Perhaps the worst policy botch ever

There is one over-arching imperative about the National Energy Guarantee: there must be agreement. The Prime Minister says so. The Leader of the Opposition says so. The media say so. The reason is quite clear. Once there is agreement the energy issue can be put aside for a while, and people can get on with other business. Unfortunately the issue itself won’t go away. It has nothing to do with Tony Abbott. The NEG has an utterly fundamental flaw, in that its two elements are incompatible. You cannot both produce lower, cheaper and more reliable electricity and gas, while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions in any significant way. Ahead of all consumers is a series of higher prices for both gas and electricity, whatever the politicians say now. Their hope is that you will have forgotten what that was when the next bill arrives.

I think that nearly all those who are involved in formulating this energy policy know that to be the case. But they are trapped. Both the Government and the Opposition are committed in their separate ways to some kind of Renewable Energy Target, which requires a government to subsidise renewable energy sources (meaning more cost to consumers) and make life difficult for those who are producing electricity through burning coal and natural gas (meaning less reliable and more expensive electricity). Indeed, various State Governments and local government entities have made it clear that there will be no exploration for gas, no fracking, no new coal-fired power stations, no new anything that would offend those who are worried about saving the planet. Companies like AGL are doing very well out of following these policy guidelines. Why wouldn’t they? Their duty to shareholders is to maximise profits, and closing coal-fired power stations and replacing them with subsidized wind and solar farms is a no-brainer. They are being invited to do it.

Rising prices, however, offer a signal that most consumers get to understand quickly. And the signal hurts. The various ‘measures’ that Mr Turnbull has put forward, like a new dam on the Snowy to provide pumping water on demand and thereby creating ‘clean’ electricity are a long way ahead of us, unlikely to have any tangible outcome, and are hardly past the model stage. But, like the cry for ‘agreement now’, and ‘the time for talk has passed’, these proposals do nothing other than to put forward further into the future the moment when our political system faces the compatibility issues squarely and says something brave about real policy, and then does something brave about it.

The Chief Scientist has already offered the brave remark that whatever Australia does about reducing greenhouse gas emissions will have virtually no effect on global emissions, and by extension on global warming. He’s right. We can’t. Australia is just too small a player in the world. The idea that we can or should be a world leader in this or related areas is laughable. Yet people like to say so. Who would we be impressing? Why would they even notice what we did? Why should they care? Other countries pursue their own national strategies for good reason. We should do the same. That we don’t is a sign of real immaturity of outlook on the part of those who are our political leaders.

What exactly are our political leaders worried about? In electoral terms there seem to me to be two, and they’re similar. A significant section of the Labor Party is worried about a leaching of electoral support from Labor to the Greens if Labor is not sufficiently exercised about the environment, global warming, climate change and that bag of inter-related issues. And there are some Labor people for whom the matter is no less important than it is for the Greens. Though some readers don’t like my use of the term, it seems to me quasi-religious. Christianity has been replaced by Gaia-worship, not in any especially organised way, but as an underlying theme in the way such people see the world. People, too many of them, are a curse on the planet, and they exacerbate their curse through digging up and burning fossil fuels that took ages to accumulate. We are wicked, bad people who deserve to be punished. And it’s coming!

The Coalition has elements that have comparable fears, though I haven’t encountered any real ‘believers’ in AGW on the Coalition side. But many Coalition MPs and backroom people, I have little doubt, are fearful of a slide to the Left, meaning the Greens, if the issue were to become important. There are quite a few rural seats, once Country Party and then National strongholds which through demographic change have battles between the Coalition and the Greens, not Labor. ‘Don’t stir them up!’ is the cry. ‘For goodness sake let’s have some agreement, and it will all go away.’ Yet the leaching effect can’t really be strong. The Greens’ share of the vote hovers at around ten per cent, and has done so for a decade or so. The proportion who care deeply about global warming I would put at about 7 per cent, much the same as in the USA. Yes, one or two per cent in one or two seats could be worrying. But courage, leaders!

The issue won’t go away until we face the reality. Australia has large reserves of coal, gas and uranium. All of these fossil fuels could be used to generate electricity, heat houses, keep cities well lit, and all the rest of it, without real difficulty. In the way of our using uranium are a couple of killer cultural weapons. The first is the fear generated at the end of World War II that a nuclear war would be the end of our playing around in any way with this deadly stuff, including the generation of electricity and even the use of uranium in developing medical science. Any media mention of the Lucas Heights facility in Sydney seems to be accompanied with gloom. There is little or no recognition of the lives saved.

That cultural bomb comes with a set of little bombs. Where would the used uranium be stored? While I can’t give chapter and verse, my understanding is that any proposal to build a new nuclear power station would require two decades of preparation, paper work and the rest, while banks are apparently reluctant to lend any investment capital. To government would come all the need for heavy lifting. Hence my reiteration of the need for bravery.

And that’s just uranium. I should say that in my youth I was reluctant to go down the nuclear path. I do remember the end of the War in the Pacific, and the shock it caused, indeed the feeling among many almost of guilt, that we, the goodies, the Allies, had killed so many ordinary people like us in this new and horrible way. I’ve changed my mind since, seeing that France has generated 70 per cent of its own electricity from nuclear sources for a long time. The world has in fact managed not to have a nuclear conflict over the last sixty-three years.

It is the coal issue that really puzzles me. We are prepared to sell the coal to China and India, which use it just as we would. So we are not subtracting the burning of these fossil fuels from the global sum, just letting other countries burn it instead for us. How is this in any way a sane Australian policy for Australians? Beats me. The citizens of those smaller Australian government entities that don’t want any search for gas on their turf are nonetheless happy to burn gas discovered elsewhere in their own space- and water-heaters. That’s not our problem, they might say, if they had the nerve to say anything.

And all the problems with renewable energy, which have been enumerated again and again, continue to apply. Solar and wind are unreliable sources of dispatchable energy. Yes, you can get around the unreliability, but only by providing back-up that is not in fact renewable. In terms of CO2 emissions there seem to be no great savings if the full cost of the making of turbines (in the case of wind) is taken into account. Solar and wind farms take up a great deal of land, and the connection costs to the grid are important and reduce efficiency. If we were seriously to try (and we wouldn’t because the facts become so obvious) to get rid of coal altogether we would need clear and open land of the size of Tasmania. And not many people actually want a large solar array close to where they live. Why would they? They are not attractive sights, at least to my eyes, just large silent factories.

We know all this. We have known it for years. All those who are involved in developing and determining energy policy know it. They have to because that is what happens when you start formulating policy: you learn what has happened so far, and why it didn’t work, and why it probably won’t work in the future.

But for heaven’s sake, let’s have some agreement now!

 

 

 

Join the discussion 169 Comments

  • Colin Davidson says:

    The very best reference on energy alternatives was written by a Cambridge Professor of Engineering, David Mackay, entitled “Sustainable Energy – without the hot air”, downloadable for free at http://www.withouthotair.com/cft.pdf Highly recommended!
    This reference gives the facts on back-up sources such as batteries and pumped hydro. Don is correct, both of these would be prohibitively (almost astronomically) expensive if built in sufficient quantity to back up the unreliables.
    Recently I wondered if there are any natural weather events which could cause a simultaneous wind and solar drought over Australia. I think I have found one – a dust veil over the sun. There are 3 potential causes: major nuclear war; major meteor/comet strike; major volcanic eruption. These are all unlikely events, but the likeliest is the last, volcanic eruption. 1816 was known as “Eighteen Hundred and Starve to Death” or “The Year without a Summer”. Following the eruption of Tambora on the island of Sumbawa (between Bali and Timor) a dust veil spread around the planet and lasted for about a year. In New England in the US they had a severe frost in every month of the year, so no crops. Further south night time temperatures were very low, and the resulting crops were very poor. There was great misery and famine and lots of deaths, and this was also the picture in Europe and China.
    If such an event happened today, we could expect no Solar power for a year, and also greatly reduced wind – essentially little or no power from the Unreliables for a year or more. By bulking up our power system with wind and solar and eliminating dispatchable sources (coal, gas, hydro, nuclear, diesel) we are lining ourselves up for a civilisation-threatening year-long blackout if a major volcanic eruption occurs. And no battery would be anywhere near big enough to last a day. let alone a year. Our society is much more vulnerable to this sort of event than t was in 1816. The Millenials in particular would be extremely challenged, with no mobile phones or internet and no electricity for cooking or lighting.
    How likely are these catastrophes? There was Tambora in 1816, and Krakatoa ( just west of Java but only 1/4 the size of Tambora) in 1883. We sit right next to Auckland (built on 300 volcanos) and Lake Taupo which is one of the largest active volcanos in the world. And volcanos seem to be heating up, particularly in Indonesia. But the bottom line on this sort of event is that no-one knows what the probabilities are. Remember Mt St Helens? That blew up with little or no warning.
    The only thing we do know is that this sort of catastrophe will definitely happen, it’s certain. And getting rid of dispatchable power and investing in unreliable power is a reckless thing to do.

  • Boambee John says:

    I have grave difficulty in accepting that our largely self-selected “elites” do not understand what they are doing. It becomes ever harder to avoid the conclusion that they arr engaging in an act of economic sabotage.

    I hope that I am wrong, but if I am correct, the public outrage when the electricity grid collapses will be bloody in the extreme.

  • Neville says:

    Thanks for this excellent summary Don and it is frustrating to have to listen to this nonsense day after day.
    Once again I’ll just throw in the simple facts from Lomborg via the IEA who audit the world’s energy tally every month, every year.
    At the moment the world generates just 0.8% of TOTAL energy from Solar and Wind and they estimate this MAY increase to just 3.6% of TOTAL energy ( to run our planet) by 2040.
    Yet we still have these idiots telling us we must have more renewable energy to save the planet. When will they ever wake up?

  • spangled drongo says:

    Thanks, Don, for the subject and the timing.

    Rafe at Catallaxy does a great story today on Ian Plimer’s take on the NEG:

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2018/08/15/ian-plimer-on-the-australian-power-crisis/

    And here’s Plimer:

  • David says:

    Don I’m going off grid. Why pay $,000s of per pole to connect to grid, for the privilege of paying thru the nose for coal fired power.

    It’s a no brainer.

  • JMO says:

    Thanks Don. Another well thought out and relevant post. Our electricity prices keep outstripping inflation. I have heard some industry super funds invest heavily in to wind powerstations (they are NOT farms) – including Australian Super. As I have a lot of super invested in OZ super, I guess I cannot complain too much, due to the fund’s healthy returns. As well, I have solar panels which I receive huge feed in tariff for near useless electricity and a Solarhart . All of which I received generous RECS payments and my electricity account mostly shows a credit

    However all this shows the ridiculous amount of money being pored in to the unreliables which do absolutely nothing to stop a future climate catastrophe (if the climate doomsters are right). It is the poor people who cop the brunt of this series of idiotic policies (latest being the NEG). The luny left socialist greenies will stop at nothing to spread further misery to everyone until…well some want all of us to be extinguished. My response is to say – you first.

  • Neville says:

    Here is Lomborg’s summary of the world’s ( IEA) TOTAL energy mix FEB 2018. Here again is the link.

    https://climatechangedispatch.com/where-do-we-get-most-of-our-energy-hint-not-renewables/
    “Where Do We Get Most Of Our Energy (Hint: Not Renewables)”

    “Biomass (wood) power plant

    The world is mostly run on fossil fuels (81%). Nuclear makes up 5%, with 14% from renewables. Solar panels and wind turbines contribute 0.8%.

    When you hear 14% renewables, you will likely think ‘wow, things are going pretty well with the switch to renewables’. But these renewables are not the ones you hear about. The biggest contributor is humanity’s oldest fuel: wood.

    4.91% is known as biomass as we also burn food (ethanol) and energy forest (trees or woody shrubs) in the rich world. This is, for instance, the American forests, cut down and shipped across the Atlantic to be burnt in European power plants to be called green and CO? neutral – of course, that is only true when the new woods have grown up in 50-100 years.

    4.93% of its use takes place in the poor world where people still use wood (dung, cardboard, etc…) to cook and keep warm. This leads to terrible indoor air pollution – it is actually the world’s deadliest environmental problem, killing some 4.3 million people each year. We should definitely hope the poor will have to use less polluting wood in the future.

    The other main contributor of renewables is 2.5% hydropower. In total, that makes up 12.4%. The last 1.6% comes mostly from geothermal energy (0.57%) and wind turbines (0.61%) along with solar heaters in China, tidal power etc. (0.26%) and solar panels (0.19%).

    Contrary to the weight of news stories on how solar and wind is taking over the world, solar panels and wind turbines really make up a very small part of the global energy mix. (I started out coloring solar panels yellow [see graph below], but the thin sliver at the top became invisible.)

    These stats come from the latest global energy overview from the most respected institution, the International Energy Agency (the OECD for energy) in its World Energy Outlook 2017 from November 2017. Unfortunately, the full report and much of the statistics is not free. Moreover, the split into individual renewables like wind, solar PV, etc… is not made public (though the IEA model keeps track of them all).

    The data from the newest estimates of power demand for 2016 (p648). It also shows the split into individual renewables obtained from a data request to IEA
    Power Generation Analysis, World Energy Outlook: Energy Demand Division, Directorate of Sustainability, Technology, and Outlooks”.

    http://www.iea.org/weo/

  • Chris Warren says:

    All this only resonates with those who deny global warming and are unable to reflect on the science of impacts on the biosphere should GHGs increase their concentration forever.

    There seems to be a profound failure to understand the views of others, instead pretending that they are driven by crass political self interests to supposedly prevent loss of votes to the Greens etc. This is false.

    It is also a profound misunderstanding to claim:

    “Christianity has been replaced by Gaia-worship,”

    Christianity has been replace by science – and there is no “quasi-religion” within the mainstream.

  • Boambee John says:

    Chris

    I was going to give a detailed reply, then I decided it would be offensive to criticise another’s religion.

    • Chris Warren says:

      I understand your dilema.

      If I mistakenly saw matters in this way, I too would become truly frozen and incapable.

      Luckily there are plenty of others not straitjacketed by imaginary religion.

      • Boambee John says:

        “Luckily there are plenty of others not straitjacketed by imaginary religion.”

        None so blind as those who cannot see themselves in a mirror.

        Bye the bye, given the controversy about Senator Anning using the words “final solution”, I suggesy that you stop using the word “deniers”.

        The Holocaust is an historical fact, supported by eyewitness accounts, contemporary archival material and photographs and forensic evidence.

        CAGW is an interesting scientific hypothesis; in a few years time, if sufficient data are collected to support the current computer modelling, it might be able to be upgraded to a theory. It is a long way from being a scientific fact.

  • spangled drongo says:

    “All this only resonates with those who deny global warming…”

    Who are they, blith?

    Are they like the Climate Change Deniers? Non existent?

    When are you going to stop telling lies, blith? and fooling yourself?

    The easiest fool to fool is yourself.

    A smart scientist told you that a long time ago.

    “Christianity has been replace by science”

    Not in your case, blith.

    Only enuresis.

  • beththeserf says:

    Best regards, Don, and kudos for post, ‘Perhaps worst policy botch ever.’ Oh, our once
    great southern land built on parliamentary democracy, non-fiat rule of law for all and
    affordable energy that released serfs from slavery!

    Regards, too, spangled drongo, for Ian Plimer’s assessment of the NEG, important viewing.

    -So is this. Enlightenment can come, from unexpected quarters, herewith a democrat, but
    she gets it. ) I’ve cross referenced by my own reading, 59th Edition Serf Under_ground Journal,
    ‘Karl Popper versus George Soros, Two conflicting Views of the Open Society,’ moves to the
    supra-state, government by unelected decision makers, with her post, and my reading on
    values’education,’ K-12, but not Rosa Koire’s insights into land use via Agenda 21 which I think
    is telling. See what you think. bts.

  • Peter E says:

    Yes, very well put. The only way to get sense back into the debate is for the RET to be completely abolished. Then all forms of energy could compete on a level playing field. Unsubsidised renewables could play a part and in some distant future might even make a useful contribution. The non-disapproval of the NEG by the Liberal Party is the surest sign that Liberal philosophy has about vanished. A few braver individuals led by Abbott have shown courage. This act by Turnbull will surely destroy him one way or another. The late Sir Keith Hancock used to agree with his pal that there had been ‘committee work’ when some convoluted, unworkable scheme was proposed by a collective administration. The NEG is just that – ‘committee work.’

  • Neville says:

    A new report by the IPA estimates that the fra-dulent COP 21 Paris agreement will cost OZ 52 billion $ by 2030.
    What a waste of time and money, we may as well flush those billions down the drain for all the change it will make to the climate. How can they be so stupid?

    https://ipa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/IPA-Report-Why-Australia-Must-Withdraw-from-Paris.pdf

  • David says:

    Don paying for coal generated electricity from the grid went out at the same time as dial up internet.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      David,

      It is certainly possible for you to construct your own electricity consumption so that it is met mostly through solar and wind, and conserved through batteries. You may even make a small amount of money through doing so in the short run.

      However that is not possible for those living in apartment buildings, and is inconsequential in the lighting and heating of cities and large installations within them. Coal-fired power stations provide the source of about three quarters of all the electricity in the main Australian grid, and there’s no sign that this proportion is going to change radically.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Boambee John

    Why are you fretting over the term denialist? Why wouldn’t you fret over the abuse Neville and others spew forth including “alarmist” etc. Denialists are only getting paid in their own coin. Further denialist is a well known phenomena from Ptolemy vs Copernicus, continental drift, evolution, ant-slavery, women’s rights and nicotine. It always arises when people refuse science or rights because of other motives.

    Some denialists cloak themselves as skeptics. This is fake because true skeptics, finding something questionable, seek the knowledge to find an answer.

    We now have sufficient scientific data to understand very clearly that increasing GHGs will warm the planet well above natural variability and that this increase is due to human caused (ie unnatural) emissions from fossil fuels. This is no theory – it is a scientific fact.

    Your comment:

    “CAGW is an interesting scientific hypothesis; in a few years time, if sufficient data are collected to support the current computer modelling, it might be able to be upgraded to a theory. It is a long way from being a scientific fact.”

    ignores all the Mauna Loa and Cape Grim data, all the satellite data, and all NASA vital signs data. It also ignores the science of gas absorption of radiation by spectra. True skeptics would produce science that shows no cooling in the stratosphere, no warming in the troposphere, no increase in CO2, no fall in oxygen, and evidence that infra red radiation escapes the planet as it has always done. Instead they just run a project of denial.

    The facts are very, very clear – and do originate form or not rely on models.

    • Boambee John says:

      “This is no theory – it is a scientific fact.”

      It becomes a scientific fact when measurements show that it has happened. Until then it is an hypothesis based on computer modelling. If it were a scientific fact, thete would have been major temperature rises over the last 15 or so years, as carbon dioxide levels rose.

  • spangled drongo says:

    “This is no theory – it is a scientific fact.”

    Please quote us the measurable, scientific “fact”, blith.

    And stop making stuff up.

    The real FACT is that you don’t have any fact to quote.

    Only assumptions.

    And you bed-wet on assumptions!!!

    Oh, dear!

    And you bed-wetting alarmists are in complete denial of the fact that Nat Var covers twice the current warming we sceptics are happy to admit is occurring.

    And that Nat Var covers all sorts of by products that cli-sci has never measured and can’t measure accurately, that even alarmists should be sceptical about if they have any scientific approach to their theory.

    So, tell us again what we sceptics are supposed to deny, blith?

    When you start behaving like honest, rational people, and not like brainwashed uni student watermelons you might get some respect.

  • spangled drongo says:

    This new paper showing coral bleaching in GBR extending back 400+ years demonstrates perfectly the blitherers bed-wetting BS.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/08/17/remember-when-they-told-us-coral-bleaching-was-a-sure-result-of-recent-man-made-global-warming-never-mind/?cn-reloaded=1

  • JimboR says:

    I’m really not feeling this electricity price pain that seems to so occupy the country. I’m no doubt shielded somewhat by living in “dirtier” Qld, we’re only ~9% renewable compared to ~16% in NSW, but I can’t help but wonder if much of NSW’s price problems are down to them flogging off their generators to companies that are now announcing $1.6 billion in profits.

    Just before the carbon tax came in I was paying 20.69c / kWh (ex GST) and today I’m paying 22.35. That’s just an 8% increase over 6 years – less than inflation. In that time Qld’s renewable generation has grown from just under to 4% to about 9%. So renewable content has more than doubled, and unit price has reduced in real terms. If our coal fired generators are ripping us off (I’m not see it in my bill) then at least I know the proceeds are going into state coffers where they’ll pay for schools and hospitals. CanDo tried to flog them off, but we voted him out office before he could.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Yes jimb, Qld is very fortunate it doesn’t have to subsidise too many unreliables – yet!

      But just give it time and it will happen.

      “CanDo tried to flog them off, but we voted him out office before he could.”

      Campbell didn’t try to “flog them off” at all, jimb, all he suggested was to long-term lease some govt assets to groups like super funds who had billions in funds available as a way to relieve the state of the crippling debt built up from the Beattie/Bligh fiasco years.

      “Our” ABC and cohorts in the lefty press deliberately told lies which people like you swallowed and even though that process is the most financially rewarding method the state could have used, it never got debated.

      Those leases pay a good, positive return [usually more than govts ever make from them] and when they come up for renewal down the track, the gains are phenomenal.

      And the taxpayer always retains ownership of an ever escalating asset.

      Instead, Qld now has a debt costing ~ $10 million every day.

      CanDo had a few more brains than you, jimb.

  • BoyfromTottenham says:

    Hi Don,

    Best wishes – I hope your treatment is going well. (And BTW, glad to hear about your good experience with the Pain Management Nurse Practitioner.)

    Regarding this post, and why the pollies don’t seem able to understand science (or engineering) , I recently suggested in another forum that there is a lot of similarity between this period and the Cold War, when all free Western nations were thoroughly infiltrated by Marxists spies and activists who were dedicated to working to undermine the West by any means – political, economic, social, you name it.
    Propaganda, dis-information, subversion and fear-mongering was practiced on a massive scale, using a 50,000 strong propaganda department in Moscow, a multitude of ‘front’ organisations around the world, and untold armies of ‘useful idiots’ volunteering their time to spread the word about helping to bring about ‘World Peace’ – a Soviet code word for global Communist domination.
    Things looked brighter for a while when the USSR imploded, but then, lo and behold, what should appear but the UNFCCC with its ‘save the world from global warming / climate change’ mantra, aided and abetted by a host of new ‘front’ NGO and ‘environmental’ organisations, each with their hordes of impressionable ‘useful idiots’ happily volunteering to do the donkey work.
    With the end of the USSR the Marxists knew that their economic model was doomed, but their global organisation structure was proved successful and could be repurposed. All that was needed was a well-funded global body to lead the campaign. The UN was perfect – huge, well funded, global and unaccountable to mere politicians or national governments, and supported by many who thought it merely a benign force for good. I just hope that President Trump can stay in power long enough to turn his 18 inch guns on the UN and quickly succeed in bringing it to heel, as he appears to be doing elsewhere. Then there will be an awful lot of folk making excuses for blindly supporting this mass delusion, and a smaller lot looking for the next scam to exploit.
    This ‘global warming’ madness is not, and was never, about climate science or ‘saving the world’,. IMO it is anti-Western global geopolitics being practiced on a gargantuan scale by a murky group of schemers with a hidden agenda. Just like during the Cold War, our society has been thoroughly infiltrated at all levels by fanatics and scammers who have dedicated themselves to this movement and who will toil away, for decades if necessary, in the firm belief that ‘carbon’ (aka capitalism) is ‘destroying the world’, without having the first idea what life would be like without cheap, reliable energy, petrochemicals, private cars and all the trappings of modern life, and least of all without democracy!

    • Chris Warren says:

      Ye gods, what crazy diatribe is this:

      “This ‘global warming’ madness is not, and was never, about climate science or ‘saving the world’,. IMO it is anti-Western global geopolitics being practiced on a gargantuan scale by a murky group of schemers with a hidden agenda. Just like during the Cold War, our society has been thoroughly infiltrated at all levels by fanatics and scammers who have dedicated themselves to this movement and who will toil away, for decades if necessary, in the firm belief that ‘carbon’ (aka capitalism) is ‘destroying the world’, without having the first idea what life would be like without cheap, reliable energy, petrochemicals, private cars and all the trappings of modern life, and least of all without democracy!”

      Denialists unite – we have a conspiracy afoot !!!!!???? hidden agendas, murky groups, infiltrators, fanatics, scammers ?!?!

      yes BoyfromTottenham, they really did land on the moon.

      • BoyfromTottenham says:

        I take it that you didn’t live through the Cold War like I did, Chris, or you would better appreciate my comparison. As with the current global warming scare, for decades the West was in thrall of the menace of the USSR and the threat of atomic / nuclear war. Air raid shelters were built, school children were taught how to respond to an attack, $ billions were spent on the arms race. The difference was that then the threat was real. Are you afraid for the future because of the threat of a couple of degrees of global warming in 50 years or so? Imagine how we kids felt about imminent death and mass destruction over which we had absolutely no control. It gave us a perspective that is sadly lacking these days – realism. We have all been extremely fortunate that there has been no nuclear war – events like the Bay of Pigs were as close as we got, thank God.

        • dlb says:

          Agree the cold war was a very serious problem, and no comparison with the arguable ‘problem’ of AGW.

          Agree with Chris that you do seem to be a believer in conspiracy theories. So the 97% of scientists (probably 80%) are useful idiots? I hardly think the UN is the new evil empire, more like the inept one.

  • Don A says:

    I did some sums on solar. Australia needs about 200 Terra watts hours of electricity per annum.
    If that were to be supplied by solar how much area would we need to cover?
    Each panel these days is about 2 meters square and the solar irradiation that falls on that at best is 2 kilowatts.
    At 15 % capture that makes 150 watts per square meter.
    Let’s say that this would on average work for about 6 hours a day giving 0.900 kilowatts hours per day per square meter.
    Let’s assume that we get 300 days of good sunshine per year (a bit high maybe) giving 270 Kilowatt hours per year per square meter.
    To make 200 terra watt hours from 270 kilowatt hours per square meter per year would need 740,000 square kilometres, or a patch of 740 kilometers by 1000 kilometers. With spacing and access etc. it might be double that, or more than the area of NSW (at 810,000 kilometers squared). Much more than just Tasmania
    Of course then there is the problem of spreading this production over 24 hours, not just in the daylight.

    • JimboR says:

      I think there are a few problems with your calculations, but the most glaring is your conversion from square metres to square kms:

      “To make 200 terra watt hours from 270 kilowatt hours per square meter per year would need 740,000 square kilometres, or a patch of 740 kilometers by 1000 kilometers. ”

      200TWh / 270KWh/sqm = 740 million sqm = 740 sq km.

      So to put that in some perspective, a circle of radius about 15km. If you were to centre it on Ryde, it would stretch just past Taronga Park Zoo to the east, just past Hornsby to the north, out to Girraween in the west and down to Bexley in the south.

      Now I’m not for a minute suggesting we could solve our electricity needs with a solar array the size of a large chunk of Sydney, because the other issue is you’ve based it all on energy and not considered power. If we had an infinite number of Tesla big batteries and Tesla big inverters, then the distinction wouldn’t matter, you could smooth the energy out to provide power as required, which your maths assumes. But reality would require a lot more panels to meet peak power demands.

      • dlb says:

        I would go with Jimbo’s calculation, with the exception that Australia is currently generating 260 Terra watts per year(https://www.energy.gov.au/sites/g/files/net3411/f/aes-table-o-2016-17_2017.pdf). So the area of panels required is 1000 sq km. Plenty of rooftop and marginal farmland that could soak up this area.

        I just don’t like it when they clear native vegetation to put in renewables, including hydro.

        • spangled drongo says:

          dlb, what is the purpose of 1,000 sq km of solar panels or any other type of renewables that still require 100% baseload backup?

          • dlb says:

            SD, I don’t think 100% solar or wind is a good idea. I could envisage in Australia 50% base-load could be produced with coal or nuclear, with cheap solar power filling the gap. Shortfalls at night or on cloudy days could be met with gas turbines which can be brought on quickly.

          • JimboR says:

            Exactly! And that’s kinda how it works now, just not at the 50%. You can tune into the live data here:
            https://reneweconomy.com.au/nem-watch/

            At 11:10am for instance, Qld was producing 1025MW from small solar and only 580MW from gas. Tune in later tonight and the solar will have disappeared and been replaced by more gas. The more panels we have on roofs, the less gas we burn during the day.

            Qld has a slight advantage over NSW there as we currently rely on gas for about 18% of our generation compared to their 6%, so we have a lot more headroom for solar to knock that out. If all your power is coming from coal then solar doesn’t much help, because you can’t turn a coal fired powerstation on a dime.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Dlb and jimb, if you want to pursue that argument all you have to do is look at an off-grid town like Windorah where the Qld govt installed a solar power plant along with its existing FF generator to power the town.

            The capital solar cost [true cost, unsubsidised] at ~ $2.5+ million, was at least ten times the cost of the FF generator which used ~100,000 litres of diesel per year.

            This is in an area where the sun is as efficient as it is possible to get.

            And both these plants are capable of supplying 100% of required power to the town.

            So how much diesel does the FF gen now have to use?

            That’s right, ~ 100,000 litres per year.

            So for a 1,000% investment in renewables at the taxpayers’ expense, Windorah got exactly nothing.

            If you extrapolated that out to the whole country, it may be worse, not better.

            Still nights from a mild high pressure system sitting over the whole country are not uncommon.

          • JimboR says:

            We’re also blessed with some pumped hydro at Wivenhoe to help smooth things out. It can put out 570MW for 10 hours, not a lot but where it really comes into its own is its ramp rate of 120MW/min. Wind and solar are intermittent but actually very predictable and they only have to get it right for the bid period of 30 mins (possibly moving to 5 mins) so there’s plenty of time to ramp the gas turbines up which typically manage about 11MW/min.

      • JimboR says:

        Yes, fair cop, I was using Don A’s raw numbers and didn’t check them. So my Ryde-centric mega-array now has an 18km radius, taking it to Manly in the east, Mt. Colah in the north, Prospect in the west and Hurstville in the south.

    • JimboR says:

      “good sunshine per year (a bit high maybe) giving 270 Kilowatt hours per year per square meter”

      I think that part of your calculation is sound. As a spot check I did the maths on my modest 4kW residential system. In its best year (2014) it managed 220kWH/sqm and in its worst year (2013) it managed 210kWH/sqm, but I have shading issues that a properly designed solar farm wouldn’t suffer from, so I can believe your 270 should be achievable.

      Even with its shading issues, since installation it’s generated 31 MWH, of which I consumed 6 and pushed the remaining 25 back out onto the grid. In the same time I’ve had to buy 9MWH to cover nights and cloudy days. So it’s relatively easy (at least in Qld) for a house to generate twice the energy it needs with its own roof area….. but way less easy to deal with the storage needed to get through an extended bad weather event. The cost of storage remains the problem there.

      I notice a lot of commercial/factory/retails roofs are all starting to get smothered in them now too. So when tallying up your square meters, don’t forget to include unused roof space.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Don A

      I too question the amount of real estate that renewables require. If would help if you provided sources for your data.

      This source https://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=as&v=81 indicates our need for electricity is 224 billion KwHr per year and it is reasonable that panels are only located where there is an average 3000 average hrs of sunshine p.a.

      So each sunshine hr needs to generate, 72 million KwHrs of power. (This is a maximum figure as we have assumed all renewables is solar only.}

      Each square metre produces up to 200 watts or 0.2 KwHr, so the area needed is 360 million sq metres. This looks like a scary number.

      However a square kilometer is 1 million square metres.

      So we just need around 360 square Km at most.

      It may be possible to find this space already available on existing building roofs facing north.

      If we recalculated the above based on solar only providing 50% electricity – the requirement for extra real estate beyond existing roofs – could be zero. This is very different to your “would need 740,000 square kilometres”.

    • JimboR says:

      It turns out Canberra is not such a bad place to be for solar. It beats Brisbane in the summer, and isn’t a million miles away from it in the winter.

      https://www.rpc.com.au/pdf/Solar_Radiation_Figures.pdf

  • BoyfromTottenham says:

    Thanks, Don. Of course we cannot power the country with solar cells, or fairy dust or unicorn farts for that matter. Or bird killing turbines either. Or a combination of both, for that matter! Unfortunately our government (and the Opposition and Greens) seems to be comfortable with ignoring facts in favour of blind faith on this matter. On the other hand, I sent a scathing email to my LNP local federal member the other day after reading that Turnbull had given the ‘secret’ NEG legislation to the ALP before allowing his own back bench to see it. I think that I used the word ‘treachery’ in there somewhere. If only enough like- minded voters do the same it may help the LNP understand what plain facts cannot – that they are on a hiding to nowhere with this renewables nonsense. Time will tell. This period in politics reminds me of the British government in the years before WW2. Appeasement didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. Why are they so spineless?

    • Chris Warren says:

      Unless you can provide a sensible argument based on Australia’s electricity consumption and solar panels producing 200 w per sq metre – you are only engaging in denialist confused slander – from start to finish.

  • Neville says:

    Only crazy people would want to waste trillions of dollars on the S&W idiocy. Even Dr Finkel knows this won’t change anything and certainly won’t help to improve the climate. Remember S&W energy is very unreliable and panels, turbines etc have to be replaced+ maintained on a regular basis.
    Of course OZ emits just 1.3% of global Co2 emissions
    Now we have the Vic Premier wanting to put solar panels on 650,000 homes at a cost of about 1.24 billion $. I just hope the Vic Labor donkeys are not returned at the coming election, but alas I think they will be.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Neville

      Unless you too can provide a sensible argument based on Australia’s electricity consumption and solar panels producing 200 w per sq metre – you are only engaging in denialist confused slander covered in obscenity – from start to finish.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Surely, blith, you are smart enough to understand that your unreliables can never supply power on a reliable, regular basis to a house, town, city or country because when the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow, no matter how big your nameplate is, you produce SFA!

        So I think it is you that needs to supply some rationality, commonsense, logic, etc to the argument, wouldn’t you say?

        You’re surely not trying to tell us you haven’t got a foolproof plan?

        And that you are only blithering again?

  • spangled drongo says:

    But stupid Dan Andrews thinks he can solve the problem by extra-subsidising solar for another 650,000 homes.

    When you can easily show that if you go off-grid with any “renewables” they always end up enormously more expensive than the established grid power, why do the stupids persist with the delusion that this is the answer to anything?

    And why do even stupider stupids vote for this middleclass welfare?

    Other than to proclaim that their vote is up for sale to the highest bidder?

    As they say; here comes entitlement, there goes democracy:

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/victorian-households-offered-halfprice-solar-in-labors-12b-election-pledge/news-story/216926a8238fe5d67e0f65b2cde3bb66

  • Ian MacCulloch says:

    The entire basis of the role of anthropogenic carbon dioxide rests on the untested conclusions of one man, Arrhenius He was a Nobel Prize winner who in 1895 postulated that carbon dioxide was an influential greenhouse gas and that its removal from the atmosphere could lead to a temperature drop of 21C. Arrhenius conducted no first hand analysis even though he was a chemist. He relied entirely on third party prognostications. This error laden process has continued on to this very day culminating in the recent predictions of the IPCC.
    From the above, with carbon dioxide being just one of 32 acknowledged greenhouse gases and with its influence a mere 3% of that of methane on an influential basis has for the simple reason is that it is one of the easier gases to measure has assumed the role of the great influencer.
    The role of carbon dioxide in glaciation is therefore rather nebulous. Jo Nova has pointed out the 600 year delay in temperature movements and carbon dioxide levels. Drill hole results support constant accumulation of ‘permanent ice’ at Greenland and in Antarctica. Drill core points to the oldest ice being 3.2 million yeas ago in Antarctica meaning for the ice to have survived that long has meant that there would have been some ice melting at or near freezing that ceased 1,000,000 years ago. Since that time there has been a remarkably consistent build up of ice regardless of sea level changes, temperature changes and other earthly deviations.
    By the same token Greenland has had a constant ice accumulation for 432,000 years covering at least 2 ice ages and 2 major sea level cycles incurring no loss of ice during both cycles. Sure there has been temporary glaciation but is volume is lesser than that of the ‘permanent ice’ thus ruling into question the cause of changes in sea levels during the last ice ages.
    The above rules out the need for the Paris accord. Therefore, there is no need to a 23% reduction target for Australia. Population increases means more energy and that means more carbon dioxide. Power station units (1500 in all – as distinct from new power stations) in non Paris complying countries further underlines the paucity of that argument.
    In Australia, our energy supply has been made complicated by the allowance of two way movement of product. The customer may also be the electricity supplier. However, the traffic is weighted in favour of the grid supplier for efficiency and weighted against the end user providing highly inefficient and ineffective micro amounts of energy by return fiat.
    These inefficiencies are intolerable in a network that was complex with one way feed and no made inordinately so by the role of feed in supplies of great variation in size and in performance.
    This increases the need for base load power to stabilise the network thus making adding to another wise reasonable cost burden that was available on one way power supply.
    Power storage in the form of Snowy 2 and other similar events are costly solutions. It does have a huge benefit that once built there is no reason why it cannot survive and thrive as a permanent addition. Batteries with a shelf life of 15 years represent a costly alternative and detract from the main problems – the undersupply of one way feed in energy that is stable and reliable.
    Gas is currently used as a highly profitable short electricity supply source that is designed to fill the gap when there is an electricity shortage. There is no base load power run on gas. All gas is used for peakers and all of these units are highly profitable. The peaker set up does not compete against coal generation – bad.
    All base load generators in Australia then should have a mandated minimum of 15 % capacity to use gas as a source of energy to coal for the country’s electricity generators. This was most effective in the USA where though it went through a serious peak in price the price of gas has now fallen back to where it was when I first became involved in the USA market in 1992. Gas has maintained this low price as the industry became more efficient and the role of the ‘subsidy’ eased. Production is increasing placing the cost of renewables far in excess in terms if equivalent to power from base load generators.
    This means that all restrictions on the production of gas whether it be conventional or unconventional must be removed.
    President Trump benefited greatly on attaining office from having a low cost energy regime to such an extent that USA has now become a nett energy exporter and is looking to compete with the Russians in Europe.
    It is absurd in the least that Australia with its vast energy resources is looking to have LNG receivable terminals installed.
    The energy market should be broken into three components i.e. generator, distributor and retailer with no vertical integration. With this all subsidies for small scale power generation must be phased out though the underwriting of large projects by government should be still permitted regardless of the nature of the power source.
    If that structure does not work then nothing will

    • Chris Warren says:

      One of the better efforts, sadly with no references and drawing conclusions that are not based on evidence. Unlike other scribbles from other posts – this is not an example of denialism.

      There is no error or untested conclusions of one man, Arrhenius that has continued on to this very day culminating in the recent predictions of the IPCC.

      The conclusions are based on an immense quantity of modern, sophisticated instrumental, research and analysis published in august refereed journals.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “The conclusions are based on an immense quantity of modern, sophisticated instrumental, research and analysis published in august refereed journals.”

        How about giving us just one instance of empirical fact to support your argument.

        Just one!

  • JimboR says:

    “and the connection costs to the grid are important and reduce efficiency”

    Indeed. When we discover coal somewhere other than where we’d like it there’s seemingly no obstacle that can’t be overcome to drag that stuff half way across the state. Think of the job opportunities building all those railways, highways and ports needed to move that stuff. When we discover wind or sunshine somewhere other than where we’d like it, just think of the inefficiencies and costs of running a cable out there.

    “And not many people actually want a large solar array close to where they live. Why would they? They are not attractive sights, at least to my eyes, just large silent factories.”

    Whereas living next door to a coal mine is so much fun. Don, why not ask the farmers of the Hunter Valley or the residents of Morwell if they’d like to swap their coal-mining neighbours with a paddock full of solar panels.

    • Neville says:

      Jimbo here’s your problem, using the actual IEA data instead of silly wishful thinking about your fantasy planet.

      Germany has been trying this S&W idiocy for decades, but they are now resorting to more brown coal power stations. If the S&W idiocy actually worked, surely they would just keep building more S&W to meet their future energy needs?
      Today they generate about 2.2% from S&W and still generate 78.7% from fossil fuels plus another 9.6% from bio+waste. Can’t you add up simple sums?
      Of course Germany emits just 2.1% of the world’s co2 , so I hope this helps in your understanding about your S&W nonsense?
      Remember Germany has been the number one poster child ( for decades) for using the S&W idiocy and they’ve got nowhere and wasted endless billions $ for a zero return and extremely high electricity prices. Here’s the IEA link AGAIN.

      http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/GERMANY4.pdf

      • Chris Warren says:

        Neville

        Your evidence does not support your claims.

        German geothermal, solar, wind, hydro currently equal 4%

        Biofuels/waste currently equal 9.6%

        There is no mention of brown coal.

        • Neville says:

          Chris here is one of my comments a few days ago. BTW Germany has huge brown coal reserves.

          Even the Germans continue to wipe out whole towns to extend the use of
          their brown coal mines. (more co2 emissions than black coal)
          Germany was used as a poster child by the extremists promoting the use of the S&W idiocy. Yet even the Germans now understand that there is a limit to the patience of their taxpayers having to fork out higher and higher prices for their electricity, while developing countries open new coalmines and import huge tonnages from overseas to service their needs.
          Here’s the vital question – why don’t the Germans just build even more S&W energy to service their needs today and for the future?
          The answer is that S&W are a disaster and help to distort the grid at great cost and the German taxpayers have had enough. But why doesn’t this message sink in and why does OZ want to copy these fools?

          http://news.trust.org/item/20180813110020-y6ono/

  • Neville says:

    Just to clarify the Andrew’s govt solar scheme. They will rebate the purchaser of new solar schemes a maximum of $2, 250 towards the cost.
    I listened to the ABC this morning and this was the explanation of a local solar business, after he spent hours on the phone yesterday seeking clarification.
    He cited a home system with a Tesla battery costing $19,000 and the cash-back would still be $2,250. Those batteries must be expensive? Does anyone have any info about the cost of a typical home+ battery installation?
    He claimed that a modest system would repay the cost after 5 years, does that sound correct? Of course that is if Labor wins the NOV election.

  • Neville says:

    Chris here are a few column graphs comparing co2 growth from OECD and NON OECD countries until 2040.
    The tiny saving in emissions by Germany add up to zip when compared to NON OECD growth over next few decades although the OECD countries will certainly slow their trend by 2040 if this forecast is accurate.
    And don’t forget the USA ( as a percentage) uses a lot less coal than Germany today .

    https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=26252#

  • Neville says:

    We should try and be accurate when discussing the evidence. Here is Germany’s fossil fuel %s from the EU based IEA.
    Coal 25.5%, Gas 20.9%, Oil 32.3%= 78.7% from FFs.

    USA fossil fuel percentages .Coal 17.1%, Gas 26.9%, Oil 36.4%= 80.4%

    Although the USA generates slightly higher % from FFs, in fact less co2 emissions as a percentage would favour the USA because their use of coal is much lower than Germany and Germany uses a lot of brown coal as well.( higher emissions of co2 per tonne)
    Certainly the USA has nothing to apologise for at all and compares well against Germany. So what if Germany compares better by tiny amount if you only compare the S&W nonsense.

  • Michael Reed says:

    I have reached the point where I’m gobsmacked by people like our “Chris”
    like to name call people denialist when this country has damaged its own
    power generation system because of of the “theory”of global warming.A really true denialist to me seems to be the person who refuses to see the
    ridiculous hardships that AGW and policies that have come from it have caused.Ten years ago this type of discussion/debate was all well and good.
    Now when over 100,000 Australians (documented)are directly suffering hardship and households that are already under huge financial stress are
    afraid to open their next electricity bill then this real and horrible future
    has arrived .So thank you warmist Chris for pointing out the facts to
    me over “the science” I feel much better when I look the statistics on energy poverty which will just continue to increase.However I
    still can’t reconcile the guilt over saving the planet and ignoring the
    real plight that some many Australians are suffering in the here and now.

    • JimboR says:

      I’m gobsmacked at how much energy we collectively burn discussing electricity bills, something that makes up less than 3% of household expenditure. We spend twice as much on medical care/health expenses and both categories went up by the same 26% between 2010 and 2016.

      http://abs.gov.au/household-expenditure

      The same mob that sold off these state owned monopolies, thereby turning them into publicly listed for-profit duopolies, now want to have an enquiry into what went wrong… or even have the state compulsorily re-acquire them.

    • Chris Warren says:

      If you are “gobsmacked”, then it is only because you deserve to be.

      Adjusting to zero net carbon does not have to lead to higher energy prices. This is a canard.

      Bad government policy, and extortionate profits leads to this outcome.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “Adjusting to zero net carbon does not have to lead to higher energy prices. This is a canard.”

        Please explain how you would even get within cooee of no price increase, blith.

        But you better check with the Windorah inhabitants first.

        They had a 1,000% increase in cost and still gave off 100% of previous emissions.

        Always check the real world, blith.

        Reality is a wonderful thing and it’s always out there waiting for you.

  • Neville says:

    Here’s more help for Chris about Brown coal mining in the Germany and the EU . In fact 7 out of 10 so called “top polluters ” are in Germany.
    Read this article to discover more info and data.
    And co2 emissions are now on the rise in the EU, big surprise NOT.

    https://sandbag.org.uk/project/eu-emissions-rise-for-first-time-in-7-years/

  • Colin Davidson says:

    To supply 200TWh/year of electricity will require installed solar capacity of 140GW, for an average of 23GW supplied. (Capacity factor for solar is 1/6).

    Some of the time this installation will produce 0Gw, at other times 140GW, and at other times something in between.

    If the supply exceeds demand, as it often will, the excess power will have to be dumped or put into storage devices – batteries or pumped hydro, or flywheels or trains going up mountains or hydrolysing water or whatever.

    In the former case you lose about half the generated power, and will have to rely on 35GW of installed dispatchable power (coal, gas, diesel, nuclear, hydro, or possibly tidal) to fill in the gaps. So that is 140GW of solar panels, 35GW of Dispatchables running at half capacity, and some unidentified method of dumping generated power.

    In the latter case you need 140GW of solar panes plus humungous batteries, really, really large ones capable of supplying the grid for two weeks at a minimum – Tesla’s Adelaide con, and Turnbull’s Snowy con would be of the order of a thousandth of what is required.

    On the other hand a wholly dispatchable system requires only the 35GW of installed dispatchable power identified above.

    This huge requirement for capital expenditure is why systems with “renewables” such as wind and solar (the numbers for wind are better but still truly awful) provide the most expensive electricity – and those systems are also less reliable (see the Finkel Report) and produce power of lower quality.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Colin Davidson

      This makes no sense – no one is proposing that solar provides 200 TWhr pa.

      We need 200 TWhr but from a mix of non-fossil generation with load balancing over day night cycle from a mixed set of options.

      However if carbon extraction from the atmosphere proves feasible, this gives us some wriggle-room in constructing safe energy.

  • BoyfromTottenham says:

    Colin, an excellent factual post, but you forgot to mention that when demand exceeds supply (which will be quite often too with an intermittent solar power source) you have two choices – a brownout or blackout, or ramp up a lot of dispatchable generation. However this under-used dispatchable power generation capacity will be unprofitable. Who gets to pay to keep the dispatchable power running at a loss for a decade or two?

    • Neville says:

      BFTot you forgot to mention that the change to renewable energy will make SFA difference to the temp by 2100, in fact no measurable difference at all.
      See Lomborg’s PR studies that I’ve linked to many times. Even Dr Hansen the chief CAGW alarmist called Paris COP 21 just BS and fra-d.

  • JimboR says:

    It’s a complete myth that our fossil fuel generators run at anything like capacity, regardless of whether or not there’s any intermittent wind and solar in the mix. This 200TWh/year (corrected by dlb to actually be 260TWh/year) is the energy generated per year, but the power is anything but constant, it’s extremely peaky. The reason our grid is 99.998% reliable is because there’s sufficient generation to cover the peak power requirement and then some. We currently have 49.990 GW of generation capacity. If you remove wind and solar that drops to 43.926GW. If they were all running flat out you’d generate 385 TWh in a year. We generate 260, so even if you took all the intermittent generators out of the loop, the rest would only be 67% occupied. Adding generators (of any kind) makes the grid more reliable, and makes the market more competitive.

    Also, you never need to “dump” PV generated power…. you simply stop generating it, or you only generate enough to match the load. The MPPT algorithm slides around on the V/I curve looking for maximum power when load exceeds sunshine, but when load drops away you just slide up the V/I curve to match the current instantaneous load. The simplest example of that is if you throw a solar panel out into the sun with nothing connected to it. There’s no need to “dump” any power because there’s no power being generated, it just sits there at its panel maximum V. Likewise, if you have a suburb with high solar concentration and there’s a blackout, the anti-islanding regulations require that all inverters in the area of the blackout stop exporting within msecs. The sun is still shining on those panels just as it was before the blackout, but now there’s no load for any of that power so all the panels in the ‘hood go instantly to max V and stop generating… no “dump” required. Those lucky enough to have batteries can continue to charge their batteries during the blackout, and even power their house, but if the load is low because nobody is home and the batteries are close to full, then MPPT just slides away to reduce the harvested power to match the load, again no “dump” required.

    • Neville says:

      Gee Jimbo those silly Germans must be slow on the uptake. They’ve been using clueless S&W for decades but are still extending their brown coal mines and wiping out many towns to do so.
      Here’s my challenge to you or anyone else. If S&W are the answer, then why not forget about brown coal and just replace them with more and more S&W?
      At the moment they use( as a % of their mix, see the IEA) ) more dirty coal than the USA, yet they won’t close down their lignite mines and in fact they keep extending them. So why is it so?
      Something doesn’t add up Jimbo or do Lomborg and Dr Hansen etc know something you don’t? Oh and Germany only produces a little more S&W energy than the world average anyway.

    • Colin Davdson says:

      67% is the capacity factor for coal fired generators. For some of the downtime a boiler/turbine unit is being maintained, and the remainder of the downtime the unit is presumably rotating on standby.

      Whether or not the power is being dumped, the fact is that it is not being used. In the case I cited, the system is sized so that the average power generated by solar panels equals the average load of 23GW. But about half the generated power cannot be used at the time it is generated, so either it has to be stored, or we have to accept that such a solar installation will only supply half what is required. Storage on this scale ( two weeks worth, about 10TWh) is impractically expensive – and in any case would not address the geological events described in the first posting on this thread. (Musk’s battery-con stores 130MWh, you would need 77,000 of them to achieve 2 weeks storage). And if you do use storage you also need to provide 35GW inverters (DC motors driving AC generators would be better, but only about 80% efficient)

      So in practice you would provide 35GW of dispatchable backup generation ( I multiplied the 23GW by 1.5 to account for a 67% capacity factor), which would be operating intermittently but providing an average of about 12GW. This intermittent operation means that if you use coal, gas, diesel or nuclear, you get low efficiencies, ie YOU BURN MORE FUEL THAN YOU OTHERWISE WOULD. But the point of “Renewables” is to burn less fuel, so the expensive and complex system I have described is largely white elephant, providing much less reduction of emissions than is claimed while costing the earth.

      Much, much cheaper, and more reliable, and higher quality power would be provided by just having the 35GW dispatchable system without the unreliable and unsustainable solar panels.

    • Colin Davdson says:

      In response to JimboR, whether or not power is dumped is beside the point.

      If you attempt to wholly power the grid with solar you need to provide 260TWh per year. This works out at a capacity of 30GW, which means you need 180GW of solar panel capacity. But this very high number means that some of the time you produce 0W and some other times you produce 180GW. If production exceeds supply, that power is lost. A rough guess is that half the solar generated power will be wasted, not supplied to the load.
      To avoid that situation and ensure reliable supply through the solar droughts (known as clouds) which can last up to 2 weeks (I would calculate on a month) you need to either:
      1. Put in place two weeks’ worth of battery back-up. Elon Musk’s Great Battery-con has 130MWh of capacity, so you will only need 75,000 of those. Cost is unknown (the public is not allowed to know how much of its money was spent, this measure is absolutely necessary to preserve democracy) but estimated at $50M per battery, so only a cool $4 TRLLION would be required to buy and install these batteries. And you’ll also need the system frequency reference, the 45GW of DC motor/AC generator sets (or, less desirably, inverters). (The numbers for pumped hydro aren’t great ether – it’s the amount of storage that’s the problem) $4T – what a great deal!!!
      2. Instead you can back-up the solar panels with 45GW of dispatchable generators (coal, gas, diesel, nuclear, possibly tidal, and hydro but the best hydro sites are already in use). These would supply about half their average capacity of 30GW, but do that intermittently, and therefore inefficiently, and therefore use more fuel than they otherwise would. And therefore produce more Greenhouse gasses. Thus shooting the whole emissions reduction scheme in the foot. Nevertheless this is cheaper and more reliable than option 1. Pity about the lousy power quality in both cases, but that’s intermittent generation for you.

      A far better option is to ditch the 180GW of solar panels and just have the 45GW of reliable, cheap dispatchable generators.

      And by-the-by, solar panels are connected to the grid via inverters which convert DC into AC. I guess if the grid can’t accept the power, the inverters just heat up and die. To avoid that you’d want to put a grid-controlled on/off switch between the panels and the inverter. Imagine what will happen to that complex arrangement on a very windy partly clouded day!

  • Colin Davidson says:

    In response to JimboR, whether or not power is dumped is beside the point.

    If you attempt to wholly power the grid with solar you need to provide 260TWh per year. This works out at a capacity of 30GW, which means you need 180GW of solar panel capacity. But this very high number means that some of the time you produce 0W and some other times you produce 180GW. If production exceeds supply, that power is lost. A rough guess is that half the solar generated power will be wasted, not supplied to the load.
    To avoid that situation and ensure reliable supply through the solar droughts (known as clouds) which can last up to 2 weeks (I would calculate on a month) you need to either:
    1. Put in place two weeks’ worth of battery back-up. Elon Musk’s Great Battery-con has 130MWh of capacity, so you will only need 75,000 of those. Cost is unknown (the public is not allowed to know how much of its money was spent, this measure is absolutely necessary to preserve democracy) but estimated at $50M per battery, so only a cool $4 TRLLION would be required to buy and install these batteries. And you’ll also need the system frequency reference, the 45GW of DC motor/AC generator sets (or, less desirably, inverters). (The numbers for pumped hydro aren’t great ether – it’s the amount of storage that’s the problem) $4T – what a great deal!!!
    2. Instead you can back-up the solar panels with 45GW of dispatchable generators (coal, gas, diesel, nuclear, possibly tidal, and hydro but the best hydro sites are already in use). These would supply about half their average capacity of 30GW, but do that intermittently, and therefore inefficiently, and therefore use more fuel than they otherwise would. And therefore produce more Greenhouse gasses. Thus shooting the whole emissions reduction scheme in the foot. Nevertheless this is cheaper and more reliable than option 1. Pity about the lousy power quality in both cases, but that’s intermittent generation for you.

    A far better option is to ditch the 180GW of solar panels and just have the 45GW of reliable, cheap dispatchable generators.

    And by-the-by, solar panels are connected to the grid via inverters which convert DC into AC. I guess if the grid can’t accept the power, the inverters just heat up and die. To avoid that you’d want to put a grid-controlled on/off switch between the panels and the inverter. Imagine what will happen to that complex arrangement on a very windy partly clouded day!

  • Colin Davidson says:

    I would like to thank JimboR for the interesting link, which describes new innovations in use of solar and wind to provide frequency control/ avoid some of the problems brought with intermittency of supply.
    The link doesn’t address the problem of oversupply – you can’t use the power generated above what is required for the load.

    If you tried to power the National grid entirely with Solar, you’d end up losing half the generated power because the load is already fully suppled. (whether the power is dumped or the generators disconnected is immaterial).

    So you might want to store the excess in a battery for later use. But the battery required is unachievably large. So in practice you need “peaking plants” ie fossil-fuelled generators, sized to supply the maximum system load plus 50%. These attempt to counter the variable supply and provide backup when the sun fails eg at night or when there is a succession of cloudy days.

    Alternatively, instead of a complicated and expensive and vast array of solar panels and associated control gear, just the peaking plant on its own will be provide less expensive electricity, and save about the same emissions.

  • Colin Davidson says:

    JimboR is not correct, 100% wind and solar is not my strawman, but 100% is the renewables policy of the Tasmanian and ACT governments. (Tasmania has an easy time of this, most of their supply comes from hydro, the very best option for power generation.) South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory have targets of 50% and Victoria 40%.

    South Australia s nearly there, with 47% being claimed.

    • JimboR says:

      “100% wind and solar is not my strawman”

      Really?

      “If you attempt to wholly power the grid with solar you need to… ”
      “If you tried to power the National grid entirely with Solar……… ”

      then you go on to explain the problems associated with that. I don’t know of any state government(*) that aims to do that. Tasmania is pretty close to100% _renewable_, but that’s vastly different from 100% _solar_. In all the states that aren’t blessed with hyrdro, the goal is no greater than 50%, so who exactly are you trying to dissuade? Nobody is attempting to do what you’re fretting about, hence it’s a strawman.

      (*) I exclude the ACT from my considerations because I don’t consider them a real player in any of this. Their goal to be 100% renewable relies entirely on grid backup and large power flows across their territory border. Real states that have real responsibility for generating power for their citizens, don’t have any plans that I know of to go past 50% solar and wind.

      • Colin Davidson says:

        JimboR has pointed out that State Governments want to supply half our power from “renewables”, which I take as wind + solar, but not hot rocks, wave or tidal (too immature).

        So let’s attempt that.
        Firstly, to ensure supply at all times we need to provide the highest load with dispatchable power. So we must always have 45GW of dispatchable power (to supply an average load of 30GW). This suite will only supply a long term average of 15GW, the other 15GW to be supplied by the unsustainables (wind and solar). The dispatchables will have to supply variable amounts of power and operate inefficiently, producing high GHG/W.

        Let us divide the 50% (15GW average) into half wind, half solar. To provide an average of 7.5GW each we need 22.5GW of wind capacity and 45GW of Solar capacity.

        The arguments in the above thread still apply. At times these sources will be full on (67.5GW) but the load will not take all the power. So power will have to be dumped or not generated. This will not happen at night (in fact most nights both wind and solar produce very little) when the reliable generators will answer the call. But during the day it will happen often. You’d probably therefore waste about 20% of capacity, an average of 3GW. But that’s OK the reliables will take up the slack. But note that the 50% of renewables are only supplying in practice 40% of the average load. (15GW less the 3GW being ditched/not generated)

        So the options are:
        1. A system of 100% dispatchable generators, 45GW capacity, providing cheap, reliable , high quality power with minimised GHG emissions. This system is also resilient to some natural disasters.

        2. A system with 45GW of solar panels, 22.5GW of wind turbines and 45GW of dispatchable generators. The latter are running inefficiently and produce about the same total GHG as the more efficiently utilised ones in option 1. The power produced by this system is expensive, low quality and fragile. The system is not resilient to natural disasters, is complex and requires renewal earlier than option 1.

      • JimboR says:

        Dispatchables have always had to supply variable amounts of power, long before renewables were on the scene, you only have to look at a daily demand curve to see why. With the exception of maybe 5 critical hours per year when it’s all-hands-on-deck, we’ve got way more generation than we can use. It’s a complete myth that all the generators are generating all the time and therefore all having to throttle back to 25% say to meet current demand, and so are operating in some inefficient range and producing the same emissions they would if they were running flat out. Bidding is done on a 30 minute interval. We’ve got way more generators than we need, each saying “I’ll generate x MW continuously for the next 30 minutes at this price”. If they win they generate as promised, if they don’t they shutdown, or at least go to idle. If there’s no gas going in, there are no emissions coming out.

        The next myth is that all intermittent generators need to be backed up. All generators needs to be backed up, not just intermittents. They all go off-line all the time. The “back up” is achieved by having way more generators than you need, i.e. redundancy. Every new generator (of any type) you add to the grid increases resilience and competition. AEMO have consistently said the biggest risk to grid stability are the big coal fired plants tripping, not the intermittents. Wind and solar are spectacularly predictable over 30 minute intervals. On this clear winter morning I can look out my window now and tell you with pretty much 100% accuracy how much power my solar panels will be outputting for the next 30 minutes. On cloudy days when they can’t make such reliable predictions, they simply don’t put in a bid. Coal generators tripping are spectacularly unpredictable, and because each one is so big and contributing such a large percentage of total supply the consequences are much harder to deal with.

        Another classic is the old “what about all that unused plant and equipment sitting around idle, all that unused capital has to drive up costs”. No doubt it does, but that’s the price we pay for reliability (with or without renewables). In what other industry do we fret so much about the input costs to individual players? If a new airline wanted to enter the market would we all start fretting about unoccupied seats on Qantas jets? Unoccupied seats will drive up prices for everyone because the planes are running less efficiently? AGL made a $1.6 billion profit in the financial year just ended. Their return on capital is doing just fine.

        Finally it’s completely feasible to meet a 50% renewable goal without ever having to generate 100% at any instant (which I think is your concern above). AEMO put all sorts of constraints on how much instantaneous wind generation they permit in SA for example, based on how many gas fired plants are currently in the mix.

        • spangled drongo says:

          “Finally it’s completely feasible to meet a 50% renewable goal without ever having to generate 100% at any instant”

          You need to get out more, jimb.

          This happened just the other day:

          “The nation’s biggest single-site power user, the Tomago aluminium smelter in the NSW Hunter Valley, lost power without warning, halting two pot lines for up to an hour. Alcoa’s Portland smelter in Victoria was also affected, losing power for about 50 minutes.”

          http://joannenova.com.au/2018/08/another-day-another-blackout-lightning-is-too-much-for-australian-grid-now/

          We’re already losing industry and jobs at an accelerating rate [which is making it easier for our second rate grid] but just imagine if we were serious about producing the stuff we consume instead of just selling the fuel, buying in the product and still failing to reduce our emissions while increasing developing countries’ emissions.

        • Colin Davidson says:

          In my attempt to define what a renewables system might look like if it was required to produce 50% of the annual electricity load, JimboR writes “Finally it’s completely feasible to meet a 50% renewable goal without ever having to generate 100% at any instant (which I think is your concern above). ”

          I don’t understand what JimboR is trying to say. Nor do I understand what his version of a “renewables” system designed to provide 50% of the annual load looks like.

          So unless he has other proposals, my design stands in which renewables only supply 40% of the annual load, due to having to idle in over-supply conditions – if you need 50% then you should up the renewables capacities by 25%:

          45GW of solar panels, 22.5GW of wind turbines and 45GW of dispatchable generators. The latter are running inefficiently and produce about the same total GHG as the more efficiently utilised ones in a dispatchables-only design. The power produced by this system is expensive, low quality and fragile. The system is not resilient to natural disasters, is complex and requires renewal of the solar panels and wind turbines every 15 years.

          I await JimboR’s response on the following issues:
          1. What is his proposed outline design?
          2. Does it meet the current reliability standards?
          3. How?
          4. Does it run at 240V delivered, or at some lower voltage?
          5. Where in the world is there a large scale 50% renewables system? (other than hydro)
          6. What is meant by the phrase “without ever having to generate 100% at any instant “?

        • JimboR says:

          I thought you had concerns that the only way to get to 50% renewable across the year was to sometimes run at 100% renewable when conditions are favourable. That’s clearly not the case, you can get to 50% without ever having to run at 100% and current regulations on SA for example, don’t permit 100% wind. They put an upper limit on wind generation based on how many gas generators are currently online… the more gas generators up and running, the more wind output is permitted. Those rules have been tightened as a result of their blackouts.

          If that wasn’t your concern, then forget I mentioned it. I possibly got the wrong end of the stick from your need for “some unidentified method of dumping generated power” which I still don’t understand.

          • Colin Davidson says:

            A 50% renewable goal means that renewables supply half the yearly load, ie 130TWh per year. It does not mean that renewables sometimes provide 50% and at other times some lesser amount, as implied in his red herring post: “… you can get to 50% without ever having to run at 100% and current regulations on SA for example, don’t permit 100% wind. They put an upper limit on wind generation based on how many gas generators are currently online… the more gas generators up and running, the more wind output is permitted.”

            JimboR claims “…it’s completely feasible to meet a 50% renewable goal… ” but has failed to provide either:
            1. A description of how this could be achieved, in terms of generating assets.
            2. Evidence that this has been achieved in any location in the world
            3. Any statement about power quality and reliability

            Instead he has made the claim, which in the absence of any supporting evidence must be considered worthless nonsense.

          • JimboR says:

            Arnie legislated that California will be at 50% renewable by 2030, and they’re now predicting they’ll be there by 2020. See what you can do once you take the politics out of it! As Arnie says….

            Surpassing our 2020 emissions goal ahead of schedule while our economy grows by a nation-leading 4.9% and our unemployment rate is at a historic low should send a message to politicians all over the country: you don’t have to re-invent the wheel – just copy us. 2/3
            — Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) July 11, 2018

          • JimboR says:

            You’re the one “designing” strawman grids that are nothing like how the grid works and then tearing them down. Knock yourself out with that. If and when your grid looks anything like reality, we can consider your objections. I’ve pointed out just a few of the problems with your model.

        • JimboR says:

          That Qld/NSW inter-connector trip on Saturday arvo was very visible here in SEQ. My line frequency briefly exceeded 52Hz thanks to all the sudden excess generation. My inverter did its small part by stopping exports within 3 line cycles (60 msecs). Every compliant inverter in the state should have done the same. There was no need for “some unidentified method of dumping generated power” and no reports of “inverters just heat up and die” ….. all fabrications presumably intended to spread a bit of FUD. How long did it take the big iron generators to slow down? About 10 minutes according to my logs, the trip was just before 13:12, at 13:21 it was still at 50.6Hz and by 13:24 had dropped to 50.2 Hz.

          • Colin Davidson says:

            JimboR has not grasped what I was trying to say.

            When calculating how much plate capacity is required to supply a particular amount of electricity, you divide the desired amount of electricity by the “capacity factor”, which is the ratio of the average generated amount over the maximum, or plate, capacity.

            In the case of both solar and wind the plate capacity is a low number, approximately 1/6 and 1/3 respectively. This means you need a lot of generation. If you want to supply an average of 7.5GW from each (25% of the average load), you need 45GW and 22.5GW respectively.

            But there is a hidden problem in that calculation. We assumed in calculating capacity factor that all the power generated would be used. But that is clearly not the case in the 50% renewables case. There will be a significant number of occasions when the sum of the power generated by both exceeds the load, and therefore the excess power is not used (“dumped”) or not generated (as JmboR has described). This means that in order to generate an average of 15GW you need substantially more plate capacity – how much more would be calculated by modelling, but it will roughly be another 10%, so you need 50GW of solar and 25GW of wind to generate an average of 15GW.

            To cover the case when neither wind or solar are generating you need to provide dispatchable generation of about 45GW (capacity factor 2/3). I think everyone is agreed that you can’t do that with batteries – simply too expensive.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Worst Policy Botch Ever

    Well apart from nuclear weapons, you would have to say, continuing oil, gas exploration and coal mines approvals, in face of all the science, is by far:

    “The Worst Policy Botch Ever”

    Australia cannot escape: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-05/hottest-fin-year-on-record-bom-data-show/9930606

  • spangled drongo says:

    Nuclear weapons are the only thing that has prevented WW3, blith, so that would automatically make the rest of your “scientific” statement very questionable.

    And this is the sort of “science” our policies are based on even though our BoM is trying to fiddle their records to produce a similar effect:

    http://media.al.com/news_huntsville_impact/photo/christy-chart-378a82c81b59f099.jpg

  • spangled drongo says:

    And Rafe at Catallaxy points out how much more accessible the NW Passage has become since Amundsen sailed his wooden boat through there 112 years ago and Frobisher and Davis were cruising the area four and a half centuries ago in ships that wouldn’t go to windward:

    https://www.iceagenow.info/northwest-passage-icebound/

  • spangled drongo says:

    This supports the argument that there was no need for the policy botch, Paris COP21 or the rest of the global warming enuresis. Nat Var of at least 2c has been the order of global climate for millennia:

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/jo.nova/graph/temp/europe/scottish-summer-temps.gif

  • […] Perhaps the worst policy botch ever […]

  • Colin Davidson says:

    In response to my post: “JimboR claims “…it’s completely feasible to meet a 50% renewable goal… ” but has failed to provide either:
    1. A description of how this could be achieved, in terms of generating assets.
    2. Evidence that this has been achieved in any location in the world
    3. Any statement about power quality and reliability

    Instead he has made the claim, which in the absence of any supporting evidence must be considered worthless nonsense.”

    JimboR has written:
    “You’re the one “designing” strawman grids that are nothing like how the grid works and then tearing them down. Knock yourself out with that. If and when your grid looks anything like reality, we can consider your objections. I’ve pointed out just a few of the problems with your model.”

    What a poor response this is. State governments have mostly 40% or 50% goals, so I think it is very relevant to ask what the character of the power systems is to be. Hardly a strawman! Apparently, although the goals are settled, the question is too hard for the faithful to answer. So I will ask JimboR is smaller steps:

    For “renewables” to provide 50% of a year’s load, which is 130TWh, you have to install much greater plate capacity, due to their very low capacity factors. I calculated (using the standard factors of 1/6 for solar and 1/3 for wind, and assuming that their contributions would be equal) that you would need:
    45GW of dispatchables (2/3 capacity factor, so 3/2 times the average load)
    45GW of solar panels (1/6 capacity factor so 6 times 7.5GW – 7.5GW s 1/4 of the average load)
    22.5GW of wind turbines(1/3 capacity factor, so 3 times the average load)

    Does JimboR have a different set of numbers?
    If so, can he share them?

  • stu says:

    Here is a good video explaining the current state of affairs and opportunity lost. Worth a look. This guy is a reputable science reporter of long standing. https://youtu.be/D99qI42KGB0 it is actually referred to as a “conservative solution to global warming”. I am sure the usual trolls will find things to criticise, but there you go. There are some interesting datelines in there, such as Maggie Thatcher, way back.

    • spangled drongo says:

      If you are truly interested in science rather than opinion, stueyluv, spare us opinionistas that spout Al Gore as a rational authority.

      A couple of minutes of your “reputable science reporter of long standing” tells us all we need to know.

      Opinion based on “facts” extracted from the assumptions fed into climate computer models is not science.

      Go away, talk to your mum about it and then get back to us.

      • stu says:

        As I expected, you clearly did not watch the video because you have missed the point entirely. Even Don agrees there is an issue with climate change, the argument is what to do and this video has some very good points on that. You are one of the knuckleheads it addresses that jump straight to the argument (propagated by the fossil funded spokes folk) that any action must by necessity destroy capitalism, destroy our way of life, require huge subsidies etc. The opposite is the case. Born in a different century you would be a buggy whip defender and proponent of horses.

        As for my mother, leave her out of it, she has been dead for many a long year, but if alive would find your approach laughable, grow up.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Your belief in climate groupthink, stueyluv, is so childish and lacking in any rationality that it is plain your thought processes still need a mother’s guidance.

          You just don’t pay attention to what I have been trying to get through to you for a long time.

  • spangled drongo says:

    “I wonder if the badly bothered blitherers here have any idea what the ocean pH was when the earth had CO2 measured in the thousands [not hundreds] of ppm?

    Dr William Happer’s Statement:

    “Average pH values in the ocean surface were as low as pH = 7.7, a bit lower than the pH = 8.1 today. But this was still far from acidic, pH < 7, because of the enormous natural alkalinity of seawater. The mean global temperature was sometimes higher and sometimes lower than today’s. But the temperature did not correlate very well with CO2 levels. For example, there were ice ages in the Ordovician, some 450 million years ago, when the CO2levels were several thousand ppm.” (Berner and Kothavala 2001) and (Quinton and MacLeod 2014)"

    • stu says:

      And please remind me, what was the human population 450 million years ago and how habitable was the place?

      • spangled drongo says:

        Once again stu displays his lack of understanding of the point under discussion.

        • stu says:

          Ha, ha, LOL, so what exactly is the point? I think you miss it. Who really gives a toss about the ph 450 million years ago, what is the relevance? The main theme of the non debate here is climate change, it’s existence, the cause, the solution, all the stuff relevant to life on earth now.

          So to play your card again go read the article on the ABC site by Stephen Long titled “The reality is new coal power is not the answer for cheaper electricity bills”. It plays into the same space as the earlier video I pointed you at but you did not watch but just rubbished anyway.

          I don’t often bother to comment on the postings here, there is no point really with someone like you that is locked in the quicksand of your ossified mind set. I just chuckle at the stupidity and hope you are still young enough to eventually admit your error on your own volition.

          Nuff said.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Poor, puerile stu not only can’t understand the point, he can’t get that if oceans only got to pH 7.7 with atmo CO2 in the THOUSANDS of ppm then maybe our tiny atmo content is a non-problem.

            Can I put it any simpler for you than that, stueyluv?

            And getting back to the rest of your rant, could you just tell us in your own words how climate change of 0.6c +/- 0.2c warming since the end of the LIA, which is barely half the rate of natural climate variability during civilisation can 1/ be positively attributed to ACO2, 2/ if positively attributed, how much of that warming is due to ACO2 and how much to Nat Var, and 3/ how that increase in ACO2 awa that slight warming is anything but an asset for today’s world?

            Those are the three points that real science needs to answer with empirical science instead of GIGO GCMs.

            Rational sceptics have been waiting 30 years for the badly bothered bankrupt blitherers of bed-wetting babble-belief to produce these answers to support their blustering but nothing yet.

            Now is your big chance, stueyluv.

            Don’t blow it.

            I will take your lack of direct response to this as your agreement that I am right.

  • stu says:

    Nah, I am afraid the only conclusion, based on duck theory (walks like, sounds like, looks like, therefore must be) is that you are simply a troll pedlling cherry picked data and quoting non mainstream, “scientists” who lack credibility and others including Monckton, Crowder, Watts etc who have even less cred. You my friend are the one, subject to groupthink, go read some real science, check every science institute and national weather organisation in the world. It is simply not worth responding to your challenges to respond to your “scientific” points as you don’t take it in anyway. Besides, the things you question are so thoroughly accepted by the people working this field, they are beyond question, so get over it.

    Fortunately it appears that the readership here is very small and already biased so you are not doing any real harm. In fact you continue to be an enormous source of amusement to me and my friends who also follow this but refuse to deal with trolls. I on the other hand, from time to time find it interesting to respond to your follies. On the other hand your preoccupation with the subject of urine is just sick and boring and suggests you may be in need of some serious professional help.

    Just to give you one bit of data though, check this one. In the recent history of ice ages the evidence (from ice cores) shows the CO2 moving between 180ppm at the cold time and 270ppm at the warm end (not clear yet why those limits apply) but we are now way outside that zone in a very rapid turnaround with uncertain outcomes. For data go see Prof Peter Wadhams a very experienced UK researcher on the subject.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Just as I thought, stueyluv, you haven’t got a clue other than spruiking your GIGO “science”.

      Three very simple, basic questions to answer and you run a mile.

      And to think that you actually deny that those three questions are the basis of the whole debate.

      It simply confirms that you haven’t got a clue.

      And then you have the hubris to cherry pick a comparatively short period in the earth’s history that shows clearly [although not clear enough for your idol Al Gore] that the ACO2 increase is the RESULT of warming, not the cause.

      When your sad science only covers the bits that you believe in [and then rather poorly] it’s time to seek help.

      In the meantime, though, you should at least admit your complete lack of understanding and give yourself a chance to start from scratch.

      Who knows, it may even cure your enuresis.

      • stu says:

        I am starting to think you are not just a Troll, but an automated one, run by A.I., truly scary. Go check this out, Tyson is a very reputable guy with some good points. Watch it I dare you, that is if you are not a robot. It is about science and particularly cherry picking which you are so good at.

        https://youtu.be/y1MZ8U8C9c8

        • spangled drongo says:

          As a counter to avoiding three specific questions that he doesn’t have a clue about, stu puts me on to a site that spruiks consensus and groupthink.

          As a counter to his own cherry-picking he cherry-picks.

          And he thinks I am an automated Troll?

          I know you are too stupid to notice, stueyluv, but I deal in specifics.

          Why don’t you get real and do likewise.

          After you have answered my questions you can ask some and I am happy to respond.

          And try answering Neville’s questions.

          You will improve your cred enormously.

    • Neville says:

      Once again stu, tell us how to fix your so called CAGW problem. Don’t forget there is the flat-lining OECD and the SOARING NON OECD co2 emissions from developing countries.
      Even Chris admitted that Paris COP 21 was BS, so tell us what we should do. Dr Hansen said that COP 21 was just BS and fra-d and a belief in S&W energy is akin to believing in the Easter bunny and the Tooth fairy.
      And Dr Hansen is Gore’s adviser, although I think he has his work cut out trying to teach Al the basics.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Neville

        On the domestic front – A good start would be to get rid of any Parliamentarians (State or Federal) who are climate deniers. One looks like he is about to be ejected at the next election – Zed Selesja. He only got into Parliament by knifing the established previous Liberal incumbent.

        But we need to get Shorten more on side as he seems somewhat keen to maintain coal mining.

        Also we need more focus from Infrastructure Australia on carbon alternatives and an electric VFT will reduce air travel emissions.

        • spangled drongo says:

          “On the domestic front – A good start would be to get rid of any Parliamentarians (State or Federal) who are climate deniers.”

          If you could get rid of the real deniers, blith, ie, the alarmists, the country would run like clockwork.

          “….an electric VFT will reduce air travel emissions.”

          Did you ever study $ economics, blith?

          Never mind emission economics.

        • Chris Warren says:

          Seselja NOT Selesja

  • spangled drongo says:

    It’s interesting that it’s the coldest states where the unreliables are greatest and power is the dearest.

    Can you knit to keep a poor Victorian warm?

    http://joannenova.com.au/2018/09/modern-victoria-where-5000-volunteer-knitters-help-the-poor-stay-warm/

  • spangled drongo says:

    The way Australia is heading:

    “The kinds of third-world problems that come with energy socialism: less-reliable power, higher energy costs, greater poverty, massive job losses, and lower economic productivity. Socialism can’t fix our problems, but it sure can make things a lot worse.”

    •H. Sterling Burnett

  • spangled drongo says:

    The bed-wetters are desperate for something bad to happen and are in complete denial that it has all happened before only ten times worse.

    https://realclimatescience.com/2018/09/can-miami-rebuild/

  • Neville says:

    Golly Chris your solution above wouldn’t make zip difference to anything by 2040, 2070 or 2100.
    You do understand that NON OECD emissions are soaring and OECD emissions haven’t increased much since the 1990s don’t you?
    And OZ emissions are about 1.3% of total emissions? Also US and China were level pegging in 2007, but in the next 11 years China’s co2 emissions have soared and US emissions have dropped.
    Oh and China generates 67% of their TOTAL energy from coal while the US generates just 17.1%. When will you wake up? I’m afraid you, stu and some others seem to live in a fantasy world happily ignoring proper evidence and data.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Neville

      You did not understand the word “domestic”.

      The same style of response has to be seen in all high-fossil fuel states.

      That is why Paris was a failure – but, if we get the right politicians in Parliaments or Congress, we can hope to reset the international carbon scenario.

      There is no use digging one’s head in the sand and crying about China and the USA. Its too late for your tears.

      You seem happy to leave humanity to its fate – this is the worst crime against humanity and other species imaginable.

  • spangled drongo says:

    “– this is the worst crime against humanity and other species imaginable.”

    Do tell us in your own words how you KNOW that to be the case, blith.

    We know why you SUSPECT it to be the case – because of GIGO GCMs working on your enuresis – but how is it that you KNOW?

    The world is always been faced with endless possibilities for disaster but, historically, weather and climate have never produced tipping points or any serious problems that it has not overcome relatively quickly.

    I would have thought that with the world during the last couple of million years being so CO2 starved that there was a better than even chance of increasing ACO2 being a benefit for our exploding population.

    How is it after billions of years of Nat Var, often far worse than anything we currently experience, that you can possibly KNOW: “– this is the worst crime against humanity and other species imaginable.”???

    Try giving us a rational explanation.

  • Neville says:

    Chris your last sentence is ridiculous and describes your fantasy planet. But tell us why you think you’re correct and why your so called CAGW “is the worst crime against humanity and other species imaginable? ”
    I’ve given you the data over a long period of time, but it doesn’t seem to sink in. But Roger Pielke jnr had to school silly Obama and his so called Science adviser using the evidence/data so I suppose you’re just following a well worn path.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Neville

      That is why you have earned the “Denialist” tattoo on your forehead?

      Science says; if you increase GHGs temperature increases.

      Got it?

  • Neville says:

    Coal continues to boom and China is helping poorer African and Asian countries to open up new mines and build new Coal Fired stns.
    Amazing that OZ will export millions of tonnes every year to eager buyers but hasn’t got the brains to build new CF stns here.

    http://www.thegwpf.com/global-coal-boom-climate-campaign-fails-coal-persists/

  • spangled drongo says:

    Engineers check Labor’s policy of 50% renewables and surprise! surprise! it doesn’t reduce power bills at all but increases them by ~ 80%:

    “The AEMO scenario of 65 per cent renewable energy by 2040 would reduce emissions at a cost of $365 a tonne of carbon dioxide, the study estimated. Replacing coal-fired power generation with nuclear power would reduce emissions by a far greater amount at an abatement cost of $27.50 a tonne. The Gillard government’s ill-fated carbon tax envisaged a tax of $29 a tonne.”

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/engineers-warn-ofbill-shock-under-green-energy-surge/news-story/89ef58cbc07a13726bbf9a014540ce17

    • Neville says:

      Yes SD, Lomborg’s team came up with similar results years ago and of course he’s been hated by the leftie extremists ever since that time.
      His team consists of Nobel prize winning economists and Maths Profs etc, but our stupid pollies, MSM and many scientists continue to ignore these facts and have put the boot into Lomborg for having the courage to point out the problems of unreliable S&W energy.
      If S&W actually worked there would be no need for Germany to recently increase more “dirty????” Lignite mining. IOW if S&W actually were the answer Germany should just build more & more S&W farms. Why don’t they I wonder?

      • stu says:

        The internet is a wonderful tool, unsourced words can be requoted and become “facts”. Now I am not saying you are wrong about increased lignite powered electricity generation in Germany but I cannot find any data supporting that claim. On the contrary all I can find are endless articles from many sources that illustrate the continuing trend to renewables and a decrease in nuclear and coal, particularly anthracite based coal stations. Perhaps you can point us to the source of your information.

  • JimboR says:

    Here’s a plan to provide 3GW of renewable energy to Asia by under sea link. CWP Energy Asia are happy to use our abundance of wind and solar if we don’t want it.

    https://thewest.com.au/news/north-west-telegraph/epa-probes-energy-hub-plan-ng-b88696550z

    • Neville says:

      Jimbo providing these people attempt to do this without any help from any OZ Govt(s) or taxpayer funding etc I would be happy to see them try.
      I’m more than happy to see them put their money on the line and show us the way. Good luck with that.

    • Neville says:

      Here’s the CWPF OZ summary about the Engineer’s report on Labor’s clueless 50% renewables lunacy.

      http://www.thegwpf.com/engineers-warn-of-bill-shock-under-green-energy-surge/
      If we were able to change all coal generation to Nuclear we would still have very cheap and very RELIABLE electricity for both business and domestic use.
      The Labor 50% S&W idiocy guarantees more grid failures and super expensive energy prices, just like the failed German and Dane’s disaster. I can link to the IEA data AGAIN for those who don’t seem to understand these ” S&W achievements???? ” of these two countries.
      And Germany emits just 2.1% of global co2 emissions and Denmark about 0.1%. Are we starting to wake up yet?

  • stu says:

    I recall SD is always haranguing me for data on CO2 etc. I came across this interesting publication by the World Meteorological Organisation, Global Atmosphere Watch. You can find it here.: https://library.wmo.int/doc_num.php?explnum_id=4022

    Key figures in there are “the rate of CO2 increase over last 70 years is 100 times larger than at the end of the last ice age”. and “as illustrated…. over the last ~800,000 years, pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 remained below 280ppm across glacial and interglacial cycles, but has risen to over 400ppm recently”. “Geological records show that current levels of CO2 correspond to an ‘equilibrium’ climate last observed in the mid-Pliocene (3-5 million years ago) when climate was 2-3 degrees warmer” with significantly higher sea levels.

    Just saying!

  • Neville says:

    Stu here is a link to co2 levels over the last 600 million years ( thanks SD) and co2 and temp sometimes move in opposite directions for many millions of years over that long period of time.
    And I’ve provided a link to the Germans recently wiping out entire villages to extend the use of their Brown coal mines.

    http://jeremyshiers.com/blog/global-temperature-and-co2-levels-for-last-600-million-years/globaltempandco2_last600millionyears/

    • Chris Warren says:

      Neville

      The experience of CO2 and temperature millions of years ago was long before humans evolved.

      If such conditions return, we will all become extinct.

      Judging from your post it looks like you merely copied something from the drongo.

      You should use the data drawn from after the dinosaurs and from when modern humans first emerged. This period, the last 2 million years, is hardly discernible in your chart.

      A more up-to-date and more accurate chart (produced by scientists) is here:

      https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14845/figures/4

      No one has claimed that natural changes in CO2 drive temperature on a scale of 100’s of millions of years. Obviously this was the period when carbon was being extracted from the atmosphere, thereby allowing new species to emerge.

      You seem to want to put all this carbon back into the atmosphere.

      Instead of copying stuff from the bottom of the barrel, why not do your own research?

      • Chris Warren says:

        Neville

        Your copying drongo droppings has dropped you into a fog of fakery.

        Your chart indicates that global temperatures range from 12°C to 22°C when the actual evidence is that the range is from 10°C to 25°C.

        The real evidence is here: http://scotese.com/images/globaltemp.jpg

        Your drongo cartoon was a crazy misrepresentation of the original chart and as manipulated to suit denialist propaganda driven by Quadrant and from whatever media outlet extrudes the crap from Andrew Bolt.

        Please do your own research from now on. Every time you post others work, you always misunderstand it and get it all wrong.

      • spangled drongo says:

        A chart produced by GIGO GCMs, you mean, blith?

        With the forcing caused by ACO2?

        “If such conditions return, we will all become extinct.”

        Only the enuresistics, blith.

    • Stu says:

      Once again, how many humans were there 600 million years ago. Wake up dick.

    • Stu says:

      oh come on, they are not new mines, just the old ones still crawling across the country side, just like Yallourn.

  • spangled drongo says:

    What is it with you bothered, bed-wetting blitherers, here, that you don’t get that life on earth evolved, on average, with much higher CO2 levels than today?

    Or do you deny that?

    Relax. It’s in your DNA!!!

    When submariners operate better on up to 10,000 ppm there’s no need to get hysterical.

    Even you enuresistics will thrive on it.

    But in your present state just don’t get a job on a sub.

    • Stu says:

      Get real, it is not about breathing the stuff, it is about surviving in a warmer climate changed world the likes of which humans, even very primitive early ones, have never seen. Reality check mate.

  • spangled drongo says:

    More specifics to relax the bed-wetters:

    “Australia wide, and in the regions of Northern and Southern Australia and the Murray Darling Basin, and South Australia as a whole, since 1900 droughts of all lengths have become less frequent, and because these are broad regions, less widespread.”

    http://joannenova.com.au/2018/09/all-that-co2-in-the-last-50-years-and-droughts-are-less-common-in-australia/

  • Neville says:

    Chris here is an updated graph of the Scotese, Berner data over the last 600 million years. This graph shows a low of 10c to 25c and a couple of shorter spikes above 25c.

    https://medium.com/@ghornerhb/heres-a-better-graph-of-co2-and-temperature-for-the-last-600-million-years-f83169a68046

    But the ice core data from Antarctica has temp increase first and co2 lags behind by 200 to 6,000 years, with most around 600 to 2,000 years.
    This is the data that Gore used in his AIT movie. There is a correlation but temp always moves up first and co2 follows after a long period of time.

  • Stu says:

    Human life did not evolve at a time of way higher Co2 levels. I already sent you evidence of that, or did you not read it strangled drongo?
    And get real, it is not about breathing the stuff, it is about surviving in a warmer climate changed world the likes of which humans, even very primitive early ones, have never seen. Reality check mate.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Stueyluv, have you really got any idea?

      Do you know what humans currently experience in terms of differing DAILY temps???

      How about from -50c to +50c?

      IOW, people experience temperatures of 100c difference on a DAILY basis!!!!!!

      It’s in their DNA, they can cope!

      Do you really think they are all going to die with this currently less-than-1c- increase that may lead to 5c [or not, as the case may be] in a couple of centuries, although it is still well below NAT VAR.

      Does it now occur to you just how silly you really are?

      And you don’t get just how long life and primates have been around for??

      • stu says:

        FFS, that is irrelvant, we are talking about the average global temperature and climate, not the weather on a hot or cold day and place. Get real.

        • stu says:

          And you have just blown your cover. Your statement reveals you have no real understanding at all about what the climate change situation is all about. So now I really can just ignore your silliy postings.

        • spangled drongo says:

          If you really think that a human’s capacity to live in temperatures that vary by 100c on a daily basis has no bearing on their capacity to cope with 1c climate change, then you are completely incapable of comprehending the problem.

          And you think I have a rationality problem???

          Oh, dear!!!

        • spangled drongo says:

          “So now I really can just ignore your silliy postings.”

          Could I be so lucky?

  • spangled drongo says:

    Perhaps the worst religion botch ever by the faithfully foolish foursome:

    Union of Concerned Scientists, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and Greenpeace.

    “Sadly, since the 1960s, many foundations and organizations, segments of the media and many individuals have worked to prevent progress. They want to keep energy and mineral treasures in the ground and insist that nothing mankind does is safe enough. They want an undisturbed, unpopulated world for themselves and their friends. Extreme environmentalists seem determined to control the world.

    It seems to make no difference to them that billions of people would suffer and die without the benefits of fossil fuels and their tremendous array of life-enhancing and life-saving byproducts.” John Shanahan

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/09/07/the-advantages-of-change-climate-and-otherwise/

  • stu says:

    Chris Warren,
    You said “If this problem is the drongo problem, then yes, just ignore it, or filter out its garbage.” That is tempting but the crazy SD does not worry me, he is in fact a wonderful source of amusement for our little tribe of intelligent folk who often crack up with laughter when we read the rantings. So we will just watch and laugh, and pity, and occasionaly comment, just for the hell of it. BTW, on the whole Don is rational, if sometimes misguided and I seriously can’t believe he supports the mad stuff spewing from the probably aptly named SD.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Evidence-and-logic-free blither with a similar echo, crying on each other’s shoulder.

      Making absolutely no attempt to deal with the real world.

      It’s sad that alarmists who simply believe and cannot rationalise, have to terminate debate to save face.

      If only you were both smart enough you could publish another alarmist climate paper based on more GCM assumptions and justify all your silliness.

  • spangled drongo says:

    When alarmists aren’t allowed to be reassured by logic and become so brainwashed and hysterical, it’s no wonder they all suffer from enuresis nervosa:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2018/09/bbc-tells-journalists-that-ipcc-is-god-can-not-be-wrong-no-debate-allowed/

  • JimboR says:

    Who says the Libs aren’t into renewables. There’s what they tell the RWNJs to stop them howling at the moon so much and then there’s how they spend our taxes……

    The South Australia Liberal government has finally outlined details of its long-awaited Home Battery Scheme, that will offer $100 million in state government subsidies for up to 40,000 households to install battery storage in their homes. Individual grants to up to $6,000 will be granted to help with the purchase of the batteries, a graded subsidy level will add more support to low-income households, while the Clean Energy Finance Corporation is offering $100 million in loans to help in the purchase of rooftop solar for those who don’t already have it, or who want to enlarge their current system, and to help with the battery purchase.

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/south-australia-offers-up-to-6000-grants-for-home-battery-installations-49440/

    • spangled drongo says:

      So you’re worried the RWNJs might be right and even you lefty SJWs are finally getting concerned that the CC Industry may be a financial disaster, hey jimb?

      Jimb!? Are you there, jimb!!??

      Tell us in your own words just how good a solution this is.

  • stu says:

    Climate science has many facets and countless scientists researching intricate parts of the whole puzzle. Some, like in this space, concentrate on only one aspect, temperature, and get even that wrong.

    Here is a different aspect regarding oxygen and the oceans. Probably has some relevance to our friend SD and his statements that CPO2 is breathable (so what) and that one degree of temperature change matters little (never mind science is talking global average not point figures).

    So along with proved increasing acidification with have the oxygen component and the makings of a new carboniferous lay down.

    See Forbes “Oceans are losing Oxygen, Just as they did 94 million years ago”.

    “A recent study sheds light on why Earth’s oceans have been losing oxygen in recent decades. Globally, scientists can measure oxygen levels in the ocean and evidence points to a 2% decrease in oxygen levels in the past 50 years.

    Although this decrease in ocean oxygen levels seems small, there is a ripple effect that can alter ecosystems. This, combined with estimates that oxygen levels will continue to decrease by 1% to 7% by 2100, leaves scientists concerned about what lies ahead.

    The decrease we see in our ocean’s oxygen will stress ecosystems and alter habits of fish and mammals. For example, larger fish that require more oxygen will be more limited in the areas they can go to eat and reproduce.

    What Is Causing Oxygen Levels To Decrease?

    A number of factors are likely influencing the decrease in oxygen levels in oceans. However, the key culprits are likely an increase in fertilizer use and a warming planet.

    Humanity has drastically increased the amount of fertilizer we use to produce ever higher crop yields. However, when that fertilizer runs off into our waterways it eventually makes its way to the ocean. When that happens, microbial communities and algae all of a sudden receive a massive delivery of food. Bacteria and algae colonies exponentially increase to feed on the newly delivered food and when that happens they respire, same as humans. As in, they take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, removing dissolved oxygen from the ocean.

    MORE FROM FORBES
    You have likely heard of dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico for instance. This is a scenario where enough nutrients are brought to the Gulf of Mexico that you get algae and bacteria blooms, plummeting the available oxygen in the water. This, in turn, kills nearby fish that require oxygen to breathe. In case you missed it, we just had one of the largest Gulf of Mexico dead zones in history.

    Mississippi River sediment plume into the Gulf of MexicoNASA
    The second culprit to declining oxygen levels is a warming planet. This one is fairly straight forward. Basic principals of chemistry and physics dictate that colder liquid can hold more dissolved gas than a warmer liquid. You can witness this by opening two Coke cans, then leaving one out on your counter and the other in the fridge. Come back the next day and I bet the one in the fridge has more dissolved carbon dioxide (carbonation).

    History Is A Glimpse Into The Future

    Has something like this ever happened in the past? Have oxygen levels in oceans declined and if so, what were the effects? To answer the question of oceans declining oxygen levels, professor Jeremy Owens from Florida State University had to step back 94 million years ago.

    Approximately 94 million years ago there was a well documented Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE), whereby large swaths of oceans were devoid of oxygen (anoxic). These anoxic events are a key source of oil and gas around the world. This is because when the ocean is anoxic, bacteria cannot break down organic carbon as it falls to the ocean floor. Thus, the organic carbon is preserved, buried, heated and forms hydrocarbons.

    The study finds a period of 50,000 years before the anoxic event where oceans saw gradually declining oxygen levels. In fact, the rates of declining oxygen are similar to the rates we see today, PROVIDING THESE EVENTS AS GOOD ANALOGS INTO EARTH’S FUTURE.

    However, what triggered these anoxic events in the past, as clearly humans weren’t around to spread fertilizer in the oceans? The deoxygenation period was coincident with a noticeable increase in volcanic activity. As you may know, volcanoes emit large amounts of carbon dioxide during an eruption. THIS WOULD HAVE THE SAME EFFECT AS BURNING FOSSIL FUELS TODAY, AN INCREASE IN GLOBAL TEMPERATURES. On top of that, large volcanic eruptions can send volcanic ash and dust around the globe, providing nutrients to oceans in the process.

    Hence, studying these oceanic anoxic events provide useful insights into how our planet will react, specifically in terms of ocean oxygen levels. While we clearly will not see the effect of this in our lifetime, it will certainly impact future generations.”

    Article is in Forbes and the author says “I am a geologist passionate about sharing Earth’s intricacies with you. I received my PhD from Duke University where I studied the geology and climate of the Amazon. I am the founder of Science Trends, a leading source of science news and analysis on everything from climate … MORE”
    Trevor Nace is a PhD geologist, founder of Science Trends, Forbes contributor, and explorer. Follow his journey @trevornace.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Stu

    Oceans HAVE to loose free oxygen because, through fossil fuels, additional carbon enters the atmosphere and combines with twice the quantity of carbon to form CO2. Oxygen then moves out of solution because the partial pressure of atmospheric oxygen has fallen. There has to be an equilibrium of partial pressures (for any gas) between atmosphere and land water.

    So the opposite occurs. The increased CO2 in the atmosphere means CO2 is absorbed by water to again equalise the partial pressures. Consequently the PH of water MUST fall.

    These two processes are continuous so you can extrapolate Mauna Loa data and falling PH data and thereby see when the worlds oceans will be truely, weak acid.

    All this is subject to temperature as well.

  • spangled drongo says:

    That’s the way, stu, keep reading, you’re bound to learn something.

    But go easy on the mindless groupthink predictions.

    “These two processes are continuous so you can extrapolate Mauna Loa data and falling PH data and thereby see when the worlds oceans will be truely, weak acid.”

    Oh, go and talk to your mum, blith!

    So she can remind you that when the world had 7000 ppm CO2 and temps were warmer, the oceans still remained alkaline at never less than ph 7.7.

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