Canada — And The World — Abandon Green Energy Agenda

Wind and solar have become the fossils of the energy industry; oil, gas and coal remain the fuels of the future

By Larry Solomon

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s repeal of the Green Energy Act and balks by premiers of other Canadian provinces at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s climate agenda aren’t rearguard moves by Donald Trump wannabes. They are part of a worldwide trend rejecting renewables, rejecting climate change alarmism, and embracing coal and other fossil fuels. Renewables and the high electricity rates they ushered in drove individuals into energy poverty and led industry to flee, putting the lie to the claim that wind and solar are the fuels of the future. Wind and solar, rather, have become the fossils of the energy industry; oil, gas and coal remain the fuels of the future.

China was once the poster boy of the renewable energy industry — just a few months ago Bloomberg stated, “China’s investment in renewables is leaving the rest of the world in its wake” thanks to its subsidy-driven growth. Now China has now begun to throw in the towel by cutting subsidies to renewables, an augur of the demise of investment in its renewables sector. With the cutting of subsidies to renewables in the EU, investment last year dropped to less than half of its peak six years earlier. Japan’s investment halved in just three years.

While China is pulling back from renewables, it’s plunging into coal. According to a BBC report this week, China is boosting its reliance on coal by 25 per cent through construction of hundreds of new coal-fired generating plants. Once completed, its incremental coal capacity will be equivalent to that of the entire U.S. coal fleet. Coal aside, China this year will become the world’s largest importer of natural gas, both via pipeline (up by over 20 per cent) and by ship (up over 50 per cent). It is already the world’s largest importer of coal and oil.

Germany, another renewable-energy poster child, is following the same unwinding, cutting subsidies to wind developers while upping gas imports and local coal. To extract that coal, Germany has decided to expand an existing open-pit coal mine, Europe’s largest, by subsidizing the razing of a 12,000-year-old forest. To round out Germany’s retreat from the demands of the country’s green lobby, it is relaxing regulations that would have required automakers to produce low-CO2-emitting vehicles.

Japan plans to remove its modest renewables subsidies while aggressively expanding fossil fuels — it is adding 40 coal stations to its existing 100. The U.K. is likewise turning from renewables, where investment is expected to decrease by 95 per cent by 2020, in favour of the development of the country’s immense shale-gas resources. And Australia is ending its renewables subsidy program altogether by 2020, giving its abundant coal resources a major lift.

The most consequential change of all, however, occurred in the United States, where the Democratic Party — adherents to the global warming orthodoxy — first lost control of the Congress and then the presidency to the Republicans under President Donald Trump, an outspoken critic of the global-warming lobby. When Trump abandoned the Paris climate accord in favour of coal and other carbon-based fuels, the world’s leaders rose up almost as one in outrage. Today, with the U.S. having revived its coal industry, having become the world’s largest oil producer and having propelled its once-moribund economic growth rates past the others, those world leaders are following America’s lead while falling silent on Paris. The once-powerful United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, formerly a fixture in the news, is defanged and forgotten, having lost its U.S. funding and its relevance.

The decline of government funding for renewables follows years of public opinion polls that consistently show the public isn’t much fussed about climate change. Governments finally got the message that the green lobby wasn’t all-powerful. The most timid, least principled players in society — the corporate sector — may be next in showing some spine on the climate change file. According to an internal memo leaked earlier this month, BusinessEurope, the EU’s largest employer association, intends to counter EU plans to tighten carbon-dioxide emissions at their expense, albeit ever so mutedly. If it carries through with its plans and actually dares to publicly represent the interests of its members, it will be one more sign that environmental NGOs and their enablers — the mainstream media — have lost their power.

Full story here

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September 29, 2018 2:47 am

Maybe we will now see the UK government come to it’s senses and stop the £500M a year subsidy to the Drax Power station biomass stupidity.
A bit of a surprise in today’s Grauniad is a detailed report on the N Ireland’s “Cash for As” scandal whereby the subsidy was more than the cost of the biomass. This led to farmers and others installing and running boilers 24 hour/day just to get the subsidy. The cost to the goverment is estimated up to £800M.

Maybe, just maybe, common sense is beginning to raise its head. Afterall the UK government did finally reject the Swansea Tidal Lagoon scam

Gary Ashe
Reply to  harrowsceptic
September 29, 2018 3:33 am

Only when the UK ditches the uni-party scam will democracy and common sense return.

Along with industry jobs mens & ladies toilets, and some white people on tv who are not gay or trans.

Vote UK.

Reply to  Gary Ashe
September 29, 2018 4:42 am

There is no one waiting in the wings to kick this green nonsense into touch. We have a choice between May and Corbyn. It’s like having to choose being bitten by a rattlesnake or a cobra.

One small hope on the horizon was the jailing of three anti-fracking crusties recently. Perhaps the worm is slowly turning.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  UK Sceptic
September 29, 2018 5:13 am


Reply to  harrowsceptic
September 29, 2018 4:58 am

Maybe we will now see the UK government come to it’s senses

Blimey, that’s what I call optimism. The Maybot is fully committed to Paris, and that’s bad enough, but…

A Labour government would look to treble the UK’s current solar capacity and create more than 400,000 green jobs by 2030.

While the speech was lacking in specific detail – Long-Bailey described it as “just a taster” given the time available – three figures integral to Labour’s vision are a near trebling of solar power in the UK, a seven-fold increase in offshore and a doubling of onshore wind capacity.

We will be the last to do the sensible thing.

Don K
Reply to  fretslider
September 29, 2018 9:14 am

Solar? England? I confess to having actually seen the sun from time to time when visiting England, but mostly my impression is that all those jokes about the English Summer have a pretty solid basis in fact. I’m fine with solar where it works. But I think it belongs in West Texas, (non-coastal) California, Hawaii, Algeria and other places not too far from the equator with reasonably abundant sunshine.

And btw, solar hot water is more cost effective than solar PV and less complex. It ought to be the first step in any attempt to reduce the use of fossil fuels, not an afterthought. If you can’t get solar hot water to work, solar PV is probably a waste of resources.

Reply to  Don K
September 29, 2018 2:43 pm

Thank you Australia.

Reply to  Don K
September 29, 2018 9:55 pm

Great points.

Andy Ogilvie
Reply to  Don K
September 30, 2018 2:15 am

English climate described for beginners. We get eight months of winter followed by four months of bad weather… simples 😉

Reply to  Andy Ogilvie
September 30, 2018 3:02 pm

And the odd bright sunny day that took the wrong turn at Albuquerque.

Richard Bell
Reply to  Andy Ogilvie
October 1, 2018 11:27 am

God is still a little annoyed about that remark “The Sun never sets on the British Empire”, so He continues to sow doubt that the Sun ever shone on the British Empire.

Still, the isle of Great Britain, with eight months of winter and four months bad weather, is more clement than Canada’s National Capital Ottawa, with its winter only broken up by a few weeks of bad sledding. Ottawa, where people desperately scramble to get INTO burning buildings, where the residents keep butter in the fridge so it will stay soft (and where “smooth as butter” is satire), and where air conditioning is popular, because it can make the house so cold, that heat flows in from outside.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  harrowsceptic
September 29, 2018 5:15 am

Cash for ASH ?

Harry Passfield
Reply to  harrowsceptic
September 29, 2018 6:46 am

But Corbyn is threatening to resurrect the Tidal Lagoon scam. (sigh)

Reply to  Harry Passfield
September 29, 2018 2:16 pm

Isn’t it weird when Piers Corbyn is a prominent educated sceptic? Piers pulls no punches and openly calls it out for the utter junk pseudoscience it is. Have to wonder sometimes what terrorist-adoring Jeremy has to say about it to Astrophysicist Piers.

Don K
Reply to  harrowsceptic
September 29, 2018 9:01 am

There’s nothing especially wrong with burning waste wood to generate electricity. There are some problems, for example in warm humid climates, piles of wood chips ferment if they aren’t stirred up from time to time. Fermentation can produce products that are not only smelly, but toxic. But on the whole, burning the wood to power the lumber mill or to be sold to the grid seems fairly reasonable as long as it doesn’t deplete the forest soils.

But carting the wood 5000km to be burned is really weird. Especially since this isn’t a real pollution issue that keeps the skies in Yorkshire less dingy. It’d seem to be a lot simpler to burn the wood in the Carolinas, feed the power to the US grid, issue some sort of credit for being green, then use the credit to offset the coal burned at Drax. Or if coal is too dirty, import LNG

Lee L
Reply to  Don K
September 29, 2018 10:46 am

“But carting the wood 5000km to be burned is really weird. ”

Yes … because think what you are carting. Green wood chips are made of water and dry wood fibre. The unburnable water in those chips may easily weigh 1.5 times the burnable wood fibre. At some point you have to evaporate that water and it takes a lot of ENERGY.
If you do it before going 5000 km then you save transportation fuel but have to find evaporating fuel (wind turbines?). If you do it on delivery …. you get the picture, I am sure.

Reply to  Lee L
September 29, 2018 11:17 am

Wood pellets are ready to burn efficiently with a moisture content below 10% already. There is no transporting of ‘unburnable water in those chips’. This is why pellets are a good form of biomass to ship long distance by barge or ship.

R Shearer
Reply to  Earthling2
September 29, 2018 1:54 pm

Also, with higher bulk density, shipping volume requirements are lower for a give mass/energy.

Robert Westfall
Reply to  Earthling2
September 29, 2018 5:37 pm

Carbohydrates, what part of hydrate don’t you understand? The moisture content could be zero, and you still have to remove the water from the carbohydrates in the wood fibers. As the carbon burns the water reforms as the carbon chain is consumed. This reduces the fuel value as the water must be driven off. Coal is a much better fuel because there is no hydrates bound to the carbon to drive off.

Richard Bell
Reply to  Earthling2
October 1, 2018 11:51 am

Historians once thought that Roman Italy was largely deforested due to the extreme measures taken to ensure a steady supply of firewood by requiring all merchant vessels unloading cargo at Ostia to pay a portion of their fees in firewood (one could imagine the threat of chopping it out of the vessel’s hull, as a means of ensuring compliance). However, this was a reflection that Rome could compel out of mariners what it could not coerce from fellow romans.

Rome did not need firewood, because there was a general shortage of fuel, but because a hypocaust needs the evolved gases from a wood fire to spread the heat from the fire to the flooring warmed by that fire, so charcoal was useless as a fuel to heat the Roman public baths. Every other heating need could be supplied by radiant heat from charcoal, so there was a thriving charcoal burning industry and no charcoal burner was going to waste space on his cart on firewood, if he had any charcoal to sell, as charcoal commanded a higher price, by weight.

It would be much better to turn wood into charcoal, and then ship the charcoal. Unless the energy conversion process used by the generating station actually needs the boiled off volatiles, there is no point shipping more than the carbon.

Reply to  Lee L
October 1, 2018 6:07 am

Don’t transport the hydrated wood chips that far. Crack them nearer the point of production and use (converging the two) by generating producer gas. FEMA (ironic, no?) published plans for a modest sized (capable of running a ~60 HP ICE, iirc) PGG a few decades ago. To be sure, producer gas contains some toxic components (e.g CO) but this negative could be largely overcome with careful planning. As with any such technology, there are some other disadvantages. The residue after gas generation contains a lot of tar and creosote, and is no doubt a potential carcinogen, so disposal could be an issue. OTOH, given a large enough served community, this could be feedstock for production of plastics, etc (similar to petro feedstocks.) The biggest disadvantage for my use is that, while I have a more than sufficient supply of trees, producing chips solely to consume in the generation of gas (compred to as a by-product of another profitable activity such as lumbering) isn’t a particularly cost effective exercise. Nevertheless, for some familes and small-to-medium sized communities, particularly striving for a high degree of independence, this technology could provide part of the answer. YMMV 🙂

Reply to  Don K
September 29, 2018 11:11 am

British Columbia exports pellets made from wood waste to Asia for electrification plants (both sawmill waste that has no higher and better use and slash burn piles that would otherwise be burnt in the bush) Nobody is crying about that, not even the waco greens there. Sending a barge or ship with 25-30 thousand tons of pellets isn’t particularly expensive or energy intensive anyway. It is like shipping grain. Drax is a poor example because it basically sits atop a coal mine, where as you say they should burn the coal there and burn the pellets in the Carolina’s. That is just least they should mix it 50-50 coal and pellet. The massive subsidy is what makes everyone’s blood boil with Drax. But that has more to do with the much higher cost of electricity in the British Isles because of renewables like windmills (both offshore and land based) and solar. Australia should have imported pellets and mixed it with coal and kept all their coal fired assets producing, because they would have a been a lot further ahead than destroying those coal fired assets and mandating renewables.

Reply to  Don K
September 29, 2018 11:07 pm

” … issue some sort of credit for being green, … ‘ – Don K

Come on Don, that’s the trap. You’re playing into their economic-meddling and vandalism game when you propose to give them that much. If they feel good about being all nice and heroic, let them bake a cake, or put a notice in the local news paper, proclaiming how they’ve saved the world. And everyone can laugh at it to relieve their pent-up social stress with a good belly-laugh. Credit? For what? … have a piece of cake. 😉

Reply to  harrowsceptic
September 29, 2018 10:14 am

At the Labour Party conference this week Jeremy Corbyn said that if they won the next election they would resurrect the Swansea tidal lagoon project, double the number of windmills, nationalise all the power companies and create 400,000 green jobs. Ouch!!

Andrew Dickens
Reply to  harrowsceptic
September 29, 2018 2:16 pm

An army of Rent-a-Mobs will ensure that the UK will never develop its shale resources. And virtually all British politicians are clueless on the subject of global warming, so there is no chance of any change of policy on Drax, windmills etc. I wish it wasn’t true.

September 29, 2018 2:55 am

One wonders how the virtue-signalling green lobby will respond to all this?….

Surely there’s another scare ready to be pulled off the shelf?

Gary Ashe
Reply to  Jones
September 29, 2018 3:38 am


Haven’t you heard Jonsey, feck sake, plastic is everywhere, clocgging up the oceans, in the food chain, in our brains, its every where.

Micro plastics you see, or you cant see i mean
Micro plastics the new black.
The new invisible bogey man……….

Reply to  Gary Ashe
September 29, 2018 3:50 am

George Carlin clarifies that one.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Gary Ashe
September 29, 2018 3:58 am

Pollution and air quality.

Even though the air has never been so clean, if the limits are set low enough then somehow there is pollution. We also have reports claiming premature deaths and deaths caused by poor air quality that would not stand up to real scrutiny but of course there is no money for that as to prove them wrong would remove the justification for government to interfere and make our lives worse.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Gerry, England
September 29, 2018 4:39 am


There are two new scares on the horizon, with territories and major arguments already delineated: water and air quality. Both have the potential to support calls for an unelected body too ‘rule everyone’ on the basis of their ‘expertise’ and historical efforts to save the planet.

To get a permanent seat one needs an organisation with a radical, ‘my way at all cost’, approach to saving or cleaning something.

The key mechanism for declaring the ‘impact’ of these two things is the ‘no lower limit’ concept and the IHME analysis of health statistics. I have mentioned the IHME before. It is run out of Redmond. It declares ‘how many people died from…’. This will be applied to ‘air pollution’ and ‘water’.

The result will of course be cleaner air and water but that wasn’t the main goal. Anyone can do that. Do yourself and everyone a favour: download and read in their entirety, the Copenhagen Agreement and the Paris Accord as proposed and the final version. That, my friend, is what this is all about.

It is not international governance and a World Court I object to – we already have many institutional arrangements to govern everything from frequency allocation to the salvage laws and rights to a country etc. It is the essentially undemocratic institutional arrangements proposed in these ‘climate’ agreements that are always slipped into these grand-sounding schemes of international control. It is basically the rule of experts who are a class above because, according to them, they ‘know so much’. It is the old, ‘trust we, we are scientists’ appeal.

I prefer to elect my ‘scientists’ thank you very much.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
September 29, 2018 10:55 am

We use to define ‘expert’ as ‘ex’ is a has-been and ‘spert’ is what a dog does to a tree. Or, just someone from out of town.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Gary Ashe
September 29, 2018 9:40 am

The movie The Graduate was weirdly prescient; a man urging the protagonist to get into plastics. Fear mongering pays great dividends!

Reply to  Jones
September 29, 2018 8:36 am

they’ll dream up something, even if it means transitioning to the next cause – whatever it takes to maintain their lavish entitled lifestyles that they as the elite so richly deserve.

Sad thing is even if this is stamped into the dust just as with the advocates of eugenics they’ll get to have their cake, eat it and walk away wide eyes saying ‘wasn’t me’ while we will all have to live with the consequences and just accept our money is gone.

Flight Level
September 29, 2018 3:03 am

In France, from 1340 to 1790 salt (yes, common kitchen salt, NaCl) was declared monopoly of the King.
It’s extraction, trade and possession was subject to the “Gabelle”, a heavy tax with corresponding administrative and enforcement bodies.
Salt was essential for food conservation and became an easy income for the King and co. The “Gabelle” procured up to 10% of royal treasury.
Energy policies are in fact nothing new under the sun. A necessity for all and a source of parasitic income for few.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Flight Level
September 29, 2018 5:04 am

Quite so, food and energy are necessities of life and governments should have this pointed out to them.

Scouser in AZ
Reply to  Flight Level
September 29, 2018 8:37 am

Salt was also a big deal in the El Paso area of Texas, leading to a war over ownership –

Flight Level
Reply to  Scouser in AZ
September 29, 2018 8:50 am

I’m afraid WW3 would be triggered by energy despotism and corresponding dictatorship(s).

September 29, 2018 3:04 am

It appears that corrupt media is strenuously working to ignore this.

Reply to  hunter
September 29, 2018 8:50 am

Ignore? hide is the word you’re seeking. They are complicit to the core – but unlike the situation with some countries where they were deemed partly responsible for the economic disasters brought about by their advocacy of inflated house prices (for which they gained a substantial advertising revenue) they’ll probably get away with this.

Thing is we’re hard wired to think what we see today is how things always were – few of today’s folk comprehend the ‘media’ has been with us tampering, manipulating and profiting with skewed stories, rhetoric and hysteria since at least the Roman times. It was only relatively recently that they donned the facade of ‘impartiality’ .. and that was under duress brought on by a more educated population who had seen the benefits of science and engineering and who envisaged a more rational world ahead and who wanted the facts.

Now numpties armed with factoids fist-pump, shouting ‘science’ while forwarding utter tripe on spyware-laden smartphones and congratulating themselves on how clever they are today than their predecessors who they blame for ruining the world. Of course without an education in rational critical thinking, rhetoric and basic science they’re ripe for media manipulation.. Just the way the media wanted.

Thomas Homer
September 29, 2018 3:05 am

Carbon based life forms everywhere bask in the expansion of the Carbon Cycle of Life due to the unintended consequence of adding global atmospheric CO2 through burning fossil fuels.

Carbon Dioxide feeds life.

We can continue to pursue the noble cause of maximizing efficiency, but now is the time to leverage our current distribution infrastructure and consume fossil fuels. Once that infrastructure is dismantled it may never be replicated.

Ron Long
September 29, 2018 3:16 am

Our Brothers and Sisters, the birds and the bats, will be thinking that they might become a little safer with fewer operating bird choppers and cookers. What about nuclear?

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Ron Long
September 29, 2018 5:01 am

Nuclear, hydro and fossil fuels will last for ever, or until fusion is productive, whichever comes first :^). End the energy shortage paranoia and rebuild the nuclear industry.

September 29, 2018 3:18 am

News has yet to reach Australia, where State and Federal govts still gleefully hatch plans to throw us over “renewable” cliff. Never mind, we are usually at least 10 years behind, even in the Ineternet age.

Brian Johnston
September 29, 2018 3:32 am

Wind farms being built all over the place in Australia by the demented green loonies.
The sad part is that wind turbines do not produce 50/60Hz energy the very energy the grid and everything connected to it was designed for. Wind turbines are Asynchronous and the grid is Synchronous. A generator, hydro and coal powered has to spin at the same set speed day and night. As electricity demand changes so does the pressure of water and steam. Wind turbines flap about all over the place out of control producing only harmonics. Basic electrical theory. Wind turbines are a massive scam and court proceedings should commence.

Reply to  Brian Johnston
September 29, 2018 4:50 am

The sad part is that wind turbines do not produce 50/60Hz energy …

Inverters are pretty cheap. You can extract every watt from whatever generator you have and deliver it to the grid in perfect sync. As an engineering problem it’s as close to trivial as it gets.

The problem is that the power delivered by wind and solar varies wildly. That means there won’t be power when it’s needed and there will be a huge surplus at other times. That means lots of brown outs and black outs. Just watch what happens to the economy when that happens.

To be viable, wind and solar require storage. Every serious analysis I’ve seen shows that we don’t have the technology for the storage we require at an economically viable price. It’s close to insurmountable.

Brian Johnston
Reply to  commieBob
September 29, 2018 5:05 am

Inverters is not the answer. A generator has to spin at a set speed and to within 0.1% of that speed as required by law. A wind turbine only produces harmonics which really are illegal and while they may help to boil a kettle – resistive load – in all other respects they are detrimental. I expect the day will come when they are all shut down. In the meantime court action should commence.
It is not possible to store AC power. AC is consumed as it is generated. AC is not tipped into a battery like water into a tank. You have to rethink you storage thoughts. Being a commie you might worship wind turbines. It has to stop, false religion.

Reply to  Brian Johnston
September 29, 2018 5:12 am

Photovoltaic panels produce DC. How do they feed the grid?

Brian Johnston
Reply to  commieBob
September 29, 2018 5:45 am

You are a bit wrong and you are not comparing apples with apples. Feed the grid?
PV use an inverter although I am aware of PV panels being connected – no inverter – direct to a second element in a water heater.
PV solar panels will heat the water in your water heater – and ideally should be connected to a second element – but as for your panels heating your neighbours water, forget it. Solar does not have the capacity/grunt/oomph to feed into the grid. It would be like using a low pressure hose and attempting to top up a water main. And! just as you get the panels paid for they need replacing, damn it. They are pretty much useless for the home owner who is away all day. I am aware of a business who has forty on their rooftop and doing ok. I do not know what their pay back period is verses life of panel.

Reply to  commieBob
September 29, 2018 7:06 am

Brian Johnston September 29, 2018 at 5:45 am

… PV use an inverter …

Right. Given a wind turbine that produces AC, how hard is it to get DC to feed an inverter?

Reply to  commieBob
September 29, 2018 8:15 am


All you need is a rectifier, one condensator that can hold all the power to be transferred for 1 AC cycle and a DC-AC converter at the right frequency, see the link in my next response.

Reply to  Brian Johnston
September 29, 2018 8:11 am


That is really not a problem at all: you can convert AC of any frequency to DC and back to AC with 50/60 Hz on the spot with a few condensators and convertors. Or in the case of photovoltaic from DC to AC with the right frequency. No problem at all.
Long distance high voltage lines (Victoria to South Australia) work with DC, where the supply side is converted from AC to DC and the load side back from DC to AC. They do that to separate networks and reduce transport losses, which are higher for AC than for DC (especially for under sea cables).

The opposite conversion is used more an more to regulate the variable speed of pumps and compressors by a netfrequency AC – DC – variable AC converter, so that the pump or compressor runs on the best rpm for its load. Even have the first home equipment appliance that I know here at home in a new freezer…

Only at the start after a blackout (and probably during normal running networks too) you need at least a base supply at the right frequency to get all the converters up and running.

Don K
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
September 29, 2018 9:42 am


You’re correct of course. The one concern with devices that aren’t synchronous motors or generators, is that if there are too many of them on the grid there may not be enough of the former to keep the grid frequency stable. Presumably if that becomes an issue, an external synchronizing signal for the inverters might be needed. I think that can probably be handled without much difficulty..

Reply to  Don K
September 29, 2018 10:05 am

San Diego Gas and Electric is spending billions of dollars to try to integrate the desert power sources (solar and wind) into their grid.

This article from 2014 (now 4 years ago) mentions the extent of the severe problems you mention. Problems CAUSED by the CA regulators and their mandated renewable energy goals in search of “limiting CAGW”.

Substation Upgrades Bring Renewables Home
SDG&E upgrades transmission substations and switchyards to meet California Renewables Portfolio Standard.

Yakov Shlemenzon and Karl Iliev, San Diego Gas & Electric Co. | May 01, 2014

To meet the state-mandated California Renewables Portfolio Standard, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) constructed, energized and put into service a Sunrise Powerlink project connecting San Diego, California, U.S., to the renewables-rich Imperial County, California. The standard requires investor-owned utilities in California to increase procurement of renewable energy resources (RERs) to 33% by 2020.

The Sunrise Powerlink project includes approximately 117 miles (188 km) of 500-kV and 230-kV overhead and underground transmission lines with several large 230/500-kV substations. SDG&E also is in the process of upgrading its transmission network to accommodate more than 1,000 MW of wind and solar generation.
San Diego Gas & Electric Co., substation upgrades
Location, Location, Location

Most of the RERs are located in isolated desert areas, away from load centers but relatively close to 500-kV and 230-kV transmission line corridors. The remote locations of RERs, extensive time required for permitting and environmental restrictions required SDG&E and RER developers to build high-voltage switching switchyards at remote locations to interconnect the new, clean generation directly into the existing 500-kV and 230-kV transmission line infrastructure.

The switchyards’ bus configuration, equipment specification and method of interception of these switchyards into the transmission grid have been carefully designed and selected to ensure a high level of transmission system reliability and operability while cost-effectively incorporating the large amounts of renewable power generation on the grid.
San Diego Gas & Electric Co., substation upgrades
A 500-kV SSVT supplies auxiliary power for the wind farm interconnection switchyard
Ocotillo Wind

To accommodate the 265-MW Ocotillo Wind project, SDG&E looped the 500-kV transmission line into the 500-kV switchyard using a ring bus configuration with a fully redundant ac-dc auxiliary power system. The site location and ultimate arrangement of the switchyard were selected to allow future switchyard expansion to a substation with a breaker-and-a-half configuration arrangement.

One of the challenges for SDG&E’s substation engineering team was to provide a 500-kV station service voltage transformer (SSVT) for the Ocotillo switchyard to supply auxiliary power. Based on market analysis and discussions with different manufacturers, the substation engineering team came to the conclusion to adapt a 500-kV SF6 gas-insulated instrument transformer to the specific switchyard requirements. Specified with a 333-kVA nameplate rating, the single-phase SSVT has been manufactured and passed all selected IEEE/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) factory acceptance tests required for gas-insulated substation equipment.

As a result of the high-reliability requirements of the switchyard, two SSVTs have been installed at different buses. Each SSVT is operated and protected by the combination of single poles of the 500-kV disconnect switch and 500-kV dead tank circuit breaker. One spare SSVT is kept on site in case of an emergency.
San Diego Gas & Electric Co., substation upgrades
The 230-kV collector switchyard was built in Imperial County to interconnect multiple solar PV farms into SDG
Solar Approach

The sun shines pretty much year-round in Southern California’s Imperial Valley, which makes it an ideal place for large-scale solar energy power projects, the energy from which will ultimately need to be delivered to San Diego through the Sunrise Powerlink transmission lines. For multiple large solar projects, with total projected capacity of more than 500 MW, a 230-kV collector switchyard was built and interconnected with a short transmission line into a large 500-kV transmission substation.

With the expectation that integrating RERs into an existing 500-kV series-compensated line might change the segment lengths and corresponding level of compensation,
500-kV series capacitor banks for new 500-kV substations were designed for selectable ratings. The series capacitors were equipped with easily replaceable jumpers to change the compensation level and corresponding protective level of metal-oxide varistors (MOV). In addition to the series capacitors’ standard bypass breaker design, maintenance breakers with corresponding disconnects were installed to fully isolate the series capacitors during system faults and outages.
Penetration Levels and Integration

As penetration levels of the RERs in SDG&E’s power system increases, the dynamic characteristics of the system are changing. One issue of particular concern was the resulting reduction in system inertia and increased harmonics content. All integrated wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants are power electronics-based and do not inherently contribute to the inertial response of the system, reducing the ability of the grid to reliably withstand large changes of load or losses of generation. This situation was exacerbated by the demolition 689-MW South Bay Power Plant as well as an unexpected shutdown of the 2,150-MW San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station in Southern California.

The difference in the dynamic response of the system to the same type of large shunt capacitor switching event recorded in 2006 and 2014 was apparent. It was clear that, from recordings of the event in 2014, current was distorted by harmonic components and was reacting with much harsher oscillations than the same system event in 2006.
Behavior with FACTS Devices

Another important consideration with integration of renewables into series-compensated transmission networks is the electrical behavior of wind and solar generation with additional flexible ac transmission systems (FACTS) devices required for providing power flow and voltage control of the entire power grid. Engineering, grid operation and maintenance personnel are not as familiar with these low-inertia, intermittent dc-ac power electronics-/inverter-based energy sources.

These sources can create switching overvoltages and transients on a much larger scale than for which the substation equipment was planned. This extreme electrical stress is dangerous especially to 230/500-kV apparatus traditionally designed with reduced electrical insulation protective margins. All these challenges need special attention during the design and selection of substation apparatus and components, and require advanced system studies to review equipment specifications as related to reliability, insulation coordination, transient and harmonic withstands.

Industry experience shows that when the large utility-scale solar PV arrays integrate into the transmission grid, the elevated levels of voltage distortion usually observed — even the emission level of an individual PV inverter — satisfy the power-quality (PQ) standards. Harmonics also can be an issue for the transmission and collection substations because of numerous switching capacitors at collector substations, shunt reactors at transmission substations and the existence of background harmonic distortions on the transmission network.

Constantly changing system frequency response characteristics may create resonance as more capacitors, reactors and underground cables are installed. This subsequent dangerous equipment stress could have a more significant impact than the injection of harmonics from the renewable generation themselves. Short-circuit interruption is often thought of as the most severe duty for circuit breakers. However, many interrupter technologies use the energy in the arc to generate the pressure necessary to interrupt high magnitude currents.

In contrast, capacitive and small inductive currents are quite low in magnitude compared to short-circuit currents. These small currents do not stress the thermal capabilities of the interrupter but may challenge the dielectric capabilities. The circuit breaker and its components may not be capable of withstanding the high magnitude of transient recovery voltage (TRV) across the breaker contacts. This can result in re-ignition and re-strikes with the possible consequences of breaker and connected high-voltage equipment damage.

Electrical failures of circuit breakers associated with capacitor and reactor switching, even with modern gas-insulated substation design and zero-crossing control, are perhaps the most common electrical failures at SDG&E substations.

The series compensation connected with the inductance of a transmission line can form a series resonant circuit with the natural frequency in the sub-synchronous resonance (SSR) range with the possible interaction of a natural frequency with the shaft mechanical system of nearby induction generators. Sub-synchronous control interaction (SSCI) also can be induced between a wind-generation power plant and series-compensated lines. Bigger swing currents, less mechanical inertia and low damping oscillations may drastically increase the energy dissipation requirements to substation equipment surge arresters and the maximum TRV magnitude for transmission line breakers.
Understanding the New Environment

To address these unique system conditions, SDG&E engineering initiated an integrated approach to better understand the new electrical environment and develop solutions to prevent substation equipment overstress conditions. This approach includes modeling detailed substation topologies and equipment configurations, monitoring voltage and existing harmonic distortion at the major 230/500-kV interconnection points, extending condition-based maintenance deployment to collector switchyards, and incorporating harmonic and transient alleviation technologies to reduce the possibility of substation equipment degradation and failures.

SDG&E has traditionally monitored distribution system PQ by establishing PQ nodes at select distribution substations. In late 2000, SDG&E deployed a PQ data management system that provides a web-based interface to a large database, which stores collected records. PQ data collection from transmission substations at that time was not in issue and was not installed.

As a result of the RER integration onto the transmission system, the existing distribution PQ data management system has been expanded to accommodate the new stream of the transmission system’s PQ data. The data has been collected by substation meters with PQ measuring ability, strategically located at major RER interconnections. The data shows the level of total harmonic distortions recorded at SDG&E 230/500-kV substation buses during the last few years. This data has been analyzed and used as a benchmark in the comprehensive electromagnetic transient (EMT) studies and forwarded to developers for equipment selection and specification.
Electromagnetic Transient Analysis

The SDG&E transmission network EMT model has been upgraded with detailed simulations of PV inverters, wind turbine generators and collector substation configurations based on the information provided by manufacturers and developers. The frequency scan, L-C interaction and resonance overvoltage screening simulations have been included in the insulation coordination studies, in addition to the traditional lightning and switching analyses.

Additionally, an examination was completed on individual harmonic impacts on the surge arrester’s energy dissipation, 500-kV series capacitor bank’s MOV duty ratings, 500-kV shunt reactor’s circuit breaker TRV and transformer saturations. Corresponding power flow studies were conducted, and the conclusion was that additional volt-ampere reactive and voltage-control devices — with specific inertia and transient response parameters — are required to provide voltage control and stability of the SDG&E power grid.

PSCAD software simulation results, which show TRV requirements for circuit breakers switching 500-kV shunt reactors, have been sent to the breaker manufacturer to verify breaker performance.
Looking to the Future

Current knowledge is still insufficient to ascertain the extent to which any new renewable generation will affect voltage and current power quality, or how the existing transmission grid can sustain a particular level of harmonics and continue to perform its function reliably. However, a significant experience has already been accumulated and is available to analyze current and predict future transmission system evolution and improvements.

Dr. Yakov Shlemenzon ( is a principal engineer of the substation apparatus and standards group at San Diego Gas & Electric Co., focusing on innovative technologies application in electrical substations. He has more than 30 years of electric power engineering experience in transmission and distribution system design and analysis. He is a senior member of the IEEE, a member of CIGRÉ and a registered professional engineer.

Karl Iliev ( has worked at San Diego Gas & Electric for more than 13 years in both transmission and distribution in roles ranging from planning to engineering to operations. He is currently the manager of substation engineering and design, where he coordinates with operational departments to improve short- and long-term system performance through substation design. Iliev has a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering, with a concentration in power systems and a minor in physics, from California State University of Sacramento. He is a registered professional engineer.
Company mentioned:

San Diego Gas & Electric |

Dave Fair
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
September 29, 2018 9:51 am

Its called the Black Start Capability of an electric power generator. I am unaware of the real world capability of wind and solar generators.

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
September 29, 2018 6:34 pm

East County Magazine, CA has many articles on what has taken place in Ocotillo, CA. Residents of Ocotillo and the surrounding area have been through quite an ordeal with wind turbine issues.

Reply to  commieBob
September 29, 2018 5:52 am

As I understand the oroblem, synching the inverters to the 50hz base-load is not always that easy. And if they get out of synch by 1/4 of a wavelength, the grid falls over. Perhaps someone could explain the specifics.


Reply to  ralfellis
September 29, 2018 7:28 am

Inverters feeding the grid are bog standard. Every HVDC transmission system has a megawatt inverter feeding the grid. I’m unaware of problems with that.

Having said the above, some folks are experiencing mysterious problems with some domestic inverters. link

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  commieBob
September 29, 2018 7:44 am

That would be due to quality of the design, components and construction.

kent beuchert
Reply to  commieBob
September 29, 2018 7:46 am

Ah, the false assumption that storage magically transforms an unreliable power generator into a reliable power generator. Ain’t so. Storage capacities are almost trivially small (minutes or a few hours of grid level power) even though they cost a lot. At best such limited storage allows for power generated during a part of the day when demand is low to be made available for a part of the same day when demand is high. But power generation from wind or solar can be disrupted for hour, days, even months, far beyond the length of time which storage can supply power. And its not a matter of how often such disruptions might occur because the grid cannot be allowed to go black and expensive backup capacity is always required.

old white guy
Reply to  Brian Johnston
September 29, 2018 6:43 am

I get a chuckle out of those wind farms. the turbines and the totality of the wind farms requires fossil fuel to become a reality.

Gary Mount
September 29, 2018 3:48 am

It’s Lawrence Solomon, not Larry.
Any way, he is the writer that lead me to research climate science and hence discover the skeptic world such as WUWT almost 9 years ago.

Reply to  Gary Mount
September 29, 2018 4:59 am

He’s a pretty amazing guy. link He’s an environmentalist but he finds the crap and exposes it. Here’s an example:

In 2017 he wrote in the Financial Post that cycle lanes have become a major contributor to urban air pollution.

Say What! It’s probably true but I would never have suspected it.

The world needs way more people like him.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  commieBob
September 29, 2018 7:00 am

Take a normal carriageway of four lanes (say), two in either direction. The traffic tends to flow well as the road can handle it. Put in a cycle lane and you halve the capacity of the road for other traffic. The traffic then backs up with congestion and the ICEs run inefficiently producing more air pollution.
The double whammy is when the cyclists then complain that they are being injured by the extra pollution so the greenies close the road to traffic altogether.

Reply to  Harry Passfield
September 29, 2018 7:42 am

If thousands and thousands of car drivers switched to riding bicycles then bicycle lanes would be an unmitigated good.

The small city where I live is riddled with bicycle lanes. Cars still outnumber bicycles more than a hundred to one. In other words, bicycle lanes do not reduce the number of cars on the road. As you say, all the bicycle lanes do is remove traffic lanes for cars and thereby make things worse.

In the nearest metropolis to me, people are being priced out of housing. They are moving to cities up to fifty miles away. Bicycles are not an option for them. Public transportation is inadequate. They have to commute by car.

The privileged downtown folks who can afford to live there promote bicycle lanes. Thus we have the war on cars. Bicycle lanes are one weapon in that war.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  commieBob
September 29, 2018 7:46 am

It sounds like you live in Ottawa, but you don’t mention the winter, when no bicycles and the bike lanes are snow-ploughed.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  commieBob
September 29, 2018 8:36 am

$12 million per mile for a bike lane? That should trigger a civic heart attack

The news that voter-approved bike lanes in downtown Seattle are costing more than 10 times the estimates is said to have nearly sent our new mayor to the ER.

Read more @

Reply to  Gary Mount
October 1, 2018 1:44 pm

Same for me. It’s his “Global Warming – The Deniers” series in the National Post, starting in 2007, that woke me up. Before that, I was part of the gullible mass who blindly believed the propaganda from the IPCC and leftist media. It took me just a couple of months of personal research to understand we were (and still are) being played.

September 29, 2018 3:50 am

The international elitist left is gonna have to find something new to make slaves of us all. Keep your eye on what’s being taught in elementary schools to get a clue as it what it will be.

Alan Tomalty
September 29, 2018 4:01 am

Yes how are we ever going to get this out of the textbooks?

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
September 29, 2018 10:52 am

Alan, when I joined IBM (a long time ago) we were shown educational films. The best, and funniest (he’s not now) was John Cleese (pre-Monty Python) doing sales pitches: ‘Who Sold You This?’. Absolutely hilarious – and very informative.
So, how to get this out of textbooks? Get the George Carlin video about how CO2 is a good thing into the curriculum.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
September 29, 2018 1:30 pm

This is a very important question to be asking, Alan. What will it take to force an editing of textbooks or online information. Students are still accessing information that is blatantly false?

September 29, 2018 4:21 am

20 years ago in Gringolandia I was tasked to secure a large windfarm site. The particulars of landholders in the country made it hard to find vast terrain where did not have to negotiate rights with countless families.

A Senator showed me his extensive holdings
& told me he could get the rest of adjoining land needed in his name. He was in
a position to privatize even more government
land than he already had & assured me by explaining how he’d already done it.

Project never got formalized in the country though. At the time I had accepted the concept of windfarms being a step of progress. Having seen years of windfarms
in operation since then I am glad not being
involved in establishing one.

Robert of Ottawa
September 29, 2018 4:55 am

Well we can hope.

The new Ontario provincial government is scrapping the green energy act and “carbon pricing” and other provinces are telling the Feds they will not obey and ntroduce carbon taxes and th eimportance pof fossil fuels to the Canadian economy is becoming blindingly apparent now that the Federal government has shut down ALL pipeline construction and made investment in Canada a losing proposition.

The next Federal election, the incumbent government will have to run on a platform of increased taxes AKA Carbon pricing … er … pollution tax.

Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
September 29, 2018 8:26 am

Bob- we are the second coldest country on Earth. We are also the second largest and have a relatively small population, so travel and transport are significant economic factors.
A country like this declaring war on the imaginary “carbon” problem is about as stupid as it gets.

Bruce Cobb
September 29, 2018 5:16 am

Trump shouting Hoax! is the shout heard ’round the world.

michael hart
September 29, 2018 6:28 am

I am liking any politician who actually repeals a foolish law.
Too often the greater evil is piling more and more legislation on top of what went before. I think it’s on eof the fundamental problems the Western Democracies need to address. More laws is inherently bad, not good. Unless you are a lawyer.

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”-William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2.

No offence intended. My youngest niece is just a new law graduate.

Reply to  michael hart
September 29, 2018 8:48 am

IIRC those words were spoken by an outlaw anarchist “Jack the Butcher” and were meant to sow chaos, not exact revenge against a corrupt legal system.

Reply to  michael hart
September 29, 2018 12:49 pm

Some laws are patently inane as every 12 years old child can see – or would see if they went to school less and tried to think for themselves.

Some ideas are crazy on their face. Like the idea you can replace reliable energy production with unreliable energy production (because some time in the future some hyper-large scale energy storage scheme might be invented, might be workable, might be financed).

These laws should be insta-nullified. Voided without time limit. Deprived of any effect at any point in time.

We should call out the people who take these laws seriously and respect them. We should call them buffoons and people probably escaped from a mental asylum.

kent beuchert
September 29, 2018 7:51 am

Japan is returning their nuclear reactors to duty after a lengthy review of safety measures to ensure that they don’t get another Fukushima (hardly likely another Tsunami will hit capable of affecting any of the reactors) . I believe they have reconnected several reactors to the grid and have about 40 or so
still to be connected. They will provide a sizable portion of [Japan’s] power requirements. They have been importing fossil fuels since the shutdown of the reactors and the cost has been high.

Don K
Reply to  kent beuchert
September 29, 2018 10:00 am

The issue isn’t an exact repetition of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It’s that no one had reviewed to design of the the Fukushima plant against advances in geology in the 60 years since it was designed. It turns out that by 1970 or so geologists had a pretty good idea that the Tohuku region could experience an earthquake far stronger than the magnitude 8, Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 that was used as a design baseline for the Fukushima daiichi complex. And that’s exactly what happened in 2011.

The question then is, what, if anything, else do we know now that we didn’t know in the 1960s that might affect nuclear power plants?

Steven Fraser
Reply to  Don K
September 29, 2018 12:09 pm

When Feynman got to Los Alamos, one of his first jobs was to review safety provisions for the facility. In a meeting over a schematic, he pointed to a door on it and asked the others present ‘What would happen of this door failed to operate?’ Though he had picked it randomly, the analysis by other staff determined that, if it failed, that failure would be catastrophic to the operation.

Pre-OPEC, Royal Dutch Shell management met to discuss what would happen if their fundamental assumptions about the dynamics of the oil market were no longer true due to geopolitical change. To address this, one of their first steps was to identify and discuss those (mostly undocumented) assumptions on which the business relied.

The outcome of the analysis helped them prepare for the situations that evolved as a result of the financial changes of the early ’70s.

How to prepare safer facilities? Well, certainly not continuing to put backup generators in the lower stories of buildings without passive drainage, or computer systems where flooding could occur (chicago loop flood) or fly ash storage where predictable flood surge can get to it…

Dragon of Onekotan
September 29, 2018 8:00 am

“the razing of a 12,000-year-old forest”. Minor point but this phrase annoyed me. 100% of all forests in the northern half of North America, Europe and Asia are around 12,000 years old. Coastal North American rain forests are 100,000 of thousands if not millions of years old and their ages are more impacted by events like tectonic movements.

Curious George
Reply to  Dragon of Onekotan
September 29, 2018 8:53 am

Link to your sources, please.

Reply to  Curious George
October 1, 2018 6:13 am

If you are interested enough, go find your own sources. What Onekotan is saying is obvious. Since the ice retreated, there have been forests.

September 29, 2018 8:21 am

“The most timid, least principled players in society — the corporate sector — may be next in showing some spine on the climate change file.”

You can say that again-

‘Why Australia should Clexit Paris Treaty
It is clear that the push to meet the Paris carbon dioxide emission targets is leading to higher power costs, and hence prices, and unreliable supply.
It is also a fact that the predictions of the warmists have not happened.
The IPCC scientific reports are stated in possibilities, yet the guidance for policy makers is written as certainty. A farce.
I hope the new leadership of the Australian Government has the courage to guide our country in a rational manner on this subject. as Angus Taylor seems keen to do, and abandons the Paris Treaty.
Jerry Ellis AO’

Holly Birtwistle
September 29, 2018 8:28 am

Thank you Larry Solomon, for a beautifully written summary of ernergy politics in the real world. Please comment more often, accuracy and common sense are sorely lacking in today’s media; the National Post is one of the few remaining media that will publish your views, as they are in opposition to the Globalism Agenda of achieving power by any means, including routine deception, in order to control the ‘masses’, whom elitist Globalists ( Emvironmentalists/Marxist’s)
think are too stupid to manage their own affairs, or the Planets well-being.

September 29, 2018 8:45 am

You “can do” many things with DC power sources (PV cells) or “inverted and converted” AC power sources.

You just [need] time, money, resources, and the willingness to lose your generated power with every conversion step. Far, far better to NOT LOSE the 2-3% conversion losses by generating the power at the frequency you want going to the grid in the first place with reliable power. But that is NOT what the climastrologists and their well-paid academia and political sources want.

Regardless. The following is directly copied from
It is focused on smaller (home and small site) invertors for the UK market, but is one of the few sources that provide info on both the advantages and disadvantages and restrictions for inverters. What was said above about invertors and energy conversion and frequency-matching is generally true, but EVERY claim also requires the “engineering caveat”: What is true in one example is most certainly unprofitable or impossible under other circumstances. For example, True – DC-AC conversion works for the massive, long-range DC-DC grid transfer systems, but those are also rare and are VERY EXPENSIVE. Under “SOME” circumstances (long-distance point-to-point links carrying modest power loads, and grid isolation links to prevent country-wide power outages) they lose “less power” than conventional very-high-volt AC links. But that comes at a price: You cannot make “mid-link” taps or ties without additional VERY EXPENSIVE inverters, you need a greater mass of copper, right-of-way and towers, etc. Shorter connections, higher power connections? There are reasons that DC-DC is not used routinely as Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse and Siemens discovered 125 years ago.

My own inverters and batteries are “Off-Grid” only as a backup if the neighborhood grid is down for more than a few minutes. Under those circumstances, they provide quiet, reliable power for limited circuits in the house with the main house breaker isolated from the back-feeding the grid if linemen are repiaring wires or poles. The generator is available for recharging the batteries, and for higher loads (refrigerator-freezer) as needed.

Large wind generators use a complex (and thus expensive system with noticeable energy conversion losses) variable-speed AC synchronous generator in the nacelle, variable AC->DC convertors at the local switchyard for the wind farm which then feed to switchyard DC-to-grid AC invertors (which can be automatically synched to the grid frequency) to go to the switchyard transformers to get boosted to the 350,000 volt to 480,000 volt grid AC. All of these systems cost resources, money, energy, time and maintenance.

Inverter Information

What Does an Inverter Do?

Inverters convert DC (typically low voltage) DC into AC (at 230V 50Hz) as required for conventional appliances.There are generally two types of inverter available: off grid and grid connect.
Grid Connect Inverters

Grid connect inverters are supply driven – they provide all the power supplied from a DC source to the grid or mains. Grid connect inverters are usually optimised for one specific type of generator, e.g. PV and generally operate at a higher DC voltage than off grid inverters.

Grid connect inverters should NOT be connected to batteries and off grid inverters should NOT be connected directly to PV, wind turbines or the grid.
Off Grid Inverters

Off grid, or battery supplied, inverters are demand driven – they provide any power or current up to the rating of the inverter and assuming that there is enough energy in the battery.

Smaller systems with few appliances may have only DC power, but recent advances in inverter design, efficiency, and reliability have increased the potential of wind/solar systems considerably.

With the use of modern high efficiency AC lighting the majority of, if not all, loads can be operated on AC especially in larger installations.

We tend to use both AC & DC where each is most effective and economical – many DC appliances use less power than their AC equivalents (especially refrigeration, lighting & electronics) – but DC appliances tend to be harder to find & more expensive.
Where Does any Excess Energy Go?

This depends on whether the system is off grid or whether it is grid connected.

Storage batteries are the heart of all off grid wind/PV or inverter electrical systems. By storing excess energy when the wind or sun is strong, they offer a reliable source of electricity which can be used when solar or wind power is not available. Their function is therefore to balance the outgoing electrical requirements with the incoming energy supply.

Batteries are also able to provide short term power output many times higher than the charging source output.

For grid connected inverters energy not being used by on-site loads is fed back into the grid.
Who Needs a Generator?

In typical domestic situations, for most of the day, loads are very small – perhaps a few lights and other appliances. For a small proportion of the time, however, large loads such as washing machines, electric kettles, etc. must be powered.

Sizing an off-grid renewable energy system to meet this peak demand is, in most cases, prohibitively expensive (at least initially).The optimum way to incorporate a wind and solar energy is for these to supply the low loads required for most of the day, and allow a generator to start up automatically to meet the small proportion of loads for which a large capacity is required.

In such systems, batteries allow power to be available 24 hrs/day but means that the generator need only run for short periods to charge the battery.

Modern electronic inverters are very efficient over a wide range of outputs, but some power is required simply to keep the inverter running (the standing losses) and they are less efficient when running small loads. Consequently, sizing the inverter for its required purpose is extremely important.

If it is undersized, then there will not be enough power – demanding more than their limit will shut them off.
If it is oversized, it will be much less efficient (due to the standing losses) and more costly to buy and run.

A load seeking circuit is normally included to ensure that battery power is conserved for useful purposes by automatically switching the inverter on and off as loads are applied or discontinued.

In off-grid inverter sizing the most important factor is peak power consumption: the peak power demand should not exceed the rated peak output of the inverter. This is difficult when it is possible for many devices to consume power at the same time, and is further complicated by any electric motors in the system. Some types of electric motors require three times as much power to start them as is required to run them. If two or more motors are started at the same time the surge power demand is much higher than the average demand. Consequently, the inverter should be sized to be able to at least start the largest motor in the system and measures taken to ensure that all motors do not start at the same time. Proper energy management can reduce peak demand, and so the inverter can be sized closer to the average power demand, thereby increasing the system’s efficiency and reducing hardware costs.

Inverters should be located in a dry, non-condensing, clean, ventilated, environment. Vented lead acid batteries can produce corrosive vapours and when on charge produce an explosive mixture of hydrogen & oxygen. So good ventilation is required for the battery, particularly at a high level to allow any hydrogen to disperse. Preferably, the battery should be in it’s own cubicle, vented to the outside. If this is not practicable, don’t mount the inverter directly above the battery or directly adjacent to it. In order to minimise the voltage drop in the connecting cables to the battery, these should be kept as short as possible and of sufficient size.

M__ S__
September 29, 2018 9:56 am

The whole scheme falls apart if the presumed largest donor to the con refuses to participate

September 29, 2018 10:01 am

Wind and solar are awesome for large farms ranches on down to houses, but intermittents for grid were sold on the promise of giga-battery tech being right around the corner. It’s not.

Rich Wright
September 29, 2018 11:41 am

The upcoming election for congressperson from California’s 49th Congressional District pits a proud environmentalist, supporter of wind farms and solar panels, Mike Levin (D), against Diane Harker (R) who supports new natural gas power plants, such as the natural gas facility under construction in Carlsbad, California. Expensive and unreliable wind and solar, vs. Less expensive and more reliable natural gas.

District voters have an opportunity to voice their opposition to expensive green energy programs in California, which have driven up electricity costs in California compared to neighboring western states, by voting against the Big Green candidate, Mike Levin.

Stephen Stent
September 29, 2018 12:37 pm

Unfortunately, the left wing/green New Zealand government is following ideology rather than common sense. Their aim is to be “carbon free”.
The exodus of thinking people has started…
A quote from goverment statistics… In the February 2018 year, more New Zealand citizens left the country than returned, with a net loss of 800 people.

Brian Johnston
Reply to  Stephen Stent
September 29, 2018 3:31 pm

Now you are really winding me up. New Zealand. National further to the left than Labour. Labour a bunch of Marxists led by one. The Greens – loonies, Marxists – aren’t Green. New Zealand Greens are pro land fill and pro fluoride it does not get any sillier than that. I suspect that Green leader Shaw knows this whole CO2 thing is a scam $300,000 per year is a pretty good incentive to go along with it.

September 29, 2018 2:08 pm

It’s at times like these I miss Griff.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Cephus0
September 29, 2018 7:18 pm

He still lurks around in the darkness as his candle blew out in the wind.

Roger Knights
September 29, 2018 4:30 pm

Lawrence Solomon is the author of The Deniers, one of the earliest (2009) and still (in its revised edition, below) one of the best anti-alarmist books:

Reply to  Roger Knights
September 29, 2018 5:27 pm

I wasn’t fooled by “Larry” Solomon.

September 30, 2018 1:10 pm

“To extract that coal, Germany has decided to expand an existing open-pit coal mine, Europe’s largest, by subsidizing the razing of a 12,000-year-old forest.”

Again, Greens can destroy all of nature and still claim moral superiority.

September 30, 2018 5:15 pm

I read here often, but don’t usually comment… What strikes me is that as I read this article, about 2 thirds of the way through I started wondering if there would be a punch line at the end.. “And then I woke up”..

But I guess it doesn’t have to be a dream that people come to their senses.

Steve O
October 1, 2018 8:55 am

Ford isn’t all of Canada, although in Ontario today there is a lot of support for scrapping this nonsense. Mostly it’s a reaction to the trend in utility bills. (Oh, you mean this virtue signalling isn’t free?) Most Canadians are still on board with the idea that mankind has to do something to prevent global warming, and that’s supported very strongly with news coverage of the dire consequences for failing to act.

Canadians are such a good bunch of people. The planet has been warming and it will continue to do so, and based on geography Canada stands to gain more than almost any other country in the world. How nice of them to waste money on windmills in a futile effort to prevent such benefits from accruing to themselves.

October 1, 2018 10:56 am

Exit? It depends on the polls and campaign donation flow. Science never counted for anything except maybe some courtroom expert witness manipulation.

October 1, 2018 11:24 pm

While working in remote areas I noticed another Green Initiative that had some bizarre effects in its execution. Due to new regulations that called for Low emission electrical generators companies were installing reciprocating gas fired generator sets for backup power at these sites. During the early operation of these types of units it was noticed that there were a lot of failures that were at first hard to figure out. After many months of investigation by the different manufactures a common failure mode emerged. If the generators were not run above 75% of full load then the Low emission technology would cause many different problems some of which were turbo charger failure, cylinder head scouring and cylinder head valve failures. To alleviate these failures most manufacturers recommended installing load banks to force the generator load above 75% to reduce these common mode failures. So the solution was to install very large Toaster coils that generate heat to supply a false load for the generator. So here we have a Green initiative that caused unit failures and to get around it you are now running a toaster coil which in some cases was wasting 50% of the produced power. There by wasting valuable fuel and generating more emissions for nothing but to satisfy a new Green regulation. It is almost as bad as the new small engine requirements for lawn mowers and such. You now get a 6 HP engine with your lawn mower that is governed to run just above idle. No variable throttle is supplied anymore because it is not needed. The reason the engine is 6 HP is the new regulations say that any small engine below 5 HP requires an emission control system which would drive the costs up too high. it was cheaper for the manufacturers to supply a 6 HP engine. I will leave you with one high note to all this Green garbage. Dyson vacuums was under fire from the EU for building too big a vacuum. The EU was limiting plug in vacuums to 1250 watts to “SAVE” energy and most of Dyson’s are 1500 watts and above. The EU felt that by limiting the power draw of vacuums it would save energy. Even though it would take longer to clean a given space with a smaller output machine. Logic was never the Greens biggest area of achievement. Dyson did what Dyson does he designed a cordless unit that is 1650 watts and runs just as good as a corded unit. Take that EU.

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