Will You Help Save Renewable Startup Carnegie Energy?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

ABC reporter Rebecca Turner claims Carnegie have not published the results of their wave energy experiment.

Carnegie Clean Energy undertakes capital raising in a last-ditch bid to avoid liquidation

By Rebecca Turner
Updated Thu at 3:42pm

As it makes what could be a final roll of the dice for its survival, collapsed wave energy hopeful Carnegie Clean Energy is still not disclosing the performance of its most valuable asset — its CETO wave technology.

Key points:

  • Carnegie is facing liquidation unless it raises $5.5 million in capital by next week
  • The firm’s CEO cannot say how much energy its CETO 5 technology produces
  • One analyst says investors “would have to be a bit of a masochist” to reinvest

Carnegie is in the process of trying to raise up to $11.5 million in capital to pay creditors, including board member and former AFL commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick.

If it does not raise the minimum amount of $5.5 million by next Wednesday, the former renewable energy darling is facing the likely outcome of liquidation.

Its thousands of shareholders, predominantly small investors, are being encouraged to invest in the capital raising, which offers them four shares at a price of $0.001 for each share they hold.

Carnegie has been developing its prized CETO wave energy technology for more than 15 years and has attracted tens of millions of taxpayer dollars from both federal and state governments to commercialise the technology.

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-29/carnegie-clean-energy-capital-raising-to-avoid-liquidation/11460640

Cynics amongst you might be tempted to believe the reason the Carnegie CEO was so sketchy about the results of their CETO wave energy trial is because their technology doesn’t work.

But this surely cannot be the case; After all, Carnegie received millions of dollars of government funding, and we all know how rigorous public sector oversight of taxpayer’s money is, especially when it comes to funding renewable energy projects.

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Sunny
August 31, 2019 10:23 am

Tens of millions of dollars? Where did the money go? And why isn’t the company showing its results, even after all the federal and private money they have got… Its incredible to think that this world runs on two things, oil and electricity, it seems that if you take both away humans will crumble away…

James francisco
Reply to  Sunny
August 31, 2019 11:20 am

“it seems that if you take both away humans will crumble away…”

It seems that is the goal.

Greg
Reply to  James francisco
August 31, 2019 2:09 pm

oil and coal, electricity is not a source of energy, it is means of transporting it.

Hugs
Reply to  Sunny
August 31, 2019 11:47 am

I was like oopmh on ‘attracted’. I didn’t know Carnegie has attracted taxpayer money. I think the government doing a bad investment should be described by a totally different subject / verb / object. Like the government has sinked tens of millions of taxpayer money to Carnegie.

Lee L
Reply to  Hugs
August 31, 2019 2:39 pm

It ‘attracts’ money by putting on performances. It is theatre, much like snake oil sales. I mean there is indeed a placebo effect where many people actually BELIEVE that the march forward is on and therefore are willing to send more money.

Graeme#4
Reply to  Hugs
August 31, 2019 4:33 pm

Actually the Western Australian state government withdrew their support some time ago when Carnegie failed to achieve their targets. And the Southern Ocean off Western Australia is not a place you would want to be in a storm, so the chances of any plant surviving there would be minimal.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Graeme#4
September 1, 2019 4:39 am

the last one that I think? came from WA to Sth Aus went tits up offshore of a south aussie beach
there are louder and growing calls to blow it up as its a rusting hulk and an eyesore according to locals.
reckon this mobs going to turn turtle too pretty soon
oh
greenpeas could run a fundraiser for em as could avaaz and getup
not sure if theres enough mugs even via those clusterf..ks to dob in for it though

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Sunny
August 31, 2019 12:02 pm

I thought that the world runs on greed and fear.

Greg
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
August 31, 2019 2:13 pm

yes but it has to be sustainable, renewable FEAR.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Greg
August 31, 2019 5:07 pm

AKA FUD

Michael H Anderson
Reply to  Greg
September 2, 2019 8:20 am

Exactly. Grind the straw dogs underfoot, because as Orwell pointed out, they only know we’re obeying when they’re making us suffer.

The 1960s began the push to establish rule by zealots with tiny brains. Time for counterrevolution.

Editor
Reply to  Sunny
August 31, 2019 3:39 pm

It’s a lifestyle company. Its primary objective is to provide a superior lifestyle for its directors.

BC
Reply to  Sunny
August 31, 2019 4:32 pm

Carnegie doesn’t owe taxpayers any explanation; the government that provided the grant does.

PaulH
August 31, 2019 10:46 am

According to the Australian Securities Exchange, trading in Carnegie Clean Energy is “Suspended”:

https://www.asx.com.au/asx/share-price-research/company/CCE

No surprise, as their shares are $0.003 (Australian) and they don’t seem to have any working products. But the 2018 Annual Report to Shareholders is 104 pages long, so I guess they do have plenty of words to go around. 😉

Jean Parisot
Reply to  PaulH
August 31, 2019 11:38 am

An acquaintance tried to get them to provide a quote for servicing remote submarine fiber relays, could not get a response. He would have tried it if it could have passed a reliability assessment by real engineers.

Scissor
August 31, 2019 10:59 am

Someone is raising a hand. What’s that I see? Goodbye.

yirgach
August 31, 2019 10:59 am

OK, are they washed up or did they just wipe out?

Jim Little
Reply to  yirgach
August 31, 2019 2:38 pm

The late, great Dick Dale. The king of surf music! Now *that* guy knew how to harness wave energy!

JEHILL
August 31, 2019 11:07 am

“Will You Help Save Renewable Startup Carnegie Energy?”

No effing way I will invest wave technology.

What is the long term environmental impact? Would this not industrialize the oceans and shorelines more than they already are? What the unintended consequences be; more death of unsuspecting wildlife getting trapped in machinery? You would remove natural habitat from the natural world. There is no such thing as free or renewable energy.

Tonyb
Editor
August 31, 2019 11:13 am

As a Brit I believe energy from the sea is the most suitable renewable as nowhere here is more than 70 miles from the sea.

However waves are nothing more than liquid wind and the energy derived from it is as unpredictable as wind.

The other problem is that waves come in all shapes sizes and amplitudes and it is very difficult to design a structure that can cope.

Better to go for tidal energy which is highly predictable in its output and is long lasting, as with two tides a day each of which races around our island, the amount of energy could be consistently forecast if the tidal stations were spread round the coast.

Unfortunately all eyes have been on the hopeless solar and wind and there is very little appetite for tidal projects, not the least because they are large scale expensive projects

Tonyb

Reply to  Tonyb
August 31, 2019 12:38 pm

“However waves are nothing more than liquid wind”
That is the daft idea that has wrecked every wave energy project.

Greg
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 31, 2019 2:20 pm

I had a case of liquid wind once. I wont bother explaining the mess it made of the bed sheets.

Iain Reid
Reply to  Tonyb
August 31, 2019 11:58 pm

TonyB,

tidal energy is not as good as you think, it is just the same as other renewable sources. It is expensive, intermittent and I would say very maintenance intensive. The Swansea Bay project was scrapped for that very reason, lots of subsidies for little power from a physically large system.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Iain Reid
September 1, 2019 3:29 am

Iain, I agree, the Swansea (where I live) Tidal Lagoon was a massive, expensive structure that would produce very little & very expensive energy twice a day.
It would suffer with major silting problem as well.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Tonyb
September 1, 2019 4:04 am

Better to go for tidal energy which is highly predictable in its output and is long lasting, as with two tides a day each of which ………….

And probably the bestest place on earth to harvest “tidal energy” is in the Bay of Fundy.

Tides in this coastal zone reach a peak of around 16 m (50′) — the height of a 5-storey building.
http://bayoffundytourism.com/worlds-highest-tides/

knr
Reply to  Tonyb
September 1, 2019 1:32 pm

Been tired already, , in fact like wind its old technology not new , and guess why they stopped using it ?

ATheoK
Reply to  Tonyb
September 4, 2019 4:28 pm

Currents, which are the result of wind energy exchange food and nutrients with less endowed ocean areas.

Currents, especially those driven by wind energy or tidal influences are key factors in fish, crustacea, mollusca, plants, etc. lifecycles.

Drain the currents of energy will traumatize all life forms dependent upon that water movement.

Paul Aubrin
August 31, 2019 11:18 am

Carnegie energie : nonsense in, nonsense out.

MarkW
Reply to  Paul Aubrin
August 31, 2019 2:02 pm

nonsense in, nothing out

RHS
Reply to  Paul Aubrin
August 31, 2019 4:18 pm

None-cents out?

Coeur de Lion
August 31, 2019 11:26 am

What did their prospectus say? Are the directors actionable? Caveat emptor, fellers .

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
August 31, 2019 7:26 pm

Tidal energy is far more reliable and can be planned for, unlike wind and waves. The moon always pulls. A little more, a little less, no one would notice.

Waves are a great idea for the future that never comes. Tides contain masses of energy that can be channeled through a narrow space (concentration point) while wave energy, like the wind, has to be extracted at the density it occurs naturally. So fundamentally from an efficiency of materials point of view, tides are a wiser approach.

There is a wave-based generation system on an island off the W coast of the UK, which uses air as a working fluid. It has been running for ages. It works but any patent would have expired by now. So no big licencing deals.

If people were satisfied with simple and reliable technologies we might get something. These three-part floating platforms made for a particular characteristic wavelength with hydraulic pumps and generators are way too complex to ever repay their cost of production. If all “costs” are really energy in the final analysis, it means the thumbsuck analysis is they won’t produce enough energy to build another one, unless it is built in China. That means it is a coal-powered wave generator.

knr
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
September 1, 2019 1:42 pm

Been tired already, , in fact like wind its old technology not new , and guess why they stopped using it ?

Curious George
August 31, 2019 11:29 am

Why don’t they move the company to Cayman Islands?

Dr. Bob
August 31, 2019 11:31 am

I have worked on financing of large capital projects for 20 years and have never known any investor that would want all their investment used to pay off back debt and line the pockets of the current management. In fact, most investors would, in this situation, mandate that funds not be used for that purpose. That the is both debt and obligations to or expected of management makes this essentially a worthless investment. And without tangible performance data, how can one begin to judge the value of the technology.
Reminds me of the quote from Bones: He’s Dead” But the best one is, “He’s worse than dead, Jim. His mind is gone!”
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Star+Trek+Quote+from+Bones++Jim%2c+It%27s+Dead&view=detail&mid=39D7F8839EFA2680B3BC39D7F8839EFA2680B3BC&FORM=VIRE

Ron Long
August 31, 2019 11:32 am

Might I presume, Eric, that you are nominating yourself as a cynic? Maybe there’s a club, or secret handshake, or something for us? Wait a minute, millions in tax dollars?

commieBob
August 31, 2019 11:39 am

The government should never spend money on anything that private industry will finance.

The government might have a role promoting stuff that might be worthwhile. Who else is going to finance the curiosity based research we need to produce scientific breakthroughs?

HotScot
Reply to  commieBob
August 31, 2019 3:04 pm

commieBob

The government should never spend money on anything that private industry ‘won’t’ finance.

Who else is going to finance the curiosity based research we need to produce scientific breakthroughs?

Were Newton, Einstein and the Wright brothers funded by the state?

commieBob
Reply to  HotScot
August 31, 2019 6:36 pm

In part. Newton

The Wright brothers did not produce any scientific breakthroughs. We already had heavier than air flight of gliders. The gasoline engine was becoming practical. They combined the two. This isn’t to deny the importance of what they did but their achievements were incremental in nature rather than being breakthroughs. The difference matters a lot. Incremental improvements are amenable to encouragement and management.

A more interesting example is Edison. He came up with a lot of stuff and he managed to monetize it. He basically created an invention factory. Even then, did he come up with any breakthroughs? Yes, at least one, the Edison Effect which is the basis of vacuum tubes.

Einstein made a living as a patent clerk and a professor, both arguably state sponsored.

To make scientific breakthroughs, you have to have enough time when you aren’t worrying about putting food on the table. If you aren’t rich, the money has to come from somewhere. Once you achieve the breakthrough, it may not be monetized within your lifetime. An example of that would be Hedy Lamarr, who invented spread spectrum.

Breakthroughs are necessary to keep ahead of resource depletion. Without them, Malthus’ predictions will come true.

Reply to  commieBob
August 31, 2019 7:21 pm

re: “The Wright brothers did not produce any scientific breakthroughs. ”

They came up with new tables of airfoil ‘data’ and performance using home-built (the first used to test air foils it seems) wind tunnel.

The data they obtained was used to optimize both wing shape AND propeller shape.

Previous designers had used a ‘whirling arm’ (subject to interfering with its own wake) to test airfoils.

http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/xmlui/handle/123456789/3585

Reply to  commieBob
August 31, 2019 8:18 pm

re: “An example of that would be Hedy Lamarr, who invented spread spectrum.”

Waaaaaay overblown; did you see the Bell Labs contraption (named SIGSALY ) that was ACTUALLY used for comms?

SIGSALY was the digital-based speech encryption system (built around ‘vocoder’ technology, as used in cell phone voice encoding today) developed by Bell Labs and subsequently deployed for meaningful secure comms usage between the top echelons of our government – and Great Britain’s head … it was EVEN posted about here on WUWT … pls also note that patents involving this system, though filed in the 40’s remained classified into the 70’s

I am convinced that the “Hedy Lamarr” thing was a ruse, to let the Germans ‘think’ that was all the more sophisticated we were at the time …

We’ve gone through this before ON THIS VERY WEBSITE – See these links and the mentions of “SIGSALY “:

https://yorkporc.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/sigsaly-from-nsa-historians-perspective/

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/19/why-it-seems-that-severe-weather-is-getting-worse-when-the-data-shows-otherwise-a-historical-perspective/#comment-577830

commieBob
Reply to  _Jim
September 1, 2019 12:58 am

Her invention was a frequency hopping scheme and was quite plausible given the technology available at the time. It could be implemented by attaching a motor to something like a TV tuner. They already had the necessary synchronization technology.

We should also note that her previous husband was involved in arms manufacturing for the Germans. She may have got the original idea from him.

ATheoK
Reply to  _Jim
September 4, 2019 4:33 pm

“commieBob September 1, 2019 at 12:58 am
We should also note that her previous husband was involved in arms manufacturing for the Germans. She may have got the original idea from him.”

Nikola Tesla is a far more likely idea origination source as his ideas and presentations were responsible for many of the early wavelength devices, including Marconi’s.

Reply to  ATheoK
September 4, 2019 5:11 pm

re: “Nikola Tesla is a far more likely idea origination source as his ideas and presentations were responsible for many of the early wavelength devices, including Marconi’s.”

I’m thinking “no”.

Not on this subject, not on this technology.

Cite some work or writing of his on different modulations, specifically, spectral spreading codes and such, intended for various purposes, such as multiplexing, or obscuration.

Tesla (b. 1856) was past his prime when vacuum tubes and the modern concepts of radio were coming about. There were many who were far ahead of Tesla at this point. like Armstrong (b. 1890), the eventual father of FM, which might also be considered a form of ‘spread spectrum’.

Reply to  HotScot
August 31, 2019 6:49 pm

re: “Were Newton, Einstein and the Wright brothers funded by the state?”

Or, Dr. Randell L. Mills for that matter?

J Mac
August 31, 2019 11:40 am

RE: “Will You Help Save Renewable Startup Carnegie Energy?”

No.

Dan Cody
August 31, 2019 11:43 am

One day,I was walking in Manhattan in NYC and someone came up to me for directions and asked,”How do I get to Carnegie Hall?”
I replied,”practice,practice,practice”.

Bill Powers
August 31, 2019 11:48 am

Leonardo and ALGORE can easily pony up 5 million between them this should be a piece of cake.

RicDre
Reply to  Bill Powers
August 31, 2019 1:06 pm

+42 🙂

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Bill Powers
August 31, 2019 8:14 pm

And I’m sure Bill Nye could come up with a few thousand as well. And just think if all the Hollywood hypocrites each contributed. But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

StandupPhilosopher
August 31, 2019 11:51 am

Tens of million of $$$? Those are rookie numbers, you gotta pump those numbers up. If you’re 10 million in debt, that’s your problem, if you’re 10 billion in debt, that’s a big problem to a lot of people.

Latitude
August 31, 2019 11:52 am

…and who didn’t see this coming?

In more than 15 years they had to invent nothing new…just put the pieces together

Reply to  Latitude
August 31, 2019 12:44 pm

In the wind industry, the critical step to success involved a technique which became known as “throwing metal at it”. The other thing worth knowing, is that the success of renewable energy was inversely proportional to the number of academics.

For wave energy, the problems are far far worse, so I’d say wave was impossible if any academic is involved.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 31, 2019 2:05 pm

So even if it’s peer reviewed you can’t trust academe meme schemes.

A C Osborn
August 31, 2019 11:57 am

No!

Bruce Cobb
August 31, 2019 12:02 pm

The energy is right there! If only it wasn’t so hard to collect. Hey, I know – how about lightning energy! Ben Franklin did it. Kites. Lots and lots of kites.

Gordon Dressler
August 31, 2019 12:21 pm

“A fool and his money are soon parted.” — Thomas Tusser

lee
Reply to  Gordon Dressler
August 31, 2019 10:00 pm

Or a”a fool and his money are soon partied”.

John the Econ
August 31, 2019 12:22 pm

Anyone who has owned or worked on a boat kept on salt water would immediately recognize the multitude of problems any infrastructure project like this would face. Water, wind, salt, electricity, and constant motion all conspire with each other to constantly destroy whatever man tries to build in this environment.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  John the Econ
August 31, 2019 1:31 pm

Thanks John E.,
I was going to write something like you have, but decided to read all the comments first.

John the Econ
Reply to  John the Econ
September 3, 2019 8:14 am

Should have included relentless UV and sea life to the list of enemies.

KO
August 31, 2019 12:27 pm

No. And whats more I’d like to see the entire Board of Directors and the Auditors of Carnegie investigated and where appropriate, tried for criminal activity and/or fraud.

Marty
August 31, 2019 12:30 pm

If you can’t scam the government you ain’t even trying.

Chris Hogg
August 31, 2019 12:34 pm

Until recently, there was a device sitting on the sea floor some ten miles to the NW of the little town of St Ives, in West Cornwall, UK. It was installed in 2010, and was intended to provide a test-bed for up to four wave energy devices at any one time. In winter storms the waves there can be mountainous. The Wave Hub was connected to the shore by a cable capable of handling 20MW. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_Hub .

As far as I am aware, only three companies expressed a serious interest in using the Wave Hub: Seatricity, whose device wasn’t actually designed to produce electricity offshore, but to pump water under pressure to a land-based turbine. http://seatricity.com/

The second company was GWave, a US company, apparently without a web site . The announcement that they were going to make use of the Wave Hub is here
http://tinyurl.com/y9poc4ar

The third company was Carnegie http://tinyurl.com/y6lhnbtq

Only Seatricity put a device on site at the Wave Hub. It broke its tether after only one month, in comparatively mild summertime sea conditions. Seatricity now appears to be on the verge of collapse http://tinyurl.com/y5vpn4ve

Since then, both GWave and Carnegie have cancelled their options to use the Wave Hub.

In view of the lack of commercial support for the Wave Hub, it has been decommissioned in the last few months .

Wave energy is dead. There are cheaper if equally unreliable ways of making renewable electricity.

Rob
August 31, 2019 12:34 pm

All of these alternatives energy schemes are subsidy scams to fleece the taxpayer.

John Bell
August 31, 2019 12:35 pm

I worked on a hydraulic hybrid UPS truck for the EPA starting 15 years ago, same thing, tens of millions spent for ZERO return – the product “worked” but was of ZERO commercial value.

RicDre
Reply to  John Bell
August 31, 2019 1:39 pm

Autocar manufactured a refuse truck that used a hybrid-hydraulic power train that stored energy from braking to supplement the power of the diesel engine which they said provided dramatic fuel savings. Miami-Dade County in south Florida placed an order for 29 of the trucks in 2012 but I haven’t heard if that worked out for them. A big refuse truck seems like a viable use for that technology.

TG McCoy
Reply to  RicDre
September 1, 2019 9:01 am

Problem with Diesel -Hydraulics is maintenance. diesel electric is much more viable. in big
applications.
Seals,actuators etc. are the problem .UP and SP tested Krupp Diesel Hydraulics back in the 70’s I believe the problem is the Krupps were built for a German-sized country. San Francisco to Chicago without shutting down, however…

August 31, 2019 12:35 pm

Around 2003 I wrote a report explaining why wave energy would never work.
(The development methodology always failed to focus on the necessary elements for success)
No one listened and a lot of people have wasted a lot of money since then.

Wave energy to academics and the gullible investor is a bit like what those carnivorous plants are to flies … it looks like a good thing, until you’re stuck in it and then it devours your money.

John in Oz
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 31, 2019 2:58 pm

But, but…. this from the CSIRO – another Government money sink (my correction of the number of devices given Carnegie’s position).
https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/OandA/Areas/Marine-technologies/Ocean-energy/Wave-energy

Wave energy is an emerging technology that has been generating interest as an alternative renewable energy source. There are more than 200 199 wave energy devices in various stages of testing and demonstration, however there is limited published data on its viability as an alternate energy source.

and

The potential for wave energy in Australia is great

Key findings from the study:
The Wave Atlas is publicly accessible so that all interested parties including project developers, regulators and investors can benefit from the research.
Our preliminary studies show the southern coastline of Australia has a great wave resource. This is because strong Southern Ocean winds generate consistently large waves which travel northwards to Australia’s southern coastline. The large consistent swell provides ideal conditions for wave energy production.
Our research shows wave energy could contribute up to 11 per cent of Australia’s energy (enough to power a city the size of Melbourne) by 2050, making it a strong contender in Australia’s renewable energy mix.
Recognising the future potential for wave energy, CSIRO is also supporting developers to understand the environmental effects of the deployment of wave energy converters in the marine environment.

The Wave Atlas can be found at https://nationalmap.gov.au/renewables/#share=s-gGd5ztFcxe2ysy9f.

I especially like their ‘close enough for government work’ disclaimer:

ARENA, Data61 and Geoscience Australia, do not warrant, and are not liable for the accuracy of the information and data on the AREMI website.

Jake J
August 31, 2019 12:35 pm

When I was part of the financial sector, I surveyed the “clean tech” industry and concluded that three technologies were economically viable if subsidized to some degree: geothermal (ground source) heat [pumps] jumps, wind turbines, and solar panels. I concluded that wave generation would never yield more energy than it consumed by making and installing the equipment.

When I built a new house in 2017 out in the countryside, I considered all of them.

Ground-source heat pumps were the first to be eliminated. The capital cost is at least double; the equipment is finicky and hard to maintain, and it turns out that the ground freezes around the buried pipes in a typical winter. (Same for summer in reverse in really hot places.) Not only that, but air-source heat pumps have made big improvements — which happened BEFORE I did the analysis. Learned from that one!

A home-scale windmill was next to go. They are expensive, have short warranties, and the required maintenance is tricky and expensive.

Solar panels were the last to be rejected. That was a closer call, depending heavily on electric rates and the “net metering” subsidy granted to grid-tied arrays. When the local utility ended net metering, that sealed the deal. But it was probably a financial no-go even with net metering. By the way, grid-tie and net metering is an integral part of home-scale windmills too.

You can theoretically do an end-around grid tie with storage batteries. I looked into that and found that the requjred battery array would cost more than the house we built. Conclusion: The only way any solar or wind can pay off is at utility scale, as a supplement, and with significant subsidies.

Jean Parisot
Reply to  Jake J
August 31, 2019 8:17 pm

No falling water on the property.

Jake J
Reply to  Jean Parisot
September 1, 2019 10:09 am

Correct. We once stayed at a place that had its own miniature hydro plant because they had falling water, but that’s not us. We also don’t have a creek, which theoretically would have solved the ground-freezing issue with geothermal. But even if we did have a creek like our neighbors do, it’d be a big “if” on getting permission to use it that way. Same goes for a small-scale hydro plant, if it had been possible.

Reply to  Jake J
August 31, 2019 8:26 pm

Suggest a re-calculating of the financials is in order for today’s economics (e.g. cheap solar panels) and figuring with these givens:

a) solar panels with grid-tie,
b) NO batteries
c) choose an electric provider like “Griddy” where you pay close to the wholesale electric rate.

Here in Texas, wholesale rate (before transmission charges) about 2 cents per kWh.

BEAR in mind the wholesale rate can “shoot up” for a few hours in the afternoon on hot days where demand in the state is high, so maybe a standby genset (not a bad idea in any case) can be spec’d in too.

Jake J
Reply to  _Jim
September 1, 2019 10:04 am

We only have one provider: the local public utility district. I am curious about the Texas case; after that 2 cents, what’s your total per-kWh charge, with ALL other charges included? I’ve had reason to study electric bills around the country, and they are usually complicated.

The bill where we live is as simple as any I’ve seen. No time-of-day differential, no consumption tier pricing, no fuel cost adjustments, yadda yadda yadda. Just the residential rate (x) usage + a $20.32 monthly “customer charge” = your monthly bill.

If you look at the the typical electric utility’s total rate after all the add-ons, 50-60% of it reflects the cost of transmission, distribution, and administration. We live in a far-flung county with roughly 10 people per sq mi, so those costs are 60% here. The utility buys almost all of its electricity at a wholesale rate of about 3.75 cents/kWh, and charges a retail rate of about 9.6 cents.

When I looked into solar panels a couple years ago, the first challenge was getting accurate numbers. Panel users are like electric car owners (I own an EV): Most of them are evangelists (I’m an exception) and overstate performance and understate costs. So you have to take any claims with a grain of salt. After searching, I found a reliable., highly factual site. With the “net metering” subsidy that would have paid me the retail rate for excess generation in summer, it initially looked like a wash on the costs with an expected 25-year panel life and appropriate degradation included.

Then I realized that I had overlooked the monthly customer charge, which added another $6,100 to the panel cost side, or about 20%. And that was without factoring in the inevitable inflation of that charge. Thus, a reasonable back-of-the-envelope calculation disfavored panels. When the utility ended “net metering” for new customers, I looked at batteries and laughed. I could’ve still installed panels, but I was determined that they cost out rather than be a vanity purchase.

A “standby genset?” We have one for power outages, something that’s common enough in the countryside. It cost about $10,000 for a unit that will only partially replace what we get from the utility. Good enough for emergencies but not for regular service. It runs on propane; makes enough noise that you wouldn’t want it on all the time; the fuel cost is 45 cents/kWh; a unit that would truly run the whole house would have been about $25,000.

Bottom line: To be as polite as possible here, I did my homework. I’m not sure that your “2 cents/kWh” number in Texas even comes close to reflecting the entire cost of juice even from the bargain provider. And you haven’t mentioned feed-in tariffs for panel users there. So if you could do more homework and provide a non-evangelistic analysis, well, I’m one of the original pencil-necked numbers geeks, and would be interested.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Jake J
September 2, 2019 8:08 am

One South African house was built to be “off the grid” with wind turbines, solar panels, and a borehole well with a wind-pump. One room of the house is full of truck batteries. Cost? About double what a normal house of the same size would have cost. Worth it? Dunno.

Jake J
Reply to  Russ Wood
September 2, 2019 10:37 am

I did a rough calculation of how much it would cost to go off-grid. We wouldn’t have been required to simply shift from daytime surpluses to nighttime absence, but from summer to winter, because winter daytimes aren’t adequate for winter nights — in fact, not even for winter daytimes. The cost of batteries alone would’ve been well over $1 million for the life of the panels.

Fact is that in non-equitorial regions, solar is a supplement to grid power, and does not cost out unless significantly subsidized.

Mr.
August 31, 2019 12:53 pm

I believe pig sh1t can produce more energy than ‘renewables’.
And it’s more predictable.
(Doesn’t go down too well in the Islamic countries though. Maybe that’s why they’re locked into oil)

WR2
August 31, 2019 12:57 pm

Who would be so stupid as to bail out their creditors for absolutely nothing in return? Oh, brainwashed green activists I suppose.

Earthling2
August 31, 2019 12:58 pm

I would bet a lot of those monies they raise would probably be going to pay the management and directors bonuses and roll over the debt from old investors. In other words a Ponzi Scheme! These small start-ups on the stock market are usually like a speculative mine exploration company where all the proceeds of the stock sale go into really expensive expense budgets for the few in management and directors. I have seen a few of these shiesters at work close-up with many different ‘vaporware’ products, like all the new and better battery companies or the hydrogen economy 15-20 years ago. I have learned my lesson now on the stock market with these, especially the mining exploration stuff but also many renewables. The old adage about a fool and their money, well that couldn’t be more true than to these stock market schemes. I am surprised that a lot of it isn’t investigated as criminal in nature. Because that is what it actually is.

And Wave Energy? Just forget it. Another low density real expensive boondoggle that produces no useful energy for the investment required. That would be all the planet would need is a million of these monstrosities clogging up our shore lines and water ways. Let it go bankrupt and fail, with prejudice.

Joel O'Bryan
August 31, 2019 1:23 pm

Like all renewable energy schemes, they exit *NOT* to harvest natural flows of energy for human use as electricity.
They exist to harvest OPM in the form of tax credits and subsidies.
Take away or reduce their subsidies, and they financially collapse. Every. Single. One.

MarkW
August 31, 2019 1:59 pm

If the technology is any good, it will be sold to someone during the liquidation.

MarkW
August 31, 2019 1:59 pm

If the company is renewable, won’t it come back on it’s own?

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  MarkW
August 31, 2019 3:11 pm

Thanks MarkW, I finally understand.

I thought “renewable” energy companies referred to the way they generated electricity.

I think your definition is far more accurate – the companies themselves are the “renewable” product, because there is an endless stream of government largesse!

David Chappell
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
September 1, 2019 4:35 am

Phoenix rising from the ashes

HD Hoese
August 31, 2019 2:09 pm

I seem to remember that wave energy was debunked decades ago. Oh, wait, so were windmills. Impressive as waves are, wind energy is also lost to currents. Maybe they could put turbines in rip currents, their structures could be justified as places to save swimmers. Might learn something about rip currents. As long as you’re dreaming why not go to where the easier to justify adequate amounts of energy are — hurricanes.

And what ever happened to thermohaline sources of energy, something about depth got in the way? Or did it have to do with carbon dioxide?

Tom in Florida
August 31, 2019 2:12 pm

According to their income statement in 2018 they show only $79,000 as R&D. Have they just given up?
They listed a one time unusual expense at $47 million but I could not find the note to explain that.
2018 had a net operating income of -$71 million.
Why would anyone want to spend another penny on this company?

mikewaite
August 31, 2019 2:42 pm

I followed the link to abc to see if there was any mention of publication of company accounts . I know the usual formalities are waived for anything “green”,” renewable” or “sustainable” because these are holy projects but I thought that a journalist perusing accounts, if available, would find out where all those millons ended up.
No, but I noticed reference to some other articles on abc. One on the 3billion yr old stromatolites of Pilbara , fascinating, and a very interesting item on the recent slowdown in the Australian economy .
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-01/gdp-to-take-another-step-down-but-how-low-will-it-go/11462508
Apparently (displaying my ignorance here) there is something called the Misery Index: a sum of unemployment and inflation rates. For the G10 countries as a whole it was a maximum in 2008/9 but declined to nearly zero in 2018. It seems that it is far worse in Aus and Canada than elsewhere and amazingly, Canada under the adorable Trudeau , darling of the BBC and other media, has a Misery Index nearly 4 times that of USA under the deplorable Trump. How strange- or perhaps not.

Drake
Reply to  mikewaite
August 31, 2019 3:24 pm

Apparently invented by Jimmy Carter:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcXODiINQoE

August 31, 2019 2:45 pm

“Rigorous public sector oversight of taxpayer’s money” is where the government looks right over the top of the problem and does not observe that billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money are being wasted on outrageous boondoggles that are in total accord with Climate Alarmist theory.

Drake
August 31, 2019 3:13 pm

My parents built a house of about 1600 sq. ft. with a geothermal heat pump, the water supply being an open system where the water is pumped from a well and flowed to a leach field. The heat exchanger lasted for over 25 years before it failed, at which time they used the backup electrical heat strips for winter heat for several years. Their electric bills about doubled so I think it was worth the original cost. They could not find anyone to replace the heat exchanger. Eventually they replaced the entire heat pump with a newer model which is still an open system and seems to be working well. I was surprised by the low level of rust in the exchanger when it failed after all those years but the water there is relatively soft.

Both systems use a separate water coil for cooling, the heat pump was just for heating. After the first systems heat side failed, the cooling still worked after I capped off the hot side. Simple and effective method of cooling where the water is dumped into the sand which then returns to the aquifer eventually, and uses the household water pump to supply the cooling and heat pump. After over 30 years the well pump has never been replaced and there have been no signs of well water issues but the location is essentially rural.

The house was reasonably well built with well insulated 2×6 walls and triple glazed Anderson windows and sliding glass doors. It was configured for passive solar heating (south facing sliders with insulated concrete floors in the walk out basement) although that function was rarely used it could really warm the house on clear days. It is in Massachusetts on the coast so it does not get extremely hot or cold, but the cooling takes the moisture out of the air, very important for comfort in the summer.

The electric bills are not too high considering the electrical water heater and clothes dryer although they have been going UP due to being in Mass. and them shutting down the Nuke plant there. When the heat pump went out I mentioned oil heat but there was no easy place to put the tank and there was no chase to the roof for the vent.

Jake J
Reply to  Drake
September 1, 2019 10:13 am

When we built a house a couple years ago, I looked into a geothermal heat pump. Ground-based systems (trenching) are much more problematic than I had thought, and running a pipe down the well was a non-starter for reasons I don’t remember. We wound up with an air-source heat pump and a backup propane furnace.

Mickey Reno
August 31, 2019 3:52 pm

Wave renewables? Who needs that when we can have these giant flying mofos instead? Obviously nothing could possibly go wrong.

comment image

Herbert
August 31, 2019 3:54 pm

Politely, No.

August 31, 2019 4:39 pm

I want to develop a new technology to harness the enormous power of tropical cyclones – we will sell shares in HurricaneCo in areas bordering the Atlantic Ocean and TyphoonCo is areas bordering the Pacific. Our sturdy ships will sail into the paths of these cyclones and tap their enormous energy, which is then stored in thousands of tonnes of AAA ballast-batteries, located deep within the hull of the ship to prevent capsizing. When a ship’s batteries are full, it will sail to the nearest port, connect to the grid and discharge its precious electrical cargo according to local demand.

[I suppose I must say “sarc/off” for the radical greens, who will believe anything.]

August 31, 2019 5:00 pm

I recall about 1938 reading about a experiment in France, where they had
a pipe go down some considerable distance into the sea. This water was then
pumped up. Being a lot colder than the sea at the top, they extracted energ
from the difference between the two.

I also recall that Denmark had a wave energy system working. Anyone
know if it actually worked.

But why if so many people think that CO2 in the atmosphere is a problem
don’t we use Nuclear. . The bomb needs 99 % purity, a Nuclear power
station only needs about 11 %.. , hence no danger. Bad engineering
was the problem in the old USSR.

Of course if the object of the exercise is to close down the Western world
then any way is used.

MJE VK5ELL

David Kelly
August 31, 2019 5:49 pm

Buried in the original article are these gems:

“Carnegie has previously raised more than $200 million in equity, debt and government grants, although last year it posted a $63 million loss and wrote down the value of its CETO technology from $83 million to $15 million.

But in its prospectus, the firm’s chairman, Terry Stinson, said “this new Carnegie” had addressed its problems by selling its failed solar microgrid arm EMC, and would have preliminary designs for a commercial-scale CETO within two years.”

So… according to CETO it’s economic problems are due to it’s investments into solar. Have to admit I couldn’t stop laughing.

ATheoK
Reply to  David Kelly
September 4, 2019 4:44 pm

Don’t overlook some of the funnier statements, David.

Carnegie Energy’s Albany wave farm to get $2.6m from WA Government despite viability concerns
By Rebecca Turner and Kathryn Diss Updated 5 Oct 2018, 9:03pm ”

Energy production not in contract

“Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan is also aware of CETO’s performance at Garden Island, but was reluctant to say how much energy it produced.

“I have seen some results,” she told the ABC last year.

“They indicate that CETO 5 took the project to a certain phase and now there is a revised model that hopefully will be, and is designed to be, more productive.”

“Her government does not require Carnegie to produce any amount of energy in its $16 million contract for a CETO 6 project in Albany, on WA’s south coast.

This is despite the Albany wave farm being an election promise which would “power households” and “create jobs” in their hundreds in the regional coastal city.”

“‘Negative media’ blamed”

“In a statement to the market, Carnegie said it may reinstate part or all of the write-down if its share price, which has sat at about 0.04 cents in recent months, improved.”

Oh yeah! Invest in green tech and get rich…

michael hart
August 31, 2019 6:00 pm

I’m sure all those University Professors demanding divestment from fossil-fuel companies will be happy to see their pension funds diverted towards such investment opportunities.

They will also get to learn something valuable, something clearly not taught anymore in many US universities. Unfortunately the price of this piece of education will, even at Ivy League schools, make their eyes water.

August 31, 2019 6:04 pm

Meanwhile (for those NOT paying attention to the Brilliant Light Power and Dr. Mills saga), below is a time-compressed video taken during a calorimetric test of the SunCell ™ in a water bath in a real-time run of 1 hr … the input ‘fuel’ (Hydrogen via nascent water) amount was not specified, but the Hydrino reactor energy production (in Joules) is nominally 100x that of Hydrogen were it to be simply ‘burned’ with Oxygen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7CeIbmwIVk

Running the ‘numbers’ using calculators at the link below, power is estimated (energy ‘production’ rate, J/sec) to be over 40 kW (which is nothing to sneeze at). 40 kW amounts to one big water heater (power draw of 166 Amps on a 240 V circuit.)
https://bloglocation.com/art/water-heating-calculator-for-time-energy-power

Assumptions:
a) 120 gal tank = 454 L (per video notes)
b) 1 Hour (per video notes)
c) End temp assumed 210 deg F (calculators do not assume evolving steam production or heat loss)
d) No steam production

Note: If water temp is 210 deg F at the 1 min mark (about 2/3 of the way through the 1 hr video) reactor power output (Joules/second or Watts) into the water bath is closer to 60 kW.

Nicholas McGinley
August 31, 2019 6:10 pm

People who fall in love with ideas like wave energy and such like to point out how much energy is contained in ocean waves.
And such is surely the case.
There is lots of energy in still air, and even in the vacuum of space.
But it is diffuse energy, and the subject of entropy is lost on many people.
As are the details of the harsh marine environment, lifeforms that grow on any substrate, chaotic processes that tend to batter machinery, etc.
Harnessing diffuse energy is hard to begin with.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 31, 2019 6:14 pm

@Nicholas McGinley re: “There is lots of energy in still air, and even in the vacuum of space.”

Any where’s near that of a gallon of gasoline? How about nuclear?

Richard w
August 31, 2019 7:44 pm

“We all know…” I didn’t know.

Ve2
August 31, 2019 9:27 pm

Or.
We are raising enough capital to pay off rich scumbags like board member and former AFL commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick who setup this subsidy scam in the first place.

Wave technology, the only thing it waves goodby to is your money.

Phillip Bratby
August 31, 2019 10:27 pm

They have been following the same path that was followed in the UK to prove that wave energy doesn’t work. Remember the Salter Nodding Duck over 40 years ago?

Chris Hogg
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
September 2, 2019 5:16 am

And Pelamis, that went into administration five years ago.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelamis_Wave_Energy_Converter
Experimental wave energy devices are great for generating grant money, but pretty useless at generating electricity. One of the biggest problems is merely surviving without being totally wrecked, in what is an extremely aggressive marine environment.

yarpos
August 31, 2019 10:53 pm

One thing you can bet on when this house of cards fails (and it will) , all their junk will be left in the ocean for someone else to deal with or to rust away. If it gets in the way , it will be down to the taxpayer (again) to get rid of it.

RickWill
September 1, 2019 12:11 am

The lesson learnt here is that while ambient energy is free, collecting it and putting it to a useful purpose that suits modern society is very, VERY expensive:
https://www.carnegiece.com/media/2019/07/Annual-Report-2018.pdf

For all they have spent I cannot see any income associated with electric energy sales from wave generator.

observa
September 1, 2019 9:42 am

No decent coastline should be without a barnacled bill as Oceanlinx goes under after the usual subsidy mining-
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-26/wrecked-wave-generator-to-become-artificial-reef/10307436

But wait there was life after death as Ali Baghaei bobs up again-
https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/3955457/oceanlinx-is-still-in-business/

Here he is as CEO and MD of Aquanet Power still floating around the place with the usual flotsam and jetsam- https://au.linkedin.com/in/ali-baghaei-b9587819

With a nice flashy website with some computer generated wave generators (climate changers do love their computer models)-
https://www.aquanetpower.com/

Ring up and you’ll likely get straight through on the blower to the great man himself still blowing hard in all the right ears no doubt as this boy gets around-
https://marineenergy.biz/2018/09/05/aquanet-power-and-innosea-join-forces-on-wave-energy-projects/
https://www.bizapedia.com/hi/aquanet-power-usa-llc.html

Ali and his Aquanet are naturally members of any bloated organisation with the ear of the EU-
https://www.oceanenergy-europe.eu/about-oee/
“Ocean Energy Europe’s mission is to create a strong environment for the development of ocean energy, improve access to funding, and enhance business opportunities for its members.
To achieve this, OEE engages with the European Institutions (Commission, Parliament, Council, EIB, etc), and national ministries on policy issues affecting the sector.
The results are undeniable”

You can bet yer boots on that taxpayers as you go glug glug down the gurgler too.

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