Category Archives: Renewable Energy

Brilliant Agora Energiewende online graphic display of German electricity generation

Look at the pathetic contribution of wind and solar recently – Agora Energiewende

In July solar was better of course but wind was a lot worse – you can check any period.
No wonder many western economies are near moribund after wasting squillions on dud technologies thinking they would produce “low carbon” electricity in a way acceptable to the population. Amazing that people still vote Green or Left. Deluded. I read where members of Merkel’s cabinet have the common sense to see the train-wreck coming. Germany abandons their climate target, as their Chancellor sings to the crowd

Green renewable energy enthusiasts hoping to buy back the Berlin electricity grid

Yes that’s Berlin, Germany – what about Berliners who actually want reliable electricity – do they get any say.
The Australian ABC reports – Berlin citizens looking to buy back electricity grid in aim of using more renewable energy
Without fossil fuels, hydro or nuclear it could easy be a case of – Ich bin ein Berliner in der kalten und dunklen. Thanks Google for translating.

Australian fuel cell company attracted by the German Energiewende

The ABC reports that ASX listed fuel cell company Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (ASX – CFU) with origins as a CSIRO spinoff is headed to find its place in the sun as a part of Energiewende. – Germany’s renewable energy incentives and regulations attracting Australian companies
One of their products is BlueGen a gas fired fuel cell, they say –
BlueGen can be installed on-site in your home or business. It contains standard connections and operates with virtually no noise. Key benefits include:
Up to 36 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day
200 litres of ‘free’ hot water per day
Carbon dioxide savings of up to 14.5 tonnes per year
Unconstrained by seasons or weather
Simple installation with standard connections
Integrates easily with renewable technologies such as solar PV or solar thermal hot water
Constantly monitored by advanced fault detection technology

All sounds good. Here is the CFU share price history – a great thing about the ASX is that all regulatory filings and company announcements are easily searched and downloaded as pdf’s.

The Australian Commonwealth Govt muddles around vainly hoping Labor will assist it to reform the money wasting RET scheme

I have just quickly sketched my opinion of where the Govt of Prime Minister Tony Abbott finds itself now. Last week I emailed ministers connected with trying to reform the Renewable Energy Target which was introduced by the Howard Govt in 2001. I list some selected quotes. All replies confirm the Government’s support for renewable energy is centred on four key elements:
1. The RET should represent a real 20 per cent
2. Support for household solar systems should not be changed
3. Pressure on energy intensive trade exposed sectors should be reduced, which will provide additional support for Australian jobs
4. The renewable sector should have greater clarity by removing the need for a review of the target every two years.

Achievements due to the RET scheme
Almost 2 million households have installed small scale solar systems and the cost of rooftop solar is less than a quarter of the price. in fact, the cost of a 4.5 kilowatt rooftop solar system has fallen from more than $35,000 ten years ago to around $7,000 today and will continue to fall.
More than 5,000 megawatts of large-scale renewables have been built in an electricity market that is currently oversupplied by 9,000 megawatts of electricity. (Ed note – your Govts at work.)

First the problem -
What was intended to be a 20 per cent target is now tracking towards 27 per cent by 2020.
This increasing proportion of renewables comes as Australia’s total demand for electricity is falling. The RET is a relatively high cost form of emissions
abatement at around $32-62 per tonne of CO2 for large scale investments and $95 – 175 per tonne of CO2 for small scale. (Ed note – we see this in our electricity bills.)

Some claimed advantages if the Govt can persuade Labor to help pass their revised RET scheme.
This proposal would ensure a doubling of new large-scale and new small-scale
renewable energy production under the RET scheme between now and 2020. In short,
there will be more new renewable energy installed over the next 6 years of the RET than has been installed in the first 14 years of the scheme.
(Ed note – does not read like a great outcome.)

More great things your Govt is claiming credit for -
We’ve committed $1 billion through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for the research & development of new renewable energy technology concepts. The Government is keen to see nearly 200 programs across a range of technologies meeting milestones and contributing to the advancement of the renewable energy industry.
Through CSIRO’s Energy Flagship, the Government is supporting a group of around 350 scientists to pursue a dedicated energy research program that will help enable Australia’s energy transition.

Several other ways we’re supporting transition within our energy sector is by
continuing to provide $900 million worth of commitments under the Clean Energy
Finance Corporation to support a range of risky renewable energy projects, $2.25
billion into Industry programmes for innovation across all sectors, $2.1 million
through the Solar Towns Programme to support households who choose solar as a way to reduce their power bills and $2.55 billion through the Emissions Reduction Fund to encourage emissions abatement activities through low cost effective and practical solutions.
(Ed note – just there I add up at least $8.8Billion of mostly worthless waste harming our economy.)
As I said earlier – our Govt has lost the plot - they should put Minister Scott Morrison in charge of reforming the RET and all the other $8.8Bn of Green boondoggles.

EU agrees on ludicrous 40% 2030 emissions reduction target

In the great tradition of countless IPCC climate conferences – at a time EU economies are in deep doldrums – while global temperature has not risen in 18 years – and at a time when Germany electricity generators are increasing coal use – and when France says it will cut back on electricity from nuclear generation – and when the shortcomings of wind & solar inducing extra risks to power grids are increasingly becoming obvious to anybody with normal reasoning powers – the EU twists arms to produce this agreement on a distant fantasy.
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And major political parties wonder why they are losing support.
Emissions data from – Data from BP Statistical Review of World Energy

Proposed Bango Wind Farm near Boorowa NSW – an example of five years of multiple regulatory hurdles

The Bango Wind Farm proposal initiated in 2009 extends from north of Yass to SE of Boorowa and is a classic example of the largely pointless but expensive red and green tape that Australian resource projects are strangled by. With the Federal Govt now reconsidering the Renewable Energy Target (RET scheme) that would have been the lifeblood of the BWF – it remains to be seen if any turbines will be erected.
It is noteworthy too that earlier in 2014 NSW politicians from Yass, Goulburn and the Monaro were not enthusiastic about being “…treated as the ACT’s junk yard over its Government’s irresponsible and self-indulgent renewable energy policy…”

Six members of the EU resist moves to 40% emissions cut by 2030

The Polish PM says “…she would block any move that would increase energy bills for Polish consumers.” Poland’s economy is heavily reliant on coal as an energy source.
Poland’s largest opposition party Law and Justice (PiS) says it would support a veto by Prime Minister Kopacz on climate change in Brussels next week if the move harmed the Polish economy.
Ministers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania said in a joint statement at a so-called Visegrad Group (V4+2) summit in Bratislava that “the introduction of any legally binding renewable energy and Germany is increasing electricity generation from brown coal – the BBC says – Germany’s green dreams meet harsh reality. It is hard to see the EU succeeding with a 40% emissions reduction target at the Bonn Climate Conference this week.
The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has some supporters in Europe for his view that “coal is good for humanity”.

ACT(Canberra) Government plans to source 90% of electricity from renewables by 2020 is in tatters if the Federal Government succeeds in slashing the extravagant Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme

This map from The Dec 2013 AECOM report Pathways to Wind Power Development in the Australian Capital Region, prepared for – ACT Government – Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate – illustrates the most amazing NIMBY hypocrisy as the ACT Govt plans to locate all its wind farms well away from the ACT in New South Wales. Note also their reference to “Capital Region” which now has overtones of annexation of NSW resources to suit the ACT GreenLabor Soviet’s ultra-green plans. The ACT is replete with high windy ridges suitable to locate wind farms but Canberra residents are not to see a single turbine from their cocooned society.

We do not know if the ACT’s 90% renewables target by 2020 is even technically possible or what new gas fired capacity would be essential near the ACT to help the NSW grid cope with the huge random fluctuations inherent with greatly increased wind power near the ACT.
The Dec 2013 AECOM report – tells us in Table 4 on page 27

There have been few wind turbines installed near Canberra since 2011 – and Australia-wide installations peaked in 2009. Boco Rock to the SW of Nimmitabel is currently under construction and has apparently been sold to the Thai electricity company Electricity Generating Public Company Limited (EGCO).
What we do know is that the new Commonwealth Government is deciding what new policy to adopt with respect to the RET scheme and that this new policy is likely to be less permissive towards taxpayer funded renewable energy subsidies.
It looks likely that ACT Government plans to source 90% of electricity from renewables by 2020 is dead in the water – which is great news for ACT and NSW taxpayers and electricity consumers.

Where is the technology for this post carbon world that will leave our electricity grids still working 24/7 ?

I see Professor Ian Young – Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University has this Canberra Times article – Time to move to a post-carbon world
Baring nuclear – I can not see any of the current crop of renewables technologies taking over from fossil fuels to power our grids with anything like the “round the clock” reliability we have come to expect.
So I wonder what the brave new post-carbon world will look like.
How can we find out?