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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Mayhem on the Australian Grid continues — Record prices, factory shutdowns, emergency warnings

Generation tonight….

Just another week in the Transition we (Don’t) have to have

With 65 Glorious Gigawatts the Australian grid system has a vast excess (theoretically) of generation capacity, yet it’s so fragile that the loss of an interconnector, normal maintenance and a few coal turbines down — has triggered $100 million dollar price spikes. These burning pyres of money are so savage the average cost of wholesale electricity — across a whole day — is lately in the realm of $200- $700 per megawatt hour over most states for 24 hour periods. For the last week, daily prices have been ten times the “old normal”.

And it comes on the back of the most expensive April in the Australian grid history in every mainland state on the National Electricity Market.

Autumn and spring are supposed to be easy days in Australia with peak demand only running at 27,000 MW. Because things are lighter, generators do normal maintenance at this time of year, but at the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any room for that in the network. In summer, demand is often 5,000MW higher. Where’s that going to come from?

Factories are shutting down for fear […]

Scorching electricity price spikes in NSW and Queensland

Brisbane on May 3rd was a glorious 15 to 25C (or 60F – 77F) and yet the price of electricity was shocking.

The scale of the graph is so distorted that all the normal price gyrations fall to nothing, and there is only the spike — a full hour of $14,000 burning for every megawatt, and the state needing 7,000 megawatts. The demand level, or load is not unusual, but it’s about $100 million in electricity.

And this is the nice time of year for electricity managers, or it used to be. With weather that’s ideal for human habitation most air-conditioners and heaters are off. But the sun is setting earlier, and solar power is shrinking just as everyone gets home from work to turn on the oven.

AEMO

Some may blame the “lack of coal power”, but notice what’s happening to wind and solar power at critical time from 5:20pm to about 6:30pm.

All the wind and solar power in Queensland on May 3, 2022 |

Though there are other factors at work too and some are a bit mysterious according to Paul McArdle. Queensland at one point had only a 7% instantaneous reserve plant […]

Australian wholesale electricity prices have doubled in the last year (and it’s because we don’t have enough coal power)

Luckily for Energy Oligarchs, Australian electricity prices have bounced right back to pre-pandemic insanity. Wholesale rates are romping around $170 dollars a megawatt hour in April across the whole national grid…

The media mouthpieces are blaming it on outages of coal turbines — even though wind power fails every week, and solar fails every day. If unreliable generators cause high prices, then Wind is King Fickle. They’re also blaming high coal prices, but coal itself, is a small part of the cost of a two billion dollar plant. Naturally, neither political team has a clue how to fix this. But it’s all so banal — the prices are set at auction, and some fuels are cheap. Add more of the cheap type, and we’d get cheaper electricity.

Right now, if there were more black coal plants setting the price more of the time, electricity would be half the cost. If enough brown coal plants like Hazelwood were still running, the prices would be a fifth. It’s all there in the data that ABC journalists never find. Consider the winning bids by fuel type in Australia for the last quarter of 2021. For Brown Coal, the average winning bid was $11 […]

Energy Crisis in the UK: 40% face fuel poverty by winter and Govt may finally stop “Green Levies” (too late)

Wow. What does it take to get a democratic government to stop picking winners in socialist electrical generation? It takes a war, a 50% price rise, and the possibility that 4 in 10 households might be reduced to third world conditions within months.

Share the word — no country on Earth has lots of intermittent renewables AND cheap electricity.

…Bosses warn 40% of households face fuel poverty after October’s price cap hike…

Daily Mail

Energy bosses have called for more Government support for households facing a ‘truly horrific’ winter, with as many as four in 10 people potentially falling into fuel poverty before the end of the year.

Energy bills for the 22 million British households not on fixed-term deals rose 54 per cent to just under £2,000 a year on average in April, the last time the Ofgem price cap was reviewed.

The clean Green transition was supposed to reduce costs, create jobs, and set people free, instead the experiment failed everywhere it was done. “Free” energy turned out to be a high maintenance, unenvironmental expensive fantasy loaded with hidden costs:

Analysts have warned of a further jump […]

Glasgow: electricity bills will go up £500,000 extra to pay COP26’s official windfarm to turn off

Some poor sods will be paying extra to help Griffith Wind Farms cover the cost of shutting down for part of the COP26 Superhero Costume Party. If only that secret charge was listed on their electricity bill. Where is the transparency?

Twitter

Big Lie Number 1: that the Glasgow COP26 event is powered by 100% renewables.

It’s hard to believe, but some people think the wind powered electrons can be tracked and relied upon.

Sustainability Mag

There will be some accounting shell game where “100% of the annual supply” means they supply the whole years electricity in lumpy packets at times that no conference centre could run on. We know it’s wrong because lies don’t scale up. If the whole nation can’t be 100% renewable at the same time and in the same way, then the Conference centre isn’t 100% renewable either. It’s relying on coal and gas just like everyone else is.

The 100% renewable fakers are show-pony parasites on the system. They need the transmission lines, the back up, the inertia and the stable frequency but they Lord their 100% Renewable Badge knowing full well, that if everyone was “100% renewable” the system would […]

The Green Agenda meets The Energy Crisis (just in time for COP 26)

Some great Green plans are starting to come undone and it’s not even winter yet

But it is just in time for a reality check on COP26.

Europe’s energy crunch is continuing, as gas storage volumes have shrunk to 10-year lows. In the UK 12 energy companies have collapsed this year leaving 2.2 million customers stranded without an electricity provider. Things are so bad the Dutch government is thinking of reopening the Groningen gas field, Europe’s largest onshore gas field. This is a big backward step for the transition to magical energy. “Until recently, the plan was that Groningen would be closed completely by 2023, ending the large-scale gas production and export by the Netherlands with a bang.”

There are even thoughts of switching back to coal. Drax is suddenly talking about keeping some coal plants running a bit longer, something that would have been blasphemy a few months ago.

Across Europe and Asia — the energy crisis runs amok

No one can blame Brexit for food shortages in Brussels:

https://twitter.com/hermannkelly/status/1442901773958582274

But people can blame Green policies for energy pain

Kate Andrews: Britain’s weak energy security puts net zero in doubt The Daily Telegraph, 29 […]

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.

Tomago

And it’s not even winter yet:

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 […]

Green energy “an existential threat to German economy” declares Supreme Auditors

Emden, Germany by Gritte

The supreme auditors of Germany warned about the costs of Green energy a few years ago, but now they are paying attention to energy security too, and with sudden alarm they’ve announced that Green energy poses “an existential threat” to Germany.

It’s something dumb bloggers have been saying for years. But this is good news that German bureaucratic numerical masters are on to it.

Pierre Gosselin of NoTricksZone, calls it “explosive”:

So explosive is the German Government Audit report that Die Welt and the government auditors see the Energiewende as a “danger for all of Germany”.

Daniel Wetzel at German national daily Die Welt reports on the latest German Federal Court of Auditors’ warning: “If things continue like this, Germany as a business location is in danger. The costs are out of control – and there is a growing threat of an electricity shortfall.”

The Bundesrechnungshof in Germany or Federal Audit Office sounds rather awesome — legislators can’t tell it what to do, and its exact position in the layers of power is disputed, which only makes it sound more significant.*

The Federal Audit Office sees the […]

German experiment to make wind powered Silicon Chips fails

Surprising no one: lumpy expensive electricity does not make for a High Tech Paradise

It’s another example of how more green jobs means less real ones. A German High Tech Chip maker driven to Singapore by renewable energy prices

Emden, Germany by Gritte

To understand the scale of just how green Germany is, ponder that it has the third largest wind power fleet in the world, with around 30,000 turbines. In 2020, wind power generated more than a quarter of German electricity and solar power another 10%. Despite all that *free* energy Germans pay some of the highest electricity prices in the world at 38c/KWh. Whereas Singaporeans use natural gas and pay 18c/KWh. Germans are famous for their high tech engineering, but now they can’t afford to manufacture it at home. Siltronic is moving, and along with that presumably goes some of the intellectual property, brains, and security that comes with having that production locally.

h/t GWPF Chipmakers lament high taxes and levies on electricity in Germany 9.5 out of 10 based on 62 ratings […]

Un-Greening: Mexico gives up on renewables, revives coal industry

Mexico, the eleventh biggest population on Earth, was all enthused about renewables a few years ago, but now they are actively winding back wind and solar and reactivating coal projects. Mines are being reopened, coal miners are being hired and the state owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has been told to buy electricity from its own coal generators before they buy electricity from the privately owned renewables generators.

López Obrador is called a populist, he talks of energy sovereignty, and speaks badly of predecessors who opened up the energy sector to foreign and private interests. He vowed to put ” at least 80% of the budget – into fossil fuels.””

Mexico was once a climate leader – now it’s betting big on coal

David Agren in San Juan de Sabinas, The Guardian

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as Amlo, has unveiled plans to buy nearly 2m tons of thermal coal from small producers like Rivera. He also plans to reactivate a pair of coal-fired plants on the Texas border, which were being wound down as natural gas and renewables took a more prominent role in Mexico’s energy mix.

Not […]