Climate FAIL: Working from Home Would Overload Australia’s Renewable Energy Grid

Technician is checking outdoor air conditioner unit

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t JoNova – The Aussie Government ABC has advised people to commute to the office rather than trying to work from home, to prevent blackouts caused by everyone working from home switching on their air conditioners.

Why working from home could be a disaster for Australia’s electricity grid this summer

By Emma Elsworthy

Air conditioners could send Australia’s power grid into meltdown this summer, as roughly one third of the workforce do their jobs from home, experts have warned.

Key points:

  • Air-conditioning drives power demand in peak periods
  • Higher numbers of people working from home will likely mean more stress on Australia’s power grid
  • Last summer was Australia’s second-hottest on record

According to research company Roy Morgan, more than 4.3 million Australians are working from home as employees and employers continue to take a cautious approach to coronavirus social-distancing.

But warmer weather has come with a warning that increased use of air-conditioning in homes could lead to more blackouts and higher electricity bills.

“Air-conditioning is what drives our maximum demand in Australia,” said Peter Dobney, the former founding chairman of the Energy Users Association of Australia.

“We can expect higher prices, in fact, I think that’s a certainty.”

“It’s very clear there is a risk here, with the air-conditioning running in the home and in the building at the same time,” Dr Bannister said.

“And cooling a house, it’s not as well insulated as a building, and the home may be less energy efficient.”

Read more:

Could the utter failure of Australia’s green revolution possibly get any funnier?

Greens finally got something they really wanted – less commuting, more people working from home – only to see this victory slipping from their grasp, because their precious renewable energy heavy electricity grid cannot handle the load of more people working from home.

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On the outer Barcoo
September 21, 2020 10:33 am

Current thinking coming up short?

Reply to  On the outer Barcoo
September 21, 2020 11:12 am

They keep alternating their solutions.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  MarkW
September 21, 2020 12:30 pm

So they are proposing alternating current solutions for resolving their electricity shortfalls.

Reply to  MarkW
September 21, 2020 12:34 pm

Positively shocking.

Reply to  shrnfr
September 21, 2020 11:05 pm

We need to be more direct in our current response to this issue.

We need to ask what they are going to do about it.

Reply to  On the outer Barcoo
September 21, 2020 3:45 pm

My dad was a very talented electrician and also well read.

Questions never asked department.

What’s a Roman amphitheater?

September 21, 2020 10:43 am

If it’s that fragile, you better not light your Christmas tree. It could take down the whole grid.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
September 22, 2020 5:23 am

now this is weird!
because just last week SA govt passed a law allowing the powercos to surge the grid to knock the PV rooftops OFF in peak production times to stop “grid instability” upsetting the baseload setups
and every other state is also wanting to do this as well
of course they then charge top prices dayrates while many fools assume theyre compensating a pissant 6c or so per kwhr paid by solar deals;-))
the amount of peoplewho think that day use power is entirely from their own solar output and therefore “free” is staggering
its ALL going TO grid unless you have divert to battery, then you buy back as tiny reduced rates.

September 21, 2020 10:48 am

At least someone is thinking of unintended consequences………

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  markl
September 21, 2020 12:49 pm

The consequences are not unintended. The entire purpose of greenism is to impoverish, humiliate, and demoralize the lower classes.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
September 21, 2020 8:30 pm

Exactly – Always remember that in a Worker’s Paradise YOU are still just a worker.

A capitalist will exploit a worker as far as they can by paying the lowest wage and offering the lowest working conditions they think they can get away with.

A socialist will control the worker to provide a political power base for their own rewards.

The simplistic lesson here is ‘Don’t be a worker’. Again, in simple terms, one way to do this is to start working for yourself. Hard work but those successful control their own destinies.

Which is why Marx willed them out of existence and Socialists hate them. You cannot think for yourself in a Worker’s Paradise. You work under the guiding wisdom of ‘The Committee’ (aka – THEM).

Socialism in a nut shell is ‘Why aren’t I in charge?’ asked by those too lazy to actually work and too unskilled to actually be successful. It is not reform for the masses, it is a change in leadership.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
September 22, 2020 6:43 pm

In a capitalist system, workers will always be paid based on their marginal utility of their labor. That has always been true and it always will be.
If one employer pays his workers less than this amount, then there is always an employer who will pay that worker more. Simple greed. If you can hire an additional worker and make make money from the difference between what the worker produces and what the worker is paid, why wouldn’t you.

The myth that evil capitalists are oppressing the workers has never been true, but it keeps the socialists employed.

Clay Sanborn
September 21, 2020 10:48 am

This revelation by the ABC reveals and exposes 1) dependence on fossil fuels and/or 2) the inability of Australia to depend solely on electricity.
1) the commutes to work very likely consume more energy than sustaining a given household temperature for the workday period. The difference is that the ABC in effect shifts the energy burden to fossil fuels (which they apparently despise) from electricity. Imagine if all transportation, in real terms cars, were all electric. The commute demands and thus burden on electricity would be higher than if everyone worked from home.
2) The ABC revelation is in effect trying to hide the fact that Australia’s dependence on “renewable energy” electricity cannot alone reliably keep up with a reasonable level of consumption by its citizenry.
Either way, Australia can’t win with “renewables”. It is a House of Cards.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Clay Sanborn
September 21, 2020 11:01 am

Not to mention that EVs are still more expensive than their comparable ICE vehicles. If you were to increase demand for EVs 100 times or whatever it would take to replace all ICE vehicles, than both the cost of the vehicle and electricity would be MUCH higher than driving an ICE currently.

September 21, 2020 10:54 am

And cooling a house, it’s not as well insulated as a building, and the home may be less energy efficient.

I’m guessing that a building is not better insulated than a house per se. Buildings, being a lot larger, have a more favourable surface to volume ratio and that reduces heat transfer to the environment.

How much of a building’s air conditioning is required for the heat generated by the occupants and their computers? In Canada, in the winter, some buildings have to get rid of heat because of the occupant load. So, if an Australian building is only half occupied, I’m guessing it will take noticeably less air conditioning.

Some energy conservation measures are quick and reasonably inexpensive. The Australian utilities or the government could subsidise those, if they aren’t doing so already.

When I dumped 18 inches of cellulose insulation into the attic of my otherwise well insulated house, it cut my air conditioning requirements by about half.

So, Emma Elsworthy, enough freaking out about all the people working from home. There are solutions to the problem.

Reply to  commieBob
September 21, 2020 11:21 am

Back in the 1990’s I was told that most office buildings would still be using the air conditioner down to around 50 degrees F. Since then, buildings and windows have continued to get more efficient. On the other hand, lights and computers don’t produce as much heat.

Reply to  MarkW
September 22, 2020 5:25 pm

“On the other hand, lights and computers don’t produce as much heat.”
YMMV: Some desktop CPU’s several decades ago were around <5w (RAM/HDD/MB.. = another 60w, CRT screen 60w). As time went on CPU's & GPU's have grown bigger. You can use a notebook computer average <15w, desktop SFF 450w.

Modest use of fluro lighting was reasonably efficient. Then an abundance of halogen downlights increased the power usage. Now these are being replaced with LED’s to be slightly better than fluro in practice.

Running home AirCon in summer uses power when solar output is high. Getting home after work to a hot house and then put the AirCon on put a big sudden load on the network at a time of diminishing solar power and cooking dinners.

Reply to  tygrus
September 22, 2020 6:52 pm

I have never seen a desktop computer, even one that has every slot filled, that pulls 450W.

CPU’s have grown, but their power requirements haven’t. Memory also pulls a lot less power.
Power supplies have gone from analog ones that were at best 40 to 50% efficient, to digital ones that can get upwards of 90% efficient. Back in the day, power supplies were at least half the weight of a desktop and came with one or two fans of their own.

Coverting from flourescent to LED is more than just slightly better. It’s going from 40 to 50% efficient to 80 to 90% efficient. In terms of heat being produced it’s a drop by a factor of 3 to 4.

Reply to  commieBob
September 21, 2020 12:58 pm

“Emma Elsworthy, enough freaking out”

She works for a “news organization.” Freaking out is a job requirement.

Reply to  commieBob
September 21, 2020 1:40 pm

Stray thought: Do people switch off their aircon units when they leave for work?

How much heat does a living body generate anyway, and should we ask people to put their pets (and kids?) down to save electricity?

Is it okay for people to work from home if it is cloudy? (or if there is an extra super high influx of CO2)

Are there no sane governments left in the world?

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Rune
September 21, 2020 3:50 pm

G’Day Rune – aboutHow much heat does a living body generate anyway…

A book of engineering design tables – 40 years ago – suggested allowing for 600W per body when designing a theatre. I believe that the actual figure is closer to 400W.

Reply to  Rune
September 21, 2020 4:23 pm

“How much heat does a living body generate anyway”

Depending on work done, between 40W – 275W.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  saveenergy
September 21, 2020 5:16 pm

Thanks for the update – it’s been a a whole lot of years. Memory failure – or have values for design work been reduced due to better building?

Reply to  saveenergy
September 21, 2020 11:25 pm

Yes, basal metabolism of adult person is somewhere around 200W. You can add another 200W on top of that when you are working out on 100% for untrained person.

Reply to  Rune
September 22, 2020 4:25 pm

Sedentary body produces 440 btu/hr

Reply to  Rune
September 22, 2020 6:53 pm

From memory, an average sized male, wearing business casual puts off about 75W of heat at standard office temperatures.

Joe Dun
Reply to  commieBob
September 21, 2020 2:55 pm

The point is that when people work from home, the main office is still using its HVAC. It has a little less heat, since there are not as many people inside generating heat with their bodies, and their computers. But, a large percentage of the HVAC system is just dealing with the heat loss/gain through the walls.
When some of the staff is working from home, they keep their HVAC on, when it would often be off or at least set to consume less electricity. And since a house has a much smaller inside volume vs. outside surface, you tend to have more exterior surface per worker. So, even if the home is just as well insulated as the office, more energy is needed for the HVAC system.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Joe Dun
September 21, 2020 8:36 pm

Don’t forget what the V in HVAC stands for – Ventilation.

Open to correction but I am of the understanding that very few ‘buildings’ have natural ventilation, so HVAC often runs not for heating or cooling, but to simply keep the air moving.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
September 22, 2020 6:55 pm

I’m pretty sure it stands for voltage. The really big AC units use 220 to 440VAC power, to decrease IR losses.

Reply to  MarkW
September 22, 2020 7:20 pm

You’re surely pulling out legs.

Everyone knows it stands for High Voltage Alternating Current. hvac

Reply to  Joe Dun
September 21, 2020 11:44 pm

“when it would often be off or at least set to consume less electricity”

That surprises me a little bit.

If you let the house warm up while its occupants are at school, work, etc it will presumably take a lot of power to cool it down again once people return. Won’t that “everyone switches on their AC at the same time” jolt stress the grid even more?

I’m on the opposite side of the world where we deal with keeping our houses warm. My heating unit has a configurable schedule, but our family of four would never be able to land on a reasonable schedule, except perhaps knock it down a bit during the night. When I was single living in a small apartment I was able to set a schedule, but even that was inconvenient and I strongly suspected that my neighbors did no such thing. (and FWIW: If we go on an extended winter vacation we cannot completely switch off heating, so that is another differentiator as well)

Joe Dun
Reply to  Rune
September 22, 2020 6:12 am

The whole purpose of a thermostat with the ability to set a schedule, is so that you can save money while people are out of the house. I don’t necessarily turn the HVAC off when I leave, but rather, just shift the temperature 5 deg up or down (depending on if I am using heat or A/C).
If the whole house were in a giant vacuum insulated flask, then I would agree that it doesn’t really effect the energy consumption. But, over the day, your cool/warm house is going to exchange that coolness/warmth with the environment, and that consumes energy to keep the inside at the temperature you want.

I do understand that there is definitely a surge at 4-5pm as people arrive home. But, staying at your comfortable temperature at 12 noon does not really help much in terms of reducing the surge. In my case, I set the thermostat to go to my comfortable temperature about 1 hr before I arrive home. But, my schedule sometimes varies. So just doing a 5 deg offset, allows me to bring the temperature to a comfortable one fairly quickly. Turning the HVAC totally off definitely takes more than an hour to get comfortable if the weather is at an extreme.

It sounds like your own family’s schedule is variable enough that setting a HVAC schedule would not be viable. Though, you might evaluate if just adjusting it a few degrees when people are less likely to be home, would be viable. If someone is home, they just need to bump the temperature a few degrees to make it comfortable. Though you might need to teach them that setting the A/C to 50 deg will not really bring the temperature down from 77 to 72 any faster than setting it to 72 deg.

September 21, 2020 10:57 am

More fossil fuel for transport, tire wear and tear, office buildings turning on and off. Yeah, there’s no Green win without your economy converting into a 3rd world you-know-what.

September 21, 2020 10:58 am

Maybe there is something to be said for an RV type refrigerator/freezer that doesn’t work on a compressor technology but just a thermal heat source. An RV refrigerator does not have a compressor or use any moving parts to cool things down. This is called an absorption refrigerator. Basically, an absorption fridge uses a heating element or a flame to heat a combination of ammonia, hydrogen gas, and water. When using shore power 120-220 VAC or 12 VDC type of for a heating element, (or from a generator), the heat is produced by an element or flame which circulates the refrigerant and provides the cooling just through thermal circulation and gravity.

Perhaps an additional type of advance can be made for basic thermal air conditioning, wherein you heat up a substance all day that provides this heat long after the sun sets, providing A/C all day and well into the night, as long as you have a source of thermal heat. Millions of RV/campers have one of these fridge/freezers, and they are very efficient. The same concept should work for providing air conditioning from thermal heat. I am surprised the technology hasn’t advanced for a simple A/C.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 21, 2020 1:13 pm

Wanted: A few volunteer mechanical engineers with CAD drafting experience, and a volunteer patent attorney and we register the patent in the name WUWT to provide simple solutions to complex problem to provide inexpensive air conditioning concepts from solar/thermal heating as described. We sell the concept to a commercial interest and any profit proceeds goes to a long term non profit climate education WUWT fund to explore for and tell the truth about climate science, in addition to assisting to arrive at other alternative and innovative solutions for the benefit of the entire population of the good Earth. Crowd sourcing at its best.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 21, 2020 2:22 pm

In Europe, experimental solar-powered air conditioning has been tried using water as the refrigerant and lithium bromide as the absorbing agent in cascaded systems

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Earthling2
September 21, 2020 2:02 pm

Has that common with a Peltier Element ?
Or Sterling Motors ?

Reply to  Krishna Gans
September 21, 2020 2:34 pm

No…The Peltier Effect and a Stirling motor are a different process.

Both compressor-type and absorption refrigerators employ a refrigerant gas that has a very low boiling point temperature. In either type, when the refrigerant boils as it is exposed to heat, it carries heat away with it and then condenses. This change of state between a gas and a liquid provides the cooling effect.

The main difference between how absorption refrigeration works versus a compressor-type is how the refrigerant is converted from a gas back into a liquid, which allows the cycle to repeat. Absorption refrigerators change the gas into a liquid by employing only heat, with no moving parts other than the refrigerant gas, which goes around in a circle of tubes.

The absorption cooling cycle consists of three phases: Liquid refrigerant evaporates in a low pressure vessel, picking up heat from the interior of the refrigerator. Due to the low pressure, heat required for evaporation is low. Next, the now-gaseous refrigerant is absorbed by a special salt solution. Then the refrigerant-saturated liquid is heated, causing the refrigerant gas to evaporate out. This hot refrigerant gas passes through a heat exchanger, transferring its heat to the outside ambient-temperature air. This heat loss causes the gas to condense back into a liquid, which then supplies the evaporation phase, as the cycle starts over and continues to do this as long as it has heat applied to the burner or heating coil.

In this thought exercise, consider the house is the refrigerator box, and the source of heat is a thermal solar collector on the roof that concentrates heat into a hot substance that can be drawn upon as necessary to provide the heating to the coil to do the heat exchanging and evaporative condensing and discharging the heat inside your house to the outside. Hence you can ‘chill’ your house down exactly like an A/C unit. And also heat domestic water if you would want as well. This would be much more efficient than creating electricity through PV panels on the roof, and then using that to run a pump to do the same thing. Just like the inefficiency of making electricity from solar panels to heat water in an electric hot water tank. Just do it directly without the electricity.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Earthling2
September 21, 2020 3:06 pm

Thanks for your explanation !
The normal cooling process with compressor I know rather good, even with ammonia or CO2, beside the normal ones.
In so far, the idea seems to be effective, not so as with compressors.
As I just read, they are in use in industrial processes.
The tubes containing ammonia have to be made of stainless steel if I remember well.

Further, I found that

Joel O'Bryan
September 21, 2020 10:59 am

This article neglects the “never enough” mindset of the Greentards.
In their tiny-minds, a shortage driven electricity black-out is simply evidence of not enough OPM has been thrown at wind and solar power schemes.

The Never-Enough mindset is one of the key defining features of socialism and its failures. Whatever the policy of socialism, it ultimately fails both in physical realities (resource limitations such as unrealiable winds and solar of course doesn’t work at night) and in not understanding human behavior. And when socialist policy fails somewhere, the socialists claim it was because not enough resources were devoted. No amount of allocation is ever enough for socialists. And they will never acknowledge that no matter how much resources are devoted, it always and ultimately fails. Because as everyone knows by now, it’s all fun and games and good times until you run out of OPM.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
September 21, 2020 11:22 am

Guess what: OPM is on the verge of extinction!

Reply to  tomwys
September 21, 2020 3:54 pm

One libtard that I know swears that the 1% have enough money to run government for decades, if only politicians had the courage to take it.

Pariah Dog
Reply to  MarkW
September 22, 2020 7:43 am

Never mind the theft aspect of that idea, but even if you did get all their wealth in dollar bills, that would add up to about $25 trillion ( The US government expenditure for 2019 was estimated at $7.3 trillion ( So the 1% could keep the government running for somewhere around 3.5 years, assuming no other income going into the coffers.

But it would be far easier to crank up the money-printing presses, that way there’s no need to forcefully confiscate cash, they can just steal its value via inflation.

Reply to  Pariah Dog
September 22, 2020 7:01 pm

According to Gov. Cuomo of NY, the top 1% of income earners in NYC provide about 50% of the cities budget.
Then in the next breath they will whine about how the rich aren’t paying their fair share.

September 21, 2020 11:06 am

Surely the Australians have enough expertise to design a proper electrical grid that takes into consideration expected demand and build enough supply to cover it, along with reserves. If not, there are some California consulting companies that can help. How hard is it in today’s world? It’s not like we haven’t been doing it for 70 years or more.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  rbabcock
September 21, 2020 2:21 pm

Sure it is not rocket science, but for the last twenty years it has been the Green politicians mandating the bill of materials and schematics of the grid and generators. The engineers are now degraded to slaves posed with the duty of making it work, and this latter part really is rocket science.

Reply to  rbabcock
September 22, 2020 5:31 am

afew yrs ago the victorian powercos got billions to upgrade the grid
they went wild
later reports sai the grid was gold plated over supplied
not 2 yrs later they started the claims the grid wasnt good enough to handle growth and/or more renewables inputs
meanwhile the govt is pushing solar farms and birdshredders all over the state

ps supply charges rose 4x the base cost within 3 yrs of the Smartmeters being installed
from 20 to 100+ per month per home now and rising always

CD in Wisconsin
September 21, 2020 11:17 am

This brings up a question in my American mind: How many traditional power plants have you Aussies shut down in say the last 5-10 years? How many new plants have been built in that time frame?

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 21, 2020 12:07 pm

You mean blown up?

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 21, 2020 11:04 pm

Ah lets see….probably about 8-10 coal plants over 10 years, most are small though the two mains ones would be Playford at 540MW and Hazelwood at 1600MW all up about 8GW the last plant built was Kogan Creek 2007 750MW

Reply to  crakar24
September 22, 2020 2:43 am

You can add Liddell power station (Hunter Valley, NSW) to that list which is scheduled to close down in 2022-23. There goes another 1,680 megawatts.

And to answer the 2nd part of CD in Wisconsin’s question … NONE!

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 23, 2020 1:26 am

I used to work as a communications tech for the Electricity Commission of NSW – that was generation and high voltage grid (>132kV).
They used to be a separate entity finacnially – they would run at a profit for say, 5 years, and get 50% of the cost of new generation/distribution infrastructure “in the bank”, then borrow the other half to build, pay off the debt and get half of the needed money, rinse and repeat.
Their goal was reliable supply, and a lot of spare capacity in both generation and distribution was required to meet the goal – which they did.
Then, one bright-spark politician decided that Gov would take their income and give them sufficient funds annually to pay their expenses. That was the start of a long slide downwards, requiring them to be permanently in debt and reliant on Gov payments, which were, of course, always slashed with a “you don’t need to spend that yet” attitude. So it went from a stable, if somewhat inefficient, system that required no Gov input to continue, to an unstable, “just in time” system. The establishment of the “super grid” (AEMO) made every state Gov believe they could simply “import” “excess” power from other states as required, so they spent less and less on the required infrastructure. This drew down heavily on reliabilty-required duplication of generation and distribution assets, and now we no longer have any margin for error and precious little for faults.
Couple that with the subsidies for unreliables and the unreliables “use first” rules, and we have reached the point where not only is AEMO demanding “traditional” (ie, thermal) generators for stability, but the economics of fossil generators are so bad that it requires Gov subsidies to overcome the other subsidies and make it worthwhile.
Madness squared – cubed, even!
The only “fix” I am aware of (other than complete ceasation of all unreliables subsides – a political impossibility) would be to insist that the unreliables are as constrained as the thermal plant – that they must supply their bid capacity when they say they will, and that they must also supply FCAS (frequency control and ancilliary services) as part of the deal. They will scream bloody murder, but it’s that or the Californication of the entire AEMO grid.
It may be too late in any case – building even a 1GW power station takes a long time and there are very few ways to speed up the process (you can’t legislate for concrete to set faster, or welders to weld faster etc).
It’s the shear scale of what is required that most people have a hard time getting their head around. So next time you see video of a cooling tower at a power station, have a close look – at the bottom is a “zig-zag”, which is where it draws air in. Just the zig-zag structure is a good 20 feet high for a 660MW generator, so that will give you some scale. Big, isn’t it? Notice too the size of the powerhouse building itself. Woah! Now you begin to understand. And that’s just a small part of what is actually required – 4 x 660 = 2.5GW, minimum AEMO load is 18GW, so assuming we allow 25% off-line for maintenance we need 12 of these for minimum load and 20-30 for peak load.
And because we haven’t build any new ones for 10-15 years, many – like Liddell – are due to close soon with no replacements. Nor can these be easily refurbished – after 30-50 years of 50Hz “hum”, the structure itself is basically scrap, having literally shaken itself to bits.
We are so screwed…

Al Miller
September 21, 2020 11:24 am

It would appear that absolutely nothing has changed in terms of foresight by the greens. “Immediate action is required” has not yet in any of their endeavors that i can think of resulted in a positive change. The list of failures is endless seemingly, and even the former acolytes are now turning on them and pointing out the unintended consequences are worse than the disease.
Of course IMHO there never was any intent to go green, but rather to go Marxist regardless of the consequences.
I can assure you I started out as a fist shaking believer in “global Warming”, but gradually became jaded as I saw what appeared to be lie after lie about this issue.
I remain open to changing my mind again, but it will be difficult as I have done extensive research into the Marxist roots of the cause, starting with my favorite Maurice Strong who at least was somewhat honest about the intentions to destroy Capitalism and moved himself to China eventually to live life in his chosen economic system. One system that has been roundly, thoroughly and repeatedly shown to not work (putting it nicely) with the deaths of 100,000,000 to show for it.

September 21, 2020 11:31 am

Just plain ROFL.

September 21, 2020 11:38 am

Eric, the upside of this situation for green-minded citizens is the possibility of more ‘green jobs’ being created.

Two that come to mind –
punkah wallahs
street lamp lighters

Reply to  Mr.
September 21, 2020 12:08 pm

punkah wallahs.. had to look that one up.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 21, 2020 1:31 pm

Certainly not any gas flames involved anyway

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 21, 2020 1:55 pm

Blowing out a street lamp by lamplighters.

Ben Vorlich
September 21, 2020 12:02 pm

One reason to go to work, apart from talking to colleagues about problems, sport and TV shows, was that the office was warm in winter and cool in summer., and it was someone else’s electricity powering it all.
Talking through problems with colleagues, often just explaining them, saved hours of going round in circles or going up blind alleys.
I never liked working from home.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
September 22, 2020 7:04 pm

My company is internationally distributed. Only once have I been on a team with someone who was actually located in the same building as I was.

Working at home has made little difference for me, except I’m saving a fortune on laundry.
I have to be careful and only buy a gallon or two of gas at a time, since I rarely drive more than about 20 miles per week.

September 21, 2020 1:03 pm

I’ll use the air-con at work instead…… 🙂

Krishna Gans
September 21, 2020 1:10 pm

What a “Brave New World” 😀

September 21, 2020 2:05 pm

Not all states are the same.
Here in Victoria we have both hot summers and cold winters.
We also have household electricity AND gas.
Most people use electricity for cooling but gas for heating.
The peak hourly summer electricity demand is about 9000MW
The peak hourly winter electricity demand is about 8000MW
If you replaced all gas usage with electricity ( alarmist goal)the peak hourly winter demand would be about 25000MW

Smart Rock
September 21, 2020 3:14 pm

Australia is suffering from a very long-established aversion to nuclear power that started in the 1970s or possibly even earlier. Uranium mining was tolerated (just) and still goes on. As I understand it, the Olympic Dam mine (where Naomi Oreskes earned her Ph.D.) is tolerated because uranium is not its primary product. But (AFAIK) no nuclear power generation ever got beyond the talking stage.

With a few (carbon-free!!!) nukes churning away 24/7/365, Australia could have a nice stable baseload, and the greenies could play with wind power without destabilising the grid. It would still result in high prices, but the lights would stay on.

Chickens coming home to roost….

(As a uranium exploration geologist in Canada, I picked up bits and pieces of info about Australian uranium mining and nuclear policies in the pre-internet era, and I apologise for errors)

Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 21, 2020 11:18 pm

The renewable lobby resist nuclear power because this type of generation would have access to all the perks/subsidies they do. They dont produce CO2 so no generation of REC’s, no REC’s means no golden eggs to collect.

They would be considered a non CO2 producing scheduled generator as opposed to a semi scheduled generator and therefore wont be able to be kicked off the grid like coal when the sun shines and wind blows.

A nuke plant would destroy the renewable scam

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Smart Rock
September 21, 2020 8:57 pm

“…Olympic Dam mine (where Naomi Oreskes earned her Ph.D.) is tolerated because uranium is not its primary product.”

Copper, Uranium, Gold and Silver. Spent two years working there back late last century. The accepted dialog was that if it wasn’t for the copper the uranium would not be economical to process. Didn’t stop the usual mob of protesters coming up to complain every six months or so. They used to camp more or less on the side of the road and made no attempt to remove their rubbish when they left. Always had collections of barefoot semi-feral kids who were the one’s I felt sorry for.

SO2 was actually considered a bigger hazard when working at plant end of the mine than radiation. Everyone carried SO2 respirators but radiation meters were only issued to those who worked in the associated areas.

In practical terms areas they refined the copper and extracted the gold were probably the most dangerous. LOTS of volts and lots of fun chemicals. Used to be enough SO2 in the air that it would react with your sweat and form acid on your skin. Tingled. My friends who worked down the hole used to claim their location was safer because only rocks fell on their heads and couldn’t understand why I was happy to go into those areas.

Fun industry. Very dynamic. Anything that held up production basically had money thrown at it until it was fixed. Used to get massive pieces of equipment come into our company yard and be cut, welded, blasted, repainted and out again before you ever really found out what it was. Then moved back into the city, shifted sideways a few industries and projects move magnitudes slower.

September 21, 2020 3:34 pm

So, they want everyone to commute to work, where the AC draw will crash the grid and everyone is then stuck far from home, in buildings or trains or buses or cars? I see how that could help them be popularly re-voted into office. They are f***king brilliant!!!!!

Most of those buildings that are seeing low occupancy are very likely “idled” down, when people are forced back into them they have to be “revved” up. Are they not looking at what those buildings have been using over the last 5 odd months? Clearly not.

David A
Reply to  2hotel9
September 22, 2020 2:27 am

And yet when everyone commutes to work properly ( in E.Vs ) it will somehow be even better when the start up all the home AC, and plug in their EVs at the same time.

Reply to  2hotel9
September 22, 2020 5:37 am

electric trains replaced reliable diesels
so power off = a sh*tloadof trapped hot and peeved commuters
makes melaugh every time it happens

Reply to  ozspeaksup
September 23, 2020 6:13 am

People really should be properly pissed off by now. Most are still clueless.

September 21, 2020 3:34 pm

The test of all this is toilet paper.
It ran out when COVID-19 happened.
I don’t recall that it ever ran out in any of the climate crisis happenings of the last 41 years.

Reply to  Martin Clark
September 21, 2020 4:32 pm

Toilet paper ran out when COVID-19 happened because-
when one person coughed…100 people $hit themselves.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Martin Clark
September 21, 2020 4:46 pm

It didn’t run out
They just had to readjust supply lines.
Done went to retail and some went to commercial distribution
When lockdown happened and everyone stayed home the retail distribution was short because that channel was overloaded.
Was always the same demand and supply
The channels just got mucked up

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
September 21, 2020 6:10 pm

supply lines may have been the initial problem but hoarding certainly caused a long term problem even after the supply lines were adjusted. It was the same with household cleaners and even food items like hamburger, bread, and canned soup.My grocer friend said people went from buying for a week supply to buying for a month supply. Then when supplies got low the first ones there would buy all they could. It’s why my local grocery put limits on almost everything. One loaf of bread, two cans of soup, two pounds of hamburger, etc.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 22, 2020 6:01 am

Hoarding. I love that word. I was raised to have an extensive stockpile of needed items, when all this stupidity started we were well setup to survive without running to store and buying everything in sight. As supply re-stabilized we have extended our volume of needed items. Hoarding, what an idiotic word.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  2hotel9
September 22, 2020 8:10 am


Think about your comment for a minute. How do you hoard hamburger and bread? I guess you can freeze it but even then hamburger can get freezer burned and bread can lose its consistency.

I’ve never seen the need to stockpile toilet paper. Bleach and a rag can handle that need for a long time, supposing you can stockpile bleach. I’m not sure just how long bleach takes to eat through a plastic container but its probably not “prepper” stable. Even canned soup has a shelf life. You are far better off canning the ingredients and changing them out as needed.

Hoarding is typically defined as collecting something you don’t need.You don’t need to hoard a months worth of toilet paper. Sooner or later you will run out and have to repurchase or find another alternative anyway. Same with bread and hamburger. You are far better off buying flour and yeast to make bread and hunting to get meat.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 23, 2020 6:31 am

Wow, grab your eco-friendly shopping bag and go buy groceries for another day, then do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day,,,,,,,,, That is your choice. I will continue to live as I was raised to, and yea, if you don’t know how to properly freeze foods they don’t last long, bread is dirt simple to bake and it is quite easy to rotate canned goods. Clorox in the standard white plastic jug has a shelf life in excess of 10 years, not to worry, the 32 gallon drum in the shop has a storage rating of indefinite. Oh, and if you feel the need to wipe your bum with a bleach soaked rag go for it.

Gilbert K. Arnold
September 21, 2020 3:46 pm

Oh the irony of it all..

Michael F
September 21, 2020 4:01 pm

I saw this comment on the Tim Blair blog. It is so good it needs more exposure

Blacked Out Country

I love a blacked-out country
a land of futile schemes
of wind and solar madness
and debt beyond our means

Of politicians’ subterfuge
with carbon as the culprit
they demonise and sermonise
from their climate pulpit

this governance by proxy
to the gods of climate change
becomes the orthodoxy
so ludicrous and strange

I love a blacked out country
a land of scams and schemes
of diesel, wind and solar
and Twitter Facebook memes

where feelings and emotions
rule reason and all fact
and evidence ignored
is consensus down the track

I love a blacked out country
where Greenies reign supreme
and Labor apparatchiks
destroy the Aussie dream
1 hour ago

Alasdair Fairbairn
Reply to  Michael F
September 21, 2020 9:45 pm

Brilliant Michael thanks; but not sure why the writer loves his/her blacked out country.
Perhaps replacing’I love’ with ‘despair’ might be better.

Reply to  Alasdair Fairbairn
September 22, 2020 5:35 am

its a parody of Dorothea McKellars
I love a sunburnt Country”

September 21, 2020 8:24 pm

Well build more power stations then you numpties. I had to chuckle when the Prime Minister of Australia the honorable Mr Scott Morrison went to the Hunter Valley, which contains 7 billion tonnes of recoverable black coal reserves, and announced a piddling new 1000MW GAS fired generator!

Shows that energy policy in Australia is obviously decided by the Marx Brothers, of which Karl was always the funniest. His duo skit with soul buddy Lenin sure was a hoot. Ask any Russian.

September 22, 2020 12:00 am

I wish the ABC would all work from home, permanently. Australian taxpayers Are forced to pay for the ABC which continually trashes ordinary Australians and treats us all with contempt. Working from home, turning on the air-conditioners and bringing down the power grid would be a fitting position for them all to be in. And you never know, there is a very remote possibility that it may dawn on them their solutions are worse than the problem..

September 22, 2020 1:27 am

Uk experience was that working from home reduced electricity consumption

But heck who needs facts?

September 22, 2020 2:44 am

When ‘our’ ABC studios in all capital cities switch to 100% unicorn f*rts day AND NIGHT, I might consider watching it again.

Mmmm … maybe not.

A little trivia. The GPO Box number of the ABC in all capital cities is 9994, which is taken from the great Sir Donald Bradman’s test batting average of 99.94.

September 22, 2020 3:01 am

Your taxpayer dollars at work, telling people when to stay or leave their home in their own private time. Thanks, but get stuffed.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Thingadonta
September 22, 2020 3:07 am

Try that in Victoria, Australia right now and you WILL be removed from your vehicle!

September 22, 2020 3:13 am

If this was an entirely fossil grid and the population switched suddenly to home working, I see no evidence there’s have been sufficient capacity for the extra demand.

California saw record demand in its heatwave: would there have been enough peaker fossil fuel to accomodate that? I don’t see the evidence there would have been.

Record demand in places with now extreme heat strains any grid.

Reply to  griff
September 22, 2020 3:20 am

So now we need the spare capacity for hot weather AS WELL AS the all the extra capacity for when they have to cover for “MIA” wind and solar.

You are an IDIOT, griff. !!

Reply to  griff
September 22, 2020 3:51 am

There has been very little heat increase, barely 1 degree since the COLDEST period in almost 10,000 years.

That heat increase is not due to human CO2.. you have proven that.

This “extreme heat ” LIE of yours in based on NOTHING but UHI effects, and you KNOW that.

Of course when you remove RELIABLE power supplies from the grid, when you have increasing populations, you stress the grid.

Try not to be an ignorant fool all you life , griff. !

Reply to  griff
September 22, 2020 5:48 am

hmm all the no shade no verandah no openable windows cos double glazed etc
little to NO thought on siting homes to ensure less heat absorption by placement to sun
and throw in a nation of weak wonders who cant live without aircon 24/7
add some nice extra heat from watersaving ecogardens of gravel holding heat and not giving any moisture via transpiration, no decent trees cos “make a mess leaves in gutters etc birds sit n pop on our posh cars”
millons more cars throwing out huge heat and ditto those aircons
yup manmade warming indeedy
ALL localised to the termite mounds of cities
hell even termites build better!!! much better

Reply to  griff
September 22, 2020 7:09 pm

When one lie doesn’t work, griff thinks up 2 new ones.
CA did not see record demand this past summer.
Beyond that, the amount of fossil fuel plants that have been shut down in the last 10 years was more than enough to have handled the recent surge, had they been allowed to continue to operate.

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