You Can’t Do Heavy Industry On Renewables

Maybe the Green-Left Collective is starting to wake up to the fact that even in a post-truth age, you can’t just pretend that wind and solar can replace thermal power without affecting the whole economy.

 

Jo Nova writes:

Matt Howell, the CEO of Tomago Aluminium Smelter, told a few home truths on ABC radio Monday.

To paraphrase in my own words:

1. Aluminium Smelters gobble electrons for breakfast. His smelter uses 10% of  the entire electricity supply of the most populous state in Australia (NSW).

2. If power goes out without warning for more than three hours, the smelter pot lines freeze, permanently. The company goes to the wall.

3. The largest battery in the world would keep their smelter going for all of 8 minutes. There is a good reason there are no solar or wind powered aluminium smelters anywhere in the world.

4. The government can ‘t let the market solve anything whilst it is simultaneously destroying the free market by propping up the market failures at the same time.

5. Electricity pricing has suddenly gotveryugly. Their electricity bill may now be subject to price spikes where it could cost them $4 million just to keep one pot line running during that spike. It is as if suddenly gas stations only sold $400 per Litre petrol. (Which would be$1800/per gallon).  What he doesn’t say, but which logically follows from that, is thatheavy industry in most of Australia can no longer get reliable electricity at an affordable price, even with forward contracts. Cry, scream, run with your factory.

6. In Australia, if we achieve “zero coal” we will also achieve “zero heavy manufacturing”.

7. If we want heavy industry, we need a HELE Coal plant. There are hundreds being built around the world, and we are selling our coal to them. How crazy are we?

Howell makes some great points. It’s good to see an ABC presenter willing to let the evil capitalists speak. Well done Matt Wordsworth. I found something worth listening to on the ABC this year.

 

Read the rest of the article, including the link to the interview here

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Amazing: Plants Adapting to Increased CO2

The CSIRO has found that plants around the world are absorbing more CO2 and doing it more efficiently than ever before. As the concentration of CO2 rises in the atmosphere all kinds of plants are growing faster, but using relatively less water to do so.

This confirms the satellite images showing that the world is greening.

Rising carbon dioxide is making the world’s plants more water-wise

Land plants are absorbing 17% more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere now than 30 years ago, our research published today shows. Equally extraordinarily, our study also shows that the vegetation is hardly using any extra water to do it, suggesting that global change is causing the world’s plants to grow in a more water-efficient way.

Water is the most precious resource needed for plants to grow, and our research suggests that vegetation is becoming much better at using it in a world in which CO₂ levels continue to rise.

The ratio of carbon uptake to water loss by ecosystems is what we call “water use efficiency”, and it is one of the most important variables when studying these ecosystems.

Our confirmation of a global trend of increasing water use efficiency is a rare piece of good news when it comes to the consequences of global environmental change. It will strengthen plants’ vital role as global carbon sinks, improve food production, and might boost water availability for the well-being of society and the natural world.

Read the full article here

Electricity Price Shock

Electricity-bill-shock-energy-cost

The brave new world of energy poverty is about to hit one of the most prosperous and energy-rich nations in the world. With electricity prices jumping by about 20% next month we are in for a tough time economically and financially. And of course the burden will as always fall hardest on the poor.

As Jo Nova points out this is how the climate change scare mongering policy is working out:

Many are blaming a “failure of energy policy”, but miss the point entirely — this is not failure but success. The aim of those energy policies was to close down coal fired stations and it worked. The Renewable Energy Target, the carbon tax, and other anti “carbon” policies did what they were supposed to do and forced the closure of both the Port Augusta power stations and Hazelwood (which supplied as much as 5% of Australia’s electricity). That left us dependent on gas instead of having the flexibility to ignore the current gas price outlandish cost.

With politicians and Chief Scientist Finkel colluding to drive up the price of electricity by forcing more renewables on us, there is no way that electricity prices are going to stabilise or fall.

At the moment, Government policy requires that retailers must take all wind and solar available at whatever price is set. Coal generators then get the left overs, but here is the rub- they cannot quickly slow down their systems (or speed them up for that matter) and coal generators run most efficiently at close to maximum power. Ironically all those wind turbines and solar cells do little to reduce the CO2 production at these plants.

So the operators of coal generators have to basically burn more coal than they optimally need to, take the price set by the Energy Market Operator and provide the “left overs” that wind and solar cannot supply on any day. Despite all the hidden subsidies in the electrical supply market, wind costs about $80 per Megawatt hour, solar $100 MWh and the wholesale price for coal is about $20 MWh.

The system is set up to destroy our cheapest form of energy generation in the long term. There will be no  more coal powered generators constructed because the current policy makes them unviable The only reason the we have any coal powered generators left in Australia is that the costs of constructing them were paid off decades ago.

Throw into that horrible mix the requirement of the Finkel review that all renewable systems must include batteries, that must surely double the cost of power generated that way- great for energy security but lousy for affordability. And then require all operators to give three years notice before exiting the industry- you have to maintain a loss-making business for three years- what planet are these people living on?

Meanwhile all of that heavy industry that used to be the life blood of Australia’s economy will go to places where electricity is cheaper- India and China most likely. Ironically the cheaper electricity in those two countries is partially fuelled by Australian coal. And of course under the Paris agreement those two countries get a free pass until 2030 from any reductions in their carbon emissions.

Australia is either being run by lunatics or traitors. I’m not sure which.

 

Mainstream Climate Scientists Discover a Pause in Global Warming Ten Years After “Deniers”

Anyone who gets their news from anywhere other than ABC and Fairfax would be aware that global temperatures were flat for the last 20 years. Of course the activists were decrying “The Pause” as a lie of big oil or Trump or whatever. The computer models failed to predict The Pause so warming must be continuing and they chose to believe the models rather than the measured facts. And of course they continued to call disbelievers “deniers” and heretics.

 

But now the climate science team are starting to acknowledge The Pause and admit that perhaps hteir models are perhaps less than perfect. Amazing! Garbage In- Garbage Out even applies to climate models.

 

From Watts Up With That

 

The New ‘Consensus’ On Global Warming – a shocking admission by “Team Climate”

 

By MICHAEL BASTASCH AND DR. RYAN MAUE

A scientific consensus has emerged among top mainstream climate scientists that “skeptics” or “lukewarmers” were not long ago derided for suggesting — there was a nearly two-decade long “hiatus” in global warming that climate models failed to accurately predict or replicate.Anew paper, led by climate scientist Benjamin Santer, adds to the ever-expanding volume of “hiatus” literature embracing popular arguments advanced by skeptics, and even uses satellite temperature datasets to show reduced atmospheric warming.

More importantly, the paper discusses the failure of climate models to predict or replicate the “slowdown” in early 21st century global temperatures, which was another oft-derided skeptic observation.

“In the early twenty-first century, satellite-derived tropospheric warming trends were generally smaller than trends estimated from a large multi-model ensemble,” reads the abstract of Santer’s paper, which was published Monday.

“Over most of the early twenty-first century, however, model tropospheric warming is substantially larger than observed,” reads the abstract, adding that “model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early twenty-first century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations.”

The paper caught some prominent critics of global climate models by surprise. Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr.tweeted “WOW!” after he read the abstract, which concedes “model tropospheric warming is substantially larger than observed” for most of the early 21st Century.

It’s more than a little shocking.

Full story at Watts Up With That

Renewables and Energy Policy Are Killing Us

From Jo Nova:

Stupid Nation: Australians crave cheap energy, yet think “low cost” renewables need support

It’s like an Easter Island moment for an advanced economy: somehow “cheap” energy can’t compete in a free market without government subsidy. A Nation of Serfs have forgotten what a free market is. Will cheap desirable stuff sell itself, or not?

The contradictions mount. Electricity and gas prices are hitting escape velocity:

The wholesale electricity spot prices was about $35 a megawatt hour during 2011, rose to $58 after the carbon tax was introduced and is now about $130 as gas prices push up energy generator costs.

Not surprisingly 70% of Australians want cheaper, more reliable electricity. Only one person in four would rather cut emissions than cut the bill. Yet the agitprop telling people that renewables are “cheap” has been so pervasive that fully 38% of Australians think the government should raise the renewable energy target, and 23% think it should stay the same. It follows that around 4 in 10 Australians apparently hold the bizarre idea that wind and solar are cheap and yet in need of government support, as if there are no investors willing to put money into supplying something that 100% of people want at a price cheaper than what they currently pay. So screwed is our national commentary that a large slab of the nation think a cheap and highly desired product can’t profit without complex schemes and assistance.

Message to Australia, if renewables were cheap they wouldn’t need a RET, LET or CET scheme. People would just buy them!

No wonder there is policy gridlock. The situation won’t be resolved until the propaganda bubble pops and the national debate advances to the point where people know how expensive renewables are. Find me one country in the world running on wind and solar that has cheap electricity and no interconnector supplying coal or nuclear powered electrons. Exactly.

The answer for the Liberal-conservatives is clear, unless they get the message out that renewables are a hideously expensive deadweight burning a hole in our wallets they can’t possibly win this debate. As long as the nation blindly drinks from the Kool-aid-Cauldron the Conservatives are on a hiding to nothing –  locked into endless cycles of “uncertainty” and hip-pocket pain.

Welcome to the clean green future — pack the whole family under one electric blanket while boat loads of our cheap coal set sail for China.

Canberra offers tips on snuggling up for a clean, green winter

Angela Shanahan

A few weeks ago I received a pamphlet from the ACT government on energy-­saving tips. For winter it featured a picture of a family all in overcoats and beanies, huddled under an electric blanket.

Welcome to your clean green future huddled under an electric blanket, and reverting to wood fires to keep the house warm.

The Finkel report aims to provide incentives for all energy ­sources that produce electricity with lower greenhouse gas emissions, but the suggested benchmark means a high-efficiency, low-emissions power plant with carbon capture and storage would not qualify. That is why plenty of people think this is a backdoor attempt to block coal and even gas with an effective “tax on coal”.

The crisis has arisen because of the over-reliance on wind and solar power. In South Australia, combined with the closure of two coal-fired power plants, one in SA and one in Victoria, it has destabilised the whole grid. Added to that is the shortage of gas and the lack of storage for renewables.

Meanwhile, despite the domestic opposition to coal, we send our coal to Japan and China to be used in high-­efficiency, low-emissions coal-fired generators to produce cleaner and cheaper power where people don’t have to sit ­inside wearing beanies under an electric blanket.

Hal G.P. Colebatch: The prophets of eco-doom: a perfect record of failure

CULTURAL HISTORY
The prophets of eco-doom: a perfect record of failure

by Hal G.P. Colebatch

News Weekly, June 3, 2017

Environmentalism, or at least its deep-green variety, has, by the clownishly failed predictions of its gurus and prophets, confirmed its place as a leader among those “sciences” in which a complete lack of factual accuracy bears not the slightest relationship to its proponents’ reputations or careers.

“Earth Day” was conceived 47 years ago, time enough for any catastrophic threats to the Earth forecast then to have materialised. At that time the late George Wald, a Nobel Laureate and professor of Biology at Harvard, predicted: “Civilisation will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

It didn’t.

The problems facing civilisation come chiefly from uncivilised men who denude landscapes by chopping down trees for fuel. Civilised men have available safe, clean nuclear energy, and if they live in a country like Australia, the means to quiet superstitious fears by building reactors in deserts.

At the same time as Professor Wald’s predictions of universal doom, Professor Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University boosted his bank account with the best seller, The Population Bomb. This declared that the world’s population would soon outstrip food supplies. He stated that the “battle to feed humanity” was lost. In 1969 he told Britain’s Institute of Biology: “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

The ludicrous nature of this doom mongering, looked back at from 2017, should speak for itself. Ehrlich was peddling a sort of doom pornography.

If anyone had taken it seriously, rather than as a subject for a cheap thrill, they would have been laying down stocks of food, guns and ammunition, and, like some American “survivalists” (whose fears came from a different direction), preparing refuges in the Outback against the coming Armageddon. On that first Earth Day, Ehrlich warned: “In 10 years, all important animal life in the sea will be extinct.”

Instead of being sacked from his chair, or being offered a job as a circus clown, since then, showing the limitless human appetite for flim-flam, Ehrlich has won no fewer than 16 awards, including the 1990 Crafoord Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ highest award. As that well-known social philosopher Charles Manson put it: “You can convince anyone of anything if you push it to them all the time.”

In an article for The Progressive, Ehrlich predicted: “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next 10 years.”

Of course, the first influential proponent of ecological doom was Thomas Malthus, the first edition of whose Essay on the Principle of Population was published in 1798. Neither Malthus nor Karl Marx, with the Theory of Increasing Misery, foresaw that improved agricultural and industrial production and technology would lead to the Earth being able to support populations many times larger and at a much higher level than they imagined.

Thus, with the “green revolution” allowing at least countries with good governments to feed themselves, a new hobgoblin was called for. How many of us remember that in the 1970s the existential threat hanging over mankind was not global warming but global cooling?

In International Wildlife of July 1975, one Nigel Calder warned: “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.” In Science News the same year, C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organisation is reported as saying: “The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed.”

In 2000, climate researcher David Viner told The Independent that within “a few years”, snowfalls would become “a very rare and exciting event” in Britain. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said. “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.” In the following years, Britain saw some of its largest snowfalls and lowest temperatures since records started being kept in 1914.

In 1970, ecologist Kenneth Watt told a Swarthmore College audience: “The world has been chilling sharply for about 20 years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990 but 11 degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

2000 has come and gone, and there is no ice age in sight.

Also in 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look magazine: “Dr S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian, believes that in 25 years [ie, by 1995], somewhere between 75 and 80 per cent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

A chart in Scientific American that year estimated that mankind would run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold and silver would disappear before 1990. In 1974 the U.S. Geological Survey said that the U.S. had only a 10-year supply of natural gas.