Daily Telegraph: There is No Such Thing as Affordable Renewable Energy

EAPI represents the average commodity price of retail electricity paid by Australian businesses based on a Standard Retail Contract (commences in 6-months and operates for 2½ years).

EAPI represents the average commodity price of retail electricity paid by Australian businesses based on a Standard Retail Contract (commences in 6-months and operates for 2½ years). Source Energy Action

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Awareness is slowly permeating through the media that renewables inevitably lead to higher electricity prices – and that the Australian energy grid is in deep trouble. But this awareness is too little, too late, to save what is left of what was once one of the cheapest electricity grids in the world.

Climate change zealots need to get real

Peta CredlinJune 18, 2017 12:00am

WELL, now we know.

The biggest deniers in the whole climate change debate are those who think we can have affordable power, lower emissions and a reliable network.

We can’t.

And after they almost sleepwalked their way to defeat at the last election, it would appear Coalition MPs have found their voices again on the issue that has defined Australian political debate over the past 15 years or more.

There’s no doubt that any policy that lowers Australia’s CO2 emissions will increase the cost of power and any move away from baseload capacity will make our network more unreliable.

Forget the movie, this is the real “inconvenient truth” that climate change zealots have never wanted to acknowledge. For too long, the views of the Zeitgeist have dominated debate and anyone daring to question any aspect of climate change was branded a sceptic. Scientific fact or not, any issue that’s galvanised the Left to the point of hysteria makes me sceptical that it’s more about the politics than anything else.

Right now, China’s emissions are 20 times those of Australia and even if they meet their Paris Agreement commitments, by 2030, China’s emissions will be 50-60 times ours. Seriously? We sell off industry and jobs in a mistaken belief the world that is acting with similar intent but it is clear they’re not, and won’t. Again, remember my refugee example and you get what I mean.

So what about Finkel?

It’s claimed that the Chief Scientist’s report to COAG aims to address the “trilemma” of achieving lower prices, greater security and a 28 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030. Wrong. The report is about meeting the emissions reduction aspiration (which it converts into a commitment) at the lowest cost without major interruptions to supply. It’s not about affordable, reliable power; it’s about climate change.

Read more: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/climate-change-zealots-need-to-get-real/news-story/68b4abe189f80355b8fcaf5230ef482a

So what about Finkel? The Finkel Report is a government paper released a few days ago in Australia, which attempts to chart a roadmap for transition of Australia to renewable energy.

Buried under the waffle about energy security and orderly transitions and the need for more energy security is this gem;

3.2 Agree to implement an orderly transition:

• NEM emissions reduction trajectory
• Clean Energy Target
Require all large generators to provide 3 years’ notice of closure.

7.2 Form an Energy Security Board.

Read more: http://www.environment.gov.au/energy/publications/electricity-market-final-report (page 28)

The requirement for the notice period is repeated several times throughout the report.

The reason for the three year notice of closure is likely the recent abrupt closure of coal plants in several locations in Australia.

Unlike gas, coal cannot be scaled up and down at whim to try to balance the wild fluctuations of renewables. Under Australian rules (and rules in many US states), renewables appear to have pre-eminent access to the grid.

Australian Coal operators are responding by shutting down now unprofitable businesses.

The Australian government response – force remaining coal plant operators to keep operating for a minimum of three years after their businesses become unprofitable, regardless of financial losses to shareholders.

This in my opinion is naked government expropriation of shareholders funds. Not a policy likely to encourage badly needed investment in Australian energy infrastructure, at least not the kind of investment which will lead to a reduction in skyrocketing Aussie electricity prices.

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271 thoughts on “Daily Telegraph: There is No Such Thing as Affordable Renewable Energy

  1. And for those of you not in Aus, just double those EAPI electricity prices to get an approximate retail price for domestic households in Australia. Here in Victoria average domestic contract supply is about A$ 25c/kwhr. A national disgrace.

    • When all charges are included (dividing the total bill by the number of KWh) the cost is more like treble the EAPI rates. In Queensland my last bill averaged 32 cents/kwh. Don’t be fooled by the usage charge rate, that’s only part of the picture.

      • This is the off peak price in Victoria, Australia. 10pm to 7am. It is going to get interesting when batteries are cheap enough. No solar or wind, just batteries. Batteries may be good for coal power plants, no peaks, no gas turbines required.

      • Provisos –
        The batteries would need to be about A$4k (US$3k) for 10kWhrs (real not rated).
        Pluggable into a smart meter set up without an electrician.
        Power providers would have to offer off peak.

        Then it works for a home.

        Its does not work for large industry or business as it would be difficult to recharge a battery farm overnight and the power providers are not likely to put up with the loss of revenue.

        Under the current renewable target (RET) in Australia big business is doomed on the GRID.
        Manufacturing is going under now.
        Big buildings are next.

        Meanwhile no-one is going to finance a coal fired power station when the RET forces generators to buy from renewable sources. So there will be no ability to synch the grid that is cheap and a shortage of base load.

        Best thing is to turn off the power at politicians homes first.

      • No such thing as affordable renewable power? Here in Washington State we have a lot of affordable hydroelectric power. This is Washington State’s breakdown of power sources, to within a 1% round-off error:

        71% Hydroelectric
        11% Natural gas
        7% Coal
        6% Nuclear
        3% Wind
        1% Wood

        Although it definitely is a renewable resource, many greenies do not consider hydroelectric power to be a renewable resource because it interferes with the natural scenery and disrupts the natural migration of fish.

      • reply to noaaprogrammer
        In Aus the governments (particularly Victoria and Tasmania) have basically made it impossible to build new dams…
        so no hydro increase here

      • “do not consider hydroelectric power to be a renewable resource because it interferes with the natural scenery and disrupts the natural migration of fish.”

        Apply the same logic to wind and it wouldn’t be considered green either.

      • It has been a while since I took EE in college, but I seem to recall that conversion of DC power (batteries) into alternating current (AC) involves a helluva big loss in energy. And evolution of a lot of heat. Maybe this is the way the greenies intend to get the temperatures up to the computer-generated predictions.

      • An ordinary deep discharge type lead acid (boat battery) can give you > 100 Amp Hours at 12.6 Volts, or 1.26 KWh. at a retail store price of no more than $150 US.
        So eight of those will run you $1200 US.

        That’s a lot less than $4,000.

        And no I am not saying that lead acid batteries are viable option, but for proof of concept they demonstrate what it might cost.

        I would buy a roof top PV solar array, if and only if, I could operate it OFF THE GRID, and also if I could operate my home electrics OFF THE GRID.

        And I would use Natural gas for all thermal requirements.

        But you can bet that utilities and building trades are not going to tolerate people playing with their monopoly on building code requirements.

        No I’m not opposed to building codes. So long as they specify the end performance requirements, and not the sole approved method of implementation.

        G

      • I just did the same in Norway. About 0.04 USD per kWh the next 3 years. But we also have another bill for the transfer of power so the total bill is about 0.12 USD per kWh.

    • The green energy people KNOW that electricity costs “HAVE to SKYROCKET” (to quote Obama, smiling as he said it). How else are you going to lower people’s standard of living to that of a 3rd world country if they can afford to keep their standard of living up?

      Electricity has to become unaffordable to use except for true necessities, one light and some heat (A/C is not to be). This is why Germany has 300,000 household in energy poverty and the leaders really do not care, as energy poverty is what they want. Do not forget that the UN thinks that North Korea is the model country for the world.

      • Quote: Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.

        Barack Obama, January 2008

      • And about the UN

        UNDP

        ‘Energy After Rio: Prospects and Challenges’ , 1997

        A 192 page book copyrighted by the UN in 1997. Available at some online book dealers.

        Re: Agenda 21 & Energy

        These two issues were tied together by the UN beginning about that time and have been developed further into a joint agenda. First appeared at COP4.

        There is an online 10 page abstract of this book available at:
        http://www.hubrural.org/IMG/pdf/pnud_energy_after_rio.pdf

        More information on this topic online.

    • Tagging this at the top because of relevance… the taxpayer funded (Australian) ABC has the otherwise relatively level-headed Ian Verrender spruiking the merits of the Finkel schmozzel:

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-19/why-youre-about-to-pay-through-the-nose-for-power/8629090

      To see the sheer lunacy of the report here is a quote from the article above:

      “According to the Finkel report, wind and solar are the cheapest sources of electricity.

      Even with the financial burden of attaching a back-up system to ensure reliability of supply, wind still come out on top. That’s closely followed by brown coal, black coal and then solar. The worst performer is gas.”

      So a solar or wind generator backed up by gas (cos it certainly can’t be backed up by a coal generator) is cheaper than gas generation… If you can figure out the logic please feel free to enlighten me.

    • About 27 cents in Tasmania with all of its hydro power – it’s the market you see. For those that don’t know this you must watch Clark and Dawes for a detailed explanation.

    • Given the huge size of Australia and the small size of the population, it seems to be wildly neurotic to commit economic suicide over substandard power generation. Stop the so-called renewables disaster, and go back to clean coal and enjoy the good life.

    • I just finished Atlas Shrugged and was having trouble differentiating fact from fiction. The pages of Rand’s book indistinquishable from the news.

      • Any Rand told us all many years ago what would happen to Western society if it tried to mimic the central command and control economy of the old Soviet Union which she had personal experience of in her earlier life. Everyone should read or reread this book. Once you make decisions and policies based on semi-religious belief systems and not on merit and productivity you are on the downward slope to economic oblivion. It doesn’t matter if one leans left or right politically, youn can’t achieve the ideals of either without a strong, stable economic engine.

      • Alan Robertson: The irony is that liberals are encouraging others to read 1984, so blinded by Trump’s presidency and so convinced of their superior intellects that they fail to see end results of their own political philosophy laid out in those pages.

      • I have a lot of complaints about Rand’s writing style, but she definitely had a grasp of how socialism is doomed to fail.

      • Rod Everson @ June 18, 2017 at 7:14 am

        They don’t even have a clue what “Ingsoc” stands for. One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

      • The book “Animal Farm” provides a more fittingly descriptive allegory for the parasitoidic little foreign country that we call The District of Columbia.

      • Yep, my being 100% wrong in thinking that the truth would out as the internet developed, has made me realize that there is no communication system to date in which the Animal Farm pigs cannot lie harder for their vile “successes”.

    • WP: 10-289

      ” Its eight points were an attempt to freeze the collapsing economy of the United States at then-current levels. Instead of doing that, it accelerated the decline, strengthened the case of John Galt and his friends, and hastened the ultimate collapse of economy and government. “

      That was exactly what I thought was likely to happen with this move by Aus govt. What they are going to do is force companies to pre-emptively give notice at the first sign of trouble. ie they will force premature closure not delay it.

      It seems that the left / greenies are so stupid that instead of trying to make renewables work, they are determined to make them fail. Total political dogma and not the slightest regard for how things work in the real world.

      • The proper reply of any coal plant operator in Australia is, obviously, to provide a 3 year notice of closure for every plant in the country, today.

        Then, if the Government wants to provide them with a special waiver or some other incentive to rescind their notice, well they can talk about it.

      • wws: Actually, the proper reply, assuming the 3 year notice provision is in a draft document and hasn’t been enacted yet, is to promptly close all remaining plants if there’s a likelihood of having to endure three years of losses otherwise. But maybe it’s already enforceable?

      • This raises an interesting option I don’t see in the other contributions:

        “The Australian government response – force remaining coal plant operators to keep operating for a minimum of three years after their businesses become unprofitable, regardless of financial losses to shareholders.”

        As with any power source, if it is unviable economically and it is essential to some purpose (like keeping the grid up or keeping CO2 emissions down) then the coal powered plants should announce their closure for economic reasons and demand a subsidy to staying on line. There is obviously no reluctance to having subsidised power sources, so why not coal? If a coal fired plant is necessary for another three years to give them time to develop other subsidised renewable sources, then it is right and proper to pay the costs necessary to keep the coal fired plant producing. After all, the alternative is worse, so pay the price.

        It is hard to believe that people of the caliber and understanding of Mr Flannery have gained so much technical control over the power system. It is obvious from any standpoint they have no idea how to plan and operate a national grid in a way that provides security of supply. Has anyone thought of the military consequences of having a completely unreliable electrical supply network? How easy is it to bring the entire thing down and mount a coup?

      • Crispin,
        There is an old joke, “Those who can’t do, become teachers. Those who can’t teach, teach teachers.” My contribution to this observation is that “Those who can’t even teach teachers become politicians.” Therefore, one should not expect much in the way of wisdom or insight from professional leeches.

      • I’d like to see the coal energy producers give notice of a 3 MONTH closure plan – and demand the politicians come to the negotiating table to deliver a realistic outcome and force them to acknowledge the contribution fossil fuels make.

      • They should just close, and stand back to see the result.
        That short term pain will be the fastest way to end this insanity once and for all.

    • That was my first thought, too. It doesn’t matter if you can’t pay for fuel, maintain the plant or afford to pay workers, you cannot shut the power plant down.

      • How does the govt force a coal fired power plant to stay in operation if it decides to shut down sooner than three years, say, next month?

  2. Coal is dead. Try not to grieve too long and start the burial.
    The good thing is IF skeptics are right and there is no global warming, the coal will be there to dig up.

    • The government seems to have this confused idea that if all the Aussie coal stations shut down tomorrow, the grid will collapse. Perhaps you should set them right.

      • Eric, You are wrong that coal fired power stations can not be varied. The question is really speed of response and planning. Most boilers and turbines can be ramped up to about 10% above their rated capacity for short periods and that can be done in 5 to 10 minutes. They also can be ramped down to about 30% of their capacity but that may take about 30 minutes (but less time for smaller steps). The NSW and Victorian grids used to be some 90% coal with about 10% hydro before natural gas became available. Open cycle gas turbines and hydro are for peaking. Load matching for off peak times (at night or weekends when power use is lower) is done by planning the coal fired base load. With solr and wind planning is made difficult particularly if government regulation requires the supply of solar and wind to be accepted first in addition to be subsidised so they can input at no cost. If there was no regulation for solar and wind the market would add a hefty cost margin because of unreliable supply.

      • “cementafriend June 18, 2017 at 6:10 am

        Eric, You are wrong that coal fired power stations can not be varied. The question is really speed of response and planning.”

        Which is none in Aus.

      • I think you all missed the point. “Renewable” power is given preferential treatment. So when it’s available, that is used first, coal is used to make up the difference. But since renewable is so wildly variable, coal is stuck in the predicament of always over producing, then having to spike production to make up the inevitable shortfall when renewable stops producing. Thus frequently generating power no one will buy, then producing at excessive production costs without commensurate compensation. I wouldn’t run a business that way either.

    • SM – even politicians, grant-chasing “scientists”, and warmists are realising they backed the wrong horse, and are reversing as fast as they dare without being seen to be technically incompetent and / or fraudulent. Not everywhere, of course, and especially not in Australia, but it is happening. Fossil fuels making a comeback, solar firms going bankrupt, and wind farms being refused planning permission, Tesla and its solar subsidiary likely to collapse as subsidies disappear.
      All good news for we skeptics who were right from the beginning of this massive scam. I’m surprised that you continue to raise your head above the parapet on WUWT, only to be regularly shot down!

    • Coal is dead? seems to be providing most of the power we consume. I suggest its death is seriously exaggerated , especially in the absence of an alternative that is both capable and palatable for the hand wringers.

      • This seems typical of left these days. Make blatantly false assertions in the hope that some of the mud sticks to the wall and it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.

        The Guardian do this on a daily basis: they report what they would like to be the truth in the hope that enough people will believe it was the case because they read it in a newspaper.

      • Greg,

        Not unlike the “Impeach Trump” commentors, squealing over the latest leak, e.g. “Wait and see. Trump will be frog-marched into prison. Didn’t you read the latest fact revealed in the New York Times this morning? Drip, drip …”.

        After all, “un-named government sources” say he’s a goner, so there it is.” At least Mosher chants his “coal is dead” mantra under his own name. But how much of his own money would he be willing to wager on coal’s viability in, say, 30 years? [crickets]

    • Only reason coal is on the ropes is because of the Progressives and Dems. During the 1990s electricity from coal was being delivered to many millions of US customers at 10c a kwhr or less. The only reason it still can’t be delivered at that price is because of the intentional policies instituted by these Progressives/Dems to drive the cost of electricity from coal through the roof. At 10c a kwhr coal can easily compete with natural gas and will have the effect of keeping Natural gas prices low. Without coal, natural gas will likely increase at double digit inflation rates. So coal didn’t die, it is on its death bed because Progressives are intentionally killing it. If Trump succeeds in rolling back the inane and excessive EPA regulations and the CO2 endangerment finding is reversed… coal will spring back to life and US will have access to cheap, reliable and abundant electricity once again.

    • Another thing Steve…. it is not IF skeptics are right. We are right. So far the only thing that CO2 has certainly contributed too is the greening of the earth and an increase in grain/fruit/vegetable production. Things it has likely contributed to is the moderate and beneficial warming that has occurred since the LIA ended. Unless you want to take the point of view that the LIA age temperatures were great and we should return to that very difficult time in world history. There is absolutely NOTHING bad that has occurred that can be attributed to the increase in CO2, other than Progressives demanding that Capitalism, the American way of life and the existence of a prosperous Middle class come to an end.

      • Unless you want to take the point of view that the LIA age temperatures were great and we should return to that very difficult time in world history.

        ‘They’ are trying to make the point that global warming is already happening and is having harmful effects. link I guess they do want to go back to the LIA.

        The benefits of increased CO2 are dramatic.

        ‘They’ try to downplay the benefits of CO2. link

        ‘They’ are the real deniers.

      • 7 Billion provable people benefiting from increased CO2 in the atmosphere, zero provable people harmed, a pretty clear balance sheet.

      • “…it is not IF skeptics are right. We are right.”

        That is actually an imposing statement. It needs to be made over and over again until it starts to sink in to heads of the commentators (not scientists) who willingly accept the “97 percent of all climate scientists….” malarkey.

        We know that increasing levels of CO2 has benefits. The only downside occurs IF the alarmists’s worst fears are realized and those increasing levels of CO2 someday raise the temperature of the earth several degrees, something neither proven, nor provable today.

      • The world has historically changed to a lower carbon economy. In a carbon based economy energy is gained from breaking the bonds between hydrogen and carbon atoms through burning. We burned wood and there is one hydrogen atom to a lot better of carbon. Then coal, which has a better ratio of hydrogen to carbon. Then oil, which is even better. Now natural gas which has an even better ratio. Saying we should go back to coal is a less extreme version of saying we should go back to wood as our fuel source. Economics and physics will make it really hard to go back to coal.

      • Evidence that CO2 has likely contributed to the beneficial and moderate warming that has occurred since the LIA is still more than just elusive – it’s infinitesimal.

    • Steven Mosher June 17, 2017 at 9:19 pm
      “Coal is dead”

      If Trump had not won the election you might have been right.
      To much of the infrastructure for using coal still remains. Its just a matter of re opening the mines. The folks who did the mining are still available if they wish to return to mining. While LNG is a bit cheaper many areas have not yet built the infrastructure to support it. Easier to use coal, less cost in permitting and zoning.

      Now is that what you are hoping? people will be convinced that LNG is the way to go, so activists can then tie things up in court?

      michael

      • Isn’t it rather interesting that if coal is killed, then the solar and wind generators who are currently being subsidized by money that is being generated by economic enterprises who are powered by coal generated power will and must die concurrently.

        I realize that it is redundant to say that fiat currency has no intrinsic value with which to pay for anything — but there it is. My first supernumerary redundancy of the day, and the day just began.

      • Wouldn’t it be funny to see those huge backhoes and massive trucks with solar panels and wind propellers,trying to move the tonnes of earth required to get at all of those minerals that are necessary for the manufacture of “green” energy components.
        It’s a pipe dream. To think that anything other than nukes or petroleum will power the future if we are to maintain the same standard of living.
        If we had put the trillions of dollars into teleportation we might have had a viable solution by now.

      • Mick,
        Your tongue in cheek reference to teleportation makes a very important point: There is a very wrong and very harmful idea lodged into the minds of many, that being that if we spend a whole bunch of money on developing or inventing some desired-but-not-actually-existing thing, or on solving some problem, that that thing will eventually be invented and/or that problem solved. And more money means it will be invented or solved faster.
        The example of teleportation makes the point obvious, by reductio ad absurdum. Solving a problem which has, at present, no known solution, or inventing a thing which does not yet exist is obviously impossible for many examples of such things that we can imagine. Being able to imagine having a solution or an invention is not evidence that it can or will ever be possible.
        Some problems can be solved, clearly.
        Some of the things that we would like to have will likely be invented someday.
        But some of each will not ever be possible.
        And attempting to decide ahead of time which are possible and which are not, is not reasonable, rational, or even sane. It is inanity of the highest order to not recognize and acknowledge this obvious truism. No one can see the future. Some simple problems have resisted all attempts at solution, and some devices have stubbornly invention or, in the case of existing devices, significant improvement of the magnitude desired.

      • Menicholas, you say, “Solving a problem which has, at present, no known solution, or inventing a thing which does not yet exist is obviously impossible for many examples of such things that we can imagine.”
        ..
        From that statement, I guess you’ve determined that teleportation is impossible.
        ..
        Then you say, “And attempting to decide ahead of time which are possible and which are not, is not reasonable, rational, or even sane.”
        ..
        So, am I to deduce that you are not reasonable, rational or even sane when you claim teleportation is impossible?
        .
        https://phys.org/news/2015-09-physicists-distance-quantum-teleportation.html

      • Perhaps I should choose my words more carefully, but I do not think there is any chance that we will be beaming anywhere at anytime.
        And I do not think encoding information in the quantum state of a photon meets the definition of teleportation referred to hear.
        Note that in the actual article, the word “teleported” is in quotation marks, indicating it is not actual teleportation, but more like a transference.
        Transferring information!
        Wow…no one has ever done that before!

      • For one thing, if you were disassembled and reassembled at some remote location after some device encoded the information that was stored in your now no-longer-existing self…is that really you?
        I would say no…of course it is not.
        The copy might think it was you, but if by some mistake you were not destroyed but merely had a copy of yourself made and that copy popped into existence somewhere else, you would know it was not you.
        Dr. McCoy was right…and even the idiot stoner methheads from Breaking Bad had this all figured out and summarized years ago:

        “Look it up…it’s SCIENCE!”

      • I will agree with you that “we” (as in you and I) will not be beeming anywhere in our lifetimes. However, when you choose your words leave yourself an “out.” Say, “most” instead of “all,” or say “might” instead of “will.” We know very little about what goes on in this universe, and our “laws” require us to conjure up “dark matter” and “dark energy” with “black holes” and “big bangs” to cover our ignorance. Think about how a cave man would react to seeing a 747 fly overhead. Don’t say “impossible” when it involves human ingenuity.

      • Who said teleportation involved “disassembly” and “reassembly?” Why couldn’t it be a controlled wormhole (permitted by Enistein/Rosen bridges) just shift your position in spacetime?

      • My comments are in the context of the subject at hand, and hence have a time horizon of days to several decades.

        Such things as fusion based power generation; being able to store electrical energy on the scale needed to store enough power during the day and when the wind was blowing to maintain the grid for whatever length of time it might be until the wind is once again blowing hard and the sun shining brightly…several days to occasionally a week or more.
        Of course, such inventions are not necessary, and may never happen, or may happen someday but that day is in a couple of thousand years.
        If our technological civilization endures and keeps slogging onward and upward, IOW technology keeps building on what has been accomplished, then it seems more than like to me that one would have to have a very good imagination to even begin to guess what will be possible in five hundred years, or even two hundred. But what about a thousand years? Ten thousand?
        If I was to make a meaningless bet on what things from Star Trek will and will not be possible in a thousand years…I would guess no transporter beams, no warp drive, or matter-antimatter pods. But we will have somewhat different hairstyles, groovy new clothes, very fast elevators (turbo-lifts), food synthesizers…
        But how about the artificial gravity the must have but never mentioned? Nah. I doubt it.
        Holodecks? Seems likely…but may be more of a tank, Matrix-style.
        Artificial humans? Yup…almost for sure.

        In the realm of what might be transformative but is not often mentioned outside of some good sci-fi…how about a superconductor of heat?
        This would be about as good of an invention as we would ever need to get unlimited power.
        Have a heat pipe to someplace like the core of the Earth or a point in space that is always in sun, and another somewhere very cold, like a deep crater at the north pole of the moon.
        Unlimited power.
        But I also think we will perhaps find ways to need far less power.
        Ways to have plants or bacteria churn out the raw materials for stuff we need or want.
        Selective filter membranes that will only let a certain chosen atom of molecule through…pour sewage or sea water into it and out comes clean water and left behind to slide down a frictionless pipe is all the fertilizers and/or salts…along the way any metals or toxins are screened out and made into ingots.
        It only took a few decades to have communicators and computers that made what seemed like futuristic sci-fi in the mid 1960s, look silly and unimaginatively un-powerful. But still no flying cars.

        In any case, I am not sure if you are purposefully focusing on some trivial inconsistency in my original point to deflect attention away from what is a very real phenomenon that rarely gets mentioned but, if everyone was aware of it, shoots a giant hole in many of the suppositions that alarmists make to support their view that renewables can or will power the near future of the world.

        I do not need to leave myself an out…the semantics of how I phrased a comment made from my phone in the middle of the night were not the point…in case the failed to note that.

      • As for controlled wormholes…good luck wit’ dat.
        Is that were you would place your meaningless bet?

      • Sorry to hear that you’ve relegated “controlled wormholes” to the wastebasket of ideas Menicolas. Do you lack any and all kinds of creative imagination?

      • “Think about how a cave man would react to seeing a 747 fly overhead. ”
        I think that in general, the distribution of intelligence was perhaps likely to have been very similar ten thousand years ago as now, and it is even possible/plausible that the average person who made it to adulthood back than was far above what is the average intelligence now. After all…stupid people have few hindrances to breeding like flies in the modern world…but they would not likely have survived a single winter or saber toothed tiger attack back then. Everyone had to be self-sufficient, and the brightest and fittest likely predominated…with some almost surely surviving on looks however…as is the case today.

        So, a cave man would likely get used to seeing a jet lane just like we did…considering it was regarded as an impossibility right up until it was done, and within a few decades the skies were filled with planes and no one batted an eyelash.
        Besides, the smarter cave men were likely keen observers, and had noted that birds are heavier than air, and some are quite massive, and have no problem getting aloft.
        However, if you have watched any of the very alarming “man on the street” interviews that are done, in which regular and random people are asked some very basic questions…the level of knowledge of a large number of people is incredibly limited.
        In this forum, it is likely most of us could describe exactly how a multi-ton jet is able to fly, with many no doubt able to write the Bernoulli equations from memory…but ask a thousand random people on the street how this works, and I suspect you would get a lot of blank stares and a few people who DO know shit from shinola.
        Heck, or even ask a thousand Ivy League snowflake students if they can put down their crayons and Teddy bears and step out of their safe space for long enough to do an interview…I suspect the results may not be far different than average passers-by on 5th Ave.
        You do not need to find a cave man to find people who have no clue how the gadgets they use work.

        This explains much…like why warmistas can make up whatever lies the want and nearly every liberal in the world thinks it is solid science…iffn Obummer or the man on CNN said it is.

      • Menicolas, I feel sorry for you. You refer to the future leaders of the world as ” Ivy League snowflake students.” Remember, Dubya, his dad, Clinton came from Yale, and Obama, JFK, FDR and Teddy Roosevelt came from Harvard. You see, “Ivy League-rs” have many advantages over you. They are in an Ivy League school for one of two reasons. They were born into money, or they are exceedingly smart, both of which you seem not to have as endearing qualities. Take the current guy holding that office. He’s not that bright, but boy did his dad have a wad of money.

      • Obama’s grades, his SAT scores, his curricula, his classes, his applications and his thesis (if any at all) are hidden. Deliberately.
        I dispute your assumption that he is smart, literate, articulate away from his beloved and essential teleprompter and speechwriters, and has any knowledge of anything at all.

    • Strange indeed, that you repeat the mantra coal is dead. Who are you trying to fool? Yourself or us? The figures say otherwise, and more so as subsidies are stripped. And they must be, it is stupid. If you do not know how to burn coal cleanly, well, others do

      • Coal and coal byproducts are used in thousands of industrial and household products. Carbon fiber is an example.

        Coal is a resource. Its use isn’t going to disappear any time soon.

      • John M, if you trace back the source of carbon fiber, you’ll discover that most of the precurosors come from petroleum and natural gas……not from coal

    • Coal is not dead, but is may have reached a turning point where consumption slowly declines over time, reaching some low point plateau.

      In 2016, Coal was the second biggest generator of energy behind oil. Note renewables at 4%.

      It is going to be a long, long time before we can replace 30% of energy generation. Decades.

      I am using the 2015 data in the next charts because they are easier to understand but the trends continued in 2016.

      US Coal down a lot in 2015 but Indonesia and India up a lot. China not increasing.

      • “Coal is the second biggest generator of energy behind oil” So what percentage of the oil is used to generate electricity?

      • Natural gas is cheap right now, but as any other commodity, prices go really high and really low. Natural gas will get expensive again and coal use will increase when that happens.

      • As someone above pointed out, the best way to keep pricing honest is to have all alternatives on the table.

      • “So what percentage of the oil is to generate electricity?”
        In the U.S. it is less than 1% as it is with solar.

    • hmm-

      Trump’s right: A coal mine is opening soon. It will create 70 jobs – Jun …
      money.cnn.com/2017/06/01/investing/coal-mine-trump-paris-speech/index.html
      1 Jun 2017 – President Trump declared the “mines are starting to open up” across America’s beleaguered coal country.

    • SM Something will need to provide the baseload power that will be required for all those electric cars in CA. That will be out-of-state coal power used by the Californian hypocrites, it certainly won’t come from diffuse wind and solar power. You need to get an envelope or two and do a few simple calculations and realize the hole your state is about to fall into or people will confuse you with someone who failed ‘media studies’.

    • And, don’t forget, we are running out of oil.
      But, not to worry. Biodiesel is going to fix that problem. Tough about the rain forests.
      BTW, the big local news was that a NEW coal mine was opened recently in Pennsylvania.
      With the current US administration, we can look forward to wind and solar undergoing a realistic re-evaluation.
      Trump will get a lot of credit, but, the bottom line is really the bottom line. We can’t afford nonsense and wind power is nonsense.

      • The Acosta mine that was opened in Pennsylvania produces met coal, not thermal coal. Not much Trump can do to reverse the price advantage fracked nat gas has over coal for power production.

      • “wind power is nonsense”, But until the government stops giving them huge subsidies, it will continue to be touted as a viable source of electricity.

    • I don’t think many of us skeptics claim “there is no global warming.” I’d say a more accurate description would be we claim there is no empirical evidence that CO2 has caused most of the global warming we’ve seen to this point.

      • “…there is no empirical evidence that CO2 has caused most of the global warming we’ve seen to this point…”

        I do not think there is any way to say for sure if ANY of the warming is due to increasing CO2 in the air.
        Rationally, the insistence of people who have proven to be deceitful liars carries zero scientific weight.
        And their adherence to principles of the scientific method, and therefore the value of the “research” they do is dubious at best, and possibly completely worthless.
        They cannot be trusted. Therefore anything they say could well be deliberate lies or merely completely wrong

        “And no reason to think a slightly warmer planet will be a bad thing, or that it will not reverse and some point and get colder, which we have many reasons to suppose will be bad.
        Meanwhile, we know full well that increasing CO2 is hugely beneficial for plants and tress and agriculture…and hence for people and for life in general.

    • Once again, black and white, and the strawman arguement that skeptics “believe” there will be no global warming. How about if there is just a minor amount of global warming, and in some ways it is beneficial? As the data suggest we are heading….

      • Or how about if it gets much warmer at the poles and in Winter and at night, and stays about the same in the tropics and in Summer and during the day…which is what appears to be happening.

    • Donald Trump cannot save Coal! Coal is dead in the U.S. and for one simple reason. Power producers who use coal cannot depend on the “political climate” and what it might look like in 30 years. These type of investments in coal gets moth-balled and put on the shelf in place of cheaper (for now) natural gas. The U.S. is switching to natural gas which can be blended in as renewables fluctuate throughout the day. With that said, renewables do not kill fossil fuels, they prolong their life and usefulness. If anything the fossil fuel companies should be thanking the renewables for keeping them in business longer, and at a higher profit as things balance and the stock piles deplete.

      The only thing renewables hurt is the grip of the fossil fuel industries profit margins, and that is where the problem “lie’s”. The fossil fuel industries and the coal industries all around the world have been given government guarantees of profitability in the name of national security, it’s like the Saudi Kings saying, “We will give you cheap energy and health care if you don’t fight or oppose us, but let us have all the control in case things change so we can keep the money flowing at the expense of your health, which we said we would protect”.

      The state of California does the same thing, it gives a proven-up profit margin of 15-20% to their electrical generation suppliers, all at the expense of our health. You cannot put it in the air with out getting it in your lungs.

      So let’s cut the crap about global warming already… this story is about Government protected profit margin for the fossil fuel industries and the money that comes off the oil and gas leases. The problem lies in the fact that we do no reelect politicians who cannot pay the bills.

    • As coal is one of the primo energy forms on the planet and CO2 is NOT a pollutant and is indeed PLANT FOOD THAT IS GREENING THE PLANET AND OUR FOOD SUPPLY, we need to revive coal immediately. We need it benefits.

      Letting it lie is stupid, just for lack of action. Just as we are not doing anything useful with nuclear. We should be forging ahead and solidifying a nuclear power network that is robust and burgeoning. Instead, we have apathy, decay, and we let the alarmists continue their nuclear scaremongering for another generation.. Claiming they will revive it if they find the need, as you say with coal, is apathy being codified. Letting generations of people be educated against the best energy sources on the planet is foolish, stupid, and just wrong because it makes sure these energies will never be properly used.

      • I have said and believed for years that it does not really matter in the end what anyone says or does, not in terms of the ultimate fate of the fossil fuels in the ground…those fuels will all eventually get burned.
        It is just a question of when.
        In the meantime, it sits and waits for us.
        People will not go cold and hungry for long while it is laying there.
        For a time yes, and that time may be for the rest of the lives of those of us already born.
        Some will go cold and hungry while the means to heat and feed them is laying underfoot and unused because of the say so of some comfy-cozy fat cats and politicians.
        But I think there is a limit beyond which people will not be abused.

      • David,
        Your reply to SM (and similar from others) make it obvious that SM is either purposefully lying, or simply doesn’t know what the truth is. Either way, it raises the question of whether anything he claims can be trusted. It also raises the question of his wisdom in making claims that he can’t back up, thereby sullying his credibility.

      • Clyde,

        I disagree. Mosh was either being sarcastic or maybe fell victim to wishful thinking.

      • I tend to agree with Clyde, in the general case anyway.
        When someone has squandered their trustworthiness, their words have greatly reduced value.
        They may be right, or they might be lying on purpose, or they could just be wrong but think themselves correct.
        It is best to converse with those who leave out that middle possibility.

    • Maybe in Australia, but elsewhere, definately not the case. Coal production is increasing in parts of the US. While the renewable industry continues to claim a decrease and coal is dying, the message has not reached a large percentage of the coal industry. They’re still producing coal.,

      • David Middleton

        Over the past 20 yrs, coal production is way up in Wyoming, flat in Illinois and Pennsylvania and down in West Virginia and Kentucky…

        Those trends are directly due to EPA/federal mandates, plus some changes in the US steel production. Coal is converted to “coke” for steel production, and US steel ingot/pig iron production died nearly completely out in the past 40 years. That killed parts of the WV and Kentucky coal production from those dedicated mines. PA/WV anthracite coal was highly regarded for train use, which dropped from near 100% to zro between 1948 and 1960. Eastern mountain bituminous coal has lower heat capacity than the harder antracite coal, but was less expensive so it was extensively used in power production in many areas UNTIL the newer EPA regulations required no sulfur at all be tolerated.
        Now, the “no sulfur” requirements stemmed from the “acid rain” propaganda that preceded today’s CAGW CO2 propaganda, and was the program that wrote the original CAGW climate computer models. First city-sized areas, then regions, states and now “the world” is modelled using those original assumptions and formulas developed for acid rain and LA’s pollution.

        The EPA’s low-sulfur requirements could only be met by the open pit shallow depth lignite and Wyoming Powder River Basin coal. Purists used to mountain coal call both little better than “burning dirt” …

      • “The EPA’s low-sulfur requirements could only be met by…..”
        ..
        You could use higher sulfur coal if your flue gas scrubbers removed the sulfur oxides from the effluent.

      • PS RAcoKPE1978 ==== ” acid rain propaganda”
        ..
        Have you ever been downwind of the fumaroles from the Laguna Caliente crater of Poás Volcano ?

    • Mosher

      I just attended the Black Carbon Summit in Warsaw. I absolutely double-damn guarantee you coal is not only alive and kicking, it is a fuel of the future for hundreds of millions of people, particularly poor people, in Asia as well as Central and Eastern Europe.

      The global economy is in a precarious state with historic extremes of wealth and poverty. The poor cannot afford anything else, and the wealthy cannot afford to give them something else. The socialist model of distributing poverty and shortages offers nothing but coal. The capitalist model of using power and money to accumulate more power and money also offers nothing but coal and promises.

      Peak coal will be in about the year 2070 AD. If new forms of energy production are not in place by then, we will be running an energy supply deficit. Lightning-proof, wear-proof, wind-proof wind turbines might save the day, but that fantasy is not credible at present.

      The poor will happily burn the polyester resins and carbon fibres from the fallen windmills along with the plastic insulation stripped from the electrical cables in their stoves as they huddle against the coming cold of the Landscheidt Minimum. If there is still democracy, they will exert their right to emit CO2, and they will be correct to do so. They consume little, they emit little, and they choose to have it in the form of coal.

    • @Steve Mosher – I thought you were writing from planet Earth. China and India seem to be trying to bring coal fired plants on line by the week. China wants to start lending money to African nations to build coal-fired plants.

      That aside, even Germany is currently licensing and building new plants to burn lignite, along with several other European states. The U.S. was exporting coal all over the world as Obama was leaving office. Then there are the steel and chemical industries that consume a lot of coal. Of course, that is on planet Earth where you apparently are not living.

    • Dr Professor Mosher, would you please provide a rebuttal to your detractors who believe you are full of s*** with your ‘coal is dead” comment.

      • Hahahaha…that’s the funny part…there is no rebuttal when someone calls out a load of pure BS as pure BS.

    • Stones are dead and copper is dead and …

      You and I will be dead before coal is dead. Do expect a slow decline in vitality.
      That can be expected with coal, also.

    • “The good thing is IF skeptics are right and there is no global warming, the coal will be there to dig up.”

      Yes, and all those who have died because they can’t afford heat in the winter will also be there to dig up.

  3. Oz needs a lot more than energy sanity. You have a cuckoo political system where people vote in a government headed by someone they want in power and the aparatchiks then kick the leader out and replace him with someone who doesn’t do what the voter likes. The electorate in Oz is powerless compared to party whims. You guys need a new constitution written by someone outside of the country. It is the worst system in the western world. And if you need a proxy to show this, the state of the electrical system, the economic sphere, higher education, institutions, and most likely, K-12 as well are banana Republic. South Oz is winning the race to the bottom of the Third World. Free speech is a crime, particularly at disgraced Universities on all States. They also certainly have more climateer scientists per capita most of whom have provided a lot of laughs internationally. Com’on Oz, you guys need a revolution.

    • Hey, we know mate, we’re trying but the usual vested interests and a voting system that obliges even the most uninterested people vote makes it hard. One day the sheep will awake, but sadly I don’t think it’s going to happen just yet.

    • Actually we vote for a party. I dont really see many more appealing systems when I look around the world.
      Change of leadership really only matters if you think its matters, most are just empty mouthpieces operating beyond their competence. Personally I think truly great leaders have been thin on the ground for the last 60-70 years.

      • “Actually we vote for a party. ”

        Sadly, you don’t even understand your own electoral system. That may be a big part of the problem.

        You elect representatives who may , or may not , be affiliated to a party. It is true that many people, who do not have the slightest understanding or interest in politics, vote for someone simply because they are part of one of the major parties. This is then typically further trivialised by regarding those parties as being “left” or “right” when most of the time their represent exactly the same political establishment.

        This is where most of bigotry of AGW comes from. Those without the slightest idea of the science and uncertainty involved but “self-identify” as being left of centre and therefore support enviro causes. They are as enthusiastically AGW as they are sure that they are part of the “left”. It’s a binary choice. No room for doubt or the need to be informed to make a choice: it left or right , one or zero, up or down; black or white.

        For them to realise that the climate may be more complex than the radiative properties of a harmless trace gas would be to turn their safe and sure world of binary, identity politics upside down. It would oblige them to think and to have an informed opinion. And that is the proverbial snowflake’s {sic} chance in hell.

    • We have a representative parliamentary system. We don’t vote for a leader, we vote for representatives and they have leaders which we may or may not like, but on balance, if we don’t we vote for other representatives.

      They’d like to think they’re our leaders, and sometimes they call themselves out leaders, but they aren’t. They’re our representatives.

    • Gary,
      and that does not even include the rampant rent seeking and corruption of the property, privatised infrastructure and banking industries.

    • Gary,
      If Oz continues down the same path it has been following, it should soon be obvious to all but the most dense that there is a serious systemic problem in how the government works. Perhaps the people will then be willing to take down the ‘Bastille.’

  4. Seems like the only sensible thing for coal power plant owners/operators is to immediately announce they are going out of business in 3 years. Then if the ridiculous renewable energy programs continue for 3 years the coal plants will already be losing money and the owners can then walk away and minimize their loss. However, if the ridiculous renewable energy programs are repealed before 3 years, then the coal plant operators can announce that their going out of business date has been pushed forward by the recent responsible energy policies.

    In either case it looks like Australian industry, consumers, and especially the poorest consumers are in for bad times. It also looks like these are bad times to invest in anything Australian.

    • No, you cannot borrow money to pay for losses if the banks see you closing. You just file bankruptcy, shut the plant off that day, and let the government come in, take it over, and start it up after you removed all the process control computers and threw them in the Pacific Ocean.

      • No need to remove the computers. Just
        #1 Make all the programmers redundant.
        #2 Run Win 10 updates and watch all the special control programs crash.

      • Donald, why should coal be losing money if electricity prices are high and coal is efficient and cheap? There is probably some reason, but please can you spell it out?

        Rich.

      • “… why should coal be losing money if electricity prices are high and coal is efficient and cheap?”

        Just because electricity prices are high to the consumer it does not follow that the amount paid to the producers is also high. That is the difference “carbon” taxes make, amongst other things. Also, because renewables are expensive to produce, it does not follow that the prices they charge will be high. That is what the subsidies are for.

        Another issue is that to keep the costs down you need to run the generators all the time. Stopping and starting causes problems and it also reduces the amount you can earn. Renewables, on the other hand, get priority. If they have electricity to sell then you have to buy it. In the UK, and possibly elsewhere, even if you don’t need the renewable energy, you have to pay the producers for it anyway!

        If that rule applied to coal generated electricity it would be even cheaper than it is now. Basically, the whole market is being skewed by government intervention.

      • The Australian electricity market operates on a short term bidding system with the cheapest bidders accepted over the more expensive ones. The coal fired generators can bid at about $60 per MWh but even though the cost of power from renewables is far more expensive on average, when they have good production and they can use government mandated green certificates funding, they bid NEGATIVE prices for their product hence they force the base load generators offline and out of business.

        Too easy with customers money to burn.

    • LL – What a great idea – sounds like a ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ strategy to me. Did you get it from Trump’s “The Art of the Deal” by any chance? ;-) However, I think the average coal-based generator is too risk-averse (aka weak) to try this as a survival strategy. They will probably choose a slow death instead. Geez, what has happened to this country?

    • If they have any other business interests they should ensure that coal power generation is in a separate company so it can’t be supported by anything else. Then it is easier just to declare it bankrupt. The Germans have done this in the their energy seeing that being the back up for wind and solar is not profitable.

    • The novel “The Vines of Yarrabee” may contain a fitting description for the conditions that are the apparent goal of Australian energy “planning.”
      A quick read of the Amazon book review for the book may give you all the hints that you need. Just as slavery is a part of the inadequate-energy past, slavery is also a part of the inadequate-energy future that is out in front of us. Here we go loop-ta-loop,.

  5. I just posted this at the end of an earlier blog post, (which won’t get much traffic) but for review of the Sierra Club verses the facts, this might be interesting to all here on WUWT. Not related to this article exactly, but important I think:

    – JPP

      • Saw that at the time. Thanks for the chance to bookmark it.

        You could not ask for a more blatant, ignorant and belligerently stupid witness to make the AGW case. BRILLIANT.

        Mann got caught lying about his affiliations at the last senate hearing and just got rebuked that there was “some hypocrisy” in what he was saying.

        I’m always surprised how well mannered and mild senators are in front of such bigoted “expert” witnesses. They should ripped apart and told to stand down.

      • ” it also demonstrates that a closed mind cannot easily be opened.”

        It is not even that good. He knows sod all about the subject he is supposed to be making a case for as an “expert witness” . He is belligerently digging his heels in because he does not have the slightest idea of what he is talking about.

        Never seen a better illustration of the ignorance and bigotry surrounding AGW alarmism.

      • I also saw this when it had just occurred, and I have to say i find it every bit as galling and anger-inducing as ever.
        The proponents of CAGW are shown at every example to be either witless flunkies, merely repeating stuff they know nothing about, obvious liars, profoundly unscientific, or some combination of these three.

        Oh, well…if the POTUS can stand in front of the world and repeat the 97% BS over and over again, many years after it has been completely debunked, and no one calls him out on the spot, then I guess anyone who says the same thing can always point to Obama and say he was just following marching orders.
        The internet is forever…all of us here know darn well that at some point these will be comedy reels, and may become evidence in criminal cases…and in the long term history will not be kind to the people.

    • You have to look at this tape. The Sierra Club guy is an idiot. Read his bio on wikipedia.
      He didn’t not know what “The Pause” even referred to, this despite constant coaching from his assistant. He thought (or more likely was told when asked) it referred to the 1940’s.
      Liberalism today is a thought disorder. Which explains the base of the Democratic party.

      • joel,

        You raise an interesting point. Are those who affiliate with the Democrat Party afflicted with a “thought disorder?” That is, were they “born that way,” and can’t help themselves?

        While meant as sarcasm, there may be a kernel of truth in the question. Spencer’s Second Law: More than half the population has an IQ below 100 (taking into account those who have ‘fried’ their brains on recreational drugs.)

    • Nice job by Ted Cruz. But does the video prove global warming is a “blatant lie”? Well, not really. It does prove that the Sierra Club rep is seriously outmatched by Ted Cruz. It also prove the hubris of the warmists, who send some doofus to defend the issue, apparently not caring whether the doofus can string together a complete sentence.

  6. Why we are only interested to discuss the power production related issues? Why not we discuss energy efficient technology in IT sector that consumes maximum energy that is produced? Why not we discuss to urban bulging that automatically increase the energy consumption by several fold?

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • Don’t worry, Dr. Reddy–with electricity prices skyrocketing, there won’t be any “IT sector” to discuss–they won’t be competitive and simply won’t exist any longer.

    • Surely in the brave new low emissions world being designed piecemeal by people with no engineering experience, the major user of electricity will be transportation, not IT. But IT does use a lot o power, much of it rather wastefully if you ask me. OTOH, I fear that efficient use of energy in the information sector would require discipline and common sense from managers and programmers — two groups of people notoriously lacking in either.

    • Not sure. There is also “contrarian” and “climate dismissive”. I’m waiting for “very bad people who disagree with saving the planet”. Some Hollywood people came close and the French President hit that nearly head-on. They could also try “planet haters”, “haters of nature” and just “mean people”.
      Why keep changing the term? Everyone who is a skeptic knows what the words mean and that it is insulting and demeaning, intended to bully people into compliance. Why not be honest and just say that?

      • Maybe you mean regarding the d-word?
        I see no reason to be insulted or demeaned by the word “skeptic”.
        Skepticism is at the heart of the scientific method.

  7. “Awareness is slowly permeating through the media…”
    This is not, as the heading implies, a statement from the Daily Telegraph. It is an opinion piece from Peta Credlin, who was Tony Abbotts Cerberus chief of staff, and played a big part in his downfall. It is politics.

    As to requiring the power station operators to continue operating when unprofitable – the louder complaints here have been when, at Hazlewood or Port Augusta, the allowed the operators to close the unprofitable stations. The fact is that these were stations that the governments, not the operators, built. They operate them subject to agreements.

    • Nick, it doesn’t matter who built the damn things, Hazelwood and port Augusta are privately owned therefore the owners are only accountable to their shareholders and other owners with equity input.

      What do think is going to happen when a government starts to flex its muscle onto the private sector and try to nationalise a service? Investors will pull their money and the company will have little to no capital to work with as a result and therefore will be declared bankrupt in due course.

      Do you really believe any company globally will invest in Australia after the government brings in a 3 year demand of notice? Like hell they will Nick, like hell they will.

      • Nick doesn’t understand economics. And certainly not the fact that there is no problem a government cannot make worse.

      • They might, if they thought they could make a tidy profit in a year or two and then run. Also, other countries with the same flawed energy plans will probably play along as virtue signaling. After all, the US is now the enemy and Europe has to show how PC and virtuous they are.

        As for long-term, useful investment, probably not.

      • If businesses are nationalized and profits confiscated, even if by some devious means like forcing them to operate at a loss…investors will flee like rats from a sinking ship of fools.
        Stock market will crash, and there may be a run on the banks.
        It will spark a major crisis of confidence.
        I for one have heard enough to make sure i do not touch any investments that have exposure in that country.
        Sorry mates…it aint personal, just bidness.

    • “allowed the operators to close the unprofitable stations”

      True, but the operators gave plenty of notice. They even talked to the PM about funding to stay open (like the large subsidies given to the car manufacturing sector), but were sent packing. The inevitable state-wide power outage cost 10 times the subsidy would have.

    • A silly idea – that “opinion pieces” in a newsprint are independent of that newsprint and are not
      supported by same. The newsprint determines what it publishes, not some independent somebody.
      Get real, Nick, and quit weaseling your way around inconvenient facts. The renewable costs are black and white and resist any attempt by you to whitewash the situation, which is horrendous, to say the least. Seldom do we find such braindead, cowardly govts being pushed around by loud and energy ignorant Greenies, who are the dumbest of the dumb – all emotion, no brains.

    • Nick, the sad reality is that (offshore) wind and solar can only provide electricity roughly 50% of the time. That’s using Wikipedia’s numbers (solar 20% capacity factor, onshore wind 30%, offshore wind 40%) and probably isn’t far off. Until we have cheap, abundant electrical storage — which may not happen until mid-century — some sort of dispatchable alternative electrical sources (hydro, grid-scale geothermal, nuclear, fossil fuel) are needed to back up wind and solar.

      Requiring companies to run at a loss probably won’t work very well. They’ll simply transfer the money losing facility (probably paying someone to take it) to some entity that has some plan to either extort the government or sell any useful equipment to some developing country, disappear the money, then file for bankruptcy. The government would probably then nationalize the facility, if it hasn’t been gutted, and pay operating costs from higher rates.

      However, I doubt it’ll actually come to forcing companies to run at a loss. More likely, the government will subsidize dispatchable power generators. Where will the money come from? Electricity users I should imagine.

      • “Requiring companies to run at a loss probably won’t work very well.”
        Indeed, and I don’t think anyone does that here. The head post says so, but offers no evidence.

  8. What is the relation of energy price and renewables?

    The plot you show a price spike in 2007, slowly dropping to 2015, then some very large spikes. Now, consider investment in renewable energy, where there was an increased investment up to 2013, then a sudden drop when Abbott came into power:

    There doesn’t seem to be a positive correlation between renewable investment and energy price. Why is the price of power dropping over the period when renewables were coming online? Perhaps there is even a negative correlation?

    Perhaps using Peta Credlin as your journalistic source (the Chief of Staff of former prime minister Abbott) is not the most credible of scientific/economic sources. Perhaps she might be pushing a political agenda?

    I would suggest instead (as have most of our economists, large companies and the Business Council of Australia) that the lack of certainty for investment decisions in the energy sector is the real cause of increased cost of energy.

    • you are looking at investment. the RET forces more investment, but there was obviously a lot of fear in the market after the election was won on a no carbon tax setting. still we got our carbon tax through the back door via turncoats back door.

      the graph that the price correlates best with is the LRET (large scale producers) which was $400M in 2011 and is $1.8B in 2016. this will continue until coal fire electricity supply is pushed out of the country. what will it be? haha who knows. will we end up with 70c /kwh ($1 US)? well i would say it would be likely if eg QLD goes down the 50% renewable target rabbit hole.

    • If you pick “renewables”, you don’t even get one. They don’t even reduce emissions on a lifetime basis.

  9. The gall of the Australian government to tell a private business operator that they have to remain open for 3 years and losses be damned!

    The smart operator will simply claim bankruptcy and get the hell out of dodge.

  10. There will be no 3 year notice. The coal and other newly unprofitable fossil fuels plants will simply close with declaring bankruptcy. A negative income will make it impossible for them to operate at a loss as it will cause credit to fund that to shut down. The banks will not give the coal operators money that is not going to be repaid.

    • Unless some smart operator buys the bankrupt company for 10 cents in the dollar, after figuring out a way to get the government to see sense and reverse this CAGW crap (sorry, I mean ‘policy’).

    • Actually, what will happen is that fossil fuel use will be reserved for peak demand and for when the renewables inevitably fail. Then the fossil fuels are put online and reap colossal profits. Smart companies are already moving assets to do this in South Australia, to harvest the bounty that ‘Green’ idiocy has prepared for forward-thinking energy corporations.

      • Moa,
        Those “colossal profits” will need to amortize the losses incurred while the facilities were sitting idle and being maintained. Not a business model I’d be likely to invest in.

  11. “There’s no doubt that any policy that lowers Australia’s CO2 emissions will increase the cost of power and any move away from baseload capacity will make our network more unreliable.”

    Well…duh!

    Apparently the new definition of ‘blatantly obvious’ is ‘amazing revelation’!

  12. I guess that if 3 years notice is required and the plant is not profitable , then the govt will have to stump up our taxpayer dollars to subsidise the plants operation. The directors will be required by law to stop operating otherwise.

  13. What happened? What’s happening?

    Step way way back and lok at the whole renewable energy ‘thing’
    What are our leaders (the folks authorising, raising and spending this money) actually doing.

    You may say its The Government or Regulatory Agencies and yes it is.
    BUT, those entities are made up of individuals. People living, breathing and thinking inside their own individual minds and bodies.What if ‘something’ is wrong with either or both of those things, minds & bodies?
    Lets imagine the have a cold, flu or hang-over.

    You may get bad, hurried, ill-conceived, not-thought-through decisions and actions. Especially what you can get is panic. Nothing special about panic. It is simply the situation where someone, when presented with a new or difficult problem, cannot quickly see a way through it. Classically of course its if quick or immediate action is actually or imagined to be (stated by a 3rd party) to be necessary.
    The Modus Operandi of what we may refer to as terrorists.

    But you say, Government consists of 10s or 100s of thousands of individuals. They are not all gonna be hungover or have flu at the same time. Things will ‘average out’, not least as the stated aim of every civil servant on the planet is ‘to serve’ = to be a force for good. (Stop laughing just for a moment ok)

    So, we’re all grown up adults round here, clear headed, honest, able to face the truth, not dodge awkward questions and we like to ‘think big. (Disregard M Mann’s ego for a moment)

    The Big Thought is… What if something *is* affecting everyone. Don’t matter what for now.

    Look at the evidence.
    Is not the installation of windmills a ‘panic response’ Is it not grasping at straws, technological straws that are centuries old and quite defunct. How can low power and high maintenance combined with the erratic nature of wind plus the cube-law power curve be forgotten about.
    Where were/are the people inside Government (and obviously advising) to flag these things up?

    Solar panels. How can so many people be simply dazzled by technology – like the proverbial rabbit in the headlights.
    In winter, in Cumbria, its dark for 17 hours per day. OK its light for 17 hours a day right now but the sun is behind the panels for 5 of those hours.
    Where were the people to flag that up?
    Obviously nowhere (inside government)
    Then the panic about ozone. The panics about nuclear, nitrogen oxides, saturated fat etc etc.

    Is someone stirring it up but a big puzzle is why?
    Again, they are individuals something has put them into a panic and just like the proverbial flapping butterfly in Australia stirs up a hurricane over Florida.

    So Jim Hansen. It may have been great fun meddling with the air conditioning, but to have effectively doused a tower block full of people with gasoline – is a serious matter. And god only knows how many UK homes are now stuffed full of that flammable plastic sh1t.
    The Government should know – it mandated the stuff. Are we going to be told?
    No we won’t because Government will think it will cause a panic if they do release the information.

    See how it nicely comes full circle? All those individuals that make up Government are projecting themselves onto everyone else..

    And doncha love it.
    I translate Grenfell as ‘Green Fell’
    A fell being, in my part of the world, a largish hill. Usually grey, cold, hard and bleak.

    The ‘green’ bit is – come on Monckton, what’s the word?

    Its got a rather perverse beauty about it has it not?

    • “The problem of analysing political choices against the metric of a Monetary measure is the Money as a Thing is most certainly a Variable and as any good technologist, scientist or metrologist will tell you a unit of measurement has to be clearly defined and fixed.
      The dollar. He notes that it is a variable. Why anyone should attempt, on this earth, to use a
      variable as a measuring rod is so utterly absurd that he dismisses any serious
      consideration of its use in his study of what should be done.
      He also considers ‘price’ and ‘value’ and the fine- spun theories of philosophers and
      economists who have attempted to surround these terms with the semblance of meaning.
      These terms, like the monetary unit, may have had meaning to men in the past but they
      mean nothing whatsoever to the modern technologist. The standard of measurement is
      not relevant to the things measured; and the measuring rod and the things, measured as if
      they were stable, are all variables.”

    • But but but they will solve these problems because science and hope and fairy dust
      I can’t believe how gullible people are. These technologies, in the case of solar, have been around for nearly 150 years, yet the keep saying that it is advancing at a record pace. No it isn’t, and any great battery storage breakthrough gets one news cycle full of possibles and mays and mights then you never hear about it. Is this to pump some tech stock or get more funding?
      Because you know we are on the verge!

  14. “The problem of analysing political choices against the metric of a Monetary measure is the Money as a Thing is most certainly a Variable and as any good technologist, scientist or metrologist will tell you a unit of measurement has to be clearly defined and fixed.
    The dollar. He notes that it is a variable. Why anyone should attempt, on this earth, to use a
    variable as a measuring rod is so utterly absurd that he dismisses any serious
    consideration of its use in his study of what should be done.
    He also considers ‘price’ and ‘value’ and the fine- spun theories of philosophers and
    economists who have attempted to surround these terms with the semblance of meaning.
    These terms, like the monetary unit, may have had meaning to men in the past but they
    mean nothing whatsoever to the modern technologist. The standard of measurement is
    not relevant to the things measured; and the measuring rod and the things, measured as if
    they were stable, are all variables.”

    Climate Change politics and belief systems based upon Climate Alarmism are related, the one is insinuated into the discourse and assumptions of everyday life by the Other. Climate Alarmism is neo – Liberalisms answer to the need for a secular, multicultural religion to act as the new “Opium of the masses”

    The Australian problem is one of Neo-Liberal Ideologues and Technocrats ignoring the democratic will and needs of its own population to serve the needs of Global Corporate Capital.

    There has just been a General Election in the United Kingdom, The “Magic Money Tree” was a much-discussed term, thrown at the Anti-Establishment Jeremy Corbyn as a pejorative insult.Many here will be familiar with Mr Corbyns Brother Piers Corbyn, a man who I admire greatly and share both his far left political and heretical views on the Climate Change Religous Narrative.
    Carol Quiggle sums up the confusion resulting from a conflation between Wealth ( Things) and Money ( an IOU)
    Now all said and done one is if one is to be scientifically objective, necessarily compelled and sensibly advised to look at the evidence. As the Grandson of Two South Wales Coal Face workers, I have nothing against the Black Gold, except of course the death of my Maternal Grandfather from Silicosis, On Renewables on, Hydro Carbons and on Fossil Fuels ( I am also one that actually follows the Abiogenic Hypothesis and not the fossil fuel one) what one really needs to do is compare the energy inputs and energy outputs and consider the aggregate energy demand required to produce the necessaries of life.
    Money and Goods Are Different
    ”Thus, clearly, money and goods are not the same thing but are, on the contrary,
    exactly opposite things. Most confusion in economic thinking arises from a failure to
    recognise this fact. Goods are wealth which you have, while money is a claim on wealth which you do not have. Thus goods are an asset; money is a debt. If goods are wealth; money is not wealth, or negative wealth, or even anti-wealth. They always behave in opposite ways, just as they usually move in opposite directions. If the value of one goes up, the value of the other goes down, and in the same proportion.”
    The Relationship Between Goods and Money Is Clear to Bankers
    In the course of time the central fact of the developing economic system, the
    relationship between goods and money, became clear, at least to bankers. This relationship, the price system, depended upon five things: the supply and the demand for goods, the supply and the demand for money, and the speed of exchange between money and goods. An increase in three of these (demand for goods, supply of money, speed of circulation) would move the prices of goods up and the value of
    money down. This inflation was objectionable to bankers, although desirable to producers and merchants.On the other hand, a decrease in the same three items would be deflationary and would please bankers, worry producers and merchants, and delight consumers (who obtained more goods for less money). The other factors worked in the opposite direction, so that an increase in them (supply of goods, demand for money, and slowness of circulation or exchange) would be deflationary.”

    http://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2016/08/neo-liberalism-billy-no-mates-or-just.html
    http://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2017/05/finacial-illiteracy-blind-leading-blind.html

    Judith Curry did a wonderful blog post last year around the time that she retired from her Professorship it is titled, The Republic of Science. I find this article and its failure to adopt a reliably fixed Measure against which to conduct a comparative analysis deeply unscientific. We must get the Politics and the money out of scientific questions, this applies to all sides of the question.

  15. Accross all suppliers here in Aus energy prices will rise between 16% – 20% Jumy 1st. Finkles plan is for more renewables and cheaper prices. Aint happening!

    • It’s 7.00 pm here in eastern Australia … current national energy supply is 98.5% conventional (coal, gas and hydro), 1.3% wind and 0.18% solar … I think the numbers sum up the utter stupidity of the situation perfectly …

  16. Once upon a time, some pollies decided to build lots of windmills to provide free power for everyone in Australia. Each windmill has a big turbine on top of the tower with huge blades that spin in the wind.

    When the wind blows hard (but not too hard) each turbine can produce 3 megawatts (that’s 3 million watts) of power, enough to light 300,000 globes, or run 3,000 microwaves. That’s enough power for about 3,000 people.

    Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? In Australia we use about 21,000 megawatts of power on average, so that means we would need 7,000 windmills.

    But wait, the wind doesn’t always blow strongly, in fact on average it only blows at one third of that strength. So we really need 21,000 windmills.

    Now just imagine, if we put all those windmills in a line, each 300 metres away from the next one, because they are very big, they would stretch for 6,300 kilometres. That’s equal to the distance from Sydney to Perth, plus the distance from Melbourne to Darwin.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have our very own Southern Cross criss-crossing our continent from east to west and north to south, providing free power for all?

    What’s that, you have some questions?

    – How much would 21,000 windmills cost? Well, about $6 million each, or about $126 billion in total. But don’t you worry about that, our wonderful Australian government collects over $400 billion each year, so over the next 10 years this would just require some small additions to borrowings.

    – And what happens when the wind doesn’t blow? Um, I think it’s time to turn the lights out and go to bed.

    • When the wind doesn’t blow the fossil fuel generators come on and reap colossal profits, without having to run at less profitable times. That is what is about to happen in South Australia for companies ahead of the game and with assets in place (which I may or may not know something about).

      The ‘Greens’ who hate ‘corporate profits’ are a complete boon to any corporation that hasn’t signed on to the ‘cult of renewables’.

      • Do you really think any company can operate “part time”, and still make a profit ? Do the workers that are sitting around, waiting for the wind to stop blowing getting paid ?? Do taxes to the company STOP when the wind isn’t blowing ? Etc……

  17. If power supplies have to be cut I nominate green voting electorates be blacked out first. User pays and all that!

    • Oh God, I wish that were possible. I’d drive all the way from Adelaide to Fitzroy or Northgate to have a latte in the high street just to hear the discussions.

      • With the new smart meters it may be absolutely possible. They are used now to control off peak water heaters. Goodnight Melbourne, sleep tight.

  18. Mosher, typical Zealot speak. the correct logic is to first clearly and quantifiably show that a problem exists and then take proportionate action. Taking action before a problem is identified and proven on the basis that we can reverse it later is nonsensical policy especially given the massive impact on economies and standards of living.

    Coal dead? Only in the cloud cuckoo land that you inhabit.

  19. I would expect that the real power generators would likely give the 3 years notice. We must remember that it is illegal for a company to trade whilst insolvent. The state of insolvency can exist for quite some time before the receivers, or administrators move in. There are dire penalties for company officers should they permit trading whilst insolvent.

    All I can say is “what a mess” the incompetents in Canberra and the various states have got us into.

    Expect more industries to close up for good or move off shore.

  20. However, Australia should have the lowest electricity prices, lowest food prices and lowest property prices.. Yet the opposite applies. How is that.

  21. “See – owe to Rich June 18, 2017 at 2:03 am
    Donald, why should coal be losing money if electricity prices are high and coal is efficient and cheap? There is probably some reason, but please can you spell it out?

    Rich.”

    Good question. Coal provides cheap power, and renewables – mainly wind – provide expensive power. While the wind is free, the capital costs of the wind farms are very high. To balance things, we have a “Renewable Energy Target” and to get this to work we have “Renewable
    Energy Certificates” (RECs). If you have an accredited ‘renewable energy” power station, for every one megawatt-hour you produce, you are entitled to one REC, which you can sell. Power Stations providing non-renewable energy – ie, coal and gas, are required to purchase these RECs. This basically means a massive subsidy from coal and gas to wind farms.

    Not only that, but renewable energy power stations are given preference in selling energy on the National Energy Market. This means that even when demand is high, renewable and non-renewable energy compete, and supply is also high, so prices may – or may not – be high. But when demand is low, wind – providing it is producing – sells as much as it produces and there is no or negligible market for coal or gas. So even though price can be low, coal does not get a look in. Now coal power stations cannot be turned on and off on tap, so the coal being burnt is wasted. Gas, depending on the arrangement, can turn off and on if used to power gas turbines – which are very inefficient at ground level (which is why they are useful for jet aircraft, but have proved excessively costly for railway locos, cars, lorries and ships – other than naval vessels – which do not have to worry about cost.).

    So while the Hazlewood Power Station produced the second cheapest energy in Victoria, it was losing money, especially after the Victorian government trebled the royalties on coal. Also getting fairly old, so it was time for some items to be renewed. With the balance firmly against coal, there was no likelihood of the necessary updating and refurbishment being profitable. So it was closed.

    Sic transit gloria mundi! (“Thus passes the glory of the world.”)

  22. “The problem of analysing political choices against the metric of a Monetary measure is the Money as a Thing is most certainly a Variable and as any good technologist, scientist or metrologist will tell you a unit of measurement has to be clearly defined and fixed.
    The dollar. He notes that it is a variable. Why anyone should attempt, on this earth, to use a
    variable as a measuring rod is so utterly absurd that he dismisses any serious
    consideration of its use in his study of what should be done.
    He also considers ‘price’ and ‘value’ and the fine- spun theories of philosophers and
    economists who have attempted to surround these terms with the semblance of meaning.
    These terms, like the monetary unit, may have had meaning to men in the past but they
    mean nothing whatsoever to the modern technologist. The standard of measurement is
    not relevant to the things measured; and the measuring rod and the things, measured as if
    they were stable, are all variables.”

    Climate Change politics and belief systems based upon Climate Alarmism are related, the one is insinuated into the discourse and assumptions of everyday life by the Other. Climate Alarmism is neo – Liberalisms answer to the need for a secular, multicultural religion to act as the new “Opium of the masses”

    The Australian problem is one of Neo-Liberal Ideologues and Technocrats ignoring the democratic will and needs of its own population to serve the needs of Global Corporate Capital.

    There has just been a General Election in the United Kingdom, The “Magic Money Tree” was a much-discussed term, thrown at the Anti-Establishment Jeremy Corbyn as a pejorative insult.Many here will be familiar with Mr Corbyns Brother Piers Corbyn, a man who I admire greatly and share both his far left political and heretical views on the Climate Change Religous Narrative.
    Carol Quiggle sums up the confusion resulting from a conflation between Wealth ( Things) and Money ( an IOU)
    Now all said and done one is if one is to be scientifically objective, necessarily compelled and sensibly advised to look at the evidence. As the Grandson of Two South Wales Coal Face workers, I have nothing against the Black Gold, except of course the death of my Maternal Grandfather from Silicosis, On Renewables on, Hydro Carbons and on Fossil Fuels ( I am also one that actually follows the Abiogenic Hypothesis and not the fossil fuel one) what one really needs to do is compare the energy inputs and energy outputs and consider the aggregate energy demand required to produce the necessaries of life.
    Money and Goods Are Different
    ”Thus, clearly, money and goods are not the same thing but are, on the contrary,
    exactly opposite things. Most confusion in economic thinking arises from a failure to
    recognise this fact. Goods are wealth which you have, while money is a claim on wealth which you do not have. Thus goods are an asset; money is a debt. If goods are wealth; money is not wealth, or negative wealth, or even anti-wealth. They always behave in opposite ways, just as they usually move in opposite directions. If the value of one goes up, the value of the other goes down, and in the same proportion.”
    The Relationship Between Goods and Money Is Clear to Bankers
    In the course of time the central fact of the developing economic system, the
    relationship between goods and money, became clear, at least to bankers. This relationship, the price system, depended upon five things: the supply and the demand for goods, the supply and the demand for money, and the speed of exchange between money and goods. An increase in three of these (demand for goods, supply of money, speed of circulation) would move the prices of goods up and the value of
    money down. This inflation was objectionable to bankers, although desirable to producers and merchants.On the other hand, a decrease in the same three items would be deflationary and would please bankers, worry producers and merchants, and delight consumers (who obtained more goods for less money). The other factors worked in the opposite direction, so that an increase in them (supply of goods, demand for money, and slowness of circulation or exchange) would be deflationary.”

    http://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2016/08/neo-liberalism-billy-no-mates-or-just.html
    http://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2017/05/finacial-illiteracy-blind-leading-blind.html

    Judith Curry did a wonderful blog post last year around the time that she retired from her Professorship it is titled, The Republic of Science. I find this article and its failure to adopt a reliable fixed variable against which to conduct a comparitive analysis deeply un scientific. We must get the Politics and the money out of scientific questions, this applies to all sides of the question.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/06/17/daily-telegraph-there-is-no-such-thing-as-affordable-renewable-energy/

  23. “The problem of analysing political choices against the metric of a Monetary measure is the Money as a Thing is most certainly a Variable and as any good technologist, scientist or metrologist will tell you a unit of measurement has to be clearly defined and fixed.
    The dollar. He notes that it is a variable. Why anyone should attempt, on this earth, to use a
    variable as a measuring rod is so utterly absurd that he dismisses any serious
    consideration of its use in his study of what should be done.
    He also considers ‘price’ and ‘value’ and the fine- spun theories of philosophers and
    economists who have attempted to surround these terms with the semblance of meaning.
    These terms, like the monetary unit, may have had meaning to men in the past but they
    mean nothing whatsoever to the modern technologist. The standard of measurement is
    not relevant to the things measured; and the measuring rod and the things, measured as if
    they were stable, are all variables.”

    Climate Change politics and belief systems based upon Climate Alarmism are related, the one is insinuated into the discourse and assumptions of everyday life by the Other. Climate Alarmism is neo – Liberalisms answer to the need for a secular, multicultural religion to act as the new “Opium of the masses”

    The Australian problem is one of Neo-Liberal Ideologues and Technocrats ignoring the democratic will and needs of its own population to serve the needs of Global Corporate Capital.

    There has just been a General Election in the United Kingdom, The “Magic Money Tree” was a much-discussed term, thrown at the Anti-Establishment Jeremy Corbyn as a pejorative insult.Many here will be familiar with Mr Corbyns Brother Piers Corbyn, a man who I admire greatly and share both his far left political and heretical views on the Climate Change Religous Narrative.
    Carol Quiggle sums up the confusion resulting from a conflation between Wealth ( Things) and Money ( an IOU)

  24. Now all said and done one is if one is to be scientifically objective, necessarily compelled and sensibly advised to look at the evidence. As the Grandson of Two South Wales Coal Face workers, I have nothing against the Black Gold, except of course the death of my Maternal Grandfather from Silicosis, On Renewables on, Hydro Carbons and on Fossil Fuels ( I am also one that actually follows the Abiogenic Hypothesis and not the fossil fuel one) what one really needs to do is compare the energy inputs and energy outputs and consider the aggregate energy demand required to produce the necessaries of life.
    Money and Goods Are Different
    ”Thus, clearly, money and goods are not the same thing but are, on the contrary,
    exactly opposite things. Most confusion in economic thinking arises from a failure to
    recognise this fact. Goods are wealth which you have, while money is a claim on wealth which you do not have. Thus goods are an asset; money is a debt. If goods are wealth; money is not wealth, or negative wealth, or even anti-wealth. They always behave in opposite ways, just as they usually move in opposite directions. If the value of one goes up, the value of the other goes down, and in the same proportion.”
    The Relationship Between Goods and Money Is Clear to Bankers
    In the course of time the central fact of the developing economic system, the
    relationship between goods and money, became clear, at least to bankers. This relationship, the price system, depended upon five things: the supply and the demand for goods, the supply and the demand for money, and the speed of exchange between money and goods. An increase in three of these (demand for goods, supply of money, speed of circulation) would move the prices of goods up and the value of

  25. money down. This inflation was objectionable to bankers, although desirable to producers and merchants.On the other hand, a decrease in the same three items would be deflationary and would please bankers, worry producers and merchants, and delight consumers (who obtained more goods for less money). The other factors worked in the opposite direction, so that an increase in them (supply of goods, demand for money, and slowness of circulation or exchange) would be deflationary.”

    http://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2016/08/neo-liberalism-billy-no-mates-or-just.html
    http://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2017/05/finacial-illiteracy-blind-leading-blind.html

    Judith Curry did a wonderful blog post last year around the time that she retired from her Professorship it is titled, The Republic of Science. I find this article and its failure to adopt a reliably fixed variable against which to conduct a comparative analysis deeply unscientific. We must get the Politics and the money out of scientific questions, this applies to all sides of the question.

  26. Apparently you know nothing about LCOE. Lazards well respected report shows that wind and solar are now competitive with traditional energy on an unsubsidized bases. Stop living in the last decade. You are simply wrong.

    • Levelized cost of energy is an inappropriate measure of comparison.
      This post addresses the issues: https://scienceofdoom.com/2017/01/31/renewables-xviii-demand-management-levelized-cost/

      This paper (http://cadmus.eui.eu/bitstream/handle/1814/18239/RSCAS_2011_45.pdf?sequence) makes “a very simple point regarding the proper methods for comparing the economic value of intermittent generating technologies (e.g. wind and solar) with the economic value of traditional dispatchable generating technologies (e.g. CCGT, coal, nuclear). I show that the prevailing approach that relies on comparisons of the “levelized cost” per MWh supplied by different generating technologies, or any other measure of total life-cycle production costs per MWh supplied, is seriously flawed..”

    • LCOE specifically excludes the cost of backup facilities. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a set of published numbers that is easily used to compute the price that rate payers will likely pay for electricity generated largely by non-dispatchable sources. If you want to guess that it will be annoyingly high, you’ll likely to be right.

      Note also that costs of renewable energy will tend to fall disproportionately on those with lower income. That is to say — large amounts of renewable energy is a regressive social policy that transfers money from the poor more than the rich. Where are the social policies to offset that effect? Conspicuously inadequate/absent as far as I can see.

    • “Assumes 30 MW system in a high insolation
      jurisdiction (e.g., Southwest U.S.). Does not account for differences in heat coefficients within technologies, balance-of-system costs
      or other potential factors which may differ across select solar technologies or more specific geographies.”

       ” does not take into account…. reliability or intermittency-related considerations (e.g., transmission and back-up generation costs associated with certain Alternative Energy technologies)”

      Lazards study shows scenarios where the costs of an idealized version of a solar plant (located where loads vary based on capacity) compares favorably to the costs of traditional energy. It is not a study of actual LCOE

  27. This is a very interesting commenting experience. Parts of a Longer comment seem to get posted without moderation and other parts get filtered another part simply keeps disappearing.I trust that the Blog admin will post the longer whole comment to provide some context to what I am saying which is I think a fundamental point on the difference between empirical sciences, Political Science and Rhetoric. The OP is I would argue political rhetoric and dressed in Scientific pomposity lacking any empirical substance based as it is upon the absurd Dollar Measure.

  28. “The problem of analysing political choices against the metric of a Monetary measure is the Money as a Thing is most certainly a Variable and as any good technologist, scientist or metrologist will tell you a unit of measurement has to be clearly defined and fixed.
    The dollar. He notes that it is a variable. Why anyone should attempt, on this earth, to use a
    variable as a measuring rod is so utterly absurd that he dismisses any serious
    consideration of its use in his study of what should be done.
    He also considers ‘price’ and ‘value’ and the fine- spun theories of philosophers and
    economists who have attempted to surround these terms with the semblance of meaning.
    These terms, like the monetary unit, may have had meaning to men in the past but they
    mean nothing whatsoever to the modern technologist. The standard of measurement is
    not relevant to the things measured; and the measuring rod and the things, measured as if
    they were stable, are all variables.”

  29. Climate Change politics and belief systems based upon Climate Alarmism are related, the one is insinuated into the discourse and assumptions of everyday life by the Other. Climate Alarmism is neo – Liberalisms answer to the need for a secular, multicultural religion to act as the new “Opium of the masses”

    The Australian problem is one of Neo-Liberal Ideologues and Technocrats ignoring the democratic will and needs of its own population to serve the needs of Global Corporate Capital.

    There has just been a General Election in the United Kingdom, The “Magic Money Tree” was a much-discussed term, thrown at the Anti-Establishment Jeremy Corbyn as a pejorative insult.Many here will be familiar with Mr Corbyns Brother Piers Corbyn, a man who I admire greatly and share both his far left political and heretical views on the Climate Change Religous Narrative.

  30. So privatisation had noting to do with higher electricity prices. Our australian goverments could not run our utilities efficiently, so they sold them to another foreign government that can. I am sick of unqualified ministers running our country. Many of them have no training in their portfolios and are at least incompetant. Again our government is supposed to work for the people, however they do the bidding of wealthy donor companies. What sort of democracy is this?
    Canning electricity project based on astetics is more than stupid. Polititions, polititions funded by big coal.
    Solar, wind and batteries are the future, same as 1Gbps for minimum home networking. But that is another story.

  31. Of course there is the massive Beetaloo shale gas prospect in the emptiness (1/20 the population density of Siberia) of the Northern territories, with perhaps enough gas to power the continent for the next 30 years. Whats that Skippy? – it involves fracking!. Cant have that can we Skip!. Ban it!. So what if it provides employment!. It would cause irreversible damage to natural rock formations, and profit seeking frakers always dispose of their vast volumes of deadly carcinogenic chemicals by pumping them into any and all potable water aquifers, when not spraying them across the countryside; greens know this!. Also, they let most of the methane leak into the atmosphere causing worse climate damage than coal!.

  32. Climate change zealots need to get real

    That’s impossible. Climate zealots, and indeed Climatists of all stripes don’t live in the real world, but rather in an alternate reality of their own making. They much prefer their alt-world to the real one, which is why they become so angry when Skeptics/Climate Realists try to spoil things for them by pointing out inconvenient facts. They endlessly repeat a slew of memes, in robotic fashion like “coal is dead”, which simply means they want it so, and if they just keep repeating it and wishing for it, it will become true.

  33. This sounds like a head in the sand. All that can be said is that renewables are more costly than conventional sources NOW.

    The costs of renewable sources has reduced over the past decade. How much further they may fall in the next 10-20 years is speculation and there are real issues about storage.

    But never is a big word and in this context utterly foolish. History is littered with those who thought new technologies would never catch on or fail – internal combustion,steam trains, industrial machinery etc. They later realise they were wrong and futilely wtry to hold back progress.

    E.g.: In 20years the standard roof tile may have PV embedded at an additional cost of £5 person metre, connected to a hybrid vehicle where the battery is used for energy storage. PV cells may be manufactured in a continuous process like carpets.

    • So how about this; let the free market decide, not government. That is really all we are asking for. The problem is that the Greenies want it NOW, regardless of the cost.

  34. “The biggest deniers in the whole climate change debate are those who think we can have affordable power, lower emissions and a reliable network.”
    Nuclear power around here last quarter wholesaled at around 4 cents. We have 57% nuclear, shortly to be increased to 80%, and prices retail from 9 to 11 cents per kwhr.
    But the revolution in nuclear energy not far away is the movement to molten salt reactors – at least 50% cheaper to build, built in factories, cheaper to operate, totally safe, extremely proliferation resistant, can probably produce power for under 3.5 cents, have 60 year lifespans (or more). They will prove that the cheapest power can be emission-free.

  35. Political bodies should probably be prohibited from passing legislation in areas of which they so obviously have no knowledge (mostly, anything that involves technology). For example, when wind and solarcame along, many of our more ignorant (blue) state govts required grid operators to accept their power when they produced it. The more ignorant (and lying) greenies claimed that this would simply replace one source of power with another, no extra cost involved (since the non-renewable power source would not have to expend fuel). A couple of BIG, stupid assumptions, which our politicians did not understand – when you suddenly stop buying power from a non-renewable power generator in preference to renewable, you are 1) not saving the cost of that unused power, since it depends on a whole lot more than simply the cost of the fuel being saved, and 2) what’s worse, for baseload power plants, no fuel is saved at all, since they cannot ramp their power output down that quickly, if at all. For a nuclear plant, the fuel costs are almost an insignificant portion of their total cost – less than 3/4th of a cent per kWhr. Not buying their power (which has happened on large scales in the midwest where there is lots of wind power) simply reduces their income with little effect on their costs, thus they lose money. Naturally, the anti-nuke greenies then point to nuclear plants as “high cost” providers, a complete lie, as is usual.
    Some states now require renewables to provide grid-level capabilities to prevent them from toxifying their grid – they must be able to provide power “on demand”, and impossibility, even if they were equipped with the greenies phony solution to their unreliability (battery power!!!). Apparently the greenies don’t realize that batteries only store energy, finite amounts of energy, and cannot produce energy. And they must be recharged at some point by those renewables, which makes their output unavailable to the grid.

  36. It is perversely reassuring that California is not unique in producing incompetent politicians, and voters who keep returning them to office. California should have served as a bad example of letting greens run an electrical system with the Enron blackouts, but no one seems to have learned anything useful.
    Australia seems to have doubled down on everything self-destructive California did.

    • Here we are head long in to a fast, blindfolded, race to the bottom, lead by the very people who created this problem, namely politicians.

  37. Coal is dead. Long live wind- http://anero.id/energy/wind-energy/2017/june
    Explain that graph to us all Mosher while you and your caravan of true believers that you can build a reliable system from unreliable components cheer this-
    http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/sa/2017/06/17/sa-power-station-demolition-to-continue.html
    When the rolling blackouts begin in earnest next summer, on top of the recent 18-20% power price rises across Australia, you and your airhead computer modellers are about to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

  38. You are entirely right that renewable energy currently costs more than conventional power sources. The question then becomes are the short and medium term gains from lower energy prices today worth the medium and long term costs of climate change. Most of the world is now saying that lower energy prices aren’t worth radically changed weather patterns and all of what that entails – dining coastal cities, shifted rainfall for strictly, more extreme weather events that kill people, etc. And your China argument is ridiculous. You say that China will still pollute 50 to 60 times more than Australians, but there are 55 times more Chinese people than there are Australians. Two metaphors illuminate why this argument about China is wrong given any data set. Are you there type of person that sees your neighbor throw their trash in the local park to avoid paying garbage removal fees then goes and does the same, or do you say that for the good of the neighborhood I’m going to pay for proper garbage removal? I hope you don’t throw your trash in a park to avoid paying for garbage removal. Also, if you are going to talk equality in pollution you should talk about the lifetime pet capita emissions of a country. Think of it like the levelized​ cost of energy but with carbon emissions. In evaluating the economic rationale of coal power you wouldn’t ignore the first half of the life cycle that includes building the power plant. Similarly, if you are going to moralize about the amount of emissions from other countries then you must include all our emissions. Not to, would be like dumping trash in the local park to avoid paying for garbage collection for 100 years. By now you’ve dumped a lot of garbage in that park. Then you get self righteous because someone else started throwing garbage in the park thirty years ago. Especially when the reasons they are throwing garbage in the park is so they can produce cheap goods for you in Australia and me in the USA and at the same time lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. Should Chinese people not throw garbage in the park to lift 600 million out of poverty even though we’ve been doing it for decades more often to buy a bigger house and a nicer car?

  39. Reality BITES! This mountain-born, high plains of Alberta, mixed farm raised person, saw how far the morning weather forecast was, from each days weather. This resulted in laughter when first I saw Climate Forecasts for 1, 5, 10, and even 100 years hence. After looking at the database details, especially the policy of jumping weather observation numbers across many empty Data Boxen, from the nearest filled D.B., I reread my Geophysical Textbooks, about proper handling of Stacked Reflections in a 3D Seismic Survey project. If a 12- Stacked 3D Boxen had only 10, or 11 valid reflections, that was all the Boxen got = there were no neighbouring numbers jumped in.

  40. These coal generators are allegedly closing because of “safety” – needing $$$ bigly spent to come up to code.

    Good luck forcing an “unsafe” power station to remain open.

    If the intention was to close it, presumably the govt can nationalise it at nil cost but would have to run it at a loss for 3 years. Which was in fact the deal offered to the People’s Republic of SA – for $8m pa they could have had a slightly used power station, saved $240m of price spikes and $350m of damages from the blackouts.

    • It has nothing to do with safety but economics as these unreliables free-ride on thermals as their insurers and don’t pay them their just insurance premiums. Consequently they haven’t been investing in continuous upgrades and reinvestment(new boilers and turbines) but running them on sticky tape and string to extract the last drop of revenue from them before closing. The corporate owners are generally philosophical about that as they have a foot in both camps, or should I say a snout in the trough of subsidised unreliables.

      Finkel would understand that now and hence the 3 year notification baloney as he dances on political eggshells with the other no-brainer that future unreliables must guarantee despatchability, but with an eye to the political, has nothing to say about existing unreliables (I ask you what polly is going to tell mums and dads with their rooftop solar that they can keep their fickle electrons if they can’t guarantee despatchability?)

      So we have a Chief Scientist dishing up more half baked political seance and with the 3 year closure notification rule, ignoring the other bleeding obvious fly in the ointment-
      http://www.asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/insolvency/insolvency-for-directors/directors-consequences-of-insolvent-trading/
      Still he probably doesn’t plan on being around when the manure really hits the wind turbines and the sun no longer shines out of every watermelon’s backside.

      • Yes, but they still like to include it in the graphs of “aren’t renewables doing so well”. The Aswan high dam was finished by the 1970’s. Green thinking stagnated in the 1960’s.

  41. Energy continues to get more affordable as new sources become lower in cost.
    Solar in California and Wind in Texas are good ‘trend-setters’ to watch.
    Localized successes spur investment that lowers cost and expand markets.
    Much-reviled fracking has lowered the price of fuel to the point that there is no longer an economic justification for coal-fired power plants. Suppliers are closing these as fast as they are permitted. (These closings are NOT driven by renewables; but, result from new, lower cost energy technology.)
    Solar presently provides enough power to the California market to reduce the demand for baseload power, During Daylight Hours, by about 50% of the historical (pre-solar) demand. That is a huge quantity of energy.
    Solar is used because it (like fracked-gas) is far cheaper. However, looking at the data of the independent energy suppliers’ organization, CAISO, and understanding the implication of their eponymous ‘Duck Curve’ reveals the growing challenge of power management as this huge quantity of Solar power enters the grid in the morning and disappears at night.
    Motivated by the opportunity to gather cheap Solar energy during daylight hours and save it to sell back to the grid at baseload process in the evening, people are developing machines (including battery-based facilities) to store the solar-based energy). There’s an enormous financial incentive to remove the cost of fuel from power plant operations, and people are pursuing this (not merely to remove the carbon footprint).
    As storage is developed, costs will go down and fuel-sourced energy will subside (like the coal plants).
    Renewable Energy is already “affordable”. The question is how long will it take to convert to a baseload system that is powered by renewables?

    • CASIO for 6/17 shows solar PV/thermal peak output at 1 pm as 9894 MW which was 30% of demand. During peak demand at 6 pm it was only 19%. In December I’m certain those numbers will be considerably lower. I don’t see where solar is reducing demand for baseload power even during peak output in June.

      • Edit to above: That should be CAISO not CASIO and I’m missing the 50% for reducing demand for baseload power.

  42. If I was a coal producer, I would announce tomorrow my three years notice. Presumably I could change my mind if conditions change. And, if every coal plant did the same…
    Then the gov’t would take them over because that’s what socialists do just ask the Venezuelans. Welcome to third world status Australia.

  43. From the post:

    Australian Coal operators are responding by shutting down now unprofitable businesses.

    The Australian government response – force remaining coal plant operators to keep operating for a minimum of three years after their businesses become unprofitable, regardless of financial losses to shareholders.

    I’m not Austalian, but this takes renewable subsidies to a new level. Renewables can’t do the job so let’s force what can do the job to keep supplying the energy even after “green” regulations have made them unprofitable so no one will notice renewables can’t do the job when they flip the light switch and noting happens.
    Profitable? Absent Government interference and subsidies, “profitable” to the supplier is also what is beneficial to the user.
    The role of Government is to keep all sides honest (false advertising and all that), not to stack the deck.

  44. “Coal is dead.” That is an oft repeated phrase in these comments. Yet, it is just more wish-casting. Those who use the term are not realizing that there will always be a market for fossil fuels, especially coal and oil. It is a world-wide hydrocarbon market. Coal will continue to be used as fuel for electric generating stations world-wide. We have had clean coal burning in the USA for decades, and there is very little particulate pollution.

    If you are into long term investments now is the time to buy into today’s fossil energy companies who are smart enough to keep the oil and coal flowing, while being able to scam the phony alternative energy markets.

    • The 2017 BP energy review records that in 2016:

      “Global coal consumption fell by 53 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe), or 1.7%, the second successive annual decline. The largest declines in coal consumption were seen in the US (-33 mtoe, an 8.8% fall) and China (-26 mtoe, -1.6%). Coal consumption in the UK more than halved (down 52.5%, or 12 mtoe) to its lowest level in our records”

      coal is dead…

  45. Meanwhile Joanne Nova has a thread up claiming Harry Dale Huffman’s flawless gas energy mechanics are wrong, and that it’s certainly true that magical insulation can make the sky hot.

    Even Australia’s so called skeptical journalists have been caught barking that the fraud’s real. It’s not real, not a single word of it.

    Joanne Nova stand apprised that addition of Carbon Dioxide to atmospheric air is mandated to lower that air’s temperature whether it’s a jug or a planet. No negotiation, no ”yeah but what about on Tuesdays,”
    not ever.

    It was Americans who founded this fraud and it was Americans who first stood up to it and we know it inside and out. Its a temperature inversion scam where it was claimed by a bunch of government administrators who were scamming grants, that a cold, thermally conductive bath of turbulent, light blocking compressed fluids, is a glass box.
    And that suspension of ever more light blocking insulation in the bath, so less and less firelight warms a rock, will make thermal sensors depict ever more firelight warming the – less firelight-warmed rock.

    So until Australia gets the journalists covering their problems capable of correctly answering the question of what happens to a light warmed rock when less light warms it, you guys are going to continue to have bizarre, oddly stultifying results from everything that goes on.

    Your journalists have staked their reputations on some of the fraud being real and it’s not, and now they’re caught: busted: not knowing how to properly answer the question of what happens to a firelight warmed rock, if less firelight warms the rock.

    Let the atmospheric chemists and physicists discussing this explain to you what we are talking about Jo Nova, we don’t need more journalists who are unable to understand which law of thermodynamics governs the atmosphere, telling us all that we don’t understand it, but less firelight warming a rock, makes it warmer.

    [You have 5 different user-id’s. Chose one. .mod]

    • ” addition of Carbon Dioxide to atmospheric air is mandated to lower that air’s temperature whether it’s a jug or a planet.”
      You (or someone like you) have made this claim before, with reference to heat capacities. I don’t know what you think is going on, but adding CO2 is not mandated to lower the temperature of the air.

      It may help to think of water and alcohol. Miscible in all proportions but with different heat capacities. Alcohol has a specific heat capacity about half that of water. If we add alcohol to water, do we anticipate that the temperature must go down?

      The temperature actually goes up, but that is due to H bonding and therefore not relevant to dicussion of gases. But if there were no heat generated by the mixing, we would expect the temperature to stay the same if we added alcohol to water at he same temperature.

      I do not understand why you think that adding CO2 (with a lower heat capacity than N2) to air means the temperature goes down. Can you explain?

  46. Funny, I just did a post on my Province of BC which is heading for a minority government with the Greens (3 seats out of 87) holding the balance of Power. Their first order of business is to Halt a 5.1 Gw hydro dam well into construction for a “review”. They are looking at figuring out how to stop the twinning of a pipeline from Alberta, and Vancouver is doing Building code modifications to get rid of Natural Gas. Really?

    Here’s a link to my post, and yours should be a foreshadowing / Harbinger to BC. But I don’t think they have any STEM cells, so it will likely be ignored. Sigh.

    https://notonmywatch.com/?p=1185

  47. Haven’t shared this lately

    SUSTAINABLE REALITY

    If you like your energy sustainable,
    You must first make the climate trainable.
    With sun day and night,
    And the wind always right…
    I think it just might be attainable!

    Solar and wind are renewable,
    But only on small scales prove doable
    They kill birds and bats
    And displace habitats…
    Conservationists find them eschew-able.

    We would, likely, employ keener vision
    Funding hydro and nuclear fission.
    (The molten salt kind,
    For our peace of mind)
    With storm-proofed grids, for transmission.

    Electricity, for the third world poor
    Will unlock the virtual door…
    To an affluent life,
    A job and a wife
    With less children than folks raised before.

    So, curtailing overpopulation
    Is not about “limiting nations
    On what they can do
    Which emits CO2”…
    It relies on industrialization!

  48. “The reason for the three year notice of closure is likely the recent abrupt closure of coal plants in several locations in Australia.”

    They were not abrupt. They were planned and closures had been planned for some years. It was abrupt to the public who were not made aware of the closures until it was too late.

  49. It seems that we among the developed nations have a death wish. Climate catastrophism and the ongoing obsession with wind and solar power (at heavy subsidies that are costly to all, because it encourages not sustainability, but instead a massive waste of economic resources and higher electricity prices) are the latest examples of this death wish.

  50. Wind turbines are unreliable it depends whether the wind blows or not. Also turbines kill off birds and gives problems for humans straight away or over time. Noise.is another factor that is why a couple sued and won in England. I cannot understand why turbines are used as overseas some countries are getting rid of them. Too noisy and too Expensive to have plus they are made of some components that are detrimental to the environment as well as killing birds and bats.

    • There are no court cases which have been won in England over wind turbine noise, which is not a problem in the UK.

      there has been a case won in Eire, but the circumstances are opaque, to say the least.

  51. The Daily Telegraph article quoted above repeats the statement that Australia contributes 1.4% to the world-wide CO2 emissions. This is incorrect, because it ignores natural CO2 sequestration within Australia. It turns out, that when this is taken into account Australia is a net CO2 sequestrator [1].

    [1] doi:10.1260/0958-305X.26.3.457

    • Making stuff up again on behalf of the spivs who employ you to propagandise for them, Skanky?
      Have you apologised to Dr. Crockford for maliciously maligning her professional credentials yet?

  52. Has anybody here looked at the bladeless wind turbine technology? Interested in non-hydrocarbon energy? May be a way to rip control of a sector of energy away from Big Oil & Gas. See http://kohilowind.com/kohilo-wind-vortex-tech/ Also http://kohilowind.com/about-kohilo-wind/ A wind turbine w no exterior moving parts; operates at low wind speeds; device comes in various sizes for a home, town, factory. Little maintenance. Made of aluminum, not subject to solar flare or pulse-bomb. Not controlled by the Establishment, apparently. The partners, Derek Grassman & Tom Worseca were on Coast to Coast recently. More on the internet.

    Here’s a survey article of others working w other bladeless technologies:
    https://www.engerati.com/article/bladeless-wind-turbines-cut-energy-costs-40

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