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Australian capital city to go 100% renewable by 2020

Australian capital city to go 100% renewable by 2020, ENERGY - October 10, 2019, By: Kali Persall

Excerpt:

"The Australian capital, Canberra, will become the first city outside Europe to shift from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy. From 1 January 2020, Canberra will join a select club of districts in Germany, Austria and Spain that produce or purchase the equivalent of their total electricity consumption from renewable sources. Canberra has a population approaching 400,000 and sources its renewable energy from large-scale solar and wind-energy projects, solar panels on houses and purchases of renewable energy from accredited sources."

I find this press release to funny if it was no so sad.  We are back to the Wild West snake oil scam.

Canberra, like any other city, town and/or individual draws its power off the grid.  The grid operator has a choice what to buy for resell - obviously the least expensive electrical energy.  In some countries, Israel is one, the grid operator must take renewable energy before fossil-fueled at any costs.

In Georgetown (South of Austin), Texas the city is also buying snake oil, sorry, renewable energy at higher cost.  Again, whatever was paid for has no bearing because the power comes off the grid, but I guess, it does give a warm feeling, regardless the higher costs...

Excerpt:

"A 154-megawatt solar power agreement finalized in 2015, in addition to a 144 megawatt wind power agreement in 2014, makes the City of Georgetown one of the largest municipally-owned utilities in the U.S. to supply its customers with 100 percent solar and wind energy. The long-term agreements also allow Georgetown to provide competitive electric rates and hedge against price volatility for energy produced by fossil-fuels."

 

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Discussions

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 18, 2019 1:15 pm GMT

It's an accounting trick, and it does get fuzzy and misleading, for sure. That said, if I'm someone who wants there to be more clean energy on the grid, then wouldn't this type of action be a net positive in helping ensure there's more such resources pouring into the grid? The precise electrons going into my home are not 100% renewable, and I agree that this nuance should be made clearer to customers, but the electricity bill I'm paying is going towards those renewable energy sources in the end. 

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Oct 18, 2019 7:52 pm GMT

Matt Chester, kids learn that the round peg cannot go into a square hole.  I have been doing wind and solar since 2006, with a little combined cycle.  I also have a lot of grid work experience, specifically grid support for power factor correction (Google STATCOM, SVC, synchronized condenser).   To me it is trivia. 

Since wind and solar empirical production figures in GWH (energy) are dismal at around 25% of the hours over a year's time (about 2,200 hrs out of 8,760 hrs), it does not matter the politician good will, and the taxpayer’s funds, we cannot have 100% renewables.  To make this round peg go into a square hole we need huge storage capability.

We do not have the technology to store electrical energy yet.  Only pumped storage works, mature technology, batteries just cannot cut the muster, but either way the cost is prohibitive.  Again, we do not have the technology to store electrical energy yet.

The net result of what is being installed in renewables and what is leaving the scene (base-load generators) unable to meet their financial commitments on 75% production when they can and did work 98% - renders the grid unreliable and stretching thin.

That's all there is to that - something got to give.  Wait to exhale (you pollute exhaling CO2), the Fat Lady will sing sooner than you expect.

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/ercot-reserves-drop-below-2300-mw-forcing-texas-grid-to-call-for-energy-e/560833/

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 18, 2019 8:55 pm GMT

Since wind and solar empirical production figures in GWH (energy) are dismal at around 25% of the hours over a year's time (about 2,200 hrs out of 8,760 hrs), it does not matter the politician good will, and the taxpayer’s funds, we cannot have 100% renewables.

What would be your opinions then on more modest renewable goals? 50%? 25%? Or would you prefer not pursuing more renewable energy at all? Genuinely curious 

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Oct 21, 2019 7:37 pm GMT

Matt, that is exactly my point - about 25% is attainable.  Above that we must be able to store the electrical energy (or heat for Solar CSP).  We do not have the technology for storage.  That is only one "small" issue.

Not less significant is the fact that base-load power generators are being driven out of business.  Not because of CO2, but because the 75% vs. 98%.  It is a money losing deal for them.  That is why in Europe and California electrical energy costs have been tripled.

Using peaking units require combustion engines - steam turbines must be hot to engage.  Having diesels or aero-derivative gas turbines in a simple cycle produces expensive power and pollute more.  It is a self-defeating vicious cycle... 

Climate change is a hoax, hard to believe?  The sun is rotating around the Earth and the Earth is flat (otherwise the oceans will spill over)

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 19, 2019 8:50 pm GMT

"That's all there is to that - something got to give.  Wait to exhale (you pollute exhaling CO2), the Fat Lady will sing sooner than you expect."

Noam, the amount of CO2 exhaled by 7.4 billion humans is some astounding quantity, and one time I  calculated a rough approximation - only to have a geophysicist point out that, in relation to climate change, it doesn't matter.

Until ~1850 all animals on the Earth (including humans) exhaled CO2, which lasts at least 1,000 years in the atmosphere. Why didn't CO2 concentrations skyrocket millennia ago, as they are now? By all indications atmospheric CO2 remained relatively stable for millions of years before the Industrial Age.

Before 1850 all of the CO2 exhaled by animals was soon absorbed by plants, which synthesized carbohydrates eaten by animals (or bacteria when the plants died). The carbohydrates were metabolized, the waste CO2 expelled into the atmosphere, and the cycle repeated ad infinitum. There existed a carbon balance (and global temperature) which suited Homo Sapiens.

~1850 was when humans began extracting megatons of "fossil fuel" - hydrocarbons which had been sequestered for millions of years deep underground, since a prehistoric era when atmospheric carbon concentration was multiples of what it is now, when the average global temperature was ~18°C warmer than it is today. So as we burn more and more coal and oil, we're gradually returning the Earth's average temperature to the time of the dinosaurs, a temperature which is survivable by virtually no species alive today.

If we care about preventing the destruction of nearly all extant creatures and plants, to worry about nuclear Armageddon is silly. In the next 1,000 years, climate change will accomplish that task with far more certainty.

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Oct 21, 2019 7:47 pm GMT

Bob, addressing only one sentence verbatim: "Noam, the amount of CO2 exhaled by 7.4 billion humans is some astounding quantity, and one time I calculated a rough approximation - only to have a geophysicist point out that, in relation to climate change, it doesn't matter."

What about the bears, lions, bulls and farting cows?  There are billions of billion of living creatures on Mother Earth, have been for thousands of years.  Why are some people blaming power plants now?  That is silly, but I believe it is done with malice.   The dinosaurs did it all and bailed out...

It is such a bogus claim, Chicken Little style.  That's all there is to that.  Incidentally, I am doing solar PV in Florida, I do not care, but the grids everywhere are about to fail, besides being more limited than allowed by laws, the grids now days are weather dependent (Read: Unreliable).  Just watch.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 21, 2019 9:31 pm GMT

Noam, even with all those bears, lions, bulls, and farting cows (or their forebears), CO2 in the atmosphere had changed very little in the last 10,000 years before 1850. As much was being absorbed by plants as that being expelled by animals. CO2 concentration was in balance.

Yet in the last 170 years, CO2 has rocketed upwards faster than ever in the Earth's history, solely due to anthropogenic sources of fossil fuel combustion - coal, oil, & gas. Now CO2 concentration is increasing annually by 3 PPM, and in September CO2 concentration was 408 PPM, higher than any time in the last 800,000 years, and almost off the chart below (chart: Renerpho from EIA data):

"It is such a bogus claim, Chicken Little style.  That's all there is to that."

Exactly what passengers on the "unsinkable" Titanic thought too - even when all evidence suggested otherwise.

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Oct 22, 2019 8:33 pm GMT

Bob, we all read the same governmental agencies statistics, bombarded with those figures: "CO2 in the atmosphere had changed very little in the last 10,000 years before 1850."

In a matter of fact, it was NASA Jim Hansen who started this hoax testifying to the US Senate in 1988.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/19/james-hansen-nasa-scientist-climate-change-warning

CO2 is heavier that air and is mixed by air flow and related weather changes.  I stated time and again that the climatologists who make those claims are smart, very smart.

The people who believe in this hoax, are, well you guessed it.  In the 2nd scene in Leonardo last movie, 'Fire on Ice' we see a NOAA "scientist" driving a snow machine up the Rockies, well above the tree line to look for CO2...

Read again the following, I cannot make my point any clearer, if elect to believe such unprofessional bogus claims, that are unnecessary inflammatory without scientific value - it is your prerogative:

July 2019 was hottest month on record for the planet | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 

https://www.noaa.gov/news/july-2019-was-hottest-month-on-record-for-planet

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 23, 2019 5:57 pm GMT

Noam, I agree with many of your objections to renewable energy, but am mystified by your rejection of scientific method and climate science going back over a century.

Have you read a single paper by Jim Hansen? I didn't think so. Until you do, and understand it, you have no right to an opinion on the Earth's energy imbalance and anthropogenic climate change. There is no controversy about whether increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is warming the Earth. It's a fact, and if you're going to continue to allow your logic to be clouded by associations with liberal movie stars and politics that's you're prerogative, but you're wasting everyone's time.

Anthropogenic climate change has nothing to do with politics - it's a fact.

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Oct 25, 2019 2:44 am GMT

Bob, the final statement on your respone is bogus:

"Yet in the last 170 years, CO2 has rocketed upwards faster than ever in the Earth's history, solely due to anthropogenic sources of fossil fuel combustion - coal, oil, & gas. Now CO2 concentration is increasing annually by 3 PPM, and in September CO2 concentration was 408 PPM, higher than any time in the last 800,000 years, and almost off the chart below (chart: Renerpho from EIA data):"

You are using fudged data provided with malice.

Watch My Gift to Climate Alarmists • Premiered Sep 20, 2019 - 12:51 minutes. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8455KEDitpU&feature=youtu.be

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 21, 2019 9:36 pm GMT

Here's some recommended reading, Noam:

he carbon dioxide we exhale does not contribute to global warming for the simple reason that we also take up an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide from the air, albeit indirectly. Everything we eat can be traced back to photosynthesis, the process by which plants take up carbon dioxide from the air and use it to produce the vast array of organic compounds needed for life. Our bodies can be regarded as living engines that require fuel and oxygen to produce the energy needed to sustain life. In that sense we are not all that different from a car. Both for us and for the car the source of oxygen is the air, roughly 20% of which is made up of oxygen. An internal combustion engine burns gasoline and spews out water, carbon dioxide and a few combustion byproducts. We, instead of gasoline, burn the carbohydrates, fats and proteins in food. Like gasoline, these organic compounds are converted to carbon dioxide and water, which we then exhale.

How is it then that we don’t worry about the massive amounts of carbon dioxide that are released with every breath taken by the billions and billions of people and animals that inhabit the world? Because every atom of carbon in the exhaled carbon dioxide comes from food that was recently produced by photosynthesis. Everything we eat, save for a few inorganic components like salt, was in some way produced by photosynthesis. This is obvious when we eat plant products such as grains, fruits and vegetables, but of course it is also the case for meat. The animals that we eat were raised on plant products. Indeed, a growing animal is basically a machine that converts plants into flesh. So, since all the carbon dioxide we exhale originated in carbon dioxide captured by plants during photosynthesis, we are not disturbing the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere by breathing.

On the other hand, when we burn fossil fuels such as gasoline, we are releasing carbon dioxide that forms from carbon atoms that had been removed from the atmosphere millions and millions of years ago by photosynthesis and had then been sequestered in the coal, petroleum and natural gas that forms when plants and animals die and decay. By burning these commodities we are increasing the current levels of carbon dioxide. Clearly then, by living and breathing we are not contributing to global warming through the release of carbon dioxide. But can we help reduce global warming by dying? Probably. We no longer exhale carbon dioxide and it will be a long time before the carbon atoms in our body eventually make it back to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Of course, there are always plenty of new babies who start to respire as we expire.

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Oct 25, 2019 2:54 am GMT

Matt, I am sorry, but you cannot tell a snake oil from real evidence.

Verbatim: "The precise electrons going into my home are not 100% renewable, and I agree that this nuance should be made clearer to customers, but the electricity bill I'm paying is going towards those renewable energy sources in the end."

What 100% are you talikg about?  Renewable is at best 25% of the time, how could you even think about 100% renewable?  You have no clue about the size of the grid in ralation to renewables.

The face media tells us that we could use renewable energy and charge batteries at the same time.  Sure, you may be able to eat your cake and have it too.

https://www.sarasotamagazine.com/articles/2019/5/30/florida-power-light-is-building-the-world-s-largest-solar-powered-battery-in-manatee-county

Florida Power & Light Is Building the World’s Largest Solar-Powered Battery in Manatee County, What does that mean for consumers?  By Cooper Levey-Baker  5/30/2019 at 6:37am  Published in the June 2019 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Excerpt:

Florida Power & Light’s planned Manatee Energy Storage Center will be nothing more than a battery, but it will be a colossal, giant, enormous battery. Set to open in late 2021, the Storage Center will have a capacity of 409 megawatts—roughly equal to 300 million AA batteries—and the system will take up 40 acres of land, or 30 football fields.

But the most impressive fact about the new system is that it will store 100 percent renewable energy—all of it generated by the company’s massive array of solar panels in Parrish. Once built, the new battery will be the largest solar-powered battery in the world, four times larger than the world’s current biggest.

Sure, we can use the renewable energy as it available 20% to 25% per year and also use the same energy to cjarge the storage batteries.  Magical - just arrived from America.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 25, 2019 1:25 pm GMT

What 100% are you talikg about?  Renewable is at best 25% of the time, how could you even think about 100% renewable?

Please re-read my comment. I'm agreeing that 100% renewable is not going directly into any current customers. 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 18, 2019 5:12 pm GMT

Snake oil it is, Noam - like the "Renewable Energy Certificates" adopted by 25 states in the U.S.

"Canberra will join seven other districts around the world that produces or purchase the equivalent of their total electricity consumption from renewable sources,"

It should be trivially obvious, but apparently it's not: for Canberra to "purchase the equivalent of their total electricity consumption from renewable sources" would be impossible.

Canberra, on average, consumes ~7 MW of electricity. Say Australia's capital city generates 25% of its electricity consumption from native solar/wind, and the rest (now) from fossil fuel gas. To make good on its claim, the city would have to import 126 MWh of renewable energy every day from another territory, most likely New South Wales, which surrounds it. Most of its renewable needs will be at night or on cloudy days, however - when Canberra's solar isn't functional. Will the sun be shining in New South Wales when it's night in Canberra? Of course not. Though Canberra might be able to buy some solar from Western Australia for an hour or two at twilight, there are no guarantees.

If the wind is blowing in the right place in Australia at the right time, Canberra might be able to purchase some clean wind electricity, but again: there are no guarantees. At some times, Canberra will have to burn gas to keep the lights on. Couldn't the city buy "extra" renewable electricity at some point in the future to make up for it? No - no grid can bear more supply than demand. That's physics. That's fact.

Igor Stravinsky, after attending the premiere of Walt Disney's "Fantasia" for which his masterpiece The Rite of Spring served as a soundtrack, was asked for his opinion. "I do not wish to criticize an unresisting imbecility," he replied. The same might apply to the shell game on which Canberra is basing its  "100% renewable" scam - but I share none of Stravinsky's reticence.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 18, 2019 8:55 pm GMT

I like Fantasia!

Gary Hilberg's picture
Gary Hilberg on Oct 21, 2019 4:13 pm GMT

Matt - I agree with your point, if the coal is CO2 reduction, it needs to be a worldwide solution.  The relative cost - benefit from taking a very efficient area from 50 to 100% renewables is very low.  Since all worldwide emission matters, the world is better off addressing the "low hanging fruit" in areas that are still running old and very dirty coal and oil fired plants.   A carbon tax would allow OECD countries to invest more effectively in these lower cost/higher benefit locations vs. shutting down highly efficient gas-fired plants due to a desire to be 100% renewable.  We need to solve worldwide problems worldwide, if we are worried about climate change a 100% renewable California, Canberra (insert location here) will still be in trouble if the rest of the world does not keep up.  

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Oct 21, 2019 7:59 pm GMT

Gary, I am sorry, but you merely repeating the irresponsible fake media and politicians.  We have the technology, we understand power generation and grid requirements.  Desire does not count if you do not have the means to meet the goals.

Not only we do not have the funding required, but we do not have the real estate for 100% capacity - at 25% availability it requires installations of four (4) times the grid nameplate for 100%.

We do not have the technology to store electrical energy - only pumped storage works, but we have too little of that.  This is not an academic issue - power generation is a working technology... The numbers just do not add up, it is a fraudulent claim, hard to understand?

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 21, 2019 9:23 pm GMT

Not only we do not have the funding required

The beauty of a carbon tax proposal, like Gary brought up, is that it capitalizes on market forces to find the lowest cost ways to reduce emissions first and foremost. Trading credits internationally is what makes this possible, which like he mentions kind of gets left out if we're focused on reducing emissions in one corner of the world and having it increase elsewhere (the waterbed principal)

Gary Hilberg's picture
Gary Hilberg on Oct 23, 2019 6:35 pm GMT

Noam - Hard for you to understand I believe.  You do not understand my comment on the need for a global solution vs. a stretch for 100% in any one isolated region.  Improved efficiency and transition to lower emission fuels is a good thing.  Your focus is on one current renewable resource - solar, my focus is on a portfolio of resources including fossil fuels.  I am not referring to fake media or politics.  Before you throw those stones read the information and understand it.  

Matt - thanks for the comment.  The US SOx emissions program was a great success, pushed the technology and $$ to the best solutions.  

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Oct 25, 2019 2:41 am GMT

Gary, I have years of experience in wind farms, solar PV, hydroelectric and geothermal plus nokes, coal fired, gas fired and gas turbines.  I understand them all plus the grid - I designed, built and commissioned substations, STACOMs, SVC's and more.

Mankind cannot compete with the sun's energy - the global warming is a hoax - worst yet, it is a scam to change the political structure and redistribute power (Read: Money).

The so-called "Greenhouse Gases" is a fiction - we cannot compete with the sun.  Read again my comments and try to understand that Jim Hansen, Al Gore, Michael Moore and Leonardo Di Caprio are socialists without a stake in power generation.  Gore made $300 m and won the Nobel Prize.

Cannot you see the facts?  Watch this 12:51 minutes piece.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8455KEDitpU&feature=youtu.be

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 25, 2019 1:23 pm GMT

 it is a scam to change the political structure and redistribute power (Read: Money).

This is a new climate denial argument to me-- who is supposedly reaping the benefits of climate change science?

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