Renewable Energy Superpower

The popular line from the ALP is that Australia can become a renewable energy superpower.  One day they might explain what that is and a journalist might ask similar.

But looking at the below diagram, perhaps they might also explain how Australia is going to pay for any imports once coal is left in the ground.

TAFKAS can’t see anyone exporting renewable energy.  Can any Cats?  Perhaps anyone exporting sugar and spice and other things nice?

Most interesting is that Ireland’s biggest export appears to be blood.  A metaphor perhaps given the EU’s punishing them for having too low taxes?

 

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28 Responses to Renewable Energy Superpower

  1. Roger

    This is why we’re on Joe Biden’s hit list.

  2. Karabar

    People come up with these notions without having the slightest idea of what they entail.
    Generally, they are just a propaganda campaign to fleece a mob of gullible sheeple out of their hard-earned.
    A similar nonsense is the “hydrogen economy” what ever that is supposed to be.

  3. stackja

    Regarding Biden, follow the money.
    Of course, energy can be exported. Just use a very long extension cord.

  4. duncanm

    We could become a nuclear energy superpower.

    But we’re too stupid for that.

  5. Rorschach

    Australia can become a renewable energy superpower.

    Possible …

    Energy for it to be useful needs to be storable and transportable. Renewable as it exists at the moment, is neither – plus it’s intermittent and variable. And at the comparatively (across lifespan of infrastructure) EXPENSIVE.

    However – the promise of renewable is that it – when it works – can be cheap. Solar / wind / hydro / thermal energy (excluding infrastructure, sunk and potential decommissioning costs) is near free at source.

    Solar near equator is 1.3KW per sq M. That is a lot … Elon is on record for saying that he can power all of US with two plots of land – one 100 Miles Sq with solar cells, and one 1 Miles Sq with batteries.

    A battery is just another way of storing energy. But Elon’s power banks are not transportable. Why not use the solar energy to convert to hydrogen … or even better ethanol (massive cost savings in not having to replace the internal combustion engines!). A petrol tank is after all a transportable battery by definition!

  6. W Hogg

    Australia is literally the least windy continent on earth. Primarily ALP states set out to be the “Saudi Arabia of Unreliables” by building windmills in the country uniquely poorly suited to wind. Had they started with a solar plan it would have been insane, but I could have understood the delusion.

  7. W Hogg

    Solar / wind / hydro / thermal energy (excluding infrastructure, sunk and potential decommissioning costs) is near free at source.

    As is nucular.

    If we ignore that costs of
    – building windmills
    – the far larger grid required by having a hundred thousand “powerplants”
    – disposing of the ecowaste afterwards

    then yes the fuel (wind and sun) is free. And if my aunt had a dick she’d be my uncle. But that’s the kind of stupidity that got us into this mess in the first place.

  8. duncanm

    Why not use the solar energy to convert to hydrogen

    Because it’s not practical to store hydrogen. The energy density (by mass and volume) is too low.

  9. Bruce of Newcastle

    Rorschach – It’s a myth that solar energy is near free at source.

    Anyone who does project feasibility studies knows that cost of something has a capital component and an operating component. Solar has very high capital cost and fairly low operating costs (not zero as the cells have to be cleaned and maintained).

    Once you factor in the cost of capital you’d be nuts to build a hydrogen plant using solar power to provide the electricity. You be losing money hand over fist because you’d be competing with world energy suppliers who aren’t saddled with stupid ideology.

    I once did a Cat guest post on simple NPV analysis, which you can see here.

  10. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    THe left are out to trash prosperity. full stop. It’s about reducing us to the lowest common global denominator.

  11. Rorschach

    You be losing money hand over fist because you’d be competing with world energy suppliers who aren’t saddled with stupid ideology.

    BoN – You were a part of the relatively recent discussion where we talked about converting CO2 + H2 to Methanol / Ethanol. It is possible. Just a function of energy.

    There are many ways to build a business case…

    The business case may be driven not by operating cost / income – but by future benefits such as: turning an economy around (German autobahns), opening up future employment opportunities in remote areas; energy independence…

    There may even be ways to reduce infrastructure costs. I’m not a big fan of photo-voltaics, but the Concentrated Solar Power plants seem clean enough (killing wildlife aside). And there are a number around the world that are near abandoned. Not sure – but just picking up the mirrors for next to nothing must be a cost saving.

  12. duncanm

    I’m not a big fan of photo-voltaics, but the Concentrated Solar Power plants seem clean enough (killing wildlife aside). And there are a number around the world that are near abandoned

    Do you think there might just be a reason they’re abandonded?

  13. Bruce of Newcastle

    BoN – You were a part of the relatively recent discussion where we talked about converting CO2 + H2 to Methanol / Ethanol. It is possible. Just a function of energy.

    Rorschach – It’s a function of money, as a measure of value. If someone can make methanol from coal or natural gas cheaper than someone else can from solar energy, water and CO2 then the only way you could possibly do the latter is by using force. Either government subsidies, which are enforced taxation of the people, or legal requirements, which are enforced obedience to the government.

    As soon as you remove the legal requirement or the subsidy the uneconomic alternative collapses under financial gravity.

    I advocate nuclear methanol since the economics on paper aren’t too bad. I advocate it because if the climate crazies weren’t hypocrites they would dispense with their hydrogen fever dreams and EV fantasies and pursue methanol as the simplest and cheapest alternative within their assumptions that global warming is dangerous (which it isn’t).

    They don’t countenance such an answer because they have a religious dogma against ICE cars, despite methanol being carbon neutral (since the CO2 would be drawn from the atmosphere). EV’s are holy to Gaia so nothing can stand in the way of the wretched things. Nuclear energy is anathema because of the Greenham Common roots of the Green movement. So methanol is a nice way to skewer them for their hypocrisy.

    I always also have pointed out that we aren’t going to run out of oil for millenia, and since CO2 is harmless we don’t need any of this stuff until then. Coal is oil that hasn’t been converted yet, and there’re a dozen or so plants around the world that do CTL. Mainly in China because of Chinese self reliance philosophy.

  14. duncanm

    I would wager that the most efficient way for us to export energy is (nuclear-energy) smelted Aluminium.

  15. Arky

    Stick to posts like this, spasticus, I might bother to read more of them.

  16. Clinton Dowling

    North Korea: Vaccines.
    That was surprising.

  17. No worries farty. Don’t like don’t read. Unless you would prefer regulated speech.

  18. Dr Faustus

    I would wager that the most efficient way for us to export energy is (nuclear-energy) smelted Aluminium.

    Arguable.

    However, the prerequisite for Renewable Superpowerdom and the Hydrogen Export Economy is that all of our client economies are happy to rock with power equivalent costs several times that of nuclear.

  19. Colin Suttie

    I’m not on board with the government meddling in the energy market, climate doom, or any similar nonsense. However, in theory at least, renewables can be exported – one promising method attracting some attention is making ammonia (NH3) from “green hydrogen” using unreliable / intermittent renewable energy, then exporting that ammonia for conversion into other hydrocarbons elsewhere, to burn in turbines for power generation, or for use directly as a fuel.

  20. Rorschach

    Do you think there might just be a reason they’re abandoned?

    Yah … but rather than generating electricity & transforming and transporting to communities hundreds of Km away, the electricity (ot just the energy) is used in situ. Different model.

    they have a religious dogma against ICE cars, despite methanol being carbon neutral (since the CO2 would be drawn from the atmosphere).

    Reusing ICE technology, not having to build millions of charging stations etc and even re-fitting existing engines (and re-using abandoned CSP) is where the business case resides.

  21. Arky

    No worries farty.

    ..
    So you’re seven years old. All those stupid posts explained.

  22. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    VenOztraliastan – the world’s number one stupidity superpower.

  23. Bruce of Newcastle

    Colin – I’ve actually formally costed an ammonia plant. It isn’t economic.

    Ammonia is ok for either fertilizer or industrial chemical uses, but as a fuel it would be like burning whisky for energy. Nitrogen is really tough, so to make it combine with hydrogen to produce ammonia is hard and expensive, needing high pressure and high temperature.

    Anhydrous ammonia is a big worldwide business and we have none of the structural benefits required to make manufacture of it here cost effective. Same as why our oil refineries have been shutting down.

  24. Colin Suttie

    Bruce – yes you’re correct (I’ve done research into ammonia production for uni projects, though my work experience is mostly LNG). Given we live in clown world, apparently whether a process is economic no longer seems to matter…

    The current research is into producing NH3 at lower temperatures and pressures. It’s an interesting diversion but I can’t help thinking if it was feasible to do so at scale, industry would have done it already, as industry hates wasting money, and high temperatures and pressures are expensive.

    Presumably the intent is for federal government to further distort the energy industry by spending more of our dollars on propping up an uneconomic process, so they can boast about their green credentials to the doctors’ wives in the leafy suburbs?

  25. Bruce of Newcastle

    The current research is into producing NH3 at lower temperatures and pressures.

    Colin – I saw that, if it is successful it’ll be a fine invention! Cheaper fertilizer would be a great help around the world. Our structural issues would remain as a barrier though since everyone would convert their Haber catalyst reactors pretty quickly.

    As I mentioned above my recommendation is if the climate tragics must do something like this then they should produce methanol. Ammonia is only a bit better than hydrogen in its handling properties – easier to liquefy but more noxious (I’ve never used anhydrous, only the 17 M lab solution, which is bad enough!) Methanol by contrast is a fairly harmless liquid at room temperature with few handling issues. It could go straight into most liquid fuel transport and storage systems with no modifications at all. So the saving on logistical capital would be huge. But for some reason they don’t like methanol. Go figure.

  26. Squirrel

    “…One day they might explain what that is…”

    It’s just a slogan – like “real action”, and the spruikers who push it rely on heroic assumptions about technology and about the preparedness of other countries to let Australia profit from any genuine comparative advantages we might have with renewables.

    Your point about how we pay for our imports if/when “stranded assets” truly become stranded is very well made – and also a reminder of how splendidly effective our tax and transfer system is at distributing the real wealth of the nation to idiots who think that voting for something is the same as paying for it.

  27. Nob

    “renewable energy superpower”?
    Iz not exist.

  28. John snowy Bowyer

    Rorschach, concentrated solar has never worked anywhere. It was at Bridgewater in Victoria until it went broke. The plant was bought cheaply and sent further North but no word on it working. It has never, ever worked. It is a rubbish idea that has no use except to harvest subsidies you are an idiot and you babble on about this nonsense? Have a cold shower and then a long lie down.

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