Multinational Warning: Australia Has Passed a Renewable Energy “Tipping Point”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Multinational Mining Giant Glencore has warned of job losses and damaging economic contraction, because government favouritism towards renewable energy has eroded reliable baseload capacity. Energy intensive businesses like Glencore are firing workers and decommissioning factories, to match the reduced availability of reliable baseload power.

Australia passes a ‘tipping point’ in energy crisis

Glencore has warned that Australia has drifted past a “tipping point” of industrial energy “demand destruction” and that the nation has 12 months to re-establish reliability and affordability of its base load power capacity or risk permanent and unpredictable shifts in the shape of the economy.

“We have to meet Australia’s energy needs now, in five years, 10 years and 15 years. We can’t rely on blue-sky thinking. There is an energy crisis in the world’s largest exporter of coal, the second largest exporter of gas and a major exporter of uranium. We need real solutions. Unless we make decisions really quickly, and I mean in the next 12 months, that re-establish base load capacity then we have no chance of sustaining the economy in the shape that it is in now.

“In the end the market will work its way to balance,” Freyberg continued. “It will stabilise – but the wrong way and for the wrong reason. The inability to secure affordable base load supply means that the problem will be fixed by demand destruction.

“We are beyond the tipping point in terms of industrial demand destruction. And when capacity is closed and plants are shut down, they don’t come back.

The Glencore position is that the erosion of Australia’s base load capacity caused by a policy preference for intermittent renewable options has left the national market critically exposed to peak-demand shortages. And Freyberg’s forthright criticism completes an unwelcome trifecta for our federal and state governments.

In March, Rio [Tinto] shut 14 per cent of its production at the Boyne Island smelter for want of an acceptable electricity supply contract. Rio generates 86 per cent of its own power for the Gladstone-based smelter but had been acquiring the balance of its needs from the spot market. A two-year effort to replace that spot exposure with contracted supply proved unsuccessful and, as a result, an equivalent quantum of Boyne production was closed.

That meant more than 100 Australians lost their jobs and Rio surrendered 80,000 tonnes a year of aluminium exports. It is worth digesting in full the transcript of Jacques’s spiky post-annual general meeting contribution to the national energy debate. His frankness announces, with equal force, the depth of Rio’s anxiety and the difference in style Jacques will bring to Rio.

Read more (paywalled): http://www.afr.com/business/australia-passes-a-tipping-point-in-energy-crisis-20170505-gvzemz

If Australia continues this green madness then we shall achieve dramatic CO2 emission reductions; the Australian economy will contract until business demand matches the availability of reliable, affordable electricity.

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201 thoughts on “Multinational Warning: Australia Has Passed a Renewable Energy “Tipping Point”

  1. CO2 reductions run in parallel to economic reduction. As economies degenerate and export jobs to the third wold, the deindustrializing economies see their CO2 production going down, matched by CO2 increases in the developing world.

    • Actually more than matched because early growth stage economies tend to burn more coal per unit of GDP, and to use less efficient industry per unit of GDP.

      • Replies may be correct on the data submitted. The CO2 reductions are surely some sort of bureacratic estimate. Remember Germany dined out on the closure of the old communist infrastructure.
        We, in Australia, are on a slippery slope to dung stoves for cooking and in my opinion, this does not represent energy efficiency. The reality is not represented by a graph submitted to a UN committee.
        Our local Fake News, their ‘ABC’ had a report on the Four Corners program where an economist said renewables energy was the only way with the cost reduced by a tax on non-renewable generators. These fools do not understand the cost is the cost and his mix appears to include a football ground size battery storing 100 megawatts of energy, a dangerous compaction of energy and a massive waste of resources for a few moments of standby power.

      • Griff, what your talking about.

        In Germany, Croatian welders work on German infrastructure.

        German welders are on foreign assembly in Abu Dhabi to subsidize their families.

      • Equation
        Less emissions must = less production which must = significantly less population
        It is the only direction this particular reasoning can lead given the current state of renewable energy sources

      • Decades of “progress” and still people believe the gypsy wagon tonic sellers. We make computers and get to Mars, but we can’t get rid of the belief in magic.

      • No Griff you have it completely wrong – neither the UK nor Germany expanded their economies while increasing renewable energy – both their economies grew because we had some of the ‘Hottest Years Evaah’ (although it might just have something to do with increased numbers of jellyfish).

        The lesson from that is if we want the global economy to grow rapidly to lift all out of poverty we need to encourage global warming by increasing CO2 emissions as fast as possible.

        and that ludicrously ridiculous line of reasoning is a direct parallel to that of watermelons around the globe.

        Tto fully correct you, and as a matter of fact, manufacturing industry was lost from both the UK and Gemany due to the increased cost of all electricity prices directly resulting from the increasing but tiny percentage of renewable energy produced. The manufacturing and jobs went to countries with much lower cost energy and far higher CO2 emissions. The economies of both nations grew predominantly in the service sectors which replaced manufacturing jobs.

        Overall an increase in CO2 emissions as a direct result of ‘increasing renewable energy’ in the UK and Germany. BTW Germany has embarked o n a programme of new coal fired generation because of the problems, unreliability and cost of ‘renewables’.

      • By this definition, the pause was and will be true. Two measured amounts, one estimated amount and one predicted amount do not make a trend. If fact there are longer trends of actual measured decreases in the data that ECIU has in the report. Yet they were reversed a few years later. Your comment is technically true. But then any year where the average drops or is the same as the previous year would mean CO2 has increased, but the temperature did not, We have decoupled CO2 from global warming, based on this methodology.

        Thanks Griff, I will be sure to give you credit for this insight when the average temperatures decrease from the 2015 2016 highs. I am sure that you will be thrilled and admit that these skeptics are following sound reasoning. Yes, a bit of sarcasm, but deserved.

        The report did not include the costs of renewable support and whether the effects had been accommodated by the economy.

      • The good news is that most will innovate as wind and solar costs drive them out of business. New methods of electricity production will be local, not government dependent and at a low enough cost to put solar, wind and other peaking plants out of business.

        Coal generators will focus more on their largest customers and leave the grid for renewable chaos.

        A battery cannot compete with a local generator as it is dependent on a power source. As the grid becomes unreliable customers buy more generators. They turn them in a grid power failure. The generators are powered by fossil fuel.

        Fossil fuels are abundantly available. They are not going to run out anytime soon.

      • Germany at least gets reliable power from it’s neighbors. England on the other hand has been relying on non-energy intensive industries for it’s economic growth.

      • Sounds like the old “Broken Window” economic argument. Now that we wrecked our power system we have to build more inadequate generations systems which will cause us to build more…

      • Griff,

        join us. Try to make a living in Mackthaberin Chancellor Merkel’s Germany.

        Then teach your children how to survive.

        / we’ll discuss later /

      • Griff, the report you referenced in the link has been completely discredited. The report claims that British gdp per head grew by 130% in the period 1992-2014. According to the Office of National Statistics, the actual figure was 44%.

      • The Soviet Union’s economy expanded too…until it didn’t.
        The question isn’t growth. The question is reaching growth potential. Halving the nominal growth of an economy, or even reducing it by one percent per year very quickly amounts to trillions in unrealized wealth. And the people most impacted by that ever increasing gap between what should be and what is are the poor, both in the developed and undeveloped world.

      • Holderlin syndrome is:
        I’m a man. I have status and watch – by others families.

        As an auxiliary teacher, I’m on the run with the wife of my client and his children, so too I take part in Stockholm Syndrome hostage.

        In short “Griff”.

        Shucks.

        [? .mod]

      • Griff, I decided to check out the report you linked to. But first, let us note that the report was produced by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU): A rather pretentious title for an organization. The reports reads:

        ‘Data from 2014 … suggests per capita carbon emissions in the UK have fallen 33% since the UN Convention … was signed 25 years ago.
        ‘Over the same period, UK GDP per capita increased by 130%.
        ‘ECIU director Richard Black, said: “It’s really time to slay once and for all the old canard that cutting carbon emissions means economic harm.“’
        No, it’s not time to slay it.
        Grif, a cumulative 130% growth in GDP over a 25 year time span is not indicative of a healthy economy. Since that 130% growth represents a compounded rate it equates to an average yearly increase in GDP of just a wee bit over a measly 1%. A GDP rate that low simply does not create jobs. Normally it would actually lose jobs since yearly productivity gains of 1-2%, coupled with fluctuations in the labor market, requires yearly GDP increases of 2-2.5% just to hold steady on jobs. But, productivity has also been anemic; which is the reason more jobs haven’t been shed during the ‘recovery’ from the 2008 recession. But, the jobs shed haven’t returned.
        As is so usual with advocacy organizations the numbers presented by the organizations themselves, if interpreted correctly, dispels the claims they’re making. And I’ll bet they know it. They just figure (oftentimes correctly) that the public won’t catch on.

      • Griff,
        2 main reasons why the U.K. has been able to cut domestic CO2 production levels and increase Renewable sources (to 9% of their mix)
        Increase in imported energy currently close to their 1970’s levels
        And
        A decline of UK manufacturing, especially in energy-intensive industries
        http://visual.ons.gov.uk/uk-energy-how-much-what-type-and-where-from/
        So this difference in domestic production of CO2 isn’t due to renewables being better but rather to energy production and manufacturing being outsourced

      • Auto
        Query: –
        Is ‘anthropophobic’ a real word, meaning fear of people (generally) – or a portmanteau one [I am sure it has been used before. hasn’t it?]?
        One for Jean-Claude ‘Tax-dodgers-are-my-pals’ Juncker – it is/was French, but English, of course, will appropriate any word, from any language – if it is useful .

      • Besides which, GDP is utter bollocks. If you pay half the people to smash windows and the other half to repair them, you can make GDP explode overnight. But it won’t make you any better off.

    • Australia is only doing what the UN demands of developed countries. Closing down its industry to the (temporary) benefit of developing countries thereby over the medium term bringing its living standards down to an acceptable (to the UN) level.

      UN-favored nations, which at the moment are mainly the BRICS, will be allowed to continue their polluting habits until the developed world has deteriorated sufficiently. What exactly the plan is after that is still hard to discern in the mists but I’m sure there is one somewhere.

      • The plan is unelected global government …. see the rejected annex to the Copenhagen climate meeting.

        The EU has been something of a trial run for this with the progressive erosion of democracy and the replacement by unelected and unaccountable ‘decision makers’ – all, of course, in the public’s bests interests. NOT.

      • Newminster,
        Personally, I suspect that after –
        “UN-favored nations, which at the moment are mainly the BRICS, will be allowed to continue their polluting habits until the developed world has deteriorated sufficiently. ” the Plan will, broadly, be more of the same – G7/G20, plus BRICs, to be hammered back to first, Moroccan (say) living standards, then, eventually, somewhere like Chad or Somalia (say).
        Net result – billions of deaths not matched by births.

        A pernicious, anthropophobic, outcome, but one appearing (to me) fully in line with our Watermelon Archimandrites’ aims and UN-mandated statements.

        Auto
        Query: –
        Is ‘anthropophobic’ a real word, meaning fear of people (generally) – or a portmanteau one [I am sure it has been used before. hasn’t it?]?
        One for Jean-Claude ‘Tax-dodgers-are-my-pals’ Juncker – it is/was French, but English, of course, will appropriate any word, from any language – if it is useful . . . .

    • The enegy from the sun is free. Michael Bloomberg, has notèd that what the government doesn’t matter. Free markets will go solar and wind. Technology will make renewables cheaper and cheaper. There is a suburb in Australia of more than 200 homes are off grid. Solar panels and batteries. Renewables cannot be stopped. The benefit is lower pollution, therefore less dead people. Electric cars with advances in technology will also take over, using electricity from renewables. This will be great.

      • Carbon dioxide is not pollution, it is the gas of life. It has been as high as 7000 ppm and the planet thrived. Before the Industrial Revolution it was 280 ppm, at 200 ppm plant life starts to shut down and at 150 ppm it shuts down altogether and that is the end of life on earth. We came close. Thank the evil capitalists. We are still dangerously low, we need more of a buffer. Incidentally, the greenhouse effect of CO2 is logarithmic, not linear, which means the more you put in the less effect it has on temperatures but it has a large effect on plant growth.

      • Oil from the ground is free. So is coal.
        The cost is in collecting it.
        Solar panels and wind mills cost lots and lots of money.
        We’ve been working on solar and wind energy for hundreds of years. They aren’t new concepts.
        Actually it’s easy to stop renewables. Stop subsidizing them and they grind to a halt.

      • PS: I’m fascinated by people such as Steve who are so convinced that renewables are unstoppable, that they need to use government to force everyone to use and pay for reneables.
        If it’s as inevitable as you want to believe, then you don’t need to do anything. Just sit back and let nature take it’s course.
        Your words betray that fact that even you don’t believe what you are saying.

      • Wow. 200 homes. A phenomenon!

        Only about 8,999,800 to go!

        Clearly a groundswell of fortune for “green energy” manufacturers.

        Or something.

  2. there is little evidence to support, and a great deal of evidence to contradict the proposition that massive increases in renewable energy reduce CO2 emissions.

    renewable energy is a non solution to a non problem.

    • renewable energy is a non solution to a non problem.

      Right you are.

      The steady and consistent yearly increase in atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities as per Mauna Loa measurements from 1958 to present ….. and the extrapolated atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities for the years prior to 1958 ……. have nothing whatsoever to do with the quantities of CO2 that has been or is being emitted into the atmosphere by human (anthropogenic) activities during the past 150 years.

      Therefore, it matters not a twit if there is, or isn’t, …. massive increases in renewable (green) energy production ……. because said action will have no effect whatsoever in slowing up or reducing atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities.

      And another scientific fact about earth’s “natural world” is, to wit:

      It is a biological impossibility for microbial decomposition of dead bio-mass in the Northern Hemisphere to be causing the seasonal (October to mid-May) increase of an average 6 ppm in atmospheric CO2 as is plotted on the Keeling Curve Graph.

      • Wrong interpretation of the Keeling curve. Most landmass is in NH. About half of all photosynthesis is terrestrial. There is much less photosyntesis is NH in winter when deciduous plants go dormant (as do grasses). So CO2 rises more, then falls during speung and summer as NH terrestrial photosymthesis ramps up again. Nothing much to do with microbial decomposition.

      • “The steady and consistent yearly increase in atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities as per Mauna Loa measurements from 1958 to present ….. and the extrapolated atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities for the years prior to 1958 ……. have nothing whatsoever to do with the quantities of CO2 that has been or is being emitted into the atmosphere by human (anthropogenic) activities during the past 150 years.”

        He didn’t say that. He said the evidence indicates massive increases in so called renewables don’t reduce CO2 emissions.

      • ” ristvan on May 9, 2017 at 8:10 am
        Wrong interpretation of the Keeling curve. Most landmass is in NH.”

        Rud istvan said.

        The globe healed again.

      • Ristvan,

        I have given Samuel several links to tests in e.g. Alaska which show a lot of CO2 releases from under a snow deck at -20°C, to no avail. He doesn’t believe it. There is a lot of dormant nature in the NH in winter, still lots of CO2 release from the decay of fallen leaves, more when it is not freezing, but still going on under freezing temperatures.

        It can be seen in the opposite CO2 and δ13C levels over the seasons, as that can be only from vegetation growth and decay. If the oceans were the cause, CO2 and δ13C would change in parallel:

      • ristvan – May 9, 2017 at 8:10 am

        Wrong interpretation of the Keeling curve.

        There is much less photosyntesis is NH in winter when deciduous plants go dormant (as do grasses). So CO2 rises more, then falls during speung and summer as NH terrestrial photosymthesis ramps up again. Nothing much to do with microbial decomposition.

        Ristvan, …. read my writing, …….. and iffen you can’t remember it, ….. then copy it to a Post-It-Note and paste it on the front of your PC.

        Ristvan, GETTA CLUE, …… Springtime “microbial decomposition” and “terrestrial photosynthesis” in the NH begins in January in the southern latitudes (Zone 9) and progresses northward to Zone 2 by mid-June …… as described on this Plant Hardiness Zone Map, to wit:

        And Ristvan, the microbial decomposition of dead biomass in the NH, which causes the emission of copious amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, ….. begins like two (2) to three (3) weeks earlier in the respective Springtime “planting zone” than does the NH terrestrial photosynthesis.

        And don’t forget, the initial Springtime “growth” of stems and foliage is accomplished via the stored “sugars” in the roots or seeds of the plants ……. and thus no ingassing of atmospheric CO2 is required.

        And that “CO2 emitting” microbial decomposition is occurring 24 hours/day, seven (7) days a week …… whereas the “CO2 absorbing” terrestrial photosynthesis only occurs in the daytime when there is solar irradiance (Sunshine) striking the plant foliage. And besides, all that “green” growing biomass …. also outgasses CO2 night and day.

        And in late August and early September when most all deciduous plants have ceased all photosynthesis activity …….. microbial decomposition is still rampant until the dead biomass dries out due to lack of precipitation (moister) and/or the near-surface temperatures drop below 60F.

        So Ristvan, the literal fact is, the outgassing of CO2 into the atmosphere during the NH Spring and Summer (March to September) via microbial decomposition of dead biomass ……. is probably nigh on to being equal too, if not greater than, …… the ingassing of CO2 from out of the atmosphere via the terrestrial photosynthesis activities.

        And those are “biological facts” about the natural world that you live in/on.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen May 9, 2017 at 9:34 am

        Ristvan,

        I have given Samuel several links to tests in e.g. Alaska which show a lot of CO2 releases from under a snow deck at -20°C, to no avail.

        Ferdinand, and just where in Alaska’s 663,300 mi² surface area …… was that house with an attached 600 ft² “snow deck”?

        GETTA CLUE, …… Ferdie, ……. To wit:

        In geology, permafrost is ground,[1] including rock or (cryotic) soil, at or below the freezing point of water 0 °C (32 °F) for two or more years. Permafrost accounts for 0.022% of total water on earth[2] and exists in 24% of exposed land in the Northern Hemisphere.

        Your “pet” theory about the correlation between “CO2 and δ13C levels” is bogus and FUBAR …. and you can’t change that fact by claiming that there is horrendous amounts of microbial outgassing of CO2 from frozen permafrost in the northern latitudes of the NH.

      • Samuel,

        The NH is not only perrmafrost, most is not, but large parts of the NH have deciduous vegetation: far less photosynthesis in winter, but still a lot of bacteria at work, even at near or below freezing temperatures.
        When I make a compost heap every fall, it halves in height during winter, thus inside de heap, a lot of carbon derivatives are converted into CO2 even mid-winter, as the temperature in the heap is a lot higher than outside (in general with few freezing days here).

        If you don’t understand what it means when you see opposite changes in CO2 and δ13C, then ask some specialist in (bio)chemistry… He/she can certainly show you that such changes must be from fossil or recent vegetation, not from the oceans…

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen May 10, 2017 at 8:39 am

        but still a lot of bacteria at work, even at near or below freezing temperatures.

        Ferdie, the United States Department of Agriculture – Food Safety Division ….. and literally every Public Health Department the world over says you are full of it up to your eyeballs for making such silly statements.

        Here Ferdinand, …… find a 10 year old student out walking on the street and beg him/her to explain the following to you, to wit:

        United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety

        Refrigeration slows bacterial growth. They are in the soil, air, water, and the foods we eat. When they have nutrients (food), moisture, and favorable temperatures, they grow rapidly, ….. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 °F, the “Danger Zone,” …..

        A refrigerator set at 40 °F or below will protect most foods.
        http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/934c2c81-2a3d-4d59-b6ce-c238fdd45582/Refrigeration_and_Food_Safety.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

        When I make a compost heap every fall, it halves in height during winter,

        Shur nuff, Ferdinand, …….. and iffen you put all your compost into your Trash Compactor before you put it on your “compost pile” …… I guarantee you that your “compost pile” will not shrink more than 0.01% over the winter months.

        Now go do something worthwhile.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen May 10, 2017 at 8:39 am

        but still a lot of bacteria at work, even at near or below freezing temperatures.

        Ferdie, the United States Department of Agriculture – Food Safety Division ….. and literally every Public Health Department the world over says you are full of it up to your eyeballs for making such silly statements.

        Here Ferdinand, …… find a 10 year old student out walking on the street and beg him/her to explain the following to you, to wit:

        United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety

        Refrigeration slows bacterial growth. They are in the soil, air, water, and the foods we eat. When they have nutrients (food), moisture, and favorable temperatures, they grow rapidly, ….. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 °F, the “Danger Zone,” …..

        A refrigerator set at 40 °F or below will protect most foods.
        http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/934c2c81-2a3d-4d59-b6ce-c238fdd45582/Refrigeration_and_Food_Safety.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

        When I make a compost heap every fall, it halves in height during winter,

        Shur nuff, Ferdinand, …….. and iffen you put all your compost into your Trash Compactor before you put it on your “compost pile” …… I guarantee you that your “compost pile” will not shrink more than 0.01% over the winter months.

        Now go do something worthwhile.

  3. How do we bell the cat,
    that cat-ass-trophe
    of low energy technology
    replacing ol’ king Coal,
    Coal that released serfs
    from back-breaking labour,
    ended famine in the West
    and all the rest, (see the stats
    on declining child mortality.)
    Industrial Revolution, not
    the Decline of the West,
    but a leap in innovation ‘n
    productivity, not to mention
    trial ‘n error steps to liberty
    for serfs. Say, will the last person
    leaving South Australia please
    switch off the light?

    • i swear ditherall in SA is a direct relative of moonbeam in Cali
      see this in todays STH aus online paper
      paywalled to read but the headers enough to have you crying

      ====================
      Sunny forecast for Port Augusta solar jobs
      Sunny forecast for Port Augusta solar jobs

      A SOLAR thermal energy plant at Port Augusta was given a huge boost in the Federal Budget with a
      ===============================================
      yeah a direct COPY of the ivanpah dud is pictured

      • Oz is in the ferocious grip of a lunacy which I don’t see any hope of abating. There is something qualitatively different about the mad leftist Mandarins there and they are quite special to a genuine connoisseur of the bizarre. In a Western World dominated by leftist ideologues hell bent on the total destruction of western culture and peoples the Australians are King.

  4. The tragic truth is that turbines will be the cassette tapes of today tomorrow.
    But they won’t be cute curiosities but
    obselete useles scabs on the landscape.
    A hideous reminder of billions criminally wasted.
    But a select powerful few made a heap of money didn’t they?

    • This reminds me of the early history of railroads. Lots of people saw the potential of railroads as the technology of the future. Many fortunes were lost as the railroads slid into bankruptcy. link Everyone associated with a bankrupt railway was ruined.

      The problem, these days, is that the people running companies are usually gambling with other people’s money. It’s really annoying that, in the case of renewable energy, they are gambling with the taxpayers’ money. When the companies eventually fail, the CEOs are still rich. link

      • Now it’s some kind of badge of “honor” to rip off taxpayers, declare bankruptcy and your CEO buys a dozen homes on tropical islands.

      • I fully agree Sheri.

        CEOs work for their own benefit, not that of the shareholders. They really don’t like it when an activist shareholder shows up. link The early version of Warren Buffett was a good example.

        Buffett made a name for himself by identifying market inefficiencies that could be exploited for the benefit of his investors and public shareholders. But unlike the corporate raiders of the 1980s, Buffett wasn’t out to tear companies down. In fact, he wanted to help build them up.

      • If you can find any employee who doesn’t look out for himself first and the company second, you have found a candidate for sainthood.

        Activist shareholders rarely if ever care about the company either, most of the time they are seeking to force some political nonsense onto companies.

        As to tearing companies down, what’s wrong with that if the company is too big and the components don’t work well together?

        When a company is broken up, it’s component parts are sold to other companies. Companies that are able to make better use of the resources so value them more highly than the source company.

        Around the turn of the century vertical integration and bigger is always better was the motto of both government and business.
        By the second half of the century, it was becoming obvious that this was a mistake and many companies had grown to large to be managed effectively. The advent of new technologies also meant that smaller more nimble companies often were able to bring out better products more quickly than the conglomerates could.
        As a result, smart companies began the process of downsizing. For many conglomerates, their component divisions were individually worth way more than the conglomerate itself was.

        The myth of the corporate raider who ravaged companies and communities never existed. It was just a myth spread by those to whom any change was bad.

      • Yes until fairly recent times politicians realised they were using the widow’s mite, now they are happy to screw what they consider dim-wits, because nothing in the rules says they can’t. Thats why they’ll get their heads torn off.

      • The only parts of companies that are being broken up that are shut down, are those parts that they can’f find a buyer for at any price.
        In which case, shutting down is the best thing.

      • MarkW May 9, 2017 at 1:30 pm

        … most of the time they are seeking to force some political nonsense onto companies.

        There are certainly cases of that but the evidence that I can find seems to be that the majority of the time the activists are interested in making more money for themselves as shareholders. link The rest of the shareholders should benefit from that equally.

        Whether it is better strategy to break up a company, or to improve its efficiency and make it more profitable, depends on the conditions prevailing at the time.

      • If the parts don’t work together, no amount of tweaking is going to fix it.
        Beyond that, the dis-economies of scale can’t be over come.

        There are times that some activist shareholders want to improve how much they get from a company. Most of the time by gutting the company and sending the money their way.

  5. Much in the same way that we criticize warmists for using images of water vapor emanating from the cooling towers of coal fired powerstations, in conjunction with a narrative that speaks of air pollution and other sins, we should be mindful of using images of wind-damaged pylons when talking about the shortfall of renewable energy policies.

    • What would you have us use? Pictures of dead eagles? A large, black square illustrating where the whole mess ends up?

      The whole problem with wind and solar is electricity is magic. No one sees it, no one really understands where it comes from, nor how it works. They only understand if the lights come or don’t. It’s hard to fight a magical entity. Even harder to illustrate one.

      Actually, I took the image to mean the “falling over” of the economic sector that needed electricity, not as an illustration of failed renewables.

    • thing is?
      the pylons that “fellover” were SUBstandard ones put in as a seperate line to run the wind turbines loads on from what i can gather.
      the old old ones on the main power gen from pt agutta stayed put

    • There is, I believe, an unintended truth to the use of “images of water vapor emanating from the cooling towers of coal fired powerstations” as illustrations of air pollution in that water vapor, the H2O molecules in Earth’s atmosphere generate a far greater percentage of the “greenhouse effect” than do CO2 molecules. If it is greenhouse warming that is the problem then it is atmospheric H2O that is the cause, not CO2.

      • In my area, the water vapor from the cooling towers of a nuclear power plant can clearly be seen, especially during summer months, to add to cloud cover, which has a cooling effect.

      • Don,
        Depending on where you live, of course, that –
        “water vapor from the cooling towers of a nuclear power plant can clearly be seen, especially during summer months, to add to cloud cover, which has a cooling effect”
        could be seen to be cooling – good,
        or – potentially – shade, so solar input down – so bad.
        Much of the tropics, and sub-tropics, I expect it is the former.

        Auto

    • I’d be very surprised if there was anyone who thought those pylons were brought down by renewable energy.

    • In the case of South Australia, it is almost apt. The recent large blackout in South Australia happened when the available wind power was at full rated capacity, but there was not enough grid voltage support for the wind power to be injected into the grid.

      If the wind power was a smaller fraction of the total power at the time of the disruption, the grid may not have collapsed, Not only does wind power need backup real power for when the wind is not blowing, it needs backup reactive power when the wind is blowing.

      As it is running at a power factor of zero, it is only the ohmic and frictional losses that need to be supplied, so a massive hydraulic generator (surplussed due to comparable inefficiency with a more modern unit) run as a synchronous reactor will not only supply reactive power during a grid disruption, but act as short term flywheel storage.

      Photovoltaics have the same problem as the DC power has to be converted to synchronous AC power for grid transmission.

  6. “Energy intensive businesses like Glencore are firing workers and decommissioning factories”

    And also forced to
    sell one of their coal mines.

    Glencore, in Australia at least, doesn’t have many “factories”. It is a major producer of fossil fuels, particularly coal.

    • Australia is an important part of our global business

      We’ve operated here for nearly 20 years and hold significant interests in a range of commodity industries across all mainland states and the Northern Territory.

      Headquartered in Sydney, we are a major Australian employer, with about 16,000 people working across industries that include coal, copper, cotton, grain and oilseeds, nickel, oil and zinc.

      Glencore

      • Glencore is mainly a miner in Australia. It used to be called Marc Rich Hodings. This article from 2015 gives an idea of what their real issues are. Debt is also a big issue. Yes, I’m sure Glencore would like to see Australia using more coal to generate electricity.

    • I used “factory” in a fairly generic sense. I guess I could have said “smelters, refineries, processing facilities, …” and added lots of other terms related to energy intensive industry, but “factory” seemed an appropriate catch-all.

      • I could have said “smelters, refineries, processing facilities, …”
        It doesn’t do so much of that either. They pretty much produce raw commodities.

        Another 2015 story (Murdoch) (my bold):
        “GLENCORE, the London-listed commodities company whose dramatic share plunge sparked yesterday’s $60 billion rout on the Australian share market, could be the trigger for the next GFC, analysts have warned.
        Shares in the world’s largest commodities trader plummeted 29 per cent on Monday after investment bank Investec Securities issued a warning about the company’s ability to repay debts amid falling commodity prices.”

      • “are supported by ownership interests in controlled and non-controlled industrial assets such as “
        Are supported by… Which they invest in.

        Here is their diagram of what they do. Note the “process and refine” is tagged “third party”.

        To come back to the main point, none of this makes Glencore a disinterested adviser on how Australia should generate electricity.

      • The quote I provided from the Glencore website says they have ownership interests in refining and smelting operations – so they at least partially own smelting and mining operations.

        As for Glencore being a “disinterested adviser” – WTF Nick? I never suggested Glencore and Rio Tinto are “disinterested”, on the contrary they seem very much interested in obtaining a affordable, reliable supply for their business operations.

      • Nick Stokes, the modern-day Watt Tyler in the Pedants’ revolt. Putting peasants out of work for his beliefs.

      • Nick Stokes:

        It’s Wat Tyler

        See, you just couldn’t resist the pedantry! My case rests.

      • @ Nick Stokes – however you choose to dress it up the simple fact is that renewable energy unreliability and costs are driving jobs away from developed nations to developing nations. It doesn’t matter if those are jobs in manufacturing and production or mining – they are all jobs….. and they all have real people whose lives are damaged in the process. On top of that the national economy takes a big hit.

        In the process of driving these jobs out of Australia and across Europe ‘renewable energy’ is increasing CO2 emissions way beyond those had the industry stayed in its original country using fossil fuel powered energy with relatively low CO2 emissions. And of course windmills Increase CO2 emissions because of the need to maintain fossil fuel baseload capacity – except of course where that can no longer be maintained because it has been damaged by watermelon politics.

        Whether or not you or anyone else believes that CO2 is causing ‘climate change’ is irrelevant – the UN claims to believe it does, but then is happy to encourage energy prices to be used to switch production from lower emission developed nations to high emission developing nations.

        Thats says to me that the UN doesn’t actually believe in CO2 driven Global Warming or in the allternative that the UN doesn’t actually care about the levels of CO2 emissions – it has a completely different agenda and ‘global warming’ is the tool or stalking horse to achieve that..

      • How many mines and prep plants have you been in Mr. Stokes? Some how I doubt you’ve been in any. Coal that comes out of mines is processed. It is crushed, cleaned of noncoal, then classified before being shipped. To do otherwise would be uneconomical and in some cases dangerous because of the explosion hazard from coal dust. Generally about as many people work in the prep plant, shipping, and maintenance
        of machinery and things like belt conveyors as actually work in the mine.

      • The problem is Glencore was not referred to as “evil fossil fuel users and producers of said raw materials”. One must always vilify the corportation, lest we forget just how evil and wrong the use of fossil fuels is. Had the company been involved in the mining of rare earths used in renewables, all would have been overlooked because rare earths are good and kind and nice.

      • “One must always vilify the corporation”
        It’s not vilifying the corporation to suggest that as a coal producer, any disparagement of alternative energy is not unexpected. Although their primary complaint is about the price of gas (Australia has become a major exporter) and the spot price of electricity. Here is a bit more of their complaint:

        “To be fair, the review findings were not consistent. The regulator also found that the integration of Queensland’s generators with other state markets saw peak pricing migrate from NSW and South Australia into the Sunshine state.

        Nonetheless, many major industrial customers continue to maintain that Queensland’s state-owned generators have been acting with enriching but perilous opportunism in pushing prices to the regulated ceiling when demand is high.”

      • “It’s not vilifying the corporation to suggest that as a coal producer, any disparagement of alternative energy is not unexpected.”

        It’s not viligying to the corporation to suggest that as alternative energy company, any disparagement of a coal producer is not unexpected. No reason to listen to alternative energy companies, either, when they speak of coal production.

      • @Nick Stokes .. I loved your quote of one of the lunatic Australian reports that don’t have a clue with the quote “state-owned generators have been acting with enriching but perilous opportunism in pushing prices to the regulated ceiling when demand is high”

        Those state owned generators are private instruments and have a charter most of them contain a statement of responsibilities and they usually go something along the line “to act with prudent commercial principles and maximise the long term value of the business, and the broader responsibilities as a government trading enterprise”.

        They are doing what they are supposed to be doing by LAW, they aren’t a charity.

        The problem is the grid regulation is completely distorted, stop trying to blame the companies they didn’t create the framework the regulator did. Next you will be complaining about banks making money in overnight trading because they are doing exactly the same thing.

    • Do you really want to choose the word “like” as the hill you want to fight on? What’s next, a discourse on the meaning of “is”?

    • As Eric points out, in today’s modern industries, a “factory” does not mean factory in the traditional sense. I thought you lived in the 21st century, Nick?

      In my case, my “factory” is in my mental capabilities and technical skills to deliver systems consumers of that want and will pay for.

      • I call it the Stokes Shift, as a direct parody of a genuine scientific phenomenon. Most, if not all, people commenting on this blog do so as willing and informed consumers of fossil fuels. Consumers that directly support the industries, jobs, and benefits associated with their production. Nick Stokes prefers to shift it a discussion about ‘those nasty producers’, as if their interests are always 100% antithetical to their customers.

        I just think it’s really a pity that companies like Glencore could have started finding their public courage some years ago, instead of leaving it to their customers to present the case for rationality.

  7. The one simple theory that covers it is that ‘most everyone these days is floating around with large parts of their brains quite effectively switched off.
    They are chronically depressed.
    As such, they are guilty of Magical Thinking – they effectively brain-wash themselves into believing things that are quite nonsensical.
    Our elected leaders are as guilty as anyone plus, the depression leads to buck-passing (or shirking of responsibility), inability to absorb (new) ideas or alternative views and panic responses & over-reactions to normal events (such as weather)

    So, our leaders believe windmills will work (not least as they are mesmerising things in their own right)
    (Recall Chris Huhne in UK Parliament telling the other members how windmills were ‘beautiful’)
    They let the manufacturers tell them they will work (that’s the buck pass)
    They over-react (knock down good power stations) as they’re told there is an urgent problem.
    They’re scared of losing their seats (no self confidence)
    and they panic as they cannot think of another way round the ‘problem’
    And because their brains are switched off, cannot engage in sensible coherent debate (its hard work and they cannot be bothered) so they meet & greet their opponents with torrents of abuse.
    Not least, even engage the idea that CO2 might not be a problem. Again= chronic lethargy and buck passing with the appeals to (scientific) authority and consensus.

    Yes these things manifest in rent-seeking, cronyism, consensus, authority but there is one underlying thing that is the root of it all.
    And the perfect ironing, Magical Thinking says one way to solve this self imposed problem is to actually consume more of the stuff that is causing it.
    sugar
    Somebody, something, somewhere has one epic sense of humour……

    • I don’t think leaders believe in wind turbines at all. I believe they are fully aware of what the outcome of this disaster will be. New fossil fuel factories are built just as the wind and solar start to darken the countryside—as in Germany. The leaders insulate themselves against any consequences of their actions. I wouldn’t be surprised to find an “Atlas Shrugged” type community somewhere for all those who pillaged the energy economies, complete with their very own nuclear power plant to keep their mansions lit up and warm. Leaders lie to us all the time. Why not? There’s no down side. And they most certainly know they are lying.

  8. Does not say much for the ” Awestrain “stoneage mentality, after all they elected the ignorant idiots !

  9. “In March, Rio [Tinto] shut 14 per cent of its production at the Boyne Island smelter for want of an acceptable electricity supply contract. Rio generates 86 per cent of its own power for the Gladstone-based smelter but had been acquiring the balance of its needs from the spot market.”

    Rio Tinto is trying to get out of aluminium smelting in the west (Scotland, Oman, NZ, France), and it isn’t because of renewable energy. It’s because production is cheaper in China, and they are now investing there. It has plenty of Qld coal of its own, and could easily generate 100% of its needs, if it were profitable. Al smelters like to soak up cheap off-peak energy on the spot market – apparently that isn’t working so well now.

    • Well I think you answered your own question there Nick.
      In order to have a successful industrial economy you need surplus energy.
      I assume that you do not wish us to have a ‘successful industrial economy’.
      Fair enough.

      • Charles,
        Australia has surplus energy. We export huge quantities of coal and LNG. Rio Tinto and Glencore are among the big coal exporters.

      • But we don’t have surplus energy production.

        You KNOW that or are totally ignorant..

        Why are you lying AGAIN, Nick?

        WHO IS PAYING YOU TO LIE. !

      • Nick Stokes – Australia has surplus energy. – you obviously don’t live in South Australia do you?

        Q. What did South Australian’s use before candles?

        A. Electricity.

      • Nick also does not know or is uninterested that many high energy users such as plastic, coke, aluminum cannot use variable energy or just any energy. Whatever, the kilning technique or heating process, it is specific. It may be multi-fueled, it may not. Economics at the time of design determines this.

        The problem was that there were as much as 4700% increases during times when there were energy production problems and blackouts. Companies in Australia that can are buying fossil fuel back-ups for this problem. Since some operations require very large amounts of energy, such as aluminum production, they use economy of scale to get the lowest rates. This matched the baseload generation of nuclear and fossil fuels. Not only did the spot prices increase this much, but there was load shedding as well as blackouts. If un-powered, the production chain literally freezes and must be replaced. If fact this happened to the aluminum lines at one of the plant in Australia.

        What Nick is NOT pointing out is that the economics is due to cost of energy, loss of dependability, and the cost of backup for such a large power user. Not to mention, the trend is for more expensive, and less dependable power. Once these factors are in, I dare say any country other than one with high renewables penetration would be a better economical choice than Australia.

        The next problem that Nick did NOT account is that as baseload goes down, the economies of scale do as well. As the projected dependability decreases and near constant loads such as metal processing decrease, the system’s electrical inertia will go down, and problems and costs will increase. Presently it is as high as 4700% increase for an hour. A quick estimate based on the tendency of instability to be a X^2 exponential, one can expect a doubling of the cost by either more renewable penetration or by loss of such baseload. In the near future a one hour of 9400% or two hours of 4700% raises cost. That is if you assume that the industry does not load shed. Not a good assumption if renewable penetration increases.

      • Exporting coal means you have surplus energy?
        Nick, do you take lessons in how to sound stupid?

      • Well we have excess if you ignore the fact that what is going out is contracted and apparently you just ignore those Nick. Apparently Australia has gone communist and the gas belongs to it.

        Every Australian should be aware of the situation like with GAS where the government has had to move to make laws that companies can’t contract to sell more than 66% of there gas supplies outside Australia if the local market requires it.

        There is no surplus currently as everything that is taken out of the ground is spoken for and paid for.

    • From your “trying to get out of” link;

      Rio’s best smelters are in Canada where the company owns hydro-electricity assets which allow the smelters to have super low energy costs.

      Rio would likely want to keep the Canadian aluminium assets, particularly the flagship Kitimat smelter, which has recently been expanded at significant cost and is expected to soon be operating in the lowest decile of the aluminium cost curve …

      .

      Read more: http://www.afr.com/street-talk/rio-tinto-to-kick-off-sale-process-for-aluminium-assets-sources-20160822-gqya1u

      The issue is clearly cost and stability of baseload energy.

      • “The issue is clearly cost and stability of baseload energy.”

        Renewable, in the case of Canada. They like energy with no fuel cost. But Rio has no issue with stability in Qld. They provide 86% from their own coal. And they are a big exporter – they could clearly provide 100%. They apparently need the savings they can make by scavenging on the spot market. And there is no reason to think that in Qld (not big on wind) the spot market troubles are due to anything green.

      • From the post;

        … The Glencore position is that the erosion of Australia’s base load capacity caused by a policy preference for intermittent renewable options has left the national market critically exposed to peak-demand shortages. …

        Do you think Glencore is lying? Do explain.

      • “Do you think Glencore is lying?”
        I think they have a strong and obvious interest in steering Australia toward fossil fuel based electricity generation, preferably coal, which they are struggling to sell.

      • Nick Stokes:

        I think they have a strong and obvious interest in steering Australia toward fossil fuel based electricity generation, preferably coal

        Which is a bad thing, why? Why are you in favour of exporting Australia to China? What currency are your grants paid in?

      • Eric,
        “Australian domestic consumption of coal is a blip compared to exports.”
        Indeed so. As I said, Australia has huge surplus energy which it exports. But coal is not easy to sell nowadays, and any producer would be happy to sell more in Australia. I’m sure Glencore would.

        HP,
        “Which is a bad thing, why?”
        I’m not saying it is bad. I’m just saying that it is no surprise to find that a major coal miner and exporter wants to tell us about the undesirability of solar and wind for power generation.

      • My point Nick is the Australian domestic market for coal is so small it doesn’t really matter, in terms of the international price of coal. There is no point Glencore attempting to raise Australian domestic consumption to “sell more coal”, because it wouldn’t have a noticeable impact on profit.

      • Nick is applying after the fact excuse making.

        The smelter design and heat design are chosen by the economics before the unit is built. If the economics was a dual market for coal meant to build it at a certain place and with certain heating and electricity generation equipment then that is what the economic model required.

        Nick :I think they have a strong and obvious interest in steering Australia toward fossil fuel based electricity generation, preferably coal, which they are struggling to sell.

        Nick you have assigned a reason that is unsupported. Where is willard?!! The economics for the plant was done before Australia changed the economic conditions. It is the change of economic factors, not the company’s desires. I would say the correct statement is that the company wants to continue making money. Considering the demand for products, someone will be.

        This is another case of unintended and uncounted economic costs that send needed high energy manufacturing to countries that have a higher CO2/production ratio. It also means that the capital and energy invested in the material construction of the plant have been wasted which increases the unmeasured economic choices wrt CO2.

      • There is an emerging opportunity for aluminum in Canada. Manitoba is currently constructing a major new hydro dam near Gillam in the north. The economics now are neither good nor secure owing to market restriction due to renewable energy development (wind and solar) in the northern mid-western States, and government mismanagement of finances. An aluminum smelter was considered some 20-25 years ago for the Interlake Region just north of Winnipeg. It may be time to reconsider development. Hydro is the best of the renewables and should be considered wherever possible.

        There is a broader point to be made here. The original “free trade” concept was based on the principle of developing the natural advantages accruing to any given region (nation). The production of any commodity was to be encouraged in those areas where profit could be maximized based on inputs. Funny that we haven’t heard much about this since it was used to sell the free trade concept globally. Crony capitalism at national levels makes for bad decisions in a so-called global trade environment, as governments choose winners and losers rather than natural competitive advantages winning the day in market economies.

      • R2Dtoo: “”There is a broader point to be made here. The original “free trade” concept was based on the principle of developing the natural advantages accruing to any given region (nation). The production of any commodity was to be encouraged in those areas where profit could be maximized based on inputs.””

        Thanks. I hope you don’t mind me using this. I have been arguing about costs and hidden costs and this is something that affects not just the individual micro economics, but invalidates the “business” model that CO2 taxes, SCoC, etc. want to use.

      • ‘THIS week could be a “game changer” for Adani’s mega coal mine as the Turnbull Government looks set to remove the last legal hurdle to its $21 billion project.

        ‘In a decision that’s likely to be lost among coverage of the Budget on Tuesday, the Turnbull Government will consider whether to change native title laws and help mining companies get their projects off the ground.’

        News.com

    • Typical Nick Stokes fake info.
      In what sense is the costs and reliability of their energy, together with the greenie taxes and regulations, not part of their production costs?
      Indtead of flipping factoids in producing agit-prop for the gullible, I hope his future career involves flipping burgers.

    • Jeez Nick. Before you make a complete fool of yourself read the words you quoted “Rio generates 86 per cent of its own power for the Gladstone-based smelter but had been acquiring the balance of its needs from the spot market”

      Then THINK a bit. A good question is WHY they don’t want to do what you say they can easily do.

      But no. Off you go on a frolic of your own imagining you understand what you plainly do not.

    • It has plenty of Qld coal of its own, and could easily generate 100% of its needs, if it were profitable.

      Perhaps it could, Nick, IF it also had its own power-stations (together with their auxiliary support-systems) in which to burn its own coal and produce electricity. How many $hundred-million would just one of those cost these days, I wonder? And then, wouldn’t it have to pay punitive carbon-taxes on every kilogram of CO2 which it emitted?

      I’m afraid your suggestion does not look very easy or profitable to me.

      • If Rio decided that they would like to remain in Queensland and to do so had to build the infrastructure to generate 100% of their current and projected future power need, how many years do you think it would take to leap through all of the regulatory and political hurdles to do so? I would be willing to bet a case of Prancing Pony’s India Red Ale that it would take at least two decades by which time the issue would be moot.

      • “IF it also had its own power-stations (together with their auxiliary support-systems) in which to burn its own coal and produce electricity.”
        It does have its own power station, Gladstone 1680MW. It was built, basically for them by the Qld government, and they bought it up when Qld privatised about twenty years ago. And it has a support system – a rail connection to the Curragh mine, which has been cutting back production because it can’t sell enough cvoal. Rio also supplies power to the grid. It probably supplies Eric. But their problem isn’t inadequate capacity. They can’t sell what they can currently produce. They have been cutting staff.

      • As Nick has stated below, it does have its own power station. However Nick failed to mention, for every MHW that Gladstone produces, it has to purchase a renewable energy certificate at around $94AUD (By Government fiat). This penalty makes the operation unprofitable

      • Nick, you wrote:

        It does have its own power station, Gladstone 1680MW.

        Not quite. According to the information provided at your link, it owns only a 42.125% share of the Gladstone Power Station, whose output is already dedicated to the Qld power grid anyway. It appears, then, that Rio does not have its own independent power station whose power output could be dedicated to its smelters in fact. So if it did want to supply its own power needs by generating electricity from its own coal as you say it could, it would still need to build its own new power station first, as far as I can see.

        But their problem isn’t inadequate capacity. They can’t sell what they can currently produce.

        Yes, but as the article at your link explains, they can’t sell it (profitably) because the demand for coal-generated electricity has declined with the advent of rooftop solar and gas-fired generation and is becoming ever more unpredictable too, which is especially problematic for a “sluggish” coal-fired power station that cannot simply be switched on when the sun goes behind the clouds and switched off again when the sun reappears as the market ideally wants power stations to be able to do.

        I found it strange that the article never mentioned the “green tax” of $94/MWH (see Bruce Parr’s comment immediately above this one) as a rather obvious factor in its troubles, but I won’t speculate about the reasons for that. However, the power station manager’s statement that the electricity market is becoming unpredictable as a result of the Queensland government’s green energy policies seems highly significant and very telling to me. Unpredictability is the scientific definition of uncertainty and disorder, also known as “entropy”. He seems to me to have declared that these green policies are introducing objective disorder into the state’s technological and economic infrastructure and are thereby helping to move Queensland objectively closer to becoming a dysfunctional, entropic society.

      • You realize the miners are just playing the same game they have in Western Australia they keep the power stations for security and wait for it all to go pearshaped on the grid so they then can get a realistic price.

        Here in Western Australia we pay mining companies for power we never take but the government has to pay it because they need the baseload. It’s going to get even funnier going forward as a few of the government owned small expensive to operate baseloads are going to be removed next year

        Muja AB units 1 to 4 (240MW)
        Mungarra gas turbine units 1, 2 and 3 (113MW)
        West Kalgoorlie gas turbine units 2 and 3 (62MW)
        Kwinana gas turbine unit 1 (21MW)

        Not sure the government has actually thought about how reliant they are going to be on a couple of the mining companies with big generators .. what could go wrong here :-)

      • The mind boggles, LdB. This situation is so inverted and bizarre that it seems to me like something you’d find in Gulliver’s Travels, or The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It would be funny if it wasn’t happening in real life to millions of real people. I imagine the folks in South Australia must be getting an inkling now of where this incredible green madness is leading. I hope the folks in the other states don’t have to learn about it the hard way too.

    • I voted for him, but I swear to God, if he does NOT pull out of the Paris agreement, I too will be saying #NotMyPresident.

      • Bruce. Yes, it is hard to watch the budget fiasco with no money for the wall, increases in deficit, and the Obamacare removal and replacement. Now, to turn his back on the promise to get out of the crazy renewables business and Paris Accords, waffling on NAFTA, cooperating with Ryan and other RINOS to maintain the status quo, it is all very discouraging.
        But if we leave Trump, there is nowhere to go. The so-called moderate GOP is nothing but Democrat lite, and who could in good faith could join the radical leftist Democrats who wish to make the US a Venezuela north.

      • Trump is NOT a Republican, anyone who says so is delusional at best. What are the Republican core beliefs? 1) Commitment to free trade 2) Commitment to running a balanced budget, or at least reducing the federal deficit 3) Commitment to small government. Trump is doing none of those things.

  10. …If Australia continues this green madness then we shall achieve dramatic CO2 emission reductions; the Australian economy will contract until business demand matches the availability of reliable, affordable electricity….

    So….what you are saying is that this is possibly the first place in the world where Green Theory is going to be completely successful?

    • Well yes…just as long as you exclude the hundreds of millions of tonnes of hydrocarbons that Australia exports!

      • Right charles. Australia damming fossil fuels because they increase CO2 and ruin the planet and then turning around and exporting coal and natural gas is like the sleazy man on the corner saying I never take drugs, I only sell them.

  11. ‘Until business demand matches the availability of reliable, affordable electricity’

    Surely it will be fossil plants which are closed as demand reduces, as renewables continue to produce as much as they can (when they can). It will be reliable electricity which falls as demand falls. The term death-spiral springs to mind, unless some politicians reverse gear and own up to being wrong. Good luck with that!

  12. “Martin A May 9, 2017 at 1:33 am

    “In Closed-Door Climate Showdown, It’s Jared and Ivanka vs. Bannon and Pruitt

    With Trump threatening to pull the United States out of the Paris accord, moderates and ideologues are at loggerheads. ”

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/05/08/in-closed-door-climate-showdown-its-jared-and-ivanka-vs-bannon-and-pruitt-climate-change-trump-paris-agreement/?utm_content=buffer03fca&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffe

    Fake news, Martin?

    The fraud news sites have been feeding this storyline for weeks to the gullible.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-considers-what-steps-u-s-should-take-on-paris-climate-change-accord-1494292350

    No mention of Ivanka, in the WSJ article.

    Meanwhile, Ivanaka is in Dumbarton Oaks Gardens blowing bubbles with her son. While all of the fake news sites are claiming she and some serious Senators are going to discuss climate?

    Basically, the same sad story as a month ago. and the month before that; posted by the never use real facts progressive fantasy news sites.

  13. In Sino-Australia, China is doing particularly well from CO2 economics (China can’t believe their golden luck). Light goods (low density plastic products and goods with a high air content) including foam products are now viable to import from China due to China’s substantially lower electricity prices.
    In 2016 a new era of Australian light-goods manufacturing began its relocation to China.

    Our current Prime Minister is an ex Goldman Sachs CEO and a strident globalist with no idea of operating in the real World (outside a merchant bank or investment garnered therefrom).
    Malcolm is however very good at buying carbon abatement:
    http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/ERF/Auctions-results/april-2017
    Low cost energy is not a priority for Goldman Sachs’ or any of Australia’s big banks who’s master plan is carbon trading for Australia.

    Malcolm is Prime Minister of a lucky country and its only Australia’s incredible natural resource wealth that keep Australia from being a third-world economy. There is no honest management in Australia at any level of Government or banking.

    On the positive side, new parties are emerging with a distaste for carbon corruption.
    Our advice to banks and their ‘socialist’ investors is that long-term investments in ‘carbon’ is high risk because “you can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”.

    • No worries mate! The property boom will save us, don’t need to make anything, just renovate and sell selL seLL sELL SELL!

  14. The Greens having been warning of a “Tipping Point” for years – I’ll bet this wasn’t the one they had in mind…

  15. Let this energy science and engineering denying continent with its tiny population, that affects no one much, go bat shit crazy over renewables. Pour encourager les autres. Why not? GErmany and Denmark are already trying hard to show how renewables can only be an expensive failure while, predictably on the science facts, not reducing CO2 emissions, but help is at hand – from energy science deniers of Australia. Can’t fix stupid.

    A spectacular failure to deliver polkitical promises at a huge additional subsidy cost to the economy is a predictable science fact.

    Seems Austraia will be a great example to others of how the science facts of energy density and intermittency make renewable wholly unsuitable to power a developed economy is a fact you can’t legislate away for green votes, at a huge avoidable cost. Just for easy lobbyists profit and legislator reward at almost wholly regressive public expense. Even with a hot desert climate that makes Solar PV useful to offset a/c load ar at midday.

    BTW CO2 rfrom generation reduced much faster by gas replacing coal and nuclear both , unsubsidised, is also the simple fact, in most developed countries. Do the maths. After fossil only nuclear is intense and reliable enough to deliver adequate 24/7 energy after fossil, saving adequate hydro in Norway and Paraguay.

    Nations that respect this proven and easy to demonstrate on the facts energy science will prosper, those that legislate the false belief in the science denial of renewables to power their grid sustainably, adequately, affordably at low or zero carbon will fail very expensively, from an inevitabe dose of reality. Just will. MIET, MInstP.

    • “GErmany and Denmark are already trying hard to show how renewables can only be an expensive failure”

      The critical difference between Germany and Denmark is that the Germans try and force all the rest of Europe to emulate their failures via. the ghastly EU Reich. They are doing exactly the same in trying to force all other formerly sovereign European nations to accept endless tsunamis of migrants specifically and unilaterally invited to Europe by German Chancellor Merkel . Time everyone told them where to shove it and it could even be that Mrs May is about to do just that.

  16. AGL, the largest energy retailer (Important word there) is advertising that is it getting out of coal. Images of power stations being demolished followed by images of solar arrays and wind farms, labelled as sustainable and affordable for everyone, even with call centre support (THAT WON’T BE IN AUSTRALIA). When the power goes, so do the phones and internet access, which seems to be more important to most rather than water, light, heating and cooking. Receive emergency SMS messages with no power, how? Get “online” to check Facebook for emergencies with no power, how?

    • Its a natural evolution when a govt meddles in a market, private money moves to the most favoured areas, nobody wants to do the vital but shrinking activities, the govt has to do those itself, but is it aware of that logic?

    • The game will change quickly only when the snowflakes cannot recharge their cellphones and iPads
      for a week. They may not even survive the week!

  17. Frankly we are lucky here as the Climate does not get that cold.

    However, it is still capable of killing the vulnerable in the Southern States and of course this madness will effect those least able to avoid it – but we knew that didn’t we?

    Imagine any sensible Government giving up over 20% of the base load power without so much of a plan in place. Welcome to my home State Victoria.

    UFB!!

  18. I notice that once again supporters of wind and solar believe these industries are working for free to save the earth. There is no evil CEO bankrupting the company and taking off with the profits. Only saints work in renewables. No question of money is ever brought up (of course, it’s not their money…..) because when you’re saving the planet, it’s impolite to even question motives. The outright hero worship of wind and solar is frightening. Not to mention the complete lack of reality and understanding involved. It’s definately to the religious level—only religions never question the motivations of their gods. Renewables are gods to many.

  19. You can’t mandate progress, it has to happen naturally …can you imagine if the govt mandated Henry Ford to make a million automobiles…to get stinky horses off the road ? Poor Australia a victim of the fraud called AGW. ..

  20. I believe Glencore’s worries about reliable and cheap base load electricity is related mainly to their smelter and refinery operations.

    Mining and shipping coal isn’t highly dependent on electricity (base load or cost).

    Smelting aluminum is highly dependent on the base load cost of electricity. This is why companies build their refineries where the power is cheap and transport the aluminum ore from mine site to smelter. Normally mine smelters and refineries are located close to the mines to reduce transportation costs.

    Large multinational companies like Glencore are happy to move their operations to countries with low cost power and ship the finished product back to the environmentally rigid countries that punish manufacturing.

    Much of Australia’s aluminum, coal, iron ore, nickel etc. is exported. Expensive and unreliable electricity only makes it more expensive to produce these export products and therefore provides less profit for the companies operating in that country.

  21. The sad part is the people in charge, that did this to their own countrymen, will blame others for the problems.

  22. The US has the chance to be the #1 destination for business:

    *Lowest energy costs
    *No restrictions on emission of life-giving CO2
    *15% business tax rate
    *Reform education to teach math and science

    I have my doubts that Trump is up to it tho. Too many Kushners whispering in his ear.

  23. Shared this with a colleague in the powerplant and industrial supply here in the states. His reply was:

    “Thanks. Same thing happening here. Talking to my colleague from calpine yesterday, and knowing about our own power plant econs, it is hard to justify expensive maintenance or any new development if you don’t run or get paid often due to renewables. So this is going to be an even bigger second/third order effect that people have not seen yet. 1st order is reliability. 2nd order is cost. Now it will evolve into unreliable and expensive. = 3rd world country.”

  24. Let me see if I understand this.

    All those aluminum cat food cans that I take to the recycling spot and exchange for cash are sent to China.

    Australia is run by a bunch of imbeciles who don’t understand economics and think money just falls out of taxpayers’ pockets.

    Pollution is bad if it’s local, but okay if it’s in some other country, e.g. China or India.

    If I lived in Germany, my $.10/kwh charge for electricity would be $.30 to $.60/kwh because wind power isn’t cheap or free.

    It’s about time for me to start thinking about a house where I can install a wood/gas-fired cookstove and a few soapstone-clad wood-fired parlor stoves.

    I need to expand my library of basic ‘how to do something’ books beyond just cooking and sewing, and see if I can find a Singer treadle sewing machine, just in case things really do go sour.

    Got it. There is no sanctuary. Energy of any kind is not free. Food has to come from some place if you don’t have room to raise your own. I don’t think we’ve come to a criss point yet, but it’s on the horizon.

    • but in Germany you’d probably have solar panels or a share in a windfarm, which would bring in income. You’d use far less electricity than Us household thanks to efficient appliances. Your house would be so well insulated your heating bill would be lower…. and you’d be on the world’s most reliable grid (which just had a weekend on 51% renewable energy with no grid problems)

      • The difference between highly efficient appliances and average appliances is only a few percent in power consumption. Just how much efficiency do you believe is left to be gained in electric motors?

        As to insulation, there’s a point of diminishing returns, such that the cost of more insulation will never be re-couped in energy savings. Not to mention that people are dying because their houses are too air tight.

        German’s use less electricity because they have no choice, it’s been priced out of their budget.

        As to your nonsense about stability. So what if on a weekend when most everything is shut down, they manage for a few seconds to get to 51%? That’s not how stability is measured.

      • “the world’s most reliable grid”

        Germany has been off-loading its instability to Poland, etc. That problem will grow as more of its power comes from renewables.

    • Sara, I think you understand it very well, unfortunately.
      We have to hope it can be changed in time, before the inevitable.

  25. Let me see if I understand this.

    All those aluminum cat food cans that I take to the recycling spot and exchange for cash are sent to China.

    Australia is run by a bunch of imbeciles who don’t understand economics and think money just falls out of taxpayers’ pockets.

    Pollution is bad if it’s local, but okay if it’s in some other country, e.g. China or India.

    If I lived in Germany, my $.10/kwh charge for electricity would be $.30 to $.60/kwh because wind power isn’t cheap or free.

    It’s about time for me to start thinking about a house where I can install a wood/gas-fired cookstove and a few soapstone-clad wood-fired parlor stoves.

    I need to expand my library of basic ‘how to do something’ books beyond just cooking and sewing, and see if I can find a Singer treadle sewing machine, just in case things really do go sour.

    Got it. There is no sanctuary. Energy of any kind is not free. Food has to come from some place if you don’t have room to raise your own. I don’t think we’ve come to a crisis point yet, but it’s on the horizon.

  26. Perhaps the destruction of industry is what the green blob intended to do, so by their goals everything is going according to plan. A certain level of nihilism is present in some greens, that industrial society is evil, and all the peasants should live like third world residents, or at best the Amish. They, of course, have no desire to live that way themselves.

  27. It appears Australia will be one of the first victims of Green Suicide. Sorry to hear this, but your sacrifice will hopefully not be in vain. Your story will hopefully be enough of a deterrent for some sober second thought in other similar jurisdictions on the folly of diving in over your head in trying to run an electricity grid on too high a component of non firm renewables. And not looking out for rocks…

    • And, if some OZ loony politicians decide to follow Germany and open their doors to radical Islamic invaders, how do you spell Austlastan, OZstan, OZgonestan? Or the Islamic Republic of Australia?

      [Auslastastan? .mod]

  28. All by design. I thought the UK would be first to go under but they saw the writing on the wall and are correcting. Those who think AGW as a means to destroy Capitalism is a conspiracy theory need to look no further than Australia and New Zealand.

    • Really? another wind farm went online today, in Wales… The Bubo Bank offshore wind farm has just been awarded a ‘CFD’ contract

      • The fact that politicians keep building wind farms is proof that wind energy not only works, but is economic and loved by all.

      • MarkW,

        Wind farms only are built thanks to the lobbying of the dredge firms and windmill producers. They survive thanks to the “green” subsidies in different forms: direct, certificates, guaranteed feed-in tariffs (even if the market price is below zero), absolute priority on the grid,… at the cost of “conventional” producers which still must guarantee a stable grid with 100% backup for the case that there is little or no wind (and sun)…

        Just ask the consumers here, which pay near double the price for electricity in less than 5 years, or those in Germany and Denmark how they love windmills…

  29. The outcome warned about here identifies exactly what the ultimate (true) goal of the climate change liers is: the destruction of the developed world’s industry and economy. Suppression and control.

  30. The worst thing about this whole mess is that when the collapse comes, that the blame will be laid on those who have been doing the most to prevent it (electricity providers). The blame will laid buy those that caused it (the MSM) and the useful idiots will believe it.

    Thank you Australia for showing the rest of us what our future will be if we continue on this path to destruction.

  31. Gosh, if only there was a world leader somewhere ready and willing and able to step into this energy demand void, what an opportunity that country would have!

      • Griff do you mean the General Secretary of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping?

        Apparently Griff likes ruthless but slick dictators. Before retiring, I worked at a nuke plant under construction. To get there we passed the largest coal plant, 5000 MWe, which ran on imported coal.

        China is not building nukes to reduce ghg. In 2005, China’s slave labor coal industry could not produce coal enough coal to meet demand.

        This allowed places live the the US and Australia with very good safety and environmental records to compete in the world market.

        China is not an enlighten place but a batch of thugs with slick public relations.

        Since I was an engineer in the power industry, I understand the importance of quality for things that produce and use electricty. Safety is a big concern since failed electrical circuits cause fires and electrocutions.

        So if you are advocating cheap PV systems for home, you are really advocating home fires.

        An example of difference in quality is cordless drills. My son and I both 18v power tools made in China. My drill costs 5 times my son’s. My charger us 0.3 watts when not charging, his 2.4 watts. My system has two batteries and charges at 50 watts, his charges at 20 watts. My charger shuts off automatically and is cool to the touch, his does not and is smoking hot,

        My point here is that performance can be measured. Something that we do in the power industry. Since the wind and solar industry bases performance on press releases that Griff likes to link, wind and solar are not yet part of the power industry but a cheap junk industry.

        Yes, China is a current leader at that.

      • I’m not a fan Kit… but he and his nation are not exactly backward about coming forward…

        And yes, their solutions are basic and not overly safety engineered at times…

        But those solutions are nuclear, are hydro are especially wind and solar and decreasingly coal.

  32. “And when capacity is closed and plants are shut down, they don’t come back.”

    Exactly what the greenies want. Mission close to being accomplished. One does wonder however; when WIFI no longer reliably supports their personal devices and the infrastructure they don’t even realize they count on fails, will they connect the dots? Or will they just run to a safe space with puppies, suck their thumbs and ignore it all?

    • They will just demand that government supply what they want.
      After all, in their minds government can not only do anything, but can do it perfectly and without mistakes.

  33. It looks like the Australian politicians are bound and determined to ruin their economy with their delusional pursuit of windmills and solar.

    Maybe their crashing and burning will cause others to hesitate in following in those same foolish footsteps.

  34. Australia did this to itself once before. It committed economic suicide commencing about 1960. That period of economic tedium and ennui because of excess unionization and socialism lasted for more than 40 years. 40 years of stagnation, lack of economic diversity, hatred of business,welfare, and flight of capital. Promulgated by the delusions of socialists, totalitarians, and labor leaders, just as today.

  35. Well done Eric to bring this to everybody’s attention. Complete madness in Australian energy policy at the moment, and I was not aware of this statement by Glencore. Of course, they’d be many companies not saying anything, but closing shop and moving. Truly frightening. How to make the “lucky country” very unlucky!

  36. Unreliable base load power is only one of the problems. The wind and solar power industries are net energy parasites. Their construction, maintenance and infrastructure activities consume more energy than their grotesque wind turbines and solar panels can ever produce. That’s why they always lose money unless they are given subsides and set-asides. In addition, wind and solar power are environmental disasters that kill millions of birds and bats, destroy thousands of acres of wildlife habitat, and whose rare earth metal strip mines pollute millions of gallons of ground water. There is nothing “green” or “renewable” about wind and solar power.

    • “environmental disasters”

      Really Mike! State and federal regulations require environmental require all power project to have an EIS with a finding of no significant impact.

      Mike logic is a slippery slope. Should we destroy his house because I make wild claims about habitat, energy use, and how grotesque it is?

      I was looking at a double wide that was for sale. I noticed an official posting by the county. I came to the conclusion that the existing structures would have to be destroyed.

      So Mike where do you live? Is there a specific solar or wind project that you can get torn down? Maybe you join the Sierra Club.

  37. “But those solutions are nuclear, are hydro are especially wind and solar and decreasingly coal.”

    At least Griff responded. However, he does understand why things are done.

    Solutions for what? Wind and solar are neither a solution for providing power or reducing ghg. Wind and solar are shiny things that distract those who do not know how to solve problems.

    China is not decreasing the use of coal because they want to reduce ghg. They are building nuke plants to reduce imports of coal in locations where China’s domestic coal and transportation system can not meet power demand.

  38. Governmental mismagement. Fire the lot and bring in some rational people who actually use their brain.

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