Snowy River from McKillops Road. By The original uploader was Tirin at English Wikipedia. - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Berichard using CommonsHelper., CC BY-SA 3.0, link

Aussie SMH Gives Up on the Snowy River Green Energy Pumped Hydro Scheme

h/t Gerard Flood; You know your green energy scheme is in trouble, when even the climate action cheerleaders at the Sydney Morning Herald are trashing your energy storage project as a “White Elephant”.

Five years on, Snowy 2.0 emerges as a $10 billion white elephant

By Ted Woodley
March 15, 2022 — 5.00am

Five years ago on Tuesday, then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced, with great fanfare, the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project: “The Turnbull Government will start work on an electricity game-changer … This plan will increase the generation of the Snowy Hydro scheme by 50 per cent, adding 2000 megawatts of renewable energy to the National Electricity Market (NEM).”

Senate Estimates papers confirm the announcement was cobbled together in less than two weeks after the concept was floated by Snowy Hydro.

The nation-building vision was for a big battery to be added to the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. It was to be completed in four years (that is, by last year) at a cost of $2 billion without any taxpayer subsidy, bring down electricity prices, generate renewable energy and incur minimal environmental impact on Kosciuszko National Park.

Inspiring stuff. But not one of these grand claims has turned out to be true. Worse, Australian taxpayers and NSW electricity consumers will be up for billions of dollars in subsidies and increased electricity costs, all while Kosciuszko is trashed. Let’s have a quick recap.

… Transmission tariffs in NSW will increase by more than 50 per cent if the NSW government allows Snowy Hydro to get its way, based on analysis in a Victoria Energy Policy Centre report.

Far from bringing electricity prices down, Snowy Hydro’s own modelling predicts that prices will rise because of Snowy 2.0.

As far as the claim that Snowy 2.0 will add 2000 megawatts of renewable energy to the National Electricity Market, Snowy 2.0 is not a conventional hydro station generating renewable energy. It is no different to any other battery, and as such it will be a net load on the NEM. For every 100 units of electricity purchased from the NEM to pump water uphill, only 75 units are returned when the water flows back down through the turbine generators. Not only is the electricity generated not renewable, Snowy 2.0 will be the most inefficient battery on the NEM, losing 25 per cent of energy cycled.

There are many cheaper, more efficient and far less environmentally destructive energy storage alternatives.

Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/national/five-years-on-snowy-2-0-emerges-as-a-10-billion-white-elephant-20220310-p5a3ge.html

Being the Sydney Morning Herald, they couldn’t help themselves, they had to spoil what was otherwise an excellent critique of the Snowy River boondoggle, by wrongly claiming “There are many cheaper, more efficient and far less environmentally destructive energy storage alternatives.

The sad truth is that there are no cheap, efficient energy storage solutions, which can be affordably scaled to the level which would be required to stabilise a 100% renewable energy powered grid, even in a place as blessed with wind and sunlight as Australia. The alternatives to pumped hydro energy storage either leak stored energy like a sieve, or suffer fatal flaws or excruciating capacity costs, or in most cases both.

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Tom Halla
March 17, 2022 2:05 pm

Pumped hydro, apart from being site limited, is inefficient. But it is the only grid scale “battery” in service.

commieBob
Reply to  Tom Halla
March 17, 2022 3:51 pm

Yep.

Electricity generation is often a counterintuitive business. For instance, there are times when you have to pay other jurisdictions to take your electricity.

Between the late 1800s and now, there have been some locations and some times where pumped hydro made economic sense. link At those limited locations and times, the efficiency wasn’t a deal breaker. However, the locations where pumped hydro is viable are relatively rare.

Wind and solar can’t possibly be economic without a breakthrough in energy storage. Period. There’s plenty of opinion they can’t be economic even with a breakthrough in energy storage. 🙂

Surrr
Reply to  commieBob
March 17, 2022 5:02 pm

But even with “a breakthrough in energy storage” you will still have to ,as my comment above suggest , cover every square metre of available land Australia wide in steel, glass, concrete, lithium, wind mills and millions of kilometres of transmission lines to go 100% “renewables”. The environmental damage from the beginning of installation to the end of life of trillions of tons of toxic “renewables” will dwarf anything coal-fired power stations would have caused. They” climate alarmists ” just don’t get it, can’t fix ignorance.

Disputin
Reply to  Surrr
March 18, 2022 3:02 am

Sorry, just a nit-pick, but you can fix ignorance. It’s stupidity you can’t.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Surrr
March 18, 2022 10:57 am

The renewables grid is, all by itself, a huge failure. The linear thinking in its idea of storage batteries is is even worse.

Lithium batteries’ chief advantage is it is lightweight for mobile applications. This feature is not necessary for stationary storage. You can build more robust batteries for stationary use more cheaply – vanadium, even lead-acid which are easily recycled probably makes more sense. Of course you are recharging with intermittent energy which adds a huge load on an already thin supply for the grid.

Duane
Reply to  commieBob
March 17, 2022 6:59 pm

Your last statement is untrue. Wind and solar can and do contribute significantly to boosting grid efficiency because they both produce much (wind) or all (solar) of their energy during daytime hours when grid demand is always at its greatest. That is the same reason many utilities sell power at varying rates by time of day, and for commercial customers give a discount if the customer is willing to let the utility shut down or limit specified loads during periods of peak demand.

“Intermittency” of supply is neither new nor inherently bad. Indeed many grid operators have for many decades actually elected to operate some of their conventional thermal power plants only part time because of demand variability, but that represents inefficiency too. Because demands certainly do vary by hour of the day, day of the week, and month of the year.

Dennis
Reply to  Duane
March 17, 2022 7:21 pm

Introducing unreliable, intermittent supply of electricity to an electricity grid and forcing power station generator units to adjust to accommodate the wind and/or solar input when it is available impacts adversely on power station economies of scale in operation efficiency, and therefore profitability.

To subsidise wind and solar in addition to what Greens seem to believe are subsidies for power stations and coal mines, tax deductions of expenses incurred in producing taxable profit and fuel excise rebate for fuel used off road (that tax being a road maintenance tax in Australia), is misguided and a cost to taxpayers and consumers. When at the same time power station owners are penalised by forced interruption to generating electricity the situation is intolerable.

Eng_Ian
Reply to  Duane
March 17, 2022 8:50 pm

I have yet to see a solar plant provide any practical energy to cover the morning peak, typically running for two hours from just before sunrise and the evening peak, typically two hours duration, centred around sunset.

Without storage, they just make things worse.

When will the world realise that the renewables are just using the FF generators as storage, they have to ramp up and down to counter the flow or failure to flow from the renewables.

Without storage, renewables are just a waste of space and a hindrance to an otherwise stable and reliable grid.

Allan MacRae
Reply to  Duane
March 17, 2022 9:40 pm

“Wind and solar can and do contribute significantly to boosting grid efficiency because they both produce much (wind) or all (solar) of their energy during daytime hours when grid demand is always at its greatest. 


… and if frogs had wings, they wouldn’t have to bounce around on their butts.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Duane
March 18, 2022 4:33 am

You obviously have no knowledge of electrical generation. Yes, FF plants don’t run full out all the time. They need maintenance just like any mechanical device. However, design also determines the most useful mix of generator size so that maintenance and, yes, load can be most efficiently met.

Renewables on the other hand, have no minimum power generation limit while FF plants do have a CONTROLABLE minimum. Do you understand the difference?

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Duane
March 18, 2022 5:48 am

Any commercial operation of decent size that willingly shuts down to save electricity costs is not economically feasible and will soon be shutting down permanently or has monopoly power granted by the government. Nobody in a competitive industry can have idle assets and make a profit.

DPP
Reply to  Duane
March 18, 2022 8:51 am

South Australia has the biggest slice of it’s energy produced from wind and solar, and it has it’s big Tesla battery, It also is the state with the highest power prices by a wide margin. The battery is a joke, last we heard it was being sued for non performance.

Drake
Reply to  Duane
March 18, 2022 9:04 am

Gee Duhwane,

Wind and solar are intermittent NOT BY CHOICE, so electricity suppliers don’t “chose” to shut them down.

As to pumped hydro, that actually can work well with conventional steady state generation capacity, pumping up hill at off peak times and generating at peak times, so reducing the total required capacity of REQUIRED generation.

Of course as things currently stand, FF and nuclear currently provide ALL of REQUIRED generation capacity necessary for the systems to operate.

Solar and wind provide the intermittency to make the system more expensive.

MarkW
Reply to  Duane
March 18, 2022 10:59 am

I’ve lost track of the number of times you have been corrected on this lie Duane, it’s almost as if you no longer care about reality, you just want to protect your boy in the White House, no matter how much damage it does to your reputation.

There is only a tiny bit of correlation between maximum power output of solar and power demand in the spring/summer/fall. Maximum output occurs around noon, while maximum demand occurs around 6pm.
In the winter, maximum output is still around noon, but maximum demand is well after midnight.

You admit that intermittency is a problem, yet you want to make it worse. Why?

stinkerp
Reply to  Tom Halla
March 17, 2022 5:44 pm

Yep. There are very few scenarios where this is practical or economical. fwiw, Grand Coulee Dam installed 12 pumps starting in 1948 to flood a plateau above the dam, now called Banks Lake, for irrigation as part of the Columbia Basin Project, the largest water reclamation project in the U.S. Six of the pumps can be reversed to generate an additional 314 MW of electricity when needed, 4.6% of the total 6,800 MW of the dam’s generating capacity. It’s a fascinating feat of engineering.

Last edited 2 months ago by stinkerp
Joel
Reply to  stinkerp
March 17, 2022 7:17 pm

They don’t build them like they used to.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  stinkerp
March 17, 2022 9:52 pm

Great video, thanks for posting.

I’d like people such as Duane to give us a detailed account of how such a thing could ever be built if all we had for power was wind and solar.

Duane
Reply to  Tom Halla
March 17, 2022 6:48 pm

Efficiency is also related to peak power demands. In other words it is inefficient to size power plants to meet peak demands when power demands vary greatly thru the day – as they most certainly do. Providing energy storage allows power plants to be sized to supply near average demands and operate at peak mechanical efficiency. Thermal power plants are generally the most efficient when operating at their designed maximum power. Which is very different from internal combustion engines that are most efficient at far reduced power levels, typically 40-50% of max power output.

In other words, efficiency should be measured on a system wide basis

Eng_Ian
Reply to  Duane
March 17, 2022 8:57 pm

Spoken by someone who has never heard of multiple generators providing supply. Imagine a power plant with 10 OC gas turbine powered generators. At peak, all 10 are running, at full power and full efficiency. At half load, guess how many are running?

Want to revisit your logic? You might also want to look at grids where there is very little grid supply via hydro etc. (ie mostly FF), these areas have generators designed to supply the peak load considering both an abnormally high demand AND one or more generators off-line for maintenance or breakdown. Look at places like Saudi Arabia, (no hydro), or Western Australia away from Perth, it’s all island grid stuff out there in the mining world. In all of these locations you’ll find peaks are covered by the addition or subtraction of the generational plant. Hence efficiency can be managed within acceptable ranges. It’s not one engine with multiple loads.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Eng_Ian
March 18, 2022 4:41 am

Let me add that the generators are CONTROLABLE by operators. Renewables are uncontrollable. They go offline when Mother Nature dictates, not the operators. That is why they are not only unreliable but also uncontrollable. Duane needs to explain why providers must PAY for others to take the excess power instead of simply feathering the generators to meet demand.

It quickly becomes obvious how “Duane” knows little of the design of the FF grid generators and probably even less about Unreliable generators.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Jim Gorman
March 18, 2022 11:27 am

The answer to your question, Jim, is that electric power systems used to be run by those familiar with engineering and economics. Now the systems are run by politicians and English Lit. grads. Socialism at its finest.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave Fair
Drake
Reply to  Duane
March 18, 2022 9:38 am

Excellent Duhwayne, “In other words, efficiency should be measured on a system wide basis”

Lets analyze that statement. So you have a system that can provide 100% of required capacity plus some small reasonable safety margin, thus 100% efficient on a system wide basis.

THEN you add unreliable generation capacity in the form of wind and solar, let’s say at 25% of total capacity.

Now you have 125% of the necessary generating capacity, so your efficiency has gone DOWN to 80%

PLUS you need to keep some of the FF capacity running when not needed, in case the wind stops blowing and for the guaranteed drop off of whatever solar there is as the sun sets, so an added inefficiency.

So, lets say, you are down from 100% to +- 60% efficient, thus the rise in prices EVERYWHERE your “renewable” farce is tried.

Now, please explain how adding unnecessary “storage” capacity INCREASES the efficiency of the system that existed before the unreliables were REQUIRED BY LAW to be installed were added to, and destabilized, the system.

And, of course and added rant. Why do you hate the poor so much that you want to waste resources that could be used to build hospitals, houses, roads, cars, refrigerators, FOOD, etc. to build unreliable forms of EXCESS CAPACITY UNRELIABLE generation?

Sincerely waiting for a rational response, under the assumption that this comment initiated the moldy dormant logic center that God put in your brain.

Dennis G. Sandberg
Reply to  Drake
March 20, 2022 12:18 pm

well said, I’ve been saying the same thing for years, but not quite as well. I’ll be passing it along.

griff
Reply to  Tom Halla
March 18, 2022 1:51 am

Except for the SA one and all the others

Eng_Ian
Reply to  griff
March 18, 2022 2:03 am

Since when is a battery pack that has less than 200MWHrs of storage and 150MW of supply capability been considered grid scale?

Consider the power available from the battery. The eastern Australian network has a typical average work day demand of around 14,500MW. Makes that 150MW look less than damned useless doesn’t it.

You don’t even need a calculator to work out that percentage to the nearest whole number.

Now consider the energy, 200MW, drained at the upper limit of the pack would give you just over an hour, (for the 1% of the customers that you decide to keep on line).

Grid scale….. That sound you hear is me laughing at you.

MarkW
Reply to  Eng_Ian
March 18, 2022 7:09 am

griff is either incapable of understanding or simply refuses to understand the difference between batteries used for frequency stabilization and batteries used for grid stabilization.

March 17, 2022 2:06 pm

A freshman who took physics 101 would have been able to tell them this would never work! Who is advising these people?

Derg
Reply to  Mike Smith
March 17, 2022 2:50 pm

People like BigOil Bob

Wade
Reply to  Mike Smith
March 17, 2022 3:49 pm

In the United States, they get a lot of counsel from Mr. Benjamin Franklin, President Ulysses S. Grant, and President Andrew Jackson. (For those outside the US, these are the faces on the $100, $50, and $20 bill respectively.)

Dave Fair
Reply to  Wade
March 18, 2022 11:33 am

I assume that those faces will soon be replaced by heroes like transgendered admirals. Isn’t the $20 bill supposed to replace Jackson with Tubman? I can’t keep up with the latest SJW Leftist crap.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave Fair
Tom.1
Reply to  Mike Smith
March 17, 2022 4:03 pm

I’m sorry Mike, but I remember well when I took physics 101, and I most certainly would not have been able to tell them why it would never work. Actually, it would work, but like everything else it is the economics.

Drake
Reply to  Tom.1
March 18, 2022 9:41 am

Yes, Tom, it would work for FF and nuclear steady state generation with the uphill pump at off peak times and the down hill generation at peak times.

But, and David can correct me if I am wrong, I believe that CC gas generation is efficient enough and has such a small footprint that pumped storage is economically impractical as you say.

Mike Lowe
March 17, 2022 2:06 pm

No different to any other “renewable” scheme. Unreliable, expensive, and inefficient!

Curious George(@moudryj)
March 17, 2022 2:22 pm

An energy storage with a 75% efficiency? Not bad at all.

Rud Istvan
March 17, 2022 2:25 pm

Eric, you are not being fair to Snowy 2. The average pumped storage round trip efficiency is 79%, not 75%. What a deal/s.

FWIW, pumped hydro storage only makes good economic sense as a daily load shift, using off peak night generation to provide daytime peak capacity, avoiding open cycle gas turbine peakers with poor capital utilization. See essay California Dreaming in ebook Blowing Smoke for some more details on CPUC idiocy concerning the thwarted Eagle Crest project. Thwarted in favor of even more expensive batteries speced by CPUC in MW rather than MWh.

MarkW
Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 17, 2022 2:49 pm

Does that 79% include shipping the electricity itself out to Snowy 2 and back?
Not to mention whatever conversions may be necessary.

Last edited 2 months ago by MarkW
Rud Istvan
Reply to  MarkW
March 17, 2022 3:04 pm

No.

Art Slartibartfast
March 17, 2022 2:25 pm

They can’t even get their terms right. 2000 MW is an amount of power, not energy!

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Art Slartibartfast
March 17, 2022 3:27 pm

Its a big scheme

Snowy 2.0 will provide an additional 2,000 megawatts of dispatchable, on-demand generating capacity and approximately 350,000 megawatt hours of large-scale storage to the National Electricity Market.

KevC
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
March 17, 2022 7:45 pm

Is that 350,000 Mwh over a 12 month period ? If so, that’s slightly less than 1Gwh/day on average..i.e running for average half hour per day…or 15min in the morning and again at night…..hardly worth the huge infrastructure required (Transmission lines capable of 2Gw load). Now, I get the “master plan”.. use curtailed wind to store during the night and curtailed solar to store during the day and then draw from the scheme for morning and evening peaks to displace peaker generation….. did anyone EVER produce a simple spreadsheet showing the economics ?? or were they just carried away on their “do it or die quest” for net zero ??

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  KevC
March 17, 2022 8:54 pm

Is that 350,000 Mwh over a 12 month period ?

No its 350,000 MWh of storage. It can be used at a rate of 2,000 MW.

So its the equivalent of a large “2GW” generator and lasts over a week at that rate from full to empty.

But obviously its best use is to flatten out the peak loading which is very valuable power and to use excess power when that’s available to “charge up” and gives other slow moving generators (eg coal) more time to ramp up and down and hence run more efficiently.

The more solar deployment that happens in the region, the more likely there will be excess power available so its good infrastructure to have in place.

Eng_Ian
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
March 17, 2022 10:04 pm

Do let us know how much water flows to make that 350,000MWHr of energy. And then the big question, is there enough storage at the bottom, (above the pump inlet level), to allow it to be pumped back up.

Or, as most people with neurons would know, the full dam can produce 350,000MWHrs, the lower dam can probably store enough water to allow maybe 2% of that to be pumped back up the hill.

In reality, your available storage, that can be pumped back up and reused over and over again has less value than 7,000 MWHrs. Unless you care to find a bigger tail end dam……

In other words, 3.5 hours.

Care to prove me wrong?

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Eng_Ian
March 17, 2022 11:12 pm

Care to prove me wrong?

The Snowy 2 system consists of 2 reservoirs. The top one is the Tantangara reservoir. The bottom one is the Talbingo reservoir.

The Tantangara (top) reservoir is 254,099 megalitres
The Talbingo (bottom) reservoir is 921,400 megalitres

So that means there is plenty of room at the bottom for the whole of the top reservoir to empty into the bottom reservoir and subsequently be pumped back up.

So “the lower dam can probably store enough water to allow maybe 2% of that to be pumped back up the hill.”

No. Consider yourself proven wrong.


Eng_Ian
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
March 18, 2022 2:04 am

Now look at the water levels in NORMAL operation of the lower reservoir. And then tell me HOW much water is available for pumping.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Eng_Ian
March 18, 2022 2:16 am

Now look at the water levels in NORMAL operation of the lower reservoir. And then tell me HOW much water is available for pumping.

They can and will set the levels where they want them to be for optimal operation once its all in place. Its hilarious you’d think otherwise.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Eng_Ian
March 17, 2022 11:18 pm

For those who are interested

https://majorprojects.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/prweb/PRRestService/mp/01/getContent?AttachRef=EXH-2536%2120191108T002841.497%20GMT

Where the key statement to address Eng_lan’s ignorant rant above is…

“Snowy 2.0 will increase the generation capacity of the Snowy Scheme by almost 50%, providing an additional 2,000 megawatts generating capacity, and making approximately 350,000 megawatt hours (175 hours of energy storage) available to the National Electricity Market.”

“Snowy 2.0, being a closed system, can move water between reservoirs and not rely on natural inflows that may vary seasonally, offering valuable seasonal storage and insurance against drought risk. This is because Snowy 2.0’s pumping capabilities work in a ‘closed’ system – water is recycled between the two dams so the same water can be used to generate power more than once, making the most of available water [bold emphasis added].”

RobK
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
March 18, 2022 1:45 am

Tim,
What they fail to mention is that storage can be required for buffering. There’s times the grid operator will direct the facility to operate at 50% so it can absorb or inject energy into the grid for maximum periods. Other times the facility manager must make the call to risk filling the top store while prices are still plummeting, or wait to see what happens next. Conversely, does the facility run empty while prices are still rising. The operator is not likely to know what to do to maximise utility but more importantly the facility cannot deliver anywhere near full volume storage in practice. If you doubt my word, have a close look at how some of say, Queensland flood mitigation dams have performed. It’s not possible to know the inputs nor demand on large cycle storage systems depended on weather.
Baseload pumped hydro doesn’t have this issue because demand is regular on a short cycle. Weather energy is chaotic on all time scales.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  RobK
March 18, 2022 2:20 am

There’s times the grid operator will direct the facility to operate at 50% so it can absorb or inject energy into the grid for maximum periods. Other times the facility manager must make the call to risk filling the top store while prices are still plummeting, or wait to see what happens next.

100% agree. But all the options are open to them and hence it could potentially operate for days at 2GW if that was what was needed. At any rate, its just not constrained by “size” like most grid storage systems are.

Curious George(@moudryj)
Reply to  RobK
March 18, 2022 8:13 am

Rob, there is a baseload hydro – Hoover Dam, for example. Pumped hydro is just an energy storage. There is no baseload pumped hydro.

Last edited 2 months ago by Curious George
Dennis G. Sandberg
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
March 20, 2022 12:27 pm

175 hours at 2,000 mw rate? are you sure? Doubtful.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Dennis G. Sandberg
March 20, 2022 1:29 pm

It’s probably best case and we’ll probably never see anything like that in practice but that’s the ballpark figure. It’s a big system.

March 17, 2022 2:31 pm

“even the climate action cheerleaders at the Sydney Morning 
Herald are trashing your energy storage”

This is an opinion article published by SMH. It isn’t necessarily their opinion. The author is
“Ted Woodley is a former managing director of PowerNet, GasNet, EnergyAustralia, China Light & Power Systems (Hong Kong).”

Not a climate action cheerleader.

MarkW
Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 17, 2022 2:50 pm

They allowed it to be published. That’s a sea change for them.

Derg
Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 17, 2022 2:53 pm

A sphincter says what?

Mr.
Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 17, 2022 3:09 pm

All propositions for 100% wind & solar grid scale base load power supply are conjecture. That is – OPINIONS.

(The “conjecture” is that part of the physics / engineering model that requires “and then a miracle happens”)

Glen MICHELL
Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 17, 2022 3:20 pm

Any dissenting view from the one that promotes “renewables ” does not see any light in that left wing newspaper. Common-sense does not apply there.

Reply to  Glen MICHELL
March 17, 2022 5:28 pm

You just didn’t check the author. His background is managing gas and electricity suppliers.

LdB
Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 17, 2022 7:07 pm

So someone with real experience rather than some eco activist nutcase the dribbling on about crap they know nothing about … hmmm wonder who posts on here that fits that description.

Stuart Hamish
Reply to  LdB
March 18, 2022 6:29 am

He he

Christopher Hanley
Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 17, 2022 3:28 pm

‘Climate action’ is a euphemism for imposed reduction in living standards.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 17, 2022 5:30 pm

Eric,
I have no particular commitment to Snowy 2. As I have said, my case is that emitting GHGs will cause the climate to warm. It is up to various engineering/etc experts to figure out what to do about it.

LdB
Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 18, 2022 12:44 am

You are right CO2 emissions simply are not going to decrease by pushing renewables that is obvious to blind freddy.

Disputin
Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 18, 2022 3:16 am

“…my case is that emitting GHGs will cause the climate to warm.”

Aha, now we come to whole point. There is no indication that that is correct.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 18, 2022 11:49 am

Nick, did you actually think about and mean to say: “It is up to various engineering/etc [sic] experts to figure out what to do about it.” That is off-the-chart ignorant. Allowing a bunch of technical elites to run the world is just as bad as allowing a bunch of English Lit. types, as is the current Leftist scheme.

kim
Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 18, 2022 5:40 pm

Granted, my old racehorse friend. And it seems the warming man can do will be net beneficial and the greening man can do will be downright cornucopious.

You’ll see. If not, your descendants surely will.
=================

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 18, 2022 4:59 am

I want to know what happens if the plan is for this to be an ongoing part of baseload and then someday it needs prolonged maintenance. What exactly is going to replace it for say, several months?

Grid design is an involved process and design criteria has evolved over a century to insure demand is met with a goal of 100% at the most economical cost available. Adding unreliable renewables seems to be an ad hoc process with the end result an unplanned mish mash of generator capacity. I worry that not only too little capacity will appear at unplanned times but also too much capacity at times being shoved out on the grid which can only have undesired effects everywhere.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 18, 2022 10:24 am

So if the SMH published an opinion piece extolling the virtues of white supremacy you’d be happy to say, “oh, that’s okay, it’s not their opinion”?

Ireneusz Palmowski
March 17, 2022 2:46 pm

“Well, depending on your opinion of La Niña, maybe not all good things, as La Niña—the cool phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation climate pattern—reasserted itself in the tropical Pacific this past month with some of the strongest atmosphere-ocean coupling of our double-dip La Niñas so far (winters of 2020-21 and 2021-22). La Niña is now favored to continue into the Northern Hemisphere summer 2022, with nearly equal chances of ENSO-neutral or La Niña thereafter. Is a La Niña three-peat in the offing?”
https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/soi/comment image

TRM
March 17, 2022 2:53 pm

Seriously, if they can’t make pumped hydro work they are incompetent beyond words. It is the ONLY storage for intermittent energy that is cost effective. The redox-flow batteries have some strong points but still don’t cut it $$ wise.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  TRM
March 17, 2022 3:09 pm

TRM, I researched this long ago in some depth for ebook Blowing Smoke. Pumped storage doesn’t work for renewable intermittency. There are need periods too long for practical upper reservoir capacity, despite the nattering in the UK. Pumped hydro works fine for peak load time shifting, it’s only meaningful grid use. See my comment above for more and references.
and NO redox-flow battery has yet proved grid worthy, despite many tries. See same reference in comment above.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 17, 2022 3:29 pm

Perhaps you haven’t looked into this particular scheme Rud. Its easily big enough.

RobK
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
March 17, 2022 3:54 pm

Tim,
The Snowy2.0 scheme had two previous feasibility studies done decades ago. Both times it couldn’t be justified. Now, with a prospect of much more expensive electricity and subsidies the tide has changed, supposedly. Any project involving tens of kilometres of tunnelling through mountains is high risk for capex blowouts.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  RobK
March 17, 2022 4:09 pm

Yes building Hydro systems is definitely capital intensive.

Another newer factor for consideration is that Snowy 2 will help relieve the grid of issues with the more recent and continuing solar uptake too.

RobK
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
March 17, 2022 6:55 pm

Tim,
As far as sinking funds into infrastructure goes, Snow 2.0 certainly isn’t the worst of them as it will in-fact help baseload more than RE, however, they are trying to mix distributed RE supply and centralised baseload supply/storage in the grid. This means ever more beefing up of the grid to carry short bursts of maximum loading into the far corners of the grid. Ultra gold-plating of the grid is required to pull this off. It requires more transmission lines, of greater capacity with enhanced instrumentation and control gear…. Many more potential points of failure.
Greater cost.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  RobK
March 17, 2022 9:00 pm

I think you’re overplaying the impact on the grid from this. It requires nothing more than adding any 2GW generator onto the grid (ie non-trivial anyway), the main difference being that the energy is bidirectional which might need to be a consideration for some of the nearby network.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
March 18, 2022 6:11 am

You just admitted bidirectional electrical transmission will be needed. Do you understand what that means? It means the generation design will not supply itself. That should be obvious from the percent efficiency figure. What is required then is additional electrical supply to run the pumps. I suspect that the plan assumes no cost for this power since it will be “excess” power from other renewables. The problems will reveal themselves when there isn’t sufficient renewable generation to also run the pumps.

The solution to ALWAYS being able to run the pumps is to build a FF generator which could be used for backup instead.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Jim Gorman
March 18, 2022 7:46 am

“What is required then is additional electrical supply to run the pumps.”

I don’t know what specific designs they have in mind but if 2GW is leaving the station then 2GW can return via the same paths and that means from the grid as a whole.

The plan will be the same as for any grid storage and that is to use excess energy at non peak times to charge (ie pump) and supply energy at peak times.

Sometimes the excess energy will be genuinely excess when demand is low but solar/wind output is high…not much now but increasingly likely over time…and sometimes excess energy will happen when the coal fired power is running higher than demand in preparation for peak times or after the peak has passed and demand is declining.

Sometimes it’ll be deemed economical to buy energy to increase storage regardless of whether supply is in excess.

The decisions to pump will be largely economic ones and depend on energy price set by the NEM.

Dave Fair
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
March 18, 2022 12:41 pm

Tim, electrical system operation is vastly different for serving a large remote load in off-peak than it is for injecting a large remote generation source during peak loads. There will be different and additional transmission system investments for each case, and much depends on the types and locations of all the other generation sources.

All of your comments reflect the old adage, Tim: “Everything is easy for someone who doesn’t have to do the work.” You are profoundly ignorant of electric system design and operations. Opine less and listen more to the true experts. I give you this advice as somebody that was a true expert.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Dave Fair
March 18, 2022 1:30 pm

” You are profoundly ignorant of electric system design and operations.”

Well I worked for the Hydro in Tasmania for 10 years directly and about 15 more as a contractor so I think I have the experience I need there.

I agree that the devil is in the detail and I think I mentioned that the bidirectional nature of the energy was likely to need additional infrastructure but I’d be surprised if they ran transmission directly from another generator.

The pumps won’t be anything like a 2GW requirement.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Dave Fair
March 18, 2022 6:26 pm

In fact the transmission design is available

https://majorprojects.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/prweb/PRRestService/mp/01/getContent?AttachRef=SSI-9717%2120210212T013731.952%20GMT

The key elements of the project are shown on Figure E-1 and include:

> A new 500/330 kilovolt (kV) substation located within Bago State Forest and adjacent to TransGrid’s existing Transmission Line 64 (Line 64)

> Two 330 kV double-circuit overhead transmission lines, approximately nine kilometres long, linking the Snowy 2.0 cable yard in Kosciuszko National Park (KNP) to the new substation

> A short overhead transmission line connection between the substation and Line 64

And there is nothing surprising in that design. The power for the pumps is sourced from the adjacent substation and the third point is the extent of that requirement (although the double-circuit may come into it as well)

There is no mention of changes elsewhere in the grid but I expect over time changes could be made to improve efficiency.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 17, 2022 6:29 pm

When SMH gives up on a green energy scheme its truly time to throw in the towel

Its all about revenue generating clicks these days.

Mr.
Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 17, 2022 8:39 pm

That’s interesting Eric –
before I read the Climategate peridy, I fully bought the agw publicity.
Since then, I have felt so deceived and betrayed, and I daily now see abject bullshit being peddled as “science”.

Sad times.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 17, 2022 9:23 pm

Before I read Climategate I thought they were just a bunch of crooks, afterwards I realised they most likely believed what they were peddling – but they are still wrong. 

I agree, at the time I’m sure they genuinely believed that Climate was poised to kill us all and I dont think they even understood the arguments that were being made about the shakiness of some of the science.

Even now, I doubt many people understand just how crucial the models are to the science and how bad they actually are in the sense that “physics based” is straight out untrue.

Also the other big meme they got out there early is “we cant tell next week’s weather but we can tell next centuary’s climate” which is also false because the models only project based on the trajectory set for them as being “reasonable”…not the trajectory the earth will take because they’re simply not capable of resolving climate change.

People jumped on board. People love a good emergency.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 18, 2022 1:26 am

I don’t believe most people do this for the money

They do when they’re writing for the SMH.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 18, 2022 12:49 pm

Eric, many of the people who write the UNIPCC and U.S. Climate Assessment reports are, however, liars. For whatever reasons, the scientific establishment as represented by the professional societies allows them to get away with it.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
March 17, 2022 7:06 pm

No it isn’t.

https://euanmearns.com/pumped-hydro-energy-storage-in-australia-snowy-2-0-vs-sea-water/

To support a 100% renewable electricity sector Australia will need approximately 10 terawatt-hours of long-term energy storage. The multi-billion-dollar Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project will supply only 0.35 terawatt-hours, a small fraction of this, and conventional pumped hydro potential elsewhere in Australia, including Tasmania, will not fill the gap.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 17, 2022 9:08 pm

Did you understand the conversation?

The claim was “Pumped storage doesn’t work for renewable intermittency.  There are need periods too long for practical upper reservoir capacity,”

But Snowy 2 is big enough to do that. Is it a complete solution? No of course not. But its easily big enough to deal with demand beyond peak times and big enough to deal with any excess energy as it happens (assuming they’re not running it too full)

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
March 18, 2022 10:24 am

Do you understand that 350GWh is only 3.5% of the necessary 10 TWh? That’s the trouble with greens. Innumerate.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 18, 2022 1:50 pm

“Do you understand that 350GWh is only 3.5% of the necessary 10 TWh?”

Why stop at Australia’s needs? Why not call it a failure because it can’t service the whole world?

There is one fact here that matters in this context.

It’s “upper reservoir capacity” is sufficient for about a weeks worth of supply at up to 2GW and that’s well beyond Rud’s original claim “Pumped hydro works fine for peak load time shifting, it’s only meaningful grid use.”

Drake
Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 18, 2022 9:53 am

The installation of ANY unreliable generation capacity on a grid scale is unaffordable, period.

Thus the increase in per kwh costs everywhere it is tried.

And of course the per kwh costs do not include all the hidden subsidies from taxpayers including unnecessary transmission lines built to the unreliable projects.

Eric, I am always highly impressed with your research and math. Have you ever seen an analysis that included all of the taxpayer’s added monetary input to a system in the actual per kwh cost?

Ron Long
March 17, 2022 3:03 pm

…gives up on pumped hydro scheme… reminds me of the time I gave up on ideas of pitching in the majors: freshman starting first high school baseball game of the season, my first pitch, flying over the fence, into the blackberries down by the river, never did find the ball. Reality sometimes sneaks up on people.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Ron Long
March 18, 2022 12:54 pm

Yeah, Ron. But English Lit. majors believe they can run the world.

Mike Edwards
March 17, 2022 3:25 pm

There are many cheaper, more efficient and far less environmentally destructive energy storage alternatives.”

It would be very interesting to hear about these wonderful energy storage alternatives. The world awaits with bated breath…

Or is this a sad case of Ted Woolley believing in fairy dust??

No Name Guy
Reply to  Mike Edwards
March 17, 2022 5:01 pm

Natty gas combined cycle gas turbine. Store the gas in the ground until needed – (e.g. open up the tap on the well as needed). Cheaper. Less destructive, very efficient. 😉

MarkW
Reply to  No Name Guy
March 17, 2022 6:36 pm

Natural gas needs to be cleaned up before it is ready to be burned.

John the Econ
March 17, 2022 3:31 pm

Perhaps trucks filled with water will work better.

Marcus
Reply to  John the Econ
March 17, 2022 4:01 pm

Electric trucks trucks filled with water will work better.”

Fixed it ! LOL

‘Electric Truck Hydropower’ – A Real Breakthrough or a New Sokal Hoax?

Last edited 2 months ago by Marcus
Tom.1
March 17, 2022 4:01 pm

There are many cheaper, more efficient and far less environmentally destructive energy storage alternatives.

That is good news indeed! However, I failed to find where they said what those superior alternatives were.

observa
March 17, 2022 4:24 pm

Well when you need to store all that solar duck curve for dinner time you need a lot of diesel to get the tunnel borers up the mountains and run them after you’ve widened the roads-
Snowy-2.0_Tunnel-Boring-Machines_Fact-sheet-2_MAY-21.pdf (snowyhydro.com.au)
tunnel boring machine snowy 2 – Bing images
after you’ve shipped them from overseas of course.

Just had the privilege of being stuck behind low loaders carrying pre-stressed curved concrete tunnel liner sections up the Snowys until they pull over in the snow chain fitting bays to let the banked traffic pass so it’s all go with the fossil fuels to save the planet.

As an aside here I was returning to Adelaide from Bega and paying AUD $2.30/L for diesel and a mate and I shared the driving across the Sturt Hwy with the constant flow of semis and B-doubles that were still leaving Adelaide at 10 pm when we arrived. Some of these net-zero gum flappers should get out and about a bit more and see just what it is they’re daydreaming about with battery vehicles.

Meanwhile they’re having a wee spot of bother cranking up the size of the windmills to eventually power all the batteries in those diesel replacements they’re fantasizing about-
GE Renewable Energy investigates second Cypress wind turbine failure in two months | Wind Energy News (wind-watch.org)

observa
Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 17, 2022 4:53 pm

Tradeoffs in engineering? Perish the thought. These climate changers are Hell bent on disproving a fundamental axiom of engineering that you can’t build a reliable system from unreliable componentry.

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  observa
March 17, 2022 5:29 pm

We drove through there with roo tracks in the snow. More worried about hitting a big one than dams, but have driven through lots of US dam areas. It’s hard to believe that it would be a good place, at least very expensive. Would West Virginia have been a place to research before they planned it?

RickWill
March 17, 2022 4:35 pm

Far from bringing electricity prices down, Snowy Hydro’s own modelling predicts that prices will rise because of Snowy 2.0.

Who could have predicted this without the Snowy Hydro model?

LdB
Reply to  RickWill
March 18, 2022 12:45 am

Yes everyone who isn’t a greentard.

Surrr
March 17, 2022 4:38 pm

SMH….Pumped hydro bad so let’s instead cover the whole country in ” renewables ” …..concrete , glass, steel lithium batteries as far as the eye can see…..that’s better SMH?

Mike Jonas(@egrey1)
Editor
March 17, 2022 4:46 pm

I have a different take on Snowy 2.0:

Snowy 2,0 was a desperate attempt to make some use at least out of wind and solar, and to justify the enormous expense (on top of the enormous expense of wind and solar). Lauded at first by the greens who saw it as a way of forcing even more wind and solar into the system, the realisation has now sunk in that no matter what they do, wind and solar are going to keep forcing electricity prices higher and the public are increasingly aware of it. They have to find a scapegoat, and Snowy 2.0 is the perfect scapegoat. Snowy 2.0 will work perfectly well at what it was designed for, but the total system will fail. By targeting only Snowy 2.0, which is clearly associated with the Morrison government, the greens can place all the blame there, and they can avoid any suggestion that it was actually wind and solar that caused the problem in the first place and continue to be the problem.

Surrr
Reply to  Mike Jonas
March 17, 2022 5:15 pm

IMO, if the Western government’s are stupid enough to push 100% renewables, in 20 years time the government’s and their useful idiots, ALPCC/GREENS/ABC are going to be the cause of the worst environmental disaster in the history of the universe. We struggle now to recycle our household waste just wait until trillions of tons of toxic ” renewables ” pile up in the deserts around the world, useful idiots scratching their noggins, panicking, saying…what have we done.

Mike Jonas(@egrey1)
Editor
Reply to  Surrr
March 17, 2022 6:48 pm

“worst environmental disaster in the history of the universe”? I’m pretty confident that somewhere in a distant galaxy something worse once happened. A star going out, for example. BTW, they will never ever say “what have we done”. “They” or “you” perhaps, but not “we”. And they will no doubt portray the renewables waste as a huge jobs opportunity, as people are employed to grind it all into road base using nailfiles.

ferdberple(@ferdberple)
March 17, 2022 5:33 pm

approximately 350,000 megawatt hours of large-scale storage
==========
So $350 billion dollars of lithium batteries installed. Pumped storage is only a fraction of the cost. NG turbine would be cheaper but of course there is climate change.

Gary Pearse
March 17, 2022 5:47 pm

Surely a 25% loss of energy using pumped storage should have been expected from friction losses in straight sections of the pipe, turbulence in bends, connections and in both the pumps and turbine(s) plus mechanical friction losses and the power required for the pumping. These losses can be seen as losses in the head of water calculated from reservoir levels above the pump(s) and turbine(s).

Don’t tell me that the expected performance was derived from magical thinking!

Barry Anthony
March 17, 2022 6:14 pm

Plummeting battery prices and Australia’s incredibly rapid deployment of mega-scale battery installations are pricing out pumped hydro, especially in drought-prone areas. And it’s not just pumped hydro that’s being pushed to the side, gas and coal plants are also being killed off.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-12/largest-battery-in-australia-to-be-built-at-nsw-coal-fired-plant/13050642?fbclid=IwAR1nKI0HYturkLDyx3mjtcLm71mMxVTOxFmMFo3hnOTZaSOAVI-A9pgHBFQ

Mr.
Reply to  Barry Anthony
March 17, 2022 11:01 pm

Is the coal plant needed to keep the battery charged?

LdB
Reply to  Mr.
March 18, 2022 12:50 am

Barry didn’t even realize it was a proposal seeking EOI … so that is far beyond Barry’s thinking.

Last edited 2 months ago by LdB
MarkW
Reply to  Mr.
March 18, 2022 11:10 am

Barry is a lot like griff, if it’s in a press release, that’s proof that it’s already been done.

LdB
Reply to  Barry Anthony
March 18, 2022 12:48 am

ROFL wake us when they get the expressions of interest back and the fools commit to losing their money. I can show you hundreds of proposals that have never seen the light of day.

Last edited 2 months ago by LdB
Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Barry Anthony
March 18, 2022 10:17 am

“If built, Origin said it would have capacity to supply that power to the grid for four hours”
Four hours – and what will they do for the rest of a windless night time?
Get a grip Bazza.

MarkW
Reply to  Barry Anthony
March 18, 2022 11:10 am

You are aware that this “largest battery” is only big enough to support the grid for a couple of minutes.
As to your claim that battery prices are falling, that isn’t happening out here in the real world.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Barry Anthony
March 18, 2022 1:12 pm

“Government support” means give them more taxpayer dollars.

Duane
March 17, 2022 6:40 pm

Pumped hydro is not a “green” energy tech; it is a technology for storing hydro energy when demands are relatively low and releasing hydro energy when demands are relatively high. In other words, leveling or balancing daily energy production to reduce peak power production demand.

Pumped hydro is nothing new having been in use for more than a century – the first one was developed in 1907 – unrelated to the need for storage from renewable energy sources. Pumped hydro therefore has mostly been used for load balancing with conventionally-fueled power plants. It is feasible only in mountainous areas.

Losses are not a flat 25% as stated in this post, but can vary according to project parameters from as low as 13% to as high as 30%. Key parameters include the distance between the upper and lower reservoirs, and pipe diameter. The shorter the distance and larger the diameter the greater the efficiency.

Last edited 2 months ago by Duane
Dennis
March 17, 2022 7:13 pm

Some readers might not know that Australian Prime Minister Turnbull 2015-2018 is a self admitted globalist, a former Goldman Sachs senior executive, a business man and lawyer, an advocate of so called renewable energy, and his Snowy Hydro 2.0 Project is a revival of part of the original Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme that was abandoned because it was considered not to be cost effective at that time.

His family have financial interests in renewable energy based businesses and the following link and story is worth reading for background history purposes, but also as a guide to what can happen to investors in renewable businesses;

https://stopthesethings.com/2017/03/13/born-lucky-stars-align-perfectly-for-pms-son-with-mammoth-bet-on-wind-power-outfit-infigen/

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Dennis
March 18, 2022 10:18 am

You know for a fact that if a politician promoting fossil fuel extraction had investments in FF companies the eco-zealots would be screaming about a “Big Oil conspiracy”.

MarkW
Reply to  Andrew Wilkins
March 18, 2022 11:18 am

Even if he didn’t, they would still be screaming about a Big Oil conspiracy.

nankerphelge
March 18, 2022 12:20 am

Must admit I thought here we go again “perpetual motion”. Although there were admissions to the energy loss but they seemed minimal as an observer with little expertise.

griff
March 18, 2022 1:51 am

Well never mind – the pumped storage in the old gold mine is going ahead, as is the cable to take solar power to Singapore.

Graeme#4
Reply to  griff
March 18, 2022 4:47 am

I doubt that the Sun cable project will go ahead in its stated form. As Michael Darby pointed out here at WUWT in 2020, there are serious issues about the project’s stated aims, and the Singapore customer has withdrawn from the project. Also the proposal to run a very long power cable across a tectonic plate boundary in one of the most geologically unstable areas in the world doesn’t seem to be a good idea. And the figures seem to be very wrong, and the amount of storage to support the “continuous” supply of 3GW is clearly insufficient for the task. It’s being viewed in Australia as just another subsidy-seeking exercise.

Lawrence Ayres
March 18, 2022 3:50 am

There is a cheaper alternative. It is called a coal fired power station. Just replace Liddell Power Station or Erarring or preferably both and end the subsidies to wind and solar. QE Fixed.

Maria
March 18, 2022 5:33 am

Great News!

DPP
March 18, 2022 9:07 am

Who would have guessed that a Turnbull energy policy decision would be a disaster, everyone of course. A project so green it’s goose green. And you’re right, when the SMH gives up on a green energy project you know it’s beyond being well and truly stuffed. I think you’re being a bit generous 100 energy units in and 75 back out, I’d seen earlier estimates sub 70 back out. Either way, the project spends billions of dollars to produce NEGATIVE ENERGY. Honestly, this should be the 21st century definition of insanity, But have no fear, being a typical green energy project the ultimate increase in electricity prices will be shunted to the consumer. Electricity scarcity, rationing, and living in the dark ages (literally), tick, tick, and tick, green energy objectives all achieved.

Quilter52
March 21, 2022 4:16 am

Snowy Hydro was established after the WW2 as a nation-building project that employed many European migrants. It gave Australia a great piece of infrastructure that added water for irrigation and some power on the way through the dams into the inland rivers. It achieved its purpose then. But since then it has become a very useful sinecure for the workers as a government owned enterprise. Now it is just a sinecure that prevents a whole bunch of people from needing to get a real job! Never let Greens near anything that sort of worked.

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