How To Reverse Prosperity In A Decade

From Jo Nova- the truth about “free power from nature”

Electricity prices fell for forty years in Australia, then renewables came…

Electricity prices declined for forty years. Obviously that had to stop.

Here’s is the last 65 years of Australian electricity prices — indexed and adjusted for inflation. During the coal boom, Australian electricity prices declined decade after decade.  As renewables and national energy bureaucracies grew, so did the price of electricity. Must be a coincidence…

Today all the hard-won masterful efficiency gains of the fifties, sixties and seventies have effectively been reversed in full.

Indexed Real Consumer Electricity Prices, 1955-2017. Graph.

Indexed Real Consumer Electricity Prices, Australia, 1955-2017.

For most of the 20th Century the Australian grid was hotch potch of separate state grids and mini grids. (South Australia was only connected in 1990). In 1998 the NEM (National Energy Market) began, a feat that finally made bad management possible on a large scale. Though after decades of efficiency gains, Australians would have to wait years to see new higher “world leading” prices. For the first years of the NEM prices stayed around $30/MWh.

But sooner or later  a national system is a sitting duck for one small mind to come along and truly muck things up.

Please spread this graph far and wide.

Thanks to a Dr Michael Crawford who did the original, excellent graph.

Advertisements

Global Warming And Malaria

From Watts Up With That

 

Remember when global warming was going to increase Malaria? Never mind…

Remember these claims?

From Our World in Data, over the past 15 years, malaria deaths have almost halved. (h/t to Bjorn Lomborg)

In the visualisations below we provide estimates of the total number of deaths from the World Health Organization (WHO) from 2000 to 2015, and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), Global Burden of Disease (GBD) from 1990 to 2016. These estimates are notably different across various countries which affects the total number of reported deaths. IHME figures, as shown below, tend to be higher; they report deaths greater than 720,000 in 2015 versus only 438,000 from the WHO. Further information on the confidence intervals of WHO estimates, and a country-level comparison between these two sources is covered in our section on Data Quality & Definitions.

Malaria death estimates from WHO

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the WHO has published global estimates of the number of people that die from malaria. In these 15 years the global death toll has been cut in half: from 839,000 deaths in 2000 to 438,000 in 2015.

Click here for the rest of the article

 

Jo Nova: “Free Energy” Costs Too Much

Jo Nova writes:

The Mystery: The most resource rich nation on Earth has the highest electricity prices?!

Ask anyone and get confused: It’s poles and wires, gaming of the system by capitalist pigs, excessive taxes, privatization, and record gas prices. The CleanEnergy Council  tells us that Australia has one of the longest electricity networks in the world — we need lots of poles! And so we do. But once upon a time Australia had the cheapest electricity in the world and we still had lots of poles. Not only were miles of poles and wires, there were also capitalist pigs, excessive taxes, and privatized generators. There were wild gas price spikes too, (during which we probably just burned more coal).

Evidently, something else has changed. Something seismic that wiped out all the bids below $50/MWh. 

Perhaps it has something to do with the 2,106 turbines in 79 wind farms that on random windy days might make 4,325MW that didn’t exist in Australia in 1999 when electricity was cheap and our total national wind power was 2.3 megawatts?

Another clue might be the 1.8 million new solar PV installations, which theoretically generate 7 gigawatts of electricity at noon on cloudless days if all the panels have been cleaned. Back in 2007, we had 14MW.

But of course, cause and effect are devilishly difficult. The one thing we know for sure is that even though sunlight and moving air is free, there is no country on Earth with lots of solar and wind power and cheap electricity.

Any day now, renewables are going to make electricity cheap, but when that happens, it’ll be a world first.

See the graph: the more renewables we have the more we pay…

Cost of electricity, countries, graph, renewables capacity.

….

Source: Paul Homewood at NotalotofpeopleKnowthat inspired graphs by Johnathon Drake, and Willis Eschenbach, and Dave Rutledge, similar to this one. This particular graph came via Judith Sloan in The Australian, though I can’t seem to find the exact link.

 We’re high achievers price-wise

Australia is far above the trend-line.  Our electricity is even more expensive than it should be for the amount of renewables we have. At a guess this might be because other nations have more “hydro” in their renewable mix and less wind and solar.  Or they have access to nuclear power (like all the EU countries). It may be made worse by the way our energy markets are managed, the profusion of bureaucracies, the subsidies and rebates, the renewable energy target, or the overlapping state and federal green aims. It also may be that in our smaller market we have a few big players gaming a volatile, complicated market. Stability may cost more here, due to the fragility of our network.

Don’t blame wind and solar… oh, wait

To isolate the effect, this graph from Euan Mearns takes out the “hydropower” and biomass aspect and just looks at wind and solar. Spot the trend:

(Note that “Aust” means Austria, not Australia)

Europe, renewables, countries, cost of electricity, graph.

Figure 1 The Y-axis shows residential electricity prices for the second half of 2014 from Eurostat. The X-axis installed wind + solar capacity for 2014 as reported in the 2015 BP statistical review normalised to W per capita using population data for 2014 as reported by the UN.

As Euarn Mearns says, there’s more than one variable at work here, but the inescapable conclusion is the countries with the highest levels of renewables pay the highest prices.    h/t Don B.

Is that another 10 cent price rise coming?

According to wikipedia our wind power capacity is set rise 250% or something crazy (I’m skeptical):

From wiki wind power in Australia–  As of May 2017 a further 12328 MW of capacity was proposed or committed.[2] “AEMO Planning and Forecasting – General Information Page”. Retrieved 7 June 2017.

For a population of 24 million that means we would add another 500 watts/capita. Eyeballing the trendline in the graph,  prices would rise by another 10c/KWhr. (Don’t try to unpack the x and y units exactly and calculate it. That’s another story.)

Say it again: there is no country on Earth with lots of solar and wind power and cheap electricity.

REFERENCES

Moran, Alan (2017) The Finkel Report’s Recommendations on the Future Security of the National Electricity Market:
Impacts on the Australian Economy and Australian Consumers, Regulation Economics.

I Like Turtles

 

turtle

A great journalistic triumph on the ABC this morning was the report on the all female hatching of green sea turtles at the northern end of the Barrier Reef. The study was funded by US weather agency NOAA , the Australian Government and WWF (the World Wildlife Fund), a notorious pusher for climate change propaganda. The research was carried out by scientists (I would use that word cautiously) from James Cook University, another institution devoted to the climate religion.

Anyway, using DNA samples from turtles in the wild they were able to trace where they hatched from and deduced that all turtles from the northern end of the reef born last year were female. We know that the warmer the environment the more likely the hatchlings are to be female.

The journalist asked a very wise question, “How much have temperatures here increased?”

There was a pause while the scientist was obviously thinking “Crap! We haven’t thought this through.” Eventually she said “We know that the average global temperatures have increased by 0.8 degrees since the 1880’s and we need to do more to fight climate change.”

We don’t know how the temperatures have changed at the place where the turtles are hatching, but they are obviously under threat because temperatures in other paces have increased a little since the Little Ice Age.

Being the modern journalist at the ABC, there was no pressing of the point.

Also I was intrigued by other questions that were not asked like:

  • How are the turtles at the other breeding sites doing? Are they producing males who then mix in with the wider population?
  • What role does habitat destruction play in the health or otherwise of the turtle population?
  • Since they were only measuring older turtles and working backwards, is it possible that there were in fact many males produced but something other than slightly higher temperatures was killing them?
  • Is it possible that the last two years of warmer than average temperatures were caused by something other than “climate change”?
  • If we stopped all CO2 production tomorrow would the turtles notice the supposed change in temperature?
  • How did the sea turtles survive the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods, not to mention other geological periods when temperatures were much higher?

Here is the problem for environmentalists. If you think that climate change explains everything that is bad in nature, then if there are other causes for bad outcomes focusing on “fixing” the climate will kill the very things you are trying to save.

What a pity we can’t get proper journalists and scientists to ask the necessary questions.

A Day Of Extremes

While Australia was sizzling through a heatwave yesterday, which may or may not have set some records- some of which are up to 20 years old- it was actually snowing in the Sahara Desert.

For more on the snowy Sahara (the second year in a row it snowed there) click here. Jo Nova has the details about why the Sydney heat “record” is less than impressive.

In Narrabri we have the regular “Narrabri Airport sets new record” fairly often because they moved the official weather station from Narrabri West P.O. about 20 years ago,

I think the Bureau of Meteorology needs to stop being a publicity channel for “climate change” and go back to its roots in science- the old variety of trying to be objective as opposed to post-modern, post-truth “science”.

Solar Power in Germany- Awesome

Jo Nova writes about the awesome results of solar power in Germany- 10 hours of sunshine for the whole month, and even that at a very low angle above the horizon. They have 40 GW of installed solar PV (in theory, half their total power requirements) but when the sun don’t shine you get no power.

German solar: 10 hours of sun in December makes 40 Gigawatts of nothing

From Pierre Gosselin at No Tricks Zone:

Germany needs 80GW of electricity. It has 40GW of installed solar PV.

See the graph: The red line is what the country used, and the orange bumps are the solar contribution.

Clearly, solar power will take over the world.

Solar Energy, Germany, December 2017

In December, Germany got ten hours of sunlight. That’s not a daily figure, that’s the whole month. So in summer on a sunny day, solar PV can make half the electricity the nation needs for lunch. In winter, almost nothing. From fifty percent, to five percent.

Imagine what kind of havoc this kind of energy flux can do. Not one piece of baseload capital equipment can be retired, despite the fact that half of it is randomly unprofitable depending on cloud cover. Solar PV eats away the low cost competitive advantage. Capital sits there unused, spinning on standby, while wages, interest, and other costs keep accruing. So hapless baseload suppliers charge more for the hours that they do run, making electricity more expensive.

They just need batteries with three months supply. It will be fine once Germany turns the state of Thuringia into a redox unit.

Read about it:  Dark Days For German Solar Power, Country Saw Only 10 Hours Of Sun In All Of December!

It’s rare for Germans to botch up an engineering task on quite this scale.

Another “Green”Hare-brain Scheme

The ABC is breathlessly reporting that London busses may soon be powered by waste coffee grounds. This is a relief to those who also bought the story about global warming, if unchecked, could reduce the area suitable for coffee cultivation.

So here’s the plan. You go to all those coffee shops around London, scrounge their bin for a litre or two of waste, take it to the factory, refine it and there you have it- “bio-diesel” for your bus fleet.

Here is the problem. You have a choice of a product that is low and variable quality and distributed in small quantities over a large area which then  has to be refined in a small scale facility and then sent to the bus fuel station. Or you could use a product of known and standardised quality, produced in huge quantities through known processes and with already established distribution facilities.

It’s not hard to work out which is going to win hands down.

I started to try to work out a rough estimate of costs but there isn’t enough information to go on. I suspect that residents of London will end up paying more in the name of saving the planet, with no real guarantee that they are reducing CO2 emissions which is given as the aim of the process.