Monday, July 16, 2018

The Road To Australia Just Hit A Road-Block Called Reality -- July 16, 2018

Before we get to the BIG STORY below, the one thing we can all agree on with regard to the Putin-Trump 2018 Summit: global warming was not on the agenda unless that's what they talked about in their private meeting. My hunch: they talked about their grandchildren.

This is really quite a story. A huge thank you to the reader who alerted me to this story.

For those on the "road to Australia" you don't need to be reminded of the high costs for electricity in Australia -- a month ago electricity surged to $14,000 / MWH -- it's been one of the colder winters ever for Australia. And you don't need to be reminded why the price of electricity has surged. For those not in the loop:
  • Australia, home of one of the world's greatest reserves of coal and cheap electricity, decided to...
  • save the world by giving up coal and cutting CO2 emissions from that country, and ....
  • replace coal with solar, but ...
  • huge disappointment, and even ...
  • Elon Musk's batteries couldn't save the day, so ...
  • Australians are shipping their coal to China (where they have really, really cheap electricity), and ...
  • the Australians are paying really, really high prices for electricity.
Now, a reader sends me an update ..
  • the national electric grid throws in the towel; it must have gotten ...
  • a lot of angry letters from citizens who are going broke paying to save the world, and ... 
  • want it stopped now
  • the national electric grid (AEMO) says they can't do it .... 
  • it will take decades to transition to solar energy, and ...
  • it will take billions of dollars for the transition ...
So, Australia is back to coal.

From WattsUpWithThat,
Coal-fired power will be needed for decades to come to keep power prices down and the lights on as the Australian energy market transitions to renewables, the Australian Energy Market Operator says.
In a report to be released today, the AEMO says extending the life of coal-fired power stations is the most viable way of keeping energy prices down as the transition takes place.
It also predicts replacing Australia’s existing coal-fired network would cost between $8 billion and $27 billion by the mid-2030s.
AEMO’s analysis says that based on the projected cost, the cheapest option would be to “retain existing resources for as long as they can be economically relied on”.
“Over the next 20 years, approximately 30 per cent of the NEM’s (National Electricity Market’s) existing coal resources will be approaching the end of their technical lives, and will likely be retired, which highlights the importance of mitigating premature retirements as these resources currently provide essential low-cost energy and system support services required for the safe and secure operation of the power system,” it says.
In other words, AEMO says that the most viable alternative to save Australia, if not to save the world, is to extend the life of coal-fired power stations while transitioning to solar.

The transition:
  • will take decades
  • will cost between $8 billion and $27 billion by the mid-2030s
  • and it still won't work
I think Mr AEMO needs to be fired.

Yes, Mr AEMO is nominated for the 2018 Geico Rock Award.

Texas Friendly

I'm sitting in McDonald's tonight blogging while oldest granddaughter is at water polo practice.

It's pretty much empty but the drive-through is busy.

My only two compatriots are/were two homeless men, both clearly schizophrenic.

The first one had appropriate clothes for the 100-degree weather. He did have a plastic bottle of water -- wow, what would we do without plastic? He must have been here for about an hour or so. I wanted to give him money to buy a meal but was concerned that he might take my advances the wrong way. Right, wrong, or indifferent, I left him alone to continue his conversation with his imaginary friend(s).

About forty-five minutes into his visit here, the McDonald's manager walked up to him and very quietly asked him if he could bring him some dinner. The homeless man said "thanks" but declined. He stayed another twenty minutes or so and then departed. The homeless person, not the manager.

Shortly thereafter, one of his imaginary or real friends showed up. Another homeless person and also schizophrenic. He was not appropriately dressed for 100-degree weather. He had on his winter parka and all the stuff one wears with winter parkas -- huge stocking cap, layered clothing, snow boots, etc. And a plastic water bottle. Wow what would we do without plastic?

[I looked outside; the weather appeared not to have changed; it still appeared to be summer.]

The second homeless man used the bathroom but was here only a few minutes. I saw him leave with a huge drink in his hand from McDonald's. I can guarantee you that was gratis from the McDonald's manager.

[Disclaimer: I am assuming the men were homeless; I did not confirm.]

It will never be reported, but I am convinced that McDonald's and plastic water bottles have probably saved more downtrodden souls than all the emergency rooms in this country. I could be wrong. We will never know.

By the way, as long as I've gone down this road this far another story. Many months ago, while at a What-a-Burger, I saw something similar. In fact I may have blogged about it. A homeless person came in and the manager gave the homeless person a full meal. Before leaving, I sought out the manager and gave him a $5-bill (I suppose it was $5; I honestly don't remember the amount) and told him to use the cash for a meal for the next homeless person.

Play it loud, the man in the back said, "everyone attack"; and it turned into a ballroom blitz --

I hope they never ban plastic bottles. I guess if you are an elite you can afford a $30-Yeti thermos. A lot of folks in southern Texas may be alive today because of the ubiquitous plastic water bottle.

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