Al Gore Praises “Climate Leader” South Australia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

South Australia’s catastrophic renewables policies have been endorsed by former Vice-President Al Gore; Gore considers South Australia to be a climate world leader.

Donald Trump ‘isolated’ on climate change: Al Gore says rest of world moving on without US President

7.30 By Callum Denness

The United States will meet or exceed its Paris Agreement emissions targets despite an increasingly isolated President Donald Trump withdrawing from the accord, former vice-president Al Gore says.

In Australia to promote his latest film, An Inconvenient Sequel, the climate campaigner and one-time presidential candidate said Mr Trump was out of step domestically and internationally.

“The country as a whole is going to meet the commitments of the Paris Agreement, regardless of what Donald Trump says or does,” Mr Gore told 7.30.

Disputing the argument renewable energy is less reliable and more expensive than conventional power sources, Mr Gore praised South Australia’s recently struck deal to build a battery storage facility with Tesla.

“The electricity from both solar and wind continues to come down every single year. And the new historic development is battery storage is coming down significantly in cost,” Mr Gore said.

“And this historic announcement that South Australia is leading the entire world with the installation of the largest battery in the world, it will be the first of many to come.”

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-10/donald-trump-isolated-on-climate-change-says-al-gore/8693806

The escapades of South Australia, the world’s renewable crash test dummy, regularly appears in WUWT. But for people suffering blackouts, surging electricity costs, economic hardship, and inane political excuses for their ongoing misery, South Australia’s botched energy policies are no laughing matter.

Will the new battery pack help? The South Australian grid typically draws around 800Mw-2Gw of electricity.

100MWh is not a lot in the context of 800Mw-2Gw of power demand.

The cost of the battery is not clear – estimates range between AUD $33 million to $240 million.

Yes the battery might give a few minutes of breathing space to fire up a backup gas generator, if clouds cover the sun or the wind dies. No the battery will not help if the vagaries of seasonal weather deliver several months of unusually low wind, as just recently occurred in South Australia.

South Australia could solve their problems almost overnight by restoring baseload capacity. They don’t even have to go for a fossil fuel based solution. South Australia has one of the largest deposits of Uranium in the world. One large nuclear reactor could easily produce all their energy needs without emitting CO2. Nuclear power is frequently proposed in South Australia. Nuclear power works – you can build a stable, competitive economy on the back of zero emissions nuclear power.

Instead the South Australian government persist with hideously expensive, unstable, and untested solutions, with using their people as guinea pigs to see what breaks first – the South Australian electric grid, or the South Australian people’s patience with their blundering politicians.

South Australia’s policy in my opinion represents a patchwork bandaid approach to power grids. Too much instability? Add a battery. Unseasonably slow winds? Add more solar or wind. Even slower winds? Add even more solar or wind. Better add another battery to cope with all that extra solar and wind.

It seems very unlikely that such a patchwork effort to create a power grid could ever approach the stability of a grid which offers true weather independent baseload capacity. No matter how much extra renewable capacity is added, plausible intermittency scenarios exist which lead to grid failure. And we haven’t even considered the load of all the electric cars South Australia expects to be able to attach to their grid the near future.

Why should anyone care about what happens in South Australia – other than South Australians of course? The reason is that what happens in South Australia will have repercussions elsewhere.

If South Australia declares victory over renewable instability, regardless of how unjustified or premature their declaration, it is likely the South Australian template for grid chaos will be attempted elsewhere, maybe in your home state. I think from Al Gore’s words of endorsement we can reasonably conclude that South Australia’s nightmare electrical grid problems are Gore’s template for the entire world.

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150 thoughts on “Al Gore Praises “Climate Leader” South Australia

    • gotta love that one Tony….200 countries get paid….10 pay….let’s vote on it
      ….it’s all about the money

    • Indeed 150 countries were bought. I’ve worked in several of them and these people don’t care about the environment, even for stuff that is serious. Their daily lives are existential matters. In the same boat, I wouldn’t care either. If it were life and death issues facing me every day I’d shoot the last breeding pair of Bengal Tigers.

      You have to be a prosperous country to even sell the niceties of environment to your citizens. You need a surplus. We’ve got nations chopping down their natural forests, destroying habitat on a massive scale to grow biodiesel trees to fuel a product they have little hope of enjoying.

      This is not just idiocy, rather it’s immoral, or actually amoral. But it illustrates the truth that the poor will devastate their own environment in exchange for a few bucks. It is a no brainer that each and every one of these countries will drop out of the Parisite Accord without hesitation. I’d encourage them to sue the UN and the EU for this and the IMF and World Bank for their policy of preventing funding for affordable energy that would help raise then out of poverty. Thank you President Trump for initiating the end of of the 100s,of millions of deaths that the PA would have committed.

      • Oh, and the billionaire Champagne sосналisтs, they’ll drop a few million into the kitty as a defiant gesture, but these cynical bestids actually were planning to get even richer with this shameful stuff. Philanthropists they are not. I urge the US admin to strike all the foundations who put up their cash to destroy America and civilization be stricken from the list of charities. Let’s not give them a tax break out of voter pockets to continue these crimes against humanity.

      • exactly GP…..all this liberal carp…is a result of an affluent society…people have the leisure time to think and pontificate about these very things….oddly enough, it’s then the liberals that want to destroy the very society that gave them that time

      • Latitude, according to Josef Pieper, leisure is the basis for culture. Unfortunately, we have destroyed American culture with excessive immigration. This, of course, was a “Progressive” strategy.

    • “Yes the battery might give a few minutes of breathing space to fire up a backup gas generator”

      Wrong. Not enough time. The average load is 1,480 MW so the Tesla battery will last 5-6 minutes. You would need the latest GE instant start turbine. So an instant supply of gas, instant employees on site, perfection all round. Power interruptions can occur for any reason at any time.

      Then there is an SA summer. No wind. So forget that 1,700 MW of windmill power. Then there are the 36+ degrees C days. They can stretch for a week. Where the battery is sited try 40+.

      When I was a child in Adelaide, nobody had an aircon. The new generation is soft. They have one everywhere. I can remember a 55+C degree day at Penola. This battery is not going to cut it.

      SA is a claimant state. That means its bankrupt. Amazingly they blew up their main source of power. Whatever happens now they fully deserve.

      • “…The average load is 1,480 MW so the Tesla battery will last 5-6 minutes. You would need the latest GE instant start turbine…”

        What the Goracle and Gay Weathergirl aren’t saying so loudly is that the actual back-up plan when the wind and sun aren’t perfectly aligned to the state’s electricity demand is the gas and deseasal fired peaking generators being installed https://stopthesethings.com/2017/05/06/south-australias-wind-power-crisis-continues-gas-generators-forced-to-fire-up-to-prevent-another-statewide-blackout/
        So the big battery really just virtue signalling on a hobby-industrial scale.

        According to the badly shaven snake oil salesman, the big battery will also become a tourist attraction (beause that’s a real priority when installing state funded infrastructure).
        Now the mid-north isn’t noted for particularly spectacular scenery, but I’d opine that anyone who goes out of their way to visit a field full of containers full of batteries must be having pretty crap holidays. For such sad gits, I should recommend the grain silo at what’s left of Jamestown railway station or there’s the wee pine plantation just south of town…

        In other news, the same gumment who think urinating borrowed money up against a wall to install a big duracel bunny to keep the lights on makes sense have also annouced that the electrification of the second metropolitan railway line (north to Gawler) is going to begin (after postponment in 2013) but only as far as a station about half way along the line. I guess anyone going the whole way has to change trains at Salisbury then. Assuming the wind is blowing – so maybe sail trains would have been better.
        And now that auto-manufacturing is leaving town (because the local designers are stuck in a 1970s time warp and the local unions want super pay for mediocre workmanship), the gumment’s first bright idea was to turn the abandoned factory into a ‘world class’ autonomous car test facility. About as far away from anyone making Johhny Cabs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGi6j2VrL0o) as it is possible to be.
        With this pathetic excuse for leadership, a big pointless battery isn’t the biggest squander in town and con-men like Gore and Musk are bringing their scam to fertile territory.

        But retards keep voting for the same team,so it’s true that we get the government we deserve. I just hope someone else in the world is learning from our dumb mistakes.

      • yup i also grew up in rural sa and adelaide city as well as outback in NT
        never had an aircon,
        even now 58yrs on
        a fan at most the last few yrs
        we had clothes rugs and hot water bottles only in winter
        having a wood fire and the unaffordable option of a small fan heater now is still a luxury to me.
        im 50ks from Penola now;-)
        shes damned cold here recently counting the frost free nights more than the frosty ones.

      • If the Heywood connector trips out again then the battery won’t even last 5 seconds: the grid would go into cascading blackout just as it did last September, and the battery would be disconnected along with everything else. The main purpose of the battery is to squirt or absorb small doses of power mostly lasting a few seconds at a time to try to balance off the “flicker” in the grid caused by very short term variations in wind power as gusts blow through and subside. It is intended as a replacement for some of the lost grid inertia that results from closing the conventional generators which would have served the same purpose. Without the synthetic inertia, local grid frequency can deviate too far, which in turn leads to blackouts. The reason is that if you have some generators producing at 50 Hz and others at 49 Hz, it doesn’t take long before they are completely out of phase, so you get a 1 Hz beat frequency that will cause motors and generators to stutter and lights to flicker, potentially destroying them – so they have to shut down instead. Normal grids a) keep the frequency very close to the grid standard (50/60Hz depending on location), and b) rely on rotational inertia of the generators to minimise departures and allow extra steam and fuel to be deployed to make good any slippage, and c) usually have a spinning reserve that can take over in the event of loss of a generator or to meet a demand spike. Wind turbine generators have low mass because they sit atop tall pylons, and thus very low physical inertia. They can’t be commanded into operation to meet demand spikes.

        The use of the battery for other purposes, such as contributing to extreme peak demand, or help to meet “TV pickup” when it’s half time in the Australian Rules final, or even to allow a gas fired genset to start up, is limited by the 100MW export capacity. As to using it as a serious store of excess wind generation for later use when the wind drops – forget it. Wind generation can rise and fall by 1,000MW in a few hours in South Australia, and production can fall by over 250GWh from one month to the next: 129MWh is not useful in that context.

      • If Al Gore is being true to Christianity, he has opened his Montecino house and yard to Mexican refugees. His Google Earth satellite shot should show more than a hundred refugees’ tents. And they are able to use his many bathrooms to relieve and clean themselves. Thiose who are moving north should be camping on Nany Peolsi’s property and using her bathrooms without restrictions.

        If these things are not happening, then Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi are fraudsters.

      • Albert Gore Jr flunked out of the theology program he had been in, eventually getting a vague government studies degree.

  1. Al Gore does not live in South Australia. Neither does Roger Sowell, out resident cheerleader for renewables when Griff is off. So, Roger, 100 MWH gives how much backup on a 800 megawatt grid? Storage is so practical. /sarc

    • “Gore considers South Australia to be a climate world leader.”

      S.A. is leading the world. Crash test dummies always get to be first to drive a new car !!!

      • It seems, too, that like crash test dummies, people get no vote in whether or not the “car” goes into production and is sold to the public. You are just buckled in and whatever happens, happens. It’s always something’s fault, never the “car”.

      • 1) The USA was blessed twice and struck a might blow once.
        We were greatly blessed when Al Gore lost the 2000 US presidential election. Whew! close one.
        2) Obama was elected president in 2008 & 2012 and struck vicious blows to America. I am optimistic that we will eventually recover.
        3) We were exceedingly blessed that Hillary Rodham Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election and that Mr Trump won.
        Like old soldiers (a la Douglas MacArthur) I wish Gore and Hillary would just fade awaaaaaay.

      • Greg,
        Yes.
        I would add that crash test dummies are also, always, the first to crash the new model.

        Auto.
        Who was it said that ‘There is no situation so bad that political interference is unable to make it worse.’?

      • Crash test dummies are always the first to arrive at the scene of a horrible accident.

      • “The electricity from both solar and wind continues to come down every single year. And the new historic development is battery storage is coming down significantly in cost,” Mr Gore said.

        Did he really mean the electricity from solar and wind is coming down? or did he mean in price?

    • @Tom Halla
      It’s actually worse than you think. The capacity is 100 MW-hr. The rate of delivery is another thing entirely. Based on information from the Mira Loma installation in California, the battery bank will be the equivalent of a 25 MW generator. That’s a general rule of thumb you can apply to any installation. If the project is quoted in megawatt-hours (MWh or MW-hr), the max delivery rate is going to be about 1/4 of that.

      • Good catch. Depends a bit on the intended lifetime. Higher discharge rates shorten it significantly. Dump 100MWh in 1 hour and you will be buying a new battery from Musk in very short order. That still assumes the fire department is not called in first.

      • Good information generally, but I was envisioning what would happen if they tried to get 800 megawatts out of the battery. Meltdown or explosion?

      • A lightning strike or even minor insulation failure and you have a 100MWh’s worth bomb.

      • TH, when I was partly in charge of Motorola’s battery business because brought it a (at peak) $400 million per year battery charger business. We DID NOT use those terms. Of course, LiIon battery packs sometimes experienced a ‘rapid delamination’ event. Like in our explosion proof test containment systems. Rapid delamination. Never explosion or fire.

      • @ristvan
        Yes, and when I worked at one of Hercules’ gunpowder plants, an explosion was a “stress incident”. No lie, the investigations were called Stress Incident Reports.

      • @Gary Pearse
        Well, it’s not going to be that bad. This “battery” is a collection of structures, each with its own safety cutouts and whatnot. You’ll never get simultaneous release of all the stored energy, if only due to the internal resistance of the individual battery cells. If you had a 100 MW-hr capacitor bank, now you’re talking “boom!”.

      • Well, I have heard that there is no problem that cannot be solved by the judicious application of high explosives.

      • How does a 25 MW generator, the world’s largest battery, cut into a system that suddenly needs say 200 MW?

        Answer, it cannot without massive load shedding.

        In a load shedding situation the world’s largest battery is going to do NOTHING. All it can do is allow the local windmills to keep turning by providing local “load” for the windmills.

        So the world’s largest battery is the world’s most expensive capacitor.

      • “D. J. Hawkins July 11, 2017 at 5:19 pm

        You’ll never get simultaneous release of all the stored energy, if only due to the internal resistance of the individual battery cells.”

        Until one day you do.

    • South Australia suffered a massive blackout due to “renewable energy” wind turbines producing out-of–operating frequency AC power, and shutdowns of coal-powered energy. If Al Gore wants energy systems failure of the advanced world, deindustrialization and regrowth, he should say it: I want the earth to lose 5 billion people, and I want a return to 10th century living, if not 4000 BCE living. Life was beautiful under Nimrod, Rameses I, and other Bronze Age rulers. Life was even better in times of small hunter gatherer tribes. Ye, lifespans were shorter, but they were intense, and thus rewarding. I don’t even know how to grow a turnip, much less hunt a pig. But I want my great grandchildren to enjoy this experience.”

    • Peak grid demand can reach over 3GW on a really hot day. 800MW is the typical overnight low demand, with about 1.6GW being the average daily demand level.

  2. Donald Trump ‘isolated’ on climate change: Al Gore says rest of world moving on without US President

    • Worrel
      “The escapades of South Australia…regularly appears in WUWT”

      That should read:
      “I have been flogging this dead horse for months but it doesn’t seem to be working”

      “catastrophic renewables policies” sounds like something an alarmist would say Eric.

      It should read:
      “one unusual weather event”.

    • I uses to live up your way Forrest, I know, the climate there can really dull your senses. Read it through again, very carefully this time. If you struggle with any of the concepts let me know, I’ll be happy to help you.

    • What a strange reaction, Tony . . are you suggesting the situation in SA is unquestionably excellent or something? Like nothing could go wrong? . .. Or are you saying it will, without a doubt, so Eric should stop “rubbing it in”? Or?

  3. $33M-$240M. Whoopee. Elon Musk has received over $5B in gov’t subsidies in the US (federal and sate), some of that towards his SpaceX stuff but much of it to Tesla and SolarCity. Tesla’s “Gigafactory” received $1.3B alone.

    • Michael do u have access to a break down of the money (gov’t subsidies) Musk has received and what he is currently pulling in for the various enterprises …. mostly I am interested in Tesla / Solar City which is likely muddier now that they are combined.
      Thanks.

    • Michael,
      Musk, like any successful businessman is good at finding ways to reduce his costs, including taking advantage of any government incentives. I don’t see the point in excoriating him for this. It’s smart really. Personally I take all the exemptions and credits I can when filing my taxes, which I’m sure you do too. Your argument is with the government which hands out the money; direct your ire there.

      • I don’t have access to politicians to convince them to increase the value of the deductions I am taking.
        Musk does.

  4. All likely true, but I don’t think you can accurately refer to the people of SA as “guinea pigs.” SA has had Labor and Liberal leadership for decades. Was this plan sprung on them after the last election, or was it a democratically chosen consensus? It’s a good example of why it pays to have sovereignty in small, competitive modules with less centralized power. With that, SA can experiment as they please, Iowa, Kansas, and California as they democratically choose. Let the better plans prevail.

    • Dave Magill:
      SA has had a Labor government for the last 15 years. ‘Acceptance’ was helped by Labor only having to get 47% of the 2 party preferred vote to win elections (and it must be said, a supine Opposition). That has changed recently and this battery is another ploy by Labor to try and stay in power.

      • Australian politicians; herding cats into the 20th. century.
        The suggestion by the author to go nuclear was a joke right? There isn’t enough money in all the world to fund that kind of Labor/union build.

  5. Al Gore should resist Trump by moving to South Australia. In a carbon neutral fashion, of course (sailing).

    • Curios George
      Nice one! All I can add that … to be intellectually honest (if Gore knows the meaning of that and assuming he has any intellect to start with!) he should “do a KonTiki” …… hand..made boat constructed from environmentally friendly materials, and living off what he can catch.
      This urban poser, weaned on a silver..spoon, wouldn,t survive a day! I/we should challenge him!

      • Ross,
        The snow-induci8ng Al Gore [3?] has a body mass index not unlike my own, so he’ll live weeks [with fresh water], whilst gently slimming, even on a raft.
        Not something I recommend, mind – see ‘Survive the Savage Sea’ for one ordeal – involving the death of a sibling, and salt-water enemas – with a sailor I know.

        Auto

      • Al on a KonTiki raft? Are there enough balsa wood trees left in South America to do the job?

  6. Peak demands in South Australia are around 3 GW, they were falling in recent years, but only because the hottest days were falling on holidays and weekends, something the AEMO seemed unaware of with their prediction of falling demand. Last summer had a major heatwave on a working day, and the AEMO forecasting system failed badly.

    Wind power lulls in SA heatwaves last for around 5-6 hours, so this 120 MWh battery will be able to provide around 20 MW … if it works. The most shocking thing is that the SA govt is happy to throw money, and subject its citizens to the risk of an experimental and untried battery, that even Musk says is a risk, as it is 3 times bigger than any previous battery.

    • “it is 3 times bigger than any previous battery.”

      This confuses me. The battery at the Mira Loma energy station in CA is supposedly the largest at 80 MWh. The SA battery will be 129 MWh. 129/80 = 1.6

      • It’s all a moving target. Some sources say 129 MW-hr, others 100 MW-hr. And Mira Loma is actually two 40 MW-hr units. So, you could claim that 129 is triple 40, if that’s how you want to count things. No one will know for sure until they turn it on.

    • Will the SA government officials end up in the dark or do they have wired in, ready to go backup for when the lights go out?

      • The backup is minions blowing on pinwheels to spin it for the media. (Where is “green” on the color dial?)

      • As Clive mentioned, they have 120 million dollars in diesel generators already in the pipeline as backup. They’ll need them. Being SA with their track record they’ll wire this battery arse about and blow the grid..

  7. Why should I listen to a grown man that thinks the Earths core is, “millions of degrees”? Middle school science teaches otherwise.

    • He’s dumber than that. The “millions of degrees” was just a few kilometers beneath the surface, in the crust.

  8. …and in the mean time…Turkey is also pulling out of Paris
    Because the US pulled out and now Turkey is not getting paid

    for real, it’s all about the money

      • rocketscientst you live up to your name and then some. This is the most accurate, concise, and humorous description of the global warming scam.
        Please keep the analyses coming.

  9. Trump lives in reality, while Gore exists in a prophetic wonderland.

    Show us the evidence, real and reproducible, of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming!

    Even anthropogenic global warming beyond extrapolation from isolated observations.

    Otherwise, you’re just a speculative debt merchant hocking his models and inference with dreams of redistributive change.

    • nn
      Too kind to them.
      I would include phrases like ‘Lombardy pirate’, ‘bottom feeder’ and ‘psychopathic greed vulture’.
      That’s without vituperation from over forty years in shipping , please note.

      Auto

  10. Renewable energy is definitely a possibility. Here’s the plan:

    1. Outlaw golf courses all over the world to free up land area for solar, wind, and bio fuel farms.

    2. Re-appropriate all national park lands of the world for renewable energy production — hey it’s in the name of the environment, so what’s the big deal?

    3. Mandate a minimum of airplane fly time per person for all people of the world, in order to reduce the land area required for airports, thus freeing up MORE land area for (you guessed it) bio fuel, solar, and wind farms — and the bonus is that we reduce the carbon foot print of air transport, to boot. Oh wait, will planes still use fossil fuel? Will the trucks that load the planes and pull the planes still use fossil fuel? Heck, I guess that means ban all air travel for a while, to free up ALL airport land area for alternative fuel production, until we invent non-fossil-fuel-powered planes. THEN we can start to add in airports again. After all, it’s a small sacrifice to save the planet from our emissions sins.

    That’s it — a 3-step strategy that’s sure to get us there in no time.

    What do you think, Al ? — do I have your blessings ? — no flying or golf for you for a while, I’m afraid.

  11. If south Australia is determined, as they seem to be, on eliminating life-sustaining CO2, a conventional nuclear plant cannot supply all their needs unless they build pumped storage or simply spend a lot to provide an overcapacity that can meet max demand. Molten salt nuclear reactors, which have the ability to load follow, although not fast enough to provide for all rapid demand surges, would do the trick, since they cost not much more than half of conventional nuclear to build, can be built rapidly, and a capacity to take care of all occasions would still be cheaper than any other methodology. Of course, these low energy IQ folks want to be environmental heroes TODAY. That stupidty will prove expensive.

    • “Renewable” crowd pushed their technology before it matured. Let’s not repeat their mistake. I would love to see a working prototype Thorium reactor.

  12. erm, sorry to be ignorant, but how is this magnificent battery to be recharged (under the conditions in which its content was needed)? What is the efficiency of the recharge/discharge cycle? I only ask.

    • Damn good question!
      Is there any period of the day/month/year where the SA wind farms are producing a surplus of energy? Is the frequency or amount of this surplus enough to reliably charge the super battery?
      Hopefully they can charge it up before they need it.

      • Since no one knows how much of the electricity comes from wind and how much from baseload, it would be very simple to have the wind keep the battery charged and use the baseload to run the country. Of course, in that case, you will probably not need the battery except for what should be rare outages. Since electricity is invisible, this can work for decades before anyone catches on.

    • Coeur de Lion,
      The greenies have this sussed completely.
      South Australia will be paved by strain cells.
      The Sainted Al Gore will travel to SA – mode to be finalised, but sailing vessel, Kon-Tiki-style raft, and swimming are the last three standing – and live there for a bit.
      Whilst there, it will, thanks to Saint AlGore’s presence – snow heavily, and the weight of the snow on the strain cells will produce the needed charging.
      QED

      Mods – there are one or two practical problems – supply and fixing of strain cells; collection of the developed electricity from tens of thousands of square miles; how life goes on when even the feral pigs are covered in strain cells . . .
      Oh – and yes, a bit /SARC.

      Auto

    • Round trip 88% on 2 hr cycle…..at 77F. Interesting to know how much the refrigeration and heating systems required to keep them operating within tolerable temperature limits are. Will all the hundreds of sensors in each module be monitored from Palo Alto or will a local office be established near Hornsdale….it’s only about 3 hours up from Adelaide or perhaps they could helicopter in unless it is too windy…

    • Efficiency is a very rude question to ask about. It might be around 80% if the battery were used in a series of charge and discharge cycles over much of its capacity range (but probably best avoiding the extremes). However, the main use will be for grid stabilisation over periods of a few seconds or perhaps minutes at a time, both charging and discharging. These small injections and withdrawals of power may not be even at the 100MW capacity, and in those circumstances, efficiency falls off sharply. But efficiency isn’t really the name of the game – it’s trying to keep the gird stable so it doesn’t have to shut down. To judge from the report that the grid operator wanted a 70MWh reserve to be available for rundown, the intention would be to operate it at perhaps 100MWh as a target level which would allow +/-30MWh to be used in grid stabilisation normally.

  13. So America is meeting its Paris commitment IN SPITE OF Trump. This is, of course, due to natural gas…..production of which Gore, Obama and Clinton would gleefully shut down.
    Meanwhile Gore’s lifestyle goes on unchanged – or did he sail to Australia?

  14. Great idea, an energy delivery system that has already proven so unstable that it has brought an entire power grid down several times, let’s hook it up to a massive battery, what could go wrong?

  15. Gore’s other claim is solar and wind are cheaper than coal. Anybody got the figures and how the RET works please?

    • See my previous guest posts True Cost of Wind and Grid Solar at Judith Curry’s Climate Etc. for your answers. Bit complicated for a short comment. CCGT LCOE $56/MWh, correctly calculated onshore wind $146/MWh. 2.5x. Solar is 2-3x depending on PV or concentrated thermal and insolation.

    • I don’t but, subtract subsidies (costly to taxpayers), subtract the cost of meeting “California Dreaming” regulations, add in the value of actual, practical sustained energy….
      (It might take a little light to see to do the math. 8-)

    • Regarding comparative prices in Oz see the recent Jo Nova post where coal wins hands down in Oz in a cost study of June this year, especially if storage costs are included for wind and solar:

      http://joannenova.com.au/2017/07/pop-quiz-to-get-cheaper-electricity-should-we-build-a-new-coal-plant-or-b-pay-3b-in-renewable-subsidies/

      For real world figures in the Oz context, the Kogan Creek coal power station in QLD recently offered long term baseload contracts for just $38/MWh.

      For info on the RET, in particular google the comments of Robber and TdeF in multiple posts over the last 3 or 4 months also at Jo Nova. It’s extremely complex. In theory it could triple the wholesale cost of your coal-fired power, which equates to 6 times the cost at retail level. In practice it isn’t quite that bad, but not much better. It’s effect is limited by the proportion of renewable power in the market in any one year, which limits the number of Large Generation Certificates that must be purchased by power retailers for the right to sell coal power. It was created by an army of bureaucrats so don’t expect it to make sense.

      • Tony,
        I used to be quite active with the earlier version (AMIC) of the Minerals Council of Australia. Also, I was FIFO President or VP for 6 years of the Northern Territory Chamber of Mines and Energy.
        We were among the dominant sources of overall public information about the mining industry, as opposed to information about specific Companies. This info had to be honest because many types of information – like those that could affect stock prices – could land you in jail if dishonesty was shown. But we also knew that being honest all the time was much easier than being dishonest and having to keep the equivalent of 2 sets of books, one honest, one lies.It is weary work, I am told, to maintain a lie.
        I assume that this dedication to honesty continues. Do you have contrary information to publish here?
        Geoff.

      • On sabbatical from Quadrant this week are we Tony? Should I have quoted Reneweconomy and Giles’ customary rose-coloured, far-fetched fiction? Take the blinkers off mate.

        Let’s compare apples to apples Tony. What do you have to say about the lack of reliability of wind and solar, and the cost of storage to attain equal dispatchability to coal power? Even an arch-renewables man like Finkel thinks they should have storage. Do you imagine grid-scale battery / pumped hydro / or whatever storage comes for free from the renewables fairy?

        We already have grid-scale storage for coal-fired power Tony: it’s called a coal stockpile, and it’s cheap and low-tech. Chuck it in a heap and it’s still there years later with no loss of energy content. Try that with a lithium mega-battery and all of its complex elctronics to convert AC to DC back to AC, plus all the attendant input-output losses along the way.

        Do let us know when wind and solar can:
        1) supply power ON DEMAND to meet baseload and peak load 24/365;
        2) offer long term baseload contracts at $38/MWh;
        3) achieve these outcomes in a free market without massive subsidisation and government collusion;
        then we might begin to take some notice of your opinions on this subject and others.

      • Goeff
        Do you have contrary information to publish here?

        Thank you for your reply, no I don’t. I admit I was jumping to conclusions.
        Having said that, a fair bit of Jo Nova’s content is pretty one-sided.

        beowulf
        If you completely eliminate external costs then yes burning coal in an economy set up to burn coal is still hard to beat.

    • Yeah, like the first wildebeest to try to cross the Mara river as the crocodiles line up.
      Go ahead, I’ll be right behind you.

  16. Why would anyone even care about what Gore thinks? He’s clueless about the science and has a vested financial interest in the broken science. He’s kind of like a child crying. It’s easy to tell the difference between whining about not getting their way and crying as the result of actual harm.

  17. Al Gore is right! America can meet its Paris commitment. link

    Natural gas is very cheap and burning it creates way less CO2 than burning coal. The fact that a lot of electricity generation is switching to natural gas will decrease CO2 emissions a whole bunch; so much so that America is likely to reach Obama’s reduction targets.

    Of course, using natural gas instead of coal has nothing to do with renewable energy. So, adept politician that he is, Al Gore can say one thing while implying another. The actual words are true on their face value but his intended insinuation is a complete lie.

    • Bob, wasn’t the Paris commitment to reduce CO2 emissions AND give away truckloads of money AND provide technology to developing countries AND etc?

      How does the US meet its Paris commitment without giving away the truckloads of money and the other stuff?

      • Good point.

        On the other hand, it could be argued that by cutting back foreign aid, President Trump may actually be doing a favor for third world countries. link Less is more.

  18. We will see how down-under copes with the start of a new ice age caused by cloud cover with many windless days. They will be all sent back to the stone ages.
    I’d rather live beside a nuclear power plant or waste storage rather than a lithium ion battery the size of a small stadium

    • A lithium battery the size of a small stadium … dangerous … Oh Yeah! I think I’d rather live next to an ammunition dump.

      By nature, lithium-ion batteries are dangerous. Inside, the main line of defense against short circuiting is a thin and porous slip of polypropylene that keeps the electrodes from touching. If that separator is breached, the electrodes come in contact, and things get very hot very quickly. The batteries are also filled with a flammable electrolyte, one that can combust when it heats up, then really get going once oxygen hits it. Not scary enough? That liquid is mixed with a compound that can burn your skin. link

      The thing is, lithium is probably the wrong technology for a large stationary battery. Lithium’s energy density is pointless.

      There is/was an environmentally friendly, cheap, relatively proven battery technology, Aquion. It was all American but now, because of bankruptcy, it’s in Chinese hands. link Too bad.

      The choice of battery sounds to me like a way to funnel some taxpayers’ money into Elon Musk’s pockets to prop up an otherwise unsustainable green concept.

  19. Mr Gore has made a new climate scare movie has he? Well I welcome that because I am sure it will list all the failed prophecies he made in his “Inconvenient Truth” original

  20. South Australia has a good natural gas supply, some of it from its own section of the Cooper Basin. The best way they can ensure the lights stay on and industry keeps running is to back up their excellent renewable energy assets by encouraging distributed base-load CCHP (Combined Cooling Heating & Power) utilising that gas. CCHP meets everyday baseload with up to 90% efficiency, and is right there when you need it and the sun fails or the wind don’t blow.

    • The gas is all sold. The tight gas in sandstone needs vast amounts of water to frack and squeeze it out. Lots of deep holes. No planning, no reservation for local use.

      Lastly, the oil is running out, that is 28% of SA’s government revenue.

      Very hard times are coming in SA.

    • The gas is sold as Geoff states, it’s one reason why gas prices are through the roof in Australia, even more so in SA. And fracking is simply banned in SA. Then we have traitors like Turnbull re-activating a carbon tax July 1st 2016. He now wants a carbon tax on certain imported vehicles. And we have the idiot Finkle talking about energy independence, energy security, renewable energy, reduced emissions and reduced costs to the consumer. Yes, we have been truly “Finkled”.

    • There was an interesting article that The Wall Street journal had on line a couple of days ago. It mentioned that eastern Australia has closed a number of coal power plants at the same time as they were increasing solar and wind. They figured that gas power plants could kick in when needed. That was all after the government of Australia signed 20 year agreements to sell most of their natural gas to other countries. Now south and east Australia often doesn’t have enough natural gas to run the power plant at full load when needed. Recently that lead to 90,000 home a businesses having their electricity shut off.

      Western Australia has plenty of natural gas but there are not any pipelines connecting western and eastern halves of the country.

      This is truly a disaster created by short sighted narrow minded politicians. Just the kind of people The Great Goracle likes to praise as saving the future.

  21. Now if investigative journalism was not an anti diluvial concept, I would interview the Champagne champions asking if they would pick up the tab for saving the planet in keeping with their honour-bound philosophical imperative.

    Somebody please do this. If I could I would say to them I am worried about the planet and having admired their taking the lead on this existential matter, would they be prepared to put up their fortunes as most ordinary folk were being asked to do with their hard-won few extra dollars to save their grandchildren and mine (mine are actually not so badly off, I’m serving up antidotes for their de-education. One of their subject texts has an ‘x’ on Iqaluit saying “Future site of the summer Olympics?” We laughed and joked about the frigid water sports, beach volleyball, and track in parkas. )

  22. So long as South Australians keep on voting in idiots, they’re going to get idiotic governance. They’ve no grounds for complaint when they end up sitting shivering in the dark. They voted, they got.

    Only the minority of SAians who voted for losing parties of pragmatic policy are worth a sympathetic thought.

    South Australia — the energy equivalent of Merkel’s Germany. Consistently voting to achieve suicide.

  23. Has anyone scripted a scenario, post..Gore election as President?
    And get it published, and made into a movie, with Inconvenient Truths graphically presented?
    The mind boggles, esp,lly if the tenor of the original piece of Gore Crap is replicated!!

  24. Posted it before but believe it merits repeating. I live in Algores political and actual homeland. He sold out last Governor on a Green supply chain primed with tax dollars. The whole thing collapsed in on itself people. Google Hemlock semiconductor. That is the reality of Al Gore-o-nomics. Thank you for sending Kieth Urban. We apologize for Gore

  25. Well, I’m glad Al Gore praised the South Australians. After all, the effort to get his praise has cost them a tremendous amount of money and aggravation.
    Does someone here have an estimated of the actual costs per person the people of South Australia have paid in order to get his praise?

    • All of Australia needs political reform. You may vote because of the policies of the party leader and then have Jim deposed by someone you would never have voted for (Abbot /Turnbull case). This sort of thing should trigger another election. Also, the choices should be real (the problem with the EU – left same as right and even they have to defer to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels). You folk in Oz need a disruptive constitutional conference. or start planting a lot of bananas.

  26. Al Gore helped to make this bed and now he has to lie in it. He could no more call S. Australia’s miserable renewable energy policy a failure than he can be the 43rd US President. The cult dogma must be aped, the cultists reward pathways need constant reinforcement. Al Gore is one of the high priests of the cult of climate scientology.

  27. I may have missed it somewhere, but how exactly is this battery going to be charged?
    My understanding is that the battery is necessary because SA has a capacity deficit. That being the case, where are the excess electrons, needed by the battery, going to come from?
    Of course, being the old fogey that I am, I took engineering 101 about 50 years ago. That was the patriarchal old white man science, not the exciting new multicultural stuff.

    • It’s going to come from their plentiful supply of renewable energy. They won’t rely on interstate interconnectors to fossil fuel generation, oh wait…

      People are being told this battery is to “smooth” the dips when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine. They are conveniently not told that there is no capacity in renewable generation, not nameplate capacity, actual generation to keep the lights on and industry going at the same time as charging this rediculous battery system.

      I am looking forward to seeing it fail in spectacular fashion. But them Musk will already have his money and fame.

  28. The first western economy that collapses and leaves its people huddling in soup lines for handouts will be praised by Gore as bravely leading the way to s sustainable future.

  29. I just want to note that the Gore Effect has been validated again. His visit down here has been accompanied by snow falls, frost, even black ice here in Tasmania, which has resulted in a couple of road accident deaths.

  30. It is amazing how a State settled by free enterprise Brits and hard working Germans (my ancestors on my father’s side – my mother’s people were… hard working Germans) can go so wrong.
    I lived in South Australia for 15 years from 1978 on.
    At Gawler, north of Adelaide there was a horseshoe bridge over the railway line through town. The track was re- ballasted but someone forgot to change the height gauges upstream. So a train came and damaged the bridge which took a few months to repair. No sooner finished when it happened again! Only more damage. About that time the State government fisheries research vessel was being re-furbished and re-fitted with all the best state of the art gear. When re-launched into the millpond calm Port River it sat there for a few minutes and promptly turned turtle and sank. So a month of wrangling ensued over who had the job of re-floating it.
    Government incompetence is nothing new in SA. I thought at the time the slogan on the numberplates should read “SA State of Incompetence”.
    Have never regretted leaving. It has a few nice places to visit but I don’t recommend living there.

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