Saturday, August 12, 2017

In Australia: "Zero Coal" = "Zero Heavy Manufacturing" -- August 12, 2017

Over at "The Big Stories" there is a link to "Renewables and a Dose of Reality." Today, we have another dose of reality regarding renewable energy. The overall theme: countries around the world and regions in the US that succumb to the fallacy of free energy will lose their manufacturing base. Period. Dot.

Let's start with Australia. From a reader earlier today, a link to JoanneNova, aluminum smelters cannot exist where grid electricity if based on wind/solar.
1. Aluminium smelters gobble electrons for breakfast. [The Tomago Aluminum] smelter uses 10% of the entire electricity supply of the most populous state in Australia (New South Wales).

2. If power goes out without warning for more than three hours, the smelter pot lines freeze, permanently. The company goes to the wall.

3. The largest battery in the world would keep their smelter going for all of 8 minutes. There is a good reason there are no solar or wind powered aluminium smelters anywhere in the world.

4. The government can ‘t let the market solve anything whilst it is simultaneously destroying the free market by propping up the market failures at the same time.

5. Electricity pricing has suddenly got very ugly. Their electricity bill may now be subject to price spikes where it could cost them $4 million just to keep one pot line running during that spike. It is as if suddenly gas stations only sold $400 per Litre petrol. (Which would be $1800/per gallon). What he doesn’t say, but which logically follows from that, is that heavy industry in most of Australia can no longer get reliable electricity at an affordable price, even with forward contracts. Cry, scream, run with your factory.

6. In Australia, if we achieve “zero coal” we will also achieve “zero heavy manufacturing”.

7. If we want heavy industry, we need a HELE Coal plant. There are hundreds being built around the world, and we are selling our coal to them. How crazy are we?
On another note, Boeing Corporation had an incredible month on the US stock market recently.

Back To Australia

Down Under, Men At Work


  1. The HELE in that article is High Efficiency Low Emission, essentially much cleaner, more effective coal burners.
    Many, many innovations and technologies are hurtling towards the marketplace.
    In the area of micro grids, distributed generation, on and on, a
    new world upon us and the Bakken folks have played an enormous, cutting edge role.

    1. This is "my reward" for the blog: I've learned so much. I'm extremely biased, but I do feel that the "Bakken revolution" is a really big deal.

  2. Maybe in New York "Zero Natural Gas" = "Zero electricity"?

    --- New York's Fracking Ban Was Supposed to Set a Precedent -- but Governor Cuomo Is Going Back on His Word ---

    "Like more than half of currently proposed electricity generation in the state, this power plant [CPV] will burn fracked gas from Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale.

    Opponents charge that the plant is not needed and serves only to further push a warming world to the tipping point of climate-change catastrophe....

    Pramilla Malick, the chair of Protect Orange County, summarized the CPV project's impacts for Truthout: "It is not only massive itself but necessitates a vast network of infrastructure that creates an even greater impact footprint, spanning from Pennsylvania to New York and requiring hundreds of fracked wells and more pipelines." ...

    Both the Eastern System Upgrade and the Valley Lateral pipelines are needed to fire up CPV....

    Meanwhile, New Yorkers are beginning to suspect that Governor Cuomo's seemingly ambitious plans for greenhouse gas reduction may be a lot of hot air... New York's Department of Environmental Conservation has rubber-stamped all but a couple of projects in recent memory, often despite heated public outcry and civil protests.

    Activists who are planning a rally against the CPV plant in Albany, New York, for August 10, say that to meet the state's greenhouse gas reduction commitments, the Department of Environmental Conservation should be rejecting every piece of proposed fossil fuel infrastructure....

    The EPA puts the social costs of carbon dioxide at $36/ton. At that rate, CPV will cost society a quarter of a billion dollars per year. This is a genuine toll -- in floods and droughts, in sicknesses, and deaths -- which the Department of Health, Department of Public Service, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Office of the State Comptroller don't seem to want to acknowledge. New York and the entire planet will pay the cost of this project in rising ocean levels and super storms.

    Even these estimates don't tell the whole story. "Economists have found that the models typically used to measure the economic cost of climate change (and in turn, the social cost of carbon) do not take into account a number of significant costs," Jannette Barth, a specialist on the economic impacts of shale gas development, told Truthout. These costs include treatment for cancer and respiratory illnesses from toxic emissions, and for diseases related to accelerated climate change. There are also business costs from flood damage, and costs to communities, individuals and farms when aquifers dry up.

    Barth says recent peer-reviewed research indicates that the full fiscal costs of extreme weather events have not been measured properly, and that the real costs of climate change are growing substantially with time. But none of the agencies in New York's alphabet soup of regulators wants to discuss the social costs incurred by carbon dioxide and methane emissions when natural gas projects are proposed....

    New York has increased its demand for shale gas every year since banning high volume hydro-fracking....

    If the state were serious about meeting its goal of 50 percent renewable electricity generation by 2030, we would see a visible surge of wind and solar construction underway across New York. That's not happening."

    1. Incredible story; thank you.

      For easier access I've also posted the link and part of the article at this post: