Coalition climate deniers play havoc again with energy

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You’d think they’d be grateful: Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg went to the effort of designing a climate and energy policy that does nothing, and Tony Abbott and friends are still complaining that it does too much.

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You’d think they’d be grateful: Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg have gone to all the effort of designing a climate and energy policy that does nothing, and Tony Abbott and allies are still complaining that it does too much.

2018 is starting to feel a lot like 2009 all over again. That’s not a prediction for a party coup d’etat against Turnbull, but it does look like being a re-run of having an already hopelessly compromised policy scrapped at the last-minute by the acts of the right wing.

Abbott this week was in the party room, and on the air at 2GB, threatening to “cross the floor” because the proposed National Energy Guarantee would not result in the construction of a new coal-fired generator.

Here’s Abbott (above) walking out of the House of Representatives on Tuesday carrying a dossier marked the “Coal era is not over”, probably put together by the Monash Forum. Perhaps the one underneath is his membership to the Flat Earth Society.

Abbott demanded the Coalition back-track on the NEG, arguing it would never work if it did not include a new coal-fired power generator.

Why is this a problem?

Because, as David Leitch, the most sober of energy analysts, wrote this week:

“The NEG does nothing: It won’t lower prices, it won’t reduce the large gentailer influence, it won’t bring about the new investment required … it has no commitment to change. In short, it’s fraud as far as policy goes, or at best, a fix.”

And clearly a political fix, designed to placate an Abbott that refuses to be placated.

State and federal Labor might have been ready to play along were the policy to fit the category of “doing no harm”, but analysis from the likes of Leitch, Tristan Edis, Bruce Mountain, Dylan McConnell, Andrew Stock and many others suggest that’s exactly what it may do.

The ESB had addressed some of the initial concerns about the NEG in its second version, promising changes to avoid a further concentration of power among big retailers. But the latest version has opened up a potential hornet’s nest of issues.

Most, if not all, can be addressed, but the spirit of compromise is not alive in Canberra, given the push by Abbott, and certainly not on the most important element of the policy, the emissions reduction target.

Abbott says cutting emissions in the electricity sector by 26 per cent is too much, even though most will be met by the mechanism he tried to kill, the renewable energy target.

He was the prime minister that approved the national target of a 26-28 per cent reduction. Trump-like, he is now blaming his advisors for pulling the wool over his eyes, and the country remains without an economy-wide policy.

But the true colours of the party and its policy direction come from the one-third of National Party MPs who the AFR’s Phil Coorey wrote this week are backing Abbott, and threatening to oppose the NEG. Why cut emissions at all, they argue.

Let’s remember that the whole premise of the NEG was the pretence of bi-partisan support, particularly in the Coalition party room.

But while there is such a wide gap between the two major parties on emissions targets and renewables, and indeed climate science, there is and can be no bi-partisanship.

Even those within the Coalition who support the NEG do so only on the assumption that it will – as the ESB modelling suggests – stop renewables in their tracks.

“If this policy is not bedded down before the election we will get a Labor policy with a 50 per cent target (and) you cannot have reliability with this percentage of renewables,” National MP Mark Coultan told Fairfax.

Credit: AAP Image

The attachment of the Coalition to coal is bizarre and ill-founded. But it’s based on the fodder prepared for them by the Minerals Council of Australia, the Institute of Public Affairs, various astro-turfing groups, and the Murdoch Media.

The attacks on wind and solar are relentless.

The Australian was at it again this week with its own editorial and a contribution from economist Judith Sloan, topped by an “investigative” report from environment editor Graham Lloyd, which promoted “cheap” new coal generators, even nuclear.

The full-page article gives prominence to this graph, below, purporting to show the cost of various technologies, prepared by Solstice Services, a consultancy run by a trio of former employees of the Tarong coal generator in Queensland. And they haven’t changed their stripes.

A new coal HELE plant (the acronym stands for high efficiency, low emissions, but might more accurately be high emissions, low efficiency) is claimed to be the cheapest form of new energy, even cheaper than wind and solar, and even before you add storage.

The chart places the cost of solar and wind – the cost of solar and storage is put at up to eight times its actual cost. It’s breathtakingly misleading, and completely contrary to what anyone in the energy industry will tell you.

The problem is that the majority of Coalition MPs – and many conservatives and Murdoch readers – believe this sort of nonsense, because that’s all they are fed.

It’s hard to find much reference in The Australian to the list of industries which are turning to wind and solar, because it is cheaper – and with storage and “firming contracts” – still significantly lower than what they are charged by the fossil fuel incumbents.

Sanjeev Gutpa is to power his Whyalla steelworks with around 1GW of solar and storage, and has already written contracts to supply five other big industrial users in South Australia, primarily via a new 220MW solar farm he will built near Port Augusta.

He has already signed a contract for the Numurkah solar farm to power his steelworks in Laverton, has signed contracts with two new solar farms for other industrial users in Queensland and Victoria, and plans to build up to 10GW of solar to restore Australia’s manufacturing base.

Others to source wind and solar for all or part of their electricity needs include Sun Metals zinc refinery, brewer CUB, packaging giant Orora, Telstra, Mars Australia, CC Amatil, Nectar Farms,  Sundrop Farms and dozens of smaller businesses. These developments rate barely a mention in the Murdoch media.

Still, the nonsense is not exclusive to the Coalition right wing. The Electrical Trades Union on Thursday issued a press release slamming the decision by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to award $516 million to the world-leading Kidston solar and pumped hydro project.

“This is a sneaky, underhand way of privatising ours (sic) state assets through backdoor deals with private companies in direct contravention of the state government and state LNP’s supposed anti-privatisation policy positions,” the union said.

It’s not clear how the ETU imagines that all the wind and solar farms planned for the state under the Labor government’s 50 per cent renewable energy target will be built, if it were not for private money.

Already, 23 separate projects have been completed or under construction, and there is another 30GW in the pipeline. Now, it may be that the ETU has a very legitimate gripe about the sourcing of labour for those projects by EPC contractors, but that is a different matter.

But let’s get back to the NEG. The final details are being rushed together over the next five weeks – the technical aspects by the ESB, and the emissions targets and broader policy issues by the Coalition government.

The ACT energy minister Shane Rattenbury, a Green, fears that the agitations of Abbott and a big rump of the Coalition back bench means Frydenberg will have no room for compromise at the COAG energy minister meeting in early August.

That, he says, risks the whole thing being junked. Even if the ESB is able to iron out the technical issues from the emissions and reliability obligations, the Labor states need Frydenberg to cede ground on policy.

Frydenberg clearly won’t change the Coalition’s low ball targets, but the minimum they need is manoeuvrability to adjust those targets, control the amount of offsets, and address “additionality” – meaning that the efforts of individual states, and corporate buyers and households, are recognised.

If not, it will be back to 2009 when the CPRS, itself a compromised policy after trying to appease the conservatives, was rejected by the far right, and voted down when Labor refused to negotiate with the Greens.

And would the dumping of the NEG be so bad? It’s yet to be seen that not having the NEG will be any great loss.

And here’s another irony. Abbott, who thinks that climate science is crap, managed to halt the renewables roll-out for three years when prime minister.

Turnbull, who promised never to lead a party that didn’t take climate change seriously, is now attempting to impose an effective 10-year moratorium on those same technologies.

Note: The ESB last week released the draft of their detailed policy documents after 5pm on Friday, which as we noted then is the time traditionally used by institutions to take out their dirty washing.

The release of a further 10 detailed policy papers was flagged for this week. The latest word as we finalised our newsletter at 3pm was that: “it will be released later Friday afternoon.” More dirty washing. Not a good look.

Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, and is also the founder of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and founder/editor of www.TheDriven.io. Giles has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.

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189 Comments
  1. George Michaelson 6 months ago

    “they lied to me” is the answer of a desperate man. If he can be misled that simply, he wasn’t fit to occupy the office in question. Since he clearly wasn’t lied to, and either willfully ignored what was said, or now seeks to deny he said it, he lacks the moral authority we would expect for somebody in the office in question.

    Why he retains influence in the party is beyond me, because he is by his own words, condemned as unsuitable for a position of authority. On anything.

    • Joe 6 months ago

      The only ‘Liar’ is the Abbott himself. He lied about Labor’s ETS which Abbott called a Carbon Tax, which it never was.He lied about not changing The RET and proceeded to almost destroy it. He now lies about the signing of the Paris Agreement by saying is was only an ‘aspiration’ not a ‘commitment’ but he did say in the wake of signing the Paris Agreement that Australia delivers on its…..COMMITMENTS. Now he wants to blame his then bureaucrats for having signed the Paris Agreement in the first place. The dude is a disgrace and should just get out of Parliament…after he takes Turnbull down in Round 3 of their leadership stoush and thereby hands the next election to Labor.

  2. Ben Dixon 6 months ago

    Bloody hell Giles, it’s back the the future. So depressing it’s almost the weekend.

  3. George Darroch 6 months ago

    Liars. There is no commercial solar in this country that costs $300MWh, and none that costs $900 with storage.

    The actual costs are about 1/6th of that. The Australian is a wicked rag that does immense damage to Australia with its perpetual printing of outright falsehoods.

    • Joe 6 months ago

      But the punters are flocking to Rupe’s Liberal Party Newsletter aka The Australian in ever increasing numbers. Every time the newspaper readership numbers are released The Australian is killing it. Sort of reminds of The Pied Piper or Lemmings going over the cliff.

      • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

        I think the circ for the Australia is largely predicated on the numbers like me who pick up a free copy at the airport to use as mulch on our vegie patch or under the kitty litter box!

        • Cooma Doug 6 months ago

          Its a good wipe also, in emergency.

        • Marcelo 6 months ago

          Wow. You must have a large carbon footprint. I don’t appreciate that.

          • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

            Wow. A whole theory on my footprint based on one observation. I don’t appreciate that.

          • Marcelo 6 months ago

            Simple maths really. If you visit airports frequently or own a private fossil fueled vehicle you are a burden to society. Its too much to ask others to deal with your pollution. Isn’t that what RenewEconomy teaches you? That is what every article tells me. Take responsibility for your actions.

          • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

            Simplistic maths is more apt. I mention airports and your conclusion is irresponsible globetrotter, with enormous carbon footprint. That that air traveller may compensate by cycling to work and the shops, have solar power and a well insulated house, a small family and is active in designing and promoting sustainable living escapes your supercilious gaze. So I would suggest taking responsibility for one’s communications is equally important – simplistic inaccurate characterisations benefit no-one, and definitely not appreciated.

          • Marcelo 6 months ago

            Its a safe bet to make of an Australian. Despite jumps in renewables our emissions are increasing.

            emissions from transport were at record levels, with jumps in the use of diesel and aviation fuel.

          • rob 6 months ago

            take the log out of your own eye before seeing the splinter in someone else’s eye….. quite frankly f off @marcelo @Mike westerman is one of the goodies!

          • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

            Thanks Rob. But to Marcelo I would add – we are all “burdens to society” in our own way, and in Australia, we can each do better. I struggle to improve either my own behaviour or that of my family but I don’t take that to mean giving up.

            As for the original object of contempt, The Australian was once a worthy masthead, and now is a self serving myopic rag, of as little value as its owner. Anyone who feels burdened with what Australia is becoming because of such media, including Facebook, should sink the boot in, IMHO.

          • JWW 6 months ago

            Hi Mike,
            I also picked up a free copy of the Australian when I travelled overseas end of march. I was shocked after finding three completely biased and poorly researched articles on RE, including an article by the so-called economist Judith Sloan. I previously also believed that the Australian was a quality Newspaper, like the SMH maybe just more right-wing. No wonder political progress in the RE space is so hard if half the population gets their news from propaganda tools like The Telegraph and The Australian.

          • Marcelo 6 months ago

            You could have all the green credential in the world but if you pollute its not good enough for me.

            See Mayer Hillman who has not flown for more than 20 years as part of his commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

          • rob 6 months ago

            You are one crazy dude……we all pollute ! have you never FARTED?

          • Marcelo 6 months ago

            Some more than others.

          • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

            You clearly are a fairly superficial reader: Hilman is ‘scornful of individual action which he describes as “as good as futile”’ from the article you cited. Is the rest of your life as superficial – maybe that’s why you find it easy to be supercilious?

            Your attitude of course is destructive of co-operation, which is what will save humans from extinction, and that is a serious burden on humanity. I don’t appreciate that.

          • Marcelo 6 months ago

            I don’t agree with Hilman on the futility of individual action. I don’t share his defeatism. Stop looking for excuses.

            You aren’t making the planet great again if you visit airports regularly.

          • Ren Stimpy 6 months ago

            Who gives a rats what a conservative troll agrees with or doesn’t agree with. The world is changing under your feet, and it seems like you are not ready for it.

          • Marcelo 6 months ago

            Let me guess. You own and drive a petrol car, have for years and still think you are “green”. 🤣

          • Ren Stimpy 6 months ago

            Nope. Inner city dweller, bicycler, public transport enthusiast, Uber at a stretch, jogger (when sober). Can’t wait for the ultra low cost autonomous door-to-door TaaS revolution to arrive. Smiley face.

          • Marcelo 6 months ago

            Lovely. 👍 Family members of mine need that service. I will too, if I can hail an EV.

          • Ren Stimpy 6 months ago

            Low cost door-to-door transport for everybody, what’s not to love?

          • Geoff James 6 months ago

            By extension, Marcelo, pretty much the whole of Australia is a burden to society. I’d probably agree. The positive response is to for Australia to show the leadership that our favoured position allows. The (wide and global) readership of RenewEconomy is largely trying to work out how to do that. Please don’t underestimate individuals who may be doing this a different way to you.

          • Marcelo 6 months ago

            Yes. We have the highest per capita emissions. Burden.

  4. JIm 6 months ago

    In SA, Sanjeev Gupta has declared a state of political bi-partisanship. It looks like it is up to the States to lead.

  5. Rod 6 months ago

    Bin the Neg Joshie. Put forward number 50 of Finkel’s 50 recommendations and let’s see the Coalash forum cross the floor.
    Exactly what they think they will achieve is beyond me. Will they vote with Labor and the Greens on the Clean Energy Target.

  6. Andy Saunders 6 months ago

    “This is a sneaky, underhand way of privatising ours (sic) state assets”

    That would be news to Genex shareholders…

    The ETU must be the last Marxist dinosaur left, if they believe that everything in the state rightfully belongs to the government.

  7. Andy Saunders 6 months ago

    The graph of power costs is from Solstice Development Services, whose website mentions all three principals of the firm are ex Tarong Energy.

    They should be careful – this sort of thing can badly backfire with their reputation.

    One of their claimed recent assignments is “Commercial evaluation of competing low emissions technology projects incorporating carbon capture and storage (CCS).” I wonder how that went for them?

    • john 6 months ago

      They would just make it up like their graph.

  8. RobertO 6 months ago

    Hi All, I am not certain that babbott has the numbers to displace 2 toungs , so it must be about time to call babbott out. Lots of farmers know about climate change (and they understand what they need to do to change things) and if the National Party supports the anti climate stance of babbott they will self destruct in their numbers at the next election. The sooner we have an election and most of these coal ash group go the better we will all be.

    • Mal 6 months ago

      Couldn’t agree more but i occasionally hear from cockys the yeah but we dont trust labor even though a 2 degree temperature increase will destroy farming

      • Trevor Toomer 6 months ago

        Reminds me of a local branch meeting of what was then called the Country Party, The sitting member thanked the members for their support, always voting for him RIGHT OR WRONG.

  9. Ertimus J Waffle 6 months ago

    There’s no attack on wind and solar only undeniable facts that wind and solar energy are useless. There’s always a reason espoused by the renewable energy brigade as to why the wind turbines aren’t producing a watt of electricity and why coal fired power is a dinosaur. If Australia goes the renewable energy route no Australian will be able to afford the unreliable expensive power it produces. South Australia is the proof but the Renewable loonies wont accept the result of having a state run on sunshine and breezes with very expensive diesel burning gas turbine generators for when the wind doesn’t blow. On the 21/6/18 and 22/6/18 South Australians are paying
    $300 a MWH for their power as there isn’t any wind.

    • john 6 months ago

      South Australia is now a net exporter of power with all those awful wind generators and solar what to you expect it to be once the CSP and the rest of the Solar and Wind is put in place?

      • Shilo 6 months ago

        So that is, a overall amount, averaged over a period of time. Not actually the detail of say one week here and there for a day here or there it needs to import power.
        Or opposed to say a net exporter of power who covers their power needs 24/7/365 and exports power 24/7/365.
        Lots of devils in detail

        • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

          I don’t know of any exporters of power or power stations for that matter that “export power 24/7/365” – it would seem a foolish arrangement to enter into. We have a market which varies in load and supply, with different generators supplying what they choose to supply, and retailers purchasing what they need to meet their obligations. The idea that there is something obscure about this is farcical.

          The market is evolving quite quickly, considering the relative sloth of the past 50y. As the rules and the behaviour of the regulator adapt to having millions more sources of power, and consumers respond to more variability in price and supply, no doubt schemes to benefit from arbitrage and those to support stability and availability will emerge. Managing change intelligently and transparently is a better policy than prevarication and obfuscation.

          • Shilo 6 months ago

            It was simply pointing out about the state of SA being a net exporter.
            But your right, to a extent.
            There are heaps of exporters of power in the form of gas or oil that export 24/7/365.
            Even Australia.
            Russia
            A few nuke plants have been known to run for longer than 2 years without stopping, just so you know. Not that i was talking about power stations, but seeing as you have. You can look it up.

          • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

            It was hard to understand what point you were making, given that SA has HV lines of capacity substantially less than their minimum demand, but they frequently generate more than their maximum demand. John’s remark was to refute the nonsense sprouted by Waffle that SA was in trouble in terms of supply!

            BTW there may be plenty of exporters of energy (ie oil and gas) that operate continuously, although even these are generally subject to periodic flushing with pigs to remove debris or moisture – I don’t think they would normally be termed “power supplies”. Some hydros have run for very much longer than 2y continuously as well, but again, this is scarcely remarkable.

    • john 6 months ago

      Pss the back up Diesel Generators have not been used yet and I expect never will be.

      • RobertO 6 months ago

        Hi John, Emergency Back Up Generators are often run about 10 minutes a week so that you know they will run if you need them. It keeps the diesel circulating (and some systems run a small pump just to keep the diesel fresh). Most have heating systems to keep the system warm (starts quicker and up to full capacity within minutes). Parramatta Telstra Exchange had 2 Diesel engines at 1.3 MW each that were kept at 40 degrees C and had to be able to be up to speed (full power mode) within 3 minutes.

    • Barri Mundee 6 months ago

      Yes sure fake news.

    • Rod 6 months ago
      • Shilo 6 months ago

        What average are you showing there Rod? what is the period of time?
        just june this year?
        SA is wrong, its averaged 101

        • Rod 6 months ago

          Would have been June to date at the time I posted. Must have updated since. NSW is still the highest for the Month.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/97d254c6a637061423eddad207fc0d8008607d7bd08d473902e8fed86b1e4cfc.png

          • Shilo 6 months ago

            I think a year or year to date is a much better reflection, but you point is to say NSW has high power prices this month.

          • Rod 6 months ago

            Selective date use. Who woulda thunk it.
            The argument that the energy source is the reason for high prices is fakenews in itself.
            Ample generation, true competition, interconnection options and fuel type/cost is more of a factor for average spot prices.

    • My_Oath 6 months ago

      Again living up to your surname.

    • Joe 6 months ago

      Waffler you back again…blowing hard again…just like the Wind. Aren’t you really The Daily Telegraph’s Terry McCrann?

      • Ken Dyer 6 months ago

        Joe, you leave my mate Waffles alone. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how fact free and erroneous. Let’s face it, all the respondents on here are true believers until Ertimus and his mates came along.
        We should welcome them as new converts to the cause.
        Having said that, Terry McCrann is a very poor excuse for a journalist, but he would be the standard should the ABC ever be privatised.

        • Joe 6 months ago

          Poor old Tezza, gave up being a serious journo years ago. He is nicknamed ‘Crackers’ for a reason

    • Ren Stimpy 6 months ago

      “If Australia goes the renewable energy route”

      Sorry but Australia has already gone the renewable energy route on the basis of cost, and there’s no turning back.

      Another way of saying that is >>> Australia will never build another coal power plant – the private sector won’t do it because they don’t like losing money, and the public sector won’t do it because our liberal government don’t have those extreme kinds of socialist tendencies.

    • Peter F 6 months ago

      Yes but the average for the month to date for SA is $101 and coal based NSW is $106. And which state was it that had close to blackouts in the last month Coal fired NSW not SA. SA has not used more than 60% of its gas/diesel since the battery was installed and has generated less than 1% of its power from diesel

    • MaxG 6 months ago

      “There’s no attack on wind and solar only undeniable facts that wind and solar energy are useless.”
      Hmm, I am running solar and a battery for 350 days a year… solar being useless for 15 days a year is acceptable, and does not make solar useless in general.
      But then, your post is about stirring the pot 🙂

  10. Carl Raymond S 6 months ago

    Mr Abbott, the coal era is over or the human era is over. Pick one.

    • Barri Mundee 6 months ago

      And Tony Abbott’s era is also over.

      • john 6 months ago

        I hope your are correct however he holds a blue ribbon seat so will no doubt be back with his idiot ideas to annoy sensible thinking people for years to come.

        • Barri Mundee 6 months ago

          I was thinking more of his relevance than his hold on his seat though I did read about a possible pre-selection challenge.

          • john 6 months ago

            You are correct he has no relevance what so ever.

          • mick 6 months ago

            suffering relevance deprivation

        • Joe 6 months ago

          Yes, Abbott’s supporters in Warringah are ready to dance again with ‘their PM’. It is like he has a spell over them. I think they’d vote for a teapot it it was the Liberal candidate standing for election.

          • MaxG 6 months ago

            :))
            There is the answer to your question you had elsewhere: who votes for these clowns?

    • RobertO 6 months ago

      Hi Carl Raymond S Babbott is a religious believer and as such “God is In control of the climate not man. I am also the next leader of the Coalition party, my friend MT is just holding my seat.”

      They say dreams are free!

      • Carl Raymond S 6 months ago

        The man is smart enough to play wedge and dog whistle politics. He’s smart enough to read the Keeling Curve and understand the greenhouse effect and ocean acidification. That makes him a selfish git, putting his political sponsors before his electors, his kids and the human race. I don’t buy this pretending to not understand the science for an instant. Deniers are *ricks.

    • Ertimus J Waffle 6 months ago

      Coal is Australia’s largest energy export earner. In 2010–11, Australia exported 283 million tonnes (Mt) of metallurgical and thermal coal to world markets worth A$43.7 billion. Total coal (black, saleable) production in Australia in 2010–11 is estimated to have been 345 Mt. Over the medium term, total Australian metallurgical and thermal coal exports are forecast to increase by nearly 72 per cent: from 283 Mt in 2010–11 to 486 Mt, valued at $56.5 billion, in 2016–17.

      This is planet Earth not Planet Mars, you might wish that your dreams will come true ( mickey mousekeeters) but in the real world coal production and coal fired power generation is increasing at an Exponential rate. Good luck with your dreams.

      • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

        It’s not Planet Waffle either, so facts still matter – like iron ore being the biggest export. But then your gaze is so fixed in the rear vision mirror that 8y old stats are all you see!

        • Ertimus J Waffle 6 months ago

          You didn’t read the punch line or are you dyslexic
          “largest energy export earner”

          • Rod 6 months ago

            No, I’m pretty sure dyslexia is one of your problems. Too many petrol fumes when you were young?
            ” learning disability symptoms like delayed early language
            development, slow learning new vocabulary words, and difficulty reading”

          • rob 6 months ago

            i ‘m fairly sure you will orgasm over this……..piss off!

      • Carl Raymond S 6 months ago

        Like I said, pick one.

      • baseload renewables 6 months ago

        If you could please provide data to back up your statement that “coal fired power generation is increasing at an exponential rate”, I would love to see it.

        From data that I have (see link below), world-wide energy production from coal peaked in 2014 at 45.23 PWh and fell to 43.43 PWh in 2016. Not a huge drop, but mathematically not increasing at an exponential rate. Since 2000, the data actually suggests a second-order polynomial relationship, rather than an exponential one. Sorry I couldn’t find 2017 figures, if you can find them please let me know, as it is possible that energy production from coal has increased since 2016.

        For the same time period 2000-2016, worldwide renewable energy production has increased from 570 TWh to 4.88 PWh. The data suggests an exponential relationship.

        The same data-set also shows that in 2000, the world-wide ratio of renewables (not including hydro) to coal in terms of energy production was 2.1% (27.3% with hydro); in 2010 it was 4.7% (26.1% with hydro). In 2016 it was 11.2% (35.6% with hydro).

        https://ourworldindata.org/energy-production-and-changing-energy-sources

        Even this report concludes that total energy use by all sources is only 5% worldwide by the end of 2016. So yeah, coal, gas, oil, and nuclear aren’t going anywhere for the time being.

        • neroden 6 months ago

          Coal, gas, oil, and nuclear are going *bankrupt*, that’s where they’re going.

          Long before the use of these fuels is stopped, their *profitability* will disappear. This is already happening, with coal mining companies declaring bankruptcy all over the place. Nuclear companies have been bankrupt for years. Oil is next, probably in about 5 years.

          • Ertimus J Waffle 6 months ago

            Probably more to do with the US government subsidising fracking and gas production. The US has gone from a net importer of oil to an exporter of gas and energy. The truth is in the whole story not picking the pieces that fit your argument. In a few years time when the US will again need oil and Gas for it’s own energy production wait and see where the money is and who makes a killing. Your argument fails to say why these companies are going bankrupt and it is mainly because of changing government policy and subsides.

          • baseload renewables 6 months ago

            For the sake of the future, I hope that you are correct. We’ll see how Jevon’s paradox plays out. Personally, and I’m no authority on the subject, I don’t see oil going anywhere that soon. I just don’t see electrification getting up to speed that quickly unless modern geopolitics matches the determination of the Apollo and Manhattan projects with the effort of the Marshall Plan. Unlikely, but possible. Another $150/barrel price shock, or some geopolitical event might also help things along.

            Which coal mining companies are declaring bankruptcy?

        • Ertimus J Waffle 6 months ago

          “exponential” It makes as much sense as the rest of the rubbish printed here.

          • baseload renewables 6 months ago

            Sir, 3 days ago, you said:

            “in the real world coal production and coal fired power generation is increasing at an Exponential rate”.

            The word “exponential” makes perfect sense if you accept, as does the discipline of mathematics, that it is a description of a particular type of relationship between two variables. To be more (not fully) specific, an exponential relationship describes a dependent variable that not only increases with each increment of the independent variable, but also increases by more in successive increments of the independent variable.

            Your post three days ago claimed the existence of an exponential relationship between a pair of such two-variable relationships, namely:

            a) coal production and time; and
            b) coal fired power generation and time.

            The data that I have analysed to 2016 does not suggest that such a relationship exists, insofar as relationship b) is concerned in the world-wide domain to 2016, although an exponentially increasing relationship did exist between 1999 and 2005. If you have other data that suggests that the relationship IS exponentially increasing in the present day, could you please provide or link to that data so that it may be examined, analysed, and commented on?

      • Peter F 6 months ago

        yes but the 486m tonne forecast turned out to be 372 m tonnes actual the 72% growth rate was actually 7%.
        In the real world coal power production in China is still less than it was in 2013, Germany, the US, UK, Spain, Italy, Canada have all reduced output from coal power, so your exponential rate is just a dream.

        • Ertimus J Waffle 6 months ago

          And you should tell the world why coal power production is less in China. It has absolutely nothing to do with renewables or any propaganda blurted out by the Greens it’s all to do with efficiency and the construction of large efficient coal fired power stations and the retirement of hundreds of old generators that the Chinese government sourced from all over the world in scrap heaps and from decommissioned coal fired power stations back in the 1980’s. And Peter F I worked in one of those Australian coal fired power stations that was decommissioned and the old 33MW parsons generators were bought by the Chinese and installed in a large power station in Shanghai.

          • Peter F 6 months ago

            If you care to look at China’s annual energy production by source wind and solar grew from 182 TW hours to 424 TW in three years from 2014 to 2017. Coal power increased from 3959 to 4149 a whole 1.5% per year and as you say needed less coal due to retirement of subcritical plants.
            In the first quarter of 2018, wind generation was up 38% and solar 64% on last year . Thus in the first quarter of this year China generated 133 TWh from wind and solar plants above 6 MW. Distributed solar and small wind is in addition to that, probably in the order of 7-10 TWh. With little further growth, in 2019 China will generate 4 times as much electricity from wind and solar as the total Australia electrical demand.
            Thankyou for the opportunity to enlighten you

      • neroden 6 months ago

        Worldwide, coal production and power generation is crashing. Very very fast. Australia is getting a larger percentage of the world market, but India and China were just closed to Australian exports (government policy is to use domestic coal only), and those were the only two growth markets for coal in the world. Both are shrinking their coal usage now.

        Don’t believe me. Believe investment bankers who have reported on this.

      • CU 6 months ago

        Yes, exponentially rate but exponentially decreasing, you got a gloom future for your coal:
        https://endcoal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/BoomAndBust_2018_r6.pdf

    • Ertimus J Waffle 6 months ago

      Australia’s coal export values have hit a new peak of $56.5 billion in 2017, according to the latest trade data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

      This valuation is 35 per cent higher than 2016 and beats the previous record of $46.7 billion, set in 2011, by nearly $10 billion.

      The $56.5 billion is split between 200 million tonnes (Mt) of thermal coal valued at $20.8 billion, and 172Mt of coking coal valued at $35.7 billion.

  11. john 6 months ago

    What has been the outcome from the last 6 years?
    This sums it up.
    Abbott, who thinks that climate science is crap, managed to halt the renewables roll-out for three years when prime minister.
    He was responsible for the closing down of a plant building wind turbine equipment and because of the uncertainty he caused there was a total pause on any development.
    What is happening now?
    State Governments have done the heavy lifting and it is unstoppable why?
    Because RE is cheaper short term and long term.

    What will happen is more and more Solar Wind CSP and PHES will be built near major transmission lines all over the grid and the result is going to be lower price of power.
    Why you ask ?
    Because no longer will we see $14,000 per MW prices being given to the old system of rigging the system but a steady as it goes about $50 to at most $80 a MW for power.
    Hang your heads in shame those who still cling to baseload coal which has had 59 failures this year alone causing a rise in price for wholesale power.

    • Ertimus J Waffle 6 months ago

      Today at 7.45 0n the 23/6/18 the renewable energy sector in Australia are producing less than 1000 MW of an installed capacity of 6000 MW. Renewable energy might be cheaper to install but if it produces nothing then it is useless and $14000 per MwH would seem very cheap. By the way it’s MwH Mw is the power being generated and cannot be costed.

      • RobS 6 months ago

        You conveniently ignored hydro which is producing 3,300 MW, now at 0830 renewables are producing 4,900 MW, more than brown coal at 4,600 MW

        • Ertimus J Waffle 6 months ago

          or put another way Hydro generation is 20% of coal generation.

          • RobS 6 months ago

            Or put another way renewable output is 500% of what you falsely claimed it was.

      • Rod 6 months ago

        Well it is actually MWh or MW but that is just me being a pedant.
        Consider yourself further edumacated.
        You do understand we have always had redundancy in the grid. Lots of plant lying idle for when it is needed and being paid accordingly when they operate. This is nothing new.

        • RobS 6 months ago

          Well we need it, 55 coal generation units failed unexpectedly requiring immediate spinning reserves between December 1 2017 and March 31 2018, hideously unreliable and intermittent things they are.

          • Rod 6 months ago

            And the older they get the more likely the tube leaks.

      • baseload renewables 6 months ago

        1 GW does not equal producing nothing.

        7:45 a.m. a day after the winter solstice is a good time to present the capacity factor argument against solar plants. Please let us know how it’s going at 12:30 p.m.

        Megawatt-hours has the quantity symbol MWh.

      • Peter F 6 months ago

        You forgot hydro, when wind and solar are strong hydro is preserved so it can run harder while they are weak. Australia has about 15% of the renewable capacity it needs for a renewable grid so one would expect that there will be times when generation from renewables will be very low, just as there are times now when gas is very low.
        If you look at the Live supply widget you will find that there are times where our 12 GW of gas is producing less than 1 GW too, but if you look at the AER website you will also see that gas is 20.4% of capacity but only supplies 10.3% of energy. Wind only represents 8.8% of capacity but supplies 6.6% of energy. i.e. the utilisation is higher than gas

  12. baseload renewables 6 months ago

    The technical papers have been released:

    1. Book-Build 10 p
    2. Compliance and penalties for the emissions reduction 18 p
    3. Compliance and penalties for the reliability requirement 23 p
    4. Demand response 12 p
    5. Emissions registry 22 p
    6. Exempt load 13 p
    7. Forecasting the reliability requirement 28 p
    8. Liable entities for the reliability requirement 13 p
    9. Market customer load 15 p
    10. Procurer of last resort 8 p
    11. Qualifying contracts 23 p

    To go along with the 53 pages released last week. Remember your submission close date deadline of July (Friday the) 13th. Happy reading!

  13. Ken Dyer 6 months ago

    Could not wipe the smile off my face as the chief parliamentary coal troll was photographed with a tome under his arm titled, ‘The Coal Era is not Over’.

    Just the mere fact that the title identifies that the coal troll now understands that there is, and rapidly is becoming was, a coal era gives credence to the fact that the coal industry is dying and quite rapidly.

    A quote from Bloomberg New Energy Finance ‘The latest Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis estimates that by 2050 dramatic further declines in the cost of solar, wind and batteries will drive the collapse of coal power down to about 11 per cent of global power generation. The high costs of coal compared to renewables are already taking a toll on proposed coal plants. In India this week, a 4000MW coal plant was scrapped. Coal is being squeezed out faster and faster.

    So perhaps the coal troll’s tome should read, ‘The coal era is nearly over.’

    • hydrophilia 6 months ago

      Or, perhaps “NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!! WAAH!!”

    • MaxG 6 months ago

      Do not underestimate the damage these clowns can do…

  14. Mark Stewart 6 months ago

    Perhaps a quick visit to thunderbolts.info might help the climate liars. These climate change scientists don’t even know what powers the weather systems on earth let alone whether there’s climate change or not and for that matter what powers the sun. Just YouTube : Safire project Monty Childs

    • Cheetaroo 6 months ago

      WARNING: Electric Universe insanity detected.
      Proceed with full intellectual protections in place!

      • MaxG 6 months ago

        intelle…what?
        This is music to the flat-earthers…
        :))

  15. Ertimus J Waffle 6 months ago

    Paul Keating destroyed the once cheap reliable electricity generation system when he forced the states to sell off all their utilities to the Wall street bankers so they wouldn’t bankrupt Australia after his many failed budgets as treasurer. Since then not one large base load power station has been built anywhere in Australia and as everyone knows when the Capitalist mates of the LNP and ALP smell blood there is no stopping them in screwing the hapless public for every cent they are worth.

    • MaxG 6 months ago

      What I have been saying all along (for decades)… and while the ALP is still the lesser evil for the people, the people have been and will continue to be shafted by the neoliberal agenda, and the lack of foresight both parties are guilty of.

      … though I disagree with most of your other posts.

    • Rod 6 months ago

      I though it was renewables to blame. Make up your mind, or whatever is left of it.
      Keating didn’t force anyone to privatise. QLD, WA and Tas still own some of their energy assets.
      I CBF checking but think it would have been Liberal State Governments doing all the selling.

      • MaxG 6 months ago

        Keating commissioned the Hilmer report while being treasurer.
        COAG adopted the report, implementing the reforms with bipartisan support!
        The Feds had no constitutional power to force the change; hence, they needed the States to be willing to implement the reforms.
        However, the Feds used the (newly created) National Competition Council that recommended to the Commonwealth (Feds), whether the jurisdictions (States) had undertaken the reforms effectively. Their assessment impacted the amount of payment the States would receive from the National Competition Payment Scheme. This financial incentive was to offset the loss of monopoly rents the States would no longer receive with the introduction of the reforms.
        So, you are right; Keating did not force anyone; but both parties supported the reforms that followed (in the name of competition), with the Howard government most vividly implementing them. Without an ALP agreement, this (reform and privatisation) would not have happened.

        • Rod 6 months ago

          As we are seeing with the Neg, States can be bludgeoned or bribed to acquiesce to COAG reforms. I’d still wager the States that did privatise were blue at the time.
          I think it was the SA Libs who were the first. ETSA’s final dividend was $400 Million. The sale price around $4 billion. So much for good money managers. I’m not sure how much SA got from the Feds payment scheme but I think we were dudded.

          SA also, against advice, chose not to build a second interconnector. Another short sighted decision.

          • MaxG 6 months ago

            You may want to read up on the topic. I am not into holding a flag for either one party. You will find that neoliberal ideas were very popular at the time (in fact for the last 50 years)… and interestingly enough, people who would be disadvantaged the most, voted vigorously for it. A testament to the general stupidity. Nothing has changed; in fact it has gotten worse, when you look at the current western world developments.

            Social bonds wither away, yet these would be the foundation for a more inclusive and caring community up to a large scale. Who is saying anything or demonstrating against further privatisations (Health, ABC, Super)? Who is looking at Universal Basic Income (in particular in light of rising unemployment across all sectors). Whoever dares to ask will be ridiculed and hung out to dry. Wait another ten years when I see at least 35% unemployment. We are already at 15% (taking off government adjustments). I see neither party working in this space.

          • Rod 6 months ago

            I think it would take a LOT of reading to get to the bottom of who privatised what in each State.
            Being at the coalface in SA, so to speak at the time of ETSA being sold, I am aware that the majority of South Australians were against the sale. The incoming blue Government promised not to sell it but used the debt and deficit crap to do just that.
            No wonder they were sent into opposition for 16 years.

          • Calamity_Jean 6 months ago

            “Wait another ten years when I see at least 35% unemployment.”

            That will be bad. At the height of the Great Depression, unemployment in the US was “only” 25%. I don’t want to think what 35% will look like.

          • MaxG 6 months ago

            Those were different times. There was agriculture and industry and small business. These days AU has mostly a service industry, heavily relying on imports (e.g. after lots of local industry was eliminated in the name of globalisation); a decline in spending will have dramatic negative impacts.

  16. MaxG 6 months ago

    I am glad I don’t care anymore… 🙂

  17. Nick Kemp 6 months ago

    “Abbott this week was in the party room, and on the air at 2GB, threatening to “cross the floor” ”

    When he gets there he will find everyone shuffling sideways to get away from him.

  18. MaxG 6 months ago

    He forgot a word “yet” 🙂
    The Coal Era Is Not Over Yet.

  19. solarguy 6 months ago

    The ETU is voting against RE because they believe they will lose jobs in Coal. They will to a point, but as it has been already noted their skills are directly for the most part transferable to the RE industry.

    They are victims of FF misinformation.

    • Ertimus J Waffle 6 months ago

      May be being educated and understanding electricity they know what a cruel expensive hoax renewable generation is. But how would they know when all the smart comments here are made by people who wouldn’t even be able to put a new lead on their toaster.Welcome to the future world of experts.

      • solarguy 6 months ago

        Ah Waffle, you’re a case in point. Sad that you are so deluded, sad that you’re a traitor to humanity, a blood sucker, an oxygen thief. Now disappear into that dark black hole from where you where spawned

      • Ren Stimpy 6 months ago

        Who TF puts a new lead on their toaster these days except senile old Grandpa?

  20. Askgerbil Now 6 months ago

    The NEG sounds ominously like a costly policy mistake that European countries made.

    “In Europe, several EU Member States including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, notably, have introduced rewards for making capacity available, in the form of capacity mechanisms…In Germany, from this year 2.7GW of largely inflexible and high-emitting lignite capacity will be placed into an emergency stand-by reserve, only to be used as back-up when required for a period of four years, after which these plants will be permanently retired. This comes at an estimated cost of €1.6 billion to the German government to compensate for lost revenues from the electricity market during these years of security stand-by.”

    Japan produced a report last October on these costly mistakes that Australia may be on the verge of repeating: https://blog.gerbilnow.com/2018/06/national-energy-guarantee-and-known.html

    • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

      Gerbil – it depends on what is eligible and whether the policy is consistent with other policies. It would be utterly counterproductive to allow inflexible, emission heavy lignite to be “reserve” when PHES and batteries can provide reserve with incredibly short response times with little energy and no emission cost. The primary advantage tho of providing capacity payments is that a much smaller arbitrage margin is needed for viability, which will have the effect of making such assets more active in smooth pricing, for lower average costs.

  21. Ben 6 months ago

    Can anybody explain what Australia’s emission reductions plan does for climate change?

    • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

      Obviously a 26% reduction does very little either in terms of coherence with necessary global action or locally. Complete elimination of carbon would result in over 140Mt/a reduction in emissions. Eliminating coal exports would reduce our exported emissions by 1,000Mt/a.

      If you are being obtuse and asking what difference does that make globally, then ask yourself what difference does it make to the world if you murder the next person you meet.

      • Ben 6 months ago

        Firstly, if you think stopping all Australian coal exports would reduce global emissions, you are incorrect. The other countries would replace the coal, probably with lower quality coal producing net emissions increase.

        Secondly, equating emissions with murder exposes a fundamentalist ideology point of view. The world has no place for that. Plus it’s a poor analogy.

        • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

          Australian coal is generally some of the highest quality available – substitution with lower quality is not just a matter of going to a different coloured petrol pump! It introduces increased cost, lower efficiency, ash disposal problems, tube erosion problems etc. Making coal less economic increases the impetus to using alternatives, and given the cost differential to gas, in China and India the alternative is their vastly expanding RE programs, now including very large PHES programs (China – 90GW). So your response is superficial, and I endorse Phil’s comment to do more research.

          My point in confronting you with the murder-emissions analogy is that it is easy to be flippant when your impact is out of sight. Emissions from coal burning in China and India is killing people. Each of us accepts a social moral responsibility – we don’t just do what suits or benefits us – so just because reducing our emissions may only ever reduce global emissions by 5% or so, we show our solidarity with others better able to change the global outlook, particularly as a country so wealthy we can do so with little impact to ourselves. There is nothing ideological about that: pure pragmatism!

          • Ben 6 months ago

            After reading the Paris NDCs, the India electricity plan and China’s commitments, I don’t share your outlook. The renewable programs are dwarfed by fossil fuel increases.

            And the “Australian emissions are murder” thing still doesn’t stack up because for the analogy to work requires Australian emissions to matter – they don’t. No other country cares about our emissions. Except when we change our laws in regards to emissions, that’s corporate risk that needs to be considered, which makes this country riskier to do business. And that’s not good for any of us.

          • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

            Well if you keep your blinkers on and ignore the various reports on what is happening then you will of course remain ill informed. If our coal contributes to the particulates haze in Asia which does kill people (and I’ve experienced it first hand) then we will be responsible whether someone holds us to account or not. Ethics would hold their is no difference to murdering the next person you meet. Duck and weave all you wish – there is not ethical rabbit hole to escape down. On the other hand your comments on sovereign risk are trite: Australia is such a good risk that we are most unlikely to be impacted by even quite unethical or inconsistent FIRB behavior.

        • Nick Kemp 6 months ago

          Except the cheapest form of energy at the moment is offshore wind power not coal

          • Calamity_Jean 6 months ago

            I thought onshore wind was cheaper.

    • Phil NSW 6 months ago

      If you are genuinely wanting to know why there has been a request for emission reduction, do some thinking and research. If we continue to emit greenhouse gases as we have been the planet will continue to warm. Research for yourself why the greenhouse gases allows incident light rays to reach the earth’s surface rather then being absorbed/deflected in the upper atmosphere. Hopefully then, you will then understand the change in the temperature of the earth. Independently research how many people live within 2 meters of sea level. Do you want to be responsible for their disposition? Consider the change to where your food is grown and the probable loss of that as useable fertile land. Could your body tolerate being in a 2-3 degree hotter environment then consider every other living thing is also subjected to the same change? Change to the polar ice caps and glaciers are being measured and have been ever since industrialisation centuries ago. Visit a glacier and see it for yourself. What happens to all that water?

      • Ben 6 months ago

        And yet all previous predictions have not come to pass.
        And yet the modelling is constantly being proven wrong.

        It is possible that the human contribution to global warming is a very small component of all the forces that interact to change the climate.

        What if that’s the reality?

        • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

          Your first statements are profoundly dishonest, and I suspect hypocritical. I get short with those who cherry pick which engineering and science they decide to accept without examination while they reject out of hand other they consider relevant to their ideological identity. The same methodology used in climate modelling and collection/processing of climate data is that used in every day engineering of planes and cranes, keeping the water and power flowing on which the population rely. There is no justification for accepting the latter but finding it difficult to accept an overwhelmingly majority view of climate change and its causes. There is not a class of scientists and engineers who are honest and another that is mendacious. The vast majority, including those I work with, are hard working and honest, regardless of their political views. I have no difficulty in debating ideas with nuke and weapons engineers, even if I don’t agree with governments or financiers who make their industry viable: the disagreement is not about “the science” – inevitably it is about the politics.

          If you have an honest political stance against collective action or equitable redistribution of wealth or individual vs collective obligations, then be honest enough to say so, and take that debate to an appropriate forum. This forum is for debating the factual basis for a transition to a zero carbon economy.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            Regarding the science, I’m an engineer, I’ve had plenty of debates about climate change science and the evidence, and the simple truths are rarely acknowledged: the main one being, if human emissions are found to be the tipping the balance, then nuclear power is the best answer. Wind and solar are pointless.

            If redistribution of the wealth of western civilisation is the goal, then taxing emissions and increasing the cost of power and de-industrialising the west are significant milestones, along with destruction of family values, open borders and other hallmarks of cultural Marxism.

            So in the context of this article (climate and energy), I’m comfortable that I am on topic.

            You might like to read the recent scientific submission to an American court, evidence requested by the judge after the state sued “big oil” for causing climate change.

            http://1ggye33lc4653z56mp34pl6t.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Tutorial-Professor-Presentation.pdf

          • Ren Stimpy 6 months ago

            Has there ever been an investor or a consortium who has identified a site for a nuclear power plant in Australia, scoped it, costed it, and announced that should the no-nukes laws be lifted they will definitely build it ?

            If there has, what was their promised cost of power in $/MWh ?

          • Ben 6 months ago

            If nuclear power generation wasn’t illegal you might have a chance at something like that. In the meantime there is the Switkowski report.

          • Ren Stimpy 6 months ago

            “In the meantime there is the Switkowski report”?

            FFS spare us. This is not the Oz (whose so-called economists are cowed by the Wizard).

            The Switkowski Report (2006) is so incredibly out-of-date it doesn’t even deserve credence. The energy market has transformed on a curve since 2006.

            Try lobbying Mr Switkowski to produce another more modern update of his ancient snapshot report on nuclear energy. I bet he won’t do it, because he now knows the truth about the cost of honkous nuclear projects by comparison to economy-of-scale technologies. No offense to you engineers who are mainly brilliant custodians of the systems we design, but please don’t speak on economics, particularly when you have to relate some old numpty’s report from TWELVE years ago in market which now changes – in a huge way – every single year.

            Please prove your assertion “nuclear power is the best answer” on that one singular basis of cost, then I will become a dedicated supporter.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            I didn’t say the report was perfect…

            In regard to your point about the change in the market, let’s call it subsidised intermittent generation, so the true cost of wind and solar is what? How do you apply a cost when it is installed but not generating? The average power generated by wind and solar used in LCOE does not account for the alternative power source required for when the wind and sun are not available. The economics of wind and solar are false unless this is considered, since an electricity shortfall is not an acceptable outcome.

            Let’s also acknowledge that nuclear technology is also in a state of continuous evolution.

            So my point about nuclear is this: zero emissions, synchronous, scheduled generators is the absolute best answer if continuous electricity supply with zero emissions is the highest priority.

          • Ren Stimpy 6 months ago

            No worries bro, you tried, but at best came up with ‘perhaps nuclear one day’.Don’t worry, buck up.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            SA wind output currently 117 MW for installed capacity 1806 MW (6.5%)

          • Ren Stimpy 6 months ago

            Is that a challenge?

          • Ben 6 months ago

            SA wind output down to 70 MW now.

            Lucky there is a power source available that can be turned up to match demand.

          • Ren Stimpy 6 months ago

            …and a new build of hydro power for when that is no longer available.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            Hydro is great but is also large footprint and needs rain.

            So interesting that the people most concerned that humans are changing the climate want power generation more closely dependent on weather…

          • Ren Stimpy 6 months ago

            Pumped hydro needs only a small footprint and doesn’t need rain, just renewable powered pumps.

          • Phil NSW 6 months ago

            He (our long suffering mate, Ben) really thought that one out didn’t he. For an engineer he seems not to use engineering principles very well does he. Latching onto out of date reports and automatically transplanting them into contemporary circumstances where the debate has moved considerably is going to see him go along way as an engineer.

          • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

            In our Marxist-socialist world down under, we know how to build pumped hydro that is actually right sized, not giant sized, so that 2GW will require two 200ha ponds. Typically even tho’ we look for ephemeral rivers so as to limit environmental impact there is still enough inflow generally to compensate for evaporation. LCOS about $70.

            Not so challenging without blinkers on…

          • Phil NSW 6 months ago

            The emissions are not zero, they are more toxic than fossil fuel technology and leaving a legacy for how many generations?

          • Phil NSW 6 months ago

            Why has Germany closed 10 nuclear power plants in the last 7 years if it is the bee’s knees of power solutions?

          • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

            And not just Germany – a string of closures in US. Eg. New Jersey gets 40% of its power from nukes but will not build more and will retire existing after failing to get an enormous subsidy to keep them running. Others, quoting from Utility Dive: The Vogtle plant is the only nuclear generator under construction in the U.S. today after the cancellation of the V.C. Summer nuclear expansion in South Carolina this autumn.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            I would suggest a combination of irrational populism, environmental ideology and misinformation related to Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.

            China are growing their nuclear energy capability, France has relied on it for decades as have the US, UK and other countries.

            Not to mention the many nuclear powered warships and ice-breakers.

        • Phil NSW 6 months ago

          Ben, how is the research going? By the way, as your research deepens you will see as ocean temperatures increase the tolerance to dissolve CO2 reduces in the oceans waters so it actual accelerates global warming. As more ice melts the trapped CO2 in the ice is also released to the wider ecosystem. I am sure your research is discovering these fasts. Please report back the outcomes of the research. After doing your genuine research I look forward to you joining the fight against climate change. Thank you in advance for your interest and concern.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            Thanks Phil, patronising tone noted. But no actual rebuttal. You might like to continue your own education by reading this. Enjoy.

            http://1ggye33lc4653z56mp34pl6t.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Tutorial-Professor-Presentation.pdf

          • Phil NSW 6 months ago

            Hi Ben. I have read the document, thank you, have you? So do you conclude humans are or aren’t influencing the climate? If they are which is the conclusion drawn by your reference then think for yourself how much change is required to tip the balance towards heating? The answer is? I eagerly await your answer. I can see you will be supporting the need for immediate abatement so to arrest the change in the future. Welcome to the side of commonsense and emission reduction.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            I always find it interesting that climate change fundamentalists believe that anybody who asks questions are automatically the enemy and must be treated with scorn, derision and be patronised out of existence.

            I draw your attention to one section of the tutorial, which basically says that to understand and predict the 1% human effect on climate we must also understand all the other 1% effects.

            Your position is plainly that it is only humans that have caused the climate to “tip towards heating”.

            My position is that your position is irresponsible, uneducated and not supported by science.

          • Ren Stimpy 6 months ago

            “not supported by science”

            WTF are you talking about Ben? You are not a scientist. You have no science training. You are an engineer. Do you not have some engineering project (A-B-C instruction) you should be following instead of speaking out-of-school? If you want to be a scientist then become a scientist (hypothesis-experiment-result) before speaking as one.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            How do you know I’m not a scientist? I’m not, but you have no basis for claiming that.

            I was responding to old mate’s 3degC claims (at the far extreme of any published predicted temperature range) and that my body couldn’t handle 3degC temperature rise (lol), the impact on food crops (better with more CO2 – scientifically proven for many years), etc etc.

            And remember this is in response to “human” causes, which the IPCC says are “likely to have contributed” to global surface temperature change (likely being 66% or greater).

            So humans contribute a chance of a portion…

            So then, I your definition of scientist, hypothesis – experiment – result, we are stuck at hypothesis and the models are always wrong.

            Wind power in SA – 19 MW…

          • Ren Stimpy 6 months ago

            Because you said so. You said you were an engineer, and engineers are not climate scientists. Why do you pretend to have knowledge on the subject?

            We could have been well on our way to cheap electricity by now if engineers and other unqualified people (on climate science) like you, had not kicked up such a fuss – had not butted in and egged on our scared conservative MPs to cause a three year investment strike.

            What do you suppose the reason is that Tony Abbott was booted out of the PM’ship and the cabinet after just two years? Was Tony just shull of fit, or was it his unqualified base that egged him further and further on until his position became untenable? Why do conservatives have this deleterious tendency to want to micro-manage more and more aspects of our lives, way out of school and beyond their knowledge, until they get on our nerves so much that we boot them?

          • Phil NSW 6 months ago

            Ben, your statement:
            “the impact on food crops (better with more CO2 – scientifically proven for many years), etc etc.”
            is as misguided as Donald Trump’s on that topic.
            Since I first measured (as a scientist) the level of CO2 in the atmosphere the level is now many times higher (in my lifetime). Has that increase converted to a biosphere 2, 3 or 4 times larger? No it has actually shrunk independent of the loss caused by humans. Bad luck if it is underwater in the future. Please try and use rational argument.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            Are you saying plants don’t do better with greater CO2 concentrations eg CO2 enrichment?

          • Phil NSW 6 months ago

            Are they? Why haven’t we had a massive explosion in the biosphere with all the added CO2 Your argument is flawed like your math.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            It’s oversimplified hyperbole like this that makes conversing with you torturous and non-productive.

            Not being able to acknowledge a simple well established fact does not help your cause.

          • Phil NSW 6 months ago

            What fact was that again, Ben?
            Have you acknowledged the fact there is a contraction of the biosphere?
            A change in CO2 in the atmosphere looks like a 400-500% increase in 40 years, have you acknowledged this fact?
            The knock on effect is certainly not increased biomass. More like increased surface temperature.
            Getting back to the earth’s surface of which now more of it is exposed to the increased incident energy because there are fewer trees protecting it and more CO2 allowing it to penetrate the upper atmosphere. Have you acknowledged this fact? Fewer trees also equates to less CO2 to O2 conversion, have you acknowledged this fact?
            Wait, there is more, I note you have tried to bat away the fact the ice cover is shrinking as not being caused by humans. Or worse still, not clearly acknowledged we are fast loosing our glaciers and ice caps.
            You tried to say energy policy is only a small contributor to atmospheric pollutants where it around 30% and total failed to acknowledge electric vehicles would assist in the removal of a source of pollutants from ICE vehicles.
            What is your cause, Ben?

          • Ben 6 months ago

            Lol I think the steam from your ears is contributing to global warming…

            Is CO2 enrichment a thing? There’s only one answer!

            Deforestation is not a reason to install more intermittent wind power.

            I agree that human activity is the most likely cause of global atmospheric CO2 increasing since the industrial revolution.

            My argument is based on the relative contribution of that CO2 to global warming, and the poor ability of wind and solar power to make any material difference.

            EVs need charging.

          • Phil NSW 6 months ago

            Hmm Hi Ben. I can see you converting to the green side. The more you learn the more you see RE is our future. Maybe the penny may drop to why you previous view was not quite correct.
            From today’s Sydney Morning Herald:
            “In May, renewable generation accounted for nearly 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity, creating enough energy to power 9 million homes.
            The majority of this came from hydropower, which produced 1535 gigawatt hours of power, followed by wind at 1387-gigawatt hours and rooftop solar with 546-gigawatt hours of electricity.”
            It is happening and winter is not the highest period of the year for solar production in Australia (approximately 50% in comparison to summer for static installations).

          • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

            If increases in CO2 was the only issue, then studies (lot’s of them) would show increased productivity. But of course this would be a superficial and hence unscientific view, since climate change will also lead to drastic changes in weather, and in particular dryer weather in principle cropping areas. NASA did a recent survey that indicated the increased CO2 would partially offset the dryer weather. In the oceans, where most of the CO2 is taken up, with algae, the increased CO2 would result in more algae in the surface layers, leading to lower sunlight below, with a corresponding negative impact on food chains.

            It always strikes me as strange that skeptics such as yourself are so sure of their understanding of the complexities of natural systems that they are sure we can fiddle and pollute with no consequences, yet decry the best models we have that predict this is going to be disastrous. This strikes me as an ideological, rather than evidentiary approach, something that any scientist or engineer would be ashamed of.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            I suggest that it is your ideology that is unable to acknowledge simple facts, that keeps cherry picking arguments and conflating targeted questions on the relative amount of human influence on climate change with absolute climate change scepticism.

            Wind power output in SA = 200 MW (11% of installed capacity).

            How will wind power the world? It cannot. Technically impossible, regardless of your ideology.

            What is humans contribution to global surface temperature change? About 1%.

            How do humans predict future temperature of the planet and atmospheric chemistry? We can’t, not accurately, regardless of your ideology.

          • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

            I’d like to understand which “simple facts” I have failed to acknowledge. I definitely don’t accept simplistic propositions. Your putting forward the court tutorial for example, as tho this was somehow “proof” that humans have not caused climate change, when it is a minority view running endless refuted arguments. Even your ploy above “Wind output in SA = 200MW” – as tho this was indicative of anything. I can guarantee that at midnight tonight, solar power across Australia will be zero – so what? Models are constructed and tested based on parametric studies of what explains outcomes and what is irrelevant.

            You try to walk both sides of the street, claiming to be an ethical engineer (and so necessarily accepting the veracity of models, of facsimiles, of empirical prediction) and yet refusing to accept the honest and open accumulation of climate science knowledge, simply because it threatens your philosophical/social/culture/religious dogma.

            Meanwhile, the fall in costs in solar power is only matched by the fall in costs in computing power. It doesn’t take Einstein to recognise what that level of disruption will bring. As engineers our role is to serve society ethically, and that means applying safe and least harm solutions, maximising benefit to cost, facilitating transitions that don’t leave the vulnerable behind. We have a task to do, leave your prejudices at the door!

          • Ben 6 months ago

            What’s your task?

            SA wind output 12 MW from 1800 MW installed capacity (<1%).

          • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

            My task as I see it is to a) get pumped hydros built asap so that coal and gas can be retired in an orderly fashion to keep downwards pressure on prices b) educate those who don’t understand why the transition is important and c) refute fatuous arguments put up by ideologues.

            Keep up to date Ben – wind across the NEM at 13:30 SA wind down to 8MW. Broad beans at Tescos today GBP3. I’m sure both stats are important to someone, but meaningless to those serious about power supply. The Snowy is out to market to buy 400MW of wind contracts, and I expect they will follow up with more, because hydro with large storage is well supplemented by VRE like wind, whereas most solar will use short term firming ranging from batteries to 6h PHES. These moves happen because engineers do their sums, rather than bleating platitudes.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            I’m a fan of pumped hydro, it’s a great zero emission synchronous dispatchable electricity source.

            You say the wind is a “supplement”, which I agree with, but I would qualify that statement as, “wind is a supplement when available”.

            You think that 1800 MW of installed wind capacity providing an average 35% output is meaningless to those interested in power supply?

            You think that output variation up to 900 MW in 30 min with installed capacity 1800 MW is meaningless?

            Here’s a thought: your bleating about the potential of wind power to replace coal and gas is naive and lacks veracity – any engineer will tell you the same.

          • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

            Calculations for the design of wind farms take those things into account. It’s a bit like lamenting that aeroplanes have to account for large changes in altitude and can’t stay up for long without burning fuel!

            I don’t think you’ll find I have ever particularly advocated for wind power, let alone claimed it will replace coal and gas. Solar will eventually replace these forms of generation, as we are seeing in Australia, and with it will come shifts in demand to match price and availability, behind the meter energy storage including thermal and batteries, and grid scale thermal and pumped hydro storage. Wind is increasingly becoming marginal as the best sites are used, tho there may be scope for large scale offshore wind for example in Bass Strait for Victoria and Tasmania, but given we have limited large storage hydro, it is probably going not going to be more than that.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            Fair enough, it would be good if we could all ease up on the assumptions…

            I’m uncertain about solar. There is certainly some interesting and valuable work on distributed solar PV + storage, and I feel that will be the biggest change to come. Plus whatever the next phases of PV and home batteries bring us in terms of capacity and efficiency.

            I think the battery technology needs a giant leap before it becomes ubiquitous.

            More wind power would be welcome but it must come without subsidies, and it must include either synchronous capability or contracts must include supply guarantees with other sources. I don’t think it is suitable to enter into a power supply agreement with that variability included, unless the load is also variable to match. As you say, the best wind sites are already done, so upgrades will be required to install taller turbines – long term sustainability? Tough to defend.

            Solar thermal is technically ok for dispatchable and synchronous requirements, but it’s still only capable of about 15hrs at full load. Also subsidies.

            More interconnectors will help particularly between SA and VIC and TAS and NSW, but studies have been done and payback is long.

          • Calamity_Jean 6 months ago

            “Wind power output in SA = 200 MW”

            Where did you get that figure? When was it recorded? How do you know that it’s correct?

            “How will wind power the world? It cannot.”

            It doesn’t need to. Wind power will contribute along with solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, and hydropower along with smaller contributions from biofuels and synthetic fuels. The proportions of each will vary according to what part of the world is receiving the power.

            “What is humans [sic] contribution to global surface temperature change? About 1%.”

            At least 90%.

            “How do humans predict future temperature of the planet and atmospheric chemistry?”

            Just because you don’t know doesn’t mean that nobody does. You could find out if you wanted to, but YOUR ideology forbids it.

            “We can’t, not accurately….”

            How “accurately” do you want? We can confidently say “The Arctic Ocean will be ice-free at the end of summer before 2040.” We can’t say “The Arctic Ocean will be ice-free on September 13, 2038 and not before.” Most people would say that the first statement is accurate enough for practical use.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            Oh hello!
            The output of all grid connected generators is available in real time from several sources, including this website. Check it out some time.

            Right now SA wind output is 1300 MW.

          • Calamity_Jean 6 months ago

            If plants have exactly the right amount of water, and exactly the right amount of light, and exactly the right amount of nutrients, and exactly the right temperature, THEN additional CO2 can help them grow faster. In the real world, it’s a shortage or excess of water, light, nutrients or heat that limits growth.

            Additionally, at least some food plants grown with extra CO2 have been found to be less nutritious.

          • Phil NSW 6 months ago

            Good try Ben. You really do not have any idea do you? Even if (and I am afraid you may be slightly misled) the change is as small as 1% it is cumulative. Each year the effect adds to the previous year. After ten years what is the combined effect? Now after 300 years the effect is extremely noticeable and is on record and your source absolutely confirms this point. Have you actually read it? To stop having particulates and other pollutants added to our ecosystem why shouldn’t we convert to renewable sources if for no other reason? Electricity can now be produced by renewable sources cheaper than other traditional sources so why shouldn’t we convert our economy to renewable energy? Following from our electricity sector converting our transport system to electricity is a natural progression to further cleanup our biosphere. Once again why shouldn’t we do it? Have you seen how people in some of the larger Chinese and Indian cities are struggling to breathe. Tell them BAU is good for them. Answer each of the above questions honestly and you know you previous position is the one which is irresponsible, uneducated and not supported by science.

          • Ben 6 months ago

            Air pollution is not purely caused by power generation, there are a host of causes.

            Your interpretation of the tutorial and your maths are incorrect. The tutorial states that total CO2 including all accumulation to date has about 1% effect on temperature.

            But it doesn’t matter because renewables will save us, right? And electric vehicles will too, right? We just need more subsidies to get them going, right?

          • palmz 6 months ago

            OK your correct 0 is -273.15 degrees. (so 1% is 2.7 degrees)

            If you really want to go down the path of learning about climate change https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2619958&p=1
            warning don’t use any blogs and It might take a week or two of reading before you should post. (unless you want to be trolled)

          • Ben 6 months ago

            I can’t tell if you are serious or not about the the 1% comment, but it’s incorrect anyway.

            Thanks for the recommendation of the climate change resource, but I’m ok, my sources are solid, and are the same that everybody else uses.

          • Mike Westerman 6 months ago

            You have probably already seen this Ben since you seem to have been following the case: the Judge has found that both sides accept the science, even tho’ he says the damage is a problem to be corrected by politicians not the law!

            “This order accepts the science behind global warming,” Alsup said in his ruling. “So do both sides. The dangers raised in the complaints are very real. But those dangers are worldwide. Their causes are worldwide. The benefits of fossil fuels are worldwide. The problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a district judge or jury in a public nuisance case.”

          • Ben 6 months ago

            I wasn’t following it but thanks for the update.

    • MaxG 6 months ago

      This is a complex topic; it needs brains and an educated mind. Why our neoliberal politicians fail on this topic. Remove Australia from your sentence, and then do some research.
      Your follow up posts are simply bait to stir the pot; you joined Disqus in April this year, your posts are private — IMHO to hide the type of posts who would identify you as a troll. My reply is to caution other from wasting their time on a lost cause. Have a nice day.

  22. MaxG 6 months ago

    Please resits and ignore the trolls. 🙂

    Based on the polarisation on this topic, there is simply no chance of convincing anyone of the opposite argument.
    That there is no point is demonstrated by the fake news and nonsense being paddled by the corporate press, the ‘leaders’ and corporations, and the majority of being believers.
    People have been shafted for millennia, this is just a modern version of subduing the masses while the top .1 percent lives the high life with no regard for anything else, including the environment.

  23. Ertimus J Waffle 6 months ago

    “The chart places the cost of solar and wind – the cost of solar and storage is put at up to eight times its actual cost. It’s breathtakingly misleading, and completely contrary to what anyone in the energy industry will tell you.”

    You could ask the electricity consumers in South Australia that Question with their 50% renewable energy and how much it costs. Even with their really efficient kerosene burning gasturbine powered generators and a 700MW interconnector to a brown coal fired power station in Victoria to back up the renewable intermittent supply. This whole scenario makes a joke of Renewable energy and windmills.

    • Phil NSW 6 months ago

      Question 1: How many coal fired power stations have been built on the Eastern seaboard over the past decade?
      Question 2: How many GigaWatts of renewable energy sources have been built on the Eastern seaboard over the past decade?
      Why are you arguing for for something that even with the best efforts of some misguided folk just isn’t happening. The market has spoken. Listen and learn.

  24. Robert Comerford 6 months ago

    The clean renewable market must be really starting to bite hard into the filthy fossil fuel market. Why else would we see so many trolls starting to appear here?

  25. DevMac 6 months ago

    I don’t understand why the Libs / Nats right-wing rump are resisting the jobs and growth opportunities provided by the renewable energy industry. It’s well established that new coal plants aren’t financially viable, which is why there aren’t any banks willing to provide finance for them. The jobs and growth in the electricity / energy sector are all renewable and storage related, and Australia is well-positioned to be a world-leader; a desirable place to work in that field.

    And they want to deny this; walk away from the opportunity. It’s maddeningly illogical.

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