Climate collection 2 January

Peter Ridd challenges the alarmist tales about the decline of the Barrier Reef, as reported by Jo Nova. If  you have access to his piece in The Australian the comments are a treat.

Strangely, while everyone professes to care, and cry, and Malcolm Turnbull casually tossed half a billion at it, we see the extremely radioactive oddity that no one is worried enough to bother measuring the actual supposed decline of the seventh wonder of the modern world. Fifteen years is a long time to overlook that. Many panicked press releases have gone under the bridge yet apparently AIMS (and all the others) just want to keep quoting the shrinking growth rates, but not keep track of them.

Fifteen years of missing data while tens of millions of dollars were spent on reef research! They have got to be joking. As Peter Ridd called it:

Our science institutions claim that coral growth rates collapsed between 1990 and 2005 due to stress from human pollution. Remarkably, despite having data of coral growth rates for the last few centuries, there is no data for the last 15 years. We don’t know how the GBR has fared since 2005.

Jubilation in South Australia, reported by Energy SynapseBatteries make money during the heatwave. What a great idea! Create a system with wildly fluctuating prices for electricity, spend millions on batteries and get the consumers to pay some more during peak price periods. Pure genius!

Grid-scale batteries in South Australia earned almost $1 million from the energy market over two days from 19-20 December 2019 (see Figure 1) as the nation sweat through an extreme heatwave.

This revenue is just from arbitraging the wholesale energy market and includes the cost of charging the batteries as well as marginal loss factors (MLFs). It does not include revenue from frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) or any bilateral contracts.

Record energy from wind power in the third quarter last year. This was reported  before and Aynsley Kellow pointed out that the third quarter is windy compared with the rest of the year. That is clear in this picture. 

Interesting to see the efficiency of the windmills in the third quarter compared with the lower Q4 and Q1 periods. Back of the envelope calculation suggest the windmills delivered a touch over 30% of capacity in Q3 and only 20% of capacity in Q4 and Q1. Of course the averages conceal the real problem – the low “choke points.”

Young Libs turn Warmy in NSW. The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The NSW Young Liberal president Chaneg Torres said the governing body of the party’s youth wing voted unanimously at its December meeting to push for new climate change policies. 

“The NSW Young Liberal movement is reflecting the views of our generation in recognising the reality of human induced climate change and the need for government policy to respond accordingly,” Mr Torres said.

“Climate change is a phenomenon that will affect our generation’s future. Intergenerational equity requires that governments take the challenge seriously now for the sake of our generation.”

“The decrease in domestic and international demand for fossil fuels requires investment towards clean energy production,” the Young Liberals’ policy blueprint says in its conclusion. (A bit of fact-checking required. Ed)

“Investors, consumers and nations are turning towards renewable energy and it would be detrimental to Australia’s future economic prospects if our nation does not conform to market demands.”

Mr Torres said the climate change debate should not be captured by those “looking to impose big government solutions that seek to overturn our market economy and lower our standard of living”. (Heaven forbid. Ed)

Canberra Comedy. An amusing scenario for 100% RE in Australia.


•PV and wind allow Australia to reach 100% renewable electricity rapidly at low cost.

•Wide dispersion of wind and PV over 10–100 million hectares reduces cost.
•Off-river pumped hydro energy storage is the cheapest form of mass storage.
•There are effectively unlimited sites available in Australia.
•LCOE from a 100% renewable Australian electricity system is US$70/MWh (2017 prices).

How to inflate the subsidies for fossil fuels. Creative accounting on steroids.

The IMF: 

• calculates an imaginary “efficient” price level that the authors think fuel would be supplied at on some kind of imaginary ideal planet, 

• adds in the price of everything but the kitchen sink, e.g. they’ve added in the cost of “traffic congestion”, the cost to repair potholes, and even the imaginary cost of “global warming”, 

• subtracts from that giant bulked-up number the actual price, and 

• calls the difference a “subsidy”.

Pumped Hydro Plans in Tasmania and NSW.  Fourteen high potential sites have been  located in Tasmania after a survey of possible sites.

These sites represent a combined capacity of up to 4800 MW, which are expected to be refined down in the next phase to around 2500 MW of high potential sites. Overall the estimated capital cost across the potential projects is in the region of $1.1 – $2.3 million per MW.

That looks like two and a half billion per GW. How does that compare with a new coal plant on an existing site that requires no significant new transmission lines?

New South Wales is looking at even bigger schemes.

New South Wales is now looking to build on Tasmania’s success, releasing a plan to “supercharge nature’s battery” 24 potential pumped hydro sites shortlisted for development. With 7000 MW of capacity, the NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin said the projects could supply 50 per cent of the state’s peak demand on the hottest summer days.

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25 Responses to Climate collection 2 January

  1. egg_

    PV and wind allow Australia to reach 100% renewable electricity rapidly at low cost.

    Was this a Comedy festival?

  2. Leo G

    “The NSW Young Liberal movement is reflecting the views of our generation in recognising the reality of human induced climate change and the need for government policy to respond accordingly”

    Narcissus reflecting in an Echo chamber.

  3. classical_hero

    Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?

  4. RobK

    •Off-river pumped hydro energy storage is the cheapest form of mass storage.
    •There are effectively unlimited sites available in Australia.

    This entire paper is from 2017. It is very deceptive.PHES might be the cheapest but it isn’t cheap. We can’t build dams for water storage, how do we go for energy storage. If PHES was cheap, we’d be using a lot more of it for the shallow predictable cycles of baseload.
    They admitted that the scheme requires a lot of extra conductors, no mention of all the extra control gear.

  5. Rafe Champion

    This was thoroughly trashed by someone and I didn’t follow up the reference but I stumbled onto it today and posted it as a joke.

  6. a happy little debunker

    Fourteen high potential sites have been located in Tasmania.

    Just try and build a hydro dam in Tasmania – now try and build an extra 14!

  7. Nob

    Green party was built on opposition to hydro power dams.

  8. Mark M

    “Batteries make money during the heatwave.”

    Wait. What?

    There is still heatwaves?

  9. Bob

    It didn’t take long for the ‘Young Liberals’ to be infiltrated by Leftists. They’re not paying attention – this is how the Left operates.

  10. amortiser

    Wind generation was supposed to have first access to the grid. The Tesla battery is now charged by the wind generators when the price is low rather than that power going to the grid. When renewable generation collapses the battery is discharged at highly elevated prices.

    They engineered instability into the grid and now they are profiting from that instability.

  11. Mark M

    Etymology. (wiktionary)
    Probably from: 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Epistle to the Galatians, 6:7
    “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

    And so, Scomo, who will not call out the UN climate scam, reaps what he sows …

    The Prime Minister has been filmed making a quick getaway into a government car after a visit to the South Coast town of Cobargo was met with derision from locals.

    ‘Go back to Kirribilli’: Morrison heckled by angry residents in Cobargo

    Grow a spine in the time of President Trump, and call out the UN climate scam, Scomo.
    Or be a footnote on the toilet paper of history.

  12. Mark M

    Imagine how much worse the bushfires would be if SA/Victoria didn’t blow up the coal-fired power stations.

  13. Green party was built on opposition to hydro power dams.

    And has morphed into a party that opposes everything.

  14. Seven news this morning had an interview with a chap from Sarasfield Vic (near Buchan/Bruthen), who has been fighting to save his property. Surprisingly, they gave him time to point out where the real problem lay with the bushfires ie inadequate forest management, but unfortunately he wasn’t articulate (or perhaps was too emotional) enough to properly explain what he meant.

    Those in the region will know exactly what he means, but this will escape, Springs street, the Greens and their acolytes. To the latter, these fires are all due to climate change and climate change alone.

  15. PeterM

    Hugely deceptive article in the SMH this morning by Bevan Shields under the heading “Renewables overtake fossils in UK”. Pie charts bundling nuclear and imports (mostly nuclear) in with renewables to yield 48.5% “Zero carbon / renewables”.

    The compares with Australia’s 81.1% fossils.

    This should be a case for Australia going nuclear, but spun as Australia not doing enough. Pathetic and dishonest.

  16. Ben

    The ANU (Andrew Blakers) stuff is hopeless.

    The 2017 ‘100% renewables’ paper specifically excludes grid stability:

    The dynamical behaviour (on time scales of sub-seconds to minutes) of a 100% renewable energy grid is outside the scope of the present study.

    The funny part is that Blakers’ follow-up papers refer to this 2017 report to discuss grid stability.

  17. stevem

    The is one stunningly suitable site for pumped hydro in Tasmania. They should create a new pumping dam on the Gordon river, downstream from the junction with the Franklin. This would allow for a vastly reduced carbon footprint from Australia.

  18. Aynsley Kellow

    My critique of the Blakers and Stocks version in The Conversation can be found at:
    I added more, focusing on the ALP policy at:
    The main issue is the neglect of system costs: storage; extra transmission lines for distributed generation (capacity factor 25-30%, but subject to congestion; costs imposed on decreased capital utilisation of dispatchable plant, etc.
    Apologies – I can’t seem to get the link function to work this morning!

  19. Bruce

    Dr. Willie Soon sticks it up the eco-nazis:

    Global cooling, the Ozone caper and Global Warming, / Anthropgenic Climate Change are and ALWAYS were ONLY about social and political manipulation / wealth, resources and POWER redistribution..

  20. Michael Lewis

    As a person of a certain heritage, I cannot see amy difference between the hysteria being whipped up against the PM and that historical hysteria which ended up with “Kill th J..s”.

  21. Environmentalist explains why renewable energy can’t save the planet:

  22. DaveR

    Batteries make money during the heatwave

    So the energy traders have been arbitraging the power price volatility during the summer high heat days.

    For every profit made in a closed system there is a corresponding loss. So who made the $1m loss? The other energy generators. And guess who ultimately paid the bill? The business and residential energy consumers, and possibly the Government who pays the massive subsidies (oh wait – thats business and residential energy consumers again!).

    State of stupidity.

  23. I_am_not_a_robot

    More ‘renewable’ and battery puffery, I don’t know how they get away with it (maybe I’ve answered my own question).

    The annual output of Tesla’s Gigafactory, the world’s largest battery factory, could store three minutes’ worth of annual U.S. electricity demand. It would require 1,000 years of production to make enough batteries for two days’ worth of U.S. electricity demand. Meanwhile, 50–100 pounds of materials are mined, moved, and processed for every pound of battery produced.

    (The “New Energy Economy”: An Exercise in Magical Thinking Mark P. Mills senior fellow Manhattan Institute)

  24. Mindfree

    Sounds like to me that local member Andrew Constance has whipped up the frenzy against ScoMo to take the heat of his own government’s failings.

    And he’s a liberal – scum bag- must be a devotee of Photios

  25. IainC

    Hugely deceptive article in the SMH this morning by Bevan Shields under the heading “Renewables overtake fossils in UK”. Pie charts bundling nuclear and imports (mostly nuclear) in with renewables to yield 48.5% “Zero carbon / renewables”. (Peter M)

    A few interesting details when you dig in to those numbers.

    Gas is still 38% (needed for continuity of supply due to crap solar/wind concept) so FF = 40% – this is my preferred transition fuel
    “Renewables 48.5%” also includes quite a bit of nuclear (21%) and hydro (2-3%) (also needed for continuity of supply due to crap solar/wind concept) in the UK, as well as sponging 6-9% “green” electricity (ie nuclear power from France) from the EU
    UK has an odd source 8-9% which is burning biomass (compressed cellulose pellets) which I have read are sourced from the US – crap energy budget economics to be sure
    So that’s about 18-19% from crap wind/solar

    Electricity generation is still only 20-30% of a country’s total energy needs (ie total renewables are closer to 10-15% total energy), so there’s a lot more to find!

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