AU $53 Billion to Service a Green Hydrogen Market which Does Not Exist

Solar, pexel, free usage, panel

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Australian Federal Government has expedited approval for a $53 billion project and the devastation of 78 Sq KM of wilderness, to produce green hydrogen for an export market which does not exist. All to save the planet.

Green giants: the massive projects that could make Australia a clean energy superpower

Sat 14 Nov 2020 06.00 AEDT

The Asian Renewable Energy Hub would have an energy content equivalent to 40% of Australia’s overall electricity generation

by Adam Morton
Sat 14 Nov 2020 06.00 AEDT

The world’s largest power station is planned for a vast piece of desert about half the size of greater suburban Sydney in Australia’s remote north-west.

Called the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, its size is difficult to conceptualise. If built in full, there will be 1,600 giant wind turbines and a 78 sq km array of solar panels a couple of hundred kilometres east of Port Hedland in the Pilbara.

This solar-wind hybrid power plant would have a capacity of 26 gigawatts, more than Australia’s entire coal power fleet. The hub’s backers say the daytime sun and nightly winds blowing in from the Indian Ocean are perfectly calibrated to provide a near constant source of emissions-free energy around the clock.

Most of it will be used to run 14GW of electrolysers that will convert desalinated seawater into “green hydrogen” – a form of energy that analysts expect to be in increasing demand as a replacement for fossil fuels in the years and decades ahead.

Though still five years away from construction, the hub vaulted closer to reality in recent weeks after the federal government granted it major project status – a designation that should smooth the approval processes – and the Western Australian government greenlit its first stage.

But most of the energy created will be exported. Because hydrogen condenses from a gas into a liquid only at very low temperatures (about -250C), it will be shipped as green ammonia, which is safer to transport and created by blending hydrogen with nitrogen.

One of the questions hanging over the project will be its cost, but Star of the South maintains it makes economic sense – that the technology is becoming cheaper and the generation patterns of offshore wind will complement, rather than compete with, onshore renewables. It is seeking environmental approval from the Victorian government and waiting on the commonwealth to complete a legal framework for offshore clean energy developments, but has a goal of starting to generate by 2025.

Read more:

My question – if the “technology is becoming cheaper”, and the market is not expected to exist until 2035, why jump the gun? Why not wait a few years, until the costs come down even further?

The Asian Renewable Energy Hub plan has undergone several radical transformations since its inception. The original idea was an undersea cable to Asia, but this idea seems to have quietly died. Then it briefly morphed into a green hydrogen export facility but now seems to have evolved into a green ammonia production and export facility.

A 2017 CSIRO study suggested round trip efficiency for green electricity to hydrogen to ammonia and back to electricity is 25 – 39%, which means up to 75% of the already hideously expensive renewable electricity is lost just in the conversion process, without even considering shipping and distribution costs.

Ammonia production from fossil fuel sourced hydrogen is a mature industrial process, so you would have to be pretty optimistic to expect significant performance gains from that part of the process.

Any dramatic cost savings will have to come from cost savings in the manufacturing of the solar panels and wind turbines, but there is a limit to how far the price can fall. Wind turbine and solar panel production are very energy intensive industrial processes.

A final straw, somehow the project will need to source vast quantities of water, for washing the solar panels. The dust buildup in the Australian desert has to be seen to be believed. In the dry desert environment static charges build quickly, causing the dust to stick to surfaces. You can’t use unprocessed sea water to wash the panels, because heated brine is corrosive, leaves a residue, and is a very good electrical conductor – short circuits, light obstruction and corroded wiring in one easy package. You can’t use compressed air to clean the panels, because the dust particles are abrasive; compressed air would sand blast the panels. While there is ongoing research into using electrostatic methods to remove the dust, or gently brushing the dust away without water, Chemically pure water remains one of the least damaging cleaning agents.

But in the desert, clean water is a highly constrained resource.

So in addition to desalinating water for hydrogen and ammonia production, the project will need to desalinate vast quantities of water to keep the 78 sq KM of solar panels clean, by giving them a regular wash.

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Chris Morris
November 14, 2020 10:50 pm

This looks like another one of those dream schemes that attempt to rewrite the laws of physics. The proponents rely on the fact that the politicians/ decision makers have no scientific knowledge, even at a basic level. Anyone with even a cursory understanding knows the economics don’t stack up. But they are dismissed as deniers. Only the truly enlightened can see the path to the future. I would say the only beneficiaries wil be the promoters who will pay themselves handsomely and depart before the problems occur.

Reply to  Chris Morris
November 14, 2020 11:02 pm

Absolutely right. But these projects are not really for the goals which are being advertised. These billions will go to lining the pockets of connected insiders. Environmentalists, politicians, lawyers, consultants, connected contractors, PR people, and a host of others will have their hands in the giant pot of money. They’ll get nicer houses and cars, private schools for their kids, luxury vacations, early retirement, and a host of other goodies at taxpayer expense. Judged as a way to produce usable energy, this project will be a huge boondoggle, but judged as a way to enrich the elites with tax money, this project will be a raging success.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  NickSJ
November 15, 2020 4:22 am

Is it a given that Hunter Biden be on the Board of Directors?

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 16, 2020 4:23 pm

or someone like him.

Another Ian
Reply to  Chris Morris
November 15, 2020 2:17 am

Sounds like ostrich farms – only bigger

Reply to  Chris Morris
November 15, 2020 3:46 am

Crescent Dunes 2.0

Australia would be better off throwing that $53B in an incinerator and using it to generate thermal energy.

Barnes Moore
Reply to  Steve
November 15, 2020 5:42 am

I believe Crescent Dunes has been shut down, but can’t seem to find any updated status on Ivanpah. Is it close to delivering on it’s promise?

Reply to  Barnes Moore
November 15, 2020 8:03 am

Ivanpah is a stealth natural gas power station with some solar mirror decorations.

November 14, 2020 10:51 pm


Greg Locock
November 14, 2020 10:54 pm

Our solar panels in NT needed about 1 litre of water per day (at a minimum) to keep 2 kW of panels relatively dust free (and cool, solar panels heat up in the sun and lose efficiency). Most of this water will evaporate, as the panels will be at anything up to 70 deg C. So we’ll see some interesting greening of the desert side effects. 78 sq km of panels would need 9750 tonnes of water a day at that rate. Is that a lot? i don’t know.

Reply to  Greg Locock
November 15, 2020 12:40 am

No worries, the backers can just ask for another hand out to build a pipeline from the under-used water storage resource of Lake Argyle on the Ord River, and install sprinklers 🙂
…yes, I know most of the water sprayed by sprinklers in the Pilbara will be lost, but this IS a project of national significance and it IS saving the planet, so how could Reality get in the way? How could it possibly fail? You know it’ll be as great as Flim Flammery’s hot rocks geothermal scheme near Innamincka, or the Port Agutta version of Ivanpah, oh, wait a minute…

Reply to  Erny72
November 15, 2020 3:35 am

Pilbaras the ass end of nowhere AND in WA so why?? is Vic govt approval required?
but diktator Dan signed us to belt n rd and sold Vic down the chinese river so of course the daft mongrel will runnerstamp it
hes so gungho greentard its nauseating

hmm when the wildlife and feral camels smell water??
could get amusing

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Erny72
November 15, 2020 3:53 pm

(i)(b)…Flim Flammery’s hot rocks geothermal scheme near Innamincka…(/b)(/i)
“Innamincka” got my attention. I was in that area in the mid-1960’s with United Geophysical – seismic exploration. Never heard a mention of geothermal.

Gidgealpa #1 was drilled too far off the structure – all that it brought up was water. Contaminated to the point where it was banned for use in vehicle radiators. The second and third wells brought in gas.

Another Ian
Reply to  Greg Locock
November 15, 2020 1:06 am

10 pounds to an imp gallon

Metric ton 2200 lbs X 9750 tons = 21450000 lbs

divide by 10 for gallons

2,145,000 gallons per day at 4.5 litres per gallon

96,525,000 l/day

Check my maths but seems a lot of Evian or the like

Reply to  Another Ian
November 15, 2020 5:03 am

It’s easier if you just stay in metric. 9750 tonnes of water is 9750 cubic meters. If you want litres, just multiply by 1000.

A railway tank car is good for about 131 cubic meters. link So, 9750/131 is about 75 tank cars. Each tank car is about 60 feet long. link The daily train would be around 4500 feet long. That’s more than a kilometre and less than a mile.

That’s a lot of water. Fortunately, Pilbara has railway tracks so that saves some money.

very old white guy
Reply to  Another Ian
November 15, 2020 5:43 am

What are they going to do with all the salt?

Reply to  very old white guy
November 15, 2020 9:55 am

Melt snow and ice on frozen streets…..

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  very old white guy
November 15, 2020 10:01 am

“What are they going to do with all the salt?”

Dump it back in the ocean.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 15, 2020 1:53 pm

Fine salt is a culinary seasoning.
Though 35 kg/tonne x roughly 10,000 tonnes – so about 350 tonnes per day may be beyond even our cooks’ ability to season food – and keep it edible, let alone healthy!

But, yes, keeping roads ice free.
Many roads near Pilbarra need de-icing much?


Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 15, 2020 5:34 pm

Salt lick blocks for Roos?

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 15, 2020 9:27 pm

“Many roads near Pilbarra need de-icing much?”

You mock. But just think about it. This scheme will reduce the amount of CO2 being released in the air. As a result, temperatures will drop precipitously. The roads in NW Australia will be freezing over in no time, just as they did in the old days.

Reply to  Greg Locock
November 15, 2020 1:41 pm

The solution to clean solar panels was found in New York City, back in the late 80’s and 90’s, known as Squeegee Men! Free souls, roaming the streets, armed only with buckets, spit and squeegees, would clean the windshields of any car found stopped at an intersection and then demand payment or else.

There was no discrimination and the service was always available, rain or shine, 24/7.
Unfortunately Mayor Rudy Giuliani put a stop to this practice, but there have been recent reports of the Return of Squeegee Man!

Moving these modern day Robin Hoods to the Aussie Outback would indeed be a Win-Win solution, so to speak.

November 14, 2020 11:08 pm

The irony is that Japan is more pragmatic in their view of H2 futures. Their roadmap has the gasifying West Australian coal with ccsu, and they want it delivered at a price to match NG. Hard to compete with that.

Very little H2 experience across the partners, seem to mainly be capital raising, wind and solar.

And getting Major Projects status doesn’t seem to deliver much other then smoothing of the regulatory pathway – of the 21 current ones most seem to be medicinal cannabis, followed by multiple mining, a couple of LPG, and this and a cable to move Oz sunshine energy to Singapore.

Flight Level
November 14, 2020 11:13 pm

Is Australia now a banana republic headed by an incompetent megalomaniac dictator ?

Reply to  Flight Level
November 15, 2020 12:44 am


Reply to  Flight Level
November 15, 2020 1:55 am

The government has very little to do with it they gave fast approvals based on the size of the investment and offered a small finance package thru the renewable energy fund which would be under their normal lending conditions. If it all goes pear shaped what do they care it isn’t tax payer money.

Flight Level
Reply to  LdB
November 15, 2020 4:52 am

Could I use this analogy to claim that at the end, my property suffered only a minor damage, should my kid wreck my neighbor’s car onto my garbage container ?

Reply to  Flight Level
November 15, 2020 5:09 pm

Not a bad analogy so as the property owner what do you care?

Phillip Bratby
November 14, 2020 11:20 pm

There is only one word for this – “insanity”.

Phil Rae
November 14, 2020 11:24 pm

Anybody who thinks this kind of project makes sense probably needs counselling!

The laws of chemistry and physics are hard taskmasters at the best of times but once you add in the practical aspects of actually trying to use solar panels and rotating machinery in a windy desert location, the outcome is destined to become farce.

, in terms of fleecing investors, harvesting government subsidies and providing vast sums of money to the promoters and their financiers, it’s probably up there along with similar fantasy renewable energy projects. When will people wake up to these scams?

Reply to  Phil Rae
November 15, 2020 1:58 am

There aren’t any subsidies on offer in Australia the gas is destined for export so that would be up to countries buying it.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  LdB
November 16, 2020 9:25 am

There aren’t any subsidies on offer *yet*. It’s nearly certain that’s the final destination, just wait for it.

Flight Level
Reply to  Phil Rae
November 15, 2020 6:09 am

As I already said, laws of physics are outdated and should be replaced by a stringent set of climate justice regulations. Like for example, an executive order (or equivalent) to significantly rise the value of Planck’s constant.

November 14, 2020 11:38 pm

Instead of destroying all this land this way, why now dedicate a *tiny* bit of space now earmarked for being destroyed to store “waste” from commerical nuclear plants. Someday that “waste” will be useful and can be reclaimed.

November 14, 2020 11:49 pm

The iron ore and natural gas operations in the Pilbara prove that it is possible to build complex industrial processes in that part of the world. However the region pays a massive premium for labour and materials.

The production of salt in the region is solar evaporation is testament to the solar resource.

However it is not the location to be developing novel production facilities. Both Rio Tinto and BHP have wasted billions on failed projects in the region. They survive because the basic resources are abundant and easily extracted. By necessity keeping it simple and highly automated to improve reliability and lower labour costs.

Solar is an abundant resource in the region. A tracking array will produce from 6am to 6pm on most days and will be at rated capacity for about half that time each day. I not so sure about the wind. Even being 300km inland, turbines will still be exposed to strong winds at times. Not so sure it is reliable either. There are certainly many days when there is next to no wind.

I expect the solar and wind could each achieve around 30% capacity factor. So these plants are idle more than they are producing. By necessity it is hard to see the hydrogen production plant achieving better than 50% utilisation; doing nothing for half the time.

Storing and transporting hydrogen is challenging. Storing and transporting ammonia as a carrier for hydrogen is not a whole lot less challenging. Ammonia literally hangs around like a bad smell in an accidental release; in fact a deadly gas. The specific energy of ammonia is about 1/7th the specific energy of hydrogen and about half that of liquid fossil fuel. So forming ammonia to enable transport comes with big penalties in loss of specific energy that drives up transport cost.

If the hydrogen was eventually used in fuel cells with high conversion efficiency then that would offset the high cost of transport to some degree. However hybrids already offer a means to halve fuel consumption in existing motor vehicles but has not been widely adopted.

Project costs spiral once they get to the Pilbara. Anyone who has lived there knows why. So $53bn could easily blow out to $100bn and litter the desert with a lot of scrap before the pin is eventually pulled:
And Karratha is on the coast with its cooling sea breeze.

Reply to  RickWill
November 15, 2020 12:30 am

Rick, this region is in ‘cyclone alley’ a persistent low pressure trough running down the Kimberly and Pilbara coast, typically around three cyclones harass the region annually; while those winds represent a substantial stored energy source and the intense precipitation might clean the shards of broken PV cells, I really don’t see delicate unreliables being well suited to a long term future there.

Reply to  RickWill
November 15, 2020 1:50 am

But one thing the Pilbara has in abundance is access to cheap gas. So why anybody would spend billions trying to use unreliable energy sources in a region with plenty of cheap gas is beyond me.

Reply to  Graeme#4
November 15, 2020 2:01 am

They are going to export the Hydrogen to Asia, none of it is intended for the Australian market and so how much Gas Australia has is not relevant.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  LdB
November 15, 2020 5:38 pm

A non existent market

Paul Penrose
Reply to  LdB
November 16, 2020 9:38 am

In business, the road to ruin is paved with good intentions and bad decisions. This project seems to have a surplus of both. I see a government bail-out in the future.

Reply to  RickWill
November 15, 2020 9:11 am

Hydrogen is a actually quite commonly produced in petrochemical and oil refining facilities. However it is always consumed in the same location it is produced, and produced at the rate at which it is consumed, and the equipment well instrumented for failure detection. This minimizes dangers of bulk storage explosions and the cost of replacing hydrogen embrittled pipes, pressure vessels, and heat exchangers. Pumping it through pipelines to a city for household heating or any other purpose is simply a stupid idea from any engineering safety perspective.

Carl Friis-Hansen
November 15, 2020 12:25 am

There are Chinese moles in the AU government. The moles seek to increase help Chinese industry, by producing loads of solar panels, wind turbines, electronics to AU. The Chinese moles would also like to hire out a part of China’s work force to install and maintain the PVs and wind turbines. China has the coal power, the labor, the raw material, the finance and the strategic determination to do so.

After it is all build and photographed and the transportation system build, the project would likely need to be redone 15 years thereafter due to exponentially increasing maintenance cost and great new ideas to screw the environment and economy.

Where there is a will, there is a way; also when the way is conned and almost impossible, the moles will find a way.


The more components and the more complexity per unit of power and capacity, the more maintenance, largely a linear relationship. Not sure what the failure rate on the electronics and the deterioration of the solar panels is, but considering the harsh environment with dust storms, high temperature swings, savage animals, etc. the project sounds insane.


… which means up to 75% of the already hideously expensive renewable electricity is lost just in the conversion process, without even considering shipping and distribution costs.

Let the Chinese make their own power, let the Chinese build some new modern coal power plants in AU and the AU government has time to launch modern nuclear by themselves.
This would leave 78 sq km to the camels and “preserve” the planet and economy.
In that way AU could, like China, look into electrification of some of the railways where feasible.


What became clear to me, after seeing the March For Trump over the rsbnetwork yesterday, is that probably most people don’t want Green politics if they new the arguments against it. The media, now including FOX, is brutally hindering the general population in knowing any fact against the Green policy.
In the march yesterday several hundred thousand people of all ages, colors and status participated, but only one single newcomer media company was there, despite this was an event unique in the history of the USA after voters have delivered their votes.

Ian Magness
November 15, 2020 12:28 am

My goodness, we’ve all seen crazy zero carbon schemes that double/triple up industrial processes (eg burning methane to make ammonia – let’s forget the CO2 produced – which is then burnt to make hydrogen which is then used to create electricity) but does this scheme win the prize for the most ludicrously complex and expensive way of “creating” power?
Look at the amount of sea water involved alone and how you are going to get it hundreds of km inland before desalinating it (with all the costs and energy involved in that) before then using it both for hydrolysis and washing of the facilities – and that’s just to get you started. Then also consider all of the capex and opex involved in all these processes combined.
How on Earth do they expect to be either cash or energy positive after expending such huge amounts of both?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Ian Magness
November 15, 2020 4:24 am

Rube Goldberg would be proud.

November 15, 2020 12:39 am

UK industry is investing heavily in green hydrogen: it is a part of every major european post covid recovery plan and future green investment.

for once Australia get in on the ground floor.

(and the USA – you missed the solar panel and wind turbine industry starting up: for once beat the Chinese to it)

Reply to  griff
November 15, 2020 1:35 am

Like the rush to diesel, the rush to wind, solar and now hydrogen be be shown to be a big ‘cock up’, as James May likes to say.
Lots of people homeless and living in carboard boxes, and yet greens can’t stop thinking of ways to flush hard-earned money.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  griff
November 15, 2020 1:44 am

Investment in hydrogen infrastructure sounds great, but paying for it in long term could be challenge. And again, the AP (Associated Press) Monopoly, the World Bank and the Green mob only suggest one future with no consideration to feasibility, ecology and quality.

I want so see a simple schema, based on objective studies, a comparison of different existing and tested systems for powering various sectors of society in various geographical areas.

In Norway their society is mainly powered by electricity from hydro as this makes the most economic sense due to their geography.

In AU they used to use mainly coal for electricity as this is their abundant resource and liquid fossil fuel for transportation as the only viable option on a continent with almost no people. England wouldn’t be larger enough to be a state in AU.

In China they use coal and continue to do so, because they have lots of coal and it makes economic sense. Further more, it is the best option as the country is developing fast and coal power plants are fast to build on a GW (gigawatt) bases, even when you include coal transport infrastructure.

On Iceland they use main geothermal to provide heat and electricity as geothermal is their only abundant energy source.

Reply to  griff
November 15, 2020 2:06 am

“UK industry is investing heavily in green hydrogen”

That’s utter bollox, they are only TALKING about investing,-
mostly cos,- Bojo’s c..k sucking g/f is running the county (or thinks she is!) despite not actually ever having been elected for anything.

Once the knives come out for “Carrie on up the caper” , it’s not gonna be pretty, and I forecast the next person thrown out of No10 will be her, (after last week’s cumming and cain*) closely followed by Bojo.

*great names aren’t they just?

Reply to  pigs_in_space
November 15, 2020 2:12 am

Griff tells us you guys are going great because you got in on the ground floor and are so advanced 🙂

Reply to  pigs_in_space
November 15, 2020 3:48 am

yeah did wtf? moment when i read it re the ousting
and the booftoothed smug things face…spake volumes.
like sparkles markle it seems sex and a brat is the grab by the short n curlies for total control
sad really

Reply to  griff
November 15, 2020 2:10 am

Griff it’s not even Australia read the article again … we are just the location. It’s up to private enterprise expected to be from Asian countries and we get to make a few bucks on the side. Australia has enormous reserves of gas and doesn’t require any of this. We are happy to be at the back of the pack and keep burning fossil fuels.

Cat still got your tongue on how the UK which apparently is a world leader in renewables is turning that into an economic advantage? Things were bad enough before covid and you are now back to 2014 levels.

Reply to  LdB
November 15, 2020 3:49 am

let em crap in their own backyards!
if its such a great idea? build it at home

Reply to  ozspeaksup
November 15, 2020 5:15 pm

Using that logic we shouldn’t dig up coal and iron ore and export it as Australia doesn’t use that which is being exported. You do it for the money and as long as it follows the enviromental and local laws the rest of us will outvote you which is why the politicians gave it approval.

Reply to  griff
November 15, 2020 5:34 am

UK will always be near and dear to my heart, I lived there for 2 years pity you have gone utterly stupid with unreliable, intermittent green energy.
I designed and fixed hydrogen plants, Hydrogen is not for stupid people.

Reply to  griff
November 15, 2020 11:36 am

Greens are parasites.

John F Hultquist
Reply to  griff
November 15, 2020 4:32 pm

Three major industrial firms know how to do Hydrogen;
– Linde,
– Air Liquide, and
– Air Products & Chemicals

They know how to safely produce, store, and transport
very volatile Hydrogen. If there is demand in WA, or anyplace near,
all that is needed is to encourage them to invest. A phone call would do.

What the industry doesn’t need is government involvement.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  griff
November 15, 2020 6:17 pm

And here we see Griff in his own words destroy the myth that there are masses of ‘Green Jobs’ just waiting to be grabbed.

Griff explains (again) that it is too late to get into wind and solar because China has already done so.

Griff Logic – Green Jobs are real… but only if you get in on the ground floor… so start investing in them.

Also worth asking, based on Griff Logic, is why his local area isn’t getting in on the Ground Floor with this sort of thing. Griff is on record as saying that Solar still works when it is cloudy, so by extension there is no reason why his own little patch of local paradise can’t be doing the same thing as this proposal.

Think of it, Griff, selling Hydrogen to the huge and willing EU market.

Ground floor, Griff. Take out finance. Make it happen. You could be RICH by this time next year if only you were prepared to follow your own advice.

Leo Smith
November 15, 2020 12:50 am

They know renewables are losing their glister. Even a fervent Marxist with a degree in Meeja Studdis realises that the wind doesn’t blow all the time and the sun doesn’t shine at night (though its taken a while)…So hydrogen is the next superficially plausible layer of the pyramid scheme.

Hasn’t the US just announced it’s throwing a few tens of billions at it?

oeman 50
Reply to  Leo Smith
November 15, 2020 9:10 am

Ah Leo, didn’t you read the part of the article where they say “…sun and nightly winds blowing in from the Indian Ocean are perfectly calibrated to provide a near constant source of emissions-free energy around the clock.”?

Personally I have a suspicion that Mother Nature cannot be “perfectly calibrated.”

Coeur de Lion
November 15, 2020 12:54 am

I’m sure they have factored in the declining efficiency and replacement costs of the windmills.

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
November 15, 2020 2:21 pm

Sand – the Pilbarra is a desert – is almost as bad as salt air plus humidity.
Sea air chews up steel kit pretty quickly, if it is not ‘marinised’.
Even then, even if ‘stainless’, their life is limited.
Distinctly limited.

I imagine that conditions in a big dry desert may also eat turbine gears, etc, unless they are very well sealed.
Not sure how the blades will be protected, though.

It’s not my problem, happily.

Carl Friis-Hansen
November 15, 2020 1:03 am

World Bank is also pulling Pakistan down the rat hole as in this article from Setao:

In order to promote the use of more renewable energy in Pakistan, on November 11, 2020, it is reported that the World Bank announced the “Diversified Renewable Energy Integration and Planning Research” report, recommending that Pakistan expand its renewable energy power supply as soon as possible to reduce power costs and reduce emission of greenhouse gases.

The World Bank also stated that it will use its own funds and obtain international funds through “climate financing” to support Pakistan’s transition from fossil energy to renewable energy, especially solar and wind power. The report pointed out that the switch to renewable energy will help reduce power costs and maintain energy security.

More than a few times we have seen that electricity cost increase with increased industrial Green investment.
When did industrial wind and solar prevail over classic power with regard to security?

Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 15, 2020 2:16 am

They also blocked funding of twenty odd coal fired power stations in Africa even though those countries had cheap domestic coal to burn. They are heartless, misguided and stupid inflicting more misery on already poor nations.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  LdB
November 15, 2020 5:46 pm

That is why China is making such great strides in Africa with Belt and Road

Supplying actual useful power because western eco-colonialists preventing use of western funds.

It’s as though they are trying to force the third world into chinas pocket

Stupid stacked upon stupid stacked upon crimes against humanity

Ron Long
November 15, 2020 2:08 am

The country of Chile has also announced that they intend to be a green hydrogen production leader. This was announced at about the same time they voted to write a new constitution. Chile was the most modern and least corrupt Latin America country and now seem hell-bent on abandoning that role.

Reply to  Ron Long
November 15, 2020 9:59 am

They will wonder all, if all their hydrogen will blow up.

Reply to  Ron Long
November 15, 2020 12:15 pm

Notice a pattern? All these countries under attack by an oppressive govt.

Steve Case
November 15, 2020 3:08 am

If built in full, there will be 1,600 giant wind turbines …

When George Orwell wrote “Animal Farm” he chose the windmill to represent the boondoggles that oppressive government use to create the appearance of accomplishment.

Reply to  Steve Case
November 15, 2020 12:17 pm

Instead of a warning, who knew governments would use ‘Animal Farm’ as an operators

November 15, 2020 3:34 am

One of the questions hanging over the project will be its cost …

“That ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free”

Dire Straits

November 15, 2020 3:43 am

More great work from Eric Worrall
Please see http:/

November 15, 2020 4:02 am

We have a 400 mw solar installation covering 1,750 hectares proposed 7 kilometres from our home. The Central West Region gets a bit dry from time to time, well, often actually, we get some pretty impressive dust storms too.

We had a chance to meet with the management team of the ‘developers’. Environmentalists they said. They were the experts, there to answer our questions.

Q: What type of panels have been decided on?
A: They hadn’t yet decided which ‘brand’ they were going with.

They did not know that there are many different ‘types’ of panels.

Q: How will they be cleaned?
A: The rain will clean them.

They knew nothing of the weather patterns here in the Central West, that we can go for long periods without rain, and then comes the dust storms. They knew nothing of ‘hotspots’ that occur on panels due to uneven dirt distribution or bird droppings. Or that these hotspots can and do cause solar fires. They did not know that panels could delaminate after short periods of time, another fire risk.

Q: What fire mitigation is being put in place? How will the planned grazing sheep escape in the event of a fire. The fences are higher than farm fences.
A: A blank look. A fire will be fought the same way fires are fought in the country, the sheep will survive or not as would be the case.

They did not know that firefighters cannot easily fight a solar fire. That a hose cannot be trained onto a solar fire. That the damaged panels present a risk of electrocution. They did not know that burning panels give off toxic smoke which in itself presents a risk. Of course the general public don’t know these things either. Country people are likely to attempt to stop a fire, a fire out here has a way of getting out of control. They didn’t know that the best way to fight a solar fire was from the air, and they couldn’t tell us where the nearest water bomber was located.

Q: What guarantee can you give that the soil and waterways wouldn’t be at risk of toxic contamination in the event of a storm, hail or fire event?
A: There is no risk, the panels are pretty much silicon with an aluminium frame.

They did not know that Victoria has declared solar panels E-waste. That it is illegal to dump them in landfill due to the risk of contamination of soil and waterways.

Q: What plans are in place for decommissioning and land restoration?
A: There isn’t recycling in place right now but they will have figured something out by 25 years time.

Should have asked ‘who’ was responsible for decommissioning the 900,000 panels for this project, should have asked who would be paying for it.

I said “This is so wrong, I just isn’t good enough!”

The young man said “what choice do we have, we have to do something?” I said that if AGW was even a ‘thing’ then nuclear power was the answer. His very serious response almost made me LOL. He said “99.7% of scientists agree”…I turned away before he could finish the sentence. I wanted to correct him…”you mean 97%! He couldn’t even get the lie right!

Seriously, was that what the experts were here to tell us!

If all the planned and proposed solar goes ahead near our town alone, we will have 29 square kilometres of panels all with 10 kilometres of our beautiful historic town. Of course that’s only what we know of.

very old white guy
November 15, 2020 5:41 am

Hands up, how many think we are going to survive the plethora of insanity and lies now in vogue around the world?

Reply to  very old white guy
November 15, 2020 8:05 am

If people don’t stop believing in so called ‘climate skepticism’ we are indeed in trouble. It’s like a religious cult…

Reply to  griff
November 15, 2020 9:28 am

Pot, meet kettle.

Reply to  griff
November 15, 2020 10:01 am

I think it’s worse to believe in Green Energy….

Reply to  griff
November 15, 2020 11:10 am

And yet YOU are one of the most vacuous CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS there is.

And yes, the Anti-CO2 mob that you are part of really is nothing more than a religious cult.

Backed by no provable science…… just “BELIEVE” [spooky music]

It is marked by an inhuman HATRED of all things living.

People, (especially in the third countries), animals, bird, sea creature..

All are DESPISED by this cult of hatred that you worship with.

The world will truly be in trouble if this evil cult AGW anti-CO2 religion is not brought to a halt.

November 15, 2020 6:37 am

No project, dream, person is so bad as to be completely useless. They can always serve as a bad example.

Reply to  Rhs
November 15, 2020 12:31 pm

Rhs….Profound! 😉

Thomas Gasloli
November 15, 2020 7:51 am

I’m sure they will balance this by planting 78 sqKM of endangered desert plant species else where.

Bruce Cobb
November 15, 2020 7:53 am

I wonder how they make it green. Food coloring?

November 15, 2020 8:08 am

I guess they presume no other H2 capacity will emerge at competitive costs and that China will end its current punishment wave of trade actions against AU. Might as well export it since AU will never have auto production there with its unions.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
November 15, 2020 12:37 pm

ResourceGuy, I have to give AU credit for some of the Holden production. The recent Holden built Pontiac G8 and GTO were top in their class. Better than anything U.S. manufacturers were producing at that time.
I agree though, unions are a death knell for any industry they attach themselves to.

Smart Rock
November 15, 2020 9:20 am

The dust that’s going to cause problems for the solar panels is not going to be kind to the blades of those 1600 giant wind turbines. Once the leading edges get roughened, efficiency drops off. Deserts are dusty places.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Smart Rock
November 15, 2020 5:51 pm

During a real storm it’s only partly dust, much of is sand that blasts the equipment much faster

Al Miller
November 15, 2020 9:35 am

sounds like the monorail to me, reference the Simpsons. Australian taxpayers sadly footing the bill for this foolishness. We wouldn’t want to wait until things are ready and they actually make sense would we? For example I would use a solar charger for my phone, but the technology isn’t close for making solar power my car – not ready! But hey when it is people will clamour for it.

November 15, 2020 12:53 pm

Fear mongering, wishful thinking, and ‘projects’ derived from them, to keep the promoters extremely wealthy and ‘The People’ so far in debt they can never hope to see the sunshine that powers the bulb in their cave.

November 15, 2020 12:59 pm

What could I do with $53,000,000,000 to help mankind? If nothing else, after extracting my extremely reasonable 10% stipend, I could counter all the bad ideas being presented and forced on ‘The People’, by billionaires.

Wiliam Haas
November 15, 2020 1:30 pm

Rather than gambling billions on a project like this they should start with a very small pilot plant Where I live, we have plenty sea water, nitrogen, wind, and solar but very little demand for ammonia. Another problem is that hydrogen based fuels are not clean burning but rather they give off a greenhouse gas that, molecule per molecule, is a stronger absorber of IR than is CO2. That greenhouse gas is known as H2O.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 15, 2020 2:37 pm

Ok, so the exportable product of all this is liquid ammonia, which is currently selling at around $500/ton, a decrease from 2019 when it was around $600/ton. It’s already produced in large quantities to make agricultural fertilizers. So whatever ultimate market for hydrogen that exists can already buy pretty much all the liquid ammonia it wants — it just won’t be “green”.

Given that, two questions:

1) how big is the hydrogen-from-liquid-ammonia market today?
2) what will the production cost be for the new green liquid ammonia?

If you can produce liquid ammonia at less than $500/ton, success is almost guaranteed because the world is buying a lot of ammonia. From Wikipedia:

Ammonia is one of the most highly produced inorganic chemicals. There are numerous large-scale ammonia production plants worldwide, producing a total of 144 million tonnes of nitrogen (equivalent to 175 million tonnes of ammonia) in 2016.[1] China produced 31.9% of the worldwide production, followed by Russia with 8.7%, India with 7.5%, and the United States with 7.1%. 80% or more of the ammonia produced is used for fertilizing agricultural crops.

Why would anyone in Asia buy ammonia from Australia when China already produces 55.8 million tonnes of it every year? Especially if the cost is higher.

Patrick MJD
November 15, 2020 6:39 pm

My spider senses tells me power costs are about to get more expensive. My last quarterly bill was AU$171, ~$0.29/kWh.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 16, 2020 1:33 am

Get solar panels and a battery then…

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
November 16, 2020 2:52 am

“griff November 16, 2020 at 1:33 am”

What a plank! I don’t own the place I live in, like 97% of others in Australia! But we subsidies those that do.

Reply to  griff
November 16, 2020 2:55 am

You should come and spend a few winter months in my part of the world.
It was a cool -11C yesterday morning, the sun did finally come out for a few hours, and the snow looked nice.

Unfortunately batteries are knowing for being nigh on useless once the temperature drops that low, and with about 2-3hrs per day of useful sunshine for the 6 months of winter (won’t speak about what happens when it’s snowing hard or plain dark or dull!), the chances of getting batteries to produce anything are close to zero.

(hey just try to start a diesel engine from cold at -35C, just to see how it goes!)

Ah but Griff knows it all, unless you live close to the equator (where it’s nice and warm) most solar is crap for 1/2 the 12 months, then you don’t need the surplus power in summer .
I just wish the people spouting bollox about climate change from comfy offices would come and see how the world really works. (London/Oslo/Stockholm are full of comfy offices!)

My daughter lives on a river boat in the UK, which is powered by a solar panel.
During winter months, she reaches stages of paranoia if you so much as turn on lighting, and computers, never mind the (230V) invertor.
When it came to replacing the (deep cycle) batteries in the boat last year, it cost an arm and a leg.
hey presto, when she needs to charge the batteries properly, she turns on the diesel engine and lets it run for a couple of hours.

Yep those “green energy” con men sure as anything have never had to practice what they preach, – thats’s for others!

Alan M
November 15, 2020 9:11 pm

“1,600 giant wind turbines and a 78 sq km array of solar panels a couple of hundred kilometres east of Port Hedland in the Pilbara.”
Good luck with that, 200 km east of Pt Headland would place it right in the area known as “cyclone alley”

Jackie Pratt
November 16, 2020 7:23 pm

uh. maddening. Billions that could, if anything, speed up the development of fusion. or just don’t spend it you corrupt jerks.

Marjorie Curtis
November 17, 2020 12:01 am

Heaven forbid! I’ve never heard of such nonsense. Even if you only have had a primary school level of science education, you must know how dangerous hydrogen is. And I cannot believe you would be able to plant a huge, unreliable wind farm in shore from Port Hedland = it is not a desert there, but a mixture of bed-rock types ranging from granite to basalt and everything in between. Salt is easily obtained from the salt pans near Dampier, and temperatures drop below freezing overnight in the dry.

November 18, 2020 12:02 pm

It’s the thought that counts….and sufficiently lack of due diligence.

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