Claim: Renewables ARE the Cheapest Form of Power

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Simple economics is now driving the unstoppable rise of renewables, according to advocates – or would be, except for a mystery political obstacle.

The Myth About Coal Being Cheaper And More Reliable Than Renewables

Renewable energy is now the cheapest form of new power.

04/10/2017 11:51 PM AEDT

Anthony Sharwood

Nope, nope and nope again. There’s yet more proof this Friday that coal is neither cheaper nor more reliable than renewables as an energy source, and that coal is only going to get more expensive in the future.

We were given excellent evidence of this in April, when the CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia report told us that renewables could save households $414 a year by 2050.

Further proof arrived in June when the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market (aka the Finkel Report) told us that ramping up renewables would lead to lower power prices.

And now the Climate Council has weighed in, showing that we really can have our energy cake and eat it too — if by energy cake you mean cleaner, cheaper power, and by eating it, you mean reliability of supply.

The Council’s new report is entitled ‘Powering a 21st Century Economy: Secure, Clean, Affordable Electricity’ and you can find it here.

So if technology’s not holding us back, and cost is not the issue, what on earth is stopping us from transitioning as quickly as possible to cleaner, more affordable renewables?

One word: Politics.

“Politics is the only factor standing in the way of Australia’s transition to a modern electricity network, powered by renewable energy and storage technology,” Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/10/04/the-myth-about-coal-being-cheaper-and-more-reliable_a_23231954/

What is the “politics” which seems to be such an impediment to a cheaper renewable future? One clue might be the conclusion of the report referenced by The Huffington Post. The report prepared by the Climate Council, the body led by our old friend Chief Councillor Tim Flannery;

… Importantly, while we may use some existing gas plants during this transition, we do not need new gas or coal plants built. Persisting with existing coal plants beyond their technical design lives will lead to unreliable power and higher electricity prices and continued high levels of pollution from Australia’s electricity sector.

This transition requires shifting away from obsolete “baseload” concepts and inflexible old coal power generators to a modern, flexible, 21st Century grid powered by a diverse mix of renewable energy and storage technologies. …

Read more: Climate Council Report Available Here

Is the political obstacle an outmoded adherence to the concept of baseload power? Maybe. But I’m not convinced we’ve fully explored this “politics” obstacle, so I decided to delve deeper;

Politics preventing Australia’s switch to 21st Century energy

BY CLIMATE COUNCIL

04.10.2017

Politics is the only factor standing in the way of Australia’s transition to a modern electricity network, powered by renewable energy and storage technology, according to a new report released by the Climate Council today.

Climate Councillor and energy sector expert Andrew Stock also pointed to states and territories across the nation pushing ahead with the transition to renewables and storage technology, in a bid to achieve secure and reliable power, while also tackling climate change.

South Australia is a global leader and is investing in solar PV, solar thermal, pumped hydro storage, and the world’s largest lithium ion battery. Others like the ACT, followed by Victoria and Queensland, are now rolling out large-scale renewables such as wind and solar,” he said.

“There’s no disputing it – fossil fuel technology is obsolete, expensive and unreliable. In fact, Within 10 years, over two thirds of our coal plants will be over 50 years old. It’s time to look to the future with an energy system fit for the 21st Century.”

Read more: https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/politics-preventing-australia-s-switch-to-21st-century-energy

Do Greens think the political obstacle is a failure by governments to invest in renewables? But if renewables are cheaper, why is government investment required? Why aren’t private investors rushing to fund cheap renewables even without government help, to make a huge profit driving their obsolete fossil fuel rivals out of business?

If cheaper renewables are skyrocketing even without government help, why is politics still seen as such an obstacle?

I don’t want to jump to conclusions. Maybe I have misunderstood something. I’m genuinely interested in understanding what political obstacles greens think are preventing the realisation of a low cost energy future powered by renewables.

Because we all want cheaper power, right?

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This transition requires shifting away from obsolete “baseload” concepts and inflexible old coal power generators to a modern, flexible, 21st Century grid powered by a diverse mix of renewable energy and storage technologies. …

The transition requires customers to be flexible in using electricity only when the Sun is shining and/or the winds are blowing at an acceptable speed.

Phoenix44

And not too many other people want it.

Old England

Smart meters can do that for you – your supply can be turned off whenever renewables aren’t able to generate sufficient electricity, and presumably why the UK is trying to force them to be installed in every home.

Don K

They don’t need smart meters to shut down electricity delivery when adequate power is not available. Any grid will take care of that. Conceptually, smart meters allow some flexibility in what get shut down. i.e. hospitals get power, pubs and poolhalls don’t. While it could work that way, my bet would be that it won’t.

DHR

Great device that smart meter! All who want to use only renewables can do so. Get a smart meter and sign up for renewables-only power. When the wind stops, clouds appear, or the sun sets, your power turns off. The scheme could even be tied to the energy market. When there is just a little wind or sun, or the amount available fluctuates, the power will be distributed to the signees in accordance with what they have agreed to pay. Your power-purchase scheme could even be instantaneous – like the stock market. When the power goes out – enter the market (using your battery powered backup computer and hot spot of course) and start bidding higher and higher until the power comes back on. Even that could be automated and you will discover just how much you paid when the bill arrives.
Ain’t technology wonderful?

Bryan A

Don’t believe everything you read about Smart Meters (especially that which is presented by their opponents). I have already looked into this as a possible application to reduce Solar input from rooftop installations during times when the grid is already at 100%. Smart Meters cannot be “Turned off” (opened) from remote locations. This still requires a representative from the power company to visit your house to physicaly remove the meter from the base. All they can do is send a usage read every 15 minutes to a remote gathering antenna and send a signal to that same antenna if the power goes out. Basically the meter says, every fifteen minutes “I’m on and this is the usage for the last 15 minutes” Or “I’m currently out of power, please send help”. Although the second will happen the moment power is lost for more than a minute.

D. J. Hawkins

@Bryan A
Your information is, ahhh, out of date. See below for a discussion on an electrical contractor’s forum.
http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthread.php?t=152676
And a discussion of security here:
https://www.wired.com/2010/03/smart-grids-done-smartly/
Can they shut you down remotely? Why yes, yes they can.

GW

Bryan,
Smart meters Absolutely Can be turned off and on remotely.

Griff

Why would they need or want to do that?
The UK has commercial demand management where commercial consumers are paid to have their electricity demand managed, with no effect on their operations.
Provides GW of savings and money for consumers…
Typically achieved by control of aircon, heating and freezer demand, where the appliances need to operate at some point in a given hour, but I doesn’t matter when. Management of large scale resources syncing demand reduces demand peak.

D. J. Hawkins

@Griff;

Why would they need or want to do that?

Because they’ve already captured the low-hanging fruit of demand-side control via the agreements with industrial consumers. In 2016, according to the EIA, US residential electricity use was larger than either commercial or industrial, although it was about 38% of the total (residential+commercial+industrial+transportation).
https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_5_01

Griff:
The UK has commercial demand management where commercial consumers are paid to have their electricity demand managed, with no effect on their operations.
Yes and no. I have been working in a chlorine factory where power demand was 132 MW at full production. They were involved in “peak shaving”, and if peak demand was imminent, the electrolysis could go down to 40 MW in about 15 minutes. No direct steering from outside as these can’t see and don’t understand anything from a working factory, that is calling for big trouble. The 40 MW was the base load to keep everything running and that was bought at long term contract price, the difference with 132 MW was much cheaper, as long as we were out at a peak, or there were huge fines… It was a hell of a job for the operators to keep an eye on the country (Netherlands) power demand and get down (just) in time…
So you can’t say that it has no effect on the operations, as ultimately the factory needed to build more electrolysers as not the full capacity could be maintained… Thus in fact these type of operations is simply diverting the investments of power companies to others…

MarkW

Having your electricity turned off has no impact on operations?
How many times have been inside an actual, for profit company Griff?

Dave Fair

Socialism is all about allocating shortages, Griffie. If you can’t acknowledge that, you are either ignorant or a liar. Which is it?

Bryan A

DJ,
Thanks for that update.
I knew that the ability had been turned off but never heard that this wasn’t the case with the newer generation meters.

geronimo

Smart meters aren’t about turning off your energy, they’re about rationing it. Subtly different.

Dave Fair

Socialism’s only recourse to meeting peoples’ needs; ration shortages.

paqyfelyc

@Dave Fair
ECONOMY is all about allocating shortages, Dave.
Socialism is all about allocating them to average Joe, while powerful people get all the stuff.
Capitalism is all leaving average Joe trade his share of shortage with other people as they see fit, so shortage are where they hurt less, and even disappear.
This is what’s make the difference.

Dave Fair

Capitalism is all about meeting the needs and wants of all people.

DC Cowboy

Ferdinand Engelbeen,
There you go again, bandying that obsolete ‘baseload’ concept about. 🙂

MarkW

Turning off your electricity is how they ration it.

Dave Fair

Socialism at its finest, MarkW.

David A

….obsolete “baseload” concepts and inflexible old coal power generators to a modern…”
Incredibly Orwellian, and unsurprisingly ass backwards. Baseload is ever necessary and only Baseload power allows inflexible solar and wind utility. Their inane idea is to replace base load coal or gas or nuclear with far more expensive baseload storage, pumped hydro or VLBs. ( very large batteries)

Gabro

paqyfelyc October 12, 2017 at 1:52 am
Capitalism is about creating wealth, making more goods and services available to more people.

AKA who would have thought … a banner for renewables! Gee…

Dave Ward

“Smart meters Absolutely Can be turned off and on remotely”
Indeed – it’s part of the SMETS specification – at least here in Blighty. And this applies to gas as well as electricity, although turning gas back on will require an engineers visit to ascertain that all appliances (and pilot lights) are turned off first.

Barbara

CBC News | Toronto, Oct. 11, 2017
‘Exhibition Palace wind turbine hasn’t produced power since March’
“Toronto Hydro says turbine suffered water damage during a storm, repairs took months.”
More information on the CNE wind turbine problems.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/wind-turbine-electricity-power-cne-toronto-hydro-1.4349292

Joe Civis

Yes exactly like the “Energy Upgrade California” infomercials show…. the upgrade is using less and not using when you want to or how you want to…. that is an upgrade?? I think not. As someone else stated Energy policy and production used to be about being available for how and what people wanted to do with it at a price they were willing to pay, now it has shifted to people having to only use when energy is available and as little as possible. Like most “progressive” policies slogan etc…. they are exactly the opposite of what their words say.. their “energy upgrade” is actually a downgrade and do without energy policy.
Cheers!
Joe

M Seward

The notion of ‘baseload’ being obsolete is the pea under the thimble here. ‘Baseload’ is just the statistical total of the energy demand over the day/week. What on earth is ‘obsolete’ about that notion? Tim Flannery really is a buffon imo and this sort of over the top assertion is pretty typical of his utterances over the years.
Tim, on any given day millions of your fellow citizens will have all sorts of lights, appliances, heaters, airconditioners, pumps, refrigerators, ovens, stoves , washing machines, televisions etc etc etc switched on and requiring 240 VAC 50 Hz power. That is not a difficult concept for a ‘professor’ to understand so on what bloody basis is it ‘obsolete’?
Its ‘obsolete’ because ‘obsolete’in Green Blob Theory means irksome reality that must be airbrushed from the discourse so that utter piffle does not have to compete with it.
Baseload is NOT an ‘obsolete concept’ it is just a statistical reality same as droughts and flooding rains being part of our national climate/weather pattern and ‘endless drought’ is not.

M Seward

PS
Not only are private households statistically running all these items, there are factories, hospitals, office buildings, street lights, electric trains and trams etc all drawing power 24/7/365 that also constitute (the major part of) ‘baseload. Are all these things ‘obsolete’?
I hear talk of replacing cars with IC engines with battery powered electric propulsion which will need recharging so I assume all that recharging will become part of the ‘baseload’. Is the ‘baeload’ demand from electric cars also deemed ‘obsolete’. WOW, that didn’t last long then did it?

Baseload for the Australia’s National Energy Market never drops below 18,000 mw (except on Christmas Day) and that lowest level occurs around 4 am in the morning.

brians356

You mean “the pea under the mattress”? A more salient metaphor.

JCR

Interesting how renewables advocates misuse (intentionally or through ignorance) the term ‘baseload’. The term is “base load” i.e.the power required to supply the base load on the grid.Theoretically, this could come from any source, but renewables aren’t going to supply it any decade soon.
Good article explaining this by TonyfromOz (a while ago) at http://jennifermarohasy.com/2011/03/the-base-load-misconception-part-1/

Griff

and what’s wrong with that? Or new about it?
In much of Australia water heaters are set to come on in the middle of the night when demand is low and power available.
(which needs changing now it would be better to run this when peak solar output is happening!)

What’s wrong with it? Everything.

Stewart Pid

That sounds great Griff … as long as the folks living in those houses want to get up and shower in the middle of the night and then do their laundry and start the dish washers. Perfect for a family of vampires though 😉

Paul Penrose

Stewart,
These types of water heaters are usually oversized and highly insulated. I have a 100 gallon unit and it provides all the hot water my wife and I need on a daily basis, all day. The reason I went this route is because where I live, natural gas is not available and heating water with propane is expensive. It is cheaper to use electricity and take advantage of the lower nighttime costs. The unit itself is only US$900, and with the $300 rebate from the electric company, competitive with equivalent gas units.

Dave Fair

Griffie, like all socialist endeavors, government control of individual energy distribution leads to rationing. But not by the elite.

Leonard Lane

Griff, what is it about baseload you do not understand? If machines, appliances, computers etc. need a constant power source and will fail or burn out if voltage or current or both vary much, this is called baseload. Neither solar nor wind power can supply a baseload.

yarpos

In Griffs world this will be infinitely adaptable and change every day according to the local weather and season. Meanwhile back in reality world , I have a smart meter on the wall for 5 years and they still havent been able to do remote meter reading on it, such is the talent that will deliver the agile/virtual/fairy dust grid.
Where 18GW comes from on a still summer night in Oz without coal power over the next decade remains a mystery

LdB

What it shows is people without a power generation background should not be commenting on power generation because they don’t know how it works. So lets deal with the problem that all the would be internet geniuses don’t know about, BASELOAD MUST HAVE INERTIA. It is the single most important characteristic because the grid has slightly different timings because of the power factor on the grid at any given point. You try and hold the grid at as near to 1 as you can but it is impossible to make it perfect. That is why you can’t provide a simple timebase or synching pulse to the generators or inverters the whole synching is done from the power source itself which requires INERTIA. The whole South Australian power blackout was caused by lack of inertia, the power suppliers had to pull their equipment offline because they lost synchronization and each power station would in effect be fighting each other until destruction. You can read that finding on report into the incident.
The only way to get around the inertia problem is to break the grid into micro-grids, so now you are talking about re-designing the entire grid. Your power sources and your power use must be closely related and that is not something any power grid in the world has. So please don’t pretend you are just going to throw a few renewables around the place and you will magically get that situation. To do it each microgrid must basically function on it’s own with a backup feed providing stopgap as required. In other words you need to factor in the cost of replacing the whole grid because that is what you are talking about.

LdB

I should add that in Australia the NBN rollout should give some idea how long restructuring the entire power grid would take. I would argue it would be slower because the infrastructure is larger and requires more specialized trades.

whiten

David Middleton
October 11, 2017 at 9:06 am
The transition requires customers to be flexible in using electricity only when the Sun is shining and/or the winds are blowing at an acceptable speed.
———————————
David, is far much worse than that, at least from my point of view and understanding.
These guys are not that stupid, even when actually showing very clear signs of insanity.
But lets not spoil it for them yet, till they put the money and their chips in the pot for their “cake”, at see them eating it…..
There are many around just waiting for that moment.
The only problem is the naive and innocent investors falling for such a “scheme”.
To be fair at this time, lets just point out at their “scheme’s” weakness.
It requires a full support and insurance from governments in the nations or states that will fall for it.
Where the governments will have to force an artificial ever increasing energy price artificially, for the population and small-medium businesses, but not for the industry and heavy infrastructure.
And a very wide and a very very expensive schemes like the smart meter one will allow and give the right to such governments to push the energy price up as required by their “new masters”.
Case in hand the British…….which at this point seem to be contemplating a surrender in to submission, or a soft pull back that may lead even to a “declaration of war” at some point.
But whatever the case, all will depend in governments that are subject to change at any time, if the demand be it………especially when time to explain and being hold to account for clearly obvious and immense and insane “book cooking” ………
And to keep properly fair, the energy storage, which is the back bone of such scheme, it will be bursting the bubble….if this madness keeps persisting towards that point………
cheers

John Hardy

Agreed David. This is just utterly daft.

Stuart Lynne

They seem to be implying that we need to transition from baseload producers (by their definition large plants that cannot adapt to load quickly) to dispatchable producers (presumably gas fired or similar.)
Renewable energy producers need to be paid by how reliable they are. They could (for example) purchase backup services from dispatchable producers.
This would offload the need for balancing from the grid operators back to the producers and give economic incentive to dispatchable producers making themselves available to backup renewables.

Geoman

In what market or industry does small, dispersed producers make cheaper and better products? This is like saying we should replace large farms with backyard gardens, or that cars manufactured by a local auto shop will be cheaper than those of Toyota. And the only thing stopping this from working is “politics”. It is really that crazy.
Think of a power plant as a factory that produces electricity. The bigger the factory, the cheaper the unit price. The base load power concept is not about providing power to the BASE LOAD, it is about providing power AT SCALE. Making one giant plant that is working always at maximum efficiency will produce the cheapest possible power. Once you move away from that concept, you will lose the scale cost discount, and costs will rise accordingly. Base load is simply a “volume discount” for manufacturing of power.
Are they really that dumb?

AZ1971

Right. A fully “flexible” and “modern” grid cannot possibly rely on RE and storage technologies without curtailing time of use and regulating overall consumption. Period.

Dave Fair

Socialism: Regulating shortages.

In Australia the “transition to renewables” based on “the cheapest form of power” has produced the world’s highest electricity pricing.

Geoman

I liken this argument to someone growing apples in their garden, and trying to sell them at the grocery store for full price. “Politics! I could make a fortune selling these apples except for Politics!” They simply do not understand how markets work, or the differences between wholesale and retail prices, or what those differences represent. They also have no idea how utterly idiotic they sound.

Data Soong

Those who live in echo chambers are easily deluded by lies.

Hugs

They’re just bonkers. They mix up plate and real capacities, they mix up production cost and value, and price with and without government intervention.
They also mix up taxes, subsidies, and externalized costs. Basically, they just misunderstand if it is possible in the first place, and always favouring solar/wind.

BoyfromTottenham

No, they are not bonkers, this obfuscation is quite deliberate. It is called disinformation, or as it used to be known ‘baffle them with bull$hit’. If you have ever met a good baffler, you will know that it impossible to have a rational discussion with them, because their aim is to prevent rational discussion. Get it? Look carefully at griff’s posts for this kind of thing before replying to him. His aim is to misdirect the conversation, not to be proved wrong.

Shanghai Dan

Do those costs include in their calculations the costs of the gas and coal (and in California, hydro – since it is not considered a renewable here) baseload generators? If not – it’s an incomplete analysis of the costs of green power.

John Moore

Why do not the proponents of electrical storage not describe the time that their equipment will supply before running out?

Sheri

Hmmmm, I wonder……

BoyfromTottenham

See my post above re disinformation.

The falsehood of this claim has been demonstrated by Willis, here at WUWT, see the scatterplot in this post –
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/08/03/obama-may-finally-succeed/
The countries with the most renewables (Germany, Denmark) have the most expensive electricity.

Sandy In Limousin

Currently wind is supllying 13% of output in the Nordic countries
http://driftsdata.statnett.no/Web/map/snpscustom
and in Germany about 30%.
https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm
It’s night in Europe so neither is getting anything from solar nor are we in France, it is a bit more windy than in recent weeks so wind is at 6%.

Dave Fair

At what marginal and total costs to ratepayers and taxpayers?

Stephen Richards

Sandy, the %age figures always seem a bit misleading to me. Absolute power output is better. There have been summer days in france when wind and solar have been supplying 25% of power but the absolute figure was very meagre. I’m sure you have also noted your association and tax charges are rising significantly on your facture as well.

tty

That seems about right, 15.3% just now in Sweden.
http://www.svk.se/drift-av-stamnatet/kontrollrummet/
It is indeed night in Europe, but it is also autumn and stormy weather. A gale warning is in effect for most of Northern Europe:
http://www.meteoalarm.eu/maps/EU-171011.gif
In other words, not your typical average weather or average wind power production.

Geoman

Which is you know, meaningless. You could power Europe with gerbils on little wheels, if you had enough gerbils and little wheels. You can make any power source work, even intermittent ones. with enough back-up.
But what is the cost? What is the reliability? Right now Germany pays, get this, double what we pay in the U.S. There is no reason electricity should cost half here of what it does in Germany. No technical reason anyway. It is just they have made a series of very poor, and very expensive choices on energy, political choices, not scientific choices.
In fact, when people complain about “politics’ preventing the roll out of renewable energy, what they mean is that politics isn’t FORCING the roll out.

Sandy In Limousin

Stephen Richards go and look at the links I provided and you can see absolute values. Go to
https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm?source=all-sources&week=41&year=2017
and you’ll see German “Uranium” is producing 10GW continuously whilst solar peaks at 10GW for a short time each day. Wind has fluctuated between less than 4GW to over 30GW this week.

Tom Halla

And renewables are so cheap and reliable that major electricity users like aluminum smelters and server farms are locating in jurisdictions heavily into that technology./ sarc

Trebla

Who knew? I guess that’s why a plot of percent renewables versus electricity costs goes up from left to right. I must have the graph upside down. Silly me!

Old England

If “Renewables” are cheaper then there is no longer need for subsidies of any kind, there is no longer any need for any Government to intervene or control energy mixes or type of supply. We can expect an explosion in wind farms and a massive drop in energy prices …….
The Free Market will choose to build unsubsidised renewable plants rather than coal or gas fired.
Only one area of government intervention and legislation is needed to achieve this wondrous change to 100% renewables – that is to require all renewable generators to enter into legal agreements to supply power 24/7.
Australia hasn’t found renewables cheaper – one of the reasons that consumer spending is falling rapidly as energy bills rise astronomically and industry requiring high amounts of energy are leaving the country taking jobs and tax revenues with them.
Curiously the European wind industry doesn’t share this view that renewables are cheaper than conventional power generation – as Wind Europe argue in their lobbying paper – end of life and out of contract wind turbines need the same level of subsidy as new ones if they are to be replaced and continue generating.
If electricity from wind is so much cheaper to produce than from a coal or gas plant then the profit margins from wind must be huge – more than enough to replace worn out wind turbines.
Wind Europe’s subsidy-lobbying paper can be seen here :
https://windeurope.org/wp-content/uploads/files/policy/position-papers/WindEurope-Repowering-and-Lifetime-Extension.pdf

DaveS

No, No! Mustn’t mention the S word… it’s a “revenue stabilisation mechanism” they claim they need. Which sounds so much more innocent, doesn’t it. \sarc off\

Hah! “Revenue Stabilization Mechanisms?” Do you doubt that said mechanisms are powered by energy that is provided from fossil fuels? The real ‘kicker’ in all this is the well known fact that money neither grows on trees nor does money actually, spontaneously and magically erupt from magic holes in the air even if it is money that governments intend to use for the noblest of causes. Regardless of the nobleness of causes, if money is needed for the cause then there must be a source(s) of adequate and reliable energy for use to power the productive processes and systems that are the producers and providers of the money. And that can be governments? Ah, hah, hah, hah. Sarc-a-doodle-doo and Humptey Dumptey rides again. For as long as the sun shines. (After all, the wind is driven by the temperature differentials that are produced by spatial and temporal insolation and albedo differentials — By the energy of sunshine.)

David A

Thomas says… ” Hah! “Revenue Stabilization Mechanisms?” Do you doubt that said mechanisms are powered by energy that is provided from fossil fuels? The real ‘kicker’ in all this is the well known fact that money neither grows on trees…”
Thomas your Orwellian vocabulary is far to limited. “Revenue Stabilization Mechanisms” are supported by “currency debasement electives”

Griff

German offshore wind is now being built without subsidy, also UK solar farms… yet in the US Trump is planning new subsidies to keep coal plant running

Dave Ward

“Offshore wind is now being built without subsidy, also UK solar farms”
Except they are NOT subsidy free:
https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/affordable-offshore-wind-the-real-facts-greenpeace-dont-want-you-to-know/#more-30311

TheDoctor

Sure, if you don’t call it subsidy but force people to buy what they don’t want at an exaggerated price instead it’s not a subsidy.
And Lassie is a cat!

AndyG55

You know that is a LIE, griff.
Why do you keep LYING about basically everything ???
Is LYING the only way you can convince yourself that your totally irrational chicken-little bed-wetting about climate issues, actually has some merit ?
You certain are never going to convince anyone else , because your LIES are so easy to expose.

AndyG55

“Trump is planning new subsidies to keep coal plant running”
Yes, Guarantee of supply is a huge economic benefit.
The premium should be extended to all electricity supply sources that can guarantee to provide electricity for 24 hours a day, 90 days ahead.
Why limit it to coal.
Wouldn’t you agree griff. -)

Stephen Richards

I haven’t seen any reports of them turning off the diesel generators keeping their major off shore wind farm turning while they find an interconnector that will allow it to work. I think it was using 25000ltres a week, but i’m not 100% sure.

Lokki

By the way, what is being called “a subsidy” to coal mining, is actually just a rollback of an Obama Administration rule.
Late last week, the administration filed a repeal of an Obama-era measure designed to increase mineral royalties on federal lands.
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/trump-to-increase-subsidy-for-coal-mining-on-federal-lands.html

AndyG55

I think that in the interests of energy security, a premium SHOULD be offered to all sources that show they have the ability to deliver 24 hours a day for 90 days in advance.
This would be totally fair on everyone.
Wouldn’t you agree , griff. !

MarkW

One constant with Griff. No matter how many times his lies are refuted, he’ll keep posting them.

Dave Fair

I assume Griffie is paid by the number of responses to his provocations.

Stu C

Can anyone tell me what it would look like if the “world’s largest lithium ion battery” was to have a massive catastrophe? Worst case. Lets put the precautionary principal to work here.

Old England

I seem to recall numerous cases of lithium ion batteries in phones, tablets and laptops exploding or catching fire.

DaveS

Boeing had a few problems too, I seem to recall.

John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia

Also at the battery storage shed at Hawaiian Kahuka Wind Farm a few years back.

Graeme#4

And there are a LOT of battery cells in these battery farms. I’ve forgotten exactly how many batteries are used in a Tesla 10 kWh Powerwall, but I believe that they use similar battery modules as the cars, which have 441 or 444 batteries in each module. You can calculate the number of batteries from the number of modules used in the cars, then assume 10 kWh for the Powerwalls as compared to 76 kWh for the cars. Then ramp this up to the 100 MWh battery being installed in South Australia. That will thousands of batteries.

John Hardy

The big Aussy battery will maybe help with smoothing the grid, but is not going to time shift much power. It is 100 Megawatt hours. I don’t know what SA’s daily demand is, but in the UK in winter it is about 1000 Gw-hr per day, so if the wind doesn’t blow for ten days we would need about 10,000 Gw-hrs of storage or about 100,000 x 100 Mw-hr batteries to cover the gap if we were 100% wind powered. That is several orders of magnitude more than global lithium ion battery output.
I’m a fan of lithium batteries but they are not anywhere near ready to facilitate a 100% wind/solar grid

Graeme#4

The website aemo.co.au shows the South Australian power demand. Around 1100 MW, peaking up over 1300 MW. And you’re right – often the wind doesn’t blow for days. They claim that the battery will hold up 30,000 homes for an hour. I’m interested to know how they plan to limit the battery’s output to a specified group of homes. If they can do this, I believe that they will confine the battery output to the Jamestown wind farm area, about 10,000 homes, which should hold them up just under 24 hours.

10,000 SA homes for one hour: let’s hope the power lasts until the end of the sports programme.

Matthew Benefiel

On smoothing the grid, that depends, if it is directly coupled to a mechanical power source (say a generator or alternator) then a battery can actually fight against the other source. Batteries generally have very low impedance so they don’t behave exactly like a capacitor when combined with a mechanically spinning power source. Some of it depends on the controller, but I’ve seen a system where an alternator was the primary source and the battery was supposed to help with surge currents, but in the end when a surge hit the two fought where the battery would pick up the full load, then the alternator would spin up because it went from full on to full off and the two just cycled back and forth. It’s a fixable problem, but it takes a lot of management and your controller needs to be faster than the battery reaction, which is pretty fast. I will say, having worked around 20Ah batteries at 55V nominal, you wouldn’t find me anywhere near a Mega Watt or Giga Watt battery station. That is a crap ton of energy just sitting there!

Mickey Reno

Wasn’t Elon Musk recently promising to supply Tesla Powerwalls to S. Australia in such numbers as to make their intermittency issues moot? How’s that going? What is S. Australia’s current “renewable” storage supply if the wind isn’t blowing. Did wind power stores anything during long becalmed periods lasting several weeks over a surprisingly large geographic area this winter? Can stored renewable energy power S. Australia’s grid for 15 minutes, even assuming those 15 minutes are not when the water heaters are scheduled to come on? Effing dreamers…

Graeme#4

With a summer drain of around 1300 MW, and assuming that you can only pull 80 MW from the battery farm, that gives them 3.7 minutes, if they are lucky.

Dave Fair

Effing liars, Mickey.

Thomho

Mickey -I can’t answer all your good queries but Weatherill ( great name ) the Premier of South Australia, who has bragged about his state’s green energy (albeit supported by brown coal fired power from next door state Victoria via a connector line) has ordered 100 repeat 100 diesel generators in an attempt to cover peak demands when the wind ain’t blowin this coming southern hemisphere summer.
It has been claimed he was offered a coal powered station as back up to his state’s growth of wind and solar power but declined and the station has now been demolished.

MarkW

The purpose of the batteries is to keep the system from crashing long enough to get the diesel generators started.
So you have to pay for wind/solar, batteries and diesel generators.
And they are still trying to convince us that renewables are cheap.

yarpos

You mean if you did something silly like place large scale lithium batteries in the remote countryside, in the driest State of one of the most bushfire prone countries on Earth? that kind of thing?

Graeme#4

And Jamestown SA summer temps often exceed 100F / 40C. Great for trying to maintain battery life…

MarkW

Simple, they’ll air condition the building where the batteries are stored.
And heat it in the winter.

Leo Smith

…what it would look like if the “world’s largest lithium ion battery” was to have a massive catastrophe?

http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/11026/production/_87507696_thinkstockphotos-456613403.jpg

Thomas

Lol…..that would make terrible sunrise.😂

Phoenix44

Then we should see bills coming down then shouldn’t we.
Simple test are bills going to come down Greenies? Want to make a bet?

JJB MKI

The cheap renewable energy future is – like fusion power – always thirty years into the future. Advocates need to answer a simple question – what storage technology? Specifically how is the energy from solar and wind to be stored – realistically and using a technology available here and now and not in some speculative future – to a capacity that can supply an entire grid for days rather than hours, yet remove the need for baseload generation at a vastly inflated cost (given the reduced demand). I have never heard an answer to this that does not rely on hand-waving or magical thinking, and without one renewable energy is nothing more than a huge fraud.

Geoman

Magic.
It will be stored by magic.
I mean I can sit down and calculate the maximum volume of energy one might need, and the pile of lithium to hold it, and the discharge rate, and all that malarkey, and if I did that it would become immediately obvious that this scheme would not work. Can not work. Ever.
But why bother? Magic!

David A

By definition you cannot remove the need for base load generation. They are pathetically talking about replacing it with hydro storage and VLBs. ( very large batteries)

WR

Not surprising that all of their “evidence” are someone’s opinions and projections (aka models). I wonder if they truly belief this garbage, or if this is just their attempt at propaganda.

Stevan Reddish

I didn’t see any claim that renewable power was less costly and more reliable already, only that it will be once coal plants die of old age:
“we do not need new gas or coal plants built. Persisting with existing coal plants beyond their technical design lives will lead to unreliable power”
So they want to use political power to forbid new coal power plant construction. Eventually, when existing coal plants fail, renewables can be declared more reliable than expired FF plants.
SR

Griff

Well in the US no new coal plant is under construction and no new plans for coal have been announced since Trump was elected. But coal plant is shutting down due to cost -as with Monticello plant close announced this week.
Yes, all coal plant in some countries has been scheduled for close – the UK and France, for example. But then the UK has shut most of its coal plant and hardly uses it for 8 months of the year anyway. Lights still on!

Stevan Reddish

Griff, whether coal plants ever reach the end of their useful/reliable life was never the point of discussion. I will not respond to your replies any further unless you actually address my points.
SR

Sandy In Limousin

Griff
France Coal 4.17% Wind 6.17% Nuclear 73.49%.
UK Coal 7.30% Wind 21.64% Dutch ICT 2.74% Nuclear 20.43% the French ICT is offline currently.
So far in 2017 the UK has used more electricity supplied by Coal and the French and Dutch inter-connectors for 60% of the time. Coal fired generation has been online 92% of the year.
Download data here if you don’t believe me:
UK http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/download.php
France http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/france/
view Germany https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm
Nordic http://driftsdata.statnett.no/Web/map/snpscustom
Spain https://demanda.ree.es/demandaGeneracionAreasEng.html
That way you can see what happens for the 97% of the time renewables (Wind and Solar anything that takes more than a year to replace isn’t really renewable) don’t produce enough to make newsworthy headlines or help line Zac Goldsmiths pockets.

Griff, so far so good. Until till we have a long cold hard winter with a week or two of freezing windless weather. When enough people freeze and wheeze their last in their beds you’ll see what happens. Politics in Great Britain is on the move dear boy. The average IQ in Westminster will rise (it couldn’t go any lower!) Things will change. King coal will return. As I said before, not everyone in Great Britain is an idiot..

Leo Smith

you fail to say why UK coal plant shuts down for most of the year griff.
Legislation only allows them so many running hours before they must be shut down. so they use them up at times of highest price.
No new coal is built because legislation won’t allow it to be used at full capacity, so it becomes uneconomic
Its easy to make apples more expensive than oranges if you put 1000% tax on them…

lee

Is the UK still using DRAX? Oh sorry that’s wood pellets.

Sandy In Limousin

Lee,
As far as I know Drax is currently uses a mix of coal and wood some boilers have been converted some not. It also has a backup of gas fired capability (unlike most windfarms). The power station was built in close proximity to the Selby coal field so transport costs were minimized. The wood is shipped from America to a specially built facility at Immingham.

David A

Griff is about to make that very claim below. However this is what Griff is really talking about…
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/11/claim-renewables-are-the-cheapest-form-of-power/comment-page-1/#comment-2634818

The Reverend Badger

It’s 2022 and half past 11 at night. The wind has hardly blown for over 2 weeks now and all the batteries are now empty (they only installed enough capacity for 13 days). Where is the electricity coning from?

The Reverend Badger

No, I’ll leave it as CONing.

Old England

Well mine will be from a standby diesel generator and hopefully some extra from a small scale water turbine if the water wheel doesn’t get trapped in ice on the stream.
I can see the day coming where the things to invest in will be petrol / diesel generator manufacturers, firewood producing woodland, wood-burning stove manufacturers, some land and a solid cart and a couple of horses.

Dave Ward

“I can see the day coming where the things to invest in will be petrol / diesel generator manufacturers, firewood producing woodland, wood-burning stove manufacturers, some land and a solid cart and a couple of horses”
Except petrol / diesel generator manufacturing (and the fuel to power them) will be banned. And good luck finding any “firewood producing woodland” – by that stage there probably won’t be single tree left standing…

Sheri

The Energy Fairy.

Griff

Put a coal plant under your pillow and you’ll get a shiny new solar power plant to replace it for less than the cost of a coal plant

Matt Bergin

And Griff that solar farm will be dead and useless after 25 years but the coal plant will still be running after you have replaced the solar three times. It will also be able to deliver 10 times the total output of the solar farm in a nice clean controlled “Dispatch-able” manner. Only a poor idiot would build renewable without subsidies.

MarkW

Less than the cost, and 1% the power generation capacity. When the wind is blowing. 0% the rest of the time.

Sheri

I’ll never put a coal plant under my pillow if that’s what happens.

Sunsettommy

Griff, do you know the difference between Low Mass power production to High Mass power production?

Don K

“It’s 2022 and half past 11 at night. The wind has hardly blown for over 2 weeks now and all the batteries are now empty ”
Seems to me that you are entirely too optimistic Musk’s “World’s largest Lithium battery” will store 129 mWH.A few months ago South Austrailia wind turbines managed to peak at 1540MW which was presumably all used. So, if there are users for 1540MW and the wind stops blowing, how long can Musk’s battery keep the users on line? 129MW-hr / 1540MW = .084hr = a smidge over 5 minutes.
Seems kind of inadequate.

Graeme#4

Surely less Don – you can’t pull 129 MWh from the batteries. Also the types of lithium batteries used (I’m assuming the Powerwalls use the same battery modules as the Tesla cars) don’t like high current drains – their lifetimes would be greatly reduced.

David A

The double back up pumped hydro storage.

DMH

We were given excellent evidence of this in April, when the CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia report told us that renewables could save households $414 a year by 2050

.
Anthony Sharwood cites ‘evidence’ from some distant future. How can that make any sense to even the most simple-minded? That’s like our son telling us his room is tidy because he could later tidy it.

Old England

Politicians in the UK tried that approach and were swiftly exposed as deliberately misleading.
UK ex-politician, ex-convict and perjuror Chris Huhne, when a government minister at the Department of Energy and Climate Change claimed that renewables would mean lower energy bills for people in the future.
When his twisted logic was examined in detail it was found to be based on assuming that people would drastically cut electricity consumption because of much higher electricity prices (because of the very high cost of renewables) and would better insulate their homes to help achieve a reduction in electrical usage.

John in Oz

No mention that inflation will not only raise prices but $414 in 33 years time will be worth a lot less.

Tom Judd

I have a comparison between a brand new Nissan Leaf and an IC engine powered car that I think will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the all electric car has become vastly superior to the comparable IC car.
The IC car, I think is well represented example of what you can expect. It is a 1969 Fiat 850 Spyder that was never ever used, nor even considered for use, for anymore than one Chicago winter immediately after it was brand new. Thus, it has only minimal rust perforation. And, after 48 years it only has 30,000 miles on that (zillion rpm, ‘pushrod’) 850cc engine, so it should be representative of a new car.
I only do fair comparisons.

Sheri

I like your fair comparison!

Griff

EVs have a lower total cost of ownership though…
https://seekingalpha.com/article/543861-report-shows-lower-total-cost-of-ownership-for-electric-vehicles
[as an EV owner myself, I can say that in my case, that’s not true – Anthony]

Hugs

Griff, please don’t push that garbage. EV is NOT a poor person’s choice. You need to be a Musk, person with money and willing to spend it on the moral pose / fast car.
Potentially the EV is cheap, but batteries make it sure you won’t compete at the same market.

Old England

Try and convince the owner of a Nissan Leaf of that after 5 years of ownership when looking at a value of £1500 or so because it needs £thousands to replace the battery in the next year or so.

The MSRP of a Tesla Model S is higher than the total cost of ownership of a Mercedes E-Class.

2016 Tesla Model S True Cost to Own
MSRP
$138,700
Average Price Paid ?
$138,700
There is not enough TCO data available for this model at this time. Please check back soon.

https://www.edmunds.com/tesla/model-s/2016/cost-to-own/

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class True Cost to Own
MSRP
$71,175
Average Price Paid ?
$61,915
True Cost To Own*
$71,189
*Based on a 5-year estimate with 15,000 miles driven per year.
Total Cash Price
$56,537

https://www.edmunds.com/mercedesbenz/e-class/2016/st-200732940/cost-to-own/
The Tesla Model S MSRP is nearly twice the total 5-yr cost to own of a MB E-Class.
Before someone says the Model S is not comparable to the E-Class…

Here’s the basis for the claim that it is the best-selling luxury sedan in America. During the third quarter, Tesla sold 9,156 units of the Model S sedan, which is indeed more sales than the Mercedes S-Class (4,921), the BMW 7 Series (3,634), the Audi A8 (1,030), the Lexus LS (1,235) and whatever other full-size luxury sedan you want to compare it to. These numbers are indisputable.
There’s only one problem: The Tesla Model S isn’t a full-size luxury sedan. It’s a midsize luxury sedan, and it doesn’t actually compete with the cars I’ve listed above.
Instead, the Model S’s closest competitors are cars like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5 Series, the Cadillac CTS, the Audi A6, the Lexus GS and the Hyundai Genesis.

http://www.autotrader.com/car-news/the-tesla-model-s-is-absolutely-not-the-best-selling-luxury-sedan-in-america-258097
In 2016, Tesla sold “76,230+ vehicles (Model X + Model S) delivered”.
https://cleantechnica.com/2017/01/03/teslas-2016-deliveries-production/
In 2016 Mercedes-Benz USA sold 380,752 vehicles in the US. MB USA sold more C-Class (86,080) vehicles than Tesla’s combined sales.
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mercedes-benz-usa-reports-best-year-ever-with-2016-sales-of-380752-units-300385664.html

A C Osborn

Griff, in the UK all electric Cars (EVs) depreciate by between 75% and 80% after 3 years, the worst performance of any cars.

Walt D.

David:
If you are lucky to own a Tesla and live in Puerto Rico, you will have just found out that it now runs on diesel – the only generators working on the island after Hurricane Maria.
(If you live in Los Angeles, you are probably oblivious to the fact that it is getting charged overnight from a coal burning facility in Utah).
This is part of the zero emission/green energy canard.

Tom Judd

Sorry Griff, that comparison doesn’t cut it. First; they admit up front that the Leaf’s advantage disappears if the $7,500 tax credit disappears. Second; the vehicle used for comparison uses a 2.4 liter 4 cyl. gas engine (among others). I can almost guarantee you that a vehicle the size of the Leaf will not come with a 2.4 liter engine – more like a 1.6 liter (33% smaller). Finally; they extrapolate it out to 120,000 miles (the break even point for a Leaf w/o the tax credit), but I rather doubt that cost includes a battery replacement on the Leaf.

MarkW

Griff, that’s only true up till the first time you have to replace the battery pack.

MarkW

That’s also ignoring the gas taxes that IC cars have to pay to provide the roads you are using for free.

David A

Mark, bingo. As are the many comments above refuting the Griff. Yet the Griff will make that same comment and link many more times, and ignore these comments endlessly.

Oh, its just silly, goats.
http://www.energy.ca.gov/almanac/electricity_data/electric_generation_capacity.html
A worthy diagram. Tells it all: a LOT of power is required, and presently near-none of it is stored solar energy. Plenty of make-it-and-use-it-immediately solar. No storage.
This article’s referenced position is a marketing piece for the renewable / storage market. Ask a butcher what to have for dinner and inevitably it won’t be Quiche Lorraine.
GoatGuy

D. J. Hawkins

@GoatGuy
Ohh, I don’t know. A good Quiche Lorraine has a fair bit of bacon in it. Now that you mention it, I’m going to call my wife and see if she’s already planned dinner…

Bro. Steve

Germany has gone greenish, sorta-kinda. They’ve spent heavily on PV and windmills — and on tax-supported schemes to prop these up financially — but they closed down all their nuclear power plants. After years of this, electric power prices have now DOUBLED, and utility related carbon emissions have gone UP because 1) renewables simply cannot carry the freight, so 2) coal-fired and gas-fired generation have to make up the shortfall. The only people benefitting from this are the few who get big government subsidies for putting solar panels on the roof of the barn.
I’m starting to wonder how long it’ll take American taxpayers and voters to see through the “renewables” scam. It’s just a way to let people compete for utility market using technology that never could (and likely never will) succeed on its own.

Griff

They still have 8 nukes left – close date is 2022.
However 4 were offline together earlier this year for various reasons with no effect on German power, so I think they’ll probably do fine without them.
German power production increased last year as did German power exports… power to spare.
Renewables made up the slack after half the nukes shut down overnight in 2011, by the way

DonM

Griff, you didn’t respond to his comment “… electric power prices have now DOUBLED ….”
You did say power to spare.
Spare power, just laying around for want of a use. And the cost of that spare power has doubled. German society has me very confused.

Griff

I was keen that we should all be clear about how many nukes Germany actually has: that was my reason to post.
But note while German power prices are high, German power bills are lower than in the US as Germans use more efficient appliances. There was a tiny increase between 2016 and 2017.
Also very many have solar panels and/or a share in community renewable power…

Akatsukami

People can’t afford to use that expensive green power. That’s why Germany has to spare.

Stephen Richards

German residential consumers subsidise big energy users like steel plants. Last count there were over 800,000 germans without power through their inability to pay their bills. Germany is still building many lignite powered stations and bringing back on line mothballed stations.

Griff,
German installed power is about 120% of peak demand in “conventional” plus 10% nuclear plus 110% wind and solar. Thus they don’t need nuclear, but still use it as base load, because that is the cheapest power…
Thus they can have 100% nameplate “renewable” at ideal wind and solar, but they never do that, as that is uncontralable: they prefer to pay (!) part of the windfarms to not deliver power… They dump what they don’t need of wind and solar on their neighbours,,,
If there is little wind and solar, like in the first weeks of January this year (as much of Europe did encounter), then all (brown)coal plants are full steam.
Thus despite 110% nameplate wind and solar power you need over 100% conventional power for when there is no/little wind and sun… Net result: doubling of the costs for German households and zero change in CO2 emissions…

MarkW

To people like Griff, having hoi polloi unable to afford to use power is the goal.

DonM

Griff,
I’ll give you 10 to 1 that you that less than 10% of German population with a similar situation to me (1,100 sf single family house; no gas; electric only; 2 people) has a “bill” lower than mine AND NO ONE in Germany has a rate less than mine.
I haven’t looked at German rates or average bills … I’ll bet blind.
Are you willing to admit that you are completely full of shit or are you willing to bet.

Griff

Stephen that 800,000 is a completely bogus figure (I note this bogus figure has been increasing lately – when Lomborg invented it I think it was only 300,000).
show me an official German source for it… and while you are at it tell me what percentage of Grman households it would represent if true – and then look at percentage of good old fossil fuelled US households cut off (official figures actually available). Marvel at more in US being cut off!

Griff

Mark
I see that many poor people in the UK are being provided with solar panels thorough social housing and housing associations…

MarkW

Griff, you say that like it means something.

Colorado Wellington

But note while German power prices are high, German power bills are lower than in the US as Germans use more efficient appliances.

Yes, we need the biggest German air conditioning manufacturer Golfstrom GmbH to start selling in the US.
Also, environmentally sensitive citizens from Munich to Hamburg must educate ugly Americans in Miami and Houston about the proper use of air conditioning. Just because it gets a little warmer outside is no reason to turn it on and destroy the planet. As a matter of fact, this whole climate and energy issue is so simple that even Ms Griff could explain it to them from London.
http://www.vividmaps.com/2016/07/usa-compared-to-europe-at-same-latitudes.html
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_by_latitude

Dave Fair

It was a hot and humid early evening in the island of Lido offshore of Venice, Italy. There was no central air conditioning in the restaurant. There was one of those little wall units with a small through-the-wall tube for heat exhaust. I asked the waiter to turn it on because of our very real discomfort; and I’m from Las Vegas!
A nearby couple apparently complained, because I overheard the waiter say something, ending with “American.”
Apparently much of the rest of the world doesn’t value their comfort as much as Americans.

Bro. Steve

From the World Association of Nuclear Operators: “Germany has some of the lowest wholesale electricity prices in Europe and some of the highest retail prices, due to its energy policies. Taxes and surcharges account for more than half the domestic electricity price.”
This is what the Green Gadget economy is all about — taxes and surcharges that punish certain producers so inferior ones can survive. If the production tax credit and similar stipends and forced-purchase agreements suddenly stopped in the United States, virtually all windmills and solar panels would be abandoned in the next five minutes.
http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-g-n/germany.aspx

Even if we assume this is accurate, storage is not factored into the cost of new power generation.
LCOE_Aus
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/gas-not-coal-the-fix-to-australias-soaring-electricity-prices/8890818
Let’s assume that they can purchase battery backup for $140/kWh and the Li-ion cells last 10 years.   Over ten years, $140/kWh works out to about $38.50 (US) per MWh of generation.
Over the twenty year lifespan of the wind and solar power plants, the batteries would have to be replaced once.  That brings the storage cost up to $77 (US) per MWh of generation.  Convert to AUD and it’s $99/MWh.  Tack that on to the LCOE:

Energy supply Cost of energy w/Storage  (AUD/MWh)
Solar $177 $239
Wind $160 $217
Ultra supercritical coal (so-called “clean coal”) $134 $203

 
graph3a-implied-cost-of-new-generation-data
Even with Australia’s high natural gas prices, combined cycle natural gas is much cheaper than wind & solar, if you factor in the storage costs.
LCOEAUSWBAT
 
 

Old England

David,
I’m not sure if you have factored in the back-up storage period required for when the wind doesn’t blow enough ?
Can’t remember who it was but there was a post in recent comments that said the backup requirements for wind in the UK would need to be around 55 days to achieve constant supply. No calculations were supplied but it was based upon records of succeeding days where the wind generation was very low and thus not available for recharging batteries that were already down and been used for topping up the lower than required supply to ‘keep the lights on’.
I don’t know if you have factored anything like that into your calculations, but it is a major cost element when comparisons are made.
Another imponderable I have seen raised is the actual life of the batteries. Lithium Ion batteries in cars have been subject to a great deal of research and testing based on partial to full discharge, rate of recharge and ambient temperatures etc. Where there seems little knowledge is how these will perform as renewable backup where a battery may have to be recharged over several days, or wait at full discharge for days before surplus energy is available for recharge, or remain fully charged for days until needed. This may (or may not) significantly reduce both lifespan and charge capacity.
Another aspect to consider is the huge energy requirement to make the battery storage as well as the resultant CO2 emissions – currently with around 50% renewables CO2 emissions during battery manufacture are between 150kg and 200kg per 1KWh of storage 0 15 to 20 tonnes CO2e for a Tesla car battery..

Old England

PS
Based on a 55 day back up storage being required for wind then every 1MW of average generation will require 1,320 MWH of backup battery storage. At $99 per 1KWH storage that would cost $130.68 Million – and these may be the figures you have used.

I just backed up each MW of solar & wind with 1 MWh worth of batteries. Since wind & solar only have about 1/3 the capacity factor of coal & gas, you would have to deploy 2-3 MW of solar & wind to offset 1 MW of coal & gas. But the LCOE is in MWh, so the capacity factor differential is supposedly already factored in.

Don K

David
In general, you seem to be correct that low capacity generation needs to be paired with storage (“buffering”) and the cost of the storage needs to be included in the sticker price of the technology. There are a few applications where there are built in buffers — e.g. pumping water to reservoirs and for those, backup electrical storage might not be required and the cost of electricity might be close to the LCOE value.

MarkW

Not just the batteries for buffering, but you have to pay for the cost of whatever form of alternative power comes on line after the buffering is used up.
Usually gas turbine or diesel.

Graeme#4

David, the figure of $134/MWh for a ultra super critical coal plant seems high. What is the calculated lifetime of the plant? I thought the Chinese were building HELE for reasonable prices.

Graeme#4

Just checked – the Mineral Council, in their February report, estimated a ultra super- critical plant LCOE at $67-91/MWh, without CCS. Have you included CCS in your figure?

I think the US DOE amortizes the cost over 20 years. I don’t know if Australia does the same. Amortizing the cost of a coal plant over 20 years, rather than 30, would elevate the LCOE.

Dave Fair

The chart is mendacious B.S. Where is conventional coal? Combined cycle gas-fired turbines? Hydro? Modern nuclear? Wood?

BlueDevil

You are vastly underestimating the cost of storage. 1) you cannot use the entire battery. 2) the battery will decline with usage, so, you have to oversize again. 3) You have to account for diurnal nature of sunshine due to the tilt of our axis. Again, more storage. 4) This means you have to install more name plate rated to charge the batteries… … …

The Original Mike M

This is wonderful news! We can drop the government mandates and subsidies to allow private investment to take the reins.

pochas94

But wait! If reality means anything at all (questionable with today’s utopian weltbild) then we may wish to consult the pioneer of ecodogooders, Germany.
Ratios to US power costa per KWh:
US 1
France 1.8
Germany 3.3
Windmills, anyone?
https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/what-german-households-pay-power

markl

“…obsolete “baseload” concepts…” That statement proves the people planning this renewable future don’t have a clue what is required to provide reliable energy. What do they call the batteries they are hyping?

Indeed Markl. The term baseload has come to be a swear word for alarmists. It appears to have become a synonym for anything associated with fossil fuels. As such it must be eliminated from the language.

Resourceguy

This is progress in that Greens normally don’t use a price term at all. With the speed of a Vatican inquiry, they might just tell the truth on price at some point.

Once again, when reading the reports about Unicorns and Fairy dust please take note of the density of the following modifiers: could, may, perhaps, projected, if, proposed, forecast, expected and model. When you see a high enough density of these words associated with government funding you must run. Don’t wait, don’t linger, don’t stick around to see what their real point is…just grab your wallet and run.

Dave Ward

“Please take note of the density of the following modifiers:”
Just copy/paste the text into a word processing application, select one of those words, and use “Find” or “Find All” Can be very revealing…

Ed Zuiderwijk

Green energy is for people who can’t count.

Griff
Old England

The why is India going to Treble its CO2 emissions between now and 2030 – as its INDC shows (Paris Climate Agreement) . If wind energy is so cheap then they have no need to build all of their planned coal fired power stations and the free market will build wind farms instead and without any need for subsidy.
The Truth is wind is way more expensive than coal or gas, as well as being wholly unreliable and those are the precise reasons why India is going to Treble its CO2 emissions.
India needs coal and gas to keep its economy growing and to lift people out of poverty – not as Australia is finding where the economy is contracting with consumer spending falling because of energy-cost poverty and major industrials closing down with manufacturing and jobs being exported because of the unaffordable price of ‘renewable’ energy.

Griff

I am not sure it is any more.
It has increased its plans beyond what it committed to at Paris.
It plans 175 GW of wind and solar capacity by 2022, aimed at providing electricity to those off grid… solar is cheaper than cola and new coal plant has been put on hold. Wind bids in recent auction at record low…

David A

Griff says…. “It plans 175 GW of wind and solar capacity by 2022, aimed at providing electricity to those off grid.”
Key words for Griff to contemplate.
OFF GRID.
BTW Griff, those millions of off grid poor in India will have a better life with intermittent solar or wind, but a far better life with a grid and steady base load power at the least cost.

Hugs

I’m sure it is, and that is good for India. I’m waiting for my energy seller to do the transition so they can do more pro fit $$$. Fat chance.

Resourceguy

Yes, compared to the diesel generator power prices that industry was having to deal with there. Those same diesel price comparisons were the basis of a lot of solar producer business plans for selling solar panels into that market. That still leaves major grid issues and state run power companies in the mix of issues. Solar turned out to the the end around for that case. Not so for modern countries.

gregfreemyer

Griff, that really is highly biased. All big energy projects have both CAPEX and OPEX (capital expense and operational expense).
A natural gas plant running 24 hours a day is currently extremely cheap per KWh in total (CAPEX + OPEX).
Solar is also very cheap per KWh (CAPEX + OPEX). In fact, close to the equator, it is said to be cheaper than power from a natural gas plant.
So in isolation one can state that a KWh from a solar plant costs less than a KWh from a natural gas plant.
But the reality is that a solar plant can’t be depended on 24hrs a day so you have to also have the natural gas plant available as “emergency reserve”.
So now the cost of solar is:
OPEX (solar) + CAPEX (solar) + CAPEX (natural gas)
And when you do the accounting that way, solar is no longer cheaper than solar from the hard numbers I’ve seen to date.

Almost all of the cost of solar is CAPEX. About 75% of the cost of a CC natural gas plant is OPEX (mostly fuel).
Most of the OPEX only gets spent as it’s needed to generate electricity… And the OPEX can be written off in the same year it is spent. CAPEX generally has to be recovered through depreciation of the asset.

gregfreemyer

“About 75% of the cost of a CC natural gas plant is OPEX (mostly fuel).”
That’s obviously based on some duty cycle. If I assume that’s for a 100% duty cycle, it will change drastically if the natural gas plant only has to run a few hours a day. Or even worse, a few hours a week.

Mark L Gilbert

From your link
quote Levels of climate finance support are an open sore between rich and poor countries, with progress towards a 2009 pledge to deliver $100 billion a year by 2020 still uncertain. unquote
Hehe ohhhh yeah. If you give us dat money we will agree with you.

MarkW

Once again, Griff demonstrates that if a politician says something. It must be true, even if it’s physically impossible.

Old England

Then why does wind require subsidy ? Simple answer is that the figures used are designed to mislead.

Hugs

The word is “lie”.

Old England

Then why is Wind Europe, the european wind industry trade body, lobbying for continued subsidies to be applied to out-of-life and out-of-subsidy wind turbines if wind is so cheap and price-competitive compared to coal or gas?
https://windeurope.org/wp-content/uploads/files/policy/position-papers/WindEurope-Repowering-and-Lifetime-Extension.pdf

AndyG55

Glad to see you campaigning so hard for removal of wind and solar subsidies and feed-in mandates
You could also point us to where wind and solar are on UK energy usage
http://www.carbonbrief.org/media/427753/uk-primary-energy-use.png
Anyone got a magnifying glass
Fossil fuels, Nuclear still around 90%.. Pollution creating biomass most of the rest.

AndyG55

Heck they even had to lump wind in with hydro so you could see it. !

Griff

That’s all energy, isn’t it?
show us the chart for electricity only ….

AndyG55

So griff doesn’t use any other energy. of course not. 😉
Wind.. barely discernible amount of total energy use.
A POINTLESS waste of money..
Can you see solar on the chart, griff?

If they were cheaper it would be shown somewhere. Wrote this back in 2014 on Dr. Curry’s site.
Myth 1 – Utilities are too conservative and unwilling to investigate and utilize new and promising technologies. In the US alone there are hundreds of utilities operating on very different business models including Investor Owned Utilities, Cooperatives, Municipals, Energy Marketers, State and Federal entities. No group of related utilities provides even 5% of the US market. Furthermore, FERC Order 1000 allows non-utility power suppliers to compete as well. Additionally the development of alternative resources is not just limited to the US. The idea that the collective reluctance of a diverse mix of utility engineers, or worse a conspiracy among them, is slowing down the implementation of alternative technology does not make sense. Those who argue that we must trust climate scientists on climate issues should also consider trusting the experts when it comes to power supply.

Roger

Smart meters = dictatorship

DonM

Does the culture in Australia allow for outright lies without responsibility? Won’t these people be reminded of their lies in the future? They are lies, right? … they can’t be that stupid?
I mean, I had seen this in some relocated middle eastern (Iran) people I had known … If they couldn’t be proven to be lying right there and then (at the time of the lie), then it was O.K. to lie. They considered it to be very rude, or uncouth, to bring it up latter and call them on it at another time.

Quilter

I think you have absolutely identified the way that Australian politicians operate. they lie whoever their mouth is moving, they have no idea what they are talking about and they would never take advice from someone (like an engineer) that might actually know what they are doing if it interferes with their current narrative. I am being entirely non-partisan here and referring to all Australian politicians regardless of political affiliation.
We have strong laws administered by the Australian competition and consumer Commission that prevents misleading and deceptive practices in business with heavy fines and jail terms although I don’t recall it ever being used in relation to solar and wing generators which would be a very good place to start requiring proof in advertising it seems to me.
As for responsibility for politicians, it has become clear to many Australians that the aim of most politicians in this country is to be around long enough to collect their parliamentary pension , which is much more generous than the pension bestowed upon the presents. They also have access to that pension after the three elections of the equivalent thereof in our Senate while the mugs that pay for it have to wait until at least 67 years of age.
If there was any genuine sincerity about preventing political lying, all they would need to do would be to pass legislation applying deceptive and misleading conduct rules to them. The flying pigs are fuelling as i write this.

Quilter

OOPs in para 2 I meant wind not wing. Para 3 peasants not presents.

Don

“they lie whenever their mouth is moving”
Pretty sure that’s a characteristic of politicians everywhere, not just in Oz.

Peter Morris

The concept of baseload power is obsolete?
Hahahahahaha!!!
That’s a good one!

Hugs

I sometimes wanted to give full independence to Democrat places so they’d really have to ratition electricity to keep hospitals running through winter.

MarkW

To a liberal, having a few old people die because the hospitals can’t keep the power on is a good thing.
How else are they going to keep health care affordable?

Bruce Cobb

Wow, that’s amazing. If you have government favoring one type of energy through a smorgasbord of tax incentives, rebates, and mandates, and punish the other forms (especially coal) to varying degrees, that form of energy suddenly, almost like magic becomes the cheapest.
Wonders will never cease.

Griff

So with Trump’s new initiative coal suddenly becomes flavour of the month???

Bob boder

Griff
You keep spewing this crap, prey tell what money is Trump planning to send to the coal industry?

gregfreemyer

Bob, you’re months behind the times. The latest from the Trump Energy department is they want to pay power plants that have a 90-day supply of fuel on hand a premium fee. The only plants that have that are nuclear and coal.

AndyG55

Paying a bit extra for guaranteed continuity of supply. Sensible
Wind and solar NEED NOT APPLY. They need to be dumped, as the intermittent, unreliable farce that they are.

Bob boder

Greg
Site it, and are they doing or is it something they have considered? That vs trillions is subsidies for green energy and regulations designed to destroy the coal industry.

gregfreemyer

Bob, It’s a formal proposal, but not yet law/regulation. There’s a short comment period before it will be finalized and put into effect:
https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/09/f37/Notice%20of%20Proposed%20Rulemaking%20.pdf
I’m not saying that agree or disagree with it. I’m saying you’re wrong on the facts. Once the facts are agreed on, the discussion can move on to their reasonableness.
Me; I think its a reasonable proposal.

AndyG55

Paying a premium for security of supply.. wow.
Pretty good idea, actually
This should be extended to all electricity sources that can guarantee to provide 24/7, 90 days in advance.
Wouldn’t you agree, griff. ! 🙂

AndyG55

Gruniad.. roflmao.
No wonder your yapping is so opposite to reality.
Paying a premium for security of supply.. wow.
Pretty good idea, actually
This should be extended to all electricity sources that can guarantee to provide 24/7, 90 days in advance.
Wouldn’t you agree, griff. ! 🙂

Griff

As presented it is a daft idea Andy.
It does not increase grid security, nor was there any threat to grid security in the first place.
Its a ridiculous excuse for subsidy to pay out on political promises (which can’t be delivered)

Bob boder

Griff
I agree, there should be no subsidising of the coal industry, so I would be against this proposal for the same reason i am against the trillions already wasted on renewables.
I have no issue with renewables if they can they can stand on their own and I have no issue with fossil fuels because they work and are effective. There is no C in AGW so let the best solution prevail, or the best mix of solutions, in the open market.

David A

Bob boder on October 11, 2017 at 11:12 am
Griff
You keep spewing this crap, prey tell what money is Trump planning to send to the coal industry?”
——‘
Bob is 100 percent correct in that net funds are what matter. As long as the tax break is less then what coal pays, it is a reduction in how much is taken.
Tesla is a rich man’s joke at the middle class man’s expense. A large subsidy to the rich man to start, who then drives for free on a road the middle class man pays for with gasoline tax, and then the rich man refuel his Tesla for free at a charging station paid for by the middle class shill again.
Obama’s words do apply to the EV owner; ” you didn’t build that!”

I’m surprised that Finkel didn’t buttress its claim with any numbers. It could have easily done so. All it needed to do was claim that coal kills millions and that each life is worth millions. Coal therefore costs trillions more that reported, and renewables are clearly more cost effective. That the greenies have gotten too lazy to even make such an easy argument shows that they are slipping. More good news!

Ivor Ward

Griff needs a few lessons in economics.
This is the kind of rubbish he is referencing to support his dreams :
“”Over the same period, coal-fired power stations have seen their costs rocket from nearly $98 mWh to $115 and gas from $100 to $114, after the EU agreed new rules that will greatly increase the amount they must pay for their carbon emissions. Offshore wind costs $175 mWh, according to the research, by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.”” (The Independent)
If you artificially force up the price of coal and gas then subsidise wind and solar it is not a level playing field. Remove the carbon taxes and the subsidies on so called renewables then do the sums properly. There is no need for carbon taxes as there is no such thing as CAGW caused by carbon emissions. What we do need to do is stop pouring millions of tons of polluting concrete into the Countryside.

Resourceguy

Such subsidy shifts are the basis of Catalonian independence moves today. Theirs is about total tax subsidy of the rest of Spain though, not just energy.

Hans Henrik Hansen

“The countries with the most renewables (Germany, Denmark) have the most expensive electricity” – I live in Denmark. The listed price (30.42 cents/kWh) (August 2017) is about right, but that price includes tax (appr. 16 cents/kWh) and ‘green energy subsidy’ (appr. 3 cents/kWh), so prices are not directly comparable!

It’s still part of the price. I pay about 11¢/kWh in Dallas, including all taxes and fees. Gasoline costs about $8/gal in Norway because they have about $6/gal worth of taxes included.
It still costs $8/gal. The fact that 3/4 of the price is composed of taxes doesn’t make it cheaper.
This isn’t a random pattern:comment image

Figure 1. Electricity costs as a function of per capita installed renewable capacity. Wind and solar only, excludes hydropower. [Updated to add Australia and correct the units]

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/08/03/obama-may-finally-succeed/

Resourceguy

+1
Thanks David

Steve Fraser

David Middleton: Gee, that looks just like what I pay in Plano!

IIRC about 8¢/kWh goes to Reliant, 2¢/kWh goes to Oncor and about 1¢/kWh goes to taxes. Of course it varies a little because some of the charges are fixed.

old engineer

OMG look at Australia on that graph! Assuming the slope holds for all countries, when Australia has the same watts/capita as Germany, it will have the most expensive electricity in the world. Well, the Australian greens wanted Australia to set an example for the world. I guess it will. No wonder you guys in Oz are upset,

Part of Australia already has the most expensive electricity in the world…comment image
Although the causes of Australia’s high electricity prices are a bit more complicated than Germany’s or Denmark’s.

Patrick MJD

“David Middleton
Although the causes of Australia’s high electricity prices are a bit more complicated than Germany’s or Denmark’s.”
There is nothing complicated about it at all. Politicians privatised publically owned assets. The private companies didn’t invest in maintaining those assets. Politicians then set renewable energy targets (RETs). Private owners of power generating assets can’t sell their power to consumers because of RETs. Private owners of power generating assets CLOSE DOWN because it is uneconomical to keep operating. This is why the Australian Govn’t is trying to force AGL to keep it’s ageing Liddell plant operating.
Simply put; Power prices increase when supply is short.

I meant it’s more complicated than the per capita W of solar & wind, as depicted by Willis’ graph.

Pete

Elon Musk’s PowerWall had flopped soon after it was launched and field tested in Australia, a sunny land if ever there was one.. It says it all about storage of energy. Musk produced a 10kW unit specifically designed to store solar/wind energy and a 6.4kW unit designed more to shift the load of available (green intermittent)power, such as from a solar panel, to times when the production of such energy is lower. The 10kW PowerWall has been discontinued while the 6.4 kW one, which is just a glorified uninterruptible power supply has been kept in production.
One day this scammer will meet his nemesis: the Truth.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/tesla-powerwall-flop-why-cant-geniuses-figure-out-dumbos-santhanam
https://gizmodo.com/tesla-is-discontinuing-its-10-kilowatt-powerwall-1767250649

Steve Zell

Renewable energy (particularly solar) which might be competitive in Australia would not be competitive elsewhere.
Australia has a land area of about 7.40 million km2 with a population of 24.68 million, or an average population density of 3.3 people per km2. Most of Australia’s land area is between 15 and 35 degrees south latitude, and central and northern Australia is mostly desert, so there is a lot of sunshine per person in Australia.
The United States has a land area of about 9.37 million km2, most of which is between 30 and 48 degrees north latitude (lower average sun angle than in Australia), and most of the United States (except for the southwest deserts) has a much cloudier climate than Australia. The US population is about 325.4 million, with an average population density of 34.7 people per km2. With over 10 times the population density and less sunshine, solar power is much more expensive in the United States than in Australia.
The situation for solar power is even worse in Europe. The European Union has a land area of 4.46 million km2, most of which is between 35 and 55 degrees north latitude (lower sun angle than either the USA or Australia), with a cloudy climate across most of Europe except the extreme south, and the average population density is about 114 people per km2. Europe receives less sunshine than the United States and has more than triple the population density, so why are the Europeans even bothering with solar power?

Edwin

Has someone estimated how much land or water space will be needed for example, for Germany to reach their solar and wind renewable goals?

Willy Pete

To convert 100% to renewables for all energy uses, the Drang nach Osten must resume for the needed Lebensraum. Or Energiesraum.

TheDoctor

Yes! This estimate was done by ifo
But this presentation is only available in German.

MarkW

Is it possible that the aborigines would object to having most of the interior paved with solar cells?
How big of a footprint will be needed for enough batteries to last a couple of cloudy days?

Griff

There are plenty of roofs and car parks in Australia I believe. solar canopies over said car parks would also provide shade.
and plenty of room to tuck in some batteries in 3 or 4 standard containers.

LdB

None of that changes the grid and distribution costs in Australia which is the single largest cost for power. Second is always the utility profit margin to keep the repair and replace the dam thing. We are 32 time the size of the UK something good old Griff fails to grasp.

Griff

I do grasp it LdB…
As do the Australian power companies looking to avoid infrastructure costs/grid costs by providing power locally, rather than shipping it long distance.
A sort of example here:
http://reneweconomy.com.au/wa-looks-to-solar-storage-micro-grids-to-replace-poles-and-wires-after-bushfires-93392/

Pete

Reply to Griff:
And yet, in spite of what you think, Elon Musk’s PowerWall project failed dismally when prototyped and tested under the Aussie sun.

MarkW

The original post calculates that most of Australia would have to be covered. And Griffie comes back with roofs and car ports.
Is Griff actually as dumb as his posts make him sound?

Patrick MJD

“Griff October 12, 2017 at 1:33 am
There are plenty of roofs and car parks in Australia I believe.”
What you believe and what is actual fact Griff are two distinct realities. One exists in your mind and the other exists in actual reality.

drednicolson

and I’m Honest John Conner, here to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. Call within the next 10 minutes and I’ll throw the Golden Gate in free! (Just pay separate processing…)

Jeff Labute

Kelowna BC Canada – Fortis our energy provider is planning to install a 240kWh solar farm and have customers rent virtual power at more than $0.24/kWh to support solar, which is 2.5x our current rate. Fortis says that if there are not enough people subscribing, they will pass the cost on to all customers. We have smart meters, which according to mailed literature was mandated by the UN. Sounds like a good way to make $$ even if no one wants solar.
https://okanaganedge.net/2017/10/03/solar-station-soon/

Bill Illis

I agree fully that if people want green power, they should voluntarily sign up for it and pay the costs. Technically, a lot of people and a lot companies want to virtue signal their greenness and are willing to pay for it. The earlier green projects were financed this way and they were oversubscribed in many cases.
This is the solution but “somebody” is stopping this from happening now.

Russ R.

Technically, a lot of people and a lot companies want to virtue signal their greenness and are willing to pay for it.
They want to virtue signal, and then get someone else to pay for it, and someone else to take on the risk of failure. If the government was not involved, 99% of it would evaporate over night.

They’re literally banking on virtue signalling…

That monthly fee will be “substantially higher…than the participating customer’s regular retail rate,” according to the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association, but the fee will remain constant, while regular electricity rates “continue to rise.”
Despite the price, Fortis believes many will sign up simply because it allows them to support the use of more sustainable energy.
The project will cost Fortis just under $1 million, but the utility says it will recover those costs if the pilot program fills up. If the program doesn’t reach full subscription the remaining cost would fall to Fortis ratepayers.

Steve Fraser

Mandated by the UN? Doubt it.

Mandated is the wrong word. Smart meters are an integral component of UN Agenda 21. If your local, state or national government is committed to the sustainability goals of Agenda 21, you are probably either required or strongly “encouraged” to accept a smart meter.
Since reducing consumption is more sustainable than adding reliable capacity, smart meters are being imposed in most electricity markets in the US… even in Texas.
https://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2013/10/30/opt-out-of-a-smart-meter-in-texas-it-will-cost-you/

Griff

surely you don’t think that agenda is some sort of sinister imposition?
It is just boilerplate mission statement…

MarkW

To a socialist, it’s just boiler plate.

gregfreemyer

I think the biggest effort is to replace “base power” with “emergency reserve” in the people’s thinking.
Thus I suspect in Australia, the big political issue is:
– getting the utilities and population to drop the concept of base power and replace it with emergency reserve
– a willingness to provide enough natural gas to the power plants. They will be using their emergency reserve a lot, so they need a lot of natural gas.
– getting the utilities to build enough additional natural gas power plants to act as the emergency reserve for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.
– getting the people to pay the amortization cost on the natural gas plants, even though they are only meant for emergencies
Of course, that’s a $1B/GW of capacity to act as the emergency reserve, but emergencies happen even in Australia. It’s a shame the people will have to pay the amortization cost for them, but its just the way it is in the new renewable energy era.

Steve Fraser

Here’s my fave equivalence… Thinking about ‘baseload power’ is like thinking of ‘baseload air’. I do not want to do without either.

About the only instance in which I can imagine renewable solar/wind as “reliable” is the case where you have a desert handy and lots of batteries and can depend upon bright sunshine every day. But don’t deserts experience sandstorms and are there never any significant clouds? EXpecting batteries to have the capcity to hold days or even week’s worth of power is not in the cards. As I recall, the batteries that Australia is getting only have the capacity to provide power for a short period of time. And how are the batteries recharged at the same time the renewables provide
power ? If fossil fuel is used, then what’s the point of having batteries in the first place?

MarkW

The US’s desert southwest has a monsoon season every year with significant cloud cover for weeks at a time.

Gamecock

Destroy Western Civilization by destroying central power production. The people will go along with it if you give them a good story.

Pumped hydro makes an excellent battery.
http://www.fhc.co.uk/dinorwig.htm
< 16 seconds response time and 288 MW Generation potential at full load.
We should build more.
Strange that hydro is not a renewable, it sure rains quite often here in the UK.

Steve Fraser

I view it as renewable. It does have certain terrain requirements,

There is a shortage of suitable mountain and mountain sites for sure.
Some countries don’t even have mountains to start with.
Perhaps we should use ones in very uninhabited areas only.

We’ll be looking for pumped tidal power sites soon!

MarkW

The further you have to transmit electricity, the more power you lose. Add transmission losses, both ways, to the already lossy pumping/discharging system.

http://www.fhc.co.uk/dinorwig.htm has been running since 1984. It is considered to be an important part of the UK grid.

Griff
LdB

Those actually make sense it’s just whether they interfere with the eco systems.

Griff

Queensland is exploring pumped options from a large disused open cast mine, I believe…
Dusseldorf is converting its last coal mine to pumped storage on closure this year.

TheDoctor

Hey guys, stop bitchin’
If only a tenth of this claims were true, it would be justified to cut down all subsidies, regulations, grants etc. of the CAGW pork barreling to zero right now!.
Moreover, there can be put an additional tax on renewables to pay back all the money already spend. Since renewable are so great they even beat perpetual motion every greeny is making so much money hand over fist that they can fix the federal budget and the health system and all retirement payments and still be filthy rich rich rich $$$$$ …
Isn’t that great news? And “World Peace” too.

TheDoctor

Oops, I forgot the tags
(just in case, someone wonders)

Andrew Hamilton

My electricity bill went up by more than a third due to the cost of renewables. It is still going up. The sooner we get free energy, the better.

willhaas

Well then. according to the article, you are being cheated by your power provider. Your electricity bill should be going down and not up. You should file letters of protest.

4 Eyes

Follow the money. Stock will spin anything. If electricity was tendered on the basis of supplying it,say, at 100 MW, 24 hrs a day,365 days a year for 10 years then renewables and storage would not even bid. Stock knows this – he is an engineer, a very smart one.

Chris Hagan

So its cloudy and the wind isn’t blowing enough and the system keeps sending power to hospitals but turns your power off. Who pays for the spoiled food and helps you clean your dirty laundry for work the next day? Wait we wont work because there will be no power for unimportant things like making a living!

MarkW

How are you going to get to work if you can’t recharge your electric car overnight?

Griff

charge the car at work.

Bryan

What Griff does not get is that for all to charge their cars at work requires doubling the base load.
Cars on fossil fuels use a total energy equivalent almost as high as total non transport present installed energy capacity

Griff October 12, 2017 at 1:25 am
charge the car at work.

How? Run an extension cord from your office to the parking garage?
Most parking garages have few, if any, EV charging stations. The parking garage for my office has over 3,000 parking spaces and 1 EV charging station in the visitor section.

Bryan October 12, 2017 at 2:26 am

It’s not quite that bad. If every passenger vehicle in the US was a PEV, it would “only” increase electricity consumption by 27%. Of course, we’d need to double our baseload capacity if we met the 27% demand increase with wind, solar and batteries.

Griff

Well I don’t see why employers in the UK won’t install charging stations for employees driving EVs.
after all company fleets are increasingly going electric in the UK.
and the UK govt, I find, is already promoting EV charge points at work:
https://www.chargepointservices.co.uk/businesses/workplace-charging-scheme/
Lots of UK employees commute by rail, parking at stations a few miles from home. I have no doubt charging options will appear there too. And then I seem to spend an hour parked at the supermarket some Saturdays…
And there is a high probability of some sort of smart charging arrangement to mange the overnight demand.

Bryan
MarkW

Griffie, just last week you were telling us how we didn’t need to worry about increasing the capacity of the electric grid because the cars would be charged over night.
Can’t you keep your story straight?

MarkW

Like most leftists, Griffie has no trouble demanding that other people pay billions just to make his utopia a reality.

MarkW

“Well I don’t see why employers in the UK won’t install charging stations for employees driving EVs.”
There’s this little thing called money. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

ccscientist

Soooo, baseload is an outdated concept? Rolling blackouts are the new thing? No thanks.
And please don’t look behind the curtain to see the correlation between amount of wind/solar and the price of electricity in that locality. Oh, and don’t look too closely at how Europe depends on France’s nuke power to provide baseload for all their wind.
Unicorn farts are more reliable than wind.

Griff

but Europe does not depend on France…
In summer when river levels are low, French nuclear has to shut down.
and recently there have been a lot of maintenance shut downs of French nukes… and some due to a safety scandal
http://dailycaller.com/2016/11/10/french-nuclear-industry-in-total-crisis-as-20-reactors-shut-down/
https://energytransition.org/2017/01/france-cant-meet-its-own-power-demand/
Germany exports more to France than vice versa

BlueDevil

Don’t give them any ideas! They’ll market them alongside carbon credits!

willhaas

If renewables are the cheapest form of power than renewables will grow to dominate the market place without any need for subsidies. If such is the case then all current subsidies should be pulled. We have fossil fueled power plants in the area but I have yet to see the local power company installing wind mills and solar panels on their property so that they can turn off their fossil fuel powered generators.
I would love to have an all electric car, a solar power system to charge it and a combination of a wind mill and solar power system with batteries that would allow me to live off the power grid if need be but I cannot afford to pay for any of it so to me it all has to be free and I must own all that is installed on my property.

In Australia we will soon be receiving text messages to warn us of peak load BLACK OUTS!
In Australia…one of the worlds most energy rich countries!!!
I don’t often swear on posts but this time I will make an exception.
Green f˚cking scum.