Power on the brink

More red flags are flying for the power supply and more badly-informed commentary from RenewEconom and the Fin Review. This (Friday) morning the wind supply was negligible in SA and Victoria, just like Wednesday which was reported on Climate Realism, a Heartland Institute site.

This evening at sunset, wind in Victoria was generating 3% of demand at CP 5%, the comparable figures in SA were 17% and 8%. In SA gas accounted for three quarters of local generation and they were burning diesel. The battery was making money by discharging while the state had the most expensive power in the nation.

Victoria was in deficit and power was draining from the battery of the nation (Tasmania).

The response to impending blackouts.

At RenewEconomy we read:

A new tender has been launched by the New South Wales government for a new big battery that will help replace the capacity that will be lost when the country’s biggest coal generator, Eraring, closes in 2025.

The tender is officially for firming capacity of at least 380MW and two hours storage, and is open to a bunch of different technologies, including hydrogen electrolysers, gas peaking stations, but battery storage is probably the best bet for that particular mandate, and the tight timeline.

And in the Fin Review, a more respectable rag than RenewEconomy, one would hope.

Adding big volumes of new wind and solar power capacity are contributing to supply security, with AEMO pointing to 401MW of battery storage committed since its last report, involving more than 600 megawatt-hours of storage capacity.

What does it mean to have batteries helping to replace Eraring? This is the biggest station in the grid with four 720MW turbines (2880MW). Batteries don’t generate power, (nor does pumped hydro like Snowy2.0), they store it when there is power to spare. “Replacing” means feeding the stored power back into the grid to avert blackouts.

Consider the amount of stored power required to substitute for Eraring through 14 hours between sunset and sunrise on a windless night. Say 2000MW to allow for a realistic capacity factor, well short of 100%, to make the sums easier.

That comes to 28,000MWhours which is more than 40 times the 600 megawatt-houres mentioned above. In the RenewEconomy report they refer to “firming capacity of at least 380MW and two hours storage,” which amounts to 760 megawatt-hours of capacity. That is 1/36 of 28,000 MWhours.

What is more, the output from Eraring is continuous in contrast with the battery that has to be charged, and what if there are two or more windless nights in a row, when the wind drought persists for two or three days?

How is this reckless folly sustained?

During the day the sun and wind together provide about 50% of power at their peak on a bad wind day and that gets up to 60% and a bit more on Sundays if there is a lot of wind about.

This is enough to keep the greens happy, as though we are almost half way to getting rid of coal. But, one more time, it is the windless nights that do the damage, as explained by the Iron Triangle of Power Supply. In summary, wind power will not work in Australia due to the need for continuous input to the grid, the interruption of wind power by wind droughts, and the lack of storage at the scale required to bridge the gaps.

Consequently, when the next coal power station closes, every wind drought will threaten the power supply, and prolonged wind droughts will be potentially catastrophic.

We need more “wind literacy”. People need to be alert to the frequent lack of wind, and this could easily be achieved by incorporating a windpower report in the regular weather reports that go out with the news on radio and TV all day and night.

Alternatively, anyone and everyone can glance at the NewWatch widget on phone or computer to check the wind supply, especially at breakfast and dinnertime! This is the picture on Wednesday morning: find the wind, that is the green segments on the bars.

Droughts have been recognized in Australia for a long time but defective advice (neglecting the droughts) resulted in the the worst policy blunder in our history – connecting subsidised and mandated intermittent wind and solar power to the grid.

A constitutional change that we all can agree on.

This year, constitutional change is in the air. But like so many previous attempts to alter the Australian Constitution, this one – the creation of an Aboriginal Voice – is being shown to be every bit as controversial as most earlier attempts at change. In medical parlance: “the patient is not looking good.”

But the Government may save its constitutional face if another question was submitted to a vote, and one that we can all agree on: a referendum to deny the state the power to enforce lock downs and control of citizens.

Ever since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many Australians continue to ask how the state could have completely overridden their rights. To say we were dismayed would not cover the frightening reality of what living through the pandemic brought to these shores. And if for any reason we were returned to that state of lost liberty now, again there would be no remedy at the removal of our rights, unless we raised pitchforks in defiance.

But while we and the rest of the western world succumbed to this abuse of citizens, one country did not: Sweden. In Sweden, unlike anywhere else, there were no lock downs.

On April, 19, 2022, The Washington Monthly https://washingtonmonthly.com/2022/04/19/what-sweden-got-right-about-covid/ reported that,

While most countries imposed draconian restrictions, there was an exception: Sweden. Early in the pandemic, Swedish schools and offices closed briefly but then reopened. Restaurants never closed. Businesses stayed open. Kids under 16 went to school…Sweden seems to have been right. Countries that took the severe route to stem the virus might want to look at the evidence found in a little-known 2021 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The researchers found that among 11 wealthy peer nations, Sweden was the only one with no excess mortality among individuals under 75. None, zero, zip.  That’s not to say that Sweden had no deaths from COVID. It did. But it appears to have avoided the collateral damage that lockdowns wreaked in other countries.’


Initially, Sweden received much odium for its outlier response with claims that the country was putting at risk their people by not locking down. But since then, as that article points out, Sweden’s approach to Covid-19 has been vindicated.

But the larger question still remains. Why was it that Sweden managed Covid without control orders over its people, when at that time the “jury was still out” on whether not locking down would work to stop the virus. How was this small Nordic country able to withstand the on-line abuse, including what must have been significant pressure from external forces, such as the WHO and the EU, from not enforcing the full gambit of freedom-destroying policies. Why was Sweden different during Covid?

In her article, The truth about Sweden’s voluntary lockdown in The Spectator (22/9/20), https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-myth-of-sweden/ Dr Rachel Irwin addressed the novel Swedish management of the pandemic, writing that under the Swedish Constitution,

Swedish law does not allow for many types of lockdown measures. Even something as simple as closing a beach is tricky because, in general, beach access is covered by the Right of Public Access which, in turn, is enshrined in the Swedish constitution. The limitations of Swedish law partly explain why the parliament passed temporary amendments to the Communicable Diseases Act in the spring, which would have allowed for the closure of shops and other commercial spaces (this provision expired at the end of June without being used).

So Sweden did not refuse to lock down; rather it was not a legal option for the country. 

Irwin goes on to say:

The Public Health Agency also believed that voluntary measures would work as well as compulsory ones and that people could be trusted to act responsibly. However, Swedes are not inherently more responsible than other people. But by repeatedly and consistently telling us that we were responsible and could be trusted to use our judgement, the government and authorities performed an extremely effective Jedi-mind trick: we were told that we were responsible, so most of us were responsible.

So when people are treated like adults, they act like adults! Well, how surprising is that! Who knew?

Irwin continues:

That said, high levels of societal and institutional trust meant that we were already comfortable with following official recommendations. About 60 per cent of Swedes agree that ‘most people can be trusted’ compared to just 30 per cent in the UK, and institutional trust is also higher in Sweden. Size matters, as well: while Swedes have political scandals like any other country, our politicians and civil servants are not faceless bureaucrats, but fellow Swedes. If I email a public official, I usually expect a response, not a formal letter written by an administrator. However, societal and institutional trust are not intrinsic, and can work in large countries. Trust is earned and nurtured, and it can be lost — an encouragement and warning to any government.

Yes, trust is a cornerstone of a free and open society (and, to repeat, is earned and nurtured). Unlike in Sweden, however, during the pandemic (and now), we lost trust in our institutions. Here, not only were our freedoms taken from us, we were belligerently and repeatedly lied to.

We know this from Scott Morrison’s interview with Sharri Markson on Sky News last week, and his assertion that neither he nor National Cabinet’s expert advisory panel – the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee – supported widespread vaccine mandates: https://newcatallaxy.blog/2023/03/09/no-vaccine-mandates-pull-the-other-one/

In his article, Lars Jonung expands on Sweden’s constitutional limitations of controlling its citizens: Sweden’s constitution decides its exceptional Covid-19 policy, (CEPR, 18/12/2020). https://cepr.org/voxeu/columns/swedens-constitution-decides-its-exceptional-covid-19-policy

The relevant sections of the Swedish constitution (Regeringsformen) are Chapter 2, Article 8 (personal liberty), and Chapter 12, Article 2 (independence of administration):

On personal liberty, Chapter 2, Article 8 declares that,

Everyone shall be protected in their relations with the public institutions against deprivations of personal liberty. All Swedish citizens shall also in other respects be guaranteed freedom of movement within the Realm and freedom to depart the Realm.’

Under independence of administration, Chapter 12, Article 2 states that:

‘No public authority, including the Riksdag, or decision-making body of any local authority, may determine how an administrative authority shall decide in a particular case relating to the exercise of public authority vis-à-vis an individual or a local authority, or relating to the application of law.

According to Jonung, ‘the Swedish system is based on administrative dualism, where the public agencies are set up outside the ministries of the central government.’ This means that the government (politicians etc) may not extend influence over public agencies for political advantage.

If Australia had similar constitutional limitations then neither the Commonwealth nor the States could have used as medical camouflage health bureaucrats to enforce arbitrary controls on the people. If constitutional constrols had been in place in this country, like in Sweden, government overreach could never have been an option and the trust between the citizen the state would not have been lost.

In the comments section of my post for New Cat – ‘No vaccine mandates?’ Pull the other one – 8/3/23, one comment stood out:

March 10, 2023 at 12:49 pm
‘As per the post, he [Morrison] declared a federal biosecurity emergency, giving him (OK, his “Health Minister”) near unlimited control and requiring very specific circumstances to be met – that is, “due process” is part of this legislation.

So he could have gotten that power and said something like:

“There WILL be NO mandates and no coercion from the states to get a vax. If the states try to do this, they will be charged under federal law, as will any company or government department that demands personal health information from Australians to enter their premises, regardless of whether they are an employee, a customer or for any other reason. Such health discrimination is completely unacceptable, and I will put in place systems to ensure that anyone who attempts such bastardry is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The Australian people have given us their trust to run the country, we must reciprocate that trust, and trust their own judgment on what is best for their own health. There can be no argument that it is ‘my body, my life and my choice’, as every state health department currently recognises with some sort of ‘right to refuse treatment’ policy.

While we certainly encourage all Australians to obtain the vax for this horrible disease, it is ultimately between them and their trusted medical professional as to what is right and best for them, and no government – local, state or federal – has the right to interfere in such decisions, much less demand it. Shame on anyone who thinks they have the right to control another persons health decisions.”

But he didn’t have the balls to stand up to the “worriers” and fright-bats – too worried about “the optics” and getting blamed if grandma died.’

Kneel is right. Our former Prime Minister could have shown our nation true leadership, rather than the twisted mea culpa we endured at his National Press Club address in February, 2022, when he declared that his job was getting everyone (the premiers) in the room and getting an agreement.

If Australians are going to continue to vote into power such low value politicians then we need a Plan B that will limit the power of government over us (outside of war) like Sweden has.

While we may not wish to embrace any additional features of the Swedish Constitution, certainly the limitation on control of citizens and control of (all?/some?) public agencies would ensure that were we ever to experience another pandemic our rights as free people could not be removed.

When the framers of the Australian Constitution conceived our national document, they sought among other things to ensure a system of free trade, which included free intercourse between the states. Subsequent constitutional challenges, however, have reduced that original intention to make trade and intercourse absolutely free to more exactly a determination by the states, with the consequence that our right to absolute free movement has been and can be, given the “right” set of circumstances, restricted when politicians deem it necessary.

A referendum proposal that would enshrine unambiguously the limiting of the power of the state over the people, would ensure that one constitutional change will get up this year. That is a referendum we can all vote yes to!

Cool Hand Karl is back

Sheriff Popper has come to town to gun down the historicists and restore law and order on the streets of the Open Society.

He has opened a Facebook account, set up a substack and hangs out with his deputies in a smoke-free salon to drink weak tea, and shoot the breeze with Bach and Mozart playing in the background.

Times will be tough for irrationalists, essentialists, Marxists , justificationists, and people who think science starts with observations and end with consensus. Or ask “What is…?”or  “Who shall rule?”

Watch this space.

Get with the program!


Wind-leading states show the way

On Wednesday morning, before breakfast, South Australia and Victoria demonstrated why the net zero dream is actually a nightmare. The logic of the Iron Triangle of Power Supply signals that there must be a continuous delivery of power to the grid to meet demand.

Ignore the peaks of wind and solar supply, they are not the critical metric for success of the system. The critical indicator is the lowest level of supply. The weakest link in the chain, the low point of the flood levee. The gap in the fence.

Between sunset and sunrise, all the responsibility for “renewable energy” falls on the wind supply (and storage you might say.)

Before breakfast this morning (Wed 15 March) wind was delivering practically nothing in South Australia (5% of demand at 1.4% Capacity Factor) and Victoria (0.4% of demand at 0.7% Capacity Factor).

Across the NEM wind was delivering 2% of demand at 4.7% of capacity. It went lower as the day went on while the combined efforts of wind, sun and hydro peaked at 50% in the mid-afternoon

Before breakfast SA, Victoria and NSW were in deficit and the grid was bookended by power exported from Queensland and Tasmania. But Tasmania (the battery of the nation) was burning gas in order to have power to spare. The island state has been mostly importing lately to protect the water level in the dams.

So much for the aspiration to replace coal power with intermittent inputs from sun and wind, plus a bit of hydro. Forget about gas in the quantity required to replace coal.


The NEM Widget at 7am, Wind is the green parts of the bars.

The NEM, dominated by coal(72%). Wind 2%. Gas 10%, Hydro 15%.

Below is South Australia with local generation dominated by Gas and almost 50 % of demand was imported indirectly from QLD and Tasmania, through NSW and Victoria.

Below is Victoria, dominated by Brown Coal.

BELOW, wind in Victoria 14-15th, less than average (29%) for 24 hours and less than 10% (severe drought) for most of the time.

Tasmania, dominated by Hydro and burning gas this morning to prop up SA because there was no power to spare in Victoria or NSW.

Jeff Grimshaw, NotKean for Hornsby

Support Jeff Grimshaw, taking on the Green Blob Matt Kean for the seat of Hornsby in the NSW election.

As the east coast of Australia stares down the barrel of blackouts and brown outs, with an electricity grid on the verge of imploding, the NSW Government continues to charge towards the precipice of an energy disaster. At the pointy edge of the spear, a principal architect of the coming recession, is Matt Kean MP, NSW Treasurer, Minister for Energy and State Member for Hornsby.  Matt’s title might more accurately read Minister for No Energy.

Further, Matt Kean no longer represents Hornsby. His values are at odds with everything the people of Hornsby value. He is in the wrong electorate and the wrong party. It is time to say “We are NOT KEAN!”



Despicable or Disastrous. That’s the choice

It’s never been about the Marxist thugs on the left. The Daniel Andrews types. It’s always been about the growing number of rats on the right. The rats have taken over. So now it’s take your pick between the awful and bloody awful. Not giving up, but it’s time to be realistic. Nothing is in sight to right the ship. No white knight. Just Matt Kean(s) and Simon Birmingham(s).

There’s an election in NSW on 25 March. I remember a time when I would have been interested. As it is, despite living in Sydney, I was more interested in the recent Victorian election than I am in this coming one. At least Dan Andrews gives conservatives someone to stick pins in; figuratively speaking of course. Mind you, he revels in it. He knows that his politics are on the right side of history, as the Victorian populace becomes bolshier by the year. They liked being locked up and told what to do by a strongman. The Stockholm syndrome writ large. Once someone like Dan knows that, he can play them like a fiddle. It’s the end of competitive politics in Victoria, at least until Dan decides in his own good time to go.

Who do we have in NSW to stick pins in, figuratively? As a conservative, I tend to stick them into the NSW Treasurer and Energy Minister Matt Kean; aka, Mr Green. But hold on he’s a Lib. That doesn’t work does it? How about NSW Labor leader Chris Minns? How about him?

I simply can’t raise an emotion one way or the other. He seems anodyne to a tee. Now he might be hell on wheels to those who know him. I can’t possibly say. All that I can say is that I have no visceral aversion to him winning. In fact, all of my visceral aversion is to a Liberal government that doesn’t reflect my values. Being betrayed is one thing; being betrayed by one’s own side, to quote The Bard, is sharper than a serpent’s tooth.

Dominic Perrottet made a bad start with me. Confected Covid hysteria was about.

“Once every single person in this state has had the opportunity to be vaccinated then we should open up for everyone… I want to see more unity and not a two-tiered society… It’s not the government’s role to provide freedom.” This is Dominic Perrottet big talking to Joe Hildebrand on 2GB on 24 September 2021, before becoming premier.

Gladys Berejiklian’s date for the unvaccinated to enjoy equality with their vaccinated superiors was 1 December. Perrottet’s first act as premier was to extend that date until 15 December. So much for freedom from a principled “conservative” Catholic. A small thing maybe, but indicative. He recently went along with a woke ban on gay conversion therapy. Really? A ban on people, therapists, priests, providing sought after advice to sexually troubled people. Which part of his conservative principles or Catholic faith does that offend? How is that consistent with freedom?

Where does Perrottet stand on fossil fuels and green energy; on the destruction of NSW’s reliable power; on Liddell coal power station closing in April; on Eraring closing down in August 2025? Reportedly, Perrottet refuses to back Matt Kean’s reconsideration of closing Eraring in 2025, referring to the government’s road map, which charts a path (a yellow brick road) to reliance on renewable energy. Greener than Kean? Who knows?

Look, I have no idea what the man stands for. He says he’s a Catholic. Then why didn’t he attend Cardinal George Pell’s funeral? Cardinal Pell the most senior among Australia’s Catholic clergy. A good man badly wronged. Innocent yet incarcerated by a corrupt Victorian justice system. Yet, Perrottet couldn’t bring himself to attend the service on behalf of fair-minded people in NSW. Craven?

My local NSW member Tim James holds the seat of Willoughby, Gladys’s old seat, for the Libs. He’s conservative minded, I think. How long that will last I don’t know, but I’ll vote for him. Wouldn’t vote for Perrottet; though I am, of course, by voting for James. Such is our system. Friends of my political persuasion often say, hold your nose, the alternative is worse. Yes, it’s bound to be. I agree. It’s the despicable versus the disastrous.

A few racy things

The Voice within. Meet NIAA

The Voice that we didn’t know about. Now we know, thanks to Rowan Dean.

This is the National Indigenous Australians Agency. Your taxes at work!

According to the NIAA’s annual report, last year Jody and her team spent nearly 290 million dollars on expenses. That’s a lot of dosh, so they must have been able to achieve a hell of a lot of good stuff for Indigenous Australia with that amount of money. You’ll notice, of course, that 165-odd million of that went on salaries and wages, superannuation, defined benefits, and so on, so hopefully everybody is being well-paid for doing this invaluable work.

As for the total cashload, the NIAA’s total cash from the official public account is just over 2 billion dollars. So that’s good. It’s a lot of money for sure, but, hey, all in a good cause!

Weaponising confected outrage

The other day a brilliant Aboriginal or part-Aboriginal footballer was heckled by a disorderly supporter of the other team. From some reports it would seem that the shock and horror might drive him out of the game and the raucous fan might be banned for life.

The offending words are quite harmless as far as I can see, one is a colour and the other a common-or-garden animal (man’s best friend). Making a mountain out of this mole-hill is a sign of the times and as if on cue, this afternoon an article turned up which illuminates the social and psychological dynamics at work. It is not a short piece, it has a lot to say.

“In this new model of the therapeutic institution, the left-wing diversity bureaucrat [HERE READ THE WOKE SPORTS ADMINISTRATOR] rescues the traumatized and turns his or her personal trauma into a moral and socially significant phenomenon. It is an internal twist on this narrative, and it gives meaning to the diversity bureaucrat as a rescuer, as someone who is involved in protecting the traumatized, protecting the weak.

A glimpse into the abyss of peak wokeness

The Voice

Is someone making a list of the projects that have ground to a halt like this one which is the last in a line that threaten to become very long. Who is going to benefit from this in the long run? And who is going to lose?