Saturday, 24 February 2018

The Desperation of the Environmentalists.

By Terence Cardwell 
(Twenty-six years’ experience in managing power stations.)

Demolition of Munmorah Power Station.
A recent claim by Environment Victoria that “Coal power stations keep failing” came to my attention, and as I worked in such power stations for some 26 years, I state categorically that this assertion is absolutely incorrect and is, in fact, malicious slander without foundation designed, it would seem to me, to further brainwash those who believe in “global warming/climate change” (“anthropogenic, of course!”). This sensationalist claim would have fitted Nazi Dr Joseph Goebbels philosophy perfectly: 
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

There would seem to be no limit to the ridiculous statements that have been made in this latest assertion about coal-fired thermal power stations, and that it would seem the sole purpose is to support the use of heavily taxpayer-subsidised so-called “renewables” (wind and solar) that are now combined with the latest fashionable fad of batteries. That these things are so generously subsidized often by our least well-off people is shown in this recent letter to “The Australian” newspaper:
“Members of the Hepburn Wind co-op have just received a report on the first six months’ performance this financial year. The turbines earned $455,491 generating electricity into the spot market, up 120 per cent on the same period in the 2017 financial year. The windmills also earned $435,771 from large-scale renewable energy certificates. Whether or not renewable energy is cheaper than “high efficiency, low emission” coal, 48.9 per cent of our co-op’s income was a subsidy extracted from the nation’s electricity customers. Thank you one and all.”
At least the letter-writer is honest; unlike those behind the assertions made by Environment Victoria! 

So let me examine their claim to see if it stacks up:

Coal fired power stations have supplied the power grids of Australia since the end of World War 2, and NEVER once has the power grid system failed to meet power demand UNTIL the “renewable energy” scam showed up. This is now creating major power shortages due to the closing and/or destruction of 13 power stations throughout Australia, which has created a massive shortage of power and undermined the spinning reserve needed to ensure stability and consistency. The existing coal-fired power stations and Snowy Hydro are the only reason we still have power. These coal-fired power stations are still the backbone of the power supply in this country and will run for months on end, being shut down only for routine maintenance and for any repairs they may require.

Another ridiculous statement they made: ‘Coal-fired powered fired power stations trip out in a heatwave.’ Absolute rubbish!

Coal-fired power stations rely on cooling water from lakes or rivers for their condenser cooling water, which are totally unaffected by daily temperature changes in the air. Over a long term, they can slowly rise or fall but has very little effect on the unit's performance. Cooling towers are another means of cooling the condenser cooling water, and although the temperature of the cooling water can change slightly it only has a very minor effect on the unit’s efficiency. In nearly 50 years I have NEVER heard of a unit tripping due to weather temperature conditions. 1

But today there is a new ‘game-plan’ brought about by the ideological drive to “Save the Planet” from supposed “anthropogenic global warming/climate change” (a totally unproven hypothesis) so that the thermal power plants face an almost impossible task of chasing after the erratic performance of the wind generators as they dance up and down, with the power station generators having to compensate for this UNRELIABILITY. (Wind generators have an output performance factor average of only 30% of capacity, and rarely reaching that capacity, for a major percentage of the time producing a zero output.)

Yes! The odd thermal power unit can trip out, usually through no fault of the unit, but because of an exterior fault. My own unit was tripped out in the middle of the savage storm in 1974 that tore a large sheet of aluminium off the turbine-house roof, and dropped it across the unit transformers. Even aircraft, ships, buses, trains etc. can have occasional faults, but these are rare.

So let’s look at the unreliability of wind and solar generators, something strangely overlooked by the good folk at Environment Victoria!

Wind generators throughout the World have proven to be unreliable, erratic, high maintenance, and expensive to install. After seven years Spain has closed down its wind generators because of the high cost of maintenance for little generated power.2 In the U.K., power generation from wind generators for 2013 and 2014 was 29.4% and 28.8% of capacity. 3 Check the unreliability of Australian wind farms for yourself. 4

In South Australia, in the last heatwave the Wind generators supplied 7.5% of power demand. The rest was from diesel generators or COAL-fired power stations in Victoria, whilst the much-acclaimed 100 Megawatt storage battery supplied all of 6.5 Megawatts for 2 minutes. And the South Australian Government has the effrontery to say it was a success, with the cost of power soaring to an astronomical $1,420 per Megawatt! (This was 3,000% more than the Eastern States!)

This is mind-boggling! When I think that my unit at the Munmorah Power Station was generating power for only $0.7 cents a kilowatt = $7.00 per Megawatt. (That cost was at the alternator output; then there were the transmission costs (2.0%), maintenance costs, and management costs. The all-up end-cost would only have been about $16.00 per Megawatt, and that was in 1980. It would equate to about $32-$36.00 now.)


The present subsidy levels are: 

  • Solar $214 per Megawatt; 
  • Wind $74 per Megawatt; 
  • Other ‘renewables’, including hydro, $33 per Megawatt. 
  • Coal? $0.43 cents!

This is reality, not fantasy!

So, before a coal-fired power station generator even turns over it is financially behind by $213.57 plus the TRUE cost of production of approximately $36.00, a cost disadvantage of $249.57 compared to a wind farm! These massive renewable subsidies are such that overseas Arab, Chinese, and Japanese investors are making billions of dollars from our Australian taxpayers’ money, not only from being paid for the power generated, which is minimal, but also the massive subsidies. 6 (As shown by the honest letter writer quoted above.)

So, what about solar farms? Australians are set to pay $300 million in subsidies to an outback solar farm owned by a Saudi Arabian billionaire. The Moree Solar Farm is supposed to generate 150,000 Megawatt hours of electricity per year, or 17.1 Megawatts per hour.

By contrast, Bayswater thermal power station has an output of 4 x 660 Megawatts per hour, a far bigger output! And, of course, wind and solar farms work only when the wind is blowing and the Sun is shining.

Then there is the example of the Gullen Wind and Solar Farm, with an output of 2.5 Megawatts per hour in peak conditions, ONLY when the sun is shining and the Gullen wind farm with ‘capacity’ of 165.5 Megawatts but in reality average of 30% of capacity or 50 Megawatts per hour but ONLY when the wind is blowing. Major shareholders in this venture are Japanese, and they will receive massive subsidies even without making any profit from the little power generated.

New research shows that in 2015/16 Australians paid more than $3 billion in subsidies for electricity production, with 98 per cent going to renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. 7

Compulsory Electricity Purchases

Another reason the grid system is becoming less reliable is the fact that ALL electrical wholesalers and retailers MUST buy a percentage of “renewable” energy, whether they like it or not, and this is a major reason why our electricity is so expensive these days, with the price increasing continuously! If the crazy subsidies were removed, and no one was forced to purchase “renewable” energy (especially wind and solar), and new thermal power stations were to be built to replace the ones knocked down, then the cost of electricity would be cut by about 50%. This is fact not fantasy! (Note that I exclude hydro, as it has always been part of the mainstay of the power industry since the late 1950s.)

The other major reason for the cost of electricity skyrocketing is the fact that the state governments of New South Wales and Victoria sold off the people-owned-and-paid-for power stations to private entrepreneurs who now have a gold mine/milch cow that they can mine/milk as much as they want, and nobody can do anything about it.

The Baird New South Wales State government GAVE the 4 x500 Megawatt multi-billion dollar Liddell power station to the biggest pirates in the industry, AGL, which immediately closed down two units, and are now using EVERY lie and distortion they can invent to tear the station down. Including the statement: 'Coal Fired Power stations fail in the heat' 8. Absolute rubbish! They never fail. I should know: I operated them for many years. The shortage of power thus has enabled AGL (and others) to charge such extortionate prices for their electricity. Last year AGL made ONE BILLION DOLLARS profit from the sale of electricity. (This is enough to build a new 2 x 660 Megawatt “HELE” coal-fired power station!)

Vales Point B power station, with two modern 660MW units, was sold by the New South Wales Baird State Government for $1,000,000 to Sunset/Delta Power because THEY said it cost too much to run, was worn out, and should be pulled down. Sunset/Delta reassessed it - this time CORRECTLY - and in its first year of ownership made a profit of $260,000,000. Sunset/Delta then revalued the station at – ARE YOU READY FOR THIS? - $760,000,000 (Seven Hundred & Sixty Million dollars of taxpayersassets), with its life extended to 2029 at the earliest date for closure.

The Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, effectively closed down Hazelwood power station (by tripling the royalty on brown coal, thus making its continued operation uneconomic) with NO replacement power, creating an immediate 'black hole'.

Then the New South Wales Government, not satisfied with what had been done already, closed down and destroyed the Munmorah power station on the New South Wales central coast, “because the high levies imposed on thermal power stations supposedly made it non-viable”. Any other time these governments would be on a charge of treason for selling and destroying assets that belong to the people that are critical to our existence. They also destroyed a number of other stations including Wallerawang A and B. The “Green” parasites tried to close down Mount Piper power station, using coal mining as an excuse. But this time the ideologues failed, and the coal supply to Mount Piper has been guaranteed and secured by the High Court.

The Queensland government is nowhere near clean either. They are the owners of Ergon and Origin Energy who between them made 500 million dollars profit last year; and guess where all that money went to? Straight into the government coffers to waste on crazy schemes!

South Australia is a basket case, and the laughing stock of the World. Don't blame Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg it is not his fault; blame the State Premiers who “sold ALL Australians down the river” and sent us on a downhill run to chaos. If you don't believe all this then:

  • Do some research of your own; and
  • Sit and wait: it won't be too long. In the last heatwave, electricity in South Australia reached $1,420 per Megawatt. (Much of actual energy used in South Australia was from brown coal power stations in Victoria.)

And they talk about the so called “Renewable Energy State”! What an absolute farce.

And now – A “Game-changing” Technology

This should become commercially available in 2018! And from where? Surprise! Surprise! China! (With the basic science courtesy of development work in the United States some fifty years ago; the sad part is that the project was defunded and closed down back then “for political reasons”, one of which was that this technology is essentially useless for making nuclear bombs!)

This is a completely different type of nuclear power generation, using molten salt reactors with none of the problems associated with older-style units. Check this Summary 9 , and this Commentary 10. Extensive information may be found on pages 4 to 6 of this interactive PDF about the climate. 11 (It is mind-opening stuff, with lots of good news, such as a cure for cancer!)

Those who subscribe to the notion that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels drive “global warming/climate change” should be particularly attracted to the nuclear option because this technology has zero output of so-called “greenhouse” gases. On the other hand, enthusiasts for windmills and solar panels conveniently ignore such things as the huge amounts of “greenhouse” gases emitted as a result of their manufacture and assembly, as well as the extensive connectivity network required simply because of the vast land mass required. And then there’s the major problem of what to do with the extremely hazardous waste once these “farms” reach the end of their lives!

Significantly, a number of internationally-renowned environmentalists have changed their opinions from being “anti-” to “pro-” nuclear when they learned about this new technology 

The Green Menace has for too long been allowed to destroy the lifeblood of Australia, and then has the insolence to say (in ignorance) that thermal power stations must be closed in order to “Save the Planet”! Yet, the reality is that thermal power stations have given over 65 years of unbroken service, and this should be proof enough of what a threat these ideologues are to Australia.

Slavishly following ideologues, and “wanting to do the right thing for our children and grandchildren” leaves many well-intentioned people being the victims of charlatans and frauds pursuing two goals:

  • Money; and
  • Political objectives!

Once again: check the letter quoted in para 4: It summarises the fraud perfectly!

Below is a typical wind output graph spread over seven months showing how unreliable is the output from wind turbines, and the obvious instability they create in the grid system. Remember that thermal coal-fired units have to chase this erratic output to compensate and maintain a steady input load to the power grid’s varying demands. Some further graphs follow. story/a33d0927ec991f1821c86e2032ec8439

Friday, 23 February 2018

South Australian Madness

Anthony Cox

Northern Power Station demolished.
Power rich state creating Wealth and Jobs in China.

We all know SA Premier, Wetherill is an alarmist loon who has swallowed the crazy pill of alarmism and its equally crazy offspring, renewables with gusto. He has blown up cheap reliable coal plants, invested unknown amounts of money in Musk’s battery, installed diesel generators, the most (real) polluting of all energy sources, except wood, which is about the only fuel source he has not tried. All in SA with the largest deposit of uranium in the world and now the dearest electricity in the world.

Peter Rees has already done some good work in highlighting the SA insanity, with Wetherill spending over $2 billion of taxpayers’ money for some wind and solar power while AGL, also up to its neck in alarmist and renewable spiffery, is paying $295 million, with some subsidies thrown in, for a gas generator which will produce much more electricity in a reliable fashion than the $2 billion of renewables.

Peter has done some more calculations which add to the diagnosis of insanity in SA. This time to do with the capacity factor of renewables, which is unashameably listed in the SA official election information. Capacity factor is the actual energy an electricity installation produces. Capacity factor is expressed as a % of the power of the installed capacity. The power is the installed capacity. So for instance if a new wind farm has an installed capacity of 100MW the capacity factor will be a % of that and described in MWh.

We know from long experience that the capacity factor of wind and solar is much less that the installed capacity which is why the alarmist spivs and ratbags only ever talk about the installed capacity. But now they have become so lazy, so hysterical and desperate that they actually admit the capacity factor, or the actual energy the stupid wind and solar produce is much less than the installed capacity.

The SA renewable energy report for 2017 says this on page 1 in the executive summary:

Total installed rooftop PV generation capacity is estimated to have increased 95 MW in 2016–17, to 781 MW. Total rooftop PV generation5 in South Australia for the year was 1,016 GWh, 12% higher than in 2015–16.

Peter supplies the analysis of this incredible nonsense:

The installed capacity of SA rooftop solar systems (2016-17) is 781MW which produced 1016GWh for the year.  
The unit for electric power is called a Watt. 
1000W    = 1kW (KiloWatt) 
1000kW  =  1MW(MegaWatt) 
1000MW = 1 GW(GigaWatt) 

A household air conditioner is typically requires about 3-5kW 
Hazelwood Powerplant could produce 1600MW in it’s heyday. 
South Australian average demand is around 1420MW.  
If we have a 5kW solar system installed on a rooftop and conditions are optimal it will in, in theory, produce 5kWh of electricity in an hour.  
So if have a total of 781MW of rooftop solar systems they could, in theory, produce 781MW in an hour. But the sun doesn’t shine 24/7, clouds block sunshine, dirt reduces the absorption by the panels as does the angle of the sun so that installed capacity of 781MW is reduced. 

But how much is it reduced? Look back to the statement in black above from the report. It says 781MW of rooftop solar produces 1016GWh for the year. To find out how much would be produced in an hour we divide by 365 than divide by 24. 

1016 / 365 / 24 =   0.115GWh = 115MWh 

So our 781MW of rooftop solar averages 115MW 24/7. If the sun was always shining and there was no cloud etc, the capacity factor would be 100% but in reality the capacity factor is 115/781 * 100 = 14.7%!

A wind turbine in the southern states has a capacity factor of around 30% and a fossil fuel plant has a capacity factor of over 90%. 

Now we can work out what the average output of these 781MW of rooftop solar systems are…..781 x  (14.7/100) =  114MW!

How did the 781MW capacity solar system that can only produce 114MW cost?

 Let’s assume all the rooftop systems are 5kW so 781MW/5kW = 781,000kW/5kW = 156,000 systems. 

A 5kW system currently costs around $8000 so the total cost for these systems was around $1250 million dollars (156,000 x 8000)! But consumers all received a federal government subsidy of $3000 per system (approx.) = $468 million dollars. So consumers paid $782 million and the Australian taxpayer contributed $468 million. 

So $1250 million dollars was paid for a system that produces an average output of 114MW of intermittent junk electricity. The probable life of this system is 15-20 years with output decreasing every year because the ability of panels to absorb sunline deteriorates as they age. 

For $1250 million you could have bought three and a half  210MW gas plants equal to the one that AGL are now building in South Australia  that have a life of 40-50 years and produce high quality reliable despatchable electricity 24/7

So the capacity factor, the actual energy produced, by the panels is 14.7% at a vast expense.

But wait there is more: that 14.7% does not come in an even fashion, it comes in surges, just like wind power. That means for the grid to handle the panel and wind power enormous extra expense has to occur to add transformers and infrastructure to convert that surge power from the wind and panels into an even frequency. Modern grids work at a regular frequency because if homes and businesses receive variations in the frequency appliances and machinery literally blow up!

So we get 14.7% capacity factor from the panels (about the same or a bit more from wind), at enormous expense and in surges which are basically unusable in the grid without further vast expense.

The politicians responsible for this are destroying Australia. Voters who vote for people like Wetherill, Andrews and any green politician deserve everything they get which is to freeze and starve in the dark. It’s a pity the rest of us have to go down with them.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Thoughts of former Chairman of Macquarie Power: Interesting, but Disturbing Information

Liddell Power Station
Source: Wikipedia

John Smeed

In digging around for ‘Energy Crisis’ data, I contacted the former Chairman of Macquarie Power, Evan Rees, whom I have known for many years, looking for some best evidence on Liddell Power Station. As a result, Evan provided the response to my question below,  that provides some very interesting, but disturbing information:

Here is Evan’s email to me on 14th October 2017:

Hi John
                                As you know I was Chairman of Bayswater and Liddell power stations from 1996 till 2008. During this time we spent millions on up grading facilities to ensure that their life was extended and we also did a study on building a third plant called Bayswater 2 . The govt. did not strip maintenance funds from us. We had a $300M per year, depreciation figure which we used to enhance the future continuation of the business. In fact the treasurers both Michael Egan and Michael Costa were very supportive to us improving the business.
                                In 1996 the biggest problem facing Liddell was their control systems. These were replaced with a DCS system over two years.

This system was state of the art and good for another at least 20 years. We spent some $30M on this and there is not a plant in Australia that has a more modern system. We went from 4 control offices to one.

                                Next we upgraded the Dust Collection system to the best standard.

                                In approx.. 2002 we upgraded the 4 X 500Mw turbines with new state of the  art Turbines that paid for themselves with efficiencies.

From memory we increased them to 6ooMw and improved efficiency by 7 %. Which is a lot in this type of equipment. This production improvement and coal saving per Mw produced gave us something like a 5 year payback. Again with regular care and maintenance [R&M ] this plant could last 20 to 25 years. 

                                The boilers are a different problem they are old but again we tackled the main problem areas. Boilers by nature are self-destructive and require costly and regular attention. 

However what we did we re-engineered many of the regular trouble spots such as Ash-handling, Ash-pumps, water treatment so these areas had the best gear available.

Boilers did have some internal changes to reduce repair costs.

                                In my opinion if you had the WILL to keep this plant running it can be done. The cost is easily off-set by current power prices. We had this plant making handsome profits with a dispatch price of $27 / Mwh.

Today's dispatch price is in excess of $ 100/Mwh.

                                Added other plant to reduce costs of production for Bayswater and Liddell and make provision for a new " Clean Coal Plant " of 2000 Mw with the following additions.

  1. To ensure that the plants were Drought Proof we increased pumping capacity at the cost of $60M
  2. To ensure that increased coal demands in the future and reduce current day costs we put in a coal unloader that could take the largest of Coal Trains at a cost of $100M
  3. Started two new coal mines to provide ample coal into the future. I believe AGL is aiming to sell this coal to an exporter and so make millions of profit. At the time of sale these contract between buying and selling were worth in the order of $3 Bill.
  4. The new " Clean Coal " station was to be on existing land held by our company. It would be what we call a " Brown Fields " site . This site had Geo-Tech testing and approved. EPA provisionally approved the air quality. So all the major impediments had been covered. On a dispatch figure of $30/ MWh and allowed to run at full performance 24 X 7 Hrs it had an investor return of 30% ROI. The idea is that you would run the new more efficient plant to full capacity and flex the older plants like Liddell.

                                                John, I believe that the management of AGL are conspiring to close coal fired plant to make power cost go much higher and improve their personal wellbeing. One of the Power Engineers did a brief estimate of how many Wind Turbines are required to replace Liddell's Power capacity. He said if you placed all the turbines in the most favourable place for breeze ie on the coast then if you put them starting at Sydney North Head and inland as far as Strathfield. You would need to extend the field as far as Byron Bay.  The shear cost of the Turbines and the subsidy will send Australia broke.

Regards Evan

Evan has confirmed that I can use this information and he is happy to confirm his statements.

When Macquarie handed over Liddell to AGL, we had a plant at Liddell with an estimated life of 20-25 years that was delivering to the Grid at $27 - $30/MWh and providing in the order of 30% Return on Investment.  

AGL is now being paid >$100MWh despatched to the grid that must provide a financially viable and profitable operation, so they are obviously not operating Liddell at a loss.

To suggest Liddell has reached the end of its life by 2022 is obviously untrue and therefore, there must be a reason other than lack of plant profit generating capacity to justify its early closure.

If AGL is exploiting energy market opportunities to gain highly elevated income by its unnecessary but deliberate restriction of supply to the grid from a plant that could efficiently and profitably delivered higher output, in order to obtain an elevated despatch price to the grid to the consumers’ major financial penalty,  would AGL be in legal breach of the Trade Practices Act ? 
If so, what can be done to correct this Restrictive Trade Practice ?

European Hypocrites chastise Trump, Buy record Coal.

Source: Steelguru
As reported by the Washington Times (link), Germany, France and Italy 
chastised President Trump for rejecting the Paris climate accord in June and mocked the U.S. for turning its back on the environment, their nations were busy importing record amounts of American coal. 
The U.S., federal data show, is seeing something of a coal renaissance, but the boom — partly the result of Mr. Trump’s aggressive policies to roll back Obama-era regulations on the fuel — largely has benefited foreign markets. Some of the biggest buyers are also the biggest critics of the Trump administration’s climate policy, including China and leading European nations that now claim to be the world’s leaders on fighting global warming.
So much for the Paris Climate Accord.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Energy & Environmental Newsletter: February 19, 2018

By  -- February 19, 2018

The Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED) is an informal coalition of individuals and organizations interested in improving national, state, and local energy and environmental policies. Our premise is that technical matters like these should be addressed by using Real Science (please consult for more information).
A key element of AWED’s efforts is public education. Towards that end, every three weeks we put together a newsletter to balance what is found in the mainstream media about energy and the environment. We appreciate MasterResource for their assistance in publishing this information.
Some of the more important articles in this issue are:

Greed Energy Economics:

Turbine Health Matters:

Renewable Energy Destroying Ecosystems:

Miscellaneous Energy News:

Manmade Global Warming Articles:
World Leading Authority: Sea Level “Absolutely Stable”