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The Forum > Article Comments > Renewables statistics realities > Comments

Renewables statistics realities : Comments

By Geoff Carmody, published 11/7/2018

These average capacity multipliers will also multiply total costs of ensuring reliable power even as $/MWh renewables generation costs fall.

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I don't what the renewables percentage was in 1975 after the big hydro projects but I suspect it was over 25%, not 19%. If where we are at now represents 'success' I'd hate to see what failure looks like. Most telling is the fact (needs checking) that electricity sector emissions were ~185 Mt in 2001 the start of the RET and they were 185 Mt in 2017. See the coloured bar chart here
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/29/australias-emissions-rise-again-in-2017-putting-paris-targets-in-doubt
So what was the point of the RET? A gesture?

Reasons for the non-decrease in emissions must include inefficient cycling of coal plant and preference for open cycle gas backup. The Wheatley study a few years back concluded that emissions displacement by renewables declined relative to penetration. My extrapolation of his figures suggest no emissions savings after about 50% penetration. The 100% renewables crowd won't hear of it and has the ear of several key politicians to keep the quotas and subsidies coming.
Posted by Taswegian, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 10:15:38 AM
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Norway, with its hydro, is used as the example of where (very nearly) 100% "renewables" is already working, so we should aim for 100% too!

Furthermore, "Labelling hydro as a renewable energy source is misleading. To the extent it's 'pumped hydro', and cheap off-peak base-load coal generators pump the water back uphill at night, it's actually coal power.". Darn right, Tasmania excluded.

Oh,and "storage", cheap and ubiquitous storage (!), will deliver 100% reliability after building renewables generation capacity by multiples to deliver our daily needs (including transport?) and recharge the storage.

Wow, who needs a base-load alternative towards mitigating AGW?!
Posted by Luciferase, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 11:15:14 AM
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Cogent well argued article.

Renewables win when they are very local and not subject to the combined 75% transmission and distribution losses.

Coal-fired power is cheap and reliable. but comes at a cost that includes a 75% transmission line and distribution losses.

That said is there a pragmatic way to use coal, while eliminating that 75% loss?

Well, yes there is. Heres how.

First, you need a very cheap source of energy to cook the coal and extract every joule of methane gas, which could be run through water and a carbon filter to remove Radon and a few other things.

Now methane gas operates inside pipelines as a reductant and acts to extend their lifetime perhaps beyound a century.

Instead of extremely vulnerable wires crisscrossing the country buried and sealed pipelines could do the same at less cost, where the gas was needed?

Industry and domestic gas cooking and on-demand hot water etc, with few if any comparable energy loss factors.

And as, instant heat. Modest ceramic fuel cells would provide 24/7 power for TV lights refrigeration, laundry and all the high tech gadgetry.

What's left once the gas is extracted, then becomes the carbon source of carbon black used in many production processes and manmade graphene? That source can vary from say solar thermal or nuclear.

Nuclear wins hands down on any CBA or CBR. On construction costs, initial outlay and overall lifetime maintenance and reliability 24/7.

Solar thermal wins only on fuel cost, but then if the unpressurised MS thorium reactors are not also tasked as waste burners, where other folks pay for the service in annual billions.

There are win-win chances and massive side profits here, but only if bipartisan pragmatism and cooperative capitalism replace the business as usual politicking or the privatised/corporatised price gouging! And par for the course obtuse obstinate obnoxious obsfucation.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 11 July 2018 11:33:39 AM
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Explanation.
That source should be read as, that heat source.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 11 July 2018 11:43:21 AM
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Just imagine if all the greenie idiots in Tasmania hadn't stopped the building of the Frankin dam.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 12:29:08 PM
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Lets have a Dam on every river, just more denier BS, grow up you lot you lost the fight to save Coals arse yrs ago, I can believe how dumb some of you deniers are.
Or is it your silly enough to beieve all the crap from the US Koch Bros,Trump & the local liars called the IPA, I really do wonder sometimes
Including the entire staff on Air Jones Hadley & co whose listeners are in Gods waiting room,Sky after Dark which is when the nutters come out to play what a joke
Posted by John Ryan, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 2:13:14 PM
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>These tell us about power costs (and reliability?):
>The green line shows the share of wind power above which multiplied generation and the need for multiplied battery storage is required for reliable power.

This statement looks very dubious. But it is also ambiguous - so before I call BA on it, I'd like to know what exactly is meant by "multiplied generation" and "multiplied battery storage", and why the green line is at the level it is.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Taswegian,

The Wheatley study was conducted over too short a timescale so did not factor in the closure of any coal fired power stations.

The point of the RET was to encourage renewable energy, and in that it was successful. The Guardian link you posted showed that electricity sector emissions peake in 2008 and are now on a downward trend. Without the RET or some equivalent measure, it's likely they would have continued to rise.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Alan B.,
>Renewables win when they are very local and not subject to the combined 75% transmission and distribution losses.

According to http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indicators/EG.ELC.LOSS.ZS/rankings Australia's transmission and distribution losses are less than 5%. Admittedly that's 2014 data, but that data is sourced from the IEA.

Where does your 75% figure come from?
Posted by Aidan, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 2:40:32 PM
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Luciferase Quote "Norway, with its hydro, is used as the example of where (very nearly) 100% "renewables" is already working, so we should aim for 100% too!" Where do you think we can get the amount of water and the terrain they have that makes it feasible?

Alan B Quote "Renewables win when they are very local and not subject to the combined 75% transmission and distribution losses." Especially when they are highly subsidized and I suspect figured are exaggerated like a lot of Government statistics.
Posted by Philip S, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 4:33:43 PM
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Aidan the point is whatever are the magic cures for emissions (e.g. RET, Direct Action) they are so far not doing enough to drag down the all sectors total. Proponents were saying at one time that wind and solar would do most of the heavy lifting.

To be on track for the Paris pledge we should have lost about 70 Mt power sector emissions between 2005 and 2017 instead I think the reduction is about 12 Mt. We haven't seriously started on electric car charging or compulsory summer aircon for seniors. The RET has overpromised and underdelivered.
Posted by Taswegian, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 6:24:27 PM
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Quote "We haven't seriously started on electric car charging"

Good luck on a weekend going on a trip to the beach or country when thousands are also doing it and on the way you need to charge, it will surpass the debacle years ago with KM long lines to get rationed petrol.
Posted by Philip S, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 9:49:42 PM
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Quite a rant John Ryan!

Do you have any argument or evidence to show that you are not just an emotional twit, with no idea of anything but your foolish dream?
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 10:11:35 PM
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Looks like the subsidy scam raising bills is out of the bag.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5941165/ACCC-report-reveals-consumers-paying-538-year-subsidise-solar-panel-users.html

Electricity users who don't have solar panels are paying $538 a year to subsidise Australians who are benefiting from green schemes, a government report says.

Rooftop photovoltaic solar panels typically cost about $6,500 to install, with those fortunate enough to afford them receiving financial help from their poorer neighbours.

Under a feed-in tariff scheme, households are given generous rebates from their electricity provider for putting energy back into the grid, with utility companies passing on these costs to consumers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it was unfair how consumers without solar panels were paying higher power bills to subside those with household renewable energy.
Posted by Philip S, Thursday, 12 July 2018 1:28:50 AM
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Hasbeen do you or any of the Climate denial Right have evidence to say its not, that has not been effectively debunked by people who are not beholding to the Fossil fuel company's
Also Koch Bros many arms and subsidiary's, Trump & his crooked gang of liars & thieves, Abbott & the even nutter OZ right plus the IPA, none of whome can lay straight in bed
Posted by John Ryan, Thursday, 12 July 2018 9:04:30 AM
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John Ryan - Do you have any proof that has not been submitted by a scientist that will not be granted potentially million of dollars in grants.

Do you have an explanation to why the scam started out as "Global warming" but when that failed was changed to the extremely broad one "Climate change" which could encompass almost anything?

Also where is the proof what is happening is not like the ice age a one in a million year event?

Quote "Trump & his crooked gang of liars & thieves, Abbott & the even nutter OZ right"
Can you provide your evidence to prove any of that statement?
Posted by Philip S, Thursday, 12 July 2018 10:49:28 AM
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Christ what planet are you on Phil, Abbott is an A grade nut were you alive when he went and said no changes to anything then proceeded to wreck the place
As for Trump,when this investigation comes to it inevitable conclusion Trump should along with his cohorts be jailed, he is a criminal who heads a criminal gang sometimes called the Republican party
There are some dumb people around but some on here are just stupid, stay watching the hand puppets on Sky after dark they inhabit the same planet you do
Posted by John Ryan, Thursday, 12 July 2018 1:59:36 PM
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John Ryan has not learn't that it does not matter how many times you quote regressive lies it does not make it true. China and India must be laughing at the Rudd Turbull ideology
Posted by runner, Thursday, 12 July 2018 2:49:38 PM
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Philip S.,
The Daily Mail has a reputation for inaccuracy, and this is no exception. The idea that "Electricity users who don't have solar panels are paying $538 a year to subsidise Australians who are benefiting from green schemes" is so ludicrous that it's surprising anyone believed it.

If you read the report - which is at http://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Retail%20Electricity%20Pricing%20Inquiry—Final%20Report%20June%202018.pdf - you will see what it actually says is:
"Solar customers are paying, on average, $538 per year less than non-solar customers, suggesting that affordability concerns are most acute for those customers who have not (and possibly cannot) install solar PV."

A small part of that is due to subsidies. A much bigger part is due to the electricity the solar panels are generating. Another factor that's probably far bigger than the subsidies is that many of those who've installed solar PV are more environmentally conscious than the general population, so waste less electricity.

The report recommends shifting the burden of subsidies to state governments rather than electricity users. But IMO there's much more that should be done at the Federal level. Rather than paying for the solar panels up front (which is prohibitively expensive for some people) consumers should have a federally financed option of spreading the payment over their next decade's electricity bills at a rate of 1% per month.
___________________________________________________________________________

It is not "global warming" that's the scam - it's the claim that it isn't happening, or that it's a coincidence that warming is occurring and atmospheric CO2 concentration has risen by nearly a third from preindustrial levels.

And the terms "global warming" and "climate change" were used with similar frequency by climate scientists, but the former caught the media's attention more. Then the Neocons (who care more about their profits than the future of the planet) persuaded people to call it "climate change" because they though it sounded less threatening than "global warming".
Posted by Aidan, Thursday, 12 July 2018 3:22:36 PM
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Sth Aus wind right now 251 Mwatts, Demand 1621 Mwatts !
Watts to argue about ! And it is peak demand time !
The multiplier that is being discussed depends on the size of the area
over which the wind generators are spread.
Sth Australia is far too small. Australia would be OK I think although
no substantial modeling has been done.
There is for such schemes a fundamental requirement. The renewable
generators over the whole country must be connected on the one very
high capacity grid.
I notice that Geoff has not specified the area over which his
multiplied system is spread. The cost over the cost of the multiplied
generation would be unaffordable.

Batteries are not sources of power but are consumers of power.
Why do you thing they have cooling fans ?
A study in the UK showed that they would need 14,000 batteries the
size of Sth Aus's battery. And the UK has nuclear backup !

John Ryan is off with the fairies.
It is totally irrelevant whether AGW is real or not.
I just do not care anyway as fossil fuels will be unaffordable before
any effects are noticed.
There is one factor which gets ignored;
Temperature rises before CO2 rises !
Posted by Bazz, Thursday, 12 July 2018 4:46:55 PM
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Oh yes I forgot to ask;
How many Megawatts does the NEG generate ?
Hmmm none ! Then what the hell is it all about.
Talk about fiddling while Rome burns !
Posted by Bazz, Thursday, 12 July 2018 4:51:58 PM
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Aidan the article may be very creative with the figure but so are the climate change people but the fact that they are subsidized can't be denied.

John Ryan - As I asked before where is your proof?

As for trump if you are so certain of his criminality give your evidence to the FBI or is the evidence in your vivid imagination?
Obviously you have more evidence than the FBI because to this moment they have been unable to arrest him, or are you a believer in a person is Guilty till proven innocent?
Posted by Philip S, Thursday, 12 July 2018 7:35:02 PM
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A short read from James Hansen re coal and renewables.

https://tinyurl.com/y9rhvxt2
Posted by Luciferase, Friday, 13 July 2018 11:38:17 AM
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Philip S,
> the article may be very creative with the figure
If so then it's deliberately misleading its readers, which is quite a serious allegation.
But I think it's just being sloppy.

> but so are the climate change people
Evidence?

> but the fact that they are subsidized can't be denied.
Nobody's trying to deny it. But I have suggested an alternative.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Luciferase,
Your link is paywalled.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Bazz,

> The multiplier that is being discussed depends on the size of the area
over which the wind generators are spread.
And yet it's depicted as the same for all states!

> Batteries are not sources of power but are consumers of power.
In a net sense that's true. But look a little more closely and you'll find that batteries, like all forms of storage, are sources of power when it's needed and consumers of power when it's abundant.

> A study in the UK showed that they would need 14,000 batteries the
size of Sth Aus's battery.
For what purpose? Unless you specify that, your comment is almost meaningless.

>It is totally irrelevant whether AGW is real or not.
> I just do not care anyway as fossil fuels will be unaffordable before
any effects are noticed.
Alas that not true, as effects are already being noticed.

> Temperature rises before CO2 rises !
I presume you're referring to the natural temperature fluctuations. These start as a variation of solar radiation reaching Earth, but are amplified by the changing CO2 levels.
Posted by Aidan, Friday, 13 July 2018 12:12:52 PM
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Works for me, just close the pop-up or

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/06/26/thirty-years-later-what-needs-change-our-approach-climate-change/dUhizA5ubUSzJLJVZqv6GP/story.html
Posted by Luciferase, Saturday, 14 July 2018 8:01:03 AM
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Luciferase If you take out the S in the link it will work as a link here.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/06/26/thirty-years-later-what-needs-change-our-approach-climate-change/dUhizA5ubUSzJLJVZqv6GP/story.html
Posted by Philip S, Saturday, 14 July 2018 7:13:19 PM
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I've learned something, thanks, Philip S. BTW, your critique of my earlier post missed the sarcasm. 100% renewables is a fantasy, of course, but nothing is too fantastic for some to believe.
Posted by Luciferase, Saturday, 14 July 2018 8:23:31 PM
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Luciferase - There is an article about the Jindabyne water storage for Canberra being very low because they used lots of water to generate electricity even though it was during a long period without rain to replenish it.

With that in mind the whole hydro electricity generation could be in trouble in the event of a prolonged drought.
Posted by Philip S, Saturday, 14 July 2018 9:35:13 PM
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A few home truths.
Renewables will not replace fossil or hydro or nuclear, any time soon.
Rooftop solar panels are saving on 'consumption' cost.
But we have yet to see the total cost when we add the cost of initial installation and then the cost of servicing/repairing or replacing the panels.
I believe it will still be less than what is being payed by non solar panel households.
Even if by not much less, when the final analysis is done.
As for the non solar paying for the solar households, I believe it completely.
You must bear in mind that since the scumbags in Canberra sold off all the public utilities, (for no good reason) so they and their mates could fleece money from the public with impunity, they have been slowly and steadily losing profits, not money, profits.
So to keep up their forecast return on investment profits they have been steadily increasing our power bills to keep their bottom line healthy and them looking good.
What I don't get is that when the subsidies end the consumers with solar panels are going to be supplying free power to their providers and still paying for electricity, I expect slightly less than everyone else.
The part that infuriates me and exposes the thieving scumbags for what they are, is that they will be making money for no outlay, because the consumer is going to service/repair/replace the solar panels so as the power supplier gets it for free and on sells it back to the same people who provided it in the first place.
What a con.
I would like to see some karma, in that everyone with solar pulls their fuses and with the installation of batteries, can stick it up the energy providers arse.
I think that would be great.
We still get power, solar and storage, and they would get stuffed.
I would enjoy watching these vermin shrivel and die for a change instead of it being us all the time.
Posted by ALTRAV, Saturday, 14 July 2018 11:43:04 PM
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The word "storage" appears 9 times in the following article re AEMO's latest prognostications:
https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/07/aemo-confirms-end-coal/

When will someone of note have the coconuts to stand up and say grid-scale storage is just a figment of the imagination?! To completely restructure the grid to suit renewables with storage when it feasibility and viability is only a twinkle in the eye of green fantasists is a road to nowhere that will hit Australia very, very hard.

I have zero faith in an organization that must be so infiltrated with green ideology that it can make such senseless pronouncements, so blithe of reality. It is aided and abetted by our pied-piper Chief-Scientist, who has failed us utterly miserably.

When will the Coalition get a grip and join with Mark Barilaro in promoting the only real proven solution there is.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-19/nuclear-power-nsw-nationals-leader-wants-to-open-debate/8540274
Posted by Luciferase, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 11:05:59 AM
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For as long as the greens and friends, who are devoid of reality, have been pushing this renewables fallacy, I have been vocal against it.
Not because I don't like the idea of renewable, free energy, but the idea that it is possible is the reason for it's failure, and I can see it.
Let those who know nothing carry on as if they do.
I will back reality every time.
I am not disputing that you cannot get power from wind or the sun or even waves or tidal and God knows what other ideas have been pushed by these 'children'.
What is obvious to intelligent and thinking people, like myself, is the word, 'relativity'.
Where-as it is obvious to my side of the debate that there are too many factors and nature working against these concepts.
The biggest one is visual pollution. Both solar and wind require land the size of the very state they want to power, to get any real supply.
As I have an engineering background, I can say without question, reliability and maintenance are also lose-lose factors, making them absolutely non starters.
Being a technical and pragmatic person, I would no sooner listen to or take technical advise from a greeny than from a family pet.
I am angered that ANYONE is even recognising that they (the greens) exist let alone vote for them and think for one second they know absolutely anything about the causes they promote.
The public have to admit and come to terms with such things as they know nothing about everything and that the govt is not there to do our bidding.
Once you, the public, come to terms with these two MAIN factors, we can move on with the advise of those without vested interests have to offer.
And that definitely does not mean the govt either.
Posted by ALTRAV, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 2:46:13 PM
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Aiden, if you read the article you will see that they are referring
to the UK for January 2016. The data was available and there was a
period of low wind in the middle of the month for a few sequential days.
The purpose was to keep the lights on.

In regard to the other article they were referring to Europe.
Yes it does depend on the size of the country and is inversely
proportionally to the size of the country.
However without actually knowing I suspect it might be exponentially
proportional. In Europe they are talking of having solar and wind
stations in Nth Africa connected with HV DC grid to Europe.
Presumably they hope to improve the winter performance.
Looks to me like the cost might make the price of electricity
a cause for burning car demonstrations in Paris !
Posted by Bazz, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 3:55:12 PM
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Sorry Aiden, I thought the article was referred to on this thread but
it was another thread. So here is the article.
The UK is nowhere near big enough to use wx differentials.
That of course is why they looked at batteries.
They already have an extention cord to France.

http://euanmearns.com/grid-scale-storage-of-renewable-energy-the-impossible-dream/
Posted by Bazz, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 4:06:16 PM
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Bazz,I though you meant a real study, not a blog article!

Juan's calculations have (in his own words) "focussed exclusively on the challenge of converting variable RE to firm uniform supply using energy storage". In other words it had little if anything to do with meeting the UK's actual needs, and it didn't consider the contribution from nuclear power at all.

> The UK is nowhere near big enough to use wx differentials.
WTF are wx differentials?

> They already have an extention cord to France.
That's over thirty years old! Since then they've linked to Ireland and the Netherlands. Plus they're laying the cables to link to Norway and Belgium. And several more links are planned.
Posted by Aidan, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 6:48:11 PM
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In AEMO's new Integrated System Plan the word storage appears 334 times, indicating it's pretty important to the whole thing working, i.e. to have any impact on AGW, assuming other nations do their bit.

http://energylive.aemo.com.au/News/-/media/FA01D34E19E0484BB3697016B7A58159.ashx

You'd think feasible, viable storage was just sitting in the wings, ready to be linked to grand new renewable generation projects, ensuring 24/7/365 electricity.

Nope.

It's not invented, but we're setting up ready to plug straight into it when it is. We are crossing over from science and economics into the realm of religion, with this ISP. This is a "Field of Dreams" approach to planning out our energy future and I can't believe it's happening when the German experiment has failed. There appears a mass hypnosis as if many of us are waiting to be taken up in the Rapture.

Our poor children.
Posted by Luciferase, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 9:11:26 PM
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Aiden, you can be very snobby when you want to put down someones
information. The article covers an area that has been ignored elsewhere.
WX, (standard abbreviation for weather).

Differential refers to the difference in wx in different parts of
a country. This difference is proposed as a way to make a 100% renewables system practical.
It is suggested that continental size countries may be able to make it work.
The problem might well be that the duplication needed may be too expensive.
Posted by Bazz, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 10:31:40 PM
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Apologies for what I think was an autocorrect error in my reply to Bazz - it should have said "Euan's calculations..." rather than "Juan's calculations".

___________________________________________________________________________________

Luciferase, I'm quite tired of your dissing and whinging about storage!

We have lots of different storage technologies to suit lots of different purposes on the grid. Though it is IMO unlikely that mechanical (flywheel) storage will be cost effective for more than just grid stabilisation, some other kinds have great potential.

Gravitational (pumped) storage is already in use and already cost effective. We can easily build much more of it than we have now - although of course nowhere near enough to rely exclusively on it.

Thermal storage is practical for solar thermal power.

Chemical (battery) storage can be very advantageous near the point of use, as it can reduce the need to upgrade powerlines. Though it is quite expensive for large scale applications, this may change in the near future as scientists are attempting to base batteries on cheaper elements like iron or sodium.

Chemical (fuel) storage has not been commercialised yet, but do I really need to explain how it will be a game changer?

And of course we don't have to rely exclusively on storage - we can also use demand management (for instance not starting a batch of smelting if calm cloudy conditions are forecast).

You're obsessing over a problem that will be solved long before we reach it.
Posted by Aidan, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 11:07:29 PM
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You would understand what scalable, feasible, viable mean in relation to science and economics. Listing the theoretically available options (can't diss their existence, they exist) is a far cry from making any of them conform to these adjectives.

Some major breakthrough is needed to make any sense of storage and if it was such a goer already Germany wouldn't be a basket-case on emissions and bang-for-its-buck. Energiewende is a failure, this despite its advantages with connection to French nuclear and Nordic hydro. 100% renewables is an enthusiast's dream, not a plan for an increasingly energy-hungry world.

For AEMO to presume scalabe, feasible viable storage, or expect a storage breakthrough, is wishful thinking not a plan. You can be as tired as you like of my attack on your religion, it doesn't change the truth that gas plus renewables has no impact and is a bridge on a dead-end road towards mitigating AGW through some storage dream.

I can't stomach what I'm seeing happening. We appear to be in the hands of ideological imbeciles afraid to look at the only realistic solution at our disposal, led by our Chief-Imbecile
Posted by Luciferase, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 12:18:44 AM
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Luciferase, don't forget the other imbeciles as well.
The greens.
By the time they've all finished patting each other on the back for making absolutely unrealistic suggestions about renewables, and not one ounce of viable results to support their misguided, mis-informed agenda, we will all be well and truly stuffed.
We have only to look at where we are now, with some of the extortion prices for electricity compared to other countries.
The presence and the performance of the greens so far is a clear indictment on them being an irrelevance.
They have no viable experience and knowledge in the world of renewables.
They just talk a lot and cherry pick examples of what they deem success stories of renewables, but look a little closer and you will find massive numbers of performance errors.
The science in most cases have been theoretical.
The modelling has worked in the laboratory and on scaled down, tightly controlled and monitored pilot plants.
In the real world and at full scale they are a failure.
Just like the storage system (batteries).
The greens are nothing but a menace and should be removed from parliament.
They are not a political party, at best they are a lobby group, trying to push a failed agenda.
Posted by ALTRAV, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 1:16:54 AM
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I don't believe AEMO has any idea, at all, of what level of storage is needed to buffer intermittency of renewables sufficiently to deliver 24/7/365. That is reason alone not to embark on a path towards storage as a solution to AGW mitigation. There was a wind drought in the UK recently and without nuclear it would have been a dire the situation. How much storage is enough, does anyone know?

It's hilarious to suggest industry should keep an eye on the weather to shape its activity. I can't get over the thinking that we should revert to some seasonal, agrarian view on how industry should adapt to meet the ideological imperative of imbeciles.
Posted by Luciferase, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 9:35:13 AM
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Luciferase, It all seems so obvious and straight forward to people like us.
I cannot come to terms with the fact that the majority of the public can be so ignorant or arrogant, either one or both, that they seem to refuse to want to believe that things are hardly ever that easy in life, and that the govt IS actually out to enrich themselves on the back of these totally unworkable things called renewables.
One day we will get more honest than dishonest pollies in Canberra, and then maybe we'll start getting the truth for once.
Any child can tell you that renewables work, but not at the size and scale required to keep pace with or exceed the old tried and proven methods. ie; coal, gas, and nuclear.
Once the greens stop lying and overstating the impact of fossil fueled power stations we might get back to concentrating on bringing the price down.
As for this pathetic attempt at trying to con people with the Snowy II joke.
I refuse to believe that both the people and the pollies are so stupid that they can't see through this con of calling Snowy II a Hydro-electric power generator, implying that the thing is like Snowy I.
It isn't.
Far from it.
First they have to use pumps, which employ some form of energy to pump the water UP to some kind of lake or similar.
Then let it flow downhill again, running through the turbine.
Then do it all again the next day.
I should not be too critical, they have no real knowledge of the true facts behind these fanciful statements.
And so they try to sound like they know what they are talking about.
Led and tutored by the greens, who know even less.
Posted by ALTRAV, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 5:56:07 PM
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Luciferase,
There seems to be just one or two actually trying to work
out how to establish a 100% renewables and how much backup is needed.
The problem seems to be to define how physically large the grid
network has to be to take advantage of the difference in weather in
different parts of the network.
For instance the wind is blowing quite hard in Sth Aus today so SA
is exporting electricity.
A large country like Australia might just be able to do that but the
catch, (isn't there always a catch22) it means that a multiple of the
maximum grid demand has to be installed very carefully in different
parts of the network. A very high capacity grid is needed because
any part has to support any other part.

Anyone with the skills in modeling could make their name on working
that out.
The closest I have seen is the UK study that worked out the number
of batteries the size of SA's battery. 14,000 ! That would bend
any treasurers balance.
Posted by Bazz, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 8:29:45 PM
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Some reading for you Bazz

http://energy.anu.edu.au/files/100%25%20renewable%20electricity%20in%20Australia.pdf

http://euanmearns.com/australia-energy-storage-and-the-blakers-study/

https://www.brightnewworld.org/media/pumpedhydroreview

https://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/peter-lang-solar-realities.pdf
Posted by Luciferase, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 10:48:01 PM
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The brightnewworld link takes you to: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58254e216a496325c2d90145/t/58b80ccd9de4bbe99bd309cb/1488456957086/Blakers+et+al+review.pdf
Posted by Luciferase, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 10:53:05 PM
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Luciferase,
Firstly, this has very little to do with my religion, which is Christianity. The deplorable neocon tactic of calling what you oppose a religion (to make it seem illogical to atheists and evil to Christians) despite it having no spiritual significance may fool imbeciles like runner, but any intelligent person can see through it and attempting to use it reflects very badly on you.

Secondly, that's an interesting new definition of "agrarian" you have there! Has it made it into any dictionaries yet? When energy cost makes up a high proportion of a company's total cost, it makes sense to me to time operations to take advantage of cheap electricity and avoid having to buy much expensive electricity. Why doesn't that make sense to you?

Thirdly, who cares if the UK would have been in a dire situation without nuclear power? It has nuclear power, will continue to have nuclear power, and IMO should have more nuclear power (especially in southern England).

Fourthly, you seem to regard scalability and viability as digital, though the reality is very different. There's a lot we can do to increase storage (for instance Snowy 2.0) despite there being limits to how much pumped storage we can build. AIUI solar thermal is already feasible and the biggest obstacle to building it is currently the financiers wanting to take too big a cut. Another complication with storage is that its viability depends not only on the cost of storage but also the difference between price peaks and troughs which storage reduces - so I expect SA's battery to be profitable but I wouldn't expect hundreds of them to be profitable at that price.

For AEMO to expect rapidly evolving technology to suddenly stand still would be pretty stupid - if you doubt the ability of the technology to reach expectations, developing a contingency plan is sensible; abandoning the main plan isn't. We shouldn't worry too much about how to get from 80% renewables to 100% when we're less than half way to the former figure and still reliant on coal.
Posted by Aidan, Thursday, 19 July 2018 3:18:39 AM
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Aidan, I think the thing that is lost in all this is 'relevance'.
You mention the SA battery with apparent fondness.
I on the other hand condemn it.
It is difficult for an outsider (technically versed or not) to get a 'feel for the true viability of renewables because of all the corruption and opportunism surround them.
We cannot separate fact from fiction.
The word relevance is key in all this because if the theories cannot be converted to fact then it is not relevant.
If the cost cannot be brought down to a truly affordable level, nor a politically sanctioned one then it's not relevant.
Something is only relevant when it ticks all the boxes.
Until then it is only a story and nothing more.
Because we need actual three dimensional structures, the stories are not relevant.
Because we need electricity now, renewables are not relevant.
Renewables have become a cliche, a joke.
Even the snowy II you seem to speak so fondly of, please don't.
It is a most absurd idea with totally conflicting cost to performance ratios.
I would suggest that we will get no closer to any form of true affordable energy, any time soon unless we remove these thieves from owning the power generating facilities and return them back into govt control.
This is the real enemy and both sides of govt are implicated in this fraud.
Posted by ALTRAV, Thursday, 19 July 2018 4:42:03 AM
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"And of course we don't have to rely exclusively on storage - we can also use demand management (for instance not starting a batch of smelting if calm cloudy conditions are forecast)."

You must have been kidding. Sorry, missed the obtuse humour. Lets smelt (make hay) while the sun shines, eh, ha ha, looking at it like a farmer. Brilliant.

What's not religious about "You're obsessing over a problem that will be solved long before we reach it."? Sounds pretty much like "Build it and they will come", or "He will come again", AKA "blind faith".

There is no reason to expect what you hope for. There is nothing feasible, scalable and viable (all three as they relate to science and economics) about currently available storage options for grid-scale application. There is only hope of new breakthroughs. It's imbecilic to embark on a path towards something that doesn't exist. That's where AEMO and our Chief-Imbecile want to take us.
Posted by Luciferase, Thursday, 19 July 2018 6:53:08 AM
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