JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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NSW power so erratically expensive an aluminium smelter powered down three times in a week

The Tomago smelter uses more than 10% of the entire New South Wales electricity grid supply. But the price spikes in electricity are so crippling the industrial giant could not afford to keep running on three occasions in the last week. Welcome to Venezaustralia.

And it’s not even winter yet:

Prices peak. Wholesale electricity prices. Australia, NSW.

Prices were spiking in four states on May 17th.. Thanks to WattClarity.

Tomago aluminium smelter powers down three times in a week due to electricity shortages

A massive 35,000 per cent spike in wholesale power prices due to supply shortages has forced a NSW aluminium smelter to shut down three times in the past week to keep the lights on in Sydney.

The Tomago smelter, which supports more than 1800 local jobs, has had to power down multiple times since May 12 to ensure households across the state have enough power for heating as winter sets in.

Tomago chief executive Matt Howell said the sudden power price hike to $14,500 a megawatt hour was the equivalent of ­petrol prices going up to $400 a litre.

This time it was mega-price-spikes but other days Tomago plays Electricity-Saint for NSW, saving it from blackouts because it can dump 630MW in five minutes.

Rafe Champion, Catallaxy

Tomago provides critical energy security to NSW and the National Energy Market (NEM) because it has the largest interruptible load in the NEM. It can reduce load by as much as 630MW in as little as five minutes to ensure blackouts are averted when there is a system security risk. By way of comparison, the next largest interruptible load in NSW is 50MW. The grid cannot currently operate without the fallback option of being able to request that big industry users power down.

It says something about an economy that uses its largest capital infrastructure as a sort of random battery back up for a dodgy grid. Once upon a time, the job of companies was to make products for customers and money for shareholders.

The effects of the fixation with weather-control are pervasive. Thanks to the Glorious Green Energy Quest, the Deep State Octopus can reach right into the private world and sucker a thousand tons of jelly on the conveyors of civilization.

Black coal plants can supply electricity at $60/MWh, but prices now regularly spike up to $14,500/MWh. Not surprisingly,  any entity that uses 10% of an entire states supply would not survive that powerbill.

And as it happens, Tomago also wouldn’t survive 3 hours without power either lest the pot-lines freeze solid. Makes each day exciting, eh?

h/t Jim Simpson

9.4 out of 10 based on 77 ratings

139 comments to NSW power so erratically expensive an aluminium smelter powered down three times in a week

  • #
    John R Smith

    Political environmentalism (as opposed to actual stewardship of the environment) requires deindustrialization.
    This is good news to many.

    240

    • #
      Klem

      I used to be a greenie many years ago, and yes this would have been good news to me back then. I expect it is good news to modern day greenies as well.

      Back then I had no idea that I was a Marxist, and every greenie I know today hasn’t a clue that they are Marxists as well.

      Marxists are so boring.

      [It’s going off topic at #1. So these comments will be shifted to the unthreaded. – Jo]

      41

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      The Nazis had a heavy streak of environmentalism in them….a lesser known factoid….

      We need a cleanout of all layers of govt of the eco freaks, to get this country back on track.

      220

      • #
        David Maddison

        This was discussed in a book:

        Rupert Darwall discussed his new book, Green Tyranny: Exposing the Totalitarian Roots of the Climate Industrial Complex, with our own Ben Weingarten. Watch their interview below along with a full transcript of their discussion, slightly modified for clarity.

        Ben Weingarten: Rupert, in Green Tyranny you write “Virtually all the themes of the modern environmental movement are pre-figured” in the Nazi’s support of wind power in the 1930s. Explain this.

        Rupert Darwall: If you look at what the Nazis were doing in the 1930s, in their environmental policies, virtually every theme you see in the modern environmental movement, the Nazis were doing. It happens to be historical fact that the Nazis were the first political party in the world to have a wind power program. It also happens to be a fact that they were against meat eating, and they considered…it…terribly wasteful that so much grain went to feed livestock rather than to make bread. It’s also the case that they had the equivalent of fuel economy rules because they had the most expensive gasoline in Europe and so they basically had very few people driving cars…I think actually the most extraordinary thing that I came across was this quote from Adolf Hitler where he told an aide once, “I’m not interested in politics. I’m interested in changing people’s lifestyles.” Well, that could be…That’s extraordinarily contemporary. That is what the modern environmental movement is all about. It’s about changing people’s lifestyles.

        See link for rest. Good stuff.

        https://www.encounterbooks.com/features/rupert-darwall-totalitarian-roots-environmentalism/

        130

        • #
          LatusDextro

          ‘Tomago chief executive Matt Howell said the sudden power price hike to $14,500 a megawatt hour was the equivalent of ­petrol prices going up to $400 a litre’.

          …but the virtue signalling was a-okay.

          Tomago Aluminium chief executive Matt Howell is no renewables sceptic: the man running the country’s biggest power user has rooftop solar at home and says anyone who can afford it would be crazy not to. Tomago counts cost of energy transition Financial Review Feb 7, 2020

          Meanwhile,

          … I came across was this quote from Adolf Hitler where he told an aide once, “I’m not interested in politics. I’m interested in changing people’s lifestyles.”

          No surprises here DM. Maurice Strong cut from the same cloth.

          UN – Transforming our world: the [UNEP] 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

          Article 28. We commit to making fundamental changes in the way that our societies produce and consume goods and services. Governments, international organizations, the business sector and other non State actors and individuals must contribute to changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns, including through the mobilization, from all sources, of financial and technical assistance to strengthen developing countries’ scientific, technological and innovative capacities to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production. We encourage the implementation of the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns. All countries take action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries.

          50

        • #
          Saighdear

          O Crumbs , ….. MORE stuff to read….. Aye good stuff – but all takes so long to read – not enough hours in the short cold days of Northern summers this now!

          00

  • #
    D. J. Hawkins

    It’s only fair that the smelter be suitably compensated for its generosity when it’s simply a capacity issue. Preferably to the tune of the wholesale value of forgone production. That might open a few eyes. Or not. Greentards can by incurably myopic.

    330

    • #

      Sure, the smelter should be compensated. But who compensates the NSW Consumer who pays for this stupid inefficiency?

      270

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        it is cheaper to compensate the smelter than build, operate and maintain a plant which will only be used for a few hours a day on a few days of the year.

        025

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          You need to think a little more deeply Peter.

          Your superficiality doesn’t cut it.

          The policy change that’s needed is one where all electricity suppliers have a contract to supply – no ifs no buts. If they can’t supply the contracted amount then they are held to be in breach of contract. Simple contract law.

          That policy provides certainty and reliability.

          If, for example, a wind-farm contracts to supply X MWhs of electricity for three hours and the wind has a day off, the supplier is in breach of its contract.

          It can, of course, take out insurance by installing a battery, or subcontracting its production to a third party which is able to deliver as its proxy – probably that would be a gas-peaker or even a coal-fired power station.

          The downside of your silly suggestion:

          it is cheaper to compensate the smelter than build, operate and maintain a plant

          leads to the de-industrialization. Only green Marxists would view that as an acceptable objective.

          Plentiful, cheap, reliable power is the bedrock of an advanced economy and a sustainable society.

          Please put on your thinking cap and do try to be sensible.

          Alternatively, declare your green Marxist beliefs.

          250

        • #
          Lucky

          Peter Fitzroy says, “a few hours a day on a few days of the year”

          But the smelter website says, The Tomago smelter operates 24 hour a day since 1983.

          A power figure of 630 MW is mentioned, this is large enough to justify a dedicated coal powered station. In UK, RollsRoyce is proposing a small nuclear plant of smaller than that.
          You may say- not relevant to Australia, but it is relevant to competitors.

          The plant manager says, “our people are transforming the business for a sustainable future”.
          Two options then, build their own independent power plant, or, sustainability of zero production.

          30

      • #
        Klem

        “Sure, the smelter should be compensated. But who compensates the NSW Consumer who pays for this stupid inefficiency?”

        But Jo, consumers are already being compensated. Their compensation is simply knowing that they’re saving the planet. That alone is compensation enough, I’m sure.

        10

  • #
    David Wojick

    The rest of the story: A dreadful picture of bird chopping windmills. Tax dollars at work. See and weep.

    https://tinyurl.com/eukzxfjt

    Please share this terrible picture of the truth. Unlike AGW, this is real and we are paying for it.

    191

    • #
      William

      I have seen that photo a few times and usually the bird muncher’s defenders post stats showing other causes of greater bird deaths – they seem to think that these deaths and maimings are acceptable, for the greater good.

      What they do not understand, or willfully choose to ignore, is that the birds killed by wind generators are raptors and migratory birds that would not have been killed by feral cats, cars, flying into buildings etc. Proponents of wind and solar are not environmentalists and they should be prosecuted for environmental desecration.

      260

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Context

    “We’ve got a very large load that can come off in a very short space of time to avoid large-scale rolling blackouts and that has value and that value has to be monetised,” Mr Howell said, explaining the decision to participate in the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader program, under which the smelter would be paid to cut back production.

    Under the terms of the smelter’s power supply contract with AGL Energy, the contract can be set aside once wholesale prices spike above a certain level, usually caused by an overload of demand compared to supply, or the sudden trip of a power station or transmission line.
    In that instance, Tomago Aluminium typically takes one of its potlines offline, freeing up 300 megawatts of load and bringing prices down, saving the plant from a loss of about $4.5 million in an hour if it paid market prices.

    So yes they shut down, and are paid to do so, and typically only one of the 3 production lines.

    By the way that price spike occurs every day from around 4:30 in the afternoon, and a smaller on in the mornings around 6:30, and it is that night peak that Tomago is responding to.

    https://aemo.com.au/energy-systems/electricity/national-electricity-market-nem/data-nem/aggregated-data

    For example, at the time of posting this comment, prices are on the way up and Victoria is suppling NSW’s shortfall.

    Now as Tony from OZ can attest (since he posts endlessly about this), the coal generators can slowly ramp up and down to meet demand, so where are they?

    I would suggest that since Tomoago gets paid, spot prices are high, and solar is non-operational (it being dark and all) that this means that the coal produces can make profits big time. Note; wholesale electricity prices have fallen (https://www.aer.gov.au/news-release/wholesale-electricity-and-gas-prices-fell-in-2020) and this dodge is helping prop up profits.

    Last point, if you were to ignore the grid, and build enough capacity to meet the largest peak, that would mean that a lot of your capacity would be idle a lot of the time. No economist would advise that, and no capitalist would build that.

    350

    • #
      el gordo

      Good effort.

      017

    • #
      Richard Owen No.3

      The problem is not the NSW coal-fired plants being unable to ramp up at certain times, but that there aren’t enough to do so, thanks to multiple shutdowns.
      NSW imports coal fired from Qld. and Victoria because it is short of reliable capacity. All those NSW stations would have already ramped up knowing that demand will be high at those times. Those high prices would be going to interstate producers and those “peaking” (OCGTs) plants beloved of those Greenies who have realised that the wind doesn’t blow steadily all the time.

      Mad Matt will fix it with more unreliable renewables and Tomago and its jobs will be gone. I doubt that the payments make up for their loss of production. The same problem is occurring in South Australia where those “emergency” diesels are getting running time when they cannot pull more coal-fired electricity from Victoria. But we have to shut down our coal-fired plants because some people are so stupid that they cannot realise the fairy godmother won’t wave her magic wand.
      The real tragedy is that we could have up-graded our coal-fired plants and have had reliable electricity (without price spikes) AND emission reductions the equal of what all our wind turbines are delivering at vast cost.

      460

    • #
      Yonniestone.

      Context,
      – Scheduled shut downs are very different to unscheduled.
      – Those spikes have been explained by Tony for years, nothing new.
      – Spinning reserve was readily available years ago when coal was cheap and wasn’t propping up expensive useless wind and solar that drove up prices and forced existing coal to run flat out to meet demand of this renewable gap.
      – Try posting the same rubbish next year if Liddell is shut down and there is no generation let alone spinning reserve.
      – Blowing up essential infrastructure to appease pagan gods has been tried before with the same positive effects of Marxism.

      471

    • #
      robert rosicka

      NSW doesn’t have enough dispatchable supply to cover its needs , when Liddell goes look out .

      290

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Any attempt to destroy our standard of living is allowed in the marxist play books.

        It could in fact be argued that in effect slow moving sabotage of the power infrastructure makes us vulnerable to enemy attack…unless thats the idea. Which could be considered an act of Tr**on.

        The public will truly wake up once the severe blackouts start….then look out.

        220

        • #
          el gordo

          In reality the gas plant will take over from Liddell to support the renewables and if its a failure then the people will demand Hele coal fired power.

          Nobody can be tried for treason because of the precautionary principle, that is the root of the problem.

          021

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            I disagree. If you knowingly place the population at risk ( and they full well know renewables cant replace coal and gas ) then its a deliberate act.

            180

          • #
            PeterS

            If the precautionary principle is to be applied correctly then we need to build nuclear power plants, not rely on stop gap measures that involve CO2 emissions be they HELE coal or gas. Of course it’s all a scam and CO2 is not the problem; the scam artists are the problem who keep scaring us with the need to reduce CO2 emissions to save us from some mythical CAGW.

            80

          • #
            Tel

            The “precautionary principle” says that since coal power worked in the past, keep using it until something better comes along.

            At the very least, new and untested power sources should be backed by coal, until the new power can prove equally reliable … out of an abundance of caution, you understand?

            10

        • #
          ghl

          OS
          They won’t wake up, they will be told that the answer is more cheap R.E. and green load management. Invest in smart grids.

          20

    • #
      Geoff Croker

      We need to let brown outs happen in tinsel town. Green anything would fade with the power. Everyone needs to understand what having no reliable electricity means.

      190

      • #
        JB

        I wonder if it is possible to use ‘smart meters’ to shut off power to green voting regions during times of power shortage?

        220

    • #
      Serge Wright

      “Now as Tony from OZ can attest (since he posts endlessly about this), the coal generators can slowly ramp up and down to meet demand, so where are they?”

      You’re asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is “After spending over $30Billion, with more than 30GW of nameplate capacity, where is all that wind and solar power that the green zealots claim is cheaper and more reliable than coal?”

      280

    • #

      It’s all you can do not to laugh, eh! Ahh, Peter, there’s one good thing about you, you never fail to make me laugh.

      ….. the coal generators can slowly ramp up and down to meet demand, so where are they?

      Where were they indeed!

      In that State in question, and just on Thursday, two days back now.

      Coal fired power has five Units off line for maintenance, or in the case of Liddell, coughing their last.

      That left a total operational Nameplate of 7300MW. The actual delivery of power from those online 11 Units at the peak power time (6.35PM) was 6837MW, so having ramped up for that usual evening peak across the State they were supplying at a Capacity Factor of 95%.

      Wind power just in NSW from a Nameplate of 2141MW was delivering 275MW at a Capacity Factor of 12.8%

      Where was coal fired power indeed.

      Tony.

      390

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        Yes Tony – did you not look at the supply from the other states, I did provide a link. This is called a ‘grid’ I urge you to look into that. Second point, did you not look at the link about demand? did you miss the bit where I pointed out when the demand was highest? This is called a ‘demand curve’ all generators know about this curve, so again I urge you to look it up. Finally it is cheaper to pay Tomago not to consume power than to build out extra capacity, did you miss that? I did give you some quotes.

        Finally what is your view on the socialist federal government building 2 gas fired power plants, mostly because with falling prices there is no incentive for capital to build such plants

        034

        • #
          David Maddison

          Chairman Peter, I wouldn’t question Tony’s excellent analysis if I were you. He’ll (politely) eat you for breakfast.

          280

        • #
          Lance

          Peter, it must be wonderful to live in an imaginary world wherein affordable power has been made expensive by subsidizing non-dispatchable power generation that must be backed up by the generation that was previously affordable, but isn’t any longer.

          “This is called a ‘demand curve’ all generators know about this curve, so again I urge you to look it up.”

          Dispatchable generators do know about demand curves. They prepare for it, bid for it, and deliver it. Non-Dispatchable generators seek favours, influence, subsidies, and excuses, for their inability to deliver into a known “demand curve” and further on, blame others for their inability to deliver.

          It is past time for the intermittent providers to stop blaming others for the instability and market distortion they, themselves, have created.

          The difference between humans and animals is that animals would never allow the dumbest of the herd to lead them.

          360

          • #
            John of Cloverdale

            The engineering design principle of KISS has been thrown out the window and we, the consumers, are paying the price.

            150

        • #
          robert rosicka

          So businesses should just shut down when the weather isn’t right ?

          160

        • #

          Funny, isn’t it.

          This is called a ‘grid’ I urge you to look into that.

          Those rabid green supporters quote ….. ‘the grid’ ….. when it pleases them, and yet when you point out the total Grid, and that 18,000MW Base Load, the only response is ….. “Hey, look over there, isn’t that a Robin Red Brea$t?”

          Tony.

          330

          • #
            GlenM

            Big problem Tony. I try to point out to some the distinction between installed capacity and capacity factor. Blankness.

            110

          • #
            Serge Wright

            In today’s woke age that would be …“Hey, look over there, isn’t that a non-binary Robin Red Chest ?” 😉

            30

        • #
          Dennis

          Does your vehicle’s battery charge when the engine is not running?

          90

        • #
          ghl

          Peter F
          The cheapest way for me to keep my lights on is to turn yours off. How does that work for you?

          190

        • #
          Damo

          It’s cheaper to pay Tomago not to consume because the energy becomes so expensive! They can’t build a reliable power station to cover the shortfall because of the RET.

          20

      • #
        GlenM

        In a time not so long ago State owned coal generators provided a more or less constant stream on demand; enough for ALL sectors and prices were amongst the lowest in the world. Insert a feeble alternative power arrangement and chaos eventuates. The reasons that disruption occurs are obvious to most rational people. Unfortunately too many have been duped by green ideology.

        170

    • #
      ghl

      Peter
      Thats why off peak tarriffs were invented.

      40

    • #
      yarpos

      Where are they? are you serious? running flat out providing the base load that all the spasmodic power fantasies sit on top of.

      But never mind they will be gone soon and the circus will really start

      90

    • #
      Damo

      Isn’t part of the issue the renewable energy target? It stops coal fired energy producers from contributing to the grid eve if they could!

      00

  • #
    TdeF

    As in the last post, our total electricity consumption in Australia at 18,000Megawatts is only half that used by the world’s bitcoin business, wild speculation so popular with Asian investors. So we are beggaring ourselves to reduce Carbon Dioxide when others could not care less. Why are we doing this?

    370

    • #
      Rowjay

      from Mapped: The world’s coal power plants in 2020 (carbonbrief.org)

      Since 2000, the world has doubled its coal-fired power capacity to around 2,045 gigawatts (GW) after explosive growth in China and India. A further 200GW is being built and 300GW is planned.

      These are nameplate figures. To put things in perspective, Australia’s entire fossil fuel generation capacity (coal + gas) is 34.7 GW which is 0.017% of the worlds coal-fired generation capacity. The majority of our coal plants are old high emission clunkers compared to the modern HELE variety – should have been replaced in the normal order of upgrades years ago but that’s another story.

      Australia’s contribution to climate change catastrophe is like a flea on the back of a very big dog – it’s always easier to go after the flea than confront the dog.

      190

      • #

        Rowjay mentions this: (my bolding here)

        The majority of our coal plants are old high emission clunkers compared to the modern HELE variety – should have been replaced in the normal order of upgrades years ago but that’s another story.

        Here’s the link to a long long expired proposal to construct a new power plant alongside Bayswater, a new UltraSuperCritical (what is now referred to as HELE) plant.

        This is not just a thought bubble, but actually half the ten year process from Thought Bubble through to the end result power delivery from the new plant, ten years, so this is a good few years work.

        What I’m linking to here is the headline document, and there are many many other documents in the proposal, many hundreds of pages long.

        However, of main interest here is the date for this proposal, and it was approved and signed off by the NSW Government at the time, and then further Governments, both State and Federal got ‘scared’ of the CO2 emissions banning lobby, and the proposal is now defunct.

        The date of this proposal, (after four/five years work) is July 2009. (12 years ago)

        At that time, Bayswater was just 24 years old and they were planning to add new power for the State even then, probably already planning for the time that Liddell ran out of life.

        Now Bayswater is 36 years old, and only in the last year or so, has Wind power (with an Australia wide Nameplate of 8587MW, 3.25 times higher than Bayswater) delivered more power across a full year than Bayswater.

        There was a similar proposal at the same time to do the same construction at the Mount Piper plant, also now long since expired.

        Bayswater Addition Proposal

        Tony.

        170

        • #

          Oh, and incidentally, you know how AGL are loudly proclaiming across all versions of the media that they are moving in the direction of renewables, and away from fossil fuel generating sources.

          Well, umm, AGL owns the Bayswater power plant, you know, that coal fired plant I always use as a reference.

          Well, (shh! very quietly, so don’t tell anyone, okay) AGL is quietly continuing the upgrade tweaking at that Bayswater plant, to, umm prolong the life of the plant.

          Those little tweaks take time, so they are doing them one unit at a time.

          So far Units One and Four have been completed. One Unit is still going through its Upgrade and another is currently offline for the usual pre Winter maintenance.

          When originally opened back in 1985, each Unit was capable of delivering 660MW.

          These Upgrade tweaks to prolong the age of the plant now see each Unit capable of delivering 700MW, and that’s after 36 years, you know, around ten plus years after a wind turbine delivers its last cough of power.

          So currently, yesterday there were just two Units operational at Bayswater. They averaged 665MW across the whole 24 hour period.

          AGL prolonging the life of its coal fired power plant. Say who would have thought, eh!

          Tony.

          200

          • #
            David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

            Thanks Tony,
            That’s the best news I’ve heard in yonks.
            Any idea if this work was initiated by the new or old management team?
            Cheers
            Dave B

            30

            • #

              Meanwhile, the operator of the Macarthur wind farm, now who would that be, umm, AGL, would also like to keep quiet that their BIG wind plant, Macarthur, (now just the second largest wind plant in Australia) is not delivering any power at all ….. again.

              It has been delivering zero power since May 10, now 12 days at zero.

              (Shh! Don’t tell anyone that either.)

              Tony.

              200

  • #
    TdeF

    Also aluminium is a battery, totally recylcable it is 90% electricity by cost and with the world’s highest electricity prices, it makes no sense. Aluminium was brought here to take advantage of our low costs, and plentiful bauxite. Now it makes no sense, like all manufacturing in this country, so it is fake. And all smelting, removing Oxygen from minerals using carbon and producing carbon dioxide. So all this has to go overseas. The ONLY reason smelting continues is the political cost of putting thousands out of work, so it is all paid by taxes to pretend it is real.

    330

    • #
      el gordo

      Exactly, we need to give aluminium the flick.

      129

      • #
        Hanrahan

        What rot! We need to encourage bulk users by providing them with reliable affordable power. IF we have power, smelting is an area we can compete with the rest of the world.

        240

        • #
          el gordo

          We cannot compete with Chin, we should stick to being a quarry and give up smelting.

          123

          • #
            Analitik

            The only reason “We cannot complete with China” is that they don’t cripple the economics of their electricity production with stupid mandates for renewables and other market interventions that drive up the cost of thermal power generation.

            Sure, they TALK about being carbon neutral by 2060 but the ACTIONS, particularly at local government level, are to minimize the cost of electricity which is why they are brought more coal capacity online last year than was taken offline by the rest of the world. The global percentage of Bitcoin mining in China is a direct indication of the price of electricity vs other nations.

            90

            • #
              el gordo

              Thanks for that lead on Bitcoin, this a month before Beijing clamped down.

              ‘There has also been a fever of mining Bitcoin in China, and with capitals joining in, and Bitcoin mining factories emerging, China has become the world’s largest miner – research found that more than 75 percent of Bitcoin mining happens in China.’

              They can manipulate the market whenever they feel in the mood.

              20

      • #
        FarmerDoug2

        See #1

        10

      • #
        Dennis

        Give everything that creates jobs and tax revenue “the flick” and then welfare payments that the tax revenue pays for, and a whole lot more.

        In the 1990s Labor PM Keating reminded Australians what it would be like to live in a banana republic, in other words very low tax revenue and very poor people.

        20

      • #
        PeterS

        el gordo, when you say “we need to give aluminium the flick” it proves you hate the West and want it destroyed. Without aluminium our nation would grind to a halt.

        20

  • #
    TdeF

    And the ONLY reason electricity is so expensive here are our massive hidden Carbon taxes. The baseload is still coal but our electricity prices are all ripoff to pay people to own windmills and solar panels.

    We sell coal but refuse to use it ourselves. This costs billions buried in our electricity prices. Then we hand over more billions in direct wage subsidies to pretend to smelt ores. We have shut down all manufacturing.

    Why this massive self harm? Have our politicians gone mad? Then our former Green gullible PM Malcolm Turnbull. I wonder how much he has stashed in bitcoin while trying to stop mining and farming in the Hunter valley?

    250

  • #
    TdeF

    Green extremists in the energy industry and especially politicians like Turnbull and Rudd should have to declare their holdings in bitcoin. But then hypocrisy is normal in politics.

    180

  • #
    el gordo

    We could lower our power bills by buying aluminium from China, its going cheap.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/264624/global-production-of-aluminum-by-country/

    218

    • #
      Analitik

      What we mine our bauxite and coal, then ship them to China and then ship back the aluminium that they have smelted from these?

      Yeah….

      All this demonstrates is the inefficiencies in our local economy due to poor regulations (& some lack of regulation for workers and environmental rights in China)

      40

  • #
    Graham Richards

    Let the Tomago plant give notice of their intention to close down permanently. Along with one or two other key industries, like maybe an oil refinery, or how about a privately owned coal fired power station giving notice to terminate operations the government & financial sectors will go into meltdown. Announcements should made public before government or financial sector are notified!!
    Then we’ll see some action. If government want to kill off industries rather let those industries kill off the government.

    280

    • #
      Serp

      This week government has recognized it needs oil refineries. Over the coming years recognition of the necessity of being able to manufacture the continent’s own defence capability will see aluminium and steel production ramped up along with the establishment of reliable USC coal powered generators without which war production is infeasible. A self reliant Australia ought to have embarked on such a program already.

      70

      • #
        Dennis

        What has remained well concealed since 2000 or earlier is the infiltration of both sides of politics by the extreme left, on the Liberal side the “LINO” – Liberals In Name Only.

        Climate hoax and creatively accounted warming trend are their excuse for economic vandalism including leaving Australia vulnerable in areas like transport fuels, after all we should use EV but not have fossil fuelled power stations.

        I believe that the original Menzies style Liberals, centre-right, are now pushing back and winning the battle for control.

        One major gain is returning to preselection of candidates by branch members in each electorate, the HQ executive lobbyists and LINO had taken that from branch members and selected their own like minded woke people. And as Cory Bernardi pointed out while hosting Paul Murray on Sky recently, the HQ appointed candidates are puppets who are afraid to step out of line for fear of losing their candidature next election.

        Disgraceful situation, democracy ignored.

        50

    • #
      yarpos

      How many refineries have already closed? where was the uproar? until the ships stop coming nobody notices

      20

  • #
    Robber

    These price spikes are a direct result of random generation from wind and solar.
    At OpenNEM you cam easily see the problem of variable supply.
    At 12 noon on May 17 in NSW, demand was 9,100 MW, with solar supplying 32%, wind 4%, hydro 2%, coal 62% (5,600 MW) with zero imports and spot price $36/MWhr.
    But at 6pm on May 17, demand was 10,300 MW, with solar 0%, wind 3%, hydro 17%, gas 4%, coal 68% (7,000 MW), and imports 9%, spot price $5,800/MWhr.
    Solar essentially eats the other generators’ lunch, forcing them to curtail production, but then ramp up in the evening.

    It’s a similar picture in Vic, so presumably the Portland smelter also curtails aluminium production. At 6pm on May 17, wind supplied just 2%, forcing the use of open cycle gas 12%, hydro 22%, imports 6%,and price $6,400. Two days later wind supplied 21%, and peak price was $188.

    When dispatchable generators are forced to curtail production, that reduces their economic viability, so when they get the chance they bid higher prices.

    90

    • #
      Robber

      Meanwhile in SA (does it have any industry other than expensive diesel submarines?) electricity supply in the last week has gone from 47% solar, 51% wind, gas 18% to maintain stability, 18% exports at 1pm on May 19, price minus $10/MWhr, to 5% wind, 81% gas, 3% diesel plus 10% imports at 6pm on May 21, price $106/MWhr.
      And on Tues May 18 at 6.30pm the price peaked at $7,000/MWhr with diesel supplying 6.5%.

      30

  • #
    William

    Thursday Open Thread, Comment 40. Just daying!

    10

  • #
    David Maddison

    Despite theoretical natural advantages like plenty of bauxite and what was once among the world’s cheapest electricity (deliberately made among the world’s most expensive by the Left), aluminium production is not worthwhile in Australia.

    It’s all part of the deliberate deindustrialisation by the Left who would rather see Australian bauxite exported to China and made with their cheap electricity, perhaps made with our coal.

    https://www.alcircle.com/news/australia-continues-to-be-chinas-top-bauxite-supplier-exports-up-5-03-mom-and-30-53-yoy-in-october-49538

    100

    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      With the full cooperation of the Liberal Party. Years ago, one argued against the political notion of Tweedledum and Tweedledee but no more. It’s the depth of this betrayal of the place that is staggering: all levels of government, of education, business, media and so on. Truly staggering. All the players concerned feed off falsehood. and relish the taste.

      40

  • #
    Phillip Charles Sweeney

    The Labor Party has a death wish when it comes to affordable and reliable energy.

    Chris Bowen as Shadow Energy Minister demands to see the business case for a gas powered plant to replace a coal fired powerstation due for closure.

    Where is the business case for more Chinese made solar panels and Chinese made wind turbines to provide electricity during the night when the wind is not blowing?

    A Chinese company already owns and operates the largest wind farm in NSW which uses Chinese made wind turbines.

    Labor wants China to control Australia’s electrical power supply.

    That should make Labor unelectable.

    180

    • #
      William

      A business case to replace coal with gas would fail, as – as you infer – would business cases for wind and solar.

      This madness keeps failing to reach peak madness, just when you think sanity has to return, the level of stupidity rises. Just yesterday, brainwashed children took to the streets to channel Greta and I felt sorry for them, sorry that they have been so misled and so poorly educated that they truly believe the end of the world prophesies of the failed alarmists.

      110

      • #
        Serp

        Yep. It’s solely due to the RET which ensures its darlings are paid twice for their output: once for the sporadically generated power and a second payment for the certificates accorded power generation without combustion of proscribed hydrocarbon compounds. We could have bulldozed our bush and chipped it up for feeding to converted coal power stations and then Scomo could have had his holiday uninterrupted. Easy to be wise after the event eh.

        40

        • #
          Richard Owen No.3

          Serp:
          We should do what some of the contries in the EU do; burn wood and household rubbish – the latter for hot water – and the emissions from them aren’t counted. Then preach how much renewables we’ve got; 16% renewables in the EU (and 73% of those are from CO2 emitting processes).
          Then the Norwegian hydro scheme can issue green Certificates to, say, The Netherlands coal-fired plants which supply about 60% of the electricity there, but thanks to Certificates only 14% is “carbon emitting”.

          30

        • #
          Analitik

          No, the RET alone would not have allowed the renewabubble generators to be economically viable as the fines for not supplying according to their priced bids would be far greater than the subsidy afforded by the LRET certificates. The other, largely ignored, subsidy provided is the semi-scheduled generation classification for wind and solar which gives them market priority access and no penalties for not meeting the bidded power.

          Both are necessary for the renewabubble generators to be profitable. I have long argued that repealing the semi-scheduled classification is politically easier to achieve than abolishing the RET and yet would be just as devastating to the renewabubbles.

          The argument put forward to the public by the renewabubble lobby that intermittency is no longer an issue because weather forecasts make them predictable can be used against them in making them operate by the same rules as thermal and hydro generators.

          30

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        As unpopular as it is ( due to the endemic greenist brainwashing in society ) we need to provide an alternative voice, otherwise the eco lunacy becomes “normal”….which it isnt….

        30

  • #
    David Maddison

    The Portland aluminium smelter in Vicdanistan only survives due to a massive government subsidy to pay for expensive electricity. Morrison started the subsidy but it has now been extended by Turnbull’s pick, SloMo.

    Six hundred jobs were “saved”. There are 600 employees so $160m over 5 years is $53,333 per “job”.

    It would be better and cheaper just to shut down the entire operation and the former employees could work in Australia’s only other growth industry outside welfare dependency and become coffee baristas.

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/alcoa-s-struggling-portland-smelter-secures-future-with-power-deal-160m-in-subsidies-20210319-p57c5o.html

    https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/power-deals-subsidies-secure-portland-smelter-until-2026-20210319-p57c6l#:~:text=That%20signals%20the%20federal%20and,about%20600%20employees%20and%20contractors.

    50

  • #
    Bruce

    AGL?

    Australian Gas Lighting?

    Cultural reference (ex WonkyPaedia):

    Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment. It may evoke changes in them such as cognitive dissonance or low self-esteem, rendering the victim additionally dependent on the gaslighter for emotional support and validation. Using denial, misdirection, contradiction and disinformation, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim’s beliefs.

    Instances can range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents occurred, to belittling the victim’s emotions and feelings, to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The goal of gaslighting is to gradually undermine the victim’s confidence in their own ability to distinguish truth from falsehood, right from wrong, or reality from delusion, thereby rendering the individual or group pathologically dependent on the gaslighter for their thinking and feelings.

    The term originated from the British play Gas Light (1938), performed as Angel Street in the United States, and its 1940 and 1944 film adaptations (both titled Gaslight). The term has now been used in clinical psychological literature, as well as in political commentary and philosophy.

    80

  • #
    Vladimir

    Just checked this month kWh and $$ against the same of the last year – luckily the supplier shows that on every bill.
    The consumption dropped by 10%, the cost increased by 12%.
    Hence, the price of electricity grew up by 22% within a year.
    Nothing to add.

    80

  • #
    David Maddison

    The Left keep telling us Ruinables is by far the cheapest power.

    Then why can’t you run an aluminum smelter on it?

    110

    • #
      Dennis

      It can be done, on average for 2.1 days in every 7 days, it’s simply (lol) a case of better management at the smelters.

      sarc.

      40

    • #
      yarpos

      Doesnt matter what price it is if it isnt there when you need it

      60

  • #
    David Maddison

    You’d think Leftists would like aluminium because it is one of industrial civilisation’s most recyclable and recycled products.

    70

    • #
      Klem

      Leftists do like aluminum, it’s the capitalism part that they hate. Just ask Peter Fitzroy, he’ll tell you all about it.

      00

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Aluminium “pots” are very much like blast furnaces for making iron.

    Both units have a heat resistant lining which gives the best lifespan when operated continuously at the designed temperature range.

    Any unforseen shut down or significant drop in temperature can result in loss of function and even require a complete re-line at great expense.

    The recent sidelining probably caused some loss of working life besides the actual lost production.

    If we were a smart country we would have small plants for iron, steel, copper, lead and aluminium using world’s best practices; but tragically all we have is government subsidised remnants of the sixties to weep over. We also should have a small nuclear reactor with up to date technology to supplement Canberra’s dodgy power system.

    We are not a smart country.

    KK

    70

  • #
    Gerry

    When NSW gets affected by blackouts then the politicians will sit up and listen

    20

    • #
      Serp

      We hear this time out of mind but experience contradicts it; people will come to understand that availability of electrical power is a gamble so no wonder it has become increasingly expensive.

      00

    • #
      another ian

      “hen the politicians will sit up and listen”

      More likely stand up, flap arms, mill around, screech louder and really panic?

      30

    • #
      yarpos

      they will only consider how many lies and mental gymnastics it will take for it to be somehow a coal/gas induced problem. Oh lordy if only we had more wind turbines.

      30

  • #
    John of Cloverdale

    I understand that the Maryvale paper mill, the Latrobe Valley’s largest private employer, closes down when needed to keep the lights on in Victoria. They get compensated for their lose of income apparently. I am not sure who compensates them and how it works.

    30

    • #
      David Maddison

      The following two previews are from the Herald Sun but I can’t post more because they are paywalled. They refer to another Green ban on logging but I’m sure there a similar payments made to compensate them for no electricity when the wind stops blowing.

      1/3/2020 · Australian Paper Mill at Maryvale. Victorian taxpayers will pay $200 million to a privately-owned paper mill to try to shield workers from a state ban on native forest logging.

      Huge taxpayer-funded sweetener for Latrobe Valley mill
      A secret deal has generously granted Australian Paper in Maryvale a hefty sum of cash in a bid to shield workers from possible job losses due to a native timber ban.

      40

  • #
    David Maddison

    I can’t wait until Liddel is shut down. I assume they will demolish rather than nothball it because Australian Governments and their useful idiots are such forward thinkers….

    Then the fun really starts.

    It might make people see reason and understand the Green insanity.

    Then again, perhaps most of the Sheeple are too dumbed down to ever see reason again.

    80

    • #
      TdeF

      AGL bought Liddell for $1.
      They refused an offer of $250million for it. That would be a profit of $250Million.

      Obviously it is worth more closed to them than open and that is nothing to do with Carbon Dioxide but a testament to the total distortion of the electricity market by the Federal government.

      130

    • #
      Analitik

      Liddell cannot be mothballed because it is being run down with minimal maintenance so that it would need to be completely refurbished to be restarted. This is in accordance the long term AGL plan to build a large CCGT plant on the site at the real replacement when the renewables (inevitably) fail to deliver

      60

  • #
    David Maddison

    Notice how important Australian industries can now only survive with massive subsidies? E.g. the Portland aluminium smelter I mentioned above and now the government is going to subsidise the last two remaining oil refineries to the tune of $1 billion.

    It won’t end well. Look what happened to the car industry which they also tried to keep with massive subsidies.

    At least if the Chicomms invade, they’ll put an end to the Green madness and build some proper coal, gas or nuclear power stations and just get things done e.g. no 50 years to decide about a second Sydney Airport.

    80

  • #
    David Maddison

    The Green Turnbull SloMo Snowy Hydro 2 Scheme is a pathetic attempt at reducing the randomness of windmill power.

    And yet:

    Yet a report commissioned by the National Parks Association of NSW has found that Snowy 2.0 will result in an increase in both fossil fuel generation and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with an extra 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted during construction and the first 10 years of operation.

    However, no such analysis has been undertaken by Snowy 2.0. Instead, the project hinges on a 30-year-old report that has been kept under lock and key. Snowy Hydro is citing “commercial in confidence” for why it won’t release the report.

    The project is also set to destroy thousands of hectares of national parkland and further threaten the critically endangered stocky galaxias, whose only known habitat is in the firing line of the development, explains freshwater ecologist John Harris, adjunct associate professor at the University of NSW’s Centre for Ecosystem Science.

    ….

    Snowy 2.0 will also consume 40% of the energy it cycles after accounting for losses in pumping/generation and transmission/distribution. This is because the water needs to be pumped through 27 kilometres of tunnels between its two reservoirs for it to be stored.

    See link for rest.

    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/snow-job-why-the-cover-up-over-snowy-hydro-2-0/

    40

  • #
    David Maddison

    You know, it would probably be cheaper to export Australian coal to China, the Chinese use our coal to generate electricity without CO2 restrictions and then export the electricity back to Australia via HVDC power lines and make the aluminium here with cheap imported and reliable coal based electricity.

    30

    • #
      Lucky

      If this is correct, then,
      it would be even cheaper to eliminate the HVDC power lines, send the bauxite to China, and make the aluminium in China. The product would then be closer to the market.

      What about the workers? They can be retrained as coders, winery staff, and baristas.

      00

  • #
    TdeF

    Aluminum was the wonder metal of the 20th century.

    I calculated years ago that as aluminium/aluminum is really a recyclable battery with the energy content of oil and at a comparable price and comparable energy density, that aluminum could replace oil/gas/petrol completely. And it has the advantages of oil, no loss of energy in transportation, no loss in ageing but unlike oil, it is completely recyclable. And it is not volatile, so far safer for storage and transportation. Ships picking up aluminium could return clean oxide for 100% recycling.

    We need an engine which would convert metal into energy. A steam engine might work with a modern turbine.

    But who is thinking about the future when we are told we can have electricity to all parts of a continent like Australia. Does anyone think of the sheer cost of this? And by the way, the big powerlines of the world are aluminium. And they are being routinely replaced.

    Electric cars carry 600kg of batteries, a huge waste of kinetic energy. 80kg of Aluminium could do the same job or 160kg but in the space of 80litres of petrol given a density of 2.2. Without the power lines and rechargers. Portable, storable energy and useful for so many things. We could keep fossil fuel for jet travel, petrochemicals, plastics and so much more.

    It’s interesting that hand grenades and even the daisy cutters used in Iraq use aluminium. It’s all about energy content and everyone’s a Climate Scientist, which is largely because Climate Science is a completely science free area, more science fiction than fact.

    Most of the politicians are so hell bent on shutting down Western Democracies. No one is thinking about energy. And the business of Australia controlling CO2 levels is just nuts. No one does. It’s in rapid equilibrium.

    80

    • #
      David Maddison

      That’s the basis of an aluminium air battery.

      https://www.electrical4u.com/aluminum-air-battery/

      10

      • #
        Analitik

        What’s the efficiency for the complete charge/discharge/recharge cycle (smelt/oxidize/resmelt)?

        00

        • #
          TdeF

          As far as I know, it is close to 100%. A direct extraction of electricity though would raise the possibility of higher efficiencies than any engine and I would assume this aluminium battery has high efficiency.

          The reason there is even a 10% cost is the cost of mining, removing impurities and creating pure alumina, aluminium oxide. The alumina to metal to alumina cycle itself is then close to 100% if you are interested only in producing the metal. What I do not know is the efficiency of extraction of energy from aluminium metal. In hand grenades it is 100%. If you go the way of energy to heat to an engine, you are limited like all engines by the Carnot cycle, so 60%. The battery seems an amazing idea and far better than hydrogen.

          But hydrogen is all the fashion. The principle is the same and hydrogen is just the lightest metal in chemical behaviour even though it is a gas. Who would think a 1kg bar of aluminium has the same releaseable energy as 1 litre of petrol? And far safe than carbon based fuel. We are just not used to thinking of metals as energy stores.

          50

  • #
    TdeF

    And of course, like iron ore, the world does not want us manufacturing aluminum. This vilification of Australian coal is working beautifully as we price coal based electricity and thus aluminium smelting out of existence and go back to being an open cut mine. Who would believe Australians would be so gullible? I guess it’s what happens when most people have nothing to do with farming or mining in a country where farming and mining pays the bills.

    80

    • #
      TdeF

      The same thing happened to the massive Spanish empire when Spain grew so fat on free gold from South America that they sent all their industry North. And one day the money stopped. They have been poor ever since. Try and tell that to the people who think they run the country.

      60

      • #
        Chris

        There is an addendum to that story. Spain’s mercantile class which ran the economy were the Jews. These people were run out Spain, they took their business’s and their acumen with them and the economy collapsed. It has never really recovered since. Spain now has a “friendship” arrangement with China, supporting China’s needs in the EU. China has said any argy bargy between Spain and England over Gibraltar they will support Spain.

        20

      • #
        yarpos

        Not sure why we are down on Spain it has a far more diverse and capable economy than Australia especially in terms of value added industries. 5th in EU and 13th in the world in GDP, and a great place to visit.

        20

  • #
    Analitik

    This gives me great hope that Liddell’s closure will bring about the widespread suburban blackouts that are needed to deprogram the city dwellers from the lies about renewables being capable of replacing thermal generators. The price spikes, as Liddell’s capacity had been run down, indicate that the grid operators have basically run out of large loads that can be shed besides urban grids so from next year, expect frequent rolling blackouts in suburban Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide until the outrage becomes to great for the politicians to ignore.

    The problem is that the lead time needed to replace Liddell (& Hazelwood) is measured in years so it will take that long before electricity prices come back down to internationally competitive levels.

    In the mean time, quickly deployed open cycle gas plants (like that announced by the federal government) will stabilize the grid but at great cost (& CO2 emissions for those who believe in the CAGW meme) inflicting further economic hardship on the general population and our industry. But such is the price of the lack of scrutiny (let alone the outright complicity) of the press/media on evaluating the efficacy of renewable power.

    60

    • #
      David Maddison

      I wonder what the worst case scenario would be for massive east coast grid failure would be?

      It would happen during winter, possibly at night with zero solar and no wind with some coal fired units offline for routine maintenance.

      I would hope a massive failure would wake up tue Sheeple but it didn’t seem to do that in Texas when they went down.

      70

      • #
        Analitik

        Summer is more likely IMO. A hot day with a big high centred on the NSW/SA border like the one when Melbourne experienced a blackout 30 minutes after the state energy and environment minister said there was no possibility of one.

        20

    • #
      PeterS

      It’s sad we have to experience such catastrophic interruptions to prove those who keep harping about the urgent need to reduce our emissions are in fact just a bunch of fools leading our nation to destruction. If that’s what it takes then so be it. The sooner the better.

      20

      • #
        Analitik

        Indeed.

        My hope was that the 2016 South Australian blackout would be enough to awake the general public about the furphy they were being sold about renewabubbles but the grid engineers were too efficient at bringing Adelaide back up (western portions of the SA grid took weeks for full restoration) plus the renewabubble lobby did an awesome job at gaslighting any who analysed of the role of the wind farms.

        I then hoped tha the Melbourne and London partial blackouts would alert the general populace that the grid engineers were resorting to desperate measures to prevent grid collapse whenever renewabubble generation fell to a small percentage of nameplate capacity. But again, the renewabubble lobby were able to gaslight and deflect their way to seeming innocence for these events.

        So I can only think that it will require urban blackouts to become commonplace before real action is called for and our politicians begin the regulatory corrections required to bring back a stable and affordable electricity supply. If continual price spikes and urban blackouts don’t open up the eyes of the masses then we must wait for the catastrophe of another statewide grid collapse – I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that.

        30

  • #
    Dennis

    A register of investors in businesses based on “renewable energy” and “electric vehicles” would be interesting to read, with members of parliaments and their families highlighted.

    100

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘Already 20% of Germany’s citizens are living near the poverty level and 6 million survive only with government assistance.

    “For them and their children the cost of climate protection is a much greater threat than climate change,” comments Bojanowski. “Also other groups who struggle to make ends meet like the self-employed and small company owners have a particular reason to worry about additional costs and regulations.”

    (Notrickszone)

    51

  • #
    Dave

    Amazing Greenie Koala counters aren’t they?

    “Finally it is cheaper to pay Tomago not to consume power than to build out extra capacity”

    Their suggestion to PAY people NOT to USE electricity because it’s CHEAPER!

    Well, let’s pay TELSA owners not to charge their cars, and see how that works out?

    Or PAY Governments to turn off all A/C’s, Lifts and Lights in all government buildngs?

    Let’s pay Woolies and Coles to turn off their freezer and cold displays to save heaps money!

    THAT’S why the GREENS will NEVER be in Government EVER!

    60

    • #
      yarpos

      just the usual rainbows and unicorns thinking, if we can turn enough stuff off then their ideas are the stuff of genius

      30

  • #
    TdeF

    No one is down on Spain. That was not the point. Rich and successful societies can collapse when their leaders lose sight of who is paying the bills.

    70

    • #
      Len

      Just read how Spain was the dominate power in Europe with a substantial
      Army and Navy in the 14th and 15th Centuries. They had much power in both hemispheres. The Spanish expelled the Jews from their territories and they became a second rate power not long after.

      00

  • #
    John R Smith

    What happens when the employees and suppliers start plugging in their mandated electric vehicles.
    What is the charge time and watt capacity for an E-dump truck capable of hauling ore.
    This whole Decarbonization and Renewable narrative is political theater.
    The other astonishing part is the amount of money spent on an education system that produces a population that is so easily manipulated.

    60

    • #
      John R Smith

      Oh [email protected],
      I just realized all the money spent on education produced the exact intended result.
      Just when I think I’m too cynical, turns out I’m not cynical enough.

      80

  • #
  • #
    Deano

    An aluminium smelter is a good example of why renewables can’t replace coal yet. I’m sure many climate groupies have no idea how this wonderful metal is made. Indeed, before the current (no pun intended) Hall–Héroult process, aluminium was more expensive than gold! And lets not forget kiddies, aluminium, because of its low weight reduces energy usage in transport. It has low toxicity and can be recycled. Bet your trendy greenie guru didn’t mention that.

    30