76 years ago Australians could build assets that would last generations

By Jo Nova

By golly. 1948. Some will remember a time when smart people got things done.

The three minute piece describes the awesome value of Yallourn Coal Power Plant — “converting brown coal to light and power”. This one plant supplied two-thirds of all the electricity the state of Victoria needed at the time.

Most of those turbines built from 1928 to 1961 have since been shut down, but the last one, built in the 1970s, keeps on running today. Yallourn W is rated at 1,450 MW and supplies one fifth of Victoria’s energy still.

H/t to David Maddison who says: “Sir John Monash (d. 1931) who built Victoria’s electricity supply back in the day would be appalled at what the Unipary has done to his creation.”


9.9 out of 10 based on 112 ratings

China built 47GW of coal power last year and is “way off track” to meet emissions targets

By Jo Nova

If coal is a planet wrecking problem, if it really mattered, about 30 countries are beating themselves up in acts of grandiose public flagellation, while one country is wrecking the planet and nobody cares. The truth is that no one is behaving like they think CO2 is causing a crisis. All over the West everyone wears the hippie-care coat while buying the cheapest fridges, phones and fashion they can get from the global coal furnace. And China nods the nod then keeps on adding coal power plants.

Climate change: China at risk of missing its goals unless it takes drastic action to rein in coal expansion, new research finds

Eric Ng, South China Morning Post

Last year, the Chinese energy sector’s carbon dioxide emissions increased 5.2 per cent, the same as gross domestic product, highlighting a failure to rein in energy-intensive growth, they estimated.

According to the Global Coal Plant Tracker 70 gigawatts of new coal power was built around the world in 2023. Of the 107 countries they tracked, one country built 47 gigawatts. The other 106 countries combined built 22 gigawatts. The distribution of new coal plants is thus:

More coal burned on Earth in 2023 than ever before in human history

By Jo Nova

The best kept secret in the world is that humans are using more coal than ever

So much for the “stranded dead asset”. In 2022 the world set a new all-time record for coal use — reaching 8.4 billion tons. In 2023, despite all the Net Zero billions in spending, despite the boom in windmills and solar panels, global demand for coal will top 8.54 billion tons.

The IEA is the “International Energy Agency” — supposedly, the impartial servant of 31 nations worth of taxpayers. Yet they decided to ignore the world record and instead tell us how coal is set to decline. It’s what they think the taxpayers need to hear. Their press release:

It’s almost as if the IEA works for the renewables industry and their banker investors? Mr Vestas himself could hardly have written a more successful headline to hide the truth and gaslight the taxpayers.

The IEA has been predicting the end of coal for years. Back in 2017 the IEA was telling us China would move away from coal, because by 2025-2030 “solar would be cheaper than coal”. Instead, China’s burning more coal than ever before and the quarterly reporting season […]

China promised to strictly control coal then started 182 coal power plants instead

By Jo Nova

Two and a half years ago President Xi promised to “strictly control coal-fired power generation projects” in China. Before this solemn pledge the CCP had approved a blockbuster 54 gigawatts of coal fired power plants in just two years. Afterwards, to show how committed they were to Net Zero principles and international agreements, they *only* approved 131 GW. As President Xi promised — he’s “strictly in control” (of a massive increase). He’s also strictly in control of the world’s manufacturing.

After being deceived, the UN, Greenpeace, and Joe Biden promptly did nothing at all — it’s not like the future of life on Earth is at stake. And John Kerry somehow saw only “agreement” and “hope”.

When faced with this environmental catastrophe, the BBC told the world about China’s green power surge instead, and only mentioned the coal in passing as an aside. China had spawned a world record in coal plant construction, but apparently these coal plants are not so bad because many are built on renewable parks, “partly as backup for all the new wind and solar farms”. As if CO2 emissions are neutralized just by the presence of the sacred talisman of “renewables”. It’s […]

UN admits World will crash through Paris Agreement goals by a factor of two for 2030

By Jo Nova

Top 20 Energy mining nations are planning to increase production, not decrease it.

Despite 151 nations signing the Paris Agreement, the UNEP has all but admitted that most of the world is not even pretending to meet their emissions promises. As is obvious in the graph below, governments of the top 20 producers of the evil coal, oil and gas are planning to dig up even more of it by 2030 than they do now. These 20 nations produce 80% of the world’s fossil fuels and somewhere out there are lots of customers.

The report appears to be a scorecard to guilt-trip the 20 naughty nations into giving up warmth, food or billions of dollars in exports, but it reads like the Paris Agreement is pure charade.

Governments plan to produce double the fossil fuels in 2030 than the 1.5°C warming limit allows

Stockholm, 8 November 2023 – A major new report published today finds that governments plan to produce around 110% more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C, and 69% more than would be consistent with 2°C.

Who are we kidding?

The Production Gap really means “The […]

Blackouts are coming: Australian grid so fragile, expensive, cement giant already shuts down nearly every day

Image by Vicente Godoy from Pixabay

By Jo Nova

We can’t even run a cement factory all day anymore

Get your candles for summer! Unlike the last three years the Australian national grid won’t be rescued by another cooler La Nina this year. Fears of rolling blackouts are fraying nerves at The Australian Financial Review Energy & Climate Summit. The transition is described as stuttering, gridlocked, faltering, and the government as “desperate”.

Things are so bad, former CEO’s of major generators are warning that “the lights are going to go out” and accusing one Energy Minister of speaking “complete and utter horseshit” because they don’t think we need reliable peaking gas plants to replace coal power. Said Energy Minister has responded by refusing to even take his calls. That’s really going to work. Meanwhile Japan is getting nervous just watching us, afraid we have screwed things up so badly we can’t be relied on to keep sending them gas.

Not only is summer nerve-wracking, but things are already so bad, one of our largest cement producers is shutting down nearly every day because it can’t afford to pay for the peak electricity spikes even in springtime. Here in […]

New EV Battery factory in Kansas needs a coal plant to run

By Jo Nova

For some reason wind and solar power will not be powering a new EV battery factory in Kansas. Instead the sudden extra demand for electricity will be met by keeping an old coal-fired plant running.

Environmentalists are not happy. Wait ’til they realize no one even knows if EV’s will reduce carbon dioxide at all.

EV Battery Factory Will Require So Much Energy It Needs A Coal Plant To Power It

Kevon Killough, Cowboy State Daily

A $4 billion Panasonic electric vehicle battery factory in De Soto, Kansas, will help satisfy the Biden administration’s efforts to get everyone into an EV. It also will help extend the life of a coal-fired power plant.

The Kansas City Star reports that the factory will require between 200 and 250 megawatts of electricity to operate. That’s roughly the amount of power needed for a small city.

Naturally, to make something utterly pointless takes a lot of taxpayer money and Panasonic will receive $6.8 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act, which will, quite possibly, increase emissions and create inflation too.

As Mark Mills said it takes 250 tons of material to make […]

Inflation be damned — Brown coal is still making electricity for 3c a Kilowatt hour

By Jo Nova

Don’t mention brown coal?

Last quarter I reported that the Australian Energy Market Operators (AEMO) had strangely “forgotten” to list the brown coal prices in its quarterly report, despite it being the second largest energy source in our national electricity market.

Other quarters, often they would include a graph comparing the average winning bids of all the major fuel types — a graph that surely is essential in these inflationary times where our electricity prices are setting record highs, rising by 25% this month, and we have a national debate on our energy crisis.

In the next quarterly report the AEMO did list the average “winning bids” of brown coal but didn’t do the comparison graph, so I’ve done it for them. If only they had room in their 68 page report and $450 million dollar budget so Australians can see, at a glance, which fuel source provides the cheapest wholesale generation by far, every quarter, all the time?

Despite all the inflation, the war, and the pandemic, brown coal generators are still making electricity for 3c a KWh. Shouldn’t Australians know that?

Click to enlarge (Or download the larger JPG file)

Compare that to […]

Despite the green revolution, and record energy use, the world still runs on 82% fossil fuels

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

By Jo Nova

We are a fossil fueled world. Solar & wind power make up just 7.5% 6% of our energy needs.*

The world has set a new record for energy use in the last year. And even though renewables are being installed at the fastest rate they ever have been, it isn’t enough to keep up with the growing demand for energy let alone to “convert” the world to Net Zero.

Overall, despite our best efforts to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, the world remains “stuck” getting 82% of its energy from them.

The Energy Institute has released the Statistical Review of World Energy, and it shows global energy use has not only recovered from the pandemic, it is now 3% higher than it was pre-Covid in 2019. The relentless human desire for energy continues. In 2022, humans used 1% more energy than they did the year before and 70% of that growth was from China.

To put the historic size of the “Renewable Energy Transition” into focus, here’s the last century of energy transformation. The Energy Institute did not seem to want to highlight the insignificance of renewable energy, so […]

Vale Liddell coal: given away for nothing and destroyed by predatory capitalism and a screwed Green market

By Jo Nova

A “win” for predatory capitalism and government mis-interference

Liddell power station (foreground). Bayswater power station (rear).Photo NSW DPI

Yesterday, for the last time the final turbine was switched off at Liddell Coal plant after 52 years of operation. The NSW government gave it away for free in 2014 — bundled like a McHappy Meal in with the sale of Bayswater Coal, valued at $0. Governments saw old coal as worthless, at least until 2017 when everyone saw the bloodbath when the Hazelwood coal plant suddenly closed and electricity prices suddenly rose 85%. Then they started to panic a little — even Malcolm Turnbull (our Renewables lovin’ PM) started openly pressuring AGL to sell Liddell so it could keep running until his pet project the Snowy Hydro 2.0 could start. Chinese owned Alinta turned up with $250 million dollars and was willing to put in a billion to repair the station and extend its life up to 2030. Despite that bonanza, AGL refused to take the money. It was determined to run it into the ground and shut it down instead. Now it’s determined to blow it up as well. The Demolition crew is already appointed […]

Brown coal is so cheap AEMO forgets to mention it

By Jo Nova

Many Australians face a 20% rise in their electricity bill this coming winter, so it seems odd that the AEMO* forgot to put the price of the cheapest source of electricity in their last quarterly report. The bid-setting prices for brown coal have been some of my favourite graphs, but this quarter, for the first time a whole energy source disappeared. It would only be another 2 digit number in a 69 page report, yet the average winning bid of brown coal generators on our national grid last quarter is not even mentioned?

The nation faces major decisions about whether to continue to try changing global weather with our power plants. You would think Australians would like to know which fuel produces the cheapest electricity and by exactly how much? I mean, what’s the true cost of cooling Australia by a thousandth of a degree in 2100?

Perhaps the AEMO didn’t like that skeptics spread the message that brown coal could still generate electricity for less than 4c/KWh, or that hydro and gas were seven times more expensive? After all, the head of the AEMO — Daniel Westerman — says we must ramp up renewables to […]

China approves two new coal plants every week to ensure stability “when renewables fail”


By Jo Nova

It’s the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth and one country is building six times as much new coal power as the rest of the world combined. But no one cares.

Sinful Australia hasn’t even built a coal plant in 12 long years, but Saint China is approving a new one every three and a half days. One nation is theoretically destroying the world’s corals, creating droughts, floods and bad storms, and making reef fish reckless but no one is gluing themselves to the Chinese Embassy. The same universities who lecture us on carbon pollution are not even boycotting Chinese students. We have to ask — do reef fish matter? Are floods a bad thing?

Either CO2 is just a shiny amulet or everyone who cares about it is functionally innumerate. It could be both.


Meanwhile on the cat-walks of intellectual fashion shows the Western world’s elite competes to be more concerned than the next guy about the dire problems of CO2. President Xi cheers them on, promises to act, then builds another coal plant.

Constructing 106 Gigawatts of coal power in 2023 doesn’t exactly sit well with President […]

That’ll hurt: Environmental investors lost 22% in a year when Energy investors made 54% gains

By Jo Nova

Hands up who wants to lose money?

These numbers that Rupert Darwall has put together in Real Clear Energy are extraordinary:

2022: The Year ESG Fell to Earth

The year 2022 brings an end to an era of illusions: … [it] brought environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing down to earth with a thump—for the year to date, BlackRock’s ESG Screened S&P 500 ETF lost 22.2% of its value, and the S&P 500 Energy Sector Index rose 54.0%.

Ponder how savagely poignant these losses are for the ESG doe-eyed investors. In their wildest wet dreams ten years ago they would have crawled over shards of glass naked to get coal prices up to $400USD a ton. In a year when coal and gas were obscenely expensive, the glorious cheap efficiency of solar and wind power could shine like never before.

Instead demand for fashionable random green electrons vanished. There was never a need for “random” power, and the energy crisis just peeled back the onion to reveal the true demand. Wind and solar power were just the fashion accessories that no one had to have. Coal, oil and gas were essential.

Not only did demand […]

Shh! Despite a bloodbath quarter for electricity prices, hated Brown Coal still sells at just 4c per KWh

By Jo Nova

We’ve never had another third quarter this expensive

Despite setting price records — averaging $200/MWh across the whole quarter for the whole five-state National Energy Market, there’s like a cone of silence around the price of brown coal. The ABC is happy to evangelize about 30 minute “renewable energy records”, but they don’t mention that the three-month total system costs went off like a bomb.

Somehow Australia has all that free cheap green power and yet the wholesale costs exploded. The system broke:

No other Q3 has ever been this expensive.

But one unmentionable fuel type was still cheap

The average wholesale price for all generators last quarter was 20 cents a kilowatt hour (or $200 per megawatt hour), but brown coal generators were still able to supply during that same incendiary quarter for just at 4c a KWh. That was the average “winning bid”. So last quarter brown coal was one fifth the price of black coal, and one sixth the price of gas or hydro, and no one is talking about it.

The cheapest prices were from brown coal. (Far right)

Imagine if Australia had a free market in electricity? […]

China says cheap energy is more important than climate wish list

by Jo Nova

The scariest thing is that a communist dictator seems more sensible than any democratic one.

He’s a tyrant, true, but one that can add up numbers. So it has come to pass that the largest coal fired nation in the world will burn even more coal because energy security today is more important than theoretically slowing storms in 2100 AD. China makes no secret of it, but hardly anyone is even talking about it.

In other news from the CCP convention, unlike the West, China won’t blow up their coal plans until the new replacement energy is ready to use. Which is handy if the replacement turns out to be a trillion dollar lemon.

Rather soberingly, for transition-fans, China makes 80% of all the solar panels on Earth but that’s not enough to dent the growth of Chinese coal demands. If these solar panels were so cheap and effective China would ban the sale of them.

China boosts coal output as energy security trumps climate

Michael Smith, Australian Financial Review

China’s state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, said while China would continue to invest heavily in wind and solar, annual coal […]

The real transition of the last 700 years was *to* fossil fuels

Make no mistake, the story of our lifetimes is that we got wildly lucky. It’s not just that most our economy is no longer dedicated to finding fuel (for our corporeal bodies or our machines) but that a vast share of our lives is not consumed with collecting wood or dung, rolling up hay, or gathering berries.

The graph below shows a remarkable transformation from a lifestyle where 80% of all the work done was just the daily task of finding fuel. The advent of the industrial revolution cut that effort in half, but the wild success of coal power and technology in the 1800s cut it by factor of ten. It almost appears as if coal did not just fuel the 19th Century, but created the 20th Century too. It was the great disruptor…

The real energy transition in the last 700 years

This was the economic transformation of the United Kingdom

By the 1990s the hunt for all the energy we needed was just a tiny 7% of the economy. And the most remarkable thing about that which is not shown in the graph, was that the total energy consumed had not shrunk at all, it […]

Australia is last rat to jump ON the burning Climatitanic ship with symbolic 43% “SafeGuard” leap

While all the rats are jumping off the Unreliable Wreck, Australia is leaping onto it. Every country that uses electrical-generators for magical Global Climate Control has expensive electricity. They’ve lost industries, jobs and sovereign power as well as hot showers.

Our energy prices are already a train-wreck, but Super-Albo is here to take that failure and double it. While Germany, France, Austria, Netherlands, Poland, China, India, Hungary, Greece and the United Kingdom are all ramping up their coal, we’re going to use less to fend off the floods and hold back the tide. It’s pretty much just down to us and our friends, those crazy Canuks and the cockoo-Kiwi’s to save the world. All doing the climate voo-doo.

Magical pagan symbols and messages

The term “action” doesn’t mean any actual activity — apart from lots of paperwork:

Albanese told parliament: “Passing this legislation sends a great message to the people of Australia that we are taking real action on climate change.”

Instead of a message, Australians were hoping to get a $275-a-year cut in their electricity bills.

Meanwhile the rest of the world is sending a message to Australia — and they are saying: We Want Your Fossil […]

Might be more coal burned in 2022 than any other time in human existence

Coal use likely to set new 8 billion ton record this year (and next year too)

How’s that transition going then?

The IEA reports that the stranded dead asset is probably about to hit an all time record high:

For 2022 as a whole, we expect global coal demand to increase by 0.7% from 2021 to about 8 billion tonnes. This would match its all-time peak reached in 2013…

Worldwide coal consumption in 2021 rebounded by 5.8% to 7 947 million tonnes (Mt), according to our data, as the global economy recovered from the initial shock of the Covid pandemic and higher natural gas prices drove a shift towards coal-fired power generation.

Current coal price tonight: $407.90. Also almost a record. So we have highest volume at the highest price, and people want you to believe that no one wants coal.

China burns 53% of the world’s coal:

Coal demand in China, the world’s largest consumer by far, increased by 4.6%, or 185 Mt, in 2021, reaching an all-time high of 4 230 Mt.

India becomes the second country in the world to join the billion-ton-coal-club:

India consumed 1 053 Mt of […]

The transformation to coal continues: Hungary declares emergency, revives brown coal, Greece aims to quadruple coal

It’s just another day in the global energy crisis: Years of climate goals are evaporating

When your currency is backed by renewables… | 1 year of Euro/USD

The threat of the Russians cutting off gas completely through Nord stream 1 has focused Europe on the blessings of coal and the reality of surviving winter with only windmills and solar panels to keep warm.

Germany, France, Austria, Netherlands, and the UK have already changed plans to shut coal plants or have plans to revive old ones. Poland is buying coal directly for homes. Hungary has now also declared a state of emergency and said it will boost gas production and stop exports. No sharing allowed now.

Only two years ago Greece was going green — phasing out brown coal but now the Greek power corporation has been told to stop the phase out of coal. Last year lignite provided only 5% of the electricity in Greece, now the aim is 20%.

Hungary declares ‘state of emergency’ over threat of energy shortages


Budapest says it will boost its annual production of natural gas from 1.5 billion cubic metres to 2 billion cubic metres. The […]

And what happens when that renewable drought is 1 terawatt hour?

Australia has added more unreliable wind and solar than anywhere on Earth but when an energy crisis strikes, and those prices are still on fire, the solution is more of the same.

Senator Matt Canavan, The Australian

As rest of the world wakes up on coal, we’re closing it down

Perhaps Australia’s broken electricity system is due to this mad rush towards renewable energy? No, according to our energy regulator, “Recent international events and Australian market events have further strengthened the case for the shift to renewables.”

The renewable energy investments must continue until morale improves.

[The energy regulator’s] recent analysis shows that Victoria could experience a “renewable drought” of 1 terawatt hour of electricity over just one week in the future.

How much is 1TWh? Well, the South Australian big battery can produce 130 megawatt hours, so we would need more than 7500 of these to keep the Victorian lights on. At about $100m a pop, that is a total cost of more than $700bn, or more than Victoria’s total annual economic output.

This winter’s energy shortfalls came just after the Liddell coal-fired […]