The race to be the silliest: alternative energy and the election

I had mentioned in a previous post that I would look at the Greens’ policies in due course, and I’ve started. But the other night a smiling Greens Senate candidate for the ACT, Christina Hobbs, told us in the news that she had  a plan that would Renew Canberra. How would she do that, always supposing the city needs ‘renewing’? Why, by boosting alternative energy, of course. Now, before I get stuck into her policy it’s worth remembering that the Greens can say almost anything their supporters like, because they are not going to be in power (the probability of a Greens government after July 2nd would seem to be a good deal less than 0.5 per cent). What they do, in announcing policies, is to push the two major party groups into worrying about whether it’s worth competing on their ground or not. I suppose I should add that they have hopes they will be in a balance of power position after July 2nd, but Labor may have learned from last time. We shall see.

Some of the basic policy positions have been about for six months or more. The Turnbull Government has said nothing yet about its plans, if any, for boosting the use of alternative energy after 2020, for which it has a target of 23 per cent. Labor has proclaimed a target of 50 per cent by 2030, while the Greens have set a target of 90 per cent by the same year. I’ll come back to the Greens’ figure in due course. But let’s consider Ms Hobbs’s Renew Canberra plan first, noting that, in her words, Global warming is the greatest challenge of our time.

The plan is short of argument and evidence,  and starts like this. Our economic future is clean and green, or it is no future at all. In Canberra, it is research and innovation in renewable energy that will revitalise our local economy, stimulate new industries and create new jobs. The ACT provides a blueprint for the Greens plan around the country to create a jobs-rich, clean energy future. Our plan will build on what’s already happening locally by investing in new jobs in research, where the ACT is emerging as a leader in the knowledge economy.

Did you know that the ACT was emerging as such a leader? I didn’t either, and I don’t know what the evidence for it is thought to be, as well. No matter. The key is the Greens’ national plan, Renew Australia, for which Renew Canberra is a spin-off. What is to happen there? A new half-billion government authority, RenewAustralia, will have $5 billion to spend on new energy generation over the next four years. The plan will put nearly a billion through the Australian Research Council, Co-operative Research Centres and other bodies for new research jobs, presumably all in alternative energy. It will provide better support for roof-top solar installation, and convert fossil fuel use into ‘clean electricity’. How is it to be paid for? Wait for it.

Our plan for jobs in research will be funded from announced revenue measures, including the abolition of fossil fuel subsidies. Abolishing one such subsidy alone, the fuel tax credit rebate, would save the budget at least $4.5 billion a year. Instead of propping up the industries of the past, the Greens will redirect that money to securing our future.

With great respect, I have to say that the notion that Australia has fossil fuel subsidies is impossible  to sustain.  A fossil fuel subsidy occurs when a government acts to provide fuels to consumers at lower-than-market prices. Indonesia does this, though not as generously as it used to, and many other countries do it too. They’re usually oil producers. Australia doesn’t do it, and never has done it. What about the fuel tax rebate, you ask.

First, the fuel tax credit is not a fossil fuel subsidy. To repeat, we don’t have any in Australia. While the Greens and their supporters talk a lot about ‘fossil fuel subsidies’, they seem to mean any taxation measure from which a mining company or large corporation could benefit.  This is a misuse of language.

Second, the fuel tax credit is a rebate on the fuel tax, which is  the largest component of the petrol price at the bowser, and is available to businesses or the self-employed who use fuel as an input to whatever it is they do. Farmers are a good case. So are mining companies. So are builders and other tradies. It is no different in principle to other business costs. The fuel tax is there in theory to help fund roads, but a lot of oil is used in heating or to run stationary machines. In another house at another time I used diesel fuel to power the central heating system, and received a rebate for that use.To abolish fuel tax rebates will simply raise the price of everything. It won’t do anything of any consequence to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, let alone to ‘combat climate change’.

Back to this grotesque plan to have Australia working on 90 per cent alternative energy by 2030. It isn’t clear whether the Greens are talking about all energy or electricity generation. That makes some difference, because there are no alternatives of any consequence for petrol and other oils in areas like transportation. Yes, we have an electric car or two, and an electric bus or two, and a good deal of suburban electrified rail. They do not run on alternative energy, but on grid power.

A couple of years ago, as I wrote the other day, the components of that grid power (the eastern grid, which means Queensland, NSW and the ACT, Victoria and South Australia) went like this: coal 73 per cent, oil and gas 13 per cent, hydro 7 per cent, wind 4 per cent, rooftop solar 2 per cent, biomass 1 per cent. Those proportions are likely to be very similar in 2020. The reasons are simple: we have no safe, reliable and cheap alternatives to coal and gas in generating electricity. Nor are any likely to appear in the next 14 years.

As I have explained many times, wind and solar suffer from intermittency and weakness in power. You need square kilometres of installation to provide quite small amounts of power generated that way, even if you could store the power for use when the wind was not blowing and the sun was not shining. Yes, you can look after some houses, if their roofs are set the right way and are large enough. But you cannot power an apartment building, a hospital, a factory, or the city’s transportation systems that way. To suggest that Australia could seriously aim for 90 per cent generation of electricity through wind and solar by 2030 is simply ludicrous, and akin to fraud. It’s not possible.

If Ms Hobbs is not aware of these problems, I can provide her with plenty of evidence from unimpeachable sources to show her the error of her ways. If she does know about them, but thinks these difficulties are unimportant, then she is extraordinarily foolish, and ought not to be standing for Parliament. Oh, and so far I haven’t seen any sign that the Greens think that  the size of our national debt is an important issue — as is clear from Ms Hobbs’s Renew Canberra Plan. Indeed the Greens state that now is the time to borrow more.

Alas, all the parties seem to be about spending rather than saving, an odd approach when your cupboard is bare.

Join the discussion 41 Comments

  • spangled drongo says:

    “Global warming is the greatest challenge of our time.”

    Yes, I noticed that last night with the highest astronomical tide of the year being 100 mm above my 70 year benchmark but bad luck, the barometer was reading 15 Hpa below normal [allowing a 150mm SLR].

    IOW, the HAT was 50mm below what it was 70 years ago.

    Sadly, Don, we are not improving in our thinking as events unfold. GW religion conquers all.

  • NameGlenM says:

    I have a similar problem with the Australian Liberty Alliance(ALA) and its position on Hydro- electricity;.that is build more dams to procure such energy.One Ron Pike asserts this can become a reality but for the life of me I can’t think how given the erratic rainfall,low relief of the topography;environmental concerns- such as thermal pollution and altering the downstream dynamics of the rivers.Politically, it is the equivalent of Strontium90- not to mention the cost.The problem I guess is that I’ll vote for them in the Senate.

  • NameGlenM says:

    I wonder how much of ACTs present renewable energy comes from.It would not surprise- for political reasons of a local nature for them to lock into renewable wind from as far north as Glen Innes and base source from Snowy Hydro. The ACT has not much in the way of “homegrown”energy.Maybe the greens would like to see massive arrays of wind towers dotted along the Brindabellas. Ha!

  • Neville says:

    Australia produces just 1.3% of the world’s co2 emissions, so clearly whatever we do won’t make a scrap of difference to climate, Co2 levels, temp or anything else. I have to repeat myself but the world gets just 1.2% of TOTAL primary energy from Geo, Solar and Wind.
    Lomborg’s team of maths, stats and economic experts state that at the moment S&W only supply about 0.4% of TOTAL world energy and this could increase to just 2.4% by 2040. That’s a very optimistic number as I’ve shown before and is most unlikely to be the case.
    If these silly people really believe they are fighting their CAGW by implementing these fraudulent schemes they should be left to last place on our ballot papers. Here is that !EA pie graph AGAIN.
    http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/WORLD4.pdf

  • gnome says:

    Here http://reneweconomy.com.au/nem-watch is the running report on electricity generation by state.

    Note that it shows only generation, not consumption, so SA usually produces about as much power as Tasmania, and even though almost half of what it produces is renewable, the picture is rosified because SA still has about three times the population of Tasmania and much more industry so we could expect consumption to be much higher. More than half of what SA produces is from liquid fuels, and probably more than half of what SA consumes is imported from Victoria, generated by brown coal.

    And SA is the pin-up model for renewables, even though it has the highest grid electricity prices in Australia.

    If you want a reliable supply of electricity, be like SA, and stick with fossil fuel generation. If you don’t mid paying a lot more for your electricity, be like SA and generate a bit with renewables.

    Will it be an issue at the next ACT election, or will it be swamped by the cost of light rail?

  • spangled drongo says:

    Also in the race to be the silliest, greens are always in favour of going off-grid with “sustainable” batteries to store renewable power.

    This costs ~ $30,000 to store $3 worth of electricity. And good for only a limited number of cycles. And useless after a short period of sun and/or wind-free weather.

    But they don’t get that the best, cheapest and most sustainable battery of all – the grid – is already there and costs us very little yet it is available 99.9% of the time.

    Of course, when they abolish that 4.5 billion “subsidy” they will then be able to increase road taxes [justifiably ?] to help pay for their madness.

    My head spins as we spiral down the plug hole.

  • Alan Gould says:

    Ah, Don,
    You anatomise the dear lady’s superbia and foolishness all too effectively, and cause one to move from avoidance of the Greens to abomination of them. I have to remember they mean good things for whales and tigers as I shudder at Ms Hobbs’ platform above.
    I have no-one to vote up in this election, and three parties to vote down. I wish the simple vote came with an intensity count, because then my ballot paper would luminesce with personal renewable energy.

  • David says:

    “If Ms Hobbs is not aware of these problems, I can provide her with plenty of evidence from unimpeachable sources to show her the error of her ways.If she does know about them, but thinks these difficulties are unimportant, then she is extraordinarily foolish, and ought not to be standing for Parliament.”

    Must be nice to have access to unnamed but “unimpeachable sources” to support your argument. From your previous post, I thought that “Argument from Authority” and “Attacking the person and not the argument(ad hominem)” was frowned upon.

    A case of do as I say not as I do.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      David, you’ll need to change your name and sex. You’re not Ms Hobbs. But as an avid reader of these pages, and as someone aware of the problems even if you don’t agree with the account of them I give, you’ll know that I have provided a dozen or so good analyses of wind and solar, and you’d be able to find them without difficulty. Ms Hobbs, however , is new to the site, so I would help her.

      I know I’ve said these things to you before, but why don’t you have ago at showing that, after all, wind and solar are really powerful and give us the 90 per cent that Ms Hobbs is after, rather than just attacking the man and not the argument (fallacious argument no.1 in the last essay)?

      • David says:

        Don. I thought the “impeachable sources” to which you refer were written by a third person. But no, something you wrote, apparently. I am glad we have cleared that up.

        You are the one that chose to describe Ms Dobbs of being “extraordinarily foolish” and somehow I am being accused of attacking the man. How does that work?

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Yes, they are analyses written by others. If you use the search icon and put in ‘wind and solar energy’, or variant, you’ll see the references to the third parties.

          The truth is, you just don’t read carefully enough.

          • David says:

            I read carefully enough Don

            “…even if you don’t agree with the ACCOUNT OF THEM I GIVE”

            See the “account of them I give” bit Don? That’s the bit that I don’t think is “unimpeachable”.

            The truth is, you just don’t write carefully enough.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            I let this one through, perhaps against my better judgment. I did so to point out to you that you are using the ‘distraction’ argument. The post is about Ms Hobbs’s policy and the Greens’ ambition to have 90 per cent alternative energy for Canberra by 2030.

            Your contribution is to pick on a word I used and then imply that I have made an egregious error, indeed, used a fallacious argument. I reply to point out your own error, and to assert that I have written about this subject many times, based on good arguments and evidence from others. I suggest that you go into the site and read again. You prefer to go on with distraction.

            This style of contribution adds nothing to the Comment, wastes my time, and is one of the reasons you were placed in moderation. No further contributions from you will be accepted on this thread.

          • JimboR says:

            Lest I too be accused of “distracting” let me say up front I agree that 90% renewable does sound ummm… “ambitious”. But my interest was piqued by the promise of unimpeachable sources. Hoping to find some beefy electrical engineering papers I could really sink my teeth into, I typed “wind” into the search box and perused a few essays that had Wind in the title. I found a lot of self-references but the only identifiable third party reference I could find was an opinion piece by some blogger called Rud Istvan. Don is that your only unimpeachable source or did I miss some (genuine question)?

          • gnome says:

            So Jimbo and David – the challenge remains – show us how we can get 50% (or more!) of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

            If you look at the NEM site I referred above it seems clear to me that despite our immense waste of money on renewables up to now it can’t be done. If you look at Neville’s list of previous bankruptcies overseas in this field of endeavour despite the immensely generous subsidies it looks even more impossible.

            Over to you men. Do try to stay on topic though, and answer the question for once.

          • JimboR says:

            gnome, I think you need to direct that question at those advocating that policy. I’m just looking for Don’s promised unimpeachable sources.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Great to see someone actually searching. Now if you go back to the Rud Istvan piece you’ll see lots of other links. Then there are the EIA data and projections. I am not prepared to do other’s work for them, so you still have some way to go. You don’t need heavy papers on electrical engineering at all. The variables are related to intermittency, storage, infrastructure costs, and grid needs. The 90 per cent target is simply not achievable, which you seem to recognise.

      • David says:

        Ms Hobbs, however, is new to the site, so I would help her.

        A real helper aren’t you? Helping “extraordinarily foolish” people wherever you find them. 🙂

        • Don Aitkin says:

          She needs to ask first. I assumer that her search system will find all references to her on the web. It’s standard practice. She really only has to Google her name, and the essay will appear. No doubt somebody in her team has that responsibility. No request yet.

          • JimboR says:

            “She really only has to Google her name, and the essay will appear. ”

            Which essay? Your essay? Not here it doesn’t. Don, remember google tailor your searches to give you what they think you’re interested in. I googled her and couldn’t find any mention of you or your essay in the results. I gave up after 5 pages of results, so it might have turned up eventually. Have you considered reaching out to her?

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Jimbo, my thanks. I still think she will have seen it, because of her own links through Twitter, Facebook and Linked In. But you’re right, there is not an early reference on Google. So I have sent her tweets directing her to the essay and offering my preparedness to discuss the issues with her.t

    • spangled drongo says:

      Ah! Dave has joined the race, too.

      Or just barracking from the sidelines?

      C’mon, you can give us a bit more silly than that, surely, Dave.

    • Alan Gould says:

      David,
      What clinches the AGW matter for you? By this I mean, not the quantum of ‘authority’ behind the alarmist view, but the reasoning they supply that persuades you.

  • Aert Driessen says:

    Don, all I can think of saying is how much I admire your strength of character and grace in analysing this sort of stuff. Clearly, this sort of nonsense has to be analysed for the greater good lest it infiltrates our collective intellect. You provide a great service which, I hope, comes at not too much personal cost. Keep up the good work.

  • Neville says:

    Here Lomborg quotes the IEA ( not the EIA but EU based) and looks at their projections for S&W until 2040. But we must understand that trillions $ will be wasted in subsidies for this tiny contribution to world energy. Now it is about 0.5% but by 2040 it will be lucky to be 2.4%. Of course Obama’s own EIA May 2016 report confirms that human Co2 emissions in 2040 will increase by 34%, confirming Hansen’s claim after COP 21, that it is all BS and a fraud.

    Here’s Lomborg’s Quote and the link to his article. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bjorn-lomborg/are-wind-and-solar-energy_b_9087586.html

    “Truth is, wind and solar PV will be trivial contributions to global energy for the next quarter century. The International Energy Agency estimates that today just about 0.5 per cent of global energy comes from solar and wind (see graphic below). Even in 2040, even if everyone does everything they’ve promised at the Paris climate summit, the world will get just 2.4% of its energy from solar and wind.

    2016-01-27-1453901667-6538243-renewables2040.png

    Still, it will cost a fortune. This year the world will spend about $106 billion on subsidies for solar and wind, and even by 2040 it will not be cheaper than fossil fuels – we will still have to pay $84 billion in subsidies annually. The International Energy Agency estimate that even by 2040, renewables will on average be more expensive both in the developed and developing world than any other energy source, like oil, gas, nuclear, coal and hydro.

    Instead of spending billions of dollars to prop up today’s inefficient wind and solar energy, we should be investing more in green research and development to innovate the price of green energy down below fossil fuels. Bill Gates managed to get almost all developed countries to agree to double their green R&D investments from $10 billion to $20 billion, and that is a great start. But we need to push that investment further to $100 billion per year.”
    Follow Bjørn Lomborg on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bjornlomborg

  • Neville says:

    Christopher Booker exposes more of the solar energy fraud and the numerous, gigantic bankruptcies involved in these taxpayer funded white elephants. How long before this corruption and fraud is exposed by more of the MSM? This is probably one of the easiest frauds to expose yet we only have a small number of MSM journalists who dare to write about it. Why is that the case ? Here is Booker’s article and the link.

    http://www.thegwpf.com/bbc-spin-hides-the-great-solar-energy-fiasco/

    “BBC Spin Hides The Great Solar Energy Fiasco Date: 05/06/16 Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph Compared with reality, that glowing picture of our solar future painted by the BBC turns out to be as far from sunny as could be. Much excitement from the BBC last week over a report from a body called REN21 – with the headline on its website “Renewable energy surge reaches record levels round the world”. Global spending on renewables, it trumpeted, last year soared to £200 billion, bringing total investment in the past six years alone to more than £1 trillion. Never before had prospects looked so good for the day when most of the world’s energy will come from “green, clean” sources such as the sun and the wind: the costs of which, says the report, are fast becoming so “competitive” that last year investment in them was more than double that on “dirty” fossil fuel power plants. What the BBC didn’t tell us was that REN21 – full name Renewable Energy for the 21st Century – is the world’s leading lobby group for “green” energy. And, when it came to what the world is getting for this tidal wave of spending, it used the familiar trick of talking only of “capacity”, overlooking the fact that, because sun and wind are so intermittent, their actual output is very much lower; in the case of solar panels averaging at best only 15 per cent of their theoretical “capacity”. Without massive subsidies, no one across much of the world would dream of building a solar farm. Figures compiled by the BP Energy Review show that solar power provides less than 1 per cent of the world’s electricity and barely 0.3 per cent of all its energy. Most of this, thanks to the subsidies available in the climate-change-obsessed EU, comes from Europe. But, despite all the billions poured into this “solar boom”, not its least startling feature is the regularity with which the companies investing in it go bust. One of the first, in 2011, despite being given more than half a billion dollars by President Obama, was a US firm Solyndra. This was followed in 2013 by the collapse of Solar Trust of America, given a $2.1 billion loan guarantee by the Obama administration to build the largest solar farm in the world in California. Last March, the collapse of Europe’s largest solar company, Abengoa, after building two billion-dollar solar farms in the US, was the largest bankruptcy in Spanish history. Another giant US firm, Sun Edison, last year valued at $10 billion, has seen its shares fall from $33.44 last July to barely a cent. Among those enraged by Sun Edison’s bankruptcy have been the residents of several Wiltshire villages, who only agreed to the US firm covering 56 acres of their countryside in blue panels because their communities were promised £40,000, of which they will now never see a penny. This is only one of a cluster of solar farms in the country around Melksham, several more of which have left residents far from happy. Last year plans to cover 200 acres of productive farmland at Snarlton were turned down by Wiltshire planners – who were then overruled by a government inspector. In nearby Broughton Gifford, villagers were furious when Wiltshire council gave permission to the owner of another solar farm to install 10 large diesel generators, to provide very lucrative backup to the grid when the sun isn’t shining on his solar panels.”

  • Peter Kemmis says:

    Perhaps one of the reasons that many do not look more deeply into these claims about renewable energy, about the history of changes in climate and the uncertainties surrounding the AGW meme, is that in an increasingly technological age, we defer to the “specialists”. Take a simple example of the motor car; in the event of some failure, the average driver used to be able to tinker with the engine to some extent – battery terminals, check the wiring, the leads and spark plugs, air and fuel filters, and the more knowledgeable could strip the carburettor and clean the jets. Today’s car engines are far more complex, and most drivers have to leave it to trained mechanics for what used to be the basics. I suggest that there are many younger drivers today who don’t know how to change a wheel – I’ve certainly helped one or two. So not only are we less “empowered” to solve problems, the rise of the services industries encourages us to pass these tasks to others.

    One result is that we are not giving ourselves the opportunity to think outside the square. We are not as frequently exercising a broad base of common understanding across a range of disciplines – I call that exercise the use of our “common sense”, which I think uses a broad base of knowledge, but in particular, applies some logical thinking. Both these characteristics are found in what we call “the pub test”. I think that this failure to grasp the present limitations on renewable energy, is simply another case of duck-shoving on to others the task of thinking through the issue. It’s put in that all too convenient “too hard basket”.

    Another reason is this dreadful guilt about the human impact on the earth, that has been inculcated for two school generations in the West. And here we are promised a way to alleviate our guilt! It is a lesson from religions well learned by rabid “environmentalists”. First develop a conviction of sin; then offer the panacea. Works every time.

  • Neville says:

    Gosh now even some journalists are using the term”giant Ponzi scheme” to describe some areas of the CAGW mitigation fraud. My point is that if Tesla is a “giant Ponzi scheme” then why isn’t the entire mitigation fraud called out as well.
    Obama’s own EIA tells us that Co2 emissions will be 34% higher by 2040 and we know that S&W energy will be just 2.4% of global energy by 2040. So if Tesla is a giant Ponzi fraud, why isn’t the entire CAGW mitigation fraud called an even greater Ponzi fraud? Tesla may involve billions of taxpayer dollars but this even bigger fraud involves trillions of $ from now to 2040. What’s wrong with our journalists? This isn’t too difficult to add up surely, just simple maths and simple logic and reason.

    http://www.thegwpf.com/heres-why-tesla-is-a-giant-ponzi-scheme/

  • Lenny says:

    Yep,
    Renewable energy is not
    base load
    dispatchable – hard to match supply and demand

    wind has a marginal return on energy invested, is basically only just generated enough power to cover its energy of manufacture – add in storage and this goes negative.

    Only exist because of subsidies

  • Colin Davidson says:

    For David et al, here are some numbers for you to mull over.
    1. Wind farms require 1 square metre for every 2W of nameplate power. A typical 2MW windmill therefore needs 1 square kilometre of space.
    2. Windmills have a capacity factor around 15% (I know people claim 30%, but the audited figures for countries with large windmill populations are half that) – that is, a 2MW windmill will produce an average power of about 300kW. To replace a 200MW coal fired power station would require a 400 windmills. These will cover an area of 400 square kilometres (a square 20 kilometres on each side).
    3. Those windmills will require a minimum of 120,000 tonnes of coal and 120,000 tonnes of concrete to construct/install.
    4. The windmill power is generated at the windmill’s own volition, not as we would want it. So the 400 windmills need back-up generators of at least the same capacity. Gas turbines (powered by dieso) are the usual selection, but one could build dams, erect coal fired power stations or nuclear. The backup needs to be spinning all the time, so will burn some fuel whether or not the wind is producing, unless you use hydro (good luck with getting green approvals for that!).
    5. Because the wind is intermittent/fitful, the grid has to be augmented with additional phase correction, voltage correction and power-factor correction gear. And of course new power transmission lines from the (NIMBY) windfarms will be required.

    Looks like a real bargain to me. Instead of just buying and operating a decent back-up, you get to buy and operate the windmills as well. Brilliant!

    • BB says:

      Hi Colin I agree with you essentially. I have a table of actual data for 2014 from the National energy market data. It has the performance for New South Wales wind farms for every day of the year. I have calculated precisely what you would require to replace the Bayswater Power Station in the Hunter Valley. It’s plate capacity is 2.6 GW but the actual output is not that when you look at the data. It produces about 70% of that for the year which equates to a constant source of 1.82 GW. Which on average is 44.32 GWh per day. Hypothetically you must be able to duplicate that output with wind power. So first off how many wind turbines would you need? If you look at the current performance of New South Wales wind farms the percentage of plate capacity is 17.5%. That is you need a plate capacity of 10.4 GW to equal one coal-fired power station. Since the typical wind turbine is 2.1 MW that means close enough to 5000 of them. In 2014 the total plate capacity of all wind farms on the eastern grid was 3.8 GW which is half what you need just for the plate capacity of Bayswater. That would be bad enough but it is not as simple as that if the renewable energy percentages are to have any meaning we cannot just blindly accept the intermittent nature of wind. If the figures in the table I spoke of are looked at there are many days when the overall output drops below 1%, in fact there are 53 days when the largest wind farm droped below 5%.

      As you mention there must be something to back it up. So what I’ve done is to look at each day and see how much storage is needed to keep generating the amount of energy that Bayswater does. So we must achieve something around 44.32 GWh per day. If you attempt this you find your plate capacity is 16 GW and the necessary energy storage must be 950 GWh. So if we go back to the number of turbines we need it works out at a bit more than 7600. These turbines will occupy a square 83 km x 83 km.

      If you can do that you will be delivering about 16,000 GW hours into the grid. In 2014 that was 7.6% of the annual consumption on the eastern grid. To reach 50% you will have to replace the equivalent of 6.6 Bayswater power stations. It is much much worse than you enumerate!

      I have ceased to believe that this is about CO2 at all I think it is about a different agenda. I have a brother who is a member of the Greens party in New Zealand he agrees with something that is called the deep ecology manifesto. This puts forward that we should change from human centred view to one that is centred around the natural world. They think the planet is under extreme threat from the human virus. The plan can be explained essentially by saying civilisation should return in all respects to the early 1800s. If we were to stop all fossil fuel usage that would achieve it. We would wind back to the start of the Industrial Revolution. I think their dream is to convince people that CO2 is dangerous in order to achieve this aim not because the core of the movement believes It will result in catastrophic global warming. The best way you could describe the environmental movement is to say they are against anything that helps civilisation. I have been trying to come up with something they approve of that helps civilisation as yet I cannot. As the situation stands at the moment their efforts are affecting most economies in the Western world. We really do need to wake up.

  • John Bromhead says:

    NameGlenM wonders where the ACT’s renewable electricity comes from. At present it comes from a variety of sources. Contained in the electricity supplied from NSW is about 110GWh of hydroelectricity from the Snowy Mountains. There is also a credit for that part of the national RET scheme. Generated within the ACT is a small amount of solar from rooftops and one 20MW solar farm.
    There are 2 large solar farms totalling 20MW being constructed, also in the ACT. There are contracts signed for 400MW of wind farms and reverse auction tenders have been accepted but not yet chosen for an additional 200MW of renewables, almost certainly wind turbines.
    Extrapolating from figures of output for the first 400MW of wind from an ACT government website, the production from these wind farms will be about 2300GWh of electricity per year. All of this wind generation will be produced and used elsewhere in eastern Australia. The ACT is using the credits that come from these wind farms to offset the coal and gas generation contained in the electricity it imports from NSW. The amount of credit from the RET scheme will have risen to about 500GWh by 2020.
    Apart from the 110 GWh hydroelectricty and less than185GWh of very expensive solar electricity to be generated in 2020, almost all of the electricity supply will be from fossil fuelled generators, 2800GWh of which will be offsets from ACT contracted wind farms and the RET scheme which in itself will mostly come from wind turbines. ACT grid electricity consumption is predicted to be about 3000GWh. The figures don’t add up. I predict the ACT will exceed the 100% electricity target figure by a few percentage points.
    The furtherest wind farm already contracted (200MW) is the Hornsdale wind farm in SA, almost exactly 1000km away.

  • John Bromhead says:

    The ACT Government has released information about the cost to households that seems reasonable. They say that households with average consumption (about 8000kWh) will pay $293 more and the cost for the whole community will be $117 million in 2020. This is only for the subsidies paid to the ACT contracted wind farms and solar farms. This doesn’t include the cost of the ACT small and medium scale feed-in tariff schemes that I estimate when fully subscribed will add $50 (including GST) for a household and about $20 million for the ACT as a whole. When the national RET scheme reaches its target in 2020 all Australian electricity consumers will have to pay $11 for each megawatthour of electricity they consume to allow the retailers to buy sufficient large-scale generation certificates from the renewable generators. This equates to about $88 (including GST) for the average household in Canberra. The ACT at present has consumers paying for the operation of an energy reduction scheme. I’m not sure that it will still be operating in 2020.

  • Neville says:

    John thanks for your summary and could I ask whether you think any of this makes any sense? Obviously this can’t make a scrap of difference to the climate or temp or co2 levels at all, so why do people just accept this delusion?
    I’ve listened to Shorten and Di Natale telling the electorate that they are “fighting climate change” and the Coalition isn’t doing enough and Turnbull has dropped the ball. Fair dinkum if these donkeys really believe their nonsense they should be the last people that anyone would vote for anytime, anywhere.

    • JMO says:

      Yes I heard it too. So 2007! Here we are 9 years later with every doomsday prediction from 2007 (within this timeframe) proved wrong and yet they still rant on about it. All they have proven is they have strong similarities to religious zealots.

      David, surely by now (if you have any sense) you must be loosing your climate religion – I have!

  • Neville says:

    We’ve been told over the years about the terrible “social cost of carbon.” Now this new McKitrick et al study finds that there may be no cost at all. This should be front page news in the MSM tomorrow, but I’d take bets that it will be ignored like all the other good news stories about our modern world that didn’t see the light of day.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/06/07/the-social-cost-of-carbon-may-have-just-gone-negative/

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