, are in favour of renewable energy, against fossil fuels, promote abortion on demand up to the time of birth, promote gay marriage, promote transgender rights (including the right of men in frocks to compete with women in sports and enter women’s change rooms), promote teaching critical race theory to schoolchildren and exposing them to drag shows and other sexual perversions, promote DEI and ESG, promote affirmative action (i.e., discrimination against those not in favoured groups), promote tearing down statues of giants of the past, promote reparations for perceived injustices committed centuries ago, promote DEI and ESG. I could go on with a whole retinue of their foul and destructive ways. But I want to add only one. That is their vengeful support of the Ukraine in its war with Russia. Russia, once extolled by the Left, is now despised. But, hold on, most conservatives are on board with this one. What does that mean? Is the Left right for once?

I don’t know but, generally, wherever the Left go I don’t want to go. Bad company. Thus, maybe, I over compensated. Found some justification for Russia in the overtures that Zelensky was making to NATO. Strangely too, I didn’t take to Zelensky as much as did the fawning world. That said, Russia invaded. It is the aggressor. No gainsaying that. So, I tried to keep objective. But it’s clear that objectivity on this matter is code for peddling Russian propaganda; at least, that is current Western mindset.

There’s a problem, I think, with the West having such a mindset. Saw an ex-military chap on the BBC just today saying that Russia could be defeated. This kind of pronouncement is commonplace. Russia is losing. Russian troops are demoralised. Liz Truss, the new British PM is especially jingoistic by proxy; as is Joe Biden.

No one in the media, so far as I’ve seen, asks a follow up question: exactly what would Russia beaten look like? Cowed, the Donbas region and Crimea abandoned? Apropos Nazi Germany: mea culpas, reparations, generals facing war-crime trials in the Hague or somewhere? Putin put on trial?

Some obvious facts should be acknowledged. Russia is a very big country and a very patriotic country. Not all Russians favour the war. All Russians favour Russia. They know that the longevity of the war has little to do with morale. It has to do with an endless supply of high-tech weapons and ammunitions supplied to the Ukraine by the US and Western European countries; without those countries ever contemplating boots on the ground. There has never been anything quite like it in the history of human conflict.

Pictured in this morning’s newspaper, a young woman with an anti-tank weapon with the caption that she’d taken out a Russian tank. Give me a bit of training and the latest US anti-tank missile launcher, and I bet even I could take out a Russian tank. (Maybe?) There seems to be a basic lack of understanding that an army marches on its supply of the latest weaponry. Churchill knew that fighting in the Sudan at the end of the nineteenth century (The River War). Weapons make the difference. That’s why this war has gone on for so long and why no end is in sight. That is, unless you suffer from the delusion that Russia will capitulate.

My ending is with the question; how will this all end up? And a second one: do the governments of the US, the UK and, say, France and Germany have a clear idea of how it will end up? I mean if you are supplying a country indefinitely with billions upon billions of dollars’ worth of armaments; surely you must have a clear objective in sight? Do you adjust that objective if Putin declares the Donbas Russia, as he has Crimea, on the basis of some plebiscites; however dodgy? Just suppose, for example, that a majority of people in the contested areas really want to be Russian? The UK was willing to let Scotland go on such a basis.

Sometimes the demarcation is clear. Good guys and bad guys. But then the idea is to completely defeat the bad guys. Usually, you have to go into their territory to do that.

What do you think? Cos I’m at sea.

WolfmanOz at the Movies #37


After a weeks’ sorjorn in Auckland New Zealand visiting family, I’m back to resume my weekly film post.

The gangster genre has been a staple in cinema ever since the medium begun. In America, the emphasis tended towards the Mafia and other various ethnic origins, but in the UK the genre was never quite so strong or dominant. British gangster films tended to focus on their working class backgrounds although there was always an undercurrent of vicious violence.

Get Carter, released in 1971, was one of the better British gangster movies, and although I have always admired it, I can’t say it’s a film I find very enjoyable due to all the characters being pretty repellent – including Michael Caine in one of his few really nasty villainous roles.

However, for me, the British gangster film hit the jackpot in 1980 with the release of The Long Good Friday. Although completed in 1979 it was delayed for a year but burst onto the scene the following year as the storyline encompassed the events and concerns of the late 1970s, including political and police corruption and IRA fund-raising.

The protagonist is Harold Shand, a top London gangster, who aspires to become legitimate and is trying to form a partnership with an American Mafia boss; but his world is upended by a series of bomb attacks on his properties and numerous murders of his associates.

Believing a local turf war has erupted, Shand gets all the other gang bosses together in one very unique and unusual place.

Ultimately, Shand learns that people within his own team have been dealing with the IRA, which leads him to violently dealing with them plus setting up a showdown with the local IRA chiefs in London.

Although Shand now believes his enemies are all dead he finds the Americans preparing to leave, having been spooked by the carnage. In response to their dismissive comments about the UK, Shand berates them for their arrogance and dismisses them as cowards. But at the film’s end, Shand will face the consequences of his recent actions.

The film boasts a standout performance by Bob Hoskins which was his breakout role. Unfortunately, over the years, he never quite achieved the same quality of roles, but here he is absolutely dynamic whether showing the character’s ruthless violent streak and/or his character’s humorous cunning intelligence.

Helen Mirren co-stars as Shand’s girlfriend in a role that could very easily have been a cliche but she brings a strength and believability to the character that would see her continue as one of the best film actresses in the last 50 years.

The Long Good Friday is one of the best British gangster movie ever made, arguably the best-ever. It’s a film made with ferocious intelligence, is tightly plotted and with razor-edged thrills it still packs a punch over 40 years after it was first released.


WW Movie Clips

Weekday Reading #23

Mark Movsesian in Compact discusses the geopolitical situation of Armenia.

Will Charles III be the Perennialist King we are hoping for? Esmé Partridge makes the affirmative case at UnHerd.

Dan Simons picks over the remains of Britain following the death of QE2 at IM-1776.

While at Quadrant, Anthony Daniels (aka Theodore Dalrymple) discusses the role that the assault on language plays in the culture wars.

Will Orr-Ewing on the essential role of habit in education at The Critic.

Finally, John Schweppe at The American Conservative discusses the new landscape for Republicans on abortion post-Dobbs.

Our biggest peacetime policy blunder ever

Epic Failure of Planning for the Green Energy Transition

Briefing Note 22.9                September 2022

Purpose: To signal that the transition from coal cannot go any further without nuclear power.

The critical issue.

The combination of wind droughts and the lack of grid-scale storage dictate that any further loss of coal-fired power capacity will pose serious dangers whenever the wind supply is low.

This means that the green power transition cannot accelerate and it may have to stop until nuclear power is up and running.

An epic failure of planning

Readily available evidence on the frequency and extent of wind droughts across SE Australia (the NEM) was apparently ignored or discounted.

Billions of dollars have been spent on assets which cannot replace conventional power in the grid and would be stranded without subsidies and mandates to use wind and solar power.

Imagine a gigantic irrigation scheme with no reliable water supply!

Many billions more will have to be spent to keep coal and gas facilities on line until nuclear power is available.


The decision to allow subsidised and mandated intermittent energy to connect to the grid is probably the greatest peacetime public policy blunder in Australian history.

Supporting information.

How it is working out on Europe – update from Jo Nova.

TheAustralian situation in a nutshell.

Mark Mills explains why the green energy transition is not happening.

Mark Mills on the limit of wind and solar power.

A thorough comparison of the cost of different power mixes, taking account of the firming required for wind and solar. Source 

The real cost of intermittent energy and how it kills reliable power providers.

The failure of RE is demonstrated in South Australia.

For example, on the morning of Monday 19 September at breakfast time, half of the demand for power in SA was imported and 80% of local generation came from gas.

Weekend Reading #5

Over at The Lamp Magazine, Peter Hitchens reflects on the Christian background of the British (and European) monarchy and why it inevitably is a sign of contradiction to all moderns.

Mark Granza interviews Darren Beattie about the next stage of Populism in IM-1776.

Stone Age Herbalist discusses the metaphysics that underlay the Aztec’s justification of human sacrifice and war at Grey Goose Chronicles.

In light of the EU’s designation of Hungary as an ‘electoral autocracy’ and ‘no longer a democracy’, Sohrab Ahmari’s latest essay in Compact, Orbán’s warning for Europe, is timely.

Weed is the new black. Leighton Woodhouse discusses Big Pharma and Tobacco’s interest in THC products in The Tablet, while William Pecknold muses over the capacity of Conservative Inc. ability to resist either their libertarian habits or their donor interests in Compact.

Lastly, Elbridge A. Colby outlines the moral argument of The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict at First Things, while Dimitri Simes outlines how the Ukraine War has accelerated Russia’s pivot to the East in The American Conservative.

Rafe’s Roundup Sept 17

James McPherson Report

The disintegration of Russian/German economic affairs – first shots of a new trade war

The Chinese fast trains trillion dollar debt disaster.

Energy Matters

Idiots guide to the Hydrogen Hype.  Pay attention Twiggy!

The green energy transition has hit the wall. Save our Coal Power Stations!

More Roundups from the archive

Roundup of partners and fellow-travellers

CPAC Speakers for this year. Register Volunteer to help

IPA         Climate and energy program

CIS          The Sydney Institute

Menzies Research Centre

Mannkal Economics Education Foundation          

Taxpayers Alliance

Advance Australia

Australian Institute for Progress

What is happening and why

Guest post from Cardimona

There is not a shred of evidence that CO2 has the capacity to “trap heat” or affect the climate “dangerously”. No scientific research paper has ever empirically proven that oft-repeated assertion. It has always been based on faulty maths, contrived research, and propaganda.

That’s why sea levels haven’t risen, cyclones aren’t more frequent, and we still have Arctic ice.

“Climate change/global warming” is a massive lie, one of the three biggest lies in history. It has been spread by the billionaires’ club who currently call themselves the World Economic Forum – and their supporters in the Chinese Communist Party.

The WEF used to be mainly known as ‘The Bilderberg Group’, and before that ‘The Club of Rome’.

The WEF tell the big climate lie, and others, because of their insane desire for ultimate power. When you have all the money in the world, and control of the world’s economies through companies like BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street, all that is left to crave is ultimate power.

And, as we know, power corrupts, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.

All around the world, small businesses were crushed in the name of a “very deadly and highly contagious” disease – which turned out to be nothing of the sort. That advice came from the WEF-controlled WHO, and massive wealth was transferred from the middle class to WEF members.

The damage to global supply chains was done deliberately, to suppress small business resurgence.

Then there were all the other lock-stepped responses to covid of so many governments. They all deployed measures that defied traditional medical processes and procedures, disregarded laws, ignored established pandemic plans, and created far more medical problems than they prevented.

That was planned in the “Operation Lock Step” chapter of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2010 document “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development”.

The WEF is quite open about their intentions for humanity. We’ll live in pods, eat bugs, own nothing, and be happy. We’ll be stripped of our properties and superannuation and, if our “social credit score” remains OK and we don’t generate too much “carbon”, we’ll get a “universal basic income”.

All as described in WEF chairman Klaus Schwab’s books “Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” and “The Great Reset”.

What are our politicians doing about this? Well, 60% of them are “sheeple” – unquestioning herd animals. Around 20% are WEF-trained subversives. About 17% are awake to the WEF but have been compromised. The remainder are awake and uncompromised but ridiculed as “conspiracy theorists”.

And if there were no such thing as “conspiracies” we wouldn’t have a word for them or provisions for them in law.

Humanity has a destiny out amongst the stars, but we will not reach them if we allow ourselves to be crushed by this secret society of evil, inbred, globalist conspirator families who have been plotting and working towards the destruction of our nations and our enslavement for centuries.

We can win this war of elites versus commoners, but only if everyone who knows these truths speaks out in every way possible to awaken those who remain oblivious to it all.