Putting the wind up the RE carpetbaggers

Late in the day alarm bells are starting to ring as the rising tide of unreliable energy swamps the grid in the middle of sunny days and the reliable sources that provide inertia (stability) in the system are closed down.

The rule changes that are being discussed to demand more reliability in the supply pose a deadly threat to the financiers who are backing the solar and wind projects that are in the construction pipeline or are being planned. They are not happy about this, so expect a frenzy of lobbying and PR activity to maintain the rage to support unreliable energy.

Renewable energy investors fire up over power grid overhaul plan

The Clean Energy Investor Group, which has $9bn of assets under management and is backed by MacquarieCapital, RWE Renewables and UK developer John Laing, said if the proposal went ahead there could be an extra burden of $3.4bn in higher electricity prices up to 2050 with 3000MW of clean energy projects seen at risk.

Modelling by Baringa Partners, commissioned by the CEIG, shows the cost of capital for clean energy projects is projected to increase by 150 basis points due to revenue uncertainty created by the AEMC’s proposals to move to locational marginal pricing. “Cost of capital increases for investors will flow through to wholesale price impacts for consumers. This is detrimental to both clean energy generators and energy consumers and highlights why the AEMC must revisit its proposed grid access proposals,” said CEIG chair Simon Corbell.

Modelling also forecasts that 3000MW of new renewable energy projects will be deferred due to unacceptable levels of risk associated with revenues from new projects, also creating more emissions in the system.

OMG more emissions!

Related. RE insiders will soon have to get real about the zero level of RE that shows that the whole RE adventure was based on a spectacular failure of due diligence (checking the wind supply. ) This picture tells the story. The key feature is the black line at the bottom showing that the minimum level of wind power (effectively zero) has not changed enough to make a difference as the number of windmills increased from 2011 to the present. The green line rising from left to right is the installed capacity of the windmillsIt runs flat after 2020 although in fact there will be significant additions quite soon.

On top of that, no Moore’s law for battery storage.

An important rejoinder to people who think that the Big Elon Musk Batteries are going to get Bigger and  Cheaper at the same rate as data storage in recent times, doubling every two years or so.
 
So much for the second leg of the “holy trinity” of Transmission Lines, Batteries and Pumped Hydro that the proponents of RE think will enable us to junk the coal-fired power stations. 

OTHE NEWS. Asian Renewable Energy Hub Revised Proposal. No power for Singapore after all!

Key revisions include: 

  • addition of downstream processing facilities utilising seawater and renewable power to produce green hydrogen and ammonia as stored renewable energy, replacing the transmission of power to Southeast Asia in the original proposal; 
  • original proposal export power cables replaced with desalination plant intake and discharge pipelines, and ammonia product export pipelines and loadout, extending into Commonwealth waters to ship loadout facilities approximately 20 km offshore; 
  • provision of at least 3GW of power generation capacity to be reserved for use in the Pilbara. 

Mullticoloured Hydrogen. RE nerds,  backgrounders on the various forms of hydrogen, the promises and the problems. The Supply Side and the Demand Side.

Liberty Quote – Hitler’s Institute for Tobacco Hazards Research helped calculate the “national economic cost of smoking”. But its figures were probably as fraudulent as those routinely concocted today — Adam Crieghton

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19 Responses to Putting the wind up the RE carpetbaggers

  1. Ubique

    RE projects should only ever be looked at when they come packaged with 24-7 guarantee of supply (i.e. 100% non-intermittent back-up) and are cost competitive with other sources of energy.

  2. Noddy

    Come on! It is ‘price gouging’ by investment managers who bludge on the rest of society. How much return on investment with minimum effort can we have? How can it be maximized further. In many cases the advisers are managers who do not pay when the investment loses! Totally different to the battler who invests life savings in a venture to provide a service for others and stands to lose the lot if it fails, as many so often do. To survive in a modern business takes more than an MBA certificate with a rapacious government breathing down your neck! My heart aches for Australia which was the best nation on earth.

  3. Jonesy

    Ubique, disparchability should also come with a guarantee. If, for some reason, you cannot deliver on your contract you must pay for the replacement power supply at the full peak rate plus a penalty equal to the cost of that peak rate. Subsidies must be phased out for all power sources. Watch the Ruinables crowd scream then!

  4. Aynsley Kellow

    It has occurred to me that renewables are analogous to a train with now engine. It is very cheap when the slope of the track is downhill. It has very low running costs because gravity (like the sun and wind) is free. The problem comes when the track is flat or uphill. Then, the makers of the engineless train expect someone else to do the lifting – not just the heavy lifting, but all the lifting. Their train has no way of getting from Melbourne to Sydney, but their low marginal running costs destroy the business case for investing in the equipment that can.

  5. Aynsley Kellow

    ‘without an engine’!!! Damned autocorrect!!!

  6. RobK

    the AEMC’s proposals to move to locational marginal pricing.
    To my understanding, this is an effort not only to increase stability but also (mainly)to penalise for undue line losses. In effect a lot of energy that has to be juggled around the hosting capacity of the grid doesn’t actually make it to the consumers. The RE industry requires more and more expensive hosting capacity as the proportion of RE increases. They don’t want to pay for it because they haven’t upto now. The grid can absorb a certain amount then costs ramp up very quickly. The economical sites for RE resources and existing hosting capacity are soon exploited and costs ramp….and complexity increases whilst reliability, safety and compliance go the other way.
    It’s not like they don’t know, they just want more money and put the blame elsewhere….cos carbon.

  7. RobK

    Modelling also forecasts that 3000MW of new renewable energy projects will be deferred due to unacceptable levels of risk associated with revenues from new projects,
    He says that as if it is a bad thing.

  8. Modelling also forecasts that 3000MW of new renewable energy projects will be deferred due to unacceptable levels of risk associated with revenues from new projects,
    He says that as if it is a bad thing.

    3,000 MW of new renewable energy is not being deferred.
    What is being deferred is some 728 MW of new renewable energy deferred because the max power it can produce without free backup, is in the order of 25%.

    The RE industry has been happily getting away with this popular misconception for years.

  9. Modelling also forecasts that 3000MW of new renewable energy projects will be deferred due to unacceptable levels of risk associated with revenues from new projects,
    He says that as if it is a bad thing.

    3,000 MW of new renewable energy is not being deferred.
    What is being deferred is some 728 MW of new renewable energy because the max power it can produce without free backup, is in the order of 25%.

    The RE industry has been happily getting away with this popular misconception for years.

  10. OOOPS my apologies I’m only new here.

  11. RobK

    Regarding the graph:
    The key feature is the black line at the bottom showing that the minimum level of wind power (effectively zero)
    2017 was a big year for wind droughts, i recall the corporates desperately explaining to share holders that this is an unusual year. The fact is, like rainfall, every year is unusual.
    Chancers, all of them.

  12. Rafe Champion

    No probs Terence, you are welcome!
    Stick around and make yourself at home.

  13. Even the seasoned veterans do a double post occasionally, Terence!

  14. RobK

    Regarding the H2 industry; I fear that the proponents may be over looking the intrinsic problem that anything that utilises RE will also need “over-build”, a waste of capital. Systems have to be built to accommodate maximum demand (or production) yet will only be useful more or less randomly and likely face internal curtailments and the vagaries of weather.
    The schemes are behind the eight ball from the start.
    To say 10% is reserved for the pilbara is meaningless prattle.
    The Singapore extension cord scheme was a doomed idea from the start. This modified scheme panders to the work done by CSIRO, which no doubt gives it some grant credits. Another experiment at our expense (RET certificates).

  15. NuThink

    Oh ye of little faith!
    Please do not worry – the Greens will propose a law that compels the Wind to blow consistently 24/7 every week of the year (leap years included), and also that investment in lunar panels is a priority.
    Now this is the most cunning part of their plan. Also all train tracks and roads must be built on down slopes only.

  16. NuThink

    I believe that GMR (Giant_magnetoresistance) had a significant impact on Moores Law, and thanks to the discovery of GMR it allowed very high capacity hard drives to be developed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_magnetoresistance#:~:text=Giant%20magnetoresistance%20(GMR)%20is%20a,for%20the%20discovery%20of%20GMR.

    BTW in the early 1980s saw one of these at a customer. It replaced 100 of the other drives the customer was using.

    1980
    IBM introduced the world’s first gigabyte-capacity disk drive, the 3380, in 1980. It was the size of a refrigerator, weighed 550 pounds and cost $40,000. The Microdrive announced today is smaller than a matchbook, weighs less than an ounce and will be available for less than $500.Jun 20, 2000

  17. Rafe Champion

    Go a minute into the video embedded in this piece and look at the way the price of batteries went from $1200 per kWh in 2010 to $156 last year and see how much of the reduction happened in the last three years. The curve is just about flat and on that trajectory it will take some time to get down to $140, let alone the 1oo required to compete on even terms with proper cars.

  18. Hodor

    What is the true realisable value of the “assets” you mention in the article Rafe?

    I suspect the number has all sorts of edgy stuff in it, Govt subsidies annualised, return if spruiking works, sales of assets to 3rd world dictators to clean foreign aid money( Victoristan premiers included), UN backed bullshit values to be realised in 2199?

    Can’t see it as an investment.

  19. Rafe Champion

    The assets are not just RE things, they are all manner of business operations that members of the collective manage. I can’t actually find the Clean Energy Investor Group, it might be a reference to this lot.

    The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) is a collaboration of Australian and New Zealand investors focussing on the impact that climate change has on the financial value of investments.

    The IGCC represents institutional investors, with total funds under management of over $2 trillion, and others in the investment community interested in the impact of climate change on investments. The IGCC aims to encourage government policies and investment practices that address the risks and opportunities of climate change, for the ultimate benefit of superannuants and unit holders.

    There is a raft of these financial interests all over the world pushing for nett zero, quite an alarming development that needs more investigation.

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